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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The FINAL Countdown -- At the Hiles/Adams House

The final day of the year -- it was beautiful. It started out foggy with a mist atop the pool in the early morning hours. As the day went on the sun cleared all traces of the fog.. We took the opportunity to take Dino on some retail outings, he continues to draw crowds -- at one store I told Gail that I would meet her outside, but it took forever to get to the door and by that time Gail was through with checking out and ready too . . .

So what can I talk about that is significant for the year -- one thing that comes to mind is the wonderful discoveries in outer space -- that is the recent announcement that two possible planets about the same size of Earth were recently identified:

The amazing ability of the telescopes now are finding more and more about deep space. The International Space Station continues to astound. I found the above on  The site talks not only about the new planets but the reducing of the number of our own planets -- Pluto is out.

But while this is great news I find a parallel in my own work (hobby) -- the comparison of the new capabilities of the Internet to the ISS with the connection of finding two new Cousins just this week. To me, bringing the advances of technology to a personal level brings the same kind of satisfaction to me as a family history researcher that must be felt by the folks working on space projects. The interest to the world (and even many family members) is of course a major difference.

So Who Are These Cousins?

The Cousins just identified are shown above -- Lila, and her Mother, Vera Kay Hiles who are 3rd Cousins and their Father, Walter Frank Hiles who is a 2nd Cousin 1x removed. I am just beginning to exchange emails with them and hopefully will learn a lot about their branch of the tree.

I do know that they live in Michigan and that there is a lot to learn about their individual families. I look forward to that. So, welcome to Vera and Lila!

Back to the grind . . .

The countdown to the end of the year for us includes a very important day that comes a couple of days after New Years -- and that is the day that Gail gets to open her office in town and go back to work for the seasonal task of income taxes . . . so there is a mixed feeling about the count -- in about 60 hours or so one of us will be "on the job" once again . . . Dino and I have agreed to visit the office from time to time.

In the meantime, holiday decorations have been taken down as of today -- the tree stands -- bare on the back porch, the holiday moose now stand by the plant in the corner where the Christmas Tree stood. Dino is checking everything out as we go about the day:

This of course is Dino's first experience of having a tree inside and he was really very good about not disturbing it -- he would though eat any needles that he could find around the floor . . .

Birthdays this day:

There are five people from our tree (so far) that were born on this day. If their parents were really experts in planning for income tax -- they did a great job. We'll look at tomorrow's birthdays and check those out to see examples of not-so-good-tax-planning . . .

I've cut off the year portion of the dates -- but those of you who go to the website (and have permission) can check out the full information.


I have never really felt like celebrating the NEW YEAR event that much as it seems  artificial often -- but the following wallpapers are available at that says it all in a way. They have many more examples that you could choose from -- check 'em out:

I think these are some really nice examples that might just brighten up the desktop . . .

And  Lastly --

Everyday Gail & I read a few selected comics and this one we enjoy and it is appropriate for  today and for the way that we feel:

One thing I do remember is that at the beginning of the year -- in this blog -- I said that I wanted to write a post each week. And in a few minutes when I push the key to "publish" I will have achieved that goal. There are now 52 posts recorded in the year 2011 . . . thanks for reading and now it is time for the Slider Saturday Night once again . . .

Have a great new year -- see you in a few!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmastime at the Hiles/Adams

It was another week of beautiful "winter" days Northern California style. The nights have been in the 20s while the days have been in the 60s and mostly sunny every day. So cooler, warmer and drier than usual -- but very enjoyable. When Dino and I venture out in the middle of the night we can see our breath heavily in the air. I thought the pool had a layer of ice the other morning -- not.
But what could more traditional for the holiday time than picking fruit. Lemons to be specific, Meyer lemons at that. A few weeks ago it seemed that we just had a ton of green lumps, this week the tree was almost bent over it was so heavy with fruit:

This lemon tree very pretty produced far more lemons than we can use at the moment, so after giving some away we bagged up the rest and brought them to the food pantry.

A Tradition

While picking fruit really has not been a tradition -- maybe in the future years -- what has been a tradition for us is GrandParent's Night. It started with our Grand Nephew and Grand Niece and their Grandparents coming over for a holiday dinner complete with gifting and sharing. This year was no different even though the "kids" did not need to be driven over. Their parents used to use the time to go out shopping -- maybe they did this year too, but the event was as enjoyable as ever:

Above are some of the pics that commemorate this year's event, from the start to the finish. The food was great and the get-together fun and relaxing. Some great gifts were exchanged away from the hubbub of the coming big day . . .

A scene from the past

For some reason this picture brought out a certain nostalgia for me -- while this is not a photo of mine or my family's -- it could have been. We had a Pontiac like the one in the photo and we certainly visited "filling stations" like this one:

The site that had the picture is a great place to reminisce -- they have an "Old Picture of the Day" each day,
check out the site if it interests you -- I know I really like a lot of their selections.

A Dino Update

Dino has been a tremendous joy for us and he grows mentally and physically every day. He has learned so much in the three weeks (today) that we have had him. I already can see into the future -- 18 months from now . . . here are some of his weekly activities and poses:

Click to see some of the individual shots -- he has already been mistaken for a full-grown dog . . .but he is only 12 weeks old.

Some Pics of Christmas Past

While looking at some of my favorite sites I found some Christmas cards that looked familiar and so not-too-long ago scenes. The site is the Wisconsin Historical site and it holds a huge amount of very interesting things. These cards (or pictures of them) are for sale at the site:

So visit their site and you can see many many more examples of the above.

Our house today (Christmas Eve) is filled with the delicious aroma of a yule log -- not one in the fireplace because it is a "spare the air" day, but one that Gail is baking for the event tonight at the other Hiles' in town.
Each year we gather as most families do and enjoy the time of year with friends and family.

We will not be having "sliders" tonight, instead it will be a festive, delicious Christmas Eve dinner. I can taste it all right now . . .

Merry Christmas to all of you!  See you in a few!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

PreHoliday -- Bumgardner,Bouldron,Hiles&Nelson

Don't you just love this time of the year chestnuts roasting on an open fire the warm sunny days so reminiscent of summer, that's pretty much the way our days have gone these past several days. It is a real bummer for the skiing industry near Tahoe, no school holiday crowds heading for the slopes. We can only hope that it will change. In the meantime we make up for it by decorating the inside and outside of our home to remind us of Christmas Holiday:

This floral arrangement specifically made to enhance the holidays was sent to us and we are really appreciative and will enjoy it throughout the next couple of weeks -- thank you Aura.

But we have done other things around the house to make it feel "Christmas-y". We struggled with whether or not to downsize the tree to fit the downsizing of the home this year and opted to go in the mid-range. Gail decorated the tree mostly with all her hand-made needlepoint ornaments that she has worked on over the years (mostly while watching NFL games).

And of course how could we not include some photos of our "Christmas Puppy" (everyone should have one).
Dino was very patient with us as we adorned his head with a "Santa Chimney Patrol" hat. That lasted for several seconds. But if you click on the photo you can see the ornaments I mentioned earlier. I have to wonder what happened to the ornaments that I remember form childhood -- who in the family has them. And of course one wonders what will become of the above ornaments and who will get to enjoy them.

Just for the record, Dino turned 12 weeks old today and he has gained over three pounds in the two weeks that we have had him. He is definitely fun and hopefully will make a great guide dog one day.

Maybe Interesting . . .

The other day I was thinking about our ancestors and how they prepared for the holidays. Poor souls, how did they do it without the Internet . . . then my mind drifted to how things have changed just in my lifetime and the things and routines that have gone by the wayside.  So I did what people do these days -- I noodled around the web and found some interesting (or I thought so) ideas on that subject:

If you click to enlarge you can see a list of just a few of the things that are not in common usage today. The very first item -- dialing a rotary phone and especially dialing those really great numbers which were started with letters and words like -- Faculty-FA, Fleetwood-FL, Capitol-CA -- my last phone number growing up was FA 3-6866 . . . but even thinking back another generation, they did not even have a dial to dial, they picked up the phone and were addressed immediately (sometimes) by a live operator, "Number Please" . . .

Check out the above site -- they have a lot more of the obsolete things that bring back so many interesting thoughts.

Social Security

Several weeks ago I sent away for the original application for Social Security that each of my parents filled out. For a fee and a lengthy wait period anyone can retrieve this type of record. For some it may reveal things that were maybe forgotten about their relatives and for others it is just a nice record to have -- especially since they usually have original signatures.

The above are my folks' applications. I recognize both signatures -- my Mother's very carefully done, my Father's more "whimsical" than I remember. But it was interesting to see where and when each applied. My Father applied shortly after SS was started (1934) in 1936 when he was a Cab Driver for Yellow Cab at the age of 29.  My Mother applied in 1949 -- I am not sure of the reason for her application as she at that time did not work outside of the home.

Never-the-less it was interesting to study the facts in detail of their applications.

A possible solution for "last minute" gift ideas

I'm sure for some of our ancestors things like "carving" something special or "sewing" something personal for loved ones was done sometimes "at the last minute" just as we do last minute shopping. So I have scoured the web for some ideas:

The above represents some "really good" stuff and where to find it. There are a couple of things that I wouldn't mind "receiving" -- hint, hint . . .

Anyway, that is how our week went -- hope yours was "good" too. And now since we had a luncheon today with friends (actually relatives) at our house -- we have leftover things that we are going to have for dinner. So it is going to be Slider Sunday Night this week.

See you in a few!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hiles Places, Birthdays & Doings

Another great week in terms of weather and in terms of "stuff". The stuff mostly refers to Dino the pup we are raising for Guide Dogs for the Blind. He continues to amaze us and it is surprising how one 21 pounds of energy can impact daily life. The day starts about mid morning -- that is 2 -3 am for his first "outing" of the day. He does go back to sleep until about 7 or so . . .

The above are some candid shots of his week . . . top left he is sitting among some of his favorite items. Then it was a first-time to wear the "uniform" -- he did well and seemed to enjoy it.   He made several trips out and about and made friends with many folks. We look forward to more of these trips and meetings.

An Update to the Garage Stuff

We expanded the garage via a "Tuf-Shed" to cap off the project -- we just have one more thing to do and that is to paint the cement floor the "garage-gray" and we'll be done with that project. It is almost nice enough to have a "dinner" out there. And the shed, if insulated might be a place of refuge at some point . . .

This is the way to put up a shed -- it took the three very professional guys a little less than two hours and voila . . .  we have managed to almost fill it.

Where My Hiles Come From

Some of you were asking about where geographically my HILES came from within the U.S. -- after the East Coast and Ohio it was Wisconsin. Here is a map of Wisconsin showing the counties -- my Dad was born in Racine, and his Dad was born in Monroe County.  Today we have relatives all over the state including Vernon County, La Crosse County, Dodge County and many others and even a Town of Hiles, though the connection to my branch has not been proven -- but never-the-less I have visited there years ago:

Where Did Santa Come From?

It is that time of the year and while I guess it was not Wisconsin I did find this great article about good ol' Saint Nick. I found it in the site:

The story of Thomas Nast is amazing and the pictures are very nostalgic and recognizable -- I am pretty sure that Gail has needle-pointed some of them and maybe has put together a jig-saw puzzle or two.

Some Birthdays from my Branch

And now looking at the Hiles Family History site, I count some 182 December birthdays -- and also 7 that happen to occur on this date -- December 10 -- various years . . . So Happy Birthday to my daughter Lisa today and to my sister, Marilee tomorrow:

And so ends this week. I have had really limited chances to work on family history this week given our new assignment -- but each day a little more time is recaptured.

Slider Saturday Night is a welcome feast -- Gail has just returned from a full day of teaching and I am coming off a full day of puppy-care . . .

Fifteen more shopping days until Christmas -- see you in a few!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

(Dino) Hiles--Adams, Calhoun & Bessie & Jessie

What a week! It is hard to think that it is December now -- 21 shopping days left -- where does the time go? This week we saw temperatures in the mid 70s and sunshine every day, just when we turned off the watering at two houses . . . it is pretty much like summer at the moment. It is hard to rake leaves when it is so warm, but rake we must for a variety of reasons.
The highlight of our week was the colonoscopy on Friday  without a doubt happened just a few hours ago. Gail and I drove to San Rafael to the World Headquarters of Guide Dogs for the Blind. There we took possession of a beautiful ten week old yellow lab, male, with the assigned name of "Dino".  He is so good looking:

This is the very first picture we took of Dino as he was brought from the puppy kennel to us. Gail realized right away that he was "heavy" as he felt like a sack of concrete. We are of course elated. Dino was born the day after my birthday, on 24 Sep 2011. He has so much to learn and experience.
There was another puppy being handed over just before we got Dino, a beautiful black lab to a Mother and son who were obviously pleased -- they carefully cradled their pup and off they went. I carried Dino to our car as Gail was not too sure that she could carry him the block or so . . . and off we went with our new family member. He rode cradled in Gail's arms all the way home -- about an hour's ride. Along the way when we were stopped at a red light, the lady driver next to us smiled broadly when she caught a glimpse of Dino -- I'm sure not the last time that this will happen.

About a Character from our Tree

During the week I did get the chance to do some researching and noodling around the internet as is my habit. I am using the iPad more and more for research as Ancestry's App is sooo nice to use and I can do that while sitting on the couch watching TV. I have actually found numerous items for a variety of folks in the tree. But while surfing around I ran across a blog from -- that caught my eye. A few years ago Gail and I went over to Port Townsend when we were up in the Northwest -- and we realize we need to visit there again -- Gail's Gr Gr Grandfather is mentioned on the front page and he was a "character" from Port Townsend. He was a Sea Captain, and there is a Historical Plaque on his house there. Gail does own a small piece of property in town as well. Check out Sandra's blog:

We look forward to visiting Port Townsend again maybe this coming year.

Sad Events

One thing about working on a family history is that one deals with so many facts about the dead. But when you stop and analyze dates of born/died it is really sad to think of what so many of our ancestors went through with children. This week I found the mention in a newspaper article about the deaths of two infants who turn out to be 2nd Cousins 1 time removed. Bessie & Jessie Hiles both died shortly after birth and the article does not mention as to why -- only that they left so many family members to mourn them:

Click to enlarge the above and you'll see that both children were the offspring of Frank & Minnie Hiles. Cousins mean that we share a common ancestor which determines what type of cousin they are -- I almost prefer to just say "cousin"  because it becomes sometimes hard to visualize.

The following explanation & chart might help -- it appeared just this week in Dick Eastman's blog:

Dick always has good information that is helpful and in this case timely. His blog is found at


How could I go without a few more "pics" of Dino. I will be keeping a log and journal of his progress that I eventually want to be able to turn over to the blind person that hopefully ends up with him -- already we can see how turning him over after 18 months is going to feel . . .

Click to check him out . . . since we have been home, about five hours, he has had two naps in his crate ( a new experience) and two sessions of exploring his new territory. He has little bursts of energy mostly trying to eat leaves in the backyard and then followed by napping. In the coming weeks we will update his progress. His first official outing to our Guide Dogs group will be in about ten days -- at the Holiday Party.

So that was our week. We will be enjoying Sliders in an hour or so . . . see you in a few.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving, Hiles--Bouldron--Adams Style

I went back and looked at last year's post relative to this time (and that's a nice thing to be able to do) and what I said then applies to this year as well except that I want to increase what I said about the "buffer".  The buffer that I mentioned had to do with the two days following Thanksgiving and how special that is -- but now I would like to say that the whole Thanksgiving week is like a buffer -- a division between the regular year and the "pre-season Christmas" year . . .

The dinner items pictured here were some of the best dishes I have ever experienced for a Thanksgiving dinner. Everything was perfect including the trimmings.

Even though we were at a friends house for the Thanksgiving celebration, Gail and I cooked a full turkey dinner for us as well so that we could have leftovers and turkey sandwiches for several more feedings -- and boy are we ever having those . . . the bird we cooked had been in our freezer for more than a year -- in fact it had been at our old house which seems strange now. I am guessing that we have at least two more nights for dinner and several more lunches -- what a deal. It is almost the only time of the year that we eat from a whole turkey -- the only thing that was different this year was that the giblets and assorted odd-pieces which for the past twelve years were given to Auggie were not.

This week the weather included rain, fog, cold and a lot of gray days -- except today was bright and sunny which the paper did not call for. We avoided the "Black Friday" retail events and did manage to hit a few retail stores today mostly for small needed items -- we even spotted my brother and Nancy out and about , we hurried home though to avoid the "Occupy Healdsburg" event scheduled for around 2 pm . . .

Part of what makes Thanksgiving so much of a nice Holiday is the opportunity to visit with friends -- and that we got the chance to do at the home of Gay & Jim in Sonoma. We met and dined with friends who we knew in the City and all but two have homes in the North Bay now. It was a most pleasant visit and the food of course was part of the celebration. There were many stories told and retold and promises to meet again in the near future. I of course had the opportunity to snap a few photos and here is a collage from our day:

We spent four or so hours visiting, eating and renewing friendships -- one person even thought that maybe I was still working . . . wow, that was twelve years ago -- hard to believe.

News on the progress of Family Research

Every week I find things or hear of things or receive things about some branch of the family research, and this week was no exception.  I heard from one of my cousins regarding a question that I had posed to him some time ago -- he answered me partly this week in the same message that he expressed " A Happy Thanksgiving" to all -- my Mother's brother who was a favorite Uncle and had served in the military at the end of WWII, but I never have found or seen any evidence of his service other than to read a line in his obituary that he had served.

Well Stewart's son (Jeff) wrote and confirmed that Stew had been in the Navy and had been deployed to Pearl Harbor, South Pacific, San Francisco & San Diego (Jeff says he was there the same time another favorite Uncle, Bern, was in San Diego) I sure hope that I can confirm all of that. Jeff says that his dad was in the Navy Medical Corp and was a "ships pharmacist's mate" . . . these facts are all pieces of the puzzle.

Now, speaking of puzzles -- just this week I found two other puzzling pieces of "evidence" to add to the family tree. For a long time I have been trying to put some dates on the times that my father was in the Army -- I always knew that he had been in the Army for two different periods of time. I was elated when I found a new data base in that gave his service dates -- I am not sure how the database had the dates since I was told that all of my father's military records had burned (along with millions of others too).

The BIRLS database said my father was in the Army for his first enlistment from 10 Aug 1926 to 20 Sep 1927 -- okay so far. Then for his second enlistment he was in from 12 May 1931 to 16 Jun 1933,  great information I thought -- until I remembered that the 1930 Federal Census ( a year that does not correspond to the BIRLS) shows my father as a soldier at Fort Sheridan near Chicago -- so now I have to figure out -- "What gives?"

To make matters more questionable about the BIRLS database I found a record showing my younger brother's death due to natural causes in the year 2000, with his service dates in the Navy during Viet Nam as 26 Oct 1964 (the day after Jon's 17th birthday) through 28 Nov 1966 -- the major problem with that information is that Jon is STILL ALIVE . . . I have more researching to do:

If you click on the above you'll be able to examine these records -- the two BIRLS records and the excerpt
of the 1930 Federal Census  . . .

Another Highlight of this Week

As you all know by now, Gail and I have been involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind -- what an impressive organization. We started about two months ago and are going through weekly training sessions where the puppies and people like us are trained. Part of the training involves puppy-sitting. We puppy sat for 10 days with Janie and that was fun, this week we are puppy sitting for Julep -- a 7 month old yellow lab -- and the experience has been great. Tomorrow her real puppy-raising family will pick her her up.

Here are some of the highlights of our week with Julep:

Besides enjoying Julep in our home we took her on many "retail" visits. When she puts on the "uniform" she gets right into the role of "guide dog". We have learned so much about dogs and for that matter people as well -- every where we go with one of these puppies the "ice" is broken almost immediately and we talk with people that we never would have been "allowed to" before.

We are sad to see Julep return to her "home" but look forward to getting another puppy soon.

More Good News

It is a commonly accepted fact that we as people have a "six degrees of separation" status. The fun game of six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon has been around for some time -- but it really applies to each of us as we make the connections.

I know from my days of volunteering at the "Crisis Center" that holidays and Sundays often bring huge feelings of loneliness to many. But the good news revealed just this week is that we may be closer to one another than we ever knew -- considering that we have 7 Billion people now on the planet that is an interesting thought.

The web site -- is a fun place to receive "good news" and it does so daily:

Check it out and sign up to receive your batch of good news (like the above) on a daily basis.

Well, so goes another week and this like so many is a special week. Normally I would be saying that in a few minutes we will be enjoying our customary "Slider Saturday Night", but due to circumstances -- mostly a refrigerator filled with turkey and trimmings, we are going to enjoy yet another turkey dinner -- we just can't get enough of it . . .

Have a good week, see you in a few!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fall Foliage -- Hiles Foliage -- Guidedog Grads

This week has been another beautiful mix of fall weather here. Earlier this week Gail and took a brief walk around the neighborhood and were struck with a brilliant display of fall colors. The weather was sometimes brisk and crisp enough to snag a few photos:

The sun on this day was just right to catch the reddened leaves intermixed with other shades.  We love the Liquid Ambers but having had several we know that everyone of those leaves will drop and then need attention. We never minded though -- in years gone by those leaves would have been raked into big piles and then burned -- I can still smell that smell . . .

We both were busy this week with a variety of things -- Gail mostly with teaching, while I worked on the other leaves and branches of the Hiles trees, the Bumgardner trees, the Bouldron trees and the Rahman trees. In a variety of places I found things to add to the various branches. I manitain trees on several different websites. This week I added a number of items to my own website, to Geni and to Ancestry. In Geni it is interesting to see the statistics that pop up:

Above is an example of some of those I added this week -- pictures of two of the Martin girls -- daughters of Samuel Martin. Susan Martin and Esther (I) Martin -- both of whom are my Grand Aunts. Unfortunately they both died young, Susan when she was about 10 years old and Esther (I) at about three years old. Esther (I) is named that because after she died the Samuel Martins had another daughter and they named her Esther as well -- and she was Esther (II).

If you click on the above to enlarge it you'll see the info -- but better yet, visit for yourself. And the bottom circled item shows my stats -- 1227 Family members on Geni, 100,000 blood relatives and 43,256 ancestors -- check them out . . .

Guide Dogs for the Blind -- Graduation Day

Gail and I spent the day in San Raphael, California. We attended the graduation of several guide dogs. It is at this celebration that the dogs are formally taken from the "raisers" and given to the blind recipients. It was a powerful and emotional ceremony.

Above are some pictures of that ceremony -- every recipient and every raiser gives a short talk about their experience and thanks both to GDB and to the GDB families that make everything happen. The recipients are flown in from around the country and receive their new dogs and then are flown back to their homes -- all of this at no charge to the recipients. There is also a huge amount of training that takes place and the recipients are all housed at the San Raphael facility while trainig.

Prior to the graduation Gail & I took the tour of the very impressive facilities that have been in place since 1942 and since 1947 in San Raphael. It was truly an unbelievable day.

We in all likelihood will return to this facility to receive our first puppy to begin training.  Click on the above to see some of the activities that go on and to see some gorgeous pups. While there today, we did meet our second pup to "puppysit" this next week -- Julep.


Last week in honor of Armistice Day, I had shown the WWI draft cards of all four of Gail and my grandfathers. And I said that it was ironic that none of them served in the war -- while they did not serve in the World War I, Gail's grandfather Henry J Rahman did serve in the military.

Henry enlisted into the U.S.Army in 1902 in Missouri and was discharged in Washington State in 1905. Below is some of that documentation:

Click to enlarge and you can see the details of Henry's Army record.


I was busy busy busy this week in finding and updating with newspaper articles. The one's below I sent away for from the Monroe County (Wisconsin) Local History Room & Museum. It usually takes a couple of weeks to receive the copies and then I start to place them wherever they fit.

You can see four of the ten or so articles that I posted in the various trees and websites. I know how excited I feel when I go to a site and I see things that others have posted that is important for my research, and I hope others are pleased to find these also . . .

And so went our week. It will be sliders soon, later than usual, but we will enjoy them while watching a recorded football game or other event . . . see you back here in a few!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hiles/Bumgardner,Bouldron/Rahman WWI

This week has exhibited a variety of weather types for us. Everything from semi-warm to quite chilly with both rain and sunshine. But there was definitely something in the "air" besides the weather changes. It became apparent to me when I was working at my desk one evening and I looked outside in the newly darkened skies (due to the time change) and was amazed at the sight:

Just over the roof of the house across the street was a very full and very bright moon. For some reason when I was still working at a career type job the full moon seemed to always bring about a "difference" in the way people and events happened. The sight of the full moon explained to me why the week was "feeling different" or it might just have been my imagination . . .

It is hard to believe that it is November already. And the fact that we have the interesting combination of the date -- 11-11-11 -- is fascinating. I have always enjoyed seeing unique number combinations and I have been known to glance at the speedometer every-once-in-a-while just to see if another "important" number is about to appear. But the fact that 11-11-11 is Veteran's Day got me to thinking about our two families and some events that occurred that were common to them and to most throughout our country. Veteran's Day or Armistice Day also known as "Remembrance Day" commemorates  the end of the first World War -- the "War to end all Wars"  . . . and now the day is a day to remember all military servicemen from all wars and thank them for their sacrifice and service -- which we do.

But in looking at my family and Gail's family our two sets of Grandfathers (all four) have a unique record that shows up when doing family military history -- the World War I Draft Cards. What is interesting for our four Grandfathers is that none of them served in the active military, but were registered in case they were needed. This registration came in the year that the war ended -- 1918:

If you click on the above you can see more detail that is presented on these cards. One thing that I find neat is the signatures of our Grandfathers. And then the addresses showing where they lived in 1918 and the names of their closest relative -- usually their wife's name. Also there is a brief physical description as well and I am always surprised that someone is a certain height and/or they had a certain color eyes -- things that  I had overlooked.

I have collected many WWI Draft cards for many of the folks in "our" tree and they can be found and seen by visiting the Hiles website --   

About the time period of the birth of the above Grandfathers was also the birth of some other memorable and recognizable icons -- the symbols used to designate Republicans and Democrats. There is a very interesting story about how that came to be -- and I found it in a website (History Buff) just click on this link to read the fascinating story . . .  Republican -- Democrat

I had always had other reasons as to why the symbols were used . . .

Just in time for the coming holiday . . .

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays -- besides the food it is just plain relaxing usually unless it is your responsibility to "fix" dinner. But I have always wanted to make the following for Thanksgiving but for one reason or another have not done it -- and probably won't do it this year since we have been invited out . . .

Now doesn't that look scrumptious -- I am getting hungry just looking at it. I can smell the aroma and anticipate how a large fork-full would taste and the wonderful "after-glow" that comes from a turkey dinner. I think back to the days when we were off to "Grandma's" for Thanksgiving dinner -- usually we ate around 3 pm -- which gave us time for turkey sandwiches later in the evening after some hours spent around my Grandfather's pool table . . .

If you are ready to fix the above here is the link for details:  Turducken  If you fix this please let me know how it turned out.

About this Blog (Healdsburg Heritage Hound)

One of the really handy things about this blog is Google's search feature. You can use it to search the blog itself and the archives AND/OR you can search the Hiles Genealogy Website -- right within the blog.
Another feature is that you can follow the blog easily by signing up via email OR joining via a "reader".
Below is a chart showing both features -- click to make it larger:

Try it out and if any questions, let me know.

Guide Dog Training this Week

We had another very interesting training session this week at the Guide Dogs for the Blind session. All the puppies went to the mall . . . The Santa Rosa Mall this time. We had a great time and the puppies were so well behaved. Since we do not have our own puppy (yet) Gail got to borrow "Scooter" for this training:

Here is Scooter and Gail cruising the mall . . . they went throughout the whole place including the food court. The public almost always "breaks out" the smiles as we walk by them and many want to share their puppy stories as we "work" . . .

Things To-Do In Healdsburg

One thing that might be fun to do during a Thanksgiving break would be the following -- as long as the weather permits.  It looks like real fun (I have always wanted to ride one of those things . . .) and there is NO peddling. Check it out here:    Segway of Healdsburg

And so another week has flown by, later we will be enjoying the newly made (now frozen) batch of slider patties. Have a good week, see you in a few!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Clocks,Canine,Chevrolet,Chaos &Cash Crop

This week has been a mixture of numerous events for us and the weather. Everything from warm sunshine to blustery rain -- but with all that going on, for the first time in many years the TIME CHANGE has surprised me with it's appearance . . .

It seems like we have about this many clocks -- all needing to be changed tonight -- I do have a couple of satellite controlled clocks, but the rest have to be manually changed 1-hour back . . . this doesn't even include the numerous digital clocks associated with various appliances that often display simultaneous displays almost demanding to be set to the identical minute -- not always easy.

It will be nice to have the extra hour -- but if you have animals that rely on a schedule the'll let you know the real time until you can little by little make the adjustment for them.

Speaking of animals, we had to say "good-bye" to Janie, the Guide Dog for the Blind 4 month old puppy we have had for the last 10 days. Her "regular" puppy-raiser is back from her business trip (to Indianapolis) and wanted her back -- the nerve. But in this program we can expect frequent "good-byes". So we look forward to the next puppy to come into our lives. Janie was so well mannered -- she is well on her way to being successful as a guide dog.

It is amazing how one small dog can impact our daily routine. Above are a few candid shots of a really nice dog. If you click to enlarge the collage you can see  Janie's affectionate tongue . . .

But "Hello" to a New-Found Cousin

Just this week I received an email from a young man requesting a log on to the HILES website. After he explored a bit he found people in his HILES branch that he had not known of before. We have communicated back and forth several times. So a welcome goes out to Dustin Hiles who lives in Logan, Ohio. I hope that we can keep trading information so that it is available to all who are researching in our tree.

Dustin is a 4th Cousin, once removed, to me. In the coming weeks I'll be adding more information about his branch and line -- but so far his line is:   Dustin, David Patrick Hiles, Edward Leon Hiles, Lewis Delmar Hiles, Francis Marion Hiles, Edward Hiles and finally to our closest common relative John Hiles Jr.

A Big 100th Happy Birthday!

It hardly seems possible but Chevrolet is celebrating it's 100th birthday. That auto has meant various things to many of us -- I have owned several different models and have drooled over several others of the Chevrolet line over the years.

Click on the above to get a better peek at some of the reasons that "Chevy" has been so popular. Though it is not pictured above, my next door neighbor fires up his cherry 1955 model every couple of days and the reverberating exhaust pipes bring me right back to high school days . . .

Chaos . . .

All week the local and I know the nationwide news has been reporting on the various "Occupy" demonstrations. The largest one closest to us (about an hour or so away) is of course Oakland. When I see the pictures I can hardly believe that this is America . . .

Where will this end -- it seems so much like the 60s again . . .

Cash Crop

Gail and I have made several trips to the "other" house. Just today we did some picking of the huge amount of persimmons that hang heavily from the branches of the one persimmons tree in that yard. Now on our visit to "Whole Foods Store" today -- their persimmons look just like ours AND they are priced at $4.99 per pound -- I weighed two persimmons and they weighed close to a pound, so how many persimmons do we have on that tree . . .

the number times about $2 each . . . the only problem -- we have never been able to "cash-in" on the bonanza. I have no history with persimmons, we never once had them as kids. But I do know of people that really love them -- but how can we get them together . . .

And Lastly . . .

As of this day, Gail and I have been married 97.39 Kardashians.  So what is a "Kardashian" you ask -- well it is a unit of measure -- 72 days. Just a way to put things in perspective with what is happening in the world of show-biz this week:

The above is where I found this (and you can too).What will they think of next, a "Robin Givens" calculator?

And so goes our week -- in a few minutes it will be slider time. See you in a few, have a good week!