May 18th, 2021

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

I have been home now nearly a week and nearly two weeks after my surgery. Seems pretty incredible that just 10 days ago I had a triple bypass, and now I am able to live life somewhat normally in such a short amount of time. I had a Zoom office visit with the surgeon’s office yesterday and it went very well; they are very happy with my progress.

Some of my meds have now stopped and I no longer have the need to carry nitroglycerin pills with me. I still cannot drive and won’t be able to for a few weeks more at minimum. It is still a lot of hard work on my own, yet I am so glad to be home to recover in familiar surroundings. My neck and back hurt like hell and is not really letting up, but I am trying to avoid taking any pain meds.

I am soooo glad to eat my own food again. Since my heart attack I have kept a pretty strict diet and the last few weeks have been hard for me when it comes to food. I got used to eating certain things on my diet but that went out the window in the hospital. Limited to no choice on things to eat, and none of those things were what I like to eat. The few things I would eat were so horrible. I don’t know how the U.S. has devolved into eating so much shitty food. Every meal should be an experience and not just something you have to do to stay alive.

Once the recovery is done, I am really curious about how it is going to affect life. Will I have more energy? Will I sleep better? Will I feel different? Will the back and neck pain ease up? I am still doing the Mediterranean diet, but how will it affect how I eat while traveling? Will I feel different at altitude?

I think at my present rate of recovery I may be getting the trailer out before the end of summer; perhaps by mid-summer. It will be a well-deserved getaway and I am really looking forward to doing that. Before that dream comes true I still need to find a mechanic and get my truck fixed. I think the trailer is pretty good as far as any mechanical repairs, especially since I had that wheel bearing go south on me back in the Fall. Just a little shot of insurance with the grease gun and that will be ready to roll. Yeah, I still gotta fix the shower and re-do the sealant around all the windows, but I think that’s it. It is still usable as-is.

I will have to work my way up to longer trips I am sure, but just getting out for a long weekend, or even a week, will be welcomed. It’s the driving part of it that takes the stamina – the rest is just another day’s to-dos. It will take a few days of driving one way to go get my dog so that trip will be a long one. Might as well figure out a way to really make it an adventure.

Just a quick update for now. Enjoy your day!

May 15th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

I was released from the hospital a mere four days after my surgery. My recovery has moved along at a fast pace, which has surprised me a bit since I am in NO way in athletic shape. I still had to recover with someone checking in on me so I opted to go to a facility that took care of people post-op. Boy, what a huge fucking mistake that was.

I got wheeled into the facility and to my room. This place was a shithole. I mean a real dump…and it was the highest rated of the three I had to choose from. I say this with all seriousness: I really felt I could have died in that place. The conditions of the building was horrific. There were many other issues on top of that. I wanted out, and I made it goddamn clear I was not staying there because the place is a shithole. I found out that this place had lost its license before and had been fined $21,000 for something. It should be shut down again.

My landlords have been volunteering to help so I talked to them and they would keep an eye on me as well as other things like pick up groceries if need be. They came and picked me up and I am now back home, where I can walk outside, eat real food, and heal with a much better state of mind.

It is a LOT of work just trying to get better, but I have been working hard on my recovery and I am not gonna stop. On top of the many restrictions I have to follow, I also have to sort out about 15 different medications every day. Some are extremely vital after my surgery and the first night in that dump I was not even given my meds! I also have to take daily showers to reduce chance of infection. I had to learn a new way to put on my clothes. It is challenging but I am quite able to get around pretty good.

I still have a long way to go to attain maximum recovery. I cannot drive for another three weeks, but with my recovery speeding along that very well could happen faster. The biggest issue I am having is not my chest being ripped open; that’s definitely not fun, but most of my pain is from my back and neck issues. Having my chest cut open and my ribs pried apart messed with all of that and it is much worse than it was before surgery. Pills help to an extent, but the biggest thing to help is what I tried today.

I put about 10 drops of homemade cannabis THC olive oil tincture under my tongue starting this afternoon and it really made a difference with the pain and tightness. It helped much more than the pills did. It is a much better and safer non-addictive option than synthetic morphine or muscle relaxers are and it gave me much more relief than those hardcore narcotics. That dosage was about 10 mg of THC – a light dose – so tomorrow I will start earlier and try to get this under control. Yeah, it’s weed…so what; loosen up your sphincters. It works and it works wonders. And, it’s natural.

That’s the latest.

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!