I am shocked, amazed and elated! I just received notification that I have 500 (and a few more) followers.  I know that compared to some blogs I read, this is just a drop in the bucket, but for me it’s a milestone that means lots. All I can say is thank you — thank YOU! My blogging began as a way to fill my time after losing my job and deciding it was time for an early retirement. Never in my wildest dreams did I think anyone would really find what I had to share that interesting. Let alone over 500 people!

So many of you have become such friends here. We have chatted and shared. You are all so wonderful, so friendly. You are what keeps me going with this blogging. At first it was just a way for me to write and record. Then people began liking and following. I’m still amazed!

I just want to say again how much I appreciate all of you. I look forward to your visits and comments. And I love reading and following your blogs. I am in awe at the talent that I see. I have learned so much reading your blogs. I have laughed and cried with your posts. You have all touched my heart and my life in some way. This is a real community!


Virtual Blog Tour

A couple of weeks ago I received an unexpected invitation from Iris Greenwald of Wandering Iris asking me if I would like to participate in the Virtual Blog Tour.  I accepted her invitation feeling very honored and flattered that she thought of me. I can tell from her blog that Iris has got to be one of those fun-loving free spirits who enjoys her photography and loves finding those little out-of-the-way places and the treasures they hold! If you haven’t yet run across her blog, it’s one you should really check out!

The Virtual Blog Tour is a relatively new project for bloggers. The rules are fairly simple:

Compose a one-time post which is posted on a Monday.  Answer four questions about our creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires us to do what we do. Then pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers.

The four questions with my answers are:

What am I working on?

Staying sane… Staying alive…  Oh, wait, you mean for my blog!

confusion_irritation_800_600When I first started blogging about a year and a half ago, my intent was to focus on my genealogy and to share the ancestry stories I have. The funny thing is, after a few posts I realized I don’t really have many stories of my ancestors. It seems I come from a long line of non-recorders! At least that’s how it seems so far. I’ve never found any diaries or journals. My parents didn’t talk much about their childhood or families. And the photographs ended with my grandparents. So, I was either going to have to (1) make family stuff up, which I didn’t want to do; (2) post only dates and locations of ancestors (dry, dry dry), which I certainly didn’t want to do; (3) not post anything unless I found something interesting, which meant posting maybe once a year if that, which I didn’t want to do; (4) or try branching out and experimenting with new ideas. I chose #4! So, my blog became about photography, family history and life in general. Yep, I think that might just about cover anything and everything! Last year, I ran across a photo challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally. Her challenge is only for non-DSLR cameras. I thought, I have an iPhone, I should try taking some pictures and posting them. The rest, as they say, is history. I have found a new creative outlet and I am having so much fun with it. I haven’t abandoned the genealogy angle; it’s just slower in coming together!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Capture LifeI’m not so sure my work differs from other non-DSLR photographers. There are so many talented photographers on WordPress, both professional and amateur. I think most of the photography blogs that I follow, the photos are taken mostly with some form of a DSLR camera. Some are professional photographers, some are serious hobbyists, and some are just in it for the fun of it and documenting their surroundings like me. As I’ve continued, I find myself thinking more and more of different types of cameras. I call myself a lazy photographer! I don’t really care to carry around a heavy camera and lots of lenses and equipment. I do drool over the photos from those who do. But that’s not me (at this point in time!). I like to think of myself as a spontaneous photographer. I always have my phone with me so I always have my camera available to point and shoot.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I do this because it’s just plain fun. I was looking for something that would help me regain some creativity in my life. For almost 40 years I worked in jobs that didn’t require much creativity (legal secretary/paralegal) and I was afraid I had lost it — the creativity angle, I mean! Back when everything photographic was on film, I had to be selective in what I photographed because, once I filled a roll of 12 or 24 pictures, then came the cost of having it developed. Once I discovered the digital camera on my phone and that I could take hundreds of pictures at no extra cost, I was hooked! I wish I had thought of this years ago! I must admit, though, that the one thing that really keeps me going and loving this blogging are all of the wonderful people out there who have taken the time to visit and comment on my efforts. I feel I have made so many new friends. Even if the day may never come that I can meet you face-to-face, I know you’re there and feel your acceptance. And the talent that I see through blogging, well, that is sheer motivation!

How does your writing/creating process work?

As mentioned above, it’s more of a spontaneous thing with me. If I like what I’ve photographed or written, I’ll share it. If others like what I’ve done, then that’s icing on the cake! I love catching my animals in play, nature photos in my yard and neighborhood, and just whatever strikes my fancy wherever I am! I have in the past year and will continue in the future to plan little day trips to different places specifically to take photographs. But my spontaneity comes with the fact that I have no plans about what I’m going to photograph. I just keep the camera out and if something catches my eye, I snap it. If it turns out decent, I’m excited. If it’s not that good in my eyes, well, I still have documentation of my trip!

* * * * * * *

Genealogy: Collecting dead relatives and sometimes a live cousin!


“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”

-Ansel Adams

 * * * * * * * *

Pass the tour onto up to four other bloggers. If I thought answering the four questions above was difficult, well, it doesn’t compare with trying to narrow down the number of blogs I absolutely wanted to include in this Virtual Tour. Here are three absolutely fabulous and fun blogs that I hope you’ll take the time to check out! Just click on their blog title and it will open in a new page for you.

1. Mum…How Much Longer?  From Joanne’s About page: This blog has come about through our travels as a family and the need to document these moments for not only family or friends, but as a keepsake for ourselves. Life seems to go by so quickly these days I feel it’s important to capture these moments in time.

I love her sense of humor, her stories and her photos and I think you will, too!

2. There was a time” -the runes of the gatekeeper’s daughter and other tales –  From Cybele’s About page:  I am a rather simple soul, somewhat introverted (but passionate), living on the west coast of Canada.  Though college educated with a major in English Lit, way back when, I remain an enthusiast without credentials. However, I am a traveler in many realms, where I still seek old bones and philosopher’s stones,- and other such treasures.

When I read that Cybele had only been doing photography for two years, I was floored! She does the most amazing things with her photos! And her stories are fascinating. Don’t miss out!

3. The Day After – From Dawn’s About page:  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. Every experience is a story to be told and or to be photographed. It is my story, or my vision; you might even say it’s Visions by Dawn. I like to travel but have limited resources so I don’t go far. I am usually with a friend or on my way to visit family but I am not afraid to go alone. I always, always have my camera by my side.

She is not just into photography but she writes, too! She has a fun and fascinating blog. She hosts a couple of photography challenges that I hope you all will check out and, if you’re into photography, will participate!

[Pictures sourced from Google]




I would like to thank Martha at homethoughtsfromabroad626 for nominating me for The LIEBSTER Award! It is an award for bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers and it helps to highlight and promote new blogs. So, thank you, Martha!

The Award is a “pay-it-forward” thing as you must complete these requirements:

1.         Post the Award on my blog.

2.         Thank the blogger who gave me the Award and link back to their site.

3.         Post 11 random facts about myself.

4.         Answer 11 questions that the presenter of the Award has asked.

5.         Nominate 11 new bloggers with fewer than 200 followers who I want to receive the Award.

6.         Ask my nominees 11 questions of my own.


1.         I love researching my genealogy, reading, writing, crocheting and animal care.

2.         I am trying to incorporate a healthier way of eating into my lifestyle.

3.         Mystery and detective novels are my favorite reading (or listening to mp3 in the car). I also read a boatload of books on crafts and the art of writing being hopelessly optimistic something will sink in and really make a difference.

4.         I no longer have cable TV but I still have a number of favorite shows that I watch, both old and new, through streaming.

5.         I love what little I know about IRELAND and hope to visit there one day.

6.         I was a secretary, primarily in the legal field, for about 35 years.

7.         I have worked as a police officer and a veterinary assistant, just not at the same time!

8.         I am an amateur genealogist and would love to be an amateur photographer.

9.         I love vintage, antique, retro movies, furniture, clothes!

10.       I currently have two dogs and five cats, all rescues.

11.       I’m trying to plan some sort of budget vacation for our 25th wedding anniversary! (Hint, hint – suggestions anyone?)

I would like to nominate the following eleven blogs for the LIEBSTER Award because I enjoy their posts. Each blog has less than 200 followers, and hopefully this Award will help promote more followers. So, don’t take my word for it. Go check them out for yourself!

A Hundred Years Ago

Rosemarie in Europe 2013

Colin Butterworth Photography and Blog



Northwest Frame of Mind

Completely Disappear

Robyn Graham Photography

Travel with Intent

Ain’t Mine No More

Brandy Heineman

Here are my answers to Martha’s eleven questions:

1.         What is your favorite book? The Book of Mormon

2.         What person influenced you most when you were growing up? Mom

3.         If you could travel the world, where would you go first? IRELAND

4.         What is your dream car? Lexus

5.         What are three things on your bucket list that you hope to do soon? Travel, travel, and travel

6.         Which was your most memorable birthday? The next one!

7.         What was your favorite year and why? They’ve all been pretty good!

8.         Who is your favorite singer or musician? So many…

9.         What did you do for the Millenium New Year’s Eve 1999/2000? Was glad I still had a functioning computer!

10.       What is your greatest accomplishment? Still having a lot of the same friends for over 50 years.

11.       Of what are you the most proud? My family and friends

Here are eleven questions for the eleven people I have nominated:

1.         If you could be an animal, what type of animal would you be?

2.         What is your favorite food?

3.         What is your favorite TV show?

4.         What is your guilty pleasure?

5.         Link to your favorite recipe?

6.         Best place you have ever visited?

7.         What was your favorite childhood tv or book character?

8.         What is your most recent good deed?

9.         If you could only take two things with you from your home, what would they be?

10.       What is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to you?

11.       If you could turn back time, what would that time be?

Again, thanks to Martha for this nomination, and thanks also to those I have nominated for the interesting posts on your blogs!

My Very First Blog Award!

Nominated April 26, 2013 by SwittersB & Fly Fishing

Nominated April 26, 2013 by SwittersB & Fly Fishing

I was completely taken by surprise and honored when I learned that Gary at SwittersB & Fly Fishing nominated my efforts for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you, Gary! Please take a moment and visit  his fabulous blog. The Rules of the Award are:

1.  Obviously, thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog

2.  Nominate 15 blogs/bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award, link to their page and leave a comment that they have been nominated

3.  Share 7 things about yourself

So, without further ado, I nominate the following 15 blogs in random order for your viewing entertainment and enjoyment. This is in no way a full and complete list of the blogs I enjoy!

The World’s Top 10 of Anything and Everything

Genealogy Lady


A Hundred Years Ago


Rosemarie in Europe 2013


Robyn Graham Photography


Brandy Heineman



andrei plimbarici

The Armchair Genealogist

Dear Myrtle

And lastly, 7 things about me!

1.  I’ve been retired for just about one year and I’m still trying to figure it out

2.  I currently have 2 dogs and 5 cats, all rescues (I don’t claim the neighborhood strays that eat here!)

3.  I love my God, my family, and my country and would defend them all to the death

4.  I have become obsessed with tracing my ancestors

5.  I love the beach and I love the mountains (I am a closet snowbird!)

6.  I love music, dancing and laughter. If I had to choose between, I’d choose laughter

7.  I love to write. If it’s fiction, I have trouble getting it from my head to the page

Thank You!