My hometown as seen from the Bay

My hometown as seen from the Bay
In a city by the water...

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday - time to unwind

I've been a busy little bee this morning. Washed a load of laundry, vacuumed, mopped the kitchen, went to Walmart, and even managed to make myself presentable.  I did invest in some hair gel and spray since I've  decided (until I change my mind again) that I'm going to let my hair grow and see if I can't work a little harder at keeping it curled.

Yesterday I scrolled through my blogs of the past few years and was reminded of how thinner I was, how my yard and bushes and flowers looked better, how much I rearranged rooms and added "things", and how often I posted pictures of plants and birds and bugs and dirt.  Ha!  I did find a few pictures I wanted to keep (maybe for reprints... or not) and I noticed quite a few posts where the pictures had been deleted.  I suspect I did that because Google said I was running out of space and wanted to charge me.  I just can't see paying for pictures I've posted of my yard.

I did notice that the block long lot across the street from me used to be free of scotch broom and bushes.  I also remembered how the lot at the end of the street looked before it was logged.  I was happy to see those trees disappear because it was kind of scary to walk along the secluded path in there.  You never knew what riff raff you were going to encounter.  There was a lean-to "camp" in the middle of it until somebody burned it down.  And the whole area over there and the road leading to it has become a dumping ground for people's trash and old furniture and carpets.

I'm fairly certain druggies meet up there, as well.  Anyhow, while I was happy to see the area opened up, I am not happy that the logger hasn't returned to clean up the area like the construction guys informed me.  They left large ugly tree stumps and it's only a matter of time before the whole area is full of scotch broom and bushes again.  I decided I'd look into whether or not anybody is responsible for coming in to rape the land for profit and leave it ugly.

A friend on FB suggested I write my representative so I did. Ha!  Like he's going to lose any sleep over that one!  It was my first letter (that I recall anyway) that I've ever written a politician. This morning I called city hall and left a message. Waiting to hear back.   I may write a letter to the editor next.  And perhaps a rant in their rave and rant column.  It just doesn't seem right  that people can come in and leave an eyesore like that. Somebody needs to say something.

I made a pot of clam chowder for supper yesterday so that will be the menu again today.  Don't know why it is, but it just doesn't taste as good as clam chowder in a restaurant. I probably should have seasoned it more but I'm trying to cut down on salt.

I bought a piece of foam board this morning to mount my jungle puzzle on.  I glued it yesterday after watching a video on YouTube of how to do it. So easy.  I may do more.  I've been a little bummed that I don't have the energy or strength to do a lot of chores that I used to find kind of fun.  Even pulling the large trash bins to the alley is a chore anymore.  I'd like to get a ton of flowers planted but it's just not going to happen. I'll be content with the few I have on the deck. I did invest in one hanging basket for the front porch. I think it's high enough that the deer can't eat it.

We had some high winds the other day. I do enjoy a good wind storm (as long as it doesn't interfere with my electricity). As I sat in my recliner, I watched my little pinwheel spin faster and faster. And then I noticed it was not looking right.  I went out to inspect it and discovered some of the ribbons have ripped away.  Darn it anyhow!  I paid about $15 for that yard decoration and I expected it to last for several years. Jenni says I expect too much and it's already had a good run.  I don't agree. Things should last longer.
Nothing much on my agenda this week. Mary and Jake (maybe Andy) are coming next Saturday to stay the night. Can't make it on Mothers Day as they were given Mariners tickets. She just returned from Austin last night and in May, they'll travel to NY to see his family.  They're going to fall in love with Jake all over again!

He's grown so much...




Well, let's see...what else...?    Maddie is busy with track and working at getting the pole higher and higher on pole vaulting.  Hunter continues to work on his truck in the garage and helps out a lot at his grandpa Ed's since his Alzheimer's takes a toll.  Catie is busy working on making jewelry and hunting for a new job.

I'm plowing along the best I can with two body replacement parts.  I was ready to go home by the time I finished walking Walmart's aisles from one end to the other. I can see the day coming when I'll opt for a riding cart.  Not there yet and I'm hoping it won't come to that but if it does, it does.

Here's that video on how to glue a jigsaw puzzle....

Monday, April 20, 2015

I do enjoy Spring time

Yesterday (like several folks I'm sure) I spent some time outside playing in the dirt.  It isn't easy for me to play in the dirt these days.  My back often has plans of her own.  I put in two hours and that's kinda pushing it even though I have my handy dandy shower stool to sit on for the "get down-get those weeds pulled" chapter of the chores.

Maddie came over and did the area under the front window for me and helped me move some pots in the back, and dump some weeds in the lot across the street.  I planted a few flowers in planter boxes on the back deck and today I put some green bean seeds in the raised beds at the end of the yard. Also a package of blue morning glorys.  My "already blooming" flowers included my ole standby - pansies, some marigolds, and two others that I can't think of their name so who cares.

                                                                   before and after

Since the backyard is full of moss and dandelions and generally looks dreadful except right after Hunter has mowed, I've decided that the one area that is especially ugly and doesn't grow that well will be my "solar light area."  I had quite a few to stake out and now I'm eagerly awaiting to see if they're still good. I may even invest in a couple more.  I won't bother with mowing that area either.
My body sure did let me know she wasn't happy with the tiny bit of exercise I made her participate in. I went to bed tired to the bone and achy all over. But.....happy at the same time.  Planting and weeding can be such a mood elevator.

I've been in a cross stitch mood (when I'm not crocheting my latest afghan) and here are the patterns I recently finished.  I may use them in the middle of a quilt piece or maybe make a book mark.



I started a new book last night and thankfully, was hooked from page 1.  Looking forward to picking it up later today.  (Foxcatcher)

I made the yummiest dinner last night. Veggie pizza. I bought two ready made pizza crusts and topped one of them with chicken, broccoli, carrots, onions, green pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, and cheese.  I'll have the other half tonight although I'm hungry now and might just have it for lunch.

Household chores were light this morning so I finished everything up quickly. Now I can PLAY!
Going to find another jigsaw to set up and will probably work on genealogy.  I got my obit on Zadock Blankenship, my grandpa's older brother that I had so little data on.  According to the obit, (which aren't always accurate) his name was Zedic.

From Capital Journal, Dec. 2, 1932
Obituary: Zedic C. Blankenship
Independence, OR

Funeral services for Zedic Clarke Blankenship were held from the Keeney Funeral Home, Independence, Dec. 1 at 10:30 o’clock with Rev. Geo Cromley of Salem officiating. Funeral hymns were sung by Mrs. Walter Keer and Mrs. E. Gobat of Suver. Pall bearers were Walter J. Kerr, Martin Conger, Henry Lamb, Ora Allen, Willis Allen and Egr Harris. Interment was in the IOOF Cemetery. Mr. Blankenship passed away at the home of his sister, Mrs. Steele of Suver November 29. He is survived by the following brothers and sisters: John A. Blankenship, Creswell, J.S. Blankenship, Klamath Falls, L.G. Blankenship of Port Townsend, Wash., sisters Mrs. Patton, Pendleton, Mrs. G.A. Stark, Eugene and Mrs. A. T. Steele of Suver.

Interesting to me that no brother named "Charlie" is listed.  The mystery continues.  Chas. was listed as a son in the obit for Zedic's dad, Lewis M. Blankenship.  It was curious to me how he came to have such an old fashioned name like Zedic or Zadock or Zed and a more modern middle name like Clarke.  His grandfather was Zadock, however, so I figure that's how that came to be.  Clarke I'm not so sure of although I've thought that Zedic's mom (Jane Downs) came to Illinois with the Clark family after her dad died.  All speculation so far.

I've had a hard time finding out what the middle names were of grandpa's siblings.  His name was Lew Gene and he's listed all kinds of different ways in the census records -- L.G., Lewgene, Eugene, Louis, Lew.  His brother John's middle name was Allan and his brother, James' middle name was Summer. Also a name I thought was odd because he wasn't even born in the summer.

The oldest sister, Georgie Stark, was actually Georgia Anna. Another sister, Henrietta Patton, I can't find even an initial for so maybe she didn't get a middle name.  Another sister, Mattie Steele, has her death certificate  listed as Mattie and she's listed that way in most census records.  One place, however, she's listed as Martha M.

His sister, Elizabeth Thomason, is listed as E.C., or Lizzie but no where can I find what C stands for.
I'd really like to find out what my g. grandmother's middle name was.  Jane M. Downs.  I half suspect it might be Martha is that is the name of Mattie Steele.  But it could be Mary, as well.  One guy has her listed as Mary Jane Downs on his family tree but I don't know how he came up with that idea. Since I don't know who her mom was, it could be Mary.

Well, I guess I'll go fix lunch and watch the Country Music Awards that I taped last night. They're 3-1/2 hours long so that tells me there's plenty of commercials to FF through.  Mary flew to Austin this morning for a business conference. She was really bumming about having to leave Jake. Here he is at a recent Saturday outing they took him to.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Busy Saturday

Thank God for teenage grandsons is all I have to say!  Hunter is such a dear.  Mowed the front and back, weed eated, pulled curbside weeds and sprayed the area, moved my garbage cans and all my bird feeder stakes and bird bath, hooked up front and back hoses, and even put a screw back in my recliner.  Oh, and fixed the sliding glass door after it somehow came off its groove.

Maddie is coming over tomorrow to do some weeding for me. She's at a track meet today. Maggie has been here since noon yesterday. Kathy and Ed should be back tonight. They had long ferry line waits as she didn't know you needed reservations.

I watched a little golf but fell asleep in my recliner. I knew I was tired as I had woke up at 4:30 with a horrible calf cramp. Man, but I hate those things!  I came out to the recliner to put in two more hours but being outside working in the yard wore me out.  Even though Hunter did all the work, I tried to do a few things.  It's so annoying to not be able to do the level of yard work (and housework) that I used to.

Here's various pictures I took.  Neighbors are having a 6th birthday party for their son.  I don't really know them but I'll probably give them prints that I took from my deck. They're in the coast guard and are moving to Florida in June.






 Maggie hears an awful lot of kids on the other side of that fence


 the only side of the house that lets grass grow that looks like real grass. This is the before picture.
I sure like this puzzle. Am thinking I might mount it for the wall.  It's not real big. Just a 500-piece.

Talked to my step-sister, Shannon Timbers, yesterday. She lives in Sumner.  I wanted to know if her husband, Ed, is going to be working the big golf tournament that is scheduled to be held in Washington later this summer. She said yes.  I'll have to watch for him. Chambers Bay near Tacoma in the middle of June.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Let's move things around

For some reason I was really tired last night and I went to bed around 8:30. Now that I think about it, though, I had turned off the TV to finish a book I was reading, and reading always seems to put me to sleep.  The book was good too. (Empire Falls)

 Some days (more often than not) I try to get a nap during the day. I didn't take one yesterday and I suspect my body wanted one. Anyhow, I knew going to bed that early would mean waking up early today but I'm okay with that.  My schedule is my own, after all.  Wasn't real thrilled with 4:40 a.m. but I did manage to stay in bed until around 5 a.m. or so.

I slept in the front bedroom where my computer is now as I wanted to sleep on the foam mattress I'd moved from my double bed onto the single in here.  When my back was hurting so bad a few days ago, I thought maybe I needed to use a firmer mattress.  I found, however, that I didn't sleep as well. I woke up with very sore shoulders and so the first thing I did this morning was pack the mattress back to my regular bedroom.

By this time, I was in a rearranging mood so after showering and dressing, I decided to switch out my computer.  Meaning I'm still connected to my laptop, but my larger flat screen monitor is now hooked to it too, along with my regular keyboard.
Sometimes I prefer a larger screen and I wanted to change the way I'm sitting so I'm forced to look upwards more and hopefully, remember to sit up straight. I also changed out my chair to one without wheels.  At least for now.  Knowing me, I'll switch back again.  My desk work area needed to be made more user friendly so I pushed my little red desk into place.  That poor ole desk has traveled with me for years. I bought it at a yard sale in Bellingham in the mid 60's.  I need Hunter to replace the casters for me one of these days.

The sun is shining and while I didn't think I would get in the mood for any outdoor chores in the dirt this year, I am thinking that I might want to get some flowers planted in the pots on the deck one of these days.  I also might plant some green beans in my two raised beds in the back yard. Seems a shame not to put something in that dirt and I can always sit on a stool to work out there.

Yesterday (as usual) I worked on Blankenship genealogy files.  I decided I wanted to add as much data as I could to each file folder I've made for various relatives. Mainly my grandpa's siblings right now.  I worked on Lizzie's file and did find a little bit on her children.  She had two boys and a girl.
Also had a step-daughter (Lilly) who ended up marrying Lizzie's brother, John.

Anyhow, I did a little research on Lizzie's kids and grandkids. One of my genealogy connections is Carisa in Bend, Ore whose husband is a great grandson of Lizzie. Thankfully, Carisa has a family tree on ancestry.com so I was able to get a lot of data from that.  Lizzie's kids were Chester, Ora, and Ray.  Chester had a girl and two boys; Ora didn't have any kids, and Ray had a son and daughter. All have died except for one son of Chester's -- Clay.  I found his Eugene High School yearbook online and put 2 pictures of him in my "Lizzie file."
 He was president of the E club and is posing here with the emblem of  the Axemen.

I roasted a pan of vegetables for dinner last night.  It was so good.  And I love how easy it is to fix. I'll have it again tonight with two biscuits I made.   Tomorrow I'll have Maggie (the other grandma's dog) overnight so they can go to the Tulip Festival and visit a casino afterwards.

I've got to get Hunter over here this week to cut the grass and spray the weeds near the curb.  Also need to have him fix my recliner. A large screw dropped out of the bottom and needs to be replaced before I break the dang thing altogether.

Saw this on YouTube this morning and it just cracked me up....




And here's the latest from my email box...so cute...

Saw this on Facebook this morning....


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Middle of April

Was in bed before 8 pm last night.  I had woke up with a drippy nose and knew immediately it meant I was in a for an allergy day.  And that's what I had.  I'm still a tad stuffed up but I can deal with that. I'm just thankful it didn't turn into something worse. So many people are suffering with colds and coughs right now.

Not much on my calendar this week. Now that I actually glance at my calendar, I see there's not much on it for the next THREE weeks!  That's okay, though.  Leaves me free to occupy myself in whatever activity strikes my mood.

Guess what I'm going to do today?  Yep.  You're right -- genealogy research. I've cropped a lot of the "unknown" pictures from that album I received as I'm hoping I can figure out  which great aunt is who. Here's the older photos and I have them identified. Just want to match their younger photos. These are my grandpa's sisters and they're all older than he was.
                        Henrietta Patton from Pendleton (Etta or Ettie) married to a barber
 Georgia Stark (Georgie) from Independence and Eugene, OR  married a hotel owner.
                  Elizabeth Thomason (Lizzie) from Eugene married a farmer. Wrote poetry.
                                    Martha Steele (Mattie) from Suver, OR married a farmer.

                                          This is Mattie, Lilly (sis-in-law), and Etta
 Especially anxious to ID this photo as I'm curious about the badge the guy is wearing. The woman resembles my Aunt Elva Arey in her younger days.
 I can't decide who this lady with the hat is. Kind of looks like the same one with the guy wearing a badge.  I need somebody else to look these over. A new eye often helps clarify.
                                                          I'm guessing this might be Etta
                                     Pretty sure this is Lizzie & William Jacob Thomason

I need to work a little harder at locating descendants of each of these great aunts of mine as I'm sure they might have photos in their collection which could help me a lot.  I have connected with relatives of John, Georgie, Lizzie, Etta, and Mattie but it's hard not to make a pest of myself as I email them repeatedly with "one more question."  Ha!  They're probably all sick to death of me already.  These are all grandparents of theirs so the info they have is as limited as mine.

Well, let's see...what else can I talk about besides stuff you have absolutely no interest in anyhow.

I went to the casino yesterday and met up with the girls for lunch.  We ate in the restaurant and the food was excellent. Way better than the buffet.  My picture came out too grainy to suit me, though, so I've got to see about investing in a new one.  I certainly can do that since I got a nice income tax refund.
                          Mary Norton, Joanne Gilles, Linda Pedersen, me, Ruth Kvinsland

I managed to earn about .83 from gambling. Would have lost that too but I decided the slots were terribly boring and I had other fish to fry.  Stopped at Penneys to see if they had anything of interest and was really disappointed in their selection. I doubt I'll ever go back.  Went to Walmart and bought a few items and stopped at Sunny Farms to get veggies and fruit. Gonna cut everything up this afternoon and see if I can't get in the habit of snacking healthier.

Got a cute picture from Mary when her and Jake and Catie went to Target.
Mary has to go to Austin, TX this month for about three days and she's depressed at having to leave Jake.  Andy will do fine, though, as he already participates in every phase of his care from baths to meals to bedtime to daycare.  They managed to wean him off the bottle last week.  Growing up so fast.

I decided to move my laptop and all my paperwork back into this bedroom/office as it was just too easy for me to sit down at the kitchen table and not get up.  My goal is to cut down on my computer time and head to the sewing room for some activity requiring a bit more exercise.  And yes, you get more exercise sewing than you do on the computer.  A lot of up and down movement.

Gotta get a letter written now so I'll cut this short.  Ohhhhh....interesting. A police car just stopped out front.  Guess I'd better get my scanner out and see if I can pick up on the activity.  I looked outside and no one else is there. He appears to be just sitting.   How annoying!  Kind of sounds now like they're doing a stake-out.  Looking for somebody in the area.  Oh well, at least it gave me something to write about on my blog. Ha Ha  This is all I can see...

Friday, April 10, 2015

It's Friday

Weatherman says to expect rain this weekend so that's what I'm doing.  Am taking Maddie to track practice in 45 minutes.  She said she cleared 8' on the pole vault yesterday.  Not much new around here.  I'm still working on genealogy research, of course.  Of special interest is that picture of a boy named Perry Banks.  Since I found a Perry in the household of Oliver and Mary Banks, I decided to research those names further to see if Perry was actually related to the Pattons (my great aunt, Henrietta Patton, was the owner of the album I received), instead of the Blankenships.

One problem with research is that EVERY SINGLE PERSON you want to hunt for has other people out there with the exact same name and often close to the same date of birth.  Two girls living in that household were Annie and Daisy Patton, listed as step-children. I figured Mary Banks had to have been married before and brought two of her daughters to this household.  I started looking for Mary in her previous marriage with what clues I had about her so far. (born in 1839 in NY and her daughters born in Washington Territory.)

I did find Issac Patton and Mary in several Washington Territory census records.  I think it was Olympia in Thurston County.  Anyhow, they had a lot of kids so I started to research each kid to see if I could determine for sure if this Mary was the same Mary who married Banks.  The date and place of birth matched and there was an Annie in the family.  No Daisy but nicknames were often listed on census records and there was a girl named Armenia or America who could have been Daisy.  The dad (Issac) was a blacksmith but the last census I found him in listed him as "insane."  Hmmmmm....

As I researched each kid, one of them (Henry) was listed as a resident of a hospital in Steilcoom. This was at an early age so I'm assuming he might have been handicapped or retarded in some way.  In the old days, they sometimes put kids away like that.  Thankfully, we've moved on from such practices.
I'm pretty sure this Mary probably divorced Isaac and married Oliver.  I can't say for absolute sure yet, however, because there are plenty of other Mary Pattons out there.  I'll figure it out, though. One step at a time.

Because the picture I had of this little boy (Perry Banks) was taken at a studio in San Francisco, I'm guessing he's the same Perry Banks who was a silent screen actor along with his wife, Bessie.  I googled the photography studio and even emailed the place to see if I could get any more clues.

Another person I've been working on is Zadock Blankenship.  He was an older brother of my grandpa and all I could find on him was that he was a farm hand in one census and that he died in 1932 in Polk Co, OR.  I wrote the historical society down there and got an email yesterday telling me they found his obit.  Will cost me $10 to get a copy but I'm okay with that. Am just hoping it's a real obit and not just a death listing.  He was only about 57 but he was unmarried so I know there probably won't be much information, if any. I'm mailing off my check this morning.

On the home-front, I noticed those pesky pigeons have come around again.  They were gone so I started putting seed in the feeders in the backyard.  I'll be darned if I'm going to encourage them pigging out (they come in a flock and stay until all the seed is gone).  I moved the two feeders to the front yard as they never seem to find it there.  I think they're stupid.  And I guess I'm stupid too for continuing to play this bait and switch game. ha ha

I'm going to start my exercises today.  I don't think I'm up for getting down on the floor, however, so I'm using my bed with the firmer mattress.  I've got to do something to alleviate this dang back pain. The last couple of days and nights were absolutely miserable.  I don't know if it's a pinched nerve or just plain old body parts wearing out.  Maybe both.  I'm sure my continued sit-down in front of this computer is not helping any so I need to nip that in the bud.  Easier said than done when I start hunting for genealogy clues.

Here's an email I had in my hotmail box this morning:

I am Jimoh Ibrahim, Private attorney to Late Mr.Thomas Blankenship, a national of your country, who used to work as an Oil & Gas servicing and distribution company (SODAMEF SARL) Oil Company in Benin Republic West Africa,Here in after shall be Referred to as my Client. On the 23rd of March 2013, my Client, His wife and their three Children were involved in a car accident  near Cotonou-Lome express-road. All occupants of the vehicle Unfortunately lost their lives.Now I have made this  inquiries from your embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives this is why i contact you. The Deceased had an account valued at about $8.5 million dollars The Bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or any family members related to his last name or have the account confiscated. please it is very important that you reply for me to give you more details reply me with your full names, Age, and telephone number
I await your Call  Asap after replying.
Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim
Solicitor & Advocate.

I can't believe there would people out there dumb enough to believe such nonsense.  I guess they're out there, though, as one of these stupid letters shows up in my email every once in a while.

Had a visit from my pal, Mary Gaboury, a couple days ago. Was sure good to see her.


Well, that's about it for now.  Plan on hitting the casino on Monday to have lunch with the girls.



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A productive day

Maddie came over after track practice to help me clean up the pots on my deck.  We scrubbed them with bleach water and while they're not "a wunnerful, a wunnerful" they are better looking. Here's before and after....

She swept off the porch and even helped me pull some weeds along the steps.  Then she carried the bin of weeds to the empty lot across the street.


In the front yard, she cut off some of the black plastic lining along the curb that has been blowing in the wind.
I refilled the hummingbird feeders with fresh nectar and got the bird baths scrubbed up too.


I enjoy puttering in the yard and pulling weeds, etc. but I found the tasks almost too much.  My shoulder doesn't like me to extend it out and yank on stuff.  My knees weren't all that fond of bending either.  It's hell to get old!

Tomorrow, Dave and Mary Gaboury are stopping in for a while.  Their car is being serviced here in PA and they'll have a loaner for a few hours. They intend to go visit Dave's son who also lives in the west end of PA.

Had a bowl of homemade chicken soup for supper.  It was yummy but sure took me a while to pick out all the tiny bones.  I thought I had got them all but nope!  Always kind of scary eating chicken soup with tiny bones hidden away.  I'd hate for that to be my cause of death --chocking on a chicken bone.

Guess I'll head to the recliner now and see what Netflix has to offer.