Happy Belated Weekend! We just got back from a camping trip and I didn’t take the time to get out my computer so that I could post anything. OK, that’s not quite accurate. I did take my computer with me with all the best intentions, but I forgot the cord. I’d pretty much drained the battery at the house on Friday, so I wasn’t able to plug it in and re-charge it. It was nice not to worry about it though. We are back and though I need to do a bunch of camping laundry, we got everything unloaded and put away. There may be a nap coming up for my afternoon – I’ll see about that in a bit. That’s one thing great about a camping weekend – there’s not much to do but rest. We did go for a nice walk -about 2 miles or so – saw a beautiful river, felt the cool breeze on our faces (part of the time – when we weren’t blazing hot in the direct sun), picked a few wild flowers and even dozed off on our zero gravity recliners and came home ready to do more of the same. Monday will be here soon enough, so for today we relax and finish recharging.
I am including Monday’s celebrations with the ones from the weekends, since it is so close to the end of the weekend anyway.
Verse of the Day
August 4, 2018
This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it — the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
In a universe of billions of stars, think of the power of God who made them and knows each of their names. Think of all he knows that we don’t. Think of all he has seen that is not in our history books. Think of all he has done and can do. Add to this that he invites us to speak to him about the things of our heart and you understand the great expanse of his grace and the very limited knowledge of our minds.
August 5, 2018
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Sometimes the right path is not so difficult to find; we just need to know where to begin our search — the reading of God’s words. The right way is very seldom just the property of the bright, wise, and scholarly; it can be very clear for any of us if we will choose to look for it!
August 6, 2018
All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
The requirements of morality and holiness are not temporary or fleeting because they reflect the nature of our Holy God who is eternal. They don’t shift with the wishes of culture but are true across cultures and times and wishes. We do not adapt God’s will to our times, but we redeem our times by adapting our wills to his truth.
Food for Thought
Any parent can probably tell you that their greatest fear is losing their child/children. Now some would be referring to death when they say this, but sometimes it could be literally losing them. I know that children can be very quick and run out of sight in the blink of an eye, but I also know, after being a parent for more than 34 years, that one trick to not losing them is keeping track of where they are, never letting them out of your sight for even a moment. When they are little this should be easy, since they never go anywhere without you unless they are with another adult that is trusted. When away from home this is exceptionally important since there are dangers away from home that can be outside of your ability to control. It could be strangers, wild animals, dangerous terrain, traffic, or any number of issues that children are not able to discern as being unsafe. My grandchildren are young, so I went from being worried about my children to being worried about my grandchildren, and yes, I do trust my kids to watch over their own little ones, but it doesn’t stop me from being very aware when I see, or hear, a child not being adequately supervised, and it puts our Grandparent alert on high. We experienced this last night and I’m still angry at the inattentiveness of the parents in question. Right before dark last, probably about 9:30 in the evening, we heard a mother in the park where we were staying, calling for her daughter. We heard the little girl calling back to her mother, as they tried to find each other. The voice of the child sounded to be about the age of Miss B, so around 4 or 5 years old. The mother kept yelling to her little girl to stop moving, and stay where she was, since they were obviously missing each other. Before we knew it, we heard the little girl in the woods beyond the fence line, obviously over on private property, calling to her mom that she didn’t know where she was, she sounded terrified. The mother was calling back to her, telling her to stay where she was but to keep talking so she could hear where she was, and she sounded equally terrified. Moose was on high alert, his ears forward as he tracked where the sounds were coming from. We could hear that the mother was closing in on the little one, but if they had missed each other again, we were ready to take the dog into the woods to find her, but not wanting to jump the gun in case we scared the child even more than she was already. The mom did find her, the crying stopped and there was a happy ending to the evening, but we were nearly shaking with anger and frustration, imagining if it were Miss B, and how horrifying it would be for her to be lost in the woods. That wouldn’t happen though – because everyone in B’s life is always aware of where she is, what she is doing, who is around her, and she is never out of our sight for a moment. I am fully aware how fast children are, I had to put one of those child safety harnesses on my son when he was little because he was quite the escape artist. I have a dear friend whose daughter slipped away in a mall, in literally the time it took to blink, shutting down the mall until she was found. This is not an inattentive mother – her daughter was truly just very fast. My frustration is not towards parents who are paying attention but have kids who await their opportunity and break away – my frustration is for parents who let their children run free over a 40+ acre RV park that backs up to wild, private land along some cliffs and a white water river, filled with strangers, and a busy road nearby, and don’t bother to try to find them until it is nearly dark. Anything could have happened to this little girl and it would have been too late to find her if someone had grabbed her and taken her away, or she had taken a cliff side path down to the raging water. Parents be constantly aware. Never take your eyes off your children. Life puts enough dangers in their way without contributing to them by allowing your little ones to run off to play without supervision. If you need a break from your kids that badly, have someone else keep an eye on the for a bit.
August 4 –
Coast Guard Day – The US Coast Guard honors the military branch that protects our waters and shorelines, and today we celebrate all Coast Guard personnel and their families. When my son joined the USCG when he was 17, leaving for basic training 3 days after his 18th birthday, I was under the mistaken impression that he would be performing his duties on our own shores. Apparently, I was wrong. That day was one of the most difficult days I’ve ever experienced. Watching my boy walk away, knowing that in my heart that he was leaving a boy and would never be the same. The man I saw at basic training graduation had grown up, thinned out and matured. My heart swelled with pride, but it ached for the child I’d lost. Many people don’t realize this, but the Coast Guard is part of Homeland Security, and wherever we have Navy ships, we also have Coast Guard. In the first 4 years my son was performing his service he was sent to Cuba, Haiti and Kuwait. So much for having him close to home, right? So, when was the US Coast Guard formed? On August 4, 1790, the Revenue Cutter Service was created by the U.S. Congress. Congress authorized the construction of ten cutters, which were built to enforce U.S. tariff laws. The Revenue Cutter Service was the predecessor to the U.S. Coast Guard. The name “Coast Guard” was first used in 1915. It always bothers me when people make fun of the US Coast Guard, or in any way indicate that they aren’t as important as other branches of the military. They ARE a very valuable part of our armed forces and I ask that everyone give them the respect they are due. Thank them when you see them, for they put their lives on the line just as surely as any other military member does. Thank them, not just today, but every day, for the service they perform for our country.
National Clown Day – This is International Clown Week, and this is Clown Day . . . which lands on the last day of Clown Week. It was started to give recognition to the funny clowns that make us laugh and smile. Apparently, there are over 10,000 clowns in organized clown groups in the United States, and over 20,000 clowns worldwide, with the goal in mind to make people happy. Ummmmm . . . ok, that may be the intent, but if you ask people you will find that MANY people find clowns to be rather creepy. I know I do! They are the subject of many horror stories and seriously, we can understand why, can’t we? Creepy people hiding behind costumes and make-up. Yikes!
National Disc Golf Day – Our neighbors got what I thought was a sculpture and set it in the middle of their yard. I felt rather silly when I found out that it was actually a target for disc golf. It really is sort of cool looking when you see it as a sculpture though, so really, I guess it wasn’t that bad of a mistake to make. The game of Disc Golf takes less equipment than traditional golf, but they do share the common goal of reaching each target with the fewest number of strokes or throws. Instead of clubs and a ball, the only thing you need in Disc Golf is a disc, or a Frisbee. You start from a tee pad (which is usually a rectangular area made of anything from rubber, to cement or even brick), and the player progresses down the fairway after each throw. From where the disc lands, the player throws again and keeps doing that until the disc lands on the target. Like in traditional golf, the total throws a player takes is equal to the score for the hole. This game has been played since the late 1960s and became a formal sport in the 1970s. In the beginning targets were things like trees or posts put into the ground, but as it got popular those were replaced with metal baskets with chains, with the chains helping to catch the discs. I’ve never played, but I can see why people would enjoy it. Maybe find some friends and give it a try this weekend!
Sandcastle Day – Do you remember making sandcastles at the beach when you were a kid? Usually beach visits were done in warm weather, so the warm sun was kissing our skin, the cool water was washing over the sand and your feet. Building a beautiful castle that we knew was going to disappear soon, washing away on the tide, was magical because the sand left a clean slate for more castles. Likely, people have been making sandcastles for thousands of years. In recent years though, they have become an art form. From 1989 until 2009 there was a World Championship in Sand Sculpture competition held in Harrison Hot Springs in Harrison, British Columbia, Canada – also known as Harrisand. Other countries had their own competitions, but this one was one of the most well-known. The world’s tallest sand castle was built on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina during the 2007 Sun Fun Festival – it was nearly 50 feet high and took 10 days to create using 300 truckloads of sand. Most of us won’t ever create a structure this big, but we can still celebrate this day by heading to a local beach with a bucket and shovel and have some fun in the sun!
August 5 –
National Doll Day – I grew up playing with dolls, as did my mother, grandmother, daughter and any other girl I’ve known throughout my life. In spite of societal pressure to not have “girl’s” toys or “boy’s” toys, the truth is that we all gravitate to one or the other, depending on our natural instincts. Dolls are the early training device for humans who will come day become parents – and this means fathers as well as mothers. Mostly though, it is the girls who most often play with them. Today is the celebration of American dolls, including those that were brought to our country by people who emigrated from other lands. Think about the dolls of our history, Barbie, Raggedy Ann and Andy, The American Girl Dolls, Cabbage Patch Dolls and many, many others – children have loved them, adults have collected them, and some have become quite valuable. The ones who prize these babies most are the children who adopt them as their own. My daughter had a baby doll she named Anna. Anna went everywhere with K, she talked to her, sung to her, dressed her, slept with her. That doll went everywhere with us. Nothing could ever show me how much dolls mean to children than her reaction when Anna “died”. We had to put our belongings into storage at one point and Anna was accidentally included in the items in the boxes. While we were in between homes, the storage facility had a fire and everything we owned burned. A few weeks after the fire, while we were still trying to figure out all that we lost, K realized that Anna was amongst the lost items. I have never heard anything so heartbreaking as when she suddenly began to wail and sob, “Anna! My Anna! Anna! My baby!!!!” Oh, my heavens, we all cried with her, because in her heart and mind, Anna was her baby and she was dead. We found her an identical doll, which she named Andy, but it wasn’t the same. She never bonded with that one the way she did Anna. That little bit of her childhood was lost to a traumatic, heart-breaking event. Did you have a baby you loved above all others growing up? I’m sure I did, but I don’t remember which one specifically at this moment. (This one looks very much like my daughter’s beloved Anna did.)
National Underwear Day – Did your mom ever tell you to always wear clean underwear just in case you were in an accident? I never understood that. I would think that if you were in an accident and it was bad enough, clean underwear would be the least of your worries, and if it wasn’t a bad accident, then nobody had any reason to know if you were wearing clean underwear or not! Geesh! But that’s not what this day is about. No, on August 5, 2003 Freshpair founded National Underwear Day. The idea was to invite everyone to participate in setting a new Guinness World Record by wearing their underwear to Times Square on this day. This year they are reaching out to cancer survivors to regain their lives and men and women suffering with poor body image. I did find a website about the actual event, and they do have some pretty strict rules about the types of underwear that can be worn – including none that are too revealing. Well, this isn’t one I’d ever actively celebrate, but it is an interesting concept.
Sister’s Day – If you have a sister today, celebrate her! Sisters are truly special and unique – I know my brother is awfully lucky to have me! (hehehe) Sure you may argue and fight with your sister, but when it comes right down to it your sister has your best interest at heart and would likely do anything for you. Celebrate today by spending time with your sister, making is special for both of you. If you are far away from your sister, give her a call. I’m sure she will appreciate it. By the way, Hallmark has August 7th listed as Sister’s Day. They are only correct once every 7 years. It is the 1st Sunday in August – so now you know!
Work Like a Dog Day – Well, this one was listed two different ways on two different days. We celebrated it the other day as National Assistance Dogs Day. They definitely deserve two days, but I don’t have anything to add except that these dogs are amazing in every way, and the people who are fortunate enough to work with them are very blessed.
August 6 –
Assistance Dog Day (Monday of Assistance Dog Week) – The very first ever National Assistance Dog Day was celebrated on August 9, 2007. The 2nd Thursday in August was registered to honor these amazing dogs by Marcie Davis, a paraplegic and president of Working Like Dogs. For the last 41 years Ms. Davis has been confined to a wheel chair due to a spinal cord infection she contracted when she was 6 years old. Twenty-two years ago she received her first service dog, a Labrador Retriever/Golden Retriever mix. She said that this amazing dog changed her life, giving her a sense of independence and confidence that she hadn’t had before. When the help of her wonderful canine companion she was able to do things that she was afraid of doing on her own before. Now she works to raise awareness through Working Like Dogs, which raises awareness and honors assistance dogs. Most people are aware that the blind and paraplegics like Ms. Davis often have service dogs to help them maneuver through life, but some people don’t know that there are other groups who benefit from these highly trained animals as well. My son-in-law’s service dog can tell when he is going to have a seizure, alerting him that he needs to get down on the floor where he won’t hurt himself as badly if he does have one. Military heroes – such as my son-in-law – often suffer from severe PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, or other such issues – and service dogs have proven to be invaluable to them. Please, if you have the chance to donate to an agency that provides funding for these incredible dogs for people who desperately need them but cannot afford them – do. You could be saving a life or making a life easier to live.
Friendship Day – Today is the day to nurture relationships, whether they are new or old. It’s a very easy and fun day to celebrate because it can be as simple as just getting in touch with some old friends. A simple phone call, email or even an E-Card are great tools to do that. See if you can make plans to meet for coffee or lunch soon but make the invitation today so it honors this celebration. No matter what way you choose to follow the spirit of the day, if you put your whole heart into it, it will be a wonderful day. Happy Friendship Day to Everyone!
Hiroshima Day – On this day in 1945 the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese City of Hiroshima. President Truman announced the news from the cruiser, USS Augusta, in the mid-Atlantic, said the device was more than 2,000 more times more powerful than the largest bomb used to date. The atomic bomb heralded the “harnessing of the basic power of the universe”, and also marked a victory over the Germans in the race to be the first to develop a weapon using atomic energy.
National Fresh Breath (Halitosis) Day – Oh my goodness, where to I begin with this one? There’s nothing worse than talking up close and personal with someone with rancid breath. I’ve had my share of cavities over the years, so I am fully aware of how important brushing, mouthwash, gum and mints are to keeping things friendly! I know people who either don’t bother to go to the dentist, or haven’t made it a priority financially, and I am here to tell you that it isn’t pleasant sometimes to be near them. And don’t get me started on people who smoke or chew tobacco. I’ve actually banished people from my office who reek of cigarettes or chew. It’s nasty! Positively nasty! For anyone who doesn’t go to the dentist because it is expensive, well, yes it is, but it has to be a priority in your life. There are so many worse things than just bad breath – gum disease for starters. The physical ailments that can happen from not taking care of your teeth are numerous and some of them horrible. Please, find a dental college, a program that charges on a sliding scale, or a dentist who will take payments (they are rare, but they truly are out there). And for goodness sake, stop smoking and chewing. It’s horrible for your health, for the health of those around you and honestly, it’s disgusting! Keep the gum and mints handy in the meantime. Sometimes it’s very difficult for someone who loves you to tell you the terrible news that you smell like death. I’m here to tell you, if you are talking to someone and they suddenly start holding their hand near their noses – attempting of course to be subtle while they do it – it’s very likely that you are releasing toxic fumes and it is time to do something about it. As a little tidbit of trivia – did you know that the earliest breath mints can be traced back to the early Egyptians? It seems their teeth suffered badly from the sand and grit resulting from stone-grinding their flour, and since dentists were not yet an option, decayed, odorous mouths were common. Breath mints were made by boiling together frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon and honey. The solids were then fashioned into pellets and voila! Aren’t we glad we aren’t chewing on frankincense and myrrh mints anymore? Geesh! Give me good old peppermint any day of the week.
Wiggle Your Toes Day – It feels so good to take off the shoes at the end of the day and just give the toes a good wiggle, doesn’t it. Stretch them out as far as they’ll go and let them feel the freedom from the constriction that shoes give them – especially if you have to wear high heels all day! Today you are encouraged to give your digits a bit of exercise because they are just crying out for a little bit of freedom! There are some places that are more fun to wiggle your toes than others – in the sand at the beach, in the fresh grass, in a pool of cool water, or just in the fresh air. If you can’t be barefoot completely today, maybe you can go to work in sandals or flip flops. Let those toes have a full day of happy celebrating!
This Day in History –
August 4, 1693 – Champagne is invented by Dom Perignon.
August 5, 1924 – Little Orphan Annie comic strip debuts.
August 6, 1890 – Murderer John Hart is the first person to be executed in an electric chair.
August 6, 1890 – Baseball pitching legend Cy Young pitches his first his first game, a win.
August 6, 1945 – The Atom bomb is dropped on Hiroshima, Japan by the U.S.
Food Celebrations of the Day –
August 4 –
National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day – There are some things that bring a happy memory from childhood, and chocolate chip cookies are one of those things. The sweet aroma as they bake the warm chocolate melting on our tongues with the first bite – that is typically far too soon so it is far too hot – made even more delicious when we dip them into an icy cold glass of milk. Oh my, this just puts a smile on my face. We have Ruth Graves Wakefield to thank for the creation of chocolate chips in 1937. She wondered what chunks of chocolate would taste like mixed in with sugar cookie dough, and a star was born. I like mine with nuts, and oddly, my Mom and daughter like their WITHOUT chocolate chips. I’ve told them both they are a bit weird, but they like the chocolate chip cookie part without the chocolate. Whew! I’m glad that preference skipped over me! I LOVE the chocolate in them. We celebrated this one with a low carb chocolate chip cookie recipe from Carolyn Ketchum’s book Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen. If you are thinking about switching to a low-carb way of eating, I highly suggest getting her books to give you an amazing start.
National Mead Day – Do you know what mead is? Have you ever tasted it? Not many people have, at least amongst the ones I know. Mead is a drink that is heavier than beer, however enthusiasts revel in creating and enjoying it, much like beer drinkers do. It actually IS brewed much like bear, but it has been around a lot longer. It has come up in recorded history as far back as 6500 B.C., being referred to as Honey-Wine sometimes, since the discovery of the results of fermented honey and water. It sometimes has spices, fruits, grains or even hops added to it to vary the taste and body. Sometimes you can even find it carbonated, dry, sweet or even semi-sweet – depending on the recipe. I tasted it once during a wine tasting weekend with hubby, and I really liked it! If you have access to mead today, give it a try!
National Mustard Day – Did you ever wonder how mustard got to the place it holds on our condiment shelf in the fridge? Every food has a humble beginning from somewhere, and someone thought it was a good idea to eat it. I’d like to start by reminding everyone that the humble mustard seed, the tiniest of all seeds, holds a very important place in the Bible. There are multiple verses about it, but Matthew 17:20 is the most famous one. The New King James Version: “20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;[a] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” The lesson in that is so profound when you truly consider how small a mustard seed truly is.
So, what IS mustard? It is a member of the Brassica family of plants that bears tiny round edible seeds and tasty leaves. Its English name, mustard, comes from a contraction of the Latin mustum ardens, which means, burning must. This refers to the spicy heat of the crushed mustard seeds and the French practice of mixing the ground seeds with the must, which is the young, unfermented juice of wine grapes. At first, mustard was used as a medicinal plant, not a culinary one. In the sixth century B.C., Greek scientist Pythagoras used mustard as a remedy for scorpion stings. About one hundred years later, Hippocrates used mustard in a variety of medicines and poultices to “cure” toothaches and a number of other ailments. Much like the prepared mustards we use today, prepared mustard dates back thousands of years to the early Romans. They used to grind mustard seeds and mix them with wine into a paste for a variety of uses. As I mentioned before, the mustard seed is a prominent reference for those of the Christian faith something small and insignificant, but when planted, grows in strength and power. Pope John XII was so fond of mustard that he actually created a new Vatican position – grand moutardier du pape (mustard-maker to the pope) – and promptly gave the position to his nephew. In 1866 the founder of Colman’s Mustard of England – Jeremiah Colman – was appointed as mustard-maker to Queen Victoria. He perfected the technique of grinding mustard seeds into a fine powder without creating the heat which brings out the oil. The oil must not be exposed, or the flavor will evaporate with it. Today we mostly use mustard in cooking. It is a must have for hot dogs, sausages and many types of sandwiches. It is also an important ingredient in many recipes. It is among the most popular of all condiments and has been used to spice up meals for thousands of years. How’s that for longevity? Mustard has diversified over the years, it isn’t just plain yellow anymore – though that is definitely the most popular version. You can get a huge variety of commercially prepared mustards including honey mustard, bold and spicy, sharp and creamy and of course, Dijon. In my fridge I have all of those, plus cranberry mustard, jalapeno mustard and even horseradish mustard. As you can tell, it’s a condiment that I truly enjoy in a variety of enhanced and delicious flavors.
August 5 –
National Oyster Day – Although edible oysters can produce pearls, it’s actually a different family of bivalves, called pearl oysters, that create the jewelry-quality gems. I’m not a fan of oysters – and it’s not the flavor necessarily, but the thought of what they are. They are slimy and look like someone blew their nose into the shell (I know, I know – that’s gross!) and the fact that you can’t clean out things you don’t wish to eat and just have muscle turns my stomach. The truth is that until recently I hadn’t ever tried one. Yes, I know, that’s close minded of me. I can always feel my stomach doing flips at the thought, BUT hubby took me to a wine pairing dinner and the first course was an oyster stew with a fried oyster on a crispy crouton in the middle of the stew. I took a deep breath and ate it, and it wasn’t bad . . . but isn’t that always the case when you bread and fry anything? If I ever feel the need to eat them again, fried will be the way I go.
August 6 –
National Root Beer Float Day – When I was little we had an A&W between where we lived and my pediatrician’s office. Every time I had to go in for a shot, or an appointment for something else, Mom would take me there to get one of their delicious, iced cold root beer floats. They always served them in a frosty mug, and the sweet ice cream yumminess mixed with the root beer just made the ouch fade away. Originally, they weren’t called the “black cow”. Frank J. Wisner of Cripple Creek, CO made the first black cow in 1893 to give children something to enjoy while their parents sipped on sodas. My dad makes the root beer at the brewery my brother owns with his partners. It’s wonderful root beer and I bet it would be incredible in a float! Hmmm . . . I’ll have to give that some thought. You can make your own to celebrate today, or head somewhere to have one while enjoying a moment of nostalgia. We will be celebrating this with low carb ice cream and Zevia Root Beer (a delicious chemical free, zero calorie soda). Check your local market to see if they carry it, it not, Amazon has it. This link has a price that is just about the same as our local store without a sale, so it is pretty comparable. I can honestly say that, in my opinion, all of the Zevia sodas are delicious and well-worth the price.
Well there you go! Three days of great celebrations! Have a good time. I am off to the grocery store to get a few things for the week! I’m sure you have some things to do as well. God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.
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Celebration list sources: