My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Cosy Pictures

I bragged on the phone this afternoon about feeling good and then out of nowhere... BAM!... another headache. I didn't play around with this one... it got the good migraine meds right out of the gates. Last week I was nearly comatose over date "night" (and day and night and the next day) and I'd like to be a little more engaged this week. Sprinkle all those good "headache be gone" vibes my way, if you would.

Gamer Girl watching her dad play

This morning I had the little chickadee and her furry companion with me. I picked them up and we drove through Dunkin' Donuts for an iced coffee for Nana and some munchkins for the munchkin. The employees gathered in the drive-thru window to see the tiny kitten and tried to bribe her from us. Cosy would never forgive me if I gave her kitten away. They are fairing fairly well, I think.

Tucked in for a nap
We did have to have a conversation today about not throwing the cat... and how to pick her up gently... and then there was a complete meltdown when we had to leave the cat at home to make a little grocery shopping trip. I'm telling you... three year old girls are probably the most emotional creatures on earth. It wasn't just tears... it was tears and hyperventilating and giving her dad the stink eye... she's hard core, that one! But before that we had a nice, peaceful... sort of... happy morning. Thought I'd share a few photos with you, especially for the ones who aren't on Facebook or Instagram or the other spots in cyberspace I tend to hang out.

Now I'm going to close my eyes for a little while before time to head south for Date Night (and day and night and the next day). Hope your Tuesday has been lovely! Love and hugs, y'all!

wearing a chair for a hat

Laughing at her silly dad... 

A bit wound up... 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Reasons To Love Monday - Lowering My Blood Pressure Edition

Skylight allowing sunlight in... 
It's nearly 3pm on Monday as I begin writing this blog and I have LITERALLY done nothing beyond exist so far today. I would feel guilty but y'all... I'm just trying to get this blood pressure down and chilling like it's my job seems like the best way to do it. I've got a pillow stuffed into the skylight so I am mushrooming hardcore. I feel bad that I haven't blogged yet today to give you inspiration for the week (joke... are these posts EVER inspirational? Really?) and I didn't blog yesterday either so I feel compelled to share some of my well rested wisdom with you. And since it's Monday... I'll share some of the things that are keeping my heart beating faster this week... while still keeping my bp down.

Pillow in skylight
1. Pillow stuffed into the skylight? Genius. It's sad that it took me four months up here to figure that one out. Granted... I love the light for things like selfies and insta-stories but when I'm laying here trying to rest... hate it.

2. I slept until 8am this morning. That never happens unless I'm at Marvin's in his very dark, very quiet, very cool room. When I opened my eyes and saw that it was 8, I stretched like a cat waking from an afternoon nap. I think Marvin was actually awake before me this morning and wondering why he hadn't had a response from me yet on the text he sent me late last night. I think in another hour he was going to be ready for a welfare check on me.

3. Marvin got an amazing message last night from Butch Walker - a musician that we both really adore. I worried that Father's Day would be hard for Marvin since it's the first since his son passed away. Then he got this lovely message from this amazing artist and it really boosted his spirits. If you don't know who Butch is, you really should check him out. He is my current jam while I'm in the car... and has been for a few months now. He writes really lovely songs with brilliant lyrics that hit me right in the feels. He had posted on Instagram about Father's Day and Marvin commented about it being his first without his son. Butch sent him a really kind message in response and... you know, there aren't a lot of public figures who really take that kind of time to be genuine to their fans. He earned mucho respect from me for that... and of course, made Marvin's day! So yay!

4. It looks like we're going to have terribly hot weather this week. I hate hot weather so much. I just literally melt... I get the nasty heat migraines... I sweat like a prostitute in church... my hair gets frizzy from the humidity. Summer is not my favorite. We've talked about this. But fortunately... I have very few outdoor obligations this week. I'll be up here in my nest with the a/c on except when I'm at Marvin's nest with the a/c on... avoiding the sunlight like a vampire. And I am literally counting the days until October... when our temperatures finally start consistently getting out of the eighties. There are 104 days until October, if you were wondering.

5. Since I'm nesting hard... I'm (of course) binge-watching tv... and right now I'm watching the series "Madame Secretary" which is a great show! More about it in my next couch potato post but definitely worth a watch.

6. I did climb out of the nest long enough to actually cook food for myself today... I made kraft macaroni and cheese and added a can of tuna. I wanted to toss in some english peas but I was raiding Pop's pantry and he hates peas. I need to do more salads/fresh fruit and veggies but I just haven't felt well enough for a shopping trip. Pop picks things up for me and Austin picks things up for me but I'm due a proper food shop for myself. Maybe tomorrow.

7. I've been working on my stuff... my tree and Marvin's... and I found out that Abraham Lincoln is my fifth cousin, four times removed on my dad's side... at least I think that's how it works out. At any rate, we do have a common ancestor and that totally thrilled me. Genealogy is so much fun for me! is stupid expensive and I always find myself focusing more on it when the renewal is coming up. Little finds like this are great motivation to keep digging. Posting about my ancestors on my blog is also keeping me motivated. My next post will be about this common ancestor that Cousin Abe and I share so... stay tuned!

8. Tomorrow is Cosy day... and date night... hopefully I won't be so worn out from the first bit to not enjoy the second bit. I try to pace myself. I haven'ta  s much time with her lately because of my headaches/blood pressure/back issues and ... not having a car most of the time. I had her for a little while on Saturday but I didn't feel well and she was missing her kitten so she went home early. I'll have to make sure to get the kitten tomorrow. I think. Marvin is not playing softball this Summer so date night is slower paced (and cooler) and we're home earlier than when he's playing.

 9. My blood pressure HAS gone down a little since last week. I was up to 164/120 on Friday (I think it was Friday... maybe Saturday) and then it got a bit better and today was a little better still. I'm not normal yet and that's frustrating since I'm taking four different pills that lower your blood pressure but... at least I don't feel like a time bomb ready to stroke out at any second like I did the other day. I'm keeping a close watch on it, trying to eat healthy(er) and so forth. My next scheduled dr visit is in August and I don't want to have to go in the meantime but if I have another series of high readings, I'm going to have to.

And... I guess that will do it for this week's Reasons To Love Monday! What is your motivation this week? What helps drag you out of your nest to face the hot temperatures? What keeps your blood pressure in a nice, healthy range? I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Genealogy - James P Allaire

James Peter Allaire

BIRTH 12 JUL 1785  New Rochelle, Westchester, New York, United States

DEATH 20 MAY 1858  Allaire, Monmouth, New Jersey, United States

I decided to write about Mr. Allaire because he has an entire state park named after him. I'm not certain but I *think* he is my only ancestor with a state park. The Historic Village at Allaire in Farmington, New Jersey is based on my 5x- great grandfather's life. Our lineage is as such:

James Peter Allaire was the father of
Throckmorton Allaire who was the father of
Sarah Frances Allaire who was the mother of
Roland Ely Shafto who was the father of
Clara Shafto who was the mother of
Bruce Bronson Gant Sr. who was the father of
my father

The biography from the park website was written better than I could so I'm sharing that here.

Biography of the Founder

James Peter Allaire was born on July 12, 1785 and was a noted master mechanic and steam engine builder, and founder of the Allaire Iron Works, the first marine steam engine company in New York City, and later Howell Works (est. 1822), in Wall Township, New Jersey. He is also noted for building both the first compound steam engine for marine use and the first New York City tenement structure.
At the age of 17, he began working for Francis Elsworth, a brass founder in the city. Allaire would marry Frances Duncan, a distant cousin, two years later, and he continued to advance at the brass foundry. They would eventually have nine children, five of whom lived to adulthood.
By 1806, having learned the brass business, Allaire opened his own foundry. Before the War of 1812, Allaire’s foundry received an order from Robert Fulton to make the brass works for the Clermont, the first commercially successful steamboat. After Fulton’s death in 1815, Allaire leased Fulton’s shop in New Jersey from the estate. Charles Soutinger, Fulton’s chief engineer, became his partner. Under that partnership, Allaire and Stoutinger built the engine for Fulton’s last steamship design, the Chancellor Livingston, as well as the air cylinder for the Savannah, the first steam powered vessel to successfully cross the Atlantic.
By 1820, Allaire was operating that largest marine engine building shop in the United States. He personally held a number of patents for steam engine improvements developed at his shop, which was known as the James P. Allaire Works.
In 1822, after acquiring the property which is now known at The Historic Village at Allaire, building began on what would eventually become the Howell Works – a community of approx. 400 workers and their families. The Howell Works was designed to be a self-sustaining community that would integrate all of the economic components needed to support Allaire’s businesses (production of the bulk pig iron to be shipped and cast into machine parts at Allaire Works in NY, for use in the building of the ships for the (Allaire owned) Steamboat Packet Lines. By 1833 most of the standard features of Village life were in place at the Howell Works. A post office, school for worker’s children, blacksmith shop, carpenter’s shop, carriage house, manager’s house, foreman’s cottage and chapel were in place. The company store (General Store) was completed in 1835. Allaire’s family moved to the site sometime in 1834 (although he often stayed in NYC to oversee the Allaire Works). His first wife, Frances, died in 1836 after a long illness and though deeply affected by her death, he returned to his work. Despite a 26 year age difference, ten years after Frances’s death, he would marry Calicia Allaire Tompkins, a distant cousin who had nursed his first wife during her illness. They had one son, Hal, born in 1847.
The village was at its most prosperous in 1836 (the year we interpret) but began to decline as richer deposits of iron and coal in Pennsylvania made production cheaper and the use of charcoal in the furnaces was not as efficient as coal. By 1848 the production had been in steady decline and the furnace ceased to operate. Although the Howell Works was only one of James P. Allaire’s numerous businesses, it has turned out to be a lasting monument to a man who combined business acumen with a concern for his employees. A true testament to an early industrialist during a time of growth and change in the American landscape.


More about James P. Allaire from the www.geni website:
Founder of Howell Iron Works. James P. Allaire was one of the best known industrialists in the country.
Records indicate James Peter Allaire was born 12 July 1785 in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia; however, new evidence may prove he was born in his family's ancestral home city of New Rochelle, New York. Petitions to the Continental Congress in 1784 by a Peter A. Allaire of New York indicate this branch of the Allaire family may have remained in New York during the British evacuation. We do know, though, that members the Allaire Family held Loyalist views during the United States War of Independence and fled to Canada during the British evacuation of New York after the signing of the Paris Peace Treaty of 1783. Among these was Allaire's uncle, Anthony Allaire, who served with the British Army during the war under the infamous Col. Tarleton as well as in Maj. Patrick Ferguson's famed rifle corps during the Carolina Campaigns. It was Col. Tarleton who issued the notorious decree offering freedom to any slave wishing to join his army.
Little, if anything, is known about James Peter Allaire's early years. Scant evidence indicates he may have received only the most rudimentary, elementary education. This, however, would be in direct conflict his Huguenot heritage and his family's socio-economic status. We know from Allaire's actions later in life that he was strongly instilled with the Huguenot philosophy of free and equal education and firmly believed in the Huguenot conviction that life is a learning experience and one should strive to better him or herself through continued learning and education.
Peter Alexander Allaire, James P. Allaire's father, moved his family to New York City sometime after 1793, where he purchased a house at 29 John Street. Evidence indicates that Peter Allaire operated a livery stable nearby, which is probably where James Allaire was first introduced to iron production. In 1802, at the age of 17, James Peter Allaire began working for Frances Ellsworth, a brass founder in the City of New York, and by 1804 was operating his own small brass foundry located at 466 Cherry Street on the city's Lower East Side. It was this same year he would marry his second cousin, Frances Duncan, on 25 January. Frances and James would have nine children together, but only five of them would reach maturity.
Prior to the War of 1812, James Allaire received orders from two gentlemen hoping to built a craft and begin regular steam service from New York City to Albany: Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, Jr. and Robert Fulton. This would commence a long lasting relationship between Allaire, Livingston and Fulton as well as mark the foundation of his career as a marine engine manufacturer. Allaire was commissioned to cast parts for The Boat, as Livingston and Fulton called her. She would leave New York Harbor on the 17th of August 1807 and sail into history, proving to the world the possibilities of nautical steam navigation. After several successful runs during the autumn of that year, The Boat would be pulled from service and set in dry dock at Clermont, the country seat of Chancellor Livingston, located in Germantown, NY. She would be re-outfitted during the winter months of 1807 and 1808, with the assistance of James Allaire, and put back into service during the spring of 1808 after being christened the North River Steam Boat and dubbed by the public the North River Steamboat of Clermont. Today she is known simply as The Clermont.
Allaire would continue his personal and business relationship with Livingston and Fulton. Allaire continued his relationship with Fulton and Livingston's heirs after the Chancellor's death on 26 February 1813. He continued to work with Fulton up to the time of Fulton's own death on February 23, 1815 from pneumonia. Allaire's relationship with Fulton became so close that he may have even been the executor of Fulton's estate. We do know though that Allaire continued his business relationship with the heirs of Robert Fulton and his wife, Harriett Livingston who was the ward of the Chancellor, as well as his relationship with the heirs of the Chancellor himself. Historic records show that the Allaire family and the Livingstons had dealings in the past and it is even possible James Allaire was distantly related to the Chancellor.
After Fulton's death, Allaire formed a partnership with Charles Stoutinger, the chief engineer for the Fulton Livingston Works in Jersey City, NJ, and leased the tools, machinery and shop from the Fulton/Livingston heirs. The two immediately began work to complete the last boat designed by Fulton, the Chancellor Livingston. Work was completed by 1816, but shortly after this Stoutinger died. After Stoutinger's death, Allaire closed the Jersey City plant and relocated to Cherry Street at Corlear's Hook, where his small brass foundry was located. It was here that James Peter Allaire founded the Allaire Works, a move that would thrust him into prominence as one of the world's most famous marine engine manufacturers of the time.
His reputation for honesty and integrity, his attention to exacting detail, and his demands for perfection all contributed to the success of his Allaire Works. It was due to this reputation that, in 1818, Capt. Moses Rogers, a native of New London, CT, would contact Allaire with a proposal. A perfectionist himself, Rogers, with the backing of a consortium of wealthy Savannah merchants and planters, had set out to build the first trans-Atlantic steam powered vessel.
Rogers selected carefully in who would contracted to supply the parts for his craft and where it would be assembled. Samuel Carson, trained in London by sons of Matthew Boulton and James Watt who invented the steam engine, was employed to draft the design of the engines along with Daniel Dod of Elizabethtown, NJ. The engines would be cast and assembled by Steven Vail at his Speedwell Ironworks and James P. Allaire was selected to cast the cylinder, the largest made up to that time. On 22 1819, the Savannah "put to sea with steam and sails." She made the crossing from Savannah, GA to Liverpool in 29 days and 4 hours traveling for 18 days under steam power. While the crossing set no speed records, due in part to bad weather, the Savannah gained critical acclaim and proved to the world that trans-Atlantic steam navigation was possible. Unfortunately though, the Savannah showed her to be more of a curiosity and proved a financial failure.
Despite the financial failure of the Savannah, his contributions to her would secure James Peter Allaire's place in the annals of marine history and place him in the forefront of marine engine building during his time. By 1820, the 35 year old Allaire was producing over 50 percent of all marine engines manufactured in the United States and operating the largest marine engine shop in the country. Allaire personally held numerous patents for steam engine improvements developed at his Allaire Works in New York and proved his genius time and again through increased technological developments of his own design.
As his business grew and production increased, so did Allaire's need for raw materials which, in his case, was primarily iron. At the time, the United Kingdom was the largest manufacturer and exporter of iron in the world, but, as a result of the war of 1812, high ad velum tariffs had been placed on the British commodity. At one point these import tariffs reached the astounding figure of 130 percent. Allaire was forced to find a more economical means of securing the raw materials he so desperately needed.
In 1822 Allaire's long time friend and business associate Benjamin B. Howell wrote to him about a small forge on the upper fringes of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Howell had been leasing the property form its owner, William Newbold, where he operated the Monmouth Furnace. Howell wrote Allaire, "The furnace, as you know, is situated in a pleasant and good country.and I think this country wants only to be known to render it a place of much greater moment.As a situation for a furnace it possesses many great advantages."
Upon the advice of his friend Allaire purchased the property form Newbold on 27 April 1822 for a cost of $19,000. Unfortunately Allaire was unable to raise the necessary capital quickly enough to meet the terms of his purchase agreement. Newbold subsequently sued Allaire in the New Jersey Supreme Court for Breech of Covenant. This would be the first of many legal battles into which Allaire would enter during his ownership of the property. With the contract satisfied, his legal difficulties behind him and the transfer of ownership complete, Allaire took full possession of the property by early 1823. Over the next few years, Allaire would make many improvements to the site, repairing existing buildings and constructing new ones. The isolation of the site also forced him to consider the development of a self sufficient community, one that would eventually include a blacksmith shop, carpenter shop, bakery and grist mill, a boarding house, larger homes for workers and their families, mills and factories, a school and church and a general store.
Immediately after purchasing the Howell Works site, Allaire spent much of his time there working on development plans; however, the needs of his Allaire Works would summon him back to New York. Once back in the city, he shifted his attentions to the business of marine engine manufacturing and only went to the Howell Works as business required, hiring a fulltime general manager to oversee the operations in New Jersey. It is unsure exactly when Allaire relocated his family to the Howell Works property, installing them in the largest house on the property, and some evidence indicates it may have been as early as 1824. However, we do know by 1834 the Allaire family had relocated form their Cherry Street home to the Monmouth County property. At the time of the move, Allaire's wife's health was increasingly deteriorating. Also at this time a devastating a cholera outbreak was sweeping the world and, between 1832 and 1833, New York was hit. The hardest hit area of the city was the Lower east Side where the Allaire family lived. This provided the impetus for Allaire to remove his family to the more healthful climate of South Eastern Monmouth County.
With operations in full swing at the Howell Works furnace, Allaire found himself with the need for a constant flow of supplies and products in and out of the small Village he had created so he set out to improve transportation between his new property and the New York City works, as well as to the markets directly. He leased land at the Eatontown Dock, now known as Oceanport, on the Navesink River, to build a carriage shed. From here he could store and lade farm goods, pig iron and cast iron wares onto vessels under his own control for delivery to New York. On the return trip, the ships would bring whatever supplies were needed by the Howell Works, the surrounding community and the Allaire family. In time, Allaire's seaboard holdings would include enlarged warehouse and wharfage facilities at Eatontown Dock and similar facilities in Red Bank. Allaire is even credited with running the first regularly scheduled steam packet passenger service between Red Bank and New York. Early plans to build a small railroad to one of these facilities never materialized, however, due to a chronic lack of liquid capital that would plague Allaire's business empire for years to come.
Although Allaire was fairly successful and diversified in his businesses at the time of the purchase from William Newbold, the availability of cash to expand his business was limited. The banking and financial industries at this time had only recently emerged form their infancy in America. The national Economy was still feeling the effects of the War of 1812, and the mighty financial engine of American Industry envisioned by Alexander Hamilton was still experiencing growing pains. Despite unprecedented growth of the nation's industries however, liquid capital was hard to come by and industrials like James P. Allaire were caught up in the never ending cycle of re-investment.
Allaire was also faced with another challenge to surviving in a cash poor economy. The ship building industry, upon which he depended, was notorious for cash flow problems. The nature of the industry was such that the builder of a ship and its major parts, such as the steam engines that Allaire manufactured, took in a small amount of cash and a financial interest in the vessel. When the ship became profitable, the builder could either sell his shares or take his part of the profit. Since insurance was expensive and rarely purchased, the ship builders and those who built the major parts took a great deal of risk and had no way of recouping their losses if the ship foundered. For Allaire the risk was enormous as the engines he produced cost anywhere from $60,000 to $150,000. Added to this was the fact he had to pay out of pocket all production expenses including materials and payroll. This meant that men, like James P. Allaire, had to have vast sums of capital available just to cover costs. Fortunately for Allaire, he had sources of financial capital close at hand. His primary backer was his brother-in-law, John Haggerty, the husband of James' eldest sister Maria.
Despite all of this Allaire prospered and became a wealthy man. Between the years of 1822 and 1836 the Allaire Works reached the peak of its production and Allaire was building over 50 percent of all steam boat engines and boilers in the country. His business expanded to include the construction of hulls and he was able to produce complete vessels. During this time he made many technological advances and became highly respected in his field and one of America's most prominent men. During this period the Howell Works developed into a major industrial centre. It employed, at its peak production, between 400 and 600 employees, both residents of the Works community and the surrounding neighborhood. With pig iron production at a surplus Allaire turned his attentions to the production of hollow ware, things such as pots, skillets, household items and sadirons, as well as making machine parts and tools. He also laid the foundations for a vast transportation network reaching as far north as Boston and as far south as Charleston. He began regular steam service to New York from red Bank, NJ and regular cartage service to New York from Eatontown Dock. He even developed several stage lines to service his steam boat service and was on the verge of constructing a small railroad to service his steam boat lines by the year of 1836. Allaire had the US Government contract for mail service between New York and Monmouth County and, through the negotiations of his partners Charles Morgan and John Haggerty, in the New York to Charleston Steam Packet Company, which would be reincorporated as the Southern Steam Packet Company in 1836, gained the contracts for mail service to New Orleans and Texas as well.
By 1836 James Peter Allaire was at the peak of success with his diversified businesses. He was unaware, however, that he was about to run into problems, both of his own making and beyond his control, which would cause his expanding empire to constrict and ultimately fail. In little more than a decade the Howell Works would take on an even greater importance as it became the last of his resources.
The first and most personal tragedy Allaire had to face was the death of his beloved wife of 32 years. Frances Duncan Allaire, second cousin of James Allaire, to whom he was married on 25 January in 1804, had given him nine children, although only five would survive to adulthood. As she got older, her health became increasingly fragile and, about 1834; Allaire removed his family to the Big House at the Howell Works property, partly in hopes that the country air would improve Frances' health. Allaire's brother Andrew was know to frequently visit the Howell Works for health reasons.
Frances' poor health had also prompted Allaire to ask his first cousin once removed, Calicia Allaire Tompkins to live at the house and help his wife with her duties as mistress of the house. Calicia was also niece and second cousin once removed to Frances. Despite the best efforts of the medicines of the day, Frances Duncan Allaire left this world on 23 March 1836 at the Howell Works. His wife's death devastated the industrialist and it is said he remained by her empty bedside for two months grieving for her. Business concerns however forced Allaire out of his mourning and he turned his attentions to the maters at hand. Shortly after the marriage of his daughter Maria Haggerty Allaire to Thomas Andrews in June of that year, Allaire returned to New York for good, never wanting to be reminded of the loss he had just suffered. Had his fortunes not been reversed it is most likely Allaire would never reside again at the Howell Works.
As it was, bad news was to follow bad news. That October, one of Allaire's steamboats, the William Gibbons, ran aground. The flagship of his reorganized Southern Steam Packet Company was destroyed. Luckily no lives were lost, but the loss of this boat may have led to greater financial problems from which he was never able to recover. At the time of the William Gibbons' destruction, the new company had just completed re-outfitting the Home for ocean going travel. At a cost of $155,000 to build and outfit her, the capital to complete the Home was tied up in the profitability of the William Gibbons. With its loss, Allaire was left in a huge financial bind.
The following year, another of Allaire's boats ran aground. This time it was one of his vessels on his Red Bank line. But it was in October 1837 that Allaire suffered his greatest disaster. While making its third voyage from New York to Charleston, the Home struck a sandbar off the Jersey coast. Unaware of the extent of the damage, her captain proceeded on schedule to Charleston, SC. The Home started taking on water as she rounded Cape Hatteras, and her captain put her aground to ride out the developing storm. Leaking badly from the earlier damage and battered by the high winds and seas of Racer's Storm, the Home was torn to pieces by the surf. Before rescue operations could be effected the next day 90 lives had been lost.
The financial loss to Allaire was heavy, as the ship had little, if any insurance. But it was the bad press generated by the circumstances of Home's loss that was to leave the most lasting impact. Insurance inquiries centred on rumours that the boat's captain had been drunk while at the helm. Although those charges were ultimately found untrue, the public outcry over such a terrible loss of life led to demands for greater safety regulations for steamboats and other sea-going vessels. Allaire would never fully recover from the damage done to his good name and reputation, which he had worked so long and hard to cultivate.
The timing of these losses could not have been worse. On May 10, 1837 the bottom fell out of the American Economy. The Panic of 1837, which had been inevitable since President Jackson issued his Specie Circular the previous July, plunged the young nation into its first great depression. For James P. Allaire the panic was crippling. Demand for his products dried up quickly as the crisis grew.
Throughout much of Allaire's early operations, and into the 1840's, his brother-in-law John Haggerty was his main source of backing. William Gibbons, for whom the fated steamer was named, was one of Allaire's best customers often fronting him as much as $5,000 toward the construction of the steam engines he ordered. Allaire's reputation and contacts in government and industry were also instrumental in securing him loans from Nicholas Biddle, president of the Second Bank of the United States.
But good financial backing can only go so far and, when the markets evaporated for Allaire's products in the wake of the financial crisis, his empire crumbled. As if to punctuate the end of James P. Allaire's iron empire, the discovery of large iron and coal deposits in Pennsylvania in the early 1830's signalled the end of the bog iron industry in that state as well as in New Jersey. By 1850 the Howell Works Company ceased operations as an iron producing industrial centre. Allaire was forced to reorganize his Allaire Works in New York and, turning once again to his brother-in-law, secured the necessary capital, but not without a price. Haggerty now had the controlling interest in the corporation, largely funded from his own bankroll.
In 1846, ten years after the death of his beloved wife Frances, James Allaire married Calicia Allaire Tompkins, his first cousin once removed, who had been charged with caring for the ill Frances, and who had remained at the Allaire house at the Howell Works after Frances' death. The marriage caused an uproar with Allaire's children and, apparently, with John Haggerty as well. Whether it was the 26 year age difference or concern about Allaire's estate is unclear, but Haggerty refused any further financial backing. By 1849, through Haggerty's machinations, James P. Allaire was forced out of any interest in the Allaire Works. Shortly after this the Howell Works Company was officially declared bankrupt.
Throughout Allaire's control struggles with Haggerty, Calicia lived at the Howell Works with their infant son Hal, who was born on 5 October 1847. Meanwhile, from New York, Allaire did his best to work his way out of the growing business problems facing him. In 1850 Allaire was forced to surrender the three story, company owned, brownstone which had been his home since the beginning of his career. Ousted from the firm that bore his name, he was unable to renegotiate a lease on the company owned house. Having lost his New York business and his home, and barely able to keep steamboats in operation on his Red Bank line, Allaire permanently retired to the Big House on the Howell Works property and, by January of 1851 had spent nearly all of his liquid assets in buying the lands back form the now defunct Howell Works Company. Fortunately, however, fate would intervene in the shape of his former employee John Roach. By this time Roach, who had begun his career at the Howell Works Company, was now a well respected and affluent ship builder in his own right. Roach purchased the troubled Allaire Works in New York and reinstated James Allaire on the Board of Directors in an advisory position with a salary that enabled the former industrialist to live his last days in comfort as a country gentleman.
On the 20th of May in 1858, in the company of his wife Calicia and their son Hal, James Peter Allaire; industrialist, engineer, inventor, merchant, philanthropist and visionary; passed away quietly at the Howell Works Property at the age of 73 after a brief illness. Allaire was interred in the Allaire Family Cemetery plot of the Old Huguenot Cemetery in New Rochelle, New York.
While James Peter Allaire is often overlooked by the history books, his legacy lives on. From his founding of the first free public fire company in Manhattan, to his dedication to providing free and equal education to the masses, to his introduction of the first apartment buildings to the United States, to his advancements in marine navigation and travel, which would change the world forever, the contributions of James Peter Allaire to humanity can not be overlooked. Therefore, it is the goal and purpose of Allaire Village, Inc. to educate the visitors to the Historic Village, which bears his name, on the life and times of James Peter Allaire and the Howell Works Company.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Throwback Thursday - June 14

That awkward moment when Throwback Thursday becomes Flashback Friday... Wednesday night into Thursday became the worst headache I've had in a long time and I could not bear to even do something as simple as post a blog post that was already written. Boyfriend Brag Time: my guy gave me the most relaxing, amazing week(end) (which is actually most people's midweek but it's our weekend. It's complicated.) and took such wonderful care of me. If you've never been a single woman... or a woman married to a man who just doesn't give a rip what you're feeling like... which describes my entire adult life... you cannot imagine how lovely it feels just to have something as basic as, "can I bring you a cool compress for your head?" or to hear "I'm sorry you don't feel well" from someone who means it. He watched over me and let me sleep and made a superhuman effort to keep a quiet, cool space for me to be in so that I could be comfortable. It just melts my stone cold heart into a little babbling brook when he does these sweet things for me. He also fed me so that I didn't have to leave the house until time to go home. And I had to go home because there was this med that I've been missing, as described in my last blog post. I got home... called the pharmacy, they got it ready quickly and Austin hurried over to pick it up for me and although I have bit of a residual headache today, I'm so much better than yesterday!

So let's pick up where you were supposed to be yesterday with a review of blogs from YESTERDAY in blog history. I hope you enjoy!

It's that time of week where I look back to this day in past years on my blog and share a few clips and updates. Since 2017 and 2016 were a bit crazy... I'm going to start with this day in 2015. We had just returned from Connecticut (where we attended my brother's wedding, see Wedding Wednesday from last week if you missed the flashback). Cosy was here and melting my heart but Oliver was not yet here. I was looking forward to holding both babies at once and I have so many times since then... but what I wasn't prepared for, that has been the bigger joy for me, was their sweet interactions (and sometimes not so sweet) with each other. I never, ever, ever talk to Oliver that he doesn't ask me where Cosy is. Any time I say, "guess who is coming to play with you this week?" she immediately guesses Oliver. They might... possibly... who knows... be my only grandchildren and they might very likely be only children. I so very much want them to have each other to lean on! That's another thing about grandparenting... you find yourself focusing on helping your grandchildren foster relationships with other people who will be in their lives long after you are gone. Cosy is really attached to Austin's girlfriend, Jessie. I would be jealous every time Cosy asks me to let Jessie push the shopping cart instead of me... but then I think, if Jessie is involved in Cosy's life long term, I want Cosy to WANT to be around Jessie. I want her to be surrounded by people who love her and make her feel loved. This perspective helps me a lot in dealing with the fact that Oliver is so far away... he sees his other grandma and her mother and sister more than once a week and me just once a month, usually. As much as I wish I could see him more, I'm so glad that there are three other ladies loving him to pieces when I am not around!

In my blog post on this day in 2013, I talked about my thoughts about boys and girls (men and women) and their different perspectives in relationships. This was while I was in sort of an "I'm not ever doing that again" stage of life when it came to relationships but I still stand by what I said. If anything is different with this whole "later in life love" this time around, I'd say that it's taking my own advice of not trying to change him...

Girls fall in love with boys hoping they can change them.... boys fall in love with girls hoping they don't change a bit. And what happens? Guys do what they've always done and if they want to play video games from dark til dawn, they do. And girls get lazy, feeling unappreciated and... let themselves go. I've done it in every single relationship of my life. I've seen a guy as a rough draft that I can improve on... a fixer up, so to speak. And they see me as "move in ready" and expect things to stay perfect, with no attention from them. Relationships fail because we love people for who we want them to be, not for who they are.

If anything is different with this whole "later in life love" this time around, I'd say that it's taking my own advice of not trying to change him... just appreciating who he already is. I don't mean that we never have anything to gain, no opportunities to grow. I hope that I'm always going to learn new things throughout my life and I know he feels the same way. I'm talking about someone's fundamental personality and character traits not their knowledge and abilities.

On this day in 2012, I was getting ready to move back to Riverdale for (what I wasn't sure then would be) a short time and looking for gainful employment / trying to decide if I should go ahead and file for disability. When I look back to that period in time there was so much uncertainty in my life. I'm really glad that things are so much more stable now. Obviously, life can change in the blink of an eye but wow! that was a time of really big decisions. I moved to Riverdale in June and my parents bought a house in Cleveland in August. In the meantime I found a job in Fayetteville (near Riverdale for those who aren't local) and it was exactly what I needed to end my career with a little bit of self-esteem but also with the documentation that was crucial in getting my disability approved. Being able to attempt to work as little as an hour or two a day and not being able to do even that small amount of time consistently was key.

I really focused on finding humor in the situation back in  2011 as we were sort of figuring out that things were not going to get better. I read these posts in 2011 KNOWING that my house is about to get struck by lightning (literally) and I'm about to have to move and what little rest and comfort I had at the time (my home base) was going to be ripped out from under me. Of course, I also didn't know that I was going to find a cheaper, quieter place closer to work... and because of Renter's Insurance the move was going to be done by someone  other than me, including the packing. Yes, it was a real stressful situation at the time but it ended up ok. That's the important thing. It always ends up ok.

In 2010, I was getting back into Weight Watchers and did lose a good bit of weight before my back problems started and I had to get on meds that really don't allow me to lose weight. Even when I eat practically nothing for an extended period of time I don't lose. It would be great to have less weight to carry around but I'm not too stressed over it. I'm ok with me.

And that's all I have for this week! I hope you enjoyed this look back on today in my blog history. Happy Flag Day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Usually I write my blog posts for Wednesday and Thursday in advance so that while I am with my guy... I'm not spending a lot of time typing away on my laptop. This week I wasn't quite so organized and he has left for his Wednesday night trivia show so... I thought I'd do a little mid-week update before I commence spa night.

Last night for date night we tried a new (to us) place... Pure Taqueria in Duluth. I'd like to save this little food update for Friday but I didn't take photos and can't really do a full on review so I'll just give you a little paragraph or so today. Pretend it's Friday. Click here to visit their website, if you'd like. We shared an appetizer of Tres Ceviches. It's three individual ceviches - shrimp, octopus and fish - served with tostadas and fried plantains. I love ceviche but usually find that it's too spicy. Theirs was not. It was perfect for me! Honestly, I could have made a meal out of the ceviche, even sharing it. I also had an ensalade de verano - salad with smoked salmon. The salad was not your basic - it had grilled corn, watermelon radish, queso cheese (which is basically like saying, "cheese cheese" but you get the picture), tortilla chips in a lemon vinaigrette. I'm not usually a salad girl but this just sounded like it had all the right parts for me. Marvin had scallop tacos which he liked fairly well. We did have probably the worst server we've had in all our restaurant endeavors. We were literally begging for a refill of tea which was frustrating because otherwise, it was a really lovely meal. They do a really fresh take on Mexican and there were several other things on the menu that I would like to try.

Today we had a deliciously lazy day. This is a picture Marvin got of me dressed in his sweats this morning. The a/c in his house is set really cold and I wasn't prepared. We normally go out for lunch on Wednesday but today we stayed in and did grilled cheese. We had a garlic and herb cheese on rye bread and it was amazing! So good that it could easily become my new go-to meal! We finished watching the series Altered Carbon which... I've struggled with because it's science fiction and I had such a hard time keeping all the details straight but... by the end I was thoroughly invested in the story.

I realized today that I have forgotten one of my medicines for - at least the past week - maybe longer. I take a lot of meds between the different pain meds and blood pressure meds and migraine meds. I think there are 12 different prescriptions in all. I have one drug that I take that is traditionally an anti-depressant but it works well on pain, lowers your blood pressure and helps with migraines- it also helps you sleep - so I'm on sort of a high dose of it. It occurred to me today that I didn't sort it into my weekly drug divider this week and I'm almost certain that I didn't last week. I've struggled with sleep the past several days, my migraines have been terrible for the past week or so and my pain levels are higher than normal, which I was attributing to not sleeping. There's this whole sleep/pain cycle that you learn about when you're a chronic pain patient. Sleep is really important for healing inflammation in your body so when you have interrupted sleep, you have more pain. I slept poorly for several days in a row but fortunately, last night I slept great. I ALWAYS sleep well at Marvin's. His space is quieter and cooler and darker and there are no animals climbing in bed with me and I truly believe that I feel safer when he's near. Not in an... I'm endangered at home kind of way. Just that I know he's nearby and in charge and watching over me and I am therefore more relaxed. Hopefully I can get another night of really deep sleep in and when I get home tomorrow I can figure out what happened to the medicine I'm missing.

I've had a headache all day today and I left my migraine rescue meds at home so I'm just winging it with ibuprofen. It's not really working so this may be a shorter post than I meant.

Cosy and her new kitten came over yesterday. Baby girl loves that kitten like an obsessed stalker. The kitten is still tiny and submissive. It will break Cosy's heart if she gets too big or skittish to let Cosy cuddle her like she wants to. I tried teaching her how to lay her on her back and rub her tummy like I do with my kitty. One good thing about the kitty... somehow she was a trade off for giving up the pacifier so ... I think the paci habit is well and truly broken. We'll see. I told Marvin that the picture he snapped of her last week at lunch with her paci may be the last one we have. I'm glad to see her grow up and not be attached to it but... she's growing up! I'll miss that sweet little face in the rearview mirror with her sunglasses (her "hater shades") and the paci plugging her little mouth while we drive along.

And... I guess that's it for now. I'm going to see if I can find something to get rid of this headache. Hope you had a great Wednesday... I heard thunder but I haven't even peeked outside all day so I have no idea what the weather is like. I'll be back tomorrow with a Throwback Thursday post! Love and hugs!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What I'm Watching - TV Tuesday

Greetings from your friendly local couch potato! Hope this finds you all well. If you're looking for something to watch, I thought I'd share my latest Netflix/Amazon Prime/ You Tube watching. These are in no particular order but just as I remember them (😂) I'll also give you my opinion about watching as a couple or strictly Chick-Flick time, according to what I think my guy would or would not enjoy.

the movie Lady Bird - (Amazon Prime) this was an Oscar winner last year and for once, I totally agree. It's a sweet coming of age story about the relationship between a mother and daughter. Not at all about Lady Bird Johnson (yep, that's what I thought). Definitely worth watching!

The Breakup Girl - (also Amazon Prime) about a family coming to terms with their father's illness. The relationships between sisters - which is not something that I normally relate to but this was a great movie.

If I Were You - (Amazon Prime) about the relationship between a wife and her husband's mistress. It's one of those situational comedy type movies that... it's cute in places and a stretch in place but I enjoyed it. Marvin would not have. Actually... out of these three, Marvin would have maybe only liked the first. Maybe. Probably not.

The Staircase (Netflix) this is a true crime documentary about a woman who falls down the stairs. Marvin wants to watch it so I'm not giving away any more details than that. It's very good. I totally enjoyed it. I think it's a great one to watch as a couple but alas, we did not.

Florence Foster Jenkins (Amazon Prime) true story - movie about a woman who lived from 1868-1944 who was a terrible singer but thought she was good. Title character played by Meryl Streep. Hugh Grant plays her partner. At the surface you think it's going to be about a woman with money who everyone just coddled but then you see the different layers involved and why her partner allowed her to think she was good. I did a little additional internet research on her but I would recommend waiting to do that until AFTER you watch the movie. Pretty exclusively a chick flick, I think.

The Last Post (Amazon Prime) series about a British Army post in the Mid East (as in Saudi Arabia but not) in the 1960's focusing mostly on the families that are stationed there. So... on the surface it seems like a guy thing but it's really more of a girl thing. Graphic in parts, strong language. It ended way too soon for my taste so I hope there's another season coming.

Kate - The Making of  A Modern Queen (Amazon Prime) for those who love the Royals, which I do. It's a cheesy little documentary about Kate which... maybe didn't really have anything new in it necessarily but I rather enjoyed it. Chick flick exclusively.

Sprinkle of Glitter weekly vlog- (You Tube). Speaking of Royals... Louise Pentland went to a garden party at Buckingham Palace last week. She was really excited which... I mean, she recently interviewed Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and popped the button off of her skirt meeting Prince Charles but she still manages to keep her sense of wonder and excitement going to Buckingham Palace. I think she's worth a view just for that! Marvin definitely does not understand my fascination with British YouTubers and I'm hard pressed to explain it other than I just have a natural curiosity about how other people live.

What have you seen recently that you have particularly enjoyed?

Monday, June 11, 2018

What's New?

I know it's Monday and you're all just dying for me to do another Reasons To Love Monday post but I'm just not loving Monday enough for that today. I hope you'll excuse me just this once. I have really struggled this weekend with not feeling well... not sleeping well, the kind of headache that just won't go away, no appetite for anything specific but starving... then nothing sits well on my stomach. It's just a bad case of blahs and when I'm feeling blah I have to do something different to snap myself out of the rut. So instead of loving Monday we're going to talk about what's new in my life.
1. I'm living upstairs now and not in the Whine Cellar. It's complicated. There's always been a water issue down there, a battle that my mom and I fought together for years. And Austin. Austin too. I'd yell up the stairs that there was water again and she'd come down and tell me not to move the furniture by myself and then she would move it by herself (or with Austin). She'd get the carpet cleaner and suck up the water. She'd run the dehumidifier and be constantly up and down the stairs bringing dry towels and carrying up the wet towels. She'd empty that heavy dehumidifier over and over again and fuss at me if I did any of it myself. We've done several things to try to stop the leak but we're on the side of a hill and it just... keeps happening. It happened again in February and I realized I just couldn't fight that fight without my mom. So I moved up to the guest room and Austin's been fighting the water in the basement all by himself since then. I feel guilty leaving that to him but he's stronger. Every water leak would guarantee me a week or two of back pain and who knows what it's done to my already screwed up auto-immune system. So I gradually created a new nest in the guest room and realized it was a good change for me. It's quieter. I have my own bathroom. Sharing space with my grown son was frustrating a lot of the time for me. I woke up a lot when he would go in and out to smoke at night. The New Nest is better for me for a lot of reasons. But now we don't have a guest room. Well... we have a bed in the office but, you know. Not a dedicated guest room.

2. The Guest Room/New Nest Room is lovely for a lot of reasons but it's the top floor of the house and it gets warm up here. The a/c unit is on the bottom floor and it just isn't strong enough to keep the top floor cool enough, especially for someone who is temperature sensitive like myself. Being warm doesn't just equal uncomfortable for me... it means migraines and... yeah. So Pop bought me a really cool (see what I did there?) new window unit... that's not really a window unit - it's one of those stand up kinds that just has a vent to the outside - and it was delivered on Thursday. Austin carried that heavy thing up the stairs and my sweet fella installed it for me (even though it was hotter than the face of the sun up there while he was trying to do it and I felt so bad for making him work so hard on his day off). And now the Guest Room is really cool. Cool enough that even with the a/c unit set on 74 degrees, I have to stay covered with a blanket but honestly, that's what I really want out of life... to be in a space cool enough to need a blankie. Last week I talked about there being three men in my life who look out for me: my dad, my son and my sweetie. This was a perfect example of how they all sort of play a part in keeping me comfortable and although it's kind of funny that it takes three guys to do the job that my mom used to do, I'm so grateful for all three of them and I don't tell them that nearly enough.

3. Cosy has become such a little couch potato/screen addict. I noticed it first last week when Marvin and I took her out for lunch. She got a hold of my phone and started watching videos on YouTube and I could NOT get my phone back from her. Three years old, wandering through a restaurant bumping into people and almost walking out with the wrong family because she was staring at her (my) phone! So yesterday I had Austin pick her up after he got off of work and I just let her sit in my lap for the longest time watching videos on my phone. I know it's probably an unhealthy habit but she sat perfectly still and quiet which was what I needed because I felt crappy... and she was so into what she was doing that she didn't even notice I was braiding her hair. I love braiding her hair and she will never sit still long enough and if I do manage to get braids in her hair she immediately rips them out so this was a real treat for me.

4. Cosy also got a kitten this week - which she has been wanting for over a year now. And she has loved that poor little thing... I was going to say she has loved it to death but that would be an exaggeration. She has loved it so much that it has scratched her to bits. While she was cuddled in my lap yesterday I grabbed the neosporin on my nightstand and put it on her little scratches. My mom once had cat scratch fever so you can never be too careful. The cat's name is Whiskers and Cosy loves her so much that she couldn't wait to get back home to play with her yesterday. Bless her. Bless them. Both. Hopefully they'll grow to be the best of friends and not be each other's demise.

5. This part is not new but it's what's happening now so I guess that's new. It's the time of year when my mom got sick last year and never got better. I've been dreading reliving it all... getting on the Memory-Go-Round as I like to call it. Last year we were too busy living it to really absorb all the feelings at the time and now that I have an abundance of time I feel it all like it's happening all over again. Except she's not here. Right after Memorial Day I got a stomach bug and when I started getting better my mom started getting sick. She thought she had the stomach bug but it turned out to be kidney stones so she had a stent put in. And then she turned really yellow. And then we found out her liver was sick. And then she stopped knowing who she was or where she was or what was happening and we tried so many different things and kept taking her back to the hospital and finally they said they couldn't fix it and so we went home on palliative care and that was that. Only that process took a little over two months and it was the most horrible, living nightmare I've ever experienced. This time two years ago was when Austin and Tasha broke up and Cosy went away and we had to fight like hell for two months to get to see her again. Summers have really sucked for the past two years and I'm really hoping this one is not like that. I can't imagine anything worse than losing my granddaughter (for awhile) and losing my mom forever but I hate to tempt fate by saying I can't imagine. Now I'm all tearful and snotty and my fella is going to call on the way to work and wonder what the heck is wrong with me. He has his own stuff to remember from last year since his little boy died two days before my mom and I try to remember that he is also going through. He's a heck of a lot stronger than me but you know, Father's Day is coming up and I just want to make it good for him. I wish I had the money to whisk him away somewhere fabulous and make it a great day and not a painful one. But he will go to work that day because that's what he does and he will walk through it all bravely and maybe get a little quiet and a little emotional and grieve privately, because that's what works for him. And I will feel totally inept but I will just keep talking to him because that's what works for us and that's why we are together now because I just kept answering the phone when he called back in those really sad days. Together the sad days weren't so sad.

6. Yesterday I thought it would be good for me to get out of the house for a little while so I suggested that we take Cosy to Baskin Robbins for ice cream. Austin and his girlfriend Jessie (something else that's new!) came with. I tried to let Cosy sample flavors to see what she wanted but she decided she just wanted a cup of ice... so that's what I got her. Then I wanted to run to Walmart to pick up something to eat because I have literally been living on yogurt, adult lunchables, fruit smoothies and powerade for the past ... month?... and I got there and nothing appealed to me so I bought yogurt, adult lunchables, fruit smoothies and powerade. And I bought Cosy a cupcake. Then Cosy saw her mom and freaked the f*** out because she wanted to stay with her mommy so I had to drag her away... that's always fun... but then Cosy remembered she wanted to go home and play with Whiskers so that's what we did. And then I went home and didn't feel the slightest bit better for having left the house. But I did FaceTime with Oliver and he made me laugh because he is such a funny kid!

7. Today I'm not leaving the house unless it burns down around me. I'm still really exhausted and behind on sleep. Marvin works a long day on Monday so I will probably nap. Maybe, if I can get to sleep. I should also do laundry. I should also work on the embroidery piece I started working on for him before Christmas but I think I'm too sleepy to do it properly at the moment.

8. Tomorrow I'm getting Cosy in the morning.  I'll get a shower and fix my hair and makeup and take her home and then go have date night and the change of scenery will do me a lot of good. And I'll probably eat something besides yogurt and lunchables. Marvin and I had a lot of fun adventures last week while we were together so I think maybe this week we will be very chill and do a lot of resting together which I also enjoy.

I guess that's about all the new things I can think of at the moment. What's new in your life? Please leave me lots of comments so I can enjoy them! Love and hugs!