Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, From Nancy

This is our Lake Helen train ride for the Christmas lights in the neighborhoods -- down dirt and paved streets in this area. We have a blast with doing this even when we freeze like we did Monday night (you can see how bundled up everyone is -- it was downright cold that night for the ride) but boy did we have a good time!!!

Curtis has his girlfriend Jessica, Rob has his son Casey, and then there's the rest of us--Donnie, Sarah, Faith and Graham, Cynthia, Jerry, Gabby and Mickey and Sal, and me.

The other pictures are from yesterday when our two neighborhood Sandhill Cranes (they are protected birds in Florida) roamed my yard looking for food -- check out the last pictures of Punkin, my male cat, inside the house looking out at the bird approaching him.

They are real friendly -- course, they're always looking to see if you have a handout also (not supposed to feed them tho -- you know, friend for life type of thing -- always pooping on your doorstep waiting for the handout.

Love to all, have a great New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Glenn and Alison were playing Christmas carols tonight on our piano, and as we all sang along, it took me back to yesteryear—you know, when we stood around our piano at 2846, Mom playing, and all of us kids attempting to sing the carols.

I remember popping popcorn and then stringing popcorn and cranberries for the tree, throwing tinsel at the branches as we chomped on Christmas cookies, checking to see if we really did see Santa’s whiskers at the window that Dad swore he saw as we dawdled going to bed…

And, of course, on Christmas morning, we Kinsellas all sat on the stairs between the first and second floors, not allowed to step foot on that hallowed first floor ground.

Finally, the call would go up—when the grown ups had their coffee and had already claimed their chairs—and we were allowed to race pell mell into the living room where our tree and our presents awaited us.

In the earlier years, the race was to see just what presents Santa left us. In the later years, the race was REALLY to grab the best seats left to us, because it was a LONG morning to be sitting on the floor. One of the most important aspects of the seating arrangement, however, was the amount of space around it—you had to keep open a spot for your stash. Thus, to be in the middle of the couch was NOT a prime choice.

I will miss being at Mom and Dad’s on Christmas, but I am sure that the hubbub will be just as crazy as I remember.

Love to all of you today….A few bits of Christmas carols:

Away in a Manger—I have always loved this one-

Away in a manger,
no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head,
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

And, Celebrate Me Home, by Loggins and Messina.
One year, Beth and I created a slide show of us kids through out the years. I think we both were home from college, and it just felt so good to finally be home and see the beautifully familiar faces of our family. As the pictures changed, we played this song—

Home for the holidays,
I believe I've missed each and every face,
Come on and play my music,
Let's turn on the love light in the place

Please, celebrate me home,
Give me a number,
please, celebrate me home
Play me one more song,
That I'll always remember,
I can recall,whenever I find myself too all alone,
I can make believe I've never gone,
I never know where I belong,
Sing me home.

So, to all of our cousins and relatives, have a very Merry Christmas.

We may not sing exceptionally well,
we will always Celebrate you Home.

Love you all,


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cousins Recipes: Happy Feasting!

Here are some ideas for the upcoming holidays, or whenever. We have talented relatives in this family, and here are but a few of their ideas for eats!

Aunt Lil’s Lemon Sponge Custard:
Joyce Henderson writes: I have not made this recipe in probably thirty years. I would say it takes 30-45 minutes to bake. Use toothpick—cake top should come out clean, but bottom is pudding.

3T. melted butter
1 lemon—juice and rind
1 C. sugar
2 eggs—separated
½ tsp. salt
½ C. flour
2 C. milk
Mix butter, lemon juice, rind, sugar, egg yolks and salt. Add milk—gradually stir in flour until smooth.Fold in beaten egg whites. Put in casserole dish (Set in pan of hot water) and Bake at 350 degrees. Makes a cake-like top and pudding in the bottom.

On same sheet of hand written recipes is—
Aunt Lil’s Grape Juice Pudding:

1 C. grape juice
1 C. water
½ C. sugar
few grains salt
3 T. corn starch
Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt. Heat grape juice. Add dry ingredients to Hot juice. Stir until smooth and thick.
Cook in double boiler 5 minutes. Put in mold. Serve with cream or whipped cream.

Aunt CB sends along Ethel B. Taylor’s Date Pudding:

1 C. dates—cut up
1 tsp. soda
Add 1 C. boiling water and
½ C. shortening (it will melt)
Let sit 15 minutes.

1 C. sugar
1 2/3 C. flour
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
Grease 6 ½ inch by 10 inch or 8 inch by 8 inch pan—40 minutes at 350 degrees

1 T. flour or cornstarch
1 T. butter
½ C. sugar
1 C. water
1 tsp. vanilla
Boil to thicken

From Doris Hawkes:
Blender Custard Pie

4 eggs
2 C. milk
1 C. sugar
½ C. flour
1 stick oleo (cut up)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. coconut
pinch salt—nutmeg
Blend all ingredients except coconut for 1 minute in blender. Mixture will look curdled. After blending, stir in coconut. Pour into greased, floured 9 inch pie plate. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Bake 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees. It will separate and make its own crust.

From Ann Taylor Catherman,
Cranberry Fruit Jello:

1Can (20OZ) Crushed Pineapple, in juice
2Pkg. (3OZ) Raspberry Flavored Gelatin
1Can (16OZ) Whole berry Cranberry Sauce
2/3 C. Chopped Walnut pieces (I use whatever nuts I have at home)
1 Apple, chopped

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough water to juice to measure 2 ½ Cups.
Pour into saucepan. Bring to boil. Pour over Gelatin mixes in large bowl.
Stir two minutes until completely dissolved.
Stir in pineapple, cranberry sauce, walnuts and apple.
Pour into bowl—chill for 2 and ½ hours
Or, spoon into 24 paper lined muffin cups. Refrigerate them until firm. Then, before serving, remove liners.
Ann writes: “HOPE YOU WILL TRY THIS AND ENJOY!!!!!!!!”

From Julie Lochner Riber:

Mom’s Baked Beans:

Everyone should remember Mom's baked beans. They were always the best of the best at least I thought so.

2 C. Navy pea beans
1 t. baking soda
1 T. ham base
1 med onion
½ # bacon
¼ c. molasses
½ - 2/3 c. brown sugar
1 t. seasonall
½ t. garlic powder

Put dry beans in pot with enough water to cover and soak overnight. Drain, rinse and return beans to pot with baking powder, ham base and enough water to cover. Cook at a boil for 2 hours till almost-mushy stage. Drain and reserve the bean juice. Place half the beans in casserole dish. Layer with half the onions and bacon cut into small pieces. Layer with remainder of beans, the rest of the onion and top with 2” pieces of bacon. Measure 2 c. of reserved bean juice into saucepan. Add molasses, brown sugar, seasonall and garlic powder. Heat through. Pour over beans. Add more juice if needed to cover beans. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Gulliver’s Corn:
a recipe a girlfriend passed on to me, and it's been a favorite ever since
2 Pkg. (20 oz. total) corn 4-5 T. sugar
½ pt.whipping cream pinch white or cayenne pepper
1 c. milk 2 T. melted butter
1 t. salt 2 T. flour
Combine all but butter and flour. Bring to boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Blend butter & flour. Stir into corn mixture. Boil till thickened. Remove from heat.

Key Lime Cheesecake:
The Key Lime Cheesecake was one I made up while visiting my friend Judi in Santa Monica for Christmas one year. She has a lime tree in her backyard, and it was a bumper crop that year. As is "Taylor" typical, I couldn't stand to see all those limes go to waste. So I made a plain cheesecake, then filling for a key lime pie which I poured all over the top. Yum!

1 ½ C. Graham Cracker Crumbs
¼ C. melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together. Press into bottom and partially up the sides of a ten inch spring form pan. Bake five minutes and cool.

4 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese
1 c. sugar
2 eggs and 4 whites (the other 4 yolks go into the lime topping)
¼ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla
Cream the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and vanilla. Spray the sides of cooled springform pan with cooking spray. Pour mixture into pan. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes till it’s firm and starts to crack on top. Cool.

4 egg yolks (saved from cheesecake)
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 lime rind, grated
juice of 4 limes
Blend egg yolks & milk. Slowly add lime juice to taste, then rind. Beat till it thickens. Pour over cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least a couple hours.


From Marylou Taylor Spear:

For over 40 years I have been on many occasions a cook. My employers on occasion have give me a title of Chef. I have also been a vegetarian for most of those many years sooo, I am going to send you my favorite recipes for a soup of protein and vegetables, bread and cookies.

In this picture of Marylou, who works at Strawberry Creek Country Club, she had just made 30 gallons of strawberry jam. She writes: “It was 100 degrees in the kitchen--ha, ha all for the love of food.”

Minestrone Soup:

1 onion diced
2 carrots diced
2 stalks celery diced
2 potatoes diced
1 cup green beans
1 can white beans
1 can red beans
1 8oz can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
1 8oz can V-8 juice
1 can vegetable broth
1 Tblsp mixed dried herbs(basil, oregano,thyme)
1 cup small pasta
In a large pot with 2tblsps of olive oil cook, onion,celery,potato,and herbs for 6 min.Add all liquids and bring to boil.Add green beans, white beans,red beans and pasta. Cook for an addition 20 min. Serves 6 ( double if you have a family like mine.)

Squaw Bread:

Prepare dough using 2 cups flour(white,wheat or combination),1/2 tsp baking powder,1 tsp. salt, and 2Tbsp milk.Knead until dough comes together.Divide dough into 6 parts, shape into a round tortilla about the size of a small iron skillet about 1/8 inch thick . Fry the bread in about 1/4 inch of hot oil. Turn and fry both side about 2 min. Serve warm with honey and butter.

Sugar Cookies:
This recipe for sugar cookies has been around since my sister Ann received the recipe in an Easter card when she was six. I of course latched on to it and have used it ever since.

1 half pound butter(2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract( or lemon)
2 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar together, add eggs one at a time beat well. Add vanilla. In separate bowl mix flour,salt and baking powder.
Gradually add flour to wet ingredients and stir well. Chill dough 1 hour. These can be rolled to 1/4 inch and cut with cookie cutters or shaped into balls and flattened with sugar coated glass. I usually use this recipe at Christmas and make tons of cut outs with frosting and embellishments.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

THANK YOU to all who sent recipes-- We appreciate it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

CLARA TAYLOR HENRY: 1855-1904, By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Clara Elizabeth Rockwell Taylor Henry was another of our amazing relatives; how I wish I could have known her! She was a writer and a poet, as well as a mother, but both her literary and actual life were shorter than would have been hoped.

Clara was Aunt CB’s great-aunt, big sister to Bryant (Aunt CB’s grandfather, also known as B.W.), Carlton and Orrin. She was born to Cordelia and Daniel Taylor at Woodlawn, the family farm in Oakfield, NY on August 19th, 1855. Clara died at age 48, leaving her husband William, and her only son, Arnon.

Clara went to Cary Seminary School in Oakfield, and then Eastern University, graduating at the age of 21. She married William Arnon Henry in 1881 at age 25; the following year, they had an only son, Arnon Taylor Henry.

Her husband, William, a graduate of Cornell, took a job at the University of Wisconsin; he became instrumental in changing Wisconsin’s troubled farm economy towards dairy farming. The book “Fifty Famous Farmers” (published in 1924) highlighted Henry as one of the fifty American farmers worth noting. To honor William, the University of Wisconsin named the main entrance to the campus of the College of Agriculture--The Henry Quadrangle. It is known today as the Henry Mall.

Clara’s mother, Cordelia, kept a diary most of her adult life, so we can follow parts of Clara’s life through her mother’s writings. Clara had troubles with her eyes for much of her life, and her mother often wrote of her fears for Clara.

On one journey home from Wisconsin, in the summer of 1892, with Clara and young son Arnon at Woodlawn, Cordelia writes:

“Aug. 20th: A lovely day. Daniel takes Clara into Oakfield to arrange for going to New York on Monday. Patient child. May the Lord send healing to the poor dear eyes…..comes back with no news from doctor….”
Even Aunt CB, our medical detective in the family, is not sure what was wrong with her eyes. Clara often had to be in darkened rooms as she was in intense pain from her eyes.

Somewhere in these years, Clara found time to continue her poetry, for “The Magazine of Poetry” in 1894 includes Clara--

In this magazine, as a prelude to her poems, fellow writer and poet, Amelia M. Starkweather writes of Clara:
“Mrs. Henry’s intense nature, her love of poetry and ability to express the same in words were inherited from her mother and early manifested. Although she has written but little, her poems display marked ability. Had Mrs. Henry continued exercising her gift as a writer, she would have no doubt ranked high as a poet. But serious trouble with her eyes has compelled her to lay down her pen and remain at home in great seclusion, which is the only shadow that falls the household to mar the happiness of the trio, herself, her devoted husband and lovely little boy.”

Two of Clara’s poems are—


Filled with sweetness, rich completeness,
Flowing wine of ruby days,
June the matchless, June the peerless,
Crowns the year with diamond rays.

Rarest gem in nature’s setting,
Pure as pearl in ocean hold,
Golden rim of sunlight falling
Girds thee close in fretted mold.

Fancy lingers near the portal
Where the changing months appear,
Touching each with magic pencil,
Witching priestess of the year.

Yet the June month is her darling,
And a robe of fairy sheen
Folds the dainty, graceful being
With the halo of a queen.

Glowing gifts and shining treasure
Doth the royal hand bestow;
Boons unstinted, without measure,
In a thousand channels flow.

Wealth of bloom and leafing perfect
Now the waiting world endow;
Sounds in tone of every insect,
“Summer’s crown in on her brow.”

Roses blush with hearts of crimson;
Tintings rare that shells illume
Blend with purest buds that whiten;
Censers sweet the air perfume.

And another of Clara’s poems:


A flight of birds to the southward,
And a moaning wind from the northward,
The wheeling sun is quick to run
His appointed way and the day is done.

A brighter gleam in the starlight,
And a cooler glow in the noonlight,
A longer tend in the shadow’s trend
Where the larches nod and the willows bend.

A breath of flowers going skyward,
And a cloud of leaves falling earthward,
With sunset tint in richest print,
Bright mosaic rare, with a golden glint.

A crisping sound on the roadside,
And a dreamy haze on the hillside.
With golden sweep of sunlight deep
O’er the bosky dell and the rocky steep.

From twilight dim to the sunrise,
And through all the day to the star-rise,
A shifting play of color gay,
Or a somber thread of shading gray.

Beth Kinsella Sakanishi, our resident poet, writes about Mutations from her home in Japan:

“I think ‘Mutation’ and ‘June’ are the most accessible of her poems, and she has some lovely images and sounds in both.

From ‘Mutation’ I like the middle stanzas the best:

A brighter gleam in the starlight,
And a cooler glow in the noonlight,
A longer tend in shadow’s trend
Where the larches nod and the willows bend.

A breath of flowers going skyward,
And a cloud of leaves falling earthward,
With sunset tint in richest print,
Bright mosaic rare, with a golden glint.

She has all sorts of interesting echoing sounds and internal rhymes that make the poem musical. In the first stanza above, the ‘gleam’ and ‘glow’ and the double ‘oo’s in ‘cooler’ and ‘noonlight’ in the first two lines, and the ‘l’s and ‘s’s in the last two (longer, shadow’s, larches, willows) echo off each other. Also, she has a neat habit of internal rhyme: the ‘tend’ of the second line, rhyming with the end ‘trend’ and the end rhyme ‘bend’ in the next line, with a near rhyme of ‘nod’ in the middle of the line, just where ‘tend’ is above. This ties together words and sounds more closely and gives the poem a nice lilt.

I also really like some of her phrasing, here, in the second stanza above. She is painting a picture, as an artist would, showing you in words what she sees in all directions: the ‘breath’ of flowers skyward, while the leaves fall downward (yet, in a nice reversal, she uses a sky word, ‘cloud’ to describe the leaves). Lastly, the sunset is the background of her picture, and she uses beautiful imagery here to give it texture: colors as vivid and sharp and elegant as something done in a ‘richest print’, and the layers and rich array of shades she conveys with the phrase ‘mosaic rare’.

Finally, she does here, in the last two lines, what she did in the previous stanza, using that internal rhyme again: ‘tint’ and ‘print’ picking up the ‘glint’ at the end. All three are words for color as well as texture and they add a nice complexity to the picture she’s given us.

She has a sensitive ear and is good at ‘coloring’ her poem with imagery and movement.”—

Thank you, Beth!

When Our Clara dies in Wisconsin of heart trouble at age 48, it is difficult to read Cordelia’s emotional diary account as she relates her daughter’s death. Cordelia, who all her life expected to die young, had outlived her daughter.

But, Cordelia’s faith in God was very personal and strong, so she must have taken comfort in her daughter’s last words; Clara’s husband, William, said that as Clara lay dying, she opened her eyes and said to him “It is so beautiful.”

On July 8th in 1904, Cordelia writes: “As she desired, the burial will be in our Oakfield cemetery today. We all go down and lay her to rest with flowers and ferns in abundance. Our dear boys and Carson brothers as bearers. She was the sunshine of her home and wherever she was. Sweet heavenly rest is thine, dear daughter and how beautiful that you will be there to welcome father and mother and the separation will not be long.”

Per Clara’s wishes, her beloved piano was shipped east to her niece, Clara Taylor (sister to Lloyd and Floyd). And, William Henry ever after, when he found himself in New York State, as he was often to speak or confer at Cornell, always came and visited Clara’s parents, Cordelia and Daniel.

Clara—Great Great Aunt to me, glad to know at least a bit about you and your life! Thank you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Welcome to the World, William Colley!

Proud Grandpa Charlie Hawkes writes:

This is William Charles Colley, born December 9, 2009 at 8:12 A.M.

He is 7 pounds 11 ounces and 19.5 inches long.

Mom and son are both doing fine.

More Later! Charlie

Charlie promises more and better pictures to follow, but this one is great!

Congratulations to all!!
And, our young William is born on Aunt Esther's 88th Birthday...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Birthdays, Part One:

Happy December!

In history on December First,

-- 1913-- Ford Company introduces the first moving assembly line
-- 1955-- Rosa Parks gets on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama and refuses to give up her seat to a white person
-- 1990--The Chunnel connecting the United Kingdom and France meet under the seabed

And, in our TaylorBaker Family History, We have birthdays!

In the Gladys Wood family, Allena Ruth Smerchansky (daughter of Beth Barrons) and
Wendy Lee Wood Osterhout (daughter of Gladys) and her daughter
Sara Grace Osterhout are December Kids Celebrating the month.

Picture One: Allena, Beth—her mother—and Sylva at the Baker Reunion
Picture Two: Wendy and Sara, her daughter

In Uncle Arnon’s family, we have Arnon Lloyd Taylor himself, his children Nancy Carolyn Taylor Wright and George Laurens Taylor, George’s son Adam Samuel Taylor, Jacob Robert Desgroseilliers (Barbara's son, grandson of Bob Taylor) and
William Patrick McCarty (Diana’s husband) as the Birthday Kiddos.

Picture One: Maria and Arnon at Ann Taylor’s wedding, June 1980
Picture Two: Jacob
Picture Three: Bill McCarty
Picture Four: Nancy

December Birthdays, Part Two:

In Aunt Esther’s family, The Birthdays extend to the birthday girl herself, Esther Mildred Taylor Lochner.

In Leona’s family, Dorothy Jean Maffei ( Leona’s daughter) is the birthday girl.

In Uncle Harold’s family, Kathleen Taylor Mills, her daughter-- Yvonne Michelle Hauf Baley, and Matthew Taylor Spear ( MaryLou’s son) are the Birthday Kids.

Picture One: Lloyd Taylor and daughter, Esther, June 1967
Picture Two: Kathy Taylor and Dorothy Maffei at the Baker Reunion
Picture Three: Yvonne and Tom at cousin Jessica’s wedding in Autumn 2008
Picture Four: Matthew, Jesse and Dan

December Birthdays, Part Three

In Phyllis’ family, Levi Wendell Henderson, son of David Henderson, grandson of Wendell, and Kelly Renee Walker ( daughter of Dawn, granddaughter of Phyllis) celebrate this month.

In Aunt Dot’s family, Joseph Michael Gabrys (Cindy’s husband) and Jonathan Paul Colley (son of Kristyne, grandson of Charlie Hawkes) have birthdays.

In Sylva’s family, Frederick F. Emhof ( Sylva’s husband) has a birthday this month.

Picture One: Levi
Picture Two: Kelly at Phyllis’ grave in Center Lisle
Picture Three : Joe Gabrys
Picture Four: Jonathan, cool Biker dude that he is…
Picture Five: Freddy, July 1955

December Birthdays, Part Four

In the Aunt CB family, the Birthday Kids are:
Madeline Kate Kinsella—Jim’s daughter, Daniel John Kinsella, Thomas Edward Kinsella (his Fiftieth!!), Glenn Arthur Herdeg--Pat’s husband (his Fiftieth Also!!), Alexander Brown Kinsella ( Sue’s son) and
Margaret Rose Kinsella (Chris’ daughter).
Picture One: Maggie with a frog at Roaring Brook Reunion
Picture Two: Pat, Alison and Glenn
Picture Three: Tom
Picture Four: Dan
Picture Five: Alex
Picture Six: Maddy on her horse, Roaring Brook