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dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 08:15 pm
The last couple of weeks have been trying.

At work I am working on a very sad case involving abuse and neglect of children with developmental disabilities in a psychiatric hospital.

And then coming home to consecutive nights of sitting in the cottage, listening to the wail of tornado sirens, one of which is only several hundred yards from my front door.

Morning drives the horror home.

Such devastation. You simply cannot appreciate the totality of the devastation from the media photographs.

In order to fully grasp it, you have to stop the car. Get out, and smell the pungent pine scent combined with gasoline fumes coming from the chain saws that assails you as you pick your way around toppled trees so huge that you and your best friend couldn't wrap your arms around no matter how hard you tried.

You have to stand at the bottom of the ladder and hand one tarp after another up so the next door neighbor can help nail them down over the gaping holes in the roof.

The ones with a roof - even part of one - are the lucky ones.

You have to rock silently as a young woman you just met at Backyard Burger sobs on your shoulder because she doesn't know how long it will be before she can get back to see what's left of her home. If there's anything left at all.

Some of them want to talk. Some of them can't yet.

You need to put some money in the jar at the corner store to help pay for the baby's funeral.


So I've been preoccupied and not paying attention to the ancestors lately.

And they are letting me know they want some attention.

I haven't seen anyone else blog about that. Maybe you have, and I just haven't read *that* entry.

Don't panic. I only see dead people in my dreams.

But there are things that happen here at the cottage that I have come to accept as normal, and they always have to do with researching my ancestral lines and finding answers.

I have a haunted computer printer, coffee maker and bathroom light switch. All three operate independently of me.

Not all the time. Only when I have been working very hard on an ancestral line, or need to.

I'm a very linear thinker, so when these things started happening, I naturally looked for rational answers.

I taped the bathroom light switch in the off position. I'm on the third coffee maker, plugged into a different outlet.

My cousin heard the printer start working all by itself when she was visiting, and left shortly afterward. (I had told her about it, and although she was very polite when I did, I knew she was skeptical. But seeing and hearing is believing.)

And today, all three of them did their stuff.

So I guess I should get back to work, huh?

Wonder who I'll see in a dream tonight...

The journey is good.
dee_burris: (Default)
Thursday, March 10th, 2011 12:01 pm
A bunch of my favorite geneabloggers made Family Tree Magazine's Top 40 list.

Congrats to all the bloggers!
dee_burris: (Default)
Friday, December 24th, 2010 01:32 pm
I've been blogging for the past four years. Even though there were regular commenters to my genealogy entries in my regular blog, for the last year or so, I toyed with the idea of creating a blog just for genealogy.

On Halloween, I had a Nike moment, and decided to "just do it." A few days later, I posted an entry in [livejournal.com profile] genealogy, asking if others had created genealogy blogs. One of those commenters replied in the affirmative, and urged me to check out Geneabloggers.

Boy, am I glad I did.

I have "met" some of the most fantastic people by searching the blogs. My first searches were for other Arkansas bloggers, then among them, for women. (Gentlemen, that is not a slam to you - I just have a thing about reading other women bloggers...)

The depth of the posts, and obvious commitment to telling the stories of the ancestors, combined with generous doses of wit and humor, makes reading these other blogs a joy. I have stumbled on some wonderful tips for breaking down the dreaded brick walls. From the comfort of my little cottage, I have been on trips to faraway lands through wonderful old photos and well-written stories about the people who lived there.

So thank you, Thomas MacEntee, for coming up with a really great way to provide a real feeling of community.

After all, community is good thing, right? And on our beloved topic of genealogy, didn't it make you feel all warm and fuzzy (and not a little relieved) to learn that there were literally hundreds of other people who did the happy dance at the mailbox when the postman delivered death certificates? Or who got misty-eyed at being able to calendar an entire weekend for tramping through the countryside looking for graves? Other people who enjoy sitting in dusty courthouse vaults, gingerly turning the pages of huge ledgers of property records, looking for the pot of gold...

Fairly early on while searching the blogs, I ran into the spoilsport. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, that's someone who gets joy out of spoiling joy for others.

In a departure from my usual practice, I'm not going to identify him by name. And I am not linking to his blog from mine.

In my view, he's already getting way too much traffic from links from other genealogy bloggers. I'm not saying they are wrong to do that - I just think they are playing into his hand.

On the day I found his blog, his post was about how he had a revelation and discovered he is not a genealogist, and couldn't care less about who his ancestors were.

After briefly wondering why, if that were the case, his blog was listed on Geneabloggers, I closed the browser. Even for my "other" blog reading, his doesn't cut the mustard.

Since then, as I have read the blogs of other genealogists, I see he's getting quite a bit of press. I think he's a drama king.

Of the last dozen entries, seven (58%) have been snubs at genealogy bloggers, and of those seven, three (42%) have been direct slams at Geneabloggers or bloggers who are listed there. In one of those entries, he thanks people who read his blog prior to November 1.

Dude, if you can't capture my interest in the first dozen entries, I haven't got the time to plow through page after page of cyber temper tantrums looking for a nugget of useful or edifying information.

And for the record, sir, you got it wrong in your December 20 entry. I am a southerner, born and bred, so you will just have to take my word for it. I doubt that a native New Yorker would be able to put the proper inflection on either phrase.

When a southerner says how nice, what she means is fuck you.