Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Surprise

This week has been filled with surprising events. I think the biggest was seeing my friend Ms Marsha drive into camp with her Scamp!  (Shh she bought it from me though she can't wait to paint it so people will stop asking her if "that is Lesa's Scamp! )

Ozzie is the campsite gimp - yup he's limping. Perhaps he jumped off the bed wrong because he wasn't limping before.

I made a pot of lentils in my Dutch Oven over a campfire yesterday.  The neighbors, all two of them, enjoyed them. I think Marsha was surprised at the simplicity of my recipe as well as the speed with which they cook. The leftovers became my lunch of refried 'beans" with homemade tortillas! Yum.

Yesterday afternoon we had yet another surprise as Evelyn and Charlie drove into camp!

I rather enjoy the comings and goings. I am learning to relax and enjoy my days more. It's about time a few of you have commented.

I spent more reorganizing time the other day and made a huge amount of space simply by changing out a bin or two for another long milk crate. Incredibly I have a lot of space left and the plan is to keep it empty as long as possible! .

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fantastic Friday Food

Okay sorry no pictures ...

What do you make for lunch when you don't want to cook and want something yummy....

Well a tuna sandwich sounded good.  But no bread. Tuna made me sick last time I tried it and I don't have any. ....
I did have a tiny jar of wild caught smoked salmon that had been home canned....
What about the crunch? Celery is too fibrous for my system so none of that around. ...hmmm I have an apple and a white onion......

So I made a cross between tuna salad and waldorf salad....and yum
Salmon Waldorfish Salad is born....darn I should have taken a picture!

Apple - cut into cubes and drizzled with citrus juice (that keeps the color white.) I had a grapefruit and used a squeeze of that.
Onion - mild is best, chives would be pretty. Cut into cubes.
Tahini and water - as a dressing.  Use just enough water to thin the tahini.

That's it mix it up
Share a big spoonful with your fur friend
Get a big glass of water
Find a lawn chair and enjoy your afternoons burst of energy!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Simply an oops

Hi you all!
I've been so busy that I really owe you all an apology for my not blogging the last few days. ..well it's nearly a week. Wow time just flew past.

Let's see - Evelyn and Charlie went home.  It rained quite a bit and we had been urban camping at Wal-Mart,  Home Depot and the Casino here in Payson AZ.  Ms Cheri, another RTR Vandwelling buddy came through town.  We had a few days to show her around and visit. That was a nice experience.

Cheri and I shared breakfast at the Casino one morning. Steve came up, or maybe it's down, and took me to lunch one day.
(And yes I was able to carefully order and stay healthy! Some times it is possible. Because like at the Casino they use real butter not margarine and they don't salt and very lightly season their food)

Ozzie and I had been making friends at the dog park. I met a couple who invited me to join them at a community dinner. I did and it was lovely. The Mountain Bible Church in Payson provides a community dinner each Monday evening around 5 pm.

Early this morning we met up with Lori Chandler the dog trainer.  Wow what a great experience. I decided that we are definitely staying in this general vicinity to take and graduate from this class!

We have been driving around looking for an appropriate dog crate to replace Ozzie's beds. Lori believes that will improve Ozzie's safety and peace of mind. We had already been trying to learn this area and find things to make the next few weeks,  actually ten weeks, more comfortable. Looking for things like showers, alternative campsites, hiking trails, volunteer opportunities and stuff.
I visited a food pantry today so I could help a friend who struggles with agoraphobia to be more independent.

Anyway that is the update for now - I'm trying to think of a way to turn green beans into something different to share with my neighbouring camper tonight.
Here's a couple pictures of Ozzie. I forgot to take a picture of the neighborhood cows!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sunday Surprise & Monday Music

Well Surprise I am in a cell phone challenged area. Of course it is beautiful and worth staying a few days.  My Wilson cell phone booster is working! And omgosh my hammock is up!

On the Music front... I found Keb Mo while meandering around the mall in Richmond VA years ago. I was in the Discovery Store and his first CD was playing. I was sold then and is a tune I particularly like.

There's More Than One Way Home.

I certainly hope that this posts alright.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fabulous Friday Food! B1

B is for Breakfast!

How do I maneuver actually cooking breakfast inside my van.

First - I did extensive research and tried lots of equipment to find both the safest and most useful items. Key to the process is my HeatMate stove by the Origo company. This stove is very safe as long as you use it correctly.  It runs on Denatured Alcohol fuel. The fuel is NOT pressurized and so no explosive properties. The fuel reservoir has on internal wick which makes the canister spill proof. Yes I tried it, outside of course,  you can fill the reservoir and turn it completely upside down and not one drop spills out. The stove itself was designed for use on boats so the inside has gimbrels that keep it level. Secondly is my work surface. Now not everyone will want what I have. Because I like to cook on fire I have a steel Dutch Oven Table that sits on top of long metal reinforced milk crates. My table has a wind screen and long legs. The legs are removable and I keep them in storage under my bed until I need them outside. The connectons for the long legs are not removable though being welded to the bottom of the table they fit right through the holes in the milk crates and my kitchen 'counter' becomes very stable. I think that a metal solid surface that can be cleaned is good for mobile living because it gives you safety from heat mistakes like forgetting and setting a hot pot down. I suggest people look into using something like a restaurant baking sheet with little edges. That way spills are contained as well.  
Okay - so my frying pan doesn't fit my stove very well and I have to be careful with it - don't do this at home people! I had and then gave away a wok pan that fit perfectly - and now I can't find another one.  Darn!  So I'm using my hiking and cooking for one pans.

Today's breakfast is (drum roll)
Healthy Hash Browns

Put a swirl of good Olive oil in your frying pan.  Add sliced shallots to the oil and brown. Wash your tiny potatoes and quarter, or cut in small pieces (small cooks faster). Add the potatoes to the pan. Cook on medium heat stiring occasionally. Meanwhile peel and chop a slice off a butternut squash. Add the squash to the pan and stir. I sprinkled mine with dried rosemary and hickory smoked sea salt (thanks Jo). When it begins to stick to the pan I add a tablespoon or so of coffee or you can use water just to deglace the pan. Cook till tender. Plate and enjoy.   BTW (by the way) leftovers make great potato salad by simply adding a stone ground mustard.

There you go!
Be safe with your cooking while mobile. I probably would not cook inside if I were using propane. Tho there are other ways.

Have a great Simply Fabulous day.
Enjoy preparing, sharing and eating your meals!

PS we will talk about the stuff on my counter later ;)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Simply in Town

Ozzie and I have been struggling with our relationship after the last grooming fiasco. Nice enough shop and employees unfortunately the owner and boss was dealing with a personal issue and had five things going on at a time. The sensitivity to a rescue dog with grooming anxiety, depression and PTSD was not there. I've never been called into the grooming session before.  I was instructed to hold my dog because "he's a biter" I was told. Now Ozzie's trust issues are aimed directly at me. For a few days all I could do was cry about it. I made some phone calls for advice, more historical information from the shelter where he had lived, and supportive friends. Then I remembered how we were when we were getting to know each other. I recalled that consistent walks on a short leash and regular meal times were very stabilizing. So we have returned to things that we know without a doubt work. Ozzie is beginning to settle down. 

and then I needed to change campsites. and come into town. ..I've been two days on the phone doing personal business like dealing with the Social Security Administration and Medicare.  Now I need to spend some time at a library printing forms to fill out and mail.

Payson has a lovely library dog park people park complex. It is a good place to spend days. We can overnight at either Wal-Mart, Home Depot or the local Casino.

It looks like we may stay in this area long enough to go through dog training classes. There are many campsites in higher and lower elevations as well as in and out of town so we should be comfortable.  I may look for something to do with my time too. Something like volunteering or teaching my Personal Project Planning class ... or something.

I'm emotionally tired. It takes a lot of energy to work with the mentally ill, especially when they come in the form of four legged creatures with no language and the attitude of a three-year old child! Add to the equation my own disability which is similar. ..I'm going to spend a lot of time simply breathing through moments. Taking everything slowly and continuing to make a good daily routine.

This too shall pass
For a while I want to continue the Friday Food, Sunday Surprise and Monday Music blog posts. I think that it will help me to keep some focus and share stuff I like with all my readers. Please let me know what you think - and feel free to make requests!

   and Ozzie

Friday, March 6, 2015

Simply Monday Music

Marilyn Scott

I have a weird way of picking out albums. When I lived in Times Square I would walk over to Virgin Records and just look at album covers. That's how I found out about this singer.... enjoy!

The Last Day

Fantastic Friday Food!

How about a healthy and yummy meal idea?

This week's yum is a Simply Healthy meal. Thermos Quinoa (this was a Bulgar Red Quinoa mix) with Red leaf lettuce and Buffalo Wing style Cauliflower.

Yup all made easily in my van kitchen!
Equipment used:
Pot to boil water
Thermos - mine is from a thrift store!
Measuring device - a cup works. I use a mini shaker from a vitamin shop.
Cutting Board
Fry pan - mine is a ceramic mini one serving size.
Spatula - again I have a mini one or use a spoon.

Sea salt
Hot Sauce
Olive oil
Leaf lettuce

Quinoa : When making your morning hot beverage of choice boil some extra water. Place 1/2 cup quinoa and salt to taste into your thermos.  Add 1 cup of boiling water and seal with the thermos lid and shake then set aside and forget about it until supper time. This is probably a serving for two people - or if you are very hungry.  I saved half for later.

Buffalo Wing style Cauliflower:
Heat your fry pan with a swirl of olive oil in it.
Cut your cauliflower into largish pieces and add them to your hot pan. Coat them in the olive oil by stiring. Let them pan roast until they are toasty looking. Then add a small amount of Ghee and let it melt into the pan. Add a few splashes of hot sauce and stir - this is where you get creative make it as hot or not as you like. I used a mild sauce that was a gift and only used a few shakes, then because I wanted a redorange color I added a small amount of low sodium V8 juice.stir everything until well coated and cook until it satisfies you. Add salt if you want to. Wash and tear lettuce leaves placing on your plate. Turn out your Cauliflower onto the lettuce and get your forgotten thermos. Stir and plate your quinoa.

Get a fork and enjoy!


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Simply. ...whatthe!

Lol - that's all I can do now. Laugh.
The noises in the night - are chewing and my ferocious companion is hiding!
So I don my untied hiking boots put on a headlamp and brave the dark of night in my pajamas. Trusty can of wasp spray in hand....

Banging, rocking the van, shining the brightest flash light available ensue....spraying the underside of the van with (choke gasp) wasp spray as the culprit is told to move on. ...ya this one really speaks English. ..not.

Yet quiet.

And a quick check for internet advice. ..yes, open the hood varmints don't like spaces out in the open. Well the sound was in the back near the gas tank. couldn't hurt thinks I as I return to the outside world still clad in my lovely armour!

I pull the handle marked hood from under the dash - it doesn't do anything. ..huh
Na....I check the hood. Tight as a drum. Closed. Pull handle again.  Nope. You gotta be kidding me!

And then I hear him again. the engine!

In an effort to appease the varmint a slice of precious home made whole wheat bread is sacrificed at a distance away from the van.

Again silence. ...yet for how long?

I guess they got me until tomorrow.
I've got peppermint oil and I will have to figure out how to open the hood. ...

Just please don't chew anything important!
Noises in the night!

Why write about that?

Well - it's my life. This is my thought process and patterns.  People sometimes want to know how I do what I do. ..and so now you know. I struggle some days and don't for other months at a time.

Today was strange.  Social Security Disability stuff was in my mail that I read yesterday along with hospital and medical bills. Sigh. I didn't sleep well as I kept hearing first one and then another sound.  The fact that one of those sounds was a car stereo had me feeling kind of venerable. Then I just locked the doors and made myself sleep by telling myself that it is a distance away and I am safe. (Duh you'd think after years of traveling and sleeping in odd places that I would be past that. .guess not it came up again. ) I felt an enormous amount of stress dealing with Ozzie and his grooming. 

We are back at the Bernhard Trail Road campsite. The birds chirping and fresh air are calming my soul or is it my spirit - ? I'm breathing deeply and slowing my pace back to the slow of nature. ..yes! Nice.

The weather report is calling for some beautiful temperatures tomorrow. Yeah!

I'm about to make supper.
Ozzie is relaxing on the bed.
Life is good.

And that is why I write about any and every thing that comes up. Maybe it helps you to understand me and my choices or maybe it helps someone else because we go through similar stuff or thoughts.


   and Ozzie


Errands and Ozzie time

So some of you know that Ozzie and I are fairly new together. He came to live with me September 9th.  That is actually only 5 months ago. It's hard to believe that it has been such a short time.

Doggie Anxiety and PTSD mixed with my own Anxiety, PTSD and recurring depression has been both a blessing and at times a major challenge. Ozzie came to me with very long hair, painfully long nails and curled around dew claws. We quickly learned about his Grooming or foot  anxiety short of getting bitten when attempting to help groom or check feet for cactus thorns.   Today was a grooming day. I found a lovely shop with caring and sensitive people here in Payson. At times it took three of us but Ozzie is not acting up and he is handsome again.

Me - well I feel exhausted and emotional. I'm close to tears (yes I am alright) with being stressed out. I'm driving very carefully as I kind of feel like life is in slow motion right now. I noticed old habits of wanting to stop and eat junk/fast food or pizza (I'm proud that I have not given in). Normally a glass of water will bring me back quickly although today it doesn't seem to be working.  I stopped to get a Kombucha drink and spent more of my grocery budget on fresh foods for a wilted (raw foods are too fiberous and hard for me right now) salad I will make for supper.  Then we stopped into a Home Depot for another gallon of Denatured Alcohol which is both a fuel for cooking and suplimental heating. And found ourselves checking out the shed/cottage/tiny homes! And omgosh is EMT Sarah here? Na - just a sighting.

I'm sitting at the Wal-Mart - feeling dazed and wondering why I stopped and where I want to sleep tonight. I will have it figured out soon enough it's only 3:30 in the afternoon and we have until my kinda rule of thumb 5 pm at latest setting up a camp.  Sleeping for the night is different as there is no set up involved. ...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Simply incredibly beautiful drive!

Less Snow and more Beauty!

A new campsite a bit south of Payson. We are a little warmer. We even made a cup of tea and took an evening walk.

A lot was accomplished in town. The Dollar Tree store here is very different I bought Chia seeds and tiny cans of coconut milk - yes incredibly at a Dollar Tree! We picked up mail at the Post Office and went into Wal-Mart. Gotta keep my Straight Talk phone going. 

Omgosh I was opening the packages that arrived in the mail. Look at what I got! I've got the best friends ever! I'm rather excited.  My natural first aid kit is underway once more!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Simply 39ยบ and snow on the ground!

And Ozzie and I are doing fine. ..even though he is protesting being in the van tonight!  I've got the heat running and we should be just fine. ..

If the roads are safely passable tomorrow we will travel back south a bit to get a little warmer nights. That's the beauty of mobility!