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Saturday, March 28, 2015

The importance and impact of sound

Posted by Dawn-Ann on January 29, 2015

Over the years I have come to understand that noises around me strongly impact my moods and temperament, seemingly moreso as I age. That is why I have begun wearing headphones when I’m working – to block out my husband’s constant news feeds on his computer and on the TV. (It’s so darned stressful and depressing, am I right?)

When I am on my computer I usually play a mix of music and/or “sounds of nature” type productions like surf on the shore or birdsong. I find my stress levels diminish dramatically when I do, and my productivity increases.

So I was really tickled when I found this short-but-brilliant TED talk on the way sound affects us. It’s less than 6 minutes long, so do have a look.

Let’s get this party started

Posted by Dawn-Ann on January 23, 2015

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Last summer’s trip to Alkali Lake Ranch, a place of mucho family heritage.

I’ve been non-blogging lately – not because I have nothing to write about. I have had some adventures and a family reunion or two, but I’ve been very busy with volunteer work and life and… stuff.

But now I want to come back to my little blog and start nurturing it again. I think it has potential, both for sharing family research AND for exploring my life and my self. Maybe as a tool for inspiring myself and others to still more learning, experimenting and hilarity.

Does that make sense?

I am a 50-something gramma with the other half of my life ahead of me. I’ve got things to do! Bring it.

Ten-day Escorted Tour of Scotland

Posted by Dawn-Ann on May 5, 2014

My friend (and distant cousin) Tom Caulley has been very helpful with my research so I am returning the favor by sharing his opportunity with you. He is organizing a 2015 tour of Scotland for Kirkpatrick researchers and it looks to be a very interesting one.

Visit castles! Cruise lochs! Enjoy some amazing Scottish breakfasts!

The dates are 22 June to 2 July 2015.

Click here for more information.

Vintage film of Alkali Lake in 1946

Posted by Dawn-Ann on January 21, 2014

I’ve written about Alkali Lake a few times. It is where Herman Otto Bowe settled and where the wild football game great uncle Sam wrote about took place.

So, imagine my surprise and joy when cousin Bernice posted this amazing video on Facebook. Many of these people could be family – I just wish I knew who.

Enjoy!

Convoluted family links

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 24, 2013

The more research I do, the more confused I get about our family history. For instance, I am trying to make the leap “across the pond” from our American Kirkpatrick immigrants to specific families in Scotland. Not going so well.

The Alexanders and the Georges and the Jameses I am looking for seem to have nearly-identical families with identical names, all in the same area. And none of them left good records, that I can find. Or maybe I’m not looking in the right places…

But it’s a good mystery. One I can sink my teeth into. And if I can prove the lineage, I can link us to very ancient and sometimes royal family ties.

I know it’s been awhile since I posted but I am back in the research saddle again, so keep an eye on this little blog.

Lean into it

Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 26, 2012

“Lean into it. It means the outcome doesn’t matter. What matters is that you were there for it. Whatever it is. Good or bad.” ~ Quote from the movie People Like Us.

This is one of my newest mottos. Lean into it.

To me it means more than just I was there for it. It means I leaned into the occasion / event / catastrophe / happening and hung on for the ride.

It means I paid attention and squeezed every ounce of learning I could from it.

It means I laughed and/or cried fully, openly and honestly at all the right moments.

It means I grabbed life with both hands and lived it, truly LIVED it, every moment, to the max.

May I always “lean into” all that life throws to me, from now on.

A new year, a new life

Posted by Dawn-Ann on January 11, 2012

I am so lucky that Tom and I can work from home. It gives me a lot of extra time to figure out other things!

One of the “other things” I am working on is charting an education course for myself. This education will be free (or really cheap) and tailored to my own needs because I will be educating myself.

Some of the topics I want to study are politics, journalism, anthro/archaeo, film making and editing, and languages. This is why I need to do it myself. No University offers a degree in such a wide range of subject matter!

But first things first. I figured it would make sense to improve my memory so that I can retain everything better. That is why the very first book I am going to study is called Mega Memory by Kevin Trudeau.

The second subject I want to tackle, because it too will aid my studies, is speed reading. And not just speed reading, but speed reading with comprehension! For that I dug out a book I’ve had for years called Speed-Reading The Easy Way.

So, on top of Kirkpatrick family history posts, this blog will now be a record of my self-education journey. Follow along if you’re interested! :)

And don’t forget to keep an eye on my new blog about another very important facet of my life right now: Grandparents of Children With Autism. I thought I’d make that a blog of its own because it is so specialized and I have a ton of ideas for articles for it.

Airport body scanner controversy

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 17, 2010

I haven’t really been paying attention to this whole body scanner thing. You know, the one that takes transparent, real-life looking images of your personal body parts, allegedly to spot any contraband you may be carrying. After all, I haven’t flown much lately.

But I just found this article and it has given me pause for thought. Stepchick has been stewing about her upcoming flight plans and worrying about just accepting the imaging or subjecting herself to a “groin grope and feeling up.” And maybe she has good reason to worry?

Read Stepchick’s article here. As she says, “For my friend with a colostomy bag. For my sister with a partial breast reconstruction. For the oh-so-many other women who have been raped or molested. There has to be a better way.”

Croning

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 7, 2010

No, not cloning. Croning!

I wrote this three years ago on an old blog. It still holds true for me today.

Before the word crone became a derogatory one, being a crone was actually an honor. The word comes from the same word as “crown” and the crone was afforded a certain amount of prestige and respect. She was looked up to as an advisor, a teacher, a matriarch.

Apparently, many cultures have a “crone” kind of position that is filled by the wisest, most experienced “mature” women:

When our elders step across the threshold of the Grandmother Lodge, leaving their bleeding behind them, they become the Keepers of the Law. No longer is their attention consumed with the creation and rearing of their own family… Thus their attention turns to the children of all Our Relations: not just their own children, or the children of their friends, their clan or tribe, but the children of all the hoops: the Two-Leggeds, the Four-Leggeds, the Wingeds, the Finned, the Green-Growing Ones, and all others. Our relationship with this great circle of Life rests ultimately in their hands. They must give away this responsibility by modeling, teaching, and sharing the living of this law — in everyday life — to men, women, children — that all might come into balance.

– Brooke Medicine Eagle, Women Of The 14th Moon

Anyhoo, I’m starting to feel like I’m heading toward crone-hood. It promises to be quite an interesting and fulfilling phase of my life.

Nature Girl

Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 21, 2010

I was riding home on the train today and I realized, “I’m a Nature Girl still.” You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.

I noticed that my eyes still automatically drift to the clouds. The trees. The birds.

That is all.

Montana sunrise (click to see larger image)