Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Back at it

 I was under the weather for a few days. I'm having a lot of belly issues that flares up every now and again. Thankfully the endoscopy and colonoscopy are happening next week.

I felt 100% today and got a lot done. We hilled one of the potato gardens, which required bringing in soil, mixing it with manure then burying the emerging plants again. The other potato garden doesn't need any more hilling. Those plants are already in bloom so we will have potatoes before too long. After a bite of lunch, and M. went off for service calls, it was time to weed the raised beds. The perennials I've started from seed are all sprouting up in their incubators, so I had to find places to plant them. Time for a cup of tea and think about that....

Sufficiently rested and ready to go again, I started pulling iris out of a side bed. They have spread like crazy so a thinnin' was past due. There were also lumps of a long dead 🌹rose bush and a couple of bleeding hearts past their prime. That bed is wonderful loamy soil surrounded by a low brick edging. These new, tall, blue flowers will be a nice change. I scooped up the iris, invited the dog to go for a car ride and headed over to an elderly neighbours to help her expand her flower bed. She enjoyed a visit with the princess pup too.

We had an early dinner then I changed and headed to the town to do my shopping. The children finish school tomorrow and then it's the long weekend, so I wasn't keen to shop Thursday or Friday. We didn't need a lot of groceries, but I wanted to hit the garden center. As much as I hate Walmart, it seemed like a good idea to do it all in one place. It was very quiet there. They had everything I needed in stock and I was home again with about an hour and a half.

As I was coming up the highway, I noticed a LOT of water coming down a low slope. The ditch on that side was full and moving. I suspect a beaver dam broke uphill! Thankfully there is a good deep ditch on that side which empties into a ravine creek. In years past we have had some pretty catastrophic washouts from dams breaking.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Beating the heat and cursing the LDD caterpillers

 The birthday girl (my second eldest daughter) and I are off for a girls day out in celebration of her birthday, which isn't today (she had to work).

It's going to be a scorcher! I am so glad we have good working AC in the car.

Our across the road neighbour is a hoot. He's an old batchelor. He has been known to come right in, plop down on the couch and read the newspaper, LOL. He's eccentric, but harmless and likeable. Last evening he rode up on his jerry rigged bike, plopped down on the porch and told us about his visit with an elderly neighbour, who he hadn't seen since covid rolled along.  And I mustn't forget the gossip he gathered along the road, hahaha. Nothing bad, just things he saw along the way. He told us the LDD moth caterpillers are hatching and eating their way along in earnest. The young oak trees in his yard were pretty much defoliated in a couple of days. Then we noticed some of our young trees are starting to look bare. I dispair that the butternut trees will be next! Those trees are true survivors which have rebounded from the drought of 2012 that saw them lose all their leaves, then grow MORE in late summer!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Hump Day

 I woke up at 5:15 to the sound of roaring machinery. The loggers were hard at it at my recently widowed neighbours. We were barely upright when J. (the widow) arrived for a break.  She said they were starting to work around 5 every morning this week, but expected to FINALLY be finished today. The fellow running the heavy equipment was going to come over to her house and trim up some trees that have been giving them some anxiety for some time. We had a really nice visit and she was able to get a lot off her chest. J. also said we are like family, which really touched us.

J and her late husband were trying to sell the farm privately for a month or so. M. gave her the name of one of his clients who is a very motived realtor. I hope for her sake, and that of the little lad, that she gets a quick sale. She has secured a good job some distance from here so she needs to finish up.

We had another wicked wicked rain storm today. The thunder boomers were in the distnace but the downpour was something wild. 

The HEAT is on again. Before it got too stifling I did some housework upstairs. My cat is losing her long hair in big clumps, poor thing.  My daughter T. shaves her long haired persian cat in this heat, but my old girl has never suffered that indignity before. 

Tomorrow is my daughters birthday so we have some plans. 

I am in love with this ship, which is in harbour in Brockville for the Tall Ships 2022 Festival.

pulled from FaceBook

I finally got an appointment to go into hospital for some LONG over due medical tests. I'm some relieved about that.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Happy Solstice

 No, no sunrise surprise here either my friends. It was dull as dishwater when I woke up around 5ish.

About 9AM the storm hit. Oh My! Did it rain! There is localized flooding all over the place. We were driving through the west end of the town and water was rushing across the busy throughfare like a river! Where water had roared down a hill, there is lots of debris at the bottom. It has been a whacko day!

Grocery shopping is done for the week so we will lay low until the heat passes. The next cool day I'll be staining decks again.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Lazy days

 The heat is building again. It was a perfect day, today. It was very warm, but low humidity, so I got things done outdoors. As soon as the direct sun is off the gardens, I water everything. The potatoes don't get watered, they are well in the ground so they are on their own. Tomorrow I'm going shopping for a tool to weed those three gardens though.

The pheobe babies flew the coop today. She had one youngster that was reluctant to join it's siblings. Mom was on the porch railing calling and calling, while keeping a close eye on the other little ones on the ground. I slammed the door which convinced the lagger to join the parade. They all flew off into the bush together. The nest was looking rather precarious so I knocked it down. It fell apart when it hit the gound. They didn't do a very good job of renovating before they used it this spring. If they intend to nest up there again they'll have to start from scratch. I won't tolerate little ones hitting the deck prematurely! 

Once that happened I set about cleaning the porch. It needed a lot of pollen cleaned off. The bird poop is going to need a scraper and a pressure washer before I break out the deck stain again. The outdoor chairs got washed off, then doggie and I sat down and had a break. By 3PM the side porch is fully shaded so it's a nice spot to hang out, out of the sun.

We had a nice time on Fathers Day. We had a nice BBQ with M. father, who I affectionately call Poppy. He treats me like one of his own and I love him dearly. M. stepmother is finally on the mend after her very serious heart surgery. She has had a very difficult recovery. They have a wonderfull full length screened porch along the side of their house. There is a huge maple tree just out there just FULL of all kinds of birds. There is a boggy area across the ditch that is full of nesting black birds. We watched one red winged blackbird pull food out of the suet feeder and drop it on the ground. The other blackbird would pick it up and stuff it into the mouth of a very demanding baby. The baby was as big as the parents and could fly, but apparently couldn't feed itself, hahaha.

This is the Eve of the Summer Solstice. Enjoy yourself and look forward with positive thoughts.

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 sibling for my father. She has passed, but I've connected with her youngest daughter.

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.