When I walked in the door at 2:30 a.m., my cat (Grace) was there to greet me. She sniffed me thoroughly and warmed up to me immediately. This is major for her, because she has TWO humans who are ‘hers’-Me and Bud. She doesn’t readily warm up to other people easily. I was glad she recognized and remembered me after almost a month and a half!
The living room smelled faintly of wood smoke from our wood stove. Bud had cleaned the house, and it looked so cozy and inviting. Our neighbor had come to take care of Grace and the chickens, and she had left the light on for us.
Bud and I were absolutely exhausted from trip home. After showers, we went right to bed! I set the alarm for 7:30, because the chickens would need to be let out at that time and I didn’t want to oversleep.
I was not prepared for that nasty alarm going off! I let the chickens out, made of a fire in the wood stove, and then Bud and I had coffee in bed. Bud wanted to cook breakfast for me, and he fixed fried eggs, bacon, toast and grits.
The weather was cold and drizzly outside. I had a backpack full of laundry, so I started a load of laundry, put on my rain gear and backpack and went walking! I walked 10 miles. I want to stay in shape while I am here, so I won’t have to struggle when I get back on the trail! On the trail, I usually hike about 2 mph. On our gravel road at home, even though we do have hills here, I can walk about 3 mph, so things went fairly quickly.
I was absolutely drenched when I arrived home…and COLD! I took a shower, and then started on supper. Bud is not big on fresh veggies, and we only had an old head of cabbage and a bag of carrots that were starting to root in the bag! They had been in the refrigerator since before I left for my hike! I fixed pork chops, lemon green beans (from frozen) and cut up carrot sticks with ranch dressing for supper.
I went to bed early! I was so tired, and I’d hardly had a chance to sit down all day!
I woke up early feeling much better than the day before. Always, the first thing I do during the cold season is start the wood stove. We love our little wood stove, and since we have so much wood on our property, it’s FREE! It was still overcast and cold. I fixed egg and bacon breakfast tacos for breakfast. I needed some things from Walmart for the trail when I go back, and I was craving fresh veggies, so we decided to go to Walmart in Harrison. It’s always a big trip for us since it takes about 40 minutes to get there and is a 40 minute drive back home. We picked up chicken feed and chicken scratch, went by Aldi’s, Walmart and the Dollar store, and were soon on our way home!
Normally we eat out when we go to town, but I was craving veggies, (I bought a LOT of them) and I was looking forward to eating them! I walked to the highway and back (10 miles) in much better weather. I didn’t want to skip walking. I’m going to make a separate post with pics from my walk. When I got home from my walk, I decided to make Grilled Chicken Salad. That is usually my quick ‘go-to’ meal. It was SO good. I used iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce and spring mix for the salad and added carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, avocados, red bell peppers and Parmesan cheese. I have a favorite homemade salad dressing that I like which I made up. The chicken is cooked in butter with salt, garlic powder and Italian seasonings.
On Friday morning, I fixed Potato and Egg breakfast tacos. It has diced potatoes, onions, jalapenos (and a little of the juice) plus eggs. This is one of our favorite breakfasts.
I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed tending to my chickens each morning and evening. This is a task that I have never resented, and always enjoy. Bud has done a nice job of taking care of them while I have been gone. They all look healthy and happy and are laying lots of eggs!
It was such a beautiful morning, and it warmed up quickly. Bud and I sat on the front porch. While we were out there, I trimmed the back of Bud’s hair and trimmed my fingernails and toenails. 🙂
Bud and I decided to go for a walk on our property. It’s Morel Mushroom season. Bud has already been finding them for a few weeks. I think we are on the tail end of the season, but we found 14 very large Morels. These pics are from last year.
Shortly after we got back, my neighbor (who took care of our animals when Bud came to pick me up in TN) gave me a call and asked if she could come by to see me. When she arrived, we sat out on the front porch to ‘catch up’. The weather was sunny and mild, and just perfect to be out on the porch. It was so good to see her, and she is always so busy with work and home. Thank you, dear neighbor for making time to come see me! It meant so much to me.
I did not walk 10 miles this day. I had walked at a fast clip the day before to get my walk over with, and I was very sore.
We have some pork in our freezer that was hand raised by our neighbor, and I decided to fix pork chops for supper again. They are so good! I made a big salad to go with it, and Bud fried up our Morel Mushrooms to go with it. Mmmmm… 🙂
I opened my mail drop box that I had picked up at Erwin and organized my food for the food bag. I keep most everything in my pack that needs to stay dry in ziplock bags. They need to be replaced from time to time, so I replaced all of my ziplocks.
My days have seemed really full, and at times, I’ve hardly had a chance to sit down. I am trying to soak up every minute of being home. I missed Bud so much! I also just missed ‘home’. We love it out here in the Ozarks. I feel so at peace here. It would be easy to just stay home, and not go back to the trail, but I have a goal that I want to fulfill this time. I want to make it all the way to Mount Katahdin, so I will be heading back to the trail soon. I’m going to take the bus this time. It will be a brutal schedule, with not much sleep, but I feel so much better knowing Bud will not have to drive all that way back home by himself!
I know this is not a very exciting blog post, and not ‘Appalachian Thru-Hike’ related, but to me, it is MOST exciting and interesting. I love being home with all that it entails, simple though it may be.