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Marvelous Benches & Whimsical Chairs November 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Humor, Mindfulness.
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19 comments

While at Mixon Fruit Farms, we stumbled across some marvelous benches.

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Natural.

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Unadorned.

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They brought to mind other marvelous benches and whimsical chairs.

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Not natural.

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Or unadorned.

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But fun.

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Each designed to encourage us to press the pause button and relax.

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C’mon . . . pull up a dolphin and set a spell.

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Aah . . . that’s better.

 

Lizard Mania November 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Home & Garden, Humor, Nature.
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45 comments

IMGP3570A few nights ago, we spent 20 minutes catching a lizard in the lanai.

BFF reached up to the ceiling and “almost” got it in the bucket first try.

It escaped, raced around the room, and hid under the corner bookcase.

We had to take everything off the shelves, lay the bookcase down on its side, and . . .

“Got it!”

Almost.

We chased it around the room a few more times.  At last, BFF caught the lizard for real, took it outside and released it.

Yay!

During Lizard Mania, Tigger sat on the other side of the sliding glass doors flicking his tail and yowling to be allowed to join the hunt.

Tigger is better at catching lizards than we are, but they aren’t good for him. So we muddle along the best we can so he doesn’t have to do the dirty work.

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We’re not convinced that he appreciates our consideration.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Until The Worm Turns November 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Life Balance, Nature.
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25 comments

Weather and its aberrations, permutations, and precipitations formed part and parcel of many of my grandfather’s missives:

Mickey-Lounging

* 12/29/57 ~  “There is still a world without snow up here.  So mild it almost spoils going to Florida.”

* 7/20/58 ~ “We expect Frank and Margaret to come today and Webb and Pete. It was to be a picnic at Summers Falls but it is so cool I wonder if we may not eat here at the house. It is cold much of the time. We almost needed a fire today.”

* 1/16/59 ~ “It is icy today on the roads.  The cream truck rolled over on Clifford Best’s hill.  School did not keep because of the roads.”

* 2/19/59 ~  “This is our coldest morning.  It was 60 degrees in our rooms this morning and the windows are well frosted.  It must be 30 below.  I’d rather be in Florida.”

* 12/29/63 ~ “It is cold tonight.  Down to ZERO at 4:30 P.M. by the new thermometer.  I was out just now and decided it wasn’t lying.

* 5/7/67 ~ “It was 29 degrees this morning with a white frost showing when we got up.  I find time to run up to Hanover to see how stocks are doing. The blue chips are doing better, so, so am I.  I mowed the front part of the lawn just now.  It is cold though and I needed mittens. Some lawn weather!

Goofy-Under-An-Umbrella* 5/26/67 ~ “I still have some gardening to do here and at Rae’s.  It is a very late Spring.  It is a gloomy day today with rain.  Yesterday there was 5 inches of snow in Montpelier ~ none in Hartland.  Just rain and cold rain.

It should warm up sometime.

And it did . . . 3 weeks later:

Mickey-In-Hammock* 6/17/67 ~ “We are in the midst of a hot spell, 85 and 90, on the outside in the shade.  We almost went to the Cape this weekend but Margaret thought it was too hot to go so here we are.

We have talked some of a trip to the Expo 67 but that is still on ice.  I have picked 1 berry.  They are very late.”

* 4/18/73 ~ “We have been having bare ground for some time but today the worm turned. It gave us a snow and blow. Only 5 inches but a nasty day.”

* 1/19/75 ~ “There was a foot of snow in the drive. It was heavy and took about an hour to clear. It is all done and I am resting while the coal makes dust and the wood snaps in the kitchen stove.

Mickey-Surfer* 4/1/76 ~ “The brook!  It is 50 ft. wide under the kitchen window and probably 3 feet deep.  Quite a river.  The cat is well!  He chases wind blown leaves and is real frisky.  Rae is 93, April 26.  We got up at 6 o’clock yesterday and today.  No time to waste.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

DIY Projects, Work Bees, & No Cavities! November 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Life Lessons.
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22 comments

Donald-DuckaIn letters written during his retirement, my grandfather shared tales of “work bees” (think Quilting Bees, not Spelling Bees) as well as many DIY projects.

As any handy-man knows, some projects require a bit of figuring, hunting, muttering, and Yankee ingenuity:

* 1/14/62 ~ “Tomorrow I think I will start a piping job in the kitchen.  I have the pipe and fittings. It is just a case of being ambitious enough to start tearing things to pieces.

I went on a work bee Wednesday evening.  We had a lot of folding wood chairs given us.  We glued up and repaired 21 chairs.”

* 10/15/62 ~ “I have done some work on the kitchen since you were up.  I worked 2 weeks on it.  I understand it looks better.

We had a bee and put in the cement floor in the Legion House yesterday. Expect to have another work bee next week end. They want to get it fixed up before cold weather sets in for good. And deer hunting.

3D-Ape* 3/27/67 ~ “I just got a problem solved so I can relax long enough to write.  I installed a baseboard heater under the windows in the living room with a wall thermostat to install over the desk, away from the direct heat. I wired it up and turned it on. There was a flash and it threw the breaker in the box. So I began to figure, hunt, trace wiring, and mutter to myself.

I decided I had wired it all right and it might be the wrong thermostat, or defective. This morning I got a replacement.  This afternoon I hooked it up and we are in business.  It works OK.  I had stayed awake a night or two trying to figure what I could have done which was wrong.”

* 1/24/72 ~ “The stoker had a bad spell of shearing ash shaft pins. I worked two days finding the trouble to be lax adjustment of the chain which carries out ash.  I readjusted it and it is functioning properly again.  It took two days, in grease, to find it and about ½ hour to fix it.  My know-how was bad, at first, as Ernest English would say.”

Mickey-Ta-DaaaPerhaps my favorite excerpt in the DIY category was his pronouncement at the end of this plumbing project:

* 5/21/60 ~ “I have been busy.  I decided to change the location of the tub and lavatory to get the piping away from the wall.  I did all of it but two joints which Hi did to show me how.  I turned on the water and “No Cavities!”  It did not leak.” 

Aah . . . that’s better! 

It’s Done & Dusted! October 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, Home & Garden, Humor.
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44 comments

Despite what I said yesterday, some projects benefit from completion.

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If we had stalled mid-way through the painting project, our kitchen would still be strewn all over the living room.

Bananas, dish drainer, knives, and tea kettle by the back door.

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Coffee maker and spatulas in the midst of “Control Central.”

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Slow cooker, onions, Ninja, and recipe box in the spare bedroom.

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Although placement of the toaster next to the recliner might have come in handy for late night snacks, I wanted to return kitchen items to the kitchen.

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Including Tigger’s food and watering station.

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But before we could roll up the last drop cloth, we needed to move the hutch and other furniture away from the BIG wall.

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Away from the wide arc of potential paint splatters.

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That meant emptying out the dining room hutch.

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And providing temporary housing to its populace on the dining room table.

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While keeping my fingers crossed that BFF would NOT upend the table with an errant ladder.

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What?  He hit the chandelier with the ladder.

Twice.

Tigger heard him too.

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And an errant ladder leg took a hunk out of the bookcase BFF made me a few years ago.  But it’s fixed now . . .  so we’ll say no more about it.

At last it was time to tackle the last wall.  The BIG wall.

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To give you a sense of the scale, here’s the other side of the room after he finished the accent wall.

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These bookcases are 6 1/2 feet high.  The ceiling is . . . higher.  Much higher.

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That’s why BFF had to swing ladders around.  So I crossed my fingers and held my breath.

And voila!

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It’s DONE and DUSTED!

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Except for a few loose ends.  Like hanging photos.

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Hope you’ve enjoyed this squirrel’s eye view.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Love What You’ve Done With The Place * Another Fantasy Adventure

Another Fantasy Adventure October 2, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , , , ,
39 comments

On Sunday, we traveled across town to check out model homes in The Inlets. Of the rooms we toured, this game room captured our imagination the best.

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We could have stayed here for hours playing pool inside or wandering through the sliders to cool off in the adjoining pool and soak away cares in the spa.

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Stopping between shots to admire our $1.4 million yacht parked just outside the game room.

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The tropical colors of the space soothed our lusty appetites, as did the help yourself hors d’oeurves.

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Before moving on to the next home, we wandered outside, kicked off our shoes, and climbed aboard the 3 bed 2 bath boat in the basin.

Topside, BFF allowed the breeze to ruffle his captain’s cap.

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Back inside, we took one last longing look at the pristine calm.

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Before returning to the current reality of our life.

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We are making progress.  Slow and steady progress.

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In due course we’ll reclaim our ZEN.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Love What You’ve Done With The Place September 26, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, Fun & Games, Home & Garden, Humor.
Tags: , , , ,
28 comments

BFF is painting, which means that we are stepping over and around drop cloths and displaced possessions.

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Tigger doesn’t like it.  Not one little bit.  He is overflowing with reproachful glances (a/k/a “giving us the stink eye”).

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From his perspective, it’s unneeded disruption of a carefully honed routine.

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That’s too bad.

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We didn’t give him a vote.

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Even after he tried to stuff the Ballot Box.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Bagels September 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: , , , ,
34 comments

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1 cup warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp. oil

Mix and knead the dough (or let your bread maker do it for you).  Let it rise for 20 minutes.  Turn out onto a floured surface.

Divide the dough in 8-12 pieces.  [I made 12 the first time.  Too small.]

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Roll each piece into a rope and form into a circle, pressing ends together.

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Place on well-greased baking sheet, cover with a warm/damp towel and let rise for 15-20 minutes.

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Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Admire your Pillsbury Dough Boys . . .

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In a large non-aluminum pan, boil 3-4 inches of water.  Lower 3-4 bagels at a time into simmering water.  Cook 15-30 seconds each side.

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Remove bagels, drain excess water.

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Place bagels on a well-greased cookie sheet (or pre-heated pizza stone).

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Bake 8 minutes.  [For larger bagels, turn bagels over and bake another 4-6 minutes until lightly browned on both sides.]

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Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool.

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Yield: 12 small bagels (or 8 large bagels).

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Yes.  One of the dozen is M.I.A. ~ wherever did it go?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Picking A Prickly Pineapple August 25, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Home & Garden, Humor.
Tags: , , , , ,
51 comments

In May, we noticed a pineapple growing in our courtyard:

By mid-July, it had quite a regal crown:

And then it stopped growing and started ripening.  So I picked it:

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To give you a bit of perspective, here’s my best Carmen Miranda imitation:

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Growing pineapples is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Stop, Thief! August 2, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Home & Garden, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , , ,
42 comments

grumpy_thinkingGeorge Phillips, an elderly man from Walled Lake, Michigan, was headed to bed when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed.

George opened the back door to go turn off the light and saw two people in the shed stealing stuff.

He phoned the police to report the break in.  The dispatcher asked, “Are they breaking into your house?”

“No, they’re still in my garden shed.”

“OK.  All patrols are busy.  Lock your doors and an officer will be along as soon as one is available.”

Disgusted, George hung up the phone, counted to 30, and called back.

“Hi.  I called a few minutes ago to report two people stealing things from my shed.  You can cancel the dispatch.”

Pluto-Happy“Why’s that?”

“I shot and killed them both.  I think my dogs are eating them.  In any event, problem solved.”

As George hung up the phone, six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the Policemen said, “I thought you said you’d shot them.”

George said, “I thought the dispatcher said there was nobody available.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from an unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

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