I came to the end of Monday feeling like I had a really good day, got a lot accomplished both at work and at home, and am ready to start in on Tuesday and do the same thing! That’s all any of us can really do, right? Give the day our all and feel content with the end result! It felt good and I know it is because I am trying very hard to focus more on the good things and not feel so negative about everything. Granted there are a few things that I struggle to get past and that I still find myself complaining about, but by shifting more of my focus to the people that are in my life that are good, kind and loving, the better off I am and the less I focus on the ones who are pretty terrible.
Verse of the Day
Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
I don’t want you to think about an orange rhinoceros flying with blue wings. Now quit. I don’t want you to think about it anymore. You know there is no such thing as an orange rhino that flies, much less one that flies on blue wings. Oh course the point is simple: the more we try to not do something, the more we focus on it and insure we do what we are not supposed to do. That’s why the gift of the Holy Spirit is so important. He enables and empowers us to move beyond our sin — not by focusing on it and refusing it, but by enriching us and “distracting” us with the important things of God.
Food for Thought
Appreciate a Dragon Day – Hurray for dragons . . . considered by some to be the noblest of creatures. Dragons have existed as symbols for centuries, and it is thought by some sociologists that the dragons of myth and legend were the result of our ancestors’ combining the lizards and the alligators that they knew, with the few fossilized skulls and the remains of dinosaurs that they’d found. I had to chuckle at one site I was reading – it said that “those who have met a dragon know that sociologists are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.” hahaha Since I’ve never considered the thought of celebrating dragons – I had to look up ways to appreciate them . . . some ideas I found were:
* visit the local library and look for articles or books about dragons. Study what other cultures and societies believe in dragons, or read a story about them. 2 books that I found listed were Minerva Wakes by Holly Lisle for a good laugh about dragons, or Dragons Can Only Rust by Chrys Cymri if you want a good cry about dragons. I can’t personally say whether or not these books are any good – but I may check those out next time I’m at a library!
* Write a story about your very own dragon – put your rusty imagination to good use today! Where does it live? What does it eat? How would it spend its day? (assuming the book isn’t written around Nothing Day of course)
* If you’re artistic (and I know at least 1 of my readers is), draw your own dragon – pull it right out of your mind – what does it look like? What color is it? Your own imagination is the only limit to the creativity of your dragon.
* Pop some popcorn and watch the movie Pete’s Dragon – This is a really cute movie I haven’t seen since I was a kid, about a New England boy and his cartoon dragon friend Elliott.
What are some famous dragons from movies, books and music? Well, there’s . . .
* Puff the Magic Dragon – this is a dragon from a song written by Leonard Lipton and Peter Yarrow, made popular by the group Peter, Paul and Mary in a 1963 record. The lyrics for “Puff” tell a bittersweet story of the ageless dragon Puff and his playmate Jackie Paper. I have heard people say that the song is actually talking about drug use . . . but I wouldn’t know anything about that.
* Elliott – The friendly, sweet, very memorable cartoon dragon from the live-action/animated musical Walt Disney movie Pete’s Dragon.
* Figment – This is the mascot of the Imagination! pavilion at the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Resort. He is a small purple dragon who usually wears a yellow sweater and made his first appearance in March of 1983.
* Toothless – This is actually a dragon in a movie I LOVE – How to Train Your Dragon, a truly fun animated movie by Dreamworks. I cannot say enough good things about this movie and highly recommend it to all ages.
There were a lot of other movie – mostly cartoon of course – dragon references and I’m sure we can all think of dragons that haven’t been mentioned here.
I had no idea how many quotes about dragons are out there! I had to laugh because they are funny!
* “Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, because you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.”
* “The light at the end of the tunnel may be an approaching dragon.”
* “I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” —John Lennon
Nothing Day – What does that mean? Well I asked myself the same question and here’s what I found out. Today is very simply . . . a day for nothing. This is an un-event day. The expectation was that we do not create or otherwise promote this day – or more precisely . . . we do NOTHING. Saying anything more about it would contradict the purpose of this day. So how to celebrate this day? Well, by doing nothing, of course. But . . . you may want to clear that with your boss. Seriously, the only thing that I could find out was that this day was set in motion in 1973 by newspaperman Harold Pullman Coffin. Other than that, I found out nothing about this day . . . which is somehow absurdly appropriate. I do need to point out though – like I have with other special days – that there is no evidence to suggest that Nothing Day is truly a “national” day, which requires an act of congress.
Religious Freedom Day – This is a day to remember the history of religious discrimination and persecution, and as a result celebrate the adoption of the Virginia Statue for Establishing Religious Freedom by Thomas Jefferson. Before the American Revolution, Virginia had a state-established church. No matter what someone’s religion was, they all had to pay taxes to support the local Anglican priest, and it was mandatory to attend church. Presbyterian and Baptist ministers were required to have a license to preach, or face jail. Licenses were difficult to get, and many were refused on principle. By the year 1775, more than half of the Baptist ministers in Virginia had been jailed for preaching, others had stones thrown at them, or they were chased down with dogs. It is said that one prayer meeting was broken up when someone threw a hornet’s nest amongst the congregation, and another had a snake thrown into the middle of things. During the war things improved a great deal – the Anglican leaders needed the Baptists and the Presbyterians to fight, but when the war was over the tight government-religion connection was sought again by the Anglican establishment, by imposing a “general assessment” tax be paid to all Christian sects. Jefferson was horrified, but there was nothing he could do since he was serving as ambassador to France. James Madison stepped in, insisting upon a separation of church and state. Evangelical Baptists and Presbyterians agreed, arguing that mixing church and state would corrupt both. Baptist preacher Lewis Lunsford issued this demand – “The unlawful cohabitation between Church and State, which has so often been looked upon as holy wedlock, must now suffer a separation and be put forever asunder.” Freedom-loving evangelicals supported Madison, and because of that support Madison was able to push Jefferson’s Statute through the Virginia legislature. This statute later became a foundation for the First Amendment. So why should we celebrate? In spite of what we see around us today in our government – where God is being pushed out of our schools, our public buildings, and even uttering the name of Jesus creates a raging battle, we still are free to worship as we wish, nobody tells us how to worship, who to worship, or where to worship. No matter how hard certain portions of society attempt to make Christianity a dirty word, stand strong, stand firm and don’t ever forget – our First Amendment GUARANTEES that we have freedom of religion and don’t ever let ANYONE tell you otherwise. To me, that’s a great reason to celebrate.
Without a Scalpel Day – It’s nice having something different to write about once in awhile, so these unexpected new ones are fun. This one celebrates the groundbreaking invention of procedures that allow surgeons to help a patient without a scalpel. The first time this was done was on this date in 1964 in Portland, Oregon by a Dr. Charles Dotter. He opened a blocked blood vessel with a very minimal incision, allowing the patient to avoid leg amputation. By opening up the blocked blood vessel Dr. Dotter created an innovative medical specialty known as Interventional Radiology. Using this method doctors work through a small pinhole rather than through surgery where they make a large incision. The doctors typically use x-rays alongside other medical imaging to view the inside of the body as they treat the disease. This method of treatment has revolutionized all medicine.
The minimally invasive, image-guided procedures (MIIP) have since evolved and can be used to treat many other ailments in adults and in children. Through MIIP, the following diseases may be treated:
- Heart disease
- Back pain
- Blocked blood vessels
- Life-threatening bleeding
- Kidney stones
While many specialists perform MIIP around the world, many people still don’t know about MIIP or the fact that the procedure could help save them from life-threatening ailments. National Without a Scalpel Day is celebrated with the intention to educate the public about the benefits of MIIP.
This Day in History –
1991 – Operation Desert Storm begins to oust Saddam Hussein’s’ Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Fig Newton Day – Myth has it that Nabisco’s cookies are named for Sir Isaac Newton. They actually are named for Newton, Mass., which neighbored where they were invented. Regardless of where they got their name, as soon as I saw this one I HAD to try to find a low carb recipe. I found all sorts of gluten free ones, and definitely healthier than commercial versions, but couldn’t find one that was low carb. I ended asking for the advice of the author of Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen and food blogger of the blog All Day I Dream About Food, Carolyn Ketchum, and she made a suggestion that I tried. I combined two different recipes of hers and came up with these! They are OK – not terrible at all – but seriously they were more like a fig filled Danish than they were a cookie. We’ll eat them and even enjoy them, but the quest is still on for a delightfully light and delicious Fig Newton. You can find her recipe for Sweet Magic Mozzarella Dough in her book Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen, and the fig filling and instructions for baking them on her food blog! Just put Fig Newtons in the search bar! While you’re there, browse awhile. You may become a low-carb enthusiast yourself! If that doesn’t float your boat, just check out a few of the traditional recipes below.
Hot and Spicy Food Day – I needed something quick for this one because I didn’t get a chance to make it until after work and we all need something fast and delicious after a long day, right? And it had to be low carb! Found it! Check out the delicious enchilada sauce and chicken enchiladas I found on Low Carb Maven! I added a little extra spice – which didn’t translate to being as spicy as I wanted for this celebration, but they WERE delicious. I used store bought low carb tortillas, but she gives several suggestions on using lower carb alternatives. No matter which way you celebrate this one, or the dish you choose, enjoy!