Category Archives: O’Connors

January 20, 2016 – The joy is in the journey

What a week? started out hardly being able to more around but made myself keep going, then all of a sudden yesterday I woke up feeling human again.  My head cleared and I started to feel like I had some energy.  Today I woke up full of energy and was able to do some cleaning that was desperately needed and got some laundry done.  I read this blog called Hypothyroid Mom, i am a hypothyroid grandma.  Hopefully this  will get a bit better every day and by next week I will have the energy to get through a whole day.

Having a bunch of autoimmune diseases my life has been quite a journey.  But until I die I will be fighting with them.  I cannot let them beat me.

Now for the fun stuff. Monday evening I was the hostess for our Red Bonnet Belles Red Hat group event.  I planned an outing to the Pottery Place for painting pottery.  Everyone seemed to have a good time and some of the woman are very talented painters.  Me, well I made another dinner plate – child size for my Sunshine Solveig.  I hope it turns out.   Before the event four of us went to dinner at the Plaza which was nice.

Last night I went to Tai Chi and was able to get into it and remember what I was suppose to do.  So nice to know that my mind is not gone or going. Well, let’s be honest I am aware that I am on the downhill slide but would like to feel my optimal best.  If my blood test on Monday shows that I need more thyroid then I anticipate feeling so much better eventually.

Life is such an interesting journey.

June 1910

June 1 – Hear Melvin Sweet died today.
June 2 – Worked at potato planting.
June 3 – Miss Young goes to Sand Bay for weekend with Madeline. Great friends they are and Annie invited her.
June 4 – Beautiful spring day. Nice for the girls. I plant sample corn Madeline gets me.
June 5 – Miss Young home at 10 pm. Good visit. Good for Annie to have some young people.
June 6 – Go to see Kate Donnelly.
June 7,8,9 – Go to Lyndhurst and Emily gets hall and parlor paper. Nanie here in eve.
June 10 – First strawberries rise. Go for Madeline and Miss Young stays all night. Great fun.
June 11 – Take off storm windows and doors. And put screen on. Colt has distemper.
June 12,13,14 – Spend spare time nursing colt.
June 15 – Emily and I paper. Looks good.
June 16 – Sheared sheep today.
June 17, 18 – Get Norman Kelsey to paper hall sides by stairs.
June 19 – Mary Ellen Judge here for days.
June 20,21 – Took six bags of potatoes to Fergus in Gan.
June 22 –Willie Wilson here for tea. J Sykes cut cheese – 73 lbs net.
June 23 – Start work for picnic.
June 24 – M Slack and Joe Bevins go to Lyndhurst for usual supplies. Madeline home.
June 25 – Picnic all day and most of night. One of best yet. No worry. Miss McNally here for weekend.
June 26 – Emily and I go to Mass. Mame Leeder home with us, later Frank, Maggie and Joanna Laffin here for eve.
June 27 – Go to Lyndhurst and pay picnic bills.
June 28 – End of school year and Miss Young finishes here. We will miss her. I go for Madeline and glad to have her home but she is not well, coughs all the time. Has gone in weight from 112 to 94.
June 30 – W fire colt sick. We operate on shoulder. Miss Young comes back tonight as I come from Director meeting.


November 10, 2015 – long day

Well, the day started out very nice. Got to spend some time with the husband  and then headed for the doctors to give them a vile of blood to test for thyroid.  But when I got there there was not lab slip and when I checked at the doctors in the next suite, they had nothing on the computer and my doctor was off for the day.   Just have to love it. They are the ones who called yesterday to tell me to get in and give the sample so the referral can go through for the Endo.  But you know what? I looked at it as a message from the Gods – “You gave a ton of blood yesterday for better tests to see what is going on so don’t bother with this one”   Works for me…

On the way home I stopped at the dentists and got an appointment for friday.  They are crazy as well. This group has a bunch of different offices, but they are not connected so if you went to another office they get confused.  I had to spend 5 minutes explaining that I had the mold done for the cap at their office then they moved the dentist to another office so I had to go there to be fitted and followed up but I have no intention of switching offices.  They finally got it.

But then the good stuff started.  I went to our Prayer Shawl Ministry meeting at Church.  I have never met most of the other knitters before. It was really a nice meeting.  Makes me want to be more serious about my knitting.  Also found out the nuns who run the program have a back log of shawls because people seem to have forgotten about the program.   A letter was read from one of the people who received a shawl and it was so moving. The woman has cancer and is going through treatments and takes the shawl with her to the hospital as it is warm and comforting for her.  I have sent them in the past to two cousins who lost both their mother and father.  And gave one to my daughter in law when she was pregnant.  There are so many times when they can be given.   So hope we get a good response to putting out some info to our community.

Then I drove to the Senior Center and did 45 minutes of yoga.  That was great although I fear I will be stiff tomorrow. She really worked us.   I love the class.  One of the insurance companies provides the program.  Learning how to walk properly as I get older, how to sit and stand, how to build the core muscles etc.  It is a good thing to learn for sure.  Just have to get in the habit of doing it at home

Well, that was my day… and I am not watching the debate tonight.  Watching NCIS since I love action and cop shows.   No great thoughts on anything or opinions or anything.  And be sure to root for the Bills on Thursday night.

So time for Charles Diary…  seems like no matter what the season they get to each others homes to visit.  What a busy life.

March 1901

March 1 – Took wood to Seeleys Bay.
March 2 – Fergus goes to Donnelly’s.
March 3 – Arthur, Annie and baby and Mame Fodey here for eve.
March 4 – Cut logs and drew school wood.
March 5 – Jim Burns helps me draw logs. Got 550 feet lumber.
March 6 – Take 2 elm logs to J Roddick one 18-12, 17 by 10.
March 7 – went to Gan. Bought overshoes.
March 8 – Mr Anglin of South Lake here for load of pickets. EC Sliter here for tea and visit.
March 9 – Fergus and I got straw at J Tyes then he goes with Allan Donnelly to Athens.
March 10 – Go to help Lee get his mare out of bog.
March 11 – Nane Donnelly here for visit.
March 12 – Got out school wood
March 13 – Draw school wood. Lee’s mare dies.
March 14 – Stormed all day.
March 15 – Fergus goes for drive.
March 16 – Look logs to Lyndhurst to mill.
March 17 – Sunday – Went up to bee at John McArdles as he is sick. Very stormy day.
March 18 – Took wood to Seeleys bay. John McDonald brings Ellen home here for team
March 19 – Not well today. Jim and Mary Stevens here.
March 20 – Jim and I went to see John McArdle this morn. Jim and Mary go home PM. Rainy wet night. Fergus and I go to Lyndhurst.
March 21 – Cleaned up in grist today.
March 22 – Went to grist mill. Harvey gets wheat.
March 23 – Fergus and I take lumber to Gananoque.
March 24 – Lena McNamee, her mother Bridget, and Mike O’Connor here for day.
March 25 – Took buckets to bush.
March 26 – Cut log in Lees place. Rain.
March 27 – Took 32’ log to mill. Wet
March 28 – Ed Chapman from Mississippi here for night.  Wonderful visit. Ellen here.
March 29 – Spend day with Chapman.
March 30 – Saturday – Tapped 100 trees. Fergus and I go to Delta.
March 31 – Frank Slack, Joanne, Art, Annie, Rose Fodey for tea and eve.

October 28, 2015 – gave up

Today I got up n time and was in the library by 8:00.  Decided to give the gr gr uncle one last chance and lo and behold nothing..  So I truly gave up.. Went for my consult with the genealogist at 9:30 and signed up for one more session tomorrow with another one.   Not sure where I will go from here. Have learned how to use the on line sites better and just need to be better prepared with info from them if I come back…

we went to lunch at the Joseph Smith building.  It use to be the best hotel in Salt Lake and I think we stayed there when we were kids. As a start to our vacation Dad worked his way around the west and we went along with him..  I have this memory of us having a meal at the hotel and us not wantng hamburgers.. Mom was not happy with us.  Little brother can tell me if I am correct…

We had lunch on the tenth floor and the view was great.  This is really a lovely city except for ne thing…. Beggars are all over around here.m they come up all the time asking for money to get back home.  This one woman looks like the poster child for meth addiction.  The skin, the aging etc.  Everyone has their block or corner.  In was late getting back from the library this evening, it is right next door and this other woman came after me.  I decided to eat why. Ever I had in the room since I did not know where the others had gone, but no way was I going out alone.  It is such a contrast to the beautiful buildings etc.

after the lunch I went back and went and looked up the Kilmarnock reels for births and marriages between 1824-1854.  It was fun and finally came across my gr gr grandparents marriage notice.  So although I already had the date fun seeing the paperwork. Took photos any time I came across a Laughland.  Have to decide what to look at tomorrow.

Have not seen Bob since lunch but will probably leave him a message about tomorrow morning.  Figure I won’t stay up late tonight.  Don’t want to listen to the debate and th baseball game I don’t want to jink by watching.

lets see if I can get any pictures up from today.  Nope, won’t work..  Will try again tomorrow from the library..

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October 11, 2015 – Canadian Thanksgiving

What a wonderful day!  I got to sleep in as long as I wanted and had a totally lazy morning. It was fabulous… I had a good breakfast and lunch and was ready to go and eat a great meal at the Allin’s for Thanksgiving.  It was windy but you could feel warm in the sun and it was very pleasant.  Mike and Cheryl picked me up at 2:30 and we were off to Loughborough Lake.

We first stopped at Ferg and Carols to see the latest work on the farm house.  They have fixed up the bathroom from it’s 1950’s style to quite a lovely white and blue stripes.  Interesting when I was there this summer and went it to use the Loo – I was thinking about being there as a teenager and seeing that it was all the same and wondering if sometime it would change. Well, it has and to the better.  So another generation of young kids will spend their summers there swimming, playing in the fields and with their cousins just like we did.

Then Cheryl and I went down to the Allin’s and were greeted by kids on motorized machinery going up and down the road. Not being use to that stuff I was like – looks like great fun, not my kids so stop worrying about whether it is safe or not.  They were being well watched by their parents so just grin and enjoy it.  They were all so happy and having a grand time.

Did much visiting and sitting out on the deck. it was lovely to say the least.  They had a little hand operated machine that cut potatoes into wonderful sized french fries which were cooked in the deep fryer outside.  I knew I should control myself but they were really good. But after a cup of coffee and some more chatting it was time for an incredible dinner.  The turkey took about 90 minutes to cook in that deep fryer outside and it was moist and wonderful.  All the various veggies were good too. Carol and Ferg had backed a whole bunch of pies and I could hardly eat them I was so stuffed but of course ate as much as I could.

Then it was time for fireworks out on the deck. They had a great bunch this year and they were fun. The kids seemed to really enjoy it. And then it was time to go home.  Every time I spend a Thanksgiving Day my gratitude is for the extended family I am so lucky to be a part of. I missed not having Denis there and will try and have him come up next year with me. It is just a loving, caring wonderful day.  Being there with people I grew up with and felt safe with and seeing their children and grandchildren just makes me know how fortunate I am.  I hope everyone celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend had good family time or time with loved ones.

September 1899

Sept 1 – Threshers arrive.
Sept 2 – finished threshing at noon. 50 bus wheat, 36 oats, 10 barley and 25 of peas.
Sept 3 – Fergus and I go to Mass
Sept 4 – Helped Jim Townsend thresh.
Sept 5 – Helped Dave Townsend Thresh.
Sept 6 – Mrs Haver’s (Edith Lee) baby died today.
Sept 7 – went to wake. Baby like a pretty doll waiting for father to come.
Sept 8 – Went to Gan for Lees this morn and again to Jim Wings for Lee. Funeral today. Carried wee casket across road to small lot and grave. Madeline getting in on many funerals for one of her age.
Sept 9 – Fergus went to Athens.
Sept 10 – John Haver, Edith and Mrs Lee here. Annie McDonald came to stay for visit.
Sept 11 – Let Lee have horse to drive Havers to Gan.
Sept 12 – Annie and Ellen here for tea.
Sept 13 – Rainy then graded around pump.
Sept 14 – Fergus _____?????. Ellen and Annie to Slacks.
Sept 15 – Emily, Ellen and Annie at Chapmans.
Sept 16 – Cut corn. John McDonald here.
Sept 17 – Emily, Madeline and I go to Donnellys
Sept 18 – Bell (mare) ran away with Jonathan Taylor. Ferg gets her at Kelsey’s alright and he goes to Lyndhurst milk money $16.00. I insure Mrs. Burn’s house and barn.
Sept 19 – Best rain yet. Take Fergus to school stopped at John Slacks.
Sept 20 – Wet day. Cleaned grass seed.
Sept 21 – went after Fergus. Too wet for wheeling.
Sept 22 – helped LaRose thresh but come home for my meals.
Sept 23 – Emily, Madeline and I go to Gan and I buy keg of nails. Nellie Richardson comes home with us. Great talker. (Margaret Richardson’s daughter. Michael O’Connor’s stepdaughter.)
Sept 24 – Very rainy
Sept 25 – Fergus drove to school.
Sept 26 – Wet day again.
Sept 27 – Hunt for sheep all day as Singleton got after them.
Sept 28 – Helped H Burns thresh.
Sept 30 – Very hot. Take Nellie Richardson to Gan.

October 1899

Oct 1 – Asher Lee here for tea. He and Fergus have pictures taken by George. Later in eve W Moorhead and I go to John McArdles.
Oct 2 – dug potatoes
Oct 3 – Went to Lyndhurst fair and on to Delta to Etta Flood and Jim Venney wedding. Good time and real fun. John McDonald chucked.
Oct 4 – Got home at 6 in morn. Rested all day and reminisced. Ellen mad at John.
Oct 5 – Fine day. Kate Bass here all day.
Oct 6 – Dug potatoes. Madeline tries to pick up but she soon tires.
Oct 7 – Fergus went to South Lake to Featherstones.
Oct 8 – W. Moorehead here all day. Ellen goes to Delta with Lena and Frank who have dinner with us.
Oct 9 – Wet morn. Took Fergus to school.
Oct 10 – Went to see Tom Bryan who is sick then husked corn.
Oct 11 – Went to Gan. Roads bad.
Oct 12 – dug potatoes.
Oct 13 – Mike Slack helps today
Oct 14 – took grain to Lyndhurst to get it ground. Let Mike Slack have 115 lbs of provinder for helping me.
Oct 15 – Went to Mass.
Oct 16 – Went to church again today. Jubilee Mass. Home at noon.
Oct 17 – Lee and Mike Slack work at house.
Oct 18 – wet so take Fergus. Lee and Mike working here at Kitchen. Got clapboards 77 pieces.
Oct 19 – Thanksgiving Day – Mary Ann and Florence McArdle come to visit.
Oct 20 – Help Mike at building.
Oct 21 – Fergus goes to Sand Bay for lime and draw 2 loads of sand.
Oct 22 – Fergus Madeline and I gather walnuts. Allen Donnelly comes for tea and eve.
Oct 23 – Mike works at kitchen and I at cellar wall. Kate Bas here.
Oct 24 – Drew load of stone from Greens
Oct 25 – Go to Lyndhurst. Milk pay $18.00
Oct 26 – Started to plough. John Gavin here with 2 nuns from House of Providence. Give 2 bags of potatoes. Mike starts clap boarding.
Oct 27 – Rainy. Went for Fergus.
Oct 28 – More rain. Fergus goes to Lyndhurst.
Oct 29 – went to Ellens for day. Allan McDonald and mother there.
Oct 30 – Took Fergus to Woodvale. Bought watch from Horace Warren. Letter from sister Mary Desmond wanting Fergus to come for Christmas.
Oct 31 – Fine day. Ploughed.

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August 17, 2015 – love the sky and what you can see up there.

Thanks to my distant cousin Tom Venney we were able to see the international space station fly by a few moments ago. It was so bright and you could actually see the panels on it.  For some reason it is in a lower position than usual. I think at 10 pm I will go back out and sit and watch the sky for a while. Last night it was gorgeous. One of the things I have always loved up here is how many stars we can see since there are no city lights to get in the way of looking up and seeing so much.

When Mary O’Connor Kaiser was alive she and I sat out many an evening with a camp fire going and just watching the sky and chatting for hours. It was wonderful.  So often we would see shooting stars and were like people at Fourth of July fireworks ooing and ahing over the sky.  Such wonderful memories from all times of the year.

Lovely quiet day. We discovered out little one who never asked about when Mommy and Daddy were coming to get them or cried over missing them now just wants to be with her mommy and was not happy when mom stopped at the house to pick up the frozen stuff out of our freezer.  She was happy to have a popsicle though.  This evening we drove down to bring them some other food items and also their clean clothes and she wanted nothing to do with us.  Sol has her mom reading an older kids version of Alice in Wonderland so she was busy with that.  Maybe I will go to the beach tomorrow and see if they would be interested in playing with me in the sand or the water.

It was a quiet lovely day here. We put together my new compost bin – added some wooden feet to it and drilled holes so air can get in.  The little one bit the dust and the animals were eating everything in it. Kind of a waste of my energy but the animals liked it.

This letter from Sheila was written 71 years ago today.  She had found out the new baby had arrived but still wants to know more. I don’t know about you but I find that Sheila’s letters do not have the same level of excitement that Pats had even when she was in England waiting to move on.  Sheila was a very different person and even Sheila writes that Pat would be finding a way to have fun out of working 12 – 16 hours a day. I wish I had known Pat, I have a feeling she would have been very fun to be related to as we grew older.


Dear All:
Well, I have had it now – so now I’m on nite duty. My first night and Suddsie and Doylie are both off and on days now. Just my luck, so I work nites and they work days.

I got Dad’s Cable yesterday and I’m awfully sorry I could not get Jeannie flowers as it takes 2 weeks for them to go so I just could not send them but hope she got the cable alright. I am anxiously waiting for particulars etc, in regards to name etc. I’m wondering if you have decided on a name yet, but hope to hear all detail soon.

Doylie’s brother Joe arrived safe and sound 2 weeks ago so Mary & I are going to London to meet him the week of the 27 so it will be a great reunion for them as Mary will be so glad to see him. As I told you we get a day off a week and it is the same at night we get a night a week off.

We are not so busy right now and hope it stays like that for awhile. Leaves are starting to come through again, so we are all making plans and talking of where and what we will do, the main point is of course if we will all get them together, I sure hope so.

I have some pictures of Patt & I which I shall send soon and I think they are really quite good.

I hope I do not go to the field for awhile as I certainly want to see a bit of England first. Though I would like to see Pattsy.
I had a short note Monday, enclosing lots of letters she had received and I enjoyed them all. She is working 12 to 14 hours each day. But Pattsy will have fun out of it all.

Well dears shall close now and love to you all and all the babies. Give Jeannie’s baby a big kiss for me.

Love & Kisses Sheila

July 9, 2015 – a puppy and genealogy

Today has been a day of extremes.  The puppy happily is back with his family and I am no longer thinking about what we could have done together and how I would have had to learn how to take care of him.  Also happily found out that they do not have a policy of destroying dogs here any more.  They keep them at a vets for five days and then if they are not claimed they are fostered out until a home is found.  So all’s well that ends well.

I have been getting back into genealogy searching rather than transcribing family letters which is fun. The National Library of Ireland has put the marriage and baptismal records of the parishes that had them on line and lo and behold this evening I have been looking to see what they have and I found my Gr Gr Grandmothers record as well as most of her siblings and one I had never heard of before.  In her obit it gives a birth date of 1815 which it turns out is incorrect – she was actually born in 1812 being baptized on June 3 and her sponsors were Bryan Dogherty and Cathy Goodin.  All the way through the records her mother is listed as “Cathy” Mcginis.  Find it fun that they don’t have her as Catherine.  I am just a happy camper with this info.  Need to figure a way to print them all out but for now just having it all written down is enough for me.  And now to find out what happened to her brother Tom who was born in 1814.  Never heard of him before.

So I am going to continue my searching and you can read an Aunt Sheila letter from 1944.

Blue Armed Forces Air Letter / postmarked Field Post Office 822 – June 22, ’44 / handwritten
18 June – No. 6

Dr and Mrs Fergus O’Connor, 193 Earl Street, Kingston, Ontario

18 June 1944 No 6

Dear All,

Just got in from the dance. That sounds funny doesn’t it but anyway we had a gorgeous dinner to-night. Turkey and all the trimmings no kidding. It was the ships big dinner and it was a lot of fun. Then the dance and it was grand. They had perfect decorations etc and everything was perfect. We are going to see part of the coast of Ireland at 7:00 to –morrow morning so of course I shall be up and have I even taken a p betting over that. I have to called 7 people as they all know I will be up. I’m commonly known as okey on board and it is the first time I was ever called it. Shall add more to-morrow.

We all got up at 7:45 this morning, called a lot of the boys and then we all went out to see Ireland but gosh darn it, it wasn’t green + you couldn’t see any shamrocks but never the less it was very very good, and I gave good old Ireland a very special salute – no kidding.

I wrote to Lois + Basil, Helen + F.D to thank them, to-day, so I’m almost at the end of thank you letters, which I’m very glad of to say the least, but I’ve enjoyed writing letter so far and hope they are not too bad and that mother can understand my writing.

I haven’t much news but as Patt said shall have lots to tell when all this is over and we are back to normal again. I am wondering when I’ll see Pattsy, it certainly will be a big celebration when we meet eh.

We are now getting very anxious to leave this place, or ship should I say.

The food still has been wonderful but we want to get under way. I was not sick a day. I felt wonderful from beginning to the end.

I have got to know Ab Brown very well. He is from Kingston and one grand guy but he was just married and hated leaving his wife. He is a grand guy though.

Well this is all for now. I miss you all very much,

n/s S. O’Connor C.A.O.

April 25, 2015 – V is for Veterans – family heros

I cannot believe it but sitting here all day by myself and I almost forgot to write this.  Coughing, hacking etc does not help.

Veterans in my close immediate family would be my brothers Jim, John and Bill.  They were all in the National Guard and Jim stayed in for a full 45 years or more.  He is still involved and went over to Normandy for the anniversary of D-Day with some very old vets last year.  He really found it a very moving experience.

In my Mom and Dad’s family – Well Dad tried to join us but because he had three young sons and then me in ’44 they wanted to use him for things at home. So he was kind of a medic because of his pharmacy training and a block captain etc.  His brother Emerson was in the American Army in North Africa and Italy.  He did some secretive work which he loved to talk about I guess.

My mothers family had her two sisters over in the war in Europe in Canadian Hospital. Sheila got as far as England just towards the end of the war and she stayed on with her hospital finishing taking care of the wounded.  Pat was over much longer and came home in 1946 towards the end of the year and then died in j1949 of what was determined to be war related causes. Probably the mustard gas or what every she breathed in over there being near the front lines and being near bombing targets most of her time over there.  Her brother Maurice was also in but at home working with patients on what is now called Post Traumatic Syndrome. The Americans borrowed him for a bit to learn from him about his studies of these patients and how to help them.

A cousin of my Dad’s John Laughland was killed in WWIi in a British Navy ship was sunk carrying munitions to the Russians.  He was 19 years old and the son of Andrew Percy Laughland my Grandfathers brother.

I just went through the list of Laughlands killed in WWI and WWII and there were quite a few.  Some are not in the direct line but also from ones that we have been working to find the connections such as the Hartney Manitoba Laughlands.

But in WWI there were a few on both sides who paid the price for going off to war. Roderick O’Connor, son of  Michael O’Connor my gr grandfather Charles brother, died in Belgium in 1916. He was with the 12th Canadian Field Artillary and was killed in action.  My mother remember about this although she was young and what a sad time it was.

There are pictures of Norman Laughland and his three sons in the British Army Uniforms and others.


If I had not been so lazy today this would have been a better blog.. I will see if I can find my computer case as it has pictures on the memory stick in there that I can post.  Have a little longer until midnight or maybe I will add them tomorrow. But will post this for now just so it is officially done.