Laughs our Laughter, Sheds our Tears, Fears our Fears… She lives our Joys, Cares our Cares & all our Hopes & Dreams she shares. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Click on the name below the picture for an interesting history on Mother’s Day. Anne Jarvis, pictured, is the founder of Mother’s Day. She also died trying to end it.
A thank you to every mother who nurtures a child. Whether by choice or circumstance, birth, adoption or someone who stepped in to fill a void. Motherhood is often a thankless job, done of the purest love, and is a never ending task. Thank you for the sleepless nights while you worried as we were out with friends, away to college, or starting our lives as spouses and parents. Thank you for listening to us as we sobbed out frustrations and for being our confidant as we shared our secrets only with you. Thank you for your prayers and for such unconditional love & wisdom. Thank you for teaching us to be strong & courageous and to press on facing what life brings our way. Thank you for Roots and Wings!! We love you “Mom”!
According to the New Testament, Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday, then two days later he rose from the dead, appeared to the disciples and ascended to heaven. But many of the symbols associate with Easter are traced back to the pagan goddess of spring and fertility “Eostre”, who was associated with rabbits and eggs. The Christian holiday is also linked with Spring, people see daffodils in bloom & they associate it with new life.
So…what about the Easter Bunny?: (see video below)
The first time I ever heard of the “Easter Pig” was from a friend of mine who raised his children with the Easter Pig rather than the Easter Bunny. I’d never heard of it, but have found since then that many celebrate Easter with the pig.
Yes, Yes, you read it right – The Easter Pig! Here are 3 short stories about The Easter Pig’s beginnings.
Everybody knows that in the off season, the Easter Bunny lives on a farm where he brags insufferably about how important he is, and acts like his shit don’t stink. Of course, all the other animals think he’s kind of an ass, but they never say anything because they’re too polite. Finally, one day last winter, Pig had had enough. He couldn’t take the boasting and bragging for one more second! So he told Bunny that any animal could deliver chocolate just as well as he could – heck, Pig himself could do it better! Naturally, Bunny was offended and laid down a challenge: this year, both the Bunny and the Pig would take over Easter duties, and they’d just see who did the best job! Pig agreed, except for one thing. Bunny had already spent years perfecting his system, and months making this year’s candy – there was no way Pig could be ready in time to deliver candy to the whole wide world. So the barnyard animals voted and decided that Pig would have to deliver candy to one child in each state or geographical region of the world. And that’s how the Easter Pig got his start in the candy-delivery industry.
Pig was getting nervous. After all, Bunny had been doing this Easter thing for years and Pig really wasn’t sure where to start. He sat down to think about it. “Every year Bunny delivers eggs in a basket. But baskets are dumb. They’re boring and no fun. Lets see … what’s fun? I know! Dirt! Everybody loves dirt! You can dig in it, and roll in it, and scratch your itchy back in it. Dirt is a thousand times better than a stupid basket.” So Pig got started. He gathered up the most delicious treats he could find. Then he carefully wrapped them up (because even Pig realized that while dirt is fun to play with, it’s not that great to eat.) For each child on his route he carefully prepared a special box of the very best, scratchiest, dirtiest dirt he could find in the barnyard and carefully buried the treats in the dirt. Pig was so proud. “The kids are going to love this!” he exclaimed. Just then, Bunny hopped by with some wicker to make more of those ridiculous baskets. Bunny saw the boxes of dirt and stopped in his tracks. “You cannot be serious,” he sneered. “Tell me you did not put candy in DIRT. Disgusting!” Bunny twitched his nose and tittered, “Oh! This competition is going to be too easy! Dirt!” And he hopped away with his wicker giggling to himself. Suddenly, Pig wasn’t so sure about the dirt. He looked at the boxes. They did look kind of grungy. Maybe the children wouldn’t like them after all? But, no. That’s not possible. It’s dirt. Everybody loves dirt! …Right? Pig wished he’d taken more time to think through his options, but it was too late. There wasn’t time to change the plan now. And, anyway, he was sure (pretty sure) that his Easter treats would be the best. A least he hoped so.
Easter was just around the corner, and Pig was depressed. His wonderful idea last year had not exactly worked out as planned. Yes, some of the kids loved the dirt but most of them thought it was pretty weird. (How can dirt be weird?? Whatever.) And all the moms were furious at the mess it made in the house. Living in a barn, Pig hadn’t really anticipated how difficult it would be to vacuum dirt out of carpet. So, okay, Pig was ready to admit that maybe baskets, as boring and stupid as they were, did have some use. This year, he decided to go with baskets. But how could he possibly get so many baskets ready in time? Bunny had been working on his baskets since the very day after Easter last year, and he was still hard at work. Pig realized that all those days he’d spent lazing in the mud this summer had really cost him. He was going to need help. Chicken and Rooster just clucked at him when Pig asked them for help. They were too busy with their new chicks. Horse didn’t even think about it; he immediately said, “Neigh!” Sheep, Cow, and Duck were too excited to get out into the spring air after a long winter in the barn. There was no way they were going to stay inside and help. That left Goat. Pig hesitated about asking Goat. He was a nice guy, but he wasn’t exactly responsible and he had a reputation for being a little, shall we say, dumb. But there was no one else, so Pig asked him. “Sure!” Goat exclaimed. “I’d love to help! I love helping!” So they got to work. Pig had never made baskets before, but he did the best he could, and Goat was eager to learn. The baskets weren’t perfect, but they were okay. After days and days of making baskets, they finally had enough. “Phew,” said Pig. “That was a lot of work! Wait here while I go get the candy, and we can fill the baskets.” As Pig gathered up all the treats, he felt proud of himself. He’d really done his best, and he was sure that he could beat Bunny this year. He happily carried all the candy back to the corner of the barn where Goat was watching the baskets, only to find a disaster! Goat had eaten the baskets! Every single basket had holes and bite marks in it, and Goat was just sitting there contentedly chewing on a piece of wicker. “WHAT DID YOU DO!?” shouted Pig. “I was only gone for five minutes!” “What?” asked Goat. “I got hungry. These things are delicious, by the way. …Pig? What’s wrong?” Pig sat down in the middle of the barn and put his hooves over his face. “They’re ruined!” he sobbed. “Everything is ruined. I’ll never be better than Bunny at Easter deliveries. I’m a failure.” Goat felt terrible. He’d had no idea that the baskets were gifts. He thought it was just a fun springtime activity He spit out his last piece of wicker, but it was too late. Pig cried and cried. The other animals heard the commotion and came over to see what was wrong. They all felt sorry for Pig. He was so upset, and they all really did want him to finally beat Bunny, who had teased him mercilessly all year long about the dirt incident. “It’s not so bad, Pig,” said Horse. “Some of these baskets are only a little chewed up. I bet you can still use them.” “Yes,” said Chicken. “The chicks are all down for their naps, so I can help you. We’ll make it work. Stop crying.” All the animals helped. They tied ribbons around broken handles and used bows to cover up holes. They filled the baskets with tissue paper so that the treats wouldn’t fall out. They did their best to hide the damage that Goat had done. “Thank you,” said Pig. “Thank you so much. You all are real friends. I think these baskets look just great. Even better than Bunny’s perfect ones! The kids are going to love them.”
“The Book of Nature; Containing Information for Young People Who Think of Getting Married, on the Philosophy of Procreation and Sexual Intercourse; Showing How to Prevent Conception and to Avoid Child-Bearing. Also, Rules for Management During Labour and Child-birth.”
The book, written by sexual physiology lecturer James Ashton, M.D. and a part of the Duke University Historical Collection, recently resurfaced on The Paris Review and internet archive and certainly has some, um, interesting advice for the randy young people of the nineteenth century about sex, marriage and procreation. For some sexy Civil War-style intimacy, here are eight romantic pieces of advice straight from the pages that’s sure to kick your Valentine’s Day off:
1. Keep it clean.
“Always carry to bed a clean napkin….” (don’t we all????)
2. Choose your timing.
“The proper time for sexual indulgence is an important consideration…. Persons who are predisposed to [dyspepsia, indigestion, and other affections of the stomach] should never have sexual intercourse just before eating, nor very soon after a full meal.”
3. Eat plenty of phosphorous.
“The particular food which is calculated to stimulate the sexual organs is shell-fish, or sea fish of any kind, and turtle, as these generally contain phosphorus.”
4. Hope that your past doesn’t catch up to you.
“Young girls of amorous desires get up a sexual excitement, and produce masturbation…and in boarding schools they often practice the habit upon one another until they caused repeated Orgasms, and in this manner injure their health.” (o.O)
5. Practice safe sex.
“Some men tie up the scrotum to prevent a discharge of Semen, and thus hope to avoid impregnating the female.” (oh my)
6. But not too much sex — that’s a bad thing.
“One of the greatest evils to mankind is a too free sexual indulgence by young men and boys. It not only injures their vital powers, but affects their intellects.” (LOL)
7. And whatever you do, keep it missionary.
“…the position of their bodies during the nuptial act. Any unnatural performance of this act is apt to impair the health of the female and many women have been seriously injured…. No female, no matter how robust, can enjoy sexual intercourse except in the position intended by Nature.” (1861 was a tough year!)
Make sure to share this wisdom with your lover, it may come as news to some.
Hope you all enjoyed that as much as I did… lol… always love a good chuckle!! NOTE: THIS IS ONE OF THOSE TIMES YOU DON’T HAVE TO: “GO BY THE BOOK”! HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO YOU ALL!!!!!
Recently I had my cholesterol checked. Seems harmless enough: lab, blood draw, bandage, leave and wait for results. Well… the results weren’t as good as I’d hoped, but certainly not bad either. My levels were slightly elevated but not enough to warrant being put on medication. (YAY!) That said, several years ago (over 20) I WAS on meds for high cholesterol (when I say ‘high’, I sincerely mean HIGH). I don’t want to be on meds, so I have decided that I will do everything I can to keep the pill bottle at bay.
As I age I’ve found myself needing to make certain changes in my life. Some simple, some more complex, but all to improve my health & keep my sanity. I quit smoking nearly 2 years ago and that has proven to be a wonderful plus in many many ways, I am proud to have achieved that!! If you smoke, I encourage you to conquer it too, you will be amazed at the difference it makes!!!
Ok, back on topic: I researched ways to lower cholesterol without medication and there are many! I haven’t room to list them all, so I’ll add some of the more basic/simple ones to start you on your way. NOTE: These are things I am implementing in my own life and are merely suggestions to others with high cholesterol or for those attempting to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
*** I am not a doctor!! Before you participate in any exercise or diet consult your doctor. ***
Exercise is one of the best things for you. Just raise that heart rate!
To start your day: Oatmeal, blueberries and almonds are great for reducing cholesterol and here you have them all in one meal, the most important one of the day.
Another Option: Cranberry Almond Oatmeal Cranberries or dried cherries are beneficial choices.
DIRECTIONS Put the almond milk & oats in a medium pot. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken. Fold in dried cranberries or cherries & continue to cook until thick & creamy. Remove from heat & set aside. In a small bowl stir together the agave & cinnamon. Drizzle into oatmeal, fold to incorporate & top with slivered almonds.
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup and Pecans Makes 4 potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed 4 teaspoons olive oil Salt and pepper 2 tablespoons maple syrup ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 4 teaspoons chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place each sweet potato on a cutting board and line two chopsticks (or wooden spoons) up along either side. Carefully slice the potato into 1/8-inch slices, cutting almost all the way down to the bottom but not all the way through. The chopsticks will help prevent you from cutting all the way through the potato.
Rub the potatoes with the oil, coating the entire potato and getting down between some of the slices. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, remove the potatoes from the oven and fan out the slices. Brush the potatoes with maple syrup covering the surface and getting in between the slices. Sprinkle the potatoes with cinnamon and pecans. Return the potatoes to the oven and bake another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.
One potato: Calories 201; Fat 6.7g; (Sat 0.8g); Protein 2.5g; Carb 33.6g; Fiber 4.4g
MARTHA STEWART PRUNES:
Martha Stewart Prunes Ingredients: 6 ounces pitted prunes (1 1/2 cups), 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Armagnac (you may substitute white grape juice or apple juice for the Armagnac (brandy), 1/4 cup sugar, pinch of ground cinnamon, 1 quart of vanilla ice cream. Directions: 1. Bring prunes, 1 cup Armagnac, and sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Cook until liquid is syrupy and prunes are soft, about 20 mins. 2. Transfer prunes in syrup to a heatproof bowl and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of Armagnac and cinnamon. Let cool. Spoon prunes over ice cream and drizzle with syrup.
I sincerely hope this helps you in your endeavor to lower your cholesterol, maintain your cholesterol levels or just start better eating habits. Please feel free to leave a comment or suggestion, they are always welcome!
New Year is different for all of us. Some see it as a new beginning, a chance to start over. Some see it as a chance to promise themselves a healthier lifestyle, full of better choices. Some see it filled with dread.
Those who are grieving tend to stand at the threshold of a new year looking back rather than forward. We fear walking through the door into a new year means leaving our lost loved one behind. Moving on seems an act of betrayal or abandonment of the one we love. We also fear forgetting & letting go. What we must remember is that January 1st is just another day, a day like any other, and that any meaning or power beyond that, is only what we assign it.
You will get through the New Year! Frame your New Year’s resolutions in hope, determine to control your emotions, strive toward better understanding of the grieving process. Enter a future that’s good, even though it lacks aspects you may desire, and one that offers hope for peace and the ability to enjoy life even though you grieve.
The New Year is a time for setting things straight: a thorough housecleaning, paying off debts, returning borrowed objects, reflecting on one’s shortcomings, mending quarrels, giving alms. In many cultures, people jump into the sea or a local body of water-literally washing the slate clean.
By ending the old year with respect and beginning the new one in the way we’d like it to begin, we establish our intent for the new year. Whether we gather together to watch the ball drop in Times Square, set off firecrackers at midnight, or clink champagne glasses with our loved ones, we are acknowledging an important transition & welcoming a fresh start.
May your New Year be rich with all of the blessings you desire.
Rather than doing a ‘traditional’ blog on the ‘traditions’ of Christmas across the world, I’d like to share a few of my favorite Christmas songs. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. God’s Blessings to you & yours !