Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Household, Family & Friends 6 - Have your Facebook Friends changed over the past year?

Household, Family & Friends 6
Have your Facebook Friends changed over the past year?

Back on January 3, when I first posted under this HFF theme, my oldest daughter, Annette, responded to the Facebook comment this way, which I thought was very useful:

“I find that Facebook serves three purposes:
1) Essential connections with my immediate family through personal pages as well as "closed" group page.
2) Important connections with close friends and family through sharing photos and keeping in touch.
3) Informal connections with acquaintances and others from my past. Not essential, but still lots of fun.
Each serves a different function, but is an easy way to stay in touch.”

First, do you agree with this assessment, or do you find you use Facebook differently (assuming you use Facebook at all, of course!)?

Second, do you feel you use Facebook differently now than you did, say, a year ago? How? Why?

Third, do you find you are spending more or less time on Facebook now than you did a year ago?

Finally, have the friends you regularly follow and communicate with via Facebook changed from a year ago? How? Why? Have you given it any thought? Has it been intentional?

Think about it. Share your thoughts.

Please use the Comments below, or Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, to let us hear from you.

Will you take the opportunity to leave a comment? Hope so! ;-)

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Community - What Happened - 65,844,610 asked

What Happened - 65,844,610 asked

I just finished reading the book “What Happened.”

If you are one who voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton and you really wanted (want) to know, you really need to read this book. It is a very pleasant and satisfying read if you voted for her, or now wish you had. Put aside what you may have read, seen, or heard in your favorite (or other) media. You do need to read the book, in her own words, written from the heart. You will learn many things you will wish you had heard during the campaign that got drowned out by the mess that was the campaign.

She clearly admits all the mistakes she made as a candidate. Let’s start there. The important thing, now, is where do we go, from here. How do we fix the mistake for our country that came about via the Electoral College vote versus the popular vote?

Each of us has had a lot of time to think about this, by now, I’m sure. I certainly have. I’m reminded every day of the key principles of government that I thought were fixed, that are being eroded, torn away, torn apart, each and every day of the current administration. We each need to be active in our own way to work on this…every day.

I’ve spoken some about this in earlier posts. This blog was created as a platform for this dialogue. I’ve been away for awhile, but, in coming weeks, I’ll be sharing what I’ve been reading (this book and otherwise) and what I think we should be doing to make our lives, and our country, better. This is one thing I can do. It will be up to you to decide what you can do. I invite you to join me on this journey.

More on this later, but, in closing, in the words of HRC:

“Resist, insist, persist, enlist.”

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Happy Birthday, Annette - 1960

Happy Birthday, Annette

Nancy holding Annette, our oldest daughter, at two weeks... in Ames, Iowa.

Slides from that period, especially cheaper film, it seems, are starting to deteriorate. Got most of them scanned a couple of years ago, but a bit late, on some of them... Ah, the memories, though!!! ;-)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Throwback Thursday - Remembering PhD Study Days - early 1990s

Throwback Thursday
Remembering PhD Study Days - early 1990s

I came across this photo recently that brought back a lot of memories to me. I believe I was starting on my dissertation, perhaps '93... we had moved to a small apartment near campus at the University of Arizona in Tucson, from our house in the suburbs, so I could concentrate on finishing my degree.

Pretty heavy reading ahead, it appears. Even as Christmas approached. What fun?!?!?! ;-)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Throw-way-back Thursday - Another world of the early 1940s

Throw-way-back Thursday
Another world of the early 1940s

Roy Rogers and Lash LaRue at the local Lyric theater on Saturday were the 'heroes.'
Long before television. West-central Iowa farm community - look at that tractor and that barn.
Cousins played together on Sunday, after church...on the farm, or in small town...perhaps that hasn't changes so much...what was your experience??
Mom and Dad worried about sugar rations and such from a war, far, far way; hoped the boys came back safe... but, otherwise, it was a good life. What do you think?

Families are Forever!! ;-)

Photo: Cousin Kathleen - Bill - Cousin Karen, my buddies!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Throwback Thursday - 2001

Throwback Thursday - 2001
Sixteen Years ago the week

At Ben and Arrion's wedding, in Springfield, Illinois... Blues Brothers glasses, I think, and doing the YMCA dance, among others... not my normal activities, for sure... one good time!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Personal Activities - Travel in 1961

Personal Activities - Travel in 1961

Summer time is often travel time for families, and has been 'forever' in many ways. Even most covered wagon travel was during the summer. Now, we are able to share our travels with family and friends on Facebook and other social media. What fun!

Recently, on Facebook, many have been sharing a U.S. map of the states, with the states they have visited colored in...usually purple, it seems. Some note how proud they are of how many states they've visited, others lament how many they have not visited.

In addition, our oldest daughter, Annette, and her husband, Larry, have been touring the Great Lakes region this summer, a six month tour. I've shared before some of our early travels to suggest she got the 'travel bug' early on - just a part of her life. 

Here is another one, with much to think about. This is dated 31 May 1961...I had just graduated from Iowa State University, and we were driving to California to start our new life there. Nancy and Annette at the Grand Canyon...bet you can't stand there, today! ;-)

Where are you going this year that you haven't visited before? Which new states will you visit? There is so much to see, do, and learn in each of our 50 states...don't let too many years go by before you have checked them all out, and widen the experiences available to you and your family! ;-)

Happy Travels!! ;-)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Throwback Thursday - Spring 1974

Throwback Thursday
Spring 1974

This is time-period I rarely revisit...aren't we spiffy?

Nancy and Bill Smith, if you don't recognize us! ;-)

What do you recall from the Spring of 1974?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Throwback Thursday - 4th of July Celebration

Throwback Thursday - 4th of July Celebration

I've used this a few years for a 4th of July photo because of the Silver Dollar City flags in the background...however, I notice we are both wearing jackets... really the 4th of July or not?!?!

P.S. Later: Stumbled upon what suggests the date of this photo was 26 Nov 2010...

Still a fun photo!! Have a Very Happy, Safe and Sane, 4th of July this next week...even a very long weekend for a number of you, I'll bet!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Personal Activities - Computers

Personal Activities - Computers

What was your first, at home, personal computer?

I’m a computer user, not a techie geek, so it is really hard for me to remember. My best recollection is that it was an Apple II with two floppy disk drives in about 1982.

Actually, I found a classic photo of my nephew, Evan, working on it... note the dot matrix printer...

Here is a good story from Wikipedia, Apple II Series article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_II_series

The first ‘computer’ in our house was actually in our home office for our business - it was a ‘dumb’ computer terminal that we used for inputing the bookkeeping information for our small business accounting service. The information we input on the terminal was then transmitted via phone lines to the mainframe computer in Illinois where the actual computing and printing occurred. The output was returned to us via postal service, as well. Oh my, so long ago…

I got to thinking about this last night when I found some old papers of very early internet genealogy connections a few years later. I'll share some of these in the coming weeks...

In the meantime, I should step away from the computer, and go for a walk...  ;-)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers

Happy Mother's Day 
to all Mothers

 A few of the Mothers in my life...

My wife, Nancy...

My three daughters, Allison, Annette, and Arrion...

My mother, Eileen...

Her mother, my grandmother, Dorothy...

Again, Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers, everywhere... Thank you all, for everything!!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Throwback Thursday - May 1961

Throwback Thursday - May 1961

This photo from the past has a number of things going on... and some things I don't know. This was one of many occasions, I believe, where Nancy's family and my family were together during one of our visits back to Coon Rapids, our home town. Nancy, Annette and I were about to move to California following my college graduation from Iowa State at this time. 

In the photo are Nancy's younger sister, Janice, at left. My next younger brother, Jim, is in the white shirt. He would have just had his 17th birthday. Far right is my maternal grandfather, Paul Kinnick. Ah, the memories! ;-)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Community - Empathy


A recent Dan Rather column online talked of having Empathy in our communities. He defined empathy as a case of commonality when contrasted with sympathy, one of separation.

Do you pursue projects in your community where the basis is empathy, a case of commonality? Identifying projects or causes in your own community where you feel empathy is at the heart of successful activism and involvement that we each need to pursue to aid in building our community in a positive way. Again, this applies to whatever you think of as ‘my community.’

Many of us find ourselves surrounded by negativity these days. Reject those negative influences and pursue your own positive thoughts and actions by seeking commonality through empathy. Put yourself in the other person’s position and move positively forward. Work in unison, in commonality, with other members of your community to do good, whatever that may mean for you and your community.

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Throwback Thursday - 2 February 2017

Throwback Thursday
2 February 2017

Spring of 1954, I believe. Freshman in High School. First Instrumental Music Contest. Solo on the Baritone. Western Iowa, small town school... off to a nearby 'city' for the contest.

So much to note. The setting is 'The Porch' of our farm house near Coon Rapids, Iowa. This was few years off from having actually torn the 'porch' off the house and building this beautiful 'family room' that we still called "The Porch" It was large enough that my younger brothers played basketball in it. Of to the right, in the photo, far end of the room, was a stone fireplace in a wall of bookshelves. To the left, in the photo, was the piano... with the rest of the house on the other side of the wall. Behind me, is the stairs down to the basement. The door to the outside was behind the person taking the photo...no doubt, my mother. That is a toy box behind my legs. I do note on the counter, to the left, is my younger brother, Jim's, trombone.

How about that tie? Not to mention the 'sport coat,' and blue shirt! Those were the days, my friends.

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Personal Activities - Reading

Personal Activities

I mentioned earlier that I do read a lot, in addition to doing some writing.

Actually, reading is my favorite way to gather information, both for knowledge and for entertainment. I do watch television. On occasion I do listen to music, but mostly, I prefer to read. I generally do not care for videos, I do not care for audios. I sometimes have the radio on in the car, but usually just some quiet music… Channel 69, Escape, on XM Radio, is my music of choice. I prefer no words when I drive.

Besides books, which I mentioned briefly before, I read several magazines a week (skim some, read some). I have my preferred readings available on my Mac, on my mini-iPad, and on my iPhone… mostly different on each, with a broad array of reading choices. I read sports reports on one, I read events of the day on another. I read more in-depth reports on another, for example.

I am rather picky about the books I read. I rarely read novels. I generally prefer historical non-fiction, especially biographies, it seems. Or time periods of history, or a series of events, often that include biographical perspectives of the famous and not-so-famous persons in the history of our country. I generally prefer Colonial to pre-Civil War books, but have read on all periods. You can see the books I’ve read at my Book Bazaar blog here:

How do you choose your reading material? Do you read a lot, or very little? I’d like to hear your thoughts… if you have given it any thought. Perhaps you have, now that you’ve read this, and said, I think he is crazy…  ;-)

Use the Comments below, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, to get us started. I’ll be back here, next Wednesday, with more of my thoughts. I await your comments…

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Household, Family & Friends 5 - How do you define 'Friend?'

Household, Family & Friends 5
How do you define 'Friend?'

What is a Friend? Who is a Friend? What determines the qualification to be a friend, for you, and how is a friend different from an acquaintance? Do you make a distinction? Have you ever given it a thought? Do you have more than one class of ‘friend?’

Do you spend time with each of your friends? Is that a necessary issue for someone to be a friend? Whether you answer yes or no to that one probably tells a lot about how you define 'a friend.' Or, are there more important criteria you use.

When is someone no longer a friend? Or, are people you consider ‘a friend’ your friend for life! How do you think others feel about this? Do they have the same feelings as you, or do you perceive others as defining a ‘friend’ differently than you do?

Think about it. Share your thoughts.

Please use the Comments below, or Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, to let us hear from you.

Will you take the opportunity to leave a comment? Hope so! ;-)

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Community - Thank Someone Today

Thank Someone Today

Today’s suggestion: Whatever community of which you are a part - Thank Someone Today, for what they have done recently to make that community better (by your definition and interests)!

We should thank people regularly for their contributions to our society, in whatever way. But, sometimes we need a little nudge. This is that nudge, for you, and me, today. This suggestion is also a reminder to think about the community, or communities, of which you are a part… especially those where you are an active participant. It may be a physical location, or it may be a social group. You decide. Think about it. Thank Someone Today.

You do not need to share, but if you have a thought related to this suggestion, we welcome your comments, as always.

What will you do? Leave a comment here or on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. Create a post on your blog. Talk to a friend or neighbor.

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Throwback Thursday - 26 January 2017

Throwback Thursday
26 January 2017

When I was a young father, this was my image of retirement...

These are my maternal grandparents, about the early 1960s, on their front porch, in the small town of Bayard, Iowa, in their small house. He died at 75, from emphysema, at age 75, in 1968. She lived to 95.

I am now probably now ten years older than they were in this photo. I don't feel nearly as old as they seemed, at the time. Likely, they did. Times have changed some, for sure.

What are your thought as you read this, and see this photo?

Use the Comments below, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, to get us started. I’ll be back here, next Wednesday, with more of my thoughts. I await your comments…

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Families are Forever! ;-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Personal Activities - Genealogy 2

Personal Activities
Genealogy 2

Earlier I mentioned Photography as a hobby most of my adult life. For the past 20 plus years Genealogy, the study, recording, and sharing of family history would likely be considered my most active ‘hobby.’ I, along with my wife, were most active in our research and recording of our family history between 1995 and 2003…for me, at least. She has continued more active than I on her research since that time. Regardless, we have gathered an enormous amount of information on our families, ten to fifteen generations back on many lines. It has been a real joy, and continues to be a great satisfaction, when interesting issues come up that we can rely on that research to help provide answers to often vexing questions.

An interesting side-note to this is that when people begin to get interested in their own family history, the most often given suggestion may be… talk to the elders in your family first. We are now approaching the time when we are among the eldest living of our respective family lines. In my case, I have one uncle and aunt on my Mom’s side, and one aunt on my Dad’s side, of the prior generation still living. I try hard (not hard enough) to keep in touch with them, still asking questions about ‘the old days.’ After that, I am second oldest of my generation on my Mom’s side. I was also second oldest on my Dad’s side, but the oldest died far too young a number of years ago, leaving me as the oldest cousin. Just interesting to ponder.

I enjoy blogging, as you well know. My family history blog, begun in 2009, contains extensive writing on my family history, including my own history, as you well know, if you’ve been following along, at:

Our three daughters have been asking questions about our collective family history, now, for a number of years, which we appreciate. We love to share the knowledge we have accumulated. Our grandchildren have now, also, in their own spurts of curiosity, also begun to ask questions about the past, which is wonderful. What has been your experience? Are you asking those questions? Have you been answering the questions you are asked. I would love to hear your comments on your experience, or, even, questions about our experiences.

Use the Comments below, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, to get us started. I’ll be back here, next Wednesday, with more of my thoughts. I await your comments…

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Household, Family & Friends 4 - Family Spread

Household, Family & Friends 4
Family Spread

Is your immediate family scattered across the United States, or around the world, like ours is? Or are they mostly in one close-together area, like your home town? Which of these situations you face can have a serious bearing on what plans you make as you move into the ‘empty nest’ stage of live and beyond, as we mentioned in a couple of earlier postings.

We have immediate family in Utah, Texas and Missouri. Including our siblings, you must add Alaska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Louisiana. If you move to first cousins, several more states are added. Look or sound familiar? Have you decided where you want to spend your ‘Golden Years?’ Is that term still even used anymore? In planning for your ‘Golden Years’ having you considered this may include you and your spouse living to 100 years old or even older? What impact will that have on your decision? Can you even guess where your children will each be living in 10, 20, or 30 years? Most likely not.

What are you doing to stay actively connect to your close family members spread across the country (and the globe)? We’ll talk more about this issue in future posts. Think about it. Share your thoughts.

Please use the Comments below, or Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, to let us hear from you.

Will you take the opportunity to leave a comment? Hope so! ;-)

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Community - Activism


With the Inauguration on Friday and the Women’s March on Saturday, the theme for today must be Activism. This can take many forms, for many reasons, of course. Where do you stand?

Activism can begin with contacting your elected representatives, local, state or national about whatever you are passionate about, for or against an issue. Over the weekend, many persons passionate about their concerns, gathered together to demonstrate, with their physical presence, to show their concerns. Others contributed to a favorite cause, even if they could not march, or gather.

Now, what can we each do to sustain this statement of our concerns? That will be the challenge. The next elections are weeks or months away. In the meantime, how can we take positive actions that will have an impact, and keep our concerns in front of the most important persons or organizations to do the most good - from our perspective? Each of us must find our way. The important thing is to do it.

What will you do? How will you sustain it? Leave a comment here or on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. Create a post on your blog. Talk to a friend or neighbor.

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday - January 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday
January 19, 2017

It is May 1962, my mom and dad, Eileen and Pete Smith were visiting us in Winslow, Arizona. We had just arrived in January to start our Air Force life with Detachment 9, 11th Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron, Strategic Air Command, living on the civilian economy. Dad is holding our first daughter, Annette, of course. That is also my cool youngest brother, Paul. They are standing in front of the neat little cement block home we lived in while in Winslow in 1962 and 1963.

Dad would have been approaching his 47th birthday, Mom was 43 years old. Paul was 6. Annette would be 2 in August. Ah, what memories.  ;-)

Think positive, do good! ;-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Personal Activities - Genealogy 1

Personal Activities
Genealogy 1

Last week we talked about Photography… this week is Genealogy (the study of family history). Specifically, I’m going to share here, very briefly, about Genealogy Blogging, or GeneaBlogging. I began getting serious about genealogy in 1995, and began geneablogging in 2009. Even more specifically, let’s look at one blog post from 2012…

Earlier this week, I was contacted by the son of the second gentleman from the right (standing next to me - I’m the thicker body). He is just a few months older than my oldest daughter. When you hear from folks who are asking about a blog post, you never know what you are going to hear. More on that in a bit.

Sharing personal and family history information in a blog has many purposes, of course. One of them is to generate interest and comments from readers, of course. Another is as ‘cousin finder.’ It is a little scary, of course, publishing often fairly personal information about your own past or that of your family that you have found in research or talking to family members. I try to be as open and honest as I can be and simply not publish anything that would be embarrassing or dangerous in any way… at least, that is the hope. I have not yet had a really negative experience, and I have hundreds, actually thousands of web page and blog posts on line… going back to 1995… they are all still out there.

To read the ‘rest of the story,’ read here:

Use the Comments below, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, to get us started. I’ll be back here, next Wednesday, with more of my thoughts. I await your comments…

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Household, Family & Friends 3 - Downsizing

Household, Family & Friends 3

From last week:
“As retirement approaches, proper housing for each of us becomes of primary concern. In retirement, the issue does not go away, sometimes it becomes even more critical. Have you thought about it? Of course you have! ;-)”

Many of you reading this are in your 40s, 50s, and 60s. Have you given downsizing serious thought? Have you done it? Even the extra money you save could come in real handy in your 70s, 80s, and 90s. Many of you in the above groups will live into your 100s… have you really thought about that?

Today, let’s think mostly about the empty nester couple or single person. How much space do you really need? How much of your house do your actually use regularly? Is that second floor necessary or useful? Use it for the kids coming home two or three times a year? Really?? Think of the heating, insurance, property tax, loan interest, etc. you are 'wasting' with that extra space sitting empty 300+ days out of the year.

A single floor, easy access, house, cabin, condo or apartment will serve you just as well… correct? And, you are in much better physical condition to do the downsizing and make a move now, then you will be a few years. Yes, really, you are. By 60, the aches and pains become much more noticeable, even if you are athletic and active - which most of you are, correct? ;-) It is time to get serious about this. What are you thinking as you read this? Let me know… I’d love to hear from you! ;-)

Please use the Comments below, or Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, to let us hear from you.

Will you take the opportunity to leave a comment? Hope so! ;-)

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Community - Get Involved - Read Broadly

Get Involved
Read Broadly

In order to get involved in your community (again, however you define community) you need information. You need to know the ‘lay of the land’ and who the players are. For this, and a number of other reasons, I suggest that you ‘Read Broadly!.’

Each source of possible useful information has a different slant, a different perspective, and a different depth of detail of information. Never rely on a single source of information alone. The more complex the community issue(s) you decide to pursue, the broader you need to reach to gather information. I personally prefer to read, but radio (and other audio sources) and television (and other video sources) are also useful sources… so long as you sample a broad array of sources.

This applies at the local level, the state level, and the national and international level of community. As an example, locally, I read local newspapers along with the local radio station’s website and watch the local new on television - checking out each of the available channels, from time to time. It is often very surprising to see what is and is not covered by each of the news outlets!

Nationally, and internationally, everyday I read Reuters, Associated Press, USA Today, the Guardian, CBS, Fox, CNN, and the Apple News aggregator (NYTimes, WSJ, Vox, Salon, Slate, NPR, HuffPost and more) online, as a further example. Each day I pick up something different on each of these sources that are not available on the other services. What has been your experience? What sources would you suggest?

Read Broadly! ;-)

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Food & Fitness Friday 2

Food & Fitness Friday 2

Continuing from last Friday, when I shared that my daughter, Annette, got me a Garmin vivosmart HR Activity Tracker (watch) for Christmas… Thank you, Annette, again. What I didn’t mention was that she also got one for herself, and for her sister, Allison. Allison is just getting used to hers this week (she told me at dinner at Olive Garden, a while ago… it is Wednesday!) She still has her display on horizontal. Annette and I changed ours to vertical within an hour after taking it out of the box. Only time will tell how long until she switches…  ;-)

Last week I also mentioned how I cleverly left the battery charger in Austin when we returned to Branson, and that my watch had gone to sleep. Well, this led to a long and curious Postal Office error (see very few of these!) in getting the charger from Austin to Branson. Arrion paid a premium price for quick service. They started out with a 5 day, unexplained delay - expect for “sorry, your package has been delayed” over the New Year’s holiday weekend plus. Then, the package shows up (we have the tracking information!) in a small town east of Kansas City… Four days later, it made its way back through Kansas City, then Springfield, to Hollister - and I got it the next day. P.S. In the meantime, Nancy ordered a new charger on Amazon and it arrived the same day at the first one. Interesting experience. And now, we have a spare!! (Inexpensive, thank you.)

Share your Christmas gift experiences!! Thanks - I look forward to your comments.

Your comments on Food and Fitness plans for January and beyond are welcome in the Comments!!

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Throwback Thursday, January 12, 2017

Throwback Thursday
January 12, 2017

This photo image takes us back to rural Iowa in the Fall of 1953 - Don't you just love the curtains and the wallpaper???

I am drinking a Pepsi straight from the bottle... real cool! How about that shirt, as well. We were Freshmen in High School, this was a gathering of the MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship), on a Thursady evening, as I recall. Our MYF was affiliated with our rural Star Methodist Church, but I think we had invited the nearby Coon Rapids MYF young folks to join us, as well, though not shown here. The young lady in the middle is my future wife (of approaching 58 years), Nancy... though we were still nearly two years away from our first date, at this time. She was much more sophisticated, and I was still pretty much a country bumpkin, though improving, slowly!! ;-)

Our friend on the left in the photo, Pat, died recently I am sad to report.

Though Nancy and I were 'just friends' at this point, we had many interactions that fall. We were in all the same classes in High School, except gym and Home Economics/Future Farmers of America, of course. We were also together in both band and vocal music. That fall, we were assigned to the same mixed quartet to try out for All State Chorus... and we were selected!! Recently, in the Coon Rapids Enterprise, there was a big story about a student being chosen all four years. Well, Nancy and I were also chosen all four years... from the same quartet... with the other two being different each year. In addition, a classmate, Andy, was also chosen all four years... one year with us. It was both an honor, and a great experience.

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Personal Activities - Photography?

Personal Activities

From 8th Grade, early in the 1950s, photography was my number one hobby. Photography has certainly gone through many transformations in the intervening 60+ years. Today, smartphones make everyone an amateur photographer… or at least they think so! But, photographing something of interest has also become, for most people, an ‘instant gratification’ activity. Another big change, through the years.

There are still few things I enjoy more than a good photographic image, with consideration of composition, lighting and subject matter. I’m pleased that each of our daughters has shown an interest in continuing that tradition. I captured a lot of images over the years… I do wish some of them had been more carefully done, though. But, capturing the moment has been one thing that has endured, over the years. Many of our best memories are supported by a photograph.

I wrote a bit about this here:

Do you use photography to record your family history as you live it? I hope you do. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Use the Comments below, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, to get us started. I’ll be back here, next Wednesday, with more of my thoughts. I await your comments…

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Household, Family & Friends 2 Tiny House or what?

Household, Family & Friends 2 
Tiny House or what?

As retirement approaches, proper housing for each of us becomes of primary concern. In retirement, the issue does not go away, sometimes it becomes even more critical. Have you thought about it? Of course you have! ;-)

I used the image of the Tiny House, above, for its striking image. I see this as a great tiny house for young folks, but not for older folks. Note the steps. I’m not convinced that tiny houses are for retirement, but ‘to each his own.’ What do you think? Have you considered them, at all. There are now several television shows that provide a lot of information on the tiny house phenomena. Would you live in one?

Are you empty nesters? Still live in your large family home? What would it take to get you in a smaller place? We’ve downsized a couple of times, but many are reluctant to even think about it. We’ll get back to this subject in later posts. Where are you at on the ‘downsizing’ issue?

 Please use the Comments below, or Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, to let us hear from you.

Will you take the opportunity to leave a comment? Hope so! ;-)

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Get Involved 2

Get Involved 2

Get involved in your community by attending a meeting of one of your local governmental organizations that administer your ‘community’ entities - did you know they were open to the public to attend, watch and listen?

Have you attended a meeting of your city council? Board of Commissioners or Supervisors? Local School Board? These are places where important decisions are made that have a direct effect on your every day live in your community. Get to know the people who represent you in these organizations. Perhaps you will see a committee you would like to become involved with… attendance at these meetings is the first step. Let your representative know you appreciate their efforts on your behalf. If you ever have a complaint, they would like to hear that, as well. And, it will be taken much more seriously if you have already made their acquaintance, and they know you are sincere by your attendance at some of their meetings. It all works together, you will notice.

Whether or not you ever consider running for an elected seat on one of the councils or boards, attending, getting to know the incumbents, and showing interest are also the first steps in that process. By attending, and observing, you might find you have more interest in continued involvement than you previously thought. Give it a try. Get Involved! ;-)

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Food & Fitness Friday 1

Food & Fitness Friday 1

This will be an interesting theme day for me to come up with interesting posts, for sure. Recommendations for topics will be appreciated! ;-)

This first one is easy… my daughter, Annette, got me a Garmin vivosmart HR Activity Tracker (watch) for Christmas. Thank you, Annette. I really like it, even though, as with most tech devices, I only use a fraction of the capabilities of the device. This one has an app on my iPhone, so that will help a lot. I’m primarily interested in getting back to tracking my steps…

I had a simple FitBit for a couple of years, a couple of years ago, but it died. I had a great 18 month or so run of 5,000+ step days of which I was very proud. When it died, of course, my ‘fitness’ walking took a nosedive, as well. [Apparently, no self-control at all! ;-( ]

I was off to a good start the first few days after Christmas, but, I cleverly left the battery charger in Austin when we returned to Branson, and the watch has gone to sleep (last weekend). The charger should have arrived by the time this is published (thank you, Arrion), and I’ll be on a good plan, again. Wish me well… thank you, very much!! ;-)

Your comments on Food and Fitness plans for January and beyond are welcome in the Comments, of course!! Let's see what the next week brings.

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Throwback Thursday - January 5, 2017

Throwback Thursday
January 5, 2017

I have never seemed to be real good (consistent) at Throwback Thursday (TBT) postings of photos, either on my blogs or on Faceback. I have many, many photos that should be shared, but I tend to use the same hundred or so over and over... like the one above, probably the most 'famous' of my early photos... May 31, 1942...nearly three years old. Even my High School 'Prophesy' played off of this photo by saying I'd be a chicken farmer in 20 years after graduation. Everyone knew I was going to college and would never be a farmer. It was a 'put-down' of sorts. [Though, if I'd have become a chicken farmer, I'd likely have much more wealth than I have today... but, that is a story for another time!]
So, looking ahead, my pledge to you my readers, and myself, is to attempt to share some personal and family photos here each week this year, that mostly (or totally) have never been published online before - suppose I'll be able to do that??? ;-)
 Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Personal Activities - Where to start?

Personal Activities - Where to start?

My intent with the five daily themes for this blog was to have the opportunity to talk about virtually anything within the five… perhaps this is as close to ‘Other’ as any, do you suppose?

When attempting to describe my current personal activities I tend to reply: “reading and writing.” Since retiring, I’ve read over 120 books, written a half dozen or more, kept up a handful of blogs, read daily news online, and written, perhaps, over 200 short stories or articles online. So, why start an entirely new blog, now, and why call it a Lifestyle Blog?

I recent years, I’ve written mostly fiction. I’d tended to avoid essays. I’ve written about heritage travel and genealogy related material, I’ve rarely gotten very personal except with family history type stuff. With the new year, I’ve decided it would be useful to turn to a new page, and write about some of the stuff I have avoided in recent years. I’ve notice a number of celebrities, ‘reality tv’ folks, and others doing “life-style” blogs. Why not me? Well, for one, I’ll not be doing it to earn a living or to make money. My hope is to generate some conversations. Whether this happens or not will likely determine the life span of this blog. I’ve noticed it is very hard, these days, to have a conversation in any format, online or in person. Our attention spans are so short, our interests are so limited. Perhaps my hope is doomed from the start. Only time will tell.

Are you interested in having conversations? Personal activities are a good place to start. What are you doing that you’d like to talk about with someone. I’m here. I’ll listen, and respond. Use the Comments below, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, to get us started. I’ll be back here, next Wednesday, with a topic of my choosing. I await your comments…

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Household, Family & Friends

Household, Family & Friends

In retirement, household, family, and friends may well be the primary focus of attention most of the time. Certainly, my genealogy blog, Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories, has been a focus of a lot of my efforts in recent years. I’ll make reference to posts on that blog regularly as we discuss some of these important issues.

Do you have a genealogy blog? Do you find that Facebook has often taken over for your blog in some aspects of your postings? I certainly have. Facebook has taken on a much bigger role in family and friends relationships than I would ever have imagined. What do you think? Is this a positive or a negative thing? Or, do you find your experience to be different?

The series of posts here on Tuesdays, in this category, will also take on such disparate topics as Tiny Houses, downsizing, use of storage facilities and many other issues. What would you like to see comments on? I hope we can develop some real conversations, using the Comments below, or Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, as well.

Will you take the opportunity to leave a comment? Hope so! ;-)

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Community - Get Involved

Get Involved

How do you see the “community” you live in? Is there just one, or are there several?

Is “community” geographical, social, or something else? We each have our own definition, I assume, so that will become part of our discussion as we move forward into 2017. Hillary Clinton once wrote a book called, “It Takes a Village.” But, community is really even more than that, as I see it. I am anxious to see and hear what you think.

How involved are you in your local community, however you define it? Community involvement should be on everyone’s list of 2017 resolutions. Get involved. Work to make your community better, for yourself, for your family, and for your neighbors. What will be your primary contribution in 2017?

Social media has helped create new virtual communities. Are they real? Are they worthwhile for using your time to become involved? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Use the comments below, or on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter…

Think Positive, Do Good! ;-)