First Day of Spring 2015

Celebrating my birthday April 2014 at the Ports O Call Waterfront Restaurant in  San Pedro, CA

Celebrating my birthday with family on April 2014 at the Ports O Call Waterfront Restaurant in San Pedro, CA             [Herlinda Mitchell, Brian Edwards, me & Brittnee Edwards]

Like any other day, tomorrow signifies a new beginning, and a new season. I love Spring as many people love New Years Day. During this time, I always begin to reflect on where I have been and where I am going. I celebrate my birthday in April, so this is also a New Year for me.

I tend to feel refreshed even though I struggle with the “spring forward” of day lights savings time. We lose an hour, and really, frankly, I need that hour back! What sense does it make as we all try to recover from this loss of time?

So here I am, at my desk, preparing for my long day of reading. I will be attending the Forensic Genealogy Institute in Dallas on March 25-28, 2015, and there are lots to do before we sit in a classroom all day and get into the nuts & bolts of having a genealogy business, which covers Client Interview Skills, Contract Drafting, Source Citations, Reports, Affidavits, Exhibits, Complex International Cases, Documents & Deeds, Expert Witness Preparation and at the end a Mock Trial which includes Q & A.

Some of the materials that we are required to read are items that I did not have to purchase because it was a part of the curriculum of the  Boston University Genealogy Research Certificate Program. The well known resources are Evidence Explained & Professional Genealogy by Elisabeth Shown Mills. Along with that, we are to read an article regarding Qualifying the Expert Witness: A Practical Voir Dire, by Gil I Sapir, JD, MSc.

I have taken various courses over the last five years, however the difference now compared to then is that I feel more prepared and ready to take my skills to another level.

I am also planning on attending the Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI) for my third year. I always learn something new, and it helps me to develop my skills.

The reason for all the workshops, classes, and institutes, is that I am honing in on my niche. I completed my Paralegal Certificate Program from University of San Diego in December 2014. It is my intention to be hired by a probate attorney who focuses on estate planning. I have received a few inquires and once I get back from Dallas, I will be moving towards that end of employment, and building my genealogy business.

Lately, I have been overwhelmed by all the posts on facebook and all the other social media pages that have tons upon tons of genealogical information. I really cannot keep up with it all.  It is like information overload.

One must really stay connected via social media as this is where you learn the latest of whats happening within the genealogical community and foster some great friendships. So in order for me to not feel so overwhelmed, I will have to systematically decide what blogs, articles, and pages to read and set a time in my day to do so.

I want to hear from you my friends of the genealogical community….What are you doing in this field, and what do you do so that you do not feel overwhelmed? Please comment and I promise I will respond.

It’s Been Awhile

Today is Friday and I am on my way to Los Angeles to spend some time with my sister Herlinda. It has been awhile since I have written. Don’t count me out, cause I miss you as much as you miss me.

2015 is a year of completion for me, so I have been making plans on how I can make it happen. This year is also a year of transitioning as I know that in 2016, there will be a lot of new things on the horizon.

Today, I am hoping to visit a cemetery or two to take some photos of some headstones of my ancestors. I have many that are buried throughout Los Angeles, so it is difficult for me to know exactly where. I have a list, but today, I think I will visit my Aunt Ada Bunn. I believe she is my great-grandfather’s sister. She would be the youngest of the siblings. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to know her. She always had a smile on her face. That is what I knew of her the most.

So, as I journey to Los Angeles, I will be checking in with a report. I am only less than two hours away…so it is not a long journey, however, the genealogical journey could take me anywhere.

So, I will see you soon. Hope you have a great day.

~Root Digger

Making It Happen!

YvetteThe Last time I wrote in my journal, I shared some of my short term goals. You can go to “I Am Back!!! to see that post .I am finding it difficult to blog most days, but I am going to attempt to do so at least weekly as I think it would be cool to see my progress and journey through reaching my goals.

As stated in my prior post, I applied for University of San Diego’s Paralegal program. I was accepted and I started on September 9, 2014.  I am enrolled in the accelerated program which will end on December 18, 2014.  In four months I will have completed 23 units.  The classes in the  program are: Intro to Law, Criminal Law, Civil Law, Research & Writing, Real Estate Law, and Family Law.  On top of those courses, I am required to take an internship class and intern in a legal office, court, etc.  I applied for a special internship with the Superior Court of San Diego.  I was accepted and will be working in the probate department.  The program will require me to intern for 75 hours.  This case load is very vigorous, and I am praying that I will do well enough to earn my Certificate.

So now that I have been in the program for two weeks, I am finding that I don’t have much time for anything else.  I have been going from class to studying in the Law Library to going home and studying more, while trying to get at least four to six hours of sleep.  I am realizing that sleep has to be a part of the schedule so I don’t burn out…and of course, I got to eat light meals so I don’t doze off in class.  Ha Ha, I could barely keep my eyes open the other day, and my professor saw, but told me not to worry about it because half the class was falling asleep…LOL  I still have to care for my 84 year old Uncle.  My grown children have been very helpful in picking up the slack when I am at school.  I have not found the time to work on the projects I have with my publishing company, however, I am preparing to do so when I find a few spare moments.

I did start my BlogtalkRadio program on August 25, 2014.  My program is on Mondays at 6 pm Pacific Time.  To check out my station “Talk With The Root Digger” click on name. My next program will be with Ty El-Gray of the well known poem, “A Black Woman’s Smile.” Ty is the National Spokesperson for Spokenword Billboard Awards. I hope that you will join me on this program and call in to ask questions of our guest.

What about the time I am taking for my genealogy research?  Well, I do plan on spending at least 2-5 hours a week to research and write about my journey.  I have just started researching my New Mexico ancestry.  I recently found information on my Chavez, Sanchez and Baca surnames.  I had my DNA from 23andme transferred to FamilyTreeDNA, and many of the surnames of my Mexican/Native American ancestors were confirmed by others that I matched up with.  The locales were also confirmed even though I had prior information from looking at census records.  I am very interested in my DNA and am seeing that my Espinoza ancestry is a possible distinct line to Jewish ancestry that also was revealed in my DNA reports.  I am going to try to be more thoughtful as I do this research as I am seeing that historical research of the history of the locations my ancestors lived is necessary for me to understand these determinations.

So of course, I am so happy that I still have a following.  Please don’t give up on me.  I will be more consistent, and I really appreciate your support.

I thought I was finished with this post, but wanted to share why I am back in school.  I did not want to find myself in a unsatisfactory position.  I have been very fortunate to be able to stay home and take care of my Uncle while working on the things that I enjoy.  It is very scary to think that if he were to die, as he is going to be 85 years in November, that I would be in a very serious situation.  I have never provided for myself with some type of safety net.  It is just the way its been.  However, as I am in my 40’s, I am in a situation as if I were leaving my parent’s home for the first time.  My main goal is to be self-sufficient and not having to depend on others for my needs.  

So there you have it in a nutshell.  Please leave comments, I would love to hear from you.

I Am Back!

Ralph Ellison Statute in Harlem, NY

Ralph Ellison “Invisible Man” Statute in Harlem, NY

It has been awhile since I have posted anything to my blog.  It isn’t as though I had nothing to say, because I really do, I just have had a lot going on.  I have been re-evaluating my life and working on the steps of getting  where I need to be.  Of course, the saying goes, “You are exactly where you need to be.” However, I feel that some changes in my life need to occur so that I will be in a much better place further down the line. So to start off this post, I want to thank Jana Last of Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog for recognising me today in her Follow Friday ~ Fab Finds post.  It reinforced that it is time for me to get back at it.  There is no reason why my life has to be perfect before I share my genealogy stories, my trials, my triumphs and my experiences in life and in my search for who I am and who my ancestors are.  Thank You again Jana for the recognition!

 Just a quick overview of what has been going on with me.  I have been spending lot’s of time with my grandson Josiah, as  I have been helping out with his child care so his mother can go to work.  I recently let her know that I need to begin focusing on my genealogy and employment goals, and that she would need to find full-time childcare outside of me.  This is going to free up my time.  I will miss having my sweetheart daily, but that just means I have to have planned time with him. I attended the Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI) in St. Louis, MO, on July 8-July 10, 2014.  This was their second year in operation and my second time attending.  I attended Track #1 of four tracks.  The classes were intense!  I was one of the students that received a scholarship to attend and without it, I would have remained in San Diego.  I will share more about this awesome program in a follow-up post.

Right after MAAGI, I got on a plane to Harlem, New York to attend the Harlem Book Fair 2014.  This had been my fourth time in New York, and every time I go,  I have a blast!  I can never get enough of Manhattan!  It had been a dream of mine, like one of the things on my bucket list to attend the Harlem Book Fair, so to have this opportunity was a dream for me. I went to support my Sister-Friend Katandra Jackson of FreedomInk Publishing.  I will be doing a separate post on our adventures of New York.  We tried to cram a week into a few days, and I think we did very well. So now to some of the things that I have been taking action on.

Here is a short list, however, it has required me to write lists and make action plans that I am ready to implement.

    • I have been developing Footprint Expressions Publishing Company.  It is my desire to publish Memoirs, Family Genealogies, Biographies, Autobiographies and Historical genre.  I am currently looking for authors that would be interested in publishing with my company.
    • I have a radio program coming to Blog Talk Radio this August 25th.  More information will be announced soon.  The name of the station is Footprint Expressions  w/ The Root Digger.  We will be introducing subjects pertaining to History, Cultures, Genealogy, Storytelling and More.  I hope that you will join us for these live conversations and/or catch our recorded programs.
    •  Paralegal Program: I have applied for USD’s Paralegal Certificate program.  I had been rethinking my career goals and decided that I wanted to be a Forensic Genealogist.  Looking at some of the requirements, I discovered that it was highly recommended to have a paralegal background…So, I have applied and should have receive acceptance in a week.  I have decided on the fast pace full-time Day program.  I will begin in September and finish in December 2014.  This is going to be intense, but I am so very serious about my life direction.
    • I am still working on my Board of Genealogy Certification.  I will incorporate this in my studies this fall when I am in the law library on campus.  My days will be from 8am to 6pm at school and some night studying.  I believe it will all be worth it.
    • There are other things in the pipeline such as developing the Walter & Betty Porter Educational Foundation and writing for Indian Voices.

I realize that I have full plate, however, with this new drum I will be beating, I  feel that my life is going in the right direction.  How will I handle it all?  With lots of prayer and positive thinking. I appreciate all who are following me and reading my blog posts.  With you it makes my writing more pleasurable.

Root Digger Daily Journal: Friday, October 5, 2012

Today was one of those days where everything was in slow motion.  Had a lot on my plate and still do.

This morning after my friend and I dropped my daughter off to school, we went to a little cafe in Lemon Grove, CA.  I can’t even remember the name.  They gave big servings for the breakfast meals, and I was so hungry and ate all except the pancakes.  Then I purchased some items at the medical supply place that would help me take care of my uncle when he comes home.  Now you know that I could not leave Lemon Grove without visiting the antique store.  I bought a few more photos that had names on the back as they were a part of the collection I already had at home, and I gather that they will give some meaning to the research at hand.

Today I presented the artwork portrait of my father to the elementary school librarian and met with some of the students in a 4th grade class.They were so happy to meet me and I was happy to meet them.

I didn’t do much with genealogy today, but I did participate on an online chat with Joseph McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project.  This project is so intriguing…I would like to participate maybe next year.

I  started to go through College Board to order SAT reports for the twelve schools my daughter is interested in.  I am really starting to get pumped up for the College process with her.

Well it is late, my grandson is here and still awake at 10:30pm…It is time to wind down and maybe play a game of Words with Friends.

See you all tomorrow.

Good Night!