Does Your Tree Have Roots!

Professional Organizing has been my passion for nearly 5 years now and still is. The clients I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with and their stories have given me the opportunity to add this new service to my business. Pitcher Perfect is now offering a new service to her business profile that is also a passion that I have been involved with for over the last 16 years. Genealogy!!

Here Is My Story..

I started this journey after learning at the age of 35 that I was adopted. There were many emotions that came with this news especially at that age, but I set out on my journey to “Find the New Me”

Computers were not advanced as they are today, so starting was a big challenge, but I was ready. I had only 3 names to go on to start my search, no family history, no stories, nothing really. I was born in New Brunswick, Canada so that’s where all my family comes from, right!!  Not so!! We will say I was a bit naïve but at the time, that was my logical thinking then but has definitely changed after many years of family searching. Yes, I was born in New Brunswick, but I am mostly British, Irish, Scottish, Wales, French, German with a wee bit of Portuguese thrown into the mix. WOW!! But I am from Canada, so how can this be. I fired up my old Commodore 64 Computer (no laughing). gathered pens, pencils and paper, took a deep breath and started my 16 year journey.

Where do I start? What do I type in? Who am I really looking for? What do I do? were all questions that ran rampant through my head. Websites were not readily available but I could still enter a name into a search engine and that is exactly what I did. I entered in one of the 3 surnames I had to go on and managed to get some information in which I wrote down. Then I continued on with the next two surnames, same thing, very little information to go on, but it was a start. I found some dates, a Military Service Number, Census Documents and a few Legal Documents. A break through!! I printed off everything I could find and started a file on each surname. I drew a tree on a piece of blank paper and added in the few names I found. I was now hooked and I spent as much time as I could finding any new leads. Some days were good, and other days, nothing, but my search went on. Days, weeks, months and years went by, gaining more and more information daily and now my tree started to take shape. My adoptive mother now took interest in my findings and asked me to assist her with finding her family. I was up for the challenge. Mom was getting on in age but at the age of 80, she purchased a computer to assist with the search. I purchased Family Tree Maker and we began to enter in names of her parents, siblings and aunts and uncles. I worked on her tree 10 hours a day for 2 full years and now she was learning about her roots. Not before long, I had gathered enough information, documents and photos, that I took it upon myself to write a book. My book went online for all to see and I was very proud of how it all came together. Unfortunately, 3 weeks before our book was bound together, God had other plans for my mom. Mom never had a chance to see the finished product. I keep that book close to my heart and now know all about the mother who chose me to raise and love. She was an amazing, warm hearted soul. I miss her immensely and out time building her family legacy.

It was now time to complete my journey on my family heritage. New online sites and search engines were available which made searching faster and easier, patience and persistence paid off. I am now at the 16 year point of my search. My tree holds 1843 members, 901 photos, 112 stories and 7541 documents. Wow!! What an accomplishment from starting with 3 names I really knew nothing of. I manage 7 different Family Tree sites and have met many relatives from all over the world. What a wonderful family I have! The stories they tell are touching, photos we have shared between us brings me back into time, the laughs we have had and the tears we have shed. What a beautiful journey.

My tree has had many twist & turns, rabbit holes, misleading information and so many skeletons that I could celebrate Halloween every day of the year. Oh My!! From hero’s to convicts, pirates to slaves are all part of my family heritage. Names change over time, many marriages take place with many children being born. Adoptions took place frequently and many were sent to workhouses. There isn’t one family that has not faced a challenge, but we all turned out okay. To date, I have found my birth father, my birth mother, 4 generations on my paternal side and 9 on my maternal side. That’s a lot of family! My search will continue to find my mothers father and more relatives that have faded into the past. The search goes on…

Things to keep in mind:

-Trust your gut feelings.

-Names change for various reasons. Do not ignore variations.

-Try to obtain 3 documents on each member.

-Follow up leads.

-Listen closely to stories of loved ones. They hold the past.

-Test your DNA.

-Become a member on a Family Tree site. You only need 1 site to keep your tree organized.

-NEVER GIVE UP!

If you need any assistance or instruction with starting a tree, maintaining one, downloading or uploading Raw DNA, finding documents, making contact with a relative, reading your matches or keeping track of your documents, Contact me Linda @ Pitcher Perfect so I can assist you with getting started on your family heritage journey..

Note: As of Nov 1st, 2108, I will be a Registered Member of The Ontario Genealogical Society.

I would also like to thank Deborah Glover UE., for all your help and vast knowledge in assisting me these last few months. You, along with my work colleagues have given me the ability to advance forward with my new endeavour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Packing for a move!

I am sure most of you have had the tedious task of packing for a move but do not know what to pack or even where to start. Here is my story on how I perfected the proper way to pack for a successful move ensuring your items arrive at your new home safely.

Growing up in a military family and then marrying into the military, I have had my fair share of moves, 13 in total just with the military and over 30 packing and moving jobs for various clients. Of course, I had no say in how a moving company operated their business and had to sit on the side lines watching them randomly pack our belongings to be stored or moved. I could not understand their packing process at such a young age  and really, it  didn’t matter at that time as I knew mom and dad would handle the unpacking on the other end.  As I grew up and the next move was eminent, I watched very closely as the packing process began. I studied very closely their packing practices and did not understand why one box would hold items from different rooms. There has to be a better way to do this, I’m sure of it and I will find a way to perfect my own packing procedures and practices.  Four years after I married, we were on the move again and this time, it was across the big pond, Europe! We were allowed to bring only a few boxes but most had to go into storage for 4 years. Moving day was approaching and I said, “I’ve got this, I am sure I can pack way better and know where my belongings will be located”. I started like most others and gathered enough newspapers to build my own home. Boxes and tape were dropped off previously by the moving company and it was now time to perfect my speciality.

I carefully selected which items to be packed, selected an appropriate box, taped it and lined the bottom of the box with newspaper. I carefully unfolded my gathered newspapers and began to wrap our belongings. Now, I need to perfect the proper way of wrapping my items so they make the long trek to their new home and staying intact during their journey. I selected a drinking glass to start. I placed it on the paper and carefully began to wrap it. Trust me, packing is an art!! How many items can I get into one box? What goes on the bottom? Can plates and drinking glasses go together? Can you pack metal and glass together? Do I want to pack room to room? As I watched the packing process of moving companies earlier, I often wondered why they would take items from various rooms just to fill a box. This really didn’t make sense because on the unpacking end, one box could contain items from 4 different rooms which meant running throughout your home dropping items off in its proper room. That was not going to be the case when I packed. It’s all about efficiency for me, and that’s exactly what I set out to do.

HOW TO PACK A BOX PROPERLY

  1. Boxes will become heavy and cumbersome if overloaded, especially with glassware and china. If all one set of a specific china pattern will not fit into one box, put it in two boxes and mark, box 1 of 2 and the second, 2 of 2.
  2. Select the proper box for the job. 1 to 1.5 Cube boxes are the perfect size for kitchen items, glassware and china.
  3. Use proper packing paper. Newspaper ink will rub off and you will have to wash your items after they are unpacked and also will leave your hands black.
  4. Use the proper packing tape. Check its strength. Cheaper might mean the bottom of the box letting go and your contents falling out and breaking.
  5. Use bubble wrap for delicate items such as porcelain figurines and fine china.
  6. If you are packing clothes, use wardrobe boxes. Bags and boxes will leave your clothes wrinkled.
  7. Wine boxes with inserts are perfect for packing wine glasses and porcelain figurines. They still need to be wrapped for safe shipping.
  8. Heavy items, such as plates, tureens and platters, if they fit, to be wrapped and packed on the bottom first, facing down.
  9. Plates, saucers and shallow bowls should be wrapped and placed face down. The biggest plates on the bottom first, then the next smaller size etc.
  10. If you are packing a plate set, place plates in the middle of the box. DO NOT PACK PLATES ON THEIR SIDE!! Just like tempered glass, plates are their weakest on the edges.
  11. Drinking glasses need to be wrapped and placed bottom down. Do not stack smaller glasses inside larger glasses. I guarantee, 1 of them will be broken.
  12. Wine glasses, not packed in wine boxes, must be wrapped making sure most of the wrapping paper is wrapped around the stem to protect it from being broken. Depending on your packing comfortability, you can pack wine glasses stem down or lip down. Stagger them to maximize your space. Stem up, next one stem down.
  13. Make sure rolled or crumpled paper is between the glassware and the box to secure your items from knocking together.
  14. NEVER!! pack metal objects with glass.
  15. ALWAYS pack the heaviest items on the bottom first.
  16. If your box is not completely packed, fill the top with crumpled paper and cut a box so that you can fit a piece of cardboard on the top.
  17. MAKE SURE the top of your box does not cave in. MAKE SURE IT’S FLAT!!
  18. Pack a box that you can lift.
  19. Stack the heaviest box on the bottom and lightest on top. Boxes with china in it, needs to be placed on top.
  20. NEVER pack liquid items if you are going to be storing them. Take them with you or give them away.
  21. Books can get very heavy fast. To ensure you can lift the box, wine boxes are perfect for books.
  22. When packing lamps, remove light bulbs, harps and shades. Wardrobe boxes are perfect for these items. If you have more than 1 lamp shade, place paper inside one and insert the next smallest one and repeat. Fill up empty shades with crumpled paper so the shades don’t crush. Wrap light bulbs that match the lamps and place them inside the shades.
  23. When taping a box, DO NOT SKIMP ON THE TAPE!! Use 2 strips of tape across where the flaps meet. Turn the box and tape in the opposite direction. Using 4 strips of tape will keep your boxes from falling apart. Do not tape over the handles.
  24. Use the same pattern when closing a box. Make sure where the flaps touch are sealed with tape. Pull as tight as you can to make sure the flaps are together.
  25. Soft plastics, like Tupperware and like materials, usually do not need to be wrapped but choose a box that will keep all your plastics together in one spot.
  26. Cookware needs to be packed in its own box. Heavy pans on the bottom first. Fill the box with like items. To ensure no items rattle, place paper between pots or pans and stuff enough paper throughout the box so nothing moves about.
  27. When packing cutlery, use the box the wrapping paper comes in and make sure it is also wrapped. This will ensure you won’t get a nasty cut when unpacking. Most cutlery trays will fit in these boxes perfectly and keep these items contained in one place.
  28. Pictures and mirrors are the most difficult items to pack. You can purchase special boxes for these item but if you are on a tight budget, you can make your own.
  29. Artificial flowers, if they are tall, can be packed in wardrobe boxes so that they will not be crushed.
  30. Bedding and pillows can also fit easily into wardrobe boxes as well.
  31. LABEL YOUR BOXES!! Most boxes have a place where you can list your items. These are normally located on top. This makes it very difficult to see when boxes are packed and stacked. Use bright coloured stickers, ex. Yellow for kitchen, blue for bathroom. Place stickers on the face of the box and place sticker in the same spot on each box so you can view it quickly. It the sticker is large enough, mark inside the sticker, MBDR, for master bedroom, DRM for dining room etc. Have your own system to identify your boxes and which rooms they will be placed in. Most packing boxes have bold black writing on them, so make sure you use a bold colour to offset the box maker and companies name. If you are storing your boxes, take a picture of its contents before you pack them and tape the picture on the face of the box for easy recognition. Use arrows and label them Up or Down for which the item stands. DO NOT OVER LABEL as this will make it confusing for the moving company or yourself.
  32. FINALLY!! If you shake your box and it makes a noise or rattle, something is more than likely to  get broken…

Packing is not rocket science but it takes a lot of prep work and knowledge. It can be confusing and overwhelming.

If you are on the move and need help with your move or any organizing needs, please contact Pitcher Perfect. I can make a move a beautiful thing!!

The Diary of a Soldier

It has been well noted that while organizing a home, my most memorable finds are military memorabilia. These priceless items all have a story to tell. My most memorable find was a Memorial Cross hidden amongst tiny boxes in the bottom of a dresser drawer. As I carefully opened this small box and removed the insert, there, lay a Military Medal. Not knowing exactly it’s significance, with permission, I snapped a picture of it to show my husband after I arrived home. Military runs deep in my family and families passed. I, myself served in the reserve forces for 5 years. The first unit I proudly served in was The Lanark & Renfrew Scottish Regiment ( Infantry) and the second The 26th Field Regiment (Artillary). My 5x great grandfather fought in The Revolutionary War and was the first family to settle in Wine Harbour, Nova Scotia. My great grandfather served in the Boer War and 1st World War. My grandfather served in the 1st World War & 2nd World War. Next to follow is my father who served in The Korean War. My husband served in The Canadian Armed Forces for 22 years and deployed to many areas of the world. All of my uncles followed suit as well as my brother. So, as you can see, anything pertaining to the military holds a special place in my heart. When I took out my phone to show my husband my exciting find, I asked him about the Memorial Cross and how one obtained it. He carefully stared at the picture I had taken and his eyes filled with tears. I didn’t quite understand the significance or meaning of this medal but I was going to find out anything and everything I needed to know so I could tell it’s story. This medals story was not to lie in the bottom of a drawer but to be told to the owner of it, and I did just that. The Memorial Cross is given to a mother who has lost a son or daughter in battle, in this case, son. Tears were shed while I proceeded to tell it’s story. At that moment, nothing else mattered. I knew this was my niche while working as a Professional Organizer, and to this day, it still is my passion to tell an untold story that may have gone untold for so long.