April 12th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

Costco. Where else can you find not only $1.50 hot dogs and caskets for sale in a store, but now they are selling belly buttons for just $13 each. Yikes! A 13 lb. belly button – sounds like a horror movie filmed in a buffet.

Man, what a beautiful day today. I got in 5.5 miles of walking today and helped the landlord do some mowing. It gave him the opportunity to take care of some other things while I mowed. A glass of red wine took care of my thirst afterwards..but I almost cracked open a second bottle!

Yesterday I got in five miles of walking. It was a beautiful sunny day but a little breezy. I got out early enough to avoid some of the crowds but as I left the parking lot it started to get busier. A typical weekend day in a tourist area. I did get a couple of nice pictures while I was out:

I have been waking up really early lately (a bit stressed out with the health things going on and not sleeping very well again) so I get up and get my day rolling. I try to go to bed later but I still wake up early so then I am tired and fall asleep early. I do like to get up and start the day; a leisurely cup of coffee and some breakfast, and I am out the door to do laundry, get groceries, or just get away from the house. I used to go to the bakery to get some fine baked treats but I cannot do that anymore like I used to.

I think I am going to try to bake some things the next few days. I will probably get the ingredients I need tomorrow morning then go to the storage unit to get stuff to put back into the trailer. That should not take very long to do and it will be off my list.

I can take advantage of waking up with the chickens to bake things early in the morning while it is cooler. Muy house faces south so it warms up fast. I can also take advantage of the nice weather for hiking/walking. I will go find a beach the next few days and enjoy a walk in the sand near the saltwater. I do like walking in the forest for the shade though. Having this great weather really does lift the spirits and it motivates me to get some things done. Plus, it gives me something to do and there are things I need to take care of.

This morning I bought a good 5-day cooler – mainly it is for hauling refrigerated/frozen groceries home from afar during warmer weather, but also will be handy for traveling with or without the trailer. With the refrigerator in the trailer being propane you cannot have it lit going down the highway. For one thing, it won’t stay lit. The other thing is fire hazard, such as when stopping for fuel. “They” frown on open flames at a gas station for some reason. Anything I really need to keep cold can go in the cooler instead of the trailer for long drives on hot days. The fridge tends to heat up quick and frozen stuff thaws fast so the cooler will help. I needed a cooler anyway since the fridge is also kind of small.

I should get my new generator out of the box while I am still able to lift it and check it out but I may just wait until after I recover. I don’t know if I really want, or need, to go through the trouble to mess with it just to have it sit for several months while I get better. I can get by using the trailer without it so maybe that is the best plan for now. I can get by with battery and propane like I have been for a little bit longer.

That’s it for tonight. Thank you for stopping by to read my blog.

April 11th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

With the weight I have lost my pants keep trying to fall off. Today I had to tighten my belt one more notch. There is only one more hole left to tighten my belt so I guess I need to start shopping for a new one soon. I will also need to start thinking of getting some new pants – they are starting to get baggy. That sucks since I just bought three new pairs of 501 Levi’s a few months ago and you know they are not cheap. But, it is also a sign of progress toward better health.

Sure, I miss eating some of the things I used to eat, but I know it is the best thing for my health. Now that I am getting comfy with the diet and what I can (and shouldn’t) eat I am able to modify a few things I used to cook to keep them within my nutrition goals and still be delicious. The chicken caprese panini sandwich I made the other day was such a welcome addition to my food repertoire. I am finding lots of interesting recipes to try that are still tasty and things I want to eat. I am also finding interesting spices and spice blends as well as condiments that have opened up new flavors for me. It’s a good thing I have opened up my food palette to try new things.

Yeah, monitoring my diet so closely seems like a pain in the ass, but millions of others do it for their health and I need to do the same. Honestly I find it’s not that difficult when using my app to help me do it. I look at my sodium, fat and sugar intake levels on the app before I eat anything so I constantly adjust my diet as the day goes on. I also use an app for my water intake to remind me to drink every hour until I reach my intake goal. It sounds silly but I have never been good at hydrating unless doing strenuous activity and that app helps with the diet by filling me up on water and it also gets my hydration levels up to increase my metabolism. Changing your habits, according to a study done in Europe, can take from 18 to 254 days! I had a heart attack so my motivation to change was down to just a few days; I have things to do and don’t have time for this heart attack nonsense so hell yes…my new diet habit started pretty quickly and effortlessly.

With my TV set up again I can watch movies at night and when the weather is bad. I do try to stay busy and usually do not turn it on until later in the day; I don’t want to sit in front of it all day but it is nice to be able to watch some movies and travel shows.

I have been staying busy going through the storage unit and still organizing some things in the house. With the kitchen being small I have been trying new ways to organize every day for the past week but I think I now have it set up the best way as far as usability. I found several more things in storage to donate and will be looking for more things to get rid of or sell.

The weather here is getting warmer and a little drier but I am still waking up to frost in the morning. We still have a few more months of wet weather but it’s usually just a shower. Washington is not constant rain like people think, much like Colorado is not constant snow. When I got up yesterday I looked out the window at the mountains and there was a fresh dusting of snow on the lower trees. With yesterday’s warmer temps and gusty winds it didn’t last though.

There is some really nice weather coming up this week so I think I will get in the trailer to go through some things in there and get it ready to hit the road. When I moved into my house I grabbed things out of it that I needed to use and left it looking a bit ransacked. I have no travel plans yet, but it will be ready in case of my usual last-minute adventures. It is something to do that needs to be done and I have the time to do it. Since my stuff was still in storage I had to take things out of the trailer to use in my kitchen so I can put all of that stuff back where it belongs.

I do hope to get with family this year after the surgery recovery and do some travel with them, be it a road trip with our trailers or on a train would be fun, too. Chelsea got a pop-up trailer last year so we could easily get out for some adventures together. Retirement has not been all travel like I was hoping, but things change and we adjust. Things do happen in life so you should live as large as you can when you can! As the saying goes, if you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space.

I don’t think international travel will be happening for me anytime soon. Watching travel shows again makes me want to go back very badly but there is still the reality of the pandemic. Vaccine or not, I will not get on a plane until this is under control – I don’t care how safe they say it is. That means it’s either driving or a private room on a train but that option is spendy when going solo in a private room. I would really love to do a long-distance train trip sometime. I don’t think we will see the US-Canada border opened up in the near future so that is not even a possibility.

That’s it for this update. The day is calm and sunny so it is time to get out of the house.

Have a good day!

April 8th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Road Trip, Travel

To help not only to lose weight but also keep tabs on my nutrition I paid for a year of a premium diet/food app. In it there are some built-in diets and lots of recipes to look at. It’s a great app and has helped me with this diet.

One recipe I have looked at a couple of times is a Chicken Caprese Panini. I could not take it anymore and I decided to go to the store today and pick up some ingredients to make one. Glad I did.

I grilled up some chicken. While that was cooking I opened up a ciabatta and spread some basil pesto on the lid. I put the cooked chicken on the bottom half and chunks of olive oil/herb marinated mozzarella, followed by a slice of heirloom tomato, fresh spinach, some grilled red peppers in olive oil and more mozzarella.

I sprayed the bottom grill with avocado oil then put the sandwich on. I sprayed the top and put the lid down. What happened in that panini press was magic.

I have been wanting and needing something different to eat and this really filled the bill. Everything was hot, crunchy and delicious. Melted cheese and all those goodies in a crispy ciabatta panini was just what I needed for something tasty and new. I will be making that again. You could even do a meatless version and I bet it will be good.

I’ll let you know.

Another recipe I found interesting is for roasted chickpeas so I got the stuff to do that also. There’s possible rain tomorrow so that would be a good rainy day project.

I could also prep some pasta too. I’m trying to think of things I could freeze for later I can make ahead. I can’t really cook things I used to cook so I’ll be hitting the recipes for ideas.

Getting the last of my organizing taken care of. The kitchen still needs a little love but it’s getting there. I got the old desktop Mac ready to send in for recycling and some cash. One less thing to deal with. I got rid of some things and have more to donate.

Weather is looking good for the weekend and into next week. I’ll be out doing a lot of walking and enjoying that kind of weather. I am still thinking of a road trip but not sure where to.

I’d like to get the trailer out but I cannot unwinterize it yet – still getting too cold at night. I can go open it up and do some organizing in it so maybe over the weekend I will do that. That way if I get the urge I can take off for a few days and dry camp. It will be ready.

I can get my new generator fired up too. It is still in the box because it showed up in Montana the day I left. I picked it up last week with all my other stuff. I am anxious to try it out; it’s dual-fuel and runs on gasoline or propane. It’s also a different type of generator so it should be better than the last one was and have more output.

Otherwise it’s quiet. Got most everything taken care of that I had on my list for post-op recovery things to take care of.

Have a great weekend!

April 4th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Road Trip, Travel, Uncategorized

I just got back from spending nearly the last week in Montana. No, I was not on vacation; I had to go over and trailer my stuff back from storage and take care of some personal business. I am glad that I got this opportunity to visit and take care of things before surgery and the lengthy recovery afterwards. It was also one of my last chances to get away for a while, but I will see what happens and if I can get away again.

It was a good trip. As always, it was good to see family. I splurged and got one last Hilltop Burger and fries from The Sac Bar in Three Forks, MT. It’s the only cheat on my diet in nearly two months so I earned that privilege. The doctors said as long as it is not happening all the time a splurge on occasion is okay so I will take a treat every now and then. That is also important to my travels since I do like to eat local foods everywhere I go. I will still have to eat things in moderation, but a few bites here and there is better than NO local foods when I travel. A salad is a salad is a salad…

I got to see my dog finally! He was excited but kinda confused. I really hated to leave him behind again and felt so bad about it. He really wanted to go for a ride but I did not want him to get too excited about getting back in the truck so when I ran errands I went by myself. It sucked having to come home without him.

The traveling kind of messed up my routine as far as drinking lots of water and walking. I cannot drink my usual 12-13 glasses of water a day while driving or I would never get anywhere. It is obviously difficult to walk as much while driving, too. I definitely got some exercise in when I was loading and unloading the truck and trailer. I was able to stay on my diet (except that burger!) and even ate much less since it is hard to eat healthy on the road. I tried to do what I could but now that I am back home I am getting back in to my routine. I am down 34 pounds so far!

I am so glad to finally have all my stuff here and in one place. I will be going through kitchen things to bring to the house and while I am at it I will see if there is anything I can get rid of. I got a few things out and into the house but today was a slack day. I will be going tomorrow to get more things from storage and pick up some groceries. I hope to get my TV, Apple TV and DVD player set back up so my caregiver(s) and I can watch some TV and movies when the time comes.

I need to get my passport in for renewal so I’ll be ready to go when I am able and, more importantly, it is safe to do so and countries start opening up. I have the application ready to go but I have to get an appointment scheduled to get my picture taken. I want to get it in and taken care of before it expires so I will be looking in to that this week. I have been watching more travel shows and I really want to go out of the country again as soon as possible.

That’s about it for now. Basically I am just leisurely wrapping up things around the house getting ready for when the time comes.

February 19th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Uncategorized

(Just a note that there may be a few words that might, or probably will, offend someone. If you still see it there it’s only because I didn’t edit it out.)

After roughly four full days of very little food because of lack of all appetite, my hunger is finally getting the best of me. On one hand, it has helped me to lose nearly 10 lb. in just this past five days. On the other hand, I do need to get some nourishment to repair some of the damage to my body.

Every day it gets a little easier to breathe; it’s nowhere near where I need to be but it will take time. I got maybe a little too ambitious today but all I did was vacuum the rug and go get my mail. I got my time in for my exercises while doing those few things I really needed to do but I am exhausted.

It does not help that I cannot sleep more than a few hours a night. One of the meds I am on is notorious for causing sleeplessness, hallucinations and nightmares, and even psychosis in extreme cases. I am going to give it the weekend to see if things calm down and I hope it has already. But I still woke up at 2:00 AM yet again this morning.

I heard these nightmares/hallucinations are called “lucid dreams”. It was just like it was really happening. So real. I know you are probably wondering “So…just what KIND of hallucinations?”. Oh just little things, like shadow figures walking at the foot of my bed, lights flickering…and there are no lights on. Things crawling across the walls – like lizards, insects, birds, cats…you know, the usual and the unusual things that crawl across walls. My dog was jumping on my bed…and he is in Montana until I recover. The two nights I spent in the hospital I cannot even describe because I don’t even know what happened or HOW to begin to describe it. I had some weird dream and it raged all. effing. night. long. The second night, it was the same damn dream and picked up right where I was the night before.

The third night I was home and that one about drove me insane. I was basically trapped inside the front of a giant webpage for many hours – like 8 hours. Imagine you are standing under the front of the screen at your favorite cinema. Everywhere in your peripheral vision is a webpage that big. And you are stuck on the front of it. No, really. I could not get away or shut it out, off or down. It was an auction webpage with all of the Le Creuset items I have been buying – at auction. As the night went on it got so bad. The goddamn web page was floor to ceiling on my bed, in my face, and the auctions got faster and faster. I was physically yelling outloud for it to “FUCKING STOP!!!”. It was flashing pictures, insanity, color, intensity…every possible thing assaulting your senses and then much more. I even thought I could come in and shut down my laptop maybe it would stop it. I know, right? All these dreams seemed so scary real.

Fortunately, last night there were no dreams at night, but the dog was jumping on my bed again (he is still in MT), shadow figures paced at the foot of my bed, lights were flashing around in the air, weird noises…sounds horrible to you but a much-welcomed relief for me. Was I ever really scared? No, not overly but not totally without fear. Frustrated, concerned, no control and goddamned tired & pissed off about it? Yeah, let’s say that. I will see how the weekend plays out and call if necessary. I have only been on these new meds for 4-5 days now so I am sure my body has to adjust in more ways than one.

I have been looking at the food I have in the cupboards and the other I worked so hard to cook and freeze. Even though I do try to cook mostly healthy when I cook there are things I will have to get used to not eating or eating less of or ingredients no longer okay to use. I still don’t know what the hard details of my diet boundaries are or will be but a cardiac diet is pretty, well, unfun. I don’t use much salt so that part is easy, and I eat more chicken than beef or pork (gonna miss bacon…). But cheeses?!?!?! Eggs? NOOOOoooooooo! And Kerrygold…I will always remember those buttery, golden times. Speaking of golden times, I’m talking to you, too, Hostess.

All comedy aside, I know it needs to happen and I am good with it. I am looking for ideas to do with some of the things I cannot eat so it doesn’t go to waste. There’s a lot of money and labor of love in that freezer. I won’t waste it for just those reasons, but put simply we should just not waste food any more than absolutely necessary. I have some canned goods but the food bank is not taking outside donations because of the ‘rona. I am thinking of what I can do to make sure it helps someone who really needs it. I have ideas.

Tomorrow I will be taking it easier but I hope to get rid of some stuff tomorrow morning since I am picking up all new groceries from curbside at Safeway. I browsed through various items and found some great ideas. I am getting some healthier frozen prepared meals to eat until I can get my feet back under me and can work on finding some recipes to cook. I will be looking at many plant-based possibilities but some are not healthier than say, a Whopper vs. an Impossible Whopper. They are good though.

Have a good night. Hoping the cinema in my head is closed tonight.

Me and the dog are headed to bed.