My Tracks… To Lake Campbell

It’s days like these that really make me love this area of the Pacific Northwest. The weather was absolutely perfect for walking today. It doesn’t happen all that often so I made sure to take advantage of it.

I took a walk down to Lake Campbell. It’s on Route 20 heading toward Deception Pass. It was only a 3.9 mile walk but it felt fabulous to get out into the sun!

I thought I’d play a little with My Tracks, an Android app I have on my phone. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make the link work, but I think I’ve conquered this little bit of technology. (Imagine that!)  If you click on the link below, you should be able to see the map of where I walked. (fingers crossed 😉 )

Down to Lake Campbell 2/28/14

The lake isn’t very big but it was gorgeous today with the sun dancing off the surface of the water. My pictures don’t do it justice…

Lake Campbell, Anacortes, WA

Lake Campbell, Anacortes, WA

From the looks of this dock, it seems the water is a little on the high side. I suppose that’s normal for this time of year. Not a bad view for these folks, nice and peaceful.

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Ahhh… the sun… 🙂

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Okay, just one more…

Lake Campbell February 2014

Lake Campbell February 2014

I thought the hill on the way back up Route 20 might do me in, but I survived. (fwew!) I spotted this cute little train on the way back to the RV Park. How cute is this?!

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I was feeling so jazzed from the dose of vitamin D (of the sunshine variety) when I got home I considered trying my Vaseline covered cotton balls trick to start a campfire…

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But as I stood there stretching and sipping my water I got side-tracked watching the shadows. It’s was like watching a movie I hadn’t seen in a long time. 🙂 Then, before I knew it, the wind started to pick up. So that put the kibosh on my campfire plans.

The winds are bringing in some much colder air. It’s expected to get down to 30 degrees, so no fire tonight. Hopefully we’ll get another day like this tomorrow and I’ll be able to get a little hike in with Mr. G., maybe a nice cozy fire too!

But for now, here’s the last pic for today. The sun is setting quickly over our back fence … 🙁   But gee, look at that. It’s close enough to 5:00 for me!

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Ta ta for now sun… don’t be a stranger!

~Cheers~

I Never Finish Anythi

If there was an award for never finishing a project there is no doubt in my mind I’d be a serious contender.

But, is that always a bad thing?

Ir's true, see. BTW, gotta love that wonderful snowy rainy slushy view, right??

Funny thing is, I bought this for Mr. G years ago, but it suits me just as well these days.

I think maybe I need an intervention. Seriously. Or maybe I’ve already had a self-serve intervention and I need to testify to the masses this blank white screen and blinking cursor.

Oddly enough, I’m not even talking about writing projects here. Although, if there was an award for procrastinating on them, I’d probably win that too. I’m mainly talking about projects in the name of implementing a “Healthier Lifestyle”.

In the past six months or so I’ve tried/started the following…

The Mediterranean Diet – (I sort of miss Yanni, my sexy Greek imaginary friend… hmm)

The Bikini Mommy Challenge – (What was I thinking!?!)

The Simple Green Smoothie 30 Day Challenge – (I got sick of dragging out the blender every day.)

The 28 Day Weight Loss Journal Challenge (Getting into the habit of tracking was a good thing, but having another writing task only added to my “things not completed today” list. 🙁 )

There were probably other things I’ve started or at least contemplated, but these are the ones that quickly spring to mind. Before you start thinking this is a pity party, let me just say. It’s not, so no worries. 😉

Here’s the thing. While I may not have stuck with each of the challenges in their entirety, I did take something from each one.

For instance, the Mediterranean diet got me thinking about food in an “eat to live” rather than “live to eat” sort of way.

The Bikini Mommy Challenge got me into the habit of using “the plank” (okay, a modified elbow plank) as my go-to toner move. That is, every once in a while when I decide to actually do a toner move.

The Simple Green Smoothie Challenge showed me that spinach and kale are delicious mixed with fruit and coconut water and blended to oblivion.

And of course the 28 Day Weight Loss Journal made me focus on everything I was eating (and drinking!) and prompted the necessity to make better choices. Journaling about it put me on the fast track back to Weight Watchers Online. What can I say? I’m a visual learner and sometimes I just need to see things in black and white to put them into perspective.

It’s been three weeks now since I’ve been back on track and I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll be able to keep this mind-set again. I say again because I’m a WW Lifetime Member. Don’t laugh, it’s a real thing! LoL One of the perks is free membership once you get back down to your goal weight. But the bigger incentive for me is just the need to get back to goal in order to be around long enough to be a nuisance to my kids. (Just kidding boys!)

So anyway, even though I’m not crying in my beer (Waste a beer? Not me!) about not “finishing” any of these adventures. I am wondering if there is a reason for my nearly compulsive need to start so many new things. Are the 12 to 14 hours a day spent alone in our little H.O.W. getting to me?

I mean, I don’t feel like anything is missing. It’s more that I want to try every new thing I can. Then, even before I finish one thing, I’m on to something else. Thankfully, the urge to be nomadic hasn’t lessened at all over the past couple of years. But I do wonder if it may have something to do with my need to try to fill every second of the day with a task.

Case in point. I recently started reading Mandy Ingber’s Yogalosophy  Yes, I’m once again trying to gracefully maneuver myself in a space the size of a small walk-in closet. Hey, I’m 5′ 10″, even on a skinny day it’s tough to do in here! LoL

And in addition to the blogs, the work in progress, and the occasional short story submission, I’m about halfway through the “Breaking Into Copy Writing” course at Writer’s Digest University. The workshop has been a lot of fun so far and I’m really looking forward to having a completed spec ad for my portfolio.

This is the first time since my kids were in elementary school (Yikes, nearly 20 years!) that I haven’t worked (at least part-time) outside the home. Hmmm… maybe it’s time to go back to work for a while. Just a thought, Mr. G, don’t get nervous. LoL

So anyway, here’s my question…

If you’re a full-time RV couple and one of you works outside the rig, has the home-bound partner found they are bouncing from one new thing to the next?

Monday’s Motivation …

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”

Benjamin Franklin

Thanks for stopping by.  🙂

~Cheers~

It’s Freezing! No, it’s just the wind…

I hate when people say that. It’s like the dry heat thing. People in the desert alway say stuff like “It’s okay because it’s a dry heat”. Sorry, but I say 110 is flipping hot! I don’t care if it’s dry or not. Of course 110 actually sounds pretty good to me right now. I can’t seem to kill this chill.

I know I shouldn’t complain because so many states have had dangerously cold temps and we are certainly far from those. But still, this weekend and today are really getting to me. I just can’t take the cold. Oh man, I sound like one of the old folks. Hmmm… so be it.

We did manage to get out of pj’s our on Sunday to brave the crazy winds and intermittent rain. Oak Harbor was our destination so we went through Deception Pass. It was way too cold and windy for me to get out and take pics but here are a couple from last year. It’s okay, things still look the same. Honest. 😉

 

Deception Pass March 2013

Deception Pass March 2013

Deception Pass March 2013 - Oddly enough the skies looked just about the same!

Deception Pass March 2013 – Oddly enough the skies looked just about the same!

Hopefully we’ll get a chance to get back there when the sun is shining because the views really are spectacular.

We headed to a place called Flyers Restaurant and Brewery in Oak Harbor. We had been there last year and loved it so we couldn’t wait to get back. I hate to say it but we were a little disappointed. I’d back on the Weight Watchers plan (yet again) and what I ordered was great.

I guess it would be hard to mess this up. I had no idea there would be so many pita chips. I stuck to only having 3.

I guess it would be hard to mess this up. I had no idea there would be so many pita chips. I stuck to only having 3.

Unfortunately Mr. G’s choice left a little to be desired. It was supposed to be a Cuban Sandwich. While it was okay, it just didn’t have the usual pizzazz you expect from a Cuban Sandwich.

The Cuban Sandwich with no pizzazz

The Cuban Sandwich with no pizzazz

Our recent experience won’t keep us from going back because the service is always awesome and the beer is divine! 🙂

Right - Barnstormer Brown Ale, Left - First Flight Amber Ale.

Right – Barnstormer Brown Ale, Left – First Flight Amber Ale.

I managed to keep myself in check and only had one so I made it the darker Barnstormer Brown Ale. Good stuff and they’ve got the ribbons to show it!!

Flyers Restaurant and Brewery, Oak Harbor, WA

Flyers Restaurant and Brewery, Oak Harbor, WA

From there we did a little driving around and with the warmth of the Barnstormer in me I managed to get out of the truck for a few pics. This is Oak Harbor off Route 20.

Oak Harbor, WA February 2014

Oak Harbor, WA February 2014

One of the things I have missed the most in the past two years is having my own car. Yes, I have the truck at my disposal if I need it during the day. But that involves getting up (and staying up) at 5:15 a.m. to take Mr. G to work. Ugg, mornings are not my thing so I usually try to avoid needing the truck as much as possible.

So I’m happy to say I found the perfect car for me over the weekend! It’s a little two-seater, great on gas and solid as a rock!

Yaba - Daba- Dooo!!!

Yaba – Daba- Dooo!!!

Believe it or not, this little park is called Flintstone Park. Yes, really!

Flintstone Park, Oak Harbor, WA February 2014

Flintstone Park, Oak Harbor, WA February 2014

Once we got back into Anacortes we took another ride out to the Cap Sante to check out the tanker traffic.

Fidalgo Bay, WA February 2014

Fidalgo Bay, WA February 2014

March's Point, WA February 2014

March’s Point, WA February 2014

This was right around the time my hands and feet were freezing again so we headed back to the H.O.W. for something hot to drink. Yes, the truck thermometer said 44 degrees but it was cold! Even when the wind wasn’t blowing, which wasn’t often, so there! 😉

On the way back up away from the bay we saw this funky house.

A little blurry but it was one of those "Shoot where's my camera?" moments.

A little blurry but it was one of those “Shoot where’s my camera?” moments.

This shot is a little better. I would love to see the inside of this place!

It certainly is eclectic!

It certainly is eclectic!

No matter what you might think about the exterior of the place, there’s no doubt the property has a spectacular view. You can just see a glimpse of it in the side mirror. Sweet 🙂

I think I’ll leave you with those images for now. Here comes the rain again and I’m on the prowl for a sneaky little leak today.

Hey, any Eurythmics fans out there? This one’s for you…

Happy Monday!  🙂

~Cheers~

 

The Perfect Video for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Looking for a great romantic movie to set the mood for your special guy or gal?

I have the perfect pick. In my humble opinion, course. 😉

Before I go too far here let me just say, I am not a movie critic. By that I mean I am usually pretty easy to please unless there is absolutely zero plot (as in porn zero plot) and if the acting really really sucks. (not as in porn) 😉

Okay, here we go. If I haven’t mentioned it in a while, we are pretty much without television in the H.O.W. (Pronounced “Ho” for House On Wheels – not the porno kind) (WTH… I just can’t stop!)

Where was I? Oh yes, back to the TV situation.

Technically we don’t have a TV but we do have an HD Projector that we set up sometimes for special sporting events or to watch movies through an HDMI cable connected to a laptop. We project the image onto a sheet. Yes, a bed sheet. Hey, don’t laugh, haven’t you ever heard of  a “Flat Sheet” TV?? LoL

See... "Flat Sheet" TV!

See… “Flat Sheet” TV!

Anyhoo, with Mr. G. scheduled for root canal at 8 a.m. on Valentine’s Day, I figured any kind of outing might be a bad idea. I mean going out to dinner and a movie sounds nice; but not if he’s going to be drooling in his plate and falling asleep on my shoulder in the movie theater. Instead, I figured I’d start looking around for a good movie to watch at home.

You’d think this would be easy right? But I haven’t seen a movie trailer commercial (that wasn’t glimpsed on a TV in a pub and I can’t remember anyway) in over two years. Seriously. No worries, I’ll just settle for an oldie but goodie.

Here’s my go-to romantic movie of choice.

Urban Cowboy –

 

Why Urban Cowboy?

Well, nothing says lovin’ like getting off the family farm, smokey honky-tonks, the two-step, drunken brawls, bull riding, and oil refineries. Yes, there’s adultery and an unfortunate domestic violence incident. But hey, there’s even a lesson in that. Maybe shacking up with a violent recently paroled convict isn’t the way to go. (Just saying, not condoning.)

There are a couple of classic scenes that even after all these years I can’t get out of my head. One is when Sissy (Debra Winger) rides the mechanical bull. Now, I’m a chick, but even I have to say it’s HOT. Man I wish I had the nerve (and body) to be able to do that!

Then there’s the part where Bud (John Travolta) goes back to Pam’s  (his piece-on-the-side during the breakup) luxury apartment in Houston. Pam (Madolyn Smith Osborne) goes on and on about what her Daddy thinks about cowboys and Bud finally asks what her father does. She replies, “Daddy’s in oil … and all that that implies.” Man, I love that line! Go figure right?

When people ask what Mr. G. does for a living I like to say – “The Boss is in oil… and all that that implies.” Then naturally I bust out laughing because I’m quite sure Pam’s Daddy didn’t wear work boots and fire-retardant clothing, or go to work in an actual refinery for that matter. LoL

As much as I like that line, there’s another one I say over and over again. Bud’s Aunt Corene (Brooke Alderson) comes over to his trailer to check up on him. The place is a total mess, dishes in the sink, food on the table, bed unmade. Yeeesh! (((shudders))) Aunt Corene takes a good look around and says with that awesome Texas accent – “Ya’all live like pigs!”  It obviously strikes a nerve with Bud, but I think it’s awesome.

Whenever Mr. G. leaves a pair of socks on his side of the bed, or his lunchbox in the wrong place, or the shower curtain not tied back correctly (okay, my way) or his toothbrush askew (yes, I know I have a little OCD) I say in my best Texas drawl and with as much animated disgust as I can muster without laughing… “Ya’all live like pigs!” Baa haa haa.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen Urban Cowboy in a while give it a shot. It does have a happily ever after ending and the sound track is flipping awesome!!

You can rent the movie on Amazon by clicking the image below:

Or purchase the soundtrack using this image below: I hope you find love and laughter in whatever you decide to do for Valentine’s Day.

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Any thoughts on must-have feel-good movies, old or new? Please do let me know!

~Cheers~

 

“Campfire Calamity” … How Not to Build a Campfire

Success!!!

Success!!!

You know how sometimes you never really know how great you can be how much you suck at something until you try? Well, I had that experience over the weekend. It involved an escapade with a crumpled up old manuscript, a glass of Wild Turkey, cotton balls, and Vaseline. (Don’t worry, this is a PG rated story.)

I thought I would surprise The Boss with a nice roaring campfire when he got home from work on Friday night. Time to sit and enjoy a glass of wine and each other’s company. (awwww) Sounds simple enough. Right? I mean I’ve built fires in wood stoves and indoor fireplaces before. I got this… I thought.

I started the little project an hour and a half before he get’s home.

4:00 p.m. – With some wood already split all I had to do was split a little kindling to get going.

4:10 p.m. – Prudently, I wore a pair of leather work gloves (Safety First!) because I managed to catch the knuckle of my left hand with the hatchet. Thankfully, I swing the hatchet like a snail on Thorazine and I didn’t break the skin or leave a bruise.

4:15 p.m. – Go back inside and look for a little bit of paper to scrunch up under my little tee-pee of kindling. A few pages from that old manuscript looks good. Scrunch up about 25 pages stuff it in my hoodie sweatshirt pocket and go back outside.

4:20 p.m. – Pile up crumpled paper then place kindling in the tee-pee fashion to allow adequate air circulation. Grab the handy-dandy lighter form outdoor kitchen box. Check for wind. All is good. Light paper.

4:25 p.m. – Decent flame. Looks like kindling is catching fire. Watch it for a few minutes. Looks good. Add larger pieces of split and dry wood.

4:30 p.m. – Watch fire die out… and smoke plumes dance like gypsies up into the sky. Check to see if neighbors are home. Nope, good. Well, that didn’t go  as planned. I must need more paper. I’ll just get a few more pages of manuscript. Go back inside.

4:35 p.m. – Crumple another 25 pages. Stuff it into the pocket up my sweatshirt. Go back outside and try again. Move things around a bit, stuffing paper balls strategically around the now log cabin looking pile of wood in the pit. Use the handy-dandy lighter. Watch as the flame comes to life.

4:45 pm. – Get a little excited. I think this is it!

4:48 p.m. – Watch as the flame dies out and the smokes starts to billow once again… this time more toward the neighbor’s camper. Hmmm, at least no one is home to be bothered by my incompetence…or watch my pathetic attempts at what I thought would be such an easy task.

4:49 p.m. – I need an accelerant, but we don’t use charcoal so there’s no lighter fluid around. How about more flame? Yes, that’s it! There must be a blow torch in one of these tool boxes.

4:50 p.m. – Nope. Can’t find a blow torch. Okay, how about something inside for some sort of accelerant. Maybe Tequila? Nope, precious resource. Vodka? Ditto. Hey, there’s an old bottle of Wild Turkey. I hate that stuff, that will  work.

4:55 p.m. –  I’m not sure if the bourbon will act like gasoline or not. Don’t want that! Maybe I should just wet a few paper towels with it and once the flame gets going (from another 25 pages of manuscript)  I can throw the soaked paper towels on the fire. Yes, I really did this. Don’t judge. 😉

4:56 p.m. – Stuff the pages in and around what’s left of the kindling and burnt pages. Click the handy-dandy lighter. Watch the flames come to life. Find some old dried-up twigs and fern leaves and add them to the little blaze. Nice! Looking good. Toss on the bourbon soaked paper towels. Watch them land like the wet blankets they are… and smother out the flame. M*@*&*r F@*%*r!!!

5:03 p.m. – Less than a half an hour to sink or swim here. I need a sure-fire way (hee hee hee) to get this thing going. Wait, didn’t I read in one of the survival blogs that one should always keep cotton balls smeared with Vaseline on hand for quick fire starters? Yes, I’m sure that’s what it said.

5:05 p.m. –  Rush back into the house and ransack the storage draws under the clothes closet for cotton balls. Got them! Now, Vaseline …. Crap. Wait! Didn’t I once get a little tiny sample of it attached to a bottle of body lotion? Yes, I did! It must be in the medicine cabinet somewhere. Viola! there it is. It’s about the size of my thumb but it’s the only chance I have left. I grab the last 30 pages of manuscript, the cotton balls, the Vaseline and my gloves and head back to my make my final attempt.

5:10 p.m. – Pull apart the charred remains of the kindling and larger pieces of wood from the pit. Think about sucking the Wild Turkey from the still dripping paper towels. Nah… maybe if I had used the Tequila. Smooth out the ashes from the burned paper. Carefully build a pyramid with what’s left of the crumpled up pages of manuscript.

Wait… what???

Picture the light bulb going off over my head here …

“WTF, if I can’t even start a fire with these pages using a flipping lighter how will I ever ignite enough passion in others to want them to read them?!?!  

Okay, hold on. Deep Breath. Shake it off. Don’t. Go. There. Now. 

5:12 p.m. – Grab some cotton balls from the bag. Slide them through the minuscule plastic container to smear with Vaseline. Set them strategically around the pile of paper. Re-stack the charred kindling into that fabulous tee-pee formation. Put a swipe of Vaseline here and there on kindling. Get more kindling to make the tee-pee bigger. Add a few more swipes of Vaseline.

5:16 p.m. – Okay it’s show time. Grab the handy-dandy lighter and light one of the Vaseline smeared cotton balls. Wow, look at that sucker go! Make my way around the tee-pee lighting the balls as I go. It’s working! It’s actually working!

5:20 p.m. – Watch in amazement as the kindling really starts to burn in earnest. Woo Hoo! Grab what’s left of the bigger pieces of charred wood, place a swipe of what little bit of Vaseline remains in the mini tub on them. Add them to the fire. They’re burning! They are actually burning!!

5:22  p.m. – Take a picture because I’m still afraid it’s going to stop burning… because… well that’s what keeps happening. (see pic above)

5:23 p.m. – Finally start to believe it’s going to keep burning and the same time realize I am a crazy sweaty sooty mess from trying to build this flipping fire!

5:24 p.m. – Rush inside pulling down my head/ear muff and rubberband from my hair. Run my fingers through my hair just enough to get the tangles out. Pull hair back up into a pony tail and pull head/ear muff back up to hide my wild bangs… sort of. Grab a wash cloth do a quick swipe with cold water. No time to get changed. Oh hell… good enough.

5:26 p.m. –  Pour a glass of Pinot Grigio and take three big gulps. Top off the glass again. (It only counts as one glass that way 😉 ) Pour two fingers of Rumplemintz and put a beer in a coozy. Head back outside.

5:28 p.m. – Make it outside just in time to meet The Boss with cocktails in hand, a smile on my face and a roaring fire in the pit. Fweww!

The Boss – “Wow babe, this is awesome! What a great idea. Did you have any problems?”

Me – “Of course not. It was a piece of cake!”

You can't really see it, but that's my 2nd official glass of celebratory wine ;-)

You can’t really see it, but that’s my 2nd “official” glass of celebratory wine ;-)

So there you have it. How Not To build a campfire. I will say though that if you’re stuck, or heck just looking for a quick starter, try the Vaseline. It really works! I’ve got it on my shopping list.

Seriously. See…

Screenshots_2014-02-11-12-43-20

If you have any tips or tricks on building the perfect campfire feel free to leave them in the comments below. (please… lol) 🙂

~Cheers~

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