It’s hard to believe, for some reason, that this is merely the 2nd week of January. It feels like more time has passed than that. I’m good with it not being later in the month. If I could slow down time to enjoy it better as we go along, I would. I feel like 2018 whipped by so quickly that it was gone before I could enjoy it. I want to savor every day of this new year and make something wonderful of it along the way.
This weekend went by at a nice, sedate pace. We seemed to get a reasonable amount of relaxation mixed in with getting things done. Not that everything got done, but enough. We didn’t even attempt to get any of the Christmas decorations put away. Yesterday was the official last day of Christmas, so we figured we’d enjoy them for a bit longer and I’ll work on getting some done next weekend. The tree is still in good shape anyway, so there’s no rush. I managed to get most of the laundry done, made enough food to have lunches for a few days, made some treats that are on our eating plan and puttered around getting my pantry better organized. All in all, I feel pretty good about how this week is starting out! Oh, and best of all???!!! The predicted windstorm DID hit the area, but completely bypassed our neighborhood. What a relief and amazing answer to prayer.
Verse of the Day
January 7, 2019
O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
What do we have here that is unfailing and inexhaustible? Nothing except God’s unfailing love. Even when we disappoint, hurt, offend, or rebel against him, he still loves us. While we were sinners, he sent Jesus to redeem us from sin and death. Why trust anything or anyone else with our future? Let’s lean on God’s unfailing love!
Food for Thought
The beginning of each year is a starting point for a good re-boot. Many of us have begun a healthy eating and/or exercise plan. Many have set goals. Many get organized. Many do all of the above. At the top of our list of to-dos for this year should be to get ourselves in a right place with God and getting our house in order with regards to our families and how we interact with each other. It is so easy to be polite and kind to strangers, and it’s good that we are, but when we are kind to strangers, then go home and snark at the ones we share our lives with, something is truly wrong with that.
Blue Monday / Divorce Monday – (First Monday of the year, but it cannot fall on New Year’s Day) – I’m not at all sure that I agree with this one, but I’m not here to create the celebrations, but to share them with you. I’ve combined these two since they both land on the 1st Monday of January (as long as that Monday is not also the 1st of the month), but they are equally negative. According to a study that at best is called pseudoscience by experts, today is considered to be the most depressing day of the year. This is the day that couples fight over such silly stuff from putting away Christmas decorations, to who spent more time with the in-laws. In many places the weather is gross, and everything in the news is generally a big downer. Today they found that there are nearly 5 times the average number of tweets on Twitter with negative language and phrases that indicate a drop in mood, and legal experts even dubbed this Divorce Day because of the sheer number of divorce proceedings that are begun this day. This is also the day that so many people give up their healthier living resolutions . . . almost seems like they’ve given up before they’ve even tried! Buck up people! Tomorrow is a new day! Don’t do anything you’ll regret . . . just pull up your big girl/boy panties and wait it out until a less depressing day arrives! Personally, I don’t find this day to be depressing at all . . . of course I haven’t been fighting with my hubby, and I try most of the time to find a least a little good in every situation.
Harlem Globetrotter’s Day – I remember once, at least I THINK I remember (Dad if you’re reading today comment please) that we went to see the Harlem Globetrotter’s when I was little. I must have been quite small if we did, because the memory almost seems dreamlike – which is why I am not absolutely positive we went. What an amazing group of athletes they were, and are today. Their story is nearly as fascinating as their talent. (You may remember this celebration from last year, but celebrations are rather monotonous year after year – though I will try to change things at least a little.) In 1927, after seeing the amazing potential in this group of basketball players, someone sponsored the team, and their basketball acrobatics tradition was born and has continued for three-quarters of a century. I’m sure many of us who are at least my age will remember the names Wilt Chamberlain, Curly Neal and Meadowlark Lemon. They have graced the court in the team’s red, white and blue uniform, entertaining millions of people – including royalty and presidents from around the world. Though we don’t hear about them as much today as we did when I was a kid, they do continue touring today. Do you remember watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid? They actually had a Harlem Globetrotter’s cartoon! I only vaguely remember it, but I find that to be fascinating, that a cartoon was made after a basketball team – even a team as good as they are! I remember boys in school trying to copy what they’d see on the cartoons – probably a good thing our basketball hoops were outside – someone would likely have gotten hurt if they’d been in the gym – or anywhere else – while they “practiced”. The Harlem Globetrotters makes their sport what it should be – good, clean fun. Professional sports have turned into high-stress, yelling, arguing matches – where players are pushed to the limit. Even children’s sports are as competitive as adult sports . . . it’s a sad cycle. Anyway, here’s a fun (and short) video of 3 Harlem Globetrotter’s taking on an entire team. Enjoy!
I’m Not Going to Take It Anymore Day – Have you had enough, and you just want to scream??? Well today’s the day to let it rip! Today is the day to let it all out – scream, rant, rave, throw yourself on the floor and kick like you want to do but just can’t or they’ll drag you away in a funny suit. Be discreet though – if you do all that at work, your boss may be celebrating too and not take it either. No matter what it is you are sick of and don’t want to take anymore, just make up your mind, say enough and be done with it.
National Bobblehead Day – Apparently bobbleheads, those figures with heads attached with wire so they wobble around, have been around for about 100 years. Interesting! We are used to seeing bobblehead of sports figures, and various famous people. I even saw a bobblehead Jesus once. Just my own observation . . . don’t most media news people seem to be just talking bobbleheads these days? They really aren’t saying anything truthful or important – just blah blah blah while they bobble away on our TV screens.
National Weigh-In Day – (Always the first Monday after New Year’s) – This one always lands on the first Monday after New Year’s. Like I said earlier, many people hold out until Monday to get started on their new diets and exercise programs. Starting on a weekend is just too difficult! If you haven’t finished getting rid of the junk food, and you intend to, this would be the day. Dust off the scale, take a deep breath, and face the music. It’s not likely to be happy music but once you just take that step, you’ll be glad you did . . . sort of like ripping the bandage off quickly and getting the worst over with. Are you ready? 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . GO!
Old Rock Day – I used to collect rocks when I was a kid. I preferred collecting shells, but I liked pretty rocks too. My Grandma LOVED rocks – but the ones she loved were wide, round and flat so she could line her garden paths with them. Rocks are more than just something pretty to look at, or to line a path with – they hold history inside each of them. I could write all night and all day and not cover everything, but one way to think about them is they are a little like Mother Nature’s diary – there is so much to learn from digging around in your own backyard! If you live anywhere near Washington, maybe one day you can check out the Petrified Forest in the eastern part of the state. There are some pretty incredible pieces of petrified wood, old rocks and fossils all over the place – very cool, and the experience is extremely educational! *** funny story – I know, I always tell this one, but I love it! When my kids were little, we would go visit my Grandparents, and Grandma would walk around the garden with them, walking on those flat rock paths. She would point out the different rocks that family had brought to her from all over the place, happily remembering the love that went into lugging them from beaches and woods everywhere. My kids knew the importance of not messing up the paths Grandma loved so much, and they would be very careful about where they stepped, and not to knock a rock out of place. One day we were there for a visit – I’d say my daughter was about 5 or so, very girly girl . . . or so it seemed. She had curly blond hair, a cute little outfit with matching socks and shoes, not a smudge on her. Along came my cousin with her two little brats. Yes, I said it – they were brats, completely undisciplined and out of control. The girl started overturning rocks, picking berries and throwing them on the walkway (a big no-no – berries might get tracked into the house, and it was a waste of good food!). My daughter told her to stop. She didn’t stop. My daughter told her again, more loudly and with a little force to STOP! Three times was the charm. The girl didn’t stop, so my child took matters into her own hands. When the screaming reached our ears, we all ran outside to the garden, and there, lying flat on her back was my cousin’s 5-year old daughter, kicking and flailing, with my prissy little girl straddling her stomach, slapping the tar out of her while shouting – “WE DON’T MESS UP MEME-MA’S GARDEN! WE DON’T MESS UP HER ROCKS! WE DON’T GET BERRIES ON THE GROUND!!! I TOLD YOU TO STOP AND YOU DIDN’T!” Each word was accompanied by a flailing slap . . .I can honestly say I’ve never seen my cousin, or her brats, since that day . . . but Grandma’s garden path was safe, the cousin’s kids had to fix the rocks and clean up the berries, and my now dirty little girl, tears staining her face, was the hero of the moment. Oh, Grandma couldn’t show that she condoned the beating the child got, but the wink to my daughter told her that Grandma appreciated the strength and the conviction of obeying the rules and defending her great-grandma, even to the extent that she got her dress all dirty. I know, this had nothing to do with rock day – except having rocks in the story – but it did bring a smile to my face while I was thinking of it. (I know, I tell this every year, but always makes me happy when I remember it.)
Orthodox Christmas –Today, according to the Julian calendar, is Christmas Day. The Julian calendar was revised in 1923, putting it more in line with the Gregorian calendar. Some Orthodox churches still follow the more traditional Julian calendar putting the day to celebrate Christmas on, or near, January 7th. Many of the Orthodox Christians in our country fast before Christmas Day, using that time to prepare for celebrating for the birth of Christ. They will be attending a special church service today, with various traditions such as lighting a small fire of blessed palms or burning frankincense to commemorate the Magi’s gifts to baby Jesus. They place a white cloth on their dinner tables to symbolize purity and the cloth that the baby Jesus was wrapped in, and straw may be placed on the tables to symbolize the simplicity of the place where Jesus was born. Candles will be lit to represent the light of Christ, with the festive Christmas meal representing the end of fasting.
Thank God It’s Monday – Are you scratching your head over this one? I’m not! Every week we Thank God It’s Friday, but seriously, if we didn’t have Monday, we wouldn’t get to Friday! Honestly, as sad as it is to see the weekend come to a close, it’s nice to get our regular routine going again, giving us something to look forward to at the end of the week. Smile big and be happy for Monday!
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Tempura Day – Though an iconic Japanese dish, tempura evolved from 16th-century Portuguese technique. The Japanese later lightened the batter, so the food’s color showed through. Last year we tried a low-carb version of tempura and I can honestly say that I didn’t think that low-carb would taste so good for something like this but it was delicious! I don’t recommend doing more than you can eat in one meal though – it didn’t translate well for re-heating leftovers. Here’s the recipe for the batter from www.mypcoskitchen.com and a low-carb sweet chili sauce from www.healthstartsinthekitchen.com. Enjoy! We did shrimp and zucchini, and now that I have been reminded of it, am looking forward to other things we can dip and fry in this delicious batter. If you don’t wish to do it low carb, below are some “regular” recipes for you to try. Either way, it will be delicious.
- Tempura Donburi
- Tempura Bacon
- Tempura Onion Rings
- Asparagus Wasabi Tempura
- Chicken Tempura Pancakes
- Japanese Basic Tempura Sauce
I didn’t have time to get this posted before work this morning, so hello from lunch time! Have a wonderful Monday! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.
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Celebration list sources: