“Christ”

Early in Donald’s and my marriage, we got a couple of pygmy goats, Natalie and Boris. As animals do, they stitched Donald and me into the fabric of our land. Each day we followed these little black psychopomps (yes, they led the way!) along deer trails through the oak and bay forest and into the… Read more »

The Art of Dish Washing with Charlie Toledo

Have you ever washed dishes with Charlie Toledo? You learn what Water is Sacred means. She wipes the dish using as little water as possible with soap that will not contaminate the water and then carefully rinses. You do not wash: you witness. She does the work, making sure Water is properly treated. How would… Read more »

Great News! When Citizens Stay Onboard!

Great news! In a time that feels like misinformation, ignorance, and greed rule, something outstanding has happened! On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, citizens of Napa County will witness the fruits of many years of well-informed protests, advocacy, and legal action. The Board of Supervisors (BOS) will vote to rescind the use permit for Mountain Peak Winery!… Read more »

The Sentience of All Life

Twelve years ago next month, I published a blog about the death of our goat Sophia entitled “Goats and Grief.” There is seldom a day that that blog is not read, and usually at least two or three times. I have been curious why this blog, among the hundreds of others I have written over… Read more »

Dementia and Distillation

Shortly after Donald and I learned that our ranch was at risk of being seriously impacted by a development next door, Donald was diagnosed with mild cognitive decline. Within two years, this diagnosis changed to Alzheimer’s Disease and vascular dementia. This was an unknown path neither of us had anticipated. Grief is a theme that… Read more »

Fruits of Eden: Preparations for the Release!

My book Fruits of Eden: Field Notes Napa Valley 1991-2021 is about to be released, so I contracted with Janna Waldinger of Art & Clarity to take some photos. This is one of my favorites. Each day some of my dear animals walk with me. (Here, Petunia, the goat, and HIjo, the llama.)  For almost 30… Read more »

Writing Group, July 23

We—this group of women I have written with for 39 years— start writing at 2:47 pm, when I usually nap. Not sure how this will go! This morning I read a journal entry from 30 years ago.. 30 years ago today, the writers’ group met at my Valley View Court condo. Cincinnati, my standard poodle… Read more »

Sweet Fruits

Fruits of Eden: Field Notes: Napa Valley 1991-2021, to be published by Dancing Raven Press, an imprint of Analytical Psychology Press, includes photographs bearing witness to my daily walks these last 30 years on our ranch.  I have walked our trails almost every day with our small herd of goats and dogs. In the early years, my… Read more »

Sheep, Grass Management, and Happy Events

I like to think it was an omen. Just as we arrived to meet Christopher, the shepherd who had brought over one hundred sheep to the pulled vineyard waist-high in cayuse oats, vetch, and various perennials, I spotted a tiny black lamb.  It stood with its mother apart from the herd at one end of… Read more »

Phase One of Implementing Our Forest Management Plan

My friend Norma says the forest looks like a painting with its lithe, dark trunks of oak and madrone silhouetted against the sunlight. The crew has thinned out young bay laurel and the bushy, tall stands of poison oak and invasive Himalayan blackberries. Yes, I always thought of the forest as verdant, but the over-the-top… Read more »