It’s nice starting the month on a Monday – rather like two new beginnings at one time. Of course, Monday’s are still unpleasant, but since there isn’t anything we can do about that, the least we can do is find the bright side, right? They say April showers bring May flowers – though I don’t recall any more rain than usual around here than during any other spring month. We’ll see. In spite of our snow this year, I know that the water reserves are lower than usual, which doesn’t bode well for our forests. No matter how hard anyone tries, stupid still seems to take over the wilderness during camping season and someone does something idiotic and sets the trees on fire. Just be smart as we going into the outdoor recreation season – use what brain cells are available to you to NOT put everything around you up in flames!
Verse of the Day
April 1, 2019
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
God’s ultimate “foolishness” is his willingness to use the cross to bring others to him. At first glance, the cross is a hideous and horrible tool. In our human wisdom, we could never visualize using a man crucified as criminal scum to capture the hearts of the world. But God does. The cross transcends cultural boundaries, overcomes language barriers, and reaches across racial differences. The cross is God’s demonstration of foolishness and weakness, and through it he conquers death and brings our heart to him.
Finding Peace in Simple Moments
In the wee hours of the morning I was up and outdoors with Moose. There was a thin fog moving through, the foghorn at the point was sending out a warning to passing ships, and it seemed like the frogs were singing a little more quietly. Without a breath of breeze blowing, I was able to sit there on the porch while Moose sniffed around and absorb the quiet and peace that was settled over everything in the pre-dawn hours. I wouldn’t set my alarm to go out and sit on the deck at this time of day, but if you happen to be up and around it would be a nice thing to do.
This is National Humor Month and National Holy Humor Month. I forgot all about it until just now and I don’t have the time to look up jokes. I’ll double up tomorrow, then alternate holy humor and not-so-holy humor daily for the rest of the month.
April Fools or All Fools Day – This is the day when so many of us go around playing practical jokes on others – I don’t quite have the imagination to carry many jokes off – I can’t keep a straight face and honestly my ideas never seem very good. There are actually many different theories, but nothing concrete, as to where April Fool’s Day got its start, but the most popular theory involves the French calendar reform from the 16th century. The theory goes something like this: In 1564 France reformed its calendar, moving the start of the year from the end of March to January 1. There were some people, for a variety of reasons, who didn’t want to change, and stubbornly stuck to the old calendar system and kept celebrating the New Year during the week between March 25th and April 1st. Because they didn’t make the change, the new calendar following folks played pranks on them. The pranksters would stick paper fish to the backs of the non-changers without their knowing. The victims of this prank were called Poisson d’Avril, or April Fish — which, to this day, remains the French term for April Fools — and so the tradition was born. Let me know if you get someone, or if someone gets you. I always enjoy hearing a good April Fool’s Day joke that goes off without a hitch.
Atheist Day – Quite honestly, I pity atheists. How sad is it to go through life believing in nothingness, that when we die, that’s all there is? Even if that were the reality – which I do not believe it is – isn’t it more positive and hopeful to believe in God and an afterlife? A promise of something amazing to come? I won’t celebrate the atheists, but I will pray for them.
Boomer Bonus Days – A Baby Boomer is someone born from 1946 to 1964 – the prosperous years after WWII and before Vietnam ended. I missed being a Baby Boomer by one year. So, what does that make those of us who were born in 1965. Boomer Bonus Days is the celebration of the Senior Discount that begins when someone turns 50. Now, I just turned 54 this year, and though I am not yet ready to adopt the title of senior, I have looked for some discounts and haven’t found any. Around here it seems that most of them start at 55! That’s ok. I’m not ready yet.
International Tatting Day – This day has been celebrated for over 7 years. Tatting is the skill of making delicate, elegant tatted lace. On this day “tatters” from all over the world have different educational activities to celebrate their hobby, and to introduce it to other people. My Grandmothers both did amazing tatting. Such beautiful and delicate work, and I am sad that I never picked up on the talent or the coordination my hands would need to do it. Another detail I found – though I don’t get the connection here, but tatters celebrate their craft at these fairs and gatherings by eating chocolates and making tatted lace! I’d be afraid of messing up the tatting – but maybe they aren’t messy chocolate eaters. Either way, it doesn’t make sense . . . but it doesn’t need to. It makes sense to them, so that’s good enough for me.
Poetry & The Creative Mind Day – The use of words to create a picture in someone’s mind is art. In much the same way that painting, photography or music is art. Words can make people feel whatever emotion the writer is feeling or make them see in their mind whatever they are looking at in the moment they write about it. This day has special meaning for me because I feel like the only artistic quality bequeathed to me by God is with words . . . and baking . . . but that’s a different day. Today would be a good day to read some works by your favorite poets or authors, really appreciate the talent that went into creating their work.
Reading is Funny Day – This celebration was set up to teach kids that reading is fun and can be funny! It’s a day to read silly stories, riddles and jokes – bringing laughter and joy through reading to kids of all ages. Who among us doesn’t love a funny story? I know I do! Ignite the imagination and instead of watching a comedy on TV, pick up a funny book and lose yourself in the humor.
Sorry Charlie Day – Rejection stinks, doesn’t it? Have you ever been rejected? You’d be in a big minority if you haven’t. Rejection hurts, and Sorry Charlie Day is for all of us who have had someone we care about turn their backs on us, and yet we survived it. Take a moment to reflect on that rejection, then smile and realize that it happens to all of us once in awhile, then assess your current situation – you not only survived it, but I’m betting you’re better off for it. If you cannot yet say you are better for it, take it from me . . . you WILL get through it, and you WILL be able to look back and see where some of these changes were for the good.
St. Stupid Day – This “holiday” is celebrated every April 1st. A parade that starts at noon, and makes its way along the parade route with all the participants dressed up in silly costumes. This year’s parade in San Francisco stopped along the way at the Pacific Stock Exchange where they encouraged the people to bring their lonely socks for the “sock” exchange, then to Banker’s Heart sculpture to throw their pennies, and finally they stop at the Federal Reserve, where they hand over their losing lottery tickets. If the idea were only to have fun, this would be something interested to go see, but after further reading I found that the odd costumes, noise makers and satiric signs purpose is to make fun of religion and the “business” of religion. This is offensive, so I write about it to you for information purposes only, since it is one of the oddest celebrations I’ve found, and this whole thing started for the purpose of discussing odd holidays. I won’t be attending these events EVER – as they are an insult to people who have deep beliefs in God.
International Food Adventure –
We aren’t world travelers. I’ll be honest and say that, though I’d love to travel the United States and see everything our nation has to offer, I really have no desire to travel the world. What I WOULD love to do is to experience the food from other nations, learning about how they season their food and what their favorite meals are in their homes. We have a list of all of the countries in the world and will be trying a new recipe at least once a month, sometimes more. Join us in the fun!
Argentina – Last night we decided to discover Argentinian Steak with Chimichurri Sauce, paired with a grilled corn, lime and cilantro salad, and a delicious bottle of Argentinian Malbec. Though I can’t say the salad was Argentinian, the steak and sauce was and my goodness, it was AMAZING! I’ll tell you about the steak, you can put whatever sides you feel suit your family, since I didn’t find a side from Argentina I wanted to try (or that I had the ingredients to make)
Start by making the Chimichurri sauce: 1 cup packed parsley (remove the big stems), 1 cup packed cilantro, ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 4 garlic cloves, ¼ cup onion, about ½ tsp red pepper flakes, juice of 1 lime and the zest, salt and pepper to taste and ½ – 1 jalapeno (go with the heat you like in your food). Whir those all together in a food processor, not to a liquid but to a chunky slurry. Pop that into the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. You can use any cut of steak you have on hand – we had petite sirloin steaks. Marinate the steaks in a mixture of soy sauce or liquid aminos, red wine vinegar and some of the chimichurri sauce. We put the steaks into a freezer bag, toss the ingredients in, and squish it all together, then pop it into the fridge over night or for a few hours. When it’s time for dinner, grill the steaks to your taste buds. I prefer mine medium well. Let them rest for a few minutes after they are taken off the grill to let the juices set, slice on the bias, then drizzle the sauce on top. Seriously, my taste buds were doing a happy dance with every single, buttery bite.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Sourdough Bread Day – There is something in the bite and tang of a good sourdough bread that elevates sandwiches to the next level, isn’t there? It makes normally delicious sandwiches even better. Do you know the history of sourdough? It’s really quite interesting. Sourdough bread is made from dough that has a mixture of the normal yeasts and a lactobacillus culture. The culture gives the bread that familiar tang that makes it better than all other breads – well for many uses anyway. It even gives the bread a longer shelf-life! It is one of the oldest, if not THE oldest forms of leavening in human history. I have a pretty great sourdough starter going right now, and after finding a great sourdough bread recipe, I’ve been playing with it and improving upon it each week. We are following the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan, and sourdough bread (in moderation) is allowed because, without going into long explanations, the process that the ingredients go through makes it healthier on our systems. We’ll be celebrating this one today with sandwiches made with sourdough bread that I baked on Friday!
It’s time to head to work and get this week started! Have a wonderful Monday, an amazing first week of the month and let’s make April a fantastic month! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow!
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Celebration list sources: