All Photos-2701

All Photos-2699

I got the cats and Thomas some new toys. He and Piglet knew the bag on my work table was full of goodies for them, and they sat and stared holes in it.

Thomas got a Tuffy shark like the one Frances had, only in orange, to match him. He loves it. If you have a dog who destroys stuffies, it’s worth investing in a couple of Tuffy toys. They won’t last forever, but you’ll get your money’s worth out of them.

I also got a package of BilJac treats, for training. I especially wanted something high value to trade for things that Thomas steals and plays keep-away with. Whoever taught him that game needs to be smacked. I’d been trading some kind of crunchy salmon treats, but Thomas wasn’t overly impressed. After a couple pieces of BilJac, he was bringing me everything he could find: socks, used dryer sheets, junk mail, etc. Success! He may still think that keep-away is fun, but he has the idea now that trading up is also pretty awesome.

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Learning New Things

After two months, Thomas finally decided to take his crate for a test drive. #dogs #boxerdog

Thomas has refused to get in his crate. I haven’t forced the issue, because I wanted to try to wait until he decided to test drive it himself. It took him two months, but today was the day. I heard a noise from that direction and thought it was Polly. She uses the crate as her fortress of solitude. But no, it was Thomas!

Now that he’s taken the first step, I’ve been randomly asking him to “crate” and giving him yummy treats when he does. He’s still doubtful, but he’s being a good sport about humoring me and my silly whims.

So today was a good day. Hopefully we won’t have a repeat of this:

Bonkers. He is totally, completely bonkers. #dogs #boxerdog #zoomies

A video posted by @ellypdq on

If you have junk mail you want shredded, I know a dog, and I hear his rates are pretty reasonable. I will happily hook you up!

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Anne Basquille

Civil Birth Register
Anne Baskwill born 19 November 1876, Lackaun, District of Westport No.1, Union of Westport, County of Mayo, Ireland
Father John Baskvill
Mother Mary Kerrigan
from: Irish Civil Registers (births)

Catholic Parish Baptismal Register
Anne of John Basquille {and} Mary Kerrigan
[sponsors] John Kerrigan [and] Ellen Shanly
from: Catholic Parish Baptismal Register, Aughagower Parish 1876

She was baptized on the 18th of what I originally thought was October, but now that I have access to the civil register image for her birth, I think must have been November. The months notated in the left column of the baptismal register do not match up very tidily with the dates. It’s a hot mess. And taken in the context of the civil birth register, it is even more nonsensical.

The birth register states she was born on 19 November 1876. So in order for both documents to be true, she was baptized before she was born. Yeah, no. But if you look closely at the birth record, her birth was not registered until 6 December 1876.

We can never know what exactly happened, but I think the likeliest explanation is that her parents got the birth date wrong. I find it more likely that the delayed registration is incorrect than that the church got the baptismal date incorrect.

So I believe the latest she could have been born is 18 November 1876.

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Red-spotted Purple

Red-spotted Purple through the Window
Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)

I thought there was a moth on the outside of the window, but when I got a step stool and looked more closely, it was a butterfly.

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The View from the Break Room

Belt of Venus from the Break Room

I like to take sunrise photos from the break room. No one is in there early in the morning, so I can turn off the lights. But the western view isn’t as good. The building and trees block most of the sky. No construction cranes visible from this window, either.

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Would You Hide a Jew From the Nazis?

“We must think of Sousa Mendes’s heroism in today’s context,” Jorge Helft, a Holocaust survivor who as a French boy received one of Sousa Mendes’s visas, told me. “I have dinners in Paris where people start saying we have to kick all these people out, there are dangerous people among them.” He paused and added, “I remember being on a ship to New York and hearing that some Americans didn’t want to let us in because there were Nazi spies among us.

“Yes, there might have been Nazi spies, but a tiny minority,” he said, just as there might be spies among Syrian refugees today, but again a tiny minority. “Ninety-five percent or more of these people are decent, and they are fleeing from death. So let’s not forget them.”

Source: Would You Hide a Jew From the Nazis? – The New York Times

It’s easy to say you would. Of course you would! You aren’t a monster. But would you really? And what are you willing to risk to help refugees now? I think this is something we need to consider carefully, and we need to think about it in light of the similarities between what is going on in the US today to what happened in Germany as the Nazis were rising to power. It’s easy to think you’d stand up for others, and it’s easy to think that would never happen here, but I fear that when you are in the thick of it, without the benefit of perfect hindsight, you might not recognize just how bad and how dangerous things are until it’s too late.

And as a side note, did you know that Anne Frank was also a refugee? Her father, Otto Frank, tried to obtain US visas for his family. His requests were denied–despite having powerful people working to help him from within the US–largely because Americans feared that Jewish refugees were actually Nazi spies.

Refugees are fleeing terrible circumstances. They don’t just decide on a whim to pull up stakes and disrupt their entire lives so they can start over again, with nothing, at the other end of the world. It’s a long, complicated, and I can only assume exhausting process. Refugees are well vetted. They are not spies, except in some people’s fever dreams. They deserve our aid and compassion, period.


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Double Yolk

Double Yolk #eggs #doubleyolk #breakfast #food

I decided a scrambled egg would be a nice change from oatmeal. Does a double yolk on a Monday morning mean this will be a good week?

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Puzzle Pieces

In addition to my own family genealogy, I’ve been working on a One Name Study of the Basquill family. In sort, I’m collecting all the Basquills and trying to fit them together. Sometimes it’s easy going, but other times there just isn’t enough information to hold two threads together.

This is the situation I found myself in with the family of John Basquille and Mary Kerrigan. They aren’t “my” Basquills (as far as I know, at this point), so when I hit a brick wall with them, I wrote up some brief notes and let it go.

Today, as I was looking through some of the entries in the Irish death registry, I came across this record for a John Basquill of Lackaun who died in 1898 of influenza. He had been married, with his wife preceding him in death. Do you have any idea how many John Basquills there are in my one name study database? Even just looking at the ones in the Lackaun area with daughters named Bridget, it was impossible for me to figure out where he belonged.

Death Register

But then I found that note I’d made.

John Basquille Notes

I’d wondered why the four youngest children had emigrated to the US when they did. I didn’t know for sure that their parents had died, but I couldn’t find anyone that fit their description in the 1901 or 1911 censuses. Emigrating seemed like an ill-advised venture, though, given that the kids did not fair especially well once they got here. One son ended up spending time in Willard State Hospital. (Yes, that Willard State Hospital.)

I would need more confirmation before I’d want to unequivocally state that this John Basquill is that John Basquille, but as a working theory, I’m going to go with it.

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Irish BMD Register Images

Death Index

I don’t think I mentioned that the Irish birth, marriage, and death index images are now online and available for free. You can search them at These are just the registry entries, but they have most of the information you’d find in the official certificates. They’re a goldmine, if you have Irish ancestors.

The page above is from the death register and contains the entry for my great-great grandfather, Walter Basquill. If I’m deciphering the handwriting properly, he died of infirmity and cardiac weakness.

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Sunrise Over Wright Quad

Sunrise Over Wright Quad

Again, I couldn’t get even one coworker to get up off their ass and walk ten feet to the window, to look at the sky. I can’t imagine ever taking something so beautiful for granted.


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