Our Digital Footprints

I read an article today on leaving our own digital footprints on AmericanFootprints.com. They offer a framework for creating your own digital memoir. While I’m not ready to sign-up it did get me thinking about what I’m leaving behind that really shares about who I am and what my life was like. Are there small adjustments in the way I live life everyday that would change the stories, feelings and memories that will still be around when I’m gone? I don’t know the answers but I agree with the idea that we need to keep things like this simple or they just don’t get done at all. Simple and incomplete is so much better than nothing at all. I remember hearing someone say once “what do you wish your great-grandmother had record?” What do I want my great-great nieces and nephews to know about me and why I made the choices I’ve made in my life?

I spend a chunk of time everyday organizing and tracking what I need to get done. I wonder if with a bit of a shift I could be recording simple stories about my day? The facts of my life are not what is important, it is the stories that make me who I am. Just some random thoughts for today. What are you doing to record your own stories?

Shutterfly Book

my 50 for 50 book cover

I received a free 8×8 hardcover book coupon for Shutterfly recently and decided I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it out. I’ve never even been the Shutterfly site before so things were a bit rough to start. After a few false starts I figured out how to get a book started and upload photos for the book. Even though I choose their customized book path I found myself wanting more control over what I could do. But then I’m used to have complete control over my projects in Adobe InDesign. I spent 4 or 5 hours putting together a 20 page book. Having done it once it would probably take about half that time the second time around.

I was able to export it to a pdf but as you can see from above (and below) it has a watermark on each page. The link below will take you to Shutterfly’s preview of the book.

I can see how Shutterfly would be a good option for many people. They have lots of ways to share your photos and they are geared to really put together projects without too much thought on the customer’s part. I can’t see me ever using them as my primary source for books though. I’m too picky about wanting things the way I want them. I’m looking forward to getting the book and see what it looks like. I’ll post again after in comes.

Click here to view this photo book larger


50 for 50 #30 – Popsicles

Meadow Gold Twin Pops

I’ve loved Popsicles for as long as a can remember so they are another perfect way to celebrate my 50th year. I love all kinds and shapes and colors but the classic “twin pop” is the one with the most memories. I don’t know how many times I’ve bought a bag of twin pops and eaten all of them in just a day or two. One particular summer comes to mind that I ate lots and lots of Popsicles. Bill was doing an internship at INEL in Idaho and staying with my parents. So after work, all alone in our hot apartment I would eat Popsicles one after another, after another. The apartment was littered with wrappers and Popsicle sticks.

me enjoying a rootbeer twin pop

As a child I made Popsicles in ice-cube trays with toothpicks for sticks. I made them with Wylers or Flavor-aid. Koolaid was more expensive so I rarely used that. I mixed them up using less water than for a drink so the Popsicles had more flavor. I actually put up a sign on the door and sold Popsicles to my neighbors. My mom was very good at teaching me about profit. I paid her for the supplies out of my sales.

As an adult I’ve made Popsicles in small paper cups out of everything from fruit juice to homemade yogurt with fruit for added flavor. If I didn’t have enough Popsicle sticks I would use plastic spoons or even forks. They work surprisingly well. I think there is nothing better on a hot day than an ice cold Popsicle! Unless it is three or four Popsicles!

50 for 50 #25 – Knocking Out Teeth

Me with my missing teeth

When I was three years old I knocked out two of my front teeth while playing on the swings. Here is what my mom wrote in her diary:

Our three-year old Raelyn recently tried to copy the big kids by jumping out of the swing before it stopped. Result: She is eligible to sing all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.

It is funny how memory works. I thought I was swinging on my stomach and fell out face first. But that note of my mom makes it sound like I was trying to jump out of the swing and didn’t navigate the landing. Now I wonder what really happened. Usually the closer to the time something happened the more likely correct. I also thought that it was my two front teeth but the one photo I found it show one front tooth and then the tooth next to it. I guess this is also a lesson in how facts can get shifted around in time.

I also remember getting really sick and tire of the song, “All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth.” It was several years before my permanent teeth came in so every Christmas it was the same old thing.

I did have celebrating this incident in my early childhood on my 50 for 50 list but I thought that I would celebrate it by finding a swing set and having a swing. But instead I knocked off part of my tooth eating a sandwich with crusty sourdough bread. At first I thought that somehow a rock got into my bread. But the truth came out a few bites later when I realized a chunk of my tooth was missing. I think the dentist called it number 12. So my 50 for 50 this week was getting a crown on tooth #12. I’m guessing it was a lot less painful this time around.

50 for 50 #6 – Provo

While I was in Provo this week I thought it would be a goo time to go by all the places I lived during my many years there. Besides the years I went to school at BYU, there were also the years while Bill went to BYU plus we lived there for several more years after he graduated. I was able to remember where all of them were except one. It was one that had been torn down. There were two corners that were possibles so I had to look up the address and then go back again.
Of the ten places I lived in Provo, three of them have been torn down. One, “The Red Uglies” was torn down while I still lived in the area. I took a bunch of pictures of it at the time. It was kind of a special place because my mom had lived there too, when she was going to BYU. Another place “The Brick Oven”, an old apartment building, was the second place we lived after we got married. One of our neighbors was Tag Romney and his wife. They lived there because his parents had lived there when Tag was born. Funny that his dad, Mitt is now running for President of the United States. It is kind of a small world.

The Elms - the first place I lived in Provo in 1980 - 29 East 700 North


Taylor Apartments - 25 East 900 North #5


78 East 700 North - where the Red Uglies once stood


50 East 600 North - I lived one summer in the attic of an old house that once stood here


331 North 100 East


584 North 300 East - I lived in the house that was here


Willowbrook Condos - 1790 Willowbrook


50 East 900 North - this is the first place we lived after Bill and I got married.
We entered in through what was the garage then most of the apartment was in the basement.


"Brick Oven" - 511 North 100 West #4 & #2


210 South 600 West - This is the first home we bought.
It was built in 1864 for the youngest wife of a Squire Whipple who was in the same pioneer company as Brigham Young.

50 for 50 #5 – Sugar, Sugar

Sugar, Sugar

Sugar, Sugar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember the song “Sugar, Sugar” (1969 – Archies) from when we lived in Ogden. The main memory that comes to mind is the record of the song that came on the back of a cereal box. This was the only record we got this way and I all the other records in the house were my parents, not us kid’s. Well we played it over and over so much that my mom helped the record into the garbage can. The other memory is having the radio on and some one saying something about sugar, sugar and then the song “Sugar, Sugar” came on the radio. My memory says it was the first time I had heard the song and I thought it was so funny to say the words and then have a song with those words come on the radio.
So to celebrate my 50th year I got on the internet on Monday and found a recording of the song “Sugar, Sugar” and listened to it a few times. The really cool thing is that on Friday I was eating lunch in Hagerman’s Bakehouse Cafe in downtown Salt Lake when what to my surprise “Sugar, Sugar” comes on over the speaker system. I don’t know when the last time I heard it on the radio but it was a sweet little serendipity for my 50 for 50.

50 for 50 #4 – Feeding Willow

Feeding Willow Carrots

Today I took some carrots with me and fed them to my niece’s horse, Willow. Will could smell the carrots and came over to the fence and was waiting for them. She was a good girl and took them very gently. I picked this as one of my 50 for 50 things in honor of the horses that lived in the pasture behind our house in Ogden. Sometime we would feed them carrots through a hole in our wooden fence. There was also a beautiful old barn with a the classic “barn” roof line. When I imagine the prefect place to live, I dream of a view out one of my windows with a pasture with horses and a similar barn. Maybe that all stems back to the years we lived with a horse pasture behind us. This pasture and barn are long gone, being replace with modern developments.