December 16, 2007
& Paper Crafts
to Know Me!
Memory Cottage is on Facebook! Our web page is also up and running, and quite nice looking (if I do say so myself). I finally solved my website dilemma by choosing to host my site at squarespace.com, where I was able to find easy to use templates, as well as all of the features I was hoping for. It's November 2010, and despite my neglect of my website and blog I have been productive and busy in many areas, and keeping updates flowing on facebook, if nothing else. That will change, as it must. Business is growing, the boys are growing, unfortunately, I have been growing around the middle, but that too must change! Our Asheville, NC move is a year and three months behind us, and I would still call it a dream come true. We are practically broke, but nearly debt free, and in this economic climate, I'm grateful at least for the latter.
November 21, 2010. Trip and I have settled in to our new home and community. I was recently selected to be president of our neighborhood homeowner's association. I guess I just looked like a good candidate because I'm new here, full of ideas and not shy about meeting the neighbors and asking a lot of questions. I just wrote our first newsletter, we held a small neighborhood yard sale and are planning a cookie swap and Christmas caroling.
The boys are thriving and growing like weeds. Elliot is in 7th grade now, doing great in school! He is taking his SAT's this December as part of Duke University Talent search, and he apparently loves reading as much as I do. Alex is in 4th grade, part of his school's gifted classes, and bringing home beautiful grades as well. He will be part of the first class to attend a brand new 5th and 6th grade school next year, and although our district (like many others across the country) is facing horrible budget deficits, we hope for the best. Nathan is in 2nd grade, another bright boy, and still an amazing artist! I love to find him completely engrossed over his sketch pad, happy and humming away while he draws.
Business is growing, albiet slowly. I have taken in several mending jobs, some custom sewing jobs, some family history research projects, and some computer work, all of which helps pay the bills and gives me hope that we can keep up the growth. Trip is working at CityMac repairing computers, and although we hope for higher pay and benefits, we are grateful he has a job and nice people to work with close to home. We are still adjusting to the major changes we have had to our lifestyle, getting used to our current situation after Trip had a much better paying job with full benefits and a five hour commute.
We have a new addition to our family, a four year old Minature Pinscher named Toby who came to us rather suddenly this summer through an aquaintance after his owner passed away. He is perfectly at home here, and even gets along with our cat Sydney, even if it's not quite a love match.
Over the summer we enjoyed being part of a local CSA, and for 20 weeks we picked up a dozen eggs and a crate full of local organic produce from Cane Creek Organics farm, which is about 5 miles away from our house. In the end, it was more expensive than we probably should have committed to, but we did enjoy a lot of our farm bounty anyway, and traded some of some of the over abundant supply of potatoes and okra...
This spring, Trip and I completed classes in the beginning of the process to become foster parents. We hope we can provide a loving family home to a little girl when we are finally licensed. In the meantime, we still have a guest room available for friends and family who come to visit.
In genealogy news, I had an article published last year in the Woodson Review! This was one page devoted to the story of my great great grandmother, Eliza Mary Mason Stewart for their theme issue on the History of Black Economic Emplowerment. It was a great thrill for my work to be included, and particularly to have our ancestor's hard work and contribution acknowledged in this way. I have continued to research several family lines, in particular the Gwyn, Greenleaf, Sanders/Sayles, in addition to many cousin's ancestries, and several clients' histories.
Elliot - 12 years old. Elliot is fast entering the teen years. He is a great big brother, still into Pokemon, really likes Bionicles, loves
reading. He is officially talker than I am. He has been on the High Honor Roll several periods this year, and is really an amazing kid.
Alex - almost 10 years old - Alex's favorite pasttime is numbers, and he is now part of his school's gifted and talented program, in addition to several enrichment programs at his school. His teacher has really been attentive and sweet and has worked hard to keep him engaged and challenged at school. Alex is very into fitness, watches his diet, loves his Nerf guns and running around outside. At school, he has joined the Safety Patrol, and also is learning American Sign Language as he helps one of his classmates in school. He's really remarkable! He's a lot of fun, very friendly, and thoughtful and sweet.
Nathan - 7 years old - Nathan has had several visits from the Tooth Fairy this year. His greatest interests are his artwork, bugs and other animals. He has a "pet" Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, that he received as a birthday gift from his friend, a professor of Biology at UNC Asheville. We also will be excited when our butterfly comies out of his cocoon, and our newest batch of praying mantis eggs hatches OUTSIDE this spring. Nathan still loves to draw, and is commonly found at the table, pencil, pen or markers in hand, humming and drawing a wonderful array of monsters, dragons, and Pokemon battles. Nathan loves playing outside with his brothers and friends in the neighborhood. He is looking forward to when we can adopt a baby sister, and still makes it his personal mission to entertain and protect them babies and smaller children every where we meet them.
Old News: July 12, 2009. Many of my close friends and family (especially those on facebook) have been able to follow the saga of our move to Asheville, NC. If you scroll down to my February 2008 update, (embarrasingly my last update to this page...) you can read my note describing our hopes for this move. So far for me it has been a dream come true. We have gone through a lot of stress getting to this point, and we aren't sitting pretty - we still have a lot of hard work ahead. However I am full of hope for the future and so grateful for the opportunities we have been given.
February 9, 2008. It's been far too long since my last update. All is well, for the most part. I have not been keeping a good correspondence with anyone, but have been intensly involved with family stuff and history research, as well as several projects mostly sewing and scrapbooking, and I have read a lot these last few months.
I felt pretty bad that I couldn't get Christmas cards sent out. It has been a long time since I've been in touch with many of my distant friends and family. I was immersed in many memories of friends and family while I worked on 10 years of photo scrapbooks. My sister Alison mocks my scrapbooking hobby - I guess it's too "suburban" but I really have come to enjoy it. I've been making more cards and generally enjoying the creative process.
In an effort to document and share the fun of some of my projects and life in general, I have been keeping two blogs. They are:
- Gossamer Threads - where I share general crafts, news, family events.
- Memory Lane - whose tagline reads: A journal of my adventures in archiving and family history research - and the technology and resources I use to pursue them.
I have not been writing very regularly on either one lately, but I'm glad to have them, and I have been doing a better job at keeping a journal online than I have ever been previously. (I've had several diaries in life that started off with a bang in January only to fizzle out a few weeks later, but I've had my Gossamer Threads blog since January of 2005!) I made a seperate one for the archiving stuff because I wanted it to be more strictly informational, rather than personal.
The biggest project we have in the works is that I have been planning and hoping for major move to Asheville, NC, with luck maybe even as soon as the end of the school year in June. I fell in love with Asheville, NC when we visited there in Spring of 2006. After coming home and realizing that we aren't happy with our current living and working situations, and thinking long and hard about our hopes for the future, our dream is to move to Asheville and work together in our own business. I'm still figuring out a lot of the details, but our business will generally be a professional organizing business, heavily directed towards helping people deal with family photos. Trip would primarily do the digital work, while I would get out to meet and greet as well as doing computer work. I will go out to people's homes and help them organize, sort, and label their photos, then I will bring them home to make them into movie slideshows for DVD or scrapbooks and other media they can share. I will branch into organizing many other parts of people's households, and even help with researching the family history and writing people's personal memoirs. Obviously this is work I already do and enjoy. Right now I am still in the process of writing up our business plan so that we can make it all official.
Work: Trip is the Production Manager at SmartMoney Magazine. Some months ago, we learned that within the next two years they are planning to eliminate his department, let some people go, and incorporate others from his department into the Art Department. Since that time, we have had no news about this big change. For now nothing has changed, although Trip has far less patience with the commute, and the job can be very trying at times. However, it's a good job for now, and we are fortunate.
I have been working for Frank still, once a week in the office and a little
by phone. Last year I had a job taking care of a little boy, just a few months older than Nathan. This year, I have been doing more computer lessons, and several organizaing jobs, doing things like basement cleanouts and file organizing. I also had a good run of sales on ebay, and still plan to so some more things to sell. The work I am happiest about is my archiving work, and
several people in the family have sent money to support the site.
News: (Click to view the list of updates to several family lines. Many of these lines have not yet been updated on the website, as it requires a complete overwrite of the entire site. But as always, if you need an update, or have news to share, please contact me and I will do what I can to keep everything current.
I'm opposed to the war in Iraq, I was from the beginning, but I certainly
believe we owe it to our military families and soldiers to protect them,
support them and bring them home safely. A military career is one I considered
for myself at one point, and I hope and pray that the thousands who joined
in the hopes of finding opportunities that they just couldn't find at
home can come home whole and quickly!
Updated February 10, 2008
Page Index: Adoption
| Attachment Parenting | Blessingway | Crafts
| Community Supported Agriculture | Conscientious
Objectors | Elliot
|Family Tree | Food
Co-Op | Halloween | Health
& Fitness | House
| Gossamer Threads | Guestbook
| Music |
Nathan | NJ Places to Visit | Parenting
| Parties | Photo
Album | Pregnancy | Reference
| Sasha |
& Paper Crafts | Other
Crafts | Sewing
| Sustainable Gift Giving | Surnames|
| Vaccination | Voluntary
Simplicity| Waterbirth | Women's