Posts Tagged With: cousins


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The Alameda County Prison at Santa Rita houses the Sheriffs Office Archive and Museum and is run by volunteers. It has been a pet project of mine for many years, but with my new traveling lifestyle, I make very few meetings. New at the jail since my last visit was this array of solar water heaters. I quickly counted 22 of them. WOW, was I impressed. What a savings for the taxpayers.

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Three new solar array installations also new. This powers the training center and related buildings

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Another array sits on the hillside behind the jail complex.

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This one only looks like it is sitting in the weeds. Instead it was the position of my camera. Interesting to me, one of the volunteers told me, one of these arrays is connected to a robotic track that turns them to follow the sun to get the most benefit from the sun. Solar is getting cheaper and cheaper as more people wake up to the savings. The jail has huge generators on-line as back up for any type of power failure.

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Newly rebuilt, the “old” style guard tower is now manned by a mannikin. The guys are looking for someone talented enough to paint a realistic face and hair on this “officer.”

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My cousin Toni Moore lives in Pleasanton not far from the jail and she invited me for lunch. She fixed a marvelous chicken salad for lunch.

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Her oldest son had a nearby dental appointment and joined us. Kurt introduced me to his girlfriend, Yolanda, as cousin Mary and I kept thinking, no he is cousin to my kids.  They are all about the same age since Toni and I went to High School together.  But, he is right. We are second cousins and it has been way too long since we’ve visited. Cousin and auntie or uncle are used pretty casually to include anyone you are closely or distantly related too. It works for me.

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North Dartmouth, Massachusetts – Day 8

The motorhome is parked at my cousin Bob’s and his wife Donna’s home at North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. We will depart later this morning.

Yesterday was a somewhat decent day. With a light cloud cover the high temperature was 79 degrees with 63% humidity. Still too hot and humid for my liking.

Yesterday we drove the Bronco the about 15 miles to East Freetown, Massachusetts to the home of my cousin Mike DiPaola. Also in attendance was my cousin Jeannette and her husband of 60 years, Camello. She is 81 and he is 83 and a recipient of a pacemaker about eight months ago. Camello immigrated to the United States from Catania, Italy in 1948…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…


Being a Monday, the rest of the family was at work. With their parents were the oldest Mike and the youngest of their children, Lisa…


Jeanette showed me a photo of the entire family…seven children and eleven grandchildren taken a while back…


Here’s a photo of all seven children taken a while back…


Mike has a wild peacock whom he calls Hobo in his neighborhood that frequently visits in his yard…




I swear, the neighboring City of New Bedford has more donut shops than any other city in the United States. Most of them are Dunkin’ Donuts shops. Mike bought two dozen. He said it was a state law that we’re not allowed to leave Massachusetts without eating a Dunkin’ Donut. I had two just to be safe…


Here’s Mike with a Dunkin’ Donut box…



Mike’s wife Ann arrived shortly after 5:00 PM from work…


Thanks cousin Mike and family for a nice visit.

Then back to my other cousin Bob and Donna where she had a French Meat Pie (a favorite of mine) waiting for our farewell evening meal…



I had two pieces…


And they were very tasty!

This completes our visit to the New Bedford area. This morning we’ll head back to my son’s home at Ivoryton, Connecticut for a few day visit before heading out for the west coast next Monday.

Enjoying relatives and friends is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Massachusetts. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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The mystery animal that made a quick pass by the motor home window a couple of days ago, turned out to be a groundhog. Thank you Virginia. Taking its place was this perky robin. Every day, she comes and I tried and tried to get a good picture of her, and finally, a decent shot. Robins move so darned fast.

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As I go yammering on about pictures, yesterday we spent most of the day with Jim’s closest cousin Simone and her husband Pat. They grew up together and share a lot  of childhood memories.

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She brought photos of her daughter’s wedding, which gave Jim an opportunity to see a bunch of family members he hasn’t seen in years.

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We went for lunch at a good Italian Restaurant called Timbers. Then we went to her daughter’s house. She lives in Oakland not far from the  Elks Club.

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Her daughter, Elizabeth is the inheritor of the pictures and family history and what a character she is. It has been placed with the right person. She remembers many summers staying with her grandparents. She remembers all the funny family stories, and, between she and Simone, I learned more about Jim’s family than ever. It was fun.

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When we returned to the Elks Lodge, it was open, and Lew gave me a tour of the place.

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Gregg is their “resident” master gardener and he was working on the landscaping around the place and then it started to rain.

We returned to the motor home and just snacked for dinner.  We had to move the motor home because the puddles began to surround it until it grew into a small lake. It is raining, still as I write, but it smells fresh and clean outside.

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The day after Christmas, we celebrated with Ted, Bev, their children, and the grandmas, Eunice and Ruth, who are family members of Kristanne’s boys, Austin and Alec. Las Vegas is a long way to go for a visit and Murphys is much closer for them.

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Alec and Austin with cousins Abby and Daniel. (Ted is visible in he background.) The kids are sucking orange juice up through a peppermint stick “straw”.

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After dinner, the gift exchange. Grandma Eunice gave Austin what looked like a huge bag of cash. But, hidden inside the bag was a family tradition. This year Austin got “the ugly cup.”

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It has been a tradition for several generations In Eunice’s family for someone to pass on the ugly cup at Christmas. It is inscribed with these words: “I had a choice of being rich or good lookin'” Austin will now have to pass it on next year. She gave college-age grandson Alec, a gift-card of gas for his car. What clever gifts!

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The boys enjoyed the Guinness Book of World Records Austin received from his cousin Owen, who is in Italy.

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Bev and her Mom.

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Then, later in the day, Austin in his new pajamas, texting.

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Mason, texting.

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Alec texting.

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Emil texting.

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Naturally, boys love to wrestle and/or show off their strength. Alec is a student but he works full-time as a manager of a Golds Gym. So, it isn’t all texting.

Next, is Christmas with my nearby siblings.  I absolutely love the holidays and the extended family get-togethers.


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French Canadian families of my parents generation were large.  Genealogical historians indicate that  King Louis gave instructions to those bold families striking  out to settle the new world that each family should strive to have 12 children to populate “New France”.  Those were times when  it was typical for families to be large and to lose  children at childbirth, and from horrible diseases with no cure. My maternal French grandmother lost six babies, and two young children.  She raised ten who all married and had children. Oh, my!  My cousin Vicky Buelteman, left,  is the daughter of my mother’s brother. She lives in Scottsdale, AZ.

We spent an afternoon remembering the past. Vicky’s father taught me to dance when I was a pre-teen,  so I could dance at his wedding.  Vicky and Rod’s daughter,  Michele is studying microbiology in college. She was always fascinated by microscopes and didn’t get turned off by seeing things crawling around in her drinking water. Her goal is to work in a medical capacity.

We spent a couple of hours chatting and at one point tried to figure out how many cousins we have?  It was a half-hearted effort because we have so many. We don’t really know all of their names or where they are. A fun endeavor anyway.

We contemplated how many of us didn’t go to college or graduate from high school and how much better educated the  next generation of cousins is.

We move to a new location today, and Jim spent the morning before our visit  plotting the State Parks of New Mexico on a map, since we plant to spend a great deal of time there in 2012.

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My cousin, Gary,  is visiting me for a few days. A widower, he is trying to come to terms with a splintered life, making this Christmas different from any other. I spent time last night demonstrating the wonders of the computer. I think I convinced him to buy one and get involved in the on-line community.

I had him laughing at some animated jokes and reality segments that found  their way into my mailbox, one of a cowboy being given a drunk test, probably still out there on Youtube  under the title Best_DUI-Stop Ever. And another of cops stopping people in their underwear. Both  hilarious.

I then had him pick a subject and went to my search engine and found all he needed to know about surplus airplane parts. (His former business.)

We looked at nuggets of wisdom that come through the mail as well as marketing lies and blatant promotions to pick up $30,0000 from a poor immigrant that just needs your signature to get it from the bank.

I enjoyed the cruise through my picture files as well since we share a lot of childhood memories. It dawned on me how much I depend on the internet, for news, information, fact checking of rumors, jokes, beautiful pictures from the greatest photographers in the world. Such a deal in a box. It boggles my brain at how  many people I know who don’t get on the internet highway.

My neighbor popped over with a plate of Christmas cookies and we enjoyed a treat before bed.  Life will move swiftly away from you unless you make an effort to catch it by the tail and fly.






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