Happy New Year!
I’m posting this from the safety and confines of my humble apartment, choosing to stay off the highways on Amateur Night and avoid trouble that may try to find me.
Just a few blocks down the street from me there is a fireworks stand. An OPEN fireworks stand, that is. I guess they can sell them for New Year’s Eve since I have heard them going off for several hours. Some don’t really sound like too much like your average garden-variety fireworks-stand fireworks. Some are sounding like some large-caliber weapons.
Not much has been happening lately so I haven’t really had much to post about. I worked about two and a half days the last two weeks. I don’t know if there will be any more work until I start back next season or not. I’ve just been laying low, enjoying my time off. The weather has been crappy and the traffic has been horrendous with the holiday rush.
It’s finally sinking in that I now have a lot of free time for a while to do things and go places. I need to figure a few things out and maximize the opportunity. Europe is obviously a huge upcoming event in my life, but I am also looking at a few other things I need to do and places to see along the way. For one, I am going to do something special for my birthday and it’s something else I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I have also started pondering a multi-week road trip, taking the Scotty out if I can keep the tanks from freezing. I need to use it! I want to use it!
Last year – 2017, that is – was a sort of “transition ” year in a sense after the horrible events of 2016. I only got one weekend trip in and that is not enough. This year I’ll be doing more weekend getaways with the trailer most of the time.
My Scotty repairs seem to be holding up pretty good. I went to check on it a week or so ago and I found no water inside. That was a real relief. I am still concerned about it a little because it has a cover on it but it’s not a waterproof one.
That’s about all for this year.
Hard to believe that 2017 is nearly over. It was a good year and definitely a much better year than 2016. The year still had its challenges, however, but I have managed to work most of those things out. Out with the bad and in with the good!
To those of you who take the time out of your lives to read my blog often I thank you for taking the time to read my posts. You already knew of the good things that have happened that I have written about in this post. There have actually been a few other things happen (good and not so good) that I have not written (and won’t be writing) about due to their extremely personal nature. The good things were definitely good and the very few bad things are, well, not worth writing (or even thinking) about.
This year had several major events that were huge positives: I got a new position at work. I brought my trailer home and got to use it at least once this year (twice, I guess, counting the trip to bring it home). I made a few road trips to see friends and family and check out a few new places. Chelsea and Meghan added daughters to their families this year (cool!). Angie and Alexis came out for a fun visit. Meghan was here for a few days during my surgery that ended up not happening to the extent it could’ve (good news). I got to make trips back to KS to visit family. I moved into a new apartment. I finally got a plane ticket to go to Europe. Oh, and I am off work for a few months to do some more adventuring!
I was hoping to get to the last three states off my bucket list this year but working so late into the year I was not able to go during good weather and see the changing of the leaves. I don’t want to go just to check the box – I want to spend time to see and do things while there as well. Depending on my work season next year maybe I can get up to the Northeast earlier and check those off. I guess a trip to Europe will just have to suffice!
One thing about the trips I have made over the last year and a half is that I usually use one airline as much as possible. By doing this I have earned enough air miles for my third RT ticket in the continental US, and after my Europe trip I’ll be well on my way to a fourth one! Two trips for me, or maybe I’ll find someone to go someplace with.
As I look back, it was actually a pretty great 2017. We’ll see what exciting things happen in 2018! I am certain that I will be doing more traveling before I start back to work in the Spring. I’ll be trying to get the Scotty out for a road trip for a few weeks, possibly in March. I will get back to KS to visit a few times during the year. Just maybe I can get back east to finish those last three states next year! You never know…another trip to Europe could happen too! You just never know what pops up along the way.
Happy Holidays to you and your families, and I hope for our world to be a better, peaceful, and more compassionate place in 2018.
Well, my time off was cut a little short, but I am good with making a few more dollars this year. I got the call a couple of days and now have a few more days before the end of the month to work after all. I’ll be covering for some vacation time people are taking for the holidays. Money always comes in quite handy.
Not too much has happened since I got back from Montana. The office party was fun and the dessert I made seemed to go over fine. I kept my “willpower forcefield” in place and didn’t bring home the leftovers. Damn shame, I say. I had a piece or two and it did turn out good for a first attempt. It is difficult to have willpower during the holidays, but I have been doing okay with it this year despite all the goodies that have been around me.
All of our major pre-trip to-dos are now taken care of for Europe. The last two things we needed to reserve are complete – the rest of the trip after these things will be winging it, ending up wherever we go. My kinda travel. It will all make more sense to those reading this blog once we go and I start doing blog entries while there.
I did have to get some new headphones for the trip and I found a sale on a set of Bose Quiet Comfort 25 headphones for $120 0ff. They do sound good, and they will block out airplane noise so hopefully that will make it easier to sleep on the plane while traveling. I have been loading up the iPad with movies and am going to look into getting some travel guides on it as well. I have been debating the paper vs. digital format, but am leaning towards the digital version just for the ease.
I am not a big fan of headphones, and I never have been. I just would rather listen to it loud, heavy, and unencumbered – totally immersed in the experience. On the plane that is frowned upon (I would imagine) so they will take care of that problem. Plus, my old headphones I used for recording fell apart during one of my many moves over the last five years. I hope to get some recording equipment set up and start writing and recording music again, and that is about all I used my headphones for.
Another grey and showery day here in the PNW. That’s okay, though, since we did have a few beautiful sunny days earlier in the week. Got my laundry out of the way first thing this morning so that is done. I finally have a massage next week and my neck needs it badly since muscle-relaxers aren’t helping out too much. I also have a follow-up visit for my contacts to see how they are working out. This time wearing contacts has been much better than my previous experience three years ago so it is exciting to not wear glasses anymore.
Tonight is the big office holiday bash so last night I made a dessert to take. I have never made this dessert before but I am quite familiar with it. It is cream cheese mixed with powdered sugar and whipped cream, spread on a pre-baked piecrust, and then a layer of a mix of vanilla and chocolate pudding. Top this off with more whipped topping and a few English walnut pieces and you have it – a pan of awesomeness. I found a recipe with a twist, however. Instead of a piecrust, the crust on this one is chocolate chip cookie dough pre-baked. This oughta be good!
Yesterday I changed my phone provider from Verizon to T-Mobile. I changed over for several reasons, but price was a biggie. I now pay less for an unlimited plan than I did for a 5GB plan. With that comes Canada and Mexico included so I no longer need to turn off my phone when I head north across the border. I also get an International plan for $25 a MONTH instead of $10 a DAY, and that includes unlimited data and texting! That will be rather handy in Europe when we go. Where I work has spotty phone signal so I am curious to see what kind of signal I have tonight.
Verizon was also a big proponent of removing net neutrality protections for consumers so adios to them for pushing that. If this works out okay I can use my T-mobile as a hotspot and I can get rid of my Comcast internet, another company pushing to screw the consumers out of net neutrality. T-mobile is also getting into the TV fray next year so I will have options for TV as well. I no longer have Amazon so Prime Video is no longer an option but right now I find plenty to watch.
Thursday I made a trip to check on the trailer. I really wanted to take it out for a journey and am thinking about where to go so it wouldn’t freeze up on me. Only place would be California and it’s on fire. I guess it wouldn’t freeze, though.
A Cold Winter’s Morning – Drummond, MT
On the way home it was too damn cold to really stop anywhere – average of temps most of the way was about 17 degrees and most of the places I considered stopping were at about 14 degrees. I’ll be going that way again so the hell with walking around in the temperatures. We are expecting 50s here in WA so that is very welcome after seeing a low of 2 and a high of about 29 over the last week. The weather wasn’t why I was there anyhoo, but it is nice to be back someplace a little warmer. I’m just not used to that nonsense anymore plus it is nice to be back home.
I did leave at a leisurely time Saturday, though – 10:30 AM – so I did get to see sunshine for most of the day while driving. When I got close to Ritzville, WA it was dark and there was slush on the road. I debated stopping there but didn’t, opting to go on. Not wanting to push my luck on Snoqualmie Pass in the nighttime I stayed in Ellensburg and left the hotel late yesterday morning, arriving home around lunchtime.
I am finally getting to enjoy being off work for the winter, It is kind of strange to be not working but I am enjoying the freedom. I am able to schedule appointments whenever I need them, and can make unplanned adventures on a moment’s notice. I still don’t know if I will be working again this year but I am sure that I will get plenty of notice if I will bet needed.
While I was gone I received the last of the travel items I ordered for the Europe adventure. I believe we are both well-prepared and I don’t think I will need to get anything else before we go. It seems like it is still quite a ways off but it is going by quite fast. I cannot believe that we have had the tickets for over three weeks already so that has gone by quickly. We are both really stoked to go and it cannot happen soon enough! We have been looking at travel videos and getting ideas of where to go and what to pack and NOT pack. I think we have a good handle on things so far.