Paying It Forward

Currently I am involved in correspondence with a distant cousin who is reading my book. I have been feeling frustration during this interaction, in having to explain simple concepts, such as the meaning of “ca” (circa, or approximate) which was carefully outlined in the introduction to the book, but it evidently didn’t stick, which is not unusual when someone is learning new things. I rein in my frustration, and methodically address each and every concern presented to me. The first few questions were to attempt to point out to me “mistakes” in the book. Each “mistake” that was presented to me, I considered a possible error on my part, and so each was investigated in that light. As I carefully reviewed these “mistakes” with the person, we discovered that they were actually a result of their not reading the material thoroughly. The “you made a mistake” approach to making an inquiry of this nature is not endearing. Genealogy can be very complex, particularly when given names are used down through the generations. I am very glad that I was assisting this cousin through messaging, as I fear my tone of voice, or facial expression might hint at my frustration.

As I have been struggling along with this interaction today, I have reminded myself how many people have assisted me in my learning. I particularly remember how patient some of the UNIX nerds were with me, when I was at the beginning of that learning curve. They only tolerated me because I was doing the work for myself, reading, studying, researching; had I tried to rely on them to give me information that was readily available in books or online, they would not have given me the time of day. There have been many people who have shared their time with me, some patient, some not so patient. But they all extended themselves to help me, to varying degrees. I feel it behoves me to patiently move through this current interaction with patience and respect. Perhaps this cousin deals with dementia, a severe learning disability, a low IQ; one never knows what challenges other people are facing in their lives.

How dreary the day appeared today! The window was wet the day through from wind driven rain. The sky was grey and dark. As dreary as it was, I felt grateful. Kate in Saskatchewan saw snow falling there! And there was I, watching all of that potential white stuff soak into the earth, leaving nothing to shovel!

Today saw the completion of the linen cupboard reorganization. Sets of sheets and pillowcases are organized according to size, queen or twin, and fabric type, percale or flannelette. Sheets and bedding for use in the trailer were set aside for the next few weeks until Iris is opened up for the summer. Odd sheets were stacked and stored away in the front bedroom closet, as they will not be used. I have collected odd sheets over the years, lots of them, when I could get them used for a few dollars. After visiting Value Village and seeing that they are charging $7 to $10 per worn sheet, I decided I had better hang on to the old ones I have, as they would cost a small fortune to replace.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:22 PM EST Tuesday 7 March 2017
Condition: Light Rain and Drizzle
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 4.6°C
Dew point: 4.0°C
Humidity: 96%
Wind:S 21 gust 30 km/h
Visibility:10 km


“Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked.”
Lord Chesterfield

This n’ That

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The skies are blue again today, and the gardens need rain! Attila and I are saving household grey water, which I carry outside and use to water the garden. The only water we are letting go down the drains is when we flush the toilet.

Today was my annual mammogram, which is mildly unpleasant, but doesn’t last long. So far I’ve been lucky, the results have come back clear. It might be my imagination, but sometimes I feel they are disappointed that my results are always good.; nah, couldn’t be.

Today I prepared more clothing for outdoor use, spraying it with permethrin. I sprayed Attila’s running shoes, my sandals, and a third pair of socks for myself.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

This morning I sprayed with permethrin again, two t-shirts and one pair of socks for Attila. Even though it was raining, I managed to apply the spray on the back porch, well out of the rain, allowing the newly inundated fabric to dry on the line.

I am aware of two mosquito bites that drew blood thus far this summer season. The first was through the stretchy pants I wore at the Rideau Camp. The second was this morning in the front yard at Mist Cottage, and I didn’t feel it, but visually caught the nasty little bugger first hand. With any luck, neither of these two enterprising mosquitoes carried West Nile Virus. Frankly, one can take precautions, but it is impossible to completely avoid mosquito bites if they live where you live.

It sure would be handy to have a couple of vaccines, one for West Nile Virus and the other for Lyme Disease; they might drastically reduce the number of people requiring health care services for these chronic illnesses. Since the drug companies won’t find this profitable, perhaps our government could enter the fray and get these things developed for the tax paying population in the country. And then there is the Zika virus, which as far as I know hasn’t been contracted in Canada, but like the others, it may only be a matter of time. Who needs vanity drugs, or GMO foods, neither of which enhance human life here on earth. Humans need to use their intelligence to prevent needless suffering and improve the standard of living for every single member on the planet, which also includes respecting the environment. Did I go off on a tangent here… yep, I guess I did.

Also on my to do list today is hanging out a load of laundry, which now has to wait until the permethrin sprayed clothes have dried on the line.

I worked all day yesterday on my book, it was exhausting. A cousin and her husband have been helping and encouraging me with the book, they have provided a wealth of information on their family, her Grandfather was a brother to my Great Grandfather and they all lived in the same area. My cousin sent me a list of people to contact for more details, and pictures, and stories. Yesterday I called the first person on my list. I wasn’t sure if it was him, the number was for a person with the same first initial, so I took a chance and called anyway. He answered the phone, and we hit is off right away. He is 80 years old and gave me a lot of great information, and says he is going to look up some details and phone me back, and also send some pictures for the book in the mail. I entered data for several hours after chatting with him.

I think the book might take forever if I keep up this sort of research, but really, it is so interesting and the people are so wonderful, that I can’t help but follow every lead.

This morning while researching online, I bumped into the death notice for a woman from my ancestral community. Because I keep records, and reference each record, I knew that Attila and I had met this woman while grocery shopping in the town near my Granny and Grandpa’s house. She was over 90 when we met her, and she asked us to help her with her groceries. We unloaded her cart at the check out, packed the bags, loaded them back into her cart, took the cart out to her car, and loaded the groceries into her car. We chatted the whole time, it was an privilege to assist her, and to have the chance to talk with her. She passed away this spring at the age of 100. I was drawn to her kind face in the death notice picture and read the whole notice, and when I entered the information into my database I saw the reference to our chat in the grocery store, and remembered the pleasant experience.

Attila is allotted a one week holiday this first year on the job. We don’t know when that week will be, since the whole system of allocation changed when he got the new position. Yesterday he applied for a specific week, and we don’t know how long it will take for the application to be either accepted or rejected. It would be nice to know, but we remain flexible about it, because we have our camp sites booked for the whole summer… we own them. If we had to reserve a campsite at a Provincial or Private Park we would be very upset by now, as we would have missed any opportunity to book a site, the campgrounds are booked solid during the summer months. Things have worked out well for us.

Local Natural Hazards of My Youth:

poison ivy
poison oak
rattle snakes (Granny and Grandpa’s house)

Local Natural Hazards Today:

poison ivy
poison oak
rattle snakes (Ancestral Camp)
mosquitoes (West Nile)
ticks (Lyme Disease)
Giant Hogweed (phototoxic)
Wild Parsnip (phototoxic)

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 1 June 2016
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 12.3°C
Dewpoint: 8.0°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: NNE 13 km/h
Mainly sunny. High 23. UV index 7 or high.
A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness overnight. Low 16.

After a cool night, Mist Cottage did not cool down even 1C. She is holding on to that heat.

Date: 9:07 AM EDT Thursday 2 June 2016
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 16.9°C
Dewpoint: 14.4°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: SSE 15 km/h
Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers and risk of a thunderstorm. Clearing this afternoon. High 25 except 21 near Lake Ontario. UV index 6 or high.
A few clouds. Low 15.


“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
Louisa May Alcott
1832 – 1888