Irish Roots

Since I was born in a town called Shamrock, I've always imagined Irish blood running strong through my veins. In actuality, my DNA only shows about 3% Irish, while my mothers boasts 37%. Nonetheless, when a seminar about Irish Genealogy popped up in a list of recommended events on Facebook, my ears (eyes?) perked up. Last Sunday, I spent the afternoon with members of the Troy Irish Genealogical Society (TIGS) learning about resources for researching your Irish ancestry.

Before I headed to the East Greenbush Library for the TIGS meeting, I searched my family tree for all of the surnames and dates related to Ireland in my family tree. There were numerous Gays, a couple of Fullertons, a McGill, Sharp, Giddens... a Flowers on my dad's side... and a few peripheral people (i.e. not my direct lineage). In general, all of these connections were born in Ireland in the 17th and 18th centuries (dates ranged from 1678 to 1791), and died in various places in the United States... thus ident…

Butterflies in Winter

This morning I was going through my daily ritual of Facebook scrolling, checking emails, and perusing job opportunities. A few things vied for my attention...

The constant drip-drip of snow melting. The soaking-wet dog laying in the rain, then running through the house. A posting for Director of Marketing and Communications at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany. A new blog from Dr. Cindy Ryan - "Peaceful Butterflies." A reminder to read today's devotional in my current reading plan entitled, "Where You're From, Where You're Going."


I love butterflies. I have ever since I went on my Chrysalis in 1990. The rainbow-colored butterfly on my De Colores t-shirt represented new life. Each spring and summer in Texas, my Vytex would light up with fragrant blooms, and the butterflies came running (err... flitting). Until reading Cindy's post, however, I had never connected that beautiful image of transformation with the nervous "butterflies i…

Changing Seasons

As our home begins to fill with Christmas trees and puzzles and Chex Mix, a new season dawns. That means something a little different to me this year. It's not just a holiday season... it's a life season.

I had a job interview on Tuesday. When I woke up, it was snowing. If you know me well, you may know that translates to anxiety. I have always been afraid of driving in snow and ice. So, in addition to the nerves an interview evokes, there was additional trepidation over the drive.

It all turned out fine, of course. The snow was wet and there was no ice. The roads were clear and I actually arrived in the area of my interview about 15 minutes early. The interview went well as far as I could tell. The whole experience served to remind me how much angst is self-generated. We worry over things that simply aren't as bad as our minds inflate them to be.

Later in the week, as I was endlessly shifting Christmas ornaments on the two trees in the front windows, a question formed in …

Changing My Mind

I've found that changing your own mind can be challenging.

This morning, I was to take Roxy to day camp and then I planned to go to the DMV to become an official New York resident (i.e. get my plates and license changed). I pondered whether I should take my car or Kef's, because mine is not 4-wheel-drive. I pondered whether there would be a line at the DMV. I figured there wouldn't be because the "weather is bad." As I was driving away from the house, two things struck me:
The weather is not bad... to them. If I were still in Texas and had this weather, everyone would be holed up in their houses. Waiting. Here, this is perfectly normal and actually quite pleasant. It's currently not snowing. No precipitation coming down at all, actually. So... it's just another day. Not a bad weather day. Therefore, anyone and everyone could be out and about... just like any other day. There are thousands of people driving cars around here that are 2-wheel-drive. Plus, the…

Mood Swings

This morning when Kef asked me what I was going to do today, my response surprised me. Well, the response didn't surprise as much as the tone. I said simply, "I don't know!" And the tone was not one of excitement and possibilities, but one of despair. Oh no!

Yesterday, I had a great breakfast with the owner of a local design firm, whom I had met at a PRSA event (Public Relations Society of America). I've never really had much time to network, nor have I really relished doing so. But this connection was a great one, and I really enjoyed our conversation. She gave me much food for thought regarding my next steps.

One thing I realized in talking to Kelly was that my thoughts and trepidations about freelancing are on point. That is, unless you want to spend as much time doing business development as you spend doing what you love, possibly "on your own" is not the place to be. Also, she described the challenges she faced when going out on your own: would you…

Living on Purpose

Sometimes, life just happens to a person. We can live day to day with little or no regard to the meaning or purpose of our lives. As I've been applying for jobs and considering what I want to do next, I've realized that days are passing me by, quite without intention or purpose. I know there's wisdom in taking time and relaxing into some peaceful rejuvenation... and I also know that I can be quite skilled at doing absolutely nothing and having nothing to show for my time.

So, I've begun to wonder if I should schedule out my time, even though it's all really "free time." Should I calendar my visits to libraries and cemeteries? Should I log my every moment? Every episode of American Pickers? Every walk and Google search? At 10:00 I looked at the state of Cindy's blog. From 10:20 to 10:35 I researched the Elder family. From 10:35 to 10:40 I soaked up some sun, swatted dragon flies away from Meg's back, and watched Maya dodge acorns as they fell from …


The first week of unemployment, I spent driving.

The second week of unemployment, I spent entertaining my parents before they headed back to Texas.

The third week of unemployment, so far... I have returned my router. Exchanged ceiling fan rods. Shopped for greeting cards. Read a funny little book called "All My Friends Are Dead." Written thank-you notes (I promise they will be in the mail soon). Washed sheets (thanks to Meg for standing up from her nap and immediately squatting on Kef's bed). Played games on my phone. Picked up poop of all sizes. Deposited checks. Compared calendars with Kef. Changed my address on things. Applied for jobs (and read about lots of jobs I don't want). Entertained dogs while electricians worked. Spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out how to turn Kef's TV on. Pondered how it's possible that I'm on week three.

What I haven't done is spend much time really exploring my new-found freedom. I haven't put …