It’s a beautiful, sun filled, if very cool, weekend. Our plans to be gone for the day have changed, so we are home and have a few projects planned. For me, it’s mostly stuff in the house, though I think Hubby intends to get outside to do things out there. I have to dig out my office – which always gets really messy before and after Christmas with everything getting shoved in there, and stored, until after all the decorations are put away. I end up piling paperwork in random spots and that is what I need to plow through to get to where I can start sorting tax papers. I guess I’ll open my blinds and enjoy the sun from the warmth of my little space. In the meantime, I have at least one baking project I want to do, and miscellaneous normal house cleaning to work on. Seriously, unless we choose to just hang out and watch movies, there is always a LOT to do to keep things going around here.
Verse of the Day
March 2, 2019
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
While many substitute Messiahs have been offered, only the True Messiah saves. While we often live for many lords, only one Lord liberates and sets us free from sin and death. While many ways are claimed to bring us close to God, Jesus insists that he is the only way. So we’re driven to one ultimate reality: do we believe salvation is in Jesus alone, or do we not. It’s our choice. But what we decide about Jesus is really deciding about everything. Is Jesus your Lord? Is Jesus the name above all names in your life? Is Jesus your Savior? If not, then please reconsider, for the Bible says: “Salvation is found in no one else.”
March 3, 2019
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
If we had been alive when Jesus worked in the carpentry shop in Nazareth or walked along the Sea of Galilee near Capernaum, we could have said, “There goes God,” and been right. The amazing reality of Jesus is that he was God among us. Matthew calls him Immanuel, “God with us.” In Colossians 1, Paul pours out every superlative he can use to describe Jesus’ preeminence over everything and everyone. He is God with a human face. He is the ruler, the transcendent one, who reigns above all creation. He is also our Savior and our sacrifice.
Food for Thought
We may wish, dream and crave something with all of our hearts and souls, praying for God to provide the desires within us – but if He has other plans for us, no matter how disappointing and hurtful it may be, there isn’t anything we can do about it except to say “Your will be done, Lord. I am your humble servant.” This is the most difficult thing in the world to accept and can blur the lines between our own desires and following God. It can lead to anger, disillusionment, fear and sadness. It can cause us to lash out to the world around us, be unhappy with our circumstances and lead to doing or saying things that we will ultimately regret because they are against what God would have us do in our lives. Fighting against God will just have us running in a circle of repeat negative results because we are trying over and over to get our own way by doing an end run against God. Curbing the strong will to go our own direction and fight against the leading of the Lord is probably the most difficult thing we will ever be asked to do, but be still, know He is God, and that He does have your best interests at heart.
March 2 –
Dr. Seuss Day/NEA Read Across America – Dr. Seuss is considered one of the greatest children’s book writers and illustrators of all time. Having published 46 picture books, The National Educational Association adopted his birthday, March 2, as National Read Across America Day. To celebrate Seuss’s birthday and to help support the Read Across America effort, here is a list of the top 5 Dr. Seuss books. I have copied and pasted the book list for you – one for simplicity and two, I couldn’t have written it better myself.
The Cat in the Hat – The story of two children who are left at home all alone on a rainy day when they receive a visit from a cat wearing a top hat. The cat’s wacky tricks and efforts to entertain the bored children wind up wrecking the house. The children have to capture the cat’s raucous playmates, and herd the cat out of the house. Luckily, he cleans it up as he leaves. It ends with children who are relieved to have nothing to do when their mother returns home. This is the book that introduced us to Thing One and Thing Two and spawned, not only a sequel, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, but an animated series and a major motion picture starring Mike Myers.
The Lorax – The Lorax is a wizened character who “speaks for the trees.” Published in 1971, this was one of the first lessons in the harm of deforestation and the importance to care for nature that many children for decades received. The story follows the fate of a forest that is cut down when industry moves in to create thneeds to meet the high demand, because “everyone needs a thneed.” But the drive to produce more and more leads to the last tree being cut down and the world becoming filled with bottled air, fake trees and a completely manufactured life. In the end, one young boy plants the last seed which recalls the spirit of the Lorax and the forest. The books popularity led to an animated movie in 1972, and a computer animated film in 2012.
Green Eggs and Ham – The classic story of a boy who is offered a new food insists, as many a child does, that he does not like it and will not eat it whatever the circumstance is a popular favorite. After repeating over and over, “I do not like green eggs and ham. I will not eat them, Sam I Am,” winds up giving in to Sam. The boy tries the green eggs and ham and does in fact like them. Aside from the fact that it rings true to parents with picky eaters for children, the words are so skillfully crafted that the catchy rhyming couplets stick in your head for years after you have read the book. Perhaps the message of the book may just pay off for parents hoping to get kids to clean their plate.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish – This is a lesson in counting and colors, opposites and fun. The story is loosely assembled around a pair of siblings and their weird pet fish. While the story starts with fish, it moves into the wacky world of Seuss quickly and passes from fish to body parts, and then straight into tongue twisting hilarity.
Horton Hears a Who – Horton, an elephant, is the only creature in the jungle who can hear the Whos who live on what looks like a speck of dust. When all the rest of the jungle inhabitants do not believe him, Whoville is in danger unless the Whos can make their presence known to the other animals. The Whos try with all their might to make as much noise as possible, but it is not until the smallest Who of all adds her own sound to the clamor that the animals realize Whoville, even though only the size of a speck of dust, does exist. Like The Lorax, this is another one of Dr. Seuss’s parable stories. The message that “a person’s a person, no matter how small,” resonates especially with children because they relate to the concept of being small, and just like the people living on the tiny speck of dust that is Whoville, they sometimes can feel like they are not heard.
Grab your favorite Dr. Seuss book and celebrate, even if you are not a kid anymore.
Well, looking at all those Seuss pictures really brought back some great memories of my Mom reading them to me, and later in life, reading them to my own children. Good times!
Iditarod (First Saturday) – This is actually MORE than a week. The Iditarod starts today and will last between 9 and 12 days. There really isn’t any way to predict when the last sled will cross the finish line. So, what IS the Iditarod you ask? Well, allow me to tell you! It’s actually quite fascinating! In 1925 the small city of Nome, Alaska and the surrounding communities was suffering a near epidemic of diphtheria. A team of 20 mushers and about 150 sled dogs took diphtheria antitoxin the 674 miles by dog sled across the U.S. territory of Alaska in 5 and a half days, saving the city. This became known as the 1925 Serum Run to Nome, or the Great Race of Mercy. Both the mushers and their dogs were heroes and received headline coverage in newspapers across the country and talked about on the newly popular medium of radio! The lead sled dog, Balto, became the most famous canine celebrity of the era after Rin Tin Tin and his statue is a popular attraction in New York City’s Central Park. The publicity also helped spur an inoculation campaign in the U.S. that dramatically reduced the thread of the disease. The sled dog was the primary means of transportation and communication in subarctic communities around the world, and the race became the most famous event in the history of mushing. The first aircraft in the 1930s, then the snowmobile in the 1960s nearly drove the dog sled into extinction, but the resurgence of recreational mushing in Alaska since the 1970s is a direct result of the tremendous popularity of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race, which honors the history of dog mushing with many traditions that commemorate the serum run. Good luck to all those who are racing. May God protect them and their dogs along the way and may everyone reach the finish line safely and in good health.
National Frozen Food Day – How many of us have a freezer stocked with frozen goodies? From veggies and fruit, meat and sweet treats, everything we eat can be purchased frozen, so we have it at our fingertips when we want it, without the worry of it going bad if it is not used immediately after we buy it – of course that is provided there isn’t an extended power outage – but that’s another blog.
You may not know this, but frozen food has a history dating back as far 1000 BC, when the Chinese used ice cellars to freeze foods for the winter months. In more recent times, the line of frozen foods was introduced in the United States in 1930 by Clarence Birdseye. Today, as more people use microwaves, frozen foods are relied on heavily for many meals. Frozen foods allow us to take advantage of foods that are packed at the peak of seasonal perfection because of several processes used in the processing plants. We can also do that at home – we can stock up on fresh seasonal foods while they are on sale, or harvest them from our own gardens, cook meals in bulk, then using a vacuum sealer, we can remove air and moisture that will spoil our foods with freezer burn, and keep them in our freezers 5 times longer than we wold otherwise. What a wonderful thing frozen food is! Saves us time and money and gives us peace of mind that we always have something delicious to eat at our fingertips. Definitely something to celebrate!
Old Stuff Day – When asking someone “What’s new?” or “What’s happening?”, how often do you hear “Nothing really, same old stuff”. Well, today, is Old Stuff Day, in recognition of this all too common response. It is suggestive of a boring time period, or a boring life style. . . how sad. Old Stuff Day is not a day to do the same old stuff. Rather, it’s a time to recognize the boring nature of your daily routine and make some exciting changes. Find new and different activities, projects, and hobbies. Attend an event. Do something, anything, different. You will be glad that you did!
Sock Monkey Day – Sock Monkeys have been popular for years, with the popularity waning for some time, but in recent years making a comeback. Have you ever stopped and wondered where the cute little Sock Monkey originated? Well, it goes back to when the stuffed animal craze swept across Europe and the United States during the Great Depression. Money was scarce and people could not afford something as frivolous as a stuffed animal, so the American Mom, being ever creative and resourceful, started making stuffed monkey dolls made out of socks, filling them with whatever happened to be on hand – paper, rice, even old pantyhose. In 1932, the Nelson Knitting Company in Rockford, IL invented a work sock with a trademarked red heel. They became the most popular work sock of their time, and the basis for one of the most popular and long-lasting toys. When they are made into a doll, the red sock heel makes a distinctive red mouth. The Nelson Knitting Company became aware that their socks were being used to make what was becoming a very popular toy. They made the decision to patent the pattern for the Sock Monkey doll and use it in their advertising and promotions. They even put a pattern in with every pair of their socks that they sold! The sock monkey has taken on new forms and faces, but the original is still very popular and well loved. There is even an annual Sock Monkey Festival held in Rockford, IL where visitors can enjoy a museum honoring this wonderful little guy that has brought so many smiles to so many faces for over 100 years. The Sock Monkey is as all American as apple pie! If you don’t have one of your own, think about either getting one, or making one today
March 3 –
Caregiver Appreciation Day – I cannot even imagine how difficult the life of a caregiver would be. These special and very important people give their time to care for people who are ill, disabled or elderly. Today we recognize both the paid and the unpaid caregivers, though in my opinion the unpaid ones deserve and extra bit of appreciation. They take care of supporting someone in need, most of the time a family member, giving their time and often spending their own money, while they do. It is often a thankless task, even by the people being care for other relatives who can’t seem to find a way or the time to help. Today give a special thank you to anyone you know that is a caregiver. If you employ one, give them the day off and take over the role of caring for the day while they rest.
I Want You to be Happy Day – What an unselfish thought to start out this beautiful Sunday morning. This is something we wish upon the people we care about and love. To celebrate today, do something to make someone happy, something that will put a smile on someone’s face. There are endless ways to do this. Sending someone an E-Card that can make a loved one smile, a phone call to a relative or friend you haven’t talked to in a long time, making positive comments or compliments to bolster someone up, or making a special meal. Be creative but keep focus on the thought that you want to make that person happy today!
Namesake Day – This day encourages us to explore the roots our our names, to find out if we were named after someone or something in particular, and to research and connect with people who share the same name. I can tell you who I was named for – my name is a combination of my parents’ names. My mother’s name is Karen – they changed the “e” to “i” and added an “a” to come up with Karina and my middle name is Dawn. Since my father’s name is Don . . . well that connection is pretty obvious. Once in awhile I run into someone with a similar name – often a different spelling though. A quick Bing search found that my first name, Karina, in Greek means “Pure”, In Swedish means “Dear Beloved One” and my middle name Dawn means exactly what we’d think it would “sunrise or daybreak”. Perhaps do a search for your name today – it’s pretty interesting finding out what your name means!
National Anthem Day – The Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States of America. It was written by Francis Scott Key. Today we celebrate this song, and the rich history behind its creation. The song became our National Anthem on March 3, 1931.
Many people think that The Star-Spangled Banner was written during the Revolutionary War. It was actually written during the war of 1812 (1812-1814). In August of 1814, the British army detained Dr. William Beanes as a prisoner of war. He was a friend of Francis Scott Key. On September 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key and a U.S. negotiator boarded a British vessel where Beanes was being held. He negotiated his friends release. At that point Francis Scott Key was detained, along with the negotiator. They were held until after the attack on Fort McHenry, which guarded the harbor and the city of Baltimore. He watched the bombardment of the fort from the ship. This historic event inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner the following day (September 14, 1814).
There has been some confusion throughout the years, as some people incorrectly assume that National Anthem Day is September 14, the day the song was written. National Anthem Day is every March 3rd, in celebration of the day that congress made The Star-Spangled Banner our national anthem.
Today fly your flag proudly, and perhaps listen to – and even sing – The Star-Spangled Banner.
Shrovetide (3rd – 5th) – Shrovetide is the three days preceding Ash Wednesday, known as Shrove Sunday, Shrove Monday and Shrove Tuesday. Shrovetide precedes the beginning of Lent, a 40-day long Easter fast practiced among Catholics and Orthodox Christians. The word Lent is originally an old Teutonic word, which means spring season. Lent is a time for both spiritual and physical purification and meditation in order to be prepared for the coming feast of Easter. Traditionally during Lent people would not eat meat and all the things that “come from flesh”, like milk, eggs, cheese, butter and other dairy products.
Vegetables, mushrooms, fruit, honey, bread, vegetable oils (excluding olive oil), nuts, seeds, cereals and grits were permitted. The Greek traditional fast also forbade fish and other types of seafood. Slavic traditions permitted them. Alcohol and other stimulants were also traditionally forbidden.
In the old days, in country households the last of the meat, eggs and milk products were consumed at Shrovetide. It was the last chance for feasting before the strictness of the fasting period. Shrovetide is a northern European equivalent for the carnival season of southern Europe, which marks the beginning of Lent. Many Shrovetide and carnival customs of different countries date back to pagan times, to feasts like the ancient Roman feast of Bacchus and the celebrating of the approaching spring, fertility and beginning of new life. Pagan customs were later blended in with the Christian Shrovetide celebration. Shrove Tuesday, which ends the Shrovetide was – and still is – a day of celebration with the tradition of eating greasy pancakes or waffles, a tradition common to many European Countries.
The name Shrovetide comes from the word “shriving”, which means cleansing of all sins – or confessing one’s sins. After Shrove Tuesday people would go home and have a hearty lunch. Shrove Tuesday is also known by its French name – Mardi Gras – fatty Tuesday. Many Shrove Tuesdays are observed in churches around the world with pancake dinners. Fat Tuesday in many places is a day of hedonistic partying, as people throw all inhibitions to the wind before they enter the time of Lent. Even people without any intentions of observing Lent get into the party mood and go crazy on this day. Ash Wednesday follows Shrove Tuesday and is the first day of the Lenten fast in the Western Church and is a day of repentance and amendment. The name of the day signifies the old act of sprinkling ashes on oneself and wearing sackcloth as a means of repenting of one’s sins. Lent ends on Easter Sunday.
I was not raised observing Lent, but I do know that today people tend to choose something to give up – ideally it is something that they feel is a sacrifice and a reminder of all that Christ did for us by giving Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. The church I used to attend encouraged us to consider observing Lent, and to use this time to really focus on what it means. Since I had never done this before, we discussed it at home, and we did make a decision to observe it. We gave up evening television for the Lent season, and though to some that may not seem to be a big deal, in this TV oriented world that was a big deal to us and changed our entire routine. We turned it off at a set time every day, and instead had family time playing games, reading together, listening to a sermon online, and just plain talking. Those nights became something we looked forward to, and less of a sacrifice as they were a blessing. It is very common for people to give up coffee, soda, chocolate, or something else that is a big piece of their lives. The most important thing though, is give something that will hurt to give, to remind you better of why it is done, and to teach us something about sacrifice in a very small way.
Soup It Forward Day – This is wonderful! Soup nourishes the body and the soul – how many times have we had a beautiful cup of flavorful chicken noodle soup when we aren’t feeling well? Or a steaming bowl of beef stew on a cold day? Seriously, every bite just makes us feel comfort and love, right? So, what could be better than bringing this into someone else’s life who is feeling down and out, needs encouragement or a hot meal? Maybe this is what Soup Kitchens are all about? A HUGE pot of soup can warm a lot of cold, hungry people up, and make them feel the love that goes into every part of it. A great way to celebrate this one would be to make a big pot of your favorite soup and share it with someone in need. It doesn’t get more beautiful than that, right?
What if Cats and Dogs had Opposable Thumbs – what would happen if . . . One thing that sets humans apart from other species on the planet is that we have opposable thumbs. Our thumbs allow us to do many things other creatures can’t do, so imagine what it would be like if your dog or cat had thumbs! Can you get a clear picture in your head of your pet with thumbs? Can you see your pet doing things with their new thumbs? If so, then you are one with the spirit of the celebration! Now, if you happen to have a pet monkey, you already know what it would be like, but I’m running through my mind what it would be like if my dog Moose could do whatever he wanted because he had thumbs. The food in the refrigerator wouldn’t be safe! If my cat Itty Bitty had thumbs I’m fairly certain my house would look like a herd of raccoons had run through it every single day! Oh my, the mayhem. As nice as it would be if Moose could open the back door and let himself out (no, we don’t have a dog door because the cat isn’t allowed outside and we truly DON’T want the local raccoons to come in), it would be a much bigger problem in the long run, so I’ll just keep dragging myself out of bed to let him out in the night if he needs to go. It sort of gives us a moment to appreciate the furbabies being dependent on us and a relief from the chaos that would ensue if they did indeed have thumbs. Now, as to the REASON someone felt it was a good idea to celebrate this flight of fanciful imaginings? I have absolutely NO idea.
This Day in History –
Mar. 2, 1836 – Texas declared its independence from Mexico.
Mar. 2, 1962 – Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scores 100 points in a basketball game.
Mar. 3, 1931 – The Star Spangled Banner becomes the National Anthem.
Food Celebrations of the Day –
National Banana Cream Pie Day – Custard pies date back to antiquity, but this version, with banana cream and a fluffy white topping, is a particular favorite in the American South.
- Banana Cream Pie
- Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes
- Banana Cream Cheesecake
- Boston Banana Cream Pie
- Banana Cream Oatmeal
- Banana & Cream Bundt Cake
National Cold Cuts Day – We have all probably had cold cuts of one sort or another in our fridge to put onto our sandwiches. They make things simple and tasty. What are they though? Well, cold cuts are sliced, precooked or cured meats, often sausages or meat loaves. They are usually served on sandwiches or on platters with cheese and crackers. Most commonly we find them in packages at the grocery store, or in the deli case, ready to be sliced to order. Most pre-sliced cold cuts are higher in fat, nitrates and sodium than the ones that are sliced to order. I use salami and pepperoni on our pizza on Friday nights. What cold cuts are your favorites?
National Moscow Mule Day – Until a few years ago I’d never even heard of a Moscow Mule. One day I started seeing copper mugs appearing in catalogs and stores and had to have some. I had NO idea that they were traditionally used in this drink, until I read about this celebration last year (the 1st annual Moscow Mule Day), and since I already had the never-been-used mugs, I had to try making some. THEY ARE DELICIOUS and incredibly refreshing. This cocktail was invented in 1941 by Smirnoff, and the original recipe included 1.5 ounces Smirnoff vodka, 4 ounces of Ginger Beer and a lime wedge. Here are three tasty sounding recipes that give this drink a new twist. I may just have to try one!
1) Strawberry Moscow Mule Float (courtesy of Megan Marlowe from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen)
- 1.5 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 vodka
- Juice from 1 lime
- 4 oz. ginger beer
- Scoop of strawberry sorbet
Into the bottom of a copper mug, add vodka, lime juice and ice. Top with ginger beer and a scoop of sorbet.
2) Cherry Lime Moscow Mule (courtesy of Kendra Darr of Simply Darrling)
- 3 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 vodka
- 1 bottle of Cherry Ginger Beer
- 5 oz. Cherry Limeade
- Cherries and sliced lime for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, mix ice, Smirnoff No. 21, Cherry Ginger Beer and Cherry Limeade. Stir until combined and strain into copper mug over ice. Garnish with cherries and sliced limes.
3) Sunrise Over Moscow Mule (courtesy of Jay and Leah from The Gastronom)
- 1.5 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 vodka
- 2 oz. Fresh squeezed orange juice
- .5 oz. Fresh squeezed lime juice
- 4 oz. ginger beer
Fill copper mug with crushed ice. Add vodka, orange juice and lime juice into the mug. Stir and top with ginger beer. Garnish with candied ginger.
- 1.5 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 vodka
- 4 oz. orange juice
- .5 oz. simple syrup
- .5 oz. lime juice
- 4 oz. ginger beer
Add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk to mix completely. Pour mixture into ice pop molds and place into freezer. After about 90 minutes, insert sticks into the molds. Allow ice pops to freeze overnight.
National Mulled Wine Day – Mulled spirits (that is, wines and liquors that are heated and spiced) have long been a go-to balm against winter colds. Whether it heals or not, a cupful can’t hurt. These do sound good, but I admit, I will probably do “deconstructed mulled wine” – meaning I will just pour wine into a glass from the bottle and drank it. *hehe*
The chores and baking aren’t going to get themselves done, so I suppose now that the day is about half over, I should get busy. God bless you and I’ll see you on Monday.
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Celebration list sources: