Monday, 30 May 2011

Religion, Politics and History

I like to think my day-to-day life is NOT dictated by any of the above ... especially religion and politics ... but I know it ain't so.  Last week, I learned something about my family tree that made me think.

Ten generations back  ... let's see, that would be my great-great-great-great-great ... emigrated to North America because of religion and politics.  Here's the story ... follow me through a historical journey:

1.  Jean Bricqet (or DeBrique), a "man of letters", an accountant or clerk, and his wife, Marie Alce Crabbe, along with at least 4 children left Artois, Pay-de-Calais, France in 1685.  1685 was notable for the St Bartholomew Massacre during which French streets "ran red with Huguenot blood".  Jean et famille were Huguenots ... Protestants in a country full of Roman Catholics.  He chose life in the Carolina Crown Colony over conversion or death.  Jean, whose name was Anglicized to John Brickey, and wife had at least 2 more children on this continent, including their youngest son Peter.  Jean died in 1718, and Marie Alce followed him about 7 years later.

2.  Peter Brickey, son of Jean and Marie Alce, was born around 1715 in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  He married Winifred Lucas, daughter of Charles Lucas and Temperance Smith, in 1738 and appears to have been a farmer (thanks to the help of 12 slaves whom he eventually willed to his children and grandchildren), except for a very brief bit of military service during the Revolutionary War.  Peter and Winifred had 8 children, including second son John Brickey.  Peter died in 1787.

3.  John Brickey, son of Peter and Winifred, was born around 1740 is Westmoreland County, Virginia, and before his 20th birthday, married Mary Elizabeth Garner, daughter of Thomas Garner and Rosemond Courtney.  Mary Elizabeth died in 1780, and John married a second wife, Jane Scott, 2 years later.  John and Jane only had 1 daughter, but John and Mary Elizabeth previously had 7 children, including eldest son Garrard Brickey.  John died in 1807 and is buried in Meyers Cemetery, Tuckaleechee Cove, Blount County, Tennessee.

4.  Jarrard Brickey (or Gerard), son of John and Mary Elizabeth, was born in 1760 in Botetourt, Westmoreland County, Virginia.  At age 21, he married Amy Compton, daughter of John Compton and Lydia Franz Carhart.  Jarrard and Amy had 8 children, including their second son Jeremiah.  The family moved to the French Broad Country in Cocke County, Tennessee in 1789, and then to Missouri in 1817.  Jarrard was widowed 10 years after moving to Missouri, but lived on to the ripe old age of 84 and was finally buried in the Brickey Cemetery on Hicks Farm in Crawford County, Missouri.  Records indicate Jarrard was a practising Baptist.

5.  Jeremiah Brickey, son of Jarrard and Amy, was born in 1788 in Botetourt, Virginia.  Jeremiah appears to have had a twin sister.  At the age of 28, Jeremiah married Frances North in Maryville, Crawford County, Tennessee.  Jeremiah and Frances had 6 daughters and 1 son.  Their second daughter was Lucinda, nicknamed Lucy.  Jeremiah died in Dade County, Missouri in 1855.

6.  Lucinda "Lucy" Brickey, daughter of Jeremiah and Frances, was born in Washington County, Missouri.  She married Aquilla Wilson in December 1825, and the couple had at least 1 child, William.  Lucinda died during the summer of 1888 in Washington County, Missouri.

7.  William Wilson, son of Lucinda Brickey and Aquilla Wilson, was born around 1826 in Washington County, Missouri.  William married petite, dark-eyed (I remember her photo) Louisa Dunlap in 1848.  Louisa was originally from Kentucky.  Over a quarter of a century, the couple had 9 children, ranging from the eldest, Henry Aquilla born around 1852, to the youngest, Ida Evalina born around 1874.

8.  Ida Evalina Wilson, daughter of William Wilson and Louisa Dunlap, was born around 1874 in Missouri.  She married "Hal" Albert William Herald, originally from Green Oak, Livingstone County, Michigan.  Family stories suggest they married in St Louis, Missouri.  Ida and Hal lived in Montana and had 4 daughters and 1 son.  Family stories claim that when their youngest daughter was born, Hal instructed the oldest 3 girls to come up with 2 names starting with the letter "H" before he named her "Happy Hooligan Herald".  They came up with "Hattie Hazel".  The family came to Canada around 1918 to 1920 and homesteaded at Charlie Lake, near Fort St John, BC, Canada.  Ida died at Fort St John in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

L to R:  children of Ida Evalina Wilson and Hal Herald,
Alta Mae (Herald) Roney,
Della Lee (Herald) Cuthill,
Raymond "Raymie" or "Boy" Herald
Hattie Hazel (Herald) Fennell
*Uncle Raymie is holding me, his favourite "nephew-girl"!

9.  Hattie Hazel Herald, daughter of Ida Evalina and Hal Herald, was born in 1908 in either Forsyth or Butte, Montana.  She recalled as a young girl leaving Montana with her family and a big herd of sheep.  The sheep were sold off at the Canadian border.  Homestead life was hard.  Hattie married Joseph Holt, a 30 year old Lancashire Englishman, in 1930 at Pouce Coupe, BC.  The marriage was very brief.  Shortly thereafter, Hattie left Northern BC by horseback with "Slim" Hermin William Fennell.  They lived through the Depression years in Southern BC, near the American border, and had 2 daughters, Betty Lou and Thelma Louise.  She was widowed in 1978, and passed on herself a couple of years ago in Summerland, BC.

10.  Another generation, and then I came into the picture.

I was raised up Pentecostal (there was no Baptist church in the town I grew up in, or I probably would have been a Baptist).  I loved the music (still love gospel music), but did not appreciate the emotional spontaneity of my childhood church, and I did not understand or appreciate their "My Way Or The Highway" philosophy to the exclusion ... or damnation to hell ... of all others.  Note:  I'm talking about me here ... I'm not criticizing anyone else's religion/beliefs.  The first time I attended quiet tiny St Gregory's Mission Church around age 12 or so, I felt at home. 

A few years later, I married a Roman Catholic and eventually converted formally.  I wonder what many-times-Great-grandpere Jean would say about that?  I am also aware that on the other side of my family tree, my many-times-Great-grand-Da was sent away from the English/Scottish borderlands to "plant" Protestantism in Northern Ireland.  Political/religious (or religious/political) decisions have certainly shaped my family tree!

But does that mean politics/religion shapes my day-to-day life? 

I have come to believe that RELIGION and FAITH are two different issues.  Note:  Again, I'm talking about me here ... I'm not criticizing anyone else's beliefs/religion.  My personal faith journey has been very interesting over the years, perhaps a little "unorthodox", and certainly never dull.  My personal faith journey might be considered "un-faith" by some as I have seriously questioned much and been openly rebellious often, and occasionally been disrespectful (as in poking fun at) toward most every organized brand of religion.  However, my faith / beliefs have never ... to my knowledge ... endangered my life or livelihood.  I have never had to emigrate in order to pursue my own faith journey. 

So have I answered my own question "does politics/religion shape my day-to-day life"? Not really ... but it's been interesting to ponder, as has my family history.

On the knitting front, I did a little thinking pink over the weekend ...
Bottom ribbing almost done ...

Bottom ribbing complete and one arm started ...
 I would have done a little more thinking pink, but discovered a new yarn shop on Friday and consequently this sock yarn just happened to come home with me ...
Sock #1 started.
The pattern is called "Poet's Rib" ... suitable for "Poems Sock Yarn", yes?

Sock #1 ... heel turned ...
I had to think hard on this as I usually knit from the toe up,
and so usually shape heels differently than this.

Sock #1 ... almost to the toes!
Very interesting shades of grey variegated in this soft wool.
It was sunny then cloudy then sunny then cloudy then sunny then cloudy ... you get the picture ... over the weekend, so when Mizz Bootz and I weren't out on the balcony basking in the sun ...
... and keeping a sharp lookout for those pesky helicopters [hummingbirds] ...
... we nearly finished the first sock!  (I say "we" because she "assists"!)  All that thinking and pondering and knitting made it an interesting and productive weekend.

Et vous???

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The May Long Weekend

After a visit 'down south' the previous weekend, I decided to spend part of my Saturday searching for signs of spring here in 'The North'.  Well, that's not exactly true ... my mission for the day was a trip to the health food store to buy some essential oils (more on this later), and I had my trusty little digital camera along and took some pix of the evidence of spring during my travels.  (There ... I feel much better for having 'fessed up!)

There has been quite a change in The State of Blooming Things in a very short time ...
Flowering bulbs ... finally!
Pretty pink tulips.

More bulbs!

Apple blossoms!

Soon-to-be lilacs!

A tree dripping with pretty catkins.
This nameless tree has white bark ... I know fruit trees,
not ALL trees!
 All that evidence of spring ... and the fact that the world as we know it didn't end at 6:00 pm on Saturday night! ... was enough to send me home and out onto my balcony, which I have to admit never got cleaned up last fall and was looking pretty disgusting.  Here's the BEFORE pix:
Looking to the left ...

Looking to the right ...
 A bit of digging, sweeping and re-arranging, and here's the AFTER pix:
Looking to the left ...
Yes, I moved my chair to the other end.
That way I can sit in the sun with my morning cuppa tea!

Looking to the right ...
 Most of last year's Balcony Inhabitants survived the winter ...
Humper and Thumper appeared quite glad to be back outside.
They weren't too fussy about wintering beside the bookcase ...
especially when Mizz Bootz played her rambunctious hockey games around the bookcase!

Rhonda and Rhoda the Whirling Flamingo Sisters
seemed a little doubtful about returning from their winter vacation
before the 1st of June ...

As the clouds grew, Larry the Lounging Lizard
appeared to worry that his heat rock was seriously malfunctioning!
I'm sure I heard a little lizardly plea for a little lizardly scarf and toque ...

The Little Rosemary Angel lost her head and one wing over the winter ...
She has been relegated to a safe corner while her neck and wing "heals"!
Let's hope that glue holds ...
 The May Long Weekend really is too early to get serious about planting anything outdoors here just yet.  We could have another snow storm!  Or at least another frost or two!  However, I couldn't resist adding SOME greenery to the balcony ...
L. & E. brought me over some parsley plants.
They enjoyed their own very first yard and garden last year,
and are thrilled to find some things reappearing this year ...
including parsley ...

They also brought me some mint.
I think it's peppermint.
Smells yummy!

I bought a half dozen little seedling geraniums.
They only cost $1.20 each, so if they get frozen,
no big deal!
However, I hope they don't ...
 After all that hard work, I baked bread.  Well, that's not exactly true ... my trusty bread machine baked bread while I was busy digging, sweeping and re-arranging, and it was finished just in time for me to relax out on the balcony in my (re-positioned and freshly cleaned) chair with my book, a cuppa green tea, and a slice of hot home-made bread with honey! 
Yummy for my tummy!

Mizz Bootz, the self-appointed Defender Of The Balcony,
kept a close eye on all those nasty helicopters
(AKA hummingbirds)
that kept invading Our Air Space!
 Had to deal with a bit of Long Weekend Company (nice to have guests, but nice to have them leave, too!), but did manage to get a bit of "thinking pink" knitting done ...
Cables and ribs ...
Little Person Cardigan worked from the neck down.

Armholes divided from the body ...
sleeves get picked up and knitted later.

Body knitted THIS FAR from where the armholes are divided off.
I know!  I know!  The date stamp on my pix STILL says 2154 instead of 2011!  I WILL change it ... eventually!

So you are probably wondering why my mission for Saturday was a trip to the health food store to buy some essential oil?  Bear with me ... it's a bit of a long-winded story ...

I'm part way through a graduate degree, and have been feeling a little uninspired academically speaking.  For the past year, I've been fighting an urge to take a course or DO SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT just for me, just for the joy of it, just to nourish ME.  But for the life of me, I couldn't imagine what that something was.  Music lessons?  Nope.  Language lessons?  Nope.  Belly dancing?  Definately not.  Finally, I asked "The Universe / The Great Ha-Ha / The Powers That Be" to give me a hint already 'cuz I knew I wanted to do something but couldn't figure out what.  The very next thing that floated into my world was an article about the health benefits of aromatherapy.  So I said "cute, Universe, but that can't possibly be IT!"  After six or seven articles / conversations / hints about aromatherapy ... and me stupidly responding "cute, Universe, but seriously now, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO FOR ME ALREADY?!?!?!?" ... I finally GOT THE MESSAGE (duh!) and enrolled in an aromatherapy course.  That's why my mission for Saturday was a trip to the health food store to buy some essential oil!

Have you ever asked for guidance in making a decision like that?  Or tried to ignore provided guidance when it was provided?  And what did YOU do over the Long May Weekend???

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Back to Work

It was a fast and furious trip 'down south' (more on that in a moment), but I'm back home and was back at work today.  How come it felt like I'd been away from my office for WEEKS?  I was only away 2 work days!  Yet the backlog of emails and messages was incredible.  Yuck!  If I ever actually took a genuine holiday, I'd never get caught up again!

It was a very quick visit into Vancouver, then over to Vancouver Island for meetings. For those of you who aren't familiar with that part of the world ...

Sidney is just north of Victoria British Columbia on Vancouver Island.
Sidney is a pretty little community, although I didn't get to see too much of it ...

Beacon Park ... the salty breeze off the water was DELICIOUS!
... a quick walk one evening and again the next morning.
Sidney had lots of blooms!
We still have snow banks in shady places ... no bulbs yet.
I didn't even do any shopping, although I would have like to ...
I always bring back some little things when I go away ...
This little sign would have been PERFECT for one of my staff,
but the shop wasn't open.
(I brought her this photo instead!0

This little sign would have been perfect for another one of my staff.
Yep, she got a photo too.
Much to my delight, I found THIS ...

Circular patterns in the lawn ... any ideas???
Instructions for walking the Labyrinth

I've often wished for a garden with a labyrinth.  It was located on the grounds of St Andrew's Anglican Church, Sidney BC ... a lovely shady spot under some very large cedars.  I managed a few solitary minutes there before joining my meeting.  Very soul-satisfying.

Meetings were hot and hectic.  I'm the "Shit Disturber from The North" cuz I say what I think ... and often say what I know other people are thinking but are either too polite or too scared to say.  I don't believe in pretending everything is swimming along wonderfully in an organization when it clearly is not.

Same meetings were also a bit fun.  Folks down in the southern part of British Columbia think I'm from The Far and Distant North.  Actually, I'm from the geographical centre of BC.  So if they think I'm a SD from The North, wouldn't they all be surprised to deal with someone from ... oh, say the YUKON?  Or ALASKA?  That's NORTH ... although not necessarily the FAR north.  The geographical centre of BC is many many miles away from NORTH!  This is one of my favourite amusements (can you tell?)  when I'm 'down south'.
Purple dot = centre of province ...
LOTS of miles away from THE FAR NORTH!
I usually tuck a book in my bag to read during my travels.  I would certainly rather read whilst on an airplane than sit there doing nothing.  Somehow, I managed to come away without a book, so had to pick up something in the Vancouver Airport to fill the gap.  I found this ...
... a rib-tickling tale of a travels on foot in Northern Ireland.  If you have any appreciation for genuine Irish humor, you'll love this!  However, the person sitting next to you on the airplane might give you odd looks when you snort and chortle aloud!

Friends came to my place to take care of The Boots while I was away, and she seemed to weather temporary abandonment okay.  However, I woke up COVERED with kitty toys and treasures this morning.  I take that to mean Miz Bootsy did not get enough kitty/human play time while I was away!  Oh well ... long weekend coming, so we'll have an extra day to enjoy each others' company.

Cheers, y'all!

Friday, 13 May 2011


 Wow, it's Friday already!  Sometimes the work week drags on and on and on and other times the work week just ZIPS by.  I know our office was extra busy this past week.

Away from work, I finished knitting the little sweater I was knitting, and got out Stanley the Button Jar to find appropriate buttons.

Stanley the Button jar is nearly full ...
a collection of 'this and that' buttons over many years.

Stanley the Button jar started life as a peanut butter jar.
He earned his name because he is holding a small Stanley Cup.
Yes, I am a part-time hockey fan!
Of course, I'm CANADJUN (eh?)!

Stanley did indeed contain several possible adequate sets of buttons ...
... 2 different yellows ...

... little pink hearts ...

... 2 different sizes and shades of plain pink ...

It was nice and bright and sunny when I made the button choice, so went with nice and bright and sunny yellow ...

Finished sweater for the Littlest Milk Maid (if #6 is a girl)!

The Boots thinks that's about enough knitting already.  Time to get back to quilting where she is actually allowed to "help"!
Let's use this seam marker and mark some 1/4 inch quilting seams ... I can help!
(Yes, I know it's not 2058/02/20 ...
I just haven't remembered to re-set the date on my camera yet!)

It's been absolutely BEAUTIFUL today, bright and sunny!  The bus driver told me this morning that we can expect 22 degrees C on Sunday!  Sure ... I'll be on a plane heading south and into the rain (provincial conference and AGM thing).  I really hope it's not one of those "yep, we had spring/summer one Sunday last May" events cuz I would really like to set up my balcony garden over the long weekend ahead.
Sunshine!  The backyard is greening up!
Those dead brown things in the foreground are the remains of last year's balcony flowers.
Miz Boots surveying the sunny backyard from the balcony.
She is very particular about WHO and WHAT trespasses in our backyard ...
Especially bears and moose!

So I passed another very important annual milestone this past week ...

Look, Ma!  Bare tootsies!
Monday May 8, 2011
... Annual Free The Tootsies Day!  Of course, Tuesday morning we had frost, and it rained both Wednesday and Thursday.  However, my not so little feet bravely and happily faced rain and frost in sandals.  I reach a point each spring when my feet SCREAM the need to be nekkid, and I.  Must.  Oblige.  We will not consider boots, socks or stockings again until October 1st.  Or 6 inches of snow.  Whichever comes first!

I'll be away from my computer for a few days, but back later next week with "tales from the Big City".  Have a great week y'all! 

Monday, 2 May 2011

Another weekend

I had to be downtown first crack Saturday morning to do a presentation at a provincial conference about our Senior Peer Support Program.  Not the way I LIKE to start my Saturdays, but it's always worthwhile getting out and promoting this valuable program.  I was rewarded with a new pen and pencil set for my efforts.
One can never have too many pen and pencil sets.  At least, I can't!  Once that task was out of the way, I treated myself to coffee and a homemade cinnamon bun, then set off with camera in hand looking for signs of SPRING.
There were plenty of swelling buds on various bushes, and even a few tentative green leaves wherever the bushes were protected by buildings, but not much in the way of spring blooms.  I even checked out my favourite little rockery garden (in front of the All Nations Pentecostal Church) ...
... and all I could find was this one lonely and shivering little Winter pansy ...
However, THESE were quite abundant ...

I'm thinking dandelions are kind of like cockroaches ... humanity will be destroyed and long gone but dandelions and cockroaches will still be thriving! 

Did your gramma make you eat Dandelion greens in the spring?  Mine did.  It was supposed to be a tonic for the blood. 

Since my search for photographic evidence of Spring didn't prove too fruitful, I headed off to the grocery store to replenish some important staples.  Along the way, I noticed this very colourful tree ...

... and this sign under the tree ...

Well!  Handbags, jewelry and scarves in a delightful little shop that also sells flowers and chocolates?  Naturally, that had to be explored further!  Explore I did, and with appropriate restraint.  I only bought this ...

... and this ...

... for myself!  Do you wear beads and scarves?  My "work" clothes are pretty boring ... usually just plain teeshirts or blouses with plain skirts ... and I've taken to throwing on a necklace or a scarf to brighten things up.  (And sometimes to hide the stain on the front of my shirt ...)
THEN off to the grocery store and home to hoover and do laundry and the usual Saturday chores.

Sunday didn't require rushing downtown, so I indulged in my absolute most favourite Sunday morning breakfast ...

... your good old-fashioned English fry up!  Bacon, sausage, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, beans and eggs.  Good for the arteries (not), but I love this now and then.  No, that's not wine on the right ... it's blueberry juice.

After breakfast, I did a little knitting ...

... one sleeve finished, and ...

... button-hole band finished, and ...

... second sleeve underway.  Miss Boots checked over my collection of circular knitting needles ...

... obviously contemplating starting her OWN knitting project, but changed her mind in favour of a wee lie-down on my loom bench ...
(that's a piece of "girly/pink" fabric drying across the loom behind her ... potential quilting material.)  Boots found this spot very comfy ...

... and very relaxing ...
... and soon settled in for a nice Sunday nap. 

The human on the sofa did likewise.

And how was YOUR weekend?