Hi y’all. I’m Belinda, the gal behind the blog-curtain.

At Woodvine and Oaks, I’ll be sharing my trio of favorite hobbies: genealogy, photography and travel and how they compliment each other.


I’ve been researching my family tree since I was 17. Consistently through the years, genealogy has been a wonderful stress-relieving outlet for me. I get totally absorbed and can turn off all the noise around me. Which is rare for me. There is something weirdly comforting about learning that your ancestors survived extreme hardships and day to day struggles.


Next, my favorite hobby is photography and photo editing. I’ve always had a camera. My first being a Kodak Instamatic. Kodak made great cameras in the 70's. My granny carried one in her purse and was always taking pictures. Thanks Granny. Most of my pictures had my finger in the shot. I’ve come along way with my skills, thankfully.

My dad and my grandmother were my inspiration for learning photography. Dad always had a camera around his neck on our vacations and I’m so grateful.

Learn photography basics.
Dad with his ever-present camera.
Learn photography basics
One of Granny’s pictures.

I have an abundance of pictures of my family thanks to him and my granny. My granny, who by the way, was born in 1901, carried around a camera in her purse. I can always tell which pictures in the scrapbook were taken by her because the subject is usually halfway out of the frame. As flawed as they are, they are priceless to me. It allows me to “see” through her eyes.

I’m continuing the family hobby so that my future descendants will know a little about my life and the world I lived in. I’ll be sharing my favorite tips with you.


Finally, travel is the third part of my trio of hobbies. My family has always traveled. It wasn’t uncommon for Dad to get up on a Saturday and say “Let’s go for a ride!” No destination in mind, just go. Great memories were made on those impromptu trips!

Whenever I travel, I make use of the back roads as much as possible. I prefer them to the interstates. The trip may take longer. but there is so much more to see! I”ll share some of my favorite trips and itineraries with you.

Combining genealogy, photography and travel

Sometimes as a genealogist you “have to” go on a fact-finding mission. Traveling back to where your ancestors lived and died really helps with your research. I’ll share ways to easily plan your genealogy trip to best use your time and money.

While traveling, you will need to take good photos of people, places, headstones, and even documents. Learn how to use your phone and camera for taking great pictures to add to your family story.

  What’s with the name Woodvine and Oaks?

The name Woodvine and Oaks was inspired by the super-thick forest of Black Jack Oaks, Post Oaks and vines surrounding my home. This forest is part of the Cross Timbers. Washington Irving wrote about it in “A Tour of the Prairies”.  These trees are tough! They live and thrive through drought, heat, freezing temps and ice. They aren’t the prettiest trees in the forest, but I admire them for their strength and tenacity. The ability to thrive in harsh conditions – a worthy trait for people and trees.

 Random facts about me:

I was in the fine jewelry industry for over 30 years, surrounded by diamonds and pearls on a daily basis. Don’t miss it one little bit.

I would rather have a new tech gadget than a diamond ring.

I have always been around computers, my dad built my first one, and the second one was a VIC 20, later we upgraded to the Commodore 64. We were trailblazers! Computers are sooo much easier to use now. Thank you Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

If you had told me when I was 18 that I would be a grandma carrying a computer (complete with a video camera that did not require film) around in my pocket, I would have thought you were from another planet. BUT I would have wanted it right away.

I’m a taphophile. To learn what a taphophile is, see this post. It’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s a hazard of being a genealogist.

I’m not sure what my natural hair color is anymore. I was a cotton top when I was little and that’s the color I’m trying to stick with.

I am covered in freckles, a curse when I was young, but now I’m embracing them. You can’t tell the age spots from the freckles.

I have a degree in Elementary Education but never taught in the classroom, however, what I learned came in handy when raising kids and grandkids.

I have two grown children and consider their spouses my kids too. I also have two grandchildren, that are the most wonderful little humans on the planet.

I’ve been married to my husband for almost 4 decades and he has totally spoiled me.

I am blessed beyond abundance and I thank my God everyday.