Our First EVER Grandkid Weekend Starts Today! I Am So Excited!

Mar 28th

Today is the day! I am getting off work early and heading south to pick up my Grandson, Ethan!  Last night I went to the store and got kid friendly foods . . . he likes hot dogs . . . so we have organic, uncured, nitrate/nitrite free turkey hot dogs (hahahaha I know, but hey, gotta be healthy!).  He likes cereal, so we have organic Panda Peanut Butter Puffs sweetened with evaporated cane juice.  It’s better for him than Captain Crunch Peanut Butter whatever they are called and it tastes good too.  There’s other stuff, but you get the idea I’m going for here.  I also got the rest of his birthday presents and this is going to be fun!  If the weather cooperates we will be introducing him to day hiking with his own pack, new hiking boots, new binoculars and a few healthy treats in his bag for snacking on while we are on the trail.  He also got a BIG Tonka dump truck and some rubber boots so we can head down to the beach.  I forgot how fun it was to buy kid stuff!  Let’s see what the rest of you will be celebrating while I’m on the road today!

Something on a Stick Day – this is a fun one!  Today we celebrate things that are on sticks!  How great is that?  So, what comes on a stick?  Just about anything can!  Popsicles and fudge bars come on sticks.  Hotdogs roasted on a stick over a campfire are always popular.  Of course there are also corndogs, kabobs, Thai chicken satay, cocktail sausages, cheese and fruit picks like you find at parties.  You can get food samples from the store on sticks.  I wish I had looked ahead to this one because I have a cookbook that has EVERYTHING on sticks!  That will be a fun future post – food on sticks.  I’ll make a note and do that.  Help me remember, OK? 



Weed Appreciation Day – How many of you work like crazy to kill all the weeds in your yard, leaving only well manicured grass and specific shrubs and flowers?  I’m not one of those people . . . not because I don’t appreciate a beautiful yard, I do! For one thing, I don’t care for yard work, and for another, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the mixture of whatever green, mossy, weedy stuff that substitutes for a lawn.  It’s green, I mow it, it’s all good!  I remember my Grandfather working himself silly digging up dandelions and doing everything he could to get them out of his yard.  Truth be told dandelions are awesome plants!  Not only are they some cheap, fun entertainment – don’t tell me you’ve never blown the fluff off of a dandelion, because I don’t think I’d believe you.  My dog Tibbi used to pounce on “puff balls” when she was little, getting the little bits of fluff stuck on her nose.  So cute!   Dandelions are also the first flowers most kids bring in a tightly packed bouquet to their mothers – which is utterly darling!  Dandelions are so much more than weeds or toys though, they are nutrition rich plants that can be used completely, from roots to petals.    The leaves can be eaten in a garden salad, blooms too.  The roots and stems can be made into a tea that is very good for you, and from everything I’ve read can help support the system that is fighting cancer, and help prevent cancer!  Why would we get rid of this lovely plant after finding THAT out?  I have 2 boxes of dandelion tea in my cupboard, and quite honestly would consider using the ones in the yard, but I do have a dog and well . . . we won’t go into details, but I some things are just a little yucky.  There are many plants that are considered to be weeds that are edible or medicinal (or both) in nature and we should learn to appreciate them, using them to their fullest potential.  There is a really interesting book out there called “Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants” by Bradford Angier that identifies more than 100 edible wild foods that grow free in the United States and Canada.  The book has detailed information on specific plants, descriptions, where they grow, what parts are edible, etc.  There are pictures of each plant to help with identification.  I know I’m focusing on the dandelion- but it is the most widely known weed – but here is a quote from the book that is an example of what we are poisoning, digging out and killing with all of our energy.  “”The dandelion, which has saved peoples from starvation, is a three-tiered food…” and “Raw dandelion greens…have an abundant 14,000 international units of Vitamin A per 100 grams, plus .19 milligrams of thiamine, .26 mg. riboflavin, and 35 jmg. of the vital ascorbic acid.” “This same portion of edible greens is further enriched with 198 milligrams of calcium, 76 mg. of sodium and 397 mg. of potassium.”   Plants with these amazing qualities should be allowed to grow anywhere, right?  Another great yard plant that people hate to see there, are the white blooms of clover!  Clover leaves, roots, stems and flowers are all edible.  That book stated that bread made from the seed filled dried blossoms have nourished entire groups of people during famines.  There are hundreds of little plants that will find their way into lawns, with seeds that birds love to eat.  Somehow, after reading about this, a well manicured lawn doesn’t sound as good to me as a nutrition rich backyard of beneficial weeds.  Think about what wonderful benefits different creatures get from “weeds”.  Dandelions attract ladybugs.  Milkweed is food for the caterpillars of the Monarch butterfly.  Cardinals love plantain seeds, quail enjoy sea purslane.  Mourning doves eat lamb’s quarter seeds, while finches feast on shepherd’s purse seeds.  Bees make wonderful honey from clover.  The list could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point.  Something else to think about . . . while people are working so hard on having the perfect lawn, what is the cost truly?  How many herbicides have polluted our ground water?  Or how many birds have been poisoned, or Monarch butterflies have been killed?  Where have the bees gone?  Some people point fingers at big companies, or different industries such as logging, or governments for various pollution for the problems in our environment.  I have to wonder though, for ever gallon of poison in every yard on your street, how much toxic waste is built up in the soil and has drained into the water table?  Appreciate your weeds today, find out what good they can do for you, and maybe figure out a way to beautify your yard using what grows naturally there, rather than trying to kill it.  In the meantime HUG A WEED!

       This Day In History

1797 – Nathaniel Briggs patents the washing machine.      
1939 – The city of Madrid falls to the forces of Francisco Franco, ending the Spanish Civil War.       1979 – Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident occurs in Middletown, Pa.     

Food Celebration of the Day

National Black Forest Cake Day – This cake takes its name from Germany’s Black Forest region, where the cake’s signature Kirsch (a type of fruit brandy) is produced from tart cherries.   I make Black Forest Cupcakes fairly often – they are a favorite for a lot of people and of course they should be!  Cherries and chocolate together are natural!
Black Forest Cake
Black Forest Chocolate Mousse Shots
Black Forest Coffee Cake
Black Forest Oatmeal
Black Forest Crinkle Cookies
Black Forest Crepes
Black Forest Brownies

Food on a stick and appreciating our weeds, while munching on Black Forest Cake?  What could be better than that????  Have fun with it and let me know how it went for you!  I have to get to work so I can leave early and go get Ethan! This weekend will be tiring, but fun!  I’ll let you know how it goes.  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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