Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Workspace

After reading the latest Family Tree Magazine and seeing all the "professionals" work spaces, made me rethink my work space.

Actually, I have a wonderful work space, my husband built me a dedicated building/room. It is a 12 foot by 12 foot room that is about 10 feet off the back of the house, behind my master bedroom. Between my master bedroom and my "Computer" room is what I call the Kitty Garden. This is an enclosed area that we let the cats out and they are safe and can't wander off. This is unless your name is Phantom, because he is my jumper and he jumps over the 8 foot fence. Actually he jumps up to the top part which is lattice and then climbs over and jumps down. However, I digressed.

Back to my work space, I set this space up back in 2003 when my husband built me this wonderful building. I have two doors, one facing the back of my home and the other perpendicular to that door facing my side yard. That door shares a wall with the window, which I can see the pool.

I decided to put a U shaped desk into this space as you can see. I have a lower lateral file for my records and the hutch expands over the open desk top and the lateral file against the wall. I love the cubbies for papers, books, folders, sheet protectors and other things. I also like that I have to closed door storage. The one in the corner has all my computer manuals, disks and such that come when you purchase hardware. I have my printer manuals, my computer manuals (all computers, laptops and tablets). This why if I need to re-install anything, I know exactly where to find it. The other closed door storage has all my labels and such. I have many different kinds and sizes of labels for all my projects, even those for non-genealogy related items. To the right of the hutch you can see part of my book shelf. I found out quickly that I needed more bookshelf space and this is a small one about 19" wide, just big enough so that I can still open my door that is facing the back of my home.

As you can see, I have way too much stuff. However, I have learned that it takes baby steps to de-clutter. Actually, I managed to take out a huge garbage bag of stuff. I finally trashed some old hardware that either doesn't work or I don't use anymore.

I use two monitors, because I like having my genealogy program open on one screen and the internet open on another. I have my printer on the left (in the picture) on a stand that stores the rest of the ream of paper that doesn't fit in the printer. The other side has some fun color paper that I might use. I love the two drawers on the bottom of this stand, for post-it-notes and other little handy objects. I like the fact that I have two work areas, one on the right and one on the left of me. I can work on two projects if need be. I try not to do that but, sometimes in the middle of my genealogy project I might need to do something for my society and thus I can keep the papers separate from each other.

I know I have lots of room for improvement. First of all, I have stop shopping for small office supplies because I was becoming a hoarder of office supplies. I have post-it-notes coming out of my ears, I have tons of scrap paper too and thus I don't need anymore. Plus I manage to pick free supplies from various trade shows, so I have learned that I need to say no.

I also need to be better at not hiding stuff in my computer room, because I don't know where to put it in my home. I need to make room for everything and not ignore the problem and put the items in my computer room. I need to keep my desk as clean as if I was working outside the home. My husband would get a kick out of visiting me at work because my office and desk and work were immaculate while my home office was not so much. I also still have areas of my computer room to clean up, but since I am leaving for the summer, it will have to wait until I get back. At least I will be coming back to a mostly organized room.

So how would you grade your space? I would give my space a grade of a B-. It is a little above average but there is still more that needs to be done.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

My Mother
On this Mother's Day my thoughts always go back to my mother and then to her mother. Both of these people are no longer with us, but are always in my heart and my thoughts.

My mother was born with the name of Orlien Mary Hiltz but was raised as Orlien Mary Hafenstein. She was born on May 2, 1927 to Katherine Hiltz. My grandmother was 19 when my mother was born, her own mother had died only 2 years prior to my mother's birth.

I know my grandmother's only regret is that she had to drop out of school during her mother's illness and never was able to go back. I think how brave my grandmother must have been to decide to keep her little fatherless daughter. I'm sure people told her that no one would want her now. Well she showed them all when in 1929 she married her husband and gave birth to two more daughters.

My Grandmother
My mother didn't find out that she was illegitimate until after her 18th birthday. My grandfather decided to legally adopt my mother so that she would not have to go through life presenting an illegitimate birth certificate. My mother never told any of her nine children about her illegitimate birth and thus I don't know how my mother handled the shock of it all. She was one of the strongest women I ever met. She too found her self "in trouble" before getting married, but the father of her child, loved her and made an honest women out of her. She moved around a lot during her short 8 year marriage. When she just found out she was pregnant with child number 6, her husband died as a result of a tragic work related accident. That only man she knew as her father had died 8 months prior that same year. So now, she lost the two most important men in her life.

She moved in with her mother and her sister, with her other sister and her husband living downstairs. My mother had to learn how to drive, to handle the finances, to get a job, to do all the things she didn't think she would be doing. She even gave birth to her 6th child on what would have been her ninth wedding anniversary.  

She married my father who was a co-worker of her brother-in-law two years after the birth her 6th child. She gave my father three children of her own, with me being the youngest. However, the other two were both born with learning disabilities. Therefore my mother had children living with her until she died in 2002 at the age of  75.

My mother taught me many things, such as being able to do anything I set my mind to. She also taught all her children there is no such thing as women or men's work. That if there is a chore to do, someone needs to do it. She taught all her children to how to cook, clean and to handle finances. She said when her first husband died, she felt loss because she didn't even now how to write a check or balance the checkbook. She did such a good job with the finances, that I had to show my father how my mother did things when she died. And to this day, I had all my family's finances the way my mother showed me.

I miss her as much today as I did the day my husband told me. The only difference is that I found the strength to get through each day. So to my mother and grandmother, Happy Mother's Day, you both have set the standards high and I hope I can be half the mother and grandmother you both were!