Keep Calm and Pack On

Things are starting to get hairy around here...and I'm not talking about cats. Today felt a little like a rat race running around getting things done in time for our Sunday departure, while trying to stay sane at the same time. When it comes to sanity, I'm a terrible multi-tasker.

It was supposed to be a canning day, but I had an appointment for a pedicure at 11:00 a.m., and so there wasn't really enough time to do both. (Yes, a pedicure. A girl can't go off on a month-long trip without first getting her toes done, now can she?) So, instead, I made dinner for tonight. The recipe I made for Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Pasta Shells in Arrabbiata Sauce makes enough for dinner tonight, but it also makes enough to freeze. We have out-of-town guests staying the night with us the week after we get home. Now, dinner is made for tonight, and for when they come! (I'm telling you, the woman is always thinking.)

And since none of what I'm about to tell you has any pictures attached to it, I decided to whet your appetite for the trip with some images from trips gone by. Consider this your picture interlude.

The Three Gossips, Arches National Park

After that, I took two king-sized comforters (one from our bed at home, and one from the bed in the trailer) to a laundromat and used their big 75-lb. capacity washers to wash both of them. Between washing and drying, that little task took me about an hour and a half. I've been collecting change from different pockets when I do the laundry at home, and I managed to find about $15 in quarters in my little change jar collected over a period of years. There was still a bunch of pennies, nickels, and dimes in the jar, and so I took the rest to the grocery store where they have a change counting machine. Now here's where it happened to be my lucky day.

So I've never used the change-counting machine before. I had a choice of getting a cash voucher, for which the machine would extract nearly 11% as a fee. Or, I could choose to take it in a gift card for no fee. I decided on an Amazon gift card, since Amazon is my shopping mall of choice these days. (I know I'm supposed to be mad at them over the whole e-book pricing thing, but they are so darned convenient for the recluses among us.) Anyway...the machine went through the process of counting the coins ($10.99 to be exact), and then I waited and waited and waited and waited while the machine was "processing my request". Finally, I asked one of the store employees how long it was supposed to take. Well, she didn't know, but not as long as I'd been standing there. She called over a manager who pushed a couple of buttons. Then the machine said "technical difficulties" and it gave me the cash voucher with NO FEE! Whoo Hoo! That's what I wanted all along! I needed a couple of things that I forgot to pick up yesterday, and so I paid for my groceries with my cash voucher and walked out with some change in my pocket. I think I actually had a spring in my step at that point! (But only in my left foot because it would make my right knee hurt to spring.)

Here's another picture interlude:

Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park

So then I needed to go pick up my car at the auto body place. Someone backed into me recently...not my fault, and a story not worth going into. I've been driving a rental car since Monday. That all went off without a hitch except that I left the garage door opener in the rental car when I turned it in. When I got home in my own car, I went looking for the garage door opener, and I was surprised when I couldn't find it. When I walked in the door, I was all set to call Mike to ask him where it was (since he took the car to the auto body shop to begin with) when I found a voice mail message on my phone from the car rental place. Yes, they had the garage door opener. Oy. Fortunately, Mike works right across the street, so he'll pick it up before he comes home.

As I'm writing this, I have some potatoes boiling for mashed potatoes. Since I don't have to make dinner for tonight, I'm making Cottage Pies for dinner tomorrow night. That makes enough so that we can have dinner tomorrow, and then I'll put the rest in the trailer to eat on our first night out. We always drive a long distance the first day and neither of us is up for cooking. Cottage Pies or else Macaroni & Cheese are our go-to first-night-on-the-dusty-trail dishes. Put it in the oven. Wait. Eat. Easy.

Tomorrow morning I'll can the rest of those tomatoes. I keep checking the plums, but they are still so hard and bitter that I'm starting to believe they won't be ready before we go. Oh well. Such is life. Our neighbors can enjoy them while we're gone.

So I'll give you one more picture, and then I'll leave you.

Crater Lake National Park (Yes, it's really that blue.)

Before I go, however, I just want to say that Smitty and Gracie are never very happy when they see the trailer up close to the house and mom and dad scurrying around. This never works out well for them.

6 comments from clever and witty friends:

treadlemusic said...

Wow....that's quite a post!!! I was totally engrossed in it!!! The tension mounted...LOL!!! The pics are truly gorgeous! We leave for a quick trip to the Black Hills in a week but this weekend is at the RV/river. No sewing, just reading and relaxing (with the sounds of rain on the roof). Safe travels.....

Tami C said...

Your Jenny Lake and Crater Lake National Park pictures are just beautiful!!

Kate said...

I enjoy trips, but I hate all the preparation. Hopefully you are all ready to go. We've been to Crater Lake, it is so impossible blue. Great photos.

Pattilou said...

Recognized the Three Gossips right away. Fun post.

quiltzyx said...

Consider my appetite whetted for the trip pics to come! The blue of Crater Lake almost makes my eyes hurt.
Yum, cottage pies sound really good - can't wait for it to cool down around here so I can stand to have the oven on for a few minutes. Not to mention the Turkey & Artichoke Stuffed Shells - O*M*G!! And I'm not even really hungry right now. Sheesh, sometimes you are so cruel. Good thing I have a drool rag handy!

Lyndsey said...

You didn't need to whet my appetite as I'm already drooling at the thought of lovely trip photos. Reading your posts and seeing the photos is the next best thing to doing the trip myself.I hope your final preparations aren't too stressful.