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If I . . . September 19, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Mindfulness, Poetry.
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220px-Horse_and_ManIf I
Were going to die
Knowing what I know
Would I
Scream and cry
That I don’t want to go?

Words unsaid
Deeds undone
Experiences yet to try . . .

Could I
Say Good-Bye
Without a backwards glance?
Must I
Cling and sigh
With true remonstrance?

Lives lived
Smiles shared
A bucket full of lies.

But I was born to die, that’s in the cards, I know.
If I were going to die, I’d pack my bags and go.

* * * * *

Related posts:  Actors on the Stage of Life * Fly High, Freebird * Live Your Life * Free To Be . . . MeImpressionism & Abstract ExpressionismBut I Might Die Tonight  * Year of the Cat

To Market, To Market September 19, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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220px-Carrots_of_many_colorsWe all need to eat to live (and many of us live to eat).  Here’s a few tips for saving at the grocery store:

1.  Study Store Circulars.  If something you buy regularly is on sale, take advantage of those savings when planning  meals for the week.  If non-perishable staples (canned fruits, beans,  and veggies, rice, pasta, and pasta sauces) are being sold as B1G1F (Buy One Get One Free), stock up!

Canned goods remain “fresh” for months.

2.  Compare prices.  Don’t automatically assume that the Super Jumbo Economy Size will cost less per ounce, or that the store brand is cheaper.

Name brands on sale often cost less than store brands at the regular price.

3.  Use coupons.   If you get coupon inserts in the Sunday paper, flip through them and clip coupons for products you use regularly.  It’s great fun to hand over a stack of $1 off coupons and watch your food bill shrink.

Saving $5 a week using coupons nets you $250 over the course of a year.

4.  Avoid impulse buys.  Make a list, check it twice, and wear blinders as you walk past the Bakery or Candy Aisle (where tempting treats lay in wait for the weak-willed).

Don’t shop on an empty stomach ~ have a snack before you go shopping.

5.  Shop the Produce Department first.  If you start in the produce department, filling your cart with good-for-you fruits and vegetables, it sets the tone for the rest of the trip.  Instead of filling your cart with “empty calories” with little or no nutritional value, load up on bright colors, tastes, and textures loaded with vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.

Try adding a few extra veggies into casseroles your kids already love.

6.  Plan more Vegetarian Meals.  If you decrease the meat in your diet,  you’ll fatten up your wallet (and flatten your waist).  A few ideas:  meatless spaghetti and lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, vegetarian chili with beans, corn chowder, minestrone or vegetable soup, Asian stir fries and curries, bean burritos, Greek salads, macaroni and cheese.

A vegetarian diet is better for you (and your pocketbook), better for the planet, and better for the animals you would otherwise be consuming.

7.  Make your own Convenience Food.  Instead of over-spending in the frozen food aisle by buying prepared foods, cook large batches of homemade soups, stews, and casseroles.  Freeze the left-overs to serve on nights when you are too busy (or tired) to cook.

Cook once.  Eat twice.  Having casseroles in the freezer is . . . oh, so nice. 

Related post: Top Ten Reasons to Become A Vegetarian (AgriGirl’s Blog) * How To Save On Your Grocery Bill

Fun With Words: Venus Fly Trap September 19, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Humor, People, Word Play.
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Wikipedia ~ Venus Fly Trap (in Public Domain)

As he fastened the last button on his fly, Jeremy decided to play a trick on his boss at the plant.

Work lately had become deathly dull ~ time to shake things up a bit.

On his way to work, Jeremy stopped at a local nursery and found what he’d come after . . . a Venus Fly Trap!

Using a  carnivorous plant  for the planned prank seemed the perfect payback for his blood-sucking boss.

Jeremy shelled over the dough, and headed back to his car.

Next stop, the pet store, to buy a package of live “ammo” ~ not one fly, not two flies, but a package with dozens of flies designed to feed an entire aquarium of bulbous bullfrogs.

According to the florist’s brochure, which he’d removed from the plant and tossed into the trash, each trap on a Venus Fly Trap takes approximately ten (10) days to fully digest prey caught in its lobes.

200px-Musca_illustrationAs he paid for the flies, Jeremy estimated that it would take ten Fly Traps ten lifetimes to consume the contents of the package.   He also expected that his vampiric boss would not have that crucial bit of information in his pea-sized brain.

A few minutes later, plant in hand, Jeremy walked into work with a smile on his face and a spring in his step.  He headed straight for his boss’s office, as he hummed Hendrix’s Purple Haze, “Scuse me . . . while I eat this fly!”

“Happy Birthday, Boss!”

“Thanks, Jeremy.  Wow . . . that’s an interesting plant.”

“It’s a Venus Fly Trap ~ perfect for your office.  Here, I got you a package of flies so you can feed it breakfast.”

* * * * *

Inspiration:  Round Four of the NPR Challenge, which required writers to submit short stories using four words:  button, fly, trick, and plant.

To see (and hear!) the winning story:  Not Calling Attention To Ourselves