Elotes to Elated – Keeping the Fingers Crossed!

6_Mississippi at Fairport

The Mississippi River at Fairport, just north of Muscatine

The birthday weekend was full of ups and downs but things are looking much brighter today.  (Monday)

On Friday a call came in from a company where I was seeking employment.  The plan had been to go camping and fishing on Friday and Saturday (the birthday), likely at the favorite stomping grounds near Decorah.  Instead, I spent most of Friday taking online skills assessments.  (not an easy thing on a netbook computer!)  The company’s HR department had encouraged me to hurry – Monday was the last opportunity to get hired and the tests had to be completed by Friday.

The assessment exams were pretty easy for a person with experience.  The friendly lady in the Human Resources department advised that if there was a desire to move forward in the hiring process, I would have a call by Friday night.  If not, at that point one could assume I was not being considered.  Sadly, the phone never rang.  Talk about distressing!

Instead of fishing, I was pretty discouraged and decided it would be preferable to be around people, especially during the birthday.  Southeast Iowa seemed like a great destination.  There is some beautiful camping along the Mississippi River for $11. (including electricity)

1_ElotesOn the way to visit buddy Johnnie in Muscatine, I stopped at La Reyna, a family run Mexican grocery store in Iowa City.  In addition to “barbacoa” (a spiced, shredded roast beef), they were selling elotes (pronounced “aaay-low-tays”).   An elote is basically a corn-on-the-cob with Parmesan  cheese and mayo.  It is heavenly and I had one for lunch.  It tasted 100 times better than the sugary birthday cake!

7_JohnnieAfter arriving in the city of Muscatine, I stopped to see my good friend Johnnie and we hung out together with his roommate who is also named John.  As is the tradition, Johnnie and I went “junking” at the thrift stores but nothing was purchased this time.

Here is a picture of Johnnie and his new “peace symbol” ear rings.  This photo was taken on a hill near the Muscatine to Illinois bridge.  (you can see it on the upper right)

After a great dinner at a local restaurant, I stayed at the Fairport campground just north of town.  There was a surprising number of other people there.   That’s unusual for November.

8_FairportLast year at this time the campground was deserted.  It was nice to have some company!  The temperatures had been in the upper 50s during the day, settling to the 40s overnight.  That likely accounts for the extra folks camping.  What a beautiful weekend!

I brought along a creepy horror movie to watch.  The dark, isolated camping site contributed to the fun.  A strong fall wind added some cold drafts and buffeted the van.  The movie starred Jamie Lee Curtis and was about a person killing fraternity kids on a train.  One can imagine what it was like when a real train passed by the campground in the middle of the night and shook the van.  Geez, did I wake up fast!

3_Ham Steak and Grilled Pineapple

Grilled ham steak and fresh pineapple on the Coleman Instaspark grill… a tasty breakfast “down by the river”

Saturday turned out to be a decent birthday but Sunday brought the best news of all.

On Sunday, I received a call advising that the pre-employment background check had come back over the weekend.  It’s a “go” and I’ve been invited for the final hiring process today (Monday)   That boosted the mood quite a bit!

Keep your fingers crossedSo why all the excitement over a new job?  This one is much different.  It has some great advantages over previous positions, plus a very hefty pay increase!  Combine the $$$ with some of the minimalistic living techniques and it will make the future existence much more comfortable.  There is a potential for much longer term employment.  On top of that, even while working, I can concurrently work on recipes for the e-cookbook project.  It would be a good fit!

Please keep your fingers crossed for this to work out.


Animated-Flag-USABy the way, today is a special day.  Thanks to the veterans, including Grandpa Glen R. Harris (WW II) and my Dad (Korean conflict) as well as all the current service men and women.

Without their ongoing sacrifices, none of us would be free.

God bless the military folks, the families, and the U.S.A.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bradford, the “Van Trekker”

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"
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3 Responses to Elotes to Elated – Keeping the Fingers Crossed!

  1. Tinycamper says:

    I had never heard of elotes. They sound great!

    Wishing you the very best with the job.

    Happy Veterans Day!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for the kind wishes… I just did the “tinkle test” (the easiest part!). The application, assessment tests, informational meeting, interviews, drug test, etc. took 9 hours over the last few days! Now it’s “pins and needles” until I hear if there is an offer. If it doesn’t pan out, there is another contingency job waiting in the wings and it is a good fit, too… 😀

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