Third Friday – Nov 20: The Third Harmony

Friday November 20, 2020
Watch and discussion party
Please download and take a look at these questions before we see the film.
For the Zoom link, text stepup to 31996

For Third Friday this month, join TPA and Rita Guess from Step Up and Do Something! for a close look at nonviolence and how it works.

The Third Harmony explores the important role that nonviolence plays in the wider struggle to develop a “new story” of human nature. Contrary to the “old story”, scarcity, competition and violence are not inevitable. Rather the universe is conscious and purposeful; we are spiritual beings, and cooperation and collaboration are our natural way of interacting.

The film points out what each of us can do to facilitate the fulfillment of Mahatma Gandhi’s promise that nonviolence could “oversweep the world” and allow us each to find personal fulfillment in the process.


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:

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.

We are the Radical Monarchs – Film and conversation – Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope

Film and discussion
Friday October 23, 7pm-9:30pm
RSVP to be able to join the Zoom gathering

How do you get engaged, empowered women who can fight for social justice? Start when they’re girls.

radical monarchs

‘We Are The Radical Monarchs’ profiles an extraordinary organization based in Oakland that transforms the Girl Scouts model into an force for social awareness and action for girls of color. The film documents the journey of the group as they earn badges for completing units including being an LGBTQ+ ally, preserving the environment, and disability justice. The group was started by two, fierce, queer women of color, Anayvette Martinez and Marilyn Hollinquest, as a way to address and center her daughter’s experience as a young brown girl. Their work is anchored in the belief that adolescent girls of color need dedicated spaces and that the foundation for this innovative work must also be rooted in fierce inter-dependent sisterhood, self-love, and hope.

The film follows the first troop of Radical Monarchs for over three years, until they graduate, and documents the Co-Founders struggle to respond to the needs of communities across the US and grow the organization after the viral explosion of interest in the troop’s mission to create and inspire a new generation of social justice activists.
See the trailer…

This week Fourth Friday: John Lewis – Get in the Way

Film and discussion
This Friday 9/25, 7pm-9:30pm
RSVP to be able to join the Zoom gathering

Good news! Our very first Virtual Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope screening is this Friday. We are very excited to partner with Rita Guess from Step Up and Do Something to present John Lewis: Get In The Way.

Follow the courageous journey of John Lewis, the civil rights hero, congressional leader, and human rights champion whose unwavering fight for justice spanned the past 57 years. The son of sharecroppers, Lewis grew up in the segregated South and rose from Alabama’s Black Belt to the corridors of power on Capitol Hill. His humble origins have forever linked him to those whose voices often go unheard.
See the trailer…

Please RSVP to Victoria so we know to let you into the Zoom session.

To join:

Meeting ID: 820 6879 1085
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,82068791085# US (San Jose)

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

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 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:

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.

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.

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.

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 so that you can view it before our discussion. Then she will send the video conferencing link to you.

All Hands on Deck for COVID Response

It’s a time of extraordinary need in our local community. Everyone’s life has been turned upside down by COVID but none more so than undocumented families who have lost work in construction, restaurants, landscaping, child care, and maintenance. These families face enormous struggles in the best of times, but now the need is much greater, especially because they can’t get unemployment benefits or stimulus checks.

As part of my work with the Kafenia Peace Collective, I helped surveyed undocumented families in our network about their needs. We learned that the overwhelming need is for rent assistance. The statewide moratorium on evictions provides a little breathing room, but that’s all. Back rent will still be due once the moratorium is over.

To pitch in and help, Kafenia is raising money with partners Live in Peace and Dreamers Roadmap in East Palo Alto. In our first round of fundraising, we were able to help a dozen families meet their rent requirements for April.

The need is much too great to be solved by any one person or organization, but it’s very rewarding to be taking action and helping ease the pain for real families in our community.

You too can help out and be part of the COVID solution, even as you shelter in place.

  • Look at the practical suggestions in this Palo Alto Weekly column that I co-authored with others on the Kafenia team.
  • Help out financially if you can. Go to the Live in Peace website. After adding your credit card information, select ‘Kafenia’ under Additional Information.
  • Help with COVID response. If you’d like to roll up your sleeves and help out with the COVID effort, please send me an email ( We especially have a need for Spanish speakers who can help with phone and text outreach.

—Barbara Weinstein

check recipients

Let Them Eat Dirt – March Fourth Friday/Films of Vison and Hope

Film and conversation
Friday, March 27, 7:30-9:30 pm.
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
FREE, donations appreciated

Let Them Eat Dirt: The Hunt for Our Kids’ Missing Microbes

Learn about how good health just might begin with kids playing in the dirt.

Allergies, obesity, asthma, diabetes, auto-immune and intestinal disorders are all on the rise, with the incidence of some diseases doubling every ten years. New research points to changes in the ecosystem of microbes that live on and inside every one of us — our microbiomes — as a major cause. But how could one’s gut microbes increase the odds of developing conditions as radically different as asthma and diabetes?

Based on the book by B. Brett Finlay, Ph.D. and Marie-Claire Arrieta, Ph.D., Let Them Eat Dirt features families, doctors, and researchers who are sleuthing out what’s harming our microbes — and what we can do to reverse this dangerous trend.
See the trailer…

Let them eat dirt


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.
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