People, Places & Events


RootSeekers hear early Virginia history
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–Margaret Ann Trail was the speaker at the last RootSeekers meeting.
Margaret, along with her husband Newt Trail, live on a cattle ranch south of Kemp.
Her hobby is beekeeping and she makes soaps using beeswax and honey.
She is a member of the Collin County Hobby Beekeepers Association and now she has found a new hobby, genealogy.
She is a member of the Sarah Maples Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and is working on proof of her 17th century ancestor.
In her research, she ran across the book “The Story of Virginia’s First Century.” It was first printed in 1923 and has been out of print until it was reprinted in 2005.
The earliest attempt to establish a colony was made by the Plymouth Company in 1606.
But the ship, “Richard,” fell among Spanish ships and did not make it.
A few months later, another ship, “Martin Pring,” explored Northern Virginia, but made no settlement.
Five days before Christmas, the London Company sent out the fleet that would plant the Jamestown Colony.
Other ships came as early as 1602 but did not stay.
Settlements were started all up and down the east coast.
In May 1607 two ships the “Gift of God” and the “Mary and John” with 100 settlers chose a site in Maine.
A ship named “Virginia” took the majority home to England.
Those that remained through the hard winter, left in the Spring of 1608 and returned home carrying the report that North Virginia was not habitable for Englishmen.
In 1620 three hundred people died. These earlier settlers faced hardships that most of us cannot imagine.
They had constant worries about food. At the same time, they had to fight the Indians.
Many died before they even reached land, and hundreds died from starvation.
The next meeting of RootSeekers will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 15, a the Tri-County library, no meeting for December.
Each Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to noon, volunteers are available to assist anyone who wants help with their research.

Pet Talk
Holiday tips for pets
By Joan B. Guertin
Special to The Monitor

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Holidays are a crazy time for most of us. Those of us with pets find it more so.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way with some sound planning and a solid dose of common sense.
We all know that from Thanksgiving through New Year’s our lives most likely will be turned upside-down.
This is when there are too few hours in any one day. We all will have a major “laundry list” of “to-do’s” that will most likely preclude staying on our regular schedules.
In addition, the holiday season means the addition of things and people into our home that may be new and strange to the animal dwellers in the household.
Not to panic! There are ways to maintain sanity without totally driving the family pet crazy. Some suggestions follow.
Problem: Adding a tree inside the house—Kitty wants to climb! Why else would you have been so kind as to bring the outside in if you didn’t intend it for climbing and hiding within the branches?
And, look at all those fancy glittery toys hanging there. What fun. A well placed leap from ground to tree branch can easily topple tree.
Rover looks and thinks-how very considerate of you to bring the outside in, so I don’t have to go out to relieve myself.
Another attractor will be the water at the base of the tree which may prove dangerous due to chemicals that can leach from the tree into the water reservoir.
Solutions: If there is doubt pets can be kept away from the tree, add a baby gate across a doorway to prevent entry.
If a cat is involved, that won’t work, so the cat may need some very serious conditioning. A stream of water from a squirt bottle may well discourage Kitty from playing around the tree. It may also work with Rover to a point.
With no cat in the house, I have placed fencing around the tree to keep my dogs out. However, I have small dogs, this may not work with larger breeds or very active puppies.
A motion detector from Radio Shack is one of the most effective methods I have used to discourage access to the tree. It sounds when someone enters the field.
To condition pets to retreat from the area, when the motion detector sounds I suddenly fling a soft rolled-up towel at the pets with a loud karate shout.
No one is hurt, but the sound and the startle effect works wonderfully. Soon the “ding or buzz” is enough to send the beasties scattering.
Now, living in a small place, I just have a ceramic tree on a table. Voila, no problems!
Problem: Counter surfing-There is nothing more disconcerting than to discover just prior to serving dinner, that Rover has eaten the turkey that was cooling on the counter.
If Kitty is the counter surfer, the trusty squirt bottle often takes care of the problem. However, it may require more ingenuity to keep Rover off the counters.
Solutions: Here, the startle factor can be very effective. The motion detector works well if you are home and can follow through with the attack by the “killer towel”.
Another really effective method is to place a piece of cardboard on the counter with about ¼ inch jutting out over the edge of the counter-top. Place a pyramid of empty soda cans on the top of the cardboard, near the edge, but not over it.
Behind that place a heavy-duty treat that smells good. We want to lure the dog into jumping up so that his front nails clip the edge of the cardboard so that it will send the cans toppling down on his head.
(Remember, they are empty, so they won’t hurt him). The rattle and raining of the cans should send Rover scurrying to safer ground! Repeat often when you are leaving the house and watch the behavior disappear.
Problem: Plants dangerous to pets-There are several common plants that go hand in glove with the holidays. Beware of letting your pets get hold of the Poinsetta and the Mistletoe. Both can prove deadly to the animals.
Be certain these are placed well away from where pets play and sleep.
If you suspect the dog or cat have nibbled either plant, get them to the vet ASAP.
Problem: Chocolate-animals are as attracted to chocolate as much as humans are.
I have known dogs to eat foil-wrapped chocolate kisses, foil and all, with just remnants of the foil left to give them away.
A large dog may suffer no consequences, but to a small dog or toy dog, the chemicals in chocolate can prove deadly.
Place candy dishes high where a dog can’t reach.
A table isn’t good enough. The dog will climb to get to the bowl. Be on the safe side.
If the dog or cat seems lethargic and you even suspect they’ve indulged, get them to the vet immediately.
Of course, there is nothing safer than making sure anything that can be tempting to household pets, is locked away in the refrigerator or cupboard.
If that isn’t an option, my pets get to be either outside or in their crates with an appropriate chew such as a nice meaty bone while inside the house.
Have a safe, happy and very merry Christmas- And save the giblets for the dog!

Replica of Vietnam Wall in D.C. is shown
by DAR

Special to The Monitor
GARLAND–For you who don’t know what the Moving Wall is, it is a replica of the “Vietnam Wall” in Washington D.C.
It has special meaning for all the members of Daughters of the American Revolution and George Godson personally because he is a Canadian veteran who was there.
The Moving Wall allows people to experience the memorial within their own community.
Visiting the wall is an emotional experience, even for people who don’t personally know someone who died in Vietnam. Volunteers were on hand to help locate the names they sought.
They also had an exact replica of the “Liberty Bell” on site during the Moving Wall display.
The Liberty Bell replica is one of 70 commissioned by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1976.
The replicas were to be used during the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence. Visitors can ring the bell, which has the exact tone of the original Liberty Bell.
This Bell was purchased by the Fort Worth Vietnam Veterans for a war memorial for those who gave their last full measure of devotion for liberty in Vietnam.
The Tarrant County fathers failed to uphold their promise to place the bell in downtown Fort Worth until the veterans agreed to render the bell mute suggesting it be filled with cement.
The veterans refused to be party to silencing the Liberty Bell. They decided to allow the bell to be used where the freedom for which they fought would be honored.
The Associated Conservatives of Texas purchased the Bell in 2002 after displaying the bell for ten years.
The Liberty Bell is of the same size and weight so the sound produced will be the same as that heard by our founding fathers.
The same sound that called every meeting to order at the Pennsylvania State House, and inspired the men who wrote the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States can be heard today by ringing this bell.
Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1775, “Adieu. The Bell rings and I must go among the Grave Ones, and talk politiks ( as spelled in 1775).”