A Sure Sign of the Stirrings of Spring!

Greetings,

Before and after. I have some moth, or Phalaenopsis orchids, which have been given to me over the years and/or picked up from employers etc.

You can see them in these photos with buds forming, just prior to blooming and then the reward that is well worth the wait. Look at the spectacular blossoms! He’s not finished yet either. Notice the two green buds that will blossom in a few days. I will provide updated photos when they emerge.

Moth orchids require patience, cooler temps and a bit of luck to again see blossoms after their flowers have been spent. One of my three bloomed this year. This is why oftentimes they are unfortunately discarded after flowers have faded. I say hang on to them, providing care, talk to em’ if you want and they may just reward you. Moth orchids are beautiful and their blossoms last for a long time.

If local, one of my favorite places,Cactus and Tropicals not only has an excellent selection of moth and other orchids, but they also have Utah native perennials, shrubs and trees, water wise plants suited to a desert landscape. We do live in a desert! Let’s keep this fact in mind when landscaping and be sure to check on their water wise plants when landscaping this spring (only weeks away)! Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility.



Focus on beauty. Tend the orchids, plant the garden, save water as you do, “and it is approx. seventy-three degrees within my household. Thank you.”

Owen

Are You Loving the Snow?

Greetings,

Spectacular storms right?! I hope ya’ll have been able to enjoy the snow, rain and sunshine in this state of the date this February.

Through the usual pollution it is easy to forget how beautiful Utah can be.

They call it Zion. I agree that overall it is a great place to live. With that however, I don’t think you will disagree with me that it is time to start refining Zion in a few ways; some of the most obvious are reducing air pollution, eliminating poverty and homelessness, treating the opioid epidemic, taking a more compassionate approach to and eliminating the stigma of brain disorders, (mental illness) reducing depression rates and healing tension between split cultures.

But that beautiful sunny morning after the storm gave me some hope in more ways than one and I hope it did for you also. Below are some photos of reminders in photo form of how beautiful Utah can be, and is beneath the yuck. Yes, we do have options for the above issues. Everyone from senators to every citizen have a responsibility.
Education, understanding and seeing clearly.

Regarding air pollution here are a few tips:

With the exception of traffic lights, don’t idle your car
Buy cars that are more eco-friendly such as hybrids, electric, or natural gas vehicles
Vote locally for parties/individuals who are concerned about Utah’s air and who will take steps toward improving it
Car pool and combine errands into one single trip
Utilize public transportation. Resolve to take public transit to school or work at least once a week. The frontrunner and trax are handy and efficient and cover much of the state.

But while you’re at all of that, look at those fantastic clouds! I hope they inspired you the way they did me. White, puffy clouds, the best kind. Notice how crisp and clear they look without that soapy-water-oil filmy appearance where you can’t tell the difference between the clouds and the sky. Oh wait, that is the sky because there are no clouds today!
“Wait…Are you sure?”
You know that’s not really an exaggeration.

So, believe it or not, these spectacular scenes were less than 10 minutes from where I live. Phragmites, dog, clouds, lichens, fences, trees, bird feeder, day, night, moon, sun, snow, enjoy the photos:













Whether near or far, where will the well-being of yourself and the planet take you?
-Owen

Vote For This Small Business

Hi Everyone,

Many of you know I’m all about non-profits, small business and companies that do good things, and the ones that are concscious enough to think about more than just their own profits.

Must be a good time to clear my throat… AaAAAGH!

Supporting small business (buy local) is an excellent step toward being a conscious citizen.
Merely the nature of small business means having a lighter carbon footprint, while encouraging culture, flexibility, creativity and authenticity over steep profits.

Many of you may remember my sister Lora, who had the “Red Desert Violin Online Lessons” booth at the Ecomarket.
She is a finalist in a small business contest to win $20K, which will fund her efforts to bring violin lessons to an orphanage in Guatemala, and other places in need.
She believes music can enrich the lives of these people who have so very little, and it will be a sustainable gift that will keep enriching these children for the rest of their lives!
You can vote for Red Desert Violin here: Vote. Small business, big impact

Voting takes 10 seconds.
Click on the link.
Scroll down to Red Desert Violin with the video.
Click the checkmark below Red Desert Violin.
You can vote once per day until mid-February.
Thank you for caring and taking the time to vote for this worthy cause.

Gallery-Find Lora braving the cold at Ecomarket

Adults Need Play Too-Video Link

Greetings,

It was refreshing to hear Dr. Pam Popper say in a video what I’ve been saying for a long time. I just knew there was something to it! Adults need play too. Dr. Popper makes an excellent point. Recreational pursuits or programs that are supposed to encourage play such as children’s sports become another way to get worked up, even for parents! Since they are taken so seriously, don’t these add up to another form of work?

Here is the link: Adults need play too-video

Being too rigid is not only exhausting but is not conducive to physical, mental or spiritual well-being, and people that try too hard to one up on you, or to perfectly follow prescribed norms are tiring to be around.

So have fun and “lighten up eh? Do they really say eh in Canada? Is it ‘eh,’ or ‘ay’?”

Play like…




Until…



-Owen

Eco Planters

Greetings,

These are eco friendly planters that are not only manufactured from sustainable materials, (this one is rice and coconut husk) but they are also biodegradable! They are lightweight and they look good too. I’ve seen them in multiple colors. You may be lucky enough to find them locally, but if not, I found at least one manufacturer of them:
Shop for Eco Planters
Enjoy!
The eco choice-live lightly on the earth. Feel good.

-Owen

Uno Mas

Alright, one more food photo/idea for the road. This is plant-based sausage (meatless) beyond sausage with brown rice/quinoa combo, baked sweet potato fries, baby kale salad with sesame seeds, almond, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts from my friend Regina:

Doesn’t that look fantastic! Wait, I think I see some avocado in there too.

Well, looks like we’ll all be goin’ to Regina’s house for dinner. See you there!

Food Ideas

Greetings,

Here are a few ideas for veg snacks and ideas for creation!

Veg Mex:

These sprouted corn tortillas are excellent! They are organic corn and happen to be low sodium also. They are excellent lightly browned in the skillet and made into a tostada with guacamole and pinto or black beans and Pico on top. Yum, yum.

Mushrooms, like onions and garlic are a staple for veg cooking. They add so much flavor to everything. Note that they are also a staple in diet recommendations of Disease Prevention Specialist, Dr. Joel Fuhrman regarding nutrient density. Mushrooms have anti cancer, and anti-microbial properties and they taste fantastic! Several mushroom types can be purchased for food, Portobellos, shitake and crimini being among the most common. It makes sense why Dr. Fuhrman suggests their frequent use and includes them in the nutrient density recommendations of G-BOMBS. You can read more about the benefits of mushrooms on Dr. Fuhrman’s blog here:
Benefits of Mushrooms

I found these dried organic mushrooms at the health food store. They make a broth that is simply fabulous. Just put them in about 1/2 C of water and steam them on medium for about 10 minutes.

“Should I use the mushrooms too?” You might ask: The answer is YES! Not only do they make a broth that is something else, but they also taste fantastic and they add a thick ‘meaty’ texture almost like tofu. Mushrooms are filling. Simply add your favorite seasoning to taste. I do a little salt and pepper that is all.

These are a great veg snack for… well, students always on the go. 🙂 They are low in sodium for any with salt sensitivities, are non-GMO, gluten free and added flax and Chia for omega 3’s. They taste like kale for sure. 🙂 I like kale, so no problem for me, but I think you’ll like them too.

Never forget for a snack, your rice cakes with almond butter on top too.

Y’know that many things Native American are sacred and full of substance-good stuff. I recently discovered these Anasazi beans. These prepared with the tortillas are an excellent combination! The cooking time is not as long as for black beans, which is very nice!

Stay well in the sun, rain, snow and with excellent nutrient dense, plant foods!
-Owen

Dog Pack Updates

By nature, dogs are pack animals. They love to be with their own kind and be dogs. One of the best things you can do for your dog is to let them be a dog and get them together to play rough and wrestle in a way they wouldn’t be allowed to do at home. Not only does this fulfill a need for the dog and helps to make them happy, but this brings people together also. Humans are social animals too.

Below are some photos of my dog with his best buddy Zuma, an English mastiff. Watching the two together is a hoot. She will forever do circles around him, and he will forever try his best to keep up…







Exercise and Dogs



Greetings,

Does this apply to you too? We are more likely to brave winter’s cold, (or Utah air for that matter) when we have a dog as an exercise partner. Without a dog it is easy to find an excuse especially during winter to stay penned up in the warmth of staying indoors. Dogs provide an excellent incentive to go outside and be more active. Dogs even help people to go beyond their comfort zone some and be more social. We are more likely to engage in a conversation with a stranger when we are with our dog.

Although not as active as in the warmer months, winter in the cold and snow is a beautiful time to get outside. Hiking in the mountains or walking a nature trail winter or otherwise is an excellent way to receive natural light, observe nature and animals and (hopefully depending on where you live) get some fresh air.

Happy exercise and natural light time to you. Enjoy the rain, sun or snow wherever you are!
Owen