Friday, January 22, 2016

Snow On My Butt.......

Happy Friday everyone.  It's Pod here this morning and I'm really, really, over this winter at this point.  I'm ready to go camping....RIGHT NOW!

Just look won't you?  I've got snow on my butt.  And that stuff is cold!

This stuff started in the small hours of this morning, and the weatherman says we'll get more snow, ice, freezing rain, etc. until Saturday morning.  UGH.  I tried to get Rob to hitch me up to Levi and let's all head south to warmer weather, but Rob said we'd just have to stay right here and tough it out.  

Poor Levi, it's his first snow, and I guess the only thing worse that snow on your butt, is snow on your nose....

I asked Levi if he was going to out and play in the snow, he and Rob both quickly answered, NO!  

Rob did get out this morning to take a few other pictures of our "winter storm in progress" so here you go.

The main chimney on house, long since cold, which was 
used daily in house's early years. 
Back then fireplaces were used as the sole source of heat.

Anyone care for a cold, snowy swing this morning?

Here's a left over outside Christmas decoration.
Remember how warm it was in December?

Mail today?  Maybe, maybe not.....

I sure hope the birds are keeping warm.

How many snow storms do you imagine
this old house has seen in
it's 90+ years?

A glider and a flower pot, patiently
waiting for the return of warmer weather.

A lonely chair, waiting for someone to have a seat.

One of the front walk lights, waiting for 
more of the forecasted wintery weather.

Rain gutters have temporarily become
"snow shelves."

And finally, yup that's me, waiting not 
so patiently for camping season to begin.

Ok, it's Pod signing off for now.  Everyone just keep warm and enjoy this yucky weather as best you can.

Until next time, stay safe out there.....-Just Pod

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Cold Winter's Day Camping Project.....

Happy Monday everyone.  It's Pod here bringing you yet another blog post.  It's a cold, blustery, winter's day here in North Carolina.  It's bright and sunny, but the temps are struggling to get above the freezing mark.  Tonight's lows are forecast to be in the low teens.  That's just Brrrrr.....

Rob and Trisha both have today off from school thanks to the MLK holiday.  Rob was up and out early, he has a second job with a local non-profit that he does mostly from home.  He took advantage of the day off from school to actually drive into the office to get some paperwork done.  

As for that camping project, well it's a perfect one for a windy winter's day.  Rob saw this over on the CDO Facebook page he belongs to, and he's been gathering up the supplies needed to complete this project.

What is today's project?  Well it is a license plate windscreen for CDO cooking on a windy day.  This is a neat idea, and Rob did some searching around and only had to buy four 3-packs of figure 8 hooks (s-hooks would work just fine, but this is what Lowes had.)  He also did buy a Ford Tractor license plate at Tractor Supply this morning because he liked it, and it was on clearance.  

Here's a picture of all the parts and pieces laid out on the table saw in the shop ready for assembly.....

Here's you can see the license plates all hooked together.  Rob said he turned them different ways just because.  

In fact, each of the license plates tell a story.  So, from left to right....

1.  The plate that was on Trisha's 1995 Honda Accord.  This is the car Trisha owned when Rob and Trisha got married.
2.  The Dealer plate on the front of Levi when he came home to live with us.
3.  The license plate on Anne's 2002 Buick when she passed away.  This was Trisha's mom's car.
4.  A Cheerwine license plate just because.
5.  A Ford Tractor plate Rob found at Tractor Supply on clearance that he really liked.
6.  A NCSU "Strutting Wolf" Speciality License plate from 1990 that Rob had on a 1998 Dodge Dynasty.  That car stayed in the family until 2003.  Rob gave it to a friend and neighbor who had recently had open heart surgery and was having a tough time of it.  The neighbor drove the car a few more years until the car itself died of old age at 350,000 plus miles.  

Here's a couple pictures of how the windscreen will look when it's in use.   Of course, no actual charcoal was involved in the taking of these pictures.  

Then finally, one of the neatest things about his windscreen is how it folds up compactly for storage and travel.

Well there you have it, a neat CDO windscreen that also has a bit of nostalgia and some sweet family memories built right in.  

Everyone hunker down and keep warm these next couple of days and dream of spring.  

Until next time, stay safe out there (and warm too).......-Just Pod

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Let 'em eat Stew (The Story of a CDO Addiction)....

Happy Sunday Everyone.  It's Pod here doing the blogging.  My peeps survived (barely) the first week back to school after Christmas break!!  This week is State Exams, always a fun week of school or not, according to R&T.

As my followers know, Rob belongs to a little group of camping friends who like to cook using Camp Dutch Ovens, CDO for short.  They earn awards (merit badges) for cooking all sorts of dishes, in all sorts of places and all kinds of weather too.

This is a CDO apron Rob had made.  All of his patches are just laid onto the apron for now.  Rob says it will be a "snow" day activity to get them all sewn on. 

As you might suspect, it isn't enough to just own a CDO.  They have to have all the accessories.  Such as a special stand, lid lifter, supply bucket, lid rest, trivets, CDO carrying bags, charcoal, charcoal lighter, a brush, gloves, and on and on.  Then it seems, once they have all of this, it's a shame to have only one CDO, so they should have two, three, or even more if so inclined.  

Rob hasn't yet gathered all of his CDO stuff in one place, I think he's afraid to.....

At any rate, Rob told me he was doing so CDO cooking today, so I grabbed the camera (his new one of course) and took some pictures of all the fun.

The basic ingredients of Rob's Veggie Beef Stew
Here Rob cut up the stew beef into smaller chucks than the grocery store does.  He also chopped up one onion, added salt and pepper and dried onion flakes.  All of this he coated with olive oil, stirred well, and let rest in the fridge for an hour or so before the cooking started.

Next of course, was to get the charcoal fired and cooking for our heat source.

Once the coals were ready, Rob added the stew beef,
onions, etc., and let them brown really well.  He
used a lot of coals so the CDO would be really hot for this step.

Then Rob simply added the rest of the ingredients.
Note: he did peel and cut up the potatoes before adding
them to the beef stew.  Then he arranged his coals just so,
put the lid on on the CDO, letting time and temperature
do the hard work.

Since it is a windy blustery day here, Rob simply
closed the lid on the grill to act as a wind screen.  He says he 
has plans to make one, and is in the process of
 gathering the needed supplies.

Here's a picture of the simple Beef Veggie 
Stew happily simmering away.  
Rob said it sure does smell good.

After about 2 and a half hours of cooking, Rob took the CDO off the coals, brought it inside, and let it "rest" a few minutes before serving it for lunch.

Rob served everyone and he said next thing you know, not a sound was to be heard.  Only about one small serving was left, so this was just the right amount of warm hearty stew on this cool winter's day.

Rob said this would be a camping dish for sure, especially in the cool weather camping parts of the year.

So there you have it.  Rob's Hearty Beef Stew, all cooked and eaten.  Rob earned yet another CDO patch and I got to play with the new camera and his computer too!

Until next time, stay safe out there.....-Just Pod.   

(Oh, and COOK ON!)

Friday, January 1, 2016

It is 2016 and Honey Badger don't care.....

Happy New Year Everyone!!!  From the whole gang here at team R&T, we hope that 2015 was good to you.  If it wasn't, well it's gone, and it is our greatest wish that 2016 is a banner year for all.  

We've had another great year of travel and camping (49 nights total), although it hasn't been without challenges.  We've seen changes in the form of both new family members and those family members who are no longer with us.   Heck, there's even been changes to team R&T this past year.  It would be safe to say this past year has been filled with good times, and times not so good, but on the whole, it has been a good year for us.  

We've been at the beach since Dec 26th, with good friends Mark and Susie of furpod fame, and also our friend and former podder Kevin.  

Rob didn't take many pictures of our trip this time.  It seems his trusty old Nikon suffered a bad fall, and wasn't working all that well.  Rob ordered himself a new Nikon, and the older one has been relegated to back-up camera status.   Here's two of his favorite from the week.

The weather this week at the beach was just great.  We only had one extended period of rain and that was from about bed time Thursday night until daylight Friday morning.  We had more Sun than clouds, but more importantly we had a great week spent with dear friends, doing whatever we felt like we wanted to do.  

We made no less than three trips to Camping World, a stop by Target, several trips to the grocery store, one to CVS, Trisha broke a crown, Rob discovered his camera was sick, we won't even mention Kevin's awning mishap, a trip to the Hammocks Shoppes at Pawley Island, ate lunch at the Inlet Crab House in Murrells Inlet and Bisquit at Pawleys Island, ate supper at 5 Guys, bought way to many t-shirts, cooked and ate better than was good for us, and in general  had a wonderful week at the beach.  

In fact, it is this good time we'd like to speak about more specifically.  You see, when we left to go to the beach, rain, a good bit of rain, was in the forecast for every single day.  Being the "honey badger" campers we are, we just sucked it up and went anyway, thus lending support to the old saying, "If you wait for perfect weather to go camping, you'll never go camping!"  

So for 2016, don't sit home waiting for good weather, enough time off, heck even enough money, just "honey badger" it and go!  Get out there, battle the swarms of mosquitos, traffic, rain, wind, and even the sun.  You never know, you might just have a good time anyway.

Well that's it for this New Year's Day.  Once again, thanks for following us this past year, and as always.

Until next time, stay safe out there......-All the current and former members of team R&T!