Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dutch Oven-First Use


Remember I got Jim an 8 qt. Lodge Dutch Oven for Father’s Day.  Yesterday he used it for the first time.  Teddy and Birdie came up for the weekend and stayed in a cabin nearby.  Friday Teddy gave Jim some advice on cleaning and using the Dutch oven for the first time.

Jim washed the oven in hot water, wiped it out dry and coated the whole thing with lard.  Then he heated it up on the stove and then let it cool.  Jim marinated a pork butt roast in some soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Cajun seasoning for a couple of hours.



After searing all the sides of the roast Jim added more of the marinate mix  and laid it on a bed of celery, onions and carrots.  Then he put the oven on top of a wood fire. 


Teddy “supervised” and said Jim was doing just fine.



The roast came out very good…tender, juicy and carved very easily.CIMG7928             CIMG7927

We then sat around the fire and even stayed out when it began to sprinkle.


We had a wonderful afternoon, enjoying friends, food and a few libations.

Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chapman Annual Four-Wheel Trip

Since Jim was about 12-13 his family would take a 4-wheel Jeep trip to the Telluride-Ouray area. They’d drive to Lake City and then go off road “over the mountains and through the woods” on the back roads.

For at least the last 30 years the Chapman boys have annually taken one weekend in the summer to continue this tradition. Friends and other family members have joined in at various times. One year our Escapees friend, Jay Carter, went with Jim and he had a great time. Jim kiddingly said it took him over a year to get the grab bar in the Jeep back in shape, cause Jay held it so tightly and kept screaming “ah, sh*t” as they maneuvered all the switch-backs. Jay said it was a trip of a lifetime that he enjoyed very much.

This year our traveling companions and dear friends, Jim and Linda Mossman, accompanied Jim on the trip with his brothers and other of their friends on this annual trek. Both Linda and Jim enjoyed themselves and they definitely want to do it again.


The scenery is amazing and something you can’t see any other way.

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There are frequent stops to see the sights.

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Then, of course, there’s always lunch


I really like the photo Jim took of Linda enjoying the scenery.

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They even got to see a dear feeding

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I “use to” to go on these trips with Jim, but to be honest the whole thing scares me to death, and I can’t say I enjoy it. I really like the socializing, great dinners out, hot tubs, shopping…..but the 4-wheeling just never appealed to me. So for the last five summers that we have been camphosting, I stay home and take care of the campgrounds while Jim enjoys his time with his brothers and friends.

Salai knittingMy dear friend, Salai, comes up every year and helps me out with the cleaning and stuff. This is our weekend to catch up, knit, read and enjoy each others company.  Here she is knitting outside our rig.  Salai’s birthday is a day before mine, so I took her out to a birthday dinner at the Shaft. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of fried shrimp. So it is a “win-win” for both Jim and I.  He enjoys his four-wheeling and Salai and I enjoy our weekend together.

Remember, you are loved.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


While shopping at Safeway the other day I checked out the many brands of Greek yogurt they carry.  I really like yogurt and the benefits it provides; and I especially like the Greek style yogurt for the thicker consistency and richness.  I was surprised to find out that Greek yogurt is nothing more than regular yogurt that is strained to take out some of the liquid….I thought it was a different process or something.

So I bought one of each brand and decided to do my own taste-test.  Here’s the line up: Fage, Chobani, Open Nature, Yoplait, and Dannon…all Greek style yogurt. I prefer honey flavor, but Chobani was with peaches on the bottom.


These are lined up in order of my preference, left to right.  My number one priority is does it have live culture.  Surprisingly, Yoplait and Dannon had NONE!!! The other three did.  Then my second criteria was how it tasted. Fage and Chobani were nearly tied in great taste, with Open Nature a decent second.  Yoplait and Dannon contained corn starch as a thickener and tasted like it too!  I didn’t like the taste of the Yoplait or Dannon at all…and remember, they didn’t even have a live culture so what’s the use in eating it?


The Fage Honey actually was plain, live culture yogurt with a separate little part of the container that held some very good honey. The opening for the honey actually conforms to the tip of your spoon so you could get a spoonful of yogurt and dig out a bit of the honey on the tip….very clever.


The Cobani didn’t come in honey flavor at Safeway, but it did have a good bit of chopped peaches on the bottom of the container.  And they were real peaches, not that sickie, syrupy stuff you get in some regular yogurts that feature “fruit on the bottom”.  I really enjoyed the taste and texture of the peaches with the Greek yogurt Cobani put out.

CIMG7869The Open Nature I’d get if there wasn’t any Fage or Cobani available.  It wasn’t bad, just not quite as good as the other two.



As far as the Greek yogurt put out by Yoplait and Dannon….IMHO, pass them up as they aren’t even yogurt IMHO!!! The ingredients list dried milk and milk with corn starch and no live culture.

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So there is my personal Greek yogurt taste test.  What is your favorite brand of Greek yogurt???????

Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I get emails and blog comments from readers who ask how you get rid of “all the stuff” in preparation to going fulltime RVing.  I go through the - take one room at a time - it’s a lot easier to pick out what you need in the RV and sell the rest, give your kids their own stuff, and donate the rest. 

For me, I don’t like garage sales, so at one of my book club meetings I put out most of my small appliances and asked my friends to choose an item and pay me what they thought it was worth.  This way I knew who had my stand-up mixer, microwave, oven toaster, etc. and it wasn’t so hard to let go of them because I knew who had them.  I also asked the ladies to say a little prayer for me or give me a good thought each time they used the appliance…you can never have too many prayers sent your way.

Our furniture was also sold to friends. I told all my friends, co-workers, club members, etc. that I needed to sell all my furniture and invited them to come to our house and see if there was something they wanted.  So all our furniture is also in our friends homes or their children’s homes.

Now when we come back to Colorado and see friends they comment on how comfortable our furniture is; the lawn mower is still cutting grass; the large barbecue grill is still feeding the family; the mixer makes great cakes and many other stories.  Again, it is comforting to know our “stuff” is serving our friends well.

Then the other day I was watching Roadtrip Nation on PBS.  It’s a good show that is a “grassroots movement that encourages people to move outside their comfort zone and explore the world”.  Three college students ride across the country in a motorhome interviewing folks, having experiences and seeing new things, as they try to figure out what they want to do in life. 

One of the interviews was with Jay Shafer of Tiny Houses fame.  He builds houses of 96 to 300 sq. ft. They are really cute!  Anyway, the student asked him about how people pare down their belongings to fit in these tiny houses.  What he said was priceless:

“Know what you need to be happy and get rid of the rest”

Isn’t that an amazing statement?  So simple - so concise - and so absolutely TRUE!!!  Take what you love and leave the rest.

It is so much easier to go through the house and pick out the things that made me happy and made me smile and put that in the RV and shucked the rest.

I loved a three-piece set of liquid measuring cups I bought from Pampered Chef. They are easy to read without bending down to eye level. But I thought the single four-cup measuring cup would be more practical, but it didn’t make me smile.  So before we left the area I changed my mind and got the three-piece set and I smile and am happy every time I use them now.  Just this morning when I used the two cupper I thought “I’m so glad I brought these along”.

We end up putting so little of our possessions into our RVs when we go fulltime RVing.  There is just so little you really NEED compare to what we HAD (or what we want to take, for that matter). But you finally realize you decided to go fulltime RVing to change our lifestyle, and exchange possessions for traveling and experiences.  That is the goal.  You just have to keep your eye on the goal and hold up all the choices of possessions you want to take up against that goal.  It really makes it easier to choose that way. 

Take what you need not what you want, but make sure what you need also brings you joy and makes you smile.

Well, that is my humble opinion.  Take it for what it’s worth. 

Remember, you are loved.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Mossman’s Arrive

Yeah, scream, shout, happy, happy, joy, joy….The Mossman’s have arrived in South Fork and they have the campsite right across from us here in Beaver Creek Campground.  We meet for happy/social hour every day in our front area around the campfire.

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We took them to Lobo Lookout which on top of Wolf Creek Pass.  It is about 11,000 feet elevation.  It was a clear day and you could see for miles.

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The Mossman’s computer crashed, so we drove into Alamosa to take it to “Dr. Lory”, my friend, computer guru and mentor.  While there, my Jim wanted to show The Mossman’s his El Camino that we keep in storage.

CIMG7780The Mossman’s will stay with us for the rest of the season and then we will take off and tour the Pacific Northwest together for three months.  Then we will end up mid-November in the Yuma, Arizona, area for the winter.

Jim and I are so very, very happy to have our good friends and traveling buddies back in our lives!!!!  Things are back in balance again.  

Remember, you are loved.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Abeyta Family and Friends

Birdie-Teddy Abeyta

We first met Roberta and Teddy Abeyta at Big Meadows Campground back in 2008, when they had some trouble with a noisy neighbor and Jim had to go play “policeman”.  Teddy is retired and is a Dutch Oven cook-extradinaire!!! 


Teddy sets up a cook tent with several dutch oven stands, a deep fryer and a “disk” made from plowing equipment set atop the burner of a turkey deep fryer. It’s quite the set-up. (Teddy, don’t forget you promised to bring a disk for me when you return on Labor Day weekend!)


This is the dining room tent they set-up right by the creek…see the water in the background? Boy, this is the best of camping!


The Abeyta’s camp with 4 or 5 other couples with 2 couples staying 2 miles down the road because they wanted full hook-ups, and 2 other couples rented cabins down the other way. So come dinner time we had cars all over as visitors came to eat.  The Two Lindas were here at the same time, so we had a good crowd for dinner most nights.

Teddy smoking ribs
Sausage on the “disk” with horse-shoe handles
Corn roasting on an open wood fire…yum!
Half a gallon of homemade salsa
Pork cooking on “disk”
Notice the horseshoe handles?
We all ate together
Socializing after dinner.

Richard and Patti had us over to their campground for an enchilada and trout dinner.  Richard has this fancy “Margarator’ that makes a mean margarita…even crushes the ice up first then mixes in everything else for a fine frozen drink.

Richard our Mixologist!
Richard’s cook tent
Richard, Pat and Mike
Shirley, Birdie and Teddy
Marco and “Ma’am”

They all spent about a week with us and Jim and I didn’t have to cook for a week!  They are all very kind to us and include us in all their meals.

We look forward to some of them returning for a week for the Labor Day weekend.  Wonder what we will be eating then???

Remember, you are all loved!!!