Sorry it has taken so long to start this blog. I have had no good WiFi connection on the road until now to get this set up plus some nights I had no amenities – I was in a steel tent “roughing it” as it were. I will post each day that I already have done as I go through and edit them, then I plan to get current… and hopefully stay caught up.
Well, today is the first real day of my new adventure… my new life… my new journey. I write this as I am sitting in the camper for the first night in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It is exciting, yet a bit strange, to be doing this.
I no longer have a house, nor do I have many personal possessions any more. I went from having enough stuff to fill a 2200 sf house, to what I am able to fit into a small camper and the back of my Ford Explorer. It is actually quite a feeling to be so free – kinda like that first time you go commando to someplace like the grocery store. As I told Meghan the other day, “…no, I am not dying so that is not why I am getting rid of stuff!”. This all probably sounds rather pathetic or horrible to some, but it is a re-birth.
I say that this is the first “real day” because everything up until this was in preparation for this big life change. The last six months have been, shall we say, trying and tedious to say the least. So many decisions, and not able to plan anything out to any degree since there were so many variables for each thing I had to take care of in a deliberate and careful order (and those who know me know what I feel about planning much). Thanks to good friends and family I was able to keep my sanity (debatable, I know), and staying focused and resolute is how I was able to get to the point I am now at. It has not been easy to say the least, but I made it.
As I left my house for the final time Friday morning I really did not think much about what was actually happening… leaving the place I spent the last 16 years of my life… a place I have always loved from as far back as I can remember. Colorado will always be a special place to me and be in my heart forever. Many good memories happened there, and they greatly outnumber a few I do my best to forget. I made many new friends there and many will always stay with me no matter the distance.
Today I left my daughter Meghan’s house in Spearfish, SD after a great visit. I got to her new apartment (a very nice, brand new place) on Friday and we got to hang for a few days and do some things. One of those things was I bought a new bike and we went for a ride. It was a lot of fun, but my body is in less than ideal shape so I will be riding and exercising quite a bit more. Yesterday we went to Badlands National Park, then got to see the exterior of the Minuteman Missile Silo National Monument. A real “man” moment.
I went north up US 85 through western South Dakota into North Dakota. I arrived here at TRNP at sunset. From what I could see in the waning light was quite beautiful and spectacular. I hope to be up early in the morning to get out and do a hike before it gets too hot. Drove right past a herd of buffalo as I was going into the campground. At the house in Bailey I just left the sun would dip denied the mountain around 5pm or so; seeing a sunset around 7:30 or 8:00 was awesome and I have not seen that in quite a while. My new gig is on the Washington coast so I will get to see it every night now.
I would be an even bigger slacker if I did not thank those who have supported and been there for me the last few months:
My daughters Angie, Chelsea, and Meghan, and granddaughters Alexis, Abby, and Emery for being the wonderful people that they are. They live their lives on their own terms, and of that I am extremely proud and happy.
All of my family and friends for always being supportive, even when I did dumb shit that I probably should not have done. This goes double for my parents. I know I have been a pain in the ass at times, and I apologize for those times, but hey… I turned out okay because of you!
Thanks also go to my parents for letting me borrow the Scotty camper to undertake this adventure. This has made things much easier and gives me a chance to test the waters before I buy a trailer or RV of my own. I just wish people would quit asking me about the camper all the damn time. It is getting old!
A quick note concerning the maps I have inserted into the blog… please click on “View larger Map” if you want more details on the routes I have taken. Most of the maps I had to shrink so much the details are lost.
If you want to read more of my adventures getting to Washington, I have dated and numbered each post so you can read in order the blogs of my travels.
Got a few things done around the house this weekend despite being in a mood that’s not good to be in. I decided that I was gonna basically unplug from the phone and take time for me this weekend. I have not answered the phone or texts for most of the weekend; for those of you who tried I was offline and didn’t concern myself with much of anything other than a mental vacation.
I need to do this from time to time and will probably be doing it more often (some areas I want to travel have no cell service so that will suffice). This was totally unplanned but it all just fell into place so I went with it.
As I have previously posted, I have wanted to get the trailer out for a trip for some time now but the weather has been so iffy and crappy. I really need to go someplace soon. I have gotten some things done around the house. Except to catch the weather at 6 Saturday morning, the TV was off all day until evening.
A few years ago I added the Hot Rodd electric heating element to my trailer water heater. It supplements the propane burner, and it works fantastic, but there is one problem: you could only heat water by going outside to manually plug it in inside a compartment and doing the same drill to unplug it to turn it off each time. When I bought it they had a switch (for an extra charge, of course) but I didn’t buy it, thinking I wouldn’t really need it.
Well, I found out that I need it after all so I bought one last week and installed it this weekend. A flip of the switch will control it now. The tank is only 6 gallons so it heats fast enough between the propane and electric element on at the same time (I mean it IS vacation…who really cares about time anyway?). I turn it off when not using the hot water – it’s just a waste of energy to let it keep the water hot if it’s not being used.
It’s getting into the beginning of travel season so now anyplace I go I’ll probably need to reserve a spot. It’s just guessing the weather and figuring out the place to go but I have a few places in mind so I can go ahead and make a reservation. Looking at a campground I was considering last night it was already booked so it may just be a trip our two to a forest someplace. I’ll continue to look today for someplace though. I’ve been around to several areas of the state so I have a good idea of how the areas are and some of the things to see and do. I just need to get some traveling in before school is out. I want to avoid the crowds.
I had three plants in pots in my window I started from seed. I though in both pots were tomatoes, but as they grew the one on the left didn’t look right. I had my suspicions for the last few weeks as to what it actually was. I looked it up over the weekend and I was correct – a jalapeño pepper plant. I forgot I had planted a seed of one I sliced up to cook with.
Both of the tomato plants and the pepper plant are all about 6-8 inches high so I transplanted them all into bigger pots this weekend as well. I guess I could use the newly-emptied pots to start some more tomatoes. Hope the jalapeños do okay since I want to make some salsa. I even popped a few bell pepper seeds in my window boxes this weekend. Might as well take advantage of the space. I cook with them – not a fan of raw – so all I need are a few plants. I will have to find some other things to put in the window box. I’ve got cherry tomatoes and they have seeds!
The rest of my gardening endeavour is still looking pretty good. Things are really growing in the raised bed, and there are many surprises popping up in the yard. The crocus are gone, but the bluebells (hyacinths) are in full force, the rhodys are coming on strong, there are a few daffodils and there are many plants growing around the yard that do not look like weeds so I am anxious to see what blooms. The apple, plum, and cherry trees are all flowering, and there are a few other trees that I have no idea what they are – they have some really good-smelling flowers though. Gonna have a big crop of fruit this year by the looks of the flowering on the branches. And of course there are the dandelions…
The birds are going crazy and I got a few new ones to look at this past week – American goldfinch and golden-crowned sparrow. Nothing unusual – just my first ones of the year.I got the feeders filled. The birdbath got cleaned out and they really like that.
I was finally able to work on mowing the yard this weekend and have to finish it up today. The grass was pretty thick and so full of moisture it was mighty slow going. I’m trying to cut it shorter this time so I can let it go a longer amount of time between if I need to. The previous tenants left me a mower and trimmer so I didn’t have to buy anything or hire anyone. I get absolutely no joy out of mowing grass so I may find a neighbor kid to do it eventually.
I’ve been eating too much stuff I shouldn’t be eating recently so I have got to buckle down again and eat better. I have been on a seafood binge lately. Yeah, it’s baked but it’s also breaded so I try to keep the portions down, but honestly…who can REALLY eat only six shrimp when there are two dozen in the box?!?! Water consumption is up so that helps the body and gives an energy boost. It also helps fill stomach space instead of food. I am eating more salads and veggies and I am definitely more active now but I have to get better at being better again.
A BIG problem is I haven’t felt much like cooking lately. I still really enjoy it but haven’t felt like doing it. I’m getting back at it though and I am making a few things today from the Hello Fresh recipe cards after a visit to the local grocery store. The cool thing is that I already have most of the things for two of the recipes. I may look at a third recipe, perhaps for the Instant Pot, but not sure what yet if at all. Perhaps those wonton wrapper lasagnes. Those were good.
It’s very frustrating to try to find ways to stay away from Amazon. I needed to order a few things and the products I need have to be ordered through an Amazon storefront anyway so I broke down and got Prime again. I’ll still shop local as much as possible. It does include Prime Video though.
I have been catching some TV shows on Prime that I have never heard of before but that I like. “Corner Gas” is another Canadian show and is kind of “Scrubs in a Saskatchewan convenience store”. It isn’t “Letterkenny”, but it has its moments. Another one I just discovered is “London Irish”. The first episode is hilarious. A quirky show and very very funny. Can’t wait to see where this series goes.
That’s it for today. Off to the store.
Yeah, I know…it’s been a while since my last post. There’s been a few things happening.
Work is getting pretty busy so that has been taking up a lot of my time and energy so when I come home I am worn out. It feels good to be getting back into the groove again but I may have a different idea about that a few months from now.
The weather has been rainy so that has kept me from mowing my yard and it needs mowed but the forecast is rain. My garden is growing like crazy and is looking pretty good. Today I went to get some groceries then I stopped by the nursery to get some ladybugs and mantis egg capsules. Some little insecty-type bastards are nibbling on my radishes so I hope these good insects take care of the evil ones. Most of my garden is really doing well – plants are 3-4 inches tall! The carrots are a little slower though. Two of my indoor tomato seedlings are about 4 inches tall and one is about 8 inches tallI cannot wait to get those into outdoor pots. They will really take off then. I think I have another one sprouting outdoors in another pot.
I got my taxes done but put off doing my dad’s taxes for a while. I finally got them done last week, though, and I am really glad that is done. I was dreading it but I kept on-task and got through it okay.
In happier news I am in the early stages of planning an adventure. A big adventure…and this one will be with my daughters. It will be a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to it. I’ll be posting it when it happens so be patient. It will be a while though.
The big adventure I was planning a few months ago that I could not go on ended up working out for the best. The band I had planned to go see ended up cancelling the gig so I would have gone there for nothing. Hopefully I can find them playing in Europe someplace and fit that into a trip across the pond. Got another concert coming up soon though. Got my ticket already!
I am still looking at some weekend trips soon but nothing is really open yet plus the weather has sucked. It’d be really good to get out of the house – and on the road someplace soon. I haven’t shaken the travel bug I had a few months back and I still need to do something about it. I’ve been trying to save my money up for our big adventure but I’m gonna have to splurge and get away. I will have the Seattle trip when my friends come out but that’s a ways off yet.
With the staying home I have gotten some other things done around the house though. I got some paperwork sorted through, filing and tossing things out. That helped me to finally get my bedroom closets more organized. Plus getting rid of unnecessary papers is always a good thing. I need to resume scanning pictures into the computer but I am not quite up to starting that again quite yet.
I ordered a few more things for the trailer. I just found out one of my neighbors has a sewing machine so I need to ask her if she can sew my curtains for my trailer. The old ones were basically see-through and I have to have complete darkness to sleep (privacy is good too). I am going to cut up the old blackout curtains from my apartment to use in the trailer so that should fix it.
Well, that’s today’s modest update.
Another perfect day of weather today. I got home and put on a t-shirt and shorts, tossed a salmon burger on the grill for a sandwich and made up some southwestern spicy hash browns to go with it. Dinner on the patio, some sunshine, it’s nearly 70 degrees again…and life is pretty damn good!
I’ve been outside a lot more and I have been quite active, especially with the beautiful days we have been having. Still keeping quite conscious of the sun exposure, avoiding the mid-day sun, wearing sleeves and hats plus being in the shady areas.
Another couple of tomato seeds sprouted in one of my pots in the window today so that was a nice surprise to come home to. Funny, I was just looking at that very same pot this morning thinking “Where are you?!”. I got home and there they were…newborns! I have another one that is about 3″ tall now that got its main leaves last week so it is doing very well. I just pull seeds out of tomatoes I like that I get at the store and start from that – those came from somewhere too. Yeah, it is easier to just buy a started plant but this is free. Plus there is the challenge.
I hopefully will have better luck than last year, but last year there was a lot going on and I wasn’t really able to be home and take care of them like I needed to since I was going back to KS for my Dad. I have gotten to know a few of my neighbors pretty well so I am sure they would help me out watering if something came up and I needed help with it. Rain is coming in this weekend so that will help with the watering. I watered a little bit ago and I didn’t realize I had so much planted until I watered everything all at once!
I bought a couple of avocados the other day so I am gonna be planting those seeds and see what happens. I planted one a few years ago and the thing ended up being a monster…about NINE FEET TALL! Seriously, it grew and got that tall but only had about five branches. It was hard to take care of in Colorado with the weather but may do good here in Washington’s humidity. I need to look up how to take care of them. I may leave these in small pots and prune them so they won’t get so big and unwieldy…like my palm tree in a pot in the yard. It’s in a pot about two or three feet across and is about six feet tall and a real hassle to move. I am actually surprised it lived thorough the winter but it’s doing great.
Even with this weekend’s rain I may take a drive someplace. There should be fewer people out and the weather will be a big part of people staying home. A good time for me to get out and about. I need to get new lenses in my glasses so that may be what I get done. With the rain I guess being in the mall won’t be AS bad…
My MacBook Pro has been having a lot of issues, and each time I get it back from repair it has cosmetic issues that it didn’t have when it left my house. I raised hell with Apple about all the issues I have had and they are now replacing mine with a new one. It has been very frustrating but it is getting handled so I am happy with that. It’s not the refund I really wanted, but this is the next best thing.
I started going to a chiropractor to try to get some relief from my back pain and headaches. It is pretty bad most days but this seems to be helping some along with the acupuncture. Being up and around instead of sitting is definitely better but the relief is just not happening fast enough.
That’s all I have for now.
What fantastic weather we are having! Mid-50s, sunshine…the whole weekend should be like this and get even warmer early next week. The sights and sounds of Spring – people trimming bushes and trees, mowing and trimming the grass, and the amount of birds feeding and singing in my yard is pretty fun to have around.
I was considering a road trip either yesterday or today, but thought about it more after I was on the way home and saw all the cars. The weather is really bringing everyone out of the woodwork. Gonna be a busy weekend on the roadways and it was getting busy yesterday morning. Think I’ll stay home and take care of a few things and avoid the weekend warriors.
So far it has been a very productive weekend so I think that tomorrow will be a slack day for me. I’ll be outside again enjoying the weather and not doing much; I already did it!
Yesterday, I got my raise planting bed filled up with soil and planted some seeds. Romaine, radishes, sugar snap peas and rainbow carrots for now. Tomatoes will be ready to move outside and put in the bed soon, and I want to get some jalapeños to make salsa at home and maybe even try to can some. I transplanted some other things into a patio pot and in a couple of little gardens along the fence.
Today was a beautiful day; I’ve got the fever bad and am ready to be outside. I got the other two window boxes planted on the other side of the front of my house and scattered some seeds around for some wild flowers that attract bees and hummingbirds.
Also today, I decided to pull the cover off of the trailer and de-winterize it. I think it will be safe to go for it so I did. I can always drain it if need be. I flushed out the water system so it’s ready for the season! I had already gotten most of it ready a few months ago when it was so nice out so flushing it was the last bog thing to do. I’ll load a few canned goods and whatever else into it that I can for now. After that, I just need to load in perishable things, hitch it up and roll down the highway. Sounds awesome to me!
I finally started up the generator this morning that I bought nearly two years ago. That thing weighs 125 pound; it’s good I have these giant, muscular arms to fling that thing around! Hahaha. Seriously it’s gonna suck taking it out of and putting it in the back of the truck. The price was ¼ of a Honda portable generator and has more power but the thing is so heavy.
It’ll be difficult to not do anything tomorrow so I’ll probably just get out and do some walking. I’ve gotten more done than I had planned the past few days. I got my groove on the past few days and couldn’t stop grooving! The exercise has been good and I need to keep it going.
Yesterday I finally got my windows cleaned inside the house and got some organizing done on some paperwork I had not filed away. Last week I had an attack of sciatica that knocked me completely out of commission for a day and a half so this week I was taking care of some Spring cleaning from last weekend.
I am better now and hope that attack was the last one and it doesn’t happen again. Both my back and neck have really been bothering me quite a bit more than usual lately so I guess that I am lucky it hasn’t happened before now. Acupuncture has helped keep the headaches at bay but I think it’s time for a serious deep-tissue massage or possibly even see a chiropractor. I need some relief from this pain pretty soon.
That damn ultrasonic humidifier I have is going to find a new home. The white mineral dust it spews out is everywhere. There are a lot of homes I have been in here that do not have forced-air heat…they use electric wall-mounted heaters. It just usually doesn’t get that cold for extended periods of time. Usually. My house has that electric heat so it gets very dry inside. The air outside has been relatively dry as well so I have to do something to help my skin and my nose get some moisture. Right now I am boiling water in a pan on the stove to get some moisture in the house and that raised it almost 30% in a very short amount of time.
I am pondering a trailer trip next weekend but not quite sure yet. Weather is still a bit iffy this time of year as far as freezing temps (and snow, obviously) and I don’t want to de-winterize it until I can leave it that way for the summer. I guess I could find a campground someplace that is open and dry camp. I can just fill a water jug for cooking and drinking. I have a few ideas for a couple of places to go. The weather looks like it might be okay but it is still too far out to have much faith in the forecast yet.
Speaking of weather, today it was sunny and 50s – a perfect day to be outside and plant some flowers. I got one of my window boxes filled up with violas. I was hesitant to plant them with the cold temps. The person at the store said they would be fine but I may still cover them just to be safe. I have two more window boxes and some little gardens around the yard but will wait just a bit longer to plant them.
This year’s weather has been pretty haywire here in the area where I live. We had really nice weather for a while. After that it got all poopy and then Snowmageddon parts I and II hit, wreaking havoc on everyone. It is sure taking it’s time getting back to normal and it’s making me antsy to plant some stuff and travel. I am doing what I can in the meantime on both of those things. I usually don’t get Spring Fever but this year is a bit different; it is usually better weather this time of year and that’s been the cause of my restlessness.
For those interested in music, I watched a really good documentary called “The Wrecking Crew”. It was about the people who actually MADE the music on albums (those big black circular things) for people such as The Monkees (R.I.P Peter Tork), Beach Boys, and most of the one-hit wonders during the 50s 60s and 70s. It was very good and it had a few surprises in it about some artists that I was not aware of.
Jim and his wife Peggy will be coming out to visit from KS in May so that will be fun. We will be hanging around the area where I live for a few days then it will be a long weekend in Seattle, hitting some sights and eating good food. Maybe a few drinks and then stumble over to ride the light rail late at night to people watch! Much fun shall be had I am certain.
The next big trip I was hoping to take just will not work out. I tried looking at options again, but between the lack of available ground transportation and the time spent flying (two or three stopovers!) I just cannot make the scheduling work out. I wanted to go see a concert but it looks like I’ll just have to catch them in Europe at some point. Like THAT really sucks.
That’s the update for today.
Today was a day to get things done around the house. I was thinking of maybe going somewhere but decided to stay home, save some money and get some things taken care of here at the house.
It’s not that I am a slob or anything, but I am going to clean windows and dust mainly. The problem is my humidifier has put a thin white coating of dust and film on everything. I have electric heat and the air gets so dry in winter so I run a humidifier to keep my skin from drying out and it helps to stay well. With the weather starting to change I think it needed to be going back in the box for storage today.
But, with it being a nice day I decided to be out enjoying the sunshine instead. I hauled the recycling and the garbage to the transfer station first this morning and was there waiting when they opened up. I went back home and began cutting the saplings/small trees growing out of my raised bed planter and got my strawberry plant (that somehow survived the winter) in a corner of it. I will start getting that ready for some carrots, onions, garlic, jalapeños and tomatoes. If there’s someplace to put them I’ll also plant some radishes, green beans and peas to snack on raw. Add that to my plum, cherry and apple trees and the Himalayan blackberries everywhere up here and I’ll have a decent selection of stuff. It’s looking as if I may have to build another raised bed. I started sone tomato seeds in a pot already and they are just over an inch tall. I believe they are Campari tomatoes, and I have a beefsteak tomato I’ll get some seeds out of and start some of those as well.
I trimmed up some trees and bushes around the house while I was at it. It needed to be done and it is much better now. It was partially blocking the gate to get the trailer in or out so I cut it back. It needs more done with a ladder, but I can also leave the cover on the trailer to keep from scratching it up\ when moving it. Not in a hurry since I’m not taking it out too soon. Of course that IS subject to change.
I went out for a beer or two before catching “Bohemian Rhapsody” at the theatre. I have been wanting to see it and finally got the chance. Growing up in that era I remember some of that stuff but I also learned a few things I was not aware of. The ending was really good – it was the classic LiveAid performance which is one of the all-time greatest rock stage performances. Rami Malek nailed that one spot-on. One little bit of irony (that I don’t know how many noticed) was Mike Myers was a record rep in the movie and they were talking about the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Pretty funny, since Mike Myers was Wayne in Wayne’s World, the movie that launched that particular song to it’s second run up the charts. Great scene that was.
I’ll be outside again tomorrow enjoying what is supposed to be another nice day. I’ll probably walk down to the beach at some point but I’ll finish trimming trees first so it’s done. The previous people were nice enough to leave me a trimmer and a nice mower so I’ll be able to keep things cleaned up but it is too wet as of now. If we get a few more sunny days I might be able to get the yard mowed. It may not really need it but it’s pretty thick and grows fast in these warmer, sunny days.
That’s it for now. Headed to bed.
Last year I went through and deleted a few posts to clean up the blog a bit. It needed to be done and definitely feels better to me.
I write this because I passed a milestone for the second time. Once again I reached 500 blog posts. I had been over 500 before my deletion of those aforementioned posts, but I guess they count only the active posts. I am still happy with that accomplishment.
One of the adventures I was wanting to do that I posted a few days ago is a little costly for what is basically a long weekend. The biggest problem is transit availability to the airport where I wanted to go and I don’t really want to rent a car. I was wanting to go see a concert in another city and just cannot make it work. The money I have already saved up, but the transit was the real dealbreaker. I really worked to try and make it happen but couldn’t make it doable. I’ll keep thinking of alternatives (I pretty much already did that) but really don’t see it happening. Oh well, I can catch them in Europe at some point since they are, well, European.
I went to a restaurant yesterday that I had not been to yet. I was told it was very good. I had seen an ad for it and asked a friend about it. After her recommendation I decided to give it a try. I had a lamb köfte. It was served in a pita as two ground lamb patties that were spiced and herbed to perfection. It was served similar to a gyro or döner kebab – taziki, cucumber, red onion, tomato, greens and a side of home-made hummus. It was quite delicious.
The good weather keeps on keepin’ on and I think that a trip to someplace is on the agenda very soon if the weather cooperates. Not sure if it will be in the trailer or not until I see what the weather holds and what is open for places to park it. I could just do the hotel thing too. It could end up just being a trip to Seattle but I’d like to go someplace else.
That’s it for now.