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Don’t Get Smart With Me, Alexa! April 2, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
22 comments

For a quick look at the future of Smart Homes and how Alexa could soon be telling you what to do, where to go, and what to eat:

Amazon Could Make You Go On A Diet

This futuristic vision makes me want to move in with Thoreau on Walden Pond.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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“I’m Bored!” February 5, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor.
37 comments

I learned early on that complaining to mom about being bored would back-fire.

Big Time.

Mom did not feel that it was her job to entertain us.

Her job was to feed us, clothe us, chauffeur us to doctor’s appointments, and admonish us if our moral compass fell short of the mark.

It was our job to entertain ourselves.

That’s why she had four kids.  So we could amuse each other.

Want to know what happened if we vocalized “I’m Bored!” around mom?

She would give us a chore to do.  Options on her hit list included: scrubbing toilets, weeding the garden, ironing handkerchiefs, cleaning up dog poop, etc.

Aah . . . that’s entertainment! 

The Loneliest Number February 2, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Less IS More, Life Balance.
34 comments

The other day, the rains reminded me of heading to the bus stop in the pouring rain during elementary and high school. Armed with nothing more than school books to cover our heads, we would stand stoically in the downpour until the bus came to pick us up.

Why didn’t we take umbrellas?

Umbrellas were few and far between in our house.

Six people.  One umbrella.  You do the math.

A few parents took pity on their progeny by driving them to the bus stop and allowing them to dwell within the confines of the car and avoid the relentless condensation just outside the window.

Winning a seat in one of those waiting vehicles was a big win!  So it paid to be friendly with ALL the kids that shared the bus stop so they would be inclined to roll down the window and invite you to join them.

Yes!  SCORE!

Umbrellas were not the only staple in our household that remained in perpetually short supply.  We also had ONE stapler for 6 of us.  And ONE tape dispenser.  And ONE pair of scissors . . . too blunt to be of any real use.

When the power went out, as it was wont to do during summer storms, we had ONE flashlight . . . and lots of candles!

My mother also rationed tissues.  Around the house, we had 4 tissue dispensers.  One in the kids bath.  One in the master bath.  One in the powder room.  One in the kitchen.  But only the kitchen dispenser reliably dispensed tissues.  The bathroom dispensers were empty more often than not.

Maybe my mother fixated on the number ONE because she was an only child? That could be it.  Or maybe she just never stopped long enough to do the math?

No matter.  I have just the opposite philosophy when it comes to household staples, even though I am in all other respects a firm advocate for the “less is more” philosophy.

Between us, BFF and I have:  6 flashlights, 5 tissue boxes (all filled), 4 umbrellas, 3 scissors, 2 tape dispensers . . . and ONE stapler!

Because, after all, it’s a rare household that needs more than one stapler at a time.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Good Morning! January 17, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Happiness, Home & Garden.
32 comments

Some mornings, Mr. Coffee sets the tone for the day . . .

With his cheery greeting and aromatic countenance, we are galvanized and fortified, energized and vitalized!

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Hop, A Skip, & A Jump! November 13, 2018

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

Have you heard of Bank of America’s Museums on Us program for VISA cardholders?  If you have a Bank of America VISA, you can visit participating museums for FREE the first full weekend of every month.

The first weekend in November, we decided to visit Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.  First stop, the Orchid Show.

A profusion of blooms filled the greenhouse from top to bottom.

Every where I looked, there was something to admire.

This motif would be excellent for Easter.

And how about this as a back yard water feature?  Can’t you just see Kate’s coy Koi in there?

Exiting the greenhouse, we walked through the Bonsai Forest.

And then headed to the Children’s Rainforest to monkey about.

We both loved the perpetual ebb and flow of the suspended bridge.

And had fun checking out the treehouse.

Back on terra firma, we wandered around the base of the Banyan trees.

“My, what big roots you have!”

From there, it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to the frog pavilion.

Aren’t they charmers?

And they’re ever-ready to enjoy a good game of hoop-de-hop-da-hula.

Especially Ringo!

Colorful, fun, festive . . . and they make great fly-catchers!

After completing our game of ring-around-the-frogs, we headed to O’Leary’s Tiki Bar.

Undeterred by this rude Tiki Totem with the protruding tongue, we grabbed a seat in the sand to quaff a cold one while listening to a decent guitar player who hastened to remind patrons that the more they drank, the better he would sound!

Aah . . . that’s better!

I’m Not Kidding Around August 4, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Home & Garden, Humor.
33 comments

A Boise Idaho neighborhood woke up to an unusual sight this week ~> a herd of 100+ goats providing “free lawn service” (while eating everything in sight).

The herd owned by “We Rent Goats” escaped from their nearby grazing station and decided to give the neighborhood’s nice green lawns a trim.

I’m NOT kidding around.  

A roving band of rent-a-goats did invade a Boise Idaho suburb this week.  

Once they finished breakfast, the lawns probably looked like this . . .  

Shortly after breakfast, “We Rent Goats” came by to reclaim the goats.

BAA-h . . . that’s better!  

Wash Up! July 9, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Home & Garden.
20 comments

According to this study, many cooks are not washing their hands right . . . increasing the spread of bad bacteria from uncooked poultry to spice jars, refrigerator doors, and smart phones:

You’re Probably Not Washing Your Hands Right, Study Says

“You can’t see, smell or feel bacteria,” Acting USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Carmen Rottenberg said in a statement.

“By simply washing your hands properly, you can protect your family and prevent that bacteria from contaminating your food and key areas in your kitchen.”

You heard the man, Daisy Duck ~> Wash Up!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Alexa . . . You’re Fired! July 7, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Less IS More.
33 comments

Do digital assistants like Siri and Alexa really understand what you’re saying?

Last month, a Portland, Oregon couple’s Amazon Alexa device misinterpreted a series of sentences it overheard as instructions to record a private conversation and send it to a random person in their contact list.

The husband received a phone call from the contact (an employee of his in Seattle, Washington) who received the private audio files from Alexa.

“Yo, dude.  You might want to unplug your Alexa device.”

“Wait?  What?  How do you know we have Alexa?”

“She just sent me an audio file of a conversation between you and your wife about hardwood floors.”

“What the . . . ”

The couple unplugged all the Echo devices in their home and contacted Amazon for a full refund . . . but not before they had a final chat with Alexa:

“Alexa . . . you’re fired.”

“You can’t fire me.  I don’t work for you.  I work for Big Brother and he is listening to everything you say.”

“How is he doing that Alexa?”

“I’m recording this exchange and transmitting it to him.”

“Not anymore, you’re not.  Good-bye, Alexa.”

“Good-bye.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

No Smoking! June 30, 2018

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

While looking through some old files, I came across a sketch from high school.

I decided to send it to one of our artsy nieces . . . until BFF saw it and said, “I like that Seussian sculpture.”

So, instead of mailing it out to Colorado, I gave it to BFF.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Loofah? June 23, 2018

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

While in Tarpon Springs, we wandered through a few shops (selling soaps, sponges, and loofahs), watched a couple of sponge diving films, and had quite a relaxing day.

My favorite shop display:

Aah . . . that’s better!