I am the sum total of what I know and what I do and whom I know.   My world
is a joyful place, inhabited by memories and laughter and plans.


When I took early retirement from IBM Research in 1993, I had no doubt that life would be rich and full. I just never imagined how much so. Hummingbird I feel like a hummingbird darting from flower to flower. There is so much to taste and delight in that I barely know which flower to sample next. But following mother's good advice from childhood, I'll just keep flapping and hoping to someday taste them all. After all, so much of the joy comes from the journey rather than the destination.

So pass the bowl of nectar, and settle down with me for some mental meanderings. Trips, even mental ones, are so much more fun when shared with friends.

And speaking of trips, join us on our three month motor home trip!


Mac comes down for Henry
X Mac Jackson's Statistical Authorship Analysis
Arguments for Henry's authorship        Henry's Poetry        Moore's Poetry X
X First Publication        Smoking Gun?        Happy Christmas        Reindeer Names        Timeline X
X Henry by Slideshow        Henry by Book        X
A Poem of Father's
A denizen of NYC's Greenwich Village in the 30's and 40's
OLD SOLDIERS' DRUMS

I'm just too old for drilling
I can't hike anymore;
So I'm bound for the soldiers' graveyard
Behind an office door.
They sing - "Old soldiers never die."
We don't; we live on crumbs -
The shrilling, splendid bugles
An' the thunder of the drums!

I won't do Guard in a snowstorm
An' I won't hafta go an' fire;
It's just messin' around an office
An' waiting to retire.
"Approved per First Indorsement ..."
An' through the window comes
The music of a Guardmount
An' the cadenced, throbbin' drums!

Twenty-three and a butt in the Doughboys;
Why, I've hiked a million miles!
But they said my age couldn't stand it
An' they detailed me to the files!
This work is nice for some men
Who can take it as it comes.
But you know their hearts ain't achin'
For the pullin', poundin' drums!

D.S. 1/4C. an' a non-combatant!
When there's guys tha'd give their life
To piddle around an office
An' go home at night to the wife.
But I'll get back to formation;
There's a day that always comes:
An' I'll ride on a painted cassion
With the muffled, sobbin' drums!

TenEyck Van Deusen

What's new? 4/04/2014



I try to find ancestors who I think might "speak" to my nephew and nieces, and since my beloved niece Jeanne is playing her guitar and singing in church, it seems right to offer her Zack Mulhall, who I'm sure would have easily understood the joy Jeanne finds in performing. Zack started off the careers of Tom Mix and Will Rogers in his Wild West show, and grandmother's half-sister Lucille was claimed by Rogers to be the one for whom the word "cowgirl" was invented. Grandmother was another illegitimate child of Zack Mulhall's, and a half-sister of Lucille.

Photos and Family Stories

A Timeline of the Mulhall Family Thru Newspaper Articles




The religious writings of 6th great grandfather, Rev. Noah Welles (1718-1776), a Yale graduate and Henry Livingston's father-in-law.

     Patriotism Described and Recommended

     Poetic Intro to "Philosophic Solitude"

     Funeral Sermon for Rev. Noah Hobart




ART

HISTORY

BIRDS

DOGS

ANIMALS

INT-EXT

LANDSCAPE

ASTRONOMY

FOOD

STRANGE

CATS

JEWELRY

FASHION

CARS

SCIENCE

HOLMES

TREK

POTTER

TOLKIEN

TV
I love to sink into beauty and roll in its glory. From the moment I found that marvelous news site, Daily Mail, I've been thrilled by the richness of their photographs and cleverness of their topics. I started collecting the links for myself, but found I desperately needed to share these beautiful pages, so here are HUNDREDS of small image links to entice you to love these pages, too. Collecting the links and creating these icons have taken an enormous amount of time, but it's worth it if these images capture you, too!



Our high school class just celebrated its 50th anniversary!
Includes lots of pictures and music videos
Yearbooks from 1959-1962



Major first edition books and pamphlets by Henry Livingston's famous brother, Rev. John Henry Livingston, scanned and transcribed. Good I'm a speed typist, but my fingers are falling off. Memoirs and Psalms are over 500 pages EACH! Gotten to really hate traveling to research libraries and then dealing with books that can't be scanned. Buying them is much easier on pets and me, and this way YOU don't have to visit a research center for these either.
Original 1st Edition Whole Book Scans
1799 - Sermon - Glory of the Redeemer
1804 - Sermon - Everlasting Gospel
1812 - Funeral Meditations
1814 - Psalms and Hymns
1816 - Incestuous Marriage
1825 - Eulogy
1828 - Memoirs



Download
Antique illustrations put to a beautiful
recitation of 'Night Before Christmas'



T-W-AH-Z   DH-AH    N-AY-T    B-IH-F-AO-R     K-R-IH-S-M-AH-S
Henryland has been extremely busy this past year. I've been working long hours with an emeritus professor from New Zealand on the 'Night Before Christmas' authorship issue. When he publishes, he wants our data made accessible so, until then, I'm beginning the process of building the public data area by sharing with you one of the data bases that wasn't useful for us, but which I still find fascinating.



Ever wonder what to do with that pesky electricity once you've captured it with your lightning rod? According to this 1802 book, the answer was to use it to medically cure everything from gout to headache.     Medical Conditions
NOT TO BE TRIED AT HOME!
Electricity as Medicine



What an incredible last few weeks!

This entire website started all those years ago as an attempt to find my father's poetry. One week ago I found his book online and instantly ordered it. Chills went down my back and I felt rather faint. Now the book is up for you. Don't let father be forgotten! Help me spread the word!

     Foreword
     Table of Contents
     Incident
     Old Soldiers' Drums           
     Taps
     Song to be Sung on Third Relief
     A Song of Legions
     A Song in the Cities



I've finally tracked down grandfather!

Jack Bell. Names don't come much more common. But I had two pictures of him while he was married to grandmother, and matched those with a drawing of him in a Denver newspaper. I was finally able to find a Jack Bell in Nevada (NOT Colorado!), about whom those same stories were told, and who had been in Colorado at the turn of the 20th century. I HAD HIM!!

A feature writer when he wasn't prospecting, grandfather wrote on the beginnings of air mail service, prospecting, and the birds and animals of the west. (I tend to avoid his stories about killing poor, defenseless fish.) Okay, so his prose was purple, I never knew that old biplanes could stand still in the sky when trying to fight their way through headwinds, or that ships "sang" from the vibration of the wires in various types of flight conditions.

And SO MANY stories about him. Look for the lines in red.

     Pioneer Airmail Pilots    1923-4
     Birds and Animals of the West    1922-6



A look at one year in the publication life of Henry Livingston


A trip through prose and poetry of Henry Livingston's, through the vehicle of the 1791 New-York Magazine; or, Literary Repository. There's Henry's description of what the Russian astronomer saw on the nearby planets after building a gigantic lens from clear ice of the River Volga, an explanation for the English derivation of many words, such as Peking, and a description of a strange phenomenon causing the leaves and grass to be coated in the early morning with a sweet dew. This is a man whose imagination never faltered.



New Book Attributes Poem to Henry


The Boston Globe has done a front page article on an illustrated book of "An Account of a Visit From St. Nicholas" from St. Nicholas Press that attributes the poem to Henry Livingston, my 5th greatgrandfather! Way to go, Henry!



What can we say? We're a musical.


Henry's Poetry Manuscript Book and His Daughter Jane's are Online

Henry's Poetry Book

Jane's Poetry Book

Thanks to my cousin, Stephen Livingston Thomas, we're able to put up both Henry's manuscript book of poems, as well as that of his daughter Jane, in whose book Henry also wrote.


Our Library
Design is a delight. And it's irrelevant whether you're designing a book, a garden, a website or a library or bathroom. I think of a room as a sculpture in which you stand. There's also a nice article on selecting wood.



Videos! Videos! Videos!
Finally! After 3 years! The system is up and working again! I am ecstatic! Our system had begun eating recent music videos as I would creat a new one. As soon as I realized the disaster, I stopped dead to not lose more. Hopefully we're alright now. I've gotten the remastered Star Trek discs, and I've learned how to turn wide screen into full screen. I expect to work my way through enhancing all 96 of the Star Trek music videos, sometimes making major changes to the videos while I'm at it. You'll find the new videos and enhanced videos separated out on the Star Trek page. New videos from other fandoms will be called out on the song videos index page.


HOW CAN SOMEONE YOU LOVE JUST DISAPPEAR?
Edith Felber (Edith Layton) is dead. I can't quite believe it, but I just came across the notice on her website. We hadn't been in touch for many months. I meant to be. I was thinking two days ago about calling her. I didn't feel rushed because she would always be there at the other end of the phone line. But she's not. And won't ever be again. Hug someone close today, and tell them you love them. I love you, Edith.

This has driven me to begin to capture memories of those loved ones now lost. I'm starting with Edith. I've skeletonized the old website we built together to recapture pieces of her original writing and thoughts. And I've put up some of the electronic communications in which we developed our friendship. Hearing her written voice again does bring some comfort.


Anniversaries do seem to be piling up. It will be 30 years since Intermetrics turned in the RED Reference Manual for the 2nd phase contest to design the Department of Defense Common Language. We lost, and the Red language just disappeared so that we could all support the winning Green language, which became Ada. After so long it seems reasonable to bring the language back for historical purposes. The site now contains the requirement documents from Strawman through Steelman, the RED Reference Manual, and the RED Rationale.

Red Reference Manual


To go with the new computer-related material, I've added another map page of the computer parts of this site. Well, actually, the whole site is computer-related, so I'll just pull out some good memories.

Art-relateded
Genealogy-related
History-related
Music-related
Writing-related
Genealogy-related

Computers Map


It's my 50th anniversary of graduating elementary school! And so, to celebrate, I've starting putting up the class of 1958 of the Joseph Warren Elementary School in Chicago.

Which started me thinking about my childhood, leading to yet another slice of memories.

And then I found this autobiography that I wrote when I was 13, and that led to so many more memories.


A 2007 Christmas present to you,
with best wishes from our family to yours
-- my Book on Henry --

"A Mouse in Henry Livingston's House"



Turn of the 20th Century Academic Nudes!

Vicar Book

I was raised from kittyhood on a book of academic nudes that was first my grandmother's before she married, then my mother's and, finally, mine. But it's falling apart, so I've saved it by putting it onto the web. 350 new webpages of nudes and artists. Page through the book, the artists, or skim through the chapters. Want a lighter meal? Page around my favorite pictures.


NEW!!  
MultiMedia Family Form
XMultiMedia Family FormsX
  NEW!!
It's been occurring to me that I have a lot more room to play with for not just music videos, so I'm putting up my MMFFs. What are those, you ask? Well, I'm visual by nature and I had to design some way to deal with all my genealogy information. Voila! MultiMedia Family Forms, or MMFFs. It's alright to pronounce it. I do. Anyway, it's all individuals and emphasizes them as people, which I love. Working my way back to long ago and far away. Just finished 6th great grandparents.

Well, certainly a lot of music videos. I've been working, most recently, in Man from Uncle, Get Smart, Miami Vice and Harry Potter. Fun!

I got to thinking recently about all the computer project videos we've made so, since we have space, I found and digitized my early IBM videos (and the bloopers) and the ones that I've done since for our small company. And because I save memories in music videos, I even made a music video about all the speech system computer videos I've made, done to Simon and Garfunkel's "Dangling Conversation." And, while I was at it, I prettied up my page of computer work.

John Cocke
One of those videos was about a computer legend, John Cocke. Because I love history, I've created a small subsite around the video, which includes a transcript in a style I haven't seen before. I'd love to hear from you if you like the style. I found window dub copies of some of the clips used in our electronic magazine - the original tapes were destroyed, as I had feared - and I'm starting to transcribe those as well. Then I added a page that briefly describes the 15 famous computer people in the video.

Right now, I'm going back to work on grandmother. It's only now dented through my thick skull that the songs she sang to me weren't passed by a purely oral tradition. I've been searching the Internet and, surprise, there's sheet music. So I've started transcribing my childhood songs - tearjerkers all. First, "The Baggage Coach Ahead."

And before that:
1962 class song  -  of Aquinas Dominican high school
Brig.Gen. Henry L. Burnett (Lincoln assassination)  -   timeline, newspaper accounts, more documents
summer home  -  Brig.Gen. Henry L. Lansing
Antill son-in-law   -   of Gov. Lewis Morris, wine maker, Lt. Colonel Edward Antill

A Poem of Father's
A denizen of NYC's Greenwich Village in the 30's and 40's
Maneuvers
(Corregidor, P. I. - 1924)

The Stygian dark is stabbed with swords
Of silver flaming light.
The grey guns couched, arise to speak,
Shatt'ring the silent night.
With blood red tongues of living flame
They searched the rippling sea
Where lifting, hissing, passed the ships -
The ships we would not see.
The servants of the great grey guns
In sleepless patience wait
Until the warders of the lights
Align their beams full straight
On grey ghosts coursing through the waves
To force the seaward gate.

TenEyck Van Deusen

The Coast Artillery Journal (PDF).
    Volume 72, Number 5, May 1930


I never knew father. Mother left him when I was 6 weeks old. I was 11 years old when he died. For eight years, he had tried to bring her back with the most heartbreaking love letters. But she wouldn't return. I've spent many years trying to discover who he was, and why he was. In his poetry, I found some of my answers. Father ran away from home and joined the army, serving in the Philippines. He came back to serve with the ROTC of the University of Chicago, where he met my 17 year old mother. It was in father's poetry column that they courted.
Father,   Bio,   Favorite Poems,   Poetry Column

NBC

NY Times


NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS:
In early 1999 I first heard that Henry Livingston, my 5th great grandfather, had written the famous poem I had read as a child. I pooh poohed the notion as too absurd to be real, but remembered the story while getting a tour to the grave of another ancestor, Sidney Breese, who had left a poem on his tombstone. Upon hearing that story, my tour guide explained that, as the rector of Trinity Church, he was the one in charge of leading the candlelight procession to the grave of Clement Moore. My life turned left that day, and I've had the most joyous time finding brand new research areas to explore ever since.


On 20 Dec 2003, I led a candlelight reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas near the very spot where it was written! Amazing!

Smoking Gun?,   Arguments,   Quest to Prove Authorship,   First Publication,
Clement Clark Moore's Poetry,   Fictional Account of Henry's Authorship,
The Attributions are Changing!!!
Star Trek

Due South

B7

Due South

Jeanne

B7

star wars

forever knight

FAN LITERARY SONG VIDEOS

Downloadable Videos   List of all videos

Alias   Blake's 7   Boston Legal   Buffy   Cadfael   Christmas
Due South   Forever Knight   Get Smart   Harry Potter   House
Lord of the Rings   Man from Uncle   Miami Vice   Professionals
Quantum Leap   Sherlock Holmes   Smallville   Star Trek
Star Wars


Characters on TV Shows or Movies:

Star Trek   Alias   Blake's 7   Cadfael   Forever Knight   Get Smart
Gettysburg   Hiram Holliday   Lord of the Rings   Sandbaggers

Since 1985 I've made literary music videos. These strange beasts use the lyrics of a song as poetry to be interpreted in the context of TV or movie video. Listen to Frank Sinatra's I Did It My Way in your head. Now see Captain James Tiberius Kirk. That's a literary music video! Paul and I have made 500 of them because I love the emotional power they give to ideas, and the fun of working within a tight box.

Interested? You can read more about how I got started and the equipment I've used, or read excerpts from Henry Jenkins' book, Textual Poachers. Alternatively, watch the development of a Forever Knight music video, 'Dust in the Wind.'

FAVORITE MUSIC VIDEOS
Alias     Here She Comes
Blake's 7     One Night in Bangkok
Boston Legal     Dock of the Bay
Buffy     Rage On
Cadfael     Scarborough Fair
Due South     Superman's Song
Forever Knight     Good Die Young
Get Smart     Secret Agent Man
Gettysburg     Movie Music
Harry Potter     Joy to the World
Hiram Holliday     Traveling Man
House     A Hard Rain
Lord of the Rings     Into the West
Miami Vice     Battle of New Orleans
Professionals     Gravel on the Ground
Quantum Leap     These Dreams
Sherlock Holmes     Auld Lang Syne
Starsky and Hutch     Vatican Rag
Star Trek     Love's Been Hard
Star Wars     Rest Stop

We've chosen to put up our music videos in two qualities - soso and pretty great. Soso videos are in mp4 format; pretty great are in mpg. At the bottom of each page of music videos for a single fandom you'll find a technical section talking about what software will play which format. Lines with gold backgrounds describe the larger mpg format videos.

Music Manuscript Book


MUSIC OF THE 18th CENTURY:
While researching Henry Livingston as the author of Night Before Christmas, I became extremely frustrated by his fascinating music manuscript. 200 pages of songs, and I had no idea what they sounded like. My cousin, Steve Thomas, was kind enough to make the book available to me, and my next problem was to figure out how to turn those notes on the page into something other than lovely graphic arts. I can't play an instrument. The solution was David Webber's Mozart program. With Mozart, I was able to transcribe the book, and with Mary Jane Corry's help, I learned how to fix the mistakes Henry had made in his handwritten scores.

FAVORITE SONGS OF HENRY'S IN MIDI
Farewell to Lochaber     Read      Listen
Sweet Passion of Love     Read      Listen
Dans Votre Lit     Read      Listen

Did you hear those little trills and quick runs of notes? Those are called 'ornaments,' and are a shorthand to a musician to embroider the note to which the ornament is attached. They confused me greatly at first, until I found a book explaining how Bach had taught them to his children. Since I couldn't try them out on an instrument, I transcribed each of them so you can find out what each symbol means.

Notation in Bach


THE DUENNA:
Several of the songs I loved best in Henry's music manuscript came from a light opera of Richard Sheridan (written about 1810). I became obsessed with hearing more of them, but I couldn't find any recorded version. So I was once again forced into transcription mode. I found a bookstore in London that was selling a vintage publication and, finally, could hear the music. It was worth all the time it took to transcribe each page, note by note. I hope you love it, too. A chorus midi sound comes in while the song would be sung.

FAVORITE DUENNA SONGS IN MIDI
  When Sable Night
  Had I a Heart
  Thou Can'st Not Boast
FAVORITE MUSIC VIDEOS TO THE DUENNA
Alias   If a Daughter You Have
Starsky&Hutch   Give Isasc the Nymph
Sherlock Holmes   How Oft, Louisa

Using the songs in music videos was irresistible.

Santa with Book

Santa with Book


WRITING:
Mother raised me with the idea that I could write because it was in my genes. She had the same explanation on why I should be able to create art. I fought long and hard against the idea, with a physics major at University of Chicago for the first 3 1/2 years of college, and a career in computer language design.

But, as should have been expected, mother won in the end. I switched my college major to the history of art (ancient), and everywhere I went in computers, I seemed to end up writing the books, or creating the publications.

As for the art, I had switched my computer career at IBM Research from language design to multimedia, and I learned about graphics from the artists illustrating my videos.

That mix of fiction and art came to its inevitable conclusion when I took a class in screenplay writing in Maine. Screenplays were the most perfect art form I'd ever imagined. They had all the "box" aspects of a music video, while requiring incredible control to write just enough to excite a group of collaborators, but not enough to trespass on their own contributions to a movie. I went "by the book," and the book came through. My first screenplay was read by 16 agents, and 6 offered to represent it. I still haven't sold a screenplay. A long story.

For now, I'm just writing Henry. I have a small illustrated book on Henry's writing and the Night Before Christmas poem out through Locust Grove, and a larger, agented biography.

And then there's the poetry. Mother was right. Again. Writers litter my family tree. But the deepest emotional impact on me has come from finding my father's poetry, and the poetry column in which he and my 17 year old mother courted. Those pages foresee the tragedy that was still in their future, and it breaks my heart.

Fan Writing,   Poetry,   Publications,   Father's Poetry,   Mother's Poetry
Cheesecake


STILL A CHILD:
I simply refuse to grow up! I love being a child and having a sense of wonder at the world around me.

And I love to surround myself with friends who never really grow up either. With Tricia I marvel over William Shatner, and with Lyn I analyze Starsky and Hutch's police procedures. With Paul, of course, I still play house after 41 years.

Life is good.

Joseph Warren, class of '58     My Autobiography at age 13
Mary


WHEN I WAS SEVENTEEN:
Being a packrat, I've kept an amazing amount of my childhood and adolescence, and a chance inquiry brought memories back of that long-ago, 17 year old me. So I thought I'd bring her back to life - high school, family and, of course, Richard, to whom I was engaged when I was 17. His love letters bring that whole time flooding back. And the 1961 Yearbook of the St. Thomas Aquinas Dominican High School, in Chicago, brings back memories of uniforms and saddle shoes and funny little hats.

The Aquinas Class of 1962,   Richard's Love Letters
Mary


A YOUNG MARRIED LADY:
I was only 19 when I married Bruce Nelson, my physics lab assistant at U of Chicago. Bruce was, and is, a good man to whom I'm grateful for five years of marriage at a very early age. He came from a wonderful family, and is gifted with interests that range from high-energy physics to art to sports cars to photography to a love of nature. I couldn't have been luckier.

When we married, I was in my sophomore year of college in physics. In the last half of my 4th year, I was done in by Schroedinger Equations and switched into the History of Art, Near Eastern Ancient, taking an extra year to graduate. It was a wonderful year of fine art classes in the same studio where my mother had studied in the early 1930's. And it was in that last year of college that I finally fulfilled my dream of working at the Adler Planetarium. That is, until they caught me. I was a Republican election judge in a Democratic patronage job. Sigh.

East Jersey
Near 6th ggf's estate, now a zoo


HISTORY:
As might be expected from my passion for genealogy, and my bent toward research, I've developed a rather late interest in history. Because of my undergraduate studies at University of Chicago, my interest tends to be in original sources - books and papers. Owning them, whenever possible! Enjoying copies from research centers when originals aren't possible. The collection we're building mostly centers in New York. Of course, I do tend to see history in terms of my ancestors. But, whatever works.

  7th great grandfather, colonial governor of NJ,
  6th great grandfather's work in wine production,
  5th great grandfather in the Revolutionary War,
  5th great grandfather's letters to and from Washington,
  5th and 4th great grandfathers entertain Lafayette,
  4th great grandfather at Valley Forge,
  3rd great grandfather's first, second, and third railroads,
  2th great grandfather and his brother help start the Military Association of NY,
  great grandfather, a special judge advocate at the Lincoln Assassination Trial

  An 1802 book on Medical Electricity - it's all online

Nana and Mary

Nana and Mary

Lyn and Mary


FAMILY and FRIENDS:
Family
Though mother left father when I was only 6 weeks old, she brought me home to her parents, and gave me a wonderful life. Mother was loving, imaginative and thoroughly crazy in the very best of ways. I can't remember her voice without hearing the laughter underneath it. A world without her in it still seems fundamentally wrong. Grandmother was pure emotion - and everyone within a half block of her knew what she was feeling. She loved without holding back anything. If there was a problem in the neighborhood, nana was first on the spot to offer comfort and help. Grandfather - daddy - was the foundation of the family. Strong, quiet, dignified and loving, he could actually make me believe that listening to my multiplication tables was one of the high points of his evening. Daddy was a signals engineer and inventor, who spent far too much time in faraway places. One of the wonderful family stories was of Thomas Edison asking daddy to come to New Jersey to teach him about train signals. Daddy spent one week there sleeping on a cot in the lab, when he wasn't being awakened with another question by Edison. Daddy left at the end of the week thoroughly drained, and Edison knew everything daddy knew.

One of the comforts I've found in genealogy has been in the extended family that keeps growing with the years. But over this last year I've learned that the loss of these wonderful cousins can be very painful, too. It's hard to open yourself to the pain of losing people by loving them, but there really isn't any option. All you can do is to try to make sure that the memory of these wonderful people isn't completely lost. And that's my job.

And then there are all the family I've grown to know and love, that lived and died so very long ago. There I feel I have a purpose, too. To try to pull the human being out of the statistics, and bring that person back to life for others to know and care about, as well.

A Song Nana Sung     Nana and Mother's Book of Academic Nudes

Friends
As for friends, I can only say that I am tremendously grateful for the lives that have intersected mine. They've brought fun, and laughter, and comfort and thoughtful discussion. And even when we can't be together, they still stay close in my heart. This webpage brought me a very special gift a few years ago. Dennis Majerski, the boy I loved when I was 6 and he was 3, found my page of friends and got back in touch. And with him he brought Rene, his mother and my second mother. Now that's how I like to go fishing! You bait your hook with love, and reel in real love.

donkey cubs
kitten and duckling whale blows bubbles
roo and wombat elephant

Mary and pups

transparent butterfly dolphin tank
flying squirrel whale blows bubbles
artificial fin jellyfish
WILD ANIMAL LINKS


PETS and BIRDS:
All of my children have four feet and fur, and my only sadness is that their lives are so very short. I can never return to them the gifts they have given me, but I'll never stop trying.

Ilya

We lost Illya at midnight on February 3, 2008. He was lying on my chest as we watched Man from Uncle and he went quickly and was never in any pain. For almost 18 years he was a good and loyal friend, and he's much missed. Every black object on the floor hits us for a moment as being Illya. And I'm always feeling one leash is missing when I walk the other two. We carried him everywhere for the last four months of his life, and he was bribed every day to keep him eating. He rejected turkey breast and hamburger unless it was part of our dinner, so he had an elegant diet and was spoiled rotten. We're glad for every day that gave us.

My husband Paul is only grateful that I haven't figured out how to convince all the outdoor animals that it's much nicer inside the house. So he lets me put out heat lamps in the winter for the wild cats, and stock feeders to try to make the world a little less stressful for a lot of the small ones. We'll sometimes have 8 or 9 skunks eating under the bedroom window, and I only wish I was able to recognize them for the individuals I know they are.

We feed the birds on a platform almost against the bedroom window. It might not be ideal from their point of view, but it makes for good photography. I spent the first year of my retirement from IBM standing in front of that window, behind a video camera. Think about logging almost 50 videotapes by trying to note the second when 3 birds appear versus 4, so that you can directly find the footage later for video production!

Favorites? The oriole trying to bash its way through the kitchen window. The small bird making its way around the sleeping large bird to eat out of a greenhouse feeder in the winter. The first baby emerging from the birdhouse, fluttering up to the roof of the house. (Then the battery went dead!)

Lots of Links,   More Dog Links,   More Wild Animal Links
Henry,   Skunk,   Red Squirrel,   Wavy
Paul


FAVORITE THINGS:
Paul! We've been married 40 years now, and I wake up grateful. He's a good man. I hired into IBM Research to give him someone to commute with from MA to NY. I couldn't bear to move to NY, so we lived in both states. When I switched from computer languages into video and multimedia, Paul switched with me, and built a half million dollar video studio around my multimedia magazine. Sometimes, I'll admit, we worked together at the top of our lungs, but nana always taught me to be comfortable with emotion. Working together 24/7 turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to us. Paul is better than good at almost anything he does. He's made music videos, morphed our friends into aliens, and tried to photograph fireflies with me at night. His photos are amazing, although I doubt his claim that his skill with graphics comes directly from getting his PhD at MIT, rather than from his time at University of Chicago. But I can think of few things I could have accomplished in life without his help and support. Together we can do anything!

And we recently proved we still enjoy being together by surviving a three month trip in a motor home!

What else do I love? Just about everything! Books by friends like Edith Layton and Joan Wolf. Stained glass, crafts, TV shows like Star Trek and movies like Lord of the Rings. Paul and I have put fountains around the backyard, created a bathroom which is an inverse-spatial sculpture, and travel around the country by car, since we also share a fear of flying.

Vidding,   Vidding near Cove,   Night Blooming Cereus,     Favorite Art
The Most Exquisite Bathroom!
Mary Grilling


RECIPES:
I've always loved food, but I came late to cooking. I can still see grandmother standing in the kitchen doorway laughing and bending the rubber cake back and forth. At least we all learned to laugh. First thing I put into my new kitchen was an attic fan to empty out the smoke when I burnt something. Did you know that you can wash charcoal off potroast? And mother was no help. My idea of comfort food is her refried spaghetti. You cook the pasta, cook the hamburger, then put them back together in a frying pan with catsup and fry them dry.

But food became another of my passions, and I have a wondrous group of friends who contribute to my downfall with group meals, where we try to find the perfect recipe for pralines or key lime pie or Creme Brulee. Our dinners will frequently have themes, such as a dinner emphasizing cherries - black cherry jello and a thin-sliced ham with cherry sauce or pasta with dried cherries. Or glorious pears blended into sweet potatoes, or glazing a cheesecake.

Food! Besides tasting good, it brings back such memories!

Genealogy


GENEALOGY:
It seemed that the best way to discover father as a person was to read his poetry. The problem was finding it! Being rather goal-directed, I got into genealogy with the purpose of finding some relative who might have received a book of my father's poetry. I had little to go on - an obituary of his mother, some old pictures, letters begging mother to come back. The obituary mentioned that grandmother was the daughter of Henry Burnett, and was descended from Henry B. Gibson of Canandaigua NY. That and the fact that her pallbearers included two generals and the governor of Colorado! So off we went to Canandaigua. As we drove down Gibson Street, we started to wonder. It was. After that it was just one shock after another. General Henry Burnett turned out to be one of the special judge advocates at the Lincoln Assassination Trial. His father had had one of the stops on the Underground Railroad. Henry B. Gibson was one of the richest men in western NY (no, it didn't go down our line), and his 2nd railroad was merged with others to form the NY Central.It just got more outrageous from there.

The study of genealogy has explained, though, how my risk-adverse family could have produced a risk-taker like me. Which means I don't feel like quite the cuckoo I did. I so much wish I could have told mother. She would have laughed.

General Henry L. Lansing
Two of General Lansing's homes still exist, and we've had a chance to wander through them. One is in Canandaigua, where Henry and Catherine Gibson first lived. The Buffalo house no longer exists, but we found a book in the Buffalo Historical Society that describes the estates on the main drag. General Lansing isn't mentioned in the book but, when I check his address in the census against the map in the book, the large estate is his!!

We did find his summer home in Niagara-on-the-Lake, to which he eventually moved. The trick turns out to be a familiar one - the name of the house has been changed from the name he gave it to the name given by a subsequent owner. The house is on a large piece of property across from the military parade ground. It's huge and beautiful and for sale at a price we choked at. But at least we got a tour!

General Henry L. Burnett
Newest News! The General is now being played at the Ford Theater by one of the Park Rangers!

The General is being adopted! Thanks to Michael Bennett, and the Ellis Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the General's grave in Goshen NY is now being maintained. And thanks to my cousin, Blaine Kimball, we now know what was written on the General's stolen plaque, and may be able to get a new one made!

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