The ARC meeting went well, so hopefully we'll start work as soon as we receive notice of the facade grant!
For every step forward, though, there's always two (or three) steps back. The fence we put up in the spring had a section busted down, and people resumed throwing trash in our side yard, including two mattresses, a dresser, and five computer monitors/television sets. The basement entrance and kitchen entrance were broken into as well. Luckily, we didn't have much in the house, so the burglar(s) stole some tools and flashlights but courteously left the chifferobes alone.
I had also just finished reading "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" by Shirley Jackson (I honestly only bought it because of Penguin's new book cover design) and felt this immediate, visceral connection to the characters' struggle to protect their home. It opened up the reality of home ownership to me and how much you depend on the social contract once you own property. I'm more fired up for local politics than ever!