Saturday, March 29, 2014

#LDS Women's Meeting I don't do Facebook or Twitter, but I heard the term #Women's Meeting thrown about more than once so I thought I should at least join in. :)
Sarah and I had the great privilege of attending the LDS Women's Meeting this evening in the Conference Center. It was a historic meeting because it was the first time Primary girl's 8 and older, Young Women, and the Relief Society sisters have all had a meeting together. I have been attending the general Relief Society meetings either in the Tabernacle or on Temple Square for almost 30 years. I look forward to it every time and I surely didn't want to miss this one.
 There was a lot that happened around me that I took notice of and thought I would share for the benefit of others who may have watched it elsewhere.

The first thing I noticed when Jim dropped me off was the generational groupings. There were so many obvious family groups of grandmothers, mothers, teenage daughters, and Primary aged girls. It was a tender sight. The excitement was palpable. It seemed just right, the way it should be.

The Conference Center was completely full. We had wonderful seats on the main floor. There was a family in front of us that had two primary aged girls. The youth were everywhere. The feelings were tender watching daughters of God come together for this meeting.

Sarah and I had a hard time composing ourselves for the opening choir number. I was deeply moved as the Primary girls started the song Daughters in My Kingdom (start at 7:43 minutes). During the chorus, the girls sang "Precious Daughters" followed by the deeper voices of the Young Women singing "Faithful Daughters" followed by all three groups finishing. It was so touching that we just cried all the way through.

Perhaps the most touching moment came during Sister Wixom's talk. I don't know how much audiences who were watching via sattelite could see what happened all around us. She asked the Primary aged girls to stand up and listen to what she was humming and then join in singing when they knew the words. She hummed only a few notes and then ALL AROUND the Conference Center, the Primary aged girls sang the first verse of Teach Me to Walk in the Light.  (LDS Women's Meeting start at 15:06 minutes)

"Teach me to walk in the light of his love;
Teach me to pray to my Father above;
Teach me to know of the things that are right;
Teach me, teach me to walk in the light."

Then Sister Wixom asked the rest of the sisters aged 12 and older to sing the second verse. 

"Come, little child, and together we'll learn
Of his commandments, that we may return
Home to his presence, to live in his sight--
Always, always to walk in the light".

It is truly difficult to put into words the power of the Spirit we felt as we finished the song. It was clearly evident to me what the Lord was trying to teach throughout the meeting, and especially during that song...that we have to help one another no matter what our age difference so that we will be able to withstand the difficulties we will face in these last days trying to keep our covenants. To be surrounded by the girls standing and singing, followed by the older group singing in such a setting was truly amazing. Sarah and I were simply overwhelmed.

The talks were all very good and the feeling of being in such a place was certainly a blessing. I was also impressed by the last refrain of the closing song. 20,000+ voices sang in unison, "We will heed not what the wicked may say but the Lord alone we will obey." Let Us All Press On. It was powerful reminder of the difficulties we face these days and how we need to be focused on keeping our covenants and help our sisters around us to do the same. None of us will make it alone.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bartholomew And John Golgoski

In my ongoing efforts to try and find out where my Polish ancestors actually came from, I've decided to make a blog post about them to see if anybody, anywhere might have a valuable lead for me. I have been working on this line of my family for almost 20 years. I have discovered a lot of information, but not enough to tell me where they actually came from.
Bartholomew Golgoski or as he was known when he was born in Poland, Bartłomiej Gałkowski, was born in September 1810. (I have the following picture in my possession. I have seen this photo tagged on the internet incorrectly identifying him as John Golgoski.) Bartłomiej is Bartholomew's Polish given name (pronounced: bahr-TWAWM-yay). Bartholomaeus is the Latin equivalent as he would be found on Catholic church records. Gałkowski is his Polish surname. Golgoski is an Americanized spelling derivation. Sometimes it is spelled as Golgosky and sometimes Golkoski on American records.
 Bartholomew lived to be at least 100 years old, 
possibly a few years older than that.
In this photo dated ~1911, which is also in my possession, he is shown with his granddaughter Tillie (Mathilda) Leopold. She later married Oscar Wolfersteig. The photo came from Tillie's daughter. She sent it to my mother. On the 1910 census from Kingston, New York, Bartholomew was shown living with four of his Leopold grandchildren because their parents Ames and Pauline Leopold both died in 1909. I have not been able to confirm whether they were his grandfather because of Ames or because Pauline was his daughter. I have been unable to locate a death record, death date or place of death for Bartholomew. Ames & Pauline are buried in Kingston very close to the Golgoski family grave.

Bartholomew is found on the Almshouse records of Ulster County in 1901 as an inpatient. He listed his place of residence prior to coming to the US as Kraków, Kraków, Poland. I have searched many of the Catholic parish records in Kraków and am unable to find any of his records there. It is possible he listed Kraków as the largest urban center close to a smaller village just to make it easier for the person writing down his hospital intake information. At that time, he listed that he had two sons John (my great grandfather) and Whattie, otherwise known as Lawrence, or sometimes known as Joe depending on what census or record one looks at. That son was known as Lawrence on the baptismal records of his children on the records of St. Peter's Church in Kingston and Joe on a census or two and on a few city directories. Don't ask me why, it's surely a mystery. He died in Schenectady in 1926. Lawrence (or Joe's) wife's name was Julia Burburi or Bulovi or Burbura, depending on what record you look at. They were married somewhere In Austria-Poland and likely came to the US with their first child somewhere between 1881-1885, again depending on what record you look at.
This is my great grandfather, John Golgoski. Again, I have the original of this picture taken from my grandmother's home. It hangs in an upstairs bedroom. I have seen this picture on the internet incorrectly identifying him as Bartholomew. Błażej is John's given Polish name (pronounced: BWAH-zhay). The Latin equivalent is Blasius as he would be found on some of the Catholic church records. Gałkowski is his Polish surname. Golgoski is a Americanized spelling derivation. He was born in (Poland?) on February 3, 1867.

On John's naturalization record, it says he came to the US in June of 1876. I have searched all the ship passenger records arriving in NYC for June of 1876 and am unable to locate him on any of those records. On the 1905 census for Kingston, John claimed that he was from Hungary. I have a handwritten document written and signed by him in my possession listing the names and birth dates of all his children. It is written in Hungarian. I had it translated. John is buried in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Kingston, New York. Family legend says that John was a Hungarian translator for a court case in Kingston at one time. It is also known that his children did not speak Polish in their home, rather some other language because when they were sent to the newly opened Polish parish school around the corner from them when it opened, they were sent home because they did not speak Polish.
This is the picture of John's wife, my great grandmother Julia. The original, taken from my grandmother's home, is also in my possession. She is a real mystery. Depending on which birth or death record of her children you look at, of which I have several in my possession, her maiden name is listed as either Michalach, Michbach, or Leopold. On the 1905 census, she listed herself as being Slavish. She was born in 1870 and apparently came to the US in 1879. Julia died in 1921. She and John were married in 1889 in Kingston.
This is my grandmother Caroline, John and Julia's daughter. She was a good woman. On one of her birth records, her last name is listed as Golden. There are so many variations of spellings and last names on the records I've collected over the years that it is difficult to ascertain why there are so many discrepancies.
 This is my dad. I'll need to find the original of this to make a better copy but he sure looks like my great grandfather.

If anyone happens upon this blog post and knows any more information than this, please use my contact button and I will happily respond to you. I have exhausted many leads and really could use some help.

Monday, March 24, 2014

24 Hours Plus

So whatever Gregory had, I got. Ugh.

I was down hard all day yesterday. It was not a good day to say the least. I'm better today but very weak and still a little dizzy. At least I can keep food and water down. So much for the 24 hour flu, more like the 24 hour plus flu. Poor Jim is home from work today feeling like he might be getting it too.

Such is life. At least the sun is shining.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Three Year Old Perspective

I tended Nathan and Hannah yesterday because Sarah needed to go out of town for a clogging competition. It was Gregory's birthday and although they celebrated it Thursday evening as a family, I thought I should do something for him as well. Unfortunately, Gregory was up in the night with a bad stomach flu and needed to stay home from work. His plan was to pick the kids up at 6:00. I bought him two giant beautifully decorated cupcakes and Jim was scheduled to bring Thai food home for dinner.

Gregory arrived at 5:30 looking absolutely awful. He wore a surgical mask as to not spread the germs. His eyes were sunken, he had huge dark circles under them, and they were the red eyes of a sick person. He went into work for two hours despite his sickness and I think that was too much for him. He sat down and I gave him Tylenol right off the bat.

As soon as he came into the kitchen Nathan said, "Look daddy, Grandma Liz got you a birthday present, it's a book." So much for telling a three year old what was in the SURPRISE present.

Gregory sat in the living room looking like he was about to pass out when not too long after, we heard paper crinkling. Sure enough, it was Nathan who had just OPENED Gregory's present and said, "Look Daddy, it's a book." Gregory was a good sport about it. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Jim never arrived until 6:15 which made me a little nervous because Gregory looked like he obviously needed to go home and rest. We at dinner which the kids didn't like because they weren't the staple "noodles and sprinkle cheese" which is their favorite. I thought it was really good.

We lit the candles on the giant, and I mean giant carrot cake cupcake and Gregory let Nathan blow them out because he didn't want to blow germs all over the table which was probably a pretty smart idea. Nathan was thrilled with the whole thing and although he knew it was his Dad's birthday, he got the benefit of the birthday present opening and candle blowing which from the perspective of a three year old is the best part of a birthday.

Live and learn. In hindsight, it was pretty funny. So much for surprises.

I love those kids. :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I've never been so glad to see the first day of Spring in all my life! Hallelujah!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Family Dinner

We enjoyed a fun family dinner yesterday. 
We missed Emma and Seth.
Too cute.
Playing with Aunt Elisa.
Stuck in the highchair
Nathan adores Jessa
We think she's pretty great too.
Jessa and Ian
Playing with Nathan
Nathan and Grandma Angie
My Mom
Just smile normally Elisa
If you can't beat them, join them
Sarah and Gregory
Gregory telling one of his famous stories
Obviously a good one
Jim did a lot of the cooking
Elisa with the kids
Nathan took this one of me
Elisa bought this tent for the kids
Good buy
They love it
Bye for now

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hannah And Daddy

I so love this picture of Gregory reading
 to Hannah before nursery at church today.
This is the best part of life.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Feeling Of Peace

About 20 years ago, I thought to myself that one day I wanted a book called Conversion. I wrote it down on a tattered piece of paper. I told Jim many times over the years, "I'm going to write a book someday." I'm not sure he ever took me serious.

As the years went on, I added more titles to that tattered piece of paper. I still have that paper. I think there are eight titles on it now. I've crossed off two. :)

I just discovered a little while ago that my paperback version of Conversion is available. It took me by surprise because it just popped up as I was adding the title to Goodreads.

Here is the link to the paperback:

I cleaned my room this morning because I had a burst of energy and because it needed it badly. I came across an article from the Church News for the week of August 25, 2013 called "Campus Education Week: Converted Woman's Voice is Immeasurable and Needed" quoting some of the talk Elder Ballard gave at BYU Education Week.

One of the things he said in that talk was, "The power of a converted woman's voice is immeasurable, and the Church needs your voices now more than ever..." Wow.

He also said,  "The world needs women of the Church who know the doctrine of Christ and who can bear testimony of the Restoration. Never has there been a more complex time in the history of the earth. Satan and his minions have been perfecting the weapons in their arsenal for millennia, and they are experienced at destroying faith and trust in God and the Lord Jesus Christ among the human family. All — women, men, young adults, youth, young boys and girls — have the Lord's purposes and His Church to defend, protect and spread throughout the earth..."

I am humbled by the following in which he said, "More distinctive, influential voices of faith from women are needed — for only women can show the world what women of God who have made covenants look like and believe."

"None of us can afford to stand by and watch the purposes of God be diminished and pushed aside," he said. "I invite particularly you sisters here and throughout the Church to seek the guidance of heaven in knowing what you can do to let your voice of faith and testimony be heard.…"

He said, "We must all defend our Savior and testify that He is the Christ, that His Church has been restored to the earth, that there is such a thing as right and wrong. If we are to have the courage to speak out and defend the Church, we must first prepare ourselves through study of the truths of the gospel."

Finding that article this morning was a tender mercy. It brought tears to my eyes. I hope in some small way I have done just what Elder Ballard was talking about. My book Conversion, about becoming "converted unto the Lord," is my offering to Him written specifically to do just what Elder Ballard was talking about. If it helps just one person, it was worth the time and effort it took to write it and the 20 years of thinking about it. I have a feeling of peace about having accomplished something that's so important to me and hopefully useful to the Lord.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Today I Felt Good

Today I felt as good as I've felt in three months. I am so grateful because it's been a long three months. I definitely have turned the corner and now I am just trying to not overdo and get my stamina back day by day.
 I visited Hannah and Nathan this afternoon.
The first thing Nathan told me when I got there was that he went to a chocolate store. It wasn't until 15 minutes later when we had a Google talk session with Grandpa at work that I found out that Grandpa took them to the chocolate store. Sarah never said a word. :) They are so delightful and they make me laugh. Hannah repeats back whatever you say and today she kept saying "Google Hangout" while Nathan kept laughing. Fun, fun, fun.

This evening I went to a Stake Relief Society meeting celebrating the organization of Relief Society in Nauvoo in 1842. They did a reenactment of that first meeting as if we were there. It was a short play. They wore period costumes and had period displays. It was incredibly well done and I felt blessed to be there.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

No Known Relatives

I've been doing a lot of genealogy in the last week. I found a death certificate of a cousin of mine on the internet that said he had "No known relatives." He was from New York but died in a hospital in Mississippi of war injuries in 1945. He was never married and had no children. The certificate said he was buried in a national cemetery in Louisiana. When I read the certificate I got tears in my eyes. I said to myself, "You are not unknown to me and I'm your relative." That was a good find.

One another note, the Kindle version of my new book is available on Amazon. The link is on the left side of this blog. The paperback version will be available in a few days. So far, so good.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Today I published my second book. 
It was a lot of work. 
That's an understatement. 

It's always scary because you put so much of yourself in a book and you wonder how it will be received and if it will be received. It's been a year and a half in the making. It's a relief and a little bit stressful at the same time. It's also exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I should have the links for it available in a few days and I will post them as they become available. Wow. Does this mean I need to write another one? I actually already started . :)
This was one of the choices I had for my author picture. Kent Miles took them last year. He's a really good photographer and he was so patient with me.  He really wanted me to use this one but I chose the one on the top left of my blog which I like a little better but I thought I would at least post this today. Thanks Kent.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Writing, Writing, And More Writing

I've been doing a lot of it lately, just not on this blog. I'll try and get better.

I have not had a fever in a week. I am very grateful for that and I am feeling better but I am very tired today. The change to daylight savings time has messed me up a little.

I love what Seth said in his email home today. He said, "I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's Abraham, Moses, or Noah on the world today. :)" That's really a great way of putting it. It's the truth. Well said Son.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Is It Over?

Gratefully, and that's an understatement, I have not have a fever in four nights. I was weak yesterday and tired but no fever. This morning I decided to be brave and go swimming again. I tried it last week but it gave me a fever and I wasn't well the rest of the day. I had more energy than the last time. I ate well before I went. I will lay low the rest of the day and see what happens this evening. I sure hope this long ordeal is over. I asked my family to fast for me last weekend and I had a great deal of comfort knowing they were uniting their faith and prayers on my behalf.

I've been treating my suspected Candida infiltration with a heaping teaspoon of coconut oil every day and two tablets of non-odor (although that's debatable) kyolic aged-garlic tablets. I also have been having some kefir everyday in a shake and taking a good probiotic while trying to decrease the amount of sugar in my diet. These are suggestions for natural treatments I found on the internet because I couldn't tolerate the Nystatin. Things seem to be improving.

The proof copy of my book is coming tomorrow. Actually, three of them are coming and we'll get three sets of eyes on them before it's gets passed on to publishing, but I like it. That's been keeping me  busy with my writing. Looking forward to seeing it tomorrow.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Enjoying The Process

I spent the day preparing my book for publication. I enjoy the process a great deal. It seems I learn something new every time I sit down to edit. I've done a lot of writing today so that counts for my writing for the day.

I also went Visiting Teaching to a new convert of a few months. She had a lot of questions and I think we were helpful. My companion is a 20 year old woman who used to be one of my Young Women when I was Young Women's president. It was her first time Visiting Teaching and the first time the woman we visited ever had Visiting Teachers. It was delightful all the way around.

I heard from Seth today. He sounds good and we must be getting close to spring because he said his allergies are starting to kick in. Here's his closing testimony:

"I know that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I love the spirit and the power of testimony. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet God, and that the Book of Mormon is God's word. I know that Thomas Monson is the Prophet of God is our day. I love this gospel!!"

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Book Cover

I've been working on book covers today.
This is my second version draft.
So far I like it.