So you’ve heard me mention Junkapalooza, and you’re not really sure what that even is? My hubs said I should specify that it’s not the Sir-Mix-A-Lot booty in your trunk nor is it what a man grabs to re-adjust (lol), but more the reference of junk as stuff laying around your house or barn that isn’t serving a purpose and that you don’t want any more or that you’ve somehow figured out how to repurpose and make usable again for someone else.
The principle of Junkapalooza being that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Oakland Junkapalooza 2014 is all about providing you a chance to pick up vintage materials, furniture, housing interiors, pieces of collections, and objects that may have been re-purposed or refinished or refined to be cool again. Picture it as a place you can pick up gourds from the farmers’ market area, a vintage stereo cabinet you can use as a coffee table, or a place to get a wreath made out of old sheet music that’s the perfect, unique Christmas gift for your mother-in-law who’s taught piano lessons for 20 years. It’s a chance to see those ideas you wouldn’t have thought of on your own – or real-life Pinterest as my friend calls it! Plus, we’ve set it up so your friends from the Omaha area can come to Oakland for Junkapalooza and go to Walnut for Antique Days all in one weekend!
So why as I blah-blah-blahing about this? Lots of reasons. One: I’m helping get the word out about it. Two: my family is going to have a booth there. Three: To help fundraise for the Nishna Heritage Museum Agricultural Gardens that my great aunt used to curate and one of my fave former teachers (Mrs. Strickland) is now heading up and the biggest reason of all, number four: It’s for the town of Oakland.
Here’s the thing. I don’t know if you’ve been through Oakland, but if you’re from the area you know that Main Street looks rough. The tornado and in-line winds certainly didn’t help anything, but it’s just been ignored. I’m saddened by that, as I’m sure many others are. So I can sit around and say how bad it looks or I can help try and do something to make it better. Even though it’s a lot of work, I want better for my hometown so here I am asking you to participate, volunteer, be a vendor – food, junk, musician or otherwise, or simply show up to shop or peruse or to socialize.
My hope (and that of the great people involved in Riverside Links) is that this can be the start of putting Oakland not only back on the map, but the beginning of the re-build of our Main Street. And yes, I said OUR Main Street. This is our town. Whether we live there now or not, it’s where we got our start. It’s where we grew up safely going to school every day and waving at the people driving by and eating Gary’s dilly bars. For the life of me, I can’t imagine that any of us don’t want to see that brought back to life. So is this a small beginning towards that? Yes. But can we make this a success that will bode well for future projects? You damn right!
So I’m asking you to mark your calendars for the weekend of September 13th and 14th to be on Main Street in Oakland for Oakland Junkapalooza 2014. I’m asking you to commit to being there at some point in the weekend. Hey, I’ll go a step further and say if you want to help out, if you want to see Oakland’s Main Street get better, then please pick up the phone and offer your assistance in some form to Mrs. Strickland or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org . There are so many different ways you could help!
This is our town. This is our new modern version of a Fall Festival (lol). This is our Main Street. This is our chance to start something great again…
Wouldn’t you like to be a part of that? I would and I am. So let’s make it happen.
Below I have included all the information about Junkapalooza and the information needed if you or someone you know wants to be a vendor – junk, food, or otherwise. Please share this with your family, your friends, the people you never talk to on Facebook – EVERYBODY. Please help us make this a weekend in Oakland to remember!
Oakland Junkapalooza 2014
Grab the phone, the calendar, the master schedule of football games, and SAVE THIS DATE:
Saturday and Sunday, September 13-14, 2014!
Where will you be: Oakland, Iowa
To be more exact: Main Street Oakland, Iowa
When: 9am – 7pm Saturday and 9am – 4pm on Sunday
Cost: $4 for Adults, $2 for kids 12 and under and free for 2 and under
(coupons will be available prior to the weekend for discounted rates if you stop by and sign the guestbook at the museum)
Oakland Junkapalooza 2014 is currently accepting vendor applications. We are looking for people who are wanting to share their junk, crafts, and ideas with small town America! We ask that you be friendly, willing to make your booth look decorative and festive, and be prepared with plenty of merchandise for both days. We want this to be profitable for you as well as for us as this is a fundraiser for the West Nishna Heritage Museum in Oakland, Iowa.
We are also looking for musicians, food vendors, and farmer’s market vendors.
All booth spaces will be outdoors on the main street of Oakland, Iowa. We ask that you have a covering of some sort that is tied or bolted down in case of rain or winds, preferably a tent, tailgating set-up, or tarps/awning.
Booth space prices are as follows:
10×20 ft space: $30
20×20 ft space: $50
Anything larger: $75
Farmer’s market space 10×20: $10
Food vendor price: $25
(We are choosing to keep cost low as this is a non-profit organization)
Whether this is your first or your 50th, we hope you will email us your entry form and take part. To do so, please send the following information to Gayle Strickland at email@example.com.
Name of booth
Best phone number to contact you
Email address we can send information to
Type of merchandise you would like to sell
Price range of the items you will be selling
A photo(s) of a display you put together (so we can see your ability to make this look decorative and festive)
When we have gotten your information and approved it, we will send confirmation and ask that you send your booth space fee in advance to reserve your spot. No refunds will be given as this is a fundraiser for the museum.
So this is me calling all of you to gossip about it, put it on your Facebook page, add your name to the list of who’s attending, offer to help Mrs. Strickland, put your talents into action, or simply show up! I hope to see you there!
(And if my hubs has anything to do with it, I’ll be the one wearing the sweats that say Junkalicious on the butt. Lol.)
Dear Those of You Mourning Robin Williams’ death,
First, take that moment to be sad for a man and his family that you probably didn’t know personally but that probably made you laugh or feel emotion from his amazing acting. While many people laughed more at the characters Robin Williams played, my favorite were those that made me cry. If you know me, you know I usually don’t watch those movies if I can avoid them, but Good Will Hunting and Dead Poet’s Society are too great not to watch. It was that side of Robin Williams that touched me most. For probably those characters resonated most with a man who struggled to understand the reach he was born with. But mine is not to judge, mine is to ask you to take heed.
I beg of all of you to not take recreational drugs. Rarely do I choose to make statements that will offend on my blog, but I will not be that person that sits back and continues to watch people have a disregard for the danger of drug usage. It is baffling to me how so many people supposedly eat healthy – would not let a piece of beef pass their lips and yet, think nothing of smoking marijuana. Colorado and Oregon can say it’s legal, but is anyone noticing what happens when you are a life-long user?
It has been my decree that we will continue to see more and more actors and actresses keeling over from drug use. It is rampant. Is it the chicken or the egg here? I don’t know. Do they turn to drugs because they have demons or do they have demons because they are on drugs? Perhaps, drugs are prevalent with those that are right-brained because they do not know what to do with themselves or perhaps it is done originally because it’s the cool thing to do and then one cannot overcome it. I don’t have those answers. What I do know is that by not doing it, you are not running that risk of disappointing your family and friends and yourself.
Now, part 2 of the equation is that this was perhaps more of an issue of depression. I have often stated that the most talented people are also the ones that struggle the most with mental health. I can’t tell you why that is the case, but it is. Examples: Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, and soon to be Lindsay Lohan. Although it is no joking matter, I have often joked that I was not meant to be a writer simply because I know how to cope with my doubts and ups and downs. So it is with heavy heart that I see these people struggle. I am so familiar with mental illness and the depths of depression. It’s a hard thing to be around. It’s a hard thing to deal with personally. I will again ask that we take a stand and address issues early if at all possible.
Elementary teachers are seeing these situations early, but they have no means for addressing it. We are a country of sweeping it under the rug or denying it altogether or blaming someone else as a way to avoid it. We continue to be a nation not willing to fix what is broken. I beg of you that if you are told something you don’t want to know, please deal with it anyway.
That being said, I am surrounded by wonderful people who selflessly try to make the world a better place, raise great kids, and work hard at their jobs every single day. I feel blessed to know the right people. I have made every effort to do so. If only I could introduce the good to those that only know bad.
Where am I going with this? I’m simply saying don’t give up the fight. Keep doing right to lead the way for those who are lost. Yes, there will be those that can’t drive the path, but there will be those that although they take the road less traveled by they will do so in the Bill Gates – Warren Buffet way thanks to those that still Pied Piper it on the high road.
So shed your tears, tweet your favorite lines, then encourage those that need help to seek it.
If not sure where to go for that help, call the Boystown National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000. Be healthy. Be safe.
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” - John Keating… RIP Robin.
What was your favorite Robin Williams character? Have you struggled with depression or substance abuse? Do you have something to say or share? Please do. Let’s put it out there.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or are just not Iowan by birth), you know that the Iowa State Fair starts this week! Now, I wrote a guest post for my friend over at Oh My! Omaha about it, but seeing as how everybody loved the picture blog I did for county fair, I thought I might play it again, Sam. So everyone has a reason to go and everybody has an excuse why they can’t make it. Do what you want, but I’ll be at the fair.
I’ll be there because how can I not love a place where I can brag on farmers, Iowans, and the talent of an entire state?
I’ll be there because I gotta see the Field of Dreams. Yes, of course, we have to talk butter cows. How cool is it that people wait in line to see sculptures made of butter every year? That is a fine art, my friends.
I’ll be there for the food. Okay, so there are a lot of inappropriate signs I could have put here or jokes I could have said here, but when all is said and done, I just love me an Iowa State Fair corn dog, so sue me.
I’ll be there to people-watch… Need I say more?
Some people might be there for the rides. Me – I prefer the staples – the Big Slide (be careful, it has microphones to catch all your cuss words), the sky jack, and the Ye Old Mill.
I’ll be there to be impressed by people doing amazing things that I can’t just see anywhere else!
I’ll be there in those barns to watch people gather together as families, as 4-Hers, and as the decent people of America for time-honored traditions like the Sale of Champions and selling of livestock.
(You won’t see a former 4-Her on the cover of a newspaper for a sin, only as a do-gooder.)
I’ll be there for the color, beauty, and depth of character I always find at the Iowa State Fair.
Yes, there are hundreds of reasons to go, but at the end of the day, it’s personal for me.
I’ll be there because last year my family was awarded the Century Farm award. I’ll be there because this year my niece will compete in the Iowa State Fair queen pageant just like her cousin did 15 years ago. I’ll be there because when I was 10 years old, my family made me talk to another shy little girl that’s now been my friend for 30 years. I’ll be there because that’s where I won the biggest trophy I’ve ever owned. I’ll be there because that’s where I won a scholarship that helped pay for me to go to college. I’ll be there because I eat a milkshake from the dairy barn every year. I’ll be there because it warms my heart to see winners and losers working hard at something. I’ll be there because I want to see shorthorns shown in the cattle pavilion. I’ll be there because there are bricks laid representing people I know and people I once knew and loved. I’ll be there because I will see people I know.
I will be there because it is home…
Have some other reasons to go? Have questions I might be able to answer? Have an opinion you’d like to share? Go ahead. Do so in the comments below. And as always, feel free to share.
Venting blog #149.5
Have you ever been told to check your attitude at the door, or something to the effect?
I was recently told I have to have a positive attitude. You know what that does? It does 3 things.
*It tells me that you’re about to tell me something really shitty that I’m going to have to put up with or deal with and you don’t want me to yell at you so you’re trying to guilt me into being cheery about it.
*It makes me want to be oppositional defiant because I’m being told my way of doing things is wrong and that even though this may be the dumbest plan on the face of the earth I’m supposed to put on a fake smile and pretend like I think it’s a brilliant plan because someone said so.
*Finally, as my husband would say, it makes me put my hackles up.
Listen, people, I call bullshit on the positive attitude. Feel free to have your sunshine, roses, and lollipops, but don’t harsh on my tan time, daisies, and lemon drops.
If you have not figured it out yet, I am a realist. I once was a pessimist. I try really hard not to be that person, but when I’m told I HAVE to be something, I get feisty. So even though I’m a person that tries really hard to always do things a better, smarter, easier, more impressive way, it feels like I’m still not doing it right if I don’t do it on someone else’s terms of doing so with a “positive attitude.”
You want me to have a positive attitude? Fine. Tell me to have a positive attitude and then follow it up with how I won an all-expense-paid trip to Las Vegas or I should have a positive attitude because we just inherited a great house. Heck, even offer me bacon and you’d get a warm reception. But that’s not gonna happen, is it?
I have found that the only time people bring up having a positive attitude is when there’s really nothing to be positive about like having to work 2 jobs to pay the mortgage, seeing your long-lost relative who called you fat the last time they saw you, or being nice to someone who sneezed on your food in the drive-thru.
I prefer to go at life with a realistic view and with a need to improve. If I have to wash the car, mow the yard, or take a class on the magic of barometric pressure, I may not be happy about it, but I will do it. I will do so to the best of my ability.
Some people smile and then hate on their spouses when they get home. Some people smile and then ding your car door. I’m a venter. I need to grumble about it and then do it. In fact, I will probably even try to figure out a way to make it look better, work better, or more understandable the next time I approach the subject because that’s what I do, but I’m a venter first, an improver second.
How can that be wrong? Why must I gush and cheer over your new product that looks like a phallic attempt at a moss-covered vegan hot dog? No thank you. Why do you want me to blow sunshine when I was clearly meant to add fertilizer? There will always be people who say what you want to hear to your face, but it doesn’t mean they’re any better than me. At least, you know you’re getting the real deal with me.
Bottom line: if you want a positive response from me then tell me, show me, or give me a reason to have a positive feeling towards it. I’m not a hater when there’s something to like!
Am I the only one who ever feels like this? Is it just me? I’m starting to wonder. So if you’ve ever been in my shoes, back me up here, would ya? Leave me a comment. Share my blog. Say what you gotta say (Yes, go ahead and finish singing the song, I really like it, too!).
Vent #149.5 over. Thanks.
We’ve all seen those “I’m so (Fill in the blank with a city) that…” on Facebook and Twitter. And guess what? I kinda love it! In fact, I had a couple of “I’m so Bellevue…” statements, but I realized, thanks to Johnny Brown’s fb posts, that I have a lot more “I’m so Oakland…” lines, and the truth of the matter is that I’m pretty damn okay with that! So, I thought I’d share.
I’m so Oakland that…I used to watch varsity basketball games in the “old gym.”
I’m so Oakland that…even though I wasn’t there today, I know who was sitting in the booths at Casey’s.
I’m so Oakland that…I usually recognize the cars at the library and I still know my library card number if I wanted to check out a book!
I’m so Oakland that…I still call Council Bluffs and Omaha “the city.”
I’m so Oakland that…I would still tell someone to turn where the gazebo used to be (aka where the Eagle sits).
I’m so Oakland that…I remember when Gary used to make me lemon-lime slushy whips at the Dairy Queen!
I’m so Oakland that…I know the cruise strip that doesn’t get used anymore (unfortunately).
I’m so Oakland that…I got taught science by the same teacher my mom did and not only was he my science teacher, he was my bus driver, too. (RIP Mr. Harris)
I’m so Oakland that…I don’t need a map to know the names of the streets in Oakland.
I’m so Oakland that…I have sung Christmas carols at the nursing home.
I’m so Oakland that…I read the Oakland Herald when I’m at my parents.
I’m so Oakland that…I know the owners of Blimpie’s because I graduated with their daughter.
I’m so Oakland that…my family pretty much has their own pew at church.
I’m so Oakland that…my dad calls me when family members of my friends die.
I’m so Oakland that…I know what people are referring to when they say the “Stinger Page.”
I’m so Oakland that…I’ve been in the Catacombs.
I’m so Oakland that…I expect to see Marv and Phil selling sweet corn when I drive through town.
I’m so Oakland that…I agreed to help with Junkapalooza (Mark that on your calendars, would ya? Sept. 13-14).
I’m so Oakland that…I know where Quick used to be.
I’m so Oakland that…I really want to move back there again… and we will someday.
In the meantime, everybody should be proud of where they came from. If it takes a little game on Facebook to remember that, then so be it…
Love to my Oaklandites! Got some more you can add on? Let’s hear them! Not from Oakland, but have one for your hometown or your current locale? Bring ‘em on. The comment section is waiting for ya! And if you’d like to pass this on to those that can identify, do it!
Is there a vacay in your future? Or dare I say it… a business trip? (Ew.) Either way, it’s important to pack well and light. (Well, only if flying. I prefer to take the kitchen sink if driving. Know what I’m sayin’?)
Needless to say, I pack like other people shave: tight and right. So I thought maybe I should share some of my secrets to making a suitcase user-friendly:
*Toiletries go in Ziploc bags. Plus, take an extra. Yes, I know you have a fancy little kit with 50 compartments for Q-tips and body wash, but what happens when a lid pops off in-route? Guess who’s wasting precious vacation time scrubbing out those compartments? Exactly. Instead, Ziploc can go in the trash, you break out the new one, and you’re sippin’ a drink by the pool. (And if you don’t need the back-up, you can use your Ziploc for your swimsuit that may still be wet after your 3am swim on the last night in Cabo.)
*Roll, not fold. It’s a little like shaken, not stirred. When you pack your clothes in your bag, roll them. They take up less room and although it may sound not quite right, they actually get less wrinkled when you roll instead of fold.
*Speaking of taking up less space, always leave room in your bag on the way there because it never goes back in as easily as it got there. Well, that and you might have over-purchased souvenirs or packed in 2 seconds in avoidance of having to go home. There is that.
*I also recommend taking a trash bag or your ginormous Macy’s bag you have from your last shopping spree. Put your un-used clean clothes in it for the trip home and less laundry for you! Woo-hoo!
*Pack a sweater. Supposed to be 100 degrees? Yep. Unless you don’t pack a sweater and then it’s 50.
*Call ahead to see if the hotel provides hairdryers, irons, shampoos, etc. No need to stuff crap in that is already sitting there waiting for you. (Yes, I’m picky about my hair, too, but if it’s the difference between packing, hauling, re-packing, and un-packing, I can use lavender-seaweed shampoo once or twice.)
*Check to see if there’s a Walgreens nearby. Walgreens generally doesn’t mark up their crap just because you’re in a tourist trap so if you forget something, don’t want to lug it cross-country, or don’t have a fortune to spend in the hotel lobby snack shop, you know where to go.
*Take comfy shoes. Yes, I understand you want to look good, but who the hell knows you there? And if you’re worried about pictures on Facebook, have a waist-up policy of photo-taking. Easily solved. Or are you afraid they won’t match? I can solve that, too:
*Take clothes you can mix and match. I’m guessing you already know that your bag should be heavy on neutrals – blacks, whites, navy, browns, and khakis. Then you can be sure to have shoes that go with your outfits and not be so over-packed that it takes a back-hoe to dig out your outfit for the day. But if you’re headed to tropical nations, be sure to have a pop of color, too. Nobody wants to see you looking like you’re at a funeral in Cabo.
*Double the panties, double the fun. Needless to say, the thing you want most of is your unmentionables. Things closest to your body can’t be worn as many times as the outer layers. Plus, who wants to hunt down new bras on vacay? Ug. I have heard of people that just take their saggy, old underwear with them so they can throw them away and not haul them home, but seriously? Who wants to be hiking up falling-down bikini bottoms on their hike up the Great Wall? Lol.
*Have a carry-on. What should be in it? Anything you can’t easily replace should the rest of your luggage be lost like your 40EE bra. Not gonna find one of those very readily on a mountain in Estes. Just sayin’. And yes, you should have your emergency plane stash of reading material, electronic devices and chargers, and your saltine crackers for a nervous, or hungover, stomach. (Okay, so some people only take a carry-on, but well, if it’s $50 for checking my bag vs. me smelling like a teenage basketball player who hasn’t discovered deodorant yet on the 7th day of a trip, I’ll pay the moola.)
Now pack it up and get the hell out of here! There’s an umbrella drink calling your name somewhere!
Do you have any other tips for me? Have any bad packing experiences you’d like to share? I want to hear them!
Where will I be this week? The same place I’ve been for the last 40 years . With the cute future of our fair! Why will I be there? Look and you will see.
Kids making things.
A patriotic nature.
Why will I be at the county fair? Two words: family tradition. A tradition in which kids learn responsibility, compassion, heartbreak, creativity, respect, the importance of family, work ethic, and to quote the 4-H motto: how to make the best better.
Isn’t that what every family wants for the future?
So where can you find me? The East Pottawattamie County Fair in Avoca, Iowa. Hope I see you there, too.
P.S. – I am doing Jen Schneider’s blog challenge and we were supposed to do a picture-inspired blog. Hope you liked mine. I know it’s a little out of my norm.
So did you learn any life lessons at the fair? Been to a fair I need to know about? Tell me what you have to say in the comments below.