Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fainted tonight

Needed to close the windows in my car and lock it up for tonight. Grabbed my keys, walked down the steps from the house into the garage took a couple of steps and everything became blurry and I could feel myself falling. Ended up on the garage floor. Holly and Aaron heard  something came out to investigate and found me on the garage floor. After going back in the house they followed me upstairs in case I fainted again. Took my glucose reading – 98, which is very low for me.  Checked it a bit later and it was 104.  I’ll check it again before I go to bed.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Letter sent to my birth father . . . ….

Mailed a letter to my birth father last Friday (09/08/17).   Now patiently waiting for some sort of reply.  My fingers are crossed.  ■ 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cool nights continue into September ….

Sent a letter to the person I believe is my father. Sent it Friday. Now to wait for some reaction from his end. ■  Chili Fest XIV is coming up this Saturday. Hopefully the weather will be good, the food hot and the music scorching. ■ Went to a college reunion this afternoon.  Good to see old dorm mates and their wives.  ■  Time for me to get to bed.  ‘Night. ■

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cool nights–in August?

We’ve had a stretch of cool nights in August this year. It’s been delightful to sit outside. Still have mosquitos, but those haven’t been all that bad either.  ■  Mowed 4 lawns today. That’s a record. Most of the time it’s 3.  ■  Chili Fest XXIV is coming up on the 16th of September. We’re getting ready for it. I’ve got a list of things to get done before it arrives.  ■  On I now have 274 4th Cousins, or closer.  I think when I started I had something like 120. I’m guessing that more matches are found as more people get their DNA tested.  Our son sent his DNA test to today.  Now to wait for his results. ■ It’s late and way past my bedtime.  Night’ ■

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Family search . . . . ….

080917_001So, back in the fall of 2016, my wife and I decided to do the DNA test. It was not done to look for relatives. It was just to see what we had in our genetic background. ■  As you can see (if the picture is large enough), I came out 84% Scandinavian, 11% Great Britain, and 5% other regions – a little Irish and a little Finish.  ■ I’m adopted and never had a thought of searching for my biological parents. I loved my parents and they’ll always be my parents.  ■ My mother, however, wanted me to search for my birth mother. I didn’t want to.  ■ But now armed with some genetic background, I thought maybe I’d give it a shot.  To do so, I needed an account – which I signed up for.  Now the search was on.  ■  I had very little information from the adoption documents.  Just my birth mother’s age; that she was from another state; that she had been a nursing student; and that she and the father had been friends for several years and that she had never told him of her pregnancy.  Not much to go on, but I did find a note that I had made that my mother had called me on my 55th birthday and given my the name of my birth mother. ■ The name was the key. How she found that info I don’t know, but she did. ■ With the name I used’s search feature, along with Google, and phone directories. I won’t give you her name because she doesn’t want anyone to know. (yes, I did find her.)  Some of the major keys were the obit of one of her brothers. That listed all of his children (my 1st cousins), and his surviving family members – 3 sisters. Finding that let me know that she had been married and had a new last name. Actually she’d married twice and both husbands had passed away – but now I had her current name.  ■ I was able to find her current address and I sent her a letter. Never received an letter back, nor any type of communication. The first letter was sent in January 2017. I sent a second letter to her with a self-addressed stamped envelope with a card in it for her to check one of the boxes. Box 1 – I am your mother, please contact me. Box 2 – I am your mother. Please don’t contact me.  3 – I’m not the person you’re looking for.  ■ Received the card back – She is my mother, but doesn’t want any contact with me. ■ Bummer.  But before I sent the 2nd letter out I saw that I had a new 1st-2nd cousin – related by DNA. While I was considering contacting the cousin, she took the initiative and contacted me – because she couldn’t figure out how we were related. ■ We exchanged a couple of emails. Between the two of us – and my wife – we knew it had to be one of her uncles. ■ She had three uncles – 2 had passed away, but there way one still living. ■ My cousin took a look at the pictures in my wife’s facebook account, saw one of our informal wedding pictures and boom!  I looked like either the uncle, or one of his sons at that age.  So now we’re pretty close to 100% knowing who my father is – and that he’s the uncle that’s still alive!  ■ That’s where it sits right now. I need to do a letter to him and explain who I am, etc.  ■  Getting a DNA test and having an account has led me on this journey.  It’s been great and a lot of fun. It’s been a mystery and fun to solve. ■  I would encourage anyone to do it.  You may find out that you’re related to people that you never knew, or expected to know.  ■ This has been, I think, the longest post I’ve ever written. So to all my loyal reader, (yeah, there’s only 1, I think) thanks for reading.  ■ TFB. ‘night.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Finding my father ..…. . . .

At the beginning of this journey in finding my relatives I never thought that I’d be able to find my father. Mother, yes, but father – no. I started with my birth mother’s name. I found her, but had no name for the father. We had no clues to help us except that my mother had told the hospital that the two of them had been friends for several years. I had originally thought that she had met the father in Chicago where she was going to college. No so. This brought the search back to North Dakota.

Still no name to go on. Then on I new person popped up on my DNA results listing this person as a 1st-2nd cousin. No name for this person and I was thinking about contacting the person via Within probably a couple of days of having her pop up as a relative, she contacted me.  We exchanged emails and are continuing to do so. Now I had names. While I won’t give out names, my cousin had 3 uncles that were possibilities. Two of them had passed and one still living. While waiting for a response from my mother I began a search on the paternal side.

Facebook and telephone directories are great places to search. Looking through Facebook I came upon a person that looks like me. And I think his father is the uncle still living. I think I’ve found a half brother!

It’s almost 2 in the morning. I need to get some sleep. Goodnight.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Reply received .. . . .

I received a reply from my second letter. It’s not what I had hoped for, but at least it’s a reply.  She acknowledged that she is my mother, but doesn’t want me to contact her anymore. She also stated that she doesn’t want her family to know about it.

Monday, July 24, 2017

2nd letter sent . .. .. ..

Finally sent another (2nd) letter to my birth mother. Now it’s the waiting that’s going to kill me. I hope to get some reply from it.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Getting the house ready to sell . . .

255 S Wulff small… but not immediately.  We have to update the kitchen, stain some wood, a little paint here and there.  But the kitchen is the big one!  I don’t know what it’s going to cost me (new cabinets, new countertop, new sink, new floor), but it’s going to be a lot.  ■  Emailed a bit with my new 1st cousin. She would be on my father’s side of the equation.  I think I’ve got it nailed down to one of two people.  One passed away in 2001, but the other is alive.  ■  Holly’s hosting a bridal shower for our nephew’s wife-to-be.  I think he’s a nephew, but this whole uncle, aunt, nephew, cousin thing is somewhat confusing to me.  ■  Finished a drawing today.  Two more to do.  ■

Friday, June 23, 2017

Lots to cover …..

I logon to Ancestry. com at least once a day – just to see if I have more people related to me.  A couple of days ago a new person popped up and was a 1st or 2nd cousin.  Last night she contacted me through Ancestry!  This is exciting. ■  The lumps in my left leg don’t seem to be anything. That’s good news.  ■  TFB see ya.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Hello, again … .. … .. . .

052917_001Hi, there.  Haven’t been keeping up with the blog. Seems like I get to involved with everything else.  ■  Aaron’s over in Naples, Italy with the Navy, but just for a couple of weeks.  ■  Haven’t written, or sent a 2nd letter to my biological mother yet, and still no response from her.  ■  Need to get to Jewel-Osco today to pick up some meds. ■  I took back the job of webmaster for the Kalo Foundation.  I did their website for beginning in 2006 and ending in 2014.  Now I’m back doing it, but am using the WordPress platform.  It’s taking a lot of learning, but it’s fun.  I like stretching my brain.  You can see the website at:  ■  Need to get going.  More later.  ■

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lumps in left leg . . . . .

I have two lumps in my left leg. Tumors, or just fatty lumps? Don’t know, but brought it up to the doctor at the VA in McHenry.  She sent me to get echo grams of them. Actually only one, cause I didn’t have the 2nd lump at that time.  Found the second one the night before the exam. I’ll find out results in the next day, or two, or at least what the echo gram showed.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Still no word from up North. . . .

It looks like a 2nd letter is needed.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Can’t believe it’s been this long .. . . . . .

It’s hard to believe that it’s been so many days since I last posted.  Too many.  ■  Still no word from North Dakota. Bummer, but maybe she goes to Florida, or someplace warm in FireShot Capture 4 - Kalo Foundation of Park Ridge – 255 N. Nort_ - http___www.kimrau.org_wordpress_the winter.  I’ll give it another couple of weeks.  ■  Working with WordPress.  It’s a lot of learning, making mistakes, and solving issues.  Fun to have to put the old thinking cap back on.  ■  I’ve been pretty much staying off of facebook.  That’s a real time-waster. I’ll check it every now-and-then.  ■  Holly’s back from Louisville.  Good to have her home.  ■  Aaron’s school is going well.  He’s on spring break right now, but still has homework and labs to do.  ■  Got the Kalo website well underway.  That’s a capture of it on the left.  A lot left to do.  ■  Time for bed. ‘Night.  ■

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Time flies . . … . ..

Yes, time goes by very fast. Faster as you get older, too.  ■  Lots of stuff on my plate – development of a new Kalo Foundation website.  I need to learn WordPress and all of it’s ins and outs.  So far I’ve installed in on two development websites. It was easy for the first domain, but took me a couple of days to get it installed correctly in/on the 2nd site. ■  Trying to control my blood sugar.  I’ve learned that bread is not good for me to eat.  It raises my blood sugar very quickly.  ■  And still no response from my letter. ■  It’s time for bed.  ‘night all.  ■

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

This is what you get . . . .


. . . when your sit in your car waiting for a hour and a half for your wife’s flight to arrive. At least it’s colorful!  ■  Working on WordPress stuff. Getting test websites setup; browsing themes to see what might work best; reading and trying to absorb everything I can. I’m exhausted. ■  Still no letter. Checking every day’s mail.  One of our friend’s suggested that she might be in Florida for the winter. Could be. Maybe.  ■  My office is once again a mess. I can mess up my clean desk in 30 minutes – looks like I’ve never touched it. ■  Two doctor’s appointments this week. Both were ok. Increased the dosage on the med I take for headaches. We’ll see how that works out. It’ll probably leave me very tired the next day.  ■  Only one doctor’s appointment for next week. Hurrah!  ■  Back to WordPress stuff.  ■

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Warm February . …. . .. . ..

January and February have both been unseasonably warm. We’ve been in the 60’s!  I’ve never been able to go outside in February in a t-shirt. Heck, my son is in a t-shirt and shorts. ■  Still been doing some research about WordPress and the platform (linux) that it runs best on. I’m planning on not only redoing the Kalo website in WordPress, but also my Pen & Ink drawing website. I’ve been researching hosting companies. I’m currently with GoDaddy and have been for probably 10+ years. No problems with them except in chatting with their sales/tech people I’m being pushed to a more expensive plan. Much more expensive. So, I’m looking around. Haven’t made my final decision, but will on Monday. ■  Still no word from up north. I’m anxious and yet at the same time I know it may never happen. ■ 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Working with WordPress …. . . ..

I agreed to take back the responsibility for the Kalo Foundation website. In doing so, I decided to switch to the WordPress platform. WordPress is widely known and supported and should be a relatively easy process to transfer from me to someone else when that time comes around. ■ I messed with WordPress eons ago to use for blogging, but things have changed since then – in some ways it appears to be much easier, but you do have to learn the basics of how WordPress works. I’m in that process now and it’s been slow, but I’m beginning to understand the platform more and more.  Wish me luck. ■ Our friends Pat and Deb hosted their annual Super Bowl party.  Great fun.  ■  Still no letter, or response to my letter. Patience. ■

Sunday, February 5, 2017

‍Still nothing, ….. but Super Bowl today!

We wait all year for the Bears to play in the Super Bow0200517_002l, but determine early in the season that they’re not going to make it. Bummer, but expected. ■  This afternoon we’ll attend our friend’s annual Super Bowl party.  It’s a nice chance to get to see everyone again. ■ . ‍  Still no response from my letter. She lives in Fargo, but may be in Florida for the winter. Maybe she just hasn’t seen the letter.  I’ll wait at least another week, or two before I follow-up on the letter. ■  Smoking salmon for the party. Started brining it last night and will let it brine for about 20 hours.  ■  Woke up at 3:00 am and the dogs wanted to go out (and eat). I’m awake and writing this post at 4:15 am. I’ve got to get back to bed. ■

Monday, January 30, 2017

No communication yet …. . .


I’m still waiting for some type of response. Thinking about sending a follow-up letter. We’ll see.  ■  Picture of me playing lap steel at open mic in Cary, IL.  I went to visit the store/boss where I used to work and he asked me to join the house band that he uses to back people up at the open mic. I was surprised but very honored to be asked.  Came out of the blue.  Thanks, Buddy. ■  I’ve got an appointment at the post office tomorrow to apply for a passport. My old one expired in 2010.  ■  Time for bed. ‘Night. ■

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Nothing yet. Still waiting…..

No response to my letter.  Might never get a response.  ■  Was asked to join a stage/house band by my old boss.  I said yes – and tonight was the first gig. I’m playing lap steel in this band. ■  Holly and I came home the other day and Fern had somehow gotten a hold of Aaron’s stocking cap and gloves.  She chewed a nice hole in his cap and one glove is missing.  We’ve searched everywhere and can’t find it anywhere.  The mystery of the missing glove.  ■  Started giving myself insulin injections.  Not as hard as I thought it might be.  ■ 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Still no response.

012317_001↓Still no response from the letter I sent. I was hoping to get something late last week, but no go. We continue to wait.  ■  This January is the warmest one I’ve ever lived through.  As you can see from the weather on the left, we’re still going to be warm. Historically the last 2 weeks in January and the 1st week in February are the coldest weeks of the year.  We’re not getting much below freezing.   ■  I’ve been looking at software/platform to redo the website.  I had handled that job since the foundation was formed in 2006. A  couple of years ago I passed the website upkeep back to the foundation. I let them know in December that I’d start doing it again. ■  I see I forgot to publish this last night. The weather in the first row is for Sunday. Hmmm . . . ■

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I’m going back to being the webmaster for the Kalo Foundation. I’ve been away from it for a couple of years. But I have to decide on software to build the system with.  I’ve done some looking over the past couple of days. The simple website builders that a lot of hosting services use are too simple. They’re not made for larger projects and they kind of force you to use their themes so a lot of website look much the same.  That’s not me. I think I’ve narrowed my choices to WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.  All good products – some are easier than others. I need to do a little testing.  ■  Still no response to my letter.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get a response.  ■  Got to get the dogs out one last time and then it’s bedtime for me. ■  ‘night.


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!