An Early Visit from the Easter Bunny

Exquisite candies in an edible shell…. It doesn’t get any better than this!

Wow… Now that’s a chocolate egg!  My “over the top” sister thought it would be a nice present to send a chocolate egg as a treat while I’m working on Dad’s house.  This gorgeous little goody came from Andre’s, a family owned Swiss chocolate producer in Kansas City.  Their candies are award winning and are some of the finest (if not THE finest) in the country.  Willy Wonka needs to pack his bags…  Check out Andre’s…  It’s great stuff! 

With that being said, I just wanted to do a quick update on what’s been happening. 

Dad is doing fine.  A diagnosis confirmed last week that he has a condition that will require permanent care.  He likes the assisted living facility and enjoys the high quality meals (It’s like a friggin’ restaurant!).  I am glad Dad can get the care he really needs.  He deserves it!

As you can see from the photo, I have a dumpster rented.  It looks like it might take two of them!  All the carpet and furniture has to come out.  It is good that I’m doing the work though… It means I can preserve photographs and artifacts that might have otherwise been discarded.  It’s also saving a lot of money – funds that can be used for Dad’s care.

I like getting dirty!
In the process of packing, it became apparent that the collection of newspapers was insufficient for wrapping Dad’s antique dishes and such.  I called the Cedar Rapids Gazette company and spoke with the circulation department about buying some old papers.  To my delight, they offered me free blank paper – the ends of rolls removed from the large printing machines.   Below is a picture of one.  I like them because you can take the same dish and wrap it a number of times.  Cool stuff!  Check with your local newspaper company.  They might make you a similar deal!  There is a LOT of yardage on these things.
You can’t beat the price!  (FREE)

Where is time going?  It’s only a few days till St. Patty’s Day.  This morning I have to run to the store for a cooking idea.  I dreamed up a recipe last night for corned beef and cabbage in the van’s crockpot.  If it turns out, I will post the recipe tonight on the recipe blog (link is at the top right of this blog).  The crazy idea uses cut up Brussel sprouts, a bit of olive oil, deli corned beef… and beer.  I hope it provides a quick St. Patty’s Day fix.  If not, well, a cold beer sounds like a fantastic idea anyway.  Anyone want to join me for a cold bottle of Blue Moon?  (My personal favorite – Belgian ale!)
****  UPDATE on 03/14/2013 ****   The recipe turned out great.  Click on the picture below to take you to the recipe blog for details…   Thanks!  —  V.T.
That’s about all for now.  Once the house project is complete, I’m going to be taking off in early April for a trip to Decorah and “trout country”.  Serena (the tortoise shell cat) is going with me and it will be a fun time.  We’ve got some new places to see.  But in the meantime, there is a lot of work that must get done.  That’s okay.  It’s a labor of love. 
One last update… I haven’t been checking my weight lately with all the commotion.  As things settle down, there will be a flurry of activity in the weight loss area.  I’m not sure I’ll hit the goal this year but I still intend to raise the $605 for diabetes.  For now, it’s all on hold.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!
Bradford the “Van Trekker” 

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

11 Responses to An Early Visit from the Easter Bunny

  1. gabevarga says:

    Glad to see that your dad is doing well. I’m sure that having been able to make those great arrangements for his succesfully is a huge weight off of your shoulder.
    If you are going to use a slow cooker, and since you are working on the house, why not just plug it in there instead of the van? Or maybe you meant that you are taking the slow cooker out of the van, and using it in the house?

    • Brad says:

      Hi Gabevarga,

      It is a huge weight lifted. Dad has a lot of questions and little patience. It is nice to let the professionals assist a bit!

      I like cooking in the van. It’s home. Since I like to publish recipes that are meant for making in a small space, it’s kind of fun to cook in here. Ah, the smell of corned beef and cabbage!

      Also, if you saw the condition of the house, you’d understand. The kitchen is very cluttered. Perhaps when I clean it up, I can cook in there a little more. But like I said, the van feels more like my own home. 🙂

  2. Hey Brad

    Glad your dad is doing well. So I take it he will be moving back into the house
    Once you make it more senior friendly ? Or are you doing repairs for a future sale ?

    My new trailer is finished & I just need to knock off 6000 miles for pick up in the next few weeks.

    Take Care Jerry

    • Brad says:

      Hi Jerry. Unfortunately, Dad had a health setback and is currently in the intensive care unit. He will need 24/7 care the rest of his time. We almost lost him last night… Kind of tough right now. The house cleaning / fixup will be for a future sale to help with his healtcare expenses or … ? We’re minute to minute right now.

  3. tinycamper says:

    I am drooling on my keyboard over the chocolate eggs. What a wonderful gift. Your sis must like you a little bit, anyway. 🙂

    I am so relieved to hear that your Dad is happy in assisted living.

    Wonderful to know about the paper rolls. I always spent a fortune on paper towels to wrap dishes and other breakables after I ran out of newspaper.

    The recipe photo looks delicious. Off to check it out now.

    • Brad says:

      Thanks for the kind comments. I’m kind of glad that egg is gone… Pretty decadent!

      Dad was doing good in assisted living. He suddenly got sick and is now in the intensive care unit at the hospital. I’m not sure if he’ll make it. Pretty tough going this morning.

    • tinycamper says:

      Brad, prayers for you and your Dad. So sorry this is happening. I hope by now he is doing better.

    • Brad says:

      Dad is out of the woods at least. The docs aren’t sure if he should go back to assisted living or a full nursing home. At least he seems to be in good spirits and is happy. Things are busy on this end but it’s a labor of love. All is working out very well. Thanks for the kind wishes!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Props to the Cedar Rapids Gazette!

  5. Dragonfly says:

    Hi Brad, thinking of you and your Dad.
    Take care.
    ps, thanks for the recipes.

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