Wednesday, March 30, 2011


. . . where YOU write the caption.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Taking Time Off . . .

. . . to grieve the loss of a loved one. BRB

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fab 5 Friday

Where I flash the top 5, well, anything. This week, it's the top 5 things I can't live without.

1. My iPhone, not even for an hour while it's on the charger. Not that I talk on it (friends know that I don't) but I play Words with Friends, write lists like this, Check IMDB, and a host of other activities.

2. The microwave. Ever been hungry in a hurry? Nuf said.

3. The Internet. Not the same as an iPhone. How can I submit my short stories without the Internet?

4. A car. Tried walking; takes too long.

(And right about now, Sarge is wondering where he fits on this list, and my kids are wondering, too, so without further ado................)

5. Costco's Asian Chicken Salad. Yes, I have it at least once a week. Mui bueno!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011



Monday, March 14, 2011


If you've ever had a family quarrel, it's like a split in the skin that won't heal. But family is what you make it, and the due respect you give to keeping it a cohesive unit. It is made strong not by the number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the traditions family members create, the memories you share, the love you show one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a family unit.

To that end, I wanted to create a family tradition that I hope will be carried on long after I'm gone. I call it Celebrate A Life, where we gather each year to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on before us. But it's not like you think. We don't dwell on the sad, but revel in the happy!

This year, the 5th year we've had it, it became a true family affair (where I didn't have to do everything myself.) A lot can happen in 5 years!
One nephew put together a DVD of family Christmas's past when the eight of us siblings gathered with our young families, my mother was still alive, and people were only on their first or second marriages. A lot can happen in 25 years!

Sarge grilled all the meat, EVERYone brought their favorite dish to share; another nephew,, took family portraits, while my daughter (you've seen her work here) took the candid pics. My oldest brother gave up his DNA to make this day happen (for lineage, not for Jerry Springer), while I gave the DNA presentation. Yet another brother -- we call him the crypt keeper, because he has custody of all Mommy's old family photos -- brought some of those old family photos, and we played a game called, Who's-in-that-old-picture? It's hilarious when people don't even recognize themselves. A lot can happen in 60 years!

Check out the slideshow on the sidebar. Four generations were in attendance, and it was the best time ever! Knock Number 138 off my Bucket List, Start a Family Tradition. A lot can happen in 100 years!

Have you ever created a family tradition? Tell us about it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fab 5 Friday

Fab 5 Friday is where I flash five of my favorite things that have nothing to do with a Bucket List. This week it's pet peeves...........and yes, I have my favorites! And they are:

1. People who walk the wrong way on the walking track. It's like driving against traffic on the freeway.

2. Interpreting in movies. Yes, people have sat behind me in a theater and translated the entire movie for their non-English-speaking friend/relative/date. Wait for the DVD, people, and do that in the comfort of your own home.

3. Answering your cell phone while in the movie theater. (Yes, I go to the movies a lot...LOL) Everyone has forgotten to turn their cell to vibrate, but actually answering it? And talking? Come on. (This includes you, Sarge!)

4. People who work with the public, and have no personality. Don't apply for that receptionist job if you're a Negative Nancy.

5. When you hold the door open for someone, and they just walk through without any acknowledgment whatsoever, like you weren't even standing there, like it was your job to hold the door for them.

Ahhhh.........I feel better now. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


. . . where you write the caption

Monday, March 7, 2011


Shake your family tree. You never know what you might find. And don't wait until Great Aunt Eurethra dies before embarking on the journey.

It's easier than you think, what with the advent of the Internet. I'll take you through my journey to know my mother's ancestors, just to show you. I signed up on a couple of genealogy websites, being the best of them (and probably the most expensive). Others are Genealogy Bank, and Footnote to name a couple.

I knew my Grandparents' names, but I didn't know their parents' names, so I went straight to the 1930 Census on Ancestry. Even if you don't know what city or state your family is from, you can do a search by name and dwindle it down through process of elimination.

For example, there were several people with the same name as Mommy's, but I knew her sisters' and parents' names, so I used that to toss out the others. I got a kick out seeing Mommy on the 1930 census as a little eight-year old girl. I wondered if she was out in the back yard playing when they came to count her family, because back then, census takers visited each and every home, even the ones in the back woods.

As it turns out, Mommy's grandmother was living with them, and voila, I had my Great Grandmother's name, Pruie. To find Pruie's parents, I sent off for her death certificate, since I now knew what state she probably died in. When I received that document via snail mail two months later, it had Pruie's mother listed as Lucinda.

Since Lucinda was Native American and, therefore, counted separately from the rest of America, I then had to trek over to the National Archives (via . . see how easy that is, and that one's free!) where I found Lucinda's parents (I'm now up to Great-Great-Great Grandparents) who were Cherokee, and came to Oklahoma on that infamous and aptly named Trail of Tears, as many Indians died during and because of it. During that forced march, their tribe was overseen by the dashing Captain Fleetwood who ultimately fell in love with and married their daughter, then was later murdered because he'd married an Indian. Thanks to relatives I didn't know I had but found on a genealogy surname message board, they shared with me Captain Fleetwood's complete army file of about 200 pages. I know, right? Fascinating, as Sarge would deadpan.

From there, I researched Captain Fleetwood's family tree and traced them all the way back to England and the 1600's. I even found my GGGG-Grandfather's will online (that's now six generations back from me!) wherein he bequeathed his slaves along with his feather beds and farms. I didn't get anything. So I had a T-shirt made that said, My ancestors were rich, but all I got was this T-shirt.

If you're interested in shaking your own family tree, (Number 75 on my Bucket List) here's a recap of the best tips I know:

1. Don't wait; begin now, right after you finish leaving a comment on this post.

2. Join a genealogy website; it may not be cheap, but it's the most expedient method.

3. Sign up on a genealogy message board of your same surname. You might just find a cousin whose tracing the same family line, and that will cut your efforts down tremendously.

4. Send off for death, birth, marriage certificates as they hold a wealth of information, including medical.

5. Talk to your oldest living relative. Interview them. Love them. They are your key to the past.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fab 5 Fridays

Fab 5 Fridays, where I flash on 5 of my favorite things. Move over, Oprah.

This week, it's my five favorite movie lines. No, not the lines you stand in to get inside the theater, but the ones you hear once the movie starts.

1. "I'll be your huckleberry," said Doc Holliday in Tombstone. I don't remember the context, but I use this line whenever Sarge is mad at me.

2. "You better bop Mister upside his head and think about heaven later," said Miss Sophia in The Color Purple after Celie had told Harpo to beat her.

3. "Burn it." Mel Gibson in Braveheart OR what he told his ex-wife to do with those audio tapes.

4. "You can't handle the truth," said Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. I know, I know; such a cliche, but it was either that or, "Honey, I'm home," also Nicholson after he axes his way through the door in The Shining.

5."Am I missing a tooth?" Stu, from The Hangover. I can't wait until the Wolf Pack comes back!

What's you favorite movie line?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


. . . where you write the caption