Reaffirming that I am addicted

I’ve been working on the records for Achada, Nordeste (Azores) from the Azorean Aquivo website the last week or so.  On my PC, this is a painstakingly slow process.  The pages take 10-30 seconds to load.  Then, I must enlarge them so I can read the names in the corner (often abbreviated forms).  Then I must scroll through to look for “filho” or “filha” to find the parents.  It takes time and patience.

Recently, I got rid of Firefox, Chrome, and the default browsers on my tablet.  All three were battery hogs.  Opening one could use up 10% of my battery.  And, they were always running in the background eating up more of my resources.

I know use a smaller limited browser called Kronia for basic stuff and Puffin for more detailed website activities.  I found that the Arquivo website loads really nicely in Puffin.  I was surprised by this because many databases are clunky on my tablet.  Either they won’t load at all or screen are garbled.

The database is much quicker in Puffin, taking only 3-5 seconds to load a page.  And, how easy it is to navigate!  Since I can use my fingers to widen the page, I can see very quickly what the names are and find my place in a document for the pertinent information.  If I find something that looks interesting, I hold down my finger and a menu appears.  I click Share and it opens email.  I can then sent the whole document to myself to review on my PC and compare to my genealogy database.

Oh, how dangerous this is!  I am just like a junkie.  When I go to bed, instead of listening to my favorite podcasts, I go to the website and start reading records.  Because Achada is a small place, I can often get through 2-3 years of marriages in about 15 minutes.   This would probably take an hour or more on my PC.  This makes it easier to focus on one surname and pull all those people out.  Later, I can return and look for others if need be…and it won’t take much time at all.

So, if you see that glowing light in my bedroom window at 1 in the morning, you know it’s me getting my genealogy fix.


Book of Me, Prompt 20: The Feel of Home

[This is the 20th prompt in the Book of Me, Written by You Series]

We all know that home is a place with walls and windows.  It’s where we live.  But, what does home feel like?  For me, home is a place I feel secure.  It’s the place that I can sing in the shower and no one will give me a bad time about it.  It’s where my messy computer desk hides my various genealogy and writing projects.

Home is comfortable.  It’s where family can come over and put their feet up on the couch and have a good chat.  It’s where the kids (and me) can get down on the floor and play board games.  It’s where my silly dog attacks her stuffed animals.  It’s not a showroom or museum where you are afraid to get things dirty or where things are too fragile to touch.  It’s where I am most comfortable.

Home is with family–right now that is my Mom, me, and of course, my dog.  I don’t think I would feel at home without my dog.  Most of my life I have owned one.  They are an integral part of feeling at home.  There’s nothing more homey than sitting on my bed in the evening with my Nook on one side and my Jack Russell Terrier pushing herself in between me and my book.

I guess the feel of home can mean a lot of things.  To me, it’s a place of comfort and security, where there is laughter and serious contemplation.  And, there is always time to watch the antics of a certain 9 lb. dog.


Book of Me, Prompt 19: I Miss My Aunt Julie

This is another entry in the series Book of Me, Written by You.  This entry we are to write about someone we miss.

It would be easy for me to write about my Dad.  He died in 2010.  I’ve written about him extensively on this blog.  So, today I’ll write about his sister, My Aunt Julie.

Aunt Julie was constantly in my life.  She was always over our house visiting.  I remember her at family get-togethers.  She and my Dad were close.

I was the type of child that learned early to stay away from the adults.  I was always off playing with my siblings, cousins, or friends.  I wasn’t the type to be chatting with the adults, even relatives.  I guess I was intimidated.

So, my Aunt Julie holds a special place in my life.  She was the first adult outside my parents that I could really connect with.  I was always chatty with her.  She was one of the kindest, honest, most down to earth people that I ever met.  Someone you didn’t feel had a negative bone in her body.  She was much like her mother, my Grandmother, in that way.  Never heard her say anything bad about anyone.

With today’s modern technology, meeting up on Facebook with relatives, and texting, it may seem odd that the reason my Aunt and I connected was philately.  Yes, stamp collecting.  This was back in the early 1980s.  People didn’t have computers let alone the ability to print postage.

My Aunt was the one who got me interested.  I had pen pals and was somewhat fascinated by the stamps that came on my envelopes.  But, I didn’t start collecting until my Aunt started telling me about her collecting.  Then, it blossomed from there.  We both ordered stamps online and would share what we had bought at our visits.  We bought the same Scott US collectors book, too.

My Aunt and I made a connection.  It was through those afternoon visits that I began to learn some of my Aunt’s life story (some more I learned from my Dad).  And, it was then that I learned that people aren’t black and white.  My kindhearted Aunt loved watching wrestling on TV and once told me she would have liked to have tried out for roller derby.  This same Aunt, my Dad told me, could have been a concert pianist.  How’s that for a variety of interests!

My Aunt died in her 60s of Cancer.  She died right around Thanksgiving. I do still miss her.  But, my memories are happy ones.  She was the type of person who left you feeling better having been around her.