Category Archives: Genealogy

My kind of cooking show

Something about the simplicity of this video really appeals to me.

It does a good job of simulating how daughters and sons learn to cook from watching their fathers and mothers. Learning to cook is more about trying things than it is about following a recipe. As I typed the first sentence of this paragraph, I was aware that not just daughters, but also sons, learn not just from their mothers, but also from their fathers, how to cook. It serves to remind me that as time goes on, roles and families evolve.

For instance, my son Mike who lived with me from his 14th birthday forward learned to cook by participating with me in preparing our meals. Today he is the primary chef in his home and he enjoys the role. A funny aside from Morgan the other day was the one in which she asked, “Mom what did we eat before Mike was here?”

He has said he’d like to run a restaurant but I’ve always heard that is a terribly demanding occupation. Maybe Mike is channeling my uncle Pat Ross who ran Pat’s Place there on Main Street in Stone Mountain from my earliest youth until he passed away. Uncle Pat was almost always at the restaurant. I never knew of him going to a baseball game, or to a dance, or to church or going hunting or fishing with my dad; in other words, I don’t think Uncle Pat had a hobby outside of his restaurant. I suppose that is why it had better be a labor of love if one chooses to open a restaurant.

The seventh is jinxed

It seems to me the seventh is jinxed. Oh, I know it’s superstitious to say that, but that’s the way it seems.

Carole learned her breast cancer had come back in her liver in November of last year. On the seventh of June she died, only about six months after hearing that news. When I returned from New Mexico on the 15th of May, I anticipated spending the last year of her life with her. In fact, I had already arranged with her three sisters that I would be a part of the four-week rotation of those who would stay with her one week a month for the remainder of her life. I was going to experience, explore, and, if possible, even enjoy a year of saying goodbye to her. As Life turned out I spent one week of the last month of her life with her instead. There’s a Life lesson there. The time you actually have is shorter than the time you think you have. Those who wait to the last minute to do things often find that the last minute is harshly sudden, and those last minute intentions become the stuff of regrets.

On July 7th, just one month to the day after Mike lost his mother to cancer Cheryl, Mike’s wife, lost her mother Sandy to cancer too. Sandy’s funeral was held on July 10th, one month to the day after Carole’s. Mike and Cheryl suffered a left hook followed by a right cross, both of which landed squarely on their emotional jaw. Once again the end for Sandy came suddenly, though it was anticipated. Another Life lesson is that Death, though anticipated for everyone, arrives suddenly.

Today is August 7th. I’ll admit that I’m hesitant to get out of bed or leave the house. It seems to me that the seventh is jinxed.

An update on genealogy

Recently I blogged about the free genealogy program called Family Tree Builder that you can download from and how I had gotten involved with it because I wanted to see how the program worked and how easy or hard it was to enter information in it. Now I guess I should acknowledge that I am finding it hard to put aside.

Over the weekend, I created a free web page on their site to hold the data I’ve entered into the program thus far. I had some problems uploading the results of my work during the weekend, but on Monday I got a message from their Support group acknowledging they had had problems last weekend with uploads and that now the issues were resolved. So yesterday, I uploaded my genealogical data there. I also uploaded a small portion of the photos that I had entered into the program to the website too. The photos really enhance the experience because it makes the list of information less dry.

This morning, I’ve made more progress. I scanned, retouched and uploaded several old family photos to a set on my Flickr site, and I’ll be incorporating some of those into the genealogy database later today when time permits.

I had to jump through a few hoops to do the scanning because the scanner I have is an old Paperport 6000 that doesn’t work under Win XP. Fortunately, I still have the hard drive that contains my Windows ME installation in my computer, and I’ve installed Symantec’s BootMagic that permits me to select which OS I want to boot into at start up. So I went into the ME installation and did the scanning there. Frankly, scanners aren’t all that expensive and I probably should just get a newer scanner that works with XP and forget that ME drive altogether, but I’ll do that later when I’m rolling in dough, which of course I expect to happen at any moment now.

Although I hardly think of myself as a genealogy buff, I have to confess that pulling all these resources together is proving interesting and somewhat addictive. So if you don’t yet have enough addictions in your life, you might want to give it a try. If you are like me, partial to free things and resources on the Internet, Family Tree Builder and the MyHeritage web pages are a good place to start toying with genealogy. There may be better programs around; I can’t really say since I haven’t surveyed them all, but this particular free resource does a nice job of giving you a taste of why people enjoy tracing and compiling their genealogy. Fortunately, it also has the ability to export the data you’ve entered (as a GEDCOM file), so if you discover a better genealogy program in the future, that export file could be imported into the new software you have found and thereby save you the trouble of having to re-enter the data. And as we all would agree, data entry is a task best done only once.