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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Countdown -- Walking, Kitchen & Taxes

That is a strange combination of events, but it seems that the three mutually exclusive events are coming to closure all about the same time -- and none too soon.  Before explaining the title an explanation is due for the opening photo:

I dug back into my old photo inventory and selected the above picture, one because it is so colorful and I find it interesting AND I have been such a shut-in this last week that I did not take any around the town photos suitable for posting.

The above is not Healdsburg, but Seattle's Pike Place Market. A market that I used to visit on a regular basis because we used to eat lunch there frequently when my office was a few blocks away. This picture though I believe was taken on a visit back. The market was always colorful, noisy and a nice break from the everyday humdrum.

The title of course refers to the fact that I am venturing more without the walker or a cane -- but not for great distances nor for long periods of time. The kitchen is getting really close to being completed barring any (more) unforeseen delays . . . as I write this, the kitchen area and the family room are once again sealed off from us due to the final coat to the floor being applied. Hopefully Monday morning all will commence to finalize most of the kitchen.

On Monday morning, the doors for the cabinets are due to arrive and be remounted after being painted and cured for the last several days. The door knobs and drawer pulls will be attached and other final steps are going to be taken to "get us back to where we were" so-to-speak. The furniture will be moved back in place and things put in their places . . .

Taxes, well on Monday there will be just 14 days left to the season and that will go fast . . . who's counting?

Speaking of the Kitchen Project

So what all has been done in the last few days "in the kitchen" with Ryan's crew. Well a lot of detail work having to do with getting the appliances in working order, not to mention the plumbing and electrical stuff that never seems to end.

As I was going through the newspapers looking for family stuff I spotted this ad in a 1936 Zanesville, Ohio newspaper depicting two women chatting in the new kitchen of one of them. I remember seeing that type of apron (in the 40s though). The ad goes on to talk about more projects in the planning stages -- and we share at least one of the same -- the fireplace . . . we are getting close to the end of foreseeable projects other than maintenance ones like the fencing, for example.

These represent the 5 new eggs in our kitchen basket this week -- timely as to the season:

The above depicts the "working" tools of the kitchen. For a year and a half (since moving in) we have pretty much "made do" with what we had,  kind of like what you do in the early stages of married life. But now we look forward to enjoying some of the "new" things again. We are lucky because we remodeled the kitchen in the other house 14 years ago and it seemed like just yesterday (same contractor too).

Top left are the simplisticly designed faucets but with features. The sink is a bit smaller than we originally had wanted but due to the space allotted, it is fine. Next is our "two" dishwashers in drawers, supposedly very quiet as well.

Bottom left, not a whole lot to say -- it is a microwave oven. Next the refrigerator with the freezer in the bottom drawer -- I remember having a similar one growing up only that the upper and bottom each had one door.

Lastly, the stove and oven.This is where we hope to have a big difference from the previous stovetop and separate oven. The previous stoevetop never stopped clicking and did not always ignite the burners. And the  old oven could not be power cleaned and almost nothing could prevent billowing smoke to fill the rooms whenever in use. We look forward to just basic good cooking and baking.

Borrowing & Adding to a Previous Post

Last year -- August -- when the 1940 Census was completing being indexed, I used an example of my Grand Uncle "Charlie" Hiles.  (Use the search bar above to look for "Charles William Hiles") In that post I mentioned finding Uncle Charlie in the census and I used the provided address to find what his house looked like these days.

Growing up, my Mother often  would tell us things like: "One of the Hiles relatives" invented the refrigerated rail car. She had no details and I just took that at face value. It was not until a few years ago that I did find that while I could not substantiate "inventing the refrigerator car", I could and did substantiate that Uncle Charlie Hiles did hold a patent for and invented an important and economically beneficial enhancement to the refrigerator car.

Charlie worked for Pacific Fruit Express for many years. Refrigeration was vital to the agricultural industry. At the turn of the century a lot of produce grown on the West Coast was shipped via rail car to points back East. Each car had to be manually iced at various locations across the country as the trains moved from the West Coast Eastward.

The icing was highly manual-labor intensive and the ice itself was a huge expense. It was discovered that with the interim stops -- cars could be iced only halfway and would still maintain the same level of cold. This is where the invention of Uncle Charlie's came into play. He invented a device that kept the ice at the upper level of a car so that refrigeration stayed cold throughout.

His patent for that device can be read and seen in detail on my website:   Dan's Website

I wish that I could say that I met Uncle Charlie but he died less than a year prior to my birth. He died just a couple of weeks after Pearl Harbor -- on December 26, 1941. I don't even know that I have a picture of Uncle Charlie though I am pretty sure that I have seen him in photos before -- I just have to keep looking.

Above left is a timeline of Uncle Charlie's life. It all started for him 27 April 1881 in Warrens, Wisconsin. There is no 1890 Census but we see him in 1900 in Milladore, Wood County, Wisconsin. As is often the case "we live where our parents find work" . . . Charlie's father, John worked for Upham Mfg and then later was a guard in the state prison at Waupon, Wisconsin.

At some point Charlie went to work for the railroad like other of his siblings -- Lloyd and Harold for two. In the 1910 Census we see that Charlie is living in Council Bluffs, Iowa as a "clerk at Railroad Headquarters".
It was either in Iowa or his next residence that he met and married Mabel.

In 1914 we see Charlie in a City Directory in Omaha, Nebraska. Later in 1918 he registered for the draft  for WWI and listed his occupation as "Chief Clerk -- Pacific Fruit Express".

Sometime between 1918 and 1920 Charlie moved to Houston, Texas where he would remain for the rest of his life. Above you can view snippets of his patent and the newspaper report of his death and referring to him as a "car refrigeration expert". He was just 60 years of age -- and to my knowledge had no off-spring.

Additional Info Relative to Last Week's Post

Last week we mentioned how nice it was that my Sister and I (and our brother) lived in small towns that are rated in the top ten across the country. This week I received an email from Marilee with a video about their small town of St. Augustine.

It was a fascinating video and you can view it here:        St Augustine, Florida

I do not know of a video of Healdsburg to compare with the St Augustine one, but maybe it is in the making. The two towns differ by a few hundred years as to founding date . . .

And Lastly . . .

It is a holiday and we were hoping to "feast" this holiday with a large ham -- as is customary on Easter -- but NO, our kitchen is still sealed off so it may be clove-studded SPAM that we prepare -- wouldn't be all that bad . . . so we look forward to the next opportunity to prepare a festive holiday meal -- Memorial Day or Fourth of July possibly . . .

That was a bit of our week. Have a very happy Easter! See you all in a few . . .

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