National Crayon Day is one of the most whimsical days on the calendar. Ask any person, no matter their age about when they were a child and colored, and you will get some amazing stories. For my sister and myself, we used to color a lot at our great grandmother's house on the floor by the front door so that the wind blowing through the screen door would keep us cooler.
We colored in pages of Barbie. I would always give poor Barbie my version of highlights, which were awful. There were tons of coloring books with butterflies, ladybugs and garden scenes. Additionally, we had paperdolls and other amusements. My grandmother, bless her heart, got tired of us asking for the same books of paper dolls, so one afternoon, she drew clothing on the backs of the paper doll dresses and we got to color in new wardrobes. What are your stories of coloring?
A friend of mine showed me a family bible in which all of the maps were colored in. She smiled shyly and said "I did. I crayoned my version of the borders."
Please share your crayon stories!
Today is National Vietnam War Veteran's Day. On this day in 1973, Combat and support troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam. 45 Years ago today. Please take the time to thank a veteran for their service to our country.
For those doing genealogy, contact your veterans who are still with us and ask about their service, their unit, their awards if any, and for any relevant information. Update your information about them. This is great information for the trading card project that I will be writing about this weekend!
Today is National Spinach Day. I have always been a fan of spinach. One of my guilty little pleasures is canned spinach at room temperature, straight from the can. I don't know why I love that so much, but I do.
When we were kids, my sister and I would be reminded of Popeye and his love of spinach every time that we would eat spinach. I don't think either of us needed to be persuaded though, because we both liked it a lot.
An easy breakfast for me is to take two egg whites, beat them until frothy and add a handful of spinach and a handful of cheese. I will make up a half dozen of these and cook them in the skillet. In less than 5 minutes, I have a breakfast and a few leftover meals.
I also love spinach salad made with almonds, cranberries, feta cheese and poppyseed dressing. Delicious! Share your favorite spinach dish below!
Today is National Medal of Honor Day. This day was designated by congress in 1990.
The Medal of Honor goes by many names, but if you have a family member past or present who is a recipient, share their story with family, and make sure that it is well documented.
The Medal of Honor recipients also get a lot of lovely benefits as a continuing reward for earning the medal.
Currently, they get a special Medal of Honor pension that is in addition to any and all other military pensions that they receive.
What are some of those benefits?
An additional 1329.58 per month to be specific.
Special entitlements to Space A travel. (Space A is for space available)
Enlisted recipients get a supplemental uniform allowance.
Ten percent increase in retired pay.
A Medal of Honor Flag.
Medal of Honor license plates in the states that they are offered.
The Medal of Honor is the highest and most prestigious personal military decoration that is awarded for acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. My humble skills will not do justice to a better explanation, so I will leave you to check out Google and Military.com for better information than I can provide.
If you or a family member is a recipient, please let me know in the comments below.
I know that it feels weird when you are making cuts to your family tree, only to find out that perhaps some of those cuts you made were not necessary. I have a file that I keep on my computer called "Lost Tree Limbs" that I refer to when I have downtime. This assures me that my removed files are not lost, but merely stored somewhere else. Hope this tip helps for those who suffer from anxiety.
Happy 1st Day of Spring!
Today marks the first day of Spring. With the beginning of Springtime, I thought that it would be a good time to do some "Spring Cleaning" on my family tree.
Ancestry is a great site. I love it and I use it a lot. For learning about your DNA origins, their site is amazing. For making connections to your family, still amazing. A feature that I don't like is how easy it is to add to your family tree the connections of other families.
That may seem amazing, but in reality, some people make connections to others with no documentation.
This spring, I will be doing a lot of pruning of my DNA trees to make sure that all of the people that I add have proper documentation.
What is something that you are doing on the first day of Spring?
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 write a lot about genetic genealogy, family trees, DNA, and home life as well as the occasional product review. Comments? Email me at CocktailsAndSwagger@Hotmail.com