"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It’s Finished!!


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We put the wraps on our little house, today.  All painted, cleaned, septic system installed, and air conditioning working really well; as the temperature was 100 degrees this afternoon.

We installed the blinds, bathroom accessories, and mirrors this morning; and carried everything else home.  Plans are to have a family in it come the first of July.  It’s amazing the number of folks looking to rent a home these days.  It seems there are a lot of good people who have jobs and money, but the banks just can’t, or won’t, lend them the money to buy a home. Things appear to be upside down in more ways than one.

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Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox and move on.  Now that I’ve got the house building behind me, it’s time to be making plans for departure next week.  We had planned to head for Southern Colorado and make our way North along the Western slope of the Rockies.  With Colorado on fire from one end to the other, I don’t know if that’s going to work, now.

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Another thing is that our final destination was to be somewhere in Northwest Montana or upstate Idaho.  It seems they are experiencing temperatures right in line with ours.  100 degrees in Billings last week, and high winds are making all that area a tinderbox, also.

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When I look at the atlas, it appears that the Oregon coast isn’t much farther than Kalispell, MT.  I guess that will call for a decision to be made somewhere around Laramie, or Ogden, or Boise, or?????

Thanks for looking………..jc

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Just spinning my wheels


The book is racing its way to Georgia.  From the Northwest to the Southeast.  It is getting around pretty well.

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Gerri, or Happy Trails is the next reader.  Hope they enjoy it as much as we did.

Otherwise, not a lot going on this week.  Spent a couple of days painting, then worked on getting the Casita ready to roll.  Sanitized the fresh water tank and plumbing system again as it hasn’t been used much, lately.  Had my propane tanks refilled, and checked out the Honda generator.  Still not sure if I’ll take it with us this time, but probably will.  It can come in handy when staying at some locations.

We went up to near Jackson today to watch some more softball.  The granddaughter is playing Summer ball with her new teammates from college.  Things seem to be going well as they all get to know each other better, and become used to playing as a new team.

We are now counting days until we are on the roll, again.  We’re thinking of making our way to South Central Colorado, then turn North.  Should be cooler, there.  Hopefully we’ll be able to dodge the fires that are consuming major parts of the countryside out that way.

Till next time……..jc

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cooking on the road.


I often get asked if we have a stove in the Casita.  It usually goes something like this.  You have a stove in “there” and a refrigerator?

The answer to both questions is yes, but we don’t do a lot of cooking in the trailer.  I would rather cook outside.  We have an electric coffee maker, along with a percolator we use on the stove when boon docking.  Also, Wanda may boil water for pasta or rice on occasion,  and make short use of the microwave when power is available.  That pretty much sums up the inside cooking. 

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Pictured above is the cooking gear I take with us when we travel.  There’s not much I can’t prepare with one or the other.

First up is a Coleman Road Trip grill.  This is the second one I’ve owned.  Just got a new one in March after having a propane leak on the original.  I informed Coleman of the problem and they sent me a new one free of charge.  There are still some companies that stand behind their products, even when the warranty had expired two years ago.

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I find the one pound disposable bottles more convenient than a larger tank.  With this grill I can cook anything in a pot or skillet on the burner, and make pancakes or toast ,or cook vegetables wrapped in foil on the griddle. Though the grill came with folding legs and pullout side trays, I removed them.  There is always a table or tailgate to sit it on and I saved  space and weight by removing them.

My favorite method of cooking is grilling.  That’s the reason I carry one of these.

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A cheap knockoff of the more expensive Weber mini grill.  It is available at Wal-Mart for about fifteen dollars.  I usually burn one out each year.  It is the perfect size for preparing a meal for two people.  I can cook just about anything on it.  Meat, fish, vegetables; whatever.

The third piece of cookware I take is a small Dutch oven.  With it I can prepare a roast, bake biscuits, or make a cobbler.

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Many folks say that they don’t like using charcoal for cooking as it takes too long to get the coals ready, and it tastes bad.  That’s the reason I carry a charcoal chimney.

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I just put the required number of briquettes in the chimney, light a starter block under it, and I’m ready to cook with hot coals within 10-12 minutes, Just dump them in the grill or place around the Dutch oven. No lighter fluid to deal with, or funny tastes in what was grilled.

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I make my own starter blocks.  They’re made of paper egg cartons, dryer lint, small wood chips from my planer, and old candles which Wanda always has around the house.  I’ll take the egg carton, fill each compartment with dryer lint, along with the wood chips if I have them, and then pour melted wax into each cup till it’s full.  When it hardens, I tear the carton apart and put the pieces in zip lock bags.  Each one will burn fast and hot for about 10 minutes, which is more than long enough to start the charcoal.

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I learned this fast and easy way of starting my charcoal from a fellow camper at last years Green Eggs & Ham Rally.  Before that, I was using newspaper which wasn’t  near as good.

Anyhow, that’s how we do most of our cooking; even though we have a stove in “there”.

Sunday, June 10, 2012



Today marks our 45th. anniversary.  Looks as if the marriage will work out.  Sure hope so.  I don’t think there is anyone else out there who would put up with me.

The kids gave us a giant card in honor of the day.

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In case you can’t read it, it says;

“Mom & Dad.  We were going to give you a whopping 100 Grand for you anniversary, but the money slipped through our butter fingers.  We didn’t have an extra whatchamacallit to sell and it wasn’t payday.  We didn’t think a kit cat, a trip to New York, or an orbit around the Milky Way would be appropriate.  We do want to wish you mounds of joy, both now and later.  As you eat this card we hope it doesn’t make you rollover and get sick.  If it does, we promise not to snicker.  Love, your favorite airheads.”

It’s going to take a while to eat all that candy.  I’m pretty sure the idea came from Pinterest, but still think it’s pretty cool.

On another note.  we’ve finished reading the book I received from Janna a couple weeks ago.  If you would like to read it, leave a comment or drop me an email.  We’ll pick someone at random if there are more requests than one, and get it in the mail to you.  It’s a good book.  A quick read of a nice story, intertwined with some life lessons.  Only a few Kleenex moments, mixed with smiles, and a happy ending which may bring on a few more tears.

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That’s about it for the weekend.  Later……….jc

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mostly sunny, with a high near 94.


Yeah, we know it’s hot here in the deep South.  Really wish we were already on our way to cooler temperatures.  Shouldn’t be too much longer.

But, one of the benefits of living where the temperature hits the nineties in early June is that our gardens come in a lot earlier than most of the Country.  While I read on other blogs of folks just planting their gardens, ours has already started producing.

I pulled the first sweet corn this morning.  Wish I knew what I had planted.  Small compact ears on short stalks.  I believe it is the sweetest corn I’ve ever tasted.  I just don’t have a clue what it is called. Some hybrid I picked up at Tractor Supply.

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Also picked our first tomatoes this week.  Still haven’t hit their prime yet, but there’s nothing like the first tomato sandwich of the year.  You just can’t beat a fresh loaf of bread, some Blue Plate mayonnaise, a little salt and pepper, and a fresh home grown tomato.

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Also have some fresh peach’s from the orchard down the road.  Maybe I can talk Wanda into a peach cobbler sometime this weekend.

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It could  be that if our timing is right, we can just eat our way North and West as the fresh produce comes in.  Follow the ripening sweet corn North.  Or maybe the tomatoes……jc

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cobb Grill



I had read a number of comments the past few years about the Cobb Grill.  Seems everyone was raving about what a fantastic job they did with just a few briquettes and a little time.  Fire it up, put  whatever, on; and forget about it.  Come back in a few hours to a delicious meal.

Well, WOOT had a deal on one sometime back in the Winter and I ordered it.  It came with a nice carry bag and a cook book.  I read the instructions, such as they were, along with the cook book, and fired it up.  First thing to go on was some pork ribs.  They came out partially cooked and very tough.  Decided to try something else and went with chicken.  Added more charcoal halfway through the cooking period, but it was still undercooked when we took it off hours later.  Made another try on some babyback ribs.  We weren’t impressed with the results on those, either.

All that took place back in December or January.  The grill has been sitting in the shop since that time.  Decided to give it another shot this past weekend.  I asked Wanda to pick up a couple of chicken halves.  That led to another story.  Chicken halves seem to be a thing of the past.  Everyone wants parts, nowadays. It’s either whole, or smaller pieces.

Anyway, she purchased a whole chicken which appeared to have weighed six or eight pounds when alive.  We split it ourselves and put it on the Cobb.  I added five more briquettes after a couple of hours cooking and this is what it looked like after three hours.


Cooked to perfection and pull apart tender.  It seems the Cobb is designed for Summertime use.  It did a fantastic job with the temperature in the eighties.  I think I’ll try those ribs one more time.  I might come to like this grill, though I’ll never abandon my $15.00 Walmart  special. I use one a year.  One of the best deals you will find.


There is a lot to be said for outdoor cooking.  Think I’ll make that a subject for another post……jc

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Farm Sitting, again.


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Our neighbor has been out of town for part of the week and we’re taking care of the farm. Their grand daughter is graduating this weekend in Texas, so they are over there for the occasion.  They look after our place when we are gone, and it is nice to be able to repay the favor.

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Besides chickens, there are goats.  Lots of them.  I think he has had over fifty kids born this Spring.

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Hey, Ma! ya think I’ve gained any weight?

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You can’t have that many goats without a watch”dog”, or two.

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And, there are some cattle back in there, somewhere.

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One of perks of the job are fresh eggs.  Also, the blueberries are beginning to ripen and their bush’s have more than ours.  No need to just let the birds have them while they are away.

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That’s about all that’s happening around here, at present.  Beginning to spend more time with that Atlas………jc