Sorry for the late of postings, it’s been busy here on the homestead. Well, that’s nothing new, I suppose. Weather’s hot, back to typical August weather.

Day of Rest & Reflection and Forward Thinking

Saturday, we spent a quiet and relaxing day with a friend as we hiked in the local mountains. We walked up to our favorite swimming hole and spent the afternoon playing in the water, falling asleep on the rocks in the sun and talking about personal issues, future plans and what can we do to better prepare ourselves for an uncertain future, global warming, practicing and living earth stewardship, etc.  

We also talked alternatives to plane travel (we opt instead for train — 2 plane trips in 25 years — but, one day, would like to visit the old homestead in New Zealand) to get across the ocean. So, as we talked,  someone said, “Wouldn’t it be neat if trans ocean liners were used instead of planes?” A friend of ours needed to go to Hawaii for a family gathering and was not happy about using a plane to get there; instead, she was thinking of hopping on a freight boat as a passenger but apparently you can’t do that from an American port to an American port.

Jordanne & Lucia check out the cute alpacas

Fiber Fest

On Sunday we gals, along with some friends, took a trip down to Santa Monica to check out the Fiber Fest We checked out the yarn and colorful bins of roving, tried our hand at spinning and got a free lesson (from a very nice lady) on how to drop spindle. In the front of the auditorium there were three alpacas and a man who brought his angora bunnies and was spinning their yarn.   Thelady who brought the baby alpacas ( 2 chocolate brown and 1 white) to the Fiber Fest was very, very nice and, of course, Jordanne spent most of the time there talking with her about raising these adorable creatures.   If we had a bit more space, (alpacas provide great companionship, manure, milk(?) and, last but not least, amazing fiber) I could see us raising a few. They are similar to raising goats, except they need a hair cut.   Thealpaca ladymentioned to Jordanne that sometimes her alpacas birth small babies which are rejected by their “mum” (she had a lovely South African accent) and would consider giving Jordanne one to nurse. Of course, Jordanne’s eyes lit up at that proposal.    We’ve seen llamas and alpacas at the zoo (waaaay back), but hers were absolutely gorgeous – well taken care and very stunning to look at.   OK, I know, I am in love.

After a few hours at the Fiber Fest, and since it was a beautiful sunny day, we spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the Santa Monica beach (right in front of Muscle Beach and the left side of the Pier) – soaking up the sun and watching the waves.

We came home with new ideas and hands itching to try out new skills and techniques.   I am still on the look out for a spinning wheel.  Unfortunately, many of the spinning wheels there weren’t “show price” and I figured I could get a better deal online.    Oh yeah, almost forgot. There was this guy there who was spinning bamboo – amazing and the yarn was absolutely amazing. I have to say, I was proud of myself – didn’t come home with any yarn (too much in my stash which I promised I would use up before buying any more yarn).

Oh, after the beach you’d think the day was done. Nope!  Our friend’s little girl wanted to play with the goats, so we piled into the their compact car (4 adults and 3 kids — 2 of which were goats) and went to the Rose Bowl/Brookside park and let the three “kids” run around. The goats had a blast and so did we.

Manic Monday

Monday, was a day for catching up with things we failed to finish the week before.   Thank you notes to be written, emails to catch up, roofing and clean up, yard and housework were just a few of the things tackled.

Monday was also bulk co-op pick up day. Since the truck was coming in the early evening (6pm) we brought the goats along with us so they could play at the Rose Bowl/Brookside Park.   We were surprised to find lots of folks using the park on a Monday evening and the goats attracted quite a lot of attention – the children’s faces would light up when we’d ask them “do you want to pet them?” and the adults were all curious (one young man whipped out his cell phone and asked if he could take a picture “because I’ve never seen goats in a park before.” )

Look who’s been checking out the cob oven, happens that goats love charcoal!

Typical Tuesday

Having made an effort this summer to reduce our store food purchases even more, Tuesday is bread making day (in the cob oven of course- wouldn’t think of adding extra heat in the kitchen!) and food preservation day on the homestead… or yogurt making, sprouting seeds and just planning what we are going to eat. Of course. that depends on what the garden is giving us at the time…

The summer harvest is a little late this year (thanks to the crazy weather) Now, that the weather is back to normal, the garden has settled down.

What we are harvesting now:

Veggies: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, beans, avocados, basil
Fruit: figs, strawberries, apples, rose apples, peaches (yup, peaches finally!) there are also a few plums tucked in among the row of dwarf fruit trees.
.. and juicy, sweet oranges – thanks to a friend of ours bringing them over.

Still very few cucumbers. Wonder if we received some bad seeds from our supplier?

The winter squashes have taken over the entire driveway and there are some pretty decent sized banana and pumpkin squashes.

Working late. All gone.

Roofless in Pasadena

The guys have been hard working on the last part of removing the old shingle roof – as of today, it’s all gone! Last dumpster load got picked up today, having filled two 10 cubic yard dumpsters with a total of over 14,500 lbs (7+ tons!!!) of junk! Yikes!  Hate the waste, but it has to be done, code doesn’t allow one to put new roofing material over 2 layers of shingles and our house had about 3 layers in some places plus wood shake.

Anyways, we did save some of the old wood shakes to chip up for mulch.

Now comes the “fun” part of putting on ~100 sheets of plywood and the metal roof. We have finally narrowed down the 10+ metal roofing choices to just a few. There is one that we found originally from overseas that doesn’t have Teflon, is drinking water safe and it also looks like regular asphalt shingles. But, we are still working on the details/cost since they say we can’t install the metal roof ourselves. I doubt that very much.  We each have two hands, a brain and with a little bit of mentoring and direction I think we can do a pretty good job ourselves. Like we did with the installation of the 12 solar panels, we did it pretty much all ourselves with a little mentoring help from Allan fromEESolar.

There is also the problem with fixing the sagging eaves. It is not easy for us to fix but it is expected on 90yr old houses for eaves to droop a little.

Jules said a teacher from the school that surrounds 3 sides of our house, saw him and Justin on the roof with their clothes, mask and skin covered in black dust and said she admires what we are doing since we are doing the work ourselves. Nice of her to say so.   It is a family trait passed down from ourGrandfather Jules Sr, to my father, Jules Jr to us kids: never be afraid of doing hard or dirty work. A good quality that we are proud to have in our blood.

Can’t wait till the roof job is done, these days walking outside in the yard it smells all musty (especially in the mornings – gets you sneezing) and there’s a feeling of dust everywhere – we really need a good rain to remove all the dust… wait, not yet! not until we put a new roof on!!   

Website Update

I find a bit of time to update the right side bar on this journal page – fixing links: removing out of date sites, updating new urls along with adding new steps and current trails on our family’s journey.   Jordanne plans to have the beta III version of the video brochure and the localKPFK radio interview with PTF and the producer of ‘The Great Warming’ uploaded this week (hopefully by tomorrow), so stay tuned!   Last week we had planned on doing it but got interrupted with our having a deadline to get some video footage in for a pilot episode for a new “green tv” series. Before you get excited, notice the key word mentioned: “pilot” — this means sometimes “pilot” never get to see the light of day.

Thank You

.. to Edward B, who donated, “to help you spread the message of self reliance.” Very kind and thoughtful of you. We truly appreciate your gift very much. It has already been put to good use,  paying web hosting fees, etc.


Global Warming & Global Food Supply {}

We’ve long known that global climate change would have a massive effect on the fragile agricultural system we’re so utterly dependent on: our crops are fickle, catastrophe-adapted cereal grains, after all. The droughts and heat waves caused by global warming would lay waste to our grain stores.
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No Comments

  1. Wildside_e says:

    Hello, there! Enjoying reading your journal this morning and saw this…

    “We have finally narrowed down the 10+ metal roofing choices to just a few. There is one that we found originally from overseas that doesn’t have Teflon, is drinking water safe and it also looks like regular asphalt shingles. But, we are still working on the details/cost since they say we can’t install the metal roof ourselves.”

    Would you mind sharing what you have found; either by email or as a comment at my blog?! Do you have a link to more info?

    Sorry to ask so much, but sounds like just the ticket we need for our old house too! If it looks like asphalt shingles, just may be could get it on without too much notice or complaint from historical commission… (?)

  2. Shannon says:

    Hey girls!! I too am having very little luck with my cucumbers this year. Two, thats right two so far! Arggh. Glad phase one of the roof is done!


  3. Jennifer says:

    Great journal post yesterday. I wanted to (belatedly) thank you for the “Great Warming” event. It was a powerful film that’s got us talking about “future plans and what can we do to better prepare ourselves for an uncertain future, global warming, practicing and living earth stewardship, etc.” as well.

  4. Anais says:

    Hi Wildside,

    Thanks for your comments and interest. We too didn’t want to stick out with the typical metal roof so we were glad to find metal roofs that look like shingles!

    We are still doing the last bit of research before choosing. When we have our choice finalized will post the information – we want to make sure we are making the right decision before “endorsing” any one product.

    Stay tuned!


  5. Anais says:

    Hi Shannon

    Nice to hear from you. Hope the work that you were doing on your urban homestead is progressing also.. you were tearing out your lawn right?

    They say misery likes company, so we are glad we have some! 😉

    We are still not giving up and have planted another batch of cukes so we hope we’ll get a late harvest.

    Hope everyone is well.


  6. Anais says:

    Hi Jennifer

    Thank you for your positive comments. Much appreciated.

    It’s always great to get feedback, even better positive feedback after such events.

    Wishing you all the best in your journey….