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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Music Monday! Change

photo courtesy of google.ca


When life is hard you have to change.
                                     ~Blind Melon

At this point, one door must close before another can open. 

Today marks a huge change for me. Blue Rage of Asheville will be moving out of it's location downtown, and today is the last full day of business there. We will continue our website, and plan the best future for the business. 

After months of saying 'there's got to be a better way', I am finally on the way to that better way. As hard as it is, if I didn't believe in the change, I wouldn't be able to accept the change. And I am looking forward to the change. Better things are ahead.

photo courtesy of Pinterest

Don't be afraid of change. It is how we grow, it is how we live. 

When the winds of change blow, 
some people build walls, 
and others build windmills.
 ~ Chinese Proverb.

I am building a windmill.
What is your best advice for change? 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Using the Sun on Cloudy Days, and Vice Versa

Tuesday, I woke up yesterday, a much needed day off, and got the kids off to school, sat down to check what was going on online, and promptly dozed right off. The phone rang, mostly woke me up, but I soon dozed off again. Most of the morning went this way, in and out of sleep, plenty lazy.
The thick fog of the mountains. Normally, you can see mountains in the background.
photo courtesy of  Raige Creations
I spent the morning in this hazy foggy dozy state. On a day off, you can allow yourself to be foggy, doze off. No pressing issues, just some quiet time, relaxing time. Perfect for a day off. (Apparently I needed the sleep too. Perhaps I have not been sleeping as good as I thought I was....)

Dog saying 'Come on Mom,
aren't you coming?'

photo courtesy of  Raige Creations
The foggy views here are actually from Monday,not Tuesday wehn I really could have used them. Monday was a day I could not allow myself the luxury of such a nice lazy morning, like the weather begged for. I didn't really want to run, but actually the run the pictures were from was a great one. (Thanks to the dog who helped get me out of the driveway) The cool dampness, the quiet comfort of just me, the dog, and the fog. It made the run a focused and effective workout.

 
On Tuesday, I could allow myself that lazy, nap filled morning, and I did. I still managed to get a run-slash-walk in, after my mini naps, but the run wasn't a great one. I ran in this brilliant sunshine. The skies were clear, but my head was still foggy.
A Sunny Trail
photo courtesy of  Raige Creations
The run wasn't even as much a run as it was a walk, the fogginess of my mood affecting my whole body. That was quite okay, too. It is good to have an easier day when training, especially when my legs were hurting a little. But the sunshine begged for an energetic run, and mood!
Shadows on a Sunny Trail
photo courtesy of  Raige Creations
Wednesday, I took off from work too, but spend the better part of the day doing Mom duties. Orthodontist, grocery store, cleaning, etc. All while it was pouring rain. I was again active with weather that begged for lazy restful days. 

Why have my days been filled with feelings opposite of the weather?

Sunny out = me tired and lazy.
Rainy and cloudy out = me energetic. 

Yesterday, I vowed to think of the beautiful blue skies and sunshine of Tuesday to get me through today, another cloudy start of a day with my energy level almost back up. I managed okay. But then, by afternoon the sun was shining brilliantly, and I was beat down and utterly drowsy. 

You see the pattern here. These moods were changing with the weather it seemed, be it contradictory to the weather. It kept me from writing anything clearly and accomplishing many of the things I had on my must-do list (which happens to be incredibly long full of stressful things to do....)

I used to embrace the weather of each day and go with the mood it brought, but this week I was always in the wrong state of mind on the wrong day. Perhaps I should embrace each day's weather just for what it is.

I also could take the gifts of fog and sun, use the memories and views from those days on the days you need them. Or perhaps there's only different kinds of good weather. It's all what you make of it really, isn't it?

Do your moods coincide with the weather, or are they opposite like mine have been this week?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Music Monday! Move Along

Move Along ~ great advice for a Monday morning!
photo courtesy of Lyrics Pond
We all have times that we need this extra push. The reminder to move along.


This video is fun to watch with a cup of coffee too. I love the expressions on the lead singer's face through each scenario. A great little ditty by the All American Rejects to get us all moving.
photo courtesy of Fanpop
Perhaps it's a good thing when this is the song in your head at 7am. on a Monday. Especially after working all weekend, and the weeks ahead are already full of loads to do.

It sure does get you moving, and gives a positive vibe to the day. 
This comes at a time when big changes are ahead for me. I am moving along myself, changes at my downtown shop are afoot, and this reminder is perfect to get me through.
photo courtesy of Shirtoid
When we find it hard to continue, we just have to move along, be strong, and make it through.

Better things are sure to be ahead. All you've got to keep is strong, and move along.

Do you know a great motivational song for a Monday? Please share, and maybe it will be next week's Music Monday!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Find ~ I Found My Head in the Clouds and I Found Clarity














Sometimes the clouds give us peace and clarity. 

A cloud happened to pass right through us while we were at the summit of Craggy Pinnacle the other day. The quiet peace at the top of a mountain with the clouds all around is a moment where I found peace, and clarity. 

You are quite encased, enclosed, just you and your head. The other clutter is not there, you are free to find out where you really are, and where you really want to be. It is often a moment that passes far too fast. 

Don't ever worry of being accused of having your head in the clouds - it is an experience we all should enjoy as much as possible. 

After all, Thoreau was onto something. The atmosphere below the clouds is not always paradise ~ the clouds can offer us insight we can achieve no other way. 

Have you ever enjoyed your head in the clouds?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~ The Long Walk is Part of the Gift

When a young girl in Africa heard that her teacher would be leaving their village, she wanted to give her a special gift.  The girl didn't have any money to buy a present for her teacher, but finally she decided what she would do.  
The Long Walk
photo: Raige Creations at Craggy Pinnacle
She was gone for two days and when she returned she was carrying the most exquisite shell anyone in her village had ever seen. Her teacher was amazed.  "Where did you get this?" she asked. The child told her that such shells were found only on a certain faraway beach.

The teacher was deeply touched, because she knew that the girl had walked many miles to find the shell. "You shouldn't have traveled so far just to find a gift for me," she said. The girl smiled and explained, "The long walk is part of the gift."

The Tree and the Rock
photo: Raige Creations at Craggy Pinnacle

It is an old story, one I read probably 30 years ago in Reader's Digest. The girl was a boy and the teacher was a him, but the story was the same. The long walk (the journey) is part of the gift. 

This story stuck with me all these years, and I try to remember it in my own journeys. The paths we take are part of the journey to get us where we need to be. But we must not go along the path without taking in every step. We must treat the journey as important as the destination.

It is not easy. Sometimes we just aimlessly wander different paths, uncertain of the destination. Sometimes we enjoy each step and learn with each stumble, sometimes we do not pay attention to the journey at all. Other times we only have our eye on the prize. 
Pause Sometimes
photo: Raige Creations at Craggy Pinnacle

Sometimes we need to pause on our journey, to see where we have come from in order for us to see where we should be heading. Sometimes we pause too long, and it is difficult to start the journey again. 
Little Birdie High On A Mountaintop
photo: Raige Creations at Craggy Pinnacle
We must remember to stop and see the little birdies, smell the flowers, enjoy the blueberries. Enjoy the steps along the way. 
Stop and Enjoy the Blueberries
photo: Raige Creations at Craggy Pinnacle

Be sure to enjoy the views as they are then, as the next time you may pass this way they may be different. This hike I took yesterday is the same one I took a year and a half ago. It was almost Spring, this time it was almost Fall. Besides the obvious differences, there was also my perception of the entire journey. I am in a different place in my life, and thus the things I noticed were different. The views were different, the pace was different.

The journey was no less spectacular, the feeling at the end was just as profound, but it was a different journey with a different gift waiting for me. 
At Cloud Level
photo: Raige Creations at Craggy Pinnacle
Whatever journey you are on, remember the journey is part of the destination. The long walk is part of the gift.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Music Monday! Come Out and Play



This song came up over dinner. It is funny how slight word combinations can bring up songs, and then dinner takes a turn. 

It happened something like this:

I had picked up some macaroni and cheese from the deli at the grocery store for dinner. (I made a kick-butt Kung-Pao Chicken last night and didn't have the gumption to be too creative for dinner tonight. Thus, it was grocery store deli dinner night)

This mac-n-cheese was loaded. It had ham and broccoli in it, which sounded like it would be a hit. But when my son was coerced into trying some, he picked through it to find just the broccoli. 

Mind you, the broccoli was well mixed in, and therefore appeared as little green dots throughout the mac-n-cheese. Once in a while, you would get a big chunk of it, but mostly it appeared as little tiny specks. 

We knew he loved broccoli, and ham. So we were teasing him for picking through the dish to find the tiny specks of broccoli, and saying after each bite either "Yup that was broccoli", or "That was ham"

We reminded him he likes both, so suggested he just takes a full bite, and then he would have both! "Yes", he said, "I like them, but you've got to keep 'em separated." 
The Offspring
photo courtesy of Super Band Gallery
Bam. This song flew out of the mouths of hubby and me, mostly the great line 'you gotta keep em separated' sung similar to the dude in the song saying it, over and over. (one of the band members is named Noodles! perfect at dinnertime.....) I promised him I would make him plain ole broccoli tomorrow.

To add to the connection, I am going out to play tomorrow. A hike! I get to take a visiting friend to an awesome hike, Craggy Pinnacle. Awesome views, and a good workout, different than just running. A win-win. The views this time should be green and colorful. I can't wait to see.
View from the overlook at Craggy Pinnacle.
This view is from our hike April 2012.
photo courtesy of Raige Creations
I am lucky that my playground in part of a majestic mountain range. I am also luck I get to go out and play. It is much needed play, I am so ready for a day off. 

It is the play time that allows us to re-group, unwind, re-boot. It give us a chance to get some of that stress out, to appreciate life again. 

What is your favorite way to play on your days off? 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Find - Slow Cooker Chicken and Caribbean Dumplings

For me, it is hard to find a good recipe I can follow directly. I scoured the internet for chicken and dumpling recipes, but wasn't satisfied with any I found. For one, hubby can't have milk or cream, so that ruled out half of them. Second, I didn't happen to have any biscuit mix and I wasn't about to go to the store at 7:30am to get some. Besides, growing up in the 1970's I have had my fill of Bisquick. (my mother didn't use flour at all that I can remember, only Bisquick.) So I found if I took ideas from these recipes, and tweaked them to suit our needs and tastes, I could create my own perfect homestyle meal, and make my own comfort food recipe. 

I love slow cooker meals (I have raved about them before). There is nothing better than coming home from work with dinner ready. No stress for me and a wonderful meal to enjoy with the family. 
For this meal you will need:
Big Ass Chicken

  • One whole Chicken (I got a big ass chicken from Sams Club)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • thyme
  • garlic (powder and fresh)
  • rosemary
  • chicken seasoning
  • onion
  • crushed red pepper
  • chicken broth
  • asparagus
  • Wondra
  • flour
  • water
  • rice

Now I don't measure much when I cook, so bear with this recipe. I will try to guess how much I used, but really the seasonings are totally up to you. We may like things more seasoned (and spicier) than you. So edit as you and your family like.

1. Prep the chicken. I got this big ass chicken from Sam's Club. Why is everything over-sized there? Anyway, clean the chicken, which for me means taking all the skin off. Too much fat, and don't worry, the chicken broth later will add enough to make this tender and juicy.
2. Chop your onion. (1 small onion.)
Naked Chicken and chopped onion
3. Chop garlic cloves. I used about 2 cloves of fresh garlic
4. Now that your chicken is naked, put the chicken in the slow cooker and season. Season with salt and pepper to cover, easier on the pepper. Season with as much crushed red pepper as your family can handle. Use about a tablespoon of thyme and Rosemary, and sprinkle on the chicken. Sprinkle about one teaspoon of garlic powder on the chicken (the chopped garlic will go on in a minute). Sprinkle one teaspoon of chicken seasoning on as well. (I figured the broth would add the rest of the chicken flavor).
chopped garlic, broth, and spices I used
5. Add chicken broth, about 1 cup I figure, then sprinkle onions and garlic on top, and throw some asparagus on top of that (a handful of asparagus). (you may not sprinkle and throw, but you get the idea)
6.Turn on the slow cooker and go about your day. Cook for 8 hours on low, 4 hours on high. (We will roast some more asparagus to go with dinner closer to dinner time.)
Now it's time to let it cook!
7. When the chicken has cooked, it is time to add some Wondra to the broth. Mix about 1-2 teaspoons Wondra in about 1 cup of new chicken broth, then pour into crock-pot slowly, stirring in little sections as you pour. This is to thicken up the broth so it is more stew-like.
Wondra is the best.
8. Now for the dumplings. These are not fancy dumplings. (I learned how to make them when I lived in the Caribbean. They are made to go in many different Caribbean dishes.) Just add flour to bowl (about 2 cups), make an indentation in the middle and pour a little water in there (about half a cup now, and you will need more water as you mix), mix with your hands and add water as necessary until you get a consistency you can mold, but not too sticky.
Add water to the center of the flour, mix,
and then more as necessary to get the right consistency.
Making Dumplings.
9. Make little dumplings! If they start getting sticky, add some flour.
Feel free to get creative here. I had my son help me and we had several different shaped dumplings. Poop shaped (he named), cow patty shaped (I named), ring shaped, fish shaped, man shaped (his creation, was half a man by the time dinner was ready, lol. he broke into 2 pieces.), question marked, diamond shaped, and I don't even know what else. Have some fun.
Just some of the crazy shapes
10. Add to the crock pot and cook until done, about 30 minutes.
11. Make some rice to serve under the chicken and dumplings. 
12. Roast some more asparagus.To roast, lay on baking sheet, spray with olive oil cooking spray, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast in 350 degree oven for about 7 minutes if you like it crunchy still.
We like asparagus crunchy,
so we roast separately and serve on the side.

13. Serve and enjoy!
I started eating before I remember to snap a picture for you all.
It was so good.
As I look at the ingredients and steps, it seems like a lot of prep, but really it isn't. You can add or subtract seasonings to your taste, and making the dumplings is so easy, and fun! 

I absolutely loved how this meal turned out. I also loved how it was nearly done when I got home from work, and how my son made it even more fun to finish off. 

Leftovers are just as good!
I am also having the leftovers for lunch. Yumm.

Do you have any great slow cooker recipes that you have changed to make more healthy, and fit your family better? Share the love please!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~ Writing by Hand

My daughter is so sweet and thoughtful. When back to school shopping she insisted on buying me a journal. Out of the blue!

She brought me over to the journal section in the book store and asked which one I liked. I thought she was getting one for herself.
"Well you have to pick honey, it's up to you", I said. 
She said, "No I want you to pick!" 
"Why?" I asked. 
"Well, I want to get one for you", she said. 
I was confused. "Uh, why?" Why did I need a journal??? 
She said, "For you to write in. You want to start writing, Mom, so this will help you. It will help you write, you can put quotes in there too, and get your ideas down."
I mumble...and say "But I write on the computer"....and she rolls her eyes.
She continues, with a hint of disappointment "I thought sometimes I could write quotes in there too, and you can bring this with you anywhere, and it's pretty isn't it?" 

writing nook
photo: Raige Creations
 I thought, "This girl knows more than I do." She has it all figured out, and here I am lost as ever. Duh me. So, she bought it, and I agreed that this would be a great step to help me reach my goals of bettering my writing so someday that will be part of my livelihood.

But here I am, just looking at it. I created a little writing nook, with a great plant and my little jellie to keep me company.....and at first I just couldn't bear to write in it. It is so pretty, and I have plenty of dumb thoughts, and I say things the wrong way. I make mistakes. A lot. 

Writing on the computer does have it's limitations to be sure, but it is how I began my true writing journey, and I am having a tough time with this new venue for my thoughts. On the computer, it is easy to hit delete, and the evidence of your mistakes are gone forever. Pen on a page, you can only cross out, leaving it right there for you to see every time you open the book again. 

I look blankly at it, with pen in hand, and stare. I don't know what to write.

First Words on Paper
photo: Raige Creations
The action of pen in hand, pen writing on paper, it is said, sparks creativity, makes you a better writer, and even keeps your brain sharp as you get older.  

All great motivations to handwrite. So I give it a try. It feels pretty good. The flow of ink, the beauty of handwriting. When we are writing on paper, thoughts of all kinds flow, the feel of it is completely different than typing on the computer. I notice what my writing looks like, and sometimes I forget what I am writing because I am studying the look of it so much. But the flow is lovely.

Page 1
Life in Fortune Cookies

(a future book of mine)
photo: Raige Creations
Even though I am just writing fortune cookie quotes at the moment, it excites me in a very scary way to think about my own thoughts on paper. It is intimidating, it is strange. 

Now, if I can just write something of my own. If I can get past the fear of writing on paper, where all silly sentences are there to be seen, where tangents are strewn about, where bad writing it bound to be, maybe something great will make its way there too.

But that is the process I guess. My daughter knows. She seems to have it figured out, and she wants to see me succeed. I don't want to let her down. (see 3rd fortune down) And I want to grow as a writer, maybe publish a book someday. This is one of the steps along the path towards my goal. So tomorrow I will write something all my own, even as I compile pieces of a future book I already have planned.

Do you have a handwritten journal? Was it hard for you to start? And when did it start getting easier??

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A New Look, A New Direction

It was time. 
I was ready. 
Time for change, time for a more focused direction, and I am ready to introduce...

Not a different direction really. It is one I have been going for a while now. 

As I was growing my other businesses, I was wishing more and more that I could write, share my motivations and insights that I have learned along the way. 

Well, the time has come, and my opportunities are changing to allow me to give a more serious effort to writing, blogging, and creating in many different ways. 

So I have focused this blog, and my facebook and google pages, to be the Thoughts of Raige; views of life, motivation, and creation. Basically what I have been doing all along, I just didn't realize that the look of my blog had been outdated for quite some time.

I will still be selling my creations, as Raige Creations (on Artfire and Zibbet, plus Vintage Rage on Zibbet), sharing my motivations, getting through life's highs and lows, mixed in with recipes, and stories, and pictures. They are all thoughts of Raige. But now, they have a proper home that fits all of them. Plus, you can now find me on BlogHer.com (Find me as Rebecca Raige). I am posting on there in hopes of taking my writing to the next level, and hope to have a post or two syndicated. 

I hope that the Thoughts of Raige can help you, entertain you, and give you a smile now and then. As always, I love to hear your comments, so please let me know your thoughts or any questions I can help you with, or even blog ideas. Grab that cup of coffee, tea or wine, read, and share as well, the more the merrier!  

After all, a cup of coffee with a friend is happiness tasted, and time well spent

Monday, September 9, 2013

Music Monday! Where Is The Love?

via weheartit.com
This phrase was muttered to me last Friday by my Dear Hubby: 
'Where is the Love?'
Of course, this beautiful song by the Black Eyed Peas (this was their first hit) popped into my head.

I had missed a call from hubby because I was on the phone with my oldest son. He had called me from college to let me know he had received the package I had sent him. 

Hubby said "Why'd he call you? What about me?" Poor hubby felt what I am sure every father feels at one time or another. Mom gets all the love.
















We were just discussing this fact while watching football the night before. It is most evident with sport stars, who always buy their mothers houses, cars, and say 'HI' to Mom at the camera. 


Apparently Dad's start to feel unloved! Where IS the love for the Dads? (And yes, I picked hubby's least favorite QB for this fine example. Sorry hun.)

What hubby forgets is that he and my oldest do talk, and for much longer than I ever talk to him. They get in to deep conversations, debates, and they also log a lot of video game time together when my son is not at school. 

Truly, the love is there with Dad too. Because when they talk, they share things I could never share. (I could never teach the boys how to shave their face properly. Their legs maybe, but face? No. )They are men, they are friends, and they look to each other for advice, companionship, and guy stuff that boys just shouldn't share with their mothers. 
A Tee Shirt lovingly decorated way back when, for Father's Day.
(Yes, those are socked foot-pints, but my youngest refused to take his socks off to get his foot-prints.
My boys are stubborn, by the way) 
OF course, there was plenty of public dad love when they were little. Tons of father's day handmade cards, rough play, picking on mom together moments (yes, hubby convinced one son to pee on me while I was peeing. I failed to see the humor in that, but they sure bonded over it!) But when the boys grow up, it is less public, and it seems that it is Mom that gets all the love.

Father and Son
(college drop off)

So, why does he call me more? Maybe it's because I am his Mom, and he will always be my cuddle bear. Maybe it's just as simple as that. But don't worry Dad, there IS plenty of love there for you. 

And as it turned out, hubby didn't have to worry. My son DID call hubby later that afternoon. And guess what? They talked for 2 hours! 

Yes, dads do get the love, perhaps less publicly, more private, but just as deep.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Find ~ Find the Time


There IS time, you can find it. Be it a small amount in between other things, or an entire afternoon. Find it. It is there. 

Thanks to Namaste Cafe, where I get daily inspiration on FB.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Walking on Wednesdays ~ Try and Try Again

Here I am, trying again to get back to working out. 
To say the least, my workouts have been sporadic. I try, I get out for one walk, then don't again for a week, then two walks with a little running, then nothing. 

But I am trying again. Since it is the beginning of a new month, I am trying to keep track, and be more consistent. 

Here are my recent workouts.
It looks a little scant, there in the line graph. And yes, the previous workout was 2 weeks prior. But here I am, now with 2 workouts in one week, and now that I am sharing, well if I don't keep at it you all will notice. Plus, today I ran for almost 2 songs, and walked the rest. A little bit more each time. 

Whether you like it or not, I am making myself accountable, and will be sharing with you, my new (perhaps unwilling) workout buddies. I will record, share, and hope to make some progress this time. I am trying again.

After all, the true failure is not trying. 

Plus, seeing how many calories I burned can let me know how much ice cream I can eat without feeling too bad about myself.....

Remember, trying is the success.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Music Monday! Shine

A beautiful thing happened this past weekend. I spent a wonderful amount of time with family, and even connected deeper with a new friend. I have started to let the stresses go, tho they do pop up, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel (though it is still quite far away). I have begun to deeply appreciate each moment I feel my future coming into place. 

As the lyrics say....
Love is in the water, love is in the air....


Heaven let your light shine on me

I'm gonna let it shine

It's gonna shine on

I am also still loving the new radio station, where I get to hear great songs from back when my life WAS more simple, and less stressful. I strive to get back to a more simple life, where I can enjoy the shine!

The song ends with a beautiful suggestion - Well come on and shine.

So it's a perfect way to start the week. Shining! 
Shine on.