Friday, February 6, 2015


My Do-Over:

I'm feeling a mass of mixed feelings:  pride, consternation, relief, hope, frustration, and more!!
  • My new tree is slowly growing, person by person by person, details by details.
  • I have practical detailed research logs modified to my liking (love Excel)(Thank You, Thomas).
  • I'm using several new tools such as Evernote to help this process. 
  • My Research Toolbox is slowly being added to as I go along in researching, using every opportunity to see if something might be helpful.
  • My newly named and organized files make better sense to me and are easier to use. 
  • All documents I find are properly listed-cited-saved-named in my new naming system recommended by several genealogists:  SURNAME, First Name(s) - Date - ITEM, Place - Other imp't details if needed. (Thank you Miriam & Diana, others). 
  • All maps, photographs and more are also listed and named in a similar fashion. 
  • All documents are properly put into my Sources template with appropriate person details (Thank you Thomas once more).
Wow.  I love it!  It's all making so much more sense to me now, as I move along. No more repeat searching for a detail in the same database, or searching higgledy-piggledy, or getting distracted by all those new bright shiny things. In comparison with the past decade of genealogy work, I feel calmer when I research now, more purposeful!! Wonderful.


Two weeks ago I had intra-ocular surgery to remove an epiretinal membrane growing rapidly in my right eye, which is the 'only' eye with good vision. My left does peripheral vision - I suspect there's very little real estate in the brain for signals from that eye!  Currently, I have dozens of floaters which make reading challenging, but I know they will slowly be dealt with as my eye clears them out. We live in wonderful times where I don't have to go blind slowly! And living in BC, my only expenses were $58 for two eye drop preparations. Our taxes at work. Thank heavens.

Because of the eye issues, I wasn't able to do much computer work this past 10 days - and then my hard drive and one RAM unit died... fixed now with help from my friend, wearing one of his hats as a computer tech guy, and it's back to normal but better! (Thank you Dallas).

I'm quite happy with my results to date, and think I have a handle on what used to cause me to get so frustrated and disappointed with my work.  I also realize I'm essentially a disorganized visual-oriented person, so any system has to be very simple, very clear, in only 1 or 2 steps.  So far so good.

I'm sliding behind in the Do-Over weeks, but I truly don't give a darn, because I'd already decided this Do-Over will take as long as it will take.  I'm not in a competition with others, nor trying to race through the work to be done and dashing through a learning process. It will likely take all year or so.

Thanks for all the great ideas and suggestions on the Facebook page, plus I learn a lot by reading about others' problems or challenges.  Learning comes from many sources, eh?

Let's see how I do by another 5 weeks or so.  It's a great journey I'm on.  Feel free to add your comments or suggestions below - I love to know people have been by.  


Patricia Dever said...

Well done with your do-over progress. I am glad to hear things are improving with your eyes. I too have decided that the do-over will take me at least a year but I am happy to see the new system put into place. I am slowly gaining confidence in utilizing it as well as learning Excel.

Celia Lewis said...

Thanks, Patricia, for taking the time to comment. This seemed to be the right time to evaluate how things are going for me.
As for Excel, think of it as flexible graph paper that you can control in two directions (by column, and by row). I'm definitely finding it more and more useful as I use my templates for each person or problem.
Cheers from rainy Vancouver BC!

John D. Tew said...

I hope your recovery from eye surgery continues Celia! Take care and heal wholly and surely!

Celia Lewis said...

Thanks so much for your good wishes, John!

lyra lewis said...

be well soon love~ and thanks for all the research and postings!!

Celia Lewis said...

Thanks Lyra - I'll try to write another post on your Lewis/Rice line as your reward for commenting here! ;)

Loretta said...

Celia, it all sounds wonderful. I'm glad your eye surgery was a success! I'd love to learn excel; hubby said he would teach me, but of course I haven't got around to it yet. I'd also like to learn Evernote.

Loretta said...

Celia, it all sounds wonderful. I'm glad your eye surgery was a success! I'd love to learn excel; hubby said he would teach me, but of course I haven't got around to it yet. I'd also like to learn Evernote.

Barbara Poole said...

Nice post, Celia. I'm glad you are doing well after your eye surgery and thanks for the fb updates too. I bet you find it's a blessing that you are an excellent typist, because you've managed to keep up with the best of them. I loved Excel, and when I used it at work, it never seemed like work. Evernote might be a challenge for me, but maybe I'll try to learn it.

Celia Lewis said...

Hi Loretta - yes, things are going quite well with this eye as it recovers. I'm quite impatient as a patient! Excel - for our purposes - can be thought of as just graph paper, but more flexible since you can move the boundaries and sort columns the way you want them. You're not likely going to use Excel for accounting, after all. As for Evernote - the Legacy webinar with Lisa L Cooke was fantastic. I had already downloaded Evernote ahead of time, so I was able to do on my own version what I was seeing Lisa doing on the screen. Ohhhhh, I got it!
Thanks so much for commenting! See you next Tuesday, probably.

Celia Lewis said...

Great to see your comment, Barbara. Yes, I'm trying to keep updates on Facebook for my girls, cousins, friends, as well as the genealogists and writers I know there. Saves lots of emailing!! Yes, I'm a fast typist (wore off the letters on my last split-keyboard, which frustrated anyone else trying to use it!), and I could type even the next day - could scarcely read, but could type!
If you can manage Excel, you wouldn't find Evernote difficult. Think of it as very old-fashioned card-sorting on Tags. So you make sure you save things with 2-5 tags before you clip/save/drag items. After 3 days of using it, I went back and updated to the premium version. I don't use Notebooks in Evernote, by the way - only Tags.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Cheers!

Diane Gould Hall said...

Hi, nice to "meet" you. I just read your interview and popped over to see your blog. So many of us have incredible stories of our lives. Thanks for sharing yours. I look forward to reading future posts. If you have the time, please stop by and say hello at

Celia Lewis said...

Hi Diane - Yes, I've seen your blog in the past, and your interview last year as well. I appreciate your taking the time to visit and comment. Thank so much. It's been a challenge to do the Do-Over and cope with the eye operation as well. Cheers.


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis