Friday, January 21, 2022


 -34 this morning when I let the Princess out for her first Pee at 7AM.

I was so disgusted! Fed her and Miss Kitty and crawled back into my cozy nest until noon!

But I must confess to being awake from 2AM until first light. It seems evil mr. fibromyalgia is nipping at my toes again. I armed for battle with that wicked beast with a naproxen and was able to catch up a bit. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Winter has well and truly arrived

 Yes, it is the dead of winter and January. We got a bit spoiled, due to relatively moderate temperatures and very little snow.

Well that has sure turned around now hasn't it? We got off relatively easy compared to areas further south and the Ottawa region. The city of Toronto was CRIPPLED. The children were supposed to return to in class learning on Monday, and that didn't happen. Many of them were off yesterday too as communities tried to clear the roads. Photos of the 401 (an 8 lane highway through Toronto) showed vehicles stopped, many abandoned, which hampered snow removal. 

 I'm guessing we got about ten inches, and the high winds didn't materialize. M. spent two hours on Tuesday doing our lanes and clearing out the snowbanks around the mail box. We had quite a surprise this morning when we woke up to another eight or ten inches.  It's snowing again now. It has been very warm today, but the thermometer is going to plummet again tonight, so the tractor had to come out again to clear things up before everything froze up into a solid bank.

After the lane was cleared yesterday I went to do some grocery shopping.  I hit National Grocers first. I was able to get two cases of cat food cans and another bag of kibble. Second stop was NoFrills. THAT was a big shocker! The empty shelves was a real wake up call. There was very little produce. I got the last bag of potatoes. There was little meat, and none of what I was looking for. I was able to get eggs and milk. On to the freezer section, I was again shocked at the empty cabinets. I had a chat with one of the managers that I know a bit. He told me that they do not warehouse on site. The only time their back rooms are full is when the trucks have just come in. What you see on the shelves is pretty well what there is. When we hear that we only have a three day supply of food available. BELIEVE IT. The warehouses in Toronto were snowed in so the restocking wasn't happening. He also mentioned that the situation with the truckers threatening to boycott could create some serious problems in supply.

This afternoon to had to go to another town to get our Costco dogfood.  I'm relieved that the pets will be fed if the situation gets dire. I popped into a large grocery store there and found them to be well stocked. I picked up stew meat for supper. That is cooking away in my InstaPot right now. I've been craving a nice beef stew for ages.  Tomorrow is going to be another blistering cold day. The rest of the stew will taste even better reheated on the wood burner. 

Stay warm!

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Friendly visitors

 Here we are in the dead of winter, waiting for a massive storm to blow in. I've been following it on the radar. It looks like a hurricane roaring up the east of the Continent. In fact, it was a good blow in Ft. Meyers Florida where some of my family live. They were spared serious damage, thank goodness.

The kids were supposed to start back to in class learning tomorrow. My cousin teaches with the Ottawa Carlton School Board. They've cancelled school for tomorrow. The vax clinics are shutting down in the city too. I think we will hear about a LOT more cancellations. 

In preparation for tomorrows onslaught, we braved the cold and got some outdoor chores taken care of. The porches have been swept clean, the wood box filled up and the bird feeders filled to capacity. The birds were feeding heavily today.

I'm not sure what this bird is. At first I thought it was a chickadee, but the feather pattern on it's back side doesn't look right

Same here. Is this a sparrow of some kind? The trail camera takes a good photo, but if the birds don't show their best side I can't accurately identify them.

I think this is a pine siskin. I have to find my bird book.

Or is it a sparrow?

This feeder won't hold a blue jays weight, but that doesn't stop them from trying

Chickadee posing

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Projects for cold winter days

 Mostly knitting these days.

I keep a stash of hand knit socks for folks who want or need them 

My scrappy sweater nearing completion. It has short sleeves and is long enough to cover my behind on the COLDEST days. The short sleeves because I wear a long sleeve cotton tshirt under.  I'm using up bits and bobs of warm colors from my stash. 

I knit this toque for my brother in law last Christmas. I think he really likes it because he wears it a LOT

Hats I knit for the girls last Christmas. Marlene says she gets a lot of compliments when she wears hers. They are fun knits. I might whip up a few more in the near future.

Sorting complimentary colors on the diningroom table. As you can see, I've cast on another hat. Still undecided what pattern it will have. We still have too much Christmas candy hanging around.  I think it's time to hide it. 

Miss Kitty in the mitten basket. Her other favorite spot is a basket of DIRTY laundry.

Late edit: in certain light conditions, I can't distinguish between brown and purple. Wouldn't you know, one sleeve cuff is purple! I have to rip-p-p-p-p it back and start over. I so wanted that sweater finished tomorrow 😫

Tuesday, January 11, 2022


 I don't have a lot to say. It's cold, bloody darn bitter cold.

A photographer I follow at the lake near me posted a photo of her thermometer taken just an hour ago.

-34 with a -39 wind chill. I don't see the trees waving about out here, but over at the lake things are obviously much different.

IF, yes, IF, I get really brave, I MIGHT duck out and change the photo card in the trail cam later. Meanwhile, here are yesterdays photos of the blue boys. We also had 200+ shots of chickadees and one lone blurry woodpecker. It was black and white, but it was too blurry for me to make an accurate identification.

Every winter I seem to have more and more relatives in Arizona. I wonder why? My cousins sent me this photo of the cactus by their house. Some folks go all out making these Christmas hats, some just use paper cups. Apparently cold night (who knew??) can nip the new growth.

I'm cuddling up to my wood burner with bottomless cups of tea and lots of knitting

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

More Old Stuff

 My maternal grandfather, Andrew Pearson, and his siblings

My United Empire Loyalist family line is through Elizabeth Cole

Mom's school photo circ. 1930. She is the wee girl, third row right

Did your family enjoy picnics by the side of the road as much as we did?


Saturday, February 27, 2021


 Thank goodness it is warming up a lot. We have three feet of snow on every roof which needs to melt off asap!

Yesterday was a lovely respite after that storm, but darn it all if it isn't snowing again today. It's going to be nice and warm this afternoon so we will get out walking.

I've been spending snow days going through old SD cards looking for some old photos. MyHeritage has this feature where they can animate a photo. The face will look at you, blink, look side to side and perhaps smile. I want to find a decent photo of my grandfather to try.

I found these lovely photos of my maternal grandparents. 

Their engagement photo

Their wedding in the garden of the home where I grew up

Grandma and her siblings

Enjoying their retirement  at our family summer home in Cobourg Ontario on Lake Ontario

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Genealogy and DNA

My regular readers know about my passion for our family genealogy.
I grew up hearing about my paternal grandmothers family history as United Empire Loyalists. It was interesting to me because we were learning about it at school in Grade 4.
In my early 20s I met my fathers first cousin who introduced me to genealogical research. She had a wonderful big binder full of great records. My fathers aunt also started corresponding with me about her research. She lived close to the Victoria Archives in Toronto. My father wasn't all that interested in it beyond the obvious.
I was 9 or 10 when I figured out that the guy I knew as my grandfather was NOT my grandfather. I think my cousin Debbie told me that he had just died, but my father didn't go to the funeral, which seemed odd. It would be years before I learned the identity of my grandfather.
Just before my father passed away, his youngest sister told me to look into the surname Brotherston. Oh yes, I discovered a lot from that hint! I found the 1921 census with my father and his closest sister, his mother and grandparents....and the surname of record was Brotherston.  I have since managed to find his two sisters birth announcement in a local newspaper, but still haven't got any kind of birth record for Dad. 

In 2014, Another person, thinking she was a sibling to my father (he's had several we never knew about) convinced me to invest in one of these DNA kits. As it happened, the woman was not a blood relative, but an adopted cousin to my father. (We have a loving friendship to this day, though she is now suffering dementia.
I had ordered a rogue kit to carry in my purse if an opportunistic situation ever popped up. I mentioned it to my brother and he said "I'll do it!" Like me, my brother was very anxious for proof that this Mr. Brotherston was our true grandfather. We were in for a big surprise! My brother did indeed have many good matches to the Brotherston clan which sealed that deal. I had the pleasure of connecting to a distant cousin who was living in the part of Scotland where our ancestors originated. He took many photographs and found lots of church records. We discovered that our 4xgreat grandfather was illegitimate. Brian had to convince the rector to let him look at a special book that was not usually open to the public. That's where he found the baptism of this special child.
We have reconnected to several close cousins in our hometown. It makes me so sad that my grandfather lived in our neighbourhood during my childhood. I don't know if I ever met him, though I do have memories of his second wife. I never knew she was my fathers stepMother, though, Just some random old lady who seem to like us, and gave us treats when we visited her. 
My greatgrandparents with my Grandmother and baby Ed

Grandfather Bill Brotherston

My dear old Da in his army gear

After my aunt died, my cousin was going through her belongings and found a photo of my Grandpa Bill. My father and his sister Beryl looked so much like him it's just mind boggling! We have since found at least one more full sibling for my father. She has passed, but I've connected with her youngest daughter. She is working on getting her dual citizenship and plans to move back to Canada as soon as her husband retires. 

Men and women carry the X chromosome from their mothers. Only men carry the Y and pass it to their male offspring. We upgraded my brothers test to include his Y. We were very surprised to have one match with the surname of Herriott.  It turns out this gentleman is the clan chief. We have carried on an interesting correspondence and upgraded my brothers testing levels several times. He just keeps getting more and more Herriot(t) matches. We are presently waiting for a major test result that is of great interest to the Herriot Clan Heritage Association. All of these matches can link their lineage back to a rather well known guy who came to New Jersey in the 1600s. My brothers on the other hand, is believed to go back even further. We are rather excited to see just how far. 
So the big question a Mr. Herriot the missing father of the 4x great grandfather? 

Our paternal grandmothers heritage is quite interesting. She had an ancestor on the Mayflower. She had ancestors among the first dozen colonists in what is now New York and the state of Rhode Island. She descends from Loyalist and Patriots, a pirate and a spy.
Grandfather Bill has cousins who were Lords. Ever heard of the Stanley Cup? Grandpa is a descendant of the Stanley family. One of his original maternal ancestors came to Canada at the behest of the Stanley family. The mother of said family was the Stanley. After she died, Lord Stanley left her widower an inheritance with the condition he bring the children to Canada and establish a new life. They bought quite a large farm, which is to this day a real showplace in our home county.