Oh Baby, I’m Sooo Tired

If I ever decide to move again, of my own free will (ie without a court appointed incarceration), please remind me of this particular event. If we make it through this and the upcoming months it will be a miracle. That is if we make it without killing each other, or being killed. We could just pass away from exhaustion too I guess.

Now I say that with a bit of jest, and a tinge of exaggeration, but the moving out of our ‘old’ house portion of this exercise was something I’d care NOT to do again at least in the foreseeable future. Again, if it’s ‘of my free will’. If old age and senility takes over then all bets are off. It will be up to family to take up the challenge and put us somewhere safe.

We never in a million years would have believed that we have that much crap. And that’s after giving, dumping, and selling a bunch of non essentials. And it just seems to keep multiplying, like prolific rabbits.

At this point we have moved into our new home and have been here for about 7 weeks. I had begun writing this post at that time but you know, life got in the way.

Back to the junk……about 3 weeks after we took possession of the house we went back to Castlegar to pick up the rest of our belongings. We had moved in originally on May 3 with just the basics. Most of our worldly goods had been put into storage, into one of the 3 storage units we rented. Can you believe it, 3 stalls! In order to get it to our new place I rented a 26′ moving van in Kelowna and thought that would be enough to transport my sh**. WRONG! After all the van was advertised as being big enough for a 4 bedroom house. WRONG again, not my 4 bedroom house anyway. And that was without any appliances.

So the day came and we drove from Kelowna to Castlegar, went to the storage units and jammed everything from them into the van. You might think ‘jammed’ is an exaggeration but you’d be wrong, and I have pictures to prove it.

So long story short we loaded the balance of our worldly possessions and travelled uneventfully to our new home, arriving sometime around midnight. The next morning friends and family arrived to help us unload. We disgorged the contents of the truck into what was my empty 2 car garage, winced and started drinking. Unfortunately that only dulled the pain temporarily.

We have now had about 3 or 4 more weeks to digest our predicament. The house is full of all the knick knacks one can fit and the garage is still half full of boxes, and some furniture. There is hope for the future however. Within the near future I should be able to park at least one car back in there. When that day comes one of my dreams will be realized. At this time I have simple needs.

Ongoing Issues

For those that follow this site you have likely seen some inconsistencies in its layout and display. I continue to have issues, mostly of my own making, and I haven’t spent the time required to ‘keep it up to snuff’.

One of the problems you may have encountered is the inability to log in. Hopefully that’s resolved. If you do run into any problems, or have any questions, please let me know.


There’s a Move Afoot

As I announced in my last post Change, More Than a Move…. we have begun the process of moving, in fact we are more than half way if my guess is correct. The house is sold and we have purchased a house in Kelowna.

All that happened very quickly as I alluded to in my last post. The offer on our house was accepted within days of being proffered and the week before Easter we went to Kelowna, looked around, and put an offer on a home in Kelowna. After some wrangling it was accepted. We leave our Castlegar home at the end of April and move into our new home the beginning of May.  Exciting times, and more ahead.

As we were hoping to we found a place in a 55+ gated community. I joke that the gates are good, they’ll keep me from wandering too far. The complex is nice though and I think we’ll enjoy it. It is quite a change from ‘public’ living however, being in a strata, and there are sure to be adjustments. The residential area is also nice, and one of the perks is that it’s only about a 15 min. walk to our daughters and grandkids home. It’s maybe a 5 min. walk to the school the kids will ultimately go to and that will be sure to pay dividends in the future.

All in all we are looking forward to it. There will be stress I’m sure but the end result will more than make up for it. Time with family is more valuable than we give it credit for.

Change, More Than A Move. Who We Were Has Gone.

Change is underway, and it’s due to more than a move. It’s a new, and different, life. So many things we’ve taken for granted will no longer be part of our lives.

I guess you could say that the move is the impetus for this change, and you wouldn’t be far off, however it’s more than that. It’s the way we think, it’s the change in our priorities at this stage of our lives. It’s simply who we are, and who we are becoming. Who we were has gone.

Likely very few of you know that we were even considering moving away from our home town of approximately 55 years. It’s something we’ve been talking about for a number of years but has never reached critical mass until just recently. And critical mass it did reach.

We were making plans to list our home and had talked about the issues and potential issues around that plan. When should we list, how much should we ask, what about timing for the listing? Maureen’s questions were around her job, whether to retire or quit and then return to work in our new home town. Then of course where to we look to purchase once we relocate? We have already determined Kelowna will be the destination but what in what area there will we try to set up shop?

Much of this was pre decided for us however. Prior to even listing our house we had a potential buyer through word of mouth. That meeting has become an accepted offer, with a possible transfer of ownership and possession as early as mid-April. Wow! Wow, that was fast.

This has, of course, forced our hands in a few areas. Our planned/expected move that was to take place June/July has now advanced 2 months. All factors that hinged on that will now also have to change.

Personally …… I believe I’m ok with all of this, the move and all the changes around it. I think Maureen is as well, although a little more tenuously perhaps. These changes are certainly more significant for her, she is forced to undergo more changes at one time than I am.

I have made my peace with the change. I tell myself that anyway, and in my gut I feel it. For whatever reason(s) I am ready. Perhaps it’s because everywhere I look I see change. I see changes in people, in my friends and acquaintances, both in who they are and how they are (relative to my wants/needs). There are changes in my town, my neighbourhood, my circles of living. My wants and goals have changed regarding my home and the property it’s on. How I want to spend my life has changed, and is changing constantly.

All this is good. All this is normal. We look upon it as another adventure. It’s an adventure we will go on together. It’s the future, move forward and don’t look to the past. Looking at the past is like looking at the wake from a boat your travelling in. It’s what was, there is no changing it. Look forward to where you’re steering the boat, that’s what is important.

Memoirs of Hillsburgh – Clarence Federspiel (1909)

Here is another installment from the book “Memoirs of Hillsburgh”, in this case a piece written by Clarence Federspiel around 1909. 

Clarence is the brother of Elmer Federspiel, who married Lillian Mae Sklapsky in 1905. 


I, Clarence Federspiel, come to what was then Assiniboia N.W.T., in 1905 and homesteaded twenty-five miles east of Davidson. After proving up my homestead there, I decided in 1909 to purchase South African scrip which was available at that time and could be purchased at the local bank for $500.00 to $1100.00. This scrip was allotted by the government to veterans of the South African war, which allowed the holder of such scrip to file on a half section of government land or to sell it, and whoever purchased it had the same right. It was generally understood there was available government land south-west of Saskatoon, where the Canadian Northern Railroad was building a line from Saskatoon to Calgary. This was known as the Goose Lake line. After purchasing my scrip at the bank at Craik, I, with three other homesteaders decided to drive through with a team of horses and light wagon and see what the country looked like. We started about July 6th and drove west, crossing the Saskatchewan River on the ferry at Outlook. We kept on west until we came into what is now called the Brock district. At that time there was just one house in township 28, range 20 — Mr. and Mrs. Walter Hyde’s place on section 24. Rather, they had not built their house, but were living in part of the barn until they could build a house. We camped at their place for a few days while we looked over the surrounding country. I finally decided to file my scrip on the east half of 10-28-20-W. 3rd. The other three men did not take up any land, but returned to their homesteads by way of Rosetown which was the end of the steel at that time. I left them there and took the train for Saskatoon where I filed my scrip on the above mentioned land.

I then returned to my homestead at Davidson, and after harvesting the crop in 1909, I sent my wife and little daughter Vera back to Michigan which was their old home. After that I went back to build a home for them on our newly acquired land. At this time, about October 10th, the steel was laid to Netherhill, so we were able to take the work train from Rosetown, which was as far as the passenger train came then. The work train let us off at what was then called mile 106. l must mention that John Ward and Louie Keil arrived on that train and had with them a huge tent which become our first hardware store operated by Louie Keil, and our first general store by John Ward. I remember I bought my first carpenter tools from them and I used the tools to build our first house on 10-28-20-W. 3rd. This house was 22’x24’ and is now occupied by my daughter Maxie and her husband Andrew Melville who bought the place from me through the V.L.A. in 1945. Both my daughter and her her husband were veterans of World War Two.

Our house was built in the fail of 1909 with lumber and material which was shipped from Rosetown, and was part of the first shipment of building material which arrived at mile 106, later called Brock. The balance of this shipment of lumber consisting of two cars was for J. R. Ward’s store and W. L. Keil’s store. These were the first buildings in Brock in 1909. One cold day in December, Bert McBain and I walked to Rosetown a distance of 36 miles to catch the train to Saskatoon. We had missed the work train and we froze our faces. The only place we could find to sleep was on the floor of a new restaurant that was being built there. Needless to say we slept well as we were tired after our long hike.

The next morning I took the train for Michigan where my wife Blanche was waiting for me, and I saw for the first time our second daughter Clara, born October 29th, 1909. Then I returned to Brock with my wife and two daughters just as a big prairie fire swept past our house, which was just off the grass on the land that already had been burned off. There were many new settlers in 1910. Some of my new neighbors were Jack Maloney on the north half of section two, Charlie Parks and Jim Staples on section 14, George Shea on section 22, Ole Skrove on the south half of section 16, and George B. Mason on the N.E. of section four.

The two first reeves of the Municipality of Hillsburgh were John Craig and William Dale, two outstanding men who gave the best of Ieadership to the council through good times and bad. I cannot speak too highly of them both with their gift of leadership to the municipality during their terms of office.

In 1910 a little story went the rounds, and I don’t know if it were true
or not, but one day Bill and Jack were very busy when a man come into their store and bought an ox harness, and asked Bill to charge it to him. Bill being very busy didn’t make a note of it at the time, and in the evening when he remembered about it, he couldn’t think of the man’s name, so he asked Jack what to do about it. Jack said, “Every man who has a charge account we will charge with one ox harness, then when they pay their bills if they say they didn’t buy an ox harness, we will just strike it off the bill.” Well they never did find out who bought the ox harness, but when they closed their books in the fall, they found that 14 different men had paid for the ox harness.

Memoirs of Hillsburgh – George E. Krepps (1911)

As short time ago I posted a story written by Lottie Sklapsky-Krepps entitled Memoirs of Hillsburgh – Frank J. Sklapsky. In it she related her experiences with her family as they homesteaded the Brock area of Saskatchewan in the early 1900’s. Below is her future husbands recounting of his experiences at around the same time.
Continue reading “Memoirs of Hillsburgh – George E. Krepps (1911)”

Update: Genealogy, DNA, Web issues

Some time has passed and I have a few things to offer, some snippets of interest or just plain updates:

Website changes

You may have noticed this site has changed looks over the last month or so, if you’ve been visiting. I’m trying to find “the look” I want. It’s still a work in progress but hey, that’s part of the fun.

DNA testing

On a whim I signed up for the Ancestry.com DNA exam. There were no rubber gloves involved, just a small vial of saliva to be sent back to their labs for analysis. I received the results the other day. Most interesting!

Much to my surprise (and I’m not sure why I’m surprised) but the results show my genetic make-up to be predominantly Scandinavian, 52% in fact. Being that my maternal grandfather was born and bred in Norway I guess that should come as no surprise however it did give me cause to think. As I’ve been somewhat predisposed to focus my family/genealogical search on the Sklapsky name and history, Bohemian or middle/western European, it is only a small (very small) part of my genetic make-up. No cause or reason to change direction from my current search direction, just a gentle prod that there are other family roots to take into consideration. As with all family structures we are all made up of the sum of our maternal and paternal ancestors genes.

Other percentages are

  • 19% Ireland
  • 17% Europe West
  • 4 Other regions – this includes:
    • Iberian Peninsula 6%
    • Great Britain 4%
    • Europe East 1%
    • Italy/Greece < 1%

So the real surprise for me, other than 52% Scandinavian, is the 19% Irish. Might explain why I always wanted to visit Ireland. There may be some subliminal draw there, a calling to my roots shall we say. They like beer, I like beer. They like Irish whiskey, I like Irish whiskey. Heck, I even married an Irish lass.


An apology is in order. There have been a number of folk that have tried to sign up or enroll to gain access to private areas of this site. I didn’t realize that until today when I began looking at the “users” of the site and saw there were a number that hadn’t been approved. As of today you should be good to go. If I’ve deleted any applicants by mistake I apologize, please don’t hesitate to try again. If you prefer you can contact me directly and I’ll hook you up right away.

Website Family Tree (TNG)

The TNG Family Tree, found here on this site, and reached by using the ‘Family Tree’ menu item, is still enabling me to ‘learn’. For whatever reason my current challenge is getting family members photos to display, attached or linked to their appropriate person. The family members seem to be all in order, just displaying their photos is the issue. If you’d like access to the Ancestry tree, with photos, please let me know.