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5 Quick Picks June 29, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Travel & Leisure.
15 comments

If you are in the market for books, movies, or games, here are 5 Quick Picks:

After enjoying the movie, A Man Called Ove, I requested the book . . . terrific!  It’s charming and thought-provoking and hilarious and heartbreaking.

The “cat annoyance” plays its part to purr-fection:

  • “The cat gives him a judgmental stare, as if it’s sitting on the decision-making side of the desk at a job interview.”
  • “The cat looks at Ove as if this has been a round of negotiation and it’s considering a proposal.”
  • “The cat is sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor.  It sports a disgruntled expression, as if Ove owes it money.  Ove stares back at it with a suspicion normally reserved for a cat that has rung his doorbell with a Bible in its paws, like a Jehovah’s Witness.”

* * *

Two movies we enjoyed in recent weeks:

(1) Miss Sloane ~ a terrific political thriller with lots of twists and turns; (2) Hidden Figures ~ based on the true story of mathematicians at NASA in the 60’s.

Both feature intelligent women in lead roles.  Yay!

* * *

A neighbor suggested I check out the television series,This Is Us.  

After watching the first 6 episodes, I’m hooked!

The show features a great cast of characters, well written dialogue (amusing & real), and interesting interplay between “now” and “then.”

* * *

While in Colorado, we played a new-to-us game ~> Blokus.  Great fun!  Per Amazon:

Blokus received a Mensa award for promoting healthy brain activity! This thinking game also delivers friendly competition to keep the mind sharp and the excitement going!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you have any quick picks to share?

Are You Tripping?! June 27, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
29 comments

Wherever You Go . . . There You Are

On the ride out, we took 4 days to drive 1972 miles.

On the return trip, we drove 2005.4 miles in 3 days ~> 486.6 miles + 766 miles + 752.8+ miles.

Surprisingly enough, I found sitting for mile after mile rather “meditative.”

It helped that most of the roads “out west” aren’t clogged traffic arteries like on the east coast.

Time is relative.  

Heading out, time changes from Eastern to Central to Mountain time gained us an hour on two different days ~ allowing us to leave late and arrive early. Lovely!

Heading back, we lost those hours . . . meaning that even though we left early, we arrived later than expected.

We are NOT minimalists on the road.

Before leaving, we followed the 3 P’s ~> packing, planning, preparation.  Did a hold on the mail.  Added minutes to the cell phone.  Charged up phone & iPad.  Packed most of our clothes . . . and ample food.

What?!  It’s a L~O~N~G drive so we need S~N~A~C~K~S!  Tropical drink

Georgia Troopers Mean Business

Right before we arrived in Dalton, traffic came to a stand still.

As we crept along at 2 mph, we saw flashing lights ahead.  Then more flashing lights.  Then a few more for good measure.

Arriving at the scene of the accident, we saw 11 police cars surrounding a sedan that had been pushed into the concrete divider by a cop car.

Problem solved!

The Difference Between Being Religious & Being Spiritual

Over margaritas, Pam shared a thought her minister had shared with her:

Religion is sitting in church thinking about kayaking.

Spirituality is sitting in a kayak contemplating a Higher Power.

Ohm . . .

Life is better with laughter.

In order to maintain a sense of humor during our visit, I picked just the right coffee mug to start each day:

“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Quotes like that remind me to look at the light side of life!

Sharing with Stranger at the Breakfast Bar

At one of the hotels we stayed at, BFF got into a conversation at the breakfast buffet with a woman who was meeting with lawyers later that day.

When I overheard her say, “Lawyers make me nervous,” I tuned in to see whether BFF would reply, “I know.  I never should have married one!”

Actually, the whole conversation was a bit odd since BFF doesn’t normally share his time with strangers.  Especially not before breakfast!

This might just be stupidity talking . . . 

Our last day, we were anxious to Be Home and getting a bit punchy.  Everything seemed a bit funnier than usual.

*As open fields gave way to kudzu covered trees, I made an astute observation.  “Kudzu is just creep-y!”

*A few minutes later, Route 123 split off from Route 231, and I thought how tough a route change like that must be on someone with dyslexia.

*As we crossed into Florida at 2:30 pm (with another 6-7 hours of drive time ahead of us), I grinned at the thought of being HOME.  A minute later, BFF (who had done ALL the driving) groaned with fatigue when I said, “This might just be stupidity talking . . . but if we get home by 10, I probably want to unpack the car.”

She Remembers!

A few days after we got home, my sister spoke with mom; mom remembered that we visited!

Yay!  Some days she doesn’t even remember whether she had lunch . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Signs of the Times June 24, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
24 comments

Weather often determines whether travel is smooth sailing or slow going.  On the way out west, the wet & wooly weather left us feeling a bit water-logged.

We had brief respites as the sun struggled to shine through layers of cloud cover.

Of course, the “soggy” weather had an upside ~> we weren’t tempted to stop too much.

The morning we left GA, a twister touched down in Dalton.  After hearing that, we watched the skies with increased intensity, searching for signs.

No, NOT that kind of sign.

We had our eyes peeled for signs of wicked windy weather ahead.

And we saw lots of it.

Lucky for us, we didn’t run into a deluge.

Instead, the rain mostly spit at us.

While offering sobering hints of what lay ahead.

No matter how fast we drove, we couldn’t escape the clouds.

But every time it seemed we were headed straight into harm’s way, the road shifted, steering us clear of danger.

Eventually a sign for Fort Collins came into view.

With relief, we headed north where the weather improved.

For most of our stay, we enjoyed sunny skies punctuated by short showers.

As we left for home, we enjoyed one last look at the Rockies . . . under Blue, Blue Skies!

With better weather ahead and over head, we looked for other signs.

The Lost Pizza Company in Tupelo, Mississippi did not disappoint.

STOP!  Those shades look FAB on you!

“Why thank you.  Thank you very much!”

Everywhere we looked, we saw signs that made us smile.

The Lost Pizza Company is . . . Like No Place Else.

We also enjoyed the signs at Busy Bee in Live Oak, Florida.

Including the sign advertising Clean Potties.

BTW:  The sign was spot on . . . the bathroom was spot less.

But our favorite sign appeared at the Florida Welcome Center, where we stopped for a shot of fresh Florida orange juice.

After all . . . there’s No Place Like Home!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Like A Kid In A Candy Store . . . June 21, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Mindfulness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
28 comments

While in Fort Collins, BFF and I paid a visit to Natural Alternatives for Health ~> my niece’s favorite pot dispensary.

I loved it!

The “ohm-budsmen” were friendly and knowledgeable.

The prices were reasonable.

The decor was cool.

The selection was great.

A fun vibe all the way around.

Two days later, my niece asked me to smoke some “Critical Mass” with her.

Did I inhale?

Let’s just say, I enjoyed that “Rocky Mountain Hike in Colorado.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

New Belgium Brewery & Fat Tire Beer June 19, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
26 comments

After sampling Doug’s brews on Friday and Saturday, we went on a Tasting Tour of the New Belgium Brewery on Sunday . . .

New Belgium is home to Fat Tire beer.

The brewery is decked out with bicycles.

And some great revolving wall art.

The process is the same, but with much bigger equipment!

Did I mention that it was a Tasting Tour?

We enjoyed ample samples.

Here’s the group looking a bit sleepy before the tasting started . . .

Once the tasting began, interest picked up and we perked up . . .

Still farther along on the tour . . .

For the finale, we got to slide down a fireman’s pole transformed into a chute!

I also loved this montage . . .

And this beer can chandelier . . .

As we left, I spotted this sign of the times . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Are You Quizzing Me?! June 17, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Joke.
29 comments

It’s interesting to see how desperate some writers are to have us click on posts, articles, and other flotsam and jetsam.

Often, the manufactured titles are downright insulting.

This week I received one of the stupidest quiz “opportunities” ever:

Which Frank Lloyd Wright Building Are You?

If you’ve ever wondered which Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home or building best describes your personality, wonder no longer! This quiz is sure to dig deep into your psyche and pull out a connection you may be unaware you have with one of Wright’s many architectural feats.

I didn’t bother to take the quiz because . . .

(1) I am NOT a Frank Lloyd Wright building.

(2) I have never wondered which Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home or building best describes my personality.

(3) I don’t need to dig deep into my psyche to pull out an imaginary connection to one of Wright’s many architectural feats.

But the quiz did serve a purpose ~> blog fodder!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you ever wondered if you are unaware of a connection your psyche has with a building?  A car?  A toaster?  A coffee maker?  A bridge?

Me neither.

My Brother . . . the Brewmeister! June 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
18 comments

While in Fort Collins, we got to see my brother whipping up a batch of Imperial Russian Oatmeal Chocolate Stout.

After boiling the grain . . .

And boiling it some more . . .

And boiling it some more . . .

He added the several different types of hops and flavorings required by the recipe . . .

And cooled the brew down with a copper “chiller” . . .

Once chilled, Doug added the yeast and transferred the brew to a glass bottle to allow the yeast to percolate:

After the Krauzen (the foamy stuff on top) starts to sink a bit, Doug will start thinking about “racking” it over to a secondary (5 gallon glass carboy) for secondary fermentation.

Like wine, beer making is a slow process . . . especially for an Imperial Stout. This brew won’t be ready until Octoberfest.

But Doug didn’t disappoint.

He had other beers in the pipeline “ready to go” ~> specifically Red Banshee Ale and a delicious Bavarian Helles Lager.

We sampled both on Friday night while sitting around the campfire . . .

Right before toasting marshmallows and eating S’Mores ~> YUM!

Don’t worry, we didn’t drain his kegs.  And if we had, no worries ~> “Drink all you want, we’ll brew more.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Poudre Canyon & The Mishawaka Inn June 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

On Saturday, we drove through Poudre Canyon and stopped at the Mishawaka Inn for a “lite bite.”

The Mish, an inviting Inn and Concert Amphitheater, is located on the banks of the Poudre River.

The river offers ample whitewater rafting opportunities . . . something we took advantage of a few years back.

The sights and sounds from the back deck are spectacular.

A great spot from which to listen to the river sing.

Notice all the jackets . . . it’s cool in them there hills.

But the sun peeked out from time to time.

And there was a fire inside.

Surrounded by lots of interesting nooks & crannies.

I snapped a few last shots before we hopped back into the car.

With one more for good measure.

Aah . . . that’s better!

How Malapropriate! June 10, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, People, Word Play.
38 comments

Sometimes mom has a tough time finding the right words to convey her sentiments, resulting in humorous lines along the lines of malapropisms, spoonerisms, or eggcorns.

By way of example, our parting conversation:

“Mom, we’re packing the car and plan to leave this morning.”

“Well, I can’t say I’m sorry. . . . (PAUSE) . . . Oh, I think that came out wrong.”

“I know, mom.”

Other times, she nails it!

Case in point:

Mom’s new neurologist, a doctor with LONG black hair cascading down her back, admonished mom to quit smoking, citing health reasons:  “You should quit smoking.  It would be healthier.”

Without missing a beat, mom replied:  “You should cut your hair.  It would look more professional.”

Lecture over!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Rocky Mountain Hike in Colorado June 7, 2017

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

On our first day in Fort Collins, while still adjusting to the increased altitude, we decided to hike a local preserve.

We followed the path high up into the foothills . . . watching for rattlesnakes.

BFF and I lagged behind the pack because breathing at that altitude is hard work.

But the views were worth it!

A quick pit stop to learn about the history of the flora and fauna.

Nothing like a Rocky Mountain Hike in Colorado!

Especially in such a special place.

Aah . . . that’s better!