TX Wordweaver:

I guess I’m a victim of writer’s block right now and this blog struck me as very honest and creative too. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Maybe someone should write that down...:

Bleachers made from well worn boards at an indoor hockey rink These boards have weathered it all over the years. Wish they could talk!

Yes, I said that. 

When boredom strikes, there just seems to be nothing sparky or interesting. So, it’s time for some Nothings.

Nothing writing is my way of resetting my brain. Maybe it’s a close cousin to Electric Shock Therapy. I’m not sure. Sometimes these exercises seem like torture, that’s for sure! So it may be a good idea to grab a sturdy stick to bite on before you try your hand at these…remember, you’ve been warned! 

The basic concept behind these creative mind games, is to do your normal thing (write) with some very abnormal restrictions in place. It’s sort of a board game for your ho-humming Muse.  Try one or all of these and see what tests you most. There are a number of them out there, but these three are my all time…

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In this brand new year, with every day just waiting to be lived and more ancestors just waiting to be discovered, there is so much potential for writing new stories. So the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge seems like the perfect way to bring these stories to life.

And since I’m encouraged that I was able to follow through on my resolve to reach out each day to someone who shares and/or is researching my ancestors, I’m going to choose one ancestor each week and write a little story. As Amy Johnson Crow says, “No story is too small.”


Today, I went to the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX. Now, I have to tell you right off that this event is monthly, but is held on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday BEFORE the first Monday of each month.

It was an ideal day to wander up and down the little roads and dirt pastures covering the 100 plus acres and browse through the nearly 7000 vendor spaces. Sunny, cool and lightly breezy made for a very pleasant experience. We try to go there at least once a year to see the amazing assortment of odds and ends and antiques and junk displayed by sellers from all over to the delight of buyers who are eager for a bargain or something unusual.

However, I can’t look through these forgotten treasures without thinking about the person who once owned them. The grandmother who put up preserves, beets or okra in the pretty blue-green Ball canning jars. The carpenter who carefully held up the old level to the front door frame of his home that he built with his own hands. The little boy who treasured the worn out baseball glove with laces hanging loose from many seasons of play. The little girl who carried the Raggedy Ann doll around by one arm until it almost pulled loose from her hand-sewn body.

For sure, the next time I go through the boxes of my own keepsakes, I’m going to take a minute or two to step back in time to yesterday, once more and think about the people in my family who have left me more than a cast iron skillet, or a Jewel T coffee pot or a depression glass punch bowl or a celluloid dresser set. They have left me a part of themselves, a token of our connectedness. And I’m going to take a photo of each treasure and include it in the media files for each ancestor so I will never forget how special each piece really is.

Do you have some favorite keepsakes from your ancestors? How do you preserve the memories that each one brings with it?


Or in other words, what have I gotten myself into? National Blog Posting Month is a challenge that I’m hoping I have enough words to fill, because there are other challenges that I haven’t done so well at :)

During November, I pledge to write a post each day to at least one of my three blogs. Hopefully, I can find enough inspiration to post to more than one, but realistically, I’ll only promise to post to at least one each day. Since AncesTrees is my primary blog, this is where I’ll be writing most often, which means that I’ll be trying hard to find something interesting to say about my ancestors, or genealogy, or family trees, or cemeteries or any of the dozens of tags I’ve attached to this blog. The hardest part, is of course to keep it interesting.

And I pledge to read posts from at least one other blog each day. I’m going to really enjoy this part of the challenge because there are so many fascinating people blogging about everything imaginable. In addition to learning something new each day, I’ll be seeing new styles of writing and ways of thinking! Talk about broadening my horizons, and all without leaving the comfort of my desk chair.

So thanks for hanging with me during the month of November, and if you are participating in NaBloPoMo as well, let me know and I’ll be sure to check out your blog as well.


I’ve heard that genealogists really do see dead people and not just on Halloween :)

Do you search for ancestors every day of the year? You may want to check out Geneabloggers to enter the MyHeritage Halloween Contest – and qualify for great prizes – before 12 noon CDT today!!!

FGS Logo

The Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference logo is my inspiration for this prompt blog post. To me, it absolutely epitomizes the event theme, Connect.Explore.Refresh.

Connect – The trunk and intertwining branches of the family tree logo, in the form of stylized people, illustrate the way our lives, and those of our ancestors, are connected. They give new meaning to the term “the family of man.”

Explore – Representing the spirit of exploration and discovery, the leaves signify the countless hours of research, lovingly undertaken to expand our knowledge of the men, women and children who populate our family histories.

Refresh – And because everyone knows that a tree cannot grow and thrive without nourishment, the unseen element of this illustration are the roots which anchor it and provide refreshment. Our roots are our ancestors, whose lives have given us inspiration and courage, awakening in us a sense of adventure as we climb our family trees … and reach out to others, as the figures in the logo are doing, to join us on the journey.

Please make plans now to join your fellow adventurers Feb. 11-14 for the FGS and Roots Tech combined conference in Salt Lake City. Check out the schedule, the speakers and array of tracks to choose from. Whether you are just beginning to explore your roots or are looking down from the top of your family tree, this event just might be the genealogical high point of 2015 for you.

Are you going to the FGS and Roots Tech event? I’d love to know which surnames you’ll be representing and researching!


Four months from today, on Feb. 11, 2015, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and Roots Tech will join together for a combined conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. This fantastic event looks like a wonderful opportunity for genealogists to learn, network and research with people who are there for similar reasons.

I’m proud to be an FGS Ambassador, getting the word out to those who follow my blog and commenting on the monthly prompts that highlight features of the conference. I look forward to learning so much from other genealogists as well.

For more information, here’s a link to Linda McCauley’s post in the FGS Voice Blog.

If you are a member of a genealogical society, please share your experiences with us. And if you’ve ever attended a genealogical conference, I’d love to hear about that, too.


I’ve got to say I’m inspired by the camaraderie in the genealogical community. Most of those I’ve reached out to with questions about shared ancestors have responded. And they have been helpful, whether or not there is an actual family connection.

In fact, I am so impressed that I’ve decided to reach out to at least one of my GenFriends each day. If nothing else, just to keep in touch. I know we may never meet in person, but that doesn’t matter. These people are special to me.

They are the comforting souls at the other end of my message or email or phone call who understand a brick wall or an amazing discovery or double first cousins or disappearing ancestors. They just “get it.”

And I appreciate that … especially the fact that they take the time to respond, however brief. Some even go way beyond that, sending me CDs of information that I would never have guessed existed. And there are those in Find A Grave who have driven miles to document and photograph graves of my ancestors living far away from me.

For my part, I am trying to be just as good a GenFriend to other genealogists as they are to me. So if you have research questions about any of the branches on our family tree (see Word Cloud above) bring them on. I’ll try to help!

Just wondering, how do you reach out to your GenFriends?

Recently returned from our family reunion. It was the best organized one ever, with an auction full of bargains for all, games for young and old, a friendly Family Feud competition, delicious Chuck Wagon breakfast and yummy pot-luck lunch/dinner.

But the best part of all was reconnecting, sharing what’s been going on since we saw each other last year. We talked about old times, good and not so good, and looked forward to better times to come.

We talked about the our ancestors, those who have passed on, our family tree, how our branches intertwined and how love is the tie that binds us all together. The treasured photo albums were brought out and memories flowed like tears.

The old timers talked about their aches and pains, but how, actually, they are doing pretty well. The little ones ran and played and laughed and glowed like little fireflies in the dusk.

We took pictures to treasure until next year. I can hardly wait ’til then :)

Family Reunion WP

What a wonderful way to get past square one on my genealogy “to do” list! Amy Johnson Crow has issued a challenge: “The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

Time and energy ran out last year as I had so much requiring my attention and still only 24 hours in a day. And even though I didn’t want to give up something that had helped to jump-start my love for writing again, my little blog went by the wayside.

Ironically, as I was sorting out my New Year’s Resolutions recently, I had decided to dust it off and start having fun with genealogy once again. And so, it is with that optimistic outlook in mind, that I pledge to take better care of my family tree in 2014.

Do you have genealogy resolutions you’d like to share? Perhaps you’d like to take the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge as well?


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