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What Do THEY Know? July 4, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
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22 comments

7dwarfsOnce we see that our thoughts and opinions are not “the truth” . . . we see that the thoughts and opinions of others are also not “the truth.”

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. ~ Elbert Hubbard

That realization allows us to let go of the constant craving for external applause, approval, accolades, and acknowledgment.

I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses. ~ Johannes Kepler

The-Pink-PantherAfter all . . . what do THEY know?

Some people like you, some people don’t. In the end you just have to be yourself. ~ Andres Iniesta

Happy Independence Day!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Sometimes We Just Know July 2, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Synchronicity & Mystery.
Tags: , , ,
26 comments

complexSometimes we just know.

Calm certainty floods our being, instilling us with knowingness.

A sudden infusion of intuition wells up from a source far beyond the limits of our mind.

We don’t need to see the whole puzzle to know where this piece fits.

Mickey-OKWe just KNOW.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Coincidence is the word we use when we can’t see the levers and pulleys. ~ Emma Bull

Related posts:  Inspiration ~ Truth (Find Your Middle Ground) * Winks, Whispers, and Nudges

Late For A Date With Fate June 30, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Life Lessons, Poetry, Synchronicity & Mystery.
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28 comments

We hear rumblings and rumors
A madman gunning for a village

We can save them
By sounding the alarm

We race
Quickening our pace

We can’t be late
For our date with fate

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In the dark woods
We stumble upon a babe
Lost and alone
Defensiveless

Do we stop and render aid
knowing the entire village will die
If we don’t sound the alarm?

Or do we race
Quickening our pace

Refusing to be late
For our date with fate?

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Do we ever know the full impact
of choices we make

Or are we consigned to stumbling
Amid the rumblings

Of a future we can’t quite see . . .

As the petals unfold and open
One by one by one

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Aah . . . that’s better!

7 Random Thoughts & Links June 27, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Lessons, People.
Tags: , , ,
39 comments

Hand-rolling-dice1.  Life is a crap shoot . . . and sometimes we get the Royal Flush!

Related: Caca Happens.  Wipe It Off (Brickhouse Chick)

2.  It’s a comedy of errors when we have to modify our normal ADL’s by switching to our non-dominant hand.

Related: R5 for March 8 (Views & Mews by Coffee Kat)

Huey,-Dewey-And-Louie3.  Often, when there is a tug-of-war between HIM and HER, a female confident is no more than the monkey in the middle, dismissed with a wave once peace is restored . . . because HER doesn’t want to be reminded of passing clouds.

Related: The One-Night Stand Conversation (Lively Twist)

4.  Many of us set out to change the world . . . only to find (decades later) that the world changed us.

Related: A Memory (Candid Impressions)

5.  Although a book with an attractive cover may catch our attention . . . it won’t hold it for long without a compelling story between the covers.

Related: Beauty, A First-Class Ticket (Lively Twist)

Butterfly6.  People love to label us so they know which pigeon-hole or box to shove us in . . . as if we were a butterfly to pin to a specimen board.

But we are far more than that.

No single question, occupation, or experience can encapsulate the totality of who we are.

Related:  Scaredy L. Marie (El Space)

7.  A cake (like life) always seems a bit more than the mere sum of its parts!

Related: Life Is Like . . . Cake (Find Your Middle Ground)

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Bok Tower Gardens June 25, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
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43 comments

Early May, we drove across state to Bok Tower Gardens, a national historic landmark in Lake Wales.

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Established in 1929 by Edward W. Bok as a gift to the American people, the 50-acre garden was designed by noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.

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The acres include ferns, palms, oaks, pine, flowering foliage, fountains, and wide expanses of manicured lawns.

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This flower waved at us from its shady perch . . .

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This plant’s radiant spikes caught our attention . . .

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Here’s some perspective on the size of its spikes . . .

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In the midst of the greenery stands the 205-foot-tall marble and coquina Singing Tower.

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Each day, a carilloner climbs into the tower to present a concert on the 60-bell carillon.

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The bells range in size from 22,000 pounds to 12 pounds.

After the tower’s construction, the bells got lifted into position through an opening now filled with this sundial.

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The grounds include a Visitor Center and Museum with changing art exhibits and a 9-minute introductory video about the Tower and the Gardens ~> an air-conditioned oasis on the HOT day we visited.

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The gardens are quiet, peaceful, and contemplative, especially when the carillon’s peals ring out from the Singing Tower.

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The site also includes Pinewood Estate and Gardens ~ a one-of-a-kind 1930’s Mediterranean style home surrounded by rolling hills and crowds of blooms.

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Wandering a remote path near Pinewood Estate, we found a baby scrub jay out of its nest.

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After giving it water and building a lean-to to shield it from the sun, we returned to the 20-room mansion to alert a director ~ she hoped to find someone knowledgeable enough to save the baby bird.

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Also on site ~ a Gift Shop, a Plant Shop, and the Blue Palmetto Cafe.

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After admiring the sights and sounds while walking 2-3 miles around and around the grounds with the blazing sun beating down, we climbed into our air-conditioned chariot for the ride home.

Aah . . . that’s better!

And now a few quotes for the Three Quote Challenge (thanks, Sylvia!):

* The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. ~ Alfred Austin

* My family lived off the land; summer evening meals featured baked stuffed tomatoes, potato salad, corn on the cob, fresh shelled peas and homemade ice cream with strawberries from our garden. With no air conditioning, the cool porch was the center of our universe after the scorching days. ~ David Mixner

* If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

If you want to play along, consider yourself nominated.  Then swing by Another Day in Paradise to see how many rules I failed to follow.

Be More Popeye June 23, 2015

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

Donald-DuckaWhen we accept that we don’t really WANT to do something (lose weight, go to our 25th high school reunion, have a baby, attend the neighborhood potluck), we no longer have to defend our inaction with excuses.

We just don’t do “it” (whatever “it” is).

Sometimes excuses stem from guilt for not wanting “it” badly enough, or fear that others will judge us as wanting if we admit that we are at peace leaving the quo status.

HobbesLetting go of the need to come up with excuses is liberating.

Let’s be more Pop-Eye.

“I yam what I yam.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

And now two more quotes for the Three Quote Challenge (thanks, Sylvia!):

* The only man who is really free is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse. ~ Jules Renard

It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one. ~ George Washington

If you want to play along, consider yourself nominated.  Then swing by Another Day in Paradise to see how many rules I failed to follow.

Rabbit Holes & Reunions June 20, 2015

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

220px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_27I’ve never attended a high school reunion ~ not when we lived 12 hours away and not when we lived an hour away.  Other than friends I’ve stayed in touch with, I’m not that curious about which rabbit holes fellow classmates fell down.

* “High school isn’t a very important place. When you’re going you think it’s a big deal, but when it’s over nobody really thinks it was great unless they’re beered up.” ~ Stephen King, Carrie

Last year, a classmate sent me a link to a youtube video of a multi-class high school reunion. I watched without pangs of regret for not having attended.

* “The hope was, people like me got to finally find our place in college or in the actual world. People who understood this told you that high school wasn’t the actual world, that it was more like a temporary alternate reality you were forced to believe in for four years. A video game you played, where you could never get to the next level no matter how hard you tried.” ~ Deb Caletti, The Six Rules of Maybe

In contrast, BFF and I have attended Homecoming Reunions at W&M because (1) we love Wmsburg and (2) fall is the best time to visit.  Sometimes we even pop into reunion activities to catch up with old school chums.

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But not always.  Sometimes we’re “otherwise engaged” (i.e., busy drinking Mint Juleps at the King’s Arms Tavern).

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Aah . . . that’s better!

And now one last quote for the Three Quote Challenge (thanks, Sylvia!):

* “Problem is, the bathroom pass can’t help you escape life. It’s still there when you come out. Problems and crap don’t go away hiding in the can.” ~ Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry

If you want to play along, consider yourself nominated.  Then swing by Another Day in Paradise to see how many rules I failed to follow.

Sun Temples and Druids June 17, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, People, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , , ,
30 comments

In 1979, my grandfather pondered the mysteries of ancient settlers in the New World, including Druids in Vermont, after receiving America B.C., by Barry Fell from my father for his birthday.

While the book has its critics, my grandfather enjoyed exploring the subject matter:

3/2 ~ “I have received the America B.C. Book. It has a good picture of the South Woodstock Temple “dirt cellar.” It is evident it is an ancient settler building. The markings are a dedication to (Gel) Sun God.”

Intrigued, my grandfather gathered a group to visit the Temple in South Woodstock in May (after the snow melted and the mud dried):

5/1 ~ “I had to write a little to inform you that a group of us, namely Leon and Marjorie, Al & Judy, Margaret and I, attended services to the Sun at the Temple.  We ran into the owner of the land and told him what we were looking for. I took 2 flash pictures inside with the party standing about. It is a sizable room. Mr. Reeves knew me by sight from Town Meetings. There is a fire place near the Temple structure. It is also of ancient origin, I think. The road was pretty fair and dried out. The symbols of fertility have been moved to a museum for safe keeping. Chapter 14 in America B.C.

A few weeks later, he shared his photos with Joseph B. Johnson, who had served as 70th Governor of Vermont in the 1950’s:

6/25 ~ “Another event of the year is past. The Parade of Springfield Alumni. Lucia took Margaret and I to the Johnson’s at 10. An open car picked us up at 10:30. Joe was in front and Margaret, Virginia and I were in back. We are now the second car of old people. A doubtful honor for us.

“I took along a picture of the South Woodstock Temple. It was news to both Joe and Virginia. Joe may get a copy of the book. Margaret is OK after the parade. It is nearing dinner time and we have berries. So I am all set. The sun is out and porch livable. And so we drift into Summer.”

The next year, he expanded his reading to encompass the Druids of the Old World:

1/14 ~ “It is about time I wrote thanking you for Christmas gifts. Margaret is reading the book on the Druids. They were a secretive sort of religious people. The So. Woodstock building seems to match other buildings in Europe, Scotland, and England.”

That’s one of the delights of reading.  The end of a book need not be the end of the inquiry.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related articles:  The Mysterious Stone Chambers of New England (The South Woodstock complex consists of stone chambers, standing stones, and cairns in a natural bowl surrounded by hills and ridges. Besides having close proximity to waterways connecting with the Connecticut River, the beehive structures would have been interconnected by an intricate network of footpaths.)

Related posts re dad’s dad:  The Other Side of Retirement * How NOT To Cook A Turkey * Pragmatic Thoughts on Life & Death * Wry Observations on Dry Politics * Flying Squirrels & Other Silly Bits * Quaint Colloquialisms * DIY Projects, Work Bees, & No Cavities! * Until The Worm Turns * A Real Straight Shooter

Kona Grill & Motorworks Brewery June 15, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Humor.
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42 comments

A few weeks back, we went out for Happy Hour, starting with rum tasting at the Drum Circle Distillery.

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A few happy hours later, we ended the outing at Kona Grill where we shared an appetizer portion of smoked gouda fondue with pretzel bites and apple slices for dipping.

One appetizer and neither of us needed dinner that night.

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To make sure I got my full intake of salt, I ordered a margarita.

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Two days later, we went to Motorworks Brewery ~ the largest beer garden in Florida.

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There, we enjoyed great music, gorgeous weather, good beer.

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We used the putting green, tossed bean bags at Corn Holes, and rolled Bocce Balls around.

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We were about to leave and a couple from Tampa offered to buy me another flight of beer.  How could I refuse?

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Building To The Punchline June 13, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , , , ,
28 comments

Andrew Stanton begins his TED talk with a joke about three men in a bar in the Scottish Highlands ~ a backpacking tourist, a bartender, and an old man.

He uses the joke as a tool to convey compelling storytelling:

* The old man engages the audience, drawing us into his world and revealing his character as he shares his tale with a strong Scottish brogue.

* He makes us care as he explains how he built the bar, constructed the stone wall out front, and installed planks on the pier . . . “with me bare hands.”

* The old man claims center stage with the sole speaking role, yet all three characters are necessary.  None is extraneous.  The tourist provides the reason for the telling of the tale.  The bartender’s presence establishes that the old man is not exaggerating.

* In the same way he crafted the bar, the stone wall, and the pier, the old man builds his story on a firm foundation, one piece at a time.  He keeps the finish line in mind.  He never veers off course.  He steers the story to its predetermined end.

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* He creates drama (“anticipation mingled with uncertainty”) as he decries the fact that he’s not called “MacGregor the Bar Builder” or”MacGregor the Stone Wall Builder” or “MacGregor the Pier Builder.”

Now he’s got us!

We’re curious.  We want to hear the end of the story.  We want to know what he IS called.  We are ready for the reveal . . .

* When he delivers the punch line, he doesn’t complete the sentence. He allows the thought to hang mid-air.  He doesn’t spell it out.  He doesn’t beat us over the head.  He doesn’t insult our intelligence.  He doesn’t reveal his actual nickname.

He allows us to follow the breadcrumbs and connect the dots.

He’s given us 2 + 2 and leaves it to the born problem solver in each of us to fill in the blanks and come up with the solution.

And we do.

Mickey-OKSince he constructed his tale with the same precision he used when building the bar, the stone wall, and the pier, we lay the last piece with confidence.

There’s no wiggle room.  We cannot misplace his meaning.

“Och, mon . . . ye must be MacGregor the Story Teller!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

First published: L. Marie’s Blog ~ The Stanton Effect: Building To The Punchline

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