Sunday, February 24, 2019

Just Checking In

Cookie is just checking in as it has been a while.

I would like to say that I have all manner of things to tell you, but alas, February has lived up to its charms of being a cold, miserable month with not a lot going on.

We went to an open house today, a place within eyesight of our second-floor windows.  It is being offered for a sale at an eye-popping price double what we paid for Cookie Manor.  While its sports more bathrooms than the Partridge family could ever hope to use, it four bedrooms, down one from ours.  And it's on a teeny lot. 

I mean if they can sell it for that price, more power to them.  But if you were asking an amount within a binocular's view of a cool million, and at the top of the price list in the area, shouldn't it be perfect?  The bathrooms should be up to date, not 19 years out of date.  The cracks in the walls should be fixed and the bonus room shouldn't smell of mold.  The missing molding should be replaced,  And the house should be clean.  Maybe I am being picky, but if you are spending that amount, it should look better than a Property Brothers "before house".  Meow.  Hiss. Hiss.

I went to the Ohios a couple weeks ago and found it wet and messy and muddy.  I know that in certain circles that draw up imagery of piggy porn, but it really was the weather wreaking havoc with the Ohios.   Eastern Ohio was bleak, so was Central Ohio. 

News back there was that the house I bought for $60k in 1991, and we sold for $178k in 2012 just sold for a ridiculous $308,000.  The husband and I are dumbstruck.  But then again, that could have been us selling it and then having to rebuy in that market.

We are feeling uneasy with the Mueller Report due out soon.

I fear it won't take down the person who ought to be taken down.  And even if it did, we're so far along that its almost 2020. 

I also fear Bernie Sanders and his supporters may split the Democratic vote.  I shudder to think about what comes next.

On the most positive note, I can find, we are two weeks to Daylight Savings Time and that makes me very happy.  I love a late setting sun, but I love the fact that we can grill out again.

Until next time, Cookie over and out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Name Game, Part III: Oh, the bitter irony

So genealogist Cookie is taking a sick day because I wasn't paying attention to my meds this morning, and I accidentally took the P.M. meds (Vybryd, Trazadone) when I should have taken the morning meds (allergy pill, GERD medication, a Wellbutrin, and a white pill that the doctors insist that I take for blood pressure) and the result is that I am very, very sleepy.  On the good side, I get to wear jammies and play Camille.

Anyhow, since I am homebound (there is no way I would get in a car and drive) I have been working on a family line and have my favorite 17th Century baby name: "Accident"

Apparently, after having eleven children, said ancestor couple thought that they were in the clear by late thirties (their "last" child, Daniel, was born when the mother was 35) when a night of human rutting resulting in the September birth of "Accident".  Said accident, Accident, was a boy.  Mother and father were 40 and 41 - which is like 70 in 2019 years.  Apparently, Mother did fine carrying the baby and through the birth; she lived to 81.  Father died at 60, so the mother was not left a minor child raise.

As for Accident, or Axa, as he was later known he spent his life in Connecticut, married, and left farming to become a Minister, dying under a freak circumstance at the age of 47. 

And how did he die?

"Whilst felling an oak on the farm of John Williams, the tree half dead over from (a) storm strike, a "limbe (sic) struk (sic) the Reverend killing him, and leaving his wife a widow."

Yes, Accident was killed in an accident, accidentally.

I want to laugh out loud so badly, but these pills have me so mellow that all I can say is "dude".  Still, a reminder:

"Family is stranger than fiction."

Friday, February 8, 2019

Dessert for dinner

So last night, I made arrangements to have dinner with my friend Arlene at a tony place in the magical city of Upper Arlington, Ohio.

Upper Arlington.  Euphonious, Upper Arlington!

Well not really.  Its a really bland community, architecturally.

Anyhow its been seven years.  And in walks Arlene and first of all, she is looking amazing.  Not what she was wearing, but radiating this glow of health and good karma.  And she is rocking a twenty something body on a older model body.

So we sit down and order our cocktails - and this is a nice place opened by a local restaurateur with a very good track record and we chat and no dink, and we chat and no drink and finally I get up to find out where the drinks are and our server said they were on the way, so Arlene and went back to chatting, and the drinks arrive.

The wrong drinks.

Cookie ordered a Vodka Gibson.  Cookie was served a Martini.  Cookie ascribes to the same philosophy as Dashiell Hammett that  "gin is for old ladies."

Arlene ordered a Cookie Sidecar (standard sidecar, but ditch the triple sec and in place, St. Germaine) what she got was booze in a martini glass.

So we call the server over and ask about our drinks.   Her reply? "What can I do to make this right?"  Arlene says, that the right drinks would be the right place to start.  The server nods, but she seems a bit "off" her game.

Manager comes over apologizes, drinks on the house, says she.


In the middle of of our conversation the server disappears and the manager comes over and we learn that "Lori" will be our new server.  "Mandy had an emergency."

Arlene asked if she was fine and the manager said she hoped so.

Fine.  So Arlene and deep in a discussion on media, which is her field of expertise - former news anchor - and Lori comes over and delivers the dessert.  Which was great.  "But what happened to our fried chicken and waffles?"

Evidently Mandy must have been sent home, because a lot of weird got served up in that section.

It was a weird dinner dessert before salad, and all.

The manager came over and Arlene, ever the charmer said "who in their right mind would send back that a delicious looking dark chocolate tort? "

"Of course I am going to eat it!"

So the manager, feeling horrible, left the tort, brought out our entrees when we signaled, and dinner went a little upsey daisey out of order.

The cherry on top?  All of it was comped. And we got gift cards!

So Arlene got out and envelope out of her purse, wrote Mandy's name on it and slipped a twenty into it with a note ('We all have off nights.  Hope this makes things better.  Reach higher than tonight, and everything will work its way out.') and gave to the manager.  We also gave Lori a nice tip, too.

The manager couldn't thank us enough.  "You know, people today have every right to expect us to get it right, and I am taking time..."

But Arlene's good mood rubbed off on me as well.  "It's a meal, not Judgement at Nuremberg."

Arlene reminded me to embrace the least expected turns and twists in life.  "Besides, make me feel like a kid again."

"You know, there is so much in the world that isn't right, why do people let a FUBAR dinner, but with really good food ruin an evening.  Hate injustice, fight for rights.  But LOVE the people you are with and make memories."

Its good to have friends who put the fun and love into your lives.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

New Cookie in the Cookie Jar

Ironic that I posted twice about names, and find out today that Niecey in California delivered a bouncing healthy baby!

The problem is, I am a terrible uncle.

I forget birthdays.  Kids hate me.  I just do not relate to children under 21, which is why I never dated anyone younger than me.  I could have, but frankly, I cannot keep up with them.

I am, however very supportive of the Nieces and the Nephews.  I am also an uncle who will tell it as it is.  I think they appreciate that, to a degree.

No word on a name, but I would be a fool to place a bet on the name "Pleasance" or "Rhubarb".

This is my last great niece of nephew on that side of the family.  Which is kind of sad.  Cookie is getting old, and eldest great niece is ten, so hopefully, there will be more after 2028. 

And by that time, Pleasance and Rhubarb maybe fashionable and trendy names for a girl, or a boy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Name Game, Decoded

Several of you endeavored to play the name game from the last post.    The 16-17th Century names given were:

1. Mehetable
2. Zohra
3. Lettus
4. Seekpeace
5. Francis
6. Pleasance
7. Mayhew
8. Fairfax
9. Eudoia
10. Syntyche

So lets run this one down.

1. Mehetable - Female.  From the Bible.  Meaning "God Rejoices" .  In North American parlance "Damn, another dowery."

2. Zhora - Female.  Found in the bible as the city in which Samson was born. From the middle east.  Brought back by traders.

3. Lettus - Female.  Yupper. A harkening to bountiful gifts from the harvest.  Uhm, yeah.  My friend the super adorable Justin McKenzie performs under the name "Anita Lettus."

4. Seekpeace - Male. Tis true.  "Seekpeace" was an aspirational name.  It was a spin on Stephen.

5. Francis (Frank-Is) - Female.  Now here me out.  Francis (Fran-SIS) IS a male name.  But "Frank-Is" is a variation on the nature of women as property.  In Handmaid speak - literally "of Frank".  It morphed into Frances, and lost it harshness.

6. Pleasance - Female.   Cookie is going to give full disclosure.  I am a direct descendent, of one Pleasance Ely, of Ann Arundel County, and her first husband Edward Dorsey, who are my tenth great grandparents.  Pleasance, so named by her doting father, grew into a woman with a well known disposition that was anything but pleasant.  Harridan would have been a better description.  In fact, a Maryland history book notes that where Edward Dorsey died by drowning when his boat sank in the Chesapeake, several men attempted to court the widow Dorsey, who was - by her late husband's will the wealthiest widow in the state, but she hissed and spat until there was one suitor left.  He soon regretted his union, because it wasn't an act.  She was a throughly unpleasant person and made his life miserable for years to come.   SECOND tidbit.  Another Pleasance descendent is the Duchess of Windsor, the former Bessie Wallis Warfield Simpson. 

7. Mayhew - Male.  One of the variants of Matthew. 

8. Fairfax - Male. Yes.  Allegedly, a male named Fairfax allegedly had hair of flax.  Now, how are you going to know if the baby is bald.

9. Eudoia, Female. See Syntyche

10. Syntyche - Female.  Both Syntyche and Eudioa are biblical names, women, who are members of the same congregation in the New Testament.  Eudoia meaning, we think, Sweet Fragrance.  Synthyche meaning fortunate.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Just not enough children named Cuthbert anymore...

I wonder if she really was a Modest Outlaw...

My mother used to say that a child's name should be something that they grow into, and will serve them as an adult.

I would get this talk each day when she read the obituaries.

"It says that Murial Cooper died, age seventy."  Then, Mom would take that name and swirl it around in her mouth like a wine connoisseur at a world championship judging it by flossing their taste buds for every nuance.  "Murial. Muir-ee-al. Not enough children named Murial these days..."

Or it could be a call from her later "Flossie McKey died.  She was a hundred years old.  So you would expect a name like Flossie.  Popular during the McKinley era.  Not enough girls named Flossie."

Later when I was older and reading the obituaries myself each day, I still come across a name or two and out bubbles my mother's from my voice box when I utter the name and how its gone from our daily lexicon of familiarities.  "Lois Smith.  Not enough girls named Lois anymore," and when I skip to the sports page, every now and then an oldie but baddy will pop up eliciting a "Marvin? Who the hell names the kid Marvin, today?"

The problem is, parents name their children with cutesy names that fit children when they are wee small, not as adults.   This is how we ended up with boys named "Declan" and girls named "Troika".

My first "Troika" meeting happened at an event a neighbor was throwing.  The baby was adorable, with lovely baby fat that you just wanted to nibble on in the way that adults want to gobble up a baby.  Her mothers were bursting with pride.  "What did you name her?"

"Troika," they said.  "It's a name of strength, that honors her spirit, her body, and her mind.  She will be a force to be reckoned with."

I smiled.  In my head, I could imagine a life for Troika filled with endless questions about her "uncommon name."

And a middle name?

"We went with Rachel after Beth's mother who died a couple years ago."

Rachel is a beautiful name.  But trust me, Troika will be "Rachel" by the time she hits eight, twenty-four max if she becomes a TV Anchor.

Every era has a phase when it comes to naming babies.  Remember in the 1980s when there was an outbreak of baby girls named Ashley and boys named Christopher?  And then in 1990s, it was Brittany and Mathew?  In the 2000s it was Madison and Jacob.

These trends are nothing new.  In the 1600s it was just as bad with fads and such.  There was even a period in the 1600s and 1700s when children were given first names that sound to our ears like something from a hippy commune.  "Friend" for boys and "Thankful" in the 1600s for girls were far more popular than "Moon Unit" and "Apple" were in the 1960s and 1990s.

As a genealogist, I see these all the time.   It is especially vexing when the child dies young and it was before the advent of organized birth records because either the sex of the child is evident, or its anyone's guess.

I mean take baby "Shirly" Moore, born in Kentucky in 1801.  You look at that name and it sounds like someone your mother or grandmother would know.  Shirly could even be in the Bridge Club, right?

But baby "Shirly" died at age six months.  There is no birth record. Just a bible entry.  We don't even know where baby Shirly is buried.

So what sex is Shirly?

You read that right.  What sex?

Is Shirly a girl?  Or is Shirly a boy?

Shirly could be one or the other.  We don't know.  All we have is "Thomas and Ann Moore's" family bible which records the birth and death dates for "Shirly".

And was Shirly's name surely spelled Shirly?  Or is it Shirley, like it's printed in the book written in the 1970s by the person who was, in canon law terms Shirly's fifth great grand nephew, one Beverly Simpkins.  Yes, a man named Beverly. And yes, Beverly's granddaughter describes her "Grandpappy" as "Beverly, the Hillbilly".

(She thinks its funny. She's also paying me $100/hour to look all this up, so if she wants to laugh, let her.)

One Millenial, who is clueless asked me "Why do you have to assign a sex to these people.  Maybe they were gender fluid..."

Unlikely.  Look, you have to assign a sex to figure out how to start an organized search to rule in your hypothesis or, rule it out.  if you just go willy-nilly at the records, you'll never find anything.

So let's play this little game, shall we? It's one I play whenever we go further back than 1900.  Its called "Is it a He'in or a She'in?"  The way this gets played, I'll give you ten "Western" names that are pretty gender fixed, but way out of date.  You have to assign the most likely gender.  The names won't be ones you hear today but were common in the 17th and 18th centuries.  You have a 50% chance at getting them right.  Don't cheat.  I can spot a cheater a mile away.   (But you can whip this out and show it to your friends and defy their ability to get them all correct.)

1. Mehetable
2. Zohra
3. Lettus
4. Seekpeace
5. Francis (pronounced Frank-is)
6. Pleasance
7. Mayhew
8. Fairfax
9. Eudoia M
10. Syntyche


Mathe in New England


1) Mehetable - Female.  Taken from the bible.  Its translation means "God rejoices."

2) Zohra - Female.  Taken from Islamic culture, up through the Middle East into Europe, it can mean "Beautiful

3) Lettus - Female.  Later Lettice (Le-teece)

4) Seekpeace - Male.

5)  Francis - Female.  Yes, I know that Francis is a man's name, but "Frankis" morphed into Frances.

6) Pleasance - Female.  My 10th great grandmother was a woman named Pleasance Ely*.

7) Mayhew - Male.  A forerunner of Mathew.

8) Fairfax - Male.  One would think that "Fair" would apply to a girl, fair of face, so to think.  But no.  Fairfax was a name given to males.

9) Eudoia - Female.  I know, you are thinking "Endora", but no.  Eudoia is a new testament thing.

10) Syntyche - Female.  A buddy of Eudoia.


If you have made it thus far, the bonus name is "Mathe".  Not Maive.  And no, not Maude, either.  "Mathe" can either be a form of "Mary" or it can be - especially in New England a form of MARTHA.  Martha?  Now, sound it out: Ma-the, Ma-the, now say "Ma" and "the" fast together.  ma - THE, Martha.

Now if you will excuse me, but I have to wrap a gift for the new baby next door.  They named him "Viscount".

I honestly just can't.  You know?