Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mandala Monday

It wouldn't be Mandala Monday if it didn't come out on Wednesday, eh?

I'm sorry that I haven't been able to post reminders here, but there have been new mandalas posted each week this month nonetheless. You can download this week's mandala here. Unless I have miscounted, there have been 50 mandalas posted in 2008. I hope to have them all available in downloadable coloring books (as I did in 2007) within the next few weeks, so please stay tuned!

Happy coloring ... and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

December Views

It has been a VERY busy month, but here are a few of my December Views ...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December Views

See, our home has not just gone to the (sleeping) dogs! It's gone to the (sleeping) cats, too.

We have blue skies today, after our first measurable snow yesterday. An Alberta Clipper left us with just over an inch of it and the frigid temps to keep it around for awhile. For most of Saturday, everything was the most despondent shade of gray. The trees loaded with their prickly balls and spent leaves were of little consolation. But today, against the western blue sky after sunrise, these same limbs appeared uplifting. As the photo above so aptly reflects, I am hanging in there. Hope you are, too!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December Views

Sleeping greyhounds ... migrating birds ... prickly caterpillars. Just another December day at Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Do you know Karen Knowler, the Raw Food Coach? Trust me, you don't need to be a raw foodist to benefit from the wisdom generously shared in her weekly Successfully Raw newsletter. In the most recent feature article, Winter in the Raw - Part I, she invites us to contemplate the following:

"How can I use the darkness, coldness and mystery of the winter to nourish myself at a deeper level via my food choices, my lifestyle habits and the way I utilise this special time of year to reflect on who I am and who I am becoming?"

You already know about my S.A.D.ness. The ride between November and February feels very long, dark and cold. It isn't easy to adhere to a predominantly high raw food lifestyle. (No, I'm not a vegan or even vegetarian, but that's another post for another day.) And some days it is darn near impossible to get my fa-la-la-la-la on, if you know what I mean. If I could hibernate, I would. Gladly.

But Karen's words have given me pause and I find myself willing to explore this winter as a time for nourishment. I hope that they help you too.

December Views: A Month in Images

Come on, play along!

There are a lot of sleeping animals around my house and I don't get out much, so consider yourself forewarned.

Mandala Monday

Ready to download here. Happy coloring!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mandala Monday

At long last, ready to download here. I'm sorry about missing last week. My mama has been in the hospital since Monday, 11/17. Thankfully, she was released today and is doing much, much better.

Friday, November 14, 2008



Lovely visit to the labyrinth today. Despite it being nearly 60 degrees, I was bundled in my winter jacket, hat and gloves. The crisp, riverside breeze cuts right through me, so I came prepared. I'd much rather be too hot than cold, but know full well that I looked like a fool.

There were only two of us on the path today. Always nice to have a travel companion. I love that we meet here every other week. However many of us can show. Although we arrive at the same time of day, it's different there... somehow, always different. No church toll or tunes for this full moon walk. This visit, only silence.

This photo captures the mood there today ... beautiful, blue, and barren.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mandala Monday

This week's mandala is ready to download here. Happy coloring!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mandala Monday

This week's mandala is ready to download here. Let's put it to good use.

Before you start watching the election results tomorrow night, please print off two or three or a dozen copies of this mandala. Set them aside for the moment. You'll come back to them a little later. Now draw yourself and slip into a nice, hot bath. You're casting a vote for yourself right now. Take five, ten, maybe fifteen minutes just to breathe and know that, regardless of the outcome, you are going to be just fine.

Now make yourself something warm and comforting to drink. If you can find something nourishing on which to nibble, that's good too. No, please put that gallon of ice cream back in the freezer. We're not going there this week ... at least not yet. *wink* Last but not least, go fetch the mandalas that you printed and your crayons, markers, and pencils. It's time to color.

Then and only then should you even think about turning on the television. Keep it low. Find the mute button and experiment. And should you decide to keep the television turned off altogether so that you can color in peace, all the better.

Blessings and happy coloring!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Magic Beans and Money

Three years ago, almost to the day, my husband was unexpectedly laid off from his job. It took him two years, almost to the day, to gain permanent full-time employment. In between, we took each day as it came with the money that we had available, but there were waves of fear and frustration that kept us both awake at night.

Needless to say, the past year that he has been back to work has been a relief and we are filled with tremendous gratitude. Mostly because we’ve changed. Originally out of necessity, but it stuck. We now think before we spend. And we now work together every month to craft a budget.

Yeah. I said it. That dirty word. Budget.

And so begins the post wherein I gush about a program called YNAB Pro. Not because I get a kickback from doing so ... but because I love it. It isn’t so much a program as a system. Maybe even a way of life. It is simple. It is affordable. And it has the potential to change your life for the better. Promise.

My husband and I have been using YNAB Pro since April and budgeting our income for the first time in almost 17 years of marriage. We are no longer living paycheck to paycheck. We are planning ahead for Murphy visits, so that we don’t get caught by surprise. For example, last week, we were able to pay cash for a $3600 repair to our sewer line which, otherwise, would have been applied to our home equity line of credit before we knew better. We are paying down our debt and we are setting goals. I swear to you that the sky is bluer, food tastes better, and we sleep like babies. It’s really that good.

I hesitated about posting this, since it is a bit off-topic for this blog. But I have talked with more and more people lately who are trying struggling to get a handle on their spending in these uncertain times. They just don’t know where to start. If this is you, please, give YNAB a try. At least check it out. It may very well be the best $49.95 investment that you’ve ever made ... and you are so worth it!

Friday, October 31, 2008

This is Not a Trick

When I started wire-wrapping crystal and gemstone pendants five years ago, it wasn't so much because I felt compelled to make jewelry. To be honest, I just loved the rocks. To see them. To touch them. They make me feel like a kid again. Memories flood back of my first rock collection ... a dozen different stones glued to a card with their names ... purchased at a gift shop in Gatlinburg on a family vacation in the 70s.

Taking the Melody classes and becoming a Master Crystologist gave me a greater appreciation for what these treasures may be able to offer us. And then I found myself compelled to become a matchmaker, of sorts ... to present the crystals and gemstones in such a way that they could be attracted to those who would enjoy and benefit from their beauty and energies. Alas, a wrapper was born.

I know. I know. If you're not into it, this sounds very woo-woo, very weird. "What can a rock around my neck do for me?" you ask. Well, that depends entirely on you and how you feel about it. Personally, anytime that I'm willing to suspend my disbelief and and keep an open mind, miracles happen.

Now don't go thinking that I'm promising miracles. I'm not. I can't. Those kinds of things are between you and something WAY bigger than me. I'm just doing my best to be a helper.

So, on that note, I just want to let you know that this helper has reduced the I-AMulets in the shop to their wholesale prices. I don't know for how long. Hopefully, until they all find homes. They can't work their magic if they are sitting softly in their jewel boxes in my workshop. They are supposed to be out in the world, being worn, being loved. So I invite you to explore the shop and see if any beckon you. There has never been a better time.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

So S.A.D.

'Tis this season. I don't know why, but mid-September it starts to set in ... seasonal affective disorder. I have to take certain steps to keep it in check until it starts to wane in March. From this vantage point, with most of the leaves still on the trees, it feels like a long haul until spring. But I am so thankful for all that I've learned over the years ... what works for me and what doesn't. There so many ways to feel better!

For the last couple of years, I have used a lightbox (NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp) in the morning and evening (about 30 minutes each ... sometimes longer on the gloomiest days) through the S.A.D. months. I can't recommend it enough. Just be aware that you will need to adjust when and how long to use it in order to achieve the best results, but I noticed an improvement almost right away. Without it, I swear I'd sleep and weep at least a quarter of the year away.

Now I've added coloring to my lightbox time and I'm LOVING this mandala coloring book (Mind Ware Stained Glass Spinlights Coloring Book) right now. And it always helps to have Karen Drucker on the iPod. I feel like a million bucks when it's time to get back up and back to business.

Believe it or not, I'm almost looking forward to this winter! Okay, not so much. But I think that winter and I can at least call a truce.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Tansy and Garrett are wishing that they could get outside to chase the squirrels that taunt them.

What are you wishing for?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mandala Monday

Right on time and ready to download here ... happy coloring!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mandala Monday

This week's mandala has been available to download for most of this week ... I just forgot to put a plug here. Didn't this just happen a couple of weeks ago? *sigh*

Go get it there, if you haven't already. And happy coloring!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mandala Monday

Seems I've gone back to basics this week. Hope you don't mind. It's ready to download here!

As always, happy coloring!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mandala Monday

Sorry, friends. This week's mandala has been ready to download here. I just forget to post a reminder here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mandala Monday

If anyone tries to convince you that you can't have hurricanes in Cincinnati, well, they would be wrong. We had one on Sunday, September 14. Okay, maybe not exactly a hurricane, but a windstorm that was borne of the remnants of Hurricane Ike. It was something ... and it made something of a terrible mess around here. So many, many trees lost. Some people went nearly a week without electricity. Phone and internet service was hit and miss (or more miss than hit) for the rest. People are still cleaning up from it. So if this sounds like one of those the-dog-ate-my-homework excuses for missing Mandala Monday last week, I hope you will forgive me.

This week's mandala is ready to download here. Happy coloring!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mandala Monday

Look at me ... I'm an Early Bird this week! Okay, fine then, a Right-On-Time Bird.

Oh, I just discovered that last Monday was September 1, not September 2. I think I'm back on track this week. Love them, yes, but those three day weekends throw me off every time.

Happy coloring!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Abraham Hicks CDs

I have collected 172 Abraham-Hicks workshop CDs from my weekly subscription that spanned off and on between 2004 and 2007. Since I've been in serious cleanup mode lately (ah, the feng shui practitioner in me), I have decided to put them up for adoption via eBay. They are being listed in batches of four CDs. The plan is to list three batches every Friday, Saturday and Sunday ... although I posted one batch yesterday, as a test. If you aren't familiar with these CDs, they are 74 minutes each and have been edited by Jerry and Esther Hicks to contain the highlights from a specific Art of Allowing workshop. You can listen to them again and again and hear something new each time. I can't recommend them enough.

If you think that you might be interested, you can do a search in eBay for "Abraham Hicks Law of Attraction 4 Weekly Workshop CDs." You can tell by the user id that it's me. Each track is listed for your convenience. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mandala Monday

Sorry for the delay. The holiday on Monday threw me off schedule. This week's mandala is ready to download here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mandala Monday

Hot out of the oven and ready for you to download here.

Happy coloring!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Noon with the Moon

Although I haven't talked much about it on this blog, we're still doing Noon with the Moon labyrinth walks for the new and full moons. You can find out more about them here. You can sign up for e-mail reminders, too, if you'd like to join us.

The walks are always on a week day, so even though this full moon arrives Saturday evening, we will be walking on Monday. Come when you can, but don't worry if it is only once in awhile. Sometimes there are just two of us ... sometimes four or five. We walk at our own pace in peace-full camaraderie.

Labyrinth-walking requires no experience ... just a willingness to let the experience be for you whatever it turns out to be, which can change from one visit to the next. I always come away from the experience feeling better for taking that sacred time for myself.

Hope you'll join us!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mandala Monday

This week's mandala is ready to download here.

Up to this point, anyone purchasing the 2007 Mandala Mondays Coloring E-Books has had to wait to receive them via e-mail from me. Ugh, pretty ol' school, eh? So I've been researching ways to have them available for immediate download after purchase and Payloadz is definitely the way to go!

That said, I need to ask for your help ...

Everything appears to be good to go, but I need three willing individuals (one to purchase Volume I, another for Volume II and a third to buy the set) to purchase via the PayPal buttons on the Mandala Mondays page, so that I can make sure that the process goes smoothly. These individuals will be refunded their purchase price in full and receive the e-book(s) FREE.

If you want to help, PLEASE don't purchase right away! Contact me via e-mail first and let me know which of the two volumes you choose or if you will purchase the set. If someone has beat you to it (this offer is first-come, first-served), then I can let you know.

Thanks in advance for your assistance!
UPDATE -- All systems good to go! THANKS!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday

My husband and I spent this morning at the Cincinnati Zoo. My Canon G9 arrived early last week and I haven't had the opportunity to take it for a test drive until today. Considering that I had to "super-zoom" (yeah, a technical term) in order to get this shot, I am incredibly pleased. Thrilled. Swooning at the possibilities.

It's been awhile since I've really let myself loose to take photos and, well, I didn't realize how much I've missed it. Same can be said for a lot of things that have had to be put on hold because of day-to-day busy-ness. But having this fresh new camera has, thankfully, reminded me of the sacredness in capturing a magical moment ... be it digitally or old-school film. This is why I love to take pictures. For me, it is worship. It is prayer.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Be Honest

Is the white font on the black background too difficult to read? Or just plain obnoxious? The white background seemed so, um, anemic. I like the contrast of the light on dark, but this is not only about me. Feel free to chime in with your viewing preference.

Mandala Monday

Ready to download here.

Happy coloring!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: Five Things

The other day, I happened to be listening to one of my old Abraham CDs. I know this material well. At least I thought I did. Until I heard something that struck me in a whole new (and much clearer) way. As they say, when the student is ready ...

Put simply, the advice was to identify five things that always feel good when you do them. Do these five things every single day. Then do anything else that you have time for. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Easy enough, right?

Well, the first order of business was to identify the five things. Now, of course, at the top of my list would be smooch on my husband, hug on the kid, and pet our cats and the dogs. But putting these activities on the list would be like adding "brush my teeth" to my daily calendar. They’re automatic. Non-negotiable.

I had to dig deeper. Here’s what I came up with:

#1 - Meditation

I have been trying to have a daily meditation practice for a long, long time. Most days, I sit once a day for 10-15 minutes, and it does me a world of good. Twice a day would be even better. I'll be honest, it doesn't always feels good while I'm doing it, but doing it always does me a world of good. I feel better for having done it. It completely changes, dare I say improves, the course of my day.

#2 - Reiki

Reiki feels good. No doubt about it. And, like #1 above, daily self-treatments do me a world of good. If I can't/don't treat myself, I can certainly treat another person or a pet. Gladly. Just need to make the time.

#3 - Crochet

This ties in to both #1 and #2 above. Anyone who does any kind of needlework knows that it is a form of meditation. And any Reiki practitioner will tell you that Reiki flows into everything they touch, either by intention or not. One of my greatest joys is crocheting Reiki shawls for others because the intention IS there and it really does make a difference. Crocheting also connects me to my mother, her mother, and countless other needleworking foremothers before me. It is in my DNA and if I haven't made time for it in awhile, I miss it.

#4 - Art/Creativity

This is a huge catch-all for everything creative that I love to do, including #3 above. Let me count them off ... mandalas, check, wire-wrapping, check, decoupage, check, and, last but not least, photography, check. My best days include time for my creativity, in whatever way it chooses to express itself. I am a much happier person when I indulge my Inner Artist.

#5 - Writing

I have kept a handwritten journal daily over many, many years. I used to have an active blog and really enjoyed it. But life was life and there was the full-time job and the family that needed my attention. There just wasn't the time for it anymore. Now I feel a gentle pull back to sharing my journey in a public forum. Right here. And it feels good.

When I look at this list of five things, I can see that they are the foundation of Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop. Over the past year, my "real" job has been especially demanding and, sadly, JMBW has been left to wither on the vine out of what seemed like necessity. There was only so much of me and my time to go around. Now I realize that it is not only my business that has withered over time. Now I realize that I have no choice but to put first-things-first ... or should I say feel-good- things-first ... if I really and truly want to be well, in every sense of the word.

So for today’s Sacred Life Sunday, I ask you to take some time to think about your Five Feel Goods. Share them, if you’d like, either by comment below or e-mail. Let’s remind each other that life is supposed to be fun and that we deserve to feel good ... not just once in awhile, but every single day!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

At Random

Several years ago, my husband gave me a Canon S410 camera as a gift. He was so excited to drag me, kicking and screaming, into the digital age. I must say, I have loved this camera. It has traveled with me, near and far, and provided me with more than a few photos that still make me swoon. (Is it even possible to take a bad photo in Sedona? Yeah, I didn't think so.)

Sadly, 4 mp doesn't cut it these days. I think I'm ready to move up. But when I've tried to research the DSLRs, I get hives. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is more camera than I care to lug around with me. I'm afraid that all of the juggling would take the joy out of trying to capture whatever beauty or wonder that I've happened upon. I like to shoot in the magical moment ... whip the camera from my pocket and have it ready to go.

With that said, I have concluded that the Canon G9 looks like the camera for me at this stage in my photohood. The price is right. The size is perfect. I've read every review that I could possibly get my eyes upon. Drawbacks aside, I'm THIS CLOSE to clicking the Buy Now button, but still a wee bit apprehensive. Thoughts?

.:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:.

Yesterday, I finished reading, Twilight. Over the course of five days, I devoured it. My daughter is absolutely tickled. She has been trying to get me to read this book for the last six months. It is an understatement to say that she is eager for the release of the fourth book in this series on August 2. As for me, I am lagging behind on the second book, but that's okay ... I'm happy to take my time with them ... if that's possible.

I have to admit that this isn't the kind of book that I would pick up on my own. Not really my story style. But my daughter has excellent taste in books and I always try to (eventually) take her advice. Don't let the "teen" theme scare you off. This story is sweet and suspenseful. A great summer read! You will probably find me to be the oldest woman in the theatre when the Twilight movie comes out in December.

.:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:.

Last but not least on this Saturday night, I thought I could resist, but I think I'm going to have to Raw Fu. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mandala Monday

Er, Wednesday. Um, sorry about that. I had it ready to go, but forgot to upload it. You can download it here.

Happy coloring!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mandala Monday

Hope that you are enjoying these first few (official) days of summer. This week's mandala is ready to download here. Happy coloring!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mandala Monday

Unfortunately, technical difficulties are preventing me from posting a preview of this week's mandala, so you'll have to download it and be surprised. Happy coloring!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life Really IS a Beach

Some version of this incredible sunrise greeted me every morning last week in Florida. Magic followed my family and me every single day. There was the magnificent space shuttle launch ... the dolphins playing near the shore ... and the sea turtle tracks discovered in front of our condo that left us in the giddy awe of Christmas morning.

Any inclination that I had for striving prior to this vacation has now disappeared. A week without computer access did me a world of good. I appreciated Pema Chodron on my iPod, but preferred listening to the ocean's song whenever possible. And, believe it or not, I did not particularly feel inclined to journal, which surely must come as a shock to those who know me well. I've been keeping a handwritten journal daily for most of my life. But, lately, there is a shift away from it and I'm curious as to why.

As sad as it felt to leave that vacation paradise, I am glad to be back home. I'm delighted that the hummingbirds have not only discovered our window feeder, but thought enough of us to build a teeny nest in our sycamore tree. The storms that passed through in our absence kindly left our property and neighborhood unscathed. Everything has become lush and dewy, leaving me to wonder what it is that now wants to grow.

Mandala Monday

Just a wee bit late this week. Happy coloring!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mandala Monday - Early!

I am flying south tomorrow for a long-awaited vacation, so I have decided to post Monday's mandala a few days early. You can download it here.

Any orders placed between May 30 and June 7 will be filled upon my return. I'll be back to business as usual on June 9.

Happy coloring!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mandala Monday

This week's mandala is ready to download here.

Happy Memorial Day ... and happy coloring, too!

Monday, May 19, 2008