Let your Dreams Take Flight

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On my bucket list is visit all 50 states.  Not sure that I’ll make it to Hawaii, because I don’t think I could sit that long in a plane.  But we have dreamed of traveling to Alaska since we got married.  It is finally becoming a reality now that my husband of 48 years has retired and we actually have the time to do it right.  Plus, we have a granddaughter stationed in Anchorage, so that gave us a bit of a nudge.

I’ve dreamed of sitting out on a balcony on a ship and watching the scenery go by and writing about it as I go.  Well, we’ve booked the balcony and have been upgraded to a larger balcony on the back of the ship, which I understand is a premium place for photography.  My husband has upgraded his camera and has all his lenses packed in a cool backpack.  I didn’t want to lug my heavy laptop , so I’ve purchased a Dell Venue Pro 11 Tablet with a standard keyboard because I don’t think I could deal with the slim plastic ones like the iPad.  (After all I learned to type on an old manual typewriter!)  When the keyboard is attached via magnet to the tablet it looks like a mini laptop yet without it I have the versatility of the tablet.  And the bonus is that it is much easier to type on than I had expected.

We’ve finally reached the point that we can see what the actual weather will be like beginning our trip and it looks promising.   The average temperature in our ports of call is about 58 degrees, but I understand it can get into the 80s or drop to the 40s.  Being so unpredictable  we’ll need two sets of casual cloths–one for warm weather and one for cold, plus dress clothes for dinner and two formal nights. I love that we now have the option of anytime dining.  While I’ve enjoyed getting to know fellow passengers on past cruises with the assigned seating, we wanted the flexibility of doing what we want when we want.  Retirement means no set schedule.

I’m hoping to update my blog frequently, that is, if I have decent internet service–I’ve heard it can be sketchy.  I don’t have any family trees to climb in Alaska, although we are looking forward to visiting our granddaughter and her significant other.  My goal for this trip is to leave scrapbooking behind and concentrate on my writing.  But I’m sure we’ll come home with way too many pictures to put into a book so my work will be cut out for me.  I confess, I am a digital scrapbooking addict, so I’m hoping I don’t go into withdrawals.

Our travel arrangements are confirmed, our toys and clothes are ready and we can’t wait to get started on this new adventure.







Hollyhock Memories

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 It’s the little things that often trigger memories from my past. For me, these hollyhocks my husband planted outside my office window, transport me back to my childhood. My sister and I spent many hours out on our grandparent’s farm southeast of Woodson, Illinois. We didn’t need a lot of toys to entertain us–we had Grandma.

Alongside of the driveway hiding a wire fence around the chicken yard, Grandma planted hollyhocks in an array of pinks and purples, yellows and whites. The steady hum of giant bumble bees kept Pat and I a healthy distance from the flowers, but that never deterred Grandma from harvesting the buds and blooms in various stages of blossoming. As she peeled back the green part (I’m not a botanist) of the bud it revealed what seemed to us like eyes. That became the head of our doll. When she pressed the stem of the blossom into the hole on the bottom of the bud creating a dress or skirt, a hollyhock doll was born.

Imagine the delight of two little girls. We soon began making our own hollyhock dolls. Tiny yellow flowers and leaves of clover became decorations, white clover strung into crowns or necklaces as afternoons melted away. With all the handling these tiny dolls didn’t last long and each day was a new adventure creating a new doll. Tiny wheat shafts became arms and we discovered that by using toothpicks to hold them together we could add hats made from the smaller blooms.

I don’t see hollyhocks around as much as I did when I was a kid and it’s sad that my daughters and granddaughters didn’t have the chance to create and play using just the materials found in the yard or garden and their own imagination. But we hope to rekindle this pastime and look forward to the time when our great granddaughters might come and play with our hollyhocks.

How I Named my Blog

I’ve been wanting to blog for a long, long time. I’ve even made several attempts to set up a blog. BUT, once it is set up you have to name it. Therein was my problem. What would I name my blog?

I brainstormed. What would I write about? My hobbies seemed to be a good fit. I began to list the things I love to do–scrapbook, dig around in archives, take pictures of tombstones, write, travel, digiscrap, grandkids, genealogy, travel, scrapbook, search for ancestors, learn new things, read, cook, and the list went on. Well, I can’t write about everything, now can I? Well, maybe I can, but I needed to narrow the field and come up with a catchy name for my blog. Every time I thought I was almost there, I’d get distracted by family, pets, housework, etc. So I kept putting it off.

Distraction with a capital “D” seems to be my middle name–especially since a closed head injury created some cognitive deficits. My memory and writing abilities were greatly affected and I had to give up a job that I truly loved. That sent me into a deep, dark depression. (That’s another story!) For now, suffice it to say that I threw myself into these activities so I wouldn’t focus on my disabilities.

Recently, our writers’ group had a speaker that urged us to blog. One of our members brought her son in to address the group and convince us just how easy it was to set up a blog. I was determined. (hum…another “d” word–is there a pattern here)
Like all writers do, I turned to my trusty thesaurus for another word for distraction. There it was–diversion! I then turned to Merriam-Webster :

di•ver•sion Continue reading

It’s Launch Day!

I’m excited to launch my blog, but keep in mind that I’m new to this blogging stuff and I’m just getting to know how to navigate this new environment. It could be painful for both of us until I get the hang of it, but please bear with me.

You can get to know me by clicking on the “About” tab above. My goal for this blog is to share my three favorite hobbies-scrapping, genealogy and writer wannabe. I’ll share some of my layouts and stories about my family and my ancestors, and I hope to inspire you to preserve your precious memories by documenting your life as you live it.

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave comments. And please check back later.