About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - the Toy Shelf

Remember any of these? These sit on the shelf in the "frog room" (the kids' room) at our house - nice and high and away from little fingers. Ah, memories.


  1. The knitting spools look interesting. I had that, but it was actual nails driven into actual spools. I don't believe I ever saw it packaged for sale.

  2. Yep, they do, and they are the first things those "little fingers" think they want to touch and grab!! Good thing you don't have anything they can use to climb up there!!!

  3. Oh yeah, I still remember the time that Anya "accidently" took one of the frogs!!

  4. Well, most frogs in that room are fair game. Otherwise, the rule is "if you have to climb on something to get a toy or object, you need to come get Grandma!" And we review the rule every visit. Some of the things I let them play with (usually with close supervision, though).

  5. I had a painted knitting spool, but also used the home-made sort like GrannyPam. I can't remember what you were supposed to make with all those long knitted tails though...

  6. I see those pickup sticks - my sister and I played for hours on the linoleum floor of the old house we grew up in Inglewood, CA.