Saturday, April 30, 2005

Gabriella's quip du jour

"How does everyone know that I'm so cute?"

Modest little girl, isn't she?


Friday, April 29, 2005

Don't you hate it when...

You really want to blog about something, but you can't for fear of jinxing it?

Just me?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Are you kidding me?

Weekly Blog Round-Up

It's been a while since I've had the time to do one of these. I hope you'll go pay a visit to these fine blogs!

I have a new friend in the blogosphere in Trucker Bob. He is a great writer, and an even greater grandpa! Not only that, but he just had his blog redesigned. Truck on over to Over The Road and say hi!

Thanks go out to Grace for pointing me in the direction of this very well-written post by Michelle of Modern Motherhood. It's long, but well worth your time.

Tish of The World According To Tish wrote a fabulous post that explains a lot about what actually controls a woman. You men may want to take notes.

Feeling a little down? Hop on over to Bunny Burrow - Chana has a post to make you feel better!

As a last minute addition, two of my blog friends have brand new looks this week. Go take a peak at Sleeping Mommy and Silver Linings, and tell them what you think!!!

UPDATE: It must be redesign week! I've just discovered another friend with a new look. Please stop by Agog and Aghast and tell Raehan how wonderful her site looks!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Breaking my heart

As you may know, we are in the middle of a move right now. We still have possession of our old house until the end of this month. Because all of our things are now at our new home two and a half hours away, and I still need to be here, we are staying with my parents. We make several trip a week to the new house, and the kids accompany me on most of these trips.

This can make a four-year-old's life a bit confusing.

We were at the mall the other night, and decided to have dinner at "the buffet" (Gabriella's favorite place). As we were wrapping up dinner, I let her know that we were almost ready to go home.

"What home?", she says.


(on a related note, she also exclaimed to me recently "I need something to play with that isn't packed!" We may have to buy her a pony for this one - I'm not sure. Perhaps I should seek professional help.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


I remember as a teenager having a conversation with a friend about scars. She said she would never want to have a scar removed because they all have a story behind them - they are a part of who you are. Hmmm, I don't know.

Over my thirty years I have acquired a few scars - a few on my forehead, one on my shin, another on my thigh. None of these scars have a cool story behind them. In fact most of them have a rather embarrassing story to go along with them. The least embarrassing of the bunch is the scar I got from this.

Bubblehead has some scars, too, but all of his seem to have some really cool story with them. He has a scar on his leg that he got while rock climbing, and he fell a short distance and gashed it up. He's got one from a motorcycle, and another one on his arm that involved alcohol.

My newest scar (which I still have hopes will disappear completely one day) looks like I could have gotten it while rock climbing. Maybe I'll just make up story to go with it, to tell this summer when I'm sure to be asked about it. (I don't have to mention that it's really from this, do I?)

So if scars and the incidents behind them really do make up who you are, what does that say about me? Certainly not daring, or risk-taking. Just klutzy, I'm afraid.

Free business tip

Here's a little piece of advice for anyone out there running or working for a business. If someone calls you to schedule your services, and you tell them you will call them back.... Call them back.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Highway 20

I'm home again. I mean, I'm not home, I'm at my parent's house. Crap! Where is it I live again? I don't remember.

I tried to count how many times now I've driven between our old home and our new home, but I can't remember. You might ask the antelope outside of Shoshone - the ones that now recognize my van and wave as I drive by. (The deer and the antelope do indeed play here, I've seen it with my own eyes.)

You know, I've seen that stack of hay with the "alphalfa for sale" sign on it so many times, it's starting to sound like a pretty good deal. I'll have to jot down that number.

Also, I think I may have to name my next child "Waltman", after the rest stop I've gotten to know more than I care to think about. (You know they have free maps of Wyoming there? I have three now. I have to stop myself from taking them - it's hard to pass up something free!)

And my van has no lumbar support. My back hurts. Either that, or my kidneys are starting to give out because of all the Propel I've been drinking. (I was so excited about the new melon flavor, but it turns out it really doesn't taste like melon. You'd think in the 21st century they could reproduce the flavor of a melon!)

That's all I have to say.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Moving update

So we are nearly moved out of our old home, and into our new home. We take the last load over today. Then I will be back for this week to clean the old house.

I am so desperately tired of all of this. All of this has become nearly too much for me. Yes, we've moved a lot in the past, but when we came here, we really didn't see another move in our immediate future. We thought that finally we were going to live in one place for a while. Two moves in two years it too much for me. (We haven't even had the luxury of a moving company these times to take so much of the burden off of us.)

It occured to me the other day that our daughter is just now four years old, and this will be the fourth home she's lived in. (And that's not counting my parent's house, where we lived for three months when we moved here, and are living now during all this transition.) This seems a little extreme to me, and I'm feeling guilty.

At least she isn't in school yet. That's when it starts getting hard.

So this will explain why I'm around only sporadically, and don't have much to say when I am. Hang in there with me - I'm sure to have plenty to vent about when I get time to catch my breath.


Many of you got really close!! (And of course that's not counting those of you who actually knew.) Manky is an adjective (UK) that means dirty or yucky, and old. Thank you all who played along!

On an almost unrelated note, I got a "good word" from Bubblehead the other day for using the word unnerving, and although I appreciated the praise for my vocabulary, I don't think it was deserved.

Unnerving - really, is it not used that often? What say you?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Balderdash, round 2

Kitty gave me a word to challenge you all with. Remember the rules: No cheating. What do you think the word manky means?

Friday, April 22, 2005

You know it's time to move out of Grandma's house when....

Your daughter wakes up in the night crying, and yells at you, "I want my grandma!!!! I don't want my moooooommmmmyyy!!!"

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Spring in Wyoming

Ornamental pear tree blooms, covered in snow. Enjoying warm weather where you are? Enjoy it for me, too!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Gabriella's quip du jour

Me: "What's going on in here?"

Gabriella: "You nevermind! Go on, go on..."

She and her brother were only laying on the bed looking at books - it really didn't look like she was in trouble, but after a comment like that I have to wonder.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

My Fairy Blog Mother

MommaK of Petroville has declared today "Thank your Fairy Blog Mother Day"! (I completely forgot to get to Hallmark and pick up a card!) What a great idea! I'm sure we all have a blog or two that inspired us to start our own blog. I am no different, and so I would like to take the time to thank her publically.

My Fairy Blog Mother is Melissa, of Suburban Bliss. You know Melissa, yes? (If you don't, get your head out of your a$$ and go visit her!) But she has done so much more for me that inspire me to start writing again.

Melissa and I have "known" each other (we've never met - we're internet friends) for over five years now. We met on a board online before we got pregnant with our four-year-olds. We then got pregnant about the same time. Max and Gabriella were born 10 days apart.

We've been posting on a board together ever since. After the birth of Little Man, I started struggling. I lost all my patience, and wasn't enjoying life anymore. I finally opened up to my friends about this. I credit Melissa, and another friend of ours (Hi Patti!) for helping me to see that I was depressed, and should get some help.

Melissa shared with me a lot of what she has gone through, and made me see that it's okay to take medication if it can help you feel better. Because of her, I am able to talk about my depression here, and I feel better because of it.

Melissa is a wonderful writer. Suburban Bliss is one of the first places I direct my internet browser to every day. It isn't any wonder that she is getting more and more attention for her work. She will write a book one day, I'm sure of it. I hope she will sign my copy.

And because of her writing, I decided to try my hand at it. Not only am I writing, which is a great "therapy" for me, and a great way to record things I would like to save for my children, but I have been able to meet you because of it. (Yes, YOU!)

So thank you, Melissa! Thank you for helping me through PPD, for being such a great friend, for being so open with me, for continuing to share your life with me through your blog, and for inspiring my humble little blog! I appreciate it more than you know!

And maybe one day we will actually get to meet! (I promise not to hug you! ;)


I'm not really superstitous. I walk under ladders without thinking twice, and I never throw salt over my left shoulder (or is the right? What's that about, anyway?!)

I do, however, knock on wood, and I will sometimes refrain from saying something out loud for fear of jinxing it.

My one overwelming superstition, though, is one I completely made up on my own. I firmly believe that seeing an ambulance about town without its lights and sirens on is bad luck. Here is why....

When I was, oh, about 14, my brother was in a car accident. A friend's sister had taken her brother, my brother, and another neighborhood boy to town for some reason, and on their way an older man ignored a stop sign and plowed into them.

Everyone involved was fine, but it was so scary for me for a while. We got a call that J had been taken to the hospital, and my mom rushed down there, not really knowing anything. I was left at home with a friend to wait and worry.

All turned out fine, but I never forgot the worry and fear I felt that day. I also never forgot that on my way home from school that day I had seen an ambulance driving down a side street.

I have seen scores of ambulances since then, and every time I think of that day, and worry. Funny how some things stick in your brain.

(And no, not once since has something bad happened on a day I saw an ambulance. Knock on wood.)

Monday, April 18, 2005


(Catchy title huh? I'm a bit tired - sorry.)

My daughter has always been into shoes. She has little names for each pair (her fancy shoes, her blinking shoes, etc.) I always thought it was so cute, and can just imagine her as an adult, having a whole closet filled with shoes of every color and style. Typical girly-type obsession.

My son has picked up on this obsession. One of his favorite things to do try on other people's shoes. This works best with Ella's, because they are close to his size, but even grandpa's big hiking boots don't stop him! He especially like Ella's "fancy" shoes. (Because of the "click, click, click" sound they make on the floor I suppose.)

I'm not sure what to make of this. His father does have more shoes than "normal" men, so maybe that's all it is.

At least he'll be able to find a good career later.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Five to One, and still awake

I guess after midnight is the only time I have now to read blogs.

Buffi, are you still up, too? :)

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Inquiring minds want to know

J&J's Mom of Millersville has kindly decided to interview me. I find her questions to be very well thought-out. I hope my answers do them justice.

1. You are on the Titanic and it's sinking fast...what are you thinking?
It's easy in hindsight to say that I'm staying calm, and getting my butt to a lifeboat ASAP. To be honest though, if I were in that situation it's hard to say. Given my pessimistic, slightly paranoid personality, I'd say I probably would have believed the worst could happen, and gotten in a lifeboat quickly, especially if my kids are there with me.

2. You have all the money you could ever need. You've asked your husband to up and run away with you on a trip of a lifetime (pretend the kids are grown or staying with grandparents or with me here..) where would you go, what would you do and why?
I want to go back to Europe, and take in everything I possibly can. I want to learn about history, and research genealogy, and experience different cultures. Of special interest to me is Norway, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Austria. First on my list? Liverpool and Southampton!

3. You have the opportunity to spend a week on a tour with a famous muscian/band. Who would it be and what do you think your experience would be like?
They Might Be Giants. I had the opportunity to see them perform at Bumbershoot back in 1998 (I think), and it was absolutely the most fun concert ever! I know that John and John would be hilariously fun all week long!!

4. Your husband was in the Navy. Have you ever considered joining the military? If so, why or why not? Do you think women belong in the military? Do they have a place at all?
I have the utmost respect for our military. I really don't think that most people realize just how much they sacrifice to do what they do. I, however, would never make it in the military. I'm too much of a whimp - I wouldn't even get out of boot camp. After seeing as a military wife what is involved, I know that it takes a special person to do it. You should definitely go thank him, and him, and him, and every other military member you know. We owe them a lot.

5. You have been told that you only have a few months left to live. You wish to write letters to your children and impart your most important words of wisdom upon them. What are the top 3 things you would say to each of them (if different)?
Yikes! You're asking a lot of me, here. First and foremost I would want them each to know how very important they are to me, and how much I love them, and how much they were wanted. I want them to know that there is nothing more important than family, and that they have a great one, who will always be there for them. I would also tell them to only believe half of what their daddy says. (I'm sure my being dead will not stop him from teasing them relentlessly.)

Gabriella's quip du jour

Gabriella: "What's up with your cute?"

Me: ahh, what? "Am I cute?"

Gabriella: "To your mommy and daddy."


Friday, April 15, 2005

The Titanic sails into history

I'm going to wrap up my play-by-play here. I'm sure you know I've given you the short version of the story. There is so much more to tell, including the rescue, the controversy surrounding the Leland liner Californian, both the American and the British investigations into the disaster, and hashing out all those legends. Just like every person on that ship had a story before the ship sank, every survivor had a story afterward. For nearly every one of them, the Titanic would become a part of them forever.

It is a facinating tale, made up of real people. This is what keeps me interested. These people were (for all intents and purposes - I don't have a personal maid, but that is beside the point) just like you and me, with lives, and loves. They had jobs and families. They stepped onto a ship in 1912 the way we might get into a car or an airplane, and their lives changed forever.

That, and the series of events that put the Titanic in that exact place with that iceberg at that exact moment. One little event changed in the slightest, and I might have been writing tonight about Anastasia Romanov (who I'm sure would have been "my Titanic" otherwise).

I hope that sometime today you'll stop and think about the 2,207 (give or take - there are different figures depending upon your source) people whose lives changed, or ended, 93 years ago today.

I would be happy to try to answer any questions you might have - just leave them below. I'll leave you with a question: What is the significance of the time stamped upon this post?

April 15, 1912 - 2:05 am

Captain Smith releases wireless operators Jack Phillips (25) and Harold Bride (22), and tells them to save themselves. They continue to work.

At 2:20 am, the Titanic slips beneath the sea, leaving 705 people sitting in lifeboats bobbing on the ocean in the dark, and 1502 others dead.

Lifeboats are launched

Lifeboat number 7 is the first to be lowered at 12:45 am, with only 19 people aboard. It had a capacity of 65.

It was difficult to convince people this early on to get into the lifeboats. Why would they trade the sturdy deck of an "unsinkable" ship for an unstable little boat? Some of the officers held the "women and children" order firm, and the only men allowed into those boats were crew members, or an occasional male passenger with sea experience to man the boat. Other officers were lenient, and allowed men into the boats when no other women and children were around.

To give you an idea for how quickly the lifeboats were launched, what their capacity was, and how many people they actually held, here is a rundown for you. (This information is taken from The Titanic-Nautical Resource Center.)

12:55 am - Boat #5 with 41 aboard (capacity 65)
12:55 am - Boat #6 with 28 aboard (capacity 65)
1:00 am - Boat #3 with 32 aboard (capacity 65)
1:10 am - Boat #1 with 12 aboard (capacity 40)
1:10 am - Boat #8 with 28 aboard (capacity 65)
1:20 am - Boat #10 with 55 aboard (capaticy 65)
1:25 am - Boat #14 with 60 aboard (capacity 65)
1:25 am - Boat #16 with 50 aboard (capacity 65)
1:30 am - Boat #9 with 56 aboard (capacity 65)
1:30 am - Boat #12 with 40 aboard (capacity 65)
1:35 am - Boat #11 with 70 aboard (capacity 65)
1:40 am - Boat #13 with 64 aboard (capacity 65)
1:40 am - Boat #15 with 70 aboard (capacity 65)
1:45 am - Boat #2 with 25 aboard (capacity 40)
1:50 am - Boat #4 with 40 aboard (capacity 65)
2:00 am - Boat C with 42 aboard (capacity 47)
2:05 am - Boat D with 40 aboard (capacity 47)
2:20 am - Boat A with 13 aboard (capacity 47)
2:20 am - Boat B with 30 aboard* (capacity 47)

*This boat was never actually launched, but floated off upside-down when the ship went under. The 30 people saved by this boat were those who were able to swim to it and balance on the hull.)

April 15, 1912

It doesn't take Thomas Andrews long to conclude that Titanic doesn't have much time. He also knows that while Titanic carries more than the required lifeboats for a ship that size, there aren't enough seats to save all aboard. Unfortunately the world found out the hard way that while the size of ships were growing so fast, the safety regulations didn't keep up.

The lifeboats are ordered uncovered at 12:05 am by Captain Smith. He also ordered a distress signal sent. The Olympic, the Frankfurt, and the Carpathia all reply. The Carpathia is the closest at 58 miles.

At 12:25 am orders are given to put the women and children into the lifeboats. There is much confusion during the entire process, as rumors fly about what is actually going on, what the real danger, if any, is, and who should be doing what. This is a new crew on a new ship, and the only boat drills that were held included just a few crew members and one boat - no passengers at all.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

April 14, 1912 - 11:39 pm

Frederick Fleet spots an iceberg right in the Titanic's path. He rings the warning bell three times, telephone's the bridge and informs the officer on the other end "Iceberg, right ahead!"

First Officer Murdock orders the engines stopped and set full astern.

Quartermaster Robert Hichens orders the wheel turned hard a'starboard.

Thirty-seven seconds pass.

Titanic strikes the iceberg on her starboard side at 11:40.

True Titanic Tales: The Band

In honor of my husband, I'm going to tell you a little bit about the ship's band, because this is his favorite story from the Titanic.

The eight-member band was in a strange position on the Titanic, because while they were hired on as the ship's band, and so were required to sign the ship's articles, they were actually employed by another company. They sailed under a second-class ticket, and were in a weird limbo between passengers and crew.

The band was made up as follows:

Mr. Wallace Hartley (33) was the ship's bandmaster. He played the violin, and previously played on Cunard's Mauretania

Mr W. Theodore Brailey (24) was a pianist from London, who previously played on Cunard's Carpathia.

Mr. Roger Bricoux (20) was a cellist from France, and also was previously on Cunard's Carpathia.

Mr. Fred Clarke (30) played bass-viol. He was from Liverpool England, and had never been to sea before.

Mr. Jock Hume(28) played second violin. He came to Titanic from the Olympic. His mother tried to convince him to stop going to sea, but the money on Titanic was too good for him to pass up, and he certainly would have welcomed the extra pay with a wedding coming up.

Mr. George Krins (23) was from London, and played the viola.

Mr. Percy Taylor (32) was also from London, and played the piano.

Mr. John Woodward (32) was from Oxford, and played the cello.

After the Titanic struck the iceberg Wallace Hartly assembled the orchestra in the First Class Lounge, playing lively ragtime pieces. Near 1:45 am they moved to the forward Grand Staircase entrance. They were then all wearing their lifebelts.

They eventually moved out onto the deck at the base of the second funnel. Many of those in the lifeboats remember hearing the music drifting out over the water. As the slope of the deck increased and time had run out for a miracle, Wallace Hartley tapped his bow on his violin, and the ragtime music stopped.

As for their final song, there is much debate. The popular version of history states that Nearer My God To Thee was their final performance. In fact it has been stated that Wallace Hartley himself once said that this would be his hymn of choice if ever put in such a situation. Other accounts have recorded Songe d'Automne as their last song. Harold Bride, the junior wireless operator, stated "Autumn" was the orchestra's final piece. Certainly he meant Songe d'Automne, which was a popular song at the time, and one he would have known. He was trained to be an acute listener, so his account shouldn't be pushed aside. The truth is we will never know the truth.

None of the musicians survived the sinking. Only the bodies of Wallace Hartley, Fred Clarke, and Jock Hume were recovered. The ship's orchestra has been widely celebrated for their heroism that fateful night.

Another interesting fact: Of all the memorials and monuments that have been erected in honor of those who died on the Titanic, there are more for Wallace Hartley than for any other person.

Special thanks to Encyclopedia Titanica, and Unsinkable: The Full Story Of The RMS Titanic by Daniel Allen Butler for helping me fill in all the facts.

True Titanic Tales: Mr. & Mrs. Straus

Mr. Isidor Straus was an elderly gentleman. The former Congressman, advisor to the President of the United States, part owner of Macy's, and philanthopist was returning from a vacation in the French Riviera with his wife, Ida.

As the Titanic was sinking, Mr. and Mrs. Straus were strolling on the boat deck. As Second Officer Lightoller was just finishing loading boat 8 and about ready to lower away, the Straus' walked by. Ida started climbing in, but then changed her mind, and said to her husband the words for which she is now famous for, "We have been living together for many years; where you go, I go."

Others nearby tried to change her mind, but she stayed firm. Hugh Woolner, one of the passengers trying to persuade her to get into the lifeboat, turned to Mr. Straus and said, "I'm sure no one would object to an old gentleman like yourself getting in."

"I will not go before the other men" was Isidor's response, and so it was decided. Ida stayed with her husband until the end. She gave her warm coat to her maid as she stepped into the lifeboat, and then turned back to her husband, and the deck of the Titanic.

It is said they sat down in deck chairs to await the end. Neither one survived. His body was found by the Mackay-Bennett and buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York. Her body was never recovered.

Special thanks to Encyclopedia Titanica, and Unsinkable: The Full Story Of The RMS Titanic by Daniel Allen Butler for helping me fill in all the facts.

True Titanic Tales: Jack Thayer

John Thayer Jr. (Jack) was just seventeen years old in April of 1912, and was traveling in first class on the Titanic with his parents, John Borland Thayer (president of the Pennsylvania Railroad) and Marian Thayer, along with his mother's personal maid.

Jack was just getting into bed on April 14, 1912 when he noticed the breeze through his window slow and then stop. He told his parents he was going out to "see the fun" and threw on an overcoat. He went outside to see others kicking ice about on the decks.

Through all the chaos he lost track of his parents, and ended up with a shipboard acquaintance, Milton Long. At 17, Jack was considered a man, and not eligible for a seat in a lifeboat. He and Milton stood on the starboard side, looking over the railing. As they watched the crowd, and the water creeping closer to them, they decided the time had come to jump. They shook hands, and exchanged messages for those back home. Milton looked at Jack as he took off his overcoat and said "You coming boy?"

"Go ahead," Jack replied. "I'll be right with you." Milton slid down the side of the ship. Jack decided to jump away from the ship as far as he could. When he surfaced, Milton was gone. He never saw him again.

Jack was able to swim his way over Collapsable B, which was floating upside-down in the water. There he balanced delicately on the hull with many others all night long, until another lifeboat finally came to their rescue the next morning. They were then picked up with the other survivors by the Carpathia, and taken to New York.

Jack Thayer wrote a very good account of his experience that night. Sinking of the Titanic is available through the Titanic Historical Society.

Jack's mother and her maid both survived the sinking, escaping in boat 4. His father did not survive, and his body was never found. Jack Thayer died in 1945.

Special thanks to Encyclopedia Titanica, and Unsinkable: The Full Story Of The RMS Titanic by Daniel Allen Butler for helping me fill in all the facts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

True Titanic Tales: The Sage Family

Mr John Sage was from London, and after he and his eldest son George spent some time on a farm in Saskatchewan he decided to go into fruit farming, and purchased a farm in Jacksonville, Florida. He booked third class passage on the Titanic with his wife, Annie, and their nine children, Stella (20), George (19), Douglas (18) Frederick (16), Dorothy (14), Anthony (12), Elizabeth (10), Constance (7), and Thomas (4). They boarded the ship in Southampton, and in Queenstown sent a postcard off to family saying they were "getting on well".

The entire family lost their lives when the ship went down. Only the body of Anthony was found, and he was buried at sea on Monday, April 22, 1912.

Special thanks to Encyclopedia Titanica for helping me fill in all the facts.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

True Titanic Tales: Captain Smith

Sixty two year old Edward John Smith had been working for the White Star line for 38 years. He commanded his first ship in 1887, and quickly earned the reputation as one of the very best captains sailing the seas. It was common in those days for the regular passengers to follow a well-respected captain on their voyages, rather than booking on a favorite ship. Captain Smith had a large following, and an excellent record, so it became a given that he would command all of White Star's new ships. He captained the Olympic, (Titanic's sister ship), and had decided to make the Titanic's maiden voyage his last. He was to retire after returning Titanic back to Southampton in April of 1912.

In an interview about his many years at sea, Captain Smith was quoted as saying, "I will say that I cannot imagine any condition which could cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that." You may think this is a sad comment on the times, but you must remember that he was one of the best in his field. The world had never seen an incident like the one that would befall the Titanic. Hindsight is always twenty twenty.

Sadly Captain Smith never got to return Titanic safely to her home port. Many legends and rumors surround his final moments. Of course we can never know the truth, but given the survivor accounts and knowledge we have, it is almost certain that he did not committ suicide in the final moments. He was not that kind of a man. One survivor thinks he remembers a man who could have been Captain Smith hold on to capsized Collapsabe B before wishing all the others balancing on the upside-down hull good luck, and letting go. Was it him? Good question.

His body was never found. He left behind a wife, Eleanor Smith, and a fourteen year old daughter, Helen Melville Smith.

Special thanks to Encyclopedia Titanica for helping me fill in all the facts.

True Titanic Tales: The Allisons

I'd like to introduce you to some of the real people who were actually there the day the Titanic sank. Their stories are just as compelling as the fictional Hollywood characters. More so, I'd say, because their stories are true. (I will also add here that I am at a disadvantage because all of my Titanic books are packed, except for the one I am currently reading. I will do my best with the facts using my memory, and the internet.)

The Allisons: I am drawn to them the most, perhaps because they were a couple about my age, with two young children. Or perhaps because of the sheer heartbreak I feel at their story. If you have seen the 1996 TV movie, you are familiar with them. Mr. Hudson Allison from Montreal Canada was a 30 year old businessman and had traveled to England for a directors' meeting. He was traveling with his wife, Bess, and their children, two year old Loraine and eleven month old Trevor.

He was not a poor man, and while they were there he had purchased two dozen horses for his stock farm, and furniture for their two residences. They also hired on some household staff, including a chauffeur, a cook, Alice Cleaver, who was hired as a nursemaid for their son Trevor, and a lady's maid for his wife Bess.

They had three cabins booked in first class. One for he and his wife, one for Bess's maid, Sarah Daniels, and Loraine, and a third for Alice and Trevor. The rest of their staff traveled in second class.

On the night of the sinking, the Allisons had been dining with friends. When the ship struck the iceburg and the chaos insued, Alice took Trevor and got into a lifeboat (boat 11). Bess had been placed in a lifeboat with Loraine, but refused to leave without her baby. She wasn't aware he was already off the ship. She and Loraine got out of that boat, and apparently were told Hudson was in a lifeboat being lowered on the opposite side. She found that to be untrue, and by now her lifeboat had already been lowered.

Nobody can know what all happened. We know that Bess and Loraine never made it into another boat. They parished that night, along with Hudson. Only the body of Hudson Allison was recovered. Of all the children traveling in first and second class, little Loraine was the only who was lost.

Of the family of four, only baby Trevor was saved. He was raised by an aunt and uncle in Canada, and died in 1929 at the age of 18.

Special thanks to Encyclopedia Titanica for helping me fill in all the facts.

What's your Titanic?

I have this great interest in the Titanic. It's the subject I love to collect books about and study. I've come to refer to other's interests as "their Titanic".

My husband enjoys reading about the Civil War. He has several books, and has visited many of the battlefields and forts. That is his Titanic.

My dad loves to read about Lewis and Clark. That is his Titanic.

So here is my question of the day: What is your Titanic?

Monday, April 11, 2005

My obsession

If you've read my 100 things, you know that I am a self-proclaimed Titanic nut. My interest in the Titanic began one lonely night in Kingsland, Georgia. I was home alone, as Bubblehead was off protecting the country. I was done with all my studies for the evening, and looking for something on TV, when I just happened to catch the very beginning of this movie. Before this I knew just a little bit about the ship. I watched the movie and was riveted. I still can't explain what it is that captivated me so, but it still has a hold on me to this day.

A couple weekends later I had decided to go spend the weekend at my grandparent's farm outside of Gainesville, Florida. My aunt and uncle happened to also be there that weekend, and they had brought with them a video tape of the same movie. I was able to watch it again, and was just as fascinated with the story.

This started my obsession. My next step was to read A Night To Remember, and the sequel, The Night Lives On, both by Walter Lord. (Both excellent books. The first is about as factual as they come, and yet reads like a novel. If you read one book on the disaster, this is the one to pick up.)

From there I just went nuts. I started collecting books. I spent extra time at school in the library, going through old newspapers on microfilm. I wanted the facts - the real life stories, and not the ones fabricated by Hollywood and myths.

Of course it wasn't long after this that I read in a magazine that James Cameron was in the process of directing a movie on the subject, and I couldn't wait for that movie to premier. I just happen to attend the very first showing in our little Navy town of the movie. Seeing it on the big screen was so powerful, and I remember being in tears at the end of the movie, and feeling like I had actually been there. By this time I knew which of Cameron's characters where fictional, and which were real. I recognized which lines were taken from survivor accounts of the sinking, and which were embellished to add to the drama. I saw it a total of four times in the theater. I could have seen it more, but Bubblehead had been Titanic-ed out.

With the success of the movie came a surge of popularity for the Titanic itself. It became much easier for me to find books and movies on the disaster. Currently I have over 65 books, and over a dozen movies and documentaries on the RMS Titanic. I am a member of the Titanic Historical Society, and I've been fortunate enough to be able to see the artifact exhibit when it was in Seattle.

Bubblehead has told me I should write a book about the ship. I would be incredibly proud to see a Titanic book in print with my name on it, but I won't ever write that book. I don't believe I would have anything new to say on the matter. I would only be able to regurgitate all the facts I've read in other books.

I go in spurts now. I will read book after book on the Titanic, and then set it aside and not touch them for months. One year I cooked an authentic meal from the first class menu on the day of the sinking. Somehow I never tire of this tragic story.

Yesterday marks the 93rd anniversary of the beginning of the Titanic's maiden voyage, which she never completed. On the anniversary of the sinking I will be posting about the ship herself, and some of her passengers and more interesting stories. You probably know the story of Jack and Rose, but I'd like to share with you a few of the real stories.

And by the way, if I were to write that book, it would be entitled "The Titanic: Ignorance and Arrogance"

Movie Quote Monday

A big thanks go to Amy of Prochein Amy for helping me once again with the quotes. And because I've neglected the usual Monday game, we will do two today.

1. "I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I
thought it could be..."

2. "You are what you choose to be."

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The cure for stress?

Sorry to get your hopes up like that - I haven't found it yet. I am drowning in stress right now - literally. I feel like my head is barely above water. So no creativity out of me tonight.

In an effort to destress a little, I'm going to cozy up on the couch with a bottomless cup of tea and whatever sweets I can find. I've invited Jude Law over for a couple of hours tonight. Now that should help! *wink wink*

If not, then The Incredibles are sure to!

Saturday, April 09, 2005


Last summer we took the kids camping. By the light of the fire one night Gabriella started telling us all about her new store. This store sells only blue things. Interesting, yes?

The best part of this story, though, is the name she gave her store. Starnts. (Or is that Starntz? I'll have to check with her.) I thought this was the most clever thing I'd ever heard from a three year old. It even sounds like it would be the name of a store. The blue store... Starnts.

Don't you love it?!

Children's book number two - Sally and Oregon Go To Starnts

Ms. Mac did a post a while back about her idea for a red store. Maybe this idea will take off! Then I can live out my old age sponging off my daughter!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Public Service Announcement

If your mail carrier ever delivers something to your mailbox that was suppose to go to one of your neighbors, and you decide to put the piece of mail back out for him to pick up and redeliver, please be sure to write on it "Delivered to wrong address".

If you don't do this, the mail carrier, who believes he or she can make no mistakes, will assume it was delivered to the correct address and that it wasn't wanted, and will return it to the sender.

This could put a serious delay on a four year old's birthday gift - one which her mommy was so excited for her to have. Do you really want to do that to an innocent child, just because you couldn't take the time to write four words on the package?

And on a more personal note: To my mail carrier - Do you really think you are going to convince me that I received a package that I ordered myself and was so excited to give to my daughter and put it back out at the mailbox for you to return? You sir, are a moron!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Happy Birthday

To my dear, sweet little nephew, I want to publicly say Happy Birthday. You are born into an amazing family, full of more love than you can imagine. We are all overjoyed and proud that you are here.

To the rest of you, I'd like to proudly announce the birth of my nephew, Elliott. He is a tiny 5 pounds 15 ounces, and just over 18 inches long. He and his beautiful mommy are doing very well.

"The moment I saw you
I wanted to hold you,
and keep you warm,
on a cold, grey morn.

The moment I held you,
I wanted to kiss you,
and welcome you here
on the day you were born."

Mourning a loss

It's a sad day indeed. My heart aches. The world truly won't ever be the same. Please go visit Jazzy at Shooters Station to read the tragic news.

Good word!

Bubblehead and I compliment each other for utilizing little-used words in our daily conversations. Not that we have exquisite vocabularies, but we have our moments.

It all started years back when we were driving from the Kitsap Peninsula around to Seattle. I paused to take in the scenery, and pointed out to him how gorgeous the hillsides were with the mix of evergreens and the changing colors of the deciduous trees.

"Deciduous?", he said to me in an incredulous tone.

"Yes, deciduous."

He was slightly stunned that I knew the word. I was extremely insulted that he was slightly stunned.

Doesn't everyone know the word deciduous? I learned it in middle school, I think.

So now every time one of us breaks out with a word you don't often hear in everyday conversation, the other follows it up with "Good word!"

Note to Bubblehead: Did you see that? Incredulous! When was the last time you heard that one around the water cooler? No, I didn't use the thesaurus! I know the word incredulous!

Yes, I had to look up the spelling. (blushing)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Squiffy means drunk or intoxicated. Please add it to your vocabulary and use it often. (You and You - put those drinks down! I said use it often, not experience it often!)

Thanks to all who played my game. I've got to go now - I'm squiffed!

My favorite word

Yes, I have a favorite word. Don't you?

My favorite word is squiffy!!

Cool word, right?

Now, let's play a little round of Balderdash. I'm going to assume you don't know what squiffy means, because until I came across it in a book a few years ago, I had never heard it. (And because this is my blog I get to be the center of the universe here.) If you do know what it means, don't ruin the fun for the rest of us.

Without running to the dictionary, tell me what you think squiffy means.

What is wrong with me?!?!

It is now 12:12 am. I am sitting on the couch, doing nothing of any value (other than eating the Easter candy, therefore protecting my children's teeth from all the sugar), and not even considering going to bed. Is it any wonder I'm over-stressed and over-tired?

Someone really should knock some sense into me.

Ahhh... no - not you. Someone else.

Forget it. Let me rephrase that:

Someone really should flatter some sense into me.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

An open letter to my friend, K

I have to say that I really enjoy your friendship, and the fact that you have been so open with me about your experiences with postpartum depression, and motherhood has been invaluable to me. I think you are wonderful, and your three adorable children are favorites of Gabriella's. I'm very glad to be able to count you among my friends.

That said, I want to remind you that your son's birthday is coming up, and I will get you back for the Polly Pockets you got for Gabriella. (insert evil grin here.)

I'm now asking for suggestions from the general population on an appropriate gift for a six year old boy, keeping in mind that his mother just brought the evil Polly Pockets into my house. Think really noisy, obnoxious, and/or lots of tiny pieces.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

I had to do it!

You know how much I love tea, so when I heard about this offer I decided to jump on the bandwagon. All I have to do is post a link to Adagio Teas, and they will send me a freebie? I'm all over that!

Seriously though, Adagio Teas is worth a look. Be sure to check out their starter set, which will allow you to try out the wonderful world of loose leaf tea with ease, and inexpensively. The "brewer" included in the set is much like the Australian Press I posted a link to in my post about tea. I own the Australian Press, and it makes a great cup of tea, and is so easy to use and clean.

If you haven't made the jump to loose leaf tea, do yourself a favor and try out the starter set. I bet you won't be sorry!

Keeping vigil

The wind is blowing hard tonight. I'm pretty sure I heard a garbage can bounce down the street a little while ago. I just can't sleep with this nasty sound outside.

Neither of the kids are sleeping well tonight, either. Little Man appears to be asleep, but is whining and crying out. I have his lullabies on, but I guess I may need to sneak in and turn them up a litte and see if that helps. I'm hoping he isn't sick.

Gabriella actually is sick. The Children's Nyquil I gave her is making her a little loopy I think, as I have never heard her talk so much in her sleep as she has tonight. I went in to check on her and kiss her forehead and she actually hummed a little song and never woke up.

Off to rock Little Man for a bit. What is up with all you people who have better things to do at 12:45 in the morning than be online? I feel very lonely here in the blogosphere.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Gabriella's quip du jour

me: "Gabriella, where do you get your good looks from?"

Gabriella: "Daddy!"

me: "Well where does Alex get his good looks?"

Gabriella: "Daddy!"

Hmmmm, thanks kid.

Name: Christine
Location: Wyoming, United States
I'm the Mom of two. They drive me crazy. I love them dearly. I want one more. I'm not insane, yet. My hubby says I'm a snob with an inferiority complex. There is more to me than being a mother. I just don't remember any of it.

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