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.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

On Groundhog eve

It is the eve of groundhog day . . . it appears that (in California) tomorrow will be sunny, which will be nice to experience but which will cause any groundhogs to see their shadows, giving us 6 more weeks of winter. That is not a pleasant thought (and even less so for those of you in the east).

We returned from our tour of Northern California and Oregon and had a marvelous time! The weather was perfect (no snow or rain, until the last day, coming home from Sacramento). We met up with family and friends throughout the entire trip. My programs in Napa, CA and Medford, OR both went well, as did our experience at the folk festival in Florence, OR. We had a great visit with old friend Tom Paxton and enjoyed some marvelous music.

Now back in Southern Calif., we are preparing for my annual gathering of friends from all over the world (furthest traveler this year: from Guam) to view videos, eat, visit and tell stories, and do some singing. This occurs every year at about groundhog day, but won't happen until the weekend of Feb 6th. I have also been busy writing our annual groundhog letter (akin to most people's Christmas or holiday letter, telling what has happened with the family over the past year). To read this letter, go to Groundhog Letter.

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