Category Archives: Update

Good Morning! November 15, 2019

The city-scape of San Jose in early dawn light- streetlights are still illuminated
Looking north and west across San Jose towards Sunnyvale and Mountain View – 11/15/2019

A shifting of light reveals the sights of the valley in muted green, gray, and foggy blue hues. Streetlights still shine in the coming glow of dawn, competing for attention in a sparkling cityscape that quietly glistens with potential and intrigue.

Laid out for my inspection and inspiration, I take note of all the great works and great failings of this crossroads of prosperity and change. I am both humbled and motivated to witness and be a part of it.

I walk on.

My morning routine has changed over time, but this path grows more constant and continues to provide a perspective that increases my awareness and informs my ever-opening mind.

Lessons learned, and lessons still in play, I rise and climb this hill as a metaphor for my life.

Momentarily, I can see the past and the future all laid out in the pre-dawn quiet. I savor the calm before the game is fully in play. The fragile calm before the city has come alive in the bustling chaos of another day.

As I descend into the valley again, I make note of the beauty along the way. I remember to be thankful for all that is. Mindful, I walk in peace and contemplate my world.

My neighbors arise and begin to come out into the morning chill and begin their days.

Children head off to school, lugging their backpacks and musical instruments while others are driven like tiny delicate royalty. They are all greeted the same by teachers and custodians alike.

Still more people emerge and race off on their way to cubicles, offices, factories, and stores- providing the lifeblood for another day in paradise.

Domestic bliss left behind, the masses converge on the jammed and humming highways and city streets- giving proof once again that we are not done with this world. We still have much ass to kick.

Life goes on, once again, in all of its infinite ways. For better or for worse, our momentum has brought us here to another day together.

Last night someone left an encouraging message on the sidewalk, written in chalk. Temporary messages like this somehow seem more meaningful when you find them intact- I share it with you:

You can shine brighter than a star just be who you are
Anonymous message in chalk on a sidewalk.

You can shine brighter than a star

Just be who you are

~ Anonymous

Encouraging words written for no one and everyone bring an auspicious welcome to your day. So breathe deep, and face the day happy if you can.

I say to you – ’twas ever thus…

…and Good Morning!

Surreal Sunday

Sitting at the kitchen table, looking out the front windows.

Fire burning on hillside with big white plume of smoke blowing.
Fire burning approximately 2-3 miles away.

A fire is burning on the hill, and the Breakfast with the Beatles show is playing on the radio (

PG&E has turned off the power “for our protection”. The generator is roaring away to power the refrigerator, the internet router, the radio and the charging of devices. But even still, without power the well can’t pump water- so less than optimal conditions, but it could be worse.

Life continues, and we hunker down wishing the best for the single helicopter occasionally glimpsed through the smoke, dropping giant buckets of water that seem ridiculously tiny compared to the size of the fire.

This is the the third year in a row that fire has come to Potter Valley- and I am starting to think of the fire as an unwelcome relative that comes uninvited, eats all your food and trashes your place, brings their lowlife friends over, and then breaks all your stuff before demanding to “borrow” money and finally getting drunk and causing the cops and fire department to be called to your house.

Seriously, I don’t want to even think this is the new normal…

To the south of us the situation is much worse, as the Kincade fire is heading towards Healdsburg and Windsor. A grim reminder of what has been and what might again be our fate- like, in a few hours possibly.

Or, the winds might calm down and they might put it out. You have to hope for the best in these situations, as you pack your emergency supplies and bug-out bag…

Meanwhile, my heart goes out to all the refugees who are now traveling as evacuees and hoping their homes and possessions are not fueling the fire. And for those who have already lost their homes, such devastating tragedy can not be adequately addressed with words. Just know you are not alone, for better or for worse.

If this is like past years, the community will come out and you can count on random acts of kindness to throw contrast into the overall scene of sadness. Be grateful, be generous, recognize it is NEVER enough.

Be kind, don’t give up, watch out for your neighbor and don’t lower your guard – anything can happen.

So let it be, all you need is love- and thank you Beatles.

The Elephant

OK I know it’s there, I can see it.

The gap in time since I last posted anything. So much time, so much life, so much change.

I will get into all of that eventually, I’m sure. Meanwhile, here is the break in the gap- the lapse in the pause.

The aquaponics system is out of commission, it met it’s end this summer, due to some malady that happened while I was away.

Symbolic for so much in my life, the pieces are in various states of dis-assembly and cleaning- awaiting the next moment in time they might be put into use.

A reset, a clearing of the decks, a new beginning to mark the ending of an old way of being- I say goodbye and farewell to those who must go, and welcome to those who are here.

Blessed be!

Catching My Breath…

Hi there! I bring you a brief update on things- more detailed stories to follow…

Summer was great overall, and we had pretty amazing weather. Of course this is expected and recognized as one of the main reasons so many people want to live here. It’s a nice place to be if you don’t mind all the people!

a paved road runs along side a green field overlooking the city of San Jose and the Southern Bay Area
Above: Looking west across San Jose and the valley.

Since June I’ve tracked the flow of tourists, commuters, and highway repair crews while the grass covered hills went from green to gold. I spent way too many hours on the road going back and forth between San Jose and the Farm up in Mendocino County. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying- I saw things. I saw a lot of things, man… But more on that later.

panorama of a scenic country vista with golden hills and green fields.
The Farm in Mendocino County

Mom’s garden grew like crazy, we gained two new cats, and we managed to get some solid improvements to the infrastructure around the farm.

woman with pink hair in a lush vegetable garden
Mom and her garden.

two white cats
Two new cats

Harvest came, and before it was over, so did the fires. After much drama and being evacuated, we were among the lucky ones whose houses and livelihoods didn’t burn to the ground. Many of our friends were not so fortunate. I hope to never experience anything like it again, though I am so thankful to everyone who helped, and so awed by everyone who lost everything and still went out of their way to make my parents more comfortable.

Banner in Santa Rosa thanking the firefighters, police, EMS, PG&E, and military personnel, hanging over a freeway overpass.
Above: Banner in Santa Rosa thanking the firefighters, police, EMS, PG&E, and military personnel who came to our aid.

Now all eyes are looking forward to rebuilding and improving. For some people this will mean moving on to new and different places, while for others life will bring new opportunities to fill in what has been burned away.

Me, I’m expanding operations and getting ready for the rains to come. I’ve got plans for next year…

Freshly tilled field surrounded by golden hills, a berry patch, a dead tree and a live tree.
Above: Newly tilled soil, awaiting the seeds for organic soil builder.

Now things are settling down again, and I think I can catch my breath. Of course I’ve got stories to share still, and more pictures to process and post.  While I work on that, take care of yourself and I will see you next time!