And I have actually walked a bit without the walker and sometimes without the cane too. From my window I can see the bright sunlight and the beautiful trees taking form once again.
Off the deck in the back just last week the Dogwood had buds all over it -- but just about the official first day of spring, guess what appeared:
It is the most amazing feat -- blooms all over the tree. It blew me away because overnight these blossoms appeared. We have two other (newly planted late last year) Dogwoods -- but they are still in the "bud" stage. I expect in the coming days we will see blooms on them as well -- we hope.
Another sign of springtime is that beyond the fence in the back are the sounds and sights of practicing baseball players, doing the drills that will bring up their skill levels over time. Sometimes there are possibly a couple hundred kids on the two diamonds in various stages of development. Who knows one of these kids may one day reach the "big leagues" -- it could happen . . .
In the Larger Arena -- Genealogy Happenings
This week -- actually today as I write this, RootsTech, is in full swing -- but I'm sure winding down. I would one day like to attend this conference as I certainly like genealogy and I certainly like (except the last two days) technology. And it is happening in a beautiful city -- Salt Lake City, a city for a few years I visited on business every month.
RootsTech started I believe just three years ago and has grown in popularity each year. There are many exhibitors and of course many speakers and classes. I actually could listen to some of the live action streaming from the conference -- and I could see via UTube interviews and commentary from "Dear Myrtle".
Click on the above to get more details concerning the record attendance and internet participation. The pictures on the right side show some of the action. It just seems like the right place to be if you are into genealogy.
I said that I liked technology, except -- and by that I mean, yesterday somehow I lost internet connectivity. While trying to fix that issue I may have "touched" a few other areas as well. I had to call for assistance and the "experts" were even baffled a bit. Today I am still not back to where I was two days ago and it looks like I won't get back there . . . I have to use what I have. As I said last fall when I experienced more major issues I might be looking for an upgrade . . . Microsoft, I'm realizing doesn't support Vista as much any more and they are hoping folks like me will upgrade. We'll see -- we have a lot on our plates so-to-speak.
A Peek at Dino's Weekly (Routine)
Dino has been home now for just over two weeks. And he has settled in to a routine and it is often very predictable. In the morning after the basics are taken care of, he rests until Gail gets up.Then he heads her way to have his moment in the "spa":
Top left he lays right down for his hair to get the "blow-dry" treatment. His fur (hair) is not wet but that does not matter -- he loves the hair dryer. After that he may chew a bone while we eat breakfast and then if it is sunny and nice -- he will lay by the pool and sunbathe -- this year he may actually get his hair (fur) wet when we introduce him to the water in the pool -- he has never even shown an interest.
After all the above activity he might just be "worn-out" and so he conks out in one of his beds. He really zonks out or we think so, but if we make a move like we are going somewhere, he is up in a flash. He is pretty much healed after his surgery and does not seem to be any less of a dog -- he is just as calm as ever.
Checking out the Remodeling
We are guessing that the kitchen will be done about the same time that Gail is done with taxes (our's included). It seems like sooo long, but we will be sooo glad to have the kitchen back up and running. If you have been through this you know what we mean -- cooking in a microwave or toaster oven in a room jammed full of miscellaneous pantry items (usually not the ones you need at any given time) and washing dishes in a small bathroom sink . . .
We eat and relax in a small converted bedroom most of the time. The three of us some how find our places and make-do knowing how much we will appreciate things in a few weeks. It is just that right now it seems like an eternity. But despite the noise and the paint-smells recently and the cold air let in for ventilation, we can sense the light at the end and in the new kitchen:
Above you can see Dino and Gail checking out some of what has been going on -- I think we will have enough cabinets in the kitchen now, but then again one can never have enough cabinets -- look at the 35 that we put into the garage . . .
Hopefully we will have photo documentation of the complete conversion from the old to the new kitchen in a matter of days -- just like we are counting down for the tax season. In the above, all the doors were removed -- along with all the hardware, so that they could be sprayed and dried thoroughly and be back by the end of next week -- then things will start to wind down.
I have been busy and again finding my way all around the tree looking for cousins. I have focused pretty much on going down the branches from the very top -- in other words, I have started with John Sr., and gone to each of his children and then tried to go down those lines looking for leads -- and hopefully finding living descendants with whom I might be able to communicate with about the family.
Once I find some more "leaves" to add on to the branches I then put them into my main tree, Family Tree Maker, and from there into Geni, Ancestry and the Hiles website and maybe even into a couple of others as well depending on my energy and mode at that time.
If I locate pictures of these folks -- all the better. I love to add pictures to names. When I was just starting out many years ago, just finding the names was okay. Today, besides the pictures I really enjoy finding stories as well.
In the above -- if you click on them -- hopefully you can see some of the cousins that I located this week and have added -- some to Geni, and some to The Hiles Website. With Geni, I usually add just a profile picture of a relative -- at the Hiles Website I often add various documents along with other type photos as well -- and there are a "ton" of pictures to explore there.
And Lastly This Week (From the Newspaper)
Gail and I know that we live in a special town and have enjoyed that the 14 years now that we have lived here. It is a pleasure to just drive through the town and around the "plaza" at any time of the day or night.
There is a lot of activity going on all the time and the variety is constant.
The fact that we live within walking distance (now) of the downtown is a real benefit one that we will enjoy again once I get back to full walking strength. Dino has always enjoyed the walk to and from town. Walking as opposed to driving always seems to divulge things that we often would never notice if we were just driving by . . .
Where one lives does matter and makes for an enjoyable existence. We are sooo lucky to have chosen Healdsburg as our place of retirement. The above was published in the Santa Rosa, Press Democrat on March 21 -- the first day of spring. It announces that Healdsburg is one of the top ten "small towns" in the nation -- wow!
And if you look at the green markers -- you can see that my sister, Marilee and her husband Bill ALSO live in a top ten small town -- St. Augustine, Florida -- how lucky for us both. The third marker shows Door County, Wisconsin, a place Marilee enjoys going to every summer and has for years, to enhance her painting and renewing friendships.
I added some various different activities happening around our community and which are partly responsible for the rating. But the hotels, restaurants, wine tasting rooms, and the numerous other attractive leisure options are endless -- not to mention the pleasant weather (most of the time).
Last year we took Dino to hear one of the "Jazz" groups playing in a local bakery and for over two hours he just relaxed next to us while the performance went on -- sometimes fairly loudly too.
So that was part of our week -- we hope you have a good week and we will see you "in a few" . . .