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.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lost job.

The company Holly’s been working for has been going through a lot of changes. Lots of reorgs, new people coming in; employees going out. Today, Wednesday, was Holly’s last day. Bummer. Lots of changes coming in our life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dog pile . . . , yup, dog pile…….


Our new dog, Fern (the white and tan dog on top) has settled in with her big sister, Abby (larger black dog on the bottom.)  Fern will get on top of Abby to sleep and stay warm during our cold weather. ■ And they play together many times a day – running through the house; Fern pinging off of furniture; the sound of claws on our wood and tile floors; and the occasional bang when they hit our coffee table in the living room. ■ 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Tree and maybe some snow .. .. .

Here's a painting of a tree I did via Brushes app on my iphone.  Did this quite awhile ago. Nothing significant about it.  ■  Whatsap'd tonight with Jean & Steve.  They're over in Scotland visiting one of their daughters and son-in-law.  ■  Supposed to get some snow tonight.  Shouldn't be much, but it'll make driving a bit slick.  ■ Still have my fingers shaking on my left hand. Not so much on my right hand.  Don't know what it means. And I had always thought I had steady hands.  This getting older is tough. ■  Time for bed (TFB)  It's after 2:30 am.  ■

Friday, January 29, 2016

Fern and the deer . . . . .

This is the 2nd time since we’ve had her that I’ve taken her out late at night and she spots a deer and takes off after it.  Bear in mind that she’s mostly white and she’s running on snow, so she’s hard to see.  I’ve called her and she’s stopped in our neighbor’s back yard – although I don’t know if it’s my command, or if she suddenly realizes that the deer is a lot larger than her.  ■

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A new year . . . . . .

Yes, a new year has started.  The old one went out easily and this new one has slipped in by itself, oh so quietly.  ■  Our temperatures have been warm with very little snow, although we did get a couple of inches tonight.  The bigger news is that the temperature is really starting to drop.  It’s 19° now and headed for a low of 3°.  Burrrrr.  ■  Fern, our new puppy, is doing well.  She and Abby play together a lot during the day.  Rugs are askew in the living room and front hallway.  Sometimes they’re on the bed with me and Ferndecide that it’s time to play.  At that point you’re just something that has to be stepped-over, or on.  ■  I painted a picture of Fern and Abby at the top of our stairs – waiting for me to come up.  This is it. ■  I think they’re both very happy with each other for company.  Fern follows her older sister’s lead and they usually snuggle together.  Fern needs the warmth from her bigger sister.  ■  Bought a new iPad a couple of days ago.  They were on sale and my original iPad has been slowly dying.  One of the principal programs I used on my old iPad was a program call “Brushes”.  The programmer rewrote it for the newer apple OS and it now stinks.  I’m going to have to find another painging program  ■  Time for bed. ‘Night.  ■