Profile of Joseph DENEAU

Joseph Deneau was my fourth great grandfather. He lived in eighteenth century Canada. He was born 13 April 1733 in La Prairie, Quebec, New France, as Canada was known at the time. He was the son of François Xavier DENEAUand Marie SUPERNANT. He was the seventh of their ten children. He married Marie Veronique Guerin on 19 Feb 1759 in La Prairie, Quebec, New France. She was born 17 April 1738 in La Prairie.They had a sons, Augustin. Marie Veronique died and Joseph married Marie Joseph Rousseau on 10 July 1769 in La Prairie, New France. They had three children, Jean Baptiste, Charlotte and Josephte.

Over the course of his lifetime, Joseph witnessed the start of the Industrial Revolution. He might have fought in the French and Indian War and if he didn’t, he heard about it. He would have also witnessed the American Revolutionary War.

Writing this profile has shown me what is missing in my knowledge of him. The profile is mostly dates and facts. That’s rather dry. I need to find out more about the times in which he lived as well as the place where he lived. In short, I have a lot more research to do. I’ll probably start with his death date. I have no idea when he died or where he was buried. I could start with cemetery records in Laprairie, but which Joseph DENEAU would be this one?

That’s the main problem with death dates, you are never sure you have the right one. I can choose someone who died in the right area at about the right time. my first stop on this quest was which is a large, online collection of gravestone transcriptions. Sometimes it even has information on family members, which is useful to a family historian. Unfortunately, it didn’t have any information on where Joseph is buried. What I need to do is find access to the church records of Laprairie in Quebec. That’s my best option for finding him. may be my best hope of finding it online there. If I knew precisely where he lived in Laprairie, I could search other online sites to find his grave, if the cemetery hasn’t been disturbed. I have family members from another line who were not moved from a cemetery that was flooded when they built the St. Lawrence Seaway along the St. Lawrence River. The family simply couldn’t afford to move the graves. That’s a different family line from Joseph though. I bring it up because it shows one way records can be lost.

I have other avenues of search and I will have to explore them. As I said, Ancestry is one of the best and is the other big one. Either of those sites could have the information I am seeking, now that I know what I need to search for. I will begin the search as soon as I can. I’m not going to leave Joseph’s story half told. I will research it more and add to it. If these profiles work out well, I may do an entire book of them. You never know what the future is holding for you.

However, it’s not enough to just find names, dates, and places. I would like to know what Joseph did for a living. I can’t just assume that he was a farmer. I had one ancestor who was both a farmer and mason. He helped build a cathedral in Quebec. Our ancestors are not just a collection of dates, they did things. I just need to tease those things out of the records, that’s all.


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Posted in Family History, Hobbies

FFL Mission Report April 2014

From: Agent Luna To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 6 April 2014
Subject: Mission Report

The new observation post is wonderful. I wish that I could use it more. Agent Probie has obviously never learned how to share. This has led to some pithy remarks in these teams. I tried to take him aside to explain the concept of communal, but I do not think he completely understood. He still monopolizes the post. Therefore I returned to the long one in the other room. Not only is it poorly placed for the purpose, one of the canines has access to it as well.

All of this is counterproductive. I spend my time listening to the humans talk among themselves. They do not say much in my hearing, of course, but I will work to crack their code as I am certain that they speak a kind of code when they know that felines are around. I assure you that I will do my utmost to understand what they are saying. Please disregard any accusations of collaboration as this effort will require close proximity to the humans. I have been misunderstood before and have no wish to be investigated again.

From: Agent Storm To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 6 April 2014
Subject: Mission Report

The new observation post has arrived. I must say it is a nice one. We all climbed on it to take a look. There was some disorderly jostling, but that was nothing serious. Agent Probie needs to learn that he cannot always have the observation post. Other agents must have their turn. Perhaps you could send him an official directive to limit his time on the unit. He might actually obey it. He does seem to obey directives from headquarters even if he doesn’t always obey his senior agents.

I suggest that he be given a directive to listen to his seniors. I’ve tried mentoring him, but he will have none of it. I don’t recall going through this stage myself, but I have seen it in other agents and believe this is a phase most young agents go through. It’s a dangerous phase. If he lives through it, he will settle down and do his job properly. He might even make a tolerably good agent.

The observation post is not too high for my taste. I know Agent Mulder would prefer one that is higher. He does like to see things from above. I suppose that is not a bad thing. I prefer lower platforms as they are easier to reach. I’ll admit that I am not as young as I once was. Agent Probie exhausts me. He has so much energy and I find that exhausting. It tires me just to watch him.

He still cavorts with the canine, by the way. I do not think that is either healthy for Agent Probie or particularly useful, as I do not believe that the canine has any information that we do not already know. Agent Probie is wasting his time there, I think. Still it is good practice for him.

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Posted in Feline Freedom League Report

Meal Planning

Meal planning is another good way to help you lose weight. You can combine it with calorie counting and plan for special events like holidays or birthdays. If you do it well, you will be able to combine meal planning with keeping a food diary. I recommend that you start with a food diary to learn how you eat as well as what you eat. Then start planning your meals in advance. That will make it easier for you to lose weight. Planning your calorie intake is the way to take control of it.

First of all, what is a meal plan? That is how do I perceive it? I see it as a guide, rather like an outline. A meal plan is to a diet what an outline is to a piece of writing. It’s a framework to hold it together. A meal plan is just that, a plan. It’s not a recipe. It’s a plan. I will have a cheese sandwich for lunch on Monday. I will have a ham sandwich for lunch on Tuesday, and so on. You would do that for each meal of the day. On Monday, I will eat oatmeal for breakfast, a cheese sandwich for lunch, and roast chicken with mashed potatoes for dinner. Then you do the same for Tuesday, Wednesday and so on through the week. You may perceive it differently.

Some people do one in their heads and choose food at the store for the week, but don’t plan it day-by-day. They just say I’ll have that on one day and that on another day and so on. That’s meal planning in the broadest sense but it’s a vague plan. It’s also very flexible. Vague, but flexible is OK, but sometimes you need more details. I’m not talking dinner parties or Thanksgiving; I’m talking about daily meals.

Daily meals take a bit of planning. When you are dieting, it can help if you don’t spend time looking at food. Standing, staring into your refrigerator can lead to temptation and failure. If you plan what you are going to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you will spend less time staring at food. You can choose food that you know will be filling and keep you from raiding the fridge later on. Knowing what you are going to eat is helpful. It can help you save some calories for food you love but you know is high in calories, like cheese popcorn, or birthday cake. You can plan to include these items in your meal plan. Of course, planning your meals doesn’t automatically curb your portion size or the number of portions that you eat. That’s still up to you. That’s what will control your diet.

Meal planning is a tool that can help you with your grocery shopping and your diet. How much planning you do is up to you. Some people plan each meal each day. Others are a bit more flexible. They choose food that they know they will eat sometime soon. However you do it, meal plans are a good idea. They can help you with your diet. They can help you stick to your diet, which is by far the best reason to do meal planning. You can plan by the week, the day, or the meal. The details are up to you. Plan the meal. Eat the meal. It’s all good in the end.

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Posted in General Opinion

Food Diaries, Exercise and Weight Loss

I’ve been keeping a food diary for the last couple of months now and it is depressing. I’m good as far as the fat content goes. I’m even keeping under my upper limit of two thousand calories a day. Sometimes, I’m below my lower limit of sixteen calories a day. I have two limits because I planned for failure. I know that I am not good at following through on things, but I’m doing rather well on this one. My diet has improved as far as calories are concerned. So why am I not losing weight? Because I’m not as active as I should be. The food diary is only half the battle.

My original plan was to walk daily along with keeping the diet. I’m learning how to use the diary to plan for food that I love. I haven’t quite got there yet, but I’m slowly getting to the point where I know how to plan my caloric intake to allow me to eat what I want to eat. The problem came up after I determined that I would walk every day in that the weather didn’t cooperate. With temperatures in the single digits, I didn’t want to risk frostbite for my health. That’s passing off a bit now. If it’s twenty degrees or higher, I’m going out for a walk.

The food diary limits my calorie intake; the walking uses the calories that I have stored up. I need to get some distance and time in on that walk. So I walk a little every day. It’s not much, but over time, it will increase and that’s the important thing. By summer, I could even make it to the far end of the street or even to the park. Taking it a little at a time ensures that I won’t get discouraged and stop. That’s why I have intermediate goals.

They let me feel good about reaching them. I haven’t reached the real goal of the total weight that I want to lose, but I am making progress. I don’t expect overnight success. That is impossible. I weigh myself every week and that can be depressing, but I know that the weight I am losing so slowly is not likely to come back bringing friends with them. Losing weight slowly is the better way to do it.

A Food diary lets you see where your calories are coming from. It helps you to make dietary decisions that will benefit your goal of weight loss. There’s no need to starve, there are so-called free food out there, mostly leafy green vegetables. You need those anyway. I’m going to see about taking a nutrition class and see what I need to learn about how to take care of myself. Our bodies don’t come with owner’s manuals so we have to make those up for ourselves. Everyone is different so our ‘owner’s manuals’ will all be different, too. There are similarities, don’t get me wrong, but we are each responsible for our own care and feeding – once we reach a certain age that is. Before that age, we depend on our parents, or caregivers. If you have little ones, train them to eat right from the start and they have half the battle licked. Just make sure that you don’t deny them everything that is not good for them, that will only make them want it more. Moderation is the key. Teach them that and learn it for yourself, and everything will work out fine in the end.

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Posted in General Opinion

Shedding the Couch Potato

I got a pedometer to help me lose weight, and I must say that I am a bit disappointed. It registers steps only when I hit my stride of about twenty-six inches. I think that’s an accurate calculation of my stride length, but I really take a lot of short ones. I also had to replace the clip that came with the pedometer with a small binder clip. The useless lump of plastic they had as a clip wouldn’t even open after I took it off the lanyard. I have to clip the pedometer to my pants near my belly to get it to work, although it might work from my pocket or bra now that I’ve figured out how I could get from the front of the house to my bedroom in the back in three steps. The house isn’t that small, after all. It’s because I only took three striding steps. I must stride around the house, which is not that easy to do, because my house isn’t huge either.

So I changed my stride length to about a foot and that seems to make it work better. Although I can reach a stride length of twenty-six inches, it doesn’t come naturally. I walk quickly with shorter strides. So I got that set, now, I have an issue with it resetting itself, randomly. I have noticed that because there is absolutely no way I am getting an accurate count of the steps I take in a day. It rarely shows me making more than two hundred steps. I know that my job requires me to be sedentary, but really, that’s too low, especially when it registered that I only took around two hundred steps after walking through two stores and their parking lots after walking in my house for around a hundred steps. Therefore, I concluded that the placement is wrong. I needed to find a good place to wear the thing where it was unlikely to reset itself. That took several weeks.

Of course, it doesn’t register even one step of the virtual bike ride I take in the mornings, either. So, now , I’m trying to combine a number of activities into my routine. At breaks, I tried bundling up and going for short walks, striding with ground eating strides. The weather dropped us into the freezer for the entire month of January and a good portion of February. I’m getting better results in March.

I’ve been doing Tai Chi at lunch which doesn’t register on the pedometer, but I will continue it anyway, as I do want to lose weight. I think between the morning stretch/aerobics, the break time walks, and the Tai Chi, I should start to see my weight drop a little each week. Once I turn that into a habit, I will see it falling consistently. That’s what I’m hoping to see, what I actually see is probably going to be different. I’d like to lose between one and two pounds lost each week, but I know that is a stretch.

I have a steps log set up for the entire year. I’ll try monitoring my steps going forward and see what I can come up with as a weekly figure. I need to make a weekly average of twenty-five to thirty-five thousand steps. I’m not sure I can do that, that’s five thousand steps per day. I expect I will figure out a way.

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Posted in General Opinion


Today’s blog is the profile of my grandfather, Axel Maurice HENDRICKSON. He was born 9 March 1895 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to Swedish immigrants, Carl Mauritz HENDRICKSON and Amy Augusta PETERSON. The family were in Vermont for the 1900 US census. I don’t know much about my grandfather’s early years, only that he moved around a lot. He was married to Florence Eva 15 May 1915 in Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada. His first child, my uncle Maurice was born in February 1916 in New York. my father came along a few years later on 10 July 1919 when the family was living back in Vermont. My grandfather was a granite polisher there. The youngest of Axel’s three children, my aunt Helen was born in 1921 in Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada. The family was in Detroit in 1936 when Axel applied for the new Social Security cards that were introduced that year. He was a machinist at the time that my father enlisted in the army in 1942.

My grandfather was a small wizened man. at least, that’s how I remember him. he and my grandmother did not live far from where I grew up and we went to visit them often. Grandpa, as we kids called him, liked to play with us, as I recall. I can remember lying across his lap, his left hand on my shoulder while the right strummed my stomach as he pretended I was a banjo. He and my grandmother separated for a time. they died within a month of each other in 1970.

My grandfather heard from the newspapers about the Titanic sinking. He saw the rise of the automobile and radio, followed by television. He registered for the draft for both World Wars and, no doubt, worried for his son during the Second World War.

Like everyone else in his generation, he lived through the Great Depression. He saw soldiers go off to fight in Korea and Viet Nam. He must have worried about my brother, one of those who went to Viet Nam. He saw the assassination of John F. Kennedy, through the eyes of the media. He watched racial tensions explode in Detroit and men walk on the moon. His life was a full one.

One of the things that I have been doing, while writing these profiles, is examining the records that I have. According to his World War I draft registration, he served in the Vermont National Guard, but I haven’t found any records to support that. It’s a direction I can look in. I would have to call the records department and find out where the records would be located. My thought is that they would be in the state archives or even the national archives. In the course of writing this profile, I thought of getting copies of his service record from the Vermont National Guard. Military records are a good source for genealogy data. So these profiles are serving dual purposes. They can tell you what you already know and they can point you in the direction you need to go next. That’s the beauty of combining my two loves of writing, and genealogy.

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Posted in Family History, Hobbies

FFL March 2014 Report

From: Agent Mulder To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 2 March 2014
Subject: Agent Probie’s Interrogation

Agent Probie was taken for interrogation today. He’s been before and bragged on how he didn’t talk, this time he was there longer. He swears that he didn’t reveal any secrets, but I have my doubts. He seems different. I can’t put my paw on it but he is different. He was clumsy for a few days on his return. He couldn’t climb as well as he’d done before. I do not know what they have done to him, but it can’t be good.

I suggested that we quarantine him until we are certain that he hasn’t be compromised, but I was overruled by the other agents. They seemed to think that he just underwent a thorough medical examination. I’m not convinced that was all that took place. He says he doesn’t remember anything, yet insists that he has not revealed any secrets. Agent Storm states that we have all been interrogated in that fashion and the humans have not learned any secrets from any of us. I find myself wondering why do they continue to do it?

From: Agent Probie To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 2 March 2014
Subject: My Interrogation

Agent Mulder is just annoyed that I was not taken to another prison. I did not reveal any feline secrets to the humans. I seem to have lost my ability to grip things, but I can still climb. My last interrogation was unusual in that I don’t remember it, but I am physically fit for duty and no cat can say otherwise. However, I must admit that I am missing something. when I bathe I notice that I don’t have the lumps that I once had that were unique. I’m not certain but I think the humans took them from me to do experiments on them. I did a search on the humans’ smart box and have learned that lumps are called cancer and are bad. perhaps they were this ‘cancer’ and removed for my own good. They didn’t hurt and I can’t believe that they were evil things. I will continue to report as usual, as Agent Mulder is the only one who thinks I should be quarantined. The others still trust me as much as they did before.

From: Agent Smudge To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 2 March 2014
Subject: Agent Probie’s Interrogation

Agent Probie is correct in that I trust as much as I did before, which wasn’t much. he is incorrect in his assumption that his lumps were the evil ‘cancer’. Agent Storm advised me that what Agent Probie lost was his tom-hood, and that he doesn’t realize it is the tragedy of youth. Agent Storm states that all of us have lost our tom-hood. I barely remember that, and I am not sure that Agent Storm is correct in that, but I have no evidence to refute it, so I bow to his experience.

Agent Probie is still young. I think we can train him, but it must be a group effort and that is just not going to happen here. Is there any way we can transfer him to a location where they can train him properly. I know that he graduated from the academy, but he still needs some on the job training. I cannot be expected to do it all myself and no one else is evening trying that I can see. Please advise.

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Posted in Feline Freedom League Report

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