Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day can be bittersweet for those of us whose fathers have passed away, but it is still wonderful to look back through time and remember and celebrate dads.  I have scanned in some pictures that not everyone may have seen, and I wanted to share, so here's my pop: Gerald Gordon Baker, son of Joseph Hubert Baker and Helen Muriel Coad.  He was born on 13 Nov 1933 at Bircham, AB, and died on 30 Nov 1999 at Regina, SK.

I just wanted to share some items that you may or may not have already seen!

This first photo was marked 31 May 1971, so I'm going with that for the date of this photo.  The number of stripes on the arm indicate he is now a Corporal in the RCMP, and our family was living in Broadview, Saskatchewan by this time.  Something you may not know is that he was always putting his hand in front of his face during informal family snapshots, so I think he might have been uncomfortable with getting his picture taken - and he definitely looks a bit uncomfortable in this more formal photo setting.

Next we have a photo taken while dad was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride.  The troup toured the UK in 1957, and here's the group lined up in front of the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital in London.  I'm going to say Dad was #5 from the left on this picture, but if you have a different guess, let me know.

Another item from that tour is the poster from the troup's 1957 visit to Dundee, Scotland during the Royal Highland Show held April 18 - 21.  As per the info on the sign, the Musical Ride was performing Wednesday through Friday, the 18th - 20th of April.

After Dad's stint with the Musical Ride was over, he was posted to Melfort, Sk, where he met and married my mom, Aina.  Here they are with the traditional cutting of the cake.

I'll have to do an update some other time: to include all the grubby children!


- All photos in the possession of the blogger's mom!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: 40th Anniversary for Orvall Gordan Spearman and IsaBelle McConnachie

Here's my maternal grandmother's brother, Orval Spearman (24 Jan 1912 - 10 Mar 1981), and his wife, IsaBelle McConnachie (14 Mar 1911 - 12 Jul 2010), celebrating their 40th Anniversary on or around October 26, 1971.

To be honest, I'm pretty sure my family didn't attend this shindig - that anniverary was the same day my youngest sister, Lauren, was born, and we were all at home waiting for that news!  

However, I do remember going to family festivities much like this.  The adults who attended these family functions were most likely my relations, but when everyone was called "Aunty" or "Uncle" - I was a bit confused by the actual details of the relationship.  

There were always kids running around, having fun and getting into trouble.  There were enough kids that we always had a few kids within our age group with whom we could play.  

Most important - genealogically - I remember playing with all these kids whom I lumped into the category "cousins" - whether they were 1st or 2nd or whatever cousins.  I knew and understood how I was related to my 1st cousins - but I really did not understand how I was related to these 2nd or 3rd cousins.   Sometimes I didn't even know we were related, and sometimes I wondered - but I never asked!

It was only as I started taking an interest in genealogy, and looking at the family tree that my sister, Nadine, had created, that I understood just exactly how I was related to these folks.    Or that we were related, at all!


This is a scan from a negative in the possession of my Mom from Regina, SK. 

Copyright 2013 Denise G Baker.  All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Grandma Alice's Ginger Snap Cookies (the soft ones)

My family didn't live really close to any of our grandparents, aunts or uncles, so visiting these relatives was often how we spent vacations and holidays.  These visits were often to the farm of my maternal grandparents, Martin Rudolph Erickson and Alice Caroline Erickson (nee Spearman), in central Saskatchewan.  This is the farm where my mother grew up.

Here's a photo of my grandparents on their wedding day, 6 Sept 1936.

To keep all of us kids busy, and out from under foot, we were often given little tasks to do around the farm.  One of those tasks was picking raspberries from the long line of bushes my grandmother kept just to the east of the farm house.  We kids would pick ice cream pails full of berries that Grandma could use for jam.  Luckily, visiting on the farm wasn't all work - we would always get a bowl of raspberries with cream and sugar as payment!  We were often paid with cookies, as well.  Grandma Alice's baking was awesome, so I don't think we ever minded working for cookies.

Here's the Ginger Snap Cookie recipe from Grandma Alice.  These are the soft Ginger Snaps - not the hard and crunchy ones.  I remember eating these in Grandma's kitchen, they are so tasty!  And because they are soft, they are easy on the teeth and jaws of children, and older folks, too.

Grandma Alice's Soft Ginger Snap Cookies

1 cup shortening
3/4 cup sour milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg unbeaten
1/2 cup (scant) molasses
3 cups sifted flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
Sugar for rolling in

Method:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.   Mix and knead together all ingredients.  Roll into 1 inch balls, then roll in sugar, and lay out on baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes. 

Okay, after typing this recipe out I'm really craving these.  Someone needs to bake these for me next time I'm home!

P.S. - for those of you who don't usually cook, "scant" means not quite full, or not quite a whole amount.  So "1/2 cup molasses (scant)" means you use just a bit less than 1/2 cup.

Copyright 2013 Denise G Baker, All Rights Reserved