Monday, January 16, 2017

Two posts on the same day!

Yes, a 2nd post. ■  I had a request from the senior housing where my mother used to reside outside of Richmond, VA.  They wanted a brandermill woods_scan_small_001pen and ink of their new clubhouse. I asked for pictures, but they emailed me an artist’s rendering of the building as it’s not done.  I had to respectively decline to copy another artist’s work. I imagine it’s part of copyright infringement.  I did do a pencil sketch of it that you can see here.  ■  Tomorrow Holly and I have to apply for passports. Mine has expired and hers is about to.  ■

What a rainy, muddy day in January!

January is supposed to be cold. We’re above freezing, no snow left except the small piles in the shade. It’s raining and everything is turning to mud. It’s a great time to have dogs. ■  Picked up one of the meds that wasn’t covered by insurance last year. At the drug store I usually go to the price was $193 for 30 pills. I used GoodRx and got the meds at Walgreens for $75. Now insurance covers it and it’s $39. Anyone else use GoodRx?  ■  Aaron starts back in school this week. Already had one day off for Martin Luther King Day.  ■  Holly’s cooking up some red beans and rice for dinner.  That always tastes great. ■  Still no response from my letter, although that could take awhile. But I’m anxiously waiting. ■

Friday, January 13, 2017

Letter delivered .. . . . .


The letter was delivered today. Now all I can do is wait…..

Deboning a chicken & genealogy search….

Let’s see --- right now at almost 3:00am I’m updating my Radeon graphics driver. Fun stuff. ■  Tonight I deboned a chicken.  Looked at a couple of youtube videos to see how it was done.  It didn’t look too hard, but that bird and I wrestled  for quite 011317_001_deboning a chickenawhile.  In the end I think the bird won. It was a heck of a match, but I did get all of the bones out. What I had left was basically one large connected piece and several/many smaller pieces that had been hacked off in trying to get as much of the meat as I could.  I then seasoned the remains of the bird with some adobo and black pepper, and I cut up some onions to go on top.  It then went into our handy grill basket, put on the grill and baked/smoked it for probably an hour. It tasted good, but I’ve got some ideas for the next one. ■  I continue the search for my birth mother. The clues lead you all over.  One of the problems that continues to drive one nuts is simply finding dates. A lot of the time the year of birth might not be the same in all of the records you’re looking at.  And trying to find dates for marriages is very difficult. ■  A letter, along with some pictures, has been sent this week. I’m now in a waiting state. ■  And it is time to go back to bed.  ‘Night. ■

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

So, family is getting closer .. . ….

I’ve widened and narrowed the search for my relatives. I have some clues, but can’t exactly figure out where they fit.  I’m missing some branches. It’s a big detective puzzle trying to see how people fit. And I can’t believe that it’s so hard to find marriages. Marriage info would help immensely. ■  Snowed just a tiny bit tonight – about 1/4 inch and Cary’s got their plows out. Someone’s going for overtime.  ■  Saw our old friends Pat and Tim.  Tim was our dentist for years and years, but retired a few years ago.  They intended to retire to Las Vegas as the housing was inexpensive at that time, but went up rapidly just before they were ready to buy. So instead of Las Vegas they moved to a small town south of Guadalajara called San Juan Cosala. Their monthly costs run around $1200 – $1500. That’s food, gas, insurance, housekeeper, lawn care, etc. Sounds very inviting.  We’re planning on taking a trip to see them and check out the area. ■ Well, it’s time for bed. ‘Night!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Early Christmas morning . . . . .


. . . and I’m up. Didn’t sleep much last night. Maybe I’ll try and crawl back in and get a couple of hours. ■ Yes, I crawled back in bed and slept for another hour. ■  Opened gifts early this afternoon. What a difference from when our children were little.  Then they were coming in and waking us up at 4:00 am.  Too early. Everyone received stuff they liked and needed.  ■  Went to the movies later this afternoon and say Rogue One.  We all liked it, but to me it was a very confusing movie at the first. Just my age, I guess. But, we’re back from the movie and I was going to do chicken breasts on the grill, but it’s raining. So, we’ve opted for red beans and rice.  A good choice, I think.  ■  I’ve been relaxing playing Christmas carols on my lap steel.  Very soothing.  ■  I’ve received 2 texts (I thought they were texts) from unknown numbers.  When I went to reply to them they didn’t show up in my texts????  ■   Watched a bit of the KC/Denver game. Played some more dobro, read a bit, did a little more research on the search for my birth mother and her family.  I need some help with this. My old roommate's wife has done research on her family. Just need an experienced pair of eyes looking at this.  ■  Time for bed. …… .. .. . .

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Our 2016 Christmas Card


Abby (black) and Fern (white/tan) sitting in one their favorites places in the house. From their perch on the stairs they can see what’s going on in front of the house. Their vigilance in detecting people walking their dogs, kids getting off of the school bus and who-knows-what-else sets off their round of barking and whining to be let out of the house. The stairs are definitely one  of their favorite places.  ■  I think all of my Christmas shopping is done. I think. I think, therefore I could be wrong. ■  Holly and Aaron are watching replays of the Cubs’ playoff games – just the ones that the Cubs won.  Apparently they’re replaying those over the next few days.  ■  Tomorrow morning I go up the VA medical facility in McHenry to get blood drawn for testing my A1C level. Fasting tonight for that. ■ 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Today I Learned . . . . .

I spend some of my daily pc time on It has thousands of what are termed “subreddits”, which are simply separate parts of reddit that are devoted to one thing, or another.  One of my favorite subreddits is TIL – standing for Today I Learned. It’s just odd stuff that someone learned and they post it in the TIL subreddit.  Very interesting stuff. For instance below is one of the posts:


Try it out:

Reddit is great source for researching things. I mostly use it for technical computer problems. And it’s great for any type of problem.  Don’t know how to clean something? Search Reddit:  “How to clean an oven.” – you don’t have to have the quotes.

I also like their world news. ( you’ll find news articles from around the world. You’d be amazed at how little CNN, or NBC, etc. cover.  It’ll broaden your outlook.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Missing aunt found?

Missing_aunt_drawing Found the aunt that had me stymied.  She was born in 1940, but apparently not included in the census.  Maybe/probably she was born after the census data had been collected. She should show up in the 1950 census, but that census data won’t be released until 2022.  Apparently our government doesn’t release that data for 72 years. That’s not helping me. ■  It’s cold out – about 20°, but it’s supposed to get down to  -15° on Sunday. That’s coooold! Burrrr.  ■  I’m cold sitting at my desk as the heat is set to 63° at night. About time to crawl into bed with my wife and the dogs. ■  ‘Night.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Family History ……

I’ve been spending a few hours late at Image result for family treenight trying to find my mother, father, and Aunts and Uncles, cousins, etc.  My grandfather was born in, I think, the 1860s and his wife, my grandmother, born after the turn of the century. Their children, one of which would be my mother, haven’t been too hard to trace. But one of Aunts has stymied me. She’s listed as a sister of my uncle at his funeral, but I can’t find any birth records for her. ■  Supposed to snow this afternoon and continue into/thru Sunday. Forecasted to get a possible foot of snow.  We’ve received some snow, but only about 4 inches so far. And it’s cold out. 24 ° out at this time – almost 2 in the morning. ■ Did a ham on the grill last night. Delicious. Today Holly made beef soup.  Also delicious, but I know a pea soup is coming up this week.  And I’ve got some sausage for a chicken and sausage soup. ■  Time for bed. ‘Night.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

First snow of Winter of 2016


The first snow of this winter.  And it coincided with Cary’s annual Merry Cary Parade. Lots of the parade participants line up in front of our house. The kids were making snowballs and when they ran out of snow on the ground they took it off our bushes. Some kids even made a snowman next door.  I’ll have to get a picture of that tomorrow. All in all it looks like we got a good 4-5 inches. ■  Our dogs were excited – so many kids to play with.  Oooo let us out. Couldn’t do it. 120416_002Sorry girls.  ■  The last photo below is of our patio with the snow piled up and the lights on the trees on.  It looks very pretty. 

■  I’ve got to make some time for my family search. I started it, but it’s got to be organized better. I’m running into stuff that I hadn’t expected, but should add it in to my data. There are genealogy programs out there and I downloaded one to try it out. It seems to have everything one would need, but I’m not sure it they have reports that would present the information that I’d want. ■


Friday, December 2, 2016

Ancestry–my family history?


Most people know their ancestry, or at least some of the close stuff. You know your father and mother, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc.  I’m adopted so none of that is easily known. I’ve never had any type of drive to try and discover my ancestry. My father and my mother were the ones that raised me. I’ve known that I was adopted since I was a little kid.  Nothing was ever hidden from me.  In fact my mother wanted me to search for my birth mother a long time ago. Just never had the interest. ■  A few months ago Holly and I decided to purchase AncestryDNA kits and find our genetic heritage. ■  The test showed I’m 84% - Scandinavian, 11% – Great Britain, 3% – Irish, and 2% Finland/Northwest Russia. ■  More than that I’ve discovered that I’m genetically linked to 147 4th cousins, or closer. My mother found my birth mother’s first and last name.  With that information I think I’ve located her.  She’s still alive and 85 years old. ■  Now I need someone to look at my research and tell me if I’m right, or wrong.  If right, then how do I contact/approach her.  Phoning is one way, but she’s in Fargo, ND, so it’s a long drive.  And I’m not even sure that I should be the one to approach her.  ■ 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Summer is going quickly . . .

How time flies. Faster and faster each year.  Too fast, me thinks. ■  Aaron’s home from Italy. Holly’s retired. I’m cutting the grass. ■  Spent a couple of days with Holly’s sister and Jim up at their camper in Kingston, Wisconsin.  The weather cooperated and we had a good couple of days along with great steaks, campfires, and lots of talk.  ■  Back home now and time to get busy and finish some stuff up. ■  And time for bed. ‘Nite.■

Friday, April 15, 2016

Imagination . . . . .


Do you remember when you were little and someone had a box that a refrigerator, or washer or dryer came in? You could make those into neat playhouses, or forts, or whatever.  Our granddaughters came for a week long visit, so I got a hold of a 3x3x3 foot box, put it together, cut a couple of doors and windows in it and voila – a fun time for kids to use their imaginations on.  They loved it and drew on with crayons. ■ Holly keeps asking me if I want to take it down and the answer is “no” so far. ■ Went to the VA and gave them information. We’ll see if I qualify for anything. Also stopped at the Federal Health Care Center.  I’m waiting to get an appointment with them. ■ Going to see Billy G play tomorrow night at a local restaurant. Should be fun. ■ TFB.  ‘Night. ■

Friday, March 25, 2016

Snow on 03/24/16 . . .


Not a lot of snow – just enough to make sure ol’ man winter hasn’t deserted us.