Archive for September, 2009

How to Update the Family Tree

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Before you start, we would like to somewhat restrict the entries to direct descendents of Speed and Hazel including spouses. However due to a size restriction, we don’t want to get too far flung. So for example, we will put Virginia McCurdy as Don’s wife, but don’t want to get into her sisters Mary Kay, Margaret, their spouses and kids. Get it? If you want to do your own family tree, is a pretty nice tool and can handle up to 250 relatives without any payment.We are already at that limit but I paid for the next couple of years so we can continue to have babies!

1) Go to: and click on “Family Tree” in the upper left menu.

2) In the top right corner, select “Log In”.

3) In the top tabs, select “Family tree”

4) At the bottom it says “Tree View.” I prefer “Classic” but you can make that call.

OK, you’re in. Now comes the fun part.

5) Near the top of the page, you will either have a tiny tab called “Options” or a menu with a Back Arrow, Home, Slideshow window. If you see “Options” click on it to reveal the window.
6) Choose “Home” to get Don And Ginger in the center position (that’s where I started so they are the home default) then click on Speed and Hazel to the upper left of Donald’s icon to move Speed and Hazel to the center of the frame. That will be most of your starting positions.

7) If you don’t see your folks listed, there’s a little arrow under the bottom of the list that acts like a scroll bar to get the rest of the family in view.

8) First, I’d like you to review your family; I don’t have a lot of birth and death information so it would be great if you could start by updating all of that. Then dig into your own limbs and leafs of the tree.
a. For example, if you select “Florence Josephine Yearout” it will show her spouse George Raymond Howard. Under them will appear their four kids and selecting them will reveal their spouses and kids.
b. To make a change, mouse over a name and select the “pencil” icon. That allows you to edit the name, birth date, gender, etc. Hit “OK” when finished and go on to the next edit you want to make.
c. There are ways to add divorces, and second spouses and resulting kids from the new union like Leona and Vera. That’s a little more complicated so if you can’t figure it out, give me the details and I’ll get the info updated.
d. To add a photo, select the person and in the margin on the left, you’ll see an “Add Photo” button. It’s got a pretty typical “Browse” function to upload the pic. If you aren’t familiar with that, email the pic and description to me and I’ll do it for you.
i. For an example, see that I added a photo in Speed’s window and also added Olivia and Magnolia under the Ryan and Dora icons.

This is a worthwhile project that I hope you will help us update and complete and maintain as new pups come along. We all have a little “uncle Jack” in us wondering who’s connected to who… this will help keep the record straight for future generations. You may need to explain the uncle Jack reference to your kids.

Please let me know if these instructions have holes in them, or you have discovered an error that I can fix in this description.

Thanks. Marc

Labor Day Party 2009

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Labor Day party 2009 is a success

The 2009 Labor Day party at the cabin was nearly canceled, then was nearly rained out, but survived to be one of the best that many of us could remember. We got up there and discovered that the pilot light on the fireplace had gone out again; Uncle Leon was sitting on the couch wrapped in a blanket, and Leroy was sitting in a chair squinting at the article dad wrote about the cabin. No one had turned on the lamps:(

Side Note:
There is apparently a problem with a part (is it called a thermal-coupler?) that will need to be replaced. The ignitor didn’t seem to generate any spark either, but Skeel was able to get it going with some patience and a match and it held up throughout the day. However, before leaving, we turned it off using the switch and the pilot light went out again. We need to replace every part in the unit to create some stability there. Heidi suggested rolling back to a wood-burning fireplace but the lack of a wood-fire chimney and greatly expanded clearance from the wall would need to be addressed so I’m hoping we can get a more dependable gas-burning situation going.
End Side Note.

When Steve, Sindy, mom, dad, Tara, Molly and I arrived just after noon, everyone (except the aforementioned twins) was outside huddled around the firepit.  A tarp over the lawn swing provided the only way to get out of the rain, but it was downwind from the fire so you could either stand in the thick smoke or the rain. Of course, being Yearout’s, moving the swing upwind was out of the question! This was not shaping up to be much fun at all; the mood was generally subdued.

However, not being too quick to throw in the towel, we got the food cooking (the stove and oven worked great), the fireplace and lamps lit and the cabin started coming to life. Everyone moved inside and the momentum began to build. It reminded all of us of the old days when the first gen would shoo us kids outside and the main partying took place inside. (no voice in the loft kind of stuff).

The first generation treated us to entertainment I’ve not heard in a long, long time. Patti and Gaynelle did poems and songs they, Jo and Roy had written 70+ years ago. Dishes to Do, Father Dear Father and The Love Bug were all performed to the delight of young and old alike.  The real tears flowed when Leon said he’d like to  hear Mandy Lee and to all of our surprise and amazement, they struck it up… “they” being Leon, Leroy, Don and Gaynelle. I’m tearing up just writing this. I could be wrong but suspect it has been 40 or 50 years since that quartet has sung as as group.

Kenny LaCombe was his typical brilliant self playing a couple of songs written by a friend of his that were terrific; “Just So You Know” is very John Prine-like—a truly great song. I strummed and muddled my way through a few tunes on the Uke but only for comic relief. I promise I’ll practice before next time. A few of us second gen “kids” sang our usual repertoire of barbershop songs too. I promise, we won’t practice before next time:-)

Anyway; this nearly scuttled event was an unqualified success. Here’s to the legacy!


Attendees included:
First Gen:
Don & GInger

Second Gen:
Ken & Donna
Gail & Jeff
Don Lyons
Sindy & Steve
Ken LaCombe
Thom LaCombe

Third Gen:
Donovan, Devon & Paul (4th gen)
Heidi and daughter Fran (4th gen)