Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Walking on Wednesday - Change of Scenery ~ Change of Pace

Do you ever feel like you need a change of scenery, a change of pace?  

Do you ever just want to avoid the computer for days?

Do you ever find it so difficult to get motivated to create that you take drastic measures to change your routine, change everything, to start over? 

Monday, I just couldn't find music that inspired me. I couldn't find the inspiration to write, I couldn't create, I didn't even want to do my normal computer routine.  
I knew I needed to change my routine.  So today's Walking on Wednesday is about changing things up a bit.  I thought changing up the music, and posting today, would be a good way to start today.

Find new music - here is a different music experience, Symphonic Pink Floyd.

Numb yourself to your normal sounds, routines, experiences.
Find new sights.
by CubaGallery on Flickr
Find new sounds.

by eddie.welker on Flickr
Find new routines.
by JadeTang on Flickr
So I began this week avoiding the computer, creating, writing. On my walk this morning (yes, I have been getting walks in regularly!), I felt that my internal computer was re-booting. I found that motivation that had been lost. I felt that I thrived on changing my routine. I saw new sites exploring new areas in our town and surrounding towns. I limited time on the computer, increased time with the family. I broke the mold I had been so comfortable in.

This time, that break really worked for me. And I hope to keep this new perspective by continuing to break up the regular course of procedure. 

Do you need to re-boot regularly? 
Or do you thrive on the same routine? 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday's Family Jewels - Jewelry by Bridget -

A fun way to introduce my Mother-in-Law ~ Bridget ~ in the new series Friday's Family Jewels. Each Friday we will see some of Bridget's creations, now available at Raige Creations

Here is Bridget, and a little bit about her passion for stones and rocks. 
Here Bridget is with her hubby, Mac
Finding stones has always been a family pastime, passed down from Bridget to her son (my hubby), and then on to her grandchildren. We have stones from Iowa to New York, from the Caribbean to Maine, and nearly everywhere in between. She even bought our oldest son his own tumbler back when he went through his Caribbean Crystals Collection phase. (We still have a big jar full of crystals and rocks found in the old quarry from when we lived there) His collection never got tumbled, though. It sits on his dresser in a jar. Still, it is pretty.
Just a few of the rocks and crystals in my sons collection.
But Bridget actually does something with her rocks. She goes searching for that interesting stone, brings it home and tumbles the stones for days. Then examines each to figure out the best way to display them. 

She has been making jewelry for about 3 years now, first discovering the passion for making jewelry in Arizona. She turned over last winters' creations to me, as Raige, to offer for sale in my shops. I guess she figured she couldn't give away anymore, that we all had enough. She has been giving friends and family her jewelry for years now. I, as Rebecca, am the proud owner of several pendants, earrings, and bracelets of Bridget's designs.

So today, here is one of Bridget's creations : the Arizona Stone Pendant. Bridget found this stone somewhere along her hiking treks in Arizona. Found something special about it, the shape, the colors in it, something she just couldn't put down.
The Arizona Stone Green Pendant
available on ArtFire or Zibbet.
She tumbled and shined this one until it was this beautiful stone here. Then wrapped it delicately with gold plated wire, in just the right way to show off this simple, yet elegant stone. 

Bridget's determination and hard work are an inspiration to me. And that she shows such generosity, love, and kindness along the way is a great role model for me, and my kids. I feel lucky to have her as a Mother-in-Law, but I am really lucky that she is more like my Mom. I also love that I can represent her creativity and skill at Raige Creations

After all, if it wasn't for her thoughtful gift of a crochet hook and some yarn, Raige Creations would have never come to fruition.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Walking on Wednesday - Rainy Day Recipe Day! Apple Bread

Due to the frequency of rain in the area lately, this week's Walking on Wednesday is a wonderful rainy day activity. Baking! Often, on rainy days, I find myself in the kitchen. I don't have the itchy 'gotta be outside' feeling, and the hubby and kids are always hungry it seems, so baking and cooking are a natural rainy day activity.  

On a recent rainy day, I was on a bread making kick. My hubby cannot eat dairy - no butter, milk, cheese. But he loves sweet breads. I searched high and low for a banana bread recipe with no milk or butter. Not easy to find, but I did find one. But how much banana bread can one eat before one gets so tired of banana bread they don't want to see another banana? Not much actually....

So, some experimenting and desire to use up some ingredients, I came up with a recipe for Apple Bread that uses no butter or milk. It is a heavy bread, nice and moist, just the way hubby likes it.  

Flour, baking powder, salt mixture
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Sift these together in a separate bowl

Apples, cut up - I used small Granny Smith

2 cups apple sauce (chunky or not, doesn't matter)
2 apples, cut into small bits
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
cinnamon, to taste

'wet' mixture

In a mixing bowl, combine the apple sauce, apples, eggs, and sugar. Add enough cinnamon to your liking, and mix. Sorry, I have never measured the cinnamon, I just add what I think in enough.

Final mixture, and bread pan on the left

Once the wet mixture is mixed, add the flour mixture. Mix until just mixed, over mixing may cause the bread to be tough.
You can fold in Walnuts at this time if you like Walnuts. 
Hubby does not like them, so I don't add them.

Ready for the oven

Then pour into a bread pan. If you are using a glass or metal bread pan, you will need to flour the pan so it does not stick. I am lucky enough to have a terracotta bread pan, so I don't need to flour the pan.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 hour and 5 minutes. Check by sticking a knife down the middle. You may have to cook a little longer if it is still too wet, a little less if your oven is a really hot 350 degrees. 
I check often, and put in for about 2-3 minutes at a time after the first hour until I figure it is done, when the top is a nice deep brown. Remember, this is a heavy bread, so it still may seem a little wet, but it is cooked.
Let cool, cut and enjoy!

I have played around with some other fruit combinations, always with about 4 cups of fruit. The Banana-Apple Bread uses 2 ripe bananas and 2 apples, the plain Banana Bread uses 4 bananas - mashed, the Blueberry Bread uses 4 cups of blueberries - mashed, the Apple-Pear uses 2 apples and 2 cups of canned pears - mashed, etc.  The rest of the ingredients remain the same, the cooking time may vary a few minutes depending on the moistness of the fruit. 
All turn out YUMMY! And all are great with a cup of tea.
And using a mug cozy just makes it even more, well, cozy, on a rainy day. 
4th of July Mug Cozy - new to Raige Creations

Monday, June 20, 2011

Music Monday! Father of Mine

Post Father's Day.
I hope everyone had a wonderful day yesterday
and got to celebrate it with wonderful Dad's.

To honor Father's Day, I bring you Everclear.

A troubled lead singer creates touching, meaningful, great songs.
Thanks, in a very round about way, to Dad.
Ironic, isn't it?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Finding a Good Book

I do love to read.
Although if you met me in the last 2 years, 
you would never know that.
My problem?
Finding a good book!!

I have been having trouble deciding on WHICH book to read.
Finding one that I think I would be interested, getting it, and then of course finding the time to actually sit and read a book. 

I have tried, I have tried a few books lately, but never got past the first few chapters. Disappointing. So much so that now I hesitate even getting a new book. I don't trust my own judgement.

I started following a great blog, The Cottage Bookshelf, that posts book reviews, and even does book giveaways! I can read the reviews and see if that is a book I think I would enjoy. This is amazingly helpful to me! 

And that I have a chance to win a book is even better. I don't even know how I found this blog, but I Love it!!

The Cottage Bookshelf has regular giveaways. 

The two left for this month are:

I will be following her blog to find my next great book, and hopefully win it in the process of searching.

How many of you, avid blog readers, read books, and how do you find good ones? Leave a comment and share. 

I am open to book suggestions too, so if you have a book you recommend, please leave that in a comment as well.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Walking on Wednesday - Bugs, Bunnies, and Birdies

Just some of the things you can find 
while walking in our yard. 

You can go from cute, 
to interesting, 
to downright creepy 
in just a few steps. 

The Cute:
A Baby Bird.
This little guy is one of the ones from the nest that was in our carport inside the hanging hose.

A Bunny.
One of the bunnies that we see nearly every evening, munching on the grass and always watching us too.

Yes, who doesn't think those little creatures are cute?

Now, this one is interesting.
A Spider.
Some may call this one creepy, but I have come to find spiders interesting. There are SO many different kinds in this area, it is interesting to find one you haven't ever seen before. And as long as they aren't the Brown Recluse or Black Widow (common in NC),
I can call them interesting.

Ready for the downright creepy?
This one gives me chills 
every time I look at this picture.
First, it's long hind end is pretty long, 
and THEN, 
that long protrusion of a stinger type thing! 
That IS connected to it.

I haven't had the nerve to research this much. 
He really creeps me out. 
I think it's because when I was taking the picture, 
I thought he was dying, so not a threat. 
And just when I was about to take another picture,
 suddenly he rose up, flying at face level, 
and then just flew off, 
that super long sting-like thing 
just hanging down while he flew. 

Imagine that thing hitting you as it flew by you! CREEPY. I am getting chills right now.

These pictures are not all from the same day, 
but they were all taken 
practically right outside our door.

Ah, the joys of living in the mountains. 
Sometimes, I would just rather see a bear.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Music Monday! Band on the Run - by request!

Here is a blast from the past, requested by my friend Heather. 
(thank you Heather now this song will be stuck in my head for days!)

It immediately took me back to that AM Radio always on in our kitchen, always playing this song, always in the summertime (it seemed).  I was 2 years old when this song was released, but that AM Radio played this song for years.

I remember it played every summer, standing in the kitchen on those hot summer days, getting breakfast, and planning our big, empty days. Where would WE be running today?

Band on the Run
Band on the Run

Those were the only words we ever did remember anyways.
As we were running through the backyard to begin our journey for the day.

My kids are on summer vacation now, so to celebrate lazy summer days, and inspire journeys of summer exploration, we can all sing:

Band on the Run
Band on the Run

Friday, June 10, 2011

Zibbet Has No Listing and No Sales Fees. It's True!!

YES - you can offer your beautiful handmade creations for FREE. 
You can SELL your creations FREE.

Zibbet offers completely free shops, with limited features true, but free.

Like Features? 
Well, Zibbet offers cheap, 
yes cheap monthly fees 
OR very cheap yearly fees.

Click on that little birdie, he is saying get a shop for CHEEP CHEEP! heehee.

Now is the time to expand your markets and reach a whole other world of customers.

Not to mention the Community is wonderful.  
You will meet other sellers, buyers, and get all the help an support that is lacking on other venues.

And you will soon find out the staff at Zibbet 
is unlike any other venues. 
They listen! 
They interact! 
They are supportive! 

Click here, and start your successful shop!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Walking on Wednesday - Window Shopping

Window Shopping is usually "an activity that shoppers engage in by browsing shops with no intent to purchase, possibly just to pass the time between other activities, or to plan a later purchase." 

In these tough economic times, we all are doing our fair share of Window Shopping, hoping that we are in a position to 'later purchase'.

There are even instructions on how to window shop on!  There are 9 steps!!

I am gong to make it easy for you today. This is a virtual walk, we are virtually window shopping. So there are no physical benefits, but there are plenty of mental benefits

Enjoy these great finds in some of Zibbet's fine shops.

(good for wild little girl!)
Pink Zebra Hair Bow

Mimi and Collette
(good for Dad)
Mustang Hubcap Clock

Pop Embroidery
(good for active baby)
Buh Bye Ladybug Bloomers
(good for peaceful folk)
Hemp Anklet with Purple Peace Sign

(for the romantic in us)
Vintage Gunne Sax Dress with Rosebuds

The most fun for me in Window Shopping, besides dreaming I could actually buy these things someday, is sharing the great finds with friends.

What are some of your favorite Window Shopping finds?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Music Monday! Tubthumping - huh?

Started out as a good day,

turned to a really bad day

then turned out okay....

so this seems like a great song for today.

But what the heck is tubthumping?
Apparently, it is campaigning.

To most, this is just a drinking song. 
It's repetitiveness is infamous, 
ranking it #12 on Rolling Stone's Most Annoying Songs.

Oh well, 
great for bringing us up when we feel knocked down!

A drink would go very well with with this song.