Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Irish Men are Considered the Sexiest in the World

In a recent poll by MissTravels, they have claimed that Irish men are #1 in the best looking department. To be honest, I find all men handsome from no matter where they are from. I really don't have a big preference of nationality, however, there are certain looks that I find attractive in each person of each race. I guess I just have a gold standard in my head.

This kind of survey piqued my curiosity on what some of us find attractive in the opposite sex (or same sex, however you look at it). Some of my friends find certain men attractive that I find mildly attractive.

However, one pattern I noticed recently is how much I have in common with who my mom and Grandma find attractive. My Grandma has always thought Andy Williams, Glen Campbell, Tyrone Power and several others very attractive. My mother also has loved these men very much, especially Andy Williams, whom she saw in concert when she was younger.

And then there is me. I also find these men attractive. Even my Grandma has always said how handsome her own father was. My mother and I also thought he was a handsome man. However, he was 100% German (maybe a bit Dutch, too, but I haven't confirmed that yet. ) Unfortunately, German men did not make the list, even though one very highly attractive Irish-German, Michael Fassbender, is half German/half Irish should give the German's some credit.

I am often wondering if certain genetic traits cause us to be attracted to someone of similar height, weight, facial features, etc as our ancestors found attractive many generations ago. What is the cause for us to feel an attraction to a certain person's looks that others may not find attractive? This seems like an age old question which I am sure their are multiple reasons behind it.

Another fascinating (and more far out) thought is maybe we could be attracted to some people based on a previous life we lived. Maybe we crossed paths but never cemented our love. Maybe one of us died too early. Or maybe it was ill-fated and was not meant to last in that particular lifetime. I often have felt meeting certain people, like a soul mate, can often feel preordained. - as if you have met in a previous lifetime and something about them feels very familiar, but you cannot pin point it. These far out reasons could also predetermine who we find attractive and who we do not, as well.

What are your thoughts on certain nationalities being more attractive than others? Should there really a debate about it?

I say, we love who we love. Looks and attractiveness are never going to equate how you get along on a personal level. If they have the full package, then you are very lucky, indeed, but love is love and looks will fade over time, so love someone for what they can offer, and not the superficial aspects of who they are.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Surname Saturday - Cartwrights of Arizona

I recently was researching my father's side a bit more. There is a unique side of his family that my Great Grandma Louise Rennels is related to. They were a family that once owned a major beef cattle ranch just north east of Phoenix, in what is called Cave Creek, AZ.

Her mother was a Cartwright, born Sarah Ethel Cartwright, the daughter of Reddick Cartwright (born June 24th 1837) and Elizabeth Riggins (a possible descendant of Mary Washington, George Washington's mother).

Reddick Cartwright was the son and namesake of the elder Reddick Cartwright (born 1793) and Elizabeth Altizer (aka Althauser, a daughter of German immigrants) Cartwright's Sonoran Ranch House:

It was the year of the Golden Spike, 1869, and the Cartwright chapter in American history was just beginning.
Reddick (Red) Jasper Cartwright, a Union Army veteran, decided to head west with his wife Beulah and their three children. They started on a 2000-mile, four-month journey from Coles County, Illinois to Northern California, joining other wagons traveling from Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. It was one of the longest covered wagon train trips in the settling of the West.
Following the Oregon Trail through the Sacramento Valley, they settled in a small northern California town called Goose Lake. A few years of sweat and toil in harsh weather took a toll on Red, Beulah and their children. When a severe winter storm froze their cattle to the ground in 1874, they packed up once again and headed south. Along the way they took in an orphaned boy named Tom Brockman. Later, Tom would marry their oldest daughter, Addie.
They crossed the deserts of California, Nevada and Arizona, passing through Lee’s Ferry and the mining town of Oatman. Swollen streams and impassible roads were always difficult, but the biggest fear was of Indian attacks. With massacres behind them and in front of them, they forged on. Exhausted and broken, and after several harrowing close calls, they arrived in Prescott three months after their journey began.
The family moved to Phoenix in 1877, and it was in the Valley of the Sun where Red resumed farming. There were only two buildings in Phoenix at the time that were not built from mud with brush roofs, and their one-room adobe house was no exception. They cleared the land and farmed near what is now Maryvale for the next five years. Sometime later they acquired a grainery with a brick floor and an inside stove from one John Montgomery.
In the late 1800s, mining companies began springing up in the desert foothills, and the military expanded north. Beef was in high demand to fill the need to feed hundreds of hungry men each day. In 1887, Red traded his acreage for 160 head of prime Texas range cattle. He and his son Jackson (Manford) who was 16, drove their short-horns for three days and two nights to the head of Cave Creek.
Following the road along the Cave Creek to the head of Seven Springs, they reached their destination. The Cartwright Range was settled in 1887 and bore the “CC” (Cartwright Cattle) brand. The road to the ranch was so difficult that it took four days and six horses to pull each load of hay. By the time they got there, they had already fed most of their hay rations to the horses. It wasn’t until 1928 that a graded road ran all the way up to the ranch.
For 100 years, the Cartwright Range was one of the largest cattle ranches of the many that sprung up in the desert foothills, and it has been said that it was the oldest Arizona ranch to remain in the same family for over three generations.
Today, the spirit of the Cartwright’s lives on at Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House. Hard work and the unremitting determination to appreciate the delicate and integral balance between the land, the animals and the people who call the desert foothills home have been a trademark at Cartwright’s since the turn of the century. The integrity and fortitude that built a legacy is carried on through the history, sustainable food sources, and welcoming atmosphere at Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House.
Standout bits of Cartwright History:
Fighting for FoodThe trail to Arizona presented many trials and tribulations for the Cartwright family. Among them was a brush with hostile Modoc Native Americans. Young Tom fell asleep while on lookout one night, and their best horse, a black filly named Hora was stolen along with several others. Beulah was able to chase away one of the Indians, who had set his eyes on a slab of bacon from the back of their wagon.
Saved by the CavalryThe Cartwrights’ long journey took them across the deserts of California, Nevada and finally Arizona, where they dismantled their wagons and crossed the swollen Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry. They trudged on to the gold mining camp of Oatman. By the time they neared Prescott, their famished oxen finally gave out. Their horses weren’t much use either, too weak to carry a load. Their wagons were coming apart, they were low on water, and their future seemed grim. The only thing that saved them was that word of their plight was somehow relayed to Fort Whipple at Prescott, and an army cavalry patrol was sent to their rescue. They arrived in Prescott three months after their journey began.
Building a FoundationRed Cartwright and his sons were instrumental in building the Arizona Grand Canal, which provided water for their ranch as well as for many others throughout the Valley. Standing up in their wagons to see through weeds and tall grasses, they laid down tracks for roads that are still used today. Red also erected the first schoolhouse near present-day 59th Avenue and Thomas Road. It was the beginning of the Cartwright School District, which is also still in use today. The school remains, a tribute to the Cartwright family and the other early residents who paved the way for growth in the Valley of the Sun.
A Sober DecisionA conversation with an old miner acquaintance named Jim Kentuck at a downtown Phoenix saloon convinced Red to move north to what is now Cave Creek. Over nickel beer and 15-cent whisky (which included free lunch) Kentuck suggested Red relocate north of town to open range land that nobody wanted, despite having plenty of grass and a spring that ran year round. Cartwright was convinced. He and Beulah packed up their children and belongings once again and herded their cattle north.
Neighborly HospitalityEarly Valley ranch families shared a strong sense of community. Bailing hay, planting, harvesting, and butchering livestock were often chores shared by neighbors. Women would fix dinners, bake pies and fry chickens together, holding regular feasts under shade trees. Men ate first, and children got anything that was left over. Each child eagerly hoped they’d be chosen to receive a pulley bone, or wish bone.
Ringing in TechnologyModern conveniences were not even a sparkle in a rancher’s eye in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Elmer, the youngest of 14 children Red and Beulah raised, was working at a neighbor’s house when he heard a strange sound he’d never heard before. It was a telephone. Technology had come to Phoenix. Elmer and his neighbors soon got them, too, and soon the entire community was eavesdropping on shared party lines.
Unwelcome VisitorsWhen the Cartwrights moved to Phoenix, the heat, monsoon floods and shortage of water were not the only struggles that needed to be overcome. Snakes were abundant – even more than they are today – and they would often make their way into the cool shade of the houses. Checking for snakes became a daily practice for adults and children alike.
Chew on This …The Cartwright Range became known for its honest dealings and quality beef. Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley was so impressed by the Cartwright cattle that he bought enough to fill two train cars and shipped them to Catalina Island.
Source: http://www.cartwrightssonoranranchhouse.com/about-cartwright/history/ 

Surname Meaning: 
English: occupational name for a maker of carts, from Middle English cart(e) + wright 'craftsman' (see Wright). The surname is attested from the late 13th century, although the vocabulary word does not occur before the 15th century.

Cartwright's Origin:
My Cartwright lineage appears to go as far back as some of the first Americans to land here. I have found records that Peter Cartwright, my 9th great grandfather was born in 1687 (or 1677). His father, Matthew, was born in 1634 in the Netherlands. Some may recall that the pilgrims settled in the Netherlands for sometime before they came to America. I am not sure if this line of Cartwrights went on the Mayflower along with the other persecuted pilgrims, but it seems to me they came later and maybe lived in the Netherlands longer than the other Pilgrims. Since Cartwright is an English surname, it is no doubt they came from England. From what part of England, I have yet to find this out. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

If Summer days could last forever...

Summer is fast approaching us. Summer, as a child, was my favorite time of year, because it's the only time you'll get off for three months of having no duties whatsoever. It's the most carefree time of your life. If only at that age we didn't take it for granted and could put into full perspective just how important those three quick months are.

Wonderful times during Summer always make me think of swimming for hours on end in our in-ground Doughboy pool, the smell of fresh paint in our hall ways after my mom would use Glidden Antique White to paint over areas that needed it, the smell of clorox and soap when my mom would mop the kitchen floor clean, the husking of farm fresh corn from our local farm stands, having endless sleepovers, making up skits, playing school, making forts to sleep in over night, having sock wars, singing oldies songs in the car into the wee hours of the night, making houses out of card board boxes, playing barbies all day and afternoon and even into the night, playing ball outside and flying kites in the front yard, dancing around the house for no reason, playing video games against my brother and kicking his butt, watching the Summer Olympics, eating ice cream and watching fire works on the 4th of July.

Yes, Summer is like the time of your life when your a kid. When I was younger, we generally had full traditional school schedules where we still started school in early September instead of the mid-August schedule that most schools follow now. Because of this, Labor Day was usually our last hurrah for any kind of last minute fun. When I was 6 in 1988, our parents planned a trip to Disneyland. It was my first time and I was super excited. My Dad had gone to Disneyland as a child, too, and had fond memories of it.

My mom had ordered a special Minnie Mouse jacket and I couldn't wait to wear it to Disneyland. When we got to Disneyland, I remember some specific details - watching the Electric parade, climbing up the Smith Family Robinson Tree House (now it's Tarzan's Tree House), riding in the Mad Tea Party Tea Cups, hopping aboard the Monorail, riding the Matterhorn ride 5-6 times at night with my mom and brother, going on the Dumbo ride with my mom, and I even remember going on Space Mountain and watching Captain EO (I remember it was so full that we had to stand towards the back to watch it and we couldn't get the full effect of it). The big and new ride at the time was Star Tours. I remember waiting for what seemed like an eternity to go on that ride. But, I loved it.

I was a precocious child. I saw a lot of detail in things that many children my age may have overlooked. I'd remember years later the sign of the "French Market" in Orleans Square always fascinated me. I'd remember distinctly the smell of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and most of all, I was very fascinated with the dancing ghosts in the dining room on "Haunted Mansion." These memories, and many more, left lots of indelible impressions in my mind.

And so, with returning home from Disneyland, came the inevitable reality that school was about to start. I'd always feel a bit down about school starting. I knew once my mom starting taking me to Target to purchase school supplies and a new pencil box to hold my supplies in, look for a new backpack and start ordering uniforms for us (we went to a private school), that Summer was coming to a close. Nevertheless, once the school year would start, I'd find myself back with my old friends - with some new ones coming on board, and realizing a few not returning. Our teacher would walk in, and now the fresh smell of newly sharpened pencils would fill the air. Yes, Summer was officially over.

But, year after year, I'd reflect back on one great Summer after another. Each one of them presented new and exciting fun times. I am very thankful and lucky to have had wonderful Summers that felt like they could last forever, and sometimes when I think back on them, they really have stood the test of time, and in essence, do live on forever in my mind.