Thursday, February 17, 2011

More information to share on URBAN HOMESTEAD(ing)

This was recently posted on a facebook page that I happily support.   This is, for now, the only way I know how to support and share their struggle and others affected by The Dervaes Institute's recent trademarking "scandal".  Please consider supporting the effort or at least help by spreading the word.
many thanks,

URGENT PROPOSAL (1) My wife and I own Denver Urban Homesteading and our Facebook page was shut down by the Dervaes Institute. THIS FB page on which we are communicating could be taken down and as insurance against that we want anyone who is interested in helping to continue our struggle and that of other homesteading groups and authors affected by the Dervaes Institute takedowns to email us now at so we can remain in contact in case we lose this page. (NOTE that this is for storage of emails only and I will not respond. If you need a response from me my email address is below.)

(2) We plan to file a petition to cancel the trademarks of the Dervaes Institute and we want to find others who can simultaneously file petitions. We believe this is necessary because (a) Dervaes Institute is shutting down internet access for us and for others and because (b) if their trademark which is currently registered on the Supplemental Register remains for five years it may become registered on the Principal Register after which time it will nearly impossible to challenge it. According to the US Patent and Trademark Office “A petition for cancellation may be filed by any person who believes that he or she is or will be damaged by the registration of the mark.” Since the Dervaes Institute has stated that anyone using these homesteading terms must acknowledge their trademark, it seems that a petitioner could include anyone. Thus, we would hope to see petitioners fit into the following categories:
(A) Parties who used the terms “urban homesteading” and “urban homestead” commercially prior to the date of the trademarks, which is November 10, 2007.
(B) Parties who used the terms “urban homesteading” and “urban homestead” commercially after the date of the trademarks, which is November 10, 2007.
(C) A nonprofit group of homesteaders to be formed, perhaps here in Colorado, perhaps elsewhere, that would include any person who believes that he or she is or will be damaged by the registration of the mark.

I have been an attorney for more than 25 years, although currently I do not make a living practicing law - I run an urban homesteading center! If other attorneys show up and want to help, that will be great. While I will represent my company, other attorneys could represent other parties. I will make my filings available to all.

(3) I understand that some people are interested in helping contribute so we will set up a paypal account to receive funds in my attorney escrow account or the account of a nonprofit corporation that I will use to pay for the costs or expenses of the legal filings pro-rata with any others filing concurrently and any excess to be used as directed by the nonprofit.

Any comments, suggestions or other proposals are welcome. My wife and I – indeed the entire City of Denver, Colorado – have a lot to lose if we are unable to refer to our business as one that promotes urban homesteading.

James and Irina Bertini
Denver Urban Homesteading
200 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80223

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I was an urban homesteader at the ripe ol' age of 9.  I built my first veggie garden to prove that I could grow one.  I begged my parents to help me out.  We tilled up the yard in the backyard, they helped me build up my raised garden, because after all, our neighborhood was built on an old arsenic site.  I grew veggies, I shared my veggies, and I even sold some of those veggies.  I had rabbits for many years.  I even tried my hand at chickens and ducks only to have to give them up because of city ordinances at the time.  All before 1985.

I was an urban homesteader.  I am still an urban homesteader, even though my urban homestead is located in a very rural community.  I live in a community with an homeowner's association, with strict rules.  I homestead my .66 acres like there is no tomorrow.  I will stick up for my fellow homesteaders, whether they are rural or URBAN.  Why?  Because I was an URBAN HOMESTEADER long before someone decided that they needed trademark the term.  Claim it for themselves, claim they were saving it from big companies.  Saving it for the true homesteaders.  Yet, anyone who uses the word or phrases must refer back to the them.  And they must state that it is a trademarked phrase.  You can't trademark a lifestyle.   And you can't trademark mine.  I AM AN URBAN HOMESTEADER!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's day! and a Monday Menu

Well, we had a successful Valentine's Day at the Cross compound.  The festivities started last Thursday with Lucy's preschool party -and while she had been counting the days until her party, I believe she was a far from impressed with how it turned out.  For one thing she was under the impression the Valentine's Day party would focus on her, not the other six kids in her class too.  And secondly, she thought that it would continue on forever.  She felt that EVERY DAY should be Valentine's day.  Bring on the chocolate!

Today was Natalie's preschool party, as it should be, on Valentine's Day.  I must say, since when did Valentine's Day cards/candies turn in to full blown gift/swag bags???  Hello, a four year old does not need, nor should anyone receive this much candy.  I'm trying to get away with a few chocolates and an itunes card at home and you all are sending full size candy bars, toys, baskets, jewelry, spa days and Starbucks gift cards home with my kid(okay, slight exaggeration there at the end), but seriously, how can I compete with that?  Oh, and guess what the camera battery died.  Who knows when, but obviously sometime after Lucy's party -it was probably shocked by all the shit they received.

Tonight we take it easy, and will not be eating the traditional Valentine's day grub for dinner.  We won't be indulging in filet mignon, baked lemon herb crusted salmon, or even heart shaped pizzas.  Nope, it's our Meatless Monday night and so we are having a giant delicious SALAD!  Hmmm.... hear my heart singing?  Yep, really it's singing, and those are tears of joy, not sadness.

As for the menu... here goes

Monday: Big ass salad!

Tuesday:  Ham & Cheese Panini's and soup

Wednesday:  Chicken Quesadillas & salada

Thursday:  Lasagna & salad

Friday:  Pizza or Pancakes

Saturday: eating out with family -we'll be out of town through Monday :)

Peace and love my friends.  Lots of dancing hearts -with hoola hoops.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm calling it Menu Monday

because I don't have anything better.  

It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted and I'm getting back into the groove of things.  Not quite what I used to be, but closer.  My nasty, quick wit is still lagging.  I blame the multitude of experimental PRESCRIPTION drugs I've been on over the last year.  But I believe we've (my doctor and myself -I've haven't been diagnosed as having multiple personality disorder yet) finally found something that works good with the lupus, fibromyalgia, and alopecia that doesn't totally fuck me up.  *Insert huge fake smile here*

The hubs and I took our first trip together, sans children, last weekend.  I'll repeat that.  Sans children, and by that I mean ALONE.  It.  Was.  Fabulous.  And even though we never slept in, we didn't stay up late, and we called to check on the littles several times, we enjoyed ourselves so much.  We definitely needed the time away together.  We ate fantastic food.  Discovered cool, moody coffee shops.  And in China Town, found out that there was more than chicken and pig on the menu.  Dog.  Barbecued, strung up, and ready to eat in hanging up in the window of a bakery.  Um....yum?  

We've already planned and booked our return trip for the end of April and this time we're bring all the kids.  Yikes.

This week's menu will be a lot of the usual suspects:  no imagination here

Monday: Salad day!  Lots of green to recover from football food

Tuesday: Chicken noodle and grilled cheese sandwiches

Wednesday: Spaghetti, bread, and salad

Thursday: Broccoli Beef over rice

Friday:  Homemade pancakes

Saturday: Leftovers or new recipe night

Sunday: crockpot beef, potatoes, and veggies

That's it!  If there's a recipe that you'd like to have and can't find it on a search -I'm working on getting this organized- just send me a message, I'd love to share!

You all have a fabulous week!