Happy Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend!

Mar 17th

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Are you wearing green?  I don’t actually have any green clothes, so I’m not.  We DID have corned beef hash (made with daikon radish instead of potato) for breakfast and I have a slab of corned beef in the slow cooker, so does that qualify for celebrating this day? It will have to since our food is the only thing reflecting the holiday.  I have too much else to accomplish this weekend to put more attention on it that that.  We have to eat, right?


Verse of the Day

March 17, 2018

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

Psalm 23:1-3

 

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

He restores my soul. My, that sounds so good. But it is more than talk. When we’ve reached that point that we can’t go on, God blesses us with strength to just keep on walking. When we’re in a struggle and things are tough, his power upholds us and we run to victory. When we’re winning victories in his name, we can soar on wings like eagles. He is a shepherd and more. He is the Rock and Sustainer of our lives!

March 18, 2018

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Hope and joy and peace sound terrific. Two things are vital for these two blessings to be a part of our lives. First, we must trust God to meet our needs and get us to where we need to be. Second, we expect the power of the Holy Spirit to bless us and empower us with God’s qualities.

www.verseoftheday.com

 

Food for Thought

I’ve mentioned before that we have neighbors. We aren’t happy about it, but it is what it is for now.  We try to be good neighbors.  We keep to ourselves, we stay pretty quiet, we just want to be left alone to live our lives without prying eyes and nosy-busybody people bugging us. Another thing that makes us a bit crazy is that the moment the sun comes out – and many times when it doesn’t – the neighbors on BOTH sides of us feel like it’s a good idea to crank their radios up at such a volume that we can hear the words through the closed windows. Seriously, WHY?  WHY is it OK to take away the quiet and serenity of the neighbors so you can show everyone how “cool” you are because you listen to loud music? Didn’t you outgrow that in high school? If you didn’t, you should have! YOU ARE MIDDLE AGED AT BEST! Grow up already!  We prefer being able to hear the birds, but their little voices are drowned out by your sound pollution.  I look forward to the day when we can live somewhere without any neighbors within our line of sight OR hearing. That would be bliss, at least in my opinion.

  

March 17–

National Quilting Day – I’ve always thought it would be nice to learn to how to make a quilt.  My Grandma Jewel made the most beautiful quilts I’ve ever seen.  She would cut out each little piece – and in the later years she didn’t use squares, she used these tiny little octagon shapes, then hand stitched them altogether, all the love she had difficulty expressing in words going into the stitches she so carefully placed.  Not one machine stitch went into her quilts, no matter the size.  My very favorite quilt she ever made though was an old-fashioned patchwork quilt made from squares of different old clothes and fabric bits that she’d saved.  Each square held a memory – my Grandpa’s work shirt, an apron that Grandma wore to make breakfast, that pretty pillowcase that I’d slept on every time I went to her house, etc.  It had a red and grey flannel backing on it, and a thick middle layer.  It was cuddly, thick and warm.  That quilt was with me as I grew up, it went with me to every sleepover, every car trip, every overnight field trip and all of my many youth group trips over the years.  It wasn’t unusual to find 5 or 6 of my friends all cuddled up under this quilt on a mountain snow retreat singing church songs and doing our Bible studies, or a couple of us snuggled up under it on the bus on the way to the mountains when the bus broke down . . AGAIN . . . and we were stuck by the side of the road without heat until help could come.  The day that quilt disintegrated was very sad . . . that is literally what it did . . . all the years of washing and use just wore the fabric away til it was like the fibers were held together by air.  The hobby of quilting isn’t just something to keep the hands busy. To me, the end results create a lifetime of memories for the person who gets to keep that quilt, and hopefully love it throughout its useful life.  Today’s celebration honors the people who have the skills, the imagination and the love to create such beauty, and the blessings that result from each of their creations.  If you aren’t a quilt maker, wrap yourself up in a quilt and enjoy the warmth and the skills that went into creating it.  To my Grandma Jewel, thank you for the memories and all of the love.

 

 

Saint Patrick’s Day – Saint Patrick, the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, lived during the 4th century.  He was born in Britain, kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave when he was 16 years old.  He escaped six years later and fled back to his family, later becoming a bishop of his church and returned to Ireland as a missionary.  He was given the credit for bringing Christianity to the Irish people.  In the centuries after Patrick’s death (which is believed to be on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ingrained in the Irish culture.  The most well known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of the native Irish clover – or the shamrock.  Now, this isn’t to be confused with the four-leaf clover – which is also widely recognized as part of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations – the 4 leave clover represents good luck.  Another legend is that he drove the snakes out of Ireland, but when you’re a patron saint I guess the wild and incredible stories will flourish.

From the time of the 9th or 10th centuries, people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of Saint Patrick on March 17th.  What is interesting is that the first parade held on Saint Patrick’s Day didn’t take place in Ireland, but in the United States!   Irish soldiers, serving in the English military, marched through New York City on March 17, 1762.  The parade, and the Irish music, helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots and with their fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.  Over the 35 years following that first parade Irish patriotism amongst the American immigrants grew and flourished, which prompted the rise of what was called the “Irish Aid” societies such as the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society.  Each of these groups would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes and drums, which had actually become popular in the Scottish and British armies.

In 1848, several New York Irish Aid societies decided to combine their parades to form one official New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.  That parade is now the world’s oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States!  Each year nearly 3 million people stand along the 1.5 mile parade route to watch the parade, which takes more than 5 hours.  What amazes me about this is that we see the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every year but I can’t honestly say I’ve ever heard of this parade, the largest and oldest in our country, to be televised! And it should be!  If anyone has ever actually see this on TV and I’ve just missed out, could you let me know?

Until about the mid-19th century, most Irish Immigrants in America were members of the Protestant middle class.  When the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland in 1845, nearly 1 million Irish Catholics began coming to America to escape starvation.  They were despised for their alien religious beliefs and the accents that were unfamiliar to the American Protestant majority.  Because of this, and other factors such as education, they had trouble finding even the most menial of jobs.  When the Irish Americans in the cities took to the streets to celebrate their heritage on Saint Patrick’s Day, they were portrayed in the newspapers in cartoons as drunk, violent monkeys.  Sounds to me like people haven’t progressed as much as they’d like to think.

The American Irish began to realize that their large and growing population gave them a political power that they hadn’t exploited.  They began to organize, and their voting block, known as the “green machine”, became an important swing vote for political hopefuls.  The annual Saint Patrick’s Day parades became a show of strength for the Irish Americans and a must-attend event for all sorts of political candidates.  President Harry S. Truman attended the 1948 New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish Americans whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in the New World.

There are some interesting traditions that have developed throughout different cities to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.  One of them is the annual dyeing the Chicago River green.  This started in 1962 when the city pollution control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye would be a unique way to celebrate the holiday.  That first year they released 100 lbs of green vegetable dye into the river – enough to keep it green for a whole week!  Today, so they can minimize environmental damage, only 40 lbs of dye are used, and the river is green for only a few hours.   It’s funny though, the Chicago historians claim that their city’s idea for dyeing the river green was original, there are some natives of Savannah, GA – whose St Patrick’s Day parade is the oldest in the nation and dates back to 1813 – believe that they actually originated the idea.  They pointed out that in 1961 a hotel restaurant manager by the name of Tom Woolley convinced the city officials to dye Savannah’s river green.  The experiment didn’t work as they planned though, and the water only took on a slightly greenish hue.  They never tried to dye the river again, but Woolley never wavered that he personally suggested the idea to Chicago’s Mayor Richard J. Daley.  Others refute that claim, and truly, how will they ever really know? Up until the 1970’s, Saint Patrick’s Day was traditionally a religious occasion and the pubs were all closed on March 17th.  However, beginning in 1995 the Irish government started a national campaign to use the interest in St Patrick’s Day to bring in tourists and to showcase Ireland and Irish culture to the rest of the world.  Today about 1 million people take part annually in Ireland’s St Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin, which is a multi-day celebration with parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions and fireworks shows.

In all of this information though, I hadn’t found anything to connect Leprechauns to Saint Patrick’s Day, and all of my life I’d seen them linked together, so this took a little further research and here is what I found!  (Learn something new every day, don’t we?)  Irish mythology has long had stories of the leprechaun.  What IS a leprechaun?  It is a male faerie that lives on the island of Ireland.  Leprechauns are usually in the form of an old man and they love to create mischief.  The legend goes that Leprechauns are very rich with treasure and they are craftsman that can create things like bowls, shields, buckets and clothes.  If a leprechaun is caught he must be truthful in telling you where he’s hidden his fortune.  Even though he must be truthful, he is crafty and will use his wits to avoid giving away the location of his fortune, all while he still tells the truth.  The legend of the Leprechaun has been used for many generations as a role-model type of story.  If you follow the example of the Leprechaun you are someone that works hard and is a professional, thrifty with your fortune and you tell the truth, but know how to use a loophole to avoid losing your fortune.  This STILL didn’t tell me how it was all connected with Saint Patrick’s Day!    Well, this is what I found!  There really isn’t any connection at all.  Countries other than Ireland have lumped all of the symbols they associate with Ireland together in one stereotypical holiday.  Just like the stereotype that Irish people are big drinkers is the reason that everyone sees Saint Patrick’s Day as a day to tie one on and not feel guilty.   One thing I DID find that was fascinating was that traditionally the Catholic church lifted the obligations of Lent for ONE day to celebrate and honor Saint Patrick’s Day, which could tie in again to the drinking with abandon in honor of this Patron Saint.  (With only a week or two to go until Easter it seems like an excuse to me – but that’s my own personal opinion)

What it all boils down to is that today is a day of celebrating Irish history, ancestry, traditions and customs.  Are you Irish?  “They” say that everyone is a little Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day.  Did you know that over 34 million Americans are of Irish descent?  That’s almost 9 times the population of Ireland.  For today perhaps Erin Go Braugh (Ireland Forever) should be our shout out to show enthusiasm and honor for this day.

 

 

Submarine Day – (the sandwich or the boat?) – So . . . are we celebrating the submersible boat . . . or a big hero sandwich today?  Well, pretty much everywhere I could find documentation on this one, it is pointing to being about the boat.  I did find conflicting information on when this one is celebrated.  A few sites said today, and a few said on April 17th – which was when the U.S. Submarine Force was established in 1900.  Honestly, that one sounds more likely.  The picture here is one we can see near where I live fairly often.  There is something so awe inspiring watching the subs go through with their U.S. Coast Guard escort.  I get a little tearful when I see it, to be quite honest.  You can celebrate this one in a fun way by going to a naval museum if you have one nearby or at least read a book or watch a movie about them.  If those just aren’t options, I suppose you go for the less impressive but far tastier Submarine Sandwich today . . . do they make Corned Beef and Cabbage Submarine Sandwiches?

 

March 18 –

Awkward Moments Day – We’ve all experienced awkward moments.  Some people may be having a few today if they had a few too many green beers or cocktails yesterday at their Saint Patrick’s Day celebration.  If you are feeling a bit on the awkward side today, this is the day for you!  Today we celebrate those embarrassing moments that most of us would prefer to forget.  Whoever it was that created this day probably had a doozy of an awkward moment themselves, or knew someone else who did and started this out in their honor.  Here are a few examples of awkward moments I found listed on a couple of different websites . . . do you have any stories to tell that could top them?

  • You lean in for the big moment – the highly anticipated first kiss. But much to your dismay, the   special person on the receiving end doesn’t reciprocate!
  • You’ve been planning it for months – the big proposal. All your friends, family members, neighbors and even a few strangers all know about it. It goes off without a hitch and after you pop the question, she says no.
  • You make a quick run to the store to pick up that one ingredient when you see someone you know that ALWAYS looks awesome.  They come over to say hi and you realize you are wearing your worst clothes, you didn’t brush your hair, and didn’t bother putting on any make-up.
  • You sure do look familiar! You bump into someone on the street but for the life of you, you just can’t remember his or her name.  What’s worse, they remember yours!
  • You’re stopped at the stop light and you just can’t resist. You go on a digging expedition in the old nose until you notice the horrified expressions from the folks in the carpool in the next lane!  (GROSS! I can honestly say I have seen people do this and it completely disgusts me to see.)
  • Despite the fact you studied all week, your mind goes completely blank when you take the big exam.
  • You’re giving a speech and forget the words. (worse! I lost my voice once in front of a crowd of nearly 300 people!)
  • You are on a crowded elevator and you feel it coming. But no matter how hard you try, it happens. You pass gas – and it’s not a “silent” one either! Blaming it on the stranger standing next to you is probably your best bet!  (Why can’t we have our dogs with us ALL the time?)
  • You swore you parked your car in row 22. But after 30 minutes of searching and asking a slew of strangers for assistance, it turns out you parked your car in row two.
  • Walking in on someone while they are “indisposed” is just plain awkward!
  • Realizing your zipper is down and nobody said one single word!

Those are a few that I found online.  I’m sure we all have some personal stories we can share. If you’d like to tell me about one, just make a comment! I’d love to hear!

 

 

Forgive Mom and Dad Day – Parents are not perfect.  I think we can all attest to that.  If we have parents we can probably list a bunch of things that they did growing up that made us mad, hurt our feelings, changed our lives for the not-so-great, etc.  Some kids have a normal life and their parents do most everything pretty OK, with a few clunker moments thrown in for good measure, but some parents are abusive, neglectful, manipulative, etc.  Sometimes the hurts run so deep that we can’t seem to get past the resentment and the littlest thing they do can set us off, or make us cry.  The baggage we pack throughout our childhood can be a heavy load to carry, and today is the day we can unpack some of that baggage.  You see, holding a grudge, nurturing the hurts, this is heavy stuff and it weighs down our hearts and spirits.  By forgiving our parents today, or at least conceding that they are human and kids don’t come with an operator’s manual, you can lighten your load and lift your spirit.  Sometimes just letting go of the harsh words that may have been said can open our hearts in a new way.  If you are a parent yourself you may find that, even though you never wanted to, you may be committing some of the same mistakes with your kids that your parents made with you!  I’m sure you’ll want your children to forgive you, so it’s only right to try to forgive yours too.   Why would someone think that such a holiday would be a good thing to have?  Young children are very humble.  When they are corrected or disciplined, they don’t hold a grudge.  When they cry they want to be held by their parents, but as they grow up they lose that humility and begin to feel resentful. Children live what they learn – and by watching their parents they learn how to be adults and parents themselves.  If we teach them to hold grudges by OUR actions, then we are teaching them that this is OK to do, and they’ll repeat that behavior and even pass it on to their own children someday.  A good example of something we may have had done to us and may be doing to our kids, is to re-hash things that they have done in the past, while correcting them for something they have just done.  The two infractions may not have even the slightest connection, but by bringing up something old to yell at them about right along with the new infraction – you are teaching them that we have a lack of forgiveness, and how to hold on to a grudge.  When parents argue with each other, and aren’t respectful or kind to each other, we are teaching that to our children. If we break promises to our kids, then they are learning that they cannot trust us.  Kids may want to forgive, but because of how they were raised, they just don’t know how to forgive.   One way to set things straight is to ask your children for forgiveness, especially for the things that have hurt them the most.  The process begins with you, and trickles down to the kids.  Speak respectfully to each other, and to the children.  They will learn to speak respectfully as a result.  Taking responsibility for our actions, rather than placing blame on other people, teaches our children that same sense of responsibility. Forgive the people in your life every single day.  Jesus forgave us our sins, we need to forgive others theirs.  It will bring peace, calm, humility and serenity to your lives.  I lived with hurt and the inability to forgive for many years.  Hurts I had as a kid, and hurts I’ve had as an adult.  Some of the adult hurts I struggle to completely release, but much forgiveness has already been made possible by a patient God who gives me the patience of a loving Father to find my way, and I know He’ll help me reach the other end of forgiving the big stuff.

 

Goddess of Fertility Day – though I do not believe in, nor actually celebrate, days like this one, it is an interesting bit of history that I am not very familiar with, so perhaps you’ll think it is interesting too.  This day celebrates Aphrodite and other gods and goddesses of fertility. In ancient times, many cultures had multiple gods and goddesses. Each one represented various aspects of life. The ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite was by far the most well known goddess of fertility. People would pray and make offerings to Aphrodite when seeking to create a family.  For people who actually follow these beliefs, those looking to have a family may find today to be the perfect day to try, but if they are trying to AVOID having a family, or increase the size of their family, they may wish to practice abstinence today.

 

National Biodiesel Day – Happy birthday Rudolph Diesel!  This is the guy who invented the diesel engine and unveiled it at the World Fair in 1900!  This engine was originally designed to run on peanut oil, and Diesel was a big believer in the role that oils from plants would have in the future of fueling America.  In a speech he made in 1912 he said “. . . the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time.”  I remember when some friends of mine converted one of their farm vehicles to use recycled cooking oil.  I was out visiting them one hot summer day when the all pervading, stomach growl inducing, aroma of French fries wafted out over the fields.  Oh my goodness! He was using fry oil!  It smelled AWESOME!  I’m betting donut oil would smell even better.  Biodiesel is a cleaner burning, petroleum free alternative to diesel that can be made from animal fat, vegetable oil and recycled cooking oil.  Seems like a great thing to do with all of that cooking oil from all of those fast food restaurants across this land.

 

Supreme Sacrifice Day – Today we recognize and thank those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of others.  If you look back over time, we find countless examples of people who have offered the supreme sacrifice for the good of others.  Here are a few examples:

  • Jesus Christ gave the supreme sacrifice when he died on the cross for us.
  • Soldiers in battle gave their lives to protect our freedom, our way of life, and to keep us safe.
  • Fireman and police officers have given their lives in the line of duty, while saving and/or protecting people.

I’m sure we all know someone who has died in the line of duty so that someone else could live.  To those people, we give our gratitude, our respect and we are humbled by your service.

This Day in History

March 17, 1845 – The rubber band was invented. Can you imagine life without them!?!

March 18, 1965 – Soviet Union cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov becomes the first person to take a space walk.

 

Food Celebration of the Day

March 17 –

Corn Dog Day – MMMMMMMMMMMMM Corn Dogs!  Wonderful little creations.  A corn dog is a hot dog sausage coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter and deep fried in oil, or even baked.   Almost all corn dogs are served on a wooden stick, though some early versions had no stick.  There has been some debate about the exact beginnings of the corn dog.  They appeared in some ways in the US by the 1920, and were popular nationally in the 1940s.  There are a number of  corn dog vendors who claim credit for the invention and/or popularization of the corn dog. Carl and Neil Fletcher lay such a claim, having introduced their “Corny Dogs” at the Texas State Fair sometime between 1938 and 1942.  The Pronto Pup vendors at the Minnesota State Fair claim to have invented the corn dog in 1941.   In Springfield, Illinois, Cozy Dog Drive-In claims to have been the first to serve corn dogs on sticks, on June 16, 1946.   Also in 1946, Dave Barham opened the first location of Hot Dog on a Stick at Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, California.  My very favorite – though I can’t claim to have eaten all that many different brands of corn dogs, are the Crusty Pups at the Puyallup Fair!  There’s never been another corn dog that tastes quite as delicious.  If you’re going for the frozen store bought variety, give Trader Joe’s chicken corn dogs a try – only 4 grams of fat and nice and crunchy. Delicious!  I recently found and saved a recipe by Low Carb Maven for a low-carb “corn” dog. I can’t wait to try it – today is not the day since we are having Corned Beef and Cabbage tonight, but soon!

 

Corned Beef and Cabbage – (seriously, could it be anything else?)  Irish corned beef was used and traded extensively from the 17th century to the mid 19th century for English civilian consumption and as provisions for the British naval fleets and North American armies due to its non-perishable nature.  Well, this makes sense, and though we have other methods of preserving meat today, the flavorful and tender corned beef has become a staple of Saint Patrick’s Day Feasts.  So what is a traditional Saint Patrick’s Day meal?

Corn Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes and Irish Soda Bread   Mmmmmm I can almost taste it as I think about it.  My corned beef is in the crock pot cooking, and in awhile I’ll start a low carb Colcannon that uses mashed cauliflower and cabbage instead of potatoes, and a low-carb Irish Soda Bread. 

 

National Irish Coffee Day – Irish Coffee is a strong, hot coffee with a nip of Irish whiskey and cream, combined in a way that it warms you up from the inside out. We owe the cold, damp Atlantic weather and the creativity of a chef from Limerick to thank for inventing this drink. If it hadn’t been for the chilly, wet weather, who knows if Joseph Sheridan would have thought up this sweet boozy drink and served it, or so the story goes, to warm chilled transatlantic travelers who ended up stuck when the weather got miserable. It is said that the passengers arrived in the small airport in SW Ireland where Sheridan had a restaurant. He wanted to lift their spirits and warm them up so he served the hot coffee beverage with a topper of whipped cream. One of them asked if it was Brazilian coffee and he said no, it was Irish Coffee, and so it was born in 1942. Such celebrities as Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe and her husband at the time, Arthur Miller, have been photographed in that spot sipping an Irish Coffee. Even though Irish Coffee started out in Ireland, it came the United States, and was introduced to San Francisco’s Buena Vista Café in 1952. In the years since then Buena Vista has served more than 32 million Irish Coffees, and still whips up about 2,000 of them each day. Try the classic or one of these other hot coffee treats today. May be especially welcome back east and in the mid-west where everyone is so cold and there has been so much snow!

 

March 18 –

Oatmeal Cookies – I love oatmeal cookies – I can’t think of a time when I didn’t love them.  They remind me of my Grandma and the cinnamony sugar goodness that always was present in her kitchen.

 

Sloppy Joes – It’s been many years since I’ve had a Sloppy Joe – but I do know that I enjoyed them back when I was a kid! Here are a few interesting trivia points about Sloppy Joe’s that I thought I’d pass along . . . Most people believe the Sloppy Joe was first served in Havannah Cuba at the bar and café “Sloppy Joe’s” in the early 1900’s. (I don’t know who most people are since honestly the question never crossed my mind.)  The Sloppy Joe goes by many names – some of them are Manwich, Slush Burger, Yum Yums, Barbeque, Dynamite and even Sloppy Jane (Yum Yums? Sloppy Jane? Seriously?)  Sloppy Joe’s were mentioned in several movies of the 1930’s era – Citizen Kane and even It’s A Wonderful Life.  They weren’t widely popular until the 1960’s though.   In 1969 Hunt’s revolutionized the Sloppy Joe when it came out with Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce in a can. Many people say (again, who ARE these people who are focused on Sloppy Joe’s?) a cook named Joe in Sioux City, Iowa in the 1920s created a sandwich of “loose meat” served in a bread – a Sloppy Joe.

 

Much of my day has passed me by, so I’d better get into the other room and start getting that office together so a queen size air mattress will fit in there! My son told me his family is coming for Easter and I need to be ready for them! Have a wonderful weekend! God bless you and I’ll see you on Monday.

Celebration lists for this page are from: www.brownielocks.com   www.holidayinsights.com  www.foodimentary.com  www.thenibble.com   www.verseoftheday.com

 

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