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Saturday, July 15, 2017

End of Week #28 . . . Still Hot

That's right -- twenty-eight weeks of the 52 for this year have gone by so far in 2017. It's day 196 so about 53.7% of the year has passed. And it is hot again (still). Today and tomorrow are projected to be over 100° and in the next two weeks the coolest day is somewhere around 90° . . .

We keep our fingers crossed for the a/c system and the ice maker (we've had to replace that twice already in five years).

The above flowers love the heat and four out of the five are found in our yard along with several others. The center flower is the Edelweiss and just the name alone brings emotional tugs.

I saw the Edelweiss when I visited my son in Germany many years ago. And of course the song in "The Sound of Music" is a keeper.

We continue to read every night before slumber strikes and this week we just finished "Driving Miss Norma" which is a book that we found very interesting to read.

Miss Norma was a 90-year-old woman who when given a terminal diagnosis had the option of traveling the country with her son and daughter-in-law in their RV or be hospitalized and go through chemotherapy and other measures.

She chose to go driving and she had wonderful adventures that are well documented throughout the book.

Now we started reading "Finding Gobi" and it relates the true story of a long distance runner who meets and befriends a little dog while running a mega marathon in the Gobi Desert.

We have only just begun the story and are finding it intriguing. Of course, we love dogs -- not so much fans of running marathons that are well over 100 miles in length (under 100 just fine) of course we are . . . we look forward to living the adventure along with "Gobi".

Unfortunately this week my son, Chris is at this moment in the ICU unit at Swedish Hospital (Cherry Hill Location) in Seattle.

He had brain surgery two days ago and has made it through this first stage and may face an additional surgery next week.

We are distraught over these developments and are so anxious to hear that he is mending.

Of course, I have not been able to talk with him and I  just get the briefest of updates as to his condition.

The next few days are critical as to keep him free of any infection or other things hampering his recovery. It is difficult to not be able to do things that might help him. Our hopes are in the hands of his doctors.

I did send the above flower arrangement to him for possibly a bright visual way of encouragement when he "comes to" from the surgery -- however, the ICU would not accept the floral gift.

We will keep a positive outlook for him in the coming days and weeks. Unfortunately, Seattle might as well be on the other side of the world as far as visiting. We have our own difficulties as to be free to travel . . .

I have managed to do some genealogy work this week, but only a little. As I have mentioned before genealogy is one way that I can escape any unfavorable aspects of daily life for a little while.

This week I have been struggling to deal with the above two programs, both of which have introduced new versions that offer new features. The main feature for me is the ability to "sync" the trees in each program with the tree that I maintain on

There is a learning curve for both programs and I have used FTM as my main program for years with RootsMagic as a good backup.

What I do generally is to work in and then sync the tree in FTM and in RootsMagic.
Those actions take incredible skills on the part of the programming to make it happen.

I just need to spend more time getting the kinks worked out -- but once that is done -- what a great feature. But wait, there is more . . .

We still have been watching baseball and the Giants struggle this year.

What a difference to see the Giants almost lose every other game that they play.

Today, the Giants play the Padres. And MadBum (Madison Bumgarner) is slated to be the starting pitcher.

This will be his first game this year -- in the preseason he foolishly rode a dirt bike and fell off injuring his shoulder.

He has been in rehab ever since -- some think it may have finished his career -- but we will get an indication today when he steps onto the mound. The "snot-rocket" king will have a chance to prove that he is still "in-the-game".  We hope so.

Lastly, I know that I am not alone when I mention that working on family genealogy is a "lonely" hobby, but it comes with a ton of personal satisfaction for me. And so that keeps me working on the trees.

I happened to notice this question somewhere in my searching recently and I have to agree that almost never do I hear from family regarding any aspect of my searching.

I recall when I first started working on family history and I told my father about that and he replied: "Why would anyone want to do that?"  and that is another reason that I keep at it . . .

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

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Gladiolas . . . Hot

In our local paper, it said that Healdsburg had a temperature of 110° yesterday. the second time in a couple of weeks. Granted, it is not like Needles, California nor like Palm Springs, both around 120°, but anything over 100° to us is hot.

And it stayed hot late into the night. We kept the a/c on past midnight and even then it felt warm outside. I am beginning to think that rainy weather would be preferable.

The gladiolas though seem to like the heat as do other plants like the lavender. We just have to water more often -- and we do now that the drought is somewhat gone.

The yellow in the gladiola is brilliant in the morning sun. And the bees are working the lavender extensively. If you click to enlarge you can see many of the bees at work. I wonder where they disappear when their work is done.

The neighborhood seems extra quiet these last couple of days. School is out and some folks have left on vacations probably to cooler locales. We actually start the day feeling cool inside and by late evening the sun has done its work and we are feeling the heat.

I've mentioned it many times before, but we lately have had a jigsaw puzzle up in a constant state of being worked on . . . we enjoy being able to leave the puzzle out and then we can work on it whenever we are inclined.  Often we are listening to the TV with a ballgame on and the Giants losing another one. Recently though the Giants have won several of their games and that is more to our liking.

Off to the right is the puzzle that we have been working on this past week.

It is a puzzling puzzle in that we finished it yesterday and there are four pieces left and four openings left -- but, the pieces do not fit exactly into those four places.

The pieces fit on some sides and not on the others and leave a gap -- we can see that they almost fit, but not quite.

We have not had this happen before. We have had missing pieces, but not pieces that do not fit . . .
I will send a note to the company and hopefully, they can advise us as to what has happened and also replace the non-fitting pieces with fitting pieces, that's all we ask.

Speaking of puzzles, a great segue way to genealogy, because genealogy is always potentially puzzling. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I have been exploring the Bumgardner branch a bit.

And I have mentioned that spelling is always an issue. As a result of the many ways that surnames are constantly being spelled in different ways, I often ignore the different spellings and look at the people and guess at why their name is spelled differently than I think it should be spelled.

It's "BUM" vs "BAUM"

With the Bumgardners, I usually stick with searching and looking at folks only using the "Bumgardner" way of spelling.

To the left, the two unnamed pictures on the bottom represent two folks that I started communicating with this past week.

Their comments and questions had to do with the parents shown above them.

I did not list a maiden name for the mother and they shared with me what that name was. They also passed over the spelling of their last name and attributed it to careless census takers and others.

I was beginning to think that I might not be related to these folks because of the Baumgardner spelling.

So, I started doing some investigation. I added a third generation -- the grandparents.

George Harry Baumgardner and his wife, Pauline. I looked up George's WWI draft card and VOILA -- it said, Bumgardner.

I then looked up his WWII draft card and guess what -- it said, Baumgardner -- with his signature as such.

Upon questioning the contacts, we were able to conclude that George had a real distaste for sometimes being called "Bummie" which was a common nickname for a Bumgardner. So some time in between WWI and WWII he changed the spelling of his birth surname to Baumgardner.

That spelling change meant that his descendants too would be Baumgardners, not Bumgardners.

Now, George Harry Baumgardner was the son of Marion Bumgardner, my 1st Cousin. Marion had several offspring and two changed their names to Baumgardner, the rest I believe kept Bumgardner.

Now, I realize that in Muscatine, Iowa and other locations, there are a lot of Baumgardners that are in fact cousins and for a strange reason they have a surname that is spelled differently -- not the result of careless record keepers -- though that does happen as well. And so it goes with the puzzle.

And lastly, the unfortunate marker for Will:

That was a bit of our week, we're trying to keep cool, see you all "in a few"!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

JULY 4TH Holiday Weekend -- 4 Days . . .

It happens every year, so far. One of the "fun" holidays of the year i.e. no mandatory gift-giving nor card-sending. Just plain old fashioned down-home celebrations.

Preparations started a few weeks ago when I realized that the flag that we fly almost daily was very faded. So I did what I usually do and that is to go online and look for a replacement.

If you look in the center picture, you will notice that there are "two flags" a flying on the house.
The outer pics are of those individual flags. I must say that I did not set out to double the number of flags -- only update the one that we usually displayed.

So, I ordered a new flag and after placing the order realized that I had ordered a larger flag than what we had -- a 4'x6' in place of the 3'x5' . . .

Then I realized that the flagpole that we had would not support the larger flag -- so what to do. I searched around for the suitable pole and ordered that. But when it arrived last week, it was so much larger than the previous pole and the box stated: "professional installation" recommended.

Long story shortened, I was able to install the new pole and raise and display the new flag AND move the previous pole by the front door. At the front door, I displayed the "13 Star" version, which is treated to appear "old and original" from 1776 . . .

Hopefully, we are set for awhile on flags.

Gail received a wonderful orchid (thanks, Silvia) a few days after her birthday last week.                                                                                                                                                                              We're hoping that we can give it the proper care so that it will last for awhile.                                                                                                                                                                                                         The last houseplant recently did not make it and we feel that over-watering may be the culprit.
Gail also received a couple of day-after-her-birthday calls and several Facebook wishes, all very nice!
We did manage to finish the current puzzle that we were enjoying working on, though this one towards the end was challenging. Again, when it was all finished, one piece was missing. We've done this puzzle before and there were no missing pieces, so go figure . . .                                                                                                             Dino is so patiently waiting for us to finish . . .     whatever we are doing, he waits for us to finish and maybe, just maybe we then will play with him or take him "out" for a bit.                             

Regarding the status of the "search" . . . I go through weeks of struggling to find bits and pieces to attach to anyone in our tree and then this:                                                                                                                                     I recently was given access to a boxful of family history that I have agreed to scan the things that are pertinent and then return the originals.                                                                                                                             So, I have begun going through the pictures, documents, and other memorabilia and scanning some of the items.                                                                                                                                                                       Unfortunately, my scanner stopped scanning for whatever reason but I was able to install a "scan app" that works, just not like the previous way of doing business . . .

One of the pictures that I found in the box was of my brother at one of his graduations along with his in-laws, the Siggs. It just so happens that in 1959, I lived with the Siggs in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.                                                                                                                                                   I did not have a picture of Georges Sigg until now. I did have one of his wife Frances and of course many of my brother, Marv.

I enjoyed living with the Siggs and found both of them to be really great folks. They owned the "Bible Book Center" in Fort Lauderdale (on Andrews Blvd) and I even worked there for a bit. I cleaned and inspected films that came back from rental and did many jobs related to shipping (going to the post office) and receiving (unboxing new shipments). This was good work for a high-school senior . . .
So, now I have this box of "family history stuff" that I am enjoying going through. And even though the families are related to me only through marriage, I find it very interesting and fun to record. I knew these folks and still hear and sometimes see their descendants. You can look on our tree on and other of my trees for many of the pictures identifying these folks.

 Currently on our nightstand is the book appearing to the right -- "Driving Miss Norma"  received from Lisa & Bob for Gail's birthday.                                                                                                                                                           Interestingly, for me anyway, is that the first movie that Gail and I ever went to together when we were first dating was "Driving Miss Daisy".                                                                                                                                                   The book, however, is about a 90 something-year-old women who has been given a diagnosis of a terminal disease and instead of going into the hospital for treatment, chooses to travel the U.S. with her son and his wife.

So far she is having a great time and doing things that for sure would not be something that she would be doing in the hospital setting.

We are enjoying the book so far and find it refreshing.

And, we have been watching the Giants baseball games every day that they play.

Mostly it has been -- watching them lose big and bigger times.

But yesterday they won their fourth in a row -- I believe the best so far this season.

Interestingly there are so many new players being brought up each week that it is impossible to keep track -- maybe they will get the right combination.

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

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".