About Me

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J and A are just 2 girls from a small town in Kansas. We have many loves: animals, family, gardening, genealogy and just seeing what we can create that makes us happy! We have a little shop at www.essentialpleasures.etsy.com

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Relaxing? Whats that?

As a mother, wife, caregiver, crafter and unpaid maid, with usually more full time jobs then we can name, I often ask, "Who has time for anything relaxing".  It seems there are always more important things than our needs.  Laundry, homework, cleaning, cooking, diapers, football practice and games.....and the list goes on.  I find 9 times out of 10 if I have any "extra time" I'm too tired to do anything but sit and stare at a wall.  Sad isn't it.  I sure hope someone else feels that way.

Have you ever decided to take a few minutes for yourself, make a nice hot bath and just soak?  Just to have all hell break loose.  Since you are no longer in the room noone can handle it.  Kids are trying to kill one another, baby is screaming, and unfortunately that's when the husband needs something that he can't find.  My personal favorite is the toddler knocking on the door with fingers and toes sticking under the door so desperate to get to you.  So, down the drain goes your water and hopes of a mini vacation.

To try and regain some sanity and the feeling of needing to rejuvenate, I'm challenging myself to 10 mins a week for starters.  I'm locking the bathroom door, putting in ear plugs, filling that tub with hot water and relaxing bath salts and they can tear the house down.  While they are falling apart at my absence I'm going on vacation.  I refuse to think about what needs to be done, the bills that are due or past due or any other stressful daily life situation.  I'm going to the beach or a flower filled meadow.  

I think today will be Cucumber Melon http://www.etsy.com/listing/84795173/fragrant-bath-salts

Friday, October 21, 2011

For the Love of Coffee

Is there anything better than coffee to start your day, especially on a cold morning when you'd much rather stay in bed?

I love experimenting for a new coffee creamer flavor. Chocolate, Chocolate covered Peppermint, Butterscotch Toffee and of course French Vanilla are my favorites, for the moment.  

Some ideas I have come up with my husband looks at me and shakes his head.  For instance the Butterscotch Toffee, he sneared and said, "No, way you put that in coffee."  At first I wasn't too sure why I thought it would be good and was afraid I'd have to admit he was right.  After a few adjustments, I'm hooked.  Did he drink it?  Oh, yes he loved it because he didn't know that's the one he said he wouldn't drink.  Its creamy and just plain yummy.

The French Vanilla is of course a tried and true flavor that most people enjoy.  I love the vanilla and how thick and creamy it is.  It is another one I believe you have to have time to enjoy and savor to really appreciate.

It is strange how certain flavors only taste good in a certain season.  The Chocolate covered Peppermint tastes like Christmas.  Don't ask me how something can taste like Christmas, but it does.  To drink it in October just makes you get excited about all that Christmas brings.

Who says you can't have chocolate for breakfast.  I love Cafe Mocha in the morning.  Its not for when you have to rush out the door, but on a lazy day that you can just enjoy 1 or 3 cups.

Whatever your flavor is take time to enjoy your little piece of heaven with every cup.

I'm always thinking of new flavors and can't wait to add more to  essentialpleasures.etsy.com

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Unexpected Finds of Genealogy

I thought doing genealogy would be just a fun occassional past time.  How wrong I was!!  I must admit I'm addicted.  Addicted to the point my husband had put time limits on my evening fun.  Yep, it got that bad.
I already knew quite a bit about both sides of my family tree, so I wasn't expecting it to be that much more than I already knew.  I soon found that there was so much I didn't know.  I became obsessed with filling in missing blanks.  Oh, the rush of getting to a dead end was pure adrenaline.  Trying to hunt down a piece of history with little to no information is maddening and so exciting.  You start to fill like your solving a mystery, and in a way you are.  These people were alive and had stories to tell.  Unfortunately, my people could barely write their names so you had to keep your fingers crossed that someone along the way felt their story was worth passing along and someone would keep it alive.
Searching census' and trying to find enough information to find an obituary is just part of the fun.  I was able to trace my line back to the Mayflower, and the finds along the way are truly life changing.  A wife and mother who lost her husband and 2 children in the Civil War, asking for her land that had been promised to them when they offered their life.  She was strong and wanted what her family deserved.  The deaths at such a young age by things that are so preventable now, was simply heartbreaking.  The babies and mothers that died and were buried together because C-sections weren't an option or not done right.  I'm not sure which one it was.  
With the bad there is always good.  One of the most exciting things is when you can help someone else.  I received an email one day from a gentleman trying to connect to my online tree.  He had been adopted as a child and later in life reconnected with his birthmother.  The information she gave him, which was limited, would have put him as my 5th cousin, but my family tree had no mention of his father.  Well, I immediately dove into that mystery.  His father, Earl, had been given up for adoption by his 14 year old mother to her older sister.  Her husband had gone to war not knowing she was pregnant and died several months later.  Her husbands family didn't believe she was pregnant with their sons child and wanted no part of it.    Many years later, Earl, tried to reconnect with his fathers family.  Unfortunately, many of them did not except him, they had made good lives for themselves and thought he was trying to scam them.  Many did't know of him or that he ever existed.  It's true that sometime history repeats himself.  Earl died never knowing about his son.  He was stationed in England, he was sent back to the states never knowing his girlfriend was pregnant and her with no way of getting in touch, chose to give their child up for adoption.  
How will this story end??  We found out he does have half siblings, but women change their names and living people are so much harder to get information on then the dead.  
Even though my cousin and I have never met in person we still work together, researching to find other family members he can make contact with.
Its not about forming life long relationships with strangers as much as just knowing who you are and where you came from.  The good and the bad.