I am hearing horrible news from the local weather guessers – they are predicting a wind storm that could knock out power. Now, I don’t care if we lose power – that is the LEAST of our worries when the wind blows. We are actually very well set up for power outages, between the generator and plenty of alternative ways to cook, so on that front we are fine. What we are NOT set up for is the two very dangerous, dead trees that are leaning over our house from our next-door neighbor. This neighbor refuses to remove these trees – though she DID “generously” offer to allow us to pay for her dead tree removal. Not going to happen. What IS going to happen, since we sent her certified letters, to which she responded with a certified letter of her own – is that the moment one of her trees hits us we will sue her for all damages, no matter how small. The legal precedent in our area shows that if the homeowner is AWARE of a tree that presents danger to a neighbor, they are liable for all damages if they choose not to remove it. It isn’t a law, it’s just a legal precedent set by the insurance companies. If we had not notified her by certified letter with a signature required, we couldn’t prove that she knew, and she could have claimed an “act of God”. Funny how God is a convenient excuse for everything except honoring Him, isn’t it? What a way to start of Friday – deep thoughts to last me the entire day.
Verse of the Day
April 6, 2018
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
To confess is to do two things with our sin: 1) to recognize sin for what it is in God’s eyes and 2) to get rid of our secrets and be honest with another Christian. James’ language is powerful. He mentions that this confession doesn’t just bring forgiveness. It also brings healing.
Holy Humor Month / National Humor Month
Stairway to Heaven
A redhead, brunette and blonde were on their way to Heaven.
God told them the stairway to Heaven was 1000 steps, and on every 5th step He’d tell them a joke. But, they must not laugh or else they couldn’t enter heaven.
The brunette went first and started laughing on the 65th step, so she could not enter Heaven.
The redhead went next and started laughing on the 320th step, so she could not enter Heaven either.
Then, it was the blonde’s turn. When she got to the 999th step, she started laughing.
“Why are you laughing?” God asked. “I didn’t tell a joke.”
“I know,” the blonde replied. “I just got the first one.”
Food for Thought
There are some people in this life who are so incredibly rude that there are two instinctive reactions that I feel when I am around them – shocked silence that someone can be that horrible and the nearly irresistible urge to smack them upside the head with the nearest heavy object in the hopes to shut them up and perhaps knock loose whatever it is that is causing them to be so heinous.
Army Day – This is a proclamation by President Franklin Roosevelt regarding Army Day:
I have proclaimed April 6 Army Day. That day means more than ever to us this year. We are fighting an all-out war in defense of our rights and liberties. Army Day becomes, therefore, in fact a total-war day. It becomes a day when all of our citizens in civil pursuits can rally to the support of our armed forces, for only in the united effort of all of our forces—Army, Navy, and civilians—can we find the strength to defeat our enemies.
Never before in the one hundred and sixty-six years of our history as a free Republic under God have our armed forces had so much meaning for us all. We are engaged in our greatest war, a war that will leave none of our lives wholly untouched. We shall win that war as we have won every war we have fought. We are fighting it with a combined force of free men that is, in Lincoln’s words, of the people, by the people, for the people of the United States of America. Our Army is a mighty arm of the tree of liberty. It is a living part of the American tradition, a tradition that goes back to Israel Putnam, who left his plow in a New England furrow to take up a gun and fight at Bunker Hill. In this tradition American men of many ages have always left the pacific round of their usual occupations to fight in causes that were worth their lives -from Lexington to the Argonne. In times of peace we do not maintain a vast standing Army that might terrorize our neighbors and oppress our people. We do not like to rehearse interminably the cruel art of war. But whenever a tyrant from across the seas has threatened our liberties, our citizens have been ready to forge and use the weapons necessary for their defense.
It is the men of the regular Army together with the citizen soldiers, our friends and relatives and neighbors of a few short days ago, and the men of all our armed forces, that we honor on Army Day.
Charlie the Tuna Day / Sorry Charlie – Rejection stinks, doesn’t it? Have you ever been rejected? You’d be in a big minority if you haven’t. Rejection hurts, and Sorry Charlie Day is for all of us who have had someone we care about turn their backs on us, and yet we survived it. Take a moment to reflect on that rejection, then smile and realize that it happens to all of us once in awhile and assess your current situation – you not only survived it, but I’m betting you’re better off for it.
Drowsy Driver Awareness Day – This is an observance set up in California but honestly, I believe it’s something we should all be aware of and take steps to prevent tragedy for ourselves and our loved ones. On April 6, 2005 the Governor of California made a proclamation to designate the state’s observance of April 6th every year as a memorial day for those people who have died as a result of a collision involving a drowsy driver. The statistics for drowsy driving deaths are actually quite high, and they were only listed for California! I’d be interested to see what they are nationwide. From 1993 to 2003 – according to the statistics compiled by the Department of CA Highway Patrol, about 100 people were killed each year in collisions where a drowsy driver was involved. In that 10-year period 41,228 people were injured in collisions involving a drowsy driver, and 28,533 collisions happened involving a drowsy driver where no one was injured but there was significant property damage. Every single one of these accidents could have been avoided had the drivers used common sense, pulled over and either taken a nap, gotten out and gotten some fresh air and something to drink and woken up. In 1999 the National Sleep Foundation discovered in a poll that 62% of all adults surveyed reported driving a car or other motor vehicle feeling drowsy in the prior year, and that same poll showed that 27% of the adults reported that at some time they had dozed off while driving. 23% of the people polled stated that they knew someone who had experienced a fall-asleep crash within the past year. The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates the about 100,000 police reported crashes each year – that’s about 1.5% of all crashes, involve drowsiness or fatigue as the main cause. These numbers are just shocking! The NHTSA estimates that at least 71,000 people are hurt in fall-asleep crashes each year, and the estimates are that these crashes represent $12,500,000 in monetary losses each year. These numbers are actually saying that many more people die each year from crashes related to drowsy, sleepy or fatigued drivers than from many serious illnesses. The drowsy driver doesn’t just affect themselves, they affect every person who operates a vehicle or rides in a vehicle, or who walks, stands or sits near the roadway where one of these crashes occurs. This is a problem that can be easily solved! Just being aware of yourself and how you’re feeling, not driving for more than a specified amount of time before you make yourself stop and get out to take a walk could do wonders for getting these numbers to drop. I know that the cars my husband and I drive both have automatic alerts in them that start binging at the 2-hour mark. They will keep binging until the car is stopped and the motor turned off. Since I know that I get drowsy while driving, I stop at least that often, sometimes more, when I am on a road trip by myself (which honestly isn’t that often) to get some fresh air, walk around, get something more to drink – which translates into automatic stops a little later – and make sure I am awake. I don’t know if I could live with myself if I got drowsy and caused someone else to be hurt because I wasn’t responsible enough to pull over and take a break when I needed one. Please, be aware of this, know your physical limitations, and if you think you feel OK, stop every couple of hours to make sure. You may not just be saving your life, but the lives of others around you.
Hostess Twinkie Day – What can we say about Twinkies, those lovely golden sponge cakes with the creamy filling? Twinkie, and all Hostess goodies went through a rough time a few years ago, but they ended up landing on their feet. Twinkies used to be made and distributed by Hostess Brands and were temporarily off the market when Hostess went bankrupt. The brand was purchased by Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Company and went back into production under Hostess Brand names again on July 15, 2013. What about the history of the Twinkie though? Well, they were invented by a guy named James Alexander Dewer on April 6, 1930. He was a baker for the Continental Baking Company. Being always a thinking sort of guy, he was looking at the machines used to make cream-filled strawberry shortcake sit idle when strawberries were out of season and he came up with a snack cake filled with banana cream, which he named the Twinkie. He thought of the name when he saw a billboard in St. Louis for “Twinkle Toe Shoes”. During World War II, bananas were rationed and the company was forced to switch to vanilla cream. This was a pretty popular change and banana-cream Twinkies were not re-introduced – though they did have limited-time promotions with banana, but for the most part they stuck with the vanilla filling from that point on. In 1988, Fruit and Cream Twinkies were introduced with a strawberry filling swirled into the cream. It didn’t turn out to be popular and the product was soon dropped. What I think is funny is that the Twinkie played a part in the movie Zombieland. I admit I really enjoyed that movie and every time I watch it I get this craving for Twinkies! If you haven’t seen the movie to know what I mean, please, put the younger kids in bed (it’s a silly movie – but there is a lot of zombie related blood), buy a few Twinkies and settle in for the evenin
National Plan Your Epitaph Day – The usual reaction to this day is “ewwww, morbid!” Well, yes, at first maybe, but when you really stop to think about it, it’s all a part of life. At some point we are going to die. Period. And when we do, wouldn’t it be nice to have a little control over what is being said, and by whom, on your gravestone? Think about how awful it could be for your family if that cousin who’s always held a grudge has any input in what’s engraved for you. So, perhaps it would be best if you took care of it yourself ahead of time! People are actually getting into the planning act and taking care of many of the things they should be doing ahead of time. Maybe this holiday is the nudge you need to get the planning ball rolling. After all, some day it really is going to happen, may as well have the input you’d like to have right from the start.
National Student Athlete Day – This is a special day that is set aside to see high school and college student athletes honored for their achievements in academics, athletics and service to their schools and communities. Since it first started it has seen 3,669, 875 student athletes honored and has become one of America’s strongest efforts to promote the positives in school sports and in student athletes as a whole. Now it wouldn’t me be and I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t insert a bit of my own opinions on this one. I was a book worm in school – not the best student, but certainly not the worst. Even so I had eyes to see that the athletes were given quite a bit of latitude with their studies, they were pretty much shown favor in every way. It was a source of great frustration for the rest of us who had to bust our backsides to get the grades. Case in point – I was in an algebra class I was struggling with, and being tall I’d always been the focus of attention from the girl’s basketball coaching staff. The head coach was my algebra teacher – oh the joy – and he LITERALLY told me he would only help me with my struggles if I would join the team. Stupid man really – I’m HORRIBLE at sports. I refused, and barely passed the class. I tried to go to talk to my counselor about it – something I’d never done before – and turns out he was also my assigned counselor. So, excuse me if I choke a little on this one. Yes, I believe that sports are very important. They help keep a certain percentage of students active and focused on something besides getting into trouble. Do I think they should be spoiled rotten and treated like they are kings and queens on campus? No, I most certainly do not. If you have a student athlete at home, you may want to celebrate this one. I’ll pass though – it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
National Walk to Work Day – (first Friday of the month) – The very first National Walk to Work Day was on April 2, 2004. Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are growing at an alarming rate, so National Walk to Work Day was initiated to draw attention to the need to get out and exercise more. On this day Americans are encouraged to walk to work. I only wish I could! For me to walk to work, even walking at 5 mph, I would take me just over 4 hours to get to the office – which would mean I’d have to leave home at 3:30 in the morning – um . . . not gonna happen. A great alternative though is to find 30 minutes in your day, set a date for yourself on your calendar for a DAILY half hour walk. It starts out for physical reasons, but honestly it translates into being relaxing and peaceful, and even captivating as you see a variety of wildlife along the way. And a side benefit? Walking is FREE! In this economy that’s a big deal. So, lace up those walking shoes and hit the road!
Tartan Day – you see a lot of people wearing tartan this weekend, don’t be surprised. Today the United States is celebration National Tartan Day. It is intended to recognize the contributions of Scottish Americans to the United States. Here are 5 things you may not have known about Scotland –
* Tartan – The famous woven cloth is the most recognizable pattern associated with Scotland. Tartan consists of interwoven vertical and horizontal lines, known as sett. The pattern is seen on shirts, kilts and other clothing and different patterns denote different family groups – each having their own identifiable and distinct colors and patterns.
* Scotland’s declaration of Independence – or the Arbroath – was signed on April 6th, 1320. Scottish barons and earls sent the declaration, in the form of a letter, to Pope John XXII to assert their status as an independent state. The letter also the Pope to recognize Robert the Bruce as the country’s lawful king.
|* Auld Lang Syne is a traditional Scottish song. We hear it sung on New Year’s Eve, but what do we know about it? I didn’t know anything about it, so this was interesting to me. It was written in 1788 by poet Robert Burns. It was set to a traditional Scottish folk melody and Auld Lang Syne literally means “old long since”. I never even knew that there were so many verses! Here they are, if you’re interested, and if not, just skip to the next celebration!|
- Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o’ auld lang syne.
Chorus: And for auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne,
2. And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
3. We twa hae run about the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.
4. We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
Frae mornin’ sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.
5. And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.
|* Scottish music is often associated with just bagpipes, but not all music is bagpipes. There are several popular artists who come from Scotland, including Britain’s Got Talent Susan Boyle, Scottish/North Irish band Snow Patrol, and rock band Big Country. This is just a few. I’ve never heard of them, but that doesn’t actually surprise me (well except for Susan Boyle) I don’t keep up on the new or popular bands for the most part since my kids have grown up and moved out.|
* English is still the main language spoken in Scotland, but there more than 150 other languages spoken, including the ancient Celtic language of Gaelic. A study done in 2011 showed that 80% of the Scottish population was “aware of Gaelic being used in Scotland, with the highest awareness of Gaelic usage in the media, in education, and in transportation signage.
There you go – your Scottish education for the day – or at least a skimming of the surface.
Teflon Day – In 1938, Roy Plunkett was fiddling around in his lab and accidentally discovered polytetrafluoroethylene, soon to be known as Teflon. (Nice accident, right?) It was a slippery substance that would have practical applications in everything from nonstick cookware to a presidential nickname. Plunkett was a chemist at DuPont’s Jackson research lab in New Jersey, and made his discovery in the time honored scientific way – as the result of a mistake with an assistant’s help. Plunkett and his assistant, Jack Rebok, were testing the chemical reactions of tetrafluoroethylene, as gas used in refrigeration. The gas was in some pressurized canisters, one of which failed to discharge properly when its valve was opened. When Rebok picked up the canister he found that it was heavier than an empty canister should be. He suggested cutting it open to figure out what happened and in spite of the risk of blowing the lab up, Plunkett agreed. It was heavy because the gas hadn’t escaped, it had solidified into a smooth, slippery white powder as a result of the molecules bonding together, a process known as polymerization. This new polymer was different that other similar solids like graphite. It was lubricated better and very heat-resistant. Plunkett put aside his other work and began testing the possibilities of this new substance and eventually it was patented and in 1944 was registered under the trade name Teflon. At first it was used for military and industrial use, but it became a household name in the early 1960s when it was used to produce the most effective, heat resistant cookware seen. As an interesting side note, in the 1980s President Reagan was nicknamed the Teflon President, a reference to his “infuriating” ability to avoid being tarnished by the various scandals plaguing his administration (insert irritation that the media and the left haven’t changed, they’ve just gotten worse – the BEST president our nation has seen in modern times didn’t do anything wrong so he couldn’t be tarnished, so he’s given a snarky nickname. Nice, real nice.) Teflon is seen nearly everywhere today, coating metals and fabrics, from the aerospace industry, to clothing, to pharmaceuticals. Talk about a HAPPY accident! DuPont has been chuckling all the way to the bank ever since! Because of his discovery, Plunkett, who retired from DuPont in 1975, was enshrined in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
This Day in History –
1909 – Explorers Matthew A. Henson and Robert E. Perry are the first to reach the North Pole.
1896 – The first modern Olympic games opens in Athens, Greece
1930 – Twinkies hit the market. The first Twinkies were banana-filled
Food Celebration of the Day –
International Carbonara Day – One of the things I miss now that I’ve switched to low carb is pasta. There are things that can be substituted that resemble pasta, like zucchini noodles (or zoodles) because of their shape, but let’s be serious, they aren’t pasta. I’ve even had eggs that were made into a noodle shaped string, but seriously, when it came down to eating them, they were still eggs. The healthy payoff is worth it though, so here is an option – zucchini carbonara. I am thinking of picking up the ingredients tonight to give it a try.
National Caramel Popcorn Day – This just brings up happy memories of childhood, doesn’t it? Caramel and popcorn go together as easily and wonderfully as chocolate and peanut butter do! It is such a great combination that you can find it sold in popcorn tins and specialty shops pretty much anywhere you go. The way to celebrate this one is either buy, or make, caramel corn! It’s not really difficult. Here’s an easy recipe to get you started!
New Beers Eve Day – This day is an unofficial holiday in the United States, celebrating the end of Prohibition on April 6th. The end of Prohibition happened as a result of the Cullen-Harrison Act, and its signing into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 23, 1933. Sales of beer in the United States would become legal on April 7, 1933, provided that the state in question had enacted its own law allowing such sales. The beer had to have an alcohol content of less than 3.2% because this amount was considered too low to produce significant intoxication. On the evening of April 6th, people lined up outside of breweries and taverns, waiting for midnight when they would be able to legally buy beer for the first time in over 13 years! Since then, the night of April 6th has been referred to as New Beer’s Eve! Cheers!
I already can’t wait for this day to be over and it hasn’t even really started yet. Yesterday was stressful and today will likely be too. I am so glad it’s Friday, even if we do have a storm coming in. God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.
Celebration lists and information are sourced from the following websites: