March 11th, 2021

Adventure, Just things, Uncategorized

Since it has been a while I wanted to post an update.

I am feeling really good given what has happened the last few weeks. I am back to walking more (currently getting in around two or three miles a day) and the only real restriction I have now is to stop walking if I get winded and work on getting my heart rate back up (which is going good I think). I am losing weight and the Mediterranean diet is pretty good but is taking some getting used to. I have also upped my water intake which helps in many ways.

It is nice to have the restrictions lifted but I still have to be careful and not overdo it even though I feel pretty good. It is easy to get anxious to get back to “normal” but I know under the hood I will be getting an overhaul in a few months. I am hoping that with diet, exercise and the meds I am now on things will calm down enough to forego that overhaul, but there is the reality that even that may not be enough. I am hopeful but not optimistic given the realities and I am reminded about that every time I grab my keys and see the nitroglycerin bottle on my keychain.

Of course this affects any thoughts of travel, but I am okay to travel with few restrictions. I know flying is out of the question for me because I am simply not getting on a plane yet with the pandemic happening – no, not even for a domestic flight. I was told that flying was okay as long as it is a pressurized cabin. This brings up a question I will get answered next week (along with some other questions) – what about altitude while driving in the mountains? That can have a big impact on my ability to drive certain places.

Otherwise life has been fairly uneventful other than a few doctor appointments. Had to have the truck towed a few days ago to get fixed; it was not the stubborn fuel filter (which they replaced for me since I could not get the old one loose) but the bigger issue of a gasket on the engine that failed, causing the truck to barely run. I will hopefully be going to pick it up today.

Anyhoo, I know it has been a while since the last post and just wanted to send out an update.

February 14th, 2021

Adventure, Just things, Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day. A day of love, candy, wine…maybe sex. None of those things were part of my February 14th festivities. I thought I would go big so I did.

I had a heart attack.

Yep a full-blown acute heart attack, complete with a no-expenses-paid ambulance ride to a cardiac unit complete with lights and sirens. After things calmed down and they got me taken care of for the time being by putting in a stent, they kept me for a few days to get x-rays, bloodwork, etc. worked to as to get an idea of how to proceed. There will be some surgery for me but I am not sure what kind it will be yet. There are a few options and those will be discussed with my new friends “the cardiologists” in a few weeks.

Yeah, I make light of it but I damn well know the seriousness. Anyone who knows me personally knows my sense of humor and it is also how I deal with things sometimes but I DO know the seriousness. I was there in the ambulance when they said “You are having a heart attack”. I was there when they told me about the blockages in my heart. This is for real and it is some scary shit.

I got back home a few nights ago and that’s when it got to me. Given that it was a heart attack it’s not good to get too upset about it for the obvious reasons. I try not to dwell on the “what-ifs” in my life but it’s hard to not think about those things when something off that magnitude happens and made me think back about my motorcycle wreck and the things that came into my mind then; you just cannot avoid it, try as you might.

So I am back at home, bruises and marks all over my body from tests, stent and IV lines and I can barely breathe & cannot sleep. But I am still here to talk about it. They are letting my heart calm down after the trauma and I have new meds as well as exercises so when we have our consults I will be ready to get done what needs to get done.

I will also get a new diet and that will be a little difficult at times (especially during travel) but given the limited options I’ll gladly give up the Kerrygold to be on this planet longer. I have been cutting back on some of the things I used to eat over the last several years so I have a pretty good start on it but there’s more to do and fast.

So the next few weeks the posts may be sparse since I was told to go home and rest. Nothing really exciting about that.

February 11th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Uncategorized

There was about an inch or so of snow this morning when I woke up and it has been very lightly snowing off and on all day. It was a little icy underneath it but it was right at the point of freezing vs. thawing so it was not very slippery. I needed to get the truck out to see about getting the wheel bearing fixed so I ventured out early this morning and got it to Les Schwab so they could have a look.

It tuns out it was not the wheel bearing after all; it was the whole damn hub assembly. Yet another $400. Still cheaper than buying a new car.

This means that pretty much the next five days I will be at home, going nowhere unless really necessary. They said it is in bad shape so I figure I should drive as little as possible and only when necessary. I don’t want to take any chances with getting myself (or anyone else) hurt or further damaging the truck. Or spending money on what is usually an overpriced tow bill on top of any other problems.

One of my new demitasse cups; it’s the red one with the handle

I stopped by the Post Office while on the way home to get my mail since it will be a few days before I can get out again. All I had was one package, and it was my vintage espresso cups I got from the online auction. As you can see by the picture above they are not very big, and actually tinier than I thought they would be. It’s hard to believe that I saw these on some websites for over $60 a pair! I got two pair in the auction – two black ones and two red ones like the one pictured above (and no…the green thing is not a giant lime). Unfortunately there are no saucers or spoons that came with them. Since an espresso is only a little over 1 oz. the cups are not big and are designed a certain way to enhance the espresso (much like a Sam Adams beer glass or a Guinness pint glass does). Science is everywhere whether you believe in it or not.

It’s looking like I’ll have plenty of time to be doing some cooking the next few days since I probably won’t be driving much. With the temps being in the 20s it was looking like a good day to make up a pot of chili…so I did, and it turned out pretty good. I even had two extra portions for the freezer. I also made up some fresh salsa to maybe have some nachos or chips & salsa. I will be making up some chicken & dumplings and biscuits & gravy for some rib-sticking warmth over the next few days as well. Unfortunately I did not get eggs while out but I have plenty of oats and fruit and a box of Cheerios I can eat for breakfast. I will definitely need to make a grocery run after the truck is fixed.

At least I can still get out with the dog for walks the next few days if nothing else. We just have to get through the next few days of cold weather and snow. So far we are not really seeing the winds they were talking about previously, but it looks like they have posted new watches/warnings about strong winds and up to another 3″ of snow in the area. I tossed another blanket on the bed so I’ll stay toasty there next few nights.

That is all for this post. Stay safe.

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.