Whew! We got a LOT accomplished yesterday! Christmas is in full swing in our house! I have a couple of miscellaneous little things to finish up for the decorating to be complete, but they won’t take long. Much of yesterday was spent watching Christmas movies . . . though somehow Star Trek worked its way into the line-up. Not sure quite how that happened, but that’s OK. A little variety never hurts, right? Anyway, the Nativity is set up, the Nutcrackers and Santa Claus displays are up, the tree is decorated, all of my Christmas teapots and snow globes are out. Garland is hung around all of the windows, the wreath on the front door has little lights on it and there are snowmen and a Santa standing sentry at the front door. I know, it’s probably a little overboard, but I don’t care. This time of year just fills my heart and I want it all over the house, everywhere I look.
National Roof Over Your Head Day – I know that many of us have fallen on times that are a little leaner than usual. The cost of living is going up, our income is going down, taxes and health care go up, our income continues to go down. It is disheartening, but in spite of that, we are so incredibly blessed. Today the thing we are specifically appreciating is the roof over our heads. For most of us, having a roof over our heads means we live in a house that protects us from the weather, keeps us warm, dry and cozy. Not everyone is this fortunate though, with many people being homeless right here in our own country. Some people live in their cars, some in cardboard boxes in the alley, and some don’t even have that. Every night is a worry, finding somewhere warm, or at least where they won’t freeze to death in inclement weather. As big a worry is finding somewhere safe where they won’t be victims of crime. Years ago I was commuting to Seattle, and I had to go through Pioneer Square to get to my bus that took me to my office. Every morning I passed many men and women sitting on park benches, in all weather, wrapped up in whatever they owned to keep them warm, all of their worldly belongings in a bundle next to them, or under their feet. There was one man in particular who pulled at my heart strings. He never asked for money, he never had a cup out, but what he did have daily, no matter how cold or how wet the weather, was a huge smile on his crinkled face. In spite of his life and the lack of facilities for the best hygiene practices, he had the whitest, brightest teeth, and when he put on his smile, it was from ear to ear and lit him up like a Christmas tree. He always had a sweet good morning for me, and told me every morning he’d see me on my way back to the boat. I started taking him a lunch every day – it wasn’t much, but it was what I had to give. He was so incredibly grateful and his Thank You was heartfelt to the core. One day I walked by and he wasn’t there. The elements and his age had become too much and after collecting enough change for a cup of coffee, he’d collapsed in the Starbucks across the street and passed away. It broke my heart. I changed my route for getting to the bus – I just couldn’t go through there with him gone. I didn’t feel safe – not that he could have protected me – but I felt like I had a friend of sorts to say hello to both morning and evening. I couldn’t help but wonder what brought him to that bench in Pioneer Square. Why did he not have a home, and what choices took him on this journey to his death? Please, spend some time appreciating your roof, and your home, today. Appreciate the many things you have that keep you warm, dry, fed and comfortable. Not everyone has those things, and it is for them that our compassion should be reserved, not for ourselves just because sometimes things aren’t as easy as we’d like them to be. If you can, please make a contribution to a homeless shelter, so that as we continue into the coldest time of the year, others can come in out of the elements and feel safe . . . even if it is only for a short time . . . it may be all they have to look forward to.
National Mutt Day – Mixed breed dogs fill shelters around the nation and today was set up to raise awareness of their plight. They are desperately waiting for new forever homes, but so many people are determined to buy a pure bred dog, without stopping to think of the benefits of a mixed breed. Mixed breed dogs tend to be healthier and better behaved, they live longer and are just as able to perform the duties of pure bred dogs. They can be bomb and drug sniffing dogs, search and rescue dogs, and they can guide the blind. There are millions of loving, healthy mixed breed dogs sitting in shelters, waiting, possibly for you! Please, if you have the ability to do so, if you have a place in your heart and home, please adopt a new best friend this month. If you can’t, then could you consider donating to your local animal shelter? They are always short on funds and need to buy food and provide medical are for the wonderful animals in their care.
Special Education Day – Today we celebrate the anniversary of the nation’s first federal special education law, passed on December 2, in 1975. Since the time that President Gerald Ford signed the ground-breaking legislation, we have come a long way, and now provide access to education for all children, including children with disabilities. Today, take the day to honor progress and celebrate students with disabilities, their parents, teachers and their schools. All children deserve to get and education, so this day is indeed special and worthy of being celebrated.
This Day In History –
1982 – Barney B. Clark receives the world’s first artificial heart transplant.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Fritters Day – Aren’t we all lucky that this this special day has finally arrived!? Before you can celebrate this one though, you need to know what a fritter is. Apparently not everyone knows! A fritter is a fried cake or dough with fruit or meats inside. The Spanish came up with this fried food technique, but today almost every culture has its own version of fritters. Sometimes they are sweet, and sometimes they are savory.
- Zucchini & Corn Fritters
- Prawn & Rice Fritters
- Zucchini Fritters
- Apple Fritters
- Pea & Halloumi Cheese Fritters
- Shrimp & Corn Fritters
- Squash Fritters
Well, hm. Now I have to figure out what sort of a fritter to make to go with dinner! I’ve had corn fritters, and zucchini fritters. That first selection of Zucchini and Corn fritters just may be what I need to try! Well, it’s time for me to get to work, and I’m sure many of you have to head out too. Merry Christmas, God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!