Monday, July 20, 2009


If all you want is the creative idea promised here each day, then the next line is for you.  

Hosting a party?  Include name tags and do what employees at Sea World do.  Have each person list a descriptive moniker below his name.  My tag, for instance, might read, "Claudia, Starbucks Coffee Lover."  This allows strangers to strike up conversations more easily than they might otherwise.

Want to be a part of a movement that matters?  Than read on.  Warning:  This post is longer than those of recent past.  You won't be disappointed.

Ray Wattson celebrates his birthday tomorrow, but to me it's so much more.  The birth of Ray Wattson symbolizes the magic of people giving 100% of themselves - Raydiating, if you will.

Snarky Ray Wattson, our beloved light bulb, hit the scene because long-time reader, Peggy, had an idea.  She didn't say, "It's not my job to come up with ideas for Highlowaha.  That's Claudia's job."  No.  Instead,  Peggy raydiated creativity and decided to share it with the rest of us.  Then along comes another reader, raydiating artistic talent.  She volunteered to draw Ray for us and, some 30-odd Ray's later, Cheryl has literally brought Ray Wattson to life.  Are you catching my drift?  We should follow the example of Peggy and Cheryl, jumping in with both feet and raydiating excellence.

If what you do is have an attitude, then heck... raydiate attitude!  Such is the case with the person responsible for giving Ray voice (I could tell you who, but I'd have to kill you).  Think he pussy foots around?  Heck no.  When Ray is in the house, we know it.  The voice of Ray jumps in with two feet, raydiating attitude and making his presence known.  

Yeah.  To me, Ray, and the story behind Ray, symbolizes excellence... living life full throttle.

Then, in January, I met Jackie at a conference.  Immediately upon meeting Ray, Jackie fell head over heals in love.  He insisted that young people, college students, famous people, and old people alike would all universally fall in love with Ray if only given the chance to meet him. 

Hmmm... you mean, let Ray raydiate the globe instead of casting a narrow beam of light over our small, but distinguished community?

It seems so fitting.  Raydiate.  Full throttle.  No holds barred.  My wheels were turning.

January, February, March, April, May, June... every day thinking, dreaming, talking, hashing, and rehashing ideas for how to help Ray get out his word.

What exactly is his word? What is the single word that best summarizes the message we want Ray to carry with him across the globe?  

Raydiate?  Those who don't yet know Ray might wonder why we spelled it wrong.  Won't work.

Excellence?  Right sentiment, but trite and overused. 

Brighten?  Too soft and flowery.  Ray would never stand for it.

Someone suggested...." Whatever you are, be a beacon of it." Beacon = light = light bulb = Ray.  Getting closer, but too long. 

Why not ask Ray himself.  You know what he said?


That's what he said, "Shine" and immediately I fell in love.  Short, sweet, and to the point.  Whatever you do, "Shine."  

Hair dresser?  Shine at it.  Be the best hair dresser in your town, state, region, or country.  Are you a farmer, teacher, lawyer, painter, chef, stay-at-home-mom, tour guide, salesman, student, coach, babysitter, or accountant?  Whatever you are, whatever you do, whatever your contribution to this world we live in... Shine! 

Ray's seen the light.  He seen the work of Jake and Otis and the whole, "Life is Good" crew and he's willing to take them on.  He's willing to go head to head with a new message - a bigger, bolder message.  Sure, you could sit back relishing in the idea that life is good or you could join our Rayvolution to brighten the world and just SHINE!

So that's it people.  You heard it here first.  Ray is starting a Rayvolution.  He's taking his message on the road.  Sure, he'll remain our special Highlowaha friend, continuing to make his regular visits and with all his usual snarky comments.  But, he's got another gig going now too.

1,000,000,000 shirts by 2013.  Wanna see?  Check back tomorrow to find out more.

Signing off until tomorrow...


heather said...

So wait....There's gonna be a RAYvolution?

Groovy! Count me in =).

My name tag might read:

chocolate lover

cassie p said...

Heather, you stole mine! How about...

Cassie P,
Cheese lover

Anonymous said...

Love the new Ray! If I ever win a t-shirt I know which one I'll choose, whereas before I was really undecided.

lover of books

Chaotic said...

Creature Comforter

I Raymember rayding my first Ray post... he has such a way with words! And I see no hurdles for him in Raydiating across the globe!

Anonymous said...

I just can't get into Ray...and usually skip days when I see him at the start of the post. Unfortunately, he seems to be showing up more and more.

Claudia said...

Anonymous... do tell. Inquiring minds want to know. What is it about Ray that rubs you the wrong way?

Peggy said...

Creative Greetings!!

Anonymous: RAY ~ a mascot defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck, and are regularly used as goodwill ambassadors in the community for their team, company, or organization

Katie K said...

I love SHINE. Shining is what I love most about Highlowaha. It is a place to come where people enjoying being the best of what they are! "I'm talkin' bout a rayvolution"!!

Peanut Butter Addict

Cheryl said...

Good morning all. I can't help but hear the Beatles when we talk about Rayvolution. I always thought the line "You say you want a revolution..." was throughout the song but it's not. It's just the opening line. :)

Well, we all want to change the world.

My Name is Cheryl
Art & Music Lover

Heather said...

I know it is totally off the topic but...Claudia is Claudia Starbucks lover so:

Tomorrow is free pastry day at Starbucks:

Kat said...

Very cool. It will be interesting to see where Ray goes from here. And we can say we knew him way back when!

Craft Maker

Anonymous said...

As a long time reader...I think I just miss the helpful hints, creative ideas, and the way the site used to be. I am just not a fan of the other random items on here. I Love the webste, but just not Ray. I can appreciate him being the mascot, but sometimes it seems it is just random ramblings of Ray and not much else to read.

highlowahalover said...

Sometimes I agree with anonymous whatever happened to a new idea a day? I think you've lost touch of your purpose.

highlowahalover said...

So I just went back and looked and it is more like a creative idea a week and five days of random ramblings. Get back to the basics, PLEASE!

Heather said...

Anonymous and Highlowahalover,
We like that you are both providing feedback, it feels good to know that our readers are invested enough in our community that you give feedback rather than just choosing to leave.

We'd love to get more information from both of you and you can feel free to post or send it to our email at
We'd love to know what it was that you used to LOVE about the site (what is it that you feel we are now missing).

Thanks again for your feedback and hopefully we can close out the day focusing on the positivity that RAYvolution and SHINE are all about.

Cheryl said...

Here's a question...

What do you SHINE at?

What do you wish you SHINED at?

My glass is half full and I love this community but as with anything you only get what you put into it. Today's message is about being the best at whatever it is you do... are you? Are you doing your best? I dare you. Shine!

Claudia said...

I think it can be helpful to periodically clarify the definition I ascribe to the word, "creative."

It seems especially important today, as there are mixed expectations for what one will find when you show up at Highlowaha each day.

Thing is... I am no Martha Stewart. If craft ideas or do-it-yourself projects is all you are interested in reading then there are many, many blog sites out there in cyber space who unquestionably do it better than I.

I define "creativity" generally. To me it can be everything from a small activity you do with family or friends, to a creative way of thinking about a problem or an everyday occurrence.

One of my favorite things to do, actually, is apply my creativity to new and innovative ways to build an on-line community. Truth is, I want to be more than a repository for craft ideas. I want to be a place where people from across the map look forward to coming together for a short time and rallying around a creative thought of the day. Sometimes the thought manifests in reading a creative idea, sometimes it is engaging in an activity (creatively presented.. subjective, I know), and sometimes it is watching us exercise our creativity through drawing, naming, and giving voice to Ray.

Fostering your creativity through Whack on the Side of the Head also feels like a good use of our time, as it challenges ALL of us to stretch our creative thought.

So strongly do I believe each of is creative in our own way, that it is true... I place far more value on creating a community where creativity (in all of its forms) can be shared than I do on force feeding you a craft idea a day and watching each of you be completely passive participants.

Granted... some days it works better than others. But, that too is in part the beauty of community.

Albeit hard to read, the feedback is good. My job is to hear your feedback, process it, and determine who I want HLA to be in light of it.

Consider yourselves heard!

Thank you.

Claudia said...

Now back to Cheryl's great question...

What do YOU shine at? ME? be long-winded.

Heather said...

Answering Cheryl's questions:

What do you SHINE at?
Work, I always try to do my best at work and raise the expectations of my work and the work of those around me.

What do you wish you SHINED at?
Raising a is hard and while I do my best I don't always do it with a positive attitude and I should change that.

Peggy said...

Shine, shine, shine... all around the world!

(Think Barry Manilow ~ Daybreak)

I shine at being a Personality Delopmental Specialist ... and at too many other things to glow about... I'll beam about them later!

Count me in, I like being RAY-diant!

Cheryl said...

Right now I feel like I'm totally shining when it comes to exercising. It has never felt so good. I'm pushing myself more each day and I have never felt so healthy. It feels good.

I also feel like I Shine at being Positive. It's all good.

I wish I shined at being more focused in my art. I'm working on it but it's not there yet.

Katie K said...

I feel like I shine at creating memories. I love to take every opportunity to take little moments and make memories with the people in my life- my students, family, and friends.

As Claudia introduced me to you all back in February, I think I shine at details too...remembering the little ones, that is.

I'd like to be more like Cheryl and shine at exercising. Maybe in time that will happen, too. That's part of my own personal RAYvolution.

Anonymous said...

One of the best parts of highlowaha for me is watching it grow over time. As each of us grows as individuals, the blog has also grown. I enjoy reading of everyone's life goals and lessons learned. We are people dedicated to the lives we lead. We are here to "raydiate" and "shine"...why should 'our' blog be any different?

-Loyal lurker who loves this blog

Cheryl said...

Did y'all see this in the news? You know how we love cupcakes around here!!

Anonymous said...

RAY ~ a mascot defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck, and are regularly used as goodwill ambassadors in the community for their team, company, or organization

I do not understand how snarky = goodwill ambassador? I try to find the humor in his voice. However Ray seems to be passive agressive at times...a quality that does not shine much at all. He's cute (meaning the artwork is creative and fun), but not very lovable (he's kind of a jerk). He seems to be the opposite of what the community is all about. Maybe I need to appreciate the irony more? I try, I really do. He's the community alter-ego, I think.

Tera said...

Checking in late...again.

My name tag would say:
Ice Cream Addict

I like the Rayvolution. I think this is going to be awesome. I can't wait to hear how I/we can help.

I partiall agree with Anonymous & the other poster. I feel the blog has changed from the first few months to now. But that's not necessarily a bad thing in my mind. Nothing remains the same...things change with the times and I feel that what this blog has done. I do, however, miss all of the crafty ideas we used to discuss every day.

What do I shine at? Hmmmm....?! I'd like to think my job. I always try to give 110% percent and leave my mark. I've only been in my new job for 2 weeks, but feel like I'm already beginning to do my part in helping the College change for the better.

I wish I shined at exercising and being more disciplined with things outside of work. Hopefully that will change now that Treye and I are both in a place we want to be. Now it's time to focus on us!

Good night everyone! See you tomorrow!

Cheryl said...

Tera, I love your late night- okay it's not really late- evening. I love your evening posts. I'm so glad to hear that your job is going well! I know you SHINE at it!! I read your post about coming to Taste of USA. I'm just going to keep using my law of attraction to get you and Treye to come again this year. :) See you there!!!
PS... I can't look at a Post It Note without thinking of Treye (that was what he talked about at Taste of USA last year) and have even started drawing on them for ideas for larger drawings!