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All I Want For Christmas . . . December 10, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Simplify Your Life.
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40 comments

When we go to someone’s home for dinner or a party, we often bring a small hostess gift ~ flowers, wine, chocolate, or a bakery item.

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This Thanksgiving, we went to my niece’s apartment in Tampa.

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Earlier this year, we helped her furnish the apartment by giving her our sofa.

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Pick up, not delivery.

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As a hostess gift this Thanksgiving, we brought the matching love seat.

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We tossed it in the back of the van with the coolers of food.

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At the other end, we set it up before proceeding with the feast.

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Perfect!  A made-to-order spot for it under the windows.

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Giving away the love seat left a “small hole” in our living room.

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“All I want for Christmas is . . . a new sofa.  A new sofa.  A new sofa.”

Until Santa stops by on December 25th, we filled it with . . . lawn furniture.

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“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Happy Holidaze! November 28, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Poetry, Simplify Your Life.
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34 comments
santa on the beach

How Santa spends Black Friday

The call of the mall
lures us to traffic jams.  Cheer
fades as tempers flare.

Red ribbons flying.
Sales set records.  Merchants grin
at crowded check-outs.

Street corner Santas
ring bells & flash Grinchy smiles.
Shoppers hurry home.

Boxes stacked, bags stashed.
“Bargain loot” labeled and tagged.
Happy Holidaze!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Xmas-CatMark Downs . . . and Mark Ups:

A few days ago, I looked at an on-line product selling for $6.29.  To get free shipping, I needed to place a $50 order.

I opted to wait.

The next day, the store advertised 30% off EVERYTHING and free shipping with a $30 order.  I went back to the item that had been selling for $6.29.

It’s new price?  $8.99 . . . or $6.29 after the 30% discount!

I opted to unsubscribe from that store’s marketing manipulation.

The ABC’s of Happiness September 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness, Simplify Your Life.
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18 comments

Accept the “what is.”

Be Here Now.

Choose your focus and count your blessings.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Embrace all with joy.

Face your fears and follow your dreams.

Go with the flow.

Hardship is inevitable, misery is optional.

In uncertainty lies all possibility.

Joy is never in things, it is in us.

Kindness and compassion are keys to happiness.

Lift your spirit with laughter.

Miracles abound ~ let them astound.

Nurture yourself ~ you are the garden, love grows within.

Obstacles are opportunities.

Peace is yours for the asking.

Quiet contemplation allows our inner wisdom to surface.

Relinquish all with joy.

Simplify your life . . . sometimes less is more.

To learn, teach.

Unity and love are the heart of creation.

Variety is the spice of life.

We do not laugh because we are happy.  We are happy because we laugh.

Xanadu awaits.

You are here.  The time is now.  That is enough.

Zero risk does not exist ~ reach for the stars.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Where’s Your Stuff? June 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Life Lessons, Simplify Your Life.
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44 comments

220px-OldBeggar1Some years back, a tourist from the United States visited the home of a Rabbi and saw a simple room furnished with books, a table, and a bench.

Astonished, the visitor asked, “Rabbi, where’s your stuff?”

The Rabbi replied, “Where’s yours?”

“Mine?  I’m just passing through.  I’m just a visitor here.”

“So am I.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Lightening The Load (SuziCate) * Overlook (365 Simplify)

Source: e-mail from unknown author

A Happy Note ~ Daisy Days March 28, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Nature, Simplify Your Life.
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32 comments

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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40 comments

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

Clean and Green March 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Simplify Your Life.
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30 comments

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!

A Cluster of Chaotic Threads March 2, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Life Lessons, Mindfulness, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , , ,
45 comments

Finding inner calm on calm days is beginner’s work . . . finding inner calm in the midst of chaos and confusion, amid a cluster of chaotic threads, lets us see how much progress we’ve made on the tangled tapestry of our life.

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A few threads, recently unraveled:

Those who want adventure often must choose between safety and freedom.

“Boats are safe in harbor, but that’s not what boats are for.”

Of course, I’m not a boat.
Or a kite.

(Thanks for that, Don!)

Some people must “test the ice.”  Others, like me, are content sipping a Hot Toddy or Umbrella Drink on shore.

I suspect my sense of humor exceeds my sense of adventure, especially in colder climates.

When we are content as and where we are, we need not choose between freedom and (relative) safety.  There is no universal mandate requiring us to “lose sight of the shore” or leave our comfort zone in order to feel free.

Perhaps freedom lies in wanting to be who, what, and where we already are.

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I agree with the Dalai Lama . . . we are here to be happy.   If we are happy where we are, pushing, stretching, pulling, tugging, and reaching for the next “brass ring” seems to be both a counter-productive and counter-intuitive practice.

Eat when hungry.  Sleep when tired.  Move when restless.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  A Tangled Mess (Water Witch’s Daughter) * Do You Want Safety or Freedom? (My Light Bag) * Comfort Zones (Awakening to Awareness) * Haiku ~ State of Mind (Janna T. Writes)

One Potato . . . Two Potato January 26, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Simplify Your Life, Vegetarian Recipes.
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46 comments

IMGP3283bIn our recent effort to shift to a more whole food plant based diet (and lessen our reliance on C~H~E~E~S~E), we’ve put our Slow Cooker to good use this week ~ making Split Pea Soup, Vegetarian Chili, Vegetable Soup with Farro, and . . .

Yesterday, I realized I had 4 onions and 3 pounds of spuds screaming for attention.

I peeled and diced the potatoes and sliced the onions and tossed them in the slow cooker with diced carrot and celery.

I left the slow cooker to do its thing while I flipped through recipes to find a few to suit the spudsy base.  

I selected three ~ a veritable potage à trois!

* Potato Curry
* Tattie Soup
* Hash Browns / Home Fries

Once the potatoes and onions were cooked, I reserved 2/3 of the base for the soup and hash browns, then added a bag of peas, some cooked brown rice, 2 tbsp. of curry powder, and 2 cups of vegetable broth to the slow cooker and set it to simmer, low and slow.

I served the fragrant and hearty Potato Curry for dinner last night with a sprinkling of peanuts and raisins on top.  Yummy!

Today (a chilly day), Tattie Soup will be a hit for lunch and a breeze to fix: heat 4 cups of vegetable broth, add cooked potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery.  Bring the mixture to a simmer. Smash the tatties with a hand masher.  Done!

While the soup is heating, we’ll fry up some home fries for the side.

And we’re not the only ones groaning with delight.  Our freezer is a happy camper, stocked with assorted ready-to-go meals on its shelves ~ pea soup, baked ziti, veggie-farro soup, vegetarian chili, potato curry, and tattie soup.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Brainstorming Our Elephants January 21, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , , ,
26 comments

James-the-CatQ.  What’s the best way to eat an elephant?

A. One Bite At A Time.

Let’s say your “elephant” is a need for better organization and greater efficiency.

When you’re already stretched for time, where are you going to find the time to tackle such a weighty issue?

Relax.  

Even 10 minutes a day will make a huge difference in your time over time.

* Time mastery is life mastery.

* A bucket is filled drop by drop.

If you waste 10 minutes a day spinning your wheels . . . that’s 3650 minutes (60 hours) a year that you could spend nibbling away at your elephant.

Here are a few Time Management Skills to consider:

1.  Be mindful of how you invest your time and whether you are getting a good return on your investment.

If you enjoyed yourself, maybe it wasn’t wasted time.

2.  Identify and eliminate time wasters ~ unnecessary interruptions, waiting for appointments, procrastination, trying to do too much, indecision and not saying “no,” failure to set priorities, surfing the web, e-mails, meetings.

Work to minimize or eliminate wasted time one time waster at a time.

3.  Eliminate clutter from your work surface.  Messy desks and work spaces slow us down.  Use a filing system ~ be decisive about whether to file an item, act on it, or recycle it.

4.  Tackle high priority items when your energy level is high and low priority items when your energy is flagging.

5.  If you sit at a desk all day, take breaks to clear your head and stretch your muscles.  If you’re going, going, going all day, take a break to kick back and put up your feet.

We are more efficient when we allocate time for well being as well as doing.

6.  Take daily action to nibble away at your elephants.  Track your progress and adjust your approach as necessary.

7.  Breathe.  Relax.  Repeat.  

Aah . . . that’s better!  

Resources:  Productivity Institute * Higher Awareness

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