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.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Garbage Theif

As we sat comfortably in our living room on Wednesday night, watching Cloud Atlas (which I have been wanting to see for some time), we had a criminal in our garage.

Hubby went out for a smoke, came back in and asked why the garbage can was between the cars, with the lid off. Huh? I said "I put a bag in it earlier today, with the lid on, and certainly not between the cars!"

He said the dog was sniffing by the door just as he was going out, so we assumed that he just missed the culprit. Tracks showed that it could very well be a bear. 
Fairly Large Footprints
photo: Thoughts of Raige
This morning, we investigated further. 
We followed a trail of egg shells, 
Egg Shells in the Driveway
photo: Thoughts of Raige

onion tops and napkins, 
Onion and Egg Shells
photo: Thoughts of Raige
More onion
photo: Thoughts of Raige
and the tissue box right in the middle of the driveway.
Tissue Box
The criminal went off to the left, near that log,
and down the hill a ways.

photo: Thoughts of Raige
We could see the tracks going off the driveway, headed down the hill off the driveway. Other tracks could be seen, perhaps the coyote we saw last week, and maybe a squirrel or two. But there was definitely some larger footprints. 
More Fairly Large Footprints
photo: Thoughts of Raige
Then we saw the torn apart remnants of a garbage bag further down the hill off of our driveway.
Our Pillaged Garbage All Around A Tree
photo: Thoughts of Raige
Upon further investigation, we found the alleged bear's tracks all around our house, even right past the front door! 
Footprints Right By Our Front Door
photo: Thoughts of Raige
We didn't hear a thing that night, and we haven't seen the bear at all. I had heard from neighbors bears were in the neighborhood, but this is the first evidence we have seen in our yard.

Last year, hubby actually stood watching a nice sized bear, while he was being watched right back, right out the back door. Thankfully, that fella decided there was no threat and continued on his way.  

Last week, we watched a coyote wandering our yard as well. I was glad to see it, but glad I was standing in the doorway watching from a safe distance. That is how I would like to see a bear in person, safely inside while he was meandering far enough away.

I love nature, the mountains, and where we live. I love that we can witness the beauty of wild animals from the comfort of our home. I can handle a little garbage clean up once in a while.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful For ~ Red Velvet Cookies

I am thankful for 
Red Velvet Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies.

My daughter and I made these together yesterday. 

We ventured out in the snowy and very cold weather together to get the necessary ingredients. We had never made these before, the recipe is in a kindle book I got for her last year. This was the first recipe we tried.

It was a kitchen adventure, full of clogged mixers, chocolate chips falling off the cookie balls, oh so sticky dough, and hands that looked bloody when we were done. 

Good times. 
And delicious cookies. 
Life is Good.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~ What Running Has Taught Me ~ Keep Your Form

I know there are a gazillion websites and blogs that talk about the greatness of running. I read them too.

But since I have started running again, after my 3 month break, I have learned some valuable life lessons. Each lesson is great for running, but can be translated into every-day life as well. I will be sharing these life lessons with you while training for the Jingle Bell Run, which I am participating in on December 7th. (Donate HERE).

Today, I must stress the importance of keeping your form.

The Proper Form.
I actually researched this online, because I knew felt so awkward running. I noticed as I ran by the furniture store downtown, which has full windows across the entire block, that I looked goofy and that I made it look awkward so I set to find out how to run better.

There are loads of pictures, articles, videos, etc. I recommend reading and looking at some of these, as I did. 

What I am telling you here is a condensed version showing how they also benefit your real, everyday life, when you are not running.
Strive For This!
source: Rock Creek Runner
LIFE LESSON ~ Keep Your Form ~ in all ways, at all times.
No matter how tired you are, how you want to give up, don't lose your form. If you do, you will tire faster, and be much less efficient. For me, the more efficient I am the better! I am getting old, remember, and it takes me much more energy to run like most people normally run, so this is very important to me. When I lose form, and become a lazy runner, I actually tire faster. 

In everything else in your life, it is just as important to keep your form. No matter what stresses you must deal with, no matter what stupid people you come in contact with, you need to keep your true form, not fly off the handle and get crazy, or lazy. Stay true to yourself, true to your form.

~ Remember the Head
Head up, look forward. In running this keeps your body in line and doesn't stress your neck. 
In the rest of your life, keeping your head up, looking forward keeps your mind focused on what's ahead, not below or behind. 

~ Get Your Stride Right
Not too big, not too small, just right. Not that we are Goldilocks, but in essence don't over do or under do. At first I was under-doing. And now, after reviewing all this again, I believe I might be over-doing! 
Like the poster says, the same pace as Outkast's Hey Ya. Actually, in my humble opinion, this song makes ANYthing in life that much better. Doesn't it just make you want to 'shake it like a Polaroid picture'? (Even tho you ARE NOT supposed to do that...)

~ Keep Your Shoulders Relaxed
I have found, when running, if I make sure my shoulders are relaxed, it helps me breathe better and keeps me from slouching. (I am a sloucher). It actually does make it easier to run!

It is so important to try breathe normal. If it is hard to breathe, slow down until you breathe easier and pick it back up again. You won't get there any faster if you can't breathe. 

In anything else in life, deep breaths help keep you relaxed. While you exhale that deep breath, your shoulders relax, you are less stressed, you can think with a clear head. 

And slouching is just ugly, plus does nothing but hurt your back. That's why mom always said sit up straight.

~Pay Attention To Yourself. 
This is good advice - Period. 
If you leg hurts bad, slow down and walk. If you can't breathe right, slow down and walk. If you want to take that hill, take it!

If you need time to yourself, take it. If you are tired, sleep. If something is bothering you, get it off your chest. If ice cream sounds so lovely, go ahead and have a little. (actually, ice cream DOES sound lovely, I think I will have some.....) If you want a lunch with your friends, go do it. Take that extra long shower, get that pedicure, go get that massage - treat yourself! Pay attention to yourself.
source: Pinterest

We strive to be the best we can be, in running and in life. Sometimes it is all we can do to just keep our form. And sometimes it is just keeping our form that gets us through the tough runs, and tough times. 

~Don't Forget Your Hips.
Don't pull a Miley (see How to Improve Your Running Form above, hips)
I think this excellent advice that spills over into everyday life. Don't pull a Miley, most importantly, avoid sticking your butt out, and your tongue. Just sayin'. 

What other advice could you add about keeping your form, in life as well as running? I bet you have thought of some while running, or in real life. Share!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meal Planning ~ Taco Tuesday, Meatloaf Monday, Spaghetti Sunday, Whatever Wednesday

If I hadn't made it clear in any of my earlier posts, I think I have hinted at it, planning dinner stresses me out most of the time.

I have tried having the kids cook, hubby cook, asking for requests, and planning days ahead. Ultimately, these things fade away, and I am back to stressing about what to cook at the last minute, order, or suggest for dinner.

This morning, having this discussion with my 2 kids who had the luxury of a 2 hour delay of school, we had some fun with weekly dinner plans.

Today, being Tuesday and having our oldest son coming home from college who loves anything as long as a tortilla is involved, we decided to have our 'Taco Tuesday'. This is a popular one we have been doing for years now.
Celebrating a Previous Taco Tuesday
My kids drew this for me.

photo: Raige Creations

This led to 'Meatloaf Monday', since that meatloaf was a huge hit the other day, and 'Spaghetti Sunday', since we have pasta at least once a week anyways (it's so easy). 

I added 'Whatever Wednesday', since we often have a night when I say 'get whatever you want for dinner'. We normally call it a Get Your Own night, but 'Whatever Wednesday' fits our weekly planner so well.

So that covers 4 days, not bad! We were stumped at the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. I suggested 'Fish Friday', but the jury is still out on that one. We DO need to eat more fish, but I am notoriously bad at cooking fish, with only one success to date, and that was really only a mild success. It was actually edible.

So I ask you, my fine readers, what are good suggestions for the rest of the week for our weekly meal planner? How can Pizza fit in, for example? There are no days that start with 'P'. Plus, hubby can't have dairy, and we don't eat beef, and think Tofu is not bad but I find it difficult to cook. 

I know I have some highly creative readers, so have at it. Give us some good ideas for meals on Thursday, Friday , and Saturday. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Music Monday! Wake Me Up

Yes, please. Someone Wake Me Up

I can't believe how much I slept all weekend. Naps were frequent, if short, and actually I loved being so lazy ~ at first. 

But I knew things had gone too far when I actually contemplated going to pick up the pizza in my pajamas.

I had been in pajamas all weekend actually. Well, not the same ones, I did shower Saturday, but put on new pajamas. So Sunday night, when I actually considered going out in my PJ's, I knew something was off.

This morning, I was well on my way to another day of PJ's and couch time, dozing off at 8:30am! What the heck is wrong with me? (I like to blame an evil couch, it has this effect on many that come to our house.) I knew this rabbit hole I was going down was not going to be full of adventure, it very well could become a downward spiral.

I had to brake the cycle! I decided against a run (again - been several days now, but that is another thing that is 'off', still figuring that out). I showered and went grocery shopping instead. THAT will wake you up! Monday before Thanksgiving at the grocery store. Never again, but at least I accomplished something today.

I heard this song on the radio, and it was the only one I could connect to today. The lyrics are great, it is an upbeat song, a good collaboration

So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn't know I was lost

photo: Raige Creations
So I got through the day, I have a list of things to get done, and I can actually cross off a few! I believe this difficult time will pass, soon. The money stresses will ease, my path will show itself, I will not have to wonder, wait, or question every move I make. 

I may be lost a little right now, but at least I am on the journey. I don't know where it will end, but I have a house full of groceries, and I may find myself in jammies much of the upcoming holiday, But my eyes will be open.

I love when a song can help me get through, and help bring me out of a funk. What song has helped you get out of a rut?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chicken and Pork Meatloaf With No Milk ~ Recipe

My daughter had been asking for meatloaf for days (!), as we all get so tired of the same old meals, and we hadn't had meatloaf in forever! So meatloaf it was. (I just said meatloaf way too many times.....)

As you know, hubby can't have any dairy, so milk was not an option. So here the easiest, milk free, recipe for a great meatloaf.


  • 2 lbs Meat - I used a mixture of ground chicken and ground pork
  • 4 Green Onions - or one regular would do just fine
  • 1 heaping tsp Garlic - I used jarred, but fresh or powdered is fine
  • Ketchup - a squirt - then about 1/4 cup for topping
  • 2 tsp Pickapepper Sauce - then 2 tsp more for topping
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Dried Basil and Parsley to taste
  • Crushed Red Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil cooking spray

One reason I love meatloaf is that it is so easy! Just throw everything in the bowl and mix. That is basically it. But I took pictures so you can see the progression.

Slice the green onions, saving the end greens for sprinkling on top when serving. 
Green onions,
but a regular onion would work just as well.

photo courtesy of Raige Creations

Add the ground meat. I used ground chicken and ground pork.

Use your favorite ground meats.
I mixed meats because all chicken meatloaf is a little mushy.
The pork gives just the right amount of body.

photo courtesy of Raige Creations

Add all the other ingredients to the bowl.

All the other ingredients, spices not shown.
Add spices to your taste.

photo courtesy of Raige Creations
Take your rings off.
Then mix.
photo courtesy of Raige Creations
photo courtesy of Raige Creations
Mix.I had fun mixing.
photo courtesy of Raige Creations
At the last minute, we decided to add crushed red peppers. We like it spicy, but the boys said it wasn't enough. Add to your specific taste.
Add Crushed Red Pepper to taste
photo courtesy of Raige Creations
Mold into loaf form. This part is ridiculously easy, and kind of fun.
Set your loaf in a dish with sides, sprayed with olive oil cooking spray, I used a glass one. 

Mix together about 1/4 cup ketchup and 2 more teaspoons of Pickapepper, spread over the top of the loaf.
Ketchup and Pickapepper to spread on top.
photo courtesy of Raige Creations
You can put it in a loaf pan, but I found the juices pile up in a loaf pan and then just boil the meat. Not as good.
Use a pan large enough so the juices
are pulled away from the loaf a bit.

photo courtesy of Raige Creations
Bake in 350 degree oven for about an hour. 

Slice, and enjoy. 
Squash and Broccoli are fantastic sides for this meal.
photo courtesy of Raige Creations
I decided we would have veggies with our meal instead of the starch we usually have, and it was a fabulous change from the usual rice we have. 

The only complaint I got was there wasn't enough! (Even though everyone had 2 helpings)

Next time, especially when my oldest is home from college, I am going to have to make 3 of these to satisfy the troops! They were even dreaming of leftover meatloaf sandwiches. 

When is the last time you had your family begging for more meatloaf?
source: Desktop Nexus

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Would You Be More Productive Using A Typewriter?

photo courtesy of: Blue Rage of Asheville
I spent most of the day Thursday on the internet, reading blogs, writing a little, browsing Pinterest (I know, I vowed to stop, but Thursday was just one of those days.....).

I didn't go for a run, in fact I didn't even get dressed until 2 o'clock.

My original plan was to check all my emails, maybe finish my blog I started, go for run, and then accomplish more of the de-cluttering.

What happened was the internet sucked me in, again. I wasted the majority of the day. I know this has happened to you once or twice, right?

I couldn't help but wonder if we all wrote on typewriters, would be be more productive? (You can actually buy this great typewriter pictured here!)

What do you think? Would you go back to writing on a typewriter if it meant you would write more, and write better?

CRAP! I Missed A Day!!

Oh, the horror. 
Oh, the disappointment.

I missed a day of NaBloPoMo. 
Oh The HORROR by hybristophilia666 on Polyvore
It's not like I didn't know it was going to happen. I did. I had a very busy day and after dinner last night I just wanted to relax. I sat on the couch, Kindle in hand new book waiting, full belly, family all around chillin', and said "Oh CRAP, I didn't post a blog today!"

Then, I turned on my Kindle while hubby found a movie for us to watch (I can read and watch a movie at the same time. Mom's know what I mean), I settled in on the couch, and the thought of blogging evaporated.

It's not that I am short of ideas! I have 4 drafts going, and I even have handwritten in my journal ideas for other posts. If NaBloPoMo right after NaBloWriMo has done anything for me, it has got me to write every day, whether I actually post or not. 

But last night, I just couldn't bring myself to force a post. I would have struggled to post something most likely stupid, and meaningless. It would be forced, and I think we all can agree forced writing sucks.

I still wrote yesterday. In fact, I find I even THINK in writing terms, do you know what I mean? I mean, as I think, I carefully pick the words that would read well, sound good, and convey the feeling I am having at the moment, and before I know it I have compiled a full sentence in thought. It is actually kind of weird, to think in sentences, and even re-think the sentence in a better way. 

But I guess that is what happens when you make writing part of your future goal, and incorporate it into daily activities. You are writing your thoughts. Do you find yourself doing that too?

What will I do when I am not obligated to post every day? Well my fine readers, you will have to keep reading to find out!

You will have to come back, again and again and again, read my blog regularly, until you find out.  Muwahahahahaha!! 
source : Pinterest
No wait, come back after you find out, too. I will still blog, I will write meaningful and interesting posts. So keep reading, kay? 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday Thought of the Day ~ All You Need Is Less

source: Pinterest
I am working on having less. I need to have less, because all that we have is stressing me out!

  • Less furniture ~ it is too hard to move and we know we will be moving sometime in the future even though we don't know when.
  • Less papers ~ they are heavy, both physically and mentally. My mother hoarded papers, I am so afraid of doing that.
  • Less Kitch ~ I vow to keep only the most meaningful and beautiful. This is hard to purge, because we are collectors of the unique and interesting, and so have cool old bottles, tiny sculptures, beautiful scrimshaw, hand painted eggs and feathers, great vintage lamps (yes, we have been hoarding lamps of all things). Each thing is great, has meaning and a special place in our hearts. These are the tough things to let go of.
  • Less blankets ~ seriously we have so many! But I feel like I can use them as batting in quilts, so I hang on. But maybe it's time to let a few go.
  • Less Kitchen things I never use ~ will I ever make 2 pies at the same time, will I ever need 3 pitchers, will I ever use that lettuce spinner again? I think NO to all, but still have all that, and more 'just in case'. Just in case what??? I don't know. 

I could go on and on, but I am sure you have had enough of my clutter by now, and already thought about some of the extra stuff you have. It can be burdensome, stressful. That is where I am at this point, burdened and stressed.

After moving last time, I am being proactive for the next move (no, I don't know when that is yet, but know it will be within the next few years sometime. I am being proactive, remember?).

I do not want to bring anything unless it is loved and meaningful. 
So I will try.
source: Pinterest
I am deciding to try to let go of a whole lot, so I am left with what really and truly matters. So I can breathe a little easier.

That is what it comes down with ~ ME (well and hubby too, some of this is his too).
We decide, we try, we organize, we simplify, we breathe easier.
source: Pinterest via Alejandratv

And I will try to spend less time on Pinterest so I can get it all done. 

And I will work on trying to get more of what we DO need. Good times with family, less worry and stress about money, less clutter to make the other two that much better. 

That is all I ask for now, not too much to ask, and not too much to try to accomplish, right? I hope so.

Happy Thursday. May you have all you need, which could very well be less.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~ What Running Has Taught Me ~ Sleep

I know there are a gazillion websites and blogs that talk about the greatness of running. I read them too.

But since I have started running again, after my 3 month break, I have learned some valuable life lessonsEach lesson is great for running, but can be translated into every-day life as well. I will be sharing these life lessons with you while training for the Jingle Bell Run, which I am participating in on December 7th. (Donate HERE).

Today we talk about sleep. How important is rest?

The Sleep.
Last week I talked about how I happily I went out for my first run in my new shoes, excited to get in a great run! But it wasn't a great run, and I walked quite a bit. Not the energizing workout I wanted, but at least my legs didn't hurt. But why was it so bad?

Well, the night before, I only got a total of 6 hours of sleep ~ split into two 3 hour sessions with a 4 hour awake time in between. 

Basically I fell asleep on the couch (a common thing for me) at around 9pm, woke up at midnight, stayed awake until 3am, then went to bed until 6am. 
So, I was tired. Which brings me to.....
source: Pinterest
Proper Night's Sleep.
A good 7-8 hours is what most say is the best amount of sleep to get each and every night. I know, this may be tough, and most days I am lucky to get 6 full hours of sleep a night. And this is generally okay - I can still have a good run, and have good energy throughout the day. I may take a cat-nap before dinner, but I can get through the day just fine. 

When I don't get enough sleep.....everything is hard to do, but especially running. The run that day took SO MUCH effort.
source: Pinterest
I would run for a bit, then this heaviness took over. My legs felt like lead, there was a heaviness in my lungs. I felt like I was dragging my body along. (my legs didn't hurt tho, these shoes were great!)

I just had to walk. I walked a little bit, then determined to get my run in. I began to run again. After half a song, the lead came back, the weight was heavy, I could barely make my legs move at all. I had to walk again.

This workout was not a good one, it was so difficult that I ended up walking most of it. That was not what I wanted at all. Total waste of the outfit, even though the shoes were mighty comfy. I was just plain tired. I didn't get enough sleep, and it was totally evident in my inability to run for any length of time.
photo from
LIFE LESSON ~ A proper night's sleep is essential to a happy, productive day.
If you are lacking sleep, everything in your day is that much more difficult. After your run, if you started the day out tired, everything takes longer to do. I find my showers are longer, I stand there trying to decide what to wear for longer. Everything moves slower.

photo from
It is hard to think, and forget anything having to do with math. Writing a sentence is strained, heck, even smiling makes my face ache. (quick, what movie is that from? here is the movie, here is the line.)  

A proper night's sleep give you the clear head and energy needed for running, and also a great day.

I could go into studies, reports, and other things that delve into the health benefits, how it aides your memory, makes you happier, reduces stress, and lose weight, etc. etc. etc., but we all know that we feel so much better after a good night's sleep, so it makes sense it helps all kinds of other areas. The info is out there if you need more convincing it will make your run better, and your entire day better. 
source: Pinterest
How much sleep do you usually get? If you get less, what is the first thing you notice that suffers?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Enough Procrastination ~ And Clutter!!

source: alainn bella
Well, hopefully I can get through more of my list, but as you know, procrastination is one of my talents.

This Tuesday, I hope to clear off our dining room sideboard. It is an antique, beautiful, and perfect for collecting clutter. I am hoping to sell it off, with the dining set, and simplify our lives a little more. 

No big, heavy and difficult to move, clutter inducing furniture.

It is a never ending battle we have against clutter. Every few years I get the itch to get rid of a huge amount of things, and this year it is hitting me strong. 

So today, I hope to continue the purging. I have already purged some of our Christmas decorations, de-cluttered my dresser and nightstand (also clutter magnets), filed and got rid of old papers that piled up in another room, and finally have the kitchen pared down a bit. 
My Sideboard Clutter Magnet
photo: Raige Creations
Now on to dining room and sideboard clutter! I know it doesn't look look THAT bad, no Hoarders here or anything. But it still is clutter that weighs me down, and by the way, our coffee table is much worse. Wish me luck! 

Do you try to tackle your to-do-list on Tuesday too? (What was leftover from Monday perhaps?) 

And if you have and tips on getting through everything on your list, and keeping clutter at bay, please share. I love reading organization and decluttering tips, it is motivation for me!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Music Monday! Mountain Sound

A perfect song for a run in the mountains. 

I think this band, Of Monsters and Men, is now added to the 'I really, really like this band' list. Thier poetic and fantastical lyrics and the good beats and the pretty music all blend together in a way that pleasantly gets stuck in your head.
source and to purchase

The sun is shining brilliantly today, and the air not too crisp. A good day for not many words. 

Hold your horses now
(Sleep until the sun goes down)
Through the woods we ran
(Deep into the mountain sound)

Enjoy the day, and the Mountain Sounds

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It's Saturday Night! Let's Part-ay! At Least Until 8:30pm.....

source: Tea Time With Tess
Oh yes, last night, Saturday night, was awesome! 
I had a great day, first of all.
I did a, 'get it off my chest' kind of  blog, which was so fun to do, and actually quite therapeutic.

Then hubby and me went to an auction for the most fun shopping ever. Yes, you still experience buyers remorse, but at least you beat out that guy in the front who really wanted it!
"One dollar bid, now two, now two, will ya' give me two?
Two dollar bid, now three, now three, will ya' give me three?",
"Going once, going twice, sold!"

Then we came home looking forward to a nice evening with the kids, who, by the way, cooked us an awesome 'breakfast for dinner' dinner. (I love my kids, if you haven't heard me say if before....)

The next thing I remember is waking up off the couch, mouth completely dry from apparently drooling all over a couch pillow, and mumbling something like 'Em goin ta bed' and stumbling into the bedroom. 

Then it was 4am and the TV was damn loud! Hubby had also fallen asleep on the couch, but when he woke up he apparently decided to watch an action movie that had lots of screaming and moaning people, and the occasional explosion. I got up and bitched at him, but that is pretty normal for me at 4am.

What happened to Saturday Nights?  
Can't even make it to see Saturday Night Live anymore. Which, I hear from my 17 year old, who can and does stay up way past me, that is was a good one last night.
source: Wikipedia
I think what happened was that we turned 40, and it often hurts to wake up, even after a full nights sleep with no alcohol ingested the night before. I can't imagine a hangover! NO thank you.

No, our Saturday nights are pretty lame, uh I mean tame. But honestly, we enjoy them just the same. For one thing, Sunday morning is much more pleasant.

Are you a big partier on Saturday nights? Or more the 'stay at home and fall asleep on the couch' types like me?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Evolution of My Day

Yesterday, This is how my day went.

Started with this.
source: iMapMyRun
Wearing this.
source: Raige Creations
It was awesome!
Then I managed to finally do some of this.
And I felt like this.
Then this happened.
source: Pinterest
I wanted to say this.

source: Sawdust City
I was a little like this.
And started getting like this.
source: Etsy
Then I was like this.
source: Pinterest
I didn't even answer the phone anymore.
source: Pinterest
I just ended the day like this.
source: Skreened
Have you ever had a day like that?