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Does Santa Make Kids Selfish? December 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
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42 comments

Xmas-CatThe training of new consumers begins on Santa’s lap. Ho~Ho~Ho!

And continues in front of the TV as animated ads from Toys ‘R Us ask . . . “What’re ya gonna get? What’re ya gonna get? What’re ya gonna get?”

We are programming kids to become greedy meanies.

For an eye opening look at how Santa’s questions frame responses and keep the materialistic spiral going:

But all is not lost.

Once Santa shifts his script from getting to giving . . . the kids opt to give the larger piece of chocolate away.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Thank You . . . I Am Inconsistent! December 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
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44 comments

Tree-Frog-PerchedConsistency is consistently over-rated.

* Consistency makes us predictable. That can be a great help to others in anticipating our acts and reactions.  But it may be a hindrance to us.

We are, all of us, in the process of becoming.

To become more fully who we were always meant to be, we need to embrace change.

* Consistency gives us a sense of control because we know that we didn’t care for green eggs and ham yesterday and probably won’t like them any better today.

Of course, nothing in nature is stagnant ~ neither should we be.

We are not who we once were.

* Consistency makes us feel “right.” As if we’ve figured out the answers and need not ponder the questions any longer.

Because of our routines, we forget that life is an ongoing adventure. ~ Maya Angelou

Boredom arises from routine.  Joy, wonder, rapture, arise from surprise. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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Re-considering self-imposed boundaries and our consistent consistency is a good thing.

That’s why, when someone accuses me of being inconsistent, I give them my best Mona Lisa S~M~I~L~E.

Aah . . . that’s better!

My Top 5 Tips For Holiday Sanity December 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Special Events.
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43 comments

Janna wrote a post, Holiday Survival Discovery:  They Don’t Call Me Bonnie (And I Don’t Know Clyde).  After sharing her Survival Discovery, Janna asked us to share our secrets to Holiday Sanity:

Do you have any secrets (legal or not) for making it through the holidays?  I love this time of year, so I don’t usually get too stressed… but it doesn’t hurt to keep ideas on hand!

Here’s my Top 5 Tips for Holiday Sanity:

1. Live where it’s WARM so you don’t have to maneuver over or around snow banks or worry about icicles lurking overhead.

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2. Steer clear of the mall from Thanksgiving to Christmas . . . unless you just want to wander around and admire the decorations.

3. Buy most/all gifts at the Grocery Store . . . everyone needs to eat.  Focus on the 4 main food groups ~> Salty, Crunchy, Sweet, and C~H~O~C~O~L~A~T~E!

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4. Get plenty of exercise to alleviate stress and maintain balance.

5. Laugh at any insanity that slips into the mix.  It will.  That’s a given.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Giving Thanks To Promote Giving December 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Humor, Mindfulness, People.
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36 comments

devious-hobbesMy e-mail box has been FLOODED with four types of messages this past week:

* Black Friday Sales Flyers
* Cyber Monday Sales Flyers
* Thanks Giving Thanksgiving Missives from Non-Profits
* “Giving Tuesday” pleas . . . please!

Black Friday Sales have overflowed the banks of traditional brick and mortar storefronts to infiltrate automobile advertisements, performing arts centers, and even the Smithsonian Museum.  Most are dispatched without whetting my appetite to Buy More.

The same goes for most of the Cyber Monday Sales Flyers.

That’s the great thing about cyber trash . . . No Residue.

Most Thanks Giving Missives received on Thanksgiving seem designed with manipulation in mind.

The-Pink-PantherAlma maters, non-profits, restaurants, charities, and businesses give thanks for past giving (encouraging us to bask in the glow of their “sincere” appreciation for past support) before asking us (in almost the same cyber breath) to reach into our piggy banks, wallets, and IRA’s to provide them with continued support.

Maybe it’s just me being cynical, but I tend to question the sincerity of Thanks given with a plea for me to Give More.

Especially when it’s followed up with “Giving Tuesday” pleas to “please give!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  I Hate This Time of Year Rant (Crowing Crone Joss)

No Mailing Lists! December 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, Home & Garden, Humor, People.
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36 comments

devious-hobbesThe moment we stepped into the Sarasota Home and Garden Show, a travel company minion accosted us.

The spokesperson shoved an entry form and a pen into my hand.

“Fill this out for a chance to win a Lowe’s Gift Card.”

Donald-Duck-BaseballI glanced at the form and saw blanks for name, address, phone number, e-mail, birth date, income bracket, children, pets, requested last meal, etc.

I started to hand the form back.  Blank.

He pointed to signs all over the table:

NO MAILING LISTS.

I looked back at the form wondering why they wanted so much information if they didn’t plan to use it.

Evil QueenNoting my reticence, he said all they needed was my name, address, phone number, birth date, and signed consent so they could call me when we won.

I glanced down at the signed consent portion of the form and started reading.

He interrupted my endeavor to “interpret” the language for me.

The-Pink-PantherQuestions swirled through my mind:  Why would a travel company give away a Lowe’s Gift Card?

Why did they need so much information just to contact the winner?

Why was I still standing here talking to Barker Bob?

I placed the blank entry form and pen on the table and turned away, ignoring their continued pleas for me to Enter & Win.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Someone asked about the falling snow.  To activate on your WordPress blog:

Dashboard ~> Settings ~> General . . . scroll down and click the box that says “Show falling snow on my blog until January 4th.”

Tagged . . . I’m It! November 25, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Humor, Mindfulness.
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51 comments

Tiggers-R-UsKate tagged me (and 6 other bloggers) on her Q&A Time post last week.

Here are her questions and my answers:

1. Why did you start blogging?

While writing on WEbook, I realized I wanted to house my unique perspective on life in one searchable data base.  I decided a blog would be perfect.

What followed has been tons of FUN (with more than a few FUN followers) ~> cyber sharing is far more entertaining than writing in a journal.

2. If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and who would it be for?

Assuming cost was no object and time didn’t act as a barrier to attendance, I’d rent a cruise ship for a week’s cruise with gatherings for different groups ~ e.g., a pool party for grade school buddies, a pizza party for high school friends, a keg party for college classmates, a debating game for law school students and professors, cocktail parties for co-workers, buffet dinners with neighbors (from NJ, SC, NC, VA, MD, FL) . . . and a casino night with FREE drinks and chips for all my Blogging Buddies.

We’d enjoy non-stop on-board entertainment (with fabulous gifts and exciting prizes), water sports (windsurfing, parasailing, paddleboarding, sunbathing, wave running), and a stop at my private island.

What?  It’s my fantasy.  Nowhere in the question did it say I couldn’t have a private island.

Calvin-gots-an-Idea3. When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass that time?

I visualize how to (a) solve world hunger or (b) win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Or both.

Both would be good.

4. At what age did you become an adult?

Age 26-27 ~> I graduated from law school, got married, started practicing law, bought a house, adopted two kittens, bought a car, etc.

A mortgage + real estate taxes screams “adult.”

5. What story does your family always tell about you?

They don’t talk about me, they’re too busy . . .

Wait!

What have you heard?

6.  Is a picture worth a thousand words? Explain.

In Words and Pictures, an artist and a writer spar to decide whether words trump pictures or vice versa.

They conclude, and I agree, that it depends on the subject matter being depicted.

Some abstract subjects require the subtle nuance of words.

When discussing more concrete subject matter, like FOOD, a picture is worth way more than a thousand words.

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Especially since it’s rude to talk with your mouth full.

7.  Whasssssuuuupppppp?

What a subtle and insidious way to put pressure on the addressee (in this case, ME!) to come up with an interesting topic for conversation rather than assuming responsibility for getting the conversation started by sharing some interesting insight into life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

What’s up with that, Kate? :mrgreen:

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you’re interested in playing along, answer these 7 questions on your own blog or in the comment thread below:

1.  What’s been the “best day” of your life . . . so far?

2.  When calories and cost are no object, what’s your favorite thing to eat?

3.  What’s been your “greatest” accomplishment to date?

4.  If you could have someone “on staff” for a week, at no cost to you, would you choose a personal chef, chauffeur, masseuse, hairdresser, pool boy or concubine?

5.  What’s your favorite season?  Where do you enjoy spending it?

6.  If you could travel anywhere right now with a simple snap of your fingers, where would you go?

7.  If you won a million $’s, what would you change in your day-to-day life?

Tag!  You’re It!

Related post:  Yippee! . . . Yuppie! . . . YOU?

Marvelous Benches & Whimsical Chairs November 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Humor, Mindfulness.
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40 comments

While at Mixon Fruit Farms, we stumbled across some marvelous benches.

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Natural.

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Unadorned.

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They brought to mind other marvelous benches and whimsical chairs.

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Not natural.

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Or unadorned.

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But fun.

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Each designed to encourage us to press the pause button and relax.

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C’mon . . . pull up a dolphin and set a spell.

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Aah . . . that’s better.

 

The Royal Flush November 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
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33 comments

zen stonesWhen people blithely say, “Everything happens for a reason,” I don’t necessarily agree.

That said, more often than not, when I look back at “negative” events, I see that some good comes out of almost everything. That makes it easier to deal with the next curve ball or senseless happening.

Hand-rolling-diceOther times, I just shrug my shoulders when asked, “What’s the point?”

Because maybe there is No Point.  Maybe it’s just a crap shoot and it’s up to us to make the most of the cards we’ve been dealt or the next roll of the dice.

Yup, maybe it’s all a crap shoot, and some just get The Royal Flush.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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

Related posts:  When Life Goes Awry

A Change Would Do You Good November 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Music & Dance.
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46 comments

Take a minute to look around your life.

What’s working?  What needs fine tuning?  What would benefit from a complete overhaul?

* Maybe you have the perfect job, but your finances or relationships are in shambles.

* Maybe you have hobbies you enjoy, but you never find time to enjoy them.

* Maybe your life is picture perfect, except for a job that is sucking the life out of you week after week.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. ~ J. Pierpont Morgan

Once you know where you are, think about where you want to go.  List a few tweaks and fixes needed to move you closer to living the life of your dreams:

* Get finances in order
* Have More FUN!!!!
* Find a new job in an inspiring field
* Learn to cook healthier meals

Once you’ve identified a few items in need of fine tuning, create an action plan for making the transformation from where you are to where you want to be.

* If you choose to focus on your finances, some actions steps might be:  calculate net worth, record every expenditure for a month, set up a budget, balance the checkbook, cut up credit cards, stop buying shoes, bring lunch to work, no more take out coffee, research tips on money management, open up a savings account, start an IRA, etc.

* If you desire to have more fun, some action steps might be:  call a friend and invite them for dinner, buy a book you’ve always wanted to read, check out the paper for current shows and exhibits, sign up for a pottery class at the local community college, spend 30 minutes a day pursuing a favorite hobby, audition for the local play, go to the park and swing on the swings, limit TV time, etc.

* If you decide to focus on switching careers, some action steps might be: do an on-line search of jobs in fields of interest, update resume, attend a job fair, contact alumni services about placement assistance, etc.

IMGP3562b* If you want to learn to cook healthier meals, some action steps might be:  search recipes on line, find a cooking blog to follow, look through cookbooks for healthier recipes, research nutritional guidelines, visit a farmer’s market, create menus featuring fruits and veggies, ask friends for favorite recipes, etc.

Now that you’ve got some action steps identified, pick one and do it.  Don’t worry about which one to pick first.  Just pick one and do it.

Then pick another action step and do it.  Then another.  And another.

As you start moving from where you are to where you want to be, keep your eyes and ears open to winks, whispers, and nudges from the Universe.  If something appears on your radar screen, add it to your list of action steps:

* Call Sally and ask her for the recipe for stuffed zucchini.
* Ask George how he paid off his credit card debt.
* Call last employer and see if he’ll act as a reference.

As you focus on where you are and where you want to be, don’t worry about what you wanted out of life 20 years ago.

What do you want right NOW?

And don’t worry about what others want you to do.  What do YOU want to do?

The more we look within for guidance about what we want, the more clarity we gain about who we are.

And once we know who we are TODAY, we no longer need to analyze who we were YESTERDAY.

Step by step, the  past loosens its hold on us.

By embracing this moment, we find that we no longer need to rewrite or overcome the past to move forward in life.

All we have to do is let it go.

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you’re not actively involved in getting what you want, you don’t really want it.

Action is the antidote to dis-ease.

A Femme Fatale Hug November 10, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness, Nature.
Tags: , , , ,
56 comments

Worry reminds me of Kudzu erasing entire Southern landscapes under a blanket of green as it envelops tree limbs and leaves in a femme fatale hug.

Wikipedia ~ Kudzu (in Public Domain)

A creeping patchwork quilt that blocks the light, suffocating all other thought.

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* Worrying is interest paid on a debt you may not owe. ~ Peter McWilliams

* “Worry is like a rocking chair.  It gets you nowhere.” (Thanks, Timi!)

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* If we do not control our thoughts, our thoughts control us.

* A quiet mind, like the surface of a still pond, provides a more accurate reflection.

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Don’t Worry.  Be Happy!

Aah . . . that’s better!

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