"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This is your moment of Zen!

I was completely mesmerized by this amazing video.
Don't move, don't breathe and please, whatever you do, 
don't sneeze...

Hoping you have an awesome day :)

Wednesday update:
Got back home late last night- we did a fast trip to Winnipeg over the weekend...
13 hours each way... and only one (mini) argument - pretty good I think lol!
We had a great time, but are (needless to say) exhausted!
Next Tuesday I'll post some pics (I've put some up on my sidebar already) but till then, this is all :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

I was thrilled this morning, 
when I noticed one of my poppies had opened overnight :) 
I took quite a few shots and thanks to the early morning sun,
 the color is slightly different in each one. 

Today is International Fairy Day :)

I adore fantasy and imaginary worlds.

Like a lot of girls,  I was first a Spark and later a Brownie.

 In folklore, a brownie is a type of hob, similar to a hobgoblin. Brownies are said to inhabit houses and aid in tasks around the house. However, they do not like to be seen and will only work at night, traditionally in exchange for small gifts or food. Among food, they especially enjoy porridge and honey. They usually abandon the house if their gifts are called payments, or if the owners of the house misuse them. Brownies make their homes in an unused part of the house. (Wiki)

Sometimes I imagine the comings and goings of forest folk...

Mushrooms, old trees and babbling brooks may not be what they seem...

Have a magical day and weekend!

Moving forward, I've decided to take a break from blogging on a daily basis.
For the summer months, I plan to post only on Tuesdays.
I hope you mark your calendars... and don't forget about me :)
I will continue to check in on the blogs I follow.

This weekend I am headed out of town for a quick trip,
returning home late Tuesday night.

Till then, 

This is where I think the magic all begins!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

By George, For Once George Is Right!

"If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right," 

I stumbled across an intriguing essay in The Huffington Post the other day entitled The Costanza Correction: Why Happiness Is Doing the Opposite which, as you may well imagine, caught my eye! 

The author begins by facetiously stating "It's not easy to arrive in Los Angeles when you're on a flight to New York." He then goes on to explain why it is that so many of us often find ourselves going in the wrong direction in life by turning the tables on these three common myths:

"Firstly, self-worth and happiness are supposed to come from external approval, in the form of yardsticks such as status, money, beauty and popularity, when the research shows that it's generated by the exact reverse -- intrinsic goals that produce growth and gratification felt by you, nobody else. 

Secondly, your personal value is supposed to come from nonstop production. Any halt in busyness is a mortal sin. But quality recreation is actually the engine of productivity and life satisfaction, the polar opposite of all the training you get. (I particularly like this one ;)

And lastly, few of us would suspect that what our brains and psyches want is engagement with the unknown, the reverse of the impulse to cling to safety at all costs."

Interesting points. In many respects nothing we don't all already know, (except for possibly his third point) but a great reminder nonetheless. The full essay (linked above) was worth the read.

Another pearl of wisdom which I recently gleaned from another blogger I regularly visit was  "If you want to do it, do it. Truth is, you're probably doing what you decided you wanted to do." 

Just thought I'd share these ideas which really resonated with me over the last few days. Food for thought and they seem to go along with Monday's art project. I must be in a phase (we all go through them) where I am re-evaluating my life... perhaps another mid-life crisis is looming on the horizon lol!

I look forward to your feedback.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This foxy kitty barks (yes barks) until he is caught, 
then gets back on script and meows like all good cats are expected to...   
He seems uneasy at having been unmasked!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Officially Summer Everyone :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mondays With Mireille

Greetings! I see now that it's been nigh on a month since my last recipe from either of Mireille's books, and as it is I'm just squeaking in under the wire. I had considered renaming this feature to "Monthly With Mireille", but for some odd reason that title didn't seem all that appealing... haha!

I have a confession to make: I have never cooked a beet before. In fact, a lifeline was called to find out how I should approach this foreign vegetable! I quite like beets, hot or cold - I've just never made them for myself; they're quite attractive, delicious, and rich in both fiber and nutrients.

Cold Beet and Yogurt Summer Soup

4 medium beets, boiled till tender, then peeled and quartered 
 - I roasted mine in foil pouches at 375 for just over 2 hours
2 cups yogurt (plain 2%)
2 shallots, peeled and minced
Dash of cumin (I put in 1/4 tsp)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

1. Mix the beets (they should be chunks that are a bit chewy and take a little more time to eat than if pureed) with the yogurt, shallots, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.

2. Serve the beets chilled in individual bowls and sprinkle with the dill. Served with a slice of bread and fruit (strawberries or melon) for dessert, this soup makes an excellent summer lunch.

You will again note how few ingredients these recipes call for. This is one of the things I like about the French philosophy of cooking: fresh ingredients, simply prepared and slowly savored (at least in theory - I know I tend to eat too quickly, but I am trying to retrain myself.)

Overall impressions: I am delighted with how this soup turned out. First off, the color is gorgeous. It's definitely a thicker soup; as Mireille suggests, it should be chewy. I actually mashed the beets, added all the other ingredients, mashed some more and then pureed 1/3 of the mixture. It still has a lot of body to it, but I found it way too thick and lumpy following the directions exactly as specified in the book. A very lovely appetizer or main entree at noon on a hot summer day.

A secret: I licked my bowl clean hehe - something I am infamous for amongst family and friends - but this only happens when the food is that good :) So 3.5 frogs legs for this one.

"The French woman understands intuitively that 
one does not laugh because one is happy; 
one is happy because one laughs. 
It's both a physical and psychic pleasure:
it is relaxing, stimulating, liberating, and sensual."

"Laughs are like wild mushrooms:
they don't deliver themselves to you -
you have to go in search of them,
whether by pursuing the unexpected
or by being totally crazy (dingue is the word we use),
to keep the adventure of living adventurous."

Mireille Guiliano ~

Monday greetings! I trust your weekend was a good one. It was a soaker here, and at some points it poured for hours on end. Heavenly :) I've mentioned numerous times on this blog how much I love the rain. In fact, I distinctly remember as a child feeling quite dejected when the clouds eventually moved on and the sun reappeared. I obviously had issues, lol.

I am most contented when it gets right down to it and poursa little thunder (I can do without the lightening) thrown in just sweetens the deal... and when it rains, I often play Neil Young Unplugged. Don't ask me why, it started when I lived on an acreage on Peace River and it had been raining for a week straight. Somehow this album's melancholy seemed the perfect accompaniment; fifteen years later and Neil is still the cherry on top of my rainy day.

To amuse myself Saturday afternoon (with Neil as my muse), I pulled out my new book The Sound of Paper, which I profiled last Monday (here) and completed the 'task' after the first chapter entitled Setting Off. Following the author's instructions, I gathered seven magazines (these were all freebies I've picked up here and there in my travels) and went through them pulling the images which "spoke to me". I was not to concern myself with why they connected. The second half of the assignment, I trimmed and arranged the images into a pleasing vignette. The author states that "the resulting picture it is a portrait of your consciousness at this point in time. What you see in your collage may surprise, delight, or even alarm you. Seeing is believing, and one picture is worth a thousand words." I was then to take to the page and describe my personal discoveries. (This is actually an exercise I used to do on my own in my late teens/early twenties. I had filled numerous journals, which I foolishly threw away years ago.)

While sparing you the details of my resulting epiphany lol, (I am not a psychologist, but I play one at home... just ask my family) I don't think it's too much of a stretch to guess at the issues I am grappling with. Aging, reaching my full potential (before it's too late... haha), possibly heading back to school and procrastination, to name a few.

A side note: the two men above are one and the same; (obviously many years apart) Michael Snow, one of Canada's most renowned artists. Michael now 81, is still going strong, creating art in just about every medium you can shake a stick at. I read an article profiling his life many months ago with great interest and was struck at the time by these two photographs.

In the end, I am quite intrigued by just how congruent the above images are. My subconscious is speaking - am I ready to listen? I challenge you to do this exercise for yourself and share the results - I'd love to see them :) If you send me a pic of your creation, I will post them next week - either anonymously if you are shy, or credited to you, if you'd like.

So there you have it folks, it's not all kittens and rainbows here at Jane's Jewels! I leave you with a track from Neil's Unplugged album and hope you have a great day :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Make love, not war :)

Amidst all the rioting in Vancouver on Wednesday,
one couple had a better idea.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Well, the church threw my cookies out of the bake sale again... !

"Horse manure's not that bad. I don't even mind the word manure. It's newer, which is good, and a ma in front of it. Ma-Newer. When you consider the other choices, manure is actually pretty refreshing." - George Costanza

Thursday greetings! Thought I'd favor you with a quote from the man I love to hate. Today will be a bit of this and that - a sort of stream of consciousness if you will. Let's see where it takes us...

Well, you would never have known it was June here yesterday - it was so cold and grey, it felt more like October. I did manage another very long walk (close to 5 km) and a bit of puttering in my yard, including spreading around my last bag of sheep manure. It's supposed to rain here today, (again) so at least I don't have to bother with watering it in... so I guess it's all good, depending how you look at it.

All this poo talk has reminded me that one of the gift shops at the African Lion Safari, which I visited last month, was selling paper products made from elephant dung. The line is called The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper. These are not my pictures though, for some reason I didn't take any - even though I spent quite a bit of time admiring the product line.

I considered purchasing a few of these, but didn't

Are you a migraine sufferer? I am and it can turn a perfectly good day into a really shi#%y one (hehe - that's a pretty good segway, if I say so myself!) 

Painting of a migraine aura - Kathryn Beals

Last week I read in the news (and one faithful reader also sent me the link) that scientists have recently determined migraines have a genetic link. Interestingly, one of the three genes discovered are exclusive to women. I find this fascinating and while it's still not a cure, or even a diagnostic tool at this point, it is one more piece in the puzzle.

And lastly, further to yesterday's post, I watched video footage of the eclipse on a number of websites last evening, and happened to find this interesting mosaic of the event compiled by Marko Posavec in Koprivnica, Croatia in my travels.

Hoping you have a great day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Greetings earthlings! Today, June 15th is the full moon and skywatchers across much of the world are getting set for a total lunar eclipse that promises to shroud the moon in the darkest part of Earth's shadow for 100 minutes – the longest stretch of deep dimming in 11 years. Although we won't be able to see the eclipse here in North America, (no fair, and I do plan to place a formal complaint!) the moon will be brilliant nonetheless. There are different names given to the June full moon. In England, they refer to it as the Full Rose Moon. Algonquin tribes named it the Full Strawberry Moon because of the harvest of strawberries during this month. 

If interested, you can watch the eclipse live here

Speaking of celestial events, I received my first official message from The Universe today :) I followed a link on LaelShine's blog the other day to TUT and signed up to receive a personal daily "little reminder of your power, life's magic and how much you're loved" from The Universe. How enchanting is that?

WOW! Just checked in on your new dreams, Jane! Love all the "bells and whistles" you dreamed up! Smokin' hot!

Apparently, however, there's some confusion over where the bouncy seat is supposed to go. So I just told them to put it in your world headquarters executive office, in front of the aquarium... beside the hammock... behind the popcorn maker.


You're so cute,
The Universe

Lol, I love it haha!  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Whooo loves ya baby?

I came across this story on the Mail Online website.
These ten tawny baby owls have either been orphaned or fell from their nests.

They are currently being cared for at the St. Tiggywinkles (hilarious ;) aviary,
and will be released back into the wild once they are fully grown.

They sure are adorable, 
until, (as one commenter noted under the story) 
you take a look at their talons!

Update: In my travels I see now that Leanne, one of the blogggers I follow (See Dorset Days under my profile) also has these cuties up today - great minds think alike I guess!
Is making me wait
Is keeping me waiting....

The moment seemed endless, but it was probably only half that.
-Steve Toltz (A Fraction of the Whole)

The waiting is the hardest part...
-Tom Petty

A few buds I'm waiting on :) 

I realize you didn't get a recipe yesterday ...
I chose instead to go for a very long walk.
It was too lovely out to spend it indoors, so we barbecued and had a salad.  

Have a great day everyone :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stuff, stuff!
Glorious, wondrous stuff :) 
You know you need it!

Happy Monday! I trust you had a good weekend. I played hooky from blogging and I think I will continue this practice throughout the summer months. It gives one time to ruminate and I feel my creativity surged as a result. We had lovely weather - a huge storm which came on so suddenly late Friday night, shocking actually, but by Saturday morning we were once again looking at a beautiful day. Saturday afternoon I went to a community yard sale. I can scarcely begin to describe the sheer pleasure I get from snooping through other people's castoffs... it's a sickness haha!

I already own another of Julia's books The Artist's Way. The Sound of Paper is pretty much in the same vein: practical methods and musings to help discover and boost your creativity. These books are for anyone: writers, musicians, artists alike.  Throughout the winter months I was following one part of her program (outlined in both books) whereby you write three pages of whatever - essentially stream of consciousness - first thing in the morning before you read, listen to the radio or watch tv. You are free to be creative or complain bitterly - anything goes. She calls them The Morning Pages, and they are a way of tapping into your creativity and silencing The Censor - our inner critic who seeks to shut us down. I fell off the wagon this spring, but am happy to say I got back on yesterday morning. (We'll see how long I last this time...) This is only one part of her course. If interested, you'll easily find copies of her books in Value Village or Goodwill - just check back once in a while - I see them quite often.

Aren't these lovely?
I couldn't believe someone was selling them - practically giving them away.
I hung them on my fence, tucked in amongst the trees.
This trench is actually more green than grey, the material and condition are superb.
I love the lining and the gathers at shoulders, cuffs and belt :)
This vendor was Bethany, one of my daughter's friends.
Her handmade price tags are adorable.
This was also Bethany's - I love owls.
Almost forgot this jug - I'd already found a home for it!
I seem to collect odds and ends of pottery everywhere I go.

My last two treasures are the tin bird pill box (25 cents!) and the frog/mushroom glasses - which were actually my daughter's glasses she'd purchased from Ikea a few years ago. I was always sorry I hadn't purchased some for myself and now they are discontinued. Anyways, these are the only two left from her original set and she finally gave them to me (I've been dropping numerous not-too-subtle hints for quite some time now :)

Well, that was the highlight of my weekend - as they say they, one man's junk...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A quick note to let you know I am taking the weekend off!
I have my fingers crossed for good weather...

Thought I'd leave you with a pic of my new rubber boots.
I'd been saying for years that I needed a pair,
and now that I have them - what a difference they make - they're fantastic.
(fyi: I find they look just as good with a dress as they do with a housecoat lol!)

Hoping you have a fantastic weekend :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Does this measuring tape look intimidating to you? 

I was turning up some pants the other day, and at first I thought it was the iron or ironing board that had Emma our seven month old Morkie so jumpy, (I'll admit, I haven't ironed for quite some time!) but I soon deduced it was in fact, this limp yellow measuring tape that was the culprit. I laughed to myself when she first growled at it, she crept closer and then bolted to the wall farthest across from where I was working. And stayed there; wide-eyed watching. 

I am getting used to Emma occasionally taking a dislike to something for no particular (to me at least) reason. My husband's pipe comes to mind, a pottery bell hanging from our deck, the wind. Last week it was the sun casting shadows from behind the trees onto my shower curtain that had her tail in a knot! I guess it's a big scary world when you are so new and tiny. 

"I'm only little"

Once I'd finished my project I threw the tape on the rug halfway and waited to see what would happen. Very gingerly she crept forward and it was lovely to see that moment she first realized it was harmless :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Greetings, I can't believe it's Thursday already. The weeks seem to fly by and certain projects outside which I'd like to see completed keep getting carried over for (yet) another week... My excuse of late has been the weather, or more specifically the rain, which we have now had quite enough of thank-you-very-much :) Our inclement weather has me spending even more time on the net than usual.

The above is a map of Middle-Earth and if you are a Tolkien fan, you may find this news story of interest. I was bemused last night to read that in an effort not to alarm it's residents, Hungary's disaster management agency tested the country's emergency broadcast system with warnings of severe storms... in Middle-Earth! I expect they were trying to avoid a 'War of the Worlds' scenario. Messages broadcast a few weeks ago, mostly on state radio and television, warned Hungarians about floods and catastrophic weather in Gondor, Rohan, Rivendell, Helm's Deep and other fictional locations inhabited by Hobbits, Orcs, Elves, Ents and Dwarves. These methods were also an attempt to gauge how effectively the emergency messages reached Hungary's youth.

It's amazing when you stop to consider just how deeply entrenched our daily lives are with popular culture. It seems to permeate everything. The line between what's real and what's not continues to blur...

Here's an interesting art form. Is it real or is it cabbage?

Using vegetables of all shapes and sizes, Chinese artist, Ju Duoqi, recreates famous masterpieces like The Last Supper and Mona Lisa.

The artist, Ju Duoqi, in her studio.

And finally, 

A new study from Austrailia's LaTrobe University has found a connection between caffeine and auditory hallucinations. In other words, coffee might make you hear things! The study involved a lot of coffee and Bing Crosby's White Christmas being played over headphones. The participants were to buzz each time they heard the crooner, but in reality all that was coming through the speakers was white noise. It was found that those who had injested at least 13.5 ounces of coffee incorrectly pressed the buzzer three times more often. Granted, these results are pretty inconclusive, but interesting all the same. Salon 

In parting, I leave you with the words of William Shatner: 

"Weird or What?"