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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hot Air -- Puppies -- & Balloons

Father's Day -- what better way to celebrate than to check out the Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic going on the previous two days . . . on Saturday, the hottest day that we have had so far this year at 103 -- you can believe that we had the a/c on . . . but this morning Dino and I wanted to beat the heat and also get a glimpse of the balloons. We went out early -- around 7:30 am and drove over to Windsor and while driving were treated to several low flying balloons.

These are some of the ones that we spotted -- there also was a balloon with a hang glider racing around it (top left) that was interesting. For some reason, this is most likely the closest we'll ever get to being inside one of those -- though I am sure the view is fantastic. When I used to travel a lot I would see the balloons over Albuquerque and I see their ad for that upcoming event in October of this year. There were always a huge number of balloons at that event.

Saturday, when Gail and I went looking for some sign of the balloons they had already flown and were down (11am) so we were successful earlier Sunday morning . . .

Down to Earth

Actually around the yard this weekend we continue to have new blooms popping out -- and some earlier ones leaving (early roses). It would be nice to know the names of everything.

The purple Irises are still great but you have to be fast to see them at times as they close up. New this week were the yellow versions and the flowers just in the bud stage.  Lavender looks and smells great  as does the oleander. Dino is all eyes and "ears" as I snapped the photos . . .

Just in Time for One Father, One Grandfather . . .

Gail was getting sentimental a bit as we all do from time to time (actually it was when we decided to move her "Hope Chest" to the garage temporarily) but she came across a couple of -- actually many things -- from her growing up days. One fits the category of this weekend:

The "boy" on the running board is her father, Jimmy Bouldron and the driver is Walt, her Grandfather. The picture was taken in 1923. I don't know the make and model of the auto but it looks pretty cool.

And since I have a large collection of business cards it was nice that Gail found one of Walt's cards. He was a Kent, Washington builder and contractor and built many homes and structures in that town including the still standing "Bouldron Building" in downtown Old Kent. I love the telephone number . . . so simple compared to today.

Dino's Week

There were a lot of activities for Dino this week, but on Tuesday evening we attended his GDB training session. This week had to do with "going to the mat" which is an important action in the life of a guide dog. Dino did fairly well but was probably more interested in making social connections AND checking out the three new pups that joined the group this week for their first training.

The three pups are across the top -- Fuji, Louisa and Hava -- two yellows and a black. All just as attractive as ever -- Dino seems so "grownup" compared to them even though he is only 8 1/2 months old himself.
He is shown going through the "mat" exercise and he keeps checking out other things . . .

The Search Continues

For a long time I have tried to locate my Mother's birth records -- to no avail. She was -- we know it -- born in Chicago on February 20, 1912. I have found her siblings birth information but not her's. This past week someone recommended that I might try looking in the actual record pages themselves. I had always looked in indexes. So I went to and started wading through hundreds of pages of births in the city of Chicago for the year 1912.

There are "thousands" of hand written pages to decipher -- and if my Mother's record was on the bottom of a page -- it might explain why her name never found it's way to an index -- so many bottom pages were torn and taped and mostly unreadable. Check out the above for examples -- and examples of almost impossible writing to figure out.

But -- after spending countless hours of eye-straining searching, I did NOT find her listed on the pages where she should have shown up.  So my search continues. It would be nice if one of my siblings could produce the record . . .

1940 Census 

Of course the indexing of this important census continues -- I indexed a few additional pages this week as well. The work is well over fifty percent completed and it will really be appreciated to be able to search the final index for all the folks in our tree . . .

At site I happened on the following miscellaneous bits of information about living conditions in the '40s. And I included a couple of "ads" from that time frame as well.

 The glider ad struck me when I saw it because we were recently looking for gliders "like the kind my Grandparents had" on the front porch in Chicago . . . that's an amazing price -- $12.50 for a glider that today is a bit more. We haven't found the "right" one as yet, we are still looking.

Big News 

Several weeks ago I returned a DNA kit to Ancestry DNA for them to test my DNA for their new testing capabilities. And this week my results came back -- I was surprised and actually happy with the results so far -- I say so far because the results can change over time as the field of folks that are tested expands . . .

I have had my Y-DNA and Mitochondrial testing done several years ago. This new test that Ancestry is providing is far superior in the number of "markers" that are tested 700,000 versus under 100 for the previous tests -- so the results should be different. In the previous tests -- I never saw Scandinavian as the foremost likely ancestry -- even though I know that that is probable.

I have received several new "connections" that I'll have to follow up on -- 4th-6th cousins and beyond. It would really help if more HILES related folks would get tested. Comparisons could be made and probably more positive results shown.

You might check out Ancestry at Ancestry DNA to see more details of the program. It is really easy to do and fairly reasonable. This testing is in it's infancy and can be so helpful in determining family history. If you have watched any of the "Finding Your Roots" shows you've seen how they use it.

Lastly,  Found While Searching . . .

I check out a lot of different sites for a variety of things relating to our family's tree. This week while searching through old newspapers I found the following reference:

I know about the Hiles, Wisconsin -- actually two of them, I know about the Hiles,  in one of the Dakotas, and a few other references -- but I had not heard of the Hiles, California that is referred to in the above. If any one knows more and can substantiate this it would be appreciated . . .

And so went our week -- the aroma of slow cooking pulled pork has reached my desk and office.In about an hour we will enjoy pulled pork, twice baked potatoes and watermelon salad -- whew, now that's a Father's Day treat . . .

See you all in a few!

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