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Out Of This World October 1, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
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20 comments

We took a star-studded tour of the known Universe at the Planetarium on Saturday morning.

With Tom Hanks narrating, we flew out past the edges of the Milky Way via Passport to the Universe.

We saw stars!  Billions and billions of stars.  And Earth from a decidedly different perspective.

Imagine everyone you’ve ever known on that pale blue dot . . .

At the far reaches of outer space, we found a Black Hole and used it as a short cut to shoot back across the Universe, saving us millions of light years.

Back on Earth, we bumped into H.G. Wells and his Time Machine.

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It’s quite a brilliant mode of transport, allowing passengers to travel through time and space without undergoing groping and probing at TSA checkpoints.

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Just punch in the coordinates and GO!

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But it was time for lunch . . . so we’ll save that adventure for another day.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Happy Birthday, Minkey! September 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, People, Special Events.
Tags: , , , , ,
36 comments

Mom turns 85 today!

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Let’s do the math:

85 years x 365 days x 24 hours x 60 minutes = 44,467,600 minutes (give or take thirty thousand minutes to account for Leap Years).

Of those 44 million minutes, mom remembers, oh, let’s say, the last 10 or 20 clearly.  The farther back she goes, the fuzzier it gets.

If I showed her this photo (taken 20 or so years ago), she’d recognize the out-of-focus faces but it wouldn’t help her to recall anything about the day.

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Her faded long-term memory makes for some interesting conversations.  She remembers she has four kids, but the nomenclature is off at times.

* One day, she wanted to talk to my brother’s wife about something.  Instead of asking for Joan by name, she asked my brother, “Do you know where your mother is?”

Doug kept a straight face and said, “Yeah.  I’m looking right at her.”  (I give him kudos for resisting the urge to reply, “Oh, mom?  She’s lost in space.”)

* Another time, my sister and her family flew from FL to CO for a visit.  Mom recognized my sister, but not my sister’s husband, Mike (who’s been in the family for 25+ years).

At one point during the visit, mom asked Mike, “Where do you live?”
Mike replied, “In Orlando.”

Mom perked up, “My daughter lives in Orlando . . . do you know her?”
Mike nodded,  “Yeah, I married her.”

Surprised, mom asked, “When?”

* Several times, mom has asked me what happened to dad.  After I fill her in on his final illness and death, she nods, “So that’s it . . . he’s dead?”

Yup.  That’s it.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MINKEY!

On the plus side, since she is seldom pulled into memories of what once was, she finds it easy to stay situated in the Present Moment.

The Eternal NOW.  The only place happiness resides.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Blue Crab Bay September 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Nature, People.
Tags: , , ,
32 comments

Wikipedia ~ Chesapeake Bay (in Public Domain)

A native of the Eastern Shore of Maryland got stopped by a game warden as he was leaving the bay with an ice chest full of live blue crabs and bay water.

The game warden asked the man, “Do you have a license to catch those crabs?”

“Naw, my friend, I ain’t got no license. These here are my pet crabs.”

“Pet crabs?”

“Yep. Every night I take these crabs down to the bay and let ‘em swim around for a while.   Then I whistle and they jump right back into this ice chest and I take ‘em home.”

“That’s a bunch of Bull!   Crabs can’t do that!”

The man looked at the game warden for a moment and then said, “It’s the truth.   I’ll show you.   It really works.”

“Okay, I’ve GOT to see this!”

The man poured the crabs into the river and stood and waited.

After several minutes, the game warden turned to him and said,  “Well?”

“Well, what?” said the man.

“When are you going to call them back?”

“Call who back?”

“The crabs!”

“WHAT crabs?”

Folks from the Eastern Shore of Maryland may not be as smart as some, but they ain’t as dumb as many.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Inspiration:  e-mail from unknown author

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

Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, Fun & Games, Home & Garden, Humor.
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27 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!

Pinocchio, Snow White & Superman September 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
Tags: ,
22 comments

snow_white_applePinocchio, Snow White, and Superman are out for a stroll in town one day.  As they walk, they come across a sign:

“Beauty contest to find the most beautiful woman in the world.”

“I am entering,” said Snow White.  After half an hour she comes out and they ask her, “Well, how’d ya do?”

” First Place ,” said Snow White.

FlyThey continue walking and they see a sign:

“Contest to find the strongest man in the world.”

“I’m entering,” says Superman.  After half an hour he returns and they ask him, “How did you make out?”

First Place ,” answers Superman. “Did you ever doubt it?”

220px-PinocchioThey continue walking when they see a sign:

“Contest!

Who is the greatest liar in the world?”

Pinocchio enters.

After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes.

“What happened?” they asked.

“Who the ^&$% is OSCAR PISTORIOUS?”

Aah . . . that’s better!

E-mail from unknown author (sent by Granny1947)

The Blind Leading The Blind September 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Lessons, People.
Tags: , , , , ,
55 comments

IMGP1472aI read a post written by a twenty-something someone who flew halfway around the world and then spent his first three weeks in Thailand drinking Buckets of Beer at night and being hung-over during the day.

He suggested that we all add Travel to our Bucket List . . . to maintain life balance.

Dude!  Are you sure you’re the best person to give us advice on maintaining life balance?

Another twenty-something recommended travel as one of the best ways to learn about ourselves and our priorities.

What did he learn?  That the highlight of his trip to South America was his excitement at the thought of returning home.

Before blindly following advice from others, it’s a good idea to make sure they know where they are going first.

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you are headed for the mountain top, why do you care what the people in the valley are doing? ~ Guy Finley (The Secret of Letting Go)

Related Post:  The Extrapolation Temptation

Choose Happiness September 15, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
42 comments

We can choose to be happier by changing the focus of our day-to-day thoughts.

Like any skill worth having, changing the way we look at the world will not happen on its own.

We don’t learn to swim, or speak French, or play golf by wishing we had those skills.  We learn those skills by practicing them until we become adept.

If we wish to change our minds, it helps to understand a few key concepts:

1. Thoughts create our reality.  

When we dwell on past hurts and frustrations, our thoughts and emotions are apt to be negative ~ sadness, anger, and resistance fill our world.  When we count our blessings and envision a positive future, our thoughts and emotions tend to follow suit, increasing the level of our happiness.

Sometimes nothing needs to change but our perspective or frame of reference.

2. We can choose the way we view the world.

Our thoughts are tools which help or hinder us as we journey through life.

When we learn to view the thoughts running through our brains in the same way we view images on a TV or computer screen, we realize we can change the channel any time we don’t like the program being broadcast.

Watching the same tearful melodrama for days (or years) is like watching a sad movie over and over again.  Instead of watching stale reruns, we can reclaim the remote, switch channels, and watch more positive and uplifting fare.

Monitoring our thoughts allows us to re-program the default setting on our remotes and trains our brain to broadcast shows that are worth watching.

3. It’s hard to stop thinking about pink elephants. 

If we’re told not to think about pink elephants, the image of a pink elephant is apt to appear, front and center. Telling ourselves to stop thinking about pink elephants is an exercise in futility.

Instead, like training a teething puppy, we must give our minds something else to chew on:  planning our next vacation, writing out a grocery list, playing Sudoku, making weekend plans.

Better still, we can do something:  Read a book.  Watch a movie.  Fly a kite.  Ride a bike. Paint a picture.  Take a hike.  Send a note.  Float a boat. Feed a goat.  Dig a moat. Phone a friend.

One of the best ways to distance ourselves from the habit of negative thinking is by distracting ourselves with a dose of positivity.

4. Emotions follow our thoughts, not vice versa.

Think sad, feel sad.  Think mad, feel mad.  Think glad, feel glad.

As we tune into the ticker tape of monkey chatter racing through our mental corridors, we notice emotions as they arise ~ e.g., a flicker of annoyance.  We take a mindful peek at our thoughts to see if they are true, helpful, kind, etc.

If not, as is often the case, we switch channels to a more positive broadcast.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  A Simple Choice

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.  By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Intestate Succession September 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
Tags: ,
29 comments

Doug Smith is on his deathbed; he knows the end is near.  His wife, daughter and 2 sons are with him, along with a nurse.

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Doug looks at his oldest son, “Bernie, I want you to take the Mayfair houses.”

Bernie nods.

“Sybil, take the apartments over in Pall Mall.”

Sybil agrees.

Doug looks at his youngest son, “Jamie, I want you to take the offices over in City Center.”

Jamie says, “Sure, pop.”

At last, Doug turns to his wife of 27 years, “Sarah, my darling, please take all the residential buildings on the Thames.”

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As Doug slips away, the nurse says, “Mrs. Smith, your husband must have been a hard working man to have accumulated all that property.”

Sarah snorts, “Property?  I wish.”

Confused, the nurse looks around.

Bernie nods in the direction of the bed.  “Dear old dad ran a cleaning service.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

E-mail from unknown author (sent by Granny1947)

Shooting Ducks on the Midway September 12, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
Tags: , , ,
41 comments

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Ego (the false self, the illusionist, the imposter, the story-teller) will do anything to keep us off balance.

Ego knows that, as long as we’re struggling against the roiling waves and brush fires it creates, we will be too busy to toss him overboard (or fight fire with fire).

Ego wants to live long enough to create conflict another day.

Once we “wake up” and see that we are not the thoughts we think, the stormy seas left in Ego’s wake dissipate.

Donald-Duck-LazyI am not the thoughts I think.
My thoughts are not “me.”

I am the silent observer of thoughts that arise.
The detached witness.

I can identify with the thoughts Ego tosses at me.
Or allow them to drift away.

When we practice mindfulness, we no longer believe all the thoughts we think.

Instead, our authentic self  (the still silent observer) watches the ticker-tape parade of thoughts that pop up in rapid-fire succession (like those revolving ducks at the shooting gallery on the midway).

Donald-DirectorAs we watch, our awareness of our internal landscape improves, as does our aim.  We get better at shooting toxic thoughts down as soon as they pop up.

Instead of being thrown off balance by non-productive thoughts, we watch Ego’s ineffectual attempts to “stir the pot” with detached amusement.

We see that Ego is just a big fat QUACK!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Like A Box of Chocolates September 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , , ,
48 comments

IMGP1105bThe titles of blog posts can be misleading.

Titillating titles and teasers may grab our attention without holding it.

Great curb appeal may mask an empty shell:

Inside the vestibule, we encounter a veritable dumping ground of mish mash and pish posh with little rhyme or reason, almost as if the author tossed a bunch of unrelated thoughts into the air and allowed the hodge podge and hoi polloi to descend and settle willy nilly into disordered and discordant chaos and disarray.

Like so much falderal and fiddle dee dee.

If a post leaves me befuddled (because “the point” of the post is M.I.A.), I leave the pointless post, post haste.

Of course, the opposite also occurs.

On occasion, we stumble across a blog title so dumpy or frumpy that we lower our expectations before stepping across the threshold.

Why step inside at all?

Curiosity, perhaps.  Or maybe the slim reed of hope that the dowdy exterior, like an oyster shell, houses a pearl of wisdom.

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Sometimes, despite the gloomy interior heralded on the marquee, intrepid visitors are rewarded.

Instead of finding a warren of empty rooms, we encounter a brilliant flash of light as a veritable palace of jewels and gems opens before us.

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What a delight when valuable insight awaits those who venture past a dingy signpost outside.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” ~ Forest Gump

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