April 6, 2013
High stakes yard work is kind of an exaggeration. Difficult as it seems in this cool and rainy weather, I have to think about heat coming on while I’m gone. You can lose an expensive, mature shrub in a week in withering weather without an intact sprinkling system. My housemate and I checked the system and it needed two small repairs. The sprinkling clock works, and I can rest in peace when I return to the motor home, hopefully on April 15th.
It’s killing me that Jim is having soooo much fun while I’m missing some great craft beers and the friendly folks of Vicksburg.
Brian, my computer guru is set to come tomorrow and help me out. This morning I’ll evaluate my insurance coverage before paying the bills and then attend an engagement party in the afternoon. Shoot, I haven’t been to an engagement party among friends in…?? (I’m not counting that extravagant engagement shower In Louisiana.) I’m not sure what to expect. I know chocolate and cherries spell romance so I did put together a chocolate bouquet and a cherry surprise. These kids are 25 years old so I hope to toast them with this old saw:
Here is to Karli, may you always have diamonds on your fingers and knock-em-dead-destroy-the-paycheck-dresses to wear.
And to Danny, may you have an indestructible paycheck.
Karli and Danny aren’t as materialistic as that toast suggests, but it always brings a laugh and they don’t read my blog. What I really like to impress on young people is the definition of treasure.
Before getting on-line this morning, I cruised through some old family photos and put on slideshows of my grandkids at an earlier age. What a pleasure my pictures are to me. A keen reminder that real treasure is our family and friends.
August 19, 2012
The Angels-Murphys Rotary Club holds an all you can eat Shrimp Feed each year as a fund-raiser. I’ve missed the last four years since I’m usually back on the road by now. It was fun to go to the park, listen to the music, visit with friends, eat lots of shrimp and feel like I’m supporting a good cause at the same time.
My son breezed through this morning and asked me a question. “I see Rotary uses that little gear on their literature, so, what does it stand for, Rotary? I basically knew they were a fraternal, charitable organization. But his question stumped me. I hadn’t given it much thought. I went to Wikipedia and learned that they stand for Service Above Self. The cogged wheel symbolizes a rotating wheel because the original founders rotated their meetings at each others houses. Rotary was so popular, it grew rapidly and steady meeting places are used by all Rotarians, now. If you’d like to check out the link and read more:
The park is friendly and summer casual. Not many places can you dance bare foot.
Everyone was having a grand time including the band members:
I have a special spot in my heart for Rotary because they sent my youngest daughter to Egypt on a Scholarship after she graduated High School. Her experience there was life changing, meaningful and rewarding. I am ever thankful to this group, as is she.
Another highlight for me, is visiting with friends like Ginger La Jeunesse.
Shelly and Gene Cervantes. You never see this couple without big smiles.
Cindy, whose daughter I had only met once, yet I’ve known Cindy for twenty years. (I’ve misplaced Cindy’s last name, somehow.)
And Matt, who owns a coffee roasting business, informed me he had given up drinking coffee. He said he doesn’t need a pick-me-up in the morning and he just got bored with drinking it. And, I’ve just started drinking coffee after 38 years without it. I’ve only had four cups of coffee, these past four mornings. I decided to do it after reading in my Medical newsletter how good coffee is for you. In moderation, no more than six cups a day.
And, I chatted for a while with Liz and Steve Milliaire, the winemakers I credit with getting the wine movement really moving in this area. Liz doesn’t make wine but she was chief promoter when they moved here to make wine for Bardon Stevenot in 1979. They produce wonderful wines under their own label as well. Ahh! Time well spent is its own reward.
April 18, 2012
Closer to leaving Murphys and joining Jim gives me pause to realize how much and how little I got accomplished in my time at home. I didn’t catch up with everyone I wanted to see or everything I wanted to do. Yet, I finished some complicated projects. There is never enough time in our hurried lives. It makes sense to stop and smell the roses.
I took time out to have friends for dinner. We call Paul, The Famous Paul Moeller, because he is known by everyone in the county. He has videotaped every event to the tune of 3 shows a week since 1983. Unstoppable, at 84, we know he has to slow down, but doesn’t. And Pam Quyle, hard-working, involved with everything that is art. She has been in this county the longest, from childhood. She is owner of Quyle Kilns, and meets people from everywhere in the world on their way to Big Trees. She educates everyone who walks in her shop and has this unlimited memory of everyone in the county, especially connected to the old-time families. Always finding a home for someone who needs a place to stay because she has this big heart and fields a steady stream of people in need of help.
And Margo, the most popular and well-known woman in Murphys. You can’t walk down the street with her because she gets stopped too many times. Everybody knows Margo. She pours wine for Chatom Vineyards and has as many local friends as out-of-town friends, and many from other countries. She speaks German, French and English. She doesn’t have to work and keeps planning a second retirement. Chatom doesn’t want her to leave.
I promised cactus to anyone who wants a piece, so Pam took my picture hacking off a hunk for Margo who loves cactus. Still more than half of it to go. Any takers?
As I look at my pictures these past couple weeks from the new camera, they seem mushy and over bright. Slightly out of focus. I’ve got to test it and see if I can discover the problem before the warranty is up. And, I ordered plane tickets for my return to New Mexico , and now the things undone loom larger. Still, can’t forget the roses.
March 16, 2012
This little desert ground squirrel was cavorting near the motor home just before I hauled my backpack out to the Bronco. It was leaving day for me, but Jim has friends in Deming I wanted to visit before I caught my train.
At the Hi Lo Ranch we spent a short fifteen minutes with Jim’s long time friend Bob Gambol, who took his motor home to the Panama Canal and back with Jim and Bud Kuball in 2004. Bob was just out of the hospital so we didn’t stay long. Bob has traveled the world over with nothing but a back-pack, an interesting story I’ll blog another day.
Jim agreed to supply lifetime pizza to a woman who edited his book on that 2004 trip to Central America and the Panama canal. (She prefers not to be named or pictured in our blog.) Her little dog Pixie didn’t mind having her picture taken.
She took us to the Senior Center to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with two of her closest friends, Mary Berg and Pat McKay. Pat is a person Jim and I specifically wanted to meet-more on that tomorrow.
Since we both love museums, we went to the Luna County Museum. We arrived late in the afternoon and the museum is huge. The collections and variety are among the best we’ve seen. From many beautiful china cabinets, how do you pick one item? I like unusual the tea pots.
An excellent gallery of beautiful paintings.
An excellent collection of home-made lace.
A hand cranked bell wheel caught my interest, but even more their extensive bell collection.
Three cases of bells, I estimated to hold 1000 bells in each case, with bells from all over the world.
One of three beautifully designed church pews. I couldn’t take it all in. I expect to return to this museum some day. And, I will post more pictures I took as well.
From the museum we headed for the local Moose Club which just happens to be near the Amtrak kiosk. I changed into my traveling clothes and we had a beer in the bar. And, doncha know, we ran into two women full-time RVers Jeannie and Leah both from the LOW’s, a Singles RV Club, Loners On Wheels. Jim had met them in the past at various functions shared with his singles club, the WINS. They thoroughly enjoy the lifestyle on the road and handle their own rigs. Single women on the road amaze me.
Jodie, (missed her last name) came whisking through the bar and gave everybody a kiss both males and females. She is a happy distant cousin of Jodie Foster and looks a bit like her as well. Jim delcared, “Wow, this is the friendliest club I’ve been to.” Truth to tell, we find many, many friendly people on the road with wonderful stories to tell.
February 9, 2012
CeeCee and Aaron Canvasser, long time friends of Jim’s, came to visit for a couple of hours. We went to breakfast and returned to the motor home where I gave Aaron a haircut while Jim coached CeeCee how to buy a car at the price you want, from a car dealer. The haircut is looking to become a tradition because the very first time I met Aaron, he offered to cut my hair. I repaid the favor and here we are at:
Aaron and CeeCee hail from Oregon State. They follow a challenge ballroom dance circuit here in Apache Junction.
In the afternoon we visited Superstition Mountain Museum. Apache Junction has thrived on the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s mine and other strange tales because of it, which are fully covered in this museum. The story and setting attracted Hollywood and the museum includes Apache Land, a movie set from the 1960′s. It burned down twice and only a few buildings remain.
There is no known photo of Jacob Waltz, the Dutchman, but there is a collection of drawings and purported photos of him. The drawings are as varied as the many maps attributed to him.
It even looks fake. Why anyone would pay money for it is beyond my comprehension.
This one in Spanish must have been sold to a Spanish speaking miner. Jacob Waltz did not speak and write Spanish.
A letter from a friend is considered authentic proof that Waltz found gold and assayed it. Other miners found gold of a specific type as well. The map of his buried treasure was left with the woman who owned the boarding house where he lived and died. In the museum are 28 paper maps. The maps are crude, unreadable and amusing unless you consider that men fought and died for gold that was never found.
Six stone maps of an equally obscure Peralta Mine qualify as works of art,another mystery.
A really good site about the mystery and deaths that occurred in this area is this one:
We were without a signal for two hours this morning, so I’ll continue this blog tomorrow.
February 9, 2012
We’re still at the Golden Sun RV Resort in Apache Junction, Arizona where we will remain hanging out and visiting with friends. See my Blog entry for more information about this place…
Yesterday my good friends Aaron and Cheryl came to visit us. We had an enjoyable three-hour visit during which time we shared a nice breakfast at a local restaurant. They are avid dancers and come to Mesa, Arizona because there’s lot’s of dancing here during the Winter season. They qualify as my “most unusual” friends which means an abundance of laughter.
We last saw them at their home in Oregon last October. Because the RVing lifestyle is a mobile society, based on our current plans, we will not cross paths with them again until 2014. RVers never say “Good-Bye”, instead when we part company we say “See you down the road!”
If you are not familiar with our current travel plans for 2012-2013…you can click this link to find out…
All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
August 6, 2011
What a fun place Murphys is to live in. Beginning last night and through September, the town puts on free Friday Evening concerts in the park. The locals and tourists both love this event. People gather with their lawn chairs and ice chests. For me, it was great seeing old friends I hadn’t seen in a year or more with my new traveling lifestyle.
If you prefer, instead of carting your own dinner to the park, a local caterer, restaurant or in this case, Val du Vino winery prepared roast pork in an orange glazed chiopotlte sauce with orzo, fruit and brownie. Local wines, beer and water are available to drink. Delish!
The sultry singer took a break and rested her feet. What could be more perfect? Music, good food, friends and a gorgeous setting! I’m going to miss the next Fridays Music In The Park and catered dinners. Its one of my favorite events. If you can go, don’t miss it.
June 18, 2011
While my daughter worked, grandson, Austin and I repaired to Laurie and Ken’s house for an afternoon of leisure around their beautiful swimming pool. In Las Vegas, it isn’t necessary to heat the pool and the water was heavenly. Laurie threw pool torpedoes in the water for Austin to dive after. He likes to outfit himself like a skindiver with mask and fins.
For a little guy, Austin is very adept in the water and we had a good game of pool ball catch. I had to drag myself out of the pool, but we snacked, and played ping pong before heading back to Kristanne’s for dinner and a movie.
Austin’s only brother is 18 and he tends to enjoy older kids. His buddies came over for a sleepover after a picnic and swim in the neighborhood. Here, there is no need for blankets. The boys giggled and squealed until after 10 p.m. This is what they looked like this morning.
March 13, 2011
I jokingly refer to my separations from Mary as “Banishment”. In reality when we first got together in 2008, that was part of the deal. She still has a home and four rentals that require her attention, so we knew that 3-4 times a year she would have to return home to attend to business.
She claims I’m a distraction (Who, Me?) whenever I’m at her home and “can’t get much done when you’re around”, So, she has requested I stay away so she can get things done. Hence my joke about being banished!
If you have not seen it, here’s our “business card” that we hand to people as we meet them on the road.
So, what do I do while in banishment?
Well, first of all,I try to stay in decent weather conditions. Then I try to take maximum advantage of my Thousand Trails RV Resort membership, so that I have maximum comfort during my banishment. That means security and utility-generated electricity.
Since I’ve traveled my usual Western route of Washington in the summer and the desert southwest in the winter for 16 years, I’ve seen most of the attractions.
So…here’s what I do…
I think a lot about what an interesting life I’ve had and lucky guy I am. All my life I’ve enjoyed wonderfully good health. At 70 years of age, I have never had any major illnesses or pain or surgery. I’m not on any kind of prescribed medications. I still have all of my own teeth and most of my hair. Can you put a price on that?
I think about my wonderful family and my many great friends and acquaintances.
I think about how lucky I am to have traveled so extensively in my life. 26 countries while in the U.S. Navy. I started RVing in 1962, retired at age 55 and have lived on the road full-time for the last 16 years. I’ve got a lot miles on my body and oh, the people I have met, the places I have seen and the experiences I had.
In addition, I…
* do my daily blog, do research and play spider solitaire on my computer,,
* go for walks,
*read (I’ve been an avid reader all of my life.) Why are a good book and an RV much alike? Both can take you to many wonderful places,
* visit friends and meet new people,
* chat with family and friends on my cell phone,
* visit with my fraternal brothers at the VFW, American Legion, Eagles and Moose,
* watch an occasional movie,
* get lots of rest and relaxation,
* listen to lots of great music on our XM satellite radio and six-channel surround-sound system,
* do routine maintenance and repairs to the motorhome and Bronco,
* miss greatly Mary’s wonderful meals.
Finally, I think about how lucky I am to have met my life-partner Mary. She is a delight and brings much laughter, joy and happiness to my life.
But as she and I have discussed…moderation is the key to a good life. So, in reality banishment is a good thing. It gives us time apart to think and reflect about our relationship and really appreciate the times we spend together.
Kind of brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?
I’ll leave you with on of my favorite photos of Mary…
So, in banishment, I think and appreciate what a lucky guy I am!
All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:
November 23, 2010
I really get into cooking Thanksgiving dinner because its always exciting to try new dishes and use everything in the spice cupboard. Well, in my case, that isn’t actually possible because I have soooo many spice choices. In fact, the spice cupboard is full.
It has spilled over and taken up a shelf in the pantry. Some items are dried fresh from the garden and put in little bottles and jars.
And then, there are seasonings I have to have handy to the stove that I use the most.
I tend to plan for weeks ahead, choosing and discarding recipes, favoring this one over that one. I like to make paella with saffron rice. No stores in my area carry saffron anymore because it is too expensive. I should have thought to go online. Gosh, what bounty we have in our country. I’ll remember next year.
New this year is a kale recipe my daughter and her mother-in-law tweaked from a deli dish they tasted. And, as always, her pear with almond paste desert that has become a family tradition over the last five years. Its nice that family traditions change a bit with time, giving the feast an element of surprise.
Normally, the whole family arrives with their own special treats, and usually some extra friends or brothers, or cousins. Daughter-in-law Laurie, daughter Virginia and son Douglas are all good cooks and love to make special dishes for Thanksgiving. Doug picks summer berries and freezes them especially for holiday pies. He plans to smoke the turkey this year and I plan to make two different stuffing recipes on the side with a zinfandel and apple gravy. We always have something with pumpkin and corn to remember the Pilgrims.
Laurie always surprises us with some exciting new recipe. She is an artist and designs special place markers for everyone attending. This year, they will not attend since grandson Mason will be playing in the Macy’s Parade and at Carnegie Hall. He is part of an awesome band from Green Valley High School. He plays clarinet and will have some camera time because a group of the boys will do a little spotlight take-out on the street.
Today is my major cooking day to prepare everything that can be made ahead. Ain’t life grand? The spice of life probably isn’t spices, but at Thanksgiving time, they play a great part of making life exciting.