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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A bit of light shed...

When you go on the ancestry roots search, be prepared to dig in for the long haul.
This is especially true when you are only going on slight memories from others, trying to remember dates and names not written down anywhere at hand.
 Then after hours of looking at records you are finally rewarded!
At the least its a start into finding out a bit more about my dads mothers side of the family.
So far I haven't found any birth records but I have found these copies of landing papers from their home in Belfast to Montreal...
The first to come was my grandma in 1923. She was 18 and had 3 pounds to her name.
Next came her sister, Susie in 1924. She was 18.
Then came my Great Grandma in 1924 who had a total of 6 pounds to her name.
 I found out that she was a nurse at the time. Her husband died of  influenza back in Belfast and because of religious differences, his family had never accepted their marriage and took the body from her when he died.
I suspect this would have been part of the reason why the young widow with 5 children left Belfast.
That and the turmoil in Northern Ireland at the time.
One odd thing about her papers though, is that she lists her birth place as Innisbaro. I have looked and looked for this place on the internet and can't seem to find anything with even a similar spelling in all of Ireland or the UK, so there the mystery remains...for now.
And finally her 2 sons came to join her and the rest of the family in 1926.
They landed in Halifax. They were 22 and 16 years old.
Funny thing about the older one, Wilson, his trade was labled as a golf cub maker!


So its good to have a bit more info and I will keep digging and see where the next trail leads...In the meantime, I think of them all on the streets of Belfast, Falls road where we went to get a feel of where they lived, possibly walked in the same parks as they did....Oh lovely spirits...come out and wander...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

ho hum....


I think we are headed into the dulldrums of late winter and I am, once again, looking out the studio window at the neverending rain....its the kind of day for soup and tea....lots of it! In between I'm keeping busy with my needle felting....

Just finished off this little pair...
Max and Fregus...

In case you haven't noticed...gumboots are all the rage!

Even on this funny card that Tom gave me for my birthday...

Along with a bouquet of one of my favorite flowers...
THINK SPRING!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The BIG lovely bones...



Yesterday, I took the nieces and nephews on a natural history excursion...to them it was just another fun trip into the city. We went to have a look at the progress of the reconstruction of a Blue whale skeleton. 20 years ago a female whale washed up dead on the coast of Prince Edward Island. She was buried with lime but didn't quite rot down the way people had hoped since she was buried below the high tide line and stayed nice and moist. After much stink and removal of most of the flesh, she was put into a transport truck and brought across the country to Victoria (I wouldn't want to have been stuck behind that one in a traffic jam!). One of the local shipyards donated their space and power washing equipment to finish off the final cleaning of the bones.

The staff involved in this process were extremely helpful and knowlegable and offered up all kinds of interesting facts for the kids...such as...did you know that a Blue whales heart is the size of a VW Beetle? Or that its tongue is as big as an elephant? How about the sheer length which can be as long as 3 city buses?

I don't know if Julianna was enjoying the smell much!



We figured that you could drive a Smartcar through the rib cage...the ribs are being cast in plaster from models of the original ones since the weight would be too much to hang...it will then be painted to match the rest of the skeleton...

They got a good close up look of baleen and how the whale uses this to filter the 6 tons of krill it eats everyday...




An interesting interior of whale bone...

This is how she will be housed when she reaches her final home at UBC. It will be great to be able to see it from the outside...you can sit and have lunch with the big beautiful beast.