Genealogy is defined as “a line of descent traced continuously from an ancestor” (Google). I have dabbled in it over the years, never having the appropriate time to really immerse myself. It is a “line” but that line wanders near and  far as you investigate those whose dna has helped to create your dna. They are you and you are them … it is breathtaking to realize that the life and beliefs of my great-grandfather controlled the reactions of my grandfather and scarred my mother enough to control her destiny … and mine.

I’m frustrated by my lack of photos and real information on my history so I have made sure that my children and grandchildren will have what I do not. As a scrapbooker, it was second nature to put it all together in a book. The simple stories are on the surface. The deeper stories are hidden but close at hand so they can know what they might need to know. Because my life and beliefs have raised my children and influenced my grandchildren … one of the most impactful moments of my life was holding my granddaughter, shortly after her birth, with the realization that she would outlive me and see things that I could not even imagine. She will take “me” with her into the future. As I have with those who came before me.

I’ve found an article that may help you begin your excavation. It has several great tips. For me, the best starting place is But allow yourself time to absorb and follow the lines because there will be many. Take screen shots or use your snipping tool to make copies of the documents you find there. Ancestry will keep your “treasures” for you even after your membership expires but you can no longer see them. It is an expensive membership but, given the money, well worth every penny. As long as you have the time to excavate.

For a bit more info:

April 4, 2016





watermark 2


Why Would an Amateur Photog Need Watermarks?

I learned an important lesson I never thought I would need to learn, early this morning. Half awake, on Facebook, I found 9 of my photos, listed as having been shared by … not me! The photos were “historical” – meaning they were older than my children – and I had posted them in a separate FB group to share with the people pictured there. I had simply never realized how personally I would take a claim on my photos. As if the memories did not really belong to me. I’m sure professional photographers see this all the time and with FAR BETTER photos. And the person who absconded with my photos could have had copies, saved them and put them into their collection – I would’ve happily given him permission if asked  -as long as he also gave me the rightful credit for creating them. They are mine. Dammit.

So I begun research into how to add watermarks to my photos shared on social media. I run Adobe Lightroom 4 and there are many posts and videos showing how easy it is to create and add watermarks automatically in the upload process. I’ve added a few below …

This is the Adobe written version:

Pretty Presets has a great video posted, to walk us through the process:

I will continue the research …

Update 02/21/16

Adding watermarks is easy … how to do it is hidden in LR menus and understanding the concept. Neither of which had I bothered to investigate until … um … see above.  I’ve added a couple screen shots to walk you through the process. You won’t even need to type”Youtube”…

In Lightroom 4, open the Library, open a photo to give you perspective.  Click on Edit > Edit Watermarks … this will open the Watermark task box.

watermark 2

Begin by speaking “shortcut” … with your cursor in the bottom left box (that currently reads “Copyright”) hold down the Alt key and simultaneously hit 0169. That will create the cute little c in a circle that represents the word “copyright”. Magic! ha!

Enter whatever your copyright statement is …


watermark 4

Next, you move on to the fun … “Text Options” to change your font, style or color … “Shadow” if you want one …

watermark 5

…”Opacity” is important to me, as I really don’t like to look at watermarks. So I reduce the opacity to whatever point allows the watermark to be seen without distorting the photo more than necessary. “Proportional” allows changes to the size … “Inset” I have never needed … “Anchor” allows the mark to stay in one place (ha! it’s not often that Adobe is so clear!)

Click on “Save” and save your watermark creation with a new name … mine have numbers “Simply Devine lg 1″ or Simply Devine sm 2”.


When you use the Export feature in LR, click on File > Export and the Export box appears. If you scroll to the bottom of the choices, you will see:

watermark 6

Click on “Watermarking” > click the arrow to scroll through however many choices you had previously created. The watermark will NOT show up on your photo until it has been exported. Click “Export”.

Ta da!

If you are running Photoshop or Photoshop Elements instead of Lightroom, it may be even easier. I am using Photoshop Elements 13.

  1. Create a new file with a transparent background – File > New > Blank File. When the dialog box opens, make sure you have chosen a transparent background

PSE watermark 1

2.Open your Text tool … I’ve used a blue font so it is visible against the transparent background. Change your font to white and play with opacity, shadow, etc as you would with any other PS/PSE file. You have complete control of all aspects …

PSE watermark 2

3. With the move tool selected, pull your “watermark” onto whatever image you want. You can still work with opacity, color, placement, etc.

4. Save your watermark to a location you will remember.

Ta da!

Hopefully, I haven’t made this seem more difficult than need be … I do that, sometimes. Let me know in the comments below if there is something that is unclear. Now that this is settled, I can move on to getting into more trouble …. 🙂






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