May 3rd, 2021

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

I am in hospital now and it’s certainly gotten more real as I get ready to wind the day down and try to sleep. Even though it’s been a mentally exhausting day I am not really very tired yet. Wish I had a couple of bottles of wine or something to take this edge off. By the day of surgery I will most likely be quite anxious to say the least.

Earlier tonight one of my nurses went through what to expect post-op. No one had gone over any of this in too much detail yet so I am glad she did. I thought that I had a good idea of what to expect but hearing some of the details was a bit surprising and unexpected. It will be very tough, which I fully anticipated, but it is still going to be okay. It could be possibly a week in the hospital after surgery then off to someplace to go through some more of the recovery process.

I don’t know when I will be going back home at this point – it will quite possibly be a few weeks. My main goal is to get as well as I can; right now I am not worried so much about getting home as I am focused on recovering as much as I can before I get there. I feel that getting well is where my energies are best spent.

It’s just a waiting game for me right now. And for the next two days. I am so excited to get through this and get back to traveling, going where it’s possible to go safely, and having some big fun. It is what being retired is supposed to be about (to me, at least) and I have not done as much as I want even though I have done quite a bit of travel the last few years. Finishing my last three states is high on the agenda this year and there have been plans started to do just that. I have to go get my dog at some point, wherever he will be, and getting the trailer out for trips. I have family and friends to visit. Europe is not looking to be very promising this year, and Canada is not looking to be much better at the moment but I can find plenty of places to go.

So yeah…I have been busy thinking about “the road”. Then again, I always dream about that.

I just wanted to post a short update for those who are interested. Guess I really need to think about getting some sleep…

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.

February 8th, 2021

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

It was a year ago today that I made my second trip to Europe with my two oldest girls, leaving Kansas City on a Saturday morning to go to Dublin, Ireland. I know my first trip over really was a complete assault on the senses – foreign country, different foods, languages, using public transit, plus experiencing how life is for others with which we share the planet. I remember pulling into Amsterdam Centraal that first trip in 2018, seeing all the trains and tracks everywhere, thinking “Oh shit…what have we gotten ourselves into…”.

Even though I had been there before, this trip was still a life-changing experience for me in several different ways. Seeing the castle where our family started out was incredible and getting to see it with Chelsea and Angie on their first trip was such a cool thing (you’re next, Meghan!). Of course there was all of the great food we ate, the things we saw and did, people we talked to…much like the first time all over again.

I was in a weird headspace for many reasons. I hated the prospect of having to leave. There was also an accumulation of the previous five years of loss and the other BS life put on my doorstep in a flaming paper bag. In Amsterdam we took time on our last day there to go different ways and explore. I was lost in thought just getting lost in the city. I got myself into a much better headspace before my adventure and everything in life was calm & peaceful as I wandered around, looking at some familiar places and finding other places I had never seen before. It really helped me in ways I cannot describe, and it was badly needed.

Right now it would be nice to have the opportunity to do that again, venturing out into unknown areas of a city that is nearly half of a world away. No map of any sort…just walking; no matter where you go that’s where you are. Everything is new in every way and you just kinda say “WOW” inside. I would even settle for someplace domestic; how nice it would be just to be able to wander around Seattle on foot like I used to do on occasion.

A steamed BBQ pork hombow from the Chinese bakery at Pike Place Market would be delicious right about now, as would breakfast at Biscuit Bitch and a burger, cheese curds and a pint at the Five Point or a pizza from Serious Pie. There are so many places to wander around checking out and so many things I have not made note of yet. I do still update my bucket list for things and places of interest, and there are more places in Seattle on that list I have not been to but want to check out when it is safer for my health to do so.

I always keep an eye out for interesting places everywhere and I put them into both my bucket list and Apple Maps so I can have directions ready to go if I end up someplace on a whim (which does happen often). I still have plenty of things to see and do in Amsterdam yet, and both Ireland and Iceland are islands of so many things to see and do. Beyond that there is still a lot more of the world I want to experience.

I will be looking into some domestic road trip options as well, adding more to that section of the bucket list. When things calm down I will be traveling locally more so I should do something unique, like visiting all of the state parks in Washington. I have been to almost all of the National Parks in the state so there are a couple of those left I want to visit; not because they are on a list, but because I want to visit them.

I will hopefully be going to MT soon to get my stuff, but want/need to get my vaccines first. I don’t want to miss out on getting it in fear of not being able to get it if I do miss out the first time because I am gone. The weather, being another factor, has not been bad there, but I don’t need to take a chance with that either since I would be towing a cargo trailer back.

The past year has been tough for everyone but in hindsight getting to go to Europe was a big help to get me through the year. We have talked about it often and relived our experiences both separately and with each other numerous times ever since we returned. I hope at some point in the next year we can all go together.

That’s all for today.