On a typical day around here, there is a cloud cover that makes the sky look white. When writing to friends in, say, Australia, I have often found myself reporting that the weather today is the usual high white overcast.

Imagine yourself as a billionaire in 1981.  Ronald Reagan has just been elected.  You’ve parked one of your billions in Treasury bonds—a solid, conservative investment backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government.

Like bears emerging from hibernation, we are a bit grumpy and out of sorts at Chez VHP. Papa Bear has a busted eye tooth that requires an extraction or a root canal. This tooth is one of the most examined and x-rayed choppers in the world! Papa Bear is inclined to have it pulled so he can just be done with it.

The current trends for employment seem to be heading toward a train wreck.   There is a strong push to lower labor costs as more and more work is being outsourced to lower wage labor pools around the world.  In fact, slavery seems to be on the comeback.  Free trade agreements, although not advertised as such, have lower labor costs as a main goal among others.

Lately there has been a foofaraw about where transgender people go to the bathroom. Some people have this idea that if transgender people are allowed to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify, male pedophiles will put on dresses so they can go into women’s restrooms and abuse little girls. At least I think that’s the argument.

Today’s column is inspired by Steve Silha’s request for more Greek recipes. Some of the best dishes we ever tasted were those we ate in small Greek restaurants, the kind with only three tables and the cook working at the back of the room or in her adjacent kitchen.

As we get embroiled in the fever of the presidential election campaign season, it is important to get some perspective on what is really happening right now and what we should best be doing. 

A while back it occurred to me that my days needed some organization.
I sat down with pen and paper, ruler and colored pencils, and drew my week. I listed when I get up, and when I go to bed, and then I listed everything in between through each day of the week. I blocked out the hours and colored in the blocks.

Have you been enjoying supermarket satay? This is chicken, pork, or beef cooked on a stick in a Thai manner.  It’s inexpensive and cooks super fast. You can make satay at home either on an outdoor grill, and under your kitchen cook stove’s broiler.

A guest article this week by Ward Carson:
I’ve always appreciated the value of a trust fund.  My friend Jim has one.  He deserves it I suppose; his father was a millionaire.  He’s always lived free and easy.   His fund has treated him well.

I have been pondering lately how little control I have in my life. Sometimes it occurs to me that not being in control is not a personal fault of mine. It is simply the way things are.

Dear Readers,
It all began on a ferry waiting for the 10:20, I believe.  Would I write a column addressing some issues with the school district? It was 2004. Yes, I would. I would call it “Positively Speaking” because the one thing that was lacking on the Island was the ability to talk about negative things

The nettle plant is really your friend. It’s tasty and nutritious. When it stings you, it’s only trying to save its own life long enough to produce seeds and extend its genes through another nettle generation. So never strip a nettle patch completely.

The Democratic Caucus for Washington State is coming up on Saturday, March 26th.  The doors open at 9am and the Caucus begins at 10am at the O Space.  The goal is to finish by noon, and please plan on staying until the end to be sure that your vote counts.

I was writing a letter this morning. Yes, a letter, with a pen, on paper.
Yes, children, before computers and cell phones we had to write letters, and mail them, then wait days or weeks for an answer.

I wanted to create something grandson James could carry to work that gives him carbs for energy, protein for staying power, and that stops off a lunch with  a feeling like getting a reward.

The exercises where one writes personal bits of one’s history on paper and burns them wasn’t appropriate. I had a lovely new life and was struggling with where to put the pieces of my old life. I’d raised four kids, been married for twenty three years, spent fifteen years preparing for the pastorate, and three years actually pastoring, with little if anything to show for it, or so I thought.

When Bernie Sanders entered the presidential race, he proposed universal health care as a basic human right.  This has been envisaged as a single payer health care system, that is, a system in which the many private health insurance providers we now have would be replaced by a single, public payer, as it is currently done in Medicare.

I keep saying that I want to get things out of my house, not bring things in, but you know I hit Granny’s Attic at least once a week. There are certain people I see almost exclusively at Granny’s. It’s a social thing, and a time of relaxation and fun, browsing the second hand selection.

“You are giving people an opportunity to correct a wrong.”  Those words were spoken within an hour of.
“They’ve erased you from their history?! How can they do that? You being there is a fact. Are they changing the facts?”

“You don’t go to Greece for the cooking,” someone told us. We believed them and prepared to rent a house with a stove and do our own cooking that long ago sabbatical winter. We’d looked on the map and observed that Crete is on the same latitude as San Diego, so we left our woolies at home. Those were the days when it snowed on Vashon Island and one winter it had got down to 15 degrees in January.

I don’t know about you, but I found that the recent revelation that scientists had found something that would confirm Einstein’s theory about gravitational waves somewhat disturbing. I say this because, at least on the surface, the idea that it takes all kind of research and special equipment to discover something supposedly earth shattering, or at least physics-mind bending, is mind bending in itself.

As the Sanders campaign becomes more and more credible, the pundits, rightly, are scrutinizing the viability and popularity of his campaign promises.   That is all well and good.  It is true that such changes need to be well considered and thought out.

Lent is upon us. It is a Christian season of the year, forty days and nights, not counting Sundays, marked by prayer, fasting, and self-examination, with the intended purpose of repentance and improving oneself, one’s behavior, and the practice of one’s faith.