Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, September 22, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 22, 2018 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


Stewie was with us at the 
shelter as a kitten, when he 
known as Mick Jagger. He 
was recently returned by his 
former family, through no 
fault of his after living with 
them for over three years. 
Stewie is now four years old 
and looking for his forever 
home. He is a big handsome 
guy with an athletic build, a 
bushy tail and gorgeous eyes 
as green as grapes. Stewie 
still has the big personality 
of the star he was named 
for as a kitten. He is very friendly, enjoys being 
around people and has a unique voice which he 
uses to ask for the attention he loves. Once Stewie 
finds a fan, he will take his place on a lap, allowing 
his silky gray fur coat to be brushed. Head massages 
are also appreciated. He 
is mesmerized by the 
moving red laser dot. But 
instead of chasing it, he 
decided the light should 
come to him. Come meet 
this show stopper at the 
shelter in Meow Manor 
during visiting hours, 
Tuesday through Sunday 
from 10:30am-4:30pm. 
His adoption fee is $99 
and includes spay surgery, 
vaccinations, microchip 
and a free wellness exam at 
a participating veterinarian. Call the San Gabriel 
Valley Humane Society at (626) 286-1159 for more 
information. To arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’, please 
stop by any time from 10:30am to 4:30pm Tuesday 


During a recent conversation with a client, she 
told me about an animal rescue group that I 
immediately became intrigued with. I was actually 
surprised that I had never before heard of the 
organization, as they are located here in Southern 
California, and have been in operation for 34 
years. Because animals are such a big part of my 
life, I try to support as many rescue and rights 
advocate groups as I can, so I was quite anxious to 
learn more about this one.

 Living Free Animal Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 
non-profit organization that I think is uniquely 
worthy of support because of their commitment 
to rescuing otherwise euthanized pets from high-
kill shelters and promising them a loving home 
outside of a cage for the duration of their lives. 
There are many non-profits that rescue animals 
and work hard at finding them homes through 
foster and adoption programs. However, due to 
limited space and resources, the animals are often 
kept in cages with no guarantee of a home where 
they can roam freely and receive all the love and 
attention they need.

 Founded in 1980, Living Free was among 
the first privately-funded, no-kill sanctuaries 
to rescue dogs and cats from imminent shelter 
euthanasia. The sanctuary’s founder, Emily Jo 
Beard (1923-1989), was strongly passionate in 
her belief that freedom, reverence and justice 
should prevail for all life, not just human-kind, 
and that philosophy is what drove her to carry out 
her mission. Beard understood that the human’s 
position of “dominion” over animals means 
guardianship and stewardship, versus power 
and tyranny. Inspired by the beliefs of Albert 
Schweitzer, and with a goal to provide hope and 
dignity to animals, she decided to devote her life 
to the cause.

 Today, the staff and volunteers at Living Free 
Sanctuary continue to 
carry out Beard’s original 
mission with equal 
compassion. Located at 
54250 Keen Camp Rd. 
in Mountain Center, 
CA off highway 74, the 
sanctuary offers animals 
a gorgeous setting in the 
San Jacinto Mountains. 
They are open to the 
public 11am-4pm daily, 
except Wednesdays, for 
visitors to come and see 
the good work they are 
doing with the animals. 
They also hold annual fund-raisers during which 
donating supporters are given the opportunity to 
socialize and enjoy good food and entertainment, 
all on behalf of the animals.

 Living Free recently completed a renovation 
and expansion of their facilities to allow for more 
optimal care of the younger furry four-legged 
friends they take in. As we all know, puppies 
and kittens have unique needs that require more 
specialized attention than that of adult dogs and 
cats, and the good folks at Living Free recognize 
what it takes to accommodate those particular 
needs. The newly renovated facility provides a safe 
haven where the babes will be cared for as they 
grow into mature, less dependant adults.

 Living Free has a variety of events scheduled in 
the coming months to help fund operations and 
educate the public. One of the more interesting 
workshops I noted on the list is titled “Natural 
Horsemanship with Tim Hayes”, a 2-day clinic to 
be held on October 20-21st. Be sure to visit their 
website at for details, and to 
confirm the date for their next annual Howl and 
Yowl Musical fund-raiser. You can also follow 
them on Facebook to read current updates about 
their activities and to view adoptable pets.

 While Living Free ensures a life-long home for 
the animals they take in, they also make it their 
mission to find loving, forever adoptive homes 
for their rescued friends. So, if you think you 
are ready to share your life with a precious pet, 
that might be something for you to consider. For 
obvious reasons, the folks at Living Free are very 
selective when it comes to placing their animals, 
but in my mind that just proves that they truly 
care about the animals they assume responsibility 
for. Be a responsible pet parent. Give your four-
footed friends the respect they deserve and don’t 
forget to love and let live - freely!


Might you be 
looking for 
thesweetest, cutest 
twosome ever? 
Look no further 
than our brother/
sister duo, PARKER 
age about 1 yr. They 
were first adopted 
several months ago, 
but were recently 
returned to us due to on-going travel plans of the 
owner. They are almost identical tabbies, with snow 
white paws, and sweet little faces, all wrapped up 
in a cuddly, friendly, and loving package of double 
trouble! They will liven up your home and bring you 
endless joy and cuddles! Of course, they will come 
healthy, current on vaccines, spayed/neutered, and 
microchipped. See more pictures, adoption info at

& GUS have all been adopted!



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder






Speaking in Sierra Madre this coming week

Enjoying a casual evening at home, reclining in my 
favorite easy chair reading, while the Gracious Mistress 
of the Parsonage was chatting on the telephone. I 
seldom pay attention to phone conversations. After 
all, I only get one side of the conversation, which may 
be misleading at the very best. I’ve been caught in that 
trap before with some pretty dire consequences. I am 
not going to get caught again, if I can help it.

 Then an odd phrase caught my attention: “plastic 
surgery.” My ears perked up and I heard my wife say, 
“I certainly agree with that article and I’m going to do 
some plastic surgery myself.”

 Well, you can imagine what thoughts were racing 
through my head. When she hung up the telephone, I 
queried her about it.

 In my book, plastic surgery is a big step.

 “You do support me in this plastic surgery plan, 
don’t you?”

 There are times to disagree with your spouse, but as 
a husband for over 45 years, I have never discovered 
that time. Forcing a smile, I nodded in the affirmative 
and told her she had my full support in whatever she 

 I had to admit that the “time” had finally come to 
our humble abode. Who am I to fight it? I go by this 
motto, “He who smiles and agrees with his spouse 
lives to smile another day.”

 I plan to smile until the day I die.

 I never really thought about plastic surgery, but 
perhaps my wife was right. Perhaps she could use a 
little face-lift. For me to get a face-lift, the surgeon 
would need a huge construction crane. Then comes 
the awkward part, what do they do with my face after 
it was lifted?

 Women, more than men, are a little sensitive about 
their appearance. For a man, “appearance” means 
he showed up. A woman has an altogether different 
approach to the term “appearance.”

 Some women look in the mirror and see where 
some improvements could be made. For example, they 
see bags under their eyes that could not get through 
the airport carry-on luggage size requirement.

 Then there is the problem with their nose, which 
could stand a little tweaking. For all practical 
purposes, one of those double chins has to go. 
Moreover, what woman couldn’t use a tummy tuck 
and other snippings of the flesh?

 Believe me; I never would have brought it up, but 
if that makes my wife happy, then whatever it costs, 
we can put it on a credit card. The only problem with 
putting something like this on a credit card is that by 
the time you pay it off you need another procedure.

 But, she is worth it in my checkbook. I have no 
compunction whatsoever of writing out that check.

 Each day I checked the appointment calendar 
hanging on our refrigerator to find out when she 
would be going in for the surgery. Day after day, I 
looked, but could never find any appointment.

 I supposed she was a little sensitive about the whole 
thing and did not want it staring at her day after day 
on the appointment calendar. Whatever the reason, 
she had my silent support, for all it was worth. I am 
sure she would do the same for me. That is what 
marriage is all about. Supporting one another in the 
developments of life, whatever that development 
might be.

 I decided to tuck this little bit in the back of my 
mind and, however it developed would be all right 
with me.

 One day this week, I went to the Slurp N’ Burp Café 
for a quiet lunch. The issue was far from my mind as 
I enjoyed a delicious lunch. As I finished my last cup 
of coffee, the waitress brought my bill and I pulled my 
wallet out to pay for it.

 In searching my wallet for a credit card I discovered, 
much to my chagrin, that there were no credit cards 
to be found. Somehow, I had lost my credit cards. 
Perhaps, in the morning when I was getting dressed 
they dropped out of my wallet as I was placing it in my 

 The problem with that theory was that all the other 
cards in my wallet were intact.

 Fortunately, I had my cell phone and called my 

 “Honey, I’ve lost all my credit cards. I’m here at 
the restaurant and I can’t find any credit cards in my 
wallet. Do you have any idea what I did with my credit 

 “I cut them all up.”

 “You did what?”

 “You said you supported my plastic surgery plan, 
didn’t you?”

 “But, I thought...”

 “You, thought what?”

 Oh boy.

 Dear reader: please disregard the first part of this 
column. If you happen to read my obituary in next 
week’s newspaper, you will know that my lovely, 
vivacious, eternally youthful wife did not disregard 
the first part and I’m currently Resting In Pieces.

 I must confess that my hearing is good; it is my 
understanding that falls so far short. The only exercise 
I’m really good at is “jumping-to-conclusions.”

 This is common among many people who call 
themselves Christians. Their hearing is good but their 
“doing” is not up to par.

The apostle James understood this truth quite well. He 
writes, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers 
only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).

It is not so much what you hear that pays dividends in 
life, but what you do.

 The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage, in Ocala, Florida 34472. Call him at 
352-687-4240 or e-mail The 
church web site is

[Nyerges is an educator and author. His web site is 

 Mia Wasilevich is a chef, photographer, and 
naturalist who has learned to combine wild foods 
with her love of cooking. She is the author of a 
cookbook focusing on invasive and naturalized 
weeds entitled Ugly Little Greens (Page Street 
Publishing 2017). She’s currently a food stylist in 
Los Angeles, California. On Thursday, September 
27, you can listen to her talk about local wild 
foods at the Sierra Madre CERT meeting, 7 p.m. 
at the Hart Building in Memorial Park.


 As a young child, Mia traveled to many 
countries, including Central and South America, 
Australia, New Zealand and Europe. It became 
evident to her that what Americans consider 
“weeds” or wild plants are often regarded as food 
in many parts of the world.

 Mia noticed that weeds and invasive plants 
make an appearance as food in many cultures. 
For example, morning glories in Asia, various 
types of nettles in Africa, and lambs quarters in 

 Mia began to wonder why this art of wildcrafting 
had faded from our own culture, except for in 
a few vintage cookbooks. Eventually, she met a 
prolific set of teachers, foragers, and “foodies” 
in the Los Angeles area and it inspired her to 
use weeds in everyday cooking. She calls these 
“everyday weeds” which she attempts to make 
into recipes as interesting as possible, while 
keeping it simple.

 She’s experimented with unique dishes made 
from many wild foods, but mainly focuses on 
invasive plants, non-native plants which were 
brought here or have migrated here, or whose 
seeds hitched a ride on travelers inadvertently. 
Some of the native wild plants she uses include 
the acorn. One of her first creations was the 
acorn burger, which is a substantial and tasty 
meat substitute. She also developed elderberry 
ketchup and barbeque sauce that have become 
yearly staples of hers when the berries are 

 Among the invasive green plants she uses, most 
can be used interchangeably and can substitute 
familiar vegetables such and spinach, lettuce and 
mustard greens. For example, chickweed (Stellaria 
media) and miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) 
are two greens that pop up seemingly everywhere 
whenever it rains in the early spring and winter 
and carpet most backyards and hillsides. They 
have a lovely, delicate texture and can replace 
lettuce or anywhere you want a cool, fresh, and 
green taste. They are excellent raw but can be 
cooked as potherbs, as well. The chickweed is a 
common European plant, while miner’s lettuce is 
a native.

 “My favorite plants to harvest are drought-
tolerant black sage (Salvia melifera) when it grows 
profusely and, of course, the stinging nettle (Urtica 
dioica) which many people forage when they are 
first learning to identify plants,” she explains. Mia 
likes to infuse creams and chocolates with black 
sage for a wonderful heady, mint-like experience. 
She also likes the nettle plant, which she says is 
“completely unique and I refuse to believe it tastes 
like spinach.” Mia describes nettles as a plant 
which embodies “medicine as food,” lending a 
complex green flavor to whatever dish it graces. 
She also makes a “Nettle-ade” which uses dried 
nettle tea, preserved lemon, sparkling water and a 
bit of honey or agave.

 She has created menus for special events 
that have included cactus and tequila paletas 
(popsicles) with habanero ants, lambs quarters 
(Chenopodium ) seed croquettes with corn milk 
and sweet white clover (Melilotus albus), white 
fir (Abies concolor) sugar beignets and cream 
among other creations.

 Mia, who is half Native American (from the 
Southwest) and half Russian (via Argentina), 
grew up in Nevada and Southern California. 

 “That’s a lot of food culture right here,” she 
explains. “During my many childhood travels, the 
very local ingredients made the foods of various 
places we traveled very special and memorable to 

 She points out that living in the Los Angeles area, 
she doesn’t have to drive far to have an authentic 
ethnic food experience from just about anywhere 
in the world.

 “Once I reached adulthood and was introduced 
to wild plants and foraging, I couldn’t think of a 
reason not to use them for food as long as it was 
sustainable. Foraging is a practice in being self- 
reliant. In addition, the plants that are in my 
book are authentic to my environment, and they 
are also universal. This means that these plants 
grow in many places all over the world and are 
used by so many cultures in so many different 
ways. I think that’s neat.”

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