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.
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!
Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 28, 2008
I love, love, LOVE flowers and I brought a lot of them home last night
I am about to turn 50 in a week or so. I joke with my kids that I’m “wise” now. Well, in spite of my infinite wisdom, I somehow missed catching on to the fact that they were planning a surprise birthday party for me! I sure as heck hope that SOMEONE took good pictures for me to post here and on Facebook.
I was absolutely blown away by the party – the fabulous food, the great music and all the love from friends and family. Robb and Kim had arranged the music (including a fun “name that tune” game that hit all the Number One songs on each of my birthdays), catered food, hall rental, etc. My oldest son arranged for stunning floral centrepieces for the tables. Holly calmly looked me in the eye and LIED about where we were going. With a straight face. (She didn’t learn to lie from me!)
We danced. We sang. We hugged and kissed a LOT. We ate good food and then we all cleaned up afterward. It was truly a night to remember. I love my family!
Thanks kids. That will be a hard one to top!
Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 23, 2008
When I think of all my family members – those who know me best and love me anyway – my spirit is warmed. In this day and age, when our sprawling cities and transient population have created an anonymous society, it’s nice to know that with family we still have a sense of community. Even if we are living in far-flung places, the Internet has made it possible to keep in daily communication with loved ones.
This concept was recently illustrated in our family when my niece became pregnant. Being very young with no real resources of her own, our family is rallying around her. Some of us have taken her shopping, others have kept an eye out for good deals on used strollers and the like. Of course, a baby shower is being planned. Yours truly is planning a Facebook page that will list what she needs and what she already has, to be editable by her and I. Every time my niece despairs, someone drops something off or emails to touch base. She is amazed at how it’s all coming together.
Why do we do this? Without going into all the instinctual, sociological reasons, for us it’s about taking care of our own. My niece is “one of ours” and her baby is one of us. It’s not just her baby – she belongs to the family and we all have a stake in its future. I’d like to think we’d do the same if any other of us faced challenges in our lives.
Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 31, 2008
Okay, I love the idea of living in the country again. And I love to read good stories that include lots of purty pictures – especially if said stories are well written with spelling and grammar checked. That’s why I adore this site. If you haven’t seen it, you really should have a look. It is jam packed with beautiful photography, engaging stories and I guarantee you’ll often find yourself laughing and crying at the same time. While you’re there, don’t forget to read the chapter story Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. Should be published as a book, I’d say…
[Visit Confessions of a Pioneer Woman here.]
Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 26, 2008
John at onemansblog.com has a pretty interesting website. Sometimes his entries are techie, sometimes funny, and occasionally very profound – like this morning’s post.
This article, 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Business, was written in response to an event he is attending, at which he will be mentoring young people. I think it’s just about some of the best advice I have seen on the subject. [Check out John's blog entry here.]