Monday, March 29, 2010

long lost cousins

I have been corresponding with a newly found third cousin, Merryfield Laimbeer Petersen from Pennsylvania. We both descend from the Abbot side of the family, and branch off at our great-grandparent's line. Here are the genealogical details (non-family can skip this bit and go straight to the photos, below). Forgive me in advance if I get any of it wrong.

We are both descended from:

Abiel Abbot m. Phebe Ballard (G-g-g-g-g grandparents)
Benjamin Abbot m. Joanna Holmes (G-g-g-g grandparents)
Francis Holmes Abbot m. Mary Wade (G-g-g grandparents)
Thomas Wade Abbot m. Helen Tracey Adams (G-g grandparents)

Thomas and Helen had two sons -- my great grandfather Edgar Wade Abbot (who married my great-grandmother, Isabel Esther McCormick) , and Merry's great-grandfather Frank Prentice Abbot.
Both brothers were involved with the GDA (Gerard, Dufraisseix & Abbot) Haviland Limoges porcelain company.

OK -- now our lines branch off, and here is Merry's branch:

Frank Prentice Abbot m Mary Augusta Laimbeer (Her great grandparents)


Kate (Kitty) Laimbeer Abbot m Francis Effingham Laimbeer (Just to make things really confusing, her grandparents were 1st cousins once removed. Her grandfather's grandfather was her grandmother's great-grandfather. Ouch. My head hurts.)
They had a daughter named Dorothea, also known as "Daphrie" and a son:

William Laimbeer m Helen Hope Nixon (Her parents)


Merryfield Laimbeer
m James Lawrence Petersen

David, Susan, Pamela, Elizabeth (Her kids)
10 grandchildren

Merry remembers visiting Grandama and Grandpa Loomis with her Aunt Daphrie in Ruxton, and has notes from them in her family papers. How neat. Oh, and Merry has a cousin, Frank Laimbeer. And now we're all facebook friends. How funny is that?

I discovered that in Great Grandma Isabel's guestbook from her house in Washington, Connecticut, there are dozens of signatures, notes, and photos of the Abbot/Laimbeer family, dating from 1911 to the mid-1920s. Here are some images and words from the past.

Click on the images to see them larger.

My Abbot side:
Helen Abbot Lapham (great aunt) - Isabel Esther McCormick Abbot (great grandma)
Dorothy Abbot Loomis (grandma) and Edgar Wade Abbot (great grandpa)

Cousin Theodora (before she married Mr. DuBois),
Elizabeth Ruth Abbot (Grandma Loo had a doll named Elizabeth Ruth, remember?)
and Kate Abbot Laimbeer

The photo above is from Isabel's guestbook, and the same photo, below, is from Merry's collection.

A poem by Cousin Theodora -- apparently the furnace went out in October. Cold!
Cousin Theodora went on to write a number of historical novels and children's books.
Click here to read about her life.

In addition to the signature of Kate Abbot Laimbeer,
at the top of the page there is a note that D.A. (Dorothy Abbot) went to Texas.
I wonder if she went with C.D.L. to visit Loomis Ranch?

There is a note, written by Helene, tucked in the guestbook noting that the Lapham children
referred to the Laimbeers as the Lame-Deers. Sorry, cousins!

The Laimbeers Garden City, New York, 1919 (and how they're related to Merry)
Frank (Uncle) - Jack (Uncle)
Francis & Kate (grandparents) - Bill (Father)
Dick (Uncle) - Daphrie (Aunt)

Frank (uncle) - Kate (grandmother)
Jack (uncle) - Bill (father)
Aunt Bessie (?) - Esther (?)
(Merry isn't sure who the elderly woman and baby are --
Aunt Bessie is Elizabeth Ruth Abbot, who never married.
According to Helene, she lived with IEA and EWA -- and never left her room.
She must be Frank and Edgar's sister.
I think the baby looks like Aunt Esther, don't you?
I wonder if Grandma Loo was visiting and took this photo?)
Dick (Uncle) - Daphrie (Aunt) - Francis (grandfather)
Garden City, NY circa 1920s

So -- hello to our newly discovered cousins! And welcome to the family!

Friday, March 26, 2010

eggxperimenting with eggs

I'm participating in C&C Photography's Spring Photo workshop, and the assignment this week was to photograph the humble egg. I was supposed to start with a white egg, but I live in the land where "brown eggs are local eggs, and local eggs are fresh," and I had a fridge-full. So I improvised and used a brown egg and a robin's egg that we found in the yard a few years back. So here are my egg shots, indoors and out, in lamplight, early morning light, and gray outdoor light.

Just when I had finished up, along came Phoebe-the-cat and brushed her tail against the little robin's egg, and it broke into pieces. The wind scattered the pieces into the woods, and it was gone. And then there was only one.
These were all taken with my 50mm f1.8 lens. So it would be fun to try some shots with my other lenses. Also, I'll put white eggs on my next grocery list and try the white balance exercise, too.

Friday, March 19, 2010

ghosts in the hollow

Ghosts in the Hollow from Jim Lo Scalzo on Vimeo.

If I could spend all my time exploring and capturing images like this of places like this, I would be content. I get that this might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it alights my wanderlust.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

inspired by bronte

Here are some images inspired by reading and watching Jane Eyre, as mentioned in my last post about Bronte-Along. These are photo collages I created using photos and textures gleaned from creative commons. A wonderful resource for finding the tools to get inspired!

Monday, March 15, 2010

bronte along!

My favorite book of all time, ever, and for the rest of time is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. And I've finally found a group of like-minded ladies who plan to celebrate the wonders of Jane and Mr. Rochester through blogging and creating and reading and watching the movie and just embodying the Jane Eyre mystique. I've read the book probably 15 times, and have seen 4 or 5 versions of the movie (the best being the most recent Masterpiece Theatre version from 2006.)

Melissa Averinos of Yummy Goods in West Barnstable and her friend Beth Dunn, along with a group of ardent Jane Eyre and Bronte fans, are starting a new online group called Bronte Along. It looks like a lot of fun, without any of the pressure of a regular book group. Dreaming, movie watching, creativity, and swooning are encouraged. I plan to take some photographs that evoke the Jane Eyre vibe -- not sure how I'm going to manifest that here on Cape Cod, but that's the challenge, right? So join in, read along, get out the hankies, and dream of going back to Thornfield Hall.

Updated post:

3.17.2010 See my Jane Eyre-inspired photo collages here.

3.18.2010 See a view of my bedside table here.

4.4.2010 See my Tenant of Wildfell Hall-inspired photo collages here.

4.24.2010 See my Wuthering Heights-inspired photo collages here.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

no red hat required

In just a few days my mother will turn 77, and today we spent the afternoon at the Fuller Craft Museum, admiring the dynamic quilt exhibit and the other handcrafted pieces -- furniture, glass, pottery, textiles. We had lunch in the Cafe surrounded by a group of Red Hat ladies, and Mom pondered whether she would ever want to join a group like that. According to the Red Hat website, they "enjoy life to the fullest"... and they do "exactly what they wish to do." I would say Mom's got all that covered already.

I took this photo of her at the museum today, and I think it embodies exactly who she is -- leaning in to take a closer look, curious about life, surrounding herself with beautiful things, and strong and steady, even though now she may need a cane to help her along the way. Happy birthday and much much love, Mom!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

the truth the whole truth

I've been tagged by the sweet and wonderful Kyria (who also just happens to be my niece) to share 10 things about myself that my readers may not know. So, without further ado, let's get to it.
  1. Growing up, I moved a lot. I went to 7 schools between kindergarten and 12th grade. I've lived in 18 different places, all -- with the exception of California -- on the east coast of the US. Moving so much gave me a better world-view, but has meant that I haven't kept any life-long friends or found out how things turned out for people I cared about.
  2. As a child I had a very active fantasy life with many imaginary friends, even though I had a perfectly healthy number of real-life friends. Sometimes, I got the two worlds confused.
  3. My sisters and I played with dolls well past the age when it was socially acceptable to do so. As we got older, we borrowed my brother's GI Joe and introduced him to Barbie. And then there was some serious doll-partying going on.
  4. I am very well read, but am not well traveled. Outside of the places listed above, I've spent a night in St. Louis (long story) and traveled to Canada. And that's about it. I long for, yearn, for, lust for a year of traveling around the world.
  5. I have several series of recurring dreams that I've had off and on for most of my life. One series I call the "going back" series -- back to college to finish a semester; back to New York to find my old friends; back to an old job. I also have a series of water dreams that are better than any movie I've ever seen.
  6. I have a little bit of an addiction to certain reality TV shows. Anything to do with fashion (Project Runway, America's Next Top Model), cooking (Top Chef), or addiction (Intervention, Celebrity Rehab) is right up my alley. If it makes it any better, my second TV addiction is Masterpiece Theatre, so that elevates the taste level, doesn't it?
  7. I've been in the library field since I was 20 years old, and a professional librarian since I was 25 (heavens -- that was half my life ago, now!) Before that I was a waitress, a barmaid, a chambermaid, a housecleaner, and a home health aid. My favorite client was a man in his 50s who had had a stroke and lived alone. He never opened the Christmas and birthday presents his family sent him because he didn't like to open them by himself. So every time I went there to clean or shop for him, we would sit down and have a cup of tea and a cigarette together (I'm a reformed smoker), and he'd open a present. It turns out that most of them -- probably 18 out of 20 presents -- were blue button-down oxford cloth shirts. Sigh.
  8. Even though I've been an off-and-on vegetarian, I like beef jerky. A lot.
  9. I've over-indulged in most vices and also quit most of them.
  10. I've been fired twice and been on probation once. Don't worry -- it was a long time ago, I learned my lesson, and my crime has been stricken from my record.
OK, so now you know more. I would love to hear your 10 things. Leave them in a comment if you're up for it, or post them on your own blogs if you have them. I need to pass along the challenge to some specific people, so I'll tag:

Sara (read her response here)
Lori (read her response in the comments, below)
Lindy (read part 1 of her response here and part 2 here)
Erin (read her response here)
Also read Dan's 10 things in the comments below.

Thanks everyone for playing along! Much love!