Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Ever Found Yourself Online?

 I went to look something up yesterday and suddenly found myself staring at my byline on an archived article I had no immediate recollection of writing from 2005.  After reading the article, I did recall interviewing the subject, a local educator and business woman who hoped her very successful venture would continue to thrive without her at the helm. It did not, sadly. She would now be in her eighties. I hope she is well.

It seems odd to find reminders of my former life this way...

Monday, June 14, 2021

You Can't Be Authenticated...

 I spent an inordinate amount of time with four different representatives of my home and previous auto insurer. I was calling with a question on one policy and to verify the due date on another. One of the best companies which serves military personnel, dependents and family members, it is known for quality products and excellent customer service. I have been a member for over 30 years.

All that said, this company has changed its authentication process and now expects codes, none of which were available to me. This led to a less than salubrious experience when first an associate and then his supervisor informed me that their hands were tied and they could not discuss anything further. Having attempted to retrieve the code while on the phone, and failed as the call was dropped, I became more determined to resolve the situation and called back again. 

Fortunately, my call landed in a smart woman's queue. I calmly explained the previous problem and my reasons for calling. She listened and then said she needed to place me on a brief hold while she fetched what turned out to be another smart woman who is part of  the security department. Questions were asked and answered quickly and the matter was handled. Things were concluded when I spoke with a man who first apologized. With nothing more due until January, I hope not to call again anytime soon.

I've just had a coffee and paid my remaining bills...

Why do humans overcomplicate things?


  While I'm no German housewife, I am at times an overly efficient woman, another definition of this term. 

Yesterday was busy. I hand vacuumed the front room, cleared layers of fur from the loveseat, swiffered and cleaned the bathroom, did two loads of laundry, prepared food and cleaned up the kitchen, cleared the trash and took care of all things cat, including sorting the toys he no longer has an interest in.

Today, I pay bills, and I may finally have a go at another round of grout cleaning on the kitchen floor, do a grocery list and perhaps watch a movie.

Currently, I'm reading a biography of Lighthorse Harry Lee. a mystery and a book about consumer DNA. I am on the fence about personal DNA testing and never undertook a family tree to find live people.

Wishing you all a great week.


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Who Eats Pub Cheese For Breakfast?

 I did. Today. It is a cheddar spread containing  chunks of spicy peppers and is great on toast. Up since 3 AM, I have done laundry and will do some cleaning this afternoon. Lukas is sleeping peacefully in my favorite chair.

The ancestors can wait a bit while I tidy the place. Summer heat is finally upon us so I'll not be spending much time outdoors, not that I was before but at least then I could open the windows without feeling like I live in a blast furnace.

Seasonal menus are lighter at this time of year. More fruit, dips and spreads, sandwiches and yogurt are my preferred sustenance when the heat is high. I tried my hand at homemade guacamole and hummus and both were so lovely they're gone. Wonderful accompaniment to any sandwiches, they are also a handy excuse to eat baby carrots or cut up veggies, and if I can find some good tomatoes and my trusted ranch topping, my twist on one of the few southern traditions I enjoy will be complete.

Since tomatoes thrive in heat and have a long growing season, it is not unusual for people here to put thickly sliced tomato between two pieces of white bread coated in their preferred mayonnaise and thoroughly dusted with salt and pepper. The juicier the tomato, the better. Never a fan of white bread, I go for whole grain and if that isn't available, lightly toasted, which is considered sacrilege among true tomato-sandwich-enthusiasts.

My appetite for any sort of mayo was killed in early childhood, so I use dressings such as ranch or blue cheese, which makes me anomaly worthy of laughter among my southern relations.

What whets your appetite this time of year?

Saturday, June 5, 2021


👪 There have been a few surprises in the family tree lately...

When I  started this, my original plan was to learn something about my paternal side about which I knew little. My mother's first husband contributed to my conception but provided no support and nothing in the way of a paternal relationship. My mother always felt lucky to have gotten out of that marriage and beyond sharing a few details about that time, never mentioned him or wanted anything to do with anyone associated with him. The marriage foundered quickly.  Left with the sole custody of an infant daughter, my mother, at just 21, had far more important tasks confronting her. 

The last memories I have of seeing him or his mother I was not quite six. After the age of eight or nine, trips to see relatives other than the grandparents with whom I spent my childhood, were rare. I have cousins in every line of my tree I've never met. I've spoken with two recently and neither is interested in any further contact. The half-siblings from two subsequent paternal marriages and I have little in common beyond a social media connection.

I began this tree not knowing my paternal grandmother's maiden name. I've learned so much since that it boggles the mind. Newspapers offer a trove of information as do census records and wills if read carefully. Secrets and surprises may await.

This week, courtesy of my paternal great grandmother's line, I traced back to a six times great grandfather who came from Scotland, fought in the American Revolution,  apparently served with Light Horse Harry Lee and married an Ann Lee of North Carolina subsequently.  In the same line, a son married into the Carlton family, giving me yet another set of ancestors previously unknown. 

There are of course my maternal grandmother's birthright Quakers, an interesting contrast to all the warring, land-grabbing and slave-holding.

More research pending...