Wanted For Seduction

Do you have any outlaws in your family tree? Did they rob banks like Bonnie and Clyde? Steal horses alongside Butch Cassidy? Or even sell alcohol for Al Capone during Prohibition?

Not this fella. He is wanted for a broken heart (err, promise).

ACOM_Wanted_Seduction

I think the “wears small black moustache” description is a little off, but no matter. I wonder if they ever found him…

This is part of a collection being indexed as part of our Ancestry World Archives Project - think I might have to dig in to see what other nuggets we can find.

 

Tracing Ancestors Through DNA

I have always been a big believer in ‘eating your own dog food’ and knowing the products you represent inside, and out.

I have been ‘consuming’ the Ancestry.com trees product for years now, so I thought I would try the AncestryDNA test that combines DNA science with our online family history resource to predict genetic ethnicity to hopefully, help me discover new family connections.

AncestryDNATest

The AncestryDNA test analyzes your entire genome—all 23 pairs of chromosomes—and using autosomal testing, surveys over 700,000 locations in your DNA. We currently use samples from 22 different ethnic regions around the world that should provide information on where my ancestors came from, 100s or even 1000s of years ago.

The test is super easy, just spit into the tube, mail it away and wait for the results to show up online. I should have the results back in 4-6 weeks and will post an update once they are available.

Who knows, I may finally confirm—or debunk—that whole Castilian heritage thing.

Next Time, Buy The Floor Model

Heuer and I were planning a small get together for Memorial Day and when we started cleaning the grill in prep for the party, noted the hood tents were rusted and crumbling and several areas of the grill plates were past the point of no return. We had to replace them.

We headed to Home Depot, and after realizing we were going to spend almost $200 in new parts, decided to buy a new one instead.
Supposedly, one hour to put together. We are on hour two and not done. Everything bent, just a little bit.

When did IKEA start making grills?

Let’s just say that I would totally buy the floor model next time. This, was not fun.

 

 

 

The Beauty and Serenity of Lake Tahoe

I have spent most of my Winters in the North Lake Tahoe area – shredding the various hills, carving paths untouched by man and getting into snow ball fights with friends and family. Ok, who’s kidding, in recent years I have been sitting by the fire in the ski lodge with a pint of Newcastle and a good book (or my laptop) close by while I wait for my beloved to finish his carving of the hill (thanks to a set of knees that hate me).

But anyway, I think we should start spending a bit more time during the Spring and Summer months too. The AdHocnium team stole away for a few days to work on our business plan for the new company (TBA), and I had forgot how spectacular North Lake Tahoe is time of year.

Jump!

The water is a bit chilly, but beautiful nonetheless, especially when staring at it with a lovely glass of Chardonnay in your hand.

Day on the lake with @chrisheuer and @chloealexmayer #instacollage #tahoe #laketahoe #westshore

We had a house in Squaw Valley, which was in the process of switching from a ski resort to a golf resort…

Taking an afternoon stroll to stretch the legs and catch our second wind after day of brainstorming and planning. #squaw #squawvalley #laketahoe

And maybe next year, I will be in better shape so we can actually hike, bike and swim instead of drink wine, read books and eat until our bellies were going to pop. Or, we can live a little and try to do it all…

All I care about is that we spend more time here when there is more green on the ground than white.

Oh, and about that company we are working on … we will have news on that soon. :)

Today I Take My Next Step, Into Our History With Ancestry.com

I have been looking for a new opportunity for the last couple of weeks, and those that know me, know that I am fairly picky in regards to where I choose to invest my time. I am excited to announce that I have joined Ancestry.com as their Director of Global Social Media and Customer Engagement. The people I will be working with were a big part of the reason I ultimately chose Ancestry.com over other the opportunities I was exploring (more on that to follow).

It also feels like they respect (and encourage) a real work+life balance, which is something I really need to get better at.

One of my goals is to connect the global community of amateur and professional genealogists at Ancestry.com, both internally and externally, and I feel the work I have done growing Social Media Club over the last seven years has provided the perfect experience to be successful here.

In addition to managing Ancestry.com’s engagement strategy and social media channels, I will be working closely with Marketing, Product Management and Support to improve the service and its value for existing customers while helping more people find the joys of history through their personal family trees.

I am, however, more then just a new employee. I started building my family tree years ago and have been an avid user for the past year and a half, which makes this an amazing fit. It’s a service I know very well, and for which I am already an evangelist.

Wells-deVaux

I now have over 1700 people in my family tree and have been able to trace my dad’s family back to 1035 to Robert de Vaux, who is my paternal grandfather of the husband of my 12th great grandmother from France. Yeah, that is a mouthful.

While there are still a few breaks in the lineage, it has been a blast to dig into the records and discover things like the town of Wellsburg, New York was founded by my 5th great grandfather, Abner Wells. It is a tiny little town in Chemung County, but it is our town, and I might just have to pay it a visit one day to stake my rightful claim. :) I also found a long line of French relatives on my mom’s side who settled in New Orleans and probably explains the connection I feel with that city. Or it could have been the Pimm’s Cup, but I would like to believe it was the family history that drew me there.

As the journey begins today, I am looking forward to meeting the members of my new community. If you aren’t already a member, I hope you might consider joining me and the millions of others who are exploring their family histories with me.

SxSW ‘SARS’ Strikes, Again.

I was smart this year. We made sure we were asleep by 1am every morning, we didn’t get shitty each night, and we even ate better than we have ever done before. I was sure I got out of SxSW without coming down with a cold. It would be the first time in five years, but I was feeling good when we boarded the plane in Austin.

Three days later…it all kicked in. And it kicked hard.

8618570591_7043d7c540

Week one was filled with the typical Mucinex cocktail (part Sudafed, part Mucinex with a heavy side of Echinacea tea).

Change of plans ... hold the Bloody Mary, I'll have the Mucinex cocktail instead.

Week two came along and I wasn’t feel even the slightest bit better. It hurt when I took a breath, the pressure in my sinuses would not let up and I couldn’t get any sleep as the minute I laid down I would get into coughing fits that felt like my lungs were ripping apart. I paid a visit to the doctor and after listening to my lungs and feeling confident it was just a cold, I was told there was not much more I could do but to try and rest.

So I did. Totally out of character as sitting still for too long drives me nuts, but I knew this time was different, and with so many people I knew down with this crap, I didn’t want to take a chance of it lasting for weeks. I kept ‘hacking up a lung’, I consumed more chicken noodle soup than I thought possible and I rested.

Week three came and it was still hanging tough. Then I got what I thought was pink eye, so I went back in to see the doctor.
Seems the raging chest cold wasn't enough for my body this week ... I had to get pink eye too. FML

He listened to my breathing again, and this time, sent me home with a prescription for cough syrup, an inhaler and recommended special eye drops as it wasn’t pink eye, but the cold showing itself in a different body part. Odd. Those three items combined with more rest, chicken noodle soup and Sudafed finally did their trick and at the top of week four, I was finally feeling better.

It took another week for the cough to completely go away, but at least I was able to sleep and I was finally getting my energy back.

Not sure what else we can do differently to avoid getting sick after SxSW, except maybe not go to SxSW. Always an option I guess.

Soaking In The Goodness of a Childhood Favorite

Namely, Fenton’s Creamery.

I come from an ice cream loving family. In fact, the Wells’ are almost fanatical about it. On my dad’s 31st birthday, my mom bought him 31-one gallon tubs of ice cream. And our five person family blew threw it all in three months. Not proud, but damn, that was a fun time.

When our family discovered Fenton’s, it was like we struck gold. It was an old school creamery situated in a developing area of Oakland. The five of us sat around a tiny table that should really only fit three and placed our orders. My dad ordered the banana split and before we knew it, an insane mound of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, caramel sauce and chocolate sauces, nuts, and fresh whipped cream was delivered to our table with the proverbial cherry on top.

Black and Tan sundae from Fenton's (before)

Then the rest of our orders came to the table and I think we spent the first five minutes giggling with one another. There were five crazy piles of gluttony oozing out of bowls and tall glasses, awaiting to be devoured. And devour we did. I think one of us (*cough* Joy *cough*) might have even licked her bowl.

Oh, and then came the crab sandwiches, which put our family over the edge. We love seafood almost as much as we love ice cream and this, my friends, is a winning combination. Fresh crab. Light slaw. Perfectly toasted bread. ZOMG.

Cracked crab sandwich from Fenton's in Oakland. As good as I remember.

For the next ten years, our family made Fenton’s a monthly excursion, and the boys we chose to date knew we really liked them when they were invited to join us for the trip to the magical ice cream land. One time I remember fondly was when my [then] boyfriend Mike challenged my dad to the banana split eating contest. Needless to say, my dad won – and I think he even helped Mike finish his when it was over. On the ride home that night, we all sat in silence as we reflected on the tasty goodness we had just put into our bodies when all of a sudden, the sounds of pants unzipping and a ‘I should have worn elastic waisted jeans tonight’ comment came from Mike. We all busted out laughing as Mike was a Varsity football player who was used to eating large quantities of food to fuel his time on the field, and one ‘little’ banana split took him out. It was awesome.

While most of my family took to the banana split, I am partial to their Black and Tan sundae. Vanilla ice cream, their ‘crack’ caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, toasted almonds and that amazing whipped cream. I don’t even think I have ever ordered anything else – it is that good.

Fenton’s is one of those rare gems – a company that knows what their market wants, continue to produce an amazing product (50+ years) and supports it with great service.

For various reasons (most likely the ever-growing size of my hips), I had stopped going to Fenton’s. It had been 20+ years and I returned recently, this time, with Heuer in tow. It had the same white walls. The same metal chairs. The same small tables. We ordered a Black and Tan and a crab sandwich, to split. And you know what? It was as good, and as big, as I remembered. Nothing had changed, thankfully.

I doubt we will restart the monthly tradition, but we will make sure we don’t let another 20 years go by either. And as I write this post, I realize I should probably not be writing this as I really don’t want the lines to be any longer than they already are. Whoops.