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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

HILES'/Kitchen/Dino Updates

So far the week has been somewhat of a whirlwind in many ways. For me, I have experimented with several new items working with genealogy -- tools that I hope will eventually lead me to make some literal and graphic sense out of the huge collection of names and data, for example, just this morning I found a new product that will be fun to illustrate parts of our tree:


If you click on the above you'll see what I mean -- a very attractive way to display the tree. I have just started to experiment so I'll share some more down the way. The program is from Progeny and is called 3D Family Tree -- Progeny has some great products and this is one of them.

Status of the Kitchen Project

I certainly began hearing "noises" again behind the enclosed doors -- and it certainly turned into progress. The worker bees starting bringing in their "fruits" of their labor and it was impressive. For some of the cabinetry it took three and four people to carefully ease them into the house:


You can see what I mean from the hauling to the placing of the cabinets -- they all look stunningly perfect. We are now getting anxious to see the completion, of course. We can tell already that there is going to be so much more room to store things in the kitchen -- which was not true when we moved in . . .

Apple Ellis Island Annie

Today, I listened to a absolutely fantastic webinar. It was presented by Legacy Webinars via their new web location:  www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. The presenter is really well prepared and knows her subjects. I have read most of her books and look forward to hearing any presentation that she makes.





For many years the identity of the very first person who came through Ellis Island was somehow given to the "wrong" Annie -- Megan Smolenyak used her expertise and resources to uncover the real Annie and followed her through her life.
In the photo above there is a picture that is of Annie as she came through Ellis Island. There is also a picture of the grassy grave (as I have seen in our own family . . .) where eventually a proper marker has been installed.
A very satisfying story and presentation! You might like to check out more of the story at www.MeganSmolenyak.com.

A Tale of Two Cities

I read that book, but this is about having a town named from your surname. Several years ago I when our family was on vacation we were so fortunate to visit the town of HILES, Wisconsin. The waitress at our coffee shop had never met someone named Hiles and called the village historian and he came out and escorted us around -- including to his home which was pretty much like a museum.

But there is a dilemma --


We are lucky (?) enough to have two towns in Wisconsin that are named HILES, one in Wood County and one in Forest County. Above you can see some of the details of each town. The one in Wood County has about 200 residents and the one in Forest County has about 1500 residents.

TownOfHilesWoodCounty   and TownOfHilesForestCounty  so click on each to get all the interesting details. Both Towns were started about the turn of the 1900s by men that I have not been able to tie to our tree -- as yet.

Status of Dino

Well, they said "no-news" was good news and for awhile that was so . . . we did hear some news. Sadly Dino can not be a breeder dog for GDB nor can he be a GDB . . . he was diagnosed with cataracts which automatically removes him from the program . . . BUT we are happy to get him back and raise him past his 17 months of age . . .


We will get Dino back in the next 10 days or so -- we are very happy about that fact, now we just have to care for him . . . we are anxious to do that.

That's a part of our week -- see you all in a few!










Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fleshing Out a Family Tree Story

Back in 2004, it seems more recent than that, Gail & I left the Golden State to do some family history sleuthing AND to visit with relatives -- we did accomplish both. Fortunately, both of us had relatives in a couple of the same states i.e. Iowa & Wisconsin.

After visiting my daughter who was at that time living in Columbia, Missouri we hightailed it to Iowa and poked around and located some of Gail's ancestors -- and we are pretty sure that we are the only ones in the family to have seen the final resting spots for some of her immigrant ancestors.

Leaving there we drove right into Wisconsin and made our way to a little town named Warrens. Specifically we drove to Warren Mills Cemetery:


This was the sign marking the cemetery and it says (above the name) established 1890 -- it looks pretty good. I of course was interested in locating the HILES that were buried here -- I wanted to be sure that I located them before seeing my Nephew, Jeremy Hiles, who lived in a not-so-far-away town of Viroqua with his wife and two children.

Warrens is a small town of about 350 people and had a nice feel to it, like I belonged there in a way. It was probably my imagination as I had had the same feeling when I visited Germany . . .





The red dot marks the location of Warrens in Monroe County. Not too far South of there was Viroqua.
I excitedly got out of the car to see if I could find HILES  among the 1000+ buried there -- and it was not long before I did.  That has not always been the case in cemeteries -- sometimes it takes for ever to find the graves that you are looking for even when you have a map.

I took a lot of pictures of the HILES graves that I found and unfortunately I did not think to look for graves of other relatives -- I have since learned how that is a big mistake.


The above shows the roadway into the cemetery and some of the pertinent details of it's location. From this perspective it looks a bit more bleak than the other view.

I came with the expectation that I would find my Great Great Grandfather Daniel Hiles, my Great Grandfather John Hiles and their families buried in Warren Mills Cemetery. Below, on the far right side of the chart are the HILES that I found there:


I found five people named HILES buried there -- of course I was excited to make this discovery, because growing up our family had made many many trips to Wisconsin -- looking for a family farm that was my Father's dream -- and never, not once did we visit this or any other cemetery where a known HILES relative was buried. So, it was a great deal like the cemetery in Iowa where we stood before the graves of Gail's Bouldron relatives knowing that probably few relatives had ever come to visit the site.

The HILES folks that I found were Daniel & Mary Jane (Humphrey) Hiles,  John Hiles (my Gr Granfather) but not his wife (Emily Adeline Gillett) but a daughter (a sister of my Grandfather Lloyd's) named Bessie G Hiles who died suddenly at age 17. And one other HILES, an Adeline Hiles who I did not know how we were related that died at about age 8 -- I later made the connection.

My point here is that the five HILES that I found were only a fraction of the probable relatives buried in the Warren Mills Cemetery. There were about 40 some additional probable relatives -- check out the list above.

My real point of the above is to tell a story that I recently realized was in our tree -- to me an amazing story.
If you look at the above list you'll notice a lot of Allens in the list -- not everyone is aware that we HILES' have a lot of Allens in the tree that we are related to:


The above is a chart generated on my website. On the far right is a picture of John S Allen. John at the age of 65 or so, married my Great Grand Aunt Sophia J Gillett. Sophia is the sister of Emily Adeline Gillett, my Great Grandmother (married to John Hiles).

The very interesting fact is that Sophia was 18 when she married John S Allen. They proceeded to have nine children -- three of whom were born after John was 80, 84 & 87. All I can say is -- Wow!


The above shows the children of John and Sophia -- five girls and four boys. I don't know John's history but he was most likely married before Sophia. Some of those children lived into the mid 1900s -- 1950s and 1960s -- so here is a man who was born in the 1700s and has children who lived well into the 1900s, I find that fascinating.



The above shows some of the known Allen Cousins -- and most of us in the tree are related to them. If you meet someone named ALLEN check out their backgrounds.

Here is an example of one of John & Sophia's kids:


Jasper was their 7th child, born when John was 80 -- he lived into the 1960s as did his wife, Lucretia.

To me that is an amazing story hidden in our tree. Most of John's children with Sophia were born when he was older than I am right now . . . Jasper is a cousin two times removed (two generations away) as you can see in the chart.

And Now -- the Status of Dino

No news is good news according to the GDB, we have not heard anything about Dino since he went in one week ago . . . I see that one of his siblings is in phase 7 -- I think there are 8 phases . . .

And Status of the Remodel

Same as before as we have not seen hide nor hair of anyone in the past week -- but we're told that they are hard at work on the cabinets and other pieces . . . so next week maybe some action that we can see and hear.

So, What is on Our Nightstand for Reading

A few posts ago I wrote about my experience with Guillian-Barre, the French Polio as some refer to it as (which I am still trying to get over) and how it related to my having had Polio as a child. Our Cousin Melissa wrote to me, surprised that I had had Polio, to tell me about a friend on their street in Downy, California that had also had Polio as a child -- AND that he had written a book about his life:


I am about half way through reading this and I am finding it very interesting. He of course had a more severe form of Polio than I did as he spent some time in an Iron Lung and later with respirators and a tracheostomy 
for breathing.

I could though share some of his experiences e.g. the curling up into a fetal position to get a "spinal tap" now called a "lumbar probe" which I recently had and was no where near as bad as in 1949. One other observation was that when I was in the hospital I thought everyone in a white gown was a doctor or nurse, that wasn't the case as all visitors had to wear them for protection, Richard had the same observation. 

I am planning on contacting Richard when I finish the book to share other stories. 

This was the dreaded sign seen on our door and the doors of many of my neighborhood friends:


Fortunately, I do not think those are in use in the U.S. anymore -- they may though be in some other parts of the world -- but not if Bill Gates has anything to do with it . . .

Lastly

This does not have anything to do with our family tree per se, but some of the naming may have been part of the popular selections:


The picture is great because how do you get nine little kids to pose and how in those days did you manage to get a clear shot. The names are still indicative of the ones that we remember having "fun" with in school when we found out somebody's real name or middle name was one of the above . . .

Tonight being "Saturday" night usually meant Sliders or Burgers, but during the remodel -- that isn't going to happen. So the two Hiles brothers here in town -- both having an auto-immune disease -- are letting Gail drive us to a favorite Japanese restaurant nearby. He's batching it as Nancy is in Portland and since neither of us can drive right now, Gail is coming straight from work to take us "shut-ins" out . . .

Have a good week -- see you all in a few!




















Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Orchid Bloom/Dino Recall/Cold Sunshine

We have a house full of "stuff" right now, none of it in it's rightful place all due to the remodeling of the kitchen. I am cordoned off to roughly a three room apartment-like group in which I wheel the roller-walker around with  ever increasing speed. Gail though has access to the living room while I can see it  from the perimeter. Because there is just all this stuff piled randomly, Gail did not notice until recently that the plant on top of the piano had sprouted a beautiful bloom:


Gail can not remember the last time this orchid bloomed -- but what a nice expression to have this purple bloom appear midst the disarray that we currently have. We have another orchid in another part of the house but no bloom there. They are mystery plants to us -- they were given to us when  there were blooms and now one again. Maybe it is a sign that soon there will be other things blooming as well -- we would like that.

The State of the Remodel

The kitchen area remains sealed off from me for sure. I have not heard anyone in there since maybe last
Thursday or so when they spray painted the entire sealed off space.  We are being reassured that off-site work is being done -- cabinets and structures to house the counter-tops etc.


Gail was kind enough  to venture in and to snap a few photos. The walls are now all painted  in a faint yellow color. Every wall is waiting for cabinets and/or appliances. All this hopefully will come together soon enough, they tell us. It can't be soon enough for us. First of all it will give me a whole new surface to shoot around on and maybe tamper with things -- Gail will be so anxious to begin the process of returning things to shelves with the promise of "weeding out" things that we obviously do not need until we do . . .

The above is the current status, so we are all on the same page.  Nothing happens just the way we expect it to and eventually this all will be just something that happened some time ago and we will be cooking on all burners.

The Status of Dino

We have had Dino in our care for 421 days -- we farmed him out to another puppy-raiser for 21 days while I was in the hospital. These last 6 days have been really nice -- Dino is so mature and calm that we enjoyed every moment with him. He adapted to the living space along with us and just fit right in -- again.

But Sunday the 17th was his "recall" day and we had to bring him to the San Rafael campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind. We promised to be there by 2 pm -- which we were.

First we said our "good-byes" at out home -- that was tough knowing that our "pup" was going on to further testing without us. He had no idea that he going to go through a period of "separation".


We each sat with him on the back deck and then hugged him "one more time". Shortly after we all got into the car and rode the hour plus to San Rafael. Dino seemed to "perk up"  as he may have recognized his place of birth and the sounds of the campus.


There were many pups recalled this week-end, but when we arrived Dino was the only one at that moment. The reception ladies were very complimentary about Dino and ushered us back to where his "new home" would be for the coming weeks, maybe months -- Cell #305.

I have to say though that it was hard to see him alone in the cell with him seemingly asking "Why?" The ladies assured us that he will get "really" good care while there. Status will come as they complete testing -- first to see about the possibility of his being a breeder -- then if that does not work out he would be neutered and moved forward to "phase training" for specific needs for the blind.

The "apartment" here is now somewhat less than it was . . .

From the Tree

Looking at the names from our tree it is a "big" month for birthdays -- 154 or so. Today, 20 February, one hundred and one years ago, my Mother was born in Chicago -- though I have not seen a birth certificate --
and I have searched the Chicago records -- I have seen the certificates of both her siblings.

And both of Gail's parents have February birthdays -- her Father, Millard (Jim) Calhoun Bouldron was  born
99 years ago on 12th of February. And 94 years ago on the 8th of February, Myrtle Rahman was born.

20th of February was a popular day in our tree. The above are two reports generated  at the site. Please visit the site to see "so much more" at Hiles & related families genealogy pages:  Hiles Genealogy Website

I have worked a great deal on the site -- though not so much in the last few weeks. There are a lot of pictures and documents relating to the various families populating the website. It is the one place that eventually will be available for future folks looking to know more about our family. Check it out!

Status of our current "cooking" 

We have been enjoying our dinners and at the same time looking forward to the time when we can get back to preparing them ourselves in a manner deemed acceptable . . . several meals have been provided by others and we are SO appreciative -- I can't tell you how nice it is for Gail to get home sometime after 7 pm almost everyday to have a meal done and maybe just needing heating.

And we of course improvise by bringing some "steamtable" items in and an occasional "frozen entree". We have not though signed up (yet) for "meals on wheels" -- but in a time of need they would be really appreciated as well.


The above is a "whole new perspective"  on the program. Several companies have capitalized on the slogan in their own way . . . the images all came from www.google.com (images).

And lastly

One of my all-time favorite cartoonists -- Jim Unger -- who created and presented "Herman" for many years and provided me and so many others with countless hours of merriment -- provides a small look at one couple's view of a "family reunion":



I'm sure I knew that couple, they do look familiar . . .

And so that is a peek at our week (half-week) -- see you all in a few!














Saturday, February 16, 2013

GUNG HAY FAT CHOW, HEALDSBURG

Here on the West Coast we are probably more in tune with the Chinese New Year than the farther East parts of the country. And if you do not already know it, it is the year of the snake . . .  so if you know someone who was born under that sign you can look up their horoscope and celebrate:


You have to admit the  displays from the parades are very colorful. When we lived in San Francisco we felt the celebration even more and heard it too . . . we do miss going to China Town especially to purchase pork buns from our favorite shop.

The Next Stage of the Remodel

Well as I roll around my "three room apartment" next to the boarded off kitchen area, I can hear various remodel noises going on, but I don't know for sure what is taking place:


Actually though this took place while I was in the hospital. The ceiling is being raised and these photos (taken by Gail -- thanks a lot) show just how the new ceiling will be shaped -- bottom right. The kitchen itself will not really be any larger, but hopefully it will seem larger. And we will have more storage some up high.

Our Make-Do Kitchen and Lounge . . .

The "hub" of our "apartment" is Gail's sitting room where she normally relaxes and needle-points. Now it is full of activity for mostly our eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have a toaster, a microwave, a counter-top oven, a griller and the Ninja -- so we can fix just about anything. One of the problems is though that our two large refrigerators are both in the garage which is a very cumbersome trip to get to . . . I can not navigate it, only Gail.

You can click on the above and see some of the not-so-orderly chaos we have for our temporary kitchen, TV lounge and reading/relaxing room. And of  course the sink for doing dishes. We often use paper plates to cut down on the difficult washing/drying.

And we have been lucky with receiving MEALS ready to eat AND usually with leftovers as well. Also Gail has been hitting the steam-table items at a local grocery -- Big John's, right next to her office -- handy!

State of Genealogy Work

I did listen to a great webinar at Legacy. This one was on Pre-1850 searching. For me it has always been a time period that I delay looking into because of the way the National Censuses are -- that is, before 1850 the census only reports the head of the family and the has columns for "tick" marks to indicate other members:



Above you can click to see some of the reports I viewed this week at FamilySearch.org. That site is such a value -- there is no cost to use everything they offer and they are offering more and more daily.

You can see how difficult it is to see the families of -- in this case HILES -- of a person listed as head of household and then figure out if that is your "HILES" or maybe not. So the webinar gave suggestions on other factors that could be used in addition to the census data to prove a particular family's whereabouts.

Also in the above are examples of some of the John Hiles' that show up in different geographic areas in the early 1800s -- and they have not been proven to be in our line, as yet . . .

Lastly, Baseball in February?

Outback of us I watched part of a baseball drill yesterday and it was like the middle of a summer day. Today as well -- it is in the 70s here -- sorry about those of you in the snow. But today there was no baseball practice, but another activity that might mean we will get more over-the-fence baseballs . . .

In the top left pic you can see that the field is being enlarged. The fences (I indicated the moved fenceline) have been moved out by around twenty feet or so -- new fencing has replaced the previous fences and they are much closer to our back fence. We are going to put in a new fence anyway but we may have to consider a bit higher . . .

The field behind is always being worked on and enhanced and we do enjoy seeing and hearing the sound of the ball hitting the bat (I would prefer hearing wood) and the cheers of the crowds.

And so that was a peek at out week. Gail is wrapping up "peak" at her office, now it will be more dribs and drabs as clients gather their income documents and show up spread out over the 50 some days left to file.

And today is Dino's last full day with us (for awhile maybe) as tomorrow he reports in "for duty" . . . more on that in my next post.

Tonight's dinner will be a surprise -- I'm already hungry! See you all "in a few".



















Wednesday, February 13, 2013

GBS -- GBD -- all in Healdsburg

As I mentioned in the last post I thought I would try to catch up with my posts by having a mid-week post, so this is my first one of those . . . I am now enjoying a routine of sorts, so much more enjoyable than the routine of the hospital. I am starting my second week home and lovin' it! AND one of the most fun things is that last night (my first night out) we went to the puppy meeting held at the Santa Rosa High School and we got Dino back:


The above is a collage of Dino some taken just a few minutes ago. Top left though is what he did the very first thing when he came "home" -- he drank almost two bowls of water, and then ate one bowl of food . . . he seems just as if he had never been away. He quietly went into his routines of chewing his nylabones and looking out the front door and laying in his bed.

Dino was with other puppy raisers for 24 days. But at the meeting last night it was something like the Budweiser Clydesdale commercial as he recognized both Gail and me. We did not stay for the whole meeting as the walk through the campus of the school was much more than I had done as yet.

At home, we enjoyed a great comfort food dish -- chicken & rice -- that Carol, our contractor's wife fixed for us -- boy was it delicious AND we have enough for tonight as well.  Dino had been fed and watered and was just relaxing as we ate and happened to watch the Westminster dog show, one of our favorite things to watch.

But his homecoming is "bittersweet" as we have to bring him to San Rafael on Sunday the 17th for his advanced training phase. He going to be evaluated as a breeder and/or a GDB . . . we'll keep up on his progress -- we feel that he'll make good on either position.

So What is the State of our Kitchen Remodel

As I may have mentioned, two days after I went into the hospital, our long planned kitchen remodel began. There was a lot of work that I "missed" out of -- good timing for me, not so much for Gail. Everything packed into our kitchen had to be placed elsewhere  including the refrigerator stuff . . .


Above was/is our way outdated kitchen. Everything in the above picture is going -- anyone need a good running refrigerator, the other appliances are all of questionable quality. Click on if you want to see more detail.

So on January 16, work began on making the space suitable for the planned changes and to accommodate the newer items:


Right away you can see the beginning of the demolition. We are so lucky to have our current contractor -- Rich Ryan -- we had most of the same workers in 1999 doing our previous kitchen remodel. The above is now completely demo'd and we are in other phases which we'll showcase in upcoming posts.


Status of Current Genealogy 

I am slowly getting back into family history work. I hope to develop a more focused effort this year. I have been all over the tree in the past few years, often getting the "low hanging" fruit. This week Family Search opened up a data base of Ohio Birth records and I searched on many of the HILES' that we are related to there:


I did not really find new folks -- but I did find evidence for many of the folks that I had identified including a lot of "Johns" (doesn't sound right) in our tree. From the birth records up might pop other proof sources once the birth dates were proven. FamilyTree.org is a great free site to search for records. I did voluntary work for the site on the 1940 census that became available this year.

From the Shoebox

I am still working on a lot of pictures I acquired from my brother Marv late last year. The below picture is one of those. It would be nice to know who everyone in the photo is -- I do not know the first two folks on the left -- the rest I certainly know:

Click on the above to get a better view - but third from the left is my Grandmother Ann(a) Hiles, 2nd wife of Lloyd Hiles Sr., then Uncle Paul Clifton and then my Aunt Muriel Hiles Clifton (my Dad's sister). The picture is dated on the back as 7 Mar 1948.

It is possible that the first two folks are related to the "Cliftons" as this might have been taken in Texas . . .

And Now Some "Important" News of the Week

Growing up, the mailman in our neighborhood walked the route, carrying a large leather pouch and came to the doors to deliver the mail and parcels -- all mailboxes were at the door of the residences and I can not recall any curbside mailboxes.

AND -- guess what -- the mailman walked that route twice a day, as we got mail delivered once in the morning and then again in the afternoon -- WOW! Same as the daily paper, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

And so it came, not as a shock, but as a time to reflect on the direction of the mail service:


The above trucks will be much less active on Saturdays starting in August or so. In our neighborhood the mail truck runs wildly through the neighborhood often pushing mail into our curbside locked box including mail for folks that no longer live at this address and often delivering our mail to other similar addresses in the neighborhood . . .

So, will we miss the Saturday delivery -- maybe we will out of habit of "looking" for the mail delivery each day and pretty much enjoying seeing just what came . . . but it will make Monday delivery just that more enjoyable.

And Even More Important News

Growing up I really enjoyed playing "board" games. I loved playing games like "Star Reporter" and "Careers", card games like "Authors" and many others. But of course the board game most often enjoyed was of course "Monopoly".

At first I wasn't allowed to play because when younger I would ruin it for the older kids because it took more skill and more strategy -- but as I aged a bit I enjoyed everything about the game. And yes we changed some of the rules to fit our style (if everyone agreed) and to sometimes allow a lengthy game to conclude.

But now . . .


A major change has been made -- the IRON -- game piece has been replaced. When you think of it, most young kids of today may not even know what the IRON was even used for -- it was probably overdue.

So the new piece is a Cat, probably a good choice -- will that cause me to order a new game -- maybe not just yet. We haven't played for awhile and with all the new "toys" at our disposal it may be a tad more in the future before we replace our current edition. Maybe we could send in our IRON token and receive a replacement CAT . . .


That is the news and other happenings of this mid-week post. I'm hoping that you all are having a good week too. I just received a phone call from one of the home visiting physical therapists who is going to visit me tomorrow morning fairly early -- I better rest up some . . .
























Saturday, February 9, 2013

Even More "B's" in the Tree in Healdsburg

When I signed off on my last post on Sunday January 13 by saying "see you all in a few" little did I know that it would be in a "few weeks". The day after the post I wound up in the hospital for the next three weeks. A lot more details on that later.

Back in March of last year, I used a title similar to the above:


This relates to the fact that -- yes there are more "B's" that have impacted my tree, but also there is a significance to the above article as well -- more on that later.

My personal history of these last few weeks: on Tuesday January 8th all was fine, we attended the puppy meeting and participated with Dino by going on the picture scavenger hunt at the Santa Rosa Mall.

The next day, after going shopping with Dino, upon returning home I exited the car and with the bag of shopping items in one arm and Dino in tow on the other I proceeded to walk toward the front door. I did
not make it at first -- I fell on the grass (thank goodness) and found myself struggling to get up. It took several attempts to get up on my feet. Finally I did and after picking up the scattered purchased items I made my way inside where I collapsed and rested for a bit.

Little did I know that I was soon to become a lot more familiar with the two gentlemen pictured below and their exhaustive study results:

Mssrs Guillian & Barre, names I never could recall ever hearing anything about. But now I will never forget hearing about them.

After falling and being very tired we visited my primary physician who sent me to ER for tests -- a CAT scan and blood work -- nothing was determined from the results -- it was suggested that we take a "wait & see"
and come back mid February for follow up.

The weekend for me turned out very demanding on staying upright on my feet -- I was wobbly at best and I was numb and tingling all over. I almost could not sleep -- and as a result I did find myself doing family history things in the middle of the night . . .

Monday, the 14th, we asked for another appointment with my primary -- from that visit I was asked which hospital did I want to go to -- I selected Sutter in Santa Rosa -- a good choice because the nurses were on strike at Memorial (though I did not know it at the time).

Things got blurry for me in the hospital, though I do remember having a delicious dinner that night. The next day though was different -- tests were ordered to determine exactly what was wrong -- 2 MRIs (that I hope to NEVER have to do again) and a lumbar probe (a spinal tap) which I was apprehensive about which turned out to be painless (not like the one I had as a kid when I had polio & meningitis).

The results of the tests came back and a very professional Neurologist gave me the diagnosis -- Guillian-Barre Syndrome sometimes referred to as "French Polio".


Clicking on the above gives a description of this syndrome. It is an auto immune disease. I wanted to share the details of my experience because this is something that has and currently still does impact anyone at any age and they still are not sure why. So it is not a disease for someone who is just older. Many of the victims are young persons.

Some more well known folks who have had Guillian-Barre are shown below -- there are thousands of us lesser known folks, some of whom I am learning about as I go through recovery -- and that is something that most GBS folks do -- RECOVER.



There are many theories about how and why folks get GBS. One is suggested that there is a relationship to getting a flu shot -- as a matter of fact folks are asked if they have had Guillian-Barre before getting a flu shot and now I will not be able to get a flu shot anymore because I would have to answer -- yes.

I am doing a lot of searching online for clues to this GBS and have even volunteered to participate in a study that is looking at any genetic connection and/or indications -- that would be valuable information.

But another thing I found while searching was also interesting:


Click on the above and you can read about a possible relationship of GBS to ill-prepared food. In my case I did have a flu shot, I might have had some ill prepared food at a restaurant we went to because around Christmas time I did have flu-like symptoms -- but that all is speculation.

I have joined an organization to help spread the word about this syndrome:


I have read many of the stories about the details of this syndrome and so many of them are just like mine. And as a matter of fact -- WHAT IS ON MY NIGHTSTAND :



As I am currently in that condition -- not yet being able to walk on my own -- I am finding this book very interesting. So many of the things that happened to the author happened to me, but the main difference is that I was diagnosed very early with GBS, many go for a long time without the diagnosis -- that is another reason that I am "spreading the word".

I have every intention of recovering and hopefully the tingling and numbness will subside and that I will walk without a walker or cane:


I will look forward to wearing the above Tee . . .


Now Enough About That

The first picture above was about "more Bee's in the trees" that I wrote about almost a year ago. It featured a comic strip "Bumgardner". Since Bumgardner is my Mother's maiden name I have a lot of Bumgardners in the tree.

I searched the web for "Jim Smith" cartoonist so I could contact him to see if maybe he wrote that comic strip about "my" Bumgarders. If you have done google searches you probably know what a search on "Jim Smith" would return.

My attention to finding Jim Smith fell by the wayside UNTIL yesterday. I received a quick note from Jim's sister who happened to read my blog of a year ago and wrote to me giving me his email address.

I was so excited -- I emailed Jim and within a few minutes he responded. Unfortunately, he did not know my Bumgardners -- I though maybe he knew my Uncle Stewart -- but apparently not, he did send me the following reason for the name:


I liked his response to the naming, after all it was many years ago that he did the strip and I still see many of our Bumgardners in it . . .

Now we emailed a few more times back and forth, he supplied me with a surprise link to where and how the "Bumgardners" came to be in America:  (more from Jim Smith)

So there you have it -- Wallace B told his grandson that an ancestor with the name "BLUMGARDNER"
got the "L" out and that is where our BUMGARDNERs started here in America . . .

Thank you Jim Smith for those wonderful enlightenments. As a mater of fact. on my office wall I have one of Jim Smiths originals and it is apropos to our current situation with Dino . . .


The second character pictured saying "We will, thanks!" does look like Dayton Bumgardner . . .

And as how it relates to Dino, well he has been staying with another family for the last couple of weeks. He did come visit me in the ICU once and then again in the regular ward and attracted a ton of attention, not to mention how glad I was to see him.

Dino is to officially report back to GDB the weekend of February 17 -- hopefully Gail and I will bring him back home here on the 15th and then we will deliver him to San Rafael for "breeding" consideration.


So, that has been my last few weeks. We did not have burgers yet as two days after I went into the hospital our kitchen was demolished in a planned remodel -- we are making do in the back "sitting" room with a counter top oven, a microwave, a toaster, a griller and the Ninja.

Complicating everything else is that poor Gail is trying to pay attention to the busiest time of the tax season which is called "peak" and it occurs the last week of January and the first two weeks of February.

We have a lot to look forward to and we do. This time I mean it when I say "I'll see you in a few" I hope.

Since I really want to have at least 52 posts again this year, I will try to add some additional posts in the coming weeks . . .