Well, here we are . . . officially at the start of November and hurtled directly into the holiday season. I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween, if you celebrated. We stayed home as usual, and did not even get one trick-or-treater at the door. I’m not surprised, since we rarely get any. The biggest excitement of my day was getting rid of the ENORMOUS spider that was blocking the front porch! OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but he was truly the biggest one I’ve seen in a long time. He had to go because he looked like the determined sort who would insist on coming inside and I will not live with a creepy crawly critter in the house. Now I have to start my Thanksgiving dinner food list, starting with trying to get a number for how many people will be here for dinner. I know everyone has a difficult time scheduling in our busy world, but it’s definitely a necessity when it comes to planning a grocery list!
Verse of the Day
November 1, 2018
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Heaven is something we see with our heart. When we are discouraged, doubtful, and depressed, we need to have the eyes of our hearts “enlightened.” The dawn needs to rise in our darkness and we see the dawn of hope and the riches of our inheritance. But when things look bad, sometimes the only way to remember these things is to sing them, pray them, and read God’s promises of them.
I Am Thankful for . . .
This is the month of Thanksgiving and I’m sure we have all see people listing the things for which they are grateful. I am going to try to do one every day, and would really love it if some of you would share what you are thankful for with me!
Day 1 – I am thankful for my husband. It’s really amazing when two people find each other in this life, both bringing baggage and imperfections and learning to love each other not in spite of the imperfections, but because it is a part of who they are as a whole. Since nobody on this earth is without flaw, accepting that in ourselves and the one we love is so important, so it is with such a grateful heart that I thank God for bringing Hubby into my life. We were both in a place where our lives had undergone a huge change, we were angry at those changes, hurt by them, moving forward, and reaching out to find someone who would understand the pain of the process we were going through. Through that understanding a friendship was formed, and from there we found in each other the one we wanted to walk forward with into the future.
WAAll Saints’ Day – The way that the official, and long lasting, holidays came to be really fascinates me. All of our Christian holidays seem to be tied in with old pagan holidays in one way or another, up to, and including our Christmas festivities. I know so many people who do not celebrate Halloween because of its pagan roots, yet have no problem celebrating Christmas with a tree, or Easter with a basket of eggs and bunnies. All are pagan symbols interspersed with our Christian traditions to make them more palatable for all, as the popular pagan rituals were being crowded out by the church. Nobody in church leadership wanted to outright ban pagan religious celebrations for fear of backlash, and it was decided that if the two faith’s holidays were combined, that eventually the pagan rituals would die away. Some have, but some haven’t. Today is a good example. Today we have the Christian holiday of All Saint’s Day, which honors and recognizes all of the saints of the Christian church, many of them martyrs. The church set aside this day to celebrate over 10,000 recognized saints. All Saints Day was also known as Hallomas. Originally All Saints Day and All Souls Day were observed in May, but they were moved to November 1st and 2nd in an attempt to downplay the pagan holidays of Halloween (All Hallow’s Eve) and Dia de Loss Muertos. Religious leaders thought that those holidays were just too popular to come out and ban, and hoped they would eventually just stop being practiced. For the most part it has. Yes, Halloween is still observed, but certainly not in the way that it was originally intended, and has turned into more of a Hallmark type holiday, with the focus being on the commercial sales of costumes and candy, and fun for the kids. For many years I kept my kids from celebrating Halloween, while cherishing my memories of going out trick-or-treating with my friends, dressing up and going on absolutely fantastic outings with our church youth group. I began to feel hypocritical about it, the older I got. I regret doing that to my kids because they missed out on a lot of fun. I know that we didn’t celebrate this holiday with the macabre in mind, but with fun and light hearted enjoyment. By the time I got into Jr. High and High School, our church youth group always started and ended the evening festivities with prayer, and a focus on what was really important. I can’t help but think that it’s all where the heart and spirits are, rather like with the Christmas tree. I don’t enjoy it as a pagan focal point in our living room, but with the love for the beauty of the tree and what it represents in our Christian home. Everyone has to decide for themselves what is best for them, for their beliefs and for their families, so no judgment from me on the issue. I just think the origins and what we have done with the evolution of these holidays is really quite fascinating.
Author’s Day – Back in 1928 a woman by the name of Nellie Verne Burt McPherson was the president of the Bement Women’s Club. She was a teacher and an avid reader throughout her life. During WWI she was recuperating in a hospital and wrote a fan letter to fiction writer Irving Bacheller, telling him how much she enjoyed reading his story, “Eban Holden’s Last Day A’Fishin”. Bacheller sent her an autographed copy of another story he wrote. This thrilled Nellie so much, and realizing that she could never adequately thank him for his gift, that she came up with the idea to show her appreciation by submitting the idea for a National Author’s Day to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. They passed a resolution setting aside November 1st as a day to honor American writers. In 1949 the day was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce. I can’t imagine many authors today actually taking the time to respond to a fan letter, much less to send them something free. My goodness, times certainly have changed.
Give Up Your Shoulds Day – Regrets. What an incredible waste of time they are, right? Regrets are stressful, and stress shortens our lives, damages our health, and impedes our focus. Today is the 8th Annual Give Up Your “Shoulds” Day. For one day you are invited to give up a “should” on your list that brings you stress, guilt, misery, or any sort of sadness. An example of a “should” may be: “I should clean the house”, “I should go to the gym”, “I should be making more money”, “I should lose weight”, “I should be getting more work done”, “I should stop eating the leftover Halloween candy” . . . etc. There are any number of “should” we impose on ourselves. When you give yourself permission to give up one stressful “should”, it allows your mind to relax, and lift the weight that’s been sitting on your shoulders. People who give up some “should” actually live more calm and fulfilled lives. They give themselves permission not to be so rigid, which can lead to a healthier life. Now something important to remember is that giving up a “should” isn’t necessarily tied to what you do. For example, you can give up your “should” about giving up sugar, but still not eat sugar. It isn’t about what you do, or what you don’t do, but about the thoughts and the beliefs that you are hauling around with you.
National Go Cook for Your Pets Day – Our furbabies are so special to us, aren’t they? Today is a day we can celebrate our special four-legged family members by keeping their health and nutrition in mind and cooking their food for them. It’s important to know what is our pets’ food, just like it is important to know what is in ours. Especially lately, with all of those toxic ingredients finding their way into our pet’s food supply, causing horrible illness and death! If you aren’t sure what to cook for your pet, you can find recipes at DoggyDessertChef.com . Always remember there are foods your dog or cat should never eat. Here’s a list from the ASPCA to remind you what they are:
- Chocolate in any form
- Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate-covered espresso beans)
- Yeast dough
- Grapes and Raisins
- Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
- Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
- Rhubarb leaves
- Moldy or spoiled foods
- Alcoholic beverages
- Be careful with milk and other milk-based products, as they can cause diarrhea or other digestive upset.
National Men Make Dinner Day – My hubby is a wonderful cook who can whip up amazing creations that get the taste buds hopping and please the tummy. This particular celebration though, is aimed at the men who never cook. The day has its own website which features reasons for participation, rules for today and even some simple recipes to get you started. Rules include a no interference policy for the women of the household, no feeding the resulting meal to the dog, and no barbecuing. Here are the rules that I’ve copied from the website.
Rule #1: National men make dinner day is always celebrated on the first Thursday of each November.
Rule #2: Man agrees to participate in national men make dinner day. Bonus points if he does so without seeking promise of night out with boys in return.
Rule #3: Man, completely un-aided, chooses a ‘published’ recipe from any source, or Internet. Getting the recipe from ‘her’ cookbooks is allowed, but man gets bonus points if the recipe isn’t already somewhere in the house.
Rule #4: Main meal must include minimum of 4 ingredients and require at least one cooking utensil other than a fork
Rule #5: Man goes shopping for ‘all’ necessary ingredients. Bonus points if he takes inventory of cupboards and fridge first, before shopping trip. So you don’t end up with two 64 ounce jars of pickled pimentos.
Rule #6: Man organizes all necessary ingredients in order of importance on kitchen counter. At this point, he may need to make a phone call or shout out the word ‘honey’! Followed by a question. This is not allowed.
Rule #7: Man may, if desired, turn on radio or his favorite CD. Man agrees not to be within 30 feet of TV remote during cooking process. At this point, spouse and any other family members should not be anywhere near kitchen. (unless smoke detector goes off!)
Rule #8: Following recipe carefully, man starts to cook dinner! Apron is optional, (bonus points if recipe includes one of the following : capers, saffron, or the word ‘scallopini’).
Rule #9: Man must use the ‘clean as he goes along’ rule! Following each completed use of utensils, cookware, half-used jars of anything, spice bottles, etc., everything is rinsed, cleaned and put away
Rule #10: Man sets table, candles are lit, beverages are poured, no ketchup bottles, sour cream containers, or big boxes of salt on table.
Rule #11: Spouse and/or family members are served! This is an opportune time for a photo. Man is ‘allowed’ to gloat no more than three times during the meal. Family is encouraged to congratulate man on job well done. Family dog is not allowed to be secretly fed man’s cooking.
Rule #12: After meal, table is cleared by man, dishwasher is loaded. Man returns to table for stimulating after-dinner conversation. At this point, man is told how much his meal was appreciated. He, in turn, describes the joys and challenges of the experience. He is given a hug, and his TV remote is returned to him.
After reading those rules, I must submit that it’s difficult to believe that there really are men out there that are this clueless about preparing a basic meal. If any of my readers KNOW a man who is this helpless in the kitchen, I’d be tickled if you’d comment and tell me about it.
Prime Meridian Day – We all learned in school that the world is divided into different latitudes and longitudes, right? And this makes sense because we need to use the numbers connected with these longitudes and latitudes to communicate about, and map, the different locations on the planet. Did you ever stop to wonder who actually decided how to divide it up, and choose where those meridian lines were to go? When people explored different parts of the world, even back in ancient times, they would draw maps of what they saw on their travels. They often would number or letter the lines running horizontally and vertically to help them find, and talk about, different features on their maps. Problem was that different mapmakers used different systems, and that could get confusing. The wealthiest and most powerful nations in the world used some of their wealth and power to explore faraway places, so the systems they used because widely used. Still, with many different nations counting their longitudes with different starting points, it made a different “prime meridian” for all of them. A good example of this would be, in France they counted the line of longitude running through Paris as the Prime Meridian. At the same time, geographers in England counted the line of longitude to be running through Greenwich, which was just outside of London, as the prime meridian. That was completely confusing. Everyone thought it was obvious what the latitude should be – the equator, which runs midpoint through the “waist” of the earth. There just wasn’t as obvious and objective a spot to start for longitude. Should it be the line that intersects Tokyo, Japan? Cairo Egypt? New York, United States? Any one of them would have worked, so how did they choose the Prime Meridian? Well, on November 1st in 1884, representatives of 25 nations met in Washington DC to discuss and set up a standard latitude/longitude system, and also the standard time zones. Through discussion, and a vote, Greenwich in Great Britain was chosen. Haiti voted against this, and Brazil and France refused to vote, but the other 22 “yea” votes carried the motion and the world finally had one standard Prime Meridian.
This Day in History –
1914 – The Bra was patented.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Bison Day – Have you ever purchased a buffalo steak or burger from the grocery store? I have and found it to be delicious. I just found out that I was mostly likely buying and eating bison, and not buffalo. I did not know until today that the animals we see in pictures and have been calling buffalo aren’t buffalo at all! Mind . . . . blown! The animal that lives in North America is a bison. Buffalo is from either the African or Asian buffalo families that are native only to Africa or Asia. The bison is the largest land mammal to roam North America since the end of the Ice Age. It descends from ancient animals that migrated across the Bering Strait land bridge an estimated 300,000 years ago. Historians think that the species was called buffalo because early European explorers were familiar with that animal. Makes sense. Even though we now know that this is not the proper name for it, people have used the words buffalo and bison interchangeably since that time. At one point bison were near extinct on this continent due to over-hunting, but they’ve made a comeback since that time and now there are about 500,000 in the United States, about 40,000 being slaughtered each year for consumption. When you compare that to the 125,000 beef cattle that go to market each day in the US alone, that’s not much. Of course, bison are much bigger . . . but there is barely room for comparison there, in my mind. What I didn’t know is that bison are much smarter than cattle, being highly intelligent, curious, playful and very powerful. They may seem gentle, but they are definitely not domesticated. This makes them harder to handle and more powerful than cattle. Even though they are very bulky, they are also very nimble and apparently have been said to have be as agile as goats. I also thought it was very interesting that bison can have a life span of 30 years! Their cows weigh about 1000 to 1200 lbs at full maturity, and the bulls weigh about 1500 to 2000 pounds. That’s a big animal! Bison meat is healthier than beef, being less fatty. Bison has 2.42 grams of fat, 143 calories and 82 mg of cholesterol per 100 grams (3.5 oz) of cooked meat, where beef has 3.5 times more fat per 100 grams of cooked lean meat. One last little bit of information that I thought was fascinating, is that Yellowstone National Park is the only place in the US where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times, and this herd is one of the few that remains genetically free of bovine genes.
National Deep-Fried Clams Day – There are two main varieties of clams, or bivalve mollusks – hard shell and soft shell. I didn’t know there were soft shell clams! I knew about crabs, but not clams. Interesting. Clams are named based on their size, where they are from, and occasionally even the personal decision of the vendor selling them. Clams come in various sizes from 2 inches across (about 10 to a pound) to the largest being the quahog, which measures about 3 inches across. Now I am not an expert on clams by any means, however I DO know that I really enjoy a nice pile of deep fried clams. One of the local casinos serves some of the biggest, meatiest clams I have ever had. Delicious. Oh, nice, I am now craving clams.
National Paté Day – Have you ever had Pâté? I don’t think I have, unless it’s been in something and I was unaware of it. What is it? It’s a mixture of cooked ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. It can be served hot or cold, and is thought to have its best flavor when it has been chilled for a few days. It can be baked in a crust, in a terrine, or as its most famous rendition, as a foie gras – which is made from the livers of fattened geese. I admit I feel a little bit of gag happening in the back of my throat at the thought. Depending on the region it isn’t limited to goose though – it can also be made from chicken, fish, venison, ham or pork with a big variety of spices and other additions. I MAY have had pate on my Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches, but I’m not sure. They were delicious so I’m not sure I want to know!
National Vinegar Day – It can pickle and preserve foods, add flavor to your favorite dish and some varieties can even be used to clean your house — is there anything vinegar can’t do?! There are so many varieties and flavors it boggles the mind, though most people limit their usage to only a few. We regularly use various flavors of balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, red and white wine vinegar, coconut and rice vinegar . . . well, let’s just say I have a LOT of bottles of vinegar in the house.
World Vegan Day – I don’t think I could ever actually adhere to a vegan way of eating. I could see myself being able to survive as a vegetarian – since they can eat milk, cheese, honey and eggs – but I just don’t think I could give up those extra, wonderful food items. With that said though, I have actually had a few very delicious vegan dishes that I like on occasion . . . not for always.
Poor Moose, it’s raining, so he’s going to get a very brief walk this morning. Hopefully the rain stops for a bit when I get home so he can get a bit longer one. Be safe out there, and have a wonderful day! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow!
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Celebration list sources: