Happy New Year 2020!

Hello and welcome to the blog! Happy New Year 2020! I hope everyone had a fun New Year’s Eve. I spent the time at the home base making some fantastic soup and relaxing.

A trip to Wal-Mart meant meeting up with Marlene (left) and “Big Mama” (Miss Lavern). They were ready to party!

In the days leading up to the holiday, Sis came to visit. We had a blast, visiting various restaurants and shops. She’s back home now but we both agreed it was too long since the last visit. Check out the fun photos below…

The popcorn store was a fun place. I picked up a couple of cool sodas including “Rocket Man” Doomsday Lemonade as well as “Kitty Piddle’ soda. Kitty Piddle is flavored as pineapple – orange. I’d like to try it but am not sure about soda pop that is called… cat pee! 🙂


Another of the fun places to visit in Jones County was the hula hoop tree. This old dead tree is about 5 miles northeast of Anamosa. It has many dozens of hula hoop toys decorating its branches. This last fall there was a big discussion about whether to retire the tree for good. Rather, it is so popular that the county voted to reduce the speed along the county road so visitors could continue to safely enjoy the tree’s charm.

The great Hula Hoop tree located 5 minutes NE of Anamosa, Iowa

Sis loved the cat bed crocheted for her. We spoke for many hours and caught up on times. It was a terrific visit and we vowed to meet up in the spring.  While here, Jenny got to meet my sister. Duke is shy and ran for cover.

Last night was spent making this holiday turkey veggie soup.  Jenny was curious by the many smells but didn’t care to try any.  There was no recipe but it’s worth mentioning the contents.  In a crockpot I’d combined a couple cartons of low sodium chicken broth with a pound of turkey tenderloins.  To this was added: onions, fresh garlic, celery, brussels sprouts, carrots, red and yellow and green peppers, corn, a couple of Roma tomatoes and some potatoes.  I also added cream cheese, some butter, coconut milk, and lots of curry spice.  It’s really hard to mess up soup – you season it as you go.

The kitties seemed to have more fun then Daddy on New Years Eve. Just kidding. They were zonked out too.

I had to hit the sack early, missing the big ball drop. We were super busy at work on Wednesday with people traveling.  I’m ready for a little outdoor rest one of these days and perhaps some camping can occur soon.  I might just freeze and take some of that tasty soup along.

That’s all for now. I hope everyone has an enjoyable and prosperous 2020.  Safe and happy camping!

Bradford 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"

4 Responses to Happy New Year 2020!

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    Sounds like you and your sis had a fabulous visit.

    I to stayed home and was in bed and asleep early inspite of all the guns and fire works. I also put on a veggie stew today a recipe I got from my cousin. If it turns out good I will send you the recipe.

    Happy New Year Brad, may this year see you doing all things you love, and good health

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! That veggie stew sounds tasty! I’m thinking about camping tomorrow. It’s been awhile. I know what you mean about the loud sounds. The cats and I don’t care for the racket. Have a great 2020!

  2. my_vantasy says:

    Happy New Year! The Little Dog and I watched the ball drop, kissed and had a glass of champagne. OK, I kissed her and I had a glass of champagne, but she was awake and watched the ball drop! I’m so glad that you and your sister had such a great visit and plan to get together again this spring. That connection called family…I felt it over the holidays with my two adult sons. Like you, both of my parents are in Heaven. I love the fun drink names you bought at the popcorn store. Enjoy your kitty piddle…maybe over ice? Haha

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! The kitty puddle was pretty tasty. I’m thinking about camping tomorrow after this snowstorm is over… It will be kind of a post Christmas trip… I understand about smooching The Little Dog; I kiss Jenny on the snoot all the time and she seems to tolerate it. Take care!