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.

We went to court a few weeks ago to have my grandson’s name legally changed from what he was named at birth, when we all thought he was a girl, to the name he has been using the last two years.

Whether we’re in a dangerous situation or simply inconvenienced, it is our level of resourcefulness that determines if and how quickly we resolve the situation.  We in the developed world really don’t need to know much about the places we inhabit or the things we need or use. 

Garlic and shiitake mushrooms are reputed to be the champs at warding off the flu and at  relieving flu symptoms if you’ve already got them. (Mash garlic and sliver soaked shiitaki caps; add to chicken soup.) Also antiviral are basil, oregano,  elderberry, lemon balm, ginger and peppermint. Cinnamon and cloves are antibacterial and antiviral.

So many tears; so much heartache and mourning in 2016. In a malicious parting shot, the final devastating blow was struck in late December of the *Deplorable* Year: Granny (J2) is gone, missing since October.

I don’t know that I have ever really been a fan of anything, in the sense that I have come to understand fandom anyway. I do remember becoming a Smokey the Bear ranger and getting a bunch of stuff from that club, but I don’t remember why.

In case you’ve been procrastinating on your New Year’s resolutions, I have a few suggestions.   This was a tough year, and 2017 looks like it could be worse.  The ball is definitely in our court, and we have to decide whether and how we are going to put it in play.

Today, as I write, December 29, 2016, at 2:20 pm PST, my husband Rick will be gone exactly three years.

People these winter days are either fighting off a cold or the flu, shopping for cold remedies, turning up the heat, or looking back at all those not very healthy Christmas goodies and vowing to restrain themselves in the future as they gargle sore throats and blow their noses. It’s time for grandma’s cold remedy: warming, energizing, flavorful chicken soup!

Last column, I wrote about tribalism being a force that encouraged suspicion and hatred between different racial and ethnic groups.  A friend pointed out that our indigenous people, who call themselves tribes

There is something conflicted in thinking about infinity on the shortest day of the year. I suppose one could say there is something hopeful in it. But with the next delivery of hope balanced on the edge of some event horizon and threatening to disappear down a black hole, I guess hope is a requisite commodity once again..

Dear hearts and gentle people, it is coming on Christmas (if you are like me, you will now have a Joni Mitchell song running through your head), and I have been clobbered by a virus. I’m spending lots of time asleep, which seems to be the best thing.