Leap Year!

Whatever you do with this year's LEAP DAY, may it hold leaps of faith, love, learning and life for you. And maybe a little wine, too?!

Renewable Returns!

As all of the domain names coming up for renewal reminds me, TODAY is the birthday of of Biodiesel Babes and The Renewables!

This day last year I fell in love with and almost "bought the farm" for to build and run a renewable dude ranch where folks like us could build solar sheds, brew biodiesel, tend vines, make wine, grow food, cook and dine together, see stars, work hard, sleep well.

EVERYTHING had its intended use -- the fields, pond, creek, stone walls, build lot, old house, smokehouse, artist's studio, historic barn. But what was that "Ponies Only" section out back? And what could it become? Perhaps it would be where kids make gimp lanyards while parents drink local whiskey and shoot skeet? Or better yet, where little ones generate electricity, learn about food chains, plant seeds and the like? Hmmmn....

Several reality checks and one big banking crisis later, I remain without land. But I've got lots of intellectual property and what I hope turns out to be a virally good idea.

In the realms of renewable energy, agriculture and life, we plan to host a series of Renewable Challenges -- contests that will:

* Educate about issues
* Spotlight solutions
* Give people the impetus and tools they'll use to be part of the solutions
* Encourage them to be juicy, creative and collaborative in their sharing of ideas and actions
* Showcase and celebrate the results

For example, how many farms and farmers' markets can we visit, and how vibrantly and profusely can we prove it -- online and in the real world, through video, photos, assorted artworks, recipes, poems, stories, songs? Where does our energy come from, and how can we make more it while using less? How can one man's trash become another's treasure? Which TV show or network most successfully campaigns against climate change?

Of course The Renewable Challenge we will start small and stay fresh.

But with your help, The Renewables: Thinkable is Doable can grow in all sorts of meaningful, wonderful ways.

For every good reason, we'd love your insight and could use your energy!

Meantime, I'm still wondering what "Ponies Only" means.

Warmly and looking forward,

Still There!

Yesterday, I arrived in Ireland forJohn O'Donohue's memorial service. Lindaa and I drove from the airport to Co. Clare through snow so fresh that our tracks were the first. Later, we learned that Feb. 1 is also the first day of Irish Spring.

It found me remembering a favorite quote from Diana Kappel-Smith's Wintering:

"In the winter, everything out of doors seems to be gone. But...we know that nothing is gone, and that all the rich life of a June morning is out there on a January morning."