January 5th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, pictures, Travel, Uncategorized

Welcome to my first post of the new year.

Been fairly rainy around here lately, but I was able to get out and get some walking miles in during the clear moments between deluges. The dog about went nuts a few times; with the rain coming down it just was not walking weather so he slept and laid around as much as he could but that won’t last all day. Then he attacks me.

I did try to make a pie last week but it was a big fail. I gotta work on that a lot more. I am not gonna give up so maybe next time I will try to make small ones and see how the first one turns out before going farther. I have a long way to go with baking from scratch and I see why it’s spendy going to a real bakery.

Monday I got up and after coffee and breakfast I made up some breakfast sandwiches with an organic, free-range egg (nice dark-yellow almost orange yolk!), bacon, Gouda cheese, all on a whole-grain English muffin. It is good for a quick snack or meal; I am trying to eat more oats and fruit at breakfast but who doesn’t like a good breakfast sandwich?

I got my Hello Fresh box yesterday and had some pork flautas. tomorrow night will be Silky Sicilian Penne with zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes. Shepherd’s pie (it’s actually a cottage pie; shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, hence the name) is tonight’s dinner, complete with never-before-made-by-me-from-scratch mashed potatoes. I even had to go buy a potato masher to make this meal; I never had one but I do now! Thanks to Goodwill and lots of hot, soapy water I got myself a heavy duty masher. It turned out really good and I will be making it again. Just wish I had some Irish brown bread with Kerrygold butter slathered all over it. Then wash it down with a pint.

While I was out picking up the spuds masher and a few other items for today’s cooking lesson, I saw some custom bodywork on a car that I just have to share:

I think the blue distracts from the main color scheme, but very nice work drilling a hole at the end of the crack to keep it from going farther

The U.K. lockdown is some pretty serious stuff and it makes me think that perhaps travel, especially international, may be farther off than I want to believe it will be. I still try to be optimistic but know the realities of the situation. I just cannot wrap my head around getting on a plane and going anywhere yet. But…

I also have a couple of hundred dollars in vouchers from a cancelled flight that I need to use to book a flight someplace in the next couple of weeks. I am not real excited about doing that, but I cannot let it go to waste. I will book it as late as I can and cancel if need be. On the bright side it will be more miles to my frequent flier account. I just need to figure out where I would want to go.

Last night I took the dog out for a walk. It was really dark out and no moon due to the clouds. Any darker and I would have needed a flashlight, which I didn’t have with me but soon wished I did.

Across from where I live is a huge field. We had walked up the road so he could make his rounds and mark his special spots with a wee dab of wee. We stopped, and all of a sudden about 20 coyotes started carrying on sounding like hyenas yipping & howling and they were really close – closer than the last time this happened. We turned about and got the hell out of there quick. I did not want to run to get them chasing us, but I woulda easily won a speed-walking contest.

That’s about all for now.

June 19th, 2020

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

Seems like an odd cause but I’m on board. What do we want to notice? Drinking Water! When do we want it noticed? Now!

It was a nice leisurely morning. I cannot sleep anymore and it really sucks. I am usually awake around 5-6 but this morning it was 5:00 A.M. Last week it was time to wake at 4:00 one morning and other mornings well before 5. It is so frustrating.

I took my time this morning shutting down. I made Spam and eggs with Gouda cheese, and even took another shot at the furnace after I got a leisurely shower in. I pulled the wall exhaust out (it is on the outside like a faceplate with round holes) and jiggled the firebox inside a little. I put it back together and tried again. Alarm didn’t go off but I am not chancing that. I’m leaving that stuff to the experts.

Today’s drive was only about 41 miles so it went fast. It was a short but pretty drive with a few more beautiful ranches along the way then hills and grassy areas with trees.

I got to Craig, CO and had a few hours to kill before I could get checked in to my spot for the next two nights. It was about lunchtime so I thought I would find a park to spend the time in and have some lunch. The park has this display of a giant mining shovel; I could honestly park my Avalanche inside the bucket.

Hard to get a perspective of how big this thing is
It was capable of moving a lot of material

This is my view to the south behind my trailer and where I happen to be sitting, typing this post, in my super-duper-reclining-bungee-antigravity chair:

Looking south of Craig, CO

It’s about 75 degrees, a breeze, and singing birds. The breeze is a bit cool with the sun hiding behind the clouds. Today is Meday. I am sitting here relaxing, enjoying the outdoors, typing this part up…and not driving. Spaghetti with fire-roasted tomato sauce. Oh…yeah…

And yes, that is a railroad track right behind me. It only runs every 3-4 days I am told. That just might scare the hell out of one in the middle of their slumbers. I am hoping it is a day run if there’s one coming up. I have always had an interest in them but not really when I am asleep 40 feet away.

Been really nice to slow the pace for a few days and not have to drive very far today. I have tomorrow night here too so I don’t have to go anyplace tomorrow if I want. I will probably go do some sightseeing early and come back for more pasta. I usually will buy a few hotdogs on a trip to grill but fire restrictions are on in some areas I have been through.

I am going to go up into Wyoming at some point soon; I am just not sure where yet. It’s the part past that I am not certain of. I will figure that out tomorrow too.

Not a horrible way to end a day…

November 5th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

Been getting quite a few things done over the past week or so that I have been home. It’s good to be back but it was good to see family. We busted our asses every day we were there, and that was after driving four days to get there and I took five getting home. It is all we did – no real time to visit with anyone. Needless to say I was ready for some downtime but many things still have to get done. (And needless to say driving that distance without the trailer was a long trip; it made me think about driving all the way to Maine from here pulling the trailer. It will be a long journey. EACH WAY.)

We had a good time though, and it really feels like we made a lot of progress.

I sat on my couch all the live long day yesterday. I watched movies and the first two seasons of Seinfeld. It was my down day after two and a half weeks on the go and dammit I needed a break. I deserved it and I was gonna be selfish. It was awesome but there’s always that remorse of taking a day for yourself and thinking it was wasted.

I got a few business calls made and a few errands ran today. I then cooked up breakfast burritos for the week. I made some burrito-size ones and some small ones like taquitos. I am going to fry them to crispy on the outside. I am curious to see how that turns out.

I then made some spaghetti sauce from canned tomato sauce and it turned out pretty good. The recipe called for canned tomatoes but all I had was three cans of the sauce form of the fruit. I put it together and then tweaked and added green peppers here and more onions there, parmesan cheese, garlic powder everywhere. I put it on top of some penne pasta and it has turned out very good – like a chunky vegetable arrabbiata sauce that thickened on the plate. Wonderful mouth feel and texture. I actually cut up some grilled burgers from last night and put them in the pot too. It adds a nice, interesting smokiness to the sauce. I have plenty to freeze so I have maybe 10 days of meals in the freezer now. It’s a decent selection too.

Next time I make pasta sauce I would like to do it from complete scratch – cooking and reducing the tomatoes myself and then adding in the spices and such. I usually buy Classico and doctor it a little, but this batch I just made turned out so good I need to make more from the ground up. I hope I can repeat this recipe and can it in jars in my InstantPot. That’s my goal this year – make and can my own pasta sauce.

I like cooking and I like good food so having leftovers to freeze for later and not buying frozen meals at the store is healthier and something fun to do. Problem is, I don’t get to enjoy cooking as much since I have so much frozen when I cook. Not a bad problem to have, I guess!

What I have been doing is keeping a variety in the freezer. I will eat a couple of meals of leftovers and to the back of the rotation it goes in the freezer, and then when I am on the last serving or two I will cook up another dish. I can keep plenty of good food in the house and supplement with some fresh things from the store as needed or for a change.

Looks like I’ll be going back to work soon. I had a few places I went to, and wanted to do more, but we’ll have to see how things unfold. It will be good to replenish the bank account but I am really enjoying the time off after what we have been through. There’s a few other moving parts as well and I don’t know how it’s all going to align yet and won’t know for a month or two.

I have gotten to go a lot of places this year so I still shouldn’t complain. I mentioned this earlier in another post, but I have been places since then. My California trip and the Kansas trip I just got back from on top of Montana, Europe, and the numerous trips to KS to see my dad.

It’s looking quite like a trip to Seattle later in the week but we’ll see what’s going on when the time comes. I’m thinking while I am in Seattle a trip to Dick’s Drive-In would be a good thing to do.Having the time off tends to spoil a person and

I need to get a winter coat and a new rain jacket. I am a big fan of Outdoor Research rain jackets if you want a reasonably priced, quality item that lasts. Their down puffy “jackets” are really good as well from what I am told. I need to go to their store if I get there this week and have time so I can try a few things on and see what extras they feature in person. I gotta go find some new pants and shirts too.

I think it’s time for a little style change-up for my wardrobe. I’ll see where it’s going but I have the desire to do something just a little different. I really like the look and fit of my 501s, but I really like the functionality of cargo pants on top of the comfort. Levi’s have gotten so overpriced and the quality has gone downhill – fewer belt loops and what feels like thinner material.

It won’t be THAT drastic so everyone calm the heck down. I’m pretty sure my family needn’t worry about me going into a “Goth phase”, or even pondering becoming a Furry. “Never say never” they say…whomever “they” are. I can safely say that I will never have either one of those things happening with me…although one would be more likely than the other. Bwahahahaha.

Anyway, that is about all for now.

 

November 15th, 2017

Adventure, food, Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

It looks like I will have work through most of this month as of right now, but it may even go a little into December. My actual season end has been changing and moved a little here and there due to things needing done that are popping up. I just don’t really know but I don’t mind at the moment. Had a few big bills come up that I had to pay and the extra coin is sure a welcome sight in the bank account! I have to head off to Montana very soon so that is a limiting factor.

I tried something new for food tonight. I bought this frozen dinner bag to try at the store a few days ago and it was tasty. It is Bartolli Chicken Florentine with Farfalle and it actually ended up being quite similar to something I already make. The frozen one has spinach and parmesan in it and mine doesn’t. I make chicken Italian sausage in olive oil and fresh garlic with farfalle and it usually turns out pretty good. The frozen one was pretty good and better than what I expected and I recommend giving it a try. I do like my homemade dish a little better (it’s fresher), but the frozen one gave me some good ideas about adding a few things to mine.

I’ve been thinking about going someplace again this weekend. I am really trying to hold off until the week after Thanksgiving so I can go someplace for a few days, work a day or two, then take off east, but last weekend’s getaway was rather nice and I could use it again (yeah, I know… it’s not even been a week). It’s a bit of a bummer that I couldn’t get the Scotty out for one more trip this year but I plan on doing better next year. Everyday while headed to work I have to drive past my trailer, sitting there all alone in the storage lot, all covered up, so cold and dark…so…stationary…

Looking like it’s shaping up to be a repeat of last winter here in Washington. Rain and snow, repeat with some wind. We did have a drought this summer so this is helping with the moisture deficit. The streams are rolling pretty good with all of the water everywhere, and there have been power outages as well. The snow here is so much wetter than Colorado’s powder that falls from the sky. Luckily, the place where I now live gets very little, if any, snow. I’m good with that. I also will not have to drive to work much longer either. That’s pretty good too!