Goats? Yogurt? Goatsmilk yogurt? Full speed ahead into 2012!

3 Jan

I’m not gonna lie, 2011 was a bitch of a year. Not the worst I’ve ever had. But in the past, bad years were personally bad. 2011 was trying for, well, everyone. Starting in February of last year it was intensely chaotic, full of upheaval and what felt like internecine war around the globe. From fights in our own communities to Arab Spring, 2011 was a series of unending gut punches followed by hardscrabble brawls.

By December I was pretty exhausted. Put on top of that holiday duties, both personal and professional and by the time guests left on Christmas night I was kind of on the verge of a breakdown.

So for the next 8 days I did as much of nothing as I could stand. I read three books. I slept in every day. We ate leftovers and ordered out. We went to three movies and rented another 10.  One day we didn’t get out of bed until after noon (though I don’t think I slept past 10 once.)  I got sick–everyone got sick–and nursed my symptoms.  I ignored phone calls and emails from friends and work associates alike. Basically I engaged in mental bed rest.  It was good.

I feel ready for 2012. As one of my twitter folks wrote, 2011 is dead, let’s not speak of it again.

By yesterday, January 2nd, the legal holiday for New Years Day I was bored and my engines were revving. I finally felt myself again. So I engaged in some projects.  My family did an amazing–AMAZING–job with Christmas presents for me this year, so I can’t say that my favorite presents were anything but what they got me. However, in terms of project starts, two gifts I got myself stand out. First, this book:

I highly recommend you get this book by Jennifer Reese if you are at all interested in cooking. (She also has a blog called the Tipsy Baker (love the name))  Love. LOVE. LOOOOOOVE this book. She spent a year making a bunch of staples and analyzing the value and ease of making vs. buying. Her introduction describes a grocery store paralysis which I am all too familiar with. That moment where you weigh the cost value, nutrition value, environmental value, taste value, etc etc of various foods, leading to indecision and occasionally complete surrender and running out of the store empty handed. She tries to answer the question make it or buy it, rating various projects by difficulty (one of my favorites “you’ll want to bludgeon yourself with your rolling pin half way through”) and the economy. She is a fine writer, approaches the topics with great humor, and covers everything from bread to prosciutto to back yard chickens.  So you can see why I love it. I sat up until 2 am one night reading this cover to cover. Many of my projects this year will come from this book. I may finally get chickens. Or bees. But not goats.

I kicked off the year by trying her bread recipe (delicious and NO KNEADING!) and yogurt (totally failed. I’m trying again tonight).

The second project centric gift you’ll be hearing more about is a pressure cooker. I made chili one night that cooked at temp for 8 minutes. EIGHT MINUTES.  It was delicious. I love my pressure cooker.

I’m excited to embark on another year of living life intentionally, savoring every day.  Thanks for those of you who read along, especially those still with me after the awful, awful waning months of 2011. Hopefully I’ll have more time to play in the kitchen and post about various and sundry adventures in 2012.

I’ll post about my yogurt and bread experiments as well as my cello/khalua making venture (I think it made lovely Holiday gifts) later. For now, I’ll tell you that I kicked off 2012 by trying these dehydrated oranges from Well Preserved. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them (pressure cooker perhaps) but they were so pretty and we had a lot of clementines sitting around so I couldn’t resist.  If anyone has any ideas for these, I’d love to hear them.

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What’s new pussycat?

21 Dec

I bet you wonder where I’ve been! No? That’s ok. Somewhere, someone is wondering I’m sure, because I’ve been largely absent from most everywhere except work and home.

Fall 2011 has been busy. And by busy I mean I’m ready to go psycho and murderously stab 2011 until it’s life blood swirls down the drain and out of sight, leaving it pale and lifeless in the bottom of a cheap motel shower…

Too Much?

I haven’t written much here lately because life has been 200% hectic. Work days are frantic attempts to get competing past deadlines completed, home has been racing to fulfill all our commitments and still live up to the standards for family time and togetherness.

Like some insane mix between Martha Stewart and Murphy Brown I insisted on making the shit out of the menu for my work holiday party. Duck Rangoon, samosas in filo dough, mini pork pies, ten types of cookies, and a house as Martha at Christmas as I could manage. The week before we saw three stage productions and a Steelers Game. School concerts, press events, and even right now, last minute breaking news events to pitch to editors and reporters already on holiday.

I’m spent for 2011.

The result, a lack of blogging, a house only clean in the areas which company sees, laundry undone for weeks at at time, Christmas shopping frantically accomplished between phone pitches to reporters (and as of yet still far from done) and generally frantic all around. (I missed a bunch of people on my Christmas card list too, and now have no time, no energy and no motivation to correct it. So if you were expecting a card –Dad– and didn’t get one, sorry.)

I’ve been wanting to post about my adventures in cello making (as in limoncello, pomelocello, clementinecelo, limecello) and Khalua making. I’ve wanted to tell you about the summer preserves in action –Great Grandma’s pickles are fantastic with smokey pulled pork– and the bacon cashew caramel popcorn I made for the party. But I haven’t had time. And now all I really want is to find someone to write about this BIG story for tomorrow so I can close the book on 2011 at work and head to the mall to make sure my kids aren’t really, really pissed off on Christmas morning. Then I just want to lie in bed and read a book until I’m ready to greet 2012 with a roar and a smile.

So I’m not going to worry about posting any more this year. I might even relinquish the making of Christmas dessert to someone else. It’s time for me to recharge my batteries.

So, no end of year giving pitch, no more recipes, no reflection on a year of blogging, no more nothing on Einstein’s Desk for a little while. Happy Holiday’s everyone. Thanks for reading this year!

A friend took this during the party. You can perhaps see that my house storage space is also bursting at the seems.

Remembering Forgotten neighbors

29 Nov

EVENT TODAY!

MONDAY DECEMBER 5th

Remember a forgotten neighbor for the holidays

Two years ago when I first heard about CHS holiday gift card need, I “adopted” a family. They asked for an Eat n Park gift card so the single father of two could take his kids out for a holiday meal.  The father also asked for gift cards to specific retailers so he could purchase his kids a few presents. He asked for nothing for himself. We threw in a card for him to get something he wanted as well.

(I’m such a sap that I am already welling up…)

Last year I adopted adults who were alone.  A man living at the Y asked for a winter coat and new tennis shoes and a food basket for his room so he could have snacks. When asked to be specific about what food he wanted he asked for a bag of chips and some cookies.

A young man, just 25 with no family, living in a group home asked for gift cards to Wal Mart, Giant Eagle and Target because he rarely has money to buy anything for himself.  He also likes to go out to eat so requested gift cards to Subway, McDonalds or Arbys.

These are simple, simple asks.  The every day struggles faced by people who see a subway gift card or a bag of chips as a rare treat are unimaginable to me.

You can make a difference in their holidays by donating a gift card to CHS.

Its the lonely adults that devastate me. Kids still have a chance. They receive (rightfully) a lot of empathy and support. But when we see the disheveled and dirty homeless woman sitting in starbucks to stay warm, what do we do? We look away. We ignore. We feel helpless and heartbroken, but most of us don’t do anything. I believe everyone deserves to be warm, and fed, and I wish for everyone the inner warmth and satisfaction that comes from companionship.  No one starts off life thinking “when I grow up I’m going to sleep over a subway grate.”  Or “when I grow up people will avoid looking me in the eye because my very existence will make them uncomfortable.”

But that is the reality for many homeless adults,  and those with mental illness –and especially and particularly homeless adults with mental illness.  Its a hard life. And without family, a solitary and desperate existence is all that there is for many mentally ill adults.

I know that giving a holiday gift card does as much to ameliorate MY sadness as it does theirs. I know that what we really need and should work for is systemic change in how we care for vulnerable people.  However I also know that the opportunity to buy new underwear, to pick out ones own winter coat, to eat at a fast food spot, to order a meal just the way you like it, these simple pleasures can make a whole year better.

Which is why I’m asking you to give to the CHS Holiday Gift Project this year.  Please help one of the 550 people living in CHS’s supportive housing services this holiday. Come to the event Next Monday. Bring either a gift card or a cash donation.

MONDAY DECEMBER 5th 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Shiloh Inn – Pittsburgh, 123 Shiloh Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15211
Now the fun part, What kind of gift cards?? Any kind! But remember that most of these individuals rely on access or public transit, so try to pick something easy to get to from Oakland/Downtown.  Also, you may think of a Subway gift card as boring, but it is a real treat for someone on a tiny fixed income. And things like new underwear and snacks can be a luxury too, so that kmart or giant eagle gift card is also a versatile option!
Have a question? Need a receipt for tax purposes? For right now your best bet is to either comment here or post on the facebook event page here.
And in case you need more motivation here are two of the residents who hope to have a happy holidays this year:

Pamela is a 67 year old woman who lives in a single room at Wood Street Commons. Pamela’s husband passed away several years ago leaving her to live on her own for the first time in her life. Soon after his death, she was overwhelmed with grief compounded by her increasingly perilous financial situation. Eventually she lost her home through foreclosure and became homeless.  Pamela has been living at WSC for several years now with her only support coming from staff and other residents.  She receives services in the building that enable her to live as independently as possible while managing her ongoing depression. The holiday times are difficult for Pamela as she is reminded of her losses and the life she no longer has.

Sam is a 28 year old male living at Wood Street Commons. Sam has difficulty maintaining housing and services due to his struggles with mental illness. Many of his difficulties are the result of experiencing extreme abuse and neglect throughout his traumatic childhood and adolescence. Sam receives services at WSC to help him stabilize his mental health ad acquire skills that he needs to live a fully independent adult life.  Due to the traumatic nature of his childhood, Sam has no family he can rely on to help him through the hard times. In spite of his difficulties, Sam is motivated to work and works a part time job. Unfortunately once Sam pays his rent and pays for meals, he hardly has enough money left to get back and forth to work and purchase personal hygiene products.

Giving Thanks

22 Nov

I’ve never done one of those “Post this if you….” things on facebook before, but on November 2 I saw someone post a “post this if you are thankfull…yada yada yada”  note and it intrigued me.  It was so early in the month I wondered if the intent was to do it daily. ~Idea~ Could I do it daily? Could I find something other than the obvious “I’m thankful for my family?” Could I find something to be thankful for even on bad days. So I set out to try to post daily.

I failed.

But I managed more than half, and here on my last day in the office before Thanksgiving I filled in my list and am sharing it here.  I’m sure there are many more things I’m thankful for, some tiny ones on a daily basis, some big things (like my mother) that were just too hard to figure out how to talk about here. For those see number 22…I punted.  Anyone I missed, I’m sorry. Anything I missed, well, screw you, you’re inanimate, you have no power here.

Tyler

1.  I’m thankful that my son Tyler England has a wicked sense of humor, often highly inappropriate, but always able to make me laugh. I’m also oddly thankful that he inherited the family propensity to stubbornly argue a point past redemption.

Riley

2. Today I’m thankful that Riley Belden-England is a rule follower, that she feels a moral obligation to keep her promises and that she is able to adjust her expectations and attitude to enjoy almost any situation.

3. I am grateful I grew up a sports atheist, so that when I discovered the JOY of Football, it was as a Steeler fan. Otherwise I might have been an Eagles fan.

4. I am grateful that aging brings benefits, like self-confidence, competency, wisdom, and the ability to embrace and enjoy life.

 

5. I am grateful that I am turning into my father. Sometimes he frustrates me, but he gets the job done, he takes care of his family, and he does the right thing, as he perceives it to be, no matter what. I definitely got my sense of duty and justice from him.

 

6. I am extraordinarily grateful to have found a vocation, not once but TWICE in this life, that feeds my soul, challenges my intellect and makes me happy to get up and go to work every day. I am happiest when there is a holistic logic and purpose to my life, and both graduate school and Pink Coat Communications have provided that.

 

7. Today I’m thankful for the right to vote. My grandmothers were born in a world where they were not allowed to vote, my parents were born into a world where the color of your skin could preclude you from voting. It’s a right I do not take lightly!

8. I am thankful, incredibly thankful, that I have the ability to DO something to create solutions to problems in my community. When I heard there were girls that didn’t have access to menstrual products I was able to partner with Desiree VanTassel and start On the Spot. We are not powerless. Join me Friday and you can do something too! https://einsteinsdesk.wordpress.com/?p=1224

9. Today I am thankful for my quirky intellect, and persistent Pollyanna optimism. I may not be what you think of when you imagine powerful, but it works for me.

10. Today I’m thankful that even though at 43 I still sometimes have days fraught with detached anxiety, feelings of “not good enough” and the inability to find my optimism that I recognize this is a fleeting trick of brain chemistry and I refuse, REFUSE to let it slow me down or side track me. Onward we go…

11. Today I’m thankful that I have health insurance for the first time in a decade. I fully recognize that thus far I have skirted disaster and managed to not lose. I’m hopeful that Health Care Reform will continue to move forward and eventually we can get back to a system where people, not profits, dictate our health care system. In the meantime, I’m thankful that I can go to the doctors for essential screenings like mammograms, take my kids to get vaccinated,  and call the doctor when something is wrong with out the crushing panic of no insurance and a checking account with approximately $42 promised dollars.

12. Today I’m thankful for all the amazing women in my life-starting with my mother and Grandmother, Jackie Dolan Winderman, who was an amazing woman in my life before she was even a woman (!), Tracey Belden through thick and thin and several decades, to the incredibly resilient and unswerving Desiree VanTassel and the future amazing woman Riley Belden-England. These women (and the rest of you-you know who you are) are my rock. I am thankful for the wise council, the compassionate support, the strength exemplified, and maybe most of all I’m thankful for shared laughs even at life’s bleakest moments.

I need to add Megan Block, Joanna Bouldin, Rachel Canning, Angel Gober, and Maryellen Deckard along with most of the incredible women I have the privileged of working with and knowing every day. Thank you all!

13. Today I’m thankful that I was provided the opportunity for a top notch education, from High School, through College, and onto graduate school. It has made my life so much easier. Even in the most difficult times I’ve always been secure that between my education and my native intelligence I’d be able to work my way out of any hole.  And that has proven true.  In fact, though I struggled as a single mother working a crappy temp job, I knew that I had the skills and the paper to find a job that would provide a secure life for myself and my kids. I have never taken for granted how lucky I am.

14. I’m thankful for the difficulties I’ve experienced, the lessons imparted, and the person I’ve become through the process.

15. I’m thankful for the many incredible opportunities I’ve had in life.  I’ve been to Cuba for the World Youth Conference, Chicago for the Hip Hop Political Conference, Sonoma for a grant retreat and plenty of other cool places for awesome events. I’ve met many people I admire, including Barack Obama, Ron Reagan Jr., Franco Harris, Immortal Technique, Howard Zinn, Christopher Hitchens and more. I’ve had the chance to do so many amazing things and even better, often it has been doing something I feel good about. Advocating for change, learning, doing.

16. I am thankful to be alive and doing what I do at this moment in history. I think this moment has the potential to show up in the history books as a pivotal moment. Regardless of which way history goes, I’ll know that I was here fighting to shape the world towards sustainability for the majority over luxury for the few.

17. I’m thankful for friendships that have lasted a lifetime (Jackie Dolan), those that have been long but relegated to one “phase of my life” (Antonio Lodico) and everything in between. I’m thankful that as I pass out of one phase of life and into another I’ve always been lucky to find truly amazing people to call my friends. Becky Ballentine, Dave Renz, Becky Troutman, Jamie Sanders, Marguerite Brown, Lynn Sanborne, Desiree VanTassel, Lou Tackas, and new friends even now, that I look forward to knowing for years to come.

18. Totally, completely, head over heels thankful for my sense of taste and smell.  I can smell the different spices in a curry powder. I can taste the ingredients in sauce. And most importantly both give me some of the purest pleasure to be found. I feel bad for people who don’t experience the vast subtleties of flavor that make eating one of my most favorite adventures.

19. I am thankful that I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I take my commitments seriously regardless of to whom the commitment was made, and regardless of whether anyone other than me will ever know I kept it.

20. I’m thankful for the fact that my family has always included extras, people that weren’t born to my immediate family but are part of it anyway, or stayed part of my family, even after all legal obligation to do so. Penney and Megan, Peter and Tracey, Jackie, and Tony come to mind, but over the years there have been others, and there will be more. As an only child, I’m so grateful to have had individuals who were part of my family by circumstance rather than birth.

21.  I am thankful to be done this list, which I didn’t manage to keep up on a daily basis. The level of self reflection and analysis required (by myself) to finish the end of this list in one sitting were more than I wanted to do as I get ready to close up the office for a few days off! –the last three I already had in reserve for the last three…

22.  I am thankful for a few things that are just too complicated, personal and difficult to share in a few sentences. This is also my nod to those people who know they are important to me but defy easy categorization. I am indeed thankful for your presence in my life.

23. Everyday since I started this I’ve known one of the “things” I’m most thankful for would also be the hardest to write about. I’m thankful for Roger and Kathy Belden, two of the most remarkable people I’ve known. Anachronistic and quirky, I would never have guessed in 1989 how much I would grow to love and respect them. Roger was a stalwart and methodical man, who managed to have a sparkling sense of humor and the most generous heart I’ve ever known. Kathy was a quiet, steady woman whose tiny stature and mild demeanor masked tremendous strength. My relationship with them, under the circumstances and because of the circumstances, will always be one of the most precious relationships I will have in my lifetime. I miss them daily.

24. I am perhaps most thankful for Robert Bucsko in our lives. We like to think that we have been good for him, but really, he came into our family and became what each of us needed most; a son, a brother, a friend…family.  I don’t know how we would have survived the rough times without his support and help. Therefore I’m grateful for his presence in our lives because it has been critical not only to me, but to the people most important to me.

Oh my darling Clementine

21 Nov

I haven’t posted about food for a while, and truth be told, there hasn’t been a lot of preserving going on lately, though I still have a few preserves (and by a few I mean probably a dozen) I haven’t written up.  But I’d rather tell you about what I did this weekend then go back a few months.

For the winter I am departing from local produce and preserving citrus. I’ve saved citrus for winter when I knew I’d be out of local produce.  So this weekend I went out and gathered a selection of citrus with several recipes in mind.

Most of it is for a selection of “cello” I am making for Christmas (future blog post to come!) Limoncello, Pomelocello (which I love to say), limecello, and clementinecello will make its way into some lucky friends’ holiday baskets.

But I’ve been dying to make Clementines in Caramel Syrup too and making both the cello and the preserved fruits seemed the ideal way to reduce waste and end up with 2 lovely finished products.

To make the cellos I peel my citrus with a vegetable peeler and then remove the pith with a sharp knife. This is important because the pith is bitter, you don’t want a lot of it in your cello.

However the skin on clementines is very thin. We did some like that but frankly, it was just as easy to remove the entire skin and then cut off the pith.  It made virtually no difference.

Once they were peeled we rubbed off as much pith as possible and packed the clementines into jars.

From two bags (probably the equivalent of one crate) we got 4 quarts.  The caramel syrup is “easy,” just sugar and water, but I still managed to screw it up three times.

You start by putting 7/8 cups sugar and 1/2 cup cold water  for every quart into a sauce pan.  Turn it on and let it heat without stirring or boiling until the sugar is dissolved.

You can see the difference between the first batch (middle) and the last one (ends).

The directions tell you to then boil it for 5-10 minutes until it is a deep golden color. Here is where I ran into problems thrice. The first time I looked at it after 10 minutes and it looked like water. Maybe vaguely tan water, but water nonetheless. I boiled it for another 10 minutes and decided twice as long HAD to be long enough so went to the next step (see below).  I used this syrup for the first two quart jars but remained plagued with doubt. While they were in the hot water bath I decided to try again.

The second time I tried I got a phone call and ended up leaving it boiling vigorously for an unknown amount of time. When I returned it smelled like burnt caramel and though it was still nice and watery (I didn’t burn it dry) it was clearly still over done. The color was brown, the smell and taste burnt, and not in the nice way.

Feeling like Goldy Locks I tried again. This time I got it right. I vigorously boiled it for around 20 minutes (the first time my heat must have been too low) until it was a nice caramel color and smelled yummy.  I could have let it go a little longer even, but by that time I was rather impatient and ready to move on.

So onto step 2 (again).  Add one cup HOT water for every quart, being careful to cover your hand with a cloth because the caramel splatters and sticks like lava to any surface it finds.  The caramel clumps up so you heat it up and boil until the clumpy sugar dissolves.  Pour boiling liquid over clementines and seal. Either refrigerate it or process it for 25 minutes in a hot water bath.

I’m looking forward to trying these over pound cake or dark chocolate ice cream at some point. Several jars will also be given away. So be very, very nice to me and you might find yourself on the receiving end of such a treat!

It ought to be a law

11 Nov

There are some pretty crazy laws on the books! Google it. Apparently it is illegal to:

  • Park or tie an elephant to a parking meter in Florida without paying the parking fee.  Also don’t try to plow a cotton field with one in North Carolina.
  • Also, in nearby Tarentum, it is illegal to tie your horse to a parking meter (I imagine this is true in several PA towns)
  • You cannot have sex with a porcupine in Florida, plus, it’s illegal.
  • Want to drive a camel? Stay off of Nevada Highways and if you want to wear a duck on your head, stay out of Minnesota. (Dammit, there go my holiday plans).
  • In Pennsylvania it’s illegal to have more than 16 women live in the same house — doing so makes it a brothel. (In NY at one time I think the thresh-hold was 8, meaning that in my senior year in college I believe I lived in a brothel!)
  • In New Jersey, it’s illegal for a murderer to wear a bullet-proof vest while committing that crime.

You know what isn’t illegal in Pennsylvania?  Walking away from a child being raped and NOT calling the police.

Aside from the incredible tragedy that took place (over and over and over again) at Penn State and beyond thanks to the monstrous actions of not just the actual rapist but the entire chain of freaking command, I’m left speechless that the only crimes committed were the actual abuse and then lying about it to a grand jury.

WHAT THE HELL PEOPLE?

I’m always, ALWAYS, the first one to recognize the complexity of situations calling for value judgements.  I can understand the powerful impact that fear has. The fear of physical threat, the fear of not being able to feed ones family, the fear of losing the opportunity to have the one in a million chance to be super rich or super famous or super successful.  Powerful motivator fear, and it can cloud the judgement, it can complicate decisions that seem from the outside clear cut. But we are talking about the RAPE OF A CHILD. We are talking about something that is never, ever, ever, EVER arguably ok. Ever.  Eeeeeever.

So, how is it not illegal to witness this heinous crime, walk away, and NOT CALL THE COPS?  Let’s assume for a minute there are circumstances where direct immediate intervention is ill advised. Like say if I, a middle aged woman, 5″4′ walked in on  a 300 lb boxer or line back raping a child. Immediate intervention might not be prudent. I might want to run from the room while dialing 911 as opposed to yelling “STOP!” I probably would in fact stop it and try to beat the crap out of the rapist, but that would not be smart. So I can understand that direct intervention is not required by law. But I cannot understand that it is legally permissible to walk out of the room, call your dad, tell a boss at work (this mind you has NOTHING TO DO WITH WORK) and be done with it.   Likewise, having been told that someone has raped a child in my workplace, as a boss, how do I call MY superior, and be done with it, with NO legal obligation to do anything else?????  Again, beyond the poor, morally bankrupt choices all these people made, I just don’t understand how the laws of our state allow this. So feel free to ignore child rape all you want Pennsylvania! Just don’t live in a house with 16 women or tie your horse to a parking meter, because then? You’re ass is grass.

http://drbj.hubpages.com/hub/53-Dumb–Laws

http://www.idiotlaws.com

http://www.dirjournal.com/info/10-stupid-laws-possibly-still-on-the-books/

Girls shouldn’t have to worry about this….

9 Nov

JOIN ME FRIDAY FOR THE NEXT ON THE SPOT!  HOWLERS IN BLOOMFIELD, 6:00-8:30

When I first had the conversation that would lead to On the Spot my daughter was in elementary school. Middle School was closing in, but my understanding of it was limited to MY experience. Since then my daughter has reached middles school and I’ve gotten to see it through a whole new light. Jeeeeeeeez is it worse from this end. Despite the moodiness, I actually enjoy being the parent of a middle schooler. Or I should say I enjoy MY middle school girl. The middle school experience is fraught with pain, all the worse to watch her go through it and not be able to do anything about it except assure her that she will grow up and everything will be better later.

But the experience has renewed my…my what, commitment? No.  Probably my sense of urgency.  My daughter can come home sick with anxiety because of “minor” friend issues. Imagine the distraction caused by inadequate access to feminine hygiene products.  Girls, right here, in OUR city, deal with this every day. There are girls in nearly every school in our region who’s families cannot afford to provide menstrual supplies, or who are in foster care or bouncing between relatives houses, or are homeless and have to worry every month what they will do when they get their period.

This. Is. Wrong.

I cannot stress enough how WRONG this is. Economically disadvantaged kids are already at risk for so many things, they fall behind their peers in school early, and middle school is a critical moment in determining how their future will play out. One more problem, one more issue, one more reason not to go to school today can be a catastrophic event.

We can fix it.

That’s why we started on the spot. We raise money and collect supplies so girls in local middle and high schools don’t have to  worry. (you can find out more, including how we’ve grown and expanded here.)

And we need your help now.

Our next fundraiser is Friday, November 11 from 6:00 TO 8:30 at Howlers (4509 Liberty Avenue, Bloomfield).

We will have our usual Cookie Table and paper bag auction, as well as drink specials and good company.

It is such a little thing, to provide a box of pads to a girl, and it can make such a difference.  And you can do it while drinking a frosty beverage and having fun. How could you not?

I know I’ve written about On the Spot before. But I’m not going to stop talking about it, and hopefully I’ll never stop being affected by the issue as long as it persists.