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Small Space, Big Style July 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Sustainable Living.
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Carolyn’s post, Now This is a Creative Use of Space,  reminded me of one of my favorite HGTV shows . . . Small Space, Big Style.

The HGTV show, like Carolyn’s video clip, is a great reminder to homeowners that sometimes Less is More.

For more inspiration, visit Small Space, Big Style . . . after swinging around to wish Carolyn a Happy Birthday!

via Life as a Writer and Artist

Banking On Your Customers July 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Humor, Life Balance, People.
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Ally’s clever banking commercials contain valuable lessons for business (and blog) owners.

Using a simple stage, an adult, and one or two children, Ally evaluates questionable and unfair banking practices:  bait and switch, the dreaded fine print, limited time offers, dizzying automated systems  designed like merry-go-rounds, and the one we’ll be discussing here . . . offers for new customers only! 

The first child, seated on the floor mat,  has been around for awhile.  This  loyal faithful customer politely asks for ice cream, and is refused.

“No.  It’s just for new people.”

A second child rushes in.  This brand new visitor is offered his choice of vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream, “Chocolate!”

“Chocolate, it is!”  

Shocked by the obvious disparity in treatment, the first child urges the adult to be fair, “Yeah, but I’m new too.”

The adult shakes his head, “Mmm . . . he’s NEW~er . . . than you.”

Even kids know it’s wrong to treat new friends better than old friends. 

Taking old customers for granted while rewarding new customers with your time and attention is not fair . . . nor is it smart business behavior. 

Luring in new customers with tempting offers and rewards (or rolling out the red carpet only for new visitors), may bring in “new business,”  but it’s no way to “stay in business.”

After all, existing customers are standing on the sidelines watching as you shower attention on new visitors, while ignoring them (your faithful fans).

Blogging, like banking, is a competitive business.   If we don’t treat our old friends as well as new friends, they may drift away to a more enticing blog. 

So, dear readers, if you’ve been around for a while, reading and commenting (or just reading silently to yourselves):  

Thanks A Million!!!  

Here’s a virtual ice cream cone just for you . . . 

Chocolate  ( ) >  Vanilla  ( ) >  Strawberry ( ) >  Coffee Heath Bar Crunch ( ) >

And, please, let me know if there is anything I can do to make your visits here more enjoyable.

Antique Sampler:  To have a friend, you must bee one.  {{buzz}}

“Stop Mocking Me!” July 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, People.
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Ego seeks approval and fears rejection. 

When it doesn’t get the attention and validation it feels is its due, it sulks, or gets angry, or feels sorry for itself.  

Toxic, negative thoughts arise on auto-pilot whenever Ego gets upset at “the world.” 

Often, in the throes of yet another ridiculous tantrum, Ego taunts us to jump into the maelstrom to defend ourselves from the worthless and hateful opinions of the Broccoli Heads in our life. 

Sometimes, it encourages us to lash out and retaliate in kind.  Grrrrrr . . .

Other times, it urges us to storm off, taking our toys with us.  Screw you, guys.  I’m going home.

On occasion, it urges us to climb into bed, pull the sheets up, and cry ourselves to sleep.   Woe is me.   

If we want lasting happiness, we need to acknowledge the role that Ego plays in making us miserable due to its desire to be liked and admired, and/or its fear of being scorned and ridiculed.

As long as Ego is calling the shots, our happiness  remains dependent upon everyone but us. 

If someone approves of us, Ego purrs in contentment. 

But if Ego feels humiliated, even by the unsupported and unsubstantiated opinion of a Broccoli Head, watch out for storm clouds on the horizon.

If we want to reclaim our power, we must reject Ego’s external barometer.  

Instead of worrying about what others think of us, based on their extremely limited vantage point, we start to think for ourselves. 

We observe and monitor our thoughts, reining Ego in as necessary.  As we watch our thoughts, we quell Ego’s tantrums with ease merely by asking ourselves, “Will this thought bring me happiness?”

If we realize that Ego is getting upset about nothing, we calmly switch our focus to a more productive thought and move forward with our day, without getting sucked into another energy draining saga.

Quote:  One of the wonderful things about Buddhist wisdom is that you don’t have to believe in anything to progress on the path of awakened enlightenment. ~ Lama Surya Das

Playing With My Palette July 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Nature, Writing & Writers.
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Today, I shall pull out my paints and play with my palette

Creating the world anew

Pink palms, tasseled with yellow fronds

Green skies, punctuated with purple clouds

Blue grass underfoot, and falling leaves filling the air   

After all, words only take one so far

But dreams, dreams . . . hold the promise of infinity

                              Be An Artist (or a Cat) . . . Live By Your Own Rules

Inspiration for this post:  BLUEPRINT (The Only Cin)

Artwork by Barbara Hines, whose whimsical paintings  reflect  her sense of humor, love of nature, and respect for creatures, great and small. 

For a more complete bio:  Barbara Hines ~ About the Artist 

Roasted Root Veggies July 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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IMGP4091In a large baking pan, place chunks of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, and/or onion in a single layer (without crowding the pan).

Drizzle veggies with olive oil, and sprinkle with rosemary, garlic salt, and black pepper.

Stir to distribute oil and seasonings evenly through the veggies.

Place in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring once during roasting time.

For an alternate method, use parchment paper as shown in this Green Cuisine video:  Veggie Love

Quote:  Recognize the richness of your existence.