Today is Clam on the Half Shell Day. Boy, the world really needs a day like today. You must be elated that someone was smart enough, and had the insight, to create this day for us to enjoy and savor.
We hope that you like clams. Because, the objective of the day is to enjoy clams on the half shell. If you don’t like clams, don’t be sad or disappointed. Today, is also Bunsen Burner Day. And, tomorrow is a brand new day!
Don’t hide in your shell today. Don’t clam up. Get out and celebrate this special day!
Origin of Clam on the Half Shell Day:
Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day.
This is referred to as a “National” day. However, we did not find any congressional records or presidential proclamations for this day.
How to Make Sea Shell Candles
by Patricia B. Jensen
Make sea shell candles in advance and scatter them over the party table for a unique nautical decoration.
Or, with a little adult assistance, kids can make these beautiful candles to take home as party favors.
A great kids craft activity for a Spongebob party, Luau, Beach or Pool party.
Collecting sea shells along the beach is a favorite kids summer activity. Take it one step further by transforming their seaside treasures into beautiful decorations or kids make-and-take party favors. This easy sea shell candle craft shows you how.
When completed, scatter sea shell candles about your party table along with other beach souvenirs, such as starfish and sand dollars. Larger shells can be used as unique centerpieces, or accent pieces in the bedroom or bath.
The perfect souvenir for a seaside-themed party.
What you’ll need:
Bar of paraffin
Metal wick holders
double boiler with a pouring lip
pieces of colored candles
Clean shells in a 10% bleach solution. Rinse with cool water and let dry.
Cut up the paraffin block into smaller chunks with a sharp knife. Melt them in the top of the double boiler by heating the water below to a slow simmer. Use the paraffin as is, or you may wish to add bits of colored wax for different color combinations. This is a great way to use up your old candle stubs. Experiment with color blends, but remember that the wax will be a shade darker when it dries.
Cover a steady surface with plastic or newspapers. Balance one of the shells on a small cup and slowly pour in the melted wax. Immediately place the wick and wick holder in the center of the shell. Leave wax to cool for at least 30 minutes so all the wax will harden fully.
Light up and enjoy your beautiful sea shell candles!
On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt. Lots of confusion prevailed. In the White House, then Secretary of State Alexander Haig was taken a little out of context when he said “I am in control here”. Instead of focusing upon the entire statement, people and the press focused upon these few words. Political uproar eventually led to his resignation.
On that infamous day, I am in Control Day was born.
History sometimes fades with time. Alexander Haig’s statement was all but forgotten. Meanwhile, this special day continued on, and evolved. People came to think about this day in a different context. They personalized it into a day to get their life in control. In that sense, today is definitely a call to action. “I am in Control Day” is your chance to get things in order and under control.
Most likely, the first step is to take a deep breath and relax. Now, assess the situation, and………. get things under control. Once you have accomplished this today, you can work on staying in control everyday.
Important Note: This day is closely related to Panic Day (March 9th) Perhaps you went through Panic Day before getting things under control, and you are now celebrating!?
Also, don’t forget the real roots of I Am in Control Day, as spoken by Secretary of State Alexander Haig in 1981.
Origin of “Holy Experiment Day”:
Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day. We did find references to the usage of holy experiments in people’s lives.
I often wonder why people seem reluctant to smile these days. It costs nothing to smile so come on people lets start looking a bit happier. This article is all about this and about having a more positive outlook on life which will bring positive results.
I am somebody who used to always think in a negative way, I have now managed to stop this and my life has improved no end. I now like to be around positive people, as these people tend to be more successful and happier. In my opinion there are too many people who are always moaning and groaning and are seemingly depressed.
Growing up I had many things to be negative about, I had a stutter, I have a bald patch, I was overweight and am also quite short for a male at five foot four. I was one of the ones who walked around in a depressed state and I used to feel sorry for myself. Even when I write about it now, I laugh about how stupid I used to be.
I realised early into my twenties that I needed to change my approach to life. I was quite fortunate in that I had a friend at the company I worked for, who was to prove an inspiration to me. His name was Stuart, and even though this may seem cruel, Stuart did not have a lot going for him. I won’t go into details but lets just say even with the problems I felt I had, I was not jealous of him. I became quite good friends with Stuart and we would regularly have lunch together.
I would meet him in the canteen at 1pm and would be waiting in my gloomy state of mind, with my gloomy face, for him to arrive. Arrive he certianly did, always with a beaming smile on his face. This always amazed me as I could never understand what he had to be happy about. We would sit down and talk whilst eating our lunch and he never had a negative word to say. When he talked, he talked with passion, about his work and interests. One day it dawned on me, if Stuart (who from what I know of him, seemingly has nothing going for him) can always be positive, happy and smiling, why can’t I?
This was the beginning of my new outlook on life. An era of being positive, appreciating what I have got and more than anything else, plenty of smiles. I now am happy with my weight, height, bald patch and am proud to say I have now overcome my stutter.
National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day celebrates small business owners. These individuals spend countless hours nurturing and growing their young enterprises. The workload demands, and lack of a hired staff, often translates into long and late hours, and many missed family and personal events. But, all in all, they love what they do. After all, they are their own boss.
New businesses have always been a vital, yet not fully appreciated, part of the U.S. economy. On they retail side, they bring different and unique products to the marketplace. They provide stellar and personal service support. When you call, you are more likely to get a real, live person. And unlike big national chains, they know their products. They are outstanding performers in niche markets. In manufacturing, they create many new concepts and ideas, making them creators of new products.
Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day by showing your support….shop their stores today, and everyday.
Origin of “National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day”:
According to the son of the “mom and pop” this day was created for:
” This holiday was created to honor the business that my parents started on 3/29/39 in Everett , MA —a hat shop called Ruth’s. It later developed into a woman’s specialty clothing store and moved to Medford , MA , increasing in size to 10,000 square feet with over $2 million dollars revenue until it closed in 1997.”
Start Your Own Small Business
The most common mistake people make when starting their own business is trying to get too big too fast. Here are some tips to avoid the simple mistakes.
Opening your own business can be a real big gamble. If you do not do your research well, you will wind up like most small businesses, and that is out of business in less then 6 months.
The most important thing to remember when opening up new business is the location. When doing your research for your new business you want to make sure you are the only business of your time in the area. If you are opening a video store you do not want to open near another video store. Remember if you are exclusive to the area, you will automatically get the business of those living in that area.
The next most important thing about opening a small business is you supplier. Do not have just one place to get supplies from, you should have several. By having more then one you can assure yourself that you are getting the lowest prices from them. And if they know about each other they will try to outdo each other to get your business.
Make sure that the products or services that you will be offering are desired, do not just decide to open up a store with out doing any market research is like playing craps, dangerous unless you really know what you are doing.
Advertising is important. Remember just like a casino you are trying to make money and not lose it. By spending some money on advertising you will increase your sales from your opening day. It is best to have a professional help you with your advertising rather then dong it yourself, there is no point in spending money on advertising if no one in your target demographic is going to see it. An example of this would be like using facial expressions to bluff in a poker game against blind players.
When picking your stock it is sometime better to have a better selection of items and maybe not so many of each item, this way you can see which items sell best and order more of those more popular items, and less of the less desired ones.
In business you should not try to open a business unless you already have experience running a related business. You may think you know how to, but to do it correctly you really need experience, after all if you were in a casino and looking to play poker you would not want a roulette dealer who is trying to figure out the rules as he goes would you? Chances are you would want an experienced poker dealer.
Depending on the type of business you are opening try keep your staff as small as possible, and if it is possible try to get friends and family to help you out. This will allow you to keep your costs low until you can really get a good idea of if you are making money or not. Once you are making money you can go out and hire people.
National Joe Day is a chance to change your name, if only for today.
Many people do not like their given name. They wish they could change it. A few actually do. On National Joe Day, it is perfectly okay to have everyone call your “Joe”. Why Joe, and not Bob or Mike or Radcliffe? Simply, because everyone likes the name Joe. If you are called Joe today, we know that you’re “Joe cool”!
This works well for the men out there. What about the ladies? We suggest you choose Josephine or Jody.
Origin of “National Joe Day”:
Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day. Obviously, it is a person who does not like their first name.
This is referred to as a “National” day. However, we did not find any congressional records or presidential proclamations for this day.
Ecards We’ve got you covered with free Ecards for just about any other holiday, occasion, event, or no event at all!
by Dr Joe Rubino
Diminshed levels of self-esteem and poor self-confidence are often shown in certain human behaviour. This article gives a list of five emotional ways that uncover this human lack. In addition it provides solutions to solve one’s poor level of self-esteem and lack of self-confidence.
Many people live their entire lives without getting to the source of what originally caused their feelings of low self-esteem. Because they are unaware of how they can heal their painful past and reframe the circumstances that originally resulted in interpretations of being unworthy, unlovable, or deficient in some way, most people instead often resort to finding ways to distract themselves from the unpleasant sensations that accompany feeling inferior. Instead of effectively silencing the nagging voice of past hurts, they seek out distractions to help them temporarily forget about their lacking confidence and deficient self-image. Five of the more common ways to relieve the pain of low self-esteem and poor self-confidence involve excessive attention to work, food, sports, sex, or even shopping. Like all addictions, they help to distract from but do not resolve the underlying problem and so one is still plagued by feelings that will continually require greater efforts from which to hide.
In our culture, work is usually an acceptable means of diverting our attention. Through hard work, we busy ourselves to the extent that we lack the free time needed to brood over our sorrows. Those who work excessively are often too tired to worry about a lacking social life or the pursuit of fun pastimes that they often likewise believe they do not deserve to experience. Work provides rewards such as money, recognition, and a feeling of accomplishment, all of which help to compensate for feelings of failure in other areas of life.
It’s not that a commitment to work is bad. In fact, it is quite admirable as just one component to a well-balanced life. However, when pursued to excess, it doesn’t allow for the honoring of other equally important elements such as a commitment to family, friends, fun, recreation, personal and spiritual development, etc. An obsession with work can take its toll on health, relationships, and missed opportunities for other equally valuable pursuits.
Moreover, when work is undertaken from the perspective that one is ‘not good enough’ in one or more aspects of their being, it can’t be fully enjoyed. Feelings of low self confidence and little self-esteem diminish one’s energy by consuming attention that could have been spent more productively in the joyful pursuit of one’s goals, rather than as a distraction from persistent negative self-talk.
Like working excessively, an obsession with food is often a common escape from feelings of unworthiness. Eating can serve both as a distraction and a way to make ourselves feel better temporarily. We often seek from food the emotional connection that we are lacking in close, intimate relationships. Frequently, food is linked in our minds to happy times with family or friends. Perhaps we experienced food rewards from our parents or authority figures for scholastic or sports accomplishments. For many, food has become synonymous with love. And so in times of stress, fear, and loneliness, many turn to food to fill a void that only love and self-fulfillment can satisfy.
Habitual overeating also results in being out of shape, overweight, and generally unattractive in the paradigm of Western modern-day culture. The more one eats as a substitute for missing self-love and intimacy with others, the more obese he or she is likely to become. This in turn reinforces the feeling that the heavier the person becomes, the less she fits in and the lower her self-esteem and self-confidence plummets. The greater the feelings of loneliness and not fitting in that result, the more she is likely to seek comfort in food (especially the high carbohydrate, high fat, high comfort variety). A vicious cycle is thus set in motion ensuring more weight gain and lower self-esteem.
Sports and Other Physical Outlets
Some people run to overcome feelings of loneliness, boredom, depression or lacking self-worth. Some pump iron, play golf, or work out at the gym while others find their own unique way to divert their focus through exercise, hobbies, or sports. Many would argue that such a diversion is a healthy way to funnel energy into an activity that contributes to good physical health. However, like any obsession, when taken to the extreme for the purpose of diverting attention from issues in need of resolution, it can become an unhealthy means of avoiding areas in serious need of attention.
An obsession with sex outside of a healthy, loving relationship can likewise become a means of distraction to take the focus away from self-esteem and self-confidence issues. Whether it’s Internet porn sites, an obsession with strip clubs, or the need for frequent casual sexual encounters, all serve as an effort to numb the pain of isolation. Ironically, the greater the obsession to connect with others through meaningless sexual experiences, the greater one’s sense of isolation will likely become.
Another common obsession to compensate for a low self-image is shopping. While some find temporary comfort in making themselves feel more attractive by purchasing the latest, most stylish clothes, shoes, accessories, or even cars and other expensive toys if their budget allows (and many times even if it does not!), compulsive shoppers find that the comfort they seek in material items is typically short lived. They often fool themselves into thinking that next new dress, sport coat, outfit or cologne purchase will make the difference they seek in having them feel better about themselves. Sadly, it never does. However, all too often such excessive spending sprees send the shopaholic deeper into debt. This further reinforces or worsens the failure interpretation they already possessed and continues to diminish their self-esteem and confidence level.
There are countless other addictions that people resort to in an effort to find meaning in life when their own self-worth is lacking. Whether it is compulsive gambling, studying, puttering in the yard, decorating the house, or whatever other diversion, those who lack inner peace will not soon find it externally with a focus that seeks to cover up feelings of being unworthy or unlovable.
Thankfully, there IS a way to reclaim one’s self-worth and restore self-esteem to a high level providing internal comfort and fulfillment. For a complete roadmap to reclaiming self-esteem, visit TheSelfEsteemBook.com and discover all details of this strong authentic formula that will assist you in boosting your self-esteem and self-confidence.
National Spinach Day celebrates, this healthy and nutritious spinach. Popeye the Sailor touted the value of spinach. Nutritionists agree, that Popeye is 100% correct!
Gardeners know that spinach is easy to grow. And, it’s hardy. You can plant it as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Why, that’s today in many parts of the country! More on Growing Spinach.
Celebrate today by:
1. Eating spinach. There’s no shortage of recipes. It is in everything from soups to salads, casseroles, omelets, and much more. It can be eaten raw or cooked.
2. If you are a gardener, go out and plant some spinach.
There is another day that we celebrate this healthy vegetable. It’s Fresh Spinach Day, celebrated on July 16th.
Origin of National Spinach Day:
We have not yet found the originator of this special day, or any historical reference to when it was started.
We found no presidential proclamation or act of Congress making this a National day.
Certain Foods Can Help Keep The Brain Healthy and Active.
Solving crossword puzzles and sudokus may help to keep the brain alive, but they are not the whole answer. So, what will protect the brain from ageing?
You have to eat the right foods. We’ve all been told by our parents to eat fish because that is brain food. Our parents were not wrong, but eating certain fish is better for the brain than any old fish.
Another advantage to eating food that is good for the brain is that it is also good for the heart.
Besides fish, what else should be eaten that will protect the delicate nerve cells and blood-vessels from the damage that often goes hand in hand with ageing?
Why not include the foods listed below in your daily diet?
Fish – What Fish?
· Herring, Sardines and Salmon are all oily fishes. The oil we get from these fishes is full of omega 3 fatty acids. Therefore, the more omega 3 there is in the blood the higher the level of serotonin. Serotonin is a mood enhancer. It can give you that feel-good feeling.
In a test run by the Rush Institute for healthy ageing in Chicago, USA it was found that people who had a fish meal even only once a week are less likely to suffer with Alzheimer’s Disease than those who don’t eat fish.
Eat Your Vegetables
· Homocysteines are chemicals that are a normal part of protein metabolism. But too much homocysteine is not good for you. It brings on Dementia and also increases heart disease.
How can you keep homocysteines at a reasonable level? By eating dark-green vegetables for example Broccoli and Curly Kale.
Fruit Can Also Be Good For You and Your Brain
· Sweet wild blueberries are full of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are the good guys that get rid of the free radicals in the body. How do these free radicals get into the body? You don’t have to be a smoker to inhale passive nicotine. If you walk in the street, cars, buses and motorbikes are giving off petrol or diesel fumes. And as you breathe in, you are breathing in pollutants that are not good for your health.
There are some chemicals in blueberries that help keep the arteries in good condition; this in turn can prevent high blood pressure.
If blueberries are difficult to buy at your local greengrocers, most supermarkets stock tinned blueberries.
Popeye Sort of Had The Right Idea
· While Popeye took spinach to give him bulging muscles so he could get the better of his enemies, we should take spinach to improve the functioning of our brains. It makes sense, as the brain is also a muscle.
A salad with spinach has more than three times the folate as a salad with lettuce.
Brown Rice Is Better Than White Rice
· Switch to brown rice instead of white. This will improve your intake of nutrients. Brown rice is filled with vitamins and magnesium, which seem to play a large part in improving the brain’s function.
Whole grains contain Vitamin B6, which aids in reducing homocysteine levels. People often don’t have enough Vitamin B6, this is because they usually eat processed food.
Red Wine or Grape Juice Which Is Best?
· Drinking red wine in moderation is good for you, it increases longevity, yet what’s good about it, seeing as it slows down the functioning of the brain?
Grape Juice is the better choice than red wine. It has an abundance of anti-oxidants. In fact, it has more anti-oxidants than any other fruit, vegetable or juice.
Now Popeye’s Girl Friend Olive Oil
· Olive Oil the main ingredient of the Mediterranean Diet is good for your heart.
So, go with Popeye and Olive Oil and enjoy a healthy heart.
Hot Cocoa Is More Than Just A Good Night Drink
· It has been found that two tablespoons of cocoa powder is almost twice as strong as red wine, two to three times stronger than green tea and four to five times stronger than black tea.
The anti-oxidants in hot cocoa protect the brain cells from oxidative stress that can lead to Alzheimer’s and other disorders.
Garlic Is Good For More Than Scaring Off Vampires
· Garlic also has Anti-Oxidant properties. However, it also contains Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Viral compounds that help shake off stress induced colds and infections.
Raw crushed garlic is best, but although cooked garlic is less powerful, it still is good for the heart.
Nuts To You
· Almonds and Walnuts are full of Anti-Oxidants. They have been found to lower blood cholesterol levels because of their monounsaturated fat content. This means they don’t make you put on weight. Walnuts are rich in omega 3’s.
On Good Friday, Jesus Christ died on the cross. He died for us. But he only died in human form. He then arose from the dead on Easter Sunday morning to show us that there is life after death in heaven. Good Friday, also called “Dark Friday”, is a day of solemn prayer and the final day of fasting for the long lenten season.
Christ was nailed to the cross at noon. His death came at three o’clock in the afternoon. During this time, christians should spend in prayer and silence.
Sometimes things will be given to me to know and I feel it is a new revelation just to find others had already received it from Spirit. Regardless, it is always exciting to receive deep mysteries from Creator.
Several years ago someone asked me the question, If Creator is love, why would He send His perfect Son to suffer so much for us. I went home and meditated on this questions.
When I was a teenage girl my spirituality was traditional Christianity. (Although I still believe in Christ, I do not hold the same doctrine as traditional Christians) so I have read the King James version of the Bible in detail.
As I was meditating I suddenly became enlightened on this subject. So let me tell you what I suddenly and divinely “knew”.
Adam came into the world as a spirit type creation. He came into a pure world.
Adam found He was also a physical being. He liked the physical and took care of it’s every need. He soon forgot He was spirit and catered to the flesh. By becoming one sided in the flesh He forgot He was divine and powerful and in the image of Creator. By living only in the flesh He lost or forgot He was telepathic, able to heal, able to manifest etc. He made a lot of bad decisions and mistakes. He felt lost, hopeless and powerless. He passed this way of life down to His children, and to every generation after Him. Adam caused man to become mortal.
My definition of “Sin” is not doing something “wrong” To me “Sin” means “The lack of faith”. If a man steals, it is because He lacks faith that God will provide. (We’ll discuss this at a latter time in another chapter).
So Adam brought lack of faith to the world and therefore, hopelessness and death.
Adam now had accumulated a lot of “Karma” and there was no way He knew of to escape it. Too bad because Adam was God’s first Son..a very unhappy prodigal Son.
So then Jesus or Yeshua was born of a woman. Came into an impure world. Was tempted in every manner and never lacked faith. Yeshua was the reincarnation of Adam.
The first man Adam brought sin (lack of faith and hopelessness in the flesh) to the world
The second man Adam brought faith, hope and the ability to get back what we had lost
He brought knowledge of our divinity. So in reality Adam paid His debt to mankind by reincarnating into the Christ. His life was just the opposite of the first man Adam.
Creator after all was not causing Yeshua to suffer. In order for Yeshua to pay His karmic debt..He had to show mankind through death and being raised from the dead, that man is also a divine eternal being. “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22-23)
Makes us know there is hope for all of us to ascend
Only a very small percentage of us understands that dreams hold much importance and opportunity for our self growth, improvement and self discovery. This article is a guide to dream interpretation.
Most of us dream. But only a very small percentage of us understands that dreams hold much importance and opportunity for our self growth, improvement and self discovery. But many mystics of both Eastern and Western origins are aware of the fact that dreams hold a wealth of untapped knowledge. Because of its inherently vague nature, dreams and the art of interpreting them never entered mainstream sciences. Jungian psychology is the closest mainstream science that took dreams seriously.
This article is a concise description of the method of dream interpretation that I use. There are several points/guidelines to take note.
1. The dreams are often symbolic representations of what we are experiencing or are about to experience in the near future. I have found that my dreams often convey messages of occurrences that will most likely happen within a month or so.
2. Usually the people that we encounter in the dream symbolize the different aspects/characteristics of ourselves. For example: a woman may represent a feminine aspect of oneself even when one is male in the waking hours. Much of our repressed tendencies also tend to manifest themselves as characters in dreams as well.
Have you ever wondered why we sometimes appear and behave so differently in our dreams. Well, my take is that dreaming offers an outlet for us to be ‘somebody else’ that we never had the opportunity to be during our waking hours.
3. Often how we feel and the emotion we felt during the dream reveals and conveys much about the meaning of the symbols.
Intuition and the willingness to examine ourselves with brutal honesty are two very important factors for successful analysis.
Below is a list of commonly encountered symbols. In my opinion, we should always take into consideration the fact that symbols hold certain semantics and meanings that are specific to individuals. Thus the interpretations of symbols are not generic and therefore there can be no hard and fast rules with regards to dream analysis.
Common dream symbolism
Water- associated with emotion.
Ocean or any large body of water – often represents the subconscious mind. The state of the sea often is an indication of the emotional state as well
Eating/digesting- Trying to understand an issue/situation
Walking- associated with learning and assimilating.
Path, road or pavement- symbolizes life or spiritual Path/journey
House- symbolizes our self. Within the house, the various rooms could represent the various aspects of self.
Snake- symbolizes knowledge.
Tree and forest – subconscious feelings that governs our emotions
Bridge- a transitional phase or period of transformation / change
Below is an example of a dream and its interpretation. Like any other types of skills, dream interpretation is an art in which one’s proficiency improves with experience.
Miss A was visiting a foreign country. She boarded a train that has a stop in a shopping complex that meanders through mountains and terrains. She remembered telling the train driver that she wanted to alight in the shopping centre so that she can find her way home.
Instead of alighting at the intended destination, she alighted at a strange place. She had difficulty getting to her destination. She contacted her partner (boyfriend). Though they communicated through the phone, she was still stuck and lost in that unfamiliar place. By this time, she was starting to get depressed. In the moment of depression, she woke up from the dream.
Foreign country- unknown knowledge, new experience Train- accelerated learning and understanding Through mountains and terrains- ups and downs Find the way home- spiritual path Train-in-charge – guiding aspect Her partner – male/ mental aspect Queen shopping center station – an intermediate stage that must be attained.
Miss A is currently experiencing and/or learning something that is still unknown to her. It is something that is rather difficult for her to grasp and apply. She is/will be experiencing some feelings of ups and downs. However, if understood, the newfound understanding and knowledge could significantly accelerate her self-growth and discovery. However, for the time being, it is something not within her experience yet (as symbolized by alighting at a strange place instead of the designated station). When she tried contacting her male partner (which symbolizes using her mental reasoning), she was still confused and thus became depressed.
Well, that’s all for a quick lesson in dream interpretation. I hope it is informative and beneficial.
There’s a lot of controversy about the true meaning of Easter. Some claim that it’s actually a pagan celebration in origin. Others lament that retailers, greeting card companies and television are changing Christianity’s greatest feast into something with meaning “the size of a jelly bean.”
In any case, the most common view about the real meaning of Easter is that it’s a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that through this act, sin and death are conquered. Easter also can be seen as a season of joy. The time of sorrow is over. Lent’s penitential forty days have passed, and the fifty days of the Easter season have begun. Winter is over and spring is in the air. In times past, it’s said that priests would regale their parishioners with funny stories. Easter was truly a time to rejoice. To rejoice that Our Lord has Risen and that one day we too shall pass through death (which has lost its sting) and rise to New Life!
While I am certainly not erudite enough to give you the definitive answer on what Easter means. I believe that it offers many valuable insights about life, no matter what your religious beliefs. In fact, the Easter story is so powerful that it probably offers something even to an open-minded atheist!
One of the biggest lessons from the Easter story, I believe, is the power of forgiveness. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about what forgiveness actually is. In my opinion, it doesn’t mean condoning the wrong that has been committed or allowing it to happen again. Moreover, the act of forgiving is not necessarily something you do for the transgressor (although it can be), although its power can transform the transgressor, too. It is something you may do for yourself.
When you can forgive, you can finally be free of the burden of guilt, anger, hatred or resentment. The healing process can begin or finally conclude. You can also let go of the person who hurt you. This makes you stronger and removes the power that person has over you. It’s somehow ironic that by not forgiving we allow the person who has harmed us to continue to harm us, even if they themselves are unaware of the long-term damage that is being inflicted. Of course, ultimately, we are responsible. By taking responsibility now for our own interpretation of what happened in the past, we become much stronger – I think that’s what people mean when they talk about “self-empowerment”.
Teaching children the power of forgiveness is both difficult and easy. It’s difficult because forgiveness is an advanced skill that can take a lifetime to master, and because there’s so much confusion about what it actually means to forgive. It’s easy because children often have fewer pre-conceived notions and see life more clearly than adults do. I’m always struck by how children seem more pragmatic and matter-of-fact than adults.
So, how can you teach something as sophisticated as forgiveness? I like to use children’s stories to explore difficult themes like forgiveness. It’s easier to understand forgiveness through the lens of other people or even other creatures. Once you understand what the characters in the child story are going through, you can relate it back to your own life or situation.
You can use the choices made by different characters or their attitudes as a jumping off point for a general discussion of forgiveness. If you really want to be systematic about it, you can use an appropriate children’s story in conjunction with scripture and a list of prepared questions (a kind of teaching or discussion guide).
I’m not sure whether forgiveness is the main lesson of the Easter story or even a primary message from it. But I am sure that it is a valuable one. And I’m also certain that if we can teach our children how to forgive, that they will be more productive – and happier – human beings.
National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day is a day to enjoy this tasty combination of chocolate and fruit. Chocolate lovers who like raisins, find the combination simply irresistible. Kids find them irresistible, too.
Are you watching your waistline? National Chocolate Raisin Day will not help you here. You’re on your own.
Follow the Logic?: Chocolate is made from cocoa beans ( a vegetable) and raisins are from grapes (a fruit). And, we all know that vegetable sand fruit are good for you. Therefore, isn’t chocolate covered raisins good for you?
Origin of “National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day”:
Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day. This day was most likely created by the candy makers. We also find it surprising that this day is during the Christian season of Lent, when many people give up chocolates. Sometimes, life just isn’t fair……..
This is referred to as a “National” day. We did not find any congressional records or presidential proclamations for this day.
Red Wines vs. White Wines
Most of us know that wine comes from grapes that are aged. But have you ever wondered what helps the grape age properly and why red wines need more time to age than white wines?
The process of aging starts immediately after the grapes are picked, crushed and pressed. The grapes are then put into an oak barrel or steel vat, with some winemakers preferring to add oak chips to the vat. During the aging process acids, sugar and tannin interact. By having more tannin present the winemaker is able to age the wine for a longer period without fear of oxidation. This along with temperature, light conditions, and alcohol complete the aging process. Wines age faster with a warmer temperature. So the winemaker tries to maintain a cool
stable 55-65 degree temperature in a dark area as the ideal aging atmosphere. A big fluctuation in temperature or light conditions on a daily or weekly basis is detrimental to a good wine.
Now why are red wines aged more than white wines? A simple explanation is that all grapes are white inside, which means that red wine needs to allow the exterior skin to mix with the interior when being crushed to give it the red color. This mixture contains tannin, which also aids the aging process significantly. You also get tannin from the oak sides of the barrel. Compounds within these, known as phenolics, allow the wine to age longer while keeping the wine from oxidizing. So the red wine is able to age longer and develop a more full flavored bold taste.
White wines have these same compounds but at much lower levels. This is because the inside of the grape is what wine manufacturers mostly use and by not using as much of the exterior skin less tannin is present. This results in a considerable shorter aging process than a vat with a large amount of tannin present. Attempting to age most white wines over an extended period causes it to flatten and lose some of its aromatic freshness.
So go ahead and save that special red wine for your Grandchild’s marriage, but be sure to serve the white wine within two or three years.
Wines go through the above process to be ready for consumption. Next the wine is bottled and stored in wine cellars to finish the ageing process. Most wines are consumable when the purchased. The main reason is because no one expects to plan the dinner menu for that special party two or three years in advance in order to age the correct wine for the occasion. And how many people have a wine cellar to complete the aging process of their favorite wine?
Wine is also used in religious ceremonies in many cultures. The Bible mentions wine no less than 191 times. The references in both testaments often admonish the reader to use wine, but to use it properly and not to misuse it.
“Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable to him. A new friend is as new wine: when it is old, thou shalt drink it with pleasure.”
“Wine was created from the beginning to make men joyful, and not to make men drunk. Wine used with moderation is the joy of the soul and the heart.” Ecclesiastes 31:35-36.
“Drink no longer water but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake.”
I Timothy 5:23..
The health effects of wine are also the subject of considerable ongoing debate and study. In the USA, a boom in red wine consumption was touched off in the 1990s by ’60 Minutes’, and other news reports on the French paradox. But now research indicates that moderate red wine consumption may help protect against certain cancers and heart disease, and can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It now seems clear that regular consumption of up to 1-2 drinks a day does reduce mortality, due to 10%–40% lower risk of coronary heart disease, for those over the age of 35. This is because of the presence of antioxidants in the wine as well as significant amounts of resveratrol, which is naturally present in the grape’s skin. The original studies showed this more in red wines due to the higher concentrations of resveratrol.
Resveratrol has been shown previously to have a number of potentially beneficial
properties, including antioxidant, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
Here are a few common and uncommon global varieties of wine.
The king of white wines is Chardonnay. It has a vanilla or smoky type aroma and flavor and goes especially well with fish and white meat.
Sauvignon Blanc is another popular white wine which gives off herbal or vegetatal and an ocassional peppery aromas. It has a higher acidity level than the Chardonnay and seafood is a good match for this wine.
Semillon is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc to fill out this more acidic variety of white wines. Semillon alone has more subtle aromas and has a relatively low acidity. Its golden color along with the scent of figs and lemons adds to its attractiveness and it goes well with cheese. This is one of the few white wines that age very well.
Riesling is a excellent wine to have with food, because of its balance of sugar and acid and its relatively low acidity. It can pair with white fish just like a dry wine, or with pork, and it can also stand up to Thai and Chinese cuisine. Riesling’s typical aromas are of flowers, tropical fruits, and mineral stone. This wine is almost never oaked, which then leads itself to suitability with most foods.
Frascati has been called the “Gold Wine” from the ancient Romans, and it was reported to be the favorite wine of Pope Gregorio XVI. Frascati is a vintage wine that is dry, crisp, pale yellow and fresh. It goes very well with soups, seafood, poultry and other light dishes. It is served best cold.
Chenin, the best of these wines have generally come from France, where its versatility is exploited to great effect. The sweet wines are among the longest-lasting of all wines, and the great dry white wines of the region are often listed among France’s finest whites.
The Chenin is also the most widely-grown grape in South Africa, accounting for around 30 percent of the country’s vines. The wine made there is generally bland and acidic, often with overtones of grass or green apples. It is for this reason that in the U.S. it often ends up in the generic jug wines of bulk producers as acidity enhancer for high sugar/alcohol blends.
Pouilly-Fuissé is a dry, medium-full bodied, white wine from France. This wine became popular the 1980’s. Sudden demand and supply drove prices up. It then received the complaint of being over priced. This will still be the case today at some times. Pale buttery gold color with a floral and fruity bouquet with hints of honey and hazelnuts with the taste of apples sets this wine apart. Served at 55 degrees fairenheit this wine goes well with with smoked fish, fish grilled or in a sauce, poultry and white meats, including turkey and pork, creamy cheeses.
Silvaner was the most dominate variety in Germany until approximately the late 1970’s. Originally from Austria, it pairs extremely well with foods that have mild flavors – rice dishes that do not involve a lot of spices, mild chicken dishes, to name a couple. The reason for this is, the wine is a very gentle low keyed fruity tasting wine very light in acid.
Pedro Ximénez a desert wine from Spain. This wine has a very strong taste of raisins and molasses. A syrupy kind of wine goes very well with coffee or over vanilla ice cream in the summer. Some say this desert wine borders a high end desert Sherry.
Among the red wines Cabernet Sauvignon is always a favorite. It ripens late and is best suited for clay soil and moderate temperatures because it requires a longer season for the grapes to ripen. Accompanied by salmon, trout and other sauce-free meats it is the favorite red wine of many.
Merlot is another red wine that has grown in popularity. Its dark color, high alcohol content and full body make this wine very supple and velvety. It has three flavors; the currant and cherry flavor, the more herby style of plumb flavoring and the cherry and chocolate flavor. This simple light flavored wine goes well with pates, game, and many casseroles.
Pinot Noir is one of the more challenging wines for winemakers, but that is what makes it exceptional. It is lighter in color than either of the other two red wines we have discussed. It is relatively high in alcohol and is medium to high in acidity. Its aroma is one of wilted roses with a hint of cola. It goes particularly well with coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, rabbit, ham, chicken and steak. In some areas you may pay more for this wine, but it is well worth the price.
Zinfandel, also known as Zin, is a red-skinned wine grape popular in California because of its intense fruitiness and lush texture. The red grape was extremely popular with home wine makers in the United States during the prohibition. This was due to the very thick skin of the grape. This then made transportation very easy. Typically, Zinfandel tastes of bramble and fresh or fermented red berries. This wine goes well with typical American food- pizza, burgers. It will accent most red sauce meals. It is best served at about 65 degrees.
Chianti is Italy’s most famous red wine. Unlike a Cabernet Sauvignon Chianti doesn’t drink well by itself. But when drank with food, it is a very bold wine and goes with just about any food. Chianti’s acidity matches extremely well with acidic foods like tomatoes, rich dishes like braised rabbit and mature cheeses. The aroma is a hint of violet, with a bright ruby red color.
Rioja red wines are classified into four categories. The first, “Rioja”, is the youngest, spending less than a year in oak ageing. A “crianza” is wine aged for at least two years, at least one of which was in oak. “Rioja Reserva” is aged for at least three years, of which at least one year is in oak. Finally, “Rioja Gran Reserva” wines have been aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle. Because of the ageing times the Reserva and Gran Reserva wines are not necessary produced each year. This wine ages well and has a delicate fruity flavor to go well with steak and other heavy foods.
Lets explore some of the not so common wines. They may be uncommon but they are all excellent wines in their own right.
One of the more uncommon but interesting wines is the Norton wine. In 1835, Dr. Daniel Norton of Virginia developed this variety of grapes that was originally known as the Virginia Seedling. It is widely planted in the Midwest where it is sometimes called Cynthiana and produces a dark, inky wine with plum and cherry flavoring. Horton Vineyards in Virginia is particularly interested in reviving the grape’s reputation.
Another rare but interesting wine is the Muscadine wine. It was first discovered by European explorers, who found native American vines growing along the low-lyingsouthern coastal regions. Most Muscadine wines (red and white) are blends, usually given proprietary names by the winery (e.g., “Vintners’ Blend”), and vinified in a sweet or semisweet style. Muscadine and its blends have a unique wild and musky aroma and flavor.
Centurion a uncommon wine that hasn’t yet seen widespread acceptance. This wine was developed at the U.C. Davis campus by crossing Cabernet Sauvignon, with Grenache and Carignane. The intention was to produce a Cabernet-like wine which could be grown in the relatively hot Central Valley. Even with it’s limited exposure ot wine lovers, is a definite improvement over traditional Central Valley varieties.
Roussanne probably gets its name from the light-brownish russet cast of its ripe berries. The aroma is not as overtly fruity as some types and can suggest wild flowers or herbal tea. Unlike most white wines, Roussanne ages very well due to its unusual combination of richness and crisp acids.
Marsanne, this wine sometimes uses Roussane as a blending partner. It makes wines that are medium dry, full bodied and very rich in flavor with notes of spice and pear. It is a very deep-colored wine that is fairly full bodied to the point of being described sometimes as waxy.
Easter marks the start of spring and is a sacred holiday for Christians throughout the world as it signifies when Jesus Christ was resurrected from the grave to live again. But where did the Easter bunny and eggs fit into the Easter tradition?
The rabbit and eggs were actually symbols of fertility, immortality and new life to commemorate Christ’s resurrection. In Germany, colored eggs were left in children’s baskets and the custom was brought to America with German immigrants in the later 19th century.
Easter can be a fun time of year to celebrate the renewed growth of spring no-matter what religious beliefs you may have. Here are some idea’s to use for an Easter celebration party.
Turn a recycled white sheet into a spectacular Easter tablecloth by sponge painting bunnies, baskets and eggs in bright spring colors. Be sure to use textile paints so the tablecloth can be washed and used another year. Fabric paints are also available in squeeze applicators with glitter colors for decorating the sponged Easter eggs. Paint will need to dry at least 24 hours prior to use.
Make a festive napkin ring by threading a sewing needle with narrow elastic thread and stringing jelly beans onto it. You may need to put a little vegetable oil on the needle to help it slide threw the candy. Tie off the ends to form a circle and slide it over the rolled napkins for a cute way to dress up the table. Add a solid colored doily under the plates for a festive way to dress up the table.
You can serve creamy lemon pie or light strawberry custard, strawberry almond pastry or let the kids decorate personalized tulip cookies. The menu options are endless but I suggest you keep the choices light and festive. Tableware does not need to match but keep to a color theme of bright spring colors or soft pastels.
Little girls love making their own Easter bonnets. Cut a large 12 1/2" circle out of heavy artist poster board using a compass as your guide. Attach a wide satin ribbon to the middle of the circle with hot glue, leaving long trailing tails to tie the bonnet on. Have lots of decorative options available for embellishing the hats. Kids can make flowers colored miniature cupcake baking cups or doilies. You can also use adhesive dots, paint, glitter, pleated paper ribbon, lace reminates or tulle to make decorate the bonnets.
Each child can make their own gingham Easter bunny or duck out of fabric, yarn and cotton batting or fiberfill. Have the shape of the animals pre-cut for the children and place the right sides of the fabric out. Let the kids stitch yarn around the edge of the shape leaving a 1" opening to stuff the cotton filling. An adult can blind stitch the hole closed and help glue on buttons for the eyes and pom-poms for the nose. Use pinking sheers to finish the edges.
Adults can also enjoy a Easter garden party. Invite friends to bring perennials for their gardens to exchange with other plants. Provide each guest with labels, paper bags or plastic nursery containers. Let them take home the same amount of plants that they brought getting an affordable start on beautiful blooms.