Skip to main content

Ten Things of Thankful: Kaleidoscope of Cousins and Other Delights


My cousin and I in a life-size kaleidoscope at RootsTech 2024

I just got back last night from fun-filled days at RootsTech, a large family history conference. Originally, I had not planned to attend this year, but my cousin contacted me to ask me if I was still going, even though I'm living in California for the year. Before she knew I was moving, she had told her husband she wanted to go to RootsTech for the first time, because she "knew" I would attend and we could visit. She didn't have to twist my arm! We quickly made plans to drive to Utah together, stay at my house there, attend RootsTech, and generally have a great time. 

This cousin is not one that I spent a lot of time with growing up, as our families lived in different states and our age difference seemed greater as children. I enjoyed getting to know her these past few days, and am so glad she reached out to me about attending RootsTech together. Hopefully we have started a new tradition! 

1. I'm thankful I had company for part of my drive. It certainly made the time pass more quickly.

2. I'm thankful I was able to see youngest daughter on the way (even if I did forget to get photographic proof.)

3. I'm thankful I was able to spend some time with youngest son (and his girlfriend) as schedules allowed. 

My cousin, my son, and I smile for a selfie

4. I'm thankful that everything is growing well at home. Before Christmas 2022, I had purchased some wax-coated amaryllis bulbs. After their blooming season was over, I carefully removed the wax, planted them in a pot, and put them in the basement until fall 2023. I then brought them upstairs and started watering them again. Lo and behold, it worked! They are currently huge and getting ready to bloom again. 

Budding amaryllis bulbs next to a ficus plant

5. I'm thankful that not only plants are flourishing, but also the animals my son takes care of are getting along swimmingly. (I couldn't resist.)

An orange cat and an orange fish come face-to-face on either side of the aquarium glass

6. I'm thankful I got to spend lunch time and some class time with my friend, walking buddy, and Utah neighbor. It was so good to see her again! (Is the photo on my cousin's phone, my friend's phone, or did we forget to take one?!)

7. I'm thankful for the things I learned. For example, did you realize that the Freedman's Bureau records contain not only documents pertaining to formerly enslaved individuals, but also records of white persons who sought government assistance after the Civil War, and other records which mention former enslavers? I want to explore the Freedman's Bureau now and see what I can discover. 

8. I'm thankful for technology. As you can tell from the name RootsTech, the conference focuses on both genealogy and technology, and AI was a big topic at this year's conference. One presenter stated that AI can be useful in learning useful historical background. For example, you could ask Chat GPT (or another AI) to write a short paragraph describing a particular county in a particular year. I'm curious to try some of the new technologies that I haven't explored yet.

9. I'm thankful that many of the RootsTech sessions are online here. Online videos are free to everyone, so if you're curious about family history (or a fan of comedian Henry Cho or singer Kristin Chenoweth), be sure to check out the video library. 

10. I'm thankful for John. He supports my interests and activities, and holds down the fort while I'm gone. While I had a great time at home in Utah, it's sure nice to be home In California with John!

What are you thankful for this week? Be sure to click on the link to go to the Ten Things of Thankful blog to see the other bloggers' entries in this blog hop!


  1. What fun, getting to go with a relative and enjoy time with friends and family! It's so precious every time we can see them.

  2. Sounds like a fun (and productive) time at the conference. It's a lot of things, good and not, but technology is surely a tool that I would not hate to be without.
    have a good week


Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things of Thankful: Autumn Edition

It's autumn time, one of my favorite times of year.  I just couldn't leave this weekend as a one-post weekend.  

Ten Things of Thankful: Last Two Weeks

  Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, as viewed from an overlook I apologize for not commenting on your blog posts this past week; John and I took a vacation to Yellowstone National Park, leaving behind our computers and, to a large extent, cell phone service. We escaped the outside world and just spent time in nature. Though we have friends near Yellowstone (who we love to visit) we made this trip just about us, so please forgive us if we were nearby and didn't stop by. The crowds were minimal (though we did mask up whenever we passed someone on the trails) and we spent our days hiking, taking photos, and watching geysers erupt. Today, we are back home and back to work, and, in the case of my computer, back to old shenanigans like not letting me import my photos. (I was able to add the above photo by using blogger on my phone, but that isn't my preferred method.) I want to write about Yellowstone and have photos I want to share, but will leave that for another

Monday Mentions: Equate Crutches

Have you ever needed crutches? I hadn't, until a week ago.  I'm pretty sure I strained a muscle while running a half-marathon.  (That sounds kind of cool, doesn't it? I'm not actually that cool; the last time I strained a muscle it was from carrying too many shopping bags at once.) In any case, I found myself in need of some crutches. I sent my husband to the store to get some. Photo: A pair of crutches leans against a wall  Not that crutches are all that complex, but because I hadn't used any before, I wondered if I could figure out how to adjust them to fit me properly. I shouldn't have worried. John came home from Walmart with their generic store brand of crutches, complete with instructions. First, I needed to take out a long bolt that went through the hand grip. Then I needed to find my height range, push down two metal pieces, and slide the crutches until the little metal pieces came up in the hole near my height range. (Having two people for this