Search This Blog

Loading...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Cold One . . . In Healdsburg yet

This has been one strange week in a variety of ways. Back to work for one of us certainly makes things a lot different around the house. Temperatures in the low to mid 20s many nights make things different too -- not to mention that we had no heater the first couple of days of the week. And a GDB puppy outing at the mall, a meeting about the upcoming kitchen work and a few unscheduled things made this week memorable.


I don't know that I'd call this severe after growing up in the Midwest and all those winters, but many mornings this week it did feel less than the posted temp. And there were many close calls on the deck and stairs while going out with Dino.

For this week, this post will be a little bit abbreviated as I am preoccupied with among other things -- the PLAYOFF games . . . for the last 100+ weeks I have had posts and maybe, just maybe I'll even try a midweek post, we'll see. It is a new year and it might be nice to do things in a different way.

From Illinois to California (and in-between)

Last week, I  mentioned that I would try to bring some light to the journey that I have made that has brought me to Healdsburg after growing up in the Midwest. I had mentioned Hinsdale, but actually most of my young childhood days were spent in a variety of homes in La Grange, Illinois. And sometimes images trigger some memories of everyday life then. For example, we do the wash here almost always on Mondays -- I am not sure what day of the week that my Mother did the wash growing up -- but I know that it was my Mother who did the wash -- not like now as we both do the wash -- mostly me during the work season . . .

In the "Little House" above, we had a basement and in the basement I remember a wash machine very much like the one pictured above including the sink -- AND I can still smell the Fels-Naptha as my Mother would use a potato peeler to break the bar down into particles. What a job that entailed what with the wringer and all . . . I sometimes get frustrated with the operation of our washer/dryer. I can only imagine having to do several loads via the old method -- we are so lucky these days.

Fels-Naptha soap can still be found to purchase  and I even think that the brand is owned by a company that owns a brand of soap that I used to be connected to -- Dial soap -- I worked in sales for Armour-Dial for four+ years . . . it is so hard to keep track of corporate changes.

Dino's Week

It seemed like a long time in between GDB meetings for some reason. But this week our puppy group met at the Santa Rosa Downtown Mall and had exercises, fun ones and obedience ones. Fortunately it was not raining -- only cold.

Above if you click to enlarge, you can see some of the Mall doings -- we had a photo scavenger hunt where all the puppies and raisers were to have photos taken at various places in the mall. It took about an hour to accomplish and was fun. A new pup, Rider, about 9 weeks old can be seen joining in for the first time. There was no barking and NO "accidents" which is normal.

After the scavenger hunt we all took the puppies outside for some obedience exercises. The folks in the mall seemed as usual to enjoy watching and sometimes interacting with the pups.

Genealogy This Week

A variety of things happened this week. I updated several families in various trees that I have around the web including in Geni, Ancestry and the HILES website . . . but as usual I went looking for new things and I found an app that I hope to put into use:

This app seems like a great way to present memories in a story fashion by recording them. The nice thing is that you can do it via an iPhone or iPad or on a desktop. I just got the app up and running on my iPad so hopefully there will be recorded stories soon . . . check it out if you are interested: Saving Memories Forever


And Lastly

What is taking up my time this weekend -- the NFL playoff games, of course. There were two excellent games yesterday and two today.



When I say excellent it is mostly because the San Francisco Forty-Niners were big winners over the Green Bay Packers yesterday. The other game also though was exciting as the score flip flopped back and forth throughout the game -- we were pulling a bit for Payton Manning and the Broncos, but having the Ravens win meant that the Harbaugh brothers were both winners . . .

If you enlarge the above you can see the chart depicting the status of the playoffs leading to the Super Bowl.
Since we time-shift (record) all the games I am about to go watch the first game . . . and then later the afternoon game.

It should be a great day.


That was a bit of our week -- we had the burgers and sweet potato fries last night. Tonight may just be our second stir-fry of the week . . . see you all in a few!



Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hinsdale to Healdsburg & Between

I left Hinsdale, Illinois in the very early 60s to move to Pasadena, California. And I have luckily found my way to Healdsburg, California. There are a lot of things that happened along the way and hopefully this year I can put some of those happenings into these posts. I marvel at those people who can write about their lives and seemingly recall so much. For example, we are just about finishing up "Total Recall" by Arnold Schwarzenegger and he must have the capability to recall so many of the details of his life -- up to this point. We have found his book really surprisingly fascinating. Back to Hinsdale and Healdsburg . . .

You'll notice that the Healdsburg sign has a few icicles hanging from it . . . more about that later. Actually, Hinsdale was the third city in Illinois that I lived. I was born in the city of Chicago and then shortly later our family moved to La Grange. I spent most of my elementary school days in La Grange and then my high school days in Hinsdale with me being in the class of '60 at HTHS.

Our family lived twice in Hinsdale -- once actually when I was in the 6th grade and I attended Hinsdale Junior High. Then back to La Grange for 7th grade and then back to Hinsdale for 8th grade at Maercker Elementary. That Hinsdale address was the last one for me in Illinois. I have many times revisited the address in GolfView Hills and the house I knew has since been torn down and a much bigger house replacing it . . . which is very common in the area.

Clicking on the above you can see some of the town -- but there is a ton more to see. From the poster on the top left -- it describes Hinsdale as being 15 miles from Chicago (it seemed like a lot more) on the CB&Q RR. The diesel locomotive is probably one that my father at some point worked on as he was employed by Electro-Motive Division of General Motors in La Grange. 

The photo on the bottom right has a significance to me -- though I remember Koshgarian Rug Company more form La Grange . . .

Why the Icicles on the Healdsburg Sign . . .

Simply because it has been cold here, really cold . . . last Friday morning started out like most days for me. Up, take Dino out, turn on the heat (we usually turn it off at night), shower and get ready for the day. Only when I turned on the heater NOTHING happened. I did not hear the familiar rush of semi-warm air starting to flow throughout the house -- I heard nothing . . . so, not only was it cold OUTSIDE it was beginning to be cold INSIDE as well . . .



There may be some exaggeration in the above, but then again there is some truth as well. There are the dripping gutters, the ice covered autos, the slippery back steps that again I nearly took a header on . . . but Dino is looking comfortably at a couple of his cousins not quite as fortunate. Well at least that was how we felt about the weather because for several nights it was down into the 20s -- and for us that is cold.

TOASTY WARM ON THE Inside it was Cold Too! 

Back to Friday morning after realizing that there was no heat coming from the usual source. The local heat and a/c repair person was called and just as I had hoped he could come out around 10 AM. Around 11 AM we got the unexpected news that the circuit board for the 7 year old furnace was malfunctioning -- some good news was that part of it could still be covered under warranty, the bad news part was that a replacement could not be reasonably gotten before Monday, maybe Tuesday . . . in the meantime, the coldest so far this sesason, we were without a heating system that worked.

One positive though was that we did have electricity and that meant warm water and appliances that worked. We have been through power outages before that meant cold and dark and depressing with no means to live our normal existence (no appliances, light, TV).



In the top pictures you can see what life was like -- on the inside -- and the bottom pictures show one solution. We had a small room heater that on Friday we moved along with us as we went about activities remarking that "it isn't that bad and it is only for a few more days" . . . 

On Saturday morning we broke with tradition (of not going shopping on Saturday if at all possible) and made a hasty trip to our favorite Costco where for some reason there was a huge display of four or five types of room heaters. Were they in cahoots with the circuit board people from the furnace company, that is, was it programmed that the circuit board would self-destruct at the point of the lowest temperature . . .

The Dyson (we have one of their vacuums as well) has done the trick. And as a matter of fact, when we put the Dyson in the bedroom we had to turn it down a bit in the middle of the night as the room WAS toasty warm. So we are surprisingly keeping warm . . .

But back to Friday for a moment and the fact that we had power . . . so after coming to grips with not being able to turn up the thermostat, I went to work (as usual) on the computer. My system was acting up and was being frustrating. I subscribe to a service (Signature Support from Comcast) that will take a look online at the computer and will address the kinds of issues that I was experiencing. So I called them . . . 

I don't think that I have experienced a more frustrating tech support call in the 30 years or so of once in awhile calling a tech. When I started I did have an internet connection as did Gail along with all our other devices using our WIFI. Within the next three hours and 6 techs, we were plunged into not having any internet connection and being told by the first tech that maybe a replacement cable modem could be ordered by next week sometime . . .

And -- oh by the way -- during the call I changed out my router as well to one that I had stopped using about a year previously . . . long story short, I finally got a tech who got me back online and after totally disassembling our office, right back to the place I had been when I first called, i.e. with the same issues that prompted the call . . . there are some lessons here.

What About Genealogy this Week

Well I did do a lot of the basics and as usual checked a lot of sites that I found helpful and interesting. One such site I found an interesting family tree -- only this one, called "The Tree of Life" has trees and branches for all living things as seen in the following:

That is some family tree! Click on the above to enlarge and you can see where we (humans) have our branch. Also, check out their website for additional interesting things . . .

And another site that has been active this year for our family is Geni.com  Part of my goal for this year is to invite others to at least see what our tree looks like and to encourage a dialog with others in the tree AND that is happening:


Again, click on the above to enlarge. You can see some of the huge tree that is available for perusing and some of the many surnames along with some stats . . . the nice thing about Geni is that any of us can invite other family members to join in . . .

And lastly a site that I find particularly helpful is GenaealogyInTime Magazine  and their most recent post is helpful -- you might check it out at  GenealogyInTime Magazine

Here is just some of what they have in their current post:

They also have listed the top 100 genealogy sites for 2013. The site is free, but donations are accepted and appreciated I'm sure . . .


This Week in Our Household

I happen to keep track of days for different things -- one of which is "number of days that we have had Dino" which is as of today 401 . . . we are expecting an email any day now "to bring him back" . . . for advanced training or evaluation. 

Another thing that I keep track of -- for Gail -- is the number of days that she has been "off" since her office has closed for the season and that number is 263 . . .and guess what -- she has about 18 hours to go before reporting "back in" for the new season . . . she does have mixed feelings:



So -- as of tomorrow morning an office near us all -- a sign meant to convey the appropriate sentiment to all participants will be posted . . .

Dinners this Week

On Friday evening, in the very cold kitchen, we fixed a great frittata which warmed us immensely. It almost looks like a pizza and we had thought about that too . . . and then too as this post is being written there is a Ninja pot filled with green chili slow cooking . . . and of course last night we did have burgers & sweet potato fries . . .


The frittata gave us dinner and then lunch the next day. The chili which is cooking will give -- mostly me -- a lot of lunches in the coming weeks . . .


And Lastly

A quick look at Dino -- today and almost exactly a year ago . . .



He is a good-looking guy . . .

And that was a bit of our week!  See you all in a few . . .