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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!

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