NORCAL FIRE RELIEF: A ROUNDUP

Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a disaster. We in wine country have been battling (or, in my case, fleeing) fires all week. I am safe and well, but my neighbors, friends, and colleagues need your help.

The following organizations assisting fire victims are either personally recommended by me or by friends/colleagues here in wine country. This list is by no means comprehensive. These organizations are primarily asking for money, not goods.

By and large, the list focuses on Sonoma County, as that’s where my resources lie. Feel free to add your own preferred charities (in any affected county) and I will update accordingly. Correct me where needed… It takes a village.

Thank you!

 

GENERAL FUNDS

Sonoma Resilience Fund
http://www.sonomacf.org/sonoma-county-resilience-fund/

Sonoma County Recovery
https://sonomacounty.recovers.org/

Napa and Sonoma County Fire Relief
https://www.gofundme.com/napa-sonoma-fires

Napa Valley Community Foundation
First launched by Napa Valley Vintners after the 2014 earthquake.
http://www.napavalleycf.org/fire-donation-page/

Disaster Relief Mendocino
http://www.communityfound.org/…/disaster-fund-for-mendocin…/

Choose from any GoFundMe here. https://www.gofundme.com/raise-funds/CAfirerelief

 

FOOD
Redwood Empire Food Bank
http://refb.org/

FISH (Friends in Sonoma Helping), food bank
http://www.friendsinsonomahelping.org/

Search for the food pantry of your choice: https://www.foodpantries.org

 

GOODS

Here is a centralized Google Doc that so many of us here in wine country have used to help one another this week. Before you collect or ship goods, please check this document and make sure you are addressing a specific, current need.

https://docs.google.com/…/14ZhXDNaL260p5OempaFb…/mobilebasic

 

IMMIGRANT NEEDS

Latino Community Foundation
https://latino-community-foundation.networkforgood.com/…/38…

OLE Health
Providing health care for immigrant community
http://www.olehealth.org/

Graton Day Labor Center
This organization is setting up a fund to help victims of the fire who are undocumented. Send a check to their offices and mark it “UNDOCU-FUND”
http://www.gratondaylabor.org/

 

WINE

Sonoma Vintners & Growers have set up a program for vintners to help other vintners by offering resources such as tanks, storage space, skilled labor, housing etc. Winery folks, use this form to list your offerings, and they will be shared appropriately and privately:
https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSdzXi-INnZOEshQqP…/viewform

Buying any Northern California wine will help.

Buying from Cellar Angels will help extra. Proceeds go to support California Wildfire Relief: https://www.cellarangels.com/cha…/california-wildfire-relief

What’s Cooking

“Be ardent in your work, and you will find God in your cooking pots.” -St. Teresa of Avila

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Lloyd R. Moylan (1883-1963). “Navajo Women Cooking

Our 2016 Presidential election was nothing if not a call to action. With one of the lowest voter turnouts in history and a result that’s instilled fear and anger in most, this election has proven what we’ve been told all along: Our democracy only works when we do.

In the last 10 days, I’ve watched friends and family roll up their sleeves and do just that: call representatives,  write letters, march in the streets, and take other actions to uplift the ideals so many of us share. Is it my imagination, or have I witnessed a growing kindness in daily life, as well? My heart swells at this sudden social and civic engagement (even if I wish it’d come before the election).

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on my pet project: s i r s e e. At a time when the nation seems to really need a drink, I’ll be offering wine. (Hey, we all make an impact in different ways, okay?) The wine will not be not for sale. Instead, you will be able to access the wine by making a donation to your choice of featured charities.

Yes, that means I’m giving the wine away! My community partners–including the printer, the designer, the shipper, and others–are donating in kind, too. We have gathered a lot of resources in hopes of raising funds for important projects.

First, I want to outline which organizations  s i r s e e   aims to support this winter, and why. It is my hope that Continue reading

“It’s important to find your lens.” In conversation with writer Cathy Huyghe

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Cathy Huyghe is an author with an appetite.

In Cavalier Career, we explore the will to do good work. So what kind of work does it take–really–to bring wine to the table?  Consider:.

  • A harvest crew skilled not only at picking fruit, but hunting rabbits.
  • Courage enough to traverse war-torn Syria in a taxicab full of ripening grapes.
  • Nerve to skirt the law, particularly in Turkey, where it is illegal to market wine and the consequences may be harsh.
  • Patience as long as the life cycle of a koala bear: If eight years pass before you bottle your wine, then so be it.
  • Hunger. Voracious hunger.

That last bit, according to writer Cathy Huyghe, is key. Whether the ache of passion or of physical appetite, hunger drives the wine business. It also drives our own private pursuits. 

RedCoverHFW-1In Hungry for Wine: Seeing the World through the Lens of a Wine Glass, Huyghe uncorks bottles
and stories from around the world. With uncommon curiosity, she looks past the luxe labels and technical tasting notes to global socioeconomics. The resulting twelve “conversations about wine” (as she calls them) reveal the humanity behind one of the world’s most celebrated beverages–and the drive it takes to pursue one’s hunger. 
Continue reading

Say What? (On Curiosity & Connection)

 

I’m one of those people who tends to apologize.

A few years back, I crashed my car–a 1967 Ford Falcon in near-mint condition–through no fault of my own. Thrilled to be in one piece and hopeful the other driver was, too, I leapt out and exclaimed, “I’m soooo sorry!”

I said this, despite a lifetime of warnings I’d received about the danger of taking responsibility at the scene of a car accident. Why? …because in my vocabulary, “sorry” is often not an apology at all. It’s a show of empathy. In this case, I was worried about the other driver.

In its complex coding, “I’m sorry” is akin “bless your heart”. When I say it, I’m often sending goodwill and sometimes even pity–not subservience. You either get this, or you don’t.

This is a problem of interpretation–a matter I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and not just for this reason. Our globalized society melds languages, dialects, slangs, and jargons. Amid that mishmash, we seem more likely to misunderstand and offend one another. What to do?

I believe we must show more curiosity toward one another.

Continue reading

Bird’s Eye View

It’s nearly Halloween, and time for a spooky story…

20141012_185122I don’t write a lot of fiction, but have experimented with flash storytelling. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I also really enjoy playing with voice over. So this was a fun project to approach with my sound engineer friend, Jesse.

Bird‘s-Eye View” traces a young girl’s thoughts as she struggles to gain perspective on her isolated life in Appalachia. For its narrator, a quick trip over the mountain is an epic journey, and a seemingly trivial encounter might change her life. (Well, a girl can dream, anyway.) Anyone who knows me well, knows that I spent a great deal of my life dreaming about the other side of the mountain, or at least the state line.

It’s not actually a ghost story, but the “haunted” element felt important to me.

Thanks for listening!

Storm-Chasing & Peace-Seeking

My migration across the country fifteen years ago was a pivotal point in my life. It constituted a great leap toward dreams I’d held since I was a little girl–and the beginning of my Cavalier Career.

For all the gifts of that move (and they have been countless) it also brought chaos. This week, my essay “Dock of the Bay” reflects on the ongoing quest for peace amid unrest, and the lessons of a life in motion. Thanks to Misadventures magazine for the publication.

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10 Reasons Why Making Your First Wine is Like Traveling to an Unfamiliar Country

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Misty jungle, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Over time, I’ve become familiar with certain steps in the winemaking process by working with my employer–sampling grapes, doing punchdowns, or cleaning tanks. Yet I had never experienced it in such detail until last week, when I harvested my own fruit and began my own winemaking project.

In my mind, I’m on a journey. I’ve landed in a thick jungle and I’ve gotta make my own path out. In the spirit of adventure, then, I give you:

10 Reasons Why Making Your First Wine is Like Traveling to an Unfamiliar Country

  1. You are excited! Now scared. Now excited! Now scared. Now …
  2. You are spending waaaay too much money. And it’s worth every penny.
  3. Friends who’ve been where you are going wanna tell you exactly how to get there and what to do. Now, should you take their advice?
  4. Once you set off on the trip, you realize you really should’ve packed some nutrients—like trail mix, or maybe some Ferm-Aid.
  5. You knew in your gut you were taking a wrong turn, and you did it anyway. Now you are lost and it’s a little scary. Always trust your gut!
  6. Where you least expect it, you find a like-minded friend to help you on your way.
  7. You speak the language, and blend in pretty well—but you’re not a local. And there’s always someone reminding you of that.
  8. As an outsider, you discover things even the locals don’t know.
  9. When the day is over, you’re gonna kick off your boots and have a cold beer.
  10. You don’t know what’s next on the itinerary, but you can’t wait to find out…