This past weekend a folk singing retreat called Rainy Camp was held in the foothills of the Cascades, out beyond Maple Valley. The attendees were mostly people of a certain age – my age, or thereabouts, although there were some younger adults in attendance.

I readily admit that I am not a graceful griever. The one-year anniversary of my beloved Mother’s death is imminent, and I have been in a funk for weeks, all cranky and isolated for fear of snapping at someone unintentionally.

I am tired of having to consider voting for the lesser of two evils.  That said, I will be working as hard as I can to convince all of you to get behind Bernie Sanders.  Here are my reasons:

Seriously, Google Analytics. Copy and paste code onto each of my web pages??!! I was raised in the era when Weekly Reader declared that three mice had returned from space alive. What are you thinking I am capable of doing??!!

Part of my morning ritual here and elsewhere generally includes the washing of the dishes. This is not because I am obsessed with cleaning, as a few people know all to well. It is because in a world cluttered and compelled by a variety of projects, it just feels good to wake up and finish at least one of them on a regular basis.

Throughout the time I’ve been writing this column, I’ve tried to point out ways in which we as individuals and as a community could become more resilient to changes that are and will be occurring in our world.

My husband died two years ago today, as I write. That sad ending was a new beginning, although I certainly did not think of it that way at the time.

All that was needed was a little distance, a little perspective. Well, and I had to start taking piano again and commit to regular facial cleansing.

Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist, wrote the new book Brain Maker, published by Little, Brown and Company of the Hachette Book Group. The gist of his book is that good health, energy, upbeat mood, efficient brain, freedom from chronic diseases, and joy in living all stem from eating the foods your good gut bugs like and thrive on, and avoiding sugars, wheat and other junk that encourages the bad bugs.

The dog really likes the new bed. The new bed has a full-sized mattress. This mattress came to me as gift because I was griping about my wonky back and my old mattress that was causing the wonkiness.

In January of 2012, I wrote a summary in that I was surprised to hear that a recent study found Vashon Island was the most liberal city in the US.  It was the first time I have ever seen Vashon singled out in a national context for anything.  My second thought was that I, probably like most of you, suspected as much.

There is a box on the floor in our house that arrived recently with the shipment of objects, devices, artwork, clocks and toys from my parents’ house. Despite its daunting nature, I am slowly going through all of it, although compared to what got left behind, this task at hand seems rather small, but not insignificant.

Whenever we host a big family dinner, we cook much more food than the group can consume. There are leftovers for our house and for the batchelor/s at the gathering to take home. It’s best to put them in glass or ceramic containers, not plastic boxers.

There are exactly two chimes of the clock before the Nutcrackers start to sing, all kinds of Nutcrackers. There are ones dressed in fisherman slickers, and plaid shirts. Some look like Troll Dolls with green hair. The trick is to get the mute button on before they start to sing.

The sight of the armadillo stamped on the envelope always brought a smile. Inside the envelope, I had come to know, would be a tidbit of spiritual thought that pushed the edge a little or inspired. Gordie Fisk had sent me another article he thought would interest me.

The first column I wrote for this newspaper, ten years ago, gave readers a requested recipe for Pad Thai. It’s okay for people sensitive to wheat because it uses Thai rice noodles.

About twenty-four years ago I was enrolled in an Episcopal course given by the Diocese of Olympia called Formation for Ministry. It was meant to equip lay people to live out their call.

In January of 2012, I wrote a summary in this column of the decision at the Durban UN Climate Conference to kick the can down the road with a promise to produce a binding agreement at the 2015 conference that would take affect in 2020.  Previous  to Durban, in Copenhagen, the world agreed that global warming must be limited to 2 degrees Celsius. 

As I write it is the week before Thanksgiving, and I am thinking about things for which I am thankful, and how hard it is to feel thankful when the brokenness of the world seems to be anything but a gift. I turn my attention from woes to gratitude.

“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.

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.

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 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.