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Cajun Moon May 7, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Music & Dance.
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At Water Aerobics, we listen to multiple genres of upbeat music ~ Rock, Classic Rock, Disco, Country, Motown, Soul, and even Blues . . . which isn’t known for being upbeat, but occasionally surprises.

This week, Cajun Moon, a blues tune by J.J. Cale grabbed my attention.

Here it is:

And here’s a tribute to J.J. Cale’s Cajun Moon by Clapton & Friends:

Want to hear the Very Best of J.J. Cale?

Music moves me . . . and always gets me moving

Aah . . . that’s better!

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse March 23, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Life Balance, Travel & Leisure.
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Mid-afternoon, we checked into our sparkling clean room in Port Orange.

After admiring the love birds, we headed across the Halifax River to climb the tallest lighthouse in Florida.

Step back in time and climb 175 feet of fun in the Florida sun at the Ponce Inlet Light Station and Museum! Constructed in 1887, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse has guided mariners along the Florida coast for more than 130 years. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1998, this world-famous lighthouse museum is conveniently located ten miles south of Daytona on the World’s Most Famous Beach and offers a treasure trove of experiences for young and old alike. Not to be missed, a visit to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is guaranteed to take your Florida vacation to new heights of adventure!

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is tall . . . with a lot of steps.  In fact, if you want to be exact, the lighthouse boasts 213 steps from the ground level to the viewing platform.

Like the Energizer Bunny, they keep going and going and going.

But we made it!

After a challenging climb, we stepped outside to enjoy the view from the top.


Can you imagine climbing that sucker every day to tend the lens?  Yowsa!

A lighthouse keeper needed good knees, good hips, a good eye and plenty of stamina!

On the steep circular descent, my knees felt a bit rubbery!  But we made it back to terra firma without mishap ~ no slips, trips, or falls!

Aah . . . that’s better!

You can take a VIRTUAL TOUR of the museum grounds without climbing 213 steps:

Click on the on-screen arrows to navigate your way around the light station’s historic keeper dwellings as well as our many modern museum exhibits. And if you see our lighthouse keeper, just click on him to hear what he has to say.

Changes For The Good June 17, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Home & Garden.
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The CoVid-19 Pandemic has changed our lives in many ways . . . and some of those ways are good for us.

We’re shopping less and exercising more.  We’re eating out less and doing more home cooking.  We’re taking time to slow down and spend more time in nature . . . right in our own backyards!

Best of all?

Many of us plan to hang on to those changes even after the current pandemic ends.

To read more:

The Coronavirus Quarantine Has Changed Us ~ And It’s Not All Bad (VOX)

Aah . . . that’s better!

19 COVID-19 Fluffernothings April 20, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Humor, Mindfulness.
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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been busy doing nothing.

What kind of nothing?

Fluffernothing ~> stuff that’s pleasant, amusing, entertaining, time-consuming without changing the trajectory of life in any significant respect.

Here’s a few (okay, 19) examples of what I mean:

1. Ken Burns documentary on Genes: An Intimate History.  Fascinating to learn that viruses (like COVID-19, but much better behaved) are useful for something, like fixing gene mutations and curing illnesses.

2. Watching Trump trumpet his displeasure at Dr. Fauci (and reporters) when they venture too close to “the truth” (while Dr. Deborah Birx rocks her scarf-of-the-day) during press briefings.

3. Jigsaw Puzzles.  We’ve done 3 (so far) ~ 24 vintage VW buses (including a Westfalia); an attic stuffed with stuff (including a vintage wedding dress); an undersea landscape featuring tropical fish and sea turtles.

4. Walking.  About an hour or so each morning.  Mostly in the hood.  Twice at the beach.  Our beaches are “closed” but walking is allowed.

5. Reading the NY Times Daily COVID-19 Briefing . . . then rewarding myself by doing the Puzzles.  My faves:  Sudoku (Easy, Medium, Hard).   Spelling Bee (like Boggle, sort of).  Set (a series of logic puzzles).

6. Blood Sugar Rising ~ a documentary on the increasing prevalence of diabetes.  Fascinating stuff.  And scary enough that I popped into my “office” to check the results of my last fasting glucose reading, breathing a sigh of relief when I saw that it was 77 (nowhere near the danger zone for diabetes).

7. ZOOM!  Two Zoom “meetings” with my siblings, siblings-in-law, nieces & nephews.  When we are all on there together, we total . . . 19!  (I seem to be seeing that number a lot.)

8. Island Papers.  We pick up 4 (or more) local papers each week to see all the things we can no longer do due to COVID-19.  Bars that are closed.  Shows that are cancelled.  Restaurants that are boarded up, subsisting (if they are lucky) on take-out and delivery.

9. Cooking and eating.  We’ve enjoyed some delicious dishes while hunkered down  at home ~ Curried Colcannon Soup, Beer Bread, Lentil Rice casserole, Banana Bread, Pesto Pasta, Roasted Veggies, Spanakopita Lasagna, Cornbread, Scalloped Potatoes, Curry with homemade Pineapple Chutney, Sweet Potato Fries, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and . . . CHOCOLATE!

10. Netflix movies.  In the last 6 weeks, we’ve seen:  The Good Liar, Dark Waters, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Red Joan, The Farewell, Breakthrough, Short Circuit (from 1986), What They Had, The White Crow, The Addams Family, Ad Astra, The Breadwinner.  We are waiting for Knives Out.  It’s been at the top of my queue for weeks.

11. Following my favorite blogs and chatting in the comments.  And writing the occasional blog post.  I see that my last post was 2 weeks ago today.  Time flies when you’re “safer at home.”

12. Reading about the differences between the Spanish flu (which killed 675,000 Americans and 50 million worldwide in 1918) and the COVID-19 coronavirus. “According to National Geographic, Spanish flu killed with deadly speed, with many reports of people who woke up sick, then died on their way to work.”  At least with COVID-19, we stand a fighting chance.

13. Biking around the hood in the afternoon to clear my head of all things COVID.

14. Grocery runs when our produce stores are depleted.  Last trip, BFF brought home Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, Celery, Green Beans, Potatoes, Romaine, Apples, Grapes, Strawberries, Bananas.  Seeing all that glorious color on the counter made me overlook the fact that the packages might be “contaminated with COVID.”

15. Swimming in the pool.  Most of the pools in the neighborhood closed, but our association of 100 homes kept ours open for “essential” exercise and therapy, NOT for sunbathing.  Only 3 in the pool area at a time so keeping an adequate distance from others is easy.

And refreshing!

16. Following the local headlines to find out how the “Safer At Home” landscape has changed from the previous week.  Are the boat ramps open or closed?  Are the parks and dog parks open or closed?  Is the curfew (11 pm to 5 am) still in effect?  Are the schools still closed?

17. Listening to Classic Rock.  Spectrum Cable offers up 40 or 50 music stations.  Classic Rock is our favorite for Happy Hour (any hour of the day).

18. Watching the yo-yo effect of the stock market.  Up!  Down!  Up!  Down!  (I filed our 2019 taxes ~ NOT fluffernothing, but similar).

19. Accepting the “what is.”  Being adaptable to the changing landscape.  Remaining curious.

20. Staying in the moment.  Not driving past my headlights.  Maintaining optimism.

21. Meditating.  Breathing in calm.  Breathing out anxiety.  Accessing my inner peace.

Aah . . . that’s better!

So . . . how are you being?

Good News For Gym Rats March 6, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness.
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If you like to exercise at the gym . . . don’t let fears about the coronavirus stop you:

Should You Avoid The Gym During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

But do make sure that your gym is following approved sanitation protocols.

And, if you are sick, stay home!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Strolling On Pine Avenue November 21, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Life Balance, Nature.
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Last week, when we went to the Farmer’s Market on Pine Avenue, we parked at the far end of the street and strolled the length.

We enjoyed the signage outside the Pineapple Junktion Co-op.

We had to STOP to check out the Waffle Bar (with made to order waffles ~ a/k/a “sugar delivery devices”).

After visiting the market, we checked out AMI’s pier which is being rebuilt after being damaged during Hurricane Irma two years ago.  It’s getting there but it’ll be a few more months before we can walk the planks.

Since it was a gorgeous day, we continued our walk up Bay Boulevard to enjoy the views.

On the return trip, we stopped in the Olive Oil Outpost to get some fresh-from-the-oven baked bread.

Just outside, this rusty truck with a cargo of “empties” caught my eye.

Aah . . . what a trusty rusty recycling bin!

Walk On The Ocean November 17, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Exercise & Fitness, Nature.
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Walk on the ocean . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

S.H.I.E.L.D. September 23, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.
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While walking on the beach a few days ago, we bumped into some friends from the hood.

As we walked and talked, Ann filled me in on something she’d heard about creating and maintaining strong synapses in the brain to decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Here’s the S.H.I.E.L.D. formula:

S ~> Sleep 6-8 hours a day.  Naps count!

H ~> Handle Stress.  Relax via Meditation, Mindfulness, Music, Deep Breathing, Yoga, Tai Chi, Positive Affirmations, Self Care, etc..

I ~> Interact with Others.  One on One works.  As do enthusiastic Group Hugs!

E ~> Exercise.  Get up.  Get out.  Get going.  Walk, Bike, Roller Blade, Surf, Kayak, Canoe, Tennis, Golf, Paddleboard, Swim.  Move it!

L ~> Learn Something New Every Day.  Exercise your Brain!  Enjoy Crosswords, Scrabble, Sudoku, etc.  Tip:  Reading the Encyclopedia might count.  Googling the net worth of celebrities . . . not so much!

D ~> Diet.  Following the Mediterranean Diet is a good bet.  Veggies, Grains, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds, Healthy Oils, Wine, and Fish.

Just remember: some fish are too pretty to eat!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Hiking The Appalachian Trail June 25, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Nature.
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While in the GA mountains, we hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail.


Well, don’t be.

We never lost sight of the parking lot!!!

Aah . . . that’s better!

P.S.  I’ve added pics to the previous post.

Pretzels & Picnics . . . & Pics! June 19, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
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We just returned from a fabulous trip to the GA mountains to celebrate our 35th Anniversary.

We made a quick pitstop in Atlanta on the way up to enjoy Happy Hour at Marlow’s Tavern with our oldest nephew who’s in school at GA Tech.  He flew out the following day for two weeks in China.

Once settled into our hotel in Helen (a Bavarian village that is the 3rd most visited town in GA ~ behind Atlanta and Savannah), we spent time hiking to waterfalls ~ Anna Ruby Falls (easy), Duke Creek Falls (challenging).

We drank German beer and noshed on Bavarian pretzels (and other German treats) beside the Chattahoochee River while watching countless tubers float by.

We picked three venues with riverside seating ~ The Troll Tavern, the Hofbrauhaus, and Cafe International.

Imagine if you took a chug every time a tuber floated by on the hootch ~> Down the Hootch!  No, wait!  Down the Hatch!

We enjoyed mountain vistas from atop Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia at 4784 feet.  From the lookout station, we could see four states ~ Georgia, NC, SC, and Tennessee.

The ranger said that on a clear day you can see forever!

We drove mountainous country roads, switching into low gear when necessary.


We had picnics by Smith Creek at Anna Ruby Falls, and at a covered bridge in Sautee Nacoochee, after stopping for sandwiches and Farmer’s Cheese at the Old Sautee Store.

We visited Willow Pottery, Nora’s Grist Mill, Betty’s Country Store, Jumping Goat Coffee, and an enormous antique barn with 3 floors packed to the rafters with “treasures.”  Talk about Stuff!!!

After the hike to Duke Creek Falls, we walked a Nature Trail in Nacoochee Village.  Our tired calves and leg muscles only balked for a moment, but they barked later ~> Nope!  No Way!  I am NOT climbing those stairs!

A highlight:  Tuesday morning, on the way to Duke Creek Falls . . . we saw a bear crossing the road just ahead of our car.

Of course, we rolled down the window to ask him why.

His bear-to-the-bones reply:  “To Get To The Other Side!”

Aah . . . it’s good to be HOME!