About promiserani

writer, mindfulness and music instructor, artist, environmental activist

Scaring up community

We didn’t need to scare to make community at the Museum of American Heritage on October 23rd at the Scare Faire and Costume Swap. I’m not sure exactly how many costumes changed hands but most people went away with at least a couple of items, and all the fabric was taken, too! Most of the times I looked over, the crafting station and basketball sorting station were busy with interested kids and adults. We also had time for some deeper conversations and building community, which is what Transition is all about!

Thanks to:

Allison and Wendy at the Museum of American Heritage (MoAH) for their beautiful, inspiring space and so much support and physical help on top of welcoming us here year after year

Kay from Greenwaste for the cool basketball sorting station and goodies, and reminding us that we are here for the larger purpose of cleaning up the planet

Roy, Joyce, Chris, Sarah, and Barbara for their dedication, for sitting at the tables and helping kids with crafts or putting up signs or any of the small tasks that are necessary for an event to happen at all, not to mention their conversation and contagious energy

Fabmo for their fun crafts and materials that were easy and quick to do so that we could not only make ghosts and masks and bats and the Queen of Hearts but also send so much material to places they will be loved instead of languishing in a landfill

Cynthia for bringing much-needed sustenance in the form of nectarines and grapes, and for her interest and conversation

Peter, for his demo of different types of nuts, for doing this with me (can you believe we’ve been doing Costume Swaps since 2011?!) and making it possible to see the bigger picture of a vision of a closer community.

and of course, thank you to all the people who came and shared what they had and took things and chatted and crafted and laughed and reminded us that we are not alone.


Scare Faire and Costume Swap October 23

Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev on Pexels.com

The Scare Faire is haunting the Museum of American Heritage again, full of spooky goodness – on Sunday, October 23rd, 1-3pm. 

Old costumes lurking? Send them packing to possess a new home in our Costume Swap. Bring your adult and child costumes in good condition (as well as Halloween decorations) right at 1pm, get a number, and start choosing costumes at 1:20!

Bring your old costumes at 1:00.  We’ll give you a sequential number.  At 1:20, we’ll call numbers, starting with 1, to let people in to look for new costumes.  Every few minutes we’ll let in people with the next few numbers. When all of the numbers are exhausted, we’ll open the room to share the remaining costumes with whomever is there.

While you’re waiting, check out our Scare Faire – a traditional Transition Palo Alto Share Faire with some Halloween twists.  Learn a skill, find something in need of a home, meet your neighbors, have some fun.

We’ll once again haunt the bewitching Museum of American Heritage with our Halloween and Holiday Scare Faire, a chance to get to know your ghastly neighbors, scare, and share.

Some of the fun activities we have planned:

  • Peter Ruddock will share a chance to check out some interesting foods
  • Make your own Costume with repurposed materials from Fabmo – and pick the best ones!
  • Sort trash with a basketball game from Greenwaste
  • Make masks and other Crafts with more salvaged materials from Fabmo
  • more to come…

    So scare up your own costumes and halloween decor to bring!

    And we’ll share each other’s good company while building a BOOtiful, stronger community.

    Please plan to join us.  If you’d like to volunteer as a greeter, for set-up or clean-up, or for whatever, please sign up at https://signup.com/go/VOruzjN

    Free, donations appreciated.

    Want to learn more about our Sharing Events? More info here. 

    Costume Swap and Scare Faire

    It’s that time of year, with a brand new Costume Swap and Scare Faire, back in person, completely outdoors, at the Museum of American Heritage on Sunday, October 17th at 1-3pm. Bring your costumes and your mask!

    Old costumes lurking? Send them packing to possess a new home in our Costume Swap. Bring your adult and child costumes in good condition (as well as Halloween and Holiday decorations) right at 1pm, and we’ll let everyone start choosing costumes at 1:20!

    While you’re waiting, check out our Scare Faire – a traditional Transition Palo Alto Share Faire with some Halloween twists.  Learn a skill, meet your neighbors, have some fun.

    We’ll once again haunt the bewitching Museum of American Heritage with our Halloween and Holiday Scare Faire, a chance to get to know your ghastly neighbors, scare, and share.

    Join us in a Scary Story Circle, check out some fabrics from Fabmo, and more.

    We won’t have goods this time, but do scare up some costumes and decorations, or just come and enjoy the fun.

    This event is free. No need to RSVP. We’ll share each other’s good company while building a BOOtiful, resilient community.

    Please plan to join us, and bring your neighbors, family and friends. 

    Want to learn more about our Sharing Events? More info here. 

    Small Simple Sharing

    Our first Virtual Share Faire of the year was on June 19th, a Saturday afternoon, with a small group but plenty of great ideas! Here are some of the things that were shared:

    • my daughter and I shared some activities we have done during the pandemic
    • Peter gave us a small tour of his garden and setup, and described his experiences with Oya Farms and Eating with the Seasons
    • Dona shared about making friends with the animals and plants in her life
    • Michal showed her beautiful wine bags that she is making instead of her usual jewelry
    • William and Charlotte shared adventures in gathering and making with acorns as well as working the land and other crafts
    • Corina talked about some of the challenges of the pandemic and ways she has been coping
    • Barbara described her fabric crafts including quilting and pillow-making

    We also were able to share some ideas and concerns about opening up and doing more and meeting others as time goes on, sharing our common worries and excitement as well.

    Thank you to all who joined us, and we hope to see everyone else in person for the Halloween Share Faire in October!

    Halloween Scare Faire

    Our first Virtual Halloween Scare Faire was on Sunday, October 25th – and our full lineup was ghastly fun. Thank you to everyone who came and shared their Halloween spirit, showed off costumes, and made it a scarily good time!

    We started with some Laughing Yoga with Chris Selberg – including some Bollywood dance moves, lots of fun, with plenty of benefits in times of difficulty. Try it yourself:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcGS7ODfEi8

    Razia Mianoor shared a tour of her Farm and the intricate details and difficulties of growing your own farm. Check out her slides here.

    Barbara Weinstein gathered us all together to jointly create a creepy Halloween story (read more here)

    They threatened us with a great wind,

It was a terrible feeling and everyone was afraid

The wind was howling
    An owl perched on a branch overlooking a grave
    And the trees where rustling

It was the middle of the day, but dark as night
    The shutters creaked
    Sam and Mordred the zombie monsters
    In the rafters of the attic
    The bat wiggled out of Roy’s beard
    It's a wild and scary place, full of unknown creatures
    The bat began to scare everyone
    It felt all squirmy
    But a wolf came. 
    And discovered that the bat is ticklish
    The zombies adopted the bat as a pet

    William Mutch demonstrated a simple sodas recipe made with overripe peaches, and ways to turn it into fruit butter, melomels, and more. Look for more recipes from – Pascal Baudar – The Wildcrafting Brewer, or Sandor Katz – Wild Fermentation

    Bart Anderson gave us a primer on Bicycling during the pandemic, how to get your own bike, routes and more. Read his story here.

    Peter Ruddock talked to us about COVID Risks. Here is his description:
    During Sunday’s Share Farie, I showed a video and displayed a chart covering Covid Risk issues that people asked to have.  Here are the resources, with a little bit of context.
    The video appeared in spring 2020 from Vox.  It has aged well.  The video talks about 3 variables that you should consider in evaluating risk:  distance, duration and ventilation.  I suggested adding a 4th variable:  activity type.  As a rule, the greater the distance between people, the shorter the time with people, the better the ventilation and the less strenuous the activity the lower the risk of infection.  Of course, wearing a mask lowers the risk even more.
    The chart is one of many which ranks activities and venues by risk and it is not the original source.  It should be used with caution, as activities and venues can vary quite a bit depending upon behavior, specifically the 4 variable mentioned above.  For example, a walk on an empty beach is a very different thing that a visit to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
    I offer these as personal insights, having no particular credentials to back me up, so please take them in that spirit.  Double check them against other sources.  Do keep yourself well.
    – Peter

    Hope you have a safe, happy, and fairE Halloween.

    Virtual Share Faire – Again

    Share Faire logo

    Our last Virtual Share Faire was so popular we decided to do it again, for a longer time! Join us at a virtual room at 1PM on the afternoon of Sunday, August 9th. RSVP by emailing transitionpaloalto@gmail.com

    We’ll have skills to share, one after another – a parade of short, bite-sized skillshares and demos in 20 minute increments including 5 minutes for questions.

    This will be a Skills-only Share Faire due to the virtual nature of the event.

    You can expect to learn:
    All about chickens from Victoria Armigo
    Managing your nervous system in community from Marna S
    Tips about growing cucumbers from Dave Lantz
    Rainwater catchment from Randolph Tsien
    Make your own mochi from Diane Ruddle
    Acorns from William Mutch
    Terrazo of Garbage from Roy Kornbluh
    how other Transitioners are doing…and more!

    And we’ll share each other’s good company while building a stronger community – as always, as it is needed even more now.

    Everyone is welcome – so please share this event with your friends near and far.

    Please plan to join us.  Please email transitionpaloalto@gmail.com to RSVP and receive the link for the conference call.

    Share Faire Summer-y


    Our first ever Virtual Share Faire kicked off on Father’s Day to a small but enthusiastic set of skillsharers and eager participants.

    We started with a beautiful poem by Esther Kamkar, a local poet and skillsharer in her own right: estherkamkar.com

    Then, Bart Anderson gave us a round up of why e-books are wonderful, especially in these times when libraries and stores may be closed, where and how to purchase them, and some tips and tricks. resilience.org

    Lauren Goodkind told us all about chess – from the very basics of how each piece can move up to the more advanced techniques that can help you win, though the fun is in how you play the game. laurengoodkindchess.com

    Robin Means took us through the ins-and-outs of making scones – vegan! She shared info on making your own vegan substitutes, tips for perfect texture, and even how to make vegan pepperoni. vegandollhouse.com

    William Mutch next demonstrated (along with Charlotte Day) his grain mill – showing us how it works (and works you out!), where to find – or even grow – whole grains, the many advantages, and more. Country Living Grain Mills

    Next, Diane Ruddle shared a recipe from Happy Girl Kitchen‘s new book – for making a drinking vinegar or shrub. She gave lots of alternatives and also showed how to make nasturtium capers.

    We ended with Roy Kornbluh‘s demo on the amazing properties of paper with regular paper circles, mobius strips, and mobius crosses – which, when cut, resulted in oohs and ahhs all around. Numberphile Mobius

    Thank you to all the talented presenters and all who attended and asked great questions, participated in the discussion, and helped put the share in Share Faire. We are looking forward to seeing you at the next one!

    Inner Transition – Group Continues This Month

    Monday April 20, 7-9pm

    Online discussion

    Session 15: Train
    Matthew Fox, PhD
    Recovering Our Sense of the Sacred

    In this session, Matthew Fox discusses the importance of reconnecting with the sacred in a technological world. Drawing on many faith traditions, Matthew shares how working with difficult emotions can awaken new energies in us and how specific practices can deepen our connection with the sacred. He also shares a newly forming movement called the Order of the Sacred Earth. Join Matthew to learn:

    • How working with anger and grief can awaken our creativity
    • How practices like gratitude can bring renewal and courage
    • The power of taking a vow to defend and protect Mother Earth
    • How to discover your unique contribution in today’s world

    For Third Monday, on April 20, 2020 we will try something different. The plan is to watch the presentation of “Sounds True –  Waking Up in the World” on your own BEFORE our 7p discussion online.

    RSVP to Victoria (varmigo at earthlink dot net) and she will send the mp4 presentation to you via Hightail.com so that you can view it before our discussion. Then she will send the video conferencing link to you.

    Notes from the Farm


    Razia Mianoor recently went to EcoFarm (sponsored by a few TPA members) and has this to share about her experience:

    The Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm) presented its 40th annual EcoFarm Conference January 22 – 25, 2020 in Pacific Grove, CA. Building upon its farmer-to-farmer education model, EcoFarm is an essential networking and educational hub for ecologically minded farmers, ranchers, and all who work to support their success in growing a healthy food system and world.

    I attended the EcoFarm conference and had a chance to network and learn from the experience of the participants who came from various sectors who touch on our food supply. The conference was designed to give a whole perspective of past, present and future outlook and participants shared their life long journey and also how to plan the succession for continuity.

    The keynote speakers were motivational leaders and emotional intelligence about their own circumstances that helped the audience relate to the topics that were very enlightening, and the discussions helped us understand the issues and find remedies to the common problems prevailing in farming. The topics ranged from

    • Ecology and equity
    • The past, present, and future of organic
    • Successful organic farmers
    • Two paths to the future of food and farming

    I enjoyed the workshops and found it challenging to decide which ones to attend as there were so many good workshops offered. The conference was very intense and involved us with activities which were fun filled as well as educational, socializing and networking.

    I will now strategize to implement the practices I learned from the conference on my farm (Farm View Youth Learning Center) which is a nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) tax ID# 82-1158784 located in Gilroy, CA on a 20 acres organic farm. As a member of clean carbon free energy initiative started in Mountain View, my focus will be to implement solar energy for the pump and the equipment. I am in the process of installing a 6000 sq ft metal building that will serve as classroom for the youth and have a cold room for storage.

    I would highly encourage members to attend if not all 4-5 days then just one day to experience the Asilomar Conference ground and the facility and meet with the EcoFarm staff who are truly amazing to put such a magnificent event each year working from different corners of our great country.
    Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 9.23.50 AM

    Inner Transition – Group Continues This Month

    Monday January 20, 6:30-9:30pm

    Session 11: Train
    Leon Logothetis
    I See You: The Power of Human Connection

    On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day let us remember together what is possible.

    In this session, Leon discusses his incredible journey around the world—one that relied solely on the kindness of others. What these Good Samaritans didn’t know is that as they gave from their hearts, they would be given life-changing gifts. From a sending a homeless man back to school to building a house for a HIV-diagnosed mom in Cambodia, these gifts were Leon’s way of giving back. Leon’s journey will inspire you to recognize your own potential and give back in any way you can. He’ll discuss his long trek out of the corporate world and into the life he was always meant to live: real, raw, rewarding. In this refreshing presentation, you’ll explore:

    • The power of helping someone feel less alone
    • How kindness can change your life forever
    • How you can change the world one kind act at a time

    For Third Monday, on January 20, 2020, the plan is 6:30p potluck, 7p viewing of a session of “Sounds True –  Waking Up in the World”, 8:30p Discussion – in Sunnyvale.

    To ask any questions, please contact Victoria varmigo@earthlink.net Event link.