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One Mistake People Make October 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Less IS More, People, Travel & Leisure.
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200px-RealMotherGooseOne Mistake People Make may become a new series on SLTW to highlight a few of the mistakes that people make while rationalizing their decisions with “little lies” they tell themselves.

My only concern . . . I’ll run out of material.

Hmm . . .

No.  I think we’re good on that front.  I see people making mistakes every day.  Plenty of fodder for the flames.

So, here we go, the inaugural post . . . One Mistake People Make.

Believing that buying a vacation home will SIMPLIFY their lives. 

It won’t.

THE SITUATION:  Last night, we watched Househunters International  on HGTV.  Divorced Dad, living in Chicago, shares visitation of his school-aged daughter with his ex-wife.

Since his daughter lives right down the street from him, he sees her on weekends and during the week when she stops by after school.

Divorced Dad (hereinafter “DD”) conducts House Inspections.  He lives in a 1920 Chicago  bungalow he’s owned for 4 years.

It’s a Money Pit.


DD spends his free time gutting bathrooms, replacing decks, re-installing windows, updating tile, painting, staining, sanding, etc.

DD’s PROBLEM:  He is exhausted.  His life is too complicated.  He doesn’t have enough time to relax and get to know his daughter.

DD’s SOLUTION:  Buy a vacation home.

In Costa Rica.

What?  How will adding another layer of responsibility, another mortgage, another piece of real estate, to your “overloaded life” simplify it?

ANSWER:  It won’t.

But wait there’s more.  As he is sharing his solution with TV viewers, he mentions that:

* He had never heard of Costa Rica until one of the homeowner’s he did an inspection for mentioned it.

* He’s never been to Costa Rica.

* He doesn’t even know where Costa Rica is located on the map.

* He doesn’t speak Spanish.

No matter.  After doing a bit of research on the internet, he’s decided that Costa Rica looks quite nice.

At last, he’ll be able to simplify his life and get to spend time with his daughter.

Don’t you just love happy endings?

220px-Horse_and_ManDD’s DREAM:  In order to “simplify his life,” DD needs a vacation home in Costa Rica with at least 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, an open floor plan, new appliances, and a swimming pool . . . within walking distance of the beach and amenities in town.

And he wants it NOW!

DD’s PLAN:  Fly down to Costa Rica (his first time to the country), spend one week looking around, brush up his Spanish un poquito, and buy the house of his dreams.

Sounds do-able.

DD’s VACATION HOME:  After  one week in Costa Rica, DD bought a newly constructed furnished home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a pool and an open floor plan.

Exactly what he wanted except . . .

It’s located 30 minutes  away from any amenities.

Every time DD needs groceries, healthcare, clothes, or wants to dine out, he’s looking at 60 minutes driving round trip.  (And, of course, there’s the time and expense required to fly to and from Chicago to get to this magical oasis of simplicity.)

Despite this trade-off, DD seems happy at last.

As the camera fades, we see DD and his daughter riding horseback on the beaches of Costa Rica leaving home viewers with the impression that they too could simplify their lives if they could find a vacation home in Costa Rica for $275,000.

Next Up:  How DD could have simplified his life, and gotten to know his daughter, without ever leaving the country.

Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce October 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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220px-Carrots_of_many_colorsPeanut Sauce

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water, hot
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. crystallized ginger
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 lb. cooked noodles
Stir Fried veggies
Chopped peanuts

Whisk peanut butter and warm water together until smooth.  Stir in remaining ingredients one at a time.

Toss peanut sauce with cooked noodles (spaghetti, linguine, fettucine or Asian).

Add stir fried, blanched, or lightly sautéed vegetables.

Some ideas: broccoli florets, grated carrot, red bell pepper strips, snow peas, diced celery, water chestnuts, bok choy, chopped onion, napa cabbage, baby corn, peas, cauliflower florets, or green beans.

Serve hot or cold.  Garnish with chopped peanuts.