J.J. Watt Raises His Hurricane Harvey Relief Goal as Donations Near $5 Million — TIME

J.J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans, has raised his disaster relief goal to $5 million as donations continue to pour in for what began as a modest fundraising campaign in the wake of devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. “Forty-eight hours ago we set out to raise 200 grand and now we’re over…

via J.J. Watt Raises His Hurricane Harvey Relief Goal as Donations Near $5 Million — TIME


Support to Hurricane Harvey victims

Hurricane Harvey, category 3,  is a very slow moving storm, now a tropical storm dumping tons of water in a wide swath.

My daughter’s fiancee just got called up to head to Austin and Houston for support. He’s in the National Guard in the communications unit, but I’m sure they will be doing anything and everything, wherever they are needed.  They have monthly training, and he was in South Korea on assignment last year for six months.  He is packing and heading out from Dallas now and must be in Austin by 6 p.m. today.

Our prayers go out to the victims and the support crews. They are all in danger from the flooding, downed power lines, obstacles, unknowns. They even said be careful of alligators washed inland. It’s still raining and the water has nowhere to go. Major highways in Houston are closed from flooding and everyone is supposed to stay off the streets. Hospitals were evacuated. Shelters have been opened all over, including Austin and Dallas.  Owners of flat bottomed boats are being asked to respond.

Infants, children and patients in need of critical care were evacuated out ahead of the storm. In some cases, caregivers travel with the patient.  Some hospitals totally evacuated. Shelters for Pets have been set up to care for family pets while dealing with the storm. Many, many people are working together to organize and assist.  This will be ongoing for months.

We vacation in Galveston, in a nice condo right on the beach. The Galveston area had just gotten all the bits of Hurricane Ike, a category 2 from 2008, cleaned up and the shorelines were immaculate, the city rebuilt. I’m afraid they are back at square one again, although Galveston was not hit as hard as Rockport was, and they were devastated.


There is one controversy now, as the mayor of Houston did not order any kind of evacuations, voluntary or involuntary.  Nothing.  It is massively flooded.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone touched by this storm.



How to help:


The flooding is unbelievable

Tropical Storm Harvey may no longer be a hurricane, but the threat of catastrophic flooding continues as the storm is expected to dump another 15 to 25 inches of rain on the Texas coast and parts of Louisiana by Friday. According to the National Hurricane Center, 50 inches of rain in total could end up…

via How Long the Houston Flooding Will Last — TIME

Nearly 2 Tons Of Ivory Crushed In Central Park — CBS New York

Nearly two tons of trinkets, statues and jewelry crafted from the tusks of at least 100 slaughtered elephants were destroyed in a rock crusher in Central Park to demonstrate the state’s commitment to smashing the illegal ivory trade.

via Nearly 2 Tons Of Ivory Crushed In Central Park — CBS New York

Genealogy and names

I work everyday on my genealogy. I belong to Ancestry.com and have had my DNA tested with the results being I am mostly Great Britain and Ireland with some dribs and drabs of a few others mingled in.

I love my genealogy work.  You are the detective tracking down where your ancestors lived, worked, who they married, and how many children they had.  In between the lines you are wondering why they moved west, how successful were they, how did they feed and clothe SO MANY children (not uncommon to have 12 children back then).  I came across one of my ancestors who had 3 SETS of twins in their family, with additional children sprinkled among them.  Twins seem to be a common thread I see in certain of my family lines.

Names are also fascinating. A Mother’s maiden name is, in most cases, given to one of her children, either first name or middle name, so an elusive maiden name can often be found among the children. A beloved relative’s name will be given to a child.  Nicknames are sometimes puzzling and often cause confusion because the actual first name gets totally lost through the years and requires backtracking to find a birth certificate or marriage certificate, now usually found online. So,  Mary can be Molly or Mollie or Polly, for whatever reason it varies, I have no clue. Francis can be Fannie, Sarah is Sallie, Nancy is Nannie, Martha is Mattie, Elizabeth is Eliza, Dorothy is Dolly, and so on.  Staying on the right path is often challenging.  And, often, the census takers were not precise in their notes and first names and LAST names can often be misspelled, leading you off the path. I also came across a curious family who had fun with their last name Snow.   Some examples, and these are first, middle and last names: Frost And Snow, Ice And Snow, Frostin Snow. These names carried down through the families.

It is history, seeing what wars the men fought in. Many did not return, leaving the wives with a covey of children to take care of by themselves.  And so they often remarry very quickly. Also, it finally dawned on me why I was seeing young women marrying much older men at one point in time.  Because the Civil War had killed the young men, they had no one living near them to marry.  Their choices were limited before the war, living in sparsley populated rural areas, and so that was their lot after the war.

Discovering famous ancestors is always fun.  I have several links to famous people.  Daniel Boone, Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower are all related.  Lincoln and Boone are intertwined and my ancestors on both my mother’s and father’s side,  lived in their “neck of the woods” (Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana) and so those family members met and married. I have Daniel Boone brothers in BOTH my mother’s paternal side and my father’s maternal side.

You discover when they arrived in America and feel the excitement I am sure they felt.  After fleeing some particular hardships, several weeks sailing on a ship, to arrive in America and start a new life must have been overwhelming.  In my case, they arrived from England or Ireland.  Sometimes it was just a grown son or two from a family, leaving the others behind. Their challenge was finding a place to settle, claiming some land, building a small home by hand and starting to grow food to feed a growing family.

Trying to imagine their every day lives and how they interacted with others is a fascinating thought.  I know that neighbors were not close by, many did not get far in school probably because they had no schools nearby, that daily life was hardscrabble and rote, and that Mother Nature could be very mean.

It is also painful to see the disasters that befall them, usually in the way of deadly illness.  One entire family, I think it was mother and father and 5 children, were all dead within a couple years. It is not uncommon to see a majority of  family wiped out from illness, sometimes leaving only a mother or a father, who must persevere alone.  What were they thinking?  What emotional support did they have?   Tuberculosis was common to see, as well as illness from contaminated water (cholera), and milk fever (cow’s eat deadly plants that get in their system and the people consuming the milk are poisoned).  I see lots of heart disease, killing people at an early age (40-50).

The Native Indians could be helpful or harmful. We know of the Daniel Boone stories and his Indian battles.  In fact, his brother Edward “Neddie” Boone is my 7th great grandfather and was killed by Indians while hunting with Daniel, leaving a wife and six children. One of those children, Charity, is my direct line on my mother’s paternal side.


I also remember my paternal grandmother telling of when she was little, after her father claimed land in the Oklahoma Land Run and they were living in a sod house for a while, that Indians came to their door. They were expected to give food to the Indians as a sign of friendship.

I discover new ancestors every day and have a huge bank of living ancestors now that keeps growing as I find new family links.  We communicate with each other from across the country and try to work out the fine details of our families and our connections to each other.  I am building a great wealth of family history for my children.