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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Young Dogwoods, Dog & A Slivery Moon

It's here this week!  Summery weather for sure, high 70s to the low 90s, coming up and no sign of rain for the next several days. In the evening just after sunset, a low hanging sliver of a moon off in the western sky.

That's the good news . . . the other news is that it means that I'll have to test run the sprinklers and then put them on a regimen. Unlike the last two years when we could only water on Tuesday evening and on Friday evening, this year (with the drought over we think) we can again choose our schedule of watering.

The dogwoods (two of them) are flowering beautifully -- along with a couple of other plants. They are about the same age as Dino (5 1/2) and looking fine! These are the skies this morning and there is not a single cloud in the sky.

And the moon -- hopefully it will be hanging out back again later this evening -- is remarkable.

This is the 119th day of the year, about 32% has been used up in 2017. But for whatever reason, this marks a significant day in the Presidential term of DJT -- 100th day or about 7% of the first term.

To me, it will be most important to see what the remaining 1360 days bring during this term. There are so many concerns that have to be dealt with -- some more serious than others.

Donald Trump is officially the oldest person starting a first term Presidency. He already has served over three times as long as William Harrison did (who may be related to us).

I can only imagine the stress and pressure of having such an important job at his age. I am a few years older but would find it extremely difficult to keep such a schedule and such a high profile as he does. I get uptight when the scheduling of the DVR goes awry . . .

Legacy Family Trees Webinars presented two webinars this week, shown to  the left.

The first was about "land ownership maps". Very impressive presentation and useful as well. I just wish more of our ancestors could be found "owning land", so many were tenants.

The second webinar also was very fascinating in that it dealt with how to research criminal records -- not that folks in our tree would be involved . . .

I am sure that with some research we could uncover a few folks that fell outside the legal norms, but so far I have uncovered very little -- which is a good thing for sure.

Falling well within legal boundaries though this week would be a couple of activities that Gail (and I) have engaged in.

Gail especially has rekindled her interest in working puzzles and is engaged with that activity as I write.

The Liberty Puzzles that offer such beautiful wooden pieces are being constantly arranged so that they fit together in the likeness of the cover picture by Gail.

And every day, we play Quiddler in the late afternoon. It is such a quick paced game and a learning experience as well. We both use the dictionary on several of the hands. Gail continues to win a majority of the games -- but I have somewhat of an excuse as I am usually fixing dinner while we are playing . . .

Sadly, the finale show appeared last Monday -- but it was a great episode.

It was about Liv Tyler (Steven Tyler's daughter)

The facts and people that were uncovered in her family were amazing.

Even Steven was blown away by the discoveries. Very much fun to watch.

We hope that the show returns next year -- and we can hardly wait.

In the meantime, the search goes on. I have to say though that "spring cleaning" has gotten a bit into the scene as we have systematically attacked now two closets. Later today, we will be making a "Goodwill" run and I shutter to think as we move forward of the things that we will find . . .

And for that I'm thankful. Everyday, I work on some aspect of genealogy and am continually enthused and invigorated by this hobby . . .

That's a bit of our week. See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Weather Kerfuffle

Okay, so one day it is nice and we have the windows and doors open, the next day it is rainy and cold and we close up tight. Following that we had a hot day, everything closed up again along with the a/c on. Next it was cool and rainy again and we had the heat on . . . today kind of bland with a plain sky though it misted earlier in the morning.

So what's next . . . at least we can't say that the weather has been boring lately.

I attended another webinar. This one, this morning and it was excellent. I had to get up and be ready to attend "class" at 8 am -- just like the old days, so-to-speak.

The hot topic these days in genealogy is "DNA" and so that was what the webinar was about and it was entitled "Additional DNA Tools and Concepts Boot Camp" from the DNA Boot Camp series.

The webinar was hosted by Thomas MacEntee and presented by Mary Eberle. Together they made the webinar interesting and educational.

I find this subject of DNA to be very complex and with each class or webinar things become more understandable and usable.

Above, Family Tree DNA charts show us genetic "Adam" and "Eve" with the origins for both deep in Africa thousands of years ago.

Today's webinar demonstrated the use of several tools to use to analyze more current genetic finds or matches of our own.

In the midst of my searching I turn up names and faces a lot of whom I can not identify. And that file gets bigger and bigger.

I'm hoping that one day I'll be able to use DNA matching to the point that I might even be able to identify some of the interesting photos that I gather for folks in our tree.

Above are some very interesting groups of people, but I do not know who they are and for what event they are posing for a picture. Maybe one of you know, if so, please let me know, thanks.

I particularly like the early version of the "RV". I can only imagine what that was like i.e. having seven people cruising around together.

The middle pic shows 3 folks admiring a young bear and where are the parents or at least the mom.

The last pic shows a family of ten enjoying maybe a holiday and gathered out back . . .

Besides the searching around, I did attend a Legacy Family Tree Webinar on land records.

Mary Hill was the presenter and she always is very informative and this time was also.

Using things like "metes & bounds" and other ways of describing property she shows us how we can use that information to increase our tree size with legitimate resources.

Every one of these webinars is like getting "free" advice that will only help each of us to be better at what we do.

In the bottom right of the chart shows us the upcoming webinars that are free to watch in the live version, usually on Wednesdays, sometimes Fridays.

Coming up on "Who Do You Think You Are?" this next week looks to be very interesting.

Usually the show is on Sunday night but this appears to be on Monday night the 24th at 8 pm on TLC.

I have to be honest, I did not connect Liv Tyler to Steven Tyler . . . and for me this makes it all that much more fascinating.

When I've seen Steve Tyler performing (which has not been THAT often) I almost couldn't connect him to any family type activities . . .

So, we'll be watching this episode with maybe a bit more interest.

And lastly, since we are talking about -- what else -- DNA:

And that may not be far from the truth . . .

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

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Okay, so we are almost one month into "spring" and I (we) are just thinking about cleaning. For some reason it just came to me that there are some areas of the house that need the attention of organization and a good "going through".

We are starting in the master bedroom closet -- the one that has shelves of items that we no longer have any idea of what is there. We carefully placed the items there when we moved in and have not addressed them -- until now.

There is some order to the items on the shelves, but we have already found several items that we did not know that we had and others that we have purchased duplicates of . . .

We would like the inside of this closet to eventually look as orderly as a garden flower box, maybe not ours but the ones that you find in magazines.

We may have overdone it a bit yesterday as we both were exhausted after an hour or so -- we now have a folding table filled with closet items that we have to "do something with". So that will begin again today . . .

I have to admit that part of the problem is my hobby -- that of working on family history some most of my free time . . .

So, while, sometimes my desk area could resemble the above to others, I generally know where everything is and I eventually "get to it".

After the master closet, I, we'll attack the office area . . . even though I do get it back to bare wood at times, there are a lot of things that have accumulated that I need to attend to -- I keep reminding myself of how "good" I'll feel once it is done.

It reminds me of the days of elementary school when on the last day you had to clean out the desk that you had been using all semester -- thank goodness for that little round hole in the bottom of the desk to push out remnants and crumbs.

Besides the obvious "piles" there still are boxes of what used to be piles and are now "neatly" stored in the garage -- this process never ends . . .

I did take a "break" on Friday of this week to participate in Legacy Family Tree's 500th presentation of a webinar.

The webinar was on Photo Restoration which is an activity that I enjoy doing. It was excellent and I learned a lot. There were also links to pursue other classes on the subject.

As part of the celebration of the 500th, Legacy Family Tree Webinars has granted free access this weekend to all 500 of the webinars. The webinars when viewed live are free and available for a few days afterwards -- then they are archived and available for a charge or with a membership.

So, it is a good time to view the huge library of webinars and select some to view -- and learn.

Then I'll be taking another break to watch a favorite show -- WDYTYA this Sunday evening.

This night they will be featuring some family history details of John Stamos. And as I have mentioned before -- to me I am interested in every person that they feature, maybe some more than others, but this one looks very interesting.

I know that I'll learn from the presentation something that will carry over to my own search. One thing that I notice on the show is that "physically" visiting the repositories seems to be a key for success.

I would love to have the resources to just "head off to wherever" and meet key genealogists who were working on my tree . . . I will keep trying to duplicate those trips, online . . .

Another reason I dislike the process of preparing
our taxes is that I feel so relieved after I "push the button" to file online that I look for things to do like "cleaning out closets" . . .

If you haven't finished your taxes -- normally today, the 15th would have been the deadline to file. But holidays in the DC area gave us all a

But, our return has already been accepted by both the feds and the state -- which was really faster than usual.

Income tax is either something I'm doing or dreading doing the whole year long.

I think I'm not alone in that . . .

And lastly -- we wish all a Happy Easter!  We have the obligatory
"B.A." ham (as Letterman used to refer to) and the most delicious dessert ever -- a lemon drenched sponge cake.

The lemons were from our tree, but transposed into something truly special by our neighbor to whom we gave a couple bags of lemons.

We tried out the dessert already (life is short, eat dessert first) and we think it just might be the best one ever!

So, that is a bit of our week. See you all "in a few" !

Saturday, April 8, 2017

It's Baaack . . . Wintry Weather, For One

So, back came the rain, back came the cold and back came HHH (Healdsburg Heritage Hound). It is the "foreseeable future" now. Judging from the responses and the inquiries, most all readers of this blog connected the date of last week's post (April 1) to the substance and had it figured out. At least some of it anyway but also kept the options open.

Sorry about my attempt at levity, and it'll not happen again -- at least in the same form. So on we continue. The weather this week is just like winter. We've turned on the heat and the electric blankets for awhile. And then we have periods of sunshine with rain not far away from the forecast.

I do have to say though that the rainy conditions have spurred the dogwood trees to blossom handsomely this week -- not to mention the apple trees as well. I love the fact that I have not had to water the grass or plants so far this year. It would be nice if we could have rain every so often during the year -- like we used to get in the Midwest.

The trees are not the only blossoming going on though -- DNA and all the matches and coordinating reports are everywhere.

Daily, I receive notice that I (we) have new matches and new ways to deal with trying to figure out how these matches fit into our tree.

DNA advances keep coming and with more and more folks testing the results will continue to explode. I am overwhelmed with where and who to work with next. I have attended several DNA webinars so far this year with another scheduled on April 22.

As a matter of fact, on our nightstand right now we are reading a new book -- guess the topic -- a DNA related success story.

"The Foundling" by Paul Joseph Fronczak and Alex Tresniowski
is the true story of a baby who is kidnapped from his hospital nursery (1964) and two years later returned to the birth parents -- or so they thought . . .

We are just beginning the book so we do not know the details as yet -- but look forward to finding out.

The previous two books that we have read are also DNA success stories. So fascinating to follow the details of how DNA played a role in determining the facts and uncovering amazing events.

As far as I know, the facts of my DNA testing have not uncovered anything earth shattering like the above tales -- except that the test
has revealed that Gail and I are approximately 4th cousins -- but I have not been able (yet) to figure the connection point.

We have five beds in the house for Dino. He goes from room to room and tries each one at various times throughout the day -- but at night -- he sleeps in the bed, by our bed:

This is a special bed, designed for dogs to enjoy a dog-cave experience.

Dino, at bedtime, crawls into the bed and twists and turns to get it just right and then most of the time stays there until morning.

He is snuggled-in like a bug-in-a-rug. and he loves it. Gail helped train him to get used to it
by climbing in giving him a couple of treats and reassuring him that he was doing the right thing.

Now, I just prop up the top a bit before nighttime and he just crawls in . . .

Talk about spoiled -- I think back to the dogs we had growing up -- they had to make do with a couple of towels or an old piece of rug to curl up upon at night. They seemed happy too though.

What genealogically to look forward to this week on TV?

Last week's episode was exciting and I look forward to finding out about Smokey Robinson and his family on this week's show. It is too bad that there are so many commercials because in the U.S. we see about 40 minutes of program where in the U.K. they see a full hour of WDYTYA.

Never-the-less, I love the show and feel bad when the season is over for the year.

And lastly, another "thing" that is baaack is Major League Baseball. And so far we have watched at least part of each game that the Giants have played.

Way down to the bottom right hand corner you can see the Giant's ranking. Of the five games that they have played, they have been leading in each one seemingly on their way to a "win", but four of the five games went to the opponent. Meaning, the Giants have the poorest record in MLB.

But, that fact does not stop us from watching because we have the feeling that soon "things will turn around". And if they don't -- there is "always next year".

So, that is a bit of our week. See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, April 1, 2017


This weekend unbelievably has some weather extremes. While it is a beautiful, warm and sunny day here in Northern California, there are parts of the the NE that are blanketed in freshly fallen snow.

While it is not for certain, it is reported that there are thunder snow storms currently going on in the Northeastern part of the United States.

Thundersnow happens when there typically is lightning and thunder accompanying snowfall. A rare but certainly possible happening.

On the left are photos from Healdsburg (Plaza) and on the right is the weather map showing where the "thundersnow" is located.

Unfortunately, this week's post is one of mixed feelings. After 344 posts over the last almost nine years -- this will be the last post for the foreseeable future.

Too much is going on at the current time to devote time to the "Healdsburg Heritage Hound". We started this with our first post back on the 8th of October 2008.

We had no idea where the many posts would take us and how many tree folks we would uncover. But certainly in that time period we have gone from approximately three thousand folks in our tree to over fifteen thousand today.

We have included numerous stories and photos of a lot of "cousins" and even met other relatives due to responses to articles.

So, it goes almost without saying, I'll miss the opportunity to jot down some of the current week's happenings and discoveries and put them into a post.

I'll continue the "search" each week, just won't be reporting any of the findings. We'll continue watching genealogy shows like -- Who Do You Think You Are? -- And I'll be attending Webinars related to genealogy, DNA, and other family history topics.

That's a bit of our week -- see you all "in a few" !