Rejoice and Celebrate Life!

Getting a slower than usual start on a day is very nice. I woke up later than usual, by design, got myself a cup of coffee and came back to bed with my computer and a recorded show or two. That gives hubby a little alone time to watch news and sip his coffee and absorb the quiet.  He doesn’t get enough time in the quiet with his own thoughts.  It’s nearly time for this relaxation to come to an end though, since I need to get up and make some breakfast and get a few things done before we head out to the theatre to see a show with some friends.  Tomorrow will be busy busy busy because I will be reclaiming the house from the Christmas decorations tomorrow.  The grandkids will have to enjoy opening their gifts without the decorations when we see them next.  I am starting to feel a little closed in with everything sitting around.

  Verse of the Day

January 20, 2018

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

James 1:2-3


Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

“Hang in there!” There are few traits more important than perseverance. Most important accomplishments in life happen because of perseverance. Most “luck” occurs when we’ve persevered long enough for the “magical moment” to come along — in other words, I don’t believe in luck. Edison said it best: life’s greatest feats, the world’s greatest discoveries, his own most fantastic inventions are “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” “Hang in there!” and see the glory of God come through in you, not because of luck, but because of God’s grace, love, and Providence!

January 21, 2018

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

Galatians 6:7-8

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Isn’t it incredible how huge trees grow out of tiny seeds! This principle runs throughout all of life. We can never completely get away from the seeds we sow. So let’s don’t try to fool ourselves while we’re trying to do a “snow job” on God. Let’s make sure the seeds we sow are the ones we want sprouting up!



Food for Thought

Do you ever wish you could just blink your eyes (like Jeannie in “I Dream of Jeannie”) or wiggle your nose (like Samantha in “Bewitched”) and just have everything done, organized and just the way you want it? Me too.



January 20 –

Camcorder Day – Do you remember when home video cameras first came on the market? They were HUGE and heavy. I remember when Dad had one of those cameras that used actual reels of film and he had to set up the screen in the living room, along with the huge projector.  Now, anyone with a cell phone carries around a mini-video camera with them.  On the one hand, I like that since I can catch spontaneously cute things that the grandkids do, on the other hand, anyone who wants to film something they shouldn’t, can.  We’ve all heard those stories when people film up some poor, unaware girl’s skirt!  With so many cameras everywhere, there are all these programs that revolve around the footage caught by all of these people, some silly, some embarrassing, some dangerous and some downright naughty . . . I find it to be a little too much intrusion . . . but apparently there are enough fans of it out there that they have enough audience to keep putting them on the air.  Today’s celebration is a tribute to videography of all kinds, whether someone is a professional enjoying shooting footage of wildlife, or an extreme sports fan who puts a video camera on their helmet before jumping out of a plane.  Some folks just like recording memories they can cherish forever, which is the sort that appeals the most to me. The nice thing is that these days we don’t have to be weight lifters to use a video camera! We can just fit it into our pocket!


Penguin Awareness Day – We’ve all seen the cute penguin movies, and even the educational ones, so we know that they deserve their two celebrations each year.  Today is Penguin Awareness Day, but there is also World Penguin Day on April 25th.  Today we can learn a little more about these adorable creatures and their endangered status. Did you know that not all penguins love snow and cold?  The Galapagos Penguins live near the equator.  Penguins are a kind of amphibians, their wings, over time having evolved into flippers.  They live in a diet mostly made up of fish, squid, krill, etc.  I’m sure that everyone who just read that and has seen Happy Feet, just got a mental image of those funny krill from the 2nd movie.  I know I did – put a smile on my face.  Anyway, the Emperor penguins are the largest, with the largest getting as tall as 3.61 feet and 77.1 pounds! That’s a big bird!  The tiniest one is the Little Blue Penguin, only growing to a miniscule 1.3 feet and 2.2 pounds.  Awwww, so little!  Today is the perfect time to learn something more about these natives of Antarctica, so grab a book or find a website and do a little research.  You could also go to the zoo or aquarium where they have a penguin habitat, and watch them play.  They are highly entertaining, and incredibly intelligent.  Have fun!


National Disc Jockey Day –
Everyone has been to a party that has had a DJ, and I’m sure many people KNOW one, and more probably profess to BE one – even if they only mix music in their living rooms on their home systems.  This day is all about celebrating the hard working entertainers that bring energy to dance floors all over the world, from weddings to huge, celebrity parties.  What is the exact definition of a Disc Jockey?  It’s a person who selects and play recorded music for an audience.  That doesn’t mean that just anyone can do it – a good DJ has to have infectious energy and enthusiasm for what they do – which makes people want to get up and have fun.


Squirrel Appreciation Day – Today is an opportunity to really enjoy our little tree climbing, nut gathering neighborhood squirrels.  This celebration is held in mid winter when the squirrels’ food sources are scarce.  It’s true that squirrels spend all fall gathering and hiding their food away, but they may just not have enough, and the variety they are able to gather is limited.  A great thing to do today is give them an extra special treat to brighten up their winter, and supplement their winter diets. Not everyone is fond of squirrels.  They are fun to watch running around the yard, and up and down the trees, but they get aggressive at bird feeders, and have been known to tip them over and spill the seeds in search of the ones they want.  In the fall they have even been seen attacking the pumpkins on people’s front porches trying to get the seeds from inside them!  Sometimes they dig up flower bulbs out of gardens, and may eat some of the fresh veggies growing in our garden plots.  When you look at it from that perspective, perhaps mid winter is the best time to appreciate the squirrels! They provide more entertainment, and less frustration this time of year.  We had these little squirrels who would run back and forth in our yard a couple years ago – we’d put out corn cobs for them to nibble on.  I haven’t seen them for some time though – it’s a little sad not to see them out there.  Not sure where they went, but I hope wherever it is, they have plenty to munch on from their foraging this past fall.    


January 21 –

Celebration of Life Day/Sanctity of Life – This celebration is a critical reminder that we are called to honor children, as they are each precious gifts from God.  They deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, love and a nurturing care.  The entire month of January is Celebration of Life Month, with the 1st full week being Celebration of Life Week.  Honestly, this shouldn’t be limited to a single day, a week or a month out of each year, but something we do every day as a commitment to the children in our lives.  This one was important to me before, but the births of Miss B and Baby R have reinforced it for me.  Watching that child come into this world, such a precious little human being, every cell in her body a testimony to the creative genius of our Creator.  Every blink of their little eyelids, every expression, every sound they make . . . I cannot gaze at them, whether peacefully sleeping, or crying for reasons they aren’t even aware of, and have any doubt that we are blessed by their very existence.  Then I have to wonder how anyone could willingly, voluntarily and with such cruelty wipe such a blessing out of this world before they have a chance to draw breath.  Life begins at conception, each one known by God before they were created, and as such we are obligated to uphold the rights of each and every single one, doing everything in our power to end the travesty of pre-birth genocide that is occurring at an ever increasing rate of speed, with an always expanding set of parameters.  Today I lift up the children, born and unborn, to God our Father.  Please protect them, hold them close in Your loving arms, and gather the ones who are gone from us far too soon into Your embrace.


National Hugging Day – Hugs are pretty awesome, aren’t they?  Today is a day for both giving, and receiving, hugs.  I have to say that of all the hugs I’ve ever gotten in my life, hugs from my son are the most enthusiastic, at times to the point of feeling like my ribs are going to crack, but still the most enthusiastic. When someone gets a hug from G, they KNOW they have been hugged completely.  My daughter gives good hugs, but at least they don’t cause loss of breath or vision from lack of oxygen! There are days when I miss my kids so much that I would give just about anything to get one of their hugs right then and there.  Right up there with hugs from my kids are hugs from the Grandkids. It’s pretty special.  Recently Baby R threw himself at hubby, kissed him and grinned his gappy new-teeth grin  . . . that was amazing!  Honestly though, I can say without reservation that the greatest hugs I ever did receive were from my Grandma K. You’ve all heard about her many times, but get used to it.  She was such a huge influence on my life that you’ll always be hearing something or another about her.  When Grandma opened her arms, it was like coming home to walk straight to her and feel them wrap around your body.  She always smelled of the powder she wore, ham, cherry pie, and various spices.  She smelled of comfort and peace, her love came off of her in waves of compassion, acceptance and endless love.  Once bundled up in one of her hugs, it was a place you never wanted to leave.  If I close my eyes and think about it, I think I can breathe in deeply and smell the special fragrance that surrounded her, feel the soft gentleness of her touch, and hear the soothing caress of her voice as she told me she loved me.  I hope for everyone to have someone in their lives that makes them feel that way, and I pray that I can be all of these things to my own grandchildren as they grow up . . . that someday they will look back and remember the hugs and love.  Today give a hug to someone, it’s almost a guarantee you’ll get one in return.  Hugs are loving, therapeutic and caring. Hugs are celebrations that make you feel good inside! 

This Day in History

January 20, 1964 – The Beatles release “Meet the Beatles”, their first album to the U.S., sparking a new “English invasion”.

January 20, 1981 – At 69 years, 349 days old, Ronald Reagan becomes the oldest person to become U.S. president.

January 21, 1799 – Edward Jenner introduces the smallpox vaccine, which eventually leads to wiping out this deadly disease.

January 21, 1915 – The first Kiwanis club is formed in Detroit.

January 21, 1950 – Science fiction writer George Orwell dies.


Food Celebration of the Day

January 20–

National Buttercrunch Day – Somewhere between caramel and toffee sits buttercrunch — and its name has become synonymous with cookies that also bear bits of its sweetness. Get a buttery crunch fix with one of these crowd-pleasers. As for making this low-carb, I haven’t tried it yet, but I am going to be making a recipe from All Day I Dream About Food today or tomorrow to celebrate this one. I’ll put a picture in here for that when I’m done.  Just about everything has a low-carb alternative, so don’t lose heart if you are following a low-carb diet and miss your favorites. You really can still have them, it just takes a bit of work to put it all together.


National Cheese Lovers Day – Cheese is amazing, isn’t it? It can take a good dish and make it great! It can take a great dish and make it nearly transcendent in the world of food. Just like many things are better with bacon, cheese elevates even the simplest and most basic of our meals and puts smiles on our faces. There is something about the ooey gooey stretchiness of mozzarella on pizza or in a grilled cheese sandwich, or the bite of a great, sharp cheese on a cracker to make our taste buds sing. For this celebration I happily bring you Halloumi Cheese. Never heard of it? Wellllllll, not a lot of people have, and let me tell you it is AMAZING! This is a cheese that you can cook but it doesn’t melt. No, seriously, it doesn’t melt. Incredible, right? I made mozzarella cheese sticks not long ago and all of the cheese oozed out. I made them again with halloumi cheese and TA-DA! They remained cheese stick form and were delicious. It’s a salty cheese, and has a “squeak” feel when you bite into it, but it’s awesome. In my favorite cookbook “Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen” Carolyn Ketchum combines this incredible cheese, wraps it in our other favorite – bacon – and VOILA! Bacon wrapped Halloumi Cheese Fries. Yep, you read that right. Halloumi is sometimes hard to find, and it is a little expensive, but search your area for it, ask your grocer to stock it, and splurge on yourself once in awhile. It’s worth it. Trust me.

January 21 –

National Clam Chowder Day – There is something so comforting and satisfying about a big bowl of creamy, delicious clam chowder.  The history of chowder dates back to the 16th century in the fishing villages of England and France. Residents would prepare large kettles of soup and then wait for the fishermen to return and add whatever they had caught that day.  The question for people who aren’t fans of chowder, or who perhaps don’t live near the sea where clams are fresh and easily available, what exactly IS chowder?  Most chefs have their own recipes with their own secret ingredients, but they all start out basically the same.  It’s traditionally a rich cream soup that has onions, potatoes, and usually some sort of fish or shellfish.  Since today is Clam Chowder Day it would be a great day to stir up a batch of your own!  I did just that, only I made it low-carb. Instead of potatoes I used a combination of radishes and celeriac root. Rutabaga would work nicely also. I followed the basic recipe for Fish Chowder from Carolyn Ketchum’s blog “All Day I Dream About Food”, and switched up the seasonings to suit our tastes and since daikon radish wasn’t in the store I was shopping in, substituted regular radishes and celeriac. It worked! My recommendation though, instead of 2 cans of clams, use 3, and I thickened mine up a bit more with cream cheese. Oh, and more bacon. Always more bacon.


National Granola Bar Day – Toasted oats, nuts and fruits (and sometimes chocolate chips) make granola bars a favorite energizing American snack. Buy a bar to celebrate or try making your own at home. As with the Buttercrunch, I found a recipe on All Day I Dream About Food that I’ll be making today – it just hasn’t happened yet. I’ll post a picture when I’m finished! (Update: Here is the pan of granola bars while they were cooling. They were DELICIOUS! Here’s the recipe. Low carb, healthy and YUM!)


I need to get this day started, get breakfast going, finish up the last of the camping laundry from last weekend and get my baking started. Nothing like filling the house with delicious aromas to keep a smile on our faces, right? God bless you and I’ll see you Monday.

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