Day Tripping in Oklahoma: Natural Springs Park (Baby Boomer Moment)

Yes we are preparing to move to Mexico, but we have decided to "Do" Oklahoma while we are still here.  Why not?  We will probably never spend much time here again, and when we do visit, we will be spending time with family and friends, not sightseeing. And we are learning to vlog for when we get to Mexico!

One of the first places we decided to visit is not actually in Oklahoma. It's in Arkansas, and I'll be talking more about Crystal Bridges in a later blog.  But on the way there, I saw the sign for Natural Springs Park and immediately requested (yelled?) for Dan to turn down the next road. I had been there, maybe thirty five years ago or so? I wanted to see it again and I wanted to show it to Dan.


Entering the park costs $5.00 a car and is well worth the price.  You park and walk through a lovely park to get down to the falls. It's not a bad walk at all. Just walk through the entrance way gate and down a wooden walkway.


The sky was blue. The crickets were chirping. It was a beautiful day for August in Oklahoma.  


First you come to a small trickling stream, but soon you realize you are hearing more than the stream. You are hearing the waterfall! But where is it?  You walk a little further and find yourself on a concrete viewing deck, looking down into a cavern....with a waterfall...


Absolutely spectacular.  It falls 77 feet down to a beautiful pool at the bottom. You can walk down to a kind of pebble beach, but we were told that you are not even supposed to touch the water because some rare salamander lives there. We couldn't confirm that online. I know that about 35 years ago, I did swim there, and floated under the waterfall. The waterfall reflected rainbows all around us. It was magical.

But that's one of those "Baby Boomer Moments." When the world was a little different. Not better, maybe, but different. I'll never do that again, like I won't climb Chichen Itza again. It's no longer allowed.  I can see why. It was dangerous. But I'm glad we were able to do it.  

So the moral of the story is....see what you can, where you are. Memories are precious. Make a lot of them!!  And if you are in Oklahoma, Natural Falls State Park is a good place to start.

Here's the video we made of our visit:










Why buy a Drone for Traveling?

One of the funniest comedy sketches ever, in my opinion, takes place in the Marx Brothers film “Cocoanuts,” in which the term "viaduct" gets confused with “Why a Duck?”




Some of you are probably asking a similar type of question about why I want to buy a drone for our travels.  

Why a Drone?

Here are several reasons I want to buy a drone:
  • Taking spectacular aerial photography
  • Engaging in commercial endeavors, including real estate and industrial surveillance 
  • Learning a great hobby for someone who never got around to being able to get a private pilot’s license

I have been researching this topic or some time now. Of course, asking the right questions is the first step in research. Here are mine: 
  • How do you learn to fly a drone? 
  • How difficult is it? 
  • What does it take to become an FAA licensed drone pilot, and is it necessary and worth it?
  • What type of drone should we buy? 
  • Is it best to start off with a cheaper drone to learn with, or should we jump in immediately and buy the drone of our dreams? 
  • Some drones are fold-able and can easily fit into a backpack, while others are designed more for transporting in their own hard case. Which is best for my situation? (In fairness, I need to point out that I am still exploring which drone to buy, but I am leaning toward a DJI drone, which I will talk about later in this blog.) 
  • Since we are planning on travelling to Mexico, as well as other places, can we fly our drone in these countries legally, and if so, what are the restrictions, if any?  

The following article is up-to-date and gives plenty of good advice if you are planning on taking a drone to Mexico. Click here to read this very good article (Taking Your Drone To Mexico ? What To Know Before You Go). I also recommend signing up for their newsletter, which I did.

You can find tons of information all over the internet about this topic.  Most of it is free, but if you plan on becoming an FAA licensed pilot, you will be spending some money on training materials and paying $150 to take the test.  Basically, if you are intending on flying small toy drones and those that weigh less than half a pound you will be exempt from registration and licensing requirements.  

Since I intend on doing more serious photography, I will be getting licensed as soon as possible.  Having been through the outline of the test and some of the materials, I can assure you that it is excellent information and well worth the time and effort to study.


One other thing I have found out in my research is that the more expensive drones, such as those manufactured by DJI, have more sophisticated software and hardware, and because of that they are, in my view, more idiot-proof than simpler and cheaper models.  

For example, some cheap models will not do anything when they are running out of battery power and may simply fall out of the air without warning, even over water or power lines or in trees.  Not a good idea.  

But even if we decide to buy a DJI, which package do we need and where should we buy it?  What accessories do we need? The picture below is an example of a DJI package you can buy on Amazon. You can click it to see what it includes. They offer many more combinations as well at many price points.



As we continue our research, we will decide what drone will be best for us. Then we will start actually flying!

We will be posting more information, pictures and videos as we continue this process. Stay tuned for our next drone blog.







Vlogging for Baby Boomers

As you probably know, we are preparing to move to Mexico (CANNOT WAIT!).  What we are doing on line right now is part of that preparation.


We are blogging about our life and our preparation to move to Mexico. We are both partially retired and trying to get our ducks in a row. We hope to sell our house here and move down in the spring.

We have been trying to find YouTube videos of Mexico for years now and have about run out of ones to watch, which is why we plan to make our own to share with YOU when we get down there. Our plan is to first rent in Merida and then travel around Mexico deciding where we really want to live. We may very well end up in the Merida area, but we want to be SURE before we buy. Plus we can't wait to explore our new country/home. When we buy and get settled we want to travel a little farther afield, especially Cuba and the Caribbean!



But recently, we came upon a treasure trove of Mexican videos: Young people vlogging through Mexico. How had we missed them before?  To begin with, we found these two couples and a single guy who traveled through the Yucatan and then went on to Cuba. A treasure trove. And we know other vloggers are traveling down there as well, and we plan to search them out and watch their videos. I will list the three we know so far below so you can enjoy their adventures too.  

But these young people have inspired us.  Watching them has helped us form a better idea of what we want to do...and not do....in our own "vlogs." We've really enjoyed watching these people travel through different cities and experience the food and the locals they meet. None of them have really tried to learn the language because Mexico is only a tiny part of their travel plans and now they are off to other exotic ports (One couple traveled to the Republic of Georgia where my son is in Peace Corps. I LOVED that!). 

We will be looking at Mexico as our new country, not as a vacation. We'll be interested in the medical facilities and permanent housing prices, for instance. We'll try to see what kind of expat communities different locations have. We do not want to live in a Gringo ghetto, but it will be nice to have some friends close by who are experiencing the came cultural changes we are. Plus we'll be looking at the Mexican world through the eyes of Babyboomers, not Millennials. We have certain physical restrictions and, frankly, hope to enjoy a little more comfort and a slower pace that the vloggers we've been watching.

For now, we'll be practicing, as we prepare to move and have a few adventures in our own neck of the woods before we leave it behind.  We need to become more proficient with our cameras and our editing, for instance.

We sat down recently and talked about our plans on camera.




And here are the links to the Mexican playlists of the vloggers we have been following. If you know of any other good ones, please leave us links in the comments. Do you find this kind of thing valuable to you? Thanks!!




By the way, what we do is go to their YouTube homepages, click on Playlists, and find their Mexico playlists to watch. They also go other very cool places, but right now, we are interested in Mexico. The links above lead to those playlists.

Low Carb/Keto Capered Chicken Recipe with video

My husband challenged me to make a Yucatanean Meal, then added, "but of course, you can't make it low carb."  Huh. I showed him.



 The recipe I've linked to in this post was the entree. I will also be sharing the other recipes I used in that meal.


All the recipes I used were:

  • Capered Chicken (Pollo Alcaparrado) from Rick Bayless
  • David Sterling's sautéed chaya with smoked bacon: Chayas fritas / Tsajbil chaay
  • Pork Rind Tortillas 1 carb each
  • Achiote-Rubbed Butternut Squash Tacos


This Capered Chicken recipe came from Rick Bayless, and actually needed only one change to make it keto, and that was leaving out the raisins. I made a few changes to use what I had on hand or what was in season, however. And it turned out great!  A very successful dish. I'm sure I'll cook it again.





Rick Bayless is a TV chef and cookbook writer, who has traveled in the Yucatan. We've watched him on YouTube.  

Here is his website: http://www.rickbayless.com/

And here is the link to the recipe for Capered Chicken: http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/capered-chicken/

And finally, here's a link to the video I made about cooking low carb Capered Chicken:  https://youtu.be/WqNsOT8-5i4

Happy Eating!!!

Here are some of Rick's cookbooks:
(with links to where you can purchase them)







This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. My opinions are always my own. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you – which helps keep this blog running, my recipes free, and supports our efforts to bring information about the low carb lifestyle and the experience of moving to Mexico to you.  





Mexican American Pavlovas for the 4th of July: Recipe

I eat and cook low carb. I have high blood sugar that I control with diet. I'd like to lose weight, but that hasn't really happened, but I am not gaining.... At 64, I guess I should feel lucky about that.

So when we were invited to a 4th of July pot luck, I faced a challenge. I know other people need to eat low carb too, so when I attend events such as this, I try to contribute something that all low-carbers can enjoy without breaking their diets.



This time I chose a dessert idea that I learned about in Australia: The pavlova. Yes, it's named after the ballerina, and New Zealand and Australia squabble about who invented it. It's really just a meringue topped with whipped cream and fruit, but it's great for hot weather and fairly low-carb. If you don't add a lot of sugar, which I don't.

I use Swerve as my sweetener of choice. It's not 0 carb, but low carb. It's made from 100% monkfruit, which is sourced in Europe to keep it GMO free. It tastes great. Just don't overdo it.

Here's the recipe for the Pavlova shell.

Ingredients:
•  6 eggs whites
•  ½ cup Swerve
•  2 ½ cups heavy cream
•  A dash of vanilla
•  A dash of lemon of lime juice


1.   Preheat oven to 250°F.
2.   Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
3.   Separate eggs, and put egg whites into a metal or glass (not plastic) bowl.
4.   Beat until soft peaks form.
5.   Gradually add Splenda and beat until mixture is thick and glossy - at least 5 minutes.
6.   Spoon heaped teaspoonfuls of the meringue onto baking sheets. Use a large spoon to make bowls.
7.   Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and just lightly browned.
8.   Cool in the oven with the door ajar.
9.   Top meringue with whipped cream, and decorate with berries.
10. Serve immediately.  They will last about an hour before they start getting soggy.

I used fun little American and Mexican flag picks on mine, which I purchased on Amazon.  

 

Here's the YouTube video I made of creating these cute little desserts:


So have fun cooking low carb!



This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. My opinions are always my own. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you – which helps keep this blog running, my recipes free, and supports our efforts to bring information about the low carb lifestyle and the experience of moving to Mexico to you.  

From Cubicle Rat to Digital Nomad

What a whirlwind.

I lost my job.  It was inevitable. The company was bought and sold three times in three years. The final company who bought it to keep it rather than to just repackage it to sell to someone else "restructured," and they already had a forty-person communication team in Palo Alto or somewhere, so I was, they determined without even consulting my supervisor, "redundant."

Do I sound bitter?  Eh, not really. I want to become a digital nomad anyway. So I can work from Mexico or wherever. I never want to be a cubicle rat again.

Well, maybe just a little bitter.  I did post this when I was near Palo Alto the other day

A certain company, located in Palo Alto, CA., really pissed me off recently, although they may have actually done me a favor in the long run. Anyway, here I am, one hour away from their corporate headquarters, and my buddy, Dino, insisted on making a very significant gesture in their general direction. I really appreciate that gesture, but the hotel room really stinks now ! 
So why was I near Palo Alto when I live in Oklahoma and plan to move to Mexico? How did I get so far off my planned route?  Two days after the "big news," my husband woke up with a brilliant idea. We've wanted to take a trip out to California to visit my stepson for ages. I didn't want him making the drive without me, so here was our opportunity.

And what a trip it was!  We planned it in four days. We worked out a timetable and made all our hotel reservations. We even made dinner reservations at the Grand Canyon.  The trip took two weeks. We drove approximately  5,000 miles!!  We saw many places that one or both of us had never seen before.


We packed up our trusty BMW X3 with all the goodies we thought we'd need, and it worked out well.


And we packed our dinosaurs, which was a really great idea. I ordered them on Amazon, and they were well worth the price for fun travel photos. They will travel with us from now on. 


Our other great purchase for this trip was a plug in cooler. OK. I'll admit it. We bought it because we wanted cool wine when we got to our hotel rooms at night.  It worked great!  We kept it plugged into the car while we were driving and unplugged it if we turned off the car for any period of time, and plugged it in in the hotel rooms at night. 

And it came in handy for other stuff. In California, where we stayed three days, we bought some supplies and took leftover meat and cheese and tortillas along with us when we left, which came in really handy for a road lunch and even a light dinner when we pulled into Taos really late and didn't want to bother with a restaurant. We just wanted to sleep. And drink chilled wine, of course.  We think this cooler has a bright future, including accompanying us on our drive-down trip to Mexico when we move.


But now we are home and it's time for me to start figuring out how to be a digital nomad.  I have so much to do. 

  • I need to re-brand the novel I already have published. I let my husband convince me it wasn't a romance. It is. And it needs to be labeled as one and look like one.
  • I need to post some of the YouTube videos I made on our trip.
  • I need to find a new home for my online art.
  • I need to finish my new webpage.
  • I need to write this blog more often!!!  (I will write some blog posts about the places we visited on this trip. It was a fascinating ride!)
  • I need to really pay attention to our diet and create some "Fine dining with KETO" videos and post some recipes. 


So here goes!  Cubicle Rat to Digital Nomad.  THAT'S ME!!!!




This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. My opinions are always my own. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you – which helps keep this blog running, my recipes free, and supports our efforts to bring information about the low carb lifestyle and the experience of moving to Mexico to you.  

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