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How Prudence Boczarski-Daniel said goodbye to her best friend

By Christopher Nyerges
[Nyerges is the author of "Self-Sufficient Home" and other books, the editor of Wilderness Way magazine, and a teacher of survival skills. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or]
Everyone knows that a dog is man’s best friend. A woman’s too! And the family dog is an integral part of any outdoor experience.
Not long ago I was driving in my neighborhood and saw Prudence Boczarski-Daniel walking her dog Joe. But something was different. Prudence had Joe on a leash, as usual, but his rear feet were in a wheeled cart. "What’s this all about?" I wondered as I pulled over and parked.
Prudence told me that Joe had had problems with one of his rear legs for a long time, and that just that week the other leg "gave out." Her 11-year-old beautiful pit bull could no longer walk. Since Prudence knew how much Joe enjoyed his walks, she found a way to continue taking him out by putting his rear end in a wheeled-cart and letting him walk with his front legs. I was laughing at the sight of this, but it was really very sad.
A week later I got a call from Prudence to inform me that Joe had died. She asked me if I would help her with a "fauneral," a funeral for her dog Joe.
The next day, we dug a hole in a non-profit’s wildlife sanctuary and buried Joe, who was wrapped in one of Prudence’s aprons. This was near an avocado tree that Prudence had recently planted.
On the following Saturday, Prudence invited friends and family of Joe to come to the fauneral. It was a wonderful outdoor event in the wooded hills where you could hardly believe you were in the city.
As guests arrived, they were greeted to the lovely violin of Nicole Deweese, and everyone sat on hay bales covered with old carpets around Joe’s gravesite.
Prudence began by sharing some dog poetry, and then everyone got to hear about Joe’s long life as Prudence’s best friend (next to her husband).
It was a beautiful ceremony with more than a few tears in the crowd. I have been to human funerals that had less feeling.
Prudence had a large poster with photographs of Joe which was set up so everyone could see images of Joe’s life. A candle was lit and placed on the large rock over Joe’s grave, and mugwort was burning, giving the aroma of a church ceremony. Prudence then had the participants plant a rose and various herbs over Joe’s grave. A red brick had the name "JOE" laboriously carved onto its surface. Then, while everyone watered the plants, there was more of the angelic music of Nicole Deweese to close the ceremony.
Afterwards, we discussed how that spot will always be special to Prudence. This embodied a principle of permaculture of replenishing the land. Even with the death of her dog, Prudence Boczarski-Daniel practiced sound ecology in how the body of the dead dog was dealt with, and so provided a living example for others.
Questions on doing your own "fauneral" can be directed to Prudence at







By Christopher Nyerges
[Nyerges is the author of "Self-Sufficient Home" and other books, the editor of Wilderness Way magazine, and a teacher of survival skills. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or]
At WTI’s Plenary session in November of 2009, Prudence Boczarski-Daniel presented "The Golden Glory of Eggs," everything you could imagine about the seemingly-ordinary egg. WTI is a local educational non-profit, which has conducted Plenary sessions (which means "all in attendance") since 1984.
To start off this complete exposition on the egg, Prudence declared: "Eggs — Ahhh, glorious eggs!" Holding up an egg for all to see, she said, "This is a truly amazing food. And it’s an even more amazing ingredient of many, many foods. The Egg is rich in nutrition, deep in religious significance, compact, cheap, beautiful, strong, full of life, and an essential foodstuff all around the world."
Prudence shared the symbolism of the egg as the symbol of birth and rebirth, an apparently lifeless object out of which comes life. Because of this, it is a symbol of Christ’s Resurrection and is seen most often at Easter. Legend has it that St. Mary Magdalen went to Rome and met with the Emperor Tiberius to tell him about the Resurrection of Jesus. She held out an egg to him as a symbol of this, and he scoffed, saying that a man could no more rise from the dead than that egg that she held could turn scarlet. The egg turned deep red in her hands, and this is the origin of Easter eggs, and the reason why Mary Magdalen is often portrayed holding a scarlet egg."
Prudence then delved into the facts – exoteric and esoteric – about eggs. She discussed that every part of the egg is edible. Eggs are considered a good source of protein and choline. Because of this, the egg falls in the Meats category under the Food Guide Pyramid.
She noted that the shape of an egg is an ovate spheroid with one end larger than the other end. The egg has cylindrical symmetry along the long axis. Then she asked the participants: "Why are eggs egg-shaped?" When no one could think of an answer, she said that scientists have one very sensible theory: the ovoid shape gives an egg its incredible strength! Then she had everyone test the amazing strength of the egg with a simple experiment. Everyone removed any rings, and then slipped on a rubber glove. Each was wrapped their fingers around an egg and squeezed really hard while trying to apply equal pressure to all sides of the egg. Interestingly, no one was able to crack the egg. Why? Because the egg is shaped like a three-dimensional arch, or a dome, one of the strongest architectural designs in the world. When an object is placed on top of it, no single point in the dome supports the entire weight; instead, the object's heaviness is carried down along the curved walls to the dome's wide base. Prudence said that if any eggs broke, it was most likely because one of our fingers applied greater pressure to the shell than the others.
Prudence then explained that egg shell color is caused by pigment deposition during egg formation in the oviduct and can vary according to species and breed, from the more common white or brown to pink or speckled blue-green. In general, chicken breeds with white ear lobes lay white eggs, whereas chickens with red ear lobes lay brown eggs.
Although there is no significant link between shell color and nutritional value, there is often a cultural preference for one color over another. For example, in most regions of the United States, chicken eggs are generally white; while in the northeast of that country, and in countries as diverse as Costa Rica, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, they are generally light-brown. In Brazil and Poland, white chicken eggs are generally regarded as industrial, and brown or reddish ones are preferred.
Prudence also explained that farmers may enhance yolk color with artificial pigments, or with natural supplements rich in lutein (petals are a popular choice), but, in most locations, this activity is forbidden.
Prudence then enriched us with the lore of eggs – and why they are such a rich spiritual symbol. A complete transcript of her report is available from WTI.
After this enlightening journey through eggness, Prudence took us into the kitchen to learn how to cook with eggs. But first she began with making something she called an "Elixir," and showed us how to put "C’hi" or Conscious Light into any food. She passed around copies of "The Reflection Formula," (a conscious Seeing of the divinity within the person the food is being prepared for) which several us reciting while holding our hands over the pot that allowed the green tea to steep. We all tasted the amazingly sweet liquid.
Next, Prudence had us taste a 15-year old pickled egg (she didn’t tell us how old it was before she had us taste it). It was delicious. She showed us how to preserve eggs by pickling them in raw apple cider vinegar.
Then she showed how to beat eggs to make a "Timlet" – named after the omelettes made by Timothy Hall who was the owner of the Trucker’s Daily Bread Café on N. Figueroa in the late 70s and early 80s. 
This was absolutely the best tasting omelet I’ve ever had.
With her amazing "bionic hand," as some of the participants called it, Prudence whipped those eggs into a frothy, golden, succulence that made out mouths water. We all got a taste of this beautiful mixture of eggs, onions, garlic, black olives, 3 grated cheeses, sour cream and avocado – you’ve got to try it to believe how luscious it is.
Then Prudence – quite ambitiously – began teaching us how to make a golden yellow cake, using only natural, fresh, wholesome ingredients (meaning NO refined sugar), that she had us top and fill with chocolate crème brulee. Incredibly, Prudence pulverized egg shells (washed, dried-in-the-oven eggshells that were blended into a powder) as one of the ingredients of the cake to show us that the WHOLE egg is edible. It made the cake a little gritty, like it had nuts in it, but otherwise, was quite delicious. We all took turns stirring the crème brulee over the double boilers on the stove and marveled at the thickening properties of all those 5 egg yolks she had us put in the mixture.
While we waited for the chocolate crème brulee to cool (we stuck the top half of the double broiler in the freezer to cool the mixture into a thick, creamy custard), we learned more about just how to work 
WITH eggs so as not to overcook, curdle, allow to separate, or flatten egg whites.
Finally, as the coup d’grace, we all got to taste our creation – a beautiful, double-layered golden cake filled and frosted with the smooth, delicious, chocolate crème brulee. It was an egg feast.
For WTI’s December Plenary, Prudence will be teaching how to use herbs and spices in foods, and will demonstrate how to make absolutely fresh, organic vegetable soup. Call Prudence at (323) 620-4721 for more details or check the web site at



 A demonstration of the viability of solar cookers.

Christopher demonstrates solar oven use as Michael, Helen, and Prudence look on. Earth Day 2009

 During WTI's Fourth of July Event (2009), participants enjoyed solar-heated corn on the cob, vegetarian hot dogs, and coffee.  This illustrated that is was possible to cook our food with just the sun, using no piped gas or electricity.