Feeling Like Humpty Dumpty



Hello and welcome to the blog!  What a week!  Hopefully this week goes a lot smoother!

Last Monday I was painting on the carport and fell off the ladder, impacting the concrete driveway with my left shoulder and lower back.  In a lot of pain, I couldn’t get up… The neighbor across the street called 911 and I ended up in the ER.  Thankfully nothing was broken…. just a sprained back / shoulder and some injured pride.  I was off work from Monday through Friday but am up and running again, though still a bit stiff and sore.  Kitty Duke was all over me – and still is – sleeping with and checking on me…. Jenny is just a brat and stays to herself.  🙂

An interesting side note.  When I fell and people were gathered around (paramedics, neighbors, police) I warned everyone about the black box on the patio.  They could look but not to reach into it.  I explained what it contained… another terrapin. After coming home later in the day, I noticed some items holding the lid on the container had moved.  Someone had peeked!


I was kidding at work, telling the youngsters that these are my diabetic toenails.



The day before, Sunday, I’d been contacted by some folks who are friends of a friend.  They had caught a big snapping turtle in a pond where kids swim and were worried about danger to children.  Snapping turtles can get pretty mean.  They will come under a paddling duck and pull it underwater.  They will snap human fingers and toes as well… not to mention killing a lot of fish.  The terrapin was given to me and, of course, I was happy to process it.  Check out those scary “Freddie Krueger” looking toenails!  It was a scrapper.


Turtle and Shrimp Jambalaya infused with hot pepper flavor…


This batch of jambalaya … well, sort of a fusion with some Latino flavors… was exquisite.  I froze some jambalaya for the fall and there was still plenty of meat left to freeze for other winter meal ideas.



With almost a week off and in a late of pain, I was pretty bummed out.  There were few things that didn’t hurt.    Ironically, a t-shirt arrived that had been ordered forever ago.  I’d forgotten all about it.  The message was the right thing at just the right time.  (It’s going to be hung up as a decoration in the room described below…)

Work was really accepting when I came back and it felt to good to be told I’d been missed.  Just a cog in the wheel of the process, every little component helps.  At the same time though, it was a lesson that nearing 55, this old body isn’t getting any younger.  For that reason, the plan now is to look for some work-from-home opportunities to supplement.


I will still keep working during the day in fast food, for now, but working from home has a lot of advantages, including not having to wear a mask.  It’s not required yet in Iowa, other than at a few stores here and there … but given the choice, I’d rather stay at home.

For working from home, the bedroom I’m working on is going to be what I call a CARES room.  In addition to two desks, computers and wi-fi, there will be a TV, shelves with healthy snacks, the insulin fridge, and other items.  It’s going to be about both working but also taking care of the medical and relaxation needs.  It’s a fun idea.


** NO MEAT ** on this plate!


Speaking of healthy, here is a picture of something  vegetarian I made last week.  It was posted on FB and I asked people to guess the mystery ingredient.  No, that’s not a burger.  It was a grilled, marinated portabella mushroom cap with pepper jack cheese.  The sauce was a combination of cream cheese and sun-dried tomato pesto.  The sautéed tomatoes and avocado made it taste all the better.  To my delight, grilling a portabella is so very easy on the George Foreman grill.

That’s about all for now.  We had a thunderstorm roll through overnight and it’s going to be much cooler today.  The plan is to camp somewhere tonight and there will be pictures.  Take care and thanks for visiting!

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"

4 Responses to Feeling Like Humpty Dumpty

  1. my_vantasy says:

    Portobello mushroom sandwich looks good! I don’t know if you have Shake Shack restaurants around you, but they have a breaded, fried portobello mushroom sandwich that tastes good, but is probably not so healthy. Falling off the ladder is awful. Are you giving up on projects requiring a ladder or do you have new safety measures in place? Be careful. Hope you get to go camping! We ended up canceling the annual Lake Erie campout. Between COVID and some relatives with health concerns, we decided we needed to stay home. I have two camping trips planned in September…I am hoping they happen.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! I have not heard of Shake Shack but it sounds good! I slept in the van the other night but there is so much going on that it’s not been possible to do much. The weather is cooling off big time next week so it sounds promising. I was out at buddy Jim’s last night. Steve came out and we were goofing around. My worms were all spoiled and Jim suggested using some for bait. Another turtle came home! The home office is coming together. Should have internet in here soon and I’m applying for jobs.

      I hope you get to go camping! It’s the best way to relax! Take care! — VT

  2. Jo Harmon says:

    I couldn’t leave a comment sooner because your blogger was just not working with me.
    I’m glad your healed enough to get back to work.
    That Portabella sandwich looks so yummy. Maybe I need to add that to my grocery list tonight so I will have it tomorrow when they deliver my grocerys.
    Can’t wait to see how you set up the room to work from home.
    Take care

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! I am sorry for the experience with the dang blog. As things start to settle down, I hope to upgrade the service to where it is a little peppier! There’s been a lot going on. The fast food place is suggesting a different position with more money – I wouldn’t have to be on my feet as much and it would be more of a supervisory thing. Take care! I’m working on a new post. We had some crazy storm damage yesterday and I got hit pretty good…