July 26th, 2021

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

My new truck!

It’s hot & humid AF. I have not been in this kind of weather for many years and it blows as much as I remember…if not more. Luckily they have a kick-ass air conditioner. It’s been hot in the middle of the day and into early evening. Wednesday they are saying heat index of 103. Stop it I say!

The place they bought has a garden already planted with a couple of things – tomatoes, zucchini, purple green beans, cucumbers, and something else I’m not sure of but it’s either another type of squash or maybe gourds. They don’t eat tomatoes so I’m gonna be getting my fill of them and that’s awesome. I don’t have to buy any of those horrid hothouse tomatoes plus there’s enough to get me by and more. I just have to keep stuff watered to keep them going.

I took a look around and saw some blackberry bushes, honeysuckle, and wild grapes. I also saw some sour grass – a type of clover that is edible. It has medicinal and culinary uses. Unfortunately, there’s also poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac everywhere and in amongst the good stuff.

I did a curbside run for groceries in my new truck this morning. It’s a nice truck and has more options than my Avalanche simply because of it being 15 years newer. It will take some getting used to all the new things I don’t currently have in the Avalanche but it won’t be a problem! Built-in WiFi, wireless phone charger, killer stereo, Apple CarPlay, heated steering wheel, heated/cooled leather seats…the list of goodies is long. Plus it’s much quieter inside.

Tonight I made my chicken caprese ciabatta for dinner. I haven’t made it in a few weeks and it was so delicious. I usually grill the chicken at home but they don’t have a grill yet so I browned it up in a skillet in a little olive oil. I like the flavors either way but grilled is a little healthier even though I toss it in a bowl with a little olive oil and spices before grilling.

I’m glad to get my groceries picked up and get back into my diet. Kind of a guilt trip not being able to eat my normal way. I’m not getting way out of line with anything but I’ve worked hard to get this far and I don’t want to mess it up.

There are things I have really gotten used to eating, like my overnight oats, dates, fruits, pitas , guacamole…and many other things. I eat a variety of things and I am used to knowing how much of what I can eat and be well within my diet parameters. I was able to stock up well today but it’s always a concern going to a different place.

Anyhoo I’m off to bed. It’s visions of oats & berries for breakfast dancing in my head.

July 23rd, 2021

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

Got my last appointment done today and it is the weekend. Yay x 2! I had to drive to Tacoma for the appointment and the weekend traffic was early today so it took a while longer to get back home. I also had to stop at the storage unit and clean stuff out of my truck. Mostly it was tools and stuff I was going to use for the trip in the trailer that isn’t going to happen yet. Again, I say 🤬.

I’ll figure out the next trip very soon. All this work I have been doing and getting a few new things for the trailer today is really getting me even more excited to go. I just gotta have a dependable vehicle and I hope to have that taken care of soon.

With that comes a bit of sadness, however. Selling my Avalanche. My parents bought it new so it has some real sentimental value for me. I believe it is the only vehicle that they ever bought new all those years on the planet. I will miss driving it and 18 years of familiarity. There’s even a little “character” from my mom backing into something, leaving a divot in the plastic body parts.

When I got home the painter was painting the front of my house so the door was taped off. I decided to just go to town and kill some more time and take care of any errands I needed to do before the weekend. I stopped by Goodwill to burn some time up and I actually found a few things for the trailer I could use.

I found a couple of coffee mugs that match the teal color on the trailer so that was kinda cool. Since they are plastic (lightweight and unbreakable bouncing down the highway unlike glass or ceramic) I don’t know if I will use them for coffee but I can use them for other things. I got a small coffee cup that holds maybe a double espresso, and then lo and behold I actually stumbled across a small Italian stovetop espresso maker to go with it! Hot damn! Coffee in the trailer is now solved. It is small and easy to store and use. I also got a brand new 2-quart Crock-pot that was still in the box…AND it was half price so it was ONLY $3! I can use that in the trailer as well or in the house. A few good scores.

Some really nice weather here right now – 60s & 70s, with sunshine every day with some fog early or marine layer some mornings. I wish I had a charcoal grill but it’s just as well I don’t. Burning restrictions are starting up in a few days as well as new mask mandates. We’ll leave that alone.

I had to quit drinking wine again. I started enjoying too much of the grape every night so it was time to stop for a while. Buying cheap wine is part of the problem – it’s, well…cheap, and it’s sweeter than good wines so on a hot day it goes down easy. I’m just taking a break from it for now; I’ll be washing wine glasses again before too long.

I started watching the “Chef” series, which is based on the movie I raved about last week. The series is just as good and it makes me hungry watching it. Lots of good foods and interesting people. Jon Favreau does a great job in this series as well as the movie. It’s really making me want to go crazy cooking again! I foresee a chicken caprese ciabatta in the very near future…

That’s it for this post. Be safe!

July 20th, 2021

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

One more appointment down today so that means only one more left this week. I am going to be taking off and hitting the road soon since I can free my schedule and go away for a few weeks. I am making some time for me; I will be going someplace and doing something. I need it. I deserve it.

After getting the air in the tires checked I took the trailer to wash it at the car wash. It is amazing to me to see older cars around here with moss on the roof and I had a couple of spots where that was happening a little. The trailer was dirty from just sitting and I will need a cover for it by this Fall.

Then I thought I would go by the glass shop to check on re-doing the rear window and see if whether or not they could do it in the trailer and get an estimate for that. Unfortunately they were out on a service call so I didn’t get to talk to anyone. Oh well, as long as it is not leaking that is okay but it looks bad and needs fixed so I will follow up on that soon.

The trailer is ready to go mechanically. I still have the rest of the caulking I will finish up soon, but I will be taking care of a few spots left that are of some concern in the next day or two. Otherwise there is nothing real major left to seal so it should go quick.

Inside the trailer, I have the bedding washed and packed and I’m starting to get some groceries in there. I packed some canned goods mainly (in case of rodents since you can’t trust those little bastards to stay out). I also packed a few other things up in a cabinet out of reach of invaders.

I will finish going through cookware to see that I have all I need and make any necessary changes. Since I like to cook, and I am used to them, it would be nice to have good pans and pots in the trailer but it is just not financially feasible. However, taking my enameled pots & pans would be pretty nice and they are easy to clean. I do have a small enameled Dutch oven in there so I can use it for a big pot or a frying pan. I have two sizes of cast iron skillets along in case I want to cook on a wood fire so I don’t ruin my other cookware, plus I can bake in them. I will be putting one of my woks in the trailer and can use it outside on my camp stove/oven combo.

This afternoon I met up with a friend and he & I went on a two mile hike. Felt good to get out and I definitely got some cardio in. A mid-60° kind of day, clear sky…great for a hike. Still got a sweat up though.

Tonight I portioned out some snacking items to take when I am ready to go. I weigh all of my foods and package snacks in zip bags to keep portions under thumb. I really hate using plastic bags (pollution) but they are easy and I use them over for many things like my popcorn; I buy bigger bags on sale to portion so it saves money.

I should be good for the road with snacks but it will be tough since I graze when I drive. That is why I do portion control and it has helped me lose weight. I will even be taking my scale with me. Go ahead…laugh your ass off. I am staying alive – I got shit to do.

I still look at my dieting app to see where I am at with nutrition amounts each time I want to eat something, be it a meal or a snack. And I adjust what I want to eat to stay within my max amounts as best as I can. If it means using a tool like this to help me it is well worth the $60 a year for my health.

I was asked at cardiac rehab if I think I can keep up the diet methods I am using and I said “yes” without hesitation. I feel I can and will do it. I may not portion stuff out into baggies as much, but yeah…I will get more familiar with portion sizes and I can stop doing that as much. I will continue to weigh most everything though, especially cooking meals.

Speaking of food, yesterday I took a trident salmon burger and tossed it on the grill. I sprinkled some water on top and sprinkled some taco seasoning on top. After 5-6 minutes I flipped it over and repeated the procedure. When done I shredded it up into a tortilla, tossed some romaine on top along with some low-fat cheese and fresh tomatoes. I finished it off with some Chipotle Salsa Cremosa made by Herdez. Oh man…I was really craving tacos and that took care of that.

I got some fruit yesterday called an “aprium”. I looked it up and sometimes they are called other names but the most common is a “pluot” (depends on a few things to determine what they are called). It a cross between an apricot and a plum. Incredibly juicy, sweet and delicious with a light, wonderful flavor.

Just wanted to close this post by passing along a safe cheap flights link that gives me a chance to win a free subscription. It is where I get my info for flights: http://fbuy.me/r8U0_.

Have a great night/day.

July 16th, 2021

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

I had no idea she moved here to The Colonies!

I got out for a real hike today; nearly two miles of forested trail with hills. I got a pretty good workout in and I really felt it plus I got to explore some new areas and trails where I went walking. Even though it was a cool and cloudy day I still managed to work up a sweat so I was working hard.

Even though I have been walking a lot every day (most days) it has all been level ground. Last week’s cardio rehab on the treadmill was on an incline and at a brisk pace, then it was on to the stationary bike for a short but intense (for me) “ride”. I definitely felt it and have decided that I need to do my flat walk in the morning with my landlady (helps her after knee replacement surgery). After that I’ll take out for some hills to help get the cardio and stamina levels up.

It’s gonna be a busy weekend around here with the tourists so it’s an early morning run to do laundry and hit the store then come home for the day’s first walk. After that it’s going to be a snack and kick back for a few then go hit the trail. Then it’s back to working on the trailer again. Today’s chance of rain ended up being zero so at least I won’t need to let anything dry out before I continue to work on it. I’m getting faster and neater at doing the caulking. One window came out kinda sloppy (the cloth rag I was using had something in it that came off in the caulking) so I don’t know if I can remove the excess caulking without screwing up the paint. I’ll ask around at one of the RV places.

I need to get a little cooking done soon too. I did some meal prepping last weekend but I want to do some more. It will just go in the freezer so I’ll have stuff to take in the trailer when my plans get a little more real and less tentative. I can’t wait!

Prepping and weighing portions makes it easier for keeping track of for my diet but I will still need to take my kitchen scale to weigh anything else that hasn’t been weighed and labeled.

It’s now looking like Canada may open up in the next few weeks. I am not planning on going driving up there for a while and I don’t know if I would do the train or a ferry yet either. It’s going to be absolute chaos. I have places I want to visit up there in areas that I have not been to yet. It’s been this long so a little while longer will be fine. Not much longer though…

That’s all for now.

July 12th, 2021

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

Ouch!

Like most of you I get up in the morning (which is obvious if you’re reading this), take my meds, have breakfast and enjoy a cup of coffee while catching up on the latest stupidity in the world (in no particular order). I don’t watch the news but scan through headlines on the interwebs so I can filter out the stupidity and bullshit on my own terms.

Looking through the day’s news it seems there are always people who suck at grammar that are writing the stories…even on major websites. For example, an apostrophe in a word does not mean it is a plural – it usually means possession. I see these things like this all the time. Most of it is people who don’t know how to write.

Case in point. I saw a headline yesterday that said “What to Eat With Overactive Bladder”. I wondered aloud – is it some recipes for side dishes? Mac ‘n’ cheese? Tater Tots? Jellied cranberry sauce? Then I thought what would you drink with overactive bladder…a red wine? A nice dark beer? Maybe an overactive bladder would be filling enough on its own. I don’t know.

The sign above is another example. I took this several years ago in Colorado. There was road construction being done on a road named “BOWLES” but someone was a crappy speller and made an ass out of themselves (I had to…).

I saw an interesting story on NPR talking about the things that are getting people through the pandemic. The most captivating one to me, and they were all very good, was the guy in Brazil talking about drinking a coffee in the sun in a little part of his yard. Just a very few lines about the smallest, simplest thing that brings him some escape and you get it. You feel it. It’s amazing to me how saying so little can say so much. Another one that stuck out for obvious reasons was the imaginary travel journal the girl in New Zealand did. That was clever.

It made me think about the things that have gotten me through the rampant dumbassery going on around us. I really cannot say one thing I did was more important for my sanity than the others. Being retired I don’t have that going on so I had way too much time to think if I let myself do so. Not watching the news was a big thing. Dreaming of going back to Europe with all three of my girls, the few trips I took in my trailer, cooking amazing (to me!) meals, babysitting one of my granddaughters, walking my dog, and being in touch with a few friends and family all played a part. Plus posting on my blog. Wine and The Devil’s lettuce has certainly helped.

Speaking of travel, it’s looking as if Canada will still be closed at the border for a while yet. It could be a long while unfortunately. It’s understandable, though. I was hoping to get to explore and experience more of Canada since Europe is still not fully on my radar. It IS on my radar, of course.

With that said, though, I guess there have been some great flight deals but my notifications were turned off for my bargain flight website when the deals came out so I missed out. If I found a great deal that had no change fees I just might get a ticket for a ways in the future and figure it out later.

Until then it’s looking like the summer is gonna be a rough one concerning fires and is starting out with some fury. That may force me to cut back on my road travels for some time.

In the meantime I still need things to stay busy doing and accomplishing. Pretty much my biggest to-do is the things the trailer needs. Today I climbed up on the roof of the trailer to start caulking the seams. I used the clear caulking to seal the edge trim on the roof since it’s out of view. I did not realize how much needs redone until I took a few minutes and looked at the seams that needed resealed on the trailer as a whole. Yeah, there’s only five windows to seal but the trim and other seams on the sheet metal all needs resealing as well. It’s gonna take time.

The trim runs from the bottom of the front to the bottom of the back and it’s on both sides. Basically this trim covers the edges where the top sheet metal meets up with the sides. It screws down over the edge then a vinyl trim strip snaps in to cover the screws and keep the seam from leaking. Each side has two edges needing sealed; I also need to replace that vinyl trim strip on one side at some point as well. It’s going to be a big undertaking getting this all redone. I may not have enough white caulking to do all of it.

Another documentary I watched is called “The Last Blockbuster”. It is about, well, the last Blockbuster Video store in existence. Yes, there’s is still one store left. Those of us of a certain age remember going to the video store to rent videotapes, LaserDiscs, DVDs, etc. If you remember that, or want to see how it was in “ the olden days” of the 1990s then catch this movie. Blockbuster was ubiquitous for video rentals back in the day and they were everywhere. It was very interesting & well-done and it brought back a lot of memories and “oh yeah” moments.

I created my own pasta sauce and it turned out pretty tasty. It’s a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil, some diced up green olives, some red and green peppers, garlic, a couple of diced Campari tomatoes, sun-dried tomato pieces, pepper flakes, and pepperoncini. At the end I add a little sliver of Kerrygold butter to make it a little silky and a little splash of the pasta water to thicken it up a bit. Then I finish the whole-grain pasta in the pan with the sauce. Top with some grated cheeses and some fresh basil off my plant.

I got out for another hike yesterday and picked a few salmonberries along the way to snack on. I actually walked farther than the day before and stumbled across a few ripe thimbleberries. I found a few more next to my house so I ate them too.

That’s about all the odds and ends for tonight.