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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Estival & Other Celebrations

Having to do with "things summer". And the collage does have summer in mind. We are either in the 4th or 5th day of summer, depending on how it is calculated. And, thank goodness for summer, maybe now we will get some respite from the heat . . .

Today is actually the coolest day in about five or six days of 100° heat -- and last Sunday, Father's Day was 111° in Healdsburg, a record going back over 100 years.

On the left, the thermometer shows a bit over 100°, I didn't catch the highest point -- too hot to venture outside. The other items are the center of a sunflower, a very appetizing summer salad of avocado and veggies and lastly images reminiscent of quiet times in rowboats on the lake.

And the other celebration?  Gail celebrates her 76th summer today. The 24th of June is also "midsummer day" celebrated in several countries around the world -- representing the halfway point in the planting and harvesting season.

Off to the right is Gail, surrounded by the gift stash that showed up today.

A few highlighted gifts are the Liberty large piece puzzle to be enjoyed after completing the current puzzle.

A couple of new books (thanks, Lisa & Bob) that really look interesting and may even "bump" and take precedence over our current read.

And -- take notice that the new "Vans" are already being proudly worn and lookin' good.

We are going to have a special dinner tonight as well and will be enjoying all of Gail's favorite Chinese food -- mine too.

Happy Birthday, Gail!

Now, a dilemma. Gail received the beautiful fruit basket pictured to the left.

Nice basket, nice varieties of fruit and some crackers, nuts, and cheese dip included.

It arrived securely shipped from Amazon in a nicely constructed, protective box advising that perishables were inside.

Instructions to the delivery person were to knock or ring the bell to advise.

What's missing?  The identity of the person(s) that sent it -- the Gift Card attached to the basket is a blank inside.

We called Amazon and they could not tell us who sent it (for privacy reasons of course). So, if anyone out there reading this post sent the basket, let us know so we can properly thank you.

Failing to identify the sender, we will first -- enjoy all the goodies and place the basket in a respectable viewing place and then refer to this as the "gift from the unknown" and then attribute it to maybe various folks as we think about them saying "maybe it was so-and-so" that sent the gift.

So, what is on our nightstand?

Currently, we are reading the book off to the right.

We are only into the first couple of years of the diary, about 1980. So we have a long way to go.

These are diary entries and some are more interesting than others. We assume that we will be able to picture and read about a maturing person over time.

I wish that I had kept a diary of my young trials and tribulations so that I could go back and refer to them if I dared.

As it is, I can only rely on a memory of "how things were" if I wanted to write about them.

It may be just me reading this on my own time as Gail, so far is questioning the book . . . we'll see.

There was a webinar this week that I started viewing and then because of appointments I had to miss it--but it is recorded and I will be able to revisit it.

It is put on by a couple of well-known folks in the genealogy world and the subject is definitely interesting to me.

I pretty much have given up on trying to plan a physical family reunion -- but a virtual reunion sounds doable.

So, in the next coming days, I plan to watch this webinar to "get-the-skinny".

 The "script" letter "B" is to remind me that this week I have continued
my searching in the Bumgardner branch.

It is always interesting to me how names are so often spelled in a variety of ways -- even within the same family.

Many times it is reported that a family spells their name a certain way and then it is reported that the offspring spell it differently.

An example is "Bum vs Baum" and  . . . gardner vs garner.

I have the same dilemma with "Gillett" and "Gillette". Many times I just have to ignore those spelling differences because the families "fit" even though the spelling does not.

That is a bit of our week -- again, happy birthday to my wife, Gail !  See you all "in a few".

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Century Mark -- 3 to 5 Days

Hot and hotter. According to all the weather folks, our part of Northern California is to have several days of 100° days starting today with tomorrow being the hottest of the days.

The last two days or so it has only been in the 90s and the a/c has been on from 7 a.m. each day running til about 9 p.m.

As you can see on the thermometer out back, we are again close to the predicted temp -- later this afternoon I'm sure it will surpass it. Two of the flowers are loving it as is the flag shown from flag day this week.

We pretty much are thinking "this is sweater weather" as the coolness of the a/c hits us -- and keeping our fingers crossed that it continues that way.

And something new is added this week to the Healdsburg Heritage Hound -- the new widget seen off to the right.

I thought it might be fun for anyone to put in their name and see how many duplicates there are for your own name in the USA.

So that is there for you to try -- mine came back with just two of us. Gail's is a different story, there are sooo many of her name duplicated.

This week I actually got it together enough to start to tackle a major office project.

We are consolidating the filing system into one system and eliminating duplicate file folders and having (hopefully) just one location to store things.

Also, our shredder almost stopped due to the stacks of papers being fed into it as we went about the purging of overfilled files -- mostly medical and financial stuff. There is much to do yet as it gets overwhelming going through things and trying to determine what needs to go and what needs to be kept.

While we have a good start after three days, there is more decluttering needed. What a revolting development  . . . as one of the old TV sitcom characters used to express. (Life of Riley)

I was able to do some searching and I used that time to just forget about the office project and throw myself into another era and into a branch of the family that I peeked into at random.

To the right is the partial family of William Critchfield Bumgardner.

He is a 1st Cousin, three times removed, meaning 3 generations away from me.

I knew nothing about his existence before the search and as you can see I even found pictures of him and of his wife. I have several branches of the Bumgardner family that I have no pictures for -- like my Great Grandfather Charles Bumgardner and a lot of his folks. Actually, I may have some of them only I don't know it because a lot of pictures are not identified.

Slowly, but surely, I add names and families to the book that Snoopy is holding.

In my "Hiles Family Tree" I have over 15,000 folks listed.

The same is true for my Family Tree Maker tree and as soon as the software folks release the latest version of FTM,  those two trees will be identical.

But I'm not holding my breath as the original release date for version 2017 was in March of this year -- I still have not received it as yet, and they keep working on making it happen . . .

My website tree has a ways to go to catch up as it is much more time consuming to add individuals.

Tomorrow is Father's Day -- and as I remember from my days in the telecommunications industry -- it used to be the heaviest day of "collect calling" of the year. Things in that industry have changed. Do folks even use "collect calling" today?

The above is what we are planning for Father's Day dinner. A rack of baby-back ribs. What could be finer on a 100° plus day, a winning Giant's baseball game and the coolness of the a/c? We might have to settle for 2 of the 3 . . .

That's a bit of our week. Happy "Father's Day" and we'll see you all "in a few"!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

June Minutiae

It is that time of the year (almost 160 days into 2017) when summer is approaching in another week.

The temperatures are playing tricks with us again. It is predicted that next week it will be 30-35° higher than they are today and the last couple of days, here in Northern California.

It actually rained -- misted mostly -- yesterday and maybe again tomorrow. But coming up will be the heat. The flower bed out back is in full bloom.

While we do enjoy rainy days, it is so nice when the "lights" are turned on with full sunshine. Everything seems to look better -- even the less attractive houses around look presentable.

I think most graduations for this year have happened and now it is time for the schools to be closed for the summer.

This is the school behind our house and it is officially (I think) closed for the summer.

Maybe they will turn off the bell system. We sometimes are very much in tune with their schedule via the electronic sounding bells throughout the day.

It seems like school just started and before we realize it, it will seem like summer just started.Today the sounds of power mowers can be heard wafting through the air. When I go outside I'm sure the great smell of freshly cut grass will be there too.

So, what to do now . . . we are watching baseball, but the Giants just don't have it "together" so far this year. They rank very near to the bottom of baseball in standings, yet every once in a while they produce a fun game to watch.

Basketball, even though the local team --the Warriors-- are at the top, the games are pretty much predictable (except yesterday). They
are okay entertainment sometimes.

The Healdsburg Little League is going strong. They play on the two fields behind our house and we love to watch from the porch a bit and to hear the rousing cheers.

Somedays I think it might be fun to revisit LowBall Poker. That was a very enjoyable game along with several other poker games.

And then there is no ball at all . . .

We, lately have a puzzle out on the table ready to be worked on throughout the day. It is especially nice to work a bit on the puzzle and then return to it with a new perspective.

The other day we had the "Comey" hearings on in the background as we struggled with certain sections of the current puzzle, the areas that seemed to be all the same color.

After awhile the hearings all seem to be the "same color" and then they are played and replayed on every news show. To get away from hearing all the TV news rehashing the same things over and over, sometimes we turn on "Dog TV" for quiet relaxing music and sounds. This channel is designed to be of interest to dogs, however, Dino has only once in a while glanced at the shows.

And then we still read -- currently on our nightstand:

We just this week finished reading Megyn Kelly's book "Settle for More" which we found to be very interesting.

It gave a behind the scenes look at the election process this year. And of course the experiences of dealing with the candidates, mostly one in particular.

We also did watch the premiere of her new Sunday News show last week and the format is similar to "60 Minutes".

It'll take some doing to be on the same level as "60 Minutes" and probably some years. The nice thing for us is that since we record everything we watch, we can pick and choose which shows to watch depending on content. So we do not have to choose one show over another -- we can watch both.

How do the ratings companies keep track of folks like us who might watch both competing shows
and I'm sure that there are plenty of "us".

The new book that we are reading is so far fascinating. "150 Years Later"  chronicles the events regarding the breakup of family units during the periods of slavery and then 150 years later the reunion of some of those folks who descended from them. Amazing.

And finally, good old fashioned searching continues.

Every day I do "something" with the search. This week I heard from two "cousins" requesting info
regarding their specific branch and my (our) connection to it.

Also, there were several DNA matches announced from each of the three services that we tested with. It is almost too difficult to keep up with the names and details of these.

Unfortunately, most of them are so far out there -- meaning 4th cousin and further, that trying to find the actual common person each is related to, is difficult if not impossible. But still, it all is very interesting.

That is a bit of our week. See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Circumstances of Irises Pomp

There is "pomp" and there is more pomp. Graduations are taking place all over our city and country. We are not going to attend any (we haven't been invited) so our attention is focused on the things whose circumstances we do attend . . . Irises for one:

Don't ya just love 'em? We have been waiting all spring for the Irises in our yard to bloom. A few days ago, my daughter sent me a photo of one of their Irises that just bloomed -- the lower left pic above.  I checked ours and they were in the budding stage as seen in the other bottom pics above.

Then, the very next morning, they blossomed and they are shown in the top three photos. The fourth photo, top right, is of Van Gogh's painting, of course (we have that in puzzle form).

It is so interesting that the Irises in our yard blossomed within one day of the Irises in Lisa's yard and she lives 800 miles to our north. These flowers seem so independent yet they do act in unison.

This was a strange week in a way. I did do some research on Memorial Day (like most days) but research is like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you might get or find.

Appropriately, I was looking for military type records on Memorial Day, and as luck would have it also had just released some new type military records.

I put the above article in to emphasize the fact that so many of the military records that I would like to find were destroyed in 1973 -- 80% of the Army personnel who discharged between 1912 and 1960 were lost.

And that is what has been my dilemma as I try to piece together my father's military service. But I have seen some evidence of my younger brother's Navy experience since he served in the 60s.

Above, that is Jon in basic training being shown how to hold his weapon. On the right is a photo of the U.S.S. Gallant, the minesweeper that he served on and my other brother and I watched as he sailed out of the Port of Long Beach on his way to Vietnam.

Besides the patrols on the Mekong Delta, that ship was the one where the Elvis Presley movie, "Easy Come, Easy Go" was filmed in 1966 or 67 and Jon is shown at the helm in the movie with a brief speaking statement . . .

Now, back to what I was lucky enough to find out about a snippet of my father's service:

Above is the Army Transport ship "USAT Chateau Thierry" and my father was on that ship in 1926.

My father did not talk about his service days very much. Once in a while he mentioned bits and pieces now and again -- but never very much. He did have one tattoo -- one word "Honolulu" in the crook of his arm. I wondered when he was there and the circumstances of that duty.

The answer to the above question is that he arrived in San Francisco on 31 Aug 1926 from Honolulu, Hawaii. So, of course, that means prior to that time he was in Hawaii -- and probably got that tattoo around that time as well.

What is interesting too is that I found a second record showing him, again arriving in San Francisco just less than a month later -- this time on the ship "Cambrai" and this time from New York.

So, while finding these two records is great information (thank you it is confusing to me as to the circumstances of this two trips on troop transports.

I never heard my father speak of San Francisco with respect to military service. I am glad to have this information and it begs for more details -- maybe, just maybe more records will be found that were not destroyed in that fire . . .

So to wrap up this post, the sentiment expressed to the right is so true. The Irises are still in their process of expression and I find myself  totally in a
state of still searching . . .

It is like hitting a "jackpot" when I stumble onto new information. I almost did not read the email from telling about the release of that data.

I'm so glad for whatever reason I opened that mail and for finding the info. I'm sure there are other details for other relatives in that database -- so back to searching.

That is a bit of our week. See you all "in a few".

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Memorable Times

This springtime has truly shown us a variety of weather changes. This week it has been A/C, on again, off again . . . today it is in the middle range -- do we or don't we, probably we won't . . .

It is Memorial Day weekend and of course, Monday is the 29th of May and the 4th Monday in May,
so we commemorate.

Originally, Memorial Day in the U.S. was Decoration Day and it was mostly to remember those who lost their lives in the Civil War. It was commemorated on May 30th, whatever day that happened to be.
These days, it is Memorial Day, 4th Monday in May and it commemorates all those who died in all the wars we were involved in -- that changed in the 1970s. In my mind, I hadn't remembered that it changed in the 70s during the Vietnam era.

To me, what would Memorial Day be without the "Indy 500". Though I've never attended, I've enjoyed watching for many years.

These days though, since I record the race, I usually watch the beginning and the ending and maybe some of the middle. 

I can't imagine watching for almost three hours. Maybe it would be different to attend in person, but we're happy to watch from the couch.

With some of the cool nights this week Dino was enjoying his "nighttime bed".

Dino is fairly good-size and weighs about 85 pounds -- in this snapshot, he is exposing maybe one pound or so.

He comes to bed when we retire and he crawls into that bed and stays most of the night that way. 

He absolutely loves that bed and the comfort that it gives him.
We love seeing him enjoy it!

Also during this week, Gail finished working on one puzzle and started a new one.

These are great puzzles and we have several of them and just might find the need to purchase another or two.

I've enjoyed putting puzzles together since I was young. Sometimes it is just relaxing to struggle with finding just the right piece or series of pieces.   Lately, we listen to the Giants lose another game while working on the puzzle . . .

And this is the season to celebrate the memorable occasion of graduation.

I am aware of three graduations in a close branch -- there are probably more that I don't know about.

But, congratulations to Jessica Hiles, Amanda Willmes and to Olivia Hiles for completing this stage of their education.

We look forward to hearing great things from each of the graduates.

And lastly -- What is on our nightstand currently:

We are currently about halfway through reading Megyn's book:  "Settle for More". Actually, it might very well be an excellent book for each of the current three graduates to read.

We are enjoying the book very much. Recently, Megyn is settling for more by moving from CNN to NBC. And her new show "Sunday Night" begins June 4th.

So, that is a bit of our week.  See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Comin' Up Roses

Almost everything. Inside and outside. We must have several thousand rose blossoms in the front, most of them white, some of them do have a pinkish tint to them.

But they last for only a specified time and then they rejuvenate as they are trimmed and pruned -- thank you, gardeners.

As I said, almost everything -- the purple vase contains the gardenias which will be blooming in their time.

It is hot today,  90° or so forecasted. The a/c is working hard to keep the inside temperature doable. So far that is working -- we'll see come 4 pm . . .

Dino is sooo lucky. He is taking the heat in stride. or in his favorite position.

He looks so peaceful and only an occasional whimper over maybe something he is dreaming about.

He has four beds in the house and one crate. He alternates with all of them throughout the day.

Often we'll wonder where he might be and we'll find him in his crate feeling comfy and secure.

When he does go out (on a business trip) he usually wants back in soon -- just like when it rains. And sometimes we take him with us on an errand -- and he rides in the back -- in another bed . . .

With the a/c on, sometimes we might put on a light sweater in the house.
Or wear a pair of snazzy socks or leggings to ward off the cool.

We avoid having to go outside if we can help it and are always glad when the mail includes a package that is too big to fit into the mailbox, in which case all the mail is brought to the front door.

We try to keep it comfortable inside and lately it has been even more comfortable as we have been able to reduce a large number of nuisance calls by signing up for "Nomo Robo"
 service through Comcast.

Since signing up, very few sales, political or phishing/spam calls are getting through. We also have a couple of other remedies if some do get through.

This week was great for me with respect to WEBINARS. Legacy Family Tree had three new ones,
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday:

Talk about eating up the clock . . .  but they were worth it. It focuses my time and as I have always said, I learn something from each presentation.

Little by little I am feeling more confident when dealing with DNA and genealogy. And each webinar aids me in that.

Lifestreaming is not something that I was very clear on, but Thomas MacEntee's presentation cleared things up.

And if I can get a handle on and my arms around, Legacy Family Tree 9 -- that would be nice not to mention have Family Tree Maker 2017 up and running as promised for March of this year . . .

And wonder of wonders -- the USPS actually has come out with a program that looks to be something for the 21st century . . .

I signed up for it so we'll see how it takes some of the pain out of the horrible mail service that we get here.

We actually had two days in the last 30 days when we had NO mail service.

Apparently, per the Post Office, our route is a very complicated one . . .

But what this new service does is to give you a peek (via online) of what letter sized mail is supposed to be arriving that day. Yesterday was when I signed up for this service and I did get a peek of the day's mail coming . . .

The service was tested and opened up nationwide in the last few weeks. There are things I hope that it does -- like let me see mail that is addressed to me and then if I do not receive it, I can follow up. In our neighborhood, we get a large amount of misdelivered mail, usually on the day off of the regular carrier.

And the second leg of the Triple Crown happens today -- The Preakness.

We'll do what we did for The Derby, record the whole show and watch the last few minutes to see the main event.

It is always nice to have a chance to have a Triple Crown winner. I'm not actually sure why for us shut-in type folks that it matters, but we try to make it fun . . .

That is a bit of our week.  See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

And It's Great Sleeping Weather Too !

This week the weather started out hot, but then went cool and especially at night. With the windows wide open and a little warmth from the electric blankets, conditions were great for sleeping, at night and even a late-afternoon nap.

The days have been mostly sunny and breezy and have nurtured the trees and plants all over our yard. There are even little apples appearing on the recently pruned apple trees. It looks like another bumper crop. The lemon tree though still just has blossoms -- but that will change.

The two left side pics show the newly produced apples, as they looked this morning. The rest are various flowering plants around the yard.

Over our fence, just beyond the apple tree, a little league game was going on earlier this morning.

The intermittent cheering can be heard mingling with the cheering from a second game on the other diamond.

We do hear cheering during the week as well when the youngsters are out for recess. That will end soon and it is amazing that this school year is almost over.

During this week one of the things that took up my "spare" time was searching in the old newspapers for articles -- Hiles articles mostly.

To the left is just some of the more than fifty or so tidbits of Hiles newsy items that I located this week.

Now the job is to deal with each one, i.e. filing each one and connecting each to the correct family members -- a fun, but time-consuming activity.

An early Mother's day gift arrived for Gail the other day and is pictured to the right.

It came from Aura who worked with Gail for many years and has remained a good friend over the years.

It is a Gardenia and will eventually have fragrant blossoms covering the foliage.

It will enjoy a prominent place for all to enjoy.

Speaking of baseball, this has to do with not over-our-fence baseball, but baseball "over-the-top".

Yikes ! For $4, a four-ounce serving of apparently delicious fried grasshoppers can be munched on while watching a Seattle Mariner's game . . .

What will they think of next -- I'd have a really hard time getting those down, I think.

I enjoy the traditional "Cracker Jack" or peanuts and this might call for a change in the lyrics of "Take Me out to the Ballgame" . . .

Since currently, the Giants are the losingest team in baseball, maybe besides shaking up the lineup they can make the snacking menu more crunchy.

Happy Mother's Day and the following fits my sentiments:

Well, that's a bit of our week. See you all "in a few"!