Category Archives: Blogging

Home Made Medicines

Because of my cold, I’ve been thinking about medicines: What kind should I take to stop my sinuses from feeling as if they are going to explode?  What could I take to stop my throat from aching?  What medicines and vitamins are available to make this cold less severe and shorter in length?

Well, while I still don’t have the answers to those questions, thinking of those questions made me think of when I would get sick as a kid – and all the medicines the older generations insisted worked.
I remember my first experience with what I would later call the “Harney Medicinal Experience”.  I was only eight years old, having just moved to Washington state with my mom a couple of months before, and I had come down with a horrible cold.  It wasn’t long before all of my great aunts (all of whom have the maiden name of Harney) were rushing to our house, offering odd fixes to my cold.
My Auntie Dode gave me some homemade cough syrup that was “sweetened” with blackberries and honey (trust me, it was FAR from sweet).  She even gave my mom a case full of this cough syrup in jars.  Then, my Auntie Babe gave me a concoction of water, lemon, garlic, red pepper flakes, and orange juice.  I remember begging my mom not to force me to take it – but there was no way out.  So, with no way out, I took the tiniest sip possible and nearly gagged.  But my woes weren’t over yet – my Auntie Bub took a neti pot filled with garlic, lemon, and hot water and forced me to breathe that in.  Then, my blind Auntie Shirley insisted that my mother stuff a small peice of paper towel with a multitude of dried herbs, wrap it up like a burrito, and then shove it into my nose.  or the rest of the day I was poked with therometers, forced to drink different potions of sorts, and a hot rag placed over my face.  At the time, I felt like I was in some sort of prison.
Once they had left the house for a night (but they didn’t leave without giving my a long list of what to do and when so that I would get better), I begged my mom not to force me to ever drink anything like I had drank that day again.
Then, the next day I woke up and I honestly felt better.  I remember my mom thinking that I was faking it at first in an attempt to avoid reliving the day before, but I wasn’t.  I actually felt great.
While I am not sure what exactly made me better the next day, I know that they did something riht.  And every time I’ve been sick since that day – I get the “Harney Medicinal Experience”, either in person or over the phone.  In fact, I am currently waiting for the call from my Auntie Shirley as to what exact herbs I am required to stick up my nose today.
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A Great Gift Idea – A Memory Book

When I was about ten years old or so and living in Seattle, my cousin Krissy came up with the brillant idea of making my Auntie Bub (her real name is Elizabeth, but family called her Bub for some reason) a memory book for her upcoming birthday.  It was going to be her 85th birthday – and we wanted to give her a gift that she would really appreciate.

What my cousin Krissy did was have family and friends write fond memories and give pictures that would all go in the book.  Every was more than happy to participate, some people taking up more than a page.
I remember one family friend, Rosalie, wrote a beautiful letter talking about their friendship over the years.  She included pictures from their early childhood, all the way up to the present.  It was a way to watch them grow – while still remaining great friends.  She even included a peice of the skirt that my Auntie Bub wore on her first date.
But it wasn’t just family and friends that wrote in – as word spread around Seattle, where my Auntie Bub is rather well known for being an extremely loyal customer and avid volunteer in the community, more people wanted to participate.  Soon, the guy at the Doughnut shop that she went to every Thursday was contributing to the book.  And then nurse at the nursing home that my Aunt often visited, just to keep complete strangers company, began to ask if she could contribute.  Then it was the workers at the Seattle Science Center, where not only my Auntie Bub volunteered, but my blind Auntie Shirley volunteered also.
Needless to say, the book caught on, and even after her birthday party people were asking if they could contribute.  When my aunt saw it, her eyes welled up.  She didn’t put that book down the entire party, and was sitting there reading different entries and talking about her life in between readings.
This was a gift that will last a lifetime.  It still remains on my Auntie Bub’s side table in her bedroom.  It includes valuable information about her life – things that you just can’t get off a census or marriage record.  It includes pictures and other small objects that help to represent her life, and the love that she has put into the lives of others.
If you have a loved one with a birthday coming up, I highly suggest that you use this gift idea to make their year.  While it does take some work and careful planning, it is well worth it.  The end result is something that will be cherished for years and possibly generations to come.
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My New Amazon Store

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!

As part of my New Year’s Resolutions, I wanted to make my blog better.  So, after realizing that I am always suggesting people use such-n-such product to organize their stuff or such-n-such genealogy database program, I realized that I needed to come up with a better way to get these products to you.  After some research into how best to do that, I came up with creating my own Amazon store.
You can check the store out here, or over to the top right of the side bar.
The store is still a work in progress, but I have already added a bunch of stuff to it.  Please, feel free to check it out and maybe you’ll find something you need.
Let me know what you think about it.
Once again, have a happy 2009!
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I Recieved the Proximidade Award

I am so honored and grateful to Cindy over at Everythings Relative for giving me the Proximidade award!!


She was so sweet to nominate this blog.  I say a million “Thank Yous”.  Here is what the Proximidade award is all about:
These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers, who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

I have nominated four (I know I am supposed to do 8, but I am short on time today) amazing blogs which I really think you’ll enjoy:
1.) The First Blog is Sheri Fenley at The Educated Genealogist
2.) The Second Blog is Looking4Ancestors
3.) The Third Blog is Rainy Day Genealogy Readings
4.) The Fourth Blog is I Find Dead People (Honestly, what an awesome blog name!)
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Taking Care of Baby

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I babysat his three-month old cousin, Gabriel.  I’ve never babysat someone so young before, so I have to admit that certain things were a bit difficult.  But, everyone survived and I didn’t even put the diaper on backwards!

But I couldn’t help but think about my grandmother – how she had her first baby when she was 19.  It sort of gives me the chills to think that if I was like my grandmother, I would be married to a man who is 8 years older than me and have my first baby on the way.
And I can’t imagine taking care of baby without some of the amazing technological advances for taking care of baby that we have today.  For example, at one point, Gabriel decided to cry and scream for some unknown reason.  I was in the middle of changing his shirt (since he spit up all over it) and he just starts screaming.  I have one of his arms in the shirt and I begin to panic as his little face turns red.  I immediately picked him right up and started walking around the room, bouncing him as I went and giving “WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM?” looks to my boyfriend.  Finally, I thought to put him into his massaging bouncy swing.  I put him in as he is still screaming and I was trying to get him strapped in and turn the thing on.  I got in on and within seconds he begins to calm right down.
I had a tsunami size wave of relief run over me.  I had no idea what set him off to start crying like that, but I was so relieved to get him to stop.  I knew that I owed that swing BIG TIME.
And honestly – when it came time to leave, I was so relieved that I got to go home.  I was exhausted and I had only watched him for two hours or so.  It certainly re-affirmed what I had already known: I can definitely wait a few years for kids.
Yet, my thoughts went back to my grandmother.  If I was her, I would be married already and getting ready for the birth of my first child.  Within the decade, I would have a total of three children, two of which would be twins.  By the end of her child bearing days, she would of had a total of five children and adopted her sister’s illegitimate daughter.  Honestly, I couldn’t imagine living her life.
Experiencing how hard it was to for me to take care of baby Gabriel (and I had that wonderful massaging bouncy chair), I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like without modern advances.  My grandmother didn’t have plastic diapers or already moistened wipes at her disposal.  She didn’t have that massaging bouncy chair.  She didn’t have any of that… 
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Sometimes A Book Makes All The Difference

When I was 8 years old, I received my very first Harry Potter book. It was a Christmas gift from my best friend, Erin, who was already having the books read to her by her mom. I stared at the book for a moment, before tossing it aside and moving on to other toys.

Little did I know that the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling (one of my heroes) would become a welcomed constant in my life. It would serve me as a doorway to my own creativity, and introduce me to real emotion. As I grew up and dealt with the joys and pains of life – Harry Potter stood by me.

I was inevitably hooked and before long I was begging to get my hands on everything Harry Potter. I listened to the books on tape while in the car, I kept the books with me always, and I got in trouble in school for reading the books when we were really supposed to be doing math.

As the characters grew, I grew with them. The plot became progressively more complicated as did I.

When the movies came out, my mom and I (yes, my mom is a fan of the books also), would ditch school and work to go out and see the movies. We would buy nearly everything at the concession stands and watch the movies. It has been a tradition of ours since they began coming out.

The point of this post is that even still I rely on this fairytale to explain life. Rowling has an exceptional ability to make the fictional mirror certain aspects of reality. In her books there is discrimination, pain, joy, love, hope, war, loss, and friendship – all things that in the real world we can relate to. These books have meant the world to me and have been with me through my life.

When the 7th and final book of the series came out – I cried. I felt as if a chapter of my childhood had ended.

Next July, when the 6th movie comes out, I will be attending the midnight showing. The next day, I will sleep in until 11, before my mom and I will go out and see it together. We’ll then wait a week or two – I’ll talk to my other Harry Potter obsessed friends about the movie – and then we’ll go see it again. It may sound odd, but it is one of my favorite traditions.

So – now that you have read this incredibly long article about my love affair with Harry Potter – you are probably wondering how this has anything to do with genealogy. That answer is very simple: Genealogy is not just about dates and places, but about learning how your family was shaped to become what it is today. There is no doubt in my mind that Harry Potter has served an important role in my life, and I can’t wait until the day I get to share that joy with my children and grandchildren.

Now, if you’ll please excuse me – I have a 1 minute, 52 second trailer to watch repeatedly – it is the only thing that will give me my fix until July 17, 2009.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone – I just wanted to write a quick note saying “Happy Thanksgiving”. I hope all is going well with everyone and everyon ehas a safe holiday!

Also – remember to take some pictures and tell stories to everyone. Those sort of memories were always my favorites and I learned so much about my family.

I wish you good eats, good laughs, and good family times.

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Proud To Be An American!

Yesterday was a day that made history. A black man has been elected president and I am honored that I was able to be part of that political process.

Whatever way you voted, sit back today and reflect on how far our country has come. Reflect on the change that our country is about to endure.

I wish everyone well and I hope everyone feels as proud/honored/excited/hopeful/etc. as I do to be an American in such a wonderful time!

*Note: This is not a political blog nor do I plan to make it one. However, I wanted to express my feelings after yesterday’s election and I wanted to remind everyone that this will be a time period that our descendants will be researching….and remember, they’ll be wondering what went through our heads.

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Politics For Your Descendants

We all know that current events effect our lives. Such events can make important decisions in our lives – or at least change our perspective. As we hunt to find our ancestors, current events are always something to think about when we are considering why our ancestors did something (like move to another state or suddenly have a new job)…And maybe, we can do our descendants a favor and make it easier for them to figure our how current events changed our lives.

This election year has been a big (and exhausting!) one. No matter which candidate wins, it will be historical: Either a black man will be president or a woman will be vice president. What an exciting time!

But it isn’t just the candidates that are the big deal. People are so incredibly passionate and they are participating like we haven’t seen in years! In our information age – people are spreading their support/opinions/dislike for their candidate and the issues on so many channels: Blogging, newspapers, rallies, coffee shops, bumper sticker, yard signs, fundraisers, volunteering…etc.

The bottom line is this: Maybe you should be considerate to your descendants by making sure there is something that is saved that shows how you felt about this election – and maybe even how it changed your life. Maybe save that newspaper editorial you wrote or print out the blog post you wrote about your favorite candidate. You could save your yard sign or pin. Even a simple letter that explains your feelings on the issues would work.

Please, whatever your political party or feelings – give your descendants a bone!

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Some Basic News…

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the delay in posts. I’ve been super swamped with school and with throwing a wedding shower for my boyfriend’s cousin. But the good news is that I am back and I have a bit more of a free weekend.

Since my last post, I have also been busy working on a new blog that I just recently joined. The blog is entitled The Graveyard Rabbit of Eastern Tennessee. The basics of the blog is that it promotes the preservation of cemeteries. I have this blog because I am a Charter Member of the Graveyard Rabbit Association. You can find my new blog here: http://elysesgyrb.blogspot.com/ and the website to The Graveyard Rabbit Association is http://www.thegraveyardrabbit.com/

You will also notice that I added a cool little gadget to this blog called “This Day In History”. It is towards the bottom of the blog and it is just a cool little gadget that I thought was interesting.

Alrighty – I just thought I’d give you a quick update on that. I promise I will be back to posting this weekend!

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