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Friday, March 27, 2015

Light Up The World

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 21, 2008

A couple of days after writing the previous post I was walking through Bankers Hall on my lunch break when I came across a little booth. On the table I saw a small solar panel attached to what looked like a tiny car battery and some lights. I had almost passed the booth when I brought myself up short and backed up to have a look. The posters on the wall told me the topic of this display was EXACTLY what I had just written about!

I stopped to chat with a cheerful and enthusiastic fellow who I later found out is Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, the man behind Light Up The World. We talked a bit about LUTW, about Scotland, and about how to get this project onto the radar screen of big players who could help (yes, I will be writing to Oprah). I spent so much time chatting I used up my lunch break and had to forgo my errands for the day and get back to work, but I didn’t mind. It just seemed like more than coincidence that I was there talking to this sincere fellow with the beautiful dreams.

I got paid today, Dr. Dave. I’m heading right over to your site to make a donation!

So… You’re menstruating

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 12, 2008

The title says it all – men beware. You can go read one of my other posts about urban homesteading or something. It’s from The Daily Blonde and I swear, it’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. I just wish I could remember who I was recently telling about the dreaded belt. Women over 45 or so will definitely relate!

So… You’re menstruating

Kirkpatricks galore

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 11, 2008

The Kirkpatrick crest and motto on a family mausoleum in Dumfries

This is the last day of my five-day weekend and I have it earmarked for genealogy. Well, genealogy and laundry, but the laundry kind of does itself in the background, for the most part. So, I have one whole day of genealogical bliss ahead of me!

I am still looking for the “missing link” that will tie my Kirkpatricks into the Kirkpatricks of old. I am this close and expect to accomplish it today. In the mean time, here is something interesting I found. Her Imperial Majesty, the Empress Eugènie, who eventually married Napoleon, had Kirkpatrick roots. Here is how it goes, from her mother on down, according to one source I found:

  1. Marie Manuelita Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, m. Don Cipriano de Palafoix, Count de Montijo
  2. William Kirkpatrick of Malaga, 1764-1837, m. “Fanny” (probably Doña Francesca), daughter of the Baron de Grivegnée of Malaga (Spain)
  3. William Kirkpatrick of Conheath, 1736-1787, m. Mary Wilson of Kelton, Kirkcudbright (Scotland)
  4. Robert Kirkpatrick, 2nd son of William Kirkpatrick, Lord of Kirkmichael, m. Henrietta Gillespie of Craighsheille; d. 1746
  5. William Kirkpatrick IV, Lord of Kirkmichael, d. 9 June 1686
  6. Alexander Kirkpatrick III, Lord of Kirkmichael, m. Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
  7. William Kirkpatrick II, Lord of Kirkmichael, 1548
  8. Alexander Kirkpatrick I, Lord of Kirkmichael, 1484, second son of Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
  9. Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburne, m. The Hon. Margaret Somerville, daughter of Lord Somerville, grand-daughter of Alexander, Lord Darnley
  10. Sir Winfred Kirkpatrick of Closeburne
  11. Sir Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburn and Caerlaverock, d. 1357
  12. Sir Roger Kirkpatrick, 1305, “I mak sicker”
  13. Stephen, Lord of Closeburne, 1278
  14. Adam Kirkpatrick, Lord of Closeburne
  15. Yvone de Kirkpatrick of Closeburne, 1232, m. The Lady Euphemia Bruce, daughter of the Lord of Annandale
  16. Yvone de Kirkpatrick, Lord of Closeburne, 1135
  17. Cospatric, Cumberland, 1066
  18. The Kirkpatricks held lands in Nithsdale in A.D. 800
  19. Cella Patricii, A.D. 370
  20. The Tribe of Alsani, 300
  21. Finn Mac-Cual (ancient Irish king), A.D. 200

Of course, the last three are not provable and are only family legend, but I have learned that often such legends hold a grain of truth. The rest have been more or less proven, with the first known record being a legal document with the first Yvone’s name on it (No. 16; Yvone was probably pronounced “Ivan” or “Ewan”). Number 12 is the guy who gave us our motto by helping Robert the Bruce get rid of Red Comyn.

I think my family will tie in at approximately the No. 5 or No. 6 position, as that is the date frame and location of the highest Kirks on my tree. I just have to find that missing link!


Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 30, 2008

Isn’t it funny the connections you make with people sometimes?  The other day I was riding home on the train, moving slowly down 7th Avenue, when I caught the eye of a pedestrian on the sidewalk.  He was a tall, striking black man with a pleasant face and his eyes smiled at mine.  I held his gaze and smiled back.  We maintained that eye contact until we lost sight of each other.  It wasn’t a flirty contact, at least not for me; it was more of a recognition of a brother “child of the Universe,” but I could feel an almost electrical buzz as the event unfolded.

Getting a hug from my high school buddy, Patty.

Getting a hug from my high school buddy, Patty.

I had a similar incident in New York City, of all places.  I was being all touristy, riding around town on top of one of those red double-decker buses.  As I looked over the side at all the people on the sidewalk I caught the eye of a lady walking there.  She also held my gaze, smiled, and even gave a happy little wave at me.  I waved back and again there was a jolt of connection – a feeling of meeting a sister child of the Universe.  (New Yorkers are much friendlier than I expected them to be!)

Yesterday at work I had one more such interesting experience, though this one was over the phone.  I have yet to meet this sister, though I may.  A lady from another department called me on a matter of business.  Turns out her name is also Dawn, she runs, had heard of Holly’s website, knows a mutual running friend, and does running clinics for the Running Room (one of which I am signed up for in the spring).  She has a blog that has a pretty decent readership and she’s about my age.  In fact, her picture reminds me of a red-headed me, in a way.  Chatting with her was like deja vu.  You can see Dawn’s site at Dawn on the Run.

The Universe seems to be lining up all these interesting new encounters for me lately.  It’s intriguing to contemplate why.

I paid it forward

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 25, 2008

If you read my story called Pay $5 forward, you’ll know that I’ve been carrying a crumpled $5 bill around in my coat pocket for a while. I’ve been waiting for just the right opportunity to pay it forward since the day it was given to me by a dear little Native woman on the train. Well, you’ll be glad to know it went out yesterday. I was waiting on the street corner downtown at lunch time, when another little Native woman walked through crowds of people, directly to me in a bee-line, as if she’d spotted me from a mile away. I watched her approach and somehow I knew. Sure enough, she asked if I had some change for a cup of coffee. Without hesitation I said, “I sure do,” and dug the bill out of my pocket and placed it in her hand. Her eyes glowed with gratitude and last I saw her, she was heading to the nearby McDonalds for some lunch. It warmed my heart.

My dad said his auntie, also a little half-Native woman, would have said my experience on the train was a visit from the Elders. He said perhaps it was a visit from Aunt Alice, who always carried wads of $5 bills around with her (she liked to bet on the horses). He said maybe she was passing along her gift of second sight to me. Thank you, Aunt Alice. I am truly grateful.

Tattooed Jedi

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 18, 2008

Telling my story about meeting the lady on my commute home the other day (Pay $5 forward) made me think of another cool experience I had on the train. I think this commuting thing may wind up being kind of fun, after all. I may learn some stuff. Anyway…

I got on the train after work one night and found a seat next to a tattooed young fellow, who was chatting with his friend sitting facing us. I could tell from their conversation they were returning home from college or something and when the tattooed fellow wondered aloud about where to eat in Chinook I said, “Joey Tomato’s is always a good bet.” They enthusiastically agreed and the decision was made.

Since the ice had been broken with such sound advice, I was henceforth included in their conversation. We talked and talked about movies and Star Trek, Star Wars and George Lucas, and captains and kings. We discussed the age old question of which captain was best – Kirk or Picard? (As an older female Trekkie, I made the observation that they all had their strengths and that I personally liked Janeway – then had to briefly endure their derision.) I even offered a word of wisdom on a matter of the heart that blew them away. “I’m going to remember that and quote it,” said the Mr. Tattoo.

Too soon, it was time for them to get off and leave me musing. How often do you see young fellows like that, who are so open to talking to a middle-aged lady on a train? I thought how some folks might have been turned off by all the tattoos the one young man was sporting and what a pleasurable conversation I’d have missed out on if I’d been one of those folks. I thought about how humour and smarts and advanced thought can come in all kinds of packages and that even we “mature” ones can learn a thing or two from the young. Hanging out with these two young fellows gave me hope for the future.

Was King Arthur really a Scot?

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 17, 2008

I am reading a fascinating book called Realm of the Ring Lords, which looks at ancient legends to see if there may have been some basis in fact to them. It goes into a lot of cool things like dragon queens and ring lords and their possible foundations in ancient history. Anyway, there’s an interesting chapter on King Arthur which says he may have been a Scot. Here’s a brief quote:

[After going through various kings that others had attributed to be King Arthur, the author says], “What is certain is that, in the year 600, another royal Arthur fought at the subsequent Battle of Camelyn, west of Falkirk in Scotland – a battle which is detailed in the Chronicles of the Picts and Scots. This other Arthur was undoubtedly the famed king of the Grail stories. Not only was he proclaimed High King and Sovereign Commander of the Britons in 574, but he was the only recorded Arthur ever born as the son of a Pendragon. He was Prince Arthur of Dalriada, the son of King Aedan mac Gabran of Scots, and his mother was Ygerna d’Avallon whose own mother, Viviane del Acqs, was the recognized Lady of the Lake. Born in 559, he was the only royal Arthur with a son named Modred and a sister called Morgaine (referred to in Royal Irish Academy texts as ‘Muirgein, daughter of Aedan in Belach Gabrain’), just as related in the Grail legends. Arthur’s primary seat was at Carlisle – the City of the legion (Caer leon) – from where he controlled the military defence of the English-Scottish border country. Arthur mac Aedan is cited in St. Adamnan of Iona’s 7th-century Life of St. Columba; his kingly installation by the druid Merlin Emrys is recorded in the Chronicle of the Scots; his legacy is upheld by the Celtic Apostolic Church of Scotland, while famous conflicts (including the Battle of Badon Hill) with which he is traditionally associated are recorded in the Chronicles of Holyrood and of Melrose, the Irish Tigernach Annals and the Books of Leinster and Ballymote.”

Interesting. Who’d have thunk it?

Pay $5 forward

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 16, 2008

I had the most unusual experience on the train home tonight. I was sitting there gazing out the window, my mind a million miles away, when I heard a voice beside me say, “Excuse me. Do you drink coffee?” I looked over and saw a Native woman about my age. I said yes I do drink coffee – in the mornings when I’m trying to wake up. With that, she slipped a $5 bill from her pocket into my hand. I sensed an importance to what she was doing and held the crumpled bill, waiting.

With a soft voice she launched into a story about how someone had given her five fives today and she felt that she couldn’t keep them all; that it was in some way bad luck. I didn’t understand much of what she was saying. She talked around in circles, embarrassed, yet seeming compelled to carry on. Her words kept tumbling out; then she’d laugh and make a self-deprecating comment.

I kept watching her while she talked, maintaining eye contact. Something about this interaction held me spellbound and I wanted to show the utmost respect to her. Finally I said, “I think I understand.” She laughed. She thought I meant I understand you’re nuts, Lady. But I said, “No really. It’s like giving back in a way.” She looked me dead in the eye, a small smile playing around her lips, grateful that I’d caught on. “That’s it exactly,” she said.

At that moment we arrived at my station and I got up to leave. “Have a wonderful evening,” I told her. She smiled and returned the greeting, her happiness making her face beautiful. All the way home I thought of her and wondered if I’d ever see her again. Something happened there tonight, some kind of graced moment that I’ll remember for a long time. I decided to keep the bill in my coat pocket, ready to pay forward to someone else when the right moment presents itself.

Kirkpatrick family connections to the world

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 15, 2008

Me at Closeburn Castle, which is still occupied by Kirkpatricks! Technically, I think I was trespassing onto a personal driveway, but we just took quick pictures and left.

I have been tracing my family tree and on a recent trip to Scotland managed to gather scads of material that I still need to sift through and enter into my database. However, there is a gap between our Kirkpatricks and the lords and knights of old. I think I have found the missing link, but it still needs some verification – hopefully I’ll find that in the above-mentioned scads of material.

If my links are sound and we really are descended from the Kirkpatricks of old (a probability, as there weren’t a lot of them back then and theoretically we are ALL descended from them), then that also ties us in to a couple of royal lines. For instance, Euphemia de Bruce of the royal Bruce line of Scotland, married Ivone Kirkpatrick back in the 1200′s sometime. As well, Lady Margaret de Sommerville, who was a daughter of the Royal House of Stuarts, married Sir Roger Kirkpatrick in about 1508.

The Kirkpatrick motto on the last standing wall of the old Closeburn church.

My trip was full of happy coincidences and at least once I said aloud, “These Kirkpatricks want their story told.” Maybe I’m just the gal to do it.

Summiting Jumping Pound Mountain

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 5, 2008

The surprise birthday party would have made my weekend complete in itself. However, the next day I decided to join Holly and Isaac (#2 and #4 offspring) hiking in Kananaskis. It was a stunningly beautiful fall day and I figured I’d better get out there while the getting was good.

Trudging ever upward

Holly and her friend planned to summit TWO mountains that day. I’m not sure what Isaac had in mind, but I planned to only go as far as I felt comfortable, then hang out communing with nature until everyone came back. However, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and eventually there came a point where I said to myself, “I’m going to go for it.”

It took me hours and hours (far longer than it took Holly), as I had to stop to catch my wind at times, but eventually I made it. Isaac, bless his heart, stuck with me the whole way and we summited! Somehow, I thought it was the perfectly fitting way to finish off the first half century of my life. If I can climb a mountain at 50, there is nothing I can’t do!