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The Devil’s Ticket & Mississippi Mud July 11, 2018

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

A few months ago, I read a book about a fatal hand of Bridge . . . based on a true story of a wife who shot her husband while playing Bridge one night ~> The Devil’s Ticket: A Vengeful Wife, A Fatal Hand, and a New American Age.

On a related note, I thought some of you might get a kick out of this famous trick hand from the days of cardsharps on the Mississippi riverboats:

North

Spades -10 5 4 3 2
Hearts  –
Diamonds – 5 4 3 2
Clubs – 5 4 3 2

West                                                                            East

Spades –                                                                       Spades J 9 8 7 6
Hearts – 8 7 6 5 4 3 2                                                   Hearts –
Diamonds – A K Q J 10 9                                               Diamonds – 8 7 6
Clubs –                                                                         Clubs – 10 9 8 7 6

South

Spades – A K Q
Hearts – A K Q J 10 9
Diamonds –
Clubs – A K Q 3

A Diamond lead from West to Dummy/ North holds South to six tricks at a 4H contract.

A 4S bid only makes 3 tricks.
While 5C bid mades 4 tricks.

How would South make out in No Trump?

Bridge hands can be as deceiving as Mississippi Mud.
And some are even fatal!

Maybe I should stick with dominoes.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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To Sleep, Perchance to Dream July 9, 2018

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

“Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives.”

~ William C. Dement

That’ll give you something to ponder as you nod off tonight.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Memorable Milestones June 25, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Nature, People, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

In the past few weeks, we’ve attended a 100th birthday party for a Centenarian and a 60th Anniversary celebration.

You heard me ~> 100!

Jack lived in Princeton before moving to FL.  He lives at the end of our street and is rather amazing ~> still driving, lives alone, dresses with care, has a cocktail every evening, and . . . he’s capable of carrying on a conversation with all his marbles firmly in place.

May we all be so lucky!

At the anniversary celebration, guests (including Betty & Eileen ~ our “roommates” during Hurricane Irma) were given centerpieces to take home.

Sweet!

Aah . . . that’s better!

To Wax . . . Or Not To Wax? June 14, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
30 comments

I just read a fascinating article on body hair . . .

And how we are doing more and more to have less and less.

But the article addresses the larger issue of how we conform to the norm even when what is considered “normal” is not:

That we have to do more work to create “normalcy” or “nature” is obvious. If we are to banish hair from our bodies, we need more shaving, plucking, waxing and lasering. (Meanwhile, when it comes to our heads, our hair must be abundant, and we dye, style, weave, extend and implant in our quest for luscious locks.) This level of “de-fluffing” is demanding, constant, repeated almost daily. Yet that it is demanding — and just how demanding it is — is little recognized. Instead, it is normalized.

As the hairless body becomes the only acceptable body, a dramatic shift happens. De-fluffing stops being a beauty practice, and becomes redefined as a hygiene practice, as part of so-called “routine” maintenance. Hair removal becomes something we have to do, a requirement. It is not an option to refuse — like teeth-cleaning, but without any of the health benefits. Beauty practices are indulgent and optional; hygiene practices are necessary and required. You don’t have to do a beauty practice; you do have to do something that is required to meet minimum standards, just to be normal. Once the shift to routine is complete, the fact that this is a demanding beauty practice becomes invisible.

To read more:  Body Hair is Natural.  Society Thinking Otherwise is Dangerous.

To conform to the norm, or not?  THAT is the question!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Why Childhood Memories Are MIA June 7, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
29 comments

Researchers are beginning to understand why few of our childhood memories survive the passage into adulthood.

As children, we are able to make memories, but the circuitry of our brain continues to undergo construction through our teens . . . writing over some memories and erasing the circuitry needed to access other memories.

In short, we need to forget in order to grow.

To read more:  This Is Where Your Childhood Memories Went

And: Why You Can’t Remember Being A Baby

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“Perhaps the biggest mystery is not why we can’t remember our childhood – but whether we can believe any of our memories at all.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Man of Few Words May 23, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Happiness, People.
17 comments

My grandfather in Vermont was a man of few words.

Tacked on to a newsy birthday card from my grandmother was a note from my grandfather:

“A Happy Birthday.  Of course.  Grandpa.”

Margaret & Walter at my parents' wedding, 1955

Despite the lack of verbal acknowledgment, I never doubted my grandfather’s love for me.

Among other things, at cocktail hour, while the adults enjoyed adult beverages, grandpa would fix me a “kiddy cocktail” (fizzy ginger ale that tickled my nose, complete with cherry).

Some things require no words!

C'est Moi!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Changing Our Mind May 21, 2018

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

Our “mindset” is a constant filter through which we perceive each and every experience.

Over time, we can shift our perspective by being “open minded” (or “maybe” minded) when exposed to opposing views and viewpoints.

In short, we can literally “change our mind” about religion, politics, fashion, food, TV shows, etc.

It’s like mixing water and wine:

I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas. They’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.

~ Emily Bronte, English Novelist

Aah . . . that’s better!

Happiness For Everyone! April 24, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, People, Writing & Writers.
19 comments

I’m divvying up my parents’ scrapbooks, letters, writings, photos, etc., between me and my siblings.

In the process, I came upon this gem that I wrote . . .

a week before Christmas . . .

at age 9 . . .

One Thing Only

If I could have one thing at Christmas I would pick happiness.  I would be able to make anything happy. Then there would be peace because everyone would be happy with everybody else.  There would be no more wars anymore.  Every country would be friends with every other country.

How’s that for an altruistic Christmas Wish List?!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Let Billow Your Sails April 19, 2018

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

For much of my life, my actions were governed by consensus.

My desire to be accepted allowed others to manipulate me through fear and guilt.

Instead of acting in conformity with my values, I complied with the wishes and expectations of others to avoid their disapproval.

As I grew older, and perhaps a bit wiser, I realized that I did not need a permission slip to live my life.

I decided that I no longer wished to be manipulated by public opinion.

I gave myself the freedom to be exactly who I wanted to be without first taking a poll.

A few acquaintances resented my increased personal autonomy since my decisions no longer required input or approval from them.

They tried to convince me that I was being selfish for living life according to my own rules, and tried to make me feel guilty about not doing what they wanted me to do.  They urged me to get back in line.

I ignored them.

Instead of conforming to their expectations, I used an internal compass to guide my actions, and followed my own road in the direction of my dreams.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote:  Why do we put off living the way we want to live, as if we have all the time in the world?  ~ Barbara de Angelis

Dare to Make Mistakes . . . March 31, 2018

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

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER ~ attributed to Nadine Stair (at age 85)

I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.

I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.

 

I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I would perhaps have more actual troubles,
but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day.

 

Oh, I’ve had my moments,
And if I had it to do over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else.

Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

 

I’ve been one of those people who never goes anywhere without a thermometer,

a hot water bottle,

a raincoat,

and a parachute.

If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

 

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.

I would go to more dances.

I would ride more merry-go-rounds.

I would pick more daisies.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  If I Had My Life To Live Over

Related resources:  An Earlier Version of the poem, by Don Herald (from 1953 Reader’s Digest)