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!

February 10th, 2021

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized

We’ll just see about that…

AAARRGGHHHH.

I now have a wheel bearing going bad on my truck so I cannot do much driving until I can get it fixed. It is too dangerous to go very far with this problem (like I just did yesterday) and it could cause a lot of damage on top of the potential of getting hurt so it is a good thing I am close to town. This repair is beyond my scope of ability so there’s no chance of doing it myself and saving some money. I have heard an odd noise intermittently and wanted to verify my suspicions so I pulled up a video online just now and yep…it’s the same sound I am hearing.

I called the dealer earlier but have not heard back so I am going elsewhere. I will be getting it in tomorrow morning for a look. They can see what is going on so the right parts can be ordered. It is much closer and it might be cheaper anyway. Hopefully this is the last thing I need to fix for a while. I just keep telling myself “It’s still cheaper than a new car.”…

This morning it was mostly cloudy with a little sun poking through but it clouded up as the morning went on. It is cold and has been spitting rain, then tiny flakes of snow most of the afternoon and into the night so that just adds to the fun. Getting ready to call it a night, the snow is starting to accumulate in the grass. We also have some high winds moving in with some pretty serious gusts for all of tomorrow. It might be an interesting drive to get the truck looked at.

I did get a few things done today. I made a run to town earlier today to check the mail and grab some stuff. I also got something accomplished with my airline vouchers today. I got on the airline chat support and asked them if I could just use the vouchers to buy miles. They have a great chat support and I have used it several times to ask questions. It is fast, efficient, and I am not on hold plus I have a record of it to refer back to.

They said I could, but only for one of the vouchers. Apparently I was given two vouchers instead of just one for an issue I had that they took care of. She said she could “confiscate” the second one since it was accidental but was not going to. I said “I’ll swap the bigger one for more miles, thanks.” so I got another 5,000 miles and still get to book a flight with the other voucher. I have a few extra days to book with this voucher and in a few weeks I will be seeing how far out I can book an international flight with miles. That’s exciting!

Well, that’s all there is for now. Gotta get my butt outta bed in the morning to get the truck in early.

February 9th, 2021

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

Tonight’s featured movie is “Groundhog Day”. As if it is not enough that life imitates art right now, why not watch a movie about it.

Yesterday I got the truck out for a road trip/test drive. I had to go pick up something anyway so the timing was good. I left the house and had to make a few stops on the way. All was fine. As I was heading on to my next stop miles away, the Check Engine light came back on again. 🤬

I thought “💩” and went on ahead. It felt like it was running fine and when I checked the codes were just the same as before. After I made my stop I cleared the light again to see what happened. I got all the way back and then made another trip to town. The light is still off so that is a good sign. I did a live read on the truck while running and there are no issues showing up. Success!

After that, it was a little housework and then some pasta. And not really much else other than several walks with the dog. There was even (gasp!) some reading! The last walk around 10 P.M. was definitely cooler and a sign of things yet to be. A few snowflakes fell as we were out for that quick tour of the local “watering holes” that the dog frequents.

As for today, I finally got a road trip in. I needed to get out of the house plus I wanted to get a microplane to do some cooking. No, a microplane is not a tiny aircraft. It is a type of grater that is really shallow. I want to use it to zest some limes for some cilantro lime rice. A couple of the meal kits needed lime zest and it was difficult to get it using a knife edge. Then it was over to Trader Joe’s to grab a few unique snacks and some Gouda cheese (the sliced TJ’s Gouda is pretty good and makes a great breakfast sandwich with bacon).

The truck is really running good now that I got the part fixed. The light came on once today but I was driving over a rough patch and it triggered the light. I know there are a couple of broken exhaust bolts so I think what happened was the exhaust jiggled and it sucked in a little outside air, triggering the O2 sensors. I gained about 3 MPG more after the fix and it may get a little better as the computer adjusts. I guess once I can finally go get my stuff I can put my K&N air filter back in. That will help with a little bit more of a boost in power and mileage. I am really anxious to see how it does pulling the trailer now that it is running better. Hmmm…now THERE’S an idea…

Taking a long drive today helped out immensely and I recommend it if you need a break from the grind. Sounds like snow for this area so I am glad I went today. If the weather holds I may go someplace tomorrow but it is not looking conducive for a good day of driving where I want to go. Even the weather people are not quite sure what to expect yet. If I don’t get out that is fine too – at least there was today. I do still have a lot of cooking to take care of. I already picked up the fresh ingredients so it needs to happen in the next day or two. I will need to make a supply run for a couple of things at some point.

Calling this day in the books. A good night to all.