Natural Beauty at the Asian Grocery Store

This past weekend, Hubby and I made a trip to the local Asian Grocery Store.  Uwajimaya has two big stores in the Seattle area, the flagship store in the International District of Seattle, and a new branch in Bellevue where we went.  This family-owned store has been in business since 1928, and stocks a bewildering variety of goods, from packaged noodles, produce, and meats, to every imaginable kind of Asian spice, sweets, and sauces.  A trip there is to walk into a wonderland of colors, smells, and sights.  I again discovered the utility of that smartphone in my pocket.  If I see something interesting, I can just whip out my phone and take a picture.

I am always fascinated by the variety of totally unknown (to me) fruits and vegetables to be found there.  Here are some pictures I took with my new phone.  The camera is awesome!

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Did you know there was a vegetable called “Buddha’s Hand”?  Neither did I, but it is aptly named.

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Have any of you seen the Anime series “Daikon Brothers”?  Named after those Daikon Radishes you see on the left!

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No, you don’t necessarily have to range far and wide to see beauty, just head on over to your local Asian grocery.

Excursion to Snoqualmie Falls

On Friday, Hubby and I took a drive up to Snoqualmie Falls Park, near North Bend (in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains).  We went late in the day, and the sun was nearly setting, but the Falls was well-lit from where we stood.  It was a beautiful, crisp Autumn day, and the drive up was quite pleasant.  We actually found a parking space easily.

I have always been in awe of what humans can do when they put their minds and backs into a project.  And the Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Station required copious amounts of strength, and human ingenuity.  The first part was built in the late 1890s.

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I was very impressed at how quickly and well the project was built.  Nowadays, the project would be held up for years by “environmental impact” garbage, and the cost would be in the billions.  Here’s a diagram.

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Here are some of the pictures I took, of the mighty power of Nature, somewhat harnessed by Human Ingenuity.  The plant is now owned by Puget Sound Energy, and residents of the East Side of Lake Washington get their electricity from this complex.

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This is the top of the falls, and you can see some of the power plant buildings.  Most of the apparatus is actually underground, hewn out of bedrock by people wielding drills.

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This is the Snoqualmie River below the falls.  You can see in the lower left corner the outflow of a portion of the falls that is directed through the power turbines.

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It’s a pretty steep drop from the observation walk, to the bottom of the canyon!  Solid granite, too.

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Compared to earlier this fall, the Falls is at very low water.  There was a lot of rain in September, and the Falls was very high, and there was extensive flooding in the Snoqualmie Valley below.

Here’s some video.  You have to hear it to believe it.

We are so very fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of America.

A Bullet Dodged: Thanks Given

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RushBabe dodged a bullet recently.  I had a health scare, which started in June with an itchy place on one shoulder.  Where it started was easy to remember, since it took place on the street in Leavenworth, when Hubby and I were there in June for the International Accordion Celebration. Gradually, that itchy place took on the appearance of a blood-blister.  It was a red, spongy blister-like thing, and it sometimes itched a lot.  It didn’t worry me too much, since I assumed that it was the result of a bug bite (quote common in the mountains of Washington State).

It didn’t go away, and it sometimes interfered with my bra strap.  So, I decided to make an appointment with my personal doctor, to see if she could lance it (drain it) and make it go away.  She agreed to see me, and I went to her office.  She did poke it, and drained off some blood.  She gave me a big bandage to wear for a while, and I went home.  Well, that thing didn’t go away.  So I went back, and she took a big piece of it and sent it to her lab just to see what was inside.  This time, she had to put in some stitches.  Again, I went home with a bandage on.  When the lab results came back, I went back to have the stitches out and get the results.  The lab found some Lymphocytes, but nothing definitive.  And the darn thing still came back.

So, next step was to make an appointment with a dermatologist.  I did that, and went in for an exam.  The Dermatology Doctor read the lab report from my doctor, and she looked worried.  So, she took another big biopsy sample, and sent me home with some more stitches.  And something about T-Cell Lymphoma.  Oh, and she also told me not to do any “internet research”, since I might not get the right information that way.  I took her advice.

About a week later, she called me on the phone, and asked me to come in.  It turned out that they found two different kinds of T-Cells in my sample, and I might have a lymphoma, though she wasn’t very informative about what that might mean. [OBTW, that lesion on my shoulder had mostly gone away-maybe the big biopsy sample scared it!]  She asked me if I would approve her sending my sample for evaluation to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which works with the University of Washington.  I told her to go ahead.

So, yesterday I braved the I-5 freeway at morning rush hour, to visit the SCCA and speak with a Dermatological Oncologist there.  It took me an hour and a half to drive the 25 miles in to Seattle.  The office was on the fourth floor of their building in the South Lake Union neighborhood, and had a gorgeous view of the lake.  I spoke with two doctors, one an Internal Medicine Resident, and one a Dermatological Oncologist.  They had had time to look at all my records, and the bottom line was, I probably did not have a Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma, but  “Pseudo-lymphoma”.  Weird, but I was happy to hear it.  They did order a complete blood count, just to make sure.  On the way out, I went to the Lab, and had a big blood sample drawn.  The crowd waiting in the lab area was large, but I only had to wait a few minutes.  While waiting, I was internally giving thanks that my health scare was probably just that, a scare.  And I was impressed by the mood of all the patients waiting for lab work.  I could see that many of them obviously had cancer, but they all looked pretty optimistic, and all the staff were very encouraging.

I suppose when you get to be 70 years old, you begin to think that your time left is shortening.  This incident really brought it home for me.  I thought about all the things that I might need to get done in a short amount of time.  And I gave thanks for being pretty healthy for an old lady.  I almost never get sick, and I don’t remember the time when I last called in sick to work.  Geez, I’m still working more than full-time!

So this Thanksgiving, I will really have something to be thankful for.  My life, my Hubby, my Kitty, my job, my friends.  And I especially am thankful for being born in America.  If I really had had cancer, there is no better place to be than the Seattle area, with all its health care resources. We really do have the world’s best medical system here in America, and I hope that we will never be subjected to the “socialized” system like in Europe, where outcomes are never as good as they are here.  I never take things for granted, and I thank God that I can still be a productive member of society.  I’m thankful for all of my followers and readers on my blog (and the Freedom of Speech that allows me to express myself without being censored), and I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving this year.

 

 

I am Owned by a Cat…

And I find this story quite alarming.  Last Friday in the Wall Street Journal (sorry, behind a paywall so I won’t link here), there was a story about cat owners making their cats vegan.  Now, I think that people who adopt the vegan lifestyle are a bit deranged (since God made us omnivorous for a reason), but I don’t deny them the right to eat whatever they want to, as long as they don’t make me adopt their lifestyle.

But this attempt to make an animal that is designed by God to be an “obligate carnivore” into a vegan sounds to me like animal abuse.  When we got our aristo-cat Kikyo,


we went to a kitten class at our vet’s office for tips about how to best make her a member of our family.  One of the things we learned in that class was that cats do better on an all-wet-food diet, with as much meat protein as possible.  We learned that cats normally do not eat vegetables, and should not be routinely fed vegetables.

That’s why this article alarmed me so much.  Especially, when I read this paragraph in the article:

Hank Rothgerber, a social psychologist at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY, conducted a survey that found high levels of guilt among vegan and vegetarian pet owners who feed their pets meat.

So these pet-owners are taking their own guilt out on their pets!  These people are responsible for the well-being of their feline companions, and they are knowingly feeding them food that the animals are NOT designed to be eating if they want to maintain their pets in the best of health!  This sounds like animal-abuse to me!

I prefer not to be a participant in others’ delusions.

The first Delusion in which I do not participate is the delusion of “man-made climate change”, and the corollaries that demand that we abandon the benefits of plastic items like grocery bags and straws.  It makes me angry when the all-powerful Government decides for me which light bulbs I must use (and no longer may use), and insists that I from now on “bring my own reusable bag” to the grocery store, since it is banning retail stores from providing plastic bags to their customers.  This came in my utility bill recently.

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The worst part of this is that the Government is Requiring retail establishments to charge a FEE for providing paper bags!  This is so ridiculous!  So, what does the retail establishment do with all the fees they collect?  Are they required to remit those funds to the City Government?  This flyer does not say.  I hope they do not have to.

In any case, I refuse to participate in their delusion that banning plastic bags will help “save the planet”, since the Planet is not in need of saving.  And, just in case they need to know, I re-use lightweight plastic bags to take out my home trash, so every bag gets re-used.  I have purchased a big box of lightweight plastic bags, which I will use at my grocery store, every time I shop in the city (which I will try my best to avoid in the future).  If they think they can prevent me from using lightweight plastic bags, they are sorely mistaken.  Maybe they should train their sights on the real culprits responsible for all the plastic waste in the oceans…Asia.  Asian countries put thousands of times more plastic waste into the oceans than the United States does.  Go ban bags there!

The second delusion in which I refuse to participate is that someone born Male can decide that he is really Female, and must have his God-given body altered.  The so-called “gender dysphoria” syndrome (funny, it’s so newly-popular) is a Mental Illness, and cannot be treated with surgery.  Just check out the statistics on suicide by “trans-gender” people who have had that bizarre surgery.  Near 40%!! It is plain to the eye and the mind that a person born with two X chromosomes is Female, and someone born with one X and one Y chromosome is Male.  Removing the male body parts does NOT make a person Female.  So I refuse to call the admin at my place of employment by His chosen new female name.  And HE had better keep out of MY Women’s bathroom.

A Day at the Fair

Starting this past weekend, is the Washington State Fair in the Pierce County town of Puyallup (pronounced pew-allup).  We drove there from our house in Everett, which is a long drive, but it was a nice day on Sunday.  Lots of homeowners there allow their front yards to be used for parking, and local civic groups have lots they use for Fair parking too.  We didn’t even try to find a place on the street.

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This was about five blocks from the fairgrounds.  We entered at the Blue Gate.

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I had a hunch things would not be going smoothly right outside the gate.  First, the sole of one of my flip-flops separated right at the gate, so I knew I’d have trouble walking around if I didn’t get it fixed.  Also, the Fair has gone “total airline” on bag-checks at the gates, so I was required to empty my water bottle before entering.  As if I was carrying something other than water!  It did nothing to improve my disposition, I can tell you.

Once inside, we had to decide where to go first.  I figured I’d have to find someone with glue, or someone selling flip-flops!  Here’s what we saw just inside the gate.

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I knew there was a big building holding the “trade show” booths, of various businesses trying to sell you something. Well, it just so happened that the Vionic people were there, selling their orthotic-friendly flip-flops, so I bought a pair and wore them for the rest of the day.  One problem solved.

Next stop, Carousel.  This is a very pretty one, with nicely-painted horses, ridden by lots of happy kids (and even a parent or two).

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Next, FOOD!

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RushBabe decided to be somewhat incendiary, wearing the Trump garb in Deep Blue Western Washington.

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But this time, I guessed wrong!  I got about a half-dozen remarks on my shirt and hat, and every single one was positive!  I saw another lady in a pink Trump2020 hat, and got a bunch of thumbs-up and people saying they liked my shirt. Very unusual!

Well, what’s a State Fair without animals?  I, being horse-crazy, headed for that area, and I captured two very nice-looking steeds.  I was very pleased to see that the breed that has to be the most beautiful ever designed by Nature, the Friesian, was represented!  They are coal black and shiny, and very graceful. Too bad I neglected to take his picture standing up.

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Here’s another pretty guy.

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And, the obligatory calf.

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And some just beautifully-marked chickens.

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We dropped by the building with local non-profits.  I just got a kick out of these two organizations, back to back.  The Wildlife Conservation folks.

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Back to back with the Trappers!

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I wondered, did they speak to each other?

We visited the Hobby Hall, and saw all kinds of exhibits of crafts made by people all over Washington.

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A nice model of the Titanic.

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And a nice variety of quilts.  I especially loved this Hogwarts one!  See Hedwig on the shelf?  And the LEGO Harry?  Very cute!

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Very Washington!

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And birds.  These quilts are made by professionals, and this one won three awards.

And by this time, we old folks were getting tired, so we headed home.  A great day at the Fair!