Motivation Monday ~ Personal History Is Important Too

In my efforts to have a fantastic, rare trip to Ohio, I've put off some projects. One of which is our personal history project. To create a personal history record of my family I do a 'blog book' journal if you will. On my personal computer, in a text editor, I create 'entries' just like I would a blog. I think I've mentioned this in the past. In any case, I create a title, a date, and then add a photo. Then I write the memories about the photo (seen and unseen). After each year, I print this document into a bond book and viola! Personal history completed.

Well.... I basically stopped recording the memories since mid March. So I had 2 1/2 months of entries to catch up on. Catch up? Well, I have a collection of photos to tell me what dates needed entries. Plus, I had additional entries in January and February that I wanted my children's or spouse's input on. I spent all of Sunday recording my children's memories using a sound recorder that came with my operating program. Today I transcribed their voice recording into text. In all, I have two entries remaining to update in May (need multiple person's help) and our recent family reunion to Georgia this month.

Here's an idea of what a bound blog book for my family
looks like.Notice the play on words for my Lee last name?
 Man if feels good to be caught up. But I must not let this lag behind. It feeds our scrapbook albums and can be very rich with details of our life if I record right after an event happens rather than  months or years later. In any case, it feels so good to be caught up.

Thankful Thursday... 20 pages of notes and I'm still not done!

WHEW!

Welcome to Ohio sign as I began my Journey to the Past


My trip to Ohio in May was fantastic. I've promised my family that I wouldn't 'do' genealogy for at least a month. Thus far, I've kept the promise to some extent. What I mean is, I don't put off things in favor of the genealogy. If I have free time (you know, the times where we would be chatting on Facebook or playing Angry Birds), then I chose to either write about my journey to Ohio (story format) or upload photos to Find-A-Grave.

During our family trip to Georgia, I couldn't get into the mood to write about the research trip since I wouldn't have long chunks of time to write uninterrupted. So I posted about 100 pictures on Find-A-Grave. Now, that sounds like a lot. However, Find-A-Grave doesn't have a way to link one picture to multiple memorials. So, if a photo is of a joint memorial (say mother / child, spouses, etc), then each stone has to be uploaded for the number of persons inscribed on a stone. No problem really, but it just seems like I've uploaded more unique photos than I have. Additionally, I've taken photos of large monuments that are on the plot of family members. Again, if one large monument goes to four grave stones, then that photo is uploaded four times. So although my 100 seems like a large number of photos uploaded, really it's not that many. But, this is easily done in my small chunks of free time after I wake up or while I'm putting kids down for a nap (or bed time) in a distant hotel.

But this post wasn't about posting to Find-A-Grave, it was about writing the journal entries for my trip. Perhaps I should have done it when all the thoughts were fresh in my mind on the trip. But I was either researching, visiting, or scanning. The few spare moments were devoted to sleeping. Writing would have to come later.

Now... I'll be posting much of this on this blog to share with family and friends who keep asking, how did the trip go? Short version... AWESOME. I have more than enough research to keep me busy for some time. Long version... I'm at 20 pages typed, single spaced in a text editor and I'm only half way through the week. Once I break it into blog posts, the 'journal' entries alone will keep people busy reading and that's before I even start sharing the actual research. So, either I covered a lot of ground or I'm long winded in my writing. Perhaps both are equally true. In any case, this post is to simply state how thankful I am for the amazing research trip. And to ask those who keep asking, "How did it go?" to hang tight. You'll soon learn nearly all there is to know and  can enjoy reading it while you're in your pajamas.

Tombstone Tuesday... Can you clean off the droppings?

After visiting the Columbus, Ohio cemeteries, I've been bit by the bug to photograph cemeteries. However, I have a HUGE question. Okay, perhaps it's not that large.

Do you clean off the bird droppings? If so, will you share tips on how?

Seriously, this isn't a crazy question. But, I took gardening tools to dig out stones and remove weeds and debris. I can't thank the person enough who gave me those tips.

Wilhelmina Gerlacher (1858-1916)
Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio
I almost missed Wilhelmina Gerlacher's grave stone because it was buried under a host of plants. Thankfully I had some gardening shears to scale the plants back.

However, I came across NUMEROUS stones with bird droppings on them. Having attempted to prepare myself for taking grave stone photographs, I was very worried about using anything except water to highlight the letters or a soft brush to wipe away grass. However, bird droppings might need a combination of things and I was hesitant to do anything to harm the stones.

Foster H Latham (1904-1994)
Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio
For many stones I was able to remove the droppings using Paint Shop Pro. However, that's A LOT of time fixing photos for publishing purposes. Shouldn't I be able to remove the stones before I snap the picture?

So, I'm asking a serious, novice question... what do you do about bird droppings?

Thanks in advance for the advice.

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