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!




Minimalist Wardrobe – It Really Works!


I used to be able to dress myself. You could actually say I had a sense of style. That is until I had my first child. After that my body was not the same.

I didn’t know what I looked good in. I didn’t know how to dress a “Mom.” I was so busy with raising my son that what I wore was way down on the priority list.

Then came my second child. Things changed even more. Then we were financially strapped and even if I knew what I looked good in or knew how to dress a “Mom” I couldn’t afford what I would have liked.

I haven’t been comfortable with my clothes since I was teenager, and I’m half a century now.

My closet and I have had a love/hate relationship for years. I really wished I could have found Narnia instead of all the pieces of clothing that almost fit, I almost liked, that were a good deal but not exactly what I wanted and what I might fit if I lost a few pounds.

I have purged and reorganized and reinvented my clothing so many times that I can’t keep count.

So, during this latest decluttering fest I purged my closet once again.

However, I did something different this time.

Let me tell you what I did. I decided to follow Marie Kondo’s advice and only keep what I love. If it didn’t fit just right (right now) or if I didn’t like the color or length or material, I tossed it. So, I was left with only clothes that I felt good in and I loved. There wasn’t much left to be honest.

But before I had a chance to fill my closet up with more stuff I almost liked, I had to make this latest trip to see my kids. So, I had to pack. I had to put this capsule wardrobe idea to the test even if I didn’t want to.

Thankfully, most of what I had left in my closet were in the black, white, gray and blue color scheme. So, I could combine just about every piece I had to make several different outfits. I ended up packing up just about every article of clothing I own now.

Because I didn’t have much, I didn’t have to wash a ton of clothes before I packed. I also didn’t have to think too much about it. I just packed what I had.



I couldn’t believe I could pack so quickly with such little stress.

Believe it or not I had something to wear for every situation, even the funeral I didn’t know I’d be attending when I packed!

I have been convinced that a pared down, minimalist wardrobe is the way to go!

I’m so relieved and I feel so free! Clothes have been a burden for years! I know now that I will be able to live with just a few, good quality, interchangeable pieces.

The key for me is to only own pieces that I really love. That way I can and will wear everything! And then all I have to do is the fun part of combining the pieces to fit the occasion. I love it!

It really has brought me peace,