Bright gray sky… and risking a thong

Risking a thong at my age… is that why skies are gray??

Look... there's some sunshine in the forecast... sort of

Look… there’s some sunshine in the forecast… sort of

It’s shaping to be a funny day. Not funny as in ha-ha, but funny as in odd. No, I can’t blame the noisy neighbors for my ramblings, though they are still here. I suppose seeing as it’s after check-out time on Friday they will most likely be here through the weekend. Oh well, I suppose the silver lining would be the way their RV is parked. It blocks a good deal of the wind. Awww… look at me being all glass half full and looking on the bright side of things :-)

Speaking of bright…  I’m starting to think the thing that is setting me off is the sunshine today. Well, it’s not really “sunshine” as I remember it. It’s more a matter of the sky being bright… really really bright. But again, it’s odd because there really isn’t any blue sky to be seen. No rays of golden sun poking through puffy white clouds. But I can see that it’s there, hiding… not playing peek-a-boo… just hiding.

You are my sunshine... my only sunshine...

You are my sunshine… my only sunshine…

I know it doesn’t look bright but trust me… it’s BRIGHT. So bright I wanted to put my sunglasses on when I walked down to the laundry room. But then again, maybe it’s just that I haven’t seen the sunshine in so long I’m developing some sort of vampire-esque qualities. Nah… I put a lot of garlic in that sauce yesterday and it didn’t kill me.

Anyway, boring stuff… I know. So let’s talk about something important. Like the fact that when I put my jeans on this morning (Yes, real clothes, two days in a row!) they were tight. Bloody hell… that’s odd! (Said in my best British accent) Okay, not really odd. I’ve been eating a lot of junk and my portion sizes are out of control. But I’m not talking about a little bit tight here… like, if  you  do a few deep knee bends they’ll loosen up and feel fine.

Oh no my friends. I’m talking about the kind of tight where even after the knee bends you’re unable to tuck in even the thinnest of camisole, over which of course you’ll wear a bulky sweater. I’m talking the kind of tight where in addition to the calisthenics your only panty choice is the thong. Not just to avoid the panty lines, but to get that extra 1/16 of an inch space for your toosh!

Now, at my age and present “plumpness” wearing a thong is risky business. But not in a cool Tom Cruise & Rebecca De Mornay kind of way.

risky

More like a “Holy crap what if I slip and break a hip!” kind of way. They wouldn’t have to worry about fixing my bones for I would surely die of embarrassment. Can you just imagine the conversation in the ER?…

Nurse 1: “Wow, I guess this one’s Momma didn’t teach her the ’You should always wear clean undies’ rule.”

Nurse 2: “Why is that?”

Nurse 1: “Because she’s not wearing any. Strange for a woman her age. Don’t you think?”

Nurse 2: “Hmm… yeah. Oooops, wait… here’s her undies… they were just really buried in her butt crack and tucked under her FUPA!!”

thongs

Oh the horror of it all!! And yet, I take that chance and don the butt-floss and suffer through the itchy tag in the jeans (which is why I normally tuck in my camisole… not to be confused with camel toe… which is another problem entirely) just so that I don’t have to buy a bigger size. Yes… really. You see I’m now up to a size 12 (EEEEK!!! I said it!) and I absolutely refuse to bump up into the “Terrible Teens”. Petty… perhaps. Foolish… for sure. But I just can’t bring myself to do it.

I’m hoping, against all hope, that the tightness around my tummy will be enough of a reminder and incentive to cut back on the crap I’ve been eating. I’m sure it won’t lessen my lust for the perfect libation, because I’ve been guilty of trading food points for alcohol points in the past. But hey… that’s a start!

Okay, while sitting here my jeans have stretched to moderately comfortable and I feel certain that I could sneeze and not send my button careening through the window. That can mean only one thing… It’s happy hour?!?  Sadly no… it’s time to get some work done. But maybe just one little glass of wine wouldn’t hurt.

Happy Friday Folks! :-)

*This post was moved from another blog I am taking down*

~Cheers~

Noisy Neighbors…

Most mornings after I pack Mr. Gibberish’s cooler with breakfast and lunch I send him off to work with a kiss and hug while it’s still dark outside. I close the door holding the latch mechanism and pulling it toward me as quietly as I can – because there is nothing worse than noisy neighbors. Then I wait patiently as he gets himself settled in the truck, gently pulls his door shut, starts the engine without revving it  and pulls out of our space; it’s early, we don’t want to disturb the neighbors. Then I turn off the outside light and jump back in bed.

Yes, I know I’m lazy… I’ve just never been a morning person. Sometimes I read a book, sometimes I catch up on all the wonderful blogs here, and sometimes I just scan the news online. I do, however, almost always fall back to sleep for a couple of hours. I know, I know, all those hours of wasted productivity time. I’m not saying I sleep until noon or anything. I’m usually up and dressed, sitting here writing something by 9:00.

Well, this morning I didn’t get my morning nappy and that makes me a little cranky. It seems we’ve come across a rather noisy neighbor. Yes, I know it happens once in a while and I really shouldn’t complain. I guess we’re actually lucky that in the six plus months we’ve been living in the camper we’ve only had two that I can recall.

The good news is, they are in one of the CruiseAmerica rental RV’s so I’m guessing they’re not here for any extended period of time, and the spaces are not as close as they have been in the past when we’ve had to deal with … ok I’ll say it… screeching kids. What is it today that makes kids who are loud not just loud but screechy? I’m sure I sound like a crotchety old man (and I’m a woman so that’s quite a feat!) but I honestly don’t get it.

I raised two boys, who are two and a half years apart in age. Yes, my boys were loud and rambunctious on occasion. But they were never ever screechy, and as I recall, they were never too loud in a situation that would be disruptive to others.

Anyway, as I lie there listening to the little urchins it reminded me of something I wrote a while ago while we were staying in Huntington Beach, California. So here, without further ado, is even more griping about noisy neighbors…. enjoy. (*By the way, the RV park itself was great! A link and brief review follows this rant.*)

Oh my head... somebody give that kid a cracker!

Oh my head… somebody give that kid a cracker!

I am a usually easy-going and laid back person. Most things others do don’t set me off too much. Yes, stupidity irks me. But if it isn’t hurting anyone except the idiot involved, I usually just shake my head and consider myself lucky that it’s not one of my relatives… especially any of my offspring.

I’ll also say that in the past two plus months we have been living in our camper we have not had one single problem with noisy, sloppy, rude neighbors. I guess I didn’t realize how lucky we had been. It’s like that old saying… “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone”. OK I realize now – and I want it  back.

You see our good luck streak with regard to great neighbors came to a screeching (and I do mean SCREECHING) halt last night. Oh, they seemed like they would be nice enough neighbors when they pulled in. They appeared to be somewhat established as they were driving a newer Mercedes SUV and pulling what looked like a brand new pop-up camper.

The gentleman was friendly right out of the gate when he inquired about exactly where his site was and how he should set up. He was a little hard to understand as he had a very heavy accent. I’m not exactly sure what their nationality is yet. I’m thinking maybe some sort of Mediterranean descent… Albanian, Lebanese, Greek, maybe Turkish. I’m really bad at guessing these things. The point is I was excited to have them because I like to interact (or at least observe) as many different ethnicities as I can.

I’d like to say it’s because I’m some sort of student of the world. But the truth is the more I’m exposed to different types of people, accents, customs, etc. the more I have to draw upon later when I’m trying to develop characters. Well, as it turns out my excitement about my possible ethnic immersion didn’t last very long.

After the couple got their camper all backed in which can be tricky, especially in tight quarters such as these, the gentleman again came over and apologized for making too much noise and for taking so long to get the unit in. He explained that they were new at this. We quickly assured him that it was fine, that we were sort of new too. We also sheepishly admitted that it took us more than a few tries to get into our spot as well.

I’m sure you’re wondering why on earth we would want to stay in a park where all the rigs are so close together. The answer is simple really. The beach is literally across the street and we love the area. And in all reality, this is the first time I’ve ever been bothered by the noise of neighbors. Yes, occasionally we might hear a few loud laughs from those partying on the weekends. But it’s a place where most people are vacationing. I expect that there is going to be some fun to be heard. Woo Hoo.. no problem. But I’ve never ever heard anything loud after 11:00 p.m. and like I said we are at the beach… and that’s the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down.

The truth is I wasn’t complaining at this point. I was still thinking this is going to be great! I hope the woman, which so far I had only seen smile and wave, was just as sociable… and then it happened. No, it’s not what you’re thinking. I still haven’t had the opportunity to talk to her, so I have no idea if she’s nice or not. The only thing I know for sure is that these quiet, polite, people have the loudest, most animated, screechiest voiced little spoiled brat girl I have ever seen… or more accurately heard.

Oh my head! I thought it was kind of strange that after they were so contrite thinking they were making too much noise at barely 8:30 in the evening that this little whirling dervish was in full blast mode. But I gave them the benefit of the doubt and thought they were probably just letting her run off a little steam. Maybe they had a long drive and she had been cooped up for too long. No real harm or foul. After all it was only a little after 9 o’clock on a Friday night.

I never actually heard a peep out of the couple for the rest of the night. However, I did hear the shrieking little shrew. Yes, I know that sounds harsh. She’s a little kid for Pete’s sake! I’m guessing not more than  4 or 5 years old. But after hearing her yapping at 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00 a.m. and even into the wee hours of the morning… about the silly crap kids talk about at that age  (i.e. “I’m the teacher. Sit down class!” or “No! I said I’m the Mommy and I’m going to drive you to school!” or “I’m hungry… make me something now Mommy!”) not just once, but over and over and over again.

You know one thing I didn’t hear??? Not once did I hear either one of the parents say anything to quiet her down. Not one “Let’s use out inside voices.” or “Okay, now… it’s time to settle down.” or how about “Shut the hell up kid! You’re making me crazy!!”  Oh wait… yes I heard that last one over and over again… in my own head. So I have to wonder now. I know these people are new… but do they think the canvass walls of the pop-up camper (see pic above) are somehow sound proof? Do they put earplugs in and try to tune the screechy little tyke out?? Seriously I don’t get it.

OK… I feel better now. Funny how a good rant in the morning clears the old noggin 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by.

~Cheers~

*Note: The pictures were taken at Huntington By the Sea RV Park. As you can see, you really can’t get much closer to the beach. The staff was absolutely wonderful and the amenities clean and nicely updated. If you’re looking to spend some quality time on the beach in Surf City I highly recommend checking this park out.*

It’s not procrastinating if you’re being productive… right?

Beware – procrastinating in progress…

nothing gray

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was up for the day earlier than usual. This isn’t always a good thing as I love my little nappy time every morning after the hubs leaves for work. Ahhh…I love having the whole bed to myself, all six pillows propped up around me so I can get all cozy with a book, or tablet, or laptop… sometimes all three. Most days I fall back to sleep until 8:00 ish (I know… I’m such a slacker!) but I’m normally up and dressed (well… if you call yoga pants, slippers, and a hoody dressed) and sitting here writing some sort of nonsense by 9:00.

Today, however, my little laze fest got cut much too short. I’m talking like 7:00 a.m. – uggg! I’ve never been a morning person, and now that I’m on the downward side of my 40′s I don’t intend to try to be one. But seeing as the neighbors we’re having some sort of electrical issues with their heat, or electricity or something, I figured I may as well get up. Not to offer any kind of assistance mind you, it would probably take a fire or an abandoned baby on my doorstep, or something along those lines to get me out of the house before my first cup of coffee.

No, I was up because those poor, chilly, unhappy campers (sitting in the dark) were making a racket! Now before you start to think I’m really evil, the person making most of the racket was some sort of RV technician who happened to leave his big diesel engine truck idling just outside my window. So, I felt confident as I sat at my warm dinette, donned in my fuzzy slippers, and flannel pajamas, sipping my freshly brewed coffee that they weren’t going to freeze to death. After all, if they got too cold they could go sit in his damn truck!

You might think having those extra two hours would have put me ahead of the game with regard to hitting my 1,000 words goal in the WIP. Ha! Not so my friends. For you see, much like when I had a paper due in school, I have been procrastinating all morning. Oh sure, I did get the refrigerator cleaned out, washed the shelves and all. I did start a pot of spaghetti sauce for dinner. I took my time sautéing bell peppers, onions, garlic, and this awesome spinach and mozzarella chicken sausage I picked up at the market. Somehow, noting the time I was preparing this,  I did manage to abstain from having the obligatory glass of wine while making any good sauce.

I took one for the team by going outside to dump the black water tank. For those of you that don’t live in an RV, this it that magic little tank that holds the pooh. Yes, I know… ewwww! It’s really not that bad, just a matter of opening and closing a couple valves. But it’s done outside, and here in Washington, it’s cold, raw and rainy. That’s the part that sucks. But, seeing as I was already outside and wet I figured I may as well take the garbage out too. It’s just a short walk up to where the dumpsters are kept. Even so, I figured it would get my blood flowing to my brain and I would be ready to sit down and let the words flow.

Nope. The only thing that flowed was the hot water in my shower. I took a nice long leisurely shower. Of course, I did this in spurts because if you let the hot water run for too long at one time in an RV you get tepid water pretty quickly. It seems I was procrastinating there too because I shaved my legs… and it’s not even date night! Man it seems I’ll do anything to not have to sit in front of the blank page today.

So, here I sit at 2:00 p.m. doing my mental cleanse and hoping I don’t write 1,000 words this kind of drivel when I get to work.

Does anyone else out there suffer from epic procrastination issues? How to you overcome it?

That’s all for now :-)

Sitting here (not working) I just noticed I could have taken the Christmas tree down too. I'll do it tomorrow...

Sitting here (not working) I just noticed I could have taken the Christmas tree down too. I’ll do it tomorrow…

*This post was moved from another blog I am taking down.*

Our First Road Trip on Eight Wheels

Our first long distance road trip with the camper was in July. I’d like to say it went smooth as silk… but that’s hardly the case. While we didn’t experience any real trauma, it certainly was a little nerve-wracking to say the least. At only 26′ our camper is small in comparison to some on the road. But in small towns, heavy traffic and tight parking lots it seems massive… to me anyway. Joe seems to not have any issues with towing, parking and just plain maneuvering it in general. Good thing because I still have not to this day driven while we are towing it. (I know. It’s on my to-do list… honest)

We left from Freeport, TX heading north to Tennessee for the next assignment. We only had a few days to get there and naturally pulling our new home-made traveling much slower. But after the disappointment we felt after seeing the condition of the beaches in Freeport and even up into Galveston, we decided to take a few hours out of our normal “only stop for bathroom breaks” mode and park our behinds on the beach… a clean beach.

We headed out of Texas via the Galveston ferry where we got to see some dolphins (sorry no pics) and then followed the Gulf Coast shoreline into Louisiana. We went through a few of the well know cities like Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, and of course New Orleans. We lucked out as we went through New Orleans at the perfect time to see a bit of fireworks displays for the 4th of July celebrations. (again… no pics :-( )

The Horace Wilkinson Bridge (photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Horace Wilkinson Bridge (photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other hand, as bad luck would have it, we had a little automotive scare while crossing over a very high Horace Wilkinson Bridge (shown above) coming into Baton Rouge on I-10. It doesn’t look that big in this picture but it seemed almost insurmountable at the time! While climbing the grade of the bridge we felt/heard what I can only describe as a “POOF”. Joe figured it was something to do with the baffles in the muffler/exhaust on the truck.

All I know for sure is that while trying to climb this mega bridge we seemed to loose most of our horsepower while pulling our home. Did I mention there was crazy bumper-to-bumper traffic everywhere? And that it was the evening of July 4th? And that by the time we limped off the bridge we ended up in a less than desirable neighborhood… ok down-right sketchy neighborhood?

I have to admit I was in a state of panic, albeit an inner-self-contained attack, as I’ve learned over our several thousand miles of traveling together, even without towing the camper, that Joe processes emergencies much better without my twenty questions. Thankfully, once we maneuvered through the dilapidated streets things seemed to have purged themselves out of the muffler (or whatever/wherever it was) and we seemed to have our horsepower back… oh… and a new metallic rattle coming from regions unknown.

We stopped to do a vehicle check and have dinner in a Cabela’s Outfitter’s store parking lot in Gonzales, Louisiana. Not very romantic you might think… but quite the contrary. While Joe was checking out the truck issue I hopped in the camper and made us each a ham and turkey wrap, with muenster cheese, fresh spring mix, cucumbers, oil and balsamic vinegar. I grabbed two bottles of diet coke and some sun chips and we had our dinner by a little man-made pond on the Cabela’s campus. We watched a beautiful sunset over Baton Rouge. That’s pretty romantic if you asked me. (I know… you didn’t.)

This was one of the perks we had been looking forward to. Being able to throw together a quick meal in our home, instead of eating on the run in the fast food joints was a welcomed change of pace. After resting a bit and getting fortified with a yummy dinner, not to mention relieved that there seemed to be nothing seriously wrong with the truck, we hit the road again to get some more miles in before we stopped for the night.

We traveled through Mississippi where the towns of Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula stood out. We ended up spending the night in a Super-Walmart parking lot. This was a first for me. I have to admit it was something I had actually laughed out loud about when I first heard that people did this while traveling. But, it turns out it’s not as bad as you might think. It certainly beats shelling out anywhere from $30 to $50 for a campsite that we would only use for a few hours. It’s hard to believe but even after just about five hours of sleep we woke up ready to hit the road again.

Next state, Alabama but just for a few miles (a few miles to us is anything under 150 these days) through Mobile and then on to the highlight of this leg of our journey… Florida and Pensacola Beach!!

Casino Beach, Pensacola, Florida

Heaven on earth… did I mention I love the beach?!?! As soon as our feet hit the sand we could feel the stress melting off our shoulders. After only just a few short hours we were stress free and ready to hit the road again.

Of course there was another SNAFU on the next leg of our journey, and the next as well, but I’ll only bore you with one at a time.

~Cheers~

Our First Christmas On The Road

The calendar says it’s December 24th… but is it doesn’t feel like Christmas Eve. It’s our first Christmas on the road… so why am I whining in my wine?

Having spent the last four months in and around Long Beach, CA, I chalked up my lack of holiday spirit to the warm weather and palm trees. Sure, there were inflatable snowmen waving to passersby, lighted reindeer ready to take flight off rooftops, twinkling lights and Christmas trees galore. Yes, the stores started playing the holiday hits the day after Halloween. But even that didn’t make me feel like it was the most wonderful time of year.

This was what it looked like on Thanksgiving Day

This was what it looked like on Thanksgiving Day

This is what we thought Christmas Day would look like.

This is what we thought Christmas Day would look like. Maybe with a few decorations and palm tree lights that, thankfully, we wouldn’t have to string up :-)

Joe and I were both relieved that we would not have to deal with the anxiety and merry madness that creeps over us each year right around the time we put the dishes away from the Thanksgiving feast. This year there would be no never-ending lists to check twice. No calls to make to try to gauge the best day for everyone in the family to get together. No shopping for the perfect outfit(s) for the work parties. Good riddance!

Instead we would be blessed with a stress-free holiday season.  We would enjoy mimosas on the beach Christmas morning. Then maybe we would go boondocking in the desert for a few days and watch for shooting stars on New Year’s Eve. Wooo hooo!! Works for me!

This was supposed to be us. Well... we're not quite that old but you get the idea

This was supposed to be us. Well… we’re not quite that old but you get the idea

Unfortunately,  a last-minute assignment for Joe pulled us away from the sun, surf and sand a couple of weeks ago. So, rather than chillin’ on the beach in California we are chilly in the Pacific Northwest – Washington to be exact. I confess that when, the climate and scenery started to change, as we made our way north through Oregon and up to Everett, I did start to get a little pang of … well, hmmm … I guess I could call it homesickness. It’s not something I’ve felt since we’ve been on the road so it’s a bit hard to know for sure.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened. When the palm trees and gigantic sago pines turned to scrub brush and tumbled weeds I was  fine. We laughed as we scanned through the radio stations in the truck. Every time it stopped on a Christmas tune we both lunged for the dial and searched for anything else. We still felt certain we could get through the season merrily by just sending out a handful  of greeting cards to our family and friends back in Connecticut. I had found some really cute ones with a camper theme and just needed to get them in the mail. No worries… we still had time.

Maybe it was when the temperature dipped and the scenery changed from fruit orchards and vineyards to lush green forests of stately pines, and the distant rolling hills turned to majestic snow-capped mountains. If that was when it hit it was indeed subtle. I don’t remember feeling any nostalgia for a Rockwell Christmas. In contrast, I was actually thinking “Uggg…. snow. I could have gone for who knows how long without seeing another single flake.”

Perhaps the eerie sky should have been a sign of my impending funk

Perhaps the eerie sky should have been a sign of my impending funk

But even those dark clouds passed and gave way to blue skies as we crossed into Oregon

But even those dark clouds passed and gave way to blue skies as we crossed into Oregon

As expected, the gloom came back when we hit Washington.. but I was still undaunted and looking forward to some good indoor writing time

As expected, the gloom came back when we hit Washington.. but I was still undaunted and looking forward to some good indoor writing time

It’s odd really. Here I sit, relaxing on Christmas Eve afternoon sipping a glass of wine, looking out on a gray sky that threatens to rain or snow (or both), instead of running around trying to get those last-minute things checked off one of those never-ending lists. I’m not searching frantically for the tape that I know was in the drawer yesterday, but somehow walked away on its own. I’m not rushing to wrap everything that needs to go to the Crazy’s  in-law’s house tonight. I’m not trying in vain to keep pilfering fingers out of the plates of goodies that need to go with us. I’m not pouring copious amounts of Bailey’s into my coffee for the liquid courage required to go to the in-law’s Crazy’s  Christmas Chaos. And you know what??? I actually kind of miss the madness. Oh my… I think I need more wine to digest this epiphany.

OK, wine glass is refilled and I’m still just sipping, not gulping, so I’m sure I’ll get through this little “fa-la-la-la-la” funk. It is strange to think that I would need to adjust to holidays on the road, but I do. I knew I would be missing my family and friends, especially my sons and their wives, my siblings, nieces and nephews. But I also knew with telephones, texting, and Facebook, I would be able to keep in touch and see photos and videos just about in real-time sequence. I was prepared for the uneasiness I would feel when I sent checks instead of being there to pick out something special. I would get through it.

What I didn’t count on was the void I would feel not being a part of the madness. I think I actually miss the stress. Strange… but true. So, live and learn. Next year if we are not able to be closer to the family I will still make the lists, and bake the goodies, and wrap the gifts… honest… I will!

Nah… who am I kidding? I’ll probably be giddy all pre-season, basking in the comfort of not falling prey to the perils of pathetic last-minute purchases. The only thing I can say for sure is I’ll buy a little more wine… and hopefully whine a lot less.

With that said… whether you are home for the holidays enjoying family, old friends and traditions, or living on the road finding new friends and making new traditions… Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas from our humble abode to yours

Merry Christmas from our humble abode to yours

~Cheers~