Let’s Get November and The Holiday Season Off To A Great Start!

Nov 2nd
November SundayOh my goodness!  I have been working on this post LITERALLY all day long!  It was down to finding images for it, and something happened, my draft didn’t safe and I lost it all! I do not have the time to do it all over again from scratch, so please accept my apologies while I copy and paste from 2013 and hope for the best.  I can’t believe this! I finally get all of my computer functions back and I do a rookie mistake like not making sure my drafts are saved before I move on to something else!  I really will get this down to normal again! I promise!  Isn’t this picture pretty?  This was what I was trying to get from my phone to the computer when I lost everything.  Mom and I went to a Christmas shop at a nursery near here yesterday, and they had this lovely waterwheel outside.  It just made me feel so good to look at it!  Very autumn-ish (I know, that’s not a word, and waterwheels are for all year round).    

November 1st

Skogskyrkogården_at_All_Saints_Day_2010-1All Saints’ Day –The way that the official, and long lasting, holidays came to be really fascinates me.  All of our Christian holidays seem to be tied in with old pagan holidays in one way or another, up to, and including our Christmas festivities.  I know so many people who do not celebrate Halloween because of its pagan roots, yet have no problem celebrating Christmas with a tree, or Easter with a basket of eggs and bunnies.  All are pagan symbols interspersed with our Christian traditions to make them more palatable for all, as the popular pagan rituals were being crowded out by the church.  Nobody in church leadership wanted to outright ban pagan religious celebrations for fear of backlash, and it was decided that if the two faith’s holidays were combined, that eventually the pagan rituals would die away.  Some have, but some haven’t.  Today is a good example.  Today we have the Christian holiday of All Saint’s Day, which honors and recognizes all of the saints of the Christian church, many of them martyrs.  The church set aside this day to celebrate over 10,000 recognized saints.  All Saints Day was also known as Hallomas.  Originally All Saints Day and All Souls Day were observed in May, but they were moved to November 1st and 2nd in an attempt to downplay the pagan holidays of Halloween (All Hallow’s Eve) and Dia de Loss Muertos.  Religious leaders thought that those holidays were just too popular to come out and ban, and hoped they would eventually just stop being practiced.  For the most part it has.  Yes, Halloween is still observed, but certainly not in the way that it was originally intended, and has turned into more of a Hallmark type holiday, with the focus being on the commercial sales of costumes and candy, and fun for the kids. For many years I kept my kids from celebrating Halloween, while cherishing my memories of going out trick-or-treating with my friends, dressing up and going on absolutely fantastic outings with our church youth group.  I began to feel hypocritical about it, the older I got.  I regret doing that to my kids because they missed out on a lot of fun.  I know that we didn’t celebrate this holiday with the macabre in mind, but with fun and light hearted enjoyment.  By the time I got into Jr. High and High School, our church youth group always started and ended the evening festivities with prayer, and a focus on what was really important.  I can’t help but think that it’s all where the heart and spirits are, rather like with the Christmas tree.  I don’t enjoy it as a pagan focal point in our living room, but with the love for the beauty of the tree and what it represents in our Christian home.  Everyone has to decide for themselves what is best for them, for their beliefs and for their families, so no judgment from me on the issue.  I just think the origins and what we have done with the evolution of these holidays is really quite fascinating.        
Book Lovers Day – This is one for all of us who absolutely love reading, which is right up there near the very top of my favorite ways to relax.  There is nothing like being in the middle of an amazing book that you just can’t put down, all snuggled up in a blanket, feet propped up, cup of hot tea next to me on the end table, completely lost in the story.  Reading books is a great hobby because it isn’t only educational, informative and relaxing, it makes us smarter and happier people.  This one is an easy one to celebrate.  Grab your book, a cup of your favorite beverage and find a quiet place to enter the world that exists within the pages of your book.         
Give Up Your Shoulds Day – Regrets.  What an incredible waste of time they are, right?  Regrets are stressful, and stress shortens our lives, damages our health, and impedes our focus.  Today is the 6th Annual Give Up Your “Shoulds” Day.  For one day you are invited to give up a “should” on your list that brings you stress, guilt, misery, or any sort of sadness.  An example of a “should” may be:  “I should clean the house”, “I should go to the gym”, “I should be making more money”, “I should lose weight”, “I should be getting more work done”, “I should stop eating the leftover Halloween candy” . . . etc.  There are any number of “should” we impose on ourselves.  When you give yourself permission to give up one of the stressful “should”, it allows your mind to relax, and lift the weight that’s been sitting on your shoulders.  People who give up some “should” actually live more calm and fulfilled lives.  They give themselves permission not to be so rigid, which can lead to a healthier life.  Now something important to remember is that giving up a “should” isn’t necessarily tied to what you do.  For example, you can give up your “should” about giving up sugar, but still not eat sugar.  It isn’t about what you do, or what you don’t do, but about the thoughts and the beliefs that you are hauling    
authorsNational Authors’ Day – Back in 1928 a woman by the name of Nellie Verne Burt McPherson was the president of the Bement Women’s Club.  She was a teacher and an avid reader throughout her life.  During WWI she was recuperating in a hospital and wrote a fan letter to fiction writer Irving Bacheller, telling him how much she enjoyed reading his story, “Eban Holden’s Last Day A’Fishin”.  Bacheller sent her an autographed copy of another story he wrote.  This thrilled Nellie so much, and realizing that she could never adequately thank him for his gift, that she came up with the idea to show her appreciation by submitting the idea for a National Author’s Day to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. They passed a resolution setting aside November 1st as a day to honor American writers.  In 1949 the day was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce.  I can’t imagine many authors today actually taking the time to respond to a fan letter, much less to send them something free.  My goodness, times certainly have changed.       
th2Y96PZJJNational Go Cook For Your Pets Day –  Our furbabies are so special to us, aren’t they?  Today is a day we can celebrate our special four-legged family members by keeping their health and nutrition in mind and cooking their food for them.  It’s important to know what is our pets food, just like it is important to know what is in ours.  Especially lately, with all of those toxic ingredients finding their way into our pet’s food supply, causing horrible illness and death!  If you aren’t sure what to cook for your pet, you can find recipes at DoggyDessertChef.com .  Always remember, there are foods your dog or can should never eat.  Here’s a list from the ASPCA to remind you what they are: 
  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate in any form
  • Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate-covered espresso beans)
  • Tea
  • Yeast dough
  • Salt
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Be careful with milk and other milk-based products, as they can cause diarrhea or other digestive upset.
PrimemeridianPrime Meridian Day – We all learned in school that the world is divided into different latitudes and longitudes, right?  And this makes sense because we need to use the numbers connected with these longitudes and latitudes to communicate about, and map, the different locations on the planet.  Did you ever stop to wonder who actually decided how to divide it up, and choose where those meridian lines were to go?    When people explored different parts of the world, even back in ancient times, they would draw maps of what they saw on their travels.  They often would number or letter the lines running horizontally and vertically to help them find, and talk about, different features on their maps.  Problem was that different mapmakers used different systems, and that could get confusing.  The wealthiest and most powerful nations in the world used some of their wealth and power to explore faraway places, so the systems they used because widely used.  Still, with many different nations counting their longitudes with different starting points, it made a different “prime meridian” for all of them. A good example of this would be, in France they counted the line of longitude running through Paris as the Prime Meridian.  At the same time, geographers in England counted the line of longitude to be running through Greenwich, which was just outside of London, as the prime meridian.  That was completely confusing.  Everyone thought it was obvious what the latitude should be – the equator, which runs midpoint through the “waist” of the earth.  There just wasn’t as obvious and objective a spot to start for longitude.  Should it be the line that intersects Tokyo, Japan? Cairo Egypt? New York, United States?  Any one of them would have worked, so how did they choose the Prime Meridian? Well, on November 1st in 1884, representatives of 25 nations met in Washington DC to discuss and set up a standard latitude/longitude system, and also the standard time zones.  Through discussion, and a vote, Greenwich in Great Britain was chosen.  Haiti voted against this, and Brazil and France refused to vote,  but the other 22 “yea” votes carried the motion and the world finally had one standard Prime Meridian.
sadie_hawkins_daySadie Hawkins Day – I admit I laughed when I saw the origins of this one.  Sadie Hawkins Day originated in Al Capp’s classic comic strip, Li’l Abner (1934 – 1978).  In Li’l Abner, Sadie Hawkins was the daughter of one of Dogpatch’s earliest settlers, Hekzebiah Hawkins.  Sadie was known as “the homeliest gal in all them hills” and she was frantic waiting for “suitors to come a-courtin'”.  When she got to be 35 years old and was still a spinster, her father was getting frantic too, at the thought of her living at home for the rest of her life.  He was desperate and in that desperation, he called all of the unmarried men of Dogpatch together and declared the day to be “Sadie Hawkins Day”.  It was decreed that there would be a foot race, with Sadie chasing the town’s eligible bachelors, with marriage at the end of the race to the man she caught.  The town spinsters thought that this was such a great idea that they made Sadie Hawkins Day  a mandatory annual event, much to the upset of the bachelors of Dogpatch.  Because of all of the fun they got out of this topic, there were many sequences that revolved around the dreaded Sadie Hawkins Day race.  If a woman caught a bachelor and dragged him kicking and screaming across the finish line before the sun went down, by law, he had to marry her.  The first mention of Sadie Hawkins Day was made in the comic strip in 1937 and proved to be a very popular annual feature.  Since that time Sadie Hawkins Day has leaped from the comic strip page to real life.  In high schools and on college campuses since 1939, there have been dances and gatherings where the girls ask the boys out, which was pretty much unheard of before 1937. By 1952, Sadie Hawkins Day had been celebrated at 40,000 known venues.  It is celebrated on the 1st Saturday of every November and is listed yearly in The Old Farmer’s Almanac!  How fun is that?
November 2 –  
day of the deadAll Souls Day (also Day of the Dead) –  I am writing about this one for information only, but I will add a disclaimer.  All Soul’s Day is a Christian holiday but it is not one that the doctrine I was raised with follows.  The purpose of All Soul’s Day is to pay respect and remember the souls of friends and loved ones who have died and gone to heaven.  Upon death, some believe that the souls have not yet been cleansed of sin, so prayers for the souls are said in the hopes of removing the stain of sin, thereby allowing the souls to enter the gates of heaven.  This observance started in the year 998.  OK, now for my disclaimer:  Anyone who is a Christian accepts that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.  In the Bible it clearly teaches that we are responsible for our own salvation, and seeking forgiveness for our sins is something we can only do for ourselves.  Nobody else can pray for, and get, forgiveness for our sins on our behalf.  Celebrating this holiday may make the living feel better about those who have died, but we won’t know if they took care of their own salvation needs until after we have also passed away and made our way to either our reward, or our punishment.  Daily communication with God, persistently seeking His grace and asking forgiveness for our sins should be as automatic for the person who follows Christ as it is for us to breathe.    
look for circles
Look For Circles Day  I suppose it is pointless to ask why this one was created.  I tried to follow the pointless road though, to see if there was any explanation anywhere for this one and all I ended up with was a waste of time, right back here to write about something that doesn’t seem to have an purpose.  However, as we’ve seen many times this year, celebrations don’t always have to have an obvious purpose – it is enough that the person who took the time to create them thought there was a purpose.  Circular shapes are all around us . . . drink coasters, drawer handles, light fixtures, the moon, the centers of flowers . . . well circles are everywhere.  In ancient Rome, circle were worshiped.  They were thought to be divine and holy.  Circles are symbols of infinity – a line that never ends.  Sitting right where you are without getting up, how many circular things do you see?  Sitting right where I am I can see 34 different circles. Interesting!  
plan your epitaphPlan Your Epitaph Day –  It’s a good thing to always be prepared, and there’s nothing MORE prepared than already planning or writing your own epitaph!  How do you want to be remembered?  Here are some funny ones that have been found on real gravestones in the United States:
* “I told you I was sick!” (Found in a Georgia cemetery)
* “Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake. Stepped on the gas instead of the brake. (Found in a Uniontown, Pa., cemetery)
* “Here lies an Atheist … All dressed up and no place to go.” (Found in a Thurmont, Md., cemetery)
So, how do you want to be remembered?  This is a tough question!

This Day In History

11/1/1914 – The Bra was patented.
11/2/1721 –  Peter the Great becomes Emperor of Russia.

Food Celebration of the Day

Nvinegarational Vinegar Day – It can pickle and preserve foods, add flavor to your favorite dish and some varieties can even be used to clean your house — is there anything vinegar can’t do?!

55139_CarouselImage_620x413_deviled_eggs_recipesNational Deviled Eggs Day – I love deviled eggs.  They are a feature on our table at many holidays and gatherings.  I don’t have a specific recipe, but just know what I want to throw into the eggs to make them delicious.  There is nothing sinister about the term “deviled eggs” since the “deviled” part refers to the original signature spice mix in the stuffing.  Deviled eggs, or forms of them, have been found in Medieval cookbooks, but those recipes describe a much more difficult process to make them than we have today.  If you have always made your deviled eggs the same way over and over, maybe try one of these recipes to give something new a shot! They all sound good . . . well, maybe except for the one with sardines in them.  Interesting choice.

WHEW!  After a lot of frustration, a lot of angry words, restarting my computer once or twice, it FINALLY allowed me to load up pictures, and here  we are, with the day nearly over! Geez!  It’s way PAST time for me to get other stuff done, so you have a lovely rest of your day, and I will do the same! God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!AmericanFlagCrossandPrayingHands

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