Blog Header

Blog Header

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Can you guess?

Can you guess what my husband is building for me? Take a look at the pictures and reply with your guess.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Mother

Though absent, you are very near.
Still loved, still missed, and very dear.
Mother, d. January 29, 2010
Mother and Grandpa-1945, on the farm 1945 June 1949, in Edmonton Mother and I--early 1970s
Most of the time it seems like only a couple of months have passed since my mother passed away. Many days I can't quite get my head around the fact that she is gone. It's one of those things that you know intellectually, but your heart can't totally accept it.
I love you Mother♥

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Robbie Burn's Day!!

Gie me ae spark o' Nature's fire That's a' the learning I desire, Then tho' I drudge thro' dub and mire At pleugh or cart, My Muse, tho' hamely in attire May Touch the heart

Robert Burns-January 25, 1759-July 21, 1796. Poet, collector of Scottish folk songs, great influence on the later Romantic poets like Shelley and Wordsworth, prone to depression at times in his life, and definately a bit of a rascal with the ladies!

If you are are of Scottish background, or live in Scotland, this is THE big day!! It doesn't get anywhere near as much attention as St. Patrick's Day here or in the USA, but in Canada I think we should acknowledge it more as there are many people with Scottish heritage, and a large part of Canada's fur trade history rests with Scots ( and their Metis progeny). I am proud to say that I have Scottish in my line from both sides of my father's family. On the maternal side, my great great grandfather William John Jamieson's (Jamison) death certificate said that he had been born in Glasgow Scotland. He was married twice, his first wife is my great, great grandmother as she gave birth to my great grandmother Eliza Jamieson. His first wife died and he married Mary McWilliams in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Apparently sometimes William and Mary said they were born in Ireland and sometimes they said Scotland. I believe that at some point, the family came from Scotland, as there was a big push to get more Protestants into Northern Ireland, and my family were Presbyterian. Eliza was married twice too, as on my grandmother's birth certificate, she is listed as Eliza Smyth (my grandfather being James Smyth), formerly Smiley. Both my great grandparents seem to have disappeared from the scene in the 1890's. The next known record of my grandmother, Agnes Jane (b. April 7, 1884), is the 1900 US census--she was 13, attending school in Dempster Hamelin county, South Dakota, and living with her grandparents William and Mary.
My great grandparents, Eliza and James, my grandmother Agnes, sitting on the stool, her 2 older sisters Minnie and Della (I don't know which is which, although I suspect Minnie is the one to the right of her dad), and a 4th child who I know nothing about.

On the paternal side, it's all about the Camerons!! Thomas Cameron (b. 1766, Govan District, Glasgow and his wife Agnes Hill (b. 1775, Glasgow) immigrated from Lanarkshire, Scotland to Lanark County, Upper Canada in 1821. This was a time of encouraging immigration from Scotland to fill in Upper Canada after the War of 1812. The now city of Perth is the county seat of Lanark County, and is named for Perth, Scotland. One of their children was Robert, born in Scotland in 1798 and died in Upper Canada in 1876. He married Harriet Bolton, who had been born in Canada. She died in 1886 at the age of 78. Their daughter Diana, born in Dalhousie, Lanark, Upper Canada in 1849, married my great grandfather James Roderick Stretch, born 1842, in the same county around 1868-69. They moved to Minnesota and my grandfather Clifford was born there in 1873. Their first son, had Cameron as his second name, my uncle Roy had Cameron as his second name too, and Aunt Hazel had Diana as a second name. But no one ever mentioned this Scottish connection. All my dad knew about was the Irish stuff. But I always felt in my heart, that there was Scottish there and you can't imagine how thrilled I was when I began to piece together the geneology of my family!! I always knew there was a reason my heart soars when I hear the bagpipes!!

In honor of the fact that this blog is called "Collies and Life", here is an excerpt from one of Burn's poems, called "The Twa Dogs". In this poem, 2 dogs are having a conversation about humans and what they have observed from the 2 different worlds that their masters inhabit.
The tither was a ploughman's collie-
A rhyming, ranting, raving billie,
Wha' for his friend an' comrade had him,
And in freak had Luath ca'd him,
After some dog in Highland Sang, Was made lang syne,-Lord knows how lang.
He was a gash an' faithfu' tyke,
As ever lap a sheugh or dyke. His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face,
Aye gat him friends in ilka place;
His breast was white, his touzie back
Well clad wi' coat o' glossy black;
His gawsie tail, wi' upward curl,
Hung owre his hurdie's wi a swirl.
If you are interested in reading more about Burns and his poems, or want a translation of the above (snicker)here's a good site:
Otherwise have a tipple of whiskey and some haggis with tatties and neeps and remember the bard of Scotland this day!! Here's tae ye Robbie! Slainte!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gong Hei Fat Choi!!!

Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year--year 4710. It is the Year of the Dragon, the Yang Water Dragon to be precise. It just so happens that I was born in the year of the Yang Water Dragon, the last time it occurred. The Chinese zodiac isn't just based on the 12 signs, it also has a 60 year cycle based on the 5 elements--water, wood, fire, metal, and air. The Dragon is cosidered to be the most special sign of the zodiac as it is is a mystical creature, rather than an earthly animal. There can be great changes in the Year of the Dragon, but as it is a mystical creature, the change will not always last into the next year. The Dragon is supposed to bring a high degree of good luck and economic upturns are expected this year. A person born in the Year of Dragon is said to be eccentric with a complex life. They can be spontaneous, delightful , quick tempered, and profound thinkers. A water Dragon is a more even tempered dragon though--the calmest and most empathetic of the Dragons.
I have already felt that this year was an important year, where new things will come into my life and my life may take a different direction. I am taking an on-line introduction to homeopathy course and am seriously considering pursuing this area. There are other possible happenings, but that's all I will say for now!! Saturday I will co-emcee the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Edmonton General--my 6th year!!
Enjoy the Year of the Dragon!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lobster, anyone??

Yesterday Second Wind Dreams fulfilled the dreams of 4 residents at the Edmonton General, who had wanted a lobster meal. The lunch was a great success and everyone really enjoyed their special meal. Previously when we had done a lobster meal, we got just the lobster tails, but this time the person who ordered didn't specify that and we ended up with the whole lobster.  That would have been fine, except we didn't have any appropriate tools for getting the meat out of claws and legs!  We did the best we could with some pliers (!!!!) and spoons and forks.  It wasn't pretty, but we got the job done!!

The 4 residents from nearest left--George, Roman, Darwin, and Gabrielle.  Doreen, Kellie (our new member and youngest!) and Kay serving up the food.

Kay helping George with his lobster.

Darwin looks happy!!

Yours truly with Doreen and Kay.  Roman--the fellow wearing the dark glasses--was born in Poland.  He started in on his lobster like he knew what he was doing--turns out he had eaten them a long time ago in Poland.  Guess it's kind of like riding a bike--you never forget how to dissect a lobster!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What a difference!

January 9, 2011. And we still had more snow to come!

Looking back on these pictures, I can't believe we had so much snow and that I shovelled it all!!

 January 8, 2012   Bare ground!

Duffy even has his own skating rink!! We've had lots of freezing rain episodes--not so much fun for trying to walk a dog!!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing you the best year ever!! Happy 2012 from Dave, Duffy, and Dianne!!!