January Hibernation

January11Hello and welcome to the blog.  On Sunday our high temperature was just 4 degrees.  It was colder than snot.  But January 11th marked a day of hope.  Our average high temperatures in Iowa slowly increase starting this day.  Thank goodness!

I’ve not posted anything for a bit.  Following the last camping trip on New Years I became sick with a cold and a terrible ear infection.  Like a dummy, I kept working even when the inner ear pain was excruciating.  It’s just not worth it to work when one is that sick…

I also had a doctor’s visit and got the news that was expected… The blood sugars were pretty bad.   The good news is that things have been getting better.  Within a couple of days of the doctor’s visit, the sugars were brought back in line.  During our visit I told the doc that getting things reversed was not a “New Year’s Resolution” thing.  It’s more of a “I’m sick of all this dang rich holiday food and am ready to eat something healthy.”

Make ahead Bacon SaladEating healthier really isn’t that bad.  As much as I love cooking, it’s fun to make tasty, healthy, colorful food.  The salad shown on the right is one of the easily portable foods that might go on a future trip.

Using a bag of mixed greens from Walmart, I added a couple strips of crumbled bacon, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, 2/3 cup of feta cheese crumbles, 1/2 cup of English walnuts, a few sliced sweet peppers, and stored it all in a gallon freezer bag in the fridge for a few days.  The salad held well and made two big servings.  At serving time balsamic vinaigrette dressing was added.

Bugs BunnyRabbit food actually tastes pretty good these days.

The cats and I are “hibernating” at the homebase for a bit, working on home projects.  But one of these days, there will likely be a little camping trip somewhere just for fun to get a little fresh air and exercise.

For now though, camping can wait just a bit longer!


Take care and thanks for stopping by.  2016 is going to be a great year with some healthy fun.  Spring will be here before too much longer!

Brad, Jesse James, and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa

Carpet Square 2

Happiness is a carpet pad next to the furnace vent

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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8 Responses to January Hibernation

  1. Laurie says:

    I don’t know if it would work with your diet, but I’ve come up with a fast and easy mix that I take with me in the van. 1/2 c quick oatmeal, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, handful dried cranberries, and a handful of walnut pieces, all in a zip sandwich bag. I have a container with these breakfast bags in it. I have an electric kettle in the van and I just put the mix in a big cup and add 3/4c water and let it sit a couple minutes and it’s great, simple and warms you up first thing! you can adjust to fit your style! – Laurie

    • VanTrekker says:

      What a terrific idea! That sounds pretty tasty and definitely would warm a person up. Sis gave me a number of bags of walnuts and dried cranberries. To mix that up and store it in bags sounds good! On the last outing I’d pre-mixed some buckwheat flour and other stuff, labeling the lid of the plastic container with the contents and date. At the campground I added an egg and 1/2 of a pint bottle of milk = pancakes. Thanks for the comment and the idea! 😀

  2. my_vantasy says:

    While you’re warming up in Iowa, we’re starting to freeze in Ohio. I had a Snow Day today. If we go back to school tomorrow, I’ll have to dig the car out of the 12″ snow drift around it. Love the pic of the kitties cuddled on their carpet square. Keep eating healthy!

    • VanTrekker says:

      We only got a dusting this time. 12″ would be a bummer. We’re at zero right now and headed the wrong direction. Over the weekend it’s looking like -9 for a low. Ugggg

      I’m actually off work today after visiting the doctor. (nasty ear infection) The nurse cleaned the ear and put me on antibiotics but the hearing in that ear is still minimal for now. We’re hoping it will come back – I should not have delayed when pain was felt.

      Jesse’s on the left shoulder while I’m typing. The fur balls are extra clingy when it’s cold. We’ve been working on a recipe for homemade breakfast sausage for the next camping trip.

      Thanks for the comment. I hope the weather improves out your way!

  3. Jo says:

    Sorry to hear about your not being well. Never let an ear infection go it can cause deafness in that ear. I had a beauty of an ear infection last year so I know the pain. UCK

    We have had some very cold weather here in Tucson and buckets of rain since the New Year. But so far this week it has warmed up to the high 50′ to low 60s its like a heat wave.

    Also love the picture of the ktties under the table. Stay warm Brad.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo. The doc put me on antibiotics 3x a day. It’s taken a few days but the ear infection is clearing up. The pain had been pretty bad but after the flushed out the ear, it helped… After a few days of meds, the hearing is getting back to normal. The doc said the same thing – if the infection is bad enough it can cause permanent damage. I would love to have some of that weather you folks are enjoying. This coming Sunday the low is forecast to be -14 degrees…. brrrr…

      Take care and thanks for the note!

  4. LAguy says:

    Bob Pool ‏@BobsLAtimes Jan 17
    In college I dreamed of working at the Dubuque Telegraph Herald. I could learn to drive in snow, right?

    • VanTrekker says:

      It’s not too bad. With good tires and a little practice, it’s doable. I used to deliever pizzas, drive a railroad van, and even a taxi over the years…. I’m kind of used to the crazy Iowa weather. 🙂