Goddess Speed, Norma Churchill!!

Norma Jean Churchill, a cherished member of our family for the past three decades, departed from this world in the early hours of April 10, 2024. At the age of 92, she passed away in the comfort of her own bed, in her home by her beloved Las Gallinas tidal creek, just as she had… Read more »

Ode to Kali

This Spring’s beauty has never been greater. I know, for some of us elders, this is how it feels every spring—a green fuse filled with fire of blooming: California buttercup and shooting star and purple cups of Douglas Iris and now spires of lupin, tiny whispers of trillium, and blue-eyed grass. Such delicate, sturdy presences… Read more »

Wild and Feral Harbingers of Hope

While visiting Cologne, Germany, this month, I was surprised to see flocks of wild parrots skimming low over the waters of the Rhine before roosting in the large trees along the river’s edge. Parrots are not native to Germany but are probably descendants of pets that have escaped or been deliberately released, naturalizing in this… Read more »

Mother’s Day Memories: Sweet and Bittersweet

I am reprinting one of my favorite Mother’s Day posts. More and more I realize how much my mother’s and my grandmothers’ influences reach my own grandchildren today and perhaps, one day, their own. Mother’s Day Memories: Sweet, Bittersweet Every year Mother’s Day brings two big memories, both when I was a preteen, one sweet, one bittersweet…. Read more »

A Crystalline Hike in a Ancient Sparkling Forest

Last week, my grandsons Wesley, Sabien, and I visited the Petrified Forest near Calistoga, CA. We are in what Rudolf Steiner called the crystallization period, that fallow time between January 15 and February 15, when Earth is quiet and most receptive to the energies of the cosmos. Although I had not planned this timing, it… Read more »


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 »