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.

March 20th, 2021

Adventure, Just things, Road Trip, Travel, Uncategorized

Tonight’s moon

I have been busy lately, getting in a lot of walks every day and taking care of personal business. I am still on my diet, losing weight and feeling good. I am still able to eat quite a variety of things but I am watching it closely. I got my ‘rona shot two days ago. No horrible side effects other than my arm was really sore but that is starting to subside.

Spring is finally here. Yay Spring! It’s the time of year where it feels like morning for the Earth; new growth, new life…it’s something positive and reassuring that feels like the beginning of a new day. Positive and reassuring are two things I know I can really use right now…

I went to the doctor this past week and there is, unfortunately, no getting out of open-heart surgery. I don’t know when this will be happening yet but it will be very soon. They gave me some packets of info to bring home and read. It was a bit overwhelming to look at this stuff knowing I will be going through such an intense, invasive procedure.

Am I scared? Fuck yes I am scared. I know it is a fairly routine procedure but it is a very serious surgery and it is happening to me – how can I not be scared? NOTHING can make this not be scary as hell. The recovery is going to be difficult at best. It is up to me to work hard on my recovery and get back to whatever normal life will be like afterwards. I did it with my shoulder surgery, but that doesn’t really compare to having your chest pried apart and opened up. I will keep adding on more walking distance each day until I have to go in so I can try to be in good shape to help with recovery.

I need to pick up some post-op clothes and other items before surgery. I think otherwise I am as ready as I can be to do this as far as the physical aspects – mentally, not so much. I will be going a few places since I got the okay to travel. I will be headed over to Montana very soon to visit family, grab some things I need from storage and finally get to see my dog (he won’t be coming back with me, though – we think it is best not to bounce him back and forth). It will be hard driving that far since the heart attack took some of my stamina away. Luckily I have nowhere to be for a month so I can take my time, but I really do not want to stay in a hotel unless absolutely necessary. I’ll be packing hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes just in case.

With the weather still fairly iffy this time of year I won’t be taking the trailer to MT. After surgery it will certainly be months before I will be able to get it out again so I’ll see how I feel about a trip when I get back. I am sure as hell not getting on a plane yet. The ‘rona is still too widespread for anything other than a trailer trip for me and I don’t know if I will even do that. I need to stay well for the upcoming surgery so I may just have to bide my time at home. This still is not quite how I envisioned my retirement.

I started looking at travel shows again. I am re-watching some “No Reservations” episodes to get my travel fix and have something fun & positive to think about. I watched the Stanley Tucci series about Italy and it was very good; it made me want to go to Italy even more than I already wanted to go. I saw an interesting show about Poland that had some beautiful scenery. I’ll have plenty of time to dream about it now.

That’s all for now.