Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

Today I'm giving thanks for many things.....
  • I made it home safely from a two month adventure.
  • Living out of my car for the past two months, I'm really proud of the way Ronda handled things. No majors problems, we passed over the 100,000 mile mark and she is doing just great. Time for that major tune-up and after that we'll be ready for another go around. Average miles per gallon for the trip=34.4 mpg. Average price per gallon = $2.53 with the cheapest being in Liberty, MO at the beginning of the trip - $2.20!
  • Passed through eight states including: Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania. I added two three new ones to my list of states.
  • Experienced two wonderful small farms on my first WWOOF adventure.
  • I had a lot of time to reflect, question life and the way our society works, interact with diverse people, learn from others, and try new things.
  • Got to road trip home from Philadelphia with my great friend Alecia. Wow 20 hour car ride just became a lot easier to handle. We even tried out couch surfing in Indianapolis and survived.
  • I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with Mom, Dad, Tara, and Great Aunt Helen. Have I mentioned she is 99 years old? Still telling great stories.
  • We ate local turkey, collard greens picked the morning of in the garden, and sweet potatoes harvested here earlier this fall. I'm pretty proud and thankful of our somewhat local dinner.
  • Although I am pretty against the gross consumerism of our society and the craziness that comes on so called black friday, today I did do some shopping. I'm so thankful for the cute shopping experience made possible today in Abilene, Kansas. I got some great wedding presents and discovered the bargain yarn at the yarn shop and the group knit night there as well!
  • I'm so thankful for parents that have allowed me to move back home indefinitely. What a blessing to be under this roof out here on the Lindahl farmstead. We need a name to call this place. Any suggestions? Unicorn Ranch?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So Good!

Our Phila adventures have been both exciting, rewarding, and disappointing this week. After a week spent in Philly with much time spent relaxing and not doing much, my other great old friend, Alecia, joined Shoffner and I. She flew in on Monday and shall be making the long road trip back to Kansas with me tomorrow. We decided to wait and do some great things while she was here with us. We had many adventures together as roommates in Manhattan and decided to add to our adventure memories in Philly.

Alecia and I visited the FDR Park on our drive home from the airport Monday. It was such a beautiful day to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Apparantely the fresh air was much needed after Shoff and I enjoyed a giant clove of garlic in our lunch soup leaving it's lingering aroma on our breath and overall surroundings. Shoff believes that raw garlic assists in the boosting of the immune system, something we both need after spending the weekend feeling very much under the nasty common cold. No worries, we are both better, but oddly enough certain rooms in this house now have a not-so-lovely garlic smell. The funny thing is we can't smell it due to clogged noses, but poor Alecia has to suffer. It's really quite amusing if you think about it. Nothing better than fresh off the farm, organic garlic to cure least we hope so.

Tuesday we ventured to the Bartrams Gardens in Southwest Philly. This is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the US I believe. It also had the oldest barn in Philadelphia. We even got a personal tour of the original house built in 1728 by a really great man we met the day before at the food bank. There was an amazing ancient cider press on the property carved out of stone on the bank of the river. We spent a little while trying to figure out how it would have worked. After our gardens visit we made our way to a really great India restaurant that we had been preparing ourselves for all day. Much to our dismay however, it was closed. We cried and after wiping away our tears with each other's jackets we ate some pretty good Thai food. After dinner Alecia and I were allowed another close look into the life of Jessica Shoffner when we attended her cell group (small group from church). We watched a documentary on homosexuality called something like The Bible Says So. It definitely left many thoughts in our minds.

Wednesday brought us another disappointment in our food adventures. We got up early to eat breakfast at a really great Honey's Restaurant. It was not open as well, spam, and we had to find breakfast elsewhere. Yesterday was thrift day. After visiting 4 different thrift stores including Shoff's Circle Thrift, I now have a nearly brand new pair of running shoes, a pair of well-used cowboy boots, Gap jeans, and several odds and ends for Christmas presents. Shoff and Alecia are thrift store junkies and I think they could look at thrift jewels daily.

I am super thankful for such great friends. Even though we live long distances from each other, every time we get together it always feels so natural. It seems just like yesterday that we lived in the same tiny room in Smurthwaite. We can be without contact for some time and a meeting always feels normal. We enjoyed a really great chick-flick movie last night and shared remember when stories. Although we yell occasionally and definitely do not agree on everything, the time spent together is always wonderful.

Tomorrow Alecia and I shall make the trip back to Kansas. It's been a great excursion and exploration of life the past two months, but I am definitely ready to sleep in my own bed again, cook in the home kitchen, and mooch off my parents for a while. Peace!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Germ Attack

The nasty sickness of the season has finally attacked me. I have been bragging about avoiding sickness of all kinds thus far and now just when I think maybe I'll make my entire trip a healthy one, I get sick. I have been enjoying much time of relaxation while in Philly. Not really getting out too much, but reading, cooking and cleaning inside instead. This is where I lay the blame for sickness. Until now the majority of my days have been outside soaking up the fresh air and sun, but upon entering this Philly house I have succombed to the germs of lovely ladies living here that carry them. I'll survive no doubt.

Today Shoff and I went to a Neighborhood Non-Violence Training. It was hosted by a Peacemaking Intentional Community house called Shalom. The workshop training day was a really interesting experience talking about and doing role plays on conflict situations. I think that my reflections of the day might include the reminder of just how sheltered my life has been. These people living in Philly attended the training because many of them experience dramatic conflict situations on a regular basis. Whether people are fighting on their block, selling drugs on the corner, or verbally abusing each other in the check-out line the conflict and the need for peacemakers is so very needed. Not that we don't have conflict in small town Kansas but the urgency for resolution is not as evident. When a life is on the line the urgency becomes pretty evident. So we discussed several methods of entering the situation and becoming a mediator. So I guess you could say I'm now ready to intervene in the next conflict situation in the grocery store line.

Tonight we're going to veg out and soak up the relaxation of a great Saturday night. We might make some vegan cinnamon buns. Mmm lowfat and healthy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lancaster County

I think that Lancaster County kind of sounds like a mystery novel or maybe a television sitcom. But the Lancaster County I visited today with my best friend, Miss Jessica Shoffner, was neither of those. It is the Mennonite congregation in South Pennsylvania. It was quite an experience. We decided as much fun as touristville can be it would have been much more fun had we been about our parents' age and possibly possessing more money to spend on Amish buggy rides and handmade brooms. We did, however, visit the oldest standing market building in the country I believe. It was pretty neat, but not exactly all I had it cracked out to be. The cranberry apricot bread I bought is quite tasty and the sesame sticks that Shoff bought are nearly gone. After a short jaunt around town looking for thrift stores that ended up being expensive vintage stores we exited the town of Lancaster in search of some good Dutch food and bulk food stores. Bulk food stores we found and several Smoragsboard restaurants featuring what appeared to us as the glorified Sirloin Stockade. Nothing that really excited the vegetarian and food snob crew we make up. Our appetites were suppressed by bread, chocolate milk, some good cheese and bologna snack bag, free samples of salsas and fruit butters, more sesame chips and an apple. If we were relying on the great Dutch food to make our trip complete we might have been let down. But lucky for us the day was really made complete by the numerous men plowing the fields with teams of horses, buggies on the roads carrying families to town, two adorable old men playing guitar and bango in Bird in Hand, pigmy goats at a petting zoo, and many many dairy cows. It was a fun day out of the city but back to the city we came for some really great food at Dos Segundos.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Love my sister

Recently, I was showing my new friend Sue, pictures of my family. When people ask if I look more like my father or my mother I usually say a good combination of both of them. However, there is no getting around the fact that my sister and I look very much alike. As I showed Sue pictures of us, it took her a while to figure out which one I was. When I was younger I hated always being referred to as Tara's sister or little Lindahl. But now, I appreciate the recognition of being Tara's sister and actually am quite proud to be another Lindahl. I did get to spend a couple of days with my lovely sister, Tara, in Indianopolis at the National FFA Convention. Good times.

Funny stories to come in the near future....Tara and I are both moving in the same house together. Not just any house, but the Lindahl house. That's right, Mom and Dad might never have imagined having their two 20's something daughters living under their roof again, but here we come. Should be quite entertaining.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Today was an interesting one. I mentioned earlier that I had this preconceived idea of llamas as nasty animals that spit. So maybe they are good gaurd animals, but they spit. My time spent here at Butternut farms with the three llamas has been breaking my bad image of llamas......until today. Kyle spit at me, twice. The first time I wasn't expecting it and barely ducked away. The second time I screamed and left the scene. You'd think I was afraid of the animal, I'm not afraid of the animal, I'm afraid of the nasty gurgling in the throat, the turning of the head and neck toward me, and the regurgitated hay spit at me. That's nasty. I survived the scene, but don't count on me to try and get the animal to move again. Kyle does not like to leave his hay feeding area. Not on my time schedule.

It's been almost a week since I connected to this modern technology we call the internet. Amazingly enough I haven't even missed the connection to the world wide web. As I checked my email today and did my random facebook check-up I haven't missed much. It was a super blessing to see pictures of my adopted niece and nephew, Winnie and Liam. I got to talk to Liam this weekend on his 2nd birthday and that definitely made my day. But other than those few connections to the outside world, I've found much joy in the quiet and calm serenity of not being so connected. I do feel at times like I live in a cave, but I'm enjoying it. I am working on creating a video of the petting zoo here, so wait for my attempt at that technology.

The leaves are all nearly gone here in Ohio and I'm excited to venture to Philadelphia this weekend. God continues to bless my time and I hope and pray you all are feeling his presence as creation transitions to chilly days!