Now That There’s Thyme

Frog 1Hello and welcome to the blog!  With Serena’s help (she supervised), I planted tomatoes as well as a little herb garden today.  The herbs and tomatoes will provide delicious meals the rest of the season.  The herb garden also carries on a tradition from a previous owner.

This home base was once owned by a man named Kermit, a 20 year veteran of the United States Air Force.  Kermit served as a hospice volunteer as well as a helper for “Meals on Wheels”.  He meticulously maintained this home and Helen, his wife, was said to be an excellent housekeeper.

Kermit liked frogs.  As I’ve settled in and discovered things left in the yard, shed, etc. I noticed a few garden statues.  It took a while to realize the connection… the whole Muppet thing with “Kermit the Frog”.  I decided to carry on the tradition and will be adding more frogs visible from the road.  The hope is that people will drive by and say “That’s Kermit’s old place” and remember him fondly.
Herb Garden 1aIn the photo you see above, the herbs planted (from left to right) include thyme, basil, oregano, and rosemary.  In the back there are “super cayenne” and jalapeno pepper plants.  Along and behind the shed there are four cherry tomato plants and four Roma tomato plants.  It will be fun to see how things grow!

The herb garden  is already paying off.  When I priced fresh rosemary today at The Fresh Market, it was so expensive that I could just buy a whole plant at The Home Depot, clip a sprig, and plant the rest!  Supper was baked trout with rosemary and butter… good stuff!

Things are going great at work and it’s been pretty busy.  Most days it feels more like a hobby than a job.  After a string of graveyard shifts, Serena and I are going to do a little camping next week.  We both need some fresh air.  Instead of trout fishing this week, we’re likely going to do something different and maybe try catching bluegill and bass… and hiking.

Columbia Trailmaster BootRecently acquired was a pair of Columbia Trailmeister hiking boots.  I had some traction problems near Decorah while trying to cross a stream a few weeks ago.  The walking stick saved me from some nasty falls.  Concerned by her younger brother’s antics, Sis bought me these new boots and I’m looking forward to putting some miles on them.  The reviews are terrific and though more expensive options exist, the lady at Famous Footwear strongly recommended the Columbia brand.

For now it’s back to watching TV… at work and in the van!  It’s not always easy to find people to work the Saturday overnight shifts but it works out great.  I arrive early, grab something to drink, and watch a Star Trek episode on the MeTV network while resting prior to the work shift.  When the show ends, there’s about five minutes to clock in.  That van is pretty handy!

Have a great rest of the weekend.  We’ve got great weather coming in the next two weeks and it’s likely there will be time to camp, fish, hike, and perhaps hunt morel mushrooms.

Take care.  Happy, fun, and safe travels!

Brad, Serena, and Jesse James
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 Now That There’s Thyme

  1. Meg says:

    I’ll be curious to see when your tomatoes start producing. I bought a couple of plants last year. It was late – July – but they started blooming quickly and I think I had the first tomatoes in August. I’ve heard they need a long growing season but you’re starting yours so much earlier, that should make a big difference.

  2. Laurie says:

    I always enjoy reading your blog…I only go on vacation in my van (Yoopie the Stealth Van) once or twice a year, but have been thinking about doing some short overnite trips like you do. thanks for the stories and your always positive attitude…you always make my day! if I could figure out how I would send you some pics of my van and what I’ve done to it! keep up the good work – Laurie

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Laurie and thanks for the note! Sometimes I wonder how many people read the blog and its good to know others are enjoying it. With Serena’s health worsening, today is a very tough day… I am headed to the veterinary clinic again. Either way it means camping tomorrow, no matter the outcome. Hopefully the positivity will endure! Take care! — VT

      • Laurie says:

        I hope she is ok…it’s hard when they get older. I just lost one of my dogs to heart disease and it was so hard…I hope she perks up. -Laurie

  3. Brad (also) says:

    Hi Brad. What you said about carrying on Kermit’s tradition with the frogs so that people might remember him fondly was a very beautiful, simple, and selfless act in the spirit of Kermit. Just wanted to say, very inspiring and I will look for a frog this weekend to put in my garden too, for Kermit.

    As always, I enjoy reading the posts. Thanks!

    Brad in NC