Miriah Snyder has made her new home on Old Lincoln Highway in Crescent. Willa Hair Salon and Designs landed in the strip mall at 728 Old Lincoln Hwy in June of 2020. The new business offers hair services, waxing, spray tans, make-up (Miriah is certified in air brush), and small gifts like tees, onesies, and earrings! If it sounds like her shop has everything, it’s because Miriah seems to be a woman of many talents!
After being certified in both cosmetology and as a dental surgical assistant with an Associates Degree in Anatomy, Miriah was trying to balance both hair and teeth, along with doing weddings each weekend including traveling for weddings each weekend from August to October! It seemed to be a lot! So thanks to her hubby who was driving by on his way home to Honey Creek, they found this location right on the main street in Crescent in a town where there were no hair stylists with brick and mortar businesses. With the location having previously been a feed store complete with live chickens, the duo had a lot to clean up and re-do. It might have been a labor of love for the owners and for the couple, but what a beautiful job they’ve done! Miriah even created the mirrors herself and they designed the spray tan room together! Many of the accessories were décor at their wedding, and she uses her downtime to make tees with her Cricut. She is a self-proclaimed crafter and definitely a gunner!
Snyder is also very thankful for family and community. Her shop is actually named for her family that’s originally from Logan. The name Willa is the feminine version of Willard, her maiden name, and means graceful, beauty, and strength. It is a true reflection of all that Miriah wants to provide for her customers in her venture. She said she was nervous to open during COVID but it ended up benefitting her as people weren’t interested in heading to the Metro so new clients poured in and have stayed! Her goal is to be full Monday thru Friday as she only works by appointments on the weekends due to her wedding route. Her clientele continues to grow through Facebook and Instagram connections and those finding her through the Crescent Connection, as well. She says that her job is to really listen to what people want done with their hair and then make it happen. She even added another hair stylist, Natalie, to keep up with customers. I think we can all be rest assured that Willa Hair Salon and Designs will be around for a long time!
Welcome to Pott. Co., Miriah! We’re glad you chose Crescent!
Post sponsored by Western Ventures, Inc.
Praxidyn owner, Doug Applegate of Oakland, Iowa, has started his own YouTube channel, Inventive Farmer! Thanks to some advice from family friend, Cole the Cornstar and encouragement from Welker Farms, the Applegate channel has already kicked off strong! With only one video post thus far, Doug is already over 300 subscribers and 1000+ views. Not bad for a first post! But if you know the Applegates, you know they can make anything happen. Plus, they always put time and dedication into everything they do right down to the YouTube channel logo that they had made specially for them on 99 Designs. Definitely check it out - it has an intricate amount of detail!
Of course, Doug and Kathy Applegate will tell you that they were farmers just finding ways to make their operation more efficient when they designed their first pieces of equipment. The Applegates give credit to 4-H and FFA for being the catalyst that started their family journey of seeing a project to fruition. Each year, the projects built by Brent and Luke (Doug and Kathy’s sons) grew as their knowledge base grew. In 2004, Brent and Luke designed, engineered, and built a seed tender to accommodate the operation’s new planter. The technology developed with the seed tender led to their product, Mixmate. So fast forward to 2021, and Doug knew that starting The Inventive Farmer was a way to give back. The channel will focus on helping people understand agriculture, providing a learning venue for kids and adults alike, and lifting up youth towards new career paths.
The YouTube channel is a companion to their Praxidyn manufacturing company that builds Mixmate. The Mixmate system automatically mixes chemicals and records each mix used for spraying crops which improves speed and financial efficiency. Doug said that although it started out for farmers, Mixmate is now becoming popular with coops and turf management companies. The family has put every effort into making their vision a reality. They gave me a tour of their operations and you can’t even begin to imagine the technology and detail that goes into each product. The business actually employs 7 with 12 dealers in the United States and one in Canada at this time. In fact, Doug shared that they are going global after selling their first machine in 2017! So The World Bank has identified the Mixmate system as a product that could provide technology to agriculture in struggling countries like Uzbekistan. Doug was also just completing an email to Russia when I arrived and Kathy was finishing up corn cob jelly as their hospitality is second to none! Every visitor goes home with a taste of the Applegate kitchen and an appreciation for farm families. They believe their business is an act of faith. If you know the Applegates, you know the one place you’ll find them besides the family farm is at their church. With business cards quoting Proverbs 3:6, it’s no surprise they give credit to their Christian roots.
If you get a chance, be sure to check out the Inventive Farmer channel. I guarantee you’ll learn something new! And don’t be afraid to reach out - I happen to know they will be more than happy to show you what they’ve been doing!
For me, the YouTube channel, the Mixmate, the attitude, and the entire set-up once again proves the amazing talent we have right here in Pottawattamie!
We’re cheering for your global success, Applegates!
It’s a Road Rally Scavenger Hunt 3-day Weekend in Pott. Co.! You heard me right! The big family functions might be called off but WIDA won’t let you down! We have just the thing for your Martin Luther King weekend! You can fill your time seeing the most amazing and biggest county in Iowa!
If you are like the rest of the world, you are happy to see 2020 gone and hoping to make 2021 a little brighter! At WIDA, we want to make sure you have a little good luck on your side rolling into the next 12 months! So this is our road rally good luck tour! Each spot has some tie to luck, happiness, and fortitude which we all need in 2021!
So get your sleuth hats on and prepare for your trek! One winner (family, couple, individual) will be chosen to receive a Pottawattamie County Park pass, a gift card to Gress Locker, and a gift basket with local goodies!
All you have to do is follow the clues, take photos in each location, and post to Facebook or Instagram by midnight on January 21st with the hashtag #WIDAPottCoRoadRally21!
Here are your not-so-subtle hints to help you on your trail!
Stop 1 -
In ‘Donia, they say “come on over”
If good luck is what you seek
Just find that 4-leaf clover
Welcoming you to their Main Street.
Stop 2 -
Perhaps 2020 was a blessing in disguise
Yet, let this Carson theater speak
To all that the name implies
For all to have a lucky streak
Stop 3 -
You’ll find this landmark
In Treynor’s city park
A symbol of pioneer’s brilliance
And a sign of 2021 resilience!
Stop 4 -
Some may say 2020 flew
And some called it a giant pain
Either way, it’s “time” to start a-new
So “Clock” your miles to McClelland’s Main
Stop 5 -
When on this trek you embark
To find that better “path” you’ve sought
Find yourself that Underwood park
Which hints to a fresh, new starting spot
Stop 6 -
In Crescent, it is there for you to see
Just rub the sign and say your prayers
At the Shiny and Newest local DG
In hopes that ’21 does not compare!
Stop 7 -
In Minden, you can create a turn of events
By engaging in legendary rumor
Standing amidst all the triangle represents
Your past, your present, and your future.
Stop 8 -
They say all great works of art
Come from the strongest at heart
So let’s all give ours a fresh new start
By embracing this Shelby Convenience Mart
Stop 9 -
For our 2021, just look a-top
This Avoca Main Stay and keep thinkin’
Journey would say “Don’t Stop…”
While Fred’s would say “Drinkin’”
Stop 10 -
The “signs” we often search
With a dove that has soared
We hunt the Walnut church
To seek hope, calm, and accord
Stop 11 -
To Hancock we shall go
You and the buffalo statue in the snow
To Native Americans, a sign of definite substance
For a chance at life in abundance!
Last Stop 12 -
It’s noticed very seldom
But when you get to Oakland
Find the Centennial welcome
For a super lucky token!
Our wish for you:
When all is said and done
may you have had a little fun
And found your sense of hope
for a peaceful, happy 2021!
We can’t wait to see your fun photos to keep those January blahs at bay!
Happy MLK Weekend!
Pottawattamie County, meet Emily Hugen! She is the new East and West Pottawattamie Conservation Education Coordinator!
Emily grew up in Monroe, Iowa and attended Iowa State where she got a degree in Agronomy and Agriculture and Society. While in college, not only did she spend a lot of time traveling (see photo below of Emily in Argentina studying glaciers), but she worked in the USDA National lab for Ag and Environment so she has quite a background in research and laboratory work. Because of that, Ms. Hugen was ready to take on a job that involved working with more people! Well, she found the right job here in Pott. Co. Emily’s job will consist of educating K-6 graders (and families) about soil, water, and conservation.
Pottawattamie County Soil and Water Conservation District is actually the 1st county to have such a position with other counties looking to follow.
Emily was drawn to Pottawattamie because of the interesting events the former educationalists got to take part in like Farm Safety Day and Soil Judging Pits. Plus, she’s thrilled with the fact that it’s all based in conservation, a topic close to her heart.
Although COVID is making things a litter harder, her first goal is to reach out to the Pottawattamie Schools and develop curriculum tied to topics like Earth Day, recycling, pollination, biodiversity, watershed, and erosion. She’s also looking forward to checking out, and being a part of, the fairs, STEM festivals, and all the other activities Pottawattamie has to offer.
Emily, Pottawattamie is excited to have you on board!
To contact Emily, email her at EMILY.HUGEN@ia.nacdnet.net.
Photos courtesy of Emily Hugen.
One of my favorite posts of the year: the 2020 WIDA Awards! Yes, our hindsight is officially 20/20 and there’s no better way to shake the January blahs than to celebrate others!
This is the 2nd Annual WIDA Awards all about rural Pottawattamie County! The purpose is to recognize people, places, and businesses in rural Pott. Co. because let’s face it: it’s easy to take people and things for granted! With that in mind, we ask you to vote for your faves! Yes, they have to be in rural Pott. Co. but that’s the only rule! The lists are not comprehensive, we just used names mentioned last year. If there’s a better answer, give it! We are always looking for new information!
All category winners will receive big shout-outs in our upcoming WIDA newsletter and on social media!
By voting (that means completing the survey), you are entered for the $25 gift card to The Dew Drop Inn in McClelland! One lucky winner will get $25 to grab burgers and beers at The Dew Drop! Just fill out the survey by midnight Tuesday, January 12th!
We’ve changed up some of the categories to fit the crazy year we had! We hope it brings you a little happiness to think through your favorites and the good cheer lets our businesses know that we support local!
Here are the categories you’ll be voting on:
Best Place to Take the Family during COVID
Best Place to Get Exercise in rural Pott. Co.
Best New Business (that opened in 2020 – if we missed one, be sure to write it in!)
Best Long-Time Business (any business that’s been in business 25 years or more)
Place with the Friendliest Staff
Best COVID Pivot
Best Kept Secret/Hidden Gem of Pott. Co.
Not sure which WIDA towns are rural Pott. Co. – let me help you!
Go VOTE here!
And thanks for helping us celebrate all that Pott. Co. has to offer!
Thanks to Canva for help with the photo. This post is sponsored by Avoca Main St.
Reflecting on 2020 almost seems dangerous, but as a writer, it’s what we do. It was a year I'm pretty sure none of us will forget...
It was a year in which we shared memes about toilet paper and words like “new normal,” “pivot,” and “pandemic” became everyday words. It became a year where less people wanted to be on social media but online became our best form of communication. For WIDA, it meant we got to make promotional videos about each town for towns to use for grants, for realtors to use with clients, and families to share with friends. (If you haven’t seen them, go to www.WIDAIowa.org and click on your hometown.)
It was a year where podcasts and Netflix were binge-watched/listened to and reading books happened again. Lol. At WIDA, we did a few snaps and over 100 blog posts about couples for Valentine’s Day, businesses that were opening, shopping guides for important holidays, places to go during COVID, respected veterans for Patriot’s Day and Veteran’s Day, and quite an array of Pott. Co. volunteers! Shining a light on deserving people in Pott. Co. is the easy part! Getting to all of them is the hard part! Lol.
It was a year in which people who could give gave more than ever! Crescent’s Toy Drive was the biggest ever! Impact Hill hit their goal on their shoe drive! Giving Tuesday brought in the most it ever has! WIDA actually got to partner with amazing groups like SHARE Omaha to make that possible. We got to co-host with TS Bank, Golden Hills RC&D, and SWIPCO on the first ever Southwest Iowa Community & Economic Development Forum before COVID hit. We also got to work with TS Bank to do cash mobs for Silos in Treynor and The Painted Camel in Macedonia.
It was a year where shopping local seemed more important than ever. Some people did it for the first time. Our grocery stores fed us and our shops found us toilet paper and Clorox Wipes. In fact, in the midst of chaos, WIDA brought you a comprehensive list of food establishments in rural Pott. Co. which even inspired us to go bigger in 2021 with an online directory!
It was a year when events were few, but finding good people that go above and beyond became the focus instead. When we couldn’t go to games, we learned to embrace the trails and parks and plan staycation days instead. It was a year where closets were cleaned out and donations were made to the Pott. Co. Recycling Center.
It was a year where the focus really was on our little piece of the world…
As we barrel into 2021 with the promise of vaccines and normality, let us rejoice in the fact that we live in a place where family is still first, jobs are still plentiful, and helping your neighbor is still the right thing to do. So let us shop local (trends show one-of-a-kind, hand-made items are in). Let us appreciate when an event happens and the volunteers that make it. Let us find the hidden gems in our county.
Let us continue to be the light!
Happy 2021 from all of us at WIDA!
The one thing Ron Olson never expected was to be a life-long volunteer for the city of Crescent, but 30 years later, that’s exactly what he became!
In 1984, Ron realized that taxes in Crescent were half of what they were in Council Bluffs and he had an inkling to sample the small town life so he bought a place in Crescent. Little did he know after having served in the United State Army and then traveling a lot for AT&T that AT&T would offer him a chance to move to California or take a retirement buy-out. He took the buy-out in 1992 and, although he hadn’t planned on it, he found himself available during the day and the Crescent Volunteer Fire Department in need of daytime staff to go out on calls. It seemed like a perfect fit. From there, Olson got recruited to help resurrect the Crescent Planning Commission which then led to a seat on the Crescent City Council and before long, he ended up Mayor of Crescent.
While mayor, the walking track was put in at the city park, and that’s one of Ron’s favorite things he made happen (along with plenty of other helpers, he’d tell you). He said the most gratifying thing he was in on though was the building of Veteran’s Park. Greg Ferris donated the lot, but there were funds to raise, plans to lay out, and physical labor that had to be done to put in the eagle statue and the shelter. The Fall Festival was actually started to help raise money for the park and the eagle. Ron said the dedication in 2009 was a big day! Beautification of Crescent wasn’t necessarily his concern in the beginning, but he sure doesn’t regret being a part of all of it!
Of course, Ron also got in on taking care of the flowers at Vet’s Park until the West Pott. Gardening Society took over, he ended up back on the planning commission, helped with the Fire Dept. Auxiliary Pancake Breakfasts, and Ron also adopted the town sign duties of posting events and birthdays, etc. And, as Ron pointed out, once it’s your job, it’s your job for life! I think all small town volunteers understand that sentiment. Lol. It seems like there wasn’t a job in Crescent that Ron hasn’t had! But recently, Ron has had to scale back and give up his sign responsibility as the hill it’s on is not conducive to climbing when you get a little older. He was very thankful that Christina was willing to take over and that’s truly what he loves most about Crescent: it has a small town atmosphere and when something big or small needs to happen, volunteers show up!
Olson says that Crescent has grown with annexation and new commerce like the new Dollar General and the Golden Hills subdivision, plus they have great eating establishments, and there’s just a lot to be proud of! Yes, there is, Ron. Yes, there is.
So here we are heading into 2021 and Ron Olson tells me it’s time to turn the game over to the younger generation so there’s a little more time for bowling! Lol. But one of the great gifts to Pottawattamie County, is that life has a funny way of putting us where we’re needed. So Ron, you may be passing on the baton, but we want you to know that we are sure grateful that you landed in Crescent and found your way into a life of service for the Crescent community. It’s very much appreciated, Sir.
Hay bale art is alive and well in Underwood thanks to the Don Dilts family! If you haven’t made your way to Underwood yet this holiday season, be sure to make your way there! They have a whole corner lot (at the corner of 3rd Street and Railroad Hwy) devoted to a holiday display complete with a Santa and Mrs. Claus made out of hay bales!
Don told me this all started about 20 years ago when his family saw that someone had turned a hay bale into a pumpkin for Halloween. They were thinking of all the ways they could do something even better! Apparently, they are a little on the competitive side! Lol. It didn’t hurt that they started using hay bales when the girls had 4-H calves. It was the perfect excuse!
Don has a twin brother, Dale, and together, they have painted many hay bales over the years. They did a wolf for his daughter’s college softball team that they put next to the Interstate, last year’s was a teddy bear, but probably the most notable was the poodle they made for The Pink Poodle’s 75th Anniversary (in Crescent).
Don not only works with his brother on these projects but with his wife, Lorrie, and 2 daughters, Katelynn Dilts and Bobbie Sue Pruett. He said this year it was a great gift to be able to work on the hay bales and have some family bonding in the midst of the pandemic. It was just what the family needed, especially with the stress of his oldest daughter being an ER nurse at Mercy. This year’s display has gotten the most attention of any and Don firmly believes it’s just the right medicine for everyone right now.
The family spends at least 35 man hours creating the bales. He said this year’s took 7 days total, but that really didn’t include the hauling, the choosing of bales, etc. and the fact that it was all hands on deck! They paint with spray paint in a heated shop so they can control temperature and wind. Then they do touch-ups once the bales are hauled into Underwood. The transport can be hard on the bales but the Dilts family thinks it’s worth it to be able to share them with the community. The corner lot is sponsored by the Friends of Underwood and the Optimist Club of Underwood plus the town helps get everything set up and running. He also mentioned that Rief Brothers in Crescent donated the small square bales. Don says he couldn’t ask for a better community to raise his daughters in and giving back just feels right with how devoted the town is.
Don says the goal is to never do something twice, always do it better, show up for the community, and start planning for next year the day after the display goes up! From what I’ve seen, they sure know how to follow through on their goals! His love for the area is very apparent, and we are so happy the Don Dilts family calls Pott. Co. home!
Be sure to swing by! It’s perfect for pictures, and it will light up your mood! I know it did mine, as did the passion with which Don puts into it!
It’s the Pottawattamie County Christmas Selfie Tour! So I brought you a selfie tour at the beginning of COVID, and since we’re still sitting in it, we thought you needed a Christmas version! Yeah, we may not have our usual holidays but there’s still fun to be had and in a COVID-friendly way! Whether it's family photos or date night, these won't disappoint!
The logical place to start: Walnut! No other town has a Christmas tree in the center of their 4-way stop on the main street! Yes, you’ll need to be careful, but get the family loaded up and take that fam selfie with the famous Walnut Christmas tree! (And it just happens to be conveniently located next to Roberts Bakery which is definitely worth the stop, as are all the fun vintage shops!)
Next stop: Avoca Main Street! Olsen’s Auto made you the perfect spot to get a fam photo! They’ve converted an old tractor tire into a Christmas wreath, perfect for you to stick your head through and get that unique pic!
It's only a quick jaunt onto Hancock! Hancock offers a quiet main street where they left the lights on for you! That's right! There's a candle decoration front and center. Pretend you're at that concert you missed this year! Hold your lighter or your cell phone while someone else clicks the pic!
From there, head to Shelby (the bridge is open again so no problem)! Every year, they do a festival of trees down their main street. I love to see their creativity! They’ve had everything from syringes from the Shelby Vet Clinic to Menards employee badges! Never a dull one! This year they have 2 gnomes! I think you must have your photo with a Christmas gnome! Go get it!
Then, move onto Minden! Although Minden has lots of trees lit up and ready to go, including the one in the town triangle, we are sending you to Minden Bowl! Minden Bowl has a wreath hanging off their sign and decorations on all the windows! Perfect for a festive family photo!
What’s next? Crescent. The Crescent Roadhouse Bar & Grill is a red building and has an inflatable motorcyclin’ Santa that’s screaming for you to get your photo! “Rev” up and head that way! They usually have some fun going on inside, too, but mostly for adults! lol.
From Crescent, make your way to Underwood. Underwood hosts the motherlode of Christmas character! Get your pic in front of the hay bale Santa and Mrs. Claus! They have a whole corner lot (at the corner of Railroad Hwy & 3rd St.) dedicated to Christmas décor that you won’t want to miss! Have to say the hay bales are very impressive and perfect for that selfie you can’t get anywhere else!
McClelland is up! Why not get your pic under the bells at the shelter in the park (on Main Street)? You can pretend it’s mistletoe if you’re with the right person, too! Lol. They’ve got some cute presents in front, too. It’s the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season!
Trek on over to Treynor then. Treynor has 2 fabulous churches with nativity scenes that are perfect to remember the reason for the season. The easier one to hit is the nativity at Zion Congregational Church right across the street from the school. Do some praying hands next to the Baby Jesus for this photo op.
As you make your way to Macedonia, there are a couple of adorable hay bales on M16 you might want to stop by. All of Macedonia’s Main Street is decked out for the holidays complete with an upside down tree at the McCready Theatre! However, in keeping things different, I have to suggest you rally the family around one of the decorated light poles! They are adorable and bright! Just the way you want your selfie!
After Donia, it’s on to Carson. Broadway in Carson is all lit up, too, but you have to take your selfie with the poinsettia decorations in the gazebo! Nothing says small town fun like a decorated gazebo! I promise it won’t disappoint! Pack the fam in the gazebo and get that shot!
We end our tour in Oakland on Main Street which is quite the sight at night! The Nishna Heritage Museum and Gardens are decorated to the hilt, and it just so happens that they have started a wishing tree in the garden, as well! So swing by, make a wish on an ornament, hang it on the tree and get a pic with the perfect backdrop to end your tour!
These are the roadtrips your kids will remember! The 2020 moments that did rock! So take a little time to enjoy the Pott. Co. view and make some family memories! You won’t be sorry!
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Gift cards make the world go round, right? Lol. Well, here’s how you can buy those gift cards and still support local! This is my gift card mania! All price ranges, all useful, all something you may not have thought of yet! And all easy to wrap!
First up, who isn’t dreaming of summer right about now? Do mom and dad like their days on the golf course? Why not get their membership bought right now! TRA and Oakland-Riverside both offer memberships, just message them on Facebook for instant access.
Here’s one you may not have considered – what about carpet cleaning? If you’re like me with a concrete-stomping husband and a 6-year-old that leaves a trail of spaghetti, this is a great gift! L&M Carpet Cleaning in Oakland will hook you up!
Another great gift for anybody who loves their car – tokens to the local car wash! Check out Antique City Car Wash in Walnut, Riverside Auto Wash in Oakland, The Finish Line in Carson, or Rock ‘N Suds Car Wash in Treynor.
And while we are talking cars, what about auto detailing? Anderson Auto-Detailing in Shelby or Phase 3 Auto-Detailing in Oakland are ready to help you out!
Have family that visits? Why not get them a night at the AirBnB in Macedonia? The Macedonia House is ready and waiting!
Or if that family is coming to visit, it might be perfect time to get your spouse a gift card for wine! Prairie Crossing in Treynor and Breezy Hills in Minden are both known for award-winning wines!
And what goes better with wine than relaxation? Book that massage for them or get that gift card for after the holidays! Check out Ahh-spirations in Oakland, in Shelby at Bell Massage, at Massages by Monique in Treynor, or in Crescent at the Compassionate Wellness Center.
Of course, we can’t talk about massages without also discussing mani/pedis! Check out Polish’d Nail Spa in Avoca or the Polish Bar in Carson.
If you’re looking to give the gift of clothes, be sure to get a gift card to Blossoms in Oakland, Tillie’s Salon & Boutique in Avoca, or B Restored in Walnut. You can also get kids clothes at Iowa Kids Outfitter in Avoca.
Are they just in a new home? Give them the gift of furnishings! Amy’s Attic in Carson is perfect for it, so is Blossoms in Oakland, and The Granary Mall and Plum Krazy in Walnut have some fabulous stuff, as do a bunch of the places in Walnut! Décor and furniture are definitely their specialty!
Art is a great gift for the home, too. I can’t say enough good stuff about The Painted Camel in Macedonia!
Of course, you can’t go wrong with food! Gift cards to places like The Back Forty in Macedonia, Henry’s Diner in Crescent, The Dew Drop Inn in McClelland, or Garcia’s in Underwood offer a variety of options!
And speaking of food, there’s nothing better than a gift card to Minden Meat Market for some beef jerky or Hancock Meat Locker for some ribeyes or go all natural at Jon’s Naturals in McClelland! I feel like this is the perfect guy gift! (But I’d like it, too! Lol)
Then again, if we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that you always need a haircut! Support those local hair salons like Taylor’s Trims and Tans in Underwood or The Mane Attraction in Treynor!
Truthfully, there are a ton more places, too, but hopefully, this will get your started! If you have more questions, message us on Facebook! Shopping local is our forte!
Happy Shopping, Pott. Co.!