Several years ago my youngest daughter gave me a genealogy program for Christmas. It was her plan that we would work on our family tree together. I started fooling around with the program myself and immediately got hooked on tracing my ancestors. Unfortunately, my daughter wound up not working on it with me. She had just graduated from college and was getting settled in her career.
After a few years I found that the program she had given me was outdated. It was then that I transferred all of the research I had done to Ancestry. After my daughter married she and her husband joined me in working on our heritage.
There isn’t much more that excites me than tracing my ancestors across Europe. I have gotten back to the eleventh century in England on my father’s side. I find that so exciting. On my mother’s side, I have hit two brick walls one in Germany the other in Ireland. I dream about traveling to those places one day to find my ancestors there.
If you have never tried to trace your ancestors, I highly recommend it. You might be surprised at who you are related to.
What is the most famous landmark or building you have ever seen?
I am from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area so I have been to many famous landmarks. Independence Hall which houses the Liberty Bell. The Pennsylvania Hospital which is the first hospital in our country and it has a great museum right in the hospital. I have also been to Penn Manor, the summer home of William Penn. It is located very close to where I lived in Bucks County. I have also visited Valley Forge, Gettysburg and Washington’s Crossing which are all historical parks from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. I was at the National Cemetery and the Arizona Memorial in Hawaii when my youngest daughter was in her high school band and invited to perform in the King Kamehameha Parade. That was a wonderful trip. Hawaii is really beautiful. I love to visit places of historical interest.
Do you like long vacation or lots of mini-vacations?
I like to do both. I went on a cruise once and we visited seven islands in the Caribbean. That was really cool. It was like taking several trips in one. I was amazed how beautiful the Atlantic Ocean is where it meets the Caribbean. Up till that point I had only seen the Atlantic Ocean at the Jersey shore. Believe me, there is no comparison.
What is your favorite National or State Park?
I think Yellowstone National Park is my favorite park. I have very fond memories of going there when I was a child. But in my teens I spent many hours in Washington Crossing State Park both in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
What is your fantasy vacation?
My fantasy vacation is to travel to Europe. I so want to see Rome and the Vatican. I understand that the art there is just phenomenal. Ireland is my second choice then Germany. Mostly so I can trace my family ancestors.
What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I am grateful that my dear friend is healing and getting stronger and I look forward to being able to visit my son and his family in Miami soon.
If you live in the United States you are more than likely celebrating Memorial Day. Today we remember those who have served our country to preserve our freedom. It also signifies the beginning of summer. There are parades, picnics and in Miami Beach this weekend there is an air show.
My son lives in South Beach right on the beach. He called me yesterday to tell me about the air show going on right along the beach. While we were on the phone, I heard a loud boom. It sounded like a bomb had been detonated. Gary told me that a stealth bomber had just passed by his building and he was standing on his balcony watching the show.
I was sorry I was not there to see those planes in action. He went on to tell me that there were numerous boats anchored right off shore to watch the show. I was concerned that my granddaughter, who is only fifteen months old would be frightened by the loud noise. Thankfully she was with her mommy at a birthday party away from the beach.
I really think it would be cool to take a ride in one of those stealth bombers. It would certainly be the ultimate amusement park ride, don’t you think?
Happy Memorial Day and thank you to those who have served.
Of all the physical characteristics we humans have our smile is the one which shows our inner self the most. It radiates our warmth, our happiness and our determination to achieve what makes our hearts soar. It shows our fellow man our acceptance, our sense of humor and our joy.
I cannot imagine what our world would be without our leading with a smile. Even in sadness, our smile pushes through as we see hope through that sadness. That’s what our smiles are mostly, an outward sign of hope. Hope in the future. Hope in our indomitable humanity. Hope in our faith of what is to come.
This past week I have been evaluating self-acceptance. After the first two weeks of the 2017 Kindness Challenge, I have a better perspective of who I am and how I feel about it. I have always tried to be what my mom raised me to be. A good wife, mother, nurse and the list goes on and on. However, I have to admit that what my idea of each of these things is quite different from what other’s ideas are. My husband, for example, began our marriage comparing what I did with what his mother did. Because of my basic personality, I rejected this immediately. But if I am really honest I did feel as if I was not what he expected and felt badly about it.
There are so many aspects of my life that I felt that I didn’t measure up and disappointed my parents, husband, children, co-workers, etc. I don’t think I ever thought much about it before this challenge. I have come to the realization that I probably wouldn’t have had an ulcer if I had. I guess that says a lot huh?
I have decided to actively let go of all of those guilty feelings about not measuring up to what everyone else thinks I should be. I will accept my looks, my weight, my talent, my work ethic, my parenting style, and everything else that makes me who I am one day at a time and one issue at a time.
I am a work in progress. The operative word being progress. I feel as long as I am making progress I will eventually get there.
Blue skies dappled with fluffy clouds
And the sun infuses warmth into the air.
Children chasing kites with brightly colored tails
On the gentle breeze.
Spring blooms with fragrant scents
Blending into nature’s perfume.
And the days are growing longer
Ahh Spring! What splendor.
Kristin Neff, Ph.D., associate professor in human development at the University of Texas at Austin is the author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, says that self compassion has been linked to greater well-being, including diminished anxiety and depression, better emotional coping skills and compassion for others. According to Neff, self-compassion consists of self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.
The past week I took a good look to see if I was indeed practicing self-compassion. I clearly had had issues with self-kindness and discovered ways for me to improve in that area. However, I see now that just changing how I respond to the issues in my life is not the only necessary thing I need to change.
I have not been very accepting of my issues or of my feelings about them. I have not given myself the consideration I have given to not only loved ones and friends, but to total strangers in my nursing practice. I have realized that I am just as worthy of being compassionate, caring and kind to myself. I have always been one who takes charge and been very strong. So, when I am troubled about my life I am impatient with myself and un-accepting of my weakness even if it is just my perception of weakness. I have come to the realization that for me to get to where I need to be, I have to change my way of thinking.
I also must realize that we all suffer and have self doubts and we are not alone to deal with them. I need to see that our common humanity calls us to be careful how we deal with ourselves so we can be compassionate with others. Being here with my friends in Florida helping them out while Frank recovers from a serious illness and surgeries has made me realize the truth of Neff’s observations.
We were asked to try to identify where the disparaging voice that plays in our head when we fall short of the mark so to speak comes from. I was surprised to realize that my little recriminations came directly from my mother. I don’t for one minute believe she was being malicious, but rather she had her own set of problems she was unable to handle. My grandmother raised me from the time I was eleven and did a pretty good job of instilling self esteem in me. However, sometimes I still hear my mother in my head.
I could not be more surprised to learn that after not seeing my mother since the age of eleven her words could still have that impact on me. Now that I understand where it comes from I can now move on.
I was driving to Florida yesterday on my way to visit my friend from high school. Her husband had surgery and I came down to give her a hand so she can return to work.
While driving through South Carolina I picked up a Virginia radio station. I still am not sure which program was on but it was a talk show. Apparently there is a new law in Virginia which will make it mandatory for schools to teach teenagers how to handle being pulled over by police while driving.
Let me tell you that the host of the show was beside himself because as he put it “the responsibility of safety from police misconduct will fall on the children.” What a farce! I really got the impression that he wanted to just stir things up. In no way was police being trained to deal with teens behind the wheel something that was off the table. He insinuated that the police were the trained professionals but that in only 6 months you could become a cop and he felt that was insufficient. I wonder what he thinks about becoming parents. There is no training for that. Maybe that’s where we should start.
In most incidents with teenagers driving and being pulled over there is zero respect shown to the officer. Now I am not saying that there aren’t a portion of bad police, just as there is a portion of teens that are respectful. But, have you noticed the complete lack of respect for authority in this country today? Just walking through the mall and hearing the way children talk to not only their parents, but to each other. It’s appalling.
The co-host of the show said that the person who was responsible for initiating the law said she did so because she had had many conversations with her husband and son regarding being stopped by the police and their son’s behavior expected by them if that should happen. The son stated that many of his friends parents didn’t have any conversations with them about being respectful. In an attempt to keep teens from being injured or worse she thought that while learning to drive in school this would be a beneficial endeavor for the safety not only for the children but also the police.
I was becoming furious as I was driving 70 miles an hour down 95. I finally had to turn it off. All the host did was belittle the idea of giving the kids a perspective on traffic stops. Of course when I tried to call into the station I couldn’t get through. It’s probably a good thing. My feel is that if parents were responsible and taught their kids respect from the time they were little, there probably wouldn’t be many episodes of teens being manhandled by police.
For too long parents have undermined the authority of the police and the teachers in the schools. I wanted to ask this man if a person is any less dead if the one pulling the trigger is a kid? Our culture has turned into one of irresponsibility where anything goes and you can do whatever you want no matter how it affects anyone else. Then authority is blamed for the consequences.
OK, I am off my soapbox. It is wonderful to be here with Dottie and Frank. I think I’ll go sit by the pool for a bit and cool off.