and other joys of discovery in the countryside just outside Petaluma. I told Ms. Robin my cat is too fat and will never make it up her tree, but she doesn’t believe me and keeps scolding. Daily. Summer just outside the city.

For us after many years in a warehouse along the Petaluma River, this robin scene is a first. Miss having big parties with many, many musicians in the Cave. One silly night noting we had a dozen guitars, 1 trombone and a drum. Odd band, surely. Odder that each musician seemed to play his or her very own tune. At the same time. We’ll do this again eventually as we build an AG/community room.

These days, the Arts Center is presenting the best of the best of our local bands – check their schedule at
Check out Lagunitas Brewery, too. And Aqus Cafe at
. Interesting Project Here posters up at Aqus just now. All have great stuff going on and are a lot of warm fun.

I booked a concert at the Arts Center through ED, Vicky Kumpher, recently. Phenomenal guitarist, Eric Symons will play flamenco Sun. Nov. 21st, 4pm with friends. I am so looking forward to that. I’ve said to several people that sometime during each of Eric’s concerts the experience for me is like floating loose from time and space. Great music, great art, great beauty of every kind has that ability.

As I wake at our budding Oasis Farm, so much birdsong I can’t spot all the singers. A hummer stuck her tongue out at me 2 feet from my nose in the garden so I bought a hummingbird feeder. Small frog jumps in front of me walking down the hillside at dusk; quail in the TREE outside my desk window? So very much beauty and four kinds of butterflies in the new flower garden, just tall grass a bit ago. Walk to the top of the hill and view of Mt. St. Helena every eve. Deep peace.

And Rhode Island Red chickens about to lay their first eggs and just now discovering bugs. Wondering how many Petalumans will have spare eggs soon. Many. And zucchinis and pumpkins to say nothing of the tomatoes. A veritable feast from the yards, gardens, farms surrounding us. Fantastic if you think about it – and heightened by the help and presence of wonderful people at Petaluma Bounty, Daily Acts, Rebuild It Together. We will share our bounty when it comes in. The fruits of 188 trees, bushes to say nothing of the raised beds. Recall I produced the short short play, Welcome to My Garden, just a year ago at the Arts Center and now we pull weeds from that imagined garden now booming with life.

We’re dreaming up an apprentice program for kids at our Oasis Farm – but wait! Have to become a certified organic gardener first. So very much to learn and I have barely begun. Leaf curl? Using mothballs to send away skunks? I plan on adopting Frances Rivetti’s version of owl boxes to attract barn owls who will then, supposedly, eat the gophers we have yet to see but who leave bumps of dusty soil above their prolific burrows. Check out Frances’ blog at

Hoping we attract owls so we don’t have to shoot, maim or otherwise handle the small gopher bodies who just want a few sweet veggies all to themselves – like maybe the entire salsa garden? Brock Dolman at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center says gopher stew is delicious – but he can have it. Too much violins for me.

I continue to agree with the Dalai Lama that the purpose of life is happiness. Makes good sense because when you adopt that stance, you tend to look for what you believe in, in this case, the happy scenario, a way to smile truly. Joy. Yes.

But all is not sweetness and light in our Little City that Can. On facebook, I read Boosha is closing in Helen Putnam Plaza; Bella Luma is open just sometimes (may change still), the Goodwill Store has been closed for years now. But the Seed Bank is a shiny one year old, selling plants and showing fine veggie related films. Good works, Jere and Emilee Gettle of Baker Creek Seeds; heirloom seeds need people to gather and save and treasure them and you know how to do it.

Such a glorious beginning to summer – warmth, wide sunsets, boats on the Petaluma River. Boating events coming up including July 7th. Check River Heritage Center at How sweet it is to join friends in small craft on the water.

So, guess most of us will totter along through the end of this economic turndown and maybe even through another one. But high time to grow some of your own – food that is.