Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

2015–A Brand New Year–and Lots of New Blogging Ideas!



A new year always seems kind of like a blank slate to me–exciting, challenging–just waiting to be written upon! I am so happy that I love to write. It is something I’ve enjoyed all my life–literally, since I was a young girl. I still own the little desk that was my mother’s when she was a child, and then mine when I was a child. It is a small, cherry, slant top desk that fit perfectly in the dormer window space in the bedroom I shared with my sister. It fit right under the window, and allowed me a bird’s-eye view of the trees and the sky. I loved it! I did as much daydreaming there as I  did writing. I hope to give my desk to one of my grandchildren soon. Mom was born in 1918 and used that desk as a child– using it mostly in the 1920’s.   I used it in the 1950’s the most.  Now it’s 2015. If her family owned it before, it’s already 100 years old, even if it was bought new for Mom (I doubt it, she was one of seven children), it’s likely to be 95 years old from what she said about when she used it! Wow!  It’s a symbol for me. A symbol of my love of writing, I have a picture of it etched sharply in my brain! 

My enjoyment of writing has been a godsend as well, because as many of you know, I am disabled with severe heart disease. I used to work as a psychologist, master’s level, taught seminars, volunteered  for PTA, church, Women’s Center, etc. I was only 50 when the disease took me right out of my life as I knew it! So after a long struggle to function and to find a new identity, I am finally living again. I am writing, although I have not quite given myself the label “writer” yet…maybe soon! LOL  I am a gardener–using my wheelchair and adapting normal tasks–by that I mean crawling around on the ground and playing in the dirt to raise beautiful flowers! I am a red hatter which is a woman over 50 who has learned to PLAY again! And most of all, most FUN of all, I am a grandmother! My three little munchkins, aged 1, 3, and 7 keep us highly entertained! My daughters and husband are golden to me, allowing me to grow as I choose.  I am 65, soon to be 66! My doctors said I might not live past 55! What a gift! Life! Now to see what I can do with it! LOL



Writing in 2014 was an amazing adventure! I was so thrilled to enter and complete the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge! I have been enjoying researching my family tree for about three or four years I think, so I had lots of colorful ancestors to write about!   Now I have 52 stories, and more I want to write! For instance I want to find out more about the Jamestown and Mayflower ancestors. I am writing these stories for family, for my legacy to some degree.  But I love having other researchers  comment and become involved with me.  I love to share, and I love to learn from you, and brainstorm with you! .  Thank you for your interactions this past year!   I’m hoping both my current cousins and siblings and my future grandchildren will know more about their roots than I ever knew before this work! It makes history come alive!  That was my grandparent sailing in that little boat for all those weeks to come to Jamestown, Virginia!  Wow–I never knew! I want to organize them and decide  if the blog is enough of a presentation, or if I want to  perhaps organize some into a book for children or perhaps a coffee table book for some. Who knows. I’m very open to suggestions if you’d like to pass some along! 

I’m going to start my blogging year with a series which will explore some mysteries that I have noticed as I have developed my family tree. That will start in the next day or two, so you’ll soon know what I’m talking about! 


Some of you know, but not all, that perhaps my greatest accomplishment last year, along with starting the genealogical focus of my  blog, was that I wrote a rough draft of a novel!  LOL Yes I did–I wrote a novel during the month of November!  I had heard about NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month for years.  This was the year! The novel is in its beginning stages, has to be severely edited, shaped and shined! LOL It is a story “inspired by” a true story of a very dysfunctional family–a story of secrets, abuse and love gone very wrong! I haven’t the faintest idea how to get it published, or to self publish it, or what…but I have friends who are experienced in this field, so I am hoping for lots of good advice! I am a long way from those decisions anyway. I haven’t even looked at the story since November 30! Now its time to pull it out and get to work! Scary, exciting, challenging….so many emotions tied up in that work! I actually have published a few things over the years.  A chapter in a book about heart disease, an article about interpersonal communication, an article about family in a historical society journal, a newspaper article or two. We’ll see.  The year seems in focus to me, but what comes to mind…the old saying…”Want to hear God laugh? Make your own plans!” LOL We will see what life brings, I will enjoy what I am given!

Wishing you all the best  year you can possibly have in 2015!  Thanks again for joining me, it makes the journey so much more fun! Helen





Author: Helen Holshouser

Old enough to enjoy life, I am a Red Hatter, grandmother, gardener, and amateur genealogist. I am a retired clinical psychologist, master's level, who is disabled with heart disease, but having fun with family and friends. Married over 40 years, I have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. I have learned that grandchildren provide a joy one never knew existed---writing feeds my soul, gardening is therapy, and genealogy research makes me feel like a detective!

16 thoughts on “2015–A Brand New Year–and Lots of New Blogging Ideas!

  1. I love your thoughts on what you have planned for the year. Thank you for being a new friend and I look forward to your new stories this year.


  2. Helen, I enjoy reading your blogs. Wishing you a healthy, productive 2015.

    I retired from teaching school in two different states.

    Your “Cary” cousin…we share Miles Cary, the Immigrant.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looking forward to reading about the mysteries you’ve found in your family tree.


  4. Hi dear Cathy, You caught my hoped for hook! How’d I do? I’m a little scared, because while I think they are patterns, phenomena–I suspect some people will just think I am crazy! LOL Its not brick wall mysteries, although we all have enough of them to write some good cliffhangers. I think I might have 4 or five posts or examples, it will be interesting to see the reaction.I hope to post soon. But there are some folks needing some other research first, before I can finish this. Oh well, its nice to be busy! LOL love you, H.


  5. Hi Shirley! How wonderful! I love meeting new cousins! When I grew up in Richmond, Va.–everything was named after the Carys! My Mom worked on Cary Street, near Carytown. At that time we didn’t know of our relationship! And Mile’s son Henry, wow, he is amazing in my book! I’d love to compare notes about how you are related. Looking forward to getting to know you. My email address is helenholshouser@gmail.com if you’d like to be in touch.


  6. Hi Darlin Jeanne, I just chrystalized these ideas last night ! I believe it was while we were talking on facebook! Just like when we were writing buddies during NaNo, you are good for me! I’ll try to return the favor! Thanks, Helen


  7. “although I have not quite given myself the label “writer” yet…” I think you can call yourself a writer, and a good one at that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, Charles, thank you so very much! You are certainly good for my soul!


  9. Looking forward to reading all you write. I love your touches and stories. The pictures were Wonderful. Stay Inspired. Im a FAN! I’m glad you are HERE! I’ll be back for sure!


  10. Thank you so much True! You honor me! I am looking forward to seeing if we can find a cousinship!


  11. Thanks for sharing your personal story. I’m new to your blog and look forward to reading more!


  12. Thank you Vonda for taking time to let me know you came by. I appreciate it greatly and look forward to exchanging ideas in the future. Helen


  13. Dear Helen, I enjoyed reading your post. I loved the memories of your desk & the plans to pass for a new generation of family. I am sorry your health has been a challenge, but you now with a new lease of life that you are sharing through this blog & several times as I was reading I was reminded of my late Mum, who would have been 67 in a few week. Take care now. Happy writing!


  14. Oh julie, thank you so much for those kind words! Today is the anniversary of my Mother’s death. (Jan. 6). She was only 62 when she died in 1980. I still miss her but know she loves this journey with me. Look forward to exchanging ideas with you!


  15. Every year you are in my life is an astounding year, Dear Helen!


  16. My precious friend, cousin, I love you dearly and feel the same way! I also believe we will be in each others’ lives forever!


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