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Monday, December 20, 2010

Honoring the Governor

This week I'm sure that there are events planned honoring our current governor who leaves office in the next few days.
Coincidentally it was exactly 100 years ago this week that a previous governor of California was being honored as he was preparing to leave office.
James Norris Gillett was the governor AND he happens to be a cousin, a first cousin three times removed. He was born in a small town in Wisconsin -- Viroqua and made his way eventually to Eureka, California and ultimately to Sacramento.
What makes this special to me is that growing up I did not know of James Norris Gillett, it was only after pursuing this hobby of genealogy that he was "discovered" to be family.
Apparently, according to the article featured above, he was very well respected. There were letters from President Taft, Vice President Sherman and many other ranking dignitaries of the day praising him. He thought long and hard about serving a second term, but after much debate he chose to retire . . . some say after listening to his wife . . .
If you'd like to read more about Governor Gillett please visit my website where I have this article and many others about him and his family. He had two very active daughters -- Effie and Ethel -- that were frequently in the news.

This week it seems the news is mostly about the weather here -- rain and more rain, yesterday mixed with lightening, thunder and hail . . . and more slated for the rest of the week. The ski areas are loving it.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The weather this weekend has been mostly sunny and dry -- for a change. The temperature got into the 60s and it actually was pleasant. So we went shopping.We SHOPPED until the leaves dropped . . . the three liquid amber trees alongside the driveway drop a lot of leaves at this time of the year. Before we left to shop, all those leaves were "raked up" by means of the blower. When we returned from our errands the drive was covered again with those beautiful yellow, orange and some red leaves . . .

One dilemma of this time of the year is how to fit in genealogy work . . . I receive "Google" alerts every day on some surnames from our tree. This is a great service and is like the old "clipping" service that libraries subscribed to, well I usually keep a copy of some of the alerts and file them away for future follow up. So that is something I do for a quick task during days like the holidays. I go into my reserve and follow up on an individual or topic. The other day I examined an obituary of a HILES that I had no idea if he was a relative or not and as it turns out he is a 4th cousin and I was able to add several "leaves" to a "branch" that I had never even known. And by going forward as well I was able to "leaf" out my own personal "liquid amber" . . .

I hope you all are enjoying this holiday time and still finding the time for maybe even some quick genealogy attention.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

100 Years Ago Today (December 9, 1910)

Appearing in the Spirit Lake Beacon (Iowa) on this day 100 years ago is the article about the funeral of my Grand Uncle, Gilbert Wood Bumgardner, the brother of my Grandfather, Dayton. It is a story that I had never heard before discovering it in my search of family history. To read the entire article and to learn more about this person, his family and others, visit my personal web site. If you have not visited previously, you need to register for a user account. Once that is accomplished you can explore all the entries for the several thousand folks in the site. There are tons of photos, documents and articles about family members. Have fun!

The site is located at:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Great Friends

In a recent pose, Auggie, 11, and Ms. Kitty also about 11, sit for the camera at the top of our stairway . . .

It is hard to believe that Christmas is three weeks from today -- have you finished your shopping yet? We have a lot to do yet, like getting the holiday decorations up and out. And there is the selection of that "perfect" tree which we plan on doing in the next week.

The weather is suitably wintry right now in that there is rainy days forecast for the next several days. The leaves on some of our trees have dropped in earnest now. I have the Christmas channel  "Holiday Pops" playing on the "XM" Radio as I work in my office.

AND -- still no pesty  Robins pecking at our windows ever since the employment of the "snake". I might think about additional snakes for other pests.

We made a fruitless run to several box stores yesterday looking for a "hot" product to no avail as each of the four stores we visited were "sold out" . . .

So we look forward to the coming week -- one of us is teaching a class, one of us is "working the home front" and Auggie & Ms. Kitty are always right by our sides whenever they can be.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Robin Solution . . .

So far as the picture shows -- the Robin has been replaced by this rather realistic looking Cobra in a striking position. For five days now NO Robins -- so maybe we have found a reasonable solution. I found the snake on Amazon and ordered it and immediately upon delivery it took up it's guard . . . the snake so far has earned it's keep -- so to speak. Time will tell. I had not informed my wife about the "solution" and she and our luncheon guests spotted the snake on Friday after Thanksgiving.

So, a quiet week on the deck again. But the activity now intensifies with the preparations for the coming Christmas holiday -- and it always comes very fast after Thanksgiving. It seems like we hardly finish all the turkey trimmings when we begin fixing the traditional Christmas ham . . .

I have added a lot of photos on the Family Website along with a variety of folks. The tree keeps growing -- and that is a good thing. It is always fun to find articles and especially ones that have photos of folks in the tree even though newspaper photos can be dreadful . . .

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Robin Pests . . .

For the last couple of years our silence -- usually in the morning, but sometimes in the afternoon, has been broken with the sounds of tapping on our deck area windows. After staking out the culprit we found it to be two large Robins. In the photo you can see one of their favorite resting spots in between the tapping.
The birds fly up to the windows and begin pecking while they flap their wings. We have tried hanging spangle type streamers to ward them off -- to no avail -- they just fly between them and peck away. This goes on for an hour or so almost every day . . . I think we have come up with a solution (after two years).
In my next blog I'll present our current solution that appears so far to be working at least for the last few days.

It is a beautiful sunny Sunday the kind of day that is crystal clear after a rainy period . . . we mostly will enjoy it while watching football . . .

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Buffer

It is interesting the "sense" of a buffer that occurs during the two days following Thanksgiving. It is a unique feeling for both the Friday and the Saturday . . . the two day period for me usually results in a resurgence in wanting to be creative and the resumption of this blog is an example . . .

We enjoyed the mix of friends and family over this holiday and especially we enjoyed the friends who came in from San Francisco to get away for a few days before returning to work and school -- the dinner at a favorite Japanese restaurant was certainly among the highlights . . .