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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Yard Garnish -- Coasts -- World Serious

It happens every year -- the winding down of the summer and transitioning into the fall and winter modes. This year it seems to be a go/no go change for example, we have the a/c on today. Yesterday we should have had the a/c on and didn't realize it until too late in the day. Today we wanted to be able to enjoy our activities and not be influenced by the warm conditions. This week we have started outside to be more ready for the coming weather -- we have put down the umbrella, rolled up the sunshades, put away all the cushions that were on the wicker and things like that . . .
This morning it seemed like a lot of different items were more visible in the yard:

Yard Garnish . . .

Some of the things above are hidden in plain sight for a large part of the year and they will be again. But now they are out there. I remember last year Dino being startled when he caught a glimpse of the owl overseeing the garden box -- of course he was only a few weeks old then -- he is now 13 months old and pretty casual with everything.

The Coasts

While we here in Northern California are experiencing absolutely beautiful weather we know that that is not the case for others in the country -- we have cousins and siblings and children in geographical locations that are in jeopardy from one type of activity or another. We are hoping that each one of our relatives are safe and sound and that the forecasts of possible harsh conditions does not come about:

The East Coast seems at this point to be the most vulnerable to extreme conditions and that will become apparent -- the experts are saying -- in the next few days. My Sister in Florida is saying that Sandy should just be a "beach" thing -- I don't know how it will be for our cousin Bruce in New Jersey. 

The tsunami it appears may be most dangerous to Hawaii at this point. The earthquake that created the danger was huge -- 7.7 and just the mention of earthquake gives pause to us everywhere.

Dino's Week --

In the meantime things go on as normal with regard to GDB and their program. This week it was the annual Halloween meeting. The puppies are exposed to some of the things that "go on" for the celebration of the holiday. 

Above are some of the "doings" for the training class. Gail went all out and made the very attractive and tasty Halloween cupcakes seen above. The puppies did not get to enjoy them but the puppy raisers did. The other pics show some of the costumes that were at the meeting including Dino in his policeman's outfit and two black lab pups in San Francisco Giant's colors and emblems -- suitable for the occasion.
There were many activities including races and bobbing for bones and things like that. The pups all seemed to enjoy the relaxed affair and "put up with" having to walk around in costume.
Dino can be seen also riding in the front seat of the car, which is part of his training. He sits very patiently is a very small space and waits til we arrive at our destination. Later though he can be seen zoned out in his bed with a favorite chew toy right at the ready . . .

The World Series --

Of course living in the San Francisco Bay Area we are enjoying the series very much. Tonight may just be the final game and we have mixed feelings about that too. 

But -- 100 years ago the Giants were also playing in the World Series as well. Though they were at the time the New York Giants and they were playing the dreaded Boston Red Sox . . .

Times have changed since those days in many ways. But in the series of 1912 there was one similarity and that was that since a lot of folks could not see the game -- they would use their telephone to call various places like the newspapers to find out the scores and results. Today a similar thing occurs because many folks who are not close to a TV check their telephones for results and scores.

In the above too you can see the huge influence that tobacco played in the series and sports in general back in 1912. The series that year went 8 games due to one game ending in a tie because of darkness. The major difference this series is that the Giants are likely to win -- they lost in 1912.

We are enjoying the series and we time delay (about an hour) our viewing. We just have to be careful about who we talk with and what other news casts we happen to see or hear -- so far we have been pretty good with guarding that . . . 

Genealogy this week

I have done a lot of researching this week -- but no major successes to uncover. I did though attend a webinar -- and I really enjoy most of the webinars that I attend. The latest one was from Legacy Family Tree Webinars and the subject presented was "Civil War Ancestors".

We have a large amount of ancestors from our tree that served in the Civil War, both for the Union and for the Confederacy however mostly for the Union. One exception that stands out is my Great Grandfather Samuel Martin. It is reported that he served in the Confederate Navy albeit not willingly or with his beforehand knowledge. 

If you use the search bar at the top of this blog and put in "Martin" you will see the other articles that I have written about Captain Samuel Martin and his adventures.  I hope to be able to find out more about Samuel Martin as time goes on -- one thing that I learned in the webinar was to check the 1910 census for possible proof of service -- sure enough on Samuel Martin's line "CA" is written in the column for civil war service. It should have said "CN" for Confederate Navy though. I have not found the records specifically for Samuel Martin -- just take a look at the number of Samuel Martins serving in the civil war to see why . . .

The above shows the detail of the webinar that I attended -- but there are many more coming yet this year and they are free to attend the live session -- the later recorded versions cost.   For me the value is high because it almost always encourages me to do more research and mostly with more results. I really appreciate the fact that Legacy puts these on almost every week.

On and Off the Nightstand

Every night (almost) we read in bed before drifting off . . . earlier this week we finished one book and have now started our next book. 

Having grown up in the Chicago area I was familiar with many of the details of the activities of the just-finished book. As a matter of fact I also can recall hearing my own folks talk about the person and his activities. And there were many TV shows relating to the period and the characters in the book.

As you can see the book I am referring to is "Al Capone" written by his niece Deirdre Capone. We both found the book fascinating and enjoyed it. 

We mostly read biographies and the second book just came out recently. It is one of the thickest and heaviest books we have had -- Steve Jobs' biography compares.  We are finding the book to be very interesting so far -- we like reading about folks that we have knowledge and experience with. I'll let you know our final assessment as we are just in the beginning. 

Dates from our Tree

There are four pages of anniversaries and dates concerning our tree members for the month of October, so I'll just provide a couple of names:

From the HILES branch a "Happy Birthday" goes out to two of my brothers this week. Also this month another birthday recognition goes to cousin Bruce's father Gale, whose birthday would be today.

And Finally This Week

A few weeks ago I mentioned that my brother Marv, gave me a shoebox full of old and not-so-old photographs. I have been carefully adding them to the trees and website AND have been sharing them with my sister (among others). My sister, Marilee, this week sent me a very real "warning" that we dog owners especially need to heed. I can't express this more urgently:

We've all been to public performances and have seen this type of line over and over again -- a needless occurrence for sure. There apparently is a growing shortage of suitable trees available for our male pets, dogs in particular. In the people world it seems like it is for the other gender though -- there are never enough facilities for women even to the extent that some men find themselves sharing space. Enough said . . . 

So that is a bit of our week -- have a good week and see you in a few . . . 

(It was burgers last night, BLTs tonight while watching the Series)


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Harvest Light/PicConnect/Hiles-Bouldron

I keep thinking that any minute day week I'll find out that daylight savings time is over and I missed it . . . but I guess I still have two weeks. It sure seems to be about the time though as I am getting up in the dark more than ever:

The above photo group was taken at 6:50 pm (see the clock) and it was already dark. The sky was very interesting as the "crescent" type moon peeked over the pine trees out back. Out lighted grape lights automatically come on at dusk and Dino watched me intently as I took the photos . . .

But it is not only the darker morning and evenings that make it feel like "winter", it is the changing temperatures as well. We even have purchased all the ingredients for meatloaf already because it seemed "like the time" but then it got back in the 90s and we put the meat in the freezer to be used later.

Harvest Time . . .

We have had a great harvest season. The tomato crop was phenomenal and the same with the apple crop. But there comes a time for diminishing returns and that time is now:

The above represents the last harvest of the season for us with respect to tomatoes -- and what a bummer that we are going to have to purchase "supermarket" tomatoes again. We have been so spoiled all summer and we do have a lot of dried tomatoes and several batches of tomato sauce for the coming months.

The  next upcoming harvest though looks like lemons and we have a huge crop of those in all different stages of color and size. Maybe lemon meringue pie is in order -- Gail makes a mean pie . . .

CHECK OUT THE NEW VIDEO JUST ADDED TO THIS SITE  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I made this a few weeks back and in it are some of the new pups that are in our "Guides to Be" Guide Dogs for the Blind group. I used Animoto to create the one minute video, I plan to make more videos from time to time and add them to the blogsite. Let me know what you think.

Activities this Week

A lot of my attention this week dealt with photos -- which is not unusual -- but it seems that my desk has a few more picture piles on it than usual (a good thing). What makes it really fun for me is that I get to share the photos hopefully with people who enjoy viewing (and having) them. Recently Gail went through a box of her old slides and old movies and we took them to Costco and had them digitized and have fun viewing them now that they are on DVDs as we would never anymore get out a movie or a slide projector to view them.

But in the bottom of the box was one slide in a large silver glass enclosed oversized slide casing that we were not sure what to do with. Putting it on the scanner we were able to make out that two of the five people in the picture were Gail's Grandparents.

We took that slide to just about the only film/slide processor left in the county (Shutterbug). They said that they would not process it because they were afraid that they would break the glass. So while I tried to remove the film from between the glass -- I broke it -- at first I thought that all was lost, but there was a perfectly good piece of film that now Shutterbug said they could print -- so we had them do that:

The above photo came out perfectly fine and is one of the few that Gail has in color of her Grandparents. They are the couple to the right -- we have not identified the others yet. It is an interesting view of what appears to be a picnic. I can't imagine today seeing women in dresses and men in hats sitting out on some large rocks enjoying what appears to be coffee from a thermos . . . in a desert terrain. Hopefully we will be able to id the others and maybe the circumstances -- if anyone can help, that would be appreciated.

Another Highlight This Week

For several years I have been saying that I would join a local genealogical society AND actually attend meetings -- this week I actually did that along with Gail and Dino. What piqued my interest at this time was the subject of the speaker (identifying time frames in photos) and the fact that someone that I recently communicated with online recommended the group:

We three went to Finley Center in Santa Rosa and were there for about three hours and enjoyed the lecture and meeting a few of the members. We did sign up and I may volunteer for some of the committees for various activities. I look forward to maybe finding additional resources to overcome some of the brickwall situations in my research -- time will tell.

A Cousin Connection

Last week I mentioned that sadly a cousin that I was hoping to reconnect with had just passed away -- now two weeks ago. But during last week I did connect with the sister of Judith, Deborah Clark. We had a really nice telephone conversation and I even was able (while we were talking) to send her a couple of photos and talk about them.

But more importantly for me, I found out a lot of facts about her family that I was not in the know about. For example, I thought that Jane & Whitey had three children, here is the tree I now show for them:

As you can see, they actually had five children however I only have pictures of two of them. Hopefully with my new connection with Deborah we can share more information and photos. I look forward to that.

Our connection came about all due to the internet -- we most likely would not have connected any other way. So I am thankful for that and it has been the same in other connections that I have made -- all thanks to the world wide web.

And Lastly

Between sporting events and political events, regularly scheduled programming has been strained. But last week I mentioned that I was looking forward to the football game and the baseball game on Sunday -- both of those turned out not the way we had hoped -- but maybe this week.

We did watch the second  Presidential Debate -- and as a matter of fact I am "one of those" that are anonymously grouped into opinion poll results -- and I just have to wonder what each candidate really feels about having to go through that debate process -- it reminds me of when I was in a career job and it was "goals and evaluation" time . . . so glad to not have that anymore.

There is one more debate (that is televised anyway) coming tomorrow night. It is supposed to be on foreign policies and knowledge -- that should be interesting, but so too should be MNF -- I hope to watch both.

That was a bit of our week, have a good week and we'll see you in a few!  We did have burgers last night . . .

Sunday, October 14, 2012

USAWC -- Spirit & PumpkinFest Ukiah

Every now and again we have one of "those" weeks. This might be an example. We had a good time, but it seemed like a lot for us retired folks . . . the fall qualities were apparent with the mornings and evenings getting much cooler. Even Dino seems to notice the change. Of course he likes the fall (his second) because there is an abundance of leaves (his snacking items) in the yard.

The above are some of the fall type of flowers seen this week -- and what could be more associated with this time of the year than pumpkins. We actually did not grow any this year but we are seeing lots of them. The above pics were taken in Ukiah at their Farmer's Market as we attended and participated in the Pumpkin Parade on Saturday . . .

GDB -- Training in Petaluma

Each month for two or three Tuesdays we go to training for the "pups". This week because Halloween is coming the pups were exposed to some of the things they might see from "trick and/or treaters". We were off to the "Spirit Store" in a Petaluma shopping center where all the puppies, from the newest on up got the chance to see Halloween displays and costumes and masks . . .

All of us exchanged puppies with other raisers for the evening, so Dino is with the young man in red. Gail has Visa, a puppy two months older than Dino and 30 pounds lighter. The newest puppies to the group are shown above and they are siblings just over ten weeks old and enjoying their first Halloween experience.

Most of the puppies did not seem phased by all the hoopla and displays though there was a jumping spider exhibit that got the attention of a couple -- Dino was totally nonchalant about the whole affair . . .

We did get to weigh Dino at the pet store in the mall -- he weighs in at 79 pounds and that is probably a little down from a few weeks ago since we have cut his food back a bit . . .

Contacts this Week

It is interesting that I had a lot of contact with various relatives this week -- there must be something in the fall season that engenders the desire to contact one another. I had communication with siblings, children and several cousins.

Unfortunately, one of the cousins that I had contact with was one that I had had no contact with in over 50 years. As a matter of fact I had been trying to touch base with her and/or her siblings for several years. It is unfortunate that we lose touch with so many in our tree over the years and decades.

I say unfortunately because this cousin who contacted me (because of an online tree at Fold3) informed me that her older sister -- of course a cousin -- had just passed away a week ago. I had so often thought of these cousins and wondered how they were and what their lives were like and how many questions that I wanted to ask them.

In the above, the picture on the bottom right is of "Judy" Clark as I remembered her the last time that I saw her -- sometime in the late 50s or early 60s.  From that time on, I moved to California, she moved and married and had a family, but I lost track of her. In 2003 while searching for her Grandmother Anna's grave while we were in the Chicago area, I discovered that her Mother also had passed away and I tried again to find Judy and her sister Deborah and other siblings -- to no avail.

Above is the online obituary for Judith Lynn Fry --  Judith Fry Obituary  we send our condolences and best wishes to her family.

I feel lucky though that we have a connection now to Judith's younger sister, Deborah. I am hoping that we can establish a sharing communication with her.

The family tree chart shows how Judith, Deborah and I are related.

The Ukiah Pumpkin Festival & Parade

We were invited to march in a parade along with the GDB puppy raising group from Ukiah on Saturday. Since Gail and I both have family tree connections to Ukiah and we saw an opportunity to expose Dino to his first parade as an official participant (he did march with me in a Healdsburg parade along side the float that Gail was riding on . . . for Memorial Day).

We got up early -- for a Saturday -- and drove about an hour North on Highway 101 and arrived in Ukiah about 9:15 am. We found the fairgrounds and the staging area for the parade.

Dino got dressed up in his "police dog" costume that fit him when we bought it and now is mostly draped over him -- but it worked AND he wore it proudly for the whole time. He even caught the attention of one of Ukiah's finest. The officer took a liking to Dino as did many others along the route. It was about 2 1/2 miles of walking to and from the staging area. The flat downtown area was fine, the hilly starting was tedious and the return was somewhat painful as we had not walked that far for a while.

The weather was perfect for the events and there were a lot more people there than at first glance. Besides the parade, there was a Farmer's Market and then the street booths and attractions. There were huge crowds for several blocks.

Above you can see some of the participants. Our GDB group was sandwiched in between two "political" type groups each supporting proposals on the upcoming ballot. Our group distributed candy along the route and some of our distribution came from other candy distributions that did not make it to the sides of the street. Care was taken though when picking up the stray candy as we did follow not too far behind the equestrian group . . .

Sporting Events in Northern California

There are far fewer total events going on this week versus last week, but still there is excitement in the air for both the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco Forty-Niners.

Both teams play this afternoon -- and many folks that are attending the first game -- the Forty-Niners  vs. the New York Giants are reportedly attending the S.F. Giants game as well as they play the St. Louis Cardinals in the league playoffs . . .

I can not imagine going to both games -- it will be all we can do to watch both games -- the advantage we have in watching is that if there is a runaway or a poor game, we will switch channels . . . but to have two exciting games to watch is great. Since we are time shifting the viewing (by recording) the Niner game is about to start -- we'll start watching in about an hour . . . don't call with scores yet.

Had We Only Known . . .

Advance information is so timely for planning purposes. We had no idea that our town was the location of an
event for the United States Championship -- San Francisco eat your heart out -- but sure enough as we drove back from Ukiah yesterday as we got off the freeway there was a sign posted announcing this event:

Had we known in advance we would have arranged our schedule so that we would not have been so exhausted from parade marching that we would have been refreshed enough to attend the event  . . . maybe next year.

Little-known Healdsburg hosts a major sporting event. Sadly though it was also held at a "senior" facility and on general principles we would have to think it over about attending -- stigma and all . . . was there a connection with  the facility and the participants present or past?

Today's Santa Rosa Post Democrat had the above article and I'm sure the Healdsburg Trib will have it covered as well.

That was a bit of our week -- it was burger Saturday night with tonight being roasted chicken . . .
see you all in a few.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

FHM -- Autumn -- Healdsburg

Usually at some point I achieve the goal that I used to have during vacations i.e. to lose awareness of what day it actually is . . . and it happens more frequently than not. The weekly cycle, when one is retired is outlined by certain events like "garbage pick-up day" or "lawn day" and a few others -- but even with those identifiers sometimes the actual day of the week is unclear -- UNTIL now:

I recently became the owner of a newly treasured clock -- one that only shows the important facts, the
day of the week. And so I needed to glance at this clock this morning.  As I took Dino out, I was pretty sure it was Saturday but was pleasantly surprised to verify that it was indeed Sunday -- thanks Gail . . .

Election 2012

We got our first close-up look at the two running for our Presidency. I was of course interested in viewing the debate this year because it seems that the rhetoric this election is really intense and it is hard
to keep the facts straight -- and it appears that it is hard for the participants to do so also.

I did not take a "debate" course in school and now maybe I wish I had done that. But I have had debates informally over my career, mostly in the context of a "sales" environment. Based on the results of this first debate it will be very enlightening to see how the players react coming into the second performance.

I have to wonder about the election periods that our ancestors went through -- there may have been debates in many of the battles -- but the audience was mostly limited to physical presence with the remaining people given "accounts" of the actions.  We, today have a front row seat to these events.

Dino's Week

Through all the hoopla Dino and the flowers around the yard took everything in stride. The first two days of the week we did have triple digit days -- a blast for the final days of the summer season.  It is hard to believe that in some parts of our country there was actually a little snow . . . it was strange to view pictures of plants poking through newly fallen snow -- as if we forget each year that it is going to happen.

Above are a couple of Dino's usual poses at some point during the day -- he loves curling up and catching a few moments of deep sleep -- but he immediately gets up whenever one of us gets up. The other pose is when he is waiting for us to do something of interest with him. In the meantime the flowers are still blooming in various places around the yard, thank goodness.

It's Autumn

Though it feels a lot like summer still, it does mean that the growing season is all but over in our garden. Gail took it upon herself to remove some of the tomato, and pepper plants while it was not so hot yet during the day. We will probably change the amount of certain plants next year and now that we have another tree near the garden we may change the location of some as well to take advantage of the available sun.

The above points out the beginning of the end for our tomato patch -- a surprise though under the leaves were two of the largest peppers of the season and the final two as well. Gail left a couple of plants and they will be going soon. Dino watched from the confines of the family room and he was attentive to all the action. I of course was called to "finish" some other work . . .

This is Jeopardy Family History Month

You might not have been aware of that fact -- but it is the trying-to-be-official month of recognizing genealogy and the pursuit of family history. I am not sure how to celebrate this occasion as I pretty much believe that EVERY month is Family History Month . . .

A Peek at Two Second Cousins

That's one way to celebrate. The first second cousin is Bruce Hiles. Bruce and I share a Great Grandfather -- in this case John Hiles -- and our individual Grandfathers were brothers, Otto for Bruce and Lloyd for me.

The top part of the collage shows Lilly (May Bryan) Hiles, Gale T Hiles (Bruce's father) Merwyn Hiles (Bruce's Aunt) and Otto Hiles, Bruce's Grandfather.

The middle section shows how we are related from our Great Grandparents, John & Emily.

The bottom picture shows Lil & Otto in 1957, cropped from a photo I just received from Bruce this week -- he found three and thinks he may even find a few more -- we love photos!

The second cousin celebrating FHM is also a second cousin of mine, Carroll Francis "Mickey" Gillett.
Though somewhere along the line Mickey added an "e" on the end of his name -- like the "razor family" of Gillettes . . .

What prompted me to "look into" the history more of Mickey was the fact that the current book we are reading "Then Again" by Diane Hall Keaton, mentions Mickey Gillette's band. The reference has to do with Diane's Mother as the book is mostly about -- but not all -- the events in her Mother's life.

I learned a lot about the Hall's lives and Diane's as she lived in Santa Ana and other Orange County cities as I did and I recognize a lot of her remarks as to things pertaining to that area.

Back to Mickey:

Mickey was born in Eureka, California and eventually found his way to the San Francisco Bay Area and he was a well known classical saxophonist. In the above are pictures of he and his wife. Also there is a copy of a 1946 advertisement for a mouthpiece for the sax.

To the right, the chart shows how I am (and thus maybe you all are) related to Mickey. Click to enlarge the chart. Mickey's father, Millard Fillmore Gillett was the brother of James Norris Gillett -- the Cousin of ours who was the California Governor 100 years ago.

And Lastly

It was difficult, but we managed to NOT drive to San Francisco this weekend. With all the events going on in the City it was all that we could do to keep from hopping on "101" and drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to join into some of the activities . . .

We opted to stay home and watch -- on TV -- the events that we were most interested in, e.g. The Niners versus the Bills -- fortunately the Niners won big time. Unfortunately the other SF team we were interested in did not fare as well on Saturday night -- i.e. the Giants, who lost the first playoff game at AT&T Park to the Reds . . .

Besides the NFL and the MLB, there were college football, Blue Angels -- Fleet Week, America's Cup, street fairs, two big-name singer's concerts, and a Blue Grass festival among other things -- it's so nice to be here in our quiet town . . . maybe next year.

That was a bit of our week -- we had the traditional burgers last night, it is going to be ham and sweet corn tonight . . . and watch SNF as well.

See you in a few . . .