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Hard Hatted House Hunting November 18, 2017

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

After evacuating for Hurricane Irma, we agreed that we would prefer to not repeat the experience.  So, after restoring order to our villa, we decided to explore the options of moving out of Evacuation Zone A.

Thus far, we haven’t found any place we like better than our villa.  Either the location is wrong (too far from the beach . . . or too close to the beach).  Or the amenities and neighborhood aesthetics are lacking.  Or the purchase price and/or HOA fees are too high.

Some of the neighborhoods we’ve visited offer pluses:  higher elevations with no concern about flooding from storm surge or swollen rivers, increased energy efficiency, updated construction with better protection against hurricane force winds, etc.

But, as is often the case, upsides tend to be accompanied by downsides: too many houses crammed into the community, garages that aren’t wide enough for cars and cans (so owners must park one car in the driveway), postage-stamp size community pools, high tension wires running overhead, no privacy fences around the perimeter, etc.

For one such neighborhood, I summed up the down sides in Rhyme Time:

The neighborhood feel . . . does not appeal
The high tension wire . . . does not inspire
The lack of a fence . . . makes our teeth clench
The backyard “pods” . . . make us feel like canned cods
The diminutive pool . . . just isn’t cool
The dent in our purse . . . would make us curse

I try not to be hard-headed while touring construction sites . . . but sometimes I am hard-hatted.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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Leftover Halloween Eye Candy November 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Humor.
22 comments

During a pre-Halloween visit to the mall, we enjoyed Halloween treats . . .

Holiday Eye Candy in assorted wrappers . . .

Great gaping ghoulish grins . . .

And anemic models . . .

Sporting toothy smiles that only a dentist would love . . .

At Cauldron & Brooms, we made our big (albeit little) purchase for the day ~> the perfect candy cauldron for my witch . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

I realize we are a full 2 weeks post-Halloween . . . but if we have to listen to political ads in August and maneuver around Christmas store decor in October, why not enjoy leftover Halloween Eye Candy mid-November?

Possessions Can Possess Us October 28, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Life Balance, People.
31 comments

Possessions can possess us.

The more we have, the less freedom and mobility we have.  And the more time and energy we need to spend taking care of our . . . “stuff.”

It’s hard to journey through life if we are overloaded with baggage.  We travel best when we travel light.

How refreshing the whinny of a pack horse fully unloaded! ~ Classic Haiku

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Garage Collage October 5, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, People.
26 comments

The other day, while riding around the neighborhood admiring what Hurricane Irma has done with the place, we spotted the wall of a garage being used as a “Man Cave Collage.”

On the interior wall facing the street, the owner had hung framed photos, framed certificates, posters, signs, etc., in a pleasing array.

Over the door leading into the house, we noted a single-word sign:

COACH

That one word put most of the rest of the display in context.  At least in the fertile ground of my imagination:

After retiring to Florida, Coach still wanted to host a display of winning teams, trophies, and newspaper accounts of championship outcomes on the wall, as he had in his office for 40+ years, but . . . his wife didn’t like the idea of turning their villa into a Sports Museum (or Mausoleum).

Wanting her hubby to be happy, Coach’s wife told Coach he could hang anything and everything he wished on the walls of his Man Cave.

The result:  A Garage Collage!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Colonial Architecture August 9, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

BFF and I enjoy walking around CW (Colonial Williamsburg) . . .

Admiring the colonial architecture . . .

Pausing to rest and take in the sights from a shady vantage point when our dogs get tired  . . .

Speaking of dogs . . .

DOG Street (the Duke of Gloucester Street) runs one mile from the Wren Building at W&M (the College of William & Mary) to the Capital at the far end.

Up and down the street are well-tended gardens . . .

Bursting with color . . .

And beribboned with inviting pathways  . . .

On the street proper, horse drawn carriages clip clop . . .

Atop the paved and car-free thoroughfare . . .

Their echoes interspersed with the sound of musket fire from the Powder Magazine . . .

Weary travelers may stop for a quick quaff at Chownings Tavern . . .

To quench their thirst with a pint (or three) of ale . . .

As long as you mind your P’s & Q’s, local residents never sit in judgment . . .

Mid-way between the College and the Capital is the Palace Green framing the opulent Governor’s Palace . . .

Within the Palace walls, you’ll find sculptured gardens . . .

And vine-covered trellises promising a respite from the heat . . .

You might be amazed by the shaggy maze . . .

Or intrigued with the rather barren grape arbor . . .

But even if you view the garden as a real hole in the wall . . .

It can still be the perfect place for a mindful moment . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Breakfast of Champions August 1, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

We just got back from our second road trip of the summer.

We drove to Maryland and New Jersey to visit family, with a stop “just for us” in Williamsburg on the way home.

While in New Jersey, we were well fed by my brother’s wife, Laura.

Here’s the breakfast of champions we enjoyed on Sunday morning, the day before we left.

Are you hungry yet?

How about now?

Laura’s breakfasts are one reason why “they” say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

In case you’re wondering, mom agreed with “them” ~> “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”

Aah . . . that’s yummy!

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.

More Garden Magic May 29, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Travel & Leisure.
34 comments

As we toured the parks, especially Epcot, we paused to admire the gardens and topiaries.

Here’s Tigger giving an impromptu pep talk to passers-by . . .

We always enjoy his Tiggeriffic enthusiasm.

And here’s Rabbit harvesting carrots for dinner . . .

While Piglet catches a ride on Eeyore’s back . . .

And Pooh holds fast to the string of his ephemeral balloon . . .

Near the entrance, we watched Donald marching Huey, Dewey, and Louie off for garden chores.

And we noticed that Figment’s got a primo viewing spot to enjoy the Spring gardens.

On the other side of the lagoon, Timon and Pumba espouse the notion of Hakuna Matata . . .

No worries!

Unless you sneak up behind Pumba’s behind and get a whiff of you don’t wanna know what!

And my favorite . . . Lady and the Tramp about to share a plate of spaghetti in Italy.

Aah  . . . that’s better!

Don’t Get Too Comfortable! May 9, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Home & Garden.
30 comments

Want to boost your metabolism?

Try adjusting your thermostat . . . up and down!

Recent research by a bunch of smart people with credentials (who seemed to know what they were talking about) has encouraged me to experiment with the temperature settings in our house this summer.

Apparently, being too comfortable is not in our best interest.

Instead, being a little chilly or hot encourages our body to flex its vascular muscles on our behalf.

If you keep your home at a comfortable 70 degrees year-round, you might want to switch it up a bit: Fluctuating indoor temperatures are good for your metabolism, suggests a new scientific report, and may even be an important way to fight obesity and diabetes.

To read more:  Adjusting Your Thermostat May Boost Your Metabolism.

Now . . . you’ll have to excuse me while I abandon my comfort zone.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Topiaries Are Tops! March 21, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
21 comments

Before Florida temps rebound for the sultry summer season, we’ve been “hitting the trails” to enjoy the fine weather ~ around the neighborhood, on the beach, and at Disney.

We got annual passes for the first time this year and have logged LOTS of miles traipsing through Epcot, the Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom ~> 6.7 miles, 10.4 miles, 7.6 miles, 5.1 miles, 5.9 miles.

On our last 2 visits, I’m not sure how far we walked because my pedometer went on strike!

One of our favorite things so far has been all the gorgeous gardens and topiaries.

A Giant Panda in China enjoying a sunset snack of bamboo:

A Troll in Norway who seemed FROZEN:

Bambi, Thumper, and Flower in a bed of flowers:

Rafiki and Simba . . . “Ah Zabenya!”

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice & Bewitched Broomsticks:

A trio of glamorous ostriches enjoying the bright blue skies too much to bury their heads in the sand:

And these topiary wannabes ~ Dory and Marlin ~ who, I must admit, looked like two fish out of water:

Aah . . . that’s better!