April 21st, 2020

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

I really needed to do something different so I decided a few days ago to make a few changes to help myself get through staying at home better and easier. As a preface to this post, I am REALLY trying hard to keep my political opinions mine in this blog. I have to say it is sure as hell not easy given what is currently happening in this country.

First and foremost, I quit watching the news and haven’t watched the news for the last 3-4 days; in fact, during this time I have not even had the TV on until late at night and that was to watch a movie (and having some beautiful weather here has helped in many ways). There is entirely too much negativity and misinformation along with the political lies and bullshit. That alone has made me feel SO much better and has helped rid myself of the bad moods and given me more energy. I really suggest trying it to see if it helps you feel better.

Granted I still do get on the internet and do see things on there but I filter through said political lies and bullshit on there as well and don’t click on much news even on the ‘net. I am doing the things I am supposed to do (and much more) according to my state’s orders to stay healthy. I do pay attention to my local news to some extent so I am aware of what is going on close to home. As far as national politics I will be quite blunt –  I don’t fucking care.

Second, I am finding other more productive things to focus my energies on and spend time doing (other than mowing grass). I am looking at new recipes and making up a shopping list with new ingredients that I don’t have on hand (one recipe I really want is the cottage pie recipe from The Shack in Dublin, Ireland). I have an Instant Pot recipe magazine a friend sent me so I am looking through that along with some of the cookbooks I brought back from KS that my mom had.

I will be spending LOTS of time deep-cleaning my house starting tomorrow (supposed to rain so I will be in the house anyhoo) to get rid of the pollen that is all over everything in my house. It was so bad yesterday that I actually had to go inside – my nose plugged up and my eyes watered relentlessly just sitting outside enjoying the day. I am not looking forward to doing it but it has to be done and hopefully it will rain later today and tomorrow to clear the air. At least I got the yard mowed before the rain gets here. I have also been getting more motivated to do a few other things I need to do but have been low on my priority list.

It is easy to get wrapped up in current events but I am now approaching things differently and I feel MUCH better. I wanted to pass these things along in case someone needs some ideas.

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.

August 11th, 2019

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

I know that recent posts have not been real true to the spirit of travel, but I will be able to get back to traveling. It certainly won’t be as soon as I want but I will get to start having fun again sometime soon – I need it. With that said, I did want to post a quick update for those who want to know…

Surgery recovery is still ongoing. I still should not be driving and being right on the bus route has saved my ass tremendously. I can still get to the grocery store, post office and physical therapy appointments with no trouble other than having to schedule my day around the bus stop times to get where I need to be on time.

I am making some progress at physical therapy with my range of motion but still have quite a ways to go before I can even start to work on strength training. The pain is manageable and that is a huge relief. I hope that sometime soon I can start to put on normal clothes and not have to run around looking like a bum.

Recovery from cataract surgery is going great. I cannot wait to get the other eye done and get my lenses changed in my glasses. The difference in my vision has been amazing.

The song I have started is coming along but is proving to be challenging using only the software instruments in my computer. It’s been a learning experience for me to do a song this way since I usually just record an idea with my guitar and build a song from there but I cannot play it yet.

It sucks to go out in the yard and see the cover on my trailer. This summer has been wasted due to my injury but what can you really do? I’ve been daydreaming about traveling and can’t wait to go someplace. I have a few ideas for travel during my time off over the winter and hopefully I will be able to drive sometime soon.

I have been getting out for walks and doing what I can (which isn’t much). My yard has been mowed once this year, and that was a month ago when Meghan was here. My garden is pretty much done except for the tomatoes that are coming on and my jalapeño pepper plant. I grew both of these plants from seeds – the jalapeño is almost bigger than my hand now! The tomatoes are from a seed I got out of a store-bought tomatoes for my salad. That has been very slow-growing but there are several tomatoes on the plant now and I am just waiting for them to ripen.

While out for my walks I get to graze on some berries along the way. There are many Himalayan blackberry bushes along my walk route and they are sweet and delicious. There are some native ones as well as salad and a few thimbleberry bushes so I get a few different ones to snack on. Wish we had some salmonberry bushes growing along with the others too!

I have been having to watch way too much TV – MUCH more than I am used to. I am about out of things to watch that interest me. I have actually started watching some chick flicks that were pretty good. If it is a good movie is all that matters, but I prefer indies, comedies and documentaries.

That’s about all there is for now. Nothing very earth-shattering or fun but it’s an update.

July 20th, 2019

Adventure, Just things, Uncategorized

It’s hard to believe that fifty years ago today a man actually walked on another planet. Despite the fact that it was solely done to give a metaphorical finger to “those commie bastards”, the fact is it was an amazing achievement for ALL mankind.

Perspective – an iPhone has enough power in it to manage 120 MILLION moon missions simultaneously! Think about that backwards – in terms of how little computers may have done. That is just amazing.

There is an excellent three-part documentary on PBS about it and I learned so much about it – the good and bad. I thought back to what they had done, but seeing how political it was really was very disheartening; it was not for the exploration of our universe.

I remember seeing the missions on TV as a boy; you really had no choice as ALL THREE TV CHANNELS covered it. I remember thinking about what these brave explorers were accomplishing but I also remember discussing it in school and, at the ripe old age of 9, creating a “protest poster” asking why we are wasting money doing this. The money would be better spent fighting cancer and feeding people was my thought. Boy, that really hits close to me these days in one regard. It turns out that it would have been a better choice of things to do with all those billions of dollars.

Regardless of the disgusting politics involved it still takes nothing away from the accomplishments of all the people involved and it was so amazing to be able to witness the history unfold.

Otherwise, I am still recovering from my surgery and I have a long way to go. I still cannot drive, but at least I can take the bus to pick up groceries and mail and get to my PT appointments. I have not been more than eight miles from my house the last six weeks and it probably won’t change anytime soon. I had so many things I wanted to do this summer – road trips especially – but those things are not going to be happening and it’s so frustrating. It looks like there will probably be nothing happening like that until late this year.

At least the weather has been nice so I can get out for walks and get to the bus without getting soaked. The rain has pretty much stopped so I can care even less about how tall the yard is. The cherries on my cherry tree came and went and they were sweet and delicious! When Meghan and Addie were here we ate quite a few of those along with the raspberries on my raspberry bush and my sugar snap peas. Even the dogs were picking peas and raspberries to eat!

I’m still really excited to get my dog but he won’t be a puppy any longer by the time I get him. Unfortunately Meghan had to take him back because we weren’t sure if I would’ve been able to handle him while recovering. It seemed like the smart thing to do and it was. I really hate to miss out on some of that puppy stuff, but Meghan will be able to whip him into shape until I can get him.

Otherwise life is pretty uneventful. I’m just trying to get through all this recovery and I’m anxious to move on with my life.

I need a vacation really badly.

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.