The Release of My New Book

Hi Everyone,

First, I want to thank all of you for your reading, support and for what you do for our mom the earth, (no matter how small, it does make a difference). Many small steps add up to great things.

With that, I am pleased to announce the release of my new book The Irony of the Well

This is part 2 of the story. If you’ve read The Wellness Diaries book you already understand why two parts were necessary since that part of the journey spanned 15 years.

Keep eating, working, studying, hoping and living it.

Here’s to the well-being of people and planet,

-O

Ecomarket 2020

Link

Hi Everyone,

Finally, after finishing university I am able to hold the next ecomarket! Come join us for our annual ecomarket event on Saturday, September 26th. There will be a live, folk music band and a handful of small business vendors.

It is a fitting time to support and network with eco non-profits small, local businesses, and share, encourage and embrace cultural diversity in all its forms of all peoples of the world.

Here is a feature eco non-profit that joined us in 2017: Northern Utah’s own wildlife rehabilitation!
https://wrcnu.org/

Donate. Volunteer. Many hands make light work.

See you at the event!

Think About it for the Month…

What a year 2020 has been already. Utah alone has seen earthquakes, wildfires, drought, and recently, winds fast and strong enough to do this:

You’d think the photo was from Kansas or something where there are regular tornadoes but no, this was here in Utah, just five houses down from mine. Then there is the COVIDness that the whole world is dealing with.
2020 is a year to stop, look around, think about it, and reconsider everything.

For the well-being of people and planet, it is my hope that all will do just that.

-O

Reconsider the Logic

“Now hold On, Let’s Think About This.” A good boss once said those words to me. She meant for us all to stop and put our heads together to look closely at the details to maximize productiveness and effectiveness. Her example was excellent. The gist could have been to work smarter, not harder, and to consider all people and angles. It would be excellent if this were the case and the standard throughout America, and the globe for that matter. Unfortunately, it is not; thankfully, I have had many great bosses. This one’s words in their simplicity represent an area that I have tried to make a focal point throughout my life.

Some public health policies have been excellent examples of steps in the right direction. Others, not so much. The banning of smoking from restaurants and airports in the 90’s is one that you may recall. Just rewind for a minute back to the 80’s. You would walk into a restaurant and the host/hostess would ask: “Dinner for five? Smoking or non-smoking?”

Now, looking back as we reconsider the logic that question seems ridiculous; what, as though all people in the same room breathe different air??? Now considering the preponderance of evidence about the dangers of secondhand smoke, regarding this benchmark of progress thanks to public health we can now say “good call ref, good call. Way to stay out of the game ref.” That’s just what refs are supposed to do.

Now for most states there is an air quality standard that allows people to eat out, travel, attend a movie or any public event without having to jeopardize their health by continuously breathing secondhand smoke. This was not so in the 80’s.
Yet, there are designated areas for people who still smoke. People who smoke have rights too. The 90’s ban was a win-win situation where everyone got a piece of the fairness. I think it’s fair to say that few would back up to the way it was prior to the 90’s where the inhalation of smoke on a plane, train, in a restaurant or bowling alley was a given for everyone in the building.

“Yep, good call ref; good call.”

There can also be too much of a good thing. Some believe and are trying to banish designated public smoking stations altogether. This is too far in my opinion. People who smoke have rights too. Outside in the fresh air and weather, away from main areas of traffic, I don’t believe that a person’s health who doesn’t smoke will be at risk when the occasional breeze carries the distant draft of outdoor smoke as they pass nearby.

Instead, it is my submission and hope that free will be restored, not further withdrawn. This will also get my vote. Smokers are people who also have the right to make a choice. The middle path, people meeting each other halfway, a little fairness for everyone if it reduces harm. I believe this philosophy is the ideal standpoint to begin the steps of necessary change.
How about looking at some other health policies that affect everyone in America. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) is one. Personally, I still don’t like to use them. I tend to dislike the unnatural, mass tinkering with the essentials (such as food; {yep that’s a biggie}). But here they are, and we apparently voted for it.

“Just add it to improve the food.”

Well shoot, with that logic many people in Utah are depressed and addicted to opioids, so let’s just add Prozac to the water just like fluoride was added in the early 2000’s. I’m saying this to make a point. Please don’t use the cerebral and finger calories to email me with the scientific evidence for or against fluoride, or GMO’s or Prozac for that matter. I’m asking us to reconsider the logic. What is the current logic? Majority rules? It certainly seems like it. What about the rest of us though? I think you’ll see that these blanket rules, proposed monoculture and only dichotomous options for the masses don’t work.

Reconsider the logic. Take the middle path. Avoid the extreme polarity. Reinstate freedom to choose. Let people choose and have some say in their world and their lives. Share the abundance and the power; distribute them more evenly. Remember and consider the earth as we do these things. I see these as reasonable requests.

Another benchmark was made to improve security, but ironically it was at the expense of our own privacy. This sounded good at first. After all, it’s fair for everyone to want safety and security. But now here we are. It has gone too far. It happened too fast before we knew the details. They count on this. That loaded gadget you carry with you can hear everything you say and watches everything you do. We’ve all experienced it-the relentless pop-up about something you were searching for or even discussing with a friend last week.

“Whoa dude…That’s weird.”
Yep, I second that. I don’t like it either.

Regarding privacy, you may realize that since you have nothing to hide, they have nothing to watch. You may want to consider online options that respect your privacy, security and encourage the continuation of freedom to choose-just the thing that America wanted when it was founded.

Here are some:
Duckduckgo, the search engine that won’t track you to search, and for privacy and security Proton email Secure Email Based in Switzerland

{Onward, the ref overhears one particularly loud fan}:

“Yeah, not so much ref; not so much. Whose side are you on anyway? Yeah, that’s the problem. As the ref you aren’t supposed to pick sides. You’re gum chewing is obnoxious too. C’mon!”

The flip side of this coin is that both heads and tails, (to act or not) bring results.
Government regulation is controversial and for many is probably a source of skepticism and distrust. This is a valid concern. Still, I think you will see that not all government regulation is bad and that some is even necessary. Remembering what a good call was the smoking regulation and ban in restaurants and public travel and that very few would go back to the 80’s there.

How about the air breathed while outside? Like many folks, I like to ride my bike, walk my dog and be outside too. If you are local here to Utah, you will know that the air is often measured “yellow.” Sadly, it is yellow more than “green.” While this is a combination of factors, (including Utah’s location, and the mountains, valley and high pressure) and not necessarily because Utahn’s drive that much more than the rest of the U.S. The funds and technology exist to reduce air pollution. I wish it were made a higher priority. There should be financial incentives for it, and to give credit where credit is due, I hear that there are now incentives that encourage hybrid, natural gas and electric cars in Utah. Consider small engines such as lawn mowers, and the requirement that a catalytic converter be placed on them to reduce emissions. It is a small and easy step with little hassle that everyone doing it would make a difference.

The little things do add up to making a big difference; but the truth is, many people don’t care and don’t want to be bothered with these small things that done (or not) in mass quantity adds up to affecting all of us, especially if it is made a requirement.

What, were we (humanity) going to regulate ourselves? Well, sure, there is always hope, and true, there is always a bright side, but that too is a scary proposition with the current state of things. HIstorically how has that worked for us? I agree and have hope that that is a possibility for the future, but right now, greed (whether individual, corporate or industry) still carries the day and destroys the earth. This is exactly why I have referred to greed as a disease throughout my writings. It is a disease because it is fear-based, and it is never satisfied. It always demands more, bigger, better and it is always highly competitive by default. So now here we are, seeing the reasons for government regulation being controversial.

Here’s to the air that you breathe too: Let’s make it cleaner. Many hands make light work and if we were all to pitch in some, there would be less need for government regulation. At the time of this writing: The air is horrendously bad due to several wildfires burning. That also is another topic for another time.

Regarding reducing emissions we’ve all heard them before:

*Don’t idle your car at the drive-thru, or while parked, etc. (It’s the air you breathe also and you like to be outside too).

*Demand and buy more efficient vehicles, and small engines

*Eat less meat. This is an interesting one because I recently heard that Kamala Harris, during the Democratic convention stated that our food choices need to change to save the planet. This is bold and telling to hear a presidential candidate say just what plant-based advocates have been saying for years, even decades. In it, is part of the problematic cycle. Government hasn’t been specific or proactive about “changing food choices to save the planet.” That’s left up to people and industry. Each have free reign and little accountability.

I’m all about live and let live and I dislike force, exclusion, and elitism. I also dislike greed to the point of it being at the expense of everyone and everything else and the destruction of the planet. This is the dilemma. Reinstate freedom to choose for all people, encourage the health of humans and the earth, preserve earth’s resources, share the abundance and the power and yet, keep greed in check. It is a daunting task indeed. Here we only discussed air, smoking and meat, not to mention infectious diseases, which is another topic for another day since we have been dealing with an ongoing example of it for months now.

The modern world is complicated. With knowledge, progress and growth come the continuation of further challenges. Usually our knowledge surpasses our understanding. You can’t do just one thing. Diversity is one of the keys, one of the answers. Some government regulation (if the ref can regulate and stay out of the games) is also necessary, at least for now.

In the meantime, here’s to healthy people and planet and the air (both indoor and outdoor) that you breathe too. I hope to see some more good calls from the ref.

Thank you for reading and studying the world for yourself,

You can order my memoir here: The Wellness Diaries

O

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Check Out the Weather and the Air!

Alright ya’ll. You know me; I am very critical of Utah air quality; the air that is all too often compared to Hong Kong’s air. The theme is often: “At least we’re not as bad as Hong Kong”.

“Yeah, way to look on the bright side there Howard.”

But today there is a bright side and we managed to make the bright side even a bit brighter.
Go outside and see what a picture perfect air quality day looks like. That my friends is what Utah air should and CAN look like if we all pull together as we have done these past 3 weeks in other ways. Just a side note there. 🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

More Effective

Throughout the day to day of grinding elbows, tension, or mostly annoyance can sometimes run high. Yet when it counts the very most, humanity finds it in them to pull together and help each other more than lashing out about the annoyances.
At a time when the whole world is having to react and respond in some form to the Corona virus, it is more effective and healing for everyone involved do the little positive things. These add up to make the very changes needed at this time. What you do, no matter how small does count; it makes a difference.

When I have to go out and buy groceries it is like something out of a movie. Product on the shelves is sparse; there is that dazed yet receptive air in public places as people everywhere do their best with what they have. I bet you’ve noticed as I have that at times like these I feel more connected to humanity. I think most of us are aware that times like these can bring out the best and the worst in people. I know I’m not in the mood to elaborate much on examples of either the positive or the negative. I will say that through the hardship humanity seems to pull together and recover, and it is nice to see that some people are choosing to pull together and to be considerate at this time instead of the opposite.

It is a time to be thoughtful and considerate. Upon seeing the unexpected friend or acquaintance in public, instead of the traditional handshake, hug or fist bump, maybe a thumb’s up, a nod or hands together gesture is more suited for this current situation. Small things such as letting someone in during traffic,sincere gestures (such as nods and politeness) help to connect and spread the positivity. I know that when I have to go to buy groceries and everyone is feeling that sort of daze, sometimes even what can approach anxiety, strangers seem grateful for acknowledgment in some form; a mild smile, or a nod, or sincere politeness. The other night at the store, people seemed especially grateful for these and I know that I was especially grateful for those returned gestures also. These imply and spread positivity that “we got this” and that we’ll be okay; we’ll make it through.”

I bet you’ll agree that sincerity and positivity are much more effective in times like this rather than reflexing one’s way into the madness and the chaos. Staying calm, being in the present moment, putting things into perspective, having accurate and reliable information, being warm, acknowledging, sincere and confident especially to strangers all add up to working wonders through difficult times.

-Owen

Just Around The Corner!

I just had to pound out a brief post. It’s the tail end of winter. I hope you are also enjoying the gradual increase of activity and exercise with the returning sunlight. You may notice various things as you exercise and spend a bit more time outside in the sunshine. Notice changes in your mood, and behavior. These are great things to add to your wellness diary. What have you noticed? Laughing more? Having more energy? Feeling spring fever? The latter makes me laugh. Having worked 11 years in the horticulture industry, we learned to laugh about spring fever, not only seeing it first hand but being right smack in the middle of it-all of it! At this time of the year we are all feeling a similar sort of “coming to” as we seem to be emerging from the cave that was the cold and darkness of winter.

I spent 11 years advising people on how to plant trees, shrubs, vegetables and vines. Now I am very much looking forward to taking my turn to do these, and I am trying a few garden plants this year. It is indeed around this time of year that we naturally begin to come out of the half awake state and feel the joy of spring again. You can use the extra energy for accomplishing some spring cleaning and de-clutter or other new pursuits.

Gardening is mother earth therapy. There is nothing like it. I’ve discovered this and I know you will enjoy discovering the multiple benefits of mother earth therapy also. There are a few great ways to tap into this mutually beneficial pasttime; gardening is an excellent one. I submit that you will discover a whole new world that you’ve been missing when you begin the journey, living lightly on the earth, always progressing at your own pace doing what you can as you can.

Do you remember the pattern from Life Is Conscious?
Keep your wellness diary handy while following the pattern as you explore and discover new things about yourself and your own connection to the earth and your own oneness with the universe.

You may try some garden ventures yourself. Each year there are additional options for the eco garden. Some ideas might include natural weed and pest control, planters made of rice fiber or coconut husk. You may see pre-made bat houses for attracting these fascinating natural insect controlling creatures to your own backyard! Never forget that there is a type of bird that eats nearly every insect pest out there! They naturally perform a tremendous service to us in our gardens and yards, so help the birds help you by avoiding the use of toxic chemicals in your yard. Also, spaying/neutering your cats and not letting them roam free will help the birds to help you also. One of the biggest challenges that beneficial, insect controlling birds face is house cats.

For feral cats, our own local Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Adoption has an excellent, humane-live trap, spay/neuter and release program. I have used it myself and they make it very user friendly and smooth.

It is indeed nearly that time. We’re all feeling it as the temperatures increase and the sun is with us longer with each day.

You may want to try one of my favorite places in the world for eco-gardening ideas, orchids, water-wise plants(fitting, since Utah is a desert)-Cactus and Tropicals!
Cactus and Tropicals

London, Paris, Rome, Cactus and Tropicals.

It’s one of those days when the mild breeze stirs up a mystery-very nice; you already know the time and place for fun in the sun, and toil in the soil, the cool water that falls.


Meet you there.
O