The monsoonal ‘Pineapple Express’ has finally departed, leaving death and destruction to parts of the Southland.   Thankfully, there’s no storms in sight for the next few days, leaving us time to dry out.

The rainfall total is now 28 inches, 15″ of which fell in the last 10 days and is as much as the average annual rainfall in downtown LA.



Special Guest: Michael A. Bedar of Tree of Life Foundation Patagonia, & EnvironMENTAL

WHEN: Sunday, January 16

TIME: 5:00 – 8:00 pm (movie starts @ 5:30pm)

COST: $5 – $10 sliding scale donation. Space is limited, please RESERVE in advance. V

ISIT: event includes a potluck, so please bring food and non-alcoholic drink to share.

EVENT DESCRIPTION: Meet Michael Bedar and others who were involved in the production of the film as they introduce Ecoparque. After the film, join in an active discussion and a Q&A session with Mr. Bedar.

FILM DESCRIPTION: EcoParque is a video about community, gardening, coastal areas, freedom, environmental responsibility, borders, and art.This film explores the creation and impact of Ecoparque, the place–a park flourishing on a formerly barren urban hillside thanks to an innovative system that uses residents’ wastewater not only to transform one canyon, but to make a scientific and economic case for neighborhood-scale, nature-mimicking facilities being preferable over centralized conveyance and chemical treatment for many canyon communities. Nestled into a steep, barren hillside overlooking the Rio Tijuana, only a few miles south of the US-Mexico border, a creative experiment in natural resource management is taking place on a daily basis. The location is known as EcoParque, and the experiment involves taking treated wastewater that is normally discharged into the ocean, and re-using it to irrigate and transform an otherwise arid slope into a verdant park and small wildlife preserve, complete with lush hiking trails and magnificent views of downtown Tijuana. (33 minutes)

FILM MAKER’S BACKGROUND: Writer, Director, and Co-Producer – Michael A. Bedar: Founder of environ-MENTAL Productions, and the Director of Public Relations of the Tree of Life Foundation, a healing and “awakening” oasis and permaculture center.


Lizzie, enjoyed jumping on backs and fiddling with JM’s hair.

One of our five bantam chickens, Lizzie (named after the character of a Charles Dickenson novel,Our Mutual Friend), died Tuesday night.

JM suspected that something was wrong with Lizzie for months — -she just wasn’t acting normal and seemed rather quiet. JM gave her herbal medicine but nothing seem to help.  Her stomach was swollen and appeared as if it was some sort of abnormal growth (tumor). One of our other chickens, Scarlett had the same symptoms but the herbal medicine seems to be helping her. Nothing really could have been done for Lizzie.   Bantam Rhode Island Reds, because of their inbreeding, are notorious for that sort of stuff especially as they approach five years of age.

Tuesday morning when JM went to feed the animals she noticed Lizzie was perched by herself with her wings drooping and did not want to eat. JM picked her up and said later that she knew at that moment that Lizzie had ‘given up’. JM said Lizzie closed her eyes, relaxed into her arms and made a very long sigh. She also chirped very softly to JM and then cuddled close, resting her tiny head against JM’s shoulder.

While she was in the coop with the other chickens Lizzie had tried to keep ‘going’, leaving her nest that morning and getting down out of the chicken house and trying to do all the things she normally did, but from the moment she was with JM, she simply went limp and relaxed as though she knew she no longer needed to struggle along.

JM questioned herself on if it was right taking Lizzie away, thinking perhaps leaving her there amongst the others would have let her live longer. However, I think Lizzie was waiting for the time for JM to be there with her, comfort her and and say goodbye and let her die in peace. JM held her that morning for hours, cradling her in a warm towel and stroking her. She then fixed up a crate with fresh straw for the sick hen to rest in for the night in one of the bedrooms. Lizzie chirped quietly several times during the day whenever we stroked her and then passed away in her sleep that night.

It’s been a very sad couple of days…

Every one of our animals are special in their own individual way and we enjoyed them all for it. Lizzie loved to ride on our shoulders and jump on our backs. She’d cuddle close to the neck and sing softly. And she had a special habit of sometimes watching the sunset. There had been a few times when one of us had watched the sun go down with her. She also had an attraction to JM’s hair – playing with it and arranging itto her satisfaction with her beak. She always made us laugh.

Obviously Lizzie’s death is nowhere near the pain of those affected by the Tsunami’s destruction and other everyday tragedies, but it’s not possible to forget all those animals or deny the sadness at their passing. Her memory will join those of God’s other creatures who had shared their lives with us.

We’ll miss you ‘Lizzie-girl’…

Weather Report: Nice

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