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“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Back in 2010, I became a volunteer for cooking classes that taught basic culinary skills and healthy recipes to families on a budget in East Palo Alto. I was new to the Bay area and something about the idea spoke to me.

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Brink Trail

Eight hundred miles away from San Francisco and six miles from my parent’s house there is a place called Tiger Mountain. It’s my happy place.

I go home to see family, of course, but running the trails behind Issaquah High School has become my homecoming ritual. When I lace up my sneakers and trace the familiar loops in the forested hillside, it’s like touching home when my shoes touch the dirt.

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vendor at the farmer's market

Allow me to divert your attention elsewhere as I wrestle with a recipe that needs more fine-tuning. This fall I again answered the siren call of Stanford Continuing Studies, this time a portraiture photography course taught by Neal Menschel.

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best card ever

November seems to have a mean streak. Thanksgiving may be right around the corner, but preparing for this day of gratitude first involves running a gauntlet with a grocery cart. You’ve been there. The mad dash for the turkey, the blitz for the cranberry sauce, the battery in the baking aisle. It’s a warzone out there.

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I’m cooking up a longer post, but in the meantime I want to share a few photos.

This winter I had the chance to participate in Stanford Continuing Studies Program’s ART 225: Capturing Defining Moments in Photography. Our instructor, Don Feria, took us on a crash course of photojournalism and street photography.

Class has ended and tonight is the first Thursday without lecture and critique in more than two months. I miss it already. Take a peek at the gallery of my talented classmates’ work if you have a minute.

Happy Friday! It’s time for a drink, and an exchange of show and tell. I’ll go first.

This darling creature is the hummingbird that, bless her rapidly palpating heart, decided to build a nest right outside my desk window. Do you see her? Up in the corner? Whenever I feel the office blues welling up inside me, I look no further than this flurry of feathers flitting about.

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Creativity needs room to breathe. But for people like me, creativity needs boundaries and structure too. A desk with a straight-backed chair and a strict teacher.

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Denali, pondering her New Year's resolution

Denali, pondering her New Year’s resolution

Why hello, stranger. I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and your return back to work this January wasn’t too jarring.

I hardly touched a computer over the holidays. Which isn’t a bad thing. After all, a coworker once told me the reason computer screens glow is from the stolen souls of office workers. So as a preventative measure, I let my laptop collect some dust the past couple weeks.

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Thanksgiving day hike

The turkey’s tryptophan kicked in before I had a chance to click “Publish” last night. Oh well. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving with friends and family!

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For years, I’ve considered laundry about as appealing as pinky toenail removal. In college I’d delay doing laundry until I’d worn every last pair of underwear, bikini bottoms, and cross-country running briefs (yes, I had to run in those terrible things). I’d even turn a pair or two inside out before buckling to the chore. Oh, imagine my mother’s horror.

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