Monday, April 7, 2014

Italian Records being Indexed

Great news!  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has made an arrangement with the Italian government to film historic genealogical records in exchange, we are indexing those records and they will be made available for everyone to research on the FamilySearch website as soon as they become available.  If anyone out there speaks Italian or would like to assist, check with the Indexing portion of the FamilySearch website for information.

The fun thing about Indexing is that:

1.  You do not need to be a member of the church to help
2.  You do not need to be a member of the church to search the indexed records
3.  The records are available to everyone world-wide FREE
4.  Indexing is very rewarding - you will be contributing to one of the biggest World Wide Service Projects available
5.  You can do it at your own speed in your own time
6.  You can pick your own project (usually just 1 page)
7.  You can send the project back if you don't like it, it's too hard, or you don't have time
8.  You will be helping your family and everyone else in the world unite your/their family
9.  You can access the site anytime day or night from wherever you live
10.  Did I say it was FUN and extremely REWARDING???  Well, it is!

Sign up today and give it a try.  You don't have to do Italian.  There are a variety of languages and types of documents to index.  It costs nothing to check it out (and costs nothing to try).

GO TO www.familysearch.org and check out the whole site.  There is so much available to you FREE so what are you waiting for.  Search for your family, learn lessons on how to do research, record your family in the world's biggest FAMILY TREE

Friday, February 8, 2013

FAMILY HISTORY CENTERS

I am not sure if everyone knows this, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have Family History Centers that are open and available for anyone and everyone to go in and do research for their family lines. I work with the Family History Directors in our area. We are trying to get the word out to everyone that they are WELCOME to come in to the centers. The service is FREE. The facility is FREE. Often the FHC's have classes available or conferences and they are absolutely FREE also.

Family History research has changed over the years. When I started researching my lines, I needed to write tons of letters and make many trips to the Family History Center in my area. I ordered tons of microfilm and microfiche (at a price) to search records desperate to find my family. Today, the Internet has changed all of that. Through the Indexing program with the Church, millions of pages of these same microfilm and microfiche are being digiatlized and indexed to make research so much easier. The LDS church has also provided a website completely FREE to everyone. That helps us not only search for our ancestors but there are FREE classes available for just about every country/subject you may wish to know to assist with this research. You can watch the training videos as often as you want, you can do your research any time of the day (or night), and you can get tons of online help through the Forums and other programs on the site.

The Family History Centers on my area are providing classes once a month in several topics to teach patrons how to use this FREE program (FamilySearch), how to organized their information, and how to use some of the many free websites on the Internet.  Check to see what's going on at your Family History Center.  You can locate the nearest center to you at the FamilySearch website.

If you are hunting for your ancestors and have not been to a Family History Center in your area, you should really go see what is available and have them help you get started with all of the FREE services available to you on the FamilySearch website.

Check it out  www.familysearch.org

Friday, March 16, 2012

1940 US CENSUS - Nation Wide Service Project

In April we will have the opportunity to join a huge nation wide service project.  The 1940 census will be available online.  The main problem with accessing it is, you have to know exactly where your family lived to find them......SO, there is a massive Nation-Wide Service project getting ready to start Indexing the entire 1940 census.  They need the help from EVERYONE! 

It is easy and so beneficial.  If you are just beginning your family history, it will help you to find your family in just one step.  All you will have to do is type in their name on the FamilySearch website and the indexed information will come up.  You will then be able to click on the actual document and view it...and all of this for FREE!  (Indexed names will be updated on a regular basis so the faster the names are indexed, the faster you will be able to access the information.)

So what do you need to do to help?  Just sign up to do Indexing at www.Indexing.familysearch.org and follow the steps to register.  You will need to download a program.  Once you have downloaded the program, you will need to get registered then you will be ready to begin.  It is so easy to sign up.  You will need a sign in name with a password (if you belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you just use your church sign in name and password). 

After you have downloaded the program and signed up, you will be able to download a batch.  A batch is generally 1 or 2 pages of the census record.  Other types of records are available too as the Church is working on indexing all of the microfilm/microfiche that they have photographed over the many years.  Many of the records available are in other languages.  You only choose the language you will feel comfortable indexing.  If you do read another language, they really need some help from indexers that can read foreign languages.

The batches are not that long, as I said before, just a few names.  Most batches take about a half hour to do.  You can do as many or as few batches as you'd like.  You have about a week to complete one batch.  If you do not finish the batch, it will be taken away in a week for someone else to complete.  If you find one batch is too difficult and you do not want to do that batch, you can just send it back. 

So this is what's happening, you download a batch from the website server and work on it on your computer.  You can choose to work offline or stay online and work that way.  You have to be online to download a batch and online to submit the batch but if you only have dial-up or if you want to load some batches to do while traveling, you can download them, work on them offline, then go back online to submit them.  You can load up to 10 batches at once.

There is awesome help for indexing.  For complete help and even live chat assistance, click on the HELP section at the Indexing website.  Every batch has it's own set of instructions so be sure to read them before you start.  If you cannot read something or something is missing that should be there, refer back to the HELP section for assistance.  As I said, if you really cannot find your answer, click on  LIVE CHAT (found in the HELP section) and someone will be more than happy to assist (you can also call or send an email for assistance).

Who can index?  If you can read, you can index.  You do not have to be proficient on the computer.  You do not have to be a fast typist.  You work at your own speed, in your own home, and on your own computer.  If you can give a few minutes a week to this project, you can do it.  It is easy to learn.  If you only have a few minutes of one week a month, you can do this.  If you have time at your lunch break, when the kids are down for a nap, when you are waiting for a call, you can do this.  If you feel that you are bored and nothing interests you, try indexing. 

A word of warning, you can become addicted.  Time flies by so fast and you may have the boss, kids, or spouse tapping the desk for you to get back to their needs but just tell them you are doing a service project.  Ask them to join in.  The age for signing up is 13+.  I knew a lady in her 80's that decided to do something with her days.  She learned how to use the computer (just enough to do indexing - nothing more) and began indexing.  She ended up working an easy 8 hours a day every day until she died (into her 90's).  She even learned how to do the Spanish records and she never spoke or read Spanish before.  She just wanted to learn so she did!

Join us in this wonderful World Wide Service Project (general indexing) and our National Service Project (1940 census) and find how truly rewarding it is to offer service this way.  Maybe you will even find some of your family while doing it!  Check it out today!  You do not have to wait for the 1940 census to get started.  There is tons to index right now so go take a look.  They even have a little "Test Drive" to see what it is all about.  If you know someone who needs purpose to their life, have them try this.  It is the best therapy you can imagine.  I hope you will not just take my word but will actually give it a try.  Join us today!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fun Blog for the Grand Kids

I have set up a new blog for my grand kids recently.  What fun!  It all started because some of my grand kids in the 7-12 age bracket have started using email to communicate with their friends and cousins and of course, with their grandma (me!).  I began thinking how fun it would be for me to get involved in their lives through this mode of communication.  One thing led to another and poof!!!  I started a blog for them.

I say this blog is for them because I am trying to do things with them and for them to enhance their learning skills with computer stuff and communication with others.  I just started so things are in those beginning stages.  I began with opening an email account just for this purpose.  I sent an invitation to all of the parents first and let them know what I was doing.  The parents then agreed to it and got their kids involved in reading the emails that I began sending. 

One thing that I do with email is I send out a thought for the day.  This actually goes to the kids ans to their parents.  I do not really know how they are receiving it (meaning, I don't know if they really care at this time about what I am saying) but it gives me a little chance to express how I feel about things and to give my point of view of things.  It is a simple thought and I always try to have a little learning message with it.  Hopefully, family members will be inspired by it a little and we can all try to improve our outlook on life's situations.  If nothing else, it is a little thought journal for me.  They can discard it and I will never know!

The blog is geared more towards the kids.  I began with a picture and asked them to try to guess what it was.  This was the picture:

It seemed easy to me because it is something all of them had seen and some quite often.  I was surprised that few really knew what it was.  I offered camp points (which I will explain in a minute) for guessing.  Later I posted the full picture -

This is a picture of my dog Lucky.  The white spot was from the top of her head. 

I have also posted riddles and other fun things.  I am encouraging the kids to post things also.  One grandson posted a poem.  Many of the grand kids (I have 24 1/2) are talking about things they want to post.  They can earn camp points (as the name of my blog is Camp Maw Paw) for things they submit and answers they give to my riddles and pictures.  These camp points can eventually earn them a little spending money.  (100 points can be cashed in for $5,00).  Who doesn't want to earn money?

What this blog is doing for them is teaching them some things about using email, using the Internet, writing stories and poems, planning activities, and using their minds to figure out riddles. They are learning how to take pictures and process them through the computer (download to a file, adjust the picture quality, and email it to me).  It also enhances their reading skills.  Most of all, it gives me some special time with the grand kids even when I can't be right there with them.

Having this blog for the grand kids is a win win situation.  I love it because it gives me time to think about ways to connect with them and I hope it gives them something fun and clean to do on the Internet.  It also helps all of us to be a little closer as a family.  We are always mentioning the grand kid's names and giving praises and such.  Hopefully this will be a special memory in their lives about something they did with their grandma.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Senior Hiking # 405 Last Schweitzer Snow Hike

70°

June 6, 2011…the last Schweitzer snow hike…
hike # 405
by Betsy

The forecast was for 60% rain today but the sun was coming out when we left. Normally we would have been done with Schweitzer by now but we needed more practice with our approach skis, and Jim bought another new pair and he was especially anxious to try them out. They are shorter than the others and do have skins. Temperature was to be around 70° so I wore short sleeves and summer hiking pants.
As we started up the cat track, we found many bare spots with water running everywhere. We carried the skis up to a point when we hit snow again and thought it was safe to put the skis on. The snow was horrible to walk on, very soft and smooshy…slippery too. Since we weren’t sure how much snow would be on the Cloudwalker route, we continued up to the top as we did last week to Stella, and thought we would try going down the Zip Down Run. Up at Stella, we had our mango snack again…took off our skis and sat down for a bit. We bought silicon spray to apply to my ski skins to see if we could slip them up a bit…they seem to go fast at a certain decline and then they take off fast. But on the flat or slight declines, they kind of drag a bit.

We got our first taste of wildflowers; so many yellow violets, trillium, glacier lilies and even one pussy willow bush. We saw no bear tracks today.

If we thought the snow was bad down lower, it was extremely bad up top as we began to ski down Zip Down. I started first and it wasn’t long before I thought…no way.
The snow was full of little craters from the different rate of snow melt, and it was soft and slippery. I had no control. Jim, who had taken the skins off his skis for easier down, was in for the same surprise only more so.


He was the first to take the skis off and suggested I do the same…and we thought it would be so much safer to walk down. He carried the skis on his pole over his shoulder. When we got closer to the bottom, we put the skis on and skied down the last bit…Jim’s skis were so slick and he fell almost immediately.

Safely at the bottom of the run at Wolf Ridge, we ate lunch, and then headed back. Jim’s skis kept coming off…had to get the wrench out for some repair a couple of times but it didn’t help much. They kept coming off, and he fell a few more times. Rain clouds were ominous when we got to the village and as we drove down the mountain rain drops began to hit the windshield. We made it back just in time.

We can now drive up Pack River Rd and when we hit snow, we will park and walk to the first trail head…it is usually around 1-2 miles. While it is not so bad on the way in, it is a chore on the way back…it is hard to not be at the truck when you get down but have to walk the miles to the truck. We’ve done it many times…and once in a hard downpour…that was no fun. This is the latest we have been up at Schweitzer and the latest we have not been up to the mountain trail heads. We are anxious. It’s been a long winter. We’ll see if we can stay away from Schweitzer next week!

Left home 10:00
Started up 10:30
Got back to truck 3:10
Total hiking time 4 hours, 40 minutes
Total miles hiked 6 miles

Senior Hiking #404 - Schweitzer

55°

May 30, 2011…Memorial Day…Schweitzer on approach skis…
hike #404
by Betsy

Thank you to all those brave men and women who gave their lives, the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedoms. And thank you to their families. We honor you and will never forget. God bless America.
Weather was warm for a change…hopefully we can continue to find half way decent snow up at Schweitzer…so far, so good albeit it is wet and mushy in a lot of places. There has been much snowmelt and rushing water as well and we are now noticing dirt patches along the sides of the trails at the lower elevations…not so much up higher. So confident were we today that we brought only the skis and no snowshoes. We saw so many bear tracks on the cattrack almost up to the top. The sun was very bright and the reflection off the white snow was blinding…I needed my Polaroid’s with Polaroid clip-ons, and Jim even broke pout his sunglasses.

The plan for today was to go all the way up to Stella 6 person lift and then ski down the steep Stella run…it may be called ‘Zip Down Run’. We stopped for a mango break before heading over to the steep hill. This is the same hill that we practiced a bit on last week down near the bottom. I started down first, going slowly and carefully, doing wide turns. I did better than I thought I would and while it was killing my knees, I never fell down once, all the way to the bottom. Jim was not as fortunate…he took the first fall almost immediately. When I saw he was down, I walked back up as I did each time he fell, thinking he might be hurt or needed help. It was almost I impossible for him to get the skis off alone. Back on his feet, he took off again, only to fall once again. This is when he decided to take off the skis and walk down, carrying the skis. When he was closer to the bottom, he put them back on and while skiing down, hit some icy snow and down he went again. I could hear the loud thump, and was relieved to find out he had landed on this backpack.

Finally down at the bottom and Wolf Ridge. We headed back to the village from there but we had one more misfortune…the mountain wasn’t thru with Jim yet. Coming down the cattrack, I was ahead of Jim and took one more look back to make sure he got across a big split in the snow without an issue. But then I took one more look back and saw that he was down yet again and sitting in a stream of running melting snow, aka ice water! So for the last time, I walked back up to him and after snapping a couple of pics, helped him out of the wet and cold watery hole. That was the final insult. We felt so tired as we drove down the mountain…and were happy to get home.

Left home 8:30
Started up 9:15
Got to truck 3:00
Total hiking time 4 hours, 10 minutes
Total miles hiked 6 miles

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Senior Hiking #403 Schweitzer

50°

May 23, 2011…Schweitzer on slider snowshoes…
hike # 403
by Betsy

The second pair of snowshoes skis arrived…I was excited to try them out. We loaded both the old and the new skis, and Jim tied my snowshoes to his pack ‘just in case’. Started out up the cattrack and I knew I was going to be in trouble. It was a combination of the very wet soggy snow and the groomer had just been up and down. I was sliding sideways and every which way…so out of control, that I was barely able to stay on my feet. I wanted Jim to see why I was whining and so we switched…he experienced the same issues. We both noticed the same differences…I felt so much better on the older ones.
When we got on a slight ascent, we switched back again…it was slippery but now we were in regular snow so there was more control. Once we stepped over to the side to look at a dirt patch and I went sliding right into the dirt. I couldn’t stop. Then when we got to the nice picture spot, again, one slight move with my ski and Jim screamed STOP! Luckily I stopped because this was a serious steep side of the mountain.

When we got up further, we switched skis again and once again I was feeling the sliding...but kept them on, since we were going uphill. I was anxious to have a little hill to check out the sliding. Finally saw a hill up ahead and got excited…’Oh, good...a hill’…I said out loud…and that is the last thing I remember before I lost control, went flying off the trail and down a hill on my butt. I had no idea when I would stop or if I would stop. Jim said my skies were flying up in the air as I was sliding fast on my butt. When I stopped I just burst out laughing so hard, a good signal to Jim that I was okay. And of course I could not get up without taking the skis off. Jim wasn’t crazy about coming down the hill to help but he did and I decided that we should switch back after climbing back up. It felt good to get the old ones on again…they are much slower. The new ones are plastic and have a fish scale embossed pattern which allows for easy up and easy down…or I should say, a ‘fast out of control’ down. The old ones have skins.

When we got to Wolf Ridge and the steep ski hill, I thought it would be a good idea to walk up it and practice coming down. We walked up quite a bit, and walked over to the side…all of a sudden, my feet went out from under me and down I went. That was a surprise. Then we started practicing skiing down…very slowly and very carefully. It was fun but each time we picked up speed we would practice stopping. It is not that easy, believe me. We went up and down about 3-4 times and decided rather than continue down Wolf Ridge, to just turn around and head back.

Although we were a bit concerned about skiing down the cattrack, we decided to give it a try. It went well until Jim got out of control and crashed down to the ground, just missing a ditch which was full of rushing falling melted snow! I had to help him get the skis off and then he was able to get up.
Then we had a nice surprise…bear tracks crossing the trail after we had been there a few hours earlier. Took pics. We were pretty wiped out by now, being out for four hours and only covered 6 miles.

Left home 10:20

Started up 11:00

Got to truck 3:00

Total miles hiked 6 miles

Total hiking time 4 hours