Over the last few weeks I have been feeling pretty angry and down with myself. I was feeding my entire system with negative self-talk, and of course that comes out in all other aspects of my life. I made up my mind that I needed to learn to replace the negatives with positives, the self-loathing with self-love. To do that though, that takes healing. I began to pray, and as often is the case with prayer, God gives us some “meat” to feed us, and in this case, as in so many lately, He fed me through the Trim Healthy Mama podcasts, or “poddys”.
Poddy #65 was about giving ourselves a new title, the title of Healer in our homes. The entire podcast was about turning around the negatives and making them positive. Rather than grumping into the house at the end of a frustrating day at work, come in with a smile, and gratitude. There isn’t any reason to bring my angst and poison into what should be a place of peace and calm. There isn’t any reason to put that negativity on my husband either. I don’t like it when he comes in grouching at the world, so why would he have to be subjected to it by me?
How does one become a healing person rather than a toxic one? This is the part that can get confusing, or at least feel overwhelming. Obviously, this is going to take practice, but perhaps it won’t be too difficult if done in baby steps. I am typically, with everything except myself, pretty positive, seeing the glass as half full, rather than empty, and often just grateful that the glass has anything in it in the first place. I can easily give grace to others for falling down but turning that grace inwards is a struggle. I had to pour some deep thought into it, and this is how last week worked out for me:
1. I recognized that I tend to drown myself in things that aren’t important – such as surfing Pinterest or Facebook – rather than getting things done that will make my life easier and more organized, such as prepping lunch and snack stuff ahead of time, or getting the laundry all done and put away, rather than tossing the dry clothes into a laundry basket to collect wrinkles. So, I re-started my to-do list that starts with the simple (or not so simple now that mornings are staying dark longer) step of getting out of bed. I list every little thing I need to do both before and after work. Ticking off those things contributes to my feeling of being in control, which in turn makes me feel more calm.
2. Stressing to get out the door is a big stumbling block for me, HUGE! I decided I cannot snooze the alarm clock multiple times because it puts me behind schedule and then I’m grumping and growling at the world around me, and generally making things more difficult. You know the old saying “The faster I go, the behinder I get.” It’s true!
3. I need to get up earlier. I already was getting up between 5 and 5:15, but I know that one way to learn grace, and bring peace into my morning is to start it with God. In order to do that, I needed to do devotions before anything else. Once the routine of the after work/dinner/work prep starts in the evening, it’s too easy to push off time to feed from God’s word. This meant a miracle had to happen because getting out of bed in the morning before I am good and ready is one of my top least favorite things in life to do.
4. I need to get more movement into my morning, even if this is just 5 minutes of stretching to limber things up, and that plays into rising earlier.
5. I need to eat breakfast before I leave for work, rather than taking it with me and wolfing or guzzling it down at my desk.
Now that I had a new way to start out my day, I had to implement it. This wasn’t going to be easy. I knew I needed help, so I asked God to PLEASE wake me up early, around 4:00 would be nice so I could stretch for a moment and wake up, and I can roll out of bed at 4:15 or at least by 4:30. Hubby gets up at 4:45 to walk his 1-2 miles, so if I can get up at least by then, I’m ahead of the game. Know what? God pushed me the way I needed to be pushed. Last week was a short work week, due to the Labor Day holiday, so I only have done this for four days, but Tuesday I was suddenly wide awake at 4:00, and for good measure I had to use the bathroom so badly that there was no way I could doze back off. Ok, good start. Usually I would have gone back to bed, but this time I just grabbed some clothes and got started with my day. Wednesday same thing, only at 4:15, Thursday 4:15 and Friday I was wide awake at 3, but I was convinced God was playing a joke on me, and I dozed back off and jerked awake at a little after 4:30.
Here’s the breakdown of how this went for me and how it changed my outlook, my energy and my attitude, all from getting up between 30 – 60 minutes early:
I put on a crock pot of overnight apple cinnamon oatmeal on Monday night. Breakfast was ready when I woke up. I made my mocha, stretched for 5 minutes, and sat down to read my Bible and pray. By the time Hubby got back from his walk, I had started eating breakfast, packed our lunches, made his smoothie and was ready to head for the shower. I leave for work at 7:30, but rather than racing my guts out, I was ready to go by 7:00, and Moose and I took a lovely walk. Our route is only half mile, but it’s a nice half mile. At some point we’ll go around twice, but not just yet.
I felt very positive as the weekend came to an end and I am prepping a few things for the upcoming week. That extra bit of time and care given to my spirit, mind and body had me heading to work with a smile, rather than asking for forgiveness for naughty words that may have passed my lips or mind. Because I was up early enough to have my 1st cup of coffee while I did devotions, and my 2nd cup was finished by the time I got to work, I had time throughout the day to sip soothing tea and my water. I was more hydrated than normal, all from one extra hour in the morning! My energy is up, my attitude is better and I am feeling encouraged, rather than discouraged.
We each have to choose for ourselves if we are going to do things to heal ourselves, or if we are going to just hang out the way things are and continue to pour toxicity into our homes. When we learn to practice healing words and behaviors, those around us also benefit from the healing home that is created with a few simple, painless changes.
I choose to have a healing home and to facilitate that healing for my family. How about you?
Monday – September 9
Care Bears Share Your Care Day – It is funny to me that, even though I have been doing these celebration posts for quite a few years, there are some that I miss along the way. Apparently this one was declared to be a celebration in 2015 and I’m just now learning about it! Many of us know who the Care Bears are, especially if you have children the ages of mine (31 and 35). They are cute teddy bears, very colorful and each dedicated being kind to others. They have been teaching children how to be kind to each other and share their feelings for 35 years, and though they declined in popularity for a number of years, they are being reintroduced to the world via Netflix Original Series – Care Bears & Cousins. Care Bears are all about love, caring and sharing with others. They support charities around the world that help families in need, such as Operation Smile, United Way and many more. This celebration is set up to inspire support for a #ShareYour Care towards donating generously not just on this day but throughout the year.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day – This awareness campaign is always held on the 9th day of the 9th month of the year. The focus is on the dangers that fetal alcohol exposure (drinking while pregnant) poses to babies. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause a wide range of disorders known as “fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), of which fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most severe. These defects and disabilities are 100% preventable by not drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Even with this being fairly common knowledge, an estimated 30% of women report that they still drink while pregnant. In the more severe cases children are born with FAS – a serious and incurable condition that damages the child’s central nervous system and brain. FAS is marked by mental retardation and physical birth defects such as abnormal facial features. Children born with FASD do not have the same physical birth defects or abnormal facial features, but they may have any number of developmental disabilities in different forms – cognitive, intellectual, social, mental and emotional. Shockingly, there is an estimated 1% of children born with FASD and that number could be higher. Because children born with FASD do not have the physical defects, it can be hard to determine of a child’s developmental disabilities are related to exposure to prenatal alcohol, or some other cause. It is just so important to stress the importance of the message “DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL IF YOU ARE PREGNANT!”. Often women are drinking before they realize they are pregnant, but the moment they find out they need to stop completely. If there is a problem with abstaining from drinking, they should seek professional help! Nothing is more important than the precious life a woman is carrying, especially a drink!
National Teddy Bear Day – Most of us had a Teddy Bear growing up. Some of us had several, but there was always one that was a particular favorite. A Teddy Bear is a special friend to a child. He’s cuddly, makes them feel secure in an otherwise insecure world, he’s lovable and he serves as companion and comforter. He’s not afraid of the dark and that helps make a child feel safe. Today can be celebrated by taking out your Teddy Bear and dusting him off, remembering all the things you used to do with him, like tea parties! Mine suffered through a lot of tea parties. A note to all parents and adults: No child should grow up without a teddy bear. If you know of any kid without one, go buy one for them today. A Teddy Bear is a pal you keep all of your life, and don’t have to give up just because you become a grown-up, and no matter what anyone says . . . it’s perfectly OK!
Wonderful Weirdoes Day – According to the folks at www.wellcat.com, today we promote the wonderful weirdoes in our lives. Maybe WE are the weirdo! There’s a new way to look at it for sure. According to the dictionary “weird” can mean unnatural, unearthly or mysterious. Most often though it is used to mean odd, strange or different. The word originates from the Old English word “wyrd” and meant something, or someone concerned with a controlling destiny. In Shakespeare’s “MacBeth”, the Fates were called the “werde sisters”. Interesting! So, do you have someone a little weird in your life to celebrate today?
Tuesday – September 10
Sewing Machine Day – I am one of those pathetic people who never really learned to sew. I know! It’s sad! Today we celebrate a very important invention – one that eased the burden so many people – the sewing machine – and I can barely use it! And I have one of those really fun ones that makes all sorts of great stitches! I know, it’s pathetic. Sad thing is that my Home Ec teacher told me that I’m the sort of person that ready-to-wear is made for . . . and I guess I believed her because I never really tried very hard to learn. There are projects I’d like to do . . . but honestly, I’m scared of mucking them up, so I don’t. It’s on the “someday” list of things to do, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the sewing machine is an amazing invention that has saved so much work for so many people over the years. So, what do we know about this incredible invention? Well, the first sewing machines were made in France in the 1830s, but it wasn’t until 1846 that they were patented in the U.S. Before this, clothes blankets, etc. were sewn together by hand, stitch by stitch. Sadly, people who know how to use a sewing machine are dwindling in number – and as I said, I’m one of the guilty parties. I’m betting that most of our mothers and grandmothers had a sewing machine in the house, and just about all of the women knew how to use it. When I was growing up, we’d go visit my Grandma K. She had one of those old-fashioned ones like you see in the movies, with the pedals on it that you move back and forth for power? Well, it wasn’t old fashioned when she got it. It was an amazing help to her when she got it. I always just thought it was really neat and always wished that when she passed away, I’d get it. I’m not sure who did get it, but I hope they are using it or appreciating the memories of Grandma.
Swap Ideas Day – We all have different knowledge and life experience, and today we are encouraged to share that information with someone else and get some information and knowledge from them in return! If you fully participate in this day, you will get plenty of good ideas to use in your everyday life. I have friends I’ve met who write their own blogs, and I’ve learned a LOT from them. It’s always a good thing to learn everything you can throughout your days on this earth – you never know what information you’ll need or when you’ll need it? Learning from your friends, family and knowledgeable acquaintances is never a bad thing, right?
Wednesday – September 11
9-11 Remembrance – This will be posted in a separate post, so it is not lost in the shuffle of other things.
Libraries Remember Day – Remember when librarians would shush anyone who made noise in the library? Those were the days, weren’t they? This is something that kids today probably haven’t experienced since now libraries, with all of the technology, seem to be the new social centers where people gather to use computers and attend programs. Sometimes it seems like, with all that they have to do, that librarians are the worst offenders for making noise in the library!
Make Your Bed Day – I admit it. I don’t often make the bed. In the mornings there is a rush to get out the door to work, and honestly, but the time we get home it’s not that many hours until we get back into it, so why bother? It’s just never been one of those things that bothered me. I didn’t make my kids make their beds either. I made sure they knew how, just never really enforced it. There were too many other things to focus on – household chores that affected the entire family, their schoolwork, etc. It turns out that I’m in good company! A LOT of people don’t bother making the bed, except when they change the sheets or when company is coming. For today though, make the bed when you get up – it is a pretty simple way to celebrate something and you’ll have a nice neat bed to get into tonight.
No News is Good News – I can’t do it. I can manage to do without the news when we are camping or on a cruise – simply because it isn’t available – but to turn off the news, especially on a day like today just isn’t going to happen for me. I can see why someone would though. There are times when the news just puts us on emotional and mental overload! So much bad stuff going on all around the world can short us out to the point that we just need a break so we can focus on something good. I like to see what is happening in the world, so I know how to plan my life – but maybe that is just me. Today though, if you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by current events, turn it off and just assume that No News Is Good News!
Thursday – September 12
National Day of Encouragement – Every year since 2007 we have celebrated this one, intended to uplift the people around us and make a positive impact. Celebrating this one is easy – well, for some people it will e. We can encourage others, give them reassurance and in some cases, inspire them. Try to encourage at least 3 people today, perhaps by telling them they are doing a great job, perhaps get in touch with someone you haven’t spoken to for awhile, or even just give a sincere smile to someone you pass on the street. (I said sincere smile, not a creepy, I’m up to something smile. There is a difference!)
National Policewoman’s Day – This celebration is fairly new . . . and I somehow missed it the first two years. It is dedicated to all female police officers. Marie Owens was most likely the first policewoman in the United States and was hired by the Chicago Police Department in 1891. Police Matrons had worked in the prisons before this time, but they didn’t have any authority to arrest criminals as Marie Owens did. Something I thought was a bit interesting was that even though Marie Owens was the 1st policewoman hired in this country she wasn’t born in this country. The first American born female police officer in our country was Alice Wells, hired by the Los Angeles police department in 1910. Today about 10 percent of the police force in the United States is women. I have to give them credit, because it’s not a job I would like to have.
Friday – September 13
Blame Someone Else Day – We have all known someone, or perhaps many people, who routinely blame other people for their mistakes, or have an excuse as to why a mistake happened. Well, today is the day to legitimately get away with it, all in fun of course. This one always happens on the first Friday the 13th of the year. Funny that this is the only one we have had this year, isn’t it? Seems a little late in the year.
Defy Superstition Day – This one has MORE impact when the 13th lands on a Friday, like today. When it lands on another day of the week, you’ll find some die hard believers in superstitions getting a little twitchy, but not as many. I’m sure we all know a few of the twitchy ones though – those people who wander around on the 13th with dread in their hearts. Today is the day to defy those superstitions and be free, perhaps it’s a day to help others break their superstitious beliefs too. So, what are some of the top superstitions? Well, there is, of course, the “unlucky” number 13. Black cats also put fear into people (though I have a black kitty who is VERY sweet! Well, she’s sweet to me. She’s actually pretty evil to most other people.). Walking under a ladder has always been something to avoid (though there is logic to this that has nothing to do with superstition). There is actually a long list of superstitions that would boggle your mind. My ex-in-laws believed in some really oddball ones. Did you know that hotels do not have a 13th floor, a room #13 or rooms ENDING in 13? All because of silly superstitions. One way to celebrate this one would be too look up the most common ones and find out why they started and when! If I had more time and I’d do that now, but we have family day planned and need to hit the road!
Friday the 13th – This is a fairly rare occurrence – when Friday lands on the 13th. It usually only happens twice a year. If you are superstitious, then Friday the 13th is a day you might face with fear. For these people, this would be an unlucky day, a day when bad things might happen. For you – don’t walk under a ladder, or let a black cat cross your path. It could lead to something bad simply because you think it will! The number 13 has been seen as an unlucky number, but do you know why? I didn’t until I started looking into this a few years ago. Though nobody is sure HOW this was determined, in Biblical references it is believed that Cain killed Abel on Friday the 13th. Since our calendar wasn’t in existence then, this may not be entirely accurate. What we do know is that the ancient Babylonian Code of Hammurah omitted the #13 in its list of laws. Written in 1,700 B.C., it seems to suggest that ancient Babylonians thought the #13 was unlucky. Another interesting thing I read was that if you live in fear of the #13, you suffer from Triskaidekaphobia. Here is some Friday the 13th Trivia that you may find to be interesting:
Many buildings and skyscrapers do not have a 13th floor.
Many people will not allow 13 people at the table. If there are exactly 13 people present, a second table is set up.
Skippers would not go out to sea with a crew of 12. Including the captain, that made 13 people.
Ancient Mayans of Central America were the most advanced culture in all of the Americas. They considered the number 13 sacred.
Embrace this day – don’t live in fear of it – and like any other day, have fun with it!
International Chocolate Day – I don’t usually do the international celebrations, but it’s chocolate! It’s sort of a requirement to celebrate chocolate, right? After all, it is one of the world’s favorite flavors . . . possibly THE most loved across 7 continents! The cocoa bean has been eaten by people from as early as 1900 BC and was an integral part of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations and culture. Europeans combined it with milk and sugar, and when the Industrial Revolution started and mass production was figured out, the fame and cravings spread throughout the world. Even though chocolate originated in the Americas, today the small African country of Cote D’Ivoire produces 30% of the world’s cocoa. I’ve met very few people who didn’t like chocolate (and am naturally suspicious of anyone who doesn’t). I know that most of us don’t need a special day to indulge in the wonders of chocolate, but it also doesn’t hurt to have an actual holiday to use an excuse, right? Now, if you are looking for justification for your indulgence, dark chocolate has many proven health benefits. It is full of antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals produced by metabolism of fat. This has all sorts of positive effects on the body which range from improving cardiovascular health, to preventing chronic disease. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure and oddly enough, to regulate blood sugar! Lastly, but certainly not least, it has been shown to encourage the release of endorphins – which is a feel-good hormone. This may be a good explanation for why it is so widely loved! Celebrate this delicious, decadent and sometimes healthy treat today by creating something wonderfully chocolate as your dessert tonight.
Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day – How fun is this? This celebration encourages kids and teens to get into the kitchen and learn to create healthy meals for themselves and their families! This is awesome! The idea came from wanting kids to take a more active interest in what they eat and get them to do more than pack junk food into their faces. It also promotes family mealtimes, and family togetherness in the kitchen. This is one that I feel all families with kids need to celebrate with enthusiasm – not just one day a year, but all year long!
National Celiac Awareness Day – This one is so important and thanks to the Senate for passing a US Senate Resolution to benefit celiac awareness every year. This Resolution is the culmination of a lot of hard work for those who suffer with celiac disease, the American
September 13th is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day Celiac Society, Celiac Disease Foundation, Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, the American Celiac Disease Alliance and the Celiac Support Association. This date was chosen because it honors the birthday of Samuel Gee, MD, a British doctor who published the first modern description of the clinical picture of celiac disease. He is also credited to be the first one to connect celiac disease and diet. Years ago, I was friends with a lady who had celiac disease. I’d never heard of it up til then, and honestly many people hadn’t. It was just starting to creep into our awareness. There weren’t many gluten free foods on the market and honestly, she had a heck of a time eating. Turns out that she was SO sensitive to gluten that she, like many, who suffer from celiac disease has to check even her beauty products – pretty much anything that will touch her skin – or she gets blisters and sores. How awful is that? This is a disease that is still largely misunderstood, no matter how many new products hit the market, one that is still very difficult to live with in our food focused society.
Uncle Sam Day – Pretty much everyone who was born and raised here knows who Uncle Sam is, right? He is one of America’s most recognized symbols that appears on everything from military posters to cartoon images to advertising media. There are two theories about how Uncle Sam came about, both date back to the early 1800’s. The theory most commonly recognized as true goes back to soldiers stationed near Troy, New York during the world of 1812. Barrels of meat that they received were stamped “U.S.”. The supplier was Samuel Wilson of Troy, New York. Soldiers referred to him as “Uncle Sam” as a joke. In 1813 the first image of “Uncle Sam” appeared. In 1961, the U.S. Congress issued a resolution that recognized “Uncle Sam” Wilson, authorizing a monument in his hometown in Troy, NY. The second, less popular theory of the creation of Uncle Sam started in the early 1800’s. Irish immigrants were coming to America, and some people believe that Uncle Sam emerged from these immigrants. In their Gaelic language, the United States of America was “Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá”, abbreviated “SAM”. This date was picked in 1989 when a joint resolution of Congress designated this day as “Uncle Sam’s Day”, and was chosen because “Uncle Sam” Wilson’s birthday was September 13, 1776.
Hug Your Boss Day – Most bosses have a pretty tough job. They have to keep everything going smoothly, make sure everyone stays on task, and that work is getting done while keeping everyone happy. That isn’t easy in this world where most people are unhappy about something a lot of the time, right? Today there is a way to fix it all . . . ok, maybe not fix it all. . . but to offer a bit of sugar on the sour. It is Hug Your Boss Day! Now keep in mind, not ALL bosses will welcome a hug, and since getting to know my new boss I am not inclined to celebrate this one. Now, my previous boss wasn’t a hugger, but I knew her well enough to hug her anyway, which was always a bit funny. I miss her – I hope she realizes how much.
Saturday – September 14
Live Creative Day – We are all creative in one way or another. Some people can draw or paint, others write beautiful stories and poetry, and still others show their creative sides through music, cooking, baking, working with wood, or just being incredibly organized! I consider THAT to be creative. My mother has an eye for how to make a room flow harmoniously, where I just sort of place things where it is convenient. It’s all in what talents we were born with and how we use them. Today is a great day to let your inner artist out so you can show the world how you see, hear and experience it.
National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children (2nd Saturday) – This one is so meaningful, and I hope that it is honored by more and more people each day. Citizens for a Pro-life Society, Priests for Life, and Pro-life Action League are set to host memorials in remembrance of children murdered by abortion. This was first celebrated a few years ago, but this isn’t a new idea. Looking back to ancient Rome for inspiration behind this solemn national event, brought some interesting history to light. Dug into the walls of the earliest Christian catacombs in the outskirts of Rome are countless small tombs that are only a foot or two across. These are the burial places of infants that were cast out of their pagan homes and left to die of starvation and exposure. Sadly, this was a common practice at that time. Members of the early church, who were taught by Christ to love their neighbors, offered these newborn sacrifices the only act of love they could. They buried their little bodies and mourned for them in prayer. This tradition of mercifully burying abandoned children continues in our own day with the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. Mourners will visit the gravesides of aborted children, whose broken little bodies were recovered from trash dumpsters and pathology labs, and solemnly buried over the four decades of legal abortion in the United States. Memorial services will be held at more than 40 of these gravesites, as well as at many memorial markers that have been set up in memory of these aborted unborn at churches and cemeteries. It is so sad and sobering to realize that grave markers for the unborn victims of abortion only lists the date of the burial. There are no birthdays because they were never allowed to be born. There aren’t any listed dates of death because those who murdered them threw away their bodies like they were garbage. They are not garbage to any who mourn- they are our brothers and sisters. That is why they are buried, and why their graves are visited, so they can be mourned, and their humanity celebrated. Since 1973, more than 55 million innocent unborn children have been killed with the law sanctioning it. A small fraction of these victims of this slaughter have actually been buried, and the graves are scattered across America. These are graves of sorrow, graves that cast a shadow of filth and evil over a nation that has permitted the killing of the innocent. It is on this day that we pray for an end to the injustice of abortion. May God have mercy on our souls.
National Sober Day – This is the first time I have seen this one, but it’s a good one! This day encourages us to celebrate living a sober life and bringing awareness to addiction. If you do not have addiction issues yourself, spend this day showing support for anyone who lives in sobriety after struggling to overcome the hold that drugs or alcohol has had on their lives. It’s not easy to do that, and they deserve and need respect and support.
Sunday – September 15
Felt Hat Day – Well, this one fall on a good day – since it’s Make a Hat Day too, but this isn’t about making your own hats as much as it is wearing Felt Hats. On this day men traditionally wear a felt hat. Back in the early to mid-1900s, hats were very popular and worn by both men and women. It was stylish. At that time, felt was a common material for men’s hats. With cooler fall weather coming the men went to the closet and dusted off their felt hats and began to wear them once more. Celebrating this one is easy – just wear a felt hat. Doesn’t matter what the style is, as long as it is made of felt!
Make a Hat Day – What a wonderful and fun celebration! Today is a day set up to design, make and wear a fun hat! It’s always fun to make a hat so maybe we should get started! This is a popular one with pre-school, kindergarten and grade school teachers AND students. Early in the new school year, teachers look for fun and interesting projects to break up the classroom routine, and let the kids use their creativity in making a hat that suits their mood. Once you make your hat, take a picture of yourself in it! It’ll be fun!
National 8-Track Tape Day – Eight Track Tape Day is a day to bring back memories of the sixties and seventies. Does anyone still have 8-track tapes and players? If you do, I’d love to hear from you! Years ago, I remember my ex-father-in-law still had an 8-track player in his truck, and he played OLD western tapes. Honestly, I think he’s the only person I have ever known who actually used one of them! How many kids today would even KNOW what one of those is? I know kids who don’t even know what cassette players are! Suddenly I feel so much older!
Wife Appreciation Day – I like this one! The 3rd Sunday in September is an unofficial day that has been set aside for husbands to show their wives how much they appreciate them for all that they do. Guys, even though you may feel appreciation for your wife, she needs to hear it too. Women really crave the words, the romantic touches and the little extras. They don’t need to be expensive extras, just something that shows you listen to what she says, and that all the things she does for you don’t go unnoticed. If you show your wife with these extras, the romantic moments she so richly deserves, she will move heaven and earth to do the same for you. I was shown appreciation yesterday with the concert tickets I’ve wanted for so long, and I can tell you that the feeling has my heart overflowing with appreciation in return.
Food Celebration of the Day –
Monday – September 9
National Wiener Schnitzel Day – Many people think wiener schnitzel is a kind of hot dog or sausage. It isn’t. Wiener Schnitzel is breaded veal cutlets. An Americanized version of the dish is chicken-fried steak. Breading and pan-frying veal, chicken, pork, or other cuts of beef is a good easy way to tenderize the meat. I won’t eat veal, but I do like it made with pork. That and a nice side of rotkhol and spaetzle? MMMMMM good. This wasn’t on my menu plan for the week, but suddenly I’m hungry for all of this yummy goodness!
Tuesday – September 10
National Hot Dog Day – Hot Dogs are pretty much universally understood. We love them at ball games, roasted over a campfire, smothered in sauerkraut and mustard . . . we just love them! What is your favorite way to enjoy hot dogs? My favorite are the all-beef hot dogs roasted over a campfire, followed up by s’mores. What can I say? I like tradition.
National TV Dinner Day – I remember when I was a little kid, my dad always worked either the swing shift, or graveyard. Because he was gone when we were eating dinner, Mom kept TV Dinners in the freezer for him. You know the kind – the Banquet TV Dinners? He always enjoyed them so much that I always felt like he had some sort of a treat. Reality wasn’t all that edible, but they made the pictures look so good that it took me quite a few years and adulthood to realize that homemade was better. Today there are so many different kinds of TV Dinners, that they don’t even resemble the originals. If I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to make lunches, those Kashi meals are pretty tasty! Today though, we remember the originals – the ones in the aluminum tray, the very first one hit the market in 1954, and the desserts were added in the 1960s. Much to the delight of kids everywhere, dessert was added in the 1960s.
Wednesday – September 11
National Hot Cross Buns Day – How a day celebrating an Easter treat landed in September is a mystery. I couldn’t find out why, however for anyone who isn’t aware of the meaning behind Hot Cross Buns, here is a pared down version of their history. The idea of marking crosses on baked goods like bread, cakes and buns goes back to the pre-Medieval times and was a sign that the bread was blessed and had the power to ward off evil spirits and that it wouldn’t mold or get stale quickly. It was also thought to help the bread rise. In Pagan times bread was baked in honor of the goddess of spring and the dawn, Eastre. Bread would be filled with dried fruits and baked into small loaves that, as Christianity spread, were marked with a cross by monks. This was the earliest hot-cross bun. From the late 1600’s forward, the custom grew to make them special for Good Friday and be eaten for breakfast on Good Friday morning. None of this explains why we are celebrating this in September, but we can all do with some delicious blessed bread in our lives, right?
Thursday – September 12
National Chocolate Milkshake Day – Well, yum! Chocolate milkshakes are my favorite. Vanilla is a close second. There’s just something about a thick, rich chocolate milkshake that hits the spot though. If you add malt powder to it, that’s even better! There’s a 50’s style diner not far from where I live that I would take my kids to for a birthday treat. Their milkshakes are HUGE! They make them in those giant silver shake glasses, then pour them into a soda glass like the one pictured, top them with whipped cream and cherries, and bring you not only the milkshake but the silver container that is still half full of milkshake! That’s a LOT of shake and plenty for two – of course the kids always wanted their own. Of course, milkshakes are getting quite expensive out in restaurants, but they are so simple to make at home, why bother going out to get one? Simply combine a little milk with some chocolate ice cream, add a little extra chocolate syrup and mix it in the blender. Easy! If you have your milkshake with a side of fries to dip into the milkshake (hey! don’t knock it til you’ve tried it! Perfect combo of salty and sweet) If you’re on a diet, consider using fat free frozen yogurt instead of ice cream – every little caloric savings helps! Now here’s something I didn’t know until today – did you know that when milkshakes were first invented in 1885 that they also included whiskey? Makes me wonder if that’s what contributed to their popularity!
Friday – September 13
Fortune Cookie Day – Today we celebrate the creation of the Fortune Cookie. I know we all look forward to getting one at the end of every Chinese food feast we enjoy. When we go out to dinner, we take turns reading the slip of paper inside to each other, either laughing or groaning at the message it holds. It is supposed to foretell of good luck, have a whimsical saying, a philosophical thought, or even a lottery number. What some people may not know is that the Fortune Cookie did not originate in China. Nope, it was in California, though there is some uncertainty about who actually did invent it. Some historical references say it may have been Makoto Hagiwara who invented the fortune cookie at the Japanese Tea Garden San Francisco in 1914. Other people believe that it was David Jung, founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company in the 1920s. Whoever did it, I know we are all happy they came up with this fun idea. What’s also fun is you can special order fortune cookies with your own message in them – maybe for birthdays, anniversaries or weddings!
National Peanut Day – I love peanuts . . . they aren’t my FAVORITE nut, but I do like them. But wait . . . they aren’t a nut at all! They are technically a legume. So, maybe they are my favorite legume! There’s a place near here where they roast peanuts fresh every day. We bought a bucket – one of those cool metal buckets – for 7 bucks. We can go and refill it for free for a year! Nice, right? There’s something pretty fun about wrapping a bunch of peanuts in some foil and heating in the oven, then sitting and watching TV while shelling them and having a little feast. Yummy!
Saturday – September 14
Eat a Hoagie Day – You might know them as subs or grinders. But in 1992, the hoagie was declared the official sandwich of Philadelphia, which many consider its birthplace. Since we started alternating moderate carb or sourdough breads back into our diets, a Hoagie may be a delicious option or dinner! Yum!
National Cream-filled Donut Day – Donuts are always lovely, but when you fill them with creamy goodness, that just makes them extra special. The most popular cream filled donuts are chocolate or vanilla cream. I’m betting that just about any flavor would be delicious. If you’re near a decent donut shop today, maybe stop in and get one and savor every bite. Any treat needs to be savored for what it is and not rushed through.
Sunday – September 15
National Crème de Menthe Day – Crème de Menthe is one of the first alcohols I ever had in a mixed drink called a Grasshopper. This particular liqueur is what it sounds like, cooling mint. We have a French pharmacist, Emile Giffard, to thank for this one. He studied the cooling and digestive properties of mint, and after some research, came up with a recipe for a mint cream. The traditional formula is one that I suppose many people could try, by steeping dried peppermint leaves in grain alcohol for several weeks, filtering it, and adding sugar. Because mint is a digestive aid, it is used in after-dinner drinks. I’m suddenly thirsty for a cold Grasshopper.
National Double Cheeseburger Day – Cheeseburgers are a national favorite food, and where one cheese covered beef patty is good, a double one is just better. Guess what we are having for dinner? Yep, you guessed it!
National Linguine Day – Translated as “little tongues,” these flat noodles pair well with seafood, but we’re also happy to lap them up with chicken, meatballs or even in dessert!
Now that I have done several weeks of celebrations one week at a time, how do you feel about it? Is this working for you too, or am I losing people in the process? Just comment to let me know.
I need to run now and get a few things ready for tomorrow. God bless you and I’ll see you on Monday.
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Celebration list sources: