About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Sunday, February 23, 2020


It has been a very, very long time since I wrote in the blog for Circlemending (over 2 years, I'm embarrassed to admit). I have submitted posts for a number of other blogs, but at the expense of spending time on my own. This is a good time to change that . . . considering this "the sequel" to my "Circlemending Blog" (not to be confused with that "B" horror movie with Steve McQueen, "The Blob" - always a favorite for me).

As many reading this may know, my husband is very ill (pancreatic cancer, complicated by congestive heart failure, pulmonary issues, diabetes, and gastrointestinal complications) so much of my time has been dealing with him and the various elements that are included in being a primary caregiver. I have ended up with some physical issues as well as psychological ones, but nothing life threatening, as long as a manage things appropriately. Which I try to do.

So how has life changed now that we are both feeling age in every joint and muscle (what is left of those)? In many ways, not at all. We still argue about the same things (but tire faster so most arguments are rather short . . . plus, we forget what we’re arguing about within a few minutes, anyway); still plan to do the things we have done in the past (but are always prepared to change plans and directions – a trip to a museum may find us going a different direction, towards the Veterans Administration Hospital in Loma Linda); we continue to pray thanks for our blessings, but recognize that not all blessings are filled with happiness and joy, but are opportunities to get to know “new” friends who show up at the door to assist us with one task or another. And we still have music in a very prominent position in our lifestyle.

We are being very careful not to put ourselves in a vulnerable position, as far as getting exposed to colds or diseases; my immune system is compromised by my newly acquired asthma and my uncanny ability to “catch” any germ within a mile or so, and Butch is on chemo so that comes with a danger to the immune system, and the doctor has been very clear that he is to minimize or eliminate exposure to illnesses by staying away from large groups of people in locations where ventilation is poor (that would include airplanes, church, movie theaters, parties held inside, etc.). So we don’t get out as much as we did but are looking forward to the annual Folk and Heritage Festival in Glendale, Arizona on Feb 29 and Mar 1. We will be doing some performing and a couple of workshops, but Butch will be getting around on his electric scooter instead of hiking all over the festival grounds. Everything will be outside so we are hoping for good weather and renewing many friendships – albeit at a distance, if necessary.


I’m excited to be seeing my friend and part-time music partner, Stefanie Eskander (she and I will be performing as the String Sisters and are looking at doing a program of camp songs). Our practice time will be minimal, but we have a second (third, fourth, fifth?) sense of knowing what the other person will be doing and we stop and start as though we’ve done the given song together for years. Also hoping to see other friends and, hopefully, family – daughter, son-in-law, a grandchild or 2 or 3 – making it a special event in more than one way.

So I decided that, since my time is often spent waiting (for appointments or Butch's chemo infusions, mostly), this is a perfect time to reinstate the blog and get into some music topics that I have been gathering over my absence from this space. For those interested in how Butch is doing, I have a running "play by play" description at Caring Bridge: <https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lynnbutchhibben>

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