Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FGS - Planning - Part 2

The other day I wrote about my list and the items I needed.  A new post on the FGS Conference blog says that the weather will be great.  Again, the jacket is high on my list.  Nights are going to be downright COLD for me.  (Winter style).

I forgot to mention that I have another list, not the one for items to be sure to pack.  That list is for everything I need to do before I leave for two weeks:  cancel the newspaper; complete a mail-hold form; water houseplants; laundry; set timers; and clean.  I really don't like to come home to a dirty house, so I make sure I vacuum, clean the stove and kitchen floor as well as clean out the refrigerator (open milk or cottage cheese has a distinctive odor after two weeks in a closed refrigerator).  I also put clean sheets on the beds, clean towels in the bathroom and also clean the toilets.  Not exciting, but I'm much happier to return to a clean house.  I also check to make sure the drip system for the outside plants is working and the timers are set appropriately.  Two weeks of 110+ weather really can sizzle plants. 

Lastly, don't forget to unplug or turn off all of those electronic devices, especially anything that may not like a power surge or a power outage what occasionally occurs during a bad storm. 

FGS - Introduce Yourself

Amy Coffin of WeTree wrote about Sheri Finley's (The Educated Genealogist "We Were All First Timers Once."  If you haven't read these blogs, please do.  THEN, let's all make sure we introduce ourselves to those first timers.  Well, why not just introduce ourselves to those sitting around us at sessions. 

Oh, by the way, I'm from Arizona.  In Springfield I plan on wearing a long skirt and some Indian jewelry (pendants and earrings), and I'd love to meet you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FGS 2011 - Planning for the Trip

Since I live in Arizona and the FGS2011 conference is in Illinois, I have been making plans for some time.  I have had my hotel reservations, conference registration and flight plans for a few months.  Now, since I'm leaving in less than one week, I need to make all of those last minute arrangements.

I can't forget an umbrella.  (Arizona rain storms don't last long enough to need one here.)  I also need to bring a jacket.  And not just one for sitting inside.  The high temperatures in Springfield during the past week have been lower than the low temperatures in Phoenix.  So I'll need a jacket for mornings and evenings. 

Since I won't have a car, I need to be sure I have all of those little extras:  over-the-counter meds; pens/pencils;  sticky notes; snacks (to keep up my energy).  I'll be taking the train from Chicago, so I need to have a map of how to get to the hotel from the train station.  (I don't mind a few blocks walk and I have a roll-on suitcase.  Of course, I'll also have my computer case so I'll need to make sure I don't make it too heavy.)  Oh, yes.  I need to make plans for getting my notes and anything (Anything? Everything!) else I purchase from the vendors into the two cases on Sunday when it's time to leave Springfield. 

 I received the syllabus online.  Now I need to decide exactly what sessions I want to attend.  Of course, I may make changes once I arrive.  But I want to have a basic plan.  Unfortunately, I found conflicts at some time periods; two or three sessions I want to attend at the same time.  Well, that's what CDs are for.  And I know I can purchase some at the conference.  I just need to decide which session to attend and which one to get a CD for.

I think I'm ready.  I'm a list-maker, so I have a list started.  During the next few days I'll cross off items as I pack them and add items as I think of something else I'll need.  I'm looking forward to the trip (except perhaps for the security at the airport), but the conference is worth it.  Definitely!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

FGS 2011 - Blogging

I am learning a little more about the blogging community.  While there are "Official Bloggers" for FGS, it seems that all bloggers are encouraged to participate in activities.  In fact, there was a list of all geneabloggers who are attending the FGS conference in the FGS Conference Blog a couple of days ago.  Can you imagine?  Almost 50 bloggers were listed!  I'm looking forward to putting names and faces with blogs.  (Those little photos don't always work for me.) 

As a new blogger (I started my blog 2 months ago, after SCGS Jamboree), I am beginning to understand how bloggers and conference organizers work together.  While I don't think I'll be blogging during sessions, it's nice to know that there will be a place to charge computer batteries (if necessary) and meet with other bloggers.  Thank you, conference planners.  I'll see all of you next week.

Society Saturday - FHSA Arizona, Phoenix area

I am currently the President of The Family History Society of Arizona (FHSA) which has 7 chapters throughout the Phoenix area.  Each chapter has a monthly meeting with a speaker or two.  Some chapters meet during the day; others at night.  Please check out our web site: and look under chapters to find out the specific dates, times and programs for each chapter.  We love to have visitors and quite a few of our 300+ members are also "winter visitors" or part time residents of Arizona.  Please join us.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wisdom Wednesday - Pinching Pennies Until They Squeal

During this time of financial turmoil, I think we need to remember one of my Grandmother Severs’ sayings.  She used to say, “I pinch pennies until they squeal.” 

Since she was born in 1903, she lived through the depression, with two young daughters.  My Grandfather broke his back in 1928 and lived with back pain for decades.  Grandma had also lived through a difficult childhood when her father died when she was 12.  (She said she only had 1 dress for her entire senior year in high school.)

So, when I feel that I have things hard, or when I have to make financial decisions about what I can buy when, I remember Grandma.  She had such a positive attitude and thought that saving was a game.  She always took advantage of coupons.  If there was a buy one get one free, she bought one and shared with a neighbor.  With magazine subscriptions, she would subscribe only if she got a good price.  If a new subscription price was better than what she could get, she had my mother get the magazine for one year. 

And, Grandma Severs wrote.  She wrote lots of little things.  And we found her poems, prose and short stories on the backs of receipts and used envelopes and on scraps of paper.  But when she died she didn’t owe anyone anything.  Yes, she was frugal.  And she pinched pennies until they squealed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mystery Monday - Lamar, MO - Thorpe's Tantalizing Tidbits

Tantalizing Tidbits was written during WWII by my Great Aunt Helen Thorpe, with the assistance of her husband Frank Thorpe.  They wrote a newsletter and sent it to all of the military personnel from their area to keep them informed about the happenings in Lamar, Missouri.  As I understand it, this included births, marriages, deaths, people moving, etc. 

Frank C Thorpe and Helen Trice Thorpe have no descendants.  I would really like to have a copy of the Tidbits.  I have been asking for a few years.  I don’t even know how many pages this would include or for what years it was written.  I just remember that my Grandmother Katherine Trice Severs, Helen’s sister, talked about this.  Unfortunately, even though Grandmother kept lots of papers, she never kept these.  And, after Helen died, while we received some family papers, none of them included a copy of the Tantalizing Tidbits. 

These may be invaluable to someone interested in writing a history of Lamar, which is in Barton County as well as those of us who had family living there during the early 1940s.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Local Libraries & FHCs

I believe one of the least used resources for genealogy research is the local library.  No, it may not have books, microfilms, or documents that will help you.  However, most of them have computers. 

Yes, I know.  We have computers at home.  But did you know that most of them have subscriptions to  And it’s FREE!! For use in the library.   Some libraries even have subscriptions to obituaries, footnote and other sites.  And don't forget Heritage Quest.

Also, don’t forget the local Family History Centers.  Because they are staffed by volunteers, the hours vary.  These FHCs often have as well as other subscription sites.   Some of them have 5 or 6 different sites.  You can use the computers for free and check out the options.  Then, either continue to use this valuable resource, or decide to pay for one or two so that you can stay at home.  But this is a great way to learn about more and different online resources.