Delicious Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Pumpkin Bread (Made In A Forest River Cherokee Trailer)

Perfect for a morning cup of tea or coffee. It’s sweet but not too sweet.

This is the bread that we got 3 slices out of before heading out on a run and to the gym for a workout during which time our chocolate lab Kona helped himself to the remainder. This bread was DELICIOUS. No kidding. I’ve got limited resources here (space constraints) and limited space in the oven.

ALSO: just a Pro-Tip from this Instant Pot girl… I created tons of pumpkin purée using my instant pot. It was too easy not to share. Simply wash, cut into pieces and IP for 15 minutes. Leave the skin on. Toss into a blender or food processor and ON LOW begin to puree it. You can use I t immediately (might wait for room temps) or freeze for later. We have been pouring it on top of our pet’s wet food (great health benefits for them too.). Here is a link to a great article about that

Baking in a trailer is TOUGH. The oven is a tiny thing with ONE line of burners directly down the center. This has been a challenge that has burned plenty of my creations. I think I’ve mastered it and we’re eating yummy baked goods again just like on Monticello with my giant convection oven! Note: you can choose gluten free or not.

Ingredients

Bread pan

1C Oat flour (gluten free)

3/4C Gluten Free Baking Flour

1t baking SODA

½ t baking POWDER

1/4 t salt

½ t nutmeg

¼ t ginger

½ t pumpkin spice

¾ C brown sugar

1 ¼ C pumpkin purée

¼ C coconut oil

½ banana, smashed

¼ c water

¼ c dried cranberries

⅓ c pumpkin pepitas (for the top)

Preheat Oven to 375

Prepare your loaf pan with either parchment, lightly greased and flour or use silicone baking dish (that is what I use)

Directions:

In a large bowl (if you have that option) combine Oat Flour to Brown Sugar. Whisk it until it is completely combined.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the pumpkin through the cranberries.

One cup at a time, blend the dry ingredients into the wet. Add the next cup once the first is completely blended. Continue until all the dry ingredients are in the smaller bowl.

The mix will be sticky, not runny.

Pour or spoon mixture into baking dish and spread with a spoon.

Evenly sprinkle pepitas on top of bread.

Place in oven on right side, top most shelf. Bake for 25 minutes.

Move to other side (DO NOT TURN…JUST SCOOT IT OVER) the bread and bake for another 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and set to cool (15 minutes). Turn oven off.

Place on a cutting board and take a pic before your family (especially Husband Unit) start carving and devouring it! 🙂

27 October 2017

Forest River Cherokee

Vegan

Vegetarian

Gluten-Free (optional)

Pet link: https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/the-power-of-pumpkin/

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Rice, Quinoa and Veggies

This recipe is DELICIOUS.

Not only can you have a healthy meal, the lemon juice can be added to the lime juice (ooops I accidentally juiced my limes) and orange juice…of course you need to add a shot of birthday tequila (thanks Shonna) and Cointreau…on ice (no salt). Diane’s Puckery Margarita with fresh EVERYTHING…

Randy licked his plate and complimented me after stuffing his face.

STIR “fry” MEDLEY

25 Oct 2017

Barely any oils – just the vegan butter and after wrapping this up I’d say you only need half of the butter I used which makes it even healthier.

Red Quinoa, Brown Rice topped with: buttery lemon veggies saute onion, garlic, cherry tomato, green zucchini, kale and garbanzo beans. Added 1T basil (sweet) and 1/2t red chili peppers. 1T of fresh lemon juice and 2T vegan butter.

Y.U.M.

Ingredients

Cook ½ c red Quinoa

Cook 1 cup brown whole grain rice

Chop:

½ yellow onion

2 garlic cloves (slice like dimes as thin as you can)

2 cups of kale

10 red cherry tomato, halved

1 cup sliced zucchini (like halved quarters)

½ can of Bushes Garbanzo beans

1T sweet basil

1 t red chili pepper flakes

2T fresh squeezed lemon (I made a margarita with the remainder…thinking of you Diane!)

Cook rice as directed. Set aside and keep warm.

Cook red quinoa as directed. Set aside and keep warm.

In a giant skillet (or wok if you’re lucky) place 2T of vegan butter. Let it get shimmery hot then add garlic. After about a minute add ALL of the remaining vegetables and beans. Stir in the basil and pepper. Lastly, add the lemon juice! Let simmer.

Plate a scoop of rice, scoop of quinoa and two scoops of the skillet delight.

This was a BIG hit and SO easy too. Even in my tiny kitchen.

Review: Four Months Living In A Bread Box

  • YES, Randy is getting on my nerves (along with Kona, Zoey and Piper…well not Piper).
  • YES, we are over budget
  • NO, I have not touched anyone’s mat/weights or tents
  • Reality about our four months and the questions we field regularly.

The Top 8 Questions I’m Asked

I still cannot believe I’m technically considered a “FULL TIME RV’er”.

Just to quickly recap…because I’ve got new readers asking…I thought I’d hit a few FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).

Current Sitch: we are living in a 2017 Forest River Cherokee, 27’ with one slide out along with two dogs and a cat. We are earning minimum wage as a Camp Host (I think it is Minimum Wage) working up to 8 hours a day for a concessionaire contracted by the US Forest Service.

The Top 8 Questions are:

1) When did you start Full Time RV’ing?

2) How is it living in the small space with Randy 24/7?

3) What brought you to this life? Do you like it? Why are you doing it?

4) Where are the closest showers?

5) Do you have to clean toilets? What are your duties as a Camp Host?

6) What has been your biggest challenge?

7) How much do you spend monthly?

8) How long are you planning on doing this?

My Responses…

Normally standing out in the middle of a campground, at the kiosk or near our trailer

1) When did you start Full Time RV’ing?

Officially June 1st 2017. We began planning for this at least a year prior but could not tell anyone about it until we felt confident it was really something we could do both mentally and physically.

2) How is it living in the small space with Randy 24/7?

Not bad. You get to understand the full extent of getting older together. Bodies make sounds and smells which are exaggerated in a small space – BOTH of us and the pets too. Tonight, for example, I walked into the house to feed the pets and stepped in a pile of poop left by Zoey (who is currently pissed at us for…we are not sure) then cleaned the cat box (thankfully Zoey doesn’t eat cat turds). In that scenario we work together well! Now if one of us gets gas it’s a whole other story. There is only one person that can fart near you and you have to take it: your spouse.

I’ll add “how is it living in a small space with two dogs and a cat?” NOT EASY. There is one thing I cannot stand and that is the sound of Kona or Zoey gnawing on themselves accompanied with the scent of wet dog. I gag and I’m irritated completely unable to concentrate. Right now, this very moment as an example, it is 6:00am and Kona is right here with me licking his “man parts” and Zoey is stuffing her face and tongue in between her toes over and over and over and over…it is something she’s done for years. It’s a miracle I’ve written this far.

3) What brought you to this life? Do you like it? Why are you doing it?

LIFE IS TOO SHORT! You do not have control of your future no matter how much you think you do. We want to check out the planet together and originally intended to just go where the wind would take us. We both dialed into researching “how to live full time in an RV” which connected us to various blogs and social media sites. That’s where we discovered Heath and Alyssa Padgett’s Make Money And RV page on Facebook. There was a post from a senior executive for the concessionaire who posted a HELP WANTED PLEASE CONTACT ME and we did. He needed a super part-time couple to manage a camp site. We’d never ever done it before but thought we’d give it a shot and applied. We got the job and worked our butts off like we have at every job we’ve ever done. That got us a transfer to another camp site to finish out the season – and it doubled our hours. So, our plans to budget and manage our finances just got a boost and that has helped manage a few unpredicted issues.

Longer term answer: We have worked since the age of 14 and when we met (on E-Harmony) we prioritized making enough of a living to provide what we could for our 4 kids. In the past decade we have lost some of the most loving family and friends. Too young. Too soon. It began the process of “awakening”. What in the WORLD are we doing killing ourselves to make a living with no plan otherwise.

Since we both LOVE the outdoors We decided to leap untethered into a world we knew little about. It has been a process of accepting “what is will be” at least until we figure out how to change it.

4) Where are the closest showers?

There is a resort just outside of the campground. Pine City or Pine Town. They have showers for the public. Bring quarters and don’t bother if it is freezing out. Science is science and the pipes will be frozen. They have a store with basics you may need for camping comforts but it doesn’t open until 3pm I’m told. We stopped in to check it out and found them to be pretty unfriendly and unwelcoming…so we don’t recommend shopping there.

5) Do you have to clean toilets? What are your duties as a Camp Host?

Yes.

Wake up > do an “A” clean of restrooms (which is checking basics are there – toilet paper, toilets flush properly, floors swept).

Pick-Up the DAR report (Daily Arrivals and Departures) for our zone. Visit each site to make sure the ARRIVAL sites are ready: no trash, fire pit cleaned out, tables washed, bear box clear and grounds raked.

Checkout time is NOON but people begin leaving earlier so we visit those empty sites and do an ARRIVAL process (then they’ll be ready and available for a Walk-Up).

Clean Restrooms “B” which is cleaning doors, walls, toilets and replenishing any basics like TP or trash liners…sweep if necessary.

Run notes, registrations, Arrival Placards, messages from kiosk to Campground hosts.

Sell firewood.

Manage Kiosk Opening and/or Closing (there is a set process and procedure to get the place ready to check guests in and out. Kiosk also includes answering any and all questions about the area of June lake: where to hike, getting to beach, where can dogs walk freely, where is the best fishing, laundry, showers, history of the area, why is there smoke in the sky (controlled burning has begun), how far is the June Loop, where is _________ (insert other campground in area), how much for this or that, what time is checkout, where can I park my extra car, are there full hook-ups, could I walk to the town of June, where is the marina (there are two), when do you close, when did you open, why do you charge $10 for the dump, who is in charge of your campground…and many more. I’ve learned TONS about this area (which makes me love it even more).

Final “A” clean of restrooms.

Be on-call 24/7 during the night for any/all of the above kiosk questions PLUS be prepared to handle drunk, belligerent and disrespectful guests bothering other guests or violating the Rules And Regulations. We have been woken at 4am all the way to 2am. Sleep with warm clothes on and a flashlight nearby just in case!

6) What has been your biggest challenge?

This is a tough one.

At Lake George we did not have internet and only spotty cell. We also did not have a stable leader to go to with questions about how to do our jobs or the rules and regulations for our campground. We had never been camp hosts before and the training we got was 15 minutes standing at the driveway in front of our trailer just prior to opening the site a quick once-over of how to write a Registration and how much things cost…and that we have to clean the restrooms 3x per day. The management was in a weird changeover and it was a hostile environment. Dog-eat-dog and we became a target because “we thought we knew how to do it better, eh!?!”. Thankfully we connected up with other hosts who gave us guidance that seemed to be in harmony with the Upper Echelons of the company. We got a lot of rave reviews from our guests and no complaints that we are aware of. We knew we would be able to manage 3 hours a day plus keep our other priorities in check (health, family, pet time). Living right on site meant we were “on” every moment we were there and we learned the only way we could really be “off duty” would be if we left the place altogether…which we did. 3 hours a day was more like 4 or 5 when you include all of the Information Center and Bear Management tasks we had to be responsible for. I made some really great friends at the US Forest Service and the workers that would visit every day often gave me tips on the laws, rules, regulations and expectations. We also became very good friends with Law Enforcement, Fire Department, Search and Rescue plus workers from other independent and private campgrounds within Mammoth.

At Oh! Ridge our biggest challenge became NO TIME to do anything but work. We were always hurrying to get our jobs finished and keep a high standard. There are lots of mini-Campgrounds within Oh! Ridge, I’ll try to name them off in order of the number of sites (which I believe there are 175 sites total): Bear, Duck, Squirrel, Rabbit, Coyote, Gull (those were what we took care of) then Owl, Fish and Deer.

We went from a 3 hour a day to a 6-8 hour a day overnight. On the one hand it was nice to be active and busy but on the other hand we had to scramble to get meals, exercise the pets (and ourselves), do laundry and keep the rig cleaned and maintained. Our “Off Duty” days were Monday and Tuesday which was a blessing for grocery shopping, postal needs and such. When we returned on Wednesday we were covering for the couple that managed Owl, Fish and Deer. We were EXHAUSTED on Wednesday and Thursday every week. We began working at Oh! Ridge on 9-11-17 which is not even a month (as of this writing). It took this long to figure out good systems that were efficient and productive with the tools we had to work with. Ha!

Overall: These challenges were not very upsetting. The Oh! Ridge experience was like a dessert compared to Lake George as far as management. The Site Manager (Karen) is a bad-ass-getter-done type of leader which is EXCELLENT for me. She met with us every day! We knew we were working on her priorities and as a team (with Sherri, Dick, Loretta and Steve) we kept Oh! Ridge humming.

7) How much do you spend monthly?

$2,500 approximately. We had unplanned animal expenses that were not cheap. Our “rent” is included in our compensation as Camp Hosts (water and power). We have to buy propane. Food here is out the roof expensive – dining out is a joke plus the quality of the food here pretty disappointing. Here, by the way, is June Lake. In Mammoth there are better choices for dining but the prices are 25-40% HIGHER than Simi Valley California (eastern Ventura County). We pay for fuel for the truck and have bills we still carry with us.

8) How long are you planning on doing this?

We plan to finish the season as needed by Karen then have an open calendar to decide what is next. Being a Camp Host for us has been a very good experience overall. We did not know what to expect so when things got hairy we sort of figured that must be “normal”. We did not let stress or the craziness that was here before we got here invade our lives. We worked hard and kept our integrity in to give more than what we got in pay and benefits.

At the end of the Lake George season we attended our Company Appreciation Luncheon where we were asked to fill in applications to return and pick our top three requested locations. We’ll see if we are asked to return. Between Lake George and getting asked to go to Oh! Ridge we wrote letters to Upper Management letting them know what we’d experienced. We have yet to hear back (and we actually hope to). That will determine whether or not we return to this particular company or work for another. THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT COMPANIES TO WORK CAMP FOR and we’ve got a list of possible places across the USA.

OTHER QUESTIONS PEOPLE THAT KNOW US MIGHT ASK

Have you moved anyone’s tent?

Funny thing is that we’ve had people move into sites without paying and it took EVERYTHING within me NOT TO MOVE THEIR BELONGINGS. Randy filled me in on the risks involved – if something were touched and broke then we would be blamed. So, with a lot of willpower, I did not touch anyone’s stuff to move it.

Do you like what you are doing?

Absolutely love this life.

We are living in the NOW and enjoying the ups and downs…not too much planned in the future. In hindsight, my past has been filled with hopes, plans (even putting my money down to MAKE SURE) and logistics that had to be cancelled. That sucks when it happens because of wasted time and money plus the mental sadness when you fail to accomplish something.

How long will you do it?

No plans to end any time soon. We began with a “wish list” of places to visit and after meeting close to 800 people since we left Simi Valley…the list has GROWN!

Are you getting on each other’s nerves?

Yes. Everyone is getting on my nerves regularly. This is where I have to stop being so picky about things. For example, if Kona would stop BREATHING on me when I’m trying to tie my shoe, if Zoey would stop gnawing on her lady-parts 3 feet from me and if Randy would stop walking like Shrek whilst inside the RV that would be great.

We really don’t have “personal spaces” because it’s just one big space. I busy my mind with cleaning when it gets to be too much.

I don’t think ANYTHING gets on Randy’s nerves (which gets on my nerves).

How are the pets?

The dogs have always and only known a life that is with us day and night. Kona grew up with 805 Boot Camp (lots of other dog butts to sniff and lots of miles to run…all the time). Now we are challenged with continuing this fun and the new places are great for sniffing and running.

Kona and Zoey are 10 and 12 years old. They are OLD and their bodies are notably slowing down.

Did you go to Ireland?

SADLY we did not. The trip to Ireland was our beacon and the highlight of our life and we were planning around it. Our daughter gave us this gift and it was the hardest decision to make. It was, quite frankly, the most heartfelt gift I think I’ve ever received because it came from her and the road we have been on as mom and daughter was “challenging”.

The reason we chose not to go was animal related. Our pets, as I said above, are old. Zoey has body problems pretty much every hour and a while we were at Lake George she had some sort of pain that drove her to SCREAMING (I’ve never heard a dog scream) in pain and writhing all over the backseat and peeing. Randy almost crashed the truck it freaked us out. Then there’s Kona who THINKS he is a 16 year old Ultra Runner and always ALWAYS overdoing any physical activity which then results in hobbling, swollen joints and clearly suffering for days after. Lastly we have Piper who will (most likely) run away in search of us if we leave her. She has become our Private Security Guard and Personal Herder. We went away on a holiday when she first joined our family and the reports I got were she had left her tootsie-roll gifts beneath my desk chair – like LOTS of them. Maybe if the pets were newer to our lives? Not so dependent on US in particular? They are truly our furry children and leaving them with our dear friend would have put a lot of strain on that friendship (GUARANTEED), our pets and definitely taken the fun out of our trip abroad.

Our daughter was the coolest cat when we broke the news to her…she understood our dilemma and what a RELIEF that was. We still plan to go abroad!

How are your kids?

They are incredible! We are in regular contact with them about how life is going.

One is in Utah busting out College.

One is in Oregon busting out College.

One is in Santa Barbara busting out a career in the field she graduated from College at.

Amanda’s final resting place was decorated by friends in our absence but we feel her presence with us every day. Just a shout out to those of you that have taken the time to visit and snap a photo: THANK YOU so much. You do not know how deeply moving it is to see her gravesite so beautiful!

June Lake Brewing

We are hurrying to experience the different parts of June Lake…mostly based off of recommendations by people we meet or those we trust that have been here before.

On that note…we HAD to go to June Lake Brewing Company so what’s-his-name could get a beer.

I’m not really into beer but I am into having a good attitude and also into seeing my Husband Unit happy!

We heard a rumor of a Hawaiian Food Truck parked outside of a brewery and we JUST HAPPENED to need to go into June Lake to pick up our mail.

Now June Lake is all of 8 blocks by 4 blocks and bumps right up to the lake. It’s sincerely a beautiful little town (they don’t have a filling station but they do have a tiny grocery store with 14 aisles of essentials INCLUDING an organic section!).

You can’t get LOST in June Lake unless you are completely focused on drinking a cold beer sitting by the lake instead of actually replicating the clear directions given to you by a trusted friend. So we got lost SOMEHOW in a 8 x 4 block area. Luckily it was daytime.

After making 5 or 6 right turns we hit the T and there it was: June Lake Brewing Company.

If there were soundtracks with life this vision would be accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra laying down Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue in an outdoor venue.

Sun blasted all around us.

The golden leaves on the trees surrounding the intersection glistened and waved in a very welcoming way.

I felt my Husband Unit breathe deeply in anticipation.

Time to park the big ass truck we have. Hmmmm….let’s see…there are plenty of options.

But tunnel vision took over again so we parked completely crooked in a beat up parking lot almost hitting two pedestrians and a brick wall. I kept my mouth shut and hesitated before getting out just to scan WHO SAW THIS ALL HAPPEN (how embarrassing!).

Once the coast was clear I joined Husband Unit at the Hawaiian Food Truck where he was staring and scanning at the incredible options available to us. The brewery was on the other side of the parking lot and there were plenty of happy beer-sipping people on the deck in the sunshine enjoying themselves.

We ordered (I got a vegetarian noodle thing with kale and a medley of other fine veggies…and a super hot pepper sweet sauce on the side and he got Poke Tacos with cold slaw). As he paid (which tax was included) he inquired about eating it with his beer over at the JLB. “Oh we’ll bring it on over to you, sir!” He glanced at me with complete excitement! “Wow that is freaking cool!” I told the young lady (everyone is young here, for the record).

Next stop: June Lake Brewing Company’s outdoor dining area “Sunshine Preferred”. It was a little chilly out (our nights have been in the 20’s and the afternoon has been in the 70’s).

We scooted into a table sharing it with a young (again, everyone is young here) “working out their personal problems over a brew or two”. Randy SPRINTED (practically) into the brew house as I yelled after him to just pick something out for me.

Cue Gershwin again as he returns to our perfect little table spot with two glasses of golden nectar AND within 2 minutes of sitting down our lunch was delivered. Timing!

My noodles were OK, I wasn’t actually hungry. The beer was “beer” with a ginger aftertaste…meh. But we aren’t here for me so I sipped politely and ate slowly.

Husband Unit, on the other hand, was in heaven. He wolfed down his first poke taco too quickly IMO. I’ve learned to stop trying to regulate the speed he eats (which is bionic).

In the old days, when I’d mention he might consider slowing down to give his taste buds a chance to TASTE the thing, he would reply, “my mom raised me to eat fast and we always ate fast…can’t have my food cold.” My retort was (I thought) common sense: “Honey, that was over 40 years ago. I think you could move on from that one.” To which he just smiles.

ANYWAY, one taco down and he began eyeing my noodles. I pushed my dish over and encouraged him to “give this a taste!” It was really flavorful, hot and filling. I pretended to sip my beer and looked around the deck giving him the opportunity to feel shovel huge Daddy-Size bites before pushing my dish back to my side of the table.

My appetite was satisfied and as he polished off his last taco I asked if he’d finish my noodles. Pointing at my paper bowl, “I’ll be getting THIS next time we come here.” He gulped down more cold beer visibly HAPPY and RELAXED.

“This place rocks!”

Yes it does.

Yes, it really does.

Cheers!

Lentil Potato Stew…with creamy coconut pizazz

Coconut Lentil Potato Stew

Servings: 10

Instant Pot: 25 minutes

Preparation: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Spices

1/2t salt

1/8t cayenne pepper

1/2t rosemary

1/2t thyme

1/2t oregano

EVOO (drizzle, about 1t)

1 yellow onion, chopped

5 garlic cloves, smashed then chopped

1 medium sweet potato, diced

6 small red potatoes (about 2 cups worth) diced

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 giant carrot, cut like quarters

1C chopped kale (any type works)

1C Chana dal (yellow lentil)

1C coconut milk

3C water

Always prepare all ingredients and spices before you turn on the Instant Pot (IP).

Put IP on sauté, add EVOO and heat.

Add garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Add onion and continue sauté stirring for another minute or two.

Next add all remaining vegetables and continue to stir. This gets HOT so don’t leave it alone.

Add coconut milk and turn IP to “Manual” setting HIGH and 25 minutes.

Add water and continue stirring to blend.

Add spices and slowly blend.

Add dal/lentil and give it a few stirs to make sure everything is submerged.

Be sure you have your SAVORY RING in the IP lid, place on top and check that the steam release is CLOSED. Hit CANCEL button then MANUAL button again and set for 25 minutes on HIGH.

I like to let the Instant Pot release pressure slowly (which can take 20 minutes). You can release it sooner. Once the pressure pin drops then it is safe to remove the lid.

Bouncing Off The Treadmill

Yesterday I was a little scatter-brained when we went to the gym.

It was another 8 hour work day and most of it spent in the kiosk helping people check in and answering questions over and over and over and over. I’m not complaining, I’m reporting.

Right after lunch there was a line of automobiles, RV’s, Travel Trailers and trucks about 10 deep. I got a little rattled starting right at that moment in time. I think we all know when things are out of our control (even a tiny bit). I think a little bit of “fight-or-flight” adrenaline leaks into the nervous system.

Being a Libra on the cusp of Scorpio, you will rarely find me backing down to fly.

Currently the computer I have to work on is from, I’m gonna guess, 1989. It is a Compaq and paint dries faster than clicking a mouse to close a screen. Prior to having my own business I spent 20+ years in the world of VAX/VMS then Windows. Today I alerted my boss to the many warning messages that pop-up when booting up in the morning. This poor workhorse is on it’s final days and so are we with this 2017 Season.

I am a snap-and-pop worker. I fill find wasted time and motion and remove it from any job I’m supposed to get done. When people talk about being paid “by the hour” or “by the project” I am will always choose the latter. This is something I am proud of – and Randy is the same way. We get shit DONE and do it well the first time (for the most part). We don’t complain. We WORK.

So, moving in slo-mo makes me anxious. Having a line of 10 people waiting to get help looks like I’m slacking off! “Flight” crosses my mind.

One lady, in a Mercedes Camper, felt she should not have to wait her turn. She sashayed up to the kiosk window and interrupted me IN THE MIDDLE OF A SENTENCE WITH A NICE COUPLE WAITING PATIENTLY TO COMPLETE THEIR REGISTRATION.

She PISSED ME OFF immediately. I really think it is one of the most awful things to interrupt someone and especially MID SENTENCE.

I have to keep my manners in though, so I let her know I’d be able to help her when it was her turn.

She didn’t give up. She remained there with her fancy sunglasses, hot red lipstick and perfectly coiffed hair. She asked me the same question and I dramatically set my hands down holding the paperwork for the couple and looked right at her and repeated SLOWLY but MOST DEFINITELY that I’d help her when it was her turn. I was not condescending or snooty (for the record).

She tried AGAIN! I realized this woman (who might be in her 50’s or 60’s) did not wait much for anything. This was extremely difficult for her to have to tolerate what was happening. I had zero compassion (which is very unusual for me).

I threepeated: “Ma’am, I’ll be able to help you when it is your turn. I cannot answer your questions until I finish each person in front of you.”

She looked exasperated as she said (with pursed lips), “Should I just go back to my car!?!?”

The couple, having witnessed this entire interruption but kept cool waiting, nodded YES silently.

I confirmed that she got it right, and it would be her turn soon.

She tried AGAIN, which would be a quattuorpeat, to have me answer her questions.

My jaw dropped, the couple in the car stared in disbelief as their jaw dropped and then there was just silence between all of us. The roar and rattle of the diesel truck engine humming seemed to fill the air more.

“I’m just going to go back to my car and let my husband know what’s happening.”

“That sounds good. I’ll see you soon.”

Thankfully (THANKFULLY!) my co-worker Loretta appeared in the kiosk to help me. Ahhhhhh….help has arrived!

Loretta is a BADASS ADMINISTRATOR. She knows everything there is to know about this campground and she is zen-like in all of the training she has given me. I didn’t get to tell her about Mercedes Lady being so pushy.

The couple got checked in and Diesel Truck Guy rolled up to the window.

SIDE NOTE: It is an unspoken rule to TURN THE TRUCK OFF when you need to engage in a conversation of importance. This is an important rule. If you have a Diesel engine, please remember it.

Diesel Truck Guy (DTG) turned off his truck (thank you!) and asked if “we had any spots available?”

Yes. We do.

“For three nights?”

Enter screeching tire sound.

It’s Thursday. Probably the SECOND worst day to try to find a campsite. Friday is even WORSE for people without reservations. Very risky. VERY RISKY because it’s almost the weekend plus all of the campsites in June Lake are SOLD OUT! The Tioga Pass was closed due to ice and snow…people are turning back.

I want to help this nice guy and his family.

“Actually I need to get two sites and need them to be next to each other. I also need space for an extra car.”

My stomach drops.

His wife leans over to add, “can we have a place with trees for shade too?”

I hope so. I WANT to give them their wish.

But here’s the thing: I have to use my slo-mo computer to run a search then write down the sites that are available (forget any detailed parameters like trees, extra space for a car and side-by-side).

I enter in the algorithm and press SEARCH.

Waiting….waiting…waiting…

Glancing out the window to see how bad the pile-up of waiting guests is I notice 3 more added and now I’m pretty sure we are backed up into the Pine Cliff RV Resort now. CRAP!!!

Yes! Results. I tell them I have three options and they can drive around then choose which works and come back up to pay. The man, BLESS HIS SOUL, ignores his wife and says BOOK ME IN THE ONE YOU THINK WORKS THE BEST. Ahhhhh…. thank you thank you thank you!! Sites 90 and 91.

Done and done.

He rolls off and I’m ready to punch-out for the day mentally. This is how Thursday Kiosk Work seems to be. I have done it enough times now to see the pattern.

My mind is on getting OUT of the kiosk and onto the golf cart to do some rounds cleaning restrooms. Yes, I would rather clean restrooms than stand in a little box for another two hours. Loretta takes over and I’m out of there like a long arm through a short sleeve.

Randy put the pedal to the metal and off we putted toward Squirrel Loop. The wind in my face and the sun on my arms felt GOOD!

TIME TO GO TO THE GYM…AGAIN

We have been hitting the gym every day and now I’m getting to crave it…sort of. I knew we had to go today for sure just to move that Mercedes Lady out of my mind.

After sparkling the 6 restrooms we changed into our gym clothes, put a couple of potatoes in the oven and set off to the spa/resort/gym.

Things were hurried because of the potatoes in the oven!

I got my locker all situated and rushed up to the treadmill with my ear buds (yes Eric…I am using earbuds).

A young lady, maybe 19-20, was running on the treadmill Randy normally uses which is on my left. He chose the one on my right and had it on an incline. The entire thing was shaking and slamming on the ground with every step. It was like Shrek on a treadmill. He was bothered by this and I guess I have to admit I sort of ignored him.

Normally I look at him and say, “I”m putting earbuds in…is there anything you need to tell me beforehand?” Since I know he gets super bothered with people wearing earbuds (they ignore you when you talk directly to them).

I didn’t do that. BIG mistake.

I plugged into the TV monitor thing and hit AUTO START. Began moving.

After about 2 minutes Randy turned to me and started talking – but I couldn’t hear him.

So I reached up to pull the earbud out of my head when it popped off and hit my treadmill bouncing onto the girl’s treadmill next to me.

This is where things began to SLOW DOWN.

Randy is yammering on behind me, I’m watching my ear bud bounce away into vapor nothingness and disappear so I THOUGHT I’d hit the STOP button while turning to step off to grab the bud before it bounced completely out of sight.

That’s when I did it.

I joined that club of “Funniest Videos: Treadmill Face Plants”.

I knew, a split second TOO LATE, I’d made a huge huge mistake.

My right foot went down on the left side facing backwards. It just flipped me all the way UP and into the air and then I landed HALFWAY on my treadmill (which was STILL ON AND ROLLING) and that 19-year old girl next to me (who had headphones on and was ignoring me the entire time).

That girl didn’t miss a beat in her steps.

Randy, on the other hand, smashed my STOP BUTTON and yelled out, “Oh no HONEY!?”

I guess it must have sounded like a steer falling sideways and landing HARD to the people below.

I put my hand down to break the fall and the belt was still rolling so THAT was dumb.

My face, shoulder and arm slipped out from that idea and down I went…again.

How could this happen so fast and TWICE?

I prioritized instantly.

FIND. EAR. BUD.

Spider-like I began roaming the carpet looking for my bud.

Randy joined the search.

The girl STEPPED OVER ME to leave. She wasn’t phased and also couldn’t care less.

Bud was GONE.

Got my phone out and used the flashlight to scope beneath her treadmill.

Not there.

Continued looking and BY CHANCE saw it had somehow landed near the stairs leading down to the gym.

GOOD NEWS

Despite falling and being shot off the back of the treadmill…twice…

1) I didn’t hurt myself

2) I found my bud

3) The girl left which gave me more space

4) I finished my workout

5) Falling asleep was easy…laughing about what happened was easier.

Camp Hosting is still fun and I look forward to tomorrow.

June Lake Pecan Banana Bread

June Lake Pecan Banana Bread

10-10-17, Elevation 7700’

This makes one loaf of delicious bread. Pardon the photo: my husband helped himself to a giant piece before I could snag a pic! This bread is crunchy on the outside and perfect in the middle. Please note my elevation comment below and adjust if you are not living on a mountain. You will burn your bread otherwise.

“Dry Ingredients”

1C Oat Flour

3/4c gluten free baking flour

2T double-acting baking powder

1/2t salt

“Wet ingredients”

2 chia-eggs (1:3 ratio seed and water)

3/4c melted vegan butter

2/3c sugar

1/2t vanilla

1/2t cinnamon

1 banana, brown and spotty smashed well

3/4c chopped raw unsalted pecans

1/2c dried cranberries

Parchment paper.

“Topping”

10 whole unsalted pecans (these are for the top of the bread).

NOTE: I am at 7500’ elevation which means I need to bake at a little higher temperature and for a little longer than someone at a lower elevation. If you live in higher elevations you know this…SO…reduce the temp to 350 and the time to bake to 50 minutes lower than 4,000 elevation. I am also working in a travel trailer oven that has one line of flames down the center (burning everything above it!!). So I bake in smaller containers and move them around to try to evenly bake.

Preheat oven to 375.

Blend Chia-egg and set aside to firm up.

You need two mixing bowls. One for dry and one for wet ingredients.

Blend Oat Flour, baking flour and baking powder and salt in one bowl. Set aside.

Blend the wet ingredients in a separate bowl (in the order above). The banana will turn into a lumpy purée. Once fully blended begin adding dry ingredients in thirds.

Line baking tin with parchment paper. This is optional of course – I love parchment paper because it reduces the amount of oils.

Transfer mixture from bowl to the baking dish. It is sticky, not runny. I scoop with a spoon and spatula.

Cover the top with the 10 pecans pressing down slightly so they are embedded.

Bake 30 minutes on one side of the oven and then 25 on the other. Or, if you have a normal oven just bake 50 minutes in the center rack. Check with a fork to make sure it is done (your fork will insert and remove without any batter).

Remove from oven and let it cool on a rack.

You can cut and freeze individual slices to warm up later or even better: eat it right away (like Randy!)