Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Always like a good news Wednesday

 I've kept this news under a lid for some weeks. A close relative of mine has been gravely ill with the COVID. I am happy to report that he has been cleared today. Now if his Mrs can just keep him quiet while he fully recovers. I just know he is the type of guy who will want to be barreling out the door with a "getter done" joy.

It's a beautiful day. The sun is shining, It's warm. And windy. That all important wind today to keep the black flies at bay. My sister and her guy were up to the country to get their RV home ready for summer occupancy. They were happy to embrace the wind  while they got their screen room and gazebo set up.

I'm a little under the weather so I'm having a quiet day.  

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

A Tuesday in May

 Our snow disappeared quite quickly and we had very little rain. There was concern that we might be in for another drought with this spring off to such a dry start. May, thus far has been very chilly and wet. It has sure poured today!

Dog and I walked down the lane to the mailbox during a lull in the downpour. Even with a winter coat it was uncomfortably cold and damp. Puppy and I were glad to get back in to the warmth of the wood stove. 

Tonight is looking to be near freezing, then things are looking up!! I heard a garden show today. The fellow said wait four more days and we should be ready to think about planting some things. Every sunny windowsill in this house is full of pots of wee plants. 

And later: After dinner the skies cleared and the sun came out. It is still quite cold, only 4 C, but thankfully, that has sent the black flies into a stupor. Dog and I had a good brisk walk. Better things to come,.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Turning time

 We are getting some rain this evening and it's going to get a wee bit COLD tomorrow. 

Looks like things are really going to turn around come Wednesday though. 

I've been digging out lilacs and mini dafs to spread the love among my friends and neighbours. Lilac's send out suckers like the worse weed tree going. We usually end up mowing a lot down when the grass gets cut, but I'm trying to rehome as many as I can dig up. The bushes I transplanted to the other side of the house two years ago are finally deciding to bloom this spring. There is an old tale that the black flies come out with the lilacs and the trilliums. Yep, I do think that is true. We have lots of those biting buggers bombing us and making us bleed on our collars and pillows. 

Ontario is probably going to be locked down until the end of the month. I really need to get more soil for the planter boxes! That is proving more difficult than I anticipated. 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Happy Mothers Day

 My cousin recently shared this sweet photo of my mother and I. I just love it. I was about a year and a half old. Every other photo of me as an infant it's my dear old dad holding me.

My mother was the youngest of five and born during the roaring twenties. There was a huge age gap between her and the next sibling so she was almost an only child.  Her teenage sisters hated having a baby sister in the house, hogging all the attention! Mum was much indulged. She was really into sports and was quite the party girl. She enjoyed many trips to the big city for fun.
She and my grandmother, then me, and my youngest daughter, all graduated from the same high school. Four generations of women. Isn't that amazing?
During the second world war she was a comptroller at a major manufacturer. That is sort of like an accountant. The comptroller handles all the money transactions.
After the war, when the boys came home, her sister and brother in law encouraged her to step out with a nice young fellow who was known to her family. That guy would soon be my father.
Mum and Dad raised three of us, losing one daughter shortly after birth.
We lived in my maternal family homestead. The photo of me above was taken shortly after we moved there. We stayed in that house for 15 years. 
Mum had a variety of work experiences over the years. 
She and Dad were married 41 years when she passed away. 
My Mum was a character. she had a funky accent, being raised by an Irish father and Scottish mother. It was most pronounced when she had a beer or two in her. She loved Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves music. She rolled her own smokes and drank beer. She was a champ at Rummy and Solitaire.  She had a stinky old female yellow lab, boxer mix named Spike. She liked to drive her muscle jar and never turned down an offer to go for a spin on the back of a motorcycle. She loved to tell jokes. My long suffering father would roll his eyes and shake his head, but he loved her to death.
Her grandchildren have all the best, fun stories to tell about their grandma. I think she liked being a grandma more than a mother. Hahaha

💖Happy Mothers Day in Heaven Mum 💗

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Belly up to the breakfast bar

The wild things are sure feasting around my yard this morning.  The little pheobe, who is nesting over the side door, is doing her loopty doos and foraging in a pile of bark and wood rubble. The turkeys have really churned up the grass at the side of the house. One would think a skunk had been at it, but we don't have skunks here. Go figure eH! Out front the robins and flickers are hanging out together picking some sort of vermin off the front yard. They are always together, often in great numbers.

I'm sure all of these lovely birds are hard pressed to keep their little ones fed at the moment. I expect to see the little turkey chicks out with their mom any day.

It is still very gray today, but I haven't seen or heard any rain since late last evening. The sun even popped out for awhile when I was making the morning tea. 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Blog changes

I'm going to start posting my pieces about our adventures in the back county to a sister blog.

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.