Of Mice and Men . . .

Jan 21st

I can honestly say that today I am filled with sadness, dread and a sense of oppressive heaviness that has settled on my heart.  Though the official Inauguration Day is on January 20th, because it fell on a Sunday this year, the public swearing-in ceremony will be held today.  The U.S. Presidential Inauguration swearing-in ceremony has evolved over the years, and different presidents have added their own personal touches to the event. Many of these have become precedents that we still observe today. For example, kissing the Bible, closing with the words, “so help me God,” the inaugural ball and the inaugural parade have all become traditions that new presidents continue to follow.  To me, the ONLY highlight of this year’s ceremonial events would be the fact that Rabbi Jonathan Cahn has been invited to be the keynote speaker at the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast.  May his words be blessed by God today, and may they fall on open hearts, open minds and fertile souls.  May the Lord keep us throughout the next 4 years, for in my heart and mind I know it is going to be a really bumpy ride. For anyone who has criticism for my words on this subject?  Well . . . sorry, my blog, my thoughts.  You don’t have to read them, and as much as I really want people to read and appreciate my words, I’m here to speak the truth as I feel it, not to pat anyone on the head.  Moving on . . .

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15th, 1929.  He grew to become one of
the greatest Social Activists the world has ever known. At 35, he became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace prize. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 while making a speech from the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. His Birthday became a National Holiday by an act of Congress in 1983. Many consider it a day to serve your community.  The 3rd Monday of every January has been set aside in his honor. Many have this day off from work . . . I am not one of them.  Because this holiday is widely known and followed, I am not going to spend a great deal of time on it.  Everyone pretty much knows what they need to know about observing this holiday.

National Hug Day or National Hugging Day is an annual holiday created by Rev. Kevin Zaborney.  It occurs on January 21 and is officially recognized by the US Copyright, but is not a public holiday.  Rev Zaborney intended this day to help everyone show more emotion in public, and there is only one way you are supposed to celebrate this holiday – and that is to offer hugs to everyone you wish to offer them to.  Whether you hug a friend, family member or a stranger, they say the mental and physical health benefits are the same.  I have to say though – as affectionate a person as I am, I won’t be offering hugs to strangers . . . just not a healthy endeavor in my mind.  I’ll keep my hug offers to my hubby, my parents, kids or very close friends.  Everyone else . . . will a handshake do?

Happy AFRMA Fancy Rat and Mouse Day!!!  (AFRMA stands for American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association)  When I was about 8 years old I really, really wanted a small pet in a cage . . . when we went to the pet store I fell in love with the mice. They were SO cute, and tiny and very active.  My mother got us a cage, food, accessories and requested two female mice from the pet store clerk.  About 30 days later we had a litter of babies . . . one of our females wasn’t . . . and so it began.  Mice make awesome pets – they are sweet, incredibly smart, clean and really fun to watch play.  I took my mouse mommy duties seriously.  We got a couple of small glass aquariums and attempted to separate out the females from the males. . . but you couldn’t always tell.  We took them to the pet store for awhile . . . until I found out that they were using my babies for snake food.  That stopped in a hurry.  At one point I had over 60 mice in various cages in my bedroom.  Eventually I learned how to separate them, and since mice don’t have a long life span, they eventually crossed that rodent rainbow bridge and my mouse graveyard in the woods grew.  By the time I was about 10 I didn’t have any mice left, but my love for them lived on.  To this day I love mice – the domesticated one of course!

Years later, when my son was about 11, I worked upstairs from a pet store, and they had 3 beautiful female rats (on rats you can definitely tell the girls from the boys), and my son decided he wanted to buy them.  He didn’t want to have one be lonely, so we couldn’t buy 2 and leave one alone, or buy one and have it be lonely – so we made that 2.5 hour trek on foot, bus and ferry to go home with 3 rats.  He named them after the girls on the TV show Friends – Phoebe, Monica and Rachel.  What was funny was that these rats really sort of had the characteristics of these women!  Phoebe was a buff colored rat and was quite dingy! She really was! She’d get on her wheel and try and try to make it work right, but would ultimately just end up riding back and forth like a seesaw, rather than run on it.  Monica would literally clean their cage! She’d fuss around the cage and move shavings around til it was neat and smooth, and you could hear her squeaking at the other 2 rats, almost like she was scolding them for being messy.  Rachel was absolutely vain.  She would sit there on top of their little sleeping cave, grooming herself, hour after hour, after hour.  Those rats adored my son, they knew his voice.  Anyone else could approach their cage and they didn’t even look up, but when my son got home, they knew his voice and would run to the door of their cage and just wait for him to come and pet and play with them.  Those sweet, smart critters lived for over 4 years, which is really a long time in rat years.  The next time you have an EWWWW response to mice or rats in the pet stores, remember these rodents are specifically bred to be disease free, calm, loving pets.  They aren’t like their wild counterparts in any way except species.

Pray for our country today and every day – no matter what happens, God is in control. Appreciate each other with a hug or two, and remember that even the smallest of creatures was put here by God, and has value in its own right.  Be blessed today- I’ll see you tomorrow!

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