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Moon Under Water April 27, 2015

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

In March, we drove to St. Pete for lunch at Moon Under Water, a quaint British Pub with sidewalk service.

To learn the intriguing story behind the name, click HERE.

I ordered the Feta Taboule Salad with black olives and red peppers, served in a tortilla shell with Hummus and Pita.

A bit too much green and not enough grain for my tastes.

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BFF opted for Fish & Chips with a side of Tikha Masala Curry which tickled our “Tikha” . . . and our tastebuds.

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After lunch, we went in search of a Small Craft Taps and Casks House ~ The Ale and The Witch.

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We chuckled at a posted proverb but didn’t have a chance to sample the Witch’s Brew ~> the taps aren’t tapped at quarter past two.

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Next time we won’t arrive before the Witching Hour.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Irish Brothel April 25, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke, People.
Tags: , , ,
41 comments

150px-Carlo_Crivelli_052Three Irishmen are sitting in the pub window seat, watching the front door of the brothel across the road.

The local Methodist pastor appears, looks up and down the street, and goes inside.

“Would you look at that!” says the first Irishman. “Didn’t I always say what a bunch of hypocrites they are?”

No sooner are the words out of his mouth than a Rabbi appears at the door, looks up and down the street, knocks, and goes inside.

“Another one trying to fool everyone with pious preaching!” says the second Irishman.

After roundly condemning the vicar and Rabbi, they see their own parish priest knock on the door.

“Ah, now dat’s sad,” says the third Irishman. “One of the girls must have died.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Reclining Happily-Ever-After April 23, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , ,
49 comments

Last July, we gave the sofa we inherited with our villa to a niece setting up her first apartment ~ pick up, not delivery.

At Thanksgiving, we delivered the matching loveseat to her as a hostess gift.

That left us with a sizable gap in the middle of our living room.

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Consistent with my guiding philosophy (“do what you can, with what you have, where you are”), we filled the gap with deck chairs as a temporary fix . . . until we got ready to shop.

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Have I ever told you how much I hate shopping?

I decided we would go shopping AFTER Christmas . . . just in case Santa dropped the sofa of my dreams down the chimney we don’t have.

He didn’t.

I then decided we would go shopping AFTER the Christmas decorations had been put away so as not to confuse the issue with seasonal clutter.

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And we did just that.  We went shopping . . .

AFTER January morphed into February.
AFTER Valentine’s Day came and went.
AFTER President’s Day sales flyers began to yellow with age.
AFTER Shrove Tuesday.
AFTER Ash Wednesday.
AFTER the Chinese New Year.
AFTER the dawn of Daylight Savings Time.

With the Ides of March and St. Paddy’s Day on the horizon, my sister asked whether I regretted consigning our previous sofa and loveseat to her daughter.

Nope.  Giving them away created just the space and motivation I needed to muster up the enthusiasm for canvassing the shops.

As soon as I got good and ready.

On Friday the 13th, we launched ourselves into the market place of furniture showrooms ~ Highland Park, Hudsons, the Pink Pineapple.

No luck.  We continued shopping ~ Badcock, La-Z-Boy.

We found a super comfy power recliner at La-Z-Boy but didn’t like its bulging bulky pillowy approach to living room decor.

We continued shopping ~ Rooms 2 Go, Casual Interiors.

At the latter, we experienced sticker shock from price tags that exceeded the cost of my first car by a significant margin.  The only saving grace?  Fuel economy would not be an issue.

We continued shopping ~ American Freight, Furniture Warehouse.

We test-drove sofas that looked great but felt like rocks.  Who wants to watch TV perched atop a rock-hard rock?  Not me.

We continued shopping . . . feeling more and more like Goldilocks in search of an elusive plate of perfect porridge.

I consulted our list.  We still had piles of pillows to peruse ~ Pamaro Shops, American Signature Furniture, Baer’s, Kanes, etc..

Have I ever told you how much I hate shopping?

At last, on March 20th, after 14 showroom visits and 137 test drives, we found what we wanted at Manatee Furniture.  Huzzah!

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The salesman sealed the deal when he offered to deliver them that afternoon! Yes, please!

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We raced home, dodging Friday afternoon beach traffic, to return the deck chairs to the deck and ready the space for our new “just right” sofa and loveseat . . . where we now recline happily-ever-after.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Live, Love, Laugh, Learn April 21, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , ,
38 comments

Tigger-Looking-At-His-TailAs we live, love, laugh, and learn, we evolve.

We transform from “who we are” to become more fully “who we want to be.”

We stop using an external yardstick to measure our “success.”  Instead we focus on the contentment, peace and happiness we feel within.

We let go of the need to impress others with fame, fortune, and other trappings (and traps) of material success.

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We no longer barter our time for $’s at the expense of our values.

We stop accumulating clutter and refuse to spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.

We begin to see that less is more.  We lessen our attachment to stuff and clear our lives of the extraneous to make room for the essential.

We strive to live with integrity, honesty, and authenticity.  We sense increasing harmony in what we think, what we say, and what we do.

Broccoli-Mocking-StewieWe stop defending our reputation.  What they think of us is none of our business.

We let go of anger and resentment and learn to forgive ourselves and others.  We stop stewing in our own juices over perceived transgressions.

We begin to see the innocence in acts and omissions.  Instead of rushing to judgment, we advocate on behalf of others.

We envision best case scenarios instead of assuming the worst.

We develop an attitude of gratitude as we engage in simple pleasures.  We let go of greed.

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Through mindfulness and meditation, we cultivate peace of mind and compassion.

Unwilling to create unnecessary suffering, we enjoy more meatless meals ~ a win for us, the animals, and our precious planet.

We revel in mystery and synchronicity.  We trust intuition, knowing it surfaces from the wisdom within.

We share what we learn, often offering a different perspective.

Mickey-DiverWe flow with life instead of exhausting ourselves by struggling against the current.

We accept the “what is” as it is ~ here, now. We don’t dwell on a past we can’t change or a future that may never arrive at our door.

And when inevitable waves toss us around, we use our sense of humor as an approved flotation device.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Like a water-wheel, filling and emptying its buckets over and over as it turns, we empty out who we were, to become more fully who we are. If we hang on to Ego concerns, our buckets do not empty . . .  leaving less room for growth.

Related post:  Want to Succeed?  Let Go.  (Think Simple Now)

For Retirees April 18, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , ,
50 comments

IMGP3282bFour retirees are walking down a street in Yuma, Arizona. They turn a corner and see a sign that says, “Old Timers Bar – ALL drinks 10 cents.”

They look at each other, thinking this is too good to be true.

Seeing them at the door, the bartender calls out, “C’mon in. What’ll it be, gentlemen?”

Each of the four men orders a martini.

The bartender serves up four iced martinis shaken, not stirred and says, “That’s 10 cents each, please.”

The four guys can’t believe their good luck. They pay the 40 cents, finish their martinis, and order another round. Again, four excellent martinis are produced as the bartender says, “That’s 40 cents, please.”

They pay the 40 cents wondering how the bar stays in business. They’ve each had two martinis and haven’t even spent a dollar yet.

Finally one of them says, “How can you afford to serve martinis as good as these for a dime apiece?”

The bartender nods.  “I’m a retired tailor from Phoenix and I always wanted to own a bar. Last year I hit the Lottery Jackpot for $125 million and decided to open this place. Every drink costs a dime. Wine, liquor, beer it’s all the same.”

“Wow! That’s some story!”

250px-New_Orleans_City_of_Old_Romance_and_New_Opportunity_Crop_p_23_MoneybagsAs the four of them sip their martinis, they notice seven people at the end of the bar who don’t have any drinks in front of them.

Nodding at the seven at the end of the bar, one of the men asks the Bartender, “What’s with them?”

The bartender says, “They’re retirees from Florida. They’re waiting for Happy Hour when drinks are half-price.”

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Definition of Service April 15, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke, Word Play.
Tags: , , , , ,
47 comments

250px-New_Orleans_City_of_Old_Romance_and_New_Opportunity_Crop_p_23_MoneybagsHave you ever wondered how the Internal Revenue Service got its name?

Doesn’t the word “service” seem at odds with its function?

I’ve never been able to reconcile “taking money” and “raiding piggy banks” with the dictionary definition of “service.”

Until today.

3D-CowWhile waiting in line at the Post Office to pay my taxes, I overheard two farmers talking.

One of them said he had hired a bull to service a few cows.

Now I understand why it’s called the Internal Revenue Service.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Inspiration:  email from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

BTW:  Ever notice when you put “The” and “IRS” together it spells “Theirs”?

Synchronicity x 3! April 13, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Mindfulness, Synchronicity & Mystery.
Tags: , , ,
50 comments

Mickey-SurfingThree times in three days, synchronicity has whispered at my door:

(1) On Thursday, in her comment on A Quagmire of Obtuse Construction, Barbara (Silver in the Barn) mentioned The Elements of Style. 

That night, the Final Jeopardy answer was . . . The Elements of Style.

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(2) On Friday, I watched Annie (2014) for the first time.

What an adorable attitude <~ Annie’s . . . not Ms. Hannigan’s.

That night, as I resumed my bedtime reading of A Woman’s Place, the author mentioned Annie:

Still I wondered whether Kikit was in bed and what babies were sleeping with her and if she was singing them to sleep in her child-sweet soprano ~ my little Annie, singing her favorite, “Tomorrow,” pretending that I was listening and beaming with pride. ~ p. 176

The Universe’s orchestration made me grin.

I just happened to stumble into the only mention of Annie in the 405-page book on the very night I watched Annie . . . for the first time ever.

Perfect timing!  Especially since I only managed to read 10 pages that night before turning out the light.

(3) On Saturday, I added Annie (1982) (with Carol Burnett) and Annie (1999) (with Kathy Bates) to my Netflix queue.  Ever helpful, Netflix tossed out a suggestion ~> Black Narcissus (1947).  Glancing at the synopsis, I ignored the suggestion.

Maybe I shouldn’t have.

On Sunday, while scrolling through TV channels at lunch, I saw Black Narcissus being aired on PBS.

Maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something?  Let’s hope it’s NOT whispering, “Get thee to a nunnery!”

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Retirement Options April 11, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Happiness, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , , , ,
65 comments

At the Arch

You can retire to Phoenix, Arizona where . . .

1. You park 3 blocks away from home because you found shade.
2. You experience condensation on your ass from hot water in the toilet bowl.
3. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
4. You know that “dry heat” is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.

You can retire to New York City where . . .

1. You say “the city” and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2. You’ve worn out a car horn. (IF you have a car).
3. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.
4. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.

You can retire to the Nebraska where . . .

1. Your idea of a traffic jam is three cars waiting to pass a tractor.
2. You have had to switch from “heat” to “A/C” on the same day.
3. The 4 seasons are:  planning, planting, growing, and shucking.

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You can retire to California where . . .

1. You make $450,000 and you still can’t afford to buy a house.
2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3. You drive everywhere, even to the neighborhood block party.
4. The 4 seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud, and Drought.
5. When asked how far away something is, you give the distance in minutes, not miles.

You can retire to The Deep South where . . .

1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2. “Y’all” is singular and “all y’all” is plural.
3. “He needed killin” is a valid defense.
4. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jim Bob, Joe Bob, Missy Sue.
5. Things are either: “in yonder,” “over yonder,” or “out yonder.”

You can retire to Minnesota where . . .

1. Halloween costumes have to fit over parkas.
2. The highest level of criticism is: “He is different.”
3. The 4 seasons are: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road repair.
4. You have 17 casserole recipes, but only 3 spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup.

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You can retire to Florida where . . .

1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind – even houses and cars.
3. The 4 seasons are: hurricane, love bug, snowbird, and summer.
4. Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people.
5. Everyone can recommend an excellent cardiologist, dermatologist, proctologist, or podiatrist.

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

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Aah . . . that’s better!

A Quagmire of Obtuse Construction April 9, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , ,
63 comments

Sometimes wading through the written word is like getting sucked into an imbroglio of briars and quicksand.

Instead of building from Point A to Point B, certain writers circle around the point they are trying to express, using as many ostentatious, esoteric, and cumbersome words as possible.

Cautious readers must wear hip boots or waders to protect against muck, mire, and the occasional thorn. 

When I can’t follow a writer’s line of reasoning on a subject with which I am conversant, I assume the problem lies with the writer and not the reader.  :mrgreen:

Lest you accuse me of hubris, I followed the less than pellucid wanderings, wonderings, mutterings, and meanderings of Kant, Hume, Sartre, Descartes, and Socrates as a Philosophy major in college . . . without major mishap.

In law school, I studied and digested 75 page “briefs” of the United States Supreme Court . . . with only rare indigestion or stomach upset resulting from the effort.

Based on these experiences, it is my reasoned opinion that good writers, even those espousing philosophical musings, manage to convey complex ideology in a straightforward manner without resorting to obscure references and labyrinthine reasoning.

They bring readers into the fold, rather than leaving them out in the cold.

When writers obfuscate, that propensity may stem from a lack of mental clarity or acuity on their part.  Perhaps they haven’t yet grasped what it is they are attempting to say.

Even if that appears the most ostensible or plausible explanation, I try to be charitable and give them the benefit of the doubt.

After all, if we didn’t know what we wanted to say, would we say anything?

In some cases, I suspect that lack of clarity in sentence after ghastly sentence stems from a latent desire to confuse and mislead readers, by throwing them off the scent.

I know that seems counter-intuitive but watching readers scratch their heads or stall in their tracks may provide befuddled or bemused writers with an ego boost derived from delusions of adequacy.

Who knows?

* He who writes carelessly makes first and foremost the confession that he himself does not place any great value on his thoughts. For the enthusiasm which inspires the unflagging endurance necessary for discovering the clearest, most forceful and most attractive form of expressing our thoughts is begotten only by the conviction of their weightiness and truth – just as we employ silver or golden caskets only for sacred things or priceless works of art. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

* I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.  ~ Blaise Pascal

Aah . . . that’s better!

What about you?  Have you ever waded into a writer’s work and become lost in a quagmire of obtuse construction?  What did you do?

Did you beat a hasty retreat or wallow a while longer?

A Pelican, A Gator, and An Elephant April 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Spirit & Ego, Synchronicity & Mystery.
Tags: , , , , ,
44 comments

The pelican leaned back and relaxed as he spoke with his friends, flip-flops flapping in time with the Eternal Now.

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“When we reflect on our lives, and what we want, the goal behind most other goals is simply happiness.  We want to be happy. But, we have a tendency to look for happiness in all the wrong places.”

The gator nodded, her agreement impossible to miss given her prominent jaw.

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“We look for happiness outside of ourselves, instead of looking within.  We look for acceptance and approval from others, rather than accepting and approving of ourselves.  We get caught up in daily dramas and lose touch with the present moment.”

The elephant, resplendent in his attire as self-appointed court jester, laughed in agreement.

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“It’s Ego that gets in the way!  It pretends that its defending us from the unwarranted attacks of others while acting the part of the Trojan Horse.”

His stalwart companion neighed support, choosing to ignore the disparaging comparison between Ego and his distant kith and kin.

Seeing all eyes upon him, the pelican reclaimed the floor.  “Ego is a story-teller, spinning webs and stirring up conflict by encouraging us to look to others to define our selves and delineate our relevance.”

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Pelican reached into his pocket and pulled out a sheet of paper, worn at its creases.  He glanced over his bill at his companions before continuing.

“In Power, Freedom, and Grace: Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness, Deepak Chopra explained the distinction between Ego and Spirit in a way that really spoke to me.  Here’s the passage:

Behind the curtain of your intellect and emotions is your self-image or ego. The ego is not your real self; it is the image of yourself that you have slowly built over time. It is the mask behind which you hide, but it is not the real you. And because it is not the real you, but a fraud, it lives in fear. It wants approval. It needs to control.

The ego is the prison you have built around your-self, and now it holds you captive within its walls. 

And how do you break free from captivity? You break free by choosing to identify with your inner self, the real you.

You know you are free when you feel happy and at ease instead of fearful and anxious. You know you are free when you are independent of the good and bad opinions of others, when you have relinquished the need to seek approval, when you believe that you are good enough as you are.

You know you are free when you surrender to the moment, to the what is, and trust that the universe is on your side. You know you are free when you let go of resentments and grievances and choose to forgive.

As the pelican refolded the sheet of paper and stuffed it back into his pocket, a transvestite bullfrog (in full regalia) hopped over to join the conversation.

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“I overheard what you said about Ego.  I agree.  Now that I use an internal yardstick to measure my worth, I am happy.  I no longer get offended if THEY don’t approve of my lipstick.  I don’t feel the need to defend myself if THEY criticize my weight, my attire, or my life choices. What THEY think of me is none of my business.  I don’t need a signed permission slip from THEM to live MY life.”

With that, the bulging bullfrog (and his bulbous gilded lips) morphed into a Golden Egret.

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As the transformed frog lifted off the ground to soar on an unseen breeze, it tossed out a golden nugget for the pelican, gator, and elephant to digest:

The key to lasting happiness is to identify with the unchanging essence of your inner self, your source.  Then you no longer look for happiness because you know you already have it.

This happiness is true bliss, and it follows you wherever you go.*

Aah . . . that’s better!

* What is the key to lasting happiness?, Power, Freedom, and Grace: Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness

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