Back in the dark misty times...

Back in the dark misty times...
Genealogy, joyfully discovered ~

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Finding Victorino Silvan!

My genealogical quest became more lucrative this week! Snow fell all day yesterday to a build- up of nearly 9 inches and 17 degrees but I hardly noticed other than to watch the lovely, big flakes fall and to count the bright red cardinals at our bird feeders in the back bird garden.

I was entrenched in building the ongoing SILVAN family history and my grandmother's trek from Spain. Thrilled to find out she didn't come alone with just her mother, father and two brothers, she traveled with an Uncle Victorino, his wife and 4 children and her Aunt Cristencia, her husband and 2 children. I had already begun my story up to page 14. I will gladly revise it to include Aunt Cristencia and jog the story around. My plan is to write a real story based on documented facts, family stories and pictures. It will definitely be MANUELA'S PETALS.

I spoke with two of my uncles this week and neither knew who Uncle Victorino was! How could that be? I wondered. When my aunt did not know either, I started doubting myself. So, I found the 1911 ship's manifest once again and sure enough! Juan Silvan, Victorino Silvan and Cristencia Silvan Gonzalez all had the same mother and father. Today, I found out that Victorino, his wife and oldest child could read and write. None of the other family members, including my grandmother's parents could say the same. AND I 'found' Victorino in Hawaii on a 1920 census so he did not leave Hawaii to emigrate to America after working in Hawaii like my grandparents. That is another story but oh! The quest is fascinating.

Today, I invited many of my cousins to come along for the ride by reading my weekly blog and I so hope they do so. I want to share it all!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

He didn't know what hit him.....

As you know by now, my retirment date is looming on January 28th and I won't be working with group health insurance benefits anymore; just Medicare on a very light basis. That said, I decided to clean out my office in preparing for the new chapter in my life of writing. With three books finished, a drawer full of embryo manuscripts and a genealogy research project that will take me to Spain in the Fall of 2010, I wanted a bookcase.

So, being the budget-minded person I try to be, I checked Craigslist and found three posts; one intrigued me the most: a lawyer's bookcase. It wasn't new and needed some repair but I've always looked twice or three times when I see one. This one, I felt I could afford and J.D. knew where the house was, an hour away. So, Friday morning, we took (I promised him breakfast at Hardees and he hit the ground running) the pick up and found it. Well, I was delighted it was a stacked affair (I hadn't realized how they worked) but J.D. noticed quite a few things...and mentioned it looked in need of TLC as he rolled his eyes at me. The man pulled the front glass (2 out of 3 glass fronts were missing) up and the wood came loose. Oops. I looked it over and said, "Yes, I'll take it." J.D. didn't say a word...until we closed the doors and backed down the driveway after a nice chat with the owner. He said he thought it was a piece of junk but J.D. thinks all antiques are junk. Me? I LOVE antiques and thought it delightful.

Then, we had to stop at Lowes. J.D. likes to have time on his own in that warehouse of a store and I can always find something to buy. So, he wandered and so did I. Down Aisle 14, I stopped in my tracks when I saw an oak-veneer bookcase 70" high with five shelves for $68. Huh.

My cell phone rang and J.D. wondered where I was. "Aisle 14 and you are going to think I'm out of my mind. Come join me." I could see him walking toward me, curious. When he rounded the corner and I pointed to the shelf, he looked at me and shook his head dramatically. What? With a flummoxed look on his face, we hauled it into the basket. He didn't know what hit him. Huh

Monday, January 18, 2010

Spain and Genealogy

Another Monday closed on my office doors today. Only one more Monday before my upcoming semi-retirement. And my mind is clouded with lists of what to do, when to do it, who to contact, what query letters to create. Lovely.

After reading my two recent research books from the Swem Library at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, I am beginning to have an insight about why my grandparents hit the road from Spain, leaving their homeland. One of the books was very old (1924) and written by a man whose surname was one of ours, Vincente"Blasco" Ibanez. It was intriguing to think he may be an ancestor. His book, ALFONSO xIII UNMASKED, described Alfonso's horrible monarchy, his slyness and the way he lorded it over the Spanish poor and middle classes. He was a teenager when crowned at age 16 just before my grandmother turned 1 year old and it was perfect for my beginning. The research for my book about my grandmother has taken me on a long and crooked road but not without exciting stops along the way. It makes my heart thrum to think about my projected trip to Spain in the Fall of 2010. I will walk where she walked!

The thunder and rain storm we had yesterday (2" of rain) blew away the clouds. Today it was nearly 60 degrees and hard to stay inside... But J.D. is finally able to do outside projects without going stir crazy inside. He is having fun 'traveling' around the internet on the computer and hopes to learn a bit more without needing me to hover over his shoulder.

Have a wonderful day. I am.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Writer's Insomnia

First of all, let me set the record straight, I meant 'Queen of the Margaritas' not Qween of the Margaritas in my last blog. Did that ever scream at me when I logged on just now!! I wonder how I missed it before?

Enough of that... my mind chatter continues to grow in intensity the more time I spend writing, creating, researching and reading. Last night, after three hours fighting my pillow and reaching my toes around for a comfortable spot, my feet and legs refused to stay still. Restless leg Syndrome, something I have now and then, decided to visit me ~ But I fought back. I got up, walked around, sat in the chair, spun my ankles, kicked my legs. You get the picture. Lucky for me, they calmed down and I sighed into my fickle pillow and poof! I was wide awake with my brain on the march. The thoughts started slapping me in the head from minutae to ridiculous.

Insomnia is something I do not have often but when it does, it seems to leave me ragged and I dislike sleeping in too long the next morning.... JD might drink all the coffee. (Smile). So, today, I'm just sharing thoughts, hoping it might be therapeutic. You know, write it down and maybe it will go away?

I am bubbly with pride over the lovely, very positive comments I am receiving about my newly-published cookbook, COOKING DRUNK. Despite the cookbook taking twenty years to write, it dwells on my soul, I think. It just would not go away! Since it is really more than just a cookbook and includes Wine Tasting 101 among a wealth of other information, I think it is going to be a wonderful success. Thanks to all of you who have already asked for one. I love sharing and invite comments on my web site please! Hugs to all of you from Charles City...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lemons vs. Lemonade

All of you recognize that phrase, 'if life tosses you lemons, just make lemonade,' and you've probably grimaced like I've done so many times after hearing it. This week was my week for lemonade..... After the agonizingly, painful process of editing (and reading it over 100 times!) and laughing with glee when my cookbook was finally finished, sent to the publisher and several books ordered.... my mother (thank you!) pointed out that I'd left out the Triple Sec in her "Qween of the Margaritas" recipe. Good God. I'd already found I'd left out the hamburger from the Juicy Lasagna and revised, re-published and ordered 10 more books..... Now, the lemons were TART and the lemonade hard to find... But what a travesty! How could I possibly leave the Margarita recipe without Triple Sec (Thanks to you too, Launie). So, it is FIXED and those of you who have already ordered and/or received my COOKING DRUNK cookbook, the book of twenty-years and a million proof-readings.... Please add 1 1/2# HB to your Lasagna on page 139 and add 1 oz. of Triple Sec to your Margaritas on page 158. Whew! There, I feel better and that lemonade doesn't taste quite so bad now; full of rind but not as bitter as I'd thought it would be.

Writing is supposed to be fun! And now I am realizing that it is difficult to read the newspaper, Oprah's Magazine, Birds and Blooms, or a good book without crashing to a stop and thinking, "Oh, that word.... I must write it down and use it on something I'm writing....." and then I lose traction before getting back to my reading. Is this what being an author is about, I wonder? Yes, possibly and perhaps that is the way so many other authors exist..... never quite enjoying the book or always getting the gist of a story without grabbing their infernal notebook that always sits beside them?

Sigh. Life is good. 8 more days before semi-retirement. 2 more Mondays. 204 hours... but who is actually counting? Enjoy the rest of your day and leave me a comment here and there. I love hearing from you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cold in Charles City

I hesitate to say 'cold' when I am still seeing reports of deep snow drifts, cars sliding onto the side of the road with the fears of not getting them out until the spring thaw, but it is still keeping me inside all cozied up with hot chocolate. Launie suggested a little Kahlua and it made it much nicer...

J.D. is comfy on his La-Z-Boy in the slouch position enjoying the football game and I have been working in my office most of the day making labels and tossing files in preparation for retirement at the end of the month. Semi-retirement, let me correct myself.... but I am counting Mondays (3) left until January 28th and then I will very semi retired and concentrate on Medicare issues alone. I love working with the senior community and think it's because I am nearly one of them. LOL

My writing is truly getting on a roll as I am beginning to finish projects I have worked on for a number of years. COOKING DRUNK is finished, published and the end of a 20-year project. A ROUNDABOUT PASSAGE TO VENICE is finished (last night!), published and polished. I have my mother to thank since the first edition was too hard to read. This one is perfect so that worked out very well!

I have all my file drawers figured out and a full WRITING FILE DRAWER. Now I can SEE all my unfinished manuscripts..... and I'm ready to roll.... once i get sort of retired.
Until next time....