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Vol. 1, No. 9

May 2009

An Educational Guide

to Sustainability and Spiritual Well-being

Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center to the rescue

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INSIDE: ‘Winecycling’: Entrepreneur finds treasures ‘Après Vin’ 7 Sustainable architecture strategies 8

Ancient artistry products are Earth-friendly Calendar of events

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“I love Earth Odyssey, where can I ďŹ nd it?â€?

New locations added every month!

We encourage our readers to patronize the merchants who support Earth Odyssey. Earth Odyssey can be found in the following locations: Ash Fork Ash Fork Public Library

Anthem Anthem Public Library

Beaver Creek Adult Center Express Stop Gas Mart

Black Canyon City OďŹƒce of Tourism

Camp Verde Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce Camp Verde Public Library Artisans Gallery and Bookstore

Chino Valley Chino Valley Public Library Chino Valley Senior Center

Christopher Creek Creekside Restaurant Double D Store, CafÊ & Bar Kohl’s Ranch Tall Pines Market

Congress Country Corner Congress Library

Cordes Junction Arcosanti Over the Hill Coee Shop

Cottonwood Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce Cottonwood Public Library Habitat ReStore Mt. Hope Natural Foods

Dewey Dewey Public Library Dewey Senior Center

Flagsta Animas Trading Co. Arizona Music Pro Coconino Center for the Arts

Coconino College, Lonetree Campus Crystal Magic Flagsta Public Library Flagsta Visitors Center Habitat ReStore Sacred Rites

Pine Ponderosa Market Public Library The Crystal Lotus The Herb Stop



Cat’s Meow Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Library Habitat for Humanity Restore Hastings Books Music & Video Highlands Center for Natural History La Fonda Mexican Restaurant On The Mesa Pangaea Partners in Healthcare Prescott Chamber of Commerce Prescott College Library Prescott Public Library Raven CafÊ The Art Store The Catalyst Wild Iris Coee House Yavapai College

Main Library Foothills Branch

Jerome Firehouse Jerome Gallery Jerome Public Library

Mayer Mayer Chamber of Commerce Mayer Mercantile Mayer Public Library Mayer Senior Center

Mesa Mesa ReStore

Paradise Valley Whole Foods

Prescott Valley

Payson Bashas’ Gila Community College Fiesta Business Products Fireside Espresso CafÊ National Bank of Arizona Payson Area HFH ReStore Payson Center for Spiritual Awareness Payson Feed Store Payson Public Library Plant Fair Nursery Re-Runs Rim Country Chamber of Commerce Town of Payson Municipal Building Vita Mart

Peoria Habitat Home Improvement Store

Phoenix Phoenix ReStore

Claycomb/Rockwell Associates Inc. Dippin’ Dots Healing Essentials Pony Expresso Prescott Valley Public Library The Honeyman Natural Food Stores Yavapai College

Sedona Crystal Castle D’lish Vegetarian CafÊ Ravenhart CafÊ Ringing Rocks Foundation Sedona Arts Center Sedona Center Sedona Public Library

Scottsdale Civic Center Library Mustang Library Whole Foods

Sierra Vista

Skull Valley Skull Valley General Store

Star Valley Kelly’s Sweet Revenge

Surprise El Mirage Northwest Regional Library Northwest Regional Ligrary

Tempe Ejoy Internet CafĂŠ

Tonto Basin Aunt Becky’s Restaurant Butcher Hook Store Jake’s Corner Market Tonto Basin Market

Tucson Epic CafĂŠ Food Conspiracy Hippie Gypsie Joel D. Valdez Main Library The Other Side Third Eye Arts Tucson HabiStore Whole Foods Worldwide Wraps

Wickenburg DQ/Jack in the Box Ginny’s Vitamin Village Habitat ReStore Quarter-Horse Antiques Wickenburg Public Library

Wilhoit Wilhoit Public Library

Williams JD’s Espresso Williams Public Library Williams Visitor’s Center

Yarnell McGerk’s Mercantile Realty Executives Yarnell Public Library

Sierra Vista Area Habitat ReStore

Always available at


If you would like to see Earth Odyssey somewhere you frequent, send us the information at and we will see what we can do. Page 2


May 2009

Columns Vol. 1, No. 9

May 2009

News and Features

Cover Story: Adobe Mountain

Wildlife Center to the rescue 16

4 Local farmers grow community nding mission proves 5 Ferret-fi successful 5 UA grad students earn $75,000 with win Entrepreneur finds 7 ‘Winecycling’: treasures ‘Après Vin’ 8 15


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Sustainable architecture strategies for layman and professional alike Fiber artist plies her trade in the Rim Country

20 Top 10 green projects named by AIA Aural historian Jack Loeffler to speak 30 at Prescott College

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By Mike Davis

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Columns and Entertainment 19 Nutrition News by Charlyn Fargo 22 What in the World is Happening? by John Hall 22 Sustainable Living by Shawn Dell Joyce 23 Yes! You Can Recycle That by Patricia Melchi 24 Puzzle Pages 26 Calendar of Events Jackass Acres K-9 Koral: An oasis for desert dogs 28 Antiques or Junque by Anne McCollam 30 Staying Healthy the Natural Way by Leilah Breitler Always available at 32 Green Minute by Jim Parks


ON THE COVER: Great Horned Owls are among the animals in for rehabilitation at the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center in Phoenix. Two of the owls are slated for release back out into the wild. Story begins on page 16. Photo by Pia Wyer May 2009

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Earth Odyssey •

Movie Reviews by Jason Allen

Movies that won’t make you dumber

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By Christine Bollier

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An educational guide to sustainability and spiritual well-being

Our Mission The mission of Earth Odyssey is to encourage individuals to develop sustainable lifestyles and healthier well-being by providing educational information needed to make wiser choices. We envision an extended community of individuals who care passionately about their environment and their own spiritual wellbeing and recognize the symbiotic relationship between the two.

Magazine Staff

Courtesy photo The Prescott Farmers’ Market opens Saturday, May 16 at 7:30 a.m. in the main parking lot of Yavapai College, 1100 E. Sheldon St. The Chino Valley Farmers’ Market opens Thursday, June 4 at a location to be announced.

Local farmers grow community By Erin Lingo Earth Odyssey Contributor


hile most of us are just starting to enjoy the slightly warmer weather here in Central Arizona, our local farmers are already out in their fields planting for the upcoming season. Beets, carrots, turnips and kale will be ready to be harvested by midMay, just in time to find them at the Prescott Farmers’ Market, which opens May 16. All of the farmers in the local farmers’ market grow locally on a small scale, on no more than 20 acres. Most use less than five. Because of this, their livelihood depends on selling directly to the consumer through the Farmers’ Market and Community Supported Agriculture programs. This year’s market offers farm-fresh, locally grown produce, meat and dairy, honey, baked goods, tamales and BBQ, agricultural crafts, gourmet foods, starter plants, advice from local growers, chef demos and samples, live music, special events and much more! To celebrate, the first 100 customers will receive a reusable PFM shopping bag! Each year, more than 3 million consumers shop, and more than 30,000 farmers sell, at U.S. farmers’ markets—a $1 billion nationwide direct-marketing industry. Between 1980 and 2004 the number of farmers’ markets in the United States more than doubled, from less than 1,500 to more than 3,700! These farmers’ markets play a very important role in strengthening local food systems by providing a market for small farms. Small Page 4

family farms not only reconnect a community with the source of its food, but also they are much better for the environment than industrial-scale farms. Farmers who grow on less than 100 acres are much more likely to farm bio-intensively—that is, to get the most amount of yield possible from their small farms, which, when done properly, enriches the soil, strengthens the fields’ resistance to pests and viruses and prevents soil erosion. Other sustainable practices frequently implemented include: efficient water use; focus on heirloom, or climate-appropriate produce; fair labor practices and the rejection of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Each farmers’ market sets its own rules and guidelines. The Prescott Farmers’ Market maintains high expectations for its vendors because this is what the community expects. While farmers are not required to be certified organic or use any specific practices, they are required to sell only those produce items that

they grew within the state of Arizona. No re-selling is permitted, so customers of the market can trust that anything they see is grown by the person who is selling it, and that any questions they have can be answered honestly. The Prescott Farmers’ Market also provides a Community Booth for “backyard gardeners” who find they cannot eat all they grow. Vendors selling prepared food or craft items must use a percentage of locally grown agricultural products in their goods. Each year, more consumers realize the benefits of eating fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. The simple practice of buying vegetables from the farmer who grew them can be incredibly rewarding as the consumer starts to reconnect with the time-honored tradition of knowing from where one’s food comes. The local Farmers’ Market runs Saturdays 7:30 a.m. to noon, May 16, through Oct. 10, this year, and will once again take place in the main parking lot of Yavapai College, 1100 E. Sheldon St. The Chino Valley Farmers’ Market runs Thursdays 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. June 4, through Oct. 1, at a location to be announced. You can find out more about the Prescott Farmers’ Market, or how to become a vendor, at Erin Lingo is a recent graduate of Prescott College, where she studied the relationship between the health of societies and the production and consumption of food. She serves as the coordinator of the Prescott Farmers’ Market and the local Community Supported Agriculture Program. She can be reached at elingo@

Earth Odyssey •

Publisher/Editor Ann Haver-Allen Photographer, Photo Editor, Web Master and PR Director Pia Wyer Advertising Art Director Distribution Manager Jason Allen Advertising Representatives Bill Allen Kelly Shattuck Pia Wyer

Contributors Jason Allen Leilah Breitler Mike Davis Charlyn Fargo John Hall Shawn Dell Joyce Mike Marino Anne McCollam Sarah McLean Patricia Melchi Wes Ozier Jim Parks Christopher J. Peacock Jill Russell Dominique Shilling Pia Wyer

Earth Odyssey is published monthly by Pinon Pine Press LLC and is available online at Send comments and suggestions to: OR via U.S. mail to: Editor 1042 Willow Creek Road Ste A101-PMB 486 Prescott, AZ 86301 Phone: (928) 778-1782 The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or advertisers. Copyright © 2008. Pinon Pine Press LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written permission. For photo reprints, contact Pia Wyer at Printed by Prescott Newspapers Inc. 8249 East State Rt. 69 Prescott Valley, AZ 86314

Earth Odyssey is printed on recycled paper using soy inks. May 2009

Ferret-finding mission proves successful

Reintroduction effort continues uphill climb


inety-two people braved the cold weather and long nights for an opportunity to call in: “We’ve got one.” The dedicated volunteers joined Arizona Game and Fish Department personnel for five nights in the Aubrey Valley to spotlight for the elusive, nocturnal, endangered black-footed ferret. In all, the group caught 33 ferrets, 24 of which were unique individuals, meaning they are wild born and had never before been trapped. Two of the ferrets captured were first documented in 2006, displaying longevity in the wild. “I’m excited about the numbers,” said Jeff Pebworth, wildlife program manager for the Game and Fish Department’s Kingman office. “You think about this one spotlighting effort and compare it to where the ferrets once were and you can’t help but be pleased.” The black-footed ferret was twice thought to be extinct until a small population was discovered in 1981. After a disease outbreak, a mere 18 of the black-footed ferrets remained in the world. Those final 18 were captured

and captive breeding efforts began in 1985. In 1996, Arizona’s Aubrey Valley was selected as a reintroduction site. It was five years before the first documentation of wildborn ferrets. “From where this animal was to where it is now is a testament to dedication of Game and Fish personnel and the volunteers who have braved the cold and long nights to bring this animal back from the brink of extinction,” Pebworth said. The latest spotlighting effort, which involves backpack-spotlighting from dusk until dawn, was a success, in large part, because of those willing to volunteer their time. “Volunteers have played a critical role in the reintroduction process since Day One,” Pebworth said. “Without their dedication, I’m not sure we’d have as good an understanding of where we stand in this reintroduction effort.” A fall spotlighting effort will take place in October. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the black-footed ferret field station at to receive more information.

Photo courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Two black-footed ferrets poke their heads out of a burrow. This photo was taken at the preconditioning pens. Once released into the wild, black-footed ferrets are rarely seen during the day. They are nocturnal and live in prairie dog burrows, which is why dusk-until-dawn spotlighting efforts are necessary to the recovery effort.

UA grad students earn $75,000 with win


student-led research • Columbia University—Multifunction team from the UniEnergy Platform Pilot versity of Arizona is • Drexel University—Syntactic Selective among the winners of Near Infrared Scattering ArchitecEPA’s annual People, tural Coatings Prosperity and the Planet (P3) com• University of South Florida—Water petition. Awareness, Research and Education The P3 award competition enin East Tampa: A Pilot Collaboracourages college students to apply tion Involving USF, Young Magnet technology in innovative ways to Middle School and the East Tampa tackle global environmental challengCommunity es. P3 designs must be economically • Massachusetts Institute of Techprofitable, which is why each winner nology—A Novel Solar Thermal receives funding up to $75,000 to Combined Cycle with Bio-methane commercialize their designs. Carbon Capture for Distributed “Scientific innovation has long Power Generation been a driving force behind the U.S. • University of Tennessee at Knoxeconomy,” said Lek Kadeli, acting ville—The New Norris House: assistant administrator for the Office A Sustainable Home for the 21st of Research and Development. Century “The ingenuity displayed by this The P3 Award competition was held year’s People, Prosperity and the at EPA’s Annual National Sustainable Planet award winners shows that Design Expo on the National Mall in we can look forward to a bright Washington, D.C., April 18 to 20. future where economic growth and Each year, the expo showcases innovaenvironmental sustainability go hand tive, cutting-edge technologies designed Photo courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in hand.” by the P3 teams along with sustainable The UA award-winning team members are, from left, graduate students Mauricio Torres-Benavides, Rafael Martinez The University of Arizona’s project policies and technologies developed and and Kyle VanderLugt with Kevin Fitzsimmons, professor and extension specialist in the College of Agriculture and Life is titled “Development of Sustainable implemented by government and state Sciences. Integrated Aquaculture Systems With agencies and nonprofit organizations. Assessment of Environmental, Social The system combines field production rates, water nutrient chemistry, soil quality, Support for the competition includes and Economic Implications.” with hydroponics to create a technology and resource economics to determine the more than 40 partners in the federal governThe UA team sought a technology to help where farmers can grow fish in large basins, conditions that promote economically viable ment, industry and scientific and professionagriculturalists maximize their use of plant and then use the water and nutrients from and environmentally sound food production. al societies. This year’s expo was co-sponsored nutrients, whether they are rural cultivators those basins to feed surrounding plants. About 40 teams took part in this year’s P3 by Beyond Benign, a nonprofit organization or farmers managing vast tracts of crops. The team is assessing fish and plant growth competition. Also winning were: that educates people on green chemistry. May 2009

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Jackass Acres K-9 Koral: An oasis for desert dogs By Debra J. White Earth Odyssey Contributor


solar powered dog park sliced out of the Arizona desert? Jackass Acres K-9 Koral, the nation’s first and only all green dog park, celebrated a one-year anniversary recently in New River. First conceived by Anthem Pets—a nonprofit group that brings people and pets together—and its leader Barbara Ward Windgassen in early 2007, the two and a half acre park took about a year to build. Nearly all materials are recycled, reused or donated. Take the flagpole for example. Windgassen said it’s an old TV antenna. Our Stars and Stripes flaps in the wind, greeting visitors as they cruise into the parking lot. Water fountains, lights and the gate operate from solar power. Tables and chairs are made from fallen tree limbs. Some areas have turf that’s recycled from the NFL. A member donated a fire hydrant he found at a dump. Once it was cleaned up and painted, it made a fine addition to the park’s canine decorum. Metal animal sculptures are created from recycled automobile parts. A local group donated a storage shed. When Anthem Pets took over the property, volunteers removed weeds and brush by hand, careful not to disturb native vegetation. Mesquite trees provide shade from the powerful Arizona sun. The park is sloped so that precipitation from the summer monsoons swoops into a drain and doesn’t cause flooding. Desert landscaping is used. Not only does it conserve water, there’s no monthly utility bill. “We ordered small stones so they’d be easy on the dogs’ paws,” Windgassen said. “The landscaping hasn’t slowed down any of our canine members. They run around, chase each other and dash after Frisbees as if they were scampering on grass.” Windgassen is often asked about the park’s name—Jackass Acres—and where it came from. “The area used to be called Jackass Acres,” she said. “Everyone around here knows the name, so we decided to stick with local tradition.” Jackass Acres is a membership only park. Costs are minimal but everyone has to pay. Dogs must be licensed and current on vaccinations. Each member is expected to clean up after their dogs. Poop bags made from recyclable material are scattered about the park.

In addition to operating Jackass Acres K-9 Koral, Anthem Pets holds vaccination clinics, raises money to for spay/neuter operations for low-income residents and reunites lost pets with their owners. They also try to find homes for unwanted dogs and cats in the Anthem area. To contact Anthem Pets call their hotline at (480) 257-3542 or visit them on-line at www. Page 6

Photo by Debra J. White Jim Bander and his daughter Lauren take Bodie to Jackass Acres K-9 Koral for some family fun.

Do park users like Jackass Acres? Jim Bander and his 8-year-old daughter Lauren said “yes.” They bring their 8-year-old Shepherd mix Bodie. “We love it here,” Dad said. “Bodie seems happier. It’s a good chance for him to socialize and meet new dogs. And we get to meet our neighbors.” Lauren said she likes to play with all the dogs. Colleen Kettenhofen agreed. “I love coming here with my dog Joy,” she said. “It’s always clean and well maintained. And it’s a great place for Joy to meet dogs and for me to talk to people. I enjoy that.” Joy is a mixed breed dog. Like Bander and Kettenhoften, Kurt Grutsch, who takes his three Labrador Retrievers to Jackass, said he loves the park because his dogs have room to burn off energy. He also supports the environmental aspects. “Instead of being in a landfill, these tables,

Photos by Ann Haver-Allen At Jackass Acres K-9 Koral animal sculptures are created from recycled metals and automobile parts.

chairs, fire hydrants are here. And that’s a good thing.” A poodle named Maxim recently celebrated his first birthday at Jackass. His owners invited about 20 guests, including their dogs of course, and handed out pupcakes, chew bones and squeeze balls. Anthem Pets approved the party in advance. Cities and towns maintain municipal dog parks. Jackass is private so they’re on their own.

Earth Odyssey •

“We hold fundraisers throughout the year to defray our costs,” Windgassen said. “There’s our annual auction and golf tournament. And if we think of something else that’s clever, we do that, too.” “We wanted a park that we could be proud of, that would be viable for dogs and their owners, and that our community would be proud of,” Windgassen said. Anthem Pets surely accomplished their goal. May 2009

‘Winecycling’: Entrepreneur finds treasures ‘Après Vin’ More than 50 products made from wine bio-waste By Jill Russell Earth Odyssey Correspondent


fter the grapes are crushed and the wine is fermented, what’s left is a sloppy goop of grape skins, seeds and biowaste. But, you know what they say—one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure. Eric Leber, chemist and Prosser, Washington’s newest wine country entrepreneur, has been taking the bio-waste from local wineries, and turning it into more than 50 products. While teaching organic chemistry at Heritage University, Leber has been able to use this little seed to create things like wood stain and ink…even corks. But six years ago after founding his company, Après Vin—French for “after the wine,” his premier focus has been creating the ultimate line of culinary cooking oil. “In less than two years, the company has gone from a tiny little enterprise, to a larger one, but it still has a long way to grow,” Leber said. “It’s still just beginning, but it’s starting to catch on. Thank God for the Internet.” Everything about the company is infused with the spirit of Washington’s wine country. Almost all of the grape bio-waste comes directly from in-state wineries and the products are produced locally by Prosser’s FruitSmart Co. Although FruitSmart is an organically certified company, products by Après Vin are not because they are not produced with organic grapes. Leber said organic grapes are difficult to come by, due to shortages of local organic vineyards. Certified or not, this has not seemed to be a problem for the growing company. The flavor-infused cooking oils have found a strong niche market with the culinary crowds and specialty foods shops. No order is too strange or outlandish for Leber, who said Chef Frank Magaña of Picazo 7 Seventeen restaurant and wine bar in downtown Prosser regularly orders vanilla chardonnay grape seed oil. The actual production is a huge undertaking. Wine pumice is collected from the wineries, separated, dried and cold pressed with a European press. It takes about 3,000 pounds of grapes—enough for 300 gallons of wine—to produce the 75 pounds of dried grape seeds needed to make just one gallon of grape seed oil. Leber explained although not a winemaker by trade, a passion for the industry has been in his family for more than 50 years. In 1956, Leber’s father, Ralph, teamed up with his brother and professors of Washington State University, to create “Associated Vintners,” the first premium winery in the state. May 2009

Later, his father’s company became Columbia Winery, which continues to function today in Woodinville, Wash. In July 2008, Ralph Leber, was inducted into the 2008 Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame. This annual function is organized and hosted by Prosser’s Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center. Leber said by virtue of his father’s activities he became aware of the industry and used that knowledge during his time teaching at Heritage University. Upon receiving a grant by the Economic Development Administration, as part of the federal government’s Department of Commerce, Leber and his students began to examine the possibly of recovering value from agricultural waste. The group started with orchards, transitioned to dairy feed lots and then found themselves at Apex Washington Hill’s Richmond Winery, which at the time was located in the old Dairy gold plant in Sunnyside. “Pretty quickly, we discovered that there is still a lot of value in the bi-products from winemaking,” Leber said. Over the next several years, the team successfully concluded that there were more than 50 potential commercial uses that can be harvested from the grape bio-waste. Some of the most impressive discoveries include: writing ink, soap, a natural wood and shoe polish and a chardonnay bio-fuel—which he has kept in a small glass wine bottle for more than six years. “It’s still amazing, that after six years, it’s still fresh,” Leber said. “I don’t think that gasoline or diesel fuel would look that good after six years.’ Besides heating homes and powering cars, there have been numerous health benefits associated with grape seed oil. Varietal grape seed oils are a rich source of healthful polyunsaturated oils, antioxidants and other photochemicals. Leber explained the oil also contains essential fatty acids, such as Linolenic (LNA) and Linoleic (LA) acids, which contribute to cellular function and vitality. Additionally, grape seed oil has a particularly high level of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats and half the saturated fat of olive oil—Rachael Ray, eat your heart out! Currently, Leber focuses full time on running the business, but has promised that once his business becomes profitable, he will create a scholarship for Heritage University students to continue researching sustainable uses for winery bio-waste. He also stays connected to academia by giving lectures about sustainable winemaking. Meanwhile, he explained the newest classes of innovators have continued the research his former students began years ago. Leber said

Courtesy photos Products made from wine bio-waste include, from top, grape skin paper, varietal grape-seed flours and culinary cooking oil.

it’s been incredible to watch the growth of winemaking in Washington during the past 50 years. Despite a shaky economy, Wine County

Earth Odyssey •

continues to blossom, keeping Leber kneedeep in bio-waste and challenging him to ponder new uses “Après Vin.” Après Vin products can be purchased at Page 7

Sustainable architecture strategies By Wes Ozier Earth Odyssey Contributor


n just the last few years, the awareness of “green” design and the buzzword “sustainability” has been spreading like wildfire. It seems that our society may finally be getting it. Right now, due to the economy, no one is building, but many indicators (and some good old-fashioned hope) say that the economy may turn around soon. History shows us when economies turn around there is an immediate spike in new construction, and not just the same ole types of projects going up. No, after recessions society responds with a whole new wave of architectural expression and exploration. If this pattern holds true, then we can expect a wave of new construction within the next year or so, and all indications are that it will be a green wave. While many desire their new projects to be part of this green wave, many have no idea how to go about actually making a project green. Many layman expect the architects to know, yet many architects are too involved in their current practices, projects and day-today living to be able to afford the time or money that it takes to acquire a good education in green and sustainable design. Whether you are a layman or an architectural professional, the goal of this article is to provide you with a basic introduction into some strategies in sustainable and green architectural design that can be incorporated into your next project. These strategies are scaled for the residential project, but can still be applied to larger scale projects as well. In this article, we will define sustainability as: development that provides shelter, positive air quality, the production of renewable energy, the creation of healthy food supplies and the maintenance of clean water systems, for the current generation while maintaining the security of the industrial, intellectual and natural resources needed for future generations to do the same. This all sounds well and good, but what are the practical applications of this belief? What would a sustainable building be made of, and what would it encompass? Let us take a look at different strategies that architects can incorporate into your project to help ensure our sustainable future.

Air Quality Strategies Architecture and Air Pollution

When one thinks of air pollution what commonly comes to mind are gas-guzzling cars and industrial smoke stacks spewing pollution. The lion’s share of the pollutants that cause global warming, however, are attributable to architectural design. How would architecture be responsible? All homes require energy, energy to warm them up, energy to cool them off, energy for the lights, the TV, the appliances. All of this energy comes from fuels being burned somewhere. Every time you flip on a switch in your home, turn up the thermostat or Page 8

Courtesy photo Passive solar design is the method of designing buildings so they take advantage of the natural heat of the sun during the winter and take advantage of shading techniques to keep the building cooler in the summer.

the AC, somewhere, out there, far away, a power plant chugs out smoke, ash and carbon dioxide. The author of the “Passive Solar Handbook,” Edward Mazria, calculates that architecture consumes nearly half the country’s total energy and is responsible for 46 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. According to the calculations of the Department of Energy, residential homes cause more air pollution than automobiles. To maintain our air quality, we need a new science of architecture that consumes far less energy. The architect’s responsibility, however, does not stop there. Architects specify the materials going into a home. The architect can specify materials that have a high embodied energy or more natural materials that have a low embodied energy; the lower the embodied energy of materials, the lower the energy consumption in the construction of a home. Architects can also specify materials from local sources, meaning they don’t have to be shipped far, reducing the amount of vehicle pollution produced getting the material to a homesite. The less energy consumed the clearer the skies stay. Read on for the different techniques that will help reduce the level of consumed and embodied energy in your project.

Plants Air quality can also be improved and maintained by using plants that are able to capture excess carbon dioxide in the air and create more breathable oxygen. The more plants one uses in their designs the better. Of course, the plants must be sustainabily maintained as well. Plants can be used in a variety of ways in a sustainable design. Keep in mind that no matter what other function a

plant serves it still always contributes toward air quality.

VOCs VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, which are chemicals that slowly vaporize at normal room temperatures. Many adhesives, solvents and paints used in home construction have a high level of VOCs within them and, over time pollute the indoor air of your home with toxic chemicals. Make sure that all of the chemicals used in your home have low, or better yet, no VOCs within them. The VOC content of most chemicals is listed on the container or you can ask at hardware stores or search the Internet. Also check your carpets and any composite woods—such as cabinetry or doors—these things can often contain adhesives with high VOC levels.


Passive solar design This is the method of designing buildings so they take advantage of the natural heat of the sun during the winter and take advantage of shading techniques to keep the building cooler in the summer. To design a passive solar building, an architect must understand how to orient the windows of the building to the south to gain the maximum solar exposure. During the winter, the sunlight can penetrate directly into the structure, where a “thermal mass,” such as a masonry tile floor or brick wall warms up. During the summer, the building is designed to keep 100 percent of the sunlight out of the windows and off the exterior of the walls so that the building isn’t warming

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up from the sun’s rays. Mazria wrote in his book that passive solar designs can cut your energy bill by 30 percent. Architects skilled in the details of passive solar can greatly increase this. Jo Costion of Coconino Community College said passive solar design is all about “Orientation, insulation, glass and mass.” Many manuals on this topic can teach this design technique to an architect, or you can also take classes on the topic with Costion at CCC in Flagstaff, or the Ecosa Institute in Prescott.

Plug In Solar Panels Of course, you can’t have a discussion about sustainability without someone asking about solar panels. I am reluctant to do so because solar panels can be expensive and difficult to install. Solar power is obtainable, however, with a concept called Plug In solar panels. Several companies produce them, but I specifically recommend the plug in panel from Blue Link Solar, but I’m sure more will come on the market. The Blue Link solar system comes folded up; you simply unfold it and plug it in to your house. The system has all necessary converters already built into it so that it sends power into your home’s electrical system. You can place the array anywhere (that receives good sun) and possibly even work it into your landscaping designs, or other creative uses. So, with these systems, you could slowly purchase an entire array over time, say one a year or whenever you manage to save up, so that the up-front cost of a full-sized array for your home is not necessary. May 2009

for the layman and professional alike Courtesy photo

Solar In A Box includes everything needed to install solar: * Fully modular units designed for rapid installation * Patented mounting frame and brackets: NO measuring and cutting racking * Solar modules pre-wired and grounded to NEC code * Pre-installed micro-inverters: No more inverter installation or DC wiring * Complete systems arrive ready to install and connect to the load center * Simple system sizing * Fast-track Permit pack * Installation guide and training * 15-year system warranty with 25 year panel warranty * 5 years of module-level monitoring The only thing you’ll need to provide is the wiring and conduit or Romex from the roof to the service box, since that is site-specific. For more information about Solar In A Box, contact Green Scene Solar at (928) 468-6484.

Solar hot water heaters One thing Arizona has is plenty of solar thermal energy all beating down on us constantly from the sky. Another thing all homes need is hot water, so why not take advantage of a copiously free source of heat energy? In varied climates around the country, solar hot water heaters can provide up to 85 percent of your domestic hot water energy needs. This includes places with cloudy skies and cold winters. Imagine what a solar hot water heater could do for you here in Arizona! There are many systems of solar hot water heaters, most of them flat panels that connect to the roof. Of course, flat panels could be used anywhere, as long as they are not in shade and could even be used as architectural design elements. For more information on solar hot water heaters, you can visit

Food For the most part, our society does not imagine blending food strategies in with architectural strategies. Once when I was at Arcosanti, several architecture students even took it upon themselves to skip the entire agriculture portion of the Arcosanti seminar because they couldn’t understand what agriculture had to do with them. Ample room in architecture exists, however, for food strategy considering that all architectural projects already take into account extensive use of landscaping for plants. Well, to nature plant mass is plant mass, be it edible or not and the opportunity for landscaping is an opportunity for food-scaping. While locally produced food is important to a sustainable future, not every one can suddenly become a farmer, so how does the architect design food production as a normal part of the typical contemporary suburban lifestyle?

Composting By composting, we can take food scraps and May 2009

other organic detritus, and in a controlled process of decomposition, turn that into fertilizer for gardens. By composting, we literally return to the Earth that which we take, emulating the cycle of nature. Composting is a cornerstone of sustainable living, but many people find operating a compost pile to be smelly and labor intensive. Manufactured products, however, can make composting easily obtainable by your average Jane and Joe Sixpack. To handle your kitchen scraps, you can purchase a simple home composting appliance. The Sun Frost Scrap Eater is a “home composting appliance” that is simply a nice looking wooden barrel with soil inside and plants growing around the edge. In the middle, is a metal chamber with a Plexiglas® dome. You open the dome and throw your food scraps inside and close it up; the food scraps break down and feed the plants. For more information, see Another home composting appliance is called the Green Cone. This is simply a large green cone that sits upside down implanted into a garden. You open the top, drop your food scraps in, and they decompose into the soil of your garden. The Green Cone is designed to cleanly break down the food waste from a family of four. For more information, see You can also replace your water flushing toilet with a composting toilet. A composting toilet takes your humanure (what many call “poop”) and stores it in an airtight chamber where it breaks down into a perfectly clean and hygienic fertilizer that is not even recognizable as having once been feces. The final product can be tilled into your organic garden. Once again, you will be returning to the Earth that which you took and feeding the local ecology. Not only that, but the average toilet uses a little more than 25 percent of the water in a home. So replacing your flush toilet with a composting toilet cuts your water consumption dramatically. Many makes and models of composting toilets are available. A company called Sun

Courtesy photo Thermosyphon solar hot water heating is the most dependable cost effective method of heating your hot water. The unique heat transfer system, located inside the tank above the collectors, enables you to have instant hot water from your collector. Water is heated by the collector and stored in the storage tank during the day. When hot water is desired, the cold water inlet flows thought the heat exchanger whereby the water gets heated and proceeds to flow to the hot water.

Mar makes some very affordable units. For more information, see

Organic Landscaping With all the grey water flowing into your yard, and the rainwater harvesting being done by your berms and swails, there will be far more water in your yard than in your average patch of arid desert. This creates an excellent opportunity for food growth, and as you read in this article, the production of healthy food is one of the goals of sustainable design. When it comes to the landscaping for your home, don’t go to a landscape architect as a consultant, instead go to an organic farmer. Organic farmers know more about sustainable landscaping than a landscape architect ever will. Watch out though: organic farmers as a lot tend to think in terms of winning prizes at the county fair and producing maximum yield, neither of which is your goal. So when you go to the organic farmer for your landscape consultation, tell them you want: an aesthetically pleasing, desert appropri-

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Courtesy photo The Sun Frost Scrap Eater is a “home composting appliance” that is simply a nice looking wooden barrel with soil inside and plants growing around the edge. In the middle, is a metal chamber with a Plexiglas® dome. You open the dome and throw your food scraps inside and close it up; the food scraps break down and feed the plants.

ate, self sustaining garden that will be fed by domestic grey water sources. That request should put them on the right track.


Grey water systems Tom Watson, inventor of the Watson Wick advises us to “treat wastewater as a landscape architecture opportunity.” Grey water systems re-use water ejected from appliances such as sinks, showers and laundry machines, directing the water out into your surrounding landscaping. Since the grey water systems are “plugged” into your personal domestic habits you provide your gardens with water and nutrients just by going about your normal household activities such as showering, doing dishes or doing the laundry. Remember it is imperative that with a grey water system you use only See Architecture, page 10

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all organic cleaners and products in your household! One of the simplest and most effective grey water systems is called a Branch Drain Grey Water System created by a prolific ecological designer named Art Ludwig. In a branched drain system, you direct the flow of “waste water” (a phrase I expect you to never use again because no water is a waste) into a pipe out into your yard. The pipe then splits, sending the water to the left and to the right, which forms the branches of the system. You can then direct each branch to organic gardens or fruit trees within your yard. The total number of branches in the system depends on how much water the appliance ejects on a regular basis. The water drains into a prepared hole that holds the water and allows it to percolate into the surrounding garden. Kitchen sinks will inevitably have decomposing food in their water streams and need more treatment than a branched drain system could provide, which is why I advise a system called the Watson Wick for kitchen sinks. A Watson Wick is essentially a trench containing an infiltrator, a sort of pipe that holds water and then enables it to seep into the ground, the trench is filled with pumice stone, which is porous and coarse and helps cleanse the water that flows through it. A layer of topsoil over the Watson Wick holds plants whose roots reach down and digest the particles suspended in the pumice. Watson Wicks have proven to be more than able to deal with grey water from a kitchen sink. For more information on these two ideas, visit

Rainwater Harvesting Courtesy photo Xeriscape landscaping uses regionally appropriate plants that have adapted to the low-water levels of an arid environment.

Courtesy photo Rainwater can be easily captured from roof runoff and stored in tanks where the water can be kept year round and used for a variety of purposes.

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Courtesy photo Structural Insulated Panel Systems, or SIPS, are made of insulating foam “sandwiched” between two wall boards and held together by load bearing beams and posts. You send your plans to the SIPS manufacturer; they pre-design your panels at the factory, which arrive at your site ready to be tilted up and quickly assembled.

All homes need water and we miss a major source of water that literally falls from the sky like manna from heaven: rainwater. Perhaps rainwater is overlooked because in our society’s current water consumption levels, rain would not be able to provide for all of our water needs. When combined with all of the sustainable water strategies, however, rainwater once again becomes a viable source of water for your home. Your average 2,000 square-foot home catches roughly 1,200 gallons of water per inch of rain. In Phoenix, the annual average is 7 inches, in Flagstaff the average is 22 inches—you do the math! While these levels are impressive, they might not alone provide your needs, but in combination with composting toilets, grey water systems and water efficient appliances, you are now looking at a significant amount of water. Rainwater can be easily captured from roof run-off and stored in tanks where the water can be kept year round and used for a variety of purposes. Of course, your rainwater collection system will have to include a filter to clean out the water, and it should be stored in a lightproof container, which will stop algae from growing. Not only can you catch the rain from your roof, but also your landscaping can use mi-

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cro-basins, berms and swails to keep the rain that falls onto the ground on your site and direct it to your organic gardens and edible xeriscaping, providing a rich water source completely free. I recommend the book “Rainwater Harvesting For Drylands and Beyond” by Brad Lancaster. You can also visit ci.tucson. to see the code approved methods and design of rainwater harvesting allowed in Tucson.

Xeriscaping Gaining in popularity in Arizona, xeriscaping is a landscaping technique that uses less water than standard gardens. At the heart of xeriscaping is the concept of using regionally, desert appropriate plants, which are adapted to the low-water levels of an arid environment. Many people only think of spiky cacti when they think of desert appropriate plants, but that is far from the truth. There are hundreds of varieties of desert appropriate plants from wildflowers, to trees and shrubs, to varied grasses and yes, the iconoclastic cactus. Xeriscaping is not only choosing the right plants, but also preparing the ground properly to conserve water by using micro-basins dug out to hold the plants, and rich mulches to help the plants conserve water. Drip irrigation systems are usually needed in the early years of a xersiscape to help the plants grow and develop into healthy adult forms. Once the plants are fully grown, many xeriscapes don’t need any water whatsoever. Not only can xeriscapes be beautiful, but also they can be productive. More than 500 varieties of edible plants grow in the desert, so ask your landscaper about creating an all edible xeriscape for your home.


Construction Materials The materials in your building should be composed of resources that are either recycled or are rapidly renewable. There are many options out there for sustainable materials, such as earthen construction, e-crete, papercrete, recycled products and strawbale. To determine which is best for you is a balance of such factors as cost, distance from your site and ecological impact. Given all the choices though, I recommend SIPS as the main material, which stands for Structural Insulated Panel Systems. SIPS are made of insulating foam “sandwiched” between two wall boards and held together by load bearing beams and posts. SIPS panels provide excellent insulation, which reduces the energy needs of your home. You send your plans to the SIPS manufacturer; they pre-design your panels at the factory, which are shipped to your site ready to be tilted up and quickly assembled. The panels themselves can be made from a variety of different materials, blending rapidly renewable and recycled industrial products. With the savings in labor, SIPS cost about as much as conventional construction but provides many sustainable benefits. To learn more about SIPS, visit May 2009

Once you have the main structure constructed with SIPS, you can then use other alternative materials such as strawbale, papercrete or local on-site stone as material highlights and accents to give your project that hard green sustainable look.

What I prefer to call vegetated roofing, or living roofs, is the technique of growing plants on the roof of your building. Green roofing provides extra insulation for your home, as well as protects the material of your roof, greatly extending its lifetime. Not only that, but also the plants help water quality, produce fresh air and can provide some bird and insect habitat. Many designers approach green roofs as they would pretty ornamental gardens. I believe that approach is a HUGE mistake. Remember, the real “work” of the green roof is actually accomplished by the soil; the plants are mainly erosion controllers to keep the soil in place. Plant choices should be simple and appropriate to your environment, with low water requirement and no need for pruning or other plant maintenance. Don’t worry if they don’t look lush and green, or sometimes brown—plants do that, as long as their roots are strong your roof will be fine. You can learn more about how to green your roof from

LEED LEED is an acronym for “Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design” and is a set of benchmarks and standards for green projects developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Since its inception in 1998, there have been more than 14,000 LEED projects built in the United States and abroad and the number of LEED-certified projects is steadily increasing. Under the guidance of Tony Floyd (an Arcosanti alum and associate faculty at ASU), the City of Scottsdale was the first city in America to commit to having all municipal buildings achieving a LEED Gold certification. LEED-certified buildings usually have lower utility bills and lower maintenance costs. Businesses run out of LEED-certified buildings report a demonstrable increase in worker productivity. To become LEED certified, a project gains a certain number of points for achieving various quantified standards. There are 69 total points that can be achieved covering quantified levels in sustainable sites: water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design processes. Depending on how many points your project is awarded, it receives a distinguished rating: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. To achieve LEED certification, a project must have a LEED Accredited Professional, abbreviated LEED-AP, who is able to consult all members of the project team, including architects, engineers, contractors, and even owners. With their understanding of the LEED May 2009

Free Waterwise Seminar slated The High Country Xeriscape Council of Arizona is sponsoring a Free Waterwise Seminar from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 30, at Gila Community College, Payson Campus, Room 301, 201 N. Mudsprings Road, Payson. Speakers and topics include Bart Worthington, “Plants for Waterwise Landscaping & Gardens;” Bruce Wales, “Rainwater Harvesting” and Mary Irish, “Agaves and Yuccas for Cold Areas.” Lunch will be available at a nominal fee and exhibitors will be available to answer questions and demonstrate products. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the day. For more information, see rating system, the LEED-AP is able to outline for each team member the criteria they have to achieve to obtain the points necessary for certification. LEED sets the benchmarks a project needs to reach, but be careful, it does not do the work for you; you still have to be good at your job. This is why it is so important to have a LEED-AP who understands concepts in sustainability. Your LEED-AP needs to understand how to translate between “green speak,” “LEED speak” and the “establishment.” For more information on LEED, visit

Passive solar design This concept was expanded on earlier in the Energy Strategies section, however it must be re-iterated in the Structural Strategies section. Passive solar designs will impact the structural form of your project. The whole structure must be shaped, oriented and finished correctly to take maximum advantage of the sun’s rays. There are still many aesthetic options in how a passive solar designed building can look and feel.

Permeable Pavement We take pavement for granted, not realizing the immense effect it has on our local environment. For example, nearly 60 percent of Phoenix’s surface area is paved and this can have a great effect (all negative) on ground water quality and cause a “heat island” effect. In the natural system, rainwater lands on the ground and percolates through the soil, back into aquifers; the soil providing cleansing for the water. When water falls onto human-made pavement, however, and then drains into storm drains, the water picks up many contaminants and washes them directly into the storm drain. This not only deposits contaminants into our water systems, but also the water is not returned to our local natural aquifers. Permeable pavement is any system of pavement that allows the rain water to run through the pavement and return to the ground. This way, we have flat surfaces to move on, but the natural cycle of cleansing and aquifer recharge is maintained, and a

Courtesy photo Living roofs is the technique of growing plants on the roof of your building, which provides extra insulation and protects the roof material, greatly extending its lifetime. The plants help water quality, produce fresh air and can provide some bird and insect habitat. Green roofs have long been popular in New York City. Pictured here is the rooftop garden of Rockefeller Center.

reduction of the heat island effect is a result. Many options on how to create permeable pavement are available, including block pavers, grid systems, porous asphalt and porous concrete. My friend Adam Nordfors re-used busted up concrete chunks to create a permeable pavement walkway for his house. Permeable pavement can be used in home design for driveways, walkways and any other flat paved surface. Combined, these strategies are for the most part, affordable, professionally accessible and code approvable. Together they will make a beautiful sustainable home. Whether you’re a professional or not, many excellent programs out there can provide a quality education on sustainability and ecological design for you, such as Coconino Community College and the Ecosa Institute. As a layman, you are able to drive the professional world by asking, if not demanding, that your professionals be green in the designs and products they make. You have to be an educated layman, however, to know what to ask for. So learn!

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The final design and form of a sustainable building all depends on your philosophy and exact goals of sustainability and lifestyle. Your sustainable home can truly be as unique as you are. So if you see a sustainable home and it doesn’t have an organic garden that’s OK, or if you meet someone who believes that all sustainable homes should be made from strawbale, that’s OK. There is really no one right or wrong answer. The ecology of our planet is very complex, and our solutions as to how to live with it will be just as complex. Hopefully, this article has pointed you toward some ideas and educational resources. While we did cover a lot, so many things go into a sustainable home that it all cannot be covered in any one article. As I always say, education is the key, education of the professional, as well as the education of the layman. Wes Ozier is a LEED-AP, formerly of Arcosanti and the Ecosa Institute. If you have any questions, e-mail him or join the MySpace eco-community. Page 11

Fiber Arts By Mike Marino Earth Odyssey Contributor lvis on velvet? It’s what garage sales are made of. OK, so maybe it’s not high-brow fare found in the Louvre, but, after all, art is in the eye of the beholder, and this particular genre is certainly part and parcel of the “velvet underground” that can trace its roots of fiber artistry to the 14th century in the Far East. Elvis may have left the auditorium decades ago, but, fiber arts is here to stay in the earthfriendly hit parade of arts and crafts. It is a discipline, but such an individualized one it’s a freeform, free-spirited craft, more similar to improvisational jazz than to a structured symphonic piece. No one can deny the fact that fiber arts and artisans provide the punch for one powerful ecological art attack. It’s a green craft that has weaved itself throughout the fabric of history as it was woven and spun by hand and loom. One individual, Gandhi, was not only a proponent of homespun clothing as the simplest of statements (politically and ecologically), but also this simple man brought an empire clothed in full battle dress to its knees, while he himself was clothed only in homespun coverings. Now, that is what I call a homespun victory. Today, this diverse and specialized craft is pursued by purists around the world, and the old methods are meeting the eco-needs of the new world as some are taking trash and hardfor-Mother Earth-to-digest materials—such as garbage bags and discarded audio and video tapes—to transform these recyclable materials into rugs and textiles from salvaged plastics from the landfill Louvres of the world. An artist I know in Ann Arbor takes tossed away and donated men’s ties, then fashions them into artistic handbags, purses and wallets. She has mastered the art of turning

Photo by Jennifer Ely Alpaca is warmer, softer and stronger than wool and is compared to fine cashmere in its appeal and wearability. Alpaca fleece contains no lanolin and can usually be worn next to the skin by those who cannot wear sheep wool.

neckwear into head-turning attractive, handsewn green fashion statements. Some samples of her craft are even on display in some unusual places, including an off-beat dive diner in downtown Ann Arbor, where burgers and beer meet fiber and art in a head-on urban collision. Fiber art is not an easy arena in which to define parameters. Just as the mandala holds numerous illusions, the art of fiberists is a diverse discipline defined by the choice of material used. Today, that choice is simply that. Choice.

The history of fiber art, however, shows that it was at times, a sociological weapon to separate the masses by class distinction, defining breeding pedigrees to show off their place in the societal food chain. In the days of yore, before the industrial revolution in small towns and villages, the art form was used to tell stories and tales to preserve folklore and the history of a people. Looking back to Neanderthal days of pre-history, cave carvings and later petroglyphs by native peoples preceded the woven weaving of tales to tell their stories. Clothing was one of the first forms of fiber arts in practical use, and depending on the purpose, it could be quite distinct and attractive. In the 1300’s, Europeans began a love affair with “tapestries” that served multipurposes. Some experts follow the theory that the tapestries replaced paintings on the Page 12

wall as an art form. That is true, however, in some of the larger drafty castles of Jolly Olde England, the larger wall hanging probably had something to do with temperature control in a minor, yet attractive sense. Art as a weatherization tool, much like insulation, although not on that large of a scale. While the Europeans were mastering the art of fiber wall hangings, in the Middle East the Persians were perfecting the art of rug making. These rugs did not tell tales, tall or small, but used symbols and designs as art in a form referred to as Ardabil made from wool. If you’re a fan of “Antiques Roadshow,” you know at least once a week you’ll find the inclusion of quilts, a distinctively American folk art form of fiber art. Quilts are decorative and are collected by aficionados today to display in the home gallery. Early Americana is depicted in a lot of the older pieces and some regions, like Appalachia, are known for the art of quilt making and are highly sought after treasures. Lest you think fiber arts are a politically incorrect, gender specific art form, think again. It’s no longer a portrait of ladies on the loom for hours upon hours. It’s a craft pursued by men and women, and although the females still out number the males, the guys are making inroads into the world of this craft. As a matter of fact, I have collected West Virginia quilts of varying ages for years when traveling through Appalachia. Fiber arts aren’t limited to the giant tapestries or Islamic rugs either. Other forms of the craft include the smaller scale, and perhaps more practical practices of knitting and

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macrame. Let’s face it, all of us at one point or another has received a welcome handmade knitted scarf or hat for winter wear. The fact that it was handmade and not store-bought, gave it that extra warmth.

Fiber arts is about as organic an art form as you will find. Although synthetics have been on the marketplace for quite awhile, the purist opts for that derived from plants or animals in a nonintrusive manner. Silk is the east-meets-west material and highly desirable, while others prefer linen, wool or cotton. In the realm of exotica, alpaca is awesome as North America takes this endearing creature to heart in most states of the union. The suri alpaca is the most prized for fabric. In the world of alpacas, there are two breeds: the huacaya and the suri. The huacaya produces a springy, warm fiber while the erstwhile suri has a fiber that looks more like silk than wool and it is cool and smooth to the touch, which appeals to artisans and high fashion designers alike. The suri looks like a rastafarian with its long dreadlocks, mon. It’s popularity is exploding according to Jennifer Ely, an alpaca breeder in Washington state. “Demand for alpaca products continues strong throughout the fashion and home accessories markets,” she said. “With steady growth in alpaca herds outside South America, the precious fiber is more readily available May 2009

Photo by Jennifer Ely With 22 natural colors, alpaca fiber is eco-friendly. It blends beautifully with other materials. Many fine Italian designers consistently use some percentage of alpaca fiber in their fabrics to improve the softness and warmth of their garments.

for alpaca and alpaca blend garments. Once reserved for Incan royalty, now everyone can enjoy this luxurious fiber.” Like all products, there are strengths and weaknesses to alpaca. Ely has been doing this for awhile and is cognizant of both factors. “It is warmer, softer and stronger than wool,” Ely said. “Alpaca is compared to fine cashmere in its appeal and wearability. Alpaca fleece contains no lanolin and can usually be worn next to the skin by those who cannot wear sheep wool. With 22 natural colors, alpaca fiber is eco-friendly. It blends beautifully with other materials. Many fine Italian designers consistently use some percentage of alpaca fiber in their fabrics to improve the softness and warmth of their garments.” It comes in colors and shades to create a fiber arts kaleidoscopic rainbow of hues

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from black and browns to maroons, peach, grays and whites and can be blended into a technicolor coat of many colors. It’s also one of the best fibers to take and retain dyes without loosing its sheen. It is lanolin free, lasts for a long time and is easy to care for. Its insular values are legendary and it doesn’t retain water and can resist solar radiation. Keep in mind too, supply and demand. It ain’t cheap, and that, according to Ely, drives up costs. “Availability in the United States is a weakness,” she said. “We only have about 120,000 alpacas in the U.S. right now. It would take a national herd of more than 1 million animals to support one full-time fiber mill.” I’ve confused alpaca’s with llamas in the past and there is a difference, Ely said. “Llamas and alpacas are both members of

the Camelid family,” she said. “Llamas are larger, and enjoyed as livestock guardians and for packing and carting. Alpacas are primarily fiber-producing livestock. They are considerably smaller than the llama, weighing 150 pounds on average. Alpacas have a straight shaped ear; llamas are known for their banana shaped ears—an easy visual difference in addition to their size.” Another natural, but plentiful product is good old-fashioned hemp. Happy hempsters note that fiber artists have known for a long time that hemp is more ecologically sound than all the cotton grown deep in the heart of Texas. Hemp is a prosperous cash crop elsewhere in the world, while it is preposterously illegal to grow the green in the dark soils of the red, white and blue. It is also one of the most versatile and

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durable fabrics supplied by Mother Earth. Its history in the United States dates back to the founding fathers who not only grew hemp themselves, but also the material made from it was sturdy enough to be used as sails in the great ships of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. When the fledgling country decided to expand ever westward, the pioneers plowed forward in wagon trains across the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails, and many a Conestoga covered wagon was covered with hemp cloth as it is one the sturdiest materials on the planet. The reason for its widespread use was its overwhelming durability factor as a fiber. It has a high breathability factor and, therefore, is great in humid climates and won’t mildew. Lightweight hemp is great for clothing from skirts to shirts, and the heavier weaves are good for furniture coverings and such. It’s also used for making bracelets, necklaces and other accessories for jewelry. The eco-bennies? Fertilizer and pesticide use is near zero as it can grow like a weed, unlike the constant chemical condiments required by King Cotton, so planet poisoning is nonexistent, and it grows plentiful left to its own natural devices. Of course, it’s illegal to grow hemp in the United States, so like our childlike dependence on foreign fossil fuels, so too, do we depend on the production of hemp grown overseas. Maybe that will change someday, and natural fibrists will shout from the mountaintops, hemp, hemp, hooray.

I am not a fiber artist myself, but I have discovered natural dyes to enhance clothing that could use a little artistic flair. Nature offers an abundant palette of hues and colors for material that screams for a little dash of color and personality. One discovered by accident is the sumac fruit that grows abundant in the Midwest, where I am from. The Native American tribes in the Great Lakes region, among others, used the reddish fruit of the sumac to make a cold Koolaid®-like drink by boiling the fruit and straining it through cloth to remove seeds, stems and other imperfections. What was left was a tasty, fruity drink that when cooled would offer up a thirst quencher par excellence. Being an avid outdoors See Fiber Art, page 14

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Photo courtesy Cibola Arts Council/Double Six Gallery The Gallery Tapestry display in New Mexico.

Fiber Art

Photo by Mike Marino A recent quilt show in Washington.

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person and experimenting with natural foods found in the wild, I decided to make some of this tempting elixir. During the process, I managed to spill some on my T-shirt, one of those plain white no-message, no-nonsense shirts. It stained it a light reddish pink in a spot, so I decided to stain the whole shirt and the results were a delightful light red color that took to it. So, I learned that day, that one person’s stain, is

another person’s dye. Most of nature will give you a Lucy in the Sky kaleidoscope of dyes, including berries, leaves and bark, grapes and mulberries, rose and lavender and lichens. You name it, nature provides it. Native Americans who first migrated to the region of northern New Mexico quickly found how to extract dies from desert plants and cacti. When the Spanish arrived, they

brought dye imports such as tropical indigo. These imports were quickly assimilated into the whole enchilada by Native fibrists who produced a wealth of art that was indicative of their history and culture, and that tradition has been handed down generation after generation to keep the native culture alive in a world of technology and science.

The oldest traditions of Southwestern fiber artistry are still carried on to this day. There are basket weaving, which dates back to the time of the Anasazsi (pre-700), and two later art forms called sash weaving and embroidery. Mostly ceremonial undertakings, Pueblo embroidery is almost entirely created from wool, and the yarn tightly respun to give more definition to the stitching. New Mexican weaving is world renowned, and most familiar is that of the Navajo people whose lands extend the length and breadth of the Land of Enchantment while their reputation extends worldwide. The Southwest is the world champion heavy-weight when it comes to native peoples’ fiber art, and in New Mexico it is celebrated with art galleries, showings and festivals, and along with the Fiber Arts Trail system developed by the New Mexico Department of the Arts in Santa Fe, it’s a foray that weaves itself throughout the history and back country of the state. Art galleries of all types and stripes are plentiful in New Mexico, however, one stands out as one of the most unique. It’s called the Double Six Gallery in Grants, and is located on the main drag through town, lovingly known as The Mother Road, or Route 66, hence the Double Six moniker. It’s funded in part by the Cibola Arts Council and features local and statewide artisans in all disciplines from sculpting to writing to painting to pottery. Last year saw the inclusion of a Fiber Arts Show, and according to gallery director, Robert Gallegos, the response was well beyond his expectations. Page 14

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“We hold many showings here and events from music, film competitions, pottery and one of our favorite events, the Lilliputian show that was various art forms in miniature,” he said. “We also feature student art monthly, but when we had the textile and fiber arts showing, the crowds simply packed the gallery as there is such an interest in it in New Mexico. The fact that we lie in the shadow of Mt. Taylor, a sacred mountain of the ancient ones, is probably not a coincidence for our success with that particular event,” Gallegos laughed. “You just never know.” For more information about The Double Six Gallery and Cibola Arts Council, see their Web site at The Fiber Arts Trail at last count included more than 200 artists in 70 plus locations. These include galleries and private studios tucked away off the beaten arts trail path where you can talk with the artists and watch them at their craft. The idea of the trail was inspired by a similar project in North Carolina and its purpose is to showcase a purely unique cottage industry that is a source of tourism for the state, and dollars for the artists themselves. The Trails are divided into three geographic segments of the state and most will take you on a journey to not only the arts, but also past stately volcanoes, old lava flows, caves, massive rock outcroppings, Ponderosa pine forests that all have ample hiking, biking and camping opportunities on your road to fiber discovery. To find out more about the New Mexico Fiber Arts Trail, you can contact them in Santa Fe at (800) 879-4278. So, the next time you see an Elvis on Velvet at a local garage sale, look at it differently. Perhaps it’s a result of basic urban arts evolution in the field of fiber arts, and not a mutant piece of pop culture kitsch. Maybe, just maybe, too, you can close your eyes and picture ancient peoples at looms or by hand weaving and embroidering to leave a lasting legacy for posterity as they pass this form of art down, generation after generation. May 2009

Fiber artist plies her trade in the Rim Country By Ann Haver-Allen Earth Odyssey Editor


iber artist Georgianne Smolenski describes herself as a fiber fiend. She works with fibers spun from alpacas, goats, llamas, rabbits, dogs, cotton, bamboo, hemp, rayon, tencel and soy silk. Smolenski has been weaving wearable art for more than 25 years. “I am always looking for yarn,” Smolenski said as she demonstrated her craft. “After 25 years, I still spend hours experimenting and creating fabrics that no modern factory could produce. Every item of wearable art that I design and weave is one of a kind.” Smolenski took up weaving after seeing another weaver at work and being amazed at the “incredible patterns and colors” she saw. Her father purchased her loom for her after she won her battle with cancer. “He offered to take me on a trip to Europe when I recovered,” she said. “Then, when I did recover, it was dinner at Red Lobster. I said what I really wanted was a loom.” Smolenski said the loom unwittingly contributed to her post-operative therapy because it arrived in five boxes and required assembly. “Each piece of wood had to be sanded and oiled,” she said. “I set it up in my living room and—with one arm—got it together.” Assembling the loom turned out to be all the physical therapy she needed. After completing the task, she had full movement of both arms. “I have been weaving ever since,” she said. “You can create anything you want.” Smolenski plans all her pieces before weaving begins. “I can weave up to five feet, but because I don’t want to waste anything, I plan my articles ahead of time and set the loom up for that,” she said. “I can’t waste anything—not at these prices.” Speaking of prices, Smolenski’s wearable art is very affordable—from about $130 to $400. She weaves short and long vests, dresses, ponchos, skirts and many other items. Additionally, she makes throw pillows out of her “leftovers.” The pillows sell for $25 to $50. And if there’s still small scraps left, she tosses those out for the birds to use as nesting material.

May 2009

Photos by Pia Wyer Georgianne Smolenski sits at her weaving loom in her home-studio in the Tonto National Forest. Below, a sampling of the handmade fabrics she designs and weaves.

“Prices are determined by how much weaving went into the article, what the content of the fiber is and how much hand work I put into the sewing,” Smolenski said, adding that it can take up to two weeks to take the yarn off the warping board, transfer it onto the loom and get the threading set up. “It generally takes 15 throws of the shuttle to make one inch of fabric,” she said. “One skirt will require 1,080 throws of the shuttle.” Smolenski works in her home studio, which is located in the Tonto National Forest between Pine and Payson. Her work is available in Sedona at Isadora’s Handweaving Gallery in Tlaquepaque Village, in Fountain Hills at Sellzy’s and in Payson at Artists of the Rim Fine Art Gallery. She plans to be on the

Web site Etsy soon. “I just love creating so much,” Smolenski said. “There are thousands and thousands of colors and patterns. People buy my products, so they help pay for my addiction.” And, she added, that once you own a

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hand-woven article, you’ll come back for another. “People really take notice,” she said. “You don’t see these articles coming and going.” Smolenski can be reached via e-mail to

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Photos by Pia Wyer Barn owls are among the patients at Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center.

Photos by Pia Wyer Sandy Cate, coordinator for the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, feeds globe mallow to a prairie dog.

Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center to the rescue By Ann Haver-Allen Earth Odyssey Editor


umans have a lot to learn from wildlife and it’s Sandy Cate’s job to expedite that educational process. Cate is the coordinator for the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, operated under the auspices of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center is the facility where injured or abandoned wildlife is temporarily housed. Adobe Mountain has federal and state permits for taking animals in, assessing their condition and determining a course of action. “We put the animal through an evaluation process and then we do weights and measures,” Cate said. “We identify the animal by putting leg bands on.” All the animals at Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center fall into one of three categories: animals who function as foster parents, animals in recovery, or animals that participate in the center’s education programs. Foster parents come into play when baby animals—usually birds—arrive at the center. “About 80 to 85 percent of our animals come from urban settings,” Cate said. “We have a few animals who came from outlying areas, such as Prescott, Williams, Flagstaff, Page or Kingman. But most come from urban areas and that’s what’s so amazing.”

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Cate said that people generally do not realize how much wildlife shares their urban habitat. They may notice songbirds or fence lizards, but they have a tendency to think that other animals belong out in the desert or in the mountains. She said that many of the animals who arrive at the center have been injured. The ultimate objective of Adobe Mountain is to rehabilitate and release its patients back into the wild. That’s frequently easier said than done, because many factors play into that decision—even the time of year. “A Swainson’s Hawk came here last year and we had to winter it over,” Cate said. “Swainson’s Hawks leave Arizona in about October for the tip of southern Argentina. If we released it then, it would not survive because all the others had already gone. We will be releasing it up in Peach Springs in the next few weeks because that’s the area it came from. Hopefully, it will find a mate and go into the breeding process.” Desert tortoises also pose challenges because they must be released back into their home territory. “You can’t really relocate these guys,” Cate said. “Their habitat is totally programmed. They know where their den sites are, where the food sources are and where the water sources are. For an animal that lives in such a harsh environment and can’t just migrate

away, specific habitat is critical.” Cate said spring is a very busy time at the wildlife center. “At this time of the year, we get in a lot of babies—or what we call fledglings,” Cate said. “Sometimes they have fallen out of the nest. Sometimes something is wrong and the parent bird instinctively throws it out. Or, they were blown out in the high winds we have here.” Cate tries to place the fledglings with foster parents. “That way, they imprint on the foster parents instead of looking at humans as a source for food,” she said. “Foster parents help them learn that they don’t want to be around people and they don’t habituate to people.” If foster parents are not available, then Cate calls upon her volunteers. “We have volunteers who are under permits,” she said. “Some specialize with songbirds. We have three different volunteers who specialize with bunnies. And if an animal comes in and I don’t have a specialist for it, I network with other rehabilitators. We move animals around to people who either specialize with those animals or have special training for certain types of injuries or they have foster parents available.” Some animals are more mature when they arrive at the Adobe Mountain Center. Montana, the bald eagle, was 3-years-old when she arrived. Her left wing is damaged and she cannot survive outside captivity. Mon-

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tana was found on the Navajo Army Depot and had been hit by a car and possibly shot. “We did find a pellet in one of her toes,” Cate said, adding that Montana had a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leg band, which revealed she had hatched just outside Bozeman, Montana, on the Missouri River. “Because of her wing injury, she will never make it back,” Cate said. “We have had her for five years. She’s a really great bird.” Adobe Mountain is also home to two golden eagles—a male and a female. Both have wing injuries and the male is blind in one eye. “They get along really well,” Cate said. “With most birds of prey, the female is larger than the male and that’s easy to see when we have both here.” Cate said that only three species of birds of prey have a color variation between the male and female: the American kestrel, the Merlin and Northern Harrier. “The kestrel is the smallest falcon in the United States,” she said. “The Merlin is just a little bit larger than the kestrel. Merlins migrate here in the winter months, but they are not nesting birds. Northern Harrier males tend to be grey and the females are tan and brownish colors.” If an animal’s injuries are so extensive that it cannot be released back into the wild, it becomes a foster parent or enters the Game and Fish education program—if it has a suitable May 2009

Photos by Pia Wyer At right, Montana is a bald eagle with a damaged left wing. She had been hit by a car or shot. Below is a bobcat, a ringtail—Arizona’s state mammal—and an opossum.

temperament. These are the animals that visit schools and wildlife fairs around the state. Montana stays home, but the golden eagles are frequently out and about. So are the burrowing owls. Additionally, Cate plans to do on-site education programs and have an open house. She explained that the facility had been slated to relocate, but because of budgetary issues, that would not happen. “We want to fix the place up, make some major changes,” she said. “Recently, we did an outdoor classroom and it went really well.” Much of the Adobe Mountain facility has been built by volunteers—especially boy scouts who have built a number of the pens. “We rely heavily on donations to help offset costs,” Cate said. “We rely on volunteers. In fact, I am the only paid person. Everyone else is a volunteer.” The quail pen, one of the newest structures on site, was built as an Eagle Scout project. The Dobson High School welding class built

May 2009

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the area that houses the bald eagle Montana. “The golden eagle pen was made possible by a family donation that helped purchase the materials,” Cate said. “One of our volunteers welded everything together. Then, one of the Game and Fish guys spent a couple of weeks assembling it. Finally, a boy scout came in and did all the sanding and painting and put up the shade structure. “When you consider the care of the animals and going out and doing all the environmental education and outreach that we do, it’s just phenomenal what it takes to run a facility like this,” she continued. “Then, when you realize that it’s only one paid person and everyone else is a volunteer, it’s really amazing.” Cate said she is getting ready to put two new pens up, but does not yet have the funding. One pen will house raccoons and the other will be multipurpose. Cate dreams of the multipurpose pen, where she hopes to establish a cohesive habitat: prairie dogs, desert tortoise, box turtle See Wildlife, page 18

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Photos by Pia Wyer At left, baby barn owls gather for a photo. Above, this desert tortoise was rescued from a swimming pool where it had fallen in. Its companion did not survive. Below, a black crowned night heron wonders if the camera is edible.


continued from page 17

and other animals living in an environment similar to their actual habitat. “It would be really nice for us to show the outside setting in an inside situation,” she said. “That way, people stop, think and ask questions. It just opens everything and provides more opportunity for education and building interest for wildlife.” One facet that is not very well known is the prohibition against possession of any part of a migratory bird. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act covers all migratory birds, not just raptors. “You need a special permit to possess a feather, egg, nest or anything,” Cate said. “Even if they dropped it. Even if you find a feather while out hiking, it’s illegal to posses it. This applies to all migratory birds, not just raptors. You can be fined if you have anyThe Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 is an agreement between the United States and Great Britain (for Canada). The United States subsequently entered into similar agreements with Canada, Mexico, Japan and Russia to protect migratory birds. The statute makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill or sell migratory birds. The statute does not discriminate between live or dead birds and also grants full protection to any bird parts—including feathers, eggs and nests. Any person in possession of a migratory bird—or bird parts—without a permit may be convicted of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $15,000, six months in prison or both. If a person engaged in a knowing violation with the intent to sell, offer to sell, barter or offer to barter a migratory bird, that person can be convicted of a felony and fined not more than $2,000 and imprisoned for not Page 18

thing from a listed bird in your possession.” Cate said feathers from game birds—quail, doves, pheasants and turkeys—are legal. See box below for a sampling of birds listed in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It’s not just her job to educate the pubic about wildlife and surrounding issues, it’s her mission. “I have been doing this since 1985,” Cate said. “Game and Fish is the first state wildlife agency to take on a component of rehabilitation and education to the degree that we have. Our funding is about $15,000 per year. So I totally rely on volunteers and public donations.” If you are interested in being a volunteer or contributing to Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, see more than two years, or both. Currently, more than 800 species are on the protected list, including Barn-Owl Western Bluebird Cardinal American Crow Mourning Dove House Finch Lesser Goldfinch Anna’s Hummingbird Rufous Hummingbird Scrub Jay Common Raven American Robin Rufous-sided Towhee Turkey Vulture Gila Woodpecker Cactus Wren For the complete alphabetical list of protected birds, see earthodysseyonline to download the PDF. Earth Odyssey •

May 2009

Owls, awe and ivory towers

Photo by Pia Wyer


n one of David Whyte’s many wonderful poems, he has a line “whatever does not bring you alive is too small for you.”* What does it mean to be fully alive, as opposed to getting through the day? Fully alive, with all senses taut and expectant, open and present? Many of us find navigating everyday life is easier with varying amounts of dissociation.

May 2009

We leave aspects of our true selves behind at home when we go to work or engage with others until something catches us by surprise, a song, the wind, an act of kindness. The moment when our soul rushes in to grab our attention and asks what happened to all those other days, years even, when we were on auto-pilot? Being fully alive brings us into recognition of the fathomless mystery and co-creativity of our existence, of the exquisite beauty of each creature on earth. When we fall out of our anthropomorphic ivory towers and realize once again that we are as much a guest in the dance of being as any other species. And what a joy it is, to release our minds from the pressures of selfpreoccupation and shed the masks given to us by someone else. Spirituality is about authentic presence, it is about awe. Awe is a whole body experience. It is what the mystics tried to convey, what we are born to encounter, what religion could be if it were not so preoccupied with conformity and branding. Awe is not a head

trip, intellectual posturing or the concretization of myth. It is the gift of being broken open into grace in the presence of wildness, a power more luminescent than our minds can contain. To experience awe is to be simultaneously humbled and exalted, to recognize how silly it is to believe we are masters of the universe or have a divine mandate. It shatters cynicism and the myopic consumption of goods and other people’s dreams. It releases us from the Sisyphean experience of struggle and futility, allows us to appreciate the mountain rather than the effort of rolling the stone upwards, only to have it tumble back down again. For every convenience there is an exchange. Our modern world offers us many benefits over humanity’s hunter-gatherer days and fledgling civilizations, but we have traded our vulnerabilities for weakened perceptions and the illusion of immortality. We live in a world of our own creation and too often worship deities of our own projection. So how do we experience awe? We cannot command it, purchase it, manipulate it or contain it. We can, however, clear a space for it to enter and invite its presence. Awe is feeling the breath of divinity on our face and filling our heart, to be overcome by a sense of joy and wonder. It can be sparked by any number of things. An example for me was being in the presence of owls last week. During Ann’s and my visit to the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center in Phoenix for our article in this issue, I was allowed into the Great Horned Owl enclosure to take photographs. There were four owls there that day and two of them took off suddenly in flight, soaring over my head with such breathtaking beauty the sight of them caused me to cry out and have tears in my eyes. What a gift, to be in the presence of such magnificence. How lucky I am to work on Earth Odyssey and have these opportunities. Owls live in forests all over the world. There are many kinds, and glimpsing one is rare. That we are not conscious of them is probably their fortune, yet our loss. There are so many wonderful creatures, so much mystery and grace just waiting for us to rediscover our child-like curiosity and vision. Yes, we can create many things, houses, cars, computers, medicine, books, weapons, but who among us could create a living, breathing owl from nothing but our imagination? It is this humility that opens the space for awe and the presence of divinity. * David Whyte “The Heart Aroused” www. Originally from England, Pia lives in Payson, Arizona, and has been a part of Earth Odyssey since the beginning. She has a master’s degree in Culture and Spirituality, and most recently graduated from the Sacred Art of Living’s Anamcara Project. She can be contacted through Earth Odyssey and her freelance photography business, Animist Arts (pia@

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Grab a Java Here’s some reassuring news for coffee drinkers: A study by Finnish and Swedish researchers found that people who drink three to five cups of coffee a day in midlife are at a 65 percent reduced risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and in Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter in April. Researchers followed 1,409 individuals from the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) study over an average of 21 years, at the end of which the subjects ranged in age from 65 to 79. At midlife, participants’ coffee and tea consumption was assessed using a food-frequency questionnaire. Coffee drinking was categorized as low (zero to two cups daily), moderate (three to five cups) and high (more than five cups a day). Tea consumption was broken down by tea drinkers (one cup or more a day) and non-tea drinkers. A total of 61 cases of dementia were identified over the course of the study, including 48 with Alzheimer’s disease. Both the moderate and high coffee drinkers were at lower risk than those drinking little or no coffee, with moderate coffee drinkers the least likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s. Tea drinking was not associated with the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s, one way or the other. Most Americans, by the way, average more than three and a half cups of coffee a day, while the worldwide average is a cup and a half daily. Researchers said the findings add to a growing body of evidence that coffee may benefit the brain. To read the abstract, go to -- Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter.

QQ: Are & corn A tortillas a healthier choice than flour tortillas? A: Corn tortillas are generally lower in sodium than flour varieties. A corn tortilla tends to have no more than 10 milligrams (mg) of sodium, whereas a six-inch flour tortilla may have about 200 mg, and the larger sizes range from 400 to 700 mg. Finally, calorie content is a consideration, and the larger the tortilla, the more calories it contains. Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian in Springfield, Ill. For comments or questions, contact her at Page 19

Lightness of being: Stress-free living through meditation


ave you ever had a day or two when you felt completely in harmony with yourself and life? Perhaps you woke up feeling great, you had a chance to meditate, pray, journal or whatever your morning ritual is. Your needs were being met before you even thought of them. Your intuition was right on; you got perfect parking spaces wherever you went; and you ran into the right people right when you needed to connect with them. Everyone you met gave you a compliment (and you believed them); you saw the good in everyone and time flowed perfectly. You were never late or rushing to go somewhere; your creativity burst at the seams; you expressed yourself easily; and you felt like you were smiling from the inside out. This happened to a client of mine. She described how she felt in the flow of life, where she saw everything and everyone, including herself as luminous, peaceful, powerful and whole—full of potential. Then, after a few days of bliss, unexpectedly, she woke up one morning and the feeling of lightness and perfection was gone. She described her self-talk as going something like this: “You can’t follow your dream, who do you think you are?” “You aren’t good enough.” “You need to do A LOT more than you are doing.” She was left deflated and discouraged. What happened? Why didn’t that lightness of being last? There could be many reasons, and hers was that she was overworking. The effects of the physical stress were what blocked her mind and body’s ability to main-

tain that good feeling. What is stress really? If you were to ask a dozen people to define stress, or explain what causes stress for them, or how it affects them, you would likely get 12 different answers. What is stressful for one person may be pleasurable or have little effect on another. And, we all react to stress or stressors differently. It can go like this: something doesn’t go your way, and then stress occurs. Are you bored with your job, and you wish it were more interesting? Stress. Do you desire a better relationship with someone and all you do is argue with them? Stress. Do you desire a pain free body and you have pain? Stress. Do you desire a peaceful world, and you keep hearing about war and violence? Stress. Stress can also be caused when we don’t get enough sleep, eat food that isn’t good for us, say “yes” when we mean “no,” or “no” when we mean “yes,” or when we don’t live in tune with nature’s daily, seasonal or lifecycle rhythms. It can accumulate due to toxic environments, undigested experiences or emotions or painful relationships.

Stress affects everyone, both physically and mentally. You can ignore the feeling of stress or temporarily wish it away, drink it away, or watch TV to forget about it. Once the masking effect ends, however, the stress is literally still there, blocking your creativity, wholeness, bliss, health and peacefulness. Left unchecked over time, stress can cause tension, anxiety and panic, high blood pressure, chronic pain, headaches, respiratory problems such as emphysema and asthma, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, skin disorders, mild depression and irritable bowel syndrome. Your birthright is to experience yourself as blissful, joyous, energetic, creative, peaceful and loving. We start out that way—just look at a young child, full of energy and bliss. As we get older the stress compounds in our nervous system, and if we don’t get rid of it, it masks our fullest expression of who we really are. Most of us cannot go through life completely avoiding stress, it is just not possible. Yet, there are a few effective ways to deal with it. Sleep is one way, meditation is another. Meditation is proven to be the perfect antidote to stress. It counteracts the physical and mental component of the flight or fight syndrome. Did you know that the purpose of yoga and meditation is to reduce the stress in your nervous system so you can experience and maintain higher states of consciousness and experience your full potential? This is good news. As we meditate and the stress dissipates, we become healthier, happier and able to realize greater self-awareness. People who practice meditation regularly

report that they experience greater intuition, more creativity, increased mental abilities, improved memory and a decreased need to visit a doctor compared to before they began to meditate. They are “tapping in” to the intelligence that pervades our world. Studies have even shown that meditation can reduce or reverse cardiovascular disease and improve the ability to cope with chronic illness. Although there are many different ways to meditate, I recommend that you try a meditation that isn’t about imagination or affirmations. We teach simple mantra meditation techniques, including Deepak Chopra’s Primordial Sound Meditation, to train your awareness to transcend thought. It then relieves the effects of stress. The meditation techniques we teach help you to reconnect with the part of you that is most real and most true. Eventually, through meditation, you’ll find that you can maintain a sense of balance and peace no matter what the outside world is up to. And when you do it, you too can experience your true lightness of being. Join a meditation class or a free introduction to meditation. Or if you already know how to meditate and have been taking a break from it, here’s your reminder to begin your practice again. Sarah McLean is the director of Sedona Meditation Training & Retreats and is certified and recommended by Dr. Deepak Chopra. She can be reached via e-mail at, phone at (928) 204-0067 or fax at (866) 6541705. You can also visit online at http://www.

Top 10 green projects named by AIA


he top 10 examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment as selected by The American Institute of Architects were honored at the AIA 2009 National Convention and Design Exposition, April 30 through May 2, in San Francisco. Selected projects showcase excellence in sustainable design principles and reduced

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energy consumption and are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. These buildings make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable con-

struction materials and design that improves indoor air quality. The winners are: • Charles Hostler Student Center, Beirut, Lebanon • Chartwell School, Seaside, Calif. • Gish Apartments, San Jose, Calif. • Great River Energy Headquarters, Maple Grove, Minn. (Pictured at left) • Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC), Evanston, Ill.

Earth Odyssey •

• Portola Valley Town Center, Portola Valley, Calif. • Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, Orange, Texas • Synergy at Dockside Green, Victoria, British Colombia • The Terry Thomas, a commercial office and retails space in Seattle, Wash. • World Headquarters for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Yarmouth Port, Maine.

May 2009

Monthly horoscope from Dominique Read your Sun, Ascending, and Moon sign. An astrologer can help you find all of the planets places on the day that you were born.

discipline in order to make your dollars go farther. Friends, family and other relationships keep you busy this month.

a Aries—March 21–April 19 Mars is in your sign now. By the middle of the month, Mars and Venus join for romance. Others respond to you in a positive way. It could be easier to get what you ask for. Lessons at work help you to become more valuable. Speak up for something that you want.

f Virgo—August 24–September 23 Learn about yourself by how others respond to you. People will be as kind to you as you are to yourself. Focus on what you like about the work that you do. Lessons around your work will bring information that could help you improve your situation in the long run.

b Taurus—April 20–May 20 The best way to attract good things is by focusing on the wonderful things that you already have. You may find that you are learning more about creativity and/or romance at this time. Some of you will travel far away, and others find a new understanding or direction in spiritual beliefs. c Gemini—May 22–June 21 Turn your daydreams into plans that could make them happen. Lessons or concerns about the recent past can be rewarding if you pay attention. You are able to solve a problem as well as attain something you desire. d Cancer—June 22–July 23 Your focus could be on the kind of dreams

Dominique Shilling, MAFA, is a counselor and astrologer with a practice in the Valley. For an appointment, contact her at Way to the Light Within, (602) 279-2941 or check out her Web site at that you know can become real. Learn from your current situation. Trust your own feelings about what to communicate and what to keep quiet about. Some things are better left unsaid. e Leo—July 24–August 23 Opportunity comes when you focus on what makes you valuable. Saturn in your solar house of money could force you to use

g Libra—September 24–October 23 Recent past has lessons that can help you improve your day-to-day life. Changes possible around your health. The outcome depends on how well you have been taking care of yourself. Our bodies are our connection to earth. Emotions can manifest as physical signals. h Scorpio—October 24–November 22 Your creative ability can get something you have been wanting. Intuition gives clues to solve practical problems. Relax. A helpful lesson comes from an acquaintance or friend’s situation. Just watch and you’ll learn. Changes possible in area of romance. i Sagittarius—November 23–December 22 Work and health are the focus this month.

Challenges met will be rewarded. Focus on career and reputation, could bring opportunity to learn more and improve in these areas. Your creative abilities are enhanced. Make something or use it to solve problems. Trust your feelings. j Capricorn—December 23–January 20 Money could go up and down. Worry can hinder positive outcomes. Keep an open mind and trust your feelings. Take time just for yourself. Deal with situations as they come up. Take advantage of opportunities for fun and adventure this month. k Aquarius—January 21–February 19 Your home and feelings about security are highlighted now. Venus and Mars together help you ask for what you want in a congenial way. Mars puts force behind your intention and could help you to take action to fulfill a need or desire. l Pisces—February 20–March 20 Take notice of—and acknowledge—what you have accomplished so far. This is a good time to take action regarding your money and security. Pay attention to your close relationships. See what you have and how you can make it better. Practice makes perfect!

Dominique takes an in-depth look at the stars


ay is the month of Taurus the Bull. The sun went into Taurus last month on the 20th. It will complete its journey through this constellation on the 20th of this month. Taurus is an Earth sign, so people born under this sign can be very practical. The sign of the Bull is known for loyalty, patience and stability. They can also be dependable, artistic, conservative and sensual. Lower vibrations of the Taurus character can include stubbornness and possessiveness. Taurus rules the throat, neck, ears, vocal chords, thyroid, tongue, mouth, tonsils and lower teeth. Taurus is the second astrological sign in the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Taurus. In western astrology, this sign is no longer aligned with the constellation as a result of the precession of the equinoxes. In astrology, Taurus is considered a “feminine,” negative (introvert) sign. It is an Earth sign and one of the four fixed signs. Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus (which also rules Libra). Being the second sign of the zodiac, Taurus has been associated with the astrological second house. The Greeks saw Taurus as Zeus in disguise. The story is that Zeus fell in love with Europa, the daughter of Agenor, who was king of Phoenica. One day while she was playing by the water’s edge, she caught sight of a magnificent bull grazing amongst her father’s herd. When she approached the bull, it knelt down May 2009

and let her get on its back. Once she was on, it sprang to its feet and took off to the sea in Crete where Zeus made her his mistress. This constellation also represents the white bull that sired the famous Minotaur with the wife of King Minos of Crete. The bull was sent to Minos as a sign that he was the rightful heir to the throne. However, Minos did not sacrifice the bull to Poseidon like he was supposed to, so the ever-vengeful sea god caused his queen Pasiphae, to fall in love with it. Later in another myth, Theseus of Athens goes to Crete and slays the dreadful Minotaur, which was reported to be a man with a bull’s head that could breathe fire. This month’s Retrograde Planets: Mercury goes retrograde at 1 degree Gemini at 9:55 p.m. MST on the 6th. It will be at 22 degrees Gemini when it goes direct again on the 31st. Saturn started into retrograde motion on Dec. 31 in Virgo and will continue retrograde motion until May 16. Neptune starts its backward motion at 26 degrees Aquarius on the 28th at 5:11 p.m. MST. Pluto is still in retrograde. It starts the month at 3 degrees of Capricorn and will end the month at 2nd. It will not go direct again until Sept. 10. When it starts to move forward again it will be at 0 degrees Capricorn. May 2nd’s Venus Aries square Pluto Capricorn fosters the desire to have things out in the open and to reveal or bring things to light rather than keeping them hidden. Tuesday the 5th’s Sun Taurus trine Saturn

Virgo is good for getting things done that require discipline and organization. This also a great time to put energy into or to start work on long-term goals. The next day, Mercury starts retrograde motion at 01 Gemini. We have the full moon at 18 Scorpio on the 8th. Scorpio turns us inward, heightens our curiosity and helps make it easier to focus and investigate. This would also a good time to deal with challenges, and to recycle anything that you no longer use, need or want. On the 13th, Mercury goes into Gemini, the sign of the twins. We have a lot going on for Saturday the 16th. The sun in Taurus square Jupiter Aquarius suggests that we wait for another day to make plans or decisions. Jupiter tends to overdo and make things bigger. With the sun Taurus sextile to Uranus Pisces, you may notice more physical energy as well as enhanced creativity. With sun Taurus square Neptune Aquarius today is not the best day to make big decisions. Wait for another day when it will be easier to be more practical. Saturn goes into direct motion at 14 degrees Virgo. Tuesday, the18th, has Venus joining the sun in Taurus. The sun’s light shines on Venus to strengthen her positive qualities of generosity and serenity. This could be a great day to spend time with a loved one or friend. It does not matter if you spend time with others or take this as a day for yourself. Overall, it is easier for us to feel good about ourselves, and people seem to work together well.

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Wednesday the 20th we have another busy day with the planets. The sun enters the constellation of Gemini. With Mercury Taurus square Neptune Aquarius things may not be as clear or straightforward as they seem. Take your time and be patient in order to avert possible misunderstandings. Later in the evening, we have Mercury Taurus square Jupiter Aquarius. This placement could lend to exaggeration, over thinking things and/or being impractical. Mercury Taurus sextile Uranus Pisces helps us to be able to adapt to new ideas. Mercury is about communication and Uranus is about the unusual or surprises, so you could hear from someone unexpected. New moon is in Gemini at 5:12 a.m. MST on Sunday the 24th. Gemini is beneficial for communication, ideas and writing. This is also a good time for negotiating, and for rearranging things. Gemini is a master of change! Tuesday the 26th, Mars Aries sextile Jupiter Aquarius, enhances physical energy and brightens the mood to have people feeling more optimistic. This is also a good aspect for plans or decisions about career and life purpose. Overall, it is easier to be enthusiastic and many of us will be looking for adventure on this day. Mars Aries sextile Neptune Aquarius piques the imagination. People could be more drawn to fantasy and the mystical. On Wednesday, Jupiter Aquarius conjunct Neptune fosters spiritual inspiration, universal love, and generosity. Neptune stations retrograde at 26 degrees of Aquarius on the 28th. Page 21

Be confident in humanity—not fearful


hat in the world IS happening? It’s all happening right now. The economy is on the forefront of the minds of many of us. Our worries are exacerbated by all the fear the mainstream news media is projecting upon us. AND we have Earth Odyssey columnists (Moi) researching and reporting on various environmental catastrophes of which we should all be aware. This can tend to create additional fear in our hearts about the nature of the planet we are leaving behind to our children’s children. Fear, fear, fear—enough already. When we learn about certain catastrophes (such as the economy, global warming or species extinction) and do not readily foresee viable solutions, we can choose to receive the information in love—with no fear. Rest assured that there are no problems (environmental OR economic) that are insurmountable. In last month’s “What in the World is Happening?” article, I briefly discussed some of the huge geo-engineering proposals intending to help solve some of our biggest environmental concerns. I mentioned that many of them are pretty far-fetched and dan-

gerous. We don’t want to unsettle the delicate balance of our planet. And I mentioned that we should be changing our ways to accommodate Mother Earth. However, there ARE some really great thinkers out there coming up with many great ideas about healing the planet. It is important to corral the scientists in with economists and (dare I say it) politicians in “Think Tank” format in order to get a well-balanced solution to be implemented. All of Earth’s socio-economic-environmental issues are connected. So we need a connected series of solutions that can be phased into action in a most efficient way. The 15th Annual Meeting of the United

Nations’ Climate Summit is being held in Copenhagen this year. I think it is a very fitting locale, showcasing a country which is setting a good (GREEN) example for the rest of the world. Traveling from the airport to their hotel rooms, the attending governmental officials will be seeing some impressive arrays of the wind farms, which provide (countywide) approximately 10 percent of the power used in Denmark. When the officials visit the city, they will witness thousands of commuters using bicycles, as approximately one-third of all urban transport within Copenhagen is via this form of transportation. The Climate Summit Meeting will, of course, be addressing the status of the Kyoto Protocol. This is an agreement, relative to each of the participating countries, where legally binding commitments have been made toward the reduction of specific greenhouse gases. Each country has individual goals based on the unique conditions they are facing locally. The United States of America is not participating because our Congress has not yet ratified the agreement. There will be representatives from 170 countries at this climate conference, along with nongovernment organizations, journal-

ists, scientists and others. An estimated 8,000 people will be attending over the course of a few days, and it is considered to be an essential milestone for further worldwide efforts toward reasonable climate changes. They plan to establish what will be termed the Copenhagen Protocol, to extend further into the future than what was established in the Kyoto Protocol. It is hoped that this Summit will spark the United States to ratify an agreement to limit the greenhouse gases within our shores, and follow some of the good examples set by other countries, such as Denmark. Perhaps our representatives will step up and set some goals that will be a model for others to follow. What do you think? Hey, let’s be careful out there. But don’t be fearful. Be confident in our humanity. We’ll get to where we are all going, and it’s going to be divine perfection. Our world, our planet, our society is already in perfect divine order. Believe it! John Hall is a co-owner of the Crystal Lotus Gallery and Spiritual Life Center, located on Highway 87 in Pine, Arizona. Telephone (928) 476-3410.

The world is increasingly becoming dirt poor


y young son likes to sing at the top of his lungs: “Dirt, you made my lunch! Thank you, dirt! Thanks a bunch!” How poignant that this boy gets what so many of us adults are missing: A basic understanding that we owe our very existence—the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the air we breathe—to dirt! One heaping tablespoon of the stuff contains more microorganisms than there are people on the planet, points out author Harvey Blatt in “America’s Environmental Report Card.” Those soil microbes are critically important for healthy plants and crops, which in turn are critically important for healthy humans and other species. Also contained in that tablespoon are the minerals and organic matter that take carbon from the atmosphere and “fix it” into the soil, helping to store moisture and carbon safely in the soil. In our culture, “dirt” is a derogatory term, for instance, “dirt-poor,” “dirty” and “soiled.” Yet, if we look back to the Dust Bowl during the 1930s, we see how important dirt really is. In the 1930s, the prairie grasses were plowed under to grow crops. After several years of intense drought, the soils dried out and no crops or native grasses survived to hold the topsoil in place. Winds whipped the topsoil into huge dust storms, causing many families to become evacuees and causing the loss of more than 5 inches of topsoil from almost 10 million acres, according to the United Nations. Five inches may not sound like much, but it takes nature up to 500 years to produce 1 inch of topsoil. We are depleting our topsoil Page 22

By Shawn Dell Joyce at a rate 10 times greater than nature can replenish it, according to several studies. Topsoil loss is three times worse in heavily populated countries, such as China. Chinese topsoil can be found in Hawaii during the spring planting season. It’s blown in the wind to the islands after tilling is done. African topsoil can be found in Brazil and Florida, according to a USDA report. American topsoil often winds up in our rivers and streams as silt. Many rivers are now brown from topsoil erosion, including the Hudson River, which is in my region. Our diet and farming practices are the main culprits behind topsoil erosion. Corn is one of the most environmentally devastating crops to grow. The soil must be tilled, which keeps it loose, dry and vulnerable to erosion. Most of this corn is fed to animals or shipped overseas. For every pound of beef (fed with corn), we lose 5 pounds of fertile topsoil, according to a Harvard School of Public Health study. This adds up to more than 2 million acres of topsoil lost every year. On top of this, we lose another million acres to urban sprawl. “Land degradation and desertification may be regarded as the silent crisis of the world, a genuine threat to the future of humankind,” said Andres Arnalds, assistant director of the

Courtesy photo One heaping tablespoon of dirt contains more microorganisms than there are people on the planet,” said author Harvey Blatt in “America’s Environmental Report Card.” American soils are losing their fertility at an alarming rate because chemicals in the soil are killing soil microbes.

Icelandic Soil Conservation Service. “Soil and vegetation is being lost at an alarming rate around the globe, which in turn has devastating effects on food production and accelerates climate change.” Soil impacts climate change by storing twice as much carbon as can be found in the atmosphere. Also, soil with organic matter in it holds moisture longer, so it needs less water for irrigation. Already, 43 percent of the Earth’s vegetated surface has been degraded by soil depletion,

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desertification and loss of forests, said author Dale Allen Pfeiffer in his book “Eating Fossil Fuels.” Pfeiffer also noted that 10 million hectares of land are added to that figure every year as more lands become degraded. “At the same time, 5 million hectares must be added to feed the additional 84 million humans born each year,” he added. What will we do in 2050, when it’s projected we’ll have an additional 3 billion mouths to feed? “The questions we must ask ourselves now are, how can we allow this to happen, and what can we do to prevent it?” Pfeiffer said. A highly effective tool to conserve topsoil is the Conservation Reserve Program, according to Lester Brown of the Earth Policies Institute. Under the program, farmers are paid to plant trees or “cover crops,” such as clover, on highly erodible farmland. Reducing tillage is also encouraged. These techniques reduced U.S. topsoil loss from 3.1 billion tons in 1982 to 1.9 billion tons in 1997. Here are a few things you can do to reduce topsoil loss: • Compost fall leaves and vegetable trimmings. Use the compost to enrich the soil in your yard or garden. • Eat only pasture-raised local meats and avoid corn-fed factory-farmed meats. • Don’t buy or support biofuels made from corn. • Buy direct from small farmers, who are less likely to use large-scale cultivators. • Teach your children to sing “Dirt Made My Lunch!” Shawn Dell Joyce is an award-winning sustainable activist and director of the Wallkill River School in Orange County, N.Y. You can contact her at May 2009

Our reactions write our story—even in economic crisis


he bad news is everywhere. Layoffs. Foreclosures. Bank failures. Bailouts. Some experts say that we are doomed because of the nature of this economic downturn and the crumbling of Wall Street. Other experts say we are doomed because of the actions of the government. Still others say it is the end of the “American” way of life. But however one characterizes it, this is unquestionably one of the worst recessions we have had in decades. I was born after the Great Depression, (and don’t let anyone fool you into thinking this is even like then). But I have suffered through every recession since. The best advice I think I could give is to turn off the news, stop reading the paper, and don’t discuss these things with anyone! Bad news is contagious and worry and fear feed upon each other. Optimism and hope really are superior ways of living and acting. But if you have recently lost your job or are struggling to stay out of foreclosure, such advice hardly seems practical. Since I teach economics, I am not able to take my own advice, either, and I often struggle to just gather facts and not react emotionally. So, I offer this perspective, a spiritual one, in the hope that it might just bring a moment of comfort, or even better, may light the way for a more positive approach to these uncertain times. A spiritual perspective, you ask? In this mess? Yes, and a deeply personal one. For our nation is trapped in the psychological archetype of “victim.” We are all collectively looking around wondering “why me” and “who did this to me?” Blame comes easily, and depending on one’s perspective, it is George

By Mike Davis Bush or the government or selfish bankers or greedy corporations who are at fault. We judge them all. And we judge them severely enough that we begrudge the bailout and lament that we personally aren’t getting more. Yet, rarely do any of us accept blame or take responsibility. The system is at fault. None of us see any good in this, or offer any solutions. All we desire is to punish the “wrongdoers.” That is the hallmark of the victim, and it is just as unhealthy a viewpoint for nations as it is for you and me. From the individual’s perspective, stepping outside of the victim mentality and taking full responsibility for one’s own life and decisions is incredibly empowering and uplifting. No longer seeing life as something that is “done” to us allows us to shift from blame to right action. In A Course of Miracles, illness and sickness are attributed to decisions born of the

mind through unconscious guilt. “There is no form of sickness that could not be cured at once…. For with this recognition is responsibility placed where it belongs; not with the world, but on him who looks on the world and sees it as it is not….The world does nothing to him. He only thought it did.” Thus, it is our reaction to the events of our life that determines whether they are negative or positive, not the events in and of themselves. Change your reaction and you will change your life. So how does one do this? Well, a good place to start is to take stock of what is important to you, really important. The old saying that we take nothing with us is, of course, literally true. Have you defined yourself by the size of your house or your paycheck? Does the loss of a job strike at the heart of your self-esteem and create doubt and images of failure? Are you living in fear of what might happen? Or of what others think of you? Or of letting down your family? A Course in Miracles suggests that this physical world is but illusion, the projection of our divided mind. From a spiritual perspective, it is all meaningless. And the felt harm from its loss is directly related to the value we placed on its acquisition. Change what you value and value the difference. And there is no time like an economic crisis to do so. But there is more to do than just value your “things” less. Begin to see your life in spiritual terms. This means viewing the “negative” moments just as positively as the moments of “triumph.” Difficulties in life can easily be viewed as valuable feedback on

the direction and purpose of your life. Rarely do we make needed changes in times of plenty. If we begin to see the good in life’s negative feedback, and embrace our experiences, good or bad, we can accept every event of our life as a blessing. And we can learn to eagerly anticipate the unforeseen benefits that will surely come our way. Assuming we can step out of the victim mentality, we can change our story, even the ending. So can a nation. Some spiritual traditions teach that we plan and choose our life challenges long before we arrive here. Thus, every bad situation, every unforgiveable act, every moment of suffering, is for a higher purpose, our soul’s purpose. Since we confuse this world with reality, we give it meaning far beyond the place of learning—the school—that it really is. And in the process we ascribe great importance to our own choices and actions here, as if they have real significance, as if somehow we are in control. If this is true, then, we need to look to the future with great anticipation, both individually and as a nation, even in the midst of great turmoil. If we can step out of blame and judgment, and look for the higher good in whatever befalls us, perhaps we will find the silver lining that lies beneath the fabric of our experience. The future is ours to choose, after all, since it is our reactions that write our story. Even in an economic crisis. Mike Davis is CEO of Energy Medicine Foundation and a member of the Mountain Spirit Co-Op in Prescott. He is the creator of Vibrational Realignment, a unique approach to spiritual healing, and can be reached at 928862-0594 or at

Andy Pearson happy to help with recycling


ecently, I moved to the Rim Country, which is incredibly beautiful. So let’s work together to keep it that way. I have only been here a few short months and realized the need for more recycling, reuse, etc. I have been researching within the smaller communities to see what can be done to make it easier for people to recycle their junk. Guess what? I have great news. I met a gentleman in Payson who is making a great difference on our planet—one truck load at a time. His name is Andy Pearson and he has taken over where Scrappy Pappy left off. Andy’s recycling service is a solution to a big problem. Andy has an all-free service that is in phase I, which consists of picking up scrap metal, aluminum, appliances, car batteries, damaged books, plastic bottles #1-7, cardboard, newspaper and office paper. Phase II is on its way and will consist of picking up TVs, computer monitors, glass and heavy plastics with the symbol Δ. May 2009

Last year, Andy saved a local business $400 by just picking up their cardboard for them. So, here you have it, a win-win situation to support a small business in your community, get rid of your junk, keep toxic waste out of the landfills and make a big difference on our planet. Andy will pick up anywhere above the North Rim, below the Tonto Basin, Prescott Valley, Strawberry, Star Valley, Beaver Valley and everywhere in between. If you and your neighbors can create a flatbed load and you

are outside Payson, Andy only asks for a gas stipend for traveling excess miles. It would be worth it for you and your neighbors to do some spring cleaning and call him to haul it away. You can reach Andy by calling (928) 970-1999 . Also, in most WalMart parking lots you can drop off paper and cardboards for recycling. And you can find a bin by the courthouse in Payson for more paper product recycling. I have heard that the Town of Payson is working through codes to set up more recycling bins in town. I suggest listening to KMOG 1420 AM radio news for any future progress with the city involvement in recycling. This radio station offers free radio advertising on their trades and sales program for your old new or used things. You can call (928) 474-2427 Monday through Friday between noon and 1:30 p.m. You can

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also find other used items on their Web site. I recently made it to the First Friday Art Walk in Payson, which takes place the first Friday of every month. I found so many creative recycled products it made my heart pound. Some of the local artists had recycled wood into incredible pieces of art, some artists recycled paper in collages, others in metal. The list goes on, so we are making a difference one day, one person at a time. Then there are Rusty’s bird houses. I found him set up on the side of the road between Strawberry and Pine on the weekends. What a clever person to recycle everything and anything to create magnificent bird houses. If you are ever driving up to the Rim Country this summer look for him on the side of the road and don’t forget to stop. His prices are more than reasonable and his art is beautiful. Also think about the First Fridays of every month in your town and don’t forget to support the artists who make a difference. Oh yeah, don’t forget to plant one tree this month. There is no time like the present. Patricia Melchi is a writer, artist and avid recycler who lives in Pine. She can be reached via e-mail at Page 23


Find 24 words relating to Spring

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains numbers 1 through 9. The puzzle has only one solution. The solution is on page 28.

Word Power

Allergies April Bee Blossoms Bud Butterfly

Page 24

Daffodil Dandelion Flowers Garden Insects June

Leaves March May Plants Pollen Rain

Seeds Showers Soil Spring Thunderstorm Windy

Talisman (noun) Pronunciation: [‘tæ-lizmên] Definition: An object with magic apotropaic powers, a charm to ward off evil and attract good fortune. Usage: A talisman may take almost any form, but an amulet is a charm worn around the neck to protect against evil and misfortune. The power of a talisman is talismanic and the person who carries a talisman is a talismanist. Since the ending is coincidental, the

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plural of this month’s word is “talismans” and NOT “talismen.” Suggested Usage: Most of us have some sort of talisman in our possession: a four leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot, a saint standing on the dashboard. But many other objects may be taken as talismans, “Everyone took the copy of Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’ on Nosewaith’s desk as a talisman to keep all do-gooders at a distance.” Just apply your mind creatively.

May 2009

Samantha, Julia, Mackenzie, Dylan, Sean and Christopher each wrote a report on a different planet (Uranus, Earth, Neptune, Saturn, Mars and Pluto). Figure out which planet each person studied. Assume Pluto is further from the sun than Neptune. 1. Mars is closer to the sun than Mackenzie’s planet. 2. Christopher’s planet has rings. 3. Mackenzie’s planet is the seventh planet from the sun. 4. Pluto is further from the sun than Mackenzie’s planet. 5. Christopher’s planet is further from the sun than Mackenzie’s planet. 6. Julia has the largest planet. 7. Samantha’s planet is further from the sun than Christopher’s planet. 8. Earth is closer to the sun than Mackenzie’s

planet. 9. Saturn is closer to the sun than Mackenzie’s planet. 10. Mars is closer to the sun than Christopher’s planet. 11. Dylan’s planet is the fourth planet from the sun. 12. Uranus is further from the sun than Sean’s planet.

Riddle Me This

You are lost and alone in the woods. You stumble across an old cabin and decide to stay there for the night. You want some heat and light, but the only things you find in the cabin are a candle, an oil lamp and a wood burning stove. You look in your pocket but you only have one match left. What do you light first? Solutions on page 28

Birding Spree 2009 The Highlands Center for Natural History, in partnership with the Prescott Audubon Society, is launching its first annual Birding Spree Participants have the months of May and June to observe at least 20 of the 31 birds on the list. Once a bird has been observed, check if off by entering the date and location on the form provided. When you have reached the minimum number of 20 observations, you have achieved the status of Highlands Center Birder. This entitles you to a unique 2009 Highlands Center Birding Spree pin.

The Spree will “Kick-Off ” with a special event on May 2 at 8 a.m. in the Highlands Center Kiwanis Amphitheater. The details of the Spree will be explained, and Eric Moore, owner of Jay’s Bird Barn, will give a short presentation on the basics of bird identification.

For more information, call the Highlands Center office at (928) 776- 9550.

Solution on page 28 May 2009

Highlands Center for Natural History 1375 S. Walker Road, Prescott, AZ 86303 • Phone: (928) 776-9550 • Fax: (928) 776-9530 • Web: • E-mail: Earth Odyssey •

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Energy Medicine Conference Postponed Due to a variety of factors outside our control, we have had to reschedule the Energy Medicine Conference. But the good news in all of this is that it will now be held on Saturday and Sunday Nov. 6 and 7. Additional details can be found at Mark your calender for this event! For more info, contact Mike Davis at (928) 254-0775.

Recurring Events Celiac (gluten free) Support Group now in Payson! We will provide important resources and information for people on gluten-free diets. Snacks will be provided from Gluten Free creations bakery in Phoenix! Contact Christine for more information (928) 595-2379. Monday nights, 7 p.m.—Self Search/Channeled Readings, The Way To The Light Within, Phoenix. This class has been going on for more than 12 years now. In the first part of the class, Dominique uses her psychic ability and StarWheel™ tiles to give each participant a mini reading. Bring your questions about anything you want to know, because in the second part of the class, Dominique connects to her own as well as your guides, to get answers and guidance for you. Dominique is also a medium and can connect with and give you information from departed loved ones or friends. $20, Call (602) 279-2941 to reserve your place. Thursdays—Vibrational Realignment, a unique form of spiritual healing, with Mike Davis at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info or an appointment, call (928) 862-0594. Fridays, May 8 and 22, 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.—Law of Attraction/Vision Board Workshop with Patti Stanley, Soul Coach®, A Vision board is a road map of the goals you wish to create in your life. Using images and graphics from magazines and photos, you’ll create a personalized collage poster as a con-

& & Call for artists & & Prescott Fine Arts Association Gallery celebrates summer with the art exhibit, “Under Western Skies.” Paint, photograph or create objects based on our beautiful Arizona and Western skies. Arizona is well known for fantastic cloud formations, sunsets, mountain silhouettes, diverse wildlife and lifestyles. Capture the essence of our panoramic views in both 2-D and 3-D. All mediums are welcome—painting, wood, fiber arts, glass, basketry, jewelry, collage, metalwork, etc. Seize this opportunity to be included in a juried show in the Prescott Fine Arts Gallery along with other fine artists. Open to all Arizona artists. $10 entry fee per entry. All entries will be juried and must be for sale. Cash awards total $250. Entry deadline is Saturday, May 30. Show dates are June 19 through July 26. For more information, contact Cynthia Vidal at (928) 445-2435 or e-mail For an entry form and all entry requirements, see stant reminder of your increasing abundance. Participation in this 3½ hour repeating class will change your life. Cost is $35. 1706 N. 17th Ave. Phoenix. Out of town housing available. For more info, call (602) 568-4458 or see Saturdays, May 9 and 23, 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m.—Law of Attraction/Vision Board Workshop with Patti Stanley, Soul Coach®, A Vision board is a road map of the goals you wish to create in your life. Using images and graphics from magazines and photos, you’ll create a personalized collage poster as a constant reminder of your increasing abundance. Participation in this 3½ hour repeating class will change your life. Cost is $35. 1706 N. 17th Ave. Phoenix. Out of town housing

Calendar listings in



Photo by Garry F. Rogers The Agua Fria River runs south through a broad basin from its beginning just east of Prescott to its confluence with the Gila River west of Phoenix. May 2, 7:30 a.m.—The 2009 Annual Open Space Conference of the Agua Fria Open Space Alliance (AFOSA) presents a free public program at Arcosanti in Cordes Junction. The “Best of the Basin” Rare Plants, Animals and Habitats of the Agua Fria River Basin of Central Arizona, opens with an Audubon Society-led bird walk with Chuck Richards of the Sonoran Audubon Society. Presentations include “Sustainable Planning for the Prescott National Forest” by Sally Hess-Samuelson; “Open Space Planning, the Prescott Experience” by Walt Anderson; and “Flora of Agua Fria National Monument” by Andrew Salywon, Dixie Damrel and Wendy Hodgson. The day concludes at 1:15 p.m. with a hike of the Agua Fria River near Acosanti led by Cliff Hersted. For more info, call or e-mail Garry Rogers at (928) 925-7191 or

available. For more info, call (602) 568-4458 or see Sundays, May 10 and 24, 12:30 p.m.- 4 p.m.—Law of Attraction/Vision Board Workshop with Patti Stanley, Soul Coach®, A Vision board is a road map of the goals you wish to create in your life. Using images and graphics from magazines and photos, you’ll create a personalized collage poster as a constant reminder of your increasing abundance. Participation in this 3½ hour repeating class will change your life. Cost is $35. 1706 N. 17th Ave. Phoenix. Out of town housing available. For more info, call (602) 568-4458 or see Sundays through May, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.—

Go Green Farmer’s Market, Scottsdale. This market features artist demonstrations, guided meditations, yoga, music and story time in the adjacent Kiva Courtyard. For more info, call, (623) 848-1234 or see

Nonrecurring Events May 1-3, 10 a.m.– 5 p.m.—Payson Art League Annual ’Neath the Rim Studio Tour—13 individual studios throughout the Payson—featuring the work of 26 artists in a variety of media— will take part. Media includes oil, acrylic, fiber art, bronze sculpture, batik, hand-crafted jewelry, weavings, stained-glass and mixed media works. Tickets

Earth Odyssey

for five or fewer lines.

Send info to: Provide a telephone number or other contact information. Put “calendar submission” in the subject line. The deadline is the 20th of the month for publication the following month (May 20 for June publication). Payment, which is due at the time of submission, can be made online via PayPal, or mail a check to: Editor, 1042 Willow Creek Road, Ste A101-PMB 486, Prescott, AZ 86301. Page 26

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May 2009

and brochures (including a map of the studios) can be obtained at the individual art studios, the Rim Country Chamber of Commerce and the Payson Library. For more info, contact event co-coordinator Diana Garrity at (928) 474-5102. May 2, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.—CAZREN Green Business Forum, Moving Toward a Greener Economy at the Hassayampa Inn, 122 E. Gurley St., Prescott. Bringing together private business, industry, community and government to focus on moving toward a green economy. For more info, contact Derk Janssen, CAZREN executive director, at (928) 778-2828 or May 2— SRP Night Run for the Arts, 7 p.m.—Three-Mile Fun Run/Walk; 8 p.m.—8K Race; 9 p.m.—Award Ceremony and Concert with Big Nick and the Gila Monsters at the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall Amphitheater, 75th St. and Main St. in downtown Scottsdale. Register through or at Scottsdale Running Co., 6941 N. Hayden Road, Ste. B-4, Scottsdale, AZ 85250 (480) 948-4436. May 3, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.—Jazz in the Stacks VI in Prescott’s downtown library. Back by popular demand will be entertainment by the Buddy Moeck Swing Band with Charleah Allen. We’ll provide wine and other refreshments along with tasty hors d’oeuvres. Stop by for pre-dinner beverages and snacks, or for post-dinner dessert and dancing. Still only $25. Tickets can be purchased at the Downtown Library or Prescott Gateway Branch Library. For more info, call Susan Crutcher at (928) 777-1521 or e-mail to May 5-7, 8 a.m. daily—Prescott College hosts a horsemanship clinic through Centaur Leadership Services and Chauncey Ranch YMCA, at Chauncey Ranch YMCA, Old Sycamore in Mayer. For more info, contact Jayna Wekenman at (616) 890-8273 or May 9, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.—Scottsdale’s Electronics Recycling Day. Scottsdale residents can recycle unwanted electronics at the city’s Corporation Yard, 9191 E. San Salvador. Items accepted include computer, office and entertainment equipment. For a complete list of acceptable items, see www.ScottsdaleAZ. gov/recycle or call (480) 312-5600. May 9 and 10, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.—Papermaking with Desert Plants Workshop at Oracle State Park in Oracle, Ariz. Instructor Val Bembenek has been making paper from desert and garden plants for many years. $20 includes the park entrance fee. Space is limited! Reservation required: (520) 896-2425. May 9, 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m.—Meditation 101 at Yoga Breeze in Cave Creek. Learn a May 2009

lifelong meditation practice in only 2 1/2 hours! We’ll review a variety of meditation techniques and you’ll learn to use an ancient, universal, silent meditation technique as a vehicle to release stress and truly experience inner peace. To register, or for more info, call (928) 204-0067, or e-mail to May 9, 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m.—Deepening Your Intuition Through Meditation with Sarah McLean and sponsored by Yoga Breeze in Cave Creek. Dispel the myths and misconceptions of meditation. Tips on how to honor your own wisdom and intuition. Donation requested. Space limited. For reservations or more info, call (480) 595-2855 or e-mail May 10, 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m.—Meditation 101 in Sedona. Learn a lifelong meditation practice in only 2 1/2 hours! We’ll review a variety of meditation techniques and you’ll learn to use an ancient, universal, silent meditation technique as a vehicle to release stress and truly experience inner peace. To register, or for more info, call (928) 204-0067, or e-mail to May 14, 5:30 p.m.—“What is Body Talk?” Prescott Public Library. Come join Mike Davis as he demonstrates Body Talk, an exciting energy medicine technique, on members of the audience. Free. For more info, contact Mike at (928) 862-0594. May 14-16, 8 a.m. daily—Prescott College is hosting a workshop on natural hoof care through Centaur Leadership Services and Chauncey Ranch YMCA at Chauncey Ranch YMCA, Old Sycamore in Mayer. For more info, contact Jayna Wekenman at (616) 8908273 or

itation technique as a vehicle to release stress and truly experience inner peace. To register, or for more info, call (928) 204-0067, or email to June 6 and 7, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.— Journalmaking Workshop at the Kannally Ranch House at Oracle State Park in Oracle, Ariz., taught by Val Bembenek, local papermaker and book artist. Learn to make different styles of stab-bound journal notebooks. Participants take home three unique journal notebooks. Reservation required, space is limited. $30 includes the park entrance fee. (520) 896-2425.

May 30, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.—Sedona Women’s Expo, Wyndham Sedona Resort, 1500 Kestrel Circle, Sedona, AZ 86336. Featuring 25 to 30 vendors consisting of health and wellness, fashion, arts and crafts, metaphysical, and anything else of interest to women. For more info, call (928)300-3195 or e-mail

Small office for RENT

June 11, 5:30 p.m.—“What is PsychK?” Prescott Public Library. Psych-K is a technique designed to re-program the subconscious. Come join Mike Davis and learn about these fascinating tools to banish phobias, quit smoking, etc. There will be hands-on demonstrations. Free. For more info, contact Mike at (928) 862-0594. June 19-July 26—Prescott Fine Arts Association Gallery celebrates summer with the art exhibit, “Under Western Skies.” This show will commence with an opening reception Friday, June 19, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and will run through Sunday, July 26. Arizona,

in Wellness Arts Suite Very reasonable Centrally Located in Sedona Contact Siobhan Danreis

(928) 204-1172


Prayer and the Environment Spiritual Solutions for a Healthy Planet International speaker Ron Ballard is a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science healing and a

May 17, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.—Primordial Sound Meditation workshop, Sedona. For more info, see or call (928) 204-0067. May 29-31—Women’s Yoga of Writing Retreat in Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona. For more info, see www.meditateinsedona. com/SedonaWomensWritingRetreat.html. To register, call (928) 204-0067 or e-mail info@

specifically Prescott, and the surrounding areas are well known for their beautiful cloud formations, sunsets, sunrises and mountain silhouettes. The essence of our panoramic views will be captured in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art forms. This is a show you will not want to miss! Prescott Fine Arts Association is located at 208 N. Marina St., Prescott, Arizona 86301. The Gallery and Gift Shop entrance is on Willis Street. For more info, call (928) 445-3286 or visit:

member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship

2:30 p.m., Saturday, May 16, at the Highlands Center for Natural History 1375 S. Walker Road, Prescott (2 miles south of Hwy. 69, near Lynx Lake) Ballard said: “I have found in my own experience that the environment is not so much a thing as a process — it’s constantly changing. Prayer enables us to take a look at the mental climate that constitutes our environment. This dynamic prayer invites us to learn more about God and impels us to act on this knowledge, resulting in spiritual solutions for a healthy planet.”

For more information, call Janet Lovelady June 6, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Meditation 101 in Sedona. Learn a lifelong meditation practice in only 2 1/2 hours! We’ll review a variety of meditation techniques and you’ll learn to use an ancient, universal, silent med-

(928) 445-1710 Sponsored by the Christian Science Church Earth Odyssey donates a free quarter-page ad each month to a nonprofit organization. To be considered, send e-mail to Put free nonprofit ad in the subject line.

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Face cream ad proves to be profitable Q: This is a photo of an advertisement for face cream. The original frame’s overall measurements are approximately 27 inches long by 7 inches wide. It was made by the Pompeian Manufacturing Co., which was located in Cleveland. On the back of the picture is information for men and women about the advantages of their cream. There are also instructions on how to order their 1914 calendars for 10 cents each. It belonged to my mother, and both my brother and I can remember it when we were children. What can you tell me about my advertisement? A: You have a nice example of a Pompeian Beauty Art yard-long advertising print. The prints measured approximately a yard long, thus the name. Yard-long lithograph prints were published from around 1900 to the 1930s. They often were framed behind glass and had a metal hook for hanging. Your 1914 framed print would probably be worth $275 to $300. Q: I have drawn the mark that is on the bottom of a cardinal figurine. The cardinal, a deep red color, is perched on a green base. The overall height is 6 inches and it is in mint condition. The number “3544” is also included with the mark. The figurine belonged to my grandmother, who always kept it in her china cabinet. When I was little, if I promised to be careful, she would take it out and let me hold it. A few years ago, she told me she wanted me to have it. I would never part with it, but would like to know more about my treasure. A: Stangl Pottery was located in Trenton and Flemington, N.J., from 1929 to 1978. They made dinnerware, art pottery and a line of pottery birds. The number “3544” is the model number, and it was made around 1940. Stangl birds are highly collectible and your cardinal would probably be worth $150 to $225.

by Anne McCollam Creators Syndicate

Stangl Pottery produced items such as dinnerware, art pottery and a line of pottery birds. The company was located in Trenton and Flemington, N.J., from 1929 to 1978.

An advertising print for face cream, created by the Pompeian Manufacturing Co., would probably be worth $275 to $300.

Q: I have a service for a 12-set of dishes; it is marked with the letter “E” and the words “Bloch and Co.—Eichwald— Czechoslovakia.” The set includes all the

Puzzle Solutions

Logic Puzzle Solution: Christopher’s planet is Neptune, Julia’s planet is Saturn, Samantha’s planet is Pluto, Dylan’s planet is Mars, Mackenzie’s planet is Uranus and Sean’s planet is Earth. Riddle Solution: You light the match first.

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serving pieces, and each dish is decorated with multicolored flowers against a white background. I hope you can provide some information on the manufacturer, age and value of my dishes. A: B. Bloch and Co. made porcelain and pottery in Eichwald, Bohemia, from 1871 to 1945. Your dishes were made around 1930 and the set would probably be worth $500 to $800. Q: I have acquired a porcelain tea set consisting of a teapot, creamer and sugar bowl, plus six each of cups, saucers and dessert plates. The set is decorated with hand-painted scenes of mountains and a gold trim. When held up to the light, a geisha girl can be seen at the bottom of each cup. Each piece is marked “Hayasi—Fine China—Japan.” Any information including the price would be most appreciated. A: You have a set of Geisha Girl porcelain dishes. The images seen at the bottom of the cups are lithophanes; they are created by varying thicknesses of layers of porcelain. Even though Hayasi porcelain can be easily found in antiques shops and on eBay, there is not much information available on the manufacturer. Your tea set was made around 1950 and would probably be worth $225 to $275. Q: An antique pitcher and matching tumblers have been in my family since around 1900. The glass is a dark purple and the scrolled pattern is embellished with gold. My mother told me the set was given to her grandmother for her wedding; it is in perfect condition. Anything you can tell me about my set will be greatly appreciated. A: You have a pressed-glass water set with the “Croesus” pattern. McKee and Brothers, located in Pittsburgh, made it around 1900. Croesus was available as a complete dinner table line in amethyst and green. Spoon holders, bowls, butter dishes, cake stands,

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cream pitchers, sugar bowls, water pitchers and tumblers are just some of the pieces. “Croesus” was also made by Riverside Glass Works in Wellsburg, W.Va., only in clear glass. Your water set would probably be worth $800 to $900. Q: We have a white covered dish with handles, which we have been using for mashed potatoes for more than 30 years. My wife says it belonged to her grandmother. It is oval and about 14 inches long. How old is it and is it worth anything? A: Edward Clarke Pottery made your covered dish. They were located in Tunstall, Staffordshire, England, from 1865 to 1877. Their dishes marked as “Opaque Porcelaine” were white granite; they were intended for the American market and to compete with French porcelain. Your covered dish was made around 1865 and would probably be worth $75 to $125. Q: I have a pair of Mies Van Der Rohe black side chairs with the model No. 256CS. Constructed of cantilevered shiny tubular steel with a leather back and seat, they do not have leather laces on the backs nor any indication that any were ever there. The chairs are in excellent condition. What can you tell me about my chairs? A: Mies Van Der Rohe designed a series of cantilevered chairs in 1931. Inspired by 19th-century curved Bentwood rockers, the chairs were given a fresh modern design. Leather was used for the seats and backs and the frames were tubular steel plated with shiny chrome. They were produced by Knoll Products. The series included chairs with and without arms as well as chaise lounges. Mies Van Der Rohe was born in Germany. He began his career working for his father’s masonry business, served as an apprentice with a Berlin architect, associated with the Deutscher Werkbund and became the Director of the Bauhaus. In 1938, Van Der Rohe immigrated to the United States where he established his business in Chicago and became a citizen. Knoll Products also made his famous “Barcelona Chair.” Your pair of chairs would probably be worth $1,000 to $2,500. Q: I have inherited a complete service for 12 dinnerware that my mother bought 58 years ago. Each dish is decorated with blue and white Currier and Ives winter scenes. Made by Homer Laughlin China Co., the pattern is “Homesteader.” Included with the mark are the letters and numbers: “A55N5.” The set has sentimental value to me and I would never part with it, but I would like to know its history. A: Homer Laughlin China Co. has been located in East Liverpool, Ohio, since 1877. The number shows your dishes were made in January 1955 at plant 5. The value of your set is in the range of $300 to $400. Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P.O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. May 2009

Eisenhower foresees rise of military power


his month’s movie, “Why We Fight,” covers the whys and hows of how we are—and have been—in a constant state of war since World War II. The main pivot point of the film is Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address of 1961 in which he warns of the rise of unaccountable power and the grave implications of the military industrial complex. During his two terms, he saw the rise of this machine, and was disheartened by the fact that he was unable to control it. He saw the beginning of an era where corporate interests became more important than the public interests. Today, it has evolved into a system where weapons manufacturers and the Pentagon are the same people. The clever networking of weapons production that ties every state together under the equation that weapons plants equals jobs—and hefty campaign contributions—make our senators spokesmen for the military industrial complex under the guise of protecting our jobs. Many weapons have pieces made in several states, sometimes every state, so that the discontinuing of said weapons is practically impossible. The story basically starts at WWII when we decided that there should be only one superpower in the world, and of course that should be us. The world was split up

May 2009

Movie Reviews by Jason Allen

Movies that won’t make you dumber into several domains, each of which had a U.S. general to control and make sure they did not rise in power, which meant that we would stay militarized permanently. The infamous atomic decimation of Japan was but a power play to keep Stalin in line (who was the only other power in the world), because Japan was surrendering all summer of 1945. But Truman was not listening. He had made the decision to drop the bombs and nothing was going to change that, and in August he did so, which Eisenhower strongly disagreed with. There are propaganda film clips from the Red Scare era, saying that if we aren’t vigilant that Communists could attack some single-

family home in Iowa and it could be yours! It covers the most recent example of our latest misguided escapade in Iraq in some detail, but the real content of the film is the underlying infrastructure of weapons manufacturing and industrial ties into the legislative and executive branches. It covers several aspects of the Pentagon, including a contract hearing for some new fighter plane, and a weapons manufacturers

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trade show, which is pretty scary, which leads into the fallacy of precision guided weapons. One fun but sad little fact is in the first six months of the Iraq war there were 50 precision air strikes, and not a single one hit its target. It also covers how businessmen go into politics, like Cheney, making the economic and political elite one and the same. Another recent practice of using private contractors—who have no accountability—to do military jobs, which started with simple food service, but has evolved to cover a wide variety of tasks, including prisoner “interrogation.” Another important aspect covered is how the American public is completely separated from policy, we are just given a story with no data, there’s a disconnected line of reasoning between defending your nation and freedom to traveling thousands of miles to occupy a nation that presents no threats to even its neighboring countries, let alone ours. At the end it explains how the Senate completely failed to ask the proper questions and hold the Bush and Cheney Administration accountable for their countless deceptions, because our elected officials (with very few exceptions) are loyal to the military industrial complex and not to us. This is a very well done, concise and easily followable film featuring interviews with the right people who are in positions to know what they are talking about.

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Stock your herbal first aid kit before needed


hen I was growing up, common, everyday ailments and injuries were treated naturally with herbs by someone in my family. My children were treated with herbal remedies whenever they got hurt. Most of the time I was the primary care giver, even though my husband was a surgeon. Most emergencies respond very well to herbal treatments. Would you like to make room for herbs in your medicine cabinet and be prepared for situations that may come up requiring first aid? Here is a list of signs and symptoms of common ailments and injuries. I have also included some of my favorite and time-tested recipes: Abrasions: Wash and disinfect the area with a solution consisting of eight drops lavender essential oil and one cup of witch hazel. If I need a stronger disinfectant, I use Critical Relief® spray from The Herb Stop. Bleeding: Styptic herbs (herbs that stop bleeding) may be applied, such as yarrow, cayenne or yunnan bai yao. For internal bleeding yunnan bai yao or shepard’s purse have also been effective. Bruises: Applying arnica oil or gel reduces bruising and swelling due to injuries. It also works well for muscle pain, including fibromyalgia, back pain and whiplash.

Caution: For external use only! Do not use on broken skin! St. John’s wort oil or salve can help with pain and repair nerve damage to extremities (finger tips, toes, etc). Burns: First cool the area with room temperature water (you should never apply ice to a burn; it can damage the nerve endings), then treat with aloe vera gel, either bought at the store or from a fresh aloe vera plant. You may also use lavender essential oil to heal and prevent scarring. I like to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the aloe vera gel. Diarrhea: Black tea or blackberry teas are my favorite remedies for diarrhea. At the first

sign, drink ½ cup of tea every half hour until symptoms subside. Insect bites: I’ve found that lavender essential oil applied “neat” (undiluted) works extremely well. Lavender essential oil has the capability of neutralizing poisons, contains antiseptic as well as pain-relieving properties, and is exceptionally effective for stings/bites from mosquitoes, spiders, scorpions, poisonous fish and all other known and unknown poisonous critters. As soon as you notice you have been stung/bitten, apply lavender essential oil directly to the site of the sting. You can re-apply the lavender every minute, or you can simply place a few drops on a clean cotton ball and leave it on the affected area. For bee and wasp stings, make sure to remove the stinger first before applying lavender essential oil. In addition, I take echinacea extract internally to stimulate my immune system to assist my body in getting rid of the poison and to prevent potential diseases transmitted by insects. Native Americans have another name for echinacea, “Snakeroot,” suggesting the plants ability to neutralize and eliminate poisons from the body. Nausea: Ginger, either fresh or dried, is excellent for nausea and motion sickness. Taken at the onset of a meal it is helpful for indigestion and gas. Poison oak/poison ivy: Stings from plants,

such as stinging nettle, poison oak (in the west) and poison ivy (in the east) can cause intense itching. Wash affected area as soon as possible with soap and water and then apply compresses of witch hazel and chamomile essential oil. Aloe vera gel, plantain or Critical Relief® spray also work very well. Splinters: If you can’t get it out with tweezers, try a clay poultice. Mix clay with enough water to make a thick paste. Spread onto the area and leave it on for several hours or overnight. Toothache: Rub clove essential oil on gums and take valerian or white willow tincture until the dentist can see you. The above suggestions have worked very well for many people, but if your situation does not respond to these safe and simple herbal treatments, please go to the hospital or seek the help of a healthcare professional, ideally one knowledgeable about natural remedies. The herbs discussed in this article can be purchased at The Herb Stop located in Pine, 4004 N. Highway 87. If you have any questions, Leilah can be reached at (928) 476-4144 or by e-mail at The FDA has not approved these statements. The information given is not meant to act as a prescription, medical advice or therapeutic advice. Consult your healthcare professional prior to using botanicals discussed in this column.

Aural historian Jack Loeffler to speak at Prescott College ack Loeffler, aural historian, writer, radio producer and sound collage artist, will present the keynote address for Prescott College’s Master of Arts Colloquium on Saturday, May 10. His talk, titled “Thinking Like a Watershed: A Synthesis of Philosophy, Myth, Science and Grassroots Activism” will begin at 5:30 p.m. Additionally, Loeffler will present a workshop titled “The Practice of Aural History” at 9 a.m. on Sunday May 10. Both presentations are open to the public. “Listening is possibly the most deeply penetrating of the five senses,” he said. For this workshop, Loeffler will demonstrate how he records for posterity, how he uses recordings for sound collages and radio programs, and how he incorporates transcribed excerpts from recorded interviews into his books and CDs. He will address the necessity for expanding our cultural purview far beyond the current economically dominated paradigm, and will refer to decentralist thinkers, including Edward Abbey, Gary Snyder and Lao-tzu to forward a possible point of view commensurate with living in balance with the flow of nature. Page 30

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Loeffler will also speak of geomythic mapping as practiced by cultures indigenous to the American Southwest as a means of spiritually affiliating with homeland. Loeffler will use biogeography as an example of practical science. Loeffler recently completed a four-year project that resulted in a new 15-part radio series titled “The Lore of the Land” and a new book titled “Healing the West: Voices of Culture and Habitat.” His work addresses the importance of bio-mythic and geo-mythic perspectives among indigenous peoples, and the lens of mythic perspective as a means of maintaining a healthy intuitive cultural understanding of life on the planet. He is involved in collaborative efforts with bio-scientists and indigenous culture bearers in preservation of lore vital to human understanding of home habitat. He has been deeply involved in what is now known as the counter-culture movement since 1957 when he first witnessed the detonation of an atomic bomb from a vantage point seven miles from hypocenter while playing “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” More information and a complete colloquium schedule are at map/colloquium_current.html. May 2009

Consuming GMO foods not in our best interest


ou may have heard the term GMO or seen a label claiming GMO free, but many don’t know what it means. A genetically modified organism (GMO) is a man-made, patented, organism created in a laboratory through genetic engineering. It is created when a gene from a totally unrelated species is shot into the genetic material of another species. This is not the same as hybridization, which is the cross pollination between different species or sub-species in the same genus species. Seventy percent of processed foods contain (GMOs), but due to government regulations (or rather deregulation) foods containing GMOs do not have to be labeled. The phrase substantial equivalence is given to a relatively new concept used in the regulation of “new foods,” specifically GMOs. The concept is used to determine whether a “new food” shares similar health and nutritional characteristics with an existing familiar food with an established history of safe use. These food have not been tested before hitting the market, essentially making us, the American public, Guinea Pigs. Scientists worldwide now admit that the rush to sell genetically engineered products has put people’s health, property and the environment at risk. That’s why 30 countries have banned, or propose to ban GMOs, including many European countries. In the United States, many companies, including Gerber and Heinz baby foods, Frito-Lay, IAMS Pet Foods, even McDonald’s and Burger King are now refusing GMO corn, potatoes and other ingredients. One company that produces the GMO seed claims “We apply innovation and technology to produce more while conserving more.” Contrary to industry contention, however, GMOs have increased pesticide use and produced significantly lower yields than natural varieties. A 2003 report published by the journal Science states “in the United States and Argentina, average yield effects (of GM crops) are negligible and in some cases slightly

May 2009

By Christine Bollier negative.” The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2004 report on agricultural biotechnology acknowledges that GM crops can have reduced yields. In other countries when as little as 5 percent of the population denounced the consumption of GMO foods the government banned them. So what can you do? Cast your vote against GMOs by purchasing foods that are organic or labeled NON-GMO. Educate your friends and neighbors about the use of GMOs and the possible health risks. You can go to www.responsibletechnology. org to find out more about the Campaign for Healthier Eating in America. Ask your local health food store to distribute GMO Shopping Guides and Brochure on GMO Health Risks. They can order them for free from many natural foods distributors. May is traditionally the month when Americans dust off the BBQ and get ready for summer. This month I am going to share a recipe that most people don’t think of when they think of grilling, pizza! Preparing pizza on the grill gives it that wood fired oven taste of your favorite pizzeria without all the additives that are typically found in processed foods. We have made over this family favorite, boosting fiber with a whole-wheat crust, cutting fat and cholesterol by using healthy toppings, such as low-fat turkey sausage and vegetables. The recipe can even be made into four or six single serving pizzas for picky eaters who want to choose their own toppings.

Pizza Recipe Ingredients 3/4 C. marinara sauce 1/2 C. chopped bell peppers 1/4 C. sliced mushrooms 1/4 C. sliced onion 2 links uncured chicken and turkey sausage chopped 1lb easy whole wheat pizza dough (see below) 1C grated organic mozzarella cheese Cornmeal for sprinkling on peel or baking sheet Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough Makes 4-6 servings (1 pound pizza dough) Ingredients ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water (105-115°F) 1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons) 1 teaspoon honey ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup whole-wheat flour 1 cup bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting To make dough 1. Stir water, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl; let stand until the yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in whole-wheat flour and bread flour (or all-purpose flour) until the dough begins to come together. 2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, mix the dough in a food processor. Process until it forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.) 3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. (Or see individual variation.) Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about one hour.

Individual variation The dough can be turned into four or six personal-size pizzas. After kneading, divide the dough into four or six equal balls. Brush with oil and place 3 inches apart on a baking sheet. Cover and set aside until doubled in size, about one hour. Roll each portion into a 6-to-8-inch circle.

Whole-wheat pizza dough tips Prepare through Step 3, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one day. Or tightly wrap the unrisen dough in oiled plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months. Defrost the dough in the refrigerator overnight. Let refrigerated (or previously frozen) dough stand at room temperature for one hour before using.

To make pizza 1. Preheat grill to medium-low. (For charcoal grilling or an oven variation, see below.) 2. Sprinkle cornmeal onto a pizza peel or large baking sheet. Roll out the dough and transfer it to the prepared peel or baking sheet, making sure the underside of the dough is completely coated with cornmeal. 3. Slide the crust onto the grill rack; close the lid. Cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. 4. Using a large spatula, flip the crust. Spread marinara sauce on the crust, leaving a 1inch border. Quickly top with the cheese, veggies and sausage. 5. Close the lid again and grill until the cheese has melted and the bottom of the crust has browned, about 8 minutes.

Variations Pizza on a charcoal grill: Light 6 quarts (about 1 large chimney starter full) of charcoal and burn until the coals are mostly white, about 20 minutes. Spread the coals in an even layer. Place a grate over the coals. Let the coals burn until they are about medium-low. (If you want to grill any toppings for the pizza, do not chop veggies and grill while the coals are burning down.) To test the heat, hold your palm about 5 inches above the grill rack; if you can hold it there for about 8 seconds before you need to move it away, the fire is medium-low. Transfer the crust to the grill rack, cover the grill and cook the crust, checking once or twice, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the crust, quickly add the toppings, cover the grill and cook until the toppings are hot and the bottom of the crust has browned, 5 to 8 minutes. If your crust browns faster than your toppings are cooking, slide a baking sheet under the pizza to keep the crust from burning while the toppings finish. Pizza in the oven: Place a pizza stone on the lowest rack; preheat oven to 450°F for at least 20 minutes. Roll out the dough and place on a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel or inverted baking sheet, using enough cornmeal so that the dough slides easily. Slide the dough onto the preheated stone and cook until the bottom begins to crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven using a large spatula and place it uncooked-side down on the peel or baking sheet, making sure the underside of the crust is completely coated with cornmeal. Quickly add the toppings and slide the pizza back onto the stone. Continue baking until the toppings are hot and the bottom of the crust has browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

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uses existing salty water to create fish farms that successfully sustain local residents. Conventional agriculture can use up to 90 percent of available water, but this project yielded more protein than using that same amount of water to irrigate fields. Similarly, a project in Inner Mongolia found a replacement for cattle herding. Instead of putting grasslands into cattle meat, they decided it was better to put it into chicken meat.

Social greenworking

Plans for arid lands Zafar Adeel thinks outside the box when it comes to the world’s arid places. He’s the director of the UN University’s International Network on Water, Environment and Health. With the results of his four-year study, he outlines new ideas for survival in areas where it’s predicted that water supplies will be severely strained. This is important because these areas are home to nearly a third of the world’s population. His point is that with a shift in practices, there are ways to maximize even scant water supplies. For example, the study points to a project in Pakistan called “arid aquaculture,” which

Social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn provide people with an effective means of staying in touch, so it’s no surprise that a network organized around green knowledge and green activities has sprung up on the Web. is set up to put greenminded consumers in touch with the goods and services that foster a sustainable lifestyle. Chief “Wala” Rajeev Kapur noticed that “online and offline green communities are fragmented and disorganized.” He saw an opportunity to create a delivery network to showcase products and ideas—and where “walas” could share their enthusiasm for a sustainable world. “Walas” can learn and brag about being green as well as communicate their knowledge and experiences. The site has features like a blog called “Top 10 Things To Do Instead of Going To The Mall” or classified ads for the Kleen Kanteen and an upcoming alternative fuel lecture. Sampling the six channels the site offers, we found videos on a new wind turbine, the

all-electric Aptera car and a strategy for turning fly ash into building materials.

Rock storage Geologist Peter Kelemen and geochemist Juerg Matter have their eyes on a certain rock—a rock that has the ability to turn carbon dioxide into solid minerals. The rock, called peridotite, is prevalent just beneath the earth’s crust. The two scientists are envisioning a process to slow global warming by increasing peridotite’s CO2-transforming process a billion times and storing excess carbon dioxide underground. Many power companies are considering ways to siphon carbon dioxide off of their coal power plants and sequester it underground, but Kelemen and Matter argue that turning it into rock would be cheaper and safe. They predict boring down into peridotite and injecting it with hot water that contains the CO2. The technology is promising, but there’s a snag: The scientists think they can store 2 billion tons annually, but every year human activity produces 30 billion tons.

Solar all over Two stories from Europe underscore how the move toward alternative energy is finding its way into some unexpected places. In Santa Coloma de Gramenet, 124,000 people are crammed into 1.5 square miles. There was no place left to set up solar panels until somebody noticed the tops of the cemetery’s mausoleums. Now 462 panels produce the equivalent of 60 homes’ yearly

power use. And on the roof of the Vatican’s massive Nervi Hall, 2,400 photovoltaic panels have been installed—but you can’t see them from the street. The Vatican plans to supply 20 percent of its energy needs by 2020. Last year, the pope said that we would risk destroying the planet if we didn’t “listen to the voice of the earth.”

Cuba Eats Local When it comes to eating local organic food, Cuba is miles ahead of the United States— mainly out of necessity. Back in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed and its food subsidies for Cuba dwindled, Cuba responded by setting up thousands of urban cooperative gardens. Now, after a string of hurricanes destroyed a third of Cuba’s crops, these gardens are returning to operation. These gardens are seen wherever there’s an undeveloped spot of soil, such as empty lots and rooftops—86,000 acres of land are devoted to the gardens. Because the food is grown near population centers, there’s no need to truck produce over long distances. Therefore, prices are stable and less carbon is released into the air. Another benefit: Fertilizing chemicals have been replaced by natural manure, and beneficial insects are used instead of pesticides. How ironic that organic food in the United States is pricier than conventional food, while organic food in Cuba is more affordable. Questions can be sent to Jim Parks at

Regional Advertising Sales Representatives

for Earth Odyssey • Tucson • Flagstaff • Phoenix • Sedona • Prescott • Prescott Valley • And Others The Regional Advertising Sales Representatives will: • Direct ad sales and service functions for print and online ads in their regions • Analyze marketplace and competition to determine new advertisers • Coordinate advertising strategies and schedules with editorial, art and design and production • Monitor past performance of advertisers and plan future strategies • Handle accounts by discussing advertising needs with client, providing directions to ad designer and proof to client The ideal candidates must be experienced in advertising sales, possess top-notch people and communication skills and be motivated to increase market share and provide over-the-top customer service while maintaining a sense of humor. Generous commission. Send résumé to or call (928) 778-1782 and leave a message. Page 32

Earth Odyssey •

May 2009

Earth Odyssey May 2009  

An educational guide to sustainability and spiritual well-being

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