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Cotati Heart & Soul - Deborah Taylor-French


Cotati Heart & Soul - September 2015

by Deborah Taylor-French

“If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.” —Juan Ramón Jiménez

Welcome back Sonoma State University students. Cotati has more to do, to taste and music for listening enjoyment then most small towns. One more reason why I love Cotati, the businesses and people keep bringing fun for families and students, too. 

1st Annual North Bay New Orleans Festival September 6 at 2 PM   

Grammy award-winning El Radio Fantastique, the Dixie Giants and the Hubbub Club, playing outdoors at the Sonoma Mountain Village Event Center located on Valley House Road. For further info please visit online or

Blues Jam at Spancky’s Bar + Poetry,
Irish Step Dancing & more at Redwood Café 

Thursday nights join the band. Sign up and play the blues. No cover charge. What a great way to meet friends and see which musical talents show up. I happen to love the blues, especially live. The Irish music on Sunday afternoons is still going strong.

Yoga, Pilates & more Wellness The Center for Vital Living  

Six days a week for the past year, The Center for Vital Living has continued to grow as a wellness resource. Their motto? “Yoga for every body.” Located around the corner from Spancky’s Bar at 1818 La Plaza Cotati, CA 94931. I will be taking my first class this September as my way of going back to school.

What’s different about this yoga studio? For one, it’s small and intimate. Plus you can reserve a space online! I met the owner and yoga instructor, Yvette Racines, a certified 500-hour yoga instructor with special interest in Yoga Therapy. Racines also teaches yoga at Kaiser in Petaluma through The Stress Management Center of Marin. The Center for Vital Living provides a niche for both beginner and those active people who keep up a lifetime of fitness, sports dance or hiking. Got a back, a knee or a neck injury, no problem. The instructors customize classes to participants’ needs. Weekend warrior? Come to stretch out those shortened muscles from playing basketball, soccer or cycling.

Go local at Stones Throw Gifts  

This is a shop to make your wish list, grab original greeting cards, paintings, jewelry, unique and affordable up-cycled items, fun t-shirts and small last minute gifts for birthdays and Christmas. We were in there on a Saturday, browsing the lovely and interesting items, most crafted by local artisans. Featured paintings by artist, Suzanne deVeuve, and Glass by Ellen held our attention. Forgot to take our gift lists, so we will be back. I grabbed a few artists’ business cards and photographed things I loved. No kidding, I loved the recycled artwork and barbed-wire art by Jason Brown. Brown has a Web site so search under Jagged Wire Productions. The gift shop has Web pages in the Songbird Center at, if you want to look before you go.

Bites in the night? Call Jerrod at Nature Science  

Our family has unwelcome invisible visitors, year after year beginning in spring, usually for only three to five weeks. But this year, they did not leave. If you have mysteries bites that start small rise then form mounds of inflamed skin but never find any bugs, you might have bird mites. There I was making our garden a bee, butterfly and bird paradise, only to find our house a roost for carriers of the biting pest. We called Jerrod at Nature Science Pest in Rohnert Park, (707) 586-2514. He inspected our bed. Not trace of any insect activity, but on his outside inspection our roof has too many lovely nesting places. Do look Jerrod up at

We called our roofer, Salvador at Contreras Roofing to roust the birds from nesting near the bedrooms and entryways.

Friends of the Library  

BIG SHOUT to Sandy and all the friendly, steadfast Friends of the Library volunteers who run the bookshop and book sales for the Cotati Rohnert Park Library branch. With programs like Adult Literacy, Master Gardeners, preschool through teen performances or book events, we have a wealth of information and Internet access to be grateful for. This past summer, the library hosted sitar Peter van Gelder, who began his study of Eastern classical music with Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. The room could not have been more packed with men, women and children.