Don’t Like Your Neighbors? Move!

I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard the old saying “If you don’t like your neighbors, move!” especially in the world of the full-time RVer’s out here. But I can honestly say that in the past two and a half years that had never happened to us … until recently.

Now, I know this sounds like it’s going to be a rant, but stick with me here. It’s really an RV park review in disguise. 😉

Let me set the scene if you will. The Boss and I pulled into a very cute little hide-away in South Carolina called Keowee-Toxaway State Park.  The park is nestled into the very northwestern part of the state and is a beautiful spot to take in the majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Jocassee Gorges.

Site #7 at Keowee-Toxaway State Park, SC

Site #7 at Keowee-Toxaway State Park, SC

After a little bit of masterful maneuvering, (we were right about at the max length for this particular site) we got the H.O.W. into a spot with water and electric. We marveled at the solitude… nobody to the left of us … nobody to the right. 🙂

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We were so happy to find this quiet little gem, we got our earthy, crunchy vibe on and decided to get our couch potato butts out of the rig and down onto one the great hiking trails (by great I mean fairly easy for us out of shape Zen seekers). The trail we took winded its way down to a nice boat launch with a private sandy beach.

Sweet! I think we should stay an extra day and get out float on tomorrow!

Sweet! I think we should stay an extra day and get our float on tomorrow!

. .Too bad we didn’t grab the kayak when we left Connecticut … darn!

Boat ramp Keowee-Toxaway State Park, S.C.

Small launch – Keowee-Toxaway State Park, S.C.

We also stopped to take a look at the cabin the park has available for rent. It was occupied at the time so we didn’t get to peek inside. But it was plain to see from the outside in was in an awesome spot and had some nice amenities, like a private dock and nice outdoor living space. 🙂

As is my usual habit I stopped to take some pics of the bathroom facilities and dump station set up. We didn’t use either one, but they seemed to be about average for state parks.

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They did have an unusual garbage policy. The park has a pack it in/pack it out policy for any trash that isn’t recyclable. I think this is the first time we’d been to a pay for use park without dumpsters. Thankfully, visitors seem to be taking this rule to heart and there wasn’t any left behind trash scattered about.

The park has 11 RV sites including a pull-thru or two and 14 tent sites. The tents sites are nicely arranged with a raised pad for your tent and communal water spigots.

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All in all it’s a really nice little state park. We liked it so much we decided to stay that extra night after all. We were fairly sure the day was going to clear up so we could check out the Blue Ridge Trail and mountains tomorrow. Yay!

Good news – site was available!

Bad news – as soon as I got back a tribe of 8 chain-smoking, foul-mouthed, noisy people with a fetish for lighter fluid moved into the empty site next door. 3 of them may not have been chain smokers just yet, as they are of the 2-legged little screecher variety.  If that wasn’t bad enough (and trust me it was) the entire time I gawked and spied on them through the window (Call me Gladys Kravitz if you must)  they never once picked up after their 2 dogs that seemed to poop non-stop. Uggg!

How the hell do they even get that many people and two dogs in there?!?

How the hell do they even get that many people and two dogs in there?!?

Thankfully our house has wheels. So after watching the show we decided to pack up and hit the road. It was probably the quickest pack up and go we’ve done! LoL I have to admit I felt a little snobbish or rude just up and leaving the way we did. But we would have been miserable listening to the neighbors from hell all night and our R&R time is way too precious for that nonsense!

So we hit the road shook it off and before we knew it we were happy campers once again! 🙂

Happy Campers!

Happy Campers!!

Even though we cut our stay short we still recommend Keowee-Toxaway State Park, (108 Residence Drive, Sunset, SC 29685 Phone: 864-868-2605) if you’re in the area. Really… we do. 😉

How about you? Do you have any nightmare stories about neighbors from hell?

~Cheers~

P.S. For those of you too young to get the Gladys Kravitz reference, no it’s not Lenny’s granny. Think Bewitched! 😀

 

Thanks Google Images!

Thanks Google Images!

 

 

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…

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

~Cheers~

Amazon shopping Large

Crackpots, Crock Pots and First Drafts… Oh My

OMGosh... where on earth do they find these people?!?

O-M-Gosh… where on earth do they find these people?!?

I can’t believe it’s Friday already! I’m not complaining, trust me. It seems like the days fly by when Mr. G is at work. Hmm, that sounds bad. (Sorry babe!) It’s just that I always have a list of things I want to accomplish and rarely do I get everything checked off. Before I know it twelve hours have passed by and he’s walking back in the door.

Where does the time go?

Let’s see.

I think I have an idea…

I don’t know about you all, but being “on the line” takes up a large chunk of my day. Even though I know it’s a time suck, I get wrapped up checking out the off-the-wall, crackpot articles on sites like Buzz Feed, Huffington Post, and Quick Meme just to name a few. But hey – this is just research. You know, like looking for story ideas and such. 😉

No? Well, maybe not.

And then of course there’s the social media quagmire. I’d like to say it’s all work and marketing related. While that’s true to some degree, it’s not entirely accurate. But it’s certainly more work related than just surfing the carnival side-show sites. For instance, today’s Friday so I’ll get to send out a big Thank You to my new Twitter followers. (#FF) Of course I’ll also want to take a minute or two to thank the folks who’ve recently “Liked” my Facebook page as well.

In a day and age where there are so many places to spend your on-line viewing time these days, I’m honored and very grateful for anyone who chooses to check out my ramblings. You all rock!

In an effort to spend more time writing and/or editing today, I decided to try a new crock pot recipe. Less time in the kitchen means more time at my desk. (Which is technically sort of still in the kitchen. Fellow RVer’s will know what I mean. LoL ;-))

I found the recipe on Favorite Family Recipes, which I have bookmarked by the way. The site looks like a great resource for quick and easy meal recipes. The only thing I changed was low sodium soup instead of regular but that should be fine. I’ll let you know how it comes out. I think it will be perfect comfort food for this chilly Friday evening.

Okay, time to get back to work…

I think I need a bigger pen... (Said in my best Taco Bell Chihuahua voice)

I think I need a bigger pen… (Said in my best Taco Bell Chihuahua voice)

I finally bit the bullet the other day and printed the first half of the current manuscript. I probably should have picked up some more red pens though. I guess I’ll add that to the list for the weekend.

Speaking of weekends… I hope you all enjoy yours!

Okay, one more thing I’ve just gotta ask.

Did you come across any weird stories this week? If so, leave me a link in the comment section. 🙂

What?

I won’t look until I’ve gotten my work done… honest 😉

~Cheers~

Do You Poo?

bigstock-Woman-Shampooing-Hair-2811759

Don’t worry, this post isn’t about your gastrointestinal regularity. Yeeesh! The poo I’m referring to is shampoo. When we first hit the road with hopes of spending as much time boondocking as we possibly could, we looked into ways to save on water and power consumption – and of course be more eco-conscious.

Showers are the biggest use of water we have. Naturally mine end up being about three times as long as Mr. G’s because I wash and condition my hair. I knew I’d need to make adjustments. The obvious thing to do, not washing and conditioning my hair as much, seemed a little too hard to swallow.

Then I read A post Nina over at Wheeling It wrote (April of 2012) and it really got me thinking. Maybe the no poo thing could work. Honestly, I’m still on the fence about it. But Nina’s got some great tips if you’re considering giving the entire no shampoo idea a go. Like I said, I haven’t quite gotten to the point where I’m ready for that yet. But I’m thinking in the future when we can do more (and longer stretches) of boondocking it might be a bit of a necessity.

I am far from a girly girl – trust me. I’ve only worn make-up a handful of times and that was for weddings (Not all mine – ha! ;-)) and it was done professionally at salons. However, mostly due to horrific bed-head in the morning, I am a wash and blow dry every day kind of gal. At least I was when we hit the road. Yes, that’s changed a bit. I’ve let my hair grow out over the past two years. So now most days you’ll find me sporting a ponytail or with my locks twisted up in a clip.  Easy schmeezy. 🙂

Heck, I’ve even gotten into the habit of only doing the hair routine every other day and I almost never blow dry anymore. But I continue to use both shampoo and conditioner when I do. So, I’m still looking for a way to cut down on the water consumption that will still leave my hair resembling something that belongs on a human head … and not in a cow pasture.

One of the things I did manage to do on our last boondocking adventure (Besides washing my hair only every four days 😮 ) was to use shampoo only – no conditioner. This was a step in the right direction as I only used half as much water. But, after two weeks my hair felt like hay. 🙁

The other day I came across  this article written by Dana Oliver at The Huffington Post. The piece offers ideas for going without shampooing for days at a time as well as notes on other experimentation they’ve done in the name of beauty and healthy hair. One of their latest endeavors involves “Cleansing Conditioners”. Hmmm … the two words put together sound like an oxymoron to me. But, if I can use a product that cleans and conditions at the same time (using less water) and isn’t harsh on my hair – I’m in!

I’m thinking I want to give one of the products mentioned in the HP article a try. I can pretty much guarantee it won’t be one of the ones costing more than $15. But I can see shelling out $10 if it works.

I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

Have you ever tried a Cleansing Conditioner? Or maybe you’re Poo Free and loving it? Or tried going Sans Poo and hated it?  I’d love to hear from you!

~Cheers~