August 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm (Ambassador, Artesian well, Climate change, Common Milkweed, Environment, Grandmother Tonya Whitedeeer, Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer, Happy Tonics, Hospitality House, Mary Ellen Ryall, My Name is Butterfly, Native Habitat, Natural News, Nibi Wabo, Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites, Water Blessings, Water Ceremony, Water conservation, Water Meditation, Water Organization, Water Spirits)
Tags: Cape Town, Climate change, drought, Earth's Great Cleansing, Environment, Fear, Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer, Happy Tonics, Hospitality House, Medicine bag, Minong Wisconsin, Mother Earth, Nibi Wabo, Northwest Wisconsin, Pollinators, Rainbow, Roy Eckberg, Sandy Stein, Shelley Ruth Wyndham, Sisterhood of Planetary Water Rites, South Africa, Violent storms, Water Ceremony, Water sisters, Water teachers, Water Walkers, Weather, Wisconsin, Worth Cooley-Prost
Saturday, July 30- There were thunderstorms surrounding the valley in late afternoon. Water sisters arrived at the Hospitality House in Minong. We began by dressing up in skirts. Sandy Stein mentioned that when women wear a shawl and skirt it represents mountains and being close to Mother Earth. A skirt worn in ceremony is respectful and helps women remember that we are feminine energy and connected to Mother Earth. We put our sacred items together to carry them out to the sand dunes. I had on my glass water pendent that Worth Cooley-Prost had made for me. Sandy wore her medicine bag. It is good for women to have their very own medicine bag. We have several small beaded butterfly medicine bags made by an elder Marilyn Vig, Rice Lake, WI. I will exhibit and offer them for sale in September at our online store at http://stores.ebay.com/happytonics
Rainbow after storm
While still at the house we witnessed a rainbow. This was a beautiful sign.
Then it started to lightly rain again as we walked to the sand dunes. Sandy Stein said, “Rain is good.” I responded, “After all we are praying for the water.” We felt blessed as we entered Sacred Space and the rain began to lighten up and then stop.
Sandy, Deborah and Godavari met the sweet fern for the first time that is now growing over the dune and into the site. I love this fern, years ago I put my intentions on the fern and wished that the fern would climb the dunes from the other side. Each of them smelled the plant and were joyous when they smelled the sweet fragrance having never smelled anything like it before. I reminded water sisters that we needed to be silent as we entered Sacred Space.
We put our individual sacred items on the blanket alter in the sand. Before we began the Nibi Wabo (Water Song) each of us added our pure water to the water bowl to marry the waters. We tried to smudge but couldn’t get a match to light the sacred sage; it was too damp. We each took a pinch of tobacco in our left hand. In turn each spoke their intentions of remembrance before beginning ceremony and added a pinch of tobacco to the basswood Two Headed Bear Dream Bowl handmade by Frank Galli. The bowl was made especially for Water Ceremony offerings. Then I gave a short talk on the observations of water to the sisters.
Message: Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer is one of the Ambassadors of the White Buffalo Family in Oregon. She is with them now and doing ceremony as we stand in circle. Worth Cooley-Prost is traveling from Arlington, VA to the Carolinas. Worth is standing with us in ceremony at the same hour where ever she is. I remembered Shelley Ruth Wyndham, Cape Town, South Africa, who asked that she be remembered each time we stand in Water Ceremony. She is with us in ceremony. Mother Earth is going through a Great Cleansing and weather is and will become more violent. We are to stand firmly grounded to the earth and hold any fear in our feet which is solidly planted in communication with Mother Earth. We are not to let fear rise up through our bodies. We are not to be afraid when great and turbulent changes occur around us. We are to know that Mother Earth is protecting us. We are the Water Walkers, water sisters and water teachers.As women we are called to protect water. We are not alone. We are here to grow in healing energy work as we band together all over the world. Each of us in our own environment is here to teach others not to be afraid and to help people cross over the rainbow road after a storm. We are here at this moment to personally adapt to Climate Change and its consequences. We need to learn what our agricultural plant growing zone is and may be in the predicted future. We need to plant appropriately while we look towards the future. Current plant zoning is changing. In Northwest Wisconsin instead of planting the same species of downed trees ( Birch, Red Pine and Jack Pine) of the last storm in Minong on July 1, we need to look at a zone or two further south and plant accordingly. We need to personally adapt and teach others to adapt. There is no sense in old programming of being alarmed when our immediate world is changing and negatively lamenting the changes. If we survive I believe this is sufficient enough to be grateful. The solution: Think positive because we are still here doing our work. Adapt! This is the message.
Then we sang to the four direction, using our birch bark clapping sticks. The clouds were getting black and thunder clouds came closer. After concluding the Water Song we ended ceremony sooner, packed up our ceremonial objects and headed back to the Hospitality House. Before we left the sand dunes, Sandy put down the sacred items she brought to the ceremony. These were a shell and rock. I left a tear drop shell in a special place also which was significant because we were blessed by rain during ceremony.
- Parched sand dunes from drought.
One of the observations I have noticed since I started working on water issues and Water Ceremony, with the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites, is that I am forever thirsty. Northwest Wisconsin experienced a seven-year drought . I am conscious of having a dry mouth and wanting to drink water.
NOTE: Parts of this state’s North Woods and the adjacent Upper Peninsula of Michigan are the only areas in the continental USA experiencing “extreme” drought. It’s the region’s most severe drought since the 1930s and its longest dry period since the 1950s, says Roy Eckberg, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Green Bay, Wis. Learn more at http://www.usatoday.com/weather/drought/2010-06-24-drought_N.htm
- Artesian well with spout and cup
I am grateful for all the rain in 2011 even though we have had to deal with strange, unpredictable and more frequent violent storms. Even the clouds have changed to forms I have never seen before. Now I keep a weather radio on.
I am secure in knowing that there is pure water at the artesian well in the woods where sweet water flows to the surface from deep within Mother Earth. What a happy woodlands it is that surrounds the artesian well. Even though the trip is long and I need to drive 60 miles round trip from Minong to Shell Lake and back, I am happiest when I am drinking this precious pure water.
After the Water Ceremony Godavari wrote, “Thanks so much, so very much, for having us at your place, especially right after the trauma of the storms, when it must have been hard for you to get ready. I like that it rained on our ceremony. In Siddha Yoga rain is auspicious (highly beneficial, a good omen) because it is a blessing upon the earth and its people. As you said, it is life itself. After our ceremony, I began drinking water with much gratitude, knowing we are blessed to have clean water on this part of the earth. And inside, I feel a purification beginning, which the water ceremony seemed to launch. Purifying me of anger and resentment, making space for greater love. So in a personal way too, I am grateful to you for leading us in honoring water, in honoring Mother Earth.
Note: Godavari means goddess of a holy river, and there is a River Godavari, as they call it there, near the Siddha Yoga ashram in India.
Worth Cooley-Prost says, “My part of Water Ceremony was brief and on the move, but held my Heart and I hope added something Good to the whole. My old (85 now!) friend Dot, who co-founded the Light Group in Kinston NC in the early 1970s, brought me a little container of water from there. (It used to be artesian well water, now it’s a mix of that and water from the Neuse River… anyway, Water from close-to-me Ancestors’ home since 1841 or so.) And our car smelled so wonderful with sage lit!
Tonya Whitedeer Cargill
is a Clan Mother of the Bear Clan of Medicine Creek Metis in Laytonville, CA. She holds women’s circles and Grandmother Net of Light Ceremonies. She is one of the Ambassadors’ for the Sacred White Buffalo Family in Northern Oregon. She is currently working on a novel that is coming to her through Spirit. Tonya works with endangered species Medicines of the Green Nation and maintains a Medicine Walk open to the public to educate all those that come to her land named through Spirit as Medicine Creek. Visit the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites at http://waterblessings.org/
Mary Ellen Ryall is a Council Guide of the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites and Executive Director of Happy Tonics, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization and public charity. Ryall is the author of My Name is Butterfly published in 2011 by Salt of the Earth Press. The book will be available on Amazon shortly.
The fully illustrated children’s book gives testimony of why native plants are important for pollinators. The charming book teaches about the life cycle of the monarch butterfly and its only host plant milkweed. Over the last eight years Ryall has planted milkweed at the sand dunes. Monarch butterflies flitted about the day of the Water Ceremony. This is another good sign that the monarch butterfly abounds in Minong in and near the sand dunes.
June 27, 2011 at 2:36 am (Butterfly Corner, Happy Tonics)
Tags: Bad River, Bashaw Farm and Nursery, Container Gardens, Food distribution, Free vegetable seed, Gulf of Mexico, Indianhead Action Agency, Jim VanMoorleham, Kris Fjelstad, Lakes and Pines Girl Scout Troop, Leopold Education and Pheasants Forever, Mabel Perry, Mary Ellen Rall, Minong, Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Mother Earth Water Walkers, Ojibwe children, Pollinator garden. Summer Environmental Film Fest, Queen bumblebee, Reserve, Rising food prices, Ruby's Kitchen, Sandy Stein, Shell Lake, Shell Lake FriendshipCommons, Sophie Belisle, Spooner food pantry, St. Friancis Mission, The Scoop, Washburn County AODA Commission, Wi-Fi
by Mary Ellen Ryall
Happy Tonics in collaboration with Indianhead Action Agency was invited to speak at Ruby’s Kitchen, Spooner, in May. I visited the food distribution site and spoke to the public. Free vegetable seed was available from Indianhead Action Agency in Spooner. The only requirement was that a participant be below a certain income level to qualify for free garden seed. At least 30-40 people showed an interest and many more said they were going to plant a garden. Some stated they would be first time gardeners. Rising food prices impact pocketbooks and can change a person’s behavior.
May 27 – Jim VanMoorleham and I did a walkabout at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake. We saw a queen bumblebee go into her ground nest. This is the first time either of us witnessed this. Queen bumblebees usually seek a clearing of soil that they can build a nest in. There is several water filtering areas in the habitat, which is the purpose of these sparse areas of non egetation.
May 28 – The Lakes and Pines Girl Scout Troop of Shell Lake visited Bashaw Farm and Nursery. Washburn County AODA Commission and Leopold Education and Pheasants Forever grants enabled the girls to create functional and fun container gardens at Shell Lake Friendship Commons. This year Youth Container Gardens consist of four whiskey barrels of vegetables, flowers, herbs and a pollinator garden. Garden flowers, herbs and produce will be part of the Summer Environmental Film Fest
on June 25, July 30 and August 20 at Friendship Commons. Lakes and Pines Girl Scout Troop will host the event, give a tour of their gardens and prepare refreshments. Environmental films will focus on world water issues, monarch butterfly migration and bee colony collapse disorder.
Happy Tonics added plants to the retainer wall gardens at the Spooner Food Pantry. Herbs such as parsley, sage, thyme, ground cherries and cherry tomato plants were added to the fledgling garden. Sue Adams gave the nonprofit permission in 2010
but we were short handed last year. In 2011 we are rolling out the gardens for people to learn that food, herbs and flowers do not need to be planted in the ground for one to be sustainable. Grant money from Leopold Education and Pheasants Forever was shared with Fresh Start to install a fence around a Youth Garden in Shell Lake.
May 29 – Sophie Belisle called in the first sighting of two monarch butterflies in Springbrook. The young student reported that the butterflies came in after the storm. Sophie was very happy to see the monarch butterflies in the meadows where she lives. She
has already received a beaded butterfly pin made by Ojibwe children at St. Francis Mission in Reserve, WI. She also received a fabric art square of butterflies, by Mabel Perry.
June 1 – Happy Tonics opened a new Visitors Centert in Minong. The artist loft is adjacent to The Scoop and has the advantage of Wi-Fi access. Minong is progressing nicely with Wi-Fi friendly businesses that want tourists and residents to frequent
June 3 – Kris Fjelstad called in the first monarch sighting in Shell Lake. She mentioned the day was cloudy and windy. It was 77.6 degree Fahrenheit and the time was 2:25 p.m.
June 4 – Mary Ellen Ryall and Sandy Stein participated and walked with the Mother Earth Water Walkers close to Reserve, Hayward. The walkers of the southern direction have been walking since April 20th, carrying salt water of the Gulf of Mexico to Bad River, WI where it will meet with the other waters from the Atlantic, Hudson Bay and Pacific. The southern direction included Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin. The walk is ongoing until the water from the south reaches
Bad River, WI on June 12. The purpose of the walk is to raise awareness of loss of fresh drinking water in many countries around the world and to stop water privatization and pollution.
June 2, 2011 at 1:41 am (Grandmother Josephine Mandamin)
Tags: Honor the Earth Pow Wow grounds, Karen DeMain, Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation, LCO, Mary Ellen Ryall, Mother Earth Water Walkers, New Post, Reserve, Sandy Stein, Trepania Road
Artesian well in the woods where I get my drinking water.
Karen De Main from Mother Earth Water Walkers called today. She said the southern route will be at Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Ojibwe Reservation on Saturday. They will come from New Post to Reserve and then walk on Trepania Road where the tribal college is. Sandy Stein and I plan to meet hopefully in the parking lot at approximately 9 a.m. and wait for the Water Walkers there.
We will join them at this point and walk to the Pow Wow grounds passing the Tribal Offices and Grade School. Ceremony and feasting will take place on the Honor the Earth Pow Wow grounds. It is a thrilling moment for all water sisters and brothers as Grandmother Josephine Mandamin comes to LCO from far away Canada. She has been on the Sacred Water Walk since April 10.
At long last I will be able to walk with the Grandmothers and Water Brothers and Sisters and stand in solidarity to protect Mother Earth’s precious blood so that future generations will have access to free and flowing fresh water. Water is a gift of the Creator and needs to be respected by all people.
I truly believe the movement is now galvanized from this sacred heart beat and is reaching out to the world and the world is waking up to the issue of water being a gift not a commodity to be sold or polluted.
February 5, 2010 at 3:53 am (Climate change, Community gardens, Happy Tonics, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College, Meadow, Monarch butterfly, Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Native Habitat, Nibi Wabo, Prairie, water, Water as a commodity, Water Ceremony)
Tags: Brighter Planet, Climate change, Community gardens, Grant, Happy Tonics, II Annual Winter Environmental Film Festival, Mary Ellen Ryall, Monarch butterfly, Native Crops, Sandy Stein, water privitization
We’re almost there at 81 VOTES at 9:10 p.m. Only 19 more VOTES to go till we reach 100. Yeah Team! If you are watching the results and have voted once, you are entitled to two more votes. Each voter can vote three times. If you are new please REGISTER AND VOTE AT http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100 for Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Garden Shell Lake.
Got Milkweed? Sign made by Matt with DNR Grant
Wild milkweed meadow Go Wild with Butterflies
I thought you might be interested in the DNR Monarch Butterfly Habitat that Happy Tonics has land use for a seasonal habitat. Just look at the milkweed. Native milkweed is the only host plant of the monarch butterfly and this meadow is full of milkweed. Here is a photo of our sign that Matt made last year with a small grant from the Spooner DNR.
Today we want to thank Paul DeMain, Editor of News from Indian Country, for voting and passing the word along. Please read Nick Vander Puy’s interview with Dawn White on the Importance of Water.
Happy Tonics is a co-sponsor of the Environmental Film Festival. We heard from Belinda Bowling, Owner Innkeeper, Casa Escondida Bed & Breakfast in Chimayo, New Mexico at http://www.casaescondida.com/
Sandy Stein and I had the pleasure of staying at the Casa when we were exhibiting at Tesuque Pueblo, New Mexico, in 2008. Facebook friend Amy Lou Jenkins, author of Every Natural Fact Five Seasons of Open Air Parenting also voted for our grant proposal. The book has not been released yet but can be pre-ordered. We like to make friends all along the way. So many individuals have emailed to say they have voted and we are deeply honored. You never know who your friends are until you need them.
Till tomorrow, keep up the good work. REGISTER AND VOTE for Happy Tonics. We love hearing from you.
December 23, 2009 at 9:02 pm (Eco adventure, Medicinal Mushrooms, Paul Stamets)
Tags: Eco adventure, Environment, Food Sovereignty, Health, Mary Ellen Ryall, Mycelium, MycoMedicinals, New Mexico, Paul Stamets, Sandy Stein, Tesuque Pueblo
Wednesday is chore day. I went outside only to nearly miss the garbage truck. Luckily the driver saw me. I dashed to the shed to get the garbage out for him. We have to lock garbage up here because creatures from the woods would make a mess of it.
The fellow was friendly. He asked, “Are you having a good time?” I said, “I’m having a time of my life snowshoeing and I am so happy.”
A near miss and a friendly hello.
The driver responded, “You make me feel like I should be out here doing the same thing.” We talked about the forest and how it reminded us both of Upper New York State. He told me, “I drove a truck till 1996. That is the last time I saw Vermont and Upper New York State.” I mentioned that I hadn’t been back since 1985.
I explained that I came out here to be away from crowds and how that part of the country had grown dramatically. I mentioned that out here, I could raise my own food and the heck with it. He said, “I know and feel much like you do.” Then we went our separate ways.
This is the land of self survival and there are more people who have a Pd H degree here and love this country simply because they want to live free. New Hampshire has a motto “Live free or die.” That’s how many of us feel in the Great North Woods. We are self-sufficient and depend on ourselves.
The wind is howling and it is a bitter cold today. I did not snowshoe. Instead I am studying a book MycoMedicinals by Paul Stamets. Sandy Stein and I met him in 2008 at the Tesuque Pueblo Food Sovereignty Conference in New Mexico where Happy Tonics was invited to exhibit. He was the keynote speaker.
This is when I seriously started to dive into learning about mushrooms. I have always been fascinated by them and did an independent study in learning to identifying mushrooms and finding out which ones are edible. Not having a teacher, I never did learn to properly identify them and knowing how dangerous they can be, I will wait till I have a teacher.
Lichen on oak tree.
I did notice tree and rock lichen and took some photographs. Here is a good web reference that will educate about the role of lichen and air at http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/p429lichens.html
This is one of the things I noticed most out in these woods was the fresh air and I think the lichen may have a role in how pure the oxygen is here on this land.
In the meantime, I order my mushrooms from Paul Stamets Company Fungi Perfectis because he is world-renowned for his knowledge about MycoMedicinals and mycelium. I even coated some vegetable seed with mycelium last summer because it is reported to make roots stronger. This summer I plan to scatter mushroom spawn in my straw laden garden.
I now want to grow mushrooms. Here’s is Paul Stamets You Tube video on how 6 Mushrooms Can Save the World at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5frPV58tY
This discovery and research is very important. So few of us understand the mycelium connection in its relationship to the earth and compared to the computer Internet. We are hi tech now and perhaps because we are we are now able to grasp the importance of mycelium to save the world.
Be happy readers where ever you are.
December 13, 2009 at 6:09 pm (Eco adventure, Eco tourism, Eco volunteerism, Environment, Food Safety, Happy Tonics, People's Food Sovereignty, Rancho Margot, Sustainable Agriculture)
Tags: Cosa Rica, Eco adverture, Eco tourism, Happy Tonics, Pat Shields, Rancho Margot, Sandy Stein, Self sufficent working organic ranch
view of Lago Arenal in view of the Arenal Volcano and the valley of the Rio Cano Negro and is surrounded by the Children Eternal Forest and the Arenal Forest Reserve
We are pleased to announce that Sandy Stein and Pat Shields, husband and wife, will be in Costa Rica for much of December.
Stein is secretary of Happy Tonics, Inc. a nonprofit environmental education organization and public charity. Pat Shields is a board member and facility at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College.
They will be staying at Rancho Margot, a 300 acre self sufficient working ranch at tp://www.ranchomargot.org/our_ranch.html
The Reserva Biologica de Monteverde is just 15 km from the ranch. The natural paradise setting of the ranch is on Lago Arenal in view of the Arenal Volcano and the valley of the Rio Cano Negro and is surrounded by the Children Eternal Forest and the Arenal Forest Reserve.
Costa Rica has the most species of butterflies anywhere in the world outside of Ecuador. We hope the team is able to photograph butterfly species that are unfamiliar to us. A video camera will record interviews at the organic ranch. Happy Tonics mission is: Sanctuary for the Monarch Butterfly and Food Safety Issues. We are looking at other countries to see what we can learn about staying small, producing our own local and organic food, promoting biodiversity of habitat for butterflies and eco tourism. Be sure to keep up with the blog news in December here at Insectamonarca’s Blog.
November 14, 2009 at 3:18 pm (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, Food Safety, Genetic Engineering, Happy Tonics, Joel Salatin, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College, Mary Ellen Ryall, Michael Pollan, Monarch butterfly, Polyface Farm, Sustainable Agriculture)
Tags: Food Inc., Joel Salatin, Mary Ellen Ryall, Polyface Farm, Sandy Stein
Food Safety News: If you have the opportunity please read Food, Inc. The book, edited by Karl Weber, teaches about “How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter and Poorer – And What You Can Do About it.” It is a participant guide to the movie Food, Inc. a must see film to comprehend why we need to talk about feeding ourselves with local grown produce and grass fed dairy, meat and poultry. The exciting news is that Wal Mart is now getting involved in the organic movement. When America buys “organic” the big box stores listen. Thank goodness people vote with their pocket books. In my mind, there is no sense in arguing with the multi-national industrialized food czars. In the end the buying public decides. Choose healthy naturally grown foods meaning non packaged foods to support health.
Joel Salatin is featured in Food, Inc. He is the owner of Polyface Farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Salatin is featured in Michael Pollen’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Officers of Happy Tonics had the honor of speaking before Mr. Salatin at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College Sustainable Living Conference in Hayward, Wisconsin, on 25 September 2009. Sandy Stein spoke about the Three Sisters Garden (corn, beans and squash). I addressed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations of the Midwest and affect on migrating monarch butterflies.
Seed saving break out session