Monkey DNA — Are you a Cousin?

At Christmas Kongo received a Ancestry.com DNA testing kit.  The results just came back and it confirmed that Kongo is indeed a monkey.  Actually, the test was all about Kongo’s beloved keeper and there were a few surprises but for the most part the results pretty much confirmed what had been learned from previous genealogy research. Kongo’s keeper had previously traced his forefathers to the Jamestown area of Southern Virginia early in the 1600s.  They weren’t the first group to land but they were there within about 15 years.  In the genealogy research the main families investigated were the paternal…

Whorls, Milestones, and Granddaughters

It happens to everyone.  The first time.  It’s a milestone and in Kongo’s troop this event is a family affair.  We’re talking about granddaughter’s first haircut.  Mrs. Kongo is quite keen on staging these family milestones and she arranged an appointment with Maria at the wonderfully funky Classic Kids Hairstyling Salon in Camarillo to mark this memorable rite of passage. Granddaughter #3, Persephone, and her parents visited Kongo over the holidays.  Escaping double-bomb cold on the East Coast they relaxed for nearly three weeks here in sunny Southern California.  At the age of three Persephone was in need of her…

Sunny Santa Barbara

So what do you do when out of town family is starting to get bored because all the presents have been opened, you’re knee deep in legos and Princess Minnie parphenalia  and you’ve watched  Jungle Book a half dozen times and it’s still four days till New Year?  Well, you pile all the extra family into #1 son’s new Sienna van and you and Mrs. Kongo put the top down on the sports car and head for Santa Barbara in a two car caravan!  What else? Now just as an aside, Kongo is pretty sure the monkeys in Jungle Book…

August Birthdays

August is birthday month at Kongo’s house.  In this monkey troop if your birthday isn’t in August, well it just doesn’t count.  Of course that’s not completely true but with birthdays on the 11th, 18th, 22nd, and 25th there is a lot of celebrating to do.  Kongo and his two sons are all a week apart and the newest granddaughter, Persephone, jumped into the August club three years ago.  Whenever possible, and this is most years, the family all gathers to have one giant celebration sometime in August.  We did it yesterday! Naturally the three year old took center stage…

Island of The Blue Dolphin

  So there is the children’s novel being read in 4th grade now.  It’s Island of the Blue Dolphin written by Scott O’Dell and first published back in 1960.  It’s a timeless story about a young girl who was stranded on an island and had to fend for herself alone for 18 years.  It’s based on the true story of Juana Maria, a Native American, who was left behind on San Nicholas Island off the coast of Southern California in 1835. The young girl, Karana in the novel, was only 12 when she was left by her people who sailed to…

Fourth Grade Fun

Kongo returned from Europe in time to accompany #1 Granddaughter (the cutie with the Kauai ball cap) on the year’s first field trip of fourth grade.  Faithful readers will recall that last year the monkey could often be found chaperoning his two California granddaughters on field trips to the wilderness, zoos, and historic sites in the area.  Now that he’s in FOURTH GRADE Kongo is stepping it up to a whole new level!