Milk And Cookie Time

 Posted by at 12:48 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 242012

Well, the big night we’ve all waited for is almost here! Santa’s elves are loading his sleigh right now up at the North Pole and he’ll be hitching up his reindeer any time now. Have you been naughty or nice?

Last year on this day, Miss Terry made up a fresh batch of her delicious peanut butter cookies and left them out at bedtime with a big glass of milk and told me they were for the jolly little fat man from the north. Well, we were in Florida and we had driven down from Ohio a few weeks earlier, and that’s north, right? So could she really blame me for scarfing down those goodies as a midnight snack?

It was a little bit warmer yesterday, though not by much. Terry worked on her first project on her Ashford rigid heddle loom most of the day, and it looked pretty good to me. That pretty lady had a big smile on her face and was sure having a good time. I love to see her happy like that.

First Weaving Project 3

Finished 2

While she was doing that, I knocked out another 3,400 words on my new Big Lake book. I’m closing in on the halfway point and it’s rolling right along.

I’m a big believer in giving something back to society, and a lot of RVers we know have found many unique ways to do just that. Some are involved in service organizations like Habitat for Humanity, building houses for the poor. Some feed the hungry at soup kitchens. Others collect toys, books and clothing to take to orphanages in Mexico.

Still others volunteer at state and national parks, at historical sites, at museums, and on and on. I’ve even known RVers who walk dogs at animal shelters around the country. We all have our talents and interests, and no matter how much time we have available or what our physical limitations are, we can all do something to make this world a better place.

One interesting way to help make a difference was in a book I came across recently, titled Hey America Your Roots Are Showing, written by Megan Smolenyak, a professional genealogist who works with the Army’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), which is responsible for identifying the remains of American servicemen and contacting their families to arrange for their homecoming.

Through her work with the military, Smolenyak, who at one time was the chief family historian for, came to realize that it’s not only the military that has a backlog of unidentified remains. Coroners offices in every corner of America have unclaimed people who end up in potter’s fields because their families cannot be traced, even though the deceased’s name may be known. So she helped form a group called Unclaimed Persons, which is made up of genealogists who volunteer to help research these unfortunate peoples’ family trees to find their next of kin. It something that anyone with an internet connection and an interest in genealogy can do.

Another interesting thing Terry and I do is to help people who are doing family research by photographing headstones in small cemeteries around the country for Find A Grave. People will list a name or names and the cemetery where they are buried, and volunteers find the graves and post photos of the headstones. It gives us an opportunity to get some exercise in the great outdoors, we enjoy learning about so many lives and the history of people in an area we’re visiting, and we hopefully we can help someone find their long lost relatives’ headstones.

Thought For The Day – Character is determined by how you treat those who can do nothing at all for you.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “Milk And Cookie Time”

  1. Nick i met a busnut here in Yuma last season that is part of a group that locates and inters the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans. You would be surprised at how many there are. Their website is

  2. Nick, I hope that you and Miss Terry have a most joyous Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

  3. You are both weavers – she makes gorgeous cloth and you weave stories.

  4. Just read the first Big Lake story and was thrilled. After listening to you talk about it for all these months, it was the first E-book we got after getting our I-pod and using the Kindle App. Just downloaded the second story and am looking forward to reading it.
    Having spent 12 years in the Phoenix area, really appreciated the geographical accuracy. Fun book, good job!

  5. Thanks Dave, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  6. YOU are some of the ones taking photos for findagrave?? I thank you!! Because someone did that, I was able to learn a GREAT deal, a couple years ago, about my great grandma’s line, whom none of my cousins seemed to know about either…as a result in a little teeny place in the road that had only a teeny tiny church and graveyard (NO homes nearby…so much have been a village long ago) in Alabama. On those gravestones were the names of her mother who died when she was only 6 years old, and right next to them was the graves of both parents and with THEIR parents names on them too…that led me on Ancestry to locating (if it is correct…one always needs to do the homework) but any rate, I have established that once I get only 4 generations studied out, well…it seems I am a descendant of Pricilla Mullins and John Alden (along with thousands of others…heh, helps to have 10 kids who have kids, etc). My Grampie always said, “Well, we came over on the Mayflower, you know.” We would laugh and say, “Yea, right Grampie.” He did not know more than that and being the huge jokester he was, we just thought he was kidding…it seems he was right. I am anxious to get those other 4 ancesters documentations that prove the line is correct on Ancestry and then I will know for sure. Funny to me, is that had I been Pricilla, I would have said the VERY same remark back to John Alden…heh, they say the apple does not fall too far from the tree!! So again, from me, THANKS so much for being a part of this. Hubby and I are not able quite yet to become fulltime RVers, but it is a very strong possibility within this next year (once we finish helping out one daughter having another child)!! But we think photographing and helping people look for ancestry links is indeed a fun thing!! We learned a lot by going to the old courthouse where our Alabama kin lived too…so much not online anywhere is also in the old courthouses…and those records may not last a lot longer cause they are not taken care of…you handle them with no gloves required, etc etc…appalling really…

    Happy Holidays and good eating…and oh, tell Terry her skills are amazing with the weaving as well!!

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