Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sometimes the best plans are the ones you don't make ahead of time

Last Friday I had a morning coffee date planned with Laura, a girl I had two classes with in Fall semester and then hardly saw for the last half of the year. We were roommates for the History Students Association trip to Quebec City in January and we got together with a few others from that trip in April but that's been it. I've been meaning to contact her but she beat me to it and we set up a date for Friday morning. We tried out a neat little coffee shop in Cambridge but it turns out it's more of a bike shop than coffee place. That was fine though. We still had a nice conversation. When we had finished our drinks and caught up some we decided to walk up the street a few blocks and check out a second hand book store that she knew of. As we were buying our books (I just got a $3 copy of Little Women) she got a call from her boss saying that it was too slow and he didn't need her to come in that night. That meant that both of us had the rest of the day off! We had been talking about visiting some local historic sites together so we decided to do it. I knew of a place run by Parks Canada in Hamilton (about 30 minutes away) and we decided it would be a good destination. We stopped at Laura's house to drop off her car and have a quick lunch and then headed to Hamilton. It turned out that the place I had in mind is permanently closed. Luckily there was still something to see. In the harbour in Hamilton is the HMCS Haida, "the last of the Tribal Class destroyers which saw heavy action with the Australian, British and Canadian navies during World War II. Built for the Royal Canadian Navy at Newcastle, England, in 1942, this ship served on the frigid Murmansk run and in clearing the English Channel for the Normandy invasion. She helped sink 14 enemy vessels. Haida was recommissioned in 1952 and served two tours of duty with the United Nations in Korea, taking part in shore bombardment, blockades and attacks on trains."

The ship itself was pretty interesting. It was HOT on board though. I mean it was a hot muggy day anyways but on board it was killer, and then we went down into the engine room. Uggh. I guess that's what it would have been like though...when it wasn't covered in ice.

The best part of the day was discovering how compatible Laura and I are when it comes to touring a place like that. We seem to go at the same pace. She reads every plaque just like I do and we both find it interesting. We have plans to do more exploring together and I can't wait!

When we got back to her house I was invited for dinner. It was her parents anniversary and they were having a wonderful bar-b-que dinner to celebrate. Ribs, steak, salmon, potatoes, beans, mixed veggies, it was delicious! So that's how a coffee date turned into a very fun, full day event!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oh the irony

I opened at work this morning which meant I need to be there for 5am. Because I had to be up so early and because I was tired I went to bed earlier than normal, somewhere just before 10pm. Unfortunately my landlords were still up and fighting :( For the most part they're great. The fighting (and no bathtub which I really do miss) are the worst things about living here. Not all that bad in the big picture. In order to tune them out I put in my headphones. I have a bible app on my phone (YouVersion) and I recently discovered that some of the translations have an audio track. Whoever it is that reads has an amazing relaxing voice, especially when there are so many angry words coming from upstairs :( I've used it before for this same type of situation or for when I just need to relax and focus on something other than all the stupid stuff that speeds through my head when trying to fall asleep.

Last night I somewhat randomly chose Proverbs 17 and some of the verses made me laugh. I wish I could share them with my landlord but I don't get the feeling that they would be welcomed right now, unfortunately. I wanted to share them with you though :)

1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.

14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

19 Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.

Rather ironic passage choice huh?

Monday, July 18, 2011

What's up?

So, what have I been doing since I got home two weeks ago? Honestly? Not much. It's been great :) I worked briefly last Saturday and then did a six hour shift on the 16th. This week I'm scheduled for 24 hours (four, six hour shifts). I went to a bridal shower, I went to the beach with a friend and her two kids, and I went out for dinner with some school friends. The picture is Kinsey and Heather, who were in my French 102 class, Kinsey's roommate Kirsten and I. Other than that, I've just been hanging out in my air-conditioned basement suite scrapbooking a bit, reading, uploading photos and generally taking it easy.

I did do a bit more genealogy research and figured out that the James Madden on the cemetery marker that I found IS my great-great-great-grandfather. Note to self: don't rely on transcripts done by volunteers. Use your own eyes and you'll see that the date IS 1866 not 1886. Duh. Anyways, I also found a marriage record for James and Amarilla (his second wife) and that lists his parents names (my great-great-great-great-grandparents) which I can in turn cross reference with census records and finally link James to another large family of Maddens that I kept running into. Turns out it's his brother! So the search continues but it's fun.

I've also been watching a lot of movies. My List has "watch all the movies on the AFI Top 100 list" and I'm slowly working through it. I estimate that I have about 72 to go so it will take awhile.

Now it's actually feeling like summer. I know my big trip was "vacation" but now I am actually relaxing and recuperating. Which is good, because school starts again in eight weeks. Eeek!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


This is the journalling for a scrapbook page I am doing. I'm participating in a "circle journal" style challenge where you do pages in everyone else's books and they all do one in yours. It's with the ladies at church and 15 of us are participating. The theme of this book is weddings, either what yours was or what you dream about having.

Here's what you need to know about me and weddings. I love weddings. I love going to weddings, I love being in weddings, I love everything about them. Since 1998 when my cousins and friends started getting married I have been to close to three dozen weddings. I have officially been part of the bridal party in four. I've been a junior bridesmaid, a candle lighter and a bridesmaid twice. Because of that I have lots of ideas of what I want for my wedding, but nothing very concrete. I used to think that I'd be married by 22 or 23 and back then I though that May would be a good month to be married in. May 5th specifically. Well, many May fifth's have come and gone and no wedding.

Back then I probably had a dress all picked out too but that changes over time. I'm not even sure what material I would want now. I know I want my rings to be yellow gold and for my engagement ring to have a round stone. My best friend Meredith will be my maid of honour and I like the idea of purple or yellow dresses for the bridesmaids but I'm not stuck on that. I don't love roses so I'll probably go with other flowers. I like the really bright bouquets that are in style right now. I definitely want to be married in a church, but I don't know which church. I know that I want my dad to walk me down the aisle and do the whole "who giveth this woman to be married to this man" thing, while I cry :P

I don't know what music I want or what style of reception. I like weddings that are a true reflection of the couple and since I don't know who the other half of my couple is...it's really hard to plan. I want the traditional things like candle lighting, registrar signing, speeches, slide shows, cake cutting and bouquet toss...but don't expect anything if you catch the bouquet. I've caught four. It doesn't work.

That said, if God brings the right man into my life and we end up eloping in Vegas so we can buy a house, that's good too but I'd prefer to share our special day with as many friends and family as possible. And if he doesn't, well, he knows best, so I'll just keep going to weddings and be happy for others while gathering ideas, just in case.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Looking for my roots

So what do you do when you've just got back from a two week road trip and you don't have to go back to work for another week? Take another road trip!!!

One of the reasons on my very, very long list of Reasons to Move to Ontario was the fact that I know my family originated out here. This is going up my dad's paternal side of the tree. It's the oldest line I have on any of my branches that is still in Canada. Everyone else immigrated within the last 100 years. This one goes back to the mid 1850's and they're still in Ontario. My grandpa is Orville, his dad is Clarence, his dad is Milton and his dad is James. I was looking for James, my great-great-great-grandpa. I didn't find him, and I am in fact more confused than when I left but I DID find James' two wives and his second son Everett.

First, the other thing I found was a detailed history of Milton's wife Eliza Jane Post. It contains over seven thousand names (including my dad). It goes back to her great-great-grandpa Nehemiah Hubble who was a United Empire Loyalist who came from the US to Canada in 1788. It also goes seven generations back from HIM to 1567. I was shaking when I found that. So excited!

Of course that doesn't solve my issues with finding James. So, in the Hubble family history it lists Milton and Eliza Jane and lists Milton's parents as James and Rebecca. That matches what I had from dad's cousin Jean (I've talked about her before in
relation to genealogy). In fact, from her, I have pictures of James and Rebecca. I need to scan them. I'll try and do that. Anyway, so I've confirmed that James and Rebecca are Milton's parents. In the Trenton, ON library (where I took my roadtrip to for my research) they have cemetery listings and Rebecca and James are both listed. Making a long story short, I found the listing and the approximate of where the cemetery is and, after the library closed, I went for a drive.

On the side of Frankford Road in Quinte West, Ontario - a road also known as Hwy 5 which seems to link to the original name of Concession Road 5, is a small cemetery. At one end is this gravestone. The inscription says: Rebecca A. McDonald, wife of James Madden, d. Aug. 16, 1863, aged 24 years, 1 mo. 4 days. My great-great-great grandma.

This confirms both Rebecca and James and the dates jive with everything else I've found. I also know that after Rebecca died James, who had a three year old Milton to care for, remarried. His second wife was Amarilla Scott and together they had a son named Everett. I don't know how long James lived after his marriage to Amarilla but I also know that after he died, she married a Daniel Phillips (confused yet?) LOL

After finding Rebecca's gravesite, I took a chance on finding another cemetery, the one that contained Amarilla's gravestone (as a side note, don't you love that name? Amarilla? Maybe it's just because I recently visited Green Gables in PEI but I love the sound of it.) So I knew there was another cemetery but I didn't know where. I knew it was in the general vicinity because the records said that a lot of families had people buried in both. Unfortunately it's hard to google cemeteries unless they have offices onsite. Anyway, I picked a direction and went for a drive, I came to a fork in the road and went down the one that was called "Ashley" (the cemetery I was looking for was originally the Ashley family plot, seemed like a safe bet). I drove through the little town of Foxboro (it's the Foxboro Cemetery...getting warmer) and sure enough, down a side road I saw monuments. Jackpot! This cemetery was larger than the last one but I had a general idea of where the monument I was looking for was located and it didn't take long to find it. It's an impressive marble structure. I'll spare you pictures of all four sides and just tell you who is there. The main name is Phillips. You've got Daniel Phillips, d. Oct 24, 1893, Amarilla Scott, wife of Daniel Phillips, d. Feb 20, 1916, aged 70 yr. 8 mo., Everett Madden d. 26 1888, aged 23 yr :( and James Madden d. June 6, 1886, aged 32 yr.

I'm confused though. The age for Everett jives with the census data I found listing him Daniel and Amarilla in the area in 1881. Who is the James that's listed her though? If it IS my James, then the math doesn't make sense. 1886 minus 32 years makes him born in 1854 which means he was six when Milton was born. Wrong. Is it another child? Is their math off? Is Amarilla buried with both her first and second husband? I don't know. So, as you can see, I have more searching to do.

After the high of linking back to Milton's wife's family so effortlessly, this other head scratcher is frustrating. By the time I finished my traipsing all over the countryside to cemeteries and then made my way back to Trenton, it was 8pm. It's a three hour drive back to Waterloo and I wanted to do some more work at the library so I found a cheap motel and stayed the night. Friday didn't turn up anything particularly useful although I do have an unverified record of James and Amarilla's marriage which lists the date as February 18, 1864 and lists him as being 30 years old. (This was just in a database, I need to find the actual record and see if I can confirm it somehow). If that is true, and it does make sense in relation to Milton's birthdate, then I'm a bit closer.

Friday I left Trenton around 1:30 and took the long way back. I'm developing a strong dislike for major highways, especially the 401 north of Toronto. I just drove it on my way back from Ottawa last weekend and I drove it to Trenton on Thursday so I wasn't excited about driving it again on Friday. Instead I drove the "old" highway, which winds through the towns along Lake Ontario. On the way I connected with Ashley, my roommate from Chicoutimi and made plans to have dinner at her place in Toronto. It was great to see her again, and not only because she's a fabulous cook and it meant I missed Toronto rush hour :) Her mom was in town so I got to meet her as well.

So, that's what I do when I have time off :) I love summer!!!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Random Memory #7: Summer Reading Programs

I took these pictures a few years back anticipating a blog post like this.

I was in the library yesterday in the kids section (getting more Disney DVD's to watch in French, currently I'm watching the Little Mermaid) and I overheard the librarian explaining the summer reading program to a young girl. I used to LOVE the summer reading programs they offered in my hometown. I participated every year but I think 1994 was the year I read the most. I remember going back to the library multiple times to get more cards and stickers because I kept using mine up. I read a lot of Babysitters Club that year but a lot of other things as well. The idea was that you set a goal for yourself of minutes of reading a day. I forget exactly what mine was. Probably 15 minutes, 30 and 45 or an hour for gold. I gave myself a lot of golds. I know I read a lot.

The hardest part for me of being in university is not being able to chose what I read. I mean I find the required reading really interesting (thank goodness) but there is SO much that it's hard to fit anything else in without feeling guilty. This last year I w
as reading ALL the time, at home, on the bus, on my fifteen minute breaks at work, but it was all required reading. I don't know if that will change next year but for now, I'm enjoying my summer reading.

I never really understood "summer reading" until now. Reading is something I do all the time and until I was in university I didn't understand how some people could not have the time for reading for pleasure.

I took this picture of the books laying around my room waiting for exams to be over in April. The twilight ones are in there (and I've since added Breaking Dawn as well) because I'm hoping to scrapbook my trip to Forks, WA this summer and while I may not read them cover to cover, I will reference them while scrapbooking. The top two, Little House on the Prairie and Wind in the Willows along with Marley & Me, Like Dandelion Dust and Little Women (not yet acquired) are the selections for the book club back home that I am still an honorary (albeit bad) member of. Since I took this picture I've finished the LM Montgomery and Louis Riel & Gabriel Dumont biographies, all three Starbucks books and World Without End. I've also read two others that weren't in that pile and added at least five more. It's great to have time to read what I chose again!

Monday, July 04, 2011

My List Update

We're halfway through the year and I just finished an amazing vacation so I think it's time for an update of my list of "Things To Do Before I Die". These are the items I've accomplished so far this year:

#33 Be in Ottawa for Canada Day

#36 Visit the Maritimes (I have tons of pictures but I just picked one. Me at the Louisbourg Light house on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia)

#38 Pour water from the Atlantic ocean into the Pacific (Again, I find it strange that this is FROM the Atlantic TO the Pacific. You'd think I'd have done this the other way around! Anyways, I have now poured water from the Pacific into the Atlantic and collected Atlantic seawater to take back to the West Coast.)

#63 Go white water rafting - I actually forgot this was on the list when I went in Chicoutimi.

#87 Visit all 10 Provincial Legislature Buildings. (I visited four on this trip. PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec, in that order. That means that I've been to eight and still have two left. Those two are Newfoundland and Ontario, but I plan to visit Ontario's before the summer is finished.)

#96 Learn another language - I'm far from being fluent but after spending five weeks immersed in French and signing up for two more courses this next year, I am marking this as complete. Also, when I wrote this list I was toying with the idea of taking a Latin or Greek course. I know it says "learn" another language but I know I just meant "try" one. I've done that with Latin (once was enough) and as I said, I'm continuing to do it with French. That's good enough for me.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

9 different beds
8 thousand kilometres plus
7 weeks
6 hours - the approximate time it takes to drain a full gas tank - repeated countless times during this trip
5 provinces
4 Provincial Legislature buildings visited
3 hub caps on my car for most of the trip (I lost one early on)
2 royals
1 oil change

Thousands of photos and memories. A trip of a lifetime.