Posts Tagged With: Family reunion

TAHOE SOUTH SHORE

dsc08453-copyThe last two years, we’ve rented a place at Incline Village for Christmas, skiing and playing in the snow. This year we decided a summer family reunion would be a fun change. We arrived Friday night. Doug, who is an expert at barbecuing anything to perfection, fixed hamburgers after our long drive. My camera was packed and I didn’t get a picture. Everyone resorted to a game of pool. It was Doug and Ken, against Laurie and Kristanne.

dsc08452-copyKristanne had never played pool before, and Laurie, who grew up with a pool table, is a shark.

dsc08455-copyShe knows how to bounce those balls.

dsc08456-copyEveryone had a turn at the table, and after the games, everyone decided to be silly. A bit of wine and tequila probably helped.

dsc08459-copyNo one really cared who won or lost. Laughter is what counts.

dsc08460-copyThe next morning, most of us went for hike to the National Park.

dsc08463-copyI was ahead and turned to catch this sisterly hug. Don’t have a clue what inspired it.

dsc08464-copyWe had seen signs about a rope walk in the canopy and thought everyone would like that activity.  But, it was closed. Left to right is Cedric, Ken, Virginia, Austin, who seems fixated on a two finger salute. Then Laurie, Theo and Kristanne. Doug and Owen stayed back at the cabin.

dsc08467-copyWe stopped for a couple pictures, but the sun was at the high, bright time of day and we got a lot of squints and shut eye.

dsc08472-copyWe snacked and reminisced for lunch.

dsc08498-copyAt four o’clock Saturday afternoon, we skyped with my grandson Stewart in Japan where he teaches English as a second language.

dsc08500-copyWe asked him dozens of questions. Here he is explaining that his deodorant melted and he had to shave his armpits. The Japanese people seem fascinated by his facial hair. Komatsu, is a coastal town of about 100,000 people. It isn’t a tourist destination and they don’t see many foreigners. Students are very disciplined and continually kind of bow and say “hye” as a way to indicate they understand. He is learning to use that expression as well and practiced it for us. Technology is awesome and we loved the ability to spend a half hour with Stew.

dsc08511-copyIt was Ken and Laurie’s night to fix dinner, and they prepared a marvelous shrimp dish, with butter and lemon juice and pepper. The kitchen is small here. Everyone went to bed early

dsc08515-copyVirginia made scratch muffins for breakfast Sunday morning. She picked the wild berries on their property on the Eel River.

dsc08481-copyShe also got “into” olives this year and brought 3 different kinds of olives she made from trees growing around Santa Clara. Theo declared they were inedible and about the worst thing you could eat. I loved them and got to bring some home.

dsc08517-copyAt 9:00 a.m. Virginia treated  Kris and I to kayaking.  Ken took pictures of us before he and Laurie went for a ride to see the scenery around Silver Lake.

dsc08522-copyI’ve enjoyed kayaking before, but Virginia wisely chose a double for us since my shoulder is not completely healed. I had to rest from paddling periodically and she had to pull for both of us.

dsc08525-copyKristanne, always adventurous, had never kayaked. She took to it like a duck to water and said, “Hey, I get to mark it off my bucket list.” We rested on a distant beach, then sunned and dried out on a rock when we returned.

dsc08503-copyKristanne and Laurie enjoyed a game of Rumikub in the afternoon.

dsc08489-copyThe boys played pool or read a book.

dsc08529-copyEveryone played 13, the national game of Vietnam. It is limited to four so each of us dipped in and out of the game. It is one of those games where kids have just as much chance of winning as an adult and Theo proved it. Not visible, on the right is Doug, playing DJ and selecting our favorite tunes on the computer.

dsc08487-copyCedric took to the kitchen to bake pies for dinner.

dsc08504-copyThis cabin was as close to wreckage as you can find in a domicile, and the oven temperature was difficult to gauge.  He struggled to get them cooked well. But, as usual, they turned out delish.

dsc08534-copySo, most of Sunday was spent playing games, eating, gabbing…

dsc08480-copy…snoozing.

dsc08539-copyVirginia showed off her skill with Theo’s juggling balls.

dsc08542-copyDuring the evening, Hearts was the game of choice.

dsc08508-copyThere was some high finance going on downstairs with a monopoly game with Austin, Theo, Doug and Owen.

dsc08543-copyKen opted to wade through the New York Times and a San Francisco Chronicle.

dsc08547-copySome of us walked to the beach and watched the fireworks.

dsc08548-copyIt was a lovely, busy, relaxing. three-day getaway with stuff to do for everyone’s taste. Can’t wait until next year.

 

 

 

 

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GETTING READY FOR THE FAMILY REUNION

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For the last three days, my son and grandson’s came to help set up for our family reunion. Mason and Stewart sanded chairs to be painted.

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Doug discovered a picnic table had cracked and  rotted boards, so he rebuilt it. We know it would be cheaper to toss the stuff and go buy something new, but none of us like to do things that way.

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Nothing works as smoothly nor as quickly as you think it will. My truck wouldn’t start and I had to have it towed to the garage in Angels Camp.

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The second day, the boys picked gobs of weeds and we went to the dump with a full load. (Truck is back) The rebuilt table is beautiful.

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Stewart scrubbed decks, did weed eating, trimmed shrubs among other chores. The jobs the boys did in Las Vegas were easier than working for grandma.

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Mason cleaned off the roof, set up the cooler, chased gobs of weeds. He doesn’t like picking weeds, or any of that stuff. But, it gives him an idea of what he doesn’t want to do with his own yard some day. In fact, apartment living is looking very appealing to me at this moment.

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By the second and third day, Laurie decided to lend a hand. She primed the chairs. Painted benches and tables and kept everyone hydrated and fed.

 

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Day three, the chairs are looking good. We have two blue, two yellow, two green and two red. And, a matching coffee table. She has some artistic ideas in mind for the chairs as well.

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Things got a little easier for the boys,  but not much. Mason uses the compressor to blow up the tubes.

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Stewart scrubbed up the trampoline. They moved heavy barrel plants around with a dolly, cut and hauled tons of brush for another dump run today. The boys are heading for Reno for Mason’s college orientation over the weekend. I’m still getting chiropractor treatments and hoping to be well by late July to return to the motor home. We had an outdoor plug to the sprinkling systems clock die just as the temperature hit over 100. This morning at 5 a.m. I was out reprogramming the clock. The new digital clocks are no match for the old mechanical clocks. I have one that has run for 18 years without any trouble, and it can be programmed in two minutes without double glasses, a flashlight and a book.

 

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Thousand Trails Hershey RV Resort, Lebanon, Pennsylvania – Day 1

Yesterday I drove the motorhome the about 50 miles from Dillsburg to Lebanon, Pennsylvania. We are parked at Thousand Trails Hershey RV Resort only a few miles from the famous chocolate-making factory which we toured in 2010. To view that Blog entry,,,click this link…
http://wp.me/pDCku-n8

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…

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Here’s the usual dinette window photo…

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I’ve been here three times before…whenever I’m heading for New England…like I am again this year. A couple of days ago I read in an Internet article that there will be 58 million RV’s on the road this weekend and I have no desire to be out there among all the nuts. So, we’re hiding out here through the weekend and expect to move along on Tuesday morning.

Normally we do not have anything on our schedule calendar. However, Mary has a grandson graduating High School in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 6th…so she booked a June 5th flight out of Newark, New Jersey. She wanted a non-stop flight so had to fly out of a major airport. Then back to her home in California for a July 4th family reunion. She is currently scheduled to fly back to rejoin me on July 16th at Hartford, Connecticut.

Once she departs Newark, I’ll continue on with the motorhome to my son’s home in southeastern Connecticut where my oldest grand-daughter graduates High School on June 20th. I’ll visit my son, daughter-in-law and grand kids until Mary returns. We’ll then visit some of my cousins and long-time friends until we depart for the State of Washington on or about August 8th.

The weather has been really crazy…some more!. Two days ago we were sweltering in the heat and humidity. Yesterday it was cold rainy and windy. We hid out inside the motorhome where Mary had the heater running to stay warm. We’ve had a lot of trouble finding nice sunny 69 degree days in 2013. Ever since we started the year deep in south Texas it seems as though it’s been either too hot or too cold. 88 one day…55 the next day kind of thing.

Enjoying Thousand Trails RV Resorts is another joy of the full-timing lifestyle!

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

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Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures 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

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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.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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FRIENDS AND FAMILY REUNION

Normally, I blog every day.  However, I flew home for a family reunion that I host every year.  After a great deal of preparation to entertain, feed and coordinate a three-day event that peaked at 58 people on Saturday July 7th, I can truthfully say I meant to blog . Instead,  I  enjoyed the whole chaotic experience; the  bedlam, cooking, eating, visiting, drinking, snacking, games. The skinned knees, overtired kids, frisbees knocking over your beer, getting squirted by the errant squirt gun. We laughed at  the child who fell asleep while eating and the treasures placed on the totem.   There were swim suits and towels drying on every railing and chair; errant socks and shirts in every room and on the ground.  Whose shoes are these?  Tiptoeing around rooms full of sleeping people on the floor, in the closet  and on makeshift beds;   Listening to the  clanging of horseshoes;  the late night laughter during card games;  watching the  breakneck dancing by lantern  light; thinking I might get some sleep tonight. Blogging was out of the question. In fact, I couldn’t even  concentrate on taking pictures, I handed the camera off and asked others to do it for me.  Here are a few photos they took:

Prep time comes first.

 

 

Then a bit of kickback time.

 

That first night, the guys played horseshoes until they couldn’t see them anymore.

The kids danced by lantern light and raced around playing hide-and-go-seek until the first tumble in the dark brought the game to an end. (No serious injuries.)

The next day, some serious work on the totem commenced.

The small fry squared off for the squirt gun wars.

There is never a winner or loser. Everyone just stays wet and cool in the heat.

An impromptu opera in the kitchen.

A card game before heading for the flume.

The flume water was the lowest I’ve seen it in 35 years.  So low some of the kids needed help getting in instead of out of the flume.

But, everyone got to ride and get cool even if they did scrape the bottom in places.

First timers need a little coaxing.

Someone was expecting to get “tossed” but the water was too low.

Tandem helps keep your butt off the bottom in low spots.

There is nothing quite like tubing the flume for all ages.

All that fluming takes energy and a few snacks afterward are standard.

After the flume, everyone got seriously into decorating the totem.

The ladder reaches to the very top.

Some people  like to decorate and let someone else attach their treasures.

And some like to be up on the ladder as much as possible.

A budding artist turned a piece of wire wrapped in yarn into a rattlesnake.

By the end of the day, there was little room on the totem.

No one took a picture of the cooks nor the over laden table. Everyone brought a dish to share and we shared a sumptuous feast. But, part of the clean-up crew enjoyed a bit of laughter as they washed up a mountain of dishes.

The rest of the day was the same. Kids just all out running, jumping and having a good time. The rest of us wishing we had half their energy, enjoying the food, and watching the action.

And, after the s’mores, a few sparklers lit up the night.

 

I think I had a bed that night and slept until the coffee crowd came in for their cuppa wake me up in the morning.

 

 

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WE RIDE FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T

We meet a lot of veterans on the road as we travel like this Air Force Veteran.  He and a Navy buddy ride together and are proud to have ridden all the way to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.  I visited the Memorial;  I don’t remember what year it was. We, like many others, traced the name of a friend.  It was an emotional experience. Especially the notes, and flowers, and meaningful (to them) trinkets that people lay next to the wall where their loved ones names are etched in stone  forever.

We’ve seen several of these Veteran Biker Groups on various missions.  Just seeing them reminds us of All Gave Some, Some Gave All.

Wherever I see a vet just minding his own business, I feel shy about walking up to him and thanking them, but we do smile in a friendly way and say hello. If they have cameras we  offer to take their pictures for them.  It is one thing I can do, as small as that may be.  This duo let me take their picture for my blog, and we took their pictures in front of the ruins we were all admiring, with their cameras.

Both of these guys made the trip All The Way in 2011 and in 2012.  The theme is We Ride For Those Who Can’t.  I didn’t ask their names,  but I’m going to make a point of doing so the next time we meet a veteran biker and post their pictures on the blog.

I fly to Vegas this afternoon for a visit with my son and daughter and their families for two days.  Then, home to Murphys for my family reunion. Besides everyday business to catch up on, each time I return home, I make it a point to finish one major  project  I started.  I’ll be in touch via this blog and give you a look into what goes on in my very active community.

We’re parked in the City of Farmington, in  a huge parking lot behind the shuttle service that will deliver me to Alburquerque Airport later this morning.   Then Jim will head for high ground, cooler temperatures, hopefully, and more rest for his injury which still plagues him.

 

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FRONT ROYAL, VA. AND A FAMILY VISIT

From Mary’s Desk:

Front Royal has signs downtown for the Civil War Trail that leads to 10 points of interest during Stonewall Jackson’s Campaign in 1862. Plus there are two Civil War Museums to visit, the Belle Boyd Cottage and the Warren Rifles Confederate Museum.  Battlefields and cemeteries are all over the state of Virginia.
With one day to spend, it was my plan to concentrate on a family get-together with Glen and Karen Littlefield.

As it turned out, Front Royal was celebrating crafts and wine and I was celebrating seeing my “adopted” daughter, Karen, after a separation of six years. Glen, their daughter, Sherry Lynn, and granddaughter, pretty Penny, arrived in the new touring car, a Mini Cooper.

Grandpa patiently removed and adjusted the car seat for Penny, who adores her grandfather.

Downtown was mobbed;  the locals were having a good time. The food booths enticed us with crab cakes and chicken on a stick, but no one was hungry just then.

I loved these shirts but knew I’d never wear one.

The Get The Hell Up coffee gets to the point and made us chuckle.

There were games of chance and drawings and a couple of good bands playing music.

The sun was bright but two year old Penny was a trouper all day.

We repaired back to the Moose Club for a long lunch and played catch up with each others lives. The quilts we haven’t finished. The braided rugs we both made.  A dream coming true for them, working toward building a new log house on their lot. The joy of grandchildren. Looking forward to retirement and travel. And, all to soon, we had to say goodbye with regrets that we see the people we love not often enough. We took pictures. Karen and I,  with me squinting against the bright afternoon sun.

Sherry and her mom. Sherry’s sister, Kelly, was unable to make the trip with her two year old son, Adam. Having two so close in age is like babysitting twins, Karen quipped.

Jim took a group shot and then everyone piled into the Mini Cooper and returned to Bristow. For me, visiting with family eclipses everything.

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