Monday, April 21, 2008

how I spent saturday, or why I haven't blogged in days

That's me, Bec, and Betsy, all looking lovely under a pretty tree with pretty pink flowers. We were in Ithaca for the Habitat for Humanity New York State Conference. It was super. We attended some interesting presentations, including one on Building Green (you really ought to know what that means by now). There were two very opposite people discussing Green Building. The first was a mannish, tree-hugging hippie woman from the Ithaca Green Building Alliance, and she had a sort of extreme take on the subject, encouraging us to take our board making sawmill machines out into our local forest, so that we could mill our 2x4's right there in the nature, and leave all the sawdust and scraps right there in the nature, so that more trees could grow up out of the sawdust and scraps right there in the nature. She was very informative, and would often gaze off over the tops of our heads and need a minute to capture her thoughts and put them back in her mouth. The other speaker was from Habitat Suffolk County, on Long Island, and he was a khaki-wearing architect, recently certified in the government-sanctioned green building blah blah blah. There were lots of abbreviations, and it was hard for me to keep up. He had house plans, PV panels for roofs (some sort of energy-creating something. Have to read more.), and he was very by-the-book. It was a nice balance.

The second seminar was one dealing with our Affiliate Tithe. If you are not familiar with the concept of tithing, and it is said with a long i (like necktie), it is a Biblical principle that instructs us to give 10 percent of our income to the church. In HFH, each Affiliate is required to give 10 percent of its unrestricted donations (restricted donations are supposed to be used completely by the Affiliate; the donor restricts the Affiliate from tithing) to HFH International, to be used in developing nations. My Affiliate, Genesee County NY, tithes to the Philippines. It costs about $2400 to build one home there, so for every home we build here, we build two in the Philippines. I like to tell our donors that when they support our fight against poverty housing here in Genesee County, they are building three houses instead of one. They get all excited and write bigger checks. One donor wrote us a check for a complete house, and when we went back to them to explain the tithe the donor wrote a check to cover the tithe as well. That was a super sweet donation.

After a lovely lunch full of ham sandwiches, chips, and networking, we learned about advocacy (bugging your state and federal lawmakers) and how to best engage our volunteers based on their generation.

Then we went shopping in Ithaca. Because, you know, when two or more women are gathered together in a cute city, that's what happens. It's nature, just like milling your own handsawn trees in the forest. Or something.

We snuck off with Awesome Christine, the Director of Affiliate Tithe for HFHI. Yep, we like her that much we stole her away from all the other affiliates. And she likes us so much, she bought us dinner...AT THE MOOSEWOOD RESTAURANT!!! It was beautiful. But I am getting a little ahead of myself. Check out the pics.

It might not look this way, but I had to CLIMB up on this horse. It gave me a cramp in my foot, just like when I was pregnant for all those years. So I had a cramp in my foot and a piece of steel sticking, my jeans...yeah. Hence, the face.

Turns out that Mustang Sally was facing an Ithaca Police Department car. SUV. So Bec decided she was a rebel, too, and hopped up. We are naughty. The passersby stopped to watch us get off the horse. They laughed. They should have laughed. I suspect they stuck around to see if we were ticketed for pretending to ride an inanimate horse. No such luck.

Here we are, from right to left (let's honour the Chinese, they've been getting a bad rap lately, those overpopulated, polluting monk-haters): Moi, Bec, Christine, and Betsy. We are Drinking. And we are Eating Naughty Desserts. Mine was Citrus-Soaked Date Nut Cake. The others ate the most divine ice cream on earth.

I love local breweries. So naturally, I had to try me some Ithaca Beer Company. I had Nut Brown. And I loved it. The other gals had the Apricot Wheat. It was fruity (you are saying Duh! The word 'Apricot' is in the title!), and if I had some of that I would have been in trouble. Serious. Can't. Drive. Home. Trouble. You know, the happy kind. Behind the pint glasses are the takeout containers. The contents are a secret. And they are currently empty. I did not share. So too bad for my Mister and the Short People.

After dinner, we found a cafe sort of establishment and sat for more coffee and other Adult Beverages for hours more. I just love those gals. Women. We four are more than Just Gals. So there.

It was loverly. (Name that musical.) The not blogging in days is due to the serious lack of sleep acquired prior to, and following the trip to Ithaca. I'm a little better now. But tomorrow I will have six Short People in my presence all day. I hope they will not be actually in my house all the livelong, but outside, running around, getting themselves set up for successful naps. Otherwise, you might not see me again for a few.


  1. OMG I LOVE MOOSEWOOD!!!! Do you have any of their cookbooks? I have two if you'd like any receipes or to borrow either.

    And that'd be My Fair Lady.

  2. Heck yeah, Moosewood.

    And heck yeah, My Fair Lady.

    I loves 'em both. And no, btw, no cookbooks. I'd love to have a look.


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