August 4

Questions For A Traveling Family

Bathrooms with toilet paper and seats! Drinking water straight out of the tap! Bathtubs! Is this heaven? Nope, just Iowa, but if you are a traveling family you understand our excitement. Continue reading

July 5

What We Learned By Leaving

leaving

I thought that when we moved out of our house the hard part was over, but it didn’t get any easier. I spent our last two weeks in Iowa Continue reading

June 18

Moving is Messy

Moving is messy

Change is hard. Moving is messy. New beginnings are scary.

We’ve moved out of our house and into my in-laws’ basement, a process that was anything but smooth. Continue reading

November 25

What The Hell Happened to The Machine Shed?

My husband took us out to one of his favorite restaurants Saturday night, The Machine Shed. It’s located just outside of Living History Farms on the edge of Des Moines, and it’s always been a celebration of farm life and hearty cooking. Continue reading

October 18

“Bike Friendly” Iowa vs Biking in Mexico

Last month in Tulum I was delighted to stay in a hostel that included a bicycle even though it turned out to be a rust bucket (hey it was free!) It’s a common thing there for people to ride bikes to get around and there are trails in many places. On Cozumel I rented a bicycle and rode all over town on the roads with the cars and motos (scooters) and I hear that south of town they have completed their first bicycle trails there too.

Bike trail along the highway that lead to the ruins in Tulum, Mexico.
Bike trail along the highway that lead to the ruins in Tulum, Mexico.

Bike trails are a new thing in Mexico because bicycles usually ride in traffic. When I am there I ride on the streets, something I would never feel safe doing at home in Iowa, and I started to wonder why it was different. Continue reading

August 20

The First Day of School and the Last of Everything Else

I’m a little down today. Maybe it’s the rain that woke me up at 4am and then soaked my shoes in the parking lot. Maybe it’s that my baby started kindergarten, the last time I’ll pass that milestone with one of my children. Or maybe it’s just the changes I’ve been contemplating in my life. Sure, moving to a warmer climate in a foreign country is an exciting adventure, but it’s a little overwhelming sometimes too. Continue reading

August 1

Learning to Sail, Day 4: The Final Day

Are you all caught up? No? Start with Sailing Lessons on Gray’s Lake.

DAY 4: the final day of the lesson.

It rained off and on and got really stormy during the day. I watched anxiously out the window at work as the wind blew sheets of water sideways and soaked our patients no matter how close they pulled to the door. The skies cleared late in the day and Jason met me at the lake with all three girls at 5:30. I overheard the marina attendant complaining on the phone about the weather, not wanting to be open: “And now there’s some woman here who wants to sail.” Carol showed up just after we did, and the rowing teams were not far behind, so he was stuck. Continue reading

July 28

Learning to Sail: Day 2

Wait! First read part one: Sailing Lessons at Gray’s Lake

DAY 2:

Jason and I took the two little girls with us, and at first we thought we might each take out a boat but at the last minute we decided to all stay on one. Another good decision-“all hands on deck” may be our sailing motto as it’s just easier to have more hands to help when we have problems. Continue reading

July 27

The Trip No One Wants to Take: Looking For A Nursing Home For My Mother.

Maybe you’ve noticed I’ve been gone from this page for a while. I’ve been on an unexpected side trip, one that I have very little control over that takes me places I didn’t think I’d have to go for years yet.

On the 4th of July my 61-year old mother went outside trying to see some of the fireworks, missed a step leaving the deck and fell. She laid on the sidewalk for a long time Continue reading

July 2

Sailing Lessons on Gray’s Lake, Iowa

For those unfamiliar with central Iowa, Gray’s Lake is not a large lake. It’s in the middle of Des Moines near downtown, and in previous incarnations it was part of the Raccoon River and a gravel quarry. After the epic floods of 1993 destroyed the fancy Holiday Inn that dominated its south shore it was kind of a nasty run down eyesore for years. In 2001 it was re-born; a 2 mile paved trail runs all the way around it including over a pedestrian bridge, a playground and a small marina were built, and the 167-acre park quickly became a favorite of Des Moines residents. It is haven for outdoor activity with kayaks, canoes and paddleboats as well as the trails and reclaimed prairie. The water is still dirty (it is Iowa after all) but the overall effect is pleasing and people flock to it year round, walking their dogs, riding their bikes and circling the shore rain or shine.

This is where our first sailing experience takes place. Continue reading