It’s Sunday! Hard to believe that the weekend is almost over! It’s been spent here at our house listening to the rain pounding on the roof, hearing the wind howl through the trees, and shopping for a fix for my computer. What a crazy few days! Something snuck into my computer – no make that multiple somethings – that kept me from being able to load anything at all. So frustrating! I will NEVER understand why horrible people create viruses intended to destroy other people’s systems. Oh, I know – they are trying to get in to steal other people’s money, and make life horrible for them, but WHY? If they are that smart, why aren’t they using it to earn legitimate money? Heck, if I had those sorts of computer skills I’m sure there would be LOTS of ways I could earn a living without hurting anyone else! However, my wonderful husband, being WAY smarter than I am when it comes to things like this, has spent the last 48 hours digging through everything, rooting out the corruption and restoring my system to its speedy self. I now have much better malware software in here that is diligently blocking all the icky stuff from getting in. Thank you Honey! You have no idea how much I appreciate you! Anyway, while we were out yesterday at Office Max looking for a fix (which we did get but didn’t end up needing), we stopped at the Sports Haus, a local store with every sort of sports and specialty shoe we can think of and that we would possibly ever need. We went there for our hiking boots – one of the best shoe purchases I have ever made – and figured this would be a good place to start for a walking shoe that will help my feet stay happy, in spite of my plantar fasciitis, when we go to Vegas in a couple months. The service is always fantastic – its one of those places that actually measures your feet still, brings out several different options, checks how they fit, has you walk around, and sees you out the door about $200 poorer. Yep, I did get a pair – so did hubby – and we know our feet will survive the miles of walking we intend to do when playing tourist in a city I’ve seen in the movies, read about in books, but have never been to in person. I plan on seeing as much as I can in the short amount of time that we’ll be there! I know that R will smile and just shake his head (since he’s seen all this before) as I stare at everything all wide eyed, taking pictures of absolutely everything I possibly can. I can’t wait!
So we have some celebrating to catch up on, and I’m going to do my best to do that for you, though I’ll be keeping a lot of it brief since Friday and Saturday are now behind us. Are you ready? Let’s get busy!
Friday – October 24th –
Food Day – This celebration was to put focus on healthy foods, sustainable farming and humane treatment of farm animals. Look around you and take notice of what you see, perhaps even in yourself? What I typically see when I am out and about – myself included – are a bunch of unhealthy, overweight people, filling their carts with crappy processed foods. The number of people who suffer from weight related diseases is up, as is the cost of caring for these issues. Much of this can be solved by focusing on healthy, whole foods, meats raised without being filled with hormones and antibiotics, fresh produce and whole grains grown organically and prepared in a healthy way. Most of us KNOW this, but let’s be honest. Eating healthy is expensive and in this economy, it makes it very easy to choose unhealthy options that don’t break the bank. Take some time, look at where your monthly budget is going and see if there is any place you can cut unnecessary expenditures and use that money to make healthier choices for your food. Your body will thank you, and eventually you’ll see the benefit in how you feel, and how much you are spending on medications and other health related costs.
National Pharmacy Buyer Day – I guess that everyone deserves their own special day, and it is my guess that a pharmacy buyer registered this celebration since nobody else would have ever thought about it. This is a day to recognize the work done by, you guessed it, the pharmacy buyer. These people perform the difficult job of making sure their pharmacies have needed medication and supplies so that pharmacists and technicians can provide quality health care to the public. Thanks for all of your hard work!
Wear It Pink Day – This one is England’s version of wearing pink for breast cancer awareness in the USA. Same idea, same honorable goals to raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer. I’m sure we can all get behind this one, so wear pink!
Saturday – October 25th –
Make a Difference Day – It doesn’t matter who we are, we can all make a difference to the world around us. I 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.
Punk for a Day – Oh my goodness – I remember when punk was popular when I was in school. Do they still call it punk? Or is it something else now? I just showed my age, didn’t I? *sigh* Anyway, just for this one day, dust off the spiked jewelry and get out the ripped fishnet stockings and act like a misunderstood teenager! It’s a day to be rebellious, mainstream hating punk and face it – it’s the only day you may consider wearing a black tutu. This is a celebration of the unique, creative and slightly dark – something that started out as a sign of rebellion against the establishment but caught on and became a popular mainstream thing instead. Oh, the irony, right?
Chucky, The Notorious Killer Doll Day – I can honestly say this is one I never would have though of, much less chosen to celebrate, but with Halloween just around the corner it makes sense. Chucky is a notorious killer doll in horror films, who was apparently possessed by a serial killer who used voodoo to transfer his soul into a doll. Chucky goes on killing sprees and misadventures, refusing to die even when he was blown to pieces. Chucky even took a bride and had a monster child that was on the loose. These are things I never would have known since I don’t watch this movie genre, but heck, if horror movies are your thing, then please, be my guest and watch this creepy pint-sized monster with the evil stare and stitched up face, and get a bit of scared going on for the upcoming night of creepiness. I’ll pass on this one myself.
National Forgiveness Day – This was the 9th annual celebration of unconditional love, during which people take the day to repair, restore, and rebuild damaged relationships. The idea is to use unconditional love and forgiveness to accomplish this. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but definitely worth the effort. It’s cleansing for the soul and will lift burdens off of your shoulders that you may not have even been aware you were carrying. This is one I still struggle with – and honestly, even if I manage to ever fully forgive a couple of people who have hurt me terribly in the past, the last thing I’d ever want is to revive any sort of relationship with them. I guess there are different categories that can go along with this one and to each his or her own to decide.
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 have had an American Rottweiler for nearly 16 years. As I look across the room I see a loving, friendly, amazing part of my family sleeping peacefully not far from where my hubby is taking a nap in his chair. I can say the same for my daughter and son-in-law’s dog. Rex is half pit bull and half bull mastiff – a sturdy dog indeed! Rex is one of the sweetest, most loving dogs I have met and the most danger I feel he’s ever posed to me or my family is getting a slap from his razor sharp, quickly wagging tail that goes at an amazing speed when he sees you and is 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. (This is a picture of my beautiful daughter and Rex – look at the expression of adoration on his doggy face!)
Sourest Day – I’m sure we all know people who view life from the most sour of positions, going through looking as if they have a lemon wedge stuck in their kissers. Well, today is the day for those folks! If you feel life has given you lemons, then sourest day is the day to shout about it. You can reserve the right to be grumpy, irritable and sour about the world and everything in it. If on the other hand, you view life as always being at least slightly positive, you take those lemons and make lemonade out of them today!
Sunday – October 26th –
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.
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 photo is of the cemetery in Port Gamble, WA – I have wandered amongst these gravestones many times – day time and night time by flashlight. Fascinating place.)
Mule Day – The first time I ever heard of this one was last year, and up until that point I had never given a great deal of thought to mules or donkeys. I admit that I think the miniatures and the babies are absolutely precious, but other than how cute they are, I honestly hadn’t given them much thought. There is a bit of fascinating history associated with mules in our country though, and today we’ll read about them together! Did you know that George Washington was not only the father of our country — he was also the father of the American Mule? Yep, that’s what several sources say! When most people think of George Washington, they think of what he accomplished as a statesman and a general. The fact is, he was also a farmer, and a very serious farmer at that! Even during his two terms as President of the United States, he managed to spend 434 days in residence at Mount Vernon. The soil at Mount Vernon was known for being poor because it had been depleted by years of growing tobacco. Washington was trying to change all of that by experimenting with different types of fertilizer, growing different types of crops, and rotating them. He changed the very nature of his estate, turning it from a plantation that grew just one crop into a farm that produced grains and other foods. Of course, in those days, farming depended on sturdy and reliable working animals. Up until this time Americans had relied on horses – which were fine – but Washington thought mules would be better. Mules tend to be stronger, live longer and have more endurance and resistance to disease. They are also able to graze on pasture land that wouldn’t be adequate for a horse. Their hooves are stronger and it often isn’t even necessary to have them shod. There are even some people who think they are more intelligent than horses – I’m not sure how I feel about that though because I absolutely adore horses and honestly I think they are incredibly intelligent! I’m sure all of my horse loving friends who actually own them will agree. But this isn’t about debating the intellectual differences between horses and mules, so moving on. . . For anyone who doesn’t know – and I didn’t – a mule is a cross between a male donkey (usually called a jackass or a jack) and a female horse, or a mare. Now, the opposite, a cross between a female donkey (a jennet -pronounced jenny) and a male horse is called a hinny. Hinnies and mules are almost always sterile, so if you want to breed the animals you have to start with a horse and a donkey. I didn’t know that! OK, now that we have the basics down, here’s where Washington got into the mule business! The donkeys that were already in the Americas were brought over by Columbus, but they were smaller and served mostly as pack animals and for riding. Washington wanted to breed bigger mules, but for that he would need better jacks. Well, in his mind the perfect choice would be the Spanish Donkey. They were large, powerful animals that would be perfect for breeding stock. Unfortunately for Washington, the King of Spain prohibited the export of the Spanish Jacks, but being a smart man who recognized the chance to score points with the leader of this new country, the King sent Washington a gift of two jacks and two jennets. They arrived on our shores on October 26, 1785. Sadly, one of the jacks had died on the way. The other one was named “Royal Gift” and was everything that Washington had hoped and dreamed he would be. Unfortunately Royal Gift was completely unimpressed with the mares he was presented with and refused to mate with them. Washington had to resort to a little trickery, so he used the jennets to get Royal Gift’s interest going, then substituted a mare at the last minute. At this point apparently Royal Gift went ahead and did his duty and began the new line of mules that George wanted.
What I thought was interesting was the glossary of terms I found used for donkeys so I figured I’d share it with you:
Ass – A member of the genus Equus with larger ears and smaller build than the horse. Group includes donkeys and burros but the term usually is used only for the wild versions.
Burro – Small donkey
Dam – Mother of any of these animals
Donkey – Either a male or female domesticated ass
Foal – Baby (either sex) horse or donkey
Gelding – Castrated male horse or donkey
Hinny – Sterile offspring of a stallion and a jennet.
Horse – Means a horse, either a male or female
Jack – Uncastrated (intact) male donkey
Jennet – Female donkey (pronounced jenny)
Mammoth Jack – Exceptionally large uncastrated male donkey
Mare – Female horse
Mule – Sterile offspring of a jack and a mare
Sire – Father of any of these animals
Stallion – Uncastrated male horse
This Day In History –
October 24th – 1945 – The United Nations came into existence. (Not one I would choose to celebrate)
October 24th – 1901 – Anna Edison Taylor is the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
October 25th – 1983- U.S. forces invade Grenada.
October 26th – 1825 – The Erie Canal opens, connecting Lake Erie to the Hudson River.
October 26th – 1881 – The “Gunfight at the OK Corral” occurs. Wyatt Earp, his two brothes, and “Doc” Holliday, have a shootout with the Ike Clanton gang.
Food Celebrations of the Day –
October 24th – National Bologna Day – Properly spelled Bologna, it is sometimes spelled “Baloney”. It is pronounced like the latter spelling. Bologna is a sausage that is commonly used as a lunch meat. When I was little we often had it in our house for my Dad’s lunch. Though we often only see one sort of bologna in the lunch meat section, there is actually a variety of them – there is “regular” bologna, German bologna, beef bologna, kosher bologna and many more. Depending on what kind you are talking about, they could include pork, beef, chicken and spices. When I was little, and even as a young mother with a limited budget, I loved fried bologna. I know, for many people who don’t eat it, this sounds gross, but really it’s quite tasty. It gets a crispy caramelized texture and is great with eggs for breakfast! Honestly, I haven’t had bologna in years, it’s actually quite expensive these days.
- Bologna Burger
- Eggs in Bologna Cups
- Bologna Spread
- Southern-Style Fried Bologna Sandwich
- Finnish Bologna Vegetable Casserole
- Fried Egg & Bologna Sandwich
- Poorman’s Breakfast Skillet
October 25th – Greasy Food Day – Sometimes, you just gotta do it. All the rice cakes in the world won’t provide the same satisfaction as one bite of these fried delights. Unfortunately when we were out and about yesterday we didn’t know that this was the holiday of the day, or we would have had something fried. We did have BBQ, but to be honest, it really wasn’t greasy. It WAS delicious though!
- Outback Copycat Coconut Shrimp
- Fried Halloumi Cheese With Lime-Caper Dressing
- Murray’s Fried Spaghetti
- Taro Puffs
- Cauliflower Cheddar Fritters
- Deep-Fried Avocados
- Buttermilk Southern Fried Chicken
October 26th – National Mincemeat Day – It is funny because until I was about 15 years old, I had no idea that there was ever meat in a mincemeat pie, and it never crossed my mind that the pie had this name for a reason. The first time this topic came up for me was pretty funny, and I remember vividly the expression on my father’s face when someone brought him one. It’s enough to have prevented me from trying it myself! He wasn’t impressed, that’s for sure, and he’ll eat things that I never would. I know that he prefers the popular NON-meat version of this pie. I wondered though, who actually started this dish, and why? Well, mincemeat dates back to the medieval times. It was a way to preserve food, but it was also a treat mixed with sweet fruits. It didn’t lose its popularity until the last half of the 1900’s. An entire generation of people have grown up either not knowing what it is, or never having tasted it. Over the years the amount of meat in the recipes has been reduced or completely omitted. In the older recipes you’ll find that they had meat and/or suet in the ingredients. So, what is mincemeat? It’s a mixture of minced (or chopped up) meats, suet and fruits. The meat is usually beef. Fruits include raisins, apples, pears and others, and sometimes there is brandy or rum added too. The original mincemeat pies of the 17th century often had tongue, chicken, eggs, raisins and citrus zest. Not something that I’ll make with meat, but if you’re brave, go for it!
- Traditional Boozy Mincemeat
- Mincemeat Bread
- Mincemeat Apple Pie
- Mini Fruit Mince Cheesecakes
- Mincemeat Chews
- Mincemeat Almond Pie
- Mincemeat Cake
My goodness, that’s a LOT to take in! Celebrate what you can, and have a wonderful Sunday afternoon! God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!