Three Days of Celebrations . . . Because I Took A Couple Days Off!

Feb 26th

I took a bit of a break for a couple of days, and I’ll catch you up with what you missed, but I just couldn’t focus on writing this weekend.  Our 11th anniversary was Saturday so we spent a portion of the day in town on a date! We had a complete food splurge day which was awesome – I suffered a little bit Sunday for it, but it was worth it.  Other than some laundry and a couple of simple meals, Sunday was a relaxed day, and Monday is back to work!  I may post this on Sunday night, just because I haven’t put anything up for a couple of days.

 

 

Verse of the Day

February 24, 2018

 We love because [God] first loved us.

1 John 4:19


Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

It’s all very simple. God is love. He is love’s origin, example, and architect. I love because he loved me first. I know how to love because he has demonstrated it. I can love because he made me in his likeness and to share his character. He is the fountain, the motivation, and the pinnacle of love. I love because he does, first, last, and always.

February 25, 2018

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 22:37-39

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Some things are just not very complicated. Living for Jesus can be boiled down to two principles: love God with everything I am and have and love others and treat them like I would like to be treated. Not too hard to understand. I guess it’s the living it that is the challenge!

February 26, 2018

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Love is an action. The Bible stresses this truth again and again. Love must not only be spoken, it must also be shown. The beginning of love is God. He showed his love in the most sacrificial of ways so we could know our incredible value to him. The price of our adoption was the emptying of heaven of its greatest treasure, God the Son, who is our Savior.

www.verseoftheday.com

 

Food for Thought

The heart wants what it wants and sometimes accepting change hurts.  We were supposed to get away for the weekend for our anniversary and to see Miss B and Big Brother E (and of course my son and daughter-in-law).  I spent a great part of the winter season hoping and praying for snow, but this weekend I really didn’t want it, since to get to where we needed to be there are two separate mountain passes that would need to be crossed. There was a storm rolling in, and was supposed to be messing up the passes pretty badly for the entire time we were to be gone, so we canceled. Oh boy, that hurt. I admit that I did cry.  Saturday night was a night of very little sleep, as the wind had kicked up pretty good and quite honestly, I found myself tightening up with the expectation of something coming through the roof. I woke up with a headache and miserable, which resulted in a day of rest instead of a day in the kitchen baking delicious, healthy goodies. The bottom line is that my Mom would have been house sitting, and she would have been uncomfortable and possibly afraid here on her own.  As disappointed as I was to not go on our trip, the end result was the best for everyone, and we have rescheduled our trip for a not-so-distant date in the future. God gives us instincts for a reason, and in this case He gave Hubby the necessary ones to make a difficult decision that I would have been unable to easily make on my own.  I guess that’s why we balance each other out so nicely.  Sometimes it’s a good idea to just roll with the changes and know that there is truly a reason for everything.

 

Saturday – February 24

Forget Me Not Day – This one is so simple, and so sweet. It is a day intended to remind people to get in touch with family, friends and loved ones – especially those who you haven’t seen in awhile.  Nobody wants to be forgotten, so let’s do our best not to forget others. 

 

International Sword Swallowers Day – I admit that this one really gives me the shivers.  The last Saturday in February is set aside to celebrate sword swallowers, and their, um unique choice of feat to perform.  You can find them at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Oddortiums around the world giving demonstrations . . . I’ll pass thanks. *shiver* This celebration was founded by the Sword Swallower’s Association International and co-sponsored by Ripley’s, to raise awareness of their art and in furthering the continuance of their specialized craft.  According to what I’ve been reading, they’ve actually helped the medical community, but I’m not finding many details as to how that might be.  This extreme craft started more than 4000 years ago in India, where performers showed off their power and invincibility, and appeased their gods.  There are still tribes in India who practice the art of sword swallowing, passing it from father to son.  Over time it moved from India, to Rome, Greece and China.  When it eventually came to Japan it was extremely popular, and considered to be an acrobatic entertainment, along with jugglers, magicians and other such performers.  The groups came to be known as Sangaku.  Traveling through Japan, performing on the streets, sword swallowers could be seen with a variety of other performers, like jugglers and contortionists.  They would show up at festivals, wowing the crowds with their unique abilities.  By the time sword swallowing came to Europe, the Holy Inquisition was also coming.  Performing groups with people like magicians and other entertainers were often persecuted as heretics and performers of the dark arts.  They were often found guilty of heresy and executed.  Among the common people, these groups were very loved and appreciated.  When the 17th century was behind everyone, street performers could wander freely and became common sights across Europe.  The art of sword swallowing started to lose interest for people in the late 1800’s though, especially when Sweden outlawed variety shows in 1893.  They were trying to bring in more genteel entertainment.  My question has always been, how are the people doing the sword swallowing NOT getting hurt?  And how many die learning?  From what I just read on an FAQ site about the topic, it takes many years to learn proper placement of the sword, how to repress the gag reflex, and carefully inserting and removing the sword to avoid slicing open any portion of the body on the way in or out.  I nearly felt like gagging while I was reading it.  NOT something I would ever care to try, or for that matter, watch.

 

Open That Bottle Night – This is not an official holiday . . . at least it’s not YET.  For wine lovers though it is a reason to open that special bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion.  We all own that one bottle, waiting for a day that never seems to come.  In February of 2000 Dororthy Gaiter and John Brecher started “Open That Bottle Night” so they would have a night for people to have a real reason to open that special bottle and wait not a moment longer.    And here’s where I tell about what I think was a bad joke – but it really happened.  My ex-in-laws were saving a special bottle of champagne for when they won the lottery.  Truth be told it was a very cheap bottle of sparkling wine that likely didn’t cost them more than $5.00, but their whole thought process was that they’d stay positive, play the same numbers week after week, and eventually they’d win and open that bottle.  One day my ex-father-in-law came bursting in the door, shouting and laughing, grabbed that bottle and some glasses, popped the cork, poured a glass and handed it to my ex-mother-in-law.  She jumped to the same conclusion the rest of us did – they’d WON, they’d WON!  Yeah, they won alright.  They won $100 in a scratch off.  He’d gotten tired of waiting and just wanted to open that bottle.  Too bad this wasn’t a holiday back then! May have saved him the fight of his adult life.  Anyway, I need to look in our wine cabinet to see what’s there. I know there’s at least one I’ve been wanting to enjoy with my hubby.  Maybe there’s one in yours too?

 

World Bartender Day – Everyone seems to have a day to appreciate a special group of people or animals.  There’s a day for Teachers, Secretaries, Bosses, Nurses and even Squirrels!  It stands to reason that Bartenders should have their own day as well.  As the mother of a bartender, and a doggone great one at that, I know that they work long hours, on their feet the whole time, running themselves ragged for what sometimes amounts to very little in the tips department, and their customers can often get surly or out of control.  They have to be aware of how much every single person has had to drink, and know when to cut them off by watching how they behave.  They do all of this with a smile on their faces, patience, humor, just enough sarcasm and caustic wit to keep people coming back for more, and when the day is over, they clean up the messes left behind and drag their tired selves home to start over the next day.  It can be a fun job, but it is an exhausting one. I ran across an interesting survey taken about the tipping habits of Americans in bars, and here is what was found: 

  • A vast majority of Americans — 76 percent to be exact — think a bartender is more important than the décor of a bar.
  • Seventy-four percent of respondents who visit bars tip a bartender more than 15 percent.  And 74 percent also believe that the better they tip, the better service they will receive.
  • Respondents in the South are the most generous tippers, with 57 percent of those who visit a bar tipping a bartender 20 percent or more.
  • Sixty-three percent of female respondents who visit a bar find people who leave good tips for bartenders more appealing, while 60 percent of men find the same.
  • Forty-four percent of respondents who visit bars agree that they would never go out on another date with a person if they did not tip the bartender.  Broken down by gender, women lead the pack, with 51 percent saying they would not go on another date, with only 37 percent of men feeling the same way.
  • Men who visit bars are more likely than women to leave large tips of more than 20 percent.
  • Of all respondents who visit bars, people between the ages of 21-34 tip the highest with 61 percent tipping 16 percent or more, compared to only 47 percent of respondents over 45 years of age.

Bottom line, be kind to your bartender – heck, be kind to all wait staff!  They work hard for very little return and honestly, it’s up to them whether or not your dining experience is a good one, or not so good.

 

 

Sunday – February 25

Pistol Patent Day – Well, hm, this one could be a difficult one to celebrate . . . unless you have a new design for a pistol that you need to get a patent for today!  Not that I wouldn’t LOVE to have the knowledge to come up with something awesome, but I don’t.  And since most of us won’t, we can just appreciate that this is the day Samuel Colt patented his six shot revolver in 1836. “God made man, Samuel Colt made them equal.” This is believed to be one of the original advertising quotes from Colt Manufacturing.  (Thanks Hubby!)  I like it!

 

 

Monday – February 26

Carnival Day – Is there anything more exciting to a kid than a carnival?  I remember when I was little, a rickety carnival would come to town once in the early summer, and my poor Mom would take such pains to make sure that we didn’t see the rides, because she knew if we saw the rides (let me correct that, if I saw the rides – my brother was too little to know what they were), the begging and pleading would commence.  We didn’t have extra cash flow for that sort of thing, so when we got to stop for a ride on the Merry-Go-Round, it was a special treat.  I remember when I was about 7 years old I was with my Grandma H when we passed the carnival.  I didn’t even need to beg!  She asked me if I wanted to go on the rides and of course I said yes!  It was amazing!  She took me on all the rides I wanted to go on, til I was nearly dizzy from excitement.  She went on them with me, laughing her special laugh (all of our family members can hear her laugh just by thinking about it), the whole time.  She got me a corn dog, cotton candy and popcorn.  It’s a wonder I didn’t get really sick.  The best thing about the entire day?  She took me on a helicopter ride!  There’s not a chance on this planet my Mom would have been willing or able to do this, but Grandma took me up on the ride, and the pilot flew us over our house, and all over the town.  I don’t have any idea how long the ride was, but I remember pressing my face up to the glass, shocked by how many swimming pools were in our town!  Who knew???  I lived by a lake, so the thought of having a pool was pretty foreign to me.  I know that this small town carnival doesn’t compare to some of the big ones that I’ve seen since then – usually connected to a big fair, but that was the most special Grandma and Me outing that I can remember with her.  We spent quite a bit of time together after my Grandfather passed away, but that one time was the most special to me.  It was just the two of us, and for once I didn’t have to share her with anyone.  There are all sorts of carnivals, so we shouldn’t limit our thoughts to just the commercial ones.  There are the BIG tent circus type carnivals which people flock to watch death defying acts, clowns, big animals and a huge show, and there are the small town carnivals that often start with a parade, followed by fun on the rides and playing games at the booths and eating a lot of food that is really bad for us, but tastes SO good! There are carnivals in the winter and the summer, carnivals put on by schools and churches, for charities and fund raisers.  They are all fun for what they are, so maybe find a carnival near you today, and enjoy!  We all need a little distraction as winter comes to an end, and this would be a good one.

 

For Pete’s Sake Day – I say this . . . my Dad has said it my whole life, so I’m sure that’s where I got it, but I’ve often wondered, WHO is Pete and why, oh why, do I feel compelled to say things for his sake? It’s an awesome question, right?  Well, not sure I can answer it with any degree of certainty, but I’ll do what I can. For starters, this celebration was registered and trademarked by the folks at www.wellcat.comI want to give credit where it is due, and acknowledge them for it.  Now, as to why “For Pete’s Sake” came about . . . This was a phrase commonly used in place of something the more offensive phrase, “for God’s sake”, or “for Christ’s sake”, and was often said when someone was surprised, annoyed, frustrated or irritated.   As to who Pete is, well, some believe that Pete refers to the Apostle Peter, and others think it was an evolution from other, older phrases, such as “for the love of Mike”, or “for pity’s sake”.  Nobody seems to really know, but I found it to be interesting as I was searching, that there are a LOT of famous phrases and idioms from long ago days that were often used in daily conversation.  Some still are!  Here are some that you may find to be interesting, from a list I found on the topic:

Honest to Pete * Heavens to Betsy * A Doubting Thomas * Cup of Joe * Peter Out * Moaning Minnie * Debbie Downer *  Johnny on the Spot * Jack of All Trades * Charlie Horse * Round Robin * The Bee’s Knees * The Cat’s Meow * Cat Got Your Tongue * It’s Raining Cats and Dogs * Barking Mad * Something to Crow About * Bats in the Belfry * A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush * For the Birds * As Cute as a Bug’s Ear * Snug as a Bug in a Rug * Chew the Cud * ‘Till the Cows Come Home * Stubborn as a Mule * When Pigs Fly * In a Pig’s Eye * Pig in a Poke * Straight From the Horse’s Mouth * To Hell In A Hand Basket * Shake a Leg * A Foot in the Door * Put Your Best Foot Forward * Goody Two-Shoes * Chip on Your Shoulder * Play it by Ear *  Wet Behind the Ears * Red-Handed * By the Skin of Your Teeth * Short End of the Stick * A Sticky Wicket * No Rest for the Wicked * Your Name is Mud * Cool as a Cucumber * As Keen as Mustard * Spill the Beans * A Penny for Your Thoughts * A Watched Pot Never Boils * Get Your Dander Up * Lose Your Marbles * Bite the Dust * Hit the Hay . . .

I’m sure I could have listed more, but that’s a LOT and many are so familiar to me! How about you? 

 

 

Levi Strauss Day – Levi Strauss changed the way that the world thinks of jeans . . . so on this day we celebrate his birth.  He was born in Buttenheim, Bavaria (which is now Germany) in 1829.  He moved to New York in 1846, where his brothers owned a dry goods business.  He moved again in 1853, to San Francisco, CA, and opened his own dry goods business, calling it Levi Strauss & Co.  Years later, he and a business partner invented a new kind of work pants that were held together at the pockets by metal rivets.  Gold miners loved the durability of these innovative pants, which were called “waist overalls” at that time.  Funny name!  Now we call them “blue jeans”, and they have remained popular since Strauss invented them in 1873.  This may sound silly, but I’ve never owned a real pair of Levi’s.  When I was skinny enough to wear them, I couldn’t afford them (yes, the good ones were too spendy when I was growing up), and now, well, now I’d just look ridiculously wide in a pair of them.  My ultimate goal, in the sense of clothing I’d like to someday be able to wear, would be to get into a pair of reasonably sized Levi’s shrink to fit jeans.  I have always really wanted a pair, and doggone it, someday I will fit into some!   

 

Tell a Fairy Tale Day – When I was a kid, and learned to read, it opened up an entirely new world to me.  Since the first hesitantly sounded out words, I was in love with the written word, and with the amazing lands that opened up from the words on that page.  Some of my favorites were Fairy Tales!  And of course they would be!  Fairy Tales are filled with fantasy, color, heroes, and princesses.  Most of them start out with Once Upon A Time, and end with And They Lived Happily Ever After . . . though that isn’t a requirement . . . well, the Once Upon a Time isn’t a requirement, but they all need a happy ending.  Today is a great day to cozy up under a blanket with the kids or grand kids, and read the classic Fairy Tales that colored our worlds when we were growing up.  What a wonderful celebration!

 

This Day in History –

Feb. 25, 1836 – Samuel Colt patents the revolver.

Feb. 26, 1993 – A bomb explodes at the World Trade Center killing 6 people.

 

 

Food Celebration of the Day –

Saturday – February 24

National Tortilla Chip DayTortilla and crunchy tortilla chips go well with everything, and truly that means everything.  Just a few decades ago Americans seldom ate Corn Chips and Salsa. Its popularity has grown immensely. Today is a tribute to that rising popularity of one of America’s favorite munchies.     Did you know? The corn chip recipe was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by Texas businessman Elmer Doolin.   Celebrate today with a handful (or a bowl full) of tasty tortilla chips and your favorite salsa or dip.   Here are some recipes from www.food.com to give you extra tasty ideas for your celebration today.   If you are going to go low-carb and still want to celebrate this one – which we did not – there are some pretty tasty sounding recipes out there at the end of a quick Bing search!

Homemade Tortilla Chips (Baked!)

Chocolate Tortilla Torte

Hot Corn Dip With Crispy Tortilla Chips

5-Layer Mexican Dip

Migas

Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips

Tortilla Soup

 

 

Sunday – February 25

Clam Chowder Day – We just had this celebration not that long ago, and here it is again! I guess those in the food world LOVE Clam Chowder enough to have it again so soon!  As I posted last time, this one is fairly easy to make low-carb by simply replacing the potato with a combination of Rutabaga, Turnips and Celeriac Root! Yum!

 

 

National Chocolate Covered Nuts DayWhether you’re a Snickers fan or prefer the old-fashioned candy store clusters, there are recipes here to satisfy a craving for chocolate peanut yumminess.  Thank you www.food.com for these ideas! 

Chocolate Peanut Clusters

Cherry-Banana Snickers Bar Salad

Copycat Baby Ruth Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

Sinful Snickers Cheesecake

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Truffles

 

 

Monday – February 26

Bacon Day – Bacon lovers are so fortunate to have several bacon related celebrations throughout the year . . . and today is ONE of them!  For those who may not know . . . and the numbers of people who don’t are few and far between, bacon is the back and sides of the hog, salted and dried or smoked, usually sliced thin and fried to eat.  We’ve loved bacon for a very long time, but in recent years it has gained an almost cult status.  There are even bacon festivals popping up all across the United States, with the most well known being the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines, Iowa.  Their 2013 event sold out 8,000 tickets in just three minutes! Wow!

  

Pistachio DayWhat a nutty day!  OK, bad pun. Pistachios are delicious so it will be an easy one to celebrate, but we can not just enjoy eating them, but perhaps learning something about them!  Here are a few Pistachio facts that I ran across:

  • Pistachios grow on trees. They are native to the Middle East.
  • It’s a long wait to get the first nut. A pistachio tree takes 7-10 years to mature.
  • California is the major producer in the U.S.
  • Pistachios are harvested in September by machines that shake the trees. It takes less than a minute for them to be shaken off. WOW!
  • The red dye is added to the nuts is only due to consumer demand for the color. (I don’t personally like red pistachios)
  • Its open hull is unique. The nut is ripe when the hull splits open.
  • People in the Middle East call it the “smiling nut” and in China its called the “happy nut”.
  • Pistachios are nutritious, so eat them up!

They are great plain as a snack, in ice cream, and in a wide range of desserts.  Myth holds that it’s good luck to hear pistachio shells cracking. So get cracking and boost your fortune with these yummy dishes. And just like the clam chowder, for some reason this one is a duplicate. You can easily replace any nut in cookies, scones or muffins with pistachios, change the flavor profile and have a delicious treat!

Cranberry-Pistachio Scones

Pistachio Cheese Wafers

Watergate Salad

Chocolate & Pistachio Whiligig Buns

Pistachio-Nut Bundt Cake

Pistachio-Crusted Pork Chops

 

I’m going to fix a quick dinner and get things ready for the work week.  It’s been an emotional weekend, though good one when it comes down to it, and I’m very ready for an early night to bed. God bless you and I’ll see you on Tuesday.

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

 

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