The main reason I’m adding a post right now is to test a WordPress plugin called HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter. It’s one of my favorite recent discoveries as far as WordPress plugins. It makes working in the content text editor so much more pleasant. But it had not been working perfectly, at least not with the recent WP updates. Today I woke to an email from the author stating he had fixed the problem, so I’m testing it out. Since I hadn’t written anything here for a long time, I thought I would at least tell people that I’m still here. I just haven’t been doing anything very blog worthy other than my design work and I usually write about that on my design website DSIGNWRX.

I’m basically just in survival mode lately, working all the time, trying to take care of myself and my dog. I will probably be talking about the survival aspect of my life at some later date. I do still pick up the guitar, or lately, the ukulele, sometimes at night after work. I like the lightness and portability of the ukulele compared to my electric. I have an old baritone ukulele that my mother gave me before she became ill. She also gave me an old banjolele which is a cross between a ukulele and a banjo. I had thought it was a toy, I finally just found out what it is and how to tune it. They are both light and fun to play, though they both need work. I have no idea where she got them and now I’ll never know. My mother is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s very painful to see her this way. I have no idea whether she is suffering, but in my heart I know she must be. I hate that disease. Life makes no sense.

I did get to the beach with my dog on Saturday, but it had been so long since I’d been in the sun, I got sunburned. I met a friend at the beach and stayed longer than I normally would have. It was such a beautiful day and I was loving watching the water, waves, boats and people and playing with my dog, she loves chasing the ball. Also and this was a first for me, when I was wading in the waves I felt a large fish bump against my legs. It felt like a slippery horizontal leg hit my leg. I could tell it was fairly large because of the weight of the bump. I’m terrified of sharks and have been since I was a teenager and since I saw the movie Jaws. When I felt the bump on my leg, I screamed and ran out of the water. I’m going to try to assume it was some harmless fish, so it doesn’t ruin my future beach going activities. Maybe it was a small dolphin…. There was a guy fishing a short way down the beach from us, so I started to wonder what kind of fish these beach fishermen catch. I’ve always considered them a nuisance at the beach with their sharp hooks being thrown around while I’m trying to relax and play on the beach and in the water. But now with the price of seafood what it is, I’m starting to think that fishing at the beach might not be such a bad idea. When I got home I looked it up on my computer, there’s a fair amount of info about what fish can be caught where.

I just remembered something else that I’ve been wanting to blog about. About a month ago I found some old census reports (and a book) that state that my namesake was from Ireland. My father had always said his father’s side of the family was English or British and that’s all he knew. He didn’t really know them very well. I sadly never even met my grandfather Montague, I think he died in another state when I was a baby or a young child. A few weeks ago, I found an old census from 1900 that listed my grandfather (I knew his name) as living with my great-grandfather, and it said my great-grandfather’s father was born in Ireland, to be fair I have to say that the census also said that my great-grandmother’s parents were from England. After I found that census, I went on a googling binge and found historical info on all the branches of my family. Most of my other ancestors were from Eastern Europe (I already knew that) other than on my father’s father’s side (my namesake) and a french great-great- grandmother (I think) on my mother’s side. I now, after all these years, know that my last name has Irish roots. For my whole life people have always asked me where the name Montague came from. I never knew the correct answer. It’s still uncertain which branch of the Montagues that I come from. I doubt I’ll ever know. The Montagues in Ireland had many origins. I also found a book from 1880 called History and Genealogy of the Montague Family of America that said “It is thought that his father came from Ireland” when referring to my great-great-grandfather. I guess he wasn’t very close to his father either. Finding out that I’m Irish explained some things about myself. I’ve always related more (or at least equally) with the Irish than with the English, and now I know why.

After I found out that I’m Irish, I decided I had some Irish beer drinking to catch up on. Luckily I also discovered that unlike most forms of alcohol these days, Guinness doesn’t give me a hangover. I don’t drink much anymore, everything pretty much just makes me feel sick the next day, but strangely, Guinness does not, maybe it’s my Irish roots 🙂

It’s amazing what you can find online these days about people who lived long ago. I learned about some very interesting things that my ancestors did that I didn’t know about. They wrote books, collected art, pottery, clocks and other things, they studied design and color, they got patents and created things themselves, they played, studied and taught music and in addition to working in many other trades and professional positions, they fought in wars and….. they lived with illness, early death and childhood mortality. I wish I could have known them all.