Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hooked on Genealogy ~ Saturday 8/20/16

I managed to fall asleep while watching an episode of L&O:CI last night and when I woke up as the end credits rolled, I just turned off the TV and decided to spend the night on the couch, hoping that I would sleep better than in my bed.  Well, kind of.

I must have tossed and turned some because I distinctly remember dreaming that someone was telling me "If you promise to stop tossing and turning, I will let you sleep through the 2nd end of the night!"  Well, OK then.  So weird!  I remember hearing my son getting up early to feed the cats because New Kitty was crying out behind his door, and then going back to bed, and then the alarm that I had set to put the chicken in the crockpot at 9 a.m. woke me up again. After that, I couldn't go back to sleep but the chicken still isn't in the crockpot.  I feel very groggy even though I've been up for an hour and I've had one cup of coffee.

So my son and I are on our own this weekend, which means that we'll probably stay home.  He has some homework to do and enjoys playing on his computer very much.  I was out and about the past two days so maybe I can get some reading done once I'm finished with L&O:CI.  What I really should do is dust, vacuum, and sweep.  We'll see if I have energy to do that later on.

We agreed that Greg would call me after lunch so he wouldn't wake me up. His plans today were to go shopping for new socks for his dad in the morning.  His dad's legs are extremely swollen so his socks feel very tight. Yet, he's freezing all the time so he has to have socks on.  He took Greg's old socks because they're so distended that they feel comfortable and gave Greg the new ones that Greg's mom had just bought him. but he needs more. Greg thought he might be able to find some at Dick's Sporting Goods or some other sporting store. Then, he was going to take his parents out to lunch. His dad actually still likes to go out and even though he's very weak, he can manage with a walker and Greg's help so they're letting him have this little pleasure. Greg's sister and BIL are coming over tomorrow night and they'll all discuss the upcoming doctor's appointment on Tuesday. I guess they need to coordinate what needs to be asked, what questions still haven't been answered (such as: what were those spots on the liver that they discovered several weeks ago now!).  They are also going to get a prescription so he can have a hospital bed at home, which will make it much easier for everyone, himself included. But he's fighting it, just as he fights everything, it must be exhausting.  Seriously, though, if Greg is ever in that position, he'll be the same and I'm already grinding my teeth about it, so I can only imagine what Greg's mom is going through.

Still not sure when Greg would come back. We might know more after the doctor's appointment and more information from the insurance company as to what help might or might not be available to his parents.  For the moment, Greg is about to work just fine during the day because, as he says, there;s nothing else to do there. They have a lawn service so no need for him to mow, his mom cooks, he doesn't have his Xbox One there and his work laptop doesn't support gaming on it.  So he works, chats with his parents, helps out when needed, sleeps. However his mom is able to go get her hair done and have some life outside of caring for his dad, so that's good, and then of course he spends time with his dad, which is important. They're very close, the two of them.

8:06 p.m.  I'm sorry for this is going to be a very boring blog post. I fell into a Genealogy hole early this afternoon and that's what I've been doing ever since.  When the genealogy bug bites, it bites hard, and I might just stay up all night. For once I'm researching my own family instead of Greg's so it's fun to see old family names on old documents and to be able to add some details to my database :)  But it doesn't make for an entertaining post and I didn't take any pictures of anything, nor did I do chores. Or spend money, for that matter!  Hmm, and I didn't exercise either. Oh well.

Well, on to my own To Do List:
  • Crafty/Creative:
    • Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
    • Make a lightbox to take better pictures
    • Melt down old candles and make into one or two new candles
    • Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two)
  • Cleaning/Decluttering:
    • Dust the entry room, breezeway, bedrooms (including son's fan)
    • Declutter linen closet
    • Clean kitchen cabinets
    • Clean out the printer stand, including school paperwork folders
    • Declutter the top of the fridge
    • Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
    • Declutter exercise room (including storage bench)
    • Declutter coffee table
    • Vacuum living room
    • Sweep breezeway
    • Sweep and mop downstairs bathroom
    • Spray bleach in shower stall
    • Scrub downstairs toilet
    • Put Greg's laundry away
    • Make a car deodorant pad for my SUV
    • Clean the fridge
    • Fold laundry
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Dehydrate pineapples 
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Research cone flowers and their care and plant them somewhere - Transplanted them in larger pot.
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Fertilize the raspberries - I'm thinking about pulling them and putting more roses in pots in their place.
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden - I will do this once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
    • Divide and repot the aloe plant
    • Plant more okra
    • Trim grass behind the hedge
    • Trim weeds alongside the berm
    • Find fish emulsion and use on plants
    • Spray water on the hibiscus for aphids and mealybugs
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Check on the seedlings and water as needed 
    • Add water to pepper bins
    • Refill hummingbird feeders
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Put more Vaseline on bird feeder poles
  • Health:
    • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
    • Use recumbent bike 
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises 
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal - Done
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards 
    • Weigh myself (Thursdays)
  • Maintenance:
    • See if I still have mildew-resistant white paint for bathroom ceiling
    • Get Greg to replace the ceiling tile in the entry room
    • Test the batteries in all 3 smoke detectors and replace as needed
    • Vacuum fridge coils
    • Vacuum AC vent in kitchen
    • Greg to call plumber
    • Wash the bathroom ceiling with bleached water
    • Remind Greg to re-secure chicken wire to AC unit and also to block off opening under front of the house
    • Plan on taking car for oil change this week or next
  • Technology/Paperwork:
    • Caption old pictures that have already been scanned
    • Scan more old pictures
    • Create spreadsheet to track IRA contributions using ALL our old tax returns - Started but need to do more research.
    • Figure out if we should contribute to regular  or Roth IRAs for 2016 and fund them - I guess I need to wait until tax time next year, actually. I'll have until April 15, 2017 to fund 2016 IRAs so I need to work on taxes way sooner than I did this year so I'd have time to fund the IRAs and THEN file my taxes.
    • Download all May-July photos to my external drive - in progress
    • Back up my external drive to my other external drive
    • File the remaining loose recipes that I organized already in appropriate recipe binders
    • Purge filing cabinet
    • File paperwork
    • Write new letter to great grand aunt
    • Look at sample ballot and research local candidates
    • Remove daughter's pc from her room and decide what to do with it
    • Shred the shredding pile
    • Input receipts in spreadsheets - Done

  • I brewed a pot of free coffee from Wawa.

  • I've been working on Swagbucks since I got up. I was able to complete a short 50 SB survey and with my other activities running, I'm up to 93 SB at 10:25 a.m. and I need 99 for my 1st Goal, so I'm in good shape.  My 2nd Daily Goal was only 10 SB more so I earned that too.

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits.

  • Kellogg's Family Rewards is restarting its "punch card" promo whereby you earn 1,000 KFR points with each punched out card. 1 product = 1 punch and each card has 10 punches. You can complete 10 cards by January 2017.  As a bonus, they're giving you 4 punches for free on your first card and if you like Frosted Flakes, you can earn double punches through August.

  • I took 2 RaceTrac surveys and earned survey reward codes for 2 more freebies.

  • I spent all afternoon doing genealogy research online. I was able to access French archives for free so woohoo!

  • Greg said he bought socks for his dad and they ended up being on clearance and fit him well so he's going to go and buy more. He also gave our phone number so we could earn points on our Dick's Sporting Goods customer loyalty program since the store he visited is affiliated with Dick's. Look at him being frugal!

  • Today was a NO DRIVE DAY. He's driving his parents' car and I didn't go anywhere.

  • Greg bought socks for his dad.

  • Hmm, nothing?  Well, I didn't exercise.

  • Put some laundry away
  • Entered receipts in my spreadsheets
  • Backed up my pictures to my external drive (May, June, half of June)
  • Took customer satisfaction surveys
  • Did genealogy research
  • Warmed up dinner for son and myself
  • Talked to Greg on the phone

  • Didn't exercise. I walked 6+ hours the last couple of days so I was due for a rest!
  • I haven't input all of my food into MFP yet but I didn't cheat so I think I'll be OK.

  • That my package got to my friend and her kids way sooner than had been predicted by the post office and that they were so very excited by it. I sent her educational games that had been hard for me to purge from my home as I had bought them for my son right before Greg and I had a blow-up that led to my stopping the homeschooling and going back to work for one year. I still miss homeschooling and those days spent with my youngest but the games were definitely not age-appropriate anymore so it was time to let go. Most of them were brand new, not even unwrapped! I'm happy that I was able to send them to such a nice and appreciative family who will put them to good use.
  • That record keepers from the 19th century in France had really good penmanship!

What did you do today?


  1. Genealogy is so interesting! The husband of one of my cousins is very into it and had done a family tree for my cousin's side of the family and sent the rest of us cousins copies. So I know a little bit about my mother's side of the family. But I know nothing about my father's side of the family!

    I'm glad Greg was able to get socks for his dad. This has to be such a difficult time for you all.

    I didn't do anything much, today. Just took it easy.

    1. I'm the same, I don't know anything about my dad's family. He told me last year that his parents (who emigrated from Poland to France before WWII) never talked about their family back in Poland and that people he thought were his aunt and uncle ended up being only family friends. He said he never even knew what a grandfather or grandmother was until he started school at age 5 or 6 because his parents never taught him those words!

      So now when I do research on them, I'd stuck because I don't speak Polish and Poland was a mess because part of it was Russian, then German and like that back and forth a lot. Plus our family name is apparently a very common name like "smith" so I don't have much hope. Apparently my uncle and his wife were able to get a lot of information but we're not on speaking terms and the one cousin who had told me about it and offered to send me a copy never did and we haven't talked either since I stopped talking to my dad. Complicated family relationships on that side of the family, which is why I'm fine avoiding talking to ANY of them, lol. I'd still love to know more about that side of my family, though.

      Is it hard for you to research genealogy in Sri Lanka? Did the government keep good records?

  2. Thank you for the detailed update on Greg's dad.

    I am glad you had a day of genealogy. It is great to see you passionate about your hobbies. When I am crafting cards, I am the same way. Time gets away, but it is very freeing.

    And it is so wonderful that you sent those educational packets to someone who is so grateful to receive them. It is extra special when you know they will be appreciated and used by the recipient. It is the best gift you can give (having been gifted by you this summer with the last episode of Downton Abbey) It is both surprising and joyful.

    1. I tell ya, I'm glad my hobby is genealogy and not mud wrestling or something else physical! It's nice to immerse myself in it a couple of times a year. Those times, Greg knows to not even suggest it's bed time, lol.

  3. My brother-in-law is the genealogy buff in the family and has traced the family tree back quite a bit (my husband's family is of Swedish descent). He even visited distant relatives in Sweden a few years back. You are right, it can become a very consuming hobby!

    Glad your husband is able to be with his parents during such a difficult time.

    1. Greg's mom's ancestors were from Sweden and Denmark. I don't have much information about their lives over there, but I'd love to visit the tiny town in Utah where a lot of them lived, and then the place near Philadelphia that another branch helped settle (Roxborough, which is now actually part of Philadelphia).

      It just occurred to me last night that you speak German so if I run into German documents for my family's research (we're from Belgium, Luxembourg, Lorraine and there are some Germans in there too) I can ask you for help!

    2. Danke! I almost needed you when I thought I could access some Luxembourg records that were kept in their patois that's part German (I think) but then I realized that they're not online, only on microfiches. Wanna go to Europe with me? LOL.

  4. I just checked on the Kellogg's rewards and I have 8 punches and earned some weird Captain American and Iron Man viewer so placed the orders for those. Thanks for the heads up :) YEAH!!! More promotions that I have to track!!! UGH!! I have been working hard at swagbucks and I have made my daily total every day this month for the first time ever. It is getting harder and harder but trying my best so we will see how that goes!

    1. That is so great, Alison! Way to go! I just hope I reach 14 days soon... and then I might just stop doing it so much, I'm feeling myself slipping back into it mostly to avoid having to do chores, ha!


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