Time flies…

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Crazy to think that 4 years ago today I was driving into Boston, about to get epically lost for the last few miles of my 1,000 mile move.  I had no idea how big of an adventure I was embarking … Continue reading

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I think this has been the shortest and the longest week, all at the same time. My goal for the summer is to post more frequently than once/week, but we’ll see. Working a full-time job is, oh, kind of exhausting, especially when you have circadian rhythms that don’t match an 8-5 work schedule (more on that some other time, perhaps). At any rate, getting back into the swing of working a 40 hour week made me quite happy to see Friday roll around, but at the same time I realize the summer is flying–the end of week 1 means I only have 8 more weeks to go. The internship is going pretty well, but I’m still working out the details of all of my projects and how the work will fit together over the summer. My main supervisor has been out of the state/country since I’ve arrived, so it will be good to sit down with him tomorrow and make a plan with real deadlines and such. I’ll post more on the actual work I’m doing later, as well. For now, a summary of the rest of my travel here and getting settled into Ames.

My second day of driving involved a couple great reunions with Denison/Kappa loves. I made it to Columbus in time for a late lunch with my good friend Ann, and then spent time with Julie (a Denison friend who’s now a major part of my Boston life, too) at the cafe in the Columbus Children’s Hospital, the site of her super-intense hospital chaplaincy internship. Even if my summer gets stressful at times, I’m grateful that it most likely won’t involve sick children, surgeries, and 24-hour shifts! It was wonderful to catch up with these ladies, and take a break in the middle of driving day #2. Some photo highlights (apologies for the dark mark in the corner of many of my photos…apparently my camera lens needs cleaning?):

I found a couple things in Ohio, in addition to my friends: farms and evidence of some NRA crazies:

Ohio has farms.

Ohio also has crazy people.

The Hoosier State welcomes you to the “Crossroads of America,” which is also the home of the unfortunately-named Tom Raper RVs and their 840209 billboards:

Crossroads of America

The jingle to their tv & radio commericals says you should "save today Tom Raper's way."

In case you weren't sure, the Hoosier State is most definitely a farm state.

On Wednesday I spent time at home in the bustling metropolis of Plainfield, IN. It was a great day of brunch with the grandmas, shopping with my mom, and dinner with my parents, siblings, and my best friend from high school, her hubby, and their adorable son.

Also, I spent part of the afternoon in the backyard with Lucy, the world’s most stubborn schnauzer…at least when it comes to protecting our yard from the (imaginary?) squirrel in the tree:

She sat like this for at least a few hours.

On guard, putting her oversize ears to work.

I got her to look away from the tree and at the camera, but only for a brief second.

While Lucy ignored me, I explored the rest of my parents’ backyard & garden:

Beautiful flowers where I used to plant morning glories--sorry neighbors, for introducing those crazy vines.

Tomatoes and peppers looking good!

An unusual birthday request of mine: a birdfeeder made by Grandpa Hamilton.

Okay I lied–this post stops here so that I can get some sleep. I’ll write more soon about about traveling through Iowa (guess what! there are farms!), Ames, Iowa State (There are horses. On campus. I’m in love.), my internship, my farmers’ market adventures, and the horticulture farm field day I attended today.  Ttfn! 🙂

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Go west, young [wo]man!

For all of you following along in Boston, Indiana, Ohio, and other lovely places, I’ve decided to document my travels and adventures in the heartland this summer. To start, a bit about my journey west.

The important last-minute project that had to be done the night before I left? Re-potting my jade plant into a much prettier and more spacious home!

re-potted Jade plant

Success = no major plant damage, and only a small amount of potting soil spilled on the floor

So far it’s survived the drive and the first few days in Ames, but I think I’ll need to find it a sunnier home than my basement room.

adios, mamba house 😦

Once I finished the jade project and got a good night’s sleep, I said goodbye to my cleaned-out room, said thanks to my hair for being nice and wavy on a day I’d spend alone in the car, and loaded up the Saab with all my stuff and my bike:

saab + bike

My bike rack has bottle openers on the ends of the arms. Good to see yakima has their priorities in order.

good hair day

I think alanis would call this an ironic situation.

As my nutrition science prof said a few times last fall, “It’s a different world west of the Berkshires.” I found evidence of this at the TA gas station/travel center somewhere on I-80 in Pennsylvania. First, there was a mobile church behind the gas station:
Memorial Mobile ChapelThen, inside the travel center I asked if they had recycling for plastic bottles. The cashier told me no, and then informed me that I was the only person who’d ever asked. (This trend has followed me to Ames: there’s only private curbside trash pickup in this town, and they don’t do recycling. If I want to save the planet/recycle this summer, I’ll have to save up all my recycling materials, and then pay $5/carload to drop it off at the town processing center. I love the midwest, but I miss Boston.)

A few more shots from day 1 of driving:

Kane is able!

I appreciate trucking companies with a sense of humor. In case it's too blurry to read, the bottom slogan says, "Kane is able!"

PA farm fields

farm fields in Pennsylvania


This truck is carrying delicious cargo.

arby's dinner

I finally chose Arby's from the plethora of fast food options in Brookville, PA. In high school I would have just added extra cheese. This time I added lettuce, tomato, and onion. Nutrition School ftw?

I’ll have more soon about the rest of my driving, my day at home, and getting settled into Ames. For now, I need to read about Value Chain Partnerships & the Regional Food System Working Group, the Practical Farmers of Iowa, and some Northeast Iowa regional/local food systems groups until I fall asleep. First day at Leopold tomorrow!

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