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Patients Practiced Patience November 30, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Mindfulness, People.
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Woodstock-&-Snoopy3I spent the day at the hospital with a neighbor, shuffled from the Emergency Room waiting room through generic  corridors to the observation room where her husband waited for word on his condition.

The doctor drew the curtain, asked pertinent questions, ordered relevant diagnostic tests, and disappeared.

Nurses and techs dressed in colorful scrubs shuffled in and out of assigned cubicles to draw blood, take x-rays, collect urine samples, administer EKGs, schedule CT scans, and relay patient and family concerns to the doctor on call.

Throughout the hospital’s faceless corridors and cubicles:

Staff shuffled.
Information shuttled.
Patients practiced patience.

There’s no place like home. 

Food & Fitness: The Writing Diet November 29, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.
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IMGP4187After I started writing on a regular basis, I lost 20 pounds with no effort at all.

Those twenty pounds (which were the ugly ones) seemed to melt away as I spent more time at the keyboard and less time in the kitchen.

I’d be writing, and my stomach would speak up.

“G~R~O~W~L.  I’m hungry.”

“OK, I’ll feed you in a minute.  Just let me finish this first.”

“G~R~O~W~W~W~L~L~L~L.  I mean it, I’m hungry.”

“Yes, I heard you.  Here’s a swig of coffee.  I’ll get you something to eat in a few minutes.”

The weight fell away, week after week, because I’d found something I enjoyed doing more than transferring the contents of the refrigerator into my ever expanding belly.

Don’t worry.  I wasn’t starving myself.  Far from it.

I lost the weight at a healthy rate of 2 pounds a month (or 1/2 a pound a week).

Some caloric math: 3500 calories = 1 pound.

If you are losing a pound a week, you are burning 500 calories more a day than you are eating.

Losing at half that rate meant I was consuming 250 calories a day less than needed to maintain my previous girth.

Almost anyone can cut 250 calories a day with barely a growl or grumble of protest from the tummy.

Like the tortoise, slow and steady wins the race.  A quick jack-rabbit start may motivate us . . . but if we expect to lose 5 pounds every week, we are apt to become discouraged.

Instead, look at what you have been eating and cut out 250 non-nutritious calories a day ~ the donuts, cookies, ice cream, chips, and sodas that don’t fill you up anyway.

Then, replace those calories with foods filled with fiber that do fill you up:  fruits, veggies, whole grains, with some nuts and popcorn thrown in when you need a crunchy treat.

Quote to Ponder:  Nothing tastes as good as being “fit” feels!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Holiday Health Made Simple * Holiday Diet Tips * Holiday Parties * Top 10 Ways to Keep the Weight OFF * A Month of Meatless Meals

Music Monday ~ Steel Drums & Reggae November 28, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.
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Green-ParrotOn Saturday, we listened to steel drums at the beach.

Steel drums make me smile, whisking me through time and space to St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands) for Spring Break my senior year in college.

Each afternoon, a steel drum band played in the  Windward Passage’s courtyard in Charlotte Amalie.

As I traversed the distance from pool  to tiki bar, I listened to the friendly percussive persuasion of the steel drums . . .

Come join the party, mon. 

They steel call my name.

Kokomo beckons us to sit on the hot sand with a cool drink under a swaying palm . . . to soak up the rhythm of a steel drum band:

Saturday night, we went back to the beach to listen to Jahfari, a reggae band from Tampa that played lots of jammin’ reggae tunes.

But no one does Jammin like Marley does Jammin:

Don’t worry . . . be happy now.

Gratitude from A to Z November 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness.
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Stef shared a terrific idea for constructing a Gratitude List on her delightful uplifting blog . . . Smile, Kiddo.  

Stef’s technique offers a perfect way to return our focus to the NOW after being a “million miles away.”

Instead of sleepwalking through life, lost in thought about This, That, and The Other Thing, keep focused on what is offered Here and Now.

As you move through your day(s), find specific things to be thankful for . . . on a moment by moment basis.

Instead of creating a generic list of blessings (family, friends, health, etc.), be specific.

Keep your eyes, ears, and heart open to notice everyday miracles ~ the laughter of children, the smile of a friend.

When we remain alert to THIS moment (from Awakening to ZZZZ’s) we see all the goodness, wonder, and beauty around us.  For example, my A to Z Attitude of Gratitude List for today would begin:

A ~ Awakening to the promise of a new day
B ~ Breathing in fresh air, breathing out the toxicity of Black Friday
C ~ Coffee (‘nuf said)
D ~ stepping onto the Deck to greet the sun
E ~ Energy and Enthusiasm to move ME from point A to point B
F ~ watching birds Fly high through the sky . . . never asking why
G ~ Going to the beach to listen to a Steel Drum Band
H ~ Little Blue Heron eating breakfast al fresco outside my window


Keep adding to the list as you move through your day.

Take note of the marvelous threads that add rich vibrant color to the tapestry of life.

We can only live happily ever after on a moment by moment basis.

If you reach the end of the list before you reach the end of your day, start over.  If not . . .

Z ~ climbing into bed to enjoy some re-energizing ZZZZ’s

When we take the time to focus on all the good in life . . . we crowd out less productive thoughts that drag us away from THIS moment.

Be Here Now.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Granny’s Saturday Smile (Granny1947) * The Milestone Mirage (Kate Shrewsday) * Garden Party Hat (Flying G’ma) * Happiness Project (Love Out Loud) * Thank You (Uphill Writing) * 22 Things I Appreciate (Joss) * Shout It Out (Creating Reciprocity)

Don’t Believe Everything You Think November 25, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Meditation, Mindfulness.
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Donald-DuckaThoughts we think oft times arise of their own accord . . . creating white noise which whispers through the brain’s back corridors like an endless stream of stock prices on a ticker tape parade.

Thoughts appear, disappear, and reappear again . . . like the endless bubbles in a flute of champagne.

Negative thoughts, unbidden black clouds presaging a coming storm, exert insidious control over us ~ even if, and perhaps especially when, we are not fully cognizant of their presence.

Donald-Duck-MadAllowing thoughts to wander-at-will adds to daily stress levels, causing blood pressures to rise.  Our angry thoughts resemble steam rising in roiling bubbles in a pot about to boil over.

Believing our thoughts to be true, we are quick to anger and slow to forgive. We waste time and energy dwelling on past hurts and future fears.

We suffer under the illusion that thoughts bubbling to the surface of our consciousness are real.  They aren’t.

The best way to break the cycle is to stop believing everything we think.

Meditation raises our awareness. We become conscious of the thoughts circulating, percolating, and bubbling through our brains.  We learn to manipulate our thoughts, instead of allowing them to manipulate us.

Just as a “watched pot never boils,” thoughts slow to a simmer as soon as we shine our awareness and attention on the rapidly rising bubbles.

Donald-DirectorWhen we close our eyes and see the “monkey chatter” cluttering Control Central, our heightened awareness causes unbidden thoughts to drift away as easily as  bubbles blown by children on a summer’s day.

Delighting in the silence, we relax into the moment.

Awareness that WE remain aware in that state of silent awareness causes us to realize, “I am not my thoughts. My thoughts are not me.”

Donald-Duck-LaughingWe are the silent observer of thoughts echoing, bouncing, bumbling, and bubbling through our minds.

We need not believe everything we think.

Freed of the insidious control of unwanted, unbidden, unwelcome, and untruthful thoughts, joy bubbles up and bliss fills our being.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts: Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ Bubbles! * Spiritual MilestonesMaintaining Perspective * Attack of the Killer ANTs * The Serenity Principle * Meditation 101 * The Path to Enlightenment * A Warm Hug for a Sad Child

Family Photos November 25, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness, Humor, People.
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Family photos are among our most cherished possessions.  They capture Kodak moments from the past as the future zooms into view.

Looking at children caught in a moment of levity, sporting sticky smiles, or saying “C~H~E~E~S~E” makes me grin:

Family photos record the times of our lives ~ from moments of pomp and circumstance:

To moments of inspiration, enthusiam, revelry, and levity:

Of course, we must be careful.  Filming some family members feeds into their narcissistic tendencies:

Related posts:  Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Family (WP Prompt) * Family (Nuvofelt)

But I Don’t WANNA Be An Onion November 25, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Mindfulness, Poetry.
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Wikipedia ~ Onions (in Public Domain)

‘Twas the day after Thanksgiving
And tummies were bloated
Stuffing and potatoes
Had all been demoted

A cook entered her kitchen
With true trepidation
Wondering what she should serve
To lingering friends & relations

Grabbing a huge soup pot
The cook commenced chopping
Soon fumes from an onion
Caused tears to start dropping

From a bowl on the counter
A small onion gave a great sigh
“I don’t WANNA be an onion
And make people cry!”

Wikipedia ~ Carrots (in Public Domain)

“Cooks cutting carrots
Have eyes that stay dry
I don’t WANNA be an onion
And make people cry!”

A voice from the sideboard
From a pie shunted aside
Heard the small onion and,
With compassion, replied:

“It’s true that onions
Have a strong perfume
With aromas that quickly
Permeate the room

“But when making chili,
Casseroles, soups, and stews
The onion is the Secret
Ingredient cooks choose”

“Why is that?” asked the onion
To the kind pumpkin pie

But a man’s loud {{burp}}
Was the only reply

Wikipedia ~ Pumpkin Pie (in Public Domain)

Thoughts to Ponder:

* Nature does not ask, “what do they want me to be?”  Its glory lies in its authenticity.

* When you stop hiding who you are, you have more energy to become more fully who you want to be.

* And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud, was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin

* I always wanted to be somebody . . . now I realize I should have been more specific. ~ Lily Tomlin

* The easiest way to transform the world is to change your perspective.

A Day of Thanks Giving November 24, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Happiness.
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Wikipedia ~ March Hare (in Public Domain)

On this special day of Giving Thanks:

Let us Fill Our Hearts and Homes with Gratitude for the many Blessings in our lives:

* A roof over our heads and loved ones sharing the space with us.

Many will spend this day homeless, cold, and alone.

* A wonderful meal on our table, in our refrigerators, or cooking on the stove.

Far too many do not know where their next meal is coming from.

* Access to clean running water for cooking, bathing, and cleaning clothes.

In many areas of the world, gathering water for cooking requires carrying heavy pails or jugs for miles.


Wikipedia ~ Alice in Wonderland (in Public Domain)

On this special day of Giving Thanks . . .

* Let our eyes be open to those who need a decent place to sleep or a warm nutritious meal to fill their hungry bellies.

* Let our hearts and hands be filled with compassion and goodwill toward those who are hurting and in pain.

* Let us have the courage to do small things in great ways that others may share in the many blessings that fill our lives.

On this special day of Giving Thanks and throughout the year ahead . . .

* Let us never grow weary of doing what is right and good in our efforts to Build a Better World.

Quote: We need a society where the motive for the economic system is not corporate profit but the welfare of people. ~ Howard Zinn


Related Posts:  A Turkey Named Woo (Colonialist) * Thankful (BrainRants) * 22 Things I Appreciate (Crowing Crone) * Spiritual Thanks for Life (Sufilight) * Happy Thanksgiving (Thoughts To Mull) * Joke 245 (The Laughing Housewife)

Thanksgiving Trivia Quiz November 24, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness.
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Chicken-Little-PosterTired of rushing around to stock up for the Holiday Feast?
Waiting for Black Friday to see who’ll pay the least?

Are you a Trivia Buff . . . or a History Whiz?
Why not test yourself with this Thanksgiving Quiz?

Test Your Thanksgiving Knowledge

So, how did you do?  Did you ace the test?
Did you score high?  Did you do your best?

Did you have FUN?  Or learn something new?
Whatever your score . . . Happy Thanksgiving to YOU!

Thanksgiving in Florida November 23, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor.
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Aah . . . that’s better!