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Monday, January 26, 2015

For me, God is in the birds and trees

Posted by Dawn-Ann on August 18, 2012

The hills were silent again except for one birdsong, and it cheered me slightly. See? If there were no other proof of the existence of a bigger reality than birds, they would do it for me.

~ Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith

Life is an adventure

Before I start my new reading adventures, I’d like to finish up a couple of books I am already reading.

One book is Anne Lamott’s Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith and the other is Hugh A. Dempsey’s Always an Adventure.

I have very eclectic tastes – what can I say? And normally I prefer non-fiction, which is why King and Tan are such departures from the norm for me.

Anyway…

Annie never disappoints. Her books are filled with humor and wisdom and nitty-gritty life experience. I actually met her once – we have a mutual friend in the Bay Area. Her observations on everything, from raising her son Sam to overcoming addiction, are always very thought-provoking and – well – human.

Hugh Dempsey’s book is a fun read for a different reason. That is, if you’re a nerdy historian adventurer-type person. A local figure, Hugh was instrumental in building the first historical collections of Calgary’s Glenbow Museum. He married a Blood woman from the Cardston area and traveled, explored and archived his heart out, writing about his journeys as he went. My dream!

I met Hugh, too, during a reading he gave a year or so ago. I had never heard of him before (a fact I’m a little embarrassed about) and immediately snapped up four of his books – all of which he signed for me while politely inquiring about my interest. Such a kind, knowledgeable gentleman.

People like Anne Lamott and Hugh Dempsey are the people that have helped shape my life and my self over the years. They have helped me define who I am and what is important to me – and even, sometimes, how to deal with life’s ups and downs.

New beginnings… er…

Posted by Dawn-Ann on August 16, 2012

Okay. Well, that title sounds a little cliche but I don’t know how to say it better.

Celebrate life! :)

I’ve been away for awhile doing other things. But now I am coming close to finishing up some big projects and my calendar is finally starting to clear a bit and I’m thinking, What next?

I don’t know, but I have a lot of ideas jangling around in my head. I want to try some new things, for one. For instance, I have never read a Stephen King novel. Seriously! And me wanting to be a writer.

So I’m thinking this blog, besides being about family research, could morph into a tale of my own journey. I want to try new adventures, read literature I’ve never tried before, travel, write, and dream. In that spirit, I picked up a couple of books at Chapters tonight – one a Stephen King novel and the other Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.

I’m going to challenge myself to write (almost) every day and make every day count. One day you may read about horseback riding adventures and another you may learn something new that I’m reading about.

I want to learn to grab joy from every minute. From every experience.

And worry less.

Join me. It’ll be fun!

A Kirkpatrick / Hunter connection

Posted by Dawn-Ann on April 16, 2012

I was digging through my gravestone images looking for a particular one for a distant cousin. She has a Kirkpatrick in her tree that married a Hunter and she was wondering if I had anything I could share. Turns out I don’t (yet) but I thought I’d share this headstone anyway. The more information we get out there, the more we help each other, right?

Thomas Kirkpatrick, Catherine Hunter, Dumfries

Thomas Kirkpatrick, Robert Kirkpatrick, Catherine Hunter (click image to view larger)

The stone reads:

In Memory of
THOMAS KIRKPATRICK,
who died at Closeburn Village 13th Dec’r 1873,
aged 84 years. Also
ROBERT KIRKPATRICK his son who died
at Cottage Closeburn 29 Dec’r 1863
aged 5 years & 4 months.
Also CATHERINE HUNTER, wife of
the above THOMAS KIRKPATRICK,
who died at 1 Gordon St. Dumfries,
27th March 1892, aged 72 years.
CATHERINE JOHNSTONE KIRKPATRICK,
daughter of the above THOMAS
KIRKPATRICK, who died at
1 Gordon St. Dumfries,
on 3rd March 1927, aged 65 years.

Digging into the past again after quite some time!

Posted by Dawn-Ann on April 12, 2012

Ghosts of distant past
Whisper through the years to me
“Please tell our story.”

A new year, a new life

Posted by Dawn-Ann on January 11, 2012

I am so lucky that Tom and I can work from home. It gives me a lot of extra time to figure out other things!

One of the “other things” I am working on is charting an education course for myself. This education will be free (or really cheap) and tailored to my own needs because I will be educating myself.

Some of the topics I want to study are politics, journalism, anthro/archaeo, film making and editing, and languages. This is why I need to do it myself. No University offers a degree in such a wide range of subject matter!

But first things first. I figured it would make sense to improve my memory so that I can retain everything better. That is why the very first book I am going to study is called Mega Memory by Kevin Trudeau.

The second subject I want to tackle, because it too will aid my studies, is speed reading. And not just speed reading, but speed reading with comprehension! For that I dug out a book I’ve had for years called Speed-Reading The Easy Way.

So, on top of Kirkpatrick family history posts, this blog will now be a record of my self-education journey. Follow along if you’re interested! :)

And don’t forget to keep an eye on my new blog about another very important facet of my life right now: Grandparents of Children With Autism. I thought I’d make that a blog of its own because it is so specialized and I have a ton of ideas for articles for it.

Silent, sad stories

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 12, 2011

In memory of...

When we were in Scotland I took a lot of pictures of cemetery headstones, especially in Closeburn and Dumfries.

Most of the images I got were of Kirkpatrick family members’ stones, but occasionally I found ones that stirred my imagination. Some even moved me to tears, such as this poignant story.

You can’t read it all, but here is what it says:

In Memory of
Bridget, wife of Thomas Wilkin,
Surgeon, who died on the 12th December 1840
aged 40 years
Also Robert their son, who died
21st February 1831 aged 1 year and 4 months
Also James Pennington their son,
who died 24th October 1839 aged 1 year
Also Mary their daughter, who died
1st February 1833 aged 9 days
Also Catherine Mary their daughter, who died
at Kendal 20th July 1854 aged 20 years
And Amy their eldest daughter,
wife of Henry F. Bainbridge,
who died in Liverpool 27th September 1871
aged 46 years
Also the above Thomas Wilkin,
who died in Suffolk 16th February 1873
aged 72 years

“Looking unto Jesus”

Imagine the heartache this family must have endured…

Blame it on La Niña

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 26, 2011

When I was growing up in northern British Columbia, meteorology was actually one of the “Nature Girl” type interests I held. I paid attention to weather patterns and cloud formations and tried to learn how to predict what the weather was going to do.

I wasn’t terribly good at it, but I did learn a lot.

Recent flooding in northern BC and Alberta, including my hometown of Dawson Creek, and enduring a very long, cool, wet spring in Calgary got me wondering if La Niña was at work. Sure enough, a quick Google search (gotta love modern technology!) showed she was.

The La Niña weather pattern starts when colder than normal water pools along the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Effects are felt in a shifting jet stream and changing high/low pressure areas. She can create cooler than normal winters with lots of snow along the west coast, higher tornado and hurricane counts, and hot, dry temps in the southern United States.

La Niña is probably responsible for all the freakish weather we’ve had this year. Thankfully, she doesn’t usually last more than a couple of years, although there have been longer episodes.

This video explains a little more about La Niña and is worth watching for the quaint hillbilly accent of the narrator alone! :)

The Urban Farming Guys

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 20, 2011

I haven’t been this excited about a new ‘Net find since I found the Urban Homesteaders! Now Urban Farming Guys have taken things to a new level.

Learn about milking goats. Aquaponics. Making your own soap! Create a community of like-minded urbanite farmers around you.

Have a look at this video to get yourself as excited as I am! :)

Super senior: 91-year-old track star

Posted by Dawn-Ann on April 2, 2011

It’s been awhile since I posted to my blog! With the recent passing of my stepfather, I have been super busy wrapping up my mother’s affairs in Montana, packing her up, and moving her to Calgary. My sister and I have been running around taking care of getting her Canadian ID, telephone service, and a million other little tasks that need to be done. Slowly we’re gaining on it! :)

The residence we found for her is called Westview Lodge. Our business with them was handled smoothly and professionally and the residents look happy, well-fed and very friendly. As my bro-in-law and I were moving things in we were chatted up by a handful of them and all seemed very glad to be there. So there’s a little plug for Westview Lodge!

Anyway…

Seniors and their care and consideration are are near and dear to my heart and I have started paying more attention to what goes on in their world.

So I was surprised and tickled pink when I saw this video about Canadian Olga Kotelko: The 91-year-old track star. My goodness – she’s in better shape at 91 than I am at 50-something! Go Olga. You are an inspiration.

I think I’ll start training for a triathlon. ;)

Vertical farming, Part II

Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 14, 2011

What got me thinking about vertical gardening again was a post a friend sent to me about a back-yard structure you can grow strawberries and herbs on.

When you’re short on space, gardening UP makes so much sense, doesn’t it? Here are a couple of great ideas that some other very bright folks are working on.

The first vertical farm is on a very large scale. You can find more information on it here.

And here are a few really great ideas on a much smaller scale. After you’ve done watching this, go to Youtube.com and do a search for vertical farming. It’s amazing what some folks dream up! :)