Saturday, July 15, 2017

Le Weekend..............

What's Up My Kittens?

How is your weekend? It is hot as Hell here in South Florida. It's is hotter than the devil's nut sack.

I have a headache today. I didn't drink coffee today, and I am paying dearly for it because I clearly have a caffeine addiction. But I do have to cut back, because it really can really make my heart pound, and that's not healthy.

I got my hair cut yesterday, and I feel so much better. My hair had grown down to my butt, but it was just too much, especially since half it was color-treated. Now I am back to all my natural colored hair, and no more dead hair. I forgot that my hair could have volume. Who knew?

What else.......... I have researching family history on Ancestry.com. It's interesting to see the migration patterns of my ancestors. They are long gone, but I still have some of their letters. I wonder if they knew it would end up with me?

All of my mother's side of the family is still in Europe so I am talking about my father.'s side. His father's parents escaped religious persecution because they were Jewish, and immigrated to New York in 1905 to make new lives for themselves. They lived the American Dream, learned the language, had more children, at least one served in the Army, and owned a home and business. It is interesting to follow their stories through the Censuses, as well as by reading letters my aunt handed down to me.

My dad also send me a huge box of color slides from his marraiges, travels, and my childhood. I am going to invest in a slide machine and break out the wine.

I am not sure if anyone will come to me for family information down the line, probably not. I am one of the few that actively looks up information. I wouldn't call it research, as that would require me to get offline and go look up records on micro film and microfiche (can't remember the difference between the two) and verify information I find, with information I've been told by family.

Other than that, my depression is returning, and I try to manage the feelings. I had been on a very long happiness streak, but sometimes the old feelings come back and blindside me. I have to accept that and just go with it. Fighting it just makes it worse. I woke up with a pit in my stomach, and getting out of the house took forever because I just kept lying down. Once I got out of the house, I was moving slowly, and had very short patience with people in traffic and at the store. I wanted to cry, and I haven't wanted to do that for so long. It's like I realize that I moved to Florida all of a sudden, what am I doing here, where am I going in life, and I am not getting any younger!

I have been complacent lately in life, and although I have been blissfully ignorant, I have developed bad habits such as bad sleeping patterns, bad diet choices, and sleeping half of the day on weekends.
Don't get me wrong, I love it, and it has made me happy and relaxed, but this is definitely not how I want the rest of my life to play out, because I have things I actually want to accomplish. My medication has helped with my mood, but I still carry old habits from when I wasn't taking anything.

I have dreams in life of promotions, of decorating my condo, or more travel, of getting back into dance, and I can't actively live all this out with my current habits. Maybe one day down the line, actually get married and share my life with someone, and I can't live the way I currently do and make that happen.

The problem is, my old habits are extremely hard to break. What helps me get through this is to accept my feelings, and complete small tasks one after the other. Today I started small things like cleaning the litter box, and mailing a letter I've been meaning to mail. Then I dumped the trash. Small tasks, no big deal. I didn't get very far, but that's okay. Sometimes I do, and I make great strides in cleaning and getting stuff done. Many people spend time doing all their cleaning in one shot. That is just not me, at least not yet.

Okay, enough about me for today. Besitos my lovelies!


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Who do you think you are?

Hello There My Little Hummingbirdies!

Long time, no bloggy!

I have recently started getting into Genealogy, because I have always been curious about my heritage and my roots.  It all started in the fourth grade when my teacher had us fill out our family tree.  I very recently started my little genealogy hobby by registering on Ancestry.com and taking free classes at my local library. I love the library, and the teacher is a wealth of information.

I first started back in 2009, but I quickly gave up. I had started searching for my great-grandparents' names in the Ellis Island Manifests, but came up empty handed. Growing up, my father told me that they immigrated through Ellis Island, so when I looked through the manifests without finding their names, I figured my dad gave me the wrong information and that was the end of it. I did visit Ellis Island with a friend of mine, and absolutely loved sailing by the Statue of Liberty and walking through the same processing gates the newly arrived immigrants passed through.

I have since found the naturalization records of my great-grandfather who apparently sailed into the port of New York in in 1905 on the Umbria from Liverpool, England. But I can't locate his name or my great-grandmother's in any manifest. I will keep looking, it is quite possible their names weren't recorded.

This time around with genealogy, I have a lot more patience, and a willing to learn. I learned that many people give up after looking on Ancestry.com, which is what I did. But I learned in my class that 90% of the information you're looking for is not online, especially since many records still have not been digitalized.

I enjoy tracing the addresses of my ancestors through the Census and telephone directories, to see where they travel and settle down, and how they made lives for themselves. My mother's side is from Austria and is still all there. I haven't started researching that side. My grandmother was very private and, it's not that they won't share family details, they definitely aren't excited about it, so I let it be.

So I am focusing on the ancestors from my father's side.His father's parents immigrated from Minsk, Russia (now Belarus) to England, to New York, before settling in California. Some of the family from Minsk ended up immigrating to other parts of Europe. Out of the blue back in 2011, I received a Facebook message from my distant cousin in Paris, a descendant of the family members that ended up in Europe. When I was in Paris the year before in 2010, I actually saw our family name on the wall of the Shoah, but had no idea I still had family in Paris. I did end up going back and meeting them, and seeing their version of the family tree.

My father's mother's side is goes is a little different. My grandmother's mothers's side goes back far in this country, I haven't determined how far just yet. My father's father's side was Canadian with ancestors coming from England. I still have a lot more research to go. It's fun to see the the paper trail, as well as see the common distant cousins aka "kissing cousins" on Ancestry.com. I contacted one of them, and it was nice to talk to her.

Anyway, this is the very beginning of my journey to connect the dots. Companies like Ancestry.com and TV shows make it seem like it's so easy to do genealogy, it's so easy to build a family tree. All you have to do is go online! WRONG! Not only is most information not online, but you must verify each piece of information you get, because it is very easy to fall into the rabbit hole. Not only that, but you will find conflicting information, and brick walls frequently.

There is so much information out there, so many free courses, so many research sites for free, such as familysearch.org. I just happen to find Ancestry more user friendly, so I do pay. Over the weekend I took a class at the local library of how to research land records. That was definitely fun. I do notice that I am usually the youngest person in classes like these.

It can all get extensive and tiring, but for me, it's a quest to find the truth. Family history is truly a game of telephone. By the time the information gets passed to you, you don't know what is really true, and what is embellished.

That is all, off to follow more paper trails.

Besitos!