Happy Friday and Happy Long Weekend! I’m sorry I didn’t post anything yesterday, but seriously, I just couldn’t get my brain wrapped around sitting here and writing anything up. My new job is going well, but the adjustment is a stress to my system and I was feeling pretty tired. I worked for four days, now I have four days off. Seems surreal!
This morning I woke up to the sound of a summer rain – I love it when that happens. We NEED to get really dumped on, but I don’t see that happening, if the forecast is anything to go by. I find myself being a bit disappointed. As a native Pacific Northwest gal, I miss it when the rain isn’t around for a while. It’s somehow a relief that on this last day of August it started out with the beauty and promise that is rain after a long, dry spell.
Verse of the Day
August 30, 2018
“You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.”
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Those of us who have been Christians a long time sometimes forget that we have no claim or right to the grace we have received. When we feel we deserve it, that it is ours by right, it is no longer grace and we no longer live in it. To be a part of God’s family is grace. For the Holy One who spoke into existence the universe (in which we are a submicroscopic speck), grace is simply and magnificently a gift from the One who knows how to share and love in ways we can’t even imagine.
August 31, 2038
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Worship is more than our heart, soul and words offered to God. It also involves our posture. When we understand the grace God has given us to be called his children, what else can we do but bow down or kneel before him in his majesty and might. We come to him, a conquering ruler, offering ourselves in full submission. God chooses, however, to treat us tenderly like a loving shepherd who longs to care for us. Such grace leads us to bow and kneel in heartfelt worship.
Food for Thought
We live in an insurance driven society. Everything has to be insured – our homes, vehicles, health . . . even my Notary license has to have a bond to cover it. The problem with insurance is that we depend on it and feel like it’s really there to protect us . . . and sometimes it does. If we have a medical emergency, it’s nice to have that peace of mind for a possible hospital stay. Even though I stay away from doctors as much as I can, if I break something I know that I’ll want a doctor to set the bone. The problem is that we can become TOO dependent on insurance and the sad truth is that if something happens to our cars or houses, or we get a ticket, the insurance company MIGHT pay for the damages, but our rates will definitely be raised, even after years of paying for the coverage. It’s a scam, at least in my mind. We are required to have it for so many things, yet most of us are never able to use it for fear of not being able to afford it any longer. And that leads me to my meet and greet appointment with a truly wonderful doctor in our community who is doing what he can to change things for some people in our town. He has walked away from the insurance driven medical world and a few years ago opened a practice that is membership driven. For $60 a month his patients have access to a medical provider who takes time to listen and care about each one of the people who belong to his clinic. He can do most things in his office that can be done in any other clinic or hospital with the exception of major surgery or deliver babies. He could probably do that if he wanted to, but he gave up that part of his practice after 15 years and hundreds of babies. He has contracts with laboratories to get tests run for almost ridiculously low prices – which calls into question why they charge so much to everyone else. He has basic medications available in his clinic and can write prescriptions for the ones he does not have – though the patient without insurance will have to pay out of pocket for them. Now that I am working for a business that isn’t big enough to have to provide medical insurance, I find myself feeling like I need the peace of mind of having a doctor to call when something does go wrong, and I feel I found my new medical “home”. His vision has already opened a 2nd clinic and he is looking at expanding more in the future. My hope is that this business model will spread, and other doctors will follow his lead, moving away from insurance and into actual patient care.
Thursday – August 30th –
Frankenstein Day – It feels a little odd to celebrate this one today, but there’s a good reason for it! Today we honor the author Mary Wollenstone Shelley who was born on August 30, 1797. She wrote “Frankenstein” in 1818. What a forward-thinking woman, and how incredible that her work was so popular that we still read books and watch movies featuring this famous imaginary creature! I must admit, that my favorite movie with Frankenstein as the theme would be “Young Frankenstein”. One of the funniest movies ever made, and I never get tired of giggling at it.
International Whale Shark Day – On this day in 2008, representatives from over 40 countries met on Isla Holbox to share their research about the whale shark, and during that conference it was decided that this day would be known as International Whale Shark Day to celebrate these huge fish, promoting their conservation and educating the public about them. I will take this opportunity to share with you some of the details I learned! The whale shark is the world’s largest fish and can reach up to 60 feet in length. Its back is gray or dark blue with light colored markings, and its belly is white. It has a wide, flat head, with small eyes on the sides, and a big mouth that extends the entire width of its body! It moves slowly along the water’s surface, filtering large amounts of water and consuming plankton, crustaceans and small fish as it goes along. Whale sharks migrate to the Caribbean off the NE coast of the Yucatan Peninsula every year between May and September. There are several Yucatan Peninsula tour companies that offer whale shark tours that give tourists the chance to swim with these giants of the sea. How fun would that be?
National Grief Awareness Day – Grief is different for everyone. Some people internalize their pain, others cry a lot without being able to stop. I’m a crier. I can’t seem to stop the tears, even when I want to. I try, but they just seem to come all on their own. Being there for someone who is grieving is all we can really do, just offering to lend a helping hand, an ear to listen or just someone to be quietly nearby is everything to someone who is hurting so deeply. Grief is usually a response to the loss of someone or something that is important in our lives. I have heard that there are 5 stages of grief, and that helping someone go through these stages is very important. 1 – denial, where the person grieving does not believe that the reason for their grief really happened. Being there during this time is very important because at some point reality will come to the surface and it’s going to be really difficult for them to deal with. 2 – Anger where the one grieving is angry with anyone and anything around them. Sometimes this can come out in violent outbursts, so caution is necessary during this stage. 3 – Bargaining – this is when the person grieving “what-if’s” themselves, trying to convince themselves that if only they had done or said this, or that, that none of this would have happened. 4 – Depression, not to say that there wasn’t sadness or depression before, but this stage is when the reality really comes crashing in and the pain gets intense. 5 – Acceptance, it is time to look to the future while appreciating the past and cherishing the good memories. What is important to remember is that some people race through these stages over a period of years, some in months or even weeks. Not everyone is the same, so we should never impose how we would individually deal with grief on someone else. Just be there for them, for as long as it takes.
National Holistic Pet Day – This is a one I can get behind 100%. Pet owners need to start looking at their pet’s diet, lifestyle and environment and make it as natural and healthy as possible! There is so much junk in commercial pet food, in the poisons put into their skin to kill fleas, in the cleaning products we use in our homes (unless we make our own natural products!) that they lick, walk on and sleep on. We all know that people shouldn’t be exposed to unhealthy toxins, but how many of us think of that when it comes to our little furry family members? You can celebrate this day by buying your dog or cat some natural treats or supplements, exercise with your pet, or give them a little massage! Minimize the chemical use in your home to reduce not only their exposure, but yours too.
Friday – August 31st –
International Overdose Awareness Day – This is a sad one that is aimed to raise awareness of overdose and to reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. The grief felt by the families and friends who die of drug overdose is just as real and deep as it would be for someone who dies by any other means, and they remember their loved ones with profound sadness. The theme for this event this year is “Rethink and Remember”. To the people who have lose someone they love in this manner, our hearts are with you today.
Love Litigating Lawyers Day – Society loves to hate lawyers, doesn’t it? Yet, who do we call when there is trouble and we need help negotiating the ins and outs of the law? Yep, we call a lawyer! They are the butts of jokes, hated for many reasons, yet they continue to do their jobs (granted they charge a great deal of money for their services) in spite of all of the negativity. If for no other day of the year, today love the lawyers for what they do. Never know when you may need the services of one to guide you through a sticky situation.
National College Colors Day – Today there is an annual celebration that is dedicated to promoting the traditions and spirit that embody the college experience by encouraging fans across America to wear the colors and logos of their favorite college or university on Friday – with this year’s being today, August 30. I can picture my friend S, in her freshman year of college, enjoying this day to the fullest and with all of the team spirit she has in her!
National Diatomaceous Earth Day – a diatom is a single-celled plant form diatomaceous earth. That doesn’t clear things up for those of us who don’t know what that is, does it? Well, Diatomaceous Earth – also known as DE – is a sedimentary rock that is found in large deposits worldwide, and mined primarily in the United States, Mexico, Chile, Peru, France, Spain, Denmark and China. Even though new DE is being formed now, some of the deposits found around the world are millions of years old. As diatoms die the fall to the bottom of bodies of water and as the organic parts of the diatoms are washed away, the remaining parts form the DE. So, what is it used for? It is used to filter swimming pools, or for its natural insecticide properties to control insects in homes or gardens. Ancient people used it as a building material and an abrasive, and even as an ice-age cave painting medium. There are many health uses for DE as well! Look it up, get some to keep at home. You never know when something may come up and you require some.
National Matchmaker Day – So many of us are hopeless romantics who always want the single people in our lives to be happily with someone that they love. They tend to play matchmaker – which sometimes works out and sometimes doesn’t. There are so many professional matchmakers these days, in the form of online dating sites, that it seems an old-time method of finding mates for your friends and family has turned into a big business – and it works! I met my hubby online and I don’t regret it for a moment.
This Day in History –
August 30, 1993 – The Late Show with David Letterman premieres on CBS.
August 31, 1964 – Heavy weight champion Rocky Marciano dies in a plane crash near Newton, Iowa.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Toasted Marshmallow Day – Marshmallows are an abundant and cheap summer treat, but that was not always the case. They were “once so rare that that only pharaohs could eat them” according to Campfire Marshmallows. Ancient Egyptians mixed the sap of the marshmallow plant that was mixed with honey to create a sweet treat in 2000 B.C. Today’s marshmallows are made from corn syrup, sugar, water, dextrose and air. “The marshmallow plant is native to salt marshes and shorelines in Asia and Europe and is now grown in the eastern United States. The plant, specifically the skin of the Althaea officinalis plant, can be used to treat irritated skin.
Last summer I made some marshmallows that don’t have any sugar in them, and they were good. They don’t toast, since it takes sugar to caramelize, but they were pretty darned good in cocoa. Here’s a picture! My grandson loved them. We managed to heat the marshmallow enough to sort of make the stevia sweetened chocolate a little warm and put them on the homemade no sugar or grain graham crackers I made! I have it on my list of to-dos to experiment with, and succeed, at creating a no-sugar, no-chemical sweetened marshmallow that will toast. The recipe I used last year has sugar alcohols in it, and those won’t caramelize.
Eat Outside Day – Here we are, at the end of August, and how better to celebrate the quickly waning summer than with eating outside!? Pack a picnic, take your dinner out on the deck, or maybe grab some take-out and head to the lake. Wherever you are, enjoy the outdoors before summer is completely gone.
International Bacon Day – Here, there, everywhere – bacon is just awesome. Baby R got his first taste of bacon last year – here he is, clamping down with all 4 of his teeth trying to keep me from taking it away from him so I can cut it up smaller to prevent choking. He loved it from taste one and didn’t want to let it go. This one is easy to celebrate – have some bacon! I just had to share this with you again since he was so darned cute with it.
National Trail Mix Day – Whether you need a snack to keep your energy up for a big hike or you just want a bowl of something to munch on during your favorite TV show, these mixes will satisfy. I’d be very careful though. It doesn’t take much for the calories to add up! Now, we aren’t calorie counters per se, but we do count carbs. I was trying to come up with a keto version of trail mix yesterday, and while I COULD have put raisins in it, even a few brings the carbs up substantially. I settled on a combination of nuts and just a few very tiny dark-chocolate chips that are relatively low carb – comparatively speaking – to cut the savory. I baked them in coconut oil, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and a little salt. Pretty good!
Today I need to get a few things done around the house and head out to town to get a few errands run. I’m sure that it will be busy in the stores since this is a long weekend and many people are heading out for one last vacation before the kids go back to school. Hopefully it won’t be too bad.
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Celebration list sources: