Sunday 20 May 2012

Genealogy notes 10-20 May 2012 - blogging challenges

Well another ten days have passed and our 'monster' garage sale is next weekend plus we have continued to give items away to our families and friends. This will be our fourth move since we met in 2001 so it's probably time that we combined our belongings and have only one of everything! Of course the danger is that when we finally arrive at our 'new home' we will probably want something we have given away thinking we would never have a need for it again. It's also amazing how much time can be taken up talking to banks, real estate agents, friends and family members who want us to move near them and people telling us where they would retire too. I think we really do need to 'do it now' as I don't think I could stand to have this hanging over my head for another year.

Anyway, in our rest breaks I continue to try and keep up with my emails, e-newsletters, Twitter, Facebook and bloggers I like to read but I am very aware of how much I am missing out on logging in sporadically. There are three blogging challenges this year I would have liked to participate in - 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy (now into Week 19), Beyond the Internet (now into Week 18) and the Family History through the Alphabet (only up to B so maybe I can catch up) challenge. These are all weekly themes which in past years I would have contributed to but at the moment I'm flat out keeping this Diary going. I still like to try and read the various posts to these challenges as we can learn so much from what others write and share with us.

One thing that I have committed to is a National Institute of Genealogical Studies (NIGS) course on Google for the Wise Genealogist (I wonder which other Congress attendees are doing this in May or have already completed it). This is a free course that I signed up for when I visited the NIGS display stand at the AFFHO genealogy congress in Adelaide back in March. At the time I elected to do it in May as I had thought this month would be relatively free so I'm a bit behind with that and the next week's lectures and assignments are due to tomorrow. So I simply must catch up this afternoon.

The other exciting thing that happened in the last week was that I received an invitation to speak at and launch this year's National Family History Week from 27 July to 5 August. The launch will be at the Victorian Archives Centre in Melbourne on 27 July so I hope to see a few people there and I encourage all genealogy and family history groups to add their events to the 2012 calendar.

Plus I'm trying to finish a few genealogy reports for clients, do a new talk on resources for identifying photographs for the GMAGS Day on 3 June, revising my talks for the Queensland Genealogy Expo in Brisbane 25-27 June and finalise a couple of publications I have pending for Unlock the Past.

And it's my son's 25th birthday today so I'm a bit nostalgic and wondering where the last 25 years have gone! I still don't think I'm ageing as much as he has in the last  25 years. We will catch up and celebrate when I'm in Brisbane next month. My niece turned 18 last Friday and again I can't quite believe that.

Time to finish this Diary update and get back to crossing off at least some of those things on my to do list for this glorious autumn day in Melbourne! If it all gets too hard, I'm going out for a nice walk and soak up some Vitamin D which my doctor tells me I'm deficient in (last time he told me to stay out of the sun and I had skin cancer surgery on my face). I'm happy to say that scar is healing quite nicely and is mostly hidden by my hair. Until next time.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Genealogy notes 24 Apr - 9 May 2012 Top 50 genealogy blogs

Wow can't believe it's over two weeks since I sat down to write this Diary. Getting ready to move is taking up so much of our time - we've been gardening, painting, moving furniture, steam cleaning carpets, sorting items for our huge garage sale in a couple of weeks and so on. I've been squeezing in a bit of genealogy along the way and managed to get my ANZAC Day tribute on my SHHE Genie Rambles blog done on my Uncle Gordon, a Rat of Tobruk.

I've also accepted a number of opportunities to give genealogy talks for the Society of Australian Genealogists in Sydney, various talks for the Yarra Plenty Regional Library in Melbourne and another all day seminar for the Goulburn Murray Association of Local and Family History Groups. For dates, venues and presentation titles see my Services and Events page on my website. The second half of this year is starting to look quite busy but by then we should have got the house ready for sale (assuming we can never decide where we are going to move to)!

I have stacks of genealogy e-newsletters and blogs to catch up on but one that caught my eye on Twitter the other day had the hash tag #50bestblogs and I started getting mentions and congrats. So today I said to the other half I simply must sit down and have a read and write the next instalment of this Diary. I'm very pleased to see that I have been included in the Top 50 genealogy blogs penned by blogger friend Geniaus and published by Inside History magazine in their latest issue. I haven't got my paper copy yet and that's always an occasion to put the kettle on and sit down to have a good read. Perhaps I can send the other half out to Bunnings when it arrives! You wouldn't believe how many trips we've made to Bunnings over the last couple of weeks as we do little touch ups here and there, both inside and outside of the house.

Doing a bit of painting and minor repairs is really the easy part of moving. By far the hardest part is sorting out all our stuff. I live with a hoarder and I've always been a collector (more selective in my hoarding for those wanting to know the difference). I was a stamp collector as a child and since 1977 I've been actively collecting ancestors and their stories. What I hadn't realised is how collecting is a theme in almost everything I do. For example, my sock drawer was always just a sock drawer until last week when I put all my socks out on the bed with the aim to throw out the 'daggy' ones. My socks actually tell the story of my life and my travels with socks from Tasmania with their smiley Tasmanian tigers, my kiwi socks from New Zealand and my sheep socks from Hamilton in Victoria, the sheep capital of Australia. You get the picture.

My nightie drawer was not much different. There was the nightie I bought to go on a five week overseas trip to Europe in 2000, quite a few from the Victoria Markets here in Melbourne and then there was my fav nightie, but it's looking a bit the worse for wear. So much so my partner said why didn't I just chuck it out (after all this is what we are supposed to be doing, minimising what we are moving with). My response was that I could still  remember buying it as I was pregnant with my son at the time and I wanted something nice for the hospital. My son is turning 25 this month which means my fav nightie is older than my son! Perhaps it really should be 'retired'!

Do others find that basic clothing can generate memories and lifetime attachments? I can understand it with wedding dresses and perhaps more formal outfits but the humble sock and nightie?

Then there are all my travel souvenirs starting with the first turtle I ever bought in Fiji in 1975 on my first ever overseas trip - yes I collect turtles and have many in varying shapes, sizes and formats. Then there is my cat collection, and I have a fondness for camels especially one I picked up in Upper Mongolia back in 1996. Don't get me started on my fridge magnets which are all over the fridge, freezer, filing cabinets and other metal surfaces around the house. Somewhere deep inside me I know that they should go but each one has it's own memory and story to tell.

Well I have to get back to tidying up, as much as we can with all the boxes and stuff piled up everywhere as there is a real estate agent coming this afternoon to give us the latest on selling in this area. More than half a dozen houses have sold in our surrounding streets in the last month so it's not going to be hard to sell should we put it on the market. It's a high demand area but without somewhere to go to, we would be left with living in the caravan and we still have too much stuff for that! Wish me luck and I'm hoping for more genealogy time next week!