Humorous thoughts on adulthood – thank goodness for chocolate, drinks, friends, and duck tape!

New Business in Oakland!

A bubble-blowing contest, refreshments, give-aways, and a ribbon-cutting are all scheduled for Monday at noon as Omni Dental officially opens for business here in Oakland on Dr. Van Zee Drive.  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

If you’ve driven through Oakland recently, you probably realized that Dr. Lenaghan did all of us a solid by contacting Omni Dental out of Council Bluffs to take over here.  They’ve actually been doing business here since February, but the official grand opening is Monday (4/16).  They are hoping you’ll stop by to check out their newly updated digs complete with new oral camera technology that now allow them to do invisalign, oral surgery, root canals, and sleep apnea diagnosis (just to name a few) right here!  Plus, at the very least, you’re going home with a new toothbrush and a coupon for free teeth whitening when you purchase a comprehensive exam.

When I met with them, I asked, “Why Oakland?”  The answer was that there’s a need here and that Omni Dental is passionate about rural healthcare.  That’s good news for us because it sure is nice to grab your kid out of school, hit the dentist, and be back in an hour instead of 3!

Right now, they offer hours 8-5 Mondays and Thursdays but business has already been better than expected, so they will be expanding and adding another dentist in May!  The goal, they say, is to take a proactive approach to oral health by “providing the best dentistry has to offer to our patients in an atmosphere of excellence and outstanding team work.”  The dedication has already been established by their efforts to revamp the office, their offerings of a coffee & water station, and the inclusion of TV viewing while you have work done, not to mention they are A+ Better Business Bureau accredited.  I was also told they take most all insurances and give a 5% discount and payment plans if you do not have dental insurance.  Let’s just say they know what they’re doing!

I guess the thing that stands out to me is, that with all the remodeling, they have clearly made a commitment to being in Oakland, and yet again, I would say we are lucky to have this kind of service in a small town.  I know they are looking forward to serving Pottawattamie County, and I am thankful for yet another local business choosing to be here!  So come out on Monday, if you can, to see what they have to offer and welcome them to Oakland.

Let’s show them a little Southwestern Iowa hospitality!

PS – At the very least, you can like them on Facebook.

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Oh, The Places You SHOULD Go!

Growing up, it’s probably no surprise that my favorite book was a sarcastic story of a babysitter not showing up after the parents left and the kids painting the house with random paints they found in the garage called, Oh, Were They Ever Happy. I got to thinking about it because this is National Library Week!

Believe it, or not, I also worked in a library during college for 3 ½ years. Let’s just say I’m very well-versed in the Dewey Decimal System! So needless to say, I have a soft spot for a library and books, in general. It really is pretty cool that we have such a nice library here in Oakland. Those little town library boxes in front of people’s houses are cute, too, but I’m glad to have a full-scale one here in Oakland. If you haven’t been there, or haven’t been in a really long time, you should stop by. It’s one of those things we take for granted, but we are blessed to have one in our community.

Being Frugal
If you read any articles on how to be frugal, they’ll tell you to use your local library! Sure, it’s easy to pop on Amazon and buy a book, but buying a new book for your avid reader every week can get costly! Plus, you’re supporting local by simply checking out books here, and there’s no endless clutter of books if they have to go back! I understand that ebooks are nice, but I’d still argue the littles need the tangible to hold in their hands.

Plus, I actually know a person who was completely broke who went to the library every day, used the computers there, worked online, and now markets for others from home making $100K.

Killing Drive Time

If you are traveling or commuting, there’s nothing better than an audio book to pass the time or get a little culture while you rack up those hours. Summer is approaching and being able to listen to a book with the family as you roadtrip is a great bonding experience, too. In fact, Eckels will be having their annual summer reading program – kids can win prizes and awards for reading this summer! I’m sure you’re already aware, but kids who read when they are young make an average of $10,000 more per year as adults. Per Year! That’s kinda huge in my book. Read, read, read!

Cheap Tech
Sick of seeing Frozen for the 100th time? Family movies are hard to come by. The library has a full set ready and waiting for you to check out for free. Perfect for the younger kids’ watching in the car on the way to and from the 40 soccer matches your teenager has.

Hiding Out
Or if you’re like most people and it seems like quiet time is a rarity at your house, grab your coffee mug and find a comfy spot in the library to peruse books or sink your teeth into one! Heat and air and a whole lot of quiet.

Story Time
Another great thing is that Circa 72 does story time once a month for kids. It’s a great time to look around and have your child exposed to some great books and good people teaching them a love of reading.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we have a library. It needs used and loved, but the best part is that it is meant to be a resource for all of us. I’ve talked with the library board and I happen to know they’ve got some good ideas and are brainstorming new ways to offer you the best library they can.

They say nothing in this world is free, but I’m here to tell you it is. They are even having drawings this week! Head to Eckels today! 🙂

Big News – Going Pro and Not Sucking! lol

So we’ve been back in Oakland for a year.  Kinda hard to believe, especially since I’m still emptying boxes!  Go ahead and judge, but I’ll make you babysit my 3-year-old and then you’ll understand! Lol. (She really is amazing!  But also “busy” as everyone calls it.)  Anyway, we’ve been back a year and I have reacquainted myself with blogging.  After taking a couple of years away for lack of time, I realized I couldn’t stay away from writing anymore.  Whether anybody reads it or not, the bottom line is that I can’t not write.  It’s who I am.

Also, in the past year, it has become apparent to me that I want to be inspirational – not on a Mother Teresa-level, more of a “you-don’t-suck”- Erma Bombeck-kind-of-level.  I want to continue to “find the good” wherever it is, because we all need it pointed out instead of the 6 o’clock-bad-news.  I want to find you those moments, those people, those songs, those feel-good events when you’re having a dark day, week, or month.  I want to do that for you.

However, I’ve also realized that I want to make a difference in my community and show my love for where I live. I kinda feel like I’m somewhere between an old-school local paper, the gossiper at Casey’s, and Snapchat.  I want to share what’s going on, because there’s lots going on, and we should be talking about it!  Offering you info and good times makes me happy and hopefully, it helps you out, too!  I want to be the voice of our area.  But I also just have an opinion sometimes, because, well, I’m Bolton Carley. 🙂

That being said, I have decided to continue to offer all those types of writing up to you. I will be doing so by paying for my own web address as I have decided to go back into the world of professional blogger, even though I use that term loosely.  I’m really only a pro at 2 things:  running my mouth when I shouldn’t and eating chocolate chip cookie dough, but I hope you’ll support me as I transition over to my new digs in the coming months.

The life of a writer is a hard one.  If nobody reads you or says good stuff about you to make other people want to read you, then you are simply the cheese standing alone.  I’d prefer not to be the cheese in this situation.

In the meantime, I am going to still be offering up the good, telling you about local events, voicing my opinion on stuff, and maybe even giving useful tips and stuff that I usually get paid by other bloggers to write for them, it just won’t be in a cool multi-page format. 🙂  Yet…

I also want you to know my path, my truth, my next move. I tell you this not for your blessing, although I wouldn’t say “no” to it, I’m telling you because I know your time is precious and I know that taking time to read a post or even comment, is sometimes asking a lot.  I get it.  I’m also a human with a job, a kid, a husband, a daughter of parents who farm, and a person who really wants the best for everybody – that’s not an easy load.  I’m awake nights thinking about it.  So yes, I get that your time is valuable, and to that end, I ask that you give the gift of your time to read me, or tell me about your events you’d like me to write about, or even share my blog with others.  I will give the best I have to offer to you and, hopefully, we will all benefit.  Mutual admiration, my friends.  I want to be that small town girl that helps you on your journey.

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Advice, comments, or topics are always welcome.  You know where to find me. – BC

Not-So-Newlyweds-Or-Bust!

Have you ever watched episodes of the “Newlywed Game?”  I’m pretty sure that’s where I learned the term, “making whoopy.” Lol.  I wonder if the modern version calls it that or “Netflix and Chill?”  I know curiosity gets the best of me. 🙂

Or did you happen to play it at your bridal shower or engagement party?  I know I had to answer questions but I don’t think we formally played it.  However, I did go to a Game Night event in Carson a few years ago and it was one of the games they played.  I seriously laughed my ass off.  It was hysterical.  I didn’t even know all the couples playing, but it was still funny.  There’s something about watching a spouse in the doghouse for missing a question, the unexpected secrets revealed, or a couple of 60 years talking about wooing that just makes it a riot!  You can’t not enjoy it!

I bring this up because if you haven’t heard, the Relay for Life team from Carson is hosting a “Not-So-Newlywed Game” event on April 7.  They are providing a meal, the game, a raffle, and silent auction.  It looks to be pretty rockstar!  Tickets for a couple are $40 or you can buy a table of 8 for $150 if you have more friends than me! Lol.

Oh, and don’t be scared away.  You can put your name in a bucket to be chosen to play (Please do!  I can’t wait to laugh WITH you, of course!) or you can quietly decline and be a non-participant like us!  I’m not so good at those kind of things.  I’d be really embarrassed when Jason got the right answers and I got the wrong ones!  But if they have a card-playing tournament, I’m in. (Yes, I realize that won’t happen.)

Anyway, if you haven’t gotten tickets, you should!  100% of the money raised goes to the American Cancer Society.  They are even doing a slide show to honor those who have battled the disease.  Needless to say, it’s affected all of us.  So not only will you have a fab-freaking-tastic time, but you’ll be supporting a great cause, too!

Rumor has it they only have a table or two left!  Grab your tickets ASAP!  If you check out the flyer, it tells you who to hit up for tickets!  But trust me, it will be worth it!

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Got a funny newlywed story?  Let’s hear it!

What’s Flyin’ Round Here this Weekend? Eggs, Golf Balls, & Firsts

So my grandma had these pastel-colored duck candles that she hid for me to hunt. It was my favorite game. I made her hide them All. The. Time. I was pretty much about Easter egg hunts year-round! She even gave them to me before she passed away. Needless to say, we (meaning I am just as much as Ellen) are pretty excited about the Easter Bunny showing up this weekend at our house! We even practiced last weekend. Lol. So we are geared up for the Oakland Chamber of Commerce’s Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday at 11! Hope we see you there! You can even make a day of it and hit Carson City Park at 1 for theirs!

Of course, I’m also looking forward to everybody’s Easter posts with their kids in new clothes and eating excessive amounts of candy. But from there, I also love church. I used to love sunrise service. Still waiting for a really nice day to reinstate me heading back to that! Lol.

But the crazy part is that it’s April Fool’s Day, too. My most epic prank ever involved April Fool’s Day and Easter wrapped into one big ‘ole joke on my UNI friends. It will live in infamy. But no offense to April Fool’s, Easter trumps it! I’ve seen all those jokes online about leaving eggs empty or putting empty wrappers in the eggs, but I just can’t do that to a little girl excited about a bunny. Maybe when she’s 13, I’ll be ready to torture her. Lol. Am I the only one that is just gonna give the fools a year off? Just curious.

But you know what April Fool’s does mean? It means April. Holy crap on a cracker! How did that happen? I’m thrilled at the prospect of nice weather, but I really have no idea where March went. Just sayin’. That being said, I do want to give a shout-out to the Grist Mill cast and crew. It’s kinda hard to believe we have that good of actors and actresses and behind-the-scene-types sitting next door! If you want to join them, I hear they are doing try-outs next week for their next event. Head over to the Grist Mill website if you’re interested.

To be truthful, it was a first for me. I’d never been to one of their performances before. I was thinking about that as Darius Rucker’s For the First Time song came on. Then again, having a 3-year-old is giving me lots of 1st’s these days!

And speaking of firsts, the official first day of the country club and Oakland golf course being open is Monday, April 2! I hear they will be serving food and the greens are green! Lol. I just think we are so lucky to have a golf course here. Plus, as I recall, it’s no easy feat. I keep telling Ellen we need to get her started golfing. Golf scholarships are a lot safer than other sports.  🙂 And not year-round here! 🙂
So there’s the weekend at a glance. Maybe I’ll see you around!
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Got a good story about Easter or April Fool’s? Got an event this weekend I missed? Done anything for the first time lately? Let’s hear it.

Tickets! Get your Free Tickets to The Odd Couple!

Grist Mill Presents…
Poster designed by Gene Sanny

I have exciting news! It just so happens that the producer (Eileen Adickes) of the Grist Mill’s performance of “The Odd Couple” happens to be a loyal, and lovely, reader of mine!  So I have been given 2 tickets to give away to my other lucky readers to attend a performance this weekend!

Now, if you’re old like me, you instantly think Jack Klugman and Tony Randall.  If you’re even older than me, you’re probably thinking Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. If you’re not old, well, you might be thinking Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon or be like “Um, who?”

So “The Odd Couple” was a Neil Simon comedy production based on two bachelor guys rooming together with one being a slob and the other a neat freak. Sound similar to your marriage? Lol.  I could use a neat freak at my house!  Anyway… The only thing you need to know is it’s a comedy, and it’s being put on by the Grist Mill in Macedonia.

If you don’t know much about Southwest Iowa, it’s super cool that Macedonia has its own theater!  It’s rare that small towns have a theater troop, let alone a theater and a long-standing tradition of excellence, but ‘Donia does!  Plus, for those of you from out of town, they don’t make you pay for parking, there’s no traffic jam, and there’s a great restaurant next door for drinks or a great meal!

compliments of the Grist Mill Facebook page

But let me talk to you about the people in this production.  The cast and crew are all locals that devote their hearts, souls, and endless amount of time into this.  I just happen to know the 2 leads of this one.  Gene –well, I went to high school with Gene.  To say he was a creative talent then would have been an understatement.  Now, with age and wisdom, comes honed skills, too.  Tim – well, I only see Tim once a year…at county fair… but let me tell you, you can’t not laugh at this guy!  Any guy who can make you laugh in the middle of scooping hog manure on a 100 degree day has talent, my friends.  So needless to say, I feel like we are being set up for some quality entertainment!

So I only have two tickets to give away, which means the rest of you need to get on the phone and book yours now!  You can pick them up at the door, and you won’t be sorry.  There’s a small town Iowa charm and neighborliness you won’t get anywhere else.

Tickets are $15/adult and only $5 for students.  There are 3 performances – Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday matinee.  You can call for seats or check out the website, www.gristmillfinearts.com. All other info is on the flyer above!  Support Local!

If you’d like to win tickets, you have 1 responsibility:

comment on my Facebook telling me a favorite performance you’ve been to, or why you’d like tickets

Cut off for the contest will be midnight Thursday, March 22, central time.  Winner will be told via my blog and announced on Facebook on Friday.

Green eggs, UNI, trivia, beer, b-ball, and St. Patty’s Day for All!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

So St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday.  I know what that means for the die-hards: even more green beer than usual!  But at 44 with a toddler, it will more likely look like some March Madness on TV (if I’m lucky) and Dr. Seuss before 9 pm.  However, if you’re a little less lame than I am, there are options!  And I promise to get to those here in a minute, but first I’d like to do a little St. Patty’s Day reflecting.  I promise it won’t hurt.

So growing up, I didn’t eat Reubens or anything involving cabbage nor did I drink beer, green or not.  Needless to say, it didn’t really rank in my book as important, but if you were like me and grew up in Oakland, you know who it did matter to:  the Finnegans!  Specifically, our principal.  Most of my St. Paddy’s Day memories involve Mr. Finnegan out of character in his green suit and a jovial mood.  If you asked me to do word association with St. Patrick’s Day, I would say Finnegans probably before green!  I’m not the only one, right?

Even in college, I wasn’t much of a partier.  I thought it was hysterical that they held the Bud Flood on the Hill and people would get up earlier than they ever did for class to hit the bar for Kegs and Eggs.  Class was usually especially fun that day with a little extra liquid courage in the classroom! But otherwise, my St. Patrick’s Days are usually about my dad heading to the Ozark Cattle Sale and hoping nothing goes wrong for my mom while he’s away!

But as any girl who loves holidays, I can’t not encourage you to celebrate the big day!

If you’re near UNI, I recommend a trip to the Hill.

If you’re in Omaha, Dubliner Pub or Brazen Head are always the places to be.

But if you’re rural Southwest Iowa folk like me, you can live the dream!  You can start off the day with a Seuss-style Green Eggs and Ham in Avoca.  From there, you can take your toddler to the Hancock City Park for an Easter Egg Hunt thanks to the Botna Valley Achievers 4-H Club! Woo-hoo!  (No, that was not a sarcastic woo-hoo. I will be there!)  And then you can find a really great babysitter and make your way to The Station in Hancock.  They are having Ruebens and corned beef and cabbage all day along with the better option of $2 Domestic beers!  Yes, there can be green beer in your future!

From there, you can finish off your day helping out a good cause!  Head down to the Carson Community Center for Trivia Night.  The Bar ‘N Grill is serving supper. Take on some tough competition, or laugh into your flask over your lack of ability, but either way, you’ll be chipping in to help out the Carson Community Park Board.  Plus, if you get a good team of lads and lassies, you can dress up and win prizes, too!  No team?  No worries.  If it were me, I’d post on Facebook I needed a team or you can simply show up and I bet they get you hooked up!

So there you have it – I have your whole day planned out for you!  The luck of the Irish be with you!

And here’s to sunshine and rainbows and pots of gold for all!