Emily’s story needs to be written

Effin Artist is a project that I’m involved with and it was through that organization that I met Mike Green, Emily’s husband. We hope you’ll read her story as it unfolds and get involved by contributing to her or another cancer patient’s care and needs.


Effin Artist exists for a single reason: To elevate great stories that inspire change.

Emily Green has such a story. And we’re committed to helping her tell it for a simple reason: Her unique approach to surviving cancer represents a serious shift in healthy recovery. Her story represents a sea change in treatment paths chosen by the millions stricken with this disease. This is inspired change at the root, right where it can do the most good for the most people.

Emily is the mother of three, ages 16, 5, and 4. She is the hearbeat of a family that has endured its share of challenges and trials over the years before she learned that she had late-stage breast cancer.  Her story may sound too familiar in an age when cancer plagues so many of us, but it is utterly unique in its message of hope for those afflicted.

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Fowl Play

I hope that in the absence of new material, you’ll enjoy this post I wrote back in 2010.

Dawn Revealed

Our caretaker Felipe bought a rooster a while back. I first saw the animal tied by one leg to Felipe’s outdoor table. I asked him what he intended to do with it and he replied that he was going to make a caldo (Spanish for soup). The next day, I found Felipe sitting on the stoop outside his house, the rooster cradled gently in his arms. He was stroking it. I asked him when he was going to make his soup and in reply he said something about someone named “Enrique.” Felipe is shy and mumbles a lot. Even my Mexican friends have trouble understanding his garbled speech. So I asked, “Enrique? Enrique who?” He looked at me like I was daft. “The rooster!” he shot back, holding the bird out with both hands in emphasis. I shook my head and pronounced, “I doubt you’ll eat him now that you’ve…

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Long odds pay off with release of ‘Fixed’

Doug Piotter is a writer I respect and work with in a writers group. I encourage you to pick up a copy of Doug’s book, edited by another great writer/editor and friend A. Scot Bolsinger, founder of our writers group. Doug’s book is funny and honest, just like him!


Doug Piotter beat long odds in life. He continues to do so, as the release of his comedic memoir attests. A guy who lived the life that my friend Doug has, shouldn’t be breathing, let alone publishing books. But here he is, as of today, a published author.

I’m honored to introduce to you, Fixed: Dope sacks, dye packs, and the long welcome back, by Doug Piotter.

Doug’s story is compelling. The Seattle native’s unique perspective and gratitude for the life he has helps also make it funny. Very funny, which comes through in his quirky writing style.


It’s staggering to think Doug came out the other side of harsh addiction, a bottom-feeding, crime-riddled youth and a decade in prison. It’s literally miraculous that he came out the person he is, enthusiastic, positive, driven, successful and still, after more than a 22 years of sobriety, giving back in service…

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Latest on the East Cape Blog

Showing the kids in Cabo Pulmo a sea cucumber.

Ten years ago tomorrow, I arrived in a tiny village on the Sea of Cortez with dreams of learning to surf and working to protect the most important hard coral reef in the Northeastern Pacific. I’d never have guessed where that move would take me. In my latest post on the Baja.com website I provide some background and information about Cabo Pulmo: The Jewel of Mexico. Click on over and check it out!

Well Well

It’s not just about what you say, it’s how you say it. I’m always on the look out for ways to make life more positive. Here’s one…

Be well and watch this link of Amanda Gore’s wellness seminar to learn about living positively! (She is no relation to Mr. Global Warming if that’s what you’re thinking).


The Times, They Are a Changin’

An amazing thing happened today. I was the first one to arrive at a party. I am never the first one anywhere. I am usually the last. My friends have learned to tell me to arrive an hour earlier than the intended time. However, living in Mexico now means that I fit in well where it is common practice to show up to a party two hours later than the stated arrival time. And still there are people who arrive later. Today the clocks went forward one hour and that always screws up at least half the population, including me.

Many of you will be wondering if I am not posting something that happened several weeks ago, three weeks ago to be exact, as Daylight Savings Time begins on the second Sunday in March in most of North America. Arizona is one exception in the United States. They do not observe Daylight Savings Time.

However, here in Mexico, Daylight Savings Time begins on the first Sunday in April. This invariably causes much confusion for anyone from the rest of North America traveling to and from Mexico or particularly for North Americans living here. For three weeks in spring and fall, we in Baja California Sur, Mexico are on the same time as California and British Columbia. The rest of time we are on the same time as Alberta and Colorado.

So today, forgetting that most people would have forgotten the time change, particularly because I have managed to remember, I arrived at a baby shower at the stated time of arrival, 11:00am sharp. The hosts were still preparing the food. No one else was there. Now it is important to point out as well that the hosts are American. And several of the guests are American. But the guest of honor is Mexican. So there is no knowing what time we are working on. American Time? Mexican Time? Daylight Savings Time in Mexico or no? Very confusing.

No one else arrived for another two hours.

The hosts were assisted in making preparations. Plates and dishes of food arranged. Food tested. Lemonade made. And still no other guests. One of the host departs to buy ice and some food items. Returns. Still no one else.

It was thought to open the champagne that was brought and to forget the whole thing. Lose time altogether. But no, that wouldn’t be polite and it was obvious no one else was going to join in on getting drunk. No one else was there to join!

More food was eaten. Lovely food, crepes, spicy bread and dip, fresh fruit including the favored raspberries, and croissant. A huge spread. Slowly the guests being to trickle in. It is 12:15. But still no guest of honor.

Finally she arrived with a large entourage, explaining that they thought it was only 11:30. The last guest arrived at 1:10pm. The watch was examined many times wondering when gifts would be opened and home retreated to, because now all desire to be social had dissolved and all the blood was in the stomach digesting the excessive amounts of food. Gifts were opened at 1:20pm. Photos made of the happy mother-to-be. Oooing and ahhing at the many gifts received. Departure made at 2:00pm sharp.

It is decided that this being on time is for the birds. Next time I intend to be late!


For additional information on Daylight Savings Time, including its origins, click HERE.

Miracles in paradise

A miracle has occured here in Las Vinoramas on the East Cape of Baja California Sur, Mexico. It is a simple thing, nothing that you will see on the 6 o’clock news, but a miracle none-the-less.

A couple of weeks ago an email was received from a neighbor living to the South of here in Playa Tortuga (a lovely name meaning turtle beach). This email announced that a service was being offered to pick up garbage and recyclable materials. I read the email with detachment, not wanting to get too excited about the situation, as this did not necessarily mean that they would be providing this service all the way out to Las Vinoramas, the middle-of-nowhere really.

An email was sent to the persons indicated and a very pleasant response was received from a lady named Brenda Navarro. The response, in English, included an agreement to come and tell me about their services so I could share the information with anyone in the neighborhood who was interested.

I immediately sent out an email sharing the address of Brenda to everyone in the neighborhood.

That night I mentioned this incredible phenomenon to my neighbor who owns the local restaurant and learned that a second miracle had taken place. In response to my neighbor’s email, they had come and picked up her large pile of garbage that very day!! This was a good sign. Maybe this time it was really going to happen. Clearly it had begun.

Now a bit of explanation is required here for those of you unfamiliar with life on the extreme boundaries of Mexico. The reader needs to understand that many promises are made in this country and many are broken. Many rumors start about roads getting paved and municipal water systems being installed, power being delivered, police presence being more regular, and yes, more than once, regular garbage pick up being conducted. Typically, if they begin at all they soon falter.

So from this history of initiatives lost, you can better understand my stance of not getting too caught up in the prospect of having our garbage picked up. But there it was, Joan’s garbage had been retrieved. I was feeling optimistic.

And yet another miracle occurred a few days later, when the lovely couple, Brenda and Moises arrived at my house at the stated time for our meeting to discuss garbage and recycling. They explained that garbage pick up was to occur twice weekly and would cost 200 pesos ($14) per month. For an additional 150 pesos ($11) a month they would retrieve recyclables including paper, plastic, tin cans, aluminum cans, glass and batteries! Hallelujah!!

Until now, the author has been saving up discharged batteries and has been meaning to take them to the United States on one of her frequent trips there so they could be recycled. Of course, when it comes time to fly I always forget to pack them, remembering them only upon returning. In addition, the guilt felt each time a plastic bottle or glass jar is thrown in the waste basket has been creating deep lines on my forehead and small pock marks on my spirit. When the printer acts up producing multiple copies of something of which only one is required, again the guilt is felt, true regret at our use of resources with no way to recycle. The option then is to exercise the other of the three “R”s and reuse the paper…but I have a rather huge stack collected now.

Upon retreiving the recycling, the Navarros took with them as well a large cloud of guilt that has loomed above the author’s head since moving into her home on the beach. A true miracle in paradise.