July 9th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

Yesterday’s salmon berry harvest…
…was added to organic gluten-free oats, cashew milk, hemp hearts and chia seeds for today’s breakfast!

Got out for a hike yesterday and harvested the berries above. Some made it home in the bag, and some I ate. I will be getting out to pick more and maybe try to freeze some.

The Himalayan blackberry bushes are flowering so we will start to see tons of berries coming on soon. I plan on getting out for picking a bunch of those for freezing. They are all over here but are considered an invasive species so I try to do my part to stop the spread.

The thimbleberries are starting to show up but they are so delicate they are best just eaten in the woods as they are picked. It takes a lot of those to make a meal!

The red elderberries are out but I don’t know enough about those to harvest. The seeds are poisonous and I’ve pushed my luck enough the last few years. I’ll stick with the stuff I know and stay among the living.

The new caulking for the trailer was at the Post Office today so I’ll be working on that over the next few days. I want to get this project finished up so I can hopefully get away for a few days. I have appointments the next few weeks so that’s going to interfere with my funtime.

I have seen some interesting documentaries lately; some for the first time and others a repeat. “At the Drive-in” was a fun documentary about a small drive-in theater in Pennsylvania that got very creative to compete by doing something nobody else was doing. “The Battered Bastards of Baseball” was really good and really shows what assholes run major league sports. Plus, there are the countless cooking and travel shows I watch.

Today is a splurge day so it’s gonna be Thai food for dinner. I do still try to eat healthy most of the day when I splurge. If not I feel guilty about it. It’s still a good compromise for my health only doing this once or twice a month. Back on the wagon tomorrow.

That’s it for today. Enjoy your weekend!

June 21st, 2021

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

Where to go…

Happy Summer Solstice! Hard to believe that 2021 is nearly half over. The road beckons!

I really think it would be extremely interesting to be someplace where the Solstice has some significance, like Stonehenge. It would be so interesting to attend a Pagan celebration aty one of these places. I have now added that, along with Winter Solstice, to my list of life experiences I would like to have. Maybe next year will be the year to try that.

It was pretty warm here yesterday and I started today out in shorts, knowing that later it is going to be warmer than yesterday. It was pretty warm and I have no air conditioning. I am so glad it is not as bad as most of the rest of the country since I don’t do well in hot (or real humid) weather, but it is still way too hot for me. I like it around 60.

And, it lived up to the forecast. A high of 77 and that is just way too damn hot. But, it could be worse. Looks like the next few days will be cooer but starting Friday it will be getting warm again and be even hotter next week – into the low/mid-80s. I need to scoot outta here before that nonsense happens.

I have been looking at the trusty road atlas for new travel ideas but it is so hot everywhere I thought that I might as well just stay home for the time being. With the forecast, though, I just may need to go someplace; if it’s gonna be hot everywhere I might as well get some new scenery. I have been to most of Washington and the parts of Oregon that I want to go so I will probably have to wait until the heat calms down to make a longer trip. I really want to go hit the road with the trailer for two or three weeks but that won’t be happening yet. Gasoline here is around $4/gallon on average now so that doesn’t help. But, by now you know I am big on spur-of-the-moment adventures so you could be surprised along with me!

I cannot do any travel this week until I have my phone appointment on Wednesday morning. It was suggested that I go to cardiac rehab and I have no problem with doing so. The phone call is to talk about things and do an assessment to see if I need to do this fully or just work on a few areas since I have already changed my diet and lost a bunch of weight. I still feel great and actually have since a week after my surgery except for some chest pains when I sneezed (and has gotten better). I am really anxious to talk with them to see what needs done. Staying on top of my health is the main priority.

I went for Thai food for Father’s Day yesterday at my favorite bistro. I was in the mood for some more Spicy Basil Noodle with Chicken – my new Thai go-to dish. It was very busy in town for a Sunday afternoon and most weekends I have had to go to town it has been busy as well. Sometimes it has been slow getting my food there but I know it takes time. In Europe I was used to not getting fast service in. some places but got amazing food instead so I don’t mind the trade-off. This was a bit slower but when I got my bill the waitress took my main course off the tab to apologize. I was surprised, especially since I did not say anything about it. I did tip generously based on the whole bill with the entree.

I have heard that many restaurant workers have moved on and many places are short-staffed so I know it may take longer and that is fine. I do not eat out much anymore since I am on a restricted diet so it’s still a treat. In this area are many jobs but apparently no one wants to work. There are Help Wanted signs everywhere here and they cannot fill the positions. I think it would be interesting to work in a restaurant since I have really gotten into food, but I have worked in quite some so I don’t know how excited I would be about it. It would be interesting to learn what goes on behind the counter. I know it can get hectic.

Last night I watched a Simon Pegg/Rosamund Pike movie on Prime that I had watched originally a few months back. It is called Hector and the Search for Happiness. It is a pretty good movie and, for me, it was worth another view. Pegg is a psychiatrist and is married to Pike (tough gig there…). He decides he needs to find out the answer different people have to the question “What makes you happy?”. He travels all over and asks the question. It kind of makes you think about your own life a bit and ask yourself the same thing; I really enjoyed the movie and pondered a few things in my own life both times I watched it.

That’s all for today.

June 15th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

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As you can see by the graphic above I am getting skinnier.

Just one more pound and I will hit my current weight-loss goal! Yep, I weighed myself this morning and I am down 39 pounds…so far! I say “current weight-loss goal” because that was my very ambitious starting-out plan. I would still like to drop ten more but I am quite happy with my results so far and I figured 40 was ambitious enough.

I have expanded my diet to include some different foods and I have really changed my eating habits quite drastically. It has been an adjustment after eating a certain way for many years, but between the diet changes and logging all of my food into the app it has really been helpful, made it easier, and I feel pretty successful with my efforts so far. I feel better, my health is better, and I still can have the occasional splurge. “Occasional” is the key word.

I will say that last week I was sick and tired of the routine of the last four months. I didn’t mind staying on my diet, but I was damn tired of the routine. Between having to walk after surgery because I was required to and staying home and not being able to do anything the last month I was fed up with it. All of it. I had to get over it and walk but the rains also did not help. Being able to go other places has really made a difference and got me back into what I need to be doing.

Saturday was one of those days. I went to my favorite local Thai bistro and ordered up the Basil Noodle with Chicken, a heat level of 2. The thing I like about the Thai bistros I have eaten at is the food is lighter – no thick, sugary, syrupy sauces; just amazing flavors without the goo. It tastes so much better and feels lighter on the stomach after you eat.

I got a call yesterday from the shop about my truck. I was kinda scared as the voicemail sounded a bit ominous. I called them back and the fuel lines are in pretty bad shape with corrosion. I believe it is the lines on top of the tank so there is no additional labor charge – just the price of the parts – so I got a little break. That means a few more days for the parts to get in so I am still driving the Soccermommobile. I don’t mind driving it though. I am still mobile!

With some gorgeous weather coming up I am really hoping to get the final organization on the trailer done in the next few days as I wait for my truck. I am not really sure where to go, or even if I can manage hooking the trailer up yet. I also need to think about potential mechanical issues – I still cannot do much heavy lifting, such as a flat tire, or using tools for fixing problems, such as the same flat tire. That means I may have to make other arrangements for lodging if I want to go someplace.

With that in mind, today I finally signed up for an account with Airbnb. I really enjoyed the Airbnb properties the girls reserved that we stayed at in Europe this last time. I know I am late to this party but it is affordable and easier to find locations in pretty much any neighborhood you want to stay in – like we were at in North Amsterdam and the city center of Dublin. I am really wanting to do something different than the same ol’ hotel chains these days and this will give me many more interesting options. I even saw one that is in an old crane for unloading ships!

I would rather take the trailer for the security of having my own place to be but it is nice to mix it up a bit. Given the rising gas prices it may be cheaper to do an Airbnb but I have not done the math. I hope the truck gets a little better gas mileage after this repair, especially pulling the trailer, so I will have to do some comparison.

That is today’s update. Stay safe!

December 8th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

It’s been a bit busy lately. A plane ride to Montana, wrapping up holiday shopping in Seattle, getting some things done around the house – filing away and getting rid of old papers, going through stuff to put away and getting rid of some things.

Lately I have gotten to try a few new places to eat. Before I went to MT I ate at a burger chain called The Habit. It is supposed to be an up-and-coming place but I was not overly impressed. The burger was decent but the fries were rather generic and boring. I felt that it, much like Five Guys, was way overpriced (but not AS overpriced as FG). Five Guys has some of the best fries I have ever eaten. and all of the toppings included for no extra charge…but too pricey. To me the best burgers for the money are usually the greasy ones at the dives.

Thai Basil in Bozeman was pretty good (found out it is a chain, casual atmosphere), and The Local in Belgrade, MT had a delicious Wagyu burger at a reasonable price for the quality (but still a little higher price than average). They had an interesting cocktail called the Bridger Sunset. It was a cocktail with a giant ice ball in the middle that could only be melted by the superpowers of an additional shot of Grey Goose once the drink was gone (the “shot” being defined as a finger+ of Grey Goose in a highball glass). The drink alone was pretty damn strong but after the first drink it’s easy to like. Wouldn’t take many of those to call it a night.

I forgot what it was like to be in the snow and cold, and I got a bit of a reminder while in MT. I can honestly say that I still don’t like the snow even if I go to it and it doesn’t come to me. One morning it was 12 and I am not used to that nonsense anymore. But, as they say, “it is a dry cold”. I don’t care if it is dry or not…it was still too damn cold. Better than summer’s heat though. But I STILL want to see Alaska/Iceland/Scandinavia in the middle of winter.

While there Meghan gave me a discount code for Hello Fresh, which she had been singing the praises of. I signed up and got my first box of three meals yesterday. I chose pork carnitas, cauliflower bacon mac and cheese, and beef bulgogi that I made last night. Very impressive menu and quality of ingredients plus I don’t have to go shopping for dinner.

The bulgogi was absolutely delicious and easy to make. Each meal comes with a recipe card and you can keep those filed away in case you want to buy the ingredients and make it again. Ordering the meals for two, since I am single, gives me two meals of each of the three entrees and the portions are decent size. That is almost a week’s worth of dinner! If you are interested in joining click on the link and save $40!

Looks like I’ll be going back to work late January so I better get busy doing things I might want to do and going places I might want to go. Not really ready to go back to work yet but it’s gonna happen eventually for each of the next few years. I may have another road trip or two I can take the next few weeks but we’ll see what happens. I thought about going south into CA again and taking the trailer out, but I have it winterized and don’t want to undo that work.

Yesterday I went to a mall. I rarely do that but I needed to get a few things in the area and I found a great sale on my Levi’s 501s. I had not been to Skipper’s (a local seafood fast food joint) in probably five years so while in the area I got to enjoy some of their clam chowder and the Skipper’s Platter – fish, shrimp, clams, fries, slaw (no thanks – don’t like mayo slaw). The clam chowder there is not really creamy like New England clam chowders I have had. It is more like a thicker gravy full of delicious oceanic goodness. They even have various “All-You-Can-Eat” menu options for just a few dollars more. I have not eaten the chowder at Ivar’s so I cannot compare the two. It is on my list to try theirs though.

I had a Roomba I had purchased a few days back but it didn’t work out real well so I took it back yesterday to B3 – Bed, Bath and Beyond. It was a lower-level model – the 600 Series. It just ran around the house like it had ADHD. First the dining area for a lap, maybe two. Then it was off to do the same thing in the living room but repeat a few times. Same thing in the bedroom and kitchen and then take off and repeat areas. It was crazy how it would do little bits here and there instead of doing a whole room at once.

Today I went to a market and saw something that I had never seen before. In the produce section was something called “oca“. I thought “why not?” and bought some – about a handful – to try. I looked them up on the interwebs and found out they are quite nutritious. I ate them raw and found the texture like a cross between a potato and a radish. The taste is varied from little flavor to sweet to sour to potato-like. They appear to be quite high in carbs and energy.

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Oca

I found them to be tasty and an interesting thing to eat. I will probably get more but they are pretty spendy (but you have to try them!). They would be a very healthy snack. The info on the link above talks about them dried. That might be interesting to try out.

I stopped by the local bakery to get croissants to go with my fruit, prosciutto and gouda for a healthier/lighter breakfast the next few days. I don’t want to buy them too far out – I want them to be as fresh as they can be. Yeah, a bit more inconvenient but that’s okay for the quality.

While I was out and about I also got the recycling taken to the dumpsters. I found a bed frame at a thrift store so I can FINALLY get the bins out from underneath my boxspring. That was never intended to be permanent – just a temporary thing to get me by. I can get that sorted out tomorrow and rearrange the bedroom. I’ll try to put away more stuff in bins and eventually sell them since I am in a bigger house now. I think I will move my ginormous upright toolbox to the utility room and just deal with moving it around to maneuver into the basement. I wouldn’t have to do it that often and I want the closet space for other stuff.

It is nice to be home and have some time to not only relax, but to also get some things done like arranging the bedroom and getting more organizing done. I have been enjoying too much of the relaxing and not doing enough of the organizing.

I ordered some new coats from Outdoor Research and they came yesterday. I have had one of their water-repellent rain shells for five years or so and it has been great. I got a new shell for rain, one of the same the next size bigger, and a down hoody for insulation to wear under the larger one. My experience with the 3-in-1 jackets is the shells are always too big on them.

It’s been a while since I posted so I guess I had a lot to say.

 

 

November 15th, 2018

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

It has been quite busy lately wrapping up business stuff with my parents’ estate but I almost (finally) have it all taken care of. I believe there are only two more things to finish and it will be completed. It’s been a learning experience but I am glad it is about done.

My oldest granddaughter has moved up here to the Seattle last week so it has been fun hanging with her and her boyfriend for the past few days. They are here at my house for now and their new place should be ready any time to move into. Seattle will be a big change from the Midwest for them but they are ready for it.

They made a run to Seattle to check on some things so I stayed home and took care of a few business things and ran some errands. While out and about I thought Thai food sounded good so that was late lunch today. My chopstick skills are getting better and want to buy my own chopsticks to keep up the practice at home.

I recently backed a Kickstarter project for an improved version of a travel pillow that everyone raves about called Trtl Pillow. The new Trtl Pillow Plus I bought is supposed to be even better than its highly-rated predecessor. I have not received it yet but hope to get it in the next few weeks. Those old-school “fuzzy-bagel-looking neck pillows” just do not work for me in an airplane seat. This is definitely a new way of thinking about travel pillows and I bought it only after seeing all the great reviews all over the internet (so you know it must be true…unless it’s an Amazon review).

I am trying to enjoy my remaining time off while I can since I’ll be headed back to work soon. I’d like to go someplace but not sure where or even when at the moment. Staying home and saving money isn’t a bad thing either. I want to experience Alaska, Iceland, or even Scandinavia in the wintertime – I just have to do it. You never know…I may do them all! I’m not sure how soon it’ll be but I do want to do that. If I had a chance I’d even go to Antarctica or the Arctic and see what that’s like. No, I don’t like snow but there are things you just have to do and that’s one of those things. 

I got the water drained out of the Scotty tank and lines a few weeks ago and put RV anti-freeze in the drains. I hope to get the cover on maybe tomorrow and it will be put away for the season. I was hoping to get it out again but I don’t think it will happen this year unless I dry-camp. There was too much going on this year to do more trips in it than what I did unfortunately. This coming year will bring new opportunities to travel and get out on the road more often. At least I got to get it out on the road when I went to California.

I am thinking about getting a robot vacuum. My house would be a great candidate for it and with an open floor-plan and laminate floors it gets dusty/dirty fast even being careful. A robo-vac would be so nice to keep ahead of the bits of leaves and grass while I am gone to work. Meghan has one and she could not get by without it – her hands would be grafted onto her broom if she didn’t have it. With her pets it is a huge time-saver.