The big blow is headed our way and we are ready.  I don’t mean to suggest that our preparations will protect us from inconvenience or injury.  I only mean we have done all that has occurred to us (short of buying a generator).  I filled all of our growlers and other large glass containers with water.  I cleaned our gutters.  I checked the batteries in a couple of flashlights.  I emptied the ice maker so that it can make another bucket.  I filled the tub with water (so that I could scoop buckets full into the toilet tank for a few flushes if the muni pumps stopped pumping).  I picked up dog poop (not afraid it will become a projectile–I just have learned that hard way that poop is easier to pick up before it has been rained on for five days).  Lacey and I raked a few bags of leaves (more will come down with the wind, but it feels neighborly to keep up with it as best as one can).  Our efforts all seem kind of silly in the face of what is coming, but I’ve welcomed the distractions.

What else can keep me off of the Weather Channel?  Horseradish!  I dug up a few roots and set to grating.  I’ve read many warnings and remedies intended to protect me from the pungent fumes, but I routinely ignore them all.  I enjoy both the work and from time to time becoming overwhelmed by the airborne oils.  Today when it got to be a bit much I simply knelt down below the counter on which I was grating and worked over my head.  Worked like a charm.  The photo above is the grated horseradish before adding salt and vinegar (to stop the oxidation–the longer you allow the air to work on the grated root, the hotter it becomes).

I was in Chicago last week for some continuing legal education.  I love that town more each time I visit. I really enjoyed seeing folks biking all over the place.  More than I have ever seen while there.  Great food, too.  I had nice meals at Do-Rite Donuts (they offer one vegan variety each day–the rosemary lemon was amazing), Native Foods (the Greek Gyro bowl was super yummy and healthy and the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger blew my mind), the Green Zebra (high zoot but still very comfortable) and even the Wiener’s Circle (who would have guessed they offer a pakora-like veggie burger–not sure it is vegan, but it isn’t the kind of place I am comfortable asking questions).  Click the link for Wiener’s Circle if you click any.  It is hilarious.  Also got a nice styrofoam container of West African chow from a food truck operating in front of the hotel.  Rice, plantains, greens and some spicy red sauce.  No way that was vegan (I watched him take the red sauce from a tray with hunks of beef), but it was very special nonetheless.

What’s with all my slackness about food?  I still consider myself vegan, but I’ve relaxed my standards while traveling.  It is difficult to get enough to eat on the road, so I make small exceptions here and there.  If I have time and my bad toe allows it, I will walk a mile or two to eat at a vegan joint, but I can’t make that happen every time.  When I eat at an omnivore’s place, I try my best to avoid meat and dairy, but I don’t pepper the servers with questions (unless they seem like they might know what the heck a vegan might be).  Instead, I order things that are commonly vegan and don’t get upset if the food that arrives isn’t 100% critter free.  I am not proud of it, but it’s where I am at.  The market will save me from these small lapses as more and more locals ask their restaurant owners to offer more ethical chow.  It is getting easier all the time.  

What else?  My friend is headed to Costa Rica to pedal in a grueling three day mountain bike race.  That’s him on the left (I grabbed the image from the close of our last iChat), looking as fit as all get out.  I’ve long known he is crazy but his skill and preparations keep him safe so I have nothing but admiration for him and his pedaling exploits.  Good luck to you sir!

Last but most, do you know my dad?  He is in the hospital recovering from an operation to replace a valve in his heart.  He seems to be doing great, but I am sure he’d benefit from you sending kind thoughts his way.  He is such an incredibly brave man.  I am so proud of him.

That’s enough.  Just five hours until the wind and rain are to arrive in earnest.  I’ll be thinking of you and yours as you all face the storm.

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