Saturday, June 30, 2012

What's in your family tree?

If you've been here before, you will know I've been researching my family history.  So far, it had been a fascinating, but fairly routine journey.  Until this week.  I won't go into specifics on all I've uncovered, but it's more or less what I'd hoped to find.  A diverse family, with some secrets, Union soldiers and Confederates, blended families, and sad, tiny gravestones of children who didn't stay in this world very long.  I have always loved a good mystery, and this is what the search for ancestors is like.  There are twists and turns, with some predictable outcomes, but happily for me a few unexpected surprises.  You should definitely give it a try!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


My husband is off to the Father's Day car shows, which is tradition for us.  We'll be celebrating with our sons, this evening, over dinner and a movie.

I'm sitting here watching the pilot of Dallas.  JR is back!  Yes, I was a huge fan of the show back in the day.  I still remember where I was when I watched the episode, "Who Done It?" revealing the question millions had been waiting to see the answer to... "Who Shot JR?"  It was being shown on a big screen TV, in the upstairs room of a local pub.  I was with a group of friends, and it was definitely the big deal of the day.

According to Wikipedia, The "Who Done It?" episode received the highest domestic ratings at that point, with over 90 million American viewers tuning in for the answer.  That record was broken only by the last episode of M*A*S*H in 1983. Wikipedia states that internationally, Dallas still holds the record for the most-watched episode, with nearly 360 million viewers tuning in to see who shot J.R.

I'm enjoying this new episode so far, but I don't know if it can pull me in like the original series did.  That was a different time for me.  I was totally wrapped up in Country Music, cowboys, and the fantasy of striking it rich.  Youthful fantasies.  It is fun looking back and remembering who I was, or at least who I thought I was.  I always got a kick out of Larry Hagman, from the time he was Captain/Major Anthony "Tony" Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie, until the iconic roll of J. R. Ewing on Dallas.  Larry's definitely looking his age.  In fact, a lot of my favorite stars and musicians are either older, very elderly, or have passed on.  I guess that means I'm not as young as I think I am.  I still have "young" thoughts, and then I catch a glimpse of an older, greying woman and realize that's my reflection looking back at me.  I'm not complaining, it just still surprises me a little bit.

I hope you're all having a wonderful Father's Day weekend, I certainly am!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Where do the days go?

It's mid-June already!  Unbelievable how the days just seem to fly.  This week my oldest son spent some time recuperating at our home after a health scare.  He was at work and started having severe chest pain and tightness.  His heart checked out ok, but they did advise him to take it easy for a few days.  It was most likely stress related.  It's definitely made him think about taking better care of his health.  It made me reevaluate some of my bad habits too.  My weight has crept back up again, I've been taking in too much sugar and caffeine, and not getting enough exercise.  Time to turn that around!

I meant to share the following a couple weeks back, but it got set aside in all the busyness of life.  I decided to take on the cemetery visitation my mom had always done. For me, Memorial Day weekend has always been a time to look back and remember loved ones who have passed on.  In actuality, I'd been reminiscing well before the weekend arrived.  I've been working on my Ancestry search again, plus I joined a site called Find A Grave.  This site posts photos of headstones from all across the country.  I was able to view gravestones of some family members who are buried in distant states. I wouldn't have been able to see them without traveling across the county.

I found my most immediate family members too.  Because of the kindness of a couple of Find A Grave members, I now manage a few of my family's memorial pages.  Some contributors chose not to transfer a memorial, even if it is your immediate family.  I understand this, as they have dedicated hours of time to find, photograph, and post the information.  I am just so happy there are people willing to volunteer their time to do this.  The memorial pages of family members and friends can be placed in Virtual Cemeteries on your own page, so I've created Virtual Cemeteries for each branch of the family.

During the Memorial weekend, my husband took the time to drive me to visit several of my family's graves.  I hadn't done that in years.  My mom was the one who always did the visitation of the graves.  I decided it was time for me to step up, and take it over, in her honor.  We took flowers, and PJ took photos of the grave markers for me to add to my Ancestry files.  There was a lot of walking, in 72 degree heat, so it was a stretch for me, but I did it!

I have to share the worst part of the day.  I was getting light-headed, so I sat under some trees on a contemplation bench, while PJ continued to look for my great grandparents markers.  I felt a little tickle on my arm.  It was a spider!  I knocked it off.  Soon I felt it again.  I looked down, and I was covered with little spiders!  Yikes!  I hate spiders when they're up close and personal.  Later, I found Paul had some on him too.  They were floating down from all the trees. So icky, but it was still totally worth being there.   In future, I will visit early in the day while it's still cool, and I will definitely avoid the trees.

Well, this is a seriously long post, and I still haven't shared everything I intended too.  It will all keep for another day.  I don't want to be putting you all to sleep! Have a beautiful day!