08 June 2011

The Secret and I Visit the Discover Portsmouth Center

Every day I live in two worlds; present day Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and the historical realm of my ancestors. Research on my family tree has not yet uncovered a link between the two worlds. My ancestors have lived in every New England state, except New Hampshire and I haven't delved all that deeply into the history and forebears of this area. Yes, I have tagged along as each of my children in turn has visited the old houses and museums, including Strawbery Banke, but I have not visited them from the perspective of a researcher, family historian or genealogist. BUT, because of my little secret, not only have I gained a fresh perspective on our family life, but also on life in our historical city.

Our adventure into Portsmouth history begins at the Discover Portsmouth Center. An endeavor of the Portsmouth Historical Society, the center was opened in 2008 in the former Portsmouth Public Library building. The two welcoming volunteers were more than happy to point us to several historical homes to visit including:

Additionally they suggested a visit to Strawbery Banke Museum. Before we left the center we were encouraged to view the current exhibit; Maritime Portsmouth: The Sawtelle Collection as well as the newly refinished and beautiful wood floors on the second story. The works of art in this incredible collection bring Portsmouth's nautical heritage to life. If you are at all interested in Portsmouth history or in its seafaring past, this collection should be on your summer 2011 bucket list. There are many portraits of ship building families. Perhaps one of your Portsmouth ancestors is included. 

Next stop is the John Paul Jones House, which is down and across Middle Street at the corner of State Street. See you there!

Happy Wednesday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!
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06 June 2011

The Secret and I Have an Historical Adventure

Remember that secret? Well, it's motivating me to go on some historical adventures. For the next three weeks my secret and I will be exploring local Portsmouth, New Hampshire historical sites. We will start with our city's gateway to history and culture; the Discover Portsmouth Center. This center was created by the Portsmouth Historical Society and I am excited to see what they have to offer to visitors.

Yesterday, we traveled up to York Wild Animal Kingdom to see our first rodeo at the Extreme Country Stampede Tour.

I know it's pretty common in other parts of the country, but around here we just aren't used to seeing cowboys and bulls do this:

 or stunt motorcycle riders do this:

We listened to some great country music from Jessie Brown and Greg Burroughs.

All in all, it was a good old real American experience complete with the Pledge of Allegiance from this cutie pie

and a National Anthem ride from her big sister:

Check back tomorrow for details about the Discover Portsmouth Center and maybe you will see a picture of me in my new pink cowgirl hat.

Happy Monday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

05 June 2011

Scrapbook Sunday - The Magical Backyard

My Family History Scrapbook Sunday page is up over at the Magical Backyard. Come take a peak.

Happy Sunday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

03 June 2011

Scrappy Gen Gets Organized - Backup Smackdown Meets Lookout

We get lots of reminders in the genealogical blogging community about performing backups. Thomas MacEntee over at Geneabloggers sends out a monthly reminder to be sure to back up your stuff. Seeing that ruined computer every month is just the motivation I need to click save to file.

Backup Smackdown

This month, however, I would like to make a little addendum to his excellent advice about what and how to back up. It all stems from a little smackdown I got on May 22nd when my Droid Incredible decided it was overworked and reset itself. Yes, RESET ITSELF. Back to its original state. It was so original I had to call Verizon and have it activated. Yes, that is correct...activated, not reactivated. 

Smartphone Addict

After upgrading to the Droid Incredible a year ago, I had become a smartphone addict. My phone was beautiful. There was a page for social media; Twitter, Facebook, etc. Another page held stuff to read; Audible, Kindle, Google Reader, Genealogy Gems, etc. The main page had Gmail, Touchdown, contacts and everything else I was constantly checking. I even had Dropbox and Evernote loaded up so that I could take notes and save things with a simple camera click. Having spent so much time with my phone, don't you think I would have done the one thing that would have saved some of the information I put into it? Don't you think I would have backed it up? Nope! I lost it all! Everything I have put into my phone over the last year is gone.

The Verizon Wireless Fairy Does Not Exist!

Sure I can redownload the apps. What a pain! Sure I can reset up the whole phone again exactly the way I liked it. What a super big pain! But I cannot get back all of the pictures, phone numbers and other contact information that I put into the phone and not into Gmail or Touchdown. What a super, duper, big pain! Wouldn't it have been better to have backed up the phone? I have everything else backed up. I even kind of bragged about it, but never thought of my phone. I guess I just thought the Verizon Wireless fairy would save everything for me. Not! 

Lookout to the Rescue

Don't let this happen to you! It turns out there is a simple little app called Lookout available that will automatically backup your contacts, call history and photos. Lookout will even find your phone if you lose it and protects your phone from viruses. You can even go online and see all of the information that has been saved at the Lookout Mobile Security website. It's on my phone now, doing its thing. Of course, there really isn't much to save yet. I can't call or text anyone because I don't have their numbers anymore. Maybe someone will call me today. And I can save them. And then Lookout will save them. And we'll be phone friends forever. 

If you are my phone friend, give me a call. Otherwise you may never hear from me again. 

Happy Friday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

02 June 2011

Scrappy Genealogist Dances to a New Beat

Can you keep a secret? It turns out that I can, but it is very hard for me to blog while I keep it. The music of our family has a new rhythm. We've been shaken out of our doldrums and are experiencing both new and old routines with a fresh perspective. For me, the Mama of the family, this has meant living more in the present and noticing how we live and interact with each other. Being more present has meant refocusing on our family's basic physical and emotional needs; cooking daily, sometimes three times a day, making other household chores a priority, and spending time together. 

So, what's the secret? I can't tell you! Yet. Soon...I promise. 

After living in the present for the last couple of months, it has become clear to me that I spend a lot of time living in the past. This is a good lesson for family historians and genealogists; don't forget...there is only now, this moment, in this life, to live and love and laugh.  

Though even now, as I go through my days cutting vegetables, washing clothes, helping with homework, I can hear the whispers of my ancestors, like drifting smoke tendrils in my thoughts, nudging me back to my research. Their words quietly remind me, "don't forget about us."

I haven't forgotten and won't forget you. I'm just spending some time in this oasis of now, listening to a new rhythm, dancing to a new beat, before traveling back to the past again. 

And, I've got a secret. 

Happy Thursday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!
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