Surviving in a Male Dominated Household

Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dreaming About The Barn...No, Really

I've had barn on the brain a lot lately. I learned some interesting history about the barn last night and went to bed thinking about the family and the barn. And then I had the strangest dream.

I was inside the barn, by myself. I wasn't scared, it was dark except for one light bulb hanging from the trusses. Suddenly there were about 5 people in there with me. They were the original barn owners. The parents and 3 children. But they were all older. I couldn't tell by looking at them who the parents were and who the children were, but I could tell by the way they talked to each other and interacted with each other.

Who I believed to be the father, talked all about how he built the barn, during the depression. He explained that he got the steel braces from the old streetcar they were tearing up. He was so proud of the fact that it was still standing all these years later. How another farmer was building a barn just like his a few miles away. How they had to rush their cattle and horses in the barn during a dust storm in May of 1934. 

One of the children climbed up in the barn and found an old metal lunchbox of theirs on one of the beams. They laughed and smiled. They handed me the lunch box and I looked at it and smiled. 

They all stood together hugged each other and smiled. The father looked at me and said, "Tell everyone we thank you."

And then they were gone.

I looked down and the lunchbox I was hanging on to was gone. And I wasn't scared. It was peaceful inside the barn.

And then I woke up.

I wanted to write this all down before I forgot it. I know it may seem a little "too much" to share. But it was my dream. It was interesting. And it's got me more fired up than ever to save the barn. Because it's more than just a barn. It's history.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Visits from Grandparents

I love it when my parents can drive down for a short visit with my boys. I love it even more when I can get a quick picture of everyone behaving well.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Be Thankful For What You Have

*Note: These opinions are all my own. They in no way reflect the members of the Save The Barn Committee or other Barn Supporters*

Last night I attended a West Des Moines Community School District Board Meeting. I was confused and appalled by the comments of some of the "adults" at the meeting.

First of all, yes, I support leaving the Barn where it is and utilizing it as it stands for education, community and historical purposes. I think the barn can be used, for more than just storage WHERE it stands.

Secondly, yes. I still have a hard time thinking of myself as an adult. When did that happen? Then again, I just turned 30. I'm not 40 or 50 or 60 like some of the "adults" at the meeting last night.

That being said, I couldn't believe what was being said. First of all, the Head Football Coach said the barn was a landmark but said he'd like to see it moved so they could use the space for football. I'll get to that contradiction in just a moment. But I believe that the barn would be GREAT for a black box theatre. How awesome would that be? To me, this is just another example of the arts getting pushed aside for sports.

Now, the definition of landmark, according to is as follows:
1. A prominent identifying feature of a landscape.
2. A fixed marker, such as a concrete block, that indicates a boundary line.
3. An event marking an important stage of development or a turning point in history.
4. A building or site with historical significance, especially one marked for preservation by a municipal or national government.
Now explain to me, how can someone say that something is a landmark and say they want it moved in the same breath? Logically it just doesn't make sense. 

But what really set me off? What really really made me mad, was to hear a few "adults" claim that their auditorium "sucks". Really. They used the word "sucks". My blood boiled. And I called them out on it. *side note--if the barn remains where it is, it has no effect on the new auditorium--they've been misinformed*
Growing up, we would set up folding chairs on our gym floor for our audience. We would have to move crates of balls out of the way to use the stage. Our lighting was controlled by stage lamps and those on the floor that were controlled by students. We always had to pick up the chairs after a performance. And to hear an adult say their auditorium "SUCKS"? Ooooh. They just did NOT go there. I've been in the auditorium. I helped set up for many County and District Conventions for the GOP. I know the auditorium. And I think it's pretty nice. Then again, I'm not spoiled. 

Look, here's what it all comes down to. People have forgotten an important lesson of life. "Be thankful for what you have." You have a nice auditorium. Enjoy it. You have a great piece of history, a building that is considered a landmark, a living, breathing example of what used to be...before it became a concrete jungle. Take it and turn it into something useful. 

Not everything in the city has to be brand new. *Oooh, shiny!* What lesson are we teaching our children? That old things stand in the way of progress? Because it's not brand new and doesn't have a multi million dollar price tag attached to it, it's not worth anything? Yes, the barn is 79 years old. But it needs to be revered as something important. 

Go ahead and teach your children that old things should be trashed. But don't be surprised if you find yourself, perfectly healthy and able to contribute to society, all alone in a nursing home, "relocated" at the age of 79. After all, your children were just following your example. 

Think before you do. Your actions are being watched by your children. You're teaching them values. Be thankful for what you have. Because once it's gone, it's gone.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Barn in the City--Week Three

Wow. I can't believe how this project has gained speed. Three weeks ago, I took pictures of the barn and posted about it on this blog. The next day I joined the facebook group and set up an online petition for them.

Three weeks later we barn huggers have over 2,000 members of the facebook group and over 800 signatures on the petition. I wrote an article for The SoapBoxers which in turn, inspired Kosmo to write a short story. See? The barn is still inspiring people!!

I have met some great people while working with them to Save The Barn. I have enjoyed every minute of it!

Liam's project this week for preschool was to take Mr. Monkey on adventures, take pictures and write about it in the journal. On Friday, I went to the WHO Radio studios to talk about saving the barn and took Liam and Mr. Monkey with me.

We all had a great time! My parents came down to visit on Sunday and before they left to go back to Glidden, Dad drove by the barn. He called me and said, "I see why you got involved. That barn is great." He also drove by the sister barn that Julia blogged about.

We rural folk love our barns, because they are so few and far between. I will keep working to save this barn, where it is, so my children can enjoy it.


Monday, January 17, 2011

The Complete Toddlers Guide to Waking Up in 10 Simple Steps

I've figured it out. The complete toddler's guide to waking up. Please feel free to comment if I've left something out, but this is how it usually goes in my house.

1. Wake up at an ungodly hour. Anytime between 2-5 in the morning.
2. Get out of bed, preferably with a loud thud. Even if you aren't hurt, scream.
3. Go in to mom and dad's room. Swing the door wide open so it slams.
4. Grab mom's robe. Shove it in her face.
5. Yell "MOM!"
6. If she fails to wake up, grab her glasses (by the glass so you get a bunch of tiny fingerprints on them) off of the nightstand and shove them in her face near the robe.
7. Yell "MOM!"
8. If she still fails to wake up, shove the robe closer to her face to block her breathing.
9. Yell "MOM!" Again.
10. Repeat steps 8-9 until she wakes up.

I love you, Stinkem. But you really need to sleep. Because I need to sleep.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Barn in the City--Week 2

One week ago I posted about The Barn in the City. I had heard about it on KCCI and joined the facebook page and asked how I could help. The next day I set up an email account for the cause at and a petition for the cause. I've met some great people who share the same passion for the barn.

Over the weekend, I worked on a press release and sent it out on Sunday. I believe the release interested the media and all of the local news channels attended a school board meeting on Monday night, despite the bad weather. Holly and I were asked to do interviews and I was contacted after the meeting by the media for name spelling requests.

On Wednesday, David and I took the boys to the WOW 98.3 radio station where I took part in a radio show called Fallon Forum. Liam thought the radio station was "neat" and even got to wear the headphones. He loved it. He was excited to tell his classmates he saw "a real live radio station." When they asked why, he said, "Because we HAVE to save the barn." You can listen to the radio show here.

If you're interested in helping the cause, click one of the links above. Join the facebook group. Sign the petition. Check out the website or email your letter to the West Des Moines School Board. Send your financial pledge (complete with name, address, pledge amount and phone number) to

I've spent more time this week on "barn stuff" than my freelancing work. But I don't mind. As Liam says, "We HAVE to save the barn."

"We HAVE to save the barn!"-Liam Bowman

Friday, January 7, 2011


Over on Mommy's Recess I posted about how I found Yoda in the place of Baby Jesus and how "fun" it was to find the things my boys do with their toys.

Santa brought the boys "grow in the water" dinosaurs and Grandma gave us a jug to put water in so we were set. Except my 5 year old is OBSESSED about watching them grow. OBSESSED. We grew the T-Rex first and then the Triceratops. I made quite the discovery this morning. Somehow, the T-Rex was put into the jug with the Triceratops. Now, if science has taught me anything, it's that a T-Rex would never fornicate with a Triceratops.

Maybe they're working on a Tricera-Rex. Or maybe my boys are just being boys.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Barn in the City

Believe it or not, everything used to be grass land in Iowa. And then it was farm land. There would be an occasional township here and there, but it was mostly farmland. It's how Iowans made a living. It's our history. It's your history.

But the population of Iowa grew. People moved out of the rural areas and into cities and suburbs. Now, going to the farm meant driving 20-30 minutes rather than just down the road. Good Iowa farmland was being plowed and dug but shopping malls and parking lots were taking the place of cornfields and grazing areas.

Iowa is being transformed. But we need to keep our heritage and history in mind. That's why when I heard that the barn at Valley High School was going to be torn down, I had to do something. I joined the facebook group and invited friends to join. But I wanted to do more.

Before preschool, I loaded all three boys in the van and drove by Valley High School. I explained to the boys about how this was all farm land at one time and we were going to see an old barn. I told them that some people wanted to tear it down. Liam asked, "Why?" I said, "Because some people think it's old and useless." Liam said, "Just because it's old doesn't mean it needs to be torn down."

My five year old gets it. He even said, "That barn looks nice," as we pulled up to it. I snapped a few pictures of it, because who knows how much longer it will stand. The FFA class can use the barn for real life experience. The shop class can do the up keep on the barn. I don't understand why they think they need to get rid of it!

As the lyrics go in "The Town I Love So Well":

"For what's done is done and what's won is won
and what's lost is lost and gone forever"

Maybe I'm being unreasonable. Maybe it's because I'm a farm girl at heart. 

Yes, I live in the city now, but my heart is always back on the farm. 

I recall the summers I played under the big tree at the old farm house.
I recall crying as the corn crib burned down. I recall returning home covered in soot, having to scrub as it was caked on my face after my tears dried.
I recall helping with potatoes on the old farm and playing hide and seek in the corn. 
The countless hours we spent in the big white barn playing, the day that turned into night as we loaded hay out of the barn and onto trailers...

Remember, city folk, "What's lost is lost and gone forever".  Don't lose this.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Christmas Gift to Remember

A few years ago, my dad came across his father's journal from 1902. He (my grandfather) had just turned 31 and my father was 53 years away. (Pausing so you can do the math---yeah. Grandpa was old when Dad was born.)

My dad has talked about getting a blog set up and creating a site where we could post his dad's journal daily. With the help of my friend  Kosmo, we set up the site and I surprised my dad with it on Christmas. I wrote on a piece of paper and wrapped it up in a small box. I made sure it was the last gift opened.

My parents just installed a wireless router, so I had the web page already pulled up. When Dad opened it, he got tears in his eyes. My mom knew about it but my brother didn't. It was a once in a lifetime gift and I'm excited to see how 1902 plays out in my Grandfather's eyes.