Thursday, March 30, 2017

Genealogical Rabbit Hole

It happened again. I meant to just look into one thing and suddenly I've lost the whole day.

Sometimes while tracking down stories of my ancestors I get so involved in chasing one more clue that I totally lose track of time.

A nibble on land records in the 1800s and a nibble in the newspapers and I'm gone for hours hunting down someone that might not even be related to me. And two days later I know their complete life story and it has no relation to my family at all.

I have a genealogical "brick wall". That's an ancestor I can't get past. I know the county in Ireland where he was born and a marriage record, so I should be happy with that, but I'm always trying to give it a nudge. He came over during the Potato Famine years and a lot of those records were lost.

It's frustrating because there is so much information available. And I am willing to page through old documents online, but they often don't have the dates I need.

Which leaves me behind on everything this week because I went a little overboard on the research.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Winter Arrived

After a crazy warm winter, we had a dose of the arctic. Ouch.

Fruit trees have flowered a month early. Last night it went down to 16 degrees. Needless to say, we aren't getting any apricots this year. Luckily my cherry and apple trees hadn't flowered yet.

But that's just my little patch. I'm not a fruit farmer. Some of them have lost their entire crop for this year.

We get to go to the grocery store and pick out fruit that comes in from all over the world. I don't think it sinks in until you see the reports on the news about how devastating this can be. The county south of me is mostly apple orchards. The year we had the Easter freeze they lost them all. It was considered a natural disaster and they were able to apply for aid.

It's hard to understand in a time when food is readily available for most of us, how fragile farming is. Fruit trees won't rebloom. A crop wiped out by flood or tornado can't always be resown. We have become spoiled with ease of access. If one farm or orchard fails, we can get produce from another. Maybe.

By Sunday we will be back to short-sleeve weather. But the damage has already been done.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Little Stressed Out

There's a lot going on right now and it has me feeling more than a little stressed.

The renovations on the house are coming along nicely but... I work at home. Power tools in the background are hard to block out. I'm used to being on my own with the three cats. Having a man or two banging around the house is a distraction. I'm torn between trying to ignore them and feeling guilty for not making them lunch. (My family feeds all guests.)

As a result, I'm not getting as much work done as I would like. I had planned to have the current WIP to my first reader by now. Not going to happen. That changes the schedules for everything else I've planned this year. Bummer.

The crazy spring weather has made things worse.

First, my allergies went on overload. I'm still tinkering with combinations of medication to get things under control. Brain fog, sinus headaches, eyes so itchy I've scratched them raw, congestion like concrete. So I have a swollen raccoon face and can't breathe. Ugh.

Second, warm weather means yard work. I've been working in the yard pretty regularly ripping out the honeysuckle and briars that are strangling everything else. And I only got a small patch of poison ivy on one arm so far... But I keep thinking that I am behind schedule because of May weather in February. I was all ready to start putting seed in when I remembered what month it was. Sheesh.

So today is catch up day. I need to review the marketing and redo my writing deadlines and, oh yeah, WRITE!