While you weren't looking, we moved.
It's wonderful to live closer to town. The almost one-hour drive to class is down to about 15 minutes. Cale's been cooking again and we were even to have friends over.
Smack was being suspiciously well-behaved since the move, but has finally made himself at home. After two weeks of only being allowed out on a leash or while under supervision, we finally started letting him out on his own. Then, in a three day period he got in a fight and had to have a series of puncture wounds tended to, killed a giant robin, and peed in the house. Ah, Smack, good to have the you we've come to know and love grudgingly back.
I've been volunteering at the Middle Way House since this semester started in January. I man the phone and the door every Thursday, however, I was also working on a grant proposal that I finally submitted last Monday.
"When most of us think of rooftop gardens, we see the posh penthouses featured in magazines. But, on the rooftop of its location in a newly renovated historic building in downtown Bloomington, employees of Middle Way House’s social enterprise, Food Works, are coaxing salad greens and herbs from tiny plots cobbled together from restaurant dish tubs and discount store window boxes two stories above the city streets. This effort yielded enough produce to keep side salads on the shelves of Food Works’ market into the second week of December and feed 115 people at a single catering event. More impressive than the green thumbs of the women Food Works employs are their stories of survival and their strength and determination."
Middle Way has a social enterprise extension, Food Works, which employs domestic violence survivors. When Middle Way began the renovation on their new digs, sustainability was a key part of the plans. In addition to the solar panels on the roof, they also planned for one building to have a green roof and the other to have a rooftop garden for Food Works. The grant proposal I wrote was to the Walmart Foundation for funding to complete to rooftop garden. Now we just have to wait to see if we are funded.
Last weekend a local theater produced the "Vagina Monologues" as a benefit for the Middle Way House. It was amazing. I had seen a professional, touring production back when I was at Mizzou (Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island was in that one), but this one was significantly better. Abby, Shar and I went together. I picked up a "Vagina Warrior" t-shirt afterwards and Abby bought chocolat vulva pops for the boys.
The Friday afterwards I was at my Early-College Mentoring lunch at Bloomington High School and mentioned to my mentee (if that is even a word) that I had seen the show. She likes to refer to it as the Vajayjay Monologues and said she doesn't like it when I say vagina. I told her that was actually part of the play, that people are not comfortable with that word. Somehow this inspired her and her friend to write down all the words they know for vagina (another part of the play actually). Are you familiar with the penis game? You know when two or more people take turns saying the word penis in public, each one louder than the next until someone has to yell it? Well, that was sort of what happened to the words for vagina. Part of me didn't have a problem with it. I mean, that is the entire point of that part of the play, getting people to be comfortable with these words. On the other hand, I am the responsible grown up here and I probably should be discouraging girls from yelling euphemisms for vagina while at school. I am not very good at being the responsible grown up.
Schools been uninterrupted work since the semester started. In one group project we are creating an evaluation plan for the Millennium Challenge Corporation's country selection process. In another we are working on an assessment to recommend a community to a foundation for funding to address hunger in school-aged children. Getting information on poor, rural counties in Texas and Arkansas sure is a trick. Soon my finance group will have to find a topic for our final project. In the one class without group projects, I just completed a paper on the "girl effect" in international development and will have to begin my Wikipedia on technology and development over spring break.
Speaking of spring break, it's only a week away. I'll catch up on my reading. Cale will install a solar panel at his mom's cabin. Oh, and hopefully some relaxing will be done as well.