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Who’s Pulling Our Strings? July 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Spirit & Ego.
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37 comments

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What’s behind the urgent urgings?

* Hurry up.  You’ll be old, fat, and out of touch soon.

* Do now.  Do Do Do.

* Step outside your comfort zone.

* You’re expanding or contracting.

* Don’t die with your music still inside you.

Why not?

If Mozart had never been, would the world collapse in on itself?

What does it tell us about ourselves if we clothe the naked Emperor in our musings?

If I don’t share my words with the world, will they die un-uttered?

Or will the Universe find some other puppet to speak them out?

Aah . . . that’s better!

We are encouraged to believe we are, each of us, unique.  One-of-a-kind.  To what end?  To contribute to the greater good of all?

Or, perhaps, to feed our Egos.  To feel important.  To believe that we all have a grand purpose.

But do we?

 

Oh, When The Cows Come Marching In July 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Music & Dance, Nature.
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31 comments

An impromptu Jazz concert on a Jersey hillside for a bunch of Jerseys.

No cows were harmed in the filming of this video.

Aah . . . that’s better!

This Is Brilliant! July 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Happiness, Humor, Music & Dance.
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32 comments

I clicked on this without expecting much in the way of entertainment value:

Surprise!

Aah . . . that’s better!

What did you think about the sound of that Carrot Clarinet?

Clap Along June 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Gratitude, Happiness, Music & Dance.
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41 comments

I double dog dare you to listen to this without cracking a smile:

Lion-Side-ProfileHaving faith in whatever life offers brings greater joy and engagement with less fear, hesitation, and aversion.  Accepting life’s inherent uncertainty allows [us] to experience more awe toward the mysteries of life and less concern.

~ Lama Surya Das

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Happy! (Pix / Under The Oaks)

Morocco February 20, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Music & Dance, Synchronicity & Mystery.
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34 comments

Donald-DuckaWhen the same thing keeps popping up on our radar screen, we need to tune in and LISTEN.

This week, I hear the Universe whispering . . . “Morocco.”

1. Kate shared a post about her planned impromptu trip to the country where they turned back time ~ Fantasies of Heat & Dust.

Kate also shared a craft project . . . making a travel journal for the trip.

2. Freedom Village, a local retirement community, selected Morocco as its theme for February and extended an invitation to the larger community to join residents in sampling Moroccan Cuisine.

I called too late . . . and asked to be added to the “Wait List.”

3. While watching TV, we saw mention of Morocco.  The exact context of that whisper escapes me.  Perhaps it was:

Morocco ~ it’s everywhere you want to be.

4. Yesterday, on Wordless Wednesday, Sylvia shared a photo taken on the road to Marrakesh ~ Washday Blues.

Sylvia’s photo made me run to hug my washing machine.

5. With each passing reference to Morocco, the haunting melody of Al Stewart’s The Year of the Cat begins to play revealing . . . a morning from a Bogart movie in a country where they turned back time.  

The Year Of The Cat encourages me to accept what is offered without obsessing about the future and its inherent uncertainty:

If “Morocco” is the WHAT, what’s the WHY?

Well . . . I’m not sure.

That’s OK.  I’ll accept what’s being offered here and now and allow the future to unfold in its own way and time.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Wow! What A Weekend! November 12, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Humor, Music & Dance.
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38 comments

We had tons of fun in the sun this weekend.  Here’s how the fun unfolded:

IMGP0887bOn Wednesday, we received a late breaking invitation to a birthday dinner for our 16-going-on-17 niece, Samantha.

Driving across state to join the revelry and merriment at Seasons 52 in Orlando, we heard Stevie sing “On The Edge of Seventeen.”

Perfect timing!

And then “a little ditty about Jack and Diane” which reminded us to “hang on to 16 as long as you can.”

Oops . . . too late!

We arrived early and surprised Sam by jumping out of the bushes in front of the restaurant, swords drawn.  Like pirates!

We didn’t fool her.  She knew it was us.

Dinner included Flatbread Pizza, Greek Salad, a Dynamic Duo of Hummus, and Sweet Indulgences for Dessert.

Our waiter snapped this photo as we struggled to maintain composure (while fighting a losing battle with a sugar high).

Sam's Birthday

Tigger managed in our absence, greeting us with a HUNGRY yowl and a hairball.  On the carpet.

On Thursday, after a grueling day of doing “nothing much” (bike ride, water aerobics, grocery shopping), we attended an Open House at the South Florida Museum to launch the new equipment in its Planetarium . . . stellar!

The capabilities are absolutely amazing!  We zoomed in to Earth and flew over Anna Maria Island and our neighborhood. We rode through the canyons on Mars. We went out past the edge of the solar system, the Milky Way, to the edge of the known Universe.  

To date, only 25 planetariums in the world have these capabilities ~ much like the Universe, that number is ever expanding.

Tigger greeted us with a contented purr and a wee accident.  On the tile.

On Friday, at the annual Arts Hop, we wandered through five of the island’s fourteen galleries listening to local musicians, sipping wine, admiring the art, and nibbling on  . . . nope, not spongecake.

We noshed on imported cheese and crackers and sampled coconut shrimp with mango salsa at Sidebar, the newest gallery.

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We filled cocktail plates with bruschetta, pizza, and fresh pineapple at The Studio at Gulf and Pine.

We tried Japanese Ice Cream “Bubbles” at the Shiny Fish Emporium ~ a first for us.  Mochi ice cream is a small dessert ball with rice cake (mochi) on the outside and an ice cream filling on the inside.  We tried the White Chocolate Raspberry first.  Followed in quick succession with a Chocolate chaser.

We ended our strolling repast with mini pumpkin spice cupcakes and cookies at ArtSpace.

Fun night.  And filling.  Filling and fun.

We went home and collapsed on the sofa to watch The Bourne Legacy and rest up for the rest of the weekend’s scheduled events.  Tigger joined us.

On Saturday, we stopped by the AMI Butterfly Garden Arts & Crafts Show on the island to hang out with Patchouli.  Just the right mix of sun and clouds to keep the temperatures temperate.

Did you catch the chorus?  “I don’t know how to stay, but I don’t know where we’re going.  Hold on ’cause anything is possible.”

Ring any bells?

After getting our fill of Julie and Bruce’s melodies, we swung by The Fresh Market for Taste of the Holidays, with samples of whipped potatoes, sweet potato souffle, corn souffle, stuffing, cranberry orange relish, green beans, cheese straws, pecan pie, and coffee a l’orange.

Also offered but not sampled by us ~ oven roasted turkey, spiral baked ham, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, red velvet cake.

After grabbing a few bakery items (Toscano Pano and Cheddar Rolls), we popped down to Coquina Beach for the tail end of Symphony on the Sand, arriving in time to hear the 1812 Overture.  While there, we burned off a few calories with a moonlit stroll along the Gulf, accompanied by night breezes.

After a light dinner at home, we headed inland to hear Sophie B. Hawkins  perform at the Tarpon Pointe Grill and Tiki Bar.

Sophie B. headlined the Pussycat Festival, to raise $’s for the Gulf Shore Animal League, singing songs from Tongues & Tails and Whaler . . . plus a few songs by her alter ego, Janis Joplin.

 

After enjoying her music for 20 years, it was great to kick back and watch Sophie perform live . . . from the comfort of our car.  We arrived late to the festival, expecting to park blocks away from the venue.  Instead, we pulled into a parking spot a stone’s throw from the stage with an unobstructed view.

What a treat!

On Sunday, we attended a matinee of the Island Players ~ Guilty Conscience, a crafty thriller by the creators of “Columbo” and “Murder She Wrote.”  At intermission, we enjoyed a few “Guilty Pleasures” ~ tea cakes and cookies.

On Monday, fun still not done, Mary Lou and Larry took us to lunch at The Waterfront ~ a delicious “thank you” for helping clean out Betty’s villa.

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Today we plan to rest up for next weekend.  Which starts . . . tomorrow!

What’s that?  Weekends don’t begin on Wednesday and end on Monday?  Of course they do.  They must.  How else would we pack in all this fun?

Aah . . . that’s better!

How did you “spend” the weekend?  Are you “paying for it” this week?  :mrgreen:

Stir Life With A Slow Spoon October 23, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Life Lessons, Mindfulness, Music & Dance.
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44 comments

When caramelizing onions, low heat with a slow spoon works best to enhance their innate sweetness.  Cranking the heat to speed up the process doesn’t work, unless you savor the flavor of burnt onions with raw centers.

Life’s like that ~ we enhance its innate sweetness when we slow down.

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In a recent post, Do You Ever Slow Down?, Eric provides 3 tips on soaking up the present moment before rushing headlong into the next.  And the next.  And the next.  And the next.

Reading Eric’s post reminded me of John Lennon’s decision to stop riding the merry-go-round:

Simon & Garfunkel’s recipe for “Feeling Groovy” also came to mind ~> “slow down, you move to fast, you got to make the morning last, kicking down the cobblestones, looking for fun and feeling groovy.”

Looking for fun?

Feeling groovy?

Splash color around.

Ignore the guide lines.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

A Forward Look, Backwards September 30, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Poetry, Special Events.
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40 comments

Today is Mom’s Birthday!

She’s “twenty-one plus” . . . and holding.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

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A few years ago, we wanted mom and dad to move into a smaller place.  Mom didn’t want to move.  Dad was on the fence.  To encourage her to reconsider, I sent her a poem for her birthday ~ A Forward Look, Backwards.

Reunion

A Forward Look, Backwards

Mom, as you know, we’ve moved around a bunch
One place at breakfast, another by lunch
In contrast, you’re more like an Oak tree
Roots deep in the soil, branches floating free

From the coast of Maine, to Paris at night
Hiking and biking, you’ve seen many a sight
But your roots remained in the Garden State
And your memories there have grown in weight

For forty-three years, you’ve stayed in one place
Adding rings ’round your trunk with grit and grace
Roots sinking deeper, memories growing
But, Mom, at long last – your age is showing

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Four children grown, and off on their own
The seeds you planted have now been resown
And most of your rooms sit empty and bare
Silent echoes of laughter filling the air

One thing we have learned over the years
Moving about is no cause for tears
In each place, our memories came too
Now, I ask, what are you going to do?

Will you stay in a house, too big by far
Or . . . “would you like to swing on a star?
Carry moonbeams home in a jar
And be better off than you are . . .

Or would you rather be a mule?” *

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM . . . whatever you decide.

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The poem didn’t work.

A few more birthdays came and went.  In time, life made the decision for her ~ dad died last June and our childhood house has since been sold.

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Life’s like that . . . always moving forward, even if we’re looking backwards.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

* * * * *

* The rest of the stanza from Would You Like To Swing On A Star:

A mule is an animal with long funny ears
He kicks up at everything he hears
His back is brawny but his brain is weak
He’s just plain stupid with a stubborn streak . . .

 

Bridge Street Blues September 23, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Happiness, Humor, Music & Dance.
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16 comments

On Saturday night, we went to Bridge Street on the island for a Blues Fest.

A small one to be sure.  And we didn’t hear any actual Blues.  But we enjoyed watching the Hoop Dancers while listening to live music on island time.

One dancer suggested I check out Beth Lavinder’s videos on youtube.  So I did.

She makes it look easy!

We didn’t spend long at the Fest.  We got distracted by bands playing at four other outdoor venues on Bridge St. ~ Island Time Bar & Grill, Blue Marlin’s Back Alley, Bridge Tender Inn, and Dive In (a real dive).

Ya, mon.  De island be hopping . . . it’s a happening place.

Except at sunset . . .

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When time stands still long enough for us to catch our breath.

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That’s it.  Toes in the sand.  Eyes on the sky.

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Exhale.  Again.  Leave your worries sitting in the sand.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Garage Bands & Garbage Men September 21, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Music & Dance, Sustainable Living.
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20 comments

When we went to Snooty’s 65th Birthday Bash, we enjoyed the sights and sounds, including a Garage Band called The Garbage Men.

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The band’s members created playable instruments out of cereal boxes without topses and other found and re-purposed materials.

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Their performance reminded me of something I might see on Sesame Street or Mulberry Street.  Or perhaps near a picked-over landfill in Paraguay.

Aah . . . that’s better!

I don’t know about you, but the closest I’ve come to playing a home-grown instrument was putting fresh wax paper in my Kazoo.

 

Can you Kazoo?

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