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!

 

 

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~

Being As Ballsy As I Want To Be

Today’s prompt on the Blog Her  NaBloPoMo is about how our writing voice is either like our true voice or different.

My first reaction was that my real voice is completely different. But, after taking some time to honestly consider the prompt, I’m not so sure.

I write in the “mainstream/chick lit/romantic comedy” genre. Yes, I know this isn’t actually a real category.  But I think my writing encompasses a little of each.

When it comes to voice I find it much easier to create dialogue for my sassy, take no crap, cussing, snarky characters (who deals with just enough self-doubt to be loveable) than the damsel in distress who wouldn’t say shit if she had a mouthfull.

That said,  I think in real conversation I do think of the witty/snarky/funny retorts.  I just don’t always voice them. Reflecting on this now, I’m not really sure what that says about me.

I won’t goes as far saying I’m not being myself in everyday conversation.  But I will admit to being cursed with a fairly fine filter (and cheesecloth) where some people are concerned.  LoL

I think we all have a filter. Maybe as we age the holes get a little stretched out and more stuff passes through, but it’s still there. This theory lends credence to the gazillion Facebook picture/posts with a woman of a certain age sitting all alone somewhere serene and beautiful saying “The older I get the less I care about what people think of me”.

But I digress…

Okay, back to the writing voice. I think being able to change up your voice is one of the biggest perks of being a writer. (Well, that and wearing pajamas to work of course 🙂 ) Let’s face it, making money isn’t too high on the list. At least not for me at this stage of the game.

So while I think my writing voice may still be a bit more brazen than my real voice, I think it’s rubbing off on me… in more ways than one. For instance,  before I started writing full time I probably wouldn’t have gone out to lunch in a bar… on a Tuesday afternoon… by myself.

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However, in the name of research for my current WIP, I’m currently sitting at a pub having lunch as I type this on my phone. Coincidentally, my protagonist often gets a great deal of work done on a bar stool. Of course she’s usually looking for possible employees for her brothel… but still. 😉

I suppose what it boils down to is this. My writing voice is different than my real voice. But they are getting more similar every day.  🙂

~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~

 

Seattle – The City of Highly Literate Latte Lovers

It turns out Seattle isn’t only known for their Superbowl Winning Seahawks, Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and their coffee. They are also the nation’s second most literate city.

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I’ve been reading a lot lately too. When I say “a lot” perhaps I should clarify. Under normal circumstances if I’m not doing the daily tasks (cleaning, shopping, cooking, etc) or working/writing, I can usually be found with a book or Kindle in my hand.

However, since we’ve been in Washington I’ve been spending more time reading than doing anything else. And I do mean. Anything. Else. Now on one hand being a ravenous reader is a must for writers, especially those of my neophyte/wanna-be author status. But on the other, not getting any words on the page or editing done is probably not the best way to go about finishing anything you start. I know this and yet lately I can’t put a book down once I start reading. And now I can blame it on my close proximity to Seattle. 🙂

Here’s why –

This morning I did manage to put my current distraction (Gone with the Wind – Yes, really. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never before read this classic.) down, after reading from 5:30 to 9:30.a.m. In my defense, it’s too darn cold to stay out from under the covers for too long at that time of day! LoL

It is warming up though, so I guess I'll have to find another excuse to stay in bed reading until nearly 10:00 a.m.

It is warming up though, so I guess I’ll have to find another excuse to stay in bed reading until nearly 10:00 a.m.

Anyhoo, I decided to take a quick peek at the local headlines while having my second pot of coffee and heart-smart multi-grain Cheerios. The first headline that caught my eye was this…

“Seattle runner-up for most-literate city title — again”

Well that explains why I can’t stop reading. It’s in the water, the air, the rain! I know technically we’re not in Seattle. As a matter of fact we’re a good 90 minutes north of the city. But, I still read the big city news on occasion and today seemed like a good day to look for anything we should be aware of for our trip down there tomorrow.

The article lists the Top Ten Most Literate Cities in the United States. Well, what do you know, Seattle is number two! I’ll be honest, my first thought was “well duh, what else is there to do besides read when it rains most of the time”. (Well, I did have other ideas, but not any I should discuss here 😉 )

Obviously there are a lot of other factors that went into the study; not just people who stayed in their jammies until late morning snuggled with coffee and a good book. Imagine that! As for accuracy of the study, it was conducted by Central Connecticut State University, (my home state) so it must be reliable! 😉

So, let it be known, that following on the heals of Washington, DC, Seattle is number two on the list this year – again. I mention the “again” because the Emerald City has been on the list for the past five years. So it’s not a fluke folks – those Seattleites are a bunch of highly literate latte lovers!

Are you spending more time reading for pleasure this winter than normally do? I’d love to know I’m not the only one. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

~Cheers`

P.S. – You can read Gene Balk’s entire article >> HERE <<

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