For Mary Ann

You know that technology has come to dominate your life when the ant crawling across the computer screen is taken to be a digital replication of a bug, and you wonder if you have been hacked!

Spring has definitely arrived, the bugs are everywhere! Actually, we do not have very many bugs in the house these days, even though the bug season is in full swing. We used to have large ants crawling across the floor, but I haven’t seen them in the last few years. The ant that was crawling across my screen was a teeny tiny one, I have seen about a dozen of them so far. Black flies, when they do get into the house, head for the windows. When the mosquito season starts we usually have a few that come in on our clothing, and in our hair, but with the walls painted white they are much easier to spot and destroy, which we will have to do before retiring each night. The mosquitoes used to come in through the stove pipes, until we caught on and ensured that the dampers were closed for the summer. Screens on windows are a modern invention that I would not want to live without!

Today I am finding it difficult to settle! Attila and I have been in high gear for the last week or so, and now that the dust has been cleared away there is nothing to do but… wait! I am one of the world’s worst waiters. My impatience seldom shows on the outside, but inside I am roiling mass of lets get going energy. I have to switch gears now, slow down, get into a slow routine of morning dishes and bed making, daily cleaning.

There are little things left to be done, things that are not terribly physically demanding, things that I can accomplish. For instance, after the house showing last night I noticed “finger prints” on the second bedroom closet door. The people viewing the house had obviously opened the closet door and in so doing “cleaned” the dust off with their fingers. Yuck! I did not even notice the dust on that door! It is clean now though.

I think I will begin to purge the second bedroom closet… I need Terra for this, because she persuades me to part with things I do not need. The last time Terra helped me purge the missing items were not missed at all!

This morning I am making amends via email. In 2002 I received an email message from a stranger who felt that her husband’s grandmother, Mary Ann, was one of my Great Aunts. I knew the family well growing up, and knew nothing of Mary Ann. I asked older family members about it, and they had no knowledge of a cousin named Mary Ann. So I responded to the email message by telling her there was no family connection. I have thought of Mary Ann and her descendants frequently over the last 12 years.

Yesterday I received a message from another family member who had met Mary Ann, and knew exactly who she was. It turns out she is related, and that the information originally sent to me by the grandson’s wife was correct. This morning I wrote to Mary Ann’s grandson’s wife, and apologized for having stated that there was no family connection. I shared with her everything that I have discovered. It is a sad story, Mary Ann’s mother was my Great Grandfather’s sister; she was deaf and dumb from childhood. When she was 38 years old she gave birth to Mary Ann, out of wedlock, the father was not named on the birth registration and other than family oral history, there is no record to identify Mary Ann’s father. Regardless of who he was, Mary Ann is a relative, as is her son, and her grandchildren, and they belong in our family history.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 11:00 AM EDT Wednesday 21 May 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 18.6°C
Dewpoint: 9.9°C
Humidity: 57%
Wind: SE 13 km/h


“That is the greatest fallacy, the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.”
Ernest Hemingway
1899 – 1961

Hmmm… does that mean that if we are careless and old, we are young at heart?

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Glad you’ve straightened out the Mary Ann miscommunication. It’s so fascinating, all these connections! I envy you your knowledge of how to search them out, too, and the moment I win a million dollars I am hiring you to search out all my family history. Full-time. I’ll be a great employer. Very appreciative. Paying well. And thrilled!


Maggie, I had that big-black-ant problem a couple of weeks ago, when we discovered them eating a piece of cake I’d left under a cover on the counter…ick! Then the next day Paul went to pick up a piece of fruit (pear) and the ants had eaten part of it and were still there dining! So we went into high gear and cleaned – and I mentioned it in my blog, and Nina commented that she uses plain white vinegar sprayed on the areas where the ants go… and it always seems to work for her.

I had never done that trick before. I took a large spray bottle and filled it half-way with plain vinegar and half-way with water. I keep it right there near my countertop and I use it to clean the counter each day… sometimes I’ll just spritz a spray of it over the counter lightly and leave it to dry… WE HAVE NOT SEEN ONE MORE ANT SINCE I STARTED DOING THIS! What a great tip!


Kate, genealogy has been one of the cornerstones of my connection to the species!

Well Kate, I really, really, really hope you win a million dollars!!! There are jobs, and there are jobs, but full time genealogy research, for family roots such as yours, would be a labour of love.


Bex, that is a great tip!!! If it works, and I will be trying it out today. There have only been a few dozen of these little monsters, but I do prefer to live without them.

Some of the very best tips for comfortable living come from friends, so thanks!

Tom McCubbin

Since putting up a genealogy website of my ancestry I get these same sort off-the-wall communications from people, but more often than not they are correct in what they tell me. It is indeed purely a labor of love.


Like you Tom, I find that most of the information I am given is correct, at least in part. My Mom has given me a few bits of information that I thought were, well, probably wishful thinking. But no, she was right, every time, and much of what she told me has given me a sound footing for even further research.