Yesterday was the 1st day of the year, and I did what I promised myself I’d do and I stepped onto the scale and took my measurements. It wasn’t as terrible as I expected, which is a shock. Not to say that it was GOOD, it just wasn’t as BAD as I thought it would be. We ate right on plan, had some delicious meals, and a delicious dessert! That’s a pretty great thing, considering that we are keeping our carbs low. You can see the dessert I made below in the Food Celebration of the Day! Because I was on my feet in the kitchen much of the day yesterday I didn’t get any actual exercising done, but I will be getting at least a little in today.
Verse of the Day
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
So often we look up and time has passed us by. The things we promised ourselves we’d accomplish and the deeds we told others we’d do get left undone. Before we know it, days have become weeks, and weeks months, and months years. We find ourselves unable to do what we once assumed we could do any time we want. We must ask the Spirit of God to help us see and seize the opportunities the LORD places in our path.
Food for Thought
I am going to start this New Year putting positive thoughts into everything I do, hit the challenges with prayers for patience, a kind and forgiving heart, and a determination to not allow how other people act get me down. I am only responsible for MY actions, and as such, need to be sure they glorify God and not give in to the angry thoughts and words that go along with getting bogged down in other people’s issues.
55-MPH Speed Limit Day – Today is the anniversary of the lowering of the speed limit nationwide to 55 mph, in 1972. President Richard Nixon signed a bill into law that required every U.S. state to reduce speed limits to a maximum of 55 mph. The bill came about because the federal government needed to spend federal highway money, or risk losing it. The country was going through an energy crisis at the time, and there was fear that we would have fuel shortages. People were told that a reduction in the speed limit would reduce the amount of fuel needed to run the cars. With the way cars were built in 1972, this was theoretically true. Now, with today’s cars it would end up burning MORE fuel because the vehicles wouldn’t be driven in at their optimal efficient speeds. Since then some portions of freeway in various states have increased their speed limits to 70 MPH, which makes sense – especially since I only know a few people who actually abide by the 55 MPH anyway. (Shhh . . . I’m one of those people.)
Happy Mew Year for Cats – I love my cats, and I can see why they deserve a special Mew Year holiday just for themselves. My furry kitty girls are spoiled already, but they may get very fortunate and mama may go get them a special treat today – something different than their usual treats. This one, like so many very cute ones, was created by www.wellcat.com, and I truly do appreciate it. This sort of special day can raise awareness of the plight of cats who wait at the local shelters waiting for a forever home, which each one so richly deserves to have in their little lives. Consider going and adopting a kitty today. They give such love in return for a warm lap to sleep in, some loving pets and scratches behind the ears, and some yummy treats in their bowls.
National Motivation and Inspiration Day –After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Congress passed House Resolution 308 on December 18, 2001 officially became National Motivation and Inspiration day. The founder of the observance, Kevin L. McCrudden, said that he created it after 9-11 because in all of the loss, despair and sadness, he saw Americans working side by side to accomplish amazing things. He said he has traveled all across the country over the past decade and has spoken to a lot of people and found out that many of them do not set up personal goals for themselves. He felt it wasn’t right and that in a country as great as America, where truly almost anything is possible, that everyone should have their own personal goals or ambitions, and the beginning of a new year is a great time to start that process. I have to say, I agree with him!
National Science Fiction Day – This one is unofficially celebrated by many science fiction fans in the United States on January 2nd. This date was chosen because it is the birthday of the famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. It isn’t an official holiday, but it is recognized by organizations like the Hallmark Channel and by the Scholastic Corporation – so it’s at least a justifiable one for the science fiction buffs to celebrate, right? I’ve never been a huge fan of reading science fiction books, but the occasional movie in that genre is a fun thing.
Pet Travel and Safety –This is a pretty important one, since I know many of us have furbabies that we take with us in the car when we go places. It was set up by Pet and Family Lifestyle expert, animal advocate and former EMT-Medic, Colleen Paige, to educate people about the dangers of unsecured pets in cars, and to teach how to make traveling in a vehicle safer for people and their pets. Ms. Paige teaches that there are simple and inexpensive ways to keep you and your pets safe when you go for a ride in the car. It doesn’t matter how well you drive, or how comfortable and happy your pets are going in the car, they are not safe from irresponsible drivers, just like you aren’t safe from irresponsible drivers. Cats don’t seem to be at as great a risk as dogs because usually cats are crated in the car. If they aren’t, they should be. (I have to be honest here, usually I have my angry kitty crated and my relaxed car kitty just sleeping on the floor. I may have to rethink that.) Any unsecured pet, at just 10 MPH, if you have to stop quickly for something in the road, or swerve to avoid someone who crosses into your lane, your pet faces the risk of flying into the dashboard, windshield or the back of your seat. At this point at the very least they will suffer emotional distress, and possibly sustain cuts, bruises or even broken bones from blunt force trauma. If you let them ride in your lap, or even worse, be on your lap looking out the driver’s window, they can be crushed between you and your steering wheel if you have to stop suddenly or are in an accident, and ejected into oncoming traffic. Obviously with a huge dog like Moose we aren’t going to be having lap riding incidents, but I have seen so many people with small dogs in their laps and looking out the driver side window. How about dogs who hang their heads out the window while going down the road – regardless of if they are in your lap doing it, or a big dog in the backseat? They are at risk of eye and head injury from road debris. Have you ever had a rock hit your windshield that puts a chip or a crack in it? Imagine that, or even something larger, hitting your dog in the face, eye or head? It makes me feel sick to think about! How about the times a bush or tree branch has smacked the side of your car? What would happen if your dog got smacked in the face with that? There are so many things that can injure your dog that you wouldn’t anticipate happening, that it just isn’t worth the risk to allow certain things, like lap sitting, or hanging heads out the window, even if they enjoy it. There are safety harnesses and crates would prevent injury to your pets. Metal separators aren’t even enough to keep your dog safe – they just keep them from jumping into the front seat and hitting the dash, but they could still suffer injury if your car rolls after being impacted. If you don’t have a harness, or cannot afford one, you can loop a strong, thick leash through the seat belt to confine your dog from moving around. It isn’t 100% effective to keep them from being ejected, but it does reduce the risk quite a bit. Another thing to keep in mind, just as you should carry an emergency bag for you and your children with three days worth of food, water and medication when you travel, you should also take three days of food, jugs of water and everything your pet needs as well. You never know when you will get stuck on the road due to natural disaster, your vehicle breaking down, road closure due to traffic accidents, etc. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to put up windshield and window shades to pull down to keep yourself and your pets from heat exhaustion if you should breakdown in the high heat. There are many other things to consider when traveling with pets that I just couldn’t fit here, so please, take a look at http://www.pettravelsafetyday.com/index2.htm to see the entire article and learn how to keep your pets safer on the road. We don’t take chances with our children. It just makes sense that we shouldn’t take chances with our pets.
Run It Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day – is an expression that literally means to put an idea out there and see what other people think about it, or if they even notice that you’ve done something. Often you’ll hear people use this expression in advertising, or in the print media. I don’t think I have personally ever heard someone use it, but someone, somewhere, thought it was an important enough expression that they set up today as the day to celebrate it. Use today to try out something new in your life – doesn’t have to be limited to business – something you haven’t tried before. See if anyone notices! And even if they don’t, if you like it, stick with it. It might just catch on.
Saint Basil’s Day – I’ve always been fascinated by celebrations from other countries that coincide with our traditional celebrations such as Christmas. I forgot to add this one to yesterday’s post, just like I did last year, and because I think it’s pretty interesting, I decided to piggy back it on to today’s post) This is one of those, and will get a little long winded, but I think that it’s worth it not to lose the flavor of the celebration. Here we go: Orthodox Christians celebrate St. Basil’s Day on January first. Most of us won’t have ever heard of St. Basil, but here’s a bit about him. He was born in central Turkey, and became famous for being intellectually brilliant, his care of the poor, and the rules he wrote to govern monastic life. Greeks celebrate this day with gift giving, carol singing, a special kind of bread, and a number of customs that were designed to attract good luck for the coming year. The Eve of St. Basil’s Day is also New Year’s Eve. On this long, dark night friends and relatives gather together to wait for the start of the New Year. They play cards or other games of chance on this night, as old superstitions link New Year’s Day with fortune telling. At midnight they all wish each other “Chrónia pollá ” (many years) or “Kalí chroniá ” (good year). The first person to enter a home after midnight determines the household’s luck for the upcoming year – see First Footing. They have the added step of bringing a religious image used in prayer and worship first through the door, with their arms outstretched in front of them to make sure it gets through the door first. Greek families may observe other superstitions on New Year’s Eve also – like opening windows at midnight to release any evil spirits that are hanging about the house. Another of their traditions encourages children and adults to go from house to house, singing carols called kalanda (Christmas Carols). One such Greek carol, called “Kalanda Pro-tochronias” honors the start of the New Year and the arrival of St. Basil from Caesarea in what is now Turkey. The carolers traditionally carry with them a paper star, a ship, an orange, an apple and a green branch from a dogwood tree. The singers would give a blessing to the families they visited by brushing them on the backs with the branch. They also went caroling on New Year’s Day, sometimes adding other symbolic acts that were thought to ensure the household’s luck, such as tossing wheat into their backyards, or prodding their fires. Not sure what those were intended to accomplish, but it was traditional, so they did it. On New Year’s Day families would gather together to share a loaf of special bread. The bakers would insert a coin into this sweet, braided bread (or cake, depending on which region of Greece they were in). Whoever got the coin in their slice of bread would have good luck in the coming year. The bread was always distributed in a ceremonial way though, with each slice meaning something special. The head of the household made the sign of the cross over the bread, and cut the 1st slice, which is “for Christ”. The 2nd and 3rd pieces were offered to St. Basil, and the Virgin Mary. The next piece went to the head of the household, and the remaining slices to the rest of the household, from oldest to youngest. An old Greek legend explains the origins of this custom of the bread. It said that when St. Bail was acting as the bishop of Caesarea, he was asked to return a sack of valuable items that had been collected from the people of the city. Some said that the items were collected by over-greedy tax collectors, others said by thieves. The people began to argue about what belonged to whom, so St. Basil sought divine aid in sorting out the disputes. He asked some women to bake the treasures into a large loaf of bread. When he sliced and gave out the pieces, everyone miraculously received only their own valuables. Today, being the feast day of St. Basil, there are special religious services held in his honor. Traditionally Greek families open their holiday gifts on St. Basil’s Day. Actually, St. Basil, who visits Greek homes on New Year’s Eve, is their traditional Christmas season gift bringing. Some families leave out special foods for him – such as a glass of water and pomegranates, sweets, bread, fish or jellied pork pie – during the night so that the saint could refresh himself. In recent years foreign influences have brought some families to exchange presents on Christmas Day instead of St. Basil’s Day. Over the years there have been plenty of superstitions and folk charms attach themselves to New Year’s Day. Today many of them are still observed for fun. One activity is thought to predict one’s preoccupations in the coming year – people try to avoid arguing, sobbing or losing anything on this day. An odd combination of things, in my opinion. Some people eat sweets as a means of insuring that they will have a “sweet” new year. Others put on new clothes as a charm to guarantee that they will be well groomed all year long. When dinnertime comes, tables are set with plenty of food, insuring that the family will enjoy abundant provisions for the months ahead. We are so immersed and familiar with our own traditions, that sometimes we forget the rich cultural differences that are out there to be learned and appreciated. As for St. Basil’s Day – I think that whole eating sweets thing today sounds great!
Food Celebration of the Day
National Buffet Day – I enjoy a nice buffet as much as the next person, but I can’t help but think this one lands way too close to many people’s New Year’s resolution to lose weight! BUT for the folks out there who are OK for having a food free-for-all, today is YOUR day! This one is about either hosting or attending a buffet of epic proportions – enjoy a spread that has enough food to keep anyone full for the entire day! Sort of like our house at Thanksgiving! I’ll pass on this one, since I don’t feel like going out today, but let me know how it goes for you, if you decide to indulge!
National Cream Puff Day – Cream puffs, gougeres and eclairs come from the French dough called choux paste. Perfect the paste (or cheat a little) so you can enjoy light-as-a-cloud pastries. This is the one I chose to use for my low carb/ keto recipe of the day. I made them last night and I can honestly say they are DELICIOUS! The recipe is linked here, and this is the picture of the ones I made. If you want to have a “regular”, “Normal” or “Ordinary” cream puff, see the recipes below. I’ll actually stick with this recipe I found – they are quite amazing and fit right in with our eating plan!
- Classic Cream Puffs
- Easy Cream Puff Cake
- Gougeres (aka French Cheese Puffs)
- Chocolate Eclairs
- Cream Puff Cocktail
- Mock Cream Puff Delight
- Easiest Cream Puffs
I started this morning organized and ready to go. Lunches were packed last night, clothes were out and ready to wear, and I am determined to make this be a very good year! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.