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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Flying By . . . Days, Weeks

Even though it is only the beginning of Summer here with the schools out and the almost endless days of warm sunny weather we have managed to pretty much stay inside enjoying the a/c. We do get out some and when we do we enjoy the scenery as we drive along the roads.
Often we drive the back-roads to take the leisurely route and this week was no exception. I try to remember to bring the camera for any photo opportunities that may present themselves:

The above were a couple of floral spots that caught our eye -- the California poppies are ever-present along some roadways. I am not sure what the pink flowers are but they certainly were prominent. We stopped the car and took the time to shoot the pics.

The Big Day

Growing up our birthdays seemed to be much more important -- we sometimes now low-key the day as per the wishes of the holder of the honor. This week was not an exception and we enjoyed a quiet celebration for Gail on Tuesday.

The day started with our usual breakfast and tea and coffee followed by the ceremonial opening of gifts -- with the close attention of Dino of course:

Above you can see Gail attending to the task at hand with Dino so anxious to get his nose into every package -- he gets so excited. There were a few other gifts during the day and numerous telephone greetings throughout. But the goal of having a "quiet" event was achieved.

Other Dates for Next Week

As the year progresses into summer it seems like so many more birthdays and anniversaries than in the winter months. It is not something that I really paid that much attention to before:

Next week covers the end of June and the beginning of July. Since I don't always know the exact date for a birthday but know the month is June, I have lumped these dates in as well. The same holds true for anniversaries.

Checking out the above there are many closely related folks celebrating next week. Our best wishes are extended to all of them.

A View into an Event from 143 Years Ago

On the HILES side of the tree, we do not know from where across the pond that we came . . . but for Gail's side we are fortunate to know that the Bouldrons came from England.

Gail's Great Grandfather is Thomas James Bouldron, born in England in 1849 and came to America we believe in 1869. His older brother is William Bouldron, born in England in 1843 and we see that he came to America in 1871:

And it so nice that we have documentation of that trip in 1871. William and his wife Ann (Foster) and it appears his mother Mary boarded the steamer ship "City of Antwerp" and came into port in New York on July 31 of that year.

All of the above was found in along with the pictures and proof. Seeing the picture of that vessel brings up all sorts of experiences that must have happened in their journey.

I believe that there were only 10 or so cabins, the rest of the ship was devoted to common areas known as steerage, and that is where most of the listed passengers were.

As is often the case, families followed one another over and in this case William followed Thomas and made his way to Iowa to link up with the other Bouldrons. Both brothers eventually made their way to Washington State, Thomas to Kent and William to Orting.

There is something magical in seeing the names of your relatives listed on a ship manifest AND it is really special to have photos of those relatives that made their way to the U.S. just after the Cival War.

From the Photo Bin

I am still going through the many pictures that I have received from my brother mostly having to do with the family of our mother as a child visiting her relatives in Spirit Lake, Iowa and in Marinette, Wisconsin.

My mother was of course close to her father, Dayton Bumgardner as can be seen in the following photo:

I love pictures of the family and I especially love photos that include an automobile -- as in the above. The picture shows Dayton, dressed very smartly, spats, driving hat and all with my mother, Ruth giving him a hug.

I wish I knew where and when this photo was taken but it appears to be sometime around 1918. I am not sure of the car make -- but maybe a Ford. And I wonder who took the picture and what was the occasion.

I have a lot more photos to "go through" and so many of them have unidentifiable relatives in them . . .

Sports This Week

Televised sporting events helped us keep our week on course. We watched World Cup Soccer, Major League Baseball, Wimbledon Tennis, PGA Golf AND American Ninja Warrior.

Each sport holds a certain fascination and we have appreciated more and more the soccer games -- especially the ones involving the USA. And there are more to come this next week. We are watching the Brazil/Chile game as I write this and have it "on-hold" while I finish up.

We have enjoyed the San Francisco Giants games -- even though they are on a losing streak. The no-hitter by Tim Linceum over the San Diego Padres was so fun to see.

Wimbledon and Golf are unique as well, but one of the most interesting sporting events for us has been watching individuals compete on American Ninja Warrior. It is truly amazing to watch this cross section of athletes perform by conquering various stages of challenging obstacles. It is on Monday nights and we love watching that each week.

And so, that was a bit of our week -- it is Saturday night and that means -- burgers & fries tonight! See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Finally summer is here. We've been waiting for this to happen ever since it started getting hot sometime in January . . . now we have to figure out what we can do about it. How should we celebrate the Solstice, maybe we'll BBQ.

Some of the representative colors of the season. The drought here in Northern California will play a role on the colors as the days go on. We personally are watering only about one third as much as last year -- hope it helps.

Father's Day Past

It seems like a ways back but just six days ago . . . it was a relaxed day in our house. There were gifts and special meal items, telephone calls and all the trimmings:

Top left is a gift Gail worked on (needle pointing) for about two years on and off. It is a comfortable looking Chevy pickup, I am guessing around a 1954, filled with produce and beautifully done with all the bright colors. 

The musical gift (courtesy of Lisa & Bob) is Barbershop Quartet music that I really enjoy. When my kids were little and we went on vacation (or other long drives) I always played this type of music and both kids though they probably would not admit it, sang along with me and the group as we sped about the highway.

All in all, it was a great day!

Dino's New Chew

Dino is happiest when he is chewing on one of his chew-toys. The last Nylabone took him about a month to demolish and he has a few that have lingered in his basket for him to once in awhile choose.

But there is no finer moment than when he is told that he has a "new chew-toy". In the left pic he looks forlorn as he looks at one of the stragglers that has been around forever -- we dispose of the gnawed down bones once they get to a certain size.

In the middle he is admonished to be patient and if so will get to have the new about two pound peanut butter flavored Nylabone. He is and he does get the prized chew. It should take him at least a month to wear this one down to disposal size.

He will chew this on his own frequently, but his favorite chew time is when he sees that I am done with dinner and he will bring the bone over for me to hold for him. I usually wind up holding that chew-toy for about an hour before he gives into a drowsy pre-nighttime nap.

The "Dates" Coming Up . . .

This next week has tons of folks celebrating and one very special to me . . .

The "Anniversary" side of the ledger is almost as populated as the birth-dates -- it is June after all . . .

And With Those Birthdays . . .

Every few years or so -- check your wallet -- one of the cards could be expiring on your birthday. And,
sometimes some of the most stressful words can be read in a letter from the DMV: Testing Required.

In this case, thank goodness it was only "the written" part of the test -- not the dreaded driving test. But never-the-less, there was some associated stress with trying to recall the many obscure facts and rules that most of us do not think about until we have to take the test for whatever reason.

And, there is the thought of spending "half the day" in lines being guided by helpful uniformed folks and surrounded by what appears to be stressed out and crazed people.

But, surprise, surprise, with an appointment, the lengthy lines were by-passed and the exam administered politely and professionally AND in less than 30 minutes, all was done with a passing grade! Good for several more years!

How We Spent our Entertainment Hours

We were out and about this week and found ourselves in a waiting room watching what ever was on their large screen TV -- and it happened to be a "World Cup" Soccer match. We watched and enjoyed. When we went home we recorded the next several matches.

We have really enjoyed the games -- and we might just review some of the rules for further enjoyment. We are amazed that 90 minutes can go by without a goal scored, as happened in one of the matches that we saw.

We watched France win big over the Swiss which surprised us somewhat. Then I see that a nephew of mine (who happens to be in Paris at the moment) reports that the streets of Paris were inundated with celebrants.

We look forward to seeing more games and how it will all play out. We are also watching the San Francisco Giant's baseball games -- but they have not been doing well lately losing six games in a row -- and they were the leading team . . .

What is on Our Nightstand

Well, last week we were reading "Rin Tin Tin" but that got really tedious. We had high hopes for the book but that was not to be -- but we have started another book and we both find it MUCH more interesting:

Probably a lot of folks might not be as interested as the two of us are -- Thomas Bloch is the son of Henry Bloch and Henry and his brother Richard founded H&R Block. Both of us have personal experience working at H&R Block the same time as Thomas (and Henry & Richard).

But the really interesting part is that while Thomas was the CEO of H&R Block he decided to make a career change and become an inner city math teacher instead.

Gail was a math teacher in a major inner city school and a school administer for over thirty years so she can relate to the many experiences shared by Thomas Bloch. I too relate as some of the experiences of teaching that all three of us did at Block . . . we are about a third of the way through the book and it just gets better as we read on . . .

So, that was a bit of our week. It is Saturday and that means burgers tonight! See you all in a few!

Saturday, June 14, 2014


This week there were multiple days of triple digit temperatures. Then came a couple days of 10 - 15 degrees less and today somewhere in between. Needless to say the a/c has gotten a good workout . . . I can't imagine our ancestors having to deal with temperatures like that and enjoying them (not to mention those that we know around us that do not have a/c . . .).

The above are pics of some of the flowers "out front" -- we actually went out into the heat and snapped the pictures. The top row is a progressive photo showing stages of those blooms.

Actually, it is beginning to feel a little like a "meat locker" inside so we are wearing light sweaters to balance the difference . . . but we do have the upper hand we think.

Speaking of Those Hot Summer Days . . .

I realize that right now it is not even summer yet -- but this is the last "spring" weekend of 2014. I do remember growing up in the Midwest and some of the hot and humid days during summer vacation. We did not have a/c in any of the houses that we lived in while growing up -- we did though of course have a variety of heating systems.

I do remember some of the hot-weather meals that my mother prepared in those days. And some of them I try to duplicate, some I don't try to duplicate for whatever reasons. One of my all time favorite hot weather dishes:

Take the above ingredients and combine them all in a large bowl, chill, serve and enjoy . . . at the current time we have a small bowl leftover from two days of luncheons of the above. Gail has come to love this dish almost as much as I do (thanks, Mom).

I do vary the recipe slightly at times by adding some onion and some jalapeno to just my portion. Either way I love that salad. I just might go grab that little bowl from the fridge . . .

Next Week's Dates to Remember

June apparently is a popular birthday month as this next week has 39 birthdays highlighted and there is probably more that we just don't have the exact dates for . . .

And eight couples have wedding anniversaries . . .

Of The Great Great Great Great Grandparents . . .

It is interesting how fast the number of relatives increase as we go back up the tree. We each have one set of parents (though just recently more than two parents are being allowed on a birth certificate in some instances) and then we have two sets of Grandparents, four sets of Great Grandparents and so on up to the 4th Great Grandparents where we each have 64 of those . . .

Here is one set of my 4th Great Grandparents:

John Hiles (I refer to him as Sr.) and his wife Mary, I am fairly certain her maiden name is Kenady. Over the years of doing the family research little by little I find more and more information about him and Mary.

John Sr. is the farthest back I have been able to go in our line -- he was born in 1752 in Pennsylvania we think. He married Mary sometime around the 1780s and we are not sure totally how many children they had but are fairly sure of John Jr and of Christopher and probably at least two others.

We are fairly certain of the date of John's death (and of Mary's as well 3 years after). John's tombstone reads 11 August 1838. And he is buried in Ballville, Sandusky, Ohio.

In the last year or so as may be typical of folks our age -- we have been in the process of preparing a sort of inventory of "things" for our trust. It is a difficult process in many ways and is not considered an exact science.

This week, thanks to a cousin, we can take a peek at some of what was on the personal list for John Sr. So about 176 years ago John Sr.'s inventory became public information.

Here is a sampling of personal things that were listed for John:

Since he obviously was a farmer, the first several things have to do with the farm and produce from the farm. Of these first items, the Bay Mare was the most highly valued item at $45. Corn in the field was valued at $37.50 and a rifle gun & pouch is valued at $10.00.

Click on the above to decipher some of the remaining items. There are other inventory sheets listing additional items and others that list the results of a public auction of John's things. Additional pages can be found at the HILES website at

All the various pieces and trail of facts really help to put John Sr into perspective as a person that lived his life and gave our line of HILES an identity. Hopefully one day I'll determine who actually was John Sr's father and mother AND where they came from and maybe even pictures -- someone probably has some.

Speaking of (Grand) Fathers

It is that time of year and we will talk more about that in the next post:

Enjoy the day! I know I will as I just returned from driving Gail over to the framing store to retrieve what suspiciously looks to be a gift for me . . .

In the meantime, it is Saturday and that means burgers & fries tonight! (while watching the recorded Giants game)  See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, June 7, 2014


This was a week of cold mornings (a couple of times to use the heat . . .) and then fairly hot in the later part of the day (using the a/c) easing up shortly after 7 p.m. It is still technically Spring but it feels a lot like summer to us.

Outside the flowers still are providing vibrant colors and inside, Dino is relaxing in the shade in the family room in the late afternoon. The plant in the cement . . . amazing:

If you click on the above you can see the "tree" I planted in the crack in the cement. This was something that "blew" me away when I spotted it. It might be a shrub or some other weed, but it has taken hold in the crack by the pool. I water it, despite the drought,  and may have to put up a fence around it for protection . . .

Dates from the Tree People . . .

The following shows the dates for birthdays and/or anniversaries from our relatives in our tree. I recognize a lot of the surnames but have personal knowledge of just a few:

But, none-the-less we offer our best wishes to all!

World War II

Of course the celebrations this week have to do with "D-Day" and the 70th anniversary of that "longest day". We were amazed at seeing and hearing from some of the participants in that event via a variety of TV shows. At least one veteran -- in his 90s -- parachuted to the beach similar to the way he jumped  70 years ago.

We heard the reporter say that over 100 million soldiers worldwide took action in WWII and that there were 70 million casualties. The war was the deadliest ever.

Today there are approximately one million veterans of WWII living with an estimated 550 per day passing away. That would mean we have a little over a thousand days left for survivors.

Gail's dad, while not in the D-Day activities was in the Pacific part of the war for the final days up until the ending. My father told me that he tried to re-enlist during WWII but due to a service related accident and the loss of a kidney was not permitted.

I know that we have many many WWII veterans in our tree and to them I can only say thank you for their service and often sacrifice.

WDYTYA? Good News!

Who Do You Think You Are has been around for a few years. Last year TLC took over the show and this is their second year to present it:

I enjoy every episode of this show and look forward to seeing it again starting in July on TLC. You might check the listings in your area so that you can view it as well. I always learn something about the methods used to uncover genealogy not to mention interesting facts about the celebrities featured.

There are a few other genealogy related shows that will appear also during the year and I'll try to give a heads up for them as well.

So What is on Our Nightstand Currently

We just (last night) finished reading the book by Penny Marshall -- "My Mother Was Nuts" and we were pleasantly surprised. The book kept our attention all the way through and as usual we got to "know" a celebrity that we have often seen on TV.

So we are now doing a change-of-pace book:

We both love dogs and I for one have always been a fan of Rin Tin Tin, so we look forward to finding out the details of that dog. Growing up I watched all the TV episodes of Rin Tin Tin. We have not started to read the book yet, that will start tonight and we'll let you know our appraisal later.

And Finally, California Chrome

At this moment as I write, the Belmont Stakes have not been run -- but about to . . .

I am delaying publishing this post until AFTER the race. I'm not necessarily a huge horse-racing fan, but the chance for a Triple Crown winner got my interest.

In college, I lived in Arcadia, California about two blocks from Santa Anita Racetrack. For diversion during the school year and the racing season I would almost everyday take a break and run over to the track for their ninth race of the day.

The admission for that race was free and it usually included a wide variety of horses. I would usually pick the longest shot on the board and place a $2 show ticket. Many times I won, but either way I was only out the $2 if I lost and it was a fun diversion.

So, I am going to go into the other room to watch the running of the Belmont Stakes -- hopefully we will have seen a Triple Crown winner in California Chrome . . .

Well -- it was NOT to be. I have only seen a couple of Triple Crown winners and I (along with a few others) had hoped to see another. Tonalist was the unofficial winner, California Chrome finished out of the money.

That was a bit of our week! We hope you had a good week, see you all in a few!

It still is Saturday night and that means burgers tonight . . .