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Boost Your Brain Power June 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Meditation.
37 comments

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Want to have fun while boosting your smarts?  Here are 5 hobbies that may boost your brain power:

Chess#1 Playing Chess ~ raises IQ, stimulates creativity, improves memory and concentration, and helps grow dendrites.

No, no . . . not dandruff.  Dendrites.

Hurry!  Dust off the chess board.  

NOW!

#2 Reading & Writing ~ benefits cognitive abilities and creativity, relieves stress, stimulates the cerebral cortex, builds new synapses, expands vocabulary and knowledge base, and makes you better, faster, stronger, and more interesting to be around.

It does so!  Stop arguing with me and go read a book!  

220px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_27#3 Exercising ~ reduces stress, improves blood flow to the brain (and elsewhere), releases feel-good neurotransmitters, and fertilizes the hippocampus causing it to grow bigger, better, stronger, faster.

No . . . not hippopotamus. Hippocampus.

Get out the dictionary.  Then drop and give me 20!

Woodstock-&-Snoopy2#4 Playing a musical instrument ~ listening to music is good for the brain, but playing an instrument is great for the brain since it requires both hemispheres to work together making you better, faster, stronger, and more coordinated.

I got rhythm . . . I got music . . . I got brain power . . . who could ask for anything more?

#5 Meditation ~ great for expanding learning, cognition, memory, empathy, compassion and more.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

We Had a Field Day on Field Day! May 25, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, People.
47 comments

105px-Hopscotch1900F294.svgJill’s post about school recess periods, We’re Free, brought back happy memories of playing on the playground in grade school:

Kick Ball.  Dodge Ball.  Tether Ball.  Hop Scotch.  Jump Rope.

Remembering those good times on the playground reminded me of our annual Field Day event.

We had a Field Day on Field Day!

Instead of sitting in class, classes assembled outside to run fast, jump high, and compete for ribbons in Olympic caliber events on the track and in the field:

We enjoyed egg-spoon races, 3-legged races, wheelbarrow races (steering human wheelbarrows by the ankles), long jump, high jump, tug-of-war (where even the winners walked away with rope burn), and all manner of mad dashes.

As energy levels flagged, teachers lined us up in facing rows for the Egg Toss.

Not to be confused with the Caber Toss or Hammer Throw:

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At first, mere inches separated the two long rows of intent students facing one another.  With each successive toss, successful teams had to take another step back before launching their oval missiles.

Eventually the chasm was too wide to cross with a gentle toss and the eggs got scrambled.

Egg Toss (in Public Domain)

Rather like Humpty Dumpty.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Did you celebrate Field Days in your school?

A “Catwalk” Through A Cypress Swamp May 23, 2016

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

When we lived in NC, we spent many wonderful weekends camping and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Smokies.

Blue hills

We loved to pack a picnic and hike to a waterfall where we could park our butts on a big boulder mid-river to enjoy the rushing water (and an adult beverage, or two).  Here, there is plenty of water but waterfalls are few and far between.

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BFF misses our mountain meanders ~ not enough to hike the Appalachian Trail, but enough to wander in the woods and set a spell.  We came close earlier this month.

Wanting to fit in another road trip before Florida temps rose from warm to steamy, we headed to Sebring for a short visit.

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Emphasis on short.

We enjoyed a quick peek at Lake Jackson . . .

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And strolled around the Circle Shops, stopping to visit a pottery studio, before bidding adieu to Sebring.

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With Sebring in our rear view mirror, we headed to nearby Highland Hammock State Park to do some hiking in the woods.

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Our first hike started out as an easy flat walk along an elevated boardwalk.

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High above the muck and mire.  Just the way I like it!

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Without warning, our easy hike turned into a balancing act along a narrow “catwalk” suspended over the murky Cypress Swamp.

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The catwalk had a handrail on one side and NOTHING between us and the swamp on the other.

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The people who built it must have had a good laugh at the one-sided structure they left in their wake.

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To make matters worse, stuff kept falling out of the tall tall trees because a big storm had blown through the  night before.

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Every time a big limb dropped with a CRACK, we jumped.

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Especially after seeing the creature from the black lagoon rising from the swampy soup.

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To claim the boardwalk for lunch.

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We didn’t see any gators or snakes.

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We were OK with that.

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We did see some interesting hoo doos.

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And pixies hiding among the primordial ferns.

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Eventually the canopy gave way to blue sky and we climbed down from the catwalk to terra firma.

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Happy we lived to tell the tale, we readied ourselves to hike another trail.

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Which turned out to be a very gnarly one.

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After meeting up with this wise old oak . . .

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We continued along the trail until we heard “a bear” crashing through the forest in our direction.

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Deciding we’d had enough nature for one day, we fled the trail.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Yes . . . We Have Some Tomatoes! May 17, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Home & Garden.
32 comments

Yes . . . we have some tomatoes.  We have some tomatoes today!

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Each year, in May, Hunsader Farms invites folks to come out and pick their own tomatoes before the fields close for the summer.

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The cost for hand-picked juicy red ripe tomatoes that deliver REAL tomato flavor?

$2 for a 5-gallon bucket!

This year, I hand-picked two buckets (approximately 125 tomatoes) in about 40 minutes.

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I picked the second bucket because the weather was gorgeous, I was enjoying the exercise, and I wanted to have enough tomatoes to share with others.

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On Saturday, I got more exercise by hand-delivering tomatoes on my “produce mobile” (a/k/a bike) to neighbors who can’t get out and pick their own because they are less mobile than me.

I also bought a box of 25 butternut squash for $5!

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Plus 6 ears of corn.  Plus an enormous cantaloupe.

How do you spell summertime? ~> D~E~L~I~C~I~O~U~S!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Yoga October 13, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.
44 comments

Yoga increases flexibility, decreases pain, improves circulation and balance, elevates mood, stretches and strengthens muscles, boosts energy, and improves our over-all health and well-being.

If you’re interested in incorporating Yoga into your life, aim to learn at least ONE new pose a week.

To increase your motivation, start with something really relaxing.

Like Tree Pose.

Or Mountain Pose.

Or, better still, Dead Man’s Pose.

So simple . . . even a starfish can do it!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Setting The Bar LOW September 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Humor, Music & Dance.
37 comments

Donald-DirectorIt’s easier to meet and even exceed expectations when the bar is set LOW.

LOWER.

LOWEST.

Except, of course, when dancing the LIMBO after drinking a Jumbo Jamba Juice.

Or when skating under 39 cars like a human pancake.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Golf Balls August 1, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Humor, Joke.
36 comments

Golf-BallA man got on the bus with both front trouser pockets full of golf balls.

He sat down next to a beautiful blond who kept looking at him and his bulging pockets.

After several puzzled glances from her, he said, “It’s golf balls.”

GolferThe blond nodded, thinking about what he had said.

A few minutes later, unable to contain her curiosity any longer, she asked, “Does it hurt as much as tennis elbow?”

Aah . . . that’s better!

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

Danger! Danger! July 27, 2015

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

Mountain-BikingA few months ago, the Sierra Club sent me a link to 6 of America’s Most Dangerous Hiking Trails.

Reading the list did NOT make me want to strap on my hiking boots.  Heat, cold, thin air, ice, bears, and snakes knocked all 6 hikes out of contention for a coveted spot on my Bucket List.

At least until I’m ready to kick the bucket.

I prefer to avoid falling rocks, unexpected blizzards, and encounters with wild and savage beasts while hiking.

At the Arch

Despite my survival instincts, I enjoy hiking to waterfalls and mountain tops.

As the path unfolds before me, I embrace movement, air, light, sound, and glorious vistas.

These days, most of our “hiking” (if you’re being charitable) takes place on the beach.  Air, sunlight, splashing waves, turquoise seas ~> BLISS!

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And nary a snake in sight!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  When Is A Step Not A Step (My Year of Sweat) * Rock Climbing in YosemiteAn Appalachian Adventure * Would You Answer This Ad?

Kona Grill & Motorworks Brewery June 15, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Humor.
42 comments

A few weeks back, we went out for Happy Hour, starting with rum tasting at the Drum Circle Distillery.

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A few happy hours later, we ended the outing at Kona Grill where we shared an appetizer portion of smoked gouda fondue with pretzel bites and apple slices for dipping.

One appetizer and neither of us needed dinner that night.

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To make sure I got my full intake of salt, I ordered a margarita.

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Two days later, we went to Motorworks Brewery ~ the largest beer garden in Florida.

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There, we enjoyed great music, gorgeous weather, good beer.

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We used the putting green, tossed bean bags at Corn Holes, and rolled Bocce Balls around.

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We were about to leave and a couple from Tampa offered to buy me another flight of beer.  How could I refuse?

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Aah . . . that’s better!

How’s Your Backhand? March 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Humor, Joke.
63 comments

Goofy-Riding-A-BikeTwo young boys walked into a pharmacy one day, picked out a box of tampons and proceeded to the checkout counter.

The pharmacist at the counter asked the older boy, “Son, how old are you?’

‘Eight’, the boy replied.

The man continued, ‘Do you know what these are used for?’

The boy replied, ‘Not exactly, but they aren’t for me. They’re for him. He’s my brother. He’s four.”

Swimming“Oh, really?” the pharmacist replied with a grin.  “How’s that?”

“We saw on TV that if you buy these you can swim, play tennis and ride a bike. Right now, he can’t do none of those things.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

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

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