Sunday, September 23, 2012


We join the National Zoo and all panda lovers in mourning the death of the week old panda cub at the National Zoo.  Details are in the Washington Post.

Cause of death is being determined. Many baby pandas do not survive to adulthood. We had happy hopes for this cub and we are very sad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brief Personal Note: a month of difficulties

I usually don't write about my daily life - too boring. Well, that hasn't changed but the past few weeks have been a bit challenging. I have temporarily slowed work on my family tree project, and here is why, complete with a few timely cautions about safety at home.

For Christmas I received a lovely pair of soft, quilted, fur trimmed (fake fur) slippers. My feet were warm and comfortable, and even though the comfy slippers were a size too large, I wanted to keep them.

We put some large area rugs on the wood floors when we moved into our new home last year, but I frequently stumbled on them because of an old injury - my feet don't pick up as they ought. (You can see where this combination is heading, right?)

A few weeks ago, I picked up two pretty water glasses and headed into the kitchen to refill them for an afternoon session on the Internet, documenting our family tree.  Approaching the kitchen sink, I stumbled over the throw rug in my loose slippers, thrown forward and putting out my hands toward the granite counter. I missed the countertop but the drinking glasses hit the edge of the granite, my forehead hitting the glass tumblers hard as I went down.    Both glasses shattered between my head and the granite counter.

I ended up with cuts on both hands, a long cut over the left eye, a slight fracture and cuts over the bridge of the nose, a smashed lip, and deep cuts over the right eye, nicking a small artery.

We have an excellent volunteer fire department and emergency responders, or I might not be writing this today. I needed stitches and several weeks to heal.

I have read that, statistically, the most dangerous place is one's own home. Now I'm a believer.

After weeks away from research I was enjoying a snack of roasted almonds when my lower right molar cracked apart.

A week later I was in the dental chair nearly two hours, for a root canal and then installation of the permanent crown. Very tender mouth and back on pain killers. Pain + pain killers = fuzzy brain, so work on the family tree again slowed down while I healed.

My message is - watch out for loose slippers, area rugs and nuts.

Soon Pandababy expects to be adding more regular entries, sharing discoveries on relatives distant in time and space, culture and language.

Meanwhile, everyone stay safe whenever you are in that most dangerous of environments - the home.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A NEW Pandababy!

Congratulations to Mei Xiang at the National Zoo in Washington D.C.  She gave birth to a baby panda last night, and we are celebrating.

Here is a link to the Washington Post article, with embedded videos. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Documenting Legendary Trees

AETHELBERHT I,  who married Bertha of Paris, was King of Kent, England from about 580 or 590 to his death  24 February 616. He is thought to have been born around 552 to 560.

(1) In his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, the eighth-century monk Bede lists Aethelberht as the third king to hold imperium over other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. In the late ninth century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Æthelberht is referred to as a bretwalda, or "Britain-ruler". He was the first English king to convert to Christianity.

Although Saint AEthelberht died one-thousand four-hundred fifty-two years ago, his Wikipedia biography references six primary sources and nine secondary sources.

The concept that people contemporary with my 40th great-grandfather wrote about him, and those writings are known to us today, may be the most mind-boggling fact from a tree full of surprises. Or perhaps the most astounding fact is that people who are far more qualified and experienced than I, who have traced their trees far back in time with these sources, have shared them on the Internet. I am grateful that people like me can find where our ancestors may merge with their tree.

 Mr. Marlyn Lewis, of Portland, Oregon is one such compiler, and for anyone doing research in New England, Virginia, England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany or Switzerland, I recommend his site, Our Royal, Titled, Noble and Commoner Ancestors & Cousins.

 Whether one regards such ancient branches on the family tree as mere legend, or as documented history, it is fascinating to me to view the events of the past through the lens of an ancestor. I hope to add more posts about Legendary Trees in the future. 

(1) from Wikipedia - Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; see Æthelberht of Kent