Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Today I recieved a birthday card... my birthday is in 2 weeks, but
my friend sent it early... it was lovely..I felt special...and then......
I read the words on the front,

and I realised... I'M TURNING 60 !!!!!
I don't feel like a 60 year old...
How is a 60 year old supposed to feel ?? 
I've already lived 3 years past what my Father did...
I mean, I knew I'm turning 60...but
I'M TURNING 60 !!!

My first feeling was ANXIOUS... I mean... 60 is old...right?
I didn't feel like this when I turned 40 or even 50...
Then I got thinking....
I have almost lived 60 years... almost all of them great years..
sure there have been bumps along the way...
the bumps are what make me appreciate the great days even more.  :)
I've still got a lot to learn... like how to love myself and not be so
critical of ME...
BUT.....  I am still learning, and still growing...

So in honour of being " almost " are 60 things about me :

1...  I was born in the " best " decade...the 50's... I LOVE that I was

2.. I love Christmas... but have noticed more the last few years that
I love more of the simple things about it now.  I miss when my kids 
were wee, and it felt more exciting....

3.. I did childcare for over 35 years.. although there are days
when I miss it...I'm also learning to enjoy this stage of my life now.

4.. I'm shy....the dying inside kind of shy, although there are some
who don't believe it, I'm sure there are others who do

5.. I'm a family history / genealogy nerd.  I love it.
For my birthday I have asked for a DNA kit so I can hook
it up to my tree on ancestry, and hopefully find more family..
told you....nerd !!

6... Fall and Winter are my favourite seasons...I'm not weird
I just like cool better that extremely hot :0

7.. I love my blue eyes... I also loved my dark hair, although
its a lot more grey now

8..January is my least favourite just feels so
gloomy after Christmas.

9.. I came here to Canada as a Nanny..I was only
20 years old.... YIKES

10.. I went to England as Nanny.. I was only 
18 years old when I did that. DOUBLE YIKES !!

11..I've been a Homestay Mum for 14 years this coming March

12.. I have 4 kids ( but was pregnant 8 times ) 8 Grandchildren
and 2 Great Grands

13.. I'm impatient

14.. I'm quick to get angry, but also quick to calm down

15.. I'm stubborn

16.. I'm a plain cook

17.. Even though a plain cook, I like to have people over for dinner

18.. I think too much

19.. I get hurt easily

20..I love to laugh... I may even think some things are funny that you dont !!  hehe

21..I'm an introvert

22..I love reality shows

23.. I cry easily ( even at National Anthems )

24.. I love animals ( though we don't own any anymore )
25..I hate confrontation

26..Because of #25 I won't get into discussions about politics or religion
don't like to rock the boat per se... BUT.... that doesn't mean I don't feel deeply
about those subjects...

26..I love music...all kinds...well not rap, or heavy metal :)

27..I love that I can talk to my Granddaughter Ashley about almost anything.....
since she has got older, that's been the nice thing..

28..I love long walks

29.. I didn't care much for Disneyland ( sorry to those who love it )
I DID love seeing grandkids enjoy it though

30..I LOVED the Grand Canyon so much... it took my breath away

31..One of my favourite people is my Visiting Teacher... Thank you Linda
She comes EVERY month, and I always feel so at ease with her.

32.. I don't open up very easily

33.. Yet in some ways I'm an open book... it doesn't make sense to me either

34..Banff is one of most favourite places in the world, and its right
on my doorstep

35..Sometimes the way the world is going scares me...

36..I LOVE to read

37..I love seeing the big kids come to my door at Halloween
( I love the littles as well, but glad to see older ones still enjoy it )

38..I feel lonely... too much... need more friends I guess

39.. I love seeing / hearing / doing Acts of Kindness

40..I love my home... it always feels so comfortable here...
had other people tell me the same thing..makes me happy
that they feel like that here.

41..I love nature..mountains..water

42.. I hate creepy crawlies, especially spiders

43.. I don't have a garden because of #42

44..I like surprises ( if they are good )  :)

45..I love rain...especially big plops of rain that kiss my cheek when it falls

46..Love going to James Bond movies with my sweetie

47..Romantic comedies, action packed and christmas movies
are my favourite

48.. I am tooooo sensitive

49..I used to be a machinist, making army jackets and goonies

50..Pasta and seafood are my favourite foods

51..My FAMILY... what can I say ..I love them..I adore them

52..Junk food is my vice

53.. I dont like all the healthy stuff people quinoa..yuck

54..The people I would most like to meet if I could are
My dad, my McCulloch grandparents, and my dad's
mum...I have questions.   See #5... told you !!  hehe

55.. I have a bad habit of biting my nails

56.. I feel unlovable ( cept with Ken ) I think I annoy 
people, though I dont mean too

57..I need more confidence

58.. I don't like being tall

59..I love the land of my birth, but also love where I am..I have the
best of both worlds...

60... Good Grief.. in 2 weeks I'm going to be 60 !!!
 And Guess What ???   I'm going to LOVE it !!!!

Monday, October 26, 2015


Been thinking a lot these days... about life.. about '"stuff ", and
today when Ken and I were in the van coming back from Costco,
I was talking to him about some memories..I realised I want
to write them down in my blog, but have left it too long that
now I'm having a hard time remembering them all.  haha

When I lived in Kelburn, we lived on the top floor of a tenement
building... I can remember when I had been out, how I would
run up the stairs as fast as I could...why ?  because there were
daddy long legs in the corners of the stairs, and I was petrified
that they would get me..haha
When I went up a flight of stairs there was a landing with a big
window and there were always a load of daddy long legs
floating up and down those windows... why did we have to live
on the top floor ??
There were a couple of landings too... oh I hated it  !!

I can also remember that my bedroom was the first one as you
came in the front door.  It was a big room, but so damp
and cold... freezing... but yet I have such fond memories of
my room there.

There was a long hallway ( at least it seemed long to me at that time )
At the end of the hallway was the living room door, but
before you came to it, the kitchen door was on the left hand side.
The kitchen had a big black ..I dont know what to call
was'nt a stove, but you could put the kettle on it to heat it up.
The other side of it was the fireplace in the living was
a coal fireplace... I wonder if they still have them in the homes there.

Also in the kitchen was a pulley... it would be up to the ceiling, but
with a rope that you loosened, you could bring it down to hang clothes on,
and would then pull it back up, so the clothes would be out of the way.
The clothes on it were washed and hung up to dry on it.

I told Ken that I was amazed  at being able to remember some little
details of my home there... maybe a sign that I'm getting older ??

Thursday, August 20, 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me.. August 2015 prompt

Happy Memories

Many of us have happy memories, We recall them
from time to time when we are day dreaming,
sharing a memory with others or perhaps we
trigger a memory by something else completely.

What are your top five happy memories ?

First... these will be in no real order, and there are other happy memories, but this is
what comes to my mind right now..right at this moment.. tomorrow if you
asked me, I could probably give five more different answers. :)

Memory number 1....

My first Christmas in Canada.  I was a newlywed, We bought our tree and
decorated it together  We were making our own family was exciting.
I had never seen so many presents under a tree before with MY name on them..
The boxes were all shapes and sizes, all wrapped in different coloured Christmas
paper... I couldn't wait to open them...and so I did !!  Oops !!
Very, very carefully I might add/ and taped them back up so carefully as well :)
Because I was new to Canada, Ken had got me winter boots ( I had none )
and a new jacket to keep me warm in the cold winters we get here.  I must admit,..
that Christmas was such a happy time.
P.S.  I have never opened up any presents before Christmas again...the surprise
on Christmas day is much better

Memory number 2...

I think I was married about 6 months when I went back to Scotland.
I remember showing up at my dad and mum's ( Bridie ) door.....
I don't remember the circumstances as to why I stayed there one night ( I
was actually staying at my friend Jean's house )... what I do remember was,
I had gone to bed, and there was a soft knock on the door... it was my dad.
He came and sat on the bed to talk to me.  we talked and talked, and then before
he left the room, he tucked me in and kissed my forehead.  It made me feel warm
it made me feel so happy... it was just a small gesture, but made me feel
so, so happy.  I still smile when I think about it.
I love and miss my dad....

Memory number 3...

There was a bunch of us women at church who once a month or so
would go out to eat, but also get into some mischief... nothing bad...
Having grown up in Scotland I had never gone out to toilet paper anyone's house.
It really was good clean fun.. :)
Well here we were...all these women...we went to another friend's home.
Let the FUN begin. Sneaking around and throwing toilet paper up over
trees and bushes.  We were so quiet, yet giggly.
And then the one friend ( Wendy ) I dont remember the exact details..but I think
it was pots and pans she went to hang on their door or the mailbox..when we heard a HEY !!!
He had seen her shadow....I have never seen anyone run so fast.. jump into
the van ( she was the driver ) and drive off, just as he came out the door.
Maybe you had to be there...but we could NOT stop laughing !!
Funny memory  :)

Memory number 4...

Ken is from Ontario,,, when we were married a year we decided to move
out West, but in 1986 we moved back to Ontario for just 2 years.
It was a hard move, it was hard to get back on our feet...things were tough.
Anyway... it was a summer day and our son Paul who was young at that time
was with Ken... they needed to get the bus to another town as Ken was getting a car rental or something. The bus they were waiting for must have broke down because they
were waiting for such a long time.
Even though Paul was young, he had a lot of Faith... Ken was getting tired
of waiting and was also getting impatient, when Paul said.." Dad...I'm
going to say a prayer that the bus will come" Ken just went along with it..well
Paul folded his arms, closed his eyes and as only a child can... just said a simple prayer
that they were tired and could a bus please come now... he said Amen looked up,
and over the hill was coming the bus.  When Ken explained the story to me
later., I don't know..I just felt warm...proud... and even now its such a
happy memory that we still talk about.

Memory number 5...

When I left High School I went to work at a place called Wovenair..
( I wonder if its still there )..  We made goonies ( dressing gowns ) and I remember
there were Army vests we made as well.
Always the radio would be playing loudly, and always different people
would be singing loudly to the songs that were playing, as we were working.
I was one of those...I still love music !!
Whenever I hear Rod Stewart;s " Maggie May ", it always brings me back to that
time of my life when I worked there.
Does music do that to you ?
I can remember where I was and what I was doing when I hear certain songs.

" Because when you stop and look around...this life is pretty amazing"

Thursday, August 6, 2015

In Deep with the Book of Me.. June 2015 Prompt

Flags :

... Do you identify yourself with a particular flag ?
.... Is it different to the country where you live ?
....Is it different to the country of your birth ?

I identify myself with a few flags...

The Lion Rampant
( Scotland )

The St Andrews 
( Scotland )

Scotland is where I was born, so of course these flags would be important to me/

Union Jack
( Britain )

Being part of Great Britain, this flag is also important.

Canadian Flag

Canada is where I now live...
I would identify myself now with the Canadian flag... thiis country has been good
to me. My children were born here... I have been accepted here.
Its a beautiful place to live... with its wide open spaces, its rivers, mountains
and prairies.     I love my Scotland, that could never change, but I also
love my Canada... the true North strong and free.....
I have made my home here..

My heart loves the land of my birth.. I miss it.. terribly at times.
I always get choked up when I hear Flower of Scotland
I feel the same when I hear Oh Canada...

Should auld acqaintance be forget, and never brought to mind
Should auld acqaintance be forgot , and days of auld lang syne

In Deep with the Book of Me... July 2015 Prompt

Bucket Lists

It is very 21st century to create a bucket list.

.. Do you have a bucket list ?
...Have you created a bucket list with a
particular purpose
...What sort of things are on your list
...Have you achieved any
Have you added to the list
What does the list mean to you ?

I  LOVE this prompt !!!
I'm a list maker anyway, so it only makes sense ( to me anyway ) that I would have
a bucket list.
I have a Bucket List board on Pinterest even...

When I was in my teens going to the USA was on my list of things I wanted to do.
When I was becoming a Nanny, deep down I hoped that I would get a job
in America, but I didnt. I was offered one in Toronto, Canada.
I knew that Canada was a neighbour to the USA, and so I took it.
Now I live in Canada, and have been to the States many times...I have'nt as yet
seen or been everywhere there that I wanted , but also some of my goals have changed as
to what I want to do or see.
Some things on my bucket list are  :
I would love to get tickets to see The Ellen Show

I would love to see the ball drop in Times Square, New York

I would love to see The Grand Canyon ( doing that this year )

I would love to see the Queen Mary  ( will also do that this Fall )

I want to send a message in a bottle.  I will do this, just not sure when yet..

I want to write a letter to myself and open it in 10 years.. I dont know
why I havent done this yet, but plan to do it soon.

I have started this, but have a long way to go.
We went to Johnstone's was beautiful,
and was awesome ( and tiring ) to do,,,,

I have lots more things on my list....

What does a list mean to me ?
It gives me something to plan...something to look forward to.
Its exciting adding to the list, but also exciting completing something.
Honestly, I think everyone should have one..
We all want different things in life... having
a list ( even if you think in your mind you cant achieve it ) still gives
you a purpose, and something to work towards... to prove
that you can do it !!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My Dad...

This is my Dad....
On May 14, 1988 he died...... 27 years ago.
So much has happened in that time  that I would have loved to share with him,
or ask his advice on... 27 years seems like a long time, and yet... I still remember it
like it was yesterday.
He wasn't perfect.. of course not.. but he was perfect for me.

This is him when he was a wee boy,

I remember shortly after I was married, I went back to Scotland on
holiday.  When I went to bed, there was a knock on
the bedroom door , and it was my dad, he
came in and sat on the edge of my bed and talked
to me, he then kissed the top of my head and tucked me in.
I felt like a wee girl again..I mean that in 
a good way..

My Dad and my step mum Bridie

He worked in the shipyards... I remember he actually saw
saw burn alive right in front of affected
him in a big way after that.

My Dad with my brother Andrew, my cousin Margaret and me....

I used to call my dad often.. I loved to hear his voice.
I would say that was one of the things after he died that I was
afraid of... not remembering his voice and what he sounded like....

My Mum, my Dad and me as a baby...

I regret not being able to go over for his funeral.  My passport had ran
out and I hadn't had it renewed yet.
I also wasn't a landed immigrant of Canada yet.
I called and asked the government if I could go over... they told me
that I could, but they wouldn't allow me back in Canada again..
It was hard for me... I cried so much... it hurt so much not being able to
go back to say my goodbyes..

My Dad and my Uncle George ( his brother )

What I hope is that he would be proud of me...
I hope he knew how much I loved him..

My Dad and I.....

He was only 57 years old when he passed away... he had had a lot
of heartache in that time..
I loved him...... I love him still
And I miss him so much... I'm not sad... I believe I will see him again,
and that is something to look forward to...
I love you Dad... to the moon and stars and back..

Archie Newman
March 1931 - May 1988

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Happy Mother's Day to my two Mum's

As its Mother's Day this coming Sunday, I have decided to write about my mum
and my step mum.....
I don't know why I feel nervous doing this, but here goes.

My Mum ( Patricia McCulloch ) was only 18 years old when she married my Dad..
3 months later she turned 19 years old.  I was born the following December.

Things about my mum that I am thankful for......

... For giving me birth
....For accepting the phone call when Ken called ( after he woke poor Anne up...
sorry Anne )
....For giving me more memories when she came to visit

.....For telling me she loved me

.....For telling my siblings about me, so that I could also be in touch with them
This is just 2 of them..I'm in the middle  :)

.....For taking me to Dundee so I could meet that side of my famuly

A Letter to my Mum :

Dear mum, ever since I had been young, I had always wondered about you..I
am so grateful that I was able to find you.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I could ever meet you,
But..... I did !!!
Everyone told me that I look like you, although I cant see it
too much.. Tricia for sure looks like you.
You told me that you had always wondered about us as well.
I hope you weren't disappointed when we met..
Its going to be Mother's day this coming Sunday,
you're not here anymore for me to call and wish you a 
Happy Mother's Day, so I am telling you here instead.
I hope you  can feel my love from Heaven.
I wish you were here so I could talk to you about things
in my own life.
I wish so much
Sending big hugs to you
Happy Mother's day
I Love You

My Step Mum was Bridget Keyes , but she was called Bridie.
I called her Mum....

Things I am Thankful for :

.....I am thankful she chose to take on a family that wasn't her own
.....for her love
.....for her acceptance

A letter to her :

Dear Mum,
How lucky am I ? I had two mum's, although growing up
I only really knew you.
I would be amiss if I didn't say thank you to you for everything.
I know at the end things weren'r as good as maybe
it should have been, but I always loved you..I hope
that it was the same for you.
I love you still...
If you were still here I would want to contact you to wish
you a Happy Mother's Day, but instead, I am
sending my wishes for you to Heaven.
Along with my wishes, I am sending lots of love.
Happy Mother's Day Mum

Mother's day is for this moment to have the courage
to let everything.... just be.........
I hope I have the courage...
Somewhere in this world there will be someone just like me..
Its okay to have a cry in the shower, where the
tears can be washed away

I choose ( no matter how hard ) to be happy
this day... no matter what...

Friday, May 1, 2015

In Deep With The Book if Me..... May Prompt 2015

Dream Trip :

You are going to plan your dream trip. Where do you want to go and why ?
Genealogical connections, revisit because of happy memories, or perhaps you just
feel a connection to somewhere else ? What do you want to do when you get there?

The trip  can be as long or as short as you would like it to be. Forget about the
constraints that you might feel and be aware of.  This is an opportunity to dream and
perhaps sow the seed for a future adventure.

If money was no option, and time didn't matter.. the first place I would go is
Ireland ...
I would want to visit Ahoghill in Northern Ireland.. I would want to visit
the church my Great Grandparents David McGowan and Elizabeth O'Neill
were married, and hopefully while there, I could find more information
on them.
I know David McGowan's Father was Robert McGowan, he was born
in Antrim, Northern Ireland, but I would love to get further back.

The two photo's above are Ahoghill

Also in Ireland , I would visit Drumsnatt, Monaghan and County Cavan in
Southern Ireland... my McCulloch and O'Neill lines came from there.
My Great Great Grandfather came from Cavan, Ireland,
his name was Francis McCulloch, he married Emily Tomlinson
who is from Scotland...
My O'Brien side goes back to Drumsnatt .
I would like to find out more on that side..
I have back to Edward O;Brien, who was born in 1777, he was married to
Catherine McConnan, they were my Great Great Great Great Grandparents
I would want to walk the streets they walked....

... but the place I really
want to see, and I think about the most, is


you see its the land of my birth. and is also home to my ancestors also.
I would visit Dundee, I would like to see if I could find the streets they lived on,
it would be awesome if the houses were still there.
Also Arbroath... my Newman ancestors are there
The earliest I have found is Benjamin Newman, his wife is Ann Law
they are my Great, Great ,Great Grandparents.
My Menzies are also from around that area as well.
My cousin took me to Arbroath when I was there for a visit, but I would go there
for maybe a month to explore, and to look for streets my ancestors would
have walked..
Arbroath Harbour

just for fun, and not for Genealogy purposes, I also really want to see Oban, but I also want
to see the Fairy Pools in the Isle of Skye.

This is Oban...

I would love to go, just to walk around, or to sit and watch the water.
I would love it if I had no time schedule, and money wasn't an option, so I could
stay as long  as I wanted to.
I would love to explore the area, and to just relax... think.... enjoy

The Fairy Pools in the Isle of Skye

I've heard the water is freezing, even in summer, but you can go in if you want.
I don't want to go in... I just want to experience the beauty of it all.
I would love to stay nearby, and just go every day to experience it all.

Doing all of this would take a lot of time and money... but since this would be my
dream trip, it doesn't matter :)

A to Z Book of Me Challenge Z is for Zealous

What am I zealous about in life and Genealogy / Family History

I'm definitely zealous about finding another ancestor, or finding information
on one... soooo exciting for me.
Genealogy and Family History are definitely my passion for sure.
When I was trying to find information on my Mum's side of the family, it
was so hard at first, because I didn't have much to go on.
When I finally was able to meet or be in contact with some of my family,
it was like the flood doors opened... I found out that I had 2 great uncles who
were spitfire pilots ( Fred McCulloch and George McCulloch )

I found out that my Gran loved to sing and was the life of a party.

My Grandad used to be a boxer when he was young

Tom McCulloch
The Royal Navy Reserves Boxing Team... age 24 years

My Great Uncle Fred was a big wig in the Boy Scouts

He is on the right.... with the big smile  :)

Finding out things about my family gives me the zeal and the hunger to find out
more, and makes me feel so excited...

I'm thankful to have found out that I am part of a big family...
my heart feels so full...I love them all so much..
I feel how the grinch felt, when his heart grew two sizes that day...
my heart just keeps growing...

Monday, April 27, 2015

A to Z Book of Me Challenge Y is for YOU

Y is for you... your research starts with YOU

Some points of my life...

:  I was born in Dundee, Scotland..

: I moved to Greenock and then Port Glasgow, Scotland with my Dad,
brother and sister when I was around 5 years old

: I attended Belville Street Primary School for a short time

: My dad got remarried when I was around 8 years old

: I then went to  Clune Park Primary

:  My High School was Port Glasgow High

: Finished school at age 16 and went to work at Wovenair

: When I was 17 years old I went with my friend Jean to look for the church we were interested in,
best decision ever...

: Age 18 moved to Edgeware in England and worked there as Nanny

: Also worked at Butlins holiday camp in Minehead, England for a short time

: Age 20 got a Nanny job in Toronto, Canada

: Met my husband, got engaged and married that same year

: Moved to Calgary a year after we got married

: Had our first son almost 2 years after we were married

: Adopted our daughter a year and a half after our son was born ( she was almost 12 years old )

:  7 months after that, we had out second son

:Two and a half years after that we had our third son ( lost 5 babies in between having all our boys )

: Moved back East in 1986

: Moved back out West in 1988

Wont go into anymore except to say that, we have 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren
Next year is our Ruby anniversary

" Its a Wonderful Life "

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A to Z Book of Me Challenge X ( Marks the spot )

X marks the spot...

Did any of our ancestors not know how to write, and therefore instead of
their name, they would put an x there instead.?
due to an injury or maybe an illness they were unable to write their name,
so put an x

So far with the documents that I have , my ancestors have actually
written their name... but I don't really have anything that goes really, really far back.

I think that before the early 20th century, it would be quite common for most
people to not know how to write.
If we do come across that with our own ancestors, to know if they could write
at all, we could search other documents, eg: wills, birth certificate etc and see
if they wrote their name on that, or just put an x instead.

A to Z Book of Me Challenge W is for Who, What, Where, When, Why and Who am I ?

We need to understand all these things in relation to our Ancestors.
Who they are...
What they did..
Where they lived
When they lived there..
Why they did something..

My Ancestors are McGowans, Newmans, McCullochs, O,Neills..Menzies
and O'Briens I have other names, but these are the main lines.

In doing my research, my McGowans and O'Neill's they originated in Northern Ireland,
 and then moved to Scotland ( Greenock ).. I only have my Great Grandparents
 there, as I can't get back further. ( so far )  They were married in a place called Ahoghill.
The year was 1880 that they were married.

The furthest back I have my Newmans is 1790.. Benjamin Newman was
married to Ann Law.
He married her August of 1810...
His son Andrew Newman  ( My Great Great Grandfather ) was a
salmon fisher.... He drowned.  I wonder , even though he
was a fisherman, that maybe he couldn't swim.. They lived in Arbroath.
My Newmans always lived in Arbroath, Scotland, but my Grandfather
David Scott Newman came to Greenock... I'm not sure the reason why.
He would have met my Grandmother Agnes McGowan there...

Most of my Menzies were also from Arbroath... although my earliest
was Thomas Menzies, born in 1744 in Strachan, Kincardineshire, Scotland/

My McCullochs and O'Brien's also originally came from Ireland.. I heard
from my Uncle Ally, that it was County Mayo and County Cavan, but \I
haven't been able to get them there yet.
They did both end up in Dundee, Scotland
I dont know why they left Ireland and came to Scotland.
This is my Great Grandparents
George Walsh McCulloch  1876 to 1936

Helen Edwards ( McCulloch ) 1880 to 1939

Who am I ?

I am a Wife,  Mother, daughter, aunt, cousin, sister.... friend
I am a lover of purple and blue
I am a lover of all things pasta
I am a thinker ( sometimes too much )
I am a Homestay mom
I am a childcare giver
I am an animal lover
Sensitive ( too much so )
Lover of Autumn
Music lover
Child of God
picture taker
Christmas Lover
Family Historian

Friday, April 24, 2015

A to Z Book of Me Challenge V is for Validation

Is it important to validate the research and photo's etc that we have ? ... it is..
I had never seen a photo of my grandmother ( Agnes McGowan ), I tried asking
several family members at that time, but no-one seemed to have one.

When my Aunt Helen died, it was awhile after, when I recieved a package in the mail
and inside was this photo...
I cried....
it was from my cousin and his wife..
If I had seen this picture, I would not have known that this was my grandmother
but it was validated for me from my cousin.
I'm sure that my Aunt Helen had probably shown  this photo
to  her sons... they would know who this was...
I'm just excited to have it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A to Z Book of Me Challenge U is for Understanding and Umbrella

Do we understand the situations that our ancestors lived, .. they would have had
to make tough choices, and sometimes those choices were not choices at all... they would
have been a matter of survival... do we understand that dilema or do we pass
judgement on them ?

Honestly.. I try not to pass judgement on anyone, but I know at times
..... maybe I do...
I don't really know all the situations that my ancestors lived..
We have all at some point had to make a tough choice.. just this morning
I was talking to a friend about a tough choice that I had to make recently, and
honestly, I know the reasons I made it, but I would hate to be judged by someone
who " thought " they knew the situation, when actually they did'nt, and so
judged me on what they think they knew.
We all want understanding, don't we ?

Umbrella... think of it open.... your going to hold the umbrella so that
it is on the ground , and the pivotal point is on the ground.. who in your family
is that pivotal point , and who are the spokes coming off from that point ?

I would have to say my Gran was the pivotal point.. the spokes coming
off would be myself, dad and brother, and my Aunts, Uncles and cousins..

When I was a wee girl, my Gran would take me to visit my Aunt Helen
and Uncle Jimmy, and I would therefore see cousins as well.. they were all
quite a bit older than I was.  I would also visit with my Aunt Lily... also
other Aunts, Uncles, cousins etc would come to my Gran's home, so I would
get to see them ... my Gran was the pivotal point in me see other family members.
When my Gran died, the umbrella folded slightly... not all the way, but slightly.
We didn't have that connection anymore.  I was here in Canada when she died
and other family members were also living far away as well.
I'm glad that the umbrella didn't close all the way.. I am now in touch with
family members again, and so glad that I am... closer with some than
with others... love my family  x

A to Z Book of Me Challenge T is for Trust

Trust.... do I trust the research I've done, do I trust the evidence ?
Do I trust the notes I've took ?
Do I trust the information I was given ?

I know mistakes can be made accidently, but I know that I mostly trust
the information I have been given, and will probably continue to do
so unless it has been proven otherwise.
If I ever find something wrong in the information or work that I have,
I'll just correct it and move on...  :)

Who is the absolute person that I trust the most, and why ?

Well that would have to be my husband... I can tell him, and talk to
him about anything, and I know it wont go anywhere else.
I also have a friend that I can do that with as well... its really important
to have someone like that... sometimes we just need a sounding board,
and need someone there to listen, while we get it off our chest.

I dont really trust easily, and hope that if I do open up to someone, I hope
that I dont regret it... especially if it was a sensitive subject..

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A to Z Book of Me Challenge... S is for Secondary Sources and Sports

What is Secondary Sources in is documents or records that were not created
at the time the event occurred . It could be someone who is telling about the event
in the past, and it may not be completely accurate.
It could be from letters or books that a relative may have.
For example... some of what I've written, is just from memory and may not
be completely accurate...
Some sources can be Primary or Secondary... have I confused you yet??
I think I've confused myself... haha

Sports : This isnt a hard one... I really don't like sports much at all..
I only watch Hockey when its the play offs ..and I root for the
Calgary Flames to win... my husband is the same... we just are'nt Sports fanatics.

My dad loved football ( here its called soccer )
He was a Morton and a Rangers fan

My dad also loved the wrestling... I remember him watching it
on TV... I even remember one of the names of a wrestler... it was
Mick McManus...

My Uncle George loved the Football as well, he liked the Greenock JR
and he also liked Boxing
My Uncle David loved Golf..... I don't know about other family members..

A to Z Book of Me Challenge R is for Reasoning and Right or Left

Reasoning....   When we look at our ancestors, what are some of the
reasons they did things.
My Great grandparents David McGowan and Elizabeth O'Neill were from
Ireland.  They were married in a place called Ahoghill in Northern Ireland..
I think they had their first couple of kids there... they then moved to
Greenock in Scotland... why ?
I would imagine that times were hard for them... maybe there was no work
in Ireland, and there was in Greenock.
I myself moved from Scotland to England, and then to Canada.. and yes there were
reasons... I also believe that that was my life path... I was where I was supposed
to be... I was on the road I was supposed to take.
It would be nice if we knew the reasoning behind the things that have
happened in our families lives... maybe we do know some... it makes
their life journey seem more interesting to us.

Right or Left :

I myself am right handed... I can't do anything with my left hand.
Out of my four children, three are right handed and one is a lefty...
My dad I'm sure was also right handed, but I don't know about anyone else...

A to Z Book of Me Challenge Q is for Questions

It is so important to ask questions... ask our parents or our grandparents as many
questions as we can... we dont want to regret it after they are no longer
with us.  I personally wish I had asked more questions.  There are so many things
I wonder about, and that I would love to know, but when my dad was alive, I either
was'nt interested or didn't think about it.
I regret it now.
Some things I wish I had asked are...

What were some of the Fads when they were young and did they follow them ?
How did they meet ?
What did they do for fun ?
What was school like.. what was their best or worst subject ?
What is their earliest childhood memory ?
How did they celebrate birhdays, christmas etc ?
What did they enjoy doing together as a family ?
What was life like for them growing up ?

There's oodles more.....  anyway,  ask, ask, ask !!
and listen to what they have to say....

A to Z Book of Me Challenge P is for Primary Sources and Pets

Primary Sources when it comes to Genealogy.....

A Primary source can be a document or a record of a birth, marriage or death.
It can be a Family Bible, or someone with complete knowledge of the
event, such as a Mother or Father etc.
It can also be Military records , census records etc.
Its important to document the Primary source when working on our family tree.

Pets :  Our family have had many different pets, from dogs, cats, hamsters and gerbils,
fish etc.
Of course, there are some who are more special.

We lost our wee Besse last year.. she was such a gentle soul

A couple of years before that, we lost Kernal.
 They were lovely  family members.. we still miss them.

I dont know about many ancestors having pets.. but I do know
my Grandad and Gran Newman had a dog called Laddie
and my Gran always had a budgie as well

A to Z Book of Me Challenge O is for Organsational and Occasions

Organisational :

I know its important to be organised, especially in Genealogy.
I feel in my life, that I am a somewhat organised person, but not
in every area in my life.
It stresses me out somewhat when I feel disorganised.. it makes me cranky.
It doesn't bother me if someone else isn't, but it definitely bothers me
if I'm not.
I have three clear containers that I have mine and my husbands Genealogy in.
There are newspaper clippings, certificates, photo's etc.
These are my containers.... actually, I'm showing just one..
Its good that I'm organised to have it all in containers, but......

its not good that it actually looks like this...

It makes me crazy to even see this... and a bit embarassed  :)

I know how important it is to have an organised Family History... hopefully
one day I can get around to getting it done.

Occasions :
There are so many occasions of happenings in our lives..we should
be documenting them all.
 Weddings, the birth of a child, a sweet 16 birthday.. you get the picture.
How important for future generations to see a picture of any of  these.
I take pictures of EVERYTHING...
Yesterday was my husbands birthday...
I decorated the ceiling in our living room with balloons.
Why ?  Because I like to surprise him but I also want him to know
he is special... he loves it :)
Its important to document these different occasions in our lives somehow..
even if its just pictures.
Now If I could just get them organised, I would be set :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A to Z Book of Me Challenge N is for Notes and Nemesis

Notes :  I do write notes.. in fact I usually write lists, and then write a list for my list.

When it comes to Genealogy, and I find something say on Ancestry,
I will grab whatever is handy, be it a scrap piece of paper, or an envelope from
a bill and write on it.  I have so many of these, and some were written years ago,
I have them with my other family history things.
There is no rhyme or reason to it all, and some I have the same information
written down a couple of times.
Some of it, I don't understand anymore, which isn't good, because when my children
go through all of this, when I am no longer here, I am sure it will just get thrown
out.... even though I have thought about this before, I still haven't done anything
about it...
I'm thinking that this will be a good summer project to get started on :)

Nemesis :I kind of knew what this meant, but not really when it came to
Family History.. so here is my take on it...not sure if it is what it really
means or not.
My Nemesis is time.... I am trying to find time every day to write..
I'm trying to find time to organise my family history..
I would like to have my Family History written down for my children or grandchildren
to maybe read one day.
I am also trying to find time for ME... does that sound selfish ?
I find that in the rut of every day life.. I have no time for myself , to do
things like just going for a walk.
One of the reasons I am giving up working, is because I am feeling more
and more that I need that time... so in the Summer I am hoping to do some
" me " things... selfish or not.
Does that make sense that my Nemesis is time ?
I hope so...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A to Z Challenge M for Methodology

Do I have a method to doing my Genealogy ?
If not, it can be chaotic....
I am always looking for ideas, so I don't feel like this... so I can learn some good
methods to doing it, and storing it etc.

I do have my own webpage for my family tree, and do try to keep it up to date.
I do a lot of my research on Ancestry, Family Search, and have also gone on
Scotlands People to try and gather as much information as possible.

If any of my family went through some of my things.. quite honestly they
wouldn't know what to do with it all.  I have notes here and there, with dates
and names etc.

I have a tree on Ancestry and Family Search, but both are not as up to date
as they should be... something that I need to work on...

I'm full of good intentions...

Monday, April 13, 2015

A to Z Book of Me Challenge L is for Learning and Love

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember , involve me and I learn.. Benjamin Franklin

There is so much to learn in doing our Family History...
First, we have to learn where to start / how to start.
We have to learn how to keep it and save the information that we have.
We can learn things about our ancestors that we never knew before.
For example... I had a couple of uncles and also a great uncle who told me
about my Grandmother ( Norah McCulloch ).
Because I didn't know her growing up, every bit of information I could
get was wonderful to me.
I learned that she loved to sing, and when the family went on a bus trip
somewhere, she would be the life of the bus, with her singing  etc.
Of course everyone could join in, and a good time was had by all.

I heard from my Aunt Helen, that her mum,  my grandmother ( Agnes McGowan )
was a tall, well made woman. So I could kind of picture in my mind, what she
could look like... and also.. maybe that's where I get my height from.  :)

Love : So many kinds of love.
There's the love we have for our parents, for our children / grandchildren, our spouse,
our friends.
We can have a love for reading, or for exercise ( I wish ), or for the mountains
or the ocean.
Love is a warm feeling that can reach the tip of our toes, to the top
of our head.
Love can be, infatuation, unconditional,  romantic, we can have tough love
or puppy love.

When it comes to my family history, I have felt a deep love or connection
with my ancestors... I can say that I love them and mean it.
I love my family.. my extended family.. its my nature to love... I dont know
who I inheritated it from, but I'm glad that I did.

Love is ... what gives you a smile from ear to ear..
Love is... far away people, you call friends

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A to Z Book of Me Challenge K is for Keepsakes and Kiss

Keepsakes...  I already mentioned about how close I was to my Gran...oh
how I loved her.  When my Gran died, my dad sent me her bible... it is something that I
still cherish now.
I also have the last card that my dad sent me for my birthday.

I love to see his writing and remember him.

This past Christmas, my son and his wife gave us a framed picture..In it
were our grandchildren's hands.  There hands will never be that size again.. it
has their ages on it, and it says : From Firm Roots Grow Beautiful Leaves.
The PERFECT gift to have given me  :) and a real keepsake..

Kiss..... My first kiss would have been from my parents.. and maybe even
my Grandparents as well.  :)
I remember when I was a wee girl... my dad would kiss my forehead,
even now, if someone kisses my forehead, it makes me feel
warm and safe.
I remeber my Gran would kiss my cheek as she gave me a hug.

My first :" real " kiss would have been from... well
that would be telling.. hehe
Was it romantic ?
I would have to say it was.
Was it from someone special?
It absolutely was...

A to Z Book of Me Challenge J is for Judgement and Jewellery

Judgement... Its human nature to judge someone, but we shouldn't be doing that
at all...  Who are we to judge another ?
I know I have been guilty of this very thing, but as I have got older, I am
really trying hard to not do that.  When I walk imperfectly !

There was a time when I questioned why my Mum would just leave.. to leave her
children, because I knew I could never do that... never !
There are times when I sit and think, and still sometimes do this again.
This is bringing up feelings in me as I write.. I feel like like that wee girl
again.. I remember her leaving.. I remember my dad crying and begging her
to stay... but she didn't.
It was hard growing up knowing this, and not judge her

I do want everyone to know that I love her, I
have always loved her ... I forgive her, and I am
still human, and I'm trying hard to not judge.

There are things when we are doing our family history, that we find out things
about our ancestors.... but it is not our job to judge them... it is our job to
accept them.. they are ours.. we are entwined with them.. we are theirs,
they are ours.

Jewellery... I inherited a ring from Ken's Aunt, that I have since passed on
to another family member.
I have a purple brooch that belonged to my Grandmother ( Norah McCulloch ), that
was given to me by an aunt.
I will try and take a picture of it and put it on here....

A to Z Book of Me Challenge I is for Informants and Individual

Informants :  I wouldn't be as far as I am now in my Family History, if
it was'nt for the fact I have had people tell me information that they knew.
Of course, I also have to follow up, and still look up and find more information myself,
bur how important it was to get the information in the first place, to get me started.
Having someone share their information or knowledge with you is so, so important
for a number of reasons... the number one reason being, that maybe they were
there, so know first hand that the info they are giving you is right / true.

We are all INDIVIDUALS... we are all in our own way unique....
Just in our own families, we can all be so different.
Mt three boys are all completely different.. alike in some ways, but
very different in others.
My oldest son was always outgoing as a child, and very hyper, whereas
my middle son was quieter, shy in some respects.  My youngest son, he
had some of each of his older brothers in him... he is also the most stubborn.
A couple of my boys walk like my brother Andrew, but they never met him..

Its the same with our ancestors, they are each individual and unique
in their own way.
We have each of our ancestors running through our veins, but we are
also an individual.... we may have Grandpa's eyes, or our Mum's smile,
but we are our own unique person... be proud of us.. be proud of you  x

A to Z Book of Me Challenge H is for How and Holidays

How ?

How are things different now from when my ancestors were growing up.. well, they
were born before Television, video games, Penicillin, Washer and Dryers, computers,
frozen foods,  you name it :)

When I think about how they lived, I envy them in some respects... life was
simpler, but in many ways, life was also harder.
Can you imagine washing everything by hand... I have done that... soooo much easier
to just  throw everything in the washing machine.

When I first started working on my family tree, I relied on getting information
from my family, or I had to go to a family history centre to look things up.
I know that I dont appreciate the fact that I can sit in the comfort of my home
and work on my family history... the magic of computers !!

Holidays :  I don't know what kind of things my ancestors did .. I would imagine
they would go to the seaside, or something similar.

As a child,I can remember going to the Isle of Man with my family for a holiday,
We also went to Blackpool, or on a weekend we went across the water to Dunoon
or to Millport, or even just down to Largs.

I cant remember all the details of the trip... but what I remember is the feeling...
I know I loved that family time together..

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A to Z Book of Me Challenge G is for Goals and Gifts


Everyone has a goal of some sort... I also have a bucket list of things I would
like to see or do... things like :  Going to Disneyland ( doing that this year ) Go to Alaska,
see whales ( Next year will do those ), I also have some things on there like  Write a letter to myself, and open it in 10 years, Dance under the stars, Go on a zipline , send a message in a bottle etc... they are'nt for everyone, but they are things I want to accomplish.

Genealogy wise... I would like to get further back in my Newman line, I would love to find out more information on each of my ancestors... finding things about them, makes them feel more real to me.
and I would love to see the places they lived.


When I look around, I can see gifts that I have recieved from family, and things I recieved
from some of my previous students..
Things like these...

For Genealogy.. I have these..

 My Dad gave this to me... I think it was my Grandfather's

This I recieved from Ken's work.. it was when we were first married.. its
over 38 years old..

I also have the gift of Family.. laughter.. fun !!