Saturday, December 4, 2010


A lifetime distilled down into three little boxes otherwise known as "Rest and Residue"... the stuff that you did not specifically bequeath to someone in your will.
That is what arrived at my door this evening.

Last week a very dear friend of mine passed away at 93 years of age.  I first met her the year I was married, she lived on the second floor and we on the third.  We also met her husband who was bald as the proverbial billiard ball.  Very much like my cousin's husband and when she sent me a wedding picture of their son and his new wife there was no need for a DNA test that's for sure..  But I digress.  Now... fast forward a few decades......(can I digress and fast forward in the same paragraph?) .... still fast forwarding...and my goodness if we didn't up in the same circle of friends.
 Yesterday one of those friends phoned me and being the executrix invited me to a little get-together tomorrow to pick out a keepsake of sweet Dorothy.  Because I was not going to be able to go I suggested she take a picture and send it to me so I could have a look and not miss out on the event.  She phoned later and said things were a little behind but would I actually like to see them if she brought them over?  I said sure but it really wasn't necessary to bother lugging stuff over here but it was a darned nice idea at any rate!!  So her husband and her brought over three small light boxes.  It was so sad really to see and touch the little treasure reminders of one now gone.  Ninety three years of life in three small boxes.  It's really true then the saying "You can't take it with you"; she didn't and I won't and you won't. 
The real 'rest and residue' that Dorothy left behind couldn't be contained in anything tangible and will never fade nor will it be forgotten in three boxes or even in 300 boxes.  She was a wonderfully gifted person and once you met her you would never forget her.  She had beautiful spiritual outlook and a great life wisdom that translated into genuine loving care for others. 
You were always made to feel welcome and she was sincerely elated whenever you came calling no matter how long since or how recent you were there.  She took such an interest in her friends young and old, that it seemed like she was with them every day and not confined in a nursing home.  She had a wonderful sense of humour and heartily laughed often.  Certain ones read to her on a regular basis from various books and magazines but she also got along quite well on her own by using a strong magnifying glass to read her Bible and write in her daily journal.  She never complained.  Friends once took her to to see an oil rig which she talked for months and had pictures of.  Brides would come on their wedding day, then they'd bring their babies and children which always thrilled Dorothy and from then on being included and involved in their lives;  she was once taken to see how someone's new home construction was progressing; to her place of worship to see the results of recent renovations firsthand.  Her bulletin board was always full of recent pictures of events as life happened.
And thus it continued on even into her early 90's.  If you were to visit her at coffee time she always had a cookie to share.  I never heard her once complain about the food, the staff or being lonely and after the visit it was always YOU that came away happier and truly inspired.  She was the one who could barely see, the one unable to hear without hearing aids, restricted to a wheelchair but you were the one most uplifted, encouraged and benefited by the experience.
 She was a gift and she has left a large hole in our lives. 
How many boxes will we leave behind when we go? More importantly how many  lives will we have truly touched like Dorothy did?

A Letter from My Grandmother to Alex

                                                                                                                                                          FRIDAY DECEMBER 3                                                                  

This letter was sent to me by the granddaughter mentioned in yesterday's blog and typed from the original.  This is what Alice wrote to her brother Alex,  page 5:

Hearts right with God and live accordingly.  I would be pleased if there was another (?7) as long as his will be done.  "Soon the _____will come."  Come up higher and Bless his dear name for the blessed privilege of being able to answer by the blood shed on the cross.  I'm ready, Praise his name and remember dear Alex I firmly believe it was through your godly example when I was so young and the effects of the hymns I use to sing when only a babe on the back of your chair.  Praise God for the seed thus sown (?in) it was to _____so early as it did and is still bearing sheaves for our master.  Pray for me and mine.  Oh, how I wish I was able to have dear old dada with me in comfort these last yrs of his but I guess it would impossible for him to bear the moving a ____  ____boys, but I hope soon to be able to send him something to help him along.  Hoping to hear from you all soon I will send you the sale ad.  Your place and if you should happen to give to someone that might be the purchaser son will get the commission.

Alex was 15 years older than Alice and this letter was written around the same time their father George had written his letter in 1927.  By this time my grandparents had been in Saskatchewan about 6 years and now had 7 children.  Alice has cancer by this time.   The sale she spoke of must have been just prior to their move to Winnipeg.  Great grandfather George died two years after he wrote yesterday's letter.

I missed the deadline for my blog Friday because I had a unusual day.  I started with my doctor's app't in the morning and instead of coming home with the one Rx I went for I came with two more.  I had brought to her attention two others things that were bothering me and both needed treatment.  I went home for lunch but a good friend descended upon me with her vacuum cleaner and an offer I couldn't refuse concerning a recipe I wanted her to make for me.  I ate lunch at 1 PM.  No problem.  At 2:30 PM she returned to have tea and partake of same said recipe.  Then another friend who lives upstairs dropped in and she joined us briefly.  At 4 PM I was alone!!  But not for long.  At 6 PM, when the news was on, a young friend dropped in on a prearranged app't to pick up something.  As it turned out I didn't have the item ready but invited her in anyway.  She left at 11 PM.  
As I go to bed with my supper dishes languishing in the kitchen and with my backside numb as a plank I can be very thankful for the gifts in friends, young and not so young.        I will sleep with a peaceful and thankful heart and say I had a good day.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Father's Letter to his son in 1927

This original text of a letter that was typed by George Washington May, born and raised in Kentucky and sent to me by one of two still living grandchildren who reside in Oklahoma.  The fact that there is still such a close connection to someone who was born in 1849 still amazes me*.  He moved Topish Washington USA after leaving Canada and this was his last place of residence.     I typed the letter as is with no corrections.

*A word of explanation: Alex's second marriage was to a women 36 years younger than he was which is why this is possible!  

My dear sun i got your letter yesterday and was very sory for you in dead for I have bin a long the same line and i know wel and what it is to be left in that fix but i was glad to know that you was doing well and was very glad to get the $Ten dollars but i will make it better with a letter help and i was so thankful to you for the help that you have game me at this time and i do with you all of the good luckey unles i could sel a half acre of land that i have now alex these few lines leaves us as wel as comon and i hopes to the rest of the buoys when i rote you and i have not herd from none of them yet but i hope that o will here from them sune now i want to thank  you once more for the check that you sent me is my praye now i went to yakima yesterday and it a bout twenty five miles and back hald me a load of wood and to tend to some other buisness i have got a nice pony and bugy and wagon and that is all i have got in stock now i will close for thime time with love to you Mr G W May Topish Wash

It has the feeling of a heavy sadness of the time and no doubt being separated from half his family for many years was deeply felt by father and son.  I feel honored to be able to tap into a tiny moment in time by words penned by my great great grandfather...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cabin Fever

Kentucky Historical Society - Collection Details: "Time Period1890s--1988

I've been stuck inside for two weeks now and starting to get a serious case of  cabin fever.  So  I decided to go looking for a nice Kentucky cabin to go along with the theme. 
I was doing some reading on the Kentucky Historical Society's website I came across this picture of Daniel Boone's cabin and a reference to his son Daniel Morgan Boone. 

Why I found that interesting is because of my own family Kentucky roots and the fact that one of my great uncle was named Daniel Morgan May.  It could  have been a popular name in those days and there were probably lots of little Danny Morgans running around. I think the name was likely linked to a state governor or war hero.
 Mays Lick and Tollesboro were in the area that my family lived and some of the history is interesting. 
As a child I actually ran around wearing a Coonskin cap which was no doubt the product of marketing the ever popular shoot-em-up cowboy movies of the day and long before I was aware of my Kentucky familial. One of life's funny little quirks.
Mays Lick, Mason County, has been a rural farming community for over two hundred years. Before the automobile, it was a bustling town with many merchants. Most of the residents can trace their ancestry back to the mid-1800s, and some to the late 1700s. Over the years, they have retained their way of life with few modifications. The first consolidated school in Kentucky was founded in Mays Lick, which also had Kentucky's first school transportation, consisting of a horse and wagon. Residents discuss the history of their families and the town, education, business, farming (including tobacco), hog killing, transportation, medicine, religion, funeral practices, recreation, and social life. 

Daniel Boone's cabin now stands on private property on Highway 68, three miles from the  traffic island on Highways 68 and 36.  He or his son Daniel Morgan Boone built this cabin in 1795 on Brushey Creek and lived there until they moved to Missouri in 1799. The site, Boone's last home in Kentucky, is now on Forest Retreat Farm.
Tollesboro, Ky
Early point of entry into Kentucky for explorers and pioneers. From it marauding Indians forded across the Ohio River. War roads, marked with drawings of animals, the sun, and the moon, led from its mouth to Upper Blue Licks.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Health Tip: Avoid Medical Mistakes

  • Ask plenty of questions, especially about tests, medications or other treatments you receive.
  • Confirm that each health care worker you see knows your medical history, including any allergies and medications you take.
  • Bring along a friend or family member to help ensure that your care is safe and effective.
  • Check your prescriptions at the pharmacy to be sure they're correct.
  • Request that any staff member administering your medications looks at your hospital ID bracelet each time.
  • Ask staff to wash their hands before they examine or touch you.

I think the last three items are extremely important and if you tell them up front you are going to always ask them to wash and check your ID it might not ruffle their feathers quite so much.  They should appreciate the reminders and actually thank you..

It's good advice to check your prescriptions before you leave the drugstore.......just recently I left the drugstore without checking the RX and what an inconvenience it is to have to travel back and wait for it again.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Wednesday Dumpster--A Week's Worth of Odds and Ends

  1. Here is the link to the article that said that before 2000 there were no reports of bedbugs in Canada by a very qualified spokesman.  Included is a very smart way to handle contaminated items if an infestation should happen to you.
  2. Oldest Eagle Documented in article by Randy Boswell Postmedia in part says that a dead  bird found on a New Brunswick highway earlier this
    year turned out to be no ordinary road kill specimen.  The age was pegged at 32 years, 10 months and suggests habitat rehab efforts and conservation measures are giving the species a better chance than they had 40 years ago.  Several reports of eagles reaching ages of 29 to 32--plus suggests the populations are responding well.
  3. Cancer research  article by Brian Cross Postmedia News: A Promising and Dandy Idea  which tells about an extract from dandelion roots dug out of lawns by a U of Windsor scientist and students that they say make cancer cells "cells commint suicide." First printed in the Windsor Star.                                                                                                  Yippee it would certainly would make all of us LOVE dandelions.
  4. Weight Watchers Point System Overhaul:  Stephanie Rost, corporate program development director of Weight Watchers sai d the new system takes into consideration how the body has to work harder to convert protein and fiber than it would for fats and carbohydrates.  It also considered how some foods feel more filling than others.  While creating a deficit of calories is what causes the weight loss, nutrients also make a difference, Kovach said.
    Fruits and vegetables will carry zero Points, to encourage people to eat more of them.
    “Fruits and vegetables are good and healthy from the weight loss perspective, but at the same time, most Americans fall quite short of intake of these foods.”

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Thought on the Obesity Epidemic

Something Else May Be Causing Obesity Epidemic, Apart From Diet And Lack Of Exercise

This is a very interesting and thought provoking article.  If everything in the rat lab is carefully controlled such as the food and water and these things would be sterile what does that leave?  Certainly not disease or viruses, pure water ( if indeed it was) would not have exposure to hormones.........what does that leave?  Click on the title link above and read the stats.

Here is a quote from the article:

    "The consistency of these findings among animals living in different environments, including some where diet is highly controlled and has been constant for decades, suggests the intriguing possibility that increasing body weight may involve some unidentified or poorly understood factors."

    Your Laugh of the Day Supplied by Willie Nelson's latest Misadventure Quote

     Following the arrest, Mickey Raphael, Nelson's longtime harmonica player, said the Country Music Hall of Fame member was in good spirits. "He said he feels great -- he lost six ounces", Raphael told Rolling Stone.