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Turning A King Mattress October 22, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Home & Garden, Humor, Less IS More.

Last time we stripped the bed to wash the sheets, we decided to fluff up the mattress pad in the dryer.

Once the mattress had been divested of its outerwear, we figured we might as well rotate the mattress.

Once the mattress was off the box springs, we figured we might as well wash the dust ruffle.

At that point, Tigger intervened to check on our progress.


He wandered around the unusual landscape checking things out.


Once Tigger gave us the “all clear,” we figured we might as well lift off the box springs and vacuum under the bed.


Once the box springs were removed, we decided to clean the baseboard and wash the walls behind the bed.


A few observations:

#1  One thing leads to another.

#2  Everything is connected.

#3  King beds are H~E~A~V~Y!!!

When I mentioned the intense work-out we got from our mattress turning session to my sister, she asked an astute question:

“What do people do about flipping king mattresses when they get older?”

Considering the options, I replied:

“You ask your kids to do it.  Or you forget to do it.  Or like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, you trade in your King for Twin Beds.”

Of course, by the time BFF & I get around to turning our mattress again, we may all be sleeping in pods on Mars.

Time will tell.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s your least favorite household chore?

Spanish Romesco Dip October 19, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.

mr-rossiNext time it’s your turn to serve Tapas, here’s a yummy dip from the Catalonia region of Spain.

Spanish Romesco Dip

1/2 cup whole almonds
3 garlic cloves, peeled
8 oz. roasted red bell pepper
1 14-oz. can fire roasted diced tomato (with or without peppers)
1/4 c. chopped onion (optional: sauté first)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp sherry or red wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

With food processor or Ninja running, drop almonds and garlic cloves into the chute. Process until fine.  Add remaining ingredients and process until almost smooth.

Serve at room temperature or chilled.

This dip is delicious with tortilla chips, Fritos, pretzels, pita, crackers, bruschetta, seafood, pasta, etc.  I added some to sauteed zucchini, peppers, and onions with excellent results.

Aah . . . that’s yummy!

Before And After October 17, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.

Before I began the wheat-free experiment mid-September, we ate delicious meals of this and that:


Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce * Steamed Broccoli & Carrots * Black Bean Salsa * Sliced Apple * 1/2 a Bagel

Since going wheat-free, we still eat this and that . . . I just don’t eat that other thing.

Here’s an example of an impromptu mix & match wheat-free lunch thrown together from “fixings” in the fridge and pantry:


Carrot & Celery Sticks * Pepperocini * Hummus * Fritos * Black Bean Salsa * Broccoli Florets with Italian Vinaigrette

I do a bit more planning for dinners, but not much.  Here’s an example of a fresh from the oven wheat-free dinner:


Twice Baked Potato * Roasted Asparagus * Roasted Cauliflower * Roasted Carrots * Mashed Sweet Potato * Pushcart Onions  & Peppers

Update: I’m still enjoying numerous benefits from eating wheat-free (better sleep, less neck pain, better digestion, less inflammation, better mood, less mental fog, better energy, less hunger) so I haven’t been tempted to add wheat back into my diet.  Yet.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Elementary, My Dear Watson! October 15, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, People.

Who’s the first literary character that springs to mind when you think Aquatics Safety?


Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde?
The Green Hornet?
Homer Simpson?
Robinson Crusoe?

Hold that thought.

The other day we arrived at the beach for our walk and noticed a red and white striped pavilion-style tent on the beach, with a film crew bustling about.

We walked over to find out what they were filming and to ascertain whether they had all the necessary permits to film on the beach.

Not that I know which permits are necessary, but it never hurts to expand one’s base of knowledge.

Donald-DirectorThe director yelled, “CUT!”

Time for action.

I wandered over to ask what he was filming.

“Hi.  What are you filming?”

“A training video.”

My litigation background kicked in and stood me in good stead as I countered his rather terse response with a question designed to elicit additional scintillating details.

“What kind of training video?”

“Aquatics Safety.”

Deciding to expand my base of knowledge elsewhere, I scanned past the hustle and bustle of the film crew and noticed two actors sitting on the sidelines studying their lines.

Of course, at that distance, I couldn’t be certain they were looking over the script.  It could have been a Take Out Menu for lunch, but I suspected script.

Their distinctive dress was a dead giveaway.  In less time than it takes to flip off my flip flops, I deduced they’d been cast as the first literary duo that springs to mind whenever one considers the topic of Aquatics Safety . . .

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson!

What’s that?  You don’t see the glaringly obvious tie-in between Holmes, Watson, and Aquatics Safety?

Too bad.  I had hoped you could clue me in.

Anyway, BFF and I watched a take or two and then I got a chance to talk to Sherlock during a break in filming.

“Sherlock, you lucky dog!”


“I see you are garbed in a wool cloak, a woolen vest, wool trousers, and a deerstalker cap.”

“Quite right.”

“You will, of course, agree that that gabardine garb would be quite unbearable and, indeed, vastly uncomfortable, if the temperature here on the beach hovered in the mid- to upper-90’s . . . as it has for at least 98 of the past 100 days.”


“And I suspect you will also concur that, given the sudden recent shift in weather from the standard seasonal summer setting of “BLAZING HOT” to autumn’s vastly more reasonable”FUN IN THE SUN,” your gabardine get-up will NOT cause your get up and go to get up and go before the director’s done filming.”

“Quite so.”

“If you will permit me, I will go so far as to venture one further observation.  And that is this:  In light of the gorgeous cooling breeze blowing inland from the Gulf, you, despite your attire, will NOT perspire or expire from extreme heat exhaustion, no matter how many takes the director takes.”


“Ergo. Ipso. Facto.  E Pluribus Unum.  Quid Pro Quo.  Res Ipsa Loquitar.”

“Yes!  Yes!  Exactly right.  I see the reasoning of your logic and the logic of your reasoning.”

“I thought you might.”

“I am, indeed, one lucky dog.”

“Now, tell me old chap.  Just what do you and Watson have to do with Aquatics Safety?”

“Haven’t the foggiest.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

You Can’t Beat Beets! October 13, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.

Mr-RossiThe Farmer’s Market started up again on Saturday, October 1st, after a summer hiatus.  The Market, which runs from October to May (instead of May to October), includes artisans, musicians, bakers, butchers, fishmongers, and farmers.

I love seeing how far our veggie dollars go at the Market. Last visit, we spent a grand total of $18 and came home with this:


kale * cucumbers * iceberg lettuce * broccoli * romaine * green peppers * zucchini * baking potatoes * sweet potatoes * beets * beet greens

What bounty!

Once home, I process the produce so that it’s ready to use at a moment’s notice:

* Wash and spin the lettuce
* Chop and sauté the beet greens and kale
* Steam or blanch the broccoli (or just cut it into florets for roasting)
* Store the potatoes and sweet potatoes in our “root cellar”
* Stash most of the cukes, peppers, and zucchini in the fridge

Last week, before leaving the kitchen, I made a pot of wheat-free Minestrone soup, using millet instead of macaroni.

By the time I finished chopping and dropping, the robust and hearty harvest soup included onions, peppers, zucchini, beets, beet greens, broccoli, carrots, celery, and tomato sauce.

Aah . . . that’s yummy!

Do you frequent Farmer’s Markets in season?

Red Tide At Night . . . No One’s Delight October 11, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Less IS More, Nature.

Before moving to Florida, I’d never heard of Red Tide.  Well, let me tell you, Red Tide STINKS!


Red Tide is an algae-bloom that starts far off shore and moves with the tides, killing fish in its wake.  The dead fish wash up on the beach in droves and do what dead fish are wont to do ~> emit foul odors.


At the end of September, a significant Red Tide bloom made its appearance known to us on our morning beach walk.


We held our breath and made a mad dash for the car.


A few days later, we decided to chance another walk on the beach.

We didn’t bump into any dead fish (they’d been raked up and dumped into a dumpster), but it smelled “fishy” down at water’s edge.  So we walked up near the dunes instead.


Maybe they better add “NO Red Tide” and “NO Dead Fish” to the list of beach and pier prohibitions!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Save Your Breath October 8, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People, Travel & Leisure.

Broccoli-Mocking-StewieSome/most of the stuff people piss and moan about “today” pales in comparison to the hardships endured by people trekking across the plains in covered wagons while gnawing on buffalo jerky.

Compared to the challenges endured during the Civil War and its aftermath, most of us have nothing to complain about.

And, yet, we persist . . .

We regale each other with nitty-gritty details of petty complaints in order to garner sympathy and attention for our insecure egos.

What a waste of time.

AirplaneNext time someone starts to complain about lost luggage or a missed flight connection or some other minor travel or traffic delay, I’m going to encourage them to change their perspective from feeling bad/sad/mad to glad.



Mickey-OKI’ll point out that the ability to gripe, groan, and grouse about an airline snaffu proves, unequivocally, that they did NOT crash land in the Rockies and get cannibalized by the flight crew.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  A Complaint Free Day (Cleveland Clinic Wellness) * Frankly My Dear (Before Morning Breaks)

The Sun Is Always Shining October 5, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

The sun is always shining, even when it’s hidden by clouds.


When dark clouds obscure the sun, it is impossible to move from “rung 37” to “rung 3” on the happiness ladder in a single bound.

We lack the energy and enthusiasm needed to even make the effort to reclaim the “joy” we used to feel.

But that doesn’t mean we have to stay where we are . . .


With mindful effort, we can climb out of the abyss one rung at a time.

Find an uplifting quote, anecdote, or photo to ponder. Something that inspires you and refills your well (even if the lift doesn’t last).


Aah . . . that’s better!

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ~ Alice Walker

Just Breathe October 3, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

Green-Yin-YangThe Yin and Yang of our nervous system are the sympathetic and parasympathetic.

When we are stressed, the sympathetic nervous system activates the fight-or-flight response.

In contrast, the parasympathetic nervous system governs the rest-and-relaxation response.

To recover from excess stress, we need only remember to press the “pause button” . . . by taking a deep breath.

Donald-DirectorBreathing triggers the relaxation response by signaling the vagus nerve to initiate a healing waterfall of hormones.

Once activated, those hormones calm us.  They also reduce cortisol levels, boost brain function, reduce inflammation, and lower heart rate and blood pressure.

So breathe.  Just breathe.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Trump That! October 1, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Magick & Mystery.

Mickey-SurferI woke in the middle of the night, the tendrils of a dream still vivid.

My father had been mediating a dispute between mom and me regarding a matter of the utmost importance . . .

Whether I should stop wearing the shoes I had on.

When it was time for him to render his verdict and declare which of us had “logic” on our side ~ me, based on the direct personal experience of actually wearing the shoes, or mom, based on her second-hand observations about my footwear ~ he side-stepped the issue by standing up, walking a few steps away, and announcing with sage purpose:

“Trump will be out in November . . . and I’m out of here now.”

Mickey-OKAs dad drifted away, I woke up in bed, hugging his words in his stead.

Dad’s words of wise counsel allowed me to drift back to deep and peaceful slumber for the rest of the night, knowing that:

“All will be well in the end.  If all is not well, it is not yet the end.” ~ The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Aah . . . that’s better!