July 23, 2015 § 2 Comments
Well, I suppose it had to happen eventually. I just thought I had a few years yet before it wouldn’t be worth it anymore.
I’m talking about my rustic camping trip on the weekend. We had a couple of nice fires, a great meal and a good sit by the lake.
But the rest, well the rest absolutely and unequivocally sucked monkey balls. Unserviced used to be an adventure now it’s just a pain in the ass. The yahoos across the lake used to be fun now they’re just fucking annoying.
We had rain most of the night Friday, even had to abandon the fire at 8:00pm and a severe thunderstorm the following night. All told, out of the 48 hours we were gone we got maybe three hours of sunshine. I also only got 7 hours sleep the entire weekend while BFF got about 24.
I was cold, I was damp, I was exhausted and I was sore from unloading and hauling all of our gear down a very long, steep, poorly maintained, hand dug staircase to the not quite level shack. I spent the entire weekend secretly dreading having to haul it all back up.
Mostly though, I was bored. (See above for how much sleep I got compared to my companion.) I had no idea just how prevalent Netflix had become in my life. Old shows, new shows, movies and documentaries…oh, how I love thee. I did bring a book and thank goodness it was decent and I almost finished it.
In the end, it seems I’ve outgrown my fondness for the rustic experience. Perhaps even outgrown my love of camping altogether. All I could think about while shivering inside my thick sweater and flannel shirt desperately trying to start a fire in a wet pit was a fancy hotel room with a kickin’ hot tub, room service and my laptop.
Nature, it’s been a blast but I think I want to start seeing other environments. Really, it’s not you, you’re awesome…it’s totally me.
July 15, 2015 § Leave a comment
Really, it’s an unserviced shack in the middle of very dense woods in Western Quebec. Woohoo, can’t wait!
I’m an “old fashioned” camper, I prefer the rustic experiences of my childhood to today’s modern “glamping“. We will have no running water or electricity and have to rely on batteries, kerosene, propane and ice for our basic necessities. I’ll spare you the potty details. 😛
This post is about packing the cooler.
I have recently come up with a way to maximize space and efficiency while at the same time saving myself some of the headaches of depending on a portable box of melting ice for our perishable food items.
So, if you’re new to camping or just want a better way to store your perishable food items here are some easy steps to packing a cooler for maximum convenience and minimum hassles.
1) Make a detailed menu plan including snacks. It took me years to figure out the necessity of this step. Mostly because I was so busy making other lists and organizing the kids that when it was time to head out we just threw a bunch of stuff in the cooler and tossed ice on top.
When I say detailed, I mean down to how many eggs per person per day you’ll need. It’ll save you room and prevent the need to cool food you won’t be eating. The easiest way to do this is to figure out how long you’ll be gone, how many meals you’ll need, how much each person is likely to eat and account for snacking.
2) Take only what you have determined you’ll need (from Step 1). Don’t bring a whole brick of cheese or tub of yogurt for two people for an overnight stay. This is such a waste of precious space in your cooler and you run the risk of food turning, particularly if the weather is really hot.
Either buy individual portions if they are available and just toss a few in the cooler. You can also parse food out in food safe reusable containers. You don’t need a whole cupboard of *Tupperware for this either.
3) Freeze as much as possible to keep the necessity for ice to a minimum. Melting ice can wreak havoc in that the water often easily gets beyond basic packaging. Soggy wieners or soaked cheese anyone?
I personally prefer to precook and then freeze items like chicken, stews or soups (in the reusable containers) for the cooler. They keep the other foods cool and at the same time saves on the cooking. Frozen water bottles and juice boxes also work as great ice substitutes.
4) Finally, practice stacking your containers for maximum space allowance. This may sound silly but it’s so worth the time to make sure just how many containers will fit and still allow space for things like fruit and eggs.
If you find you have enough room you can even fill an empty container with water and freeze it. This will act like an ice pack with the bonus of providing both drinking water and an empty container for any leftovers.
July 17, 2013 § Leave a comment
It’s been six weeks, thereabouts, since my last post. The summer is almost half over and I have no idea where the time went.
We just got back from Niagara Falls for Daughter’s birthday, part two (we went last year) where she turned the big 18 and got herself a tattoo…yoink! Not my baby anymore indeed.
I wish I could regale you with camping stories but unfortunately our camper trailer has been in the shop for the last three weeks. Apparently its not easy to find parts for a 30 year old model. Whodathunkit?
We’re experiencing a weeks long heat wave, today we have a humidex of 43 degrees CELCIUS. That’s stupid hot no matter how you measure it. It’s one of those years where I’m bowing down in utter gratefulness for the pool, especially because we don’t have central air conditioning. One small window unit and fans is how we’re managing the heat indoors. Well, that and going to hang out at the local that does have air conditioning. 😉
In other news, well…there is no other news. I’ve opted to skip this month’s Organize 2013 post because it’s just too darn hot to even think about organizing, let alone actually do any.
I hope you (looking at you Shady!) are having a wonderful summer so far. Perhaps cooler temps will encourage more regular posts on my part.
June 27, 2012 § 2 Comments
By the Lake
More than two hours does it take
To get ourselves by the lake
Bluest skies, green lush forest
Nope, there’s nothing for it
Water rippling across the way
Oh how it makes my day
Sitting by the lake
Roasting hot dogs, making smores
A soul couldn’t ask for more
Being by the lake
Days go fast with nothing to do
What’s even better is finding you
To share my morning coffee with
It doesn’t get much better than this
Life by the lake
August 23, 2011 § 3 Comments
I mentioned a few posts ago how it’s been a crazy busy summer. It really has and frankly I’m more than ready to move into fall. Of course the weather has different ideas and it’s still going to be summer around here for another couple of weeks.
Don’t get me wrong! It’s been an absolutely amazing, adventure of a summer and I’m so glad for it. Our trip to Toronto was a blast and I don’t think it’s ever been more fun hanging with Hubby and Daughter than on that vacation.
I also spent a great deal of time with my sister and we’re getting along better than ever. Subsequently, I got to hang out with my nephews way more than usual and it was a great deal of fun.
We also bought a long coveted toy in our camper/trailer and even got out to use it. I absolutely reveled in the hours I spent cleaning, stocking and organizing everything. The camp out itself was just icing on the cake.
But like a roller coaster, there comes a point when you start asking yourself, “Does this ride end anytime soon?”
Because along with all those highs were also some exceptional lows. Things with Son are not good. Tumultuous is the best word I know to describe it. I’m at the end of my apron strings now and I don’t really see much option at this point other than to just let go.
Be assured that I’m not all pity-party about it. I’m not crying into my coffee in the morning. I’ve accepted that Son is experiencing the consequences of his decisions and that the best thing I can do for him is to back the hell off. Still, it does tug a mother’s heart to see her child choose such a rough road.
But then, I did too. And sometimes I wonder, despite my own experience of growing up a little too fast, perhaps I’ve been hindering Son by trying to cushion his fall all this time. By trying to make sure he didn’t have to go through what I did, did I just prolong his immaturity?
I honestly don’t know. *SIGH*
In any case, things are what they are and for the most part I’m pretty okay with it. Still, I’ll feel a whole lot better when the air loses all trace of humidity, the sun starts to set a little earlier and when we can harvest the last of this years veggies.
I think I’m ready to begin looking forward to next year.
August 9, 2011 § 6 Comments
I absolutely LOVE cooking outdoors, I always find the food tastes better when we’re camping. But then, I like airplane and hospital food too. 😉 Seriously though, I think it’s the lack of walls and the sheer abundance of fresh air. Standing over a hot stove outside when it’s humid is a lot better than behind stuck inside a house doing the same thing.
As we were going to be gone for less than 48 hours, I had only one major meal to concern myself with and that was Saturday’s dinner. Preferring to use something we already had instead of going out and spending money, I found some leftover cooked hamburgers in the freezer.
Not sure what exactly I was going to do with it, I relied on my creativity and tossed them into the cooler. I then went through the pantry and fridge and found a can of diced tomatoes and a couple of small green peppers. Aha! I knew what I was going to make…
Leftover Hamburger Stew
In a medium size pot on low heat I melted about a tablespoon of butter and cooked 1 small diced onion and 2 small chopped green pepper. I added 1 tablespoon of homemade Italian Spice Mix* and continued cooking until the peppers were tender and then added the large can of diced tomatoes.
While that continued cooking on low, I cut up the (now thawed) cooked hamburgers into small cubes and added that to the sauce. I turned up the heat and cooked it for about 20 minutes and then added another tablespoon of the spice mix and a small can of tomato paste, mixing well.
I let that simmer for another 15 minutes then covered and let stand. It sat for most of the afternoon so I heated it up on med high and brought it to a boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly and then turned it to simmer for another 10 minutes.
It was amazing! Somehow I know that it tasted all the better for being outdoors…and that I used leftovers in such a clever and tasty way. 😀
*Italian Spice Mix – Instead of bringing along a whole lot of different spices for camping which can be a pain to store, I put some oregano, basil, thyme, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder all in one container and shook it up. Tada! Instant all-purpose spice mix.
August 8, 2011 § 4 Comments
We arrived at the campground, after a rather stressful drive – I was following Hubby and we ended up having to merge onto the highway (did I mention that I’ve never driven on the highway?), around 6:00 pm. In less than an hour we were totally set up and enjoying…
and set up her laptop. Meh, what are you gonna do? She did come outside and sit by the fire for a little bit the first night. The second night though the three of us had a blast sitting around the fire for hours playing the alphabet game* and laughing our butts off.
Hubby donned his red camping tunic (he has two – the red one and a beige one – both of which I made for him myself) and got to work on…
roasting hot dogs, of course. He pretty much lives on them the entire time we’re camping. Here he is getting the bread and condiments ready. Once we were settled in by the fire we had a visitor stop by…
to warm itself up. The little guy just sat next to fire drum for the longest time opening and closing his mouth at me. We wondered whether it was worth the effort to get the camera because we were sure he would just hop away but no, I had plenty of time to get it and snap about half a dozen shots of him. Hehehe.
The next night we had an even bigger guest stop by for a snack…
who left paw prints all over the coolers he was desperately trying to open. At first we thought it was Daughter shuffling around inside the camper but when we heard the ice sloshing around we knew something was trying to break into our food. Hubby scared off the biggest raccoon either of us had ever seen – definitely a very well fed critter – and we didn’t get a chance to take a pic.
So, we just sat around…
a happy camper!
Unfortunately, it’ll be a while – another month – before we can get back out again because of in-town commitments but I can’t wait to do it all again.
*Alphabet Game – A word game where you choose a category and then in rotation come up with examples of things in alphabetical order. Ex – FRUIT – Apples, Bananas, Cherries etc…
We’ve been playing this game for years and the categories get progressively harder as the kids have gotten older. This time it was Movies, Simpsons characters, Dr. Who things and then All About Monty Python. It really is a laugh, especially when someone comes up with really obscure answers. The best part of this game is that you don’t need paper/pens, there are no points or scores and everyone has a great time.
So, how was your weekend?