Selecting a Family Tree Template

genealogy family tree

Family tree template with picture frames

Family tree templates can come in handy even if you’re not a genealogist. For example, many of the professional photo managers I know use them to help with organizing photos by family and by date. They also come in handy for medical, historical, relationship, inheritance, and land ownership purposes. Some saga-writing authors even use them for keeping track of their fictional characters’ lives!

I often get asked what template I recommend.

My answer, as with oh-so-many things in life, is this: It depends!


Think of your big project as a new hobby

icons depicting various hobbies

Lots of activities can be considered  hobbies!


Do you have a big project you’ve been putting off?

Is it because you are waiting for the perfect time to devote your entire self to getting it done?

If you try to do too much at once, you risk getting overwhelmed and exhausted. Chances are you’ll get discouraged, go away, and never come back to it.


Porter Knight’s Happiness Equation

I’m calling this post “Porter Knight’s Happiness Equation” to distinguish it from the happiness equation that has been my mantra for the last several years: Progress equals Happiness. (Click here to read Does Progress Equal Happiness?) Although hers is completely different, don’t worry, they don’t cancel each other out!


How to Rubber Duck your life


Have you ever had a Eureka moment while explaining something to someone?

We could also call it a Rubber Duck moment.

I’ll get back to rubber ducks. But first, a little story:


How would you rather feel?

Do you have trouble deciding whether, what, when, or how to create a new goal, habit or resolution?


Why my next book would make a terrible gift

Unwanted gift


My next book probably won’t be ready by Thanksgiving after all, which has been my goal all year long. However, one of my motivations for choosing that deadline was so it would be available for holiday gift-giving. And it finally occurred to me:

This book would make a terrible gift!

(Unless, of course, it’s literally on a loved-one’s wish list.)


The Burial Plot Thickens: A Find a Grave Mystery

P. Domenici, 1932-2017, San Ignacio section, Row 9, Space 1 (Image added to Find a Grave by Hazel Thornton on 29 Oct 2018.) CLICK TO ENLARGE


From time to time I accept requests through Find a Grave from people who do not live locally and who would like a volunteer to go take a photo of their relative‘s resting place for them.

A few years ago I got a request for Pietro Domenici at Mount Calvary Cemetery here in Albuquerque. I found the marker, which you can see in the featured image. There’s nothing in the photo for scale except grass, but it’s the size of a common brick…that’s because it IS a common brick, with an engraved metal plate attached to it. The plate is maybe 2X4 inches.


Six steps to getting unstuck on a project

I’ve been feeling stuck. For weeks and weeks. And not sure why.

Have you ever felt that way? Are you having trouble getting unstuck too?


Back to School for Adults 2022

Who else loved going back to school as a kid?

New school supplies! New clothes! Reuniting with old schoolmates! Mixed emotions about a new teacher (maybe a whole new school, even) and meeting new classmates.

I’ve been preoccupied with working on a new book and finishing up a couple of genealogy projects for clients. Plus, it’s still hot out and doesn’t feel like time to go back to school. Plus, oh yeah, I’m retired.

But I’m a lifelong learner and I can’t help but notice that educational opportunities abound!

A couple of these programs have already started. But IT’S NOT TOO LATE, since they are not the sort of classes that build on one another. You can pick and choose!


Do you schedule questions?

scheduling questionsI was just scheduling a couple of questions on my calendar when I wondered:

Do other people do this?