Twas a Week Before Christmas


2016 Christmas Cards featuring the two bosses…


Hello and welcome to the blog.  Winter is a few days away but has already established itself in Iowa.  I’ve decided not to do any camping for a week or two.  Tonight is Saturday.  Up north they are getting a lot of snow – upwards of eight inches.  Even in east-central Iowa, we’re seeing around 4-5.  By the time most read this post, we will have had a low temp of -14 by Sunday morning.


A very peaceful Bambi

Last Monday was spent fishing at the trout hatchery.  Outdoor exposure is necessary at this time of the year.  Like many others, this person used to suffer from seasonal affective disorder and any chance to get some sunlight helps a bunch.  More about that later…


Woody is helping me fish…

Shortly after arriving at the hatchery, Woody, the mascot dog, started roaming around.  I brought a few packages of meat snacking sticks from the Edgewood Locker.  The favorite flavor contains pork and pineapple.  The DNR employees, Gary (the overseer) and Wayne, enjoyed some snacks as well.  Five nice trout came home in the afternoon.  Tired from the cold, it felt good to warm up and be relaxed… if not somewhat chilled!

Unfortunately, all was not well at home this week.  I should have been addressing a problem with the homebase (discovered a month or so ago but forgotten) and it was soon to manifest itself.  Fast forward to Wednesday.  The thermometer plunged that day.  The water on the homebase froze up.  I was not happy, particularly after putting in a 10 hour day!  Upon examining the heat tape, the cause was the outlet (on the bottom of the trailer) you see on the left in the picture below.  For a few days it was necessary to pull power from an outdoor extension cord.  I replaced the outlet on Saturday morning and the heat tape is working just fine.  Thank goodness the mobile home didn’t go up in flames!


Tonight (Saturday) night, the weather is again turning nasty.  Camping sounded like fun but by morning we will be down to around -14.  There comes a point when recreational camping just isn’t fun if it’s not comfortable!  Tonight has been a great time to kick back and relax.  I get enough fresh air working outside at the farm store.  It’s great exercise and the exposure to the elements has been as enjoyable and relaxing as camping often is!  It’s also pretty exciting/ scary / terrifying to gingerly drive a forklift with a 2000 lb pallet high off the ground while the wheels are spinning on snow and ice!   🙂

I love the job though…  It’s like a hobby with a paycheck!

So there’s no outdoor stuff going on the rest of the weekend.  The cats and I are chillin’ and watching TV.  Jenny is gnawing on the Christmas presents (still in protective manila envelopes).  Jesse is resting.  He’s weakening and fading… but still loyal and loving.


She’s trying to open them early!



The van is decorated for Christmas

The van is getting a rest, too.  It’s decorated with a snowman that runs off 110VAC, right from the shore power that keeps the batteries topped off.

There will always be other opportunities to go camping… and hopefully in greater comfort… maybe on Christmas eve?

I hope everyone reading this post has an enjoyable last week before Christmas.  Take care, be safe, and enjoy the season.

Brad, Jesse, and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa