Happy February 1st and Happy Friday! I am getting to this late in the day – which seems to be a common problem lately. I get up and get busy doing things and forget to sit back down and get back to the post. Not that I am writing about anything life altering, but I do have a few folks who enjoy seeing what is going on in celebration land, so I try to be consistent for them.
I have to share something with you that I am pretty excited about, and I hope I am not setting myself up for future failure, but I made the same New Year’s Resolution this year that I always do, to get healthier and lose weight. To that end I determined to follow a plan that you may, or may not, have heard about. The Trim Healthy Mama Plan. It is focused on healthy eating, low to moderate carb, is similar in some ways to keto, though not in other ways – which is clear as mud to you at this point. What drew me to it was that following a strict keto plan always made me feel like I was missing something important by completely writing off so many foods that have always been considered to be healthy – whole grains and fruit namely. I always felt very conflicted about not eating foods that God specifically put into the Bible for people to eat for healthy lives – since He wouldn’t have encouraged anyone to eat anything that WOULDN’T be healthy, right? This plan allows for all of that, just focuses on a particular combination of times to eat them. I heard about this plan right after praying about what I should do, and immediately checked the books out of the library to study what it was all about, right away I knew this sounded right, so I ordered the books, joined the Facebook page, and ordered a few specialty items from their website. With a few deliberately chosen splurges along the way, I lost 10.3 pounds in January, and 11 inches over all. That may not sound like much to people who lose weight quickly but for someone with thyroid issues, and a damaged metabolism, this is HUGE! My wonderful and supportive husband is with me on this and he is enjoying his own weight loss success. I don’t feel hungry or deprived, I feel happy with this decision, and can enjoy the wonderful low-carb foods I learned about over the past two years or so but can incorporate wonderful things that I missed so much, like occasional meals that include oatmeal or brown rice! Anyway, I won’t belabor the point. I wanted to share my happy news with everyone.
Verse of the Day
February 1, 2019
O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
God takes great delight when we pray asking for his guidance and help! This is especially true when the focus of our efforts is on building up his people and his Kingdom. Nehemiah comes as God’s servant. He’s not giving God a “go do” list using prayer to make God his servant. Instead, Nehemiah’s heart burns with the needs of God’s people. The rest of the book of Nehemiah is proof that God loves his children to pray when the desires of their heart are on his people and his will.
Food for Thought
Take every time you have slipped and fallen and learn from it. For every time you try to lose weight, but don’t, figure out what went wrong, and what went right, and put those pieces towards the next try. With every relationship that fails, put those good and bad points together, and make your next relationship work – whether it is romantic or friendship. For every time you decide to start a new project or job, when something goes awry and you don’t achieve your goals, that doesn’t mean it’s a loss. You learned what didn’t work, so you are ahead of things for the next try for what will. The point is, don’t give up, don’t feel discouraged, and don’t lose sight of the future and what it can be to you, if you just keep learning and trying.
Bubble Gum Day – This one is pretty fun and quite creative! A lady by the name of Ruth Spiro, who is a writer, a children’s book author and a fan of bubble gum, had two kids in school who always seemed to have a fundraiser going on. Anyone of us who have had children in school, and now in my case, grandchildren, know just how often those fundraisers happen, and seriously, they end up costing the parents and grandparents time and money. She created Bubble Gum Day – and here is how it works. On Bubble Gum Day the kids, or grown-ups, who donate the designated amount (usually 50 cents) or more, get to chew gum in school. The money goes to any charity that the school chooses. The kids have fun while raising money and some creative teachers even include bubble gum in their lessons for the day. Many libraries, community centers and businesses celebrate this one, since the kid in many of us still loves bubble gum!
Candy Making Day – I can’t quickly find anything to back this one up, but I would assume that since Valentine’s Day is coming, and candy gets so ridiculously expensive for this holiday, that the idea was to go out on a limb and do something fantastic for the one you love and make them some candy!
Car Insurance Day – This one is listed as a celebration on the lists I use, but I can’t find a single thing about it! I did find LOTS of insurance companies out there vying for my business. Today make sure you have insurance. It’s not only the law, it’s a good idea.
Change Your Password Day – Today is officially the day to change your password, and the day was started with the tech bloggers at Gizmodo.com. Everyone knows that changing our passwords is something we should do, but we don’t always do it. Heck with as many sites as all of us are on, it’s hard to remember what they all are! But it’s a good thing to do to protect yourself, so maybe make a list and keep it with you until you can remember them all. I think I’ll get started on that today! Changing your password isn’t just a matter of changing a character or two – something I’m guilty of doing – but actually changing the entire thing and making it difficult for someone to hack. The worry isn’t the kid next door, or some random neighbor trying to get free Internet off of you, it is from those evil people who would hack into your info and take over your finances, your life, and steal the lists of contacts so they can do the same to them. The people like this are running programs that can, according to Gizmodo’s Rachel Swaby, “run thousands of encrypted passwords by dictionaries of several languages, everything in the World Fact Book, and Wikipedia in a matter of minutes.” Here are 10 suggestions for setting up a very secure password and how to protect yourself and your information.
Use Different Passwords – We all have a lot of different accounts, and I’m sure most of us use the same basic password with a few little changes for each, to make it easier to remember. You should have a different password completely for each one. If someone hacks into one of your accounts, just think how easy it would be to get everything from your OTHER accounts!
Avoid the Obvious – Yes, obvious words are easy for us to remember, but computers and people are very good at guessing these. A “brute-force” program can hack a common password like “monkey” in about 3 minutes. Uncommon words, or anagrams, can be hacked in a bit over an hour. Any program or person can get a list of birth dates, anniversaries and phone numbers very quickly just by a few minutes online.
Complexity – Non-word, random characters can be hacked by a brute-force program in about a month. If you add some numbers to those random characters, that time frame increases to about eight months. Pick numbers and letters that mean something to you but that aren’t found online or obvious.
Make it even MORE Complex – If you add just a little bit MORE difficulty to your password, you can make it secure for life. It would take a brute-force program 219 years to hack a password that contains just 6 random characters with mixed letter cases, numbers and symbols. If you add a symbol or two to a short password, you increase your security quite a bit!
Use a Pass phrase- experts say that easily remembered, random, multi-word phrases are ten times more secure than the most secure random character, mixed cased, number and symbol passwords. This is true because the phrases are only in your mind!
Longer Is Better – no matter whether you are using characters, symbols and numbers, or pass phrases, the longer it is, the better it is! Use at least 10 characters if you can because it adds more time to a program’s ability to hack them.
Make It Weird – It doesn’t matter which type of password you use, if you add strange characters or symbols and numbers, it will throw any brute-force program off the trail. Even if you add spaces to a password, it will help. If you can’t add a space, add an underscore or some other punctuation.
Don’t Use These Passwords – Whatever you do, don’t use common passwords. These are actually passwords people used that were utterly useless, and the ones that topped the list of 25 worst: password, 123456, 12345678, qwerty, abc123. Also on the list were: letmein, iloveyou, password, 654321 and trustno1. Um . . . yeah. They didn’t need to bother with a password at all if they were going to use any of these.
Change It Often – Some have said that passwords are like toothbrushes, don’t let anyone else use it, and change it every 6 months. Experts say that, depending on how much you use the Internet, that you should change your passwords every three to six months. And even though it’s a bother, you should really change it completely, not just make slight adjustments (I’m so guilty of this!). If you keep in mind that a hacker can only access accounts with that password for as long as you use it as your password, changing it limits what can be hacked. Think about it – if it takes a brute-force program eight months to hack a minimally complex password, if you change it in six, you’ve solved a problem before it is one.
Get a Password Management App – I wouldn’t feel comfortable having a program keeping track of my passwords, but some folks might like to use them. Password Management Apps just keep track of your passwords for you and you don’t have to worry about it. For me? A slip of paper tucked into a secure spot will do it for me and nobody is going to hack that.
Decorating with Candy Day – How fun is this??? Today create and enjoy all of your favorite sweets and have fun doing it! Decorate cookies, cakes, cheesecake, or whatever you have with your favorite little candies! It is fun, it’s festive and it’s tasty! Be creative. Then maybe you can post pictures for me on the Facebook page since I’m turning over a new leaf – again – and putting away thoughts of candy for now.
G.I. Joe Day – Toys are definitely for children to play with and enjoy, but they can also be educational! G.I. Joe is a line of action figures from Hasbro that came out after WWI. Initially the products were modeled after the four main branches of the armed forces: The Action Army Solder, Action Navy Sailor, Action Air Force Pilot and the Action Marine. In 1967 they introduced the Action Nurse to the collection, but it didn’t do as well as the other figures. G.I. Joe was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 2003. I didn’t know there WAS a toy hall of fame! My brother had G.I. Joe, he used to date my Barbie when my brother wasn’t looking and screaming at me to leave his toys alone! hahaha
Give Kids a Smile Day – In 2003 The American Dental Association started the “Give Kids A Smile” program. It was a way for dentists to join with others in their communities to make sure that the children who weren’t getting regular dental care because of financial restrictions, the services they needed. In the beginning the program started as a one-day event in February, but it has grown to include local and national events year-round. Dentists and other dental team members volunteer their time, and their services, to provide screenings, treatments and dental education to children throughout the United States each year. Approximately 450,000 children are benefiting from more than 1500 events each year, all due to the efforts and generosity of more than 40,000 volunteers. How wonderful!
Freedom Day – Today we celebrate freedom from slavery and recognize that America symbolizes freedom. This day was set up in 1948 to remind us what we stand for and comes from the signing of the 13th amendment outlawing slavery. Celebrate this day by thinking about, and appreciating, your own freedoms and realizing how fortunate we are to live in America. Now let’s take our country back! We have gone far astray from what our forefathers intended, and we have left the path of freedom, that path is being obliterated daily. Over a year ago many of us stood up made our voices be heard, and they are STILL being heard – of course often we are drowned out by the screeching of the left, but we are free, our lives have improved over the past year and many of us are looking forward to the next 6 years under this President (because I am very confident he’ll get a 2nd term) and we are confident that our freedoms are more secure now than they were just over a year ago. May we as a nation continue to be a beacon of freedom in the darkness.
Hula in the Coola Day – Alright, this one may get the FUN FUN FUN award of the day! Hula in the Coola Day was created because folks in the northern states were pretty sick and tired of the cold weather during the winter, and by February they were really ready for some heat. They bought some hula skirts, tossed the coats, mittens, pants and scarves aside for the day and went outside and did the hula like folks who don’t care if they catch their death out in the cold! hahaha They figured a hula party would trick themselves into pretending it wasn’t cold, and give them some fun in the process. It may not have felt like summer, but I bet it was a lot of fun! The trick to fooling themselves that it wasn’t winter could come from drinking cold, Bahama style drinks with little umbrellas in them.
Robinson Crusoe Day – This day has been designated as Robinson Crusoe Day to commemorate the anniversary of the rescue of Alexander Selkirk in 1709. Selkirk was a Scottish sailor who had been set ashore in September of 1704 on the island of Juan Fernandez after he’d had an argument with his captain. What he experienced on the island are said to have formed the basis for Daniel Defoe’s book “Robinson Crusoe”. The novel Robinson Crusoe has attracted the attention of literary historians, economists, political scientists and philosophers over the years, and opened up many discussions about basic human needs and the consequences of civilization crashing into primitive cultures. Today’s reader may be horrified by Crusoe’s opinions about slavery and his attitude towards his man Friday, but you have to put into perspective WHEN this was written, and the social norms of the time. We can’t re-write history, no matter how hard some may try, and that’s what people thought at the time. Get your panties unwadded and just view it as what was, and not what is. Many books and movies have come out of this novel – such as Gilligan’s Island – which I still enjoy even as a grown-up. It may be silly, but it’s not filled with swearing and smut – but that’s another blog post. If you haven’t read Robinson Crusoe, please, pick up a copy from the library and take in a little classic reading.
Spunky Old Broads Day – Do you know a spunky old broad? hahaha ARE you a spunky old broad? You qualify if you are over 50 (I don’t care what the number is, I refuse to call myself old), and march to your own beat no matter what anyone says or thinks. My Grandma Jewell always fit into this category for my whole life. I will never, ever forget when she worked as a matron in a juvenile detention facility. I was old enough to remember going to work with her, but I know my brother hadn’t been born yet, so I must have been around 3 years old. She would hold me up to the bars of the cells where the prisoners were locked up and say to me “See those kids? They did bad things – VERY VERY bad things and because they did bad things, they are locked in jail. Do not grow up to be like those kids!” I would nod, as if I had a clue what she was talking about, she’d give me a Lifesaver and take me to the kitchen with her to prepare lunch for the “guests” of the county. She didn’t take any guff off of any of them! Gotta love those spunky old broads, especially when they love you with all their heart. My other Grandma was spunky too, but spunky in a different, softer way. I miss them both so much.
Wear Red Day – Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States. It claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined. For more than 10 years, the American Heart Association has sponsored National Wear Red Day® to raise awareness in the fight against heart disease in women. There is a lot more I can add, but to be honest, this one pretty much explains itself. Celebrate National Wear Red Day® with Go Red for Women on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 to help fight women’s No. 1 killer—heart disease. You can join the movement nationwide and learn how you can honor women by looking up local events that will allow you to participate, raise funds and raise awareness. In the meantime, wear red! It really does mean something.
Working Naked Day – Well, this is it. We’ve now seen a holiday for just about everything. Today says that IF YOU WORK FROM HOME, that you should work naked, be free of the constrictions of clothes all day. Hm . . . interesting. Well, I won’t be participating since I go to the office today and I am hoping nobody else at work catches wind of this and decides to get crazy! Nah, nobody I work with would do that. You are free to do as you choose, but please, no pictures. I just can’t “bare” it! (hahahaha – couldn’t resist).
Food Celebration of the Day
National Baked Alaska Day – Many claim they invented baked Alaska, but its name comes from Delmonico’s Restaurant, which served the dish in 1876 in honor of America’s newest state. I sort of made a low carb version last night – though I admit I cheated a bit. I made Carolyn Ketchum’s Almond pound cake, only instead of putting it into a loaf pan, I made muffin tops out of it for the base, then I topped it with Halo Top low carb ice cream – I chose the candy bar and cinnamon bun flavors, then topped it with meringue and baked it briefly. I know I didn’t get it toasted enough but I was worried about how much the ice cream was melting. It wasn’t bad! These pictures aren’t very good, but they are what I ended up with.
I need to go get myself together! Hubby and I are heading out for date night when he gets home, and I need to get ready! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow! I’ll try to get here earlier than I did today.
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Celebration list sources: