Getting My Bearings…

Hello and welcome to the blog on this late winter day… perhaps the coldest day we’ll see until next December.

Hub BearingThis weekend the car is getting some new wheel bearings on the front end; the Cobalt had picked up a worsening hum / growl in the last month or so – a common issue with GM vehicles.  The shop I usually go to tried to charge a small fortune for the part for just one side of the car.  After watching a couple of videos I realized it is easy to do the work at home and not pay for inflated part prices or labor.  For less money, I can replace both the right and left assemblies with high end Moog brand hubs… and install some new brake pads at the same time.


Cauliflower Mash

VT’s Diabetic Cauliflower Mash

It’s been a good time to “get one’s bearings” in another sense.  The last couple of months off have provided much needed rest and a chance to address the worsening blood sugars.  A new family doctor and clinic have helped a great deal in understanding what diabetes does, some eating strategies and best uses of medications.  The knowledge has helped reverse things quickly and I feel like a million bucks again.  Bike riding season cannot come soon enough!

One of the most amazing, delicious, and satisfying comfort foods has been the cauliflower mash – a mashed potato substitute that is quite tasty and has 1/4 the carbs of the real stuff.  Here’s my take on it.  Click here or on the picture for the recipe.

Laser Pointer 2It looks like there is a bit more time to have some outdoor fun.  The new job was supposed to start on this coming Monday but it’s been delayed a week or so.  No biggie… With the temperatures climbing over the next six days, there should be some camping happening soon.  I’ve not yet decided where to venture but it’s a sure bet that Jesse James or Serena will go along for the trip.  They love that new laser toy!

I hope the readers have a great weekend and enjoy the moderating weather that much of the country will be experiencing.  With so much going on in other parts of the world, it’s a blessing to be able to move about freely and enjoy the outdoors in safety.  Take care!

Your camping friends in Jones County, Iowa

Brad, Serena, and Jesse James



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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"

6 Responses to Getting My Bearings…

  1. Sam says:

    Don’t forget to unhook your battery before you start.

    • VanTrekker says:

      I got it done a little early… The two hubs and brakes took a few hours but it was worth the work. It’s always fun to do something you haven’t tackled before (hubs) and have some success. No, I didn’t unhook the battery. Didn’t really need to. It was fun though… There’s nothing like the satisfaction of finding out a part was worn out – the old one was dry and scraping. 😀 Take care!

  2. Pleinguy says:

    I may have to try that cauliflower mash. Glad you found a new doc that understands.

    • VanTrekker says:

      I found another way to cook the cauliflower… putting the florets in foil and boiling the packet in a pot of water for 30 minutes… That will work great while camping. It’s tempting to make another pot of it while camping this week. The only problem is that all the fiber large amounts of the dish will really the help digestion along. 😀

  3. Jo says:

    I really need to try that dish I have heard so much about it.

    great to be able to fix your own car and save boat loads of money.

    I had a camping trip planned for this weekend and then the wind hit 20 – 30 mph is not good camping weather. And didn’t find out about the wind until I finished loading up the truck. :(P

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo. I made another bowl of it the other day and it was pretty good again… I might try doing it with a slice of bread and roast beef and gravy for a less sinful “hot beef” sandwich. 🙂 I hear ya about the 20-30 MPH weather. Serena and I have camped through hailstorms and high thunderstorm winds. It almost have her religion. It’s best to do it in good weather!