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

A Legend Retires – Party with Doc Pigneri on Saturday!

The Younger Years 🙂

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to look for the good in the world, but today, I’ve got a pretty good place to start…

As many of you already know, Saturday will be a bittersweet day.  It is our chance to celebrate Dr. Pigneri’s retirement.  Bittersweet feels like the only appropriate word as he and Carm are more than deserving of some solid relaxation and time away from the world of work, but as a member of this community, it is a sad day to watch someone who has been so valuable to all of us call it quits after 53 years!

When news popped up, I started thinking of memories and started reading comments on Facebook.  First off, he was, and will always be, Doc, at our house.   My first thought of Doc is always the rubbing of my eyebrows backwards.  I can’t not have that image in my head!  Doc gave me my booster shot when I went to kindergarten, my MMR when I went to college, he was there when I broke my nose in my 30’s, and he answered a call on a Sunday when my baby burned her hand (when I was in my 40’s).  That, to me, is something pretty special.

My mom says she took my sister there the day he opened.  It’s crazy to think that was 53 years ago.  Another friend on Facebook, Kim Wise, told me that she and her sister were the first set of twins he ever delivered.  Another story was told about how a woman with a 2-year-old was told her son’s kidneys needed surgery.  She just happened to be with her own mother who was seeing Doc.  He told her to get a new doctor, that there was nothing wrong with her son.  Her son is 15 and she gives full-credit to Doc for saving him.  I think about that… And I think about all the babies he delivered that are now adults successfully continuing our community.  I think about all the times he answered calls when he was “off-duty” and all the nights he spent walking the sidelines of games fixing up anyone who was hurt.  I don’t remember a game I went to that Doc wasn’t there, and, trust me when I say, I went to A LOT of games.  That, my friends, is commitment.

For Dr. Pigneri, commitment is an understatement. 

The accolades have been few, but the contributions have been many. 

He is truly a pillar of our community.

In the beginning, he had an office that had a bajillion stairs to it above the bank.  From there, I remember the office where the apartments on Oakland Ave. are now, the office on Main Street, and they have now evolved into a full-scale clinic.  Rumor (and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t rumor only) has it that Doc and Carm paid to have the therapy wing put in at the CHI Clinic.  The amount of time and money saved for every person that uses it is thanks to them.  What a truly invaluable gift.  Another rumor I happen to be pretty sure wasn’t a rumor is that Doc only sold his practice with the understanding that they must stay in Oakland.  Again, Dr. Pigneri providing for our community and having the forethought to do so.

The idea that he put all of us first so many times in the last 53 years only to continue that tradition for us is astounding.  The caliber of his treatment even more so.  I read an article about how technology was a challenge for him, and I can only imagine all that has changed in 53 years, and yet, I know full-well that Doc can look at me, squeeze my neck, and tell me what’s wrong with me, with, or without, a machine or technology to back him.

The bottom line:  we are blessed that 53 years ago, Dr. Pigneri and Carm chose our little town.  Every day since, he has chosen to do good and put more good into the world.  He has given his entire career and life to us.

I don’t know that there are any words that can do justice…

So please take a minute to send a note, stop by the retirement party from 1-3 on Saturday (May 5), or give him a call to say “thank you.”  Let’s show him the gratitude he (and his family) deserve.

As for me, well, I’d just like to say,

Thank you, Doc (and Carm & family), for giving your best to a town that can never repay you.  You truly have left a legacy.  May you enjoy your Hawks and may you hold that close to your heart when you walk out those doors on June 30th 


Erica Bolton Carley


If you would like to share a warm memory about Doc, please feel free to add it!


Winner, Winner, Nuts Fried Dinner!

So, I admit it.  I’m a Rocky Mountain oyster virgin.  You’re probably somewhat shocked, being that I’m a beef producer’s daughter, but as much as I love a good prime rib, I’m pickier than a 3-year-old’s runny nose!

That being said, I hear they are a wonderful delicacy like escargot or my grandma’s cinnamon twists on Christmas Day.  I only bring them up because there’s a nut fry this weekend, and they aren’t referring to a nice almond or pistachio!  The middle schooler in me still giggles about that!

The Riverside Wrestling Boosters are hosting their annual nut fry fundraiser at Tailgator’s this Saturday night (April 30) from 5 to 8.

Personally, I’ve watched a lot of sports, and I gotta say it takes some guts and nuts to be a wrestler!  It’s not for the weak at heart!  And I love that we have had a long-standing tradition of excellent wrestlers come from our community.  I also have to say that in terms of fundraisers, this beats the heck out of buying an $18 roll of wrapping paper!  Plus, I happen to really like the food at Tailgator’s!  We don’t actually go to the bar because, well, we’re old and we have a 3-year-old, but we get take-out from there a lot.  I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.  Also, if I had to guess, they’ll gladly take your money and you can whip up a grilled cheese at home instead. 🙂

So if you’re free Saturday night, you want to cheer on some Riverside sports, you love a good testicle festival, or you just want to see the spectacle, head to Tailgator’s in Oakland to support the home team.  And remember, you can always get beer there!



Got anything to add?  Or a term I didn’t think to use?  Tell us.

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.

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.


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


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!


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!
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.