A Birthday Cake for “BRADFROD”


It’s just a name… “Bradfrod”


Hello and welcome to the blog.  It’s that time of the year again.  I turned 54 on Saturday.  Some things are inescapable.  No biggie though, birthdays are just the number of laps this class M planet makes around our yellow star during a lifetime.

So what’s with the “Bradfrod” thing?  My birthday cake was messed up – ordered correctly but the name was misspelled when the grocery store made it.  Here’s what happened…

On Friday I stopped at the store to pick up the cake.  A sheepish young girl told me about their error and I told her not to worry about it.  At first I was irritated and contemplated putting the story on Facebook.  But that wouldn’t make anyone feel better.  Rather, for fun I cut a first piece of the cake and removed the mistakenly spelled name.


It says “BRAD”  and nobody is any the wiser!


As a fast food worker, I know things happen and most of us feel badly when a customer’s order isn’t right.  The cake bakers tried and heck, we’re all human; things happen.  While a couple of friends said they would have been mad and/or asked for a discount, I realized there was no need.  If I’d thrown a hissy fit or said something stupid, it wouldn’t have helped any.  Kindness helps keep a clean conscience clean.  Besides, it was a cute and very tasty cake.   🙂  🙂  🙂


Cooked in the van and enjoyed on the fold-down table, there’s nothing like a little comfort food in cold weather!


Earlier in the week, it seemed like fun to take a little camping trip and celebrate the upcoming birthday.  I stayed in town and cooked supper in a crockpot at the Wapsipinicon campground.  The meal was unusual.  Swedish meatballs were partially cooked at home and finished in the crock pot.  In the process of preparing food, a great idea came to mind.  Why not make the other items needed as well in the crock pot at the same time?  Inside the slow cooker with the meatballs, there were two other items –  a foil packet with buttered noodles and another packet with broccoli and cheese.  Everything came out perfectly!  In all these years of cooking, it had never occurred to me to use the bloody cooker for making more than one meal item at the same time!


Snowflake using worsted weight acrylic yarn


After that wonderful meal, for the next four hours I sat in the easy chair and crocheted 13 snowflakes.  Sis wanted some for Christmas and she liked this pattern.  The white yarn has a metallic looking stripe running through it, causing the snowflakes to sparkle.  The next step is to shape and stiffen the snowflakes with a solution.  They will be hung in windows in her home.


Wapsipinicon Campground — beautiful and peaceful in November


In the meantime, I was watching Star Trek on TV and then switched over to some old detective shows on the laptop.  There was nobody else camping and the evening was tranquil.  It felt good to sleep in after hitting the sack at midnight.  The van was nice and toasty despite the outdoor temperature plummeting to 16 degrees that night.  Th9ugh 6 weeks away, it sure felt like winter!

That’s about it for now.  It’s nice to have Sunday off and rest up a bit.  Then it’s six days in a row at work.  There’s no rest for the reliable people.  🙂  We’ll have to see what the weather holds in store for the next excursion outside.

Take care and thanks for visiting!  Safe and happy travels!

Brad and Jenny and Mister 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"

6 Responses to A Birthday Cake for “BRADFROD”

  1. my_vantasy says:

    Happy belated birthday! That was very forgiving of you to just take the cake without a fuss. I would have been nice about it, but I would have asked for a discount. Swedish meatballs! I saw some vegetarian meatballs at the grocery store and thought about making Swedish meatballs. How ironic that I open your post and see them. Great minds think alike, haha. I never would have considered cooking more than one item at a time in the crockpot. I am more of a toaster oven person, but I have a crockpot and will definitely keep that in mind. Cute snowflakes. I’m sure your sister will love them! Stay warm–the Arctic Blast is slated to hit the entire Midwest this week. Brrr.

    • VanTrekker says:

      The vegetarian meatballs sound tasty! I’d never thought of that but it would work well! Swedish meatballs are definitely a great comfort food. It’s snowing in Iowa at 9PM…just saw a bunch of farm equipment… We’re still harvesting corn and soybeans here. Take care and stay warm!

  2. Jo Harmon says:

    HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY BRAD!!. Your cake was so cute and hey the mistake tasted just a good. LOL

    Got to love the slow cookers. You can throw just about anything in them even the toughest piece of meat will cook into a great shredded piece.

    Your little snow flakes are cool. I’m sure your sis will love them.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo and thanks! It was a fun birthday! I’m contemplating a short camping trip one of these days. It will be a delicious crockpot soup this time. Sometime this week I have to finish the snowflakes. It was a fun project. Have you gotten to camp yet? That’s a good point about how a crockpot can cook any old tough piece of meat into something wonderful..

  3. Ruth Duell says:

    Dear Brad,
    first Happy Belated Birthday!
    Secondly you need to know what an amazing and benevolent person you are. Your lovely posts cheer me up and cheer me on every time. Thank you so much for sharing your spirit with all of us!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Ruth and thanks for the kind thoughts. Sometimes this life is a lonely journey but it’s also fun being able to enjoy the outdoors and lead a fairly low stress existence. There really is a joy in living with less. 🙂 There were some rough times breathing this year but it just makes a person even more motivated to seek out adventures and share them. Take care and thanks for reading. Life is good! 🙂 VT