Browsing "Homemaking"
May 7, 2013 -

Dining Out

One of the biggest challenges this winter was consistently finding good coffee to make at home. In Canada, my compromise for taste and price is Nabob Full City Metropolis. My coffee choices have been hit or miss all winter, and my latest purchase has been thoroughly a miss. L spoiled me rotten in Wichita, having a fresh pot of really good stuff available to me every morning. My morning coffee has been disappointing since Kansas.

I remembered from last year that the Dakota Magic restaurant has really good coffee. So I planned on having a lunch here, for both the coffee and to use up the rest of my U.S. cash.

I ordered a full pot of coffee (did not get through it) and a club sandwich, which came to $10. I brought half of the meal home for dinner. I’m going to miss this price/portion ratio when I get to Canada.

The coffee was sooooooooooo good. Since I only ate half my meal, I asked for a slice of pie to go with my final sips.

When I came into the restaurant, the server didn’t see me be seated and I was apparently invisible because it took AGES for her to see me. I was actually about to walk out, figuring they were too busy to take on any new customers, when she came to take my order. So when I asked for pie, she pointed to the buffet ($13 for lunch, OUCH), and told me to help myself to whatever looked good, plus ice cream if I wanted it, and that she wouldn’t charge me. That doubled her tip! I enjoyed their pecan pie with just a dollop of chocolate ice cream.

When you live alone in a small space, dining out is practically a survival mechanism. It’s an excuse to get out and do a little socialising. For me, food is food when it comes to my budget. Said budget goes further in the U.S. than in Canada and allows for more meals out, but regardless, so much per month goes to food and I eat very simply at home to cut costs (I so rarely buy desserts and junk food, for example, that saying that I never buy them is barely an exaggeration). Dining out is not a place where my budget needs to be trimmed, contrary to what some readers may think.

Another thing is that this blog is a business. When I post a review of a local restaurant, I keep a copy of the bill and the blog post and claim a partial deduction on my taxes! The logic there is that I keep a travel blog. Part of travel is discovering local cuisines and restaurants. Part of my business is travel writing. To write about travel, I have to write about food. Ergo the deduction.

I’m off to do more laundry. I did three loads this morning and now I have the heavy denim stuff to do, which will take FOREVER to dry since it’s almost impossible to wring out by hand.

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May 5, 2013 -

Sunshine From Iowa

Reader P.J. and her hubby just left after spending the afternoon together. They treated me to one last meal at Applebee’s (thank you!!!) and then came down to the campground to get a tour of Miranda. I have given so many tours of Miranda this winter. I haven’t felt that comfortable showing my home before.

It’s been a full year since we last saw each other, so it was good to catch up. A lot has changed!

P.J. showed me her beautiful scrapbooking project. This is a craft that really appeals to me as it is very textured and visually appealing, but I obviously don’t have the space for such a hobby. Looking through the pages filled with little mementos of the day, I realised that my blog is rather like a digital scrapbook.

They brought good weather with them: it is warmish and almost sunny out now!!!

Neelix was also super happy to have company; he appears to be petted out. 🙂

I’m really hoping to make it to Hankinson tomorrow, but it will depend on the wind more than anything else. If it’s smooth sailing with no muscling needed, it should be a fairly easy drive easily split into morning and afternoon sessions. Otherwise, I will only get about halfway, to Sioux Fallsish. But the drive from Hankinson to Minot is almost as long, so I’d really rather push hard and stay two nights at the casino and then just drive hard for a few days.

I’ve been monitoring the weather at my property and they hit not just the teens today, but the high teens, and it looks like sun and warm to hot weather for the rest of the week!!!! If this keeps up, I am going to feel comfortable heading straight there instead of dropping Miranda somewhere and scouting ahead with the toad.

It was so good to have company today. I probably won’t have any more real social engagements until I get to Donna and Ken’s in June.

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May 5, 2013 -

A Cold Nebraska Morning

Last night was perfect hibernating, I mean sleeping, conditions. I got nine straight hours. WOW!

I had a bit of a hard time finding the movie theatre in Columbus yesterday. I saw the sign by the road telling me I was in the general vicinity of it but could not find the building. I circled around the plaza for a bit until I saw some teenage boys holding soft drinks and popcorn bags come out of unmarked doors to what looked like a strip mall. I parked and walked through those doors to find a tiny mall with a few stores. I had to run a craft fair/Tupperware party gauntlet before I finally found the cinema.

It was your typical small town cinema, a couple of theatres and reasonable enough prices to make popcorn a treat, not a ridiculous indulgence. I ended up going for the 3D showing, but I won’t be doing that again. I had seen ‘Brave’ in 3D and was totally immersed, but with Iron Man 3, all I really got from the 3D glasses was blurriness at the periphery of my vision. Otherwise, I had a fun time as the movie is hilarious and makes up for the second one. I’m glad I saw ‘The Avengers’ in Hampton Roads, otherwise Iron Man 3 would have made almost no sense.

I got in and made my first real meal at home in AGES (pork chops, broccoli, rice) and then I settled down to watch another movie.

It’s another slow morning, but I’ll be doing a good cleaning blitz before I head out to meet P.J. I haven’t been spending much time at home and it shows.

When I’m just passing through an area like this for a night or two and don’t need my full office set up, I usually hang out in the living room and leave the office packed. I really don’t spend enough time in here when I’m parked long-term and I don’t know why. The arm chair is so much more comfortable for watching a movie than is the bed in the back of the study.

L gave me a 19″ TV to use for watching movies or as a bigger screen for my laptop because the tuner went out on it and it’s no good to use as a TV (a case of one person’s trash taking up storage room in the garage being someone else’s useful treasure). I was going to mount it in the study, but now I think I would be better off doing so in the living room to motivate me to use this space more. That will cut down on the ‘where’s your TV?!” comments that I get from most folks visiting the rig. 🙂 I do need to get an adapter for it as Macbook Pros don’t have an HDMI port, and the older ones don’t carry audio from their mini display port, so I need some sort of audio cable, too.

One way that I have made the living room more comfortable is that I got rid of one of the two night tables I had bought as storage for the living room and have FINALLY found the perfect place for the remaining one.

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This way, I get a cat perch and I still have a surface on which to put a cup (that black surface pushes back into the night table). I used to have it laid out so the short side was against the wall, which meant the ottoman was blocked and I couldn’t stretch my legs. Neelix’s cushion (and it’s always been his and purchased expressly for him, Tabitha never had any use for such luxuries) moves around depending on where I am in the rig. So that night table is usually clear to receive bags of groceries or whatever else is coming into the RV.

Some time ago, while looking for something completely unrelated, I found my night stand on Amazon! I paid $10 for two. Amazon is selling them for $125 EACH!!! And, yes, it’s EXACTLY the same thing! If you look at the reviews, there is another RVing using this same unit since it matches standard RV ‘golden’ or ‘medium’ oak cabinetry perfectly.

Time to turn the furnace back on and get started with my day!

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