Some Words About the Birds

Some of Jenny’s little friends enjoying a good meal.

Hello and welcome to the blog today.  It’s been a rough week but there have been some lessons learned along the way and it’s been a growing experience.  Life is full of learning opportunities.

A week ago today my job ended at the farm store – a position that was one of the most enjoyable in 35 years of working – but also the most physically demanding.  For months to control pain I was eating a lot of N.S.A.I.D.s  (Ibuprofen) which are kidney killers.  The diabetic issues had been spiraling out of control.  I was becoming extremely dehydrated and started losing muscle mass and strength in the legs… and all the time ignoring the symptoms to keep toiling.  Eventually the right arm and shoulder gave out so completely, I couldn’t even raise a bottle of Diet Coke.

It’s been a week now.  Though rested there are still symptoms going on with the kidneys and I’ll be back at the doctor’s tomorrow.  They are recommending filing for disability.  Perhaps the hardest thing has been dealing with my own pride and the stigma that comes with not working.  But a wonderful nurse shared that little scripture above and it really warmed up the day.

Not all the last week has been difficult.  Last Friday there was an opportunity to get a little fishing in at Buck Creek in Clayton County.  An older couple had been there all morning and didn’t catch a thing.  It took me 20 minutes to get the limit of five nice fish.  Oh, if that didn’t raise the spirits a bit!

The nicest fish of the day…


Add a little beer batter and a Subway flatbread veggie sandwich.

Above is a before and after picture of the trout.  The original plan was to bake it…  but that changed.  On Sunday one of the McDonald’s managers found a bunch of beer cans – including a sealed can – in the parking lot.  There had been a prom party nearby the night before.  Thinking quickly, I asked if I could have the can of beer… Just add a cup of flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, an egg… and voila!  Instant beer batter!   (By the way, it was Busch Light and it was no sacrifice to use that beer for cooking… )

Well, the weekend is fast approaching.  Though money is very, very tight right now, it’s almost a sure bet that camping will occur soon.  I’ve been experimenting with a really tasty pork idea that should adapt well for camping.  Jenny will likely be going along again on this next trip as well.  Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by.  Safe and happy camping!

Bradford and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa

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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"

2 Responses to Some Words About the Birds

  1. Jo says:

    Love the bird feeder. I had to stop feeding the birds because it is rattle snake time and they are drawn to the fluttering, and the nasty pack rats that come for the seeds that drop to the ground. Winter is when they need it more anyway.

    Your fish looks so nice no wonder it was combined with the flat bread veggie sandwich.

    What a lovely gift the nurse gave your. Think about the disability it isn’t easy to get. Start now so if nothing else comes your way maybe that will fall into place. Aren’t you eligible for unemployment?

    Take it easy for as long as you can and I wish you the best as always.

    I went on a 1 day road trip YIPPEEE! it sure was nice to get away even for 1 day

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo. I enjoy the bird feeder but the crows are cleaning it out. If gives Jenny something to watch.

      The doctors and nurses are very kind and have been a big help. I am not eligible for unemployment because I moved on voluntarily. I have to go in to the docs in a few hours but have fighting unsuccessfully all day to get the sugars down. Hopefully we can get it all sorted out soon.

      I’ll check your blog to see how the one day trip went. By the way, I do have a part time job lined up starting next week if I’m able to do it. It’s less intense, at least! 🙂 Take care!