“So, Where’s Julia Roberts Today?” …

If I had a dollar for every time I got asked that question … well, I’d have a lot more dollars. LoL

better movie

Before we hit the road, and for about 15 years off and on before that, I worked at ‘the” Mystic Pizza. Yep, the one made famous by Hollywood and a very young Julia Roberts. There were several other up and coming actors in that movie too, including Vincent D’Onofrio, (Law & Order) Lili Taylor (Six Feet Under), Annabeth Gish (SOA) even a pre-pubescent Matt Damon. But it was always Julia people wanted to see.

Julia Roberts, Lily Taylor, Annabeth Gish -

Julia Roberts, Lily Taylor, Annabeth Gish –

Picture if you will, a packed house with lines out the door, which was always the case during tourists season. Harried parents gazing around frantically trying to spot what local beer and wines are available; while simultaneously trying to calm their little ones who are strung out on fudge, kettle corn, cotton candy or whatever sugary goodies they snagged earlier while visiting the Mystic Aquarium. Old Mystic Village and The Seaport.

Are you getting the vibe? Okay good. 🙂

So, what do you think the first thing out of the “designated orderer’s” (yes, there almost always is one) mouth is?

Yep, you guess it … “So, where’s Julia Roberts today?!?!?”

Visitors asked for her so much management put a Julia mannequin on the top shelf in the downstairs wait station so we could just point and smile. Yes, really. I used to like to say “Oh, she’s having a bad hair day so she’s outback doing dishes. Why? Did you want to say Hi?”

julia doll

This almost always got a chuckle from the person asking for Julia, not to mention a look of relief from the kids in the party old enough to know their parent was being dorky. 🙂 Of course, a close 2nd question was “Can you get me some soup crackers right away!!!”.  Yes, I always had a couple of packages in my apron. What can I say… I was a professional. 😉

On the day I hung up my apron for good, I thought if I never heard either of those questions again I’d be a happy camper, literally!

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But guess what?

After nearly three years, 1,060 days to be exact … I miss working with the public. I miss the choreographed chaos of the dining room floor. I miss the foul-mouthed, raunchy joke telling, cooks and support staff in the back of the house. It was like watching magic when everything meshed together in perfect synchronicity.

I can’t believe I just wrote that, but it’s true. I. Miss. It. Being as nomadic as we are, finding a server or bartender job isn’t really an option. Sure, I could probably get one somewhere. But then what happens when Mr. G. gets a call to be somewhere else in less than a week? I’d feel like a schmuck for bailing.

So, what’s an extrovert who’s been masquerading as an introvert to do?

Jump on Facebook and meet and greet of course!! LoL

Sure, I’ve been on FB for a while now. But up until recently it was mostly just to lurk and stalk my kids. There are a few full-time RV groups I joined and I’ve made some great on-line friends in them. But I hadn’t really been taking advantage of the seemingly endless lists of all kinds of groups.

Book Club Groups – Blogging Groups – Writers Groups – Health & Fitness  Groups … heck there are even peri-menopausal groups for crazy cranky old broads  nearly 50 and fabulous women like me! 😉

What fun! And what a great way to meet people when you’re stuck in the RV for 14 hours a day when hubby is at work. Now that we have the additional truck it won’t be so bad because I’ll  be able to get out and about. But sometimes meeting people is hard … especially when you’re out of practice like I am.

So here are my questions –

1) Are we friends on FB yet? If not, you can find me >>>> here <<<< Send a request and I’ll be sure to accept. Ha! I guess that makes me a “sure thing”. (Easy Mr. G. … take a deep breath. LoL 😉 )

2) Can you recommend any great groups that you belong to?

It feels great to be getting “out and about” and socializing again.  I wonder if I should be concerned that I’m calling the “Cyber-hood” out and about … nah, I’ll worry about that later. 🙂

And now I’ll leave you with my throwback Thursday pic. I know, I know, it’s a cheesy kissy-face selfie but it’s the only one I could find. The ironic thing is, it was taken 3 years ago to the day. Yes, I was tan … in December. I used to be a fake ‘n baker. :-/

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~Cheers~

 

Red Dirt Roads to Seminoe State Park – Wyoming

Red dirt road ahead …

scenic byway

On a recent trip up to Casper, Wyoming we decided to hit the back roads home rather than the highway. If there’s one thing I can count on it’s Mr. G. finding the most obscure roads to get from place A to place B. Yes, I’m a lucky girl! 😉

Our destination, other than getting back to the H.O.W. was the Seminoe Reservoir and State Park. 

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Image courtesy of Google Maps

The weather started out a little gloomy but cleared up after an hour or so on the road.

Rain, rain go away ...

Rain, rain go away …

Not too far off the highway, on Kortes Road is Dome Rock, a Bureau of Reclamation public use area. We made sure to make a note of this one seeing as the name struck a chord with us. We stayed on Dome Rock Road in Quartzsite, AZ for our very first 14-day boondocking adventure. 🙂

Perhaps a boondocking spot for us in the future?

Perhaps a boondocking spot for us in the future?

It didn’t take long for the landscape to change as we made out way out toward Seminoe Dam and Reservoir. Before we hit the road, now over two years ago, I never imagined the terrain in places like Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, etc. to be so arid. High desert wasn’t a part of my vocabulary yet. I guess I expected everything to look like Aspen or Lake Tahoe, at least the vibrant green and blue parts I’d seen in pictures.

This is more what I guess I expected … (which is what we saw that day 🙂 )

Free range cattle

Free range cattle

And this …

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And this …

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I was glad to see, if even just for a few miles, the green of the trees, the jagged rock formations and even a few wild flowers ..

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The Seminoe Dam was a great spot to stop for a bit and take in the scenery.

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Looking down on the Seminoe Dam …

Seminoe Dam

Seminoe Dam

Looking toward the reservoir …

Seminoe Reservoir

Seminoe Reservoir

Mr. G. taking it all in …

Mr. G. ... taking it all in. :-)

From this observation point The Seminoe State Park was just a short drive.

Seminoe Lake - Wyoming

Seminoe State Park – Wyoming

In the picture above you can see the North Red Hills Camping area. I think we may have to make plans for an overnight or two soon. I’m starting to miss the coast and I think this may be the closest beach option around. It’s only 33 miles north from Sinclair, the next town over, on Carbon County road 351.

Hmmm … maybe I’ll take a day trip while Mr. G. is sleeping. 

(Time lapse – 10 mins. Yes, daydreaming about sand and surf)

Okay, where was I?

Oh yes …

The name Seminoe is the Americanized spelling of the French name Cimineau. True story –  At first I used the spelling “Seminole” when looking up our route. Yes, naturally I was directed to Florida … oops.

Anyhoo … Basil Cimineau Lajeunesse was a French trapper in the area in the 1800’s. During that time, the Seminoe Mountains were explored by gold prospectors and mining activities have continued to present day in the Elk Mountain area. We should have been able to see the pit from the lookout above. But I couldn’t pinpoint the open-pit mine. Perhaps I was mesmerized by all the pretty blue water. 😉

Looking back toward Seminoe Dam

Looking back toward Seminoe Dam

There are three camping areas located on the northern end of Seminoe State Park – North Red Hills, South Red Hills and Sunshine Beach. Each campground has from 25 to 30 sites and all are primitive, however they do have restrooms and dump stations. Overnight camping is $17 for out-of-state visitors. Sand Mountain Day Use area is also available for a fee of $6, non-resident.

It’s easy to see why they call the area Red Hills …

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I couldn’t help but sing Red Dirt Road by Brooks and Dunn while we were bee-bobbing our way through the countryside. Mr. G just loves it when I sing. Just kidding, I can’t carry a tune. Nope not even in a bucket with a handle. Of course that doesn’t stop me! 😀

I have to tell you, as fun as the day was, scrubbing that red dirt off the truck a few days after the fact was a total pain in the a**!  But, yes, I’d do it all over again. 🙂 This was only about a quarter of the way through our journey. She was actually much dirtier but I didn’t have any other pics of how bad it was.

"Youre going to love cleaning the truck this time babe!"

“You’re going to love cleaning the truck this time babe!”

It was a great afternoon and the drive made us sleepy enough to take a nap when we got back to the H.O.W. This was great because that was the day we needed to start getting into the night shift routine. Ugg … have I mentioned I hate night shift?

Guess that’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

By the way, I haven’t forgotten I promised pics of our trip back in time to the 70’s. It just seemed a little too tawdry to add pics of our “American Hustle” weekend getaway with the beauty of Mother Nature. I will put together a quick little post soon though. Honest 😉

Oh hey — If you happen to have the song Red Dirt Road stuck in your head now, this video is for you! 🙂


~Cheers~

Sunscreen Killed My Laptop

Vacation is over … it’s time to deal … flipping sunscreen killed my laptop.

But before we get to that, it’s Monday.  And not a happy gloating “look at all those poor schlubs heading off to work while we go exploring” kind of Monday. It’s time to deal.

Mr. G. is off to some meetings this morning so it’s time for me to get into my routine again. Yes, that means I’m back under the covers with my coffee. Don’t judge 😉 I’m also listening to the sound of snow plows cruising by. Yep, you read that right … Snow Plows! This just might be a two cup under the blankies kind of morning.

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This was yesterday,  May 11th. Wait … what? Snow on Mother’s Day?  That’s a new one for me. I’ll be honest here, it was actually kind of cool. No pun intended. We managed to beat the storm into town and we were off the road before it started early Sunday morning. Good thing because it was white out conditions and Interstate 80 was closed for a good portion of the day.

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After we got set up in the morning,  we took a drive into town to see what we could see. As you can see above … not too much! We did, however,  find a Red Box kiosk. We grabbed four movies, headed back home and spent the entire day being couch bed potatoes. It turned out to be a very relaxing day. A nice way to ease back into the real world … and start to deal.

Okay, here it goes … I’m going to say it out loud.

I. Broke. My. Laptop. Ugggggg!  🙁

How, you might ask?

Sheer carelessness on my part. We moved our rig to another spot in the same boondocking area last week. Because it was such a tiny move at literally about 5 mph, I didn’t do my post flight check overhead compartment drill. You know what I mean. Gingerly opening cabinet doors with one hand ready to catch whatever falls out.

Anyhoooo, sure enough something had shifted in one cabinet.  The one cabinet over the desk. The one cabinet directly over my work space. The one cabinet exactly over my opened and in-use laptop keyboard.

Don’t let them fool ya … sunblock kills.

This innocent looking can took my laptop out in one fell swoop.

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At first I thought we had escaped injury … my laptop and me. But no such luck. After a minute or two of working on the post I had been putting together I tried to use Google Maps. I sat there watching the little “I’m working” indicator spin out of control for a few minutes, fear terror rising in me with every revolution until it finally gave up and said … “Unable to retrieve this app”.
Oh my f&%*@ng head! Are you kidding me???

Surely, if I just restart all will be well. So that’s what I did.

While I waited for my little buddy to come back to life I prayed and swore up and down to the laptop Gods that if they just let everything be okay I’d never open another cabinet over my desk again with moving my laptop out of the way … much like a drunk with her head in the toilet swearing she’ll never take another drink if she could just feel better now.

No such luck.  This is the fate the laptop Gods dealt me …

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As a last ditch effort I tried to start with the “Assist” button and got as far as here …

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But there was still no joy in Mudville that day …

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Self and vacation preservation mode kicked in and I calmly shut down and carefully packed my little buddy away in his carrying case. That was over a week ago. Out of sight almost out of mind.

Still hoping for a miracle, like maybe the machine had somehow healed itself, (What? Stranger things have happened! ) I tried to start him this morning.

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Yes, I know it’s not the end of the world. But guess what? You know all the horror stories you hear about people losing monumentally important documents and such? It turns out I’m a statistic … of stupidity.

I think I backed most of my documents to my sky drive not too long ago. But, I have NEVER backed up ANY of the pictures I’ve taken with my phone.

None.

That means every photo I’ve taken of our journey on the road over the past two and a half years is most likely gone. I say most likely because I’m still holding onto a shred of hope that some computer genius will be able to retrieve what’s on my hard drive. Could happed, right?

Until then, I’ll be using Mr. G’s laptop, or more likely my phone, which is what I’m using now to get posts out. At least I have those options … things could certainly be worse.

I’ll probably start looking for a computer service in the next day or two. Of course I will gladly take any positive energy,  good vibes, good luck and karma sent my way for a full recovery!

I guess that’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by at my pity party.

By the way, if anyone has any advice (other than backup, backup, backup) I’d love to hear it! Thanks 🙂

~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!