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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Indoor/Outdoor Sun

It has been a nondescript weather week here. We see on the news that weather in the Midwest, East, and Southern areas of the country has been anything but.

After two full weeks the indoor plants are thriving. All 7 have visible growth though some are much faster growers than others.

To keep up we'll have to make sure what the next steps are to cultivate and use these herbs. The unit comes on automatically and stays on for 17 hours. It got a little thrown off when we had an hour and a half power outage.

Oscar Power

As is our custom we watched the Oscars again this year. We know that we have not seen any of the current films up for awards AND we don't think that we have seen any of last year's either.  We are so "out of it" . . .

But for us this year one of the more memorable presentations was that of Lady Gaga -- which was a total surprise to us.

We had no idea that she could deliver such an engaging tribute to "The Sound of Music". We thoroughly enjoyed her singing -- which for us was surprising. We have seen her recently performing with Tony Bennett and have enjoyed that as well.

Who will be next to change our opinions?

The Newspaper Search Continues

I have again been into some old newspapers and find myself enveloped by the page after page of possible "golden" tidbits.

I have written before about Gail's Great Great Grandfather, Rufus Calhoun, the Sea Captain whose house we visited up in Port Townsend, Washington.

Click on the image to the left to see the Family Group Sheet for Rufus and Sarah (Fillmore).

There were eight children in the family and there have been several articles in the HHH about some of them.

We were excited to visit Port Townsend a few years ago and visit places that were familiar to Rufus.

He was born in Canada, died in San Francisco and had seven siblings.

He and his brothers were engaged in shipbuilding in Port Townsend. One of the ships that they built and Rufus captained for awhile was the "Alaska":

Click on the above image to read some of the facts about the "Alaska". Rufus was 39 years old when he and his brothers built the ship. Just two short years later when Rufus was 41 and Captain of that ship -- it was wrecked while carrying a load of lumber bound for Hawaii.

The ship was later salvaged and repaired and went on to working in the Bering Sea in the Cod industry. The ship was lost in the Bering Sea about 1885.

Now this week while nosing around the old newspapers and in the "Port Townsend Leader" specifically the January 2, 1904 edition, I spotted the following regarding Rufus who had less than a month earlier, died:

Neither Gail nor I had seen this before and were surprised at finding it. There were specific instructions and bequeaths to be sure. The "Will" certainly begs for "follow-up".

Genealogy Related TV -- This Week & Next

This week we saw another edition of "The Genealogy Roadshow" on PBS. The shows are fascinating and usually highlights several stories surrounding regular folks and their family histories.

The show is in it's second season and is about through for this year -- but their is a casting call for season three:

If you have a unique question regarding family history go to the above URL and fill out the form and send it in -- you never know . . . maybe we'll be watching your story next year.

Then a week from this Sunday, the new season of WDYTYA begins on TLC:

We have watched and enjoyed every episode of this show -- too bad that it is not on PBS where there would not be commercials so that more genealogical content would be shown . . .

Never-the-less we'll be watching (recording) the shows and looking forward to the celebrities who are featured.

What Else is New (to me anyway)

I read Dick Eastman's blog every day and always learn new things about what is going on in the world of genealogy. This week Dick had a blurb on a podcast that has been around a couple of years that I had not heard of before.

I listened to one show and found it to be really professional and very interesting.

I hope that I can go back and listen to the shows that I missed.

I appreciate Dick Eastman sharing and highlighting this show.

You can check it out by going to the URl at the left.

It appears that there is something for all who are interested in genealogy to listen to and enjoy.

Available on iHeartRadio.

And an immediate "thank you" to Fisher of "Extreme Gens" for the family plaque to the right.

I have to agree that "our family" too certainly fits into the realm of "normal", it does doesn't it?

And that is a bit of our week -- see you all in a few!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Siberian Pineapples

The weather this week alternated between warm, fairly warm, cool, fairly cool and somewhere in between. Not of course to the coastal extremes that we see on the news. Eight feet of snow in some cities back East while very little snow pack here in the West:

These are some examples of the night sky off in the west this week. On the left and right are pics of a crescent moon with (click to enlarge) Mars & Venus appearing brightly in the early evening sky.

We haven't seen such a clear vision of this type of moon in some time with the two planets so close to one another.

The picture in the middle silhouettes our pelican weather vane with a brilliant red sky at night display. None of the above stays around for very long so Dino gets antsy with me taking snaps while he is about his business . . .

One of the negatives to having so much warm weather this early in the year is why we received this warning picture to the right.

While we have not seen any of these creatures in our yard -- I half expect to at any given moment -- probably not going to happen.

I only came semi face to face once with a rattler in my yard and that was down in Southern California . . . but I have not forgotten that experience.

It is also the reason that I stopped treading through the overgrown areas of our local cemetery when I would receive a photo request from Find-a-Grave.

I have to be certain that among the uncared for tombstones are numerous rattler families.

What to Do, What to Do

When we were in our career days we used to dream of the days when we did not have to report to an employer.

We are now very much in those days. And it is so important that we have meaningful and rewarding activities to fill our days.

One of Gail's is needlepoint work. Her current project is shown above.

Another of Gail's is working jigsaw puzzles. She has a procedure when beginning a new one as seen to the right.

She is starting a great San Francisco based puzzle and this is what the beginning steps look like -- and she declares that she will "never" be able to do this one . . .

And to the left after one full week of beginning her new indoor gardening project -- sprouts can be seen in three of the seven plants.

Cilantro in the front left and right behind them are two types of basil that have come into view.

It is an interesting project and next we might attempt to grow some flowers.

For me, I could spend most of the day working on genealogical things. And I have to say that I agree with "Deidre" expressing what I know to be true quite often.

I am not sure if there is any insurance coverage for ADGD as yet or if there are any remedies.

I am almost to the point where I just have fun and let it happen . . .

Some Uncovered Tidbits

I have written about my First Cousin John C Hiles a few times in earlier posts. You can always do a search to check it out or other facts as well.

When you see charts like this it is easy to accept the information and move on. But this week I received something (from a very good genealogy sleuth) that sheds some light on the above -- actually sheds a lot of light on the above.

John C Hiles from the chart above had two wives -- nothing earth shattering as many people have had two spouses -- but the article to the left put that whole new light on the matter.

Without the article,  I would have just assumed that John and his first wife just decided to part ways and new lives and families were started.

I have seen newspaper articles offering rewards for information and or the return of things (even slaves).

This article seeks information so that John would be able to reunite with his 14 year old daughter -- he does not mention the reuniting with his wife.

I have traced some of the whereabouts of his daughter and will share some of that in another post.

I have NO idea if there was any reward given but I do know that both
John and his 1st wife remarried and had additional families . . .

Another Newspaper Find This Week

And while noodling around in "Chronicling America" I happened onto the little tiny bitsy
tidbit to the right.

I had not seen this before and felt very lucky to
have uncovered this record.

From that article hopefully we will be able to determine the actual address or maybe even a picture of the house where the family lived at that point.

This is an example of where ADGD actually got me "a lot to show for it".


I couldn't resist putting this image in the post -- it reminds me so much of when Gail and  I raised Dino while in the GuideDogs for the Blind program.

The above photo came from the Southeastern Guide Dogs program and could easily have been one of Dino and a sibling.

That was a bit of our week. See you all in a few!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Very Warm Valentine Day Greeting

The sun is working overtime this week in Northern California. The days are warm and sunny -- it does not do much for the drought, but it is very pleasant.

This week has been filled with sessions -- sessions from the world's largest genealogy event held in Salt Lake City -- ROOTSTECH:

As I have mentioned before -- I would love to attend "rootstech" but during the last three days I have done the next best thing by watching live streaming sessions of selected sessions.

Earlier in the week I also attended a Family Tree Webinar on "Zigzagging Through German Church Records" which as usual I was able to glean many worthwhile research points.

But I have to say that the streaming sessions from Rootstech have been super -- and I just finished the last one a few minutes ago:

Above you can get some of the flavor of the sessions. There were several "keynote" speakers and several classroom type presentations. Without a doubt, for me, the very best session was the keynote address from Donny Osmond.

Donny Osmond presented a wonderful "story", one that I will remember for a long time. I hope that they have recordings available of it because I would like to view it again. He is so very accomplished and able to make a remarkable recollection of events from his personal life as well as translate that to be meaningful to others.

Particularly when he spoke about the early days of his father and mother's marriage and the start of their family you could feel the emotion and admiration for family in his words and presence.

Some Researching Too

I actually did achieve some success in my researching as well this week. With the collaboration of another cousin (you know who you are . . .) we have pretty much determined one more child of my 3rd Great Grandfather -- John Hiles Jr.

I have read that between his two wives that he had 16 children, three with Nancy Crosby and I now have 12 to list with Charity Reed. The last one is Hannah Hiles. that leaves one more to identify.

On the left above you can see the list of children from John & Charity, Each one of the kids would be either a 3rd Great Aunt or a 3rd Great Uncle. So it is nice to see that with the addition of Hannah and her marriage to John (James) Perrigo the numerous newly identified 1st cousins and 2nd cousins so far.

We'll keep our fingers crossed that we can find the one more Great Aunt of Uncle and the cousins from that person as well.

It truly is "one more piece of the puzzle" that keeps us enthused and moving on.

Speaking of Puzzles

Genealogy is very much like working on a jigsaw puzzle. And of course as we have mentioned many times before -- Gail works jigsaw puzzles regularly:

Over to the right you can see the Valentine Puzzle that she got a couple of weeks ago. My thinking was that it would carry her into the week of Valentine's Day . . . I would be wrong.

Gail put in a lot of effort and finished the very complicated border to complete the heart-shaped valentine early last week . . .

That meant that she could enjoy viewing her work, but precluded her from the puzzle activity.

The solution was simply to pull out another puzzle and work on that as well.

So that is just what she did:

The American Express Train is another Liberty Wooden Puzzle that has a lot of appeal.

It also generated a drive in Gail to finish it as soon as she could -- so that means not only did she complete the Valentine's puzzle, she finished the Train puzzle as well.

I can attest that these are "not that easy" to do. But they are addictive. Kind of like the genealogy puzzles for me.

I just wish that there was some sort of sense of completion every once in a while in genealogy like in the completion of wooden jigsaw puzzles.


Gail has been talking about putting in a
garden. So today, in between Rootstech
sessions (for me) and her needle pointing,
she did.

Started a garden in the dining room. Indoor
herb growing and later can be flowers.

There are seven types of seeds starting to germinate that will provide us with some
herbs in a few weeks -- we hope.

More to follow on the progress of her gardening as the weeks go by.

That was a part of our week. Have a great Valentine's Day and we'll see you all in a few!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Pineapple Express -- Umbrella Down

All week we were being warned of the pending storm to hit Northern California. After many days of "nothing" to speak of in terms of weather -- it arrived on Friday:

Apparently this weather has a definite channel right from Hawaii to us here in California. Actually we felt the warm breezes a bit -- the thermometer was a few degrees warmer right before the rains began.

For practical reasons we usually set up a large umbrella at one of the back doors and then one stationed near a front door. While watching TV we did notice the sounds of heavier than normal winds.

When we went to go outside this morning to take Dino on his "business trip" we did not realize how much the wind had interacted with our back-deck umbrella. Walking down the stairs I was immediately presented with a submerged umbrella in the shallow end of the pool.

Dino found it a curiosity but quickly ignored it enough to complete his mission. We just laughed at how that umbrella must have struggled with the wind as we had somewhat secured it between the porch gliders.

Thinking back to our previous residence (under several oaks) we are really glad to not have the worry of falling branches and/or limbs when experiencing winds. We see plenty of that happening on the local news.

Memories of the Super Bowl

Thoughts of the Super Bowl are still lingering with us almost a week later -- but for some -- those lingering thoughts will be there for a long long time.

When we open the fridge there is a small amount of leftover Super Bowl treats still there which as of today will be gone.

We had "Philly Cheese Steak Dip" and a generous bowl of guacamole with chips.

Dino enjoyed one of his favorite treats -- ice cubes . . . go figure.

We managed to put away a fair amount of the above, enough so that dinner was not required after the game.

Next Super Bowl will be played in Levi Stadium, right here in Northern California and maybe we'll recognize a team or two.

Webinars This Week

This week it seemed that I had more webinars than ever to watch -- and I did. It is so nice to be able to enjoy these events:

I learn something from each webinar even when it may sound that it couldn't apply to our genealogy.

For example, finding Confederate Soldiers, the methodology very much applies to finding Union Soldiers as well -- but we do have both in our tree.

There are a couple coming next week -- but the real attention will be on the largest genealogical event of the year:

I will be attending as many of the available presentations as possible. This is a great chance to see what is happening in the genealogy world.

One day maybe I'll even attend in person, though it is kind of like attending large sporting events -- I often find it more beneficial to attend via TV or online.

Research Results This Week

Off to the right you can view a screen shot from the Hiles Website.

This one features Elma Ann Green, a second cousin of mine (ours).

Her Grandmother is the sister to our Grandfather, Lloyd Hampton Hiles.

Her mother, Dorothy, married Carl Green. And together they had two children, Elma Ann and
John Allen Green.

Up to this week I did not have a photo of Elma Ann -- but I found one from her high school senior picture from Arcadia High School.

I never had the opportunity met Elma Ann, John Allen or their parents -- but I could have!

Since I was familiar with Arcadia, California, having lived there for several years, I looked up the 1968-1969 Arcadia City Directory and found the Green family.

And guess what -- they lived about two blocks away from where I lived in those years:

To me that is amazing that I was living with my wife and two children just two blocks from a first cousin, Dorothy and her husband and two second cousins, their kids. We may have been together in a supermarket or a doctor's office or even at Santa Anita Race Track . . .

How many other situations like the above will we uncover . . . who knows.

And Finally -- What is on our Nightstand?

Tonight we will begin reading a new book. We just finished reading James Garner (Bumgarner). The book was a memoir of sorts and it really verified that James Bumgarner was a truly nice person.

Everyone who wrote testimonies to Jim spoke highly of him and we are glad to hear that the way we always felt about him was shared by so many others.

We look forward to reading "Carl Reiner -- I Remember Me".

Just this week we saw Carl Reiner appearing on the "Tonight Show, starring Jimmy Fallon".

At almost 92 years old, he was absolutely as funny and humorous as ever.

He apparently is the only entertainer to have been on "all" the
"Tonight Show" iterations since it began.

And the foreword of the book was written by another favorite of ours -- Billy Crystal.

It is a book I am sure that we will enjoy.

And, since it is Saturday, we will be having burgers fish for dinner . . .  see you all in a few!