Another beautiful summer day in store here in the gorgeous Pacific NW. Sleeping in just a little (well, getting up at 8 instead of 5 is a LOT!), no alarm clock, and puttering around making breakfast in my bathrobe . . . that’s just weekend bliss no matter what time of year it is. To do all of this and be able to look out at the blue sky and the green trees behind our house . . . well it turns in into an extra special morning. I’m talking to you while I have another experimental batch of gluten-free biscuits in the oven, and chicken breakfast sausage links sizzling on the stove. Oh, and of course I have my healthy sugar free mocha that I’m savoring while I go about my morning! Ah, bliss.
Before I start the day’s celebrations, I wanted to share a memory I recalled with you. Yesterday I went outside to mow the lawn, trim back the brambles that keep trying to take over the yard, and do a little weed eating. Hubby was on the roof cleaning out gutters and blowing off the roof. It’s nice when we are working together! Anyway, I noticed that there were a few blackberries ready to pick – not a lot, but a few, so I grabbed a bucket out of the house and started reaching for the berries that were within arms length. There are still a lot of green berries out there, which reminded me of a school friend from the 5th grade. Loan was a Vietnamese girl who had escaped Vietnam on a raft with her family back in the early 70’s. I’d heard of people doing that, but it didn’t mean anything until this girl and her siblings were brought into the school, put into classrooms and left to figure it out. They didn’t know any English and now that I think about it, they looked so lost! I’m sure it was better than a raft in the middle of the ocean (they were rescued by a ship and brought here), but it had to be frightening. One day, not long after the school year started, Loan, another girl and me were up in the upper play field at recess. Loan would point at something, we’d say it in English, and she’d repeat it, then tell us what it was in Vietnamese. Loan spotted blackberries on the vine at the edge of the field and headed that direction. We followed her, thinking we’d just be sharing the name of those berries with her. Most of these berries were still hard, green pellets still, and wouldn’t be ready for quite a few days! Loan didn’t seem to care. She was grabbing berries off of those vines and stuffing them into her mouth as quickly as she could. My jaws clamp up just thinking about how sour they must have been. Loan had known hunger, intense hunger that most of us in this country have never experienced. She saw a food source and she took advantage of the opportunity to put some calories into her body. She didn’t know yet that she would get lunch at school, and that now that her father was working for the shipyard as an engineer, she’d likely never have to worry about being hungry again. Her family applied for asylum, then did what it was they had to do to become citizens of our country legally. They appreciated the freedom and opportunity that our nation offered so much that they took advantage of the chance to become a part of who WE are as a country, without trying to make us be something that we are not. They weren’t coming here illegally demanding that we support them – they came here, got jobs, worked their little bit of land to grow vegetables, came to our schools, learned our language, and turned their backs on the horrors of where they came from to become Americans. We are so blessed to be here in our country, even with the economic issues, even with the administration bungling everything they touch, even with jobs being scarce for some folks – we are SO BLESSED! Count your blessings today, and every day.
Time to Celebrate!
National Grandparents Day – Today we honor our Grandparents, for their influential role in our families, for the love that they showed to us growing up. I would LOVE to be able to see my Grandma today, but we just went to see her 2 months ago and she lives a long drive away. I’d call her, but she wouldn’t be able to hear me screaming into the phone, which would just be frustrating for both of us. I was a bad Granddaughter and didn’t look ahead at the celebrations (I know, go figure!) to see what was coming up, or I would have sent a card. Of course she couldn’t READ it . . . but someone could read it to her. For anyone who still has Grandparents around, please give them a little extra love today. Give them a call, stop by for a visit of they are near. There is rarely a day that I don’t think of my Grandma who has already passed away, the rich memories and experiences I had with her flood over into my adult life and have given me a perspective I wouldn’t otherwise have had. As I smell breakfast cooking I recall the aromas in the kitchen at her house, the sounds of Grandpa puttering upstairs with his fishing stuff, Grandma’s laugh, the soothing sweetness of her voice . . . Gosh I miss them. So, when did this special day start? It was an initiative of Marian McQuade, a homemaker in Fayette County, WV. She started a campaign in 1973 to dedicate a special day for Grandparents, so people would spend time honoring them and promoting an intergenerational appreciation for them. Because of her efforts, in 1978 President Jimmy Carter proclaimed September 8 to be Grandparents day. Definitely a worthwhile day to celebrate! If you are fortunate enough to have Grandparents, give them some love today – after all, they’ve given their love to you all of your life.
Grandma Moses Day – This is one that is going to be quite difficult to put into a short paragraph. Trying to figure out where to begin with telling you about this incredible American artist is difficult, and keeping it short will be even MORE difficult. Grandma Moses was born Anna May Robertson on September 7, 1860 in Greenwich, NY. She and her husband were farmers first in Virginia, then settled in Eagle Bridge, New York. She was the mother of ten children and did not begin her painting career until she was well into her 70s when arthritis was making it difficult for her to sew. Liking to keep busy, she began painting realistic country scenes, some of which she painted on dried tree mushrooms. She also made ceramic tiles and decorated them with patterns and landscapes. She was so absolutely remarkable in so many ways! At the age of 99 years old she began illustrating Clement C. Moore’s poem “The Night Before Christmas”. She continued working until the summer before her death, December 13, 1961. She was 101 years old. She never took an art class, but produced around 1600 pieces of art throughout her time as a folk artist. This date may mark the anniversary of her birth, and we may be celebrating her amazing accomplishments, but it is also an opportunity to follow in her example . . . “Painting’s not important,” she used to say. “The Important thing is keeping busy.” She always stressed how important hard work was, and respect for our surroundings. For more information about this incredible woman, check out Grandma Moses’ “My Life’s History”, published in 1952.
National Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day – I’m sure we all know someone, or more then one someone, with ADD. On July 6, 2004 the US Senate designated September 7, 2004 as the 1st National Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day”. This was, in great part, due to the efforts of ADDA (The Attention Deficit Disorder Association). I won’t copy and paste the entire resolution for you – as all such things, it is dry and slightly dull. The gist is that it acknowledges that ADD and AD/HD are chronic neurobiological disorders that affect both children and adults, and they can significantly interfere with an individual’s ability to regulate activity level, inhibit behavior and to perform tasks in developmentally appropriate ways. AD/HD can cause failure in school and workplace, antisocial behavior, trouble with the law, interpersonal difficulties and substance abuse. AD/HD is the most extensively studied mental disorder in children, affecting 3-7% (2,000,000) of young school-age children and an estimated 4% (8,000,000) adults. The resolution goes on to state that scientific studies clearly indicate that AD/HD runs in families and suggests that genetic inheritance is an important risk factor, with between 10 -35% of children with AD/HD having a first-degree relative with AD/HD, and about 50% of parents who had AD/HD having a child who also has the disorder. In spite of the serious consequences that can happen with family and life experiences of someone with AD/HD, studies show that less than 85% of adults with the disorder are diagnosed and less than half of children and adults with the disorder are receiving treatment. The resolution goes on to talk about how the lack of understanding and knowledge about the disorder plays a role in the numbers You would be shocked by how much good that can do!
Pet Rock Day – Do you remember when pet rocks were all the rage in the 70s? I laugh when I think about it. The guy who came up with that was a genius! I cannot even imagine WHY it was such a big thing, but it definitely was, and made him quite a bit of money, if the popularity of the concept is anything to go by. The great thing about a Pet Rock is that anyone can have one. Think about it – you couldn’t get an easier pet to care for than a rock! I ran across a pretty funny article about how to give your pet rock the best life he/she could ever have. Here’s a condensed version of the instructions:
1. Go outside and choose a pet rock. Try to get one that is at least 1 inch wide so you don’t lose it in your pocket. Look for one that looks nice to you, one that you will want to keep.
2. Decide if your rock is a boy or a girl, and choose a unique name for it.
3. Paint your pet rock. Let your imagination be your guide! Use fun colors, glue on googly eyes if you want!
4. Your rock will need a travel bag. This is very useful so you can take it with you and make sure it isn’t lost in your pocket or purse. Make sure it’s a nice fit, but not too tight so you can get the rock out of the bag without a struggle.
5. Now your rock will need a house. We all deserve one of those, right? You could use a doll house, or make one of your own out of a shoebox.
It’s also fun to make sure your pet has a friend or two – find it some buddies to decorate and keep him/her company. You can come up with all sorts of fun things to do to be creative with your pet rock, take some pictures of it, and create little scenes. It’s also important to note that pet rocks don’t make a mess, they don’t need to be fed, and they don’t shed! Win win! Remember though, they aren’t big on conversation, and they have a tough time showing affection to you in return for yours to them. I guess nothing is perfect, right?
Salami Day – Today we celebrate Salami . . . Salami is one large and important part of the family of sausages of Italy. The name, which is plural of the Italian word salame, applies to matured raw meat made into sausages with recipes of Italian origin. Within Italy there are many different types of salami, mostly medium to large in size, and those made in Italy are usually dried without smoking. Names indicate the style or place of origin. Salami made in south Italy and Sardinia are distinguished by their spiciness. These include: Napoletano, Cardo, Calabrese, Peperone . . . all of these belong to the class of salame crudo – raw salame. The list of types of salami based on these regions and styles are numerous and worth the taste test when time permits. Well, now I want to head out to the store and get one of each to give them a try! YUM! Sounds delicious!
This Day In History –
1921 – The first Miss America beauty Pageant is held in Atlantic City N.J.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Acorn Squash Day – Mmmmm. . . . I love Acorn Squash. They make me think of fall, cinnamon and leaves falling off of the trees. I remember when I was little, Mom would take some and cut them in half, clean out the cavity and fill them up with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, then bake them. Oh goodness, the house smelled so good! Like any winter squash you can do so much with one – as the recipes below show. Don’t forget, like pumpkin seeds, acorn squash seeds can be roasted and eaten. Yum!
- Acorn Squash Stuffed With Sausage & Sour Cream
- Acorn Squash Lasagna
- Microwave Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Cranberry-Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Acorn Squash & Apple Soup
- Cream of Acorn Squash Soup
- Acorn Squash & Arugula Pizza
Well, here it is, nearly noon, and I’ve not yet posted this for everyone. Making breakfast and blogging at the same time didn’t work all that well, and quite honestly, I keep getting distracted by laundry and other stuff. Right now I have a lap full of cat that is really causing me to overheat – she’s a furry furnace! – and a bunch of stuff to get done today. Have a wonderful Sunday – enjoy every moment, for tomorrow we work again. God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!