Living in Strange Times

Apr 4th

These are such strange times, aren’t they?  Ever since all of this Covid-19 stuff has started, well before that honestly, but more so after, I just haven’t felt any inspiration to sit down and write. Doing silly celebrations didn’t feel right, for some reason, and I haven’t felt inspired.  I woke up today and saw a post by a friend. She is dealing with some pretty horrible personal health issues, but she has been sewing medical masks and as of the tally I saw this morning, is up to about 700 or so that she has sent out. She is exhausted, in pain and struggling some days to breathe, but she is up and doing what she can. If she can do that, well I can at least give people something silly to read, right?

For the past 2 weeks or so, I have been working from home.  I feel very fortunate that my work is such that I can do this. The company bought equipment for us to use at home and makes sure we have supplies. Every day I get up at the usual time – so around 5:30 – and get Hubby’s lunch packed and breakfast made. He is in an essential field, so he goes to work as usual.  I do my exercises, have my smoothie, get ready for the day as if I were leaving the house at the usual time. Instead of walking out the door, I go back to my home office, and I get busy. Every day at a time designated by work so we don’t run into co-workers and become something other than socially distant, I get up,  load Moose up in the car, and I take work back to the office that I am finished with, and following the sanitary and distancing rules set in place at work, I leave the files I am done with on the porch at the office, and I pick up the new files and supplies that are waiting for me, turn around and go home.  I work on that for the afternoon and do the same thing the next day.  The issue I am having with working at home is that I end up spending so much more time “at work” than I do when I am at the office.  I wouldn’t want anyone to think I am slacking off, so I weld my backside to the chair and don’t really get up until time to leave to pick up work. I have been forgetting to take lunch, I work later than usual, and by the time I finish eating dinner – which is HORRIBLY off plan lately – I fall asleep in my chair immediately. The fact is, I am blessed to be still getting my paycheck. I will never stop being grateful for this.  However, I think I’m one of those people who is happier at the office than I am at home.  I like being with my co-workers.  I like being in our cute, historic house in an historic town.  I like being able to get up and take a walk during lunch and see the beach and feel the air on my face.  I could go for a walk from home during lunch, but that leaves me feeling like I would be judged for being away from my computer. There are days I have to wonder if we will ever get back to normal, and though there are many aspects of this that are good – more family time, more people eating dinner at home around the table, kids not being as exposed to the crappy, liberal lunacy in the schools, not seeing as many Hollywood windbags whining about our President, there are other aspects I am looking forward to getting back. 

What are you missing the most about being socially distant from the rest of the world? I truly would like to hear.

 

 

 

Verse of the Day

April 4, 2020

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

Galatians 4:4

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Wow! What a rich passage full of many wonderful thoughts. Let’s put it in cornbread English so that we can not only read it, we can also believe it. God made history ready for a savior and then sent his Son. That Son had to deal with all the difficulties of the Law and faced all the frailties of being a human. Our Father bought our freedom at the terrible cost of his Son’s life on a cross in front of a mob that was jeering and jealous of his popularity. He did this so that you and I could be his honored children, entitled to all of his wonderful inheritance. To put it succinctly: God’s plan, God’s Son, God’s ransom, Our glory.

 

April 5, 2020

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Colossians 4:5-6

 

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Jesus warned us that we would have to answer to God for every idle word we share with others (Matthew 12:36-37). In our time when social media echoes with mean-spirited, ugly, and divisive words, we must hear the Lord’s warning about choosing our words carefully. Paul challenged us to be even more vigilant about what we say and how we say it. The apostle emphasized how significant our influence is on those who don’t know Christ. We want to seize every opportunity to open the hearts of unbelievers to Jesus. When we are around those who are not Christians, we must show kindness, demonstrate care, and exercise control in the way we use our speech. The eternal destiny of those around may be resting on our conversations with them. Let’s season our speech with care. Let’s take advantage of every opportunity we have to open the hearts of others to grace of Jesus!

www.verseofthedaycom

 

April 4 –

Every Day is Tag Day – Do you have pets?  If you do, then I know you’d be so sad at the thought of them being lost and alone in a big, scary world.  We never think anything will happen to our furbabies, after all, they are safe and sound at home with us, right?  But sometimes things happen, and they may get out unexpectedly, and in their fear and disorientation, get lost.  They may wander off, even if they never have before, and be gone all of a sudden.  It can happen to anyone, and the sad statistic is that of the millions of dogs and cats that are taken to animal shelters each year, only about 15% of the dogs and cats that are taken in as strays each year without an ID tag or a microchip find their owners again.  Today is a celebration started by the American Humane Association – Every Day Is Tag Day, to encourage pet owners to tag and chip their furry friends.  Are your “babies” all set if the unthinkable happens and they wander off?

Jeep 4×4 Day – I can’t find anything to back this one up, but I have to say that we do have two Jeeps.  My husband did a great job making our Grand Cherokee a lot of fun – gave it a lift, some big tires, an awesome front bumper and winch, nice roof rack, cool lights . . . but now he has a smaller Jeep Liberty.  He is fixing it up to be pretty awesome too and will make a great little off-road vehicle that we can also tow behind the motorhome.  It has also had a lift, new “shoes”, front bumper and winch, some fun interior additions, and is still a work in progress.  When it is ready, and we are able to freely go out and about into the parks and forests again, we are looking forward to being able to camp in some more primitive spots that aren’t easy to do in the motorhome.

National Handmade Day – This one is being celebrated quite a bit, now that so many people are staying home and away from public places.  People with crafting supplies are getting a chance to use them.  There are many people with sewing skills, who are giving their time, love, materials and effort to make medical masks to help make up for the shortage.  There are naysayers who are trying to say that since they aren’t official masks, they are worthless, and to those people I say SHUT UP! Any barrier against ingesting someone else’s airborne spit is a good barrier and can only help. Many of these masks are being made with a little pocket to fit a filter, for additional protection, and many are being made to fit OVER the official masks, to help extend their life. Beyond that, this situation is unprecedented in our time, and anyone who can do something to stay calm and help others at the same time, in my eyes, is a hero. Keep up the good work.

National Love Our Children Day – Today is special.  It is National Love Our Children Day, which is celebrated annually across the country on the 1st Saturday in every April.  It is set up to honor children, strengthen families and to raise awareness for efforts to protect children. We see so many horrible stories in the news about nightmarish atrocities being committed against children and it not only breaks my heart, it makes me so angry! This day was created to acknowledge the value of children, ALL CHILDREN, and to educate parents on the importance of giving them love, protection and respect – something so many children are deprived of by their own parents.  These elements are necessary for children to grow up to become strong and successful adults.  By promoting healthy and happy kids, and strengthening families, we can keep kids safe and hopefully break the cycle of violence.  I know that it feels like every day is for the kids, but today, take some special time to honor your children, for the blessings that they are.  Children touch our hearts, and regardless of whether someone has children of their own, we all have children who touch our hearts and lives in some way.  It may be a relative’s kids, the kids of a friend or neighbor, it doesn’t matter.  We all are necessary for teaching kids respect for each other by example.  Children are our treasures on this earth, blessings from God in every way.  Honor God’s gifts by showing love, respect, gentleness and kindness to the children who touch your life.  I suddenly really want to hug my kids and grandkids. *sniff*

Vitamin C Day – This one is timely, and something we should always be doing anyway. Load up on citrus fruit, berries and green vegetable for Vitamin C Day; boost your immune system, fight off that cold and feel great!  So, with that said, how much Vitamin C does it really do for us, and how much of it do we really need?   Well, Vitamin C – also known as ascorbic acid – is a water-soluble nutrient that is found in some foods.  It helps our bodies by acting as an antioxidant, which helps to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals.  What is a free radical?  A free radical is a compound formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy.  People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution and ultraviolet light from the sun.  The body also needs Vitamin C to make collagen, which is a protein required to help wounds heal.  On top of those things, Vitamin C improves how we absorb iron from plant-based foods and helps our immune system work properly to protect us from disease.  The amount we need depends on our ages, but there are tables out there to find out, or a call to your physician or nutritionist would help you get that information.  A good thing to know is what foods provide us with Vitamin C?  Fruits and vegetables are the best sources and you can easily get the recommended amounts by eating a variety of foods such as citrus fruits and their juices, as well as red and green peppers and kiwi fruit. Other fruits and vegetables like broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, baked potatoes and tomatoes also have vitamin C.  You can find foods and beverages which have been fortified with extra vitamin C as well.  I actually found pages and pages of information on this necessary vitamin, but seriously, did you want to come here today for a long dissertation on this particular subject? Nah, I didn’t think so.

Tangible Karma Day – One thing I am seeing a lot of lately, is neighbors looking out for neighbors.  I have been watching the neighborhood groups reaching out to offer to help people who are a higher risk for getting ill, and go get things from the store for them, to share what they have already, etc. And this is wonderful and is something that everyone should be willing to do all of the time, not just when we are dealing with a virus. This celebration is about giving – giving of your time, of your love, your talents and of your “extras”.  Giving feels as good as receiving, and today is the day to set aside some time to become aware of the needs of those we are in contact with and actively do something to help fill those needs.  This is also called being Christian and doing what Jesus instructed us to do all of the time.  I suppose for the secular community calling it Karma day makes sense to them.  The bottom line is that being kind to others and being aware of their needs is very important all of the time.

April 5 – 

Gold Star Spouses Day – This is a very important celebration that offers a great opportunity to honor the surviving husbands and wives of fallen soldiers.  December 18, 2010 was set up as Gold Star Wives Day, but since 2012 the Senate has passed a resolution to honor Gold Star Wives on April 5th, but as there are so many more wives now in the military, it is now being observed as Gold Spouse’s Day.  The Gold Star is a symbol of loss that goes back to WWI.  In 1947, Congress approved the design, manufacture and distribution of the official Gold Star Button to be worn on the lapel. It is a symbol worn by family of fallen service members who have lost their lives in combat. On this day the Army joins the nation to remember those who are left behind and honor the legacy of those who have died while in service to our country. Communities are encouraged to take the time to remember the fallen and recognize the sacrifices of those they have left behind.


Go for Broke Day
– It seems like lately, going to the grocery store is taking a gamble and going for broke. It’s a sure thing we can’t do that at the casino – they are all closed. It isn’t just about money, it’s a day for mustering up the courage to take a big risk – again, that could be something as simple as going to the store. Or it could be speaking out against a state government that is having such a good time playing social distancing dictator that they don’t care who is destroyed.  It could be going for a walk, in spite of all of your neighbors glaring at you.  Finding that place in open forest that isn’t closed down to go camping.  Take the risk – just these days, do it 6 feet away from everyone else.

Palm Sunday – Palm Sunday is traditionally the Sunday before Easter and begins the Christian commemoration of Holy Week.  We celebrate Palm Sunday to remember the day that Jesus entered the Holy City of Jerusalem surrounded by a crowd of followers.  Many churches hand out palm leaves, which represent the branches that were spread on the road as Jesus approached.  This is also the last Sunday of Lent, also called Passion Sunday. 

The Biblical accounts of the last days of Christ’s life all agree that as he returned to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover with his followers, the crowds who were eager to proclaim Him the Messiah.” On Palm Sunday Jesus entered the Holy City of Jerusalem surrounded by a crowd of followers. The palms disbursed by many churches signify the branches that were spread in on the road as Jesus approached.  “Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (John 12:13)

Palm Sunday traditions vary from denomination to denomination, and country to country.  Christian churches traditionally hold services on Palm Sunday and leaves of palm are often shaped into crosses to symbolize Jesus’ last hours on the cross are given to the congregation.  These palm fronds are also used to be woven into symbols of the palm to hang in the Christian home during the year.

The churches that observe Ash Wednesday by giving ashes to their members burn the palms to use for the ashes in this symbolic ceremony.  Eastern Orthodox churches give out bay or laurel leaves to be used for cooking throughout the year.  In many areas there are processions with palm fronds to commemorate the journey of Christ.  In Spain, processions and other public celebrations continue until the Monday after Easter.  In some Catholic parishes in the Philippines a priest rides a horse and is surrounded by the congregation, bearing palms to reenact Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

Many of us have traditional Easter meals that we look forward to having every year. In my family it has usually been ham, scalloped potatoes, salads and some sort of dessert.  I don’t know why, that’s just always been the traditional meal.  We never planned a special meal for Palm Sunday, though I think that it would be a wonderful tradition to start.

In Great Britain, traditional foods served on Palm Sunday include fig pudding, because Jesus is said to have eaten figs on his entry into the city of Jerusalem.  In Spain, the day is known as “Sul y Blodau” or Flowering Sunday because of the association with the flowering of the fig tree.  Making split pea soup is another tradition still observed in Northern England and Scotland, which comes from the ancient practice of wearing a hard pea in the shoe as penance during Lent.  In other areas of the UK, pax cakes are given out to congregations after Palm Sunday services – along with best wishes for peace and brotherhood – in a custom that dates back to 1570.  In Greek tradition the Lenten fast is broken with a fish dinner on Palm Sunday featuring salt cod.  Some parts of Italy have homemade fettuccine pasta topped with tomato sauce, breadcrumbs and chopped nuts as a customary Palm Sunday Dish.  More modern interpretations of appropriate foods to be eaten on Palm Sunday include hearts of palm in salads or side dishes to observe the day.

This year Easter is going to be different, but it isn’t canceled. You cannot cancel the gift that God gave to us in giving us life through His Son.  You cannot take away the blessing of the resurrection of our Lord.  You cannot stop the celebration of our salvation. We may watch a service on TV this year, and have a special meal with only the ones who live under our own roof, but we still celebrate it in our hearts and nobody can take that away.

 

Read A Road Map Day – This is a celebration that so many kids today would have NO clue about celebrating! We live in the age of the GPS and so, for many, the art of reading a map is lost. I love maps.  I always have.  A crisp new map holds adventure and new possibility as you unfold it to study the highways and biways that are so colorfully printed across the page.  Knowing how to read a map is pretty important for there are times that satellites aren’t sending the proper information to a GPS, or perhaps there isn’t a GPS for some reason, and you are lost! Reading a map could save your life as you navigate your way back to familiar territory. Celebrate this day by buying a map, if you don’t already have one, and navigate a short trip using only the paper map to guide you.  If you have never read a map, learn how to read one.  Think about it – for any Walking Dead fans – if we have a zombie apocalypse, reading a map may be what saves your life!

 

 

Food Celebrations of the Day –

 April 4

National Cordon Bleu Day – Fun fact: The “bleu” in Chicken Cordon Bleu is not referring to blue cheese. “Bleu” is just a fancy French way of saying that this dish is blue-ribbon worthy.  So, what IS it? Well, it’s a dish that is French inspired that is poultry based.  There is evidence that suggests that it was created in the United States by chefs who were imitating other stuffed meat dishes from Europe, though the name is clearly of French origin. The basic parts of chicken cordon bleu are chicken, ham or prosciutto, and either Swiss or Gruyere cheese.  Many recipes also have a bread crumb coating as a crust.  There are many ways to make this dish, from a simple layered casserole to the chicken, ham and cheese being rolled up together and baked.

 

 

National Carrot Day – The International Carrot day, or The Carrot Day, has been celebrated on this date since 2003.  It’s observed by many carrot lovers all over the world through carrot parties and other carrot related festivities. I’m betting Bugs Bunny would have LOVED this one!  It was actually started to spread knowledge about carrots and its healthful attributes. Apparently, carrot celebrations have been reported as happening in France, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Australia, the UK and Japan in years past.  I’m sure everyone knows that carrots are root vegetables and the most common ones are orange, but we can find them in other colors, such as purple, black, red, white and yellow.  I’ve tried purple and yellow ones but haven’t seen the others in our stores.  The carrots we are familiar with are a domesticated form of the wild carrot that is native to SW Asia and Europe. While looking this one up I saw that it is thought that the wild carrot plant probably started out in Persia and was cultivated for its leaves and seeds, though today the part eaten most commonly is the root itself. I do have to give a bit of a laugh at the thought of hosting a party for carrots, but wouldn’t the food be fun?  There could be carrot sticks with dip, a carrot cake, some carrot juice . . . use your imagination! It could be fun. Too late to plan this now, but it still sounds like fun.

 

 

National Ramen Day – How many of us spent many happy meals slurping up Ramen Noodles? They are really cheap and honestly, pretty tasty. The pre-packaged ones probably aren’t all that good for us, but they do fill a need for starving singles, artists, college students and after school snacks for kids all over the place. Ramen noodles aren’t just those Styrofoam-like noodles we see in the packages at the store though. You can go into most Japanese or Teriyaki shops and order a bowl of ramen and it’s not going to resemble the noodles we ate after school. They truly are quite delicious, from what I’ve heard, though I’ve never had authentic ramen.

 

 

 

 

 

April 5

Caramel Day – What do you get when you marry cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, water and butter – and bring it to a slow boil?  You get caramel sauce!  Oooey-gooey-delicious caramel sauce!  Caramel sauce is the star in many baked treats and is worth the wait to make your own.  For those of us who don’t want to make a big mess, there is a much easier way to make caramel sauce, using canned condensed milk. I’ve done this and it’ really quite delicious!  I found a link to a blogger’s site where the writer gives 4 ways to do this! Check it out!

 

National Deep-Dish Pizza Day – Deep dish pizza, also known as Chicago style pizza, is known for having a buttery crust with sides built up to as much as three inches tall.  The crust acts like a bowl to help hold in the ingredients.  This style of pizza was first developed in Chicago in 1943 by Pizzeria Uno’s founder Ike Sewell.  Not only is a deep-dish pizza different from a traditional pizza because of the crust, but because it is heavy on the sauce, cheese and toppings.  It has become so popular that many pizza chains have developed their own recipes.  I personally prefer a thin crust pizza with crunchy cracker thin crust, but I can say with certainty that deep crust pizza is VERY filling and you don’t have to eat as much of it to make a meal.  I make my own pizza at home every Friday on my handy dandy cast iron pizza pan.  I do have a cast iron pie pan that does a pretty fine deep-dish pizza. Who knows? We may get pizza twice this week

 

 

 

 

National Raisin and Spice Bar Day – Well, this one sounds tasty, doesn’t it? I love oatmeal cookies, so the thought of just making them into bars instead of individual cookies sounds like it would be perfect. Here’s a recipe I found on Food.com share with you – this one would make lovely lunch treats!

 

 May all of you, and your families, be healthy.  May our President continue to listen to the voice of God and do his best for our nation and all of our people. Let us all lift each other up in prayer, and be kind to each other. God bless you. Stay healthy. I’ll see you soon.

Celebration list sources:

www.verseoftheday.com   www.brownielocks.com   www.holidayinsights.com   www.thenibble.com   www.foodimentary.com

 

 

 

 

 

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