November 18th, 2020

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

Yakima River

It has been a really busy couple of days and there’s more coming up.

I got up yesterday and went to have the tires rotated on the truck. After that I had an early afternoon hearing appointment. As expected, my hearing has gotten worse and my hearing aids are at the end of their lifespan so I got fitted for new hearing aids. I did a test fit and they made a big difference for my hearing. After that I went and picked up an insurance reimbursement check from my towing bill last week. Then I came home and binged on “Scrubs”.

Today I got up to go check out a place to rent. It’s a studio set-up built in one side of a garage. It’s in the country, it’s nice & quiet and it has room – much more than my trailer. Staying in the trailer full-time in campgrounds while stationary can get expensive, and if I am spending that kind of money to just stay put I might as well rent a place and just make some trips. It has wheels for a reason! I think with the pandemic (and the politics) really heating up it is probably the smartest thing to do. Along with that many of the forests and campgrounds are closed now so there’s not much free camping available at the moment unless I went to the Desert Southwest.

I then took Rider to the boarding place for a few days. It’s weird to not have him around but I get my other cataract out tomorrow and need to have some peace and quiet. Friday is a follow-up for that surgery, then I will pick him up on the way home after he gets a bath and his nails clipped (good luck to the groomers). Sunday I’m picking up my new hearing aids, then another cataract follow-up next week.

I came home and did the laundry. I have a few more things on the calendar in the weeks ahead I will need to do. It’s certainly a relief not having the hand surgery, but then it isn’t. It will have to be done at some point perhaps but it’s not worth it to me right now. It IS one less thing to have to worry about, though.

I have not eaten much today and decided that after the laundry it was time to crack open the cheddar smoked sausages that are in my fridge. Can anyone really think of a better way to heat them up than over a wood fire on the grill? The rains came, but I did not care. I was grilling, and it was awesome – even in the rain. I grilled ’em all and ate three. I might use the others for making an omelette or breakfast casserole. They are great in scrambled eggs with some cheese and veggies.

Speaking of grilling in the rain, it’s been raining a lot here. It is not that unusual, but it is definitely quite a bit different than the weather where I have been the past few months, and even last week. We had some winds here yesterday but it has mainly just been gray and rainy. Being farther north the days are also noticeably shorter. Sunset is around 4:30 and it will be getting dark around 4:00 P.M. when Winter Solstice rolls around.

I think I am headed to bed. An early and big day tomorrow.

April 23rd, 2018

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

What a beautiful day today! The weather was even better than yesterday and the week is supposed to get better and then the rain moves in on the weekend (of course).

Seemed like a good excuse to fire up the hibachi again since it was so nice out so I grilled up some burgers (yeah, like I need an excuse to fire up a grill!). I now have some delicious leftovers to freeze for later and another one for tomorrow night’s supper. I put one on a Udi’s Gluten-free bun with bacon mustard and a slice of onion and it was pretty good. Yesterday I grilled some turkey smoked sausages and I have to say they were not very good – just not the same as regular smoked sausages or bratwursts. I’ll freeze and dice them up into a cast iron skillet to make fried potatoes and onions later on.

Yesterday I finally bought one of those chimney charcoal starters. I have used starter fluid in charcoal grills before but I have never really been a fan of it. It’s bad for the environment, probably not good for cooking over and it is easier to use a chimney starter and so much faster. The hibachi is a skill I definitely need to work on – it cooks so fast and there is definitely a learning curve to it. Admittedly my grilling skills are a bit rusty, but I have never really used a hibachi before. I’ll keep working on it.

Speaking of yesterday, I cracked open that 19 Crimes Bold Red wine I wrote about in that post. That is a serious wine – it is VERY bold and full of flavor. It has a big feel on the palate and is probably the the “biggest” flavor wine I have ever had. I think I will go back and get a few more bottles of that and I am anxious to try the other types they have.

It’s looking like that as of now I’ll probably be done working October 1st. I have a few personal things I need to take care of, and traveling is definitely on the list after that. I don’t know where the adventures will be but I should have time to be able to do a long road trip and get someplace out of the country again.

I have been getting some really good deals in my email for airfares to points far and farther. I am debating one thing already – flying non-stop or doing a layover in Iceland the next time if I go to Europe. I’d like to do a non-stop and just get there but that is a really long time on a plane. We’ll see how it shakes out I guess. I have been watching Rick Steves again so it’s getting me excited to go back. I don’t know where it will be yet but I have time to figure it out. I won’t be going in the summer so the fares will be better.

That’s about all for now.

April 22nd, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

For the first time in a long time I am cooking on a grill. The weather is perfect to be outside – sunshine and 67 degrees – so I am taking full advantage of it.

I am using a hibachi which I was given a few years back. I had it in the trailer to use for trips, but I thought I’d bring it into my new back yard and use it at home. I have been thinking about getting a grill and was torn between charcoal or gas. I have used a propane grill before, and it is the ease of use that rocks with those. The purist side of me prefers charcoal for the taste, however, and the hibachi is pretty easy and inexpensive to use since it takes very little charcoal (and I already had it!).

Before I started grilling I trimmed the grass with a trimmer (yay small yard!) and added a new plant to the space…a 5′ palm tree that was left at work and given to me to start my own little tropical paradise. It looks pretty good next to the Japanese maple.

IMG_0800

My back yard

The maple actually opened up more in the last hour so it is going to be a spectacular  display. My strawberry basket is bringing on fruit, my tomato plant is doing good and the flowers I put in my brightly-colored pots are looking good. I am thinking I may still need to get a few more plants for my yard. I had some in my cart last week but put them back. I decided against it until I could arrange things and see what space is open to put plants in with the needed sun exposure.

My canoe is sitting across a corner on top of my fence so it makes the canoe a great sunshade to sit under and will help to shield my bicycle from the weather. It is also out of the way that way. I might get a canopy for the back yard to put up to keep some sun off of the house and make it cooler. There is pretty good western exposure to the sun and I think it’s gonna get warm inside the house and that won’t work for me. I cannot sleep when it is hot.

I have some bee and butterfly flower seeds to plant that will help give them some food. I need to figure out where to put them so they do not get too close to my yard. I want to spend time out there this summer but don’t want to take the chance on anyone getting stung. I might sprinkle them in front of my house and that should lure them away from my outdoor activities. I saw bumblebees in my yard this morning and maybe this will entice them to stay away from there. It’s good for the planet to help the bees. It’s good for ALL of us to help the bees.

My daughters were recently raving about a wine called “19 Crimes”. Their comments had me curious about it so I wanted to get some. The store I go to has been out of it for a month, but while I was there today I checked and they got in a shipment of the “Bold Red” so I snagged a bottle. I would really like to open it but it is only 2:45 in the afternoon and if I started now and REALLY like it I’d probably be shit-faced by 5 PM. Maybe I’ll wait and have a glass or two with my supper. Probably a better idea, and I’ll have the rest to drink with supper tomorrow. I do like good wine so I am anxious to give it a taste.

Work is going fine and I am anxious to get into the season to see how it is going to be. I am sure it will be busy but maybe not quite like the previous place I was at. I will be doing a few different things than where I last worked so it will be interesting when things ramp up.

Speaking o my trailer, this nice weather is giving my “travelin’ Jones” a workout. I am ready to get the Scotty out on the road now that things I needed to get done are getting finished up and my time will be mine once again. I’ve been a few places the last couple of weekends but that was to do errands. I should be able to get away within the next month for a road trip and I am also looking at another flight to KS to visit. Flight prices have been a bit steep between Seattle and KC but I really need to get a visit in soon. Maybe I can get a flight booked in the next few days.

 

 

Sunshine, a Bic Lighter, Sausages, Guinness…What More Can You Ask For?

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors

An absolutely gorgeous day today.

I woke up to sunshine and the birds carrying on. A crisp morning – even with the sunshine – so I decided that it was a good time to make up breakfast for the week and toss it in the fridge.

That bought me enough time to get outside when it was a bit warmer. Shoes? Don’t need ’em today! Soft grass and bare feet…that’s what I’m talking about. They say it’s good for you in different ways, but it just feels damn good to be barefoot. It’s even better to know that I won’t end up infested with chiggers doing it.

I ended up thinking I should grill chicken that I bought yesterday so I tried to light a fire. We have had quite a bit of rain lately, and the rain the last few days was pretty epic in its intensity, so the firewood I had was still quite wet despite being seasoned. It took me quite a while to finally get it going and “going” was a relative term. It was not hot enough to grill my chicken so I cooked up a couple of cheddar sausages instead.

It was nice having a fire. As I was trying to get the damn fire going I kept thinking to myself that I COULD just quit trying to get the fire going, but NO! If I could not cook my chicken at least I can grill up the sausages and not have to nuke them in the microwave. My perseverance paid off eventually and they were tasty.

Didn’t really matter how long it took. I was outdoors enjoying this fine day. I didn’t even think of looking at my phone for at least four hours. I am usually not enslaved by my phone. Sometimes there is signal where I am, and sometimes there isn’t. I don’t let it get to me.

Sure makes me ready to go on an adventure someplace, sitting by the fire at night, roasting stuff, eating stuff, drinking stuff, and thinking about stuff…or, better yet, no stuff at all.

Summer is Unofficially Here!

Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

It is hard to believe that the travel season started this weekend. Throngs of happy, smiling people cramming into a tiny space at one time, financial assault at the gas pumps, and traffic jams on the highways. What a good time just waiting to be had by all!

One thing usually associated with summer is actually something that I really like to do year round… grilling. I have been known to fire up the grill at 3 AM or 3 PM, and even in the snow. Just because it is late or winter doesn’t mean it is not a good time to grill so I never let it stop me. Granted, there may be extenuating circumstances for grilling at 3 AM…

Yesterday was a gorgeous day here at the refuge so we fired up the grill and I made some potatoes with onion and olive oil in foil pouches and cooked up some burgers and something new that I had never tried – salmon burgers. Made from filets of Pacific salmon and procured from the nearby Costco, you toss them on the grill for about 5 minutes or so and they are ready. I am told that Pacific salmon is the best and does taste different than its counterparts a continent away. Now, I do not like, and never DID like, salmon patties and salmon I have bought before and tried just had a bad flavor. I remember them as a kid and I hated them then, and I hate them now. But these… oh man, they are really, really tasty and probably a bit more healthy than a burger as well. If you can find them at your local Costco give them a try. They are in an orange bag in the freezer section.

Today the grill shall be out again and we shall again dine on some more grilled goodness. It was all so tasty yesterday that we decided to do it again today. As for tomorrow… who knows?