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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Royal Jazz Jubilee Flotilla Project . . .

This was a holiday week carried over from last week . . . Monday was Memorial Day and for some reason for us -- it felt like a Holiday. Like the holidays from long ago growing up in the Chicago suburbs. I think I could even hear the faint sounds of the race cars from Indy just like we used to think we heard back then . . .


And in honor of the day we fired up the BBQ broiler and prepared some of the most delicious ribs in recent history along with some of the season's first corn-on-the-cob. To that we added cole slaw and our meal was complete -- later we would have the traditional dessert of ice cream and cookies. The pictures of the ribs along with sugar snap peas actually was for the next night's dinner as we had enough ribs for two nights -- that would probably not have happened in the past . . .

Keeping the Spirit of Memorial Day Going


The weather has been so nice and sunny lately that we felt it was a good day to renew our photographic endeavor for BillionGraves.com -- I believe that it is a very worthwhile project and it has been enlightening to us. There is a connection felt to others as we stand in a cemetery and take photos of the gravestones. We read each inscription and visualize the people and events that are carved into stone and metal -- some with pictures and some so hard to read due to wear over many decades.

So the three of us wandered around for about an hour or so in the very hot sun at Shiloh Cemetery in nearby Windsor. The name itself feels right and the cemetery is really well kept, clean and neat -- not like so many of the other nearby cemeteries, one within walking distance of our home for example . . .

Billion Graves (clickable) offers a very nice service and opportunity for volunteers. Using an iPhone or an iPad (after loading the free app) pictures are taken and then automatically sent to their website where the picture takers OR other volunteers can transcribe the names and dates.  For example, we took a little over 100 photos that day and when I got home and signed into the website -- some of those 100 had already been transcribed. I took some time away from the 1940 Census project to transcribe many of the photos that I had taken and so those 100 or more families that may be looking for where their ancestors and/or relatives are buried can just go in and do a search on the surname.

The nice feature of Billion Graves is that whenever I feel like it I can go in and transcribe a few graves . . . it might be something that any of you would want to do as well -- go visit their site and check it out.

Flotilla (I like mine steamed . . .) & Diamond Jubilee


Besides Memorial Day we have been caught up in some of the pomp relative to the celebration of the Queen having been on the throne for sixty years . . . I am feeling so much more connected to the British Monarchy for some strange reason and am enjoying the events. And it gives me a chance to use the word "flotilla" which is not a word that is used by me very often. I couldn't figure out why there was the need to have this huge collection of boats and all until I heard that it has been a tradition since the 1600s.




The celebration as shown above is so much more desirable than some of the events that we see from other parts of the world currently. I can not imagine living the life of "Royalty"  as we see it -- but some aspects of it would be fun.

Back to Reality


While those celebrations are going on, here at our house it is back to moving forward with a current project. We very carefully removed almost all the items that we had hastily stored in the pool house last August so that we could rid ourselves of a storage unit. Our now beautiful garage looks like the scenes of a "hoarding" show on TV -- needless to say we do not open the garage door for the neighbors or the rest of the world to see . . .



The above collage makes it appear that the room being worked on is quite large -- but it is rather small, but will be a vibrant addition to our home.  In these pics the bare studs can be seen as the electrical and plumbing are reconfigured to our plans. The previous use of this room was for a photography lab -- we all know what happened to photography and labs in particular ever since digital came about. The space now will be the bath associated with the "pool house".  We are several weeks out before completion but I have always believed in delayed gratification -- we look forward to that completion.

In the meantime we have some minor projects going on that include window coverings and that should also be completed in a few weeks -- the sun on our western exposed walls is harsh in the summer.

And Now the Royal Portion -- And a Happy Birthday . . .


This next piece came about as a result of my cousin Melissa (and yours as well). First, today is her birthday and I wish her the very best today! Melissa as you may know is the Granddaughter of Harold Hiles who was the brother of my Grandfather, Lloyd Hiles. This makes her a second cousin -- but to me a cousin IS a cousin -- and the number, whether it be first, second or even higher does not make any difference.

In keeping with that sentiment:


Can you believe it? A cousin is a cousin! I think the term "King of One's Castle" could take on a whole new meaning after discovering the above. If you click on the path above you'll see how actually I (and possibly you) find yourself much more connected to the "flotilla" earlier mentioned and possibly an explanation as to why I have been recently feeling more in awe of British Royalty . . .

Not along ago it was Reba, now Queen Elizabeth, I will be checking my mail more closely in the near future as word of this gets out. Thanks to Melissa for giving me the heads up to check this out and to Geni.com for putting the pathway together. Those Gilletts in out tree have really played a major role! If my parents only would have known . . .

A French Connection


Not in the tree sense but in a real down-home warm sense. Last night, Gail and I and Dino made our way to the French bakery in town -- Costeaux -- to hear and enjoy the experience of two Jazz groups. The bakery was the scene of one of the opening performances for the Jazz theme going on in town.

It is the 14th Annual Jazz Festival in Healdsburg.  Check out the details:  Healdsburg Jazz Festival (clickable)
The celebration goes on from June 1 -- through June 10th. We were lucky enough to be the guests of Dave & Lee Stare for the "New Horizon Stompers" a Dixieland group for which Dave plays the banjo. The several pieces they did were great!



After the "Stompers" performed, the second group, Mal Sharpe's Big Money in Jazz Dixieland Band performed -- both groups were excellent and we felt it was one of the most enjoyable evenings that we have experienced in a long time. Part of that was the fact that Dino enjoyed the performances as well by staying right by our sides for the two and a half hours without a whimper. It helped too that numerous folks came up to pet and admire him. Our thanks go to Lee & Dave!

What's on TV


Somewhat related to genealogy -- though not mine I don't think, was the current mini series this week about "the Hatfields & McCoys"  . . . we recorded it so we still have one more episode to watch tonight probably. But the series was well done -- though gruesome in parts -- it is hard to believe that these two families actually did exist and they did feud. Supposedly the feuding has subsided as evidenced by a 2000 reunion attended by both families.



The above thanks to History.com and Kimberly Powell of About.com shows the characters in the series. There are also a couple of websites -- one each for the Hatfields and one for the McCoys. I have to wonder how many other feuding families there are out there. In the news this week was a story in the Minneapolis area about the "neighbor from hell" as the news put it . . . we are so lucky . . .

Lastly


Just a card from wackywits.com that seems to fit the typical response lately for those of us retired folks . . .


I actually can relate to that as well as "I started out with nothing, and I still have most of that left" . . .

That's our week, since we were out and about last night, it will be "burgers and fries" tonight.

Have a good week, see you in a few . . .




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