Happy Easter Weekend!

Hello and welcome to the blog.  Happy Easter!  I hope everyone enjoys time with friends and family as we give thanks for the resurrection of Jesus!  With all that’s going on in the world, I hope God comes back soon!

It’s been an interesting two weeks!

I put a few days in at the new temp job but it was not as described… a bad fit in many regards.  The average tenure was less than 6 months.   The temp recruiter was very understanding.  I was contacted about several other interesting “behind the scenes”  (as opposed to what  I would call “on the firing line”) positions.  Something good will happen soon.

At the same time I’ve been having some health issues and have been in and out of the doctor’s office for various things including rotator cuff issues.  What doesn’t kills us… makes us just hurt more.  🙂


A hole in the roof is not a good thing. 🙂


Speaking of hurting, last Saturday was no exception.  After three days of high winds, some shingle repair was needed.  I also found a nasty hole next to the sewer vent pipe.  While surveying the damage, a wind gust blew the ladder down.  I had to call Anamosa’s finest to come over and help me get off the roof.  It was 38 degrees out with a lot of wind.  Man, it was miserable up there and the old body was aching the next day.  Thankfully, the officer was pretty cool and non-judgmental.


It’s good to know someone is willing to help!


There was a lot of ribbing going on with the McDonald’s coffee crowd about the fat guy stuck on the roof.  We all laughed about it and a surprising number of people said something similar had happened to them.  IDEA —  If you ever have to get on the ladder alone, tie it off to a gutter spike, if possible, to prevent it from blowing over.


Sunday was the day I’d planned to finish the roof project but erratic winds nixed that idea.  Instead, some building materials (new shingles, tar, etc.) were acquired at Menards and it was decided to delay the repair till Tuesday.  While in town I also stopped at a new Aldi store and picked up goat cheese, thin pizza crusts, and other goodies for Sunday’s supper… another idea that could be cooked over a campfire (on a smaller scale)


Thin crust pizza with homemade pesto, tomato, red onion, goat cheese, and jumbo shrimp. I added a little mozzarella (added after the pic was taken).


It turned out delicious!  Goat cheese is best cut when partially frozen (it can be sticky) but I had to deal with the gooey stuff.  After assembling the pizza, Kitty Duke was helping himself to the leftover goat cheese.  Who can blame him?  The next time I make on of these pies, it might be meatless.  I liked the shrimp but they didn’t really add any flavor.



Cooking tip:  If you want to make a quick pesto sauce that doesn’t need a blender, try making your own using frozen basil.  Wal-Mart sells these packages in the freezer area near the vegetables.  While frozen, poke all the little portions out of the plastic packaging … right into a bowl.  Add about 1/4 cup or a bit more of olive oil along with a teaspoon of chopped garlic.  Add a little black pepper and sea salt (or kosher salt).  Add in about 2T of Parmesan cheese.  You can also throw in a tablespoon of crushed walnuts or pine nuts but I didn’t.  This makes a terrific, no-work pizza sauce.  I like it better than the refrigerated stuff from the store.

Nice view but the winds really whip through here!


On Tuesday the ladder was borrowed again and I completed the repairs.  We had calm winds and about 72 degree temperatures.  This time fishing buddy Steve held the ladder in place as I climbed and descended.  It was so warm that the replacement shingles got soft.  The gooey tar on them left patches all over my arms and clothes… leaving me looking like an old Holstein cow.  But the repairs came out looking great… and I got down without calling the police again.  🙂


It’s very early Sunday morning (Easter) and time to hit the sack… with visions of fishing in the head.  Trout are being stocked at a stream just 40 minutes away on Monday.  A survey of the map indicated that the state permits FREE camping right there at the stream.  Buddy Steve will likely be going along and we’ll be camping in our vehicles.  There will be pictures of the fun and food enjoyed.

Take care and thanks for visiting!  Happy and safe camping!  Have a great Easter!

Brad and Jenny and Duke
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"

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