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The Path of Least Resistance March 31, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.
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220px-Lightning_striking_the_Eiffel_Tower_-_NOAAH.G. Wells said, “The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.”

Many who buy into the antiquated Puritan Work Ethic agree with Wells.

I do not.

When we follow our heart, we follow the path of least resistance.  We enjoy what we do and do it joyously.

Our enthusiasm spurs us forward and we accomplish more than when we take a more resistant path and “burn out” while beating our head against the brick walls we encounter.

When we take the path of least resistance, we walk around boulders, rather than trying to chisel away at them.

Instead of wasting time and energy to accomplish impossible feats, we skip down the path of least resistance, kicking the pebbles we encounter to the side of the road.

Life should be more than a series of stressful moments strung together ad infinitum.  Life should be a joyous journey of adventure and discovery.

Here’s to enjoying the journey . . . along the path of least resistance.

Quotes to Ponder: 

No man is a failure who is enjoying life. ~ William Feather

I would rather be a failure at something I love to do, than a success at something I don’t. ~ George Burns

Success comes not from what we do, it comes from who we are.

I’ve never liked the quote, “Good guys finish last,” because it implies that greed, and power, and arrogance will get you to the finish line first . . . but that’s not the finish line that I’m aiming for.

When we stop clinging to ego attachments, we lighten our load and learn who we truly are. ~ Lama Surya Das

How refreshing the whinny of a pack horse fully unloaded! ~ Classic Haiku

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  Do you agree with Wells?

Have you accomplished more on the path of least resistance . . . or by battling windmills?

Related posts:  Spiritual Milestones *  Our Internal Compass * Our Field Of Dreams * A Beacon in the Dark * Meditation 101 * The Inner Path to Peace * You’re Getting Warmer * My GPS Has An Attitude (Jeanne’s Blog) * Thanks, God

7 Reasons We Prefer To Dine In March 30, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Home & Garden.
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The other day, a new acquaintance shared a list of her favorite restaurants with me, urging us to try them.  When I told her that we prefer to eat at home, she seemed surprised.

As touched upon in The Zen of Cooking, here are 7 reasons why we prefer to “dine in” rather than “going out” to eat:

1.  Healthier options and portions.   When we eat at home, we rarely eat fried foods and we tend to eat less.  Instead of downing behemoth servings of pasta served with a sprig of parsley for garnish, we eat fiber and vitamin rich foods that fill us up without filling us out.  Leftovers land in the fridge, not on our waist, hips, and thighs.

2.  No anchovies, please!  Preparing meals at home gives us control over the ingredients we use.  Instead of foods smothered in high caloric sauces or drowning in oil, we eat simply prepared fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans with no ‘shrooms, eggplants, or anchovies in sight!

3.  No waiting.  Many people view eating out as a time saver, when it rarely saves time.  We can enjoy a delicious and healthy dinner from start to finish (cooking, serving, eating, and cleaning up the leftovers) in far less time than driving to a restaurant, parking the car, waiting for a table, perusing the menu, waiting for a waiter, placing the order, waiting for the order, eating, waiting for the check, paying the check, waiting for a receipt, driving back home, and changing out of clothes that “suddenly” became too tight.

4.  No noise pollution.  Eating at home gives us  greater control over the environment.  We can choose the music, the lighting, and our dining companions,  creating an oasis of peace and quiet.  Conversation is not stilted or inhibited by loud and obnoxious cretins, crying babies, or cranky children vying for attention.

5.  We know the chef.  Our local news features a weekly segment called Dirty Dining.  The reporter goes behind the scenes in restaurants and eateries and documents . . . GROSS! . . . cockroaches and food storage issues and employees who do NOT wash their hands before touching food.  Yuck.  At home, we know the chef washed his/her hands before handling our food.

6.  Energy Savings.  Eating at home is better for the environment than making a special trip out to eat, and it results in less packaging waste from bulky styrofoam boxes used to transport leftovers.

abgott77. More for the Money.  We can  serve a delicious pasta dinner to 8 people for about $9, or just over $1 a serving:

1 lb. pasta ($1), 32 oz. spaghetti sauce  ($2), 1 lb. zucchini sautéed  with onions and peppers ($1), 1 loaf homemade Crusty Cuban  bread  ($1), salad with lettuce ($1.50), carrots ($.25), celery ($.25), red pepper ($.50), nuts, raisins, or olives ($.50), homemade Italian dressing ($1).

Ordering a similar dinner out might approach $20 per person: $12 (pasta and breadsticks) + $3 side salad + $3 tip + $1 tax = $19 per person.

Beverage not included.

Other crowd pleasing favorites that are healthy, simple to prepare, and easy on the budget include: vegetarian chilis, curries, stir fries, soups, stews, and casseroles.  For ideas and recipes:  A Month of Meatless Meals.

We do enjoy eating out once or twice a month, especially if the location adds real value to the experience (e.g., waterfront dining, gorgeous mountaintop vistas, or historical significance of the building itself ~ such as the historic taverns in Williamsburg), or the restaurant serves something we are not inclined to make at home, like . . .

Chocolate Bread Pudding “cradled by a warm bourbon sauce topped with Häagen-Dazs vanilla bean ice cream and a homemade chocolate crisp.”

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  Do you prefer to dine in or eat out?  Does what you eat  depend upon where you eat?

And, on a related note, do you enjoy the journey of cooking?  Does creating in the kitchen fill you with pleasure, and allow you to relax and unwind?  Or would you rather leave the cooking to someone else?

Related posts: Holiday Parties * Top 10 Ways to Keep the Weight OFF * Lose Weight by Satisfying your True Hunger * Food & Fitness ~ Holiday Diet Tips

* * * * *

 Artwork by Anne Abbgott ~ available at Island Gallery West.

An Imbroglio of Briars & Quicksand March 29, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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A recent post, Words From Which I Need A Break, included the following 25 words which Arvik felt should be granted an extended sabbatical:

I follow your construct, Arvik. 

Sadly, rhetoric and discourse are intertwined in the ethos as well as in the socio-economic, gendered, interpretation of identity.
Verisimilitude and meta-linguistic narrative have taken the place of daring authenticity in a paradigm of class conflict

Both capitalists and Marxists manifest a “double-vision” which causes them to lose their self-perception, thwarting personal growth in favor of a primal, inherent need to reclaim the ultimate loss of innocence which arrives thusly

Painful to read, isn’t it? 

Sometimes wading through the written word is like getting sucked into an imbroglio of briars and quicksand.  

Instead of building from Point A to Point B, certain writers circle around and around the point they are trying to express, ostentatiously using as many esoteric and cumbersome words as possible. 

Cautious readers must wear hip boots or waders to protect against the muck and mire . . . and the occasional thorn. 

When I can’t follow a writer’s line of reasoning on a subject with which I am generally conversant, I naturally assume that the problem lies with the writer and not the reader.   :mrgreen:

Lest you accuse me of hubris, let me remind you that I had no difficulty as a Philosophy major in college deciphering the wanderings and wonderings of Kant, Hume, Sartre, Hegel, Descartes, and even Socrates. 

In law school, I studied and digested 75 page “briefs” of the United States Supreme Court . . . with only rare indigestion or stomach upset resulting from the effort.

Based on past experience, it is my reasoned opinion that good writers, even those espousing amusing philosophical musings, are able to convey complex ideology in a straightforward manner without resorting to obscure references and circular reasoning designed to throw others off the scent. 

They bring readers into the fold, rather than leaving them out in the cold.

When writers obfuscate, I wonder whether it stems from a lack of mental clarity on their part . . . maybe even they don’t understand what it is they are attempting to say.

If that appears the most ostensible or plausible explanation, I try to be charitable and give them the benefit of the doubt.

After all, if we don’t know what we want to say, would we say anything? 

In some cases, I suspect that lack of clarity in sentence after ghastly sentence stems from a latent desire to confuse and mislead readers.

I know that seems counter-intuitive but . . . maybe watching readers scratch their heads or stall in the middle of the tracks makes befuddled or bemused writers feel intellectually superior to the masses.

Who knows?

WARNING:  Using an external reference point to measure the worth of our  words may lead to delusions of adequacy.

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  Have you ever waded into a writer’s work and become lost in a quagmire of obtuse construction?  What did you do? 

Did you beat a hasty retreat or wallow a while longer?

Related post:  Simplicity ~ A Friend (SoulDipper)

Make “Bottoms Up” Your Mantra March 28, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.
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GymnasticsWe all know that we should keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Here are 13 reasons why:

1. Flushes toxins from the body through the kidneys and colon.

2. Aids in digestion, including saliva production.

3.  Keeps the intestines moving smoothly to prevent constipation.

4. Keeps brain (75% water) functioning at “maximum” capacity.

5. Assists body absorb nutrients and convert food into energy.

Cats-eyes6. Moisturizes eyes to keep vision sharp through tear production.

7. Helps regulate body temperature.

8.  Cushions and lubricates joints.

9. Keeps muscles (75% water) pumped up . . . including the heart.

10. Lubricates nasal passages to assist immune system fight alien invaders.

11. Protects and cushions vital organs.

Tree-Frog-Percheda12. Keeps blood (83% water) thinned to protect against heart attacks and strokes

13. Helps regulate blood pressure and carry oxygen and nutrients to cells.

Bottoms Up!

Or should I say . . . down the hatch!

Darkness Descending March 27, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Nature, Poetry, Word Play.
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Forlorn foghorn cries
Fish splash, breaking the surface
Crickets harmonize

Darkness descending
Objects become shadows
Day fades away

A lone osprey soars
Accompanied by music
My ears cannot hear

Darkness descending
Pulling us under its cloak
Blocking the twilight

Gulls soar through the sky
Framed against the sun
Skimming o’er the waves

Darkness descending
Embracing sun’s last rays
Another day ends

The sun greets the sea
Twilight surrenders
Time slows for no man



Moment by moment
Day makes way for night
There’s no turning back

Darkness descending
Like the final curtain
After an encore

Omnipresent stars
Twinkling in the blackened sky
Silently observe

Aah . . . that’s better!

“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Related posts:  Weekend Theme ~ Star * Seeing Stars (The Only Cin) * Evening Star (Adeeyoyo’s Blog) * A Star and I (View From The Side) * The Dance (Library Scene) * Thanksgiving (PTC) * Stars In Their Eyes (Tilly Bud) * Star Chamber (Kate) * Star (PTC) * What is Love (Library Scene)

Earth Hour 2011 March 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Sustainable Living.
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Tonight, March 26th, at 8:30 PM local time,  more than 3,500 cities in 125 countries on all 7 continents will turn out the lights to celebrate Earth Hour 2011 ~ a united call to action.

The global action raises awareness for increasing energy conservation now, and developing sustainable clean green energy sources and technology for the future.

The local reaction to the event last year . . . decidedly positive:

* We just finished our hour in the dark and it was delightful! Relaxing, calm, peaceful. Bliss! ♥ ♥ ♥

* My family and I have decided that we will do this once a month!  Great family time!!!

*  Great idea, especially for people with kids who want to set the right example.

*  We had a full moon here . . . streaming in the front door and casting shadows on the floor. Just lit three candles and chatted for more than an hour. Instead of turning the TV back on, we left it OFF.

*  Sat outside and observed the beautiful full moon in Polson, MT!  I wouldn’t have done this if it weren’t for Earth Hour.

* Earth hour is an amazing surprise because it’s such a simple thing to do . . . we owe it to ourselves to make it a more than once a year practice. : )

To take it a step further:

Set up a “FREE Energy Ideas” jar and let family members drop slips of papers with ideas inside.

Each week set aside ONE HOUR to pull an idea from the jar to implement.

Ideas might include: going for a walk, holding a mini talent show, having a sing-a-long, taking a bike ride, playing catch . . . or turning out lights.  ♥ ♥ ♥

Get up.  Get out.  Get moving.

Next up . . . EARTH DAY!!!

Related posts:  Celebrate Lights Out! (Mirth & Motivation) * Lights Out! ~ 120 Nations Mark Earth Hour * Landmarks Across Globe Go Dark For Earth Hour

The King of Spam March 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.
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I received an e-mail from President Barack Obama yesterday.

Despite its prominent caption, Presidential Correspondence from The White House, AOL didn’t recognize the sender . . .

Acting as an impartial referee, AOL tossed it into my Spam folder.

Good call!

Photo Challenge: Oceans March 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
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Kayaks Capsizing

Under Frothy Waves

Surfers Soaring

Above Watery Graves

Parasails Swirling

Born on Sea Breezes

Beachgoers Laughing

As Time Freezes

The Ocean . . . 

Does as it Pleases

Related posts:  Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Ocean * The Vast Ocean (Arva) * Thanksgiving (PTC) * Australia’s Coast (Barb) * Pirate Treasure (Tilly Bud) * The Beach (Phrogmom) * The Breakers (Random Thoughts) * Piglet in Portugal * Oceans (Mirth & Motivation)

There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk March 25, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Poetry.
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This poem, An Autobiography in Five Short Chapters, from There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk by Portia Nelson, has circled the globe for years . . . for good reason.

It’s a reminder that when we do the same thing, we should expect the same result.

It’s a recognition that many “victims” are not as blameless as they would like to believe.

If we want to change the world, we must first change the thoughts that we think.

Chapter One

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in
I am lost…I am helpless
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three

Goofy-SurprisedI walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in…it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Mickey-OKChapter Five

I walk down another street.

Nelson, Portia.  There’s a Hole in My sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery. Beyond Words Publishing Company, 1994. ISBN: 0941831876

Related posts:  A Hole In The Sidewalk  (T4D) *  Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off (Candid Impressions)

Selection vs. Rejection ~> Dejection? March 24, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Writing & Writers.
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Every time we put ourselves “out there,” there’s a risk we won’t be selected.

Whether we’re running for office, applying for a job, entering a contest, submitting a manuscript for consideration, or even tossing out what we perceive to be an amusing anecdote or cerebral comment at a cocktail party, we may be rejected by our peers.

We often have little control over the natural selection/rejection process inherent in life ~ what we are offering may not be what they are looking for at that moment in time.

What we can control is our response to the process: 

* When we are selected, we can puff out our chests and scream, “I won! I won!  I won!” . . .  or we can take  “the selection”  in stride. 

* When we are not selected, and are left standing on the sidelines, we can collapse into a puddle of tears and sigh, “Why did I bother?” . . . or we can take “the rejection” in stride.    

Rejection, on reflection, need not lead to dejection.  Sometimes we lose when we win . . . and sometimes we win when we lose.

How we choose to relate to the issue IS the issue.

Back Stage Pass did not get selected as one of 20 semi-finalists in the Show Me Your Voice Contest.   I am not dejected by “the rejection.”  

Just the opposite . . . 

Instead of burning the midnight oil to make every word in the first twenty pages shine between now and Monday when the top 3 finalists are announced, I can relax and enjoy my weekend with BFF.    

Congratulations, Julie ~ Good Luck to you and the other 19 semi-finalists!

For those left standing on the sidelines, repeat after me:  I was in the right place, but it must have been the wrong time.

No rules.  Just write!