Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year 2016!

Time flies when you're having fun! Instead of going to great lengths of "where is she", how about a shorter list of what's happened since I last checked in?

BIG MOVE: In the interest of paying for our wedding, Dane and I consolidated households! In Oct 2014, I moved in with him and we now live in his 100 year old house that sits just across the street from where I grew up. It was a bit stark at first, but we've done a little to the house since then. Lots still to be done, but it's definitely feeling like home now that a year has passed. Now that things are starting to slow down again, maybe I'll actually get my files back out and start my genealogy revamp. 

WEDDING: We were married June 2nd, 2015 in a courtyard ceremony at the Bayfront Marin House in St Augustine, Florida! We started our honeymoon at their beachfront house on Vilano Beach and finished it off at Walt Disney World and their Star Wars Weekend! We just celebrated our 7 month anniversary and are living happily ever after! Some photos and details can be found at my wedding website here: http://geneakathy.wix.com/wedding

I donated several historic family photos for the Ballad of the Farm Exhibit at the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art in David City, Nebraska. One of them was chosen by an artist who lives in Oklahoma, who designed a ceramic work of art based on the photo. The photo was also framed and hung on the wall during the exhibit! I am so honored to have been a part of this!

GENEALOGY: I haven't done a whole lot with my family history research with everything else going on in the past couple of years. I've poked around here and there, but since I know I need to start my tree over, I haven't really added more to the bird's nest that I have. HA! I need to go back and check my sources and verify familial links, and want to duplicate it on the new and improved TNG Sitebuilding platform, a non-subscription site for my non-techy cousins. Here in the next couple of months, I hope to be able to say that the transition has at least started!

SCANNING: I've been fighting with my old HP inkjet printer for the past 6 months and it finally won last month when it saturated my hand with black ink! Dane's Christmas present for me was a new Brother Laser printer with a LEGAL size flatbed scanner! I don't print in color much at all, so I decided to stick with B/W this time around. I'm looking forward to getting it online today and see what it's got! It's twice the size of my old one, so I feel soooo official now. Once I get it up and running, my re-scanning project will commence! When I first started scanning the photos I'd inherited, I didn't know anything about resolution and pixels. As a result... well, it's not good. So between my Flip Pal and the big flatbed, I'll get them squared away in no time!

DNA: My Christmas present to myself this year was to finally send in a DNA test for myself! I sent off for the test in early November, spit in the tube, and just received my results in my email on New Year's Eve! I've been interested in genetic genealogy ever since it went mainstream and the price was finally right! The new test through Ancestry.com shows a pie-chart of my ethnicity estimate is! For those of you who have been following me for a while, you'll know that I'm a mutt! From my "Who Am I?" post:
15. I am an American Girl, a product of the melting pot, a mutt. Only four of my immigrant ancestors came over in the past 150 years... most of the rest are from the Revolutionary War and beyond. I've never felt "ethnic".
So this is really something that had silently gnawed away at me over the years. It reinforced what I already knew about my German roots and surprised me with how much Irish I have! It also confirmed that I'm 100% European! I wondered, with so many homesteading ancestors and the look of some of them, if I had any American Indian mixed in there... nope! What made me LOL was my "5 other regions"! CLICK HERE for my AncestryDNA Insights page! When I have a chance to comb through the results, I'll write about it more in-depth.

ARCHIVING: My other big accomplishment this past year is that I finally took the plunge and upped my storage on Dropbox! Now, not only my genealogy research and scans are archived, but all of my personal photos are as well! Plus, I finally installed the App on both of our phones so they're automatically uploaded into the cloud for storage. That's a huge relief!! When all is said and done, I have 120GB loaded now, with plenty of my 1TB of memory left for the future. 

THEMES: It's interesting to look back at all of this and notice themes coming to light. It looks like 2015 was the year of tying up loose ends, getting settled, and preparing for the future. Too many things were put on the back burner over the past dozen years out of necessity. It's nice to feel like I'm somewhat set up now so I can move forward with my projects! My internal clock is synchronized with the Chinese New Year calendar more than the one on my wall, so I foresee February being the start of some serious progress! Which, curiously, begins the Year of the Monkey... my Chinese horoscope sign!

TO DO for 2016:
  • Expand Filing Cabinet system
  • Set up Office
  • Research Evidentia to see if/how it can help catalog my sources
  • TNG Sitebuilding, set up my website/PHP/MySql
  • Blog about the Ballad of the Farm Exhibit in 2015
  • Blog about visiting Roy & Freda's former homesite in 2014
  • Blog about DNA Results
  • Genealogy Do-Over
  • My Homesteaders & the Indians
    • What was the climate like?
    • Learn more about Standing Bear's daughter, Prairie Flower, who died on the Trail of Tears and was buried at the Ruby Cemetery. I found out about this in October after reading about it in the Lincoln Journal Star. I've been to this cemetery dozens of times and had no idea!
  • Mom's DNA Test

That's not too much, is it? =)

May you all have a fantastic 2016!!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Where, Oh Where Could She Be?

It's hard to believe that it's been six months since I last posted here! Actually, now that I'm typing, it's not... lots of backspacing going on behind the scenes here. Texting seems to be undermining my typing abilities the way that typing undermined my handwriting! Nevertheless, here I am again. Hi! Let's get caught up, shall we?

The last time I was here, I had uncovered some hard truths about my relationship to my body and to candy and had my work cut out for me. Admitting that you have a problem is one thing, but doing something about it is something else entirely. I believe this is where my Scanner tendencies really pay off. I have the ability to use extreme focus (some might say that I obsess) until I come to a solution. 

Throughout the rest of the year, I focused on not eating candy. That's it. I had to break the cycle of mindlessly chomping my way through bags of goodies. It has been undermining the rest of my efforts for years! I had a serious sugar addiction and didn't even fully realize it until I wrote about it here. I made it through Halloween relatively unscathed, and Christmas was hot on it's tail. Working retail during the holidays is a pretty exhausting, yet rewarding, affair. So, throw that into the mix and you'll see why I had to give it everything I had! 

Right after the "Returns & Gift Card" rush in early January, Dane and I took a well-deserved vacation to Florida! His brother and sister-in-law live down there and were the only ones I hadn't met yet, so we took the opportunity to spend some quality time with them at the beach in Saint Augustine (once we finally got out of Kansas City!). Let's just say that we were VERY grateful for the warms temps and enjoyed our day Shelling at the beach immensely! After posting that pic of me in my 15 year old swimsuit, I knew it was well past time to get a new one. This one has a skirt!

This picture, by the way, is the last picture of the two of us before he proposed on the Bridge of Lions that night! Dating..... ENGAGED!

Here's a close-up of the gorgeous ring that he picked out! 5/8 carat... a larger stone in the center, surrounded by smaller stones. It looks like a flower! So pretty and perfect for me!

He actually carried it around with him for a week on our trip before finding the perfect spot to pop the question! Sunset, overlooking the harbor and city lights... gorgeous! I dragged him to the top of the bridge so I could take pictures of replicas of el Galeon (left, 17th century) and the Nao Victoria (right, 16th century), which was used by Magellan to circumnavigate the world for the first time. Remarkable! But not as remarkable as walking down from the bridge as a newly engaged couple! It changed everything! 

Here's the view from the bottom of the bridge, Before and After. You can see our vantage point from the turret right there. That's "our spot" now... we can always look at it and pinpoint the exact place that we were engaged. I love it! The full moon that night was very fitting, since our first date and marathon make-out session was under a full moon. TMI? Oh well. =)

Here we are the next day, from the dock in front of the ships. The famous turret (is that what those are even called?) is right over my head. By the way, that's the railing that he propped my new camera up on to take a self-portrait with the timer. That was a little scary. 

We've decided to go back down to Saint Augustine to get married next May, 2015! We're actually heading there in a couple of days to talk to some vendors and set the official date! Yay!! Maybe the water will actually be warm enough to jump in this time! Hahaha!! 

Also... there's nothing quite like the thought of squeezing yourself into a wedding gown and having photo sessions taken to really add some oomph to your weight loss program! I'll have to write about my progress at a later time, because it's time for this gal to get to work! 



PS ~ Here's why they call it the Bridge of Lions... this was taken before we walked up to the top of the bridge. Love that city! Just gorgeous!