Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday Words Of Wisdom

Every graduate (high school and college) should watch this.  So should their parents.  And their siblings. And grandparents. And friends. And everyone else.

It is magnificent. "Never ring the bell" in life!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday In Old Palm Beach

Today's reflection on old Palm Beach in is not to be missed!  It was so much fun putting my friend Lou in touch with Clemmer Mayhew, so these pictures and the magnificent story they tell could "go global."

Read all the way through the article and be sure to enlarge and read the fabulous vintage Town and Country article about Palm Beach through the eyes of its servants/staff members.

One of the things I remember from growing up down there is the old Palm Beach Illustrated.  Simply printed, a magazine that was more like a heavy newspaper insert, it featured great Then and Now pictures of people of note.  Women of style seem to develop it very early...and never run out of steam!


Monday, May 19, 2014

More On Monday: Letters

From TCM's Facebook page:
Have you built any of your relationships on the exchange of letters or emails? What do you find rewarding about these friendships?
Sadly, Helene Hanff, who penned the nonfiction "84 Charing Cross Road," never met her friend Frank Doel in person. The two corresponded for 20 years.
You can review the full day's schedule at All times here ET.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday Thoughts: The Art Of The Letter

We'll spend the next couple of posts talking about letters.  Does anyone remember what those are?  Anyone have a child over 21 who can write in cursive or read it easily?  They more or less stopped teaching it when my eldest was in grade school.  A shame.

New letters of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis have come to light.  Letters, unlike email and social media posts, have a long shelf life and a glorious glimpse into the past.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saturday Stories

I have so much to write about for the next few days! Such interesting people and products here at the National Genealogical Society Conference.

The company I want to highlight today is the amazing Stories To Tell Books.  They make it so easy to tell your story...or (ESPECIALLY!) your ancestor's an attractive, professional, high quality book, that can be marketed and sold.  I am amazed by what I saw at their booth, and it has changed my mind completely about a do-it-yourself book through one of the many photos sites I use.  Those are great for family gifts, but what if you have a larger story to tell?

Grab your cup of coffee or tea, check out their website and think about whose story YOU'D like to tell.  This company is not your typical "self-publishing" house.  Click across the page bar at the top of their site to learn more. This is an unbelievable process that goes far beyond what others do.  I haven't used them yet myself, so cannot speak to the end product per se...but I can tell you that they are lovely people, and I was delighted to have the chance to spend time with them this week!)

More soon!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Finds And Follows

Early start to the day today...and lots of cars pulling into the parking garage for the Richmond Convention Center. The National Genealogy Society's Annual Conference is a great success!  Congratulations...and thank all who have made this possible.

The view from my location at the "standing room only" session .
(Thanks to the crew at the Marriott for bringing in extra chairs!)
Just popped out of the most amazing session so I'd have time to post this morning.  I am a HUGE fan (and member), and I wouldn't have missed the chance to hear Crista Cowan (Ancestry's own rock star) comment on "What's New" at my favorite genealogy website.  I'll write more later, but for now wanted to share something important with those of you who use Ancestry.  Did you know the "shaky leaf" you find by an ancestor's name, which indicates more info about that ancestor, represents only 10% of their databases?  It is, as Crista says, "low hanging fruit" be sure you dig deeper!

If you are an user, too, here's a piece of helpful advice...When you want to subscribe or renew, check them out online and then call the number you see on that page.  I upgraded my membership to World level last night, and by doing what I described above, I saved $100!  Also, if you are an AARP member (being over 50 can be a blessing), that can get you up to 30% off.  Just mention AARP to them and the deals start flowing.

Speaking of deals, conference attendees are getting great access (and deals) to sites such as and and Check them out!

Today I am bringing my great-grandmother to the conference with me in my heart and "around my neck."  As the only member of my family interested in genealogy, I inherited a lot of wonderful things.  Some of that included my great-grandmother's jewelry and gold pieces.  Her engagement ring was a very pretty amethyst and her wedding ring a wide gold band.  Also with her things was a gold dollar piece, with a handwritten note, saying it had been given to her by her grandmother on the occasion of her baptism.  The other piece of gold was a $5 gold piece that was a mystery to the family.  Why had these two gold pieces been kept, when everyone was supposed to turn in their gold in the 1930's?  The answer was clear on the baptismal coin, but what about the $5 piece?  It was when I inherited the family Bible and found the year of her marriage to my great-grandfather that I understood...for it matched the year on the coin.  Once I knew that, I had the coin set in a bezel, so I could wear it and remember her.  In that way, she's with me today here at the conference!

My great grandmother, Minnie McMeekin Ragsdale, around age 16.
Minnie's engagement ring, wedding band and baptismal coin

What I'm wearing today!

More soon!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Family History/Genealogy Time

Taking a break from the decluttering/organizing to spend a few days at the National Genealogical Society's annual conference.  They come to Richmond every few years, and it's always a fabulous experience.  (We are blessed to have the Library of Virginia here in Richmond...a genealogical heaven!!)  I learn so much, each and every time I attend, and this week is proving to be no exception.

The NGS is having a Twitter event, so the great majority of my tweets from Thursday-Saturday will be #ngs2014gen.  I know not all of you are into genealogy...although it is VERY popular with "preppies" don't be too overwhelmed.  I think you'll find them interesting, and I will link you to fun sites as often as I can.

Of course, the shopping is always a highlight for me at a conference.  The NGS delivers!  I will be highlighting some of my favorites today through the weekend, and will start with a local landmark.

The Library of Virginia has redone their gift shop, and I (for some odd reason) have always scooted in and right back out for research, without checking it out over the past couple of years.  No more of that!  Not after what I saw at their mini-shop at the conference.  They have amazing things!!  I will highlight some particulars this weekend, but for case you drop by the are a couple of snaps.

The NGS Resource Room...i.e., BIG room full of fabulous vendors is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  You do not have to be registered for the conference.  Right on the main floor of the Convention Center, you can't miss it.  Come by and check it out!!  More soon...


Saturday, May 3, 2014

On Hiatus

I will return, but am taking a little time off to work on downsizing my life!  It's that time (age!)...and I'd rather do it sooner than later.

We are trying to determine when the best time would be to move to a more manageable sized house, too.  That is really appealing to me, although the thought of moving is a bit daunting... I've had two friends my age do this in the past year and they seem to be blissfully happy.  Hmmm....????

Back soon, with more!

Enjoy this beautiful spring... Cheers, Liz