So far, COVID-19 has no forseeable end, financial crisis is in the works, climate crisis also, and we’re all freaking out quietly or noisily as the case may be.  Screaming in your car (when not driving) is OK, but don’t want to excite any people nearby who MAY have contracted Covid. Scary, spooky, OK, calm down. Back away from the nervous person.

Help each other out; you care for yourself first but help others because that makes you more content AND you may need THEIR help right soon. Even AARP knows this.

The whole idea is Mutual Aid. Worked during The Great Depression and I hear something like that is coming now, at least The Great Recession.  Listening to old Studs Terkel interviews on WFMT FM, Chicago, from the Great Depression makes it more understandable and more bearable and Studs introduced fantastic music as well during his amazing 45 years as a radio guy. Bob Dylan meet Mahalia Jackson, Marion Anderson meet The Weavers.  Wow. Take a listen for inner peace and amazement. People can be great.

In the taking good care of self category, I get enough sleep, enough medicinal herb (homegrown) and it helps with my asthma. Extra Vit.C not a bad thought or probiotics along with a plant-based mostly HOME GROWN diet. Talking and laughing with friends is priceless.  Do it via zoom if not a speaker phone call or in person outdoors somewhere.

Spoiling myself, I save all the little Lombardi’s Barbeque sauce containers and make chicken sliders for others on occasion, gorging on the leftovers.  Just pull the meat off the marvelous roasted chicken (you get the sauce with the chicken), eat a few choice pieces as you go, and drop the meat in the sauce and warm it.  Fill a basket with mini-buns, napkin atop and yer done.  Sweetness and the beginnings of a backyard picnic, social distancing if required.

Give yourself sweetness in several forms throughout the day, the night, midnight, 3am whenever you wake up!  You know what works for you.  Music and meditation are  your friends. Check Spirit Rock, InsightLA, others for tranquil, thoughtful sessions, some free.

Books, of course, a pile near a good reading chair.  Best reading for me is often under the cat, Guy Noir, named for the Prairie Home Companion detective on the 7th Floor of the Acme Bldg.  He indulges me for more than an hour often.

I keep a pile of movies we actually love, and we investigate new music via YouTube, NPR Tiny Desk concerts and a new JBL Xtreme2 bluetooth speaker which, with my phone or yours, offers music anywhere.  Love that my sister, Meg Madden, shares links to folk, classical and introduction to the symphony from her Music in the Schools (MUST) website.

We are blessed and happy to share our blessings.  Oasis Farm is more and more an Oasis.  I can go into alpha watching the fancy goldfish in the pond behind the house (the two I bought have a lot of babies now!) or sit on a bench under the curly willow overseeing the tadpoles in the lower pond, inviting other stressed humans to do the same. Calming, very calming.

Excitement: our farm captured 2 young foxes (relocated after killing 6 chickens), 2 baby skunks and who on earth knows how many gophers, one praying mantis nymph.  Life is abundant and ever available to watch and interact with.

And then, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) young people harvesting our Mutual Aid Garden, food going well beyond the group to an Indian food bank in Ukiah, Food for Thought in Sebastopol and further.  A real thing, organic food grown with love and given freely.

All is not sunshine and flowers by far.  COVID news is terrifying, but this am, the Chron. mentions no evidence people get reinfected, Dr. Fauci on NPR says a vaccine may come by end of 2020 and we CAN reverse the pandemic with great care, masks and distancing.  Sigh. Deep sigh, but hope is not a dead thing.

Keep going back to Thich Nhat Hahn saying “in times of stress, there are infinite possibliites for joy.”  Looking for those often. Very often.

Glad to be a sounding board for stressed others – at least to a point.  The checker in Raley’s yesterday told me she hadn’t slept in 3 nights, has fibromyagia and thanked me for letting her vent.  Well,  of course!  Otherwise I couldn’t live up to my own principles.

All long term solutions brought in now are good.  Add solar to your life! Reform and Defund – suck any extra money away from the police and allocate to those in need!  Racism IS systemic, and every San Francisco Police Station must now have a prominent Black Lives Matter poster!  Can good intentions stop bad behaviour? More I can do?

Humor is healing, so each of our days has jokes; New Yorker jokes are handy, Sunday Funnies are often insightful and your own weird sense of humor  – the best!

Each day has some online news but we keep it short.  Some Democracy Now, some Stephen Colbert; endless activist emails and Wayne adds his bloggers from Canada and elsewhere with wildly good ideas we haven’t vetted yet.

So each day we seek comfort from each other,  sunshine on the flowers, birds in a feeder,  wildflowers covered with bees, 2 or 3 bird feeders so I can watch where the seeds go.

A priceless local resource: Aqus Cafe Online…zoom talk with John daily at 10a.; something wonderful each day and always something new to me. Let’s help John and Diane build our social capital! Diane is busy Saving Point Reyes National Seashore (and You can TOO!)

So life on our Oasis Farm, edge of Petaluma, is abundant at this scary time.  Yours, too? We all need good stories; Aqus has storytelling Fri., 7pm, zoom, and YOU can tell your story – and Barton Smith can sooth and entertain your little humans.  We, afterall, are blessed.

Wishing the whole world well, but, then, we can only do one or two or three things at a time, not four or five or 27.  Whew!



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