Rescaling GrammerBev’s Old Knife

Scot takes on The Mizells

Several months ago Kira had arranged for her dad to come out and visit us in the Bay Area. After we’d figured out when he’d be coming out, we decided to put him to the test. Could he handle the Mizell Clan? This past weekend he took the test and passed with flying colors. Through, what I imagine to be some sort of meditative process, he was able to deal with living in the same space as the four brothers, one wife, and mother for an entire weekend of spontaneous plans, prolific consumption, scooter rides, random house guests, and non-stop activity. Well done.


England 2010

Two and a half weeks on the English island has created quite the impression on me.

Somewhat purposefully, we avoided the hub of this country, London, and pursued adventures in the South West and as far North as Edinburgh, Scotland, truly appreciating the significant cultural differences in the land of our national heritage.

Starting out on August 13th, we departed a cold grey California and arrived on the 14th to a rainy grey England and immediately began driving on the wrong side of the road. Our jet lag was severe, yet Grant’s G-Dub GPS kept us suitably entertained as we drove West to where we’d be parked for the next few weeks.

Contented with our time in the Salisbury countryside, we poked about the area, seeing the magnificent cathedral, the multitude of henges (and hedges), like Stonehenge and Woodhenge, and the ruins of Old Sarum, the castle.  We attempted to track down various English geocaches and perpetually came up empty.  We saw the sights of the English West Country, visiting close cities like Oxford, Bath, and Boscombe Beach as well as hiking through the local hills exploring the unique landscapes and interesting historical and cultural presence hidden in among the wheat and grass.

Then we boarded our train and headed North. Through the haunts of York and then along the coast, across the border, and on to Edinburgh for a Tattoo performance from around the world, a puppet show of immense supremacy (from a fringe act), and just enough beer and scotch to remember where we were. Truly spectacular.

Soon after, Tripp and Karen departed to Ireland and we boarded our train south, back toward Salisbury.

It was wonderful to see in just two and a half weeks how much Kelly and Rory were learning and growing.  It was great to feel the stress and chaos of family.  And even though we greatly overstayed our Benjamin Franklyin visitation rights, I’m glad we spent the time with Grant and Evelyn.




Our Little Journey Map

2010 – England

The Basement Build

Finally a post about the progress on our new space. The basement! Started way way way back in 2006. Then it was just a clean, cement floored, spacious, basement where no one went unless they wanted to do laundry. AND NOW. It’s a dirty, saw-dust floored, cluttered, basement level where no one goes unless they Need to do laundry and then sometimes they do it down the hill. BUT after just about four years of ‘work,’ it’s coming together faster than ever and here’s the proof. Both the proof we’ve been working on it for so long AND the proof that we’re getting somewhere with it. Hopefully by the end of this I’ll have a nice inventory of tools purchased, garbage produced, and materials used. It should be fun!

Generally, progress is coming along as every day Andrew and I get a little more done. Some days it’s mounds of work, other days it’s mounds of failure, and most days it’s somewhere in the middle. But every day we’re sure to look real busy between 3:30 and 5:00 PM just about the time Kira get’s home from a 10 hour day at work. About then we throw saw dust in our hair, and get either a really puzzeled look on our face as we stare at some unimportant object in the room, or we put on the frustrated cuss and spit look as we move lumber around, from here to there and from there to here.. With that said, some days we can’t get away with sleeping in, eating a late breakfast, checking email, going down the hill for lunch, picking the right music, and starting our hammers somewhere close to 3. Because it’s the weekend, and the boss dawns her head-gear and gloves, and starts swinging her fancy 20 oz hammer (note: Andrew’s hammer = 19 oz. and SOMEONE busted the head off my hammer..shhhh) [See chart “Hammer Off” below for more detail] and calling all the shots. Then again, I suppose those are the days we get the most done.

CHART: Hammer Off

But we’re sure to finish every day off with a beautiful sunset, maybe a nice stroll through the hills, sometimes a cool cocktail and some deck time, and always a coulpe more fantasies of how’s it’s gonna be when all is said and done.

Two of my favorite photos so far:

From Basement Build
From Basement Build

I’ve got a number of photos online, and if any of the helper-bees ever took photos feel free to send them to me and I’ll be sure to annotate your name into our log book as helping and therefore allotting you to your fair share of the space. And if you haven’t come out to help, well, there’s still time!

Check back for more as progress grows into our new home. Cheers!

Living as a Californian – Genealogy

In seeking answers regarding roots Andrew and I spent the morning looking into our genealogy, trying to dig deeper than what we already knew from PoppaBob & Grammer Bev and Jack & Marguerite. After a few hours of guessing and checking, Andrew finally came across a scanned copy of a book by Bancroft about the history of California.

This exert from History of California: 1846-1848, Volume 5 of 7. By Hubert Howe Bancroft, Henry Lebbeus Oak, William Nemos, Frances Fuller Victor. Page 713; “Schroeder (Martin), 1847, Engl. mr of a vessel, married at Mazatlan, who brought his family in ’49 via Hon.; d. at S. Jose ’81.” (where Engl.=England, mr=master, and Hon.=Cape Horn). In conjunction with what we know about our family tree leading up to this point (see boldface below) helps us to connect ourselves as Californians since 1849.  True 49ers and native Californians of the nation of the Bear Republic, prior the it’s inception as a US state September 9, 1850.

1. Martin Schroeder (or Schroder) (b.Abt 1820-London England;d.1881-San Jose CA)
sp: Ignacia Alvarado (b.Abt 1829-Mazatlan Mexico;m.Abt 1840)

2. Victoria Alvarado Schroder (b.28 May 1862-San Jose CA;d.Abt 1955)
sp: William August Humburg (b.5 Feb 1862-San Francisco;d.1930-Los Angeles,California)
3. Arthur Fletcher Humburg (b.15 Mar 1884-San Francisco;d.Abt 1933)
3. Edith Victoria Humburg (b.14 Jul 1886-San Francisco;d.1978-Los Angeles,California)
3. Mary May Humburg (b.20 Jun 1890-San Francisco;d.1964-Los Angeles,California)
sp: John Andrew Mosier (b.15 May 1899-Adams County Iowa;m.1920;d.11 Feb 1941-Los Angeles,California)
4. Jack Arthur Mosier (b.26 Dec 1921-Los Angeles California)
sp: Laurie Merideth (b.29 Oct 1924-Moberly MO;m.9 Jun 1945;d.14 Apr 2002-El Cajon,California)
5. Andalee Mosier (b.19 Oct 1947-Hollywood Pres Hospital,Los Angeles California)
sp: Joseph Bruce Tenorio (b.19 Sep 1949-Naval Hospital,Guam;m.1980)
6. Kelly Ann Tenorio (b.1 Apr 1983-San Diego CA)
5. Merideth Mosier (b.19 Jun 1951-Hollywood Pres Hospital,Los Angeles California)
sp: Harry Dominic Leygraff (b.26 Nov 1948-Cleveland OH;m.(Div))
6. Sean Christopher Leygraff (b.3 May 1983-San Diego Ca)
6. Holly Nichole Leygraff (b.30 Oct 1986-San Diego Ca)
sp: Marguerite Louverne Anderson (b.28 Apr 1937-Los Angeles,California;m.9 Jan 1970)
4. Robert Rodney Mosier (b.9 Sep 1924-San Francisco)
sp: Beverly Joy Christiansen (b.Apr 1928)
5. Pamela Ann Mosier (b.Aug 1949-Hollywood Pres Hospital,Los Angeles California)
sp: James Elsworth Mizell II

4. Mary (Sally) Mosier (b.7 Sep 1925-Los Angeles,California)
sp: Richard Woodrum
3. William August Humburg (b.11 Jan 1893-San Francisco;d.1912-Los Angeles,California)
3. Charlotte Humburg (b.1897-San Francisco;d.1979-Ashland OR)

1. William A. Humburg (b.1825-Germany)
sp: Elizabeth (b.1825-Germany)
2. William August Humburg (b.1862-San Francisco;d.1930-Los Angeles, CA
sp: Victoria Alvarado Schroder (b. 1862-San Jose CA;d.1955)

3. Arthur Fletcher Humburg (b.1884-San Francisco;d.1933)
3. Edith Victoria Humburg (b.1886-San Francisco; d.1978-Los Angeles,CA)
3. Mary May Humburg (b.1890-San Francisco;d.1964-Los Angeles, CA)
sp: John Andrew Mosier (b.1899-Adams County lowa; m.1920;d.1941-Los Angeles, CA)
4. Jack Arthur Mosier (b.1921-Los Angeles CA)
4. Robert Rodney Mosier (b. 1924-San Francisco)
sp: Beverly Joy Christiansen (b.1928)
5. Pamela Ann Mosier (b.Aug 1949-Hollywood Pres Hospital,Los Angeles California)
sp: James Elsworth Mizell II

4. Mary (Sally) Mosier (b.1925-Los Angeles, CA)
sp: Richard Woodrum
3. William August Humburg (b.1893-san Francisco;d.1912-Los Angeles, CA)
3. Charlotte Humburg (b.1897-San Francisco;d.1979-Ashland OR)

More to come….

Calaveras Big Trees

A short, and somewhat farcical, snowshoeing walk through Calaveras Big Trees California State Park.

From Berkeley, it was about a three hour venture and we took about five, stopping for breakfast, and then again for lunch.  But once we arrived, strapped on our shoes and started walking through the massive trees, literally, it was just the perfect pace.  And after a four hour tour, dictated by Andrew and his guide book, we were through the well trodden trail and had enjoyed the spectacle of Nature!


“In the spring of 1852, Augustus T. Dowd was tracking a wounded grizzly bear through unfamiliar territory when he came upon a forest of enormous trees.  The tree that first caught his attention was the largest in Calaveras’ North Grove – named the Discovery Tree.  It measured more than thirty feet around.”