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10 Ways to Enjoy the 4th of July! July 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Gratitude, Special Events.
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37 comments

In the U.S., Independence Day claims center stage on the Summer Fun Trifecta, sandwiched mid-way between Memorial Day’s kick off to summer and Labor Day’s return to reality.

Instead of shopping in crowded malls, decorating the house from top to bottom, or wrapping countless gifts, families and friends gather for picnics, cookouts, and backyard barbeques with the focus on food, fun and good old-fashioned togetherness.

Here are 10 ways to have a blast this 4th of July as you celebrate the freedoms we so often take for granted:

1.  Enjoy marching bands, patriotic anthems, and crowds waving the Stars and Stripes in time with the music at an Independence Day Parade.

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Or encourage the wee ones to put on a parade of their own, with pots and pans for drums!

2.  Pack a picnic and head to the beach, pool, park, or playground.  Or enjoy a fun old-fashioned gathering in your own backyard.

Invite a crowd!

3.  Organize a Scavenger Hunt.  Get everyone involved by playing on teams ~ pairing adults with children, or older kids with younger ones.

4.  Play backyard games ~ Croquet, Bocce Ball, Volleyball, Badminton, Horseshoes, Dodge Ball, Corn Hole,  Softball, Soccer, Frisbee, or Catch.

5.   Hold a mini-Olympics with a Relay Race, a Wheelbarrow Race, a Three-Legged Race, an Egg Toss, and the Long Jump.

Leave High Jumping and Sabre Tossing to the pros!

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6.  Cool off with a Water Balloon Fight or Dueling Water Pistols during the hottest part of the day.  Or run through the sprinkler with your kids.

7.  Have a Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest ~ judge contestants on distance, speed, accuracy, and enthusiasm.

8.  Catch fireflies or lightning bugs at dusk.  Release them before dawn.

9.  Before calling it a night, light up a few sparklers to wave around while singing the Star Spangled Banner or other patriotic tunes.

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10.  Attend a local community fireworks display to watch the  “bombs bursting in air” in glorious shades of Red, White, and Blue!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.” ~ Anonymous

“Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“We are free not because we claim freedom but because we practice it.” ~ William Faulkner

“Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw
Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” ~ Erma Bombeck

Related posts:  Ten FREE Activities To Enjoy With Kids * Ten Almost FREE Activities For Kids * Top Ten BETs * Ten More Fun Activities For Kids * Outdoor Fun For The Whole FamilyExplore the Great Outdoors

Buddhists Are Not Doing Nothing July 1, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
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44 comments

Contrary to what some think, Buddhists do not sit around doing nothing all day.

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Meditating is not nothing.  Meditating is hard work.  Getting our thoughts to settle down is no easy feat.  It’s like herding cats.

Once Buddhists finish their morning meditation, they chop wood and carry water.  Or do the laundry . . .

After enlightenment, the laundry.

But they do IT (whatever IT is) with mindful attention.

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When they peel an orange, they use all their senses to focus on its scent, texture, taste, color, and the feel of its peel.  If stray thoughts arise, intent on wandering off unchaperoned, practitioners of mindfulness rein them in and bring focus back to the task at hand.

Imagine paying attention to everything you do, say, think, see, smell, hear, touch, and taste.

All day.  Every day.

Being mindful is not nothing.  Staying present to the present of the present is hard work.  Quieting the chatter of our monkey minds is a challenge.

But it gets easier with practice.  And the rewards are great.

Imagine seeing the perfection in something as simple as an orange.  Or no longer stubbing your toe on the coffee table as you hunt for your keys.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Be All That You Can Be June 25, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness.
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38 comments

RWS_Tarot_01_MagicianBecome silent and listen.

Trust your original, spontaneous, generous, kind, and loving nature.

When you’re on the right track, you know it. You feel the flow of life and are more at ease.

That knowledge creates an amazing level of joy and peace in your life.  It releases your creativity, and increases your energy level.

You begin to discard the various masks you wear.  You worry less about your imaginary reputation with others.  You accept yourself as you are and others as they are.

With an honest heart as your guide, you strive to live each day as if it were your last.

And your first.

200px-BedivereLove and laughter shine from your eyes. Your actions reflect genuine kindness and concern.  You smile at your reflection.

Grateful for the many blessings in life, you keep minor annoyances in perspective, instead of blowing them out of proportion.

You learn from your mistakes, encouraged by the knowledge that you can do better.

Transformation doesn’t happen all at once.  You become.  It takes time.

Do not give up if you are not yet who you want to be.  Just be more fully the best you already are.

You can be an outstanding human being ~> you just can’t be a perfect one.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post: When We Blunder About * A Step of Faith (SuziCate) * We All Can Be A Ripple (Did That Just Happen?) * Your Words Echo (T4D)

Daybreak June 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Life Balance, Nature, Poetry.
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34 comments

IMGP1920Owls grow silent

Grass starts to glow

Birds start singing

The cock starts to crow

 

Sunrise is here

Daylight has broken

All without orders

Having been spoken

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Science of Happiness June 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.
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37 comments

Eeyore-SittingIn  Zen and the Art of Happiness, Chris Prentiss explains why gloomy thoughts create a body that, at the cellular level, is more able to feel gloominess than joyfulness:

Each cell in our body communicates with our brain via receptor molecules located on its surface.

Cells are defined by which receptors are on its surface and whether those receptors are occupied by ligands or not.

Receptors and ligands are “information molecules” used to communicate across systems such as the endocrine, neurological, gastrointestinal, and even the immune system.  Ligands come in 3 types (neurotransmitters, steroids, and peptides).  Up to 95% of ligands may be peptides, which govern emotions.

The peptides produced in the hypothalamus gland in the brain duplicate emotions we experience ~> anger, hate, sadness, frustration, enthusiasm, happiness, and joy.

These peptides are channeled to the pituitary gland and the bloodstream, where they visit all 20-30 trillion cells in the body.

After cruising around the bloodstream, peptides dock on the millions of receptors on a cell’s surface.  There, they influence our behavior, activity levels, and mood.

That’s right . . . these teeny tiny molecular bits affect our mood.  With that kind of clout, it’s no wonder that peptides have their very own science journal.

We rely on cell division for growth, repair, and replacement of worn out cells.  An estimated 300,000,000 cell divisions occur every minute of every day.

New cells are created according to what you think and feel.  Cells created when someone is “depressed” will have more receptors for depression and fewer receptors to receive feel-good peptides.

As a result of this mechanism, we are either spiraling upwards into greater and greater happiness or downwards into greater and greater sadness, anger, fear, depression, frustration, etc.

Scruffy-CatIf we feel depressed for an hour, we produce eighteen billion new cells that have receptors calling out for depressed type peptides.

It’s as if the trillions and trillions of receptors are all cupping little hands around megaphones while shouting, “Send us more depression!”

That’s why thinking gloomy thoughts creates a body that is more able to feel gloominess than joyfulness.

The more we engage in any type of emotion or behavior, the greater our desire for it becomes ~> that’s true for depression, anger, and happiness.

We create ourselves by what we think and feel.  Once we start to manage our thoughts, our personal belief system changes and we begin to create a body that is more able to feel happiness.

Tigger-PogoWe can use our emotions and thoughts to create a body that’s more receptive to feel-good states, with a better functioning immune system.

By staying in the present moment, and choosing happiness right now, we increase our level of happiness tomorrow.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Researchers Find Link Between Peptide and Happiness  (Psych Central) * Become Susceptible to Happiness (Hindu Business Line)

Clap Along June 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Gratitude, Happiness, Music & Dance.
Tags: , , , ,
41 comments

I double dog dare you to listen to this without cracking a smile:

Lion-Side-ProfileHaving faith in whatever life offers brings greater joy and engagement with less fear, hesitation, and aversion.  Accepting life’s inherent uncertainty allows [us] to experience more awe toward the mysteries of life and less concern.

~ Lama Surya Das

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Happy! (Pix / Under The Oaks)

A Backwards Glance Bucket List June 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Gratitude, Happiness, Travel & Leisure.
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50 comments

Calvin-gots-an-IdeaMost people create Bucket Lists by looking forward to what they have not done yet that they would like to do before they kick the bucket.

This is a Backwards Glance Bucket List ~> a list of things I have tried and experienced during my brief sojourn here that I’m glad to have added to my Life Bucket:

1. Fly in a two-seater plane over North Carolina.
2. Take a helicopter ride over the Badlands of South Dakota.
3. Soar in a hot air balloon over Palm Springs California.
4. Graduate with a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy.
5. Obtain my J.D. degree and pass the Bar in NC, NJ, and PA.
6. Rent and furnish our first apartment.
7. Marry BFF.  Wear mom’s wedding dress.
8. Enjoy being married to BFF for 30 years (and counting).
9. Practice law as a litigator for 13 years.

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10. Start a domestic violence program to educate victims of abuse.
11. Run an AmeriCorps program at Salisbury University serving at-risk youth.
12. Sample cuisines from Greece, Switzerland, India, Mexico, Italy, etc.
13. Travel across the U.S. from coast to coast.  Twice.
14. Visit the giant Sequoias in California.
15. See wildlife, geysers, and paint pots in Yellowstone.
16. Drive down the Pacific Coast highway.
17. Visit Native American cliff dwellings.
18. Hike in Bryce Canyon and Zion.
19. Stop at the Grand Canyon without seeing the canyon. Twice.
20. Canoe the New River.  Twice.  Get snagged on rocks and capsize once.
21. Sail Penobscot Bay on a Windjammer.  Sleep in a coffin-sized cabin.
22. Kayak the Manatee River.
23. Paddle board at Oscar Scherer State Park.

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24. Hike through the mountains of North Carolina visiting waterfalls.
25. Visit Brown Mountain Beach and picnic on boulders mid-stream.
26. Hike to Dingman’s Falls in Pennsylvania.
27. Visit New York City and Central Park.
28. See shows on Broadway, off Broadway, and at Radio City.
29. Eat roasted chestnuts and Sabrett’s from street vendors.
30. See the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Elfreth’s Alley  in Philadelphia.
31. Eat Bangers & Mash at Dickens Pub. Have a Philly Cheese Steak.
32. Hit the Jersey Shore for tons of Sun and Fun.  And Carvel ice cream.
33. See the wild ponies of Chincoteague VA.
34. Wander the boardwalk in Rehobeth Beach Delaware.
35. Eat Thrasher Fries on the boardwalk in Ocean City MD.

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36. Visit the Swinging Lizard Lounge.
37. Rent a boat and cruise the waterways in Naples Florida.
38. Visit a Jazz Club in Marco Island Florida.
39. Attend the Steeplechase in South Carolina.
40. Tour the Kennedy Space Center in FL.
41. Get Shucked at Marina Raw Bar in Myrtle Beach SC.
42. Take a ferry from the Outer Banks of NC to Ocracoke.
43. See “The Lost Colony” on Roanoke Island.
44. Visit Monterey and Carmel-By-The-Sea.
45. Eat lunch on the patio at the Hogsbreath Inn.
46. Sample fried clams at the Clam Hut in Kennebunkport Maine.
47. Sip Mint Juleps and Peanut Soup at the King’s Arms Tavern.
48. Host 25th & 50th Anniversary Parties for Mom & Dad.
49. Play matchmaker for Mike and Allison (married for 27 years so far).
50. Enjoy Wine Festivals at Chateau Morrissette on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
51. Admire Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.
52. See Memorial Plaque to Susannah North Martin in Salem Mass.
53. Visit the castles of the Loire Valley in France.
54. Enjoy petit pain au beurre and café au lait in Paris.  Bake baguettes.

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55. Travel solo to St. Thomas for Spring Break senior year.
56. Teach myself to play the guitar.
57. Learn to play the piano, the clarinet, and the kazoo.
58. Visit the Corn Palace in Mitchell South Dakota.
59. Spend sultry summer days dashing through sprinklers.
60. Play hopscotch and jump-rope.
61. Shoot marbles, snatch jacks, bounce on a pogo stick.
62. Learn to Hula Hoop, ride a bike, toss a Frisbee, Yo Yo.
63. Play tag, kickball, soccer, and field hockey.  Hit a home run.
64. Shoot hoops. Toss horseshoes.  Play Bocce Ball on the beach.
65. Play catch, Mother May I?, Simon Says, and Cemetery.
66. Play Canasta, Bridge, War, Go Fish, and Penny Poker.
67. Enjoy shuffleboard, Ping Pong, shooting Pool, Bowling.
68. Learn to cook.  Experiment in the kitchen.  Don’t poison anyone.

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69. Tour a chicken processing plant.
70. Visit an egg laying facility.
71. Become a vegetarian.
72. Watch the sun rise over the Atlantic and set over the Pacific.
73. See the Golden Gate Bridge. Ride BART.  Drive down Lombard Street.
74. Eat sourdough bread and Ghirardelli Chocolate at Fisherman’s Wharf.
75. Take a Cable Car through the streets of San Francisco.  Eat Rice-A-Roni.
76. Go antiquing in New England and shop for bargains at Flea Markets.
77. Donate the iron, ironing board, and all “Dry Clean Only” clothes.
78. Bake Ginger Snaps and Butterscotch Nests for Christmas.
79. Paint watercolors.

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80. Start a blog.  Write 2350 posts (and counting).
81. Arts & Crafts ~ Macramé, Découpage, Rug Hooking, Needlepoint.
82. Sew dresses for Betsy McCall and Midge.
83. Make a dress for me. Give the over-sized “tent” to mom.
84. Learn to knit scarves, vests, sweaters, and hats.
85. Build a snow fort and have a colossal snowball fight.
86. Go sledding, ice skating, and build a snow man with a carrot nose.
87. Drink hot cocoa (and hot toddies) before a roaring fire.
88. Make S’Mores around a campfire.

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89. Sleep in the backyard under the stars.
90. Picnic on Mayapple Hill and at Deer Lake.
91. Go on Mystery Rides with my grandparents and Aunt Edie.
92. Ride Coasters at Great Adventure, Busch Gardens, Carowinds.
93. Visit Disney World, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Universal.
94. Celebrate Birthdays and Anniversaries.
95. Delight in Holiday Magic at Christmas.  Watch Scrooge’s transformation.
96. Inhale Chocolate Bunnies and Jelly Beans at Easter.
98. Watch the Macy’s parade, give thanks, and FEAST on Thanksgiving.
98. Dress up and enjoy ghoulish tricks and treats for Halloween.
99. See “bombs bursting in air” on the Fourth of July.
100. Send and receive heart-warming Valentines.
101. Have a sleep-over with build your own subs and sundaes.

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102. Travel to the top of Pikes Peak.
103. Hike up Mt. Ascutney in Vermont.  Enjoy the view.
104. Admire Simon Pierce Glassworks.
105. Hike down Quechee Gorge.
106. Visit Weston to buy Penny Candy.
107. Play “The Game” with relatives in Vermont.
108. Send and receive letters to and from Pen Pals in France and Korea.
109. Share smiles with strangers.
110. Laugh out loud.
111. Play the guitar and sing in weddings for friends and family.
112. Dance in the rain.  Sing in the shower.  Write songs.
113. Enjoy afternoon tea and scones.
114. Adopt Jazz, Cayenne, and Tigger.  And Sydney (the rabbit).

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115. Attend outdoor concerts at Tanglewood and the GSAC.
116. Eat Italian Ice at Riverside Park on the Navesink River.
117. Take a last minute Sunset Sail in Bar Harbor.
118. Stay at the Balance Rock Inn in Maine.
119. Win a weekend get-away to Ever-May on the Delaware.
120. Wander cold clammy dark caves in Virginia.  Watch for bats.
121. Visit Mount Vernon and Monticello.
122. Tour the Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown.
123. Pick fresh tomatoes, peaches, peppers, and berries.

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124. Sleep late on a rainy day.
125. Read novels, watch movies, see plays.
126. Play Miniature Golf.  Miss winning a tournament by one stroke.
127. Sketch with pencil, charcoal, and pastels.
128. Acid etch a Thistle Bracelet.
129. Throw a piece of pottery . . . without breaking it.
130. Try my hand at Batik.
131. Make Pumpkin Raisin Bread, Pecan Pie, and Pineapple Cheesecake.
132. Host cocktail parties and dinner parties for friends and family.
133. Eat by candlelight at Salem Tavern in Old Salem.
134. Enjoy Moravian Cookies from the Salem Bakery.
135. Find and refinish our first house in Winston-Salem.
136. Host Holiday Open Houses  in Cherry Hill.
137. Enjoy sunsets over the Chesapeake Bay on Deal Island.

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138. Eat Shrimp Scampi at A.J.’s on the Creek.
139. Order Gilbertini at Applegate’s Landing in Columbia.
140. Enjoy Country Fried Steak, Grits, and Sweet Tea at Yesterday’s.
141. Indulge in Sunday Brunch at the Lobster Shanty and Claridge’s.
142. Play guitar in exchange for free passage on Le Junque in St. Thomas.
143. Take a Caribbean cruise with mom, dad, Betsy, Mike, Jess, and Sam.
144. Sort and pack food for the homeless on Christmas Eve.
145. Sew Button Trees and Snowmen and Reindeer to give as gifts.
146. Attend Baby Showers and Wedding Showers.
147. Enjoy fireside dinners of Cheese Fondue and Raclette.

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148. Write short stories, poems, and still-to-be-completed novels.
149. Visit friends in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Minneapolis, El Paso, Richmond.
150. Eat tacos at a sidewalk stand in Mexico.
151. Try Gumba Punch and Conch Fritters in the Bahamas.
152. Enjoy a Croque Monsieur and pommes frites at a Paris Cafe.
153. Learn how to speak French and Spanish . . . un peu.
154. See Star Wars in high school at my brother’s insistence.  His treat.
155. Learn to drive a car.  Parallel park only when necessary.
156. Buy my first car. Used. With a set of dishes in the trunk.
157. Babysit for kids around the neighborhood.  Decide not to have kids.
158. Get my first “real” job.  Earn next to nothing after tax withholding.
159. Go on weekend camping excursions in North Carolina and New England.
160. Lobsters on the back deck of The Lobster House, Cape May NJ.
161. Churn homemade ice cream in the backyard with the Nasts.
162. Pack a picnic lunch to eat by the lake with Linda.
163. Cook bacon over a Bunsen Burner at Girl Scout camp.
164. Wade in the brook. Catch minnows. Watch for snakes.  And gators.


165. Catch fireflies at twilight.  Remember to release them.
166. Rescue Buddha and Rocky ~ orphaned kitten and raccoon.
167. Go Deep Sea Fishing with parents and siblings.  Catch a whopper!
168. Stay up to midnight to ring in the New Year with the Pavelkas.
169. Sample seafood on the North Shore of Boston.
170. See the Boston Red Sox play in Fenway Park.
171. Follow the Freedom Trail.
172. Ride the Fall Foliage Train in the Great Smoky Mountains.
173. Take the auto train to New Jersey to get mom.
174. Play blackjack in Las Vegas.  Enjoy free drinks while losing.
175. See Mount Rushmore and Devil’s Tower.
176. Visit Wall Drug and Deadwood.
177. Learn about Jack-a-Lopes in Jackson Wyoming.
178. Ride a horse for the first time. Fall off. Get back on.


179. Decide NOT to get on a Bucking Bronco.
180. Learn to read. Visit the bookmobile. Get my first library card.
181. Learn to tie my shoes, blow a bubble, whistle, snap my fingers.
182. Play PONG and Tetris.
183. Listen to record albums.  Memorize the album covers.
184. Play backgammon.
185. Sing and dance as The Grouch in Green Eggs & Ham.
186. Ride my bike to the General Store to spend my allowance.
187. Attend the Firemen’s Fair.  Ride rides.  Gamble at The Wheel.
188. Eat frozen Milky Ways at Countryside Swim & Tennis Club.
189. Visit Turtleback Zoo with my grandparents and Edie.


190. Pass the swimming test and take out row boats on Deer Lake.
191. Soar over the sea on swings at Seaside Heights.
192. Go Paddle-Boating and feed the ducks at Tanglewood Park.
193. Win the lottery!
194. Picnic “on the hill” in Vermont.  “What?  No Porta-Johns?”
195. Learn how to shoot a rifle, bow and arrow, and BB Gun.
196. Stay at the Sanderling Inn.  Eat at the Duck Deli.
197. Serve stale foot longs at the Garden State Arts Center.
198. Sell Exam Survival Kits at W&M.
199. Swab the decks as a beer tender at the Hoi Polloi.
200. Hear Neil Young, Boston, and the Grateful Dead at W&M Hall.
201. Build a record-setting ice cream sundae in the Sunken Garden.
202. Eat Cheese Shop Sandwiches in Colonial Williamsburg.
203. Enjoy peace and quiet at Lake Matoaka.
204. Make midnight donut runs to Mr. Donut.
205. Savor triple cones from Baskin Robbins.
206. Eat dinner at George’s.  “Taste yer beans ‘fore ye salt ‘em.”
207. Attend English classes in the Wren Building.
208. See Pure Prairie League, Steve Forbert, Dave Mason & Dave Matthews.
209. Teach Legal Writing to 1st Year Law Students.
210. Learn how to make a budget and stick to it.

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211. Be brave enough to STOP practicing law.
212. Survive an AmeriCorps Audit . . . hair intact.
213. Move to Florida.
214. Attend the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.
215. Make late night pizza runs to Marlboro Pizza.
216. Pick up fresh bagels on Sunday mornings.
217. Back up to the bar for shots of te~qui~la!
218. Fly kites to higher heights.
219. Grow tomatoes, peppers, basil, zucchini, and flowers.
220. Pick a lemon off my own lemon tree.
221. Grow a pineapple in the courtyard (in progress).

222. Zip-Line through the tree tops with the High Ropes Course.
223. Ride in a Pace Car at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
224. Leave the drag races at Raceway Park early due to THE NOISE.
225. Hold yard sales and garage sales to clear clutter.
226. Survive surgery. Twice.
227. Eat a wild mushroom. Get stomach pumped.  Avoid fungus in the future.
228. Feed calve’s liver to the dog.  Oops . . . no dessert for me!
229. Make homemade pizza with Jessica, Amanda, Caroline, Julie, etc.
230. Have a basement flood. “Wow! We have too much stuff.”
231. Read Simplify Your Life.
232. Clear clutter and down-size. Realize Less is More.
233. Start a 401K.  Roll-over to an IRA.  Save more. Spend less.
234. Ride the Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh.
235. Drink a Pina Colada on the sand at Megan’s Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands.
236. Get an earworm while riding “It’s a Small World” at the World’s Fair.
237. Jump out of a hayloft in Canada.  Land on a mountain of hay.
238. Sample smoked octopus. Once.
239. Hang around.  Pretend to be a sloth.

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240. Eat chocolate covered raspberry jellies from Wythe Candy Shoppe.
241. Ride on the Colonial Parkway to Nick’s with a college crush.
242. Enjoy an Island Romance with a free-lance photographer.
243. Develop film and print prints in dad’s dark-room.
244. Pick up a snake. Once.  Avoid snakes in the future.
245. Eat at Tavern on the Green in Central Park and at Mama Leone’s.
246. Listen to the still silent voice within.
247. Slurp HOT Tattie Soup with WARM Oatcakes on a C~O~L~D day.
248. Savor Grilled Cheese (Vermont Cheddar) on Toscano Pano.

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249. Enjoy the show at Medieval Times, King Arthur’s Court, Arabian Nights.
250. Attend Celtic Fairs at Castle McCulloch and Furnace Town.
251. Drink Bloody Mary’s on the rocks overlooking the sea at Acadia.
252. Buy Pink Pearl Perfume in the Bahamas.
253. White Water Raft the Poudre River in Colorado.
254. Take Jess & Sam to see fireworks in their pj’s.  And to see Natasha.
255. Climb lighthouses in Cape May, Ocracoke, and Chincoteague.
256. Inhale an Orange Creme Cupcake in Siesta Key.
257. Play Mastermind, Yahtzee, Scrabble, and RumiKub.

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258. Sub Runs to the College Deli. Bawdy Minstrels at Chownings.
259. Take Ballet Lessons and dance as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
260. Visit highlights in Washington D.C.
261. See Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Piccadilly Circus.
262. Eat Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago.
263. Learn basic auto maintenance. Change the oil. Twice.
264. Learn to walk, talk, swim, and fly. (Not bad ~ 3 out of 4.)
265. Tour the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.
266. Watch a Meteor Shower with thousands of shooting stars.
267. Have a glass of wine at the Eiffel Tower after dark.
268. March with the Brownies in the Memorial Day Parade.
269. Watch Jess on TV in London’s New Year’s Day Parade.
270. Visit Versailles and Petite Trianon.
271. Get the chi flowing again with acupuncture.
272. Take Judo lessons, flow with Tai Chi, stretch with Yoga.
273. Have a massage or two . . . hundred.
274. Try an infared sauna session.  “Is it hot in here?”
275. Start a Meditation practice.  Stick with it.
276. Develop and foster an Attitude of Gratitude.

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277. Run for Student Council and win.
278. Run for Student Council President and lose.  (Also a win!)
279. Serve as Scorer for the Gymnastics Team.
280. Get busted for smoking in the Girl’s Room. Enjoy a 3-day suspension.
281. Play Golden Oldies in the Hatch Family Band.
282. Travel to France, Brussels, and London with the French Club.
283. Eat escargot at L’escargot in Charlotte Amalie.  Once.
284. Cut school to eat at Tang’s in Red Bank.
285. Ponder how to spend my first monthly clothing allowance.
286. See mom sing and dance on stage with the Bayshore Follies.
287. Watch dad on TV during the launch of Telstar. [Counter 19:32]

288. Attend family dinners and reunions in NJ, VT, FL, and Colorado.
289. Spend hours engaged in idle conversation with friends.
290. Stroll through art galleries and museums.
291. Watch Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn through a high-powered telescope.
292. Enjoy the antics of the Ring-Tail Lemurs at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
293. Have a cold beer on a hot day at the Rod & Reel Pier.
294. Ride boats around Anna Maria Island, Sarasota Bay, and Bradenton.
295. Visit Historic Spanish Point and Historic Manatee Village.
296. Enjoy cocktails at the Naples Country Club with W&M Alumni.
297. Attend Homecomings and Class Reunions in Williamsburg.
298. Splash in the pool twice a week for Water Aerobics.
299. Boat up the Potomac River for dinner with college roommates.
300. Hang out and have fun with our 10 nieces and nephews.

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The above list isn’t complete.  In fact, I’ve barely scratched the surface.  You could say these items are just a drop in the bucket. 

Plus: I’m alive and well and adding new experiences all the time.  

Still on the horizon:  

1. Watch the sunset at Mallory Square in Key West.
2. Meander through the Florida Keys.
3. Cruise the coast on the Key West Express from Ft. Myers Beach.
4. Go snorkeling. Watch out for sharks.
5. Hike the Scottish Highlands with the walking stick carved for my grandmother’s grandmother by a suitor who just didna suit her.

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6. Visit the Hebrides, the Highlands, Aberdeen, the Orkneys.
7. Stop by Loch Ness to look for Nessie.
8. Walk the course at St. Andrews and the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
9.  Attend the Highland Games and/or the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh.
10. Do NOT try Haggis! (Unless you’ve first fortified yourself with Scotch.)
11. Play the bagpipes.  “I’ll huff . . . and I’ll puff . . . and I’ll blow those pipes.”
12. Bag a “munro” ~ a hill over 3,000 feet in height.
13. Kiss the Blarney Stone.
14. Visit the Poison Garden at Blarney Castle.
15. Wander through market stalls in Morocco.
16. Cruise on the Victory Chimes through the Caribbean.
17. Eat pasta, pizza, and gelato in Italy.  Mangia!
18. Cruise the Mediterranean Sea around the Greek Isles.  Eat olives.
19. Visit St. Augustine, the Georgia Isles, the Panhandle.
20. Go parasailing over the Gulf of Mexico.

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21. Visit Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Isle, the Bay of Fundy.
22. Read more books, watch more movies, see more plays.
23.  Eat more pizza!
24. Celebrate more birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
25. Laugh. Every day.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s on YOUR bucket list?

Related posts: A Very Pathetic Bucket List (Coffee Kat Blog) * In Defense of the Serious Bucket List (Raptitude) * Lessons from the Movies: The Bucket List & The Bucket List: Fried Ice Cream (Did That Just Happen?)

Shapes and Shades June 15, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Life Balance, Nature, Poetry.
Tags: , , ,
26 comments

220px-Lightning_striking_the_Eiffel_Tower_-_NOAAI have faith the sun will rise
Even when veiled by stormy skies

Shapes and shades of purple sage
Reach up and out from age to age

The horizon remains steadfast too
Even when hidden from our view

Waters streaming as we gaze
Through mists of time and foggy haze

Aah . . . that’s better!

* Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.   ~ Vivian Greene

* A certain amount of opposition is a great help.  Kites rise against the wind, not with it. ~ John Neal

Our Thought Filters June 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
35 comments

Cheshire_Cat_TennielBFF is on the back deck hosing off our air filter.

With each swipe of the hose, water washes away dirt, debris, and detritus leaving the filter as good as new.

If only we could clean our thought filters as easily . . . washing away all the preconceived notions, prejudices, and stale reactions that get in the way of perceiving the day as it is, instead of as we are.

Barn’s burnt down ~ now I can see the moon. ~ Masahide (1657-1723)

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Picking and Grinning May 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Happiness, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , , ,
37 comments

A few days ago, to celebrate an unexpected break in the weather, we drove out to Hunsader Farms to pick tomatoes.

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A picture perfect day to head out into the fields.

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Due to high supply and insufficient demand, the price of the U-Pick Tomatoes dropped to $2 a bag or bucket.

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We picked 56 tomatoes, at the peak of perfection, to fill our bucket.

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Picking and grinning the whole time.

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Before leaving the farm, we wandered around the petting zoo and met the residents as they bleated, “We’re hungry.  Feed us.”

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Does this guy seem a bit horny to you?

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In addition to hungry goats begging for oats, we spied a few other natives hanging around.

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We enjoyed meeting the Hay Family ~ Fescue, Timothy, Alfalfa and Clover.

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But we didn’t catch this guy’s name ~> he was a bit of a stuffed shirt.

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Our bucket of summer goodness didn’t impress Tigger, despite the price.

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Because man cannot live by tomatoes alone, we bought a few token sweet potatoes, zucchini, red peppers, carrots, and a cantaloupe.

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We also got a 50 pound box of butternut squash for $5.  Enough to fill a laundry basket in our pantry and keep us full of fiber until the fall harvest.

But the first thing we ate ~> tomatoes!

Aah . . . that’s better!

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