Saturday, May 31, 2014

It was SO exciting!

I can't believe it's taken me six days to get back on here to tell you the exciting news!
Last Sunday at MHYC's Annual Review, he won the award for top level one cadet.  That means that of all the first year cadets (approximately 60-75 young boys and girls) he was chosen as the most outstanding member of his level.
Exciting huh?
We were blown away when his name was called.
His Mom let out the cutest little yelp.  (We had been asked to hold applause until all the awards had been announced, as there were many).  Then she asked me for a tissue.  Before I knew it, she was asking for a tissue for his Dad.  And of course, I was already dabbing at my eyes.
The Review itself was really nice to see.  It was especially exciting to see our boy march in and display his skills so comfortably.
He received a plaque with his name on it, and of course his name is on the larger plaque that will be displayed in perpetuity at the Cadets HQ.
Were we proud?  You wanna believe we were!

Oh, and on another note, I finally managed to solve my printer issue.  That only took a week of frustration but it's done now, at last.  Phew!  Still a lot more to do to recover from John's crash but I'm getting there, slowly but surely.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My life is too busy by half!

OMG stop the merry-go-round, I need to get off!
Life has been absolutely crazy lately.
Doesn't help that I've been sick with a very nasty virus for the past week.  (I can thank my darling husband for that.  He had it first and I must admit he was much worse than I with it.)
While sick, John had a computer crash.  I tried to help and made the situation worse so now we are having to rebuild his system.  Oops!  It's a slow, methodical process but we're getting there.
In the process of fixing his problem, I've added a Windows 7 system to my configuration as well.  The Internet would leave me behind if I didn't but I'm keeping my XP system because I'm not prepared to give up my old programs that don't rely on the Internet for functionality.  Unfortunately, they won't run on Windows 7 so unless I want to spend more money on software ... They get you one way or the other.
Turns out in the "upgrade," my printers will no longer talk to everybody on the network.  My techie expert spent over two hours trying everything I had tried and more to resolve the issue and no can do.  Simply can't get the HP Laserjet 1320 to work in both environments.  Problem is, my techie tells me that he's never seen the problem before.  That printer is used all over the place in similar set-ups and installs just fine.  Software issue he says.  *Sigh*
Anyway, I've resigned from computer issues for today and am going into Ottawa to see MHYC perform in his Annual Review.  I'm going to stay overnight and chill with MLC and Pauple.
Tomorrow morning MHYC and I will go for our usual breakfast before I head home.
To tackle computer problems again.
And I wonder where my life is going ...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Success, finally!

I did it.  I did it.
I finally met my weight loss goal, and then some.
This morning, I am down 40.8 lbs from where I started a year ago April 11th.
So it took me one year, one month and eleven days.
But I've done it!
Now to maintain.
That might be a bigger challenge than having lost the weight.
Because I don't want to gain, but I also don't want to lose any more.
Methinks the not losing might be a legitimate concern.
According to MyFitnessPal (the app I use to track my progress), I need to eat 1790 calories a day in order to maintain my current weight.  Now if you consider that I continue to be hard-pressed to manage 1200 calories a day, I'm not too sure how I'll consume close to 1800 in a day.  There just aren't enough hours in a day for me to eat that much!
My doctor advised me to add more fat to my diet when I got to the point of needing to maintain.  So I'll give that a try and see what happens in the short term.  If it works, great!
I'll let you know how things go, either way.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Life just keeps getting in the way

Here it is, ten days since my last post and I haven't made any of the progress that I had hoped to achieve.
Where does the time go?
I must be getting really slow in my old age because I can recall when I could pack a whole lot of production into very little time.
Not any more it seems.
Last week was simply a lost week.  I don't think I was at home the full day for any one day all week.  Some commitment or other called me out of the house for a portion of each and every day.  In fact, this is, I believe, the first day I have had completely without commitment in that ten day period.
Can't have that happen again!
Oh, I'm lying.  I was home all last Saturday.  I chose to take advantage of the opportunity to clean the porch so we can start using it again.  We so enjoy the porch at this time of year and thought winter would never leave us. It was such a delight to finally be able to sit out there for our before-dinner drinks (drinky poo time in the Fowler household).

Our summer birds have arrived too.  (That was likely the impetus for cleaning the porch!)
We had received a heads-up from a friend on May 7th that he had seen a hummingbird nearby, so I went into action to get our feeders up.  And sure enough the next day the first of our hummingbirds had come in. We have two or three now but there will be several more before too much longer to keep all three feeders going for the season.  They are without a doubt my favourite bird to watch.

We have a gazillion finches; they are such a brilliant bird.  I've added a "sock" feeder, filled with thistle, which they seem to love.

 And there are numerous robins setting up homes about the place.

Of course, our grosbeaks have also arrived.  They too will be starting their families soon and before long their young will be arriving at our window sill, presenting us with their cacophony of wails to be fed.  They are hilarious to watch!

And this year, we have a very special visitor.  The beautiful oriole has decided to stick around this time so we have been putting out oranges to encourage them (there were three at one point).  Today, we put out the actual oriole feeder now we know they're seemingly here to stay.  What a delight to have them!

And this my friends, is what makes living in the woods so worth it!
Life is beautiful indeed.  Now back to regularly scheduled programming (trying to achieve production in other areas).

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Oooh, those rascallly Tolans

I spent a most enjoyable day yesterday chasing my Tolan ancestors.
Found numerous references to them in the West Yorkshire Prison Records.
It was fun while I was finding the many references to the antics of my great granduncles.  They were quite the lot, those Tolan boys.  Martin, the eldest, had thirteen entries!  James had seven and Anthony had two.
But it blew me away when I came across my great grandmother's 1891 arrest record.   I had opened the document to see if Martha Tolan was Martin's wife.  It was her all right, being arrested for using obscene language.  Her partner in crime was her sister-in-law, my great grandmother, Mary Tolan Cherryholme, who in addition to using obscene language also assaulted a police constable for good measure!
Then I found a most disturbing record.  Mary was arrested again in 1893, this time for "cruelty to three children."  Her children at the time would have been nine, three and one.
My grandfather wasn't yet born when these arrests occurred but I guess her behaviour didn't improve much. His file, when he was sent to Canada as a British Home Child in 1912, had the following notation:  "The boy had a somewhat bad start in consequence of mother's conduct."  Until now, I didn't know for sure what that note meant.
A positive thing that came from finding these records is I now have a physical description of the Tolans. 
  • My great grandmother, Mary Tolan Cherryholme was 5' 4" and had dark brown hair.  She had a scar on her left arm.  (Her eldest son, John, who went on to have his own arrest record, was 5' 8" and had brown hair.)
  • Her oldest brother Martin Tolan was 5' 5 1/2' and had dark brown hair, a burn scar on his left side, a scar on his eyebrow and the centre of his forehead, a mole on left forearm, and scar on his belly and back.  (His wife, Martha, was 4' 6" and had red hair.)
  • Brother James was 5' 6 1/4" with brown hair.  (One of his arrests was for "neglect of family.")
  • Brother Anthony was 5' 7" and had brown hair.  He had a T and a kite on his left forearm (a tattoo?).
In the absence of photos, thanks to their nefarious behaviour, the Tolans left information about themselves that would have otherwise been lost to me.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Another genealogical puzzle

Just on a lark last week, I plugged my 2nd great grandmother's name into a search engine and up the name popped on a passenger list from the UK to the good old US of A.
Thinking it couldn't possibly be my ancestor, but knowing that one should never pass up a lead, I opened the document to examine it.
And there she was!
Bridget Tolan, a 60 year old widow from Batley, arrived in Boston on February 26, 1904, to visit her son William, who had paid her passage. William lived on Willow Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
So that led me on a search for William Tolan, my great grand uncle, who was born in 1866 at Batley, Yorkshire, England.  I knew that I had lost track of him on the UK Census returns.  I guess this would explain why.
The 1891 US Census returns are not available for Massachusetts but in 1891, William and his wife had a son who sadly was stillborn.  They lived at 201 Park Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts, at the time.
In 1892 when their daughter Catherine was born they were living at 213 Park Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Their son William E. was born in 1894 and by then the family had moved to 85 Spruce Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
On May 6, 1895 William welcomed his brother Anthony who visited from Heckmondwike, Yorkshire, his hometown.  William had paid Anthony's passage.  He lived on Spruce Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts at the time of his brother's visit.
On October 29, 1896, William Tolan became a US citizen.  By this time, he was living at 105 Arlington Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
The family still lived at 105 Arlington Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts, when son Thomas was born in 1897.
The 1900 US Census return reported the family living at 495 Hampshire Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts and gave William's birth date as Feb 1866, he worked at a Dye House, was born in England and his parents were born in Ireland; his wife Margaret was born in Sept 1868, she too was born in England and her parents were born in Ireland.  They had been married for ten years, had five children, four of whom were still living.  The children were:  Catherine, b Dec 1892; William b Oct 1894; Thomas b May 1897, and Edward b Mar 1899.  All the children were born in Massachusetts.
They were still living at 495 Hampshire Street, Lawrence, Massachusetts, when their son James was born in December of 1900 and in March of 1901 when their son Edward died.
By the time daughter Genevieve was added to the family in 1903 they had moved to 84 Willow Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts, which is where they were living in 1904 when Grandma Bridget visited the growing family.  (Bridget obviously returned to England as she died at Batley, Yorkshire, in August of 1905.)
The family still lived at 84 Willow Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1907 when daughter Mary was born, and in 1908 when daughter Margaret was added to the family.
The 1920 US Census found the family living at 10 Raymond Place in Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA: William H Tolan, age 60, immigrated in 1885; wife Margaret A, age 59, immigrated in 1889; both were born in England; all parents were born in Ireland.  Children William E, 25; James E, 20; Genevieve M, 17; Mary C, 13; and Margaret, 11.  All born in Massachusetts.  Also in the household were "boarders" Thomas A Tolan, 22, born in Massachusetts, his wife Alice, 20 (born in Canada, immigrated in 1916); their son Thomas, 1 yr, 11 mos, born in Massachusetts.  (Note:  Thomas A. Tolan was actually William's son, Alice would have been his daughter-in-law, and the baby would have been his grandson.)
By 1930, the US Census has William Tolan as a married cloth dyer living at 943 State Street in Springfield Massachusetts.  His wife, Margaret a Tolan, is a married head of household living at 158 Boyston Street in Watertown, Massachusetts with children William E, 25, Genevieve, 27, and Margaret, 21.  (I'm not sure why they both declared themselves to be married when they were clearly living apart, perhaps the mores of the time.)
The 1940 US Census reports Margaret Tolan living at 10 Porter Street, Watertown, Massachusetts.  She was 66 years old, married and born in England.  Living with her were daughters Jean (Genevieve), 35, and Margaret, 26, both of whom were born in Massachusetts.  There's no sign of dad William so I am now searching for his death record.  I did find the married children on the 1940 US Census:
  • Daughter Katherine is married to Thomas Foley and has two daughters.  (I had previously found Katherine on the 1930 Census with her husband, Thomas Foley, by way of locating her brother James Tolan who just happened to be living with the couple.)  The Foleys are living at 24 William Street in Newton, Massachusetts.
  • Son Thomas is a fireman and is still married to his Canadian wife Alice.  They now have eight children, four sons and four daughters, and they are living at 220 Cherry Street in Newton, Massachusetts.
  • Son James is a truck driver, married to Margaret and they have six children, three sons and three daughters.  They are living at 17 Mavin Lane in Waltham, Massachusetts.

So there are  a couple of male Tolans who could still be alive and could provide me with information about this (these) families.
I love finding new cousins!  The search is on.