Life | Struggling With My Heritage

Hello!

If I am a having a great reading month, I can bang out two reviews at the most, but if I’m not, figuring out what I want to blog about can be somewhat difficult for me. I do believe the book and music posts are the heart of this site but I think what I miss about are personal stories. It could be what I eat in a day or a life lately update, as long as it is like you’re talking to your best friend, I love them! And that’s what I want to bring back to the blogging community for 2021.

So, let’s start this year off with a brand new series, called “Life”. I sort of felt like Sir David Attenborough at the beginning of those nature documentaries you see on BBC America a little as I was writing that sentence!


At the end of 2019, my mom and I were finally to get dad something he’s always wanted for the last two or years, and it was the AncestryDNA kit. The year before, I was relaying things about my nana’s results, because she was given the kit for Christmas the year before. The biggest difference between the two of them is that, we sort of knew where she was from as we have a detailed family tree and information for her, whereas with my dad, it has been a case of “maybe” since I was really young, so he was genuinely very happy to receive this, even though he has been worried that these companies will keep the DNA in case you are wanted by the CIA or FBI. I understand why he had this fear, and I feel like it’s not one that a lot of people make easily, but again, he was very excited to finally get some answers!

Honestly, he wasn’t the only one who was curious. I am interested in genealogy, as I watch almost every TV show about other people’s discoveries. I find them really neat, especially when people are introduced to certain ancestors that may not have been the best people in their lives. It is also cool to feel proud of these people being apart of important moments in history too! However, if you are only wanting to see the percentage of where your family came from, that’s fine! This tool gives a better insight of general areas you came from through your heritage.

When my nana had told all of us was stuff we already knew, well, what I knew at least. She has strong ties to the British isles, mainly Irish, but there was an even bigger number for the western part of Europe: Germany. For my nana, who was given up for adaption at the age of 2. After she was given to her parents, they were afraid that her older siblings would be able to find her and basically steal her back to her biological family, so she moved around a lot growing up and lived on the West Coast for the majority of her life before coming back to the Midwest where she met her husband, my papaw in the the early 60’s.

It wasn’t until the late 80’s that someone came and knocked on her door to ask her name and was told that she had been adopted. Now, it took a little bit for this news to sink in but in the next two years, she found out that she was one of 13 children to a German father, who was a traveling salesman (he used to make furniture) and a Irish stay at home mother. She was able to meet some of her siblings and their families as they held a reunion a year before I was born. So, as I grew up, I heard every stage of her life and it’s been permanently engraved into my brain. It wasn’t until I was out of high school did I become obsessed with learning more about my own ancestry.

As we were able to find loads of information on my mom’s parents, and how exciting it was to learn more about both sides, I figured going into my dad’s side would be the same, even though it was full of questions more than answers. He has always said that we were of Scottish and Welsh descent but then there was some folklore in there too. We could have been connected to Native Americans. I was very much into that side of the story, and wanted to learn so much about it, but nobody was sure on what tribe we came from or how it came about either. Every year in school, we would learn more about these people and I would be ecstatic about it! When I was in fourth grade, our class created a teepee on one side of the room and we were divided up into a group of four and had to come up with names that resembled something they would have been called in their tribe. I chose Sunflower and was thankful that nobody else picked it out for themselves!

While my dad kept track of the arrival of his results at the end of February, they answered things we knew but my heart shattered on the no mention of being related to Native Americans.

It was one thing to know that I wasn’t a descendent of these amazing people, but it was even a harder pill to swallow to know that I was a full on brute.

The start of 2020 was very difficult on my self-worth because I would literally torture myself as I silently retraced the steps of history’s most horrible people like, Adolf Hitler’s hatred towards the Jewish community and becoming a dictator and was able to convince all of Germany to be mean. They were beaten, forced to work in camps, starved, and murdered because of their difference in religion. Unfortunately, after all these years of Germany becoming liberated of the Nazi regime, many people are still weary of the country.

And the last, the English coming to the West Indies and creating colonies on lands that were already occupied by indigenous people. Instead of the reason being about their religion, it was because they were not like them. Everything about Native Americans scared them, so they took everything that belonged to them and massacred and gave no mercy to anyone, even mothers and children. The English also brought with them the cruelty of keeping black people in slavery to the already cursed country. This would prove a problem that lasted well after Abraham Lincoln read the Emancipation Proclamation and allowed them to become “free” and able to do things that their masters had long been doing since they came to the United States.

It is a blessing to know many parts of history, but it is so hard to digest everything that your distant relatives could have done, which was the main reason why I didn’t say anything to anybody until now. I often wonder what would they think of me. Would they be embarrassed or proud of the way I hold myself, think about certain things and most importantly my disability? Unfortunately, I will never be able to gain anything by keeping this thought around, because it’ll never be answered.

As frightening to know that I could have some very bad people connected to my DNA but I started to feel bad for only looking at that side of things. These events are unsettling; we still struggle with our past, but we must move on and make sure to change our ways so it doesn’t happen ever again. We don’t learn anything by forgetting these sometimes gruesome and upsetting tales, so I will let them live in a large chest that is already full to rim of things that I have experienced in my life already, and continue blossoming into this journey.

Have you had your DNA tested? If you have, did you find out anything that was unexpected? For those who haven’t done it yet, can you tell me one reason you haven’t done it yet?

Blogmas | Things That Make Me Feel Christmassy!

Hello!

As I went looking through other blogs in late October into early November, I was trying to find new ideas for Blogmas and this one seemed fun to do, but my only worry is, I’ve probably done this in the past… If I have, I’ll just link it at the bottom for a bonus post. If not, whoohoo for me!

I was going to list 16 things, but with my luck I wouldn’t even make it passed 10, so I thought it would be better to go safe and do a little free write, so I hope you enjoy what makes me happy during this time of the year.


My sister and I are polar opposites when it comes to Christmas. She certainly enjoyed it growing up, as she was the loudest one of the bunch while opening gifts at our house and nana and papaw’s, but as she’s gotten older, her joy for the holiday is basically gone. She’ll still put up the tree, makes cookies with us and watch Christmas films, but she doesn’t feel very Christmassy inside, which is really but I’m not writing this to make her feel even more depressed about it by the way, there’s a reason for this I promise because I understand a lot of people out there do not like it, and I am trying to be respectable, including my sister, because I’ve been there. It is possible to absolutely despise holidays such as Christmas. I mean, you should see me going into the month of February, and Valentine’s Day. I am not one to be bothered with the lovey dovey stuff and I’ve been like this since probably middle school, and I definitely know I’m not alone with my thinking too, so if you don’t feel the love for a certain time of the year, that’s fine! You shouldn’t force yourself to feel something you don’t; the same goes for our guilt too!

For the last few years though, I’ve been increasingly obsessed with Christmas. I like almost everything about it, whereas when I was younger, I felt lost and it just seems like we switched our views about it somewhere going into high school and it’s honestly strange to explain, especially on a blog post. Anyways, with this year, my nephew Nolan is another year older and even though COVID-19 wants to crush everyone’s plans for the holidays, I don’t want to act like it already has, so I think that’s the other part of my intense feelings to want to celebrate Christmas like we always have in our family.

He really loved helping put up the family tree and usually, we wait until like the week of, to put it together so the fact that we did it the day after celebrating our Thanksgiving was interesting! Nolan helped me rearrange the limbs of the branches and gave them back to mimi (my mom) and Blondie who were storing each one on the stand. Once we got that done, he walked around in many circles with them to wrap the lights and tinsel from top to bottom. We even had a couple of short pieces that he would place inside and around the front end of the tree. He was utterly excited about his little addition!

Once we got to the ornaments, he literally saw each one and said, “BALL!” and we just hoped to sweet baby Jesus that he wouldn’t throw it! Thankfully, he didn’t but he would show each one to his parents, and was very cute about it! He loved putting them on the branches, and we were sure that he stayed safe on the ones with the hooks and pretty much gave him the ones that I tend to use, as they have string and ribbons around them. The final thing was when we got the nativity pieces and village out of the tote, Nolan was absolutely obsessed with them! He loves to arrange things in his own way and for the most part, the little houses my mom has always had under our tree, were standing on the windowsill in the living room for the better part of the visit. If the window is cracked open, he will actually leave a row of cars in that little section and we have many, many pictures of them. See below.

Recently, we baked our sugar cookies a week earlier than usual because my mom had the weekend off, and thankfully I said something or we might not had been able to do them this year.

It was a bit strange to add someone so little in our tradition. Last Christmas, Nolan was still at an age where he liked to put everything in his mouth and we just didn’t think he was ready for it. So, being able to include this year was exciting because it is something brand new to do. We’re all in agreement that he definitely enjoyed the cookies, the decorating part, not so much! Although, he did like the sprinkles. We even had to put some on his fourth cookie that he was holding tightly in between his hands. After finishing with the cookies, we switched tactics and was really glad he didn’t become confuse with it, because since I have finished with my projects, I have extra canvases left and we basically made him paint assortment of robots, snakes and various shaped cows. While he worked on his painting, the amount of focus on his face was so amazing to watch because his mommy was trying to get him to smile for pictures and he wasn’t paying her any attention at all. It was so cool and his painting turned out very beautiful!

Since the arrival of Nolan, he’s definitely been a factor to my festive side. Whenever he comes over and if I am not in my wheelchair at the moment, he will explore my room and point out certain things like my purple moon garland, he’ll say what they are and he knows his colors very well now, so anytime he spots anything purple, he’ll shout it out to anyone willing to hear him and he will sit up against the wall on my bed and chat with me a little.

He has so much energy radiating out of him that it is sort of easy to pull out a slice and hope you can get to that level with him enough so he keeps going with it. I am so excited to see him experience the snow, baking cookies, unwrapping presents from Santa, and enjoying papaw’s big breakfast he does every year. I am so thrilled to see the tinkle in his eyes for everything new and old, because obviously he is experiencing the holiday with new eyes! As this post was suppose to be about multiple things, I think I mainly love seeing the holiday like Christmas through his eyes. His innocence and the fact that he can talk more has really made a difference. He definitely has the same expressions that his mommy wear on her face when we were little, so that has been a little mind blowing for me!

What makes you feel Christmassy? You can make me a little list or write a gigantic story like this through my comments or DM. Whatever you decide, I’ll enjoy either way.

snowflake

Photo Diary | Spring/Summer

Hello!

The last time I did a photo diary was in 2017, so three years of no cat pictures, which is really sad considering these cats are very well loved by almost everyone.

In that time, my nana had just moved up north so my ability to upload any photos at all from my camera(s) was pretty much over. A part of me was okay with it, I thought I could just live with creating and reusing old pictures for my banners. If I did want to take a picture of something, I would have my mom and/or sister do it for me, but as time went on, I really began to get the itch to do it myself again. For most people they can whip out their phones and take as many photos as they want, but for me, it can be a bit of a production in itself. I have a system and it’s just easier for me to do it then to depend on others.

Lots of things have happened since the last post. I became an aunt for the first time and we got a new house, this spring, we finally got our side porch and ramp put together. I love being outside again. I’m pretty sure the cats are very happy to see my smiling face too! Unfortunately, the ramp isn’t quite finished yet so I still haven’t use my “rocket” chair to sit outside, which is fine with me because while I sit in the blue chair, I am able to read my books out there and be at a comfortable level with our cats at the same time.

Another good thing about the porch itself is that, we get to do pumpkins again! I tried my best to bring them back last year, but my mom wasn’t having it! For some odd reason, she thinks we will mess up the floors… The last time we did them, my sister was in the early stages of her pregnancy so this will be the first year with Nolan! Hopefully it will become an annual tradition, especially since next month the three of them (plus their animals!) will be moving into the neighborhood. Whoohoo! I have collected a lot of fun DIY/craft stuff on Pinterest for Nolan and I to do together and I think we will be able to form a closer bond and we will be able to unleash our creativity too!

I think it is now time to share some pictures with you, now that I have given you a “mini” life lately update so let’s bring on the cats!

Wow!

I may have to bring this series back, especially if I continue to take as many pictures as I did, but the funny part about this is that, this is just a fraction of what I took at the end of April to early June!

So, I wanted to come up and explain who everyone is, because I might have a few more people that visit my blog and they may not know anybody’s names. We have a total of nine cats, but the ones that are camera friendly are: Oscar, Bootsie, Tavis, Bear-Bear, Grumpy, and Felix aka Fifi. For the most part, when I go outside, Oscar and Botsie are the most excited, because they generally love the attention. Bear-Bear and Tavis are just starting to open up to me and hang out so that’s been a fun accomplishment! Grumpy is still very much a lovebug but it took him a lot longer to accept being touched by anyone that isn’t mom.

I wanted to tell you something absolutely hilarious before I go! My mom got the idea of me bringing out my books so if the cats were to leave me and beg at our back door, I could stay outside longer and not have to depend on anyone’s company. This was the greatest idea ever! I think it is the reason why I was able to finish my reading challenge sooner than we expected to! Now onto the funny part of this story. In the beginning, my mom would bring out this bench so I could see the book better, but everytime I didn’t go into my position fast enough, our cat Felix would literally make himself comfortable and get on top of the bench and book itself, and take a little nap!

Do you need proof? Well, this is him sitting on and without the bench itself and just hanging out on my book. Thank god he’s adorable or else, this would be really annoying! I guess this is the joy of having cats… Oh, one good thing, he’s the only one who does it!

Okay, I think I am officially done with this post. If you think I should do a post like this every month, please let me know because I can definitely get back into a routine with it. And once I am able to get around with the “rocket” chair, I will be able to take pictures of other things than the cats so that could be something to look forward to in the future.

Do you have any cats? If you do, how many and what are their names? I would love to know more about them!

snowflake

Dear Papaw IV

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Dear Papaw,

It is me again.

I decided to do this letter while I sat on the edge of my bed staring at my fairy lights hanging down around the only window in the room while listening to sad love songs. They’re bright like your spunk, and I miss it dearly. I’ve been looking for an endless supply of laugher as it has become the best form of medicine for me lately. I am also finally understanding why you liked to sit in the quiet. It’s hauntingly peaceful.

Lots have happened since I wrote to you last, and I’m sure you know everything. The new house. Dad’s watching basketball again. He watched majority of this season, going between Butler and IU. There were a few times that we both agreed you would be furious about, especially since each team had a good start but once the conference games began all heck broke loose. And then to top it off, the Coronavirius outbreak. We were furious but yet not surprised by the cancellation of all games–men and women! They even cancelled my NBA games! Last Thursday, we had a Butler game (which is how I found out about the NCAA announcement) earlier in the day and then I was suppose to have both Rockets and Lakers games. I hadn’t watched a game for about five days and the one time I was ready, this happens!

Emily has graduated and hoping to start her journey to get her master’s degree. And you were probably apart of the journey with Brittany to visit nana and everybody up north last fall. Thank goodness I did not throw up in her car! She probably wouldn’t let me back in that car again… I’m hoping you’ll be part of the mini adventure coming up too. No pressure or anything, because you know how loud we can get sometimes!

You would love to hang out with Nolan. He is fun but has a lot more energy than anybody else! He is interested in cars and trucks. We haven’t exactly introduced trains to me yet. He has his own sound effects that are absolutely adorable! He can say several words, I think the last count was over 40! Apparently trying to say “Meggie” or just plain Meghan is a little harder to do, but I am a naturally patient person so I will wait for the day he comes out of his mouth and when that day comes, I’ll probably cry right in front of him!

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Another thing he loves is music. I don’t know whether or not you’d be proud of an almost two year old knowing all of the words to “Cool” by Jonas Brothers. I mean, they’re no Stan Kenton, but he does sound cute whenever he does the chorus. Oh, and the dancing too! He definitely has some rhythm in his bones, even if they like hurt every other day. I think you’d wonder why he has pains like an elderly person (this was as good as you’re going to get. I mean, I could have said someone in their 80’s, but I think nana would feel offended!) but also still feel bad for him. He’ll be the only one in his age group, who will know every time the weather changes.

Okay, I think I am done ranting about things. Although, I think you like hearing how things are going lately. If I can remember, maybe I’ll write to you again on your birthday. We’ll have to see how everything goes first. I wonder if you’ve become a patient person. It seems a bit weird saying that out loud, but I am a little curious.

I hope you’re doing very well wherever you are right now. Keep watching over everybody if you can. We love and miss you lots. Bye.

Your granddaughter,

Meg-han.

Life Lately | Tulips, Royals, & Blog Schedule

Howdy!

It has been a LONG freaking time since I’ve done one of these blog posts. I always tell myself I need to do more of them or at least have mom buy a thick spine journal so I can get things out but it never happens!

Here’s the interesting part of this, I thought about writing this first than getting to work on Friday’s post, which will be a diary entry directed to my lovely papaw. For today, I am focusing on good things–not saying talking about/to my papaw isn’t good–and I am hoping to unleash a lot of things that have been roaming around in my mind lately! It will be separated by three sections so I hope everyone enjoys themselves and give me your thoughts at the end.

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Spring Is Coming!

I like winter, and always have, mostly because snow makes me happy although I never go out and play in it or run through with my wheelchair. This year, we haven’t had a lot of snow and like my mom mentioned to me the other day, she said since we didn’t have a bunch of snow like in previous years, the bugs will be awful because they didn’t necessarily die. I am okay with the occasional fly or in our case, ladybugs but yeah, I could do without the wasps! I’m not a fan of bees either, but we need them to survive apparently!

One thing that I definitely missed during the colder months is my mom buying flowers for our house. I guess we kind of got into a routine of having new flowers throughout every two weeks. I am actually fine with fake flowers, but having something like fresh flowers can really help your mood. At least, it has in my case when my mom bought me some very beautiful tulips one day.

I am not just obsessed with sunflowers, I like a variety of flowers like daisies, roses and tulips. I do talk about my love of sunflowers quite a bit and because of that nobody really knows about the others. So, after my mom found out that I adored tulips, she found these $12.99 tulips in a fairly large vase. My dad didn’t really like the price of them but since then we have all become a little obsessed with them. They change every day. They continue to flourish but we’ve been watching one of them because it’s been a little overzealous on how high he becomes that for a while he began to lean down and we have started to make jokes about it like “I’ve stood up all day. I need a break!” My mom and I can be a little weird sometimes

Since having the flowers in my room, I have been looking forward to spring. My room is located by all of our trees and I have really missed the greenery that surrounds me, but I have enjoyed seeing the moon through my window at night.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

I know you’re probably tired of seeing everybody discuss the royals right now. If you want to ignore this section, you can. I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the drama, but I do want to talk about my thoughts on it.

I have been following the British Royal Family since The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married, so around 2011. My mom has been reading up about them since Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. And yes, she absolutely hated Camila, The Duchess of Cornwell. I actually do not, mainly because I am a supporter of Anne Boleyn, as she was also a mistress to a senior royal.

For the case of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, I always felt they would be different. They would move into the modern world as royals, but I did not think this would happen at all! When The Queen gave Harry and Meghan the title of “Duke and Duchess of Sussex” was interesting because the last time a royal was given this peerage was Queen Victoria’s uncle Prince Augustus Frederick. Although he had the title of ‘Duke Sussex’ neither one of his wives were allowed to be called a duchess, but what is interesting is that they were not given permission of the crown which at the time of his first wife, George III was still alive. Prince Augustus and his first wife welcomed two children, but were not recognized so they were not awarded any titles as their many cousins.

Prince Harry asked the queen for permission to marry Meghan, but their son Archie does not carry the title of Viscount like say Harry’s uncle Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex’s son James, as he is known as a Viscount.  I understand their right to want to lead a more private life for Archie’s sake, but the separation of leaving as senior royals threw me for a loop! To me, I think this would have been easier on everyone if Harry declined the title of Duke when he and Meghan first married.

When Anne, The Princess Royal first married her first husband, he was offered a title but declined thus their children: Peter and Zara, along with their descendants do not have royal titles. A lot of people will say this happened because Anne is a woman, but at the time of the marriage, Charles was not married at all. She was the only child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh to wed. Here we have Prince William as the oldest son of The Prince of Wales, married with three children. All three were present when Harry and Meghan married, so why didn’t he say no? A part of me wonders on the fact of possible backlash to the world if Meghan, a biracial woman, wasn’t allowed to be called a duchess. Shrugs.

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The Blog Schedule

After what happened while I was doing my A-Z Disability Challenge series, I honestly wanted to give myself a massive break. Since I can’t stop blogging, I figured I needed to find a solution to make it easier and also keep it fun for the both of us. Once January began, I took off for two weeks and do other things that were not related to blogging. It was relaxing, but I did not envision to keep this trend alive for as long as I thought I would. However, I have quite enjoyed myself in these breaks, mostly because I can focus my attention on reading my books in my off time.

The schedule (including a post for Mon, Tues, and Wed) will continue this way until I decide that I need another week for more posts. As of right now, two weeks is doing really good for me. I am still skeptical of this, but I am getting the hang out of it.

I think I am done writing this post now. I thought I would add a few more things about my life, but as I said above, I also have my papaw’s letter to do as well. I think I will include bits about my nephew Nolan in there because I know he’d enjoy it. Well, I hope you are having a great week!

snowflake