Good Morning! This will be getting to you a little bit later than I’d like this morning. Since the start of the month I’ve had time to prepare the Food Celebration of the Day entrée/dessert ahead of time so I can quickly share pictures with you. Not so with today’s. By the time I got home from work yesterday and got dinner on the table, I just didn’t feel like it. But I promise, by the time you scroll to the bottom, it will be there! I have a LOT to accomplish today, but what Wednesday DON’T I have a lot to do? Yeah, never.
Verse of the Day
Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
“Holy” is one of those words we generally associate with the “stained glass ghetto” — a word only “church folks” use. That may be true, but it’s still a great concept. Every kid knows that you don’t eat hot dogs and potato chips on china. Mom’s china is reserved for “special company” or “special occasions.” Hot dogs are for paper plates and every day, china is for special events. When God is calling us to be holy, he’s calling us to be china — something special just for him, and as Peter emphasizes, just like him.
Food for Thought
How bad is it when the biggest relief of the day was when the news that the employee that got hurt was NOT hurt on the job, but when they were off for the weekend? Sad, right? My first thought wasn’t “Oh, it’s so sad they were hurt”, but “ALL RIGHT! They weren’t hurt at work!” Shaking my head at myself. I really am sad they were hurt – but I’m also grateful we didn’t start out the New Year with an injury already.
Houseplant Appreciation Day – I have shared in years past how horrible I am with plants. Just about two years ago I managed to kill a plant that I got from my ex-mother-in-law after she died (truth is, my ex-father-in-law did better with plastic plants so he gave the real ones to me). I kept this ugly thing alive for over 18 years but somehow last year it kicked the bucket. If I had liked the woman I might feel bad, but as sad as it is to see a living thing die such a slow and tortured death, it truly was fortunate to have survived for as long as it did. Because of my track record I have always envied people who have a way with plants. My Grandmothers both did, and my Mom does. There is one plant that I have that I would be devastated if it died. Granted, it isn’t doing perfectly, but it is surviving. This one particular plant is special. Years ago when my children were little, my ex-mother-in-law had this plant. I couldn’t tell you want it was called, still can’t to this day. I had a friend tell me what it was last year from the picture I posted (this same picture) but I can’t remember what it was because I didn’t write it down. Anyway, my ex-mother-in-law that it didn’t like to be moved around, and it appeared to be true in the case of this plant. One day I saw little pink, waxy blossoms coming out of the plant pot, and assumed that she’d done what she normally did, and popped some plastic flowers into the pot to make it LOOK like it had bloomed. I got closer and could smell a perfume smell – so sweet it was almost cloying. Wow, she’d really gone all out to fool me! That’s when I realized that there were little droplets of moisture on the blossoms, they were real! These beautiful, delicate little flowers were REAL! I told my Grandma K about the plant and she was really excited about it – wanted to know what it was. In an uncharacteristic moment of selflessness, my ex-mother-in-law cut a piece off of the plant and began to root it out, and eventually it became a lovely little plant all on its own that she put into a pot. We planned a visit to see my Grandma, and she gave her the plant. Fast forward a few years, the plant was growing like crazy and it loved my Grandma – like all of her plants did. She was always sad that it never bloomed though. One day she called me and told me that the plant had sprouted 3 sets of lovely pink blossoms, but I had news of my own. That day my ex-mother-in-law had passed away. A few years after that I had to re-claim Grandma’s plant for myself. She was ill and in hospice care in a nursing facility. I was afraid Grandpa, in his grief, would throw away the plants. On June 25, 2000, on the day my Grandma went to heaven that plant blossomed again. Three sets of lovely pink, fragrant blossoms. It hasn’t bloomed again since then, and honestly, I’m not a superstitious person, but I’m not sure I want it to. This happening twice really seems creepy to me. I love the plant though, because Grandma did, so I’ll do my best to keep it alive. Do you have any special plants that have meaning to you? Celebrate today by feeding and watering your plants. They really do deserve it. I’ll give mine a special treat and give them fertilizer too. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the boost of energy.
National Cut Your Energy Costs Day – We all love saving money right? And I’m sure we’d all love to save energy in the process? Or maybe we’d all love to save energy and save money in the process? I guess it works either way. This one is about cutting energy costs and a few ideas to reach that goal. I found 20 tips, some easy, some not so much, but that’s up to each of us to decide for ourselves. I’m sure there are many more ideas than these 20, but it’s a start.
- Turn down the heat! You’ll save money by turning down your thermostat. According to the Department of Energy, the average American spends about $2,000 on annual energy costs with nearly half used for heating purposes.
- Speaking of heat, upgrade to an Energy Star programmable thermostat if you can.
- Weatherproof the house. Adding simple things like caulk and weather-stripping around doors and windows that are not adequately sealed can really make a difference.
- If possible, add more insulation to your home.
- Switch out those old light bulbs and replace them with the energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. (not that we’re given much choice in that now)
- Believe it or not, even if you aren’t using a particular appliance or electronic gadget, they are still using energy. Unplug items you are not using. (I know this works – a friend of mine got her power nearly to nothing one month from unplugging everything as an experiment.)
- Turn off the television, radio and/or computer when not in use.
- Close the window blinds/curtains when it’s very warm or extremely windy/cold.
- When it’s time to purchase a new appliance, make sure it is ENERGY STAR rated. Be sure to check out possible tax credits and rebates too.
- Turning down the fridge and/or water heater will help save money too.
- Wait until the dishwasher or washing machine/dryer is completely full before you start a new load.
- Don’t let the water run when brushing your teeth.
- Install low-flow shower heads to help save water.
- Fix those leaky/dripping faucets and running toilets.
- Landscaping with shade trees can help block wind and the sun and reduce those energy bills.
- Help reduce our dependence on foreign oil by walking or hopping on your bike instead of driving.
- Speaking of cars – when it’s time to purchase a new vehicle be sure to check out electric/hybrid vehicles or traditional autos that get good mileage. (I won’t ever get a hybrid – the costs financially AND environmentally are too big for words – just research what it takes to dispose of those batteries once they die! Not worth it, in my opinion. A good, economical, fuel efficient vehicle will always be the way I go)
- If you can afford it, more expensive items like solar/tankless water heaters, solar panels, new energy-efficient windows and/or cool roofs are just a few of the big ticket items that can make a big impact on your energy bill. Don’t forget to check out rebates or tax credits on these items as well.
- Check with your local organizations, governments and utility company. Some may offer energy assistance and/or weatherization programs if you qualify.
Just be smart with your energy usage! Leaving lights on all over the house, appliances going when you aren’t using them (I’m horrible about pre-heating the oven to bake something, then getting distracted and leaving it going unnecessarily), turning down the heat a little bit (we have sweaters and blankets folks!), etc. are all practical things that can be done by everyone.
National Take the Stairs Day – This is a pretty new one, with the 1st year celebrated being last January – and I missed it. Sorry. If you are looking for a way to get healthier, or an exercise that is easy to participate in without having to go to a lot of expense, this one may be for you! The goal of this day is to encourage people to say no to elevators and escalators and take the stairs. Going up and down stairs is a non-impact activity that most people can do. It tones muscles, helps us maintain or lost weight, and contributes to cardio-vascular health. My Fitbit counts flights of stairs, but most smart phones have an app that does this also. Discover the benefits of taking the stairs today, then turn it into a daily habit!
Peculiar People Day – This is a day to honor of uniquely different people. How many ways are there to describe the word peculiar? Some of the words found in the thesaurus are extraordinary, unusual, strange, odd, uncommon, intriguing, different, abnormal, and quirky. Depending on your view, these traits can be good . . . or they can be bad, but for today we should look for the good in the peculiar folks that surround you. If you are peculiar, this is your day to be honored and appreciated. Chances are, you will find something peculiar about yourself, if you look hard enough. If you can’t find anything peculiar about yourself, then give some recognition and appreciation to the quirkiness of your friends and family.
This Day in History –
1863 – The world’s first underground passenger railway system opens in London, England.
Food Celebration of the Day
National Bittersweet Chocolate Day – Many Europeans found the frothy, bitter chocolate drinks they picked up from Aztecs unappealing. Once they added cane sugar, a worldwide chocolate craze was born.
I’ve always been a big fan of milk chocolate, but it’s not something that is easy to achieve in the low-carb world, so I’ve had to adapt my thinking and, hopefully in time, my taste buds to bittersweet chocolate. This fun dish should help with that! Today I give you Almost Instant Chocolate Mousse from All Day I Dream About Food and the amazing ketogenic cookbook, Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen by Carolyn Ketchum. It was very easy to make, took very little time, and set up beautifully. Give it a try! Even if you aren’t on a low-carb eating plan I can bet you’ll love it! If you like this, take a look for this book on Amazon and find a LOT more deliciousness in store for your future!
Here are a few traditional recipes to try, if the delicious low carb treat I gave you doesn’t work out for you today.
Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies
Shotts Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake
National Oysters Rockefeller Day – I am not a big fan of oysters. That’s actually an understatement. I really, REALLY don’t like them. I don’t like that they can’t be cleaned of their digestive organs. It’s all in my mind, I’m sure, since so many people love them, and I did survive the one I tasted, but blech. With my personal opinion out there, that brings us to the question of what are Oysters Rockefeller? Well, it’s a dish consisting of oysters on the half-shell that have been topped with a sauce made of butter, parsley, various other herbs, and bread crumbs, then baked or broiled. They are garnished with lemon wedges. Sometimes, as a non-traditional topping, you’ll find diced bacon on top. That would be the best part!
Here’s a recipe from Taste of Home that you may want to try! Let me know if you like it. https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/oysters-rockefeller
Hubby and I have fun plans for celebrating my birthday this weekend – I’ll tell you all about it when it’s all over – but until then, I have a LOT to do to get ready for it. This weekend will be for fun, and next weekend will be for de-Christmasing the house. I’ve kept it up in the hopes that my son’s family would be able to come and visit for our Christmas with them, but at this point I can’t see it happening. Which is sad, but I can’t keep all of this up forever. It’s time to get the house back in order.