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This Too Shall Pass October 12, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
21 comments

Some days are tough, even for Tiggers.  Nothing seems to go quite right. 

Just the opposite.  Everything and everyone seems hell bent on pressing your buttons and pushing your last lever.

Next time that happens, just remember:

This too shall pass . . .

This link brought to you by . . . Happy Links (My Year Without Spending)

BTW:  This Too Shall Pass is . . . Post #900!  Woot! 

OM: Vacation Homes October 12, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Less IS More, People, Travel & Leisure.
10 comments

200px-RealMotherGooseIn One Mistake (“OM”) People Make, we met DD (Divorced Dad) who decided to simplify his life by buying a vacation home . . .

In Costa Rica!

DD decided that owning a place in Costa Rica would change his life for the better.

Hmm . . . 

When he’s not there, the place is sitting empty while still costing him money.

And, when he’s not in Chicago, his “money pit” is sitting idle, while costing him money for utilities, cable, etc.

DD will have to work more hours to pay for two homes.  He’ll have to rent a car to use in Costa Rica because he’s located 30 minutes away from town.  He’ll have to pay someone to care for the swimming pool in his absence.

Is any of this simplifying his life?

Of course not.

Owning a second home rarely simplifies life.  Over time, real estate can be a good investment, but in the meantime, it’s expensive and time-consuming:

(1) The down payment.
(2) Monthly mortgage payments.
(3) The cost of airfare to Costa Rica.
(4) The time to travel to Costa Rica.
(5) Maintenance, upkeep, and repair expenses for two homes.

250px-New_Orleans_City_of_Old_Romance_and_New_Opportunity_Crop_p_23_Moneybags

Since DD will have to work longer hours in Chicago (taking time away from his daughter) in order to pay for his piece of “paradise” in Costa Rica, it’s unlikely that he’s simplified his life one iota.

What could he have done instead?

Instead of spending $275,000, plus interest, on a second home, he could have cut back on his hours to spend more time with his daughter.

If he had money burning a hole in his pocket, he could have finished the work needed to update his Money Pit by hiring someone to help him with the renovations.

He could have sold the Money Pit to buy a small pied a terre with no maintenance required.

Men_in_Work_Clothes

With his increased “free time” he could have gotten to know his daughter in any number of ways:

* They could have visited museums in downtown Chicago and discussed art, and architecture, and music.

* They could have gone to ethnic restaurants, studying up ahead of time to understand the cuisine of each region.

* They could have taken a cooking class together, or learned a foreign language.

* They could have played in the park, gone for long walks, or enjoyed snowball fights followed by hot cocoa.

Airplane* Instead of flying to Costa Rica multiple times, they could have taken shorter and more frequent weekend trips, visiting and learning about different destinations while soaking up varied experiences.

* They could have visited our National Parks to hike and camp while learning to pitch a tent and start a campfire.

* They could have roasted marshmallows while singing or telling ghost stories around the campfire.

Why did DD really buy a vacation home in a far off exotic destination? Was he really trying to “simplify” his life?

Probably not.

Maybe he viewed it as a sound investment.  Buy for $275,000 and sell down the road for “more than that.”  But, even if it doubles in price, he’s probably not going to realize a net gain after subtracting his travel costs and the mortgage interest and the insurance and the cost of two cars and . . .

220px-Horse_and_ManThe goal behind most goals is happiness.

DD probably bought the place in Costa Rica because he wasn’t happy.

He’s divorced, living in Chicago with cold, snowy winters, and he didn’t feel emotionally close to his daughter.  He romanticized that owning a piece of Paradise would provide him with the elusive happiness he desired.

Maybe it will.

Probably it won’t.

Quote:  Happiness is never in things . . . it is in us.

Related post:  How to Access Happiness NOW

Curry Dip October 12, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
8 comments

This dip must be made ahead of time to give the flavors a chance to meld.

220px-Carrots_of_many_colorsCurry Dip

2 cups Miracle Whip (or mayonnaise)
3 Tbsp. ketchup/catsup
1-2 tsp. chili powder
3 Tbsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1-2 Tbsp. grated onion, with juice
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients. Chill overnight.  Garnish with chopped chives.

Serve with raw or blanched veggies (cucumber, asparagus, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, broccoli, snow peas, cherry tomatoes) and/or chips (Fritos, tortilla chips, pretzels) for dipping.

For a Dairy Free version:  Tofu Curry Dip