Friday, July 29, 2016

Memoirs: Recreating Memories

Me , 1 year 8 months

     Rather than sharing my memoirs, I'm going to share what step or how I'm coming up with what to write. I just can't imagine anyone but me and my family being interested in my memoirs.
     What I'm doing is writing down what I remember at each age of my life, plus going through pictures and recording what I know about the picture, such as who the people were, what we were doing and when this happened.This week I'm continuing with how my parents met, where we lived and the occupation of my parents. I knew that my Dad had just returned from World War II, he was an MP stationed in the Philippines, but it surprised me that when he returned home, he drilled wells, water wells. It seems that in the middle 1940's, people were expanding their farming acreage, adding running water, which increased water demand. You would think in Alabama and Georgia it would be easy to dig wells; not so, there actually were shell rock and red soil that caused problems. He and the men he worked with, traveled across Alabama and Georgia digging wells.
     I have a question, are memoirs recreating my memories or is it okay to bring in what I learned in my research, such as where we lived and my Dad's occupation, memories that I don't have but that affected and shaped my life? I'm going to go with I'm recreating and they make what I'm writing interesting.
Col Mustard 2009

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Genealogy: Family Reunions

Harper clan 1965

Esley Turner 1952-1954

     I use to love family reunions! Good food, laughing, catching up on family. Since I've been doing the genealogy of my families, I looked forward to learning our history. 
     Now on my Dad's side, I had Aunts and cousins who wanted our history recorded as far back as we could go.  They gave me pictures, let me scan pictures, gave me names of other family members who could help me do more research from a different connection. I have a scanned picture of my gggrandpa taken before he joined the Civil War to fight .He was killed, on his way home, at Fredericksburg, VA, 1862.
Benjamin Josiah Harris 1859-60
Given to me by my cousin

     On my mother's side, it's a different story. I only had an Aunt, a cousin and his siblings and nieces. Getting information, even with a DNA test it has been like pulling teeth; nor are they interested in other family lines, except for my Aunt; my mother especially. Her interest is only in the people she knows; now this statement is only in regard to my older Aunts and Uncles. 
     I haven't gone to other family members reunions, so that is my next project. Getting in touch and sharing pictures and notes. What about your families, how do they feel about your research?
     Quick note, I discovered that people were more likely to share their pictures if I brought a scanner to their homes and scanned there. They were less likely to loan them to me. A decent scanner can be purchased for around $50.00. Some researchers even buy one of the scanners that you drag across the page or smaller and quicker ones.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cutting The Cord!

Borrowed from "Free Pictures" HERE

     After not doing my lawn care for a year, I've decided to start doing it again. I chose to do this for two reasons, save on money and exercise. I don't like having to watch my pennies so close, but I don't want to go back to work either. I'm liking this retired way of life. I remember in the past talking with someone who was newly retired and their response would be "I'm so busy I don't have time to be retired"; I use to  think, "right". But I've discovered it's true. That's a story for another day.
     Back to doing my own yardwork. Thankfully my grandson cut my lawn right before he returned home, so I've only had to cut it once.  But I've put off trimming the bushes until today. I primed myself this morning; determined I got up early, quickly ate breakfast, grabbed the heavy duty extension cords and preceded to hook everything up. With gloves on I trimmed one side, then another and headed for the top, when suddenly there was a sizzle and the trimmer stopped. I tried the button to run it and the safety guard button, nothing! I thought, great, it hasn't worked in so long, plus it is old, now I'll have to buy another. I headed back to the house and had only walked a few steps when I realized I had cut the cord! Never in the years I've trimmed bushes had I done that before! I really felt out of shape! This prompted me to take a water and blogging break; inside where it's cool.
     Cutting the cord can mean a lot of things, but sometimes it's one of those "just about my day".

 By Judy Harper (To the right of this puddle is where the bushes are located)

Monday, July 25, 2016

About That Try To Fix It Thing!

Laptop keyboard

     Did you know that the newer laptops are manufactured so that you can't pop off a key and fix it? I wish the guy on YouTube had known this! I found out the hard way, thinking it would save me a trip to the Geek Squad, silly me. I worked for thirty minutes trying to place those little loose wire thingies back on; but they wouldn't stay, kept moving around, or as the song says "slip sliding away". Finally I called the Geek Squad guy and set up an appointment.
     The first bit of information I discovered was that the $300.00 dollars I paid for support didn't cover hardware support and supplies. I would have had to purchase that when I purchased my laptop. And the second information was, can you guess it, the warranty has run out! I'm standing there looking at the item, when I suddenly asked, "if I bought a regular keyboard and attached it by USB, would this solve the problems I was having?". His response. "Yes". So I went and picked out a $10.00 Insignia keyboard, with raised keys, like a calculator. This is the first time since I've been using the laptop that I've typed with all ten fingers, not looking; talk about speed and less, a lot less, misspelled words.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Golden Age Mystery Writers-Annie Haynes 1865-1929

By Judy Harper 2012

     Dean Street Press is republishing books they call from "The Golden Age Of Mystery Writers" and are being sold on Amazon. The first author I read was Annie Haynes.
     Who is Annie Haynes? Curtis Evans, author and crime fiction historian wrote a forward on the recently reprinted books of Annie Haynes. He stated that it's been eighty years since this author has been in print. Her father moved out and left Annie, her mother and brother. They had to move in with her grandmother. She was born at Lucesletshire, England. She was disabled with crippling arthritis and at some point she ended up at the family home of Henry Heather-Bigg, the father of  her friend,Ada Heather-Bigg. Henry Heather-Bigg was a pioneer in the development of orthopedic and artificial limbs. Annie Haynes didn't begin writing until her fifties.
     Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors, so when I discovered "The Golden Age" books, I jumped right in and started reading. My first book was the first book written by Annie Haynes, "The Bungalow Mystery".
     This book appeared in 1923, in the early years of the Golden Age. The plot has disguised identities with passion driven characters. Though there are "weeping and fainting ladies", it doesn't take away from the mystery and I didn't guess who committed the murder until the author gave the clue at the end, Like an Ellery Queen novel, I didn't see it coming.
     Hope you enjoy.

Friday, July 22, 2016

If It Isn't Broke, Why Try To Fix It?

New Coke can.jpg
The disaster!!!!
Image result for Coca Cola Classic
The original and Best

     On 23 April 1985 Coca -Cola tried to replace the best drink ever (my opinion) with disastrous results. It truly fit the "If it isn't broken, why try to fix it". Well that's how I feel about Microsoft replacing Windows XP ! 
     Now I'm not a computer genius like my grandson Sean or my nephew Brian, but having to use the computer at work I could maneuver around. But not with 8 or 10!!!! It's like throw out everything I knew and sit there staring at my screen! First off is that constant popping up of "Help and Support", even the Best Buy Geek squad didn't fix. Others say the F1 (help key) is stuck or sign off the service (good luck with that one). Then there's removing "My Computer", now I have to try to remember where to go to cleanup my disk and restricted sites. I finally understood to click on that file folder on my startup bar is how to find documents. I feel so confused! I'm going to try the Geek Squad one more time, for stuck keys, after all I bought a two year service.
    But to you Microsoft, here's to you winning the best "Raspberry Award" ever!!
Worst Software update EVER!!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Memoirs-Are They Real or Fiction

Me-5 months and 10 days

     Celebrities, famous people such as presidents do autobiographies to record their accomplishments. But what about the average person who wants to just write their memoirs, about intimate personal experience. Sometimes I wonder what I've done over the last sixty years and think I should do my memoirs, just to outline my life in my mind. Usually, a memoir needs to be written as a novel, interesting. It's more than recording the past, it's recreating. So is my life interesting enough to recreate. Some people live their lives through their children, but I've always thought I had a more interesting life, or maybe I lived a little. So Thursdays will be memoir day.

Vernell-my Mom, age 16 wedding day

     My Mom was fifteen when she met my Dad. He had just been discharged from the Army right after World War II. After school she would walk up the road, about five miles, to the corner general store. One day my Dad was driving that stretch of road and saw her; every day after that he drove by, waving, until he got up the nerve to stop and ask her for a date. This happened in 1946; they were married 7 November 1947 and I was born in October, almost a year later.

Clifford-my Dad, 1941