I’m back! Geesh! I don’t think any of us has any real clue how much we depend on the availability of the internet until we don’t have it! Last week it was issues with my computer having a virus, this week it was my internet going nuts, cutting in and out. Well, yesterday a tech came out and replaced our very old modem with a new one . . . a new one that should have been provided to us when we upgraded our service. Nice, right? The GREAT thing is that as soon as it was all hooked up we had no more problems! WOOHOO! And now, once again, we have catching up to do. Today I will cover Monday through today and try to do everything justice without posting it for you too late to give you time to celebrate. And it’s OK to celebrate even the ones that have already happened! There shouldn’t be an expiration date on having fun!
Navy Day – (27th) 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 birthdate. 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!
Cranky Co-Workers Day – (27th) We all have an office grouch – someone who makes you just want to hide when they walk down the hall. On this day – or any day you choose since we are doing this late – 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!
Plush Animal Lover’s Day (28th) – Though most of the people who will celebrate this day will be girls – after all, we do love our stuffed animals – I do know a few guys who have some cuddly critters that they hold on to for sentimental reasons. This day is all about dusting off your childhood plush pals, even if they’ve lost a little of their “plush” over the years of being snuggled. Happy memories! That alone is worth celebrating, don’t you think?
National Chocolate Day (28th) 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 yesterday was National Chocolate Day. I admit it – there can never be too many days to love chocolate and celebrate it with enthusiasm. Where did we get chocolate though? Well, it is a sweet food made from the seed of the Theobroma cacao tree. The cultivation of this tree has been documented all the way back to 1100 BC in Mexico, Central and South America. The seeds have a little bitter taste, which when fermented develop into a tasty flavor. Today we find chocolate in the form of cocoa solids, cocoa butter and other fat and sugar. In the case of milk chocolates we also find milk powder or condensed milk. Of course, there is also white chocolate that have never been thought of as “real” chocolate, but since there is cocoa butter, sugar and milk in it, even without the cocoa solids, it does qualify as a member of the chocolate family. It isn’t my favorite, but it can be tasty depending on what it is paired with. I personally find it to be a bit on the sweet side, but when put with something salty it can be quite delicious! Obviously, since chocolate has been appreciated for all of these centuries, we have an obligation to celebrate it with enthusiasm and joy! Let’s get started on this one! May the chocolate consumption begin! (hard to believe that the decadence we know as chocolate comes from those pods, isn’t it?)
St Jude’s Day (28th) – 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 is all about. After a brief search, at the time I was fighting against the next time my internet went down, 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.
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.
Hermit Day (29th) – What a great day to spend quietly and in seclusion! For some people being a recluse is a way of life – spending every day all alone peacefully with their own thoughts. They seem to prefer living away from crowds and the sea of humanity – and honestly I can see the appeal! So many of us lead such busy lives that the idea of being a hermit, even for one single day, is very tempting! If you are a hermit, celebrate that life today, and if you are one of the many people who crave a break from the GO-GO-GO of life, just chill out, all alone where nobody can find you today! (This little hermit crab made me smile – they’ve definitely gotten isolation down to a science!)
Frankenstein Day (29th) – This one us fun! It is always celebrated on the last Friday in October and celebrates the birth of Frankenstein and its creator. Frankenstein is one of the best known horror characters, dating back to the 1800s. I’m sure none of us can remember a Halloween season without the presence of Frankenstein’s monster lurking somewhere in the darkness. Frankenstein was “born” in 1818 when Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley, at the ripe old age of 21, wrote the story “Frankenstein”. As for THIS particular holiday and how it got its start? Well this fun day was begun by a guy by the name of Ron MacCloskey from Westfield, NJ, in 1997. He obviously really appreciated the creative works of Ms. Shelley, so he picked this day to celebrate it, and because more people can party on Friday than any other day of the week, it lands on Friday! Smart man! Maybe planning an Frankenstein party would be a fun way to spend time with friends! Heck, I may celebrate this one by watching “Young Frankenstein” – one of the funniest movies ever made – in my opinion.
National Cat Day (29th) – I love cats. As a matter of fact, I cannot remember a time in my life when a cat didn’t play a part in it in one way or another. There WAS a brief span of time between my old cat Miga, and my Pepsi cat, but that was a break caused by moving and needing to find the right cat for me. I still got kitty snuggling time over at my parent’s house, so it wasn’t like there weren’t any cats around. Today is National Cat Day and we honor our darling felines for all the reasons that they are sweet, and for the not so sweet reasons. As I type this my Pepsi Cat is in my lap, and my Itty Bit is sitting on the arm of my chair nudging my elbow for pets. They make it difficult to type, but they are so sweet that I don’t care. There are certain characteristics in cats that either endear them to people, or completely alienate them. What it comes right down to is that cats are independent, rebellious, aloof and completely wonderful. You can buy them all the scratching posts in the world, but if they don’t decide to use them, well – they’ll find something else instead – usually rugs, furniture or your favorite sweater. They aren’t doing it to be ornery, it’s just the way they are! I have been known to put acrylic claw covers over my cat’s front paws to preserve the parts of the house I don’t want them to scratch – which reminds me, I need to order more! Cats are extremely territorial and they don’t necessarily welcome intruders on their turf, so they’ll hiss and spit at times – it’s not to be bratty, they just are protecting their space! On the other side of that is the fact that your cat knows when you aren’t feeling well and they’ll snuggle right up next to you in an attempt to make you feel better. When they are all curled up and being given the love and adoration they crave, they rev up their little internal engine and purr loudly to let you know they are happy. These are the sweetest creatures in the world, until they aren’t . . . but that’s the way God made them, so I accept them the way they are. Snuggle your kitties today and let them know how much they are loved, because I’m betting they love you that much in return.
This Day In History –
27 – 1858 – President Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday.
28 – 1886 – France presented the U.S. with the statute of Liberty.
29 – 1929 – The New York Stock Exchange crashed on what came to be known as “Black Tuesday”, starting the Great Depression.
Food Celebration of the Day –
American Beer Day (27th) – 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. So what happened to give me a new look at beer? My little brother got interested in brewing beer when he spent a lot of time at a local brewery that allowed customers to come in, create their own beer, and bottle it themselves for home consumption. He was SO intrigued that he began studying what all went into the different styles of beer, and turned his hobby into a business that is thriving and growing day by day. He started his business in a rented garage space with a minimum of equipment, and it has grown to a bustling tasting room, with local restaurants serving his (and his partner’s) creations all over the county, and winning best beer competitions throughout the region – and beyond! I have to say that he has converted me. 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. This is truly a story of American Beer – because how can you get MORE American than having a dream and making it come to life? Celebrate this special 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! (of course you can ALWAYS cook with it too – see the recipes below! I use Valholl beer in my cake recipes – delicious! Give it a try!)
- Beer Cheese Soup
- Beer Can Chicken
- Dirty Shrimp in Butter Beer Sauce
- Cheddar & Chile Beer Bread
- Beer-Braised Meatballs
- Beer & BBQ Braised Country-Style Pork Ribs
Wild Foods Day (28th)- 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. In the meantime, here are some recipes to get the imagination going so you can plan what to plant! Just a note – be sure that you really know what it is you are foraging. You can have delicious, nutritious meals from the wilds around you, but you can also do a lot of harm by cooking up the WRONG thing! Know your plants before you harvest!
- Wild Mushroom Stroganoff
- Wilted Dandelion Salad With Feta Cheese
- Blueberry Black Walnut Bread
- DH’s Stinging Nettle Saute
- Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Libbie’s Mulberry Jam
National Oatmeal Day (29th) – Oatmeal is a wonderful thing. I’m not talking about the sugary stuff that comes in instant oatmeal packets, I’m talking about real, raw rolled oats – filled with both soluble and insoluble fiber that is so good for us! According to the American Cancer Society, the insoluble fiber in oatmeal fights cancer by attacking certain bile acids, reducing their toxicity. The phytochemicals in oats also have cancer fighting properties! The soluble fiber may reduce LDL cholesterol without lowering HDL cholesterol – which is awesome because the LDL is bad, while the HDL is good! Soluble fiber also slows down the digestion of starch, which is very good news for diabetics because when the digestion of starch is slowed down, the spikes in blood sugar that happen after a meal are reduced. It has also been found that people who eat more oats are less likely to develop heart disease. Top all of those benefits off with the fact that the humble oat is filled with vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium! While oatmeal is a little boring and bland on its own, you can doctor it up with delicious fruits, prepare it with milk instead of water, top it with chopped nuts . . . the sky is the limit as you can see from the recipes listed below!
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Pie
- Irish Steel-Cut Oatmeal
- Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins
- Creme Brulee-Style Baked Oatmeal
- Oatmeal Carmelitas
Whew! That’s a lot to catch up on, and I find myself feeling pretty virtuous about eating oatmeal for breakfast, or putting it in with our breakfast smoothies! I’ve spent so much time on this though, that now I need to get myself ready to go to the post office! Happy reading and here’s to hoping that we can NOW stay caught up and I can start sharing some fun holiday posts with you as well! God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!