Flash Mob!

October 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Does anyone have a bucket list, or a 30 things by age 30 (40 by 40, 50 by 50, etc.) list? I’ve been thinking I need to create one. I’m not sure what all would be on it, but would probably include a lot of traveling. I do know that dancing in a flash mob is on my 30 by 30 list, and guess what? After this weekend that item got a big, fat CHECK! beside it. If the camera had scanned a little farther to the right, you would be able to see me. But alas, you’ll have to watch the professional mobbers in the center performing. Disappointing, I know.

What is on your bucket list?

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Work Day

October 30, 2011 at 5:55 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Today was work day for the MVS House. Support committee and friends from our two supporting congregations came to help us work on projects around the house. We accomplished a lot in five hours! It was a bit hard to get up on a Saturday morning and commit to 5 hours of housework, but once I saw how many people showed up to help us, the gratitude definitely won over any negativity. We rebuilt the dishwasher area, painted the laundry room ceiling, repainted some inside doors, cleaned gutters, pruned landscaping, and cleaned up the backyard…just to name a few. It was so fun to see everyone gathered in the living room/dining room for lunch enjoying each other’s company and fellowshipping. The house is looking good!

Tonight Kelsey, Laura and I were part of a flash mob down on Broadway. A video to come later, but here is a photo from the evening. 🙂

Thang 1 & 2, I Love Lucy in black and white, and the nerdy librarian

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A Career Path?

October 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Prepare to be a sounding board. And another disclaimer: This is not a business plan, but more like a stream of consciousness. There, you’ve been warned.

Last night I was reading the latest issue of Better Homes & Gardens that my boss gave me. There is an article about Karen Mordechai and her Sunday Suppers endeavor. The title alone got me, because as everyone in the MVS house knows, cooking Sunday dinner is my favorite. Everyone is present, not in a rush, and usually completely relaxed and ready for good conversation. But anyway, she has my dream job. She’s a photographer/stylist/hostess/mother and loves good food. She began inviting people into her home to learn from chefs and then enjoy the food they made during a sit down dinner where you could have good conversation.

Anyone who has ever asked me what I want to do with my life has gotten the same vague response: “I don’t know. I don’t want to teach, but being in a creative field is important. I’m not aspiring to climb any sort of corporate ladder, no matter how creative the field is. Using creative strengths and organizational skills are appealing. Graduate school is a goal, but not until I know what I want to do, and only really for the sake of learning. I want to feel like I’m doing some good, be able to pay the bills, and have time to spend with loved ones and pursue other hobbies. I like to be at home, but have the time to go out and explore. I want a family and the time to spend with them. To recap, I don’t know.”

It’s exhausting to float from short term plan to short term plan. God has been very, very good and has always provided. I have complete faith that God will continue to do so. But at some point it would be nice to rest in some sort of long term commitment, whatever that commitment looks like. Upon reading this article I got really excited that this is something I could do for the rest of my life and not get burnt out. A few very gracious housemates listened to me ramble on about this for far too long last night. (Sorry Laura and Kelsey!) But I realized I would love to host people in my home, teach them how to prepare a healthy and delicious meal, and then give them a beautiful space to eat in while enjoying time with their family and friends that they bring along or the new friends they meet at the event. There could be different menus, themed spaces, formality levels. Ticket prices could include the cost of materials. Taking from the Mazon example, guests could pay a surcharge that is then donated to a charity. I could invite low-income families to learn how to cook and eat healthfully and inexpensively! AH- so MANY options!!!

Then the reality check kicks in. It looks a lot like dollar signs and I realize I don’t have any of those right now. How do I make this happen? Is this even something people would be interested in?

Whew…thanks for listening if you made it this far. Feedback would be appreciated.

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Double Dipping

October 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I just wrote this blurb about myself and my work at the University District Food Bank for our newsletter, and thought that it might make a good blog post as well. So if you still don’t know what I’m doing in Seattle, here you go. The unit’s website would also be a great resource for you!

I am grateful to have this opportunity to introduce myself to the University District Food Bank community. On August 16 I began my one year commitment to the Food Bank as the Home Delivery Coordinator. I am serving this year through the Mennonite Voluntary Service program and in addition to running and expanding the Home Delivery program, I’ll also be finding ways to connect our customers to benefits assistance programs through the new online portal “Washington Connection.”

    I come from a very small town in Northwest Ohio. I graduated in 2007 from Bluffton University, a Mennonite college very close to my hometown, with a degree in Music education. Upon graduation I worked as a Residence Hall Director and six months later began working in the Bluffton Office of Admissions as their Campus Visit Coordinator. Once deciding to enter Mennonite Voluntary Service, I left Bluffton in May 2011 to move to Eastern Ohio and worked in the box office for the Ohio Light Opera during their summer festival season. The Voluntary Service term then began in August and I arrived in Seattle for the first time ever on August 13.

    It has been a whirlwind of wonderful experiences since I moved to Seattle and began working at the University District Food Bank. Last year’s Mennonite Volunteer, Evan Miller, began the Home Delivery program for home-bound customers in need of food and really made it an easy transition for me. On Wednesday, November 2, 2011 we will mark the program’s one year anniversary and also log our 500th delivery. One year ago Evan, and his first volunteer driver Pat, drove a total of 3.4 miles in 45 minutes to deliver to our first two customers. One year later we have three routes serving 18 current customers (we have had 23 total customers) that drive an average of 30 miles each week. More people are on the waiting list for this service, so if you have some extra time and a car, we’d love to have you volunteer!

    There are so many other incredible things about being in Seattle and working where I do, but I feel most privileged for the opportunity to learn from and serve alongside my coworkers and the other volunteers. It has been overwhelming at times to think of the great need in our city, and then see everyone band together with their time, talents, and resources to try in the best way to meet that need. Attending the October 1 auction was not only a fun thing for me to do, but a very humbling opportunity to meet a lot of generous people and see them in action.

    I look forward to the rest of my time at the University District Food Bank and hope for future opportunities to meet you.

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This one’s for you, Delores

October 20, 2011 at 10:56 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Oh my, what a week. A quick update for right now because I’m heading off to have dinner with my brother! Woop, woop!

This week the last of our chickens died. We believe that Delores was attacked by a raccoon. Sad times- she was a cute little thing that loved to peck around the yard and was always interested in people working in the garden. Sometimes she got on our nerves when she jumped on the picnic table while we were eating dinner, and it certainly always stressed us out when she escaped the backyard, but for the most part she was a sweet chicken. She particularly enjoyed joining one housemate in the hammock.

To Delores, cheers…

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Sesame Street Wins

October 18, 2011 at 3:37 am (Uncategorized)

I grew up watching Sesame Street, and I still think it’s great! Especially today, after I learned that they’ve introduced a new muppet, Lily, who deals with food insecurity sometimes. She and her family volunteer at a food pantry and sometimes have to get food from there. Talk about adorable, but a sad realization of our world today.

http://www.sesamestreet.org/parents/topicsandactivities/toolkits/food

Check it out!

 

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Another weekend

October 16, 2011 at 11:16 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

It has been another good one. Friday night a couple of my housemates and I made gourmet jello shots…White Russians and Chai-tinis…for a friend’s housewarming party on Saturday.

Friday night’s sky

 

A glimpse of Beth’s lovely decorations for the fall themed house party

Chai-tini and White Russian jello shots

Sunday has consisted of church, grocery shopping, reading, knitting, cruising the internet, cooking, and housemate time. Just how I like it. Have a great week, everyone!

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Pumpkins

October 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Fact: I love Autumn. Let me outline this for you…

1) Weather

  • I hate hot weather.
  • Slightly overcast with bursts of sunlight suits me just fine.

2) Pumpkins

  • Pumpkin carving
  • Pumpkin food and drink
  • Anything else involving pumpkins

Erego, I was pretty pumped when our house had some Autumn festivities last night. It started off with a dinner of lasagna, roasted carrots, fruit salad, and pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes with cinnamon icing. It just got better from there.

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The Pasta Sauce Incident of 2011 (Less epic title: Bad Day)

October 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Alright, I’m going to move through this quickly, because I realize in the grand scheme of things yesterday was just a less than ideal day for me. Many, many people around the world had truly terrible days for more truly terrible reasons and I do not want to distract from that. I was merely inconvenienced a few times and it was mostly because of my carelessness. That being said…I packed pasta sauce for lunch (thought it was tortilla soup), had a volunteer not show up for home deliveries, had another volunteer driver show up late, the late driver took 2 hours instead of the normal 1 hour and made me 45 minutes late to a City Council candidates forum that I was supposed to be keeping time for, then I got home 12.5 hours after leaving in the morning and dumped black bean soup all over the floor…all whilst being in pain from head to toe all day for no apparent reason. So there it is. Forgive my whining and know that I’m over it.

Speaking of lots of people who have truly terrible things to deal with, I learned on Monday that the poverty rate in Seattle grew from 10.6% in 2009 to 14.7% in 2010. That is 24,955 more people living under the federal poverty level which is arguably already lower than it actually should be. That’s a good fact for me to remember when I start to wonder what I’m doing here and if I can really make a difference. We need all of the people we can chipping in to help. This rising poverty rate isn’t just happening in Seattle either. Wherever you’re reading this from, consider the ways you can help your community.

In September I attended the Washington Food Coalition’s annual conference in Wenatchee, WA. One of the keynote speakers said this, and I think I have remembered it every day I have been at work and it still continues to influence me:

“If there is not enough food in Somalia, that’s very sad. If there is not enough food in America, it is not just sad, it is sick.” -Leonard Fein

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Foodie

October 9, 2011 at 10:37 pm (Uncategorized)

I am definitely a foodie…I love cooking, trying new things, and experiencing food in all sorts of ways. The kitchen is often where I’m most comfortable too. Having a conversation with me while I’m cooking is probably going to go better than just sitting on the couch talking. This morning Chet and I had our 1-on-1 at a vegetarian cooking class and then went to Pike Place Market to a spice store. Perfect! I had intended to take photos to show you, but it really wasn’t the best photo taking atmosphere. I have the recipes, though, so I’ll be recreating those and will share at some point in the future. To whet your appetite (get it?!?), you can look forward to hearing more about tomato fennel soup, roasted baby carrots with harris, summer squash, and candied eggplant with tofu. MMMM!!!! The only letdown was that the demonstrating chef was wearing an apron that had a chicken sitting in a cooking pot. Distracting!

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