Joni Mitchell, “In Her Own Words”

I knew I made the right choice for my next book to read when I opened to the introduction and it read, “One November night in 1966…the coffeehouse was a dark hole…on the lit-up stage…stood a girl who must have picked out her miniskirt at the Salvation Army…she turned to face the empty seats and, leaning closer to the mike she strummed a succession of chords with a surprisingly assertive hand…and then she started to sing…”

Life & Toes in Drought

See this map? See the blood-red area of California along the coast? That’s where I live. It’s Exceptional-droughtland. And less than a year ago, our local community water providers left Pollyanna-land, and informed us citizens that there was a huge likelihood of our wells going dry by late 2014.

How Apples & Pennies Defeated Terrorism

But something went terribly wrong. On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, horror stuck America. I asked, “Should I cancel the fundraiser?” The resounding reply was, “No! If ever we needed to do something good, and enjoy our country’s harvest, we need a day in your orchard. Keep the event!”

A Moment in Time with A WWII Hero

For the short time I spent with Watson on Saturday, I’d call him a good person who draws crowds like a magnet—and that’s before they hear his incredible story of his willful determination as an 18-year-old on June 6, 1944.

Be the Change!

Yearly: 10-20 million tons of plastic enter the ocean, according to UNEP; hundreds of thousands of marine animals suffer or die from these plastics. And now researchers have determined the plastic accumulation is in the ocean food chain, and likely consumed by us. Plastics are choking our seas. Be the change. Make a difference.

Awakening a California Girl’s Spirit

The woodsy air born from the thousands of years old coast redwoods filled my lungs on a Sunday morning 45 years ago. My California girl’s spirit awakened. I took the first steps along a new path as nature whispered her song into my ears. Harmonic resonance beneath the aged ones, those sentries of the primeval forest, comforted and healed my wounds of the day. Though a pup in my personal timeline, I did “Seek ye counsel of the aged, for their eyes []

Do Not Use Dynamite to Blowup Garden Gophers

Like the Middle East, this garden vs. gophers is a historical war. My next door neighbor just nukes the furry beasts when he finds them. But, I, Ms. Organic, won’t bait them with poison, so they tunnel under our property lines and into paradise—my garden.

An Operetta of Wine and Spice

Author’s note: This is a serendipitous story of wine, friends, daughter, and spices— a camerata (experimenting with art form) if you will. (The aria, “Song of India,” from Sadko plays in the background.) Tell me the last time that you tasted wines paired with exotic spices. You have done this? What happened when you paired a chalky Chenin Blanc with three freshly ground peppers? Did you make a slight scene when you shouted, “OMG! What was that mouth explosion?” I did. It []

Fire Danger! Are You Pet-Evacuation Ready?

As seen in The Cambrian When the Colby fire near Glendora, Ca. exploded, I watched the sienna-tinted smoke plume darken a bright blue sky. I was about 250 miles north of the January wildfire, returning home on U.S. Route 395.  Cal Fire officials warned that extreme red flag conditions were in effect throughout much of California—in January—usually one California’s wettest months. Little has improved since the Colby fire. As I drive along California State Route 1, the Monterey Pine forest tempts that red []