Good Morning! Happy Friday! I had part of the post ready for yesterday, but life and distractions got in the way and it didn’t happen. In the interest of expediting things today so I can get outside to work in the yard, I am going to just focus on the fun stuff and leave any heavy subjects alone. Awareness days for illnesses are important, but the sun is shining, the birds are singing and there is a yard to mow, so happy thoughts all the way around today!
Just wanted to update everyone, remember when I was wondering if my new boss would remember Administrative Professional’s Day? Yeah, no. She didn’t. I’m disappointed but not overly surprised. She is a nice lady, but like so many people these days, if it doesn’t directly affect her, she doesn’t really pay attention to it. The office dogs were attentive though, so that’s something, right?
Verse of the Day
April 25, 2019
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Wow! Wouldn’t it be great to see 3,000 added to God’s people in church today. Those who accepted Peter’s message at Pentecost were baptized and the beginning of the early church started with an incredible bang. Earlier that day, only a small group of Jesus’ followers had met to pray just as they had done for several days since Jesus’ ascension. As night falls in Jerusalem, the number has jumped to over 3,000! Acts 2 stands as a hallmark passage showing us the message of salvation, what the response of open hearts will be, and how the Holy Spirit uses this simple message to bring seeking hearts to salvation and community. Why don’t you read Acts 2 today? Jot down what Peter says about Jesus. Notice what Peter tells the people to do to be saved. The Gospel is still just as simple, so let’s not only study it; let’s share it, praying for God to bring revival to our times and to our broken land!
April 26, 2019
But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Just as God saw the plight of the Israelites in Egypt and heard their cries for help, he still sees and hears today. But now, he not only hears because he is omnipotent; he hears because of the intercession of his Son and our Savior, Jesus. Jesus has been here. Jesus has faced the specter of death and the pain of torture and ridicule. Jesus means God not only hears our cries for help; he also feels the agony with us. That is why he came. He is our assurance that God feels, cares, acts, and ultimately saves.
April 27, 2019
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
“It’s no big deal!” That’s the whine of a believer rationalizing vulgar, inappropriate, or hurtful speech. However, a friend confessed to me a long time ago, “Our moral plunge in the office began when we let our language slip. It didn’t seem like that big a deal at the time, but what it led to was disastrous.” Religion that is not reflected in everyday speech is empty and hollow. So let’s use our speech to bless and encourage, not to curse, slander, or gossip.
April 28, 2019
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Yesterday James reminded us how important our “talk” is. Today he reminds us about our walk. True religion is not all talk. We must live and love as Christ did. Caring for widows, orphans, and others that are forgotten and overlooked while we are keeping ourselves holy to God is what “Christ living” is all about.
Finding Peace in Simple Moments
Have you ever just listened to a flock of geese when they come home in the spring? This morning not long after sunrise, I was standing on the front porch while Moose did what he needed to do, and I could hear the geese singing. From the direction of the sound, I think they were having a good time in the pond and wetlands that are in the trail network behind our neighborhood. I had to smile because they sounded so happy, honking for joy to be home.
Holy Humor Month
Southern Baptist at the Race Track
Did you hear about the about the Southern Baptist who was in the habit of sneaking to the race track to bet on the horses?
One day he was losing badly when he saw a priest step onto the track, walk up to line-up and bless one of the horses on the forehead. The horse was a long shot, but the Southern Baptist thought, “With the priest’s blessing, surely this horse will win.” He placed a small bet and, sure enough, the horse came in first.
At the next race, the priest stepped onto the track and blessed another horse’s forehead. Even though this horse was also a long shot, the Southern Baptist was a little bolder this time and placed a larger bet on that horse. Again, it won.
A third time, the priest stepped onto the track and blessed a horse on the forehead. Like the others, this horse was also a long shot. The Southern Baptist placed an even larger bet this time and, sure enough the horse won.
This pattern continued throughout the day with the priest blessing the forehead of a long shot horse, the Southern Baptist placing larger and larger bets and the horse always winning.
At the last race of the day, the Southern Baptist thought, “I have got to go for broke here.” With great anticipation, he watched as the priest stepped onto the field one more time, walked up to the line-up and blessed the forehead, eyes, ears and hooves of one of the horses. The Southern Baptist ran to the ticket counter and bet all he had on that horse.
The horse came in dead last!
As he was walking out, he saw the priest. Walking up to him, he demanded, “What happened? All day long you blessed horses and they won, even though they were long shots. Then at the last race you blessed a horse, I bet everything and the horse lost.”
“That’s the problem with you Protestants,” said the priest. “You can’t tell the difference between a simple blessing and the Last Rites.”
April 25 –
Hug A Plumber Day or Plumbers Day – Now that I work for a plumbing company, I can legitimately do this, if I chose. I didn’t hug our plumber, though I did tell his wife (my boss) that she should celebrate this one several times! She giggled and said she would. I had no idea how many people call the plumber for even teeny, tiny things, or how many people clog up their toilets on a regular basis! This has been an eye-opening experience. We are all so dependent on our water and plumbing services that we tend to take them, and the people who keep them working, for granted. If you know a plumber, or need one today, it may be a good idea to give him/her a hug of appreciation. Aren’t we glad we have plumbing that we can sometimes need plumbers to fix? In the old days, people hand-carried water from rivers. They did their . . . um . . . business in the bushes, or in cesspools, outhouses or chamber pots that they’d toss into nasty, unsanitary streets. Plumbers have saved mankind from suffering from horrible squalor and disease! It’s a difficult job, often filled with icky stuff that they have to deal with, so for Plumber’s Day, if you happen to see a plumber, or know one – say hello and tell them how important their work is. Sometimes it is just nice to hear.
National Mani-pedi Day – I really couldn’t dig up any details about this one, but it seriously sounds like it’s time to start in on getting regular mani-pedis before sandal and flip flop weather is all the way here! My toes are in need after their long winter of being covered up . . . so celebrate THIS one by making an appointment to treat your toes to a little bit of pampering. If you are wanting to save a little money, that’s just fine! Soak those tootsies in a soothing bath, then take care of the nails yourself. It’s still relaxing – not AS relaxing – but it will do!
Penguin Awareness Day, and World Penguin Day are both great opportunities to learn about and appreciate one of the few natives of Antarctica. We’ve already celebrated Penguin Awareness Day back in January, so this is our last chance this year to officially take some time and learn about them on a special day picked out just for them. Studying them on the internet or from a book is good; or watching a documentary would be a good thing. If you have a zoo nearby, most have penguin habitats set up, so maybe so sit and study them in action! We have two zoos within a couple of hours of us and both have pretty great penguin areas set up. It would be nice to go on a day when it isn’t very busy (do zoos have those?) and just sit and watch them play! If you REALLY are getting into the mood you can wear black and white in the penguin’s honor, and even tell a penguin joke or two. I don’t know any – I’ll have to look some up! *Found one!* You ready? A Car Full of Penguins: A man was driving down the highway with a car full of penguins, penguins sticking out the windows, penguins coming out the sunroof, penguin everywhere. A cop pulled him over and told him if he didn’t want a ticket, he’d better take those penguins straight to the zoo. The man promised he would and drove off. The next day, the same highway, the same car, the same guy, the same cop and the same penguins – only this time the penguins were all wearing sunglasses! The cop pulled the guy over and said, “I thought I told you to take these penguins to the zoo!” “I did” said the guy, “Today I’m taking them to the beach!” (yes, a touch corny, but it’s cute!)
Red Hat Society Day – Note: This is the official day every year.
Various chapters will have their own birthday celebrations as well on different dates. – Those of us who are NOT members of the Red Hat Society have most likely seen groups of red hat and purple clad women having lunch or tea and chuckled to ourselves. We don’t understand their group, so we indulgently stay out of their way while quickly mocking the apparent silliness. Fact is that silly was one of the original purposes to this group – and it didn’t start out as a group at all! Here is a quote from the woman who started the whole phenomenon.
“The Red Hat Society began as a result of a few women deciding to greet middle age with verve, humor and elan. We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together. Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next.”
– Sue Ellen Cooper, Queen Mother
The way the society started is rather fun! While she was visiting a friend in Tucson, Sue Ellen Cooper bought a bright red hat that she saw at a thrift shop on impulse, simply because it was cheap, and she liked it. A couple of years later she read the poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph, that talks about an older woman in purple clothing and a red hat. She liked it so much that she decided that her birthday present to her dear friend would be a vintage red hat and a copy of the poem. She thought that it would make a nice decoration to hang on a hook next to the framed poem. Her friend loved the hat and poem so much that she gave the same gift to another friend, and so on. One day it dawned on these women that they were becoming sort of a “Red Hat Society” and that maybe they should all go out for tea dressed in purple dresses that didn’t go with their red hats, and complete the image written about in the poem. The tea was an amazing success. Each of the ladies kept thinking about other women they wanted to include, they began to buy more red hats, and their group grew to 18 members. At that point they began encouraging other interested people in starting their own chapters, and now the society has grown to be nationally recognized with chapters across the country. There have even been conventions for the Red Hat Society that have filled entire hotels! Though I am not ready to join such a society, I admit that the groups I’ve seen seem to have been having a very good time. Good for them!
April 26 –
Arbor Day (Last Friday) – Julius Sterling Morton was a Nebraska journalist who worked hard throughout his career to improve agriculture techniques in his state and throughout the United States. The very first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska. Morton felt that Nebraska’s landscape and economy would benefit from wide scale planting of trees. He started the ball rolling by being a good example and planted orchards, shade trees and wind breaks on his own farm, urging his neighbors to do the same. He got his real chance to get things going when he became a member of Nebraska’s state board of agriculture. He proposed that a special day be set aside dedicated to planting trees and increasing awareness of how important trees are. The first Arbor Day was a wonderful success with more than one million trees planted. The second Arbor Day was in 1884 and it was made a legal holiday in 1885 on Morton’s birthday – April 22nd. In the years that followed Morton’s idea spread beyond Nebraska to Kansas, Tennessee, Minnesota and Ohio – who all proclaimed their own Arbor Days. All 50 states today celebrate Arbor Day, though the dates may vary depending on the local climate. At the federal level, in 1970, President Richard Nixon set the last Friday in April as National Arbor Day. It’s now even celebrated in other countries! Australia celebrates Arbor Day. It is called Greening Week in Japan; The New Year’s Days of Trees in Israel; The Tree-loving week in Korea; The Reforestation Week of Yugoslavia; The Students Afforestation Day in Iceland and The National Festival of Tree Planting in India. I bet Julius Sterling Morton would be very proud. See? One person with a great idea can make a HUGE difference! So how should we celebrate this day? Well, it’s a great opportunity to take stock of the trees on your property – inspect them, note broken branches or evidence of disease or infestation. Maybe planting some trees would improve the look of your property. Once your options are noted, you can celebrate by planting a tree!
National Hairball Awareness Day (Always Last Friday) – Well, hm. I couldn’t find anyone willing to admit they started this day. One thing I do know is that my long-haired kitty is notorious for leaving me the not-so-lovely hairball on the floor once in a while. Today is a good day for figuring out why kitty is coughing these up and how to prevent them. Brushing them may help, feeding them specific food will help, and there are special Hairball Formula Foods to help as well. Kitty doesn’t need to be miserable, and neither do you!
National Help A Horse Day – Today is the first EVER National Help a Horse Day – and I hope that everyone will join in in some way. The ASPCA wanted to take a day out of the year to bring special attention to the plight of horses in our country and today was chosen because in 1866 the founder of the ASPCA, Henry Bergh, stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, which resulted in the first successful arrest for the mistreatment of a horse on April 26th. Horses were critical to the mission of founding the ASPCA and are just as important now. If you click this link – Top 10 Ways to Help Horses – you can see the ASPCA’s top ten ways to get into the spirit of the day to help horses. Thousands of horses, donkeys, mules and other equines, find themselves homeless each year through no fault of their own. Hundreds of rescues, many of them by all-volunteer groups, work long hours every day of the year to care for these at-risk animals. There are quite a few states that are hosting at least one National Help A Horse Day activity – and I am sad to say that my own state is NOT on that list. Granted this is just the first year of this event, so I can hope that we’ll make that list next year. Please, horses need us more than ever so whether you have horses of your own, or just love and admire these beautiful, majestic creatures, be sure to celebrate this day – not just today, but every day.
National Kids and Pets Day – Many of us have kids, and many of us have pets! I know that it just wouldn’t have felt like I had a normal childhood if we hadn’t had pets in the house – so, thanks to my wonderful parents, we always had cats and dogs around. As I got a little older, they allowed me caged pets too, which at one point included more than 50 mice at one time (hey! They reproduce quickly!) It was natural for me to let my kids have pets as they grew up too – so we had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, a chinchilla, rats, ponies (which were kept at the Grandparent’s house) and rats. It was a natural part of teaching responsibility to the kids, and an extension of our family to have furbabies running around. Well, THIS particular celebration is all about furthering the natural bond that is between kids and animals and bring awareness to the plight of pets that are in shelters and rescue centers around the country. It is about sharing our compassion for animals with our kids and bringing them into our homes to love them and make our lives happier in the process. One of the things that I find to be beautiful is that children with learning disabilities have greater academic success when they read to their pets. Pets also help shy children open up and feel more confident. The responsibility that a kid learns from caring for a pet is vital in their social development, and kids that grow up with pets tend to grow up being extremely nurturing and compassionate, making them move to dedicated and loving parent and pet owners themselves someday. This all contributes to a happier world and who doesn’t want that? There are millions of orphaned pets sitting in shelters waiting for their forever homes, so make sure your family is ready for a new pet, and if so, open your hearts and homes to one today.
April 27 –
Bob Wills Day – (Last Saturday) – I admit I hadn’t heard of this guy before I started doing this blog, but as I began reading, I was fascinated. I love hearing about new people and places and in this case, I found a little town called Turkey, Texas that I think would be a lot of fun to visit! Today they celebrate the 42nd annual Bob Wills Day – which I believe started either last night or Thursday through tomorrow, and will be enjoyed with music, food and dancing. Can’t go wrong with that as a combination for fun, can you? So, who is this Bob Wills that they are celebrating with such enthusiasm? He was an American western swing musician, songwriter and bandleader. Born on March 6, 1905, in Texas, Bob Wills and the band he formed in 1934, the Texas Playboys, performed on the radio, which made them stars in the Southwest. They were the pioneers of the “western swing” genre of music, blending traditional hoedown fiddling with big-band swing and blues. His best-known songs include ‘San Antonio Rose’ and ‘Panhandle Rag’. Sometime in the 1890’s, when the first settlers stepped onto the banks of Turkey Creek in the panhandle of Texas, they found flocks of Rio Grande turkeys roosting there, and the settlement of Turkey Roost was formed. Life was good there – between farming the fertile soil and the abundant game. The name was eventually shortened to Turkey Texas, when the post office was granted in 1893. What the town is BEST known for is being the home of Bob Wills though, which is why they have this big celebration in his honor every year. Wills was a barber in Turkey in the 1920s. Years later, after Wills became a big star, the Bob Wills Foundation purchased the former Turkey school buildings and in those buildings are now housed city offices, the library, a senior citizens room, and the Bob Wills Museum. The Foundation built a Bob Wills monument and a Bob Wills Park. This annual festival – Bob Wills Day Festival – brings in ten thousand people every year on the last Saturday in April.
Babe Ruth Day – I don’t pretend to know much about ANY sport, or any athletes, but Babe Ruth is an icon in the history of baseball and even I had heard his name. What follows is a copy and paste of a biography I found about Babe Ruth – I couldn’t have said it any better, and it seems to cover all the bases (pun intended). You can find more information where I got this biography – at www.Babe-Ruth.com
“Baseball player. Born George Herman Ruth, Jr., on February 6, 1895, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the first of eight children born to Kate and George Herman Ruth, Sr. Most of the Ruth children died in infancy and only George Jr. and his sister Mamie survived to maturity. Little George, as he was called, grew up in a poor waterfront neighborhood in Baltimore, where he lived above the family saloon.
In 1902, the Ruth’s sent their son away to St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, which was both a reformatory and an orphanage. Ruth developed a love for sports, particularly baseball, which served as his escape from the strict environment at St Mary’s. From an early age he showed potential as an athlete, and in his late teens he had developed into a professional candidate. His tough southpaw pitching attracted Jack Dunn, manager of the minor league Baltimore Orioles. In 1914, the Orioles signed Ruth to his first professional baseball contract. He became the team’s youngest member and was befittingly nicknamed “Babe.”
Within five months, 19-year-old Ruth graduated to the major leagues, and signed with the Boston Red Sox. He remained with the team for six seasons, alternating positions as pitcher and outfielder. With his great pitching, powerful bat, and winning personality, he was quickly on his way to greatness, overshadowing players like Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner. After a controversy revealed that the Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the 1919 World Series, the sport of baseball was in need of a hero. The scandal had shaken the public’s faith in the game. However, in 1919, while still a part-time pitcher for the Red Sox, Ruth made his home-run assault on the record books. His 25th home run that year shattered the modern major league record held by the now forgotten Gabby Kraveth. By the end of the year, Ruth’s record was an unprecedented 29 home runs, and he was credited with reviving faith in the game.
In December of 1919, the Boston Red Sox sold the invaluable player to New York Yankee owner Colonel Jacob Ruppert. Ruppert bought Ruth’s contract for over $100,000, which was a staggering price at the time. In 1920, Ruth joined the Yankees, who as yet had never won a pennant. For years they played in the shadow of the New York Giants. Without a baseball park to call their own, the Yankees were forced to hold their games at the Giants’ Polo Grounds.
Ruth started as a full-time outfielder, hitting 54 home runs his first year with the Yankees. Shortly after, he became baseball’s preeminent player, and such a drawing card that New York built a new stadium for the crowds he was attracting. Yankee Stadium had its opening day on April 4, 1923, with a total attendance of 74,000. The stadium became known as “The House That Ruth Built,” and the period became known as the Golden Age of Baseball. On opening day, Ruth made the first home run in Yankee Stadium history. Ruth’s slugging percentages in 1920 and 1921 were .847 and .846. Neither figure has ever been approached. In fact, a slugging percentage higher than .704 has been achieved only 20 times, eight by Ruth. In 1923, hitting .393, he was named the league’s Most Valuable Player, and capped off the year by ushering the Yankees to their first World Series Championship. He also led the American League in home runs from 1919-1924, and again from 1926-1931.
In 1927, Ruth hit 60 home runs, breaking his own record, and setting a new one that would endure for decades (Roger Maris broke it in 1961). With an exceptional year, he assumed almost mythic status, and was nicknamed “The Sultan of Swat,” “The Home Run King,” and “Herman the Great.” Off the field Ruth reveled in his celebrity status, enjoying a wild and extravagant life. However, his high living and headstrong behavior eventually began to take a toll on his performance. He was still baseball’s premier player, but fellow teammate and newcomer Lou Gehrig started to show signs of greatness as well. The year 1931 was the start of Ruth’s 12th season with the Yankees, and it also marked the great days of Lou Gehrig’s career. Ruth was still a force, but Gehrig was closing the gap. At the end of the season the two players were tied in home runs.
In 1933, Ruth’s once great talent began to erode. Realizing that his playing days were numbered, he threatened the Yankees that he would quit if not given the opportunity to become a manager. After they denied his request, he left the Yankees in 1934. Two years later, the Boston Braves offered to take on Ruth as a part-time player, baiting him with an eventual assistant-manager position. He accepted, and his decision met with mixed feelings among New York fans. Some thought that he was deserving of the opportunity, and others felt that he was selling out. After three months, Ruth became aware of the fact that the Braves only wanted him for his drawing power. They had no intention of giving him a managerial position. He resigned from the team and made his last appearance as a player in May of 1935, retiring with 714 career home runs (a record that was broken by Hank Aaron in 1974).
In 1936, Ruth was part of the first class inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, along with Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson. He became a coach with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938, but never achieved his goal of managing a major league team. Ruth was diagnosed with cancer in 1946. Although the extent of his illness was kept from him, he knew that his time was limited. He spent the remainder of his life making countless visits to children’s hospitals and orphanages. In 1948, Ruth made his final appearance at Yankee Stadium, celebrating the 25th anniversary of “The House that Ruth Built.” His number was retired, and April 27th was declared “Babe Ruth Day.”
On August 16, 1948, Ruth died at the age of 53. At the time of his death, he held 54 major league records, including most years leading a league in home runs (12), most total bases in a season (457), and highest slugging percentage for a season (.847). While with the Red Sox, Ruth married 18-year-old waitress Helen Woodford, whom he had known less than three months. In 1929, Ruth’s wife died in a fire. At the time, they had been separated for three years. Her tragic death allowed him to marry Claire Hodgson, a former model and actress. With Claire’s daughter from a previous marriage and Ruth’s adopted daughter (with Woodford), they became an immediate family. Ruth and Hodgson remained together until Ruth’s death.”
The only other thing I know about Babe Ruth would be that the candy bar by the same name is delicious!
Day of Dialogue – I’m not really sure how this one slipped by me for the last couple of years, but it’s wonderful! This celebration is all about free-speech for public school students and college students when it comes to expressing their Christian beliefs and faith! It is about discussing faith in a loving and respectful manner in opposition to being silenced by those who would try to keep our faith hidden away and making it against the rules to discuss. The initiative provides a place for Christian students to express a Biblical perspective, especially when topics like marriage and sexuality are being discussed on their campuses. Rather than focusing on silencing their voices, they are encouraged to open dialogue, because the truth is only able to rise to the surface when honest conversations are allowed to happen. Jesus never backed down, He was never silent on speaking the truth. We, as His followers are to follow his example.
Mantanzas Mule Day – The first time I saw this one a few years ago I guess I didn’t let it sink in . . . but now, when I’m looking at it again, I think it’s a little sad, but pretty interesting at the same time. Here we have the Spanish-American War in the year 1898, and the U.S. Naval forces have bombarded the Cuban village of Matanzas in a hail of their full artillery. Nerves and emotions are always high during war, for both sides. Casualties are expected – sort of the point to a lot of it, right? This day though, all reports say that there was only one casualty of this bombardment. A mule. How amazing is that? The “Matanzas Mule” instantly became famous and to this day is a footnote in the history of the Spanish-American war. A newspaper article from 1898 describes the funeral of the mule, which was buried with full military honors, to the music of a marching band, while 200 people watched. They even wrote a song for him! They marshaled men of every rank, They summoned muffled guns to roll, They called the merchant from the bank, They caused the Church’s bell to toll.
And slowly to his grave they passed, Obeying every martial rule, And there with tears they took a last, Long look at that bombarded mule.
Wrapped in the flag he served so well. Amid a cloud of smoke he sank; “The Slain” – by tons of shot and shell – Went under with a round of blank.
Well, there you have it! The bravest mule of them all.
National Little Pampered Dog Day – How many of us not only love our dogs, but think of them as family members? We buy them toys and treats and sometimes dress them up and take them with us when we go somewhere – or as often as we are able. We talk to them like they can not only understand us, but that they just may be able to answer us back! In a way they do since we can tell by their body language how they feel. Today’s celebration lets us know that it is not only OK to pamper our dogs, but it is encouraged. Giving them all of this love is wonderful – but sadly, all dogs are not so lucky. Today we celebrate this one and a good way to spread the love is to make a donation to a dog shelter to assist in helping find all dogs their forever family and the love that your dog enjoys each and every day. Go ahead – celebrate this one. It’s definitely a very worthy cause. The difference for me with this one is that Moose isn’t a LITTLE pampered dog, he’s a HUGE pampered dog!
National Go Birding Day (Last Saturday) – It seems very appropriate to me today to have National Go Birding Day on John James Audubon’s birthday. Though I can’t find any documented information directly connecting the two, it does seem to be a little bit of a coincidence, doesn’t it? So, what IS birding? Non-birders often ask that, and the simple answer is, watching birds! Getting outside and enjoying nature and appreciating the lovely birds you see in the wild. It’s almost like a treasure hunt. Everywhere you look, keeping your eyes open and appreciating the beauty and delicate balance of nature. As you get into the sport more you will likely find yourself getting accessories to go with you on your walks outside . . . binoculars, cameras, books on birds, plants and wildlife – anything to help you enjoy the great outdoors. Birding is something that motivates people, once they get into it, into exploring the open spaces that people work very hard to preserve, but it also will open your eyes to all of the different birds that you have in your very own back yard. I know I have mentioned this before, but we have identified nearly 30 different species of birds at our own feeders in the last couple of years, and my husband has taken many beautiful photos of them. This is a hobby that anyone, of any age, and any physical ability can enjoy, merely by looking out your window, or taking a walk down your street.
National Sense of Smell Day (Last Saturday) How many of us actually take time to think about our sense of smell? Well today is an annual event – National Sense of Smell Day – that is sponsored by the Sense of Smell Institute. I didn’t know there was one of those, did you? It happens every year on the last Saturday in April. There are many different events organized at children’s museums and science centers all over the country with many activities for kids to do to help them learn about the sense of smell. Some of these activities can include different smells from around the world and remembering smells from your childhood. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of how important this sense is, since we rarely think about how useful it is and how it can help us to survive. Some people say that their sense of smell is the least important of the five senses, and since humans generally have a poor sense of smell when compared to other creatures, think about the different ways that smell is important – and I’m not just talking about how amazing it is to smell fresh bread baking, or the lovely aroma of fresh flowers or grass that is being rained on right after it has been mowed. I’m talking about smells that could save us. One day this last year I woke up to the unmistakable odor of gas in the house . . . we checked the propane fireplace, nothing. I could smell it though and after hubby checked it out, it turned out that a rat had gotten in under the house and chewed a very small hole in the propane hose leading from the tank to the fireplace. He turned it off at the tank and made some changes so that it wouldn’t happen again . . . but fact is if I hadn’t been able to smell it, it could have been very bad for us. The sense of smell is really quite important! Did you know that dogs have noses that are up to one hundred million times more sensitive than ours? No wonder they are always sniffing everything! Most of us have a normal sense of smell, but some people have problems smelling. There are people who suffer from anosmia and cannot smell anything at all. Other people have hyperosmia, making them very sensitive to smells. An unusual and very disturbing disorder to have would be dysomia, which makes things smell differently than they really do – for example, maybe they’d smell chocolate as gasoline, roses as the sea. How disturbing! Here are some interesting facts I found out about our sense of smell: It is developed fully right from our birth; female infants have a stronger sense of smell than males; we can recall an entire event or personal moment just by smelling a familiar smell – which is true! I can’t smell oatmeal raisin cookies from my Grandmother’s recipe without feeling special moments from my childhood well up in my mind; and every person has their own unique odor.
Biological Clock Day – When you hear the words “biological clock”, you probably imagine women reaching a point in their lives when they are getting last minute urges to have babies. Yes, this is one biological clock symptom that does happen – and most of us do get that urge. It’s completely natural! What people DON’T always know is that both men AND women have a biological clock, and it affects mood and behavior on a daily basis. It maintains a sleep-wake pattern that fits in with the light and dark of a day on Earth. This is known formally as the circadian rhythm, it monitors light, temperature and other environmental factors that influence things like alertness, energy levels, hunger and motivation. Technology can upset the balance of our biological clock – there are always lights going – so make your bedroom as dark as possible, create a regular bedtime routine, minimize naps and eat regularly. Having a messed up sleep pattern can really cause problems in your life, so please reset your rhythms today.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Zucchini Bread Day – I think it is funny that Zucchini bread day is today, since it is usually in the summer that people have so much zucchini and need to know what to do with it. Well, seriously, by the time that happens aren’t most of us sick of zucchini? So . . . we celebrate it now and get us all excited about the bounty that is to come. For some people anyway. . . for some reason I have the hardest time growing zucchini! I know! It’s weird! NOBODY has a hard time with that! Well, I do. It’s sad, I know.
National Pretzel Day – No matter how you like your pretzels, it’s available to you! Thick or thin, straight or twisty, crisp or crunchy or soft! Salted or unsalted, flavored or not. There isn’t a shortage of the different types of pretzels. Did you know that Pretzels are thought to be the world’s oldest snack? They date back to 610 AD in Southern France. Monks would bake thin strips of dough into the shape of a child’s arms folded in prayer. Today celebrates pretzels of all shapes and sizes. Do you know how to celebrate National Pretzel Day? By indulging in some pretzels of course!
National Devil Dog Cakes Day – I’ve heard the term Devil Dogs before, in connection to sports teams but I had no idea of the historical significance of the name, nor that there was a snack cake named Devil Dogs. How did I miss out on this one for all of these years??? Devil Dog Cakes are made up of two layers of devil’s food cake, with a layer of cream filling between them, sort of like a cake Oreo that is rectangular rather than square. They came into being as a tasty single-serving treat at some point in the mid-1920s. Now the historical significance of the name came into being during WWI, with the legend going that German soldiers started calling U.S. Marines “devil dogs” because of their tenacity. In 1918, a U.S. recruiting poster headlined with the phrase “Teufel Hunden”, putting the story into circulation across the country. Even though the German expression was a bit oddly worded, and it’s source a little iffy, the nickname still stuck. The truth was that the U.S. Marines DID fight with extreme bravery in Europe, as did all of our troops. Sports teams began adopting the name, movies were made showing the devil dogs and the story of the name, whether accurate or not, became a part of our history. So how do you celebrate this one? Well, do a search for a recipe (I found several easily – but don’t think I’ll have the time to come up with a low-carb one tonight) and bake up a batch!
National Prime Rib Day – The name “prime rib” stems from the quality grading the USDA started giving beef in the 1920s. Nowadays, most rib roasts are dubbed “prime” whether they have 10 to 13 percent fat or not. Personally, I’m not a fan. I like my meat much more well done than that and I’ve always found prime rib to be nearly mooing.
- Perfect Prime Rib Roast
- Walt Disney’s Prime Rib Hash
- Prime Rib with Garlic & Rosemary
- Cajun Prime Rib
- Prime Rib Soup
Blueberry Pie Day – Early Native Americans called blueberries “star berries,” referring to the perfect five-pointed star visible at the blossom end of each tiny fruit.
- Maine Wild Blueberry Pie
- Blueberry Whoopie Pie
- Blueberry Butter Tarts
- Blueberry Sour Cream Pie
- Blue Ribbon Cranberry Blueberry Pie
- American Blueberry Crumble
Normally I fight against the thought of yard work, since I truly hate it, but the sun is shining and my pasty, ghost tinted arms could use a bit of Vitamin D. Gotta run! Have a great weekend! God bless you and I’ll see you on Monday.
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Celebration list sources: