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

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

June 3

Learning to Scuba Dive in Iowa

After several minutes sitting alone on the bottom of the pond watching bubbles float up from my regulator I felt a sharp tap on the back of my head. I thought my scuba instructor, Craig, had returned without me noticing, but when I turned around there was only a small fish floating in front of my face. A Bass maybe? Continue reading

May 24

Local Attraction: John Wayne’s Birthplace, Winterset, Iowa

Did you know that when he was born on May 26th, 1907 John Wayne weighed 13 lbs?! The celebration of his 107th birthday is underway this weekend in Winterset Iowa, and I decided to go see it for myself. Continue reading

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April 16

Welcoming New Kids: Watching Goats be Born

“Bella had her babies today!”

What did your kids learn today? When my 7-year old got to daycare she got to watch a baby goat being born. One was already out by the time they realized what was happening, but the second twin was witnessed coming into the world by June and her friend Zach (Nina’s son and owner of the goat.) Continue reading