Good Morning. It’s Friday – and I’m grateful for that. Still gimping along, and I have a lovely headache to go along with it this morning, but defaulting to IT’S FRIDAY! WOOHOO! Seems to help. This may be a multiple coffee day though. Maybe the caffeine will clear up my head. I have to start feeling better! I have Baby R this weekend and even on crutches, I need to be at my best, since he’s quite a mover and shaker these days! Good thing Grandpa is faster than I am! It’ll be fun though. We always get a big kick out of our time with him.
Verse of the Day
May 18, 2018
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
So much assurance in such a short verse! God is not unjust — boy is that an understatement: if he produced the atoning sacrifice for our sins, what will he deny us if we seek after him? He will not forget our work and love — an eternal record of the good we have done! When we help our brothers and sisters in Christ, we bless him! We are HIS people!! That’s real motivation to keep on maturing in Christ.
Food for Thought
Being nice to each other shouldn’t be this hard, should it? There are people who are easy to be nice to, and some that are just so prickly that they remind us of a cactus – they are pretty to look at with their blossoms and furry looking needles, but geesh, you get too close or say just the wrong thing and they will strike out and make you bleed. Words hurt, attitudes do too. Try not to let the cacti of the world get to you though – there are other, less damaging flowers to be around in this life.
Buy a Musical Instrument Day – It is never too late to learn to play an instrument and today would be a great day to choose one you’ve always wanted to play and buy it. If this isn’t a budget friendly option for you, many music stores also rent instruments. Taking lessons is the more difficult part of this plan, as it takes time, practice and a lot of effort. A motivated person though, can do it if they choose. There are folks who wait until they are senior citizens to pick up music as a hobby, so celebrate this one by fulfilling your dream of playing beautiful music on the instrument of your choice.
Endangered Species Day – Today is the chance for people everywhere to learn about how to protect endangered species and how important it is to protect them. It was started in 2006 by the United States Congress and was envisioned to be a celebration of this nation’s wildlife and wild places. Each year, on the 3rd Friday in May – and throughout the month – zoos, aquariums, parks, botanical gardens, wildlife refuges, museums, schools, community centers, conservation groups and other organizations throughout the country hold tours, have special speakers, exhibits and children’s activities all set up to be opportunities to learn more about Endangered Species and how we can help protect them.
Mother Whistler Day – I attempted to give you the historical detail of this one, but I was putting myself to sleep with it, so I assume it would do the same for all but the most avid history buffs. I’ve decided to go another route instead. Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 is a famous painting better known as Whistler’s Mother. It was painted in 1871, is oil on canvas and was painted by American born painter James McNeill Whistler. It is 5.81 by 63.94 inches and displayed in a frame that Whistler designed in the Musee d’orsay in Paris, having been bought by the French state in 1891. It is now one of the most famous works done by an American artist outside of the United States and has been described as an American icon. I hadn’t heard of this painting until I saw the mind-numbingly brain cell killing movie “Bean”. I admit that in places I couldn’t help but laugh, as I heard my brain cells crying out in pain. It’s sad, I know, but sometimes slapstick comedy is just necessary in a world filled with far too much seriousness. Anyway, in the movie the Grierson Art Gallery is given a donation of $50 million dollars by General Newton with the instruction to buy the painting Whistler’s Mother. Mr. Bean, while looking at the painting, sneezes on it and when trying to remove what he sneezed onto the painting with a napkin, discovered that he had broken a pen in his pocket and covered Whistler’s Mother’s face with blue ink. He panics, takes the painting down and tries to clean it, knocking it out of its frame and stepping on it. Racing to the janitor’s closet he found lacquer thinner and applies it to the face, relieved to see the blue ink disappearing from the painting. That’s not all it removed though. He used the wrong type of paint thinner, and in shock, watched the paint bubble up and desperately trying to wipe the bubbles off, also removing mama’s face in the process. Not knowing what else to do, he draws a cartoonish face over the blank space and returns the painting to its spot in the museum where it was kept before. The rest of the movie is spent with Bean trying to fix the problem, all while making his silly faces and ridiculous sounds, but again, I admit that I laughed and was introduced to a famous work of art in the process. If you have a lazy weekend afternoon to waste, watch this movie, and follow it up immediately by something that will rebuild the IQ. Maybe one will cancel out the other!
Mount Saint Helens Blew Her Top 38 Years Ago – I shared this story the last couple of years, and I’ll share it again today. The events of this date will always be etched clearly in my mind, and I’m sure anyone who was around here during that time and older than elementary school age will be able to say the same.
Where were you on May 18th, 1980 at 8:32 a.m.? There aren’t many dates in peoples’ history that they know right where they were at a specific given moment. We remember the personal big things, the moment we got married, when our children are born, and when huge disasters happen. On May 18th, 1980 Mount Saint Helens changed the face of Washington State forever, and the moment is forever etched in our memories. Do you remember where you were? I was 15 years old, and for the first time in my life, my parents were taking my brother and going down to Castle Rock to see my Grandparents without me. I’d been invited to a friend’s birthday party and really didn’t want to miss it. We were all getting ready to go our separate ways – me to church to meet up with my friends, and my parents to their visit. We all stopped and looked at each other as a distant rumble that we couldn’t identify sounded in the far distance, then went about our business. Hours later, after finding out what had happened and not having been able to reach my parents (remember this was before cell phones), or my Grandparents, I was in a panic. My friend cut her birthday party a little short and went home with me to wait . . . and wait . . . and wait. I have always regretted the choice not to go with my folks. The roads were covered in mud and ash; the rivers were rising and flowing with logs, homes, cars and other debris. My Grandparents, with the help of my parents, were moving their belongings to the upper levels of the house, just in case the river wasn’t contained by the barriers. Everyone was wearing masks to protect them from the ash, and it looked like a different world than the one we woke up to. My parents finally made it home the next day, worried about me, of course, but more worried about my family down in the volcano zone. The authorities were evacuating certain areas and my Grandpa was refusing to leave. Looters were already being watched for, and Grandpa wasn’t willing to let his home be one vulnerable to them. Turns out he was right, as the river never overflowed its banks, and the house was safe – shrouded in a thick blanket of ash, living in a grey world, breathing through masks, life resumed to a semblance of order. A few days after the blast, we went down to help in whatever way we could. My Uncle A was on the National Geological Survey team, and he was able to take me on a tour of the “red” zones where the general public wasn’t allowed to go. My perception of life did a drastic change that day, as I observed things that most 15-year old kids do not get to see. One particular area really impacted me. We pulled up to what was someone’s home. There was mud and ash burying the home up the roof line, just the peak and the chimney on top of the ground. The air was thick and silent, as if the world was holding its breath in mourning. There wasn’t a whisper of a breeze, not a bird anywhere to be seen or heard . . . no bugs . . . no forest creatures. Nothing. I don’t know that there are words to adequately describe the desolation, the sadness that had moved in when the family who lived here moved out. As I quietly moved about the area, finding myself tiptoeing silently, trying not to disturb the grieving going on by nature itself, I found a little girls doll, mostly buried in the muck. The sobs that I’d been holding back just couldn’t stay inside, and it all just came flowing out. I could imagine the child who loved this doll, being rushed into the car with her parents, taking their most important belongings with them, and getting out with their family before it was too late. This toy was left behind in the rush, and in my mind, I could see her crying for her baby, wanting that bit of her life that was familiar to hold on to. I took some water we had in the car, and washed her off the best I could, and propped her up next to the roof line of the house. I was sure at some point the family would come back when they were allowed back in beyond the barriers, to see what they could salvage of their lives, and that she would find her toy and know that someone out there cared. I wonder sometimes if she ever found her baby. We all have those moments in our lives that mean so much to us, that change our perceptions. That day I knew that life can change in a flash. One big boom and everything is different. Don’t take it for granted, appreciate the beauty around you, the security and comfort of your lives, the friends and family you share each day with and never, ever forget that it’s all transient.
National Bike to Work Day – (3rd Friday of the Month) – I really love living away from town, there are days that it would be nice to live a little closer to work. It is National Bike to Work Day and is a great opportunity to get some exercise, and to save gas. And, of course, saving gas these days is pretty important! Prices aren’t AS high as they were, but they aren’t cheap either. We could really save by biking! Unfortunately, I live 21 miles from work and there just isn’t the time to get there without leaving for work hours early, even if I could ride that far without keeling over. Or I wasn’t still afraid of biking, even after many years since I had a bike crash that broke my finger, sprained my wrist, gave me road rash from my face down to my knees, and put a permanent dent in my pride. It would be wonderful to not only get past the fear, but be able to ride to work all the time – not just on Bike to Work Day. If you have the opportunity to save some fuel, consider this option!
National Museum Day – There are few places in this world that are more educational than museums. Where else can we see so many pieces of actual history that tell so many stories about our ancestors? We can see everything from prehistoric tools, to artifacts taken from the Egyptian tombs, medieval suits of armor and Greek sculptures. We can see the first radio, planes that were flown during WWI, and even fashion as it has changed throughout the centuries . . . museums have so much! I have never been to a town, large or small, that didn’t have some sort of a museum – and yet millions of people have never visited one! Maybe they think old things are boring, or just haven’t developed an interest in learning about the people who walked this world before us. Whatever the reasons, today is a great day to visit a museum and give something a chance – you may find you LOVE everything about it. I know that I do love museums and soaking up all of the history, slowly moving from room to room and learning all that I can. I wish I had a chance to go to one today, but maybe on a weekend one day this summer!
National Pizza Party Day – Americans love pizza. We already knew that, right? How many of us have pizza at least once every couple of weeks, whether we get it in a restaurant or make it at home? I often make pizza on Friday nights. I’d prefer to buy it somewhere and bring it home so I don’t have to cook on Fridays after working all week, but we are on a healthy eating plan and doing pretty well, so I don’t want to mess it up. When I make it at home I can control what is in the food and reduce sodium and other junk. Here are some interesting facts about pizza in our country: Iowa has the most pizza stores per person – with 4.13 stores per 10,000 residents. The average American eats 46 slices of pizza each year. There are 3 billion pizzas sold each year in the United States. There are over 5 billion pizzas sold worldwide each year. WOW! Do we corner the world market, or what?
No Dirty Dishes Day – Woohoo! Now THIS is a holiday we can all get into! No Dirty Dishes Day is our reprieve from the daily pile of dishes that we wash and dry. Day after day, we perform this chore, take them back out again to prepare and eat our meals, then start over. It’s pretty repetitious and honestly, we can all use a break. Today is that break! Now, the objective of this day isn’t to let the dishes pile up, but to avoid having them at all. Using disposable dishes and utensils is one way. Or go out to eat for all the meals that day. It’s a wonderful concept and I say we give it a great try. You see, anyone who has ever cooked with me knows that I go a little berserk and have a slight – sometimes not so slight – meltdown when there are dirty dishes piled up in the sink. I know that they are a byproduct of cooking, but I can’t stand it! I have to wash up as I go and have at least one of the sinks empty or I can’t think. I suppose if I have to have something to be obsessive about, there are worse things to pick than dishes. So, the idea of going an entire day without dirtying dishes is awesome. Not realistic, but pretty awesome! Give it a shot!
O Henry Pun-Off Day – This is an interesting one and I’m not sure how I missed it for the first couple of years I was doing this. In 1978, fans of word-play got together to celebrate puns. English and literary critic John Dryden called puns the “lowest and most groveling kind of wit”. This is a fun answer to that declaration. Every year this is held at the O. Henry Museum in Austin, Texas. In 1990 a support group of former and current contestants in the pun-off was formed to make the unwritten rules of the competition formal and to assist in providing guidance and support for future events. Austin resident Gary Hallock has run the contest since 1990. This collection of witty word smiths gather under the title of “Punsters United Nearly Yearly” – or PUNY (hehe). People who participate in the even compete in one, or both of two areas of punning . . . Punniest of Show – which has people performing a 90-second prepared piece filled with puns; and PunSlingers, which has them in head-to-head bouts of spontaneous punning on a randomly selected choice of traditional topics. From the beginning of the Pun-Off they have used a four-person panel of judges that receive scores from 1-10. These scores are based on performance, originality and wit. The four scores are added together for a combined score of 4-40 for each contestant. Scores lower than 1 are rounded up to 1, and scores higher than 10 are rounded down to 10. The one with the highest score wins each event, with any tied scores decided by level of audience response. In 2009 they increased the judge panel to six people, but they toss out the highest and lowest scores and use the remaining 4 scores that are added together for the final score. They did this so that it would prevent any one judge from having the ability to disqualify a punster by giving a much lower score than other judges. Oh! That makes sense. This whole thing was inspired by the writings of William Sydney Porter, who lived in Austin, Texas in the 1800s, and began going by the pen name O. Henry. By the time he’d passed away in 1910 he had published over 300 short stories. He had a trademark twisted ending to his stories that kept his readers coming back for more. The Pun-Off keeps his name alive by offering people who love word play and wit a place to enact their literary “shenanigans” in front of an admiring, occasionally mocking audience.
Visit Your Relatives Day – Family is so important, but it is so easy to put off seeing the members of the family that live more than a few minutes away. It’s nice when this one lands on a weekend since it gives a better chance for people to travel to see the ones they love. Even if you are unable to have a visit in person, pick up the phone and call your relatives and have a good chatter. It’s not quite the same, but it’s better than nothing.
This Day in History –
1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte became Emperor of France.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Cheese Souffle – Though much has been made of the flat souffle, consider this: If you put a souffle back in the oven after it falls, it will puff right back up again. I keep saying, year after year, that I am going to try to make a soufflé, but I admit that I am intimidated. The great thing is that cheese souffles translate nicely to low carb/keto! Here’s one of Carolyn Ketchum’s recipes to prove it! Sounds delicious, right?
I Love Reese’s Day – Well, what a wonderful holiday! This is one that a LOT of people can get behind! As a matter of fact, I think this should be a multiple day event! A couple of years ago “nearly 40,000 fans” joined an online campaign on the Reese’s® Facebook page to say that they loved the delicious candy and wanted America’s best-known cup of peanut butter and chocolate to have its own day. And the day was born. Today we celebrate the amazing flavor combination that has changed our taste buds forever. This is also one that can be flipped to be made into a low carb or keto treat. I grant you, it’s not EXACTLY like a Reese’s, but it’s a doggone fine substitute. Also from Carolyn Ketchum, these are easy and delicious. I’ve made them once. Give it a try!
Ugh. It’s time to go. Do I want to? Well, no, but if I just keep saying to myself – It’s Friday! It’s Friday! It’s Friday! I’ll get through it. I know you will too! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.
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