25 May 2018


When I was a little girl, my family was the most important thing in my life.  I knew who they were and by extension, who I was. (By family, I mean my parents, siblings, grandparents and cousins.  We were all very close and they were my family.)

As I grew older, I began to wonder if maybe all wasn't as it seemed.  At one point I started to wonder if maybe I was adopted.  Of course, that could have just been wishful thinking.  :-)

When I hit my early twenties (early 1990's), I started to really wonder where I came from.  I started asking questions of my older relatives, especially the two grandparents I had left (one from each side).  I heard so many weird stories.  Rumors of chicken/horse thieves from one line, Native American ancestry on another line.  Some said we were from Scotland and some from Ireland, some from France and some from Wales. But there was no real information...just rumors.

During that time, I was bitten by the genealogy bug and began to seriously research my ancestry.  I bought and borrowed books on how to do so, joined Rootsweb (a free online genealogy community), and started haunting cemeteries and courthouse record rooms.  I wrote for documents in places I couldn't visit, sent letters and questionnaires to family members (both close and distant) and wrote down everything I could find in weird disjointed ways.

Over the years I built up a lot of information. I searched online, exchanged emails with like-minded people across the country and even printed a couple years worth of newsletters for two of my main family lines.  I even considered applying to a specialized college to be come a professional genealogist.  It was very consuming.
In 2004, a medical crisis knocked me out of my loop and I gave up.  I just didn't see the point when there was no one to whom to pass the information.  For many years my collection sat in plastic tubs, hidden in attics or closets.  I didn't really want to look anymore.

I don't know what caused me to start back.  I think the burgeoning of Ancestry.com and the "ease" of it.  I say ease, because a lot of ancestry information is from member trees and you have to be careful to take anything from someone's tree with a grain (sometimes a bag) of salt.  

Then Ancestry came out with their DNA tests.  I thought about it, when it first came out, but I was in an everything's a conspiracy frame of mind and it didn't seem safe.  I've continued to play around at researching off and on over the past 10 years.  I've found some interesting things and some frustrating things.  But I continued to be comfortable in my family knowledge.

Two months ago, I did something I never thought I would.  I submitted a DNA kit to Ancestry.  I'd had no luck finding those elusive Native American ancestors that we supposedly had and was running into brick wall, after brick wall on other lines.  So, I went for it.  

Turns out, I'm definitely not a Native American descendant.  In fact, I'm basically British/European, with a tiny portion Finnish/Russian, Iberian and from Asia central.  What?!?!

Once I started looking at people I matched to and seeing where we connected, I noticed that there was a line missing.  I contacted a cousin from this particular line that I knew had been doing research and asked if he'd submitted the test.  He had, but we didn't match.  What the *!&%@???

We talked more and he has lots of matches to other ancestors down this particular line, but I don't.  I have one match to a great-grandfather on this line but it also lists his wife (my great-grandmother) as a common ancestor.  I have lots of connections through her line, going way back.  But none on him.  Hmmmm...

Because of the common ancestor connections to her, I know for sure that my dad is my dad, and my grandfather is my grandfather.   So either my grandfather was not of his father's bloodline, or my great-grandfather wasn't of his father's bloodline.  Oh boy.  

I have no idea how to figure this out.  It isn't like I can call them up and ask.  They've all passed on years ago.  

I'll be honest.  I don't know why this matters so much to me.  No one else in our family cares or is even interested.  I've no one to pass the information down to, so why does it matter?  

I don't know.  It just does.  It always has.

Maybe I just really love a good mystery....


This is what I've been up to the last few weeks.  Lots of time spent sifting through "matches" on Ancestry and trying to figure things out.  

I have determined that it might be a glitch in their system/testing as my cousin and I have a mutual cousin who we both match to and it's the same family line.  So...

Hmmm, I didn't mean for that to be such a long post. 

So, tell me...have you researched your family history?  Does knowing where/who you come from matter to you?

I'd love to hear your research stories or why it does/doesn't matter to you.

Thanks for stopping in for a read...
love & blessings

19 May 2018

in my garden...

We've had mostly rain/thunderstorms for the past week.  Yesterday during a small break in the weather, I went out to check on my little patio garden.  

My cherry tomato is blossoming, the cucumber plants are growing well and getting quite tall.  Something is eating the outer petals on my dahlias and my hydrangea has an abundance of budding blossoms.  The jalapeno has several fruits starting.  This ruby-throated hummingbird was hanging out on the tomato cage this morning.  I love seeing them dart in and out of the trees.  I rarely see them so still.  The san marzanos are doing amazing and I hope I get lots of tomatoes.  In that last photo, it seems I have a volunteer pumpkin coming up in the cherry tomato planter.  We'll see what happens.

That's about all to share today.  I'm exhausted for many reasons, and am thinking of going to bed (even though it is only 6:20pm). 

What's growing in your garden?

Thanks for stopping in for a read...
love & blessings

15 May 2018

arting my feelings...

In a previous post, I shared part of an art journal page based on the physical pain I was experiencing at the time and the resultant emotional turmoil.  I'd started three different pages during that time.  Each was a little different, but all revolved around what I was going through.  I think I was hoping doing it was a way of purging myself from pain.  

All I know is that I made three pieces of art in my journals and I felt a little better for it.  I also know that one of those pieces, I really love. 
A lot of the time, when I'm feeling my worst, I'll lay in bed with my earbuds in listening to music.  I know that sounds counter-intuitive when dealing with a migraine/severe headache but for me it helps to calm me down and breathe through the pain.  This journal page is based on one of the songs I listened to.  It spoke right to how the physical pain was making me feel and I was inspired.

 The writing in the background are the lyrics to the song.  I wrote it over and over until I filled the page.  I don't want to tear the page out of the journal so I'm thinking of doing another similar or trying to improve this one on canvas or wood panel.  If I do, I'll probably show it here.  :-)

And here is the full page.  As you can see, I spilled a bit of paint and tried to incorporate it into her hair.  But...well, I'm proud of her.  I make a lot of art that I'm not proud of, or that I like but don't think it is good enough to show.  However, she declared she wanted to be out in the world.  So, here she is...

The song that inspired her is "Deep End" by Ruelle.  If you want to hear the song, you can go here

I wish I could remember where I heard the song.  I *think* it was the trailer for the new Freeform show "Siren", but I can't swear to it.

Anywho, paint should be dry on my current project so I should get back to it.
Hope you are having a great day!

Tell me, do you do anything to help you cope when you have pain or just to help deal with everyday life?

Thanks for stopping in for a read...
love & blessings


14 May 2018

weekend adventures...

I was going to share my big project from this past weekend, but when I looked through my archives, I found I'd already shared a very similar post.  So, to see how I spent my Saturday morning, click here.  :-)

Yesterday, I received a panicked call from my neighbor telling me to come to the front door of her house.  Upon arrival, she directed me to her back door where I saw this...

Now, keep in mind that she is deathly afraid of snakes.  Of course, she was freaking out.  I asked her what she wanted me to do and she said get rid of it.  

Last year during my first few snake wrangling experiences for her, I'd told her I wouldn't kill a snake unless it was poisonous.  I wouldn't kill those either, but I have major flashback trauma of not being able to go in my grandad's yard without a shovel or hoe due to all the baby copperheads for a few summers.

I found his head, he'd been drinking out of the plant tray, and had a little talk with him.  I explained how he was kind of in danger if he hung around in her yard as she'd probably kill him if she saw him again, but I assured him he was welcome to hang out in my yard and patio and I'd not bother him at all.  I think he was mostly annoyed because he made his way across her yard to the outside of her fence (opposite my side) where he curled up under (or maybe in) a boxwood. 
She was still freaking out and wanting me to take him to the woods.  I told her just cause he went into the woods, didn't mean he'd stay there!  :-)  I think he was at least 4 feet long but was very skinny.  It didn't look like he'd eaten anything in a while.  He sure was a pretty little black rat snake. 

So, that was my exciting time on Mother's day.  Haha.

How was your weekend?  ;-)

Thanks for stopping in for a read...
love & blessings


01 May 2018

in my garden... beltane edition

Happy and Blessed Beltane to you all! 

I hope you've been able to spend a little time with nature.  We are having summer like weather and I'm trying to enjoy it a little at a time.  Yesterday was breakfast on the patio and tomorrow I'm hoping/planning for a trip to the farmers market for fresh strawberries.  They've been coming in for a few weeks now but I've yet to taste one.  Soon!!

The rose bush above is one the previous owner had planted.  It's a knockout rose, which I'm not that fond of, but it certainly does bloom profusely.  It was more than double that size last month, but I cut it back and now it is covered in blooms.  The peonies, also planted by the previous owner, are ready to burst and the ants are swarming for their take of the sweet nectar.  I so love peonies, but really don't like the ants!

My blueberry bush (top photo) survived the winter and has more berries on it than ever.  I'm very excited for those to ripen up.  It's still potted as I can't quite figure out where to put it in the ground.

I'm taking it easy with the plantings this year.  Most of my household plants died off this winter and I'd like to start building them back up.  I have some ideas for making a little garden patch in my little patio garden, but I don't want to rush into anything and give myself too much a chance to fail.  So a few pots of herbs this summer, maybe a tomato and pepper in a pot and that will do me.  

Tell me, what's going on in your garden?

Thanks for stopping in to read...

love and blessings