End of an Era

Rather than ask for money in this year’s-end letter, we’d like to thank you for your support during Peak Moment TV’s active lifetime, and share our current personal news.

Peak Moment Television, 2006-2018. It was a good run, and we feel honored and proud of our accomplishments. In 336 shows, we have interviewed many people, toured many places, been shown on many community-access TV stations, and inspired many viewers. All of the shows remain available to the public through our website and YouTube channel, and continue to receive comments. For this grand adventure, we thank you, our supporters, and the hundreds of people we had the good fortune to meet during that time.

Peak Moment TV Stars 2006-2018

We produced our last show in October 2018. A year ago. We are closing this chapter of Peak Moment TV in part because Robin’s short-term memory has declined significantly over the past five years. It’s no longer easy for her to edit, upload and archive the shows. She completed all the shows we had “in the can.” And as we ended our last recording journey in 2014, I (Janaia) felt complete, because we’d covered most of the topics I’d wanted to. 

The Next Chapter. In 2015 we sold the parcel containing our off-grid house. We still own 120 acres of forest around that parcel. We moved the motorhome (in which we’ve lived and traveled since 2010) to an adjoining parcel. We put in a modest solar electric system, gravity-fed well water, and a shipping container for a garage plus storage. We thinned out thousands of (mostly small) trees on the slope at the near edge of the South Yuba River canyon.  

We’re deepening our roots in our community, just as we suggested in many of our shows. In 2017 Robin was assessed as having Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which can lead to Alzheimer’s (she has the genetic tendency for it). We’ve educated ourselves on this condition, and Robin uses diet and lifestyle to slow the progression and stay healthy. Blessedly she’s not in denial. We’ve written a letter to friends and family about our situation, which we’re happy to share with anyone (email Janaia). We want to reduce the stigma and fear about dementia by openly sharing our journey with it.

In 2016 we took the New Tribe Training with Bill Kauth and Zoe Alowan (Longing to Belong: Looking for Your Tribe? part 1 and part 2. Later that year friends here created a western Nevada County area New Tribe. We’re now two-year members of this group of fourteen who meet weekly, and are committed to being there for each another for the long term. 

Robin is delighting in weekly conga drumming classes and occasional performances. We belong to the Yuba Spirit Threshold Singers, whose mission is to sing peaceful, simple songs in harmony for those who are dying, ill, or shut-in. Each month we sing at the hospital, and are rewarded with appreciative patients and staff who love hearing our music. Where else in our culture can one be sung to, personally, quietly, like a mother singing to her child? 

I am caring for myself through mindfulness practice, a dementia caregiver’s support group, and a weekly women’s heart-sharing group. I’ve taken two five-day respite retreats in the past several months. This spring/summer, we erected a “room of my own” — a small building made of metal-clad styrofoam modules which we’ve dubbed the “Foam Palace.” I’ll use it for art-making and for having a solitary space to myself.

The Foam Palace (aka the Foam Booth)

Fifty years ago I read Edgar Cayce’s prophecy that California’s interior would be covered with water. I wondered then what might cause such a sea level rise. I never imagined that the cause, global warming, had already begun. Then, thirty years ago we were awakened to climate change through Bill McKibben’s book The End of Nature.

Fourteen years ago we learned of Peak Oil and the collapse of industrial civilization. I had hoped Peak Oil would hit the economy sufficiently to force the world to change trajectories. Although I am glad to finally see wider acceptance of abrupt climate change, I fear it is too late to mitigate most of its effects, which are already causing great losses. We must adapt as well as support creative people forging ways to live far more sustainably (like our Peak Moment guests).

Our local impacts now include hotter and drier weather in Northern California — and wildfires increasingly all around us. Our whole community was on fire-ready alert as summer’s dry weather extended unseasonably long into late November. Several grid power electricity shutoffs added to the stress for most of our community. Being off-grid, we were not directly affected — except for all gas stations being closed. It was resilience practice for a new normal. 

For our adaptation, we are working to create defensible space along the half mile of roads in our 120 acres of forest land. We joined with our local Lake Vera Round Mountain Firewise Community to educate our neighbors and participate in a CalFire-initiated fire drill last June. 

Last spring we attended a workshop from University of California Cooperative Extension on Prescribed Burns for Forest Landowners, and are helping to start a Yuba-Bear Burn Cooperative for landowners like ourselves who want to help each other, using intentional safe broadcast burns to reduce fuel loads and improve forest health. 

Last June we conducted a tiny 0.2 acre “donut hole burn” on our land and learned a lot from the experience. We actually had to keep re-igniting to keep the fire burning! The day after Thanksgiving we burned three huge piles of logging slash bounded by snow.

Robin piling on more slash in our Snow Burn

What Next? We will keep the Peak Moment TV website up, and are glad that viewers continue to find our programs interesting and relevant. 

From time to time I may share our news on the website, with thanks to those who continue to contribute financially. It seems our lives have taken the pendulum swing from public (activism like the Peak Moment TV era) to private (now). It seems a time to rest, consolidate, and just be with what each day brings. Even more, as Robin says, we exult in living with and in the natural forest community who have welcomed us here. 

With gratitude,

Janaia and Robin



  1. Eirye Sjarun says:

    Ohhh. I rather felt like crying throughout this. Change (s). Not that some of them aren’t beneficial. The more community connection, the closer living with plant and animal life (again) – these surely are. Yet, my overriding sense – a profound sense of poignancy. Personal aging and planetary aging – and all of the inner experience (s) that accompany these. I am greatful to you for speaking about them, Janaia. Distracted by my own challenges, to include finding/being a part of community (chronic fatigue/related economic), I have not “checked-in” for a long time…to see what the two of you are doing. And that which you are choosing to do – so heartening. In the quietest and most “poignant” of ways, I feel uplifted. Thank you. Such warm and nurturing blessings.

    • Thank you Eirye, for your sensitive and tender response. Certainly the parallel tracks of many collapsing systems alongside of personal aging with memory loss (at a time when we need elders to bring forward memories that can help our culture move into more sustainable life patterns) make this a fascinating journey. I am learning how to remain “light on my feet” adapting to a whirlwind of changes, moment by moment, both in my relationship with Robin and now with COVID-19 (over a month ago I jumped on the “wear a mask in public” bandwagon and am gratified to have it finally become the new norm). Be gentle with yourself. It’s time we cut ourselves, an everyone, a lot of slack. We all are doing the best we can with the resources we have. Blessings in return~ Janaia

  2. David Leigh says:

    I am sorry Robin has to go through her weakened state of health. I have always enjoyed learning from Peak Moment TV. Janaia and Robin have given so much to everyone’s real-life education. I, for one, feel blessed to have experienced their efforts. A sidebar regarding climate change: I moved to the state of Rhode Island in July 2019. The winter hear has been very warm. No snow fall since early December 2019. Basically a whole winter without snow. Very warm temps(40-55) most days. As I get older, I don’t miss the snow, but is no snow for a winter in a northern Climate a portend of things to come?

    • Hello David, thank you for your kind note. I think your snowless winter is not only a portent of things to come — it is already here! What we know about abrupt climate change is that it brings more extremes. Your snowless winter is just one such example. Flooding in the midwest…mega wildfires in California. Here we are. Time for resilience in the face of many changes~ Take care~Janaia

  3. Thank you for everything

Speak Your Mind