Sunday, January 1, 2017

Editor's Corner


January 2017

January gets to be the leader each year, ushering in the New cycle of months to be filled with new and hopefully precious memories. It holds many Birthdays, the first belongs to our author and friend, LC VanSavage, the sixth finds the "Armchair Genealogy" researcher wearing her birthday shoes. There are many more of this editor's family, the First Born, and numerous others turning that new personal year's opening page. Wishes for a Happy New Year for each of our writers and readers are stacked to the rooftop. And at the top is "Happy New Year!"

Bud Lemire sent two poems on that theme, "Have A Happy New Year," and " Hope in The New Year." His other one is "Everybody is A Star." Bruce Clifford submitted the "Changing of The Guard" and "Constant Reminders."

John Blair's poems vary in time and distance but always touch your heart. This issue brings you "Riding Down the Highway," "Feeding Birds," "Time for Love." "Sitting in The Night Alone," "More Than I Can Know," and "Full Moon and Empty Night."

Judith Kroll's column "On Trek" graces us with her poem "The Bridge of Rainbows." LC's poem, "The Kiss Goodbye," expresses her thoughts and possible plans for de-cluttering her life. Her column "Consider This" focuses on "The Mounds of Sins."

Rod Cohenour's "Cooking with Rod," remarked he knew most of the holiday cooking is over for now, but shares two memorable recipes developed by his wife. Nothing like spousal cooks to keep a family well fed, and he guarantees these special dishes.

Thomas F. O'Neill, "Introspective," discusses the scientific 'race' between China and America. "Reflections of the Day" by Dayvid Clarkson, with a pic of him as Santa, explains his admiration for a very special person. "Irish Eyes" the column by Mattie Lennon of Dublin, introduces us to Des Garvin, an author whose book "Fields of Rye" was launched recently.

Melinda Cohenour's "Armchair Genealogy" continuess the saga of trying to chase down with research, a named relative with enough documentation to tantalize and prove his existence, but not the linking records farther back. Part Two shows her progress and includes some wonderful photo's and paintings. That dress in the first pic would have logged many hours in the making.

Our Numerological forecast for "2017– A 10/1 Universal Year " is by the renown Michael John Fierro. Fierro did an entire series of lessons on numerology in subsequent columns we carried titled "By the Number." These can still be accessed by clicking his byline on the article.

Our friend and columnist, LC VanSavage's article "1rst of January by LC" confesses her thoughts on another birthday for both herself and the countdown of Years. She makes some good points, and others who share their birthdays with big holidays will find parallels to their own feelings.

A whole new year of Thank you's are ahead for Mike Craner for his expertise and patience that allows this little ezine to continue its mission of encouraging writers, experienced and beginners, and to promote reading.

We will be here in February thinking of our valentines as we begin Volume 20 of Pencil Stubs Online.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

1rst of January, 2017 from LC

JANUARY 1, 2017

       Well, today is another New Year’s Day and of course my birthday. I’m finally at the Big Seven Nine and like most who attain this age I wonder, “What happened here? Where did it all go and who gave it permission to hurtle by at warp speed? I was 18 yesterday.” Yes, I am a boring cliché.

       Many people have had the good luck to have been born on Jan. 1. It’s not such a big deal except that there’s always the chance the attending OB is quite possibly a little hung over and really does not want to be there just then, and I can’t blame him/her. I can think of a lot of other places I’d rather be on The Morning After but hey, they took an oath.

       Do all babies born on the year’s first day grow up being excited because of all the birthday parties they get to have? Me too. It took me far too many years to admit to myself that the parties the night before and the day after the ringing in of the New Year were not for me. Not a one of them. I did wonder along about age 6 as to why everyone was happily celebrating and I didn’t get a cake at any of those adult parties, although I did get one at my boring kids’ party. The day I finally discovered the New Year’s Day parties were actually not all for me but for a date on a new calendar, and also for a bunch of whacked out loud adults (one who actually threw up into the vegetable keeper in my parents’ refrigerator and then shut the door and walked away) made my heart freeze in my chest and my eyes pop from my head exactly the same way as when around the age of 7 I realized there was no Santa Clause. It’s what’s called a “rude awakening.”

       But, and I know others out there have experienced this, those of us born on Jan. 1 can often get piles of secretly and rapidly rewrapped gifts that a week before were new Christmas presents for various family members. Now lest you all think I was a greedy kid, let’s admit that all kids are greedy when it comes to birthday gifts, and so I would be dismayed to get, oh let’s say a rather hastily and obviously rewrapped “birthday” gift of soap on a rope with someone else’s initials carved into it. Yeah, they thought I’d never notice. Or maybe I’d get a gigantic flannel nightgown designed for let’s say someone’s seriously obese grandmother who didn’t want the huge floral-splashed sack either, and so hastily rewrapped it for “little Elsie. She loves everything. She won’t notice.” Or, worst of all I’d get hastily rewrapped bubble bath. One kind that has so stuck in my mind were gelatinous purple round globs that were stuck so hard in the jar they had to be pried out with a screwdriver. I’d toss them into the bath water, and I won’t tell you what they resembled floating there, swelling, bobbing up and down like purple inner organ parts before turning into hideous science-fiction slimy purple bath bubbles and water stains. The odor of them has so remained with me that if today I get a whiff of it, the memories flood back and I find myself frantically looking around for a handy empty receptacle. I know someone always gave them to my WSM for Christmas and she in turn hastily rewrapped them for my birthday.

      But today, I love not celebrating my Jan. 1 date. The people who really matter sent lovely sentiments, I don’t have to fake liking grody gifts, in fact I insist on no gifts, and my life is peaceful and happy. One family group (plus others) who lives quite near dialed me at 12:03 this morning and screamed HAPPY NEW YEAR!!, and bellowed the Happy Birthday song to me and I wept and laughed and it was truly the best gift I’ve ever gotten or ever could. I wish you a happy and joy filled 2017 from one lucky old broad to all of you reading this.

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Cooking With Rod

Happy New Year – Cooking with m’Lady

(A couple of winners from my better half this month)
Nothing is more fun than cooking with as well as for the people you love. At this time of year we try to do it up in style. My wife came up with some incredibly delicious combinations for a big family get-together Thanksgiving 2011. We’ve used it ever since. As the old saying goes, “It don’t get no better!”
The combination of flavors – the spices, the chile and the citrusy flavors enhanced by the seasonal delicacy of dried cranberries – it is Heavenly! Folks who don’t usually even like stuffing or dressing absolutely rave over this version. It is a special treat.
There is no reason these dishes MUST be reserved for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. Any large gathering deserves the special flavors imparted with this very sweet and spicy bird and its favored side kick!
Bon appetite! And Happy New Year!!

M’s Orange-Spicy Turkey

Created by Melinda Cohenour November 2011
  • Large turkey, 20-24 lbs.
  • 1 lg Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped (medium chop)
  • 3 stalks celery, de-stringed and chopped into thin slices
  • Orange zest, be sure to zest your orange before slicing
  • 1 large orange, remove peel after zesting, slice into thin slices
  • Butter or margarine, about 3 Tbsp. to moisten surface of the turkey
  • Sage, about 3 tablespoons
  • Parsley, about 3 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon, 2 tsp.
  • Nutmeg, 1-2 tsp.
  • Garlic powder, 2 tsp.
  • Chile powder, 2 Tbsp.
  • Black pepper, about 1 tsp.
  • Salt (OPTIONAL) can substitute Mrs. Dash or omit entirely
  • 2 cans fat-free chicken broth
    1. Turkey should be thawed, with gizzard pack and neck removed from cavity. Thoroughly rinse cavity and turkey, final rinse should be running crystal clear. Drain and pat exterior dry with paper towels.
    2. Using clean hands, loosen skin on breast of turkey. Insert ½ the onion slices and ½ the orange slices under the skin.
    3. Fill cavity of the turkey with remaining slices of onion, orange, bell pepper, celery and parsley. Sprinkle some of the sage into the cavity.
    4. Using clean hands, rub margarine or butter over all the surfaces of the turkey.
    5. Mix together in a small bowl all the spices (ground sage or chopped fresh, parsley, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, chile powder, black pepper). We do not use salt, but if you wish to do so, this is where you should add the salt to the spice rub. At our house we use Mrs. Dash or permit the spices to bring the flavor without salt.
    6. Rub all surfaces of the turkey with the spice mixture. Fold wings and tuck under to ensure even cooking. Bind turkey legs with twine.
    7. Sprinkle orange zest on breast of turkey.
    8. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan, uncovered into pre-heated oven at 400º F for 30-45 minutes. Lower heat to 325º F and continue roasting, uncovered, for 2 ½ to 3 hours. At this point you should cover the turkey breast and drumsticks to prevent them getting too dark. Continue to roast until cooked thoroughly. A 24 lb turkey, fully thawed, should be done in 4 ½ to 5 hours. Oven temperatures vary, so be sure to keep watch and not let the bird burn!
    9. When done, lift turkey onto carving platter, remove and discard veggies and spices from cavity. Tent with aluminum foil and permit to rest.
To prepare the gravy: Pour up the turkey juices in a narrow glass container and place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to permit the fat to rise to the top. Skim this fat off, or use a specially made grease skimming cup. Add the cans of chicken broth to the turkey juices and heat to boiling. Season to your taste, add a paste of flour and water. Add this paste to the boiling liquid, reduce heat, stir constantly to make a delicious gravy.

For giblet gravy: You will have cooked the neck and organs from the gizzard pack along with celery, onion, parsley and sage. Cut up the gizzard meat, and neck meat (carefully scrape away from the bones) into a small bowl. When preparing your gravy, stir in one or two eggs so that the egg swirls into the gravy. Just before finishing, add in the neck and organ meats. Delicious!!

Orange-Spice Turkey

M’s Cran-Orange-Pecan Dressing

Created by Melinda Cohenour – November 2011
  • 2 boxes cornbread stuffing mix
  • 1 pkg or box bread stuffing mix (croutons)
  • Sage, about 3 tablespoons
  • Parsley, about 3 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon, dust over entire bowl about 2 tsps.
  • Nutmeg, dust about 1-2 tsps over mixture
  • Garlic powder (very little of this)
  • Black pepper, about 1 tsp.
  • 2 cans fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 lg Vidalia onion, chopped into fine pieces
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped (medium chop)
  • 3 stalks celery, de-stringed and chopped into thin slices
  • 1 pkg dried Craisins
  • 1 large orange, cut membrane-free sections into small chunks
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Pecan pieces
    Prepare baking pans by buttering lightly and setting aside to come to room temperature.
    Chop all veggies and set aside to add as needed. Prepare orange by removing whole sections and carefully removing seeds and membranes, chop into small triangles.
    Place stuffing contents into large bowl, season the dry ingredients well with spices. Pour chicken broth (use one can and add second as necessary to ensure the mixture does not get too soggy) over and permit to soften slightly. (You may add additional warm water if necessary to moisten the crumbs and bread pieces). Add chopped veggies, craisins, orange and pecan pieces. Beat eggs separately and add to mixture in bowl. Mix coarsely with hands.
    Press stuffing into prepared baking dishes.
Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, or until stuffing is cooked through and has a nice brown appearance over the top.

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Armchair Genealogy

Taking the Chisel to a Major Brick Wall: What we know about P. R. Joslyn
Part II

      Last month’s column was devoted to the varied avenues of research utilized in my attempt to identify the parents of my 3rd great-grandfather, William “P. R.” Joslyn. That included a foray into DNA testing graciously provided by my maternal uncle. The column covered some of the most relevant research based on the best match that DNA test provided in the hopes someone, somewhere may have the answer and will respond. The research into that DNA match led to the grandfather of one we identified only as DNA Primary (with respect for the other two researchers who have expressed an interest in keeping their own identities and that of their immediate relatives private.) Edward S. Joslyn (often spelled as he must have pronounced it “Joyslin”) who was a silversmith, watchmaker, jeweler. He was, by logical deduction, not a sibling to our P. R. because of the age difference. Edward S. Joslyn was born 1826 in Cohansey Township, New Jersey. P. R.’s birthdate, according to Census records, appears to have been about 1760. That 66-year date range would indicate Edward S. Joslyn must have been, at least, two generations removed from that of P. R. Perhaps, Edward’s father was a nephew of our P. R. Only time will tell.

      This column picks up with the findings twenty plus years of research into P. R.’s life has provided. This is a compilation of all the facts your author has been able to scratch out, both confirmed and documented and surmised or logically assumed in order to help with the research. Ancestry provides wonderful clues, but the dates and names and places have to be provided in order for your Search results to be fruitful. Therefore, many who look at my tree may find notations as to a certain “fact” being an assumed fact, not to be depended upon as solid. My firm belief is that we are missing a generation between William “P. R.” Joslyn and the Colonel William of Deerfield, whom we propose as P. R’s grandfather not his father because of the advanced age of both William and Christiana by the time of his birth.

      Recently, your author received an email from another Joslin researcher, one David Joslin, who provided an exciting find: a photograph of the ancient headstone he believed to be that of our grand-matriarch Christiana Garrison Joslin, mother of William “P. R.” Joslyn, wife of the Colonel William Joslin of Deerfield. The almost illegible engraving on that headstone appears to say

      “In memory of Christiana daughter of Jacob (illegible) who departed this life December (illegible) 1762 Aged 46 years and 28 Days”

      The date of death could coincide with the possible birth of William, a late in life child whose mother may have lost her life in creating his. The dates, when checked against known facts in William’s life, match the ages well, however, there are issues. Issue ONE: the first child born of the union of the Colonel William of Deerfield and Christiana, Jacob, who would have been born (given this set of facts) at the impossibly youthful age of ELEVEN. Issue TWO: Further research found this photograph to have been originally posted to a tree belonging to Joseph Champney. The photo appears with the following information:

      “Garrison Christiana - Upper Pittsgrove, Salem County, NJ - Birth: Nov. 17, 1716 Death: Dec. 15, 1762 Salem County New Jersey, USA Aged 46 years and 28 days 1st wife of Joseph Champneys. Parents: Abraham and Katherine Garrison of Cumberland Co, NJ”

      A huge disappointment. But I have now removed the photo from my tree lest other researchers be led astray. Our best information is that she was born in 1702 and died in 1757. SOURCE:

      And, so it goes, as one promising lead after another fades into a whisper of smoke. Thus, we rely on those facts that have the best hope of finally unearthing that one clue that will be used to chisel down the brick wall.

      We left P. R. and his family in 1830, residing (per the US Federal Census) in Berlin, Knox County, Ohio. From a study of documented records for P. R. and his many children, we shall attempt to create a timeline of travels, embellished with applicable facts and stories.

1790-1810 (?) – NEW JERSEY:

      Before beginning their migration from New Jersey, P. R. and wife had children: It is believed our 2nd great-grandfather, Riley, was the eldest. Census records indicate he was born about 1795 either in New Jersey or, by one census record, in Pennsylvania. No birth record has been discovered. IF the marriage recorded between a William Joslin and Lois Bennett is for our William “P. R.” we can assume Lois Bennett Joslin was the mother of Riley. Lois and her little baby boy William are found to have died in Cumberland, NJ on 6 January 1797. Another marriage is recorded 6 Mar 1798 for a “William Joslin and Sally Irwin” in Cumberland County, New Jersey. The author has chosen to include both marriages as POSSIBILITIES in order to further our research, but no confidence exists as to their applicability to William “P. R.” Joslyn. Several William Joslins resided in Cumberland County, NJ, at that time and these marriages could apply to one or more of them. Many records in the Cumberland New Jersey area were lost to fires. Only due to a concerted effort on the part of historians and genealogists have alternate records been located, scanned, indexed and provided online. Long discussions have revolved around this issue of attribution of maternity to these women. The only name most researchers agree upon as the wife of P. R. is Rachael, whose maiden name has been lost to posterity. It is the author’s belief Rachael Unknown (poor dear) is the mother of all the children.

      From records we find that P. R. and wife Rachael (presumably) had more children while living in New Jersey. Places of birth and approximate birth years have been gleaned from the available records for these children: Riley (b. ca 1792-d. 1871) m. Eunice Evans, Josiah (b. 1799-d. 1886) m. Margaret “Peggy” Carnahan on 9 Nov 1822 in Knox County, Ohio, William (b. ca. 1802-d. 1880) m. Sarah Williams 1831 in Indiana, Daniel (b. ca. 1803-d. 1826?) whose relationship is surmised and whose life is shrouded in mystery; and Sarah (b. abt Sep 1803-d. aft 1873). Sarah married Jacob Kinney 7 Feb 1822 in Knox County, Ohio. By the 1830 Census Sarah had given birth to six children. We have no confirmed death date for Sarah, although a newspaper clipping dated 10 Jul 1873 found in The Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Indiana) picked up from the Shelbyville Volunteer reports: “Mrs. Kinney, widow of Jacob Kinney, who was so badly gored by a cow some time since, that her life was despaired of, is rapidly recovering. (Shelbyville Volunteer).

1810 – 1831/32 (?) OHIO:

(1820 US Census in Morgan, Ohio; 1830 US Census in Berlin, Knox County, Ohio)
      After the family’s migration to Ohio, children continued to arrive on a fairly regular basis. The dates and places of birth, as for the first named children, have been determined by research into Census, birth, death, marriage and other available records. The children believed to have been born in Ohio are: Rachael (abt. 1810), Rachael married John Barnhill on 24 Jan 1828 in Knox County, Ohio. It is believed she and John moved to Stark County, Illinois before her death about 1848, preceding his 2nd marriage.

Rachael Joslin Barnhill. Photograph originally submitted to by KaySchleich 22 Dec 2010 from the collection of her grandmother, Hallie E. Barnhill Johnson. The photograph was marked “Rachael Joslin Barnhill.” It is believed the photograph was taken in Illinois in about 1838.     

 Next we believe Elizabeth arrived in 1811. On 20 Jan 1831 in Knox County, Ohio, Elizabeth wed Aaron J. Barnhill, brother to sister Rachael’s husband John. Elizabeth named her firstborn son William Riley Barnell. (* NOTE 1)
(* NOTE 1: It is believed Elizabeth adopted the old Irish-English naming tradition and named this first son after her father William and her eldest brother who we have as James Riley. The first name of James arose when the author inherited a document showing William Henry Joslin, Riley’s son, had enlisted two times during the Civil War. On the reverse of that form appeared the handwritten note: “Son of James Riley Joslin.” This month’s research, however, finally resulted in the location of the death certificate for William Henry Joslin (again Riley’s son.) This death certificate had been filled out “Wm. Hy. Joslyn” by the attending physician, Dr. Johns of Pineville. The informant for the completion of that death certificate was none other than the author’s own grandfather, James Arthur “Artie” Joslin, who said William Henry’s father was WILLIAM Riley Joslin. To add further mystery to the information; however, was the fact that Dr. Johns had scratched through the spelling of Riley several times, changing the spelling to “RGley’ but also indicating the mother was Eunice Evans RGley. Ahh, the puzzling matters we encounter in our research!
Is this a significant clue to the real name of William “P.R.” Joslyn? Is it possible the nickname of P.R stands for “Papa Riley” to differentiate between him and son William Riley who went by Riley?)

1831 – 1835: - INDIANA

      Although the next child born in Ohio appears to be Hetty (b. 1812 in Ohio, d. before 1846?), her marriage marks one of the first records of the family in Indiana. Hetty married Samuel Pope Meloy 19 Dec 1832 in Shelby County, Indiana just eight days after brother Isaac wed Nancy Pate. Hetty’s last child, Lorinda, was born in Missouri in 1842. In 1847 Hetty is no longer found in any records and Samuel has remarried. After Hetty, Phoebe was born in Washington Co., Ohio on 10 Apr 1813. Phoebe (Phebe) married Henry Ensley 23 Jul 1833 in Shelby County, Indiana. She died 17 Sep 1902, in Elmore, Knox County, Illinois, one of the few of the Joslin daughters to live to a ripe old age.

      Isaac Joslin was also born in Ohio (1814 in, perhaps, Morgan, Ohio where the family was enumerated in 1820), but married Nancy Pate 11 Dec 1832 in Shelby County, Indiana.

 1836-1846 – ILLINOIS (1840 Census facts: Name Wm Joshlin, Home in 1840: Kane, Illinois. Household consisted of one free white male aged 20-29 and one free white male aged 70-79; one free white female aged 60-69 a total of three (3) in the household, one of which was engaged in agriculture.)

     Obviously, due to the advanced age of Rachel (60 – 69 years by census), no more children’s births can mark the family’s arrival in Illinois. It should also be noted no record of Rachael exists after this 1840 Census. P. R. arrived in Kane County Illinois in 1836. The frontier was raw, without established conventions of county clerks, records scrupulously maintained of births, marriages, and deaths. We are in luck, however, because several Kane County, Illinois, histories report P. R.’s story.

      Illinois was first explored and claimed by Frenchmen, a claim disputed strongly by the English who proclaimed the country, coast to coast as property of the King of England. The French and Indian wars fought 1754 to 1763 resolved the issue, for a period of time. The Revolutionary War would once again challenge ownership, finally vested in the newly formed United States of America.

      “The coming of the pioneers, who swept like a wave over the middle western states after the French and Indian war, reached northern Illinois about 1830, during the first administration of Andrew Jackson as president. The general population of the United States then numbered about thirteen million having more than doubled since the War of Independence; mostly by natural growth, the later foreign immigration not having yet begun. The center of population was near the west line of Maryland. It is now near Indianapolis, Indiana. Less than ten per cent of the people lived in cities of over 8,000. Now over fourty-five per cent are in such cities.” (Source: History of Kane County by Joslyn & Joslyn, 1908)
Early Pioneers Arriving Kane County – 1830-1840

      Thus, the first lands offered in Illinois were “Government lands”. We are offered glimpses of the land by virtue of a letter written 10 April 1840 by one Daniel Pingree to a friend back in his home state: Excerpts from this letter bring to life the geography, the attraction and the beauty of the countryside that beckoned to our ancestor and his heirs:

      “…in my opinion you could not find a better County in all the world for farming.”

      “There are 3 kinds of Prairie, high rolling, medium, and wet. The first mentioned has a rich productive soil generally of a brown color consisting of loam with a mixture of light colored sand, and in many places are knolls, natural mounds, elevated from 10 to 30 or 40 feet with a regular oval shape, and sometimes contain an area of 1 or 2 acres but generally much smaller. These are composed principally of gravel and produce but little. This kind of Prairie is excellent for all kinds of grain, but not very good for grass. The natural grass does not grow very large and it is thought from the trials that have been made that the English grass will not do well; it is to dry. Another objection to them is a scarcity of water. It can however be obtained by digging from 15 to 40 feet. So you see that a farm composed wholy of this kind of Prairie would not be the place for keeping stock to advantage.

      “The soil of the Medium Prairie is much like the Rolling as to the material of which it is composed. It is of a darker color and as much richer as it is darker and is not interspersed with any of the above mentioned knolls. It is generally slightly oval so that the water which is not absorbed will run off sufficiently. It will produce abundantly anything that a farmer wishes to put into the ground. This kind of Prairie is generally interspersed with Creeks and small Sloughs which afford a plenty of water for cattle etc. These sloughs produce natural grass in any quantity almost; some of them I think produce 4 or 5 tons per acre! Water on medium Prairie can be obtained by digging from 10 to 25 feet.

      “The Wet Prairie consists of a very rich, black loam and is generally mixed with a light colored sand, and is particularly adapted to the growth of Corn, it being too rich for wheat and most of the other kinds of small grain, butt is great for grass both natural and English.

      “The Timbered land is generally Oak-Barrens, called by some Oak Openings. The Timber of the openings consists of several kinds of Oak; viz: Black, Yellow, White, Pin, Red and Bull, and in many places there are a plenty of Hickory or walnut trees, occasionaly a small grove of Poplar. There are some groves of timber in this section of the County that contain almost all the kinds of timber that there are at the East with the exception of Spruce Hemlock and Pine. The timber of the openings is short, many of the trees will make but 1 rail cut, but some will make 2 or 3.

      “There is an excellent opportunity in this section of country to claim Government Land, this you can have for $1.25 per acre, and pay for it immediately after you settle on it if you please, or you can have one years Pay Day if you choose. This is according to the last Pre-Emption Act. The above are the conditions for purchasing land that is already in market. Or you can settle on land not in market and Pre-Emption it any time befoer the day of Sale…You can buy claims of 160 acres where their is a log house and 10 or 15 acres plowed and fenced for from $200 to $1000 and perhaps upwards just according to location… People generally hold claims high but want of money sometimes compels them to sell cheap. I know of one man who has 160 acres of Deeded Land with a pretty good log house on it and 4 or 5 acres plowed that he offers to sell for $400 and perhaps there are chances equally good.

      “There are some Prairie volay beer about as large a decent sized dog. They do no harm with the exception of taking some pigs an sheep they never touch a man. There are Land-Hile-Cranes that Halloo so that they may be heard 2 or 3 miles. Prairie Hens about the size of common hen. Wild geese, and ducks, foxes, Badgers. There are no Wood-Chucks.

      “I think if I were coming from Ky. to Ill. to commence a farm that I should come in Spring. We are situated on the State Road leading from Chicago to Galena which is called the Great Western Mail Route from C. to G. We are only 43 miles from Chicago, and 7 West of Elgin on Fox River, and 3 west of Udina, our Post Office. The Stage on this route passes our door 6 times in a week and there is a great deal of Public Travel.” (Source: Letter written by Daniel Pingree, Udina, Illinois, to Samuel C. Rowell, Lower Blue Licks, Nicholas County, Kentucky)

Kane County Illinois – Taking Goods to Market

      From the History of Kane County, by Joslyn & Joslyn, published 1908 we discover when P. R. Joslyn arrived. The county was brand new. P. R. was a pioneer, ever forging his way Westward seeking new land and better opportunities for his family. Kane County was established in 1836, the year P. R. Joslyn arrived. This history reports:

       “In 1836 when Kane County was established this area was part of the Pleasant Grove precinct. Today, Lily Lake residents attend Burlington Schools, but are in located in Campton Township. Most have a St. Charles address.
1835 - STEPHEN VAN VELZER claimed nearly the whole township. Settlers who followed were forced to buy land from him, or face controversy.
1836 - P.R. JOSLYN came from New Jersey
1837 - RILEY JOSLYN, son of P.R. JOSLYN arrived from New Jersey.
(Source: History of Kane County by Joslyn & Joslyn 1908 located on the website:
Kane Co History in rootsweb)
Harrington’s Ford on the Fox River - Illinois

       We are fortunate in that other histories paint a better portrait of P. R. Joslyn and his strength of character in the face of adversity.

       “STEPHEN VAN VELZER appears to have made the first location in the township and, unfortunately, made the preposterous claim to an area of about twelve miles square. This must have retarded settlement, as many quarrels resulted in consequence, while a number of settlers paid him something for his pretended claim to avoid contention. He came in 1835, as also did ALLISON BANKER. In 1836, SOLOMON WRIGHT and his three sons, BALDWIN, ELISHA and D.C., and a daughter who soon married BANKER, arrived from New York; also P.R. JOSLYN from Indiana, who with his son RILEY, settled upon a portion of Van Velzer's claim in defiance of his objection.”
(Source: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois (Edited by Newton Bateman, LL.D. and Paul Selby, A.M.) and History of Kane County Edited by Gen. John S. Wilcox. Chicago; Munsell Publishing Company, 1904, pp. 705-707)

       “P. R. Joslyn, a kind of migratory character, but a good man withal, settled in the town in the early part of 1836. He was originally from New Jersey, but had lived in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. From the latter State he came to Burlington. He had some difficulty with Van Velzer, in regard to his claim, who attempted to collect a sum of money from him as a bonus for the privilege of settling on it. Upon inquiry, he learned that Van Velzer had no just grounds for such demands, and so he settled upon the claim selected, in open defiance of him. His son, Riley Joslyn, came the next season, and took up a claim in the township.”

      And later in that same History, the following appears:


      Each moment, in dying. bears with it a dead human being. Flowers perish and spring again, suns set at eve and rise again in the east, but the dead render not up their dead to mortal eyes. Death, the grand leveler of human greatness and human ambition, entered the infant settlement at an early period of its existence. Van Velzer's wife was the first victim of the grim tyrant. She died in 1837, and was buried amid the wild flowers of her prairie home. A native of the sunny South, her tender frame was unable to withstand the fierce winds of a colder clime. Others of the early settlers in time followed her to the better land. Joslyn, perhaps, was one of the first, and died about 1846-7.”

      From another source another interesting tidbit emerges: “The first death in the settlement was that of VAN VELZER'S wife, in 1837. She was a Southern woman and brought with her a Negro slave who served her mistress faithfully but soon after her death, the slave returned to her old home in the the sunny South land.” (Source: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, ibid.)

      Yes, the life was difficult, the privations many, the adjustments to life on the prairie versus city life back on the cultured Southern plantations would have been hard on a woman not accustomed to any hardship at all. After traversing the plains and the prairies, making their way through the forested lands still occupied by many an Indian angry at the White Man for taking their lands, the travelers had to live for awhile in the ancient version of an RV park. Note the living accommodations illustrated in this painting from the Kane County, Illinois Genealogical website:
Settlers Arriving from the East – First Homes

Future Research Avenues

      Our research has shown William “P. R.” Joslyn migrated from New Jersey, to Pennsylvania, to Ohio, Indiana and into Illinois. But this last quoted history indicates he also “lived in Kentucky.” One of my early research cohorts was Joyce Schumacher who had become fascinated with a Joslin family in Kentucky whose children’s names were almost identical to our family lines’. After Joyce’s death came the opportunity to submit DNA and hope for results in closing those gaps in our knowledge of our personal history. My maternal Joslin uncle was kind enough to submit his DNA for that very purpose. As discussed in the first Part of this story, that DNA provided the closest match with one Westcott Campbell Joslin who started life in Camden, New Jersey, but who is linked to Paducah, Kentucky through the travels of his great-grandfather, Edward S. Joslyn (often spelled “Joyslin” perhaps because of the New Jersey accent). In fact a search through the Census records resulted in a possible “find” – an Edward Joplin where inspection of the original handwriting appears to be Joyslin, in Garrard, Kentucky:
Name Edward Joplin (looks like Joyslin)
Home in 1840 (City, County, State) Garrard, Kentucky
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9: 1;
Free White Persons - Males - 60 thru 69: 1;
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29: 2;
Free White Persons - Females - 60 thru 69: 1;
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 4;
Persons Employed in Manufacture and Trade: 1;
Free White Persons - Under 20: 1;
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 2;
Total Free White Persons: 5;
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5.

      There is also a very interesting connection between John Chapman, better known as “Johnny Appleseed” whose travels mirror the dates and places quite eerily of our P. R. Joslyn. Preliminary research finds a further connection: Nathaniel Chapman, father of John Chapman, lived in Leominster, Massachusetts, was a Revolutionary War hero who served with General George Washington at Valley Forge. He served under our Joslin relative, John Joslin:

      Nathaniel Chapman, Leominster. Private, Capt. John Joslin's co. of Minute-men, Col. John Whetcomb's regt., which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775, to Cambridge; service, 11 days; reported enlisted into the army; also, Capt. David Wilder's co., Col. Asa Whitcomb's regt.; muster roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; enlisted April 26, 1775; service, 3 mos. 13 days; also, receipts for wages for Aug. and Sept., 1775, dated Prospect Hill; also, company return (probably Oct., 1775).

      It seems your author’s research into the life of William “P. R.” Joslyn may have just begun!
Researched and compiled by Melinda Cohenour

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On Trek

The Bridge of Rainbows

The brilliant colors of the universe wrap the bridge with love
    all who pass over feel the vibrations both from those on earth
      and those above
A glorious transition has transpired,
    they are rejuvinated
      and rewired

Anyone can cross the sparkling bridge no barriers to keep one out.
    It is open for all, no pass is revoked,
      no matter what breed, creed or color of coat.
A constant flow everyday, the bridge has two not just one way.
    Respect for others is felt thruout
      No one growls or ever gets rough.
They love peace and they bring joy each little darlin', girl and boy
    Unconditional love rules,
      fear disappears,
Happiness reigns, no one loses, everyone gains .
    Tails a waggin', eyes a smilin',
      their light within is bright,
A miraculous display of unconditional love, oh what a beautiful sight. © Dec. 2016 Judith

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Reflections on the Day

      A number of years back I was a volunteer Firefighter and living in Duncan. I was visiting the local summer festival and noticed a woman mouth painting. She was a quadriplegic. I fondly remembered her as she resided in a local extended care facility and was an amazing Artist. Each Christmas I would dress up as Santa and with my fellow Firefighters would go to this facility, and many others, to visit with each of the residents.

      As I approached her on this hot summer July day she did not recognize me, as when we met each year, for the previous five years, I was dressed as Santa. Her work was as stunning as ever and when I leaned in for a closer look an amethyst crystal I wore around my neck came into her view. “Oh how wonderful, an amethyst crystal.” she said. She knew right away what it was. “That is my birthstone and I have always wanted one. However, I do have to watch my money and it is not on the list of ‘must haves’.”

      We continued to visit for a while.

      At every encounter with this woman, I was always moved by her tenacity and acceptance of her condition. She was truly an old soul. I was compelled to go into a local store that sold crystals and bought an amethyst crystal necklace.

      The coming Christmas the Firefighters again visited the extended care facility. As I approached, dressed as Santa, this same woman was just outside of the entrance. She did like her occasional smoke. I waved the others on saying I would follow shortly. Santa stood before her and gave her an amethyst crystal necklace. “For your purity of soul, your impeccable talent, and to let you know you are not alone.” I said to her. From the summer I bought the crystal and for many years afterward I told no one what I had done. For me to keep such a secret was very out of character for me.

      Her eyes sparkled, a small tear appeared, and a wonderful smile enveloped her face. She had no idea who Santa was or what brought about this event, nor did anyone else. One could tell that this simple inexpensive crystal was more valuable to her than the largest diamond in the world. You could see her accept the magic of the moment with awe-inspiring wonderment.

      I kept this secret for over ten years. I started sharing this a few years back not to draw attention to myself but rather to subscribe to the thought that if you let your light shine you give permission for others to share theirs. Fortunately a Care Aid was able to capture a picture of the moment.

      My holiday wish? Pay attention, live with intent, quietly. Please share this story if you are so inclined.

      Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

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Irish Eyes

Fields of Rye

      Des Garvin was born and reared in the townland of Shrataggle, County Mayo. In his recently published book “Fields of Rye”, he uses Shrataggle as a blackboard to illustrate life in all of rural Ireland in the last century and before.

      Traditional music was always one of his passions and he has been a leading light in Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireannn for many decades. Involved in Peace Groups in Northern Ireland for thirty years his leadership ability became evident as a young teenager. When Rural Electrification was introduced to his native heath the Ground Rents proposed by the ESB was exorbitant. He tells us, “ . . . the ground rent on our house was calculated at £15and that was payable every two months. Today, that is roughly the equivalent of €290, and it was extortion plain and simple.”

      It was highly unlikely that any of Des’s neighbours would sign up. Out of economic necessity there were forced to say no. Tony Blair said that the art of leadership is to say no but Des wouldn’t agree.
Des Garvin

       The young boy from Strataggle convinced all and sundry to say “yes” despite the outrageous price quoted, “ at least until the lines arrived in the village.” The result? The ESB was left with no choice but to join the village to the network. As luck would have it, between the beginning of the project and the houses of Shrataggle being connected the government of the day introduced a subsidy which reduced the ground rent to £2 every two months. The island of Inishlyre, in Clew Bay, County Mayo, was only connected to the national grid in September 2000. Obviously they didn’t ever have a young Des Garvin living there!

       An in-depth genealogical analysis of Garvins, O’Malleys, Cormacks, Gilroys and every other family that inhabited Des’s part of Mayo for centuries is a collector’s item. A photo gallery of 157 images contains pictures – including “ The Bridge at Sharaggle and Last Rick of Hay”- that would, otherwise, have been lost but are now moments frozen in time and recorded for posterity.
Des's Book Launch
97 year-old Catherine Garvin, from Shrataggle, has been living in New York since 1939. She educated herself and had a very successful career in the travel trade and later the legal and banking business. She was one of 40 travel agents on board, in April 1958, when Aer Lingus introduced its trans-Atlantic service with the Seaboard Super Constellation. A few months ago Des interviewed her for his book. She told him of how she attended secretarial school after arriving in New York and became proficient in shorthand and typing. ( And . . . whether cutting turf in Mullach Padda Bhain or negotiating with people who were key figures in the Good Friday agreement, Des Garvin would leave no stone unturned .) He gave the Shrataggle nonagenarian a sentence and asked her to reproduce it in Pitman shorthand . She produced the result, ” . . .in moments.”

      The author doesn’t go overboard in blowing the trumpet of his own family. Although he does point out that his aunt Anne, who worked as a cook in the Royal Victoria Club in Leeds, was responsible for introducing chips and Yorkshire pudding to Shrataggle.

       Some years ago Cllr Joe Mellett, , said of John Healy, that other great writer from Mayo : "He's a guy that we can associate with especially in bad times. He made the rest of the country aware of what was happening then.” The comment also describes Des Garvin. Wren-boys, Cillins, Missioners, blasting with gelignite , illicit distilling and travelling shows feature. It’s all there.

       In my working days Des was my boss for a number of years and am I glad that I didn’t ever cross swords with him. What would be the point of taking on somebody who, when barely out of short trousers, convinced a stubborn rural community to take action against a semi- State body that would result in an 87% reduction in ground rents?

      Link: Details of “Fields of Rye"

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Consider This

The Mounds of Our Sins

      I’ll bet you uncountable pots of money you’ve never once made mental piles of your individual failings, am I correct? Well, not sayin’ I’m better than you, but I actually have. Made mental piles of my sins. (Heavy word, “sin.” Eye of the beholder etc.)

      As I rather too rapidly get closer to the big Eight O which will arrive with a nation-wide celebration on Jan. 1, 2018 I find myself most reluctantly making separate piles out of my life, piles of positive and negative memories of the things I’ve done. Or have not done. Or wish I’d done. Or wish I hadn’t done. Or should have done. Or---well you get the idea. You do, right?? Good. I knew that you would.

      So here’s the deal. I am actually spending time making mental heaps of all the really good things I’ve been responsible for in my life and yes, all of the really bad things too. I know you’re wondering which accumulation is the largest. Guess! So here I sit with these multiple imaginary mounds in front of me and oh my, some of them are Everest high. For example, I struggle to remember how many times I’ve made even the slightest effort to walk in another person’s moccasins to see how they feel about things before I go roaring off into judgmental blatherskiting. That mound is really tall. The times I’ve successfully walked in other people’s moccasins and have truly made a strong effort to understand why they are, who they are, and why they are doing/being/saying what they are, is pretty wanting, and I’m awfully unproud of that fact.

      The stacks of the times I’ve gone out of my way to be kind or thoughtful to another human being isn’t nearly as large as I’d like, so I’m working on that. There’s still time. Will that thoughtful pile ever get to be as large as the thoughtless pile? I can only hope. I can make an effort. But, will I? At this moment of writing today, I’m saying yes. But it’s only ten AM.

      And then there are the masses of slothfulness and no, I’m not plagiarizing the Bible, but it’s a good starting point. I can so easily nod off while folks about me are working triple shifts and regret I feel no shame in doing that. I’ve always been a great champion of good hard long solid avoidance sleep. My sloth pile is way too big although I recently once read that laziness is genetic. Phew. No more guilt. It’s my ancestors’ fault. I’m so relieved, I think I’ll sleep on it.

      The pile next to it is that old nasty gluttony. It’s way too big, most of it caused by my milk chocolate addiction. Can I ever give in and not eat m. c. when it’s in front of me? No. I just add that onto my growing mountain range of sins, but to my mind, that particular mound is forgivable.

      Coveting? Come on. Anyone who says they’ve never wished they had something their neighbor has and they don’t, is lying, and lying is yet another pile. You’ve never coveted? Never lied? Seriously? Then your life is lots more mound-free than is mine. But don’t forget—avoidance of truth is yet another mound, so beware!

       Gloating is another heap of mine that isn’t too huge, but it’s there. I will confess to giving in to gloating when someone who’s been an evil human gets busted, and has to pay dearly for doing bad things. Hitler comes to mind although his badness went on far too long. I’m not too ashamed of my righteous gloating when appropriate, and fiercely gloat when anyone who’s hurt a helpless human or animal gets smacked down and is punished severely for doing that. That is a mound I intend to keep and add to as I go along.

       My vast conglomeration of stupid pride is rather too large and while I desperately and daily try to maneuver my way around the multiple, disparate life-stacks of my own making, I occasionally focus on my Golden Rule mounds, and they ….. well, let’s say they could use a little work.

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2017 – A 10/1 Universal Year

Where do we go from here?

Well, we have made it to the end of 2016, the 9 Universal Year and we are now poised on the brink of a new 9-year cycle and all that it may bring about. 2016 was a tumultuous year in many ways. We saw the passing of many cultural icons as well as the falling away of certain aspects of our collective lives. In America we have seemingly seen the end of civility in the public and political discourse that affects each and every one of us. We may have also experienced the end of our political party system as it was constructed. Sadly, what we did not see was an end to the dis-empowering and negative actions and activities of governments and nations worldwide. If anything, it appears as though some of those actions got worse and which show every indication of worsening even more as we move forward. What we did not see was a move towards more inclusion and acceptance of everyone. We did not see an end to the continuing disenfranchising of so many of those in need throughout the world. If anything, those conditions also deteriorated. In the constant that is the process of Numerology, the 9 is the combination of all the traits and characteristics of the previous 8 numbers (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8=36=9). As the end of every cycle, 9's job is to take what was accumulated and learned during the previous 9 years and turn around and hand it off to the 1 of the next cycle. It is through this method that wisdom, knowledge, lessons, and more are passed forward into the future. Also passed along are the negative energies and activities that were not discarded in the 9 Year (2016). As I have shared on many occasions, those things that do not serve the greater and higher good of everyone, and that are not discarded, will only exacerbate moving forward. “If you think it was bad before...just wait!”

So, where do we go from here? What lies in store for 2017 and beyond? As with all things in Numerology, there are both positive and negative aspects that can, and will play out. Much will be determined by the actions and re-actions of the greater collective. Much will be determined by how much we resist the de-evolution of our many current situation(s) while working towards creating a more inclusive, accepting, and loving country (and world). Will we rise up and demand more fairness, equality, honesty, and integrity from our countries and our leaders? Or, will the dark, shadow side that was more greatly exposed in 2016 than ever before, become even more powerful and in-our-faces as it continues to game the system for its own benefits and aggrandizement?

On the positive side, 2017 can be a vehicle for greater justice for all. This year can be an initiation period designed to create and foster positive activity for the good of all. The over-arching energy is directed towards greater initiative and independence on a transitional and trans-formative level. The influence of the 1 can bring about greater enterprise in all facets of society and business with new insights and approaches combined with new and radical ideas. This is a period of bold actions, adventures, and new directions driven by originality and foresight. 2017 can birth many new inventions, plans, projects and businesses that are developed to help solve the many ills that plague the world. It is a time of greater creative independent and innovative energies. There can also be greater emphasis on the individuality of people and cultures. The 10/1 has great possibilities for creating a turn for the better. The year can certainly be the start of something new and the innovative ideas and fresh beginnings that come about are an expression of the law of cause and effect. Events that appear accidental or the result of mere chance result from efforts that have already been expended. In this regard, we must hold to the progress made during the previous 9-year cycle and work collectively to improve that which was created. The 10/1 does hold promises of good fortune and a turn for the better along with progress, improvements, and advancements but, as with all things, those things exist at the whim of current events and world leaders. The opportunities afforded us to create and foster a better understanding of circumstances will be revealed through situations and events that transpire. If previous events were properly executed, rewards will be forthcoming. If not, then we can only wait to see what happens and collectively pray that things tend towards a betterment of conditions, and not a worsening. All efforts will be rewarded accordingly. Be on the look-out for the appearance of people who will be our new 'heroes'. Search out those who are authentic and loving. Do not be fooled by the posers and dilettantes. All are people, on both sides of the equation, who can and will dynamically affect the world through their actions. It will behoove us all (and by extension, the world) if we learn to rely upon an intuition that is based in reason. It is only then that we will truly know what to do and we may discover that for which we have been waiting is now on the cusp of arriving.

The 10/1 Universal Year will also bring about changes in governments worldwide. We are all aware of the results of the 2016 presidential election in the USA, an event about which I cautioned in my essay on the 9 Universal Year that was 2016. We are aware of the fact that the USA will be getting a new president and administration beginning January 20th and are already aware of the change in direction that may be in store for our country.  The tone has been set for not only the next 9 years but also for the next 36 years (4 cycles of 9). 2016 saw 67 countries worldwide have elections for either leaders, legislatures, or both. 2017 will see another 46 nations hold elections (among them France, Germany, and Iran). That makes 113 out of the 190+ countries in the world changing, or maintaining their governments in the span of two years. What happens in the rest of the world this year will also contribute greatly to the dynamic of the geo-political scene in the coming years. The potential exists for differences that can be settled with previous enemies, settlements brought about by a clear comprehension of the situations and their problems. Most importantly, it may take a spiritual awakening for our true power and brotherhood to be developed and presented. Perhaps we will see something this year that brings pause to everyone and cause a reassessment of our humanity. We must stand firm in our ideals and our purpose. The 10/1 Universal Year will usher in a new era of events that will definitely affect and lay the groundwork for the world, as we move forward into the 3rd decade of the 21st Century.

On the negative side of the ledger for 2017 are conditions and energies that can truly be harmful to the world and its people. The year certainly holds the seeds for the beginning of changes, upheavals, and dissension. We must definitely be on guard, and protect ourselves against tyranny exercised by governments and leaders. We could see an increase in the  weaknesses of some rulers and governments coupled with a corresponding rise in the strength of strongmen, demagogues, and dictators. In a year in which we need to strive for greater balance in all things and for all people, we could very well see the polar opposite creating conditions that greatly exacerbate and deteriorate structures that are currently in place to help people. We may have front-row seats for what is viewed as mischievous antagonism in both politics and discourse. Clinging to the past, intentionally moving to dismantle the progress of the past 70 years, and stubbornly resisting and blocking any progressive innovation meant to improve life for people may not only be a normal course of action, it will also work to effectively and dynamically change the uneasy alliance between governments and their citizens.

2017 is not a time to be putting off  important decisions. It is not a time for  procrastination. It is not a year for stalling and delaying necessary new legislation designed to help and not hurt people. If failures and losses become endemic we must all come to terms with the  understanding that it is the result of previous efforts and endeavors and the way energy was used and put forth. Not that fixed opinions, stubbornness, or being too opinionated are ever good or useful, but the 10/1 energy of the year makes these attitudes and positions even worse than they can normally be. Additionally, we must be very aware of any tendencies towards overdoing and exaggerating any particular needs and desires. We must call out our lawmakers and legislators and remind them that they work for us and that the purpose of their job is to govern 'for the people' and not 'for their own agendas and backers'. It is extremely important that we all make certain that our voices are heard...individually and collectively. To stay silent is to give approval.

We are entering a new era and, in the United States, the dynamic is somewhat similar to what happened after the presidential election of 1980. As I wrote in my essay about 2016, a 9 Universal Year, the last presidential election held in the US in a 9 Universal Year was 1980 and that gave us Reagan and the ensuing 36 years of the attempted, and sometimes successful dismantling of worker protections, regulations, and the social safety net that so many rely upon while increasing the power of corporations and military-related industries. 1980 was a 18/9 Universal Year and 2016 was a 9 Universal Year, so there are some differences in the overall energy that was exercised. What was similar was the underlying 9 energy. So, with that being said, we must exercise great caution and we must hold our leaders accountable as we move forward. If we are not careful, America could take another hard turn to the right and our country as we currently know it could be dramatically altered.

The 20th century was filled with 19/1 Universal Years with only 1900 being a 10/1, the beginning of a new century. So far in the 21st century, we have had one 10/1 Year, 2008. And now, we have our second with 2017. Looking forward, we have a 10/1 Universal Year happening again in 2026, 2035, and 2044. For the first fifty years of this first half-century, the world will have a transitional/transformational year every 9 years. It's as if the Universe is giving us an opportunity to continually reset until we get to where we need to be. 10 is a Karmic number and it relates to an experience that has been chosen on the path and it cannot be avoided. Transitional and transformational in the realm of the individual and individuality, it is a continuation of the turning point axis of 2016/9 and 2017/10/1. This is a year that is a combination of all the lessons from the previous years, 1-9 and with it comes the challenge to put into balanced application conditions that are for the good of all mankind. As we move forward, we will be made to be quite aware of the fact that the only constant is change. 

In the Tarot, 10 is The Wheel of Fortune and represents among other things, rotation and cyclicity. Everything is in the process of change; with change being the only constant.  It can also indicate luck, a turn for the better, a new cycle, and innovative ideas resulting from past experiences. We are entering an initiation period in which decisions of great importance are made.

In the constant that is the Universal cycles of 9, as in basic Numerology, 9 is the combination of all the traits and characteristics of the previous 8 numbers (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8=36=9). As the end of every cycle, 9's job is to take what was accumulated and learned during the 9 years and turn around and hand it off to the 1 of the next cycle. It is through this method that wisdom, knowledge, lessons, and more are passed forward into the future. Also passed along are the negative energies and activities that were not discarded in the 9 Year (2016). As I have shared on many occasions, those things that do not serve the greater and higher good of everyone, and that are not discarded, will only exacerbate moving forward. “If you think it was bad before...just wait!”

In conclusion, I am personally quite unsure what 2017 will bring about. I know what the numbers say, and in that information I have great faith, yet because each number has both positive and negative aspects, we must individually and collectively make a decision as to on which side of the ledger we wish to reside. It can be a year of many new beginnings. A year that holds within its bosom a wonderful opportunity to make the world a better place. This is a year that is filled with great potential for wonderful things. It holds the possibilities for many great and beneficial events taking place which could have a great and positive impact on the world and its citizens. Conversely, 2017 also holds the potential to turn onto something that future generations will look back at in horror and disbelief. The continuing rise of right-wing governments does not bode well. The move towards greater authoritarianism should frighten everyone. I caution everyone reading this to take the time to educate yourself on the facts of events. Do not just sit back and take someone's word for something...especially if it sounds too good to be true. Beware the false prophets and charlatans selling you a bill of goods that includes unrealistic goals and messianic musings of greatness and grandeur. 2017 is a year to take back your personal power. It is a year to rise up and speak up loudly and consistently about injustice, inequality, and unfairness. The underlying 1 of the 10/1 Year is about the individual. For the world, it provides the opportunity to begin anew and for the collective to be positively affected, then with that in mind it is imperative that each and every one of us do our part in making this a better world.

It is my great wish that goodness and light become the prevailing attributes and attitudes of our world. Hold the light for yourself and do whatever you can to make sure it is passed forward. Be the global citizen you wish everyone could be. Connect to your source. Connect to Mother Earth. Connect to whatever it is that gives you your strength and conviction. Do not back down from adversity. And, stand up to oppression. The chances that we miss in 2017 may not come around again for another 9 years and by that time, it could be too late.

Blessings of Love & Light
Michael John Fierro

There is an old adage that a country gets the government it deserves. Has America reaped the results of centuries of bigotry, hatred, greed, and disenfranchisement with the results of the 2016 election? Sadly, in many ways I personally believe we did. I know that many are upset yet I believe we must allow this to play out. There are huge lessons to be learned here and there are reasons that things followed the course that they did. My perspective is this:

Donald Trump is a caricature of the absolute worst of an overly narcissistic person who is the more-than-willing recipient of the adulation of an overly curious-about-others culture that reveres wealth and power more than the personal well-being of everyone involved in society. And, he is that caricature WRIT LARGE! He is the epitome of our short-attention span culture that glorifies some of the worst of our society through reality TV and other mediums. Facebook and other social media platforms have made everyone a 'celebrity' and too many are swept away by the images they seek out and the unrealistic images they believe they want to be. The profane and absurd are raised on pedestals and worshiped. It is acceptable to be rude and disrespectful because that's what people see on TV. The healthy images and role-models are lost in a shitstorm of self-serving celebrity. America showed me that it isn't ready for a change away from the old, patriarchal, white-dominated ways with which we have lived since our birth as a nation.

We had an opportunity to move in a more humane and progressive fashion. In a way that would have insured that every citizen and person living in this country would have been afforded basic things that would help them move upward in society. And, the system made sure we were not afforded that true opportunity.

We had an opportunity to move towards the matriarchal society that is coming and away from the misogyny and male-power dominated culture in which we live. And, we were fearfully and angrily driven away from it in a fashion that was all too familiar and far too out-of-date.

So, we end up with what we have.

Should we despair? Perhaps, but only temporarily. Should we be angry? Yes, if that's the way you choose to go, but make certain that anger is channeled into action and participation. Should we make certain that we stand up and be heard? Without a doubt. Raise your voice. Participate if by no other means than regularly calling your legislators' offices and letting them know when you are not happy with how they are conducting THE PEOPLE'S BUSINESS.

Personally, I believe that this whole thing may implode under its own weight of greed, chicanery, lies, and misdirection. If there is not enough LOVE to fill the void when it does implode then we are in for an extremely rough haul. Because any ensuing chaos will be driven by Hate and Fear. And we all know the type of adversaries they can be, more often than not through our own personal life experiences, personal circumstances, and lives. If one is aware of their environment, it will also be seen by observing the world around you moving throughout the year. 2017 is a year with great potential. But the course that we follow must be true and driven by love. And compassion. And consideration. And understanding. And, most important of all, an overwhelming desire to bridge the gap of differences and strive towards living together in harmony. With each other and with the planet. The 1 represents the Individual. Independence. Ideas. Initiative. All those words begin with “I”. Ask yourself: What will I do to bring about the necessary change?

I wish everyone the very best of 2017. Do your part to make it a good year. If you don't. You lose your right to complain...about anything.

Happy New Year.


© 2016 Michael John Fierro. Redistribution with permission from the author.

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