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Mom’s Passing July 31, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
46 comments

Mom passed away this evening at age 87 after a recent and rapid decline.

Bill and I visited her at Doug & Joan’s house at the end of May.  At that time, she was still taking regular walks outside, taking her meals upstairs, and enjoying a pleasant flow to her days.

We had a wonderful visit.

The same held true when Betsy, Mike, and Sam visited at the beginning of June.

Since then, her energy levels declined at a rapid rate . . .

A week ago, Hospice let us know that the end was approaching and offered increased assistance to Joan with mom’s care since she could no longer eat, drink, or get out of bed.  Fortunately, mom remained comfortable (with pain medication) until she passed away earlier this evening.

Although we are saddened by her passing, we are at peace with the knowledge that she would not have wanted to linger in a semi-conscious state.

She only wanted to live while she could still “live it up” . . .

Plus, she missed my dad.

In a philosophy paper written in college, she summed up her life philosophy:

What are we trying to achieve?

Here, I believe with Plato and Aristotle that the highest good is the full development of our individual potentialities ~ and this is happiness, complete in itself, the intrinsic good.

The individual will know happiness as a state of being, not as a momentary pleasure; it will be the hymn of his life to uplift him and to sing on into the lives of all who know him.

On these points, she agrees, also, with the Dalai Lama . . . we are here to be happy and to make others happy.

Let that be the coda to each of our lives.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

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A Fly In The Ointment July 29, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
22 comments

As the bus stopped, Carla became aware that her skirt was too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step of the bus.

Slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the bus driver, she reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little, thinking this would give her enough slack to raise her leg.

She tried to take the step, only to discover that she couldn’t.

So, a little more embarrassed, she once again reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little more, and for the second time attempted the step.  Once again, she could not raise her leg.

With a little smile to the driver, she again reached behind to unzip a little more and again was unable to take the step.

At this point, a large Texan who was standing behind her picked Carla up easily by the waist and placed her gently on the step of the bus.

Carla went ballistic and turned to the would-be Samaritan and yelled, “How dare you touch my body! I don’t even know who you are!”

The Texan smiled and drawled, “Well, ma’am, normally I would agree with you, but after you unzipped my fly three times, I kinda figured we was friends.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

You’re Such A Liar! July 27, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Humor, People.
22 comments

Turns out that scientists (with actual credentials) have discovered that we’re all liars.

It’s part of being human:

Researchers speculate that lying as a behavior arose not long after the emergence of language. The ability to manipulate others without using physical force likely conferred an advantage in the competition for resources and mates, akin to the evolution of deceptive strategies in the animal kingdom, such as camouflage. “Lying is so easy compared to other ways of gaining power,” notes Sissela Bok, an ethicist at Harvard University who’s one of the most prominent thinkers on the subject. “It’s much easier to lie in order to get somebody’s money or wealth than to hit them over the head or rob a bank.”

Most people lie every day.

More than once.

We lie to protect our imaginary and fragile reputations (think Trump), to protect the feelings of others, to convince our kids that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy exist, to get jobs, to win games, to influence people, to get our kids to eat their vegetables, etc.

Sometimes we even lie to ourselves.

To read more:

Why We Lie: The Science Behind Our Deceptive Ways (Honesty may be the best policy, but scheming and dishonesty are part of what makes us human).

For an amusing look at what life was like BEFORE the invention of lying, check out The Invention of Lying:

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Monkey With A Megaphone July 25, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Less IS More, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
15 comments

David wrote another fabulous post ~ this one focused on desire:

Three Things We All Need to Know About Desire

My favorite takeaway from the post is the visual imagery David shared when he likened desire to a “monkey with a megaphone.”

Great depiction!

Desires arise constantly.

We can succumb to the monkey as it chatters on and on about its endless ticker tape of desires, much like a toddler in the grocery store check-out line . . .

OR we can train ourselves to filter the constant chattering and clamoring of our monkey minds and discern for ourselves which desires merit fulfillment.

And which should be left on the cutting room floor.

Mindful discernment is not easy, but it’s worth it. After all, our freedom is at stake!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Interesting Observations About Balls July 22, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
21 comments

1. The sport of choice for the urban poor is BASKETBALL.

2. The sport of choice for maintenance level employees is BOWLING.

3. The sport of choice for front-line workers is FOOTBALL.

4. The sport of choice for supervisors is BASEBALL.

5. The sport of choice for middle management is TENNIS.

And…

6. The sport of choice for corporate executives and officers is GOLF.

THE AMAZING CONCLUSION:

The higher you go in the corporate structure, the smaller your balls become. There must be a boat load of people in Washington playing marbles.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

The Power of Pen . . . and Paper! July 19, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
31 comments

Journaling on a daily basis helps boost creative thinking.

It allows us to access hidden recesses and expand the boundaries of our minds.

It promotes clarity and fosters insight as we allow our imagination to take flight.

It helps us to assign positive meaning to what life metes out.

It improves our ability to “think outside the box” and come up with creative solutions.

Judy Willis MD, a neurologist, and former classroom teacher explains, “The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information… it promotes the brain’s attentive focus … boosts long-term memory, illuminates patterns, gives the brain time for reflection, and when well-guided, is a source of conceptual development and stimulus of the brain’s highest cognition.”

To read more about the benefits of this powerful practice:

The Life-Changing Habit of Journaling (Why Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Many More Great Minds Recommend it)

Best of all, starting a morning journal practice is simple:

  1. Find a pen or pencil.
  2. Grab a notebook or sheet of paper.
  3. Write, draw, doodle, reflect, reminisce, explore, etc.

It’s your boat to float!

Aah . . . that’s better!

No Bake Oatmeal “Yummies” July 17, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Vegetarian Recipes.
19 comments

In a mixing bowl, combine:

1/2 c. rolled oats
1/3 c. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
1 Tbsp. warm water

Stir in chopped walnuts or pecans, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips.

Once well combined, roll into 1″ balls.

Chill for an hour, then store in a covered container in the fridge.

Aah . . . that’s YUMMY!

Related:  Peanut Butter Protein Balls with Coconut, Pecans, and Honey (Nosh with Chef Julie) * The Best Snack

 

My Birthday Crown July 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor.
29 comments

I’ve long been purr-suaded that everyone should be Queen (or King) for a day . . . at least once a year.

That’s what Birthdays are all about, right?

This year’s birthday celebration got off to a great start.

BFF & I went out for lunch to Ella’s Greek ~> Spanakopita, Greek Salad, Lentil Soup, Fries . . . and Baklava!

Baklava = my birthday “cake.”

After lunch, we went to an exhibit at the library and shopped at the just-opened Goodwill Art & Book Store.  After purr-using the racks, I purr-chased a copy of “Universal Orlando” so we can read up on Hogswarts and Hogsmeade before we buy passes to park hop on the Hogswart’s Express.

Later that afternoon, I received a fun e-mail from my nephew with a link to this dancing zebra kicking up its hoofs:

Zebras crack me up!

That evening, after a delicious dinner, I watched a movie, popped some popcorn, and . . . cracked a tooth. Didn’t realize it until I got in bed and my tongue found a hole in my mouth where tooth used to be.

Hey, wait! . . . maybe the tooth cracked while I was cracking up at the dancing zebra?  

Maybe dancing zebras aren’t all they are cracked up to be!   

The next day, I called the dentist to schedule a repair ~>  I’ll receive my “Birthday Crown” on Monday.

In the meantime, I’m NOT in any pain.  Yay!

It would be hard to maintain my Cheshire Grin if I were grimacing in pain due to a tooth that’s MIA and/or AWOL.

In the future, I’ll watch what I wish for ~>No more Queen for the Day!

After receiving this crown, I’m abdicating the throne!

Aah . . . that’s better!

You Should Be Dancing . . . Yeah! July 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Health & Wellness.
22 comments

Dancing is the best thing you can do for your body . . . and your mind.

Dancing burns more calories than other forms of exercise because you are moving in different directions, stopping and starting, and using muscles in your arms, hands, hips, legs, thighs, and core:

If running is like driving on a freeway, dancing is more like motoring through a busy city. All of that starting, stopping and changing directions burns a ton of fuel even though you’re not covering a lot of ground.

Dancing is great for brain health, strengthening the white matter that keeps us “sharp.”

And it’s a BIG mood booster and stress reducer:

Like other forms of cardio exercise, dancing also seems to have mood and mind benefits. A 2007 study found that hip hop dancing improved energy, buoyed mood and lowered stress in ways similar to aerobic exercise.

To read more:  Why Dancing Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Body

Best of all ~> it’s FUN to groove to your favorite tunes!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  The TIME Guide To Exercise ~ with links to 68 articles on the benefits of exercise.

 

Success & Failure = Inside Jobs July 11, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
31 comments

Chasing Unicorns posted a thought-provoking “stolen quote” last week.

He lifted it (exercising due care) from  J. K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Address in 2008 when she reminded the graduates (and other attentive attendees) that we must decide for ourselves what constitutes “failure.”

She’s right.

It’s pointless to measure our success and failure using someone’s else’s yardstick.

No one else knows what we value the most.  They only know what they value most . . . since they are looking at the world through their eyes.

Some yardsticks measure power.  Others measure money or acclaim or fame.

For some, success lies in approval from others manifested in the form of awards and trophies, accolades and attention, and “likes” on social media.

They tend not to agree with the “less is more” philosophy.

Still others measure success by education or knowledge . . . or by the adrenaline rush of running the rapids or parachuting from a plane or wrestling an alligator.

My preferred yardstick is inner peace and happiness and contentment.

For years, I’ve measured success by how much I am “enjoying the journey” . . . without worrying about reaching some unseen and imaginary “Finish Line.”

If I am happy and peace-filled right here, right now ~> THAT’S SUCCESS!

Aah . . . that’s better!

On with the dance!  Let joy be unconfined. ~ Lord Byron