After a Long Break

I believe that this is the longest break from blogging I have ever taken. For the first time in several years, I've had nothing to share with the world. We're already a few weeks into it (and it's early for the lunar version), but happy new year!

When I last posted in December, I was painting. I painted the bedroom my housemate vacated, and while I was at it, the main bathroom. Both rooms were in dire need of love. I'm eying the kitchen now, although that really needs much more than just paint.
The room, painted and ready for an occupant 
My grandfather planted the Meyer lemons outside the window nearly 60 years ago

I have been hoping to find a new housemate through friends, but no one wants to live in the boring 'burbs! I'm contemplating craigslist, although I have bad luck with craigslist, so I'm putting that off for as long as possible.
Fresh paint in the bathroom, too.
Yes, that's doggie shampoo, it's too cold this time of year to bathe Piglet outside!

I'm still technically jobless, but I had a few interviews, which is an improvement over the big, fat nothing I was getting before. I picked up some part-time temporary admin work just to get by for the next few months, while giving me time to keep searching for something longer-term. I still dream of turning ideas into things that work, and for the right idea, I'd go just about anywhere.

In my spare time, I've become more active with the grassroots animal welfare group I've volunteered with since 2003. Instead of volunteering at the program level, I am now helping with their first-ever formal Development plan. Given my work experience, the fact that I have done some nonprofit development work, and the fact that it can be difficult to find volunteers for the less-fun background work (most volunteers want, understandably, to be hands-on with the animals) I think that is where my efforts will make the biggest difference.

Somewhere in the fray, I was asked to sit on the Board. I wasn't thrilled about taking on that responsibility, particularly since fundraising is already demanding, especially at the volunteer level. But I am not good at saying no, so I was voted on last week. I am already preparing my letter that states my intention to step down at the end of my term.

Confession: philanthropically speaking, education is my true passion. While I support animal welfare, environmental and social justice causes, I truly believe that education is the key, that an educated population is aware of its faults and has the tools to fix them. I hope one day to devote time to educational issues, but I haven't yet found where someone with my skill set can work most effectively in that arena. If anyone has ideas on that front, I'm all ears (or eyes, in this case).