It’s a wonderful Thursday, isn’t it? Have you noticed (provided you get up early enough of course) how pretty the morning sky is around 7:10? I’m driving to work at that time every morning and depending on the cloud cover in the Pacific Northwest, it has been just starting to turn delicate shades of lavender and pink as the grey begins to fade away. That sight has always given me feelings of hope and calm. This time of year goes by far too quickly because those colors at this time of the morning aren’t around for very many days. Well, they do, I’m just not out and on the road when it’s happening.
Verse of the Day
He [God] has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
God’s desires for us are not hard to discern. He wants to bless us with salvation. The incredible gift of his Son is powerful testimony to this truth. Yet salvation from sin and death is not something he wants to happen in our lives just once. He wants our lives to daily reflect his salvation and to share it with others. When we act justly, pursue mercy in our relationships, and honor him with our worship from a humble heart then God’s salvation becomes real in our lives and impacts others with his grace. In the language of Jesus, we work for God’s kingdom to come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Food for Thought
Have you been kind to the people around you lately? Has someone you know and/or love done something that just made you feel so good that you felt teary eyed – at least on the inside? Yesterday I had two people make me feel really special. First, my wonderful hubby took my car to work and installed a new stereo he got for me for Christmas, which was wonderful, but you already knew that. No, he also is so patient with me. I have some knee and foot issues, and I need to walk, even though I move more slowly than I should. It hurts, but I need to get the circulation going, and Moose needs to walk, so Hubby gets himself together and strolls down the road and back with me so I don’t have to walk alone. It’s not really doing anything for him physically, but it does a LOT for me mentally, physically and emotionally. He loves me, and by going with me in the cold and the dark, it shows me that he will put me and my health needs above his own comfort. I haven’t always had this in my life, so this is very special. The other person was my daughter-in-law. Yesterday she sent me a video showing how Grandmas are special people to their grandchildren. She told me that she thought of me with each scenario shown in the video. She didn’t know that my heart has been hurting a LOT lately as I miss my babies. I feel sometimes like my breath is being squeezed out of me, as I long to hold them in my arms. I don’t know when I will see them, and until then I feel like I am grieving inside all of the time. When she reached out to me like that, it made me feel like she understood my heart – so for that D, I thank you.
Dimpled Chad Day – Do you know what a dimpled chad is? It is usually a term used in connection with voting and regards the punch card that people poke with a peg or pin to mark the person or initiative for whom/which they are voting. The Dimpled Chad is a chad (the bit of paper that would be poked out with the pin) that has been punched or dimpled but all for corners are still attached. After a huge controversy in the 2000 elections (truly? It’s been that long???) the voting methods used were changed – so now people can vote electronically but now it is even easier for the crooked people fixing votes to fix them. (I know, I’m pretty jaded about our voting process and the folks who cheat the voting citizens of this country.) Thank goodness, no matter how much they tried, the crooked vote cheaters didn’t win this time around! We the People actually had our voices be heard loud and clear and this past year of successes by our President show just how fortunate we are that he won!
Tom Thumb Day – Charles Sherwood Stratton was known by the stage name of General Tom Thumb. He was born on January 4th 1838, and passed away July 15, 1883. He was a dwarf who came to be a very famous performer under the circus pioneer P. T. Barnum. He was born to parents of medium height, and was a rather large baby, weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces at birth. He developed and grew normally for the first six months of his life, weighing 15 pounds and being 25 inches long. He stopped growing though, and his parents became concerned when they noticed he had stopped growing around his first birthday. They took him to their doctor and were told that he would never reach normal height. By late 1842, when he was nearly 5 years old, he hadn’t grown even an inch, or put on a pound, from when he was 6 months old. Other than his size though, he was a normal, healthy child. P.T. Barnum was a distant relative and had heard about Stratton, and after contacting his parents, taught him how to sing, dance, mime and to impersonate famous people. He went on his first tour of America with Barnum when he was five years old, performing routines that included impersonating characters such as Cupid and Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as singing, dancing and comical banter with another performer who was a straight man. His shows were a huge success and they expanded their tour, to include a Europe by the time he was 6 years old. He became so famous that people recognized him wherever he went. Stratton did begin to grow again, very slowly, and died at 45 years old he at 3.35 feet tall. His marriage on February 10, 1863 to another dwarf, Lavinia Warren, was front page news. Their wedding took place at Grace Episcopal Church, with their reception at the Metropolitan Hotel. They stood on top of a grand piano in New York’s Metropolitan Hotel to greet 10,000 guests. After their wedding, they visited President Abraham Lincoln at the White House. Pretty big friends for people who were, at that time were considered to be outcasts and with some level of superstition. Stratton died at 45 years of age of a stroke. His funeral was attended by 20,000 mourners. P.T. Barnum purchased a life-sized statue of Tom Thumb as grave stone. When his wife died more than 35 years later, she was buried next to him, her stone simply reading “His Wife”.
Trivia Day – People have always loved learning little tidbits of information about a variety of things. It doesn’t have to be important information, but it helps if it is unique. For many years the game Trivial Pursuit has come out with different variations on its theme, with different topics showcased for specific interests. People have won lots of money on games like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with brains stuffed full of trivia! When I was researching for this one, I found SO many interesting trivia facts that my brain was spinning. Here are a few food trivia tidbits for you, but to get a WHOLE bunch of them on lots of topics, click this link and happy reading! It’s pretty easy to get caught up in them and lose track of time!
A honey bee must tap two million flowers to make one pound of honey.
A typical American eats 28 pigs in his/her lifetime.
Americans consumed over 3.1 billion pounds of chocolate in 2001, which is almost half of the total world’s production.
Americans spend approximately $25 billion each year on beer.
Americans spent an estimated $267 billion dining out in 1993.
An etiquette writer of the 1840’s advised, “Ladies may wipe their lips on the tablecloth, but not blow their noses on it.”
China’s Beijing Duck Restaurant can seat 9,000 people at one time.
Chocolate manufacturers currently use 40 percent of the world’s almonds and 20 percent of the world’s peanuts.
During World War II, bakers in the United States were ordered to stop selling sliced bread for the duration of the war on January 18, 1943. Only whole loaves were made available to the public. It was never explained how this action helped the war effort.
Fortune cookies were invented in 1916 by George Jung, a Los Angeles noodle maker.
Fried chicken is the most popular meal ordered in sit-down restaurants in the US. The next in popularity are: roast beef, spaghetti, turkey, baked ham, and fried shrimp.
Hostess Twinkies were invented in 1931 by James Dewar, manager of Continental Bakeries’ Chicago factory. He envisioned the product as a way of using the company’s thousands of shortcake pans which were otherwise employed only during the strawberry season. Originally called Little Shortcake Fingers, they were renamed Twinkie Fingers, and finally “Twinkies.”
In 1990, Bill Carson, of Arrington, Tennessee, grew the largest watermelon at 262 pounds that is still on the record books according to the 1998 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
In 1995, KFC sold 11 pieces of chicken for every man, woman and child in the US.
In an authentic Chinese meal, the last course is soup because it allows the roast duck entree to “swim” toward digestion.
In the United States, a pound of potato chips costs two hundred times more than a pound of potatoes.
Nabisco’s “Oreo’s” are the world’s best-selling brand of cookie at a rate of 6 billion sold each year. The first Oreo was sold in 1912.
Per capita, the Irish eat more chocolate than Americans, Swedes, Danes, French, and Italians.
Persians first began using colored eggs to celebrate spring in 3,000 B.C. 13th century Macedonians were the first Christians on record to use colored eggs in Easter celebrations. Crusaders returning from the Middle East spread the custom of coloring eggs, and Europeans began to use them to celebrate Easter and other warm weather holidays.
Pine, spruce, or other evergreen wood should never be used in barbecues. These woods, when burning or smoking, can add harmful tar and resins to the food. Only hardwoods should be used for smoking and grilling, such as oak, pecan, hickory, maple, cherry, alder, apple, or mesquite, depending on the type of meat being cooked.
Potato chips are American’s favorite snack food. They are devoured at a rate of 1.2 billion pounds a year.
Research show that only 43% of homemade dinners served in the US include vegetables.
Rice is the staple food of more than one-half of the world’s population.
Saffron, made from the dried stamens of cultivated crocus flowers, is the most expensive cooking spice.
The average child will eat 1,500 PB sandwiches by high school graduation.
The bubbles in Guinness beer sink to the bottom rather than float to the top as in other beers.
The FDA allows an average of 30 or more insect fragments and one or more rodent hairs per 100 grams of peanut butter.
The first ring donuts were produced in 1847 by a 15 year old baker’s apprentice, Hanson Gregory, who knocked the soggy center out of a fried doughnut.
The largest item on any menu in the world is probably the roast camel, sometimes served at Bedouin wedding feasts. The camel is stuffed with a sheep’s carcass, which is stuffed with chickens, which are stuffed with fish, which are stuffed with eggs. (Makes Turduckhen seem a trifle tame, doesn’t it?)
The largest living organism ever found is a honey mushroom, Armillaria ostoyae. It covers 3.4 square miles of land in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, and it’s still growing
The world’s costliest coffee, at $130 per pound, is called Kopi Luwak. It is in the droppings of a type of marsupial that eats only the very best coffee beans. Plantation workers track them and scoop their precious poop. (GROSS!)
When Swiss cheese ferments, a bacterial action generates gas. As the gas is liberated, it bubbles through the cheese leaving holes. Cheese-makers call them “eyes.”
World Braille Day – Today we celebrate the birth of Louis Braille, the man who invented the reading and writing system used by millions of blind and partially sighted all around the world. This isn’t a public holiday but does provide a chance for teachers, charities and non-government organizations to raise awareness about issues that face the blind, and the importance of continuing to produce works in Braille, providing the blind with access to the same reading and learning opportunities as the sighted. Louis Braille was born in 1809, blinded in both eyes in an accident when he was a child. He managed to master his disability while he was still young, and in spite of being unable to see, he excelled in his education and received scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth. During his studies, after being inspired by the military cryptography of Charles Barbier of the French Army, he created a system of tactile code that would let the blind read and write quickly and efficiently. He presented the results of his hard work to his peers for the first time in 1824 when he was just 15 years old. In 1829 he published his first book about the system he had created, called “Method of Writing Words, Music and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for use by the Blind and Arranged for Them”. The system works by representing the alphabet and numbers in a series of dots paired up in 3 rows. The system was so simple that it allowed books to start being reproduced on a large scale that allowed thousands of blind people to read by running their fingertips over the dots.
Food Celebration of the Day
National Spaghetti Day – America is nuts for noodles, especially spaghetti! That’s probably because it’s just so satisfying to twirl it on a fork and slurp up wayward strands. A low-carb version of spaghetti isn’t difficult at all, you just swap out zoodles (spiralized zucchini) or low carb noodles for their high carb friends. Today I am featuring “Extra Beefy Spaghetti Bolognese” from the book Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen by Carolyn Ketchum – Page 214 (check out her blog at www.alldayidreamaboutfood.com. She’s a GENIUS with low carb ingredients. Anyway, I did it two ways today – one over zoodles and the other over a low carb egg noodle recipe that someone on page I’m on shared. I can honestly say that at first I wasn’t a big fan of the noodles, but after a few bites they grew on me. Hubby opted for the zoodles instead. He’s not a fan of things that taste eggy like these noodles did. Picture 1 – with zoodles, Picture 2 – with low carb noodles (Here’s the link for the noodles)..
- Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti
- Spaghetti Tacos
- Slow-Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs
- Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
- Spaghetti Rosti With Tuna
- Kung Pao Spaghetti
- Quick 5-Minute Chinese Noodles