Rainy Day & Dead Relatives


The Spanish Jasmine is getting a good soaking today. It smells so amazing and it always reminds me of my Grandfather-in-law, Manuel, who told me how he loved to sit on the porch at Tita Violeta’s house and smell the Jasmine.


The Japanese Maple looks so deep and rich it makes me thirsty. Is that weird?

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, dear readers. I’ve been working on a few things. I’ve been acquiring and testing equipment so that I can volunteer for Virtual Photo Walks which I mentioned in my last post.

I’ve also been working on my family tree some more. I got to spend the day with my newly found cousin and cousin-in-law (I just made that up) doing internet research. It was so fun!

Andrew Jackson Hipp

I’ve been digging around in the life of Andrew Jackson Hipps. Go ahead, laugh. Hipps. It’s a German name that may have come from Hepp or Hyp. It is spelled Hipp when the family came to America. When the family moved to Georgia they added an “S.” I’m not sure why unless it’s that southern thing to add an “S” to words like “Walmarts.”

As part of my research I went to Chickamauga State Park where Andy fought in a battle during the Civil War. (Can I call him Andy?)

It was a great park! A million monuments! (maybe not a million but a LOT!) The rangers at the park were SO knowledgeable and were able to show me EXACTLY where Grandpa Andy (is that better to add Grandpa?) would have been!

We had to walk a ways (there’s that added “s” thing again)  in the woods to get to the monument but here’s where his cavalry unit was when the battle began…


It’s amazing to me that they have the time, 7:30 am!

And here’s the field where they fought…it was raining and yucky, so please excuse my appearance. But it was SO great to be in the spot!


Doing genealogy is like getting caught in an eddy. You kind of spin around and around, seeing the same things over and over again but occasionally finding a new bit of information which keeps you addicted. 30 minutes can easily turn into 5 hours! Crazy!

So, don’t start working on your family tree! Start working on your family tree! No, don’t!

Swim at your own risk!





We Are All About St. Patrick’s Day Up In Here!

St Pat's

I can’t help it. I know St. Patrick’s Day is an excuse for many to go get drunk on green beer and pinch people who forget to wear green and just another way for card makers and trinket manufacturers to make some money.

But my Irish blood starts bubbling and I am more than happy to celebrate my Irish heritage. And Saint Patrick, too, he was a pretty cool guy with a great story. You should look him up. He was taken by pirates and became a slave in Ireland, escaped and then went back to Ireland to share the Gospel.


I have several family lines that run back to Ireland and Irish traits are very strong in my family. Here’s an edited description of the Irish nature by Francesca Wilde.

“The Irish show the same characteristics as the Fairy race, for they also love everything that is artistic – the fascinations of life, beauty of form, music, poetry and song, splendor and noble pleasures. 

Ireland is a land of mists and shadows; of cloud wraiths on the purple mountains; of weird silences in the lonely hills alternating with gorgeous sunset splendors. All this fantastic ever-changing atmosphere stirs the imagination and makes the Irish people strangely sensitive to spiritual influences. 

The Irish love beauty, splendor, lavish generosity, music, song, the feast and dance. They are made for worshippers, poets, artists, musicians, orators; 

to move the world by passion, not by logic.” 

So, having raised two artists in a world of logic, we loved taking a day to celebrate the land and people from whom we got our more sensitive, passionate, dreaming natures.

Of course we’d celebrate with food!

Irish Soda Bread, Irish Stew, Colcannon, Shepherd’s Pie, Corned Beef & Cabbage and any dessert that uses Bailey’s Irish Cream, haha!

I’ll be making Donal Skehan’s Irish Stew today! If you don’t know him, he’s a precious, young, Irish chef. He has a YouTube channel, website, recipe books and his recipes are delish!

And, of course, we would eat our Irish dishes while we watched one or more of our favorite Irish movies!

It’s fun to watch Sean Connery in one of his first film roles. When my kids were little they would hide their eyes when the banshee showed up!


And who doesn’t love John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara? Filmed in Ireland, filled with Irish actors directed by an Irishman!

quiet man

See? I’m getting all excited just talking about it. So, I’d better get the stew on the boil and start the Soda Bread!

And you know what they say, “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!” So have fun!