Friends Forever

Friends Forever just sounds like something you write in the back of someone’s yearbook. But in this case, it’s true.

I have been friends with these girls for as long as I can remember. Though we had not all been together in the same room in the last 30 years, you wouldn’t have known it from the evening we shared. We graduated from Belfry High School in 1988 and this year will be our class reunion year.

I was thinking when I thought about writing a post on our night together that when I go to the Dr he always says, "Do you smoke" "Do you drink" as standard questions. My answer is always the same, No I don’t smoke but on occasion I do have some drinks.

Turns out last night was the occasion. Whew! Ya know that moment when you beg God to let you just live through something and swear you will never do it again, welcome to my morning.

I remember now the reason that I don’t drink.

Normally I would have a ton of photos to post but it hit me that one of the things that was so awesome about the night was that I didn’t have my phone. There wasn’t really anyone else on earth that I wanted to be talking to more than the girls there with me. That doesn’t happen very often. That and the fact that everyone agreed to no facebook photos about five minutes after we got there made it easy to put my phone away.

I don’t have a memory in my life of my childhood that doesn’t include Beckie. Her mother was like my own. She would wear me out if I needed it, talk to me like I was hers and if I fell into a ditch and nearly drowned she would always be right there to save me.

Beckie was my closest friend from the time I was in Kindergarten until forever. I have hated her and loved her and most of the memories of my life would suck if she had not been a constant that could always be counted on.

Amanda came along a few years later. To be honest, I was scared to death of her when I first met her.

She is tough. But she grew on me immediately and I can not remember my life without her in it.  Beckie, Amanda and I cheered in grade school together and between the two of them, and Chris Moon, I swear I can’t single out a memory that they are not part of.

My brother dated Angie and by the time I was in 7th or 8th grade she had become my sister and would become my sister-in-law and mother to my two beautiful nieces.  I have a dozen Christmas ornaments that are precious to me and they are all ones that came from her over the years and I cherish them. She was beautiful and sweet and had this laugh that seriously burst from her lungs like a bullet from a gun and I can’t say the word Angie without hearing that laughter over the 48 years of my life.

Anna came in later in high school. She was this amazingly strong and hard person. At the time, I didn’t have a clue just what a survivor she really was. I was young and just like my 12-year-old son today, I had my head so far up my own butt I dint know just how much she needed me and Amanda and Beckie and Angie. I admit that my heart hurts a little now looking back that the world treated her so badly at such a young age. Her brother Mike died of AIDS and it was one of the first cases of AIDS that anyone here had ever seen so close up. It was 1987.  But when I was dancing with her tonight and cracking up, I swear to you all I could think to myself was that the things that she endured, the hate, the death, the loss of her brother, just all of the things that a kid shouldn’t have to suffer, sucked but they made her the person she is today and she really is a great person. Mostly, I was just thankful that she had been added to my life and that we had so many memories together. I was also thinking that she had some awesome dance moves. LOL

I guess the thing that makes us work still today when we are all together is that you can pair up any two of us and we still work. We are all friends and we can work as a team or one on one and do anything we set our minds to. We are grown, strong, independent women but the second you reunited us we became 16-year-old girls again. For one single night, there were no kids, bills or responsibilities, just 5 five girls laughing. And dancing 😉

I am not one of those people that spends much time with friends. I love to be home and I love to be with Bill. It was effort for me to even go to be honest. But I woke up today, sick to my stomach but alive, and all I could think was how much I loved my memories with these four girls.

In life we are doing good if we just have one person who we look back and think how blessed we are to have them. If we have one friend that we know would come to us and save us if we needed them. We are lucky if we get one single person who we can say has always been a part of our lives.

But I got four. I love you girls. Lets not wait 30 more years to reunite. I am just sure I will not be able to dance like that again next time if we do.




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Complete Visitors Guide for Hatfield McCoy Feud Sites

April 2018 this page is under construction Hatfield McCoy Country is an area that covers about 50 miles square but if you drive to each of the locations as I have them listed here you will travel many more miles than this. I have tried to give you the most direct route for seeing everything without any more backtracking than is necessary.  So, it’s a very long  journey for a single day. In a perfect world you can do it all in a weekend visit. Come in on Friday and stay in one of the main towns. Pikeville Kentucky Matewan West Virginia Williamson West Virginia Each of these three towns will offer its own kind of charm. You can click on each of them above to get more information on starting your journey from a hotel in the individual communities. I have built THIS MAP to begin at the Hatfield McCoy Country Museum in Williamson West Virginia #1 on the maps. After visiting the Museum you can start your journey at #1, The Hatfield McCoy Country Museum, and move along the numbered locations as I have them and you can see everything in the simplest route possible with the least amount of going in circles. You can click HERE to go to the information page for the Hatfield McCoy Feud. There you will find all the detailed information about the feud, my family connection and the Hatfield McCoy Country Museum.  On this page I am going to try to give you a complete visitors guide to the sites of the Hatfield McCoy Feud. HATFIELD MCCOY COUNTRY MUSEUM 1 #1 THE HATFIELD MCCOY COUNTRY MUSEUM COMPLETE VISITORS GUIDE | HATFIELD MCCOY FEUD SITES | HATFIELD MCCOY COUNTRY MUSEUM | STOP #1 This location is first because any tour of the feud sites must begin with a little information about the history of this historic family feud. You can visit the museum by contacting the museum directly or contacting me here at this site to set up your appointment. For the majority of the year, right now, you will need an appointment to visit the museum.   Things to see on this stop.  A replica 1920’s coal camp house room The Underground Theater Items seen on American Pickers Original documents from the Hatfield McCoy Feud. A replica log cabin standing inside the museum containing historical documents that you can walk inside and explore. Items touched by Devil Anse Hatfield Henry Ford’s script making machine Burial records of Devil Anse, Johnse, Cap and Levicy Hatfield Mamie Thurman’s death certificate and burial records A set of display panels with information about the industrial revolution and how this area and our coal mining fueled the growth of steel. The Bee Ward coal mining collection MUCH MORE Turn by Turn Directions from The Hatfield McCoy Country Museum #1 to The Hatfield McCoy White Lightning Moonshine Distillery Building #2. You can click on the image of the map to open the Google Maps for the Complete Visitors Guide and directions to navigate to the next site. I have built the map already and all you have to do is open from the map photos on this page and it will take you to where you currently are to the location you want to go next.  DISTILLERY BUILDING 2 #2 THE HATFIELD MCCOY WHITE LIGHTNING DISTILLERY COMPLETE VISITORS GUIDE | HATFIELD MCCOY FEUD SITES | THE WHITE LIGHTNING DISTILLERY BUILDING | STOP #2 This spot is sad a little since it was so filled with excitement and hope when it originally became famous. The building was the distillery for the Hatfield McCoy White Lighting television show. The Hatfield and McCoy families came together in 2012 to start a moonshine business and create the first of the Hatfield McCoy Moonshines. However, the two families proved to not be able to work together a hundred years after the feud and the business broke apart and ended in law suits and the television series cancelled after the first season. The building still stands and you can get great photos from the exterior of the structure and even peek inside the large plate glass window on the front that lets you see into the distillery. This is worth driving by and stopping for a quick photo outside. You can get more information on the moonshine from both the Hatfields and the McCoys that came after this series and see more about the show HERE.  Things to see on this stop.  The facade of the Hatfield McCoy White Lighting Moonshine Distillery where the reality TV show was filmed by the History Channel. The geocache at this location This stop is no more than a drive by between the museum and The Coal House for a photo stop so no real time is added by visiting the location THE GEOCACHE AT THIS LOCATION   GC4KNV9 ▼ HMGT #16 White Lightning A cache by HMGT Message this owner Hidden : 08/30/2013 Difficulty: Terrain: Size:  (regular) 59 Favorites Related Web Page N 37° 40.524 W 082° 16.730 UTM: 17S E 387226 N 4170570 GEOCACHING IS A SCAVENGER HUNT GAME THAT IS PLAYED USING A GPS OR YOUR SMART PHONE. YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN PLAY AT THE GEOCACHING TAB ON THIS SITE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE. Turn by Turn Directions from #2 The Distillery Building to #3 The Coal House You can click on the image of the map to open the Google Maps for the Complete Visitors Guide and directions to navigate to the next site. I have built the map already and all you have to do is open from the map photos on this page and it will take you to where you currently are to the location you want to go next.  THE COAL HOUSE 3 #3 THE COAL HOUSE | TUG VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE COMPLETE VISITORS GUIDE | HATFIELD MCCOY FEUD SITES | THE COAL HOUSE | STOP #3 This is a unique stop on your visit of feud country because the building you find here is made entirely from coal that was mined locally. Coal is our most abundant fossil fuel resource today, and is used to generate more than half of our nation’s electrical power. There are many other important uses, such as in the production of iron, steel, and other metals as well as in the cement industry.  Here at the Coal House you can see a very unique use of coal. A structure with walls that are made entirely of cut blocks of coal. A total of 64 tons of bituminous coal was used in the construction. Locally known as “The Coal House” it was placed on the National Historic Register in 1980. It was built in 1933 with civic support for the project. Materials, labor and cash were donated by local firms and individuals, and the one-story building was designed by architect H.T. Hicks, of Welch, West Virginia. The coal used in the construction was mined locally and donated by several major coal companies. The exterior surface of the Coal House is protected from weathering by an application mixture of enamel and varnish every two years. Thus far, little erosion has occurred. The Coal House has always been the home to the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce. Today you can go inside and experience the visitors center for Williamson, West Virginia and the Tug Valley Area.    This is one of those amazing Road Side America stops that you will not want to miss. While here be sure to look at the Mountaineer Hotel that stands next to the Coal House. The Mountaineer Hotel has a pretty amazing list of previous visitors over its long history.  The lobby inside the Mountaineer is well worth seeing if you stop and find they are open.    Things to see on this stop.  The inside of the Coal House The Large Statue of Chief Logan standing outside The fountain on the grounds in front of the Coal House The large selection of visitor center merchandise inside the coal house The Mountaineer Hotel THE GEOCACHE Sweet Dice A cache by Wendy Message this owner Hidden : 03/03/2015 Difficulty: Terrain: Size:  (other) 35 Favorites GEOCACHING IS A SCAVENGER HUNT GAME THAT IS PLAYED USING A GPS OR YOUR SMART PHONE. YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN PLAY AT THE GEOCACHING TAB ON THIS SITE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE. Turn by Turn Directions from #3 The Coal House to #4 Aunt Betty McCoy’s House You can click on the image of the map to open the Google Maps for the Complete Visitors Guide and directions to navigate to the next site. I have built the map already and all you have to do is open from the map photos on this page and it will take you to where you currently are to the location you want to go next.  AUNT BETTY’S HOUSE 4 #4 AUNT BETTY’S HOUSE AND THE BABY’S GRAVE   COMPLETE VISITORS GUIDE | HATFIELD MCCOY FEUD SITES | AUNT BETTY MCCOY’S HOUSE | STOP #4 “Johnse” Hatfield, the 18-year-old son of “Devil Anse” Hatfield, and Roseanna McCoy, the daughter of Randolph McCoy, met on Kentucky election grounds in 1880. According to accounts, Johnse and Roseanna hit it off, disappearing together for hours. Supposedly fearing retaliation from her family for mingling with the Hatfields, Roseanna stayed at the Hatfield residence for a period of time, drawing the ire of the McCoys. Although they certainly shared a romance, it rapidly became clear that Johnse, was not about to settle down with Roseanna. Several months later he abandoned the pregnant Roseanna and quickly moved on. In May 1881 he married Nancy McCoy, Roseanna’s 15 year-old cousin. Now pregnant with Johnse’s child. Roseanna moved in with her Aunt Betty McCoy, in Stringtown, a small settlement not far from her father’s home, because her father was so upset, and refused to look at or even speak to her. Johnse continued to visit with Roseanna at her aunt’s home, which upset her brothers. When Roseanna overheard retaliation plans to take Johnse captive, and deliver him to the county seat for outstanding warrants, she feared for Johnse’s life and warned Devil Anse, who immediately organized a rescue party and took Johnse back to West Virginia before he could be transported to the county seat. Roseanna also died at the young age of twenty-eight, some say of a broken heart. She is buried in the Dils Cemetery in Pikeville, Kentucky. The child that Roseanna McCoy and Johnse Hatfield had together, Sarah Elizabeth, became sick at 10 months of age and died from the measles. The Baby is buried at Aunt Betty McCoy’s House. This location was also featured on the History Channel’s White Lightning reality show as the home of Grandma McCoy.   Things to see on this stop.  The home of Aunt Betty McCoy (Private residence owned by Big Jim McCoy & the McCoy family) The grave of Sarah Elizabeth McCoy (Must be able to climb stairs at this location) A cemetery with historic markers Maybe a McCoy or two sitting on the porch, if you are lucky Aunt Betty’s House   GC3QEQH ▼ HMGT #01 The Baby’s Grave at Aunt Betty’s House A cache by HMGT Hidden : 09/01/2012 Difficulty:Terrain: Size:  (regular) 151 Favorites N 37° 37.828 W 082° 13.247 UTM: 17S E 392280 N 4165516 THE GEOCACHE   GEOCACHING IS A SCAVENGER HUNT GAME THAT IS PLAYED USING A GPS OR YOUR SMART PHONE. YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN PLAY AT THE GEOCACHING TAB ON THIS SITE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE. Turn by Turn Directions from Aunt Betty McCoy’s House to the Randall McCoy Well  You can click on the image of the map to open the Google Maps for the Complete Visitors Guide and directions to navigate to the next site. I have built the map already and all you have to do is open from the map photos on this page and it will take you to where…

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Bullet Journaling FREEBIES

FREE. That’s right, You can print these pages for your own personal use, Absolutely FREE. I have recently discovered BULLET JOURNALING. I have been a SCRAPBOOKER for many years and designed and developed several scrapbook products for the scrapbook industry that are still very useful in making your scrapbook pages. But recently, I began to use those same products for my new passion…Bullet Journaling. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.   Now, before you start to tell me about how busy moms don’t have time to bullet journal or color pages in a day planner, just wait. In my mind, a busy woman doesn’t have time to NOT plan every single day.   Read the Post for the FREE Bullet Journal Downloads Below.     Subscribe | Follow These 3 Templates Rock and I designed them 🙂 You can search about on this site and find lots more information on these three templates. I designed them with Hot Off the Press and I use them constantly on my scrapbook pages and in Bullet Journals. Check them out on my scrapbook tab.   Here’s my thinking, if you want to make the most out of your life each day, you need to plan for tomorrow. When I was a young girl my mother-in-law had a sister that was an older lady and she was truly uptight it seemed to me at the time. What kind of life does a person have that they get up every single Tuesday and know what they are doing that day. How can you plan for a car wash, a hair-do or a walk with friends? Now as a grown woman with a husband, a home, a 13-year-old and tons of responsibilities I see that there’s no way I could accomplish all the things that are important to me if I don’t schedule them in. You make time for the things that matter in your life. I also think that a person can leave a journal to the next generation that will be an amazing look into what it was like to be you. I would give a 1000 dollar for my mom’s journal of what her life was like in a normal day when she was raising three kids. But those memories are gone and can never be recovered. I want to leave those things behind for my child and grandchildren to see when I am gone. So, I journal and scrapbook.  I do agree that I don’t have time to set down with a pen and markers and create an entire layout from scratch every week of my life when it’s time to schedule. So, I am a fan of PRINTABLES. Especially ones that are FREE. That’s why I am sharing these pages with you. If you want to get started with a day planner or bullet journal book you can just simply print these pages, punch holes in them and add them to a binder that you keep. Then you can select just the pages that work for your life.   Soon I will also be adding an entire LIFE BINDER that will have tons of FREE pages that you can use to organize every aspect of your life.           TRY BULLET JOURNALING FOR FREE !!!! If you have always wanted to give journaling a try, now is the perfect time. Just click on the FREE BULLET JOURNAL Pages listed below by name and print them at home and start without paying anything at all. (Other than the couple of pennies it costs to print a piece of paper) You can find tons of different types of planners out there on the internet.  But inevitably some of the pages don’t apply to your life. By printing your own selected pages you can custom build your planner to your specific needs. Planning a Vacation ? Planning a special event ? Need a gratitude journal ? A meditation journal ? A way to track your exercise progress ? You can find all those here over the next couple weeks. Just subscribe to this page and get updates as I post the entire collection. This washi tape is awesome if you make a mistake on your day planner, bullet journal or scrapbook page. It is sticky like tape and you can snip off a piece and put it over any mistake easily or use it to mark special days. Looks great and does the trick nicely. My Favorite Washi Tapes Washi Tape Selection on Amazon     WHAT IS A BULLET JOURNAL ANYWAY ? I personally think that the words “Bullet Journal” are just a fancy way of saying day planner. But I understand calling it something new because it is the exact same thing, only far different at the same time. In a typical day planner you don’t do much on the way of decorating but in the new Bullet Journal pages it is not just about planning your day. Its about planning, listing, setting goals, tracking your success and sometimes even your failures. Its about doodling to relieve anxiety and stress. Its about having a singular place that you keep track of not just what you have to do, but the feelings that go along with doing them. Or, if you have a particularly busy day and don’t want to do anything creative, that reflects in the journal pages as well. Building on my scrapbook past, I like to decorate mine a little each day. Doodles of my feelings or emotions that I can look back on next year make me happy. In todays world of Facebook and Instagram we just write things in short, partial sentences and leave them buried behind in the electronic bowels of the internet to never be seen again. I miss the days when we wrote things down. The days when there were actual things that we could leave behind for the next generation. Click here to get your FREE Download without the watermark. Just Print them and start using. DAY PLANNERS | BULLET JOURNALS YOU DON’T NEED TO GET EXPENSIVE AND FANCY WITH YOUR DAY PLANNER / BULLET JOURNAL BOOKS. YOU CAN PRINT THESE PAGES AND START FOR NO COST AT ALL. AND I WILL BE UPDATING WITH NEW PAGES THAT YOU CAN PRINT AND ADD TO YOUR BOOK OVER TIME AS WELL.   SUPPLIES YOU NEED TO START: MY FREE PRINTABLE PAGES A PRINTER  COPY PAPER THINGS YOU CAN ADD TO MAKE IT AWESOME: VARIOUS COLORED PENICES OR MARKERS WASHI TAPE & POST IT NOTES A RULER OR STRAIGHT EDGE BULLET JOURNAL STENCILS I LIKE TO PUT ALL MY PAGES IN A 3 RING BINDER FOR EASY ORGAINZING. DIVIDER TABS     HERE ARE A COUPLE SAMPLES OF THE BINDERS THAT I LIKE TO USE. This size is suitable for any of my FREE download pages that are listed as 3 Ring A4. Most of the FREE Bullet Journal Pages are full size sheets of regular paper because that’s the way I like to roll but I do get that a lot of people use this smaller, more portable size so I will size down my FREE PRINTABLE pages to 3 Ring A4 for your printing pleasure.  These are really nice and strong and are a great size for carrying.   MY NEW PRINTER The best printer I have ever used… This is my new printer. It isn’t exactly new, I got it in June 2017 just before we planned a huge vacation to Europe. My old one had served its purpose in life and I saw this and hoped that it would be awesome. IT SO IS.  I put ink in it when I got it. I have printed for 10 months now and I print like a scrapbooker and I have never had to put more ink in it yet. ITS INSANE ! If you print photos, lots of papers for whatever or if you are a new FREE PRINTABLE bullet journaler and want a printer that can keep up….THIS SUCKER is amazing. I am adding a link to it here in my Amazon Affiliate Links because, why not, but so help me it is truly the best printer I have ever owned. If you decide to give a new printer a try, come back here and click on it from this link please. If you have any other questions about my experience with this printer feel free to ask in the comments below. I LOVE THIS PRINTER.   Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.   IF YOU SEE SOMETHING YOU LOVE AND THINK YOU MAY PURCHASE IT LATER, BE SURE TO COME BACK HERE AND CLICK FROM THE LINK ON MY SITE. THIS PAYS FOR THIS SITE TO BE HERE.  Read my full disclosure policy here. Related

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My Son Michael’s Family Tree

Michael J Baisden & Son, Michael Jaye Baisden, II Mikey was named after his father. I have so many photos of them together it is insane. I followed them around when Mikey was little and captured every single moment of them because somehow in my head from the very start I knew that they would not have enough time together. I love all those photos now and especially love all of the scrapbook pages of them together. (This photo is from when he came home from the hospital and a few days later his step-sister, Leann came to see him.) Gone, Not Forgotten Anna Rose Wellman There are not a lot of photos of Ann with Mikey. He was very new when she passed away. This photo makes me happy because it was the first time she had ever seen Mikey. We took him down to Lenore, West Virginia, where they lived and I snapped this photo of her holding him and she was gone less than a month later.  Blog Posts about Mikey A little family history…. Michael J Baisden’s Parents Mike and Wendy married in 2003 and ran the Linkous House B&B in Williamson for many years together. They sold it shortly after they divorced in 2013. Michael J Baisden Mikey’s daddy, Mike was married to another woman, the mother of Mikey’s two step-brother and step-sister. When researching for this family tree I found the marriage certificate where they got married in 1974. Mikey’s Baisden Grandparents Mikey didn’t get blessed with lots of grandparents. Ann died shortly after Mikey was born, Earnest was already gone when he was born. So, Mikey had no grandparents on his dads side of the family. Ernest Jennings Baisden Mikey’s Dad’s Father’s WWII registration card. Mikey’s Hackney Grandparents John and Ella Hackney are Mikey’s grandparents on the Hackney side. These are really the only grandparents that Mikey got. All of his Great Grandparents had already died before Mikey was born. Step-Brothers & Sisters Mikey has one Step-Sister, Leann and one Step-Brother, Patrick Jaye. Both were grown before Mikey was born. And one Step-Brother, Jacob Aaron Stewart who lived in the house with Mikey for a couple years before he was grown and out on his own. Related

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My Hackney Family Name

The Results are in…I am a Hackney !! Here are the results of my ancestryDNA test. England, Great Britian 91% Ireland, Scotland, Whales 4% Eastern Europe 2% Western Europe 1% Southern Europe 1% Caucasus 1% I started trying to track down my daddy’s name a week ago using and their FREE trial membership. In that week, I have 368 years of our family name traced back to London, England near the area where Hackney’s began. My results from my DNA test came in this week and I was excited. No big surprises with my name, Hackney and my DNA results. I am 91% from England. It made me feel secure that my parents didn’t get the wrong child at the hospital that my DNA test said I was pretty much a thoroughbred at 91% Hackney. Then I started to search the internet for clues into who my dads family was and in a blink, I had spent a week digging through the internet buried in documents.  I will squish it down into a simple to understand list of the 12 generations that make up our tree. If you are my cousin on the Hackney side, it is the exact same for you starting with whichever one of the children of Landon Hackney you are. Everything above him is the same on your Hackney tree as mine.    1. Me, Wendy R Hackney and my two sons, Jacob Aaron Stewart & Michael Jaye Baisden, II 2. This is my daddy. He is the reason I am a Hackney and he is my favorite person. Just is. Can’t help myself. I love my daddy. 3. RALPH HACKNEY MY GRANDFATHER. THIS IS MY GRANDFATHER, RALPH. I ONLY MET HIM ONCE. MY BROTHERS AND I WERE IN FLORIDA AND WE KNEW WHERE HE LIVED, WE DROVE TO HIS HOUSE AND WALKED UP ON HIS PROPERTY AND HE WAS ON THE ROOF WORKING. ONE OF US ASKED IF HE KNEW WHO WE WERE. HE STOOD UP FROM THE SQUATTED POSITION HE WAS IN AND SO HELP ME I WAS AMAZED BY HOW MUCH IT LOOKED LIKE MY DADDY STANDING THERE. HIS FOREARMS WERE EXACTLY LIKE MY DADS. HIS EARS WERE JUST LIKE MY DADS. I KEPT THINKING THAT HIS WHOLE LIFE HE HAD BEEN TRYING TO DENY THAT JOHN HACKNEY WAS HIS KID AND THAT MUST HAVE BEEN MADE MUCH HARDER BY THE FACT THAT MY DAD LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE HIM. HE SAID YES, I THINK I DO KNOW WHO YOU ARE. WE HAD A COUPLE MINUTES OF CONVERSATION AND NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN. I WAS ABOUT 16 WHEN I SAW HIM. 4. POPPY HACKNEY MY FIRST GREAT GRANDFATHER. THIS IS MY POPPY. HE DIED WHEN I WAS ONLY 7 YEARS OLD. I WOULD THINK THAT I WOULDNT HAVE MANY MEMORIES OF HIM BECAUSE OF THAT BUT I SPENT MOST OF MY CHILDHOOD WITH HIM IN MY MIND. WHEN I WAS SMALL I PRAYED AND TO BE HONEST, NOONE EVER TAUGHT ME HOW TO PRAY. SO WHEN I WOULD PRAY, I TALKED TO MY POP HACKNEY. I WOULD JUST TALK TO HIM IN HEAVEN. I REMEMBER SAYING TO HIM THAT I NEEDED GOD TO HELP ME WITH SOMETHING AND COULD HE WALK DOWN TO GOD’S HOUSE AND ASK HIM TO HELP SINCE HE WAS LIVING SO CLOSE TO GOD. I CONTINUED THAT LINE OF TALK WITH MY POPPY FOR MANY YEARS AFTER HE PASSED AWAY. IT GAVE ME COMFORT IN MANY DIFFERENT SITUATIONS IN MY LIFE TO KNOW THAT HE WAS THERE IN HEAVEN. WHEN HE DIED, BECAUSE I WAS SO LITTLE, I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND MUCH ABOUT THIS DEATH THING. I REMEMBER AS CLEAR AS CAN BE STANDING AT THE CASKET WHERE HE LAY AND MY MAMA HACKNEY WALKING UP AND PUTTING HER ARM AROUND ME AND SAYING IN HER PERFECT MAMA HACKNEY VOICE THAT HE WAS “GONE”. I MUST HAVE HAD A LOOK OF CONFUSION ON MY FACE BECAUSE SHE PICKED MY HAND UP AND PUT IT ON HIS CHEST AND I SWEAR THAT WAS THE MOMENT THAT I KNEW THERE WAS A SEPARATION FROM WHERE I WAS AND WHERE HE WAS. BEFORE HE DIED HE WAS SO VERY OLD AND HE LIVED WITH MY OTHER COUSINS IN CHICAGO SO WHEN WE WOULD GO VISIT HIM HE WOULD BE PROTECTIVE OF THEIR TOYS. I REMEMBER HE WAS IN A WHEEL CHAIR AND DIDNT STAND UP AND TATAR PICKED UP ONE OF THE KIDS TOYS AND HE STOOD UP OUT OF HIS WHEELCHAIR BECAUSE HE WAS TRYING TO GET THE TOY FROM TATAR. THAT SOUNDS SCARY WHEN YOU WRITE IT BUT AT THE TIME, TO A 6 YEAR OLD GIRL, IT WAS A STRONG ENOUGH MARK THAT I AM A 48 YEAR OLD WOMAN AND I AM STILL TELLING THE STORY. IT WASNT THAT HE SCARED ME. HE DID, BUT I REMEMBER BEING SAD AND JEALOUS THAT I DIDNT GET TO KNOW HIM ENOUGH THAT HE WANTED ME TO PLAY WITH THE TOYS. HE ATE PAWPAWS AND HE HAD A SPORK HE HAD MADE THAT HE WOULD USE TO EAT THE INSIDES OF THEM OR APPLES WITH. THAT MEMORY STUCK IN MY HEAD. WHEN HE WALKED, HE ALWAYS PUT BOTH HANDS BEHIND HIS BACK AND CLASPED HIS HANDS TOGETHER. 25 YEARS AFTER HE WAS GONE, MY SON AARON WAS A TODDLER AND SO HELP ME THAT KID WALKED EXACTLY LIKE POPPY HACKNEY. HE WOULD CLASP BOTH HANDS BEHIND HIM EXACTLY THE WAY POPPY DID AND TODDLE AROUND. IT WOULD BRING COLD CHILLS TO MY ARMS AND TEARS TO MY EYES EVERYTIME. THIS SCRAPBOOK PAGE IS ONE I MADE MANY YEARS AGO.   1900 Census with Landon Hackney and family listed. Seriously, is it not the coolest thing ever that you can find these documents online at I was so super excited with all that I found. If you have ever considered getting your own tree and results from the AncestryDNA, please click on this button from my site so that I get paid for the referral. These affiliate links are how I pay for this website and all the FREE downloads I add on this site. Help a girl out !!! Click Here to Sign up or explore Ancestry DNA’s site 5. JAMES PATTON HACKNEY My 2nd Great Grandfather. When James Patton Hackney was born on August 20, 1856, in Grapevine, Kentucky, his father, Ruell, was 26 and his mother, Westina, was 28. He married Columbia May on March 29, 1878, in McAndrews, Kentucky. They had 14 children in 27 years. His mother Westina passed away on April 5, 1870, at the age of 42. His father Ruell Priest passed away on January 21, 1898, in Pike, Kentucky, at the age of 68. James Patton Hackney died on May 29, 1932, in McAndrews, Kentucky, at the age of 75.     6. RUELL PRIEST HACKNEY My 3rd Great Grandfather. When Ruell Priest Hackney was born on November 11, 1829, in Russell, Virginia, his father, Nicodemus, was 31 and his mother, Nancy, was 21. He had 3 siblings, Alexander, James Patton and Richard Thomas. He had one child with Westina Adkins and one child with Charlotte Charity Smith. His mother passed away in 1860 at the age of 52. His father Nicodemus passed away in 1860 at the age of 62. Ruell Priest Hackney died on January 21, 1898, in Pike, Kentucky, at the age of 68.   7. NICODEMUS HACKNEY MY 4TH GREAT GRANDFATHER. When Nicodemus Hackney was born in 1798 in Tazewell, Virginia, his father, John, was 38 and his mother, Jane, was 30. He married Nancy Jane Hurley in 1825 in Russell, Virginia when he was 27 years old. They had four children in 15 years. His father, John passed away in 1843 in Russell, Virginia at the age of 83. His mother Jane B. passed away on March 6, 1855. His wife Nancy Jane passed away in 1860 at the age of 52. They had been married 35 years. He died in 1860 at the age of 62. 8. JOHN LUSTER HACKNEY MY 5TH GREAT GRANDFATHER. When John Luster Hackney was born in 1760, his father, Aaron, was 22 and his mother, Lydia, was 14. He married Jane B. Vail and they had 11 children together. He was 26 when they got married in New Castle, Delaware on May 16, 1786. He also had one son from another relationship. During the 1826 census, John Hackney lived in Russell, Virginia. John Hackney served in the Revolutionary War on the Delaware line and was a Musician. He enlisted from Newcastle County, Delaware in 1777, serving under Captains John Rhodes and Peter Jaquit. He was engaged in the battles of Cowpens, Guilford, Camden, Eutaw Springs, and Ninety-Six.  In 1818 he was placed on the pension roll of Virginia. His mother Lydia passed away on October 29, 1766 in Frederick Virginia at the age of 20. His father Aaron died on August 8, 1806 in Fayette City, Pennsylvania at the age of 67. He died in 1843 in Russell, Virginia, having lived a long life of 83 years. 9. AARON HACKNEY MY 6TH GREAT GRANDFATHER. When Aaron Hackney was born on August 12, 1738, or Oct 30, 1738 (needs work) in New Castle, Delaware, his father, Joseph, was 37 and his mother, Charity, was 24. Aaron Hackney was buried in a friends burial ground in Hopewell, Virginia. He married Lydia Reese in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 6, 1764, when he was 26 years old.  They were married in Holy Trinity, Old Swedes, Wilmington, Delaware. They had two children together. His wife Lydia passed away on October 29, 1766 in Virginia at the age of 20, after only a year of marriage. For the two years after Lydia’s death it appears he had two children with Hanna Gregg, George & Joseph. This needs further research. He then married Hannah Gregg on March 31,1768 and they had eight children together. He died on August 8, 1806, in Fayette City, Pennsylvania, at the age of 67. Research needed for the document I found below that is from the Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. Vol VI: Virginia from the monthly meeting in Fairfax County. I don’t exactly know what it is saying? Aaron was married to Lydia and then he married Hanna Gregg. Don’t exactly understand what this meeting note is saying ?  10. JOFEPH FRANCIS HACKNEY (Joseph) MY 7TH GREAT GRANDFATHER When Joseph Francis Hackney was born on September 19, 1700, in Burlington, New Jersey, his father, Joseph, was 23 and his mother, Mary, was 24. He married Charity Harlan in 1731 in Wilmington, Delaware when he was 31 years old. They had ten children in 40 years together.  His father, Joseph passed away on September 12, 1736 in London, England at the age of 59. He died on May 18, 1745, in Frederick, Virginia, at the age of 44. I found a will from Charity Harlan’s father where he names Charity and Joseph in his will. The photo of that is below. This appears to me to be the first generation of Hackneys that are in the United States. Joseph was born in New Jersey but his parents are listed as residents of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England still and the Father died there.  Questions: How did they come to have Joseph F Hackney in the United States? They lived and died in England so why was their child born in the United States. This was before the Revolutionary War so it wouldn’t make sense that they were here for fighting the war? How did they come to be in New Jersey to give birth to their son?  10. JOFEPH HACKNEY MY 8TH GREAT GRANDFATHER   Joseph Hackney and his twin brother Joseph John were born on November 12, 1676, in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England. His sister, Susannah was born in 1677 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England when Joseph was a year old. His brother, Samuel was born on August 20, 1678 in Hertfordshire, England, when Joseph was a…

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10 Questions to Always Ask Your Friends

Questions for the People I know Random Questions for the People I know Completely Random Coke or Pepsi ? I grew up on Pepsi. Today I would probably get a coke if I still drank pop. I miss pop but gave it up when I realized I was too old to mess around with anything that might possible kill me. LOL Coke or Pepsi ? When was the first time you climbed a tree? When I was a tiny little girl we had four trees in the corner of the yard at my house. I have many reasons why I wont ever forget climbing the ladder up to the tree house that dad built for us. I have climbed many trees since then to place and find geocaches. But that tree house between the four trees in my yard as a child is still the first thing I think of when someone talks about climbing trees. How bout you ? Where do you most want to travel to? I have been blessed to travel a lot the last few years. I am always planning my next adventure. I am working on a trip to the Great Wall of China and another to Machu Picchu but the very next trip is gonna be to Paris to stay for a month. How bout you ? Anyplace exciting that I need to know about ? At what age were you first married ? I was first married at 18. I was completely too young. Who would you call first ? If I were walking along and I found a sack of money I would probably call my husband first. Then I would call Delta Airlines 🙂 Questions for Geocachers How long have you been geocaching ? I started caching in the last few weeks of 2010. Within a week of knowing what geocaching was I headed to Nevada and did the ET Highway. 15,888 caches later I still love the game. How bout you ? When did you start caching ? Have you ever hurt yourself while caching ? Many times ! Once while caching I was alone and I broke my ankle. I had a cell phone with me and called my husband, who was so angry at me, to come and get me. I wasn’t supposed to be where I was so he was not happen when he found me on top of a mountain, alone and in a foot of snow. He literally had to drag me from the hillside. How bout you ? Have you ever cached in a foreign country ? I have found several countries now. I stink at logging my caches so I am behind on logging by about two hundred caches and most of those are the ones I have found while traveling the last couple of years.  How about you ? Have you cached in a foreign country ? Related

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National Geographic Diggers Bill has loved the history of the feud for many years now. Long before it was ever on the History Channel he was studying and working to build tourism in Hatfield McCoy Feud Country.  Bill has worked in tourism for the last 20 years in Feud Country as part of his position as Associate Professor for WVU. This moment was something he had waited a long time to see.  DIGGERS In the Diggers series, Saylor and Wyant scour the country for lost pieces of American history — from Civil War buckles to family heirloom rings and silver coins. Where there is an empty yard, field or beach approved for metal detecting, the duo see a treasure trove, and will go the distance to uncover “the juice,” as they call it, working in close collaboration with a local archaeologist or historian at every site. It’s not just the raw value of the object that gets them excited; it’s the thrill of the hunt and the possibility that the next artifact they dig up could yield the discovery of a lifetime, similar to the lucky Brit who found the Saxon hoard. In this case, it was the real McCoy! Read the Full Story… ‘Diggers’ Return to Find More Hatfield-McCoy Relics July 31, 2015 by Gail Hairston LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 31, 2015) — Descendants of both families formally agreed to an end to the infamous feuding of the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky on a national morning news program in 2003. In truth, the families have gathered often in the Tug Fork River valley, site of the McCoys’ former homestead where the vendetta reached its bloody crescendo Jan. 1, 1888. Today, the McCoys’ former property is owned by Bob Scott, a Hatfield descendant, and the Hatfield-McCoy clan gatherings there are respectful and peaceful, even celebratory and life affirming. Such was the atmosphere in November 2014 when members of both clans convened at the old homesite outside Hardy, Kentucky….. Read the Full Story…       The Diggers Episode The Diggers Episode The home of Randall McCoy and the site of the 1888 New Year’s Day battle between the Hatfields and McCoys was recently escavated in search of 125 year old evidence of the feud. The National Geographic show aired an episode with the focus on this privately owned property in Hardy, Ky.   Hardy, Kentucky is home to one of the sites of the Hatifeld McCoy Feud. Bob & Rita Scott opened the site up to digging in hopes of finding the remains of the McCoy family home and were thrilled with the discovery of bullets and other artifacts confirmed as from the era of the Hatfield McCoy Feud. West Virginia University Extension Professor Bill Richardson said, “This is amazing. These appear to be actual bullets fired at the Hatfields by the McCoys in defense of their home. Nothing like this has ever been found before.” More about where it all happend All previous posts about the Hatfield & McCoy Feud Thanks to Bob & Rita Scott What a cool thing for my husband to get to be part of this awesome thing. He so loves the history of the Hatfield McCoy Feud. I am just sure that getting to be part of this episode of the National Geographic Channels Diggers show and to be present for the dig was a thrill for him. That’s him in the photo to the left with KC and Ringy as it aired on Nat Geo. The property is owned by Bob and Rita Scott. They have been so generous to allow people to visit this spot. It sits directly in the back yard of their home so it has to be a bit of an invasion for them to have so many people come see this feud site. But the also love the Feud history and know how important this location is to the history. Related

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Blood Feuds

BLOOD FEUDS Another exciting moment in our area. Blood Feuds, the show on American Heroes Channel came to do an episode about the Hatfield~McCoy Feud. Bill, my husband was interviewed on this episode and talked about the historic family feud. We had several on this episode that did such an amazing job speaking to our history. Reed Potter looked awesome and spoke so well about the feud on this episode, I thought. I am adding the story below from one of the many stories about this but I also want to add a few behind the scenes photos of them filming this one. The Blood Feuds episode can be seen online still and it is worth watching if you are interested in the Hatfields & McCoys. I have tons of things to add to this page so I will update it as I find them.   BLOOD FEUDS The Hatfields and McCoys are coming back to TV in a new show. The American Heroes Channel or AHC will highlight the famous feud in an episode of its series “Blood Feuds.” The show will air at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20. AHC can be found on Channels 287 and 285 on DirecTV, 195 and 192 on DISH Netwok and 316 on Suddenlink. AHC describes the series this way. “Blood Feuds” uncovers fascinating pieces of hidden history as America’s most iconic feuds are brought to life using dramatic recreations, expert interviews, and heart-pumping storytelling. These epic rivalries feature some of the most compelling characters, action-packed conflict, and adrenaline-fueled showdowns from our nation’s past. These are the men and women who changed the course of American history, one monumental grudge match at a time like William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield and Randall McCoy. The show has very realistic re-enactments, high production values and interviews with Feud experts and descendants. Those interviewed for the show include Bill Richardson WVU Extension Associate Professor, Reed Potter, Elmer Hatfield (Descendant) Gary McCoy (Descendant), Adam Warren and others. The local elements of the show were filmed in April of 2015 and the re-enactments were shot later. AHC is part of the Discovery Channel’s suite of networks. It was formerly the Military Channel but was re-branded. It now features shows about American history, war, the Old West and similar topics. The production company who created the show is Lion Television. “AHC has done a number of really great looking shows with high production values,” said Richardson, the Mingo County-based West Virginia University Extension agent and associate professor. “One called ‘Gunslingers’ featured Kurt Russell talking about Wyatt Earp and the OK Corral. And from what I’ve seen of the other episodes of ‘Blood Feud,’ I’m optimistic it will portray our history in an interesting and entertaining way.” Interestingly, the Hatfields and McCoys series comes along at the same time that PBS’s award-winning documentary series, “American Experience” takes a look at the southern West Virginia Mine Wars. That series will premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Richardson, the author of several West Virginia history books including ones on the Hatfield and McCoys feud as well as the Mine Wars, said both TV shows will create interest in heritage tourists visiting the area “Every time one of these shows airs we see renewed interest in the Feud. This in turns brings tourists here and adds money to the economy,” Richardson said. You can learn more about “Blood Feuds” online at Go online at to find out more about travel sites in Southern West Virginia pertaining to the Mine Wars and Hatfields and McCoys.   The Hearld Dispatch Related

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Carnevale 2018

  In February 2018 we had the great pleasure of attending Carnevale in Venice, Itlay. This page is dedicated to the memories from that amazing trip. Over the week while we were in Venice we had four days that we were in costume. During that time it grew exceedingly fun to play with the men who approached me for a photo. I found that after a time I understood the whole idea of wearing a mask to hide and become a new personality. To masquerade became exciting each day. Bill giggled that I had four proposals during the four days. Each time that I received the question it came from a man who would run over to have his turn at a photo with me and would get close enough to look through the mask into my eyes. Later after we got home and started looking at the photos I had several regular visitors to Carnevale explain to me that you should probably black out your eyes so that you look better in the photos. Lordie, we have so much to learn before next year 🙂 Bill teased me that he kept getting cut out of photos by our photographer because he was mesmerized by my blue eyes. I got comments like “Oh your American eyes” and “Bellissimo” but my favorite comments came from little Italian men who said “Oh you will marry me, no !?” It seems Italian men fall in love quickly 😉 Subscribe | Follow Photographer Ilona Blog Posts about Venice Carnevale 2018 The courtyard we are in here is older than America. Serioulsy, that thing was absolutely amazing. It was empty and our photographer got us in a few minutes before it was open so we could take photos inside without anyone else there. It was so bright and white and felt almost sacred inside. It was over a thousand years old. Isn’t that hard to even image. I’m just sure that we are not making things today that are going to be standing a thousand years from now. Carnevale Photos we find on social media It has been so fun to search social media and find strangers photos of us. I had no idea when we went that this was going to happen. We thought we would hire a photographer to do photos of us because we wouldn’t have any of ourselves in the end. Karneval Social Media Strangers These are more of the photos we have found on social media. Just some of our favorites. There are so many I can’t possible find them all but I am going to try to gather a bunch of them up soon. Once I was here I just don’t want to be forgotten I don’t know that I will ever be able to remember everything that I hope to remember about our vacation to Venice. Some days I really can’t focus because my mind is so cluttered with the memories and it feels like I could never forget a single detail. But the truth is I do. I forget most things that are feelings or moments, sweet and precious. I have photos and I look at them often, but I find that the little things that I write down are in the end the things that I get to recycle and experience again in my mind. Does that even make sense? My oldest son is going to be thirty years old in January. That doesn’t seem possible to me. Am I that old? Is my youngest son really going to be 13 in May? Once, I held their little bodies in my arms and fell in love with them. I don’t think I will ever forget those days. Once, I was published in a book. Like in a library. Those don’t exist much anymore. Libraries or books. But someplace there’s a volume sitting on a shelf with words in it that I wrote and a scrapbook page that I designed. It was amazing, and I don’t think I will ever forget how that felt. Once, I held a geocaching event and 518 people showed up in my yard. It was the most amazing thing and I don’t think I will ever forget that day. Once, I stood in front of the Eiffel Tower and I held so tight to the hand of the man that I love truly more than anything that I have ever known. I wore a dress that was huge, and I strolled the streets of Paris like I was a princess and I never take a breath that I don’t think of that day. Once, I stepped out onto the streets of Venice and for that week, I was famous. Thousands of photographers, mobs of people from all over, pushed and shoved to get a photo of me. It was the single most crazy amazing thing ever and I will absolutely never forget that day. I am going to live as much of life here as I am able and experience enough that when I am forced to go, screaming and kicking, I hope I can think to myself that I am satisfied with the life I left behind. Tonight, I watched the movie CoCo with Bill and we both cried at the end. I felt myself thinking that all anyone ever really wants from life is to just not be forgotten. I pray that somehow in my life I have done something that left a mark large enough that when I am gone someone just remembers me. Photographer Daniela Metteo Making our Carnevale Costumes Making our costumes was so fun but intimidating. It’s about all I did for four months. We had never been to Carnevale and to be honest it felt like we were fish out of water. Bill had dreamed of attending his whole life and when we decided to go back to Venice we planned the trip around attending. I started working on the concept but the structure just stumped me. More so than anything else I have ever crafted and y’all know I craft a lot. I just couldn’t figure out how to build something that would be dramatic and still substantial without falling off every time we took a step. I admit it was not comfortable in them. My headpiece weighed 15 pounds and Bills weight more like twenty. My dress weighed so much that my shoulders hurt at the end of the day. Our visibility out of the masks made it hard to navigate the streets with thousands of other tourists. We intended to put them on and wear them for two hours each day. It ended up being ten ! For four days straight we got up and stuffed some breakfast in and put our costumes on and skipped lunch and stood for hours and hours as thousands of people posed with us and took photos of us. Watching them be so excited to get a photo of us or with us made us stand a little longer each day. I admit that now looking back we wish we had seen more of the other costumes but wouldn’t change the experience. After a day I figured out that if I scribbled my email address down and handed it to the professional photographers they would snap a photo of it with intentions of sending us a link later so we could see the photos they had taken. A few of the over three hundred I gave a email address to have actually contacted us and shared a few of their pics. If I could find the thousands and thousands of tourists who we posed with on social media I would take every photo 😉 but Bill keeps telling me I can’t have them all. I really enjoyed creating the costumes and had a sense of pride about saying I had made them when asked. Bills shoes made me smile every single time I saw him. They were just silly fun and he looked adorable in them. The whole time I was making the costumes I just kept adding a little more to them with my scraps and he kept saying….OKAY, THAT REALLY IS ENOUGH 🙂 But in the end when we were there and he saw the photos he finally admitted that I was right on the shoes. (His gold pants drove me nuts when I was sewing them and I still get a kick out of the first pair I made and held up only to realize they were miniature compared to him) Next year maybe I will get to try again. I already have a few ideas. But Bill says I gotta get a job right fast if I want to go back that soon. LOL Subscribe | Follow Photos by Photographer Daria Where are all the Cars? Today I was remembering the transportation in Venice while working on this scrapbook page. One of the things I love most about scrapbooking is how much you think about the thing you are trying to remember with the page while you are making it. In Venice your brain can never really get around there not being cars when you get there. You make the decision you are going to go someplace and it hits you that you can’t just go out and get in the car. There are no cars. That becomes less painful once you get your bearings and realize that you truly can walk across the entire island in about an hour if you don’t get lost. But I wouldn’t count on ever going someplace that you don’t get turned around in Venice. Several times we went out to just roam about and spent about an hour just snapping photos of beautiful doorways. We felt like we were on the other side of the world and we had seen so many things that we didn’t really even care where we were. Suddenly I stopped to catch a photo of Bill standing on a little bridge and as I backed up to get the frame I realized that we were at our hotel and the entire time we had only been on the other side of the building 🙂 Photographer Mark Hohenleitner The Doors and Door Knobs of Venice It seems odd maybe that walking around in circles looking at doors would be something that I find fascinating but if you have ever been to Venice, I know you understand. The tiny little streets lead to even smaller alleys and you never know where the maze will take you. But the one thing you can count on is a beautiful doorway leading to the unknown. ​ I can’t say how many times I have wanted to just knock on the door and say Hello 🙂 But I resist. How odd it must be to live there and always have people roaming around at your door? While lost in Venice you must snap some photos of the doorways and if you have not had the experience of letting yourself be lost in Venice then it is certainly time for vacation. Everything in Venice has texture. If you can’t appreciate peeling paint and cracking walls you may not like it there. I find the washed out, sun faded paint colors to be thrilling and looking at the doorways will sometimes impress me more than the art in the finest museums in the world. ​ (Can you imagine this is your door knob everyday ? I love them !!) When enjoying the doors we started to notice the door knobs as well. It seems there are very artistic door knob makers in Venice. Knobs with handles fashioned to look like what I imagine can only be a person who built or owns the particular building it protects. They look like animals, faces and other fabulous designs. It made me embarrassed for my store bought Lowes, everyday, run of the mill door knob at home. ​ ​ Lets face it, everything,…

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Paris, France

The Wedding Day It was June 14, 2016 and we had just been in Paris a couple days prior. It was our wedding day. Nothing in my lifetime will ever be more amazing than getting married at the Eiffel Tower. Okay, we actually exchanged our vows in front of Notre Dame Cathedral after the wedding photos at the Tower. The entire day was so amazing. GEOCACHE TRACKABLE Those of you who know me know that I am a geocacher at heart. You can see lots more about that on my site page for geocachers. And those of you who are a cacher you will appreciate the trackable number shown in the photo. I had to find a way to include my geocaching hobby in my day. I am certain the photographer thought I was crazy. She didn’t quite understand what she was taking a photo of I think but she played along. If you haven’t already discovered it please feel free to log it.   Our Photographer Gloria made the day seem so much less stressful. She did an amazing job on our photos and I loved every moment of getting to be in Paris and meet her. I am not sure that she does photography now but she made our day last forever with her photos. OUR DAY IN THE SUN It was all about us on our day. I will never forget how special it felt to be in my wedding dress and be on the streets in Paris. Everyone stopped and took photos of us and ran over to wish us happiness. SILLY PHOTOS The photographer told us to turn and let Bil pick me up. He couldn’t do it. I was just too poofy in my dress and his shoes were too slick. The combination made it impossible. So we goofed off and I climbed on his back. She snapped a few photos of the silly moment. Time Changes Time Changes usually work against you. But on this day, the 6 hour time difference came in handy. We got up at 4 in the morning to get ready and meet the photographer but because we had only been in Paris for a day, we were still on West Virginia time and it didn’t hurt as bad as we thought it would. HOW PRETTY This little street is just behind Notre Dame Cathedral. It was like a fairy tale. We loved it here. The second we came around the corner and saw it I knew it was going to be stuck forever in my head. When we went back to Paris in 2018 this is one of the spots we went back to see. It was winter and the snow made it look completely different. When we go to Paris next year, I want to see this spot again in the summer. The Flower Bouquet This is a silly little memory but the day we arrived in Paris we went out to explore to try to find a cute little flower shop where we could get some flowers for a bouquet. We found the cutest little shop that is forever stuck in my mind and a sweet little lady who made me a bouquet of red roses. FAVORITE PHOTOS This is one of my favorite photos. It is the same spot as the photo to the left. The thing that makes me love it so much is that it is the photo that a stranger took of us while we were posing for the photos the photographer was taking of us. The guy, Alex Batusla, was a student in Paris who lived in the U.S. and he was just following us around to snap photos of us. He later gave me his name and I found him on social media and he sent me this photo he had taken. If you blow up the photo to the left you can see him accidentally get into our photographers shot on the far left of the photo. This is the photo he was taking.   Subscribe | Follow MEMORIES FROM THAT DAY It was June 14, 2016 and we had only arrived in Paris the day before. The 6-hour time difference made it so that we both felt like it was way up into the middle of the night when we finally settled in for the evening. Excitement and the full day light outside made it hard to close our eyes. It didn’t get dark until about 10:30 pm. ​The alarm went off at 4:00 am and both of us had long since woke up and started our shower and preparation for the makeup and hair person who would come at 4:15 am to get me ready for the big day. I was so nervous about what I would look like. I am somewhat of a tomboy and the idea of having to dress up and put all the makeup on was really stressing me out. The lady came to the door of our little Parisian room at the Hotel Realis du Louvre and I let her inside and was thankful that she understood far more English than I did French. That large building outside our hotel window really is the Louvre Museum. The most famous museum in the world and inside are some of the most amazing pieces of art the world has ever seen. I will need to do an entire post about those but a good example is that inside the building that I stare at while my hair and makeup is being done you can stand in front of Mona Lisa and feel the warmth of her beautiful smile. ​This is not happening ! It must be a dream 🙂   Get Your Own Godaddy WordPress Site ! THAT STUPID SOCCER BALL During our trip to Paris the Eiffel Tower had a giant soccer ball hanging from it. It was during the World Cup Soccer Games. It was so ugly. I kept looking up at it and wondering why in the world they would hang a giant soccer ball from my beautiful Eiffel? It has taken hours and hours of my life to edit that thing out of our wedding photos. But in some of them, I left it hanging there so we can forever remember it.   TOSS THIS VEIL AWAY My feet did hurt and at one point I threw off my shoes and tossed my veil away at the steps in front of the Tower and slipped on my flip flops and I was completely ready to go. I put my bangs up, which I had secretly been dying to do from the start and tossed off the veil and we enjoyed the photos so much more at that point. Once we relaxed and time had passed there were lots more tourists and we had crowds of people who took our photo and followed us about. I regret not taking more photos in my veil. Once I took it off it was over. I gave it to the photographer and literally never saw it again. A FEW PHOTOS FROM THE TROCADERO GOLDEN MOMENT These shots are the only ones where I was wearing my veil. I took it off because it was driving me crazy in the wind and lost it. Yikes, LOL. Well, I didn’t really loose it. I gave it to the photographer and forgot it and never got it back. Spectacular View When I look back on this day, these steps are for sure one of the things that stands out most. Just being there and looking at the Tower from this spot was so amazing. It is so big and just sits right there in the middle of everything. I love this spot. It is not my very favorite spot there, but it is very close. FOREVER, PLEASE He treated me like I was a princess this day. But I found out later that, he would treat me this good everyday. He makes the possibility of forever seem like something I want to do. SO DANG CLOSE UP Did I mention that I don’t usually wear makeup ? OMG, it was so hard to let someone put makeup on my face that morning. I just let her go and trusted that it would be okay. I didn’t feel pretty as much that day as I wish now I had. He kept telling me that I was but I am such a tomboy. Looking back, I know that I will never be as pretty as the photos made me look on my wedding day. I love that day. Every girl should feel beautiful on their wedding day. THE LOUVRE MUSEUM ​The Louvre Museum was something that Bill had spent his entire life wanting to see. So getting to be there that morning and grab some shots before the tourists got so bad was cool. These shots were in front of the huge Pyramids in one of the courtyards around the inside of the Louvre buildings. I confess that Bill broke off a tiny piece of the corner of one of the columns in the courtyard and brought it home with us. (Yes, he is rotten) The piece was already broken, I swear, but he couldn’t resist taking a piece that was hanging there. We have a little bottle that has pieces of France and Italy inside. LOL, I even have a piece of the Colosseum. ​Certainly, one of my favorite parts of my beautiful dress was how much it made me feel like a Princess. I bet I spun around a thousand times in it and Bill held my hand and guided me about like I would break the entire day. OUR PHOTOGRAPHER Our Photographer was a sweet young girl named Gloria Villa. She was with a company called KissMeInParis and she made the day seem more like we were hanging out with friends. ​The day was not beautiful, and the forecast was for rain but thankfully it didn’t rain a drop until the last ten minutes of the shoot. The following days that we were traveling I was so jealous of how blue the sky was and how pretty the photos would have been with that big blue sky behind us. But again, At least it was not raining on our big day and how can you complain when you have the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop for your wedding photos. Just as we quit taking photos it began to rain. I really love that Tower. It was even bigger than I had dreamed all my life. No matter where you went in Paris you could look back and see it there. I bet when it was red it was even more beautiful.   DAY DREAMING The photo of me sitting on the steps is a bit blurry but I love it just the same. I love it because I didn’t really know she was taking my photo and I was day dreaming while waiting for her to get ready again. When I look back at the photos I admit that I love my hair and makeup. I wish now that then I could have known how wonderful the photos were going to turn out. I think I would have been much less stressed out if I had known how well the dress was going to look in pictures.       THE VERA WANG DRESS When I posted the photos on Facebook I was of course so excited to share them. I had a friend who commented that I had too much “boob” for a bride. It made me mad for two seconds but when I look at the photos today I am really happy that I picked the exact dress that I did. I tried on a bunch of them and I felt like I was too old for a wedding dress. I kept thinking I looked like an old lady trying to have her youthful dream wedding. But when I look at the photos…

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