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Photo Challenge ~ Sunset September 30, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Mindfulness, Nature, Poetry.
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Late night reverie
Images swirling in black
Kaleidoscope dreams

Clouds swallowed the moon
As they swept through the night sky
Leaving naught behind

Feeling distracted
Restless nights filled with ideas
Writing soothes my soul

Evening Songs by pools
framed by palms and tall grasses 
Wisteria blooms

 Ca d’Zan cocktails? 
I’d rather be rafting ‘neath
the sun’s farewell rays

Sunset reflections
Revealing the world anew
Brighter than before

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Sunset (WP Prompt) * Sunset (Creating Magic) * Sunset (Maggie’s Photography) * Florida (MissWhipLash) * Sunsetting (Pseu) * Sunsets (Thoughts from Finchley) * Sunset (Early Bird) * Sunset (ThirdHandArt) * Sunsets & Sunrises (Judith Baxter)

What’s The Use Of Worrying? September 30, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Poetry.
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Worry:  interest
paid on debts we may not owe.

Are you okay now?

Worry is a habit . . . an exhausting, energy draining habit. 

To break the chain and turn a downward spiral of thought into a more uplifting way to spend time,  focus on this moment.

If you’re okay right now . . . you’re okay.

Quote:  We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Carlos Castaneda

Aah . . . that’s better!

Roseate Spoonbill by Richard Stewart ~ available at Island Gallery West.

Related posts:  Free From Worry, Stress, and Pressure (Reflections from a Friend) * Swimming Beneath The Current

It’s All Relative September 30, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People, Poetry.
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My niece, age five, was tired . . . that happens to children, you see
She lay on the floor, agitated, repeatedly kicking my knee
I asked her to stop her efforts, for the blows were quite annoying
But she continued the kicking ~ with my patience, she was toying
I repeated my request, “please stop, I don’t want a bruise on my knee”
But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, listen and kept kicking repeatedly

Growing tired of the game, I lifted her bottom from the floor
Then I deftly, quickly, and gently swatted her posterior
Her face immediately crumpled . . . she got ready to let the tears fall
Then she realized my gentle pat hadn’t hurt her bottom at all
Her face broke into a grin as she smiled up from the floor
“Aunt Nancy, when mom spanks me, it hurts a whole lot more!”

Related posts:  Rocky & Randy Raccoon * “I’m Not Listening, Uncle BFF!”

Change Takes Time September 29, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Mindfulness, Nature, Poetry.
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Strolling down the beach
We encounter obstacles
One of life’s constants

Accept the “what is”
Do what you can here and now
Realize change takes time

Tangled in fishing
line, the patient pelican
awaits its release

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Invention of Lying September 29, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, People.
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The Invention of Lying stars Ricky Gervais in a fantasy world that looks exactly like Earth except for one critical distinction . . . everyone is scrupulously honest.

Residents of this fictional world tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

They do not filter their thoughts to  transform what we might view as a politically incorrect utterance (i.e., the truth) into subtle deception or outright lie.

As they thinketh . . . so they speaketh.

Their blatant honesty, so far afield from the deception we routinely experience (and dish out) in our daily lives, fires up our mirror neurons in instant empathy for Gervais, our unlikely hero:

In a world where no one fibs, fiction doesn’t exist and people take each other at their literal word, unsuccessful screenwriter Mark (Ricky Gervais) gains fame and fortune ~ and maybe the girl of his dreams (Jennifer Garner) ~ by saying things that aren’t true.

Gervais’s character creates the art of deception while lying to his mother . . . on her death bed.

Instead of telling the truth, Gervais creates God in his own image and describes a fanciful Heaven to his mother to help her cope with her imminent demise.

An interesting, awkward, and thought-provoking look at why we lie.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you seen The Invention of Lying?

What did you think?  Be honest!

Related post:  Write a Review of the Last Movie You Saw (WP Prompt) * Political Correctness (WP Daily Prompt)

Sincere Compliments & Idle Flattery September 28, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Humor, Mindfulness, People, Spirit & Ego.
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Wikipedia ~ Balloons (in Public Domain)

Some time ago, Rik Scott posted a thought-provoking piece:

The Art-the Gift-of Acceptance.

I agree with him . . . to a point.

I am happy to accept sincere compliments with an equally sincere “Thank you.”

However, if I suspect a compliment is NOT heart-felt, and is instead an insincere platitude ~ the politically correct utterance of what “they” think I want to hear, rather than what they sincerely think ~ I’m not inclined to thank them for the subtle deception.

Instead, I tend to shrug and say, “I have my moments.”

Sincere appreciation from others for our efforts deserves our equally sincere appreciation in response.

Idle flattery, on the other hand, is best left sitting idle on the runway, rather than being internalized by our greedy egos.

The issue then becomes . . . how does one tell the difference between a sincere compliment and idle flattery?

Good Question.

Quote: Just trust yourself and you will know how to live. ~ Goethe

Aah . . . that’s better!

Those alluring lures . . . do you ever take the bait?  What tips you off to the ulterior motives behind idle flattery?

What’s that?  What do I MEAN when I tell you that your post is AWESOME? 

Tigger-Looking-At-His-TailWell, it depends . . . either I liked the writing, or the subject matter, or the thought provoking nature of the post, or the poetic cadence, or the pictures and graphics, or the memories and images it evoked, or I agreed with the opinions you expressed, or I felt you needed a dose of  encouragement, or I saw real improvement, or  . . . G . . . your guess is as good as mine.

Related posts:  Let Go, EGO! * WTF: Watch That Feedback * Pop Goes The Ego * Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies * The 2011 Sexiest Blog Award * I Am Truly Humbled * Taking the Bait . . . Hook, Line, and Sinker * The Lift Doesn’t Last * How (or not) to Accept a Compliment (Chittle Chattle)

Rocky & Randy Raccoon September 28, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People, Word Play.
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When our niece Emily visited, she loved playing with our informal collection of stuffed animals ~ teddy bears,  monkeys, zebras, and raccoons.  

Her favorites, Rocky and Randy Raccoon, generally had their arms wrapped around each other in a perpetual hug, clasped shut with Velcro fasteners.  

Over time, the Velcro gave way and Rocky and Randy could no longer hug one another.  Instead of a tight embrace, their long arms flapped about comically.

Unperturbed by this turn of events, three-year-old Emily grinned at Randy’s flapping arms and announced, “Look . . . Randy is a loose woman!”

We roared.

Flap . . . Flap . . . Flap . . . they called her the Flapper. 

Related post:  “I’m Not Listening, Uncle BFF!”

“I’m Not Listening, Uncle BFF” September 27, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.
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Mickey-In-HammockAfter practicing law for 13 years, I took a brief sabbatical to explore “life in the slow lane.”

Although BFF supported my decision, he often teased me about my life of leisure.

One night, our five-year-old niece Jess called.

BFF and I got on separate extensions so we could both talk to her.  As usual, the conversation proceeded with light-hearted laughter across the miles.

Since Jess had called past her normal bedtime, BFF commented on the fact that she was still awake . . . adding that he was going to bed soon because he had worked hard all day.

He started to tell Jess that, in contrast to him, Aunt Nancy sat around watching soap operas and eating bon bons day after day.

I interrupted with a laugh, “Don’t listen to him, Jess.  He’s just kidding.”

BFF continued to rant about my leisurely lifestyle . . . and how hard he worked for us . . . and how Aunt Nancy stayed home and played games all day.

Sally-BrownWhen BFF finally paused his mock tirade, Jess  interjected, with perfect timing and obvious amusement in her voice:

“Uncle BFF . . . I’m not listening to you.”

Ha Ha Ha . . . that’s better!

Houston, We Have A Problem . . . September 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging.
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Is anyone else having issues with WP today?

All I’m getting is blank pages without links to new posts and comments.

No easy way to get from “here” to “there” since I can’t open my subscription links either. 

Hopefully, it will be sorted out soon.  Until then, may the force be with you.

Meet Gandhi . . . A Tiger Cub September 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Life Balance, Nature.
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On Saturday, Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, we returned to Ringling  Museum to tour a new wing of the Tibbals Learning Center & Circus Museum:

While there, we enjoyed a special treat . . . meeting Gandhi:

A 4-month-old Tiger Cub visiting from Big Cat Habitat in Sarasota, FL:

Big Cat Habitat, a Gulf Coast Sanctuary, educates the public about the need to preserve natural habitat for wild animals like Gandhi:

On a related note . . . remember this Big Cat from our last visit to Ringling?

Ringling Museum 013b

Handcarved by volunteers at the museum, this tiger’s mouth detail involved taking a dental plate from a tiger at the Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary (while it was under anesthesia for another procedure).

My . . . what big teeth you have!