Friday, June 28, 2013

Family Recipe Friday

Sorteberg family recipe
1 jar dill pickles
1 cup vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp pickling spice
Soak dill pickles in cold water (cut into pieces).  Cook vinegar, sugar and spices.  Let cool and put into pickle jar with cut pickles.  Refrigerate

This recipe has become a favorite in our house.  My Grandmother will always have a jar prepared in her fridge.  I don't know the origin of this recipe but I do know that my Great Grandma made it as well.  Even if you don't enjoy sweet pickles you will really like these!  Have to go make them for our 4th of July celebration.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mystery at the graveyard

I enjoy going to graves.  I don't even need to know the people buried there.  My favorite one was in Italy when I was 16.  I explored that cemetery every morning after my run/hike.  That was the first place that I ever saw photos on the headstone.  I wasn't sure how I felt about that.  Part of me thought-wow that is a great idea.  The other part of me thought-I am not sure I want to know who is buried here.  Either way I was quite fascinated by the whole concept.  I even believed that it was a Italian thing because I had never heard of such a thing here in the US.  I have since found them in the US so it isn't such a novelty any more.
Do you want to be in a cemetery?  Do you want to be cremated and still have a burial plot?  For most of my life I have been terrified of being cremated.  Burning to death is my greatest fear so clearly being cremated wasn't going to work for me.  It really doesn't matter that I would not be living at the time!
Do you visit the graves of your beloved family that have passed on?
Is it important to you to have a place to go to remember your loved ones?
Since I love them, I really want to be buried in a lovely quiet spot.  Realistically, I don't have anyone that is going to be gung ho about coming to visit my grave.  One of my children won't even go with me now.  Too creepy she says and the other just doesn't share my fascination.  So, really who is going to come and see me.
I know that my 96 year old grandmother would go and visit her husband's grave often but now she is unable to drive and hasn't been for years.
Today I wanted to go and get pictures of grandpa's headstone but I couldn't find it.  I knew where it should have been.  Even thought I knew what it would look like.  Sorteberg is a pretty long and uncommon name.  Can't exactly miss it when you are looking for it.  Alas, I was not able to find it.  So I started looking for the other family names that I knew were supposed to be there.  Couldn't find them either.
Switched gears and thought maybe there would be some plot map somewhere.  No luck.  The Anoka County Historical Society is just down the road so I went there to see if there was any such thing.  No luck.
Internet search turned up no one responsible for the cemetery.  How do I go about finding a plot map?  Do I have to go from grave to grave and make one myself.  Forest Hill Cemetery isn't small.  It seems to me that there should be someone who has this knowledge!  I left pretty frustrated.  I know I have burial plots of some of my ancestors but now I have to figure all that out by going into and looking at each individual person that has died and making a list of who is buried where.  I guess I will be busy for a while.
Photo by Richard Rhode

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful in many ways for the internet.  Yesterday I fought with my computer tooth and nail.  I had a non virus on my computer that didn't want to go away.  Then I had to fight with getting onto my other blog.  I got crabbier as the day progressed and I didn't get anything accomplished.
So, today is a better day.  Not brighter here in Minnesota but it is better.
I love that my grandfather did all of his leg work researching the family history by picking up the phone and calling to get information.  If that didn't work he sat down at his desk and wrote letters to the family that he needed information from.  Me, I sit at my computer and Google the people that I want to know about.  Then I do a Facebook search to see if I can find a picture of a long lost cousin.
Although I love Grandpa's method, I don't have the phone skills that his generation had.  This day and age with cell phones you aren't going to be able to find half the people that you are looking for.  What is a researcher to do to connect with family that we don't know?  His generation had such a better connection to family than mine does.  I crave that connection.  I have always been convinced that I was born in the wrong generation.
I mentioned last time that I was contacted by a cousin that I have never met.  I am so excited to tell my mom about her tonight when I see her.  I never thought to look into this side of the family.  My great grandmother had many siblings and I just never went there with her family.  Now I actually have a human connection that has information and is willing to share it!  Isn't the internet great?
He never had the internet but he was set for data entry for pages and pages of family history!

Friday, June 14, 2013


So one of my many hang-ups with genealogy is that I have a lot of time being a stay at home mom but, I just don't seem to find the motivation to do it.  I enjoy it, I like researching and I like putting the puzzle pieces together.  So why do I find it so hard to get anything accomplished?  Part of it is organization.  That is a large downfall for me, I have things scattered all over the place.  I don't have a home office.  I am currently writing from my laptop sitting on my bed!  I have shared this before but it seems that I need to repeat myself just so that I can re-read it and maybe jump start myself into action.
With that said I have to say that one of the many things that I like about is that I have people contact me from time to time that I am related to in various ways.
Tonight I received an email from a cousin asking if I had any photos or stories about her grandmother's family.  I love this.  Her grandmother is my great grandmother's youngest sister.  The best part, she is local and lives in the town next to my parents!  There are so few people in my family that have an interest in the family history that when I do find someone that does enjoy it I get way over the top excited!  I have been combing through photographs, my ancestry pages and my grandfather's family history book to find any information that I can for her!  She is probably going to run screaming.  It will be worth it because I have a glimmer of motivation and I can actually feel like I accomplished something.