Weekends, Coffee, Pumpkin Baking in the Oven – All Wonderful Ways to Celebrate at Home

Oct 27th

Happy Weekend to everyone! I am a happy gal today.  We are putting the house back together after the carpet went in – well, Hubby is doing the heavy lifting – I have pumpkins in the oven baking, so I can get it pureed, and in the freezer, ready for pies, breads and cakes (YUM), and we are watching Hallmark Christmas movies – yes, I said it. Christmas movies. Hallmark’s countdown to Christmas, which started yesterday, is one of my favorite things EVER! I don’t care how sappy sweet the movies are, I love them all. Well, except the sad ones. I skip those. Who needs sad movies at Christmas??? Not me!

 

Verse of the Day

October 27, 2018

The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

How often do you let God do major surgery on your spirit as his Spirit uses the Word to encourage, judge, motivate, convict, instruct, and inspire? With such a great tool so readily at hand for most of us, let’s not let a day go by that we don’t let God use his word on hearts.

 

October 28, 2018

All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.

1 Peter 1:24-25

 

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

As the seasons change, the leaves fall, and the grass dies, we are reminded once again of how short our lives are. Despite the rapid advancements of technology, our deepest needs are addressed only by the eternal and proven will of God in Scripture. Whether you get your Scripture from the Bible on your mobile device or from an old family Bible, access it today. Don’t you need a dose of the eternal today?

www.verseoftheday.com

Food for Thought

There is something about clearing out the main part of the house to show you how shifty and underhanded dust and dirt are! I’d like to say I will tear the house apart every time I clean to get to the stuff hiding in the nooks and crannies, but I know that’s a lie so I won’t even write it, much less say it.

 

 

October 27 –

Black Cat DayBlack cats are so elegant, aren’t they? They are sleek and shiny, prowl around hunting for prey – or in the case of OUR black kitty – bugs that have flown into the house. She’s quite the bug hunter when she wants to be. It is very sad that black cats and kittens are overlooked when people go to animal shelters looking for a new pet.  I figured that it was at least partially due to superstition, but the history is really quite interesting.  Cats in ancient Egypt were highly revered, partly because they could hut and kill mice and rats.  Cats that belonged to royalty were dressed in golden jewelry and allowed to eat right off of their owners’ plates! They had a goddess of warfare name who had the head of a cat, her name was Bastet. Now that’s some cat reverence right there!  Today though, black cats are seen as bringing bad luck or for being mischievous, but nobody seems to know why! Celtic mythology had stories that fairies could take on the form of black cats, so when a black cat showed up at a house or a village, it was thought that they were bringing good luck. Sadly, the Pilgrims that came along later on in the timeline were devoutly religious and fearful of anything that was even remotely related to the ancient pagan beliefs.  Because of that, black cats went from being thought of as bringers of good luck from the fairies, to tools of demons and witches.  It became common for the Pilgrims to severely punish anyone who kept black cats as pets and to kill the animals themselves.  Today nobody believes that black cats are witches or demons, but they still seen as signs of bad luck by many people.  Now, I have a lovely black cat.  I am her special person and though she doesn’t have much time or inclination to be nice to most people, to me she is very sweet and loving. I was trying to get a picture of her with her sparkly, purple acrylic nail covers (necessary to protect the new carpet) but her paws are all tucked up under her while she sleeps on the back of the love seat.

 

Cranky Co-Workers Day – We all have an office grouch – someone who makes you just want to hide when they walk down the hall.  On this day it may be nice to bring the grouch in your life a treat that they enjoy – it may just soften them up.  A gift of this sort, in honor of their contributions to your workplace might be nice.  Often the grouch gets overlooked for special honor because nobody really wants to be around them.  What does the grouch do for your office?  Well, one thing many grouches do is to obsessively terrify everyone in the office – which builds personal character.  They also upstage distraught co-workers by upstaging their troubles with their own terrible tales.  Life is always horrible, always bad and even on the sunniest of days they manage to drag the grey clouds in to obscure happiness.  Once they drag everyone down with them, suddenly THEY look happier and if you look closely, you may even see a hint of a smile on their grumpy faces! Of course, if the office grouch is making your life miserable just because they can, ignore celebrating it and focus your attention on somebody who is actually worthy of being honored.  Resting witch (start that one with a B if you choose) face people don’t deserve a treat . . . just a personal observation. With this one being on a weekend, it makes it easier to ignore the office grouch, and now that I have a new job, I don’t HAVE an office grouch to work with! Pretty awesome, hm?

 

Make a Difference Day – It doesn’t matter who we are, we can all make a difference to the world around us.  It doesn’t even matter what activity we choose – it can be almost anything!  It can take the form of cleaning up our neighborhood, fixing up, painting or repair of the home of an elderly person who can’t do it for themselves, park clean up, or working in a soup kitchen, nursing home or shelter.  If you just cannot physical participate in such activities then donating to a worthy cause will help just as much.  We can all make a difference each day, in big and small ways, by just looking around and seeing what needs to be done.  I know that someday, when I’m gone from this world, I want to leave behind me a legacy of having helped as many people as I can, in as many ways as possible.

 

 

Navy Day – I was raised in a family with many members in the military, the most predominant branch in our family being the Navy.  My father, three uncles, one of my grandfathers, and now a cousin-in-law (is that even a real word? I doubt it, but you know what I mean) . . . all were in the Navy, serving our country with honor.  I look at pictures of my Dad in his dress whites and it fills my heart with pride and makes me a bit teary.  If you’ve never had the opportunity to watch a Navy ship come home, with the decks lined with sailors dressed in their whites, standing so tall and proud as they come home, then you have missed out and I encourage you to do so if you ever have the chance.  Even if I don’t know anyone on board, I well over with tears at the sight.  It’s amazing.  I cry whenever I see any of our military come home, but none seem to do so with the impressive presentation that the Navy does.  Living in a Navy town, I’ve had the chance to see them come home many times, and each time is as meaningful as the time before.  Many nations around the world celebrate their Navies, and they should!  Each country chooses a date that is relevant to their Navy – often the birth date.  In the United States, our Navy Day is most commonly celebrated on October 27th.  This date was chosen because it was the birthday of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was an avid supporter of the U.S. Navy.  In the 1970’s, research determined that the birthday of the U.S. Continental navy was October 13, 1775.  When this was discovered, efforts were made to move Navy Day to October 13th, but it didn’t seem to take hold, and Navy Day is still mostly recognized as October 27th!

 

Pit Bull Awareness Day – The National Pit Bull Awareness Campaign is a nationwide effort to bring positive awareness and attention to the American Pit Bull Terrier.  The heart of the whole campaign is this day – National Pit Bull Awareness Day.  To anyone who has ever had a pit bull, or known anyone with one, you will understand the need for this day, since these dogs are so terribly misunderstood and have been the focus of much negative media attention and sensationalized hype that has put them into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. An entire breed of dogs has been stereotyped and judged based on the actions of a few, and those actions have been (in my opinion) the cause of bad owners.  Any dog, no matter its breed, can be aggressive towards other animals or humans, depending on how it was raised and treated as it was growing up.  An owner who trains its dog well, and to be gentle around people and other pets, is going to end up with a loving dog who doesn’t know a stranger and is a contributing member of its family.  An owner who abuses its dog, no matter the breed, and raises it to fight other dogs and be aggressive towards people, is going to end up with a horrible bully that will end up hurting, or even killing, other animals and people.  I read once that the most aggressive and volatile breed of dog is the Standard Poodle, but because these dogs are typically groomed to look like big sissies, nobody thinks twice about them being a bully.  A Rottweiler (in my opinion, the best family dog EVER), a pit bull, a German Shepherd, and dogs like them, are painted with a bully brush because of all of the stories that go around in the media about how horrible and mean they are.  Well sure, there are dogs of these breeds that are aggressive, but take a look at their history and how they were raised and I’m sure you’ll get your answer for why that is.  I had an American Rottweiler for nearly 17 years. My Tibbi left us in January two years ago to cross the Rainbow Bridge. She was a loving, friendly, amazing part of our family.  I can say the same for a dog my daughter used to have.  Rex, bless his furry heart, also crossed the Rainbow Bridge last year, was half pit bull and half bull mastiff – a sturdy dog indeed!  Rex was one of the sweetest, most loving dogs I had ever met and the most danger I felt he’d ever posed to me or my family was getting a slap from his razor sharp, quickly wagging tail that went at an amazing speed when he saw you and was jockeying for position for pets and hugs.  Don’t judge a dog by its breed.  Judge it by its behavior and how it was raised. God created all creatures great and small, and as such, they all deserve a chance to be loved and appreciated.  We have a responsibility to be good stewards of the creatures God has put into our care, and the domesticated canine falls into this category of responsibility.  We have a job to do, raising our dogs to be loving, loyal companions, not bullying brutes.  Judge the dog by the owner, not the dog alone.      

 

October 28 –

Mother-in-Law Day – Today I speak for all mothers- in- law when I say, we have gotten a bad rap.  Well, many of us have anyway.  We are the source of many jokes and complaints and quite honestly, I don’t think most of us deserve it.  I’m sure there are a few rotten apples who have started the whole thing, and quite honestly my ex mother-in-law fit that mold exactly.   OK in all honesty she was the definition of all the horrible jokes that have ever gone around.  Now I am blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law, who is the epitome of loving and kind to me.  If you asked me to come up with something bad to say about her, I don’t know that I could come up with something!  Today, honor your Mother-In-Law, if for no other reason than she brought your spouse into this world.  I love you Mother-In-Law!  Thank you for raising my amazing husband and for accepting me into your family.

 

Plush Animal Lover’s Day – There are just some things that we never completely outgrow – especially girls, and that is our love of squishy, stuffed toys.  The whole idea of this day is simple.  Enjoy and appreciate any stuffed, plush animals we still have from when we were kids – or even new ones we have gotten as grown-ups.  Give them a little squeeze and let them know you still love them. Nothing wrong with getting enjoyment out of the simple things.

 

Reformation Sunday – Today is Reformation Sunday and I actually had to look this one up because to my recollection none of the churches I have attended over the years put any focus on it.  This is a day that is celebrated by Lutherans and many other Protestant denominations, just not by the ones I’ve attended.  So what is it?  Well, I’ll try to whittle it down to something manageable, but it’s pretty involved.  October 31st is the anniversary of the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg’s Palace church, which protested the sale of papal indulgences, in 1517.   Now for those of us who weren’t raised Catholic, at that point there was a lot of greed within the church and they were selling forgiveness for sins, to put it in the simplest of terms.  This was infuriating to Martin Luther because it was so far removed from what scripture instructed, and he took steps to bring to light that it was wrong and why. Bold move in a time when people were killed for opposing the church!  This act triggered the movement in world history that has become known as The Reformation.  The historical date for the Reformation is October 31st, most churches celebrate it on the last Sunday of the month.  The Reformation had profound and lasting impacts on the political, economic, social, literary and artistic aspects of modern society, however it was at its heart a religious movement.  It was the great rediscovery of the doctrine of justification, which is the good news of salvation of all sinners by grace alone through faith because of Christ.  For centuries the Roman Catholic Church had been plagued by false doctrines, superstition, ignorance and corruption.  Most ordinary Christians at the time were illiterate and had very little knowledge of the Bible.  They relied on their priests for religious instruction and guidance. It was tragic that monks, priests, bishops and even the Popes in Rome taught non-biblical doctrines such as purgatory and salvation through good works, rather than through Christ alone.  People who were sincerely doing their best according to what they were being taught tried to justify themselves by charitable works, pilgrimages and all kinds of religious performances to escape punishment for their sins.  The truth of the gospel, the good news that God is loving and merciful, that He offers each and every one of us forgiveness and salvation not because of what we do, but because of what Christ has already done for us, was largely forgotten at that time.  The Holy Spirit used an Augustinian Friar and university professor named Martin Luther to restore the doctrine of justification by grace alone to its rightful place as the cornerstone doctrine of Christianity.  The really sad thing is, there are still people who think that they can buy their way into heaven.  They are people who are told what to do and what to believe by their church leadership, and rather than study God’s word for themselves, they just believe what is being spouted from the pulpit and accept it for what it is.  This is a frightening thing to do.   I have actually heard people say, and they seemed to be completely sincere, that they didn’t need to do all of that “stuff” because they donated a lot of money to the church and to charities.  They pooh-pooh the thought of being “born again” as nonsense, which is so sad and so scary.  Being born again is what Christ says we must do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven – dying to our old selves, and being born again into a new life by giving our hearts to Christ.  They accept that the drops of water on their foreheads as babies gives them entrance to heaven, when it’s so far from the truth as to be frightening.  We must make that decision to give our hearts to Christ when we are old enough to understand what that means.  Our parents, grandparents and pastors cannot do it for us.  We must each do it individually.  I pray that people’s eyes and hearts are opened to the truth, and that devoted ministers such as Martin Luther continue their work to keep the truth spoken loud and clear from the pulpit.

By grace God’s Son, our only Savior, Came down to earth to bear our sin. Was it because of your own merit That Jesus died your soul to win? No, it was grace, and grace alone, That brought Him from His heav’nly throne.

 

Saint Jude’s Day – I am not Catholic, and as such I don’t know much, if anything, about honoring saints.  This one intrigues me though because St. Jude is probably the one I see most often mentioned by the world as a whole – for even in a world that is squashing down Christian principles as quickly as they can, it must appreciate the hard work and the compassion shown by those at St. Jude’s Hospital.  It seemed important for me to figure out what St. Jude was all about.  After a brief search this is what I found.  October 28th is the universal feast day of Saint Jude that is celebrated everywhere in the Latin Rite church, and is included in the Roman calendar.   Saint Jude Thaddeus is called upon second only to Saint Mary in modern day prayers throughout the calendar year – not just on Saint Jude Day.  His teachings included remaining steadfast in the faith, having fortitude, showing mercy, and praying to the Holy Spirit.  He is recognized as the patron saint of desperate cases.  In our modern society where things are moving fast and carrying a tremendous amount of stress each day, people find that they need hope and comfort, which many find by turning to praying to Saint Jude for hope and providing help in what may sometimes seem hopeless.  Though I was raised to take my troubles directly to God, I can see the appeal in this simply for the comfort it may bring.  Saint Jude is also the patron saint of hospitals.  Though hospitals are known as places of healing, they are also places of injury, pain, gore, terminal illness, surgery, therapy and death.  Even one of these, much less multiple of them, can have a debilitating effect not just on the lives of the patients and families, but on the healthcare workers.  Saint Jude is called upon for fortitude at work, and for continued faith in Jesus Christ, which can have huge impact on alleviating stress.  He is also the patron saint of desperate situations, which we can all find ourselves in sometimes.  The elderly person who needs to fill prescriptions but their insurance doesn’t cover them and they have no money, the middle aged homeowner with a spouse and kids facing foreclosure and eviction, the young wife who’s husband walks away from her in a bid to “find his happiness” leaving her to figure out where to go from here, someone dealing with addiction issues – all face desperate situations, and many turn to Saint Jude for peace.  The last thing Saint Jude is known for is being the patron saint of forgotten, impossible and lost causes.  Throughout the ages it has been known that Saint Jude encouraged people facing these situations to take their troubles to God through the Holy Spirit, and take their peace and guidance from Him.  Even not being Catholic, I can see where the peace comes from this level of faith. I ask that each of you – Catholic or not – to consider donating to Saint Jude’s hospital, and help give hope to the hopeless and those who need the boost of faith and help that can be found within its walls.

Jude 1:17 But you, my dearly beloved, be mindful of the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who told you that in the last time there should come mockers, walking according to their own desires in ungodliness’s. These are they who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit.

 

 

Visit a Cemetery Day – I know this is going to sound weird, but I really like cemeteries.  I told you it would sound weird.  I find them to be peaceful places, and the history etched on those stones is fascinating.  I think my feelings toward cemeteries began when I was in the 4th grade.  That was the only year I attended a private, Christian school and the gorgon who was my teacher/principal had a few good ideas to temper the yelling and drill sergeant behavior that was her normal routine.  One of them was a field trip to a cemetery – and not just any cemetery – but one of the oldest in our area.  She handed us all papers that held math questions based on information gleaned from the tombstones – obviously she’d done HER homework ahead of time!  We spent several hours in the warm sun wandering from stone to stone, reading the dates and answering the questions on our papers.  This exercise got me to wondering about the people who were laid to rest, and about their families.  Who were they? What were they like?  The stones for children broke my heart, even at that age, and I couldn’t help but wonder what it was that cut their lives so short?  Entire families were laid to rest side by side, some having passed away just weeks or months from each other.  We found the stone of the oldest person there, and the one for the youngest.  We found the stones that marked the largest family and the oldest stone – thereby the first stone – there.  Since that day I have always felt that cemeteries were beautiful statements about the people who walked this earth before we were here, offering up stories of our areas history, if we just take the time to think about it.  I have spent the night in one cemetery, and in the catacombs of a crematorium – both times to celebrate Halloween with my youth group from church.  Rather than being frightening – well other than the older boys leaping out and scaring the liver out of us in the dark – it was invigorating.  The dead cannot harm us, and there was a part of my mind at that age that thought that if they only knew we were there, they would be pleased for the companionship. 

 

 

This Day in History –

October 27, 1858 – President Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. The “Teddy bear” was named after him.

October 28, 1886 – France presented the U.S. with the statue of Liberty.

October 28, 1965 – The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is completed.

 

 

Food Celebrations of the Day –

October 27

National Potato Day – There is more than one potato day each year, which is great since there is so much to celebrate about them! They are delicious whether they are fried, baked or boiled, and they rarely get the praise they deserve. They are environmentally friendly as a food crop and have played a huge role in our development, but other than being vilified for their carby starchiness, they aren’t given much thought. They are very easy to grow, and inexpensive, don’t require a lot of fertilizer or chemical additives to thrive, and as long as you aren’t eating them all the time, are actually good for you.  Interestingly, the world’s largest potato weight 18 pounds, 4 ounces, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

 

American Beer Day – Quite honestly, I never gave much thought to beer in my younger adult years.  I tasted one brand many years ago, didn’t like it, and pretty much wrote off beer permanently.  I’d see people around me drinking it and just didn’t “get” it! Yuck! What was the draw?  Well, I’ve found out over the last few years that beer has many different flavors and nuances – much like wine – and it takes skill, talent and scientific know-how to brew the wonderfully tasty beverage.  I will always love wine, but I now have a true appreciation for a sweet, dark porter or stout – though I don’t know that I’ll ever have a fondness for the bitter, hoppiness of some of the lighter beers.  Celebrate this day of American drive and focus by finding your own local microbrewery, where all the recipes and creative talent are born, grown and brought to life right here in the U.S.A.  Cheers! 

 

October 28

National Chocolate Day – I love chocolate and I know so many others do too.  Actually, the few people I know who DON’T love chocolate, I have to wonder what is wrong with them.  I mean, seriously – NOT love chocolate?  That’s just not normal!  Chocolate is so loved that there are three days in the year that it is celebrated.  July 7th has Chocolate Day, September 13th is International Chocolate Day and today is National Chocolate Day.  I admit it – there can never be too many days to love chocolate and celebrate it with enthusiasm.’

 

Wild Foods Day – Forager clubs are all the rage these days. Summer may be the best time to find nature’s hidden goodies, but there’s nothing stopping you from planning a future feast.  The winter months are the best time to look over seed catalogs and get that garden plan in place. 

 

It’s time to take my pumpkins out of the oven, and to get a few other goodies going in the kitchen. One of my favorite things EVER is to bake goodies while watching Christmas movies, so I don’t care if it is only October, I’m already getting excited for Christmas and I will celebrate it in the best way I know how! With Yummies! God bless you and I’ll see you on Monday!

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Celebration list sources:

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

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