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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Census Consensus (soon) & Canada Day

For several years my family celebrated "Canada Day" with Canadians July 1. We lived in the Seattle area  and the company that I was employed with at the time closed much of their operation the first two weeks of July. This meant that at least two of eligible vacation weeks were designated -- if there were additional weeks they could be taken at other agreed upon times. So, we would pack up and head north across the border with our camping trailer fully stocked for at least two weeks.

We welcomed the change of pace and always enjoyed the times that we camped in Canada. We do not have a ton of ancestors from Canada, but do have some mostly due to marriages.  We brought along two kids, two dogs, bicycles, a canoe and as much as we could cram into our Jeep and trailer. Because we were not going to be home on the "4th" we adopted Canada Day. We attended town celebrations including political speeches (some in French) and our kids decorated their bikes and rode in the parades.

One year I remember sitting in a farm field watching fire works with everyone "oohing and aahing" just like back home. I can still envision the cattle off in the distance running the opposite direction of the fireworks display -- back and forth with each explosion. Too, I remember the panic in our Saint-Shepherd mix as the fireworks exploded. Our Rottweiller didn't seem to mind as much.

In those days, no passports were needed to cross the border -- so many times we would scoot up the road about two hours and spend the day in Canada shopping and filling up on cheap gas . . .so today being the 183rd day of the year -- almost exactly halfway -- "Happy Canada Day!" break out your favorite Canadian food stuff . . .

The Status of the Indexing for the 1940 Census

It was on April 2 that the 1940 Census was released to the public. It was a date that so many of us counted down the days to . . . now some 13 weeks later real indexing headway has been made:

Roughly 75% of the census has been indexed meaning that over 143,000 volunteers (me included) have worked on and continue to work on indexing names of every individual contained in the census. Over 105 million names have been indexed so far.

It is the largest "crowd-sourcing" effort for a census ever. Soon all of us will be able to simply type in a surname and up will pop hopefully our ancestors and relatives who were alive in 1940. Unfortunately there will be some discrepancies due to poor penmanship on the part of the census takers AND some pages being  unreadable for a variety of other reasons -- hopefully not yours or my relatives . . .

I recently pulled a list of my surname in the 1940 census and there were already several hundred listed -- not too many were ones that I recognized as two of the states that I am interested in -- Wisconsin and Illinois -- are not included as yet -- but coming soon.

The Status of Home Projects

This week we saw progress in two areas -- the arbor in the back and wall taping in the bathroom of the pool house . . . the arbor that Gail and I sit under to play Quiddler had seen better days and now is pretty much fire wood for somebody. It took most of the week but the new structure is up and ready to be stained. It is almost identical to the old arbor.

The top left three photos are of the old and the rest are of the new. It is maybe a few inches taller and the top extends out a few more inches but other than that when the vines grow back up one would never know -- we will know and feel better about being underneath . . . the painter comes this week.

A Walk (and sit) in the Park

It was alternately hot and less hot this week. One day after the worker-bees had left for the day we went to the Farmer's Market in town. We sat with Dino and enjoyed the relatively quiet day in the plaza.

There were only a handful of vendors and the band that played was low-key. A few other dogs greeted Dino with barking and jumping (Dino did not bark, nor jump). After about an hour or so we headed back home to "rest" up before playing some Quiddler and then fixing dinner . . .

The Status of the Current Puzzle

Last week Gail received a new puzzle (Liberty Puzzle) of San Francisco. It was hoped that weeks of enjoyment would follow the commencement of the joining of the first two pieces -- but that was not to be because a puzzle is a strong magnet and demands followup at every opportunity -- so without anymore ado:

We have a completed puzzle which will remain on display until the next puzzle is started (soon), I suspect. There is a backlog of one . . . each of these puzzles are really uniquely cut in wood using a laser saw and the pieces are unlike any other puzzle -- if you click on the puzzle you should be able to see the many shapes that go into this puzzle . . .

The Status of Dogs & Travel

Because it is travel season and so many of us have dogs that go with us everywhere it is helpful to know in advance where our dogs are welcome and where they are not . . . it was saddening to find that one town in particular had NO dog friendly restaurants at all. The closest being 39.5 miles away . . . needless to say we are not going to eat dinner there . . .

Bring Fido  check out the link if you are planning on traveling with your pooch or if you just want to have a little look-see . . . some photos of many of the pups you could bring . . .

The Status of the "Trunk" Items

Last week I mentioned that my brother gave be several items that he had in his possession from my Mother's side of the family -- and a lot of it (letters) unfortunately was either totally in Swedish or the photos totally un identified . . .

Here though are some examples of the contents of this trunk:

The left side shows a bible in Swedish (Bibel) apparently belonging to my maternal Great Grandmother Pella Knutsson (Horvaith ??). The remarks are dated -- it looks like September 1888. Nothing other than the inside cover has any writing on it. Included also in the bibel was a bookmark.

On the right side is a picture of an old Album. I'm guessing from the same time period -- it is filled with pictures -- not one of which is identified. The first picture in the album is shown above and it is a baby photo identifying the photo studio in Menekaunee, Wisconsin. This would be in Marinette County and would relate to my Mother's side of the family.

I'll include pictures from the album from time to time in the hope that just maybe someone has an idea of who the folks are in the photos . . .

So that is our week -- it was "burger" night last night, tonight it is "Salmon Sunday Night" . . .

And have a great 4th of July! See you all in a few!

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