Shrovetide, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras . . . How Do You Celebrate It?

Tuesday has not started out great . . . well Monday didn’t end great, so it isn’t translating to a great start to today.  Monday itself went great, my office mate/boss was back from being out of town, so we were able to catch up on things.  I came home and made a great dinner (trying not to dislocate my arm patting myself on the back), and ended with losing said dinner, lunch and anything/everything else that I had ingested for at least the previous 24 hours.  I am hoping that something just didn’t sit well with me, and that I’m not getting the crud.  No fever, so that’s good. I’m just really tired and washed out today, without any additional ick.  I stayed home so I wouldn’t risk infecting anyone at work, but if things go well, I’ll be back where I should be on Thursday morning. Today is all about hydrating, resting and getting back to feeling better so I don’t end up getting worse.



Verse of the Day

February 13, 2018

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Did you know the Bible doesn’t just say, “God loves you.” Now don’t let me confuse you. Scripture does tell us many times that God loves us. However, don’t miss the important truth here. Each time Scripture tell us that God loves us, it also demonstrates that love as well. God’s love is more than emotion and intention. God’s love is demonstrated. God loved us so much he didn’t just say, “I love you.” God showed his by sending and sacrificing his Son to give us his incomparable love! We never have to doubt that God means what he says. He has backed up his promises of love with his actions.




Food for Thought

There is nothing quite like late night being sick to make one appreciate things like applesauce, salty crackers and ginger ale.


Desperation Day – This one seems so sad to me. Funny in a way, but still sad.  The day before Valentine’s Day is said to be the day when single people desperately try to find someone to spend the day of love with.  It doesn’t seem to matter who it is, the desire NOT to be alone amid raised expectations built up through marketing and hype actually results in LOWERED personal expectations over the person with whom they choose to spend this romantic holiday.  It might actually work for some people, but seriously, desperation isn’t attractive on anyone.



Get a Different Name Day – Have you ever heard someone’s name and thought to yourself – ooooh what were their parents THINKING?  Yeah, I have too.  Quite often, actually.  Well, this day is for people who are not thrilled with the name they were given at birth.  Most people are given a first, middle and last name at birth. Not everyone gets a middle name, but most do.  That name wasn’t one that we chose for ourselves, but our parents saddled us with it.  Now, most people will go through life just fine with their given name, but there are some who just hate their name and change it when they are old enough to make that legal decision for themselves.  Funny thing though, sometimes people change their names for very strange names.  I have to wonder WHY? I guess I’m very fortunate that I truly do like my names – thanks Mom and Dad!


Shrove Tuesday/ Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday – Shrovetide (also known as Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras and Pancake Day) 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 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.  One year 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.


Madly In Love With Me Day – Here we are, on the day before many people celebrate Valentine’s Day, when the ones who actually do celebrate it lavish attention on their significant other. The idea of THIS day is to let people know – though I think it was specifically intended for women, I feel it could be for men too – to know that we each deserve to love ourselves as much as the other person in our lives do.  Self help writer Christine Arylo, who wrote “Madly In Love With Me, The Daring Adventure To Becoming Your Own Best Friend” has the philosophy that to truly be able to show that you love others, we must first love ourselves without apology, so to throw out the diet books, treat ourselves to a favorite lunch with people that love and respect us as we are right now, without trying to change us, or expecting us to change ourselves. Nice thought! 


Paczki Day – (Always on Shrove Tuesday) – In the United States, Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, is the day to indulge before Lent begins. In many parts of Eastern Europe, Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Lent) heralds the winding down of Carnival season. In Poland, this is known as Tłusty Czwartek.  In America the Polish community celebrates Paczki Day on Tuesday.   Paczki (pronounced POHNCH-kee) are fried rounds of yeast dough with rosehip, prune, apricot, strawberry, raspberry or sweet cheese filling.  Sometimes they are even made without filling and dusted with granulated sugar. To reduce the number of calories they can be baked too.


World Radio Day – Did you know that radio is the oldest method of mass communication?  Many people and organizations were involved with the invention of the radio, but the main one that gets credit would be Guglielmo Marconi.  He was the first person who successfully applied the theories of wireless technology.  He sent out the first radio signal in 1895, and it consisted of the single letter “S”.  That landed him a grant for the world’s first patent for the radio.  Over time it was proven that many of the theories used in the making of a radio were actually first patented by Nikola Tesla.  Radios work by transmitting and receiving electromagnetic waves.  The importance of radio cannot be stressed enough, as it is the mass media reaching the widest audience in the world.  It is also recognized as a powerful and low cost communication tool.  It is very well suited to remote communities and vulnerable people like the disabled, youth and the poor.  There is also the strong role in emergency communication and disaster relief!

The whole objective of this day is to raise awareness among the public and the media about the importance of radio, to encourage the people who make the decisions to establish and provide access to information through radio, along with enhancing networking and international cooperation.  Radio continues to grow and change in the digital age but it still remains the medium that reaches the widest audience worldwide. 


Food Celebration of the Day

Italian Food Day – How many of us LOVE Italian food? What’s not to love, right?  It’s comfort food to the core, and honestly, when I think of a romantic dinner my mind often goes to Italian, with all of its rich flavors and textures. When trying to eat low carb there is a definite difference in how to put together those flavors and textures, and though my choice for dinner wasn’t PERFECT, it really was quite delicious and a meal I’d repeat in a heartbeat. AND? The best part of it? Hubby liked it too!  For Christmas he gave me a gnocchi board – is that what it’s called? You take the little bits of gnocchi and roll them on the grooved board to put the indentations in them that will hold onto more sauce.  I don’t know how many of my little grooves stayed in the dough, but regardless, it was good.  I made the gnocchi out of mozzarella cheese, and made a gorgonzola/parmesan sauce to go with it, along side a steak with mushrooms.  Yep, I’m happy with this one.


National Tortellini Day – There’s a debate on where tortellini originated, but most Italians agree its filling must include a blend of prosciutto, mortadella and Parmigiano-Reggiano.


It’s taken me awhile to get this posted today – it’s been a bit of slow going for me – but here it finally is! Have a lovely Fat Tuesday, no matter how you celebrate it.  I’m celebrating in a very low key, drink ginger ale and tea sort of way.  God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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