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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wine Moon & Pelican over Healdsburg

This morning at 7:10 A.M. the full moon that started out on the East side of the house the night prior was making it's way through the Western horizon . . . because almost every other morning this week has been hazy and foggy this was striking:

It probably could be called a "harvest" moon but since we live in the wine country "Wine Moon" is more appropriate. The weather all week has been chilly in the morning and this morning it was already giving signs that we might reach some of the forecasted temperatures they have been calling for i.e. triple digits.

We'll see if we really need the a/c today or not. Shortly after the moon went down a very bright and intense sun came up indicating it would be likely that while watching football today we would only be cool if we had the a/c on . . .

Dino's Big Day

Our yellow lab that we picked up on December 4, 2011 at 10 weeks old weighing in at just under 20 pounds turned 1 year old on Monday September 24th weighing in at just over 80 pounds. We have had Dino 303 days (today Sunday) and the time unfortunately ticks closer to the day they make a decision on what is next for Dino. We are told that due to a Parvo virus last year they may just need to call pups -- like Dino -- in sooner than the 16 - 18 months that is customary. OR he could be considered to be a "breeder"  . . . which would be nice too.

In the meantime we celebrated his birthday, one by giving him a new "Nylabone" -- a larger and heavier one than usual. In the top photos you can see him waiting patiently while Gail sets the new toy down and then he "goes to work" on it right away. It is amazing how he seems to always pay attention to the new toy as if "saying thanks".

But also for his birthday, secondly he received a personal emery board treatment on his nails from Gail. He almost goes into a trance (not unlike the trance he goes into as he gets his hair blown dry in the mornings) as his nails are "done". I kinda know what he means . . . on the very bottom middle pic he is so content he is sitting close-eyed waiting to continue . . . such is life for a one-year old.

Rent - A - Refs & MNF

While all the hoopla for Dino goes on, Gail and I are also watching MNF -- this week an exciting game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks. Often I am rooting for the Packers, but this night due to attending many Seahawks games in (the old Kingdome) Seattle I am rooting for them. But what turns out is not the way I wanted the Seahawks to win.

On the very last play of the game a hail-Mary pass is thrown into the end zone and the impact changes a
lot of the negotiating between the locked out refs and the NFL:

 In the above collage there are several pictures (taken while watching the game on TV) and then one of the "bad boys" of the Packers leaving the field after the results of the game are announced  -- not a pretty sight. 

During the week, every morning news cast on NBC led with this story about the missed call and how the replacement refs were negatively impacting the game -- we agree -- Green Bay really was slighted on that final call. It should have been a win for them. As much as we were rooting for the "Hawks" I bet that they would agree as well. 

The discussion even got so intense it was brought up that the Presidential election might even be impacted in as much as Wisconsin is a "swing state" and irate Packer fans might not show up at the polls.

By Thursday morning the labor dispute was about to be settled AND in time for Thursday Night Football. That game -- we watched -- was great in that "everything" seemed to be back in place. The crowds were glad to have the regular refs back to boo -- and rightly so. All is well at the moment.

So What Else Did We Do This Week . . .

Again, we found it to be apple-pickin' time. We have two apple trees in our yard and a partial one from the neighbors. Most of the season we have randomly picked some apples and either dried them or made apple sauce with them AND  we have scraped up many that have gone splat on the ground and have been very unsightly. 

So, it was get the picker that we bought last year and paper bags along with rakes and brooms and take care of our harvest.

 Dino was not of any help and was not that interested in what we were doing. In the above photos after clicking on it you can see some apples still remaining on the tree AND even a picker (in the brush) working to get every apple.

We managed to get several bags of apples which on Monday will find their way to the "food pantry" in town. There were a lot of really nice-looking apples, we still are not sure of the variety. 

Family History This Week

While I have done some this week and I did attend another Legacy Family Tree Webinar on Friday. The Webinar was the third in a series to help in using the software (that I just purchased) Heritage Collector.

I am hoping that I can get "into" the habit of using the program as I do think it will be an aid to organizing photos and other documents that I have accumulated over the twenty to thirty years that I have been doing this hobby. 

One of the many photos that I need to organize is the above. It shows my family (minus my older brother who is taking this picture) in August of 1954. We are about to travel to Florida. Pictured are my Father & Mother, Marilee, Jon & Me (Dan). We are in front of the apartment we lived in (in La Grange)for a year before we moved to a new house in Hinsdale, Illinois. I was just starting the seventh grade . . .

And Finally . . .

A few years ago, I almost hate to admit it, Gail and I were guilty of the very same activity as depicted in the following comic that appropriately appeared in today's paper:

I mean, it was the humane thing to do . . . we should have probably done this with our tomato crop this year -- we have learned our lesson about the Z-Squash though. Next year we will be more diligent about our crops.

So that was our week -- last night we had our traditional burgers -- tonight it is roast chicken.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's Fall -- Shuttle/Trains -- GDB Training

I can really tell that it is fall -- which began a day ago. The nights and the mornings are much cooler than they have been, but the midday is still often warm enough to warrant the a/c . . . so we have toggled that back and forth. The skies though have been much more interesting lately as well:
The above shows a late evening sky towards the west -- I just missed the sun as it disappeared quickly. The pelican in the middle picture is looking good . . .

GDB -- Training 

Dino's week really began with our weekly training session -- this week we had a session in the Rohnert Park 4H Center and it was a chance to say farewell to our Regional Trainer, Celeste, who had been
in this current territory for some 16 years. The territory has grown so much that GDB has to realign the

Above are some pictures relating to this training -- Dino is in the top photos with another handler, and
doing well. The other photos are mostly of the "new pup" that joined this week -- "Texas" who also is doing well AND she gave her initial bark upon joining the group, all the new puppies seem to do that, bark once and then that's it . . .

Last Call for -- Tomatoes

The garden has produced tons of tomatoes this year and we think we have come to the end -- though we do see some stragglers out there:

This is the last batch -- we think -- of tomatoes about to be turned into sauce this year for us. We had pasta that night and it was "really good" and we even had some the next night as well. We also have a lot
frozen for those cold dark winter nights a coming.

Nothing Says "Fall" like the Home Show (and Train Show)

Every year we try to visit the Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa and visit the shows -- we enjoy the Home Show a lot and this year the Train Show was an added feature. The train show definitely is mostly attended by the fairly old and the fairly young -- it is not big with the in between crowd. This year though there were some great exhibits.

Mostly in the above you can see that it was "all about trains" more than homes this year. We were looking forward to getting more ideas for home improvement but maybe next time . . . as for the trains it was fun to see them, and I even talked to the vendor to whom I gave my "N" Gauge layout to last year.

If there are any trains in my future that would be surprising but it would be the Z gauge or the even smaller gauge (that fit in a briefcase) for me. Dino enjoyed peering at the moving targets though.

Trains, Planes and . . .

Speaking of an era -- Endeavo(u)r was seen this week in it's final air times. It was exciting to see the final photos of Endevour flying by the scenes in California on it's was to being put on exhibit in Los Angeles:

I looked up the spelling and it is officially the English way of spelling the word. But most of the captions I saw used the American way. By however you spell it -- it was spectacular and I would not mine visiting the exhibit at some time in the future.

Trains, Planes & Webinars

I did find time this week to work on genealogy AND to attend two very worthwhile webinars. Both were sponsored by Legacy Family Tree and were hosted by folks expert in their field and most capable of keeping my attention for the roughly three hours that I attended.

The first one was on "Using Your Digital Camera to Copy Records" -- I thought that I knew a lot about using my digital camera -- but I really learned a lot and will be putting to use some of that information as I go about my research. 

The second webinar was put on by the folks that make the "Heritage Collector" software that I recently purchased. I plan to utilize this software to achieve a variety of ways to not only present our family information but to safeguard the voluminous documents and photos . . . 

And Lastly

I was not going to mention this part at all -- but I changed my mind after receiving so many well wishes and chances to reminisce . . . 


On the top is a "playlist" created for this event by my brother and his wife (she did the calligraphy, too) and I have not played the CD yet, but will soon. But the cover had a picture of me on it when I was 7 years old (taken October 2, 1949) in the back yard of what we called "the little house". I had not seen this picture for probably that many years until recently receiving it from Marv.

The odd thing too was that I received two birthday cards that were retro in appearance and sentiment. I am very happy and thankful for these 70 years. The other photo is me at one year . . .

Thank you all!

That was our week, we had burgers last night -- Salmon tonight . . . see you in a few!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dogs/Puppies -- Healdsburg/Sebastopol

Thinking back over the many houses where I have lived -- trees have played a large role in my experiences at most of them. From the first house (the Little House) I remember that the trees in the yard and most of the neighborhood were in the growing stage as the neighborhood was one of those newly created WWII era places . . . and so it is currently -- trees around our current house and certainly around our previous home play a major role:

Recalling the post from last week, I had written about a soon to be place for a new tree and that has happened, plus an additional tree in a spot we deemed necessary. The two new trees are Dogwoods and you can see both in their newly planted spaces. One of the new trees even came with an existing bird nest as seen in the top left and in the top right picture. They also were in bloom -- we are told that Dogwoods bloom twice per year, we lucked out on the timing . . .

Going back to homes while growing up -- after "the little house" and it's new growth trees we moved to "the big house". This house had established trees and one of them was a huge oak that had five large trunks and the five were chained to one another for security -- but it made my Mother nervous and may have been a contributing factor in moving from there.

Two houses later we were on a lot with oaks and the empty lot next to us also had a large quantity of mature oak trees. Being that we lived in the part of the country where once in a while tornadoes popped in, the slightest wind created tornado sounding winds which did not sit well with certain members of the family -- it never bothered me -- I loved the trees and the wind rushing through them.

So -- Down With the Alder

Before we could plant the new trees we had to have the Alder taken down. While it was not as big as the oaks we had at our last house it was still large enough that to take it down safely required skill and expertise -- and we got that:

It is amazing but in a little less than two hours the tree and all it's remnants (except the stump) were gone and chipped up. The street, the sidewalks, the pool and the yard exhibited no traces of ever having the tree in existence -- we are left with only pictures and a ground level stump that is being left to hopefully work it's way back into the ground.

The father/son team that took the tree and it's parts down and away were excellent and it was very interesting to watch the methods they used. Not a single hydrangea plant was disturbed and the "dust" was good fertilizer for them and the other plants nearby. Starting with one trunk they worked one branch at a time and then worked down the trunks and ultimately were flush with the ground.

In the above collage you can see the process concluding with the chipper . . .

Then -- In & Up With the Dogwoods

Our timing worked out well -- the day after the Alder was taken down, the new Dogwoods arrived and were planted. We had debated over what trees to put in and we knew we liked the one Dogwood next to the back deck and so it was decided (with the help and advice of the gardener) that Dogwoods were a very good choice -- they are slow growing and while they do drop their leaves they do not have other things like pine-needles or cones to drop . . .

The two Dogwoods arrived about 9 am and by noon they were hopefully spreading their roots . . . as the two grow hopefully they will provide shade and some privacy. It will be interesting to watch.

Thinking about the importance of trees to a home's appearance, we had looked at a house in town a few years back and were partially drawn to it because of the beautiful trees in the front yard. For whatever reason we did not pursue the home and subsequently the two large trees in the front yard were taken down -- and nothing replaced them . . . the house now is unattractive to us whenever we drive by it.

A Pleasant Cousin Visit

A couple of Gail's cousins came by for a quick visit after spending the earlier part of the day wine-tasting. The visit was very nice and especially for Gail to recall the time that they had spent together growing up. For me it was also a chance to talk with others who actually like doing family history and we have promised each other to share family finds and to "keep at it":

So we are glad that Greg, Linda, Rick & Denise spent a couple of hours relaxing in our back yard -- and Dino loved the attention as well. We have an invite from Rick & Denise to visit them the next time that we are in Washington AND as always we look forward to getting together again with Greg and Linda -- a little closer geographically -- in Petaluma . . .

A Day to Remember

This week also was the anniversary of a day that all of us will not forget. I am sure we each remember what we were doing that fateful day when we first heard about the tragedy -- a lot of us on the West Coast were just getting up or were awakened with phone calls.

Our town, several thousand miles away from NYC none-the-less was impacted as so many were that day. Gail and I were teaching tax classes at the time and one of our students was at a business meeting in NYC at that time -- he made it back just fine but struggled with air travel and things. He was a lucky one.

I also worked a part-time job (a hobby really) in a photo processing store -- and as time went by, we received many rolls of film to develop for a forensic dentist who went to ground zero to aid in identifying remains. I still see those images in my mind . . .

So our town this week dedicated a memorial to the people who lost their lives in that event:

An actual piece of steel I-Beam from one of the towers is mounted on display in our downtown plaza. This monument is to honor the folks from the three locations that died that day, 11 Sep 2001.

I also pictured a couple of the other memorials located in the plaza as well. We also bid "farewell" to a friend and co-worker (Jan) who passed away on this 9/11/2012.

Dino's Week -- GDB Training in Sebastopol

We are fortunate that our training with GDB has taken us to a variety of locations around the area -- this week about a half-hour drive to Sebastopol. It had been several years since we took the drive and were pleasantly surprised with meeting in the downtown area of that city:

We all met in the park in the downtown area. From there we branched out to the Skateboard park, the police headquarters (no one there) and then to the downtown streets. At each location we did different little exercises to further expose the puppies to new things.

All in all the evening was fun and relaxing and I think Dino enjoyed it all as usual. In the top left photo Gail is standing with Dino in front of a store displaying a "High Priestess" work of art . . .

Status of the Search . . .

This week I had a few contacts with cousins relating to the continued search for the elusive ancestors and their even more elusive trails. We make progress though and little by little we will get to the place we want to be with respect to the branch of family history we are working on . . .

I also attended two webinars relating to Family History -- these are very helpful -- I don't always need the subject matter at the moment but will at some time be able to use the info. This week one of the sessions led me to -- what else -- a purchase of some new software that I believe will be valuable to have and to the purchase of a different back up system (in addition to what I already have).

And if you have not visited my website lately, I continue to little by little work on that, usually every day.
In the above you can see some of the stats of what is in the site, but a visit and exploring will show what all is there -- click on the link >>>>       HILES Website     

Let me know if I can answer any questions about the site.

Other Doings about the House

Besides the trees, there were many other things done this week -- granted mostly by Gail while I worked on genealogy . . .

Book reading -- we finally finished the biography of Steve Jobs, which was excellent. We are now reading "Then Again" by Diane Keaton and are enjoying that also. Then there is the daily paper reading that must be done and of course needle pointing. Gail is sitting on the newly arrived chair/bed in her what else, sitting room . . .

Dino received his weekly ration of new "Nyla-Bones" and is intent on wearing it down, often by bringing it to one of us to hold for him . . .  in the middle right photo you can see preparations for Gail to work on "filing" work while watching the parts of three NFL games we have recorded today.

Lastly in the above collage you can see that once again we Gail has made it possible to actually get one of the cars into the garage -- my question is -- for how long though . . .

And Just for Fun

These are some quick photos of the pups that were in Sebastopol -- usually for me the easiest way to identify which pup is which -- I look at the handler . . . in this case I only pictured the pups:

 Any guesses as to which one is of Dino . . .

So that was a bit of our week -- it was burgers last night -- chef salads tonight.

Next week marks the beginning of fall -- have a good week, see you in a few!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Spring-Like/Fall-Like, DNC/NFL

It is hard to tell the seasons right now. Every day is different with attributes of both seasons appearing and disappearing . . . today so far it is spring-like and I snapped some spring-like pics in the back yard:

These color bursts could be April/May -- Dino is definitely September though . . . he watches ever so intently as I move in the backyard without him. The sun is out nice and bright today, though just a couple of days ago we had a brief downpour in the early morning -- a rarity. We are not complaining though -- we saw pictures of the East Coast States earlier this morning -- tornadoes in New York City area . . .

Earlier in the week we celebrated Labor Day. Realistically the holiday mainly disrupted our garbage pickup day -- meaning most everyone in the neighborhood had all their cans outside for an extra day -- just in case . . . we did though attend a "Labor Day" get together which included a BBQ and a chance to see some family members that we do not often get to see -- even the ones a few blocks away:

The weather in the evening was perfect, the food tasty and the conversation pleasant. On the bottom left is Audrey & Ginger with Dino on the bottom right watching everything, as usual. In the center bottom are two surprised Cousins at the flash of the camera in the evening shade. All in all a very nice evening.

Happy Birthdays are in Order

There are several folks from our tree that have birthdays today. We send a Happy Birthday greeting to Gail's sister -- Laurii -- in probably getting-close-to-winter-like, Stanley, Idaho. We remember how nice it was to spend several days there a few years ago at Redfish Lake Lodge reuniting and all.

 As you can see above today would have been my Father's 105th birthday. September ninth seems to have been a popular birth date for our tree.

A Quick Project (before the Fall . . .)

We are wrapping up and sprucing up before the fall officially arrives. Because of Gail and her efforts we can now again park a car (her's) in the garage. And that's a nice thing . . .

You can see the serious project work taking place as the poolside table gets a new layer of paint. I think painter's dungarees would have been in order for a project of this magnitude . . . but would they be tax deductible, if only we knew a tax person . . . we are not showing the completed table because the decision has been made to void the spray project and resort to sanding and brush paint. So the completion date is a ways off. 

Good Eats on Wednesday/Thursday

Actually we had good things to eat all week, but on Wednesday we roasted a large chicken, boiled some sweet corn and made twice-baked (actually three times) potatoes. There was enough to continue the same menu on Thursday night except we substituted brown sticky rice and several tomato slices.

 I made it look like two chickens but really it was just one. But it was sooo delicious and the corn was a huge hit and the nice thing was that the two ears cost 34 cents at the supermarket . . .

What is our current Read

Well actually we are almost through reading the biography of Steve Jobs. For both of us the book has held our interest all the way through the almost 600 pages that we have read so far -- we will finish it this week as we read about a chapter a night before collapsing from our project work of the day.

But I received another book two days ago and I took the opportunity in the early morning hours to read most of the book and found it to be hugely rewarding:

I have to say that I have had an iPad since they first came out -- and I love it and use it everyday. But in the few hours it took me to read through the above book I have learned a whole bunch more about the capabilities of it. Lisa Louise Cooke is the author, I have read other books by her that were also very helpful -- she is the host too of Genealogy Gems the podcast.

I have to say thanks to Lisa for writing this book! It is great and I'll continue to use the suggestions I found in it.

Six Generations Back

Things and details get murky back that far. But everyday more and more things find their way to being digitized and on the net. I was alerted to some of the information from a cousin and I thank her for that very much. I then also looked at the sources (a chancery document) and am able to hopefully put some documented dates on John Hiles, Sr -- my GGGGGrandfather. And just the other day it looks like there may even be a "Last Will & Testament" that will be available soon.

The above is pretty "busy" but basically I have put together a timeline for the 6 male ancestors coming before me on our tree. I have been able to finally put a date of death in connection to John, that being 11 August 1838. I had previously estimated that date like what I am now doing with his birth date based on what his tombstone reads.

The other facts below the timeline are a listing of some of the world events that occurred during the span of time for all six i.e. 1762 through 1990. I find it interesting to see the events that I am sure flavored the everyday living for them during that span.

In the coming weeks I hope to continue my focus on these folks from our tree some 200 years ago.

The Fall is Coming (already did too)

You can tell it is fall when the NFL is in full bloom -- I am trying to complete this post earlier than usual because we are recording three NFL games today and we want to watch at least one full game (the 49ers) and parts of the other two, but if the other games turn out really good then we will watch more of them as well . . .

The other part that says it is fall is the political convention that was on this week -- the DNC. We watched a lot of the speeches and skipped a few as well and are now waiting to make judgements as the two sides present their "cases".

In addition we have a project that probably will take place this week too -- and it has to do with fall:

  Sadly while it looks like a tree in the fall mode, it just might be. It should not be in this condition at this point -- another portion of this same tree was removed the week before we moved in . . . so this portion will "fall" this week at the hands of "tree people" . . .

And lastly I hinted at a "fall" that already came . . . Gail is mending both hands after a quick tumble the other day -- at a location very near to where I did the same thing several months ago. Mostly it is her needle-pointing that is impacted, but the fall colors on her hands . . .

And so that is a bit of our week, we enjoyed our burgers last night, chops tonight. Have a good week too and see you in a few . . .

Sunday, September 2, 2012

NFL, RNC, Serendipity & Dried Stuff

Actually this week across the country presented us with a variety of choices for our viewing pleasure. While we really enjoy watching the NFL games, most of the preseason games were ho-hum and we did not make it through all four quarters in any of them. The weather though in "our neck of the woods" was pretty nice. Almost each morning began with fog and eventually into moderate sunshine with only one or two days requiring the assistance of the a/c.  The beautiful sunshine enhanced the colors of the tree directly in my line of sight from the office window:

This crape or crepe myrtle is stunning in color and is a pleasure to see, we had two of these at our previous home and we checked to see if they were "in-bloom" as well -- they were, but not quite as full as this one.

The RNC was in full bloom as well this week -- after a one day delay due to Hurricane Isaac which landed in New Orleans seven years to the day that Hurricane Katrina hit. Sadly there was a lot of damage from Isaac not nearly as much as Katrina though. We did watch the convention and like the NFL we did not always make it through to the fourth quarter. We recorded the events so we could speed through and find the key speeches that we wanted to hear. We will be doing the same with the DNC this coming week.

Ever since my earliest recollection -- and the early days of TV -- I have enjoyed watching the conventions and being amazed that grown folks would dress that way . . .

A Break for a Neighborhood Walk/Local Football (Pop Warner type)

We are fortunate to be able to "walk" to town which we do sometimes -- and to my Brother's as well. On a recent walk we were able to rest a bit and catch the flavor of football a few blocks from our house. It is nice to hear the cheering and see the excitement as numerous games take place on any given weekend.

In between shots of Dino doing his "working" walk, football with all the participants, including a cheer squad can be seen for each game. The "Rec Park" gets good usage.

The Dry Stuff & The Saucy

It's funny though how days unfold in a given week -- for example this week. Every day we have taken part in the handling of our tomato and other crops -- sounds like a big time operation -- lots of my ancestors were farmers so why not. Except it is hardly "farming" but it is hobby gardening and all that that entails.

We have a nice crop of tomatoes and a nice crop of apples and unfortunately only one or two peppers, so far. So what to do. We looked for and found the dehydrator and started our week out with drying some apples and then some tomatoes and then some grapes and then some potatoes.

So the above represents the tomato preparation side of things. Dino got tired of "not getting" any fallen fruit or anything else for that matter and he hit the deck. After washing and removing stems and things we cranked up the dehydrator and turned our laundry room into a sauna -- fortunately we can close off that room. We started drying everything in sight -- and always eating our results. The cherry tomatoes, we weren't sure of -- but they turned into great tasting tomato raisins, very tasty. The grapes we did (the ones from the store -- were okay, but you need a ton, actually about 4 pounds to get one pound . . .

In the above you can see some of the dried results -- tomato slices which have Italian seasonings, some baby potatoes about to be and finished drying (to be used in stew type things when it gets cold) and some of our own apples, sliced and most we have put cinnamon and sugar on and they turn out really delicious. Dino by this time was sittin' up. The top two pics show the yellow cherry tomatoes that we slowly turned into spaghetti sauce -- unfortunately it turned out so well we ate a batch of it before I took a picture of it. We did though freeze several containers again for when it gets colder . . .

Squeezing in Some Family History Work . . .

It used to be the other way around, but it seems that this summer I get to work on genealogy in between doing other projects -- that will probably change though as we get closer to the new year . . . but, last week I showed a "tree" from my side that I produced in WikiTree and this week I have a pedigree chart for Gail's side of the family that also is now in WikiTree as well:

So above you can see Gail, her Parents and her Grandparents. The always nice feature is to see photos of the people . . . the charts and trees are an easy thing to do -- once you locate the photos that you want to use and the format.

Other Projects this Week

We are wrapping up the project in the back -- the arbor and the pool house. The arbor now has a shade attached to the back that not only will give us some relief from the sun whenever we choose to sit out there BUT will protect us from any errant baseballs that might find their way over the fence  . . .  two so far this year . . . and on the arbor we have "grape lights" too.

On the top is the arbor -- unshaded and then shaded and bottom left, grape-light lit . . . In the evening now we have lights (on a timer) in the pool house that come on for awhile. It is really pleasant to have the lights shine through the windows when I take Dino out during the dark. When I went out to take these photos Dino sat by the door watching every move. It is hard to remember that he is only 11 months old.

Even More Family History

This is for my our Cousin Vinny Melissa -- just kidding, it is for all of us . . . one of the nice features of this blog (from blogger) is the search bar at the top of each post. I know that I have written about my Uncle Harold before and by doing a search on "Harold" I see that it was once on Apr 15, 2011 and once again on June 3, 2012. Several years ago after meeting Melissa for the first time and getting to know her as a cousin I had mentioned to her that I really enjoyed meeting her Grandfather Harold (my Grand Uncle) back in the early 1960s. He was refreshing to meet because he was very outgoing and forthright about our family and particularly his take on many of the players.

But, to keep a story short, I had told Melissa that I was a collector of business cards and that I had one from Uncle Harold -- but I could not put my hands on it . . . til now. I have to admit though that it is not the one that I had, it was the one that my Mother had and it got passed over to my older Brother, Marv, who recently released a nice amount of memorabilia to me. And in one of the little books that were my Mother's was Harold's business card:

So -- here is Harold AND his business card. I could just see him handing these out, he was a man about town. One thing that I remember is that he painted too -- it would be nice to see again some of the South Western flavored pictures I seem to remember him doing. There are many artists in the Hiles tree.

And We Ate Well this Week Too!

I have to say it is a real pleasure to enjoy cooking and eating. This week especially it seems that we had great menu items -- and we managed to watch our diets -- somewhat:

The above is just a few of the dietary delights that we had in the last few days. The spaghetti, made with the sauce we made, is not pictured nor are the burgers that are our tradition on Saturday nights -- but they were marvelous . . . the cups above, from The Noble Pig are a new addition to our daily consumption of coffee and tea. Then there are some chef salads, a burrito, some tacos, two delicious rib-eyes, bone-in, and of course the pot of "dem beans" . . . Dino was content with his Nylabone . . . which is replaced with a new one every few days.

And so that was bit of our week -- we are going to a BBQ tonight so we look forward to that.  Have a good Labor Day and see you in a few . . .