Pasadena, All Saints & Audubon Center

We’re back! And we hope everyone had a productive Earth Day to make or renewed his/her commitments to become better earth stewards.

It was a busy week for us which partially was to blame for the lack of posting. Recapping last week: There were preparations for Earth Day activities, a local school toured the homestead, planting and more planting, finishing the lodge pole arbor, taxes, co-op pick up, meetings with people in the community, visiting a friend in the hospital, juggling all sorts of PTF and homestead duties and much more.

Wednesday we set up a table outside our local Wild Oats for their Earth Day. Thanks to Sally for the invite and for being a great hostess. We met some great people.

On Saturday a few of us attended the Earth Day celebration at Memorial Park in Pasadena and the rest of the family went and attended the Earth Day at the sustainable (and lovely) Audubon Center on the outskirts, overlooking the LA basin.

After being nice and warm with temperature hovering in the upper 80’s, the Earth Day weekend brought a drastic change in the weather. Saturday the clouds rolled in and threatened to rain on the Earth Day festivities throughout the Southland and in a few cases it did.

Surprising, the cold and damp weather didn’t keep people away from celebrating the earth. At the Pasadena Earth Day, attendance was the biggest we had seen in years.   We had lots of folks stop by our booth (a few friends stopped in to say “hi!”) and at the end of the day we were fighting off sore throats from all the talking we had to do.   

Our energy future

Of course, the biodiesel 1988 suburban (I know, the big black car is definitely not our type of car and was certianly not our first choice, but it was the best “second hand” large, diesel car for sale at the time) was a big hit but we had to keep reminding folks that this fuel is just a band-aid solution to the rising gas prices – biodiesel is not the answer. There was always sorting out the confusion of biodiesel vs straight vegetable oil. There’s still a lot of misconceptions and misinformation about this alterative fuel source. Speaking of gas prices, one man who stopped by the booth informed us that he just came from Hollywood where the price of gas was $4.00 a gallon! Ouch.

BTW: Justin got a tad bit “sunburned” and on a cloudy day? We figured it was from the reflection off the recently waxed car since he was sitting next to it all day. Of course, we teased him about that!

We also had a small “peak oil” display which got quite a lot of attention, especially from older folks who remember the colorful ( and still relevant!) WWII posters. My favorite of the posters is titled “Wake Up America” ( you can see it pictured on the right hand side of the display) Underneath the sleeping beauty it says “Civilization calls – every man, woman and child.”   The entire display calls us to combat pollution, global warming and the many ails that we ourselves have brought upon this modern age of civilization.

Even though it was tempting to print handouts on all types of issues that we feel passionate about, we only had PTF handout- the 100% post consumer brochure.   What good is it to have Earth Day if we end up using more and wasting more than if we stayed home?   Also we put out  other informative literature on energy, genetically modified foods that were leftover from past events. Better to give them  out instead of sitting in a box and cluttering our house. What matters is that we don’t try to be too wasteful even for a good cause and that’s certainly a tough conundrum to sustainably balance.

As the event neared its end, we found out that we won a few raffle prizes for bringing in a few bags of recyclables.   The goodies we won were:EM Bokashi kit, three native plants, a canvas bag, also a Patagonia clothing item but, unfortunately, when I went to claim the prize they had nothing left. I think they overdrew. Oh, well.   Jordanne had a bit more luck, at the Audubon Centerraffle she won aPatagonia windbreaker.

At the Audubon Center, attendance was lower than anticipated. Maybe it had something to do with so many Earth Day events going on all on the same day. I think we counted about  6 related events and I am sure that watered out everyone from congregating in one place. TheEco-Film Fest & presentation that PTF hosted in the library was sparsely attended.

However, despite the low turnout it was great to see old friends and connect once again with like minded folks there. Ray (the cob oven guy) brought his new rocket stove/oven to bake pizzas. There was great local entertainment which included an “Old Time String Band’ playing one of favorite tunes from O Brother Where Art Thou and an amazingly talentedSpanish guitarist (who happens to be a friend of ours).

And the day wasn’t done yet, not by a long shot! We gals were then off to attend a “girlie night” at a friend’s home.   Girls, food, fun and games – a few of us played the Pictionary game late into the night and we didn’t get home till about midnight.

Sunday, we all were up early again and we gals were off to another Earth Day event, this one at All Saints Church in Pasadena.   It was another overcast and cool day, but the sun did peak out once and awhile. In between services most of the congregation stopped by and looked at all the colorful booths underneath the prayer flags that were nestled in the lovely grassy courtyard of this beautiful 1923 stone church.

It was certainly a very busy and inspirational weekend.



The front yard median is a blaze in a bright, colorful palette of scarlet flax and California poppies. Such color certainly gives life to a normally drab and useless piece of land that is between the asphalt road and paved concrete sidewalk. Like every year, it will be fun to see the median evolve over the season as the early wildflowers seed and new ones take their place to brighten the world and give insects a place to hang out.


PTF site continues to grow, in March the site received over 95,000 unique visitors and over 2.8 million hits from over 115 countries. A big thank you to those who continue to spread the word about this growing pro-active revolution.

On our the journal page we installed aCluster Map to us and our readers to get a chance to glance where the site’s visitors are located.

We have a confession to make, we haven’t been really working on “Part 2” of the site lately.   We are taking a longer breather than we anticipated. I promise, we’ll get this section up soon.  I admit it’s a bit crazy having a bit of the old site mixed in with the new.  

It’s always good to have a deadline for such projects, so we are shooting for the end of May.


We received a lovely thank you note and special gift card in the mail from a special someone. The card and sentiments certainly brightened our day.  Thank you!
Also, thank you to those of you who take time to write and keep us updated on your the progress you have made on your path to freedom. We certainly like receiving such positive mail because a simple ‘thank you’ it makes the endless hours spent on the computer worth it.


This is a story about three families [one being the Dervaes family] who are preparing for the possibility of a global pandemic, global energy crisis, and global climate change. Beyond awareness, beyond talk, they have taken action to ensure the safety of their families and communities. They believe it is time to prepare for the future NOW, while they still can, before it’s too late! This crux of this story evolves around an average person’s ability to do something small to help create a better future, by enhancing the power for resilience and adaptation.

The premiere is on Saturday, May 6th at the Norris Theatre on the USC campus. Seating is limited. They have asked that we invite no more then a certain minimum number of people in consideration of two other films that will be debuting on the same night.   If you would like to attend you need to contact us to reserve.

Turn on mainstream news, read the internet and listen to the radio and peak oil, bird flu and global warming are all hot button issues.   The documentary couldn’t come at a better time with these looming scenerios making headlines.


We got our order from Mountain Rose Herbs. So this week I’ll be making toothpaste and deodorant.   Stay tuned.


Sorry folks, our message board is under attack again. We have called our hosting service provider and hope they can get security precautions in place to prevent this from happening again. In the meantime, do not open any email sent from the PTF E-Neighborhood nor visit the message board without your computer armed with the lastest virus system.   We thank you for your understanding and patience.

No Comments

  1. carol says:

    Taking a poll here:

    What do you call the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street? Here you called it a median, though technically the median is the planters in the middle of the street, hence “median.” Where I come from, in Cleveland, Ohio, we actually HAVE a name for that strip of grass, everyone else needs to describe it except us Clevelanders (I think, prove me wrong!).

    We call it a “tree lawn” because “thats where the city plants the trees!!” Its used in day to day convo like “take the recyclables out to the tree lawn!”

    Just curious, keep up the good work 🙂


  2. dermot says:

    On the subject of site info, you might find this interesting:


    You can see the growth of your site’s traffic. You can see it in 3 month increments, as well as page views, page rank and reach. The Holy Grail is to get into the top 100,000; I’d say you’ll be there soon enough!

  3. claire says:

    would it be possible to have a ‘downladable’ ptf handout? either that or how much is it to have one posted to Scotland?

  4. Anais says:


    You may be right? Anyone have an opinion on this – instead this piece of land may be called a curbside.

  5. Anais says:

    Hi Dermot

    Hope things are going well at your urban homestead? Thanks for the link.

    It was fascinating to see the growth of the site. This site has grown steadily over the years without much advertising on our part. Imagine if we did. Yikes! It’s good to see the growing interest in sustainable living – we are the change!


  6. Joanne Poyourow says:

    Anais – is the “Wake Up America” / “Civilization calls” poster something you made yourself at PTF? Are they available someplace?

  7. Anais says:

    Hi Claire

    You can download a brochure at http://www.dervaesinstitute.org/presskit/documents/brochure.pdf

    I believe, if my memory serves me correct, that shipping to the UK is under $10.


  8. Anais says:

    Hi Joanne

    The poster is readily available on the internet – google “old wwwII posters” and “wake up america”

    We made the display that you see by printing up a few wwII “propoganda” posters along with some retro photos and interesting energy facts.