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

Tag Archives: Iowa


I don’t know about you, but I love a parade!  Seriously.  What’s not to love?  Cool cars, fancy floats, free stuff flying through the air at you!  Oh yeah!  We need more parades in the world. Parades make people happy.  Why do you think Disney throws one every night? Lol.

There are a lot of plusses for everyone.  My kid loves seeing everything bright and moving, and, of course, running for candy.  Business owners should love them because people are front and center and I truly think there’s no better form of advertising!  And I love them because people are happy and celebrating and flying toilet paper or koozies come at me – I’m in!  Pretty much rockstar, in my opinion.

I really wanted to do a float or maybe a cow or a tractor or something to sway more readers to my blog this year at the 4th of July parade in Oakland.  I did that once for a 4-H project for my dad’s farm – we actually had one of my heifers on a parade float one year – needless to say, she was damn tame and a good sport.  Looking back, I can’t really believe we did it.  Still a proud moment!

So I really did want to do a float because I love when people participate and contribute. Not only does it sound fun, but I mean it when I say it’s the best advertising!  However, my husband convinced me that maybe this was the year to watch my kid run for candy and get paid to take pictures of the parade instead, but I’ll be ready for next year!  So since I’m not going to, I’m gonna encourage the rest of you to! Lol.  There’s still time – a golf cart, a hayrack, an inflatable dinosaur costume, or even a fainting goat would be fun.  There’s money to be made!  No entry fee and they’re paying 3 places in each category.  Come on!

Need inspiration?  I loved P’Nut’s Plumbing throwing toilet paper.  Hysterical!  I loved the big, round haybale painted into a pig last year at the Carson Rodeo parade.  I loved the giant eagle float Tammi Shellburg did one year for Oakland.  And, one year, the swimming pool used water guns and pool noodles for a float.  Yes, people remember this stuff!

But if that’s not your wheelhouse or if you have nothing to promote (Do those people exist?), please just show up!  I love 4th of July in Oakland because I see people I never get to see otherwise!  And I love community and people talking to each other and liking each other and making this a fabulous place to live.  Check out the list of stuff to do – there really is something for everyone!  Golf, pancakes, trivia, a parade, fireworks, and more – so worth showing up for!

I mean it. These are the days we moved home for.  I want our daughter to know this life.  I want her to see the good people balancing work and life and fun, and I want her to know there’s no place like home…because, there really isn’t…

Happy 4th of July week, everybody!

I’ll be looking for you over pancakes or on parade floats!  Don’t let me down.  🙂


Courtesy of the Peterson Farm Brothers

So I kinda think this is a pretty huge deal!  If you’ve been anywhere around ag, you know it’s a big deal.  Impact Hill is having the Peterson Farm Brothers here next Friday night!  If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, I should know who that is, but I can’t place them” then head to YouTube.  They hit the scene when they did a parody of “I’m Sexy and I Know It” and have done 13 since!  I kinda think of them as the the Weird Al Yankovics of the farming world. Lol.

First of all, they crack me up.  Who doesn’t love farm boys (and their sister) attempting to rap a little and sing while wearing boots and driving tractors???  Are you kidding me?  That is rockstar!  Second of all, I love the way they manage to use social media to get the word out about farming, and agriculture, in general. That’s another important thing to me.  Third, they not only do the parodies, but they blog, do farm tours, and vlog.  And fourth, they are good Midwestern boys from Kansas with family values!  Woo-hoo to that!

So, beyond the fact that I adore the Peterson Farm Bros. and what they are trying to accomplish, I also am a huge advocate for Impact Hill.  They actually got a share grant from Farm Bureau to hold the event to raise money for their non-profit.  I would love to see all of us pack the house on the 29th to not only have a great time but to raise money for a good cause.  Tickets are $25/person and you even score a BBQ dinner out of it from Buck Snort (and talk about people that are so generous!!) at 6pm!  Plus, there’s happy hour starting at 5:30 with a cash bar so good times are definitely to be had!

Tickets can be purchased at the East Pott. Co Farm Bureau, The Buck Snort, or online at

If you can’t make it, buy tickets for your parents, friends, or family.  Let’s make this a great night not only for Impact Hill, but for our community, as well!  You won’t be sorry!


Concert takes place at 501 Oakland Ave. Oakland, Iowa

So I know it’s kinda last minute, but that’s what makes it great – you might not have plans and need them!  The Grist Mill will be presenting the musical, Sister Act in Macedonia this weekend! The musical is based on the movie with Whoopie Goldberg, involves a witness protection scenario where Delores, a night club entertainer, hides as a very unlikely nun at a convent.  She teaches song and the joy of life to the other nuns while dodging bad guys in a feel-good story with songs I happen to love.  I also happen to have a niece that shall remain nameless (or not, Kyra Martens) who loved to watch Sister Act when she was a kid.  It’s just fun!

The cast will include Sara Mathews, a stand-out in the same musical last year in Glenwood, as Delores.  Other notable names to the Grist Mill include Karla Keener as Mother Superior, Stacia Thompson as Sister Mary Lazarus, the old, feisty choral director, and Mark Raney as Pablo, the thug.  After acting in The Odd Couple, Vince Baker will switch gears to that of the musical director for this performance.  Cast members will take on rapping and breakdancing in addition to old-school church hymns.  Eileen Adickes swears the “choreography will be wonderful” and “audiences will like to see us strut our stuff in nun’s habits.”

Additional cast members include: Hannah Beebe – Sister Mary Robert, Deanna Fender – Backup Singer Michelle and Sister Mary Patrick, Heather Myers – Backup Singer Tina and choir nun, B.C. Thompson – Monsignor O’Hara, Vince Baker – Curtis Jackson, mobster, Bret Baker – Detective Eddie Souther, Eric Duhachek – TJ, a thug, Richard Fleming – Joey, a thug, Clarence Waddell – Ernie, a thug; and the Pope, Jan Waddell – Sister Mary Martin of Tours, Eileen Adickes – Sister Mary Theresa, Sue Duhachek – choir nun, Nancy Raney – choir nun, Sara Hudgell – choir nun, and Angie Beebe – choir nun.  Angie Beebe will also direct and Claudia Baker will accompany.


Tickets are $15/adult and only $5 for students.  There are 3 performances – Tonight – June 8 at 7:30, (Saturday) June 9 at 7:30 or (Sunday afternoon) June 10 at 2:30 held at the McCready Theater.  You can call for seats 712-486-2216 or check out the website,

The Grist Mill productions are part of a full weekend in Macedonia sans The Back 40. The Painted Camel will offer an art collection to peruse prior to Friday’s performance and offer drinks and snacks at their annual open house prior to the other 2 performances. The Pioneer Museum and Stempel Bird Museum will also be open ahead of the shows for viewing pleasure.  A chicken dinner and rubber duck race fundraiser take place on Sunday before the matinee performance so be sure to check them out!


It’s gonna be a nice weekend and lots of fun!  Support local!


These are the days that posting a new blog is so exciting because I almost have too much to talk about!  So as the kids find themselves out of school for summer (and I wish was), a lot starts to happen around here!  Who knew so much happened here?  Well, I did. That’s why we moved home. Lol. But let me give you a head’s up.

First off, I want to talk about this weekend.  As we all know, it’s a 3-day weekend!  Woo-hoo!  It also happens to be a pretty dang busy weekend for everybody, but the focus of the weekend is Memorial Day.

I just want to take a minute to encourage all of you to head to either the Wheeler Grove Cemetery at 10am or the Carson Cemetery at 11 (or Macedonia’s is at 10:30 with the Macedonia Legion).  The Carson American Legion Post 556 will be holding a very short military salute to those who have served our country.  It will include a prayer, a memorial at the base of the flag, and a 21-gun salute.  If you can’t attend but would like to support the legion, you can like their Facebook page here.  Mad props to them for also raising the money to buy light fixtures for all of the flagpoles at both cemeteries to have the flags up 24/7 during the Memorial Day weekend and the cub scouts and girl scouts for helping put up the flags.  I hope I get a chance to check it out at night! (I also appreciate all those that put up the flags around Oakland, too!)

Secondly, we need to talk ice cream!  The Oakland Manor and the DQ have teamed up to give out free cones from 6 to 8pm on Tuesday night.  Free DQ?  Heck yeah!

Next, I want to talk about the pool.  Some great people have gone together to make the pool opening a little more special this year!  They are including a bike rally for kids with $5 helmets and if I’m not mistaken there will be free hot dogs and chips, too!  Plus, they are doing some give-aways for all those in attendance on June 2 from 11am to 1pm prior to the official pool opening.  We are blessed to have a pool.  Please support it!  (Oh, and a little crowd-sourcing for me – anybody want to give my kid swimming lessons this summer?)

Another thing I have to mention is the upcoming History and Me series at the Nishna Heritage Museum.  They will be allowing 1st-6th graders to come on Tuesdays for 5 weeks to learn more about the museum and the history of the area. They have some cool stuff planned and snacks involved!  Now, if you’re a mom or dad who stays home with your kid in the summer, you know how valuable this event could be.  Peace and quiet for an hour and a half every week – oh yeah!  Sign them up!  Info can be found on the Riverside Links page or I can get you in touch with the right people. Deadline is next week for sign up.

I also happen to know that Impact Hill will be providing some fun classes this summer for the whole family, too.  Not all of them are up on their page yet (since I haven’t set a date for the ones I’ll be teaching – lol), but keep checking back for info there, too.

More info will be coming next week about the upcoming Grist Mill performance of Sister Act, but tickets are already on sale here.

Finally, Walk & Talks will be starting June 5th in Macedonia, 6th in Carson, and 7th in Oakland.  Riverside Links is asking everyone to come out and walk in the parks (or in Oakland on Main Street) and talk with your friends, neighbors, and people you may not have met yet!  They will be hosting them every week in June. Water will be provided.  I’m kinda partial to this because as someone who’s only been back a year, I feel like I know no one and I know that everyone is busy, but it sure is nice to know your neighbors and it’s a big bonus to get exercise, too. I’ll be hounding you about that more next week, too. 🙂

One last thing – the Oakland Alumni Banquet is this weekend on Saturday night.  Tickets can still be purchased.  Brian Bentley, of Carson, put out a class challenge on his Facebook page last week to pay for the rest of the picnic tables at the new Dr. Pigneri Sports Complex at Riverside.  If you’re attending and your class would like to contribute, it’s $650.  I can send you to the right people if you don’t know Brian.

So here’s the deal:  a lot is going on!  It’s sunny.  It’s finally summer.  Take a little time to enjoy the view and simply support local!


Got anything to add?  Go ahead.  Also, if you have events you’d like me to cover, just let me know.  Thanks!

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!

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.

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.