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Saturday, June 29, 2013

60s To 100s in Four Days in Healdsburg

Monday of this week was rainy and cool -- in the mid 60s -- actually a bit refreshing. I felt like I was in the Northwest again as the skies were cloudy and the air seemed so fresh, but wet . . . living in the Seattle area for ten years I remember that I usually felt "up" on a rainy day so I was up a lot . . .

The rainy weather continued through Tuesday -- and then things began to change.  Wednesday we could feel a bit of warming, Thursday definitely so and on Friday -- boom -- over 102 in Healdsburg.

We of course started the a/c early in the morning and on Friday I actually put on a long sleeved shirt because there was a chill inside . . . I thought of all those unfortunate enough to have NO a/c . . . what could they do. It was a lot like how our ancestors must have dealt with excess heat.

As the collage above points out -- movie theaters, along with other businesses, advertised their "coolness" one of the reasons today I don't enjoy theaters (and the loudness). Also there is a post card of a Cleveland, Ohio popular beach showing folks "beating the heat" at the beach -- but it looks as though most people are almost fully clothed -- not something that would happen today . . .

Today it is over 100 but we are not as cool inside as we were yesterday -- I believe that the a/c is over whelmed and not putting out "cool" air, enough to make a difference. The bad thing is that it being the weekend it would be hard to get the service folks out -- and we have at least three more days forecast for very high temperatures.

The movies are maybe looking better or maybe a retail store that is cool . . . and/or the pool.

Another Start to the Week

The rainy day on Monday had no impact on our mood for the day. We both enjoyed it and had plans to do work on our hobbies and just plain "kick-back". After-all it was a birthday for someone in our household and it was her call on what activities we would be doing -- after gift-opening of course.

Before the wrapped gifts came the floral arrangements -- which are still maintaining their appeal:

Dino is totally non-plussed with flowers and is taking advantage of the soothing rain to curl-up for a nap. The deal with Dino though is -- even if the weather were different he would be figuring out the best place to snag a nap . . .

Shortly after breakfast, the birthday bounty began.  It is fun to have a variety of things to open and Gail had a variety . . . I shop all-year 'round as I see things -- sometimes I am surprised as well because it has been months since I made the purchase . . .

Dino wanted to assist on almost every gift -- he loves packages -- and one of them WAS for him, an orange ball hard enough to withstand Dino's aggressive chewing, float-able and roll-able. Of the gifts, one of Gail's favorites was a new Liberty wooden puzzle -- this one of a Renoir painting of a boating party -- almost 900 unique laser-cut pieces. She has spread out all pieces in the dining room . . .

The colorful gift in the bottom center is a one-of-a-kind tote -- from Lisa and Bob -- and it has the Seattle area attractions highlighted . . .very nice. Also a new book -- Two Seeing Eye Dogs Take Manhattan, from Dino . . .

Webinar Wednesday

Again Legacy Family Tree Webinars sponsored an excellent speaker and topic -- a topic more relevant probably than was anticipated. I learned a ton of information that will hopefully make for better genealogy:

A key for me was that conditions must be tied to the laws currently in effect for that time and place. Given that there are so many jurisdictions things can get really tangled in no time at all . . .

All the different variables involved need to be addressed when making an assessment of "stuff" for our ancestors -- it is a full time job.

Sporting Break

The sound of an aluminum bat hitting a ball wafted over our back fence early this morning -- before we closed up all windows and doors.  Even with the heat at over 100 degrees these players were enthusiastically playing ball. Bunting hung at various intervals along the fence and many flags were displayed.

In the above there is a "Red Team" and a "Green Team" all the pre-game ceremonies were conducted including the singing of the Star Spangled Banner and the "play ball" was heard from the announcer.

Dino watched from the coolness of the deck -- the opening pitch can be spotted in the middle picture above.
The spectators -- I'm sure mostly parents and other relatives -- huddled in the shady areas along the first-base side mostly. Not sure how the game turned out as we had other duties . . .

From the Tree . . .

I worked in the tree many many hours this week -- it happens that it was someone else's tree though. I started a tree for someone with the name of just one person -- and in the same time that it took the temperature to rise -- I have nearly 300 names in that tree, all supported with evidence -- thanks to and their "shaking leaves" indicating evidence available . . .

To me it is energizing to do that with a family history that continues to produce more and more history. But looking at our HILES and related families tree there were several folks "born on this day",  29th of June.

Along with today's birthday folks, the above shows the "landing" page of the HILES website. The Welcome and the What's New sections are illustrated.  What's New shows the things that I have added recently. I am in the site every day and little by little I add the many things that are in line . . .

Future Look of Charting in Family History

This week's major law-changes (which came on the day of the webinar on the Law) will have impact on charting and displaying family history information.

The interesting aspect of "genealogy" for me is not geared to "bloodlines" only, but to the aspect of a "family" history. In other words, putting folks on or in a chart and then discovering what made that family "a family".

I took a look at Family Tree Maker -- the main program I use. I have two others as well -- Roots Magic and also Legacy Family Tree. But in FTM I was able to put same sex marriages into the program with the correct image as to gender:

In the above, I created a "family" that may be a lot more common in the coming years. I show two men marrying and then adopting a young girl. That girl grows up and marries another girl and they adopt a baby boy.

In the chart on the left, for the "Brand New Someone" the chart shows that his parents are both female while his Grandparents are both male . . . what would our parents think . . . the times, they are changing.

On the chart on the right -- a pedigree chart of the same person "Brand New Someone", shows that Family Tree Maker allows a male-male marriage and/or a female-female marriage just as our new laws reflect . . .

Most all other genealogy software probably is showing the same capabilities with varying needs of tweaking along the way . . .

That was a bit of our cool/hot week -- burgers tonight . . .

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pool Party, Moon Poodle Party, Playoffs

We were lucky for both the "super" moons this year. Last month quite by accident we were shown the "super" moon as we returned home after being out later than usual. AND last night we returned home late after attending a "family" get-together and as we got to our house -- the great big perfectly round moon lit up our neighborhood:

I took the camera out back -- by the pool -- watching where I put my feet and took a few photos of the beautifully round and bright globe. The night was really quite comfortable and a lot windy -- both pool balls had blown outside the pool. You can see our clock -- it reads 11:30, so the moon had a few more hours before it fully appeared, but we were not going to wait for that . . .  the moon was going to be the largest appearing for the entire year.

Once Again -- Hosting "Pool Time" with Lunch . . .

Kris and the girls were visiting from Portland as their Mother attended business sessions elsewhere. The weather in the Northwest is not always conducive to swimming outside, so it was a treat for them to take advantage of our 90 degree + weather.

We were glad that we had the pool and could welcome their visit. Grandma and Marv were attentive to all the activities. We all enjoyed the afternoon including Dino who was wearing his new harness for the first time.

The gallery included Olivia who was also on her way to "another" party before attending the third party of the day at her house . . . we all had to pace ourselves a bit . . .

The lunch was good and the dessert was a hit -- the first of two for the day.  We actually had time for a brief nap before the evening festivities.

Moon Party -- Why Not?

I don't know of any other "purpose" of the get-together other than to be able to view the "super" moon on the way home -- just kidding . . . out of town siblings bringing their kids for a good dinner and visit -- the real reason.

Dinner was really good as was the dessert. We stayed much later than usual, so Gail got to help clean up. But all three of us are "kicking back" today -- and the weather is changing from warm and sunny to dark, dreary and rain likely for the next couple of days.

It is Not-A-Party 'Til Ba Pa Dons the Poodle Skirt . . .

There were others who participated, but who doesn't "like pink" -- I mean you have to wonder what goes through someone's mind to parade around in something like that -- where's the lampshade.

I drove home with the women in the backwards hat . . . glad no one saw us.

Not All Fun & Games this Week . . .

While searching through old newspapers I found the following obituary and it was for someone I had just included in the last couple of posts -- my (our) Great Grandmother Elise Martin:

By now her picture is recognizable (I think the only one I have of her). The obituary appeared in "The Racine Journal Times" 15 Aug 1941.

Below the picture and obituary is an excerpt of the Federal Census for 1940 -- the last one available to be seen right now by the public and the last one that Elise would appear in.

If you click on the census you can see how many folks were actually living at the 1745 Chatham Street address in Racine that year. Having see the house I am amazed . . .

Another Webinar -- This One Sponsored by Flip-Pal Scanners

Thomas MacEntee was the presenter and as always did a great job explaining how to work with meta data and digital pictures:

As always, I learned a lot about a subject that I just never knew that much about -- meta data. I learned how to utilize this important piece to make dealing with digital photo (and other files) easier and more meaningful, not to mention useful.

From Our Tree -- Born this Day

We take a moment to recognize what would have been the 92nd birthday for Arline Marie Hamilton Dilts -- mother to Nancy and others:

This picture is actually one cropped from a picture taken around our dining room table. For this and other facts -- visit the HILES Website

And Lastly . . .

We have not watched NBA basketball games for several years, for whatever reason -- but for some reason we watched each of the playoff games this year . . . and enjoyed them. I think of our parents who did love basketball and what they would think of the way the game has progressed in the last decade or so -- not  to mention the changed appearances of the "body art" and "skin illustrations".

Game six of the playoffs was particularly spectacular as the Miami Heat was a few seconds away from losing but pulled it out to take the series to the seventh and final game -- which of course they won as well.

If you click on #11 above, maybe you can figure out the message of the skin art AND where does he take it from there, his parents must be SO proud . . . Dino was non-plussed with LeBron James rolling his eyes a bit.

That was a bit of our week. Hope yours is great, see you in a few . . . burgers tonight.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Flag Day, Father's Day & Redfish Lake

Talk about "groundhog week",  this was a week for us of  enjoying the moment. I think we only left the house once, maybe twice. The weather too fit the occasion. We had the a/c on several days even into the evening when it actually was cooler outside than inside . . . we seemed to be enjoying having "nothing" pending to do, which allowed us to "work" on our own projects.

The yard as well took on it's own progress:

Besides the flowers there are fruit items as well -- lemons and apples, we usually get plenty of both.

Recalling a Favorite Vacation Trip

We are not planning on going away on vacation this year -- but thinking back a few years we had one of the very best vacations ever! And I was reminded of that when I received an email from Gail's brother-in-law, Gary who along with Laurii lives in Stanley, Idaho.

The email was announcing a new webcam showing Redfish Lake in the shadows of the Sawtooth Mountains:

Check out the view by visiting >>>   Redfish Lake

And checkout the collage recalling our trip there:

I have to say that the experience of being at Redfish Lake and the surrounding area was really great. We also had a sort of a mini-reunion for Gail's side of the family with a few from my side as well. I wouldn't mind repeating that trip at all . . .

And thank you Gary for sending the link to view the lake hopefully year 'round . . .

Born on this Day . . . 207 years ago

That seems sooo long ago and the times were so different -- the war of 1812 had not even started as yet. But in 1806 my (our) Great Great Grandmother, Sarah Olive Rider was born on June 15th in Bath County, Virginia.

Not far away I'm sure, George Franklin Bumgardner (I've written about him recently) was growing up as well. If you check out his story in the previous post, recall that he and three Rider boys rode horseback over 600 miles one way to Iowa to scout out potential farmland, they did that in 1829 -- George upon his return wound up marrying a Rider girl -- Sarah.

I can only imagine the stresses of a trip like that. George and Sarah ultimately had ten children, two or three before leaving Virginia and then one on the way to Iowa -- William -- in Indiana (maybe Evensville).

They were one of the founding families of Muscatine, Iowa. From Muscatine the Bumgardners spread out to several cities in Iowa. We visited some of those cities on a trip now almost 10 years ago . . .

Dino and the Beach Ball

This week we did not have pool visitors and I think Dino missed that. The first part of the week was a bit cloudy though with even some of the loudest thunder that I have heard since childhood in the Midwest. There was a huge number of lightning shots as well . . .

Dino for some reason is attracted to the ball every time he goes outside.  This is actually the second ball as I made the mistake of throwing the first one outside of the pool and Dino somehow did manage to sink his teeth into it. Now he just lays by the edge of the water and watches as the ball travels around the pool and seemingly always goes by him and taunts him a bit -- but he doesn't go into the water after the ball.

Feelin' Patriotic

Before January of this year and before Guillain-Barre, I usually flew the flag every day, developing a habit as I retrieved the paper each morning. More recently with that habit broken I have not flown the flag as often and as a matter of fact hardly ever -- but yesterday I did retrieve the paper and I did put out the flag.

Only during the day did I find out it was "Flag Day":

I am glad that I remembered. In our neighborhood many homes fly the flag a lot and it brings back memories of growing up when my father put the flag out on "those special days". Presidents Wilson and Coolidge recommended June 14th as Flag Day, but it was Harry S Truman who made it official in 1949.

Feelin' Lucky

In the past few weeks I looked forward to "Webinar Wednesday" at Legacy Family Tree. They have great webinars where I have learned a lot. But this week was special -- two webinars, one on Wednesday and one on Friday -- I was lucky!

On Wednesday we heard the presentation from Tom Kemp regarding Genealogy Bank and the available newspapers that they offer and how to make the most of searching those papers. Genealogy Bank has the most newspapers digitized and is continually adding more -- I love browsing through and finding tidbits on family from our tree . . .

On Friday we heard a lively presentation from Thomas MacEntee on "research in New Jersey". His presentations are always good and there is always a ton of material that is meaningful and usable.

From both webinars I found myself using what I had just learned in practical ways. I searched many old newspapers in several cities where I could find folks from our tree living there and their everyday experiences came to light often through newspaper coverage.

New Jersey does play a role in the HILES line but I have not gotten "hard evidence" as yet -- hopefully with the searching tips from the webinar I will be able to uncover some proofs.

And Finally . . .

Father's day. An interesting day that I thought has been around for a long time -- not so long as I thought.
Mother's Day has been celebrated since 1914 while Father's Day only since President Johnson made it an officially recognized day in 1966.

So -- Happy Father's Day to all . . . in the above are two Fathers from our tree -- Gail's and mine. The pictures were both taken early in their lives and it is interesting that they both were dressed so nicely and to me it shows -- a good upbringing.

Also looking at the pictures it is interesting to note that we have the luxury of seeing our Fathers before they experienced the many things coming to them, just as I'm sure others will be able to do with us . . .

It's burger night . . .

That's a bit of our week, see you all in a few.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Blooms Back, So is the Heat (in Healdsburg)

We welcome back the heat and the things that are nourished by the sun -- flowers and the garden things. This year we have planned to NOT have as many tomatoes as we did last year AND to my knowledge, there are NO zucchinis in our garden (or future). We do have some peppers though . . .

One of my favorite flower is the IRIS and they are back this week, so beautiful. Click on the middle view above to get more detail.

There are many other bloomin' things going on right now so it is fun to see the various colors showing up around the yard. Purple does seem to dominate right now but that will change a bit as the weeks go on.

Dino and the Gnome are in the above along with the other blooms. The Lavender plants were alive with numerous bees doing their work. As I took these pictures around 8 AM I could feel the heat starting, and it should make it over the 100 degree mark sometime in the afternoon . . . we may not feel it though as the A/C is working hard at the moment -- and we are not planning to leave the premises.

Going On Right Now 

As I write this, the Southern California Genealogical Society's 2013 Jamboree is going full swing. Each year I think maybe I'll be attending and then . . . like this year the "window has closed" . . .

And this year they added one more day to the event -- so it runs from Thursday through Sunday of this week. And the added day was all about the impact that DNA is having on the genealogical world. And it is amazing the number of  "well-known and well-respected" speakers they are having. Our society here in Sonoma had/has one speaker (always good) but Southern Cal (held in Burbank) has over 50.

And they have numerous exhibits staffed with popular genealogical folks & "stuff" -- WOW! I am a member of both the Sonoma County Society and the Southern California Society and hope to visit the Jamboree, maybe next year . . .

Webinar Wednesday

Again I was dragged kicking and screaming attended the Wednesday presentation from Legacy Family Tree Webinars and this one by Marian Pierre-Louis. She presented a most interesting webinar having to do with the "genealogy of a house".

Above are just a couple of the many slides that she used in her presentation. The first reason that is listed as to why people research their homes is to "learn about former owners". In our case and with respect to our current home -- we don't have far to go about researching the former owners because we still get mail for most of them despite taking stacks back to the "crack" postal office . . .

Now, for some of the other homes that I have lived in or my relatives have lived in -- that is a different matter. One home I know is listed in a book describing it as a "historic residence" another though (the newest of the homes I lived in up to that point) has been totally demolished and a grander residence built in it's place.

When I went to look at my maternal grandparent's home in Chicago, via Google Maps, the first view of the house was totally obscured by leaves -- all I could see was the steps leading up the walkway. But by moving down the street a bit and looking back I could get some good photos (just like being there).

I hope to be able to report in subsequent posts findings that I get concerning some of the houses -- we'll see.
Especially I'd like to get the details of who owned the house that my (our) Great Grandfather Samuel Martin owned in Racine, Wisconsin at 1745 N Chatham. I'm not sure if it was built for him or if there were other owners -- there certainly are other owners now . . .

Speaking of Houses

And we were . . . we had "another project" completed yesterday. We had ten windows given new window coverings. A couple of them have been "bare" since early January when the kitchen work began -- the rest had cloth roll-up type coverings, maybe original . . .

The above are three examples -- the prior coverings on the left -- the new on the right. It really makes a difference and the "fish-bowl" feeling is no-more . . .

We also get an unobstructed west afternoon sun, the new shades will assist in keeping us a bit guarded from that -- we are getting use to the "new look", so far so good.

What's New 

I have to admit that I was far-afield and way out there on some of the branches this week. I found tidbits of information on various folks not necessarily about "main-line" relatives though.The things I found will be put into the HILES website for possible viewing by interested folks . . .

But -- I did find out about a maybe fun thing to do (thank you Eastman's Online Genealogical Newsletter) and that is a contest that is being held by a website:  and they are looking for entries telling "your story" on how and why you became interested in family history.

First though -- if you click on the above -- you'll see a "real" family tree . . . not much room for growth though. This one came from, a site stating "where Genealogy meets DNA testing  and I liked their photo.

But, on the right side is the contest announcement -- and it is available 'til July 19th, so you might consider telling your story -- I am planning on telling mine, which I usually do at the "drop of a hat". Watch for it in a future post . . .

How Hot Is It?

We were sooo glad that the mailman had a package today so he brought the mail to the door . . . that saved us from going "out" that's how hot it is -- supposed to be over 100 -- probably about now . . .

Earlier in the week though it got warm but we weren't sure early in the morning. On Tuesday we had invited many of the out-of-state visitors (attending Olivia's graduation) to come over to use the pool and for lunch. In the early morning there were clouds and a marine layer making the day look bleak -- but just around lunch-time, that changed and the sun came out nicely:

So, happy participants sat around and in the pool. Lunch (grilled cheese panninis) was served along with cones and popsicles for afterwards and beverages included. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we were glad that the pool got used twice in less than a few days.

It may get used again SOON that is, if we venture into the back yard -- we'll see. We hope we have everything we need for tonight's burger and fries Saturday night fare . . .

That was bit of our week, see you all in a few.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pomp With Circumstance . . . Healdsburg High (& Jr High)

The sound of the familiar Pomp & Circumstance was wafting through the air -- 'til it wasn't . . . on Thursday evening.  That was the night of the Healdsburg Junior High School Graduation ceremony. It was a hot day, but we had the a/c off and were enjoying the breeze when we heard the opening sounds of graduation coming through LOUD and clear.

We were finishing up dinner while enjoying Jeopardy when there was a very loud explosion coming from the direction of the ceremony. Everything stopped including Dino who stared at the location of the loud bang. All things electric went off with some of them "dimming" instead of shutting down . . .

In a bit some music started up again and some "speaker" voices -- but we remained "in the dark" and we did so for the next one and a half hours . . . not so bad when compared to places like Oklahoma . . .

Healdsburg High School Graduation Ceremony

The next night, Friday, was the designated night for the high-schoolers to celebrate -- and they did. But first there was the ceremony. Being outside was very pleasant. There were some 150 + graduates including one that we came to see -- Olivia -- my (our) Grand Niece.

The above shows some of the celebration of Olivia receiving her diploma (with Honors). I was limited in my photographic abilities partly due to my mobility and partly due to various blocking agents. But overall the program was appropriate and pleasant to attend. And we heard no explosions . . .

Olivia is slated to attend Seattle University in September (if you click on the above you can see the SU on her "cap") and we most likely at some point will visit her on campus -- we always enjoy trips back to the Seattle area . . .

Sometime the Solution is sooo Simple

This week I was lucky enough to spot a new addition for the computer keyboard which utilizes the location of a couple of little used keys and with the addition of the proprietary software, many of the everyday problems that plague us were virtually eliminated . . .

So -- there you have it. At the top is the button, I snapped a pic of the screen as the software was loaded and voila -- everything is now OK . . . we feel a lot better. Why we didn't see this before I don't know . . .
(The above was located on:

Webinar Wednesday

I worked on a variety of things relating to our family tree this week -- but again a highlight for me was the webinar put on by Legacy Family Tree -- this week the speaker was delivering facts relating to "autosomal DNA" testing.

Granted, you probably already know most of the facts, but the field is growing very rapidly. I first sent in my cheek swab 7 or 8 years ago with FamilyTree DNA. Over the years I have received many many connections to follow up on with respect to relatives -- some I was able to prove the relationship, others were a bit distant . . .

Actually this subject has and is hard to "put my arms around". I have swabbed my cheeks and "spit" into a tube for two different companies -- FTDNA and   After absorbing the webinar above, I have decided on sending my DNA into a third company, 23andMe. In fact I have just finished filling the portion of the tube that they have sent to me and am about to drop it into the mail for testing.

Why did I go with a third company -- because 23andMe includes health issues in their responses and I think that is very valuable information to have and share with family.

I am anxious to find out the results of the above -- and that should come back to me in about 6 weeks or so.

We're Tired and we just Attended

The graduation ceremony is just one of the events begging attendance -- the other is the graduation party. This party was held at and provided by the parents of Olivia. The weather was perfect and the timing was great -- 5 to 8 pm on Saturday night.

Above are just "some" of the folks attending -- there was a large and diverse list of folks. The food was excellent, the music very enjoyable (we like this group) and the conversations were a lot of fun. The graduate had to be tired (as was her Mother) because she attended the after ceremony celebration sponsored by the school and continued into the wee hours.

The other amazing fact was that as tired as Olivia was, after her party, she was planning on attending another party that a fellow graduate was putting on . . . just sitting in the chair made me very tired . . . and today both of us feel exhausted . . .

Pool Time

Not eight-ball or rotation -- actual folks in our pool. Some of the out-of-towners dropped by for dips into and around the pool on a very hot day. We were glad to offer up the cooling effect of the water and extended the offer for the coming hot spell.

The day was perfect for enjoying the pool. The water while -- we thought was warm -- felt actually cool at first due to the temperature difference -- but once in, it was fine . . .


A couple of posts (2) ago, I included a picture of my (our) Great Grandmother Elise Martin. She had several of her Great Grand Children situated around her -- AND I mentioned that I could ID all of the kids for sure except for the girl on her lap and the little boy on her lap . . .

Well -- I heard from "the little boy" on her lap -- it is my brother, Marv -- I had no idea when I saw this picture and I had mentioned that there were none of my siblings included in the group . . . boy was I wrong. The little girl my brother also identified as I suspected -- Vivian Hiles.

So that was a bit of our week. We may have burgers tonight . . . See you all in a few!