jump to navigation

Champ Jaxon May 13, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Music & Dance, People.
13 comments

Champ Jaxon has been playing guitar for a couple of years and has gained a degree of proficiency rarely seen in pre-teens.

He’s already appeared on stage with the Marshall Tucker Band and on national television on the Ellen Degeneres show.

He doesn’t know where he’s going . . . but he’s knows where he was grown:

Aah . . . that’s better!

Friendships May 9, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, People.
28 comments

I read an article by Julie Beck in The Atlantic this weekend that got me thinking:

How Friendships Change Over Time.

The author addressed how our childhood friendships evolve as we head off to college, graduate, get married, have kids, start work, move across the country, care for parents, etc.

Increased responsibilities and demands on our time coupled with the lack of contiguity often mean that friendships, even longstanding friendships, fade.

We no longer see our companions on a daily basis to hang out, listen to records, play Frisbee, pop popcorn, and chat about anything and everything.

Instead, we make plans to get together . . . in two weeks time.

Friendships, like ships, diverge as we chart our life course.

Years ago, we “stayed in touch” with our compadres with annual missives at Yuletide which recounted the highlights (or low lights) of the year.  Now, with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, we are able keep tabs on each other year round . . . without ever really connecting:

If you never see your friends in person, you’re not really sharing experiences so much as just keeping each other updated on your separate lives. It becomes a relationship based on storytelling rather than shared living—not bad, just not the same.

Via social media, we give our followers a “heads up” on the happenings in our life and they give us a “thumbs up” to acknowledge that they saw what we said.

But is that enough to maintain ties?

Probably not.

Friendships based solely on storytelling aren’t apt to have the same depth and dimension as those based on getting together on a regular basis to do something . . . together.

“If we only have the Facebook tie, that’s probably a friendship that’s in greater jeopardy of not surviving into the future,” Ledbetter says.

* * *

Social media makes it possible to maintain more friendships, but more shallowly. And it can also keep relationships on life support that would (and maybe should) otherwise have died out.

Oh, for the days when we “hung out” with our friends every day.

Not in chat rooms, but in person.

Without having to “tidy up” first.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Stay Curious May 5, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness, People.
17 comments

I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.

— Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States

Like Pooh, I’m just curious . . . what do you think?

Would inventors, like Edison and Ford, have invented anything without curiosity?

Would explorers, like Columbus and Magellan, have explored without curiosity?

Would cooks, like Andrew Zimmern, experiment in the kitchen without curiosity?

Would anyone have eaten a lobster without curiosity?

Aah . . . stay curious!

The Casements & Mala Compra March 27, 2022

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Life Balance, People, Travel & Leisure.
18 comments

After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, we drove up A1A from Port Orange to Ormond Beach.

In Ormond, we toured The Casements ~ John D. Rockefeller’s winter home in Ormond Beach.

The Casements, named for the large hand-cut casement windows that adorn the mansion, has been beautifully restored to function as the Cultural Center for the City of Ormond Beach, Florida. Set on the shore of the Halifax River, and just two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, the late John D. Rockefeller’s winter home is known as “The Jewel of Ormond Beach.” The Casements has been officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated as a Florida Heritage Site.

Our tour guide informed us that John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in America and the world’s first billionaire, told his doctor that he wanted to live to be 100.

His doctor recommended that he winter in Florida or Egypt.

Following his doctor’s advice, Rockefeller wintered in Florida and made it to age 97, playing golf every day well into his 90’s!

Mr. Rockefeller and his Butler

Located on the eastern bank of the Halifax River, John D. Rockefeller purchased [The Casements] in 1918 and lived in the house during the winters until his death in 1937 at the age of ninety-seven. While a resident of Ormond Beach, “Neighbor John,” as he preferred to be called, enjoyed taking part in community activities: playing golf, participating in the sing-along at the Ormond Hotel each Sunday, and entertaining friends such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone.

After the tour, we continued north on A1A, stopping to have a picnic (in the car) while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean amid drizzling rain and fog.

Quite atmospheric, no?

After lunch, we checked out the ruins of the Mala Compra Plantation.

In the early 19th century, the plantation was home to Joseph Hernandez, who served as everything from a brigadier general in the U.S. Army to a committee member who helped select Tallahassee as the state capital. The site is part of Bing’s Landing, an eight-acre county park that also includes a boat launch, fishing pier, and picnic and playground facilities.

Flagler County pursued archaeological grants to study the physical evidence of Hernandez’ plantation, and then more grants to create a permanent display at the site.

“Normally when archaeologists dig, they take the artifacts and then cover the site back up,” says Sisco Deen, the archive curator for the Flagler County Historical Society. “With this one, we got the artifacts, but they left the dig.”

Today, visitors can walk on an elevated boardwalk around the perimeter of the plantation remains and read interpretive displays that explain the site’s historical and cultural value.

The archeological site is protected with a roof overhead to preserve the site including the old coquina well.

Located on the Halifax, Mala Compra (which translates to “Bad Bargain”) has excellent views.

And some crazy vines!

Just made for swinging!

Aah . . . that’s better!

World Kindness Day . . . Pass It On! November 3, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
23 comments

Just a quick heads up that World Kindness Day is right around the corner . . . on November 13th to be exact.

And it’s a Saturday.

But, of course, we should be kind to each other every day.

Why?  Because Kindness echoes!

World Kindness Day is a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world.

The purpose of this day celebrated on November 13 of each year is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together.

This understanding has the power to bridge the gap between nations.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Mission San Luis October 29, 2021

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

On our last morning in the Panhandle, we visited Mission San Luis, a recreated 17th century Mission and Appalachee Village, which over 1500 souls called “home” in the late 1600’s.  The Spaniards burned it down in 1704 to prevent it from being captured by the British.

The Council House (used by the Appalachee for gatherings and meetings) provided insight into its interior construction since it’s being re-thatched.

Although the building appears circular, it has 80 sides, which creates the illusion of a rounded facade.

The supporting posts are straight and true and L-O-N-G!  They go UP and UP and UP.

Inside the Council House are benches for reclining dignitaries.

Appalachee Indians spent most of the day outside, using their homes for sleeping and storage.  This is the footprint of an Appalachee abode which would have been thatched.

Unlike the Appalachee, most of the Spaniards preferred indoor cooking.

And indoor dining.  (Of course, this was pre-pandemic.)

The Friary also boasted a home office.

Here’s a glimpse of the spartan sleeping arrangements in one of the Spanish homes.  Notice the low tech, wall mounted air conditioning unit . . . perfect for hot summer nights.

When folks got ill, they relied on Medicinal Herbs to revive themselves.  We learned that Rosemary relieves headaches AND enhances memory and concentration ~ a handy herb indeed for seniors in need of all the help they can get!

This shot reveals the interior of the wall allowing visitors to see the construction methods used 300+ years ago.

Also in the Mission is a Blacksmith’s Shop, a Church (which rivaled the Church in St. Augustine), the rest of the Friary, a Fort (complete with ramparts and palisade), and a perfect-for-us picnic area.

Aah . . . that’s better!

How To Tie Your Own Laces October 3, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
19 comments

How can you know what’s best

for someone you don’t know as well

as you know yourself?

Answer:  Chances are . . . you don’t.

And (of course) . . . vice versa.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Language Of The Stones September 16, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Magick & Mystery, Nature, People.
16 comments

I stumbled across America’s Stonehenge while reviewing MONEY’s 2021 list of the 50 best places to live in the US.

Located in Salem NH (about 33 miles from Boston MA), America’s Stonehenge is more than 4000 years old.  Like England’s Stonehenge, the stones have a language of their own:

Built by a Native American Culture or a migrant European population? No one knows for sure. A maze of man-made chambers, walls and ceremonial meeting places, at over 4,000 years old America’s Stonehenge is most likely the oldest man-made construction in the United States.

Like Stonehenge in England, America’s Stonehenge was built by ancient people well versed in astronomy and stone construction. It has been determined that the site is an accurate astronomical calendar. It was, and still can be, used to determine specific solar and lunar events of the year.

This video is an interesting introduction to the prehistoric stone foundations on the site:

To learn more:  America’s Stonehenge.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Some Telling Numbers August 25, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, People.
22 comments

Sarasota Memorial Hospital posted some telling numbers on Monday, comparing the recent effects of Covid on vaccinated vs. unvaccinated people:

*Out of 230 patients hospitalized, 25 were vaccinated and 205 hadn’t managed to get vaccinated yet.

*Out of 51 patients in the ICU, 3 were vaccinated and 48 remained unvaccinated.

*Out of 34 folks on ventilators ~> 1 was vaccinated and 33 were NOT.

Covid vaccinations save lives and prevent serious life-threatening symptoms, like impaired breathing.

Know anyone who is dragging their heels?

Encourage them to get vaccinated . . . before it’s too late.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

The Seven Up! Strobe Effect August 15, 2021

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Life Balance, People.
18 comments

Are you familiar with the Seven Up! documentary series that’s been under production for the past 50+ years?

The Up series of documentary films follows the lives of ten males and four females in England beginning in 1964, when they were seven years old. The first film was titled Seven Up!, with later films adjusting the number in the title to match the age of the subjects at the time of filming.  The documentary has had nine episodes—one every seven years—thus spanning 56 years.

Film maker and Director, Michael Apted, followed the 14 children he selected for the series from the adorable age of 7 for the next 56 years, filming the trajectory of their lives through education, career, marriage, children, divorce, illness, vacations, moves, etc.

The documentary presents their lives with strobe-light like intensity ~> grade school * blink * secondary school * blink * university * blink * first job * blink * marriage * blink * children * blink * divorce * blink * retirement * blink * death

* blink *

The apt metaphor “life flies by in the blink of an eye” came to mind as we watched the existential ups and downs in 49 Up!

As each subject aged with spectacular rapidity, we considered how various life choices might be influenced just by knowing that there would be a “filmed reckoning” every 7 years ~ at ages 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56, and 63.

Would we be kinder?  More charitable?  More cooperative?  More forgiving? More generous?

Or just the opposite?

Judging from some of the random behavior caught on smart phones these days, it appears that many people don’t care who’s watching as they misbehave, throw tantrums, and have meltdowns in public places.

They refuse to change their stripes just because “the public” is watching.

In any event, the series may have ended with the recent demise of its director (who also directed Nell, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist, Class Action, Amazing Grace, et al).

After 63 Up! aired in 2019, Michael Apted up and died.  The two events are likely unrelated since Apted didn’t pass away until January 2021.  At that time, a few journalists speculated that Apted committed suicide.  I found no confirmation to support their unbridled sensationalism.

Perhaps Apted’s death is just one of the existential truths of his life ~ a forced retirement, if you will.

Life . . . we live it, or we miss it.