Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Homeward bound

 Sorry this blog is long overdue, but we got very busy at the end of Sept and we're still playing catch-up.  And so it went, the buttoning up of Rocky, our summer abode, and then on the road heading back to Florida and our forever home, where the cleaning, unpacking and organizing is still in progress.  The trip is about 1900 miles and usually requires 4 overnights. We take the 1st night in Fort Collins because by the time every little thing is done, all we want to do is drive down the canyon (45 miles of twisty, slow-going road), shower, eat and crash.  This year we took an extra night so that we only had a short 3-4 hour final leg before rolling into town. This gave us a few hours to work on opening the house up, get the water & fridge turned on, the place aired out, do a small shop and get squared away throughout the afternoon and evening.

The last week out west was pretty busy, and most especially the last couple of days before leaving. We had several boxes with canned/boxed foodstuffs that couldn't go into the car until the last minute for fear of bear activity, so our other "bring-backs" got piled up here and there inside the rig. In our down time, we watched the turkeys enjoy themselves around the park and up on the fence next door to us.

These turkey's got to where they liked sitting up on the fence and preening.
They would come into our park to browse for bugs, then fly up and preen,
then jump down to the property next door which is largely undeveloped.

One day while up at the laundry room I was sitting outside on the phone talking to my sister and I watched this squirrel stock up on pinecones. He'd race across the driveway and up the pine tree, pick out a likely pinecone, and with it in his teeth, race back to the shed and into his entry hole to stash it. I guess his eyes were bigger than his entry point! These cones got stuck and he couldn't get them inside, lol.

Not the best shot but here he is.

And so it began, the long drive back home, first through the diminishing hills of Colorado, and into the huge stretch of agricultural land in the mid-west.

I often wonder exactly what is being grown, sometimes
it's pretty obvious but other times it keeps me guessing.

 As we made our way through the Missouri/Tenn territories we found a few roads with light traffic - what a treat! Driving through big cities, even on the bypasses really taxes the patience of my DH.

Made it home in one piece, and a couple days afterwards, started the big cooking projects, which is fun for me!! ๐Ÿ˜€  A visit to my handy Publix for a ready-made pizza crust, got a pie made up for supper one night. I always keep on hand the fixings for pizza, it's an easy fix up.

Before the stint in the oven.

One of my first priorities is always to make up some of the dishes that I haven't made over the summer and get them stashed in the freezer for easy, delicious meals on those days I'm not feeling it. The ground beef, black beans and rice filling for stuffed peppers and burritos is a bit time-consuming, (the meat is fully cooked), but so worthwhile. I add plenty of onions, mushrooms and corn plus all the taco-type seasonings that "Tex-Mex" it up, Hatch chilies too. They aren't super spicy, just flavorful. Here's what I ended up with; 3 sets of stuffed peppers, (we ate one set), and 6 burritos. Yum in advance.

With a few tortilla chips these are a favorite. They freeze well
and reheat easily in a covered frying pan, a low oven or the microwave.

I pop these into a covered frying pan, nestled in a "dirty rice"
mixture, pour on some salsa and sharp cheddar, cover them and
let them heat over a low burner for a half hour or so, again more chips.

One of the veggies I love, LOVE most is collards, and you can get a big bunch, cook them and end up with some for the freezer. This time I used a big bunch of turnip greens and a big bunch of collards. Add a ham hock, sauteed onions & garlic, some chipotle sauce and homemade stock and you've got greens to die for, for days! I got 6, 4-serving batches, 5 of which went into the freezer. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Still mopping, polishing and doing laundry, not to mention clearing up our overgrown, weed-infested palm tree beds, but early morning sunrises like this are truly something to be enjoyed with your sweetie and a cup of coffee.

Thanks for checking in, see you the next time.


  1. I bet it is bittersweet to leave your Colorado paradise but with winter coming it is a necessity. But then again, arriving in Florida is special in its own right. Glad to hear your travels went well and you are all settled in for the winter!

    1. Thanks! It is nice to get back into the routine around here - much more to keep busy with for sure.

  2. You are hardly home and so busy already cooking up a storm. I bet you are very happy to have a full kitchen available again. I hope and it looks like you had no issues with the hurricane last month at your property.

    1. No, no issues at all, thank goodness. I'm loving having a big fridge/freezer available - moving into high gear for sure on the cooking front.