January 4th, 2022

It’s been damn cold here this past week. A couple of days ago it was 6°F and below zero wind chills and it has lingered a few days. It is going to be cold again this week. I got my big propane tank filled yesterday so it lasted pretty well through this nonsense. Staying nice and toasty warm in the trailer though!

I didn’t use to mind the cold weather, but anymore I really just hate this stuff. It makes my back and neck hurt and, as I mentioned before in other posts, after the heart attack I get cold really easy for some odd reason. This is extraordinary cold for this area but I remember Midwest winters always being colder than what they should be. Nonetheless, it sucks.

I have been trying to eke out a little more space here and there and cut down on extra things and weight in the trailer. I have gotten some more of my staple foods cleared out so that is helping with the space. I did a bit of rearranging (again…I know…) and moved my pots and pans under my sink and put the food under the dining bench. It works quite a bit better that way; with the plumbing under the sink it’s difficult to get to groceries in the back without taking everything out.

I am thinking I might swap my pots and pans in the trailer for my few pieces of Le Creuset, my small Dutch oven, and another enameled cast iron frying pan knock-off I found at Goodwill (it was a great score for $3.00!). Easier to clean, smaller to pack, and will do what I need. Those and a regular black cast iron skillet to toss in a campfire or my pizza oven if need be (along with my new Ooni skillet I got for the holidays) should be all I need. Yeah, it weighs a little more but takes up less room and fewer things to pack so it may even out a bit. And, with the extra room under the sink I can put my mixing bowl set and a few other things under there so it’s all together.

I also packed my Nespresso away. It was taking up too much room as it was sitting on a foldable shelf in the doorway. I decided to bust out the moka pot for espresso. I bought some local roast beans since I picked up my coffee grinder when I was in WA.

Yesterday I whipped up some espresso with the beans. It’s a medium roast so not the rich bold flavor of the Sumatra coffee I usually bought before the Nespresso, but medium roast has more caffeine. I was able to verify that after I drank a whole pot of espresso, which ended up being 5-6 shots of espresso. That lit me right up. I won’t do that again. Got rid of my headache though!

I was not real impressed with the roast on the beans – it had an odd, acidic flavor. It was rocket fuel though! This is why I only buy enough for a few pots so I can give it more than one chance. If it’s good, I buy more. If it sucks, well I am not out for a whole bag and buying good coffee gets too expensive to waste. I actually just read an article about moka pots and I need to use it differently than how I am. That may help the acidic part, plus I just want to do it right and end up with a great cup of coffee.

Anyhoo, I’m getting a little more organized in the trailer and getting things squared away. With the mattress I lost access to a compartment in the center-rear of the trailer. I guess the good thing is it saves weight by having less room to pack things into, but I was only using it for blankets so I could keep the heavier stuff closer to the wheels.

I wish I had thought about it before I put the new mattress in…I could have opened up one side or the front of that storage area. I don’t really want to wrassle that thing around to get in there to take the panel out now; there is no room to move it. But, if I open up the side it would actually extend a storage area accessible through the compartment door into a nice big area twice the size for a few longer items or my heated water hose. If I open up the front of it then I could store something like a few extra warm clothes I don’t need very often. I will need to think about this a bit more…

I am really glad I returned those storage bins last week. It is actually working out much better now the way I have it organized where I was using those. Between that and moving the other things around I think it’s finally getting to be sensibly organized. I have said that before, I know, but the realities of everyday use definitely brings any problems out.

The other part of this packing thing is what do I haul in the truck. You want to be prepared for problems so tools are a must. I think the key is that it is somewhat like going to Europe; you can usually buy what you need anywhere. But, some hand tools can go a long way to making a quick fix, well…quick. A few spare things like that spray stuff because I may be driving down the highway and see a screen door and want to make a boat out of it. Or fix a leak on the trailer.

With all of the work I have done on the trailer most of what is left is not in my skillset, nor do I have the tools to do those repairs. There just are not a lot of spare trailer parts I need to haul other than leak repairs, bulbs, etc. But, I have a generator to take, a spare tire for the trailer, water hoses and filter, leveling ramps, spare propane bottle…the typical things you use daily.

I guess it feels like it really is a new year now and I am starting fresh with re-organizing things again. I feel it is (finally) just about dialed in to where it needs to be.

With the holidays being over I decided that I needed to get back to logging my food. I added a few extra pounds and I am upset ewith myself that I let it happen. But, with all the good things to eat (in moderation, but still…) on top of the weather being too lousy to walk in (cold rain, wind and lots of mud/clay do NOT a pleasant hike make) I took a step or two backwards. It could have been much worse.

I have gotten out for walks this past week and made good use of my Apple Watch exercise apps once again. I made some low-sodium chicken and noodles a few nights ago, and I do have a few things to eat that I cooked up tonight – Szechuan chcken lo-mein stir fry (it ended up pretty damn spicy but still somewhat healthy) and a small Philly steak sandwich (a splurge – only had one other one in probably the last two years) – but I am not eating much else on the days I eat something like that.

I was hoping to not keep logging my food, and I still plan on doing that after I lose a few pounds and keep them off. I am still happy about what I have lost so far and I know it helps my health. I still try to eat pretty healthy most generally.

That is today’s update.

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