Wednesday, April 23, 2008

God Gives "The High 5 Sign!"

I haven't posted for awhile.... been working on the Burn's side of the family tree for me Mum for Mother's day. Added somewhere between 50 and 75 new ancestor's over the course of the past week! It's been fun but I haven't gotten much sleep....

After a full day of work and a cup of coffee for dinner, I was up at the High School with Brandon for Boy Scouts when I walked outside to call Dawn.

Thats when I saw this hovering in the sky....

Ok, so it spread out a little by the time I remembered I had a Camera-phone, but it sure looks like God Givin' the High 5 to me!!!

Yeah, I know, we all find our affirmations where we are looking for them... But "Hey!" It was just what I needed after a long week without sleep! I'm just glad I had the phone to prove to myself I wasn't seeing things... I wasn't was I?

Who knows, I suppose you could even say he was waving:

"Hello! Mark, remember me? I'm still here...

(OK, OK, least I didn't see the Virgin Mary in a Bathtub!)


Walk up the street
to a life with meaning.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

What the...? a Quinquagenarian?

A few weeks ago, I was wondering... well, if you call someone who is Eighty years old an Octogenarian; what would you call me?

Someone in his or her "Fifty's" as it were.

So, I looked it up. Then I tried to pronounce it.... ("!") Then I had the Computer pronounce it instead. Then I walked around the house muttering it to myself for a few hours and I still could not pronounce it!

This was when I realized that the reason I had never heard of the word before; was because if you can't say it; you forgot it!

A few years ago when I tried to stop swearing I inserted "ARRRGH!" for the expletive.

For my "Fiftieth" this year my Daughter knitted me the Jolly Roger Sweater you will soon see in this video.

Because sometimes, I still lapse into the "Pirate Voice" around the house...

( I really admitting this in public?!)

...muttering to myself in the "Pirate Voice"

I managed to say it!

And here I am at the "Poetry-Pot-Luck-Luncheon-for-Voorhees -villian-Old-Fart-Poets" trying to popularize this silly word:


Dennis says I have found My Calling and my Future Vocation!

(...well, maybe with a lotta practice and a good Agent.... )


...I also posted it on

(...somehow I don't think the word "Quinquagenarian" is going to go "Viral" as they say....)



Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Alright, I tired, but I could't resist....

(I'm Sorry...)

I was lying there... thinking about this...
I couldn't sleep... so I did this:

(I know, I know...)

I apologize already!


There Liza Coffin in my Tree

her name was Lizzie as you see

She married Silas on a whim

and raised a family with him

There Liza Coffin in my Tree

It's kinda creepy you'll agree

and if I go out on a limb

you must forgive me if I trim

a branch or two to make you see

at some point I was bourgeoisie

Her mother's maiden name was Glynn

that makes a Coffin next of kin


There Liza Coffin in my Tree

her name was Lizzie as you see

When she was looking for a thrill

it seems that Silas fit the bill

There Liza Coffin in my Tree

She came from far across the Sea

Her name was Gilmour way back then

her older brother's name was Jim

They say she's lying up there still

somewhere in Maine upon a hill

I'm not related to a Coughing

I am 3rd cousin to a Coffin!


...just for kicks I looked them up:

Yes, there are actually "live Coffins!"

(...I'll bet they hear that joke quite often….)


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It's a gift!

I admit it. Sometimes I can make an "April Fool" of myself. Just for a laugh! But sometimes I don't have too; God does that for me, and I'm O.K. with that.


Sometimes the sky opens up and God; or whatever superior being you believe in, drops one in your lap and says: "Here you go, this is from me, I thought you might need it. I hope it makes you happy... See you next time; have a nice day!"

Thats the way I felt when I was transcribing a letter from Robert Gilmour to his wife Mary written in 1865, when he mentioned a friend of his back in Ireland named John Selfjudge. He was a Shanachie. (Pronounced: sha na key.)

I thought to myself, "Self, this is a gift, you just couldn't make this one up!"

It seems that I did however, because the other day when I was searching for Robert Gilmour's Naturalization Papers on "". I found someone named John Selfridge, so I returned to the original letter to check my transcription: It seems that unbeknown to conscious me, I made that one up! (Or as I prefer to believe: God helped me make it up....)

I'm going with this one though. I have come to think of him that way. After a year of knowing him as John Selfjudge in my mind and in my manuscript, I don't think I could change his name at this point. I think he would be happy with it; having been a tale swapper. He would appreciate the literation, savor the irony, enjoy the contradiction, tasting the gift of it in his mouth as if it were a dram of "whisky" and "...feelt the waff o it!"

I've never been good at creating believable character names for my stories. They always look made up to me.


For some time now, I have been searching for a married last name for Robert Gilmour's older sister: Eliza or Elizabeth Gilmour. Trouble is, once a woman came to this country and married then took her husbands name; she pretty much dropped out of the census data. She is a character in my novel, and at this point I was ready to attempt in my own inadequate way to make one up.

The only thing I knew about her was that she once told my Grandmother that she disliked being called "Lizzie" so naturally I shied away from that.

Then I got this E-mail from my 3rd cousin Barb. She sent me a table which I will attempt to use when I go to Killaloo to trace our ancestor's birth data. (I'll try Barb, honest I will!) In the table was some data from the 1880 census, that she found about Elizabeth's name, when looking for Robert's Mother Jane (Glynn) Gilmour. (spelled Gilmore in the census data) Barb found them both in Freeport, Cumberland, Maine:

I looked at it and said to myself: "This is a gift!"

It seems her married name was "Lizzie Coffin" and her husbands name was "Silas Coffin". O.K., so I was a little creeped-out at first. I mean, I have an ancestor named "Coffin"....

My daughter saraH reacted in a similar way. First she said"Eww". Then she added: "Thats creepy, but in a cool sorta way!"

So I'm thinking: "Yeah, thats right... It's a gift! I never could have made this up!" It's like a character from an old Vincent Price Movie, or a Steven King Novel, or better yet, A Spaghetti Western!

I'm rolling it around in my mouth right now... I'm appreciating the literation, enjoying the contradiction....

I only hope that ol' "Silas Coffin" doesn't turn out to be an Undertaker... I don't think I wanna taste irony of that! It might be creepy, in a Rod Sterling sorta way....


..."Here you go, this is from me, I thought you might need it. I hope it makes you happy... See you next time; have a nice day!"