Despite my semi-horrendous weekend, I am in high spirits today! Ok, Ok, my weekend really wasn't that bad. I went on a nice long walk to Walgreen's with my roommate Mara on Saturday. We purchased discounted valentine's day crap AND a Mario Brothers DVD. On Sunday night my cousin Sara and her husband Will picked me up and took great care of me through Monday night, taking me out to Baltimore, giving me some love, and helping me get my (most painful) root canal taken care of.

The highlight, however, was definitely today. My team (minus two doing driver training) went out on a service project in Baltimore with an organization called CivicWorks.

Civic Works is a non-profit in Baltimore focused on Community development. They have many different projects that all sound fun to be part of, such as the community lot team that goes into abandoned lots and turns them into parks and community gardens, youth tutoring and mentoring, energy conservation, and workforce development.

(Photo taken from CivicWorks website)

Their offices, located at Clifton Park, are in the summer home John Hopkins. The building now known as the Clifton Mansion began being built in 1801. In the last 200 years it has changed hands (and appearance!) many times, and CivicWorks is working hard to raise funds to continue the restoration project of this beautiful building. Our job today was contributing to the restoration by doing some demolition.

Matt, Mark & myself worked on removing the water-damaged plaster from 2 ceilings in the corner tower. Scaffolding was set up in order for us (them, mostly) to reach the high ceilings and we scraped away at it with hammers. The dust from the breaking plaster coated us, hence us wearing Tyvek suits, safety glasses and respirators. Fun stuff!

The other corps members + team leader did restoration on the Grand Staircase, soaking the wood in alcohol to remove the layers and layers of paint and varnish.

I had such a great day. Then I came home and finished knitting a scarf and we made homemade pizza. Alyssa, one of my house mates, made the dough from scratch! Her pizza had marinara sauce, mozzarella, garlic, tomatoes and corn. Corn? It was good! The pizza I cooked had garlic & basil pesto on half and Alfredo sauce on the other half, plus garlic, onions, mushrooms, mozzarella, feta, artichoke hearts and tomatoes. Yumm.

On a final note, here is the closest thing I have to a team picture:

I'll be sure to get another soon that includes Amy and Christian as our team just isn't complete without them.


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