When I moved in with Rick in 1977, this building was the most run-down place I’d ever lived. The walls had holes in them. The roof leaked. Rats had free run of the place.

For a number of weeks recently we had our washer and dryer out on the back porch. The reason for this displacement was not as a banishing punishment or as a mini stay-cation to allow the machines a brief outside adventure before the wet of winter made time spent out of doors by objects with electronics an inadvisable alternative.

Back in 1988, Joy Goldstein strong-armed me into working with her and a handful of others on the Community Council Affordable Housing Committee.  We went on to form Vashon Household (Joy’s name).

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.

According to all the calendars I have, winter begins with the solstice, on the twenty-first of December or thereabouts. I say that’s broccoli, and I say the hell with it.

I am often to mostly running these internal monologues, which more often than not are where these scribblings come from. Writing things down is a means of purging the echoes, and it works well enough that there are times when I find myself the next day wondering what it was that I just wrote about, since I’m usually fairly certain that what is currently running in my head is a new tangential, mental squash game, banging around in there in search of an exit strategy.

Now that most of the deciduous trees have cast down their leaves and we’re having  cooler weather, often with a brisk breeze that makes it feel even cooler, we’re also hearing complaints of aching joints. Of course, those are always with us, but now the cold and the dampness actually interfere with people’s ability to do what they need and want to do.

My husband Rick has been gone for almost four years now, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw him walk out of the men’s room on the sixth floor of the James Tower one afternoon a few weeks ago. That’s the cardiology floor at the Cherry Hill campus of Swedish Hospital.

When I was growing up in the 1950’s, plastic was one of the most exciting new materials.  Everything from dinner plates to furniture were being made from plastic.  It was lightweight, strong, and would never rot.  In the 1960’s film, The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman is pulled aside by his likely-to-be-father-in-law and given this sage advice in one word:  “plastics.”

As I sat down to this internets box this morning I came upon a headline in the lineup of what counts as news stories on my ATT or Yahoo home page among the many that reside there with their own amazing headlines like, you know, “the Best Frog Jumping Contests in Every State” or “ the Six Foods You Should Eat Today and Not Tomorrow”.

I’ve referred before to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice to characterize our unrelenting belief that we understand how the world works and we can alter portions of it without any adverse consequences.  The story goes that while the sorcerer is away, the sorcerer’s apprentice decides to dabble in a bit of magic to make his chores a little easier.

This has been a rough week in America. It started last Sunday night with a man using semi-automatic weapons to mow down over five hundred people at a country music festival in Las Vegas. Fifty-eight people died. Fifty-nine, counting the shooter, who took himself out before he could be caught.

I got my wish, folks, a lesson in how to make a delicious Syrian salad, by taking notes as Jamila made Tabula in my kitchen. Her daughter Iylaf, a third grader, and speaks excellent English already.  My daughter Suzanna has an app on her cellphone that translates between Syrian and English.

I’ve been watching Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s 10-part film about Vietnam on PBS. It is unsatisfying, and not only because the experience as we lived it fifty years ago was a nightmare.

They are extremely brave people. They’ve escaped civil war in their home country, Syria, a conflict that cost them family member’s lives, their homes and all their valuable things. Jamila left behind her olive orchard and ten gold bracelets. The gold could have provided capital for funding her new life here in the USA, but there was no way she could save both her jewelry and her family.

I will admit that back in the day, when the announcer at the beginning of each ‘Outer Limits’ show proclaimed that they were in control of both the horizontal and the vertical  on our TV set, I did not totally believe him. I did know where those control knobs were, and I do remember that it was the vertical hold that went haywire way more often than the horizontal.

PSE

Harvey and Irma have reminded us that we need to step up the pace in transforming our energy system to carbon-free renewables.  We in the Pacific Northwest have been the fortunate recipients of cheap hydroelectric power for about eighty years.  The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) was formed by the Federal Government in 1937 to meter out the power from the newly built Bonneville dam. 

In a time when I have been sitting on butt a lot while working on things in my magic computer box, to say that I walked uptown and back twice in one day is a bit of  a something. To say that I did it to be interviewed  for a live broadcast from the expansive studios of our own Voice of Vashon

A couple of weeks ago, Dona Bradley, Michael Shapiro, and I went over to Gig Harbor on a Tuesday night to play at an open mike that is run by Thea Wescott at a place called the Markee.

People from India are noted for their high intelligence, for which they credit turmeric. It’s the spice that gives Indian dishes their  yellow color. The intricate blend of other spices gives Indian cooking it’s mysterious and delicious flavor.  Most gourmet cooks believe that, if a dish contains coconut in any form

I get about a hundred emails every day.  I screen them for communications from people I know, but I end up deleting about 95 percent of them.  I have learned to screen quickly, so I don’t waste half my morning doing it.  I’ve considered unsubscribing to them, but there are so many, it would take a day or more to do it.

It is a pleasant sunny day in San Francisco in 1964 or ’65. My mother and I are walking westward on Market Street. Walking in front of us is a young family – mom, dad, boy of about eleven or twelve, slightly younger girl.

We do a lot with quickly cooked and marinated dishes like the ceviche recipe I grave you most recently in which briefly cooked fish marinated in lemon juice featured. This time we’ve enjoyed and pass on to you a dish deliciously presenting Thai rice noodles, shrimp and coconut cream.

A single payer health care system makes so much sense, it’s hard to imagine how we got stuck with the system we have.  We all have to take responsibility for our own health, but if somebody is sick or injured, it is in nobody’s interest that they not receive the care they need.