Saturday, January 29, 2011

29 January, 2011 Gettin' ready to hit the road soon.

I didn't realize it has been so long since I updated my blog.  The weather has warmed up a bit so we've been working outside.  We're leaving soon for our second annual trip to Lake Mead in Nevada.  It will be nice to get out of the snow and ice for awhile.  The warm wather is nice temperature wise but it melts the snow down into ice which is a pain (expecially if you fall).  When we feed the buffalo we have to wear our ice cleats which, while they keep you from sliding (usually!) they aren't comfortable.  Even with them you have to be careful.  It'll be so good to be able to walk around outside without fear of slipping or falling.

We decided to take the little trailer and my motorcycle with us to Lake Mead this year so we had to get a license for the trailer.  They socked us $89.00 for license and registration fees.  It's light duty two wheel, flatbed trailer with a 1/2 ton rating.  Susan and I can lift it off the ground by ourselves!  I can see why they have a sign on the door of the county offices saying no firearms allowed.  They don't want any competition while robbing you blind. Okay, rant off!  I've got a lot of pictures on this posting so I better get busy here ...

The place we normally get water has a frozen hydrant so we used alternate sources.  This is our youngest son filling them at the fire department.  We also went to the neighbors one day when they had their pump running.  It's only a mile each way to them so that works out well.  We've been getting rain and melted snow for wash water so the plastic jugs last awhile before they need refilled.

Susan's been canning all kinds of food for our trip.  We plan on being gone a couple of months and are trying to bring everything we need except gasoline with us.  We won't have refrigeration so she's canning butter (above) and several other dairy type foods to take with us.  She's using small jars so that when we open them we'll be able to use them up before they spoil.

This is Cream Cheese.  It cans up beautifully.  When you open it you can spoon it out with a knife or spoon to spread it on whatever.

This is cheddar cheese.

These are the "before" pictures of the cram cheese, cheddar cheese and cottage cheese.

She's been heating up the lids to soften the seals prior to placing them on the jars.  The jar on thefar left is cottage cheese.  It's the first time canning it so she only tried one jar.  The one in the center is cream cheese.  The cottage cheese turned watery so she's using it in lasagne for dinner tonight.  We won't can anymore until we find a better way.

And egg-nog prior to canning.

She canned several jars of sausage patties to eat on our trip.  You can eat them cold out of the jar or heat them up or crumble them for use in gravy or cassarole type dishes.

She also canned some bacon for the trip.

She cuts them in half then rolls them up in parchment paper before putting them in the canning jars.  

We save our old lids to use them on jars with dried food.  This is how Susan keeps them separated and organized.  Once the jars seal you can take the rings off and use them on the next load of jars.  In a clockwise direction starting with the top left container she has large rings, small rings, large lids and small lids.  She always uses new lids when canning.

She made a large pot of beans.  We'll have beans and bisquits for dinner (bisquits on the right) and she's also dehydrating the extra beans for later use on out trip.  When you cook them then dehydrate them they're kind of like "minute beans."  Just add water and heat them up and they're ready to eat.  You can also mash them up then rehydrate them and make refried beans. 

The first batch dried and ready for packing.  There will be several more trays to dry yet before we're finished.

These are dehydrated blueberries.  What is in this pan was once five pounds of frozen blueberries.

I've been using the warm weather to get the paneling in the Uhaul.  There will be shelves where the masonite is.  Since the masonite is about 1/4 the cost of the panelling we use it where there'll be shelves or cabinets.  I'm wiring one of the electrical outlets in this photo.

Susan has the curtains sewed and ready to put in the Uhaul.

Some of what we're taking on the trip with us.  Were planning on staying about two months once we get there.  After that it will be too hot there for us "cold country" pansies. 

We'll be taking the Coleman camp oven.  The oven is small so Susan got out some of her smaller baking pans.

We;re using plastic buckets to store things in.  They stack well, are air tight, and are relatively tough.

Time to dig the motorcycle out and get it loaded up.  I'm digging a trench down to the ground behind the MC so we can roll it backwards once it's free.  There is ice around the bottom of the tarp.  We had to break enough free to get the tarp loose.

The dog decide she wanted to dig too.   Too bad I can't channel some of that enthusiasm a more useful direction!

We got it free then walked it down the path to the back of the trailer.  We had the trailer propped against a tree so Susan and I had to roll it back on it's wheels and pull it over to the Cherokee.

The motorcycle strapped and tied down with a bicycle on each side.  If it makes to the pavement it should make it anywhere.  Our road is in bad shape this year.  We're hoping spring break-up is over when we get back.  We had a wet fall and lots of very cold weather over the winter.  That usually means frozen ground and spring flooding plus with the ground saturated if the wind blows much when it thaws we'll have trees falling down everywhere.  We already have some serious frost heaves on the paved road leading into Fortine and Highway 93 is in bad shape with lots of potholes in the pavement.

Susan making bisquits, sausage and sausage gravy for breakfast.

That's just me doing some laundry.  I was working outside so whenever I came in I'd swish the clothes a bit.  When I finished washing I dumped the water and put clean water in for the rinse.  I wrung them by hand and hung them inside to dry overnight.

Me writing.  I try to get a couple hours of writing in every day.  On days I can't work outside I write more.  On nice days I write less and work outside more. 

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