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Saturday, December 28, 2013

'Tis The Week-End After . . .

And all through the houses . . . actually we took our annual drive through town looking for "those Christmas lights" that we enjoy every year. And we were not disappointed -- though I neglected to bring my camera so here are some lights from someone's neighborhood:

And besides the drive-through we did some couch surfing and watched a couple of the episodes of ABCs "Light - Fight" highlighting the efforts of several families across the country to create the best Christmas lighting event and earn a very nice prize -- $50,000 and it was obvious that some of the participants would not cover their expenditures if they won . . .

The light shows were spectacular and amazing to watch and fun. There were directions on how to enter for next year's event -- I suppose our one-strand would need some additional to have a chance since several of the decorated homes had beyond a hundred thousand lights . . .

The synchronized music along with the lights was very entertaining and to see all the participating families make it happen -- wonderful!  I remember several examples of houses and even neighborhoods while growing up that had  Christmastime displays.

From the Tree, Birthdays & Anniversaries 

The coming week has many birthdays for our relatives -- some just before the end of the year and some just at the very beginning of the new year:

And then there are celebrations for anniversaries:

An Exciting Monday Before Christmas . . .

Gail and I enjoy watching professional football on TV, and it is always nice when "your team" gets featured on Monday Night Football -- and in this case the San Francisco Forty-Niners were set to play the Atlanta Falcons. 

What made this game special as well was the fact that it would be the last regularly scheduled Niner game played at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. While I have been to the "Stick" a few times both to see NFL games and also some MLB games I would agree with the sentiment that a major tradition was about to end.

The final game was played very aggressively, and while it ended up being a victory for the Niners, it nearly was not so . . . we watched intensely as the game clock ticked down and what looked to be an almost sure win for the Falcons suddenly changed direction.

NaVorro Bowman, number 53 of the Niners (shown above) a linebacker found himself in possession of the football in the final moments and outran number 19 of the Falcons (Drew Davis) to score the clinching touchdown AND a fitting end to the Stick . . .

Next year the Niner home games will be held (hopefully) in the new "Levi's Stadium" in Santa Clara. The 2016 Superbowl game is slated to be held there.

Christmas Eve

We attended the traditional Christmas Eve celebration at the Hiles' in town. There were about twenty in attendance (a few less than the thirty some at Thanksgiving). It was a very nice event, and we enjoyed the chance to visit and have some great eats and treats.

Above you can see some of the attendees and certainly one of the highlights was the traditional "white-elephant" exchange after dinner. In addition one of the after dinner treats was the home-made "Yule Log" that Gail prepared which was such a hit that by the time I went for some, it was gone . . . oh well, I did sample some of the ingredients as it was being made.

Christmas Day

After the "Eve" we were quite satisfied to have a "quiet" celebration the next day at home. We three, Dino and the two of us slowly opened our gifts and took time to enjoy the moment. 

Above you can see two of us three enjoying a gift -- Dino was really "licking" his chops over getting a new "antler" to chew on -- which he did intently for a great part of the day. Gail looks puzzled as well she should over one of the puzzles that she received (thank you Laurii & Gary) -- it is a very clever puzzle of the map around our home area . . . what makes it challenging is the fact that no picture is provided, and so many of the pieces are so similar -- but it will be rewarding to complete.

On the bottom left is a gift Gail gave to me -- a new fish aquarium -- that is in the process of being established and promises to be a lot of fun. 

The Dilemma of Online Shopping

By now everyone has probably heard that the delivery services of UPS & FedEx both experienced huge increases in shopping orders for the holidays.  These increases did seem to cause some delays -- but I don't think in our case. Gail seems to think that we may have been part of the reason:

I can relate to the above -- somewhat, along with our across-the-street neighbor who probably receives a couple more visits from UPS or FedEx than we do. But we absolutely love online shopping and don't see us changing that in the near future -- so many plusses . . .

The Last Post of the "Healdsburg Heritage Hound"  . . .

 . . . for this year anyway. This is post #52 for the year -- I wasn't sure that we'd make that number, but we did. And so now we look to a "New Year" -- 2014.

We are making plans to welcome the new year -- right! We've already purchased two steaks for the event, and we'll round out the menu in the next couple of days and be ready to "rumble" as they say.

And we wish the very best to all of you in the coming New Year. It is always fun "to start anew" in a new year, and this one especially looks like a good one.

And Lastly

We roasted a large chicken in our "fryer" the other night and after an enjoying meal we decided to make soup with the remaining chicken. 

And so it is "Tortilla Soup" for dinner tonight along with rolls and maybe cole slaw -- yum. The spice of the soup goes right along with the chill outside -- which was in the 20s again last night . . .

Have a great rest of this holiday week, and we'll see you all "in a few" !

Saturday, December 21, 2013

'Twas The Week-End Before . . .

This is the 355th  day of the year, AND it happens to be the shortest sunlight day as well. For us at least there is a feeling of calm -- our shopping is done, our mailing of boxes is done, our decorating is done, our cards are rolling in and the weather is moderate.

It is the first day of winter today -- though earlier this week here in our town one weather report showed us at 81° -- I never felt like that was accurate but it was warmish at times during the week.

As one of the pics shows there is a wide range of weather across the U.S., but there is no doubt that today we officially welcome winter. The bottom four pics show books relative to the subject, and if further research is desired they can be ordered from Amazon . . .

Birthdays & Anniversaries

I somehow neglected to include birthdays and anniversaries last post so I am including those from last week AND those to be celebrated next week.

And for the first time two days for next week show NO birthdays for folks from our tree . . .

So congratulations to all!

This Week -- Grand Parent's Night -- 21st Annual

For about 21 years or so we have hosted an event for just the Grandparents and the Grand kids to share the holiday spirit. We though that maybe since the two principal grand kids were currently in college that there would be little or no interest -- but NO -- there was popular demand . . .

Above are some of the pictures relating to this year's celebration. It was originally planned when the kids were infants so that the parents could get away and do their shopping -- but now it has morphed into a mutual gathering of adults -- some younger than others . . .

A fine time was enjoyed by all, and we do look forward to next year's event.

Health Issues at this Time

It seems that it is a mine field for a lot of us as it refers to health -- but it is not only for us -- Dino has to be considered as well. This last week Dino exhibited some distress as it relates to digestion and to be on the safe side -- a visit to the veterinarian was in order.

Dino, being a full lab, means he is capable of eating, and semi digesting any object that he finds interesting or for that matter available to him. It was decided to have him checked out and x-rays were in order.

The above shows Dino -- before, during the exams and afterwards. The middle picture was taken at the vet's and Dino has the leaded jacket on and the technician's glasses. He loves going to the vet's and as it turns out, thankfully, he appears to be just fine.

We are taking the precaution though of putting him on a different diet -- that is one for dogs with sensitive stomachs and are currently making that change in his diet. He has never lost interest in eating, and that continues now as well . . .

Webinar Wednesday

The last of this year's webinars (from Legacy Family Tree) was held on Wednesday. They have had 52 this year and they have begun listing those for next year as well.

This week it was all about finding those lost records using some of the new technology available. The webinar was great and it ended the year on a positive note -- one that we can maybe still find records that have been lost due to fire or other disasters through other means.

And on the bottom right are listed the next five webinars coming up -- all at no charge for live viewing . . .

Happy Holidays ! !

We are about to venture into town to view last minute shoppers (and wine tasters). When we return we plan to have "slider Saturday night"  for a change.

We wish all the very best Christmas ever! !

Last week we posted 10 days 'til Christmas, now it is:

See you all in a few !

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday Season, Yule See

The season and the cold has crept up on us. I wasn't totally ready for Christmas to loom so quickly, maybe the frost helped me. Also helping was an influx of Christmas cards and even a few telephone calls relating to the holidays . . . AND a couple of trips to the post office, waiting in line to mail packages -- so a variety of things has put us into the spirit of Christmas:

Also decorating the house, mostly inside with some outside, the banner (left side) is hanging on our front porch. Father Christmas, as he was described in a newsletter from Wisconsin Historical Society, has scheduled two days of having breakfast with him next Saturday and Sunday in Eagle, Wisconsin. Details can be found at:

Every year we debate about the decorations and just to what level of detail we are going to go . . . this year was no different. At first it was -- do we get a tree or not and if we do, small or large. Well we made it over to the local Kiwanis Club tree lot and selected a mid-sized tree. The nice thing is that the tree fit into the back of the van and was up on the back porch within a few minutes of the purchase.

Gail always opts for "doing" the lights for which I am grateful. Then she adds the ornaments (most of which she has needle pointed). And little by little the house is transformed:

Each picture above is in or about our house except for the sailboat and the one below it which can be found at Dry Creek Vineyard Winery where we happened to be a couple of days ago. It is Dino's third holiday season, and he just takes it all in stride -- he has walked around town a bit with his Santa collar on . . .

Holidays Past

It seems that memories of holidays past are conjured up as we go about activities relating the day. We watched a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production the other night, and that brings up pleasant thoughts of the holidays and even watching the newly released version of "The Sound of Music" evoked mellowness.

The ornaments and decorations as they were taken out of their storage boxes reminded us how "fun" this time of year really is. I was inundated with recalling different eras as I checked out a favorite site designed to do "just that".  From

I love looking at old advertisements and the above pages are sure familiar to me. One thing that I find interesting is that soft drinks almost never come in bottles anymore -- at least glass bottles, the kind that there was maybe a 2¢ deposit on and where lots of money could be made from enterprising kids . . .

And just maybe you have not finished your Christmas shopping yet -- the following pages just may give you some ideas -- it did years ago:

Times have certainly changed in that would giving "her" a Hoover or a set of  Pyrex really be in your best interest these days. Or check out the camera or the radio, they might be good nowadays in a museum collection. And fountain pens, Bulova watches and a set of Presto Cookware . . .

And then to lull away the days and evenings for us kids there were the non-electronic games that we played for hours and sometimes days on end:

Two of my favorites I don't see above -- and those are Monopoly and Star Reporter. We had certain friends that came over to play those games when there was no school. Monopoly we played with friends and with family. I recently saw a new version of the game board for Monopoly that would have really been fun to have years ago -- one that had built in banking drawers and drawers for real estate buildings and for moving pieces.
I would guess that Star Reporter is not around anymore partly due to the changing news reporting world.

A Bit About Genealogy

So where is Santa -- these days I am not sure, but back 100 years we looked for him and sure enough we found him (and his family) in four different censuses -- 1900, 1910, 1930, and the 1940:

Thanks to who alerted me to where I could find Santa in the four census years -- in Missouri of all places. And Santa's parents, siblings, and later his wife and children can be seen. They must have lead interesting lives.

And then thinking about Santa & St Nick I wondered how they came to be. Thanks to another site I got the answers:

So there we have it, the mysteries solved. Now how & when do we tell all the kids.

Isthmus Past

Lastly this goes back a bit farther than I can relate to, but some folks claim they know these kind of a facts about their lineage and ancestors -- good for them:

So that was a bit of our week, we hope your week went well! Have fun, see you all in a few!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chillin', Snow -- It Could Happen . . .

But it most likely will not (snow here that is). But the nagging worry of a frozen pipe still exists as the weather has become quite harsh -- for Healdsburg standards. Anytime we hear the term "wind-chill" relating to our town's weather has to mean something is not right . . .

This 25° temp was around 8 am so it was colder in the night. Late yesterday (Friday) it rained quite a bit in the late afternoon and evening -- if it had waited and rained in the night, it might have been snow. Even so there is no prediction of snow here.

I did have to walk very cautiously out on the back porch this morning as the wet left a thin layer of ice across the deck AND Dino's outside water bowl was a large chunk of frozen ice. The weather this year has been interesting as usual at least we don't have to use a snow blower or shovel anything.

Our new electric blanket arrived this week (we swore we would never get one) and it sure is welcome, toasty and warm as we sleep with a window open at night . . .

Webinars This Week

After having NO webinar last week due to Thanksgiving this week made up for that by having two -- one on Wednesday and one on Friday, both excellent.

On Wednesday it was a trip down memory lane with respect for working on genealogy and including the web and other electronic aids. Barbara Renick talked about the different era's of genealogy and technology.
And concluded with what is "going on" in today's environment -- very nicely done.

And then equally as beneficial was the webinar on Friday: all about the many features and things that we can do with the "Flip-Pal" Scanner (which I do have and use).

Legacy Family Tree has published their webinar schedule for 2014 and at this point they have 52 scheduled and they usually have additional ones added later. If you'd like to check that out and sign-up here is a link to get you started:    Legacy Family Tree Webinars

Newly Received Pics 

It is always nice to receive pictures of our relatives and I have been lucky to have received quite a few to scan from my brother, and now Gail received 5 here-to-fore not seen pictures of her family, from her sister.

The top row is of her Dad, Jim (Millard) Bouldron from the Army days and in the 40s. The lower pictures are of the Rahman's. From the lower left, Gail's Aunt Violet, Gail's Mom Myrtle, Grandma Jenny Jensen Rahman, Gail's Aunt Gladys Rahman Dawn & lastly, Gail's Grandfather Henry Rahman.

We hope to receive other family photos to share as well.  Feel free to send what you want to and I can scan and return any originals that you wish -- then many folks can enjoy them.

Birthdays & Anniversaries ♥  ♥ 

Another Anniversary, the 72nd  •  •  •

I actually was not around for this event, but it is a significant National event and one that -- it just so happens I appeared nine months later.  And every year we are reminded of the consequences of this war. For the younger generation the marking of the tragedy has been almost replaced by the 9-11 anniversary.

I believe that after Pearl Harbor occurred my father tried to re-enlist but was not able to do so because of an accident that took one of his kidneys (while on a previous active duty with the Army). As I have mentioned before there was a huge fire in St. Louis in the 1970s that unfortunately destroyed millions of veteran's service records -- including those belonging to my father.

I do though remember my father talking about serving in the Army in Hawaii, but I do not know any of the details -- one piece of evidence about that is that my father had only one tattoo, and that was the word "Honolulu" written in the crook of his arm . . .

It is amazing how much the world has changed since December 7, 1941 and for that matter since September 11, 2001.

Found in a Newspaper Blurb

At various times during the week I often take time to search through old newspapers looking for any tidbits that I can find associated with any of our relatives. And this week was no different though I found a little piece of information about one of my Aunts -- actually a Grand Aunt of mine (ours).

Aunt Carrie Martin Palmer, my Dad's mother's sister lived for many years in the house at 1745 N. Chatham St., Racine, Wisconsin. The house originally had been her father's -- Captain Samuel Martin.

Later Aunt Carrie left the cold climate of Wisconsin and settled into St. Petersburg, Florida -- where we also visited her -- once. I remember almost every Christmas that our family received a large wooden crate filled with mostly Florida grapefruit and oranges -- which in Illinois were out-of-season -- and so we enjoyed that a lot.

But in November of 1948 she apparently still lived in Racine as I found this little piece of information about her -- I do not recall the story -- maybe either my brother or sister does . . .

Apparently Aunt Carrie during a visit to our home had the misfortune of falling down our stairs -- it may have been the steep stairs I recall leading to the second floor in the "little" house. Aunt Carrie would have been 69 years of age in 1948 (she lived until 1964) and I'm sure that she must have recovered from the fall and then maybe soon afterwards moved to Florida . . .

I never know what I will find next in the papers so I keep looking . . .

And Lastly, Two and a half weeks to go . . .

That's right just 18 days until Christmas, and it is really speeding by. I just hope that the USPS can handle the volume as does UPS and FedEx. And the latest info is that Amazon is developing "drones" that in the future will be able to deliver (they say often within a half hour of ordering) many of their smaller orders -- right to the front yard of the recipients. That will be so interesting. and they expect to do that in a couple of years.

And by the time you read this -- even fewer days to go. That is a bit of our week. See you all in a few!