Peek-A-Boo

comments: 59

8AuntSusie1

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8AuntSusie1

Oh, de-dear, dear, dear, as we say here. My little head is busy with little things. Thank you for all of the waffle recommendations! The sour-cream waffles we made twice last week were delicious, if not exactly crispy. I think I'll make one of your recipes for breakfast tomorrow. Today is filled with errands and chores. It's raining, windy, and cold. This comes as a slight relief after the 80-degree temps and relentless sunshine we had this past week. A little of each feels nice. Mimi says she doesn't want to go anywhere today. I think she would be happy staying in and watching Bookaboo in her underwear while cutting pieces of paper into confetti with embroidery scissors, which is what she's been doing for the past hour, but alas, errands call. Blah.

I've been doing such weird things. I'm not even sure what. I wrote to somewhere (can't remember who you ask for this) to request a copy of the original Social Security application that was filled out by my great-grandmother in 1951, when she was 61 years old. It has her parents' full names on it, names no one in my family or extended family has ever known. Turns out I'm at least partly Polish on my mom's side, if the name Gorzinski is any indication. This was really exciting, somehow. I have one of those mysterious family histories on both sides. My father was adopted and knew nothing of his birthparents. My maternal grandmother's father died when she was little, and she never spoke of it, or him. She had a French last name, so we've always assumed she was partly French, or French Canadian, but we know nothing beyond that. Her mother remarried (or, as it turns out, married — she wasn't married to my grandmother's father) and essentially abandoned my grandmother, and all we ever knew was her (my grandmother's mother's) married name, not her maiden name. There's not much information, even on Ancestry.com, but I have literally spent hours and hours looking and have found some stuff. I don't know why I'm looking. I guess I'm one of those people who wants to know these things, but I think I'm actually motivated by my own love of researching mysteries as much as some kind of personal neeeeeeed. I think. I'm not sure. Maybe I need to know more than I think I do. There's just enough information to sort of piece something together, but who knows? Who knows what the real story is when everyone who knew the real story is gone? I'm still waiting for my DNA test to come back. Well. Amelia's maternal birthgrandma and -grandpa have done a ton of genealogical research, and passed all of that on to her on her first birthday, the most beautiful present, I thought. I'm so happy that she will have things like this in her life. Recently I traced (well, others had traced, but I just discovered the tracings) her birthfather's maternal grandfather's family all the way back to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1620. It was such a cool moment. Jamestown! Virginia! Her birthfamily is all coming for Birthmother's Day on Saturday (did you know Birthmother's Day is Saturday?) and I can't wait to talk about this stuff. Obviously, now I want to write a young-adult novel about Jamestown, Virginia.

 

59 comments

Lynn Marie says: May 12, 2017 at 05:08 AM

LOVE the peek-a-boo pic! I hope you share your results with us here. I always find this stuff so fascinating. And love to watch the show where they take different people back to their roots and the surprises they find along the way.

Love the picture of your sunny kitchen. Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!

Catherine says: May 12, 2017 at 06:01 AM

I think you would be great at YA novels. Or cozy mysteries?

Ancestry stuff is so interesting to me! I have always wanted to know my history but shrouded in so much mystery on my moms side.. all we know is somehow her ancesters came from russia to spain to mexico and then my grandma was kidnapped and never knew her family. Crazy! On my dad side its all english which is great but a little boring.. compared to my mom. I hope you have a wonderful mothers day!

Cloverstar says: May 12, 2017 at 06:26 AM

Birth Mother's Day - never heard of it but I'd love to look it up on internet. Love the idea.

There is another research tool available, look into Legacy -- familytreewebinars.com. A distant relative I found through Ancestry told me about them. The ones I have watched have been really interesting. While the webinars are free to watch in real time, it is not an expensive resource to obtain access to the whole webinar library.

Jennifer says: May 12, 2017 at 06:31 AM

Good luck with the genealogical and DNA search. We worked on a similar situation in our family. It took a few years, countless hours, and lots of attention to detail, but we were able to solve a lot of our mysteries. Understanding what the DNA gives you can be so helpful, especially with adoptions. So, even when it seems like you've hit a dead end, sometimes you just need more time or to look at it a little differently.

Best wishes and enjoy your beautiful springtime. Those of us in Southern California miss out on all the rain.

Deborah says: May 12, 2017 at 08:06 AM

I wish you a Very Happy and Blessed Mother's Day Alicia. For all the mothering you do - your own family, your blog family, your critter clan - you deserve a special dose of Love and Happiness. Thank you for sharing your life with us. It has gotten me through many rough spots in the past few years. ENJOY!!!!

Lauren Collen says: May 12, 2017 at 08:39 AM

As a children's librarian/knitter/maker/writer, I have to chime in here, too. So the Dear America books have been mentioned, but there's a REALLY EXCELLENT YA/middle grade novel about Jamestown for you to read before you write yours: Blood on the River by Lisa Carbone.

Love everything about your blog...thanks for sharing your world with us!

Ilove reading and seeing the beautiful photos that you post in your blog. Each detail is special. Thanks for sharing. I already did a quilt inspired in a pattern that I bought from you : http://radicalquilt.blogspot.com.br/search/label/Colcha

Hugs from Brazi

This is the best post you have EVER done! This story makes me want to cry, I am so happy you have this info for your daughter! The photos are beautiful too; that crocheted table spread!!!! Love this post!

Stephanie says: May 12, 2017 at 09:52 AM

Please tell me where you bought that great double bed lounger on your patio. We joke our deck would be perfect if it only had a double bed.

Looks like new lamps on your kitchen counter!
I don't know where you keep finding the yardage of the 80's calicos but good for you!! I didn't realize how saturated and bright the colors of fabrics in the stores had become, until I started looking for softer ones. I'm now asking people I know if they have older fabric they'd like to clean out! ha ha!
Keep going on the moss stitch blanket - love that stitch - it does neat things when you switch colors. Plus it's relaxing, not much counting etc.
Gardening season for me, the spring clean up seems never ending.
Take care!!

I love researching our family's ancestry! We know a bit, but it only goes back as far as when they all came to the U.S. Before that, no one seems to know very much. I am VERY Polish, I get it from both sides. I just learned yesterday (at my paternal Grandmom's funeral) that all the picnics we had growing up (we called them The Cousins Picnic) was a blend of both my grandmother's and my grandfather's family. All those years I thought it was only one side and was completely confused about how everyone was related. :)

What a gift, for Amelia to have so much family who loves her. Our daughter, who turned six yesterday, was adopted from Ukraine when she was one. We were given the VERY unusual gift of meeting her birth grandmother, and she brought every picture of her family and extended family she had. She let me take pictures of her pictures, and I put them in a book for our little one to have when she's ready. We talk of them often, but it's hard to know how much information to give her at this point-she has Down Syndrome, and I just don't know how much of that she can comprehend yet. We know her mother loved her, and her family wanted her but life in Ukraine is not set up for children with disabilities. I live vicariously through you the relationship we wish we could have with them, though we do send pictures.

Once, when I was much younger, I asked older relatives where we came from. Horse thieves, apparently, and moved south because of a bar fight.

I once tested a dozen waffle recipes, and the best ones actually used seltzer, sour cream, and buttermilk. Weird, but really wonderful.

I'm always so glad when a post of yours comes up. I've deleted almost all my other blogs but yours and Amanda Soule's. It's nice to read nice things now.


CathyMA says: May 13, 2017 at 04:06 AM

How beautiful Amelia has her history, and you are finding out yours. DNA testing sounds fun! My mother had hers done and it showed some things that were surprises. Mostly though, it was what she thought.
I hope you share yours when you get the results. I want to do mine.

So very interesting about your family history - I, too, know so very little of my families history. Our family is/was very small and so much of it has not been talked about or shared. Very sad that this happens! It's pretty amazing how much info is out there for us to discover - I would love to know more. What a wonderful gift that Amelia received about her family tree! Thanks for sharing and Happy Birth Mother and Mother's Day!

greetings from charlottesville, va! just finished reading "blood on the river" to my students and can't help chiming in here to encourage you and say yes please, write your own jamestown novel! xoxo

I'm sure you get told this all the time, but your house is seriously beautiful. You've made such a lovely home for your husband and daughter <3

Kristin Nicholas says: May 13, 2017 at 03:33 PM

Hi Alicia. Happy Mothers Day! I can totally see you writing a young adult novel. Funny. I was just thinking that about your talent with words and stories and there it was in your last sentence. Beautiful lilacs. XO Kristin

Hello,

Jamestown has a very interesting/brutal history, if you are interested in a historical perspective check out the book White Trash, the 400 year untold history of class in America. I admit I found it shocking but informative. I'm still getting through it, but I am loving it. It reminds me a little of the book The Witches, if you read that and liked it you would like this one. Family history is very interesting.

I'm from Northern Ireland, long since an immigrant to the US. We are limited in family history in my side because under British law, Irish Catholics were sort of non-persons, so finding anything before about 1832 is tricky. That said, sometimes we find more recent treasures. For example, my mother was one of 8 kids, and the youngest, my aunt, is our family genealogist on that side. They grew up next door to their paternal grandmother and, of course, knew her well-- she died when they were young adults, and they spent a lot of time with her. They knew that my grandfather, her first child, born in 1919, was named after her late father, Francis Edward, who died while she was pregnant. What they didn't know was that while she was expecting my grandfather, she also lost her brother, also named Francis, to the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918. We hadn't even known that this brother had existed, and yet he had died in his mid-20's, there are photos of him...we figure it must just have been too painful for her to discuss, because her children and grandchildren didn't even know she had a brother. On my husband's side, my mother-in-law was researching my husband's great-grandfather, who had been a deadbeat dad, to put it mildly, and she discovered that for a few years there, he had an excuse: he was in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary for bootlegging!!! :)

Your sweater came out just gorgeous!! It looks like Amelia is also getting a crochet sweater and the stitches looks so pretty. Sweet dress she has on and I imagine you made it. That crochet table cloth is incredible!! Very clean kitchen! The waffles looks delicious. Happy Mother's Day!

Emily Dillow says: May 15, 2017 at 10:30 AM

If you want a light, airy, crispy waffle, you must try this recipe with yeast in the batter: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/raised-waffles-40050

People go nuts over these every time I make them, the yeast makes them very different from your classic waffle -- and in my opinion, much better!

I fell in love with family history research way back when you had to actually go to a federal archives office to do it (or a LDS family history library, which I've also utilized), and I'm sure part of it is my need to solve the 'mysteries' of my own family. My brother and I both had our DNA tests done a couple of years ago, and that allowed me to connect with some family in Europe, which has been too fun. So I think it both appeals to the detective in us, as well as the need for connectedness (to others in the present, but also to those in our past). Have fun with your journey!

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.