October 13th, 2019

Adventure, Just things, Music, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

I’m sitting here typing this while drinking a cup of organic Sumatra coffee. It is nice to be able to enjoy a delicious cup in the later part of the day as well as in the morning. Ahhh…the simple pleasures. I’ve been having only one cup in the morning the last few years, but I have enjoyed an afternoon cup several times the last couple of weeks. I want to get back to one cup though. I think limiting is not only healthier (as in blood pressure), but you appreciate the flavor of a cup of good, high-quality coffee even more when you limit it.

It’s definitely different now that I have a dog! It’s been a long time since I have had a pet around full-time – about 70 dog years. He seems to be adjusting pretty well and he follows me absolutely everywhere – within a foot of my physical being. He’s not a problem, though. He’s definitely smart but in a puppy way. I took him on a ride to get a Chuckit and a chewy snack today. He will lay down, then all of a sudden get up to look, then just suddenly collapse, fall over and sleep – it’s like he is narcoleptic.

Friday was PT and a surgery post-op follow-up. It was like Groundhog Day – he saw his shadow…so it’s 12 more weeks of PT. Post-op appointment went good – no more post-ops but I probably won’t get full use of my arm back. Poop I say. I will still continue to work hard and keep my exercises going to get as much back as I can though. Still not enough range of motion and we are not really doing much for strengthening other than using it as I can.

Yesterday I went out and organized the trailer a little, cleaning out and removing anything not really needed, putting things in their place and drained the water lines and tank. I found some storage containers on clearance (75% off!) that ended up being perfect for separating and storing my kitchen stuff securely in place under the bench. Another one was perfect for storing my cordless drill, bits and charger, a screw assortment pack, an electrical toolkit, and other miscellaneous things for electricity.

Back earlier in the year (before I got hurt) I had added closed-cell foam in the seat cushions since the old ones were breaking down a bit and not very cushy (I guess it can happen since the trailer is 11 years old now). The addition of the extra foam has them overstuffed now but they will flatten after sleeping on them a few weeks. I did not have enough foam to just replace what was in there, plus I have sat on cushions like that while camping and they only mash flat and have no padding. I figured mixing the two might solve the problem.

The trailer was pretty damp inside even though I had some absorbent packs in there. That’s not really a good thing and it’s a good thing I went in to work on things. I was really surprised how damp it was since I put those packs in there to help control the moisture inside. I have bedding and such in there so that had me more than a little concerned. I ran the furnace while working in there but it made the walls sweat even with the windows cracked open a little (propane heat has moisture in it so you have to vent the inside when using the furnace). The packs weren’t even clumping – obviously not doing their intended task – so I ordered a small electric dehumidifier to put in there and that should fix the problem. It might even come in handy on trips instead of the constant running of the noisy A/C.

I’ll probably be getting out for some dry-camping trailer trips close by in the next few weeks to get back into traveling. Last year’s Crater Lake trip was my last road adventure. The drive to MT was a big jump back into driving for me and it’s been a while since I towed a trailer. With the additional PT I have to go to, it is going to affect going on any long trips (more than 5-6 days) for a while…possibly into January next year (it’s only if we are still making progress). I don’t see it as the end of the world; it’s just a little delay in things. I am going to go see things when I get the opportunity but my arm is a little more important to get back.

I have been bingeing on Hulu again, all in preparation for today’s premiere of the newest season of “Letterkenny”. I was hoping to see a few more seasons and a friend said a few weeks ago that the new season is on it’s way. My rockin’ Black Friday Hulu deal expires at the end of the month so I’m glad I can watch the new ones before then. Pitter-patter, let’s get at ‘er.

April 21st, 2019

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

Got a few things done around the house this weekend despite being in a mood that’s not good to be in. I decided that I was gonna basically unplug from the phone and take time for me this weekend. I have not answered the phone or texts for most of the weekend; for those of you who tried I was offline and didn’t concern myself with much of anything other than a mental vacation.

I need to do this from time to time and will probably be doing it more often (some areas I want to travel have no cell service so that will suffice). This was totally unplanned but it all just fell into place so I went with it.

As I have previously posted, I have wanted to get the trailer out for a trip for some time now but the weather has been so iffy and crappy. I really need to go someplace soon. I have gotten some things done around the house. Except to catch the weather at 6 Saturday morning, the TV was off all day until evening.

A few years ago I added the Hot Rodd electric heating element to my trailer water heater. It supplements the propane burner, and it works fantastic, but there is one problem: you could only heat water by going outside to manually plug it in inside a compartment and doing the same drill to unplug it to turn it off each time. When I bought it they had a switch (for an extra charge, of course) but I didn’t buy it, thinking I wouldn’t really need it.

Well, I found out that I need it after all so I bought one last week and installed it this weekend. A flip of the switch will control it now. The tank is only 6 gallons so it heats fast enough between the propane and electric element on at the same time (I mean it IS vacation…who really cares about time anyway?). I turn it off when not using the hot water – it’s just a waste of energy to let it keep the water hot if it’s not being used.

It’s getting into the beginning of travel season so now anyplace I go I’ll probably need to reserve a spot. It’s just guessing the weather and figuring out the place to go but I have a few places in mind so I can go ahead and make a reservation. Looking at a campground I was considering last night it was already booked so it may just be a trip our two to a forest someplace. I’ll continue to look today for someplace though. I’ve been around to several areas of the state so I have a good idea of how the areas are and some of the things to see and do. I just need to get some traveling in before school is out. I want to avoid the crowds.

I had three plants in pots in my window I started from seed. I though in both pots were tomatoes, but as they grew the one on the left didn’t look right. I had my suspicions for the last few weeks as to what it actually was. I looked it up over the weekend and I was correct – a jalapeño pepper plant. I forgot I had planted a seed of one I sliced up to cook with.

Both of the tomato plants and the pepper plant are all about 6-8 inches high so I transplanted them all into bigger pots this weekend as well. I guess I could use the newly-emptied pots to start some more tomatoes. Hope the jalapeños do okay since I want to make some salsa. I even popped a few bell pepper seeds in my window boxes this weekend. Might as well take advantage of the space. I cook with them – not a fan of raw – so all I need are a few plants. I will have to find some other things to put in the window box. I’ve got cherry tomatoes and they have seeds!

The rest of my gardening endeavour is still looking pretty good. Things are really growing in the raised bed, and there are many surprises popping up in the yard. The crocus are gone, but the bluebells (hyacinths) are in full force, the rhodys are coming on strong, there are a few daffodils and there are many plants growing around the yard that do not look like weeds so I am anxious to see what blooms. The apple, plum, and cherry trees are all flowering, and there are a few other trees that I have no idea what they are – they have some really good-smelling flowers though. Gonna have a big crop of fruit this year by the looks of the flowering on the branches. And of course there are the dandelions…

The birds are going crazy and I got a few new ones to look at this past week – American goldfinch and golden-crowned sparrow. Nothing unusual – just my first ones of the year.I got the feeders filled. The birdbath got cleaned out and they really like that.

I was finally able to work on mowing the yard this weekend and have to finish it up today. The grass was pretty thick and so full of moisture it was mighty slow going. I’m trying to cut it shorter this time so I can let it go a longer amount of time between if I need to. The previous tenants left me a mower and trimmer so I didn’t have to buy anything or hire anyone. I get absolutely no joy out of mowing grass so I may find a neighbor kid to do it eventually.

I’ve been eating too much stuff I shouldn’t be eating recently so I have got to buckle down again and eat better. I have been on a seafood binge lately. Yeah, it’s baked but it’s also breaded so I try to keep the portions down, but honestly…who can REALLY eat only six shrimp when there are two dozen in the box?!?! Water consumption is up so that helps the body and gives an energy boost. It also helps fill stomach space instead of food. I am eating more salads and veggies and I am definitely more active now but I have to get better at being better again.

A BIG problem is I haven’t felt much like cooking lately. I still really enjoy it but haven’t felt like doing it. I’m getting back at it though and I am making a few things today from the Hello Fresh recipe cards after a visit to the local grocery store. The cool thing is that I already have most of the things for two of the recipes. I may look at a third recipe, perhaps for the Instant Pot, but not sure what yet if at all. Perhaps those wonton wrapper lasagnes. Those were good.

It’s very frustrating to try to find ways to stay away from Amazon. I needed to order a few things and the products I need have to be ordered through an Amazon storefront anyway so I broke down and got Prime again. I’ll still shop local as much as possible. It does include Prime Video though.

I have been catching some TV shows on Prime that I have never heard of before but that I like. “Corner Gas” is another Canadian show and is kind of “Scrubs in a Saskatchewan convenience store”. It isn’t “Letterkenny”, but it has its moments. Another one I just discovered is “London Irish”. The first episode is hilarious. A quirky show and very very funny. Can’t wait to see where this series goes.

That’s it for today. Off to the store.

January 8th, 2019

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

Yesterday I had to take a drive to an appointment so I made the best of it. While I was out I was (conveniently) just in time for lunch so I looked around for something different. I came across a Hawaiian restaurant and I knew what I wanted if they had it (and I was sure they did). I got a snack of Spam musubi and a strawberry/passion fruit juice drink. Delicious.

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Spam musubi and strawberry/passion fruit juice

I stopped and got a few new shirts for a partial wardrobe makeover. Making some personal changes. After that I went a music/record/CD store that was going out of business and scored a few great deals. One of the deals I got was a stereo Beatles box set with ALL of their albums in it (there is a mono version as well). I was really excited about that score…especially for the price I got it at.

I went to a grocery store and discovered something interesting about this particular store – they do not carry products that basically have ingredients you cannot pronounce. Another plus is the local produce they carry is organic and is labeled with the farm name. They have contractual restrictions on what ingredients/additives the providers can use or they will not carry their items. I kinda like that idea so I will be making the drive to get my groceries there.

While there I picked up a bunch of rainbow carrots. The ones I roasted with the Hello Fresh meal were something new I reluctantly tried (I don’t like carrots. Not at all…I don’t like carrots in the Fall. Not in a box… Oh. Sorry.). I was definitely a fan of those roasted with a drizzle of oil and salt/pepper.

With the health issues ravaging my family it’s time for some changes. I’ve been getting my walking in and eating less processed foods. I don’t eat much fast food but every now and then I will stop in for something. I have been trying to do better by eating healthier meals and now it’s time to start using better and fresher ingredients – Hello Fresh really reinforced the use of quality of ingredients and it makes a huge difference in taste.

I went back to watching some more “Seinfeld” and then I switched to watching a Canadian show called “Letterkenny“. It is hilarious but many people will be offended so don’t watch it if you are easily offended. It has some harsh language and can be juvenile in spots, but it is so sarcastic, quirky and funny I got hooked and have been laughing my ass off. I guess it started as a parody website.

I finally decided to just stay close to home and save some money instead of travel. With the shutdown affecting TSA if I want to fly someplace I’m not playing the game with congestion and security problems potentially affecting my travel. All the federal lands are closed so I cannot spend time at places like Mt. St. Helens like I was considering doing as a quick and easy getaway in the trailer. I can sit at home cheaper than I can sit in the trailer.

Until next time…