Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lakewood United Thurs morning 7 to 8 am, Feb 14, 2013

Tomorrow at Burs Restaurant on Steilacoom Boulevard at Lakewood United, Rob Donaldson from the American Legion (Commander of Post 264, Rainier, WA) will be there to talk about Homeless Veterans.  We all want to help, but don't always know what's best to do.  Check out Lakewood United's Facebook page for schedule updates. Free to attend, but if you order coffee or breakfast you pay for yourself.

This Saturday, Feb 16th, there will be a Spaghetti feed at our American Legion Post 2 to raise money for a young lady traveling to Australia as a junior ambassador. The kids in this program have to raise their own money so have some fun, come on down and skip cooking. She will also be presenting some of her handmade quilts, from the Quilts of Valor program. We are off of 112th, West of Pacific (near 512), not far from PLU.  You can't miss our name on the building. (11204 S. Park Ave, Tacoma 98448) It starts at 6 pm and costs $8 at the door.  Our post has a Facebook page and a website, so check us out.

Quilts of Valor will be having their 10th anniversary this year so there is a national drive to complete 100 quilts before November 2013.  (

Pat our Service Officer will be here another week (next Wednesday, Feb 20th), then I will be on my own as the new Service Officer of Post 2. I am a volunteer, accredited, trained service officer which means I don't get paid to do all that work, but I love to help others so it is very fulfilling work.

The following Saturday, Feb 23rd, is another Spaghetti feed at Post 2 to raise money for a veteran and his family.  They lost their home to a fire and their young child was badly burned.  At 6 pm, $8 at the door, so come on down and fill up your belly while feeling good about doing it.  They not only lost their home, but clothes, books, photos, games, furniture, toys, etc.  Come give them a hand and avoid cooking and dirty dishes for one night.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Genealogy & Family History - Fastest Growing Hobby

That's a photo of my Granny and Grandpa that lived on a ranch in Texas. I spent every summer there working in the heat and loving it.  I got to ride a horse, explore 1,000 acres (Granny & Aunt Grace's ranches), and learn a lot about animals and nature. Granny cooked on a big wood stove, Grandpa broke wild horses to saddle when he was young, and they had a 1 acre garden and a 3 acre orchard.  I learned so much from them about gardening, horses, wild animals, foraging (edible plants, honey from bee hives in trees), cattle and chickens.

Thursday, I invited Karen Ward and her husband to speak at the Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood Association.  They are the former directors of the local Family History Center in Tacoma.  Karen Ward got interested in genealogy when she was a teenager and they both spent time in Salt Lake City volunteering and learning at the Family History Center there.

If you have a local Family History Center near you, check it out!  They have local histories donated to them, computers that you can access various on line genealogy sites for free, and you can pick up any microfilm or microfiche that you ordered online from Salt Lake City. They have blank forms, and many, many reference books. You do have to pay for copies (15 cents each), but that helps the center pay their expenses like the electric bill.   They have about 45 volunteers to help you. Volunteers have 4 hr shifts, so this is a learning and volunteer opportunity.  We all need to know where we came from and what we can learn from our ancestors. By researching their lives, you can learn some of the things they had to endure and maybe learn from them even if they passed a long time ago. 

Please write things down for following generations. Wouldn't you love to have a letter or a diary from your great-great-great grandmother or grandfather?  Your descendants will love you for it.  Tell them what we are going through now, lessons you have learned during your lifetime, and what you value.

I taught a class a few years ago called "Writing Your Life Story" and everyone in the class was interested in Genealogy and Family History.  When I have some time, I may teach another class but I will spend more time on genealogy and less on just writing. 


Volunteers Needed to Raise the Flags!

These flags are put up in Tillicum, all along both sides of Union Ave. SW in Lakewood (Tillicum area). We have a trailer to store them in, but sometimes need a driver and we can always use more people to help put them up.  They are on wood poles that are inserted in sleeves along the roadway. Near certain holidays you would need to get up early and get out there, then a few days later repeat but take down.  Sometimes JBLM soldiers volunteer and we've had Jr ROTC groups help out also. Most of the time it is just a few people from the TWNA (Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood Association).  The flags are kept at Bill's Boathouse, so contact Dave Anderson there to find out when they will be put up. There is nothing like driving down Union when all the flags are up to put tears in your eyes (at least that is what happens to me). I am a veteran and I love my flag and my country. We are so lucky to live in America where people run the country, not dictators or the military. Hope to see you out there soon, if not helping then at least drive by and enjoy.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

July 4, 2011 Dupont and Steilacoom Parades

CERT members from Lakewood, Dupont and Steilacoom all marched behind the very first fire truck of Dupont. They are raising funds to restore the antique vehicle.

More Disaster Preparedness Day photos, 2011

Red Cross tent and vehicle

CSRT tent and the sheltering trailer

Disaster Preparedness Day in Lakewood, WA 2011

Setting up at Lowe's in March 2011
CERT tent and 2 tables
This year was warmer and much less windy than last year. Once again we set up in front of Lowe's and had some vendors there also. I bought a new CERT backpack (more zippers and pockets than the free one you get from the class) and a CERT enamel pin for my hat. Lakewood Hardware store was there with free Tshirts. The CSRT was there and keeping an eye on Lakewood's emergency sheltering trailer. They now have 2:  one is complete, the other is at 70%. I am posting some photos from the event.  Almost the entire Lakewood CERT group was there (a few had to work). I was at the Citizen Corps table again this year.  We distributed lots of good info on being prepared. Who depends on you? Do you have pets, kids, elderly parents or disabled family members? Then you have someone depending on you to be prepared during emergencies. You owe it to them and yourself to prepare before the storm, flood or earthquake hits. They used to say 3 days 3 ways, now they advise you to have enough for 7 days, 14 days, or more. There is an app available for CERT members, so if you have an iphone or ipad, look for it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

From Sept through now, I have been at a lot of emergency preparedness fairs, student volunteer fairs, etc. handing out brochures and information, and trying to get people to be prepared.  We have already been activated by the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) 3 times due to flooding.  I have not published photos or articles recently due to computer problems. I switched from DSL to Broadband wireless. Took me a long time to figure out how to network all the computers in the house and I still haven't figured out file sharing from one computer to another. I also have a new (used) laptop that I am using daily.  Unfortunately, my old PC has all my photos on it. I couldn't get the wireless connection to work on the PC until I splurged on a new powerful router. I am still having problems with dropped connections but this is probably due to the fact that this is a plaster & lathe house inside (metal on the walls for the plaster). There is also a huge oil burning furnace between my computers in the living room and my sons room where the router is located.

The neighborhood association has not received a city grant for over a year, as they were discontinued due to budget problems here in town.  We had several fund raisers that were small but provided enough money to cover printing costs for the past year and expenses for the Centennial.  We have decided to start collecting dues from voting members. People can still attend meetings whenever they want, but to vote they need a paid membership. The charge is only $12 a year, less than most of my other groups.

Citizen Corp will soon be a 501(c)3!!  The pro-bono attorneys have probably already sent the IRS package off in the mail.  Then we purchase our liability and D&O (Directors and Officers) insurance, then we are all set to start fundraising. Not sure we are going to do the Rainier's Baseball game ticket sales fundraiser this year, if we do we will need better coordination with the groups that make up Citizen Corps.

My biggest challenge so far this year has been my vehicle. My car is still parked out front ever since AutoLube worked on it and ripped all the air breather hoses and diverter valves off of it And then Threw them out.  I have been told that they are vital as they provide air flow which keeps the catalytic converter from overheating and melting down. AutoLube seemed to think they were old pollution control stuff that wasn't necessary. They may be good at oil changes and mounting new tires, but they are not diagnosticians or mechanics.  Two excellent mechanics have told me that the diverter valves were irreplaceable.  After driving the van since last summer, it is also having problems.  The other day the muffler blew up and started a fire underneath (the heat from the exhaust caught the bushings above it on fire). That was fixed at a high cost which included towing.  Two days later, the engine seized up. The engine had oil in it, so not sure why it did but we are getting a new (used) engine put in it. The labor costs for it are more than double the cost of the engine and I will be paying for it for about 3 or 4 months.

I have been "ride sharing" for many CERT events.  We had a "Meet and Greet" for previous members and people interested in learning more about it.  Then we had a class on Emergency Food and Water Storage. We had a major earthquake exercise planned, but had problems with the servers going down. I think too many people signed on at the same time for the exercise, many more than they expected.  On line exercises can be as helpful as "live" exercises and much cheaper.