It’s Party Time! Or At Least Time To Plan One!

Oct 11th

What a beautiful day! The sun is shining, there is a chill in the air, and the front yard looks so interesting without all of the trees out there! Granted the yard is covered in logs and brush, to be cleaned up in stages as we can, but the front is obviously going to be a lot brighter without them out there. And I’d like to think it will be safer when the wind blows. I’d also thought of the other benefits to having those trees gone.  The one tree would fill with tent caterpillars on the years when they are bad, and now that tree is gone, so the caterpillars covering the yard won’t be an issue any longer!  WOOHOO for that!  Also, the madronas would attract the birds, who would eat the berries, then fling purple mess all over my car. Another problem gone!  This is a great thing all the way around!  What’s on your plan for the day?  I am going to straighten things up for when Miss B and Big Brother E come for the weekend, and I thought I’d try a promising recipe for no-sugar sugar cookies. I know, sort of a contradiction, but seriously, there are days when you just really NEED/WANT a sugar cookie with frosting!


Verse of the Day

October 11, 2017

Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Psalm 34:11

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Is there any greater definition of what a parent’s role is than this? Let’s make sure that in the swirling demands and involvements of our lives we do not forget the MAIN thing that God has given us as parents, teachers, and friends to do in the lives of children.

Food for Thought

Do you ever wonder about the events that happened throughout your life that have contributed to the person you are today? Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are, but with them, comes the baggage from what can sometimes be a very painful past. I was having a discussion with hubby last night on our way back from an errand we were running.  It started out as a conversation about my gratitude that I no longer have to commute 5+ hours a day round trip to work, then turned into a conversation about why I had to do that commute in the first place.  You see, we live surrounded by water, and jobs on this side of the water from the city pay much less than jobs pay in the city. This is typical.  At the time when I was commuting I was the only regular breadwinner in our household.  I had 2 adults and 2 children to feed, a roof to keep over our heads, power to keep running, phones to keep turned on, water, garage and other household expenses to keep going.  It was stressful and I cannot tell you how many meals I skipped so that the kids had more to eat, or skipped because I was just too tired to eat.  I was remembering the pain and confusion of trying to pay the bills when the other so-called adult in the house had spent the money and there wasn’t enough left for the rent, only to be told it was my fault because I wasn’t earning enough money.  It didn’t matter that HE wasn’t earning ANY money, because he had made the decision that it was all my fault, so of course it had to be.  I remembered the times when the ferry was late for one reason or another and I made the decision to get a bite to eat in the city, rather than wait until I got home, after realizing that I was dizzy and feeling weak from lack of food, then coming home to be told that I was irresponsible and was fat enough to survive without that meal and I shouldn’t have spent the money.  Today, being a part of a marriage where we are equals, we have made the decision not to combine our income because neither of us wants to be told where to spend our money, or whether or not we can buy ourselves a treat.  I feel like those bad years made me stronger, but they also made me appreciate the good ones.  They also gave me a mental struggle to accept who I am for what I am, and be happy in my own skin.  There are so many times that I find myself battling the inner demons of low self-esteem, and have to fight the negative talk back so that I can remind myself that I am better off.  If you are fighting the negativity of the past, please try to separate the THEN from the NOW, because we are all growing and changing daily and deserve to be happy with the person we are.  After all, our Heavenly Father created us and loves us exactly as we are right now.  With that sort of an endorsement and support, how can we not accept ourselves?




Emergency Nurses Day – How many times have you had to go to the emergency room – or had to take a child to the emergency room (this was more often the situation when my son was growing up) and the first people you dealt with were the nurses?  I have had the best experiences with ER nurses throughout the years, and they truly deserve the acknowledgement that this day brings to them.  They are dedicated, committed healing professionals, bringing comfort and compassion to the patients they see each day.  They see it all.  Often it’s not good, yet they go back to work each day, knowing that they make a difference to sick, injured and sometimes dying people that come through those emergency room doors every single day.  There was a point when my son was in his early teen years that I was beginning to feel like the local hospital needed to give out frequent flyer miles – we were there so often that it almost became funny!  He was on a first name basis with the nurses by the time he was 16 years old, and at one point he even took them candy to thank them for all they did for him.  From cut open knees from bike accidents, to appendicitis, they truly came through for him every time, and eased my mind in the process.  As a worried Mom, heading to the ER is never a good thing, so that was truly a blessing.  Keep these hard-working, compassionate nurses in your prayers each and every day, they deserve all the extra support and love they can get!


General Pulaski Memorial Day – This celebration is in honor of General Kazimierz Pulaski, a Polish hero of the American Revolution. It is mostly observed in Illinois first Monday in March to commemorate his birth on March 4, 1747. He is remembered for his contributions to the U.S. military during the American Revolution by training its soldiers and cavalry. This particular day is commemorated on his death day, October 11, 1779. On October 9, 1779, during a cavalry charge, while looking for a weak point in the British lines during the battle of Savannah, General Pulaski was mortally wounded by a grape shot (I had to ask my husband what in the heck grape shot was – it’s sort of like the bird shot that comes out of shot gun shells, only out of a cannon and the size of grapes.) He was carried from the battle field by several of his fellow soldiers and taken aboard the privateer merchant brigantine Wasp. He died two days later without ever having regained consciousness. Some say he was buried at sea, but there is was a rumor that he was taken to Greenwich plantation near Savannah, where he later died and was buried. There was an eight year long examination of all of the remains buried at the plantation that ended in 2004, without any definitive conclusion as to the truth of this rumor having been met.


International Top Spinning Day – I’m sure most of us had a top when we were kids – whether it was one of the little wooden or plastic ones that you spin yourself and let them go whirling across the table or floor, or the kind that have the little lever on top that you push up and down to get it spinning, we’ve all probably played with one.  They are actually fascinating toys, for young and old alike.  In the city of Burlington, WI, there is an entire museum devoted to tops of all shapes and sizes, along with other spinning toys like yo-yos.  If you just aren’t intrigued enough to travel to a museum devoted to tops, celebrate in a small way by finding something to spin right where you are.  It’s quite stress relieving.  As a side note – technically the earth counts as a great big spinning top . . . something to think about.


It’s My Party Day – Have you ever just felt like throwing a party for no reason?  Do we really NEED a reason to have a party? I don’t think so, so let’s get one started!  Make it simple or elaborate, just for family, or for a bunch of friends, throwing a bunch of fun people together with some tasty treats and some background music, and you’re on your way!  Now, since this is mid-October, you can make it a theme party and have it be a Harvest Party or a Halloween Party!  I usually feel more in the party mood when all of our Christmas decorations are up, but a Halloween party would be nice sometime too.


National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day – What a fun day!  And it’s one that doesn’t cost you anything to celebrate!  National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work and School day is celebrated each year on the 2nd Wednesday in October.  It’s a really fun way to improve morale and have fun at work or school.  (kids, remember to ask permission at school first – some schools won’t appreciate toys at school)  According to the “History of the Teddy Bear” by Marianne Clay, the Teddy Bear didn’t become a public icon until 1903.  About that time the people of the United States began to get what she refers to as “teddy bear fever”.  I know that most of us cannot imagine a time in our lives without at least one teddy bear.  They are such a popular toy – warm fuzzy bearers of love and security.  Today honor one of your oldest buddies and take him with you to work.



National Fossil Day – This is a fun one, especially if you have a museum near you that has a display of fossils that is from your area! The National Park Service and the American Geosciences Institute are celebrating the 6th annual National Fossil Day, organized to promote awareness and stewardship of fossils, and to build a greater appreciation for their educational and scientific value for the public. Fossils in our national parks range from primitive algae found high in the mountains, to the remains of ice-age animals found in caves. Public lands give visitors the chance to observe fossils in the same place that the animals and plants lived millions of years ago. We have a little museum about an hour away from us that has these really amazing mammoth bones and other fossils that were found right in our area. It’s a dusty little place that doesn’t get many visitors, but I found it to be a really great place to go.



Southern Food Heritage Day – I’m not from the south, but I do love what I’ve tasted of Southern Food.  Mmmm . . . fried chicken, barbeque, cornbread, fried okra (ok, this one isn’t one I like), buttermilk biscuits, sweet tea (I like mine not so sweet), peach cobbler . . . YUM!  This celebration is sponsored by the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans so that all of this delicious food that is so representative of the Southern United States is appreciated by everyone who tries it.



Take Your Parents to Lunch Day – When my kids were little there was one day a year when I went to their school to eat lunch with them.  It was the one time I insisted on taking the day off from work because it was important to them.  Fortunately MOST things, like the Science Fairs, plays, and open houses were in the evenings, but lunch with the kids obviously had to be during the day.  I thought it was just something our local schools did, but apparently this is a National celebration that allows parents to go have lunch in the school cafeteria, with the goal being to learn more about what our kids are eating in school, and to open the lines of communication between the parents and the schools about what makes up a healthy lunch, and give parents a voice to that end.  If your school doesn’t host an event like this, it may be a good time to contact your school officials, or maybe through the PTA, and get one set up.  It really excites the children to be able to have their parents, grandparents or a family friend come and eat with them. It still gives you the chance to have lunch with your children, see the disgusting swill they are eating, and be encouraged to pack your child’s lunch for yourself at home!  Most importantly, having you sit with them in the lunch room brings them such joy! The years I was able to attend with my children there were a few kids who didn’t have anyone come to eat with them. My heart just went out to them.  I ended up being a surrogate “Mom” to them during those meals – warmed my heart to be able to do that.



This Day in History –

1984 – Space Shuttle Challenger astronaut Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space.



Food Celebration of the Day –

National Sausage Pizza Day – Every city has sausage pizza, which makes sense because sausage pizza is the 3rd most popular pizza in the United States.  1st place goes to Pepperoni and 2nd is Cheese!  According to about 93% of Americans eat at least one pizza every month.  We are above average since we have pizza about once a week.  From what they have said, about 350 slices of pizza are eaten every second in the United States. That’s a LOT of pizza!  Also interesting is that the largest number of pizza deliveries happen on Super Bowl Sunday, New Year’s Eve, Halloween and Thanksgiving Eve.  I totally understand Thanksgiving Eve since there is so much meal preparation going on that who truly wants to do ANOTHER meal?  What I didn’t find to be surprising was that anchovies are the least popular pizza toppings, since truly, how many people like squishy fish on their pizza? Gross!



National Dulce de Leche Day – Dulce de leche (DOOL-say day LETCH-ay) is delicious! Do you know what it is? It is a sweet, thick milk caramel sauce, prepared by slowly heating a can of sweetened milk until it caramelizes. I’ve done this a couple of times and was completely stunned that it was just as simple as it sounds!  The end result is a lovely, sweet, topping that can be used as a topping, a filling, or eaten from the can! OK, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that, since it is VERY sweet.  It is good though.  Before sweetened condensed milk was invented by Gail Borden in 1856, dulce de leche was made by reducing milk (a labor intensive process) with sugar. 
I had to turn the heat on today! OK, I didn’t turn it up by much.  We keep the thermostat set at a comfortable 60 degrees for most of the year, then bump it to between 63 and 65 for the fall and winter. I was sitting here shivering and realized I didn’t HAVE to be cold.  It’s sort of amazing what a difference a couple of degrees make, isn’t it? Well, I have laundry to switch over, and some cleaning to do. It isn’t going to do itself, so I’m going to open up the blinds to let the sunshine in, and enjoy this gorgeous autumn day. God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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