Category Archives: My Favorite Things

Memorial Day

I have indeed made it home from the quickest trip to Ohio in the world. I even managed to get some mountain driving practice in. I just wanted to take the time out to acknowledge our troops and all they’ve done for us. I was going to find a little flag graphic to post but then I remembered the plaque we got from Grandpa Moore when we took ownership of the van. So I figured why not. It’s a phone camera picture, so it isn’t great but it’s the subject that matters, not the quality. Also, feel free to ignore the mess of my desk. I am in coming home from a trip chaos.

I’m hoping next Memorial Day I can post a listing of a bunch of my ancestors who have served their country. There were definitely a lot of those.

Today I plan to do my usual Memorial Day routine, though because of the trip it might not be as productive. Memorial Day is usually my day to pop in my Band of Brothers DVDs and do genealogy all day long. I work best when I have things going on the TV that I don’t have to pay attention to because I’ve seen the good parts already. Usually I just keep everything off and enjoy the moment, but for Memorial Day/Veterans Day/D-Day, really just the military days, I like to add Band of Brothers into the mix.

Just for fun I’m going to throw in a picture of my father when he entered the United States Marine Corps.

So please enjoy the last day of the Holiday weekend and remember all our troops and their families have sacrificed. They are special people!

Update on Photo Rehab

In this post, I showed you a quick peek at the start of my photo retouching project. It’s one of the only photos we have of my mother’s father. He died when my mother was pregnant with my older brother. So not many of his grandchildren ever really “met” him. A few were babies, I think. They might have all been in the womb still. I’d have to check my records, and I don’t have time for that right now. :p

L) Before | R) After

This is where my project stands right now. I don’t know if I’ll be able to save much more, but it’s certainly been worth the effort!

Free Resources pay off!

I’ll be the first person in line to admit I don’t ever want to give up my membership. It’s so convenient for searching. I know the downfalls and dangers but I just don’t care. It’s like my fluffy pajamas, they’re my security blankets.

I think sometimes it’s easy to forget all those other great resources out there in the shadow of Ancestry though. Just waiting to be found and utilized sometimes. I’m definitely making a trip to the National Archives this summer, I’m pretty sure the local historical and genealogy societies do day trip shuttles. Why shouldn’t I take advantage! I’m also thinking about volunteering at the local historical society. I used to know some people there and I think I could be some help. Especially if there are forms to fill out, I love forms.

Yesterday I posted about my chagrin at being denied access to from my home. I’m so spoiled you see, that I felt slighted. Well, I felt slighted for about 30 seconds when I decided I was going to play with that Heritage Quest thingy. Just for fun.


Unlike other things I won’t name, this one allowed me to enter my library card number and away I went.


Where to start? Where to start? I decided to start with something I already knew, just to see how easy it would be to search things. I’ve been having a little trouble with Census searching on Ancestry the last few days, so I decided to see what it was like here.


So I picked someone from my family file that I hadn’t really researched a lot, but that I knew the basics about. Sort of. I also wanted an easy to interpret last name. After all my frustrations and weirdness of the last few days I didn’t want to mess with spelling things too.


Oh look, we have three matches! My guy is on the bottom of course, but don’t be fooled all those yahoos are in my tree.


For some reason, I thought this would just be an index. Imagine my pleasant surprise when it also showed the actual image! They don’t have all the censuses online, but boy do they have a lot and this is all FREE to me through my library card. You can bet I’m going to be utilizing this a lot more now that I’m aware it’s there.


Just wait until I show you what I found on John K Taylor’s father and my 5th Great Grandfather Bartholomew Taylor.


We have company this week. My cousin is in Maryland visiting us. I may not have the time to get updates in this week, but we’ll see! I have nothing to offer in way of tips or tricks today, so I’ll leave you with a picture!

Emogene Taylor-Mays-Utter (1929-2005)

She was one of my favorite people in the whole world and I still miss her. See you soon folks!

Oops I got distracted

I may or may not have spent my last two evenings lost in Google Earth and Panoramio. I don’t mean to be distracted by these things but I can seem to help it. I’ve realized over the last couple of weeks that I haven’t done much traveling at all. Back and forth to family reunions doesn’t count as traveling. Especially since they are usually quick weekend trips. I long to travel. I don’t know how well I’d hold up, because I’m kind of a homebody, but I’d like a chance to try.

In these contemplations, I also realized I have a great obsession with medieval castles. I have certain obsessions with certain time periods and the medieval time period seems to be another one. I can’t help it. I don’t romanticize it, I promise! I know it was a brutal and bloody time. It’s the architecture and families and that fascinate me. Family dynamics are so complex and unpredictable. Maybe that’s why I love genealogy so much too.

I’m big on full disclosure, as you all know, so I have to be upfront about my recent distraction. It wasn’t just castles I was caught up in. I was caught up in Scottish Clan histories and matching up castles with clans. I brought up a list on Wikipedia of all the castles in Scotland and I started trying to plot them in Google Earth so I could come back to them anytime I wanted. It was wonderful.

The photography on Panoramio is just gorgeous. I’ve got to read the Terms of Service and stuff before I post any pictures from there. I might have to contact the original photographers. It might be months before I build up an awesome Castle post, but boy do I want to. I get so inspired when I see the great things other people do. I even played with my camera yesterday. Found settings I never knew existed. Someday I’ll have a new camera, until then mine will work to get the logistics down.

I better go get the laundry in before I get distracted again! Sorry for no pretty pictures this time, I’ll just have to leave you with one of Castle Menzies from one of my Google Earth Adventures!


Forward Progress

I’ve put this off for a long time but now I’m breaking it out and working on it. I am restoring a damaged photo of my Grandfather, Stanley Mays. It’s one of the few pictures we have of him, and it’s certainly the best one. So here’s my progress so far.


Not bad so far if I do say so myself! This is only after a few minutes of doing it so I had some progress to show. ;)

My Tools: Windows Live Writer

The other day, I posted about the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. What you didn’t know was that I was playing with a blogging program while I was typing up that post. It was tons of fun, and I decided that I will use it more! I’ve had it on my computer ever since I tried it for Great Grandma’s Journal transcription. I forgot all about it until this weekend. Then I got curious about how it could work for what I blog about now. Well color me surprised! There’s a lot packed into this program! It’s called Windows Live Writer.


I liked being able to see what it would look like with my layout. Depending on your blog layout, you will see more or less here. I just like seeing how it would look on my background.


It’s as easy and point and click to insert images and links!


Even entering tables is easy as pie! Tables aren’t exactly popular among coders anymore, but for beginning webmasters, they are a layout dream. I used tables on all my layouts up until the last year or so. In fact, I still use tables on my index page on Moore Mays. It is sometimes easier then making sure that each browser will interpret your code the same. Trust me, the more complicated the code, the more hassle it is. Tables are a nice simple layout option.


I had the most fun playing with the image effects. You should have seen my face when I had instant rounded corners! I love rounded corners. I actually was trying to round the corners of everything in the beginning of this blog. However, to get the transparency I wanted, I had to save files as .png. That made the file size MUCH bigger than I liked.


The watermark feature was interesting too! Yet another Photoshop shortcut. I love those by the way. I don’t usually put watermarks on anything, because I’m not real worried about photo theft. If they want to get it, they get it. If you get my drift. I like how I could just add a little MoaG watermark in the bottom corner though. It made the pictures a little more personal to me. I won’t be in the habit of doing that but maybe on pictures I take on trips and post here, I will make the effort. So they are a bit more special.


Another favorite button of mine was the little Preview button at the bottom. This shows you EXACTLY what your post will look like once it’s posted. I like to use this often so I can make sure I have things laid out properly.

blog-132 blog-133

There is also a Source button there to show the raw code if you like that kind of thing. Along with the Source option, there is spell check! I don’t know what I would do without spell check so thank god for that!


You can do most everything in this program that you can do on your blog. Depending on the blogging program you use, maybe even more!


Including opening posts from your online blog! You can make some minor changes, I haven’t completely tried it yet. You can’t add the effects to pictures already posted though. I tried to get my rounded corners back in my first post and it didn’t work!

Overall, I’m really enjoying playing with this program. I can’t wait to find out what else there is to it. Definitely worth a download at least!

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