Join us for the upcoming Wellness Fair and Farmers Market at the Lac Courte Oreilles Convention Center at the Casino in Hayward, WI tomorrow, September 30, 2010 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Baby pumpkin
Baby pumpkin

  We will display native crops that we grew at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in the summer of 2010. There will be pumpkins and squash.

Happy Tonics will be shucking Hidatsa beans for winter soup and packaging some for our online store at http://stores.ebay.com/HAPPY-TONICS

We will also be packaging our organic herbal teas and culinary herbs that will be available shortly online.


Attention Area Youth Gardeners (and future gardeners)!

Area 4-H youth and other youth are invited to attend the a Fall Youth Plant Science event at the Spooner Ag Research Station on Saturday October 2, 2010 from 10 am until 1 pm.
Kevin Schoessow, UW-Extension Spooner Area Agriculture Agent and UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteers will be leading discussions and demonstrations on making compost, planting garlic, pruning grapes and raspberries and putting our gardens to bed. There will be a tour of the Spooner Ag Research Station Display gardens were youth can learn about the “off the grid” drip irrigation system, powered by an airlift tech pump and windmill and the newly constructed hoop house for season extension.

Youth will also get to participant in a plant identification contest, and tasting of any ripe produce. This will be a great opportunity to meet other youth and learn more about gardening and the resources of the Spooner Agriculture Research Station. There is no cost to the event. However participants are asked to register by contacting either their local UW-Extension Office, or by calling the Spooner Area Ag Agents office. Participants should bring along a bag lunch and come dressed for the weather.

Transportation is available for Burnett Co youth but you must call the UW-Extension office at 715-349-2151 to register. “A volunteer’s time is the true example of selfless giving” JRC Kevin SchoessowArea Agriculture Development AgentSpooner Area UW-ExtensionSpooner Agriculture Research StationW6646 Hwy 70 Spooner, WI 54801 kevin.schoessow@ces.uwex.edu phone: 715-635-3506 or 1-800-528-1914 Fax 715-635-6741

Surprise acorn squash in habitat
Surprise acorn squash in habitat.

 NOTE:  Happy Tonics, Inc. sponsored the Pines and Lake Girl Scout Troop of Shell Lake, WI. They a container garden at the Friendship Commons Senior Center this past summer 2010 through two grants from Washburn County AODA Commission and Leopold Education. The girls are excited to be invited to this event. They plan to attend this wonderful gardening science project at the Spooner Agriculture Research Station.

Art and Spiritual Quilts

Please visit http://www.carolbridgesartquilts.com or http://www.sacredarts.infoto to see Carol Bridges beautiful quilts. This is fiber art at its best. Many are already sold. We think you will love her work. In honor of the water and dedicated to women who are the protectors of water, we are showcasing Carol’s quilt on our Blog. The quilt Emergence is a prayer to protect all water species especially after  the oil contamination in the Gulf of Mexico.

Emergence by Carol Bridges
Emergence by Carol Bridges
Carol Bridges quilt Emergence
Carol Bridges quilt Emergence
“Emergence”  is an homage to the creatures of the Gulf of Mexico. May all the fish and turtles and dolphins, whales and others be lifted from their suffering, their souls again returned to the Mother of the Sea. 30″ x 30″. $1200.

There is a connection between the monarch butterfly and the creatures and plants of the Gulf. Many monarchs willl be flying through the gulf area and we wish them good speed to the other side as they return to Mexico. Here is a poem from the 18th century Polish poet Ignacy Krasicki:

The Wagon-Driver and the Butterfly

A wagon got stuck in the mud, and couldn’t move.
The driver was tired, the horse exhausted.
A butterfly, sitting on the wagon, thought:
“I’m told compassion is a virtue.”
He flew off, calling back to the wagon-driver:
“Now get going, bless you!”

Source: Ken Parejko, Monarch of the Butterflies, page 88.

October Travels with The Grandmothers Council

Posted By: Margin Broux
To: Members in 13 Indigenous Grandmothers from all over the world

Join Us! October Travels with The Grandmothers Council grandmotherscouncil.org

October 1st -3rd
Restoring Balance:
The Indigenous Grandmothers’ Call to the Women of the World
Fairfield, Iowa

We will be celebrating the Grandmothers and many other indigenous women from around the world, with a women’s conference, sponsored by the Global Mother Divine Organization (GMDO), the women’s wing of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement.
Global Mother Divine Organization honors the revered indigenous mothers as those who hold the seat of Mother Divine on Earth in the humility and dignity of their nourishing power.

October 8th -11th
Four Days of Drumming and Prayers: Turtle Women Rising in Partnership with the 18th Annual Prayer Vigil for the Earth
Washington Monument, Washington, DC

UPDATE: 24 September – * Update * Correction*
Members of the Grandmothers Council will be present to offer prayers on October 9th.
(not the 10th)

We Cannot Demand Peace. We Can Only Become It. We invite you to join us in Washington D.C. as we build community for 4 days of drumming, singing, praying and honoring our Veterans- past, present and future.
The heartbeat of the drum begins at sunrise on October 8th, with the lighting of the ceremonial fire. Join us as Turtle Women Rising hosts the Grandmothers Council in our Stand for Peace as we raise vibration together.

October 10th -15th
Wisdom of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers
Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York

This is an extraordinary opportunity to experience the timeless wisdom of indigenous elders joining together in sacred space to pray for all life and for the next seven generations to come.
This special week of traditional prayer, meditations, silence, ceremony, and council is open to all women and men of goodwill. Throughout the retreat, the 13 Grandmothers offer prayers and teachings from their own unique wisdom traditions—traditions that have served their people for hundreds of years, and are needed now more than ever—in an effort to ease war, environmental degradation, and social ills.


To learn more about The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers
Please Visit their beautiful Website : www.grandmotherscouncil



Viceroy butterfly
Viceroy butterfly

  5 September 2010 – For the last three years Happy Tonics has sponsored the “Butterfly Marchers” in the Town and Country Days Parade. A Viceroy butterfly came to keep the marchers company. It landed in the grass just in front of us as we were putting costumes on as if to say, “Look at me. I am happy you are marching for the butterflies and I am here to let you know I love you.”  

Decorating the truck
Decorating the truck

Participants march for the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake. Each year the event grows and more flutter bys participate. The 2010 marchers came from Stone Lake, Cumberland, Minong and Shell Lake. There were 30 marchers this year. Butterfly marchers ages spanned from 3 to 65 years old. Let’s face it we are all children at heart.

Queen Bee
Queen Bee

 Kris Fjelstad drove a beautiful new truck. She dressed as Queen Bee from head to foot. Participants helped decorate the truck with flowers real and artificial and fabric butterfly wings were attached to the truck. Kris made a large decorated bumblebee for the hood of the truck. The truck decorations made us proud. I felt we were in the Rose Bowl Parade. Brennan Harrington, Lac Courte Oreilles Community College’s environment intern helped decorate and made sure that the side panels were well attached.

 One sign was for Washburn County Alcohol and Other Drug Addictions (AODA) Commission.

Washburn County AODA

 The other sign was for Happy Tonics. The banner read “Got milkweed?”

Happy Tonics sign
Happy Tonics sign

 Each participant wore monarch or other butterfly species wings, some wore butterfly skirts, one young participate carried a butterfly tote bag and disbursed Happy Tonics photographic Mission Statement post card to viewers along the route. One carried a Welcome Butterfly flag and another carried a butterfly umbrella. Butterfly tee-shirts were worn and given to each marcher as a momentum.  Tee-shirts were made possible by a grant from Washburn County AODA. The AODA grant was also used to purchase water and healthy treats to stave off dehydration and hunger during the parade and afterwards.

Sweet as they come
Sweet as they come

 Everyone had a great time including yours truly.
Butterfly Woman

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

NOTE: The Monarch, Queen, and Viceroy butterflies all have similar color patterns to deter predators from any of the three species. This is an excellent example of “Mullerian mimicry” because these species have toxic chemicals making them undesirable to predators because of the bad taste and resulting stomach disturbance that follows eating one. In South Carolina, the Monarch butterfly is more prevalent than the other species. Therefore, the Viceroy butterfly appears more orange than it’s more southern populations which are more brown to mimic the Queen butterfly.

Source: Michael Barnes, Lance Sanders, & Kimberly Green ENT 301, Fall 2001

Response to Letter to the Editor – Happy Tonics Board and Officers

The Editorial article by Lauralei Anderson in the paper September 8, 2010 was submitted to Happy Tonics, Inc. officers and board in OH, MA, VA and WI. We agreed to the following response to Lauralei Anderson’s Editorial.

Letter to the editor, Washburn County Register

In regards to the letter sent by Lauralei Anderson from Cumberland, we at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat would like to respond to her criticism calling the habitat “an overgrown railroad bed.”

A native habitat is completely different from a typical garden, park or planting. There are no tulips and marigolds in nice neat rows because all the plants in the habitat are native to Wisconsin. This is a prime example of a restored tall grass prairie whose plants are the same ones that covered Wisconsin when the Conestoga wagons passed through carrying the pioneers west.

It was the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that not only helped pick out the native seeds, but donated over $500 worth of seeds to the habitat and the Land and Water Conservation Department had a huge hand in the project also.

Native plantings always start out with common plants like the little and big blue stems which you call weeds. If the garden is healthy, the first native flowers begin to appear the third year. You mentioned in your letter that you saw some ‘scant black-eyed Susan’s, they are right on time. Within the next 5 years, more native flower species, the seeds of which were planted by professionals, will appear. Some native plants take years for their seeds to germinate and grow into plants.

Even though the habitat idea is new to many here in Shell Lake and the surrounding residents, it’s familiar to those who are familiar with Saulk County’s favorite son, Also Leopold and sites like Brighter Planet. The habitat has received grants from both organizations as well as numerous others that believe that if we don’t save the native plants for the two most important pollinators, the bees and butterflies, commercial crops and public and personal gardens will fail due to a lack of pollination. We will be starting to be official Wisconsin native seed savers this year, sending them throughout the United States.

Shell Lake is also on the direct floral corroder that runs from Canada to Mexico that offers food and rest to the millions of butterflies heading to their winter home in Mexico and yes, the butterflies often follow the highways, another reason for this perfect habitat site.

It’s often easy to criticize what we don’t understand, and this habitat was never meant to look like a ‘cute little garden,’ it’s a teaching tool that has already tied into Eco Tourism and we have given many tours this summer to a local audience as well as visitors from across our nation. The Monarch Habitat also sponsors Earth Day activities each year which encourage locals to buy locally.

Articles about the habitat have not only been published nationally, the habitat is also part of the international world with blog responders from 72 different countries who understand why it exists.

If you watch television, you will see the habitat featured on Discover Wisconsin three times during the next two years, starting March 2011. The habitat is all over their website and print material and calendars as well as the official Wisconsin Tourism Site.

All the beautiful little gardens you mentioned in your letter require constant up-keep from weeding to watering to fertilizing, to the applying of pesticides and for some, mowing.

The habitat is ‘green’ in more ways than one because native plants live with or without our help. The habitat leaves absolutely no carbon footprint.

We would encourage you to take a tour of this amazing place; to step back in history for a bit and enjoy the many kinds of butterflies that already visit the habitat daily.

Mary Ellen Ryall, Executive Director

Response to Argumenative Article – Letter to the Editor

Last week the Monarch Butterfly Habitat received bad press from a woman who did not understand the purpose of the habitat. Here is a response from Tabitha Brown, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College, Hayward, Wisconsin, USA.

Letter to the Editor, Washburn County Register:

In regards to the letter sent by Laureli Anderson from Cumberland, I would like to say VOLUNTEER. Happy Tonics is run by volunteers. No one is paid and it is run off of donations and grants. If you want to make a difference do something about it that is constructive. Happy Tonics butterfly Garden is a nonprofit run by volunteers and if you want to make changes to it then volunteer time or make a donation. That “nice pergola” you mentioned was a donation, and so were those benches begging to be sat upon. As a volunteer I tried to find local artists to donate artwork to add to the sanctuary. Maybe you would be more successful?

Some of the grants used to run the gardens have strict guidelines. Grants by the DNR or the Forestry service have stipulations where only certain plants can be used at the sanctuary. Why is that you may ask? Because the plants used at the Garden are Indigenous to the area and these plants are what local wildlife need since people destroy their natural habitats by planting “cute little gardens.”

A natural habitat does not look like your manicured garden. It is wild and beautiful in its own way if you take the time to study and appreciate it. I volunteer at the Butterfly sanctuary. I study plants and wildlife at the Lac Courte Oreilles Community college. Prairie habitat has been reduced to 1% of what it once was less than 100 years ago. People mow it down for their gardens, homes, and farms. The wildlife that once called it home is being destroyed. Did you know the habitat of Palos Verdes blue butterfly was reduced to the size of a baseball field? Guess what that town did to the habitat? They turned it into a baseball field. Now that butterfly is extinct in the wild.

Shell Lake is taking huge steps towards environmental awareness. The Organization that supports the Butterfly Garden in Shell Lake also provides festivals, seminars, and education on environmental awareness issues. They promote sustainable living.  So next time you visit the habitat keep that in mind. You can also ask for a guided tour and learn about the plants and maybe once you know what they do you can appreciate them as much as I do.


Tabitha Brown

Greetings and Message from the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers

Sept. 14-21, 2010 ~ PeaceWeek ~ A Virtual Peace Summit with the 13 Grandmothers

Dear Friend:

We are truly delighted to invite you to Peace Week, a global telesummit featuring more than 50 innovative and inspiring peace-builders — all for free!

Grandmother Flordemayo will lead a peace meditation on September 15th at 9 a.m.

On September 21st at 6:30 p.m. you will hear:

* Grandmother Agnes & her daughter Nadine

* Grandmother Rita Blumenstein & her traveling companion Marie Meade

* Grandmother Tsering Dolma Gyaltong & her son, Chimi, who will be translating

* Grandmother Aama Bombo & her translator Pramodh Singh

* Ambassador Grandmother Jyoti

Click here to find out more:

This extraordinary event is the largest virtual peace summit ever created. It will offer you profound insights to create peace in your life, your family, your community and our world.

The Virtual Peace Summit offers you an unprecedented journey of personal growth and collective change, as well as an opportunity to come together with people from around the world who deeply care about the future of our planet and the potential for humanity to make a profound shift beyond violence.

We are excited to be featured as one of dozens of teleseminars during PeaceWeek alongside leaders such as the Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Aqeela Sherrils, Shiva Rea, and Ambassador John McDonald. You’ll hear about groundbreaking work from Israel to Sri Lanka to Watts, as well as emerging innovations such as a Peace Academy or the Youth Promise Act.

And you’ll get free access to the entire PeaceWeek library of calls to inspire you for years to come (and share with friends and allies).

You can participate live on as many calls as you like and interact with both the leaders and other participants via a state-of-the-art MaestroConference platform, which will connect you to people from around the world. Or even if you can’t make live calls, go ahead and register and you can listen to any of the recordings later.

Peace Week begins Tuesday, Sept. 14th and culminates on the UN International Day of Peace (Sept. 21st) as a free offering from The Shift Network and The Peace Alliance.

Click here for details:

Please do share this invitation with friends and allies – all are warmly welcomed to participate. We look forward to sharing with you on our call!

Love and blessings,
The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers

Source: Email from the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers

Water Ceremony sacred for two participants in Northwest Wisconsin

Sand dunes changing to pine barrens
Sand dunes changing to pine barrens

On Saturday, September 11,  a participant and I gathered up our ceremonial materials and walked to the sand dunes near my home in Minong, Wisconsin.

Jackie arrived about 6:30 p.m. and we shortly found our way to the sacred sands. We put a cloth down large enough to make an altar. I brought flowers and the vessel to carry the artesian water. Beforehand I went to the woods between Shell Lake and Spooner where the water flows free of contaminants and chemicals. Mother Earth’s blood (which is water) just bubbles up to the surface in this enchanted forest. I always thank the water before taking any.

Jackie brought a photo picture of her guru. I brought gourd rattles. One gourd is from the gourds I found growing in a dirt pile last year and the other gourd was from New Mexico. It is a peyote medicine rattle.  I brought my birch bark clapping sticks and drum which was given to me by an elder who made me promise I would use it only to pray for water. I never dreamed a few years ago when Frank gave it to me that someday I would be a Council Guide. I am honored to say I am now with the Sisterhood of Indigenous Water Rites.  I feel very honored by both blessings. 

I can’t really tell you what took place at the ceremony. Perhaps someday if you are a woman you will come and share this sacred ceremony with us. I can say that we prayed for the Net of Light workshop in Ireland who were connected with us through mutual intentions and ceremony. I can say that we thanked the water and each in turn talked to the water and told her we loved her. I did say I knew that mankind often did not respect her, contaminated and polluted her. I asked for forgiveness of these unconscious and sometimes cruel acts.  I acknowledged that we are made up of mostly water and we need fresh water around the world for humanity and for seven generations out.

Both Jackie and I performed the Nibi Wabo water ceremony. We also danced around the altar and sang. I did notice the tiniest of little miniature flowers on sliver stalks. I wonder if anyone on Earth saw such sweet flowers that we were careful not to step on as we danced. As we bid goodbye to the ceremony, we saw the new moon on the third day as a sliver of light, first star and the sunset all at the same time.

Smoke signal
Smoke signal

 It was glorious how the clouds turned pink to the east as we looked over the horizon and saw the valley hills around us.

We took the blessed water afterwards and gave some to Mother Earth at certain spots. One was at the sweet fern that I prayed for several years ago. I wanted her to come up the hill from the other side and adorn the sand dunes. Then we carried some to the fir trees that are starting by succession to come into the sand dunes. Then we blessed milkweed and sacred prairie sage that I planted in 2008. I have been seeding this site for years in the hopes of making a sanctuary for the monarch butterfly. It is working, butterflies do flutter here in season.

We need to respect water.  Please visit and learn that not all people are as fortunate as we are in the USA. Many people and countries need water. Can you imagine being thirsty?  Have a heart and open your eyes to others in need at http://twitter.com/charitywater

Remember: Water is not a resource to be squandered. Water is the source of life for all living beings.  Say a prayer of thanksgiving when you lift the water of life to your lips and be grateful.

I am grateful to Congressman Dennis Kucinich who wrote a bill to stop the privatization of the Great Lakes water. You can learn more at http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=202500

Washington, Aug 7 – “Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today announced H.R. 6006, which closes a loophole that allows the bottled water industry to divert or export an unlimited amount of water from the Great Lakes.  The bill was introduced along with cosponsors Bart Stupak (MI), Marcy Kaptur (OH) and Betty McCollum (MN).”
Source: Congressman Dennis Kuchiich’s Web site.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.