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Pragmatic Thoughts on Life & Death October 12, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People, Special Events.
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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.
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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!

A Spooktacular Contest October 10, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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26 comments

Snoopy-PumpkinSharpen your pencils, rev up your keyboards, check your typewriter ribbons!

It’s time for Susanna’s 4th Annual Halloweensie Contest.

In a pumpkin shell:

* 100 words (or less, no more)
* 3 required words ~> pumpkin, broomstick, creak
* prizes, prizes, prizes!!!

Post your story on your blog between 12:00 AM EDT Monday October 27th and Friday October 31st by 11:59 PM EDT and add your post-specific link to the list that will accompany Susanna’s October 27th post.

snoopy-&-linus-pumpkin-pathFor complete rules:  The 4th Annual Halloweensie Contest (Susanna Leonard Hill)

Tell her the Great Pumpkin sent ya!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source: Mixon Fruit Farms

 

A Rooftop Happy Hour October 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
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51 comments

On Sunday, as we headed back to our car, I snapped this inviting bench outside a local watering hole.

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Caught up in the flow of the day, the bench caused an immediate craving for a cold adult beverage.  So we headed to the Chart House to enjoy Happy Hour under the impossibly blue sky.

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Situated on the Rooftop Deck, we ordered a trio of appetizers and two drinks.

I planned to take a photo when they arrived, but I forgot.  So instead of a gorgeous presentation like this:

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Or like this:

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Or like this:

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I snapped the last two Fried Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Basil Aioli:

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And the tail end of the plate of yummy Hummus:

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And the last few Truffled Fries and Friends (after the Friends got eaten):

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So you’ll have to take my word for it ~ they looked as good as they tasted!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Copper Creations October 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Spirit & Ego, Sustainable Living.
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44 comments

On Sunday, we went to the 20th Annual Sarasota Arts & Crafts Festival where we met Bruce Trewyn who repurposes things on purpose.

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Like this fantastic fish.

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And this pair of manatee.

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To learn more about Bruce’s Creations:  Copper Creations Repurposed.

When you get to his site, click on the “Before & After” link to see an adorable dog made from a repurposed lamp.

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

Getting It All Done October 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Life Lessons.
Tags: , , , ,
43 comments

I used to worry about not “getting it all done.”

I wondered how I would ever reach the bottom of my bucket list.  Every time I crossed an item off, two more things took its place.

Such is the nature of desire. As soon as one itch is scratched, a new itch arises.

These days, I realize that if I’m satisfied with the life I’m living (as a whole), there is little reason to get caught up in regret about people I didn’t meet, books I didn’t read (or write), conversations I didn’t have, foods I didn’t taste, pounds I didn’t lose, movies I didn’t watch, or places I didn’t see.

Now I’m free to enjoy the journey as each moment unfolds into the next without worrying about how much time I have left.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For a somewhat contrary view:  Getting Fierce GOALFEST (with prizes!) (Fat Bottom Fifties Get Fierce) * Walking Your Talk (Awakening To Awareness)

How NOT To Cook A Turkey October 5, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Humor.
Tags: , , , ,
36 comments

In letters written by my grandfather to dad in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, my grandfather mentioned getting up early to dress the turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.

Most years, his calculations resulted in a stuffed bird ready to be eaten at the appointed hour.

But not always.

In 1971, he wrote my dad the day after Christmas to say:

The Royces were here in time for the gifts.  Previously, I started the turkey at 5:45.  Let it rest in the oven during gifts.

When I took it out it was OK ~ OK but the meat was off the bone, in the bottom of the roaster, all ready to lift out with a fork.  Which I did and filled the platter with delicate hunks.

The dressing was contained by the skeleton and I could see right in to get it out fine.  The dressing was dry and well seasoned with sage from the garden.   They were so hungry by then it was a big success and they cleaned the platter.

It was a happy day.

In the same letter, he shared a moment about his wife Margaret’s Christmas:

She insisted she could not be happy with anything except a new toilet seat.  I tried to tell her what a good one the old one was.

No Soap.  It just had to be.

I dangled a new watch, diamonds, a few dresses, another coat ~ No, A Toilet Seat.

IMGP2057

I had Hi bring one down from Shepards.  I worked all one forenoon trying to remove the old.  It clung to its position till in desperation I cut the bolts with a hacksaw.

The new one went on better and Margaret got a new set of table linen for it.  It sure looks nice especially the bib about the base.

I don’t long for the old days and old ways.  I recall how the wind whistled in the olds . . . out in the shed.

Public Toilets ~ Wikipedia (in Public Domain)

Aah . . . indoor plumbing . . . that’s better!

Collateral Conditions October 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke.
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29 comments

250px-New_Orleans_City_of_Old_Romance_and_New_Opportunity_Crop_p_23_MoneybagsHarlan Davis walked into a bank in New York City, asked for the loan officer, and explained that he was going to Paris for two weeks and needed to borrow $5,000.

Since he was not a depositor of the bank, the bank officer told him the bank would need some form of security for the loan.

Harlan nodded and handed over the keys to his new $250,000 Ferrari parked on the street in front of the bank. The bank agreed to hold he car as collateral for a loan at 12% interest.

A bank employee drove the Ferrari into the bank’s private underground garage and parked it.

Two weeks later, Harlan returned from Paris, met with the loan officer, and repaid the $5,000 plus interest of $23.07.

Dollar-BillsWhile waiting for a bank employee to bring the car around, the loan officer said, “Mr. Davis, we are happy to have had your business, but I’m a bit puzzled. When I checked you out on Dunn & Bradstreet, I found that you are a highly sophisticated investor with real estate and financial interests all over the world, including NYC. Why would you bother to borrow $5,000 for a 2-week trip?”

Harlan chuckled, “Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for only $23.07 and expect it to be there when I return?”

Aah . . . that’s better!

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

Overseas Adventure Travel October 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, People, Travel & Leisure.
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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.

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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! 

 

 

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