Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend Plus One

Mar 17th

It’s been a few days since I’ve been here. I have been trying to come up with some ideas to generate more interest, more followers and some spark of enthusiasm for writing.  There are a few topics, besides silly celebrations, that I’ve thought about doing, but as with many folks, I find myself having doubts. I’d like to take this somewhere beyond daily celebrations, at some point get enough followers to allow for monetization. I’ve tried here and there, but honestly, without more followers it doesn’t make any sense. With that thought in mind, what sorts of things do we celebrate in our lives every day? Besides the silly things, of course.  Home and family, God and country, where we have come from, and where we are going. All of these things, from sleeping through the night, waking in the morning and being able to get through the day, are all reasons to celebrate.  All of us, no matter who we are, what we do for a living, or if we go through life alone or with family, we all have a contribution to this world and bring inspiration to others through sharing with each other.  Each of us teaches others by our example, and the joy we can bring to this world is very much something to appreciate and celebrate.

 

Because I am getting this post done so late in the day on Saturday, I am going to go ahead and include Monday’s celebrations, since I plan on feeling better and being too busy to sit down to do any writing tomorrow.

Verse of the Day

March 16, 2019

He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Colossians 1:18

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Jesus is the living leader and head of his church. There is no man who has this right. No one but Jesus has earned this position. Jesus is supreme. Even though supremacy is rightfully his because of his divinity, he has earned his supremacy by what he has done for us. He was there before there was a beginning, he was the Creator of all that is, and he was the one who passed through death victoriously for us.

 

March 17, 2019

And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

Revelation 5:9

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Worthy! What a beautiful word! For those of us who are disciples of Jesus, we know of only one who is truly worthy. He is worthy to open the scroll and reveal the future. He is worthy of praise and adoration. Why? Because even though he was holy, perfect and heavenly, his death on the cross to purchase our pardon, forgiveness, and salvation made him worthy. And he did it not just for us, but also for people of all races and languages and cultures. Jesus, you are worthy!

 

March 18, 2019

My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.

Psalm 71:8

 

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Our mouths can be filled with food, profanities, or gossip. Or… we can choose for our mouths to be filled with praise for God and his loving grace. We can talk about many things and speak to many different people about many different subjects. Or… we can choose to declare the greatness, majesty, and splendor of our heavenly Father all during our day. Why don’t we choose to praise God with our mouths and tell him of his greatness and let others know of his grace as we go about today’s activities?

www.verseofthedaycom

 

Finding Peace in Simple Moments

Let’s try finding a simple moment to appreciate every single day. Even if you are having a terrible day, didn’t get much sleep, are feeling stressed or pressured, there is still something, no matter how small, that can bring a smile to your face. Here’s mine for this post, it happened earlier in the evening.

I woke up two days in a row with a terrible headache.  The day was gorgeous, and I was feeling really down about wasting it with an ice pack on my neck and not getting anything productive done.  Moose needed to go outside awhile ago, so while he wandered around doing what he needed to do, I sat on my chair on the front porch and soaked in the fresh air, and just breathed in and out for a few minutes, took it all in.  I could hear the frogs singing, happy to have the warmer spring-like weather. In the distance I heard the yip of a coyote and the answering response from a neighbor’s dog. The last laughter of children playing before they had to go in for the night, and from somewhere nearby I could smell the heady aroma of a bonfire and hear the laughter of friends gathered around it.  That moment brought such a sense of quiet and peace, bringing back memories sitting on the porch in years gone by, while my children slept inside, listening to the night and letting my worries melt away, even for a few minutes. So many times, we are lost in thought, buried in our phones, or otherwise unaware of the life that goes on all around us.  For that moment in time there aren’t chores, there aren’t deadlines, there’s nothing but the act of breathing in and out, taking it all in, and feeling grateful that we can.  Go outside – right now, just stop what you are doing – go outside and breathe. It is good for the soul.

 

 

March 16 –

Campfire Girls Day – I have never celebrated this one, or even acknowledged it, because I thought it was a branch of the Girl Scouts. Today I read that this is not true.  I’ve learned something new and will pass that along to you.  Camp Fire Girls of America started back in 1910 by a Mrs. Charles Farnsworth, of Thetford, Vermont and Luther Gulick, M.D. and his wife, Charlotte Gulick of Casco, Maine.  The organization was started as a sister group to Boy Scouts, but for girls. There had been plans to merge with Girl Scouts (originally known as Girl Guides) but there were conflicts within the parties involved, and this idea was abandoned. Campfire Girls of America became Camp Fire Boys and Girls in 1984 when boys were allowed to join, the name changed in 2001 to Camp Fire USA, and again changing in 2012 when it became just Camp Fire.  I think I liked Camp Fire USA better.  The group focuses on small group experiences, after school programs, environmental education and camping, child care and service learning. They want to build confidence in children and provide a hands-on, youth driven leadership experience for older kids.

 

 

Curlew Day – I had to look this one up when I first started this blog, as I had NO idea what on earth a curlew was!  Turns out it is North America’s largest shorebird and breeds in the grasslands of the Great Plains and Great Basin.  Here are some interesting things I found out about the Long-billed Curlew (copied and pasted from www.allaboutbirds.org :

  • Both the male and female Long-billed Curlew incubate the eggs, and both are aggressive in defense of nests and young. The female typically abandons the brood two to three weeks after hatching and leaves brood care to her mate. Despite this abandonment the same male and female often pair with each other again the next year.
  • Although the Long-billed Curlew’s diet includes many species of invertebrates and some vertebrates, its bill is best adapted for capturing shrimp and crabs living in deep burrows on tidal mudflats (its wintering grounds) or burrowing earthworms in pastures.
  • The female Long-billed Curlew’s bill is longer than the male’s and is a different shape. Hers is flatter on top with a more pronounced curve at the tip. His is gently curved throughout its length. The juvenile’s bill is distinctly shorter than the adults’ during its first few months, but it may be equal to the male’s length some time in its first year.

 

There is a lot more information on that website, and if you’re at all interested in birds, they have bird cams where you can watch birds feeding and interacting with each other.

 

  

Everything You Do is Right Day – Do you ever wake up and just KNOW that the day is going to be perfect?  You can almost feel it in the air around you, that sense of anticipation that just increases as the day goes on.  We’ve all had at least one that stand out in our minds as PERFECT.  I’ve been very blessed to have a few in my lifetime, and have a hard time picking out which one would get top billing.  I have perfect days from my childhood, perfect days with each of my kids, and perfect days with my hubby.  I anticipate many more perfect days with the people I love in the years to come. Today just may be YOUR perfect day.  Considering that yesterday was “Everything You Think is Wrong Day”, it would be great if perfection hit today to counterbalance it.  It is a given – life will hand us good and bad days, up and down days. . . they are what we make them to be . . . so make today a PERFECT day!

 

Freedom of Information Day – How many of you know (without looking it up) who the 4th President of our country is?  Anyone?  Well, I’ll tell you!  Today is the birthday of James Madison, who is recognized as the “Father of the Constitution” and the chief author of the Bill of Rights.  Freedom of information and individual rights were very important to James Madison and I’m betting he’s rolling over in his grave right about now.  These days his dream and wonderful outlook about the freedoms for the citizens of this country he loved with all of his heart are being stomped on and torn apart.  Recognize this great man today, and let’s all stand up for the freedoms he envisioned for us.

 

Goddard Day – On this day in 1926 a hope and a dream came true.  The first man to have dreams of space travel was American Robert H. Goddard.  He successfully launched the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket at Auburn, Massachusetts that day.  The rocket traveled for 2.5 seconds at a speed of about 60 mph, reached an altitude of 41 feet and landed 184 feet away.  The rocket was 10 feet all, made out of thin pipes and fueled by liquid oxygen and gasoline.  Can you imagine his excitement when that thing took off?  The Chinese developed the first military rockets in the early 13th century, using gunpowder.  They probably built firework rockets at an earlier date.  Gunpowder propelled military rockets appeared in Europe sometime in the 13th century, and in the 19th century British engineers made several important advances in early rocket science.  In 1903, a little-known Russian inventor named Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky published a treatise on the theoretical problems of using rocket engines in space, but it wasn’t until Goddard’s work in the 1920s that anyone began to build the modern, liquid-fueled type of rocket that would be launching humans into space in the 1960s.  Goddard was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1882 and as he grew up, he became fascinated with the idea of space travel after reading H.G. Wells’ science fiction novel “War of the Worlds” in 1898.  While he was a student at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, he began building gunpowder rockets and continued his rocket experiments as a physics doctoral student then physics professor at Clark University.  He was the first person to prove that rockets can propel in an airless vacuum-like space, and also the first to explore mathematically the energy and thrust potential of different fuels, including liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.  He received U.S. patents for his concepts of a multistage rocket, and a liquid-fueled rocket, and was given grants from the Smithsonian Institute to continue his research.  In 1919 he published a treatise called “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes”, outlining his theories of rocket propulsion and he even proposed the future launching of an unmanned rocket to the moon.  The media picked up on his moon-rocket proposal and The New York Times published an editorial in January of 1920, declaring that Dr. Goddard “seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools” because he thought that rocket thrust would be effective beyond the earth’s atmosphere.  I definitely giggled when I read that three days before the first Apollo lunar-landing mission in July 1969, the Times printed a correction to this editorial.  At least they admitted they were wrong!  Goddard continued his research, testing and working, until his death in 1945.  During his life he made 31 successful flights, including one of a rocket that reached 1.7 miles off the ground in 22.3 seconds.  Meanwhile, while Goddard conducted his limited tests without official U.S. support, Germany took the initiative in rocket development and by September 1944 was launching its V-2 guided missiles against Britain with devastating results.  During the war, Goddard worked in developing a jet-thrust booster for a U.S. Navy seaplane. Sadly, he would not live to see the major advances that would make his dreams of space travel a reality. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is named in his honor.

 

International Sports Car Racing Day – It’s what’s on TV right now!  I admit to not much knowledge about sports car racing, or many of its various forms.  Hubby really enjoys Formula One racing, I have friends who are fans of NASCAR, so today’s task was to find out what’s different about Sports Car racing from those. Turns out there’s a big difference!  Sports Car racing is a form of circuit auto racing with cars that have two seats and enclosed wheels.  They may be built for the purpose of racing or related to road-going sports cars.  This style of racing is a sort of hybrid between open-wheelers and touring car racing.   It is often associated with the annual Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race, which was first run in 1923 and is one of the oldest motor races still in existence.  Other classic but no longer in existence races include the Italian classics – the Targa Florio (1906-1977) and Mille Miglia (1927-1957), and the Mexican Carrera Panamericana.  Most top-class sports car races focus on endurance (typically 2.5 – 24 hours in length), reliability and strategy over pure speed.  The longer races usually involve complex pit strategy and changing drivers regularly, being seen more as a team sport than an individual sport.  Some team managers have become almost as famous as many of their drivers!  The prestige of certain makes of cars, like Audi, Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, Lotus, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Aston Martin comes in part from successes in sports car racing and the World Sportscar Championship.  The road cars sold by these manufacturers have, in many cases, been similar to the cars that were raced, both in styling and engineering.  The 12 Hours of Sebring (which is on right now), 24 Hours of Daytona and 24 Hours of Le Mans were at one time to be considered the trifecta of sports car racing.

 

Lips Appreciation Day – How often do we actually take a moment to appreciate lips?  Oh sure, we notice them when we brush our teeth, put on lipstick, etc. but do we truly appreciate them?  We should! Think about it! There are thin ones, fat ones, pouty ones and wet ones.  There are red lips, pink lips, glossy lips and natural lips.  No matter which lips you were born with, or prefer, today is about celebrating them.  Think about how unappealing it would be if we didn’t have them?  Our teeth would be exposed all the time, our mouths would dry out, it would be awfully uncomfortable using straws, drinking out of cups or kissing someone. Think about the difficulties of whistling! Heck, our food would fall out of our mouths when we ate! Yuck!  Lips are one of the first features we notice on another person’s face, probably after the eyes, so it is important to keep them looking healthy.  They are very vulnerable to drying out, and research suggests that you can lose up to 10 times more moisture through your lips than anywhere else!  It’s a good idea to keep lip balm around to help them – especially in the dry and cold winter months.  There are lots of recipes for homemade lip balms out there – I make my own sometimes even! It’s a wonderful treat.  Keeping your lips healthy and kissable is pretty important!  Appreciate your lips today and every day.

 

 

No Selfies Day – This celebration was inevitable . . . and I find it to be rather sad that it had to be. We have become a world of narcissistic individuals who will do pretty much anything to post our pictures far and wide to anyone who will look.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and anywhere else that they can be posted, are riddled with pictures of people . . . many of them that don’t need to be out there because quite honestly the world has enough duck face pictures of women who may be attractive if they weren’t making that horrifying face!  Don’t get me wrong – there are times that taking selfies is fun.  When you are on vacation and want to keep a special memory alive it makes sense to take a picture of yourself to save.  We’ve done it when we go hiking, to the zoo, or camping.  The irritating ones are the people who can’t seem to stop themselves – who obsessively show us their pursed lipped images while eating breakfast, combing their hair, driving to work (dangerous!), at work, etc.  It’s ridiculous.  Clue in people! Nobody wants to see the inside of your bathroom through your mirror.  Nothing looks more stupid than you, posing in your sexiest pose with your shower or toilet in the picture with you. Trust me! It’s true!  For this one single day, please stop taking pictures of yourselves.  Perhaps if you put a bit less focus on YOU, you’d see others for at least one day.

 

  

Panda Day – Giant Pandas are native to China and are members of the bear family. Their habitat is shrinking rapidly, and this is a major cause for concern. Because they are an endangered species, there are panda breeding programs in place, but they don’t successfully breed in captivity often, so this is a huge concern.  There are only about 1,864 pandas in the wild, and about 100 living in zoos around the world. In the grand scheme, that is not very many!

 

St Urho’s Day – The legend of St. Urho originated in Northern Minnesota in the 1950s.  There are different opinions about who actually began the tales, but the legend has grown among North Americans of Finnish descent to the point where St. Urho is known and celebrated across the United States, Canada and even in Finland.  (must be why I had never heard of him, I’m not Finnish!)  St. Urho is celebrated on March 16th, the day before the better-known feast of “some minor saint from Ireland who is alleged to have driven the snakes from that island”.  The legend of St. Urho says that he chased the grasshoppers out of ancient Finland, saving the grape crop and the jobs of Finnish vineyard workers.  He did this by saying the phrase “Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen” – which, roughly translated means “Grasshopper, grasshopper, go to hell”.  The feast honoring him is celebrated by wearing the colors royal purple and Nile green.  St. Urho is nearly always represented with grapes and grasshoppers as part of the picture.  He has been recognized with proclamations in all 50 states.  The Minnesota Governor – Wendell Anderson – issued a proclamation in 1975, declaring Minnesota to be the unofficial home of St. Urho.  If you decide to celebrate this mythical Finnish-American hero, please let me know how you decide to do it.  I’d be truly interested to know!

 

 

Worldwide Quilting Day – I’ve always thought it would be nice to learn to how to make a quilt.  My Grandma Jewel made the most beautiful quilts I’ve ever seen.  She would cut out each little piece – and in the later years she didn’t use squares, she used these tiny little octagon shapes, then hand stitched them altogether, all the love she had difficulty expressing in words going into the stitches she so carefully placed.  Not one machine stitch went into her quilts, no matter the size.  My very favorite quilt she ever made though was an old-fashioned patchwork quilt made from squares of different old clothes and fabric bits that she’d saved.  Each square held a memory – my Grandpa’s work shirt, an apron that Grandma wore to make breakfast, that pretty pillowcase that I’d slept on every time I went to her house, etc.  It had a red and grey flannel backing on it, and a thick middle layer.  It was cuddly, thick and warm.  That quilt was with me as I grew up, it went with me to every sleepover, every car trip, every overnight field trip and all of my many youth group trips over the years.  It wasn’t unusual to find 5 or 6 of my friends all cuddled up under this quilt on a mountain snow retreat singing church songs and doing our Bible studies, or a couple of us snuggled up under it on the bus on the way to the mountains when the bus broke down . . . AGAIN . . . and we were stuck by the side of the road without heat until help could come.  The day that quilt disintegrated was very sad . . . that is literally what it did . . . all the years of washing and use just wore the fabric away til it was like the fibers were held together by air.  The hobby of quilting isn’t just something to keep the hands busy. To me, the end results create a lifetime of memories for the person who gets to keep that quilt, and hopefully love it throughout its useful life.  Today’s celebration honors the people who have the skills, the imagination and the love to create such beauty, and the blessings that result from each of their creations.  If you aren’t a quilt maker, wrap yourself up in a quilt and enjoy the warmth and the skills that went into creating it.  To my Grandma Jewel, thank you for the memories and all of the love.

 

 

March 17 –

Saint Patrick’s Day – Saint Patrick, the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, lived during the 4th century.  He was born in Britain, kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave when he was 16 years old.  He escaped six years later and fled back to his family, later becoming a bishop of his church and returned to Ireland as a missionary.  He was given the credit for bringing Christianity to the Irish people.  In the centuries after Patrick’s death (which is believed to be on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ingrained in the Irish culture.  The most well-known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of the native Irish clover – or the shamrock.  Now, this isn’t to be confused with the four-leaf clover – which is also widely recognized as part of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations – the 4-leaf clover represents good luck.  Another legend is that he drove the snakes out of Ireland, but when you’re a patron saint I guess the wild and incredible stories will flourish.

From the time of the 9th or 10th centuries, people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of Saint Patrick on March 17th.  What is interesting is that the first parade held on Saint Patrick’s Day didn’t take place in Ireland, but in the United States!   Irish soldiers, serving in the English military, marched through New York City on March 17, 1762.  The parade, and the Irish music, helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots and with their fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.  Over the 35 years following that first parade Irish patriotism amongst the American immigrants grew and flourished, which prompted the rise of what was called the “Irish Aid” societies such as the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society.  Each of these groups would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes and drums, which had actually become popular in the Scottish and British armies.

In 1848, several New York Irish Aid societies decided to combine their parades to form one official New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.  That parade is now the world’s oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States!  Each year nearly 3 million people stand along the 1.5-mile parade route to watch the parade, which takes more than 5 hours.  What amazes me about this is that we see the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every year, but I can’t honestly say I’ve ever heard of this parade, the largest and oldest in our country, to be televised! And it should be!  If anyone has ever actually seen this on TV and I’ve just missed out, could you let me know?

Until about the mid-19th century, most Irish Immigrants in America were members of the Protestant middle class.  When the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland in 1845, nearly 1 million Irish Catholics began coming to America to escape starvation.  They were despised for their alien religious beliefs and the accents that were unfamiliar to the American Protestant majority.  Because of this, and other factors such as education, they had trouble finding even the most menial of jobs.  When the Irish Americans in the cities took to the streets to celebrate their heritage on Saint Patrick’s Day, they were portrayed in the newspapers in cartoons as drunk, violent monkeys.  Sounds to me like people haven’t progressed as much as they’d like to think.

The American Irish began to realize that their large and growing population gave them a political power that they hadn’t exploited.  They began to organize, and their voting block, known as the “green machine”, became an important swing vote for political hopefuls.  The annual Saint Patrick’s Day parades became a show of strength for the Irish Americans and a must-attend event for all sorts of political candidates.  President Harry S. Truman attended the 1948 New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish Americans whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in the New World.

There are some interesting traditions that have developed throughout different cities to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.  One of them is the annual dyeing the Chicago River green.  This started in 1962 when the city pollution control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye would be a unique way to celebrate the holiday.  That first year they released 100 lbs of green vegetable dye into the river – enough to keep it green for a whole week!  Today, so they can minimize environmental damage, only 40 lbs of dye are used, and the river is green for only a few hours.   It’s funny though, the Chicago historians claim that their city’s idea for dyeing the river green was original, there are some natives of Savannah, GA – whose St Patrick’s Day parade is the oldest in the nation and dates back to 1813 – believe that they actually originated the idea.  They pointed out that in 1961 a hotel restaurant manager by the name of Tom Woolley convinced the city officials to dye Savannah’s river green.  The experiment didn’t work as they planned though, and the water only took on a slightly greenish hue.  They never tried to dye the river again, but Woolley never wavered that he personally suggested the idea to Chicago’s Mayor Richard J. Daley.  Others refute that claim, and truly, how will they ever really know? Up until the 1970’s, Saint Patrick’s Day was traditionally a religious occasion and the pubs were all closed on March 17th.  However, beginning in 1995 the Irish government started a national campaign to use the interest in St Patrick’s Day to bring in tourists and to showcase Ireland and Irish culture to the rest of the world.  Today about 1 million people take part annually in Ireland’s St Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin, which is a multi-day celebration with parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions and fireworks shows.

In all of this information though, I hadn’t found anything to connect Leprechauns to Saint Patrick’s Day, and all of my life I’d seen them linked together, so this took a little further research and here is what I found!  (Learn something new every day, don’t we?)  Irish mythology has long had stories of the leprechaun.  What IS a leprechaun?  It is a male faerie that lives on the island of Ireland.  Leprechauns are usually in the form of an old man and they love to create mischief.  The legend goes that Leprechauns are very rich with treasure and they are craftsman that can create things like bowls, shields, buckets and clothes.  If a leprechaun is caught, he must be truthful in telling you where he’s hidden his fortune.  Even though he must be truthful, he is crafty and will use his wits to avoid giving away the location of his fortune, all while he still tells the truth.  The legend of the Leprechaun has been used for many generations as a role-model type of story.  If you follow the example of the Leprechaun you are someone that works hard and is a professional, thrifty with your fortune and you tell the truth, but know how to use a loophole to avoid losing your fortune.  This STILL didn’t tell me how it was all connected with Saint Patrick’s Day!    Well, this is what I found!  There really isn’t any connection at all.  Countries other than Ireland have lumped all of the symbols they associate with Ireland together in one stereotypical holiday.  Just like the stereotype that Irish people are big drinkers is the reason that everyone sees Saint Patrick’s Day as a day to tie one on and not feel guilty.   One thing I DID find that was fascinating was that traditionally the Catholic church lifted the obligations of Lent for ONE day to celebrate and honor Saint Patrick’s Day, which could tie in again to the drinking with abandon in honor of this Patron Saint.  (With only a week or two to go until Easter it seems like an excuse to me – but that’s my own personal opinion.)

What it all boils down to is that today is a day of celebrating Irish history, ancestry, traditions and customs.  Are you Irish?  “They” say that everyone is a little Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day.  Did you know that over 34 million Americans are of Irish descent?  That’s almost 9 times the population of Ireland.  For today perhaps Erin Go Braugh (Ireland Forever) should be our shout out to show enthusiasm and honor for this day.

 

 

Submarine Day (the sandwich or the boat?) – So . . . are we celebrating the submersible boat . . . or a big hero sandwich today?  Well, pretty much everywhere I could find documentation on this one, it is pointing to being about the boat.  I did find conflicting information on when this one is celebrated.  A few sites said today, and a few said on April 17th – which was when the U.S. Submarine Force was established in 1900.  Honestly, that one sounds more likely.  The picture here is one we can see near where I live fairly often.  There is something so awe inspiring watching the subs go through with their U.S. Coast Guard escort.  I get a little tearful when I see it, to be quite honest.  You can celebrate this one in a fun way by going to a naval museum if you have one nearby or at least read a book or watch a movie about them.  If those just aren’t options, I suppose you go for the less impressive but far tastier Submarine Sandwich today . . . do they make Corned Beef and Cabbage Submarine Sandwiches?

 

March 18 –

Awkward Moments Day – We’ve all experienced awkward moments.  Some people may be having a few today if they had a few too many green beers or cocktails yesterday at their Saint Patrick’s Day celebration.  If you are feeling a bit on the awkward side today, this is the day for you!  Today we celebrate those embarrassing moments that most of us would prefer to forget.  Whoever it was that created this day probably had a doozy of an awkward moment themselves, or knew someone else who did, and started this out in their honor.  Here are a few examples of awkward moments I found listed on a couple of different websites . . . do you have any stories to tell that could top them?

  • You lean in for the big moment – the highly anticipated first kiss. But much to your dismay, the   special person on the receiving end doesn’t reciprocate!
  • You’ve been planning it for months – the big proposal. All your friends, family members, neighbors and even a few strangers all know about it. It goes off without a hitch and after you pop the question, she says no.
  • You make a quick run to the store to pick up that one ingredient when you see someone you know that ALWAYS looks awesome.  They come over to say hi and you realize you are wearing your worst clothes, you didn’t brush your hair, and didn’t bother putting on any make-up.
  • You sure do look familiar! You bump into someone on the street but for the life of you, you just can’t remember his or her name.  What’s worse, they remember yours!
  • You’re stopped at the stop light and you just can’t resist. You go on a digging expedition in the old nose until you notice the horrified expressions from the folks in the carpool in the next lane!  (GROSS! I can honestly say I have seen people do this and it completely disgusts me to see.)
  • Despite the fact you studied all week, your mind goes completely blank when you take the big exam.
  • You’re giving a speech and forget the words. (worse! I lost my voice once in front of a crowd of nearly 300 people!)
  • You are on a crowded elevator and you feel it coming. But no matter how hard you try, it happens. You pass gas – and it’s not a “silent” one either! Blaming it on the stranger standing next to you is probably your best bet!  (Why can’t we have our dogs with us ALL the time?)
  • You swore you parked your car in row 22. But after 30 minutes of searching and asking a slew of strangers for assistance, it turns out you parked your car in row two.
  • Walking in on someone while they are “indisposed” is just plain awkward!
  • Realizing your zipper is down and nobody said one single word!

Those are a few that I found online.  I’m sure we all have some personal stories we can share. If you’d like to tell me about one, just make a comment! I’d love to hear!

 

 

Forgive Mom and Dad Day – Parents are not perfect.  I think we can all attest to that.  If we have parents, we can probably list a bunch of things that they did growing up that made us mad, hurt our feelings, changed our lives for the not-so-great, etc.  Some kids have a normal life and their parents do most everything pretty OK, with a few clunker moments thrown in for good measure, but some parents are abusive, neglectful, manipulative, etc.  Sometimes the hurts run so deep that we can’t seem to get past the resentment and the littlest thing they do can set us off or make us cry.  The baggage we pack throughout our childhood can be a heavy load to carry, and today is the day we can unpack some of that baggage.  You see, holding a grudge, nurturing the hurts, this is heavy stuff and it weighs down our hearts and spirits.  By forgiving our parents today, or at least conceding that they are human, and kids don’t come with an operator’s manual, you can lighten your load and lift your spirit.  Sometimes just letting go of the harsh words that may have been said can open our hearts in a new way.  If you are a parent yourself you may find that, even though you never wanted to, you may be committing some of the same mistakes with your kids that your parents made with you!  I’m sure you’ll want your children to forgive you, so it’s only right to try to forgive yours too.   Why would someone think that such a holiday would be a good thing to have?  Young children are very humble.  When they are corrected or disciplined, they don’t hold a grudge.  When they cry, they want to be held by their parents, but as they grow up, they lose that humility and begin to feel resentful. Children live what they learn – and by watching their parents they learn how to be adults and parents themselves.  If we teach them to hold grudges by OUR actions, then we are teaching them that this is OK to do, and they’ll repeat that behavior and even pass it on to their own children someday.  A good example of something we may have had done to us and may be doing to our kids, is to re-hash things that they have done in the past, while correcting them for something they have just done.  The two infractions may not have even the slightest connection, but by bringing up something old to yell at them about right along with the new infraction – you are teaching them that we have a lack of forgiveness, and how to hold on to a grudge.  When parents argue with each other, and aren’t respectful or kind to each other, we are teaching that to our children. If we break promises to our kids, then they are learning that they cannot trust us.  Kids may want to forgive, but because of how they were raised, they just don’t know how to forgive.   One way to set things straight is to ask your children for forgiveness, especially for the things that have hurt them the most.  The process begins with you, and trickles down to the kids.  Speak respectfully to each other, and to the children.  They will learn to speak respectfully as a result.  Taking responsibility for our actions, rather than placing blame on other people, teaches our children that same sense of responsibility. Forgive the people in your life every single day.  Jesus forgave us our sins, we need to forgive others theirs.  It will bring peace, calm, humility and serenity to your lives.  I lived with hurt and the inability to forgive for many years.  Hurts I had as a kid, and hurts I’ve had as an adult.  Some of the adult hurts I struggle to completely release, but much forgiveness has already been made possible by a patient God who gives me the patience of a loving Father to find my way, and I know He’ll help me reach the other end of forgiving the big stuff.

 

 

 

Goddess of Fertility Day – though I do not believe in, nor actually celebrate, days like this one, it is an interesting bit of history that I am not very familiar with, so perhaps you’ll think it is interesting too.  This day celebrates Aphrodite and other gods and goddesses of fertility. In ancient times, many cultures had multiple gods and goddesses. Each one represented various aspects of life. The ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite was by far the most well-known goddess of fertility. People would pray and make offerings to Aphrodite when seeking to create a family.  For people who actually follow these beliefs, those looking to have a family may find today to be the perfect day to try, but if they are trying to AVOID having a family, or increase the size of their family, they may wish to practice abstinence today.

 

 

National Biodiesel Day – Happy birthday Rudolph Diesel!  This is the guy who invented the diesel engine and unveiled it at the World Fair in 1900!  This engine was originally designed to run on peanut oil, and Diesel was a big believer in the role that oils from plants would have in the future of fueling America.  In a speech he made in 1912 he said “. . . the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time.”  I remember when some friends of mine converted one of their farm vehicles to use recycled cooking oil.  I was out visiting them one hot summer day when the all-pervading, stomach growl inducing, aroma of French fries wafted out over the fields.  Oh, my goodness! He was using fry oil!  It smelled AWESOME!  I’m betting donut oil would smell even better.  Biodiesel is a cleaner burning, petroleum free alternative to diesel that can be made from animal fat, vegetable oil and recycled cooking oil.  Seems like a great thing to do with all of that cooking oil from all of those fast food restaurants across this land.

 

 

Supreme Sacrifice Day – Today we recognize and thank those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of others.  If you look back over time, we find countless examples of people who have offered the supreme sacrifice for the good of others.  Here are a few examples:

  • Jesus Christ gave the supreme sacrifice when he died on the cross for us.
  • Soldiers in battle gave their lives to protect our freedom, our way of life, and to keep us safe.
  • Fireman and police officers have given their lives in the line of duty, while saving and/or protecting people.

I’m sure we all know someone who has died in the line of duty so that someone else could live.  To those people, we give our gratitude, our respect and we are humbled by your service.

 

 

This Day in History –

March 16, 1926 – Professor Robert Goddard launches the first liquid fuel rocket.

March 16, 1968 – The Mai Lai Massacre takes place in Vietnam.

March 17 – On this day everyone is a little bit Irish- It’s Saint Patrick’s Day!

March 17, 1845 – The rubber band was invented. Can you imagine life without them!?!

March 18, 1965 – Soviet Union cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov becomes the first person to take a space-walk.

 

  

Food Celebrations of the Day –

March 16 –

Corn Dog Day – MMMMMMMMMMMMM Corn Dogs!  Wonderful little creations.  A corn dog is a hot dog sausage coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter and deep fried in oil, or even baked.   Almost all corn dogs are served on a wooden stick, though some early versions had no stick.  There has been some debate about the exact beginnings of the corn dog.  They appeared in some ways in the US by the 1920, and were popular nationally in the 1940s.  There are a number of corn dog vendors who claim credit for the invention and/or popularization of the corn dog. Carl and Neil Fletcher lay such a claim, having introduced their “Corny Dogs” at the Texas State Fair sometime between 1938 and 1942.  The Pronto Pup vendors at the Minnesota State Fair claim to have invented the corn dog in 1941.   In Springfield, Illinois, Cozy Dog Drive-In claims to have been the first to serve corn dogs on sticks, on June 16, 1946.   Also, in 1946, Dave Barham opened the first location of Hot Dog on a Stick at Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, California.  My very favorite – though I can’t claim to have eaten all that many different brands of corn dogs, are the Crusty Pups at the Puyallup Fair!  There’s never been another corn dog that tastes quite as delicious.  If you’re going for the frozen store-bought variety, give Trader Joe’s chicken corn dogs a try – only 4 grams of fat and nice and crunchy. Delicious!  I recently found and saved a recipe by Low Carb Maven for a low-carb “corn” dog. I can’t wait to try it – today is not the day since we are having Corned Beef and Cabbage tonight, but soon!

 

National Artichoke Heart Day – Artichoke hearts are delicious.  I love them in salads, on pizza and MMMMMMM covered with delicious garlic breading, and fried, then dipped in a rich dip.  There’s a place in Seattle near where I used to work that has DELICIOUS ones.  I did not know this, but artichokes were illegal for one week in New York City in the 1920s.  Officials declared the law to try to curb mafia-driven price gouging.  Seems New York City has a history of banning certain foods . . . hmmmm . . .

A few interesting facts about artichokes:

The artichoke is the unopened “flower” bloom of a thistle plant.

A medium size globe artichoke is fat free and only has 25 calories.

3% of the world’s tea consumption is dried artichoke tea.

40% of the world’s artichokes are canned or jarred.

California is known as the artichoke capital of the world, supplying nearly 100% of North American fresh artichokes.

There are many wonderful recipes that use artichoke hearts- and here are a few suggestions I found when going a quick search:

*  Spinach and Artichoke Mac n’ Cheese * Artichoke Pesto Spinach Lasagna *  Hot Artichoke Dip *  Cream of Artichoke & Mushroom Soup *  Spinach-Artichoke Mashed Potatoes *  Artichoke Linguine *  Chicken Artichoke Garlic Pizza

I made a really delicious soup last night for dinner.  The recipe is in Carolyn Ketchum’s “Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen” and was AH-MAZING!  This is the picture of the soup – though it came out a bit light so it’s hard to see just how pretty this soup was. I am having it for lunch again today and already looking forward to it!

 

 

 

March 17 – Irish Food Day – (seriously, could it be anything else?)  Irish corned beef was used and traded extensively from the 17th century to the mid-19th century for English civilian consumption and as provisions for the British naval fleets and North American armies due to its non-perishable nature.  Well, this makes sense, and though we have other methods of preserving meat today, the flavorful and tender corned beef has become a staple of Saint Patrick’s Day Feasts.  So, what is a traditional Saint Patrick’s Day meal?

Corn Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes and Irish Soda Bread.   Mmmmmm, I can almost taste it as I think about it.  I have corned beef in the freezer, but I forgot to take it out to thaw, and I also forgot to buy cabbage. We’ll be having our Irish meal some time later this week.

 

National Irish Coffee Day – Irish Coffee is a strong, hot coffee with a nip of Irish whiskey and cream, combined in a way that it warms you up from the inside out. We owe the cold, damp Atlantic weather and the creativity of a chef from Limerick to thank for inventing this drink. If it hadn’t been for the chilly, wet weather, who knows if Joseph Sheridan would have thought up this sweet boozy drink and served it, or so the story goes, to warm chilled transatlantic travelers who ended up stuck when the weather got miserable. It is said that the passengers arrived in the small airport in SW Ireland where Sheridan had a restaurant. He wanted to lift their spirits and warm them up, so he served the hot coffee beverage with a topper of whipped cream. One of them asked if it was Brazilian coffee and he said no, it was Irish Coffee, and so it was born in 1942. Such celebrities as Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe and her husband at the time, Arthur Miller, have been photographed in that spot sipping an Irish Coffee. Even though Irish Coffee started out in Ireland, it came the United States, and was introduced to San Francisco’s Buena Vista Café in 1952. In the years since then Buena Vista has served more than 32 million Irish Coffees, and still whips up about 2,000 of them each day. Try the classic or one of these other hot coffee treats today. May be especially welcome back east and in the mid-west where everyone is so cold and there has been so much snow!

 

March 18 – National Sloppy Joe Day – It’s been many years since I’ve had a Sloppy Joe – but I do know that I enjoyed them back when I was a kid! Here are a few interesting trivia points about Sloppy Joe’s that I thought I’d pass along . . . Most people believe the Sloppy Joe was first served in Havannah Cuba at the bar and café “Sloppy Joe’s” in the early 1900’s. (I don’t know who most people are since honestly the question never crossed my mind.)  The Sloppy Joe goes by many names – some of them are Manwich, Slush Burger, Yum Yums, Barbeque, Dynamite and even Sloppy Jane (Yum Yums? Sloppy Jane? Seriously?)  Sloppy Joe’s were mentioned in several movies of the 1930’s era – Citizen Kane and even It’s A Wonderful Life.  They weren’t widely popular until the 1960’s though.   In 1969 Hunt’s revolutionized the Sloppy Joe when it came out with Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce in a can. Many people say (again, who ARE these people who are focused on Sloppy Joe’s?) a cook named Joe in Sioux City, Iowa in the 1920s created a sandwich of “loose meat” served in a bread – a Sloppy Joe.

 It has taken 1-1/2 days of missed sunshine to finish this post, and as soon as I hit publish, I’m into outdoor clothes and heading out to enjoy some of it, even if that does mean I’ll be doing yard work. It’s gorgeous out there!  Have a great rest of your weekend! God bless you and I’ll see  you on Tuesday.

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Celebration list sources:

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

 

 

 

 

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