Ancestry DNA

Two of my daughters got me this for my birthday.  I’ve always wanted to do this but wouldn’t spend the money on myself.

Positives – it is fascinating to read about the breakdown of my DNA into origins.  It confirmed some things.

Negatives – they give you a list of possible relatives but in order to see the trees you have to pay for a membership on ancestry.  There is a two week free trial but you still have to give them your credit card information.

I haven’t read everything yet.  The document is 59 pages long but what I did read was interesting.  There were a couple of regions which surprised me as I’ve not traced my family back to them but we all know that people didn’t just stick to their own regions – there was a lot of migration throughout history.

Next I have to decide if I have the time to spend doing research on Ancestry for the next six months so I get the most out of a membership.  If I make time for it, I would love to do the research but it means giving up on something else.

Don’t misunderstand me, I love doing the research and looking for people to connect with my tree but the problem is I have so little actual free time, I’m afraid if I purchase it, I won’t use it enough to make it worthwhile for purchasing.  Plus it is pricey.  I’ll have to think about it and see what I think the next six months will bring.

The Death of an Orange Pen

Yesterday I spent the day with my mother and going through some genealogy stuff.  It was good to look through family memories and mysteries.  We discovered invitations and thank you cards sent to my grandmother that we think come from some cousins but we can’t quite place them.  It will be fun to see how it all shakes out.

My sister and uncle came to pick up my mother and stayed to chat.  It was a good time.  Ken and I watched some tv, ate supper, and chatted with the Georgia girls.

I got alone time.  Ken went off to bed.  I tackled a manuscript that needed editing.  My orange pen got put to work as I read through a two hundred page manuscript.  My intention was to go to bed early.  That didn’t happen.  I was up until after 12:30 editing.  I looked at my pen and realized it was nearly half gone for ink.  I just got it out in the last month.

Even after I was done editing, I crashed but woke up at 1:30 with a headache.  Yes, the headache woke me up.  I shifted position, took Tylenol and tried to go back to sleep.  I must have slept because I woke up around 6:30 when Ken went out to gas up the two vehicles.

Today I’m not sure what I’m going to do.  I may work on writing, crocheting, or sleeping.  It’s Sunday so it is supposed to be a relaxing day.  I’ve already got a headache with my ears ringing.  It might be a good day to just shut down and do nothing.

Those who know me – stop laughing – I can to do nothing.  It just takes a lot for me to do it.  Doing nothing is hard work.

Creative Gene?

My daughters have a new etsy shop (  Skull Scarf
Most of my family are creative in one way or another.  I have a niece who is an amazing artist, another niece who makes amazing jewelry, a sister who knits and quilts, and so many others (if I list them all it will take forever and I’ll probably still forget someone).  More than this generation though, my great grandfather painted carriages.  He was so good he was one of the few people locally who did gold leafing on carriages.  My grandmothers were both very creative in the handcrafts. 

I read (skimmed really) an article that talked about fears being a genetic memory.  My question is for all the big scientists out there – can creativeness have a genetic component?  All of my daughters are good with color and composition.  My youngest daughter oozes with talent with her painting, sewing, crocheting.  My middle daughter crafts a dozens of ways – making amazing ornaments, wreaths, and so much more.  My oldest daughter draws beautifully and her counted cross stitch projects are incredible.  Obviously with my crafting skills and Beth’s crafting skills (family friend) they were raised with crafting days.  I just wonder if it is more than that. 
It also makes me wonder if work ethic / entrepreneurial endeavors are also genetic.  I have my editing business on the side, Vicki has her Simply Natural by Vicki products, and Stephanie and Virginia are working together to build Stephanie’s sewing / crafting business.  I know my father and grandfather had a gun selling business as well as my dad sold seed corn.  My grandparents ran a shoe store.  We descend from farmers mostly (but then who doesn’t really). 
The question becomes is this nurture?  Did I learn about working hard and trying different business because my parents worked hard and then I passed it down to my daughters?  Or is there a genetic component?  That might be interesting to find out. 

Think about it.  My great grandfather ran his business for painting carriages.  If it is genetic memory or a gene then has it been passed down in my family alone it has manifested in a variety of ways and there are tons of cousins and half cousins.  This is the great grandfather who had a dozen kids.  I wonder if talent can be traced back through the generations to an original talent? 
Nature or nurture for crafting and creativeness?  I don’t know but I do love crocheting and benefiting from my family’s creativeness as well.

Nature or nurture for crafting and creativeness?  I don’t know but I do love crocheting and benefiting from my family’s creativeness. 

Eventful Week

Tuesday, Ken was on his way to work and got hit by a snow plow.  Don’t worry he is fine.  His truck is dinged up.  We all stayed home to keep an eye on him.  Fortunately, he had no negative side effects. 
The rest of the week was quiet for the most part – thankfully.  I got a lot done yesterday though.  Chapter for science – done.  Taxes for Alicia – fixed, accepted, and done.  Errands run with Vicki – done.  New cell phones ordered – done.  Genealogy looked up for a cousin, editing job, and FAFSA – done, done, and done.  These are all checked off my to do list this week. 
Today, I’m going to sit and watch some dvr programs with Ken and crochet.  Also on my list is to help Vicki make some of her homemade products that we are selling.  We have a list of mostly organic items that we are selling because we have found they work wonderfully for us (yup we were the guinea pigs) and now we are going to sell them.  There are scrubs, lotions, face wash and a variety of other products.  I’ll post a link when we get that far.  We are also making a big batch of carbonara and marinara, so I’ll be assistant chef to Vicki and Ken will be canning the results for the marinara and we will freeze the carbonara. 
I’ve tried a new stitch called crocodile crochet.  I love how it looks and it is fun to make.  I bought a slipper pattern that looks fun.  I’m also working on an ascot for Vicki (yes Kelly she gets another one).  I’m hoping to finish that today while we watch dvr stuff. 

I’m hoping for a quiet day today – mostly.  I’m also hoping for a less eventful week next week

Busy Weekend

I had a busy weekend planned.  Friday was errand day.  Vicki and I got an earlyish start and went to the Staples, Walmart, bank, mom’s, bookstore (for schoolbooks), two buildings on campus to check out some things, out to lunch, Sorgs, Janesville library, home to dump things, Woodman’s and finally a trip to the Dane County Humane Society. 

By the time we got home I was in pain from all the walking and exhausted.  I’m normally in a pretty steady level of pain so a bit more you wouldn’t think would bother me.  This time though it was really messing with me.  Sasha, Vicki’s new baby, decided to sit on my knee which was really hurting.  She spent a bit of time just laying on there.  Whether it was the warmth from her body or her purring when she hopped off my knee was no longer at an extreme level of pain. 

All right I know that when I have a day as jam packed as my Friday the judicious thing to do is relax the next day and not do much.  Nope, I was super busy yesterday.  We went over to Fort Atkinson to visit a cemetery there.  Both sides of the family are buried there.  So I spent a few hours wishing I’d brought my computer and writing information I’d found.  I will be going back. 

While I’m sitting in the office doing research on the family, Ken, Vicki, Beth, Alicia, Mom, and Jake wandered around the cemetery looking at graves, writing information, and taking pictures.  I was thrilled to find the gravestone of my great, great, great grandfather and mother’s graves.  There were also two of their children listed on the gravestone who’d died as children.  I have a lot of information to work through and some pictures to look at.  A cousin of mine requested information on some of these same ancestors so I’ll be forwarding them to her as well.

After the cemetery we went back to Staples (need more printer cartridges) and got lunch.  Then I hung out with mom showing her some of the things I’d found in doing research.  I also printed out some information for her. 

We talked to the Gin and Stephanie.  Mom, Alicia, Beth, as well as my household got to chat with them.  We think we have our vacation planned out. 

Ken and Vicki have been having problems with their phones so we went to get different ones for them.  After that we went to Mounds to get food for the cat and a few goodies. 

We went to supper with Beth before taking her home.  We tried to pick up some stuff from mom but they weren’t home.  It was home to take more drugs – oh yeah I’d resorted to drugs for the pain by this point – and hit the recliner in the hopes the pain would go away.

Sunday, I swore I wasn’t doing anything.  I was going to work on cleaning my desk and getting ready for school.  So I got up and started on my desk.  I got some stuff done.  I filled out some paperwork and a package all ready to mail, shared breakfast with Vicki and went off to run errands.  We went back to Mounds to get a few more things for Sasha, the grocery store to pick up some stuff we forgot.  Then it was home to make lunch.  After lunch was in the oven made deviled eggs.  Vicki also mixed up her pumpkin spice cake.  We also did prep for lunches this week.  I should be able to grab and go for the week. 

All of that leads to me probably hitting the recliner soon to read while listening to music.  Not sure as I’m sitting here the genealogy and my messy desk are calling to me to work on it.  I don’t think I could cram much more into my weekend.

Census reports

This past weekend I spent a number of hours on the computer doing a bit of research through our local library.  It gave me free access to census reports.  A cousin contacted me recently with information on one of my family lines.  We shared information and I was looking for more. 

I started looking for the earliest member I have for this line and could not find him.  This is made more difficult because there are several ways his name could be listed.  He emigrated from Germany so we have the German version of his name.  Then we also have the American version of his name with two different spellings. 

Of course we can’t have it be simple either because there are also several family members with the same name so when looking at the records I have to make sure I’m not filling in information for the wrong person. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time doing the research.  It was very exciting to add family members that I didn’t have any information on.  Starting with the information the cousin gave me I was able to add the names of all the man’s children. 

Flipping over to the census reports I was able to find spouse and children names.  It took some doing as I had to search under both versions of the last name.  However, I did find a few of the sons of the one ancestor I was looking for.  I was able to add names, approximate birthdates and a few other bits of information. 

I was completely enjoying myself until my computer decided to go wonky on me.  I shut down and didn’t get back to it.  The plan is to get back to it in the next few days (hopefully before school starts) to see if I can glean any additional information.  I did narrow down the time frame on one of the issues. 

At some point in history the family name changed spelling.  It is a small detail but makes a huge impact as I am doing research.  No one has been able to give me a concrete reason why or documentation.  However, I have a family story (isn’t there always?).  I was able through the census reports to discover the decade in which the name change occurred.  This might be able to help me narrow it down so I can track down when and maybe even why the name changed.

It is a never ending list of tasks when it comes to the genealogy.  I enjoy the challenge and the task of tracking down as much information on a person as I can.  I just wish I had more time and money to spend on it.

A Trip to the Cemetery

One would think a trip to the cemetery is a sad event and not one to be excited about.  However, I’ve been doing some research on family history and finding a number of family members are buried in a local cemetery.  The really great thing is that it is on both my side and Ken’s side of the family who reside in this cemetery.  

This of course means I must go to the cemetery to see if I can find them.  Most of these people I don’t have very much information on so it is a gold mine depending on what information is on the headstone. 

I’m bringing my husband and daughter with because it should be interesting for both of them.  I’ve invited my mom and sister as they are also interested in the hunt for family members.  It looks like it will be quite the outing. 

My daughter has agreed to bring her digital camera.  I’ll have to get a listing of people I think are there or maybe just take the binders I have of people – I’ll have to decide.  I’d love to just go through and take photos of all the headstones.  However, I don’t think I’ll have the time to do that as this is a fairly large cemetery.  It would be a bit undertaking to creating that kind of list.  Of course if I did I could publish it and I’m sure a bund of genealogists (professional and amateur) would appreciate it. 

I probably should call the cemetery office to see if I can locate where exactly the graves might be.  I got the general location but it would be nice to be able to narrow it down a bit.  Also it would probably be good to make sure it is okay for us to come traipsing through. 

All in all I’m pretty excited to go check out the cemetery and see what information I can add to my family history.  Hopefully we have a good day for wandering around outside. 

Back to work tomorrow

It is my last day of vacation and I’ve realized what a great vacation I had.  It was busy to say the least.  I’ve gotten errands and household things done.  I’ve sorted paperwork (still have a pile to go) and I’ve filled out paperwork.  On top of those tasks, I’ve played too.  I’ve read books, watched DVDs, crocheted and just basically relaxed. 

My writing piles are now organized into some semblance of order.  I think it will work as a system but I’ll have to see how things go.  I’ve got my genealogy and personal bills organized as well (or at least slots for them so I have some place to slide things when I get them. 

Today I’m going to attempt to work at my desk.  I don’t know if I’ll actually get to writing things but I’m going to hope so.  I have a little more organizing to do (one more stack of paperwork to get through) and then hopefully I can tap into the creative side and work on writing.

I haven’t thought about work more than for a minute or two while I’ve been on vacation.  It has been a good six days off and I’m glad I took it.  I feel relaxed and ready to return to work tomorrow. 

Weekend Work

We work all week to get to the weekend.  You’d think that we’d spend our time relaxing, kicking back and enjoying ourselves.  Nope.  I spent my weekend cleaning closets, going through boxes, writing and editing (okay that is fun), and organizing things.  Ken cleaned the garage and took a truck full of stuff to Goodwill.  He also moved things around for me that I couldn’t lift myself and rearranged furniture as I asked him to. 

Now I have more desk space that is better organized.  I have to go through my pile of writing stuff though and figure out a system for that.  My writing is a constant question of what is the best way to organize it.  At some point I’ll figure out a good system. 

After all the work this weekend, I still don’t have my closets cleaned.  I still have work to do in my office to get it organized.  My brain is still churning on how to best utilize my space and organize my stuff.  It’s just that I need to mull it over for a while before I come up with an idea. 

I need a week of doing nothing more than genealogy to go through the boxes of stuff in my closet.  That doesn’t include my mother’s genealogy stuff that we need to get organized. 

I’ve got five chapters left to get on the computer for edits for my manuscript.  That will be my next task.  I’m hoping to finish that process off so I can have someone else read it and tell me what they think (thanks Vicki).  I’d like to get back to writing but probably by the time I’m done with the edits I’ll move on to something else.

This weekend has been a case of so much to do.  Fortunately we got a lot of it done.  There will be more to do.  There always is.

Just another Sunday…

Well my morning has been interesting.  I’ve not accomplished a lot.  I was rudely woken up by my daughter complaining about my husband.  She made up for it nicely by making breakfast.  Then they went off to Walmart and I was going to take a shower but they kept bugging me with calls.  So I waited till they were home. 

I worked on some insurance stuff – gotta love insurance.  I have to send in my receipts for over the counter drugs now with a prescription from my doctor to get reimbursed for them.  Now don’t think I’m getting paid – this is money that is deducted from my pay check for this purpose.  I used to be able to go to the pharmacy and buy what was needed using the card from the insurance company.  Now however I have to buy it, save the receipt, have a prescription from my doctor.  When I have all of that I get to mail, fax, or email it in to the insurance company so they can reimburse me.  I don’t think anyone is happy about the process.  I know the insurance company wasn’t when I called to talk to them about it.

Now that I have that stuff done, I have to figure out something for lunch.  After lunch who knows what mischief I’ll get up to.  Maybe I’ll take a nap.  Maybe I’ll work on genealogy.  Maybe I’ll write.  Such wildness on my part I know.  This is just another Sunday though and thankfully I think it will be a quiet one.