Sunday, October 8, 2017

With the passing of Marty's dad on September 18th, I thought I'd share some information and photos of him and his family.  "Richard" was a very independent man.  His mom passed away when he was about three due to complications from a burst appendix.  Four years later, his father passed away from leukemia.  Upon his mom's death, he and his older brother went to live with his mom's sister and her husband.  In a paper Richard had written, he said that during the time between his parents' respective deaths, he only remembered his dad coming to visit a couple times.  The reasons are not known, but I'm sure the absence of both natural parents had life-long consequences even though his aunt and uncle were good people and cared for him and his brother greatly.

He graduated high school, joined the Navy during WWII serving aboard the USS New Mexico.  The ship was engaged in a battle at Okinawa where it was hit by kamikaze planes.  Over 50 of his crew-mates immediately surrounding him were killed and over 100 wounded, but he survived with only bruises.  Upon returning to civilian life, he went on to college and entered the work force becoming instrumental in developing FAX transmission machines.   He married, had three children and later divorced and never remarried.  
ca. 1926/7

"Fred" & "Richard" ca.1929/30

"Richard" with his aunt & uncle

"Richard" in Navy

USS New Mexico after being hit by kamakazes  (photo taken from USS Wichita) 12 May 1945  Richard said he was between the forward superstructure and the stack, about 40 feet from point of impact.

"Richard" and "Alice" on their wedding day

"Fred" and "Richard" with their mom

"Fred" and "Richard" with their dad
"Richard" with his maternal grandparents. 

Richard's early life was spent in Colorado.  He returned there for a time later on and was there for a family reunion in 2002.  

As his family was in Colorado for a number of years in the early to mid-1900s, along with his wife's family, I researched online for Colorado records.  One source I came upon is the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.  This site is free and I located a lot of small-town tidbits that gave insights into who the family visited, how they spent their time, what relatives came to visit, hospitalizations, and school activities and events.  I found information on some marriages, some deaths, but surprisingly little on births.  We even discovered that "Fred" had a first wife, which Marty didn't know or remember ever hearing about.  

I hope you enjoyed this very brief journey of a man who, as Frank Sinatra sang, did it (his) way.  He had a good life.  He had a long life.  We will miss him but will remember the times we shared in his life.  Ten years ago we thought he was not going to make it after an illness incident, but after three months of care, he regained his strength, rebounded and went on his way living alone until he was gone.

Today is a day of celebration as Richard's grandson, our very own Nick, turns 19.  Being the birthday-boy, he gets to choose where we eat dinner. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Oh My...It's Been Awhile

I'd have never guessed it's been so long since I updated.  Not quite as long on Webs of Thread, but still, I've not been a good blogger of late.

Nick's graduation, along with my daughter's and grandchildren's arrival in May/June and their return home, all went well.  

Nick and I went to Oregon for three weeks during August through Labor Day.  We had a perfect viewing location, and clear weather, for viewing the eclipse.  It was a sight to behold, and while I initially wasn't all that gung-ho about seeing it (I went to visit family), I'm glad we were there as it was quite impressive.  Staying at my aunt's, we weren't faced with traffic issues as her home was right at the edge of the totality zone, so pretty much, we had totality.

It's always nice visiting family up north, though for Nick, it was probably it bit more boring.  He had opportunity to take in the state fair with my aunt and others, but opted to stay at the house.  It was a hot day, nearly triple-digits, so I didn't blame him at all.  

While Nick and I went one direction, Marty took a week with a couple of his guy friends and headed toward Wyoming to catch good viewing of the eclipse - they all have a photography hobby.  They had a nice time too, except that Marty caught a bad cold, which is still affecting his bronchial tract.  It happens every time he gets a cold and will be that way for a couple months.

Prior to our respective trips, we heard from the V.A. nurses in Arizona concerning Marty's dad and how they thought that perhaps it was time he transition from independent living to a care facility.  There didn't seem to be an immediate urgency at the time, just that it was time to start looking into it.  Upon our respective returns home, it seemed that maybe it was somewhat more urgent, so as recently as the 16th Marty said that he might have to temporarily move to his dad's apartment and care for him (his dad was fiercely independent and not wanting to be a burden to his kids and did not want to go to a care home).  Marty had spoken with his dad last Saturday.  

Monday morning we get a call and it was not good news.  V.A. hospice nurses had been going to check on & care for Dad several times daily and the first check of the day found him sitting in a chair in front of the TV with his headphones on (he was hard of hearing and had difficulty seeing), where he had expired sometime during the night.  He got "his way" and though he had a long life, 91 years, it's still sad to think that he passed alone.   

As Marty has responsibility for his final affairs, we had to make a long trip to Arizona.  Nearly a 10-hour drive each way, fighting wind, and emotions the whole way, then determining what to keep from among his few belongings, arranging with the apartment manager to clean & remove for use/donation any furniture and other items that remained, dealing with the mortuary, the bank, the utilities, etc. and some issues that are going to take time and possibly another trip there.  He had things set up in a trust, but hadn't updated it in 15 years, so much was no longer valid.  If you have a trust, update it whenever something changes!  

We arrived home late Thursday night, then I went to a quilt show on Friday, with my friend Panda.  More about that over on WOT.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Exciting Times

The end of May is rapidly approaching.  I need to have done more than I have, but it is what it is.

Tomorrow morning, my daughter is leaving from her home in Texas along with my grand-babies (ages 2 and 6) traveling alone to come for a visit and to attend Nick's high school graduation on June 1st.  It will be great to see them, but I'm very concerned about her traveling alone with the youngsters.  Her original plan was to drive straight through...a 16-hour drive under 'normal' conditions...I can't imagine attempting that with kids.  It's tough enough with my 14-hour straight through to Oregon from here, by myself.  

I was able to convince her of the folly in that plan, and they will be spending the first night in Flagstaff, and should get here later in the evening on Wednesday.  This all could be delayed a day, but as of last night, she still plans to leave in the morning.  This will be the first time I've met my grand-daughter (the 2-yr old), so it is especially exciting.  Our house hasn't had little ones in it since Nick was little.  Speaking of Nick, he's encountering his final week of high school.  Have I mentioned that, while he's academically doing well, school is just something required from life.  He's not enthused about anything related to school or his classmates for the most part.  He's had NO interest in doing any of the senior activities - no prom, no senior special events.  He had NO interest in picking out senior pix, or a class ring, or his announcements.  In fact, we just ordered said pix last week after I hounded him to pick a pose.  The photos were taken last July and we had online proofs in August! and announcements have sat on the dining room table for weeks.  I hope he doesn't regret his lack of interest one day, but this seems to be who he is.  School is nothing special to him.  He plans to take a year off before heading to the local 2-year college.  I've opposed that plan, and have lost the fight.  

It's a Costco shopping day; it's getting late and I still need to shower. 

Oh, before I go, if you're wondering why my daughter is traveling alone with the kids, her husband has too many work commitments right now to join her, though there is a slim chance he may be able to fly in and then drive home with them.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Passing Time

And time is surely passing by!  

Having anything worthy of posting about seems to escape me. Or, maybe I'm just not as inclined to post about as much. 

I've not been ill or depressed, nor have there been any problems.  Well, except a bit of a water saturation issue between my "new" (now four-year old) bathrooms, but Marty has fixed least that's the hope, and that only occurred during the last couple weeks, not over the last few months of my absence from blogging.

A little bit of work has been done on genealogy, but nothing on quilting since my last Webs of Thread quilting post.  

My aunt visited in January, but I think I covered that on WOT, maybe.  The visit was short compared to my visits to her home, but we had a nice time all the same and I'm very happy she came.

Spring is here, and our weather is typical for this time of year.  Some days get quite warm into the upper 80s and nights are in the 50s or slightly below.  We still have some cooler days too, and even had some more drizzle/showers this past week.  Spring is my favorite time of year...except for the shedding done by the kitties.

A hummingbird produced two babies in the nest right out my kitchen window and it's already been nearly two weeks since they fledged.  What a joy it was to watch them grow! I miss them, but I saw two flying around together in the back yard earlier today and wondered if they were 'ours'.  The feeders have been up all but a short time during the winter as we have the hummers year round.  I need to get out and clean the outside of the window before one decides to re-use the nest.  They really "hit" the window this time, if you catch my drift.  I'm still awaiting the arrival of the Hooded Orioles.  Soon, I hope.

Yep, that's been about it around here.  Oh, except Nick got his first car.  A bright red sports car about 12 years old.  He owes us!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Wasn't it just December 1st, 2015?  Someone please, stop the clock!!

December is usually a tough month for me; depression has a tendency to hit harder, and there are so many more things that need to be done.  I'm trying to look at 'brighter' things, and I'm looking forward to my aunt visiting in January for R2C.  

Does your area get snow at this time of year?  In the 44 years I've lived in this part of the country, we've had snow once.  I forget the date, but it wasn't for Christmas.  Still, it was a real treat to be able to watch the flakes fall, see it stick, and even play in the small amount we had.  Nick was much younger and I had him make a miniature snowman, so he could at least experience once during his childhood.  I think it was all of about 6" high.  We only had about an inch or two, but what a treat.

˛°_██_*˚°。°/ \*˚°。°*。°*★*˚°。°*。°*★*˚°。°*。°*★
˛. (´• ̮•)*.。*/♫.♫\*˛.*˛_Π_____*˚°。*。°**˚°。°*。°*★
.°( . • . ) ˛°./• '♫ ' •\.˛*./______/~\*˚°。°*。°*°* ˚°*★
*(...'•'.. ) *˛╬╬╬╬╬˛°.|田田|門|╬╬╬╬╬*˚°。°*。°* 

The above set of characters may not translate perfectly, but it's a cute scene of a house, snowman, tree, picket fence and falling snow mixed with hearts, stars and musical notes.  Whomever created it (I cut & pasted) was pretty smart.  Enjoy. 

Monday, November 28, 2016


Do you dislike going to the dentist as much as I?  

Many years ago I had a wonderful dentist, but in the late 1990s he had back surgery and found it too painful to continue working so sold his practice.  I'd gone to him for probably 15 years or more.  I didn't care for the new dentist-owner, and wanted to find one closer to home so switched to one nearby that a friend referred me to.

She was alright but after a couple years I needed a root canal and she was a bit aggressive and managed to break the tip of one of the tools deep into the canal...after extensive efforts by her and another specialist she referred me to, neither were able to extract the tip of the tool so it is entombed in my tooth's canal forever.  This ordeal was very off-putting and little or no discounts/compensation were ever given for having to endure the consequences, pain, and time involved in the process.  I know things can happen, but this was very traumatic.

I think I went back to her just once after that and was just not feeling the love, so decided to change dentists.  I was referred by an old acquaintance (reconnected on Facebook) who would travel over an hour to get to her dentist in my area because she felt he was the best.  Ironically, his office is in the same building, diagonally one door away from the lady dentist.  I have been very happy with him.  He is patient, uses far more of the latest & greatest tools, etc.  He explains exactly what he's doing all during the process.  And he plays 1960s music over the speaker system.  I'm just afraid he'll retire and I'll have to find yet another dentist.  He's just a couple years younger than I am.

Today's visit was my bi-annual cleaning, x-rays and general check-up.  I had been in a couple months ago for a replacement filling that went very well.  This time, it seems that a very old crown should be replaced.  Not that the crown itself is failing, but given its age (it was put on by that first dentist back in the late 1970s or early 1980s and had popped off once since then needing to be reseated) there's a gap at the edge of the crown where it covers the remaining part of the tooth at the gum, and he thinks it would be best to replace it with one that sits much lower to the gum, so that will be done on Wednesday morning.  

What's bothering me at this point is less about replacing the crown - I know they don't last forever but why are they so blasted expensive??   I have insurance that covers just over half but the half out of my pocket is almost as much as what we pay for a year's worth of property insurance.  And property insurance is due in a couple weeks...and Christmas is's the costliest time of year.  

As I was driving home, I was thinking how nice it would be to just be able to go to the dentist and have my two cleanings per year and be told "all is well, see you in six months".  Maybe I'm just at the age where dentists, doctors and insurance companies get more of my money than anyone else :/

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day - A Tribute to My Grandfather

Veterans Day marks the anniversary of the end of the first World War, but celebrates and honors all U.S. Soldiers' service.  Originally known as Armistice Day, in 1954 it was renamed as Veterans Day and is a federal holiday with no mail services and government and banks closed. 

My grandfather was in France before the end of the Great War, a name it was also known by.  He was the eldest son of Norwegian immigrants who were living in Wisconsin.  His younger brother remained on the farm to help their father.  He also had two sisters.  During the war, while serving as a machine gunner with the American Expeditionary Forces in France at St. Aignan and the Argonne Forest, he became one of many victims of mustard gas and was hospitalized for some time prior to his return home.  
Dressed in gas-mask and military garb.
I don't know where, nor when the above photo was taken.  It may have been taken while still in the States, or it may have been taken where stationed in France, but it is my grandfather during WWI.

904 Casual Co formed at St.Aignan, France - Camp Hill, VA Feb 23, 1919_closeup
The 904th photo was taken just after his return from France.  This is a cropped portion of the original photo.  My grandfather is the very short man in the back.  The other men are unidentified.  

I'm guessing the portrait photo was taken sometime after the war, but before he married in 1927.  I think I inherited his ears, and his cheeks...high-boned, and hollow - very evident when I was young and thin though not so much now. 
Grandpa and his catch.
This is how I remember Grandpa.  He and Grandma lived in a small, but quaint little cottage on the Oregon coast from the time I was young until his passing.  He loved to fish for salmon, and loved to eat it too!  He enjoyed his lapidary hobby and made, and gifted, a lot of jewelry items from agates and stones he found on the beach as well as those purchased raw which he tumbled or polished himself.  I have some of his jewelry and a bolo tie or two.

I remember he loved ice cream too, and gladiolas.  He loved my Grandmother, his sons, his grandchildren, and family and friends in general.  He loved the Lord too...even if he could be a bit legalistic at times-he did NOT like playing cards!  He was loving and affectionate.  He was kind and gentle, yet firm.  I know of no one who ever had a bad word to say about him.  

He had only an 8th-grade education yet worked in the county assessor's office.   Degrees weren't necessary back then.  He had beautiful penmanship.  He started me on my genealogical journey when I was but yet a teenager.  I inherited his genealogy work, but it took a couple decades before having time and resources to further the work on it. 

His life was, in my opinion, far too short.  I was only 17 when he passed on Christmas Eve.  I had seen him just a few weeks before that but I wasn't feeling well (in my young troubled life I had chosen to partake in things I should not have the night before) , so it wasn't the best of visits.  It haunted me for a long, long time.  I would dream, close to nightmares, at night that he was out under the oak trees near our house.  It's been 46 years and I still regret the choice I made back then.  But, I know I will see my grandparents again one day, and that brings me comfort.  Grandpa, I miss you!! 
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