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Saturday, September 26, 2015

It's Fall (ing) . . . the Sky

I have never been so interested in the activities of the moon until these recent years. I used to just acknowledge the existence and go about business as usual. The moon interest I guess started for me when I was in the tax business -- it seemed there was a change in the nature of business conducted at the time of a moon's fullness.

In the collage above the left picture is the "Man-in-the-Moon" a puzzle that we just finished this past week. The middle picture was taken on 23 Sep and shows the mottled ness of it all. And according to reports there will be a Supermoon this weekend -- all I can say is Wow!

This Week's Happenings

On TV this week more than half of the segments
featured the news surrounding the events to the right.

The wildfires in California are somewhat under control -- at least we don't smell smoke as much in the last few days.

And Pope Francis took up most of the rest of the news. It is amazing to us that someone his age (a bit older than us) can have so much energy and stamina to appear so confident and relaxed in what appears to be a very heavy schedule of events and appearances.

We are wiped out after a visit to the big-box store or as the case was this week for me, a visit to the DMV . . .

Webinars this Week

I was lucky enough this week to have two webinars to watch -- one on Wednesday and one on Friday.

The first one (on my birthday) was about researching ancestors in England & Wales.

It was excellent and since we do have some branches that we have identified as coming from England -- I am not sure about Wales -- the links, hints and examples will help in digging deeper into the tree.

The second webinar was also excellent and while we do not know of any of our ancestors fitting the category the process of using maps to aid in researching was really fascinating and useful.

One of the stimulants for me to start researching our roots was as the result of "Roots" by Alex Haley and reasoning that if he could find so much about his family then I ought to be able to find out about our family.

I have not yet found out some of what I'd like to find out -- e.g. where did the HILES originate and when did they actually first arrive in the U.S., but I'm still working on this work-in-progress.

The Beat Goes On

Well at least so far so good -- both Dino and I had birthdays this week. And probably the most nerve-racking aspect of this birthday was that in California, when your driver's license expires when you are passed 70 years of age, you have to come into the DMV office and be tested . . .

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at the DMV. I made an appointment for 2:30 on the day before my license would expire and I arrived at 1:59 pm. By 2:20 I was completely finished having taken the test, picture taken, eye exam and paperwork -- we were back on the road before even my appointment time -- the wonders never cease.

Above you can see some of the things that Dino and I celebrated over except that Dino did not seem to "get" the significance of the day that he turned four . . . but he loved his new chew toy and he keeps it near him during the day and does not fail to bring it over to me to hold for him several times per day. We are expecting the nylabone to last until Christmas when he'll get a replacement . . .

I received some great new reading and listening material (thanks Lisa & Bob) and also a new wooden puzzle and an exciting new product -- Amazon Echo (thanks Gail). If you haven't seen or heard of the Echo, it is a personal assistant that we both will use to provide us with entertainment and information as we ask for it . . .

The Searching This Week

I was able to do some research this week and an example of one result is off to the right.

The "Lemon" family again. Remember that Hannah Hiles (my 4th Gr Aunt) married David Lemon in 1812.

Her Grandson, Richard Lemon, is detailed with several bits of information off to the right. Richard is a 2nd Cousin (3x removed).

The LEMON family is given many different spellings and a lot of records show LEMMON and some show LEMONS or LEMMONS . . .

Richard survived his enlistment into the Union Army during the civil war and married and raised a family. I hope to uncover more about his situation and family members in the coming weeks.

From the Photo Shoebox

I found this photo among those that came from my mother's collection. On the back is written the name: Harald E Buhler,
Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Harald is the one on the right in the "golfing" outfit. How my mother knew him (or the other gentleman) I have no idea.

If anyone knows the answer -- please shoot me an email. The outfit is sure snazzy and might just fit into today's attire on the course . . .

I'd bet there are relatives of Harald that would love to have a copy of this photo.

I am happy to share any and all of the photos that I have -- just ask.

And Lastly, On Our Nightstand

We are fortunate that this week we finished reading and enjoying "To Kill a Mockingbird". We have adjusted the reading list.

We now have started to read "The Keillor Reader" of course written by Garrison Keillor -- one of my favorites.

Garrison is forty some days older than I am -- so I relate often to what he refers to in his writing.

AND, we both grew up in the Midwest and that adds another area of like experiences.  Plus he has some religious upbringing experiences that are not unlike what I can relate to . . . and there is the Norwegian factor as well.

In the book we have just finished reading the introduction, and that alone is worthy of great interest -- I learned many aspects of Garrison's life that I was not aware of previously.

So, that is a bit of our week. This is Saturday and it will be "dogs & burgers" later.

See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

It's All Debatable . . .

This week we went from smelling smoke to the fresh smell of a post rain spell back to a warm spell and everything in between.

This is actually the way the sky appeared on Tuesday evening this week just before the rains started. The "sliver" of the moon shown brightly for a bit and then disappeared. I was able to catch this image moments before the moon was swallowed by the streaking clouds.

Tuesday night is usually the night spent watering around the yard (as permitted), but this night I only spent time topping off the pool.

On Wednesday around midday, there were several cloudbursts -- so welcoming. The rain lasted throughout the afternoon.

Thursday was a bit overcast and the air was sooo clear, Friday we were back to fairly warm again. We actually used the heater a bit on Wednesday morning, just to take the "chill" off . . .

The Search Effort This Week

Each week I actually believe that I'll be doing all the
searching that I planned to do . . .

This week, as the graph points out, I did not quite get
to where I wanted to be.

I had great intentions and plans, but for whatever reasons
I did not "get there".

I'll try to make up for it in the coming weeks, but it isn't
like I'm going to be evaluated on my goals & objectives
versus accomplishments as in my old career days -- thank

I do however still have the "funny feeling" that I should have done more -- maybe I'll take a nap and that feeling
will go away.

It's not like I didn't do some searching:

To the left is a screenshot of some of what I added recently to the Hiles Website.

I try to add new folks and/or documents relating to individuals in our tree -- no matter how distantly related.

As I have said before, I love adding photos of people that I find in a variety of places.

I will keep searching the old newspaper files for anything related to our family.

So Where Did We Spend Our Time

TV for one thing. This was a big week for "events" on TV.

It was the finale for several of our favorite shows:

American Ninja Warrior ended this week -- and it was a beautiful ending after many seasons of not having a "winner".  This season for the first time,
there were actually two persons who completed the final obstacles with one finishing a few seconds faster than the other hence that person received $1 Million.

AGT -- America's Got Talent wrapped up their season with a ventriloquist winning the prize, also worth $1 Million. There were several people that were worthy of the winning prize, but "only one
can win" and it comes from the votes from viewers.

Master Chef -- another of our favorites finished this week. The winner got $1/4 Million, plus a cookbook deal.  We enjoy and learn from watching this show.

It was the premiere of another of our favorite shows this week -- Dancing With the Stars. Sometimes it seems as though they have dipped into the lower rungs of stardom to get the "stars",  but frequently I have altered my opinion of these folks after watching them "dance" or try to dance.

And Lastly -- The Republican Debate, the second one. This was a three-hour event that at first Gail did not think that she could endure -- but was surprised to find that it did keep her attention. The "prize" for this reality show is yet to be announced.

And then there was the "sporting events" of the week:

How can researching be done when there are shows like those to the left on.

It used to be that there would be an NFL game on Sunday that we'd be interested in watching.

Now besides that, there is a Sunday Night Football game, a Monday Night Football game AND a Thursday Night football game.

We record them all, may not watch them all, but this week we did watch them all . . .

Besides the NFL games we also watched a few MLB games -- the SF Giants versus others. So that is why or partly why I did not finish my researching goals this week . . .

Speaking of Football Photos

From the photo shoebox:

I do not know who these young boys are. I believe that they might be relatives as they were among the photos belonging to my mother.

It also appears that the photo was taken in the back yard of my Grandparents home in Chicago, 2521 N. Bernard Street, though I don't know for sure.

If anyone has an idea of who these guys are -- shoot me an email.

The football sure looks bloated and a slightly different shape as the current footballs in use today. It does not look to be "deflated". . .

And Lastly, What is on Your Our Nightstand?

We are almost through our current book -- "To Kill a Mockingbird" and we have added our next reads.

We thought we'd continue with "The Grapes of Wrath" and a secondary book that I will probably read on my own, "Reinventing American Health Care".

And so goes our week. It is Saturday and eats for the rest of the day probably will be "dogs" and "burgers".  See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Weather As We Like It . . .

Now that is . . . all week it has been in the triple digits and our a/c has been working way past overtime. We debated about leaving it on 24 hours but opted out and thinking back maybe a couple of those nights would have been more comfortable with it on.

Yesterday, the weather people reported that the winds in our area would change direction and that would bring cooler temperatures -- they were right. But, in the evening the wind changes also brought a heavy smell of smoke -- so much so that I checked around the house for possible flames.

I actually thought we should be hearing sirens with that much smoke smell, and actually after about 10 -- 15 minutes we did hear sirens. Bur this morning it is very pleasantly cooler than other days this week.

Oh, well, we will look forward to the coming "fall" weather. The days are definitely getting shorter as when I go out in the evening (Tuesday & Friday) it has been progressively getting darker and last night it was all the way dark so I had to add some light to see as I was watering.

Speaking of dark -- or even light -- how did the custom of leaving one's porch light on when they leave for the day or a week or for however long begin. To me driving around the town and seeing a light on during the day sends a message . . .

The Searching This Week

In response to the nudging by a couple of cousins (you know who you are . . .) I did look into some of our more distant cousins and I thank you for that.

Hannah Hiles, on the right, is a 4th Great Aunt to me as she is the daughter of John & Mary Hiles and the sister to John Hiles Jr and Christopher Hiles.

I know very little about her and her family, but after re-looking at her branch I found myself delving into census records and old newspapers and other records like those.

To the left is a collage relating to Hannah & David Lemon's firstborn, Jacob A Lemon, who is a 4th cousin 4 times removed of mine, ours.

The plaque sums up his story -- he enlisted into the Union Army in October of 1862 and in November

of 1863,  he was shot and killed. The newspaper article that I found lists Jacob earlier in the year, July of 1863,  as having been slightly wounded at that time as well.

Such is war is so true and so sad to think that many of our relatives experienced what is described in the plaque and the newspaper.  I have a lot of searching to do about this family.

The second cousin-nudge came with respect to the John Hiles III family shown to the right.

John Hiles III married Margaret Ann Householder and so far I have found that they had ten children.

John Hiles III is a 3rd Great Uncle of mine, ours and sadly he too died as a result of the Civil War.

I have been lucky to find pictures of two of their children, one of Christina and one of Elizabeth. I look forward to finding pictures of the others.

So again, I have to thank my two cousins for pointing directions that I can take to delve deeper into the aspects of early family.

As I can take the time I hope to uncover more details of the above two families. One thing that may be of help is the newly released  "Wills & Probates" records in  This release is talked about as being as important as when the Censuses went online . . . that is great!

From the Photo Shoebox . . .

On the left is a picture of my mother, Ruth, taken apparently in 1914 (per the license plate).

She would be two years old and is perched happily on the back of a motorcycle pictured with -- I DO NOT KNOW WHOM . . .

Since the license plate is from Illinois, my guess is that the picture was taken probably in Chicago.

My mother never encouraged me to ride on a motorcycle so maybe she had some memories of her experience -- I never knew that she was a "motorcycle mama".

If anyone can shed some light on this picture that would be great.

The young man in the picture is also a cigar smoker, so there is another clue.

What Else Took Our Time this Week

Through the magic of the DVR, we record all the episodes of several shows, including the three network late night TV shows.

Through the week we pick and choose which of these shows to watch partly based on the guests that are appearing.

This week we watched the debut 4 episodes of Colbert just because of the fact that the show was brand new. Our assessment to come later . . .

In the case of the "late-night TV" we do not watch them during the late night, we watch them sometimes early morning and other times when we feel like it.

And of course:

The NFL (and MLB too), the first week of regular games
can be seen to the right.

The Patriots/Steelers game started the season and that was fun to watch.

There are numerous games on Sunday that we will pick and choose from and we may watch a couple or may not as the mood strikes.

But Monday night we hope to watch the Niners opening game with the Vikings.

Superbowl 50 this year will be held in the Niners Levi Stadium and it would be nice for the Niners to be present for that event . . . it could happen . . .

So that is a bit of our week, it is hotdogs for lunch
burgers for dinner.

See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Crush? Not Yet . . .

A stroll through our vineyard and you can tell that it would be premature to be thinking crush. Actually we can not stroll through our vineyard, only by it or near it or around it. Here's Dino standing watch "by it":

Throughout our town and county, there are crush events taking place. Earlier this spring we decided to participate in the fruit of choice in our area by planting grapes -- which we have done. We have carefully tended our crops and we have checked on the progress.

If you enlarge the above, in the second photos from the left you'll be able to spot the produce, it is identified near the ^^ symbols. You'll also notice that it will be probably a late October crush and that is "okay".

The warm sun has given rise to a nice appearing crop and we can only hope the same will be done for the taste even though we have followed the drought watering rules. Time will tell.

What Else is New?

Since we finished our previous puzzle project early last week we recognized that we needed a replacement.

We ordered a new puzzle project -- "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat. That painting was always a Gail favorite since her art days at The University of Puget Sound.

So now we are beginning work on the intriguing shapes of the wooden pieces albeit larger-than-normal-sized pieces.

It is hard to explain the sense of satisfaction when a particular odd shape is joined to the others.

Another appealing aspect to these wooden puzzles is the fragrance when first opening the package. That fragrance does linger and probably has something to do with "wanting to get another puzzle" when the time comes.

Webinar This Week

On Wednesday, I did participate in the weekly Webinar shown to the left.

Okay, so I only have two a few "Eastern European" ancestors but the process and the tips were well worth the time spent in the Webinar.

Lisa Alzo always provides a professionally done presentation and always provides tips and secrets that can be applied to searching anywhere.

Lisa has done many webinars and I believe that I have viewed and learned from all of them. Her current webinar is still free-to-view at Legacy Family Webinars website for the next few days.

Pictured also above is the announcement of the 2016 Legacy Genealogy Cruise to Alaska. They have had many cruises in the last several years, the negative is that during that cruise period there are no live webinars during the time they are on board the ship -- maybe they could broadcast some of the classes . . .

The Search This Week

I actually did do some searching this week and some adding to the trees. But as you'll see it is for some really far afield relatives but none-the-less interesting, to me at least.

The above families and folks all are related to us but as you can see in ways that are often hard to explain e.g. Flossie Opal Parks  is the 1st great grand niece of wife of 3rd great uncle of mine . . .

But since discovering them AND the fact that they had great photos available for them I was anxious to put them into the tree.

And who knows, maybe their connection will lead me to some more relevant ancestors. I can only hope.

Of the families shown above, Householder gained entry into our tree when Margaret Ann Householder married the son of John Hiles Jr also a John that I have designated as John III.

The sister of Margaret Ann Householder, Christina Householder, then married a Griggs, George Griggs and one of their children, Caroline Griggs married a Walter Parks and so on for the folks shown above . . .

It would be nice to communicate with any of the down stream relatives of these folks.

Lastly This Week

Thursday of this week was challenging for us in terms of watching sporting events on TV. We have already pointed out the huge savings of TV viewing of these events versus actually physically attending . . .

On Thursday evening (September 3rd) were the
following three events all roughly at the same time.

We wanted to view at least some of each game.

Through the magic of the DVR we were able to view almost all of each game and not spend the 9 or 10 hours that would normally be required.

As you can see, it did not bode well for the SF Giants as they lost bigtime to the Rockies.  And even though the Niners came out on top of the Chargers it was a weird pre-season game.

The Raiders result was one that we have come to expect and to some degree, enjoy. The Seahawks are always fun to see winning, except when they play the Niners.

It is Saturday, the first of the three-day weekend. Have a fun Labor Day!

Tonight is burger night -- see you all "in a few"!