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“Pieces of April” and “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” are must haves in my Thanksgiving traditions.  At some point, in the coming days, I will watch both of them. They will both make me feel hopeful for humanity and grateful for all I have. They are stories of people with little, who find out they have much.

Formed from deep within the Westsound Union, Rippin’ Chicken plays a greasy brand of funky, bugaloo and soul jazz, executed with creative ease by three funky brothers from different mothers who LOVE to play together.

The Vashon Youth Chorus under the direction of Marita Ericksen will perform with the Vashon Island Chorale at their Winter Wonderland concerts on Saturday, Dec 5 (7:30pm) and Sunday, Dec. 6 (3pm) at Bethel Church.

Cooking the traditional centerpiece of a Thanksgiving meal is easy; the directions come with the bird. But what do you do with the leftover carcass? There’s a lot of good meat on it, well worth the time to cut off that meat and transform it into a big pot pie, or a casserole.

Two community meetings have been scheduled this fall on Vashon Island, when community members can learn more about a proposal to build mountain bike trails in King County Parks’ Dockton Forest.

There was a mighty crash in the breakfast nook and our table was covered with broken glass and curtains.  There was something moving under the curtain which turned out to be a Chinese pheasant.  This one lived but the two previous birds that tried to use our nook as a flyway had met their demise.

Once again, our venerated Southern Resident killer whales provided much material for this news cycle. Prospective subject matter for this column included “Resident orcas penetrate Quartermaster Harbor for the first time in recent memory,” or “Late breaking: L Pod matrilines off West Seattle.”

The Seattle International Comedy Competition is the REAL “Last Comic Standing.” 26 Days, 22 Shows, 18 Venues from Vancouver to Bellingham. 33 comedians from the U.S., Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, and Africa.

The concert will feature “One Voice” by the Wailin’ Jennys, as well as a new composition based on a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh. The show will continue with Toto’s popular 80’s hit, “Africa”, Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Ella’s Song” and special trio performances by choir founders, Tom Pruiksma, Shane Jewell and Emily Pruiksma.

Wow! We are blown away by the response to our call for stories about what makes living on Vashon so special. And we’re moved by the outpouring of desire, willingness and sincerity that Islanders share in their stories, poems and reflections. More than 150 Islanders sent in writing to be included in the project; we are so grateful and inspired by the responses!

The sun was just beginning to brush the tops of the mountains outside of Butte as I left there the other day. The temperature was in the low teens and there was a light dusting of snow all around, although the roads were thankfully bare and dry. It was the state of the snow the night before that sealed the deal on my pulling over for a warm rest stop inside an inn that was a part of a national network of such places.

I’ve often said that we live in extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures.  Although I don’t like to get into political races in this column, what is happening now is truly extraordinary and deserves some attention.

I don’t mean this literally... of course if you do this, next time invite me for the festivities! What I am talking about is that decorating, like design, is a process that should be thought out, not approached willy-nilly like a drunken sailor.

The gigantic head of a Star Wars storm trooper was approaching me in the oncoming lane. I knew that couldn’t be right. Turned out it was a white Kia Soul. For a few seconds, though, I was definitely in a galaxy far away.

On the weekend of November 20 – 22, Vashon Allied Art’s Youth Musical Theater program will be presenting the new musical, The Snow Queen, based on the story by Hans Christian Anderson, at the Vashon United Methodist Church. There will be 3 shows – Friday, Nov. 20 and Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7 PM and Sunday, Nov. 22 at 4 PM. 16 students will perform onstage and Lizzie Staehli (also a student) will design and run lights and the power point slides.

“The King County Board for Developmental Disabilities would like to invite you to its 26th annual community forum to present its 2016 Legislative Agenda. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 23, 2015, at the DoubleTree Guest Suites located at 16500 Southcenter Parkway in Tukwila.

You start with the leanest, cleanest, grass-raised beef. You can ask the butcher to grind a pound of round steak for you. Besides its yummy flavor, each low fat serving provides 20 grams of high quality protein, 3 mg Vitamin B12, 5 mg niacin( the happiness vitamin) and a smidgeon of B1, B2, and B6, also 258 mg of potassium.

We invite you to join supporters and friends at Vashon Island Pet Protectors’ biggest fundraising event of the year – The Fur Ball™!!  This year’s theme is The Wildest Fur Ball Ever. In true pet-lover fashion, some auction guests embrace the theme and arrive dressed for the occasion, wearing costumes and decorating tables to reflect their interpretation of the theme. Others sport their favorite Vashon attire.

  We had three dogs, one of them called Boots, because her ankles were brown and the rest of her body was mottled white and brown.  Calling her Boots seemed appropriate.  She was a springer spaniel while the other two dogs were both black Labradors, Pan and Mike.  All three were excellent hunting dogs.

Our cherished orcas, both Residents and Transients, are certainly newsworthy of late. With six babies and an extraordinary journey up to Springer’s homeland, or Northern Resident traditional territory, the Southern Residents have generated a plethora of news. I will start locally, however, with a remarkable Transient encounter.

“Now, only an expert can deal with a problem. Because half of the problem is seeing the problem. And only an expert can deal with a problem…”         Laurie Anderson
   

I am grateful to Vashon Bookshop for hosting a book launch and reading on Thursday, Nov. 12, 6 PM for me to share Song In My Belly, my new book. This follows Through A Hollow Reed (2003) and Space Between My Bones (2010) as my latest hand-bound collection of poems.
 

When you go to the doctor, you may take the right to informed consent for granted. The doctor makes a recommendation, which usually includes information about the risks and benefits of that recommendation.

 

I still haven’t gotten any conservative takers for a mutually respectful, ongoing discussion of common ground for political action.  In my previous column, I mentioned that I was sick and tired of the mutual demonizing by liberals and conservatives, when, in the end, we all have basically the same human wants and needs.