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That’s No Lurker . . . That’s BFF! March 4, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, People.
20 comments

Goofy-Riding-A-BikeOne morning, as I chatted with a neighbor in the parking lot after water aerobics, BFF pedaled slowly around the lot waiting for me to stop talking and hop on my bike to head home.

After his 3rd or 4th circuit, I waved him over, “Donna, have you met my husband, BFF, before?”

She hadn’t.

But, instead of greeting him, Donna laughed out loud. “OMG!  He’s your husband.  I thought he was a lurker!”

Amid a chorus of giggles, I started singing ~> “Lurk.  Lurk.  Lurk.  They call him a lurker.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Pere Noel March 1, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor.
29 comments

Pere Noel (guava berry rhum from the island of St. Maarten) was one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year . . .

I got a kick out of the turban-topped bottle and we all got a kick out of the variance between what we expected it to taste like (fruity and delicious) and what it did taste like (medicinal and unpalatable).

In that sense, it was an experiential gift!

A gift that I will continue to enjoy since I kept the bottle to put out with my other Santas next year.

That said, once was enough.

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We finished the bottle one Friday in late December when we went to a friend’s house for Happy Hour.  The rum-soaked guava berries in the bottom of the bottle were amazingly terrible . . . like eating concentrated NyQuil.

Since misery loves company, I made sure that everyone tried one!

Along with Pere Noel, we received two Kinder Surprise Eggs (also from St. Maarten).  Inside the hollow chocolate egg are Cracker Jack type prizes ~ we got a Fireman with hydrant and hose and a Chef with a bar-b-q grill.

Like everyone else, the Chef was unimpressed with his taste of Pere Noel’s guava berry rhum.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

The Book of JOY February 27, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
37 comments

I just finished reading The Book of JOY:  Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.

Written by Douglas Abrams, it chronicles a week-long visit between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in April 2015.  The visit centered on discussions about how to find Joy in the midst of obstacles like fear, stress, anger, grief, illness and death.

“Together they explored how we can transform joy from an ephemeral state into an enduring trait, from a fleeting feeling into a lasting way of being.”

In a brief introduction to the topic, these two compassionate leaders emphasize that Joy is an inside job:

“Lasting happiness cannot be found in pursuit of any goal or achievement.  It does not reside in fortune or fame.  It resides only in the human mind and heart, and it is here that we hope you will find it.”

Joy is never in things . . . it is in us.

Likewise, many of the obstacles to joy and happiness are also manifested from within -> obstacles like fear, anxiety, grief, anger, frustration come from “negative tendencies of the mind, emotional reactivity, or from our inability to appreciate and utilize the resources that exist within us.”

We can increase the Joy that surfaces and circulates in our lives by the perspective that we bring to the table.  In fact, perspective is the first of Eight Pillars of Joy which form the foundation of a joyful and happy life:

Perspective ~ How we relate to the issue IS the issue.  By way of example, the Dalai Lama’s exile from Tibet was (in his words) “an opportunity” which provided him with “wider contact and new relationships, less formality and more freedom to discover the world and learn from others.”

Humility ~ Stop taking selfies.  Enough said.  😀

Humor ~ Laughter is a great pain reliever, a de-stressor, and an ice breaker. We do not laugh because we are happy.  We are happy because we laugh.

Acceptance ~ When we accept the “what is,” we stop adding to our suffering by battling with things we cannot change or jousting with imaginings. Acceptance is “the sword that cuts through resistance, allowing us to relax, to see clearly, and to respond appropriately.”

Forgiveness ~ Failure to forgive is akin to watching stale reruns in a furious effort to hang onto feelings of anger, frustration, and resentment.  As a result, we remained trapped by the past and tethered to the person who harmed us. Forgiving the person who harmed us allows us to reclaim the keys to our happiness.

Gratitude ~ “Gratitude helps us catalog, celebrate, and rejoice in each day and each moment before they slip through the vanishing hourglass of experience.” Gratitude magnifies drops of joy.

Compassion ~ When we are kind and compassionate, we experience more joy.  “Even ten minutes of meditation on the well-being of others can help one to feel joyful for the whole day.”

Generosity ~ When we are generous with our time and talents, we experience more joy.  “Giving joy to others is the fastest way to experience joy ourselves.”

No big surprises there, eh?

The book concludes with Joy Practices . . . “Overcoming the Obstacles to Joy” and “Cultivating the Eight Pillars of Joy.”

Tigger-BouncingThat’s right . . . just like the pianist who wants to get to Carnegie Hall, we’ve got to practice!

If we’ve spent a lifetime looking at events through the clouded lens of past experience (relying on habitual attitudes, stale judgments, and outdated opinions) rather than seeing the present moment as it is, that’s not going to change overnight.

If we wish to change our perspective and begin to view the world with alert curiosity and acceptance, then we will need to practice.

Enlightenment is rarely attained by those seeking instant gratification.

That’s OK.  We have a lifetime to get it right.  (More than a lifetime if we plan on reincarnating.)

And in the meantime . . . there’s cake!

During the week these two mischievous men spent together, they celebrated the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday at the Tibetan Children’s Village.

With cake.

Although the cake did not provide lasting happiness, it did offer up some tasty ephemeral satisfaction to the attendees.

And that ain’t peanuts!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

 

 

A Moose Called Jim February 25, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor.
26 comments

One of our favorite shops in Bar Harbor Maine is Cool As A Moose.

There is something so pleasantly comical about a moose.

Or meeses.

I love meeses to pieces.

Especially ones named Jim!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Planet Word February 23, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Travel & Leisure, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
15 comments

For those of you with a love of linguistics . . . Planet Word is on the horizon.

And admission will be FREE!

D.C.’s Franklin School Will Be A Museum of Linguistics

And there is a line of handy dandy Food Trucks outside for inevitable snack attacks in the stacks!

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more about Planet Word: A Message from the Founder

Do You Have A Billion Dollar Nose? February 21, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Life Balance, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

Mickey-Ta-DaaaLike to travel?

Enjoy sampling cocktails?

Want to get paid to travel around the globe and sample cocktails?

Intrigued?

If traveling around the world trying out new cocktails is your idea of the perfect vacation, listen up: Spirit brand Absolut wants to pay someone to do this professionally.

One person will get the title of Sensory Expert—or the “Billion Dollar Nose” as the brand is calling it. You’ll need “a creative nose, a trend-sensitive tongue, and a love of vodka,” according to a statement.

To read more:  Get Paid To Travel the World and Drink Cocktails

Aah . . . that’s better!

A $50 Lesson February 18, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
27 comments

Sally-BrownRecently, while I was working in the flower beds in the front yard, my neighbors stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog. During our friendly conversation, I asked their little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up.

She said she wanted to be President someday.

“If you were President, what would be the first thing you would do?”

She replied, “I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.”

Her parents, staunch Democrats, beamed with pride!

Donald-Duck-Baseball“Wow . . . what a worthy goal!” I said.  “But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that!”

“What do you mean?” she replied.

“If you come here and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim my hedge, I’ll pay you $50. Then you can go to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out and give him the $50 to use to buy food.”

250px-New_Orleans_City_of_Old_Romance_and_New_Opportunity_Crop_p_23_MoneybagsShe thought that over for a few seconds, then looked me straight in the eye and said, “Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over here and do the work, and you can pay him the $50?”

I nodded.  “Welcome to the Republican Party.”

Her parents aren’t speaking to me anymore.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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

How To Have A Good Conversation February 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.
32 comments

Listen to others and let them know they have been heard . . .

Taking the best within us and sharing it with others benefits everyone. Nothing is too frivolous if it stems from loving kindness and compassion.

Making others feel good is NEVER a waste of time.

The first duty of love is to listen. ~ Paul Tillich

Aah . . . that’s better!

She Might Just Be . . . February 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.
36 comments

At Couples Bridge the other night, my partner and I (who just started playing together) asked our various opponents how long they had played together.

The answers varied, of course, but my favorite by far is this gem:

“Bob & I have been playing bridge together for 50 years.”

“Really?”

“Yes, we started playing together in college . . . on our second date.  Our first date was a blind date.  Neither of us wanted to go.  We would rather have hung around the dorm or frat playing bridge . . . but off we went.”

At that point, her long-standing partner finished the story:

“When I returned to the frat after our blind date, one of my frat brothers asked, ‘Well, is she the one?’  I thought for a moment and said, “She might just be . . . she drinks Scotch, plays Bridge, and doesn’t fast dance.”

Aah . . . that’s perfect!

Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU!

The Antidote To Fear February 11, 2017

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

“The whole aim of practical politics,” H.L. Mencken wrote almost a century ago,” is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Never has that adage been truer than now.

No President Has Spread Fear Like Donald Trump

* In politics, absurdity is not a handicap. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

* It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. ~ H.L. Mencken

There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damn lies, and statistics. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

* Everything you read in the paper is absolutely true . . . except for the rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge. ~ Erwin Knoll

Donald-Duck-LazyWhat happens when we get caught up in F.E.A.R.?

F.E.A.R. (“False Evidence Appearing Real”) can be a real downer when our mood is precarious.  We don’t always have the necessary strength of will to shout out loud, “THAT’S NOT TRUE!”

Want to drown out F.E.A.R.?

Donald-Duck-DivingClick your heels together and repeat after Mencken:   Hogwash & Hobgoblins!

Better yet, wave your Potter-riffic wand at Trump’s Twitter Feed while incanting:  Expel-liar-mus!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related: Mantra for Today ~ Trust