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Monday, November 30, 2015

It's The Christmas Countdown (and Cyber Monday)

If we had any pumpkins left from Halloween, there'd be frost on them! It was in the 20s again last night. The heating system seems to have a mind of its own and goes a little berserk by getting warmer and warmer as the temperature outside gets colder and colder . . .

No matter, the holiday spirit truly begins now with the countdown and the pressure to finish (or start) Christmas shopping . . .

But what better way to start the process than by

cruising the Internet for ideas and deals . . .

I used to "cyber shop" while at work (on lunch break of

course) but now I can spend the entire day . . .

It is hard to know where to go first and what to purchase,

but I'll do some more preparation and then proceed with


So, it is Monday and that means MNF and that means

a bowl of chili some more turkey leftovers . . . we're still

okay with that.

See you all in a few!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend . . .

Enjoy the holiday weekend!  Saturday -- turkey dinner leftovers . . . See you all in a few!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Trees are Alive . . .

After a week or so of rainy weather, we are back to beautiful coolish days with bright sunlight and very cool nights (30s). It is strange weather everywhere it seems, storming and snowy with signs of a lot more to come.

It seems that overnight the trees in the back have turned to a "fire" red and soon each one of those leaves will find their way into the pool the yard waste container where they eventually will enrich the landfills in Sonoma County.

And because of the rains and the subsequent sun, the flower box is blooming again. Unbelievable.

The Searching This Week

Most of my searching time has been spent on researching the family of my daughter's fiance.

And to the left is The Baker Crown 11 brand symbol that was used by the Baker family.

I don't think that I have ever encountered a "brand" for a family that I was researching.

I hope to find out a great deal more about that.

To the right you can see a summary of the tree that I started in Ancestry for this family.

I began with less than ten names and currently there are over three hundred names with many more to come in time.

It is a lot of fun seeing the tree come alive populated with folks from all over the country.

And hopefully, many discoveries will be made
and maybe many "cousins" introduced.

No matter, it is rewarding and enlightening to do this kind of search. There is a lot of  "low-hanging" fruit to be had and when that is gone the intense search begins.

More to come in time about the "Baker Family".

What Else Took My Time This Week

After several months of procrastinating about it, I impulsively decided to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

I do like the brilliant new look and feel, but I did have some "bumps" in the process that I needed to take the time to work out.

I hope that I don't have any unpleasant surprises looming in the near future due to this upgrade.

I feel as though I have a new computer and I can say that overall I like Windows 10 -- and the beauty of it all, Microsoft offered it for no charge to eligible machines. Thank you!

So, I will keep you posted about the workings of the new operating system.

While this Was Going On

We received the shipment of the piano for Gail on Monday afternoon. While I thought about how I was going to set it up, Gail came up with the perfect solution -- call the local moving company (Redwood Moving) and enlist them in the process.

Wednesday afternoon that was accomplished and by the early evening Gail was learning the ins and outs of the features of the piano and brushing up on her skills.

Dino too practised his stance using both paws to cover the playing field . . .

In the photo, Gail is using an App for her iPad that plays along with the piano and can give instruction, amazing.

What will they think of next. Next for us is to convert the living and dining rooms into our music and reading rooms.

In the four plus years that we have lived here, we have only used the dining room maybe once for a dinner -- so why not convert it into something more useful for us to enjoy.

Coming Up Soon

Overall, the NFL has been a disappointment for
us this season. Many games that we have recorded we watch maybe just a quarter or so and then find something more entertaining to view.

But this Sunday there is a game between two teams that we like. I am not sure which team to root for . . . should I wear the new Russell Wilson shirt that my daughter just gave me and
root for the team that I used to attend their games
in the old "Kingdome" or do I stick with the Forty-Niners that have been a real let-down so far this season since a very capable head coach was replaced by someone not so capable . . .

I think we'll watch the game and see which team is playing a "good" game and root for that team.
Maybe the Niner's new quarterback will make a difference again this week.

Football, it is always one thing or another that happens, except for that one team . . .

On Our Nightstand

Several years ago we enjoyed watching the wacky character, Monk, solve criminal cases on TV.

We are taking a light reading break by reading the current selection to the left.

It is easy reading and enjoyable and brings back to life the wackiness of Monk and those around him.

There are a ton of "Monk" books out there and this one so far has kept our interest enough to help us drift off to sleep appropriately.

We have several books in queue and on our wish list and reading each night has been very enjoyable.

We love reading the actual physical book even though we also have several books on our Kindle App and Audible App.

Lastly . . .

It is amazing that our favorite holiday of the year is about to unfold in a few days. Since we have been invited out -- and we actually may do that -- Gail is busy getting ready to make a "side dish" that she has made many times before. Just not recently.

And because we like "leftovers" we will also make a traditional turkey dinner to enjoy at home as well. We usually only have a traditional turkey dinner a couple of times a year. We do use ground turkey frequently though it is not the same . . .

For now, it is Saturday and that might mean hot dogs for lunch, burgers for dinner.

See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Catchin' Up . . .

Okay, okay, so I missed a post last week -- the first time this year. It may not be the last miss that I have, but we'll try to catch up. No promises, though.

My excuse is that we, like Johnnie Carson had visitors from the North, and in this case, the Northwest. Lisa and her fiance Bob visited for nine days and we did some catching up. It had been five years since we got the chance to be together -- and it was a wonderful visit.

It was interesting that it was this very week too that we noticed a definite change in the weather. It seems that the rain is also trying to catch up. We had a few days of rain and several of sunshine for Lisa & Bob to enjoy.

I'll share more about the visit a bit later -- but they are my excuse for no post last week.

Old to New Upgrade

This week we caught up with one of our fun possessions and are upgrading that. The "old" mini baby grand piano was picked up on Thursday of this week and the new baby grand piano should arrive on Monday next.

Gail has always loved playing the piano and the "old" one was getting tired. The "new" one should take care of that issue and it has a feature also that allows for student/instructor roles -- so maybe even yours truly could resume lessons (from about 60 years ago).

More on all that in coming posts.

A Glimpse of the Visit

There were many fun dinners and get-togethers in the last nine days. As I write this, Lisa & Bob should be just arriving to pick up their kenneled dog, Buttercup in Washington. I know that feeling when a kenneled dog greets their owner after a lengthy separation -- pure joy for all.

Above is a collage of some of what went on. You should be able to click to enlarge it a bit. The pool water is quickly going back to it's 60-degree reading after being above 80 degrees for several days.
Dino keeps checking out the guest house to see when and if anyone will emerge.

And so we wrap up this week feeling pleased that we had such a nice visit and look forward to more in the future -- maybe Christmastime . . .

Speaking of Things to Come

Above you can quickly see "days till" for three upcoming events.

The first is the Presidential election is less than a year away. We watched the debates earlier this week and there is another one tonight. The time is rapidly closing in on "decisions".

Thanksgiving -- less that two weeks away AND it always seems that Christmas instantly follows. In this case, there is still 40 days till then but that will "fly by".

And so now you know . . . it is Saturday and that means burgers actually leftovers, and we love that!

See you all in a few!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Time Trick

The day snuck up on us and we just made it to the store in time to deliver treats this evening. I have to say though that the volume of youngsters has somewhat diminished in the last few years probably due to the merchants in town who hand out goodies too. And that is a good thing!

And coupled this year with this day is the fact that "Daylight Saving Time" ends this weekend. All clocks to be moved back one hour . . . sometime after 2 A.M.

My thoughts go back to when as kids we would run throughout the neighborhood with usually a pillowcase to carry our loot. We ate plenty along the way as well and in those days they were not the "fun sizes" they were the "full sized versions" of our favorite sweets. So much for that.

We've learned so much since those days -- not only about the sweets but also about other dietary delights e.g. bacon, salami, slim Jims we always knew were bad for us, and so it goes.

I guess we can get a lot of kale into those pillowcases. Just love kale though and rutabagas too.

From Last Weekend

I actually had this prepared to include in last week's post but somehow in my haste it was omitted.

So a sort of belated birthday wish to my two brothers.

One on the 24th and one on the 25th mine is on the 23rd (of another month though)

Another milestone.

The Search Continues

Actually while I did have a variety of search activity,
none was conclusive enough to detail.

But the webinar this week at Family Tree Webinars was excellent and I expect that it will increase the quality of some of my searching.

But the process takes time to implement.

I have several applications where I could use the method proposed of "evidence".

I will be anxious to put this practice into action. 

Also, after the webinar Geoff Rasmussen gave a tour of the brand new Legacy website -- very impressive.

Something Reminiscent

I just found this picture causing my mind to wander way back in time.

One belongs to an actual relative and the other to the front cover of a well-known magazine -- but both could apply to my family and I'm sure to many other families as well.

What Goes on This Week

Well, at the moment the World Series is taking center stage in our planned viewing.

We enjoy the series and for that reason we were rooting for the Mets to win a game.

Since we are not necessarily tied to either team winning, we just like it when the most games are played for our enjoyment.

What I'm saying is that we would like the series to go 7 games.  We were so disappointed when the Cubs lost in 4 games last week -- no real enjoyment there partly for the fact that the Cubs lost but also because of the fewest games possible were played.

So, guess who we will be rooting for in today's game. And if that team wins and the series is all even, then the rooting might change . . . we like both teams though I have attended a game in Kansas City.

We are also looking forward to visitors from the Northwest next week!

And now, it is close to our nap time -- lunch comes first, though. 

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

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Comin' & Goin' Plus 3 Planets in a Triangle

Well, talk about highly publicized events that turned out to fizzle, one of which we are glad for . . .
This week we heard a lot about the hopes and dreams of the Chicago Cubs and that ultimately did not materialize and it's back to "there is always next year" . . .

The other event that fizzled and for which we are glad was Hurricane Patricia. While there were consequences, they were nowhere near the possible disasters that were predicted for the most intense storm ever . . . the problem is "there is always next week".

And the "Comin' " event is of course Halloween, which falls on Saturday of the coming week. In honor of that event, Jupiter, Mars & Venus are forming a triangle in the sky of which I am not sure of the significance . . .

Searching This Week

Again for some reason my searching involved the Gillett branch of the family.

Cyrus was the father of seven children including James Norris Gillett (former Governor of California) and this week's search involves a relative down the branch of his wife, Sarah.

I had not known of the name of "Witzel" as a relative of mine until this past week.

Roger is connected to Cyrus' wife Sarah by the confusing description of "2nd great grand nephew".

Roger was a medical doctor and is shown listed with his wife Norma Jean Meier.

And even though Roger and his wife are only related to me through a distant connection to the wife of my 3rd great uncle, I feel a "kinship" and empathize with their circumstances.

Roger and his wife were both in the medical field and were working in Alaska at the time of the plane crash.

It does not appear that the Doctor and his wife had any children of their own.

I have found other Witzel relatives and will be adding them to the tree.

The second "find" this week also involves Cyrus Foss Gillett, a grandson of his which turns out to be a 2nd cousin 2 x removed of mine:

What caught my attention as I looked at the tree was first that I did not know anything about many of the siblings of the former governor including the above. Oscar Greve Gillett was only 33 when he died and he apparently followed his older brother James to Eureka, California.

But another interesting fact that I discovered was that Oscar Greve Gillett had a son whom he named Oscar Ellery Gillett.

And that son and his wife Isabella both lived less than a hour from where I live now and they both are buried in a cemetery in Santa Rosa which is 15 - 20 minutes away from Healdsburg.

We plan to drive over and pay our respects. I did not find any children from the marriage.

And so goes the search -- I did get a  note from another cousin this week that I'll post next week.

Coming this Week

Well right now the series is tied -- 0-0 that is a surprise . . .

The above is a glimpse at the two pennant winning teams this week. We watched both series and enjoyed most of it . . .

We will be watching on TV starting on Tuesday night. We hear that the "street price" for any tickets are approaching $2000 per . . . so that squelches any plans to attend in person.

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

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fallish Feeling -- Pretty Good

Pretty good,  it rained for a short bit this morning -- but only for a very limited amount. But how nice to hear the sound of those raindrops . . .

Pretty good for Gail too -- who is recuperating nicely from gall bladder surgery yesterday . . . in previous days having your gall bladder out meant several days of in-the-hospital care and often a lengthy recovery period as I witnessed my own mother going through years ago.

In the above collage, Gail is shown yesterday about ten minutes before we left for the hospital. She is proudly standing by the flowers that she just planted the day before.

So for Gail, it was leaving at 10:30 A.M. and arriving home at 6:00 P.M. All went smoothly and today is the time for many naps and resting and eating moderately. She feels "pretty good" . . .

Other News of the Week

We enjoyed watching the first of the Democratic debates. There was Hillary & Bernie and three others . . . and that really was the feeling we had.

How the other three can remain viable candidates,  I'm not sure. Apparently there might have been a difference if Joe Biden had announced and shown up, but then again maybe not.

The other news of the week was the Cubbies and their win to keep their drive towards the World Series alive. Catcher Kyle Schwarber lofted a huge home run over the scoreboard to help their winning.  Kyle is local to us here in Sonoma County and only a few months ago apparently was hitting home runs the likes of which are not normally seen around these parts . . .

We look forward to today's game between the Cubs and the Mets.

Speaking of Campaigning . . .

Here are a couple of  HILES candidates in different races.

I do not know if they are related but if they win and move on maybe I'll do more research to see if and how . . .

I'm sure that there are other HILES candidates and when I spot them I'll be showcasing them
as well.

Searching the Lemon Tree More

Last post, if you recall I revealed the horrible death of Stella Lemon who was the wife of Percy Lee Lemon who turns out to be my 4th cousin 1x removed.

The "Angel of Death" poisoned her while she was in the hospital and she died as a result of that poisoning.

The story led me to do more research on the "Lemon" tree.

The search led me to discover Willard Rueben Lemon, a 2nd cousin 3x removed.

The searching about Willard was very difficult because he apparently went by many variations of his name for a variety of reasons.

He even took the last name "Leonard" for awhile and at various times disappeared from whatever family he was living around at the time.

But I think we can piece together some semblance of his story.

It was reported that he served in the Army during the Civil War and that after the war while serving at Fort Riley, he deserted and disappeared from the Army & his family.

Eventually, things caught up with him, but he was all over the country, mostly in the West.

Willard can be seen in the chart to the left and he is the brother of Percy Lemon's grandfather.

So to Percy, he was a Great Uncle.

The picture I found of him was in the find-a-grave memorial and it must have been from a newspaper clipping.

What is fascinating is that I even found a picture of him at all, given how elusive he was . . .

To the right would be the Family Group Sheet
for Willard and family.

He married Nellie Maria Myers and had three children -- and if you notice all of them have the last name of "Leonard".

So, the marriage and family building came during the period of time that Willard used the last name of Leonard.

I would not be surprised to find other "Willard" families or at least wives.

And now -- what makes this story so compelling and unbelievably uncanny is the circumstances surrounding the death of Willard.

Above are two of the many newspaper articles that I found relating to Willard. It turns out that Stella who was poisoned while in the hospital was the second Lemon to suffer that fate.

Willard, as it is explained in the articles, along with maybe seven other men, were given a particular medicine while in the hospital and he and the others all died from that substance.

It all happened at the Los Angeles County Hospital during the first week of March, 1914.

In the coming weeks,  I may find additional interesting facts "from the Lemon tree".

And Lastly

Last post also I mentioned a property for sale in Hiles, Wisconsin that I thought amazingly low priced for the real estate involved.

This week I spotted an extremely similar appearing property both structure and amount of land -- except that this property is in Sonoma County California:

As you can see in the above, the properties ARE very similar -- but given the mileage between the locations the value is extremely different.

That is a bit of our week. It is Saturday -- but given the circumstances it looks to be soup and either more soup or possibly some poached fish . . . see you all "in a few".