Houston, We Have A Problem… Or… When Life Gives You Lemons, Go Camping In Your Living Room…

So the move to San Diego isn’t going as planned… but what else is new…

Everything on our part was done according to plan… the PODS container arrived on Monday afternoon and was picked up Thursday morning. We busted our asses to get it all done in time and have many cuts, scrapes, splinters, and bruises to show for our hard work. We had little sleep and our muscles are rather sore. But we did it. And we are very proud of that accomplishment. πŸ™‚

Thursday after the PODS was picked up, we got cleaned up and my taste-tester went into work to do the final stuff that he needed to do. I stayed home and worked on finishing up cleaning the apartment. My taste-tester came back a few hours later with bad news. Without going into too many details, there was some miscommunication at the management level, so we have been delayed. Hopefully, this will be resolved in a few days. Unfortunately, it was not resolved on Friday… so perhaps Monday? But it may take longer. All I know is, my furniture and mail will get to San Diego before I do. But no worries, we will be going… just not sure when.

Luckily, I had not called the utilities yet, so we still have gas, water, electric, and cable. Our lease doesn’t end for a few weeks, although we do lose our garages on Monday. We have been sleeping on an air mattress the last few days… but unfortunately, we have little else. I have a toaster (because I couldn’t figure out how to clean it and I didn’t want to store it for a month with crumbs in it… no sense attracting pests when I can replace it for $20-40), and oddly, an oven with a broiler pan (even though I was totally lamenting that I wouldn’t have one for some time πŸ˜› ) and a stove. But I don’t have any pots or pans for the stove. I also don’t have a microwave. I cannot even make hot water. πŸ˜•

I’m not going to lie… I’ve teared up a few times in the last few days πŸ˜₯ (♪ Two Tickets to Paradise ♪ – made me tear up, I had to turn off the radio… sheesh). But I know it won’t do any good to cry, besides it will make my eyes sore and give me a headache… who wants that. I’ve gone through a few of the stages for loss… shock, grief, anger (still kinda angry), and now I think I’ve hit acceptance. There is absolutely nothing we can do except wait. My taste-tester has been amazing… he’s been trying to find the silver lining in all of this. He sees it as a time for us to finally slow down and cool our heels. I’m coming around, it has just taken me awhile.

Yesterday, while my taste-tester was at work, I was here in this empty apartment finishing up things and getting pretty upset about the whole thing. I was eager to just “go go go”… that’s what we’ve been doing for weeks, so I was having a hard time accepting that we were going to have to stay awhile longer. I started looking for hotels in the area near my taste-tester’s work site (his commute is 50 min one-way)… but they were all booked!

So my taste-tester had a great idea, how about we get some camping stuff (so it won’t take up that much room in the cars when we do get to leave)… some chairs, some pots, a kettle, etc. I researched it online and found some great things at REI… today I went to REI and for less than the price of two nights in a hotel near my taste-tester’s office I bought…

Two folding chairs, a cooking set for 2, a kettle, and some utensils (the puppy bed was something we already owned)…

The kettle is soooo cute! I love it!…

The cooking set includes: 2.5-L pot, 1.5-L pot, a lid and handle for the pots, 2 deep plates, and 2 insulated mugs w/ lids…

I also found these cute sporks…

I’ve been feeling kinda bad about using paper plates and plastic cups… but we have been having some pretty good eats around here despite my limited kitchen… here’s a few of the pictures I took while we were packing, then I’ll show you what I made today with my camping gear…

Watermelon (when I still had mixing bowls)… you know, I might have to admit that this is my favorite food. I lean towards chocolate most of the time, but when I’m eating watermelon, I can think of nothing better. πŸ™‚ …

Strawberry and spinach salad with Whole Foods Vegan General Tso (not sure if this is a local thing or not, just in case, we decided to have it before we left) over 5-min rice (I still had the microwave to heat the water for the rice for this meal) and bread w/ margarine…

Cheerios with strawberries (testing out the aseptic silk – yum)…

Annie Chun’s noodles (testing out microwave food for the trip – yum)…

Oh, yea…

My taste-tester convinced me to take (rather than store) my favorite kitchen knife and a paring knife… I made a sheath for my two knives by cutting up a priority-mail box and using packing tape… It works pretty good… I was able to cut up my veggies for kale salad and the half watermelon I purchased…

Kale salad with red bell pepper and carrots…



Since I packed up all my mixing bowls, I decided to make some oat bars by massaging the ingredients together in a gallon-size zip-top bag… it worked out great! I eyeballed the amounts for Averie’s recipe… this mix includes maple syrup, agave, cinnamon, vanilla extract, a banana, coconut butter, and peanut butter which I squished together in the bag. Then I added oats, shredded coconut, peanuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, dried cranberries, dried apples, and chocolate chips. Squished that up and tried to distribute it as best I could… flattened it out and then I stuck it in the freezer over night…

I cut open the bag to get it out…

Then cut it into serving sizes, which I then put in snack-size zip-top bags…

I didn’t have protein powder, so this batch doesn’t hold together quite the same as my previous versions, but it’s still Yummy! Thanks again Averie for this wonderful concoction!

Ok, now that you are caught up on the food we ate while packing, let’s look at today’s adventure with my new camping gear…

Amy’s soup… the can-opener is one I’ve always used even when my kitchen was stocked… I just really like this can-opener…

See the kettle on the back burner?…

Tea… once the water got to 176°F (I used a thermometer), I took it off the burner and added this tea strainer that fits in a mug… there is 3 cups of water in the kettle… isn’t it cute!…

Soup portioned out…

Dinner is served…

I am feeling a lot better about my carbon footprint using the camping gear. πŸ™‚

Things have been strange lately, that’s for sure. But we will manage… San Diego, we’ll be there soon! Just a little delayed that’s all!

I don’t know what the next few days have in store for us, but if I have the time I will try to post again.

Until next time…
~nic

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14 thoughts on “Houston, We Have A Problem… Or… When Life Gives You Lemons, Go Camping In Your Living Room…

  1. I have that santoku knife! Henckles, right!?

    The shout out and your creativity on those bars?! Amazing!

    I am sooo sorry Nic for the uncertainty of this all. As I told you in an email, when we moved to Phx 9 mos ago, we had more snags than i can tell you about and were living out of boxes & in limbo for months. Worst time period of my life. Awful. Hang in there!

    Where in SD are you guys going to be living/renting/staying for awhile?

    • Averie – Yes, the santoku knife is Henckels. πŸ™‚ I love that knife, I don’t know how I ever cut food before it! πŸ˜› So glad my taste-tester convinced me to bring some of my creature comforts.

      Thanks for the kudos on the bars… but really if you hadn’t come up with that awesome recipe I wouldn’t of had the opportunity to get creative with it. πŸ˜€

      Yeah, the move is the hardest one we’ve ever had to endure… we are both military brats so we are use to moving around often (in fact staying in one place for 5 years is pretty much a record for us).

      I’ll email you about where in SD we will be…

  2. Nice work handling the unexpected!

    I hope you will be able to take some time along the way to tell us about the trip.

    • Frank – Thanks! I owe it all to my taste-tester’s cool head… he had the initial notion, I just ran with it.

      I hope to blog during the trip too. The hotels I had originally booked (but had to cancel) all had internet access, I believe. I think the next route we work out will be a little more sane and will give us a bit more time in the evenings to chill. The route I had originally, had us on the road for 10 google-map-hours (which I’m not really sure if that translates into 12 or 16 hours with stops). We are reconsidering a lot of the “go go go” mentality we’ve been on for the last two weeks. I think I will aim for something more along the lines of 8 google-map-hours on the road… it might take us a bit longer, but sanity is a good thing to keep. πŸ˜‰

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  4. Wow, what a post. I hope you all get some good news soon but you are doing an amazing job with what you have there (and especially with the nice camping buys!) Thank God you didn’t turn off your water and electric with this weather, it’s super humid here and would imagine the same there!

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