Gumdrops and Hippos! Two Celebrations That Have Absolutely NOTHING To Do With Each Other!

Good Morning! It’s Thursday already. In some ways this week has gone by very slowly, and in others it has been far too quick.  I always want to get to the weekend, but this weekend I face a very difficult thing – taking our kitty to the vet for her final appointment. It makes me feel so horrible, no matter how I word it!  I’ll talk more about that later.  There are good things though. We get to have Baby R spend the night, and that’s always exhausting, but so much fun. He is such a light in our lives and it’s been far too long since he’s been here for a visit.  I spoke with his Mommy yesterday, and apparently he knows a couple of words . . . words he shouldn’t know at the ripe old age of 1.5.  Now Mommy has to figure out WHERE he learned these words! HAHAHAHA This is such a fun age, and no, I did NOT teach naughty words to my grandson! Perish the thought!

Verse of the Day

February 15, 2018

This is love: not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:10

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

He loved us first! He offered his Son to save us regardless of our decision to believe or ignore his grace. We are given the ability to accept or reject the death of his Son as the sacrifice for our sins. The only condition, as 1 John 2:1-2 emphasizes, is that we realize that he died for everyone else in the world, too!

Food for Thought

I always appreciate my kids – I really do. But there are times that they come through for me, even when they don’t have to, that fills my heart with such an overwhelming amount of love.  I was talking with my daughter yesterday about our Pepsi cat.  Rather than coming out to see us on Saturday when they pick up Baby R, and to see the cat to make her good-byes, she agreed that, if we bring the cat with us and meet up with her family on Saturday evening, the guys can take Baby R to a local restaurant and hang out to wait for us, and she will go with me to say our good-byes and help our girl cross the Rainbow Bridge to meet up with our Tibbi Girl.  It will be so sad, but we both love this cat, we can cry together and hold her together and get each other through a very difficult moment.  It makes me tearful to think about it, but together I know we can do what needs to be done to keep our girl from any more suffering. It’s a horrible part of loving our pets, but a necessary one sometimes.


Angelman Syndrome Day – I had never even heard about this syndrome until today, which is sad since statistically it happens in 1 in every 20,000 births.  Today is set aside to raise awareness worldwide for Angelman syndrome, and the date selected is in recognition of the 15th chromosome affected.  February was chosen because it is International Rare Disease Month.  Makes sense.  So what IS Angelman Syndrome (AS)?  it is a neuro-genetic disorder of Chromosome 15 that results in intellectual and developmental delay.  People with Angelman Syndrome may speak only a few words, have mobility issues and my be wheelchair bound.  Most suffer from seizures and all require life-long 24/7 care.  They are known though for their wonderful smiles and warm personalities though.  Isn’t that often the case?  The body is impaired, but the spirit is beautiful?  This condition is named after Dr. Harry Angelman, who was the first doctor to make an observational diagnosis of 3 children who had very similar symptoms and characteristics.  This was in 1965.  What I found to be very sad was that most children born with this disorder are generally misdiagnosed as having other disorders, such as autism.  It certainly helps to get proper therapy and medication if the diagnosis is accurate.  There is hope though!  Children who are diagnosed today are able to get treatment that allows them a life they wouldn’t have had decades ago.  There are children who can at least communicate now, able to say specific words, pointing out different things to let you know what they want, or don’t want.  They can learn to use IPads and to turn on DVD Players, and that sort of technology which can greatly broaden their abilities to interact with the world.


Candelmas / Feast of Purification – Celebrated on the Modern calendar – February 2nd; On the Julian calendar – February 15th

I admit that I don’t know that much about Catholic festivities, so I didn’t know anything at all about this one until a few years ago.  I’d heard the name, but didn’t know what it was, but I’m glad that now I do. It’s interesting!  Candlemas is the last holiday of the Christmas season . . . bet you thought you were all done, right?  It is the Christian celebration, or festival, of the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary.  It also is the annual blessing of the candles used by the church.  So, what is the Feast of Purification?  According to Jewish customs, women were considered to be “unclean” after the birth of a child.  The unclean period lasted 40 days after a son was born, and 60 days after a daughter was born.  (I didn’t say it was fair – just reporting the history!) Throughout this time they were not allowed into the temple to worship.  When their time was finished, the woman was brought into the temple and “purified” in a ceremony.  After the birth of Jesus, Mary was purified on Candlemas/the Feast of the Purification.  On Candlemas, candles used during the year are blessed.  In Christian churches, candles represent Jesus Christ as the light, the truth and the way.  I like the ceremony of it all – it completes the season perfectly.


National Hippo Day –Today we celebrate the Hippopotamus!  Here are some fun facts about hippos which can explain why we are honoring them today.  The name Hippopotamus means “river horse” in Greek.  Since they spend up to 16 hours a day in the water, it makes sense that their name would be related to the water in some way.  They are herbivores who can hold their breath for 5 minutes.  Their nostrils, ears and eyes are located on top of their heads, so they can be mostly submerged, yet have their noses and eyes above the water.  They sweat a pink liquid that helps to keep them cool, and acts as a sunblock when they are out of the water.  (that’s pretty awesome)  They can eat up to 80 lbs of vegetation a day.  They have large incisors that are made of ivory, are very territorial and can run up to 30 mph on land.  For a large animal, that’s quite fast!  There are two species – the hippopotamus and the pygmy hippo.  Their closest living relative . . . is the whale!  WHO KNEW?  That’s very cool and highly unexpected.


Remember the Maine Day – “Remember the Maine!” was the angry cry that rallied Americans to a war in 1898.  The Maine was a battleship that had exploded while it was at anchor in Havana harbor, Cuba, on February 15, 1898.  About 260 members of the crew tragically died as the ship quickly sank.  There wasn’t enough evidence to find who was responsible for the explosion, many people concluded that Spain was at fault, and the war cry went up from the upset crowds.  Two months later the United States formally declared war on Spain.  So, what DID happen to the Maine?  Some historians thing that the ship exploded when an undetected fire in one of the coal bunkers reached the gunpowder in a magazine (a magazine is a room where the gunpowder and other explosives are kept in a  fort or a ship).  A recent investigation by National Geographic used computer-modeling to show that this theory does not match the evidence from the sunken ship.  Another theory is that the Maine was deliberately sunk by American forces to drive the U.S. into a war with Spain.  The most likely theory is that the ship hit a naval mine.  Today nobody seems to think that a bomb or torpedo hit the ship, but the newspaper headlines at the time did suggest those things.  This day has been declared Remember The Maine Day to commemorate the sailors who died.  If you happen to live in NYC you can check out the monument to the sailors who died in the USS Maine explosion, at the southwest entrance of Central Park.   No matter what really caused the explosion, the sailors deserve to be remembered for their sacrifice.


Singles Awareness Day –  this day after Valentine’s Day is set aside for those people who are unattached and without a significant other.  These folks may feel very left out on Valentine’s day and may even feel depressed, so this is for them.  On Singles Awareness Day singles can get together through various meet-up groups, they can give each other gifts, spend some time in online dating sites, and just celebrate being single and only responsible for themselves.  There are worse things than being single . . . being married to someone awful (as I used to be) is far worse.  Trust me.

Susan B Anthony Day – So, other than the few Susan B Anthony dollar coins that a few of us may have rattling around in our piggy banks, so today’s kids even know who she was or what she contributed to our country, or even who she was?  Susan Brownell Anthony was an American woman–a reformer, a feminist, a champion. She was born on February 15, 1820, in Adams, Massachusetts.  She was raised in a Quaker family, given a good education, taught that hard work and having a good work ethic would take you far in life.  By the time she was in her 30s, in the 1850s, The Temperance movement, women’s property rights and the abolition of slavery were all big issues.   These things began the stirrings of ideas of Women’s Suffrage in Anthony’s mind.   From 1850 to the Civil War Susan became an agent of the American Antislavery Society, working for the emancipation of slaves, and organizing the Women’s National Loyal League for this purpose.  After the war was finished, she began to focus on women’s suffrage.  She worked tirelessly, but unsuccessfully throughout the battle of the amendments, when the 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution were debated.  The amendments ensured the vote and other civil rights to former male slaves, but not to women.  She pressed a test court case for women’s suffrage based on the two amendments, and on November 1, 1872 she went to register to vote in Rochester, NY, along with three other women.  Two election inspectors at first refused, but she read them the pertinent lines of the  Constitution and they eventually consented.  By the end of that period of registration, 50 women had registered to vote and on election day, November 5, 1872, Susan B. Anthony voted for the first time.  On November 18th she was served with an arrest warrant.  She was tried, unfairly, and long story short the jury was instructed by the judge to return a verdict of guilty for voting illegally.  She was fined $100 but not sailed, which was a calculated move planned in advance to prevent her from appealing the case.  The three election inspectors were convicted breaking election laws and also fined.  Susan B. Anthony battled for women’s suffrage for the rest of her life, retiring at the age of 80 after organizing other movements on an international scale. Throughout her battle she traveled throughout the country, and it paid off! In 1869 Wyoming was the first state (at that time it was the Wyoming Territory) to allow women to vote, hold office and to serve on juries.  Before the end of the century the vote was given to women in Colorado, Utah and Idaho.  Susan B. Anthony passed away in 1906 and did not live to see the fulfillment of her work – that all women be given the equal right to vote.  Ultimately her dream came to pass, and for that the women of our nation should be forever grateful.

“I am here for a little time only and then my place will be filled. But the fight must not cease. You must see that it does not stop. Failure is impossible.” Susan B. Anthony 



This Day in History –

1842 – The Post Office uses adhesive postage stamps for the first time.


Food Celebration of the Day

 National Gumdrops Day – National Gumdrop Day honors the popular, gelatin-based candy.  Gumdrops have been a favorite candy for many decades. Nowadays, the “Gummi” candies which are the same gelatin base, are the most popular gumdrop type of sweet.   I’m not personally a fan, and honestly the recipes put together by for this holiday aren’t ones that appeal to me personally, but hey! You might like them!

I was going to order some gumdrop candy molds, but decided against it.  As much as it would be fun to do these, I had already planned on trying to make some low-carb gummy bears for the grandkids before our visit and bought the gummy bear molds to do it.  I’ll just combine this day with that one.

Homemade Candy Gumdrops
Holiday Gumdrop Cake
Coconut Gumdrop Cake
Gumdrop Cookies
Wiggly Worm Trail Mix
Gummy Worm Marshmallow Treats


I am ready to head to work, happy to be feeling better and ready to get on with the day.  I get to go pick up my glasses that are ready for me, and since it’s been awhile since I’ve had a new prescription, they will be a very welcome addition to my drive home!  Other than that, I need to hurry home to get ready for Baby R coming over tomorrow night. It’s been nearly a month since we’ve seen him and we both miss him so much! It’ll be fun – even though it’s always exhausting – but he’s worth a little bit of tired on Sunday morning.  Have a wonderful day! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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