Passports … No, not that kind

I’m actually a little lot embarrassed to admit this but Mr. G and I don’t have our U.S. Passports yet. (Gasp! Yes, shocking, I know.) We’ve gotten as far as filling out the application and finding a service center nearby a few times. But then something always comes up. Usually it’s his crazy work hours or we need to hit the road again in less time than the process takes. The task remains on our list and we’ll check if off eventually.

In the meantime we’ve recently gotten two passports of a different kind. Check them out …

The first is the Passport to Your National Parks –

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I’m sure many of you probably already have one of these. But I just realized there was such a thing a few weeks ago. I guess I’ve lived a sheltered life. 😉

The log is a great way for weekenders and fulltimers alike to keep track of the National Parks visited during their travels. I wish we had gotten one before we left Connecticut two years ago as we’ve crisscrossed the country a couple of times now. On the bright side though, it gives us an excuse to go back to some of the awesome parks we’ve been to already!

So far we’ve only gotten one stamp. The cancellation is from the North Cascades NP, which is where we picked up the passport. Each of the ranger stations should have a stamp for use on the way in or out of the park.

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If you’re interested in more information you can click this link >>> National Parks Passport

Now, on to the next passport.

I’m almost glad I didn’t have this one when we started our journey. If I had, I’d probably have it nearly filled up already. LoL So getting it now gives us a reason to seek out beer destinations, both new and old favorites. 🙂

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The Society of Beer Travelers was crafted by Brian and Maria at The Roaming Pint (If you haven’t checked them out yet, go ahead and pop on over there. Take your time … I’ll just sip on my beer while I wait.  😉 )

Isn’t that a great gig! Traveling the country, hopping (no pun intended) from brewery to brewery, in Stanley their 29′ Jayco Class C RV.  Pretty cool, right??

While you were there did you check out the link at the bottom of their home page to take advantage of the >>> Beer Traveler’s Starter Kit?

Just in case you missed it here’s what you get –

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As you can tell, I’m pretty jazzed about this. No, I’m not an affiliate of any sort. Although if we ever happen to be in the same vicinity, I’d love to meet up with them to share a brew or two and talk about their travels. I’m just passing this along because I think it’s some really fun stuff!

So there you have it, our two new passports. Hopefully we’ll be able to get our U.S. Passports in the next few months. But until then, we’ll be getting as many stamps and cancellations as we can in these two!

~Cheers~

Quick Cash Idea for Living On The Road

Need to make some quick cash in your travels?

No, I'm not talking about phone sex either!

No, I’m not talking about phone sex either!

This title is sort of funny. Especially if you know that the novel I’m working on (slow and steady wins the race!) revolves around the daughter of an organized crime boss branching out on her own by opening a brothel in a picturesque seaport village in New England.

Relax, I haven’t taken to turning tricks for beer and book money just yet. 😉

There are all kinds of bloggers out there telling you how you to can support your nomadic lifestyle in a myriad of professional ways; technical IT type stuff, camp hosting, work camping, etc. They have tons of useful, proven tips and ideas on ways to make enough to support your gypsy dreams.

This won’t be one of those posts.

This idea is really more for anyone looking to just make a few extra bucks a week for the staples I mentioned earlier … in my case, mainly books and beer. Hey, they’re my only vices, honest. Anyway, I’ve come across a quick and fairly easy way to add to the household income slush fund.

Transcription

Yes, really.

If you’re anything like me, when you read that you thought … Ewww, medical transcription, no way! Guess what? I have to tell you it’s not all about the medical stuff. This may not be a newsflash to some, but I was a little surprised. I never even considered transcription in the past because I figured I’d have to take one of the medical transcription courses and that was the last thing I wanted to do. I didn’t even like biology in school, forget about medical terminology.

I can’t say for sure why it never occurred to me that all sorts of businesses might need transcription work done. It just didn’t. Marketing, news, religion, legal, entertainment are just a few of the categories I’ve come across while picking and choosing jobs.

Before I go too far, here’s the link for freelancer’s page of the company I’m working for at the moment. REV – Transcription Services

There is an application process to go through before being accepted. It’s fairly easy, a short writing sample and a quick grammar quiz. The turn-around time for that was about a week or so. Once I got confirmation of being accepted, it was another few days to get completely on-boarded (non-disclosure agreements, etc.) and then I was able to start.

The cool thing with REV (besides being able to pick and choose your work) is that you get paid weekly (on Mondays) and it goes directly into your PayPal account. I did my first gig on a Friday and got paid for that one plus two others I did on Monday. It’s quick and easy and you can do it from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection. (A word about that below!)

Like I said, it’s not enough to pay the mortgage. But if you’re looking for a way to supplement your guilty pleasures it could be something you might like. Seeing as I started on Friday, the first week was short and my pay for the week was only $51.90, for three short assignments. This week so far I’m over that and I still have four days left to pick up some more assignments – if I choose.

That’s another perk. You can work as much or as little as you like. Know you’re going to be near an awesome new micro-brewery next month that you want to check out? Or maybe you want to surprise your significant other with tickets to a ball game or NASCAR race without using “house funds”?  Just pick up a few extra gigs!

As much as I love being a “writer” let’s face it, there’s a reason they call us starving artists; at least at my stage in the game. Yikes, if we had to live on what I bring in we’d be living in a box – without wheels. Just sayin’ 😉 So this is a great way for me to contribute to the household coffers …

Nah, screw that. It’s a way for me to not feel guilty about my guilty pleasures. I like to call it funding the fun stuff!  🙂

I’m not at all an affiliate in the sense that I get any kind of commission on referrals or anything. I just think it’s a great way to make a few extra bucks and I wanted to pass it along to my nomadic and non-nomadic friends alike.

Okay, with regards to online data charges. If you do decide to check it out and get accepted. Be careful how you listen to the audio and video clips. I wasn’t paying attention and went straight through their site (never downloading) and racked up some nice data usage. Oooops! Thankfully, we have a business plan with Verizon and adequate GBs. But if we didn’t, it would have been a pricey mistake.

I’ve since downloaded free transcription software – FTW from Tyger Valley Systems

So far it seems to be working great, drastically reducing my data usage. Wfew!

If you’ve worked with other transcription services in the past (or still do) I’d love to hear about them. Drop me a line in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

~Cheers~

Remembering Dad…

My Dad on the left

My Dad on the left

This is the third year in a row now that I’m not able to be home to visit the cemetery and it still isn’t getting any easier. It’s so hard to believe he’s been gone for over twenty years… because it seems like just yesterday I got the call.

There are certain things I’ll never forget about the day he died.

~ I remember it was a warm day for the March 27th. We were all supposed to go to a home show at the Connecticut College Arena. I postponed the plans until the next day… I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather. I planted bulbs in the yard.

~ I remember getting the call from my brother saying that I better get to the hospital quick because Dad had just had a heart attack. I did the speed limit the whole way there because I kept telling myself he would be all right; they could fix him. But they could not.

~ I remember being lead into the emergency room cubicle and seeing him on the gurney, the tube from the ambu bag they had used in the ambulance to try to save him still sticking out of his mouth, the bag itself nowhere in sight. His eyes were taped shut. He was gray. His lips were blue. When I kissed his forehead it was cold.

~ I remember my aunt saying that the pastor from our church would be there shortly. I remember thinking who cares?

~I remember seeing my mother crying. I had no way of knowing what the pain and sorrow of losing two husbands in one lifetime could do to a woman. Thankfully I still don’t.

~ I remember wondering on the way home from the hospital how I would tell my oldest son Robert, who was named after my Dad, that his Pepère was gone… and wondering if Nicholas, my youngest, would remember him at all.

Yes, I remember like it was just yesterday and not more than two decades.

But as the time passes I remember so many more things about him – the great things, the happy times, the life lessons. I remember the things, that to me, made him the most amazing Dad… that he didn’t have to be. You see, my biological father passed away when I was less than a year old, leaving my mother with my pre-teen brother and sister and me.

~ I remember the day he and my Mom got married. I was only three and half years old but I remember bits and pieces. It was July 19, 1969, the day before Apollo 11 landed on the moon.  Everyone said after the wedding my Mom was going on her honeymoon. I thought they were going to the real moon. I wanted to go! I threw rocks instead of rice.

~ I remember the family vacation to New Hampshire when my older sister lost the “pre-engagement” ring she had just gotten. It had fallen off in the lake by the dock. Dad got up before dawn to look for the ring with the morning sunlight, hoping to catch a glimmer on the stones near the shore. He spent hours looking – he found it.

~ I remember he always made the holidays special. There was always an Easter Bunny, Santa Clause, and a tooth fairy. He would dress up for Halloween and have as much fun as we did.

~ I remember he always went to every single school function and parent teacher conference and was always the one who showed up when I did something to get myself into trouble. He never yelled. That was my mother’s MO, which unfortunately for my boys, I inherited. 😉 He always took the time to talk about what happened and why it was wrong.

~ I remember he always told me to treat others as I expected to be treated myself and to be respectful of the rules. But he also taught me that there is right and wrong and not too much gray area in between. And that sometimes it’s not only okay but necessary to question authority.

~ I remember him telling me after my little sister was born that now he had three girls and a son. I never once felt like I wasn’t his “real daughter”.

~ I remember him reading the first story I ever wrote. I think I was about ten. It was a scary story about a girl getting lost in a haunted house. He didn’t just say it was good and stick it on the refrigerator like some Dads might have. He talked with me about it. He commented on the descriptive words I had used saying he could picture exactly what the house looked like because I had described it so well. He said I should keep a journal and write every day. I remember wishing when I got my first front-page, above the fold byline for the newspaper that he was there to see it. I still wonder what he would say about my writing.

~ I remember him always telling me I was special and I could be anything I wanted to be. Every once in a while I still believe him. I wish he was still here to convince me.

Miss you Dad

 

Stuck! Unable to Upload Media Using WP3.8.1 :-(

It is NOT a beautiful day in the bloggerhood… just sayin’.

So, guess why?  I finally decided to get caught up with some posts here in the usually happy and wonderful bloggerhood. (Yes, shocking, I know. Don’t judge.) But after trying to upload media, as I have in the past two years for each and every post I’ve ever published, it seems I can’t. WTF, really??

If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know I’m not exactly savvy when it comes to how the nuts of bolts of WordPress work. But up until now, I’ve never had any issues uploading files using the aptly labeled “Upload Media” button. From there it’s usually just another click to switch from the “Media Library” to “Upload Files”. Then viola! My hard drive folders pop up and I’m able to navigate to the images I want to upload. Easy Peasy!

Not so today my friends.

I can get to the part where I see the pop-up to  “Drop files anywhere to upload” with the little gray button prompting me to “Select Files” but when I do… nothing happens. Grrrrr…..

Yes, I know there are forums for these things, and I did do a quick Google search. But honestly, most of the time it’s like trying to read Greek. So, in an effort to get any info I can from other bloggers, and save myself from slamming my laptop shut and pushing it off the desk, I thought I’d just throw this out there.

Anyone else having issues with WordPress when trying to upload media?

Just for the record, I’m using version 3.8.1 now. But I’m fairly certain I was able to upload files in the usual manner after the latest update. I mean it’s been awhile since my last post, but from what I can see the update went out in January. It hasn’t been that long since I posted. LoL

That’s all for now. I do feel a smidge better after this little rant.

Although I must tell you, posting without adding any images kind of feels like going to bed without brushing my teeth. Damn it!

 

Does Blogging Bring Out The Best or Worst In You?

I’ll admit I chuckled out loud when I read today’s prompt. I mean seriously,  if blogging brought out the worst in you, why on earth would you keep doing it?

I suppose there’s an argument to be made for those bloggers who have grown a following with controversial topics, often snarky remarks and far right or left stance.

I’m not like that in real life so trying to write that way would be an uber stretch for me. And I certainly don’t mean to imply all hard hitting bloggers are at their worst. (Unless it gets me more followers and comments! Just kidding 😉 ) I’m just trying to wrap my head around doing something that would bring out the worst in me.

On the other hand,  I wouldn’t say blogging brings out the best in me either. In the words of Mr. G., I think it just is what it is.

Hmmm.. the closest I can come to finding a change at all is actually simple really now that I think about it.  Blogging was the catalyst to get me committed to writing habitually… for better or worse.

Am I missing the boat here? If there is someone out there who does blog because it brings out the worst in you, please let me know. I’d love to read your work!

~Cheers~