Sweet summertime

Sweet summertime

I was sitting in church this morning when a memory of summer came flashing to the forefront of my mind. Running barefoot through the warm, green grass under the bright sunshine. 

When I see posts about driving on the backroads I giggle cause I lived on a backroad. We kept the front windows closed or barely cracked because we didn’t want all the dust coming in from people driving by and most seemed to think they were on a nascar track. I grew up living in the country with hayfields all around and neighbors that were down the road not next door. No air conditioning but boxed fans in the window. The sweet scents of the mimosa tree that grew next to the house and the old fashioned pink roses that overwhelmed the mailbox. We really did have sun tea or cold well water on those long hot summer days.

I can remember when we got air conditioning it was HEAVEN! Pretty sure I can’t live without it now except for when I head out to Albuquerque in October. This last year I left the windows open on the little airbnb place I stayed…it was fantastic!

In the summer we were outside everyday either riding our bikes, mopeds (we had them before they were cool), motorcycle, or two legs depending on where we were going. For us distance was a relative thing. A few miles or 10 miles was nothing depending on what mode of transportation. 

We would head to the creek so we could wade in to cool off and have some fun. Not quite the scene from ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’. If you don’t know what I’m talking about click here. We watched for snakes but the water was so cold I never really worried too much – they were probably all along the banks waiting for us to get out of the water. I remember chewing on the mint that grew in the creek and its sweet spearmint flavor. Now I’d get whiplash from trying to keep a lookout for creepy crawly things.

As we got older our transportation changed to an old Chevy truck and by old I mean 1963. There was no power steering, it still took regular gas, and the gear shift would come out of the floor. Even better it had a canoe rack on it that rattled non-stop. There were plenty of fun times in that old truck. Our first trip onto the blacktop heading to softball practice the gear shift came out. Can’t lose your calm in the face of adversity. I had my sister grab the wheel and try to keep it straight on a curvy road while I got in the floor board and put the shifter back in. Good times! You would think that would be it for the day, but no. Once the gear shift was in, we got about a quarter of a mile up the road to discover a cow had gotten out and was standing in the road. I didn’t want to hurt her so I slowed way down. Well this was too slow because she stuck her head in the passenger side window. I then had two sisters up in my grill as I’m screaming at them to get the cow out. My leadership and parenting skills obviously were off to a rough start because I was bossy as hell since I was the oldest. I think I’ve made some improvement over the years.

As summer is approaching here in the Ozarks I’m just reminded of my youth. You know you lived in the country when directions included at the end of the pavement turn left onto the dirt road. Now the pavement doesn’t end and the dirt road is completely different from when I was a kid. My grandparents live at the end of the pavement that doesn’t end now, so I’ve been able to see the changes over the years when I would visit.

I always hated it when the road graders came through because it was guaranteed, when I went around the curve on my bike a rock would catch on the tire and I’d go flying. I did that once right into a fence and it hurt like the devil. Thank goodness that wasn’t a barbed wire fence but I’ve crawled through many of them. 

Not the old home place but close! Credit to kingcats-fence.com

I just don’t remember watching tv like I do now. I was always outside. We had a street light of all things right across from the house, which was in the middle of nowhere. The bats loved us because the light attracted bugs for them to snack on. I could watch them for hours and if I wasn’t doing that I was practicing for softball by throwing rocks at the pole. I’m astounded I never had one come back and nail me in the head. I had a good aim that’s for sure.

Lots of good memories from my time in the country. It’s funny how now I really enjoy the comforts of town living. Probably because I can come home everyday at lunch and take a little breather from work. In the spring and summer I work on my tan by sitting on the back deck. Ginger, my rat terrier, is happy to have some yard time. Her life sentence of living with this human is hard…real hard. Eye roll with me.

Today was a great day to be out enjoying the warmth and before too long summer will be here. For me that means bringing out the boat and heading for the lake rather than going to the creek. Times have definitely changed not necessarily for the better just different. We all mature and the boat is the mature version of me wading in the creek. 

Enjoy some sunshine and before too long it will be summertime! 

-G.

Vegas baby!

Vegas baby!

I’m fortunate enough to go once a year for work and sometimes I actually do fun things! 

This year my annual trip started off with a chase across the Nellis dunes at night in a dune buggy. In my mind I was picturing sand dunes everywhere, and there were some…somewhere. There was also hard pack and a lot of rocks in all shapes and sizes. It was the best night and I had an absolute blast! Four hours of thrills and maybe chills if you fly over a dune and drop off unexpectedly. 

We came over one dune and I had the gas pedal on the floor. As I flew over I could see the campfire in the valley I was heading straight for. My buggy liked to shimmy to the left and of course the campfire was on the left. I fought the wheel till it shimmied right and then my lights landed on a big freaking rock. Shimmy back left miss the rock and make the turn to go up the next dune. I don’t think I ever let off the gas. 

Towards the end of the chase some of my peeps were really jockeying for their spot in the finish. You would’ve thought it was a NASCAR finish the way we rolled in. Well someone in out group rolled in with a flat tire and I’m pretty sure that’s the same one that knocked a huge ass rock out in front of me. It was a little tricky there for a second. I highly recommend Sunbuggy for an off-road adventure! 

Sorry no pics because I didn’t want to lose my phone in the desert and it would’ve happened considering how rough it was and how fast I was driving. I will say the view of the city was spectacular and I wished for my phone many times to take a pic. I did get a great exfoliation of my face. I had lovely, rosy cheeks for the next few days, so wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty or dusty.

If you don’t feel like an off-road adventure but still want a view of the city check out the Voodoo Lounge on top of the Rio. Beautiful views all around. Be prepared for a cover charge. We had dinner at the seafood buffet in the same hotel. A bit overwhelming there’s so much to choose from but it was delicious. 

The making of Witches Brew

We ventured out to a couple of my foodie faves. Hash House a Go Go….be amazed at the portion size and the food is delicious. Everything I’ve tried so far is great. I’ve hit up 3 locations. Two in Vegas and one in Orlando…all good. Cabo Wabo for scrumptious Mexican food. I could eat there everyday and if I had that same waiter that would be even better! I was waiting on my gal pals happily!😉 

Chicken and waffles (bacon in the waffles) – my fave
Meatloaf and the pic doesn’t do justice to the size of it!!
Fried green tomatoes & chicken salad…yum!
A huge bloody mary!

One of the nights we drove the strip. This is my 4th or 5th trip and the first time I’ve done that and it was so much fun. There is so much to see and people to watch!

If you have a car and get time, go out to Red Rock Canyon. I try to carve out time to go each time I’m in Vegas. It’s beautiful and the colors of the rock are so striking as you drive towards them. This year I actually had a co-worker go with me so that was a nice change. She had never been, so I got to show her all the cool stuff I’d seen so far. One day I hope to have time to actually hike but that will have to be on a personal trip. Not enough time for that when I’m out there to work. On the way back we ran through a smoothie drive thru. Nothing like that back home so it was a fun treat.

Crazy hair day lol

Primrose
Can you see the hands?

Another night we wanted to hit up the Blue Martini bar but discovered there’s a dress code. Flip flops and shorts aren’t part of it. Dress up if you go!

For anyone preparing for a zombie apocalypse or prepping for doomsday I’ve found the place for you to shop. It’s on the strip right under the big Swarovski crystal sphere. 

Always a great trip to support a group of folks that have a lot of talent within our company. It’s also fun to see a different part of the country and to have time to get out and really see the sights. Vegas definitely has it going on! 

If you were expecting ‘Hangover’ type confessions you are out of luck!😂✌

-G.

Weekend in Kansas City

Weekend in Kansas City

My mom and I took off to Kansas City for a weekend of shopping and culture. Since I was traveling on her actual birthday it was nice to be able to have some mom and daughter time. 

The drive was filled with gossip, chatter and lots of laughter. We made a wrong turn once and it was a complete accident. Really it was my fault but an exit and a turn were side by side. Anyone could’ve made that mistake. 

We got to our hotel to discover it was filled with soccer and softball travel teams. Kids of all ages were everywhere! It felt like a convention was going everytime we would try to get on the elevator. The wait felt eternal. It wasn’t but it felt like it. Obviously I’m not the patient sort. We had soccer balls hitting the door but if you went to the back of the suite you were safe from the noise. It was a good thing because you could find kids lounging in the halls on the floor like it was a beach. I stepped over more than one with the warning don’t move…really. You know the parents were looking forward to the free happy hour that started at 5:30 that evening.

We dropped our bags and took off for some food and shopping until time to get ready for the ballet. The caprese salad  we had for lunch was delicious. I’ll be recreating that particular dish in the future. 

This was my mom’s first ballet and one that I’ve wanted to see for a long time. So a big check check on the bucket list. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has beautiful architecture with views of downtown Kansas City. Since we’d never been there we went a little early, so we were able to get a glass of wine and sit back and people watch. The Rose’ was a tragedy. You just read that – it was tragic! Worst $8 ever spent so I don’t recommend the wine just go straight for the liquor. 

The people watching on the otherhand was spectacular! Flashy to understated. A real mix. There were a few ladies with an amazing amount of flesh on display for a ballet. Lots of little girls dressed up as princesses, so cute.

When the bells chimed we made our way into the performance hall for the ballet – Sleeping Beauty. It was everything I expected with some amazing performances by the dancers. One of the interesting things was a lady in the audience. She was up in the mezzanine and was conducting the orchestra pieces. I kept being distracted by her hand movements. At least she was enjoying herself and the music was fantastic. The Kansas City Orchestra was a treat! Mom and I felt like we got two for one. Ballet and orchestra performance. 

During Act III the guy in front of me drifted off to sleep at just the right moment in the wedding scene. I had a clear view of Puss in Boots and the White Cat’s performance. They were cute and funny. Such an amusing piece of the show. Anyway back to the sleeping fella….

His date kept looking at him so I could only imagine what she was thinking. Is she amused? I mean his head is so low I can see over it and this guy is well over 6 feet. Or was she irritated that she brought a guy that fell asleep at a public place in the middle of an artsy event. Of course he might’ve sprung for the tickets to impress his girl….if so he’s doing a bang up job. I’m laughing inside.

This reminded me of the time I went to see Swan Lake. The guy I was dating at the time got the tickets and the Bolshoi were absolutely wonderful. I’d seen them the year before in a Nutcracker performance except I was down and center. He got tickets up in the wing. I couldn’t see some of the performance on the wings of the stage because of my position in the audience. Our knees were touching the seats in front of us they were so close. I wonder if he went to sleep. I was so into the ballet I don’t recall or maybe it was just too long ago. Still I would’ve made fun of him just a bit if he did sleep. You know the guy in front of my mom and I got to hear about the sleeping later. 

I asked Mom what she thought about her first ballet. She said it was ok but she preferred a musical. At least a show where they sing. I think I ruined her by taking her to see Wicked first. It is amazing. I’ve seen the show on Broadway and a touring show. They are both exceptional, so if you ever get the chance – GO!

We were able to get down to the valet and out pretty quick. The cost was well worth it with my mom’s bum knee. Even if she didn’t have a bad knee I’d valet! We were starving and at that hour of the night we ordered pizza. They delivered right to the room…can’t beat that.

Next morning consisted of breakfast and a stop at Krispy Kreme for my dad…ok us too. Then we were heading south. We made a stop in Branson, MO to do a little shopping before finally making it home that evening. 

A successful mom and daughter weekend! So glad I could spend time with my mom. Time is short and fleeting and the older I get the more I notice it. 

A few more pics of our weekend.

Enjoy! Just not that wine Mom is holding!!!

-G.