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 12th, 2021

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

Costco. Where else can you find not only $1.50 hot dogs and caskets for sale in a store, but now they are selling belly buttons for just $13 each. Yikes! A 13 lb. belly button – sounds like a horror movie filmed in a buffet.

Man, what a beautiful day today. I got in 5.5 miles of walking today and helped the landlord do some mowing. It gave him the opportunity to take care of some other things while I mowed. A glass of red wine took care of my thirst afterwards..but I almost cracked open a second bottle!

Yesterday I got in five miles of walking. It was a beautiful sunny day but a little breezy. I got out early enough to avoid some of the crowds but as I left the parking lot it started to get busier. A typical weekend day in a tourist area. I did get a couple of nice pictures while I was out:

I have been waking up really early lately (a bit stressed out with the health things going on and not sleeping very well again) so I get up and get my day rolling. I try to go to bed later but I still wake up early so then I am tired and fall asleep early. I do like to get up and start the day; a leisurely cup of coffee and some breakfast, and I am out the door to do laundry, get groceries, or just get away from the house. I used to go to the bakery to get some fine baked treats but I cannot do that anymore like I used to.

I think I am going to try to bake some things the next few days. I will probably get the ingredients I need tomorrow morning then go to the storage unit to get stuff to put back into the trailer. That should not take very long to do and it will be off my list.

I can take advantage of waking up with the chickens to bake things early in the morning while it is cooler. Muy house faces south so it warms up fast. I can also take advantage of the nice weather for hiking/walking. I will go find a beach the next few days and enjoy a walk in the sand near the saltwater. I do like walking in the forest for the shade though. Having this great weather really does lift the spirits and it motivates me to get some things done. Plus, it gives me something to do and there are things I need to take care of.

This morning I bought a good 5-day cooler – mainly it is for hauling refrigerated/frozen groceries home from afar during warmer weather, but also will be handy for traveling with or without the trailer. With the refrigerator in the trailer being propane you cannot have it lit going down the highway. For one thing, it won’t stay lit. The other thing is fire hazard, such as when stopping for fuel. “They” frown on open flames at a gas station for some reason. Anything I really need to keep cold can go in the cooler instead of the trailer for long drives on hot days. The fridge tends to heat up quick and frozen stuff thaws fast so the cooler will help. I needed a cooler anyway since the fridge is also kind of small.

I should get my new generator out of the box while I am still able to lift it and check it out but I may just wait until after I recover. I don’t know if I really want, or need, to go through the trouble to mess with it just to have it sit for several months while I get better. I can get by using the trailer without it so maybe that is the best plan for now. I can get by with battery and propane like I have been for a little bit longer.

That’s it for tonight. Thank you for stopping by to read my blog.

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!

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.

January 22nd, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

What day is it? Other than Wednesday being trash day and the garbage was taken out, they are all the same anymore.

A few days ago I got the parts to fix my truck so that was on today’s to-do list since it looked to be a sunny day when I got up this morning. I got the new fuel filter, spark plugs and wires. Even with the cost of the parts I am still saving over $600 by doing it myself. I don’t really enjoy working on vehicles but I can do some things. These things are easy and fairly quick to fix but my hands didn’t cooperate with me to get it done without much problem. I struggled a bit to get the plugs changed and had trouble trying to get one of them replaced so I will have to come back and revisit that last one. The fuel lines on the filter were stuck so I sprayed them with some PB Blaster to soak a day or two then I will try again.

My arthritis hand is really mad after working on the truck earlier. The only real option, other than a surgery that will only be a temporary fix for ten years or so, is getting a big needle jabbed into my hand at the base of my thumb and pumping it full of cortisone. I have had a similar thing done before and it is really not pleasant in the slightest bit. I think getting a shot in my neck without sedation (which I have done it several times) didn’t hurt as bad as that one needle in my index finger. I think I am going to have to get this injection done though. I cannot deal with this much longer but am trying to put it off as long as I can tolerate the pain and swelling and lack of dexterity.

It is good to see the sun more every week and it really helps with our moods; really…who doesn’t need that right about now? We are gaining about 15 minutes a week so in a month it is another hour of daylight each day. It is still dark until 7:00 A.M. but instead of the sun going down at 4:00 P.M. it is now setting at 5:00 or so and actually gets dark around 6:30. I am so ready for some spring and summer and the long Spring/Summer/Fall days are really nice for being outside. Of course the time will change sometime in March (as usual, for no good reason) since we can’t quit trying to control the things that we cannot control.

No meal kit in this week’s mail, but I finally got the last one from last week cooked last night and it was something different – beef banh mi bowls. It was pretty good and it made quite a bit of food. I won’t have to do much cooking until the next one gets here, but I will still be cooking and try to use up some stuff like pasta.

I went to get something out of the trailer yesterday to use at the house (glad I have that stuff to fall back on) and it was odd in a sense. I kinda missed it, yet didn’t miss living in it. I spent a lot of time in it over the summer and into the Fall so I got used to it but at the end the dog and I were ready to have room to spread out. It is fine for trips but staying in it full-time is difficult with the limited space. I am excited to get it back out for some trips and it’s really looking like that is going to be the only real travel option for some time yet.

I definitely won’t be going far if I do go someplace with the trailer, and it will just be within the state until some things calm down. It also won’t be very soon – there is some colder weather with snow (BOOOOO) forecast so I don’t want to unwinterize the trailer yet – once I get it ready I don’t want to redo it. With all of the things I have worked on, the trailer is in pretty good shape and is ready to go. I still need to fix the shower and reseal the windows. I will start working on that when I can, hopefully next month. I should have done it last year but didn’t since I was staying in it; I did not want to live in a 15′ construction area.

For now it will just be some day trips. Pack a lunch and find a quiet place to sit on a beach and enjoy nature. It is the safest way to get out of the house and maintain some sanity while limiting exposure.