Archive for November, 2019

“I’m full!”

“I’m full” is what we will probably say as we push our plates away at the end of our Thanksgiving feasts. Fully satiated, we will stagger to the living room to have “just a little” dessert, watch a football game or just talk. There will be much to be thankful for.
But why wait for a holiday to give thanks? What if we could say, “I’m full” every day of our lives, if we could wake up in the morning and be full of gratitude, appreciation and excitement as we anticipate what the day will bring?
What if, for one moment, we could put aside the frantic striving to achieve and accomplish, the desperate need to compete, earn, prove, sell, buy, fix and change that propels us out of the bedroom to immediately look for our phones, full and endless lists that tell us what to do, where to go, who to meet?
What if we could simply pause and give thanks for what we already have? Every day. . . without one iota of concern for what we have to do?
What if we took just one minute at the start of every day to simply be content with what we already have? It won’t take but one minute, one simple, quiet minute to recognize how “full” we already are with all our blessings. Even with our personal struggles, fears and life challenges, we are among the most fortunate people on this earth.
So let’s not wait for a special holiday to give thanks, let’s make every day a time for humble gratitude. As we go through our days, let’s take a moment here, and a moment there, to simply appreciate — to say “Thank you” right out loud for what is already good in our lives. I think we’ll find it all boils down to very, very simple things.
If we sit very quietly and just for one minute, let go of the angers and hurts from the past, let go of the worries of the future, let go of not being enough or having enough or doing enough and simply savor each breath in the present moment with what we already have, we’ll open the space to feel “full”.
It’s the perfect time to thank the universe for the gift of life, the opportunity to begin again, the chance to choose every single moment what we will say, how we will think, who we will be, how we will act, what we will feel and what we will do.
What greater gift could we ever ask for – than this moment?

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“Life well lived, is long enough.”


I only have a minute

Sixty seconds in it

Forced upon me I did not choose it

But I know that I must use it

Give account if I abuse it

Only a tiny little minute

But eternity is in it . . .


Elijah Cummings’ first speech to the US Congress 1996

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“Sunrise . . . a time to begin again . . .”


A huge thank you to the unbelievably heroic firefighters and first responders who saved so many of us from the Kincade fire. Their tireless efforts have been nothing short of extraordinary. . . and I personally thank all of you – my friends, family, colleagues and clients, who so generously shared your well-wishes, offered your homes and help. Your kind thoughts and words of encouragement meant a lot during this very unsettling time.


Here are some of the statistics:


  • Over 78,000 acres burned so far
  • It won’t be 100% contained until ~ Nov. 7th
  • 5,000 fire fighters came from across the USA, Australia and New Zealand
  • Over 200,000 residents were evacuated (almost all of Sonoma County and part of Lake County)
  • More than 2.5 – 2.8 million residents and businesses were without power for 5 days to 1 week. Many have still not been restored power or gas.
  • Fire threatened 90,000 structures with 59 structures damaged and 372 destroyed, including 90 homes.
  • Winds reached 93 mph (close to a category 2 hurricane) in Healdsburg and were directing the fire straight toward my house.
  • With wind, fire travels at the rate of 100 yards per second.
  • Embers can travel over 1 mile away with the wind and quickly start a new fire.
  • Deaths = ZERO!!!


Sadly, as you can see, not all have been as fortunate as I and my heartfelt sadness and empathy flow to those who lost their homes and everything they owned for a lifetime. Lots of people have been out of work for over a week, but our incredibly, hard-working farm workers have been especially hard hit as most live paycheck to paycheck.


For those who returned to a home still intact, many still don’t have gas, hot water, heat and electricity and our temperatures at night have been below freezing. For them, it has been a true tragedy. They really need support.


We are a strong community here and life will go on. Today is a new day and we will recover together. As the saying goes, ”Sunrise…a time to begin again”, and we shall do so together. But you too, as a fellow human being, are a part of our community and this is the time when many need an extra hand…

your hand…to help them get a leg up.


If you are fortunate enough to be in the comfort of your own home right now, and if you feel moved to do something that will make a difference…here’s how:


We are a tourist community, so please don’t stay away!! Our hotels, stores, restaurants and wineries are all OPEN and ready to serve you the finest of everything!!


Through no fault of their own, Latin evacuees need groceries (food goes bad without refrigeration), baby diapers and formula – simple everyday stuff like toothpaste, etc.

Please donate to Corazon Healdsburg at: https://www.corazonhealdsburg.org

La Luz Center at https://www.laluzcenter.org

and UndocuFund at https://undocufund.org


Donate to the Sonoma County Resiliency Fund, established after the 2017 wildfires, donations go toward long-term disaster recovery efforts and mental health support. Donations can be made online at: https://cfs.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?setc=1&funit_id=1652


The Redwood Empire Food Bank is accepting monetary and food donations. For monetary donations, visit: https://refb.org/

For food donation information call 707-523-7900.


Assist those who lost their homes or businesses by donating to the United Way of the Wine Country’s Kincade Fire Emergency Relief & Recovery Fund at: https://unitedwaywinecountry.org/comm/

and the Community Foundation’s Resilience Fund at: https://www.sonomacf.org/ 


If you are local . . .


Make meals for the remaining evacuees by signing up with Sonoma Family Meal at https://www.sonomafamilymeal.org/volunteer/

or with World Central Kitchen at https://wck.org/volunteer


Volunteer at the remaining open shelters in Sonoma County by emailing Petaluma People Services at admin@petalumapeople.org

or submitting an application to the American Red Cross at: https://www.redcross.org/


Open your home to the remaining evacuees by calling or emailing Share Sonoma County at (707) 766-8800 and info@sharefire.org


Donate gift cards for groceries and gasoline to community organizations for them to pass out to so many in need of help. They have lost wages and food and struggle to pay the rent and restock groceries in their refrigerators.


We are all in this thing called “life” together and we thank you for caring. Your generosity at a time like this is so, so appreciated.


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