Today was a pleasant day. I presented the bulletin board I made yesterday on the flooding in Pakistan at Richmond Church of the Brethren:

Though I was disheartened at the general lack of awareness of the tragedy, I was overwhelmed with support, love, prayers, and encouragement. We collected $197 towards Church World Service (a cooperative ministry of 35 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican denominations, providing sustainable self-help, development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance around the world).┬áRCoB is definitely a place where, if you have a passion, people will support you. That’s how the charitable knitting group Loops of Love got such a strong following, and how the (computer) hardware co-op got started, too. I feel blessed to be a part of such a caring, service-oriented community.

I have a tendency to belittle myself & my accomplishments. I’m simultaneously great at lifting up others even as I tear myself down: for example, just today I took someone’s attempt at giving a meaningful compliment & turned it, in two sentences, into a paean to their awesomeness. So it was good to acknowledge that, had I not put this thing together, it would have been just my little $35 going towards the food package of rice, wheat flour, beans, sugar, cooking oil, tea and salt (basics for a family for a month).┬áBut because I had the courage to invite others in, $162 (and perhaps more) was also given. I hope I have the guts to do this sort of thing again in the future.

If you’re interested in giving to help repair lives caught in perhaps the single greatest natural disaster of our time (yes, more people affected than the South-East Asian tsunami & earthquakes in Kashmir & Haiti combined), I recommend Church World Service (obvies) or Doctors Without Borders. Either of those links go directly to the gift pages.

I made some fried green tomatoes to go with a lunch of left-overs:

Nope, not much to look at.

Some vegan mac-n-cheese, topped with Daiya:

In the afternoon Nate & I played Lord of the Rings Risk on the front lawn and drank my favorite Rogue, hazelnut brown nectar. Several friends passed by; it was nice to experience the ambient people noise, as there are generally very few opportunities for that sort of thing in Richmond.

For dinner I made another bhindi with perfect little green zebras.

A little while ago we went to see Nagini, our friend Patrick’s little lady lizard. Her name is actually Kudu and she’s a blue-tongued skink.

Under Nate’s skateboard at the old apartment:

I’m still too afraid to pick her up, but I ADORE her. I bring her watermelon (a seeming favorite) at every opportunity. Patrick’s aware of my ardor; he dropped off a key with a note saying he’d be out of town for a few days and that she wouldn’t really need to be checked on, but I might appreciate the key anyway.

Risk is kind of a long game so we had to finish up just before bed. I am the Risk master; Nate didn’t stand a chance. I did so well I had to start using the other “good” color pieces. Check out this army invading northward from Osgiliath:

Enough for now!