The Blue Mouse

The weather has warmed a little, but is still far below the average temperature for this time of year. The wind is up though, so the wind chill is still significant. The sky is cloudy and grey. Without the warmth of the sun coming in through the south windows, and with the wind whipping away any heat that escapes the house, it is chillier indoors, but still comfortable.

Attila is outdoors through all of this weather, outdoors all day long. The wind chill is significantly more intense at his workplace, because he works right on the waterfront, where the wind picks up speed across the open ice before hitting land. The country house is located in the lee of a ridge, and is surrounded by forest, so that the wind chill is never as severe at home.

Work continues on my family history book. I have finally decided to use Scribus to create the digital copy, and now have a working draft of the book. This is the first volume, which covers the first three generations of the family from arrival in Canada from Scotland, in 1820. None of the individuals in this volume will be people I have met. My Grandfather would have met his paternal Grandmother, who is of the third generation in this volume, as he was two years old when she passed away.

The second volume will begin with the second generation from arrival, focusing on my direct family line, and will be a much longer volume than the first.

The pictures are slowing me down considerably, they are so challenging to edit for size and resolution. Still, a little bit each day!

My Granny and Grandpa, on their wedding day in May of 1929, in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. A photo for Volume Two of my book.
Granny grandpaWeddingDay1929

I received an email from my Uncle (through marriage to my Mom’s sister) in North Bay, Ontario. He is recovering from a “heart event”, his first, at the age of 87. His mother lived to the age of 95.

When I was a little girl, my younger sister was everyone’s “favourite”. She was cute, and small and cuddly; the “little angel” of the family. I was a big baby, almost ten pounds at birth, and injured at birth. I was big, and I was in pain, so I would never have been small and cuddly, although I was as cute as any other baby. Until my sister was born I had no idea that small and cuddly were desirable. The only family member who favoured me was my Uncle, he told me I was his favourite. At the time it meant a lot to me, although as the years have passed it has lost its meaning. Still, the sentiment I feel for my Uncle remains intact. He made me laugh, and he made me feel special, during a vulnerable period in my life.

My Aunt met my Uncle when she was teaching in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. He was a handsome mining engineer. Her cousin, whom I spoke with last summer, remembered how excited and thrilled my Aunt was to be dating such a wonderful, handsome man. My Aunt and Uncle married at my Granny’s house, my Mom the Maid of Honour, my younger sister and I Bridesmaids; I remember it well. My Granny decided that my younger sister, my younger brother, and myself, would be Baptized before the wedding ceremony, by the Minister of her church. My brother was quite young at the time, and was horrified by the man “throwing water on him”; he kicked the minister and hid under the dining room table. I don’t remember if my brother was officially baptized or not! We were children with a real sense of independence, and of self determination; often to my Mom’s dismay. I know how challenging it is to be the parent of a “free spirit”!

Paying bills today, it is not a favourite pastime! A vacuuming “accident” occurred this morning, that can only be mentioned in print, otherwise it is a secret! Diesel’s fabric mouse, the blue one, he has an orange one and a blue one, has been eaten by the vacuum cleaner! Diesel doesn’t know, and I am not telling! He still has his orange mouse. The 1961 model Electrolux vacuum cleaner has more suction than I am used to. It found that blue mouse behind a curtain, and gobbled it up whole, without even swallowing. The don’t make them like they used to, vacuum cleaners!

Worldly Distractions


Little House in the City

-11C (12.2F)
Date: 10:00 AM EST Saturday 21 February 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -10.5°C
Dewpoint: -15.5°C
Humidity: 67%
Wind: S 25 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -19 (-2.2F)

Country House

-12C (10.4F)
Date: 10:00 AM EST Saturday 21 February 2015
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 8 km
Temperature: -11.8°C
Dewpoint: -13.9°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: SSE 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -18 (-0.4F)


“An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.”
Aldous Huxley
1894 – 1963

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Never fear, if the blue mouse was eaten whole, you can probably salvage it when you change the bag on the vacuum. If you give the blue mouse a quick trip through the washer with a load of towels, he’ll be good as new when he dries. Not that I’ve ever done this. 😉


WendyNC stole my idea! And I HAVE done this! With more than one thing! No harm done.

Yes, it would be an interesting study to learn more about the heating methods of old England and Scotland.

I do know when we first started visiting the UK in 1986, the various B&B and self-catering cottage brochures would also mention as an extra added perk “central heating” if there were such a thing there… it was as if they were saying “you will be royally treated to central heating, so choose me!” Now it seems they are all centrally heated, except possibly some of the more remote rough-living cottages… possibly some travelers want to live rough and not have TV, central heating, or wifi.

But we did!


If the blue mouse is made of stuff not likely to survive the washer, he can probably be brushed off, declared clean enough, and put back into service.

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Had to smile at the journey of the blue mouse. Hope you’ll be able retrieve him.

Irene Bean

The vacuum accident is a smile-maker. I also enjoyed the baptism story – your brother kicking the minister – sounds so Little House on the Prairie.

I did a fairly inexpensive DNA testing that searched for relatives and ancestry. I have yet to really look into the results. Noting *jumped* off the bazillions of pages. I was actually looking for specifics because of mysterious secrets a second cousin told me before she died. I was hoping to verify the skeletons. 🙂 I need to find those emails from the test center and look again.

Irene Bean

That is so sad about your Great Aunt. I think a lot of people *back then* who were disabled for whatever reason, were *hidden*. It happened somewhat in my family too.

I write here because it won’t be discovered by anyone who knows and no one knows I know and maybe they don’t know (I know none of that made sense) but my second cousin confided before her death at age 80 that she was frequently dispatched by my grandfather to a hospital in a neighboring town to deliver flowers to the maternity ward to women who had had a child of his. I was SHOCKED! Pop-Pop? Good heavens. So, there should be scads of relatives out there – possible aunts and uncles of mine that might still be alive though quite old – and who can even begin to imagine the lineage henceforth? It’s quite mind-boggling. Yet, the DNA test gave no indication that these people exist. Who knows? Some things, I guess, are best kept undiscovered. Kind of delicious and scandalous, though, isn’t it? 🙂

Irene Bean

Wow! I find this all so fascinating and sad and curious and mysterious. Coming through Ellis Island immediately *neutered* so many families. My maiden name Lewisy is totally made up. It started in Ireland as Lucey, a so-so common surname. On Ellis Island it became Lewis. Then some brothers feuded and my branch of the family added a *Y* to Lewis to become Lewisy – to sever the relationship with the Lewis kin. It’s totally made up – no others in the whole wide world.

So many possibilities and theories. I admire your steadfast research! I’m far too lazy. 🙂

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

I knew my maternal great-grandmother, she was a part of my childhood. She was a mid-wife out in the wilds of North Dakota and Montana in the early 1900s, and in Manitoba/Saskatchewan before that, being Metis that travelled across the borders when they were more fluid. I’ve researched her family tree to find out more about the indian and Canadian French sides of our family, and also to find out if there really was a connection to the Dionne quintuplets as our family always claimed. I’ve also gone back a few generations on my maternal grandfathers line, to his family in what was Bohemia. But I’ve only been able to go back 2 generations in my father’s family. As he and my mother split when I was a baby, I haven’t had much information to go on.

I found a cousin my half-sister’s husband (she’d died) through my research and a cousin, the grandson of a great uncle that I remember from my childhood.

Speaking of lurid family history, my cousin wrote me a few years ago asking if I’d ever heard any rumors about a specific extended aunt. Apparently it was all rather hushed up but she had disappeared back in the 1920s or so and it was suspected her husband had killed her. I’m guessing he never found anything more on it as he never said anything more to me about it.