Fridays are Awesome, Even When I’m Spending it Doing Taxes . . . More Coffee Please!

Here we are, the last Friday in March. I’ve procrastinated it nearly as long as I can . . . today I throw myself onto the sword of tax preparation. I can think of a zillion and one things I’d prefer to be doing . . . scrubbing toilets, trimming Moose’s nails, bathing the cat without protective clothing, mowing the lawn with nose hair trimmers . . . you get the idea. None of those things will get this chore done, so today I do what is necessary, followed by the things that can wait. Well, except for the bread. I have the dough for two loaves of sourdough bread rising, but I’m going to give it lots of time so it’s perfectly puffy when I bake it. The nice thing about having three-day weekends is that, no matter how long my list of to-dos is, I have three full days to get them done.


Verse of the Day

March 29, 2019

When he [Judas] was gone, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him.”

John 13:31

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

In the powerful old hymn “Beneath the Cross of Jesus,” we sing “my glory all the cross.” That was genuinely true of Jesus. While other human leaders try to find glory in all sorts of ways, Jesus’ path to glory was the cross, because he was not after acclaim, but wanted to obey and glorify the Father! When Judas left the Last Supper, the final stages of the process was set in motion that would bring Jesus to the horrors of Calvary. But rather than seeing the cross as his degradation, it was his way of glorifying God.



Finding Peace in Simple Moments

One of my very favorite parts of spring would be when the trees start to flower. Yesterday I was driving to work, and while I was passing this one farm, I saw that the pink flowering trees were in full bloom – a full row of them. They are GORGEOUS right now – they are in full bloom, but not so far gone that they are starting to lose their blossoms in the wind. It feels like the earth just gave a big, springtime sigh of contentment. I know I did, as soon as I saw them.


National Mom & Pop Business Owner’s Day – Today we celebrate small business owners.  People who, by hard work, dedication and countless hours nurture and grow their dream business, deserve to be applauded.  The demanding workload when the business first starts, lack of hired staff, often turns out to mean long and late hours, missed family events and time gone by with those that they love that they will never get back.  It is worth it though, to have something you love to do, that you built with your own two hands, and living the American dream.   Choosing leadership that applauds independent business and does everything to support it boosts our economy and helps all of us live better lives. When we elected President Trump we made great strides toward supporting small business, but now, especially in my state and states like it, that are run by tax everything all the time Democrats, we need to start by voting all of those anti-business, pro-give-me-something-free-tax-more-tax-everything liberals OUT of office and start putting logical, conservative business thinking individuals in charge so that all of us can prosper.  Businesses, small and large, and people who actually have a sense of pride and work ethic, are the folks working their fingers to the bone only to have it thrown away on stupid programs that don’t help anyone but the ones running them. One pretty awesome thing about small businesses that I have always liked, when you call them on the phone, you get a live person.  I hate those long, complicated, annoying, circuitous phone tree systems.  For crying out loud! Just answer the phone! Mom and Pop shops?  Yes, they answer their phones!  They also know their products, since they created them.  You won’t reach someone on the phone who is doing their customer service from some other country, who has never used the product, or who doesn’t speak or understand the language you do.  Yes, this is a real peeve with me.  Today appreciate your Mom and Pop business owners – shop in their stores not just today, but every day because they are the folks keeping our neighborhoods alive.



National Vietnam War Veterans Day – This celebration is LONG overdue but so worthy of observing.  Honoring the men and women who served and sacrificed during the longest conflict in the history of the United States is something that should have been doing all along.  Combat support units withdrew from South Vietnam on this date in 1973. When the soldiers returned, they were treated with terrible disrespect by so many people who opposed the war, people who were too caught up in their own agenda to be able to separate the war from the soldiers who were following orders.  Generations after the war ended our servicemen are finally receiving some appreciation. My father served in Vietnam and I am so proud of him for his service.  Today, honor a Vietnam Vet. Tell them thank you for their service and let them know that they are appreciated.  It may be years after the war, but they will appreciate hearing it anyway.



Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day – There are some things that just defy the word creepy – and being a resident of the Niagara Falls area on March 29th, 1848 would have been one of those creepy defying days.  On that day a truly remarkable and rare event happened.  Niagara Falls ran dry for about 30-40 hours.  How?  Here’s the interesting thing . . . my first thought was that it froze, but that wasn’t it!    On that day in late March, a gale force wind had been blowing from the south-west for several days before an ice dam occurred at the mouth of the Niagara River.  The weather was clear with an air temperature of about 46 degrees Fahrenheit.  The wind, which was blowing over the entirety of Lake Erie, combined with massive amounts of lake ice which was pushed into the mouth of the Niagara River.  There was so much ice that the river couldn’t handle it all, so it began to jam up at the entrance.  The jam became so dense with hundreds of thousands of tons of ice, that it became a dam, which severely restricted the water.  One of the first residents to notice the silence was a farmer who left home for a walk along the river near American Falls and realized that the usual thundering roar of the falls was absent.  He took a closer look and realized that the amount of water flowing over the falls was down to a trickle.  Residents woke up on the morning of March 30th to an eerie silence, realizing that something was wrong.  People were drawn to the falls to find out that the river was reduced to a trickle.  The Bridgewater Mills on the Canadian shore had to be shut down because there wasn’t water flow to run it!  By the morning of March 31st, more than 5,000 people had gathered along the banks of the river, all the mills and factories that depended on the water were at a standstill.  The riverbed was quickly drying, with fish and turtles left to flounder on dry land.  Many people made their way into the gorge to the riverbed, seeing articles that had been lying on the river’s bottom, hidden for 100’s of years.  Souvenirs picked up included bayonets, gun barrels, muskets, tomahawks and other artifacts of the War of 1812.  Others walked out onto the river bed that only hours earlier had been a torrent of rapids and would have resulted in certain death.  It became a tourist and media event.  People on foot, on horseback, or by horse and buggy, crossed the width of the Niagara River.  It was an historical event that had never occurred before and hasn’t been duplicated since.  A squad of soldiers of the U.S. Army Cavalry rode their horses up and down the river bed as an exhibition.  Below the falls, workers from the Maid of the Mist were able to venture out onto the river bed and blast away rocks which had normally been a navigational hazard to the Maid of the Mist boat since its beginning in 1846.  Understandably the silencing of the falls caused a lot of anxiety and fear amongst the residents, and many believed that this was the beginning of a doomsday scenario.

On the morning of March 31st, the falls remained silent. Many 1000’s of people attended special church services on both sides of the border.  With each hour that passed, the level of fear grew, until the night of March 31st when a loud, low pitched growl and groan was heard coming from upstream.  This was quickly followed by the return of the normal flow of water along the Niagara River.  A wall of water surged forward at a surprising speed, again covering, probably forever, what had been exposed for a brief historic moment in time.  The return of the roar of the falls reassured the residents that all was going to be alright with their world, and they could breathe a sigh of relief and return to their normal activities.

Honestly, unless you live near Niagara Falls, there’s no way to really celebrate this day, but it is a truly interesting piece of history that I wasn’t aware of until recently.  I hope you found it to be as intriguing as I did!



Food Celebration of the Day

National Chiffon Cake Day – Up until about 1927, cakes were made with shortening, and tended to be a bit dense.  However, according to General Mills, Chiffon Cake was the first really new cake in 100 years because it uses vegetable oil in place of conventional shortening.

In 1927 – Harry Baker, (I giggled at the irony of his last name) a Los Angeles insurance agent, is said to have invented the original chiffon cake.  Word spread about his wonderfully airy cake, and he was continually asked for the recipe.  For two decades he carefully guarded his secret, making his special cake only for the reigning royalty of the silver screen.  Baker sold the cake to Hollywood stars and made it for the famous Brown Derby Restaurant.  The secret to his light and airy chiffon cake is that the egg whites are beaten separately from the yolks, and that it uses vegetable oil instead of butter or shortening.

In 1947, General Mills bought the recipe from Harry Baker. He agreed to sell the recipe to General Mills so “Betty Crocker could give the secret to the women of the America.”  In 1948 General Mills released the secret recipe for chiffon cake in the May 1948 Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, and it became a nationwide sensation. The secret ingredient, vegetable oil, was then revealed. Better Homes and Garden Magazine advertised the cake as “The first really new cake in 100 years.”  In the 1950s, General Mills sponsored chiffon cake contests. People came up with all flavors of this cake during that time. This all leads us to today’s Lemon Chiffon Cake Day!

Well, in spite of the fact that I’d rather be making a chiffon cake than doing taxes, the taxes really must be done, so I’ll get to it! Have a wonderful Friday! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.


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