Getting My Geek On

One of the best parts of working on my family history has been trying to find out if any of my relatives fought in the Revolutionary War.  You see, I share my birthday with George Washington and he has become my big hero in life.  I love George.  He had his flaws but he had the hardest job of all presidents, trying to run the country without seeming like a king.  I always imagined that this had to be extremely difficult.

So this has been my thing, searching on various sides of my family, I found I had relatives from the French & Indian War, but then seemed to be too old or too young to have fought during the Revolution.  And then I started on my Grandma’s side of the family and low and behold my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather joined the Patriot cause and was stationed in Virginia.  He apparently saw no action outside of Virginia – but did partake in the Battle of Yorktown.  He was apparently there when Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington. (As a history geek – this had me on Cloud 9).

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http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/revolut/jb_revolut_yorktown_1_e.html

So that is what has been keeping my busy.  Trips to the library using Ancestry Library Edition and just trying to keep all the families and their members organized.

I’ve learned that not all finds have happy endings.  My Great Grandmother’s youngest brother had 13 children, and it appears that 4 of them died in a house fire back in 1939.  So sad.  Apparently, they were trying to build a fire in a stove and the coal oil exploded.  I found 2 of the death certificates online and it just breaks your heart.  One was 10, the other 2, and so far I’ve not found any information to figure out if the 2 that I have no information on were in the fire or not.  Hoping that I find their information elsewhere, and making the casualties be just two.

Here is to continued searches and a hope of finding more happy endings than sad ones.

 

Getting Crafty

Evening Peeps!

The temperatures here in Northeast Ohio are finally getting cooler and it has given me the opportunity to start picking up in my attic a bit so I can once again scrapbook.  I began this hobby a handful of years ago when I went to a crop at my Aunt Barb’s house.  I had never done any sort of scrapbooking before but I went to her house with a kit my mother had purchased for me a few years before, and there my creativity sprung to life and I was hooked.

Until about 2 years ago when life seemed to take over and I just stopped.  Sadly it also coincided with when my mother purchased herself a spiffier Silhouette cutting tool and gave me her old one.  This was bad.  My mother has been unhappy that I haven’t jumped at the chance to use the machine.  The few times I have tried it’s been a disaster. But as with everything else in life, I have a Pinterest board I’ve started that will hopefully teach me the basics and allow me to use the Silhouette along with my other scrapbooking tools.

I’m still quite interested in working on my Family Tree.  Here I discovered I had relatives living right here in town that I had never ever met.  When I discovered this last week I couldn’t wait to get to my parents house the next morning (I take the kids over there in the morning and hang out until it’s time to take my son to school) and tell my dad that I had found his cousin.  I was like bursting.

And then he shocked me.  “Yes, I knew Viola lived here.  I bumped into her when I was doing an inspection in the mid-90’s, she was an executive secretary.”

Really?  The only relatives I knew of on my dad’s side of the family were in Johnstown, PA and Flagstaff, AZ.  He went on to clear up some of the mystery surrounding his Aunt.  Like my Great-Great Grandmother Mazie on my mother’s side of the family, my dad’s Aunt Genevieve seemed to elude me on his side.  I saw where she got married just day’s before my Great-Grandfather passed away (he worked in the mines and he was crushed), moved to Akron, had 2 girls, her first husband passed, I knew from her mother’s obituary she had re-married, and that she lived in Akron until her death in 1964 at the age of 54.  But I couldn’t find why she died so young.

When I discovered her daughter living so near, I was ecstatic thinking they could supply these answers.  And maybe they will supply photos so I can find out what Genevieve looked like (so curious as my Grandmother always spoke so fondly of her).  But here she passed from cancer. I am fairly certain my dad didn’t know what type of cancer, just that she had gotten sick a few months after she fell out of favor with my Grandfather, and he was very stubborn and he refused to speak to her.  They were close in age (she was born in 1910, he in 1911) and he apparently never went and saw her while she was sick.  My dad, who was in the Navy, took my Grandma to see her when he was on leave, and that was the last time my Grandma had the opportunity to see Genevieve.

As excited as I get learning about my distant family, it’s amazing how happy I am one minute about a find and how sad I can be the next when I find out more background information.

Tomorrow I’m taking a class at the library about the basics of working on a Family Tree, just in case there is some major thing I should be doing that I’m not.  Then my husband is planning on spending the afternoon at his Aunt’s and I may take my time and utilize some of the software that the library offers free of charge.  One is Ancestry Library Edition – as long as you are in the library it’s free to use.  I love it as it gets me what I need without having to spend a monthly fee!  And it’s nice for me as our local library is just about 9 blocks away so I drive down after dinner and try to find the information I need as Ancestry has access to some of the information that it’s a little vaguer when using the free FamilySearch.org.  I like using it though, as my cousin who does live in Flagstaff is a member of the Latter Day Saints so I hope that eventually I’ll find more information because she has worked on the family tree in the past herself!

So I will try to be a better blogger.  I often have thought about what I wanted to write – but then my children get on my computer and by the time they go to bed, I head their myself shortly afterwards because I’m so exhausted from waking up every day at 5:30 in the morning.

Wishing everyone a wonderful evening!

 

Hobbies

Do you have hobbies??  I do.  I have so many interests at times I don’t know what I want to do first.

For example, I am taking this free writing course that has interaction with the leader in a Facebook Group.  It doesn’t matter what type of writing you do, all writers are welcome.  Poetry, bloggers, non-fiction, fiction, how-to, business, content… any kind of writing.  It’s awesome getting so many viewpoints.  And it makes me want to load up my Scrivener program that I have yet to quite figure out (learn by doing I think will be my motto) and just type away.

But then I think what to write?  Should I start typing the book I began writing back in college that I could contribute more to and finish?  Should I begin an entirely new project?

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Then for some reason working on my family tree is starting to weigh on my mind.  I haven’t really thought about doing this in years but for some reason, it seems like the right thing to do.

Then a part of my wants to clean up the attic a bit and start scrapbooking.  But the weather was like 93 degrees today – my attic is going to be super hot.  Not worth the heat.  I contemplate bringing stuff downstairs to do, but it’s 8:14, I’d no sooner get stuff down to the main floor and I’d be sleepy and wanting to go to bed.

Well, one thing is for certain – blogging won out.  I’ve not blogged in so long, it was time.  I need to start posting regularly again.  It’s just been a bad summer with hubby losing his job and all (not that it costs any money to blog… but when you’re down in the dumps, who wants to share that with the world?) – frugal has been my middle name   Who knew I had it in me?

I sense typing my book coming into play before taking it easy and watching a bit of Netflix before heading to bed.

What are your favorite hobbies?  Do you ever want to do a little bit of everything all at once?  Share in the comments – I’d love to know I’m not alone!

My Favorite Things

Two of my favorite things to do in life are listening to music and reading books.  In the summer of 1989 I had the opportunity to do both.  My entire summer, while all my friends had jobs, I didn’t, and I stayed up, laid in the sun (or tried, I can’t get a tan in Ohio to save my soul) read books and listened to what was Power 108.

This was the summer I fell in love with Jordan Knight and New Kids on the Block (they were Hanging Tough), was excited because I was able to witness the re-emergence of Donny Osmond (my sister was a huge fan in the 70’s, so of course, I became a huge as well, I seriously don’t know of a time in my existence when I didn’t love Donny… and was able to tell him 4 years ago when I won a contest where if you emailed him and he got it promptly at 2:00pm (his time) he would call you.  My husband told me when to hit send, and I figured nothing was happening… until I got a call from a Blocked Phone Number at 5:20 (my time) – I spoke with him for about 5 minutes… and was in heaven! My “On this Day” on FB reminded me of this event just a few days ago). Needless to say when “Soldier of Love” was released, I was an extremely happy camper.

Also on top of the music charts was Milli Vanilli – or who we thought was Milli Vanilli – regardless of the lip syncing scandal, the music was still awesome and I easily listen to “Baby, Don’t Forget My Number” and “Blame It On the Rain” whenever it comes on.  Martika was big (or at least Toy Soldiers was) but my love of her goes back to her glory days as Gloria on KIDS Inc, Michael Damian found a way to “Rock On” and power ballads were plentiful with Chicago releasing one of my favorite songs they sing, “We Can Last Forever”, and Simply Red’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”.  Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” was released that year as well… so you know it was a year of excellent tunes.

But along with being obsessed with what was playing on the radio, I was also mesmerized with reading.  I read all kinds of books that summer… VC Andrews “Heaven” saga was my favorite series.  The music played along nicely with these books… I remember listening to the radio as I read book 2 – Dark Angel – and “Send Me An Angel” by Real Life came on… still associate the 2 to this day.  When I was reading “Fallen Hearts” a short time later, Love & Rockets “So Alive” came out – and if you have ever read “Fallen Hearts” and are a fan of Troy – you know why this song was a perfect fit for this books soundtrack.

Other books that highlighted that year were “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte, “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, “The Mill on the Floss” by George Elliot, “Rebecca” by Daphne Du Maurier (this one kills me, I remember my Grandmother recommending this book to me, and so I got it and was reading it and it was going so… slow.  I put it down and read a bunch of other books and then I didn’t have any money to get anymore books so I picked up Rebecca and began reading it again.  The very next page the book completely got interesting. So keep that in mind should you ever have a book that is going a bit slow… the next page may really be the difference – and this is one of my favorite books of all time now).  Mary Higgins Clark books rounded out my summer reading.

This summer I may enjoy listening to the 80’s now more than ever (I can’t get enough of the 80’s on 8 featured on SiriusXM radio) but I still love to read.  A few years ago one of my goals was originally to read 100 books in a year.  I realized it’s hard to have a full time job, kids and a life if you are trying to read that many books… so I changed it to 60… which I actually accomplished with a few days to spare.  Though I don’t have a goal this year, I am reading books and tracking them on my Nook in a shelf entitled 2016… I think I read some in the beginning of the year that I checked out of the library that I need to add… but I’m off to a decent start.  And I’m trying to read a variety of genre’s so if you have a book you just think is so incredible… share it with me!

My present book is entitled “The Last Little Blue Envelope”, the sequel to “13 Little Blue Envelopes” by Maureen Johnson.  It’s about a 17 year old whose aunt has passed and she send her 13 little blue envelopes posthumously, sending her on a trip around Europe.  It left you hanging so I had to get the sequel from the library.  It’s a young adult book… and so refreshing.  Sadly, I remember feeling like Ginny so often.

What are your favorite things? Do you have a love of indulging in 80’s music as well?  What is your favorite genre’s of entertainment… Share your guilty pleasure!  We’re all friends!

P.S.  The title of this post is also a favorite… The Sound of Music one of my favorite movies… but that’s a topic for another day.