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Out With The OLD . . . In With The NOW December 31, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Mindfulness.
61 comments

My “resolution/goal/plan/intent” for 2012 is simple . . . let go of the “OLD” to make room for the “NOW.”

More specifically:

* Remain awake and aware.
* Stay focused on THIS moment.
* Enjoy the journey.
* Be patient ~ allow the path to unfold.
* Be Here Now.

Midnight tonight (New Year’s Eve) signals  the transition from OLD to NEW in venues all around the world.

Since moving to Florida, we are no longer content to celebrate the arrival of the New Year vicariously.

Instead of sitting on the couch to watch revelers in Times Square watch a big ball descend a long pole amid a cacophonous chorus of horns, whistles, bells, drums, fanflukers, and sardineous screams of  3!  … get off my foot … 2! … stop pushing! …  1! …  Happy New Year!!!, BFF and I greet the New Year on the beach with fireworks screaming overhead at midnight.

Last night, we watched a show on New Year’s traditions around the world.

Our ears perked up and  stomachs growled with delight when the host mentioned that eating chocolate on New Year’s Eve will improve one’s “luck” in the New Year.

Chocolate?  Yes, please.

We have an ample supply of chocolate at the ready . . . including two slices of Dark Chocolate Cream Pie which we plan to inhale just before heading out to the fireworks.

Aah . . . that’s better!

How do you “ring in” the New Year?  Alone or With Friends?   In or Out?  Awake and Aware?  Sound Asleep?  Sleepwalking?  Sober?  Intoxicated?

Mickey-OKHowever you choose to celebrate . . . Be Happy!

Our mood at midnight (as well as the type of food we choose to eat) tends to follow us into the New Year.

Enjoy a smorgasbord of gustatory pleasures and delights tonight . . . for tomorrow we die-et!

Related posts:  Old Year Resolutions (Love Out Loud) * Simple Food Changes (Be W.E.L.L.) * 2012 ~ A Year of Living in the Gap (Suzicate) * New Year’s Challenges ~ 2012 Here We Come (Inspired Vision) * Failure ~ Succeeding In The Opposite Direction (Janna T Writes) * 2012 Anti-Resolution Revolution (Julie Hedland) * Shout It Out (Creating Reciprocity) * Lucky Foods for the New Year (Epicurious) * May Your Blessings Be Abundant (Suzicate) * Imagine (Smiled Soul) * Hopes and Wishes for 2012 (Jeanne’s Blog) * Dodo (Kate Shrewsday)

* * * * *

Artwork by Peter R. Gerbert ~ Spoonbill Lagoon ~ a portion of the proceeds from sales of this fine art print benefits AUDUBON OF FLORIDA’S  Roseate Spoonbill research projects and protection efforts.

Zen Living For Idiots December 30, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Meditation, Mindfulness.
60 comments

I’ve been reading The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Zen Living and can sum it up in two words:

PAY ATTENTION!

That’s really what Zen Living boils down to ~ being mindful of what you’re thinking, feeling, and doing as you move from moment to moment. 

Pay attention to the thoughts you think . . . but realize that YOU are not your thoughts. 

You are the observer of those thoughts.  

Pay attention to the emotions you feel . . . but realize that YOU are not your emotions. 

You are the observer of those emotions. 

Pay attention to what you are doing in THIS moment. 

NOW is all that matters.

The world is full of amazing sights, sounds, aromas, tastes, and textures.  We miss them if we don’t keep our eyes, ears, mind, and heart OPEN. 

Zen living means living fully in the present moment:

Zen is not about obliterating your thoughts, your feelings, your personality, or any other aspect of you.  On the contrary.  Zen helps you to unclutter you so you can think more easily, see more clearly, understand more readily, and know yourself more intimately. [p.5]

Zen is like cleaning out your attic and dropping off all the stuff you don’t need ~ your worries, fears, opinions, preconceptions, attachments ~ at the recycling bin.  Because you really don’t need them. [p.5]

As we cultivate mindful awareness, we begin to view the world with alert curiosity, rather than through the distorted lens of stale judgments, attitudes, and opinions.  We start to see things as THEY are rather than as WE are.  

We learn to PAY ATTENTION.

”What are you ~ a god, an angel, a saint?”

“No,” replied The Buddha, “I am A-W-A-K-E.”

That’s Zen Living . . . Here . . . Now . . . where the dance of life takes place. 

Aah . . . that’s better!

Zip It! December 29, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Travel & Leisure.
50 comments

Want to see the sights . . . at speeds of up to 20 mph?

Visit Florida Eco Safaris in Orlando and zip through the tree tops on seven different zip lines and two sky bridges.

Before you can say “Bob’s Your Uncle,” you’ll cross through three eco-systems and soar over George . . . a 14 foot alligator.

Want to face an even bigger challenge?

Do it in the dark!

“Look, mom!  No hands!”

The Zipline Safari is a fully-guided two and a half hour experience.

For more information (and inspiration): 

Florida Zipline Safari

YOLO (“You Only Live Once”) Boarding December 28, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature.
55 comments

Looking for something new to try this year?

How about YOLO Boarding?

YOLO Boarding is a cross between surfing and kayaking.  Participants stand on a board that’s thicker and sturdier than a surfboard and use kayak type paddles to glide across the water.

Sounds like a FUN way to explore new vistas, eh?

IMGP4024a

Related posts:  No Comfort Zone ~ Weekly Challenge (Inside Out Cafe) * Accepting the Challenge (Joss) * I AM Accepting the Challenge Too (Jackie)

Fotomission ~ Photography December 27, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Travel & Leisure.
40 comments

IMGP2049bLove the WP Weekly Photo Challenge?

What about participating in a Photo Marathon . . . in Miami’s South Beach?

On March 20, 2011, Fotomission held the 7th South Beach Photo Marathon, assigning six topics for 150 participants to photograph on South Beach over a period of five hours.

The organizers kept the topics secret until the day of the event, and selected vague topics to give the contestants plenty of room for self-expression:

Fantasy  Reality

Right   Wrong

Hard   Soft

For more on the mission of Fotomission:  About Us.  To see the winners:  Winners’ Photos.

Related post:  Marbles (Spilled Ink Guy)

God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen December 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness, Humor.
30 comments

Aah . . . that’s better!

Welcome, Welcome, Christmas Day! December 25, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Books & Movies.
42 comments

Every year, we watch the Grinch. Every year we smile as he puzzles and puzzles until his puzzler is sore.

It came without ribbons.
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.

The Grinch can’t understand it.  Under cover of darkness, he had managed to steal the presents, the trees, and the wreaths.  He had taken all the  food for the feast ~ from the last can of Who Hash to the rare Who Roast Beast.

But his nocturnal efforts hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming.  It came. 

Somehow or other, it came just the same. 

I heard the bells on Christmas Day.
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet
The words repeat . . . of peace on Earth, good will to men.

How Superman SEES Christmas TREES December 24, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogging.
53 comments

Thanks to Linda at Books, Photographs, and Artwork for sharing this Christmas Tree X-Ray!

And to Geekologie for getting the X-Ray rolling through Cyber Space.

Related post:  Sidey’s Weekend Theme . . . Decorate!

Star of Wonder, Star of Light December 24, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature.
37 comments

Over the next few days, as our holidays swing into full gear
And lives overflow with family, friends, food, fun, spirits, and good cheer
I expect many regulars will be “missing in action” from the blogosphere . . .

Me included!

May your days be Merry and Bright . . . and your nights be filled with Love, Laughter, and Light!

Oh . . .
Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to the perfect light

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas December 23, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Music & Dance.
32 comments

Now, before you get your tree-hugging panties in a wad, let me explain . . .

We DO use cloth napkins for all but the messiest meals, but Jolly Old Saint Nicholas needed something to do over the holidays.

For rather obvious reasons, we didn’t trust him with our chocolate stash or Christmas cookies.  So we asked if he could hold paper napkins for guests . . . while standing on his head.

He thought not.

Seeing our disappointment, he conjectured that he could guard the napkins while doing a split.

Well, to make a long story short, the spry little guy is S~T~U~C~K.

The Elves are on the way, but we don’t know if he”ll be unstuck in time to make  his appointed rounds on Christmas Eve.

We’ll keep you posted on his progress.

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, lean your ear this way
Don’t you tell a single soul what I’m going to say
Christmas Eve is coming soon, now you dear old man
Whisper what you’ll bring to me. Tell me if you can.