Ramblings and Recipes
Happy International Women's Day!
I want to address the strides that we are making as women and for women. I hope that you will join me.
Women before us, such as the Suffragettes fought for some of our key rights. We as women have the right to vote. I hope that all of you who are not registered will register to vote.
Women before us fought for the right to have the careers of their choice. Women before us broke down the barriers to be able to attend colleges. For us to be able to have a say about their healthcare and their body.
Through social media and the internet, we are able to connect with people all over the world that we have commonality with. Women are making changes. Breaking down barriers. Supporting one another's right to pursue their dreams.
What have you done to further the cause of women? Please share in the comments below.
I sat there in the hospital with a friend's mother, Evelyn. She was in her 80's and had fallen at the craft store. She had a plastic bag filled with yarn, knitting and crochet needles on her lap. Her daughter called and asked if I would meet her at the hospital while she drove up from Houston.
I knew Evelyn. Her mind was a little dim some days. We did not know that she suffered from dementia then. When she saw me, her face lit up. "Dixie!" She exclaimed. "I wish we were at my coffee table instead of here." We hugged and I waited with her. They took her for x-rays and she clung to my hand, like a child.
While we were waiting, she Evelyn started to talk about the yarn she bought.
"I got blue that was the same color as the shutters on my Aunt Nan's house back when she and Uncle Dan lived in town." I nodded.
"The green, it reminded me of the breadbox that we had." I knew that I should write this down for my friend.
Evelyn talked about who she had made sweaters for. Who got afghans. Baby layettes. I just smiled and made notes by turning the record feature onto my tablet. Listening to Evelyn was taking a walk into her small tidy home of years ago. Listening to soap operas on the television with her as she made things for the people that she loved. Smelling the dinner simmering on the stove. Feeling the clothes dry on the line.
Evelyn learned to do handcrafts when she was recovering from a broken leg. Those skills had lasted her a lifetime. I just nodded a lot as she spoke, touching her hand every so often. When her daughter showed up, we visited for a while and I mentioned that her mother shared my love of crafts.
I actually forgot about the tablet recording until I got home and learned that I had recorded 3 hours. I literally had forgotten to turn it off.
Sadly, Evelyn's health declined. She left us less than 6 months later. I was trying to think of something to write in the card for my friend. I remembered that recording. I plugged the memory card into the computer and cut the recording down to only the part where her mother was recalling the past. When Marta (my friend) got the memory card, she put it into her computer and she said that it was the best gift of all because of all of the names and places that were mentioned. Marta told me that it was going to be a huge boon for her genealogical research.
DNA is so accepted as a term that everyone understands now that it is mind boggling. I can remember sitting in a science class when our teacher offered 3 different ways to get 10 points each on a science final. (30 points!!!!) He also said that if you made a perfect score without the added questions, and answered any of them, he would roll the points to your final grade for that report card period.
As a kid, I thought that DNA was like the glue that kept us together somehow. Like the muscles under the skin, being glued to the bone. I had the correct answers, but my understanding was very primitive.
Let's see how my readers do with this science paper I just discovered in my own personal archives. Feel free to comment your answers.
1. What is DNA? Explain in a way that is easily understood by others.
2. What is DNA an abbreviation for? You can spell phonetically if you know it, or come to my desk after you have completed the test and tell me. I will not deduct for spelling.
3. Is your DNA the same or different from other people? Is it a combination of the 2, or neither? Let your answer explain this.
I made a perfect score. Here are my answers:
1. DNA is the building block of all life. It is the code that tells your cells what to do and where to go to create you as a human instead of as a cow or other living things, like a carrot.
2. I went to the desk and said it correctly.
3. My DNA is the same as other people to make us human, but the differences are my hair color and eye color and height and other stuff that makes me the person who I am, not the person that someone else is, unless you are an identical sibling like a twin or a triplet or something. So it is the same in the big picture, but different in the little details.
So, I made a perfect 100 on the test, and then I made a perfect 30, which I rolled to the grades. That brought my B to an A.
Share your answers and DNA stories below!
I am all about the search. I am all for finding the people with whom you share a blood connection.
I believe that DNA becoming more and more affordable is making DNA testing happen. I have been reading heartwarming stories of people even in their 90's discovering family that they never knew they had, or family that has been lost.
The thing that people do not talk about as much is when family does not want to be contacted.
I have been fortunate with some of the people that I have searched for. I have "new" aunts that I never knew I had. I cherish each and every one of them. I have cousins, I have grand cousins. It is amazing that these warm, loving and caring people are part of my family.
I have also come in contact with people who have not been wonderful. I interacted with a distant cousin who accused me of lying because they did not want to be a part of my family. This person said that I manipulated my DNA to match theirs. Emotionally, I was able to tell that they had a lot of issues, and I did not push. I gave them the space that they needed. It hurt my feelings at the time, because I so badly wanted to have my missing family members. This person (I am being very careful to not identify them) blocked me from Facebook. They blocked me from their phone. How do I know this? They made it a point to share that with me.
Was I overzealous in my actions with them? Actually, I am very proud that I was very polite. I did not intrude in their life. I did not ask a lot of questions. I merely pointed out the match that was on several of the DNA platforms that we both tested on.
If you are reaching out to family members that you do not know prior to your test, the best approach is non emotional. Simply state the facts and go forward from there. Just because you want a relationship with all of your newfound family does not mean that they are even prepared for such revelations. Take it slow. Be prepared to explain how you are related.
If it is a very close match, such as a parent, ask if they are able to talk.
Best of luck!
A few years ago, I wrote a book! It was about becoming a flight attendant. The book is for sale on Amazon and I encourage all of my readers to refer anyone who is interested in a career as a flight attendant to grab a copy of this book on Amazon. Here is the link and I appreciate your sharing it on all of your social media since this is my little baby!
I have seen in all of the years of my genealogical research countless errors and straight out lies.
When my mother died, there was a huge error in her obituary. I called the newspaper and they agreed to make the corrections.
A few days later, the corrected information showed up, and I assumed that everything was alright and that there was nothing left to do on my part.
If only I had known then what I know now.
Simply making the correction with the newspaper is not enough. You will need to call the funeral home so that the records they submit on behalf of your family member will be correct. You may have to furnish proof of the information that you are providing, but in the long run, you will be very glad that you did so.
Even now, 2 decades after the death of my mother, I will run into the error of her birth date. It is frustrating and I am still in the process of correcting this error. What are some errors that you have discovered in your research and what have you done to correct them?
Ancestry rolled out a fun new feature today-Trading Cards. If you have a membership at Ancestry and have taken the DNA test, go and check out the new feature. It is a lot of fun, and I found my 10 year old stepson asking a lot of questions about it and then telling me that he wanted to have his trading card made!
So, for family members that may be reticent to get their DNA testing done, because they want some tangible proof of "What's in it for me?", the Ancestry DNA trading card may be the very thing that gets them on board.
Downside of the trading card? It will only show your top 7 ethnicities. If you have a greater mix, the lesser percentages will not show up. Other downside, the hashtag is My American DNA. I do not know how or if this feature changes in other countries. If you do, please share your trading card image.
Thanks, Ancestry, for bringing this fun feature out! Although the card is listed as being limited edition, I am hoping that they will leave it as a permanent feature!
Share your thoughts!
She cut the salad into big huge, coarse pieces. Bowls were stacked high with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions. As she filled a bowl, one of her daughters would come and empty the bowl into the food processor, turning the pieces into bite sizes. One by one the vegetables were assembled into salads. All this was done from Sunday night to Thursday night. In the morning, they would rise before dawn, load the food truck with everything that they had prepared and make their rounds.
On the evenings, her husband would cook all of the meats that would be made into sandwiches, tacos and more. As they made their rounds from construction site to construction site, Mary and Charlie would track each item by seeing what was left at the end of the day. They learned what sold and what did not sell. Each site had their favorites.
Mary longed for the days of her childhood, growing up in rural Louisiana with her family. She remembered playing barefoot in the mud in September, when summer was dying and fall was pretending to be there. Charlie had charmed her when he was working on the highway. Everyday, he would make sure to come into her family gas station when she was there, ordering a sandwich and getting a cold drink. He would sit at the only table, one that seated 2. All the while he was eating, Charlie would toss questions at her.
One day, Mary looked at him. None of the other workers were there with him. They sat in the shade of the tree, eating from their lunch pails. Drinking from their big Stanley Thermos. Laughing and playing with the dog that sat in one of the foreman's trucks all day long except for breaks.
"Why don't you sit with your friends and have lunch with them?" She asked, bringing him the sandwich he ordered.
"They have lunches made by their wives and girlfriends. I don't have one of those."
Mary laughed. Her grey eyes danced in the sunlight.
"You should get one. My dad is buying this store from your lunches."
They both laughed.
On Friday, he showed up after work. A first. He asked to speak to her father. Her father, a man named Dalton came from behind the counter, wiping his huge hands on his apron.
"Need a couple of sandwiches for the weekend? Come by each day and we will make them fresh so that you don't have a soggy one."
Mary swept the floor while they talked. Went and got the mop. Mopped the floor. She didn't notice what they were talking about, only noticed that they were having a good time, which was nice.
"Mary!" Her father called out, loudly.
"Yes, sir?" She answered as she came around the corner.
"This fella wants to take you out tonight or tomorrow, your choice. I told him that we are Catholic, so Saturday is out unless he wants to go with us to Saturday service first."
"You asking me out?" Mary asked, looking him right in the face.
"I am." Thought that I should ask your father, first. Respect to him, of course."
Mary smiled. No one had ever asked her out before. No one had ever asked her father for permission.
She looked at him. "Saturday we go to Anticipatory Mass. Wanna go?"
"I am Catholic, too." Charlie said, smiling at her.
Mary nodded. "Ok. Super. Will you meet us at church or come to our house?" She asked, looking at her father instead of Charlie.
"He will meet us at church and y'all will go to dinner afterwards. Be home by 9:30. You know we do a lot of prep work for Sunday on Saturday night."
Her mother braided her hair the night before and Mary slept on the braids so that she would have waves for her date. Her sister, Corrie helped by loaning her a plain white shirt to wear, Jim, her brother polished her shoes.
They went to a small diner after church where they split a plate of fried chicken and mashed potatoes. He walked her to the door, where her father invited him in. Charlie stayed and helped cut up food and prep for the needs of people who would come into their store to purchase food for Sunday dinners. For the truckers that would need their coffee to go. For the train conductor who, every Sunday would buy 3 packs of gum and a piece of fruit with the Sunday paper.
He listened. He laughed at her fathers' jokes. He was helpful.
7 weeks later, he proposed. They were married the next month. "Why wait?" Her father asked, squeezing Mary close to him. "I want grandchildren. Your mother has a whole closet of baby things she has been making for years." Everyone laughed.
The wedding was small. Friends and family. Her wedding cake was tiny mini cakes because of rationing from the war.
In less than a year, a baby came. Over the years, 5 girls would come into their lives. Mary would tell Charlie that she was sorry that she did not have a boy for him. Charlie would laugh. "I have all brothers. I have enough men in construction. Why do I want another boy when I have a beautiful family?"
Years later, life would change. When the construction project started to move farther and farther away from her family, Mary and her husband had a decision to make. They decided to convert a camper into a food truck. It would mean that they could be productive and spend time together.
At first, it was hard. As they learned the ropes, it became easier. They lived happily ever after.
This is the story that I was told by Mary's granddaughter about her grandparents who, in their 90s are happily retired and in good health. I begged her to get the story on tape and transcribe it, because the best teller of the story is the one that lived it. She did exactly that and I was sent a copy. I stripped the personal details for this article, but I am sure that you can see and feel the vividness in the story. You can look up the locations. You can add stories to each of the people, the parents, the children, the grandchildren and so forth.
This is adding depth and richness of color to your family tree. Find your family members and ask them the story of how they met! Happy Valentine's Day!
My step son is one of the dearest, sweet and kind people that you could ever meet. He cares about animals, he cares about the world. and he wants to make a difference in most everything that he does.
This year, his school is participating in the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart. This drive does a lot of good work for children.
It teaches them in an easy to understand way how important it is to take care of yourself. The program shows the importance of smart food choices, such as cutting down on sugary drinks. It has also taught him that he needs to be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. There are other education points in the program, but it has delighted me to hear him speaking to family about the importance of creating or maintaining good heart health.
I hope that you will make a contribution to his fundraiser. Thank you for reading this post!
American Heart Association My step son's page! Thanks for your donation!
What a very eventful year 2017 has been for me! I have learned a lot about my biological paternal family, I have learned a lot about genealogy, and in the spring of this year, I got married!
This coming week, I will be going to the nice people who issue driver's licenses and I will be writing an article about the information that is contained on various ones in the United States.
Additionally, my step son wrote an article for school about genealogy, and I will be including it here, since it was a project that he did without my knowledge (except for one question he asked me). Perhaps some other schools would be interested in doing a similar project.
I look forward to everything that is in store for 2018.
Be safe, be blessed and keep reading!
My name is Dixie, and this is the blog part of my page, where I write about whatever strikes my fancy. Contact me at: PirateDixie@gmail.com