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Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Pollen Tsunami

The weather today here in Healdsburg is absolutely wonderful. Sunny, balmy, warm day. Tomorrow is not supposed to be that and is predicted to be rainy and cold -- that's okay too.

But, growing up I do not recall having allergies -- that no longer applies. Both Gail and I are sneezing, wheezing and have itchy, watery eyes -- what's to blame -- POLLEN.

Every known tree in the area is "blooming" along with flowers and then the grass itself is beautiful and fragrant as ever -- especially when it is being mowed.


These are some of the offenders -- yet some of the most beautiful. We did have a visit to the doctor recently and were told to take Flonase and Zyrtec right now -- Gail does daily and I think it helps somewhat. All I have to do is take the cap off the Flonase and I start getting a major nasal reaction.

We'll "ride" it out hopefully and be able to go about our daily activities. When the temperatures stay in the mid to upper 80s we'll be adding the a/c and that will help as well.

I receive daily updates from almost all of the four companies that I tested my DNA with . . .

To the right is the latest from 23 & Me which depicts my 100% European genetics.

Interestingly enough, the current book we are reading -- "A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived" by Adam Rutherford, says if you have European ancestry then you are definitely related to Charlemagne and that you have "royal" blood as well . . .

So, I'd like more details -- but I won't hold my breath. The timeline sent by 23 & Me makes sense as well -- saying that the Scandinavian portion took place between 1850 and 1910.

I'm not too sure about the British and Irish portion though as we haven't identified who those ancestors are yet . . .

It is exciting to think about what the future with DNA will uncover and share with us. Now is a great time to be DNA tested -- so much happening in that arena.

Recently, I was reviewing some of the thousands of photos from our Guide Dog for the Blind experiences and I came across this one.

It almost makes us want to get one of those puppies -- almost.

We know that Dino -- who turns seven this year, would love (we think) a canine companion.

We'll think about it . . . a basket of fun!


We enjoy watching baseball. Even as the season is just starting and the teams figuring it "all out".

What we find very unpleasant are the several brawls that have broken out on the ball fields.

As baseball mirrors hockey more and more with that perspective -- we will watch less and less.

We are just one couple watching the MLB games each week -- so maybe it wouldn't matter to the league if we cut back.

But it is like the NFL. As more and more undesirable type players exhibit their unique form of (in our view) behavior we watch less and less. We applaud the Seahawks for not signing a certain QB this week due to his annoying display of character.

When the sporting events that we look to for entertainment and escape turn to annoying events and displays -- we'll watch more golf and if they had it -- curling . . . just saying.

From the photo shoe-box:


This is a picture of our family in front of the apartment on East Avenue in La Grange, Illinois.

Probably, Marv, took this photo since he is not in it. I'm puzzled about the date though.

It looks as though this was "developed" in Florida in 1954. This may have been the trip to visit our Aunt Carrie who lived in St Petersburg.

We did also go for Marv's wedding in 1955 that took place in Fort Lauderdale. I need to figure it out . . .

We lived in the above apartment for about one year as we waited for our new home to be built in Hinsdale -- I was in the Seventh Grade that year, Marilee was in High School and Jon, in First or Second grade. Marv was in the latter years of college at the time. I am wearing a "Camp Awana" tee shirt . . .

I think that now that "taxes" are finished for this season, maybe just maybe I'll get the chance to have a day to just immerse myself into genealogy researching -- that would be so nice.

There are so many loose ends to follow up on and explore. I do work on family history every day -- maybe just for a bit -- but usually not for as long as I would like.

I feel lucky that I have this hobby -- it pretty much defines my day in a way. If there is a "webinar" so much the better. Webinars are like what sporting events are to some extent -- that is, it is a time when the rest of the world is shut out for a brief period and a time to just experience something fun.

That is a bit of our week -- see you all "in a few" ! 👨👩



Saturday, April 7, 2018

Drenched . . . Dry . . . Drained

For the last few days, it is true -- we have been drenched. Here in Sonoma County, we have received multiple inches of rain -- which we are so glad for, but, is it enough to ward off the other "D" word for this year? We'll see, at least for this week, we did not need to water the lawns or to fill the pool.



The signs of Spring are all around us. Because of the recent rains, Dino spent endless hours longingly watching outdoors for any sign of a break in the downpour. Today it appears that there is a break and the skies are filled with fluffy clouds. The birds are relentless in their attack on the suet and seed feeders outback. Blossoms are everywhere and at times giving the pool a blanket needing to be swept clean. And the fields of mustard are in full bloom throughout the Healdsburg area. What a nice cycle!

Inside, a different story was taking shape -- the finalization (finally) of the yearly Federal and State Income taxes was taking shape. Whatever happened to the notion that with tax reform we would be sending a 5 x 7-inch card with our complete tax story intact for filing . . .

We filed on the 5th, about 12 days earlier than the deadline of the 17th this year.

When I pushed the button to "print" a copy for the records it said there were a total of 63 pages in the Federal & State returns.

I then requested just the copies of the actual forms and the total was reduced to 36 pages, a far cry from the one-page 5x7 . . .

Hopefully, the ever-present feeling of doom will be removed until the next filing season next year. The whole process never seems to get any better or less intimidating.

Another process looming in the next couple of years is the "every ten-year Federal census". There was talk at one point of having the USPS conduct or aid in the collection of information -- can you imagine loading the postal workers with that task and having a census that was accurate.


The other controversy has to do with asking a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

The last time that a citizenship question appeared was in the 1950 census when folks were asked "where they were born" and if foreign born -- were they naturalized.

In the 1960 census, the question merely asked about "place of birth".


It will be interesting if the census does include a citizenship question -- and for what real purpose.

I look forward to two years after the 2020 census -- for the release of the 1950 census which would be the one that Gail and I would first appear. The current law does not allow for the information to be released for a census until after 72 years have passed. Two of my siblings made it into the 1940 census -- they know who they are . . .

DNA analysis and testing have been in the news a lot lately and I presume will continue to be prominent for a long time.

You know it is "hot" when the following appeared in one of my searches for DNA information:


Not only can DNA help find and identify long-lost family members and ancestors -- it could now play a role in possible future family members . . .

What other commercial uses of DNA will we see in the coming years. When I think of it this could be more controversial than any citizenship question on the census . . .

And speaking of long lost family:

The third season of this program will premiere this week, on
Sunday, on TLC.

While it mostly has to do with adoptees or biological parents searching for each other -- the process that they go through and certainly the results are great to view.

There can't be enough genealogical type shows on TV -- for me anyway.

And lastly, it was a perfect "soup week". And while we did make and consume some "from scratch" soups this week -- we did give some thought to the possibility of a "store-bought" product:

Mmm mmm good . . .

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













Saturday, March 31, 2018

♪ Summertime, Summertime . . . ♫

Way too early! It was 86° the other day and the other days this week were similar -- we did finally get the message and we cranked on the a/c . . . the sleeping temps at night were not pleasant. But judging from the Easter-Egg hunts in the snow, we can't really complain -- but we do.


We started with one single poppy out back about a month ago and now we have hundreds. The birds are lovin' the suet cakes -- we'll have to reorder soon (like today). Dino gave the appearance of maybe going in for a dip this morning, but probably not going to happen. He's a looker only when it comes to the pool -- Gail almost went in yesterday but decided on a cool shower instead . . .

Hopefully, the temperatures will moderate before the really hot days of summer arrive. And we hope that once in a while we get some rain as well.

And to get our minds off of the heat we worked on the puzzle du jour and what could be better than a background of DOO -- WOP.

Every once in a while I get an inclination to listen to some of the old favorites from eons ago -- public television periodically has their Doo-Wop specials -- we just listen and enjoy. The heat seemed to dissipate and the time flew. Also, the puzzle nears completion but we have plenty more where that one came from.

The other exciting news this week for us was that MLB held their opening games for every team on Thursday. And for us -- The San Francisco Giants were playing their rivals in Los Angeles -- the Dodgers.

I lived in the LA area for nineteen years and was a Dodgers fan -- and now I have lived in the Bay Area for about the same number of years and have been a Giants fan for about the same number of years. (I also lived in the Chicago area for about twenty years and was a Cubs fan -- actually still am)

So we substituted Doo-Wop on one day for the season opener as it was a four o'clock game as our background to further work on the puzzle -- we lead a complicated life . . .

The interesting and fun thing was to see the Giants win the opener 1-0 which was amazing as the Dodgers used their best pitcher. It was such a low-scoring game between these two teams with a single home run by Joe Panik, which was a great way to start.

The kicker is that the Giants won the next game 1-0 again and again due to a homer by Joe Panik.
Panik set a record having back to back single home runs in the first two games of the season.

So, the season is started and it is good so far for the Giants -- they play LA again tonight -- we'll see how that goes -- and maybe work some more on the puzzle . . .

I've written three or four times in previous posts about Keith Bumgardner one of my mother's favorite cousins. He seemed to start life out at a disadvantage as he lost both of his parents at a young age.

Charles Keith Bumgardner has been gone for some time now but I keep getting updates on his life:


I have heard from one of his granddaughters and she supplied me with the two pictures on the right of the tree -- I had never seen a picture of Keith's first wife, Christine, nor of his first daughter, Eunice June until this week -- thank you, Laura.

The interesting thing to me is that Christine, Eunice, and the grandchildren are cousins and they probably lived around us while growing up -- but of course, we never knew them or even of them.

While working on Keith's branch -- I was able to add of course the two new pictures but also I could confirm a third wife of Keith's -- Dorothy S Miller -- I have to wonder if there were any kids from that marriage.

My mother would have loved to have learned some of the facts of Keith's family that I have gotten over the years -- I'm hoping to learn more about his branch and of course so many others.

I attended another excellent webinar on DNA -- this one on how to make a plan for testing -- which I had been rather cavalier about several years ago when I was first tested.

I basically spit into the tube and awaited results -- and they came.

These days, because I have tested with four companies, I get a lot of results and matches -- more than I can deal with.

But this webinar was so good in that it helped me to see the benefits of getting various folks in our tree tested -- those who are in a vertical relationship to us or those who are in a horizontal position on the charts.

For me, there are no more vertical ways to go as I am now in the top position of those who are living.
But there are plenty of horizontal folks that could and should test. The numbers of those being tested are growing rapidly and that is such a good thing.

DNA is really an amazing discovery of so much and it will only become better over time.

It's Easter tomorrow and for us, the appropriate dining pleasure would be "Green Eggs & Ham".

We do plan to have a spiral cut ham dinner and of course for many dinners after that -- but we do not mind as we love ham.

The eggs, well we love them too -- but only if the green is on the shell . . .

Enjoy Easter Sunday however you celebrate it and that is a bit of our week, see you all "in a few" ! 😄

Saturday, March 24, 2018

It is SPRING . . . Somewhere

But it is getting close. So many parts of the country are being dumped on with snow and many other parts dumped on with rain . . . here, it is just about to turn sunny and warmish, starting next week. And it is rumored that we might not see substantial rain again until the October-November time frame.


A couple of the photos are actually taken this morning by Lisa up Washington way as they get a spring snow dump. The nor'easter folks just want it to stop whether it's called winter snow or spring snow.

It was a very misty early morning today. It looked as though it might be a "nasty" day again, but now it is balmy to some extent and a bright sky.

So, a little puzzle-therapy is in order again. We finished the great Dr. Seuss puzzle last week down to the last piece (that was missing).

The missing piece was replaced by Liberty Puzzles (thank you) and we have opted to work on a favorite puzzle -- seen to the right.

We do have a nice collection of Liberty wooden puzzles and from time to time -- rework them.

Actually, this is the fourth time that we are putting this American Express Train puzzle together -- you'd think that we would find it easier -- but we are having the same challenges as always with this one. At least it does have traditional type border pieces and we are finding them quickly.

It is so nice to have a puzzle to work on when we feel the need for some low-tech accomplishments.
We often have a ball game on in the background and a bowl of snacking items too. And if it is pouring down rain outside -- all the better.

We like to use sports as a diversion from everyday life, so-to-speak.

So we have enjoyed some of the spring-training baseball games lately with the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants did so poorly last year that we are taking a refreshing view of them so far this season.

While setting up the new puzzle and sorting the pieces we had the Giants/KC game on yesterday. One of our possible relatives was pitching for the Giants -- Madison Bumgarner -- he was pitching his final training game and was doing well, when -- he was hit with a line shot into his pitching hand which is now broken. He is out for - they don't know how long . . .

The sad fact is Bumgarner sat out for many games last season due to a broken shoulder and may be part of the reason that the Giants did so poorly last year. This comes just as we were thinking that we were going to have a "good" season . . . such is sports-life.

Behind our house today though there is a little league game going on -- with bunting all around and huddled groups of parents and other spectators trying to stay warm and dry.

Little league will go on for several weeks & we always enjoy catching a glimpse whenever we venture out back. Once-in-awhile we even amble over to watch a bit closer-up -- always fun.

Now, even though football is a ways off -- the Forty-Niners had a pretty bad season last year, but things were looking good with the new quarterback and a heightened good sense about the forthcoming season (starting in August) was forming -- until a trade announcement was made . . .

One of the most disliked players from another team was traded to the Niners -- it remains to be seen if we can enjoy watching the games with that person playing on our team . . . such is sports-life.

And now -- more about DNA . . .


I attended the two webinars above this week -- both on the subject of DNA and put on in connection with MyHeritage DNA on Legacy Webinars.

I am feeling better about getting a grasp on the subject with each webinar and with each book or article that I read about DNA.

As more and more people test with the various companies there will be even more attention given to enhancing the ability to identify matches and how they relate to us genealogically not just by DNA.

Legacy is having a series of webinars just on DNA and there is some more next week. These webinars are no-cost to view live and are very beneficial. If you are a member of Legacy then you can even watch them over again whenever you wish.

I receive a "word-of-the-day" from a website and often find interesting new words (to me anyway).
Last week on one of the days the word received was -- "autotonsorialist". At first, I was going to skip it -- but then peeked at it and was surprised at its definition:

I had no idea that there was a word for something that I have been doing for over ten years -- that is -- cutting my own hair . . .

I have not been to a barber for at least ten years and had just forgotten really about it.


I needed "hair-therapy" this past week and so I got it -- via my own hand. The picture bottom left was taken this morning and my hair looks pretty much the way it has forever . . . or at least I think so.

Growing up, it was a ritual every month or so to go the local barber and enjoy the fifteen or twenty minutes of personal hair attention. I remember going to one shop where there were maybe 7 or 8 barbers and after a while, I always hoped that I got the "right" one to give the "ivy league" cut or whatever was popular at the time for me.

During my "career days" hair therapy was usually done in a salon and the time spent was close to an hour -- the price too was substantially more as well.

All in all, over the years I really enjoyed my visits to the barber -- in my retirement years I have changed my position -- usually when I found myself in need of a haircut -- and I did not care to make an appointment -- most of the time there were no openings at local shops -- and so many of the shops employed people that did not seem to make the experience enjoyable any longer.

So, I am quite happy with spending twenty minutes or so of quality time about once-a-month to complete the job. AND a side-benefit -- I estimate that I have cut "hair-therapy" costs by 4-6 thousand dollars over that time-period . . . money now free to spend on genealogy things.

Lastly


We just finished the book on the left "It's All Relative" and found it to be entertaining as well as somewhat educational in ways. The book had to do with Jacobs organizing a large reunion of as many folks as possible -- and his stance is that -- we are all cousins, so anyone could and should attend.

I think that he is correct in that we are probably all related when we explore far enough back in the trees. It is mind boggling -- but still fun to do the searching.

The other book, we are just starting to read and it covers an aspect that I engage in weekly and certainly do enjoy -- searching in old newspapers for news of folks in our tree.

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


























Saturday, March 17, 2018

. . . Shades of (the) Green

It is hard to believe but it is the day of the "Irish". And after all the rain we have had this week -- it is certainly green around here. We know that it is "white" in many locations around the U.S. but that will soon give way to -- green.

There is a lot to be said for the color green. Kermit certainly knew that as did Robin Hood and his merry band. When I think of green -- so much comes to mind. My eyes are hazel colored at times, they do change once-in-awhile I'm told.


It almost makes me want to be an artist as I look at the various shades of green. The textures too are quite attractive. As I look out the window today the predominant color is green.

I remember being "pinched" on this day if not wearing green somewhere -- I am at risk of that happening if I actually went out today -- but I don't have plans to do that -- we went out yesterday . . .

And our poor green wet-Pelican weather vane . . . standing watch over several days of rain this week -- and maybe even some today.

There is a sense of calm looking out and seeing the pelican while warm and comfortable inside and he/she is weathering the storms.

The arrow of directions appear to be correct, I think. I'm not exactly sure how that happens -- but it does.

So, all is well on the "western" front.


While there is not a predominant color of green in the puzzle, we are happy to say that it helped us enjoy the rainy week. We actually started the puzzle last Saturday and finished it up last night just before dinnertime.


We almost always remark that there is "no-way" that we'll be able to do "this" puzzle. But, as time goes on and with a little patience we manage to be totally hooked on "getting-'er-done".

Right down to the last piece -- which unfortunately is missing -- but one nice thing about Liberty Puzzles is that if I send a picture of where the missing piece would go, they will send me a duplicate of that piece -- nice.

These puzzles are laser-cut wood -- and the smell of freshly cut lumber is very present when you open the box. The wood fragrance did fill the house this week. We have a fairly good collection of these puzzles and so probably our next session will be to re-do one of those.

About five years ago in a September post
that year, I wrote about another "green" that is -- a Gretna Green.

Gretna Green is actually a town in Scotland which is "just across the border" from England.

Apparently on the road from London to Edinburgh is where it is found. It is supposedly the first town after crossing the border.

England was apparently becoming a difficult place for young couples to marry due to the many rules and regulations. Scotland had relaxed rules and made it very easy for couples to marry -- thus, Gretna Green became very attractive.

Gretna Green has since become known as a place that allows marriages to take place easily and without all the rigamarole -- above on the U.S. map illustrates where a lot of these are located.

The picture is of my parents -- may be on their wedding day, possibly at a "Gretna Green" in 1931.
I don't know for sure -- but I do know that I have not heard of where they married -- only that they did and only an announcement of that event was made by my mother's parents.


To the left is a colorized presentation of my ethnicity. There is green on it -- but nothing to do with Ireland.

As a matter-of-fact, Ireland is not colored at all on the map because so far there has not been any presence of Irish in my ancestry.

My children, however, do have Irish ancestry as their mother's family did come from Ireland (and Germany).

Actually, the smallest color depicted (pink) represents the largest percentage of my ancestry -- England. Then comes Germany, Finland and finally Scandinavia.

Again, as the world of DNA keeps growing by leaps I receive "tons" of so-called matches. How to get my arms around these matches is another thing though. Hopefully, that will change with enhancements of technology.


And lastly, there is the universally recognized green shown to the right.

While we actually seem to need less and less of the physical paper money there is no reducing the need to buy, spend, pay or give some form of money -- electronically, by check or credit card or some means other than actual cash money.

Society in the U.S. has come a long way from the days of lugging gold and silver around -- not that that would be so terrible in some sense, but so much more convenient and easy to push the "add that to the cart" online button . . .

That's a bit of our week, see you all "in a few" !  😃







Saturday, March 10, 2018

MARCHNESS . . .

Almost twenty percent of the year has sped by and we find ourselves caught up in a variety of things associated with March -- the madness of NBA bracket basketball, what some say is the madness of daylight saving time, the Ides of March and recently -- spring training baseball -- both in the fields behind our house and on TV. And we all have our own March "madness", just saying . . .


The weather, for example, is so varied that -- if we were actually going outside -- at least a couple of different clothing needs might come into play.
Across the country, we see extreme weather changes and conditions. There have been a few times that we have been without power for at the max a couple of hours and were totally frustrated by that. We read and hear about folks that are without power for days -- and the temperatures are freezing so no heat, no lights (you'd have to watch TV by candlelight) and what alternatives do you have -- so from that standpoint we count our lucky stars.

And then there are the "Ides" and who hasn't worried about them. Actually, my favorite grade school teacher was an Ide and no worry there . . . so, no matter where you are in the country March is bringing it's "Marchness".

One nice feature of March for us (actually February too) is that the sounds of the "crack-of-the-bat" come wafting over our backyard fence.
In late February there was the beginning of baseball activity out back and it sounded good to us.


Now, today there seems to be a game being played or at least a fairly organized practice of a game. Even though it is chilly and dismal outside there are scenes and sounds of ball being played which makes it seem warmer than it is.

Then too, we have already watched (parts of) a few spring-training games of the MLB. There is the Cactus League in Arizona where 16 teams practice and play including the San Francisco Giants and then there is the Grapefruit League where the other 16 teams practice and play.

I remember visiting my parents when they lived in Kissimmee, Florida where there was a very well attended stadium where the Astros do their training these days. It won't be long before the sounds of "play ball" will be heard for the real season -- and it just seems like we had the "World Series".

 Now, this weekend is the time to move our clocks forward one hour. Does that give the birds extra time to devour the seeds and the suet we have put out for them?

Actually, it is fun to watch 20 - 30 birds zooming in and out attacking the suet and the landing and take-offs from the seed feeder (we're old). We are going through a lot of bird feed lately.

And it is nice that we have only seen one or two squirrels in the area with no attempts by them to get at the unreachable feed.

Besides the feeding areas, we also have a mini, heavy on the "mini", water spout floating in a pail that we have actually seen a couple of birds use to "take a shower". Amazing.

When we do come back inside from our trip into "nature" one of the things that we can do is -- work on the new puzzle.

We finished a great one last week and now have another challenging Dr. Seuss pictorial puzzle.

Of course, the colors are brilliant and the subjects all nonsense, but hopefully it will keep our interest for a couple of weeks while we swear we can't ever "finish" such a puzzle.

And, just opening the new puzzle is an adventure in itself as the aroma of freshly sawn lumber wafts out of the box. Then we get busy arranging some of the pieces into "like" areas and hopefully get lucky by putting a couple pieces together. It's a good break from struggling with doing our taxes . . .


Things are "heating-up" in the DNA matching world. Almost every day I receive notices from at least one of the four companies with which I (we) have tested -- that they are reporting more matches for us.

Just this week I have communicated with four "new" cousins commenting on a DNA match.

One of them, in particular, I am hoping to follow up closely with for sure. As I have mentioned in earlier posts -- when Gail and I both tested with AncestryDNA it came back that she and I were likely -- 4th Cousins.

It so happens that this new cousin that contacted me this week ALSO has a match somewhere in her family tree with Gail. This is encouraging in that hopefully I can search the five common surnames that we share and maybe, just maybe, find out how and where Gail and I became cousins . . .


And lastly -- just when we think that there are no more kitchen appliances that we could conceivably want to use . . . along comes the one to the left.

An "AirFryer" touted by many as to be an appliance that you will want to use more and more as you get used to it.

We got this last week and have used it to make things for four different dinners -- all successfully and pretty good tasting stuff.

The fryer "fries" with almost no oil -- using air to cook and crisp up the food inside and in a relatively short time.

We have used it so far to make "fries", fish sticks, chicken & a sausage dish, all turned out well.
I had to make room for it by removing a blender from our one large cabinet that we store kitchen appliances in so it is not out on the counter when not in use.

The fryer is big enough so that we can "fry" a whole chicken, so just as soon as we make a "Costco" run we'll try that as well. There are tons of recipe books for the air fryer and we have one of those and will try some of the recipes.

And that is a bit of our week, see you all "in a few" !   👫



Saturday, March 3, 2018

Rains, Yes -- Hail, No


So here we are on day 62 of the year 2018 already. It is a rainy, cold. Saturday morning -- we love it! There is something about a rainy Saturday that is refreshing. A chance to stay inside and enjoy the warmth -- hopefully.

While we did NOT have hail in our neighborhood, others did. And we have had some before. Even with these three days of rain, the "d" word is being bandied about and that is unsettling.


We have had on-again, off-again rain spells with some intermittent sunshine. It isn't like the Nor'easters we see on the news and thank goodness for that. I can not imagine going through some of those storms -- again.

We are getting some snowpack in the mountainous areas -- great for skiing. I was "forced" to get rid of my skis a few years back along with my bowling ball too, oh well. There's always YouTube.

What do you do inside during a rainy spell -- work on a great puzzle -- which we did, only to finish it . . .

This was truly a fun puzzle and a real challenge at points. As you can see it does not have the traditional type edges.

The colors in this puzzle are brilliant and made it interesting throughout the two weeks or so that we worked on it.

The artist that created this work has several others and that may be something that we will do in the near future. We have another puzzle in-the-works first . . .

After I finished the post last week, we watched the final events of the Olympics -- and I have to say that the event of all the Olympics, that we enjoyed the most, was Curling.

And -- they won gold for the first time ever. While we do not totally understand all the strategies and moves -- we did enjoy the pace of the game.

We heard about the women's curling, but we did not get to view it on TV -- if it was even presented.


So, we will have to wait for another four years before seeing curling again. Time goes fast though and it will be here before you know it . . .

Of course, some of the other activities we enjoyed this week included needlepoint for Gail and working on family history things for me.


Above are some examples of charts that I worked on. The one in the middle top -- hard to read -- actually depicts the descendants (some) of Walter Pratt, who is listed in my tree as my 15th Great Grandfather.

The ancestors going back that far have yet to be totally proven with facts -- but are fun to look at and just may prove to be accurate. Directly below that chart is a "pile" of related folks, both of mine and of Gail's. Any name with a blue line on the bottom is my direct ancestor and any with a green line is an ancestor of Gail's.


So, what to watch on TV that is related to genealogy? On BYU TV tomorrow there is the returning series "Relative Race".

It features four couples -- color-coded clothes -- that are given updates via a "flip" phone that direct them to not-previously-known-relatives located across the U.S.

It is a race and the winning couple collects $50,000 along with meeting those newly found relatives.

It is fun to share the feeling that each couple has as they meet their daily goals.

A few years ago, we might even have felt like trying out for the show . . . that ship has sailed though.

And lastly, I think I'm understanding more about my father's dream that of course never materialized for him -- or us:

To the left is probably a depiction of what he had in mind all those many years ago and with the many trips looking for that.

This was his "Come Good Home" that was prevalent in his mind.

We did visit many farms over a period of years but did not ever make a purchase.

This week I listened to a webinar on the subject of researching German Farms.

It was pointed out that in Germany, farms were the backbone of their society, pretty much like the American society of years past.

And, since recently finding out -- pretty much for sure -- that our ancestors came from Germany, that farm instinct had carried to the male Hiles line and was ingrained in the being of male Hiles' like my father -- my mother always said "he was happiest when he was poking around in the soil" or something to that effect.

I am anxious to identify all the "German" ancestors and to make the connections. It would be fun to identify the farms associated with Hiles' ancestors -- oh well, so much to do . . . so little time.

That's a bit of our week. See you all "in a few" !  😏