Skirting the Issue … A Good Thing!

Happy July greetings!  It’s another day and the title was another play on words.  I’m been busy today working on the home base.  With lots of rain this year as well as some neighborhood drainage problems there have been problems with the skirting under the mobile home.  The city, county, and trailer park can’t seem to agree on who is to blame so for now it’s a matter of fixing things cosmetically as my home sinks into the mud.

Welcome to “Bedford Marsh” … I’m hoping to attract some geese and other wildlife. 🙂

My buddy Harold, a retired military friend, came from a neighboring town to help today.  We took off about 30 feet of skirting to begin assessing how to fix the problems.

The bottom rail of the skirting is fastened to treated 2×4 boards.  The boards had shifted quite a bit,  generally rolling and sliding underneath the home.  Harold and I re-positioned the boards so the skirting would be perpendicular to the ground.  I cut pieces of 3/4″ metal conduit and drove them into the ground to prevent the wood pieces from further shifting forward.

Harold, a former engineer in the military, helping remove the problem panels.

After each panel was removed, I inspected them, measured, and trimmed off a few inches to compensate for the ground settling and future frost heave.  Some pieces needed replaced from new stock.  Incidentally, the best way I’ve found to cut each panel to size is by using a fine tooth circular saw blade with the blade turned backwards on the saw.  It made the arduous job much easier.

Back in place and looking great!

Partway through the job we needed to take a break for lunch (on me, of course).  Harold and I drove for 15 miles only to find a favorite bar/grill  is closed on Mondays.  The other one we chose was closed between 2PM and 5PM.  Instead we ended up dining on taco salads at an Anamosa restaurant just 4 blocks from home… and still had fun!  I told him next time we would just go there first!   🙂

Today’s endeavor was the worst of the skirting repairs that needed accomplished.  The rest are localized areas that will be done bit by bit through the summer months.  I had been primed for fishing today but things took too long, although it sure felt good to have this project wrapped up and scratched off the list.  For those who are familiar with a TV show called “Trailer Park Boys” it’s good not to have “Mr. Lahey” (trailer court manager) mad at you for not keeping up with maintenance..


Things are going well and I’m feeling a lot better these days, helped by maintaining healthy habits.  Part of it is a result of meeting that colorful and sassy retired nurse… a person whose stern words have kept me on track.  Recently I came across a picture of Madame Flowers, a mannequin who even had her own TV show around 40 years ago.  She reminded me of the nurse in both appearance and feisty spirit.


One of the blessings that came from the hospital stay has been that it has been possible to eat much better and enjoy fresher foods.  The sandwich below used smoked turkey, white cheddar cheese, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, and an unusual ingredient I am now using with more frequency – Caesar dressing!  I love it because you get the fat + the saltiness (something that can be enjoyed in moderation).  What a fun discovery… all the while keeping the blood sugars at bay.

I also came up with a burger concoction that has worked out well for tasty but low fat sandwiches that fast food just cannot compete with.  I’ll be posting that recipe in the future.

A diabetic diet does not mean going without tasty food!


The camping outing  that was supposed to happen today got put off.  The next plan is to see the fireworks on the 4th and maybe do a blog post then… after a little fishing somewhere.  There will be pictures!

Have a happy 4th of July everyone and thanks for following along!  Thank you to the many servicemen and woman for helping us stay free and safe in this country.  Safe and happy holiday travels!

Brad 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"

8 Responses to Skirting the Issue … A Good Thing!

  1. Ken says:

    I’m an old guy, yes, older than you. Years ago (10 or so) I had to get the fat and salt out of my diet. It was a real shift in diet but over 2 years 20 pounds melted away with no other changes. No diabetes even though many relatives suffered the take a toe and then the foot thing. But for me just the triglycerides thing. I since moderated my diet. Its all good. Ditch the fat!
    I hope your home stops sinking, what’s up with that?
    Be well!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Ken. I’ve cut the fat and the portions a lot and agree that too much fat is a really bad thing. As much as I love to cook and eat it’s a paradigm shift! Now I’m after the vibrant colors of veggies.

      The trailer is sitting on blocks on the earth. We’ve had a lot of development in this area and most of the water runs through a ditch behind the home base. The water does not drain well and the ground is often soggy. The home has sunk a few inches but nothing too severe yet. At the moment the city is burying plastic tile (tubing) to help drain off the excess water. It just means a lot of work for a while but projects are fun! Take care! — VT

  2. Jo says:

    Your sandwich looks really good. I have not only been watching my carb intake but now I have a real problem with having way to much calcium in my body and have been paying the price for the past 2 1/2 weeks with really awful pain. So I started googling all the veggies and other things. I love cheese but right now it is a big no no. Some of my favorite veggies also turned out to be very high in calcium. It is a challenge but I’m up for it this pain is not worth the calcium favorites. You keep taking care of yourself Brad your worth it.

    And yes getting those repairs done are so very important to keep up the place. I replaces a toilet this week to one of the chair height. Getting old is a pain in the neck

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! I was reading your comment and feel a little guilty about the calcium. After fishing this morning I picked a bunch of black raspberries and stirred them into some ice cream (a small amount) and am eating it at the moment. So far no calcium problems here that I know of… and we won’t talk about the lightning bug that crawled out of the berry bag. LOL. It seems like there is always something in our diet that gets us.

      I understand about the toilet replacement. I had to do the same thing and get one chair height with an elongated bowl. I agree – it’s better to comfortable even though it’s a pain! 🙂

      Take care! — VT

      • Jo says:

        Love the lightening but crawling out of the bag hahaha.

        • VanTrekker says:

          Hi Jo. If we only knew about all the bugs that touch our fruits and vegetables before we get to them… I guess they have to eat, too. Can’t remember if I mentioned it but at Jim’s farm there as a massive patch of blackberries. I am going to put about 6 quarts (or moore) away for the winter. Yummy stuff! (and there are likely more bugs there too who might go along for the ride). Take care! — VT

  3. my_vantasy says:

    I knew what your project was when I read your title! LOL That’s great that you have friends to help with stuff like that. My neighbors here have been such blessings helping with yard work. I am happy that you are working on changing some eating habits. I struggle with “portion distortion”, so I can sympathize, for sure. I am looking forward to hearing about your success!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi and thanks for the comment. I tried a new catfish idea and will be posting about it tomorrow. It did not look pretty but tasted well. But in the meantime, tonight I caught a whopper catfish that makes the 23 inch one look a lot smaller. There will be pics, of course… and more catfish to eat and experiment with.

      I’m going off the deep end on portion control but am doing in lettuce, berries, etc. where there is little damage one can do.

      That’s awesome about your helpful neighbors! — VT