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Angling for a Complement March 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Home & Garden, Word Play.
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The last time we walked down Pine Avenue, I noticed Kermit fishing.

“Hey Kermit!  What cha doing?”

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“Oh, hi there.  I’m angling for a complement.”

“A compliment?  What kind of compliment?”

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“Not compliment.  Complement.  I’m hanging around, dangling this line, and angling for my soul mate . . .  the divine Miss Piggy.”

“What a compliment for Miss Piggy!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Happy Note ~ Daisy Days March 28, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Nature, Simplify Your Life.
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The flowers I received for Valentine’s Day wilted in short order . . . except for one sprig of purple daisies.

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Since they seemed happy to hang around a bit longer, I relocated them to an empty crock of Dundee Orange Marmalade.

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There, they added a happy note to our days.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Simple, Old-Fashioned Things I Love Doing (My Light Bag) * Take A Two-Minute Break (Find Your Middle Ground) * The Friday Four: Flowers (Maggie Madly Writing)

Stuffed! March 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Life Lessons, Simplify Your Life.
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The best way to avoid clutter is not to buy it in the first place.  We learned that lesson the hard way by moving our stuff . . .  more than a dozen times.

Our first visitors
stumble o’er moving boxes
“Let’s go out to eat!”

Wikipedia ~ Moving Company

In our younger years, we had a number of buying triggers (CD’s, books, zebras, Santas) ~ all manner of collectable collectibles.

Unpacking becomes
A logistical challenge
We have Too Much Stuff

These days, we seldom shop for anything but groceries.  And still we have things cluttering up our life which would benefit from more pruning. 

Back to the basics:
load, unload, unpack, repeat.
We have Too Much Stuff

Wikipedia ~ Collecting

When we bought this villa we inherited a literal ton of knick knacks and paddy whacks which we stashed in a make-shift staging area in the garage.

After our umpteenth trip to Goodwill, the garage floor reappeared with an opening large enough for our cars.

Life’s small victories
mount, as stuffed garage swallows
a Toyota van

Wikipedia ~ Moving Company

The less we have to distract us . . . the more time we have to live!

Rain drops on hutches
and bartered possessions ~ our
moving saga ends

 Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to Ponder:  Until you are happy with who you are . . . you will never be happy with what you have.

Related posts:  Pack & Live Lighter (My Light Bag) * Possessions: The Stuff of Life (LA Times) *  Collectable Collectibles (Colonialist) * Expand Time Energy Money (Love Out Loud) * Timely Advice

Häagen-Dazs & Pretzel: A Fairy Tale March 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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Once upon a time, an extremely unattractive and petulant misanthrope grew tired of living in close proximity to a bunch of Nosy Parkers.

“Hell is other people,” Mizzie Borden muttered while stirring a cauldron of Cream of Newt Soup.  “Always butting in where they don’t belong.”

She decided to follow Thoreau’s footsteps into the woods.  She surfed MAXEDOUT.com and found a small cottage with a large oven and great curb appeal.  Real eye candy.

Mizzie purchased the cottage without requesting a home inspection.  An army of ants nibbling the gingerbread siding wasn’t the worst of it.

Walden Township raised property taxes, FEMA hiked flood insurance premiums, and subsidies under the Unaffordable Health Care Act never materialized.  

Desperate to make ends meet, Mizzie advertised on Angie’s List as an unlicensed child care provider (a/k/a “a babysitter”).  

The next day, a woodcutter left Häagen-Dazs and Pretzel in Mizzie’s care.

“I’m off to protest mountaintop removal by short-sighted privateers intent on raping the earth of its coal.  Soon, there won’t be any trees left for me to cut.  I’ll be back at 5.”

Häagen-Dazs and Pretzel proved  to be both crude and rude.

“Spoiled brats!”

Impatient for lunch, they pulled the gingerbread siding off her cottage and ate it.  Ants and all.

“Insubordinate beasts!”

When the woodcutter didn’t show on time, Mizzie shoved Häagen-Dazs and Pretzel into the oven for a “time out.”

Unbeknownst to Mizzie, the oven was blazing.

“Oh, well. I warned Häagen-Dazs not to play with matches.”

Following a half-hearted investigation plagued with bureaucratic foul ups, bribery, and corruption, the police dropped all charges.  Mizzie returned home and became a writer (the best occupation for misanthropes).  

Unable to find a publisher for her horror stories and fractured fairy tales, Mizzie self-published.  Fueled by her recent notoriety, Eat Mor’ Children  took off in a blaze of tweets.  

Paparazzi became a nuisance, sitting in trees with long lenses.

“Every blessing is cursed!”

Mizzie stormed the glade, “Get off, the lot of you!  Go shoot Cumberbatch’s bitches!”

When entreaties failed, Mizzie invited them for lunch.  As lunch.

If not for government-sanctioned invasions of privacy, Mizzie would have lived happily-ever-after.

“No one’s gonna miss a few pesky paparazzi.”

Except for other Nosy Parkers.

NSA (National Screening Agents) intercepted Mizzie’s e-mails, including her recipes for “Paparazzi Primavera” and “Children Cacciatore.”

“Hell is other people,” Mizzie muttered, when arrested.  ”Always poking about where they don’t belong.”

* * *

Join the fun ~> Susanna’s March Madness Writing Contest is Here!

Writing is a solitary occupation.  Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer.  He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking. ~ Lawrence Clark Powell

Related post:  A Fairy Tale Tribunal

Illustrations:  Wikipedia ~ Hansel & Gretel (in Public Domain)

Clean and Green March 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Simplify Your Life.
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After we donated our extra refrigerator from the garage, the stuff inside our garage had fewer places to perch and became a bit jumbled and tumbled.

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We had some green totes sitting high and dry and decided to put them into service as storage bins.

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One problem, they wouldn’t fit on the flimsy shelf unit we’d inherited with the villa.

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So we bought a sturdier shelving unit from Home Depot and BFF assembled it to accommodate the idle green totes.

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Now we have a tidy place for everything to hide inside . . .

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And can keep everything in its place . . .

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Aah . . . that’s better!

I wrote and scheduled this post several days before the WP Daily Post issued the Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Inside.  Note the uncanny similarity between their totes and ours.  Spooky!  All we’re missing is the baby!

Stand Your Ground March 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Home & Garden, Humor.
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Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is controversial . . . encouraging people to fight when threatened rather than flee to safety.

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But in our villa, we encourage Tigger to stand his ground when infidels infiltrate his domain.

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And he obliges.

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He is NOT a scaredy cat.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

A Quest to Knowingness March 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Mindfulness, Poetry, Word Play.
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Less is more . . . especially when it comes to winter’s wicked weather.  In 2009, we headed south in search of spring.

IMGP1218Aimless snowflakes drift
Spinning through frigid night air
Winter longs for spring

Yoko and Ono
pirouette beneath the palms
of Jungle Gardens

We wonder as we
wander ~ “Is this what we want?”
Life’s trade-offs abound

This villa! This view!
With that, our quest coalesced
into knowingness

Palm trees and capris
A sunny, warm winter breeze
Parkas packed away

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you need a home base? What makes a place “home” to you?  Does living a nomadic life, traveling from place to place, hold any appeal?

Do you recall your last house hunt?  Did intuition play a part?

The first time I experienced intuitive knowingness, it whispered, “This is YOUR house.”  I glanced up from the book in my lap and KNEW.

I KNEW that it KNEW what it was talking about; I KNEW that the house with the “For Sale” sign was MY house; and I KNEW that that intuitive knowingness welled up from a source inside me that was far beyond the limits of my mind.

Related posts:  Winks, Whispers, and NudgesGreat Thoughts (Candid Impressions)

“Another” Is Never Enough November 13, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Simplify Your Life, Sustainable Living.
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Have you ever noticed hunters of houses on TV who claim they want “character” in their next house . . . only to declare, once there, that the kitchens and baths will have to be gutted bare?

Because they’re out of date!  And don’t have double sinks!

Homeowners who can’t cook worth a lick white-wash the character they claim to be after by removing charming butlers pantries and hand-crafted cabinets to create room for stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.


A cookie cutter home with a cookie cutter kitchen that others of like ilk will covet.

“Ooh . . . I love your new appliances!”

As hunters of houses troll through ponderous preposterous closets fit for a queen, they exclaim that the size is far too small to act as a suitable receptacle for their prodigious pile of possessions.

Even if the closet is large enough to park a small tour bus.

And, speaking of parking, if you’re invited for a visit, don’t forget to comment on the changes wrought to the wrought iron railings surrounding the gate to the palatial estate.

These grasping social climbers care what you think.

Facing their reflection in the myriad of mirrors gracing the halls and walls of their humble domain convinces them they are NOT enough as they are, so they look outside themselves for applause, accolades, and approval to fill the void.

Tag!  You’re it!

Instead of building character with character building pursuits, materialists hide behind things, and stuff their houses with symbols of status and other such stuff ~ one eye in the mirror and the other focused on the eyes of onlookers.

Like you!

Characters who use external reference points aren’t in the market to buy a comfortable house (with character) in which to reside, fireside, they want a place with space to impress neighbors, friends, and pizza delivery guys.


They’re addicted to buying another pair of shoes, a new handbag, and fancy cars and yachts to raise their estimation in our eyes.

No matter how many suits, dresses, shoes, handbags, scarves, coats, skirts, gowns, pants, mittens, slacks, undergarments, shirts, blouses, and stainless steel appliances they cram into their closets and lives, it’s never enough to fill the void.


As soon as one desire is met, the grasping greedy Ego creates another.

And another.

And another.

And “another” is never enough.

Whatever it has, the insatiable Ego wants MORE.  It’s a greedy grasping thing, never satisfied for long.  Using Ego as a barometer creates unnecessary suffering for us and those around us.

When we learn to ignore Ego’s need to impress, we are free to be as we are.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Putting Ego In Its Place (Suzicate)

Artwork: Wikipedia ~ Kitchens (in Public Domain)

Palma Sola Botanical Park October 13, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Nature.
Tags: , , ,

Just a short bike ride away, a mere 3 miles through the trails at Robinson Preserve, lies a not-so-hidden garden.

Filled with interesting plants of assorted shapes and various sizes . . .


And the occasional visitor . . .


Some plants are crane-your-neck tall . . .


Others are lively but dainty and small . . .


A few boast leaves resembling large floppy elephant ears . . .


Echoes of the Big Bad Wolf ~> “All the better to hear you with, my dear.”

Aah . . . that’s better! 

A Forward Look, Backwards September 30, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Poetry, Special Events.
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Today is Mom’s Birthday!

She’s “twenty-one plus” . . . and holding.

Happy Birthday, Mom!


A few years ago, we wanted mom and dad to move into a smaller place.  Mom didn’t want to move.  Dad was on the fence.  To encourage her to reconsider, I sent her a poem for her birthday ~ A Forward Look, Backwards.


A Forward Look, Backwards

Mom, as you know, we’ve moved around a bunch
One place at breakfast, another by lunch
In contrast, you’re more like an Oak tree
Roots deep in the soil, branches floating free

From the coast of Maine, to Paris at night
Hiking and biking, you’ve seen many a sight
But your roots remained in the Garden State
And your memories there have grown in weight

For forty-three years, you’ve stayed in one place
Adding rings ’round your trunk with grit and grace
Roots sinking deeper, memories growing
But, Mom, at long last – your age is showing


Four children grown, and off on their own
The seeds you planted have now been resown
And most of your rooms sit empty and bare
Silent echoes of laughter filling the air

One thing we have learned over the years
Moving about is no cause for tears
In each place, our memories came too
Now, I ask, what are you going to do?

Will you stay in a house, too big by far
Or . . . “would you like to swing on a star?
Carry moonbeams home in a jar
And be better off than you are . . .

Or would you rather be a mule?” *

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM . . . whatever you decide.


The poem didn’t work.

A few more birthdays came and went.  In time, life made the decision for her ~ dad died last June and our childhood house has since been sold.


Life’s like that . . . always moving forward, even if we’re looking backwards.


Aah . . . that’s better!

* * * * *

* The rest of the stanza from Would You Like To Swing On A Star:

A mule is an animal with long funny ears
He kicks up at everything he hears
His back is brawny but his brain is weak
He’s just plain stupid with a stubborn streak . . .



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