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A Satisfying Sound April 11, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Less IS More, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
26 comments

I finished up our taxes this week.

Yay!  It’s always a good feeling to be done with them.

Better still . . . I spent a few minutes culling unnecessary documentation (old medical bills, outdated credit card slips and statements, insurance claims, charitable receipts, etc.) from our financial files.

Once culled, that weighty stack of paper disappeared into the jaws of our shredder.

A sound most “satisfying.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

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Juggling An Overbooked Schedule March 19, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Less IS More, Life Balance.
26 comments

My schedule is overbooked this week
I’m walking down both sides of the street
I’m multi-tasking as fast as I can
And juggling three things with only one hand

I’ve looked high and I’ve looked low
No more time in sight . . . something has to go
So if my comments are few and far between
It’s because my “free time” has become quite lean

Aah . . . that’s better!

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!

Tea For Three January 11, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Less IS More, Life Balance.
30 comments

On New Year’s Eve, we invited a friend over for “Afternoon Tea” (a euphemism for over-indulging on baked goods and sweet treats).

I managed to put together an assortment of pastries from a number of high caloric offerings that had infiltrated our kitchen over the holidays ~> Cherry Squares, Stollen, Brownies, Grandma’s Coffee Cake, Macademia Nut Toffee.

Not wanting anyone to O.D. on sugar, I also put out some raw veggies with garlic herb dip, chips, fresh tomato salsa, and black olives.  (Not exactly a balanced meal, but not quite so lopsided as it looked at first blush.)

The good news:  we managed to make it through the holidays without succumbing to a sugar coma . . . or turning into roly-poly snowmen!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. January 7, 2019

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

At the end of one year and the beginning of the next, I review and evaluate what’s “working” and what’s not “earning its keep.”

This year, I realized that my record-keeping has gotten out of hand.

I track too many things in too many different places.

On a regular basis, I’m juggling and updating a To Do list, a Calendar of Events, Travel ideas, Recipes and Meal Plans, a Grocery List, Villa & Auto (repairs and maintenance), Gifts, Charitable Donations, Medical, E-mails, Photos, Notes, Gratitude Basket, Net Worth, Budget/Expenses, Investment Holdings, Taxes, Insurance,  Blog Ideas, Photo Albums, Etc..

It’s too much.

Less is more.

It’s time to re-evaluate the value of each.

Simplify.  Simplify.  Simplify.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Plastics & Pollution January 3, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, Sustainable Living.
29 comments

We need to do more to protect our oceans and marine life from plastic.

Right now, the Great Pacific Plastic Patch is twice the size of Texas.  When plastic degrades, it leaches carcinogens and other toxins into the water which then enter the human food chain when consumed by sea life (including sushi).

If you’ve decided to cut back on your reliance on plastic, here are a few tips to consider:

*Stop using disposable plastics, including straws and plastic cutlery.  If you use them, wash and re-use them.

*Take reusable shopping bags to the grocery store.  Plastic bags top the list of ocean debris and can last for centuries.

*Recycle plastics whenever possible – follow your recycling guidelines.

*When dining out, bring foil or containers for leftovers and stainless steel straws for your beverages.

*Buy from manufacturers who package products in sustainable containers.  Encourage other manufacturers to follow their lead.

*Purchase clothing and household lines from natural and sustainable fibers, including bamboo.

*Learn more at plastic-pollution.org ~> spread the word!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

New Year’s Resolutions January 1, 2019

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

A recent issue of Lifestyles After 50 focused on resolutions for the New Year.  Here’s a quick summary of a few Lifestyle Changes that pay HUGE dividends.

*Increase your consumption of plant-based meals to improve your health and the health of the planet.

“One study showed that 20 servings of vegetables produce fewer greenhouse grass emissions than one serving of beef.”  

And vegetarian diets are budget friendly too!  Plus they reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and autoimmune conditions.  If you need ideas, click on Vegetarian Recipes in the drop down menu to the right.

*Cut back on your salt consumption.  Salt looms large in processed foods, including ketchup, soy sauce, canned soups and sauces, crackers, cereal, bread, pancake mix.  Read labels at the grocery store to check the sodium content.  Cooking from scratch at home allows us to monitor what goes into our food and goes a LONG way to keeping our sodium (and caloric) consumption in check.  And beware when eating out . . . most restaurants are a bit too friendly with the salt shaker!

*If health is a priority, set aside time to exercise.  Every day!  Walking, Dancing, Biking, Swimming, and Tennis are all excellent ways to increase endurance and improve cardiovascular health.  Resistance and strength training builds muscles and healthy connective tissue.  Balance exercises help prevent falls & improve posture.  Tai Chi and Yoga are excellent for improving balance.

Walking on land or in the shallow end of a pool increase lower body strength, decreasing the risk of falls.  Stretching exercises (including yoga and pilates) will improve joint mobility and freedom of movement.  Keep moving!

*And while you’re at it ~> keep breathing!

Meditation is a great stress reducer which improves our immune function AND our mental health and outlook on life.  Soon, you’ll find yourself smiling at things that used to annoy . . . OR for no reason at all.

*Declutter!  When it comes to “stuff” . . . less is more!  If you decide to pare your possessions, take it one drawer or closet at a time.  Stop when you have “just enough.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Best Teachers November 15, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Less IS More, People, Word Play.
26 comments

Aah . . . that’s better!

Well, That’s An Eye Opener! September 19, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Health & Wellness, Less IS More, People.
34 comments

Have you heard that a low dose aspirin regimen may be doing more harm than good?

Three studies released this week in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that, in otherwise healthy individuals over 70, taking a daily low dose aspirin increased the risk of intestinal and intracranial bleeding without offering corresponding cardiovascular benefits:

“The use of low-dose aspirin resulted in a significantly higher risk of major hemorrhage and did not result in a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease than placebo,” the researchers wrote in one of the papers.

I guess it’s back to “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

To read more:  Low-dose aspirin offers no overall benefit for healthy older people

Sperm Banks in the US are not limited to a specific number of “off-spring” per donor.

One donor’s “daughter” has spent the summer tracking down her half siblings . . . around the globe.

She’s wondering when it’s going to end:

Arroyo has mixed feelings. While every visit with her half siblings has been a blast, she finds it “worrying” that sperm banks permit so many children to be born from a single donor.

“Every time I find a new sibling,” she said, “I get anxiety and think to myself: When is it going to end?”

Bottom line ~> You may have more siblings than you realize.

To read more:  44 Siblings And Counting

Back in the early days of television, before the #metoo! movement, Jackie Gleason would shake his fist at his TV wife while saying, “To the moon, Alice. To the moon.”

Alice never viewed his threat as anything other than empty.  It was just a placebo.  A futile gesture to urge compliance with his whims and wiles.  A husband’s attempt to demonstrate that he wore the pants in the family.

Fast forward 50-60 years, and a different image is conjured up . . . maybe he’s really planning to send Alice to the moon!

“Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon,” said Yusaku Maezawa, founder of ZoZotown, one of Japan’s largest retail websites. “Just staring at the moon filled my imagination. That is why I could not pass up this opportunity to see the moon up close.”

At the same time, he said, “I did not want to have such a fantastic experience by myself. That would be a little lonely. I don’t like being alone, so I want to share this experiences with as many people as possible. That is why I choose to go to the moon with artists! I choose to invite artists from around the world on my journey.”

Speaking to journalists and SpaceX employees at the rocket company’s Hawthorne, Calif., factory, standing at the base of a Falcon 9 rocket in front of its nine engine nozzles, Maezawa said he is considering who might be invited, but no decisions have been made.

“In 2023 as the host, I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this mission to the moon,” he said. “These artists will be asked to create something after they return to Earth. And these masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us.”

Writers are artists, right?  Got any plans for 2023?

Can’t you just hear Gleason, now? . . . “To the moon, Alice.  To the moon.”

To read more:  SpaceX: Japanese billionaire to be first “private passenger” on moon mission

Aah . . . that’s out of this world!

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!