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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.

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