Winter is Here! (Early)

2_WapsiHello and thanks for stopping by!   Last night we had the first measurable snowfall in the region, signalling an early transition to winter.  Everything is now covered with several  inches of powdery snow, transforming the area from the fiery maple leaves of fall to a winter picture postcard.


The kitties are home snuggled in the recliner with bellies full of turkey.  Last night we cooked an Iowa favorite – a 50/50 blend of roasted, shredded turkey mixed with stuffing and broth.  The cats were happy with it as-is.  We humans tend to place a glob of the mixture on a bun and make sandwiches… It’s great stuff any way you eat it.

4_PenAfter waking up this morning, I thought it would be interesting to take some snow pictures.  Here is a photo of the Iowa State Penitentiary in Anamosa.  The old limestone building looks especially picturesque adorned with snow… and it also appears quite cold and foreboding.

Here’s something interesting a lot of people probably don’t know.  The prison inmates get to order McDonald’s food a couple times per year with money they’ve saved up by working.  It’s a huge order and keeps us busy on “prison order” day!

Other than work, there’s not a lot going on.  With the weather changing, it’s about time to hibernate  although the van is ready to go and is connected to the float charger. It would be nice to get in a little more fishing before things get much colder.  We’ll have to see what happens.

For now, until this blast of cold, snowy weather moderates, it looks like there will be more recliner time with the cats.  They enjoy watching / helping colorful skeins of yarn become potholders / trivets for Christmas gifts.  Here’s the latest one completed last night.


Have a good week and enjoy the fall weather.  Winter will be here sooner than you think!

Brad, Serena, and Jesse James in Jones County, Iowa


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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7 Responses to Winter is Here! (Early)

  1. Jo says:

    WOW that looks cold. But the prison building is beautiful what a grand place. Never heard of prisoners being able to order out before. I guess if they earned the money and the right why not.

    Today I crochet a square to sew onto a pair of sweats that had no pockets.
    Stay warm

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo,

      It was 5 degrees last night. The kitties enjoy sitting in my lap with the electric blanket. The Christmas tree is up and at night they sleep under it on a Christmas afghan. It’s a cute sight!

      I like the idea of the square for the sweats with no pocket!

      Here’s something funny. I kept losing crochet hooks and yard needles. Instead of buying a metal tin (I am cheap!), the food stamps were used to buy a blue tin of Danish butter cookies (which kitty Jesse loves!). He’s got cookies and I have the tin can for hooks, needles, etc. 🙂

      Take care and thanks for visiting!

  2. Meg says:

    I like your potholder. As a crocheter and knitter I have to ask – did you make it on the diagonal, or is that just what the yarn is doing? I can’t tell.

    We have had just a light dusting of snow so far here in SE PA but I’m sure more is coming. Last winter was very bad and this snow is *really* heavy (unlike the light, fluffy Denver snow I knew for so many years) so this year I think we are going to invest in a snowblower. Electric ones are cheap!

    Have a good week and stay warm with your furbabies inside.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Meg,

      A snowblower would be nice. They come in handy. I’m lucky enough to use just a shovel. The car is parked about eight feet from the street making it quick work for the shovel. Like you, I’m worried that much more snow is coming.

      As far as the potholder, it’s super easy! It’s one continuous piece. I use two strands for thickness (about 18 rounds) or you can do a single strand (36 rounds or so). Just chain 36, SC in the second stitch all the way to the end. Do not turn. Crochet in the end stitch and up the bottoms of all the chain stitches. When you reach the beginning, keep right going around and around. You’ll form sort of a tube that folds in and closes itself up! Then whip stitch the diagonal. It’s that easy! I love simplicity!

  3. Pleinguy says:

    I like the first picture of the river and snow. Being snug inside during the snow is a comfy feeling. It’s turning cold here too. That turkey mash sounds yummy.

  4. Meg says:

    Oh, it’s double thickness! I get it now. That’s the way I start my socks (at the toe), except there are 2 increases each side every other row until I get to the foot, then it’s a straight shot – just like your potholder – until the heel.

    I’m between crochet projects right now – need to get back to my (several!) unfinished rugs. This house has hardwood floors and they’re cold now.

    About the snowblower – my brother (who owns the house) and I have been using shovels but he has some heart issues and the driveway is long (50′ or so) and steep, plus there’s a sidewalk. I like the exercise but have to admit, this Eastern snow is not fun to deal with. Things need to be different this year. (And actually, I’m hoping I can invoke Murphy’s law by buying one of these things – maybe it’ll keep the snow away!)