Author Archives: Live, Breathe, Move

Instant Pot Vegan Black Eyed Pea and Collard Green Curry


Ingredients:

1 Onion Diced

3 Garlic Cloves Minced

1 Inch chunk of Ginger grated

11 Oz Melissa’s fresh Black Eyed Peas

1 Large Bunch of Collard Greens, Stems removed leaves Chiffonade

1 Celery Stalk Diced

1 Carrot Diced

1 15 oz Can Diced Tomatoes or a couple of tomatoes diced. Fire Roasted would be a good choice.

3 Cups Vegetable Broth. We use water and a dollop of Veg Better Than Bullion (4 cups if you want it to be soupier and 2 if you want it to be more of a stew)

1 Beyond Vegan Brat crumbled. (Optional)

Handful of Cilantro Chopped

1 Lemon Quartered

Cooked Basmati Rice (Optional)

Hot Sauce (Optional) We used Franks Red Hot

Spices:

1/2 Tablespoon of Cumin Seeds

1 Teaspoon of Yellow Curry Power

1 Teaspoon of Hot Garam Masala

1 Teaspoon of Smoked Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric

1 Teaspoon Salt

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a tablespoon of Olive Oil in the Instant Pot on “Sauté” mode. Add cumin seeds and sauté for a minute or so until seeds become fragrant. Add onions, celery, carrot and bay leaf and fry a few minutes until mirepoix is soft. Add remaining spices and fry for a minute or so while coating the vegetables. You might need to turn the Sauté mode off and on a few times to cook without burning spices. I don’t typically measure spices, but the above spice mix is approximately what I used for this dish. Any curry spice combination would work. Omit the curry/Garam Masala and increase the smoked paprika for more of a traditional Hoppin’ John flavor. Add ginger and garlic and cook about a minute. Stir in the Black Eyed Peas and greens and coat with spice mix. Stir in the Beyond Brat, tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Switch Instant Pot to High Pressure and cook for 10 minutes with Natural release. Serve with basmati rice, cilantro, a squeeze of lemon, and hot sauce.

Saying Goodbye to Rufus

We sadly said goodbye to our big boy Rufus today. He was euthanized on a crisp, cool, sunny, Saturday morning in his Colorado mountain backyard. One of his favorite spots in a country he got to see quite a bit of in the last ten plus years living, breathing, and moving with us. Rufus was a good boy and we will miss him dearly, just like we still miss his brother Hank, and our cats Helen and Omar. I will never forget our years together including those on the road with that crew of four in tow. This is the sad end to an era.

Along with his dashingly handsome looks Rufus’ special talent was being able to run like the wind. He could sprint through a dense forest like a flash of white lightning bounding up and over obstacles like a deer. It was something to behold as was the joy on his face which was contagious.

Watching the recent years rob those abilities was tough for us. Although it has been a while since Rufus could run, every night while he sleeps, those back legs get pumping again, and we know he is going full speed ahead, at least in his dreams. I like to think that he is back in those dreams permanently now and no longer shackled by the pain of this flawed and at times cruel world.

The bond I had with Rufus was incredible and it went both ways. It was not limited to the typically sensory experiences. Instead, that bond was energetic, or even what I would describe as spiritual. That bond was very much the same as the bond I got to know previously with Hank. That bond is what makes having a dog one of the greatest experiences in life but also what makes saying goodbye one of the hardest.

Rufus was a stray, rescue and we failed as his fosters after he spent over 6 months in a 4 x 6 cage spinning in circles. When you open a dog’s cage and lead them out of a crowded animal shelter for the last time and take them home, you instantly form a bond with that dog. I firmly believe that bond is different with a rescue but in reality that is the only experience I will ever know.

Regardless of whatever bond or connection I made with Rufus, it did not compare to the bond Rufus developed with his adopted mom. Robin was light of his life. The days when she traveled regularly for work were miserable for him, but the elation he experienced when she returned seemed to make up for it.  We both have home offices but there is no question about which one of our feet Rufus chose to spend most of his days by.

Out pack was tight, and it feels like it now has a giant hole in it. Rufus was the last of four in recent years for us and although we will miss them dearly, we are grateful that they all lived out long, full lives and died an old age. We were not perfect parents to any of them, but we did the best we could and hope that in the end, we did right by them all.

Goodbye sweet dog.  

If you have a good boy or girl give them a treat tonight and tell them that one was for Rufus.  

Want to Rescue a Dog? First Rescue Yourself From Guilt and Pity


I originally wrote this blog 6 years ago and at a time in our life when we had The Perfect Dog!. Since today is the anniversary of our Dog Hank’s passing, I thought I would honor my buddy by posting this here. Miss you Hank! Adopt, don’t buy!

Written December 2012: 

My last blog focused on misconception, ideology and fear as it relates to dogs, dog rescue, and specifically pitbulls. In accordance with the theme of the blog, I am going to stick with misconception and ideology, but instead of human fear, I am going to take on its nearly as powerful antithesis – human pity and guilt.

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Elk Meadow. Isn’t It a Pity?


Had an amazing morning. Watched a herd of elk awake. Their heads popped up, one by one from the tall grass as the sun rose. I could hear the sounds of tearing grass even before I could see them clearly. Watched them eat their breakfast while I drank my coffee. 

Even if you are not somewhere like this, and no matter what you have going on this weekend, try turning off the news, putting away the phone and stepping outside. Even if just for a few minutes, who knows, maybe, just maybe, you will be able to see the beauty that surrounds you.? 

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My Personal Experience Healing Chronic Pain


I (Jeremy) original wrote a blog called “My Personal Experience Healing Back Pain” on a different site just over 4 years ago and only a couple of months after I experienced a somewhat miraculous healing experience with my problematic lower back. I am happy to report that my results have remained consistent for over four years and I am celebrating an anniversary of sorts. I decided this was also the perfect excuse to justify playing 18 holes of golf at my favorite course in Palm Springs on an otherwise random Monday morning.

Like I usually do, I decided to carry my bag on my back today even though a riding cart was included in the price and even though I have one of those push carts that I left at home and even though I did a 3.5 hour mountain hike yesterday. Considering where I was with my back just 5 years ago, I will never take for granted a completely pain free walk around a beautiful  course like this or any of the other ones I have been playing for the last four years. I felt a sense of gratitude with every single step I took. With that said, it also saddens me to see how few others are celebrating this type of anniversary these days. 

I also realize that writing a travel blog about chronic pain and mind body medicine may not be right up the alley of a typical reader of this blog. But, if even one person reads this, and it leads them out of a lifetime chronic pain it is worth losing any readers that don’t want to hear it but strangely decide to read it anyway. 

my story – the short version

I battled various forms and degrees of chronic pain for years. I have been formally diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease in my spine, pinched nerves, plantar fasciitis in my foot, a displaced bone segment in my shoulder from a broken bone that did not heal correctly and that rubs on other bone/nerves, a displaced bone segment in my foot that didn’t heal correctly and that rubs against other bone/nerves, and what I was told was significant neck damage due to a head-on car accident. I was told in no uncertain terms that my conditions were not curable without risky surgery, but that by working the rest of my life with physical therapy, strengthening and treatment, I could at least manage them to some degree. I spent the better part of a year working with a chiropractor, strengthening my core, stretching my muscles, changing my office ergonomics and getting regular treatments and yet my condition was only deteriorating.

Flash forward a few years and I discovered the work of Dr. John E Sarno and I read the book Healing Back  Pain, The Mind Body Connection. Within about 3-6 months I was able to eliminate every one of these painful symptoms from the most minor tendon stiffness to the most debilitating back spasms. I have remained pain-free for a period of over four years. The only thing I did was read and learn. Yes, you heard me correctly and no, I am not selling you anything. What I learned was that my pain was not being caused by the physical condition that I and my doctor were associating it with. What me, and a great majority of others, suffering chronic and even severe pain are experiencing is oxygen deprivation to the muscles and tendons surrounding the perceived injury. I understand that my personal experience and results are completely anecdotal, but I can also assure you that they are far from uncommon.  

If you are interested in hearing my story read on. If you are looking for RV info, or if you are starting to get angry about the basic premise, or if my personal experience is threatening to your livelihood, please click elsewhere. I am sure you can find a great blog about how to clean an RV black tank sensor somewhere but not in today’s blog. Ours hasn’t worked for 4 years so I got nothing for you on that subject. 

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Learn How to Move Your Life onto the Road!


We’re happy to share some exciting news. Our friends Kerensa & Brandon at RV to Freedom have launched their Roadmap to Full-Time RVing online course just in time for the holidays!

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We Said Goodbye to Our Best Friend Today


We said goodbye to our best friend today. Hank died peacefully at home and faced his euthanasia the same way he faced everything he ever encountered in his entire life and the only way he knew how – Head on and WITHOUT FEAR.

We were his rescuers and trainers, but Hank taught us far more than we ever taught him during the last 14 years.  About seeing the beauty in every new place. About never letting fear stand between you and anything. About unconditional love and loyalty.  About living, aging, and dying gracefully. And most importantly about how to live in the present moment and to be happy all the time no matter what!

Hank loved to walk, hike and retrieve more than anything and he could do it for hours and hours without getting tired. He was just as happy and confident navigating around broken glass in a rundown city neighborhood park as he was leading the way to the top of a 14,000-foot mountain in a pristine national forest in Colorado or strutting down the beach with the star’s dogs in Carmel, California. I can’t even to begin to guess the number of miles we logged around City Park in Denver which was probably his favorite place on earth. He was also about the fastest runner of his size that you could imagine, and watching him snatch a tennis ball or frisbee out of mid-air in stride was truly something to behold!

He also really loved to swim. Hank got to swim in the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and in countless, swimming pools, streams, lakes, and catfish ponds in between. In fact, I like to think Hank is probably locked onto and treading full steam towards a floating tennis ball right now!

If you ever encountered Hank you probably remember his infectious spirit and love for every single person he ever met, even if the same could not be said for every single dog he ever met. His adopted brother Rufus was the unwavering exception. He will be missed by us all and our hearts are broken more than words can say.

If you have a good boy or girl at home, give them their favorite treat and tell them that one was from Hank.


Golf on the Road


It is no secret that one of our favorite travel activities is golf. Along with yelping brew pubs, one of the first things I do at any new location is Google what golf course are around. But that is only when the destination was not planned based on the golf course I wanted to play. I (Jeremy) probably don’t actually play any more golf than the average weekend hacker but I have likely played more different course than most. Playing 70 different courses in 18 different states most only once, is not a good way to pad your handicap but it is a big part of what I enjoy none the less. This is something I plan to continue and even increase if possible. 

Robin joins me quite a bit and I have played quite a few times with friends and family on the road but much of the time I am a solo golfer and I don’t mind. Its a great way to clear your head, get some exercise and fresh air and a great way to just be able to just shut up and enjoy the present moment for a while.

The map above shows all of the courses that I have been lucky enough to hack up while traveling full time in the RV. This doesn’t even include the Denver courses I have played during summers at our cabin. From Northeastern goat tracks to pristine course in Palm Springs, I have played, and generally loved them all.  Being a full time RVer is a great way for a person of modest means to have this experience. 

We are currently set up enjoying two free nights of full hook up parking at another RV golf club location in New Mexico and are looking forward to more golf travel in the following weeks and months. Who knows, maybe this blog will lead to a company that is looking to hire someone to travel and review golf courses for a salary? Seriously though, I could work out a heck of deal for someone. 

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Time at Home in Colorado and Finally Back on the Road


It has been a while since our last blog (well over a year!) and an eventful and non-eventful stretch it has been. We have been stationary for about 15 or 16 months and since this is a travel blog, we didn’t feel overly compelled to keep it up. For those that don’t follow our Facebook site, we had to make a slight change to the end of the 2016 snowbird journey. We were dealing with multiple pet issues including 16 and 17 year old cats with health in general decline. Having pets on the road is tricky but having geriatric pets and having to make five trips to five different vets in five cities in about six months was more than tricky, and as tough on us as it is on the cats. In addition, our old man dog Hank, now 14.5 years old, was having more and more mobility issues including a blown CCL (knee ligament) suffered while hiking in Flagstaff in spring of 2016.


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Life on the Edge – The Grand Canyon


We spent the last week boondocking outside of Grand Canyon National Park. We found a great free site about five miles from the entrance. The site was a little tight but we squeezed in and enjoyed a few glorious half days exploring the Grand Canyon and some pretty decent remote camping during an otherwise typical work week with questionable weather. We did however have great weather during a couple of trips in the park for some hiking and exploring. We did one with the dogs on the South Rim Trail and then a second hike down the South Kaibab Trail into the canyon a ways.

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