HOME/FAMILY

Work-From-Home Tips From Work-From-Home Veterans

The pandemic has ushered the home office to the forefront of work life. Gallup, Inc., indicated last October that 33% of the U.S. workforce worked from home full time and another 25% did so some of the time. Three veteran Bloomington work-from-homers offer their tips for novices to the practice.

Silver Linings Rescue: Old Dogs for Older Folks

When Suki’s owner was suddenly moved to a nursing home for rehab, the small West Highland White terrier was left alone in a house with only occasional visits from a friend. There, he developed inflamed skin and hair loss from serious allergies that needed treatment.

InBloom: Decorate with Evergreens

Now that most of the leaves have fallen from the deciduous trees, evergreen trees and shrubs are more apparent in park and garden plantings all across town.

Find Inspiration and Spread Love with The Muse Project

Like the ancient goddesses for which it is named, The Muse Project offers inspiration to those who heed its words. The project’s founder, Jodi Pope Johnson, says today, more than ever, she feels there is a need to share messages of hope and healing.

The Bloomerang Effect

Bloomington has a way of keeping a hold on its residents, even those who have left. In fact, the phenomenon of leaving and returning to Bloomington is so common that it has its own name: the Bloomerang Effect.

Hospice Offers Compassionate End of Life Care for Patients & Families

In the summer of 2018, nurses at the IU Health Bloomington Hospital Hospice House rolled a patient outside in his hospital bed. A horse that had been a part of his family for years awaited him, brought to the facility in a trailer. Nurses put feed in the patient’s hand, allowing the horse and his dying owner to connect one final time.

Jordy the CASA Dog Helps Kids Through Tough Times

Jordy the CASA dog is something of a local celebrity. When the golden retriever celebrated his fifth birthday in October, it was a press-worthy event. But Jordy spends most days out of the spotlight, doing vital work at the Monroe County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) office, 201 N. Morton St.

SCCAP: A Local Agency Helping Families Become Independent

Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are sometimes considered the best-kept secrets of the nonprofit sector, says Jessie Yeary, director of communications and development at the South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP). She hopes to change that. “I don’t really like that phrase because we don’t want to be a secret,” she says.

InBloom: Be Sure to Choose A Fragrant Rose

Old rose varieties, such as alba, gallica, and damask, had wonderfully fragrant blooms but, sadly, bloomed only once. Thanks to David Austin (1926–2018) we have 230 modern hybrid roses that offer intoxicating, old-fashioned rose fragrances and that bloom repeatedly.

How One Farmhand Got Land for His Own Farm

After working other people’s farms for a dozen years, Grant Pershing, 44, was ready to start farming for himself. Unfortunately, finding a bank that was willing to loan him the money wasn’t so easy. “I was a pretty poor risk, so I could either find a dilapidated house with enough land or a nice house with no land,” Pershing says. “When it came down to buying something, it just wasn’t going to happen.”

Shalom Celebrates Two Decades Of Helping Those Less Fortunate

The coming year is full of significant milestones for Shalom Community Center, a resource agency for those experiencing extreme poverty and homelessness, and for its executive director, Forrest Gilmore. Gilmore started as assistant director of Shalom in January 2010. A year later, on April 1, 2011—“Make of that what you will,” he says with a laugh—Gilmore was named executive director.

Holly, Ivy & Mistletoe: Natural Holiday Décor

Although you could splurge on red roses when decorating for the holidays, there are other, less expensive, natural alternatives. The early Romans decorated with holly for the winter solstice. Holly, along with ivy and mistletoe, was a traditional Christmas decoration in England, and early American settlers also preferred to use objects from nature to decorate for the holidays.

Shrubs Add Fall & Winter Interest to Home Gardens

The spring and summer months are when gardens are the most colorful, but it is easy to make our fall and winter gardens interesting as well. Shrubs are especially helpful as they are easy to care for once established, and come in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes.

Cohousing in Bloomington Finally Becoming a Reality

After years of planning, Bloomington Cohousing, Indiana’s first cohousing community, is finally becoming a reality. The brainchild of lifelong friends Janet Greenblatt and Marion Sinclair, the intentional community near the Southeast YMCA will feature 26 privately owned homes, a common building, community gardens, and other shared amenities, all designed to reduce homeowners’ environmental footprints and expand their sense of community.

Sensory-Friendly Plays Make Theater Accessible To Kids With Disabilities

Making live theater more accessible is often on the minds of the folks at Cardinal Stage. One example is Cardinal’s Community Ticket Initiative, which allows people to see theater performances free of charge. Another way Cardinal is making theater more accessible is with sensory-friendly performances of their Cardinal for Kids productions during the 2019–20 season.

Ghost Walk Serves Up Spooky Fun For All Ages

At 200 years old, Indiana University has quite a few local legends, including ghostly yarns like the one about a grumpy child apparition in the Indiana Memorial Union Tudor Room, said to be connected to a painting of a little boy holding a pumpkin. Rumor has it the spirit creates a fuss when the chairs and tables in the room are moved out of place. Indulging in such stories is part of the fun when the IU Folklore and Ethnomusicology Department holds its annual Ghost Walk.

B-town’s One & Only Platinum LEED Home

Nate Johnson admired the energy-efficient home his friends David and Carol Gulyas designed and built in Bloomington’s Near West Side neighborhood, so much so that he asked David to help him build a similar one.

Room at the Table: Host an Immigrant Family for Dinner

Even as America struggles with national immigration policy and animosity toward immigrants runs high in some places, two young social entrepreneurs from Indiana University have developed a novel way to make Bloomington a welcoming place for immigrants who choose to settle here.

Movies in the Park

For 21 years, families, friends, and neighbors have been gathering to enjoy recent releases and classic films as part of the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department Movies in the Parks program.

Kids Can Bowl Free All Summer Long!

Parents who want their kids to stay active—and cool—during the summer can take advantage of two local Kids Bowl Free programs. Children ages 2 to 16 are invited to bowl for free at Bowling & Billiards at Indiana Memorial Union now through August 4.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Roses are the most popular cut flowers worldwide. Because of improvements in aeronautics, there is no time of year when roses are not available.

Get Ready to Be Inspired at Summer Garden Walk

If you are a gardener, or simply appreciate gardens and the outdoors, mark your calendar now so you can be sure to attend the Bloomington Garden Club’s 2019 Summer Garden Walk the weekend of June 8 and 9. This will be the 30th year for the popular event.

Williams Bros. Pharmacy Offers Home Solutions to Age in Place

According to AARP, about 90 percent of Americans want to continue living in their own homes as they age. “One change at home—a chairlift or a walk-in shower—can be the difference between living at home and living in a facility,” says Shaun Huttenlocker, manager of home medical equipment at Williams Bros. Health Care Pharmacy, 574 S. Landmark Ave.

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Landscape Artists

Landscape gardening has always been a form of visual art, and, like painting, it has evolved over time. During the past century traditional formal plantings gave way to gardens that incorporate the surrounding terrain, use native plants, and satisfy the desire for a more relaxed—and sustainable—outdoor lifestyle.

Endwright Center Offers Garden Programs & Trips

A short drive up West Ind. 46 in Ellettsville, The Endwright Center offers educational programs for active adults, including many on gardening. “We’ve had classes in bonsai and houseplant care,” says Director Rebecca Ball. “And we’re considering programs on container gardening and small gardens.”

Master Gardener Program Celebrates 30 Years Here

Monroe County’s Master Gardener program celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019. Begun in the greater Seattle area in 1972, the Master Gardener program came to Indiana in 1978, reaching Bloomington in 1989. Participants take a rigorous course in horticultural art and science, then use their knowledge to help the community.

Stone Belt: Serving People With Disabilities for 60 Years

Today, Stone Belt is a $21 million nonprofit agency that supports 1,300 people with disabilities in three counties. Sixty years ago, Stone Belt was located in a church basement operating as a school for children with disabilities. Funds were raised through chili suppers and yard sales.

Toddlers & Seniors Learn Together at Jill’s House

Every weekday morning, small groups of preschoolers at Jill’s House Intergenerational Preschool take field trips from their lower-level classrooms up to the first-floor common areas where many of the residents of Jill’s House Assisted Living and Memory Care spend their time.

MCPL Sensory-Friendly Films Mean No ‘Shushing’ Allowed

With the lights up and the volume down, the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) Autism & Sensory-Friendly Movie program flips all expectations of what it means to go to the movies. In this theater, talking and movement are not only allowed, they’re expected.

Thrive By Five: A Fund Drive For Early Childhood Education

Research has long recognized that when children attend quality preschool programs, they are more likely to succeed in school and in life. To ensure that kind of success locally, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) has launched Thrive by Five, an endowment campaign with a goal of raising $1 million to support early childhood education. 

Sing for Joy! A Choir that Uplifts Seniors

When lifelong music educator Sandra Freund visited area retirement communities to sing for the residents, she noticed that many initially would sit quietly, their heads bowed. But after a bit, she says, their attitudes would change.

Moms Demand Action Working for Better Gun Laws

When 20 first-graders and six staff members were fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, Rachel Guglielmo and Courtney Daily reached their breaking points.

The Serviceable Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums were aptly described by the title character in the 1969 film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie as “serviceable flowers.”

Group Helps Kids When A Parent Is Imprisoned

Mary Goetze, founder of Kids with Absent Parents (KAP), estimates there are 1,000 children in Bloomington with an incarcerated parent. It’s a largely hidden population. “It’s not something families go around and announce,” she says.

CASA Has New Eyes & Ears To Check on Welfare of Kids

Due to an increase in abuse and neglect cases in Monroe County, more than 100 children have been waiting for a CASA—a Court Appointed Special Advocate—to represent their interests in court. So the Monroe County CASA office has created a new position to monitor the children until permanent advocates become available.

The Appeal of Begonias

Begonias are a diverse family of 1,500 plant species native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents except Australia.

Krimson Leadership Academy Teaching it’s Cool to Be Smart

When Brian Richardson was being raised by a single mother in Saginaw, Michigan, he knew that as a black youth attending schools with poor reputations, conventional wisdom held that he wasn’t going to go very far in life. Richardson had other plans. Today, he’s assistant director of diversity and inclusion at the Indiana University School of Public Health and the founder of a mentoring program for young men at Fairview Elementary School.

The T.C. Steele Gardens

Theodore Clement Steele (1847–1926), the famous American impressionist painter, is well known for his Indiana landscapes. (What many may not know is that Steele was also a skilled portrait painter, and this actually generated the majority of his income.)

Green Camino—An Easy Way to Start Composting

Kathy Gutowsky and Randi Cox have a history of environmental activism that dates back to the late 90s when they met on a recycling committee. Now they have turned that interest into a business, Green Camino Curbside Composting.

Nonprofit Aims to Create More Affordable Housing in B-town

South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities (SCIHO) is working to make housing more affordable for renters who pay above-average rents while earning below-average wages. Executive Director Deborah Myerson says the entire community benefits when there is a range of housing options. “What’s the quality of life in Bloomington if only wealthy people can afford to live here?” Myerson says.

Generous Geraniums Add Year-Round Color

Some plants, like some people, are naturally more generous than others. In spring, we are besotted by exuberant blooming plants, as all the world seems new again and blossoms abound in our gardens. But we need to look ahead and ensure that our gardens continue to be full of beautiful flowers once the spring flush has subsided.

Lotus Blossoms Brings World Music to Area School Children

While international musicians congregate in Bloomington each autumn for the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival, a special program for children brings that same diverse cultural experience into area schools. In September, one musical guest, Betsayda Machado y La Parranda el Clavo, visited Fairview Elementary School for a performance through the Lotus Blossoms Educational Outreach program.

Traditional Colonial Style Saves Stress & Expense

Most people are well acquainted with the Colonial Williamsburg decorating style, and there is a lot of inspiration to be drawn from it as we go about the task of decorating our homes for the holidays.

InBloom: Hardy Hibiscus Add Tropical Touch to Midwestern Gardens

At this time of year, in some local gardens, you may notice and admire large blooms in pink, white, and maroon that lend a tropical feel to the landscape. Although they are hibiscus flowers, they are not the tropical varieties that grow so well in places such as Hawaii. 

Bluestone Tree: Artists at Work (VIDEO)

“There’s an art to performing tree work,” says Jerad Oren, co-owner of Bluestone Tree. “We provide homeowners and businesses with the best tree care while respecting their property and properties around them.”

InBloom: Local Growers Make Choosing Natives Easy

More and more home gardeners are choosing to grow native plants, not only because they add a variety of shapes and textural interest but because, at some time during their life cycle, for one reason or another, most of our native insects require a host plant that is native. Likewise, the birds that frequent our gardens depend on our native insects for nourishment. For example, it takes thousands of caterpillars and insects to sustain a young clutch of baby birds.

Rhino’s Youth Radio: Giving Teens a Voice

Rhino’s Youth Center, a division of Harmony Education Center, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Almost as old as the center itself is the first after-school program it offered—Youth Radio.

Ivy Tech Center Celebrates Decade of Lifelong Learning

This year, the Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning celebrates its 10th anniversary. And while its founding executive director says she modeled the center on similar programs from around the country, it’s customized for Bloomington.

Susie’s Place: Helping Children Through Traumatic Times

Hundreds of tiny hand-shaped cutouts hang in the hallways of Susie’s Place Child Advocacy Center in Bloomington. Those hands represent a portion of the 3,000 children ages 2 to 18 seen there since Susie’s Place opened in 2011. The center is located at 365 S. Park Ridge Road.

It’s Not Just a Dog or Cat Choice: Consider Getting a Rabbit!

A few months ago, Marie Kosakowski wanted to find her 4-year-old copper-colored, lionhead rabbit, Oliver, a pal, so she packed him up and took him to the animal shelter run by the City of Bloomington for speed dating. But throwing strange rabbits together can cause sparks to fly—and not in a good way. That’s why Kosakowski took oven mitts for protection—in case she needed to break up any fights.

Urban Air Trampoline Park Now Offering Adult Fitness Classes

Debbie Hannah, owner of Bloomington’s Urban Air trampoline park, says the focus of the facility is helping families have fun together. “It’s meant to help people get active, burn calories, and stay away from screens,” Hannah says. “We want people to come and play and have fun with their families. It’s a place parents love as much as their kids.”

A Tiny, Tiny Home 
That’s Meant to ‘Live Large’

Last year, Loren Wood Builders constructed a 5,000-square-foot home on Covenanter Drive. Early this year, the home builder and remodeler went the other way, creating a house measuring just 20 feet by 8 feet—160 square feet of living space that can accommodate up to two adults and a child.

Project Play: Giving Toys 
So Kids Can Learn & Grow

Project Play creators Hilary Key and Angie Burck say that access to toys helps build social and motor skills, imagination, and empathy. Donating new or gently used toys to Project Play helps get the right toys in the hands of the right children.

Hey Kids, May 20 is Lemonade Day!

Amy Swain has a vision, and it’s the sweet sight of 800 kids setting up lemonade stands across Monroe County on May 20. As the city director of Lemonade Day, Swain hopes to surpass last year’s total of 737 kids selling lemonade for fun, profit, and charity.

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HOME/FAMILY

Work-From-Home Tips From Work-From-Home Veterans

The pandemic has ushered the home office to the forefront of work life. Gallup, Inc., indicated last October that 33% of the U.S. workforce worked from home full time and another 25% did so some of the time. Three veteran Bloomington work-from-homers offer their tips for novices to the practice.

Silver Linings Rescue: Old Dogs for Older Folks

When Suki’s owner was suddenly moved to a nursing home for rehab, the small West Highland White terrier was left alone in a house with only occasional visits from a friend. There, he developed inflamed skin and hair loss from serious allergies that needed treatment.

InBloom: Decorate with Evergreens

Now that most of the leaves have fallen from the deciduous trees, evergreen trees and shrubs are more apparent in park and garden plantings all across town.

Find Inspiration and Spread Love with The Muse Project

Like the ancient goddesses for which it is named, The Muse Project offers inspiration to those who heed its words. The project’s founder, Jodi Pope Johnson, says today, more than ever, she feels there is a need to share messages of hope and healing.

The Bloomerang Effect

Bloomington has a way of keeping a hold on its residents, even those who have left. In fact, the phenomenon of leaving and returning to Bloomington is so common that it has its own name: the Bloomerang Effect.

Hospice Offers Compassionate End of Life Care for Patients & Families

In the summer of 2018, nurses at the IU Health Bloomington Hospital Hospice House rolled a patient outside in his hospital bed. A horse that had been a part of his family for years awaited him, brought to the facility in a trailer. Nurses put feed in the patient’s hand, allowing the horse and his dying owner to connect one final time.

Jordy the CASA Dog Helps Kids Through Tough Times

Jordy the CASA dog is something of a local celebrity. When the golden retriever celebrated his fifth birthday in October, it was a press-worthy event. But Jordy spends most days out of the spotlight, doing vital work at the Monroe County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) office, 201 N. Morton St.

SCCAP: A Local Agency Helping Families Become Independent

Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are sometimes considered the best-kept secrets of the nonprofit sector, says Jessie Yeary, director of communications and development at the South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP). She hopes to change that. “I don’t really like that phrase because we don’t want to be a secret,” she says.

InBloom: Be Sure to Choose A Fragrant Rose

Old rose varieties, such as alba, gallica, and damask, had wonderfully fragrant blooms but, sadly, bloomed only once. Thanks to David Austin (1926–2018) we have 230 modern hybrid roses that offer intoxicating, old-fashioned rose fragrances and that bloom repeatedly.

How One Farmhand Got Land for His Own Farm

After working other people’s farms for a dozen years, Grant Pershing, 44, was ready to start farming for himself. Unfortunately, finding a bank that was willing to loan him the money wasn’t so easy. “I was a pretty poor risk, so I could either find a dilapidated house with enough land or a nice house with no land,” Pershing says. “When it came down to buying something, it just wasn’t going to happen.”

Shalom Celebrates Two Decades Of Helping Those Less Fortunate

The coming year is full of significant milestones for Shalom Community Center, a resource agency for those experiencing extreme poverty and homelessness, and for its executive director, Forrest Gilmore. Gilmore started as assistant director of Shalom in January 2010. A year later, on April 1, 2011—“Make of that what you will,” he says with a laugh—Gilmore was named executive director.

Holly, Ivy & Mistletoe: Natural Holiday Décor

Although you could splurge on red roses when decorating for the holidays, there are other, less expensive, natural alternatives. The early Romans decorated with holly for the winter solstice. Holly, along with ivy and mistletoe, was a traditional Christmas decoration in England, and early American settlers also preferred to use objects from nature to decorate for the holidays.

Shrubs Add Fall & Winter Interest to Home Gardens

The spring and summer months are when gardens are the most colorful, but it is easy to make our fall and winter gardens interesting as well. Shrubs are especially helpful as they are easy to care for once established, and come in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes.

Cohousing in Bloomington Finally Becoming a Reality

After years of planning, Bloomington Cohousing, Indiana’s first cohousing community, is finally becoming a reality. The brainchild of lifelong friends Janet Greenblatt and Marion Sinclair, the intentional community near the Southeast YMCA will feature 26 privately owned homes, a common building, community gardens, and other shared amenities, all designed to reduce homeowners’ environmental footprints and expand their sense of community.

Sensory-Friendly Plays Make Theater Accessible To Kids With Disabilities

Making live theater more accessible is often on the minds of the folks at Cardinal Stage. One example is Cardinal’s Community Ticket Initiative, which allows people to see theater performances free of charge. Another way Cardinal is making theater more accessible is with sensory-friendly performances of their Cardinal for Kids productions during the 2019–20 season.

Ghost Walk Serves Up Spooky Fun For All Ages

At 200 years old, Indiana University has quite a few local legends, including ghostly yarns like the one about a grumpy child apparition in the Indiana Memorial Union Tudor Room, said to be connected to a painting of a little boy holding a pumpkin. Rumor has it the spirit creates a fuss when the chairs and tables in the room are moved out of place. Indulging in such stories is part of the fun when the IU Folklore and Ethnomusicology Department holds its annual Ghost Walk.

B-town’s One & Only Platinum LEED Home

Nate Johnson admired the energy-efficient home his friends David and Carol Gulyas designed and built in Bloomington’s Near West Side neighborhood, so much so that he asked David to help him build a similar one.

Room at the Table: Host an Immigrant Family for Dinner

Even as America struggles with national immigration policy and animosity toward immigrants runs high in some places, two young social entrepreneurs from Indiana University have developed a novel way to make Bloomington a welcoming place for immigrants who choose to settle here.

Movies in the Park

For 21 years, families, friends, and neighbors have been gathering to enjoy recent releases and classic films as part of the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department Movies in the Parks program.

Kids Can Bowl Free All Summer Long!

Parents who want their kids to stay active—and cool—during the summer can take advantage of two local Kids Bowl Free programs. Children ages 2 to 16 are invited to bowl for free at Bowling & Billiards at Indiana Memorial Union now through August 4.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Roses are the most popular cut flowers worldwide. Because of improvements in aeronautics, there is no time of year when roses are not available.

Get Ready to Be Inspired at Summer Garden Walk

If you are a gardener, or simply appreciate gardens and the outdoors, mark your calendar now so you can be sure to attend the Bloomington Garden Club’s 2019 Summer Garden Walk the weekend of June 8 and 9. This will be the 30th year for the popular event.

Williams Bros. Pharmacy Offers Home Solutions to Age in Place

According to AARP, about 90 percent of Americans want to continue living in their own homes as they age. “One change at home—a chairlift or a walk-in shower—can be the difference between living at home and living in a facility,” says Shaun Huttenlocker, manager of home medical equipment at Williams Bros. Health Care Pharmacy, 574 S. Landmark Ave.

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Landscape Artists

Landscape gardening has always been a form of visual art, and, like painting, it has evolved over time. During the past century traditional formal plantings gave way to gardens that incorporate the surrounding terrain, use native plants, and satisfy the desire for a more relaxed—and sustainable—outdoor lifestyle.

Endwright Center Offers Garden Programs & Trips

A short drive up West Ind. 46 in Ellettsville, The Endwright Center offers educational programs for active adults, including many on gardening. “We’ve had classes in bonsai and houseplant care,” says Director Rebecca Ball. “And we’re considering programs on container gardening and small gardens.”

Master Gardener Program Celebrates 30 Years Here

Monroe County’s Master Gardener program celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019. Begun in the greater Seattle area in 1972, the Master Gardener program came to Indiana in 1978, reaching Bloomington in 1989. Participants take a rigorous course in horticultural art and science, then use their knowledge to help the community.

Stone Belt: Serving People With Disabilities for 60 Years

Today, Stone Belt is a $21 million nonprofit agency that supports 1,300 people with disabilities in three counties. Sixty years ago, Stone Belt was located in a church basement operating as a school for children with disabilities. Funds were raised through chili suppers and yard sales.

Toddlers & Seniors Learn Together at Jill’s House

Every weekday morning, small groups of preschoolers at Jill’s House Intergenerational Preschool take field trips from their lower-level classrooms up to the first-floor common areas where many of the residents of Jill’s House Assisted Living and Memory Care spend their time.

MCPL Sensory-Friendly Films Mean No ‘Shushing’ Allowed

With the lights up and the volume down, the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) Autism & Sensory-Friendly Movie program flips all expectations of what it means to go to the movies. In this theater, talking and movement are not only allowed, they’re expected.

Thrive By Five: A Fund Drive For Early Childhood Education

Research has long recognized that when children attend quality preschool programs, they are more likely to succeed in school and in life. To ensure that kind of success locally, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) has launched Thrive by Five, an endowment campaign with a goal of raising $1 million to support early childhood education. 

Sing for Joy! A Choir that Uplifts Seniors

When lifelong music educator Sandra Freund visited area retirement communities to sing for the residents, she noticed that many initially would sit quietly, their heads bowed. But after a bit, she says, their attitudes would change.

Moms Demand Action Working for Better Gun Laws

When 20 first-graders and six staff members were fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, Rachel Guglielmo and Courtney Daily reached their breaking points.

The Serviceable Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums were aptly described by the title character in the 1969 film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie as “serviceable flowers.”

Group Helps Kids When A Parent Is Imprisoned

Mary Goetze, founder of Kids with Absent Parents (KAP), estimates there are 1,000 children in Bloomington with an incarcerated parent. It’s a largely hidden population. “It’s not something families go around and announce,” she says.

CASA Has New Eyes & Ears To Check on Welfare of Kids

Due to an increase in abuse and neglect cases in Monroe County, more than 100 children have been waiting for a CASA—a Court Appointed Special Advocate—to represent their interests in court. So the Monroe County CASA office has created a new position to monitor the children until permanent advocates become available.

The Appeal of Begonias

Begonias are a diverse family of 1,500 plant species native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents except Australia.

Krimson Leadership Academy Teaching it’s Cool to Be Smart

When Brian Richardson was being raised by a single mother in Saginaw, Michigan, he knew that as a black youth attending schools with poor reputations, conventional wisdom held that he wasn’t going to go very far in life. Richardson had other plans. Today, he’s assistant director of diversity and inclusion at the Indiana University School of Public Health and the founder of a mentoring program for young men at Fairview Elementary School.

The T.C. Steele Gardens

Theodore Clement Steele (1847–1926), the famous American impressionist painter, is well known for his Indiana landscapes. (What many may not know is that Steele was also a skilled portrait painter, and this actually generated the majority of his income.)

Green Camino—An Easy Way to Start Composting

Kathy Gutowsky and Randi Cox have a history of environmental activism that dates back to the late 90s when they met on a recycling committee. Now they have turned that interest into a business, Green Camino Curbside Composting.

Nonprofit Aims to Create More Affordable Housing in B-town

South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities (SCIHO) is working to make housing more affordable for renters who pay above-average rents while earning below-average wages. Executive Director Deborah Myerson says the entire community benefits when there is a range of housing options. “What’s the quality of life in Bloomington if only wealthy people can afford to live here?” Myerson says.

Generous Geraniums Add Year-Round Color

Some plants, like some people, are naturally more generous than others. In spring, we are besotted by exuberant blooming plants, as all the world seems new again and blossoms abound in our gardens. But we need to look ahead and ensure that our gardens continue to be full of beautiful flowers once the spring flush has subsided.

Lotus Blossoms Brings World Music to Area School Children

While international musicians congregate in Bloomington each autumn for the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival, a special program for children brings that same diverse cultural experience into area schools. In September, one musical guest, Betsayda Machado y La Parranda el Clavo, visited Fairview Elementary School for a performance through the Lotus Blossoms Educational Outreach program.

Traditional Colonial Style Saves Stress & Expense

Most people are well acquainted with the Colonial Williamsburg decorating style, and there is a lot of inspiration to be drawn from it as we go about the task of decorating our homes for the holidays.

InBloom: Hardy Hibiscus Add Tropical Touch to Midwestern Gardens

At this time of year, in some local gardens, you may notice and admire large blooms in pink, white, and maroon that lend a tropical feel to the landscape. Although they are hibiscus flowers, they are not the tropical varieties that grow so well in places such as Hawaii. 

Bluestone Tree: Artists at Work (VIDEO)

“There’s an art to performing tree work,” says Jerad Oren, co-owner of Bluestone Tree. “We provide homeowners and businesses with the best tree care while respecting their property and properties around them.”

InBloom: Local Growers Make Choosing Natives Easy

More and more home gardeners are choosing to grow native plants, not only because they add a variety of shapes and textural interest but because, at some time during their life cycle, for one reason or another, most of our native insects require a host plant that is native. Likewise, the birds that frequent our gardens depend on our native insects for nourishment. For example, it takes thousands of caterpillars and insects to sustain a young clutch of baby birds.

Rhino’s Youth Radio: Giving Teens a Voice

Rhino’s Youth Center, a division of Harmony Education Center, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Almost as old as the center itself is the first after-school program it offered—Youth Radio.

Ivy Tech Center Celebrates Decade of Lifelong Learning

This year, the Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning celebrates its 10th anniversary. And while its founding executive director says she modeled the center on similar programs from around the country, it’s customized for Bloomington.

Susie’s Place: Helping Children Through Traumatic Times

Hundreds of tiny hand-shaped cutouts hang in the hallways of Susie’s Place Child Advocacy Center in Bloomington. Those hands represent a portion of the 3,000 children ages 2 to 18 seen there since Susie’s Place opened in 2011. The center is located at 365 S. Park Ridge Road.

It’s Not Just a Dog or Cat Choice: Consider Getting a Rabbit!

A few months ago, Marie Kosakowski wanted to find her 4-year-old copper-colored, lionhead rabbit, Oliver, a pal, so she packed him up and took him to the animal shelter run by the City of Bloomington for speed dating. But throwing strange rabbits together can cause sparks to fly—and not in a good way. That’s why Kosakowski took oven mitts for protection—in case she needed to break up any fights.

Urban Air Trampoline Park Now Offering Adult Fitness Classes

Debbie Hannah, owner of Bloomington’s Urban Air trampoline park, says the focus of the facility is helping families have fun together. “It’s meant to help people get active, burn calories, and stay away from screens,” Hannah says. “We want people to come and play and have fun with their families. It’s a place parents love as much as their kids.”

A Tiny, Tiny Home 
That’s Meant to ‘Live Large’

Last year, Loren Wood Builders constructed a 5,000-square-foot home on Covenanter Drive. Early this year, the home builder and remodeler went the other way, creating a house measuring just 20 feet by 8 feet—160 square feet of living space that can accommodate up to two adults and a child.

Project Play: Giving Toys 
So Kids Can Learn & Grow

Project Play creators Hilary Key and Angie Burck say that access to toys helps build social and motor skills, imagination, and empathy. Donating new or gently used toys to Project Play helps get the right toys in the hands of the right children.

Hey Kids, May 20 is Lemonade Day!

Amy Swain has a vision, and it’s the sweet sight of 800 kids setting up lemonade stands across Monroe County on May 20. As the city director of Lemonade Day, Swain hopes to surpass last year’s total of 737 kids selling lemonade for fun, profit, and charity.

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