November 16, 2022

Peyton Street Co-Op


Peyton Street Co-Op 

My first two weeks in Santa Cruz, way back in the summer of 1987, I sublet my friend's room at the Peyton Street Co-op. I have no idea how many people actually lived there, there were so many girlfriends,boyfriends, lovers, renters, sub-letters, sub-sub-sub-letters. All I knew was just how many bicycles could be jammed into one hallway.

It was a crash course. Everyone was experimenting - with drugs, bisexuality, polyamory, and being gluten free.

I learned all about about macrobiotic diets. Introduced to tofu, tempeh, satin, and mung beans. Bulk foods - whole wheat flour, brewers yeast, tamari, tabbouleh, tahini, soy sauce, peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, remember to bring your own containers. Vegetables like eggplants, bok choy, the purple heirloom tomatoes, golden beets and my first encounter with goat cheese.

Everybody contributed. We shopped together and divvied up the bills. We took turns cooking and cleaning, much like the Womanist House at Wesleyan. We took amazing walks around the neighborhood, a sense of being a part of a group, a sense of belonging.

Once, we cooked a huge stir fry and realized the pan had not been seasoned, so we had all just ingested engine oil. A quick call to poison control assured us we would not get sick, but might feel a little more lubricated. 


November 9, 2022



A Collection of Cats, Facts and Whiskers

Inspired by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art And History's exhibit on local collectors, this book was a collaboration between a mother and daughter. Kayla Rose, a crazy cat lady at heart, has collected over a hundred cat whiskers that she found around the house over two decades from a medley of family pets. She wrote the poem to honor all the past, present, and future cats who bring joy into their lives. 

November 2, 2022

Recipe for Recurring Nightmares

Recipe for Recurring Nightmares

Black salt


Welcome mat


Dragon's Blood


Amber resin

Write down your recurring dream. 

Who keeps showing up? 

What do they represent? 

What are they thinking about you? What do you think about them? 

Burn this in your cauldron, 

Along with some dragon's blood, Lavender, amber and sage. 

Watch it bubble and burble. Combine the ashes with salt - Kosher, sea salt, Himalayan or Otherwise. Sift thoroughly.

Walk around your space, house Spread evenly. Bless every Corner, quadrant, 

Find a System

Easy to remember

Resonates like childhood.

Crush two sprigs of rosemary 

Under the welcome mat

Where you have written in permanent ink (hence the sharpie) Only those who love me are welcome here now - All those who would do me harm are repelled - this or something better now occurs for the greatest good.

Circle your house, circle your space. Clean the windows with some white vinegar, let in new light.

Take the remainder ashes and bones to flowing water - not the ocean, the waves will bring it back - with the intention to let all the past be now swept away, gone, gone, gone 

Now and forever. 

So mote it be

October 26, 2022

Mortar and Pestle

I am the mortar, I am the pestle,
Grind, grind, grind

I am the mortar, I am the pestle
Refine, refine refine,

I am the mortar,
Container of the divine,

I am the pestle,
Force of the divine, 

Together we work,
Combine, combine, combine...

October 19, 2022


Right now I am looking at the cutest baby.
Right now I am safe.
Right now I am the Queen,
Observing from her protected box.

Today I removed the dusty veils, old plastic ivy.
Changed the curtains,
Created more light, more space, more 
Breathing room.

I inspired another healer.
I mentored.
I created beauty. 
I will create peace.

Clearing, clear, clearing, clear
In this moment, there is no fear
I trust my heart, I trust my gut,
I know just how to get out of this rut.

False evidence appearing real
I know just what I feel
I doubt the doubts, I know my truth
I am present, sky to root

I am heart, I am compassion,
I know just what I am tested in,
Feels like patience, always waiting,
Wondering when is it my turn, anticipating.

Experiencing stillness, keeping the quiet,
Trying not to be silenced, not to buy it.
Staying balanced, in my form,
Not buying into the norm.

October 12, 2022

Thoughts on School Lunches

Elementary school, Kent Gardens, McLean, Virginia, 1972 maybe. I have no memory, maybe some tater tots?

Primary school, Luxembourg, I think we had a packed lunch, but there was also the cafeteria. Once I left my retainer on the tray that disappeared into the cleaning area, and my grandmother came to help me look through the garbage for it - we never found it, and my front teeth are crooked to this day.

In middle school, Dover, England they served cheesy-hammy-eggy sandwiches, but I would eschew the eggy. My roommate Sophie and I once had dinner at an Italian restaurant, but she forgot her purse. I waited forever, maybe forty-five minutes, for her to get back to school and retrieve it, the shame I felt in front of the waiters who were sure we were just trying to dine and dash.

I would always put notes in Amber's lunches - Mommy loves you, I am proud of you. I think mostly I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

After this class I will go to Iveta on the west side for their diesel turkey and Havarti cheese sandwich.
Served on the softest whole wheat with just a smidge of mayo and mustard, the freshest crisp green lettuce, and the forbidden tomatoes that have the perfect sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper.

 $12.50 is a lot for a sandwich, but I'll have the other half later and I'm guaranteed a good nap in between. I might add a bag of potato chips and most likely enjoy a zesty IPA to boot.

October 5, 2022

Thoughts on Eating: The Cafe Years

I've been cooking a lot more of these last two years during the pandemic - L
asagna, spanikopita, chicken cordon blue, bone broth, and of course ubiquitous quiche

I look up recipes online but fail to bookmark them, so each time I want to make a bechamel, I have to look it up again. Not that the trusty Joy of Cooking is moldering on the kitchen counter mere inches away, but it’s not the same joy.

In 1997 I bought out my business partner and took over the cafe. I'd make and serve at least fifty meals a day - five days a week - that's a thousand a month, over the next two years. That's 24,000 meals. Pretty much that's when I stopped cooking for myself.

"There's no romance in mopping a floor," my Dad would say. Owning the cafe was work. I had to get there by 6:00 a.m. to cook forty strips of tempeh for the ubiquitous Yukimochi sandwiches, our best seller. The tempeh was cold and slimy, a task I detested. 

I slashed the menu in half, got rid of all the single ingredient items, and reduced the staff. Finally the cafe started to break even, if not make money. Still it was endless runs to Costco for supplies, New Leaf for rice dream ice cream, Ledgers for a new appliance, usually a five thousand dollar espresso machine. I became friends with the drivers at Watsonville Coast Produce, the cooks at Aunt Nettie's Bakery, but never really got along with the health inspector, who would write us up if the fridge was off by half a degree, or the soap container in the bathroom was only three-quarters full.

My boyfriend (who used to be my girlfriend, that’s another story) did most of the cooking for the six years we were together, which I deeply appreciated. 
After we broke up, I lived a life between going out to eat and having Trader Joe's frozen lasagna. 

I'd pick my daughter up from Soquel High and we'd get lunch - Gayle's, The Bagelry, Carpo's - usually with enough leftovers for dinner. If I was alone, I'd graze - handfuls of sunflower seeds, raisins, almonds, dried apricots or simply cheese and crackers. It was years before I cooked anything more than the ubiquitous macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, and the occasional steamed broccoli.