Sunday, December 28, 2008

Week Forty-Three: The New Year

It's hard to believe that it's time to ring out the old and cheer in the new. It's also time to write about your New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and New Year's Resolution memories!

*Do you remember the first time you were allowed to stay up and see in the New Year? How old were you?

*How did you and your typically spend New Year's Eve during your youth? Did you go to a Watch Night Service and participate in communion and prayer? Did you watch the ball drop in Times Square on television? Did your community have a fireworks show?

*Did you have first-footers, mummers, or bang pots and pans on your front porch? Did you wear party hats and use noisemakers?

*If New Year's Eve involved feasting of some kind, what were the usual fare and beverages?

*How do all of the above compare to the way you celebrate New Year's Eve now?

*What about New Year's Resolutions? Did you make any when you were younger? Do you make them now? How well do you keep them? Was there any year when you really did a fabulous job at keeping them? What were your goals and how did you keep them?

*How did you typically spend New Year's Day in your childhood and youth? Did you visit family and friends? Did your family host an Open House? Did you watch the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game or another favorite sport? Or did you go to your favorite ski resort?

*How does it compare to the way you spend New Year's Day now?

*Are there any special customs from your heritage that are integrated into your New Year's celebrations?

*If you celebrate Christmas or another seasonal holiday before the New Year, when do you take down the decorations and put them away?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Week Forty-Two: Writing about the Holidays

This time of year everyone is busy with holiday preparation. The Genea-Bloggers have been doubly busy keeping up with all the carnivals, memes, and Saturday night games. So rather than post more journaling prompts that might possibly overwhelm our genea-blogging elves, I'm going to encourage those of you who do NOT have a blog to take a look at some of the writing events in which the Genea-Bloggers are participating, in order to get some ideas on what to journal:

The theme for the 61st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy was "Traditions" and the theme for the 62nd Edition will be "Three Wishes". Jessica Oswalt is doing something similiar for the 14th Edition of the Carnival of Central and East European Genealogy. What sorts of traditions have endured in your family? What new ones have you started? What do you hope will be passed on? If you could have three things that belonged your ancestors as Christmas or holiday gifts, what would they be?

Do you have a favorite Christmas or holiday photo? Who would you give copies to? This was the idea behind footnoteMaven's yet-to-be-published 8th Edition of the "I Smile for the Camera" Carnival, aptly named "Stocking Stuffer."

The footnoteMaven started a tradition of Blog Caroling last year, in which each blogger wrote his or her favorite carol or holiday song. It's been renewed this year. What a great idea! Write about your favorite carol, its history and author, how it became your favorite, and what memories it revives when you sing or play it.

Tim Abbott of Walking the Berkshires is getting ready to put together the 12th Cabinet of Curiosities. Do you have any odd ornaments, decorations, or heirlooms? How did you happen to inherit or come to own these?

Speaking of decorations, have you left a record of your decorated home (present or past) for future generations? Denise Olsen of Moultrie Creek is hosting the Christmas Tour of Blogs. This would make a wonderful scrapbooking/journaling combination for non-bloggers.

Are you of the Jewish faith? Then visit Schelley or John's blogs for creative ideas to share your celebrations of Hanukah.

And if all these ideas aren't enough to inspire you, then I recommend that you visit either Thomas or Jasia's blog to view the wonderful Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, which they put together last year. There are 24 prompts to keep you busy writing and scrapping!

Journaling Responses to "Week Forty-One: Fall"

There were a couple of excellent responses to the Fall theme and I'm including them here, along with my own:

"Autumn in My Mind - Word Prompt" by Wendy Littrell at All My Branches

An untitled post by Thomas MacEntee at Destination: Austin Family

Mine is "My Favorite Season" posted at my other blog AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Week Forty-One: Fall

Fall--or autumn--is nearly over in the Northern Hemisphere, and many have already seen winter weather. However, the Winter Solstice doesn't begin until December 21st, officially leaving us with three more weeks of my favorite season!

*How do you feel about fall? Is it a favorite season, or do you prefer another?

*What are your favorite fall activities (indoor or out)?

*What are your favorite fall sports (to watch or play)?

*Do you have a favorite fall outfit to wear? Corduroy slacks and plaid flannel shirt, a cozy sweater, etc.?
*Do you have any particular household or garden chores that you regularly do just in autumn?

*Have you ever gone leaf peeping?

*What observances of nature do you regularly watch (birds flying south, squirrels preparing for winter, etc.)?

*What flowers that bloom during this season do you especially like?

*Do you visit any orchards, pumpkin patches, or corn mazes?

*What about the local fair?

*Do you do any kind of harvesting or food preparation (canning, drying, smoking)?

*What about hunting?

*Do you do any kind of fall traveling, other than holiday travels?

*Which is your favorite fall holiday, and why (Hallowe'en, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, or others)?

*What are your favorite fresh foods that are in season at this time? Favorite fall recipes or beverages?

*Share favorite memories of fall from your childhood.

*What do you least like about this season?

*What family birthdays, anniversaries, or events are commemorated in the fall? Are there any significant family history events that occurred during summer?

*Do you have any hobbies that you take up during the fall months?

Decorate your journal with photos of yourself and/or your ancestors enjoying autumn or harvest. Dry colorful fall leaves between pages of a heavy book, such as a phone book, and use them in your journal as well.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Genea-Bloggers' Picnic Has Been Posted

Bill West of West in New England has posted "Welcome to the Picnic!" He asked genealogy bloggers what kinds of picnics they remembered from their childhood. I added some more questions in "Week Forty: The Geneabloggers' Picnic."

There are 20 picnickers, each with their own picnic baskets and favorite foods. My submission, "Picnic Time" is here.

Enjoy the reads!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Another Break!

I'm taking another break from posting journal prompts for AnceStories2 because I'm going to be very busy in the next few weeks with...well! I can't tell you just yet! It will spoil the surprise! Just check in tomorrow morning at my AnceStories blog for a Very Special Announcement!

And as soon as Bill West posts the Genea-Bloggers' Picnic, I'll link to it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Week Forty: The Geneabloggers' Picnic

OK, I lied when I hinted that I might post another prompt mid-week. Truth is, there's been so many carnivals lately, it was overwhelming to think of coming up with more ideas...and then finding time to write about them, too! (What's a carnival? It's a little like these writing prompts, but on a much larger scale. Go here to see the latest edition of the Carnival of Genealogy to get an idea. There are about a half-dozen more that I participate in!).

I thought I would share with you an idea by Bill West who blogs at West in New England. A while ago, he featured the Geneabloggers' Parade, with genealogy bloggers writing about what things they would enter in a genealogy parade. Now Bill invites one and all to the Geneabloggers' Picnic.

*What food does your family serve at picnics?

*Are there traditional foods or family recipes?

*Is there one particular relative's specialty you wish you could taste again or one perfect picnic day you wish you could go back and relive?

Here's more ideas I came up with:

*You could expand to write about family reunions, past and present, and what kinds of foods were/are brought to them.

*You could add what dish everyone loved to eat, and which one people were sneaking off to scrap into the garbage so they wouldn't hurt the cook's feelings!

*Is there a picnic basket, old ice chest, a BBQ grill or camp stove, a special dish (physical, not recipe) or picnic cloth that's been handed down in the family and used for decades at picnics, potlucks, or reunions?

*Is there a favorite campground, park, home, or meeting place where picnics or reunions regularly occurred?

*What about unwelcome guests like ants, mosquitoes, and yellow jackets? Raccoons, anyone?

*What favorite picnic or reunion photos do you have, especially ancestral?

*Beverages served, games and activities played, stories told...all contain memories that future generations will someday treasure, if they're left for posterity!

The deadline is Friday, August 1st. If you have a genealogy blog, write your memories there, then contact Bill at lunacy2ATmindspringDOTcom. You don't have to have a genealogy blog to participate, of course. You can choose to write your memories offline in a journal, or your choice of media. If you would like to publish your memories online, but don't have (or don't want to have) a genealogy blog, e-mail your writing to me at kidmiffATgmailDOTcom by August 1st, and I will post it here on this blog and send Bill notification so he can link to it.

Next week: Get out your hammer, paint, and wallpaper...we're remodeling!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Journaling Responses to "Week Thirty-Nine: Summer"

We had some great responses to last week's prompts! I even heard from a fellow genealogy society member who journals off line! She brought up some good points about copying and pasting my prompts while trying to eliminate the images on the blog. I will address these later this week.

First of all, we have faithful Thomas of Destination: Austin Family with "Summertime and the Living Is..." Next is Apple of Apple's Tree with "Summer Time." It's been a while since Jasia of Creative Gene joined us, and her post is "I Can't Resist."

I have been wanting all week to write my own post, but this weekend was absolutely crazy, and the busy-ness spills over into the early part of this week. So please forgive me if I hold off on posting a new set of prompts; I want to write my own responses, and then we'll move on!

UPDATE: My post is "Celebrate Summer!"

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Week Thirty-Nine: Summer

No doubt about it, summer has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere! This season tends to be a favorite for most people; however, there are a few who prefer a different one, or perhaps just plain don't care for summer for reasons such as heat.
*How do you feel about summer? Is it a favorite season, or do you prefer another?
*What are your favorite summer activities? Do you enjoy being outside, or would you rather curl up with your air conditioner?
*Do you have a favorite summertime sport to participate in or watch?
*What is your typical summer outfit?
*Do you take a summer vacation? Where do you normally go, and what kinds of activities do you do there?
*What is your favorite summer holiday, and why?
*What kinds of summer foods or drinks do you enjoy?
*Share some favorite memories of summer vacation from when you were a child.
*What is your least favorite thing about summer?
*Do you enjoy summer storms?
*What is the hottest summer temperature you remember experiencing?
*Do you have a memory of a cool or cold summer? Has it snowed on the Fourth of July in your area?
*What family birthdays, anniversaries, or events are commemorated in the summer? Are there any significant family history events that occurred during summer?
*What summertime hobbies do you pursue? If you are a genealogist, do you travel to ancestral locations during this season?
*Do you have any summertime photos of your ancestors? Check out the 49th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy ("Swimsuit Edition") for great stories and photos of genealogy bloggers' ancestors in swimsuits and summertime wear.Blinkies from: Pinky Blinkies, Donna's Dilemmas, Joyful Mother Designs, Berry Hollow, ExPat's Palette, Buttercup Graphix, Mommyfeet Blinkies, Kari's Blinkies, Blinkies-2-Go, and Marsha's Graphic Garden. Click on each blinkie to go to its creator's site. Some websites may no longer be in existence.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Journaling Responses to "Week Thirty-Eight: The Doctor"

Tex, who blogs at All My Ancestors, wrote "The Doctor: A Medical History." And Thomas of Destination: Austin Family posted "Doctor, No!" I got a good laugh at Thomas' comment, "How about lawyer and indian chief to complement this theme?"

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Week Thirty-Eight: The Doctor

Following up on the medical/health theme from two weeks ago, we venture into more memories:

*Who was your doctor or health practitioner when you were growing up?

*How often did you go to the doctor? Every year for a check-up, or just when you were ill?

*Did you have a lot of illnesses as a child? Or were you fairly healthy?

*Did you have any injuries (broken bones) or surgeries? Have you ever had to be hospitalized?

*What specialists did you have to see?

*Did you have to see an optometrist and/or wear glasses?

*Was going to the doctor a pleasant or unpleasant experience? Share both your most unpleasant and your favorite medical memories.

*As an adult, how do your current medical experiences compared with those of your childhood?

*Do you still see the same doctor?

*What kinds of health problems are prevalent in your family? Are there any genetic diseases of which your relatives should be made aware? How have you attempted to avoid these risks or diseases?

*Are there any doctors, surgeons, specialists, nurses or other health practitioners in your family, or in your ancestry?

*Are there any stories about certain medical problems or injuries, or about interactions with medical practitioners that have been handed down through the generations?

Craig Manson of GeneaBlogie blogged about the Surgeon General's Family History Initiative and how to use the "My Family Health Portrait" feature, which is a wonderful tool to use and print up to take with you to your next physical exam. The Surgeon General has urged people in the past to ask questions of their family members during holiday gatherings to uncover and keep track of potentially genetic risks.

Next time: Heat Wave! It's summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and we'll be sharing our favorite summertime memories.

Journaling Responses to "Week Thirty-Seven: The Dentist"

There were two genea-bloggers who posted their responses to "Week Thirty-Seven: The Dentist." They were Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family with "A Fistful of Teeth" and Tex of All My Ancestors with "Dental Health: Family Adventures and Memories."

UPDATE: Kathryn Lake Hogan of looking4ancestors posted "Visiting the Dentist" on 28 July 2008.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Week Thirty-Seven: The Dentist

I'm back from my hiatus and appreciate everyone's patience through the last few weeks. A recent visit to my dentist prompted my idea for the following questions:

*Who was/were your childhood dentist(s)? Was he/she your family dentist?

*Did you like or dread going to the dentist? Why?

*Did you ever have cavities as a kid, or were you one of those cavity-free kids?

*Did you ever need oral surgery or braces?

*Did you ever knock a tooth out (accidentally or on purpose)?

*What was the tooth fairy tradition in your childhood home? If she visited your house, how much did she pay per tooth? Did she find the tooth under your pillow or in a glass of water?

*What was the worst dental exam or procedure you had done?

*What is your favorite memory of the dentist?

*How have your adult experiences at the dentist compared with those of your childhood?

*Do you still have the same dentist? Why or why not?

*If you have children, what is/was the tooth fairy tradition for them?

*Have you had to have dentures or bridgework?

*Describe your oral health history and relate your opinion as to the causes behind your good or poor oral health.

*Are there any dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, dental technicians or assistants in your family tree?

*Are there any stories in your family history about going to the dentist and the kinds of treatments experienced in the old days?

Next week: Open wide and say "Ahhh!" We're going to visit the doctor.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Taking a Break

I am taking a planned break from writing prompts for two weeks. Although I have the ideas, I just haven't had the opportunity to write them. I was down to a computer-and-a-half these past two weeks. For some reason (and this happens every now and again), my laptop can't access anything at Google: Blogger, Gmail, Reader, etc. These are the features that I probably use 80% of the time I'm online. I could access most other websites, such as Ancestry, etc. but I mainly use my laptop for blogging while the family uses the desktop. Because my laptop is older and slower with a smaller monitor than my desktop, we use the desktop for online gaming (son - Runescape), offline gaming (daughter - Sims), and downloading music and videos (husband). Trying to compete for computer time on the desktop with the rest of the family, especially on the weekends when I try to get a lot of blogging done and schedule my posts, just did not work out.

Now my laptop is doing just fine again (I shake my head as I write this), I am crunched for time. My next online genealogy class begins Tuesday, I am working on a website for a genealogy friend, and I'll be making a presentation on researching military records for the Family History Conference held at the Colville, Washington Family History Center next weekend. Also, Scanfest will be next Sunday, and will take up a good deal of time that day. Additionally, I am in the middle of a daily post on my Civil War ancestors and relatives at my other blog, AnceStories, a blog that takes precedence over this one. I also write and maintain the blog for my local genealogical society.

As the school year wraps up, I may need to take other breaks, since my duties as a parent and a school district staff member intensify and increase. Please bear with me. Once my summer vacation begins (June 14th), I will have more time to be consistent again.

Journaling Responses to "Week Thirty-Six: My Computer"

Thomas at Destination: Austin Family has written about his computer experiences at "My Computer," while Robert Lord left a few words about his first computer in the comments section of the post to the last journaling prompts. I have been wanting to write about my own early computer experiences and the evolution of the technology in our home, but ironically, my laptop was having some issues and so I was limited to the amount of time I could be online and blog! I still plan on writing about this later, and will update this post when I do.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Week Thirty-Six: My Computer

If you're reading this, you're using a computer or a device that can connect to the Internet, such as a cell phone or other electronic device. And chances are, you own this device, unless you're reading from a public computer or work computer. Technology changes so quickly that it's not unusual to hear someone recall a computer they owned five years ago with the same sort of fondness that they would mention a favorite car from 30 years ago. Let's take a trip down memory lane and talk about your first personal computer, or perhaps your first experiences with computers (if you don't currently own one).

*Tell about your first experiences with a computer? Did you take a computer class in school or college, or perhaps as a part of work training? What kind of computer did you train on? What was the purpose of your learning or training?

*If you use computers at work, tell about the various types you've worked with.

*What was the first computer you ever owned (brand)? What type of operating system did it have? How much RAM did it have? How big was the hard drive and processor? Do you remember what type of backup it had (floppy disks, etc.)?

*What about its peripherals? What type of monitor (brand, pixels, size) did you have? What about the keyboard and mouse? Did it have speakers?

*Did you have a printer? What kind of ink did it use? Did it print on single sheets or use continuous feed?

*Tell about your first internet experience. Unless you've recently joined the technology age, you started out with dialup (and may still use it, depending upon what is available and affordable in your community). What was the first speed of dialup that you used? Who was/were your provider(s)? Do you use broadband now? What type (cable, DSL, etc.)?

*For what did you mainly use your first computer?

*What did you love about your first computer? What did you dislike? What about each of your consecutive computers?

*Tell about any crashes or hard drive failures you have experienced.

*How did you discard former computers?

*Share the progression of your first computer and internet experiences through your present ones. Compare and contrast.

*What is on your wish list for your current computer situation? Is it a whole new system? Some jazzy peripherals?

To read the favorite hardware, software, and websites/blogs that genealogists and family historians use, you may wish to read the 43rd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Technology, which was posted 4 Mar 2008.