Tube Rolling

Mermaids Singing

English: 6N3P vacuum tube

No, I’m not referring to climbing inside the middle of an old tire and rolling downhill. Sorry to disappoint you all.

This discourse reviews the old fashioned, time honored, highly skilled art of finding exactly the right vacuum tube to place in your excellent analog stereo components to either power them or make them sound better than even live musicians usually do. It requires patience, a finely tuned sense of sound, an appreciation for the beauty and history of an analog (read: no iPods) system, and the ability to bid on ebay or audiogon at the perfect moment on tubes stashed all over the world. It also finds you listening to the same part of the same song about fifty times so that you can compare the differences when something in the system changes. And there are profound differences, believe me. (We’re checking out changes now so, the current selection is  “New…

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On My Mark –


I had a pretty good routine developing by mid-2014. I was hitting my groove with a combo of DIY household renovations, cooking, writing, exercising, and learning the guitar. I figured out that all of these things were doing far more for my health and well being than years of therapy and whatnot. Something about getting out of my head and using my hands, making something, doing something, sharing anything — this was far, far better.


Then, we went to New York City. We were stuck there for two months seeing specialists, undergoing every test known to man, surviving the ER at Mount Sinai and several days of hospitalization. And life hasn’t been remotely the same since.

Life has been hell, watching my husband’s health erode and evaporate quickly and permanently. Watching his specialists begin to not return calls. To give up. To leave. Watching his heart and spirit break. Waiting, dreading the only apparent outcome that will end this suffering.

An outcome in which the world — is one in which I have no interest.


But, we are still here. The sun still rises and I’ll be damned if it isn’t still lovely. There is still baseball. There is still good music and better friends.

There is the surprising kindness of strangers, sucker punching me with its generosity, spontaneity, and selflessness.

And there is running. There is the MDI Marathon for which I am training. I, who have a well-documented loathing of running, will run the MDI Marathon in October. It is damn hard, and the first person who did it *died* — and yet, it is also beautiful.

Life is, and I’m not the first to notice, an endurance event. There will be injuries and there will be suffering. There will be triumphs big and small. Mostly, there is putting one foot in front of the other, and persevering. And encouraging the others running the route.

So, that’s great. Yeah. Yea, me, I’m crazy enough to sign up for 26.2 miles when I’ve never run more than 6 — and that was only once. A few of my friends have run marathons, and all of them responded to my registering for MDI with

  1. good for you!
  2. no way will I ever do that again! that was effing crazy!
  3. you *must* cross-train.


I’ve started cross-training. Right now, this consists of these brutal but awesome Interval Yoga classes on YouTube by Ali Kamenova. I’m trying to maintain a streak of practicing everyday. I know myself well enough to know if I don’t do something everyday, entropy happens and I end up…. not doing it at all.



What I know is this:

If you want to help your heart and mind heal, start with your body. The mind will follow.

Peace Like A River with The Pajama Chef #bookclubcookbookCC

Happy New Year! And, Welcome Back to The Book Club Cook Book Cooking Club project!


To begin 2016, Sarah at The Pajama Chef hosts our club. She selected Mrs. Enger’s Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Frosting from Peace Like a River by Lief Enger for this month’s recipe and book.

I can’t think of a better way to wake up to a new year than with fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls.

Sarah includes the recipe itself on her invitation page (link above, and here, too) and it sounds wonderful.

Remember, reading the book is entirely optional – you can participate by cooking and blogging along.

You can also win a copy of The Book Club Cookbook through the giveaway below!

Participants in The Book Club Cook Book Cooking Project:

Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Tortillas and Honey

Adventures in All Things Food

A Day in the Life on the Farm

The Spiffy Cookie

The Pajama Chef

Life of Food

Cheese Curd in Paradise

Mostly Food and Crafts

Things I Make (for Dinner)


This month Sarah at The Pajama Chef, this month’s host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from January 1st till January 31st at 6 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Disclosure: Sarah received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.