Fenelon Place Elevator Co. – Dubuque



Here at Inspire(d), we’re always on the look out for quick regional getaways and adventures. We’ve featured Dubuque in past issues, but recently had a chance to re-live all the fun and excitement of the Fenelon Place Elevator, more commonly known as the 4th St. Elevator.

GoingDownSelf proclaimed as “the world’s steepest, shortest scenic railway,” the elevator transports up to 8 passengers at a time up (or down!) 296 feet to Fenelon Place. Yep, since 1882, when JK Graves built the first cable car in order to get home for his lunch break, this bluff has been traveled by many a folks looking for an easier way around Dubuque.

More of a cable car in design than a true train, the wooden cars and steep. clackety track make a memorable experience for riders of all ages. You can even take your bike up with you in the car for a small extra cost!

The elevator runs daily from 8am – 10 pm, April 1 – November 30, and costs just a couple dollars to ride.

Read more about our adventures in Dubuque here…


You can support Iowa arts with new local crowd funding site!

The Puppet Project

Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) has launched Iowa’s First Crowd Funding Website for the Arts. The website, www.IowaART.org, is up and running and accepting donations for three projects. But only until July 31, 2014! Each project has a goal of $5,000. Contributions may be tax deductible as a charitable donation and some projects even offer super special incentives for contributors.

“We are extremely excited to launch this new crowd funding website,” Northeast Iowa RC&D Executive Director Lora Friest says. “As far as we know, this is the first crowd funding website for multiple art projects that anyone in Iowa has ever launched, but funding to advance the arts in our small communities is so limited that we feel this is an important initiative. We have seen individual projects raise funds over the Internet and certainly many art projects receive private funds but this is different in its scope. The public has a chance to contribute large and small amounts to multiple projects and then watch as those project funds are raised to see if the projects meet their goal.” It’s called crowd funding because many people can each donate a small amount to reach a larger goal.

IowaArt.org Image

The three projects open for contributions are The Puppet Project, Nisse on the Trail, and the Creativity Center: Artisan Café and Courtyard. The Puppet Project will help develop three enormous parade puppets that will make appearances in parades around Northeast Iowa and will join their mythological brother and sister puppets in the Nordic Fest parade. The Nisse on the Trail Project will develop permanent Nisse sculptures along the Trout Run Trail to be found by curious explorers. The Creativity Center Project will bring culinary arts to the after school fine arts program in Guttenberg.

While July is the only month to donate to these three projects, it may not be the end to crowd funding at www.IowaArt.org for creative initiatives in Iowa.

“This crowd funding website will have a tremendous impact on our rural Northeast Iowa communities, bringing them alive with all types of private and public art that enriches our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren,” Friest says.

Projects for the site are selected through a competitive process by the Northeast Iowa Arts Funding Council–a multi-county group of volunteers that includes artists and community leaders. They aspire to “Encourage, Support and Strengthen the Arts in Northeast Iowa.” The Council plans to accept applications for projects annually from a seven county area of Northeast Iowa.

If donating through the Internet makes you queasy, you can also mail in donations to Northeast Iowa RC&D, PO Box 916, Postville, Iowa 52162 or call (563) 864-7112 and specify which project you’re interested in funding. Everyone else can donate at www.IowaART.org.

Inspire(d) Life: 5 Potty Training Lessons

imageWondering what it’s like at Inspire(d) HQ? Well, right now we’re potty-training our almost-two-year-old. It is one of the most patience-trying things I’ve ever experienced. Seriously, kid, do you really have to go every time I lay you down for sleep? Even after the last time…just 10 minutes ago?

But it also makes me laugh, and often! I hope, when you’re most frustrated, you can laugh too!

Here are some potty-training *facts I’ve learned over the past month:

1. If it’s in the bathroom, it’s covered in pee. It doesn’t matter if it’s five feet up, inside a cupboard; it’s covered in pee. Possibly poop. Yeah. Just go ahead and wash it.

2. Nobody wants to encourage the Girl Who Cried Pee. But the minute you call her out, she’s gonna make you pay. With pee.

3. You’ll be shocked by the number of times you say things like “Get your head out of the toilet!” or “No, do NOT pick up the poop. Just say, ‘bye bye’ to the poop.” And my personal favorite: “Downward dog so I can wipe your butt.” (<– this really happens…)

4. Potty is quite possibly the worst word in the world, but soon you’ll find yourself using it in public even when your kids aren’t around.

5. Your child would like to cordially invite you and everyone you know to her bathroom for a poop-viewing party. Grandparents, neighbors, strangers on the street, behold: Your Child’s Poop. You may now clap your hands. (Then wash them.)

*These are in no way facts.