April 8th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Road Trip, Travel

To help not only to lose weight but also keep tabs on my nutrition I paid for a year of a premium diet/food app. In it there are some built-in diets and lots of recipes to look at. It’s a great app and has helped me with this diet.

One recipe I have looked at a couple of times is a Chicken Caprese Panini. I could not take it anymore and I decided to go to the store today and pick up some ingredients to make one. Glad I did.

I grilled up some chicken. While that was cooking I opened up a ciabatta and spread some basil pesto on the lid. I put the cooked chicken on the bottom half and chunks of olive oil/herb marinated mozzarella, followed by a slice of heirloom tomato, fresh spinach, some grilled red peppers in olive oil and more mozzarella.

I sprayed the bottom grill with avocado oil then put the sandwich on. I sprayed the top and put the lid down. What happened in that panini press was magic.

I have been wanting and needing something different to eat and this really filled the bill. Everything was hot, crunchy and delicious. Melted cheese and all those goodies in a crispy ciabatta panini was just what I needed for something tasty and new. I will be making that again. You could even do a meatless version and I bet it will be good.

I’ll let you know.

Another recipe I found interesting is for roasted chickpeas so I got the stuff to do that also. There’s possible rain tomorrow so that would be a good rainy day project.

I could also prep some pasta too. I’m trying to think of things I could freeze for later I can make ahead. I can’t really cook things I used to cook so I’ll be hitting the recipes for ideas.

Getting the last of my organizing taken care of. The kitchen still needs a little love but it’s getting there. I got the old desktop Mac ready to send in for recycling and some cash. One less thing to deal with. I got rid of some things and have more to donate.

Weather is looking good for the weekend and into next week. I’ll be out doing a lot of walking and enjoying that kind of weather. I am still thinking of a road trip but not sure where to.

I’d like to get the trailer out but I cannot unwinterize it yet – still getting too cold at night. I can go open it up and do some organizing in it so maybe over the weekend I will do that. That way if I get the urge I can take off for a few days and dry camp. It will be ready.

I can get my new generator fired up too. It is still in the box because it showed up in Montana the day I left. I picked it up last week with all my other stuff. I am anxious to try it out; it’s dual-fuel and runs on gasoline or propane. It’s also a different type of generator so it should be better than the last one was and have more output.

Otherwise it’s quiet. Got most everything taken care of that I had on my list for post-op recovery things to take care of.

Have a great weekend!

April 4th, 2021

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

I just got back from spending nearly the last week in Montana. No, I was not on vacation; I had to go over and trailer my stuff back from storage and take care of some personal business. I am glad that I got this opportunity to visit and take care of things before surgery and the lengthy recovery afterwards. It was also one of my last chances to get away for a while, but I will see what happens and if I can get away again.

It was a good trip. As always, it was good to see family. I splurged and got one last Hilltop Burger and fries from The Sac Bar in Three Forks, MT. It’s the only cheat on my diet in nearly two months so I earned that privilege. The doctors said as long as it is not happening all the time a splurge on occasion is okay so I will take a treat every now and then. That is also important to my travels since I do like to eat local foods everywhere I go. I will still have to eat things in moderation, but a few bites here and there is better than NO local foods when I travel. A salad is a salad is a salad…

I got to see my dog finally! He was excited but kinda confused. I really hated to leave him behind again and felt so bad about it. He really wanted to go for a ride but I did not want him to get too excited about getting back in the truck so when I ran errands I went by myself. It sucked having to come home without him.

The traveling kind of messed up my routine as far as drinking lots of water and walking. I cannot drink my usual 12-13 glasses of water a day while driving or I would never get anywhere. It is obviously difficult to walk as much while driving, too. I definitely got some exercise in when I was loading and unloading the truck and trailer. I was able to stay on my diet (except that burger!) and even ate much less since it is hard to eat healthy on the road. I tried to do what I could but now that I am back home I am getting back in to my routine. I am down 34 pounds so far!

I am so glad to finally have all my stuff here and in one place. I will be going through kitchen things to bring to the house and while I am at it I will see if there is anything I can get rid of. I got a few things out and into the house but today was a slack day. I will be going tomorrow to get more things from storage and pick up some groceries. I hope to get my TV, Apple TV and DVD player set back up so my caregiver(s) and I can watch some TV and movies when the time comes.

I need to get my passport in for renewal so I’ll be ready to go when I am able and, more importantly, it is safe to do so and countries start opening up. I have the application ready to go but I have to get an appointment scheduled to get my picture taken. I want to get it in and taken care of before it expires so I will be looking in to that this week. I have been watching more travel shows and I really want to go out of the country again as soon as possible.

That’s about it for now. Basically I am just leisurely wrapping up things around the house getting ready for when the time comes.

March 20th, 2021

Adventure, Just things, Road Trip, Travel, Uncategorized

Tonight’s moon

I have been busy lately, getting in a lot of walks every day and taking care of personal business. I am still on my diet, losing weight and feeling good. I am still able to eat quite a variety of things but I am watching it closely. I got my ‘rona shot two days ago. No horrible side effects other than my arm was really sore but that is starting to subside.

Spring is finally here. Yay Spring! It’s the time of year where it feels like morning for the Earth; new growth, new life…it’s something positive and reassuring that feels like the beginning of a new day. Positive and reassuring are two things I know I can really use right now…

I went to the doctor this past week and there is, unfortunately, no getting out of open-heart surgery. I don’t know when this will be happening yet but it will be very soon. They gave me some packets of info to bring home and read. It was a bit overwhelming to look at this stuff knowing I will be going through such an intense, invasive procedure.

Am I scared? Fuck yes I am scared. I know it is a fairly routine procedure but it is a very serious surgery and it is happening to me – how can I not be scared? NOTHING can make this not be scary as hell. The recovery is going to be difficult at best. It is up to me to work hard on my recovery and get back to whatever normal life will be like afterwards. I did it with my shoulder surgery, but that doesn’t really compare to having your chest pried apart and opened up. I will keep adding on more walking distance each day until I have to go in so I can try to be in good shape to help with recovery.

I need to pick up some post-op clothes and other items before surgery. I think otherwise I am as ready as I can be to do this as far as the physical aspects – mentally, not so much. I will be going a few places since I got the okay to travel. I will be headed over to Montana very soon to visit family, grab some things I need from storage and finally get to see my dog (he won’t be coming back with me, though – we think it is best not to bounce him back and forth). It will be hard driving that far since the heart attack took some of my stamina away. Luckily I have nowhere to be for a month so I can take my time, but I really do not want to stay in a hotel unless absolutely necessary. I’ll be packing hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes just in case.

With the weather still fairly iffy this time of year I won’t be taking the trailer to MT. After surgery it will certainly be months before I will be able to get it out again so I’ll see how I feel about a trip when I get back. I am sure as hell not getting on a plane yet. The ‘rona is still too widespread for anything other than a trailer trip for me and I don’t know if I will even do that. I need to stay well for the upcoming surgery so I may just have to bide my time at home. This still is not quite how I envisioned my retirement.

I started looking at travel shows again. I am re-watching some “No Reservations” episodes to get my travel fix and have something fun & positive to think about. I watched the Stanley Tucci series about Italy and it was very good; it made me want to go to Italy even more than I already wanted to go. I saw an interesting show about Poland that had some beautiful scenery. I’ll have plenty of time to dream about it now.

That’s all for now.

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 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.