Sunday, November 15, 2015

NQAC: Biweekly Update #22: Taking Up Genealogy and a Crazy Lazy Cat

I was doing pretty well this week until I heard about the tragic events overseas (Paris, Beirut, Japan, and elsewhere). I actually ignored the newscasts for two days to keep my head in the sand a while longer. After I finally read all the news, it's safe to say I haven't been in a reading mood lately, since I was reading epic fantasy of the usual violent vein, with a fair bit of tragedy sprinkled in. I'm thinking of reading books by my favorite authors for the next few weeks to get out of my funky mood, as I am really far behind on my reading challenge for Goodreads (not that it actually matters much to me). That said, I think people shouldn't be blabbering on social media on things they know little to nothing about. And because I loathe blathering about things other than books, I'll keep this short: No one can win the blame game. And, as Ellen Degeneres so aptly puts it, be kind to one another.

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:

The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien
I've been coveting this one, even though I don't even have The Silmarillion yet. So when I found this at the thrift shop as a brand new hardcover for $1.49, I didn't hesitate to pick it up.

the-invisible-pile Additions:

I've been looking for this one for roughly two years, and although I had seen copies around before, they were ridiculously high priced. Since I've signed up for Orbit's newsletters, they tell me when their books are super cheap, and this one was a week or so ago. Although I may not pick it up until later, I am excited to read it despite its supposed 'darkness'.

Four Books of the Tang Dynasty Series:

I forget who recommended this one, but I added My Fair Concubine to my Amazon wishlist some time ago due to that recommendation. The entire series was on sale roughly a week ago, so I snagged the ones that sounded the best to me. These are historical romances set in China, and I absolutely adore the covers, especially The Sword Dancer's cover.

The Dragon and the Pearl (Tang Dynasty #2) by Jeannie Lin

My Fair Concubine (Tang Dynasty #3) by Jeannie Lin

The Sword Dancer (Tang Dynasty, #4) by Jeannie Lin

A Dance with Danger (Lovers and Rebels, #2) (Tang Dynasty #5) by Jeannie Lin

Currently Reading:

The Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle #1) by Miles Cameron
I was avidly reading this until Friday, and since then I've been stalled at 28%ish. I really was enjoying it, but darker books aren't the best for me when I'm in a darker mood.

Genealogy Books:

I recently delved into the murkiness that is my ancestry. As it turns out, in the late 1800s/early 1900s, it was a hobby to record your ancestry/lineage in book form, which then, in more recent times, became available as ebooks/scanned books. This is ever so helpful when the ancestry you happen to be tracking up and disappears at the turn of the century, and even more helpful when you aren't in contact with anyone who would know anything but the basics about your grandparents. My mom was adopted in the '50s, knows her birth mom very well, but she's never even met her birth father, so tracking her side of the family is enlightening. I might be Dutch! And then, with my father's mom, I really had no clue other than "she might've been Scottish" and her maiden name to go on. She was actually (if the lineage has it right) British. What? This is all very perplexing to me, since I was told she was Scottish and/or Irish.

Then I learned both of my grandparents names weren't their actual names: my grandfather was supposed to be Emmett- his name was actually Robert. My grandmother's name was also supposed to be something else, and it was actually Mary. Why did they all use their middle names as their real names?

A History of the Doggett-Daggett Family by Samuel Bradlee Doggett
I'm having a good laugh at some of the wording in this book. At one point, they say the Doggetts are the noblest family pretty much ever. Nope on that, but it is interesting to note the family motto was "Do not despair". My grandmother lost two of her husbands and two of her children in her lifetime. If this lineage isn't grossly exaggerated and is actually accurate, that's morbidly humorous.

Genealogy of the Onderdonk Family in America by Elmer Onderdonk
I haven't read much of this, but this ancestry is confusing me. You see, I googled my biological great grandfather's full name, and it appears in the book, but if this is correct, his surname should be Onderdonk, not his mother's maiden name. The birth date, location, and everything else are perfect. Is it possible that he was born out of wedlock, therefore keeping his mother's maiden name, or am I missing something else? I feel a bit out of my depth on this one- I'm considering going to a genealogy expert and asking for their take on it.

Weird Coincidence Alert: If I am related to the Onderdonks, their name means "under hill". Mr. Underhill was the alias of Frodo Baggins.

Finished These Books:

This is the first paranormal romance/urban fantasy I remember reading that has a main character who is a single mother. I think this is in the 3.5 Star range, as I was entertained, but wasn't completely sold on the book, despite the more diverse characters and interesting setting. I like books set in small towns, but I think I wanted a bit more out of this one (and I'm not even sure what I mean by more).

In the Blogosphere:

Dragana @ Bookworm Dreams compares herself to other bookworms worldwide in terms of reading habits.

Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider silk is seeking a co-blogger. I'm not sure if she's found one yet, so if you're interested, head on over there.

Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings decided to share the love by having a giveaway for her birthday.

In My Life:

Current Obsession Updates:

Genealogy: My grandfather's parents were both born in Ireland. If the records are right, my great grandmother was born in Northern Ireland, and my great grandfather was born in what they called "The Irish Free State". Now I wonder if they met in America, or Ireland?

Blue Stars = Born in the USA

Four Leaf Clovers = Born in Ireland

Prior to my investigations, I knew none of my great grandparents' names. Now I know 3 out of 4 sets of their names. Pretty good for a week's work.


This is a gift I've been trying to complete so I can mail it. I'm thinking of making myself one to carry my Kindle around in (although, truth be told, that thing rarely leaves my hands).


Georgie's 1st Christmas Tree

These mini Christmas trees (my mom bought three) will be mounted to the weighted Christmas tins, then decorated. Thus far, I have decided to try and knit covers for the tins/tree stands, but I haven't decided on the colors or anything like that. Since these will be outside on our porch, which I decorate with red velvet ribbons, I'm guessing red will be the main color for them.

Pets George:

At the end of the summer, I finally found suitable boards to put on top of our living room radiators for George to perch more comfortably on. I'm still not sure if he likes them or not...

George Learns to Play Dead

Have you ever dabbled in genealogy? Do you have any tips for this poor newbie (whose grandparents don't even use their real names)?

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