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Caramel Apples At The Fair October 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Fun & Games, People, Poetry.
Tags: , , , ,
29 comments

My niece Emily, now 21, loved horses growing up ~ real ones with toothy grins and wooden carousel horses racing in perpetuity on Merry-Go-Rounds.

In August, I shared a 25-word story about Emily urging a carousel horse to go faster, Falling On Deaf Ears.

That reminded me of this horse tale from years ago.

* * *

HorseracingEmily and her horse Trixie are ready for fun
School’s out for three months.  Summer’s begun!

They’ll go to horse shows and compete for first place
They’ll ride round the farm and win a horse race

They’ll see the excitement at the State Fair
And make new memories while they are there

* * * * *

The day of the Fair dawned bright and clear
Emily headed to the barn, overflowing with cheer
She saddled up Trixie with her usual care
All the while chatting about what they’d see at the Fair

They headed for the trail and cantered up and down
Until they spied the Ferris Wheel towering o’er the ground
“Oh, look, there it is!  We’ll have such fun, me and you.”
Trixie neighed as if to say, “I’m excited too!”

On the midway, they smiled as they took in the sights
Clowns, rides, barkers, and colorful flashing lights
When Emily got hungry, she knew just what to do
She stopped for a caramel apple and ended up with two

“Trixie loves apples . . . and sugar cubes, of course ~
a caramel apple is perfect Fair food for a horse!”
Emily held out the caramel apple and Trixie bit in
After swallowing the treat, she shared a toothy grin

That night, with Trixie in the barn, Emily curled up in bed
Smiling at the images twirling and dancing in her head
She and Trixie had made memories they would always share
Of the day they ate caramel apples while visiting the Fair

Aah . . . that’s better!

Wry Observations on Dry Politics October 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Life Balance, People.
Tags: , , ,
32 comments

After my grandfather retired, he ran for the State Legislature in Vermont and served a few terms as Town Representative for Hartland.   While serving, he peppered letters to my dad with wry observations on otherwise dry politics.

Margaret & Walter at my parents' wedding, 1955

Margaret & Walter at my parents’ wedding, 1955

1956

8/5 ~ Hartland: “The date is closed for filing for Town Rep.  No one else filed as far as I know.  I ought to be able to win I guess.  To lose, I would have to fall on my face or die.”

9/13 ~ Results of primary on 9/11.  “The total vote was 155. Senator Aiken received 145. Representative Prouty received 144. Walter Hatch received 140. I had expected to win but had expected there might be more who would not vote for me.”

11/7 ~ Results of election. “Hartland had a big turn-out to vote. Some 75% of the clerk’s list. The total vote cast was 595. I got 452 out of a possible 500. That needs explaining. Max Rogers only had 500 Representative ballots printed. The last 95 could not vote on Town Representative. So politics is over for a bit.”

Damon Hall ~ Hartland Vermont

1957

1/1 ~ New Year’s Greetings with exuberant good wishes and details of his new suit for Montpelier.  “I have bought a new suit in reddish brown gray.  It is said to look well with gray hair, a little thin, you know, on top.”

1/12 ~ Montpelier:  “I am now officially a member of the Honorable General Assembly.” Details of 1st week.  “As ever, your “Honorable Dad.”

6/13 ~ Montpelier: “We are nearly through with our work in the House except for such bills as come from the Senate.  They are behind us with their work again this year.”

1958

9/2 ~ “Politics are getting hotter.  I still have no contest, but the Senate race and Lt. Governor are interesting.”

9/10 ~ Hartland: “Dear Richard & Barb, etc.  The “etc.” is also important.  I have been watching the TV for two or three evenings.  Last night was the VT and NH Primaries.  Of course, I had to sit up for that.  The vote was light I would say.  Too bad people don’t take more interest.  I think they would sit up and think some if they lost the right.  It was quiet here in Hartland.  No contests.  Out of a total of 214 ballots, I got 203.  Of course, these are Primaries.  As you know, the real election is in November.”

11/6 ~ Hartland: “I will write to give you the results of the election. With a total vote cast of 384, I had 352. Stafford (Rep.) for governor got 260 while the Democrat candidate polled 111. Since no one was running against me, I got quite a few votes from Democrat voters. State wide, we have a democrat for the lone Representative to Congress for the first time since before the Civil War.”

Governor Robert Theodore Stafford (in Public Domain)

1959

1/16 ~ Hartland:  “We are off to a flying start in Legislation activity.  Robert Stafford is our Governor.  I worked for his election so was satisfied.  On Thursday, the retiring Governor gave his farewell address before a formal Joint Assembly with the Supreme Court in attendance in robes, etc.  After lunch, we met again in like manner to hear Gov. Stafford’s address.  Committee assignments were read Thursday. I am on the State and Courts Expense Committee.  I do not know all the types of bills we have to process.  The Chairman is a man named Lawrence.  I liked his reports in the last session but did not get to know him then.  Today I read over a part of the Attorney General’s Report.  It is a 200 page book giving opinions of the past 2 years and cases he tried, etc.  I figured I better know something of his thoughts because we will have to work with him in our committee quite a lot.”

5/24 ~ “Legislature is in its last days but may last a week or possibly two.  It is a split session and I expect to work some in October or November getting some bills ready for Jan. 12 1960 when the final part of this session will meet and eventually close.”

9/6 ~ Hartland: “I have to be in Montpelier the 21st for as long as committee meetings last thereafter.  I am quite interested in the outcome of the coming visits between Russia and the U.S.  I expect both lies and bluster mixed in with honey ~ for peace.”

12/13 ~ “It is 10 minutes walk to the dome. Ray Heyser, the House Speaker, was in town and ate dinner with 6 or 7 of us. After dinner, Ray cornered me and grinned and said, “How are you getting on, Walter? How do you like the committee I put you on?” I told him I hoped I was doing all right. He went off with a wicked gleam in his eye. And so we go. “

Vermont State House, circa 1870

1960

1/31 ~ Hartland:  “The third week of the session is over and we are getting on quite well.  The first big bill #386 passed the house and senate and is back in the house with minor amendments. The second #392 which dealt with consolidation of departments is through 2nd reading.  There was an attempt made to amend it to death.  We upset the amendment and I did some of the talking against it.  I orated in my best form that:

“No one should as a public servant be appointed for life. We want no Kingdom of Education!  Let me point out: an indefinite appointment may perpetuate a poor policy equally as a good. I hope you see fit to defeat the amendment.”

Very dramatic.  And with those short and simple words, I sat.  Well I have rambled on and I hope you can get at least some of the picture of what happens as you make a law.  We have got a good committee if I do say it and we were all happy Friday night but trying hard not to appear smug.”

8/26 ~ Hartland:  “Louis Springer is filed to run for Representative also, so we are in a contest.  It is friendly so far.  I encouraged him to file and let the voters decide it Sept. 11.”

My grandparents' home in Hartland Vermont, circa 1972

My grandparents’ home in Hartland Vermont, circa 1972

9/13 ~ Hartland: “We vote today. News later.” “8 PM ~ I just returned from the hall. I seem to have won in the Town Representative count: 133 to 118 for Springer. Unless someone files by petition, I will have to work in Montpelier again this Winter.”

11/14 ~ Hartland:  “I was disappointed when Nixon lost and by so little. However, we have to live and not wring our hands.  Here in town, Stafford won over Meyers and Keyser is governor.  Hartland had a big vote out ~ 644 (72%). My vote was 558 as I had no one running against me.  We went to Montpelier and got a place to stay engaged.”

1961

1/4 ~ Montpelier: “Here we are again “under the Dome.” Tomorrow is Governor’s Ball. We may go and watch awhile. And so it goes.”

State House, Montpelier Vermont (in Public Domain)

1/11 ~ Montpelier: “Roy Lawrence read Committee appointments this morning. Evo is chairman of State and Court and I am Vice Chairman. You can see I will soon be Governor or something. Probably something.”

3/19 ~ “Our committee has requests in various bills for pay raises of $2,100,000 per year.  Revenue is off just now so I fear we will have to use a knife and pare them down some.  Not so pleasant to do.”

7/10 ~ Hartland: The 200 Year Celebration.  “Margaret is mailing a parcel for Nancy. And tomorrow back to the snake pit.”

7/25 ~ Montpelier: “I thought we would close the session this week but the senate is stalling (11 to 2 for lunch today). I visited the Senate afternoon session. It ran exactly 20 minutes. It was a stall session. Most people in both houses are disgusted but it is not easy to force the Senate leaders.”

7/31 ~ Montpelier: “We are really on our final week. I shall be glad to be out of it. A few people are cleaning out their desks as far as possible ready to leave tomorrow.”

1962

7/27 ~ Pavilion Hotel, Montpelier: “I am called to a Special Session to consider 4 matters.  It was nice to see everyone and I have had some good visits.  I talked with the Governor a few minutes.  I presume I will be up here into next week.  It depends on the Senate.  It is a lot of in fighting done with a smiling face.  I have kept a lot of notes on what I have learned in various ways.  It is as interesting as “Advise and Consent.” ”

Pavilion Hotel, Montpelier VT (in Public Domain)

8/7 ~ Montpelier: “We are still tied in a reapportionment deadlock with the Senate. It is a power play. The cost is about $25,000 per week while it lasts. I expect you are back home. We had a nice visit at the lake.”

8/15 ~ Hartland: “The Special Session of the Vermont Legislature has passed into history. It was an interesting session and I expect my last.”

1963

1/12 ~ Hartland: “I have been watching the start of the 1963 Session in the papers. I don’t feel too much of an itch to be there. I believe I am getting lazy.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

That’s Just Crazy! October 15, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, People, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , ,
30 comments

IMGP3167bWe watched a show on Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Those people are crazy.

They eat dinner at 10 pm . . . and that’s the Early Bird Special.

Even families with young children arrive at restaurants to dine at midnight.

That’s not the crazy part.

The clubs open at 2 a.m. and people dance til dawn.  Then what?  A quick yawn, shower, and off to work?

And that’s not the crazy part.

Folks there are big fans of plastic surgery ~ 1 out of 3 has had work done.

That’s not the crazy part.

IMGP3151bA high percentage of folks are receiving therapy for mental health issues.

But that’s not the crazy part.

Here’s the crazy part ~> they take their psychoanalysts on vacation with them!

How bizarre!

Maybe they bring them along to check for skeletons in the closet?

Or bats in the belfry?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do Leaders Need A Penis To Be Effective? October 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, People, Special Events.
Tags: , , , ,
45 comments

Last week, I received an invitation to a Leadership Forum from the College of William & Mary.

The College of William & Mary, Wren Building (Wikipedia: in Public Domain)

* * *

Join us for the 2014 McGlothlin Leadership Forum!

Many of us talk about it, Jim McGlothlin does it.

Every year, Jim (W&M ’62, J.D. ’64, LL.D. ’00)  creates a wonderful and vibrant on-campus opportunity for our students to become fully enmeshed in thinking about, and discussing, leadership and what it truly means to be a leader. This yearly opportunity to elevate learning becomes exponentially important for our students – especially as they consider the role they will play in a global marketplace where the impact of business trends, international law and interacting cultural expectations create a constantly changing stage upon which they will be preforming.

It is my hope that you will join our impressive list of speakers, along with Mr. McGlothlin and the deans of our business and laws schools as we engage, as a community, in conversation and thought.

I hope you’ll be there,

Marilyn Ward Midyette
Executive Director of the W&M Alumni Association

The 2014 Forum will be a live Q&A on “The Challenges and Opportunities for Leadership in Our Times.”

The 2014 Fellows will lead the discussion:

Strauss Zelnick
James Sandman
George Tamke
Strauss Zelnick James Sandman George Tamke

When:     2 pm, October 22
Where:    Raymond A. Mason School of Business

Alan B. Miller Hall
101 Ukrop Way
William & Mary campus

Please RSVP to reserve your seat and join the discussion!

“The Leadership Forum will bring William & Mary students and the community in touch with the highest caliber leaders in business and law in our nation. “

- James W. McGlothlin

* * *

What struck me right away ~> all three Fellows are fellows.  That seems rather skewed.  It is 2014 after all.

Before sending a reply to William & Mary, I checked to see whether previous Fellows were also all fellows.

The 2011 McGlothlin Leadership Forum Fellows:

  • David BoiesChairman and Managing Partner of Boies, Schiller and Flexner LLP

The 2012 McGlothlin Leadership Forum Fellows:

The 2013 McGlothlin Leadership Forum Fellows:

  • Sen. Evan Bayh, Partner at McGuireWoods LLP, Senior Advisor at Apollo Global Management, Former United States Senator from Indiana

So there you have it.
One woman.

One woman out of the past twelve fellows.

* * *

Enrollment at William & Mary’s Mason School of Business is close to 50% female:

Full-time undergraduate business majors enrollment: 437
Female: 49 percent
Male: 51 percent

Enrollment at William & Mary’s Law School is 53% female:

661 students
From 47 states, the District of Columbia, and 10 countries
Male/Female ratio: 47%/53%

Despite those numbers, the Leadership Forum Fellows for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 have ALL been fellows . . . except for ONE token female.

* ONE out of 12 is dismal.
* ONE out of 12 is archaic.
* ONE out of 12 is sexist.

I e-mailed my concerns to Laura Doherty, Executive Director of Development & Alumni Relations.

She replied, inter alia:

We have spoken with this year’s Fellows about the need for diversity and are optimistic that they will select their successors for next year’s Forum with this in mind. You see, each year’s Fellows are responsible for recruiting the Fellows for the following year.

That’s unacceptable.

* Allowing Fellows to choose fellows to be next year’s Fellows perpetuates the “Good Old Boy” network.

* Having five men on stage (the Dean, McGlothlin, and 3 male Fellows) for three of the past four years sends a subtle and insidious message to students and attendees that there is no room for women at the table.

It’s 2014. Someone needs to send W&M that memo . . . and circle the date!

Aah . . . that’s better!

What do you think?  Do leaders need a penis to be effective?

Related posts:  From Dicks on the Dais to Dick’s Sporting Goods * Creating Bad Karma (NY Times)

Pragmatic Thoughts on Life & Death October 12, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People, Special Events.
Tags: , , , ,
49 comments

Much of my grandfather’s letters dealt with the day-to-day dramas of life in the Vermont legislature, keeping weeds out of his garden, chasing deer around during hunting season, and keeping up with Mother Nature’s efforts to paint a winter wonderland of white.

But he paid passing homage to the arrival and rearing of his grandkids and to the passing of friends and family:

1956

8/20 ~ “We are remembering October [Jamie's arrival] is not so far off and it won’t be long now. Tell Barbara it is OK to rush about with a wash cloth or something during the moving process but not to lift the piano. Let me know if we can do anything else.”

3D-Cow

1958

2/4 ~ “Dear Richard, Barb and “the Problem” ~ I was much interested in your account of feeding Jamie.  In learning calves to drink it was generally necessary to get them just a bit hungry.  I used to discourse on this to your mother and Aunt Lucy and get them quite indignant.  You and Marjorie were NOT calves!  I think Lucy thought me a bit brutal.  It wasn’t, it was just simple common sense.  The same basic strategy applies to all young creatures I think.”

My paternal grandparents with dad and Marjorie

My paternal grandparents with dad and Marjorie

6/29 ~ “As it is nearing July we will be looking for NEWS soon.” [My arrival]

7/20 ~ “We were pleased to get your call and the good news that everyone was OK. We expected it to be but it was nice to know it came and is over.” ["It came" = ME]

1959

2/26 ~ “Tell the children I think of them.  Possibly that will not mean much to Nancy.”

10/6 ~   “Margaret was quite worried over poor Nancy.  It must have been quite bad while it was sore.  [After spilling out of a run-a-way baby carriage, I required stitches in my tongue.]  It is wonderful how children get over such things.  I remember how worried we were when you upset your arm.  I was worried it might be stiff in the joint.  Lots of love and we will be happy to see you any time you can make it.”

1960

3/31 ~ “We just got a special delivery letter from Marjorie saying Louis Stevens died Sunday night.  She also said Douglas Bruce was born and that you called Aunt Pete.  [My younger brother's arrival.]  We were pleased to hear of it.  We could not feel too badly about Louis as he wasn’t enjoying life much at the last.  He told me he doubted if he would be there when I came home from Florida but he had had so many ups and downs it was a question.  I feel sorry but it is a relief for Rae, I believe, to know it is over.”

Doug's First Birthday

Doug’s First Birthday

5/21 ~ “We had quite a shock tonight. Mr. Hubbard, the minister, dropped dead with a heart attack. It was wholly unexpected. Margaret was very upset. He was erecting a flag pole at his place when it happened. So this is most of the news and tragedy. Like life is ~ some good ~ some bad. Come up any time if you feel like it.”

11/14 ~ “We still chuckle thinking how cute the children were at times.  I guess we would help spoil them if we were around all the time.”

12/23 ~ “Dear everyone, Probably I should write a line and throw in a few bright and salty remarks.  Douglas is too young for me to sum up yet but as far as Jamie and, especially Nancy, is concerned I have to say you are doing all right.  I have to grin internally every time I take a good look at her.”

C'est Moi!

C’est Moi!

1961

2/19 ~ “We enjoyed your letter and account of the kids.  I could picture what you meant ~ that is, the cross currents of your under-6 society.”

6/30 ~ “The sick people are as usual.  We are looking for news!” [Arrival of #4.]

7/16 ~ “I expect Barb is home and the problems in your home are different than those up here. Have courage, Barb, the first 100 years are the hardest. Hope baby will be good enough to sleep nights.”  [My younger sister's arrival.]

1962

10/15 ~ “It was 28 degrees this morning and sunny.  Hope everything goes well and that you can come up.  I realize it is quite a trip with children to consider but we would love to have you.  Margaret wants to see the children ~ not you! ~ the children!”

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

 Aah . . . that’s better!

Citizen Muscle Boot Camp October 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, People, Special Events, Sustainable Living.
Tags: , , , ,
19 comments

The Citizen Muscle Boot Camp is a 4-week online program designed to provide the skills you need to make change on the issues you care about.

It’s an exercise plan to make the world a better place!

The Citizen Muscle Boot Camp is designed to get each of us flexing our Citizen Muscles and building the skills we need to make change in our communities

Complete with videos from Annie; hands-on, interactive online exercises; and some additional tips and exercises to practice as we go about our day the Citizen Muscle Boot Camp helps us develop our skills as changemakers.

To participate in a Boot Camp, all you need is an internet connection, about an hour or two a week, and desire to make the world a better place.

To Register, click HERE.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Overseas Adventure Travel October 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, People, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , , ,
32 comments

Last week at a luncheon, we met Bob and Carole who have traveled with Overseas Adventure Travel (our host for the luncheon) more than 23 times.

IMG13

They’ve been to South Africa, Tanzania, Finland, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, River Cruises in Europe, Scotland, Ireland, Turkey, Morocco, Zambia, Mexico, China, India, and the list goes on.

They had to sneak out of Egypt during an uprising and they enjoyed front row seats to a gunfight between competing drug cartels in Mexico.  They’ve ridden elephants in Thailand and been offered rides on camels and ostrich.  They’ve steered water buffalo to plow fields, reins looped about their necks.

IMG6

But the real eye opener . . .

A few years ago, Carole spent 6 weeks in a coma after being involved in a single car accident.

She ran over herself.

Not on purpose.  It was an accident.  Early in the morning.  While hunting for the release of the emergency brake.

Goofy-Riding-A-BikeDonald-Duck-Driving

Some of our biggest life adventures happen in our own backyards.

And driveways.

Keep your eyes open!

Aah . . . that’s better! 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Minkey! September 30, 2014

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

Mom turns 85 today!

2014-09-25 09-35-14_0004

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.

2014-09-25 09-37-33_0006

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.

IMGP2847

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

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

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