I walked passed a bag of papers on the way to the recycling place the other day and noticed a cover to a nursery catalogue- my first nursery catalogue- partly sticking out of the rest of the papers there. It was part of a bunch of stuff Wendy was hauling out of what used to be my office.

If you are a believer in climate change, you really don’t need to know who is in charge of the various federal agencies that deal with it.  You can pretty much assume that the person in charge of the agency in question is probably the worst possible choice for that position.  We are all walking about in a daze, having a hard time believing what is happening.

It was a genuinely crappy week. I could tell I was stressed, because I cursed a lot. I even amazed my 14-year-old grandson, and I figure he hears it all in middle school.

It will be a small family gathering that assembles at our house this Easter. The Oregon group of five is preoccupied with waiting for the newest member to be born, due the day after Easter, but not expected to have to wait quite that long.    

A portion of my time last Friday night was spent behind a video camera, a situation I have been known to find myself in as of late. The reason for being there was to record a panel discussion among four women who have been known to swim long distances in the open water, which in the purest sense usually refers to a fluid that is cold and salty.
 

Today it seems like we are living in a fantasy world where the ruling forces don’t have any grounding or relation to a commonly accepted reality.  W.B. Yeats’ poem, “The Second Coming,” written a hundred years ago, still characterizes our times:  “The best lack all conviction / While the worst are filled with passionate intensity.” 

In 1998, my late husband, Rick, a Vietnam vet, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was 52, which I thought was young to have prostate cancer.
In Vietnam there were troops who were on the ground. There were also “brown water sailors,” who manned the river boats. Then there were the blue water sailors, on ships.

Long, long ago when Basque fishermen of Escadia, a province of northern Spain  first discovered the codfish-thronged undersea banks in the northwest Atlantic Ocean, they came home with their ships laden to the gunwales. Word soon spread to the fishermen of Genoa in northern Italy.

As a member of the on again, off again group known as the Friends of Vashon Pool, I have been receiving emails lately that have been detailing the latest efforts to make the Vashon Pool a year ‘round facility. In reading what these e-epistles had to offer I was left less than impressed

Economics as it has come to be studied has got to be one of the most stultifying subjects known to man.  Within the first three equations, my mind starts to wander and the soft murmurs of slumber begin to crowd out my consciousness.

A couple of months into the so-called Trump presidency, there is talk of Trump being mentally ill. I don’t know for sure if he is, but he sure seems to be a carrier.

For the weeks until Easter, which will be Sunday, April 12 this  year, good Christians will be following a medieval pope’s command that everybody abstain from eating animal foods and stick to fish. “Fish” to me includes all seafoods. For the sake of variety, the French made  the escargot (snail) an honorary fish.

Since the national elections, it looks like Democrats, such as they are, will be primarily in reactive mode as they really have little control over what happens at the national level.  There is the historical surge of resistance from the grassroots, which is very encouraging, but the question is how long will we be able to keep it up?

I will admit it- I am addicted to the Trump Watch, in whatever form that might take. The reason for this obsession is fairly simple- we are looking for the end to the madness. The madness is of course that the president- previously noted here as mostly unworthy of naming and thusly designated as 45*- is actually the president, and the sooner he is un-presidented the better.

You can pretty much rely on salads to be low in carbohydrates unless like, my sister diabetic sister Gail used to, you think a fruit salad is not complete without a handful of mini-marshmallows. Note that marshmallows and other candies contain lots of sugar, the ingredient that the Glycemic Index puts at the top of their list of baddies, with its carbohydrate rated 100 percent. In other words, that’s all it contains. Eat sugar and any pains you’ve been having  feel  worse.

So. I asked the cashier at Taco Time to throw away my old Taco Time cup from the last time I was in Seattle, and that’s where the trouble started.

In girding our community loins for the tumultuous times ahead, we need to be looking toward maximizing our ability to subsist locally and regionally.  In addition to broadening our skills and strengthening our community bonds, we will need to optimize and cultivate our resources.  For some time now, we have been carefully managing our water supply.

Last week, if nothing else, was an eventful one here on the farm, or whatever it is. As it was, we were named as the first family to lose power by the folks who came to get the troublesome half of the madrona off of our powerlines. It was Wendy who first noted that as a follow up to the airborne fir branch that took out part of her glass sunroof in that wind storm last October, that now a snow laden section of our majestic Nothofagus dombeyi had stripped her driver side mirror from the door.

So, dear hearts, how long was the electricity off at your house last week? In my neighborhood, it was out for almost exactly 53 hours. Give or take an hour. I woke up around 4 a.m. Monday when the power went out. That was the first day.

Diabetes recently surged to the top of nutrition writer Brad Lemley’s list of his readers’ main health concerns. It’s no news that overweight, the “standard American diet” and even the American Diabetes Association’s diet, ostensibly designed to prevent or remedy diabetes, pre-diabetes, and/or an overweight problem--well, it does not.  It makes no mention of reducing carbohydrates.

The world we find ourselves in today has thrown most of us into a real quandary.  The fact is that nobody knows what is going to happen next, and most of the options are not that appealing.  It is easy enough to see utter disaster looming.
 

I sat down to write something for this past issue, the first of the year, and there was nothing there. It was not because there was no there there, or that it depended on what one meant by the word “is”, or because a mission was “accomplished” and there was simply nothing more to say.

The alders, the maples, the horse chestnut, and the apple tree have all lost their leaves. This is the time of year I can see some of the sky, though the evergreens still block some of the view.

Though I’m writing this in January, You’ll be reading it in the sweetheart month, February. Everything’s already coming hearts. My grandson, James, did the grocery shopping for me, and brought home something not on the list I gave him. It was half a beef heart, just under eight ounces of super-lean meat, once I’d trimmed off the hard fat on the outside.