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Well, friends, comes now the end of another year, and with it come Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the Solstice which will mean longer days and more light for us up here in the Northern Hemisphere. Hanukkah has passed. The sixth of January will bring Epiphany for western Christianity,

Our Grandma Ollie always had us kids pour her beer down the side of the glass to keep the bubbles from escaping thus making less foam.  She gauged our success by the height of the head of beer in her glass.

The setting is rainy, wintry Vashon, yet Red Ranger Came Calling: A Guaranteed True Christmas Story is a warm-hearted musical for all ages and Drama Dock’s holiday gift to the Vashon community. The show runs Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 21, 22 and 23 at Vashon High School Theatre

Vashon Events is once again partnering with the Red Bicycle Bistro & Sushi to host a showcase of holiday songs to benefit Island Nonprofits this holiday season. The Fifth Annual Will Sing for Vashon will take place on Friday, December 22nd beginning at 8pm. The event is always an open call for Vashon Island musicians to perform a holiday song. In the past over 25 acts perform through the night and this year is no exception.

The winter solstice has always seemed to me to be more meaningful than the summer solstice.  The promise of longer days at the darkest and coldest time of year is more heartening than the beginning of shorter days in the summer.  The darkness of December lends itself to stillness, introspection, and peace:  Silent Night.

To remain healthy through this coming holiday season, we need to pamper our immune systems. Iron feeds the immune system. Think red meat, the best food source. Think zinc gluconate, a 13 milligram  lozenge of it at the very start of a cold, every two hours for up to a week but not longer. Too much zinc actually weakens immunity says Reader’s Digest book 1801 Home Remedies.

The Natural Philosopher project is fundamentally an exercise in the domain of philosophy known as epistemology.  Epistemology is often defined as “the theory of knowledge”.  It is knowledge about knowledge or ideas about ideas.  I would argue that epistemology is indeed the basis of a human operating system. 

Men are hound dogs, and suddenly it is news.
Not all men, I hasten to add. Most men are good, decent people, despite the hand life deals them, and that is admirable.

Vashon Center for the Arts is pleased to announce that Kathy Raines and Whitney Rose, current co-managers of Heron’s Nest Gallery, will take over the gallery space in downtown Vashon. They will open a new gallery, Gather Vashon, early next year.

Resourcefulness was a rule among the kids of Vashon.  The insularity of the island from the city and the fact that Vashon was mostly woods gave us an edge in creating something from nothing.  We had safe play and we did dangerous things. 

My column on affordable housing in the last issue was one that was first published several months ago.  I was delirious with fever at the time last week’s column needed to be in and didn’t even get it together to tell as much to The Loop.  One of my older columns was chosen to fill in, one of my better one’s, if I do say so myself.

Well, for those who have been counting, or reading what goes on here, I have to say that so far the whole exercise thing has been a bust. I would say that in part, I have been avoiding the physical side of things because I’ve been trying to finish up other projects in deference to all those pre-resolution day sales and specials- the ones where if I finally edit the lectures I’ve been recording at the VCA for the past year, a certain local station will send me a check.

On Thanksgiving Day eleven to fourteen family members--counting heads is like trying to count a flock of chickens--will gather around my dining table to feast on smoked turkey, cranberry relish and whatever  dishes the others contribute.

The Cascadia Protocol is a model for self-directed, eco-logically structured learning, and deep local Nature connection, in the context of a natural, bioregional mode of human social self-organization.

It might start with material, process, idea or feeling. And then, the work of the artist begins to propel itself!  The regular rhythm of the Art Studio Tours each December and May certainly drives the productivity of the artists, who structure their work cycles around their studio sales. 

I put a coffee can over Matilda’s head so she wouldn’t peck me and reached under her warm body for the eggs.  There were quite a few, as Matilda had been hiding her eggs in the woodshed.    I could hear her pecking the inside of the coffee can as I cleaned her nest of eggs, bound for the breakfast table and other good things

OneNiteStand is gaining ground with more rocking tunes and incredible vocals by Terri Cole – and the good news is, they’re ready to show off the new polish! This band is ‘nothin’ but rock & blues with the emphasis on classic rock tunes as well as some originals sprinkled in there.

The Exterminating Angel has its Met premiere this season, conducted by the composer, Thomas Adès. The 2016 opera, co-commissioned by the Met and sung in English, is based on the screenplay by Luis Buñuel and Luis Alcoriza for the acclaimed 1962 Buñuel film.

Plan now to enjoy music of the holiday season by attending the Carols & Cantatas concert on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 7:30pm and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 3pm in The Kay White Theater! Ninety-five singers (including a Youth Chorus) and thirty orchestra members will entertain concert-goers with traditional carols and two cantatas.

Free Range Folk Choir offers a sing-along concert in the key of Thanksgiving, at 7pm on Saturday Nov. 25 in the Vashon High School auditorium. Enjoy songs of peace, strength, and joy in community with harmonic vocal arrangements of Bridge Over Troubled Water,

Throughout November, Southern Resident orcas have teased us a few times by changing direction between Dilworth and the north end ferry lanes -- dashing hopes of any Point Robinson encounters. One of those occasions was at Loop deadline! Fortunately, our intrepid colleagues Mark and Maya Sears deployed in their research boat, in the rain, to obtain identification photos and collect samples.

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.

While most of us spend this weekend with our feet on the couch and our brains on tryptophan, artists of the Waterworks Studio Collective will perform their annual feat of holiday magic. Each year the cooperative transforms the studio of Christine and Darsie Beck into a Gallery-Not-To-Be-Missed! on the Vashon Island Art Studio Tour.

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.