Monday, December 17, 2012

Entrepreneurs in Your Family

Are you an entrepreneur?  Were your parents or grandparents entrepreneurs?

 My family has had a lot of entrepreneurs in it.  My parents ultimately decided to build a family business instead of working for someone else.  There is risk in being an entrepreneur.  Some fail. Others succeed.  Most entrepreneurs have tried and failed, but they keep trying until they succeed.  Recording the story of entrepreneurs in your family is an important part of your history.  What were the failures?  What were the successes?  Perhaps what you record will be of help to someone in your family in the future.
 
I'm including a link to two videos I just watched. This 2nd video talks about the importance of teaching how to be an entrepreneur to your children.  Some of your children and maybe even yourself have tried to fit into the employee mindset when you really have an entrepreneur mindset. Finding real success may take a change in the way you think.  The 1st video talks about how many people who originally came to America came with very little in the way of money or possessions yet they went on to be successful in their lives.  Think back on your family and record the stories of those who were entrepreneurs.  It is an important part of your family history.

  

Friday, December 14, 2012

MyMemories Blog: Wanna win an iPad 2???

MyMemories Blog: Wanna win an iPad 2???: So make sure you check out the MyMemories Facebook Page and LIKE us - we really want more new friends!! And - we want to thank you wit...

I enjoy using MyMemories software and since there is a chance to win an iPad 2 I thought I would share the link above.  Also every Friday there are free downloads if you like MyMemories Facebook page.

Here is a page I made with a kit by the designer,  Fly Pixel Studio, called Jingle Bells Extra.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Snow Memories

What memories do you have of snow?

It snowed last night.  It was so pretty this morning I had to go out and take pictures.  Here are some of them:



This is actually quite a bit of snow for our town.  The roads were just wet by the time I went outside to take these pictures.  The snow may be pretty much gone by the end of the day, but for right now it is so pretty.
I grew up in an area where we got quite a bit of snow.  At school we would play Fox and Geese which was a form of tag played with paths made in the snow.  Living on a farm we didn't have sidewalks, but when it snowed we had to shovel a path to the chicken coops and corrals and out to the road so we could catch the bus and get the mail from the mail box.  There were plenty of areas on our farm where you could lay down in the snow and move your arms and legs up and down and make a snow angel. Snow could mean fun, but it wasn't fun the day I got caught in a snowdrift while driving and ended up off the road.  When I was living in a dorm while at college, the first snowstorm brought a lot of excitement.  Christmas music was playing on the radio and we baked cookies.  My children loved the snow.  They liked to play in it and to make snowmen.  I didn't mind shoveling the snow off the sidewalk most of the time unless there was a layer of ice under the snow, but too much snow was difficult to deal with.  The winter after Mt. Saint Helens had erupted brought lots of snow.  The city plowed the streets, but since my car was parked on the street it got buried.  I had to dig out my car before I could go anywhere.  

What do you remember about snow from your childhood?  Did you get very much snow?  Some places get no snow at all.  If you didn't get snow, did you wish you would get snow?  Did you get so much snow that you would be snowed in and school would be cancelled?  Did you have to drive in snow?  Did you have any accidents in the snow?  Do you remember playing in the snow?  How does snow make you feel?  Do you get excited to see a snow storm or do you dread it.  Recording your feelings about snow and stories about your experiences with it can add a lot to your story.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Have you made special Christmas gifts?

Some years there isn't a lot of money to purchase gifts.  My grandmother sewed gifts and the one I remember best was a full length apron.  My mother made doll clothes for my fashion doll one year.  Another year she and my sister sewed frog pillows that pajamas could be kept under.  Over the years I tried to make gifts.  Some of them turned pretty good, but some of them weren't well made.  You can share your experiences with making gifts in your story.  You can also write about handmade gifts that were given to you.  Many handmade gifts have special meaning.

This year I am hoping to get some photo videos or maybe even some books made (if my finances will allow it).  I am excited to use My Memories Suite to help create these videos or books.  Here's a page I've created with family pets' photos and the Fall 2012 kit from the designer Kreations by Sparky.
 


If you think you might want to create a video or book with your own photos check out My Memories Suite at the link below.  Copy and paste this code STMMMS62320 to save $10 when you make your purchase.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

When did your family decorate for Christmas?

With Thanksgiving weekend just past many people have started decorating for Christmas.  It is fun to drive by houses that are lit up with lights.  I appreciate the generosity of those who are willing to put up lights and pay the electric bill to share some beauty during this time of year.  

How did your family decorate for Christmas when you were young?  Did your family put up lights outside as well as decorating a Christmas tree?  When did your family start decorating?  Did your family start right after Thanksgiving or did you wait till closer to Christmas?  Did you take down the decorations right after Christmas or did you leave them up until New Years or maybe even longer?  What did you like best about the decorations?  What kind of decorations did your community have?  Did your family make any special trips to see certain Christmas lights or displays?

When I was young our family put up a tree and hung a few outdoor lights about a week before Christmas and then we kept them up until New Year's Day. We always had a live Christmas tree which was decorated with icicles, ornaments and lights.  When I was about ten years old, I got a nativity scene.  It was made from cardboard, but I really liked it because it reminded me of the Christmas story.

With my own children we lived in Salt Lake City and made a annual trek to Temple Square for the Christmas lights.   We decorated a Christmas tree, first real ones and later an artificial one, and outlined the windows with lights.  I put up my nativity scene each year.  I have good memories.  I hope my family has good memories too.

Sharing how you and your family decorated adds to your story.  Record your memories.  Then write down how you decorated this year.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Voting

Who did you vote for and why did you vote that way?

Another presidential election has just past.  Voting is a great privilege, and it is a great challenge.  Selecting the candidate who would best represent your views on how government should be is very important.  Recording who you voted for and why you voted for them can be an important part of your story.

I wish my parents had written down more of their political beliefs.  I remember certain things they talked about.  Sometimes now when I read or hear certain things, I think about what my parents said.  I would love to talk with them now about current politics, but since they have both passed away I can't do that.  If I write down why I voted for the people I did, perhaps it may be of interest to my children some day.

Write down your reasons for who you voted for right after an election.  Maybe it will be of help to you in the next election.  Remembering how you felt in previous elections may help you in the current or future elections.  Maybe some day it will be of help to one of your children or grandchildren.

 
Vote Print
Vote Print by robophoto
Make custom prints online at zazzle.com

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wild Animals

What encounters have you had with wild animals?

Wild animals are all around us.  Even when you live in a town or city you may encounter a wild animal.  It may be a snake, a frog, a mouse, or a lizard; or it may be a bear, a mountain lion, or an elk.  If you go camping or hiking in the mountains you may encounter wild animals.  Recording your experiences with wild animals will add a lot to your story.

In the past couple of weeks here where I live there have been three or four encounters with bears in the communities in this area.  Apples from an apple tree encouraged one bear to come into a yard and even up on the porch of the home.  Open garbage carts enticed other bears.  

When we moved to this community because of my husband's work, he warned me of some of the wildlife we would deal with.  Our cat became an indoor only cat when I saw a coyote in our backyard just a few feet from the sliding glass door.  I found a large scorpion in a closet which totally scared me.  My daughters screamed as they came in the house after school one day.  I went to see what was wrong and saw the end of a large black, red and yellow snake slithering into the side yard.  By the time my husband got home the snake was gone.  While going for a walk, my husband and I saw a large blue heron.  I didn't realize herons were almost as tall as people.

I could keep writing about wild animals and I could add more to each experience.  You probably have many stories of encounters with wild animals that you could share in your life story.  Write down your experiences and share them with others.
Brown Bear Keychain
Brown Bear Keychain by MSTCreativeCorner
Create a unique picture keychain from zazzle.com.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Good Books

Have you read any books that you would highly recommend that others read?

We are influenced by the things we read.  Both fiction and nonfiction can change our lives.  Are there any books that you have read that have made a big difference in your life?  

Most English classes have certain required reading.  We learn from what we read.  Our values and ideas are affected by what we read.  Not many years ago the Bible was required reading in the schools in America.  Today it would be considered mixing religion with government for the Bible to be taught in the schools.  Have you learned something important from what you have read.  Writing down what you have learned from what you have read may be an influence on those who read your life story.  Perhaps they will want to read what you have read, so they can learn what you have learned.  Since reading affects so much of our lives, then sharing what you have read is an important part of your life story.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Plumbing Emergencies

Have you ever had a plumbing emergency?

Major disasters made headlines on the news, but sometimes disasters happen to us on an individual basis.  Plumbing is one of those things that can quickly turn into a disaster.  Have you ever had a pipe break that flooded your house?  Have you had a faucet refuse to turn off so water kept pouring out?  Have you ever tried to fix some of your plumbing and just had things get worse.  Plumbing problems can be one of the most discouraging things to happen in your life.  Plumbers earn a lot of money for their skills and time.  If you hire a plumber for your plumbing problem, it can get fixed rather quickly; but it will cost you significant amount.  If you try to fix your own plumbing, you might end up causing something else to break and you may end up paying for a plumber any way.  

When you write your story write about any disasters you may have encountered in your life.  Just a few days ago, one of my outside faucets wouldn't shut off after I finished watering outside.  I laid the hose next to a watermelon plant and let the water soak deep into the soil as I tried to figure out what to do with the problem.  The handle just spun around without shutting off the water.  I thought about using a cap on the hose or on the faucet itself to stop the water, but I didn't have a cap or a plug the right size.  It was almost dark on a Saturday night.  Both of the hardware stores in our town were closed.  I knew calling a plumber out on a weekend and at night would really cost a lot.  So I decided to have the water turned off.  I had to have it turned off at the meter because I hadn't been able to get into the shut off on my side.  

I lived for two and a half days without running water. Fortunately I had several bottles of water on hand which I could use. I had to wait to call the plumber on a week day and he couldn't come until the next day to even look at my problem.  My bishop found out about my problem and came over to look at it Monday evening.  Within an hour he had capped off the pipe and got it ready for me to have the water turned back on.  I couldn't believe how kind he had been.  I was truly blessed to have him just jump in and fix the problem.  

Running water is a wonderful thing.  Showers, washing dishes, washing clothes, washing hands, flushing toilets are marvelous things when you've lived for a while without them.  Sharing your experiences about little disasters in your life may help others to appreciate the blessings they have.  You may be able to share lessons you learned from your experience and maybe even be able to be of help to them when they experience a similar disaster.  Write down your experiences with your disasters whether large or small.

 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Favorite Season

What is your favorite season of the year?  You may live where there are four seasons or you may live where the weather doesn't change much year round.  Throughout your life you may have lived in different climates.  Describing the season you like best can add a lot to your story.

I think I have always liked fall.  There are good things about the other seasons, but fall has the most enjoyable things for me.  In the fall the weather starts to cool down.  The evenings get cooler and sleep gets easier.  Gardens and fruit trees are producing fresh produce.  If you want a tomato or a peach you can pick one fresh to eat.  The price of produce is cheaper in the fall and there is a large selection of produce available.  Leaves start to change color adding much beauty to the world.  I've always loved the golden color of cottonwood tree leaves against a clear blue sky.

I like fall because of the fun holidays.  Columbus Day, Halloween, Veteran's Day, and Thanksgiving all are celebrated in the fall.  School always started for me towards the end of summer and I always associated the start of school with fall. 

There are good things about other seasons of the year such as beautiful sparkly snow, springtime blossoms and summer vacations.  Adding what you like about the seasons of the year and your experiences during each season can add a lot to your story.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Political Views

What are and were your political views?

With the presidential election coming up this year there is much discussion about political points of view.  Part of your history involves your political point of view.  Even if you hate politics and don't want to hear anything about the election still that is part of your history.  Write down what you believe the government should do.  Write down where you stand on the issues now and throughout your life.  Write down why you chose to vote for certain people.  Write down if you ever regretted voting for someone.  Recording what was happening in the political world and how it affected you can be a big part of your story.  

My parents felt Social Security was a bad idea.  They felt it wouldn't work out well.  Things did change since Social Security started and there are problems.  It would be interesting to talk with my parents about what they feel about what is happening now.

Write down your opinions about politics and add a lot to your story.



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dancing

When did you learn to dance?  What kind of dancing did you learn to do? 

When did you learn to dance?  Did your parents put on music and encourage you to dance to it?  Did they dance?  Did you learn to dance in school?  Was it fun or was it hard to dance?  Did you take dance lessons like tap dancing, ballet, clogging or ballroom dance?  Did you attend dances such as your Junior Prom?  Did you dance all night or were you a wallflower?  Did you ever perform a dance?  What kind of dancing do you like to do?

Dancing can be a fun part of life.  When you are young you might just bounce or sway or swirl around in response to music.  As you get older you may be taught different ways to dance.  You may attend dances where you either wait for someone to ask you to dance or you take the chance to ask someone to dance and risk being rejected.  Perhaps you danced at your wedding.  Maybe you continue to dance whenever you feel like it or maybe you go out to dance.  Dancing may be an important part of your story.

 
Over the years I've learned a lot of different dances. I still don't feel really coordinated. I've often stepped on toes. When I first learn a dance I often go the opposite direction of everyone else. But dancing is fun. Even though I'm not really graceful, I still enjoy dancing. Write down your experiences about dancing. Write down how good you felt you were. Did people stand back to watch you dance? Did you win a dance contest? Write down about special dances and whether you had a date. Write down whether you stepped on the toes of that girl or boy you finally got up the courage to dance with. Write down what dance steps you learned and what kind of music you danced too. Just think how much fun it would be to know how your grandparents or great grandparents danced. Maybe your grandchildren and great grandchildren will enjoy reading about your dancing. swing dancer with poodle skirt and saddle shoes canvas bags
swing dancer with poodle skirt and saddle shoes canvas bags by mike_jory
View more Fun Bags

 


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How Have Other People's Problems Affected Your Life?

Here's another question for your story:

How have other people's problems affected your life?

The answer to this question could be very extensive.  You might be able to write a whole book about how other people's problems have affected your life.  If you grew up with abusive parents, they affected your life.  If your parents divorced, they affected your life.  If your parents stayed happily married throughout their lives, they affected your life.  If your spouse got a job in another city, it affected your life whether you moved with your spouse to the other city or whether you stayed by yourself where you were living.  If your child used drugs or ended up in jail, it affects you.  If you child graduates with honors from college, it affects you.  Most of our lives are truly affected by other people.  We may choose where to live because of other people such as elderly parents who need extra help, or wanting to be close to grandchildren.  We may choose a career because we saw what it was like for someone else working in that line of work.  We are influenced by other people in what we like, what we choose to do in our free time, what we choose to believe and in nearly every aspect of our lives.

Writing down what you did and why you did it will probably involve what someone else did and the influence they had on you.  How other people have affected you is an important part of your story.  Other people's influence on you can explain a lot of things in your life.  Were your ancestors pioneers who traveled out west?  Did their fortitude in establishing homes where there were no communities have an effect on your family that has been passed on to you?  What about ancestors who were immigrants?  Did their willingness to come to a new country affect your family?  Did your family stay put in the same community or area for generations?  How did that affect your family?  Record the influence others have had on you in your life story.

 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Do You Remember Getting New Shoes?

Another question for your story:

Do you remember getting new shoes?

When you were young do you remember getting new shoes?  Do you remember going to a shoe store and trying on new shoes?  Or do you remember ordering new shoes from a catalog.  What were you favorite shoes like?  Did you like them because they were comfortable or did you like them because of how they looked or were they both comfortable and good looking?  Were your shoes the latest fashion?  How often did you get new shoes?  Did you ever wear second-hand shoes?  Did you try to avoid shoes and go barefoot as much as possible?

In today's world we all have to wear shoes.  You aren't allowed to go to school barefoot.  You can't even go in a lot of stores barefoot.  Shoes are a protection from thorns, sharp rocks, broken glass and other hazards you may find outside.  

Write down what the first pair of shoes you remember wearing were like.  The first pair of shoes I remember were red in color and had a strap that went across the top of my foot or could be turned back around the heel of the shoe.  I liked wearing the shoes with the strap around the heel because I felt more grownup that way.  Most days I wore white tennis shoes to school.  I changed into older worn-out tennis shoes when I got home and did chores around the farm.  Slip-on shoes were saved for Sunday and special occasions.


  

  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Were Your Favorite Clothes to Wear?

Here's another question for your story:

What were your favorite clothes to wear?  What did you enjoy wearing?  What were you wearing when you received compliments on how you looked?  What clothes did you hate to wear?

What kind of clothes did you like to wear when you were growing up?  As a boy did you wear jeans and a t-shirt or overalls or shorts?  What did you like to wear best and why?  As a girl did you have to wear dresses or did you never put on a dress?  Did you like wearing dresses or did you always want to wear pants?

Throughout my school years dresses were the required attire for girls.  We only got to wear pants or jeans for special days.  The first time I wore pants was when our family went to an amusement park.  My mother wore dresses all of the time and I never remember seeing her in pants, but I do have a photo of her wearing slacks under a dress when she was riding a horse.  My father liked to wear overalls when he was working.  He would wear long sleeved cotton shirts in the summer and long sleeved flannel shirts in the winter.  When my dad dressed up to go to town, he would wear slacks with a button up shirt.  For church he would wear a suit, shirt and tie.  

The most special piece of clothing that I remember was a prom dress that my mother sewed for my Junior Prom.  She had been in the hospital and had come home just a short while before my prom.  Although she still didn't feel well, she managed to sew me a dress with a lace overlay.  It was simple, but it was beautiful.  My mother died just a short while after my prom.  I have hung onto and cherished that dress because it meant so much to me that my mother had made it for me.

Write about your favorite clothing.  Why did you like it?  Did it have any special stories behind it?  Writing about the clothing you wore adds a lot to your story.    

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Transportation Troubles

Here's another question for your life story:

Have you ever had transportation troubles?

Have you had your car break down and leave you stranded?  What did you do?  Did you have to walk for help?  Did someone stop and offer you help?  Did you have your car towed?  Did you fix your car yourself?  Transportation troubles can add a lot to a story.  Record your experiences with transportation troubles.  Maybe you were involved in an accident.  Maybe you were stranded in a big snowstorm.  Maybe you missed your flight or train or bus.  Maybe you missed something important because you didn't have a way to get there.  

Sometimes transportation troubles can have a positive side.  The kind person who stopped and helped you change a flat tire is a wonderful blessing.  The neighbor who offers you a ride is so appreciated.  The friend who loans you their car until yours is fixed is a marvelous act of kindness.

I have been the recipient of help with car problems.  I have had rides offered from several people.  My co-worker offered me a ride home from work today in her brand new car.  She had to show me how the GPS worked and how when you went to back up there was a picture of the blind spot right behind your car there.  There were so many wonderful features in her car.  It was a real treat just to ride in it.  Maybe it was a blessing that my car wouldn't start and I had to walk to work.  Perhaps one of the greatest kindnesses I have received was when a friend who was moving gave me her car.  She said she wasn't going to need a car and she wanted me to have it because my old car was developing some serious problems.  

If you are writing the story of a parent or grandparent you may have some very interesting stories about transportation to include.  My grandmother said she and her brothers and sisters took a horse and a cart to school.  They had to take along some hay for the horse to eat while they were in school. 

Including stories about transportation will add a lot of interest to your life story. 


Friday, June 15, 2012

The Empty Pickle Jar

The Empty Pickle Jar

I invite you to watch this short movie about time.  It makes you stop and think about how you spend your time.  Watching this movie reminded me of the important things in life and how easy it is to get sidetracked with the small stuff.  I especially like the comment about the chocolate milk at the end.

Friday, June 8, 2012

I just watched a video about Mr. Rodgers.  Mr. Rodgers was on TV when my children were young.  I felt his show was one of the best for children to watch.  Watching this video brought back memories of the time when my daughters were young.  When you see something that brings back memories, record your memories and add to your life story.

Monday, June 4, 2012

What Kind of Foods Did You Eat?

Another question for you life story:

What kind of foods did you eat?

What kind of foods did you eat as a child?  Were you really fussy and just wanted one kind of food, or did you like anything place in front of you, or were you somewhere in between?  Did you always eat at home, or did you eat out a lot?  Did your family have guests over for meals frequently, or was it just your family at mealtimes?  Did you all sit down at a table and eat together, or did you each grab a plate of food and eat while watching TV or reading a book?  Did you have the table set with place mats or a tablecloth and a full place setting, or did you just use the utensils that you needed like a spoon for a bowl of soup or a fork for a salad?  Did you learn to use words like please and thank you, or did you reach across the table to get what you wanted?
Eating is such a fundamental part of our lives that what and how and where and when we eat should be included as part of our story.  Write about your favorite foods.  Write about the foods you dislike and why.  Write about different kinds of food that your family ate.  My dad liked to have a bowl of bread and milk for supper each night.  The milk was fresh and often still warm right from the cow.  He would make a little pile of salt and dip a radish or a green onion or other raw vegetable in the salt and eat it along with the bread and milk.  I've learned that bread and milk was a pioneer staple especially for supper.  My dad continued with that tradition from his pioneer ancestors.  Often the whole family would eat the bread and milk, but sometimes my mother fixed other things for us.  My dad still preferred a bowl of bread and milk for supper.
Include stories about food in you life story to make it even more interesting since every one likes food.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What Are Your Mother's Day Memories?

Another question for your history:

What are your Mother's Day memories?

Mother's Day is an emotional holiday.  It can stir up many memories.  Some of those will be very good and happy, but some of those memories may be very sad.  If you are a mother, you may feel guilt because you are not a perfect mother.  It can be hard to hear poems, songs and stories about mothers when you know how imperfect you are.  If you are a woman who wanted to be a mother but is not a mother because of not being married or infertility or miscarriages, you may feel a lot of pain hearing how wonderful mothers are.  If you lost your mother to death or abandonment or any other reason, Mother's Day can be very painful. 

The saddest Mother's Day for me was the Mother's Day right after my mother's death.  She died less than two weeks before Mother's Day.  We always went to church each Sunday.  Of course we went to church on that Mother's Day.  At church a flower, a booklet or some other small gift would be given to each mother there.  It was hard to see all the mothers getting a flower that Sunday.  Someone gave us a flower to put on my mother's grave.  After church we went and put that flower on her grave.  That gesture meant a lot to us and gave us some comfort in the loss of our mother.  

Write about your Mother's Day experiences.  What was the happiest Mother's Day you ever had?  What was the saddest  Mother's Day you ever had?  What have you done to make someone else's Mother Day happy.  What have others done to make Mother's Day special for you.  Add more to your story by writing about your Mother's Day memories.

  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What Kind of a Home Did You Live In?

Another idea for you life story:

What kind of a home did you live in?

The home you grew up in is an important part of your memories.  I often have homes I have lived in before show up in my dreams.  Sometimes they are just as I remember them, and sometimes they may be a combination of homes I have lived in.  Our homes are a big part of our lives and describing them in our life stories can be an important part of the story.
Describe what kind of home you lived in when you were young.  Was your home a single family residence or did you live in an apartment, duplex, townhouse or other multi-family building?  What did the home look like?  What material was it made from?  How big was it?  How many bathrooms and bedrooms did it have?  Did you have a yard?  Did you have grass or trees or a garden?  How long did you live in the home?  What was the address of the home?  Was there anything unusual about the home?  
The home I grew up in started out as a two bedroom home without a bathroom.  My dad built our home.  The two bedrooms were in the basement.  The coal-burning furnace divided the two bedrooms.  There was only one closet for both of the bedrooms.  The kitchen and living room were upstairs.  The steps between upstairs and downstairs were on the north side of the house.  I believe there was a door going outside on the landing.  I remember being taken outside one night on the north side of the house and being shown the North Star and the Big Dipper by my parents.  We didn't have a bathroom in the house until I was around nine years old.  There was an outhouse on the south side of the house.
When I was around nine years old, my dad added onto the house.  He added a living room and two bedrooms and a dining area upstairs and turned the old living room into a bathroom and a master bedroom.  Downstairs he added a furnace room and turned the two bedrooms into an area to prepare eggs to be sold.  He put the stairs between upstairs and downstairs on the south side of the house and he built a storage room beside the landing and under the dining room area.  
These are only a few of the memories I have of the home I grew up in.  When I think of that home many memories come flooding back to me.  Try writing about the home you grew up in and see how many memories come back to you.  Add any pictures you can find, and ask other family members about their memories.  You'll have a lot to add your story.
  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Unusual Foods

Did your family have unusual foods?  Unusual foods may be different than most people eat.  You probably can't order them at a restaurant.  It is interesting when you talk with someone else who remembers eating the same food you did.
When I was young, my mother baked bread for us each week.  By the end of the week the loaf of bread was getting dried out.  My mother would make french toast and bread pudding from the dried out pieces of bread.  I have eaten those as an adult, and I can find recipes for them.  There was one recipe, though, that I'm not sure I can duplicate.  My mother made Tomatoes and Bread.  I think she heated up canned tomatoes and added the dried out bread to them to soften the bread.  I think she seasoned the tomatoes with salt and pepper and I think she may have added onion to the tomatoes.  We would eat it alongside our eggs for breakfast or with a piece of meat for lunch.  A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a friend and she described a dish that her mother made which sounded a lot like my mother's Tomatoes and Bread.  I haven't talked with someone else who had eaten something like Tomatoes and Bread.  It was interesting to find someone who had eaten a similar food to what I had eaten as a child.
If your mother or grandmother or someone else in your family made a special recipe, ask them for the recipe.  Write it down.  If you wait until they have passed away, you may not be able to duplicate the recipe.  I didn't get the recipe of Tomatoes and Bread from my mother, so I can only guess at the recipe.
Food is definately a big part of your story.  Include some of the different kinds of food you ate throughout your life and why you ate them.  Write down the recipes.  Your family may appreciate having the recipes some day.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What Was The First Car You Remember in Your Life?

Here's another question for your life story:

What was the first car you remember in your life?

Cars, for many people, are a big part of their life.  Most people own cars, unless they live in a metropolitan area with easy access to public transportation or where everything is in walking distance.  In your life story write about what kind of transportation you had.  What do you remember of the first car in your life.  If your family didn't have a car, did you walk everywhere, did you take a bus or train or subway or did you ride a bike?

The first car I remember was a grey pickup truck.  I have pictures of my brother, my sister and myself in front of it.  It had a flat tire.  Maybe my mother figured we wouldn't be going anywhere that day with the flat tire, so it was a good day to take a picture.  My parents had bought the truck brand new before I and my brother were born.  My sister was eight years older than me.  I think my parents thought they were only going to have one child, so a pickup truck made sense especially because of having a farm and needing to haul things.  It did become difficult as our family grew.  There weren't seat belts in the truck, but still it wasn't a great idea to try to fit five people in the cab of the truck.  Many of today's trucks have front and back seats inside the cab, so five or six people can ride comfortably, but since our truck only had one seat we sat on laps to all fit in the cab.  In good weather when we were older we rode in the back of the truck.  We never had an accident fortunately with that truck.  Following is a picture of it with me standing beside it. 


Write about the cars in your life.  What is the first car you remember?  What is the first car that you bought yourself?  What is the most memorable car you have ever owned.  Write about trips you've taken in your cars.  Write about car accidents or when the car broke down.  Write about running out of gas or sliding off the road in a snowstorm.  Since much of our lives happens in cars, remembering and writing about the cars in your life will add a lot to your life story.
 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scary Experiences

Here's another question for your life story:

What was the scariest experience you remember?

All of us have been scared.  Sometimes we found out there was nothing to be scared of.  Sometimes there really was something to be scared of.  Sometimes we were saved from what we were scared of.  Sometimes we had to deal with what scared us even though it was very difficult.

As you think about the scariest experiences you have had, you will probably come up with many stories you can write down.  Start writing them down and you will add a lot to your life story.

Every year when I went back to school, I had to deal with fear about going down the big slippery slide again.  After not going down the slide during the summer while school was out, I had a hard time trying to go down it again.  Sometimes I would climb up the steps all the way to the top, then look down the slide and quickly back down the steps.  Unfortunately sometimes someone would be climbing the steps behind me.  They didn't want to back down, so they would tell me to just slide down, that it would be okay.  Finally after I did slide down it wasn't so scary any more and I could slide down again and again. 


I learned that somethings you should be scared of and be cautious in what you are doing.  I remember a confrontation my dad had with a badger.  I remember the teeth and the claws and how ferocious that badger was.  I learned you never want to encounter a badger without being prepared to protect yourself.

Lightning is something I still find scary.  I have learned that if you get in a safe place lightning doesn't have to be so scary, though I still am cautious when there is lightning.


NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) 


Write your scary experiences down and add a lot to your life story.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What is Your Favorite Hobby?

Here's another question for your story:

What is your favorite hobby?

Over the course of a lifetime one can have many hobbies.  Your hobbies add a lot to your life.  Sometimes hobbies can be developed into something profitable, but always hobbies add enjoyment and fun to life.  Some people become very proficient in their hobby, while others just learn enough to enjoy doing it.  Some hobbies will be ongoing throughout life.  Others will be dabbled in for a day, a week, a month or a year and then not returned to.  
You can start writing about your hobbies by writing about your favorite hobby currently.  What do you like to spend time doing?  Take pictures of your hobby.  Include what you have learned from the hobby.  Write the instructions of how to do what you do for your hobby.  Give any tips and advice.  This may be very valuable to someone in the future.
If your hobby is cooking, you can take pictures of the foods you cook.  You can write down the recipes.  You can share any tips you've learned to make it easier to prepare.  You can share any mistakes you've made and how to avoid making them.  Some day one of your children or grandchildren may read your story and find the recipe for one of their favorite dishes from childhood.  They will be grateful you shared the recipe so they can recreate that memorable food.
You can write more about your hobbies.  Write about the ones that you spend hours doing.  Write about the ones you only did for a short while.  Write about the ones you didn't like and don't want to do again.  
Your hobbies will add a great deal to your story and will make it much more interesting and enjoyable to read.
One of my favorite hobbies right now is fractal art.  I enjoy creating fractal art on my computer.  Following is an example of a fractal art design I created.
  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Love Story

Another question for your life story:

What is one of the love stories from your life?

Everyone has a love story in their life.  Sometimes the love story is sad or even tragic.  One of my uncles never married because his fiance died before they were married.  Sometimes it is unusual and has a different twist to it.  My parents almost didn't get together.  My dad teased my mom and she didn't like him, but a ride in a rumble seat started their romance.  Sometimes it is pretty much an ordinary love story.  Boy and girl meet.  Boy asks girl out.  They date many times, become great friends, fall in love, get married, raise a family and live many years together.  But most love stories have a lot of interesting details.  



Other love stories can be about the love of a parent for a child, the love of a child for a parent, the love of two friends, or the love of a pet cat or dog.  Your life is probably filled with several love stories.  Write down the stories about those you love and why you love them.  Your love story will add a great deal to your life story.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What Failures Have You Had in Your Life?

Here's another question for your life story:

What failures have you had in your life?

This seems like a negative subject to write about, but if you could share what you learned from your failures with others wouldn't it be worthwhile to write about your failures. Sometimes we think everyone else's life is going well.  They have a nice home and a beautiful car and a wonderful family.  At Christmas I get a few family newsletters from friends who live far away that I don't get to see any more.  They describe the family vacation, the successes of their children and the things their family has accomplished in the last year.  When my own family is struggling with financial problems, underemployment and unemployment, it can be discouraging to hear about how well others are doing.  

When I go to visit someone else and they have a pile of laundry on the couch waiting to be folded, dirty dishes in the sink waiting to be washed, and books or papers scattered across tables waiting to be read or put away, I am encouraged because someone else has a challenge getting everything done too.  A spotlessly clean house makes me feel discouraged because my house never looks like that.  My life doesn't go perfectly so it is good to know that others don't have perfect lives either.  

When writing your life story, don't make it sound too perfect.  Share the failures, the disappointments, the discouragements; but also share what was learned and how you coped with it.  When others are struggling, they may find hope in what you have written that somehow they can make it through their challenge too.