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.

Be the exception 

Be the exception 

Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception. -Carl Sagan

I’m reading a James Rollins book and this quote jumped out at me. It reminded me of my personal motto that I completely ripped off from the US Marines. Improvise – Adapt – Overcome.

Over the years there have been many times when I’ve had to look at my life or situation and decide: How can I make this happen? What can I do for things to go in the direction I want or need? Sometimes those decisions are made on the fly….what am I saying they are always on the fly. That’s why I have this motto!

When I ponder on this quote it really drives home that we are all doomed to extinction of some sort, but it’s up to each of us to decide if we’re going to survive or not. Trial by fire seems to be the rule. How do you survive those challenging times?

Just because we go through trials doesn’t mean there isn’t a purpose or a learning opportunity. I don’t want to say all challenges are bad because ultimately that experience might be the force that drives us to greatness. Do we like living through the experience? Probably not…never. I don’t wake up saying oh yeah another miserable day, or is there an obstacle I can throw in my path that I missed all the other days…yeah not doing that. I try to find something positive throughout the day.

How does a positive attitude make a difference? Well everything is about your attitude. A positive mindset allows you to tap into a more productive and creative self. Being able to have a great perspective means you are able to increase your intuitive capabilities, wisdom, and common sense. Something we could all use more of I’m sure!

My goal is to always be the exception – so far so good – had a few moments where I thought I might check out early and make it on the extinct list. Nope. God seems to have a plan for me so I dig deep, plug in, and charge up to survive. Living up to that ripped off motto…or maybe it’s in spite of it. Could be a combo – I’m just stubborn like that.

156517-charles-darwin-survival-quote

Charles Darwin is misquoted all the time about survival of the fittest…true story. This quote really pairs well with Carl Sagan’s I think. Surviving boils down to being adaptable to change otherwise you will become extinct. There are many organisms that haven’t survived the ages due to that fact. In today’s times it’s more than likely due to humans but in the past it was other types of pressures, disease, or lack of forage. Whatever the case as we make our way through life it’s up to us to be able to survive. No one can do it for you.

Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine, and she was telling me a story about a lady she knows that was put into a nursing home/rehab facility. Basically her family dumped her there. So here comes someone that isn’t a relation and looking at the situation aghast with disblief because this lady had deteriorated to a naked woman wearing a nasty, dirty diaper in a chair that appeared absolutely crazy and out of her head. That was the show because she didn’t know what else to do because her family left her there, and they weren’t coming back other than to take care of the bill each month. She makes the connection that it’s my friend and then says ‘well sure it’s you – who else would it be, so get me cleaned up and dressed.’ My friend had a tough love talk with her and said ‘if you are ever going to get out of this place you are going to have to do it for yourself – NO ONE is going to do it for you.’ That’s what she did. It was a long and hard road out of that facility, but she’s back in her own home, living her life, almost the same as before she went into the facility.

What does that tell me? Same thing I’ve known for a long time. That I have to be willing to survive on my own. I can’t rely on other people to do it for me. Fortunately I have a really strong faith and family that I fall back on or it would be a lonely survival. God has pulled me through several tough ones. If you have a significant other that you can rely on that is fantastic I don’t, but I’m not going to dwell on it either. Life is for living and looking towards the future, not for regretting the things in the past. 

Be the exception in life! Survive in spite of the odds.

-G.

 

 

 

 

Time

Time

I’m watching the movie Lucy – Morgan Freeman has the best voice. There are two concepts that I find intriguing in this movie. Time and Predator-Prey relationships. I’m going to focus on Time in this particular blog. I’ll get to predator-prey another day.

When we are young it feels like time is endless. It takes forever, we feel, before we’re old enough to wear make-up, stay home without a babysitter, date, drive, or not have a curfew. I’m sure I missed some milestones, but I hit the big ones. Wait…I left off drinking but that really varies in age.

I just celebrated a birthday, and I’m telling you time is flying by at a rapid rate. You think you’ll have time for everything even the things you put off in life. You don’t! Children grow up so fast that I want to make sure I don’t regret not spending enough quality time with my son. Same for friendships – there are some I don’t see for periods of time, but when we do have an opportunity to get together you would never guess we’d spent a day apart.

Back to the discussion of Time – One book I find fascinating and I’ll tell you now it’s not a quick read. It’s definitely one of those you sit and ponder on is Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman. Back in the my teacher days and specifically when I taught Physics this was one of the books I assigned. Nerds-R-Us right here!

[Suppose time is a circle, bending back on itself. The world repeats itself, precisely, endlessly.] In the book it goes on to say that for the most part the people don’t even realize they are reliving their lives over and over. That would completely suck!  There are parts I would rather not repeat on a regular basis. As the book states ‘precisely, endlessly’….that makes me cringe thinking about it. If I had an option I’d rather it be a do-over not a repeat. On the other hand I would miss out on some pretty spectacular things. If you imagine changing one aspect of your life how does that ripple through the rest. I’ll take what I’ve got and live with it because there have been some amazing moments.

For us time isn’t circular but when you think about your past are there parts that keep repeating themselves. If so, is it worth repeating? Reflecting on our own history and having a goal or direction you would like to see your life is important. It doesn’t have to be a five year plan maybe you start with 6 months or a year. Stretch it out as you see success or determine that adjustments need to be made. I think goals are important. I create a list for myself that has personal, professional, financial and anything else I think needs a plan. Serious planner right here….I didn’t start off like that it was something I had to develop. Really anyone can grow this skill.

[Imagine a world in which there is no time. Only images.] I like taking pictures but they are one dimension compared to real life that is multidimensional. No day or night just an image of a moment in time. Seems kind of limiting. Think of how much you would miss out on. Things happen in an instant that you can never capture only experience. An image would never do it justice. I like looking at pictures, but I would never want that to be my existence.

This does make me think of the times that I’ve taken photos with me to visit my grandmother at the nursing home. She has Alzheimer’s. My thought at the time was that the pictures would help her to possibly remember the event or trigger the memory of the person, but isn’t that the same as this description in the book. Only living via images. My grandmother is more than images. She may have this horrible disease but she is a blessing to those around her. She’s a vibrant human being with memories, life experiences, hope and dreams that are trapped in her mind.  I stopped bringing the photos because it confused her and I’d rather be in the moment with her. Maybe that moment includes talking about her babydoll or talking about God. That’s okay with me because we are having a conversation and spending that time together.

My point is live life to the fullest and be in the moment, so you don’t miss the good stuff.

-G.

*Image credit: http://www.themindtrap.com/img/rooms/time-machine-5.jpg

Dog days of summer

Dog days of summer

Labor Day is the last summer holiday to spend out on the lake enjoying the warm temps, family, and friends. Hard to beat cruising around on the lake with the wind in your hair, the sun rays beaming down, and my shades on cause I’m cool like that. What makes me cool is my faithful companion, Ginger, who is a water loving, boat riding dog! Really I’m so nerdy I have to surround myself with cool friends and my dog. 

I’m not into fishing so boating for me kicks off Memorial Day weekend, which is the unofficial start to summer. Whoever spaced out the holidays for summer did a great job because smack in the middle is 4th of July. I’m on the lake every chance I get, but it’s a three day weekend to enjoy cruising around in boat. In my case, I’m usually pulling a tube, slinging teenagers around to their delight or terror depending on the day. I have been called the ‘Joker’. Sick kids! They said my smile was a bit too delightful. 

Once you get past the 4th it’s just hotter than hell, but depending on the year getting out on the lake can still be enjoyable and not a sweat fest. Finally we’re at the end of the summer and for those with kids they are back to school. Labor day weekend is either a celebration of their return to school or in my case one of the last opportunities to enjoy the end of summer. I’ve opted this year to wait to winterize the boat after we cruise around looking at fall leaves. I think it will be a beautiful sight to see from the water. Future adventure post in the making! 

Being out on the lake is peaceful and relaxing. It’s a great time to just be present with the people you’re with. The phone isn’t ruling me other than to take some selfies…have to document the fun it’s so rare! Workaholics need breaks too. I’m trying to find some balance between work and life. I teeter totter back and forth all the time. If someone has it figured out they should let me know.

So rise and shine folks! Have a fantastic holiday if you are celebrating here in the states. Ginger and I are gearing up for a great day!

-G

Memories…oh how they creep

Memories…oh how they creep

It’s ironic how out of the blue you can be hit with a memory that strikes grief right to your soul. I had that happen to me this morning, the memory of my dad and his last day. It’s been 2 years since that day my sister and I made that 2.5 hour drive to the hospital. An eternity was wrapped up in that drive and it just carried on when we had to make that grief stricken drive back knowing he was gone forever.

Life does go on, but it is changed and in ways you never expect. One way for me was my writing, at work I wrote a blog on our internal communication site…a little like facebook but not, and it was always something positive and upbeat. Once I wrote my dad’s eulogy that was it nothing else seemed to flow out of me again. It took well over a year before I felt that same internal connection I had to my thoughts and feelings, and be able to express them in written form. I don’t claim to be the greatest writer ever, but I find the creative process enjoyable.

Only thing was I didn’t want to write the work blog anymore I didn’t know what I wanted to do for sure. I really didn’t make the mental connection until I posted the first blog on this site and then wham I knew this was it. I know people talk about writers block and how to push through I’ve done that, but you want that connection or at least I do to my work. When I have that connection or flow I know that it’s the good stuff and rarely do I need to edit….maybe I should but the creative side of me says no. Recently I was researching ‘flow state’ or ‘in the zone’ and how you reach inside of yourself and get to that spot. Ultimately it comes down to quieting your mind – for those of us with busy minds that’s a challenge!

Along with learning about flow states I found an article that really helped me to figure out and explain how I was creative. I didn’t really associate that word with myself because my sister is the artist and that’s what I think of as creative. My brother is musically talented and that’s creative. I was not any of those things. If you struggle with that same thought check this article out ‘18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently‘ and see if any of it relates to you. I realized I am creative in my own way and I need to stop thinking I’m not.

Be creative and know when the memories are tough they are still sweet because we have them.

-G.

*Photo taken by Brandy Still and used with her permission.

To soar you have to Jump

This blogging thing was only going to be about travel and somehow it has branched into another blog. I enjoy writing and talking about nonsense or maybe sense depending on how you look at it. This all started from a post on Facebook about my travel and writing a travel blog. I’m enjoying the journey and I attribute that to being a life-long learner…blogging is a learning experience! I’ve received great support of my first blog and you can check it out here Adventuregirl Gloria. I realized that some of the things I wanted to talk about or share really weren’t related to travel hence Musings by G. I reflect on a lot of things so topics will vary and they may have no rhyme or reason. I’m just figuring this thing out and I’ve read all kinds of tips about blogging. Personally I think I’ll just take it one trip at a time to one day at time depending on which blog I’m writing.

As I started this adventure and as I’ve been considering other life changes my sister sent this inspirational video and I wanted to share. The video made me think of the Eminem song ‘Guts Over Fear’. ❤ it! I step out on the ledge often and I’m fearful, but I’m going to make the jump because I’m not letting the fear hold me back.

Fear can stop a person in their tracks and it doesn’t have to be from the monster in the closet. For some fear is an every day existence and for others it just occurs at those unexpected moments. In this case I’m going to refer to the fear that people have of change. Change is a scary thing for some. I’m typically an early adapter and I think that’s a learned behavior rather than being innate. I push myself to overcome obstacles or barriers…anyway the ones I perceive. My own thinking can get in the way of living which is why I love this video called Jump. When you make a leap of faith you can’t let any negative thinking enter your mind or you might fall- it’s having the belief and faith that you will make it. Although be prepared for a little crash and burn!

-G.