Posts Tagged With: reading


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…


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.





Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Are An RV And A Good Book Much Alike?

The motorhome is parked at Thousand Trails Thunderbird RV Resort in Monroe, Washington. I’ll depart from here tomorrow.

Mary is dealing with her over-flowing to-do list plate which can only be handled by herself. The construction of Mary’s rental continues along…slowly. She now is hoping to rejoin me by early September.  😦

Today’s subject…How are an RV and a good book much alike?

The answer: Both of them can take you to wonderful places!

The RV takes you there physically and a good book takes you there mentally!

Here’s how this story begins…

Ten days ago I stopped at Goodwill looking for used books. Because of their larger size and weight, I generally do not buy hardbacks unless they are unique and yesterday I found one. It’s 934, 8.5×11 pages, 2 1/8 inches thick and weighs in at a whopping 7.5 pounds!

I’m a Civil War history buff and have been to many of the battlefields back on the east coast. Here’s the cover indicating that it has nearly 4,000 images…

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…




Here’s what the typical inside pages look like…




The last 10 days has been a fantastic trip! I’ve traveled hundreds of miles with this book that was ten years in preparation. Really great factual information and photos. I’ve read many books about the Civil War, but this book really added to my knowledge base. I highly recommend it to you!

To read about this book, click this link…

I’m in my 20th years of full-time RVing and retirement. Traveling and reading are two items that bring me much enjoyment. I’d be willing to bet in that time I’ve averaged 2-3 books a week and have been taken on many great mental trips. Photography, museums, walking, visiting with my many good friends, meeting new and interesting people, great music and food are some of the other things I enjoy. Living in 65-75 degree temperatures mostly year-round is a primary enjoyment!

William Cowper, English poet (1731-1800), in The Task (1785)–‘The Timepiece’ (Book II, lines 606-7) is credited with the saying “VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE”!, And he didn’t even own an RV!

As I travel, I have many people say to me…”I really envy the way you live”. In return I say…

“You can do it also…there are only three easy steps…

1) Sell everything you own…

2) Buy an RV…

3) Hit the road!

and then they usually begin telling me, why in their case, they can’t do it.

I’m really glad my life if full of spice. What a lucky guy I am!

Try it…you’ll like it!  🙂

I’m going to continue my blog postings about Civil War places that I read about in this book and I have visited until I’ve covered them all!

I’ve started a new book. The Good War by Studs Turkel covers the period from 1937 to 1946, transiting from the Great Depression to the end of World War II. The author assembled dozens of people who, in their own, words describe their life experiences during this period. Being born in 1940, I’m finding it to be another interesting read and mental trip.

How do I manage to read so much? Simple…with the exception of 100+ on-board movies…I watch ZERO television. There’s nothing on TV worth my time…plus if I never see/hear another commercial the rest of my life…that will be just fine with me! 🙂


Yesterday was a cloudy/sunny and 76 degrees. Forecast for today is cloudy/sunny and 76 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of Washington. 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 would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…

There are more than 600 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link…

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

For more information about my books, click this link:

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2015

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


DSC03440 (Copy)

Look at that grumpy guy. I interrupted his reading. We were supposed to meet Jim’s friend, Bill Dob, but that fell through so we again enjoyed the weather and the park. I walked the two miles in 30 minutes at the recreation center with the Leslie Sansone video. I like it. It also gives some upper body movements that are beneficial and definitely gets your heart pumping.

DSC03443 (Copy)

This park is really beautiful with so many palm trees. Painting them will be a challenge but I took 40 pictures of palm trees yesterday with that idea in mind.

DSC03461 (Copy)

And this morning, I’m blogging on my new system 7 computer. I spent several hours learning the difference between the old one and the new one. This computer has programs that came free with the computer, some interesting stuff that I explored as well.

DSC03471 (Copy)

The palms have such individual character when you really look at them.

DSC03465 (Copy)

My friend Pam says you have to think of them as living beings, which they are.

DSC03444 (Copy)..


DSC03436 (Copy)

Today is laundry day, and packing to return to Murphys. We move to within range of the airport at Ontario tomorrow. Hope we have a signal.



Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

A No And A Possible Maybe…

Within the last month I blogged about re-reading a book that I had read many years ago…Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon. If you have not read it, it’s about a one-year trip he took in the latter 1970’s. After separating from his wife and losing his job as an English teacher in a small college in Missouri because of a faltering economy, in a basic small Ford Van, he built a wooden bunk, loading the unit with minimal supplies and headed off alone on a 13,000 mile circular trip around the United States. The story documents the places he visited and people he met along the way. It’s become a quasi-classic.

Like most authors who achieve some positive results, he set about seeking a sequel(s). I must say he publishes big books. They are 6×9 inches and about 500 pages.

His second book is about an in-depth look at Chase County, Kansas…supposedly the geographical center-point of the United States. I tried to read it…got about 50 pages in…and just gave up…something I rarely do to a book…but I just do not do well with boring…even in a book. I need to mention that being of a Native American decent and an English teacher…gives him a somewhat awkward style of writing…at least for me. So, his second book…PrarieErth gets a big NO from me.

His third book River Horse gets the Possible Maybe. This books documents his four-month crossing of the interior of the United States…by boat. Unlike his Blue Highways trip…this time he has several different travel companions during the course of the trip. I”m into this book about 100 pages and so far haven’t quit…although I’m finding it struggling at times.

I’m not sure why it is…but sequels never seem to be as good as the originals. According to the books covers all three of his books were on the New York Times best-sellers list. Perhaps you might enjoy reading his books…maybe it’s just me. I just believe I shouldn’t have to struggle with a book. So my Possible Maybe for this book means it’s just possible and maybe that I might not quit and actually finish this book.

Here’s another of my sayings…”Why are a good book and an RV alike?…Because they both can take you to wonderful places!”

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Several months ago, I picked up the book Blue Highways, by William Least Heat-Moon. He calls himself a half-breed. Part Indian, his father called himself Heat Moon, and his oldest son Little Heat Moon, thus, born last, William became Least Heat Moon. Least Heat Moon set out in a home-made camper van and traveled on “small roads”, across the U.S. from Missouri headed east to the coast then back through the Carolinas, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Utah, Nevada;  north to Oregon; east across the top part of the U.S., through the Great Lakes, up to Maine and then back to Missouri. An epic journey of trails and travails in fascinating prose. What made it special to me is the many places he passed through that I have passed through these last three years, with Jim, at the helm of a motor home. Least Heat Moon  reminded me of other RVers, (particularly our friend Randy Vining,) who take the path less traveled, and adopt philosophies of a simplified life. Emerson, Thoreau, poets, Walt Whitman, and other historic figures like Muir, who relate to nature and the simpler things in life. People shed their possessions and find harmony, peace and joy. On the road, we meet people who profess to want that, few find it. Be inspired by this book.  Here is a link to Least Heat Moon:

Jim ordered 68 books from the Book Barn in Connecticut, at $1.00 each. He finds an author he likes, and they ship him the used books. He is set to put in another order, and I’ve ordered two more “journey” books by Least Heat Moon and a Walk In The Woods by Bill  Dryson. What a treat, what a deal.

Yesterday was a quiet day of letter writing, swimming  and reading. The weather remained cool, but dry with a weak sun. Enough sun for Jim to get out and put new battery cables on the Bronco while I swam. At the pool, I met three kids from Tennessee with their grandfather. None of them knew how to swim. I had fun with the youngest, seven-year old, teaching him the basic rules of learning to blow bubbles, getting used to having his face in the water, and holding onto the edge and kicking. All benefit of watching my own grandkids take swimming lessons a few summers back. The boy was pleased with himself. I was taught the old, regrettable way, as a kid, when my dad pushed me off a stump and said, “swim.”

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

We Got Baked!

Jim says:

Yesterday my 12-year-old grandson Eric and I went to a AA minor league ballgame at the home field of the New Britain Rock Cats. They are a farm club for the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, they are at the bottom of their division and got beat by the Reading (PA) Phillies 8-2.

The view from our seats.

Another unfortunately was, according to the field signboard, we got baked at 98 degrees for 3.5 hours! Despite the high heat and humidity, I really enjoyed the companionship of my grandson. He really knows the game of baseball and kept my clued in on what was going on during the game.

Eric chowing down.

Upon return to my son’s home, I retreated with my book to his breezeway while the motorhome’s air-conditioner worked on bringing down the temperature there. Once livable there I continued my reading. Later in the evening I enjoyed Volume two of On The Road with Charles Kuralt. Another great two-hour program about the interesting people and places encountered while living the RVing lifestyle!

On The Road – Volume 2.

Today my nine-year-old grand-daughter Jaime are going to the movies where the theater will be air-conditioned!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at