Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ahhh, Progress.

Our corner of Iowa has seen a lot of hustle and bustle this summer. The changes to the school building have been amazing. A developer is making it into an apartment building with 32 apartments-one, two and three bedroom units. It is going to have a health club and a daycare center open to the public or so says “the grapevine”. Both sure would be welcome. Winter can be long and, boy, can a person get out of shape by spring. It takes me all summer to get back in shape. So having a place to exercise might be a good thing. All the new windows are installed and it looks great.
Before new windows.
After new windows.
Our interchange is undergoing some more changes, too. Menards has expanded their operations. It is now 960,000 sq. ft. in size.

Luv’s truck stop is building and should be open by the first of the year. It will have a Chester’s Chicken restaurant and a McDonalds. Definitely a good thing that there will be a health center in town.

Conway Trucking opened about the same time Menards did. It is a very busy interchange now. It is becoming a very dangerous interchange with all the trucks coming and going and all the locals gawking at the construction.

We, also, have two restaurants, a Dairy Queen, a motel, RV Park and a very pretty park at our interchange. Needless to say, like so many small towns, our “main street” is moving out to the interstate exchange area. 

Agricultural Symbol  Park

Check out our little town. 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Have you ever?

I received this email today as the “laugh of the day”.

There was a knock on the door this past Saturday morning.

I opened it to find a young, well-dressed man standing there who said: "Hello sir, I'm a Jehovah's Witness.”

So I said "Come in and sit down."

I offered him a fresh cup of coffee and asked "What do you want to talk about?"

He said, "Beats the heck out of me.... Nobody ever let me in before."

It reminded me of a day many, many years ago. It was a rainy, cold fall day and there was a knock at my door. It was young man, a Jehovah’s Witness.
I don’t normally let strangers in but, for some reason I let that fellow in that day. Figured he could warm up a bit. And, besides, it was a different time. It turns out he was new at his “job”. I asked where he was from etc. all the usual “being polite” questions. He seemed relieved that I wasn’t angrily asking him to leave after finding out he was a Jehovah’s Witness. He was from out east, Massachusetts, I believe. He starting telling me about his family and how he missed them. Commented about being raised Catholic and having doubts. My girls were young at the time and underfoot so I decided it was time for him to leave. He thanked me for letting him warm up and I asked him to put my house on the don’t stop again list and he said he would. Always wondered if he ever found what he was looking for. I never had another Jehovah’s Witness stop for years. He must have honored his word.

Have you ever let a door to door person into your house? Not in this day and time but in years past when it was safer world?  Sure wouldn’t now.

Take care,


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium Dubuque Iowa

This lived up to its billing as one of the top attractions in the state of Iowa. We spent almost four hours at the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.

The second floor is all about turtles, some on the endangered list, some very unique in looks. There was an alligator, a beaver family, and a tank where you can touch and feel fish. I chose not to take advantage of that option. There was another attached building that had a lot of hands on displays of early river travel. Very interesting.

Dinosaur turtle


The tank where you could touch the fish.

Another weird looking turtle.

This guy was just "chilling". The only thing that moved was his eyes following me. 


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Steamboat William M. Black, Dubuque Iowa

On the Mississippi river behind the Aquarium is where you will find the
dredge William M. Black, now permanently moored in the Ice Harbor. It is one of the last steamboats built with the advance technology of the 1930s, the last era before diesel power replaced steam. A side-wheeler steamboat, the Black is similar in form and style to the great steam boats of the 19th century and thus constitutes a link with the most colorful period of river transportation.

You are able to tour the Black at your own pace after listening to some background information on boarding.

Here are some pictures of the William M, Black. This too was very interesting.

William M, Black
Pilot house

View from top deck of the Black

Everything on the steamboat was oversized.

Check out the large pots and pans on the stove.

Giant mixer

Very life like character. Found these in other places in town.

 Couldn't find out much about this little boat. Wondered if it tagged along the Black.

Sign below the stack says "Tavern".


Have a great weekend, Rose

Thursday, October 10, 2013

View from the top of the bluff via the Fenelon Elevator.

Dubuque Iowa has a lot to offer anyone spending a few days there. There are a lot of great old buildings to see. The view from the Fenelon Elevator is amazing. When you get up to the top of the bluff, you can see all of Dubuque, the Mississippi River, and parts of Illinois and Wisconsin. The view is amazing. It was 12 noon and the Cathedral started playing the Angelus. Took me back to my elementary school days at St. Stanislaus, where the Angelus played every noon. You can hear the bells, if you listen close,  in my video of the Fenelon Elevator post. It really added to the beautiful, sunny day. 

Take care,

Saturday, October 5, 2013

"World's steepest, shortest scenic railway"

Exploring Northeast Iowa and Northwest Wisconsin

Last Sunday, hubby and I left on a week of touring a part of Iowa that we hadn’t seen before. Also, northwest Wisconsin. We started in Dubuque, Iowa. There is so much to see there. We spent almost two days at various interesting places. We went to Eagle’s Point and was able to look down on Lock and Dam no. 11(Steps on a river). on the Mississippi. But due to the pending government shut down, there wasn’t any river traffic. I was very disappointed. We would have loved seeing that in action. Just can’t imagine how that works.  We spent almost four hours at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. We were lucky there, too. It was closed the next day due to the government shutdown. One other museum we wanted to visit later in the week in McGregor Iowa was closed.

We also rode the "world's steepest, shortest scenic railway, 296 feet in length, elevating passengers 189 feet from Fourth street to Fenelon Place. Magnificent view of the business district, the Mississippi River and three states." from

In 1882, Dubuque was an hour and a half town-at noon everything shut down for an hour and a half when everyone went home to dinner.  Mr. J. K. Graves, a former mayor, former State Senator, also promoter of mines and a banker lived on top of the bluffs and worked at the bottom. Unfortunately, he had to spend half an hour driving his horse and buggy round the bluff to get to the top and another half an hour to return downtown, even though his bank was only two and a half blocks away. Mr. Graves liked to take half an hour for his dinner, then a half an hour nap, but this was im-possible because of the long buggy ride. John Bell, a local engineer, was hired to design and to build a one-car cable modeled after those in the Alps. Mr. Graves' cable car operated for the first time on July 25, 1882. After that, he had his gardener let him down in the morning, bring him up at noon, down after dinner and nap, and up again at the end of the work day. Before long, the neighbors began meeting him at the elevator asking for rides. The Fenelon Place Elevator is still operating as it was many years ago. It is rickety. But the Ice Cream shop that is close to the cable car entrance assured me that there has never been an issue with its safety. I wasn't sure I wanted to take a ride but hubby promised me an ice cream cone when we came back down. Couldn't turn that down. Fun.
The next day we headed out to Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. More on our trip later this week complete with pictures.

Have a relaxing, blessed Sunday,