Today is a Good Day for Food on a Stick! Corn Dogs Anyone?

It’s a grey day, and slightly chilly, but a nice day to be off work I suppose.  There is a lot to do here, cleaning up to get ready for family to visit this weekend. With the kitchen pipes being messed up this week and hubby working on them, I have a lot of dish washing to do to catch up with things.  Laundry too.  It’s a little overwhelming to be this far behind, but it is what it is.  It could be worse, right? I could be without running water.


Verse of the Day

March 28, 2018

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men — the testimony given in its proper time.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

We do not need to have another human, no matter how mighty, pious, or special, to intercede for us before God. As his children, we can go freely, knowing that God himself has provided the perfect mediator between himself and us. That mediator, alone, is head of the Church and Chief Priest before God on our behalf. His name is Christ Jesus, and he is our Lord, Savior and brother.




Food for Thought

This week has been challenging for me.  I tend to lost my mind a little if the kitchen isn’t straightened up, and with the pipes having issues I haven’t been able to run the dishwasher, run water in the kitchen sink, or do laundry. What do I usually do every Wednesday? Clean the house! I will be filling dish pans full of soap water in one, rinse water in the other and hand washing everything that is sitting in the dishwasher. We are set up to wash small amounts of laundry in the tub, like my Grandma used to do, but I have blankets and towels to do, so later I’ll be loading up the car and heading to the laundromat. This has gotten me to thinking about how our forefathers and mothers did things.  They had to haul water from the well or the stream, heat it up, scrub clothes with lye soap, wring them all out and hang them to dry.  It was backbreaking, hot labor and Grandma did this several times a week.  Same for washing dishes.  Dealing with this right now, I know is temporary, but having the ability to revert back to the way it was done by those who have gone before us is not a bad thing.  It’s not a great deal of fun.  It is definitely inconvenient.  After all of that though, it’s good to know how to do things in multiple ways.


Barnum and Bailey Day – I am sure that most of us have heard of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, and many of us have been to one in our lifetimes.  What I didn’t know what how much colorful history went into the creation of The Greatest Show On Earth! Some of it gets a bit twisted up and confusing, but I’m going to try to make sense of it.  In 1871 P.T. Barnum created his “Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome” with William Cameron Coup, featuring all sorts of oddities such as a supposedly mummified mermaid.  In 1875 James Anthony Bailey started his circus.  In 1881 they combined them to form “Barnum & Bailey Circus”.  John Nicholas Ringling started Ringling Brothers Circus in 1884.  Sadly, in 1891 P.T. Barnum passed away, but it allowed James Anthony Bailey the opportunity to buy Barnum’s circus from his widow.  Not too many years later in 1906, James Bailey died, and The Ringling Brothers Circus bought the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Eventually John Ringling North merged the two into the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus.  He ceded control to his cousin Robert in 1943, but in 1944 under the supervision of Robert, there was a tragic event – the Hartford Circus Fire.  On July 6, 1944 in Harford, Connecticut the circus was putting on an afternoon performance that was attended by a crowd of 7,500 to 8,700 people.  It was one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States.  In desperation, Emmett Kelly, the tramp clown, threw a bucket of water on the burning canvas tent in a futile effort to put the fire out.  Sadly, more than 150 people were killed, and hundreds more were injured.  The sad irony of this whole tragedy was that the performance was under a canvas tent, so the crown could have just ducked to safety out under the sidewalls.  To this day, some of the dead remain unidentified, even with modern DNA techniques. The investigation turned up that the tent had not been fireproofed. Ringling Bros.’ had applied to the army for fireproofing liquid to treat the Big Top.  The Army refused to release it to them, so the circus had waterproofed their canvas instead with an older method of dissolving paraffin wax in gasoline and painting it onto the canvas.  The waterproofing worked, but it was horribly flammable.  Management was found to be negligent and several Ringling executives served time in jail.  They set aside all profits for the next ten years to pay for the claims filed against them by the City of Hartford and the survivors of the fire.  That same year John Ringling North took BACK control from his cousin Robert.  Good call!  In 1967 the circus changed hands again when it was purchased by Irvin Feld and Roy Hofheinz.  They created a two unit show – the Red Unit and the Blue Unit. In 1981 the whole thing was sold to Mattel, but Irvin Feld bought it all back from them in 1982.  In 2015 the show is still going strong, but they have just announced their intention to remove elephants from its circus by 2018.  I remember going to the circus when I was really small, and I think I got to ride on an elephant . . . or a camel.  I was quite young, so I’m not sure.  I do know it was fun though!  I understand the reasons for not having elephants – or even other wild animals – in the circus, but part of me feels a sense of loss over the whole thing, since nostalgically speaking, that was all part of the magic.


Dyngus Day – All I can say to this one is “WOW!” I had never heard of it until a couple of years ago and honestly, I don’t think it makes any logical sense as a holiday of any kind for anybody!  Dyngus Day is a Polish Holiday and popular in Poland and Polish communities in America.  After the long time of Lent, Dyngus Day is intended to be a day of fun – and this is considered to be romantic fun. (To this I observe that this all depends on your idea of romance).  On this day guys are supposed to get the ladies wet – by whatever means necessary – squirt gun, bucket, hose, or other containers of water.  Some particularly adventurous boys have been known to use cologne (to which I say BLECH!).  Gently hitting the ladies on the legs with switches or pussy willows is also common.  The ladies get a chance at their revenge the next day when they get to throw dishes or crockery at the guys.  Seriously, this could get dangerous – so guys who may wish to celebrate this?  Pick your lady carefully or you may end up flat on your back with a high heel at your throat.  And ladies? Seriously? Throwing your dishes could get doggone expensive.  Whatever happened to just giving and receiving flowers?


Weed Appreciation Day – How many of you work like crazy to kill all the weeds in your yard, leaving only well manicured grass and specific shrubs and flowers?  I’m not one of those people . . . not because I don’t appreciate a beautiful yard, I do! For one thing, I don’t care for yard work, and for another, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the mixture of whatever green, mossy, weedy stuff that substitutes for a lawn.  It’s green, I mow it, its all good!  I remember my Grandfather working himself silly digging up dandelions and doing everything he could to get them out of his yard.  Truth be told, dandelions are awesome plants!  Not only are they some cheap, fun entertainment – don’t tell me you’ve never blown the fluff off of a dandelion, because I don’t think I’d believe you.  My dog Tibbi used to pounce on “puff balls” when she was little, getting the little bits of fluff stuck on her nose.  So cute! I only saw Moose grab one last year and the expression of surprise on his face when the bit stuck to his nose was pretty cute.  He spit them out of his mouth so quickly that I couldn’t get a picture, but it did make me laugh. Dandelions are also the first flowers most kids bring in a tightly packed bouquet to their mothers – which is utterly darling!  Dandelions are so much more than weeds or toys though, they are nutrition rich plants that can be used completely, from roots to petals.   The leaves can be eaten in a garden salad, blooms too.  The roots and stems can be made into a tea that is very good for you, and from everything I’ve read can help support the system that is fighting cancer, and help prevent cancer!  Why would we get rid of this lovely plant after finding THAT out?  I have 2 boxes of dandelion tea in my cupboard, and quite honestly would consider using the ones in the yard, but I do have dogs and well . . . we won’t go into details, but some things are just a little yucky.  There are many plants that are considered to be weeds that are edible or medicinal (or both) in nature and we should learn to appreciate them, using them to their fullest potential.  There is a really interesting book out there called “Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants” by Bradford Angier that identifies more than 100 edible wild foods that grow free in the United States and Canada.  The book has detailed information on specific plants, descriptions, where they grow, what parts are edible, etc.  There are pictures of each plant to help with identification.  I know I’m focusing on the dandelion- because it is the most widely known weed – but here is a quote from the book that is an example of what we are poisoning, digging out and killing with all of our energy.  “”The dandelion, which has saved peoples from starvation, is a three-tiered food…” and “Raw dandelion greens…have an abundant 14,000 international units of Vitamin A per 100 grams, plus .19 milligrams of thiamine, .26 mg. riboflavin, and 35 mg of the vital ascorbic acid.” “This same portion of edible greens is further enriched with 198 milligrams of calcium, 76 mg. of sodium and 397 mg. of potassium.”   Plants with these amazing qualities should be allowed to grow anywhere, right?  Another great yard plant that people hate to see there, are the white blooms of clover!  Clover leaves, roots, stems and flowers are all edible.  That book stated that bread made from the seed filled dried blossoms have nourished entire groups of people during famines.  There are hundreds of little plants that will find their way into lawns, with seeds that birds love to eat.  Somehow, after reading about this, a well manicured lawn doesn’t sound as good to me as a nutrition rich backyard of beneficial weeds.  Think about what wonderful benefits different creatures get from “weeds”.  Dandelions attract ladybugs.  Milkweed is food for the caterpillars of the Monarch butterfly.  Cardinals love plantain seeds, quail enjoy sea purslane.  Mourning doves eat lamb’s quarter seeds, while finches feast on shepherd’s purse seeds.  Bees make wonderful honey from clover.  The list could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point.  Something else to think about, while people are working so hard on having the perfect lawn, what is the cost truly?  How many herbicides have polluted our ground water?  Or how many birds have been poisoned, or Monarch butterflies have been killed?  Where have the bees gone?  Some people point fingers at big companies, or different industries such as logging, or governments for various pollution for the problems in our environment.  I have to wonder though, for every gallon of poison in every yard on your street, how much toxic waste is built up in the soil and has drained into the water table?  Appreciate your weeds today, find out what good they can do for you, and maybe figure out a way to beautify your yard using what grows naturally there, rather than trying to kill it.  In the meantime HUG A WEED!


Whole Grain Sampling Day – In the interest of good health and making our food choices count each day, today we celebrate adding whole grains to our diets.  This one was organized by Boston-based, non-profit Oldways, and the Whole Grains Council.  Today we have the fourth annual, nationwide Whole Grains Sampling Day.  The goal is to nudge us along to make at least half of the daily grains servings to be whole grain choices like whole wheat bread and pasta, oats, barley and popcorn.  According to the Journal of Nutrition, whole grains may help lower our risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even better manage our weight. I thought it was interesting that researchers don’t exactly know what it is in whole grains that give them this ability, but it is most likely a combination of its healthy components such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals working together to give us the health benefits that they do.  Many restaurants and food companies are starting to feature whole grains, and have these nutritious options on their menus, such as:  California Pizza Kitchen serving whole wheat pizza crust, whole wheat pita and quinoa-arugula salad; Bon Me Food Trucks have their whole grain Vietnamese rice bowls with brown rice and soba noodle salads (that sounds delicious!); Clover Restaurants and Food Trucks have their whole grain soups, salads and pita bread; Dunkin’ Donuts always has whole grain and multigrain bagels as a healthier option for breakfast.  What will YOU have today that will give you a healthy serving of whole grains?


This Day in History

1797 – Nathaniel Briggs patents the washing machine.

1939 – The city of Madrid falls to the forces of Francisco Franco, ending the Spanish Civil War.

1979 – Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident occurs in Middletown, PA.


Food Celebration of the Day

Black Forest Cake – This cake takes its name from Germany’s Black Forest region, where the cake’s signature Kirsch (a type of fruit brandy) is produced from tart cherries.  Typically it has several layers of chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherries between each layer.  In some European traditions sour cherries are used both between the layers and for on top.  I don’t know how that would be! I’ve only ever had it with sweet cherries, but it might be a nice contrast to the sweet cake and the sweet cream. Hmmmm . . .



Something on a Stick Day – celebrates things on a stick. Food on a stick is awesome, don’t you think?  You can pretty much figure out how to put just about any food on a stick. So, what sorts of food come on a stick?  I have a cookbook that is ALL food on a stick – haven’t used it yet, but one day I will.  Let’s see – the obvious ones come to mind . . . popsicles, Corn Dogs, Thai Chicken Satay and kabobs.  You can get appetizers like cheese and meat, or fruit, on sticks, and lately cake pops on sticks are extremely popular!  You can get pretty much anything you eat at a fair on a stick.  Celebrate this day by serving something on a stick! It makes food fun!

I need to run – between starting this post today and right now there has been a schedule change, so I need to get ready to get out the door.  Have a wonderful Wednesday! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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