QC Blog: September 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Google Youself

If you ever want to see what kind of a presence you have on the Internet, try googling yourself. What an eyeopener! I was surprised to find that my web presence has increased from a few references on page 1 (which used to be related to my Quilt Circle and my Library Board service) to mentions of me all the way to page 5 of my search. It's not that I've increased my presence so much, despite the website and the blog, but that others (like the newspapers) have posted their information on the web.

The references included things I said at a school board meeting that were reported in the newspaper, to my inquires about genealogy at forum websites. Every forum I've posted on is included, meaning every related name. Places I've donated to that list their donors on the web include my name. Comments that I've made on other websites are flagged and of course there's a reference to my Facebook page. The Library's newsletter is now online, so anything I contributed to that publication is online now. My blog and website took up most of page 1 and page 2, and there was even a reference to the death notice of my mother last year (another newspaper article).

I'm not complaining, mind you. Anyone with a website and a blog can't be totally unhappy to find their profile increasing on the Internet. I just find it interesting that everything you put out there is so .... trackable. In Catholic school, the nuns used to tell us that your permanent record will follow you forever...well, so does the Internet.

After googling myself, I then googled the rest of my family. My sons are extremely good at staying hidden on the Internet. I applaud their efforts at staying 'under the radar' in this information age.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What on earth are we talking about?

Did you read the story a couple days ago about a father who forgot his son in his stroller on a corner somewhere? Everything turned out OK, and the father returned 20 minutes later, profusely apologizing, saying he just forgot about his son. There were no explanations as to why. I bet he was on his cell phone. Yesterday, I saw a man at a construction site talking on his phone, and wondered what on earth he was talking about. There was a woman in a shoe store, talking while buying her shoes. Then the man talking on the phone in the grocery store, asking for guidance on the correct thing to buy. There are the folks who are checking out at the bookstore, or grocery store, while talking on the phone. The worst offender is the parent out for their morning walk with their baby, talking, talking, talking. And the absolute worst of the worst, was a father, taking a walk with his son on vacation, holding his hand, talking on the phone.

What on earth are all these people talking about? And can't it wait? Why is the need to talk so immediate? Can't the woman buy shoes and show respect to the shoe salesperson by NOT talking in their face to someone else? Can't the husband make a decision about what to buy in the grocery store, as if he's an adult and not call his wife on the phone? Can't a parent enjoy the outdoors and being with their baby without polluting the air with talking, talking, and more talking? Oh, it's just one of those things that frustrates me to no end.

I'm going through bags of clothes that I had saved to make T-shirt quilts. It turns out I have about 10 bags of clothes and no real direction as to who to make a quilt for. All the high school shirts I bought and/or saved to make t-shirt or sweatshirt quilts for my sons have turned into a mammoth sorting project. My middle son, Eric, suggested I look at them and ask myself who am I making this quilt for and ask if they would want it. After polling all three kids, none of them really desire to have a t-shirt quilt made out of their high school soccer camp tees. None of them are interested in preserving their high school memories or sleeping under them. As my youngest son, Zack, keeps telling me, "think of the kid who might love to wear that t-shirt and give it away." So after watching yet another episode of "Hoarders" on TV, and vowing never to get that bad cause it's gross and disgusting, I'm trying to break the emotional attachment to these clothes (for it's obvious I'm the only one attached to them) and give them all to Goodwill. I needed the pep talk from the kids, as I sometimes get bogged down in the details. Besides the bags are taking up space in my sewing room and I need to get in there and sew!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

QVC tonight

Just a quick reminder that Hall and Oates are going to be on QVC tonight - Sept 21 at 6:00 p.m. They will be performing 8 songs during the one hour they are on. The purpose is to celebrate the new boxed set coming out in the beginning of October. If you click on the widget you can hear songs and see photos. I think there's even a bonus disc included if you preorder on QVC - you'll have to watch and see.

Monday, September 7, 2009

No worries!

My alter ego, aka The Quilting Crusader, has been battling a bad reputation for the past two months. Google has been warning people away from my site, telling folks I could harm their computer, and Firefox was calling me "an attack site." However, The Quilting Crusader has won this battle, and come out on top, with a shiny needle and sparkling clean thimble!! In other words, I (with the help of my kids) have finally figured out the malware code that was lurking on my site and removed it. I am in no danger of doing anything bad to anyone and you can surf on my site with no worries.

I spent part of this holiday weekend with my extended family. So many things make up the fabric of a family. I am lucky enough to have 18 first cousins. We grew up together here in Pittsburgh, celebrating birthdays together (with 19 kids in the family, that means we saw each other almost every month) and visiting one another's homes during summer vacation. We had our phone numbers memorized and my cousins were the first people I called on Christmas morning to share what we got from Santa. There was always an annual Christmas visit (to see your decorations and play with your new toys) and we rang in the New Year together, banging pots and pans. We visited Kennywood each year and experienced some of the most fun moments in my childhood. I can still hear the clickety-clack of the Jack Rabbit, as every year, the youngest cousin would take their first ride on the roller coaster past our picnic pavilion. My grandmother would make iced tea and buy baked goods at Jenny Lee and we would run all day long. My cousins were my playmates and my best friends.

Each of us has a unique position in the cousin relationship, and we range in age from 62 to 24. My position as fourth oldest in the family allows me to see the dynamics in an interesting light. There were 3 born before me (2 of whom are my sisters) then a five year gap before I was born. After me, a child was born almost every year until 1970, when there was a small pause until 1974, then again until 1985. I am part of the "younger" set, but because my sisters were 2 of the 3 born first, I was privy to the older set also. I knew all the "secrets" the older kids knew, and was able to watch most of my younger cousins grow up. Age gaps that seemed large when we were little hardly matter now. We have relationships within our relationships. We've lived with one another, worked with and for one another, and as adults, shared grief and sorrow with one another. Our parents are the thread that tied us together.

As the genealogist in the family, I try to be the one who keeps us connected to the past, as well as the present. I collect addresses and phone numbers, keep track of people marrying into the family and babies who are born so I can create family trees that show how far we've spread over the years. And, of course, I take photos, whenever we're together, of the children, the families, and the cousins. We had one special occasion when 17 of us were in the same place at the same time. I corralled everyone to take a group photo (which wasn't easy). I added my other two cousins to the photo with digital technology from photos taken later that summer. Two of my most prized possessions are a collage I made of my cousins in 1975, when many of them were little, and the photo I made in 1995 with all 19 of us. One hangs in my sewing room, the other is in my living room.

Amazingly, even though there are so many of us, we are all still very close, and keep in touch in various ways, with phone calls and email, and most recently through Facebook. It's an interesting change to our relationships, that keeps us in touch without really conversing, but knowing what's going on by seeing photo updates of our lives.

I always count myself lucky to have such a wonderful extended family. It overflows with aunts and uncles and cousins who have enriched my life in so many ways. As our parents get older, and our own families grow up, the opportunities to see one another are less frequent, but I hope we never lose the ties that bind us.

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