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Council Bluffs Day

Yesterday was Wednesday, so ot was the weekly Council Bluffs trip. Pickle Day it was 93 degrees, but Wednesday was like 68. And cloudy.

On the way to CB is a rest stop that’s been there since at least the 80s and probably longer than that. It’s the rest stop I’ve been going to since I was a toddler and, sadly, they’re building a new one. I’m sure it’s going to be nice, but it won’t have that nostalgia hit.

The restaurant of the week was Primos Mexican Restaurant and I have to say that the steak tacos were amazing!! The meat was so tender and spiced perfectly and…mmmmmm! So, so good!

I mentioned that semi wreck the other day? So on the way home we stopped and checked out the aftermath. It’s not as bad as we thought – they missed the water and the culvert by a hair. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they did go through at least one tree and a fence, as well as the metal guard banister, but they didn’t end up down in the water, so it could have been way worse.

We got home in time for a surprise – someone is digging holes in my yard. Again. Though it’s not AS surprising as it was years ago because this time we at least have watched them coming up the street slowly. I’m not sure you can see it in the pictures, but the machinery is parked right next to our walking stick tree, so I’m a little nervous, especially after the mess FMTCs people made when they dug up the yard (for instance they wrecked one flower bed buy just digging it up and throwing it all over. I still have Irises in weird places from that).

We ended the day by watching the last episodes of Hometoen Cha Cha Cha. My official review is “squeee!!” if that says anything. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I can now say that I really liked it. The dentist lady was kind of annoying to start with, but she got better. Her live interest, Chief Hong, was not annoying, however, which is why I initially stuck with it. That and the town’s people. They were a lot of fun, too. They also wrapped everyone up. Like, seriously, everyone. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a show that so complete covered what happened to every single character, no matter how small. So that was good

And another fun thing, they had that coffee candy on it.

I love how they work their product placement in as just a part of the show. I wonder if my little TV buddy liked it, too?

There’s half an hour left until Rings of Power, so gonna go get some things done before it starts.

Have a Cha Cha Cha kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚


Yesterday was quite a day. To start with we had to get up suuuuuuper early to go to Omaha to participate in the Alice in Wonderland event hosted by Clued Upp Games. I’d been worried it would be hot and sunny but instead of sun we had clouds. And rain.

Which was okay because it kept us from getting sunburned and even better it quit raining in time for us to play. We went with some friends – Mike and Pam – so we had a team of five. The game is location based augmented reality – much like pokemon go is. You have to start at a certain location, in this case city hall, and then follow your map to find different characters and items. The storyline is that The Red Queen’s has taken Alice and you have to save her from being beheaded. There were lots of puzzles to do – getting them wrong gave you a time penalty. Some were easy and some were hard. The worst ones were the first few as we learned how everything worked. Like we took the first one waaaay too literally and so we failed it. We also ended up with a twenty minute time penalty because we paused the game, but when we unpaused it we weren’t all standing inside the location circle. But, either way, we succeeded and we had a lot of fun!

A thing that surprised me was how many people were there playing, too! I’d bet we saw over 100. And so many were actually dressed in costumes! I wish I’d taken photos, but as I said the game was virtual so I had to have the app up and just didn’t switch out of it. I didn’t even pokemon or take photos until afterwards. And there were a lot of neat buildings since we were in old downtown.

After we save Alice, we headed for the nearest restaurant, which ended up being a nonprofit place where the food is whatever you donate for it. The cinnamon roll was amazing, and the salad was good. I hear the sweet tea was awesome, too, but not being a fan, I can’t say.

After that we had time to kill – we thought it would take a lot longer to play. So we went to the Imaginarium store because Mike loves it and I’d never been. It was pretty neat!

After that we checked out what they’ve done to the Gene Leahy Mall. We used to go Pomemon there a lot, but they closed it back in 2019 to renovate it, and finally reopened it this year. It is very different. Some changes are good – like they’ve added bathrooms! And some are bad – like they took out the river that used to go through the middle of it in order to add event space for performances and such. The bridges are gone, of course, and they’ve added a large play area, an astroturf hill, three new slides to go with the teo old ones, some adult sized swings, sculptures, and tons of little seating areas. Oh, and ping pong tables. An article I read awhile back said they were wanting to attract families and children and they seem to have accomplished that, anyway.

There used to be two areas that went under the road. On one end they’ve just filled it in and done nothing. On the other they left the water. That would be my favorite part of it. I do like the grasses they’ve added along the edges. Sadly most of the ducks that used to live there are gone. There was only one there.

They did put in an area for food trucks, so we got snow cones!

After that was a trip to Walmart and some boring stuff, though the clouds on the way home were beautiful.

Of course, clouds led to tornado sirens later and we ended up in the basement for twenty minutes, but all the bad stuff missed us, so yay! To celebrate we broke out the saki.

It wasn’t too bad. Not my favorite, but definitely not the worst I’ve had, either.

If I was typing this on the computer it might be longer, but on the phone I’m about done, I think.

Have a wonderland kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

Apple Barrel and Cutlery

Yesterday was the weekly pilgrimage to Council Bluffs, and this week was topped off with a visit to Apple Barrel – which is the restaurant inside of Sapp Brothers truck stop, for those not in the know.

One of the best things about Apple Barrel is that they have all day breakfast. Since I’m rarely in public before noon, I rely on all day breakfast to ensure I occasionally get breakfast food. And it was tasty! I had scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, and the cutest mini loaf of blueberry bread, complete with a tiny bread board!!

Sapp Brothers Coffee machines are also worth mentioning. I love the “Awake” label!

I mentioned cutlery. For reasons I don’t fully understand, I’ve inherited some. But, it’s pretty cool, so…

The finger one is too big, but it makes me feel like Sauron, or the evil witch in Inframan. (There’s a classic everyone should see!)

And now I leave you with a skeleton dog I’m thinking about buying for our Halloween Undead Park scene. Tell me what you think.


Have a mini loaf kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

Pizza in Glenwood

That was the big excitement yesterday. I finally got to eat at the pizza place the bro is so crazy about -Adriano’s Brick Oven Pizza. It was pretty good, actually, and the building was super neat. It’s downtown, so it’s in an old building, which I always love. Check out that amazing ceiling. Ugh. I’m jealous!

And that’s what I’ve got.

Have a brick oven pizza kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚


Yesterday hubby and I spent the day at parks doing POTA – Parks on the Air. It’s a ham radio thing, wherein a ham radio operator sets their radio up on certain parks and makes contacts with other ham radio operators who then get the check that park off their list. The goal is to get all the parks in the state, or the country, or whatever marked off, so to speak. But to do that, people have to go sit in the park and operate the radio.

Anyway, so that’s what we did. Because it was a gorgeous day.

We stopped by Viking Lake first.

Though it’s still August, there’s a definite autumn vibe.

Then we headed for Lake Anita because we’d never been there before.

Truthfully, I’ve never heard of it before, but it is a really nice park. It has campgrounds, a large lake, obviously, and a bunch of shelters.

Weirdly, most of the shelters don’t have a bathroom anywhere near them, and since doing the POTA means we have a lot of equipment set up, we like a bathroom close by so the stuff doesn’t have to be left unattended. Luckily one shelter not only had a bathroom, but an actual flush toilet bathroom with sinks and all! Score! Even better, our shelter had some little feathered friends in it.

There were a lot wild flowers and some very cool trees.

Despite the clouds rolling in, we stayed until basically dark because it was so gorgeous out.

So that was it. We had a lot fun, and it was nice to be outside and not bake to death for a change. And, bonus, we got rain today, so even better.

Have a cool weather kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

General Dodge House part 2

Here’s the second half of the Dodge House.Ki



On to the second floor

Bedroom (I think it was Mrs. Dodges)

Another bedroom. I think maybe General Dodges

The red room

Children’s room

Gold bedroom


Art Nouveau room


Head housekeepers room

And that’s it. There’s another house next door, but I’ll have to do it later.

Have a fancy Victorian house kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

General Dodge House Part 1

I mentioned we were out last Saturday. We went to a couple of places, and I took so many photos that I’m breaking it up. Today you get the photos from the General Dodge House, so called because General Dodge lived there. He was an important figure in the UP rail road. Let me find a link… I was going for Wikipedia but this page seems more interesting:

Speaking of lots of photos, the mobile app has an issue with that, so I have to break this up. Annoying, I know.

The entryway


Dining room

Back parlor

Front parlor

Part 2 on the way….

A Day Out

With my quarantine over, we got invited to a BBQ at Lake Icaria. It was a really nice day, much cooler than it has been, so that made it even better. On the way home, we saw a sign in Corning for Lake Binder, which we’d never heard of before, so we decided to stop and check it out. It’s got a nice sized lake, camping areas, and some picnic spots, but, most interesting were the lily pads.

You can see the weird things that look like little shower heads? That’s the center of the flowers after the petals have fallen off. And here’s what it looks like with the petals.

Weird, huh? There were also some pretty purple flowers too.

Anyway, that was the excitement for yesterday. And now I need to get some things done.

Have a surprise ake kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

West Virginia: Point Pleasant

Hello! This is going to be the last of my holiday snaps for now. Luckily I’ve been able to just embed them from Instagram, so it’s saved me a bunch of time – BUT it means they’re kind of scrambled up because Instagram isn’t the best medium for posting photos in groups thanks to the inability to mix vertical and horizontal.

So, Point Pleasant. In my mind, it’s most famous for the Mothman cryptid, but maybe that’s just me. (Amy was surprised I’d ever heard of Mothman, so there you go.) But once I realized it was in the general vicinity, I knew we had to stop!

One sad thing, so my camera started doing this weird thing where after you take the photo, instead of showing it in the view screen (like normal) it would flash back to an older photo. I checked the thumbnails, and they showed all the photos, so I wasn’t worried. But, eventually, it got annoying, so I powered off ejected the card and popped it back in, and when I did that, all of those disappeared, so I have zero photos of the statue without us in them, and lost several building photos, etc. that I didn’t notice until much later.

But on to these. This is hubby and I in front of the statue, of course, and then the rest are the Mothman Museum (I had no idea there was a museum!). The museum has displays on all the different components – I’ll try to keep this short. There is a lot on the UFO sightings and the Mothman sighting (of course), that went on for two years. Then there is the Men in Black, who were these strange men who showed up during those two years, talking to anyone who had seen any of those aforementioned UFOs or the Mothman (called the Birdman, btw, by the press at the time), then they cover the collapse of the Silver Bridge (that killed 46 people I think it was), which many people think was connected to those UFOs/Mothman. I have no idea if it really was all connected or not, but regardless, it’s all there, along with a section of items from the movie Mothman Prophecies that came out in the early 2000s.

Anyway, the photos. The second is the entrance inside the store, the third is a Mothman costume, fourth is all about the Men in Black, some more Mothman costumes, then a piece of “broken glass” from the movie (they had a lot of movie stuff there), a model of the bridge, some newspaper clippings from the bridge disaster (they have a massive collection of clippings on all the different elements!), and a piece of metal from the bridge that collapsed.

Yeah, how cool is that? After that we went hunting for the bridge site. The first photo is the replacement bridge – the Silver Memorial Bridge – taken coming back into WV from Ohio (of note, it now goes into Henderson, not Point Pleasant. You have to cross it, then cross that green bridge to get into Point Pleasant.) Second is a mural that I *think* is where the bridge used to be because the plaque (which is supposed to be posted where the onramp for the bridge was) is straight back from it. Speaking of the plaque, its #3. Then there’s the new bridge viewed from the river front, and finally another shot of driving over it because we ended up hopping back over to Ohio for lunch at Bob Evans, haha!

While looking for bridge stuff, we ended at the riverfront walk and wow! There was so much there! I had no idea, I guess. I didn’t think about the fact that West Virginia used to be Virginia, but it has so much old history – like Revolutionary War history! Coming from an area that wasn’t really settled until the 1850s/60s, I don’t really think about it. Anyway, the third photo is of a tiny piece of the crazy long mural that runs along the river (it’s fantastic!), then there’s a barge in the river, then there are statues of Chief Cornstalk and General Andrew Lewis from the Battle of Point Pleasant. At the end of the river walk is an amazing park, that has some of the best placed benches I’ve ever seen (this is the big monument in the middle that Instagram chopped off because, vertical.). A shot of that green bridge from the river, and another shot of the Silver Memorial Bridge, then a few more historical markers. Imagine living somewhere that has that many historical places/events! We have a single axe murder in 1912 here, and the town I grew up in had nothing.

There was also an amazing little cemetery – again divided into portrait and landscape shots:

And that wraps up what I’ve got to share with you. Hope you at least enjoyed a few of them.

Have a surprise museum kind of day!

Jo πŸ™‚

West Virginia: Mixed Bag

Hello! Hope everyone had a great weekend! It’s back to the grindstone, and on to a mixed bag of West Virginia photos. I know, if I’d posted while I was there this would make more sense, but who said I make sense?

These are just some pretty roadside photos. I forget the name of the town, but it’s near Sandstone Falls.

Some more roadside photos – I’m working on the ultimate collection πŸ˜‰

This is a beautiful sunset, and a couple of fun things outside of Point Pleasant, WV (You’ll be seeing more of that shortly.)

And this bunch is from Point Pleasant, West Virginia, famous for Mothman and bunch of other stuff that I had no idea about! The town itself is so freaking adorable – they’ve got it decked out for Christmas, and it looks like it’s off the Hallmark Channel. I seriously felt like I was on TV! There are photos of a snowman and bear that got chopped off because they were vertical (thanks Instagram – this is why I can’t mix them) The sign for Washington’s Land was actually on the way there, but too cool to skip. And the green bridge at the end has nothing to do with the famous Silver bridge – it’s over the Kanahwa River and goes between Point Pleasant and Henderson, WV.

More Point Pleasant coming tomorrow, and I think that will wrap us up. I don’t want these to get too long because in the past people complained about that.

Have a Hallmark Town kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

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