Collage Cure

Collage Cure 1

I hadn’t made collage art in many moons, but when I saw a stack of LIFE Nature Library encyclopedias and a star chart on my neighbor’s curb, I snatched them up for the quiet weekend ahead.  Sorting through images and delving into non-verbalized waters was just the kind of immersion I needed. On Sunday morning,(…)

Social Climbers

Social Climbers 1

Friends and neighbors, Claudia and Jackie, joined me today for stair climbing on this fine, and increasingly rare, sunny morning at the concrete stairs tucked in at intersection of S. Cooper St. and Waters Ave. S. in Upper Rainier Beach. There’s nothing better, in between breaths, than talking about books, gardening and local beautification efforts(…)

Homemade Energy Bars

Homemade Energy Bars 2

Months before our epic John Muir Trail hike last summer, I experimented with making homemade energy bars; the goal being to bring along tasty nutrient rich snacks that could fuel us on our calorie burning days. I scoured all the energy bar recipes on the web and closely inspected the ingredients lists on the huge(…)

Fermented Kohlrabi 0

Chop. Chop.  Time to harvest and preserve the kohlrabi.  I had a hunch kohlrabi would make a good ferment because as a brassica it is sweet, similar in color, and crunchy like cabbage, but this outer-worldly looking vegetable is even more versatile.  In this ferment, I added Hungarian hot wax peppers to give subtle spice,(…)

Mountain Medicine

Mountain Medicine 4

Strong as a boulder, small as a pebble, that’s how I feel after returning from a twenty-day backpacking expedition on the John Muir Trail (JMT) in California.  My three trail companions and I hiked over 200 miles from Tuolumne meadows to Mt. Whitney, crossed seven mountain passes over 11,000 feet, and earned a total elevation(…)

Raw Italian Giardiniera Recipe

Raw Italian Giardiniera Recipe 0

Many years ago, we were introduced to Italian Giardiniera when our roommate at the time, Tommy G., would “mule” gallon jars of giardiniera from the Italian section of his hometown Chicago.  Even though this particular giardiniera was cooked and pasteurized, and used cottonseed oil as the main oil, we still loved it every time Tommy(…)

Shio-Koji

Shio-Koji 0

If you are looking to add more fermented foods into your diet this summer, try making shio-koji(salt koji).  It’s uber-easy and extra tasty. Koji, rice inoculated with the Aspergillus oryzae spores, is commonly used in making traditional Japanese fermented foods like miso, sake and soy sauce, but it is also used to make this salt(…)

Ritual Grief Shopping

Ritual Grief Shopping 0

May 30th was the 49th day after my mother’s death.   I, who still had the urge to do for my mother, followed the Buddhist grief ritual of reciting the Heart Sutra for 49 days after her death. It is believed that by reciting the Heart Sutra, one can help the mind/spirit of the departed by(…)

A Hole in the Fabric

A Hole in the Fabric 3

With my mother’s recent passing in April, I am aware of an empty feeling, a hole in the fabric of my being.  Yet, that hollow spot doesn’t feel empty as in lonely or depressing, it feels hallowed.  When I return to the moment during and after my mother left her body, a profound sense of(…)

Narrative Medicine

Narrative Medicine 6

I went to my GP, Dr. William Shaul, at Group Health today.  As we sat together discussing my current concerns in the exam room, he, sitting on the black stool in a pink-stripped shirt, was, as I have come to expect, very attentive.  Even though he was trying to get a read on my issues,(…)