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What A SLAM Dunk! September 24, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Travel & Leisure.
32 comments

When you have a Bridge hand like this . . .

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And the dummy (your partner) lays down a hand like this . . .

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It’s a SLAM dunk, Baby!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Sock Hop & Classic Cars September 21, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.
29 comments

Goodwill launched the 2016 Giving Challenge by hosting a Sock Hop at the Classic Car Museum.

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We went and had a fun time touring the touring cars.

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And planning our next Picnic Trip in this . . .

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We drank Chocolate Malts from Culvers, admired the themed napkins . . .

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And nibbled on nibbles . . .

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After the Pink Ladies danced to taped versions of “The Theme from Happy Days” and “You’re The One That I Want” (from Grease), the band took the stage.

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Even though BFF and I are not keen on music from the 50’s, we got ready to “Rock Around The Clock.”

Mickey-OKWe lucked out . . . the band didn’t know any songs from the 50’s!

Instead, they played classic rock, including: “I Love Rock & Roll,” “Baby, Hold On To Me,” “No Time,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” and some Dave Matthews.

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you play this video . . . that’s me 33 seconds in commenting on Paris Hilton’s absence:

Your Bid! August 25, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
39 comments

Tigger hates to be left out of the action.  Whatever we’re doing, he wants to participate.

He likes to be in the thick of things.

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So when I started playing Bridge this summer, he dove right in to assist with my independent study program.

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Now, when I play Bridge Solitaire (with imaginary partners and opponents), Tigger’s in charge of keeping players on their toes.

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He keeps an eye on the progress of the auction and prompts players to be prompt with a succinct bark of “Your Bid!”

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Patience Pays Off August 3, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, People, Travel & Leisure.
40 comments

TucanNormally I write more during the summer months.

Because I can write inside.

In air-conditioned comfort.

Avoiding the blazing hot tropical sun during scorching H~O~T mid-day hours.

But not this summer.

This summer I’ve spent hours inside getting back into Bridge.

It’s a great game.

My favorite.

But learning all the ins and outs of counting cards, bidding, communicating with partners, and playing finesses with finesse is time-consuming.

That’s OK.

Being impatient with the here and now adds to our suffering.

Mickey-LoungingLearning to go with the flow and allow life to unfold without futile attempts to push the stream pays big dividends.

Patience pays off as we pursue our pursuits.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  How To Be Patient (Raptitude)

 

Peter Piper Packed A Picnic August 1, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
33 comments

It’s August!  Time to plan a picnic before Labor Day comes and goes, heralding winter woes.

Picnics aren’t just for grilling and chilling in the backyard.

Pack a picnic to eat at the beach, in a park, by a waterfall, or in a glade.

Picnics aren’t only for lunch.

Consider a breakfast picnic (muffins, croissants, fresh fruit, granola, yogurt parfaits, juice and a thermos of coffee).

Don’t forget the Bloody Mary’s.

What about packing a cocktail party picnic with finger foods (chilled shrimp, lobster rolls, pinwheel wraps, cheese and crackers, crudités with dip, hummus and pita, fruit or veggie kabobs).

Or plan a desserts only picnic.  Perfect for the cookie monsters in your life.

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To keep things cold:  freeze bottles of water or fruit juice to pack around the food.  Once the food is gone . . . bottoms up.

To assist with clean up:  bring wet wash cloths in snap-top containers or zip-top baggies to wash off sticky fingers and faces.  Keep them cool in the cooler to enjoy chilled cloths for heat relief!

While you’re at it, stash sunscreen in the cooler ~ it will feel cool going on and its active ingredients won’t break down in the heat.

If you’re toting food in a backpack, use a straw to inflate bags holding chips and other crumb-prone items to keep them from being smashed to smithereens.

Don’t forget to bring bags for garbage and recycling.

Aah . . . that’s better!

10 Weird & Wonderful Museums July 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
40 comments

If you’re taking a road trip this summer and need to get out and stretch your legs or rid yourself of pesky “numb butt” . . . here’s a list of wild and wacky sites to see:

10 Weird Museums Worth Stopping For (Allstate)

So, what’s on the list?

Everything from Bad Art (Boston) to Bananas (Mecca, CA)

From Dummies (Kentucky) to Einstein’s Brain (Philadelphia)

From Superman capes (Illinois) to Toy & Action Figures (Oklahoma)

From Funeral History (Houston) to Matchstick Marvels (Iowa)

From Aprons (Mississippi) to Potatoes (Idaho)

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you enjoy the weird and the wonderful?  The wild and the wacky?  Are any of these ten sites calling YOUR name?

A Summer Bucket List July 5, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Travel & Leisure.
48 comments

Watch Fireworks * Stay up late * Look up at the Stars * Ride a roller coaster * Hike Mt. Everest * Visit the Farmer’s Market * Picnic on the Beach * Buy a Watermelon * Host a Seed Spitting Contest * Cannonball into the pool *

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Bake Bread * Swap Books * Dance under the stars * Plan a Date Night * Make Friendship Bracelets * Whip up a big batch of Margaritas * Do Tequila Shots * Grill Pizza * Camp out in the backyard * Toast marshmallows * Make S’mores *

Sail paper boats * Fly a Kite * Go to the Drive In * Eat corn on the cob * Go hiking or biking * Write love letters to your favorite Pen Pals * Play miniature golf * Clear clutter * Visit a museum . . . and let it all hang out *

Go on a nature walk * Plan a scavenger hunt * Play hopscotch * Eat breakfast for dinner * Run a marathon * Make popsicles or ice cream sandwiches * Plan a sleep-over and movie marathon * Paint a picture *

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s on YOUR summer bucket list?

A “Catwalk” Through A Cypress Swamp May 23, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
38 comments

When we lived in NC, we spent many wonderful weekends camping and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Smokies.

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We loved to pack a picnic and hike to a waterfall where we could park our butts on a big boulder mid-river to enjoy the rushing water (and an adult beverage, or two).  Here, there is plenty of water but waterfalls are few and far between.

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BFF misses our mountain meanders ~ not enough to hike the Appalachian Trail, but enough to wander in the woods and set a spell.  We came close earlier this month.

Wanting to fit in another road trip before Florida temps rose from warm to steamy, we headed to Sebring for a short visit.

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Emphasis on short.

We enjoyed a quick peek at Lake Jackson . . .

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And strolled around the Circle Shops, stopping to visit a pottery studio, before bidding adieu to Sebring.

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With Sebring in our rear view mirror, we headed to nearby Highland Hammock State Park to do some hiking in the woods.

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Our first hike started out as an easy flat walk along an elevated boardwalk.

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High above the muck and mire.  Just the way I like it!

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Without warning, our easy hike turned into a balancing act along a narrow “catwalk” suspended over the murky Cypress Swamp.

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The catwalk had a handrail on one side and NOTHING between us and the swamp on the other.

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The people who built it must have had a good laugh at the one-sided structure they left in their wake.

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To make matters worse, stuff kept falling out of the tall tall trees because a big storm had blown through the  night before.

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Every time a big limb dropped with a CRACK, we jumped.

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Especially after seeing the creature from the black lagoon rising from the swampy soup.

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To claim the boardwalk for lunch.

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We didn’t see any gators or snakes.

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We were OK with that.

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We did see some interesting hoo doos.

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And pixies hiding among the primordial ferns.

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Eventually the canopy gave way to blue sky and we climbed down from the catwalk to terra firma.

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Happy we lived to tell the tale, we readied ourselves to hike another trail.

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Which turned out to be a very gnarly one.

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After meeting up with this wise old oak . . .

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We continued along the trail until we heard “a bear” crashing through the forest in our direction.

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Deciding we’d had enough nature for one day, we fled the trail.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Bagels On The Beach May 19, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
32 comments

In early May, we went to Einstein Bagels, bought a big bag of bagels and had bagels on the beach at Siesta Key.

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We loved the beach improvements made since our last visit ~ this walkway leads up to the second-story snack bar and concession stand with an amazing view and a diverse menu.

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Siesta Key is proud of its beach . . .

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For good reason.

In addition to miles of powder white sand, it’s “user friendly” . . . with rest rooms, changing rooms, and 800 FREE parking spots (which fill up quickly on sunny days).

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And it boasts a fun and shady playground for tiny tots tired of too much sand, sun, and surf.

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After beaching it for a couple hours, we walked around Siesta Key Village and grooved to fun live music at the SKOB ~ good tunes from the 70’s.  Including Pure Prairie League!

After getting the “munchies” from the college tunes and Woodstock sounds, we chowed down on some mini donuts ~ still warm from the fryer, baby!

No.  I didn’t take a photo of them.  We were too busy eating.

We stopped in Southside Village at Morton’s Gourmet Market.  After sampling some delicious blue cheese from Wisconsin, we bought a chunk of cheese and a bunch of bananas and headed home.

Relaxed and happy.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s your favorite music from the 70’s?

Shakespeare In The Park May 15, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Music & Dance, Nature, Poetry, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

On a day that threatened rain, we headed to Bay Preserve in Osprey for an Asolo Repertory Theatre performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night . . . with a modern twist.

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The setting for this “in the park” production balanced well with the play’s set design of a summer camp.

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The cast worked magic with Shakespeare’s timeless comedy of unrequited love, pride, pranks, and self-discovery.

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And the rain held off until after the play and reception ended.

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“If music be the food of love, play on.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s your favorite Shakespeare play?