Family Tree


Irish Oak

Recently, a couple of my siblings began tracing our family roots on various, Internet ancestry sites.  My youngest brother took it further with a more extensive search of our lineage.   He sent the results to all the siblings in the form of a beautiful, frame-worthy copy of this large family tree.  The printed genealogy we were sent, branches out through seven generations of relatives, most of whose names I’d never even heard until now.

We grew up knowing that Mom’s family was mostly Irish and that Dad’s was primarily English with some Danish in the mix.  So it was interesting to discover that we actually have quite a bit of Scottish blood in our ancestral soup.  In fact, there seemed to be even more Scottish than Irish.  Humph… what do you know?

The genealogy we received also included a side bar listing thirteen of our more well-known, distant relatives.  The list included Grover Cleveland, which we already knew (although he is a bit less directly related than we thought).  This next part though is where, in my opinion, the list takes a slight turn toward wonky town.  For example, I was very surprised to discover that we are related to both Robert Roy MacGregor (aka Rob Roy) and to William Wallace (aka Braveheart).   I was also impressed to find that our list of kin did not only include the rabble-rousers.  According to this research, our lineage boasts several famous explorers, one Scottish king and three English kings.

Uh, what now?   All these guys – really?

Famous progenitors aside, this ancestry search my brother commissioned has me questioning what this all means.  Does knowing more about our origins (the names of our ancestors anyway) change who we are in the world or how we feel about ourselves?  Or is it just a curiosity?

How many of you have taken the time to trace your genealogy, or do you even want to?  If you did look into it, were there any surprises?  Did the results answer any lingering questions for you?

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My New, Favorite Mug

Isn't she beautiful?            I am so happy about my new mug!  It’s slightly misshapen with a matte brown finish and a gorgeous, jade colored interior.  It’s cozy and beautiful, and I love it so much…  Is that crazy?

Okay, I’ll admit it; I can be obsessed with coffee mugs.  It’s an addiction that I’ve struggled with off and on since I first started drinking hot beverages as a kid.  My collection has grown and then dwindled over the years, and I’ve really worked hard to abstain from buying every cool or interesting new mug I encounter.

But then it happened – the slip.   I turned down the kitchen accessories aisle of our local market, which can be an iffy proposition.  I was just cutting through to get to the dairy section when this mug caught my eye.  Even the pattern name “Galaxy Jade” was alluring.  Before I knew it, she (my new mug) was safely tucked between the frozen corn and the barbequed potato chips, and I was on my way to get yogurt and butter.

My overabundance of mugs has been an issue between my wife and I since we first moved in together, so I knew this could be trouble.  She simply doesn’t understand how I could need (really?) another mug when we have plenty of perfectly good coffee cups sitting in the cupboard.  I definitely got the stink eye when it showed up on the counter, full of coffee, the next morning.

“Where’d that come from?”

“I bought it.”


I hesitated for only a moment.

“Because I wanted it.”

Sometimes, you just have to own your addictions, take responsibility, and move on with the determination to do better next time.   After all, I haven’t bought any new pens or notebooks (another obsession) in quite a long time…  Oh wait, scratch that.  I did just buy a three-pack of green notepads on sale at Target the other day.  But I offered to share.

What are your obsessions and how do you deal with them?

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