Monday, January 31, 2011

One World One Heart

One World One Heart is a worldwide event for bloggers.

It gives all those who blog a chance to meet and mingle and form connections with those they may not have otherwise met from all over the world.

In the past 4 years this event has grown to over 1,000 participants with lasting friendships formed along the way. 

Thanks to Lisa of "A Whimsical Bohemian" for this wonderful event that I'm proud to be part of.

I am new to blogging, so needless to say, this is my first OWOH event! My first blog was in November of 2010. My sister turned me on to blogging: she told me about all the wonderful, whimsical people in these places and I wanted to play too.

I am inspired by nature; mostly the seasons. I have a Maple tree out in front of my house who has been my muse. She has guided me in naming my blog and my Etsy store. She is the same Maple tree you see in the banner and you can also see her highlighted in other posts throughout this blog.

I have been married for about 29 years and Tom and I are now kickin' around with a collie named Masala, three cats and a parrot we named Emmett. This kickin' around is what I like to blog about. However, lately, I'm a little limited from physical activity, so I have found that my creative side has also emerged in my blog. I like to blog about Florida, the unique natural world here.

I recently bought a camera, a Canon Rebel. I have been having an adventure taking photographs; so where I once spent hours walking, I now an content to spend hours waiting for and taking the picture.

When out walking, I keep my eye out for gifts. I find them everytime. I walk gently, but do pick up the occasional feather, sea bean, rock, stone, or piece of dirft wood. I find this shift of  "what's important" consciousness has greatly helped lowered the credit card bill and increased my inspiration for my artwork. I love a home that is a little cluttered with much loved pieces, I support local, handmade products.

I am a vegetarian and have been for 28 years, and lately been supporting a whole, live foods diet. I garden naturally for my area. I love herbs, birds, animals, the beach, sea glass, sea beans, feathers, wind chimes, bowls,  flowers and edible plantings. I am the sort that has a little too much on a shelf and does not worry about the dusting.

For the drawing, I am going to give my first of a series of Nature Catchers. I am approaching the crone's years. My art pieces are beginning to reflect this. I just made this little Nature Catcher. I haven't named her. She is holding a bird's nest and has naturally gathered feather's in her dress apron and in her hair. Whoever the winner is will also be the one to name her. This name will be the one that I will use for this Nature Keeper in the Series. The winner will give me a gift, also!

Leave me a comment on this post that you would like to win this Nature Keeper. Leave me information on how to get back to you if you win, and so I can visit your blog. Also, leave me the name you think best for this little Nature Keeper. You must be an active blogger to participate in the OWOH event.

All individuals entering my "door prize" give-away of the Nature Keeper will have their name put into a bowl. The name will be drawn out on February 17th at 6 p.m. EST. The winner will be announced on my blog on February 17th. I will email the winner at the email address given, as well. The name you have chosen for this Nature Keeper will be announced that day also. I will mail the Nature Keeper USPS to the address given on February 18th.

If you have any questions, please email me at


Friday, January 28, 2011

To Bed: The Winter Variety

Since I shared the Russian Wonder Tales link with you on Wandering Moments, I got to thinking about how nice it is to cuddle in bed during these last few/couple weeks of cold weather. How many think wrongly of themselves because they want to hibernate: looking for something to bring them out of the "slumps." And, although there is such a thing as SAD (seasonal affective disorder) - yes, I would be one to suffer - greatly - I think we should look at what we are missing, or could be missing. Our beds. Warm, soft, where dreams come to, they are the place to be this weekend.

As I looked over the Internet for images of different beds - and I was looking for really fantastical ones, I realized that there is a bed for every season.

Spring Beds!

Summer Beds  (I call this one)!

Fall Beds!

And, for this weekend I'm posting a few wonderful, cozy, ethereal, dreamy Winter Beds!


This one is my winter bed - right...

A blurry picture, or still dreaming?

You'll need the legwarmers, arm-warmers, and thick, thick blanket to sleep in here. Oh, and a partner!

Well, this wouldn't be my first choice... But, amazing what a gentle white string of lights can do!

Faux fur blankets!

Goodnight. Good morning. Good afternoon. It'll be all the same.

And, to catch your dreams.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter's Waning

This is the last true week of Winter.

my favorite Victorian winter's wonderland
There are not many days left of Winter. She is almost gone. In the heat of Summer's relentless sun, we will long for her kiss to cool the brow. We may look back and think things were not that bad. How hard it is to stay in the moment. We always want to be somewhere else.

Imbolc is in seven (7) days. Imbolc is the ancient Irish celebration of the FIRST DAY OF SPRING. It is the celebration of "in betweens." I'll write more about it in honor of the day. But, I just wanted to recognize the already beginnings.

My Maple tree is already showing her red bud. She is awakening for Spring.

The hawks begin their mating cries high in the tops of the pines. The ring neck doves are in the maples. And, they are crying out to each other, ready for nesting.

I remember a line from "The Yearling" by Marjorie Rawlings. Pa, tells Jodi, when he hears the whippoorwill, it is 'a time to begin plantin'. The risks for the winter frosts is over.

For years we have had a type of whippoorwill or nighthawk in our woods. It is called a chuckswillwidow. Tom and I have seen some nesting on the ground, spread out over their eggs laid out on the sand. They blend most perfectly with the underbrush we almost stepped on one as we veered from a dirt pathway.

To see them fly at night, they resemble an owl. Anyway, these days, we still live adjacent to environmentally protected lands (we are so thankful our fate fell this way) and we hear them call to each other in the early Spring. So, I wait to hear them to know the threat of frosts are really over.

Keep warm. This, hibernation time, is only for a few more weeks. I am going to finish reading a few books and a few crafts I have been putting off and enjoy these last few days of true Winter.


Sunday, January 23, 2011


Karma. Here is the best Hindu parable of Karma that I have ever read.

Garuda is a guardian of Lord Shiva. One day he is sitting at the entrance gates of the Shiva's temple watching the flitting about of a small sparrow upon the great steps below.


Lord Shiva

Just then Yama, the god of death appeared, riding his black buffalo. He came to meet with Lord Shiva.


As he passed through the gates, Garuda noticed that the gaze of the Yama, the Master of Death, briefly fell upon the bird, but then he continued on his way into the abode of Shiva.

Since a mere glance from Lord Yama presages death, Garuda's heart was filled with pity for the tiny bird.

He gently picked it up and flew off with it clutched carefully in his powerful talons. He took it far, far, away to a deep forest where he gently placed it on a rock beside a rushing brook. Then he returned to Kailash and assumed his customary position at Shiva's gate.

When Yama emerged from his consultation with the Great God, Shiva, he nodded to Garuda in recognition. Garuda took this opportunity to ask Lord Death, Yama, "Just before you went inside, I saw you notice a little bird. You seemed to have a pensive expression on your face. May I know why?"

Yama answered, "When my eyes fell on the bird, I saw that soon it would find its death in the jaws of a great python. But there are no such serpents here, high on Kailash, and I was briefly puzzled."

I don't like stories where animals die in the end. That's not why this is the best story. But it is the tragic outcome of a heroic act that makes one question whether or not Garuda's action was an act of good karma or bad karma. Or will he have a karmic retribution bringing him good or bad. Or, possibly does this have nothing to do with Garuda. Did the sparrow do something "bad?" Or did the python just do something really good?

Karma is an action. A right action. It is a yoga. This story of Karma reminds me that even if we do what we think is right, the consequences are what they are going to be, not necessarily what we want them to be. My role, is to do what I feel is best in my heart at all times. That is all I can do. It is all I can truly be "in charge" of; be responsible. So, karma is to be aware of what is happening right now to be aware of our right-action in each action we perform.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Breadbaking Day #36: Linking Up with a Breadbaking Event

This event calls for making a bread that uses any type of corn product in the bread. It can be a yeast or non-yeast based bread. The link is on the side of my blog.

I found the Breadbaking Day Event because I follow the blog, Zesty South Indian Kitchen at I love Indian cooking; especially southern Indian. And, Swathi uses fresh, whole ingredients. She also meshes together "American," and Indian cuisine. Which means, she uses what she finds on the produce shelves in most grocery stores and incorporates it into Indian recipes.

The Breadbaking Day Event is hosted by Heather at Girlichief. You can get to her blog b;y clicking to the link to the event on the side of my blog or Girlichief's Blog Anyway, Heather hosts this month's Breadbaking Day Event and she chose Corn as the special ingredient for this month's bread. To participate, you email her some basic information (you will see it on the link) about your recipe and a link to your blog. She already has gotten back with me on a thing or two and has proven to be a most gracious host.

I don't usually use a recipe when I cook. In Florida, with the humidity levels ranging from 50 to 99% most moisture levels in recipes in real life vary from a recipe card. However, breads are probably the one of the food types that I do try to stick to a recipe and only vary with either wheat gluten (so I don't add additional yeasts) or liquids. I don't eat egg. The only dairy I usually eat is Greek Yogurt (usually Cabot, but it has to have LIVE ACTIVE cultures). So, it is the Greek yogurt that goes into the bread for moisture and the wheat gluten helps it to rise (along with the yeast) if the humidity is really high. But the recipe today doesn't call for yeast. It is a cornbread recipe.

I adapted the recipe from a Corn Bread recipe in Laurel's Kitchen. I, like I said, adapt all my recipes. And, not only because of not adding eggs, or butter, or milk, but because I also like to add whole wheat or other grains, seeds or nuts into the recipe.

Here are some of the products I used. The herbs/spices, and soda/powders, and arrowroot I buy in bulk.

Corn Bread Cous Cous Muffins

2 cups yellow plain cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (ground)
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. arrowroot
1tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. curry
1/4 tsp. turmeric

1-3 Tbsp agave (or honey)
1 C. Greek Yogurt
1-2 Tbsp. softened Earth Balance (or olive oil spread)
2 C. Soy Milk

3/4 C. Cous Cous (Moroccan)
1/2 C. boiling water

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds or previously spiced with cumin/curry (if you have them about)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place the cous cous in a small bowl. Pour the 1/2 boiling water to cover and set aside.

In a large bowl stir the dry ingredients together, making sure there are no lumps of baking soda or powder.

Mix liquids together and add alternately the dry ingredients and the cous cous, stirring smooth. Scoop into oiled muffin stone or tins and bake for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with raw (or curried) pumpkin seeds 10 minutes into baking. After taking the muffins from the oven sprinkle with a little organic raw sugar.

Makes about 10 large muffins.

Tom and I eat mostly raw, uncooked foods in the Spring and the Summer. But in the Fall and the Winter. I love to use the oven. To cook by the stove/the hearth. To bake breads. We eat squashes and stews. Slow foods; hot and steaming. These muffins, yes you know, great with a big pot of chili! It is on the stove right now.

Another cold-front came through this afternoon. The sky is gray. Tom will be home after his shift at the hospital, and even though it'll be late, we'll eat a big bowl of chili and hot buttery (Earth Balance, yep!) muffins. And go to bed on a full stomach. This is a winter blessing come true. Not much. Just simple. But means everything to me.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Tale for the Season

A winter interlude.

It's snowing again.

See how gently the snowflakes fall about? I call them white snow bees.

The Snow Queen illus. Edmund Dulac

White snow bees. Do they have a queen like other bees? Where do they come from?

 The snow flakes come from the very far North and they fly, fly. Fly over icy seas, villages, through the fogs. They are the loyal servants of the Snow Queen.

The snow queen”. Caroline Trentini by Tim Walker

darek kocurek
May the kiss of Spring soon melt her heart of ice away.



Thank you Han Christian Anderson (many, many thanks)

Wolf Moon, Ice Moon, Frost Moon, Cold Moon, Old Moon

The reason for the name Wolf Moon is simply because in January the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Amerindian villages.

In Europe on the other hand, January's full moon is called “Old Moon.”

In other areas, the First Full moon is also called "Ice Moon" or "Moon After Yule".

In central Asia, its name is "Paush Poornima", meaning Fasting month, Hindus consider the day highly auspicious, where some communities fast in that period.

For the Buddhist in Sri Lanka it is called “Duruthu Poya” which marks the first visit of Lord Buddha to that Island.

In Japan, this same first full moon of the year is called “Birth Moon.” It is also considered the official birthday for everyone over the age of sixteen. Divination, feasting, and rituals for luck and health are popular events.
In Thailand every full moon is celebrated with a party, called “Koh Pha Ngan.”

January's first Full Moon is the Moon that I honor first in the series of Dancing Moons: A Series of Lunar Tales.

Anyway you plan to celebrate. celebrate! Look Up!


Sunday, January 16, 2011


I spent a beautiful day along the Blackpoint Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island. The drive meanders along an estuary that is a winter haven for migratory birds as well as native species of wading birds. It is always a nice drive on a cool morning. I need to practice with my camera settings even though I don't have a telescopic lens. I play with my Corel Paint/Photoshop when I get home. Soon, the telescopic lens, soon.

I knew I would see the Rosetta Spoonbills that I blogged about the other day. I don't know if it is a rookery here in the area, but I see them every time I take the ride along the estuary. The season has been dryer than I realized evidenced by the mud.

But, the pink of the Rosetta Spoonbills looked really cool against it's dark color.

I was able to crop the photos to get closer.

The morning was cold; so they were not yet active. As the sun warmed the waters they became more active and they moved from the mud flats and began to seine. I caught them flying into a spot.

Even in the sky, you can spot the fuchsia pink.

Very cool birds.

I saw an egret with a fledgling. It is so funny when the fledgling is bigger than the parent.

We also say the wood storks  in a small side pond that we took a walk around. No need to really worry about the gators this time of year; it's cold and they are slow reptiles. We have Masala, though, so we have to always be careful.

I really liked getting the great egret in flight.

Really fun.

I love how the estuary snakes around the mangroves. It is such a unique ecosystem. So balanced. So self-sustaining. So ancient.

And, I thank the best bird spotter-


Blackpoint Wildlife Drive is across the Bananna River (really a lagoon) in an area set aside by the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. This whole area was "created" as a buffer around the area the rockets and now the shuttle are shot from. Here is a picture from the mainland looking across to the shuttle launch pads (and the area that the refuge is a part.)

The next picture shows a better shot of the building they build the shuttle in and one of the launch pads (to the left). Oh, that is an osprey (fish hawk) nest on top of the old dock house.

A fun day. A drive, a walk, some photographs, good company, some sunshine; enjoying a unique local natural habitat. I wonder if you like to enjoy local natural areas? What are some areas that are unique to your area?

Wherever you are journey joyfully.