126707mountain-views-branden-chou-tops-3a-greater-st-helens-league-boys-cross-country-all-league-team https://blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports/2021/10/26/mountain-views-branden-chou-tops-3a-greater-st-helens-league-boys-cross-country-all-league-team/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/100_3174-1024x768-600x450.jpg

Runner of the Year: Branden Chou, sr., Mountain View

FIRST TEAM

Logan Bigelow, jr., Prairie

Ethan Pedersen, so., Prairie

Vincenzo Robles, sr., Heritage

Adin Jura, sr., Mountain View

Norman Hartman, sr., Kelso

Giovannie Lopez, sr., Kelso

Lorenzo Anguiano, sr., Evergreen

SECOND TEAM

Jesus Rios, fr., Kelso; Evan Williams, sr., Kelso; Kamren Mattison, jr., Kelso; Jake Beck, so., Kelso; Ayden Walker, so., Prairie; Luke Twiss, so., Evergreen; Stanley Johnson, sr., Kelso

Coach of the Year: Tim Wines, Kelso

126704evergreens-claire-rogge-tops-3a-greater-st-helens-league-girls-cross-country-all-league-team https://blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports/2021/10/26/evergreens-claire-rogge-tops-3a-greater-st-helens-league-girls-cross-country-all-league-team/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/1022_spt_3AXC38-1024x768-600x450.jpg

All-league team as selected by league coaches:

Runner of the Year: Claire Rogge, fr., Evergreen

FIRST TEAM

Phebe Willson, sr., Mountain View
Annie Anderson, jr., Prairie
Beatrice LeGore, sr., Evergreen
Sophie Cheslock, jr., Kelso
Emily Anderson, sr., Prairie
Morgan Geddry, so., Mountain View
Mina Rios, jr., Kelso

SECOND TEAM

Zoe Jensen, fr., Prairie; Morgan Hill, sr., Prairie; Lily Evans, sr., Kelso; Aleah Vojak, sr., Prairie; Dakotah Leach, fr., Heritage; Skylar Dopps, so., Mountain View; Megan Gott, sr., Kelso

Co-Coaches of the Year: Nick Spencer, Prairie; Anne Christie, Evergreen

126701elijah-nelson-of-prairie-tops-the-3a-greater-st-helens-league-boys-tennis-all-league-team https://blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports/2021/10/25/elijah-nelson-of-prairie-tops-the-3a-greater-st-helens-league-boys-tennis-all-league-team/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/0904_SPT_VTC2018-2-1024x576-600x338.jpg

All-league team as selected by league coaches:

Player of the year: Elijah Nelson, Prairie

Doubles team of the year: Trey Gillespie and Jeffrey Tso, Mountain View

FIRST TEAM

Singles

Kevin Kim, Mountain View

Trevin Livingston, Evergreen

William Goth, Evergreen

Doubles

Geoff Bennion and Owen Lucas, Prairie

Lucas Gillespie and Maverick Hallett, Mountain View

James Marjama and Connor Hunter, Prairie

SECOND TEAM

Singles: Nate Merritt, Prairie; Alex Alanis, Mountain View; Jack Ormson, Mountain View; Shuvan Dasgupta Evergreen; Doubles: Thomas Cunningham and Joey Pham, Evergreen; Angel Gonzales and George Davis, Heritage; CJ Muraski and Jack Correy, Mountain View; Jaret Johnson and Jason Pham, Evergreen.

HONORABLE MENTION

Evergreen: Hiroaki Salas, Caden Livingston; Heritage: Tim Boyarkin, Anthony Mar, Andre Gavyrschuk; Prairie: Alec Laughter, Taylor Gaston, Noah Alfter.

Coach of the year: Nick Frost, Mountain View

126698slow-cooker-mac-and-cheese-with-bacon https://blogs.columbian.com/home-made/slow-cooker-mac-and-cheese-with-bacon/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/IMG_5173-e1634960782341-1024x824-572x460.jpg

No bones about it, Halloween here is just better. Someone flips a magic switch- foreboding clouds gather. A chilly breeze hits the leaves, and the night takes on all the broody, moody feel of a Nirvana song. Perfect, right? Now gather your ghouls and goblins and let’s get this party started!

Pray for drizzle, but plan for rain. Your trunk-or-treaters are bound to return home soaked or soggy. Be ready with something warm and waiting. This Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese with Bacon is just the thing. Serve it on its own or make it part of a fun boo board full of spooky eats. 

Here are some tricks for your treats. Scare up some fun and make easy Crescent Mummy Dogs. Wrap them earlier in the day with your kids, bake them ahead of time, and then gently rewarm before serving. Go to pillsbury.com for directions or email me and I’ll send you the recipe. Set out finger food that sets the mood. Start with some eerie, green guacamole. Add yellow, orange, and purple carrots, some yellow squash, pumpkin seeds and tortilla chips. Keep the creep with some dried fruit. Shriveled, withered, and already eerie, it does spooky on its own. No added effort on your part required. 

You can use any shape pasta that you like, but radiatore will hold their shape and consistency  best with this cooking method. I added 4 extra ounces of pasta, using all of the 16 ounce package when I made this. It turned out very creamy and cheesy, so don’t be afraid to use a little more pasta and make a bigger batch. I used 2% milk and low-fat 2% evaporated milk to reduce the fat a bit, and you could also use reduced fat cheese if you like. Make this recipe gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free pasta. Be sure to undercook your pasta. Reduce the package cooking time by two minutes when you boil it.

Settle in for a spooky movie. Eat, drink, and be scary! Have a frightful biteful and however you may gather, stay safe out there.

Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Lightly coat the bowl of a 4- to 5-quart cauldron, or slow cooker, with nonstick cooking spray. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then add pasta. Set timer for 2 minutes less than package directions.  

While pasta cooks, crumble 6 slices of bacon and add to slow cooker, along with milk, evaporated milk, mustard, onion powder, and salt. Whisk until blended. When pasta is done, drain and quickly transfer to crock pot; stir gently. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

Lightly stir in cheeses and cook and additional 30 minutes. Crumble remaining 2 slices bacon, then sprinkle on top. 

familycircle.com, February 2015 

126694gop-outlines-process-to-replace-rivers https://blogs.columbian.com/all-politics-is-local/gop-outlines-process-to-replace-rivers/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/ANN_RIVERS-1024x695-600x407.jpg

Although State Sen. Ann Rivers hasn’t yet said when she’s leaving, Republicans aren’t letting any grass grow under their legislative feet. They have already started working on finding a replacement for the soon-to-retire lawmaker.

The 18th Legislative District Republican Committee outlined the process to recruit nominees for the position during its quarterly meeting Tuesday. The committee will hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. on Nov. 20 to select and rank three nominees. Each candidate will introduce themselves to the district’s precinct committee officers and answer questions. The top three nominees will then be sent to the Clark County Republican Central Committee for ratification.

The Clark County Council will make the final selection.

Rivers, of La Center, announced she was stepping down from the Legislature on Oct. 4 for a position as community development director for the city of Longview. Although she didn’t give a date, Rivers said her last day would come sometime before the 2022 legislative session convenes in January.

Rivers was first elected to the 18th District in November 2010, serving two terms in the House of Representatives before her appointment to the Senate in June 2012. She won a full four-year Senate term in 2012 and was reelected in 2016 and 2020.

Anyone interested in applying should email 18LDChairClarkRepublicans@gmail.com to request an application packet. Requirements for consideration include: proof and length of current 18th Legislative District residency; completed 18th Legislative District Senator questionnaire; resume including demonstrated background of Republican political involvement; and a letter of nomination from a current 18th Legislative District PCO.

Applicants must complete the questionnaire and submit a resume by 5 p.m., Nov. 5 to be considered.

126688hayden-reich-of-camas-tops-4a-greater-st-helens-league-boys-cross-country-all-league-team https://blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports/2021/10/22/hayden-reich-of-camas-tops-4a-greater-st-helens-league-boys-cross-country-all-league-team/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/HaydenPuffer-560x460.jpg

4A Greater St. Helens League boys cross country all-league team, as selected by league coaches:

Runner of the year: Hayden Reich, jr., Camas

FIRST TEAM

Hayden Reich, jr., Camas

James Puffer, jr., Camas

Gabriel Marcham, jr., Camas

Ben Gamblin, sr., Battle Ground

Luke Tupper, jr., Camas

Porter Craig, sr., Camas

Max Gregory, so., Union

SECOND TEAM

Carson Clary, jr., Skyview; Marius Lafond-Kervegant, so., Union; Michael Ouellette, so., Skyview; Benjamin Merrill, sr., Skyview; Evan Hebblethwaite, sr., Skyview; Grayson Caldwell, so., Union; Caden Ashworth, so., Battle Ground.

Coach of the year: Laurie Porter, Camas

126691gracie-buzzell-of-camas-tops-4a-greater-st-helens-league-girls-cross-country-all-league-team https://blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports/2021/10/22/gracie-buzzell-of-camas-tops-4a-greater-st-helens-league-girls-cross-country-all-league-team/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/GracieBuzell-1-544x460.jpg

4A Greater St. Helens League all-league girls cross country team, as selected by league coaches:

Runner of the year: Gracie Buzzell, jr., Camas

FIRST TEAM

Gracie Buzzell, jr., Camas

Eveyln Reed, so., Skyview

Charlotte Wilson, so., Union

Lauren Amato, so., Skyview

Natalie Peddie, jr., Camas

Bethany McKinstry, fr., Camas

Jaylyn Lehner, jr., Union

SECOND TEAM

Phoebe Abbruzzese, sr., Skyview; Alyson Roberton, jr., Camas; Stacy Sutton, jr., Battle Ground; Ava Logue, so., Skyview; Amanda Grant, so., Union; Bianca Perez, jr., Skyview; Amelia Merritt, jr., Camas.

Coach of the year: Bob Brands, Skyview

126683week-8-prep-football-previews-livestream-links-and-predictions https://blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports/2021/10/21/week-8-prep-football-previews-livestream-links-and-predictions/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/PreviewPredixW8-1024x772-600x452.jpg

We were 11-2 on picks last week, moving us to 80-29 (.719) on the season.

Here are the picks for Week 8:

Washougal vs. Columbia River

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Kiggins Bowl, Discovery MS, 800 E 40th St., Vancouver

Broadcast info: TV, cable Ch. 28/328. Online stream at Vancouver Public Schools YouTube channel.

Last week: Washougal beat R.A. Long 41-10; Columbia River lost to Ridgefield 34-7.

Last meeting: Washougal 21, Columbia River 14, March 12, 2021

Game notes: Washougal (3-4, 3-2 2A GSHL) can clinch a playoff berth with a win over River coupled with a Mark Morris win over Woodland this week. Likewise, Columbia River (2-5, 2-3) could be eliminated from postseason contention with a loss. However, a River win puts the Rapids right in the middle of the postseason mix. River has reached the postseason every year since 2011. Washougal quarterback Holden Bea leads the region in passing yards with 1,325 yards and 14 touchdowns. Sam Evers had a breakout game with six catches for 165 yards last week. Adam Watts has led River with 670 yards passing and three touchdowns.  

Prediction: Washougal 27, Columbia River 13

 

Battle Ground vs. Mountain View

When: 4:30 p.m. Friday

Where: McKenzie Stadium, 2205 NE 138th Ave., Vancouver

Broadcast info: None.

Last week: Battle Ground lost to Heritage 27-10; Mountain View beat Prairie 17-14.

Last meeting: Mountain View 34, Battle Ground 18, March 18, 2021

Game notes: Battle Ground (0-6) is led by Leithan Reynolds-Weisenborn, who has rushed for 306 yards and three touchdowns. Kameron Spencer has passed for 460 yards and three touchdowns. Mountain View (5-2) has clinched a share of the 3A Greater St. Helens League title and the playoff berth that goes with that. The Thunder get a week off from league play to get ready for their league finale next Thursday against Evergreen. Quarterback Mitch Johnson has passed for 1,011 yards and 11 touchdowns, but was held to a season-low 75 yards passing last week. 

Prediction: Mountain View 48, Battle Ground 6

 

Prairie vs. Evergreen

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: McKenzie Stadium, 2205 NE 138th Ave., Vancouver

Broadcast info: None.

Last week: Prairie lost to Mountain View 17-14; Evergreen lost to Kelso 42-10.

Last meeting: Evergreen 34, Prairie 24, Feb. 26, 2021.

Game notes: A loss would eliminate both Prairie (3-4, 0-2) or Evergreen (3-4, 0-2) from the postseason race. Both teams would be eliminated if Kelso beats Heritage on Friday, regardless of if they win or lose this week. Prairie played an outstanding defensive game last week against Mountain View. The versatile Thor Stepina stepped in as starting quarterback last week, passing for 103 yards and rushed for 115. Evergreen is in the midst of a three-game losing streak. Kyle Norton still leads in the region in rushing yards with 830 yards and seven touchdowns. But he has been held below 95 yards in each of the last three games.

Prediction: Prairie 20, Evergreen 13

 

Skyview vs. Camas

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Doc Harris Stadium, 841 NE 22nd Ave., Camas

Broadcast info: Online stream on NFHS Network (subscription required)

Last week: Skyview beat Union 37-7; Camas beat Tumwater 28-26

Last meeting: Camas 38, Skyview 31, OT, March 23, 2021

Game notes: Last season’s overtime win over Skyview was Camas’ ninth consecutive win over the Storm. Skyview’s last win in the series came in 2011. That was also the last year the Storm won the 4A Greater St. Helens League title outright. Skyview (6-1) can clinch the 4A GSHL title with a win over Camas. Skyview’s Jaydin Knapp has been the region’s most productive rusher the past two weeks, running for 364 yards and five touchdowns. QB Niko Arriola has passed for 1,131 yards and 12 touchdowns. Camas (3-4) has won three consecutive games since opening the season 0-4 against a tough opening schedule. Two more wins — this week against Skyview and next week against Union — will give the Papermakers the league title. Camas quarterback Taylor Ioane has passed for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns. The Papermakers rely on big-play passes on offense and a stingy defense. 

Prediction: Skyview 24, Camas 14

 

Union vs. Wenatchee

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Where: Apple Bowl, 1005 Orondo Ave., Wenatchee

Broadcast info: Online stream on NFHS Network (subscription required)

Last week: Union lost to Skyview 37-7; Wenatchee lost to West Valley-Yakima 28-7.

Last meeting: First meeting.

Game notes: Union (5-2) will look to rebound from last week’s loss to Skyview with a non-league game on the road. Wenatchee (1-5) was a state playoff team in 2019 but it’s been a rough 2021 for the Panthers, who have dropped five straight since a Week 1 win over 1A Mount Baker. Wenatchee lost to Mountain View 51-14 in Week 3, a week after Union beat Mountain View 35-14. The Titans could probably find success just handing the ball to Jaydon Jones and Marques Cantu. But they may work out some issues with the passing game. QB Mitch Ratigan is coming off a season-low 76 yards last week.

Prediction: Union 48, Wenatchee 6

 

Heritage vs. Kelso

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Schroeder Field, Kelso HS, 1904 Allen St., Kelso 

Broadcast info: Online stream on NFHS Network (subscription required)

Last week: Heritage beat Battle Ground 27-10; Kelso beat Evergreen 42-10.

Last meeting: Heritage 30, Kelso 17, March 12, 2021

Game notes: This is the league final for Kelso (5-2). If the Hilanders win, they will claim the 3A Greater St. Helens League’ second berth to the Week 10 playoffs. But if Heritage (2-5) win, the Timberwolves could claim that second playoff berth with a win over Prairie next week. Heritage is coming off back-to-back wins after an 0-5 start. Quarterback Khalil Osoborn is coming off his most efficient game of the season, completing 10 of 14 passes for 180 yards and two TDs last week against Battle Ground. Aiden Miller was also a standout, rushing for 48 yards and a touchdown and catching seven passes for 115 yards and a score. Kelso rebounded with a dominating effort against Evergreen. RB Conner Noah had his first 100-yard game since Week 3, rushing for 106. Zeke Smith is emerging as a favorite target for QB Hunter Letteer, catching six passes for 185 yards and two TDs the past two weeks. 

Prediction: Kelso 31, Heritage 13

 

Hockinson vs. Hudson’s Bay

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Kiggins Bowl, Discovery MS, 800 E 40th St., Vancouver

Broadcast info: TV, cable Ch. 28/328. Online stream at Vancouver Public Schools YouTube channel.

Last week: Hockinson beat Mark Morris 45-14; Hudson’s Bay lost to Woodland 21-0.

Last meeting: Hockinson 48, Hudson’s Bay 0, Oct. 1, 2015

Game notes: Hockinson (4-2) appears headed to the No. 2 seed to the district playoffs out of the 2A Greater St. Helens League. The Hawks have won four straight by an average margin of 45-8. But the Hawks likely will still need wins this week over Bay and next week over Washougal to lock up that No. 2 seed. Quarterback Jarod Oldham has thrown 10 touchdown passes over the past three games. John Charles was a scoring machine last week against Mark Morris, tallying 27 points on three touchdowns, a field goal and six PATs. Hudson’s Bay (0-6) Dylan Damos started at quarterback last week for Bay in place of Dean Castillo. Damos passed for 51 yards and rushed for 51 yards. The Eagles drove into the red zone four times in the first half, but failed to score.

Prediction: Hockinson 48, Hudson’s Bay 6

Ridgefield vs. R.A. Long

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Longview Memorial Stadium, 2903 Nichols Blvd., Longview

Broadcast info: Online stream on N2 Media Facebook page.

Last week: Ridgefield beat Columbia River 34-7; R.A. Long lost to Washougal 41-10

Last meeting: Ridgefield 62, R.A. Long 0, Oct. 11, 2019

Game notes: Second-ranked Ridgefield (7-0) can clinch a share of the 2A Greater St. Helens League title and the No. 1 seed to the district playoffs with a win this week. R.A Long (2-5) could find itself out of the playoff chase if Washougal and Mark Morris both win this week, regardless of what the Lumberjacks do. Ridgefield has started to show off its running game in recent weeks. Davis Pankow has rushed for 278 yards and six touchdowns in the past two games. Logan DeBeaumont has completed 21 of 34 passes for 355 yards in the past two games since taking over as the starting quarterback. R.A. Long has depended on the passing game of QB Shaun Mize. Last week Mize passed for 212 yards on 31 pass attempts as the Lumberjacks were held to 21 net yards rushing.

Prediction: Ridgefield 48, R.A. Long 6

 

Mark Morris vs. Woodland

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Beaver Stadium, Woodland HS, 1500 Dyke Access Rd, Woodland

Broadcast info: Online stream at Woodland High School Athletics YouTube channel

Last week: Mark Morris lost to Hockinson 45-14; Woodland beat Hudson’s Bay 21-0

Last meeting: Woodland 35, Mark Morris 22, March 12, 2021

Game notes: Mark Morris (3-4) has dropped back-to-back league games by a combined 85-14, but the Monarchs can lock up a playoff berth by beating Woodland. Quarterback Kellen Desbiens has been held under 100 yards passing each of the last two weeks, but figures to play a key role against the Beavers. Woodland (2-5) has won back-to-back games and put itself into the playoff picture. But the Beavers need to beat the Monarchs to keep those hopes alive. The Beavers relied on big plays — a 99-yard kickoff return by Dalton Beassie and a 67-yard touchdown pass from Brett Martynowicz to Mark Morales — plus a bend-but-don’t-break defense to beat Bay last week.

Prediction: Mark Morris 26, Woodland 7

 

NOTE: 1A/2B games will be added shortly

126679managing-menopause-for-your-health https://blogs.columbian.com/sherri-mcmillan/2021/10/21/managing-menopause-for-your-health/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Sherri-Whistler-Oct-2021-1-e1634822855174-600x199.jpg

Hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, bone loss, muscle loss, fatigue, emotional swings…Menopause can really take a toll on a woman’s health. The average age of menopause, the cessation of the menstrual cycle for one year, is 51 years old but the entire process can take up to 20 years for some women. When striving for optimal health, it’s critical for women to understand what’s going on in our bodies and what we can do to prevent, reverse or minimize any negative symptoms. You definitely don’t want to be feeling less than ideal for 20 years! 


Managing Menopause For Your Health

Here’s my top 10 tips for managing menopause:

1 – Schedule an appointment with your doctor

Every woman experiences menopause differently. Some may have minimal symptoms while other’s lives are severely impacted. It’s important to have a conversation about the severity of your individual symptoms and any risk factors that may exist for you. It’s important to understand what drugs and natural therapies exist to help manage hormonal fluctuations and weigh the pros and cons for each approach. It’s helpful to visit with a physician or naturopath who specializes in women’s health and understands this stage of a woman’s life. 

2 – Exercise!

Moving your body will positively impact your energy, your sleep patterns and your mental health. It will slow down the rate of bone and muscle loss and minimize weight gain.

3 – Lift heavy things

Strength training is truly the fountain of youth. Adding muscle conditioning exercise 2-3x/week will help preserve muscle mass and reverse or slow down the negative results to bone density, metabolism, posture, balance, and strength

4 – Compare HIT and LSD

Some of you will fare better with high-intensity interval training (HIT) and some of you will have better responses to long, slow duration exercise (LSD). Exercise is a stress and can raise cortisol levels, so you need to understand how your body responds to different types of exercise. Some of you may need to exercise less while others may need to exercise more or at a higher intensity.

Listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel after certain types of cardio.

Document your workouts and analyze your menopausal symptoms. Do what your body responds best to.

5 – Perform compound, multi-muscle exercise

Perform movements that load the spine or the hips, strengthen the lower body in a manner that increases our ability to function in life, strengthen the postural muscles, strengthen the core, condition our upper body, and improve our ability to balance and move through space.

Movement such as Squats, Step ups, Lunges, Pulling, Overhead pressing, Bridging, Planking, Walking/Running, and one-legged movements are all very helpful. Also add in movements that integrate and combine lower body and upper body movements such as Squat & Row, Lunge & Overhead Press, Step up and Curl. 

6 – Mix up your movement patterns

Most of us get stuck in a rut doing the same exercise in the same way each time. The body, specifically the muscular and skeletal systems, responds better when we mix it up each time we perform an exercise.

So for example, you might perform a wide squat, a mid squat, a narrow squat…you might perform a squat with one leg positioned more forward than the other or a one legged squat.

You might do a wide pullup, a mid-pullup and a narrow pullup.

Or you might hold a weight on one side of your body and not the other and then switch to the other side.

You might try going very slow and then fast.

You might move through space squatting laterally or moving forwards or backwards.

The idea is that our body moves in 3D and we want to make sure we’re not doing everything in a linear format. So, as you perform each movement, ask yourself each set or session, ‘how could you do this exercise differently?’

7 – Be sure to incorporate mobility and stretching

Our tissues get tight and rigid as we age so we want to assure we include stretches and movements that maintain our flexibility and range of motion. Many menopausal women respond well to incorporating more stretching and yoga into their weekly routine.

8 – Reduce stress

Stress elevates cortisol, our stress hormone, which can trigger and make menopausal symptoms worse such as hot flashes and insomnia. Try meditation, massage, baths, and/or practice deep, slow breathing everyday. Slowing down can calm our minds and evoke the relaxation response which can be beneficial to lowering cortisol. 

9 – Consume a balanced diet rich in fiber and nutrients but watch your carbs

All macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) are critical for optimal health. With that said, many menopausal women become sensitive to carbohydrates and respond well to reducing refined carbohydrate intake such as white breads, pastas, crackers, chips and pastries.

Consider achieving your carbohydrate needs with foods such as fresh fruits, green, leafy vegetables, yams, sweet potatoes, whole grains, vegetable pastas and legumes. 

10 – Hydrate the right way

Drinking water is one of the most important action steps you can take for optimal health, so carry a water bottle with you and sip on water throughout the day.

In contrast, reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine which can trigger hot flashes and exacerbate your symptoms.


Menopause is a time of transition and change as hormones fluctuate and surge and symptoms worsen or lessen. What is working today, may not work for you anymore next week.

It’s important to listen to your body, experiment with different approaches and document what’s working and what isn’t. Regular conversations with your physician can be helpful to analyze and adjust treatments and therapies as needed. The good news is that you can be healthy and fit and still live your best life while navigating menopause. 

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

126674ridgefield-no-1-at-2a-camas-no-4-at-4a-in-latest-state-volleyball-rankings https://blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports/2021/10/20/ridgefield-no-1-at-2a-camas-no-4-at-4a-in-latest-state-volleyball-rankings/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/1009862805-volleyball_13-scaled-1-1024x731-600x428.jpg

The Oct. 20 state volleyball rankings by the Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association, presented by Rene Ferran.

Class 4A

1, Puyallup. 2, Lake Stevens. 3, Curtis. 4, Camas. 5, Graham-Kapowsin. 6, Mount Si. 7, Tahoma. 8, Bothell. 9, Wenatchee. 10, Skyview. Others: Gonzaga Prep, Kamiakin, West Valley (Yakima).

Class 3A

1, Mount Spokane. 2, Lakeside. 3, (tie) Arlington and Mead. 5, Bishop Blanchet. 6, Ferndale. 7, Capital. 8, Seattle Prep. 9, Kelso. 10, Bellevue. Others: Auburn Riverside, Oak Harbor, Peninsula, Walla Walla.

Class 2A

1, Ridgefield. 2, Washington. 3, Columbia River. 4, Burlington-Edison. 5, White River. 6, Ephrata. 7, Steilacoom. 8, Lynden. 9, Ellensburg. 10, Archbishop Murphy. Others: Enumclaw, North Kitsap, Pullman, Sammamish.

Class 1A

1, Overlake. 2, Lakeside (9 Mile Falls). 3, (tie) Castle Rock and Freeman. 5, Meridian. 6, Chelan. 7, Annie Wright. 8, South Whidbey. 9, Cashmere. 10, (tie) Seattle Academy and Zillah. Others: Bush, Charles Wright, College Place, Eastside Prep, King’s, Lynden Christian.

Class 2B

1, La Conner. 2, Colfax. 3, Goldendale. 4, Kalama. 5, Raymond. 6, Toutle Lake. 7, (tie) Granger and Manson. 9, (tie) Adna and Walla Walla Valley Academy. Others: Asotin, Brewster, Northwest Christian (Colbert), Tri-Cities Prep.

Class 1B

1, Oakesdale. 2, St. John/Endicott-Lacrosse. 3, Mossyrock. 4 (tie) Almira/Coulee-Hartline and Odessa. 6, Mary Walker. 7, Naselle. 8, Garfield-Palouse. 9, (tie) Darrington and Wilbur-Creston. Others: Northport, Orcas Island, Pomeroy, Shoreline Christian.

126671herrera-beutler-asks-inslee-to-block-oregons-tolling-plans https://blogs.columbian.com/all-politics-is-local/herrera-beutler-asks-inslee-to-block-oregons-tolling-plans/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/744853-JHB-in-jail_06-1-600x399.jpg

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, sent a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday asking him to pledge to block Oregon’s plan to toll the I-5 and I-205 bridges.

Herrera Beutler asked Inslee to stand behind his statements in 2018 confirming his intent to block Oregon’s tolling plan. She said he gave hope to the tens of thousands of Washington commuters who would be impacted.

“We have to stand up for our state, because it’s clear Oregon isn’t looking out for us,” Herrera Beutler said.

Oregon’s proposal to implement a toll would increase the financial burden of people in Southwest Washington, she said. This is a common sentiment from Washington commuters — many of whom travel across state lines to go to work.

Herrera Beutler referenced a similar opinion from council member Ty Stober who said it looked like Oregon’s tolling scheme “is trying to punish the members of the metro community that live in Clark County” during a Vancouver City Council meeting.

She included an example of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy who acted similarly after promising to block New York’s congestion pricing plan. His intention to preserve the interests of New Jersey commuters went against New York leaders, whom he shares a political party affiliation with. Herrera Beutler said contending the I-5 and I-205 bridge tolling is “not a partisan issue.”

“Are you willing to follow through on that declaration and provide similar leadership at the state level to stand up and defend our shared constituents?” she asked in her letter.

1266684a-and-3a-2a-district-4-slowpitch-softball-playoff-schedule https://blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports/2021/10/19/4a-and-3a-2a-district-4-slowpitch-softball-playoff-schedule/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/FortSoftball-1024x664-600x389.jpg

4A DISTRICT TOURNAMENT

At Fort Vancouver HS

Thursday’s games

Skyview vs. Battle Ground, 3 p.m. (winner to state)

Camas vs. Union, 5 p.m. (winner to state)

Championship, 7 p.m.

3A/2A DISTRICT TOURNAMENT

Monday’s games

Prairie 15, Evergreen 5

Mountain View 12, Prairie 2

Tuesday’s games

(5) Mark Morris vs. (4) Washougal

(6) Mountain View vs. (3) R.A. Long

Wednesday’s games

At Fort Vancouver HS

Mark Morris, Washougal or R.A. Long vs. (2) Columbia River, 3 p.m. (winner to state)

Mountain View, Mark Morris or Washougal vs. (1) Kelso, 5 p.m. (winner to state)

Championship, 7 p.m.

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Although your senior cat may now spend more time lounging and less time playing, she still needs activities to keep her both mentally and physically fit. Could YOU be missing her cue that she’s simply waiting for YOU to take the lead? If so, consider the following to help her release her remembered inner kitten.

If your favorite feline recognizes the images of various animals on TV, she may truly enjoy watching videos of birds, squirrels and other wildlife that have been created expressly for cats. Alternatively, place her cat tree close to a window where she can watch the world or set up a bird feeder outside and place her cat tree near the window facing it.Terrific and Safe Toys for Senior Cats

Because she’s less athletic and agile now than when she was young, ensure that the toys you use to keep her active don’t aggravate such common conditions in aging as arthritis. Among the best “lower-activity toys” are:

Cardboard boxes: Cut numerous openings into the sides of several cardboard boxes and place half of them right side up and the other half upside down, creating “cubbies” for her to enter and exit with ease.Terrific and Safe Toys for Senior Cats

Climbing toys: If she doesn’t already have a cat tree, get her an especially sturdy one with several shelves that will allow her to climb up and down safely without having to leap any appreciable distance.

Fleece pulls and toys: From something as simple as a soft, thick bathrobe pull to a wide assortment of fleece toys, they not only provide your kitty with something to chase and “capture”, they’re too large to be swallowed.

Food-dispensing toys: Fill one of a variety of round, plastic food puzzles with high-value treats or kibble, and watch her roll it around and around in an effort to get out and eat her tasty “rewards.”

Terrific and Safe Toys for Senior Cats

Paper bags: Select a safe space in your home, open one or two large bags (grocery bags are best) and provide her with an inexpensive and instant hiding place or “cat cave.”

When interacting personally with your kitty using toys with a long ribbon or string, yarn or rubber band attached, remember that such long, tempting “tails” can be all too easily swallowed — even by a senior – wreaking havoc with her stomach and intestines. Always store those toys safely out of sight as soon as playtime is done.

While catnip toys appeal to a majority of cats, some cats aren’t affected by it at all. If yours is one of them, keep your finicky senior feline on her toes by enticing her with toys filled with silver vine (the most popular), Tatarian honeysuckle or Valerian root instead.

Practice golf balls with the holes and ping pong balls make ideal toys — both size and weight-wise — for senior cats. Place several balls in anTerrific and Safe Toys for Senior Cats enclosed, safe space such as a bathtub and let your kitty have her way with them. You can also put a ball into an empty tissue box and allow her to fish around for it with her paws.

In short, while your senior kitty may not play as long or as hard as she did in her youth, it’s essential that you not only interact with her at least once a day but that you provide her with ample opportunities to stay engaged and amused on her own. What more paws-itive way could there be to keep her inner kitten alive and out there for all to see?

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Your next cook from home assignment is an easy one. This Speedy Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna is a one dish bake that’s packed with fall flavor and it’s easy enough to make on a weeknight. With several servings of veggies built right in, there’s no need to serve a side. You can add a tossed salad if you like, and dinner is done.

I used a roll of Isernio’s Hot Italian Chicken Sausage to reduce the fat and skip having to remove the casings. To lighten this recipe further, you can use part skim ricotta and lite mozzarella. If you can’t find, or don’t have, any of the ingredients, swap in and out as you like. Feel free to add in other vegetables, like thinly sliced yellow squash, a bit of frozen kale or spinach, or even frozen riced cauliflower. Use a mandoline to slice your zucchini. It speeds up your prep and ensures quick, even cooking. 

If you’re short on time, use a jar of your favorite sauce. Just brown the sausage, add the wine, let it reduce, then pour in the sauce. You can use any variety of frozen ravioli or refrigerated ones, just expect and allow for a longer cooking time if you use the frozen. Pop this in the oven and your whole house will smell so good you’d swear you were at your favorite Italian restaurant. Enjoy! 

Speedy Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

Pumpkin-Cheese Filling

Sauce

Ravioli-Zucchini 

Preheat oven to 450º F. Combine pumpkin, ricotta, egg, Parmesan cheese and several grinds of black pepper in a medium bowl. Stir together and set aside.

Warm olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until brown. Pour in wine and simmer until reduced by half, then add tomato sauce, basil, Italian Seasoning, oregano, parsley and several grinds of black pepper. Stir together, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Transfer most of the sauce into a medium bowl, leaving just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. Top with a layer of ravioli. Spread half of the pumpkin filling over ravioli, then half of the zucchini. Top with half of the shredded cheese, then cover with sauce. Repeat layers, finishing with ravioli and sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake until thick and bubbly and cheese is lightly browned – about 10-15 minutes. Scatter basil or rosemary on top and let rest 10 minutes before serving. 

126638heidi-st-john-thinks-debates-need-to-wait-until-november-is-over https://blogs.columbian.com/all-politics-is-local/heidi-st-john-thinks-debates-need-to-wait-until-november-is-over/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Heidi-St.-John-691x1024-310x460.png

Heidi St. John, a Republican running for Congress in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, said another candidate’s proposal to hold a radio debate in October was “silly.”

She said debating before Clark County’s general election took focus away from other issues. St. John suggested that 2022 debates should be scheduled after November so they can pay more attention to “fighting these (local) battles.”

“Right now our focus needs to be on turning out every single conservative over the next three weeks to counter the millions George Soros and the rest of the radical left elite will be pumping into GOTV in an effort to steal these elections,” St. John wrote in a press release.

St. John is one of two Republicans in the running for Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s seat in Congress. The other candidate, Joe Kent, is believed to be the one who proposed the October radio debate.

 

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We were 11-4 on picks last week, moving us to 69-27 (.719) on the season.

Here are the picks for Week 7:

Union vs. Skyview

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Kiggins Bowl, Discovery MS, 800 E 40th St., Vancouver

Broadcast info: TV, Cable Ch. 28/328; Online stream at Vancouver Public Schools YouTube channel.

Last week: Union beat Battle Ground 43-6; Skyview beat Kelso 35-14.

Last meeting: Skyview 23, Union 20, March 12, 2021

Game notes: Union (5-1) has won five in a row after a season-opening loss to O’Dea, winning by an average margin of 47-16. Jaydon Jones has rushed for 665 yards and a region-best 11 touchdowns after rushing for 257 yards last week. Marques Cantu has scored eight touchdowns after the past three games — five rushing and three receiving. Jaydin Knapp and Gabe Martin have been a potent 1-2 punch in the backfield for Skyview (5-1). Knapp has rushed for 490 yards and nine touchdowns. Martin has rushed for 424 yards and three touchdowns. Teddy Beaver leads the Storm with 27 catches for 358 yards and one touchdown. Skyview leads the series with the Titans 7-6. 

Prediction: Union 28, Skyview 20.

FRIDAY’S GAMES WILL BE ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON

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As we age, our connective tissue becomes more tight and rigid. So, if we’re already tight, this is going to affect our posture, alignment and risk for injury. Add to this the fact that stretching is the most neglected component of fitness and we’ve got a problem.

You see, most people either don’t stretch correctly, don’t stretch long enough or skip it all together. People often focus on cardio and muscle conditioning, but forget how important stretching is.

Unfortunately, the stretching-culprits are always those people who need it the most. The people who take the time to stretch are usually the ones who are really good at it. You can always find them in the front of a yoga class in a full straddle position with their chest to the floor or in an all-out hamstring stretch with their leg positioned almost behind their head! These stretching-enthusiasts enjoy their stretching sessions because it feels so good to them.

But, for people who are tight, stretching is usually a painful experience. Their muscles shake and they usually can’t wait to release the stretch.  It’s easy to see why stretching is eliminated from their workout. 

However, when you examine the list of benefits associated with stretching, if you’re not stretching now, it should make you want to start.


Stretching Benefits

An increase in range of motion 

Improvement in mobility

Reduction of low back pain and injury

Decrease in the incidence and severity of injury 

Improvement in posture and muscle symmetry 

Reduction in muscle stiffness and soreness 

Promotion of mental relaxatio

An opportunity for spiritual growth, meditation and self-evaluation 


It’s important to note that the warm-up and stretching portion of your workouts should not be confused.

The Warm-Up….

…is physical activity that increases the temperature of the blood, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The goal of a warmup is to prepare the body’s freely moveable joint structures for vigorous physical activity while reducing the risk of injury. This segment, approximately 5-10 minutes in length, can include activities like low intensity movements, walking, or stationary cycling and should be intense enough to increase body temperature, but not so demanding as to lead to fatigue.

Stretching Exercises…..

...increase range of motion, are best presented after the completion of your cardio or muscle workout. The temperature of the soft tissues is elevated, making the end of a workout the best time for increasing flexibility. If you are just participating in a stretching or yoga class, it’s still a good idea to spend some time warming up and going through gentle range of motion before you begin deep stretching. 


Focus on Your Breath

It’s also important that you focus on your breathing during each stretch. Try to breath slowly and deeply through the stretch and on each exhale try to extend the stretch a little further. Your goal should be to stretch to the point of light tension – you should never feel pain or a ‘shaking’ sensation in your muscles – back off on the stretch if you do. 


Here’s a few of my favorite post-workout stretches:

Lunge Stretch

Position one foot forward with your knee over your ankle and place the other leg behind with your knee resting on a mat. Position yourself with the back leg extended behind as much as possible so you can feel the stretch in the front of the same hip. Focus on pressing the hip forward.

Stretch For Your Health

Pretzel Stretch

Sit with legs crossed and then take one foot and place it to the outside of your opposite leg and hug the knee towards your opposite shoulder. Sit up tall with an elongated spine. Part B – To intensity the stretch, allow your top leg and upper body to fall forward as you feel a deeper stretch in your hip. Don’t force the stretch and feel free to reposition the legs to find a more comfortable position if you feel any pain or tension. 

Stretch For Your Health

Side Quadricep Stretch

Lie on your side. Grab the foot of the top leg and bring your heal towards your glutes, press your knee back and your hip forward to feel a stretch in the front of your thighs and hip.

Stretch For Your Health

 

Stretching Strap

Lie on your back. Take a stretch strap or towel and place under the bottom of one foot with the extended straight to the ceiling. You should feel the stretch in the back of your legs.

Keep the strap under the foot and the leg extended but now allow the leg to slowly stretch to the same side while keeping your shoulders square to the ceiling.

Keep the strap under the foot and the leg extended and now allow the leg to come across the body until you feel a comfortable stretch. 

Stretch For Your Health Stretch For Your Health Stretch For Your Health

Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds or ideally longer for maximum benefits.


Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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There’s no better way to chase the chill than with a warm and hearty bowl of soup. Prepared early in the day in your Slow Cooker, it fills the whole house with the soothing, simmering aroma of dinner that’s ready when you are. This Slow Cooker Healthy Hamburger Soup is fast, family-friendly fare. Packed with veggies and chunks of tender ground beef, it’s hearty and filling. Plus, each serving provides 3-4 servings of vegetables, 7 grams of fiber and 24 grams of protein. Not bad for soup. 

Yes, the Instant Pot is miraculous, but it will never take away the magic of the Slow Cooker. You fill it up in the morning and it bubbles away all day. You feel smug about having your dinner ducks all in a row and return home to a warm, cooked meal, feeling like you’ve had a night off. Old fashioned, yes. Comforting, you bet. There will always be a place in my heart, and on my counter, for my slow cooker. 

I used lean ground beef, but you could also use ground turkey or chicken in this recipe, and feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand. You can use only one kind of potato if you like, and spinach can be substituted in place of the kale. Regular diced tomatoes will work if you don’t have the fire-roasted ones. If you don’t have fresh, you can use frozen kale and green beans.

Welcome the return of your slow cooker to your countertop. It’s a delicious and soothing way to end the day.

Slow Cooker Healthy Hamburger Soup

Add oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. When oil has warmed, add ground beef, onion, green pepper and garlic cloves. Sauté, breaking up ground beef with a spoon, until meat is no longer pink. 

Transfer ingredients from skillet to slow cooker. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, Italian seasoning, and several grinds of black pepper. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. About 2 hours before serving, add green beans and kale. Add additional broth to thin, if desired. Cook until green beans are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. 

– recipe from therealfooddieticians.com

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If you’ve been exercising and haven’t lost any weight, do you still experience health benefits? A metanalysis study published in September 2021 in iScience examined hundreds of research studies on weight loss and exercise and this study says YES! If you are an obese individual who exercises, you will lower your chances of dying prematurely by 30 percent even if you don’t lose any weight.

Improved fitness appears to be much more important than weight loss. 

The study suggest that obese people who diet and lose weight, but do not exercise are not as protected as obese people who exercise. The risk for dying and heart disease is much greater in the non-exercisers. 

One theory is that people who lose weight through dieting often regain that weight, therefore not providing long-term benefits. 

Fit or FatAlthough our society as a whole tends to fat-shame, the good news is that fitness is more important that fatness as the primary factor in reducing someone’s risk for developing various health problems. The message is this – fitness is very important whether you’re fat or not. In fact, if you are an exerciser who carries a significant amount of body fat, you can still be fitter, healthier and experience a reduced risk for premature death than someone who doesn’t exercise at all and may be skinny, but deconditioned and out of shape. 

Bottom Line

If you’re not working out, you need to start. Although achieving an ideal body weight can protect you from many health issues, the most important thing you can do is start to exercise and move your body. Don’t focus on weight loss. Instead focus on consistency of your workouts and moving your body everyday.


Here are some simple steps to starting and sticking to an exercise program:

Just start walking

You can do it anywhere, anytime and it costs nothing. Start with a short distance, even just around your block, and build from there.

Rally a friend or hire a personal trainer

Having someone to hold you accountable will help you be consistent and stick with it.

Start with an activity you enjoy

If you hate it, you won’t do it consistently and will most likely quit.

Stick with a time frame that works for you

Many are successful with morning exercise to reduce the chances of other responsibilities and distractions getting in the way. Others find they are more consistent with lunch time workouts that break up their day. While others find a workout right after work is a great transition before they head home. Bottom line, figure out what time of the day works for you and stick with it.

Set goals that are action-oriented versus weight-loss oriented.

Instead of setting out to lose weight, set a goal of X number of workouts for the month. For example, rather than planning to lose 20 pounds, set a goal of 20 workouts for the month. Track your consistency on a calendar. Post your results so your friends and family can cheer you on as you hit milestones like 10/20 etc. 


Exercise is medicine and the science proves it. Move your body and improve your health and longevity. 

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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Clark County remains the hub of Class 2A high school volleyball, at least according to the most recent rankings released by the Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association.

Unbeaten Ridgefield remains ranked at No. 1 in Class 2A, just as the Spudders were in the coaches’ preseason rankings. Now Ridgefield is joined by 2A Greater St. Helens League rival Columbia River at No. 2.

Ridgefield beat Columbia in a competitive three-set victory on Sept. 21. The league rematch is scheduled for Oct. 21 in Ridgefield.

Other local teams ranked by the coaches include Camas (No. 3 at 4A), Kelso (No. 5 at 3A), Castle Rock (No. 5 at 1A) and Kalama (No. 4 at 2B). Skyview and Prairie did not make the top-10, but received consideration.

Here are this week’s rankings, compiled by Rene Ferran.

Class 4A

1, Puyallup. 2, Lake Stevens. 3, Camas. 4, Graham-Kapowsin. 5, Tahoma. 6, Curtis. 7, Mount Si. 8, Bothell. 9, Wenatchee. 10, West Valley (Yakima). Others: Skyview, Bellarmine Prep, Gonzaga Prep, Olympia, Jackson.

Class 3A

1, Mount Spokane. 2, Lakeside (Seattle). 3, Mead. 4, Capital. 5, Kelso. 6, Arlington. 7, Seattle Prep. 8, Bishop Blanchet. 9, (tie) Bellevue and Ferndale. Others: Peninsula, Roosevelt, Eastside Catholic, Bethel, Kennewick, Central Kitsap, Walla Walla, Prairie, Snohomish, Interlake.

Class 2A

1, Ridgefield. 2, Columbia River. 3, Washington. 4, White River. 5, Burlington-Edison. 6, Steilacoom. 7, Lynden. 8, Ellensburg. 9, Pullman. 10, Tumwater. Others: Ephrata, Sammamish, North Kitsap, Anacortes, Fife.

Class 1A

1, Overlake. 2, Lakeside (9 Mile Falls). 3, Freeman. 4, Chelan. 5, Castle Rock. 6, Annie Wright. 7, Seattle Academy. 8, South Whidbey. 9, Cashmere. 10, Meridian. Others: Lynden Christian, Zillah, King’s, Bush.

Class 2B

1, Colfax. 2, La Conner. 3, Goldendale. 4, Kalama. 5, Brewster. 6, Toutle Lake. 7, (tie) Tri-Cities Prep, Raymond, and Walla Walla Valley Academy. 10, Asotin. Others: Liberty, Northwest Christian (Colbert), Granger, Manson, Okanogan, Chewelah.

Class 1B

1, Oakesdale. 2, St. John/Endicott-Lacrosse. 3, Odessa. 4, Mossyrock. 5, Almira/Coulee-Hartline. 6, Mary Walker. 7, Naselle. 8, Darrington. 9, Pomeroy. 10 Orcas Island. Others: Willapa Valley, Entiat, Mount Vernon Christian.

 

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Curious as to whether or not YOUR favorite feline can be taught to lie down on cue?

Can Cats Lie Down on Cue?

According to pet trainers, it’s, paws down, one of the easiest behaviors a cat can learn. As a matter of fact, the more relaxed YOU are, the more relaxed your kitty will be, thereby affording you the optimum opportunity to positively reinforce this behavior.

 

Choose a location where your cat’s already comfortable curling up or sprawling out, whether it’s a couch, your bed or her own preferred perch. To make the spot even more appealing, cover it with an especially soft rug or fleecy blanket. Each training session should be brief – from one to five minutes – and to hold her attention and keep her engaged, always offer her ample rewards throughout.

 

Begin by marking and rewarding her instinctive tendency to lie down. As soon as she starts moving into a resting position, say “down” andCan Cats Lie Down on Cue? mark it either with a word, such as “good”, or with the click of a training clicker, followed promptly by a reward, i.e. a high-value treat. Not only does the marker help your kitty learn what the desired behavior is, the reward teaches her to associate good things with that behavior.

 

If she seems confused by receiving a reward for a behavior that’s natural to her, don’t be discouraged. The key is repetition and consistency, building on her ability to learn the connection between the desired behavior and the resulting reward. By coupling the word “down” with the action of lying down, you’re teaching her to associate one with the other, followed, of course, by that all-important treat. The more you repeat this sequence, the sooner your kitty will learn that lying down in response to the word “down” is more than worth her while!

 

Up for a greater challenge? Use a “lure” as a way of teaching your kitty to lie down. Whether it’s a treat held in your closed hand, a tiny ball or a small crinkle toy, hold it in front of and slightly below her when she’s perched higher up on a chair or a cat tree, for example. As she moves to investigate, say “down” and mark it either with a word, such as “good” or with the click of a training clicker, and reward her with a treat whether she only bends slightly or actually lowers her chest to the surface of the cat tree or chair. Repeat the process until she’s fully resting in the desired down position.

Can Cats Lie Down on Cue?

Once she’s mastered this, switch from holding the “lure” where she can see it to holding it in your closed palm. This will teach her to follow your hand and not the “lure.” Continue rewarding her with a treat each time she successfully lies down, but remember to give her the treat with your other hand!

 

Your ultimate goal is to use only the hand signal preceded a second or two earlier by the word “down.” Remember the old axiom: practice makes perfect or, in this case, purr-fect? With ongoing practice – and paw-lenty of patience on your part — your kitty should soon start anticipating the verbal cue “down” and move into the down position as soon as she hears it.

 

Whichever training strategy you choose, increase the time your cat remains in the down position by intermittently rewarding her with a treat. Then, at the end of each session, use a release word such as “free” as a signal to her that she is literally being freed from lying down.

 

 

 

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It’s not too early. And this year in particular, you don’t want to be too late. Who says Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other special day for that matter, only happens once a year? Why constrain your happiness to one day when you can string the joy out over time. Jump in now on the festivities. Start practicing your stuffing. Give your side dishes a dry run. It will make whatever you’ve having for dinner feel a lot more special. 

This Crispy Bacon Brussels with Walnut-Parm Crunch is a side dish you can use now and keep in mind for later. Cook your bacon in the oven. While it cooks you can multitask and trim the brussels sprouts. You’ll get crisp, evenly cooked bacon, plus no stovetop mess or splatters. Put your bacon into the oven as it’s preheating so you don’t waste energy and cook the entire pound while you’re at it. Use what’s left for breakfast this week, or store extra in a zip top bag in your freezer.  If you don’t use all of the vinaigrette, refrigerate the extra and use it to dress a salad. 

Kick up some leaves and live in the moment. Snuggle up by the fire and soak up our fabulous fall. Celebrate. And celebrate again. 

Crispy Bacon Brussels with Walnut-Parm Crunch

Brussels Sprouts

Walnut-Parm Crunch

Citrus-Dijon Vinaigrette

To Serve

Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, then place bacon side-by-sdie on the pan. Cook 18-20 minutes or until crisp. Remove tray from oven and use tongs to transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard foil when cool.

Adjust oven to 450º F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, then place sheets in the oven. In a large bowl, combine brussels sprouts, garlic powder, salt and several grinds of black pepper. Drizzle generously with olive oil and toss together. Carefully remove hot baking sheets from oven and add brussels sprouts in a single layer. Roast about 20-30 minutes, stirring halfway through; remove when sprouts are browned and crispy. Transfer sprouts back to large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine panko, walnuts, Parmesan, and olive oil; stir together. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 3 minutes. Stir and bake 3 minutes more, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn.

In a small jar, combine olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, honey and mustard; shake to combine. Pour over warm brussels sprouts in bowl and toss together. Transfer to serving dish and top with crumbled bacon, and walnut-Parm crunch. Finish with lemon zest and grated Parmesan. Serve warm. 

– adapted from recipe by Dylan Dreyer

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Food is comprised of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats, referred to as your macronutrients, and each is critical to your overall health. The key to achieving results, whether it is weight loss, muscle gain, sports conditioning, improved energy or optimal health, is understanding how much of each macronutrient you should be consuming.


Understand Your Macronutrients!

Personalize Your Nutrition Plan

Some of us need more carbs and others less.

Some require more fat, and others don’t need as much.

Some people thrive on more protein while others don’t need to consume as much.

So, how do you know how much YOU need? Bottom line, eat a balanced diet that is low in processed foods and high in fiber content. Each macro-nutrient (protein, carbs and fats) all play a critical role in the overall functioning of our body. Any diet that severely restricts any of these nutrients has consequences and is often not sustainable for the long-term.

With that said, each of us is different. The most common recommendations are 45-65% carbohydrate intake, 10-35% protein and 20-35% fat intake, which are big ranges. Should you be at the low, mid or high ranges of any of these recommendations? It depends on your age, gender, activity level, goals, current health, and genetics.

You can go to Precision Nutrition and use their free online comprehensive macronutrient calculator, which asks a number of questions to help estimate how much of each macronutrient you should be consuming based on all variables.


Eat Plants

It’s important to note that every ‘diet’ recommends more vegetables, so if you start there (regardless of whether you trend towards Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Adkins, Mediterranean or any other nutrition plan) you will be on the right track. The more you can lean towards a plant-based diet, the better for your overall health.


Manage Portion Sizes

Regardless of the allocation of macronutrients, you can still eat too much of a good thing. The key to optimal health and maintaining your ideal body weight is not consuming more calories than you’re expending.

If you’re trying to gain muscle weight, you’ll typically need to eat more than you’re expending. If you’re trying to lose body fat, you’ll need to consume less than you’re expending.

It’s also important to note that not all calories are equal. Some calories will fill you up, so it takes longer for you to get hungry again. Other calories won’t satiate you at all and you’ll be hungry in no time. The key for most Americans is to consume calories that are nutrient-dense and filling.

This is where eating a diet high in vegetables and fiber can help a ton. You can eat a lot more vegetables for the same amount of calories making you satisfied for longer. When trying to lose weight, providing a caloric deficit of about 500 calories per day, tends to be more sustainable. That could involve increasing your energy output with exercise and/or decreasing your caloric input. Slow and steady weight loss is the way to go towards optimal health and reduced risk for disease and illness.


Don’t Eat For 13 Hours

There is value in fasting every day for at least 13 hours. That means if you stop eating at 7pm, you won’t eat again until 8am the next day, allowing your body a full 13 hours to digest repair and do its job. It is typically not a good idea to go to bed with a full stomach. Try to stop eating three hours before sleep.


Sometimes nutrition requires a change in your mindset. Think of food like gas for your car. Your vehicle doesn’t operate as well when it’s empty and it will typically perform better using premium gas. Remind yourself that food is not the enemy. Food is the medicine and fuel your body needs to perform at it’s best.

Bon Appétit!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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Stir up some smiles this week with a fall treat that lets everyone get in on the pumpkin spice action. Plant based and refined sugar free, these Vegan, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Brownies are  a healthy treat you can feel good about eating. Packed with filling fiber from the oats, flax, and pumpkin, plus an added boost of inulin from the coconut sugar, they’re not just delicious, they’re nutritious. The A, C, and E vitamins in pumpkin strengthen your immune system and help it to fight infections and viruses. More good reasons to add a shot of pumpkin to your meals. 

I made the recipe exactly as follows, but used peanut butter in place of the almond butter to make this nut allergy friendly. You could also use sunbutter or tahini if peanuts are a problem. Use any non-dairy milk you like, such as almond, oat, rice or soy. I used coconut milk, again, because of allergies. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can use cinnamon plus a little bit of ground ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, and a dash of allspice if you have it. Make the oat flour from your pantry staple rolled oats. Pulse them in your blender until you have a flour-like powder, then measure out the quantity you need. Can’t wait to try your brownies? Feel free to taste test the batter. No eggs or flour, so it’s safe.  

Moist, cakey, and satisfyingly sweet, the chocolate is expected, but the pumpkin and spice make these even more nice. Make some and plan to make some more. They’re perfect for snacks, dessert, lunch treats or even breakfast. While you’re baking, give your spices a once over. It’s a perfect time to toss anything that’s old and restock anything you need for baking season. 

Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

Flax eggs

Wet

Dry

Make flax eggs: combine ground flax and water in a small bowl and mix together. Transfer tp refrigerator and let sit for 10 – 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350º F. Combine coconut sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin purée, almond (or other nut or seed) butter, coconut oil, milk, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and mix together. In a small bowl, combine oat flour, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice; stir together. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix. Add in flax eggs and mix until thoroughly combined. 

Measure out a scant 1/2 cup batter and set aside. Add cacao to remaining batter in bowl and mix until combined. Pour batter into an 8×8 greased baking dish. Spoon the reserved batter on top and lightly swirl into the chocolate batter. Bake 23-27 minutes. Scatter chocolate chips over still warm brownies. Let cool 15 minutes before slicing.

– recipe by Kristi Roeder, avocadoskillet.com

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It seems like a dramatic statement, but many physiologists agree that sitting can be just as dangerous to your health as smoking.

First coined by James A. Levine, MD, PhD, Obesity expert and former director of the Mayo Clinic, who claims that

“sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”

Dr Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division and author of “Sitting Kills, Movement Heals” agrees stating “we weren’t designed to sit.”

It is estimated that we spend more than half of our waking hours sitting while watching TV, driving or sitting at a desk. These numbers have most likely increased due to the pandemic, work-at-home and virtual school conditions.  


Sitting Is The New Smoking

Multiple studies have demonstrated that the benefits of reduced sitting include:

Increased caloric expenditure, reduced body weight and lower obesity risk

It makes sense. When you stand, you burn an average of 50 more calories per hour than sitting. It seems like a small amount, but it can really add up. If you add 2 hours of standing to your daily routine, 5 days per week, that adds up to 26,000 additional calories per year, or 7 pounds either lost or not gained just by standing more. Studies confirm this. People who gain weight, move 2.25 less hours per day.  

Improved circulation

Just by standing you force muscles to contract, nerves to fire, blood to flow, energy systems to function and it keeps your metabolism revving at a higher level than sitting.

Increased muscle activity

If you’re sitting, the lower body muscles are inactive. Just by standing, you involve multiple muscle groups that are required to contract resulting in better muscle conditioning.

Reduced risk of Cancer

Several studies have demonstrated that the risk of cancer increases with inactivity including breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer. 

Reduced risk for cardiovascular disease

Some studies have shown that excessive sitters are 64%-125% more likely to experience and/or die from heart diseas

Improved Insulin sensitivity by 16% and reduced risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Improved blood lipid levels with triglycerides dropping by 32%, and LDL by 7%. 

Improved posture and reduced risk for back and neck pain

Your low back is exposed to 90% more pressure when sitting versus standing and your risk for kyphotic posture deviations and general tightness is greater when sitting  

Improved mental health and cognitive functioning

Studies have shown that anxiety, depression and cognitive degeneration is linked to inactivity and excessive sitting. In contrast, those who spend more time standing and moving report improved mood, reduced lethargy greater energy and enhanced productivity, even with just a short, 5 minute walk on the hour. Another study from Stanford University also found that taking a 5-minute walk on the hour helps enhance brain functioning. 

Increased life span

Studies show that reducing your sitting time, decreases your risk of dying and increases your life span. One study found that reducing your sitting time to 3 hours per day or less, increases your life expectancy by 2 years. 


Tips to increase your standing time:

Invest in a standing desk

If your body is accustomed to sitting and a sedentary lifestyle, don’t do too much, too soon. Start with a 50:50 ratio of standing to sitting and start with small standing increments of 20 minutes at a time. Changing positions is the most important factor. It’s far better to transition from standing to sitting and back to standing every 20-30 minutes than sit for 4 hours and stand for 4 hours at a time. 

Consider a treadmill desk

One year-long study found subjects lost 5 to 7.7 pounds when using a treadmill desk. They walked at a very slow rate of less than 2 miles per hour to prevent sweating while working. 

Set an alarm

Have your computer trigger you to move your body every 30-60 minutes, whether standing or sitting. Our bodies are meant to move.

Desk workout

Do 1-3 minutes of exercise throughout the day. You can do Chair Squats, One leg balance, Leg lifts to the front/side/rear, desk pushups, chair dips and more. It won’t be enough to work up a sweat but will keep your muscles toned and keep your blood flowing throughout the day

Schedule walk & talk meetings

Not only is this great for your body, but walk & talk meetings can be wonderful for creative thinking and brainstorming or just to connect with co-workers. 

Walking email

If you are working at the office, instead of sending a co-worker an email, walk to their desk to ask a question and/or provide information.

Take more steps

If you drive to work, park at the furthest parking spot. If you take C-tran, get off one stop early and walk it in. Instead of taking elevators or escalators, take the stairs

Exercise

Move your body and include cardio, muscle conditioning and stretching. Schedule ‘recess’ workouts or walking breaks in the middle of your day. It’s important to note though that exercise doesn’t counteract the effects of hours of extended sitting. Exercise is good but 30-60 minutes a few times per week doesn’t undue the damages of excessive sitting. If you exercise three hours per week, the question is ‘what are you doing the other 165 hours?’


For those who have had a difficult time adhering to a structured exercise program, this information should provide a simple way to increase your activity levels and improve your overall health. 

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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Pancreatitis — inflammation of the pancreas – is relatively rare, but recognizing its signs early is essential to any cat’s health. These signs can include lethargy, increased thirst and urination, poor appetite or refusing to eat, dehydration and weight loss.

Feline Pancreatitis

What then, is the pancreas? A small organ tucked between the stomach and intestines, it plays a vital role in producing the hormones, insulin and glucagon, which regulate blood sugar. It also produces digestive enzymes that help break down carbohydrates, protein and fat.

Feline Pancreatitis

Feline Pancreatitis

While the precise cause of most cases of feline pancreatitis isn’t known, it’s been associated with a cat’s having ingested toxins, having contracted a parasitic infection or having suffered a trauma such as a car accident. And it’s commonly divided into two sets of categories: acute or chronic, and severe or mild. Ironically, there’s a disparity between the number of cats with this condition and those who are actually diagnosed and treated. Why? Cats with mild cases may show few, if any, symptoms, while symptoms that don’t seem disease-specific may not warrant a visit to the vet. And because feline pancreatitis is difficult to definitively diagnose without a biopsy or ultrasound, many cat owners forgo these tests because of the cost.

 

There are, however, other less expensive diagnostic tools available. One is the serum feline pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (fPLI) test, a non-invasive blood test that looks for markers of pancreatitis. Another, the serum feline trypsin-like immunoreactivity (fTLI) test, may not be as reliable as the fPLI test, but it can help identify exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, a disease that cats with chronic feline pancreatitis can also develop.

 

Posing the most serious risk to your own cat’s health is acute feline pancreatitis, and it usually requires hospitalization. Depending on its severity, chronic pancreatitis may call for periodic trips to the hospital but it can usually be managed at home. At the hospital, your cat will receive intravenous (IV) fluids to address her dehydration and, if warranted, detoxify her pancreas from any damaging inflammatory toxins. She may also be given antibiotics to minimize her risk of developing suppurative (infectious) pancreatitis, as well as painkillers and an anti-nausea medication to help combat any nausea she might have.

 

Once back from the hospital, it’s recommended that she be fed appetizing and easily digestible food as soon as possible provided she’s hungry and isn’t vomiting. Comforting her plays an important role in both making her feel safe and helping her to regain her appetite. If, however, she seems queasy and has difficulty eating, your vet may recommend an antiemetic to decrease her nausea and control any vomiting she might have. But if she’s vomiting frequently and isn’t at risk for fatty liver disease, your vet might suggest re-introducing food to her over a period of several days.

Feline Pancreatitis

Cats unable to eat on their own may require a feeding tube. With a variety of options available, your vet will discuss the best one for your cat and teach you how to use it. Despite their intimidating appearances, feeding tubes are relatively easy to use, gentle on her, and essential in delivering the food, water and medications she needs during her recovery.

 

Whereas severe cases of feline pancreatitis require hospital stays and specialized care, many forms of this condition are mild and non-threatening. Learning to recognize the warning signs, then acting swiftly is the best way to ensure that your cat lives a long and happy life.

 

 

126530pan-seared-pork-chops-and-apples-with-cider-sauce https://blogs.columbian.com/home-made/pan-seared-pork-chops-and-apples-with-cider-sauce/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/09/IMG_5068-rotated-e1631945226533-1024x768-600x450.jpg

It’s official. Time to cozy up and lean in to all things fall. Curl up with some knitting. Pull out your sweaters. Dust off your rolling pin and start baking. But first, let’s make dinner. 

These Pan Seared Pork Chops and Apples with Cider Sauce are so easy to make you can have a fancy fall dinner at home even on a weeknight. Apples and onions roast in the oven, the pork chops get a quick sear, and before you know it, your whole house fills with the warm, inviting aroma of all those fabulous foods that say fall. A good dinner is important. It’s soul soothing. It’s satisfying. And during these trying times, it’s morale boosting. If you are going to have meat for dinner, do it like you mean it. Bone-in pork chops are juicier. Meatier. Heartier. In short, they’re just better. 

Here’s how to get a moist pork chop with a proper sear. First, start by taking your pork chops out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan to cook them. Set a cooling rack over a sheet pan and lay your pork chops out on the rack to prep. Next, season both sides of your chops with salt and then let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes. This gives the meat a chance to warm up, ensuring a nice crust on the outside and a tender, juicy inside.  If you have cast iron skillet, use it. You are guaranteed to get a good sear. Most importantly, use a thermometer. It’s really, truly the only way to know if your meat is actually done, not overcooked and even more importantly, not undercooked.

Pan Seared Pork Chops and Apples with Cider Sauce

Preheat oven to 425º F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine apples, shallots, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 sprigs thyme and a pinch of salt on baking sheet; lightly toss. Roast until apples are golden brown and tender, about 13 to 15 minutes. 

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and season with freshly ground black pepper. Cook, searing on each side until golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes per side. Chops are done at when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 145º F. Transfer to a plate.

Drain and discard any fat in skillet, then set over medium-high heat. Add cider, mustard and remaining 6 sprigs of thyme and let simmer vigorously until liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 8 to10 minutes. Plate pork chops and serve with roasted apples and shallots, spooning pan sauce over the chops. 

– recipe by Lydia Backer 

126525boost-your-vaccine https://blogs.columbian.com/sherri-mcmillan/2021/09/17/boost-your-vaccine/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Sherri-ID-Sept-2021-e1631899003466-600x380.jpg

The CDC is reporting that unvaccinated individuals are 10x more likely to be hospitalized and die from Covid-19. Local hospitals in Clark County are reporting that approximately 90-95% of the patients in our hospitals for Covid-19 are unvaccinated. These stats suggest and health experts agree that getting the vaccine is the most critical step in protecting yourself from Covid-19. 

With that said, there are still breakthrough cases and if you want to increase the strength of your vaccine, you need to strengthen your immune system and boost your body’s ability to fight off any potential exposure. 

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last year and a half, it’s the importance of our health. Vaccinations are a critical part of the equation to a multi-faceted approach to getting Covid under control. Living an unhealthy lifestyle is just as much of a problem as not getting vaccinated. There are thousands of research studies that demonstrate the health risks, hospitalizations, deaths and the billions of dollars in health costs due to an unhealthy lifestyle. 

If all you did was vaccinate and that is your only battle plan, there will be another variant and another virus that your immune system will not be able to handle. So please, get vaccinated, but also make this your wakeup call. Your life depends on it. Adopt one new healthy initiative and then tackle the next. You are worth feeling your best.

Here’s Some Tips:

Manage Your Weight

Boost Your Vaccine!

Research demonstrates that vaccinations are not as effective in obese individuals. The CDC reports that 42% of our country is obese which adds another level of vulnerability to both those vaccinated and unvaccinated.

If you have existing weight issues, you should start to take steps to achieve a healthier body weight. The key to optimal health and maintaining your ideal body weight is not consuming more calories than you’re expending. If you are trying to lose weight, if you can provide a caloric deficit of about 500 calories per day that tends to be more sustainable.

Do not severely restrict your caloric intake right now because it may reduce your ability to consume sufficient nutrients and may compromise your immune system. Slow and steady weight loss would be a smarter approach. 

Exercise is Medicine

Studies, including one published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, show that patients with COVID-19 who were “consistently inactive” were 226% more likely to be hospitalized, 173% more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and 149% more likely to die.

Besides age, physical inactivity is the next highest risk factor determining whether someone will succumb to Covid-19. There is an abundance of evidence that demonstrates that immune function improves with regular physical activity, and those who are regularly active have a lower incidence, intensity of symptoms and death from all disease and illness including viral infections. Incorporate cardiovascular exercise, muscle conditioning and flexibility to work all fitness components and try to move your body every day. Make sure some of your workouts are outdoors for fresh air, sunshine and vitamin D, all important to improve the functioning of your immune system.

Nutrition is Medicine

The more you can lean towards a plant-based diet, the better for your overall health. Every ‘diet’ that exists recommends more vegetables so if you can start there regardless of whether you eat meat or carbs or not. You will be on the right track. Eat a balanced diet that is low in processed foods and high in fiber content. Commit to drinking 100 ounces of water each day. Drink water before and with each meal and sip throughout the day. Human beings are 55-75% water and water provides the medium in which all the body’s chemical reactions take place. It is the most vital requirement for human life and overall health.

Sleep is Healing

Get enough sleep (7-8 hours per night). Sleep is when your body recovers and repairs and a lack of sleep has been associated with weight gain and can compromise your immune system.

Manage Your Stress

It is important to control and manage your stress levels. Stress has also been associated with weight gain, health ailments and a weak immune system. Focus on deep breathing, easy walks through your neighborhood and/or take a yoga class. 

Supplement

Talk to your physician and consider increasing your intake of products that reduce inflammation and boost your immune system including turmeric, vitamin C, vitamin D, echinacea, apple cider vinegar, lemon, ginger, zinc, elderberry, and/or herbal teas. 

Get vaccinated, continue to follow the CDC guidelines for masking, distancing and washing your hands, AND follow these tips to prioritize your health and fitness.

Remember, that exercise and healthy food is medicine! Your lifestyle is the number one factor that you can control that will strengthen your immune system and that will impact your ability to fight off any disease or illness.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


 

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Good news! You are making a delicious dinner at home tonight and you already have everything you need. Ok, maybe most of what you need, but you can improvise!  

This easy weeknight meal comes together in minutes and the prep is minimal. Once you slice the tomatoes, onion and zucchini they go on a sheet pan with the chicken and into the oven. Everything cooks together and mostly minds itself. You just need to be on hand at the halfway mark to add the bread.  

Bake this directly on a sheet pan, or for easier cleanup, line your pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Start by cutting all of your vegetables. Slice the cherry tomatoes, red onion, and halve and slice the zucchini. Depending on your bread, you may need to slice it before tearing it into smaller chunks. Do this now, before cutting your chicken, while your cutting board is still clean. 

You can use all chicken thighs, as called for in the recipe below, or use half thighs and half breasts. I used a package of each when I made this, which was 5 thighs and 3 breasts. Be sure to cut the larger pieces in half so that all the portions will be about the same size and cook evenly. Zucchini works nicely in this recipe, but you could also use yellow squash, eggplant, green beans, asparagus, or even sliced carrots. To make this gluten-free, toast the bread on a separate sheet pan. Give it a light drizzle of olive oil beforehand and serve the bread separately.

I did not have arugula, so I made a quick kale salad instead: slice kale into thin ribbons; add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Massage kale with clean hands until it softens a bit. Top with chicken and panzanella; sprinkle with red pepper flakes and shaved Parmesan. 

Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken Panzanella

Dressing:

Preheat oven to 425º F.  Arrange chicken on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet, then scatter tomatoes, zucchini and onion around the chicken. Drizzle olive oil over all and season with salt, or garlic salt, and pepper. 

Roast in oven for 10 minutes. Remove tray from oven and add torn bread. Return to oven and cook an additional 10 minutes or until a food thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165º F. 

For Dressing:

Whisk red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper together in a small bowl.

Serve individually in shallow bowls, spooning oven roasted chicken, vegetables and bread over  arugula. Drizzle dressing over top. 

– recipe by Siri Daly, today.com

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Wadi Yakhour, a Republican candidate who ran for Congress in Southwest Washington, has dropped out of the 2022 race.

Yakhour was one of a few Republicans looking to primary Herrera Beutler, who has represented Washington’s 3rd Congressional District since 2010. She alienated the pro-Donald Trump wing of her party when she crossed partisan lines to vote for his impeachment after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Two other challengers are picking up steam on Herrera Beutler’s right: Military veteran and frequent Fox News guest Joe Kent, and far-right Christian author Heidi St. John. Both have eclipsed Yakhour — who briefly served as a special assistant to the Secretary of the Interior under the Trump administration — in fundraising and social media followings.

The death knell to Yakhour’s campaign came last week, when Trump formally endorsed Kent.

In a video posted to his campaign’s Facebook page on Tuesday, Yakhour said that “things have changed” since he first announced his bid in February.

“President Trump has come out and endorsed another candidate. And as a man of my word and a man of integrity, I don’t want to become a hindrance to the cause,” Yakhour said, alluding to a voter forum in March during which all three candidates pledged to drop out of the race should another win Trump’s endorsement.

“We want Jaime Herrera Beutler gone, and it takes a lot of my pride to take a step back and allow others to carry forward,” Yakhour said. He added that he doesn’t plan to issue an endorsement of another candidate.

“I cannot be dedicated to a candidate this early on. I don’t know anybody yet, and frankly I encourage everyone who votes to do their own research,” Yakhour said.

St. John, despite the forum pledge, has issued a statement indicating that she plans to stay in the race. Her statement was also highly critical of Kent, whom she called a “johnny-come-lately who is deeply tied to the beltway.”

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Strength and Conditioning coaches argue whether Single-leg Training is superior for athletes compared to Double-Leg Training. During sports that involve running and cycling, you are typically driving with one leg at a time, so sport specificity training would indicate that single-leg strength training would be superior. It would then make sense then to incorporate various forms of lunges and step ups in comparison to squats, presses and deadlifts. 

A recent article How to Up Your Trail-Running Game | Outside Online provided a summary of the debate and cited multiple research studies with the general conclusion that both approaches seem to work. It appears that the most important thing you can do as an athlete is to just make sure you do some form of strength training and/or incorporate both approaches to improve your overall performance. 

Effective Single-Leg Exercises


Basic Lunge – also referred to as a split squat

Is Single-Leg Training Better for Athletes?

Start with one leg positioned in front of the other leg.  Keep the front knee over top of the ankle or forefoot. Keep the back knee underneath or slightly behind your hips. Slowly lower the back knee towards the ground keeping the front knee over top the ankle/foot the entire time. Only lower as low as you feel comfortable. Keep your body weight leaning forward in a hip hinge and positioned over the front leg – this is your working leg. Maintain a long spine with proper posture and keep your abdominals contracted.  

Adjust your range of motion as the strength of your muscles and joints allow. If just getting started, only lunge down a few inches. As you get stronger, you can lunge deeper towards the ground.

Hold hand weights to increase the load and intensity of this exercise.


Is Single-Leg Training Better for Athletes?Forward/Walking Lunge

Start with your feet together and standing tall. Lunge forward with one leg, keeping the front knee over top of the ankle or forefoot. Keep the back knee underneath or slightly behind your hips. Slowly lower the back knee towards the ground keeping the front knee over top the ankle/foot the entire time. Only lower as low as you feel comfortable. Keep your body weight leaning forward in a hip hinge and positioned over the front leg – this is your working leg. Maintain a long spine with proper posture and keep your abdominals contracted. Slowly push forward, lift the back foot off the ground by utilizing your hip muscles of the front leg, come all the way back to a standing position and swing the leg through to another lunge forward on the opposite leg. 


Is Single-Leg Training Better for Athletes?

Lunge with Rotation

Complete walking lunges as noted above but add a torso rotation towards the front leg with each lunge. The rotation adds a greater glute activation. 

 


Lunge and Reach

Complete walking lunges as noted above but add a reach forwards and towards the ground with each lunge. The reach forward adds a greater glute activation. 


Side Lunge

Start with your feet together and standing tall. Lunge to the right (sideways/lateral), keeping the right knee over top of the ankle or forefoot and the left knee extended and slightly bent. Keep your knee and foot stacked and pointed in the same direction. Only lower as low as you feel comfortable. Keep your body weight leaning forward in a hip hinge and positioned over the lunging leg – this is your working leg. Maintain a long spine with proper posture and keep your abdominals contracted. Return to the starting position. 

Include a torso rotation towards the lunging leg to increase glute activation

Include a reach down and forward and/or lateral to increase glute activation 


Step Up

Is Single-Leg Training Better for Athletes?Holding a set of hand weights, position yourself in front of a bench with one foot on the bench. The bench should be at a height that puts your knee at a 90 degree angle. Keep your kneecap facing forward and your weight distributed on all four corners of your foot. Now slowly step up extending the supporting knee into a fully upright, balanced position. Now slowly lower yourself down to the starting position. Use a shorter bench or step if this bothers your knees at all.  

 

 


Stability Ball Single Leg Hamstring Curls

Is Single-Leg Training Better for Athletes?

Lay on your back with one foot positioned on top of an exercise ball. With your arms at your side, slowly lift your hips and buttocks up towards the ceiling while contracting your glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings (back of thigh) until your body weight is resting comfortably on your shoulder blades. Throughout the entire exercise, be sure to keep your hips square to the ceiling and your abdominals contracted. Now slowly curl the ball in towards your body while maintaining control and stability through your core area. If this is too challenging, perform the exercise using both legs and as your strength develops, transition to single legs.


Perform strength movements 2-3 times per week. Complete 1-3 sets of 8-15 reps of various movements within your strength program.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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Veterinarians usually divide epiphora, or excessive tearing, into two categories — excessive tear production or inadequate tear drainage.

 

Similar to our own eyes, a cat’s eyes will tear after being exposed to irritants like chemicals and dust, smoke and smog. When the irritant in question either subsides or disappears, so should the cat’s increased tearing. If, however, the irritant persists, her excessive tearing may become chronic. (Infections, allergies and various types of eye injuries can also result in epiphora).

Excessive Tearing in Cats

Another common cause of excessive tearing is entropion, a genetic condition in which part of a cat’s eyelid (usually the lower lid) is folded in towards her eyeball. This scratches and irritates her cornea rather than protecting it, and because the cornea is rich with pain receptors, it not only causes persistent tearing but extreme discomfort.

 

Applying artificial tears or a vet-prescribed ointment to the affected cornea may soothe the eye, forming a barrier between the eye and the offending lid, but it’s only a temporary solution. The permanent solution is surgical, where a thin V-wedge of skin below the affected eye is removed and the edges sutured together. This allows the eyelid to roll back outward and away from the cornea, giving the cat some much-needed relief from pain.

Excessive Tearing in Cats

Corneal ulcers (scratches or abrasions to the corneal surface) are another cause of epiphora. Such ulcers are quite painful and result not only in redness but squinting and tearing, prompting a cat to constantly swipe or rub at the affected eye. If left untreated, a corneal ulcer will only grow worse, and if it’s deep enough, the eye could rupture and the cat could lose her sight in that eye.

 

The second category in the epiphora equation is inadequate tear drainage. Normally, tears drain from a cat’s eyes into her nose and throat through small ducts located at the inner corners of her eyes. Sometimes, though, her tears can’t drain sufficiently because the openings of those ducts are blocked.

 

One possible reason: eye inflammation as the result of a severe respiratory infection that caused scarring at the opening of one or both of her tear ducts. Another possible reason: one or both ducts that didn’t properly open during her early development. To correct this condition surgically, the cat will be anesthetized by a vet and a thin tube called a cannula will be inserted into one or both of her tear ducts to unblock them.

 

In short, if the underlying cause of epiphora can be identified and treated: problem solved. Brachycephalic cats (flat-faced breeds like Himalayans and Persians), on the other hand, with their large eyes, shallow eye sockets and abnormal tear ducts, are predisposed to epiphora. Since their tears simply slide down their faces, they’re likely to spend their “exotic” lives with watery eyes and wet faces.

Excessive Tearing in Cats

And because tears contain a small amount of pigment, the fur of light-colored cats tends to show some reddish-brown staining beneath their eyes. Although this staining is harmless, many owners find it both undesirable and ugly. For these owners, there are a variety of products available that are specifically formulated to help minimize those stains. But, as with all things cat, concerned owners should always consult their vets first to ensure these products are FDA approved and safe.

 

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Ahhhh, September. The sweet convergence of pickles, pies, and pumpkins. Want to make someone happy? Feed them. Nothing says I love you quite like a home cooked meal. Show some extra kindness to your family and ease those back-to-school mornings with a healthy breakfast. Start by stirring up the fun this weekend with these Make-Ahead Blackberry Oatmeal Pancakes. The easy oat batter comes together quickly in your blender so you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast right now and simplify the coming week as well. 

For another quick option, you can’t beat overnight oats. Made in 8 ounce mason jars, this makes four individual, self-serve portions that are great for grab and go. Measure 2 cups your choice of milk (I used oat) into a Pyrex liquid measure. Add 2 tablespoons honey, agave, or any sweetener you like (I used maple syrup), 1 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir together, then microwave for 1 minute at 50 percent power. Spoon 1 tablespoon chia seeds into each jar, then add 1/2 cup rolled oats. Pour warmed milk over oats, dividing evenly between all of the jars. Cover with lids and refrigerate overnight. Let everyone top their own with fresh bananas, berries or other fruit, toasted nuts or seeds, peanut butter, shredded coconut, or granola. Easy!

Celebrate the weekend with some home made pancakes. Spread the love! 

Make-Ahead Blackberry Oatmeal Blender Pancakes

Add oats to blender. Blend on high until oats become a fine powder. Add 3/4 cup Greek yogurt, whole milk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract, baking powder and sea salt. Blend on low speed until smooth, scraping down inside of blender as needed. Set batter aside and let rest 5 minutes.

Combine 1 package blackberries and 1 tablespoon maple syrup in a medium bowl. Mash blackberries until they are evenly broken down; set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat skillet lightly with vegetable oil or nonstick spray. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop out batter. Spoon 1 teaspoon blackberry mixture into batter and swirl with spoon. Pour batter onto hot skillet; cook until bubbles begin to form and remain on surface of pancake, 2 – 3 minutes. Flip pancake; cook 1 – 2 minutes longer until pancake is golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with remaining blackberry mixture, whole blackberries, maple syrup and a dollop of yogurt. 

Make ahead: Separate pancakes with sheets of parchment paper. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months. Reheat in warm oven or toaster oven. 

–  recipe by the feedfeed from driscolls.com

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Vancouver is home to two very popular running events in the fall, the PeaceHealth AppleTree Marathon, Half & 5K and the Girlfriends Half/10K/5K hosted by Why Racing Events. You will start to see many locals running around town as they train to get ready to challenge themselves to cross the finish line.

Exercises For RunnersIf you register and commit to a running event, the last thing you want is an injury to sideline you. It’s important to note that, as with any form of exercise, there are stresses associated with running. In comparison, the impact forces associated with walking are quite low since one foot is always in contact with the ground. However, when a runner leaves the ground with each stride, the impact forces are much higher. In fact, approximately 3-4 times the body weight of an individual is absorbed with each stride. You can imagine that over the course of a long-distance run, the amount of force the body absorbs is tremendous. Due to the nature of the sport, aches and pains, imbalances and areas of weakness can result. 

Do the benefits of running outweigh the risks? Most life-long runners will attest that their life is better with running. Once you begin a running program you can expect to improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system, improve your body composition, increase your bone density, improve your self-esteem and confidence, increase your energy, and decrease your risk of experiencing health disorders or disease. Running is an incredible form of exercise to help improve your overall health. However, if running just doesn’t work for your body, the good news is that if you walk instead of run the distance, you’ll still get the benefits; it will just take you longer but will impose less impact on your body.

If you have decided to be a runner and your goal is to run pain-free for a very long time, certain preventative measures can be taken. Research has shown the areas that suffer the largest amount of stress include the feet, the shins, the knees and the hips. Therefore, a specific program that addresses these areas should be followed if long-term running is a goal.


Here is a program of running exercises that you can start doing anywhere – no equipment is required. Adhere to the following program 2-3x/week and look forward to many miles and many smiles!

Single Leg Balance

Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent and attempt to maintain your balance for 15 to 30 seconds. Keep your hip, knee, and foot aligned with hip over knee over foot. Do 1-3 sets. As this task becomes easy, make it more challenging by adding in the following progressions:

Hip drops

Continue on one leg but now slowly let your hip move laterally to the side as one hip lowers and the other lifts. Return back to the neutral, stabilized position. Continue for 30-60 seconds each leg. 

Lowering/Lifting

Continue on one leg but now slowly bend and extend your knee into a one-leg squat while maintaining alignment. Continue for 30-60 seconds each leg

1 Leg Bridging

Lay on your back with 1 leg bent, foot on the floor and the other leg lifted straight up to the ceiling. With your arms at your side, slowly lift your hips and buttocks up towards the ceiling while contracting your glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings (back of thigh) until your body weight is resting comfortably on your shoulder blades. Throughout the entire exercise, be sure to keep your hips square to the ceiling and your abdominals contracted. Be sure not to tilt to one side while doing these 1-leg lifts. Slowly lift up and down 8-20x for 1-2 sets.

Plank

Lie on your stomach. Position your elbows under your shoulders. Contract your abdominal muscles and then slowly lift your body onto your toes and your elbows. Keep your back straight and shoulder blades pulled together. Remember to breathe. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Note: Feel free to start on knees and elbows and as you get stronger, slowly progress to your toes. 

Ball Curls

Take a small soft ball like a Hacky Sac and squeeze your toes around the ball. Continue for 1-2 minutes.

Toe Taps

Tap your toes as fast as you can pulling your toes close to your shin. Continue for 1-2 minutes.

Barefoot Heel Raises

Stand tall. Lift your heels quickly pressing up onto your toes. Continue for 1-2 minutes. 

Towel Crunches

Lay a towel flat on the floor in front of you. Place your bare feet on the towel edge closest to you and then curl your toes pulling the towel closer and closer to you. Continue this exercise for a couple minutes. It’s an easy one to do while you’re watching TV or reading. Some runners will do this in the shower with a wet towel making it heavier and more challenging. 

Mobility

Runners should also utilize tools like massage therapy, massage guns, rollers, yoga and traditional stretching to help release tight tissues and maintain mobility.


Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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Former President Donald Trump officially endorsed Joe Kent, a Republican running for Congress in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.

Kent is challenging the incumbent and fellow Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who fell out of Trump’s favor when she crossed party lines and voted to impeach the former president following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

In his endorsement, announced Wednesday, Trump stated that Kent “will be a warrior for the America First agenda, unlike Jaime Herrera Beutler.”

“I met Joe at Dover Air Force Base on the evening that his wife was being brought back from the Middle East, where she had been killed in combat. It was a very sad moment in Joe’s life, but I was incredibly impressed with him and told him that he should someday run for office,” Trump’s endorsement states.

The news comes on the heels of another announcement from Kent’s campaign: Kent will appear at the Clark County Fairgrounds for a meet and greet on Monday with fellow Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. Gaetz has a national profile, in part due to an ongoing federal investigation into whether the congressman violated sex trafficking laws when he allegedly travelled and had a sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

Trump’s capability as a potential kingmaker will likely face a tough test in Southwest Washington. Here, moderate voters have stuck by their center-right incumbent for the last 12 years. Herrera Beutler hasn’t had a viable GOP primary challenger since 2010 (even then, before she’d even won her first federal election, she beat the trailing Republican by more than 14 points).

But her impeachment vote spurred fresh enthusiasm among the right-leaning wing of her party to unseat and replace her with someone more aligned with Trump, and the Trumpism that’s more broadly come to define the modern Republican party.

Kent isn’t the only one hoping to unseat Herrera Beutler in the 2022 primary. Heidi St. John, a conservative Christian speaker and author, is also running to Herrera Beutler’s right. So is Wadi Yakhour, who briefly served as a special assistant to the Secretary of the Interior during the Trump administration.

At a campaign forum in March, Kent, St. John and Wakhour all publicly pledged that they would drop out of the race should Trump endorse one of the other candidates.

I’ve reached out to both St. John and Wakhour Wednesday afternoon asking if they plan to honor that pledge. St. John’s campaign manager hasn’t offered a statement as of 6 p.m.; Wakhour said he’s “still pondering” what he’s going to say.

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Beautiful to look at, delicious to drink and definitely the most fun to make, gazoz is “a gorgeous, aromatic, colorful, zero-proof beverage of fruit, fizz, flora and fermentation.” A seasonal sparkling drink of the moment, let nature be your guide and create what speaks to you. Fruit and flowers, spices and herbs, syrup and sparkle – make this beautiful drink to enjoy this holiday weekend.   

This magic potion is a simple combination of seltzer, ice, fruit, homemade syrups, and fermentations. You can add a splash of kombucha, kefir, or jun, if you like. Whether you’re sourcing the farmer’s market or capturing the best of what’s blooming in your garden, you can make a perfect sparkling drink. Here are the building basics for a simple gazoz.

Basic Gazoz

makes 1 drink

Place the ice in a 12- to 16-ounce (360 to 475 ml) glass. Spoon in fermented fruit syrup.

Add fermented fruit, fresh fruit, fermented spice, and fermented spice syrup. Fill glass with sparkling water. Garnish the top of glass with herbs, leaves, greens and flowers of your choice. Insert straw and drink immediately. 

*Note: Any ice cubes will work well, but cubes made with filtered mineral water or tap water that has been boiled and cooled will be clearer and more compact, and will also melt more slowly. Avoid crushed ice, which will melt quickly and dilute your beverage.

Sweet Fermented Fruit in Syrup

Combine baking soda with 2 quarts cold water and fruit in a large bowl. Rub fruit with a soft cloth to clean it, then transfer to a separate large bowl filled with ice water. Let stand 30 minutes to firm fruit up.

Slice fruit into 1-inch wedges, removing cores, stems and pits. If you’re using apples, pears, quince, or any fruit that might turn brown, drop them into bowl filled with 90 percent water to 10 percent lemon juice as you slice. 

Layer some of the fruit in a roughly 1-quart jar with a tight-fitting lid; sprinkle with sugar. Continue layering fruit and sugar until jar is filled, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches headroom at top.

Seal jar tightly and let stand on counter until a syrup has formed and fruit has softened and slumped slightly, about 1 to 3 days. Open jar daily to release pressure and check fruit. Once you detect a cider-like aroma, you can let it ferment longer, or refrigerate the jar to slow fermentation. You can also dip a spoon in to taste. When you are happy with the flavor, transfer jar to refrigerator. Use fermented fruit and its syrup within 2 weeks.  

*for fresh berries: omit above. Rinse well and layer with sugar.

– from Gazoz by Benny Briga and Adeena Sussman

 

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Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, wrote to the Oregon Department of Transportation this week to once again discourage the agency from adopting a tolling or congestion pricing program on Interstate 5 and Interstate 205.

“I find it particularly troubling that the tolling proposals presented to the Council seem to expressly target Southwest Washington residents while providing them with few, if any, benefits,” Herrera Beutler wrote in the letter, addressed to ODOT Director Kris Strickler.

“The worst off will be those hardworking residents who don’t have the luxury of choosing to telecommute – they must be at their place of employment when the shop opens for business or the school bell rings.”

She was writing in response to a discussion at a recent Vancouver city council meeting, in which councilors expressed similar sentiments during a meeting earlier this month. They heard a presentation from ODOT’s Urban Mobility Office — according to that presentation, ODOT’s plan could implement tolls on I-205 as early as 2024, pending federal approval.

“It very clearly looks like it is trying to punish the members of the metro community that live in Clark County,” Councilor Ty Stober said at the meeting. Councilors Bart Hansen and Erik Paulsen additionally worried about the equity issues posed by peak-traffic congestion pricing, pointing out that lower-income commuters likely have less control over when they can show up to work.

Herrera Beutler — along with several other elected officials from the region at the state and local level — has been beating the anti-tolling drum for a while. Last year, she pledged to bring in federal gas tax dollars to help pay for the I-5 bridge replacement project.

She also wrote to the Washington State Department of Transportation urging them to include more car commuters in the project’s planning “to ensure that this process will avoid the pitfalls that ultimately doomed the Columbia River Crossing,” referencing the doomed 2013 project that critics claim over-prioritized mass transit, to the detriment of individual drivers.

“A tolling program on I-5 and I-205, which specifically punishes Southwest Washington commuters while providing them with minimal infrastructure benefits, is neither an acceptable nor fair solution to the Portland region’s myriad of transportation needs,” Herrera Beutler concluded in her letter to Strickler.

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Kids are back to school so many parents are ready to start focusing on their health and fitness again. It’s a great time to assess your exercise and nutrition plan and establish some goals to improve your overall health. Afterall, if we’ve learned one thing going through this global pandemic, it’s the importance of our health. 


Nutrition

Summer time BBQs, S’Mores by the camp-fire and ice cream treats can tend to pack on a few extra pounds over the summer encouraging many to feel ready to get back to eating super healthy and watching what they eat a little more closely. Try a few of these tips to help launch a good nutrition plan.

Cleanse Your System

Your body is pretty good at naturally cleansing, but if you’ve been indulging a bit too much this summer, providing it a bit more support can really help and make you feel great. Try a modified cleanse for a week to flush your system of any toxins or residue from a less than healthy summer season. It can be as easy as deciding to eat super clean for a few days, a week or even the entire month. You could commit to eating only fruits and veggies, reducing sugar and consuming only non-processed foods. Your body will love this!

Water

Commit to flushing your system by drinking 100 ounces of water per day for at least a week. 

Sober September

You may have enjoyed a few more cocktails this summer than your usual routine, so let the liver recover by avoiding alcohol for a set period of time. You could decide to have only a few drinks on the weekends or commit to no alcohol throughout the entire month of September. 

80/20 Rule

Regardless of what you establish as your nutrition goals, don’t

worry about being perfect. Even if you commit to a diet that is 80% clean and healthy, that will do wonders to getting your health and fitness program back on track!


Exercise

September is a great opportunity to ramp up your workout routine. Here’s a few tips.

Back to School, Back to YOU!

Try a New Fitness Program

Enroll in a Barre workout, Yoga class, Dance program, Rock-climbing course or an indoor rowing class. Get excited and stimulate your body and mind by trying something different.

Register For An Upcoming Local Event

This puts purpose to your workouts and gives you a goal to focus on. Vancouver is home to the PeaceHealth AppleTree Marathon, Half & 5K in September and the Girlfriends Half, 10K & 5K in October. Rally some friends and train to cross the finish line together. 

Schedule It

Put your workouts into your calendar. Remember the saying “If your priorities don’t get put into your schedule, someone else’s priorities will get put into your schedule!” Carve the time out to focus on your health and fitness. 

Recruit a Buddy

It’s easier to stay committed when you’ve got a buddy to inspire you when you’re not feeling very motivated! That’s why Personal Training works – you HAVE to go even when you don’t feel like it!

Join a Running or Cycling Group

It’s tough to stay motivated to get your runs or rides in during the cold, dark, rainy months so join a group to keep you accountable. We are fortunate in Vancouver to have many groups including:


Be Realistic

Be sure to not over-commit yourself. If you’ve had a difficult time working out in the past, it’s in your best interest to be conservative. For example, if you decide you’re going to start exercising everyday, you may achieve this goal in the first few weeks. But, as life catches up to you, you may find yourself skipping workouts. At the end of a week, you may have only completed 3-4 workouts. 3-4 workouts is fabulous and a lot better than you were doing before. Unfortunately, setting the unrealistic goal of working out everyday may make you feel like a failure.

Be realistic. Set a goal that you know you can achieve and this will give you the momentum to continue forward. Take the same approach with nutrition. Instead of saying you’ll never indulge again, set some realistic goals. For example, you may decide you’ll only drink a glass of wine with dinner 3 nights of the week instead of 7. Or decide you’ll have 2 free days each week to allow yourself some of your favorite indulgences. Set yourself up for success. If you want to succeed, try eliminating the all-or-nothing approach. 


Remember, consistency is the key. It’s not what you do for the next month that matters, it’s whether you can stay on track for the long term!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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Have you ever observed that your kitty’s allergy symptoms seem to worsen the more time you spend together? Have you ever considered the possibility that she may be allergic to you?

Is Kitty Allergic to YOU?

While extremely rare, scientists say that cats can indeed be allergic to people, but that our frequent bathing and showering assists in reducing our own dander and allergens. It’s far more likely, then, that your cat’s not allergic to YOU but to the products you either use on your skin or to clean your home.

 

Among the telltale signs of her sensitivity to these products are: itchiness and reddened skin, fur loss and open sores, rodent ulcers and swollen or inflamed lips. She may also develop chronic sneezing.

 

Consider the following culprits that may cause an irritation of your cat’s respiratory system: perfumes, body sprays with high-scent fragrances and heavily perfumed body washes; scentedIs Kitty Allergic to YOU? laundry detergents and fabric softeners; air freshener plug-ins, scented waxes, essential oils and incense, and the smoke and nicotine from cigarettes.

 

Is Kitty Allergic to YOU?To minimize many of these potential irritants, invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter that traps allergens such as dust mites, pollen, mold, tobacco particles, your dander and skin cells rather than sending them back into the air. Eliminate, wherever possible, everything that’s heavily perfumed or even moderately scented — from your personal products to your laundry products. And to keep your air not only fresh but clean, use several small activated charcoal pillows instead of scented plug-ins.

 

If, however, you suspect that your cat IS allergic to you, discuss it with your vet who will, in all likelihood, refer you to a dermatologist. Just as with people, the dermatologist will run a series of tests on your cat by pricking her skin with a small amount of various suspected allergens to see how she responds. And should she be one of those very rare kitties who react to your dander or hair, it doesn’t mean that you have to give her up.

 

Again, as with people, there are several forms of treatment available, depending on her symptoms and the severity of those symptoms. And although there’s no cure for allergies at the moment, allergy injections, antihistamines or even cortisone can be used to both provide her with the relief she needs and the reassurance you need to live happily ever after.

 

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I feel fall. Maybe you do, too. It’s a teensy bit cooler, the days are a bit shorter, and if you stop long enough to notice you can see a few leaves here and there getting ready to put on a show. Summer is winding down. 

If you have kids at home, this last week is precious. Spend a little extra time together. Plan something you enjoy. Here’s an easy meal idea to help you nudge back into the fall routine. Whether you make this for game day, or need something to cozy up with for the weekend Netflix marathon, a dip is a fun thing to do. Set everything out and serve it right in the baking dish. It might be the only way you can get your kids to eat vegetables. (Hint: don’t put the chips out right away.)

This Chipotle Chicken Nacho Dip is from the Pampered Chef website. Make this in their large bar pan, if you happen to have one, but if not, a 9-by-13 casserole dish will work nicely. Try this: cut the chicken using a pizza cutter. If  you’re using the bar pan, you can cut the chicken right on it. Let kids help. They can measure and mix the spices, add the ingredients to the bowl and stir them, spread the cheese mixture in the pan and sprinkle the cheese on top. They can use the pizza cutter, too, if you feel that they’re able. 

This hit the fun button in our house. Hope it does in yours, too.

Chipotle Chicken Nacho Dip

Preheat oven to 450º F. Combine garlic powder, smoked paprika, and chipotle pepper in a small bowl and stir together. Arrange chicken tenders evenly on large bar pan or 9-by-13 casserole dish. Sprinkle chicken tenders with half of the spice mix. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until internal temperature measures 165º F. 

Meanwhile, add cream cheese and remaining spice mix to a 2 quart microwave safe glass bowl. Microwave on high power, 30-60 seconds or until cream cheese is softened; mix well. Finely chop green onions and cilantro; add half to cream cheese and reserve remaining for topping. Add 1 cup shredded cheese to bowl and stir. Slice bell pepper, removing seeds, then dice. Add diced bell pepper and sour cream to bowl and mix well. 

Remove chicken from oven and use a pizza cutter to cut into bite-size chunks. Return to baking dish, then top chicken with cream cheese mixture, using a spatula to mix and spread evenly. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and return to oven for 4-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven. Top with remaining green onions and cilantro. Serve warm with tortilla chips and fresh vegetables.

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No matter if you are camping, hiking, at the beach or just in your backyard, you can give yourself an incredible muscle conditioning workout with just rocks! If you can’t get to the gym or away from your home workout area, it doesn’t mean your workouts have to take a sabbatical. So, no excuses, you need to be resourceful. There are literally hundreds of exercises you can do anywhere to challenge all muscles and fitness components.

I joined Koin News and Jenny Hansson for Move it Monday to review exercises you can do with just rocks. So, find yourself a large rock size and two smaller rocks with weight dependent on your current fitness level and let’s get a ‘rocking’ workout! You’ll notice Jenny only had access to a paint can so always remember if there is a will, there is a way!


Squat & Press

Hold one larger rock in both hands while legs are approximately hip width apart with knees and feet pointing in the same direction. Slowly bend your knees and squat down as low as feels comfortable sinking back into your hips and lowering the rock towards the ground. Keep your abdominals active and your spine elongated. Now slowly stand back up while pressing the rock over your head. Continue for 8-20 reps.

ROCK Your Workouts ROCK Your Workouts

Woodchop Squat

Hold one larger rock in both hands while legs are approximately hip width apart with knees and feet pointing in the same direction. Slowly bend your knees and squat down as low as feels comfortable sinking back into your hips and lowering the rock towards the ground. Keep your abdominals active and your spine elongated. As you stand up, pivot and rotate as you swing the rock up and overhead to one side of your body. Continue for 8-20 reps each side.

ROCK Your Workouts

 

 

 


Rock Swing

Hold one larger rock in both hands while legs are approximately hip width apart with knees and feet pointing in the same direction. Keep your legs straight with only a slight bend in your knees. Swing the rock between your upper legs keeping your abdominals active and your back elongated. Engage your glutes as you drive the rock back forwards and up over your head. Continue for 8-20 reps each side.

ROCK Your Workouts ROCK Your Workouts

Reverse Lunge and Bicep Curl

Start by standing tall holding two lighter rocks. Slowly lunge one leg backwards keeping the front knee and foot pointed in the same direction and your knee positioned over your foot. Drop the back knee as low towards the ground as feels comfortable and slowly stand back up while performing a bicep curl. Continue for 8-15 reps each leg.

ROCK Your Workouts ROCK Your Workouts

 


Airplane and Tricep Kickback

Start by standing tall holding two lighter rocks balancing on one leg. Slow tip the upper body forward as one leg extends behind transitioning into airplane pose while keeping the spine elongated. Keep your core active as you hold airplane pose and slowly raise both elbows towards the sky/ceiling and straighten the arms into a Tricep Kickback. Do 8-12 reps on each leg.

ROCK Your Workouts

 

 


Note: Since your smaller rocks may not be the same size and weight, be sure to perform equal number of reps with each rock in each hand to provide balance and symmetry.

Koin News “Move it Monday” segment on Rock workouts.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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In case you missed it, Vancouver city council candidate John Blom gained a boost ahead of the primary election from the National Association of Realtors. They spent $160,000 on his behalf, mainly in the form of digital ads, mailers and texts to voters. To be clear: that’s a ton of money, especially for an odd-year, local nonpartisan primary. Blom’s actual campaign spent around $18,000, just to provide some perspective.

Blom earned enough votes on Aug. 3 to make it through the primary, and will advance to November’s general election along with fellow Position 1 candidate Kim Harless.

He won’t, however, be accepting any funds from the National Association of Realtors during his general election campaign.

Blom issued a statement on Friday indicating that he’d asked the group not to spend any more money on his behalf.

“It has become clear that the support I received from the Realtors in the Primary election will continue to be a distraction,” he wrote. “I did not ask for the independent expenditures to be made and state law required that they not disclose them to me in advance.”

Blom is a professional realtor. When he ran for the Clark County Council in 2016 and 2020, the same group reported independent expenditures on his behalf totaling nearly $400,000.

126388ascites-in-cats https://blogs.columbian.com/cat-tales/2021/08/08/ascites-in-cats/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/08/swollen-tummy-460x460.jpg

Ascites (pronounced “a-site-eez”) is the accumulation of fluid in a cat’s abdominal cavity.

Ascites in Cats

While a swollen stomach is one of the most obvious signs of ascites, any dramatic shift in a cat’s appetite, weight, body temperature, excremental function or sudden sensitivity during a tummy rub can also be warning signs. And if fluid continues to accumulate unchecked in the cat’s abdomen, it will eventually create so much pressure that she may have trouble breathing.

 

As frightening as it sounds, however, ascites may all too often be a symptom of one of these five major conditions:

 

  1. Abdominal organ failure: Damage to or failure of the liver, kidneys and/or bladder can cause feline ascites. When operating properly, these organs’ vital functions include the conversion and metabolization of nutrients, filtration and waste removal. If the liver or kidneys are ruptured or fail, they release fluid into the abdomen that can quickly become septic. (possible reasons for both: ingesting chemicals or toxins, excessive heat, dietary imbalances, infection and metabolic dysfunction). A ruptured bladder can be caused by a urinary tract infection, blockages of the urinary tract or disease. When the urine has nowhere to go, the bladder can tear, releasing that urine into the abdomen, irritating the peritoneum, which, in turn, releases more fluid.

 

  1. Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP): Caused by a virus that thrives in white blood cells, there are two forms of FIP, and the one that produces swelling of the peritoneum is “effusive” or wet. Once the mutated virus becomes active, it impairs a cat’s immune system, especially affecting the abdominal lining and kidneys. Not only is FIP difficult to diagnose, it’s almost impossible to cure.

 

  1. Right-sided congestive heart failure: The right side pumps fresh, oxygenated blood through a cat’s body, and with congestive heart failure, the heart is incapable of doing this. (possible causes include a thickening of the heart muscle, heart worms and high blood pressure). While right-sided congestive heart failure can be genetic and affect younger cats, it more often affects older cats. As the cat’s heart strains to pump fresh blood through her body, fluids begin to accumulate everywhere, including the abdomen.

 

  1. Cancer: A mass or tumor anywhere in a cat’s abdominal cavity can cause a blockage and disrupt the normal functioning of her organ(s). Fluids that would usually be filtered by the affected organ(s) may then either back up or leak out into her abdomen.

 

  1. Physical trauma: If a cat experiences any sort of physical trauma, from accidents to abuse, these injuries can damage her internal organs. A torn or ruptured vital organ will lead to internal hemorrhaging which, in turn, leaks either blood or fluid into the abdomen, irritating the peritoneum and causing the abdomen to swell.

Ascites in Cats

To accurately diagnose ascites in a cat, a vet will first perform a thorough physical examination of her abdomen to check for pain or discomfort, then order blood and urine tests, and perhaps even x-rays and an ultrasound. A key component of the investigation, however, is drawing and analyzing a sample of her abdominal fluid to help narrow the list of possible causes. The blood and urine tests will detect any chemical imbalances or infections while the x-rays and ultrasound should reveal which organ(s) or system is affected.

 

Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment depends on the underlying cause of her fluid buildup. Corrective surgery may be needed to repair a ruptured organ or remove a tumor, while medications such as cat antibiotics may be prescribed if she’s suffering from a bacterial infection. Sadly, however, the disorders that cause ascites tend to be ominous, making the prognosis either guarded or poor. And because it often occurs at the end stages of a disorder without a cure, the focus of any treatment plan must therefore change accordingly — from resolution to management.

 

 

 

126383an-exchange-with-rep-kraft-re-the-constitution https://blogs.columbian.com/all-politics-is-local/an-exchange-with-rep-kraft-re-the-constitution/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Kraft-rally-600x417.jpg

Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, co-signed an open letter to Washington’s citizens on Wednesday reaffirming her commitment to the Constitution. She was one of 12 Washington legislators, all Republicans, to do so.

“Due especially to the state of emergency declaration in effect since March 2020 and resulting mandates, along with recent legislation enacted which law enforcement officers across the state have said will put the public at greater risk, we the undersigned elected legislators do hereby reaffirm our sworn oath to protect and defend the Constitutional rights provided to Washington citizens,” the letter stated. 

“No person, no emergency order and no law have the authority to remove these Constitutional freedoms and rights from the people. They are fundamental to our state and nation and guaranteed to the citizens of Washington state and the United States of America.”

I followed up with Kraft via email asking for specifics regarding which Constitutional freedoms she felt were under attack.

She responded:

“The fact that we’re still living under a ‘state of emergency’ over a year later, when clearly there is no emergency is extremely troubling,” Kraft wrote.

“Under the ‘state of emergency’ people have been told what they can and can’t do for over a year – forcing people to wear masks, closing businesses or significantly limiting their capacity, shutting schools and limiting students’ ability to learn in-person, forcing people to isolate, quarantining people from seeing their loved ones, pushing Covid-19 vaccines, etc.”

Noting that most of Kraft’s examples of COVID-19 restrictions ended more than a month ago, I asked for clarification on her timeline. Here’s that follow-up message in its entirety, for transparency’s sake:

“I do want to clarify a point — under Washington’s current approach, face coverings in businesses and other group settings are merely a recommendation, not a requirement (school settings are an exception). Businesses and individuals are responsible for making their own masking policies. COVID-19 vaccines are also voluntary, and businesses are free to make their own decisions with regards to how they approach customer and employee vaccination status. As of June 30, there are no limits on indoor capacity.

Where do you feel the current COVID-19 policies threaten the people’s sovereignty over their own body and life? Or is this letter referring specifically to the restrictions in place during prior stages of the pandemic?”

Here’s her answer, in full:

“The fact that we are still under a state of emergency and we’re even talking about proclamations made past or present by only one person, the Governor, or even with the input of the 4-Corner leaders: Senate and House Democrats and Republicans leaders, instead of the entire legislature over this long of a period is extremely concerning. Running a government this way is not Constitutional and is definitely a threat to every citizens’ sovereignty over their own body, life, property and rights.

In addition, to the point of one of your questions and recognizing these aspects fall outside of the Governor’s mandates, I am extremely concerned by the recent movement we’re seeing with businesses, healthcare organizations, and higher-education institutions mandating Covid-19 vaccines and requiring vaccination status to be reported by employees, and students. I personally believe these requirements are complete HIPPA (sic)* law violations and should be in any sound legal court of law.”

*A note on HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and what it does and doesn’t cover: HIPAA prevents healthcare providers from disclosing your own medical information to outside entities without your permission. People and organizations that must adhere to HIPAA include hospitals, individual physicians, nursing homes, pharmacies, and health insurers. 

A bar bouncer asking for proof of your vaccination status upon entry has nothing to do with HIPAA. If that same bouncer somehow obtained your pharmacist’s contact information, called them on your behalf and asked for your vaccination status — and then your pharmacist actually gave it to them, without your consent — you’d have a case for a HIPAA violation.

126352john-bloms-extremely-generous-benefactors https://blogs.columbian.com/all-politics-is-local/john-bloms-extremely-generous-benefactors/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Blom-text-521x460.png

The National Association of Realtors really, really wants John Blom to win his bid for Vancouver City Council.

So much so that they spent more than $160,000 on his behalf ahead of Tuesday’s election. In case it’s unclear, that’s an enormous sum for an odd-year local primary (for context: Blom himself has raised about $24,000 and spent around $18,000 on his own behalf. No other Vancouver city council candidates have reported independent expenditures higher than $200.)

I called Blom on Friday to ask about his extremely generous campaign benefactor. He found out about their expenditures the same way I did, he said — the Public Disclosure Commission’s website.

“I saw it at the same time other people saw it,” said Blom, who himself is a realtor. “I had no idea they were going to spend that money.”

According to a PDC report filed by the National Association of Realtors, the group spent the bulk of the money on digital ads, pre-roll videos, mailers and texts to constituents. They contracted with Denver-based company Access Marketing Services.

The group also reported spending on behalf of two Spokane city council candidates with (much smaller) sums: Mike Lish ($29,000) and Johnathan Bingle ($33,000).

Blom himself hasn’t seen everything sent out on his behalf, he added.

“It was definitely a surprise,” he said. “Even after the money is spent, I still don’t hear anything or see anything.”

It wasn’t the first time the organization backed Blom in a bid for office. When he ran for Clark County Council as an independent candidate in 2020, they spent more than $91,000 to try and get him elected. During his first bid, in 2016, they spent a whopping $305,000 in support of the then-Republican.

Blom, anticipating that the huge sum would attract attention from PDC browsers, posted the survey used by the National Association of Realtors to his campaign website in its entirety, along with his answers.

“I wanted to be transparent as to how I answered those questions and why they’re supporting me,” Blom said.

The lengthy survey asks about Blom’s view on a potential business and occupation tax, zoning law, homelessness and affordable housing, annexation and equity in home ownership, among other topics.

Read it in full here.

In our conversation, Blom emphasized that the realtor’s group isn’t partisan.

“I think there’s often confusion between developers and realtors,” he said. “The things they care about are homelessness, affordability and transportation issues.”

126258hair-loss-in-cats https://blogs.columbian.com/cat-tales/2021/07/25/hair-loss-in-cats/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/07/hair-loss-in-cats-328x460.jpg

Hair loss in cats, otherwise known as alopecia, can be either partial or complete, according to animal dermatologists. And although it occurs for a variety of reasons, the most common one is skin allergies.

Hair Loss in Cats

Cats may, in the course of their lives, get acquired alopecia, a symptom of a disease, not a disease itself, and veterinarians are the ones tasked with diagnosing its source. Happily, most affected cats’ hair does grow back, given time and the appropriate treatment.

 

Consider, then, the six most common conditions behind cat alopecia.

 

  1. Allergies: Some cats are hypersensitive to the antigens in flea saliva, and if they’re bitten by a flea, they’ll become so desperately itchy that they’ll begin over grooming as a way of dealing with the itchiness. It isn’t as if their hair is simply falling out, these kitties are actually licking it so much that they’re not only pulling it out, they’re pulling it out far faster than it can be replaced.

Hair Loss in Cats

 

Mange, scabies and lice can also make a cat’s skin itch, leading to that same vicious cycle of over grooming and hair loss. Other culprits include mites, food allergies and environmental allergies – all of which can cause that same unbearable itching, over grooming and hair loss.

 

Occasionally, cats will engage in compulsive over grooming because they’re suffering from neuropathic pain due to nerve damage in their skin. In rare cases, they may even over groom and lose hair for psychological rather than physical reasons, such as severe anxiety following a particularly stressful event.

Hair Loss in Cats

  1. Pain: Sometimes a cat will obsessively lick an area of her body not because it itches but because the tissue beneath her skin hurts. A cat suffering from arthritis, for example, may constantly lick at a specific, aching joint because it’s painful and licking helps relieve some of the discomfort. The downside of this: she’s also licking away her hair.

 

  1. Infections: Less common than allergies, cats with various staph infections or fungal infections such as ringworm may lose a great deal of hair in those affected areas.

 

  1. Endocrine disorders: If a cat’s losing hair, she may be suffering from hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid condition, it causes weight loss as well as many other symptoms). She may have a hormonal imbalance and an increased level of steroids in her body, causing hair follicles to die and preventing new hair from growing back. Cushing’s disease is one example of a metabolic disorder that produces too much cortisol (the body’s main stress hormone), potentially causing her alopecia.

 

  1. Side effects from medication: Among the various medications prescribed for a number of conditions, transdermal prednisone, for example, which is often used to treat Addison’s disease, causes both hair loss and the curling of a cat’s outer ear. Once the medication is stopped, these unwanted side effects should also stop.

 

  1. Cancer: Thankfully, cancer is rarely the reason for a cat losing hair. But neoplasia (these are abnormal growths caused by the uncontrolled division of cells) may cause it. Another serious condition is paraneoplastic alopecia, which is hair loss associated with moist skin and extreme itchiness.

 

Concerned about YOUR kitty’s hair loss? Simply bring her to the vet for a thorough examination.

 

 

126248for-your-voting-ease-a-master-list-of-the-2021-primary-election-endorsements https://blogs.columbian.com/all-politics-is-local/for-your-voting-ease-a-master-list-of-the-2021-primary-election-endorsements/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Ballot-drop-box-600x400.jpg

Candidate endorsements are often covered piecemeal, with a separate news item every time a notable local organization throws its support behind someone running for office in Clark County.

From a voter’s perspective, I don’t think that approach is very useful. If I were sitting down to complete my primary election ballot and staring at a list of unfamiliar names, I would want to go to one place to discern what each candidate stands for. Endorsements serve as a shortcut in that regard: Is the environment your top issue? Is it cutting red tape for developers? Is it labor rights? Chances are, relevant organizations have done the research on the candidates for you.

To create this list, I aggregated information from a few different sources. I used press releases issued over the course of the campaign season, endorsement roundups listed on candidates’ own websites, and announcements from the organizations’ websites and social media. I decided to forgo including individual endorsements, mainly because I’m not interested in being the arbiter of whose personal opinions are important enough.

I tried to make this list as comprehensive as possible. It’s possible I missed some. Luckily, this is the internet, and we can update as we go. If you know of any I omitted, please email me at calley.hair@columbian.com or DM me on Twitter @CalleyNHair.

Another note: You should have your ballot by now. If you don’t, you have until July 27 (aka this Tuesday) to sort it out online or Aug. 3 (aka Election Day) to sort it out in-person at the Clark County Elections Office.

Happy voting!

Development and business groups:

The Building Industry Group of the Building Industry Association of Clark County:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
John Blom (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)

The Clark County Association of Realtors:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
John Blom (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Erik Paulsen (Vancouver City Council Pos. 2)
Adrian Cortes (Battle Ground City Council Pos. 4)

Environmental groups:

Sierra Club of Washington State:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
Kim Harless Felix (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Erik Paulsen (Vancouver City Council Pos. 2)
Diana Perez (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
Eric LaBrant (Port of Vancouver Pos. 2)

Washington Conservation Voters:
Kim Harless Felix (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Diana Perez (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
Eric LaBrant (Port of Vancouver Pos. 2)

Sunrise Movement of Southwest Washington:
Kim Harless Felix (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1
Diana Perez (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)

Diversity, equity and inclusion groups:

Southwest Washington’s League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC):
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
Kim Harless Felix (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Erik Paulsen (Vancouver City Council Pos. 2)
Diana Perez (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
Eric LaBrant (Port of Vancouver District 2)
Adrian Cortes (Battle Ground City Council Pos. 4)
Sandra Zavala-Ortega (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Wendy Smith (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 3)

OneAmerica Votes:
Diana Perez (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
Sandra Zavala-Ortega (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)

Unions and labor rights groups:

IBEW Local 48:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
John Blom (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)

LiUNA Local 335:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
John Blom (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)

SEIU 775:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
Kim Harless Felix (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)

Southwest Washington Central Labor Council:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
Erik Paulsen (Vancouver City Council Pos. 2)
John Blom (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Diana Perez (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
Adrian Cortes (Battle Ground City Council Pos. 4)
Sandra Zavala-Ortega (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Wendy Smith (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 3)
Corey McEnry (Camas School District Pos. 1)

Vancouver Firefighters IAFF 452:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
John Blom (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Erik Paulsen (Vancouver City Council Pos. 2)

Vancouver Police Officers Guild:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
Erik Paulsen (Vancouver City Council Pos. 2)

Washington Education Association:
Sandra Zavala-Ortega (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Corey McEnry (Camas School Board Pos. 1)
Erika Cox (Camas School Board Pos. 2)
Wendy Smith (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 3)
Donna Sinclair (Washougal School Board Pos. 3)
Chuck Carpenter (Washougal School Board Pos. 3)

Democrats/left-leaning organizations:

FUSE Washington’s progressive voter guide:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
Kim Harless Felix (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Mike Pond (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Erik Paulsen (Vancouver City Council Pos. 2)
Diana Perez (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
Sandra Zavala-Ortega (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Chartisha Roberts (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Wendy Smith (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 3)

Young Democrats of Clark County:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
Don Stose (Ridgefield Mayor)
Paul Greenlee (Washougal Mayor)
Mike Pond (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Erik Paulsen (Vancouver City Council Pos. 2)
Diana Perez (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
Jackie Maddux (Battle Ground School District Pos. 5)
Julie Bocanegra (Evergreen School District Pos. 1)
Sandra Zavala-Ortega (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Chartisha Roberts (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Wendy Smith (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 3)

Clark County Democratic Women:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
Kim Harless Felix (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Erik Paulsen (Vancouver City Council Pos. 2)
Diana Perez (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
Paul Greenlee (Washougal Mayor)
Joshua Beck (Yacolt City Council Pos. 3)
Devin Scroggins (Battle Ground School District Pos. 1)
Julie Bocanegra (Evergreen School District Pos. 1)
Teresa VanNatta (Hockinson School District Pos. 1)
Sandra Zavala-Ortega (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Chartisha Roberts (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Wendy Smith (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 3)
Donna Sinclair (Washougal School District Pos. 3)
Ron Gibson (Fire Protection District Pos. 5)
Norman Harker (Clark Regional Wastewater District Pos. 2)

Republicans/right-leaning organizations:

Young Republicans of Clark County:
David Gellatly (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3) (Note: unclear if this is a formal organizational endorsement, or just supportive posts to the YRCC Facebook page)

Clark County Republican Women (Note: it’s unclear if these are formal endorsements. They were included in the June 2021 newsletter as a list of “conservative candidates,” written by president Liz Pike. Pike has not responded to my phoned request for clarification):
Earl Bowerman (Vancouver Mayor)
Glen Yung (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
Brian Munsen (Battle Ground City Council Pos. 1)
Josh VanGelder (Battle Ground City Council Pos. 4)
Tricia Davis (Battle Ground City Council Pos. 5)
Jennifer Senescu (Camas Mayor)
Gary Perman (Camas City Council Pos. 1)
Leslie Lewallen (Camas City Council Pos. 3)
Palmer Davis (La Center City Council)
Derik Ford (Washougal Mayor)
David Stuebe (Washougal City Council Pos. 3)
Chris de la Rocha (Washougal City Council Pos. 5)
Julie Russell (Washougal City Council Pos. 6)
Greg Seifert (Port of Vancouver District 2)
John Spencer (Port of Camas-Washougal District 1)
Jeramy Wilcox (Port of Camas-Washougal District 3)
Bruce Campbell (Clark Regional Wastewater District Pos. 2)
Ernie Geigenmiller (Camas School Board Pos. 1)
Jeremiah Stephen (Camas School Board Pos. 2)
Sadie McKenzie (Washougal School District Pos. 3)
Janice D’Aloia (Washougal School District Pos. 5)

Nonpartisan political organizations:

National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
Kim Harless Felix (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Diana Perez (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
Chartisha Roberts (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Sandra Zavala-Ortega (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Wendy Smith (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 3)
Erica Cox (Camas School District Pos. 2)
Julie Bocanegra (Evergreen School District Pos. 1)
Ginny Gronwoldt (Evergreen School District Pos. 5)
Donna Sinclair (Washougal School District Pos. 3)

FairVote Washington (not a formal endorsement, but an acknowledgement of which candidate support ranked-choice voting):
Kim Harless Felix (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Diana Perez (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
John Burke (Woodland City Council Pos. 6)
Troy McCoy (Battle Ground City Council Pos. 1)
Keith Bellisle (Woodland City Council Pos. 1)
John Spencer (Port of Camas-Washougal District 1)

Media:

The Columbian’s editorial board:
Anne McEnerny-Ogle (Vancouver Mayor)
John Blom (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Kim Harless Felix (Vancouver City Council Pos. 1)
Erik Paulsen (Vancouver City Council Pos. 2)
Diana Perex (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
David Gellatly (Vancouver City Council Pos. 3)
Julie Bocanegra (Evergreen School Board Pos. 1)
Sandra Zavala-Ortega (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Kathleen O’Claire (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)
Chartisha Roberts (Vancouver Public Schools Pos. 2)

126228the-importance-of-a-pet-nuptial-agreement https://blogs.columbian.com/cat-tales/2021/07/11/the-importance-of-a-pet-nuptial-agreement/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/07/sleeping-with-kitty-600x450.jpg

Like a prenuptial agreement, the aptly named “pet-nuptial” (pet custody) agreement can assist you in keeping your cherished feline companion should your current relationship end.

The Importance of a “Pet-Nuptial” Agreement

Whether you’re divorcing a spouse, breaking up with a partner or moving out on a roommate, if you’ve owned a cat together, gird yourself for a potential battle over the custody of that cat. The key to resolving this issue and being on the winning end of it is to have a “pet-nuptial” agreement already in place.

 

Since the law in most states regards pets not as family members but as personal property, protecting your rights requires foresight on your part. When you have a “pet-nuptial” agreement, a court – if it comes to that – will, in all likelihood, enforce it unless you live in one of a handful of states with pet custody laws. If so, the judge will, as in any child custody battle, make a decision based on the best interests of the disputed pet.

 

Without a pre-arranged agreement, you’ll have to prove why YOU’RE the one entitled to keep the cat rather than your spouse, partner or roommate. Are you able, then, to provide the answers to the following questions?

 

Who actually adopted or purchased the cat in question? Have the necessary receipts, wherever possible.

Did you or “the other party” have the cat before the start of your “arrangement?”

Are there any children involved who are attached to this cat? If so, where will they be living?

Who plays the greater role in feeding and playing with the cat?

Who takes the cat to the veterinarian?

Who pays the bills — from food, toys, beds and other kitty essentials to veterinary expenses, medications, supplements and therapies if applicable?

Does either party have a work schedule that prevents them from spending quality time with the cat?

Which party has bonded with the cat, is the one she always follows around, always sleeps near, etc.?

Has either party ever exhibited any cruelty towards your cat or any other animal?

 

To keep your pet dispute from ever going to court, consider using mediation or arbitration instead. This way you can hopefully work together and come to an amicable arrangement.

 

Another solution is an agreement that either provides for joint custody of your cat or for sole custody with the other party given “visitation rights.” Joint custody agreements are far from ideal since pets, like children, are often traumatized by the dissolution of a marriage or partnership. A custody agreement where your cat is shuttled back and forth between two homes seldom works satisfyingly for any party – particularly the cat.

 

If your spouse already had the cat before you got married, it will be difficult for you to get custody of her because she’s not considered “marital property” but your spouse’s “separate property.”

 

And yet, in some cases, you may emerge victorious. Examples: if you spend the most time with your cat, you could get custody of her despite the fact that your spouse pays most of the vet bills. If children are involved, and you’re getting custody of them in one of the few states with pet custody laws, a judge will want the cat to remain with the children. In other states, custody could be split, with the children going to one parent and the cat going to the other.

 

Because pet custody is an evolving legal issue, consider hiring a family attorney to help you. Ensure that you have photos and videos of you and your cat sharing a series of bonding experiences. Ensure that you have witnesses eager to testify that YOU are her primary guardian and playmate. Ensure that you have records of or receipts for every purchase you’ve made towards her care and well being.

 

In short, if you have a cat and an intact marriage or partnership, put a “pet-nuptial” agreement in place NOW so that you’re protected should the relationship ever end.

 

 

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For people, having our blood pressure checked is always a routine part of an annual physical exam.

 

But have you ever had your cat’s blood pressure checked?

 

Do you know what high blood pressure in cats means? Do you know what low blood pressure means? Do you know what to do in either situation?

 

Just as many people suffer from so-called “white coat syndrome”, causing an elevation in their blood pressure at their physician’s office, the same holds true for cats having their blood pressure taken at the vet’s. Purr-haps even more so. While a cat’s usual, normal systolic pressure is about 120 to 130, most seasoned vets barely react if their “stressed out” kitty patient’s blood pressure is 150 to 160 during a check-up. If, on the other paw, it’s lower than 120 — which is rare — or higher than 160, this could be a signal that something else is wrong.

 

What, then, does high blood pressure in cats mean? Common in cats, particularly as they age, it’s usually a sign of an underlying disease orBlood Pressure in Cats condition — one of the main ones being kidney failure. With kidney failure comes hypertension. If your cat is drinking more water than usual or urinating more often than usual, she may have kidney failure and, thus, possibly hypertension. Felines suffering from kidney failure and hypertension may also lose their eyesight. If your senior kitty is already blind, however, your vet should test her for retinal detachment since it’s most often caused by high blood pressure.

 

What, then, does low blood pressure mean? Not nearly as common as high blood pressure, kitties may have low blood pressure if they’ve suffered some sort of trauma, leaving them injured and losing blood.

Blood Pressure in Cats

If your kitty’s blood pressure is too high, your vet will, in all likelihood, have blood tests taken to see what, if anything, they reveal. They may indicate, for example, an elevation in her kidney enzymes. And should she have either kidney or heart disease, your vet will not only begin treating her for it but prescribe amlodipine (this is a calcium channel blocker used “off label” to treat her blood pressure and prevent damage to her kidneys, eyes and brain).

 

Some vets believe, though, that it’s better to check your cat’s blood pressure at home rather than at their office because it’s less stressful for her. To do this, simply purchase a blood pressure monitor with an inflatable cuff and put it around your kitty’s forelimb or tail. Purr-fectly pain-free, it’s very well tolerated by most cats.Blood Pressure in Cats

 

Uncertain or squeamish? Even without a monitor, be on the lookout for symptoms of both high and low blood pressure in your cat. These include behavioral changes, such as uncharacteristic growling or hissing, increased thirst and urination, lethargy, weakness and vision problems. And if you’re at all concerned about her blood pressure, bring her to your vet for a thorough examination.

 

 

 

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Do you own a cat but want to rent an apartment or condo, town home or house?
 

If so, it’s vital that you’re fully informed before initiating this all-important process. 

Cat Owners and Rental Properties

Why? Because too many cats are either abandoned or surrendered to animal shelters as a result of housing problems encountered by their owners. Cat Owners and Rental Properties

 

It’s understandable that many landlords may be leery of renting their premises to cat owners. Some tenants are thoughtless and irresponsible, allowing their pets to damage property through destructive scratching or odoriferous spraying and/or disturb their neighbors because of such issues as poor litter box hygiene and neglectful maintenance, inappropriate disposal of soiled litter and hissing or mewling especially at night. Cat Owners and Rental Properties

 

It’s therefore incumbent upon YOU to prove to prospective landlords that your cat is well mannered, fastidious and kept constructively occupied, and that renters like you will not only be respectful of their rental property but will illustrate, by your example, that most pet owners are both conscientious and trustworthy.  

 

Since finding a rental property that welcomes pets may prove difficult, increase your chances of success by considering the following: 

 

Allow as much time as possible for as thorough a search as possible. 

Research all “animal-friendly” listings and all “animal-savvy” realtors by placing classified ads online. 

Reach out to your neighbors and co-workers, friends and family, through networking sites and social media for an even broader range of potential rentals. 

Stop by the supermarkets and drug stores in your area to pick up free publications of rental opportunities and visit such web sites as https://www.apartments.com and https://www.rent.com for even more listings. 

 

Create a “feline resume” detailing your cat’s positive personality traits. Include several photos guaranteed to win hearts, list your cat’s favorite activities, food and treats, and a brief adoption story. You should also include a letter from the vet showing that your cat is spayed or neutered and up-to-date on vaccines and a letter of reference from your current or most recent landlord (if applicable). 

 

While some landlords may advertise “no pets,” others may also be willing to make an exception — particularly if they own pets or are pet lovers themselves. It’s worth making an inquiry over the phone and even inviting the more amenable ones to meet with you and your cat. 

 

NEVER sign a lease that states, “no pets allowed” even if you happen to observe other pets on the premises. But most importantly, never accept the word of a realtor, manager or landlord that having one is “okay.” The only words that count are those WRITTEN in the lease. If the lease clearly states “no pets allowed,” ensure that it’s either crossed out or replaced with language approving your pet, and that all changes are initialed by both you and the landlord. 

 

Any pet deposit or monthly fees should be specified in the lease, but before signing it, first discuss the matter with the landlord and/or renegotiate the amount.  

 

Keep a signed copy of the lease with all of your other important documents where it can be readily retrieved if needed. 

 

Then, once you and your purr-ecious kitty companion are happily ensconced in your new home, it remains your responsibility to reassure the landlord that he made the right choice in renting to you.  

  

 

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A couple of weeks ago, one of my sons and I made a quick trip to Eugene (exhibiting proper social distancing, using masks and doing hand sanitizing) to pick up some bees. We also ordered chinook salmon from Newman’s. (I miss them so much in Portland; best fish monger ever.)

Nothing better than spring chinookLast night, David and I used Nancie McDermott’s Salmon Steaks in Caramel Fish Sauce from her “Quick & Easy Vietnamese” cookbook, one of my favorites and available on Amazon. I made the sauce; David did the cooking in a cast-iron pan. He removed the skin and cut the salmon into chunks so he could control the cooking, according to the size. Remember, the salmon continues to cook after it is removed from the heat.


Heavenly, just heavenly. It was moist, sweet, salty and fiery all at the same time. We served it with spring greens and a toasted sesame and ginger salad dressing. We also had roasted asparagus and Pinot Gris from Jerry Sass’ winery. Here’s the recipe:
Salmon in Caramel Fish Sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped shallots or onions
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
1/4 cup fish sauce (Note from Janet: Use Red Boat. It is 100 percent pure with only two ingredients: black anchovies and sea salt.)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 pounds salmon steaks or other meaty fish, about 1 inch thick
3 green onions, trimmed, white part chopped and green part cut into 2-inch lengths
In a small, deep skillet or saucepan, combine the oil, shallots and garlic. Warm over medium-high heat until the garlic sizzles. Add the fish sauce, sugars, water and pepper and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring now and then, until the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens a bit, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the salmon steaks and let the sauce return to a gentle boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, Carefully, turn the steaks over, add the green onions and cook for 5 minutes more. Transfer the fish steaks to a shallow serving bowl, sauce and all. Serve hot or warm.
— From Nancie McDermott’s “Simply Vietnamese Cooking: 135 Delicious Recipes”

Nothing better than spring chinook

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 50 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

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Here is wedding soup, with apologies to all my Italian friends who learned to cook alongside their nonnas. I had to make substitutions because I didn’t want to run to the store, and I didn’t have the soup bones to make the rich, homemade broth. I had ground pork, but not ground chicken for the meatballs. And here’s another confession: I had about a cup of Cento porcini sauce in the fridge. I threw that in because I didn’t have enough for a meal and I didn’t want it to go to waste. That paragraph had a lot of “didn’t” in it. Geez.


Apologies to nonnaSee what I mean when I ask for apologies for messing with what your nonna would have made?
And here’s a side note: When I was about to become a granny, I told my kids I didn’t want to be called “grandma” or “granny.” Ruben said, “No way. You’re Grandma Boats.” That’s what he called his paternal grandmother. I decided that “Nonna Boats” had a nice ring to it and I liked it just fine.


The broth:
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, nicely minced
Olive oil
1 small leek, chopped
3 carrots, chopped into rounds
6 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of porcini sauce or 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
10 cups loosely packed spinach
1 cup orzo


Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil. Add the leek and carrots. Stir in the chicken broth and sauce or tomato paste. Season with the salt and pepper. Simmer for an hour or two. We’ll deal with the spinach and orzo after you’ve made the meatballs.


The meatballs:
¾ pound ground pork
¾ cup fine dried bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley
1 large egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan for serving


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the meatballs. Mix well with your hands, and then roll into 1-inch meatballs. Add them to the boiling water and simmer for about 5 minutes or until they are pretty much done. Transfer them from the water to the soup mixture, where they will continue cooking.
Add the spinach and orzo. Cook about 10 more minutes or until the orzo is done to your liking.
Serve in soup bowls with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Apologies to nonna

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 50 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

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Hunkered down and making poppy-seed cake

I dredged up the poppy-seed cake recipe from memory.

Hi there!

It has been awhile, and I can’t say that I’m back at blogging for Small Plates, but today I made a cake that has been in the family files since 1972. It was a recipe that my mother-in-law used after her sister sent it to her from Virginia.

Hunkered down and making poppy-seed cakeHunkering down to avoid COVID-19 is making me think of food and days gone by. I knew I had everything on hand. I had made this poppy-seed cake so many times in the 1970s that it was etched in my memory.

That’s a good thing: I looked for my handwritten recipe, and when I couldn’t find it, I gave it a try from memory. No. 2 son said the result was just as he remembered it. I used whipping cream as the topping, maybe better than a cream cheese frosting, and I happened to have a few raspberries in the fridge.

All this is making me want a cup of coffee. Stay safe and healthy, Small Plates readers.

Aunt Claire’s poppy-seed cake

2 sticks of softened butter
1-1/2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. Throw in the vanilla.

Sift together the baking powder, salt and flour. Alternate the flour and the sour cream, beating at low speed.

Pour into a 13- x 18-inch pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. You can use a bundt pan or two 8-inch round cake pans, but adjust the cooking time accordingly.

 

Hunkered down and making poppy-seed cake

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 49 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

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Frassati Suppers up and running again

St. Joseph Catholic Church parishioners Robyn Hansen (left) and Jan get the plates ready for Frassati guests at the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater in downtown Vancouver.

After an extensive kitchen remodel in the Lower Hall of the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater, we are serving Frassati Suppers again.

Frassati Suppers up and running againWhat’s Frassati? A welcoming place in Vancouver where volunteer greeters, chefs, waiters and others serve the poor and homeless in the spirit of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. The supper is part of the downtown parish’s Pier Giorgio Agape Ministry, an outreach effort named in honor of the 24-year-old Italian man who died in 1925 from polio he likely contracted while visiting the sick. He was beatified in 1990.

My job is to coordinate the volunteers and help in the kitchen. The once-a-week effort averages 25 workers a week. I never planned on volunteering; it just happened as I learned more about the ministry and met dedicated people committed to helping the poor in our community.

And we do make a difference: In 2018, we served 8,470 meals (includes seconds) to the 6,209 people who signed in. It took 3,354 volunteer hours to make this happen.

The work alone has been a huge blessing for me. But I have also made new friends. For example, Greg Repman brings in a crew the third Thursday of the month from Our Lady of Lourdes in northwest Vancouver, and Robyn Hansen, a parishioner at St. Joseph Catholic Church, serves meals the second Thursday of each month. Robyn recently made sloppy joes, coleslaw and potato tots for dinner. The meal was a big hit for our guests.

So I was thinking that sloppy joes might make a quick and easy meal as families begin thinking about back to school and the rush of homework and activities. Robyn’s recipe comes from her sister.

Frassati Suppers up and running again

Frassati guests wanted seconds and in some cases thirds of Robyn’s sloppy joes, coleslaw and tots.

Sloppy joes (serves four to six, depending on size of buns)

1 pound of hamburger
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup of ketchup
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped green pepper (optional)
Brown hamburger and drain fat.  Add onions (and green pepper), spices and wet ingredients and simmer covered on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve on toasted buns.
Frassati Suppers up and running again

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 49 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

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Thai sweet and sour pork

My friend Linda Meade, a member of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Vancouver and a volunteer for the Frassati suppers at the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater where we feed the poor and homeless, took me to lunch the other day at Thai Orchid.

Thai sweet and sour porkWe ordered the Thai sweet and sour pork entree. It was so good that I vowed to replicate it at home. The result? It was delicious at the restaurant but even more tasty at home. I went to a couple of recipes for guidance, and then I combined and improvised.

No. 2 son dropped by as he often does on a Saturday night. It passed the John test. The Intrepid One praised the flavors. In fact, we all pronounced it “company worthy,” a term we use when something is good enough to serve to guests. We had leftovers, so I’m anticipating that the flavors will meld tonight and we will have a delicious lunch tomorrow.

Here is my improvised recipe:

Thai sweet and sour pork

Half a pork tenderloin, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons oil

1/2 large onion, cut into large chunks

1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips

1-1/2 cups fresh pineapple

1 tomato, chopped into chunks that are about the size of cherry tomatoes

2 green onions, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup cilantro

Steamed rice for serving


For the sauce:

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup pineapple juice (I was a little short, so I threw in a couple of tablespoons of lemonade)

2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Thai sweet and sour porkTo put this together:

Marinate the pork slices in the soy sauce, garlic and pepper at the top of the recipe for at least 30 minutes.

Make the sauce by bringing all the ingredients, except the cornstarch, to a boil. After the sugar has dissolved, add the cornstarch and let the mixture thicken. Set it aside.

Cook the pork in hot oil until tender and not overdone. Get a clean frying pan. Heat more vegetable oil and then stir-fry the vegetables. Pour in the sauce and cooked pork. Add the pineapple, cucumber and heat through, Garnish with green onions and cilantro. Serve with steamed rice.

 

 

 

 

 

Thai sweet and sour pork

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 49 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

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Gardening is a fun, creative and healthy hobby. There’s nothing like unplugging from your daily routine and getting down and dirty doing concrete, tangible work. A key part of gardening is how relaxing it is.

In today’s fast-paced advancements in the technological world, you can also multitask while gardening, adding an entirely new dimension to this entertaining pastime. Take a look at some fun suggestions for multitasking while gardening.

Music

Who doesn’t love music? Why not combine two of your passions into a single activity. Listening to music while gardening is one of the most relaxing things you can do.

Studies have shown that music can have a positive effect on workflow and productivity. But even if your aim isn’t to work more efficiently, for most people music is a preferable background to random noise.

This is a great way to revisit old hits or catch up with the newest releases. It’s an approach which condenses two fun activities into one. This is one of the rare ways that you can make gardening even more enjoyable. So kick back, make a playlist and go make the most of your time in the sun.

Audiobooks

Audiobooks are a big hit. They provide an even more convenient way to enjoy literature than e-books. The not-so-good fact is that most of us can’t find enough time to read. Downloading the audiobook of your favorite book or that new novel that you can’t find the time to start reading is a great way to enjoy literature.

It doesn’t have to stop there – you can also find plenty of audiobooks concerning gardening. These can help improve your skills or inspire you with new ideas for your little green corner. Educating yourself on gardening has never been easier.

Podcasts/Videos

Podcasts are hugely popular at the moment. They have almost completely replaced the traditional format of a radio show. If you’re a fan, try listening to one while gardening.

Podcasts and videos offer a wide array of diverse content to enjoy. Listening to something you enjoy while gardening will provide you with a new, unique sense of leisure.

If you’re so inclined, there are many podcasts and YouTube channels which focus on gardening. Check them out for new ideas on how to improve your garden, what to grow and how to grow it.

Where do I begin?

Multitasking and gardening go hand in hand naturally. It’s very easy to start. First things first, purchase a good quality wireless headphone from headsetplus.com. This allows you to enjoy online content while tending to your garden.

A good pair of sound canceling headphones will also help you focus on the work at hand. Not being distracted by ambient noises will help you stay in the zone and make the most of your free time. You will naturally gravitate to what you usually enjoy, but take a look at a couple of suggestions and ideas down below.

Office-work

It may seem counterproductive, but doing some other important work while tending to your garden at the same time can be a good use of your time. It’s important not to go overboard, but if you can delegate, plan or instruct others, doing a bit of work while simultaneously gardening can help reduce stress.

If your line of works allows, taking care of small tasks, delegating it to your subordinates can help reduce the overall amount of work. And when you do have to go to work, you’ll have an easier time there. This is a delicate balance, and obviously isn’t applicable to all lines of work – but if it is for yours, you should at least consider the possibility.

Allen Wilson

Allen has been writing about gardening for over 30 years. He is a retired professor of Horticulture.

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Crab sandwich and warm spinach salad

 

I didn’t hesitate when No. 2 son (John) dropped by the other night and offered to make dinner: a Dungeness crab sandwich alongside a spinach salad. I was thrilled to have a night off from cooking and made a quick deal. He would do the cooking; I would do the cleanup. Afterward, we talked about getting the recipes on this Small Plates blog. But he was worried about being exact.

Crab sandwich and warm spinach salad“I never measure out anything,” he said. So I prodded him into approximate amounts. With that in mind, I suggest that you make adjustments as you go and build the sandwich according to what you think is the correct, spreadable consistency.

Crab and cheese sandwich

1/2 pound of crab
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped dill
1/3 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons mayo
pinches of black pepper
crusty bread cut 1-inch thick
cheddar or jack cheese to cover

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes until brown and bubbly.

Warm bacon dressing for spinach salad

1/2 pound spinach
5 strips bacon
2 tablespoons roughly chopped basil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
pinch of black pepper
a little salt
a squeeze of lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar

Parmesan cheese

Fry the bacon in a pan. Pull out the strips of bacon, reserving the grease. Wick out half the fat. Chop the bacon. Mix the rest of the ingredients into the bacon fat. Let it boil, then toss over the spinach until the spinach appears reduced by half. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese.

Serve warm.

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 49 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

Crab sandwich and warm spinach salad
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Hi there, Small Plates readers:

Last weekend, I had a fabulous visit with one of my best friends from high school and her husband. I flew to San José, Calif., to stay at their house. (It was on a Boeing 737, but not the MAX.)

We went to the Little Italy section of San José and dined at Paesano Saturday evening. I ordered Pappardelle Alexandra, a broad ribbon pasta with pancetta and crab in a tomato vodka cream sauce. It was heavenly.

Food evokes joy of friendshipBack home, I kept raving to the Intrepid One about what a wonderful weekend I had had with my friends.. He had stayed home with our aging Labrador, Abby, who suffers from laryngeal paralysis, a horrible condition common to older Labs that affects their breathing. In late January, she also had a tumor removed from her paw pad. It was determined to be an aggressive malignant melanoma. At this point, we are trying to keep her as comfortable as possible.

Anyway I tried to replicate the Paesano  recipe, though I admit that I used Cento’s creamy vodka sauce, available at Sheridan’s in Southeast Portland. I used Neuske’s bacon, medium sliced, from Portland’s City Market instead of the pancetta. (And next time I’ll make the sauce from scratch.) Anyway, No. 2 son stopped by, and we all agreed the recipe was a keeper and company worthy,

Sorry, St. Patrick, we’re having Italian again tomorrow night because we have plenty of leftovers.

Thanks, Susan, for 56 years of friendship. And thanks, David, for taking care of our beloved pooch, Abby.

Crab and bacon pappardelle

4 strips of high quality bacon, cut into 1-inch strips

1 jar of Cento creamy vodka sauce

Extra whipping cream

1/4 cup basil, finely chopped

salt, pepper

meat from one small crab

Pappardelle pasta (I bought it at Pastaworks in City Market in Northwest Portland)

Parmigiano-Reggiano

Fry the bacon chunks. Dab the excess grease with a paper towel. Pour in the creamy vodka sauce and add salt, pepper and extra cream to taste.

Add the basil and meat from the crab. Gently toss.

Cook the pasta according to directions. With the silky strands of pappardelle, it took about seven minutes. Pass the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

 

 

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 49 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

Food evokes joy of friendship
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More cooking with HanaAnother month and another chance to cook with Hana Adamko, my fellow parishioner at the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater in downtown Vancouver.

More cooking with HanaThis time we made a Polish kielbasa-cabbage stew. Again, our guests at the Frassati Supper sang Hana’s praises and sent compliments to the chef. Frassati is a once-a-week event in which volunteers feed the poor and homeless. We served the stew, a peach half and warmed rolls with buter. Desserts are from Simply Sweets in downtown Vancouver, New Seasons and the Clark County Food Bank. (Thank you for your generosity.)

It takes an average of 25 volunteers to put on each supper. Last week, about 130 people signed in and we served 160 plates. (The difference represents seconds, even thirds.) The numbers are down from a couple of years ago. We hope, of course, that that is because some of our former guests have found work and are able to break out of poverty.

More cooking with HanaSo here’s the recipe, as Hana makes it. This version makes about eight servings, but of course we multiply it by 20 so we can serve 130 people or so. I have gotten used to thinking big.

In a large saucepan or nonstick skillet, brown sausage over medium heat. Add the potatoes, cabbage, onion, 1 cup water, sugar, caraway and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
Add beans and vinegar; cover and simmer 5-10 minutes longer. Combine flour and remaining water until smooth; stir into stew. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Thank you to all the Frassati volunteers who work each Thursday serving the poor and homeless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 49 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

More cooking with Hana
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Layered sauerkraut catches me by surpriseI coordinate volunteers for the Frassati Supper, part of an outreach program for the poor and homeless at Vancouver’s downtown Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater.

Aboutt a year ago, I was short a head cook for the fourth Thursday of the month. Out of the blue, fellow parishioner Hana Adamko offered her services. Of course, I jumped.

“I only cook Old World meals,” she announced. I remember asking myself what that might mean.

Layered sauerkraut catches me by surpriseBoy, was I in for an adventure, starting with chicken paprikash with homemade dumplings and most recently with a layered sauerkraut dish. I don’t like sauerkraut most of the time, but I found myself making the dish at home right after Hana made it for the 150 people we served Dec. 27. Our guests praised it, too. Plates came back clean. My husband loved it. I shared it with a friend who grew up in Bavaria. (The recipe calls for pork, bacon and sausage along with sauerkraut, onions and sour cream. His wife, a vegetarian, was out of town, and this was perfect timing.)

The Frassati Supper is part of the proto-cathedral’s Pier Giorgio Agape Ministry, an effort named in honor of the 24-year-old Italian man who died in 1925 from polio he likely contracted while visiting the sick. He was beatified in 1990. Our parish program began in December 2012. Besides the weekly supper, it also includes a closet for clothing distribution and a cupboard for food giveaways.

Washington mandates Point in Time, a count of the homeless each January. The tally for 2018 in Clark County was 795; for the state, 22,304.

Now if you think you can’t make a difference in the plight of the homeless, consider these numbers: In 2018, a group of volunteers working in our tiny church kitchen served 8,470 meals to the 6,209 people who signed in. (The difference between the numbers is from seconds and thirds some people requested.) It took the help of volunteers who put in 3,354 hours. (We average 27 volunteers — cooks, servers, dishwashers and greeters — per Thursday.) We also get donations from the Clark County Food Bank and Simply Sweets downtown. (Thank you.)

 Layered sauerkraut catches me by surpriseHana’s layered sauerkraut 

If you find the sauerkraut too sour, wash it. Squeeze all the liquid out of it. 

Rinse the rice and cook it in salty water

In a pan fry the sausages in a little oil. Set aside.

In another skillet fry the chopped bacon; when the bacon releases enough fat, add finely chopped onion and garlic, and sauté until translucent. Add ground pork and fry until it turns white. Pour in a little water, sprinkle with paprika and summer savory, salt (1-1/2 tsp.) and pepper, cover and cook until tender. 

Grease a medium-sized casserole. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line the dish with one-third of the sauerkraut. Spread half of the rice, then half of the meat over the sauerkraut. Place half of the sausages on top of the meat and pour over half of the lard released by sausages. Now comes the half of the remaining sauerkraut, spread one-third of the sour cream over it evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining rice and meat, put the sausage slices and pour over the rest of the lard. Cover with the remaining sauerkraut and spread sour cream on top.

Place in the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes. Take out from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

 

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 49 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

Layered sauerkraut catches me by surprise
101231roasted-and-stuffed-portobello-mushrooms-on-the-menu-2 http://blogs.columbian.com/small-plates/2018/10/05/lunch-plans-get-pinch-inspiration/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/fullsizeoutput_2df4-1024x680-600x398.jpeg
Roasted and stuffed portobello mushrooms on the menu

Stuffed portobello mushrooms take center stage for a light supper or luncheon with friends.

I’m giving away the menu, Mary Lou Oberson and Betty Schmidlin.

Roasted and stuffed portobello mushrooms on the menuFor the past couple of years, Mary Lou, Betty and I have renewed our friendship from our days at Portland State. During our working years, we went for long stretches with little communication, except for those Christmas cards. Now we meet for lunch about every six weeks or so. We are far-flung, if you consider Vernonia part of the greater Portland-Vancouver metro area: Mary Lou lives near Cedar Hills and Betty in Vernonia. I’ve been in Vancouver since 1983.

But the friendship has endured for decades. How many? I’m not giving up that number.

I’m hosting the next luncheon. I didn’t have a clue about what to serve until today when I stuffed and baked portobello mushrooms in a desperate move to keep from cooking a big meal. I was looking for something easy but tasty after a week of company. (Chuck Cleaveland and Buff Levine, I could have made this for the cocktail hour.)

See you soon, Betty and Mary Lou.

Stuffed portobello mushrooms (for two)

2 portobello mushrooms, washed and dried, stems removed and chopped for sautéing

6 slices of Genoa salami. cut into 1/4-inch strips

3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup dried bread crumbs

salt and pepper to taste

butter

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pour olive oil onto a rimmed cookie sheet.

Wash and dry the portobellos. Chop the stems and set aside. Place the mushroom caps top down on  the cookie sheet. Slather with the olive oil.

Bake for 10 minutes. Turn them over and bake another 5 minutes. Take them out and let them rest. Turn them back over.

Melt the butter and sauté the chopped mushroom stems, red onion, bits of salami, basil, bread crumbs and garlic. Spoon the mixture atop the mushrooms. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes.

 

 

 

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 49 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

Roasted and stuffed portobello mushrooms on the menu
93653the-diary-of-a-young-girl-censorship-over-opportunity http://blogs.columbian.com/confessions-of-an-educator/the-diary-of-a-young-girl-censorship-over-opportunity/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/09/ChrisMargolin_037_Anne-Frank-had-a-vagina_IMAGE-640x360-600x337.jpg

The Diary of a Young Girl: Censorship over OpportunityAnne Frank had a vagina—as does just about every other female on planet earth. I know, shocking, isn’t it? A young girl, who stays in hiding and has no access to the outside world, has to make discoveries about herself, and one of them just happens to be that her major sexual organ is an odd one.

In the Definitive Version of Anne Frank’s diary, the publishing company actually decides to give us the entire diary, and not simply the excerpts we get to read in the heavily abridged version of the text. Unfortunately, a few years ago, a mother in Detroit deemed this version as too “pornographic” for her daughter to read.

Her daughter, a seventh grader in a suburban school district, had to read about such disgraceful, sickening, horrifying events like the Holocaust, you know, the murdering of countless people … oh, and about a vagina. The mother felt as if it should have been her job to teach her daughter about such physical traits. She’s right. She should have taught her daughter about her body and it probably should have been done before her daughter was hitting puberty. I guess she missed the boat on that one, and since she couldn’t do it, her daughter had to learn about it from one of the most important and most read pieces of literature in any country.

Here is the excerpt from The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank:

“Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn’t realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn’t see them. What’s even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris…. When you’re standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you’re standing, so you can’t see what’s inside. They separate when you sit down and they’re very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there’s a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That’s the clitoris….

 There are little folds of skin all over the place, you can hardly find it. The little hole underneath is so terribly small that I simply can’t imagine how a man can get in there, let alone how a whole baby can get out!”

During banned books week in September, my high school students were always shocked at how many books have been “banned” over time and the silly reasons why. Much like in the time of the great philosophers such as Plato and Socrates and Descartes and Aristotle, people are shunned from asking questions and wondering about society, and themselves.

My parents introduced me to books and movies with difficult subject matter when I was very young. They taught me all about the difference between what I see on the screen and reality. The same logic was presented to me when it came to books. Certain books dealt with subject matter that might be above my weekly two-dollar allowance, but my parents and I kept an open dialogue about what I was reading and it was always a learning environment. I wasn’t watching any sexy-time television (save for the grainy sometimes-maybe-boob porn of searching for the playboy channel); it was just that the stories may have been offensive in some way. But a lot of it revolved around my curiosity to learn about all different ends of the literary realism in which I swam—or at least semi-paddled—to knowledge.

My parents knew how to guide me through what I was watching or reading. I don’t really subscribe to the same ideas as my parents—I will not show my daughter anything questionable—but when we read books at bedtime, she asks a lot of questions, because she’s curious. Reading begets life experience. It helps us understand the crazy world in which we live. It also acts as the perfect escape, allowing one to move seamlessly into someone else’s existence.

My parents did not “ban me” from certain movies or books, but instead, talked to me about the text and made sure that I was not only comfortable with the material, but also for the sake of opening the doors of conversation.

Most of all, my parents talked to me about life stuff and they did it before I hit seventh grade. I wasn’t finding out about my sexuality through a book as a young teenager. They used their position as authority figures to read with me, discuss the material, and make sure that I wasn’t looking at anything that served as a detriment to myself or those around me. You know what they’re not doing? They’re not banning a book.

Life lessons come in many forms. For some, it’s staring into a mirror. For others, it’s speculating on life’s happenings. Most of all, it’s whatever the characters want it to be and they are mostly willing to take us by the hand and help us enjoy the conversation.

It’s banned books week, and I wonder more an more why we are still holding onto these titles as if they will forever scar our children. It’s unfortunate since a good portion of those texts are vital to the life experience, and it’s sad that some students will not have access to, or even know about so many poignant pieces of writing.

So, yeah, Anne Frank had a vagina, and that’s obviously the most terrifying part of her diary.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

Originally posted on The Big Smoke

Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin is a Curriculum Specialist for English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages, AP, IB, and College in the High Schools. He spent 12 years as a high school English teacher, working not only with students but also as a member of the district curriculum design team, developing the district’s Creative Writing course. He is a contributing blogger with The Columbian, NCTE, McGraw Hill Education, The Buck Institute of Education, Ed Tech, and The Medium. He currently resides in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

The Diary of a Young Girl: Censorship over Opportunity
90604how-not-to-be-offensitive http://blogs.columbian.com/confessions-of-an-educator/how-to-not-be-offensitive/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Why-Everyone-Needs-To-Stop-Being-Offended-By-Everything-fb-1024x535-600x313.jpg

How Not to Be Offensitive“Maybe, you might have some advice to give

How [not] to be [offensitive]….” – Jann Arden “Insensitive”

Offensitive – Easily offended and overly sensitive

I can be fairly sarcastic, a little sardonic, and sometimes I offend people with my off the cuff remarks. There were years where I introduced myself to classes by telling them, “I’m sarcastic, and if that doesn’t work for you, I have two doors in my classroom”. In no way was this helpful, or something that should have been said on the first day of school, nor did it endear me to those I was tasked with educating. It didn’t earn me respect, and frankly, it broke my chances at building a strong connection with several students who needed a positive influence, rather than a jerk. Maybe.

I have a really hard time not being myself in front of students. I have a good time with them, joking around, and having real conversation about life and how to live it. Maybe some students are just too offensitive – new word from Anthony Muhammad that means “too easily offended and overly sensitive”.

I think there is quite a bit of merit to being your most honest self in front of students. They need to see a real person in front of them. It used to be the norm for teachers to be robotic. They were there to instruct, and instruct only what was supposed to be taught. Teachers were the sage on the stage, with a book on the podium, a chalkboard behind them, and no time for the students in front of them. They lacked personality, and a way or want to connect with their most immediate stakeholders. This is not to say there weren’t incredible teachers throughout the 19th and 20th centuries who were wonderful at making honest connections, but that wasn’t the basis upon which education was built.

There is a need to be both of these teachers. We shouldn’t be the sage on the stage. We should stick to the theory that 10-15 minutes of direct instruction per hour is a solid amount of time, and that students should be working in groups, or in discussion, or in some type of activity that furthers their understanding and moves them toward content area proficiency.

But what do we do about the students who are super offensitive? There were always a good handful of students who didn’t appreciate my sarcasm, or somewhat dark humor, and I tried to make sure that with those kids I was careful, and intentional with my words. Code switching is important in those situations. It’s good to make sure you truly know your population, and know how to differentiate your approach. The offensitive students will pick up on the differences, and it will go a long way toward building those necessary relationships.

It is not the students who need to become less offensitive or develop thick skin, it’s the teacher who needs to know when to soften their own.

Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin is a Curriculum Specialist for English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages, AP, IB, and College in the High Schools. He spent 12 years as a high school English teacher, working not only with students but also as a member of the district curriculum design team, developing the district’s Creative Writing course. He is a contributing blogger with The Columbian, NCTE, McGraw Hill Education, The Buck Institute of Education, Ed Tech, and The Medium. He currently resides in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

How Not to Be Offensitive
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The Death Knell for Elementary and Middle Schools: Creating the New Standard for EducationI’m pretty sure it’s time to do away with all elementary and middle schools. We’ve seen enough. The students obviously know everything and since the grades don’t really matter and the permanent records only exist to taunt everyone, there is absolutely no point to Kindergarten through 8th grade. This is unfortunate for educators as it will lead to far fewer positions available; then again, there is such a teacher shortage at the moment, it might just revitalize the whole industry.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) provide a rubric for the essential skills needed to navigate through life, head toward higher education, or begin a career—or at least a job. The whole standards thing leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many parents and teachers alike. Unfortunately, these parents and teachers don’t really stop to understand what they actually mean for their children or students. The CCSS are the same damn thing teachers have been teaching—supposedly—since they ventured into the profession. The only difference is that now students at every level have a light at the end of the tunnel. They are no longer tethered to an “F” for a missing assignment or for a lack of understanding or because they had a family issue and couldn’t get it turned in on time.

Students have spent too many years in fairly unsupportive environments with teachers chiding them for not completely understanding the assignment. Unfortunately, many teachers negate the opportunity to help these students and instead tell them they should have listened or tried harder or done better or stayed during lunch or after school or not have gone to sleep or sporting events or dinner with their parents or work or babysit a sibling or do anything other than focus on the assignment they don’t understand because the teacher was unwilling to re-teach or go over or conference with or do much at all to show that student that they are capable of achieving the goal if they work hard, ask questions, and never give up.

Instead of providing students with straight A-F grades, they are simply asked to work until they have met that specific standard. If a student doesn’t meet a specific standard on an assignment in September, they are now able to complete it over and over again until they reach proficiency. As teachers, it’s easy to not want to grade, and re-grade, and re-grade. It’s tedious, and we get frustrated too easily with students who do not get things right the first time, or the 20th time. But we miss the fact that eventually they get it. Eventually, the student who works on it over and over and over and over again will turn in a paper that meets the goal.

I used to tell my students that “we can work with words on paper.” Words on paper will give students a starting point. It will allow them to show that they’ve at least given a quick attempt at something. But the problem is that students are still scared to ask a question. As cliché as it is, there are no stupid questions, and if one student has that question, then multiple students have the same one. Teachers need to realize that if more than two or three students have the same question or are confused about the same work, that they should simply re-teach or teach in a different way that helps with the confusion. It’s not okay for a teacher to simply shut down the students by saying they’ve already learned the information.

If we want to increase the graduation rates, teachers need to move into a standards system. Students need the ability to move up the ladder and know that they will always have the chance to complete work for a higher level of achievement. So then why do we need the primary or middle grades? Why can’t we just have one school system that moves on a vertically aligned system of grades and standards? We are no longer tethered to curriculum. The standards are our curriculum, and the content is used in order to provide a gateway to those standards. This can open the door to younger children having social skills courses, or typing classes, and once they’ve completed their work and earned at least proficiency for those courses, they will be able to move on to the next goal. If there are 100 goals to meet in order to reach graduation and a student meets them all at standard, why shouldn’t they be allowed to move on to higher education or a vocational program or an internship or whatever it is they want to do, considering they have proven themselves in all areas?

The education system is in a constant state of flux, but it’s headed in the right direction. No one will ever agree on how the system should be run, but we all want the same end result—creating a working-class citizen who has become their best self. People spend too much time complaining, rather than working with students and taking the time to understand that nothing much has changed, save for the now subtle light at the end of the sometimes-challenging tunnel.

Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin is a Curriculum Specialist for English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages, AP, IB, and College in the High Schools. He spent 12 years as a high school English teacher, working not only with students but also as a member of the district curriculum design team, developing the district’s Creative Writing course. He is a contributing blogger with The Columbian, NCTE, McGraw Hill Education, The Buck Institute of Education, Ed Tech, and The Medium. He currently resides in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

The Death Knell for Elementary and Middle Schools: Creating the New Standard for Education
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You Can’t Build a Time MachineI didn’t write my column last week. The days leading up to last Tuesday came and went, and I knew I needed to sit down and write up something, but I just couldn’t think of anything worth writing. At least that was the excuse I used. My wife kept reminding me that I needed to sit down and get it done. I just didn’t. I love writing these posts, but I just didn’t have it in me last week to actually do it. So, I didn’t do it..

I’m going to run with the excuse that because my dog had just gotten fixed, and was running around like a bull in a china shop, with this huge cone around his head. I’m going to say that it was so hot outside, that I just couldn’t pull myself away from the great outdoors. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of the sun, so that would be too obvious of a lie. I could say that I was busy gardening, or playing music, or writing the next great American novel. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, but life just got in the way. For so many students, life also gets in the way.

It can be hard to remember that the student sleeping on their desk might have worked the night prior, or had to take care of siblings, or had to do x, y, and z, and all were so much more important than school work. It wasn’t that they couldn’t do the work, it was that they were not able to actually do the work.

In my early years as a teacher, I had no problem telling a student that late work was unacceptable. It ended up in the recycling bin, or crumpled in the bottom of a backpack. I told them time and time again that they could always build a time machine. Where was my empathy? Where were the memories of similar moments? In no way was my response to their needs a positive one. I had my expectations, but they were unrealistic for both student and teacher.

In high school and beyond I was awesome at last minute work. I’d find a quiet space, toss on some headphones – typically a Miles Davis album – and get started. It was easy. I think my head works better under pressure. I do better when I don’t think too much about it, and just keep typing. In Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird, she urges writers to just move one word at a time, not overthinking anything, but rather putting word after word as they come. This means the drafts might be dirty, but they are on paper, and can always be edited and cleaned. As long as I could leave myself enough time to go back through the piece of writing and correct my errors, I was good to go. I think that because I loved this pressure-based writing, I just developed a knack for it. But still, if I don’t do the work it doesn’t really matter how good I think I am when it comes to a last minute finish.

But here I am, another Tuesday has arrived, and I’m just now sitting down to write today’s post. Sometimes we all do last minute work. Sometimes there are real life obstacles for students, teachers, professionals, and everyone else in this world. I did not complete my post last week, and I do not have a time machine. It’s Tuesday, I am running against a deadline, and this is my last sentence.

_________________________________________________________________________

Follow Chris Margolin on Twitter @theEDUquestion

Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin is a Curriculum Specialist for English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages, AP, IB, and College in the High Schools. He spent 12 years as a high school English teacher, working not only with students but also as a member of the district curriculum design team, developing the district’s Creative Writing course. He is a contributing blogger with The Columbian, NCTE, McGraw Hill Education, The Buck Institute of Education, Ed Tech, and The Medium. He currently resides in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

You Can’t Build a Time Machine
90254you-cant-shame-your-way-to-success-2 http://blogs.columbian.com/confessions-of-an-educator/you-cant-shame-your-way-to-success/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/08/ori_2382_1240349174_1122595_43-1024x768-600x450.jpeg

You can’t Shame Your Way to SuccessIf you’re anything like the many people who step on the scale every morning, after enjoying a night – or full day of – candy, soda, and carbs, you’re probably still really angry that the count is continuously higher than yesterday’s. Regardless, you step down, glare in the mirror, and in your faux-drill-sergeant voice you bellow, “You keep doing this, over, and over again. You’re never going to learn. Why don’t you listen to anyone? Try a bit harder. Meet standard!” Meeting standard has become an all too important part of life. It has also become an important part of education.

It’s annoying to have to convince ourselves, almost daily, that we are not up to “standard,” but we can sure get there if we “try a bit harder”. It’s really easy to bellow words into a mirror each morning, step on that scale, or into the classroom, and continue the frivolous attempt at shaming yourself toward meeting standard. It’s not nice. It’s not kind. It doesn’t help move yourself any farther toward success. It’s a lot harder to actually put in the effort and time to get there.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I was not a believer in the Common Core State Standards until I watched my wife teach, work with students, and grade their papers with feedback rather than a grade. They learned because they knew why they needed the information; it was never a you must, but rather a you can. It was stated via conferences, or feedback on papers, or class discussions, or peer-to-peer discussions. There wasn’t really a grade, because why would anyone grade that which the students really don’t yet understand. Eventually there would be a formative and summative assessment, but even those weren’t final grades, because the student would have more opportunities to meet proficiency. They didn’t have to go backwards, instead, they could look at the next assignment, and know where, and how, to improve their work. They trusted her as a teacher, and she trusted them as students. They all worked for each other.

Deep down I knew that every student should be allowed the opportunity to succeed at each part of the learning process; however, I had somehow lost track of the simple concept that we are not all the same person. Students do not all learn at the same pace, level, or even similar materials. But I was so stuck in this pattern of wanting to change, saying it out-loud, and then doing absolutely nothing to make it better. I was still stepping on the scale each and every morning.

From watching her classroom over time, I became not just a believer in the standards, but I practiced, and preached them to all who would listen. They were one solution to my constant conversation with the mirror. I also realized that beyond the assessments, came the way that students interacted with each other, and learned from each other. It was inspiring. I know that I had, at one point, been that excited about being in a classroom, but now I just seem to be going through the motions.

So, what do we, not just as teachers, but as people, in order to not just move toward change, and promise change, but actually change? If we’ve seen that the numbers never move in the right direction, or that grade books are cluttered with random homework assignments, it’s time to find something different. If you are stagnant, and never get out of your seat, or have your students get out of theirs, it’s time to rethink the way you utilize your classroom. If you stand in front of your classroom and teach at your students rather than with your students, or for your students, you need to rethink the way you approach your classes. If they are not having fun, or if you are not having fun, something needs to shift.

Step away from the scale, and from what you’ve been doing. Give yourself a solid year of change. Seek out professionals, read books, visit classrooms, and ask for help. You will be more confident. You will be okay with buying new clothes, and trying things you’ve never tried before; you will learn a valuable lesson. Then, in a year you can hop on that scale with pride, and know that you have busted through your own standard, and gone far beyond one-year’s growth in one-year’s time.

 

Follow Chris Margolin / The Education Question on Twitter: @theEDUquestion

Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin is a Curriculum Specialist for English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages, AP, IB, and College in the High Schools. He spent 12 years as a high school English teacher, working not only with students but also as a member of the district curriculum design team, developing the district’s Creative Writing course. He is a contributing blogger with The Columbian, NCTE, McGraw Hill Education, The Buck Institute of Education, Ed Tech, and The Medium. He currently resides in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

You can’t Shame Your Way to Success
89528one-hundred-sixty-three-dollars-per-second-by-chris-courtney-margolin http://blogs.columbian.com/confessions-of-an-educator/one-hundred-sixty-three-dollars-per-second-by-chris-courtney-margolin/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/07/scrooge-mcduck-warehouse-1-600x337.jpg

Tick: ONE-HUNDRED-SIXTY-THREE-DOLLARS.

Tock: ONE-HUNDRED-SIXTY-THREE-DOLLARS.

Tick: ONE-HUNDRED-SIXTY-THREE-DOLLARS

That is approximately how much LeBron James will make per second of each NBA game for the next 4 seasons. Let’s multiply that by however many professional athletes in the United States, and then take a look around our classrooms. Take a look around your office. Take a look at your supplies. Take a look at the desks, the chairs, the carpet. More importantly, take a look at the curriculum in front of you. Are you a 1:1 district? How old are the textbooks? Do your students have pencils? Food? Shoes?

Whether or not athletes should make this much money has been hot-button issue for as long as there have been professional sports. According to a 2012 study from Next Gen Personal Finance, there are roughly 5000 professional athletes within the United States in the core four sports: Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey. While not many players will ever make LeBron James money, a lot of them will make more than half our day’s wages in less than 5 minutes of each game played.

Our nation does not have a top education system. In fact, we don’t even rank in the top ten. “In a 2015 Pew Research Center report, only 29% of Americans rated their country’s K-12 education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (known as STEM) as above average or the best in the world.” but it would be nice if each of our school districts could at least provide students with basic necessities. Aren’t we exhausted by opening the broken books that we’ve been using since the mid-seventies? The underfunding of our public education system is a dead horse that we keep on beating, but it’s still dead, and we still don’t have the necessary resources to support our students. Many teachers can’t even afford to live within the boundaries of the school they serve.

The reason professional athletes make as much as they do is because we believe there are so few people who can do what they do at that level; it’s so special that we pay them an exorbitant amount. It is widely know that there is a teacher shortage, yet society seems to view teachers as a dime a dozen. Good teachers are becoming just as scarce as professional athletes. Where else would anyone accept that the majority of substitutes are on emergency certificates – meaning non-credentialed educators - and that teachers are placed in content areas in which they are clearly unqualified. Educators are a valuable resource, so how do we adjust society’s viewpoint so that what we do is seen as that special. Teachers are not benchwarmers; they are masters of their craft, and should be seen, and paid, as thus.

 

 

 

Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin is a Curriculum Specialist for English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages, AP, IB, and College in the High Schools. He spent 12 years as a high school English teacher, working not only with students but also as a member of the district curriculum design team, developing the district’s Creative Writing course. He is a contributing blogger with The Columbian, NCTE, McGraw Hill Education, The Buck Institute of Education, Ed Tech, and The Medium. He currently resides in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

One-Hundred-Sixty-Three-Dollars Per Second – by Chris & Courtney Margolin
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The Principals of Speed DatingEven though it’s been a handful of years since I was a classroom teacher, or even since I’ve been to the building in which I began my career, I still hold fond memories of my classroom with its decades-old yellowed-carpet, held down with duct tape, and years worth of old gum, and soda stains. We went through a lot of construction, and a lot changes in theory and practice. Mostly though, we went through a lot of administrators. It was like sitting down at some niche bar, creating a list of conversation topics, and likes, and dislikes, and hoping that someone in that room would take your life in the right direction. You wanted a leader who would want to stick around.

Sometimes when you get into a new relationship, you make the mistake of opening your mouth, and asking, “so, um… how many dates have you…..”, and before you can even finish the sentence, you watch all the sizzle fall out of whatever could have been.

You had already fallen in love with the idea of a future together. Everything was new. Everything was exciting. Things were moving in a new direction with new dynamics, and constantly changing positions. You would spend your days taking care of all your children, and then complaining about them as soon as they’re out of the room.

But, then there are problems. There’s some type of miscommunication. An argument about how to get those damn kids to graduate. Or maybe you catch wind that they have been keeping their eyes open for another opportunity – something more exciting, more suited to their current needs. Maybe the respect fades. The trust wanes. You swear you’ll stick it out for the rest of the year – at least until the kids graduate. When graduation comes, and the kids move away, you say your goodbyes to them, and to each other. There’s a divorce. It’s bitter, but amicable. You all keep with what you brought into the relationship, but there’s an emptiness in the brick-and-mortar, and a hope for brighter times.

Because you’re not someone who can wait too long to move on, you place an ad online. You list all of your minimum requirements in a partner, as well as a bit about yourself, and your hopes for the future. You want a leader. You want someone who has experience. Someone who can move in quickly – even if it’s too soon. Really, you just need someone, and hopefully they are good enough. At least for a while. At least as a rebound.

I spent 11 years in one school with 17 administrative changes. I once told a principal – I think it was my fourth – that I felt like I was locked in a rotating door of bad relationships. There was always a hopeful honeymoon where you promise that you on the same wavelength, and that teachers will have more time together, and students will see more growth over the course of the year. While we really want to hold onto that hope, we’ve heard it before, only to watch it all blow up at the end of the year when leadership, once again, changes.

Sometimes it’s good to move slowly. Sometimes it is good to take time to get acquainted. It’s okay to start as friends, maintain a bit of status-quo until you begin to hold hands, and smile with hope for a brighter future.

Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin is a Curriculum Specialist for English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages, AP, IB, and College in the High Schools. He spent 12 years as a high school English teacher, working not only with students but also as a member of the district curriculum design team, developing the district’s Creative Writing course. He is a contributing blogger with The Columbian, NCTE, McGraw Hill Education, The Buck Institute of Education, Ed Tech, and The Medium. He currently resides in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

The Principals of Speed Dating
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Teach Like It’s The 21st CenturyIn the beginning there were desks. There was a chalkboard. There was a podium. There were students in rows, pencils at the ready, notebooks opened, and a sage on the stage who preached grammar, and geography, and math, but gave no thought to the students in front of them. They were there to listen, learn, keep their mouths shut, and their bodies at attention, always.

In the pictures from the late 19th century and early 20th century make education look so drab, dry, and boring. Everyone in uniforms. No creativity from a visual sense, or an educational sense. Teachers were not designing their unit plans, or bringing in materials that would inspire most students. Instead, they taught straight from textbooks, or lectured on minutia they thought was important.Teach Like It’s The 21st Century

So, why hasn’t it changed? Why are students still sitting in rows? Why are textbooks still the daily lesson plan? Why are students not standing up, going to stations, having constant conversations, building things, reading from outside materials, and rockin’ all the visual literacy in the everyday world. Why are so many teachers so unwilling to grow with their students, learn from their students, and provide students with materials that truly engage the stakeholders in the classroom.

My experience as a student was not very positive. In all of high school, I think I really connected with two teachers. I didn’t enjoy being there. I wanted to read, and write, and learn about why I wanted to read and write. But I was stuck in a desk. I was stuck with the same Language and Literature and Question and Form books that I still see on teacher bookshelves throughout the last three districts in which I’ve worked. I didn’t attend many classes my junior year of high school. I was much more interested in music, my girlfriend, and the library. I didn’t skip school to get stoned; I skipped, and hopped the bus to the downtown Portland library, and read all day long. It was more engaging than school. I learned so much more from picking up Crime and Punishment, or Rolling Stone, than I did from a molding textbook.

One of the main reasons I became a teacher was to make sure that students were not as bored as I had been. I wanted to make sure that I actually met them where they were at, and let them know that they could read materials they wanted, and that we would only use the textbook a couple times a year. If my students wanted to be auto-mechanics, then if we were doing lit circles, or some time of sustained reading, they could bring in auto-manuals. If they loved video games, bring in a guide book. If they wanted to read the newspaper, a magazine, a news-based website, they could do that as well.

And they worked.

And they enjoyed the work.

Because it didn’t feel like work.

When we moved through different themes, say Social Justice, students looked for news articles, TV spots, court transcripts, and whatever else they could find that focused on the issue, and could be shared with the class. Instead of raised-hand discussions, we did Philosophical Chairs and Socratic Seminars. My desks were in a U shape so everyone could see everyone else. I didn’t stand in the front of the classroom unless there was a real need. I sat with my students. I worked with my students. I learned from my students.

We are in a mobile world – both in screen and movement. Stagnation leads to a lack of learning. We should be out of our seats, or in groups, or doing something that engages body and brain. We are in the 21st century, and if you are still teaching like it’s the 20th, then you need to catch up with the times.

 

Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin is a Curriculum Specialist for English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages, AP, IB, and College in the High Schools. He spent 12 years as a high school English teacher, working not only with students but also as a member of the district curriculum design team, developing the district’s Creative Writing course. He is a contributing blogger with The Columbian, NCTE, McGraw Hill Education, The Buck Institute of Education, Ed Tech, and The Medium. He currently resides in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

Teach Like It’s The 21st Century
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Write the Real, Not the “Real”Write the real. Notice there are no quotation marks around the word “real” in that first sentence; it’s because the words that should go down on paper are those that actually represent what actually happens either in real life, or in the thought process of real life, or in the real life lessons learned over time, or in the real understanding of real circumstances. In essence, don’t lie to the reader, because the reader will close the book, and walk away, and forget that the words ever existed.

Tell it like it is. Throw no sucker punches – life’s day-to-day twists are more than enough. Don’t write for shock value. Don’t try to figure out what’s already happened. The reader gets nothing from scenes that don’t represent the real.

Now, this doesn’t mean that your piece needs to be one of realism. Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Magical Realism all represent ideas that people have, or lessons that need to be learned. If we think about it, there’s nothing new learned from Star Wars; it’s simply the story of family, friendship, struggle, and survival. It’s the same for “The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings,” in the way that it’s the story of judgement, degradation, and the inability to overcome certain fears and stereotypes.

It is not the author’s job to give you a new reality, but to simply ask you to think about your own – to find your own story within the one they are providing. To use their characters as mirrors rather than windows.

It’s far too easy to merely observe Holden Caulfield, or J Gatsby, or Moll Flanders, and think that none of those stories apply to you while you’re reading. It’s much more difficult to stare at those characters as if you’re looking back at yourself. We are all Holden in the way that we all struggle to figure out who we really are, and we all swim through a world of “phony” people, or deal with families that don’t seem to care, or our own psyche that tells us everything is wrong. We are all wanting so badly to be J. Gatsby, and never worry about a thing – at least on the outside – and live a life of the surreal where everything just comes to us, and love is easy, and work is easy, and money is easy, while in reality, we know that we can only live that lie for so long, and that at some point it will always lead back to staring across the water toward the green light.

It’s the author’s job to show you reality; it’s your job to admit to it.

Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin is a Curriculum Specialist for English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages, AP, IB, and College in the High Schools. He spent 12 years as a high school English teacher, working not only with students but also as a member of the district curriculum design team, developing the district’s Creative Writing course. He is a contributing blogger with The Columbian, NCTE, McGraw Hill Education, The Buck Institute of Education, Ed Tech, and The Medium. He currently resides in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

Write the Real, Not the “Real”
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When the Sidewalk Never EndsI don’t remember how old I was when my mom brought home a copy of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, but I know it’s the first book of poems that I remember reading. I still have my copies of both that book, as well as A Light in the Attic, and while both are tattered, and leaking from their seams, they have been forever loved, and forever staples in my book collection.

I grew up in a household of readers – my father is a collector of all things Sherlock Holmes, and my mother a school teacher who loves books. There was never a time where I wasn’t surrounded by words. In fact, in my childhood bedroom, my dad kept one of his bookcases because he had run out of room in his upstairs library. My middle name is Holmes. I’m not happy about it.

Some of my earliest memories are my mother tucking me in at night, underneath the same two blue blankets that I kept on my bed until my wife finally threw them away, and reading to me from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I don’t think we ever outgrew that book, reading those stories over and over again until I could recite each one of them from memory.

When I was a child, I was never very fascinated with television, and so books were all I wanted, and when I wasn’t outside playing with friends, book were all I had. I read anything I could get my hands on, and devoured everything around me: fiction, non-fiction, historical novels, choose your own adventures, and poetry.

I remember after reading through the Shel Silverstein books, I wanted to start writing my own pieces. My first poem was called “I’m Rubber, and You’re Glue,” and while I’m sure the spelling was wrong, and I know I copied the title and idea, my 5-year-old self was so excited when my mom read it and put it up on the fridge. It was a shining moment for a burgeoning authorPossibly plagiarized, but a shining moment nonetheless. I was going to be a writer when I grew up!

It’s funny though, because I don’t remember any books of poetry between Shel Silverstein, and my discovery of Langston Hughes in my junior year of high school. Ms. Wood, my English teacher both freshman and junior year, had us write a paper on an American Poet. I was having a really difficult time deciding who I would choose. I didn’t know a lot of names, and I remember going back and forth between Adrianne Rich and Langston Hughes. Eventually, either she got tired of waiting for me, or she saw something in me that made her hand me Hughes’ name on a sheet of paper. It was life-changing. I couldn’t get enough of him – still can’t! I wanted to read everything he’d ever written, from his earliest poems through his communist party brochures, and children’s books, and essays, and everything in between. The music in his words spoke to me like Silverstein’s had when I was just a child, except for this time, I was learning about a much more adult world.

In college, I ventured from Hughes to Yeats, and Keats, and Browning, and Shelly, and Donne, and Blake, and Wordsworth, and my fascination with 16th through 19th century British poetry grew at an increasing rate. The bleakness of their words, the raw honesty, and emotion with which they wrote. The way that I could see everything that happened in their time just by reading a short stanza. It was so enthralling.

As time has moved on, I have fallen in love with new poets – Rudy Francisco, Taylor Mali, Shane Koyczan, Mark Halliday, Donald Justice, Shihan, and so many more – and I’ve continued to learn from each and every one of them.

What I have found, as a reader, is that the sidewalk never ends; there is always another adventure from which to choose, another path yet traveled. Reading isn’t just fundamental, it is essential to the soul. Read to yourself, to your children, to your friends, to a stranger at a bus stop, but never stop reading.

Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin is a Curriculum Specialist for English Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages, AP, IB, and College in the High Schools. He spent 12 years as a high school English teacher, working not only with students but also as a member of the district curriculum design team, developing the district’s Creative Writing course. He is a contributing blogger with The Columbian, NCTE, McGraw Hill Education, The Buck Institute of Education, Ed Tech, and The Medium. He currently resides in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

When the Sidewalk Never Ends
95879study-common-class-of-drugs-linked-to-increased-risk-of-dementia-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/26/study-common-class-of-drugs-linked-to-increased-risk-of-dementia/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cropped-HEALTHBEAT-FINAL-LOGOrgb.png

A new study found the use of a common class of drugs is associated with an increased risk of dementia – even when taken 20 years before a dementia diagnosis.

The international research team from the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland analyzed more than 27 million prescriptions for anticholinergic drugs. They compared those prescriptions as recorded in the medical records of 40,770 patients over 65 years old with dementia to the records of nearly 284,000 older adults without dementia.

The researchers found a greater incidence of dementia among those who were prescribed anticholinergic antidepressants, bladder medications and Parkinson’s disease medications than among those not prescribed anticholinergic medications.

Dementia increased with greater exposure to the drugs, according to researchers.

Anticholinergic medications block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, and have previously been implicated as a potential cause of cognitive impairment, said Noll Campbell, Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Center for Aging Research investigator and co-author of the new study, in a news release.

“These findings make it clear that clinicians need to carefully consider the anticholinergic burden of their patients and weigh other options,” said study co-author Dr. Malaz Boustani, a Regenstrief Institute and IU Center for Aging Research investigator, in the news release.

Further research is needed to understand the reasons for the link between the drugs and increased dementia risk, the researchers said.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Study: Common class of drugs linked to increased risk of dementia
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While Clark County has more physicians and more primary care providers per 100,000 than the state average, it lags behind in several specialties and psychiatry, according to a new report by the state Office of Financial Management.

Clark County also has a higher rate of female physicians per 100,000 people and has the youngest median age of physicians in the state, according to the report.

The new report by the office’s Health Care Research Center looks at the state’s physician supply using data from 2016.

Clark County has 263 physicians per 100,000 residents – only slightly higher than the state rate of 261. Clark County was one of only eight counties with rates higher than the state average.

County rates ranged from a high of 402 physicians per 100,000 in Chelan County to a low of 19 in Wahkiakum County.

Clark County also has a higher-than-average rate of primary care providers per 100,000 residents: 122. The state rate is 96 providers per 100,000.

But when it comes to specialists, Clark County is below the state rate of 165 per 100,000. Clark County has 141 specialists per 100,000 residents – better than 29 other counties.

Clark County also falls below the state rates for anesthesiologists, cardiologists, emergency medicine providers, family medicine providers, psychiatrists and radiologists. The county exceeds the state rates for internal medicine providers, obstetricians/gynecologists, pediatricians and surgeons.

In total, Clark County had 1,215 physicians, accounting for 6.5 percent of the state’s physician workforce.

The five most populous counties in the state – King, Pierce, Spokane, Snohomish and Clark – had 73 percent of the state’s total physicians while accounting for just 65 percent of the state’s population.

Female physicians in Clark County make up 39.5 percent of the physician workforce compared with 37 percent statewide. Only three counties had higher rates than Clark County: Columbia (42 percent), King (41.7 percent) and Snohomish (40.5 percent).

Across the state, 60 percent of physicians obtained their first state license since 2000. In Clark County, however, 72.6 percent of physicians received their first license since. Only Lincoln County had a higher rate (73.9 percent).

So, not surprisingly, Clark County has the youngest median age of physicians: 47 years old. At the other end of the spectrum is Garfield County, where the median age is 63 years old. Most counties have a median age higher than the statewide median age of 50.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Report: Clark County has higher rates of female, young doctors
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Want to avoid E. coli? Better stay away from chopped romaine lettuce.

The number of people sickened in a multistate E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has climbed to 53 people in 16 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is recommending people don’t eat any store-bought chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes with romaine lettuce. Even those who have eaten some of the lettuce and have not gotten sick should toss the lettuce, the CDC warned.

Health officials suspect that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region is the source of the outbreak, but no common grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been identified.

The CDC first announced the E. coli outbreak on April 10. At the time, health officials had identified 17 cases in seven states.

On April 13, the CDC announced the outbreak link to chopped romaine lettuce. By then, 35 people had been sickened in 11 states.

And in the week since then, 18 more people and five states were added to the outbreak. Washington has reported one case.

Ill people range in age from 10 to 85, with a median age of 34. Seventy percent of ill people are women, according to the CDC.

Since the outbreak began, 31 people have been hospitalized with the infection, including five people who have developed kidney failure, according to the CDC. No deaths have been reported.

 

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak continues to grow
95888wsu-researchers-study-effects-of-pot-on-depression-anxiety-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/19/wsu-researchers-study-effects-of-pot-on-depression-anxiety/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/pot-smoke-600x361.jpg

Researchers at Washington State University have confirmed what medical marijuana users have been saying for years: Smoking pot helps with anxiety, stress and depression.

The WSU researchers looked at how self-reported levels of stress, anxiety and depression were affected by smoking different strains and quantities of cannabis at home.

They concluded that smoking cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety and stress but may contribute to worse overall feelings of depression over time.

This research is unique because it looked at inhaled marijuana use in the home, whereas most of the previous research has been conducted in a laboratory using orally administered pills, according to a WSU news release.

The WSU researchers assessed how use of cannabis with varying concentrations of chemical compounds tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) affected users’ feelings of wellbeing.

They found that one puff of cannabis high in CBD and low in THC was best for reducing symptoms of depression.

Those looking to reduce anxiety symptoms responded best to two puffs of any type of cannabis. And 10 or more puffs of cannabis high in CBD and high in THC produced the largest reductions in stress, according to the researchers.

While both men and women reported decreases in symptoms for all three conditions after using cannabis, women reported a significantly greater reduction in anxiety following cannabis use, according to the news release.

“This is to my knowledge one of the first scientific studies to provide guidance on the strains and quantities of cannabis people should be seeking out for reducing stress, anxiety and depression,” said Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology at WSU and lead author of the study, in the news release. “Currently, medical and recreational cannabis users rely on the advice of bud tenders whose recommendations are based off of anecdotal not scientific evidence.”

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

WSU researchers study effects of pot on depression, anxiety
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New research shows that a marijuana compound ends up in mom’s breast milk, but the exact consequences of that are still unclear.

Research published this month in Obstetrics and Gynecology looked at marijuana use among eight women in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal. The women were between two and five months postpartum and were all exclusively breastfeeding.

“This study is just a start to see if marijuana transferred into breast milk. Levels in milk were quite low,” said senior study author Thomas Hale, director of the Infant Risk Center at Texas Tech University School of Medicine in Amarillo, in a HealthDay article.

Still, researchers advised against women smoking marijuana while breastfeeding because there’s no known safe amount.

The anonymous women in the study all used marijuana, but the amount they used varied. Most used it infrequently; one woman said she used it seven to 10 times in the prior week.

The women used a provided breast milk collection kit that included bottles for the breast milk, as well as a new glass pipe for smoking marijuana to avoid contamination from past drugs.

The women were then instructed to buy a specific strain of marijuana from a specific dispensary to ensure a consistent dose. They were asked to stop smoking marijuana for 24 hours prior to smoking for the test.

The mothers then collected breast milk samples one, two and four hours after smoking for the test. About 2.5 percent of the amount the mother smoked was found in the milk. The test looked for a specific compound, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

The researchers said more work needs to be done to get a better understanding. For instance, the study only looked at inhaled marijuana. It’s also unclear whether the amount of marijuana in the breast milk would rise if a woman smokes more or if levels would be different among heavy users.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Research shows marijuana ends up in breast milk
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While more than half of young women are sexually active, more than 85 percent of those who are do not believe they are at risk for chlamydia or gonorrhea, according to a new report.

Quest Diagnostics surveyed thousands of young women 15 to 24 years old, their mothers and primary care and OB/GYN providers about sexual activity, sexual health and knowledge of and screening for STDs.

The results showed a disconnect between sexual activity and perceived risk among young women, as well as poor communication between patients and providers.

The survey found that 56 percent of young women are sexually active, but of those, only 39 percent said their partner used a condom the last time they had sex.

And while STD rates have been on the rise – gonorrhea rates are up 19 percent since 2015, chlamydia rates are up 5 percent – young women are more worried about HIV/AIDs, according to the survey.

About 40 percent of survey respondents said they’re concerned about HIV/AIDS, while 20 percent said they were concerned about chlamydia and only 16 percent were worried about gonorrhea.

Yet of those who are sexually active, only 56 percent said they’ve been tested for an STD, according to the survey.

But the survey also revealed that physicians may be contributing to the problem.

A quarter of physicians said they were very uncomfortable discussing STD risk with female patients. In addition, one in three physicians said they relied on symptoms to diagnose an STD, even though infections can be present without symptoms, according to the survey.

About half of young women said they don’t want to bring up sex or STDs with their providers, and less than 25 percent of women would ask their provider for an STD test.

On the flip side, nearly 50 percent of women said their provider has never asked them if they want STD testing.

And when young women do talk about sex with their doctor, they’re not always truthful. About a quarter of young women admitted they don’t always tell the truth. Among 15- to 17-year-olds, that rate is much higher: 43 percent.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Survey: Young women don’t see STD risk
95897surgeon-general-urges-people-to-carry-opioid-antidote-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/05/surgeon-general-urges-people-to-carry-opioid-antidote/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/naloxone-600x399.jpg

In an effort to combat the opioid’s crisis, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams says more Americans should be carrying the overdose antidote naloxone.

Adams released a public health advisory Thursday, recommending more people carry the medication that is already carried by many first responders. Individuals, including family, friends and those who are personally at risk for an opioid overdose, should have the drug on hand, according to the advisory.

Naloxone, which is delivered via nasal mist or injection, can counteract the effects of an opioid overdose. While it’s not a long-term solution, it can temporarily suspend the overdose effects until emergency responders arrive, according to the surgeon general.

In many states, including Washington, a prescription isn’t required to get naloxone from a pharmacist. Most states also have laws designed to protect providers who dispense and Samaritans who deliver naloxone or call for help during an opioid overdose, according to a news release from the surgeon general’s office.

The surgeon general’s public health advisory is part of the administrations ongoing effort to respond to the rising number of overdose deaths. Since 2010, the number of opioid overdose deaths has doubled from more than 21,000 to more than 42,000 in 2016, according to the news release.

The biggest increase in opioid overdose deaths were related to illicitly made fentanyl and synthetic opioids, according to the news release.

“Each day we lose 115 Americans to an opioid overdose – that’s one person every 12.5 minutes,” Adams said in the news release. “It is time to make sure more people have access to this lifesaving medication, because 77 percent of opioid overdose deaths occur outside of a medical setting and more than half occur at home.”

Naloxone is covered by most insurance plans and, for those without insurance, may be available at no or low cost through public health programs or retailer and manufacturer discounts, according to the news release.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Surgeon general urges people to carry opioid antidote
95900poll-majority-will-buy-own-health-plan-even-without-mandate-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/04/poll-majority-will-buy-own-health-plan-even-without-mandate/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/reform-531x460.jpg

The vast majority of people say they will continue to buy their own health insurance, even without an individual mandate requiring they do so, according to a new poll.

The March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll surveyed non-group health plan enrollees about the individual mandate and their health coverage.

As part of the Republican tax plan signed at the end of 2017, lawmakers eliminated the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty beginning in 2019.

Only about 19 percent of respondents were aware the mandate penalty had been repealed but is still in effect for this year. Regardless, 90 percent of respondents said they will continue to purchase their own insurance, even with the individual mandate repeal.

About 34 percent of respondents said the mandate was a “major reason” why they purchased insurance in the first place.

The poll also found that about half of the public believes the health plan marketplaces are collapsing. The rate is higher (about 60 percent) among those who purchase plans through the marketplaces.

Among those who are uninsured, the top reason for not having health insurance is its high cost (36 percent) and job-related issues, such as unemployment or their employer not offering health insurance (20 percent).

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Poll: Majority will buy own health plan, even without mandate
95903medical-costs-still-preventing-people-from-visiting-doctor-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/03/29/medical-costs-still-preventing-people-from-visiting-doctor/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cash-600x384.jpg

In the past year, 44 percent of people report skipping a visit to the doctor when they were sick or injured because of the cost of being seen.

And about 40 percent say they skipped a recommended medical test or procedure because of the cost, according to a new national poll.

The survey, conducted by West Health Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago, asked more than 1,300 adults how they feel about medical costs and how those costs affect their decisions.

More people fear the medical bills that come with a serious illness (40 percent) than the illness itself (33 percent), according to the survey.

Other interesting findings:

“The high cost of healthcare has become a public health crisis that cuts across all ages as more Americans are delaying or going without recommended medical tests and treatments,” said Dr. Zia Agha, chief medical officer at the West Health Institute, in a news release. “According to this survey, most Americans do not feel they are getting a good value for their healthcare dollars, and the rising cost of healthcare is clearly having a direct consequence on American’s health-and financial well-being.”

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Medical costs still preventing people from visiting doctor
100324coconut-macaroon-nests-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/sugar-and-spice/2018/03/28/coconut-macaroon-nests/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/IMG_1601-1-1024x768-600x450.jpg

Coconut Macaroon NestsCoconut Macaroon Nests will totally be on the table at Easter brunch next weekend.  Although they’re a bit messy to make, they look adorable and taste great.  Feel free to make these a day or two ahead so you have less to manage on Sunday.

Coconut Macaroon Nests

Makes 24 nests

Ingredients:

Directions:

Heat oven to 300.  Coat mini muffin pans with non stick cooking spray.

Use a stand mixer to combine egg whites, sugar, salt, vanilla, coconut and almond extract.  Mix briefly.  Add shredded coconut and mix until combined.

Scoop 1 T blobs of coconut into the prepared muffin pan.  Grease a smaller item (I have a narrow bottomed shot glass) such as wine cork and gently press it down into the coconut to create the nest-like shape.  It can be messy, it will look like twigs after you bake it.

Bake for 30 minutes until nests set and edges are golden brown.  If it’s browning too quickly, cover the pan with foil.  Set aside and cool completely.

Carefully remove nests from pan.  I used a small spatula to wiggle around the edges and pop them out.  You WILL lose some… I started with 30 and ended up with 24 intact.  It just happens.

Carefully melt chocolate chips in a plastic bag in the microwave, using 30 second intervals and checking often.  Drizzle into nests and carefully stick the eggs to the chocolate.  Feel free to put a bit of chocolate on the back of an egg to “glue” it to the others.  Cool completely and serve.

Recipe modified from “Macaroon Nests,” inspiredbycharm.com

Coconut Macaroon Nests

Anna Lookingbill

I'm a self-taught Betty Crocker. Food should be pretty, delicious and have sprinkles. Professionally I'm a clinical social worker. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest- Sugar and Spice Baking Blog- for great recipes, amazing restaurants and culinary adventures.

Coconut Macaroon Nests
95906study-thousands-of-children-injured-in-hoverboard-falls-3 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/03/27/study-thousands-of-children-injured-in-hoverboard-falls/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/hoverboard-600x417.jpg

New research reveals that nearly 27,000 children and teens were treated at hospital emergency departments for injuries sustained while riding hoverboards during the first two years of sales.

Researchers analyzed 2015-16 injury data among children younger than 18 and found that injuries were most common among 12-year-old boys.

The body parts most often injured are what you would expect with falls: wrist (19 percent) and forearm (14 percent). Head injuries also accounted for 14 percent of injuries, according to the research published in Pediatrics.

Fractures were the most common diagnosis (40 percent), followed by contusions (17 percent) and strains or sprains (13 percent).

Only three burns were reported during the research period, despite hoverboards being known for spontaneously catching fire during those early years.

None of the burns was caused by malfunctioning batteries. Rather, two of the burns resulted from patients being scalded while riding a hoverboard in the kitchen and colliding with a pot of boiling water. The third was a friction burn that developed after the patient’s finger was ran over by a hoverboard, according to the researchers.

The researchers also looked at skateboard injury data. More than 121,000 children visited emergency departments during that two-year period with skateboard injuries. Again, 12-year-old boys accounted for most of those injuries, according to researchers.

And like hoverboard injuries, wrists were the most frequently injured body part among skateboarders and fractures were the most common diagnosis.

But while the majority of hoverboard injuries occurred in homes, skateboard injuries were most common on the street.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Study: Thousands of children injured in hoverboard falls
100329super-lemon-coffee-cake-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/sugar-and-spice/2018/03/25/super-lemon-coffee-cake/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/IMG_1377-1-1024x768-600x450.jpg

I’m a food nerd.  Completely comfortable with this title, it means I read cookbooks for fun (yes really), take pictures of everyone’s food at restaurants (sorry not sorry) and take about 5 hours in any kitchen store (I told you to get a coffee and bring a book).

Food nerd status also means I love testing new ingredients.  After few weeks ago I went crazy with coconut milk powder in Creamy Coconut Cheesecake.  After the dust settled, I finally got around experimenting with lemon juice powder.  It’s literally dehydrated fresh lemon juice, the idea is to pack a lot of bright, lemony punch into a small amount.  (Side note, don’t try eating it directly, it’s super duper sour).  Lemon juice powder is absolutely worth adding to your baking collection.

Super Lemon Coffee Cake

Serves 12

Ingredients:

Lemon Streusel

Lemon Coffee Cake

Lemon Glaze

Directions:

Heat oven to 350.  Carefully grease a tube pan (at least 10 C capacity).  A tube pan is another name for an angel food cake pan with a removable bottom.

To prepare lemon streusel, combine all dry ingredients except for pecans.  Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until mixture is coarse crumbs.  Mix in pecans.  Set aside.

To prepare lemon coffee cake, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, lemon juice powder and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Use a stand mixer to cream butter and lemon extract.  Add sugar and beat at least 2 minutes, until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, scrape sides if needed.  Add sour cream.

Remove bowl from stand.  Use a spatula to gently stir in dry ingredients.

Spoon about half the batter into the prepared tube pan.  Sprinkle half the lemon streusel.  Finish with batter and more streusel.  Gently tap the pan on the counter to prevent bubbles.

Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool slightly and run a thin knife around the edges to loosen.  Turn the cake on to a plate and place another plate on top, flipping it over so the streusel is visible.  Allow to cool completely.

To make the glaze, mix ingredients and drizzle over cake.

Recipe modified from “Lemon Streusel Coffeecake,” kingarthurflour.com

Anna Lookingbill

I'm a self-taught Betty Crocker. Food should be pretty, delicious and have sprinkles. Professionally I'm a clinical social worker. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest- Sugar and Spice Baking Blog- for great recipes, amazing restaurants and culinary adventures.

Super Lemon Coffee Cake
100334pecan-caramel-clusters-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/sugar-and-spice/2018/03/18/pecan-caramel-clusters/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/IMG_1403-1-1024x768-600x450.jpg

Pecan Caramel Clusters

Pecan Caramel Clusters don’t require any baking.  Quick and easy, these treats would be a perfect addition to Mother’s or Father’s Day brunch.  You can also substitute in your favorite nut mix.  A coworker has asked me to try making these with a pecan, cashew and pistachio combination.  Sounds even better, can’t wait to give it a spin.

Pecan Caramel Clusters

Makes 18 clusters

Ingredients:

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Break pecan halves into slightly smaller pieces, leaving big chunks.  Put in a large bowl.

Dump heavy cream and unwrapped caramels into a small sauce pan.  Heat over medium low until everything melts, stirring gently to combine.  Don’t be tempted to heat caramel too quickly, it can burn (I know from firsthand experience).

When caramel and cream have melted together, remove from heat.  Add vanilla and 1/4 t sea salt and mix completely.

Pour melted caramel over pecan pieces and use a spatula to stir until evenly coated.  Use a tablespoon to scoop out clumps, setting on prepared baking sheet.  Allow to cool, about 30 minutes.

When pecan clusters have set, transfer chocolate chips into a plastic bag.  Microwave in 15 second bursts until chocolate melts.  Snip the corner and drizzle pecan clusters.  Sprinkle with sea salt if using.

Store refrigerated.  Put parchment paper between layers if stacking, these get a bit sticky at room temperature.

Recipe modified from “Caramel Pecan Clusters,” mybakingaddition.com

Anna Lookingbill

I'm a self-taught Betty Crocker. Food should be pretty, delicious and have sprinkles. Professionally I'm a clinical social worker. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest- Sugar and Spice Baking Blog- for great recipes, amazing restaurants and culinary adventures.

Pecan Caramel Clusters
85400do-you-have-any-experiments-you-can-recommend https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/do-you-have-any-experiments-you-can-recommend/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Dr.-U-Hero-257x460.png

Dr. Universe: Do you have any experiments you can recommend? Thanks! -Etta, 7, Milwaukee

Dear Etta and Friends:

You can try all kinds of fun experiments at home. It really all depends on what you are curious about. Lately, I’ve seen some really great sunsets and started wondering what gives them their colors.

I decided to ask my friend Tom Johnson, who leads fun physics demonstrations for kids visiting Washington State University. I asked him if he had any simple ideas for an experiment I could try out in my lab, or even the kitchen. One idea he had was to create a sunset in a cup.

Maybe you can try it, too. You’ll need a flashlight, a transparent cup or two, water, and some milk. We cats have a reputation for liking milk. But it really isn’t so great for our digestion. So instead, I like to use it for science.

Once you’ve collected all your supplies, you’ll want to fill your glass about 2/3 of the way with water. Then, you’ll want to add milk until the liquid gets pretty cloudy. Be sure and stir it up well.

Turn on your flashlight and turn down any other lights in the room. Now you can shine the flashlight down into the water and look through the side of the glass. What color do you see?

This time, shine the flashlight through the side of the glass while looking at it from the opposite side. Any changes? Then hold your glass up off the table. Shine the flashlight up through the bottom of the glass and look down into the liquid. What colors can you see now? Perhaps the colors are looking more like those you’d see during a sunset.

Milk in the water scatters the light from the flashlight. It’s similar to the way different molecules and dust in our atmosphere scatter light from the sun.

Light travels from one end of the glass to the other and then up to your eyes. The further the light has to travel through the water, the more blue light gets scattered. That leaves more red light for your eyes to pick up.

Now that we’ve started to get an idea of how light scatters, runs into particles, and travels long distances, you can really get to experimenting.

What happens when you use less or more milk? Will you see any changes if you use a different kind of flashlight, like an LED? What kind of milk gives off more orange or reddish colors? Two percent? Whole milk?

Does the shape of the glass change anything? Why do you think that might be? Make a prediction and give it a try sometime. I’d love to hear more about your experiments and how your own sunset in a cup turns out. E-mail: Dr.Universe@wsu.edu.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

ABOUT ASK DR. UNIVERSE

The post Do you have any experiments you can recommend? appeared first on Ask Dr. Universe.

100338fudge-buckeye-cake-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/sugar-and-spice/2018/03/04/fudge-buckeye-cake/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/IMG_0849-1-1024x768-600x450.jpg

Fudge Buckeye Cake combines dense chocolate cake with sweet, squishy peanut butter filling.  A great option for Father’s Day, you can substitute 9 inch round cake pans for the fancy rectangular ones.  Buckeye is a reference to a super popular treat originating from the Midwest.

Fudge Buckeye Cake

Serves 12

Ingredients:

Cake

Filling

Frosting

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350.  Grease and flour the baking pans.  Be sure not to miss any spots.  You will be making 4 layers, meaning you need enough time to bake in to batches.

To make the cake, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Add eggs, oil and vanilla.  Scrape sides if needed.  Gradually add water, beat until smooth.

Pour about 1/4 batter into each pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes then turn cakes out of the pans to cool on a rack.  Wash the pans and grease and flour again.  Fill with remaining batter and bake again.

To make the filling, use a stand mixer.  Combine peanut butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.  It will be crumbly.  Add milk in increments until smooth and spreadable.  It needs to be thick enough to hold its shape but soft enough to spread between the layers.

When the cake is completely cool, use a spatula to divide the peanut butter mixture into 3 even amounts.  Eyeball the 4 cake layers, if they have puffed up in the centers you may need to carefully trim with a serrated knife until it is mostly even.

Carefully set the first layer of cake on a platter.  Use an offset spatula to distribute a third of the peanut butter filling.  Start in the center and carefully push out to the edges.  Set on next layer of cake and repeat.  Leave the top later uncovered.

To make frosting, combine chocolate chips, heavy cream and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl.  Decrease the power to 50% and carefully melt together using 30 second bursts.  You’ll need about 90 seconds.  Stir until smooth.

Spread along the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.  Store in the refrigerator until chocolate frosting sets.

Recipe modified from “Peanut Butter Fudge Buckeye Cake,” kingarthurflour.com

Fudge Buckeye Cake

Anna Lookingbill

I'm a self-taught Betty Crocker. Food should be pretty, delicious and have sprinkles. Professionally I'm a clinical social worker. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest- Sugar and Spice Baking Blog- for great recipes, amazing restaurants and culinary adventures.

Fudge Buckeye Cake
85035how-do-we-get-our-personality https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/how-do-we-get-our-personality/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Screen-Shot-2016-05-06-at-4.08.12-PM-349x460.png

Dr. Universe: How do we get our personality? – Jamie, 11

Dear Jamie,

Everyone is different. Maybe you are adventurous, shy, outgoing, funny, or kind. Before you were even born, your unique personality was beginning to take shape.

Part of the answer to your question is that some of your personality comes from your parents. Just as parents pass down physical traits like hair and eye color to their offspring, they can also give them different personality traits. They’re in your genes, the information passed throughout generations.

But your personality isn’t set in stone from the beginning. There are a few other things that go into it.

That’s what I found out from my friend Chris Barry, a psychologist at Washington State University. He studies personality in young people, including how people express themselves on social media. He was really excited to hear about your question.

Even as little babies, people start to express their own personalities, he said. Maybe you were a really fussy infant. Maybe you laughed or smiled a lot. As you grew up and learned how to communicate, your personality started to grow, too.

You’ve had a lot of different life experiences and those play into your personality, too. Barry reminded me that humans are social animals. He explained that as the brain develops, you become much more aware of the world around you.

For example, when you were little, you could run around with spaghetti all over your face and no one would think much about it. But now that you are an 11-year-old, running around with spaghetti on your face could be a little embarrassing.

Perhaps your family and friends would suggest you find a napkin. Barry explained that as you get older you are not only more aware of different social situations, but also your own personality.

Humans are often looking for information from other humans to figure out how to navigate the world. Meanwhile, an almond-shaped brain structure called the amygdala is especially helpful as you figure out these new situations and emotions.

You may notice that your family, friends, or others may react to the way you behave. You might learn to change your behavior depending on their reactions. While everyone has their own personality, in a way, other people are helping shape it, too.

Humans have all kinds of words to describe each other’s personality traits. In fact, some researchers have come up with a list of more than 600 characteristics.

Barry explained that we still have a lot of unanswered questions to explore when it comes to understanding personality. He said that while your personality develops a lot as you grow from a baby into a kid, it probably won’t change too much once you become a grown-up.

Based on your question, it appears that you are very curious. That can be a great personality trait. Have you ever thought about become a scientist or researcher one day? Keep asking great questions and you’ll be well on your way.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

The post How do we get our personality? appeared first on Ask Dr. Universe.

84815why-do-cows-moo https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/why-do-cows-moo/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Dr.-U-Hero-257x460.png

Why do cows moo? -Sam, 11, Gahanna, Ohio

Dear Sam,

If you’ve ever been near a herd of mooing cows, it might have sounded like all their moos were the same. But just as each person’s voice is a little different, so is each cow’s moo.

Human ears might not always pick up the small differences in moos, but cow ears sure can. In fact, cows have great hearing. They can even tell that different moos mean different things.

That’s what I found out from my friend Amber Adams-Progar, an animal scientist at Washington State University who studies cow behavior. She learns a lot about how we can better care for cows and spends time visiting our herd out at the Knott Dairy Center in Pullman, Wash.

Adams-Progar explained that before humans domesticated cows and started raising them on farms, these animals lived in the wild. In nature, mother cows go off on their own to find a spot to have their baby.

Sound is a big part of how a mother and baby cow bond. While a calf might send out one kind of moo when she is hungry, another moo might mean she’s lost.

“Sometimes a calf will go running off and the mom will look around. All of a sudden you hear her moo and then somewhere in the distance you hear a little moo respond back,” Adams-Progar said. “It’s kind of cute.”

Some cows will also moo when they are looking to find a mate. Finding other cows in the herd is part of why these animals moo, but there are other reasons, too.

In the wild, cows are prey animals. Sometimes mooing attracts predators, but sometimes cows can also use their moos to help keep each other safe. They can use their moos and their great sense of hearing to let other cows in the herd know there might be danger afoot.

While mooing can help cows find and protect one another, they also use other kinds of behaviors to communicate. Sometimes cows will grunt. Usually when we see cows grunting, they are pretty content, like when they are eating. They may also use their grunts when they are defending themselves or letting other cows know about their rank in the herd.

A wag of their tail can also help communicate to animals around them. When its tail is between its legs, the animal may be cold. A wagging tail could also mean it is in pain or just irritated. Cows also use their tails to swat away flies and sometimes calves wag their tails when they are nursing.

It’s a great question you ask, Sam. Maybe the next time you pass a herd of mooing cows you can think about all the different communication that is going on out there in the pasture.

In fact, your question leaves me with even more questions about animal communication. Why does a bat screech? A bee buzz? Or an elephant trumpet? What is your favorite animal? What sounds does it make to communicate? Tell me about it sometime at Dr.Universe@wsu.edu.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

The post Why do cows moo? appeared first on Ask Dr. Universe.

100344simple-spice-cake-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/sugar-and-spice/2018/02/18/simple-spice-cake/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/IMG_0784-1-1024x768-600x450.jpg

Simple Spice Cake

Simple Spice Cake is a throwback recipe to less complicated time.  It’s easy to get caught up in the super complicated gourmet recipes people seem to favor these days, I like to things my grandma would have made 70 years ago.  Feel free to add raisins and pecans if you love them, only about a cup total before baking.

Simple Spice Cake

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Directions:

Heat oven to 350.  Line muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg and allspice.  Set aside.

Use a hand mixer to combine butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time.  Measure out buttermilk.

Add some of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar with about half of the buttermilk.  Mix gently.  Add the rest of the flour and buttermilk.  Scrape sides if needed.

Transfer to prepared cupcake pan, filling 3/4 full.

Bake for 22-25 minutes until cupcakes are lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely and frost with white chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Garnish with fresh nutmeg.

Recipe modified from “Old Fashioned Spice Cake,” geniuskitchen.com

Anna Lookingbill

I'm a self-taught Betty Crocker. Food should be pretty, delicious and have sprinkles. Professionally I'm a clinical social worker. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest- Sugar and Spice Baking Blog- for great recipes, amazing restaurants and culinary adventures.

Simple Spice Cake
84567can-video-games-help-us-learn https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/can-video-games-help-us-learn/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Dr.-U-Hero-257x460.png

Can video games help us learn? – Isaac, 12, Clyde, N.Y.

Dear Issac,

All kinds of games can help us learn, including some video games. They can be a fun and useful way to help you remember what you learn, too.

Our brains work hard each day to take in and process information. Ever since video games were invented, people have been asking if and how they might change our behavior and brains.

For example, people once thought that video games left players with poor eye-sight and poor attention. Some scientists decided to actually test out these ideas. Their studies have shown that some video game players actually have better attention than non-players. Other studies have shown how some video game players also have sharper vision.

When it comes to learning new things, being able to focus and quickly process visual information can be helpful. But those aren’t the only things that help with learning.

That’s what I found out from my friend and Washington State University education researcher Raed Alsawaier. He studies how different elements of games can help us learn in our classrooms or other settings outside of the virtual, video game world.

“Almost all of us grow up learning through playing,” he said.

Just think back on a time when you played a game with friends. Maybe you worked with as a team. Maybe you used some creativity and imagination to face a challenge or solve a problem.

It appears that there are two elements to video games, in particular, that can really help us learn, Alsawaier said. One of these elements is collaboration. Learning through video games often happens when you are working with others to reach a goal. This can happen in the game or outside the game.

For example, some games like Minecraft help kids learn to read and write. But the game itself doesn’t actually require you to read or write. The game also doesn’t come with a lot of instructions. Players read other people’s experiences online and write about their own.

The other element of learning through video games is, well, fun. When playing video games, people use a lot of their senses during the experience; sight to watch the screen, hearing to listen to their fellow players, and touch when using the controller.

Our senses and experiences are also tied closely to our memory, Alsawaier explains. Not only can video games give us skills that help us learn, but there’s evidence that they can help us remember what we learn, too.

We still have a lot to learn about different video games and how they affect us, but we can say, at least in part, that the answer to your question is yes.

Now that you know about few elements in video games that can help us learn, what kind of video game would you design? Tell me about it sometime at Dr.Universe@wsu.edu.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

The post Can video games help us learn? appeared first on Ask Dr. Universe.

100348creamy-coconut-cheesecake-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/sugar-and-spice/2018/02/11/creamy-coconut-cheesecake/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/IMG_0793-1-1024x768-600x450.jpg

Confession time.  We made 3 of these in a week.   Although we only ate 1 at home, the other 2 went into work because the office had a cheesecake emergency and everyone HAD to have a slice.

Be sure to find coconut milk powder ahead of time, I ordered from Amazon Prime and it was $7 for a 5.5 oz bag.  This was enough for 3 cheesecakes.  Coconut milk powder is also available at specialty health food stores.

Creamy Coconut Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust

Filling

Topping

Directions

Heat oven to 350.  Use a food processor to turn graham crackers into crumbs.

Mix graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, shredded coconut, salt and butter with a fork.  Dump into a pie pan.  Use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to gently press down the crust, starting in the center and moving out to the edges.  Leave the edges a bit rough, it will look pretty when it bakes.

Use a hand mixer to blend cream cheese and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add coconut milk powder and coconut extract.

Scoop into prepared crust, smoothing with a spatula.

Bake for 30 minutes total, 20 minutes uncovered and 10 minutes with a pie crust shield.  If you don’t have a crust shield, you can gently wrap a few pieces of aluminum foil on the edges.

You can tell when the cheesecake is done because it will start to puff slightly around the edges.

To make the topping, put shredded coconut on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 5-8 minutes until golden brown.  Sprinkle on top of cheesecake.

Allow to cool before serving.  Keep refrigerated.

Recipe modified from “Easy Coconut Cheesecake,” King Arthur Flour

Creamy Coconut Cheesecake

Anna Lookingbill

I'm a self-taught Betty Crocker. Food should be pretty, delicious and have sprinkles. Professionally I'm a clinical social worker. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest- Sugar and Spice Baking Blog- for great recipes, amazing restaurants and culinary adventures.

Creamy Coconut Cheesecake
84425strawberry-buttermilk-baked-doughnuts http://blogs.columbian.com/sugar-and-spice/2018/02/04/strawberry-buttermilk-baked-doughnuts/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/IMG_0815-1-1024x768-600x450.jpg

Spring is  around the corner.  From an errant daffodil in our front yard to needing only one coat to walk the dog in the evening, better days are definitely on the way.

Strawberry Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts use real fruit in both the cake and the glaze, making for a bright and tasty treat.

Strawberry Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts

Makes 24 regular size

Ingredients:

Doughnuts

Strawberry Glaze

Vanilla Drizzle

Directions:

Heat the oven to 425.  Lightly spray a doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix flour, wheat flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine melted, cooled butter, oil and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

Measure out buttermilk.

Pour about a third of the flour mixture into mixture and stir gently.  Add half the buttermilk and stir some more.   Add the next third of the flour, half the buttermilk and finish with the flour.  The key is to combine the ingredients gently but to make sure everything comes together.  Mixture will be thick.  Fold in strawberries.

Transfer to a plastic bag and snip the corner.  Pipe into prepared doughnut pans filling 2/3 full.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the doughnuts are pale gold and spring back when touched with a fingertip.  Remove and cool.

To prepare strawberry glaze, put strawberries in a small sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until mixture thickens.  Use a mesh sieve to strain out chunks.  Mix strawberry concentrate with powdered sugar and red food coloring if using.  Glaze will be thick but spreadable, add a small amount of milk if needed.

To make vanilla drizzle, combine all ingredients.  Transfer to a plastic bag and make a very small cut in the corner.

Dip cooled doughnuts into strawberry glaze and set on wax paper.  If your glaze is thin you may need to dip them twice.  Add vanilla drizzle.  Allow glaze to set.  Because you used real fruit, the glaze may be stickier than glazes with artificial flavors.  Share with friends.

Recipe modified from “Strawberry Cake Donuts,” bakedbyanintrovert.com

Anna Lookingbill

I'm a self-taught Betty Crocker. Food should be pretty, delicious and have sprinkles. Professionally I'm a clinical social worker. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest- Sugar and Spice Baking Blog- for great recipes, amazing restaurants and culinary adventures.

Strawberry Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts
84409why-does-hair-turn-gray https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/why-does-hair-turn-gray/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Dr.-U.-Gray-Hair-2-1-600x354.jpg
Dr. Universe examines a gray hair.

Dear Dr. Universe: Why does hair turn gray? –Darae, 10

Dear Darae,

Hair comes in lots of different colors. There’s black, medium brown, auburn, light brown, strawberry blonde, and copper, to name just a few. But in the end, almost everyone will have hair that’s gray or white.

Ever since you were born, different cells have been working on your hair. Each hair sprouts from a follicle, a sort of little hair-making factory under your skin. Here, some of your cells are making your hair and others are coloring it.

The cells that color your hair are called melanocytes. They produce a pigment, or natural coloring matter, called melanin. This is the same pigment that gives your eyes and skin their color, too.

I decided to visit my friend Cynthia Cooper, a biologist and researcher at Washington State University, for help answering your question.

A close-up look at cells 

Cooper and the other scientists in her Vancouver, Wash., lab are really curious about cells. They are investigating questions about how some cells end up becoming the kind that produce skin pigment.

As people get older, she said, the pigment-producing cells in their hair follicles gradually die. They can no longer make enough pigment to keep coloring their hair.

If we took out all the pigment from your hair, it would be totally white.  So when melanocytes stop producing melanin altogether, your hair turns white.

“Why hair follicle melanocytes die over time, and are not replaced, we don’t entirely know,” Cooper said. “Our skin doesn’t turn gray, so the biology is quite different,” she adds.

While Cooper works on pigment in skin, she said some scientists are also working on other big questions about the pigment in hair, too. These scientists are especially curious about the inner-workings of the cells and how gray hair is part of people’s DNA.

Perhaps, you’ve heard someone say their kids are giving them gray hair. But scientifically, if anyone is giving someone gray hair, it’s likely their own parents. Those that come before us pass down their hair color to us through the genes we inherit from them. It’s the same with graying hair.

Scientists have even pinpointed specific genes and parts of cells that are involved in growing gray hair. The new knowledge is helping us put together a better picture of how pigment works. Still, there’s a lot more to discover.

Maybe as you get older and find that first gray hair, you’ll remember some of the science that’s at the root of it all. If you have a cat or dog, maybe you’ll notice that they’ll go gray around their muzzles, too.

I’ve actually had gray and white hair ever since I was a kitten. I think it’s pretty great. Our pigment, or lack of it, help make us all unique.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

The post Why does hair turn gray? appeared first on Ask Dr. Universe.

84016why-do-we-get-fevers https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/why-do-we-get-fevers/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Dr.-U-Hero-257x460.png

Dr. Universe: Why do we get a fever when we are sick? – Marcelina, 11, Ovid, N.Y.

Dear Marcelina,

Lots of warm-blooded animals get sick, including cats. I’ve had a fever before, but I wasn’t entirely sure why we warm up when we get sick. I decided to ask my friend and professor Phil Mixter at Washington State University.

Mixter is curious about the germs, or microbes, that we all carry around with us. In fact, scientists estimate that humans carry more than 100 trillion of these tiny microbes with them wherever they go. Not all of these microbes are bad, but some of them can make you sick.

Thankfully, a lot of animals—from starfish to cats to humans—also have an immune system that helps them fight off bad germs. In humans, fevers are one way your body helps fight back.

It’s sort of like that story about Goldilocks and the three bears, Mixter said. In the middle of your brain is a control center, the hypothalamus, which helps your body know if it’s too hot, too cold, or just right.

Maybe the last time you went in for a check-up the doctor took your temperature and told you it was somewhere around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit—or 37 degrees Centigrade for readers outside the United States. That’s a pretty normal temperature for humans.

Cats run a little warmer, with temperatures around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. As we go about our day, sometimes our body temperatures will rise or fall just a little. But if germs come on the scene, things can really heat up.

When your immune system realizes something unusual is going on, some of your white blood cells will release a substance into your blood stream. The substance is made up chemicals that your brain can detect. When the hypothalamus receives the chemical message, it sends an alert back out to the body: Turn up the heat! We’ve got to slow down these germs.

Many microbes that make us sick do best in an environment that is about 98.6 degrees F. The temperature is just right. When we get a fever, the heat helps slow down these troublemakers. You might feel sweaty and hot on the outside, but the microbes are also getting too hot. The heat helps keep them from multiplying rapidly.

One thing a fever can’t really tell us is what kinds of germs are in our system. Sometimes there might be something else going on and we might need to visit with a doctor.

A fever may not make us feel great, but it’s usually a good sign that our body’s immune system has kicked into gear and that we’ll get better real soon.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

The post Why do we get fevers? appeared first on Ask Dr. Universe.

83974how-does-a-string-of-lights-work https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/how-does-a-string-of-lights-work/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Dr.-U-Hero-257x460.png

Dear Dr. Universe: How does a light bulb work? When one bulb in a string of lights goes out, why do they all go out? – Molly, 8

Dear Molly,

Just the other day I was taking down a string of lights from my lab, when I discovered the bulbs were burnt out. I visited my friend Aaron Crandall, an engineer at Washington State University, to see if I might get them working again.

Crandall explained when you plug in a string of lights to a power source, like an outlet, an electrical charge flows into the wires. A lightbulb works when an electrical current runs through thin metal wires in the bulb and electrical energy gets converted to heat and light. We can get this current of electricity to follow different paths, depending on how we wire up the lights.

When the electricity reaches the first bulb in a string of lights, it flows up a tiny vertical wire inside the bulb. Here, it crosses a tinier horizontal wire, which acts kind of like a bridge, for the electrical current. The current follows another tiny vertical wire down and out the bulb. The current moves on, powering up the other lights, until it gets back to the power source. It’s all part of a looped pathway.

My string of lights is on one long path, or circuit— if one of the lightbulbs goes out, they all go out. Usually this happens when the tiny wire bridge that connects those two vertical wires inside the bulb melts or breaks.

Crandall said in some sets of lights you can gently shake the bulb to try and get the tiny horizontal wire to reattach to the vertical ones. I attempted this with my broken lights, but didn’t have much luck. I decided to pick up a new set of lights. This newer set has individual loops, or circuits, for each light. It also requires more wire to work.

You might think of this type of circuit like the monkey bars on a playground. Imagine the view from the top. There are two parallel bars that connect to rungs (the part you swing from). Let’s say you and a few friends are lightbulbs. You each hang from your own rung.

A circuit called a series circuit would be kind of like if you and your friends (the lightbulbs) were all holding hands and the current was flowing down the line. If one friend left, it would break the connection.

But on the monkey bars you aren’t holding hands. You have your own connection (rung) to the lines the electricity is flowing along (the parallel bars). In this kind of design, each light or a series of lights has its own loop, or circuit. If one route along the electrical pathway is not working or blocked, the rest of the bulbs can still light up.

I’ll put up my new lights next year, but I think I’ll break apart my old set of lights to do some experiments with circuits. With some help from an adult, you can check out how to make your very own circuit with old holiday lights. Tell me how it goes sometime at Dr.Universe@wsu.edu.

Sincerely,

Dr. Universe

 

The post How does a string of lights work? appeared first on Ask Dr. Universe.

83576white-chocolate-raspberry-cupcakes-with-white-chocolate-cream-cheese-frosting http://blogs.columbian.com/sugar-and-spice/2018/01/16/white-chocolate-raspberry-cupcakes-with-white-chocolate-cream-cheese-frosting/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/IMG_0698-1-1024x768-600x450.jpg

While chocolate is not technically chocolate.  It has cocoa butter, sugar and milk but no cocoa solids (aka cocoa powder).  Feel free to share this bit of knowledge to annoy your friends… I definitely have.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting don’t need cocoa solids.  Clocking in with a whopping 3 white chocolate baking bars in just 12 cupcakes, these are totally decadent.  I added raspberry filling to as a nod to Valentine’s Day.

Because these are for a friend who works as a corrections deputy, a handful are garnished with a chocolate handgun, similar to his duty weapon.  Corrections deputies and their families are unsung heroes of public service, providing safety 24/7 to our community with little acknowledgement of their sacrifices.  This means my friend gets as many cupcakes as he wants (and not just on his birthday).

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Directions:

To make cupcakes, heat oven to 350.  Line baking pan with muffin wrappers.

Carefully melt white chocolate in the microwave.  I drop the power to 50% and check it at 30 second intervals.  This usually takes about 2 minutes.  Lowering the heat allows the chocolate to melt but not scorch, chocolate can seize up or become grainy.  Other melting options include a double boiler.  When chocolate is melted, set aside to cool until tepid.

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt.  Measure out buttermilk.  Set aside.

Use a stand mixer to cream butter and sugar for 2 minutes or until fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs, scraping sides.  Pour in cooled, melted white chocolate.

Switch the mixer to low and add part of the flour mixture and half the buttermilk.  When just combined, add the rest of the flour and buttermilk.

Scoop batter into prepared pan, about 2/3 full.  Bake for 20 minutes total, 10 minutes on a lower rack and 10 minutes on upper racks until cupcakes are lightly golden.  Cool completely.

When cupcakes are cool, use a sharp knife to make a small hole in the center of each one.  Transfer raspberry jam to a plastic bag and snip the corner.  Pipe jam into cupcake.

To make frosting, repeat melting technique for white chocolate.  Set aside to cool until tepid.  Use a stand mixer to combine butter and cream cheese.  Add vanilla.  Add powdered sugar in increments.  Add melted white chocolate.  Frosting will be soft but should keep shape.  If it seems squishy, add powdered sugar in 1/2 C increments until it reaches desired consistency.

Pipe on cupcakes and garnish with fresh raspberries.

Recipe modified from “White Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe,” leitesculinaria.com

Anna Lookingbill

I'm a self-taught Betty Crocker. Food should be pretty, delicious and have sprinkles. Professionally I'm a clinical social worker. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest- Sugar and Spice Baking Blog- for great recipes, amazing restaurants and culinary adventures.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
83888why-do-some-animals-live-in-groups-2 https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/why-do-some-animals-live-in-groups-2/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/dr-universe-bees-600x399.jpg

 

Dr. Universe: Why do some animals live in groups?

– Mrs. Rubert’s students, Foothill Knolls STEM Academy of Innovation, Upland, Calif.

Dear Mrs. Rubert and Students,

Fish swim in big schools. Baby ducks waddle in a straight line. Ants and bees divide up labor. The world is full of animals that live in groups and they do it for a few different reasons.

For one, living in groups helps some animals avoid getting eaten by predators. Some even join forces to take down prey bigger than them with less risk and effort. Working together can also help them find more food. Ravens and rats, for example, will return from a hunt and let the rest of the group know where to find their next meal.

Being part of a big group is also helpful when it comes to caring for young animals. Sperm whales, warthogs, and some fish will care for young that are not their own. In the future, others in their group will return the favor. That’s what I found out from my friend Charlotte Milling, a researcher at The Ohio State University who studied wildlife sciences at Washington State University.

While there are advantages to living in a group, Milling said, there are also down sides. Sometimes a group gets so big it attracts the attention of predators. When food is scarce, having so many mouths to feed can make it harder to find food for everyone, too.

If there aren’t enough resources or the animals start getting really sick, it can be hard for other animals in the group to survive. Milling explained that while there are benefits to living in groups, it only works if the benefits to an animal are bigger than the costs in the long run.

Believe it or not, finding out how animals work in groups can also help us engineer and design new technology, like self-driving cars. My friend Kshitij Jerath is an engineer at Washington State University. He studies how individual things make up groups and looks for big patterns to help us solve problems. He used a flock of birds as an example.

Jerath explained that we can use math to calculate information about how a bird flies with its flock. How many neighbors does a bird have and how many can it see? How far away are these neighbors? How fast does it need to fly to stay with the group?

Using a similar idea, Jerath’s research helps us learn more about swarms of drones and self-driving cars. A single self-driving car can move on its own but it has to interact with lots of cars on the road, too. Using math and engineering, Jerath is working to help us understand how self-driving cars can better avoid accidents or prevent big traffic jams.

We still have a lot of unanswered questions about groups and systems in our world. Whether you’re looking at a pack, a pod, a school, or a flock, maybe one day you can help us learn more about animals and why they live in groups. Who knows? Learning from nature might even inspire you to come up with new ideas and inventions.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

The post Why do some animals live in groups? appeared first on Ask Dr. Universe.

83890glass-how-is-it-made-2 https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/glass-how-is-it-made-2/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Dr.-U-Hero-257x460.png

Dr. Universe: How is glass made? And, what is it made out of? What about thick glass like they are putting up on the Space Needle? – Tali, almost 8 years old, Seattle, Wash.

Dear Tali,

We can make glass in factories and we can find it in nature. Some volcanoes make glass. When they spew out lava, it often cools into obsidian, a black glass. Glass can also form on sandy beaches. Small tubes with smooth glass on the inside may appear after super-hot lightning strikes the sand.

In fact, sand is one of the most important ingredients we use to make glass. We may also use things like seashells, salt, and other chemicals. That’s what I found out when I visited my friend John McCloy, an engineer at Washington State University. McCloy and graduate student Jose Marcial were testing out different materials to make glass in the lab.

smiling cat in a lab coat

Marcial explained that glass is made of molecules—think of them as building blocks—arranged in a pretty random order. Most of the time we think of glass as a solid. But the way its molecules are arranged actually allows it to act as both a solid and a liquid. When we heat up the mix of sand, seashells, salt, and other chemicals, it can become molten, kind of like lava.

In the lab, Marcial poured a mixture of solid materials into a tiny metal cup. He heated it way up until the mix turned to something in-between a solid and liquid, similar to a thick honey. It was so hot that as Marcial poured it out onto a table, the molten material started glowing orange. As the mix cooled down, the molten liquid turned to a solid piece of glass right before our very eyes.

Marcial said that in factories, glass is made in a similar way. We take sand, add in different chemicals, heat it up, and pour it out onto a bed of molten metal. Just as oil sits on top of water, the lighter, liquid-like glass material floats atop the metal.

As everything cools down, the metal stays molten, but the glass on top solidifies. The glass might end up in a pair of eyeglasses, a computer screen, fish tank, or window. The big pieces of glass you see in buildings or observation decks are often made up of thinner layers of glass that have been combined.

As you’ve observed, the Space Needle is getting a big renovation. According to friends at the Space Needle, more than 10 types of glass will be used to renovate the landmark. They will also bring in 176 tons of glass during construction—that’s more than twice the weight of a NASA space shuttle.

As you can see, glass is made in lots of different ways. Believe it or not, you can also make something very similar to glass in your kitchen. Instead of grains of sand, salt, and seashells, you can use tiny grains of sugar.

With the help of a grown-up you can make your own edible sugar glass by mixing together ingredients like sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar. Try it out sometime and let me know what you learn at Dr.Universe@wsu.edu.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

The post Glass: How is it made? appeared first on Ask Dr. Universe.

83505yellow-snack-cakes-with-vanilla-cream-filling http://blogs.columbian.com/sugar-and-spice/2018/01/09/yellow-snack-cakes-with-vanilla-cream-filling/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/IMG_0607-1-1024x768-600x450.jpg

I got a Twinkie pan for Christmas!  Technically, it’s a “cream canoe pan,” although I have no idea what cream canoes are exactly.  This recipe can be made as cupcakes but it’s much more fun to create Twinkie look-alike treats.  Be sure to read about whipping egg whites if you’re new to the kitchen, stiff peaks are the key to the fluffy, spongy cake.

Yellow Snack Cakes with Vanilla Cream Filling

Yellow Snack Cakes with Vanilla Cream Filling

Makes 24 cakes

Ingredients:

Yellow Snack Cakes

*It’s worth ordering Princess Flavoring.  It makes the cake taste almost the same as Twinkies and it’s great for other treats.

Vanilla Cream Filling

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350.  Lightly coat the cream canoe pan with non stick spray.

Use a stand mixer with a very clean bowl to whip egg whites.  Add cream of tartar to help stabilize.  Whip in to stiff peaks.  Set aside.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, vegetable oil, cold water, egg yolks and Princess Flavoring.  Use a whisk and blend until smooth.  Try not to over mix.

Gently stir about a third of the stiff egg whites into the cake batter.  Use a spatula to mix gently.  You don’t want to crush the air you have added to the recipe.  Continue adding egg whites.

Fill the wells of the cream canoe pan 2/3 full.  Cakes will puff up while baking but shrink back down as they cool.

Bake for 8-12 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Cool for about 5 minutes and use a spatula to gently loosen cakes.  Invert on to a cooling rack.

Wipe out any remaining crumbs or cake and lightly spray again.  Repeat until all cakes are baked.

While cakes are baking and cooling, make the vanilla cream filling.

In a saucepan, cook together flour and milk over medium heat.  Mixture will thicken and form a paste.  Be careful not to boil or the mixture may burn.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Press plastic wrap on the surface and set aside to cool.

When the paste is completely cool, use a stand mixer to combine flour paste with butter, shortening and sugar.  You will need to beat for at least 5 minutes on medium high-speed, the mixture will become smooth and creamy.  Load into a piping bag or the piping syringe that comes with the cream canoe pan.

Flip a cooled snack cake upside down.  Gently inject vanilla cream filling in three different spots.  Start slowly, you will be able to feel the cake expand in your hand as you inject filling inside.  It doesn’t take too much, perhaps about a teaspoon per injection.  If you go too quickly, the cake will crack and burst in your hand.  Continue until all cakes are filled.

Wrap cakes individually and tightly in plastic wrap.  Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Unlike real Twinkies, Yellow Snack Cakes with Vanilla Cream Filling do not contain a million preservatives that allow them to survive a nuclear winter.

Recipe modified from “Twinkling Good Vanilla Snack Cakes,” kingarthurflour.com

Yellow Snack Cakes with Vanilla Cream Filling

Anna Lookingbill

I'm a self-taught Betty Crocker. Food should be pretty, delicious and have sprinkles. Professionally I'm a clinical social worker. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest- Sugar and Spice Baking Blog- for great recipes, amazing restaurants and culinary adventures.

Yellow Snack Cakes with Vanilla Cream Filling
83892do-all-animals-pass-gas-do-cats-fart-2 https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/do-all-animals-pass-gas-do-cats-fart-2/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Dr.-U-Hero-257x460.png

Dr. Universe: Do all animals pass gas? Do cats fart?

Hasandi, 11, Jeddah; Harrison, 10, Albany, Ore.

Dear Hasandi and Harrison,

If you’ve ever been near a cat or dog when they tooted, the smell might have sent you running right out of the room. A lot of animals pass gas. But believe it or not, some animals do not.

First, let’s talk about the gassy ones. When us cats and humans eat food, we are also swallowing air, or gas. It’s made up of elements like nitrogen and oxygen. The gas travels down into our digestive system and can take up space in our stomach and intestines. In our digestive systems, we also find tiny living things called bacteria.

You might blame the dog for your farts, but the real credit goes to your bacteria. Not all bacteria are bad. In fact, a lot of bacteria are helpful. Some of them help break down your food into its simplest form, like proteins and sugars that you can use for energy and growing. Some get rid of waste. But as they do their different jobs, they produce a bit of gas.

That’s what I found out from my friend Kristen Johnson. She’s a researcher at Washington State University who has tackled some big questions about how cow gas impacts the environment. She explained that while each bacterium makes a small amount of gas, there are millions of them doing it. It really adds up.

This gas needs to leave your body somehow, so you can release it either as a burp, a fart or by breathing. But if you were a clam or other mollusk, you wouldn’t toot. If you were a sea anemone, you wouldn’t fart, but you could probably burp.

Last year, a bunch of researchers listed which animals they studied farted. According to their list, it appears that some worms don’t pass gas either. Then there are some animals that scientists aren’t sure about, like spiders and parakeets. One researcher even found that some millipedes have hard valves on their rear ends that silence their toots. It would be nice if some other animals I know had those.

Birds have the equipment to fart but apparently don’t. Some scientists have found that a lot of them don’t usually carry the same kinds of gas-forming bacteria in their guts that humans and other mammals do.

As it is, humans toot around 20 times a day, producing enough gas to fill up about half a two-liter bottle of soda. A lot of the time these farts don’t smell. But sometimes your bacteria release sulfur and other things that can get pretty stinky. It might not always be pleasant, but it’s totally normal. Silent or deadly, a fart is usually a sign that our bodies are healthy.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

The post Do all animals pass gas? Do cats fart? appeared first on Ask Dr. Universe.

83456lemon-cheesecake-bites http://blogs.columbian.com/sugar-and-spice/2018/01/02/lemon-cheesecake-bites/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/IMG_0551-1-1024x768-600x450.jpg

Lemon Cheesecake Bites are perfect miniature treats.  With a lemony crust, sweet cheesecake filling and tart lemon topping, these little beauties will impress anyone.  Need extras?  (Hint… you’ll need extras).  The recipe doubles easily.

Lemon Cheesecake Bites

Makes 24 miniature cupcakes

Ingredients:

Crust

Filling

Lemon topping

Directions:

Make the crust ahead of time.  Use a mixer to combine cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add flour.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 325.  Line mini muffin pans with cupcake wrappers or coat with nonstick cooking spray.

Use a small cookie scoop to make 1 inch balls.  Set into pan and use fingers to squish to fit OR use a shot glass rolled in sugar (I found narrow ones at a grocery store… super useful).  You want to make crust-like shapes.

To make filling, use a mixer to combine cream cheese and sugar.  Add lemon juice, vanilla and egg.  Scoop into prepared crusts, filling 3/4 full.  I used a teaspoon sized measuring spoon and it worked pretty well.

Bake 18-22 minutes.  You will see the crust becoming lightly golden on the edges and the cheesecake mixture inside will puff up.  Don’t worry, it will settle when it cools.

Remove from the oven and cool about 5 minutes.  Carefully run a thin knife around the edges and remove.  Set aside and cool completely.

While cheesecakes are cooling, make lemon topping.  Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a small sauce pan.  Add water, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.  Boil for 1 minute, mixture will become very thick.  Remove from heat.  Add yellow food coloring (if using) and 2 T butter.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Transfer lemon topping to a plastic bag and snip the corner.  Pipe on cheesecakes, leaving the crust and a teeny bit of the filling showing.  Garnish with fresh fruit.  Keep refrigerated until serving.

Recipe modified from “Miniature Lemon Cheesecake Tarts,” tasteofhome.com

Lemon Cheesecake Bites

Anna Lookingbill

I'm a self-taught Betty Crocker. Food should be pretty, delicious and have sprinkles. Professionally I'm a clinical social worker. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest- Sugar and Spice Baking Blog- for great recipes, amazing restaurants and culinary adventures.

Lemon Cheesecake Bites
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Outfit of the Week: Taxi Outfit of the Week: Taxi

Does it look like I’m hailing a cab? Check out these sweet taxi mittens that my cousin sent me that pair nicely with my dark, neutral outfit. They look like they would be perfect for New York City, which is exactly why she sent them to me. 

I’m moving to the Big Apple! Which means that this is my last Everyday Style post. I know this column has been a bit short-lived, but it’s been a blast. I’m so thankful to The Columbian for giving me the space and resources to share my opinions about fashion. I’ve always dreamed of having a style blog but never had the means to, so being able to create one for such a great platform has been amazing. 

For this week’s outfit, I’m wearing my trusty winter coat from GAP, a cozy turtleneck that I’ve had for ages from Forever 21, and Anne Klein earrings. My taxi mittens are from Kate Spade. 

If you would like to follow along with my adventures in NYC, you can find my instagram at instagram.com/marielabbene. If you would like to contact me after my departure from The Columbian, you can email me at mariel.abbene@gmail.com.

Cheers my friends, and thanks for reading! 

Photos by Ariane Kunze.

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Outfit of the Week: Taxi
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Streamline your style by color-coordinating your closetIf you peek into my closet, you’ll see my clothes all fall into a limited color palette. Everything looks like it goes together, and that isn’t an accident. 

For several years now, I’ve done my best to visually streamline my closet. Not only does it make it look neat and tidy when I slide my door aside to pick out an outfit; creating a cohesive color scheme has a lot of other benefits.

First of all, it expands your options if most of your clothing items don’t clash. It also allows you to purchase more interesting pieces. Patterns, metallics and other fun details become a lot more wearable if you have the right colors to pair them with. Traveling is also simpler because you’ll be able mix, match and rewear a few items that all go together. 

I would also go out on a limb to say that having a color cohesive wardrobe can reduce impulse purchases. Knowing what colors you like, what hues look good on you, and what shades will match with your current clothing items can steer you away from that crazy fluorescent pink miniskirt that is destined to hang in the back of your closet with the tags still on. Once you discover your preferences, you’re more likely to stick to them.

The method

Now the question is: What’s the best way to get to this point without shelling out lots of money? 

The most important thing to remember if you’re aiming to streamline your closet colors is to be aware that it will happen over time, not immediately. There’s no need to spend your whole paycheck or throw out large portions of your current wardrobe. It took me several months of (normal levels) of shopping before I started to notice cohesiveness emerging in the items I purchased. 

The first step is to take a look at your current clothing. Are there any pieces you own that don’t look good on you? If yellow makes you look sallow or purple just isn’t your thing, get rid of it. My philosophy is that there’s no reason to keep clothing you don’t like unless you need it for utility or professional purposes.  

Secondly, the next time you shop, start building up a base of neutral colored pieces. When I was a teenager, I thought neutrals were boring. Now, I love them for their flexibility. If you’re someone who starts snoring at the thought of black or beige, think of neutrals as a way to try out different shapes, materials and details. For example, a black shirt with bell sleeves and a ruffled collar is far from dull. In addition to navy, black, gray, brown and white, also consider what I call secondary neutrals, which include colors like olive, camel, and cream. They are versatile and are great if you fancy warmer hues. 

Next, based off your personal preferences and what is already in your closet, determine what non-neutral colors you like to wear. Personally, I tend to favor toned-down primary colors, and gravitate toward red, blue, yellow and green. However, if you’re like my mom, who likes jewel tones, your closet might be filled with violet, emerald and turquoise. I would choose around three or four colors, each of which look good with your complexion and make you feel great. 

Lastly, think about accent colors. For me, red is the perfect pop for almost any outfit. For example, I have a great tan raincoat that has red lining and drawstrings for the hood, which make it look more preppy and adds some interest. I also own no less than three red bandanas that I pair with everything. You can utilize these colors in any kinds of accessories like purses, hats, scarves, jewelry and shoes. 

Whew! That might seem like a lot, but don’t freak out. The most important thing is don’t expect everything to come together immediately. Keep your eyes peeled when shopping, and notice what you gravitate toward. Also, this is by no means a hard-and-fast method. If you see a shirt that you love that is out of your chosen color range, that’s fine! This approach aims to give you more options and streamline your style, not to stifle your creativity. 

Already have a color-coordinated closet? Email me a photo with your name and neighborhood and I’ll feature it for inspiration at the bottom of next week’s online post!

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Streamline your style by color-coordinating your closet
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Outfit of the Week: Embroidery Outfit of the Week: Embroidery Outfit of the Week: Embroidery

This week’s outfit is special, because it has a handmade touch to it: the collars are hand embroidered. I bought this white button-up shirt from H&M almost six months ago with the intention of personalizing it. I embroider all the time, yet I didn’t get around to it until recently. 

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I sketched the design on the collar with a disappearing marker, then sewed it with a simple backstitch. If this DIY project interests you, it’s super easy to try. Embroidery materials are cheap, and there are plenty of tutorials on hand embroidery on the internet.

I paired my newly embroidered shirt with my favorite coat from GAP, a pair of Madewell jeans, and my Cole Haan booties. When it comes work wear, I usually lean toward menswear-inspired outfits. Buttoning up my shirt and the structured style of my coat helped me give off a more polished look. 

It was really cold and windy out when these photos were taken, but photographer Ariane Kunze did an amazing job of utilizing the lighting. A big shout out to her for making me look like a fancy model!

Photos by Ariane Kunze

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Outfit of the Week: Embroidery
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What to wear, what to wear? Your wardrobe may surprise you

Have you ever woken up in the morning, washed your face, brushed your teeth, and then sat in front of your closet, wishing a fabulous outfit would materialize in front of your eyes? I’ve been there. It’s hard to pick out an outfit that makes you feel confident and comfortable when your closet seems tired and boring. 

In lieu of going to the mall and buying an entire new wardrobe, I thought I’d share some tips that I use to pick out an outfit when I’m really stuck. 

First of all, choose an item that you really like. It could be anything, from a killer pair of boots, to a new sweater, to a cute pair of glasses. Hopefully there’s at least one clothing item in your closet that you can get behind. Don’t be afraid to grab something fun, sparkly, or colorful.

The next step is to start building an outfit around what you selected. Look at your item: What colors are in it? What texture is it? What colors go well with it? Is there anything unexpected you could try on with it? Utilize any neutrals you have, even if the rest of your outfit is all black. After all, black is the new black, folks. 

After that, accessorize! Use the same techniques in the previous step to choose jewelry, a hat, or a scarf. Don’t feel the need to go overboard, but sometimes the perfect pair of earrings or a cute hat can really make an outfit. 

The last step is important: Don’t give up after the outfit. Outerwear matters! What a shame it would be to put together a great outfit and pair it with a junky raincoat or sad cardigan. This might be a hole in your wardrobe (which is understandable because coats can be a big commitment), so if it is, make note for later. There are tons of great resale stores, such as Buffalo Exchange or Goodwill, where you can find great quality, super stylish jackets. 

After that, you’re ready to go! Grab a snack, get out there and rock what USED to be your tired, boring closet. 

Illustration by me.

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

What to wear, what to wear? Your wardrobe may surprise you
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Outfit of the Week: Gingham

Outfit of the Week: Gingham

It’s rare, but once in a while, I will get the urge to bare my legs during the winter for the sake of fashion.

On Monday, I mixed patterns and textures by pairing an H&M gingham shirt dress with a cozy marled cardigan from Target’s latest brand, A New Day. I love the curved collar of the cardigan that makes me feel like I’m wearing a fancy, classic coat.

I also wore a Madewell bandana (surprise!) for a pop of color, and my Doc Martens boots to finish things off. Thank goodness for sunny days in November!

 

EDIT: My apologies if you read this post before and were confused – it looks like the paragraphs got mixed up while we were trying to fix some technical issues. It’s fixed now.

-M

 

 

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Outfit of the Week: Gingham
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Outfit of the Week: Winter Wear

With the weather getting colder, it’s time to dig out the heavy layers. 

Today, I’m wearing my favorite coat, which I found at Buffalo Exchange for $30. I remember trying it on and sending a photo of it to my boyfriend at the time to ask him what he thought of it. He said, “Eh, it’s all right.” I promptly bought it and have worn it every day since, weather permitting. 

This Gap scarf is one of the oldest items in my closet, but I still love it. The colors are trendy, yet are easy to match with other clothing. 

I’m also wearing Madewell overalls (if it seems like half my closet is from Madewell, that’s because half of my closet is from Madewell), and Doc Martens. I’m actually from Portland, so there’s probably some kind of contract stating that I have to wear Doc Martens for 30 days a year in order to be considered a resident. Or something. 


 Photo by Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Outfit of the Week: Winter Wear
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Four ways to wear button-up shirts

One of my favorite things to do when I get dressed in the morning is to pick an outfit I’ve never worn before. I repeat combinations sometimes, but I try to avoid wearing the same outfit twice. 

You may be thinking: “How big is this girl’s closet?” while picturing one of those crazy Pinterest-style rooms stocked with shoes and clothes. If only that was my secret.

In reality, I scope out clothing items that are versatile and get creative with layering and accessories. I also try to keep all my clothing within the same color family, so that everything goes together and can be interchanged. I own a lot of neutrals, which gives me more options and allows me to add colorful and fun accessories to spice things up. 

By far, the most useful items of clothing in my closet that serve as a great base for any outfit is a button-up shirt. They can be worn in so many different ways — buttoned or unbuttoned, dressed up or dressed down. Some brave folks even wear them as a skirt or make them into off-shoulder tops. The options are plentiful and varied.

This week, I decided to show the ways that I usually wear my button-up shirts, and the things I consider when putting together an outfit in order to make it different and more interesting. I selected one top and assembled four outfits around it.

The shirt I chose is a denim Madewell top. I love the boxy structure and the raw hem, which makes it flattering tucked or untucked. Plus, a denim shirt is a great staple, and it’s likely that many readers have one in their closet already, and may be able to relate and experiment with their own looks. 

Four ways to wear button-up shirts

Buttons undone: 

This style is perfect for showing off your favorite necklace or scarf. If you read my first post, you’d probably be unsurprised that I chose a bandana. This one is a basic red one from a craft store. I’m also wearing a crescent necklace from Etsy. This basic, super comfy skirt is from GAP, and I’m wearing my favorite winter shoes — my Doc Martens boots. 

Four ways to wear button-up shirts

Buttoned up: It’s not as common for women to wear their shirts buttoned all the way up, which is one reason that I love this style. It’s unexpected, but it looks sharp and put together. I’m wearing my favorite pair of pants: floral print, tie waisted trousers that are as comfortable as pajamas. I’m also wearing my favorite shoes, which are fabulous Dankso clogs with fringe that I found at Nordstrom Rack. This outfit shows how you can easily turn something casual, such as a denim shirt, into a dressier outfit.

Four ways to wear button-up shirtsUnder: Wearing a crew neck sweater over a collared shirt is a classic workwear staple. I mixed it up by layering this long V-neck sweater from LOFT over my shirt. The relaxed joggers, which are also from LOFT, make it a little more casual, so I chose sleek Cole Haan booties to finish off the look and prevent it from looking sloppy. 

Four ways to wear button-up shirts

Over: This style is easiest when going for a casual look. Maybe I have been watching too much “Stranger Things,” because this outfit has a bit of an ‘80s vibe. Under my denim shirt, I’m wearing a striped tee from Madewell, tucked into these great high-waisted corduroys from Urban Outfitters. I’m also wearing a belt that I stole from my mom’s closet, and my Stan Smith Adidas sneakers to keep the look casual, comfy and sporty. 

Button-up shirts, especially in a neutral color or fabric such as denim, can yield a large plethora of different outfit options. Layering, tucking, or buttoning can create totally different vibes and makes it easier to make good use out of the clothing you already have. It doesn’t take a giant closet full of clothes for outfit options — just a bit of creativity. 

Four ways to wear button-up shirtsFour ways to wear button-up shirts


 Photos by Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Four ways to wear button-up shirts
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Outfit of the Week: Leather

Do you ever get that feeling when you buy some new clothing and you just want to wear it all at the same time? Well, this outfit is a product of that feeling. 

I recently bought this super cool top from Zara, that features a boxy cut and some striping down the middle and on the sleeves. 

I also finally found a leather jacket that suits me! It’s faux leather, which is totally fine with me, both because I don’t want to kill a cow for fashion and also because it was $35 on Asos.com. Win-win.

The bottom half of my outfit isn’t new, but worked well with showcasing my fun items on top. I chose plain skinny jeans (sans rips, of course, since I wore them to work), and my waterproof Cole Haan ankle boots which were perfect for a drizzly day like today. 


 Photos by Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian

Outfit of the Week: Leather   Outfit of the Week: Leather

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Outfit of the Week: Leather
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It’s all right  to wear white

Well, here we are. It’s weeks past Labor Day, and I’m wearing white. 

Not just white shoes or a white scarf — all white. 

Before you call Stacy London of “What Not to Wear” in outrage, let’s chat about the origins of this age-old adage and whether or not it should be preserved.

According to a Time article from 2009, this fashion rule began in the early 20th Century. For the most part, people wore white during the summer because the dark, heavy clothing they would usually wear was too hot for summer days. When fall returned, they would revert to their usual black, brown and gray. This could be one reason for the rule. However, it’s possible the true origin of the “no white after Labor Day” rule was created out of snobbery. 

During the early 1900s, members of the old-money elite could afford to take long vacations, unlike their social inferiors. During these high-class holidays, they would wear their smartest white linen and finest ivory accessories, giving off an air of casual luxury. These outfits created a sharp contrast between the rich folk and the drab fashions of the general population. Labor Day was an unofficial end marker to summer, as it is now, and the trend of storing away white clothing as summer came to a close became a hard-and-fast etiquette rule for the elites. It was a way to separate themselves from the burgeoning middle class that was becoming increasingly wealthier and closing the social gap. Those who weren’t in the know were easily identified and viewed as outsiders.

Fortunately, it’s not the 1930s anymore, and we don’t have to dress based on our social status in society. White clothing can provide respite from the drudges of the endless black, navy and gray that colder months often entail. There are many ways to style fall and winter whites, and I went all in for this outfit. I have not yet been snubbed, which is a good sign that this rule is a bit outdated, and at it’s core, fairly ridiculous. 

What I’m wearing

Today’s outfit is centered around some great ivory crop flare jeans from Madewell. They are one of my favorite pieces for fall, because the off-white color makes them a versatile neutral that looks great with a variety of other colors, both dark and light. 

If you want to be an etiquette rebel, you can go for the all white look, like I did today. My top is a soft, grayish-white flannel, which also happens to be from Madewell. I chose this shirt because it’s fuzzy texture and thickness definitely says autumn. Plus, it has pockets. 

As a self-proclaimed scarf aficionado, you can spot me with a bandana around my neck at least three days a week. Today was one of those days. This artsy, abstract bandana from Zara works great because the colors have nothing to compete with, since I’m wearing all white. There is also a bit of cream in it, which reflects the color of my pants and ties the outfit together. Lastly, I am wearing a great pair of mules, which were a steal from Target at $22. Talk about bargain shopping!

It’s all right  to wear white

If you’re still wary of wearing white after Labor Day, here are some tips to make your outfit more cold-weather friendly:

Photos by Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian

 

 

 

 

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

It’s all right  to wear white
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Male Western Tiger Swallow-tail butterflies will sometimes congregate in wet areas seeking nutrients.  The term for this behavior is mud-puddling.  These butterflies were seen today on the west side of Gee Creek downstream from Abrams Park in Ridgefield.  There were 32 that Paul Snoey counted with some leaving and new arrivals dropping in on occasion.

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The Ridgefield Lions Club will be serving burgers again this year at their famous corner booth at the Clark County Fair. While they are trying to increase membership in the club, they still need many, many volunteers to help at the booth. They have set up a sign-up list on their website www.ridgefieldlions.com and ask that anyone interested, signup for any 6 hour shift. You will get free entrance to the fair for the day and have a good time with the other Lions in the booth.

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Workers are hurrying to finish the ground work before paving Main Avenue in downtown Ridgefield this summer. The deadline of course, is the 4th of July so the road will be in good shape for the parade. Let’s hope we don’t get any rain before then. These photos are looking north and south on Main Avenue.

Road Work Continues in Ridgefield

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Windy Hills Winery in Ridgefield is putting the final touches on their grand rock facade between now and their opening of Memorial Day Weekend. Owner Dave Kelly, right, and winemaker, Bob Mayfield are excited to be a part of the growing Clark County wine scene. (Photo by Viki Eierdam)

This from winemaker Bob Mayfield: “They said it couldn’t be done, and they were almost right. After nearly two and a half years of planning and building, Windy Hills Winery is finally going to open. Owner Dave Kelly texted me at 1 pm Friday to let me know we got the final OK from the county, and here we go! We’ll be open Memorial Day Weekend, noon to five, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The winery is at 1360 S. 38th Ct. in Ridgefield.

The Windy Hills lineup consists of two vineyard designated Pinot Noirs, a bodacious Reserve Pinot blend, a Tempranillo, and a party red blend. We needed to source juice from elsewhere to fill out our roster, so we grabbed some amazing Viognier (seriously!), Malbec, Syrah, and a Bordeaux blend, all from Walla Walla. We’re starting with two tasting menus, $10  for a flight of five wines, wines by the glass, and beer from a Hood River brewery, whose name I cannot remember.

As wine maker, I will be releasing my wines under the label Spudders Crest (I just got labels approved this morning!), and I’m starting with an estate rosé of Pinot Noir, though I have to call it Homegrown (don’t ask), and a fabulous Sunnyside Vineyard 2014 Pinot Noir. I also have an O! Naturelle wine (no sulfites added) that I hope to release next week, a couple more rosés, and in a couple weeks a Cheep Cheep White Wine, an Auxerrois, some fruit wines, and a hopped apple cider. Phew!

BTW, I promise, I will not spam anyone, and will only send out emails to people who really want them.

And finally, Windy Hills is a fabulous building, a first class event center (I know what you’re thinking, how did I get involved?), just a gorgeous location.

That’s all for now. I hope to see ya’ll soon. It’s gonna be crazy!

Cheers,Bob

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Join host, ethnobotonist and author Kat Anderson at theCathlapotle Plankhouse for a special presentation, “Beauty, Bounty and Biodiversity,” and night hike on May 26 from 7-8:30 pm.

“Kat Anderson will share connections with California and Pacific Northwest tribes, by examining traditionally managed edible wildflower gardens of California. She will also explore the implications that these gardens have for fostering pollinator habitat, increasing biodiversity, and the ways in which these plants have evolved to meet the needs of people.”

Then at 8:30 pm explore the Oaks to Wetlands Trail on a naturalist guided hike, “The Refuge at Dusk”. RSVP required, email sarah_hill@fws.gov to save your spot today!

 

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You are invited to the Ridgefield Art Association sponsored Bruce Crockett Memorial Quick Draw Friday, May 5th, at the Ridgefield Community Center, 210 Main Ave.

You will be able to watch eight artists create original artworks while you enjoy food, beverages and live music. A caricature artist will draw portraits, and there will be interactive art and both live and silent auctions.

A portion of the proceeds benefit the Ridgefield High School Art Department.

You may buy tickets from any Ridgefield Art Association members, or call Patricia at: 360-931-9573. You may also email the Ridgefield Art Association at: ridgefieldartists@live.com to purchase tickets.

This is going to be a great opportunity to see artists in action and get to know your Ridgefield neighbors. Newcomers to town are especially welcome.

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Healthy Living Question:  Does your body desire cooked vs raw food?  Do you strive to eat more raw foods and feel sluggish and bloated?  Consider switching to consuming more cooked food to jump start your healthy living eating program. 

I am currently enrolled in Vancouver Yoga Center‘s 200 hour yoga teacher trainer course instructed by Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner Melonie Nielsen LMP and E-RYT 500.

Healthy Living Cooked vs raw:  Cooked wins

Wowza what a course – not only are we learning about traditional yoga asanas (poses), body alignment, and body biomechanics… we are also learning about the power of the mind, benefits of meditation, ayurvedic principles, natural healing, healthy living, breath work and I’m sure a whole host of other topics yet to be discussed in our final 3 immersion weekends.  Its been a great way to jump start my journey to better health of my mind body and spirit.

Healthy Living Cooked vs raw:  Cooked winsPart of this month’s assignment was to complete a 5 page comprehensive ayurvedic health history to help me determine my mind-body constitution – otherwise known in ayurvedic terms as my prakriti. My prakriti corresponds to the type of dosha I have – either vata, pitta or kapha or a combination of dosas.  In a nut shell the vata dosha = cool, dry, irregular; pitta = fiery, hot and good leaders; and finally kapha = oily, wet and easy going.  I believe I’m a vata pitta dosha – it will be interesting to get validation once my assessment is complete in the next few weeks.  For more info on doshas.

Each meal I ask my body what she wants.  For some reason over the last week, my body wanted more cooked foods over raw foods.  My vata constitution said “heck yeah!”  No problemo – pulled pork crockpot, non dairy salmon chowder, oatmeal with cherries and walnuts, and lots of vegetable stirfrys.  Not one RAW SALAD ALL WEEK!  My body and mind felt nourished and more alive.  My body easily digests and metabolizes cooked foods over raw.  This gives me so much energy or digestive fire Agni.  I feel more alive which I believe is due to better absorption of nutrients.  When I am eating a diet consisting of more raw fresh fruits and vegetables my body feels sluggish with more bloating and more gas.

I remember I did a similar week long cooked food vs raw food protocol experiment 2 years ago as part of my Nutritional Therapy coursework at Portland Community College.  I remember feeling this same amazing on top of the world feeling then too.  Why didn’t I continue eating/cooking this way?  I dunno life got in the way I suppose.  Nevertheless, I am reminded yet again that my body really enjoys cooked food over raw foods and have posted a note on the fridge to help me remember how wonderful I am feeling!  Read more about Ayurvedic Perspective on Food from the Chopra Center

Healthy Living Cooked vs raw:  Cooked winsSo in celebration of this refreshed “cooked over raw” ayurvedic approach to food preparation I prepared a wonderful breakfast for myself of black bean noodles with red curry sauce and sauteed vegetables.

Black Bean Noodles:  Prepare black bean noodles according to package directions.  Once drained, toss noodles with 1 tsp olive oil

Sauce:  16 oz can of light coconut milk, add 1 TBS red curry sauce, 1 tsp of tumeric, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp of 5 powder spice, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.  Bring ingredients to a boil then reduce to a simmer until desired consistency.  Warning – watch the boiling stage – easy boil over stage.

Vegetable saute:  1 cup of carrots sliced, 1/2 red onion chopped, 2 cups of romaine lettuce chopped, 1/4 cup red cabbage sliced, 1/2 yellow pepper.  Saute vegetables in 2 tsp of olive oil until desired consistency.

Serve:  3/4 cup of noodles, add 3/4 cup of sauted vegetables, and 1/2 cup of sauce.  Enjoy!

Healthy Living Cooked vs raw:  Cooked wins

  #healthliving #satedsensitive #yum #healthybreakfast #ayurvedic #igotthis

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

Healthy Living Cooked vs raw:  Cooked wins
96918mood-booster-vitamin-d-not-just-for-bones-13 http://blogs.columbian.com/sated-sensitive/mood-booster-vitamin-d-not-just-for-bones/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/01/fullsizeoutput_103a-969x1024-435x460.jpeg

 

As the dreary gray days continue here in Clark County coupled with the switch this weekend to daylight savings time (HATE!), so many people at my gym Battleground Snap Fitness – have shared with me that they’re feeling bluesy, tired, sleepy and depressed. What can you do about it?  Consider evaluating your Vitamin D levels!  Vitamin D is NOT just for bones – it may just help boost your mood, and improve your memory too.  

MOOD BOOSTER Vitamin D – NOT just for bones
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which helps support bone health, muscle function, cell growth, immunity and so many other body functions.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium for healthy bones and teeth and helps protect older adults from osteopenia or osteoporosis.   Even if you have a calcium rich diet (plenty of low fat dairy foods and green leafy vegetables), without enough Vitamin D you can’t absorb the calcium into your bones and cells.  Without enough Vitamin D and calcium, vitamin deficiencies may pose a health risk to the 40+ adult leaving their bones at risk for bone fractures.

Vitamin D aids in other areas in our body. It helps muscle function in that nerves need Vitamin D it to carry messages between brain and every body part. The immune system uses Vitamin D to help fight off invading bacteria and viruses.  Vitamin D also helps promote normal cell growth and prevents inflammation throughout the body making it a promising anti-cancer agent as well as an inflammation reducer.

MOOD BOOSTER Vitamin D – NOT just for bonesVitamin D is obtained in 3 ways:

Vitamin D comes in 2 forms – D2 (ergocalciferol) found in some plant life in response to UV radiation (mushrooms) and in most fortified foods. D3 (cholecalciferol) is the more potent and most biologically active. Studies have shown that both forms are equally good for bone health.

Some FAQs:

MOOD BOOSTER Vitamin D – NOT just for bonesThere is continued ongoing research on additional benefits of Vitamin D from helping to prevent colon, prostate and breast cancers to preventing and treating diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and multiple sclerosis. There may also be a correlation with vitamin D deficiency and auto-immune diseases.  I am curiously looking forward to reading the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Dr. Joann Manesults of a the V-I-T-A-L (VIT comes from vitamin D; A from OmegA-3; and L from Trial) 3 year trial that is exploring the potential role of vitamin d and omega 3 fatty acids in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease.  Over 25,000 men and women were involved with this study.  Check out VITAL Study.

As a Nutritionist, I highly recommend taking advantage of the Pacific Northwest sunshine with outdoor activities at least 15 minutes a day 2 – 3 days a week during the spring and summer to naturally stockpile Vitamin D. During the fall/winter its best to supplement with Vitamin D to ensure proper Vitamin D levels. I personally take Genestra Brands’ “D-Mulsion 1000” liquid vitamin supplement in Citrus Flavor. Each drop contains 1,000 IUs of cholecalciferol with .01 mg of stevia. I prefer the easier to swallow liquid form over a capsule; each day I add my vitamin D drops to my liquid calcium/magnesium supplement to boost my mood.

MOOD BOOSTER Vitamin D – NOT just for bones

Come “Stump the Nutritionist” Denise Hays most Thursdays 1 – 4 PM at BG Apothecary located at 314 NE 1st Ave, Battleground WA. I’m always happy to talk nutrition, health, and wellness! See you soon.

 

 

#satedsensitive #healthyliving #glutenfree #dairyfree #eatrealfood #soyfree #naturalremedies #nutritionaltherapy #nutrition

 

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

MOOD BOOSTER Vitamin D – NOT just for bones
97776world-help-in-concert-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/fyi98642/2017/03/14/world-help-in-concert/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/World-Help.jpg

As part of its 2016-2017 U.S. tour, World Help is proud to present Children of the World International Children’s Choir. The choir, comprised of orphaned and disadvantaged children from several different countries, will be performing at Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene on Saturday, March 25th at 6:30pm and on Sunday, March 26th at 9:00 and 11:00am.  This event is open to the public.  There are no tickets, but a free-will offering will be taken to support the ministry of World Hope.  For additional information about the concert, visit the church website at www.ridgenaz.org or call the church office at 360-887-3576.

The choir represents a rich and culturally diverse set of backgrounds and experiences, each with an urgent story to tell. This year’s Rescue Tour calls attention to the staggering impact that poverty, malnutrition, and dirty water have on millions of children around the world.

Through the powerful medium of song, dance, spoken word, and creative media, Children of the World provides a compelling message of hope and opportunity, leaving an unforgettable impression with audiences across the country.

The children have performed in such venues as Focus on the Family, Brooklyn Tabernacle, and Disney World.

About World Help

World Help is a faith-based humanitarian organization that exists to serve the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world.  World Help is committed to meeting people’s physical needs by providing humanitarian, medical, and educational assistance and ensuring access to clean water to as many communities as possible. We promise to meet people’s spiritual needs by providing Bibles and establishing churches.

Since 1991, World Help has impacted over 73 million people in 69 countries worldwide, offering both physical and spiritual restoration for individuals, families, and communities.

96925mmmmm-healthy-living-baked-gluten-free-and-dairy-free-doh-nuts-13 http://blogs.columbian.com/sated-sensitive/mmmmm-healthy-living-baked-gluten-free-and-dairy-free-doh-nuts/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_7172-1024x768-600x450.jpg

Every 3rd Sunday, I bake healthy gluten free treats for the Battleground FourSquare Church – so I’m always searching for new and exciting recipes!

I spied this B-A-K-E-D Sweet Potato Donuts with Chocolate Coconut recipe from Ambitious Kitchen blog 

Inspired, I made a few changes for us Gluten Free and Dairy Free Sensitive bakers.  Here’s Sated Sensitive’s take on this scrumptious breakfast treats:

mmmmm Healthy Living Baked Gluten Free and Dairy Free Do’h nuts

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cooked mashed sweet potato (or canned pumpkin)
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled (olive oil also works well)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 TBS vanilla                                                                                               1/2 cup coconut flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together gluten free all purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt; set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix together the sweet potato (or pumpkin), honey, egg, coconut oil and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Avoid overmixing here as it can make the donuts tough instead of light and fluffy. Spoon the batter into the donut pan, filling almost to the top.  Bake for 13 – 16 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Turn the donuts onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Once donuts are cooled, mix together the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Dip each donut in the icing then immediately dip into the coconut flakes, then transfer to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining donuts.

You can skip the icing and coconut flakes however the baked donuts are just not that pretty on the up side so they kinda needed something to spruce them up.

Homer Simpson votes YES for these healthy living donuts!

mmmmm Healthy Living Baked Gluten Free and Dairy Free Do’h nuts

 

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

mmmmm Healthy Living Baked Gluten Free and Dairy Free Do’h nuts
74619three-simple-salmon-recipes-worthy-of-the-kitchen-table http://blogs.columbian.com/corks-and-forks/2017/02/24/three-simple-salmon-recipes-worthy-of-the-kitchen-table/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DSC00016-1024x904-521x460.jpg
Three simple salmon recipes worthy of the kitchen table

Smoked paprika grilled salmon paired with a 2011 Tarì Irpinio Aglianico is unconventional but an admirable Northwest twist. Viki Eierdam

In 2016 an unfortunate statistic was reported; for the first time in history Americans spent more money eating out than they did on groceries. Unfortunate for a multitude of reasons, one being that the expansion of the American mid-section is largely attributed to meals prepared outside the home. Google it, I don’t make this stuff up.

I love a meal out as much as the next person but cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, folks. To prove it, here are three variations of salmon paired with three different wines (two super foods joining forces to return dinnertime to the kitchen).

Wine: 2011 Tarì Irpinio Aglianico (Taurasi)

Some wine writers are more traditional, some are a little edgy. Pairing aglianico with salmon is certainly unconventional but the smokiness imparted from grilling and the smoky and floral notes of the paprika make an atypical suggestion an intriguing combination. Racy acidity and bracing tannins are calmed in older vintages and a little breathing time before drinking. My Texas friends would say aglianico pairs better with brisket but this Northwest twist is admirable.

Smoked Paprika Grilled Salmon

¼ C orange juice

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp thyme leaves, divided

1 ¼ lb salmon fillets

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp grated orange peel

½ tsp sea salt

Mix juice, 2 Tbsp oil and 1 tsp of thyme in 9”x13” glass baking dish. Add salmon, turn to coat. Cover. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Mix sugar, remaining spices and orange peel. Remove salmon from marinade and dispose of marinade. Rub top of salmon evenly with spice mixture and place on preheated, generously oiled grill for about six minutes on each side. Serves 4-6.

Three simple salmon recipes worthy of the kitchen table

Photo error: Pair Mustard-Crusted Salmon with Pinot Gris for best match. Viki Eierdam

Wine: 2015 Kudos Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley)

The creamy, slightly zesty notes of the mustard sauce mingle nicely with the rich texture of this white. Welcomes with stone fruit to mandarin orange on the palate and plenty of acid follow through to keep it lively.

Mustard Crusted Salmon

1 1/4 lb salmon fillets

¼ tsp salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

¼ C low-fat yogurt (or sour cream)

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp lemon juice

Place salmon, skin-side down in lightly oiled 9”x15” glass baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Combine yogurt, mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl. Spread evenly over salmon. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Wine: 2011 Leone D’Oro Chianti Classico Riserva (Chianti)

Made predominantly from sangiovese grapes, this is on the dry side with black cherry and tobacco notes. The fattiness from the pecans and salmon match the acidity of this wine while the seasonings play with the spiciness of the Chianti. Oak aging brings out a hint of nuttiness on the finish.

Three simple salmon recipes worthy of the kitchen table

Photo error: Pair Pecan Crusted Salmon with Chianti for best flavor match. Viki Eierdam

Pecan Crusted Salmon

1 1/4 lb salmon fillets

4 Tbsp pecan meal

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp lemon pepper

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp Johnny’s seasoning salt

To make pecan meal, process pecans in a blender on low. Store unused pecan meal in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Mix pecan meal, olive oil and four seasonings in a small bowl.  Place salmon, skin-side down in a lightly oiled 9”x 15” glass baking dish. Coat the top of the salmon fillet with pecan mixture. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Serves 4-6.

 

Viki

I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

Three simple salmon recipes worthy of the kitchen table
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Burnt Bridge featured wine at The Grant House wine dinner

Photo provided

Did you crash and burn this Valentine’s Day? Here’s your chance for a do-over…

 Burnt Bridge featured wine at The Grant House wine dinner

Viki

I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

Burnt Bridge featured wine at The Grant House wine dinner
99737new-hat-or-old-tricks-portland-timbers-2017-preview-10 http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-timbers/2017/02/18/new-hat-or-old-tricks-portland-timbers-2017-preview/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Caleb-Porter-459x460.jpg

Last years’ end state was horrible; the Portland Timbers, returning MLS Champions, missed the playoffs.  Not good; especially when 60% of  the teams in your Conference make the playoffs.

New Hat? or Old Tricks? Portland Timbers 2017 Preview

Clearly changes needed to be made.

Notable midfield additions include David Guzman, Sebastian Blanco, and the return of Dairon Asprilla.

On the defensive side, where the Timbers had their biggest weakness, new faces are more scarce.

Gbenga Arokoyo, who saw no appreciable time last year, was expected to start at right center-back.

Roy Miller and Lawrence Olum have also been signed.  Miller is not yet available while Olum appears to hold the center-back spot until Miller shows value or another new signing occurs.

It is rumored that Banana Yaya may be added soon – he’s a center-back (with two caps for Cameroon) who has played 69 games in the last two years for Plantanias (Greece); that volume of games played should indicate he’s a starter who’s offered consistency and quality.

So… changes have been made – but signing a player is just the first step…

READ HERE for a track record of previous Portland Timbers signings:  Making the Most of the Much Maligned Melano.

As follow up to the first step here’s my list of “next steps” (of equal importance) I sense/submit need to happen (on the pitch) to reduce goals against this year:

David Guzman needs to show better than Jack Jewsbury or Ben Zemanski – in pre-season – I would offer he has.  Some wonder if Ben Zemanski remains with the squad this year; I do too.

Liam Ridgewell needs to pull his socks up and LEAD by example.

The days of cynical fouls (anywhere) on the pitch must be stopped.  There are worthy fouls, like the one he had the other night to stop play while Fenando Adi was down on the pitch, and then there are just plain cynical, stupid fouls, that are more about ‘men behaving badly’ than anything else… more leadership and less ‘men behaving badly’…

Diego Chara needs to follow the leadership example expected of Liam Ridgewell; limit his misplaced, men behaving badly fouls, and show aggression where timely – not untimely.

New Hat? or Old Tricks? Portland Timbers 2017 Preview

Vytas needs to continue to show abilities in playing a shut-down fullback role so sorely missed with the departure of a (then) VERY under-rated Jorge Villafana.

New Hat? or Old Tricks? Portland Timbers 2017 Preview

With another year under his belt Alvas Powell not only needs to continue offering grist and speed on the right (improve his outlook as a shutdown fullback) but he also needs to show better positional play and (wait for it) try to stay on his feet more.  The more sliding tackles you make the more often you’re out of position to begin with.  Fewer sliding tackles would be a great individual statistic to track for Alvas.

New Hat? or Old Tricks? Portland Timbers 2017 Preview

Caleb needs to show a bit more patience with the younger players and give them opportunities to fail.

It’s failure – and learning from failure – that makes players better.  If a player DOESN’T learn from failure, then move ‘em… and make room for the next man up.

Here’s my list of younger players who should get more minutes…  with hindsight  being 20-20 I’m sure Caleb would have played more younger players last year if he’d known the Timbers were going to yield 53 goals against AND still have a reasonable shot at the playoffs…

In the interim (while Clarke grows and the Timbers perhaps sign Banana Yoyo – great name!) Lawrence Olum needs to offer better defensive play than Jermaine Taylor or Stephen Taylor… Is it cynical to offer that Olum already shows greater lateral speed than either one of those guys?

Part of better defending includes improved attacking. 

Jorge Villafana added great positional awareness and penetrating skills when in attack – Vytas and Alvas need to show the same grist in being able to play both sides of the ball – while thinking defense first.  That’s a hard order to follow – but if David Guzman adds value as a true #6 then those two SHOULD be able to push a tad bit higher up the pitch.

Is Sebastian Blanco the answer in lieu of the much maligned Melano?  I think so… Blanco has shown good possession skills, measured awareness and the ability to make space for himself and others WHILE also showing a great 1st touch…  a considerable improvement.

Darlington Nagbe needs to show his “inverted” attacking prowess improves productivity while also showing his improved abilities to play on both sides of the ball.  Caleb and I spoke about Darlington playing inverted over two years ago.  Caleb confirmed with me that both he and Gavin Wilkinson knew this was a productive area for Darlington… what got “in the way” was not having a worthy player to suit up on the right.  With Blanco in the fold that gap should be closed.

New Hat? or Old Tricks? Portland Timbers 2017 Preview

Diego Chara needs to push forward a bit more – we’ve seen his penetrating ability in the past, and his speed adds great value as a trailing midfielder.  But what adds more value is seeing Diego slightly higher up the pitch where he can press and use his ball-winning skills to manage the midfield better.  Quicker pressure can lead to turnovers, which can lead to quick counterattacks for the likes of Diego Valeri and Fenando Adi.

Speaking of which; the Maestro is simply one of the best players in MLS.

Most offer Diego Valeri is an attacking midfielder – I’m a bit old-fashioned – for me he’s earned the worthy title of Striker…

There are forwards, there are midfielders, and then there are strikers – Diego is a striker… Diego needs to continue to provide a great first touch, vision, penetrating passes, and striking ability; those four ingredients enhance Portland possession and keep the ball from the opponent.

New Hat? or Old Tricks? Portland Timbers 2017 Preview

Diego’s striking partner is Fenando Adi.

New Hat? or Old Tricks? Portland Timbers 2017 Preview

Fenando, a forward, is a true #9 striker… (perhaps?) the best in MLS.  Anytime he’s on the pitch this team has a chance, and with his size/strength he also adds great value in defending set-pieces…

If these things occur the Portland Timbers should be better in defending – and hopefully they’ll return to 2013 form where they yielded just 33 goals against…  the last time this team spent a good portion of the game in possession of the ball.

So how about the substitutes this year?  A key part to any team, and a weakness cited by Porter this year, are the next seven off the bench. 

In looking at the most recent pre-season game I think things are taking shape on Porter’s first in (if you will).

We saw Dairon Asprilla replace Sebastian Blanco (helping his missus move to Portland).   It’s great to see Dairon back with Portland.  He’s always added value playing both ways.  And his presence should only serve to keep Sebastian Blanco on his toes.  And with Darlington Nagbe finally getting the national team recognition he deserves it’s likely Dairon gets plenty of minutes this year.New Hat? or Old Tricks? Portland Timbers 2017 Preview

Next up we saw Darren Mattocks, Victor Arboleda, and Rennico Clarke, followed by Jack Barmby when Diego Valeri took a knock.

I saw value in all those players coming onto the pitch – yes Clarke got a bit cross-wise in defending atop the 18 yard box – but as Porter indicated after the game – he has confidence Rennico will learn from that.  And… the more opportunities he has to learn from failure (early on) the better prepared he’ll be for regular season – if needed.

Darren has been shifted up top – a good thing in my view.  He still can leverage his pace and high pressure abilities – but he won’t have to find himself losing energy in having to play both sides of the ball all game long.

In thinking about the placement of Jack Barmby.  In the few games I’ve seen Jack has taken up the central attacking midfielder position.  I like this – Barmby has shown good awareness, first touch and playing on both sides of the ball.

What sticks out to me the most, however, have been some of his unsuccessful (penetrating passes).  Those passes are the same types of passes we see with Diego Valeri – some don’t find a teammate (usually because the teammate isn’t thinking fast enough) but some do…

It’s those (unsuccessful penetrating) passes that remind me of Diego Valeri.  A good individual statistic this year for Jack Barmby – in showing growth – are the number of unsuccessful penetrating passes…  the more playing time he gets I’d offer, the fewer of those we see as his teammates will begin to expect the unexpected.

New Hat? or Old Tricks? Portland Timbers 2017 Preview

Barmby – Courtesy of Oregon Live

I’d offer those are the first five players off the bench…  leaving Jeff Attinella (goal keeper) and one additional player.

My preferred choice is Marco Farfan.  I don’t watch training all that often and it’s hard to say whether or not Caleb would go with another central midfielder.  But… in the past Caleb has usually had a fullback on the bench.  I sense that slot is filled by Marco Farfan.

In all, I’d submit that’s a pretty strong first 18.

Who do you think makes the subs bench this year?

Best, Chris

For those who like a bit of nostalgia – here’s what I offered to begin the 2016 season.  Old Hat?  New Tricks?

@chrisgluckpwp

COPYRIGHT: All Rights Reserved.  Trademark PWP

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on PossessionwithPurpose.com, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.

New Hat? or Old Tricks? Portland Timbers 2017 Preview
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Wine & Travel: Texas Hill Country

Picpoul blanc, charbono and tannat are featured alongside 100 percent roussanne Comfortage, cinsault Rosé and Thinkers—a red blend of petite sirah and tinta cão, proving the varietal diversity of Texas Hill Country wines. Viki Eierdam

Living in the northwest surrounded by so many terrific wine regions, it can be easy to forget the world is filled with exceptional wines and even varietals yet to be discovered. On its own, the United States provides fun and exciting excuses to venture out in search of the great grapes of the globe.

Everything’s big in Texas and their wine scene is no exception. In fact, the Lone Star state boasts the second largest AVA in America. Texas Hill Country was my destination of choice back in January and it was clear early on that, yes, there is award-winning wine worthy of the voyage.

Wine & Travel: Texas Hill Country

Flat Creek Estate winemaker, Tim Drake, hails from Federal Way, Washington. He came to the Hill Country to dabble in different winemaking techniques including aging pinot grigio and viogner in Russian oak barrels. Dan Eierdam

A bit off the beaten path lies Flat Creek Estate. As such, there is on-site lodging and dining and events scheduled throughout the year to make the effort worth every patron’s while. Interestingly, winemaker Tim Drake hails from Federal Way, Washington. He came to the Hill Country to dabble in different varietals and winemaking techniques. Aging pinot grigio and viogner in Russian oak barrels is imparting a subdued spice that is turning heads.

“I always felt the viogniers from Washington were nice but had a hole in the mid-palate. We fill the hole in down here in Texas,” Drake said.

In fact, Pedernales Cellars (another Texas Hill Country winery) walked away with a Grand Gold at the 2013 Lyon International Wine Competition for their 2012 Viognier; the only U.S. viognier to earn such an honor. Their compadres, Flat Creek Estate and Becker Vineyards, also earned medals for the same varietal.

Wine & Travel: Texas Hill Country

The patio of Hye Meadow Winery overlooks a stunning oak grove that can be enjoyed much of the year thanks to the temperate Texas climate. Dan Eierdam

On Hwy 290—dubbed the Wine Road which leads into quaint and friendly Fredericksburg—wine seekers will find an unassuming building containing Hye Meadow Winery. Step inside to savor the stunning oak grove that it overlooks. Chief grape stomper, Mike Batek, exudes true southern hospitality as he pours crisp Trebbiano, unfiltered Rosato, a gamay-style Dolcetto, The Full Monte—a 100 percent montepulciano with vanilla and dark cherry to plum notes—and a spicy Aglianico with gripping tannins.

Wine & Travel: Texas Hill Country

Located in the heart of Fredericksburg is Lost Draw Cellars, co-owned by a fourth generation peanut and cotton farmer. Dan Eierdam

Located in the heart of German-centric Fredericksburg, visitors will find Lost Draw Cellars. One of their Rhône-style whites not only sports a unique name but a unique grape in its blend. Gemutlichkeit, translated loosely, means ‘come together and share good cheer.’ According to tasting room lead, CJ Evans, possibly only 100 acres of picpoul blanc are grown in the U.S., 5 of which are found in Hill Country.

A short drive out of town is worth the effort to experience the wines of Bending Branch. Their lineup includes 100 percent picpoul blanc displaying green apple and racy acidity, charbono with smoky big fruit and chewy tannins and tannat with a chunky nose that finishes smooth. As with the other wineries, warmer weather tempts visitors to linger in the outdoor patio spaces.

Wine & Travel: Texas Hill Country

Proudly waving the Texas flag, Pedernales garnered a Grand Gold for their 2012 Viognier at the 2013 Lyon International Wine Competition. Dan Eierdam

After tasting the delicate tropical fruit notes of their 2015 Albariño and light citrus of the 2015 Vermentino, the 2015 Viognier Reserve continues to prove why Pedernales Cellars was the Grand Gold winner in 2012. Oaked for 15 months, soft white blossoms are followed by toast and dairy characteristics and a melt-in-your-mouth, decadent quality.

Wine & Travel: Texas Hill Country

Surprisingly, port-style wines are quite popular in Texas Hill Country including this Messina Hof 2015 Estate Black Label made with Lenoir. Coconut and chocolate-covered cherry notes follow with a velvety mouth coating and distinct toast from the French oak aging. Dan Eierdam

Grand in scale and production, Messina Hof could be mistaken for a tourist destination but they cater to the aficionado, as well. In fact, owner Paul Mitchel Bonarrigo, is so serious about wine and educating the consumer that he’s invested in WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) certification courses for all his tasting room employees and their level of expertise is refreshing. Messina Hof is proud to be the most awarded winery in Texas.

Wine & Travel: Texas Hill Country

Owner of Spicewood Vineyards and Elway, Ron Yates also possesses a law degree and owns a music company. Here, Elway is on squirrel and deer patrol to protect the 32 estate acres including a rare four acres of sauvignon blanc. Dan

Heading back toward Dallas just off US-281, travelers are in for a treat at Spicewood Vineyards. Owned by Ron Yates (who also possesses a law degree and owns a music company), Spicewood boasts 32 acres of vines and something I was particular delighted to find—four acres of sauvignon blanc, which is rare for the area. Bright acid, lemon/lime, citrus, a slight herbaciousness with grassy notes; it was all there and so easy to imagine as my go-to wine for lazy Texas days.

With over 350 wineries spread throughout eight different AVAs, there’s a lot of ground to cover in Texas. From more familiar varietals such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot and tempranillo to regionally-specific ones like lenoir, blanc du bois, picpoul blanc and tannat, a growing wine scene is just one more excuse to visit the Lone Star state.

Need more? Check out The Treaty House—a craft cocktail cigar bar with a focus on premier wines; The Club at Baron’s Creekside—an indoor/outdoor wine bar with a decidedly European flair thanks to owner, Daniel Meyer who hails from Switzerland; The Cabernet Grill—a wine-centric restaurant located inside the unique lodging compound of Cotton Gin Village; and the Lincoln Street Wine and Cigar Bar, a perfect spot for nibbles, a night cap, live music and a cellar full of wines by the glass (or bottle).

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Viki

I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

Wine & Travel: Texas Hill Country
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Tickets still available for Oregon Chardonnay Celebration

At the 5th Annual Oregon Chardonnay Celebration, winemakers and serious consumers came together to analyze five different chardonnay styles all sourced from Durant Vineyards. Viki Eierdam

Tickets are still available for the 2017 Oregon Chardonnay Celebration. Held at the luxurious Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg, Oregon, the 6th Annual event promises to be even more consumer-focused than last year.

The in-depth seminar, held from 1-3 p.m. will be led by Food & Wine magazine’s executive wine editor, Ray Isle. The expert panel consists of Luisa Ponzi from Ponzi Wines, Bob Morous of Phelps Creek Vineyards, Maggie Harrison of Antica Terra, Bryan Wilson from DANCIN Vineyards and Ken Pahlow of Walter Scott.

Attendees are invited to follow along as these chardonnay authorities quip and enlighten us about bringing the reputation of this noble grape back through a reverence of the unique terroir found throughout Oregon. From the Chehalem Mountains to the Columbia Gorge, Eola-Amity and the Rogue AVAs (American Viticultural Area), the soils and microclimates impart from subtle to distinct flavor profiles. Regardless of different winemaking styles, the agreed result is a spectrum from lean, crisp wine with high acidity that makes a refreshing accompaniment to seafood in its youth to wines with some age that show creamier textures and a beautiful round mouth-feel to pair with heavier sauces.

Tickets still available for Oregon Chardonnay Celebration

Held at the Allison Inn & Spa, the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration Grand Tasting is an opportunity for consumers to sample exquisite examples from over 40 Oregon wineries. Viki Eierdam

After this virtual vineyard tour, apply what you’ve learned as you taste over 40 exquisitely-produced Oregon chardonnays at the Grand Tasting from 3-5:30 p.m. Combine your ticket to attend both events or, if time is tight, purchase the Grand Tasting ticket only.

If you’re a wine drinker who swears “I do not like Chardonnay,” this is the event for you. Oregon winemakers will make you a convert and you’ll forget the overly-oaked California style from the days of old in no time.

To make the most of your time in the Valley, why not book a night at The Allison Inn & Spa? Special rates are available for Oregon Chardonnay Celebration guests but you must call ahead to reserve (no special rates with on-line bookings).

**Follow Corks & Forks by clicking the ‘Follow’ button or follow Corks & Forks on Facebook, Twitter @WACorksandForks or Instagram Viki@WACorksandForks.

 

 

 

 

 

Viki

I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

Tickets still available for Oregon Chardonnay Celebration
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N. Mississippi restaurant features Italian-inspired wine dinnerQUAINTRELLE HOSTS WINEMAKER DINNER WITH DARRYL JOANNIDES OF VIOLA WINE CELLARS

Four-course family-style dinner with wine pairings, $75

February 14, 2017 – Portland, OR – Quaintrelle will host a February winemaker dinner on Wednesday, February 22 with Darryl Joannides of Viola Wine Cellars.

Join sommelier Matt Hansel and chef de cuisine Bill Wallender for a four-course family-style dinner. The seasonal menu will be paired with Italian-inspired natural wines from Viola Wine Cellars. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $75, including gratuity. For reservations, please call Quaintrelle at 503-200-5787 or purchase tickets online.

Viola Wine Cellars selections include:

2016 Viola Ramato of Pinot Grigio

2015 Viola Bianco d’Allegre (Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato, Pinot Grigio)

2015 Viola Dolcetto d’Allegre

2015 Viola “Dugger Creek Vineyard” Sangiovese

Darryl Joannides has spent the past 20 years immersed in Italian food and wines. Darryl’s first Italian-inspired business was as chef/owner of Assaggio in the Sellwood neighborhood from 1995-2005. Viola Wine Cellars was created in 2002 during harvest when Darryl worked as an intern for Andrew Rich Vintner during the inaugural year of the Carlton Winemaker’s Studio. Viola became a full-time venture in 2012 and today production is located in his garage in NW Portland. The majority of the vineyards used to produce Viola’s wines are located in the Columbia Gorge appellation.

Upcoming winemaker dinners will feature Brianne Day of Day Wines on April 12 and Pam Walden from Willful Wine Company on May 17.

About Quaintrelle: Located in Portland’s bustling N. Mississippi neighborhood, Quaintrelle serves Pacific Northwest inspired cuisine made with passion and intention and works with a range of purveyors to ensure the best seasonally available local ingredients. The restaurant is located at 3936 N. Mississippi Ave. Reservations may be made through OpenTable, or by calling the restaurant at (503) 200-5787 or online at www.quaintrelle.co.

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Viki

I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

N. Mississippi restaurant features Italian-inspired wine dinner
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Local vintners featuring port-style wines for Valentine’s Weekend

English Estate Winery carries a large line of fortified ‘nectars’—dessert wines made with their own pinot noir brandy distilled by Clear Creek Distillery. Viki Eierdam

Valentine’s weekend is upon us and, with that, wineries will be hosting their annual Chocolate & Wine Pairing festivities from SW Washington to the Yakima Valley, Southern Oregon and beyond.

In honor of the occasion, I tasted several of the port-style treats being crafted by vintners throughout Clark County. Be sure to pick up a bottle or two to enjoy at home with your sweetheart. Keep in mind all prices are for 375 ml size.

English Estate Sweet Ruby Red Pinot Noir Nectar

Only slightly less ABV than traditional port, this is the truest port-style wine offered by English. Made from their own Pinot Noir brandy distilled by Clear Creek Distillery and estate Pinot Noir, showing considerable toast from aged oak barrels and succulent cherry notes. 17.5% ABV, $28.

Other offerings:

Raspberry Delight—When the freezer broke one day, threatening the estate raspberries that Gail English had harvested for canning, Carl Sr. quickly found a way to preserve the just-picked freshness. He nailed it! Excellent for sparkling spritzers or as a sauce over cheesecake. 17% ABV, $49.

Sugar Plum—At the heart of this nectar with baking spice on the palate are the juicy plums found on the homestead. 17% ABV, $39.

Sweet Autumn Gold—A combination of estate pinot noir juice and their own pinot noir brandy, light oak lends coconut to the finish. Versatile paired with blue cheese or crème brûlée.  16.5%, $28.

Local vintners featuring port-style wines for Valentine’s Weekend

Not only does it hit the palate just right, the label of the Gougér Cellars Mine, Mine Mine took an International Double Gold Medal for Design at the 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition. Viki Eierdam

Gougér Cellars Mine, Mine, Mine

Sweet enough to be paired with desserts but not so much that it can’t be enjoyed alone, aged brandy is employed to add complexity to this blend of syrah, zinfandel merlot and muscat of Alexandria (an ancient vine with an impressive lineage). 18% ABV, $22.

Mine, Mine, Mine Chocolate—This wine captures the essence of chocolate in a bottle with a lush weight that romances the palate. Popular for pairing with high-end chocolates. 18% ABV, $22.

 

Local vintners featuring port-style wines for Valentine’s Weekend

Hints of white blossom from apple to honeysuckle draw you into Koi Pond Cellars Elle’s Crème Brûlée. Photo provided.

Koi Pond Cellars Elle’s Crème Brûlée

Hints of white blossom from apple to honeysuckle draw you in. Hot on the front with hazelnut and a bit of coffee mid palate with a caramel finish and whisper of chocolate, this white port-style wine delivers something from beginning to end. Warm and soothing. 16% ABV, $35

 

Local vintners featuring port-style wines for Valentine’s Weekend

Moulton Falls Winery collaborated with Yacolt Valley Vineyard to create this port-style dessert wine. Viki Eierdam

Moulton Falls Winery NV Yacolt Valley Vineyard Port-Style Dessert Wine

Made from deep, rich Red Mountain syrah and fortified with Yacolt Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir, then distilled to brandy locally at Double V Distillery. This syrah brings out a deep cherry flavor reminiscent of candied cherries followed by a silky, dark fruit finish. 19.5% ABV, $28

 

Local vintners featuring port-style wines for Valentine’s Weekend

The complexity of Daybreak Cellars Tempranillo Dessert Wine is a result of a blend of four beautiful vintages. Viki Eierdam

Rezabek Vineyards Daybreak Cellars Tempranillo Dessert Wine 

With a port-range ABV and grape composition including tempranillo (aka tinta roriz), touriga nacional and a scant amount of tinta cão, this may be the closest port-style wine being made in Clark County. Baking spice aromas follow with big juicy cherry notes on the palate, a swirl of chocolate and coconut notes on the finish. 19.5% ABV, $18

 

Local vintners featuring port-style wines for Valentine’s Weekend

Rusty Grape Vineyards 2010 Vino de Ciocolotto is the perfect pairing of wine and chocolate. Viki Eierdam

Rusty Grape Vineyards 2010 Vino de Ciocolotto

This syrah-based treat is the perfect pairing of wine and chocolate. Retaining its higher tannin quality, the warm nose teases your palate with notes of cocoa nib and brandy while the mouth feel is full and velvety. Pair with dried fruits like figs, plums and apricots or a nut cake.18% ABV, $32

Other notable dessert-style wines:

Bethany Vineyards

Emanar Cellars

Heisen House Vineyards

Olequa Cellars

Pomeroy Cellars

Three Brothers Winery 

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Viki

I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

Local vintners featuring port-style wines for Valentine’s Weekend
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NW Wineries make Wine Spectator cover storyHave you caught the January/February issue of Wine Spectator yet? Two Oregon wineries—Ayoub and Bethel Heights—and two Washington Wineries—Novelty Hill/Januik and Sparkman Cellars—are featured in the cover story: 30 Wineries to Discover.

The wineries are noted for consistently delivering high-quality wines. Ayoub crafts eight small-production wines that I can say from personal experience deliver all the power, elegance and depth we’ve come to expect from the Willamette Valley.

NW Wineries make Wine Spectator cover story

Mo Ayoub pouring at the recent Pinot in the City in Dallas, TX. Dan Eierdam

It’s all in the family at Bethel Heights where cousins, Ben and Mimi Casteel, are carrying on the first generation’s legacy. Slightly more fruit-forward than Burgundian pinot noirs, their offerings deliver consistent layers to ponder.

Sourcing from Red Mountain, Wahluke Slope and even more affordable releases throughout the Columbia Valley, Mike Januik took a wealth of knowledge with him when he left Chateau Ste. Michelle nearly two decades ago. Now crafting wines for Novelty Hill and his own label, Januik, here is a man who has certainly hit his stride.

NW Wineries make Wine Spectator cover story

Photo supplied

An $18 bottle of riesling from an esteemed producer is nearly unheard of in this day and age. Along with other bright whites, Sparkman Cellars sources quality fruit from top-rated vineyards throughout Washington State to grace their firm yet approachable reds.

Read all about these NW Wineries to Discover in the latest issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands now.

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.

Viki

I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

NW Wineries make Wine Spectator cover story
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Gary Gouger with hie new tank

Gougér Cellars of Ridgefield is the first winery in Clark County to have a high pressure tank made specifically for producing sparkling wines. The tank was custom made in Italy and took over 6 months to receive. The tank will enable Gouger Cellars to expand their sparkling wine offerings which already include a Sparkling Rose and Sparkling Pinot Noir.

Gougér Cellars was established in 2009 and produces premium international awarded wines from grapes sourced from two states. Winemaker, Gary Gougér, enologist (winemaker) graduated from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and is known for sparkling and bold red wines such as Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sparkling Rosé and Sparkling Pinot Noir.

 

Gougér Cellars is at 26505 NE 10th in Ridgefield.

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Clark College hosts Food Summit this FridayA daylong discussion about the region’s food ecosystem and the college’s role in its future 

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Clark College will be hosting “Growing Our Future” on Friday, February 10, to explore issues within the local food system and possibilities for new curriculum at the college to support this region’s food-producing industries.

The daylong event, which is made possible with support from the Clark County Food System Council, will feature speakers from local businesses and organizations like Heathen Brewing, Lapellah, Ecotrust, and the Washington State Department of Agriculture, as well as Clark College faculty. Together, attendees will explore concepts like the future of farming and the challenges of trying to use local ingredients in commercial enterprises. In between workshops and speakers, participants will enjoy a “locavore lunch” and “talking and tasting café.”

“Our goal in hosting this event is twofold,” said Vice President of Instruction Dr. Tim Cook. “First, we want to provide an opportunity for our growing community of food providers to discuss the issues confronting their industry right now. Second, the college wants to investigate the ways we can help support that industry, whether it’s by providing specialized training or potentially even creating a new Ecology and Agronomy program.”

The event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be held at Clark College at Columbia Tech Center, 18700 Mill Plain Blvd. Driving directions and parking maps are available here. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased, cash only, at the door. For more details about the event, click this link. 

About Clark College

Located in Vancouver’s Central Park and serving up to 13,000 students per quarter, Clark College is Washington State’s second-largest single-campus, for-credit community college. The college currently offers classes at two satellite locations: one on the Washington State University Vancouver campus and one in the Columbia Tech Center in East Vancouver. Additionally, its Economic & Community Development program is housed in the Columbia Bank building in downtown Vancouver.

Disclaimer: This is a reprint of Clark College’s press release

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Viki

I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

Clark College hosts Food Summit this Friday
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Burnt Bridge Cellars rolls out Thursday Happy Hour

Photo provided

Burnt Bridge Cellars, Vancouver’s only urban winery, rolled out their first Thursday Happy Hour back on January 26.

You asked and they answered. In response to numerous requests, Burnt Bridge will now be open from 4-9 p.m. every Thursday and extend discounted glass pours, to boot.

Opening in November of 2010, Burnt Bridge started with Saturday and Sunday hours. Friday evening hours were added in 2015. Coupled with the talents of Chef Kim Mahan from Class Cooking (located next door), Burnt Bridge is always offering something new and exciting for its growing fan base including Blind Tasting events, food and wine pairings and scheduled live music.

Burnt Bridge Cellars rolls out Thursday Happy Hour

Photo provided

When not showcasing sumptuous nibbles designed to pair with their deep and elegant offerings, visitors can order a calzone or pizza from Vancouver Pizza Company to be delivered to the tasting room.

Make plans to join the team at Burnt Bridge Cellars soon and support their new Thursday hours.

**Follow Corks & Forks by clicking the ‘Follow’ button or follow Corks & Forks on Facebook, Twitter @WACorksandForks or Instagram Viki@WACorksandForks.

Viki

I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

Burnt Bridge Cellars rolls out Thursday Happy Hour
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Many years ago when I transitioned to dairy free living, I sadly gave up my coffee creamer.  Having served in the U.S. Marine Corps it should have been an easy transition back to black coffee (lol!) but it wasn’t.

Over time, I got used to a new way of dairy free healthy living.  If the coffee place was cool and it wasn’t too busy I’d be brave to order a cubano espresso (where the barista adds a 1/2 packet of raw sugar on top of the ground coffee in the portofilter).  Super yummy!  But most times, if the place was jammed I’d order just a plain americano with no room.  Black coffee became my norm – but I still missed my creamer from time to time.

I have experimented with many dairy free milk alternatives when I owned and operated an Airstream Cafe which served up small batch artisan drinks, eats and treats.  (I was so ahead of my time!!…). Here’s what I found using cappuccinos as the benchmark:

Almond Milk

Soy Milk – Comparable to dairy in every way especially the microfoam department.  Pretty tasty. If you’re soy free – nevermind. It is commonplace to see this in most coffee places but quickly being replaced by almond milk.

Hemp Milk has a nutty light consistency.  It steams up nicely but loses it’s texture super fast. I don’t really see this at most coffee houses.

Coconut milk has a super water consistency very hard to make long lasting dreamy microfoam.  Hard to make microfoam.

It’s nice to have a splurge coffee out in town but who can afford it these days?!  $3.00+ for a latte.  I save that for a special occasions.  As far as what I use at home… again I mostly drink black good quality micro roasted coffee.

Then I saw this product!  I was walking through New Seasons Market Fishers Landing just this past weekend and this beauty Califia Farms DAIRY FREE BETTER HALF UNSWEETENED COCONUT CREAM & ALMOND MILK caught my eye in the dairy aisle.  It is the first creamer in along time that spoke to me – into the cart it went to give it a try! I just love New Season’s for all the wonderful food sensitive products they offer!

REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD – Black Coffee and Delish Dairy Free Creamer Ingredients:  Almond milk, coconut cream, natural flavors, calcium carbonate, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, potassium citrate, locust bean gum, gellan gum.

Nutrition Facts:  Only 15 calories per 2 TBS.  Total fat 1.5 g.  Sodium 30 mg.  Sugars 0.
REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD – Black Coffee and Delish Dairy Free Creamer

Nutritionist Denise Hays Review:

Sated Sensitive Denise Hays Review:  Nice taste.  Nice texture.  No bitter aftertaste.  Yes ~ it does smell like coconut.  It was on special at New Season’s –  priced (I recall) at either $3.99 or $4.99 for the pint carton.  That’s 16 servings at $4.99 which equates to $0.31 cents per cup of coffee.  On their website the 16.9 fl oz product is listed at $8.99.  Wowza!  I would definitely purchase again as a nice treat for my black coffee every once in a while.
REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD – Black Coffee and Delish Dairy Free Creamer

If you give this product a try let me know what your thoughts are!


#dairyfree #dairyfreelife #dairyfreeliving #glutenfreedairyfree #godairyfree #sodeliciousdairyfree #glutenanddairyfree #dairyfreelunch #dairyfreeproducts #dairyfreenom #dairyfree4good #becausesomeladiesareglutendairyfree #dairyfreediet #dairyfreefood #dairyfreeeaster #dairyfreedelicious #healthyliving #satedsensitive #foodsensitivities #foodallergies #foodallergy #readthelabel #labeling #nutrition #coconutcream #almondmilk #califiafarms

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD – Black Coffee and Delish Dairy Free Creamer
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Clark County transplant managing balancing act with wine and family

At Portland’s SE Wine Collective, Pam Walden crafts her Willful label employing naked fermentation to bring out the truest sense of the vineyard and vintage. Photo provided

After years of following, Pam Walden, owner/winemaker of Willful Wine Company, is leading and her graceful confidence is contagious.

A relative newcomer to Vancouver, Washington, Clark County wasn’t specifically on her radar. When I asked her how she ended up on the North Bank, her response was honest and unapologetic.

“Some guy,” she laughed. “I ended up in Nepal because of a guy. I ended up in winemaking because of a guy. It’s as good of a reason as any.”

Clark County transplant managing balancing act with wine and family

With her tenacious nature, Northwest vintner Pam Walden embodies the name of her wine label—Willful Wine Company. Photo provided

This simple philosophy translates to her winemaking style. At Portland’s SE Wine Collective, she crafts her Willful label employing naked fermentation (not adding yeast) to bring out the truest sense of the vineyard and vintage. Her efforts to make her own way are being noticed. Prince of Pinot gave her 2014 Willful Winemaker Cuvée Pinot Noir 92 points and Wine Enthusiast came through at 90. This 100 percent Pommard clone wine captures what Walden strives for in pinot noir.

“Pinot noir is often described as being a woman. It should be more elegant and feminine not chunky and monstrous. I’ll leave that for cab; be as big as you want. A winemaker should play to a grape’s sense,” Walden said. “I want something that’s interesting that I can think about that’s lush and sexy and stuff.”

For this single mother of two, winemaking wasn’t in her game plan until that guy came along. After their amicable split in 2009 and his subsequent death in 2013, Walden went through some soul searching to come to where she is now.

With her engaging English accent (born and raised in Leicester, England), she explained “I don’t think I would have taken on the challenge to make wine and take over the vineyard. It’s easy to sort of rise to the occasion and make it work but at some point you get over that and think ‘Is this mine? Is this something I really want to do?’ as opposed to just reacting to circumstances.”

Clark County transplant managing balancing act with wine and family

In 2013 Pam Walden sold her 17 acre vineyard site in Dundee and now crafts her Willful Wine label out of SE Wine Collective and Jezebel from Eugene Wine Cellars. Photo provided

Fortunately for her growing fan base, she embraced her situation and embodies the name of her wine label. Her early years in the winemaking industry with then-husband, Aron Hess, helped her gain an appreciation for his favoring of Pommard and employment of pre-fermentation cold soaking to extract fine grain tannins. She has since arrived at her own style which is a balance of ageability and a wine that is pleasurable to drink upon release.

Walden has also simplified her home life in an effort to maintain as much balance with it as she does with her wines. Shortly after Hess’s death, she sold their 17 acre site in Dundee and is content with her current 4,500 case production which includes her second label, Jezebel—an easy-going and fruit forward line using grapes sourced from both Southern Oregon and the Willamette Valley. This set up affords her the time to homeschool her 10 and 13 year-old sons, Cato and Samson.

“My priority really is my kids. While I’d like to have my own winery space, I like the flexibility to be with my kids. My dad was the same. He had his own business and was there for us. I wanted to give my kids the same; that kind of drives most of my decisions.”

**Follow Corks & Forks by clicking the ‘Follow’ button or follow Corks & Forks on Facebook, Twitter @WACorksandForks or Instagram Viki@WACorksandForks.

 

 

 

Viki

I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

Clark County transplant managing balancing act with wine and family
73938its-tea-time-herbal-tea-healthy-living-benefits http://blogs.columbian.com/sated-sensitive/its-tea-time-herbal-tea-healthy-living-benefits/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/01/herbal-teas.jpg

It’s TEA time ~ Herbal Tea Healthy Living Benefits For centuries, people in every culture have used herbs and spices to enhance the taste of food and drink as well as to support, protect and heal their bodies. Passed from generation to generation, the wealth of information about the healing powers of herbs and spices for our physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual selves continues to hold true today. One way to enjoy the health benefits of herbs and spices is by drinking herbal tea. Herbal teas or tisane (pronounced “tea-ZAHN) is an infusion of herbs, spices, leaves, flowers, fruits, berries, seeds, bark or roots. The plant constituents from this infusion is extracted in hot water and then enjoyed as a beverage either hot or cold. In drinking well-steeped herbal tea, we receive all the plant’s benefits to help heal and protect our bodies in an easily digestible form. What are some of the health benefits of drinking herbal tea?

It’s TEA time ~ Herbal Tea Healthy Living Benefits

314 NE 314th Ave Battle Ground WA

Did you know there is a wonderful bulk herbs, teas and tinctures place in Battle Ground called the BG Apothecary located at 314 NE 1st Ave, Battle Ground, WA 98604.  BG Apothecary stocks so many wonderful proprietary house blend herbal teas. A few of our offerings include:

With well over 1,000 herbal tea recipes, Diana would be happy to help blend a special offering just for you. Just last week I helped mix up a small batch of Nerves tea with passion flower, skullcap, chamomile, lavender plus a few other goodies.  Sure could use some of that with all the wonderful exciting weather! It’s TEA time ~ Herbal Tea Healthy Living Benefits Sated Sensitive Denise Hays recommends enjoying the health benefits of herbal tea by incorporating these delicious beverages into your diet on a more regular basis. Moderation is key with any food or drink. So go ahead ~ brew up some delightful herbal tea today. There are so many BG Apothecary herbal tea blends to chose from – my favorite is a special one Diana made up for me it’s a blend of Immuni-Tea with just the right amount of rosemary for that cognitive pick me up! I’m onsite at BG Apothecary most Thursdays from 1:15 to 4:30 – come on in I’d love to meet you! Let’s talk about healthy living, nutrition, yoga, wellness or ? Have a great day!  Namaste,  Denise It’s TEA time ~ Herbal Tea Healthy Living Benefits

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

It’s TEA time ~ Herbal Tea Healthy Living Benefits
73911how-many-in-clark-county-come-from-countries-on-banned-list http://blogs.columbian.com/digital-desk/2017/01/30/how-many-in-clark-county-come-from-banned-list/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/01/sevenbannednations-560x460.png
How many in Clark County come from countries on Trump’s list?

Source: JayCoop, Commons, Wikimedia.

Many airports remained embroiled in protests today after President Donald Trump on Friday issued a temporary order to turn away travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. That list includes: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya.

How many people in Clark County were born in those seven countries? The answer is close to 500 but there’s a couple of caveats. First, the data is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey’s 5-year estimates and, as with any survey based on sample sizes, there’s what we call margin for error. And second, the ACS data doesn’t drill down far enough in this county to get numbers for some countries.

But here is what we know. According to the 2015 ACS, an estimated 423 from Iran, 11 from Iraq, 65 from Syria, 0 from Yemen and Somalia and 12 from Sudan. Libya is not on the list but the data does show 16 from other North Africa, including Libya, Tunisia and Algeria and possibly others (I did not see a list of those countries in Northern Africa but took an educated guess based on geography).

Now, let’s talk about that margin of error, which is kind of big for these estimates. For example, the margin of error on people here from Iran is +/- 193 of the total estimated 423, so there could be as little as 230 here from Iran or as high as 616. I’ll let you decide what to believe and at the same time, here’s the margin of error on the other 6 countries: Iraq (+/-17), Syria (+/-64), Yemen (+/-28), Somalia (+/-28) and Other Northern Africa (+/-17).

Here’s how that stacks up with 2010 ACS data: about 391 from Iran (+/-211), 37 from Iraq (+/-39), 8 from Syria (+/-12), 0 from Yemen (+/-123), 0 from Sudan (+/-123), 132 from Other Eastern Africa which would include Somalia (+/-89) and 27 from Other Northern Africa which would include Libya (+/-44).

If we assume the margin of error is nonexistent, it appears the Iranian population here is the largest of the seven banned nationalities and it has slighly increased, and the number of Iraqis in this county has nearly doubled.

How does that stack up against the foreign-born population here? ACS data from 2015 shows that about 44,711 people in this county are foreign-born, or about 10 percent of the total estimated population of 444,506. Of those, an estimated 21,735 or 48.6 percent are not U.S. citizens.

Interestingly, it appears in Clark County at least that more foreign-born residents are becoming naturalized citizens. ACS data in 2010 shows that about 10 percent of the population was foreign-born but about 23,130 foreign-born people in Clark County or about 55 percent were not U.S. citizens while about 18,830 or 45 percent were naturalized citizens.

Go back farther to 2000 and census data shows about an estimated 29,357 of the county’s 345,238 residents or 8.5 percent were foreign-born. Of those, about 10,146 or 34.6 percent were naturalized citizens while 19,211 or 65.4 percent were not citizens.

In 2015, the bulk of the foreign-born naturalized citizens came from Asia (10,340 or 45 percent) and Europe (8,016 or 34.8 percent). Of those who were not citizens, an estimated 9,066 or 41.7 percent came from Latin America, 6,136 or 28.2 percent from Europe and 4,510 or 20.7 percent from Asia.

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

How many in Clark County come from countries on Trump’s list?
97780hard-weather-hurts-the-wildlife-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/fyi98642/2017/01/16/1233/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Robin.jpg

The snow storm that hit Tuesday evening was the largest we’ve had in several years.   It left a foot of snow on the ground in the Ridgefield area, closed schools and public offices, and with the continued cold will likely last until midweek next week.

The photo above is of a robin eating fruits from a tree on Pioneer Street.  These fruits have been available for several months and are only now being eaten.  It suggests that they are only being eaten because the birds have little choice.

It’s the same thing with berries on holly trees.  During prolonged periods of cold with snow on the ground some holly bushes in Ridgefield have been stripped of their berries.  The fruits may not have the nutritional value that more available foods may have.

Fruits remaining on trees can ferment after the first frost and become toxic.   Deep snow means a challenge to wildlife that cannot forage for food on the ground.  Robins eat fruit but also worms, insects, and spiders. Robins don’t feed from bird feeders but will take food scattered on the ground.   The Audubon society recommends putting out foods such as chopped apples, grapes, and raisins.  They will take meal worms that can be purchased in pet stores as well.

Since the deep snow and cold are going to last for a time, it makes sense to help wildlife by putting out food for them.  Scott and Kathy Hughes have food for birds and squirrels at the hardware store and Petco has mealworms.  Robins and other birds need a water source to drink and bathe so if it’s not too cold a birdbath can provide water.  An upside down garbage can lid filled with water works as temporary birdbath.

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A Refreshed Healthy Living Path for 2017

Happy 2017 – celebrating with vegetables and fruits for a refreshed new year

FROM THE KITCHEN OF SATED SENSITIVE DENISE HAYS

With the first few days of 2017 under our belts and the unusual weather pattern of more snow and ice…It’s that time of year when we typically go inward to assess last years performance – and chart a refreshed healthy living path for the new year.

Looking back over last year, using the measures of very good, good, and fair – what grade would you give yourself for achieving your health goals in 2016? Using the table below select the most relevant grade. Be honest with yourself. Whatever report card you give yourself try to do it from a loving place without judgment. It’s just a starting point to explore what behaviors worked and what didn’t work for you last year.

Very Good Most of the time I consume healthy foods & exercise frequently
Good Often I consume healthy foods and sometimes I exercise
Fair Some of the time I consume healthy foods and I exercise when it suits me

Whether you gave yourself very good, good or fair rating – guess what? 2017 you can refine or make changes with a refreshed healthy living path going forward. YOU GOT THIS!

Check back here at the beginning of each month, I will recommend a practical step for you to consider implementing in your life for a healthier you. Follow these steps each month and by the end of 2017 you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you.

First Steps to a healthy January:  Bump up your daily water intake to six to eight 8 oz of water per day. Yup that’s 48 to 64 oz of water a day.

Frequently asked questions:

1)    May I include coffee and tea? Absolutely!  Caffeinated beverage are made primarily of water so it’s okay to include these in your daily requirement however try to limit to 2 glasses a day of your overall daily water intake. Plus 4+ cups of coffee per day is not really a good thing – can make you very jittery and anxious.

2)    I’m not a fan of straight water - may I include lemon? Sure!  Water and lemon is a great refreshing combo. Another way to add flavoring is to stop on in to BG Apothecary (located at 314 NE 1st Ave, Battle Ground, WA) for a special tincture. I personally use one – I add a dropper full of a special mix of sweet fennel and peppermint – it boosts the flavor of water and it helps reduce gas.

3)    Do I need to start drinking 64 oz right away? No – just add one additional 8 oz glass of water a day per week until you get to 6 – 8 cups a day.

Why do we need to pay attention to hydration? Water is an essential component to lubricating our joints, keeping our skin supple, helping to eliminate waste and helping to reduce caloric intake while increasing our fullness after a meal. If we are dehydrated we have less blood in our bodies, forcing the heart to pump harder to deliver oxygen cells to our muscles. Increased water intake reduces dizziness, clumsiness, irritability and headaches too. So drink up!

As we walk our refreshed path to healthy together – I’m starting to hum a familiar Lesley Gore “It’s my party” song… only with new words. It’s my healthy party… I can try if I want to… try if I want to …. Try if I want to!

Need an in person pick me up – no problem – I am onsite most Thursdays starting at 1 PM at BG Apothecary located at 314 NE 1st Ave, Battle Ground, WA for a visit.  I would be happy to chat with you about your 2017 healthier you goals and any holistic healing, nutrition, fitness or wellness topics of your choice.

Check out BG Apothecary at www.bgapothecary.com

Be well!  Hope to see you soon!

Denise Hays

www.satedsensitive.com

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

A Refreshed Healthy Living Path for 2017
99749gluck-making-the-most-of-the-much-maligned-melano-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-timbers/2017/01/04/gluck-making-the-most-of-the-much-maligned-melano/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Isolated-Lucas-Melano-1024x858-548x460.jpg

For most, the hot topic/question for the Timbers is… What to do about Luca?  

For me, it’s certainly a short-term concern, but I’d submit there’s a longer term question that still needs to be answered that far outweighs what to do about Luca.

To explain, if you will.

The Timbers have seen the trees through the weeds and first asked themselves this offseason:  Was the poor performance – for the whole team – a cause or effect of something more pear-shaped?

Gluck – Making the Most of the Much Maligned Melano

Gluck – Making the Most of the Much Maligned Melano

In summary, give or take, the Timbers have had roughly 90 player acquisitions with just ten showing great consistency of purpose and what I’d offer is a willingness to bleed Timber-Green.

Statistically speaking, that’s just over 10% success in seeing previous player scouting and recruitment activities over the last four years.

Meaning, for me, the most pressing question is:  Have the Timbers made a good decision by hiring Ned Grabavoy as the Director of Scouting and Recruitment?

That offered…  Back to square one:  Making the most of the much maligned Melano and looking to answer the question – should the Timbers retain the services of Lucas Melano?

Team results – the bottom line on how success or failure is measured:

Individual statistical assessment – a supporting tool, when weighted properly, in player scouting and recruitment:

Individual Observation – a critical assessment tool in player scouting and recruitment:

Porter indicated the club is in the market for wingers that “help us execute our style of play. We want to press and if the wingers don’t press then it doesn’t work.” In the same interview with Paul Tenorio, Porter indicates the club is still evaluating whether F Lucas Melano is a long-term fit.

Gluck – Making the Most of the Much Maligned Melano

Hmmm…

So what’s the skinny on how Lucas Melano will “help us execute our style of play…”?

Lucas Melano needs to improve his first touch.  Porter likes to see his team move the ball quickly, especially during a counter-attack.  And if precision in ball movement is needed so to is a great first touch.  Until he improves his first touch I don’t see Melano helping his team execute Porter’s style of play.

Furthermore, Lucas needs to up his mentality on the pitch.  The idea that someone can be observed, and labeled, as a ball-watcher (who appears disengaged) usually means that player doesn’t have the right mentality to succeed.  When looking at that first list of players I offered earlier – all of them have a great mentality… in the words of a friend of mine – they look to bleed for the organization; Lucas doesn’t.

So what about a tactical shift to try and use Lucas a different way on the pitch?  Perhaps move him up above Diego Valeri – a false 10 if you will?

A shift in tactical team alignment might work but is the juice worth the squeeze?

Tactically the Timbers could shift and play a more narrow formation – say a Diamond 4-4-2.  They certainly have the players for a formation like that.  There’d be Adi up top – with Lucas playing off Adi.

At the head of the diamond you’d have Diego Valeri while David Guzman would play the base of the diamond.  To the left – playing narrow – would be Darlington Nagbe, and to the right, also playing narrow, would be Diego Chara.

With a formation like this your width comes from the fullbacks while Melano’s main tactics would include running lateral to the back-four, dropping deeper into the midfield as a connector, while purposefully trying to make and create space for himself and others across the width of the pitch.

The challenge here, however, remains the same.  To play a false 10 a player needs to have a great first touch – and – they also need to be 100% engaged (both on and off the ball) in order to maximize team opportunities.

If Lucas Melano isn’t in a position to improve his first touch, nor does he show a capacity for a stronger mentality on the pitch, then all Porter has done is shifted his problem from the wings to the middle.

Is the writing already on the wall?

In an article on Dec. 27, Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep reported that the Timbers are in the market for a Designated Player winger to replace Lucas Melano, who is drawing the interest of clubs in his native Argentina.

One source tells Goal USA that the Timbers are in the process of trying to sign a designated player to play as a wing midfielder, an addition that would help offset the expected departure of Argentine midfielder Lucas Melano, who the Timbers are preparing to unload after a disappointing two seasons in Portland. Multiple Argentinean clubs in the market for Melano’s services.

In that same article, news was offered that Rodney Wallace may be returning to the Timbers.  Here’s a direct quote on that topic as well:

Another player who could make his way to the Timbers is former longtime Portland midfielder Rodney Wallace. A key figure on the Timbers’ MLS Cup-winning team in 2015, Wallace is currently playing for Brazilian side Sport Club do Recife. The Costa Rican international told Goal USA last month that he would be open to a return to the Timbers, though he remains under contract in Brazil and would have to resolve that in order to pave the way for a return to the Timbers.

In conclusion:

The Portland Timbers need players and a system to compliment Diego Valeri, not Lucas Melano.

Gluck – Making the Most of the Much Maligned Melano

And while the speed Lucas offers, adds value, I’d submit there’s too many to-do’s for Lucas to continue playing in Portland.  The bigger question, however, still remains.  Can the Portland Timbers improve their overall player scouting and recruitment enough to where they don’t find themselves in a position like this next year?

What are your thoughts?

Best, Chris

COPYRIGHT – All Rights Reserved.  PWP – Trademark

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on PossessionwithPurpose.com, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.

Gluck – Making the Most of the Much Maligned Melano
73616a-look-at-our-most-popular-facebook-posts http://blogs.columbian.com/digital-desk/2017/01/04/a-look-at-our-most-popular-facebook-posts/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Screen-Shot-2017-01-04-at-3.05.59-PM-450x460.png

Every year the media trots out Top 10 and Best of lists as the year draws to a close and we are not stranger to this trend. Earlier this week, we provided a list of the top 10 local stories of 2016 selected by the newsroom and by the readers, as well as the 10 stories on columbian.com with the most pageviews and a list of our favorite photos chosen by the photo staff.

But just in case that’s not enough for you, I thought I’d dig back through our Facebook data to pull out a list of our 10 most popular Facebook posts, so here goes:

1) A family returns Hunter, an adopted dog, to the Humane Society so the animal can go home to his owner, firefighter William Jones. This story went viral, gaining coverage as far away as Europe. It  was also the second most viewed story on columbian.com with 79,270 pageviews. According to Facebook, the total reach of this story exceeded that of any story we’ve ever shared on social media with about 523,313 people reportedly seeing this post in their feeds. (Below we’ll simply add the total reach to the end of each item.)

2) Mathew Rios administers CPR and saves a woman’s life at Costco: 131,599.

3) Evergreen Public Schools announces it’s changing the start time for high schoolers next year: 118,138.

4) PeaceHealth uses music in neonatal care to help infants with feeding and pain management: 95,945.

5) Live video the morning of Bernie Sanders’ visit to Vancouver: 95,491.

6) The Ilani casino plans to hold a job fair and hire up to 1,000 people: 88,805.

7) Value Village will close its doors in November: 86,297.

8) Vancouver get its own Hopworks: 82,598.

9) We publish our annual map showing where to see homes lit up with holiday lights: 80,369.

10) The body of a naked man is found early one morning inside a Chinese restaurant: 74,391. (This story was the 4th most viewed story on columbian.com with 42,074 pageviews.)

 

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

A look at our most popular Facebook posts
72674gluck-predicting-team-standings-in-professional-soccer http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-timbers/2016/12/05/gluck-predicting-team-standings-in-professional-soccer/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/12/PWP-LOGO-PREDICTABILITY-600x458.jpg

CAN IT BE DONE?

Over the last four years I’ve conducted research on various professional soccer leagues and competitions.  To include Major League Soccer, the English, German, and Spanish Premier Leagues, as well as the UEFA Champions League and the Men’s World Cup of 2014.

Here’s my latest analyses on how the Possession with Purpose Index can be used to predict which teams will make the playoffs, qualify for the UEFA Champions League, or make the semi-finals of the World Cup..

Before beginning here’s a rerun on a few important items of interest about Possession with Purpose:

Intent:  Develop a simplified, strategic set of performance indicators to better understand the outcome of a game based upon primary inputs.

End State:

Key events to date:

Major League Soccer 2013 – The Maiden Year for PWP:

Gluck – Predicting Team Standings in Professional Soccer

English Premier League 2014:

Gluck – Predicting Team Standings in Professional Soccer

Germany Premier League 2014:

Gluck – Predicting Team Standings in Professional Soccer

Spanish Premier League 2014:

Gluck – Predicting Team Standings in Professional Soccer

UEFA Champions League 2014:

Gluck – Predicting Team Standings in Professional Soccer

Men’s World Cup 2014:

Gluck – Predicting Team Standings in Professional Soccer

Side note about the Men’s World Cup:

Major League Soccer 2014:

Gluck – Predicting Team Standings in Professional Soccer

Major League Soccer 2015:

Gluck – Predicting Team Standings in Professional Soccer

Major League Soccer 2016:

Gluck – Predicting Team Standings in Professional Soccer

Closing Thoughts:

Best, Chris

You can follow me on twitter @Chrisgluckpwp.

COPYRIGHT – All Rights Reserved.  PWP – Trademark

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on PossessionwithPurpose.com, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.

Gluck – Predicting Team Standings in Professional Soccer
101094chili-and-cornbread-13 http://blogs.columbian.com/paleomama/chili-and-cornbread/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/IMG_0362-1024x682-600x399.jpg

Chili and “Cornbread”

My Grandmother is from the south and has always made a mean cornbread. The best thing ever is to crumble it up in a big bowl of chili, so tasty. These days I try to avoid regular chili, the beans aren’t paleo and regular cornbread is full of non-paleo ingredients. I modified some different versions of paleo chili I found and came up with a version I really liked. The beans have been replaced with veggies and I think you could really get creative with the vegetables you use here. I thought carrots were a bit odd in chili but it turns out they worked!

Chili and “Cornbread”

The best thing however is the “cornbread” recipe I found. Yes I used quotations because there’s not a bit of corn in this bread, but for me it hit the spot. The key is almond flour which has a similar course texture to cornmeal. The original recipe (found here) used more honey than I can handle so I scaled back on it and added a little sweetener. If you have no problems with the added sugar, just use the 1/3 cup of raw honey originally called for.

Chili and “Cornbread”

I think this is a great comfort food meal for a chilly (ha ha get it?) fall day. Hope you enjoy!

Paleo Chili

Ingredients

½ lb. ground beef

16 oz. beef broth

1 small onion diced

1 zucchini diced

1 cup diced carrots

1 tsp minced garlic

1 can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chili)

3 Tbsp. tomato paste

1- 2 Tbsp. chili powder (add more for a spicier chili)

1 tsp cumin

1 – 2 Tbsp. avocado or coconut oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a medium sized pot cook onions in oil over medium high heat until tender. Add beef and cook until browned. At this point you can drain some of the fat (confession I didn’t, don’t judge me, fat is flavor). Add beef broth, carrots and onions. Bring to a boil then turn to low and simmer until veggies are tender. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and stir well, leaving it to simmer for another 20 – 30 mins.

Paleo “cornbread”

Ingredients

1 ½ cups almond flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ Tbsp artificial sweetener

1 Tbsp honey

4 eggs

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well, add to a greased 8×8 pan or a small round pan. Bake at 350° for 25 mins or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Should be a little golden brown on the top.

 

Sandy Carpenter

Busy working Mom of two and wife of one. Trying to eat healthier so I feel better and convincing my family to do the same!

Chili and “Cornbread”
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Avocado Egg Salad

I thought I’d bring you the thing I’ve been eating the most lately and enjoying so much! Thinking back on those church pot-luck days as a kid had me remembering how someone always brought an assortment of little sandwiches cut into triangles. My favorites were the cream cheese and pineapple, tuna salad, and of course egg salad. Fast forward to today, I don’t eat the traditional sandwich that much anymore but I wanted something reminiscent of those yummy little guys, so this version of egg salad was born.

I had some hard boiled eggs on hand but I try to avoid mayo these days, at least the store bought kind. There are Paleo mayo’s out there but I have yet to try them. Maybe I’ll throw together a homemade version of that for another day. Any-who I was thinking how the creaminess from an avocado would be a pretty good mayo substitute and it was de-lish! I added a few more ingredients to give it that egg salad-y flavor I remember and it was perfect and satisfying. This also couldn’t be easier and takes minutes to whip up if you’ve already got your eggs boiled. You might like this neat way to “hard-boil” eggs in the oven too.

I ate my creation in lettuce cups but I have also eaten it right out of the bowl. Hope it takes you back as well and I hope you enjoy!

Avocado Egg Salad

Avocado Egg Salad

Ingredients:

1 medium ripe avocado

2 hard boiled eggs

1-2 tsp yellow mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Dice eggs and avocado then mash together in a bowl with a fork. Add salt, pepper and mustard. Mix well and enjoy!

Sandy Carpenter

Busy working Mom of two and wife of one. Trying to eat healthier so I feel better and convincing my family to do the same!

Avocado Egg Salad
72053how-clark-county-voted-for-president http://blogs.columbian.com/digital-desk/2016/11/10/how-clark-county-voted-for-president/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/11/prez-map-2016-382x460.png

Clark County’s Elections Office is still counting ballots but the vast majority have been tallied, so far giving Democrat Hillary Clinton a slight edge over Republican President-elect Donald Trump, 46.1% to 44.3% as of Wednesday night.

Below you can see maps showing how the county’s precincts voted and how each of the state’s 39 counties voted (with data from the Washington State Secretary of State’s office), and you can see Clark County and the state mirror the rest of the country with pockets of urban blues surrounded by suburban pinks and rural reds.

In the county, Vancouver, Camas, Ridgefield and Woodland are strong or leaning Democrat, while the rest of the county leans or is staunchly Republican. It’s easy to see how the state’s 49th Legislative District keeps electing Democrats while the 17th and 18th elect Republicans.

At the state level, you can see strong support for Trump in more rural counties such as Lincoln County near Spokane where 72% voted for the Republican billionaire. That support flips to Clinton, of course, in the more densely populated urban counties along the Puget Sound, especially King County where 73.6% voted for the former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator.

For more election results, visit our Election 2016 page. We will be updating the local results as more information becomes available.

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

How Clark County voted for president
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In recent years, Republican U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler hasn’t had too much trouble dispatching her opponents to keep her seat in the 3rd Congressional District, but this year she faces state Rep. Jim Moeller, a Democrat who’s built up some name recognition serving the 49th Legislative District.

Can a Democrat win the 3rd District?

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler and Democratic challenger state Rep. Jim Moeller of the 49th District squared off in a debate at the Oak Tree Restaurant in Woodland Tuesday afternoon. State Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, left, and U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, square off Tuesday afternoon during a debate in Woodland. Moeller is challenging Herrera Beutler for her 3rd Congressional District seat. (Roger Werth/The Daily News)

That name recognition is something her previous two challengers lacked, but does Moeller have a chance of winning on Tuesday?

“Not a bit,” says Mike Gaston, the former executive director of the local GOP.

When redistricting occurred in 2010, Gaston points out that the political landscape changed dramatically in the 3rd District as the heavily-Democratic portion of Thurston County was removed from the district while adding predominantly Republican Klickitat County.

Dan Ogden, a longtime local resident who has served as chairman of the Clark County Democratic Party, agreed that the Democratic base took a hit after redistricting.

“I think Jaime is going to win,” Ogden said. Former 3rd District Representative and Democrat “Brian Baird used to carry it, but he still had Olympia in the 3rd District those days.”

The effects of redistricting can be seen in the election results the past three Congressional elections. In the 2010 election, Democrat Denny Heck took over for Baird and squared off against Herrera Beutler, receiving 35,677 votes from Thurston County compared to 25,878 for Herrera Beutler but that wasn’t enough to offset Herrera Beutler’s 15,000-vote margin in Clark County and another 10,000 in heavily Republican Lewis County.

Those margins grew even larger in Clark and Lewis counties in 2012 and 2014 but was that because the Democratic candidates didn’t have the name recognition of someone like Heck, or was it a further shifting of the electorate to the right? One thing is certain: voter turnout didn’t seem to help because Democrat Jon Haugen had a much larger turnout in 2012, a presidential election year, but received 40.6% of the county’s vote. In 2014, Democrat Bob Dingenthal also received 40.6% of the county’s vote.

On top of redistricting, the 3rd District’s most populated county has shifted. Jim Moore, a political science professor from Pacific University, says Clark County’s demographics began shifting in the 1980s and ’90s making it more of a Republican-leaning county. That shift culiminated in 1994 with the election of former U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith to the 3rd District over Democrat Jolene Unsoeld.

That shift has left a Democratic stronghold, the state’s 49th Legislative District that Moeller serves, surrounded by the largely Republican-leaning 17th and heavily Republican 18th districts. To take the 3rd District, Moeller will need to pull votes from those outlying districts or neighboring counties.

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

Can a Democrat win the 3rd District?
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Coconut Curry Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Doesn’t that title just say it all? Yum in a bowl happened at my house tonight. I knew it would be a soup making week when it started out with a sick hubby and then kid. It quickly moved on to a sick me and since this soup is one of my favorite “under the weather” go-to’s, I knew I had to make it.

Coconut Curry Chicken and Vegetable Soup

This soup was brought to you my by new favorite little kitchen helper…The Instant Pot! This amazing pressure cooker / slow cooker combo is sweeping the food world. Mine is on permanent loan from my mother-in-law. We share joint custody, she gets it every other weekend or when she wants to make rice. So glad she encouraged me to try it out and gives me free use of hers! The Instant Pot makes all sorts of dishes and in a lot less time than a traditional slow cooker. I’ll now end my commercial and get to the soup.

Coconut Curry Chicken and Vegetable Soup

You can really do whatever you want with this soup. I even made it with frozen chicken breasts which I cooked in 10 mins in the Instant Pot. You can throw in whatever vegetables suit your fancy and spice it up or down. Mine has a healthy squirt of Sriracha (Rooster Sauce) but you can leave it out and add some to just the bowl of the spice lovers in your house after the fact. You can also add a store bought curry sauce to this but if you want to be careful about the ingredients you can just stick to adding curry powder like I did.

It was also not thick enough for me so I used an immersion blender for an easy thickener. If you’re using full-fat coconut milk that will help too. I used a few cups of a coconut milk drink because the full-fat coconut milk upsets my tummy, unfortunately.

Coconut Curry Chicken and Vegetable Soup

No matter the version you make, this is sure to be a winner and chase away any crud lingering in your sinuses (you’re welcome for that mental picture). Happy souping!

Coconut Curry Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

2 – 32 oz cartons chicken broth

3 frozen chicken breasts or 6 tenderloins

2 cups coconut milk (I used a coconut milk drink from a carton, can also use 1 can full-fat coconut milk)

1-2 broccoli crowns chopped

½ head cauliflower chopped

2 cups of carrots chopped

1 lb green beans trimmed and chopped into about 1” pcs

1-2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used mini-portobellos)

1 large zucchini chopped

3-4 stalks green onions chopped

2 Tbsp ginger paste (you can find it in the produce section of the grocery store)

1/2 Tbsp curry powder

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp chopped garlic

2 Tbsp Sriracha sauce

Salt to taste

Directions

Add chicken breasts to Instant Pot, pour chicken broth over just to cover and sprinkle the garlic powder over the top. Put lid on pot and making sure the valve is not on vent, set to “manual” for 10 mins. If not using an Instant Pot, you can cook covered on the stove top at medium high heat for about 20 mins or until the chicken is cooked. If using Instant Pot, quick vent once time is up. Remove chicken, shred and add back to pot. Add veggies on top and then the rest of the broth. Add curry powder, ginger, chopped garlic and salt to taste. Mix well, add unvented lid back and cook again on “manual” for another 20 mins. If using stove top cook cover for 45 mins to an hour until veggies are tender. If using Instant Pot, quick vent once time is up. At this time you can add your coconut milk, Sriracha and green onions. This is the point also at which I used my immersion blender to thicken. Some Paleo friendly thickeners include arrowroot powder or tapioca starch. I would Google the best way to use these thickeners if you’re so inclined before just dumping them in. At this point you can spice it up more and even garnish with more green onions. Enjoy!

Sandy Carpenter

Busy working Mom of two and wife of one. Trying to eat healthier so I feel better and convincing my family to do the same!

Coconut Curry Chicken and Vegetable Soup
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Median household income rose in Clark County last year as it did in many counties across the country, something reporter Patty Hastings wrote about last week on columbian.com. Here in this county, the median household income rose by about 4.1% from 2014 to 2015 and 26.4% from 2005 to 2015. As regional economist Scott Bailey noted in the story, though, some of the gain has been offset by the rising cost of living.

Also, while much of the country seems to be enjoying the perks of an improved economy, there were some counties that did see a decline. Below you can use the interactive map to see which counties saw median household income grow or decline over the past year and the past 10 years. You won’t see every county shown because the ACS only applies to counties with more than 60,000 people.

In the Pacific Northwest, Spokane and Clallam counties saw the biggest drops over the past year, declining by 3.4% and 3.3% respectively. On the flipside, the counties with the largest increases were Cowlitz and Chelan counties at 18.3% and 13.4%.

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

Most counties see growth in median income
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Paleo Pumpkin Bread

It’s that time of year again! Pumpkin spice everything! While I’ve seen some of you poke fun at how this time of year suddenly turns everything into a pumpkin spice-o-rama, I happen to love fall and all it’s pumpkin-spiciness. Also nothing screams fall more than a good old pumpkin bread recipe.

Today I bring to you a yummy paleo-fied pumpkin bread that smelled sooo good coming out of the oven. It contains 5 different spices!

This was also a good excuse to start pulling out the fall decorations (yummy candles here I come).

Paleo Pumpkin Bread

Brought to you from the blog The Barefoot Kitchen, this recipe is gluten-free, using almond flour as the base. I also cut down the amount of honey and added some sugar-substitute as I’m always striving to keep my blood-sugar even.

The original blog warns you that the spice mix is strong and you can cut it down to suit your taste. Call me a Spice Girl (go Ginger Spice!) because I loved the mix, but I can see how it would be too strong for some. This also came out a little flat for me (keeping it real here), so I think next time I’d make it in 2 mini loaf pans.

Paleo Pumpkin Bread

Hope this makes for a perfect fall kick off! Now if only Starbucks would offer a sugar-free, dairy-free pumpkin spice latte I’d be all set!

Paleo Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

Dry ingredients

- 1 C. almond flour

-1/2 tsp baking soda

-1/4 tsp salt

-2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

-2 tsp ground nutmeg

-1 tsp ground cloves

-1 tsp ground ginger

-1 tsp ground allspice

Wet ingredients

-3 eggs

-2-3 Tbsp honey (1 used 1 Tbsp and 2 of a sugar substitute)

-½ C. pumpkin puree

-1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Directions

Mix together the dry ingredients then in a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Add the dry to the wet until well incorporated. Add to a greased loaf pan or 2 mini greased loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 40-45 mins. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Sandy Carpenter

Busy working Mom of two and wife of one. Trying to eat healthier so I feel better and convincing my family to do the same!

Paleo Pumpkin Bread
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They say we don’t talk to our neighbors any more but let’s pretend we do, and we know what they do for a living. But do you ever wonder whether what all of those other people in your neighborhood do? Well, we’ve got a couple of maps that might help.

Below you can see two maps that let you drill down and see the percentage of people working different types of jobs by census tract.

The first map provides a look at the bigger sectors: management, natural resources, production, sales and office and service jobs. You can see pockets where the percentage of people in some areas is higher and some lower, i.e., there appears to be more people in management living in east Vancouver and in Camas while the natural resources jobs appear to be, well, up north and to the east where you find more resources. A larger percentage of the service sector appears to live in central Vancouver and near the mall.

The second map drills down further, offering a look at some subsectors such as agriculture, arts and entertainment, construction, education, finance, retail, transportation, wholesale and more.

Obviously, census tracts are pretty big, or can be big and can contain more than one neighborhood, so this doesn’t exactly tell you what everyone in your neighborhood does for a living. But it’s about as close as we can get and still retain some sense of accuracy, though the Census Bureau cautions that even at the tract level all of this data is generated from sampling and has a margin of error. In other words, take it all with a grain of salt.

Still, even though Labor Day came and went on Monday, these maps offer a glimpse into what we do for work in Clark County. See any surprises?

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

What we do for work in Clark County
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Chocolate Banana Brownie Bites

Mmmmm chocolate. I bet you didn’t know you could have something this yummy and still consider it healthy huh? I recently discovered these little gems over at one of my Paleo heroes blog The Paleo Parents. These mini brownie bites really satisfy the need for a treat when everyone else is having something yummy and you’re feeling left out.

If you’re also wondering why you see so many of my posts featuring banana, I have to say they are one versatile fruit. I know they can be a bit on the starchy side and some people avoid them because of this however, since I avoid so many other starches, bananas are A-OK in my book. For more Paleo banana recipes see here and here.

Chocolate Banana Brownie Bites

I keep these in the fridge after a day, and eat them cold or warmed up a bit in the microwave, either way they are delicious. I tweaked this a bit from the original and made it very low sugar by using a sugar substitute, but you can replace that with maple syrup if you don’t mind the extra sugar. This originally called for paleo-friendly chocolate chips but I left them out as they are a bit pricey. I think nuts would be another great add in as well.

I bought a mini muffin tin specifically for this recipe and I love it so much. If you don’t have one what are you waiting for? Go get one…now… I’ll wait.

That’s better. Here’s the recipe, enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Brownie Bites

Ingredients

2 mashed bananas

5 eggs

¾ cup coconut oil melted

1 cup almond flour

½ cup cocoa powder

½ granulated sugar substitute or ½ cup maple syrup

1 Tbsp. vanilla

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Mash bananas with a fork until smooth (or use an electric mixer). Mix in eggs, coconut oil, vanilla and sweetener (or maple syrup if using) until well blended. In a separate bowl combine almond flour and cocoa powder then add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Using a small ice cream scoop divide mix into a 24 cup mini muffin tin (or two 12 cup tins). I have found that with all the coconut oil they probably don’t need to be greased but I do it anyway. Bake for 10 mins. Yum yum!

 

Sandy Carpenter

Busy working Mom of two and wife of one. Trying to eat healthier so I feel better and convincing my family to do the same!

Chocolate Banana Brownie Bites
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Howdy Clark County Fair Fans!!

I trust you all have been joining me in the annual countdown to the BEST FAIR ON THE PLANET!! We’re down to mere hours now for Friday’s opening and the free pancake breakfast sponsored by Fred Meyer.  WHOO HOO!

(Get your tickets ASAP at the Customer Service desk of any county Fred Meyer if you want free flapjacks AND free entry to the Fair on Friday morning!)

If you’ve followed along here the past few years, you know that I’ve had an absolute blast-and-a-half sharing the Fair with you.  The animals, the events in the Grandstands, the Clark County Equestrian Fair Court, the 4-H exhibits, the milkshakes and homemade pie.  All of the stuff that makes the Clark County Fair ours.

So I am sad to say that for various reasons, including recovering from a recent ACL surgery (beware of stepping on large sticks, people.  Trust me on this.), I am unfortunately going to bow out of blogging for the Columbian this year.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the opportunity the newspaper has given me the past several years to bring my version of The Fair to you.  They graciously let me run with it and run I did.  A sincere and heartfelt thank you to them… and to you for joining me.

I will still be attending The Fair this year but probably going it at a little more slowly.  I’ll be playing around with a new Instagram account so feel free to follow me at “its_the_fair”  It won’t be nearly as detailed or as frequent an account as all things Fair as you’ve found here, but it will give me something to do as I give my knee a rest.

Thank you all again for coming along for the Fair Ride these past few years!  Hope to see you around the Fairgrounds!

I’m back!  Sorta.

Toni Woodard

I am a Clark County Fair Fanatic and eat all things fried during the glorious 10 days of The Fair. I have lived in Clark County since 2004 and consider it the second-best decision of my life. I am married to a great guy named Rob (first-best decision) who graciously carries my stuff and takes my picture every time I eat something at The Fair. We have two indoor cats and lots of deer, rabbits, and coyotes who are kind enough to stay outside.

I’m back!  Sorta.
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Cauliflower Fried Rice

I’ve been meaning to bring this one to you for a while. Rice is one of those carb-filled items that I most miss, so finding this alternative made me want to do the dance of joy. I also have to confess that I cooked this yesterday and the whole batch is already gone (no judging).

This recipe has now been made easier by my friends over at Trader Joes. I promise they’re not paying me to write this, but I was so excited to see they sell already “riced”  cauliflower in the fresh and frozen section. The biggest thing that kept me from making this more often was the time it took and the mess it made chopping cauliflower in the food processor.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

With several steps eliminated, I was eager to finally bring you this recipe. Cauliflower rice can be used in many dishes, I’ve used it before in a paleo-friendly gumbo and it was perfect. My next plan is to work on a version of Spanish rice, my most favorite rice dish.

For now enjoy this by itself, with a stir-fry or whatever else you can think of. I made a “rice” bowl and added this Kalua pork recipe I made a few days ago and my favorite roast candy broccoli dish. It was serious yum time.

The other great thing is you can make this how you like, leave out the veggies or egg, add more veggies, or you could even add chicken or shrimp for a one pot meal. Yum with a capital Y!

Hope you put your own spin on this and tell me how it turned out!

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Ingredients

1 bag frozen riced cauliflower or 1 small to medium head of cauliflower chopped into florets and run through a food processor until it resembles grains of rice

1 cup of frozen peas and carrots (add any other veggies you’d like)

2-3 Tbsp avocado oil (sesame would also kick up the asian-y flavor)

4 Tbsp soy sauce

1-2 Tbsp coconut aminos (optional, this is a paleo alternative to soy sauce, can use alone if you want to skip the soy all together)

3 eggs (more or less to your liking)

Directions

Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat and add the cauliflower. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes (may take a bit longer if using frozen). Add frozen peas and carrots, I used a little water in the pan to help steam them and then let it cook off. Add soy sauce and coconut aminos and stir well (add more or less to taste). Beat eggs in a small bowl, move “rice” to one side of the pan, add eggs and scramble, then incorporate them back into the rice mix once cooked. Enjoy!

Sandy Carpenter

Busy working Mom of two and wife of one. Trying to eat healthier so I feel better and convincing my family to do the same!

Cauliflower Fried Rice
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Pizza “Muffins”

Mmmm pizza (insert voice of Homer Simpson here). If you’re eating Paleo, or practicing any kind of fairly healthy lifestyle, pizza is usually off the menu. I know there are a lot of alternative pizza crusts out there but in the words of Marvin Gaye: “Ain’t nothing like the real thing”. So sometimes you have the real thing as a treat and other times you make something like these ah-mazing pizza egg muffins.

Pizza “Muffins”

Originally found over at my latest Paleo blog crush The Paleo Parents (check ‘em out!) these are pretty simple to make and truly tasty. The proof is in the fact that I’ve already inhaled 3 while I’ve been typing. I think I even fooled my brain to think I was eating cheese somewhere in there. Also a yummy addition if you eat dairy and are just low-carbin’ it.

Pizza “Muffins”

I also love that you can add whatever toppings you’d like. Next time I will use those mushrooms before I forget they’re at the back of the fridge and let them go bad (true story). I think I’ll also add sausage.

Try them out today and let me know what you think and what toppings you used.

P.S. Both kids liked it (Mom win!).

Pizza “Muffins”

Ingredients:

1 small red onion, chopped

1-2 Tbsp. coconut oil or avocado oil (my 2 favorites)

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 can diced tomato (I recommend the petite diced)

1 cup chopped pepperoni (I actually used more)

10 eggs

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

Dash of pepper

Add any other pizza-like spices you prefer

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°. Over medium high heat, sauté onions in oil until soft. Add tomato paste and stir together. Drain canned tomatoes and add to mix along with chopped pepperoni. In a separate bowl beat together eggs and spices. Line a muffin tin with liners and fill each cup with about a tablespoon of the tomato mixture. Top with eggs mixture until about ¾ full. Bake for 25-30 mins. Great to heat up later in the week for a quick breakfast. Enjoy!

 

 

Sandy Carpenter

Busy working Mom of two and wife of one. Trying to eat healthier so I feel better and convincing my family to do the same!

Pizza “Muffins”
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Portland Timbers travel to Colorado for the first time this year and the challenge for both teams is finding the right balance between attacking and defending.

In their last league home game the Timbers struggled in the first half – not unlike their US Open Cup match as well.

If not for an untimely hand-ball by David Horst and a really terrible PK call against the Dynamo goal keeper it’s likely the Timbers come away with a single point… to be sure they were fortunate as the two goals against in the first half were pretty much to standard given their entire defensive unit this year.

So when getting ready for Colorado it’s quite hard to figure who starts and who doesn’t.  

Does Taylor Peay start at right back?

He probably should given his higher passing accuracy and what appears to be better, heads-up, defensive positioning but in all likelihood Caleb Porter goes with Alvis Powell.

If you’re a Rapids supporter that’s probably a good thing – nearly 60% of all Dynamo attacking pressure came down Powell’s wing.  And when looking at this diagram below we see Colorado is balanced in penetration (touches) but weighs more towards the left side when taking (shots).

Defense First ?  Timbers to Ride the Rapids?

In my pre-match scouting report on Houston they weren’t balanced in penetration – nearly 40% of their penetration was down the right side – yet against Portland – Wade Barrett had his team push left… big time!  It’s likely Colorado will do the same.  MLS teams are pretty good at pressing the weak points an opponent has in defending as those players are more likely to make mistakes.

So if you’re a Timbers supporter hopefully the midfielders will add support for Powell.  I figure Diego Chara and Ben Zemanski in a double pivot as the first recourse should be for Portland to get at least one point.

In thinking about the left fullback.

I’m hopeful Zarek Valentin gets the call but Porter has gone with Jermaine Taylor before.  It was Taylor and Powell who paired up during that two-goal outburst by Houston last weekend…  And given the stingy defense of Colorado it’d be a nightmare for Portland to go a goal down in the first ten minutes.

However viewed the fullbacks do not man the wings alone – it’s likely both Chara and Zemanski start in a double pivot as Porter is going to want to give his team a chance to get at least one point.

And with the double pivot that doesn’t mean Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri, and Lucas Melano won’t have defensive responsibilities – they will and Melano cannot afford to ball-watch this game.

Here’s the same diagram offering up information on the Timbers attack:

Defense First ?  Timbers to Ride the Rapids?

Probably a tad more balanced in attacking touches than Colorado – but the same lean towards taking shots from the left sides appears for Portland as well.

Of note – while Portland has played somewhat more direct this year there average number of long passes (per game) is about 10-15 fewer than Colorado – from a tactical viewpoint that probably translates to slightly more MF play between Valeri, Nagbe, (Chara and Zemanski).

It doesn’t mean both teams won’t try to stretch the defensive back-four with long balls – but given Powell’s tendency to push higher up the pitch Nat Borchers might be really busy this game.

A key indicator on the attacking scheme will be to watch how deep and how quickly the fullbacks for Portland push forward – the less tendency to push forward the more likely Porter is thinking defense first.

So how do the fullbacks work in Colorado?  I asked Chris Brown, to share his thoughts with me on Friday:

Colorado’s fullbacks have been key in shutting down attacking threats, getting narrow when they need to crowd the box but also making smart decisions to step out when they have adequate cover from midfielders Michael Azira and Sam Cronin.

Marc Burch is the first choice left back for the Rapids and Mekeil Williams usually plays at right back. When the cover is there they step out and close down attackers, preventing crosses from coming into the box but also positioning themselves to try and limit the danger from the other teams fullbacks overlapping.

Colorado plays defense first, so the midfield is always there in support, clogging channels and disrupting the attack.

Time and time again Colorado’s opponents have been able to get to the top of the 18 yard box but met with Cronin and Azira, ahead of a narrow back four, have to slow down their attack and pass sideways. If given time to set the defense up in its proper shape, Colorado extremely difficult to break down.

In closing:
Colorado team defensive performance this year as been first class – they are second best across MLS in limiting quality attacking by their opponent.  On the other hand – Portland is the highest quality attacking team in MLS this year.  Below is a diagram intended to show three things:
  1. Dark red bar – Colorado opponent’s average percentages in six categories,
  2. Dark green bar – Portland’s average percentages in six categories, and
  3. What gaps exist between each of those six categories.

Defense First ?  Timbers to Ride the Rapids?

In other words:

CRFC opponents average possession percentage is 51% while PTFC, in attack, averages 49% possession.

CRFC opponents average 75% passing accuracy while PTFC average 78% passing accuracy.

CRFC opponents and PTFC penetration averages are the same.

CRFC opponents and PTFC shots taken per completed penetrating pass averages are near the same.

CRFC opponents are far less successful in converting shots taken to shots on goal – and shots on goal to goals scored.

It should be a classic battle of a potent attacking team against a potent defending team.

Best, Chris

COPYRIGHT, All Rights Reserved.  PWP – Trademark

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on PossessionwithPurpose.com, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.

Defense First ?  Timbers to Ride the Rapids?
82559three-ways-to-look-at-i-5-bridge-crashes-7 http://blogs.columbian.com/digital-desk/2016/06/27/three-ways-to-look-at-i-5-bridge-crashes/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/12/bridge-chart-fea-img.png

What’s the worst day and time to cross the I-5 bridge?

Reporter Dameon Pesanti, who covers transportation for The Columbian, wanted to know so earlier this spring he set out to find the answer, obtaining data from the Washington and Oregon State Departments of Transportation. Both agencies provided us with five years worth of data from 2009 to 2014 (WSDOT even had 2015 but ODOT’s still processing last year’s data so we filtered that out).

The answer is 3 pm on a Friday, though Saturday is equally as bad. Overall, though, Friday is the worst day of the week for fender benders on the bridge with 157 to Saturday’s 145. You can see this information and much more, including a map of the 800-plus accidents, in our data visualization below.

But what about other days of the week? Is 3 pm the witching hour every day? And do these trends hold steady year after year or do things fluctuate from year to year? Tne answers: No and yes. On Tuesdays, the worst time of day is 4 pm, just as rush hour is really ramping up. On Wednesdays, it’s even later at 5 pm. But don’t just take our word for it, you can slice and dice the data yourself with the visualization above, or this one below.

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

Three ways to look at I-5 bridge crashes
95859bacon-guacamole-sliders-12 http://blogs.columbian.com/paleomama/bacon-guacamole-sliders/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/100_7100-1024x769-600x450.jpg

Bacon Guacamole Sliders

After tooling around the Paleoverse today, I felt like making something for all the carnivores out there. However I have to admit something to said carnivores…I’m not a big bacon fan. I know, I know, it’s famous as a low carb staple, but I can usually take it or leave it. However, there is something about delicious, delicious pork that really makes for a yummy, satisfying dish and also helps me not miss the bun and cheese here at all. There is much debate whether bacon is truly Paleo due to the preservatives and nitrates. (More on cured meats here.) I chose an uncured, high quality bacon for this dish.

Bacon Guacamole Sliders

But don’t even get my started on avocado…avocado and I are BFF’s from way back.

Bacon Guacamole Sliders

And avocado shines nowhere better than in guacamole.

I also love the combo of ground beef and ground pork for the sliders. They are the perfect size and can be made easily into a lettuce wrap. I’m also planning on having some left over burgers with a fried egg on top. Talk about yum-tastic. Hope you enjoy!

Bacon Guacamole Sliders

Ingredients

Burgers

1 lb. ground beef

1lb. ground pork

8-10 slices of bacon, cooked and drained

2 eggs

1 Tbsp. dehydrated onion

1-2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp onion powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Guacamole

2 large ripe avocados, flesh scooped out and diced

Juice from half a lemon

Dash or two of onion powder and salt

2 Tbsp. of your favorite salsa (or more!)

Directions

  Combine ground beef and pork with the eggs and spices. Shape into palm sized slider patties. (This amount made 12 for me). Grill until cooked through (recommended temp of 160°). For guacamole, mash avocado with a fork and stir in remaining ingredients. To assemble sliders serve on a bed of romaine lettuce or in lettuce wraps topped with the guacamole and bacon. Traditional burger fixings of tomato, onion and pickle, would also be delicious. Enjoy!

 

Sandy Carpenter

Busy working Mom of two and wife of one. Trying to eat healthier so I feel better and convincing my family to do the same!

Bacon Guacamole Sliders
101028its-been-real-10 http://blogs.columbian.com/blazer-banter/2016/06/17/its-been-real/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/blazer-banter-logo-1024x746-600x437.png

My time at The Columbian is coming to a close but I know we were always meant to be, even if our moment together was fleeting. Life is like that.

A Tom Vogt article from The Columbian about my family cheering on the Venezuelan basketball team in the 1992 Tournament of the Americas hung in my bedroom since I could remember. Vogt, one of the OG’s who was covering the Blazers at the time, wrote about my loud obnoxious family and when I came in for an interview, I told him I’d had his byline by me since I was a boy. A headline about “latin-flavored hoops,” became something of a mission statement in my own life and it led my to the start of my career. That the Venezuelan basketball team is going back to the Olympics this year for the first time since ’92 and that I am leaving at the same time makes me feel as though I closed the loop.

I will no longer be working and/or posting things here. The Columbian is eliminating its original Blazers coverage and the blog will exist but it will mostly be idle. I will no longer be using the legendary @BlazerBanter twitter handle.  It was a fun three seasons covering the team for the paper, which included the two most successful seasons since 2000.

I was told of my future last Wednesday and Friday, June 17, is my last day at The Columbian. I have the ominous distinction of being the last Blazers beat writer at The Columbian. It was an honor to follow in the footsteps great reporters like Candace Buckner, Matt Calkins, Brian Smith, Kenny Vance and Tom Vogt, just to name a few. When I first learned the news, I was blindsided and crushed. But as time has passed, I’m truly looking forward to what comes next. The warmth I’ve received from friends, colleagues and readers has truly made me realize how lucky I am.

This is my farewell to you all, at least in this space. I’ll keep firing off tweets (@Erik_Gundersen). The Bulls vs. Blazers NBA Podcast with my buddy Sean Highkin will live on. You should also leave us a 5-star review on iTunes. And I’m sure when I get the urge, I’ll write some Blazers/NBA thoughts somewhere.

This blog had very little on it when I came to the position and I’d like to thank my bosses, specifically Micah Rice, for giving me a shot and letting me make this blog whatever I wanted to make it. I had never filed on deadline and early on, it showed. I can’t thank our great sports staff enough for giving me room to grow.

There are lots of other good people that lost their jobs and I know that I only contributed a small drop in the bucket compared to the others who are leaving the paper. I’m just glad that I got to be a part of it.

I had no idea what I was doing at first. Then things like “The Scouting Report” were born, we blogged even the smallest piece of news and we even broke some too. Big news, even, all of which, I proudly stand by.

My hope was to bring a broader view of the league to this blog, to help people understand the Blazers in the context of the NBA ecosystem. I never wanted to be just some guy who only watched other teams when they played the Blazers. I’m not exactly sure if I did that, but I definitely tried.

I love the NBA, I always have (okay this is a lie, the Jail Blazers almost drove it out of me but Boris Diaw’s 05-06 season brought me back) and I always will. I carry a Drazen Petrovic rookie card in my car as protection. It’s not an exaggeration to say basketball is my religion.

Journalism is the business we’ve chosen (shout-out to Hyman Roth) and it’s a cutthroat one. I’m so thankful for getting the experience at The Columbian and to the Trail Blazers before that for letting me in the door. I’m thankful that the paper took a chance on someone who had only one season of NBA work under their belt but had a passion and truly cared about the game.

It was a pleasure getting to write here and blabber on about basketball. I’ll miss a lot of things and honestly, there will be plenty of things that I won’t miss. I’m hopeful that I will land on my feet soon. I’m hopeful that all of us who were laid-off will.

Un abrazo,

 

Erik Alexander García Gundersen

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on ESPN.com's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

It’s been real
101032blazers-hire-espn-radios-kevin-calabro-as-television-play-by-play-announcer-10 http://blogs.columbian.com/blazer-banter/2016/06/17/blazers-hire-espn-radios-kevin-calabro-as-television-play-by-play-announcer/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/225859scr_2a92c786e3a50491-518x400.jpg

Via ESPN MediaZone

The rumors have been confirmed: the Portland Trail Blazers are bringing in the NBA’s national radio voice into the both for all 82 games next season. Kevin Calabro is the new Blazers play-by-play man for the foreseeable future. Calabro, who was the Seattle Supersonics play-by-play man for 21 seasons until the team moved to Oklahoma City, has been the lead voice of ESPN Radio’s NBA coverage.

Calabro hasn’t taken an NBA team job since 2008 but has been a prominent broadcast voice on ESPN Radio, NBATV, TNT and the Pac-12 Networks.

He told Casey Holdahl of TrailBlazers.com why he didn’t take a gig outside of the Northwest.

“Since the Sonics left in ’08 I’ve always entertained the thought of being with a club, had a couple of opportunities, but the time was never right with the family because my kids were in school at the time,” said Calabro. “I just did not want to live apart from my family after putting in 21 years in the league, just didn’t feel like moving away was something that I wanted to do. Over the last couple of years I actually entertained the thought of, if there ever was an opportunity available anywhere in the league I definitely would be interested. Unfortunately, there just weren’t any opportunities.”

The team is weary of the Seattle connection, given Paul Allen and Vulcan Inc.’s Seattle roots. DirecTV-owned ROOT Sports, who broadcasts the Seattle Mariners and Portland Timbers, is based out of Seattle. However, it does not appear that the Calabro hiring has anything to do with that. He has worked for pretty much every network, which most broadcasters do. This was about bringing in one of the best in the business.

According to Holdahl, McGowan approached Calabro as he called games during Portland’s series against the Golden State Warriors.

“Many people in our organization have admired Kevin through his work with the Sonics and ESPN, so we reached out to gauge interest and begin conversations during our playoff series with the Golden State Warriors,” said McGowan. “After several long conversations we determined there was mutual interest and were able to work towards a deal that was just finalized.

The decision to remove Mike Barrett and Mike Rice from their posts, as well as radio analyst Antonio Harvey, was one that did not go down easy.

You may not know Calabro if you aren’t a die-hard NBA fan who occasionally listens to basketball on the radio. However, his voice will soon become a familiar one in the city and his talent has landed him the call for the NBA Finals for the last few seasons.

If you want to get a taste of Calabro, tune your radio to 1080 AM The Fan on Sunday night when he calls Game 7 of The Finals with Hubie Brown.

No word yet on who may join him in the booth for the broadcast but they have already locked in their play-by-play man for the future.

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on ESPN.com's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

Blazers hire ESPN Radio’s Kevin Calabro as television play-by-play announcer
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In perhaps their best team performance all year the Portland Timbers defeated the San Jose Earthquakes, in the fourth round of the US Open Cup, at Providence Park last night 2 – nil.

I don’t offer that lightly – the Timbers have struggled on both sides of the ball this year – not only in finishing chances but in denying chances.  As evidence - their lack of clean sheets on the back-end and a rather low number of goals scored per shots taken on the front end.

If this game shows the tenor of things to come for Portland this year the rest of Major League Soccer needs to take notice!

In particular – many times we hear that a player is a great defender because they have higher than average numbers of tackles – this couldn’t be further from the truth.

A solid defender is a person who shuts down penetration and forces the opponent to move the ball elsewhere.  Jorge Villafana was superb in doing that last year and Zarek Valentin stepped in last night and did the same.

Rarely did you see him have to tackle or leave his feet -  if memory serves I don’t recall him doing that once last night.  And I can only recall Taylor Peay doing it once himself.

When you want to give yourself a solid chance at a clean sheet you need your fullbacks to shut down the wings and force the opponent to play in low-percentage crosses.  A good indicator to support that theory is the high level of clearances last night with a high level of crosses.

Depth:

Amobi Okugo:  With the acquisition of Amobi Okugo the Timbers have shored up what I thought was a waning center-back weakness with the departure of Norberto Paparatto.  Okugo impressed me when I saw him play for Philadelphia Union, a few years ago, and that positive impression remains.  A solid defender who knows his positional role and how to support others around him.  A great awareness to be sure.

Taylor Peay:  As referenced earlier Taylor, like last year, continues to progress.  He’s shown well against the likes of Graham Zusi and others last year and apart from one instance against Shea Salinas – one of the quicker players on San Jose – he showed well again last night.

Jack Barmby:  Jack Barmby has shown good pace and quick feet since joining the Timbers – others, like Lucas Melano, have shown the same.  The difference, in my view, is that Barmby actually understood and understands how his positional play impacts and influences the play and space generated for others.  In addition, his first touch is far better.

Many may view my opinion about Lucas Melano as a personal affront - it’s not.

The youthful Lucas shows great strength in spreading the defenders wider with  his speed.  But with his considerably higher salary, and slow development of a good first touch (at least on turf), his continued role is tenable as a starter.  So the sooner Barmby matures on the pitch the better.

Others may disagree, but in my view, there is no room in MLS for highly paid players who don’t provide specific, attributable, results relative to team success on a consistent basis.

Bottom line is Lucas Melano hasn’t shown consistent value given his salary.  Perhaps a return to South America does suit Lucas better?

Tenor of tactics:

In thinking about gravitational pull – this is all about playing without the ball as much as playing with the ball.  Nearly 95% of the game a player plays without the ball.  Last night, for me, was a great example on how effective the entire team was in playing without the ball.

I think much of that has to do with what Caleb Porter touched on in his post game presser – the tenor of the Timbers attack has moved on this year.

With always trying to play a 4-3-3 Timbers players movement without the ball became predictable – if you don’t know what I mean just watch Columbus Crew.  Meaning, as advocated very early this year – the Timbers needed to move on and develop more flexible ways to attack.

Note the increased level of passing these last few games and the interaction/rotation of players within the attacking half.  All of this is to the good and should be fair warning to scouts tracking the Timbers that their penetration schemes are diverse and more dangerous – less predictable!

Improvement on the pitch:

Jack McInerney:  When I first watched Jack McInerney I didn’t think he showed a lot of grist in applying pressure or shifting about to create openings elsewhere on the pitch.  I won’t say that now – in the last few games his rotational play and finishing has been superb.  His improvement on the pitch simply makes other players more effective.  I wonder how well he’d work with Fenando Adi in a two-striker format for 75+ minutes?

The basic/bucket 4-4-2 can be quite boring at times but when it comes down to it – it’s probably one of the most fundamentally sound formations in soccer.  The greater your team is in executing the 4-4-2 (with all its nuances) the more effective other formations become.

Dairon Asprilla:   As for Dairon Asprilla – from day one he’s impressed me with his first touch and ability to play all sides of the pitch while also understanding his positional role relative to his teammates.  My concern has been his chippy mentality – like we witnessed two weeks ago.  But I don’t think it’s that chippy-ness, on the pitch, that got in his way of minutes earlier this year.

I think it’s his chippy-ness in seeing a teammate, like Lucas Melano, getting more minutes when Dairon has strong feelings/emotions that his performance on the pitch was just as good – if not better – than Melano’s.  That (might?) sound a bit dubious but players can be quite sensitive at times – especially when you need an ego to play.

A Head coach never wants a player who doesn’t show passion – the challenge for the players and team leadership is moderating that passion when not selected… his performance last night was strong – very strong – it’s good to see Dairon do well – I think he will have a key role in this team being successful this year.

And if Lucas Melano can keep things more simple and just rely on his instincts, and a better first touch, I’m sure he can add greater value too.  But if you’re going to maximize flexibility in attack it’s likely we won’t see Dairon Asprilla and Lucas Melano on the pitch at the same time… especially if Jack Barmby and Darren Mattocks improve.

Moving forward:

Nineteen games remain – max points equals 57 – an unlikely target but I’d bet every game the Timbers play will begin with the intent to get three points.

Flexibility and shifting players (in-game) to maximize different ways and means to penetrate, create, and score goals is critical – but not as critical as holding the opponent scoreless.  The defensive side of this team has not been good so far – it NEEDS to improve.

One game is not a trend, but this latest litmus test shows that fullbacks on the Timbers are getting better at locking down the wing penetration – can they sustain that lock down?

The weekend game against Real Salt Lake is the next test – can they continue?

Best, Chris

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on PossessionwithPurpose.com, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.

Timbers Shake Quakes Again!
101036blazers-overhaul-broadcast-crew-mike-barrett-antonio-harvey-and-mike-rice-out-10 http://blogs.columbian.com/blazer-banter/2016/06/15/blazers-overhaul-broadcast-crew-mike-barrett-antonio-harvey-and-mike-rice-out/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/B7XPz1bCMAA_RHQ-1.jpg

Mike Barrett (left) and Mike Rice (right) will not be back with the Blazers photo via @PinwheelEmpire on twitter

The Portland Trail Blazers’ broadcast crew is undergoing a major overhaul and several faces who were synonymous with the organization will no longer be there.

The team announced Wednesday that television duo Mike Rice and Mike Barrett, as well as radio analyst Antonio Harvey will not be with the team next season. A national search to replace Barrett and Rice has already begun. Radio voice Brian Wheeler will be back for his 19th season, doing a Vin Scully-style solo broadcast on the radio.

“After reviewing our entire broadcast operation over the past couple of seasons, I felt it was a good time for us to transition into a new direction,” McGowan said in a press release. “I would like to thank our broadcasters for their years of dedicated service to our organization and wish them nothing but success in their future endeavors. Going forward, we will focus our efforts on a national search to fill our open TV broadcast positions, with the number one goal of bringing in top-notch talent that our fans will be excited to watch during Trail Blazers broadcasts.”

The Blazers 10-year deal with Comcast Sportsnet Northwest is up after next season and both sides have been in negotiations since the new year. The Blazers and Comcast have butted heads in the past over who would get revenue from streaming games, which has caused Blazers fans who pay cable subscriptions to continue living in 2006, with no streaming option the past two seasons. Joe Freeman of The Oregonian got the scoop that Comcast offered the Blazers a deal but that the Blazers are listening to other offers and must decide on a new partner before July 1.

From Freeman

Comcast, which leans on the Blazers as its flagship partner in the region, submitted a new contract offer earlier this year during an exclusive negotiating window. But the Blazers — long frustrated by Comcast’s lack of distribution — have been fielding offers from other potential partners for weeks and it’s possible they will move in another broadcast direction. For nearly a decade, Blazers games have been unavailable to satellite television subscribers because of national distribution disagreements between Comcast and DirecTV/Dish, leaving a large percentage of Blazers’ fans in the crosshairs of a corporate kerfuffle.

DirecTV owned ROOT Sports broadcasts the Portland Timbers and the Seattle Mariners. As Freeman also noted, they could also go a non-traditional route with their broadcast. The Blazers often feel the pressure for living up to their “Trail Blazers” brand and a streaming broadcast option would set a precedent in the league. Here’s what McGowan told me when it came to carriage of Blazers broadcast earlier this year.

“It’s super important,” McGowan said of carriage on other providers. “Unfortunately we don’t control it which is a tough thing. There’s only a few companies that carry regional sports networks. You have to create a deal and a partnership with those companies. It’s definitely a factor. It’s on our mind. It’s our end goal. It’s one of those things that we understand our fans want our games as widely distributed as possible.”

Comcast Sportsnet Northwest’s positioning is also precarious with regards to the Blazers. According to sources, the network’s future could be in jeopardy if the Blazers don’t renew their contract with them.

All the best to Mike, Mike and Tone who were nothing but gracious to a young reporter trying to break into the game.

 

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on ESPN.com's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

Blazers overhaul broadcast crew: Mike Barrett, Antonio Harvey and Mike Rice out
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(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The NBA Finals live to see another day. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving both scored 41 points and King James added 16 rebounds and seven assists to boot. SOMEBODY CALL STEPHEN A!!!!! LeBron would have had a triple-double had budding TJ Maxx Player Kevin Love been able to knock down a shot. Where are we with Love after he signed a max deal last summer? Can he be revived as a max player, or his he destined to join Harrison Barnes as a TJ Maxx guy?

Speaking of Harrison Barnes, the Iowa Mafia that runs the Chicago Bulls is apparently being offered Minnesota’s No. 5 pick in the upcoming draft in hopes of reuniting Jimmy Butler with new Timberwolves head coach and President Tom Thibodeau. Sean was front and center for the last years of the Thibs era in Chicago and tells us why the Bulls front-office pettiness isn’t going to let that happen.

After talking about the Finals and how amazing LeBron and Kyrie were, we also went into a brief discussion on the Blazers offseason. Love was long viewed as an upgrade for the Blazers. Now? I think they are better off with Aminu at power forward and (insert center here).

Crazy how far we’ve come. What do you think?

 

 

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on ESPN.com's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

Bulls vs. Blazers NBA Podcast: Is Kevin Love a TJ Maxx player?
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photo via adidas

It’s a Monday and it’s the summer, which can only mean one thing on this blog: Damian Lillard dropping new music. His latest #MusicMonday release is a freestyle over Mobb Deep’s classic “Shook Ones Pt. II.” featuring V.I.P.Lillard is in Taipei as part of his adidas “Take on Summer” tour but he continues bringing the heat.

Lillard has already released three original tracks and a couple of more tracks for Spalding. We are all still waiting on the album. TMZ reported a few weeks ago that Lillard’s skills behind the mic are getting attention from the music industry. He’s also been tweeting about Chance The Rapper, which I’m hoping results in a collaboration.

Anything involving “Shook Ones Pt. II” is a win in my book. Lillard could have said nothing and I would have enjoyed it.  I’ve already listened to the original “Shook Ones Pt. II” five times since listening to the Dame version. Never forget that “Shook Ones” is also responsible for the greatest commercial in NBA history.

Lillard’s time in Asia has also given him space to set off some very fire tweets. He also took time during his trip to announce that he is releasing an updated version of his PDX Carpet sneakers, which are a favorite of Blazers coach Terry Stotts.

I won’t be able to bring you the updates on Dame’s music beyond this week. However, as I’m sure you already know, you can follow all of Dame’s music drops by following him on SoundCloud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on ESPN.com's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

Dame DOLLA: Shook Ones Pt. II Freestyle feat. V.I.P.
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(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

This is the last week that I will writing on this blog, as you may have heard. However, The Network will live on beyond the confines of this space. The people need the content. The Real Lakers of Los Angeles are out here making waves and the Golden State Warriors, their parents and spouses, are engaged in an all-out verbal assault on LeBron James.

Draymond Green is suspended for Monday night’s Game 5 (6 p.m. PDT on ABC) after being assessed a flagrant 1 after hitting James below the belt, which gives him the requisite points for a suspension. He dug his own grave on this one and it gives the Cavaliers a chance to keep their season alive. Kevin Love, your time is now or never.

We discussed the impact of the Green suspension and the many ways we are hoping Green documents his suspension. If Snapchat isn’t paying Draymond to put together a story from his suite at tonight’s Oakland A’s game, then maybe it’s not really worth $20 billion. Just give him enough to cover a potential fine.

The Real Lakers of Los Angeles were also forced to issue a press release stating that Magic Johnson is no longer officially part of the Lakers. They’re clearly guarding against tampering charges for when they sign Meyers Leonard to the max.

We’ll have another episode after Game 5.

 

 

 

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on ESPN.com's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

Bulls vs. Blazers NBA Podcast: The High Road
75238trail-mix-lillard-tours-china-sabonis-story-gets-a-reboot-3 http://blogs.columbian.com/blazer-banter/2016/06/10/trail-mix-lillard-tours-china-sabonis-story-gets-a-reboot/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/04/adidas-Damian-Lillard-TOS-Beijing-2-1024x681-600x399.jpg

Photo via adidas

Damian Lillard is always a busy man. Not a month after playing his final playoff game, he’s been touring in China with adidas. Here you can see him coaching up some young Chinese hoopers as part of the adidas “Take On Summer” tour. Brand aware as always, Lillard is rocking his PDX Carpet D Lillard 2′s while coaching up the kids in China.

Trail Mix: Lillard tours China, Sabonis story gets a reboot

Damian Lillard coaching in the PDX Carpet D Lillard 2′s.

Dane Carbaugh did a review of florist edition of his signature shoe for Blazersedge. I don’t think anybody does product reviews on shoes quite like Dane. Check it out.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Golden State’s Stephen Curry would not participate in this summer’s Olympic games in Rio. This of course improves Lillard’s chances of joining the team. But is that a good thing? Eric Griffith explored that issue for Blazersedge. Given Coach K’s affinity for Kyrie Irving, moving Steph effing Curry off the ball, it’s probably safe to say Dame won’t be a featured player if he does go.

The Portland Trail Blazers have produced a series of podcasts on key figures and moments in Blazers history. Earlier this week, they did an excellent 33-minute podcast on how Arvydas Sabonis came to America and the Blazers. Sabonis was arguably the best player in the World before he came to the NBA but he spent most of his prime in Europe because Cold War. Michael Lewellen and Kris Koivisto did a very good podcast if you want to learn more about that story. The god Bill Schonley, who saw it all unfold, tells some great stories and they even got the GM at the time, Bucky Buckwalter, on the record.

Bill Simmons included “Sabonis coming over to the NBA in his prime” as one of the greatest “What if’s?” in NBA history. The Blazers were a perennial playoff team with excellent guards and wings. While Kevin Duckworth and Buck Williams were solid players, it’s impossible not to imagine Drexler, Porter, Kersey and Robinson circling around an offensive fulcrum in Sabonis. To me, this might be a bigger franchise what-if than missing out on Michael Jordan.

 

 

 

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on ESPN.com's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

Trail Mix: Lillard tours China, Sabonis story gets a reboot
75243trail-mix-lillards-usa-basketball-chances-get-a-boost-3 http://blogs.columbian.com/blazer-banter/2016/06/07/trail-mix-lillards-usa-basketball-chances-get-a-boost/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Testing-Lollard-Baske_acco.jpg

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

The odds that the new Dame DOLLA album will include some samba beats just got better. It looks like Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard will be spending some time in Brazil this summer, now that Golden State’s Stephen Curry will not participate in the upcoming 2016 Olympics.

Curry suffered a knee injury in the playoffs, which he is citing as the main reason for his absence in the upcoming Olympics.

Via Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group

“After a great deal of internal thought and several discussions with my family, the Warriors and my representatives, I’ve elected to withdraw my name from the list of eligible players on Team USA’s preliminary roster for the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil. I recently informed Jerry Colangelo of this decision.”

Thompson also wrote that several other potential Team USA players, including another competitor at the point guard spot in Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, could stay home to avoid the Zika virus. Westbrook, Cleveland’s LeBron James and Golden State’s Andre Iguodala may not be in Rio.

Over 200 health care professionals have signed a petition to the World Health Organization to either relocate or postpone the games in Rio. According to Thompson’s report, players are already being advised to sleep in malaria nets to avoid catching the virus.

If Westbrook does stay that will leave him, 2014 Team USA member and Coack K favorite Kyrie Irving, Lillard and Memphis’ Mike Conley vying for three point guards spots. They could carry more than three point guards in theory, but they only took three to the 2014 World Cup (Irving, Curry, Derrick Rose). Washington’s John Wall is recovering from knee surgery and has been removed from the player pool.

No matter how it goes, at least Lillard will have a friend close by. Blazers guard CJ McCollum is officially part of the USA Select Team, which will scrimmage against the Olympic team, as of Tuesday.

Here’s the group that will make up the USA Select Team, which will be coached by San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.

Selected for the 2016 USA Basketball Select squad were: Malcolm Brogdon (University of Virginia); Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Detroit Pistons); Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento Kings); Kris Dunn  (Providence College); Aaron Gordon (Orlando Magic); Jerami Grant (Philadelphia 76ers); Gary Harris (Denver Nuggets); Rodney Hood (Utah Jazz); Brandon Ingram (Duke University);Brice Johnson (University of North Carolina), Stanley Johnson (Detroit Pistons); Zach LaVine (Minnesota Timberwolves); CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers); Doug McDermott (Chicago Bulls); Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets); Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia 76ers); Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks); Julius Randle (Los Angeles Lakers); D’Angelo Russell (Los Angeles Lakers); Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics);Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Denzel Valentine (Michigan State University); Justise Winslow (Miami Heat) and Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets).

While McCollum will just be scrimmaging against the Olympic team, he is now in the USA Basketball pipeline. Although he won’t be able to make the Olympic team this season, this gives him a chance to be considered for future teams.

Finally, Dame DOLLA released another new song yesterday as part of his Music Monday releases titled “Isley.

Lillard was also named the “Male Professional Athlete of the Year” at Monday night’s Oregon Sports Awards.

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts was a guest on Tuesday’s Chris Mannix Vertical Podcast. You can listen here.

 

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on ESPN.com's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

Trail Mix: Lillard’s USA Basketball chances get a boost
75247podcast-realgm-radio-blazers-offseason-preview-with-danny-leroux-3 http://blogs.columbian.com/blazer-banter/2016/06/07/podcast-realgm-radio-blazers-offseason-preview-with-danny-leroux/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Trail-Blazers-Warrior_acco-24.jpg

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

As weird as it may seem, we are now less than a month away from a pivotal time for the Portland Trail Blazers. Free agency begins July 1 and before that we have the NBA draft, where the Blazers could potentially sneak into the draft, although they currently don’t own a draft pick.

Their offseason has suddenly become one of the league’s most intriguing and I went on Real GM Radio with Danny Leroux to talk about everything the Blazers may or may not do this offseason.

If the plug-in for BlogTalkRadio doesn’t want to cooperate, you can follow the link to the website here. You can also listen to the podcast by subscribing to it on iTunes.

You can follow Danny and all of his work on twitter by following @DannyLeroux.

And we are planning on having a new Bulls vs. Blazers in the next day, where we will talk to Sean Highkin, who will give us a report from Cleveland about what’s going on in the Finals.

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on ESPN.com's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

Podcast: RealGM Radio Blazers offseason preview with Danny Leroux
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Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Ok can I just make a confession here? Remember when I mentioned that paleo allows for an 80/20 way of eating where you’re eating paleo 80% of the time? Well lately friends I’ve kind of had this flipped and was not going to even mention it to you thinking I could pull the wool over your eyes. But as I’ve said before, over here at Paleo Mama we’re all about keeping it real and I think we can all say we’ve been there sometimes with bad eating habits. What’s important is that we get back on that wagon or horse or insert your favorite old-timey mode of transportation here. Well this dish is me getting back on the paleo horse. And now back to our regularly scheduled recipe

Here’s one I’ve been wanting to make for a while. It features once again the favorite paleo pasta substitute spaghetti squash. We’ve been down this road before regarding my love of this happy yellow squash, more on it here.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

I had seen some recipes for spaghetti alla carbonara and figure it would translate well into a squash dish. What really yums up this one is the bacon and onions combined with the creaminess of the egg mixture. (Inspiration from Paleo Grubs one of my favorite paleo blogs).

I’m usually a microwaver of the squash for convenience sake but this time I decided to use Martha Stewart’s method of roasting and it came out perfectly done.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

In fact, the squash I used was so huge only half this amount went into the recipe. Also a word to the wise drain your noodles once you scrape them out. I did not and ended up with a lot of moisture in the finished dish I had to drain later.

Hope you enjoy the tastiness!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Ingredients:

1 small to medium spaghetti squash cooked or roasted with flesh scooped out

5 pcs bacon

½ onion diced

1 tsp chopped garlic

2 eggs

¼ C. almond or coconut milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

While squash is baking, fry the bacon, crumble, set aside, and reserve about half of the grease. In a small bowl mix the eggs with the milk adding salt and pepper to taste. Cook onions in the grease on medium high heat, when almost done add the garlic and cook until fragrant (don’t let the garlic burn). Add the squash into the pan with the onions and garlic and stir to coat. Lower heat to low and slowly drizzle the egg mixture over the squash stirring to coat. Cook until you no longer see raw egg. This should make a creamy coating for the noodles and not look like scrambled eggs. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

Sandy Carpenter

Busy working Mom of two and wife of one. Trying to eat healthier so I feel better and convincing my family to do the same!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
82102let-the-race-begin-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/political-beat/2016/06/03/let-the-race-begin/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Lauren_Dake_110_1-150x150.jpg

Tim Probst, who is running to replace Sen. Don Benton in Olympia, filed his personal financial statement late.
And the Washington State Republican Party noticed.
“Why is partisan Democrat Tim Probst trying to hide his six-figure government paycheck from the voters?” said WSRP Chair Susan Hutchison in a press release. “State law requires candidates to disclose their financial affairs to avoid conflicts of interest. What else is Tim Probst trying to hide?”
Marsha Manning, the treasurer with the Probst campaign, did respond to the public disclosure commission complaint.
“This was an oversight on the part of the campaign as the original filing for this campaign began in 2013,” Manning wrote. “Mr. Probst did complete the (financial statement or F1) on May 11, 2016.”
It is currently on file with the public disclosure commission and available for the public to see.
Officially, Probst’s campaign responded in-kind with, “Tim is running a positive campaign and is focusing on important issues like equal pay for women, re-building the middle class and getting big money out of politics.”
Nick Ande, who is running Probst’s campaign, added it’s an attack in the hopes of distorting Probst’s record.
“It’s the same playbook Don Benton used to win by (76) votes four years ago,” Ande wrote.

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

82104jhb-keeps-quiet-on-trump-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/political-beat/2016/06/03/jhb-keeps-quiet-on-trump/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Lauren_Dake_110_1-150x150.jpg

House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday he will vote for the GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

Previously, Ryan said he was “not ready” to back Trump, but reversed course writing in an editorial that “on the issues that make up (the Republican) agenda, we have more common ground than disagreement.”

I wondered if this would bring the rest of the Republican party around, including U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas.

I wasn’t the only one.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee quickly fired off an email, saying Herrera Beutler has followed Ryan’s talking points to delay endorsing Trump.

“Now that Ryan has ended his charade, we can only expect that Herrera Beutler … will also stop playing word games and endorse Trump’s toxic campaign, to which they are already inseparably tied,” Barb Solish of the DCCC wrote in an email.

Not so soon.

I asked Herrera Beutler’s campaign and they responded saying she had “nothing new” to add.

The last time she spoke to The Columbian at the end of April she said she wasn’t sure “the right person for the job” of U.S. President was running.

Herrera Beutler initially endorsed Marco Rubio.

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

75251trail-mix-blazers-rise-in-espns-future-power-rankings-3 http://blogs.columbian.com/blazer-banter/2016/06/02/trail-mix-blazers-rise-in-espns-future-power-rankings/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Trail-Blazers-Kings-B_acco-6.jpg

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

We are a mere handful of hours away from Game 1 of the NBA Finals as the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will battle for the second season in a row. Stephen Curry and the 73-win Warriors go up against LeBron James, trying to get one for #TheLand. My podcast co-host Sean Highkin and I have a Finals preview that we recorded after the Warriors punched their ticket to the dance.

Now that we have our homegrown Finals content up front, let’s get to what you came here for: a collection of all the important stuff written on your Blazers this week.

We begin with ESPN’s Future Power Rankings, compiled by insiders Kevin Pelton and Chad Ford. As expected, the Blazers made a considerable jump after a second round appearance and battle against the Warriors.

From Pelton 

While we were relatively optimistic about the Trail Blazers in September, they’ve still tied for the largest jump since then. Portland moved back into the top 10 after not only defying expectations by making the playoffs but winning a series (albeit aided by the Clippers’ injuries) and competing with the Warriors in the second round.

Now, the Blazers have the opportunity to clear max space while retaining their young core, led by the dynamic backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. That’s possible because GM Neil Olshey locked up young free agents Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis to contracts that look like enormous bargains.

The Blazers’ future is bright. However, success in the NBA is rarely cheap, this past season being an exception. Danny Leroux penned a detailed piece for The Sporting News on how the success of the Blazers could and probably will affect their cap sheet.  The Blazers are expected to swing big in free agency with the ability clear max cap space, but what Leroux nails is that keeping their own free agents will likely cost a pretty penny.

ESPN showcased the Blazers later on in the week when they released their “Famous 100,” a ranking of the 100 most famous athletes, based on an algorithm which includes salary, endorsements, social media following and Google search popularity.  Portland’s Damian Lillard clocked in at 45, just behind Blake Griffin (43) but ahead of fashion icon and elite guard Russell Westbrook (48).

The Blazers success has also earned them a guest appearance in the latest “Game of Zones,” which is Bleacher Report’s amazing NBA-themed “Game of Thrones” parody.

In actual important news that greatly affects the team but doesn’t really draw a lot of attention, the Blazers finalized their coaching staff on Wednesday. As part of the finalized coaching staff, assistant coach Dale Osbourne was promoted to the front of the bench and advance scout John McCollugh was added to the staff. Sought after assistant Nate Tibbetts, who interviewed for the Memphis head coaching job and the lead assistant job with the Warriors will stay, as well as David Vanterpool, the longest-tenured assistant on the staff along with Osbourne. Jim Moran, who was added to the staff last season to help coach the big men, will be back for his second season.

More snacks

 

 

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on ESPN.com's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

Trail Mix: Blazers rise in ESPN’s future power rankings
82106clinton-wins-wa-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/political-beat/2016/05/27/clinton-wins-wa/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Lauren_Dake_110_1-150x150.jpg

Hillary Clinton won the Washington state primary on Tuesday.

Bernie Sanders overwhelmingly won the Washington state caucuses.

The results from the Democratic primary will largely be ignored, but they could provoke a change in the system.

As Melissa Santos with the News Tribune wrote, “almost three times as many Democrats had voted in the primary as participated in Democrats’ March 26 precinct caucuses.”

And that could mean Democrats change the way their primary system in the future.

State Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, told Santos “caucuses have a romantic image and play a meaningful role in terms of activism and energy, but that a primary is more Democratic and reflective of the broader values of the population.”

But others have pointed out that Sanders’ supporters knew their vote wouldn’t count for much in the primary.

In 2018 or 2019, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee plans to vote on whether to rely on the presidential primary or caucus system to allocate its delegates.

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

82108your-vote-counts-well-kind-of-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/political-beat/2016/05/24/your-vote-counts-well-kind-of/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/john-oliver-600x400.jpg

Every election season, there are those people who don’t bother to vote.

They forget. They’re not inspired. They feel like their vote doesn’t matter.

For once, they might have a point.

Tonight is Washington state’s primary. The GOP presumptive nominee is Donald Trump, although Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and John Kasich remain on the ballot. And the Democrats will largely ignore the primary results.

“So you know your awful friend who says he doesn’t vote because he feels like his vote doesn’t count?” John Oliver, the comedian and host of Last Week Tonight on HBO said. “If he’s a Washington Democrat participating in the primary, he’s right. He’s still awful, but he is right.”

Technically Oliver is right.

Check out his video:


Democrats allocate their delegates according to results of precinct caucuses, which were held March 26. Bernie Sanders was the clear winner.

But this is still a chance for Democrats to let their voice be heard. There was a lot of upset people after the caucuses. This is an opportunity for voters to show whether the caucuses align with the state’s Democratic voters.

“This is a good way to let every voter participate,” said Cathie Garber. “At a caucus there is usually 5 percent of eligible voters. If you look at turnout for a regular election, there is a big difference.

Republicans will allocate all 44 delegates to their national convention based on the primary results.

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

Your vote counts … well, kind of
82111goodspace-guy-for-governor-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/political-beat/2016/05/20/goodspace-guy-for-governor/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Lauren_Dake_110_1-150x150.jpg

Sam Kim, Clark County’s chief information officer, generated a buzz this week when the lifelong Republican filed to run as an “independent Democrat.”

It was unusual that he was switching parties.

But also, what is an independent Democrat?

And he wasn’t the only one.

Tim Probst, who is vying for Sen. Benton’s seat, and Kathy Gillespie, who is running for the 18th Legislative District, also filed as independent Democrats.

“For Tim, he’s always been very independent minded and bucked his party in a lot of trends and very consistent with the independent nature of the district,” said Nick Ande, Probst’s campaign manager.

A candidate, it turns out, can state any party they would like, using 16 characters.

“Party preference is entirely the candidate’s decision,” Cathie Garber, with the Clark County Election Division.

And they can also write any name, which is evident by Kathleen “Grandma Warrior” Arthur who is running for the 3rd Congressional District and Goodspaceguy, a Republican, is running for governor.

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

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Gov. Jay Inslee visited Vancouver’s future waterfront park on Wednesday and called it a center of economic expansion that will benefit the entire state.

As Inslee walked along the river, the Interstate-5 bridge loomed in the background.

Inslee said if he’s re-elected he will once again try to gain momentum for replacing the aging bridge.

In the previous two legislative sessions, some Southwest Washington lawmakers tried to create momentum to form a coalition of lawmakers from both sides of the river to revive discussions of a crossing over the Columbia River. The efforts failed.

It’s a project of importance to the entire state, Inslee said on Wednesday, not only Clark County.

Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, a fierce opponent of the defunct Columbia River Crossing project, has announced he isn’t seeking re-election.

When Inslee was asked whether it might be easier to gain consensus with Benton retiring, the governor replied, “markedly.”

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

Building bridges
82562clark-is-5th-fastest-growing-county-in-last-5-years-7 http://blogs.columbian.com/digital-desk/2016/05/20/clark-is-5th-fastest-growing-county-in-last-5-years/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Screen-Shot-2016-05-20-at-12.02.27-PM-1024x961-490x460.png

Clark County’s population grew by 8 percent based on 5-year population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday, May 19, 2016, making the county the fifth fastest-growing in the state. The four faster growing counties include Franklin, King, Benton and Snohomish.

If you look at just the past year, though, Clark grew by 2 percent, tying it with Benton as the 3rd fastest growing county.

Where is Clark County’s growth coming from? Some of it is what the Census Bureau calls “natural increase,” meaning births minus deaths. The rest is from migration, both domestic and international. Clark County grew by about 34,132 in total population the past five years. Of that about 12,149 came from within the county as a natural increase and about 21,085 stemmed from migration. And of those who’ve migrated here most have come from within the U.S., about 18,194, while about 2,891 came from abroad.

Use the map below to further explore the data.

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

Clark is 5th fastest growing county in last 5 years
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Banana Pancakes

As you may have guessed, I heart bananas. I also heart pancakes but they don’t heart me back so here is a healthier, yet still tasty version. Also I don’t love just any bananas. I love those brown, almost black, mushy ones that you’re thinking ‘maybe I should just throw away’. Wait! Don’t toss them! Those brown beauties are just waiting to be mashed into a recipe like this one or these pancakes. I’m always on the look out for the discounted brown bananas in the grocery store to grab up for just such a recipe.

Banana Pancakes

This recipe comes from StayFitMom and is a great gluten free option as well. I first tried banana pancakes without the coconut flour but those are very hard to flip. The coconut flour in these adds just enough body to increase their flipability exponentially (I just graduated from college hence the fancy shmancy words).

Banana Pancakes

And since breakfast for dinner is pretty popular around here (no Mommy guilt over it either) this is a great option for any time of the day.

Banana Pancakes

I upped the cinnamon when I made them but you could even leave it out. A word to the wise however, don’t be lazy like me and think you can just eyeball the vanilla and then dump two big “glugs” into the bowl making for a very vanilla-ish batter. Seriously learn from me kids, don’t try it at home. Use those pretty measuring spoons people.

Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes

Ingredients

1 ripe banana

2 eggs

1 Tbsp. coconut flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Mash banana. Mix in eggs, coconut flour, cinnamon and vanilla. Heat a large pan with coconut oil or another healthy oil of your choice. Drop batter into pan making small to medium pancakes. This yielded about 6 medium pancakes for me. Flip after 2-3 minutes. Enjoy.

 

 

 

Sandy Carpenter

Busy working Mom of two and wife of one. Trying to eat healthier so I feel better and convincing my family to do the same!

Banana Pancakes
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The jury is still out on whether Clark County has seen a flood of new jobs resulting from a decision in 2013 to waive traffic impact and application fees for all nonresidential development in unincorporated areas.

The county has experienced job growth, including a 3.9% jump last month that outpaced national, state and regional numbers. Proponents of the fee waivers have said it’s proof they’re working, but skeptics remain. If you read reporter Kaitlin Gillespie’s recent story on at the fee waivers, you’ll see there are many perspectives on the issue.

In the meantime, we’ve taken data obtained from the county by Gillespie to create a map below showing where the 300-plus applicants for fee waivers are located. You can filter your view of the map by the total fees waived and the projected new jobs each applicant is expecting to create. Each dot on the map is color-coded by the fees waived and the size of each dot varies according to the projected jobs for that applicant. The larger the dot, the more jobs. Take a look and see who’s benefitted so far from the waivers.

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

Take a look at who benefitted from county’s fee waivers
82116threats-of-apples-flying-again-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/political-beat/2016/05/13/threats-of-apples-flying-again/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Lauren_Dake_110_1-150x150.jpg

When apple prices drop, the employees at the Vancouver Education Association know to prepare themselves.

Chicken wire is already around all the windows. Crates are in front of the chicken wire, placed at a 45-degree angle, so when the apple comes flying through the air they hit the crate and bounce away from the building.

The apples have broken windows. They’ve clogged the drain. They’ve caused thousands of dollars of damage.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray is campaigning for her fifth term in Congress and once again, some of her opponents have encouraged throwing apples on the rooftops of her supporters. But this election cycle, the reports of people receiving letters are seemingly more frequent.

Several individuals have reported receiving a note, signed “Titania” that warns people apples might be thrown on their roofs.

“Dear reader of this note,” it says. “We have been throwing (apples on) rooftops of supporters of Patty Murray, usually just before dawn. Because some people have windows up there where the roof is, we’ve broken a few of them; but please understand that this is happening by accident. It is sometimes difficult to see in the predawn murkiness and we thought about apologizing for the damage. But in the spirit of Murray and Obama, we are not apologizing; like them we have no intention of fixing anything.”

There haven’t been any reports of someone actually throwing the apples, or breaking personal property, to The Columbian until now.

Rick Wilson, with the VEA, said the apple-throwing has been steady at the education association’s offices. A man on a bike, with long, red hair, stands across the street and chucks the apples, Wilson said.

Wilson noted the association supports candidates on both sides of the aisle.

“The last major election we had signs for both Republicans and Democrats,” he said.

In previous years, similar letters have circulated about Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.

Rotten tomatoes caused a stir in Vancouver when they were left in President Barack Obama supporters’ yards.

In the last year, Wilson said, the apple thrower has been outside the office windows 30 to 40 times.

“He’s been an incredible nuisance to us,” Wilson said. “He’s damaged property and caused significant issues.”

Kim Kapp, with the Vancouver Police Department, said officials from the department have chatted with the city’s attorney’s office and there’s not a lot they can do.

“They are not considered threats under criminal harassment laws because there is no threat to hurt anybody and it’s difficult to prove a crime like trespass or vandalism, because there’s no suspect information,” Kapp said.

 

 

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

82568homes-just-keep-getting-bigger-and-biggerer-7 http://blogs.columbian.com/digital-desk/2016/05/11/homes-just-keep-getting-bigger-and-biggerer/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Screen-Shot-2016-05-11-at-4.22.44-PM-1024x943-499x460.png

Owning a home has long been considered by many people to be a key piece of attaining the so-called American dream.

It appears that now that also means having about 600 square feet per person. As business editor Gordon Oliver reported last Sunday, American families have steadily gotten smaller since the 1970s but homes have gotten bigger. With that in mind, we took a look at three different homes from three distinct eras which you can read about in Oliver’s story and see firsthand in this video by digital producer Ariane Kunze.

You can also see where the larger homes have been built over the years in Clark County with this visualization below that we constructed using 2015 data from the Clark County Assessor’s office.

In the past 40 years, homes in Clark County have grown from an average of 1,545 square feet in the 1970s to an average of 2,372 square feet in the last 5 years, a 53.5% increase. If the trend holds for the next decade or two, that number could reasonably be expected to jump to 2,700 square feet or more. The percentage of homes being built in this county that are 3,000 square feet or larger in the past 5 years is nearly 20%, something you can see in this chart.

Perhaps the only thing holding us back from building homes bigger is economic factors such as the cost of land and building materials as Oliver reports. The economy itself is, of course, also an ever-present looming factor as shown during the early recession of the 1980s and again after the tech and housing bubbles burst.

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

Homes just keep getting bigger and biggerer
83437single-mother-of-seven-adopted-children-finds-balance-in-schoolkidsfarm-5 http://clarkcofaces.columbian.com/single-mother-of-seven-finds-balance-in-schoolkidsfarm/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/107976-moms-day-feature_01-600x429.jpg

“I think we can all do things. Sometimes fear holds us back. Maybe when people read this story, they’ll think: If she can do that, we can adopt a kid and give them a life.”~Julia Griffith

Some members of the Griffith family take advantage of warm spring weather as they sit down to a homecooked meal Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. Pictured are Jennica Griffith, 12, clockwise from front left, Mirlie Griffith, 18, mom Julia Griffith, Silas Griffith, 16, and Samson Griffith, 15. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Julia Griffith, from left, shares a laugh and a hug with her daughter, Mirlie, 18, as Samson, 15, and Jennica, 12, are seen in the background Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Julia Griffith feeds some of her feathered friends before the family sits down to dinner Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Julia Griffith joins hands with her daughter, Mirlie, 18, on Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Mirlie Griffith, 18, pauses to look over family photos while enjoying a sunny evening on the farm Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Samson Griffith, 15, from left, his brother, Silas, 16, and his sister, Mirlie, 18, watch as Silas’ shot goes into the hoop Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Jennica Griffith, 12, from left, greets some of the family’s animals as her mom, Julia, checks the temperature of her brother, Samson, 15, after he complained of feeling under the weather Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Silas Griffith, 16, left, and his sister, Mirlie, 18, share a sweet moment with the family Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Members of the Griffith family pose for a family picture Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. Pictured are Jennica Griffith, 12, Samson Griffith, 15, mom Julia Griffith, Mirlie Griffith, 18, and Silas Griffith, 16. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

99777portland-slow-out-of-the-gate-again-10 http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-timbers/2016/05/10/portland-slow-out-of-the-gate-again/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Caleb-Porter-459x460.jpg

When week three of Major League Soccer closed the Portland Timbers were 14th worst in overall team performance – that has changed – but not for the better!

Portland are now 16th worst in overall team performance – taking into account how well (and how well their opponent’s) possess, pass, penetrate, create, and score goals.

I’ll speak more a bit later about the Timbers – for now here’s some thoughts about the rest of the league first.

Portland slow out of the gate again!

And to clarify – my power rankings are purely objective – no fancy opinions – no feelings – no indirect or direct influence by one person over another – it’s clinical, objective, published in Europe, and presented at the 2014 World Conference on Science and Soccer.

Bottom line here – there is no subjectivity and how a team finished last year has absolutely no bearing on where that team started and ranks this year.

Some thoughts about the teams after week ten:

The CPWP Index – two views…

Portland slow out of the gate again!

Portland slow out of the gate again!

Over the remainder of the year I’m going to offer up four teams who fit these categories the best:

And to follow that some additional insight for your consideration (the way to really see why you can’t simply look at attacking or defending statistics separately – you must look at them together)

Portland slow out of the gate again!

The diagram above shows Attacking PWP only – this is strictly the statistical roll up of each teams attacking team performance.  Note the four blue bars – these are the top three teams in each conference.  Now my observations relative to what the Index shows:

Here’s the Defending PWP Index – same approach applies here – this is a statistical roll up of each teams defending team performance ((i.e. how well the opponents’ combined attacking PWP data goes against their defenders); again the top three teams in each conference are shown with blue bars:

Portland slow out of the gate again!

A dash of statistics and then my closing on the Timbers:

So what ails the Timbers?  

Best, Chris

Copyright, All Rights Reserved.  PWP – Trademark

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on PossessionwithPurpose.com, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.

Portland slow out of the gate again!
82118socialist-pizza-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/political-beat/2016/05/07/socialist-pizza/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Lauren_Dake_110_1-150x150.jpg

The Clark County Democrats’ 2016 convention last week was chaotic and lasted hours.
The event was scheduled to end by 5 p.m. but ran past 9 p.m.

As Stevie Mathieu reported, it started with a “burst of enthusiasm” but turned to “crankiness for many participants.”

Throughout the state of Washington and surely other states, Democratic caucuses blew past deadlines.

It appears Bernie Sanders’ supporters figured out sometimes people need more than a revolution.

They need pizza.

Enter, socialist pizza!

A Facebook group called just that “socialist pizza” sends pizza to sustain supporters through the night. It’s a smart move to make sure Sanders’ supporters stick it out.

After the caucus, one supporter wrote on the group’s Facebook wall, “Your pizzas were worth it!” and added that Sanders’ earned overwhelming support in Clark County.

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

82120apple-threats-missing-their-target-7 http://blogs.columbian.com/political-beat/2016/05/07/threats-of-apples/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Lauren_Dake_110_1-150x150.jpg

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray is campaigning for her fifth term in Congress and, once again, the apple throwers are ready.

It’s not the first time some of Murray’s opponents have encouraged throwing apples on rooftops of her supporters. But this time, they seem to be missing their target.

“I’m a registered Republican,” said Lisa Schmidt, who lives in the 49th Legislative District, and received one of the letters.

The note, once again signed from Titania and handwritten using bubbly letters, appeared a couple of weeks ago.

It’s the same notes that has surfaced in some of Murray’s previous elections.

“Dear reader of this note,” it says, “We have been throwing rooftops of supporters of Patty Murray, usually just before dawn. Because some people have windows up there where the roof is, we’ve broken a few of them; but please understand that this is happening by accident. It is sometimes difficult to see in the predawn murkiness and we thought about apologizing for the damage. But in the spirit of Murray and Obama, we are not apologizing; like them we have no intention of fixing anything.”

The letter circulated in 2015 encouraging people to throw apples started out with: “Some of us wish for our purses not to be emptied nor to see our dictionary become skinnier to please their ears … In the neighborhood if someone pulls the clothes off of your clothes line, then you have a license to pull the clothes off their line. That is how things have always worked in neighborhoods.”

In previous years, similar letters have circulated about Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon.

And rotten tomatoes have caused a stir in Vancouver when they were left in President Barack Obama supporters’ yards.

Although The Columbian has heard from a half dozen people who have received a similar letter, we haven’t actually heard of anyone who found apples on their roof or who has had a broken window.

Most of the people who have received the note mentioned they are Republicans.

“I took it as a threat,” Schmidt said. “Everyone who works in politics I talked to said it was threatening, it’s threatening our property and Republicans take property matters very seriously.”

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

99785dealing-without-darlington-11 http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-timbers/2016/04/13/dealing-without-darlington/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Darlington-Nagbe-459x460.jpg

There’s no question the pain of losing Darlington Nagbe, for us supporters, is nowhere near the physical pain Nagbe experienced as a result of that brutal tackle by Nigel de Jong!

How do they do that?

Motivation:

Tactics:

Strategy:

Defending:

All to play for:

#RCTID

Best, Chris

COPYRIGHT, All Rights Reserved.  PWP – Trademark

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on PossessionwithPurpose.com, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.

Dealing without Darlington
82273thompson-metal-fab-4 http://clarkcofaces.columbian.com/thompson-metal-fab/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/454412-jobs_05-600x400.jpg

“I think things are fine. A lot of fabricators are busy,” said Michael Moore, business development manager for Thompson Metal Fab. “Commercial, industrial and residential construction means masons, carpenters and fabricators are doing really well.”

Employee John Laughter takes measurements on a pipe Friday morning, March 25, 2016 at Thompson Metal Fab. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Thompson Metal Fab

Production journeyman Andrey Nikiforov, center, lends a hand while joining other welders at work Friday morning, March 25, 2016 at Thompson Metal Fab. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Thompson Metal Fab

Crews work behind the scenes Friday morning, March 25, 2016 at Thompson Metal Fab. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Thompson Metal Fab

Employees George Mason, left, and Mike Marsh look over shop drawings Friday morning, March 25, 2016 at Thompson Metal Fab. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Thompson Metal Fab

A tape measure is seen hanging from the pocket of employee John Laughter on Friday morning, March 25, 2016 at Thompson Metal Fab. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

 

82279the-homeless-artist-4 http://clarkcofaces.columbian.com/the-homeless-artist/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/04-07_A1_homeless_artist.1-600x399.jpg

“You just forget yourself for a few minutes. When I get mad, I work. When I get sad, I work.” – Mandi Vee

The Homeless Artist

The Homeless Artist

Entering the downtown Vancouver Community Library, on any given day, you might notice one of the tables covered in a purple velvet cloth belonging to Mandi Vee. There’s not enough room to make jewelry in the broken-down van where she sleeps each night with her husband, K.C. Vee. At the library, she can spread out a bit, get something to drink and charge her cellphone.

Vee said she’s long struggled to hold down a regular job; her part-time job at Michaels craft store in Jantzen Beach is her longest stint yet. She’s been homeless off and on for most of her adult life.

Vee and Ruth Shafer, program services manager at the library, are working together to host an art gallery featuring the works of homeless artists. The two are trying to get more momentum around the idea and are accepting submissions from anybody who’s homeless or has experienced homelessness.

Click for full story

99788portland-timbers-is-it-too-early-to-worry-10 http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-timbers/2016/04/06/portland-timbers-is-it-too-early-to-worry/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Portland-Timbers-MLS-Champions-2015-1024x576-600x337.jpg Portland Timbers MLS Champions 2015

Some pundits have offered that it’s probably to early to worry; I completely disagree.

At no point in the last four years of tracking possession with purpose have the Timb