Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Day I Discovered the Family Bible - Part 3

By the time I was born, my Grandfather Garrison was already 69 years old.  I have no memories of the tobacco farm.  I am not even sure if it was still a working farm.  While growing up, however, I did hear many stories of how they would have to work long hours out in the fields, in the North Carolina heat, getting the tobacco cut and into the barn. They would cut the leaves and take them to the tobacco barn to hang and cure with a wood-burning furnace. Harvesting tobacco was a very hard and dirty job. 

Today, the old tobacco barn is still standing, though in much disrepair.  At one time there were almost half a million tobacco barns in the state but only about 50,000 are still around today.  Oh the stories it could tell! 

The Old Tobacco Barn

My dad was career Air Force, and we traveled all over the world while he was on active duty.  We didn't get back to North Carolina often but when we did, we always loved visiting with family.  The Garrison’s had annual reunions, which were huge and so much fun.  There was usually a big horse shoe tournament, complete with bracket charts to determine the ultimate winners.  Trophies were given and the competition was fierce. 

The reunions were not only an opportunity to see family, and for the grown ups to catch up on things, but it also gave all of us cousins time to spend together, getting to know one another.  And I had a bunch of cousins!  There were thirty some grandchildren and my brothers and I were some of the youngest.   Someone would always step up and organize games for us to play. Some of our favorites were Kick the Can and Capture the Flag.  One year we decided to play Kick the Can as it was getting dark.  That didn’t end well.  Two of my cousins came running around the corner from different directions and ran into each other.  There were some major bumps and bruises.  All lived but lessons were learned.

On one of our trips back to NC, I remember sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, playing jacks.  One of my older male cousins got down on the floor and played jacks with me for a while.  I don’t think he had a clue what that meant to me.  Well, forty some years later I still remember it with clarity so I guess it meant a lot!  These were always great times, but for my family they were few and far between, so we treasured every moment.  

Some times when we made it back to North Carolina, we would barely hit the door and one my aunts and uncles would come get me and I would get to go spend several days at their house with three of my cousins.  I loved those visits.  We always had a great time!  My Aunt, the wife of my mom’s youngest brother, ran a catering business and sometimes I would get to help out on some of her jobs.  It gave me a chance to watch how she worked and she could run circles around all of us.  She was and still is an excellent cook.  We still love going to their house whenever we get a chance.  And an added bonus is, I can walk right across the street and see another one of my aunts, my mom’s second oldest sister.   A true blessing having them both still here and living close to each other.  Grandma and Grandpa have long since passed and, sadly, of their 12 children, these are the only two still living.  

Grandpa and Grandma in their younger years
In later years

Terri's Tidbit for Today:  If you are researching your family, don't forget to use Facebook for finding some clues.  Many times there are genealogical or historical societies in towns or states that have a Facebook page.  I joined one for North Carolina, recently, and listed a brick wall I had hit on one of my Great Great Grandmothers.  Within 30 minutes I had a response from someone who helped me bring down that wall.  Use all the resources you can to help you find some of those allusive family members.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Day I Discovered the Family Bible - Part 2

There were many mornings, when staying at Grandma and Grandpa Garrison's, that the house would start smelling good early in the day. It seemed something was always on the stove. The old pressure cooker would be hissing, with great smells filling the air. There were many mornings when bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy (sometimes made from coffee and ham drippings) were made and enjoyed by many.  But not my grandfather. I would see him sitting at the kitchen table eating oatmeal, with a dollop of applesauce added in. He would drink a glass of prune juice each morning, and he would pour his coffee onto the saucer to let it cool, and would then drink it right from there. I found it odd that he drank it that way but have since learned that was very common. I loved to watch him. I was only 11 when he passed away. I didn’t have near as much time with him as I would have liked.

Noon meals were a big deal at the Garrison house. It was the main meal of the day. There was always quite a spread, including lots of vegetables and several different kinds of desserts. Persimmon pudding was my favorite! I had never had it before Grandma made it for us. A batch was always made for us when we came to visit. Applesauce cake was another family favorite as well as fruitcake. Fruitcakes would be made for the holidays and some kind of liquor would be poured on them, like rum, and they would sit for weeks before they could be eaten. I still love fruitcake, much to the dismay of many of my friends!  Although not the same, Collin Street Bakery, in Corsicana, Texas, has the closet thing to Grandma's that I have had.  We used to receive one for Christmas each year from a friend out in Utah.  Needless to say, the year after he died, I was very surprised when the annual fruitcake was delivered to our door.  The tradition was carried on that year by his children.  

Whenever we would visit, there would always be a large pot on the stove, many times containing a bunch of field peas. I absolutely loved these little, brown, plump morsels of goodness and could just sit down and eat a big bowl of them and nothing else. I have not been able to find field peas like that outside of North Carolina.  There were a lot of "southern tradition" foods that I loved and don't get to experience, except when we're back there visiting.  Carolina barbecue is one of those foods. Vinegar based, sometimes spicy...nothing like it.  

We would all gather in the big dining room for meals. It had a big table that would seat a lot of people. The room was not large, so between the bulky chest freezer, a serving table, stairs to the second floor and the big table, there was not a lot of room to maneuver around. But some of my best memories are from when we squeezed around that table and shared a meal with our family.

Just outside the kitchen was the back porch and a door that led down to a root cellar. I really didn’t like being down there alone. I would either follow someone down or ask someone to go with me. And yet, I loved all the things that came out of that cellar. Home canned veggies, fruits, jams, etc. I really loved the jams and preserves! Pear preserves on buttered toast was my favorite. They were full of big chunks of juicy pear. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  There is nothing like homemade! 

Have I made you hungry?  I think it's time for me to go find something to eat.  Whatever it is, I bet it won't be as good as Grandma's home cooking!  Stay tuned for more about the Garrison family in The Day I Discovered the Family Bible - Part 3!  

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  If you are an AARP member and are thinking about becoming a subscriber or renewing your subscription to, you can get a 30% discount.  Click here for more information.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Day I Discovered the Family Bible

I'm on a search...actually I think I have been on this search for more than 40 years.  A search for family members that I never had the opportunity to meet or only knew for a short time.  A search for my ancestors in the Hatch, Marley, Garrison and Hayworth lines.

I can remember the day the "genealogy bug" bit me.  I was sitting on my maternal grandmother's couch, when I was around 10 or 11, carefully holding a big family bible in which Grandma had written her children's names, all 12 of them, along with their birth dates, and in some cases their deaths too.  I was fascinated! Our family of five was small in comparison.  I am the oldest with two younger brothers.  Of the 12 children of Albert Hamilton and Mittie Ethel Hayworth Garrison, my mother was the youngest and one of only four girls.

I instinctively knew that what was written in that bible was very important information.  So much so that I copied all the names down that day, along with the dates that had been listed.  I kept that list all these years.  Part of it is shown to the right.  That was the beginning of my love for family history!

Grandma and Grandpa Garrison moved from High Point to West End, North Carolina  in the early 1920's.  My grandfather was a tobacco farmer and my grandmother, with the help of the older children, took care of the house, the little ones, helped keep all her family and the farm workers fed and helped on the farm when needed.  In 1925, William, the fifth born child and the fourth son, died at the age of three.  That had to be a very difficult time for all.  By the time my mother was born in 1939, my grandmother was just a few months shy of 45. My mother's oldest brothers were already married with children, making her an aunt from the time of birth.

Albert and Mittie Garrison's first house in West End, NC

Several of the Garrison children were born in High Point but many were born in the family home in West End,  just about five minutes down the road from Pinehurst.  Their home, shown above, was not much bigger than many people's living rooms, maybe smaller.  In 1935, a new house, shown below, was built across the street, which was two stories and had lots of bedrooms.  It must have seemed huge after living in the previous house.

Second home of the Garrison family.

There was a bathroom on the back porch which I always thought was a little strange but that was a relatively new addition to the house.  When the house was first built there had been an outhouse just down the path from the back door.  The bathroom on the porch would get so cold in the winter. It was not unusual to find a little portable heater in there to help keep the room warm.  I can't imagine having to trek down to the outhouse.  That must have been miserable.  I wish I could have been there the day they got the new bathroom.  I can just see everyone standing around in that tiny room, checking it out, flushing it over and over just to hear the sound.  It must have been a thrill!

I remember when I was growing up with my two brothers, we were always fighting to get into the bathroom.  Can you imagine how it must have been with so many family members and one bathroom?  An adventure, no doubt!  So many wonderful memories and stories!  I'll share some more  in the next blog.

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  I have learned so much about genealogical research by watching webinars that are available online.  There are so many websites that provide these for absolutely free. There is a huge genealogy based conference held in Salt Lake City each year called rootstech.  It just finished up this last week and they have a lot of the speaker's talks available to watch.  Click here to go to the webinar page.  I have watched several and found them helpful but was blown away by the tips I picked up in Thomas MacEntee's "Building a Genealogy Research Toolbox".   Check it out!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Back on Terra Firma!

Our High Seas Adventures continue as we finish the log today.  Many people have asked if we would ever cruise again after this experience.   Yes!  In fact, in the last two years we have been on a couple.  We recently took our "Makeup Cruise", with my brother and his wife, and it was fabulous!  Uneventful, as we like to say!  We had a lot of fun and the crew were aware that we had been on the Triumph and were very good to us.  We love to cruise and, God willing, will never have to experience another one like the Infamous Carnival Cruise of 2013.  

Tuesday, February 12th
0600 - Notice water building up under sinks in both our bathrooms with foul smell; use towels, paper cups and a small glass to clean up and dry areas (yuck); red bags now being replaced by brown bags (seriously); both rooms have foul odor
0900 - Pax advised we travelled 75 nautical miles overnight with a total of 280 to travel; average speed 6 nautical mph; ETA at head of Mobile Channel 2000 Wednesday evening; however, cannot navigate channel in dark so may need to remain in spot until morning then make 5 hour trip to dock; food rationing has begun
1000 - Water continues to seep into bathroom so we clean up again; analysis concludes that waste water holding tanks are filling up on the starboard side of the ship due to listing and power loss; we clean but the problem continues; foul odors continue to get worse
1130 - Lunch is awful and some of us resolve not to eat prepared shipboard food any more due to health concerns and excessive degree of nasty
1300 - Pax advised we have travelled 108 nautical miles but still 280 to go as we have averaged only 4.6 nautical mph today; 2000 ETA Wednesday remains possible; pax increasingly anxious over sanitary and safety conditions as well as transportation arrangements upon arrival in Mobile; ship continues to list approximately 10 degrees starboard
1410 - Jen provides more "brilliant news" that a few public toilets are now operational in the forward part of the ship; mad scramble ensues with pax trying to locate one
1730 - Pax advised gift shop is open for cash purchases; pax rush to shop and quickly form long line numbering more than 200
1815 - Pax advised ETA Mobile Channel too late to travel to dock and trip to dock will now take 10 hours with ETA Mobile late Thursday pm; options once there are 1) bus departing immediately for Houston or Galveston or 2) stay in hotel in either Mobile or New Orleans then take charter flight to Houston then commercial flight to San Antonio sometime Friday
1830 - Wedding party meets to discuss options; we notice crew has begun to wear masks in the cabin areas, however, none have been provided pax
2015 - Decide to try gift shop once again and wait in line to purchase snacks to get us through the next two days; find that Pringles are being rationed one per customer; secure two other customers to each purchase a can for me and gladly give each $10 to buy me a $6 can of Pringles; inflation reigns on the high seas

Day Six Status – Horrible: no power, no comms, no lighting, very limited toilet service, no a/c, cold showers but warm drinks, food borders on inedible (I've stopped eating it except for fruit), waste water continues to rise and has now penetrated beyond bathroom into carpeted area in sleeping room, health concerns rising with another 48 hours to go, ship still listing 10 degrees starboard accentuating waste water problem, reports of sewage leaking down walls in lower decks, rooms stink and I still don't know about Pope or who won at Pebble

Wednesday, February 13th
0545 - Awaken to rain shower which sends some scrambling from tent city; others stay in place allowing rain to pour down on them like God's grace as we head for U S waters anticipating arrival this evening; also note that ship is now listing to the port side which sends the waste water to flood the rest of our bathroom floors
0620 - Pick up my BlackBerry and iPad from 6347 and head to area around ATM machine where a power line is working for some inexplicable reason; pax ingenuity has created some 60 or 70 plug-ins using extension cords found behind TVs in cabins; many available as the crowd has yet to arrive so I plug in both and spend a little over one hour with eight or nine other folks reliving our experience of the last few days; everyone has a different story or two that is their personal highlight - or lowlight - as the case may be
0820 - Need a shower but using our bathroom is akin to showering in a porta-potty; jump in nonetheless and use cold water to freshen and cleanse body to the degree possible; can't escape foul odor no matter where you go in the interior part of ship
0915 - Pax advised that we have now travelled 201 nautical miles with 110 left to go to U S waters and the head of Mobile Channel; ETA is revised to 0900 Thursday, a full 13 hours beyond earlier estimate; expect arrival at cruise dock at 1600 Thursday pm
0920 - Pax advised that supply ship will arrive at 1400 and dispatch helicopter to land on ship's deck to offload food, drinks and other supplies; additionally, the Carnival Elation will make a return visit later in the day with more delicacies
0930 - U S Coast Guard aircraft now circling ship to much jubilation amongst pax
0945 - Pax advised they need to break down tent city by removing the sheets that serve as shade cover and wind breaks so that the helicopter can land safely; groans heard throughout Lido Deck
1010 - Pax asked again to remove sheets from tent city to ensure safe landing of helicopter
1145 - Jen provides weather report and advises that it is colder today; we speculate that she has seen everyone walking around in sweatshirts or wind shirts as she is the master of the obvious; wishes everyone a " brilliant" afternoon
1430 - Cargo ship arrives in area and helicopter begins deliveries; pax crowd upper decks to watch highlight of the day; great anticipation that a special dinner awaits
1500 - I check in with Guest Services and learn that we will disembark ship by deck once at dock; however, bride told that we will be given group priority as an entire wedding party
1750 - Thunderstorm has arrived with a pretty good lightning show but no major downpour thus far; helicopter activity suspended but expected to resume in a couple of hours according to the Captain; another tug expected to arrive shortly to help get us over the hump but no change in ETA
1815 - Pax advised Carnival Elation will not be joining us this evening since cargo ship is providing sufficient provisions
1900 - I scout the dinner offerings and report the situation back at 6347; although the food looks a little more appetizing none of us wants to stand on long line in cold and rainy conditions on Lido Deck so the four of us have dinner by flashlight consisting of Pringles, cashews, and diet cokes.
2145 - As bedtime approaches we hear that media are reporting that conditions on the ship are very good with electricity and other services being provided to pax such that what we are experiencing is an extension of a normal cruise and having a blast; fact is the only power available is that being used to provide emergency lighting, to show movies in a lounge and support a band playing in the casino bar area the last two days, to support a half dozen or so toilets in public areas, provide fresh water, and a single grill on the Lido Deck. If there is any other power available it is not apparent and the only service available in any cabin is running cold water; this is not a pleasure

Day Seven Status - Slightly improved but far from good; no power, no comms, no lighting, very limited toilet service, no a/c or heat, cold showers but warm drinks, food a little better but it still doesn't stimulate many appetites, waste water subsided in cabin but carpets still damp, residue in bathrooms and odors prevail throughout; health concerns remain and I still don't know about Pope or Pebble

Thursday, February 14th
0400 - Try cell phone but still no service but believe we have entered U S waters
0630 - Head to 6347 and find girls awake; we sing Happy Birthday to Hannah (2 years old today); Hannah has taken ill and we are most concerned about her
1000 - Pax advised that we have yet to reach the Mobile channel due to winds and currents overnight; new ETA 1230 with arrival at the dock somewhere between 8 and 11 tonight; rental car option appears to be gone due to arrival after close of rental car operation
1030 - Brain trust gathers for discussion and decides bus to New Orleans makes no sense since it will mean middle of the night arrival; 11 of us opt for bus to Houston overnight and meet up there with our shuttle bus from San Antonio
1100 - We pack our bags in hopes that we be able to get off the ship as soon as we hit the dock; I believe I have become a “germaphobe” as I have been washing my hands every 20 or 30 minutes, using Purell whenever I pass a dispenser, refusing to eat food that has been prepared under suspect conditions, and now have thrown away my sandals because of the contaminated places they have stepped; some of my clothes may never see the light of day either
1300 - Captain advises pax that our power tugboat has broken down and will have to be replaced so we are once again adrift with smaller tugs trying to hold us in place; no estimate on how long delay will be; customs people have come on board and we are currently being processed
1430 - Arrival time set for 2200 as new tug has arrived and we are moving once again; many news helicopters now circling overhead and comms starting to work so reports coming in as to what the media is saying; after an absence of 104 hours, and for no particular reason at all, our toilet flushes all by itself
2200 - Arrive at Mobile having observed many well-wishers along the channel as we proceed toward the dock; approximately 60 media personnel observed at the dock in a cordoned off area; Jen promises a swift and easy disembarkation process by deck and we proceed to the stairwell to await call for Deck 6; option for priority offload as a wedding party seems to have dropped from the plan to our dismay
2330 - So much for quick and easy as our call finally comes after a 90 minute wait; proceed through terminal to transportation area and major chaos ensues as a mass gaggle of pax are rushing off ship and milling around looking for the bus they want; while there are guides available they are invisible in the crowds; our small group of 11 has been separated during the mass exodus from Deck 6 and only four of us emerge from the pack together; I locate a bus to Houston with 20 seats available but we are missing 7 from our group; the bus waits awhile but still no sight of our buds so off it goes; 5 minutes later the group emerges from the terminal having gotten hung up when part of their luggage was left on Deck 5 by the crew members who were designated to carry it downstairs
0055 - Another bus is finally designated for Houston and we all wearily make our way to our seats and settle in for the start of our homeward journey

Day Eight Status - Once we stepped on dry land we all gave a rousing cheer and thanked our God for answering the many prayers offered by so many friends and family; despite the ordeal we feel blessed that the fire was contained and we did not have to jump in a lifeboat and don our life preservers; all in all the crew provided exceptional support, the pax kept their spirits high, and we survived what was one of the toughest experiences most had ever endured; oh, and I finally learned that the Pope is resigning and that my boy Sneds won at Pebble

Friday, February 15th
0815 - We arrive at the Doubletree Hotel at Hobby Airport in Houston after a smooth bus ride and meet our shuttle to San Antonio; son Chip who lives nearby graciously makes the trek to the hotel to greet us and love on us and we are most grateful; our entire group wants a McDonald's fix so Chip leads the shuttle to the nearest location and we all rush in; our driver tells the manager that we are fresh off the Carnival Triumph and she declares breakfast on the house
0900 - After getting our fill we are off to San Antonio and as we approach the city the kids in the group plead for a Whataburger lunch so we stop at The Rim to satisfy their craving (and ours as well!); once again when the manager learns of who we are free meals are provided and a group photo is taken for the company magazine
1345 - We proceed to the bride and groom's home where our cars are parked, offload the bus, load our vehicles and head home; communication from Stephanie indicates that she and Hannah will arrive in Kansas City at 1600
1425 - We pull into our driveway with great relief and observe the excitement and joy of KK, one of our two pooches, who is jumping up and down at the gate to the back yard. Waiting for us on the front door was a Welcome Home sign, provided by a caring family from our church.

Day Nine Status - Life is all good once again!

Terri's Tidbit for Today: If you live in and around San Antonio, you will want to follow the TX-DOT Blog. It has lots of great information on road closures, project progress and future projects. There is so much construction going on right now. This might help you avoid some of the areas most affected. Click here for that blog.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Blessing in Disguise - Quality Time with Family

In the last blog, we were just realizing that a fire had broken out on our Carnival Cruise Ship.  This particular cruise was supposed to go out on February 7, 2013 and return on the morning of the 11th.  The big wedding was on the 8th.  The fire broke out on the 10th, which would have been a day at sea heading back to our port in Galveston.  When you are in the middle of a crisis, it is sometimes hard to see any good in it.  But as I look back on this cruise retrospectively, there were many good things about it to go along with the not so good.

My granddaughter was born on Valentine's Day and on the original itinerary we would have not been together for her birthday.  Because of the fire, we got to spend that day with her.  With all the down time, no phones, iPads, computers, etc. we spent a lot of time with family playing cards, reminiscing, and just spending quality time together.  We had four generations on the boat, together, for nine days.  We haven't ever been able to do that with everyone's busy schedules.  So there were some good times on board, which we are all thankful for.

Here are a couple more days of the "Log",  after the fire, to give you an idea of what went on.

Sunday, February 10th

0520 – Carnival Triumph’s Alpha Team summoned via ship-wide announcement; passenger awakened amid much concern and observe large amounts of gray smoke billowing from smokestack; smoke infiltrates Decks 2 and 3 as well
0600 - Power shut down throughout ship
0610 – Pax (passengers) advised a "situation" exists; staff working to resolve
0640 - Pax advised situation under control; smoke subsides
0705 - Pax advised there was a small engine room fire; staff awaiting cool down to enter engine room and assess damage; will be advised of status when additional info available
0725 - Pax advised of meal procedures; service will be on Lido Deck only; mad dash ensues and pax begin hoarding items due to situational uncertainty
1015 - Pax advised of bathroom procedures due to non-working toilets throughout ship; #1 in shower, #2 in red bag; cabin steward delivers red bags and instructs us to return to him when full (yuck!)
1015 - 1430 - Pax advised still too hot in engine room in a series of announcements; every 30 minutes or so Cruise Director Jen provides "brilliant news" that temp in engine room has dropped a degree
1440 - Pax advised engine room finally becomes accessible; apparently fire was not so small but actually a raging inferno; damage assessment underway
1530 - Pax advised SOL for power restoration; will remain adrift indefinitely but Miami office on the case calling emergency contacts and working arrangements for tugboats
1620 - Passengers advised tugs arranged for, one to arrive from Progresso, Mexico Monday noon and one from Mobile, Alabama Monday evening; will be adrift at sea until then
1730 - Pax advised Carnival Elation would arrive with supplies at 2000; dinner now being served; pax scurry to Lido Deck and long lines quickly form; wait time exceeds one hour, seating exceeds capacity; incredibly, there is no emergency lighting in any of the cabins so a flashlight is a necessity; fortunately, Terri and I each brought a small one with us
1845 - Rumor mill begins churning; one report says the Pope has resigned which puts Catholics in panic mode; another says a toilet is working on Deck 3 forward which sends scores of pax to location only to find that rumor is false
2000 - Elation arrives on schedule with her pax massed in all viewing locations to cheer us on and take photos; she delivers the goods; our pax rush to gather as close to Elation as possible to try and link cell phones to her communications (comms) signals; some successfully send text messages and/or make calls; most remain unable to contact family and friends to advise of plight and rearrange lives for the week
2030 - Pax who have inside cabins have no ventilation and are in total darkness, and those on Deck 2 and some on Deck 3 cannot use cabins due to smoke from fire; guidance is to find a comfortable spot to sleep wherever you can and take it; sheets and blankets provided; pax set up "tent city" on Lido Deck, turn showroom into massive bedroom, and place their mattresses and bedding materials in hallways and common areas to avoid dark and very hot cabins; most of our party benefited from door to balcony which affords cooling breeze when opened thereby allowing more comfortable sleeping conditions;
2100 - Pax advised US Coast Guard is enroute and scheduled to arrive at 0200 to provide security escort service

Day Four Status - All not so good: no power, no water, no toilet system, no comms, no lighting in cabins, emergency lighting in common areas, only cold food, no a/c, but soft drinks being served at no cost, pax with inside cabins sleeping all over ship, ship listing approximately 5 degrees starboard (or so the Captain says but it feels like more), don't know if Pope actually resigned or who won PGA Tour event at Pebble Beach

Two of the tug boats that helped us get back to Mobile.

Monday, February 11th, 2013

0800 - Pax advised tugs will tow ship to Progresso with ETA Wednesday evening; Carnival will arrange transportation home and provide full refund for cruise; Carnival Legend will arrive in the afternoon to offload supplies; US Coast Guard Cutter on site and pax cheer wildly when fast rescue boat circles ship to check security
1030 - Pax advised first tug running late; new ETA 1500; Jen adds more "brilliant news" that fresh water is restored and some toilets now operating; pax begin search for a functioning toilet but few succeed in finding one; Miami office announces all shipboard purchases waived except gift shop and casino and all pax to receive credit for another cruise in addition to refund
1400 - Pax advised toilets not operating as expected and fresh water availability limited; Cruise Director Jen declared a master of the obvious
1700 - Legend arrives and provides supplies as planned as her pax cheer us on; remains with us on station until 2000; we again rush to link to ship's comms to gain phone and text access but limited success; first tug seen on horizon; water problems resolved but toilet issues persist; wait three hours in line for hamburgers and hot dogs for family - last of the decent food; while in line pax advised bar is open for beer and wine at no cost with limit of two per customer; collaborate with line mates to make bar runs after announcement is made; three beers to front of line
2000 - Carnival Conquest arrives on site to offload additional supplies; second tug arrives as well but departure delayed until supplies are offloaded
2200 - Tugs connected to ship and towing procedure begins; pax advised we will now go to Mobile, Alabama as ship has drifted northeast some 90 miles; we all get a little more sleep with cabin and balcony doors left open in hopes of cool breeze; all have joined the "Red Bag of Courage Brigade"

Day Five Status - All in decline: no power, no comms, no lighting in cabins, no hot water, no toilet system, no a/c, ice all gone so all drinks warm, food deteriorating (however, many continue to hoard large quantities of what is available) with wait times averaging 45-75 minutes, more pax finding makeshift sleeping accommodations, foul odors beginning to appear throughout ship, crew doing good job under tough circumstances and pax holding up very well, ship listing 5-10 degrees starboard, still don't know if Pope resigned or who won at Pebble

Many people's lives were put on hold for days.  The Customer Service desk was inundated and with no way to communicate with the outside world, it made for some very frustrated individuals. We had our pet sitter scheduled to leave the morning of the 11th.  Thank goodness, our friends figured out what was happening and took over their care from that point on.  But, needless to say, lots of things were missed or had to be rescheduled.  But everything seemed to work itself out in the end.  I will share the final part of the "Log" with you next time.

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  There are so many good websites now where you can download and print coupons.  I found several on Facebook and "Liked" them.   One is "Penny Pinchin' Mom".  She shares lots of different ways to save money and places where you can get some good deals.  Another is "".  They always have at least one or two coupons that I can use.  Check them out! Until next time.... 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day a Little Early

TGIF!  Hope you've had a good week!  I've been under the weather all week with some head thingy but am starting to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

As promised, I wanted to share some of my husband's musings, "Guido's Log",  about our adventures on the Carnival Triumph Infamous Disaster Cruise.  Before you start reading you should know that it was pretty bad but once the initial shock was over, we never felt like our lives were threatened and the crew did everything they could to make us as comfortable as possible. That being said, it certainly gave us lots of interesting memories.  Here are several days of the "Log". More to follow in later blogs.

Carnival Triumph Fun at Sea Cruise
Guido's Log, February 7-15, 2013

Thursday, February 7th
0730 - 19 members of Todd (Terri’s brother) and Jennifer's wedding party gather in Boerne, Texas for transport to Galveston on an airport shuttle bus; group arrives at cruise terminal at approximately 1330 after frequent potty stops
1500 - All on board; most in party on Deck 6 Starboard with a balcony alongside cabin; Terri and I in 6347; Stephanie and Hannah in 6323
1600 - Carnival Triumph departs for Cozumel

Day One Status - All good

Friday, February 8th
1700 - Wedding party gathers; Todd and Jennifer married in beautiful ceremony conducted by ship's Captain; open bar ensues during reception and most in party imbibe in their favorite beverage past capacity; much fun is had by all the remainder of evening

Day Two Status - All very good

Saturday, February 9th
0800 - Carnival Triumph arrives Cozumel; group disembarks approximately 0915 with most joining bride's sister who is prepositioned and arranges bus ride to beach on far side of island; bus serves as bar and group quickly gets in party mood; upon arrival some pose for pictures behind nude beach sign which is strategically placed to cover private areas; not clear if any actually "drop trou" but highly doubtful; a great time was had by all!
1600 - Ship takes head count and finds one person missing; he is left behind due to moped accident and Carnival Triumph sets off for return trip to Galveston with one less passenger; he may have been the lucky one

Day Three Status - All still very good

Sunday, February 10th
0520 – Carnival Triumph’s Alpha Team summoned via ship-wide announcement; passengers awakened amid much concern and observe large amounts of gray smoke billowing from smokestack; smoke infiltrates Decks 2 and 3 as well

What would your first thoughts be when you heard an announcement from the ship's Captain at 5:20 in the morning and saw smoke billowing out from the smokestack?  Lots of things went through my mind and my heart started racing, mainly because my daughter and soon to be two year old granddaughter were also on the cruise.  But, I don't want to give anything away, so join me next time for more about our High Sea Adventures.  

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  Before you go shopping, check to see if any of the stores you will be visiting have an app for your phone.  Many times these stores will have coupons on their apps and most stores are now letting you use the phone coupon at check out.  They can scan right off the phone! It's great and it certainly helps keep your pockets or purses free of all the paper coupons.  

Have a great Valentine's Day!  Until next time...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Welcome to Unearthing My Family Roots!

Welcome to my new blog, Unearthing My Family Roots!  I am excited that I will have the opportunity to share with you fun facts about my Hatch, Marley, Garrison, and Hayworth families, as well as some interesting little "Tidbits" that I find helpful, intriguing, money saving, ridiculous or just plain mind boggling!  

I begin this blog in memory of my mom, who was born 76 years ago today!  She has been gone over 23 years but she is never far from our thoughts.  Oh how she loved her family!  She was the youngest of twelve, the daughter of a tobacco farmer, wife for 35 years and mother of three.  I'll share more about her in later blogs.

Also, two years ago today my family and I became stranded on the "Infamous Carnival Triumph Disaster Cruise".  Our four day cruise turned into a nine day float.  We were on the cruise for my brother's wedding, so there were over 20 of us on board.  It was not a cruise you would want to repeat but the time spent with family was priceless!  My husband wrote "Guido's Log" about the trip and I will be sharing parts of that with you in the next couple blogs.  It's a funny look back at what we were experiencing at the time! 

As mentioned above, here is my first "Terri's Tidbit":  

If you haven't already discovered Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems Website and Podcasts, don't delay another minute!  I have learned so much more about genealogy from reading her newsletters, watching her videos and listening to her podcasts.  Click here and start learning new ways you can make your genealogy research experience even better!

So, let's begin this adventure together!  Until next time...