Good Morning and a very Happy Friday to everyone! I don’t know about all of you, but this week has gone by fairly slowly for me so I’m ecstatic that Friday has finally arrived. The weather is supposed to be nice for the weekend, which is a great thing since it usually manages to be better during the work week and pouring down rain on the weekends around here. It will be a nice change. Spring is definitely in the air. Last night I heard the frogs singing happily out in the wetlands that border our neighborhood, and in the wee hours of the morning when I was out with Moose I heard geese. Don’t these birds stop and sleep? We both just stood there quietly listening in the pre-dawn chill and appreciated the sounds and aromas of the morning. Yep, it’s going to be a great day.
Verse of the Day
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Before the beginning of time! How do you understand when that was? God first thought of us at a time we cannot even begin to understand! His reason for thinking of us was to demonstrate his grace and call others to his side. Jesus has always been God’s plan and we have always been his goal. Let’s make sure we respond by living his holy life!
Food for Thought
We hear so much about kids these days and how they have no respect or discipline that sometimes the good kids get lost in the negative mix. Last night I pulled into a parking space at Walmart and sat there for a few minutes finishing a conversation with my Mom (No, I don’t hold my phone and drive.) In front of me was another parked vehicle and while I sat there a teen boy, probably about 15 or so, came out of the store and got into the car. A few minutes later his mother came out with her cart of things and he immediately hopped out of the car, opened the back and began unloading the heavy bags of potting soil and other items into it. He then, without attitude, took the cart back to a cart return spot. When he got back to the car he got in, belted up, was laughing and talking with his Mom, and I saw her hand him a treat from one of the bags and together they sat there enjoying their treat and talking before they pulled away. I was so impressed by this – not just that he was automatically helpful, but that their relationship was so great, he didn’t have his face buried in his phone and he showed her such love and respect. The good kids are out there. Don’t let the bad ones drown out the stories of the ones who are worthy individuals who are being raised the right way, with morals, discipline and a sense of responsibility. The future is not lost with people like this being raised up in this world.
Barbie Day –Happy Birthday Barbie! On this day in 1959 the first Barbie Doll went on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City. She was 11 inches tall, with long, flowing blond hair. Being the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features, she created quite a sensation . . . which is obvious since she is still so popular today. The woman who was behind this ageless toy was Ruth Handler, the co-founder of Mattel, Inc. with her husband. She saw her young daughter ignore her baby dolls to play make-believe with paper dolls of adult women and realized that there was an important place in the market that would allow for little girls to imagine the future. Barbie’s appearance was originally modeled after a doll named Lilli, which was based on a German comic strip character. Lilli was marketed as a racy gag gift to adult men in tobacco shops in Germany, but she later became very popular with children. Mattel bought the rights to Lilli and made its own version, which Ruth named after her daughter, Barbara. Mattel began sponsoring The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955 and became the first toy company to broadcast commercials to children. (Gee, now we know who to thank for all of those long Christmas lists from the kids!) Mattel used TV to promote their new toy, and by 1961, the enormous consumer demand for the doll led Mattel to create and release a boyfriend for Barbie. She named him Ken, after her son – which if you think about it is a little creepy – but so is the Ken doll. Barbie’s best friend Midge hit the market in 1963, and her little sister Skipper debuted in 1964. Over the years Barbie has generated huge sales, and quite a bit of controversy. On the positive side, many women saw Barbie as giving an alternative to the traditional 1950s gender roles. She had different careers, from flight attendant, to doctor, to pilot and even astronaut. She was an Olympic athlete and at one point a U.S. Presidential candidate. Other people thought that her never-ending supply of designer clothes, cars and Dream Houses taught kids to be materialistic. What caused the most controversy though, was Barbie’s appearance. Her tiny waist and large breasts (it’s been said that if she were real her measurements would be 36-18-38), were thought to give girls an unrealistic and harmful example, which in turn fostered negative body image. Seriously? Get real people! The negative body image more likely comes from magazines, airbrushed FAKE images, and Hollywood – with all of their stick figure actresses. I can honestly say that my friends and I played with Barbie all of our lives and not one of us wished we looked like her. Utterly ridiculous. I’m happy to say that in spite of the criticism, sales of Barbie-related merchandise continued to rise, topping 1 billion dollars annually by 1993. Since 1959 there have been more than 800 million dolls in the Barbie family sold around the world, and Barbie is now a global icon. One article I found did have me giggling a little. Apparently not ALL Barbie dolls were a raging success and had to be pulled from the market. There was a time when they decided that it was time for Barbie to grow up and start having a family, so they came out with a pregnant Midge. Midge had a magnetic belly that you could pull off and inside was the baby that the little girl could help “birth”. That one didn’t stay on the market long. Then there was the ill-planned and short termed “Oreo” Barbie. There isn’t anything wrong with Mattel going into business with Oreo, but they sadly enough chose a dark-skinned doll for the campaign . . . and apparently the outcry was deafening. I can see why! There were 12 ill-fated Barbie’s, but the last one I’ll tell you about, and the one I think was really quite funny, was Skipper growing up. They decided that Skipper needed to become a teenager, so if you twisted her arm she grew an inch taller and developed breasts! Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard when I read that! It wasn’t a popular choice with parents, as they felt it taught little girls to focus too much on growing up and not enough on just being a kid. I’m betting that anyone with any of these three dolls in their collection has quite a valuable item on their hands. I wish I still had all of mine, but unfortunately they were lost in a fire. I had the Disco Barbie and the Disco Ken – they were hysterical. You held them by their legs and wiggled them and their upper bodies wobbled back and forth. They were funny! I LOVED Barbie growing up, my daughter loved Barbie and I hope that many generations of children will continue to love Barbie in the decades to come.
Get Over It Day – This is an interesting holiday and is just simply about “Getting Over It”. Getting over what you ask? Well, it was created by a man in 2005, who was having a difficult time getting over the loss of his girlfriend. Essentially this day is meant to help people get past their troubles but do it in humorous way. It can mean getting over anything that is causing you to hold a grudge, be angry unnecessarily, or make a bigger deal out of something that it is worth. It is also meant to be a day to remember that others in the world certainly have it worse than we do, so we should feel a little humbled by that, and just “Get Over It”.
Middle Name Pride Day – How many of us know someone who never tells their middle name, and only goes by an initial? I never understood that. Of course, I like my middle name. I’m sure it would be different if my parents had come up with something ridiculously awful. Today is the day for everyone – whether you like your middle name or not – to shout it out and share it with others. Your parents took time and trouble to come up with that name – and it may have special meaning to them. My middle name is Dawn – and I was named after my father . . . Don! Simple enough. Interesting trivia – the most common first letter of middle names in the United States is “D”, which is funny, since my middle name, my husbands and my mother’s all start with D! One thing I read that I thought was interesting was that it’s all about rhythm and because of the syllabic flow, many middle names are single syllable to go with two syllable first names. That explains why so many women get the middle names Ann or Lynn. Same goes for single syllable first names usually get two syllable middle names! And it’s true – I did the same with both of my kids without even realizing it. One thing that is very true pretty much across the board – parents (mother’s especially) have a tendency to shout the first, middle AND last names of a child when they are in BIG trouble. My gosh, that is SO true!
National Days of Unplugging (9-10) – From the moment our alarm clocks wake us up in the morning, to turning on the TV for the morning news, getting online to check our email, using our phones to text people throughout the day, movies, games, go-go-go! We are ALWAYS plugged in somewhere all the time! This day is set aside to rest from all of that – remember what rest is? Do you remember a day when you were completely unplugged? Well, I do, but it’s only when we’re hiking and there ISN’T any way to plug in. Unless you are out in the mountains hiking, it’s hard to COMPLETELY detach from technology, but do the best you can. Turn off the phones, tablets and computers. Leave the TVs, games and movies off. Play games, read, go for a walk, have a picnic, etc. Doing all those things we did before all of this “stuff” was available 24/7. Of course, this would be more logical if it landed on a Saturday and Sunday instead of a Friday and Saturday. Apparently, the creators didn’t have to go to work, where we are plugged up from the moment we get there until the moment we get home. If you can, even for a few hours this weekend, just UNPLUG! The rest from technology will do you good.
Panic Day – AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! OK, now that I have it out of my system – it is PANIC DAY! Try to stay calm. Breathe in . . . Breathe out . . . Whew – I’m fine now. Are you? Hopefully everything is going well in your life and you don’t have any reason to panic, but if troubles are looming on your horizon, try holding off on hitting the panic button. . . if you can’t though, well, today is as good a day as any to just let loose and PANIC!
Food Celebrations of the Day –
National Crabmeat Day – Early crab recipes called for tiny amounts of the meat because crabs were so tough to harvest and shell. Nowadays, crabmeat comes fresh, frozen, canned or even imitation — no cracking required! All of these recipes from www.food.com look lovely! I’m thinking that most of these would convert well to low-carb using basic low carb substitutes. I am thinking that even combining this one with meatball day may be a fun option! We’ll see. I don’t have a lot of time tonight. It’s a fun thought though.
National Meatballs Day – There are so many different kinds of meatballs, made of every different kind of meat, and even a huge variety of meatless versions! They are a beautiful ingredient for different sauces and flavors that are nearly endless. Some meatball recipes go back generations and others are brand new, created out of a moment of spontaneous inspiration. What are YOUR favorite ways to enjoy meatballs?
I need to get out into this beautiful morning and head to work. The drive will be gorgeous because with the clear sky I will have a perfect view of the snow covered Olympic mountains on my way to work and NOTHING is more gorgeous than that, with the sparkling water of Hood Canal sitting at their feet. I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful part of our country. God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.