Friday, July 31, 2009

I have been poking at the never ending paper pile. While I am convinced that it has infinite depth, I have come to realize that it does have limited width. The paper will always come in, but I think soon I will be able to contain it. Meanwhile, it has not poked me back, and no paper cuts yet.
Paper, paper, by the score,
I don't like you any more.
Though in books, you're loved, you see,
The rest of the papers can just bite me!

There is a system coming along, developing, I just need to baby it along. Some people want all the auto stuff together, including titles and insurance on each vehicle. I want all auto repair stuff together, but insurance goes under insurance, and vital records all go together. What works for one has to be modified for another, and I'm getting to where my modifications will make sense for me.

Today is:

Always Live Better Than Yesterday Day

Fill in the Blanks Day

Friendship Day

La Hae Hawai'i, Flag Day, Hawai'i

Lammas Eve (Loaf Mass, celebration of the bounty of summer.)

Loki and Sigyn's Day, Norse (i.e. Devoted Couples Day)

Mutt's Day (Hooray for the Heinz 57 dogs and cats of the world!)

National Raspberry Cake Day

Oul' Lammas Fair, Ballycastle

Red Friday

St. Germanus' Day

St. Giovanni Colombini's Day

St. Ignatius Loyola's Day

St Joseph of Arimathea's Day

System Administrator Appreciation Day (I'm not too sure about this -- some systems I don't appreciate at all.)

Anniversary Today:

United States Patent Office (The first patent went to Samuel Hopkins for a potash process, 1790.)

Birthdays Today:

J.K. Rowling, 1965
Evonne Goolagong, 1951
Barry van Dyke, 1951
Geraldine Chaplin, 1944
Ted Cassidy, 1932

Today in History:

Battle of Alexandria; while Marc Antony's forces won this minor skirmish against Octavian, most of his men deserted after, which led to his suicide, BC30
Oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji, 781
The Arabs, under Saracen Leo van Tripoli, occupy, loot, and destroy Thessalonica, 904
Pilgrim Fathers depart England for America, 1620
For publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, Daniel Defoe is found guilty of seditious libel and pilloried; the people pelted him with nothing but flowers, 1703

Thursday, July 30, 2009

As I picked up the bananas to put in the shopping cart, I noticed the words on the banana boxes for the first time: Sprayed with Thiabendazole or Imazalil or Azoxystrobin.

I came home and looked them up. Fungicides, all toxic to a degree, sprayed on the produce I can only hope after picking, to keep fungus away. Still. According to all those scientists who keep publishing stuff that is supposed to be in the consumer's best interest, bananas are one of the types of produce you can safely buy as non organic. Yet, still sprayed with this stuff.

Sure, they will tell you if it is sprayed after being picked it stays on the peel, which you throw away. I just hope that is really true. I have been purchasing organic produce only for those fruits and veggies where it makes the most difference, according to this website: I don't buy all organic all of the time because we just don't have that much money.

Every time I see it printed on a box of produce that it has been sprayed with something, or a notice that the fruits and veggies in this market may have been coated with a food grade wax that is petroleum based, or I read something in the news that concerns be about the food supply, I wish I had enough money to buy all organic all of the time.

I look at my family and wonder, what are we doing to the children?

Is it better to just get their fruits and veggies in them? I keep fresh fruits and vegetables available to them at all times to snack on. I serve salad with almost every dinner. Vegetables every night. I don't buy junk food (can't afford it anyway). Is it enough?

Conventional wisdom says better to have produce that is non organic than to eat junk. Still I wonder, is it enough?

Today is:

Crater Day, Virginia

Copperhead Day

Dog Day

Father-In-Law Day

Independence Day, Vanuatu

Kiss Your Cat Day (Highly unsanitary, sorry.)

Marseillaise Day, France (The song was first publicly performed on this day in 1792, sung by 500 men from, where else? Marseilles.)

Mutomboko Ceremony, Zambia (Lunda tribe's celebrations of victories and honoring of their ancestors.)

National Cheesecake Day (Remember the cheese you bought yesterday? To sacrifice? If you bought the right kind, sacrifice it to a cheesecake.)

St. Abdon's Day

St. Silas' Day, Greek

Tisha B'Av - Jewish

World Vegetable Congress

Birthdays Today:

Delta Burke, 1956
Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1947
Paul Anka, 1941
Buddy Guy, 1936
Casey Stengel, 1891
Emily Bronte, 1818

Today in History:

First Defenestration of Prague, 1419
Samuel de Champlain shoots and kills two Iroquois chiefs at Ticonderoga (now Crown Point), New York, setting the tone for French-Iroquois relationships for the next 100 years, 1608
The first elective governing body in what would become the US, the House of Burgesses in Virginia, is seated, 1619
Founding of the City of Baltimore, 1729
Germany's Iron Chancellor, Otto von Bismark, dies at age 83, 1898
The Wright brothers deliver the first military plane to the army, 1909

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

As the most boring blog in the world, this post will be typical. After all, where does a boring blogger with blogger's block have to go but down?

I've always been a morning person, which makes it easier for me to take the morning shift feeding the kittens, and one of my night owl children does the last feeding after I go to bed. It is wearing, however, and yesterday when the Hope cat decided to make the night more interesting by peeing in the dryer, it just about frazzled that last nerve.

When looking up today's holidays and special days and bits of trivia, I ran across several sites saying that today is "National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day." There is no site that tells what this means, though a few do speculate. I think it is some one's idea of a practical joke, spread through the internet like a virus or trojan, but doing no damage except perhaps to the wallets of people who go buy cheese preparing to sacrifice it. I wonder which god or goddess would want a cheese sacrifice? And since today is the day to make the purchase, when is the actual sacrifice?

I propose going out and buying some cheese and just eating the stuff. As expensive as it is to buy cheese (I'm paying an average of over $3/pound when it is on sale), the only sacrifice any cheese I buy will be used for is tonight's dinner.

Speaking of which, another night, another family meal. I wonder what I should cook tonight. The real chef magicians of the world are not necessarily the ones you see on tv. The real magic is in turning out a fresh meal idea for the hungry horde using yet another blah old pound of ground round.

A friend of mine was working on her computers yesterday. She was doing a great deal of technical stuff that makes no sense to me (if I need technical done, I call my friends at Rent-A-Nerd, yes, it is a real business and they do a great job). So she tried to explain it in terms a mom who cooks like grandma could understand.

She explained that she was cleaning and reformatting and redownloading Windows and drivers and such, and we finally got it down to this. The computer is like the stove, and Windows is like the individual burners on the stove (electric, or gas, or ceramic burners with your stove, sweetie?). The drivers are the pots and pans you cook it. When you clean out old stuff from the computer and load in new things, it's like you are cleaning out the pantry and putting new groceries in it. You cook the groceries by using the drivers on the type of burners you want. That's about as close as your going to get to explaining it all to me.

She also told me she has 20,000 songs, and that after she moves they will hook the computer to the speakers she has and have the young generation equivalent of a stereo system/album collection to envy. I think I will stick to my FM tuner, first cousin to a Luddite that I am.

Today is:

Cherry Feast, Germany

Dragon Day

Festival of the Polymorphously Perverse (Do I dare to try to look up this one? Nah, sacrificing cheese is enough for one day.)

Final Frontier Day

NASA Anniversary

National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day (I say buy the kind you can cook desserts with and sacrifice it in tomorrow's cheese cake.)

National Lasagna Day (Eat your heart out, Garfield.)

National Roller Skating Tournament

Oslok, St. Olav's Feast, Norway (Patron saint of Norway)

Pardon of the Birds, Quimperle, Brittany

Rain Day, Waynesburg, PA

St. Ladislas' Day

Thor's Day (Norse)

Birthdays Today:

Martina McBride, 1966
Clara Bow, 1905

Today in History:

JamesVI crowned King of Scotland in Stirling, 1567
English defeat the Spanish Armada, 1588
Pitt's Gazette becomes the first newspaper published west of the Alleghenies, 1786
Vincent Van Gogh dies in Auvers, France, 1890

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I am about to feed the kittens. I am about to have been feeding kittens. I will be feeding kittens. I will have been feeding kittens. I am feeding them now.

Typing with one hand is slow, and I make lots of mistakes, and the 4am feeding comes early.

Every time I get another batch of kittens, my respect for momma cats grows. A momma cat has to be on duty all day, at least I get to share the job with willing helpers. Also, while we have been blessed, my mortality rates are much higher.

This batch is doing very well. They are eating, no diarrhea, and they are getting good bacteria mix in every bottle.

This "feed every time you look at them around the clock" stage is short. Soon they will be tumbling over each other, wobbly legged, all over the kitchen. We will be cautioning each other to watch where we step and to do "the kitten shuffle" so as not to step on anyone. Then they will learn to climb, get into everything, have their spay/neuter surgery, and be up for adoption.

Usually the house is clear of fosters by Christmas. By the time kitten season comes around again in late March/early April, we are ready to start the dance over.

Yes, we are crazy.

No, we can't save every stray.

We can, however, stay just crazy enough to save this one. And this one. And this one. Over and over again.

Today is:

Accountant's Day

Celebration of Our Lady of the Snows

Domhnach Chrom Dubh, Ireland (Grain Festival)

Festival of Hungry Ghosts, China

Imp-Handling Conference (Fairy Calendar)

Independence Day, Peru, Puerto Rico

Kermesse, Brussels, Belgium

National Hamburger Day (Please, this is all kids eat besides pizza, it needs a day!?!)

National Milk Chocolate Day

Singing Telegram Anniversary (Whom do we hang, er, I mean, thank for this one?)

St. Nazarius' Day

Terry Fox Day

Birthdays Today:

Sally Struthers, 1948
Rudy Vallee, 1901
Beatrix Potter, 1866

Today in History:

Emperor Theodosius defeats Emperor Magnis Maximus at the Battle of Aquileja, 388
Crusaders attack Damascus, 1148
Henry VIII marries Catharine Howard (#5), 1540
Sir Thomas Harriot bring the very first potato to Britain, 1586
Hawaii's first US elections, which sent the first Asian Americans to Congress, 1959

Monday, July 27, 2009

Money is amoral. This means it has no morals. It is not good or evil in and of itself. How it is used is good or evil, and an unhealthy love of money, making getting money your major goal, greed, those are evil. The money itself is not the problem, the attitude toward it is.

We all have our money attitudes, set down from watching our parents. We also all have two keys to our money "personality style".

Some people are spenders and some are savers. That is one key to our money personality. The other is that all of us are either, to use the Dave Ramsey terms, free spirits or nerds. The free spirits are like my Sweetie and break out in hives at the sight of a spreadsheet. The nerds love it when the numbers sit nicely in rows and columns and balance and behave themselves.

Every married couple has a free spirit and a nerd. Every married couple has a spender and a saver. Neither goes by gender. It is all mix and match.

Why is this? Well, to quote Larry Burkett again, "If two people just alike get married, one of you is unnecessary." Add to that the Dave Ramsey reasoning that "Spenders have savers in their lives so they don't wake up at retirement broke, and savers have spenders in their lives so they will have a life."

What does it all mean to the average couple? It means one of you will love getting the budget to balance and won't mind paying the online bills. The one who loves it, male or female, should go ahead and do it. That does not mean he or she is the boss in the relationship, it just means that person is the mechanic who carries out the plan the two of you put together for your money.

To apply all of this to your everyday life is pretty straightforward. At the beginning of every month, the two of you, together, sit down with the budget and have a budget committee meeting. At the meeting, you both have a say, both of your votes count.

The budget needs to be a zero based budget. This means you spend every penny on paper, on purpose, every penny has a "name". You begin with your income at the top, subtract out money for each category, and at the bottom it should say "0".

What categories? Well, which ones you choose will reflect your core values as a couple, what you want your money to do for you.

Suggestions for categories:
1 Start with saving. If you leave this till last, you won't have enough for it.
2 Saving means a rainy day fund and saving up for something special.
3 Giving to charities is very important. Shows that you acknowledge God as your provider and you can give some away, more will be provided.
4 Build the 4 walls of the house -- shelter, food, transportation and clothing. None of these have to be lavish, until you have the money to make them more lavish.
5 Entertainment and "fun money". Unless you are deeply in debt, try to put some money in for these two things. It can be a good idea to have a small, separate "fun money" fund for each of you to spend as you wish. That money can go for your favorite little purchases or be saved by you month to month to get yourself something you want.

Do yourself a huge favor and never go into debt. Ever. For any reason. Live very frugally if you have to so you can save up and pay cash for bigger items. Keep a rainy day fund, and try to build it up so that if you had to, you could live off of that rainy day fund for 6 months.

After you have enough in the savings to live on for 6 months (like for if you should lose your job or something), start saving for retirement.

If you ever have kids come along, start saving to pay for their education.

It is often easier if the nerd writes out a draft of the budget and brings it to the budget committee meeting. Then the free spirit looks it over and says things like, "Yes, dear, I know this category means a lot to you, but I do believe we need a bit more for this one over here." Adjust the budget until you are both satisfied that the needs of both of you will be met.

After this, the budget is the boss. You bossed it, now it bosses you. You stick totally to the budget, and if there is an emergency that requires a change in the budget, have an emergency budget committee meeting and take money from one category to cover the emergency. If it is a big emergency, use the rainy day fund. Remember the definition of emergency is not a leather couch on sale. It is the only car you have broke down and you can't get to work without it.

It is a good idea to start an envelope system for the things that you will spend money on throughout the month. Rent and utilities and such that are paid once a month, just write a check or pay online. The groceries, the fun money, maybe even clothing money (if you will have some every month), put cash in and envelope at the beginning of every month, and every penny for that category comes out of that envelope. When you run out of food money, you have to quit buying food. Makes you rethink whether you need that expensive brand or not when you look in the envelope and see you only have so much to work with.

Another thing to remember is that every item you buy needs to go in a category. Sound simple? Depends, really, because one of you may want cigarettes in the food category because to you it is a staple as important as food. The spouse may want you to put it in your own "fun money" category.

Decide on some long term and short terms goals for the money you save beyond your rainy day and retirement money. Vacations, a new, better washing machine, whatever, what you save for and how you spend money reflects your values as a couple.

See, that wasn't so painful after all. :)

Today is:

Barbie-in-a-Blender Day (Great idea!)

Caravan of Pilgrims, Cairo

Cross-Atlantic Communication Day (Why is the Atlantic cross, and what does it want to communicate anyway? Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

Festival of the Seven Sleepers (The patrons of insomniacs, maybe?)

Garlic Festival (Yes! The more, the better!)

International Lumberjack Tournament

National Blunt Object Day (Relatives, you can't live with them, and if you use your blunt objects on them you run out of places to hide the bodies.)

National Korean War Veterans Day

National Scotch Day (Good stuff, in moderation.)

National Sleepy Head Day, Finland (Where the legend of the Seven Sleepers comes from.)

St. Pantaleon's Day

Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day (Some websites just list it as "Take Your Plants for a Walk Day, and a couple of them have mistaken that for "Take Your Pants for a Walk Day"!)

Talk Like a Mad Scientist Day (Please don't tell my husband!)

Walk on Stilts Day (Who are they kidding? High heels already give me nosebleeds.)

UFO Days begin in Elmwood, Wisconsin

Birthdays Today:

Triple H, 1969
Maureen McGovern, 1949
Peggy Fleming, 1948
Bobbie Gentry, 1944
Jerry Van Dyke, 1931

Today in History:

Francis Xavier, SJ, reaches Japan, 1549
Sir Walter Raleigh brings tobacco to England from Virginia, 1586
Department of Foreign Affairs (State Department) is established by Congress, 1798
Flooding of the Yangtzee and Hoangh Rivers kill 200,000, 1935
Bugs Bunny makes his debut in "Wild Hare", 1940
Insulin first isolated by F Banting & C Best in Toronto, 1953

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sometimes I feel like my brain is just going to explode.

So much info.

So much to do.

So many people to see, places to go, ideas to think about and ponder.

I keep thinking that it would be nice to have all the answers already.

If I had 3 wishes from a genie, they would be simple. First, a long physically and mentally and emotionally healthy life. Second, always enough money in my pocket, bank account, stock portfolio, etc., to get whatever I happen to need or want at the moment, including enough to give away to whomever I felt needed it.

The third is always the kicker. I would want to live my life through to close to the end, and then be able to start over at age 11, but knowing then what I knew at the end of my life. Seems like we would all like a do over, wouldn't we? Knowing whom to avoid, what friends to keep and which to drop, knowing a lot of what will happen next.

Then I wonder, would things turn out any better?

Today is:

All or Nothing Day (Don't tell my Sweetie! He thinks this is a good philosophy to live by.)

Aunt and Uncle Day (Silly joke alert: If a lion eats my dad's sister, what is he? An Aunt eater!)


Black-eyed Peas Jamboree, Texas

Curacao Day (As usual, this means the day a place was "discovered" by Europeans. Got news for you, it had already been discovered, and if you think trouble with immigrants is new, ask the people who lived in Curacao then.)

Central Maine Egg Festival (I guess the rest of Maine celebrates their eggs at another time.)


Footnote Appreciation Day

National Coffee Milkshake Day

One Voice Day

Parent's Day

Slepnir (Celtic Horse Festival)

Somers Day, Bermuda

St. Anne's Day

St. Bartolomea Capitanio

St. Joachim's Day

Birthdays Today:
Dorothy Hamill, 1956
Mick Jagger, 1943
Jason Robards, Jr., 1922
Vivian Vance, 1912
Gracie Allen, 1902
George Bernard Shaw, 1856

Today in History:

Pope Clement IV forms the Inquisition in Rome, 1267
Island of Curacao "discovered" by Alonso de Ojeda, 1499
Benjamin Franklin creates the United States Post Office in Philadelphia, 1775
Earthquake in Naples/Calabria kills about 26,000, 1805
"Black Bart", wild west stagecoach robber, makes his last clean getaway, 1878

Saturday, July 25, 2009

And so it begins again.

We got to the cat shelter to do our Friday night shift of cat care, and there were two adoptions being done. It was wonderful to watch. Two adult cats getting homes.

We got home to a phone call from the kitten coordinator for the rescue group. Five newborn kittens, abandoned by mom, do I feel up to it.

Sure, bring them on. What's one more flea on an elephant?

The circle continues.

Today is:

Act like a Caveman Day

Culinarians Day

Furrinalia (Old Roman goddess of Spring)

National Day of the Cowboy

National Hot Fudge Sunday Day

St. Christopher's Day

St. James the Great Day

Threading the Needle Day, China

Birthdays Today:

Walter Peyton, 1954
Barbara Harris, 1935
Estelle Getty, 1923
Walter Brennan, 1894
Maxfield Parrish, 1870

Today in History:

Constantine I is proclaimed emperor of Rome by his troops, 306
The Byzantine Empire is reestablished under Emperor Michael VIII when his forces, under the command of Alexios Strategopoulos, recapture Constantinople, 1261
Founding of Caracas, originally called Santiago de Leon de Caracas, by Don Diego de Losada, 1567
The first bikini is shown at a Paris fashion show, 1946

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yesterday exploded.

When Bigger Girl told me she still couldn't get the smell out of the mattress from the cats, I remembered where I had seen the new doorknob for her room, and got it from the bottom of the toolbox.

While fighting to use the wrong tools to modify an old door to hold a new type knob, the doorbell rang. Little Girl went to answer it and the doorknob to that door fell off in her hands.

I rigged the front door temporarily and was back at Bigger Girl's door when the phone rang. "Mom, mom, it's _____(#2 Son)."


"Hey, mom, we are looking at the Statue of Liberty and getting on the boat, we will be sailing in a few minutes!"

That's wonderful, I replied. Bigger Girl is yelling, "Ask if he is going to stand on deck and wave to everyone he doesn't know on the dock as they leave!"

Son, your sister wants to know if you are going to stand on deck and wave goodbye.

"Yea, we will, but we drove the RV through the mountains!"

I'll bet that was exciting.

"Yea, mom, sure, but guess what! It's a good thing the hotel here in New York where we stayed last night is open all night and has Red Bull. Pierce and I stayed up all night! Gotta go, we're boarding, bye mom!"

Why do I have the feeling everyone on that ship is going to recognize him by face and deed before the voyage is over? I'm glad he's having fun, but I feel sorry for the crew.

Today is:

Amelia Earhart Day

Bolivar Day, Ecuador and Venezuela

Cousins Day

Feast of the Trickster of Liberty

Festival of St. Eloi, French Basque

National Drive Through Day (Like most people don't do this enough already?)

National Tequila Day

Opinion Day (Opinions are like elbows, everybody has a couple and sometimes mine bump into yours.)

Pioneer Day -- Mormons

Pop a Wheelie Day

St. Boris' Day

Tell an Old Joke Day

Birthdays Today

Linda Carter, 1951
Ruth Buzzi, 1936
Zelda Fitzgerald, 1900
Alexandre Dumas, 1802

Today in History

Mary, Queen of Scots, abdicates and James VI (later James I of England) becomes king of Scotland, 1567
Treason of Don Juan in Brussels, 1577
Abolition of slavery in Chile, 1823
Brigham Young and company (Mormons) arrive at Salt Lake City, Utah, 1847
After serving 3 years for embezzlement, O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) is released from prison in Austin, Texas, 1901

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Do opposites attract?

Well, sometimes it would seem to be so.

After all, as Larry Burkett, the Christian financial counselor once said, "If two people just alike get married, one of you is unnecessary."

There are some things where you will be opposites.

One of you may be a morning person, the other a night owl. That's okay, the morning person makes the coffee and gets the day started, while the night owl makes sure everyone is tucked in and locks the doors and generally shuts things down for the night.

One of you will be cold all the time (hint, it's the wife) and the other will be begging for a cooling breeze as he sweats himself to death.

One of you will tend to want to be early for everything, the other will be late to his/her own funeral.

Other opposites you can have in marriage have to do with which one tends to be neat and which one untidy; one will talk all of the time, the other will just grunt (75-80% of the time it is the woman who is the talker, but not always); your styles of music may only overlap in some areas (e.g. you both love the Beatles, but one of you loves old Cajun music and the other loathes it).

These opposites are superficial. They are part of what makes you two right for each other. Each of you brings a strength where the other has a weakness. You complement each other in these things.

There are some places where it does not pay to be opposites, however. Studies have shown over and over that the more alike you are in some crucial ways, the more likely you are to stay together.

Religion is one of these. Even if neither of you believe in any particular organized religion, you need to be in agreement as to how to handle this one. Especially if you have children someday, you don't want one person begging to take the kid to church and the other resenting it. If you have differing beliefs, that's fine, but work out how you will handle those differences in a mature way.

Outlaws -- oops, I mean, in-laws. Well, you know the jokes about this one. You need to agree in advance how much influence, and when, and in what areas, your in-laws will have. Dave Ramsey, another Christian financial counselor, says to do yourself a favor and be married at least a year before you buy a house together because it takes that long to know how close to your mother-in-law you really want to live. Get a handle on this one early, set good boundaries early. If you let in-laws really and truly control you in one situation one time, they will think they should do it all the time. You be in control of your household.

The above does not mean never taking advice, it means weighing that advice against what is really best for the two of you, and doing what is right for you, not for your parents, or to keep your parents pacified.

Kids -- whether to have them or not, and why, and how to raise them. Make sure one of you is not dying to have a passel of ankle-biters while the other never wants a kid other than a niece or nephew in the house. If you both want them, why? To serve your interests, or to raise them up for the Glory of God and the good of society? How many? When? (Hint, interfering in-law advice to follow, your mileage may vary -- not in the first year, get used to each other first before adding another person to the mix.) Get on the same page here.

The 4th area where agreement is vital is in the area of finances. This one will take up a whole posting of its own, probably more than one. If you can come to an agreement here, and work together on it, it will strengthen and keep your marriage together. One of the main causes of divorce in our society is money fights and money problems. Get in agreement here, and you will have a deep bond that will be a hedge against the forces of society that will try to pull you apart.

Today is:

All American Soap Box Derby Day

Cutesy-Wootsie Day

Feast of Sulis

Fiesta de Santiago, Guatemala

Gorgeous Grandma Day

Hot Enough For Ya Day

Haile Selassi I birthday -- Rastafarian

National Hot Dog Day (Seem to be a lot of these, with different sponsors.)

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

Soma No Umadi, Japan (Wild Horse Chasing)

St. Apollinaris' Feast

St. Bridget's Day

Birthdays Today:

Daniel Radcliffe, 1989
Harold "Pee Wee" Reese, 1918

Today in History:

Byzantine Empire loses control of most of Palestine to the Arabs, 636
Crusaders attack Damascus, 1148
Battle of Shrewsbury, the Percys against King Henry IV, resulting in the death of Henry Percy (Harry Hotspur) at the age of 39, 1403
Napoleon captures Alexandria, Egypt, 1798
Lou Gehrig, New York Yankee, hits the first of his 23 career grand slam home runs, 1925

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I continually get these "doom and gloom" messages from a friend. According to him, the end is near, we are all going to watch the US fall, the One World Government take over, conspiracy after conspiracy, etc.

Do I believe this stuff will happen? Of course. It will happen, and soon. Can I do anything about it? Of course not. If the WHO wants 3 billion dead within the decade to help "save the planet" and the Beast wants to get rid of currency and put a microchip in us, guess what? I cannot do a thing.

It's okay. It will happen. Christians will be the only religious group outlawed and persecuted. Wars, starvation, terror, etc.

So? If I die, I die. My problems are solved.

If I'm here, I have a job to do. Wash dishes, cook meals, scrub toilets, mop floors, wipe noses, change diapers, give love to every person I come in contact with. That's it.

It's not my job to worry about how God is going to end the days. He already has his plan, and me keeping up with the "latest" news like this friend does would interfere with the work He has for me.

In the Good Samaritan story, we are supposed, in some ways, to be like the Samaritan, having pity on all who need us. That is a big part of my job, the loving everyone I come in contact with. The rest of the story is that Messiah Jesus is the Samaritan, for only He can bind wounds and heal. I am supposed to be like His beast of burden that carried the injured man for Him. That's my job, beast of burdens. Follow Him and pick up every person He asks me to carry for Him, love them, cook for them, wipe their tears, clean for them.

That's it. That's what I will do for as long as I can. When they come for me, I hope I will be ready for them with some fresh baked cookies and love to give them, even as they take me away.

If I can't do my job, that is when I need to worry.

Today is:

Cleveland Day (Let's hear it for Cleveland!)

Hammock Day (Why isn't this in the spring? In this weather, you would melt and drip through the mesh of the thing.)

Health and Happiness with Hypnosis Day

Lotus Festival

Pi Approximation Day

Preparedness Day

Ratcatcher's Day/Pied Piper Day

Spoonerism Day (Reverend Spooner, who was famous for mixing words, and called called Victoria "My Queer Dean" instead of "My Dear Queen." He also told one nervous young bridegroom that, "Son, it is kistomary to cuss the bride.")

Birthdays Today:

Don Henley, 1947
Bobby Sherman, 1943
Alex Trebek, 1940
Orson Bean, 1928
Rose Kennedy, 1890
Gregor Mendel, 1822

Today in History:

Battle of Falkirk, English defeat the Scots, 1298
First printing of the "Tractate Niddah", a talmudic edition, 1489
General Moses Cleveland founds Cleveland, Ohio, 1796
"America the Beautiful written in Colorado by Katharine Lee Bates, 1893
300,000 Warsaw Ghetto Jews are sent to Treblinka, 1942

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So, does putting others first make us wimps?

Depends. Do you think Messiah Jesus was a wimp?

Really, the Lord of the Universe gets on His knees and washes feet. That's not a wimp. That's power under control.

For the joy set before Him, the joy of being able to do what was best for us, He underwent torture.

We put others first, and we get joy in return.

Today is:

Feast of Damo

Legal Drinking Age Day

National Creme Brulee Day (Touche! Cafe au Lait! Creme Brulee! -- well, I guess you had to be there.)

National Junk Food Day (We need a day for that!?!)

National Tug of War Tournament Day

Schoelcher Day, French West Indies (Abolition of slavery.)

St. Lawrence of Brindisi's Day

St. Praxedes' Day

Birthdays Today:

Robin Williams, 1951
Cat Stevens, 1948
Don Knotts, 1924
Isaac Stern, 1920
Ernest Hemingway, 1899

Today in History:

The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is set afire by Herostratus, BC356
Pope Paul III begins the Sanctum Officium, an inquisition against Protestants, 1542
The English Fleet defeats the Spanish Armada, 1588
In what is considered to be the first true "showdown" of what is now called the "Old West", Wild Bill Hickok shoots and kills Davis Tutt in the market square of Springfield, Mo., 1865
Sirima Bandaranaike becomes the world's first woman PM in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), 1960

Monday, July 20, 2009

What is love?

No, seriously, play along with the gag. What is it?

A warm, fuzzy feeling? A desire for someone? A fool's paradise? A pipe dream?

If we define love as God does, it is putting the best interests of the other ahead of the best interests of the self.

Easy to say, hard to do. We are selfish creatures, apart from God changing us and making it possible for us to be like Him.

We were created in His image, but the image is tarnished by sin. Sin is putting anything ahead of the agenda of God, and His agenda is to populate the universe with those created in His image and behaving like it.

So, how does this play out in marriage? The $64,000 question. It takes a lifetime to answer it, and most people don't give it the lifetime. They get married, they don't get their own needs met, they give up and try to find someone else. Tragedy.

The goal in marriage should be to meet the needs of the other, with God's help. Then trust that He will meet your needs, sometimes through your spouse, sometimes not. The trust has to remain in the times that your spouse does not come through.

What does this look like in marriage?

I can tell you what it does not look like. It does not look like a husband coming home, slumping down to watch tv, eat, ignore the family, then demand attention at bedtime.

It does not look like a wife ignoring him and the kids because she wants "me" time all the time.

It looks like sharing the burdens. All of them. Every day.

It looks like honor. Believing and acting as if the other is the most important person in your life, besides God.

It looks like self-control and patience when your spouse fails. Each of you will fail. It will hurt. Love says, I will be patient.

It looks like forgiveness. It looks like repentance. Turning away from the things that hurt each other, forgiving when it happens, working together.

It looks like kindness.

It looks like speaking your spouse's love language, even when, no especially when, it is not yours.

It looks hard. You know what? It is hard. It can't be done. Not in our own strength. That's why it also looks like two people leaning on the Lord of the Universe to make it possible.

Look at how He expressed that love. Every moment of the life of Messiah Jesus was an expression of that love. Think of it. From the moment of conception to the moment of death He put our needs above His own. He gave up parts of His "Godness" and eternally changed His unchangeable nature. It culminated in a horrible death that was a punishment beyond our ability to imagine. Yet, the Scripture says both that Messiah Jesus did it for the joy set before Him and it pleased the Father to do it. Not because of masochism, but to put the needs of the other, namely us, ahead of His own perfect Self.

Amazing. And also amazing that He can give us the ability to do these things for others.

When we put the needs of others ahead of the needs of self, we are showing God's love to others in a way they can understand. We become the hands of the Messiah, doing His will. Not to get in good with Him, but because He loved us first, and we want to take that love and give it to minister to the needs of others. To join in His joyful work, even though we do it imperfectly and incompletely.

When we do this in marriage, we show a picture of God to the world. A good picture, not the foolish picture most people paint when they think of Him.

Marriage God's way is hard. It is worth it.

Today is:

Binding of the Wreaths

Chess Day (I can't play that game. I know how each piece moves, but I can't plan ahead and execute the plan and be thinking ahead of what the other guy is planning.)

Moon Day (The Eagle has landed.)

National Get Out of the Doghouse Day

National Hug Your Kid Day (If you need to be told to do that, we need to talk.)

National Lollipop Day (Warning, stupid joke time: Did you hear about the fight at the candy store? Two suckers got licked.)

St. Elijah's Day

Ugly Truck Day (Must be a "guy" thing.)

Birthdays Today:

Billy Mays, 1958 (May he rest in peace.)
Sir Edmund Hillary, 1919
Alexander the Great, BC356

Today in History

The Riot Act takes effect in Great Britain, 1712
Colombia declares its independence from Spain, 1810
Tax Stamps are first used on cigarettes, 1868 (The birth of a cash cow.)
The surrender of Sitting Bull, Sioux Chief, 1881
Final home run for Hank Aaron, #755, off the Angels'
Jerry Augustine, 1976

Sunday, July 19, 2009

If there is anything that goes faster than a birthday, it is birthday money.

Sometimes, I just wish for one or two things of my own -- that wouldn't get immediately destroyed by everyone else who lives here.

Pipe dreams.

Today is:

Anne Hutchinson Memorial Day (There is a lesson here, but those who need it won't learn it.)

Flitch Day (Supposedly, married couples tried to prove that they had lived in harmony for the whole previous year, and were given a slab of bacon if they could. Very few "took home the bacon".)

Isra Al Mi'Raj (Ascent of the Prophet Muhammad - Islam)

National Daiquiri Day

National Ice Cream Day

National Liberation Day (Nicaragua)

National Raspberry Cake Day

Prince Lot Hula Festival, Honolulu, Hawaii

St. Marcrina's Day

Birthdays Today:

Edgar Degas, 1834

Today in History:

The Circus Maximus in Rome catches fire, 64
Muslim forces defeat the Visigoths, 711
Lady Jane Grey deposed, 1553
Rosetta Stone discovered by Napoleon's soldiers, 1799
The first rocket with a nuclear warhead fired in Yucca Flat, Nevada, 1957
Johnstown, Pa., floods kill 76, 1977

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's official.

#1 Son is no longer 17 and Surly.

He is 18 and Edgy? Maybe

18 and Enormously Pompous? Only sometimes.

18 and Earnest? No, no him.

18 and Enough? He certainly thinks so.

18 and Eager? Yes, but sometimes for the wrong things.

18 and Ebullient? No, more of a laid back type.

18 and Eccentric? Well, aren't we all, just a little?

18 and Economical? Absolutely not, he's costing more than ever.

18 and Ecstatic? Again, he is too laid back for that term.

18 and Educated? He has a diploma, yes, but there is too much life still has to teach him.

18 and Egomaniacal? Well, egocentric maybe.

That's it. I'll use 18 and Egocentric, unless a better term comes along before next year.

Today is:

Anti-Bigot Day

Chrysanthemum Day

Constitution Day, Uruguay

Hog Calling Contest Day (Stage one of your own if you don't have one near you!)

National Caviar Day (Don't I wish that were in the budget.)

National Woody Wagon Day

Railroad Day

St Philastrius' Day

Toss Away the "Could Haves" and the "Should Haves" Day

Wiener Day

Birthdays Today:

Vin Diesel, 1967
Dick Button, 1929
Harriet Nelson, 1914
Richard "Red" Skelton, 1913
Hume Cronyn, 1911

Today in History:

Rome begins to burn, 64
Jews ordered out of England by King Edward I, 1290
Trains begin running over the 1st North American railroad between Portland, Maine, and Montreal, 1853
Secret ballot voting introduced in Great Britian, 1872

Friday, July 17, 2009

When I was a kid, it rained. Or it didn't. Unless there was a hurricane in the forecast, it wasn't something we gave much thought to.

If it was summer, there was often an afternoon thunderstorm. Sometimes it lasted the whole afternoon, most of the time it just came and went and we went back to what we were doing.

Now, especially if I hang out the clothes, I am watching the weather, via the internet, like a hawk. Unless there is absolutely no rain in the area (by that I mean from mid Texas to Alabama, and above Arkansas to the middle of the Gulf), I am checking the radar several times a day.

Checking, and fussing when it shows no rain in the area and I step out and it is drizzling. Fussing when there is rain according to the radar and I don't feel a drop.

Maybe I should take a hint from my childhood and go back to stepping outside, looking for clouds, and feeling for rain. And remembering that rain is not the enemy, even though it feels that way in this house.

Today is:

Avocado Festival

Constitution Day, South Korea

Crank Call Day (Not any more, not with caller ID.)

Dodge City Day

Fifteen Minutes of Fame Day

Gion Matsuri, Kyoto, Japan (An ancient festival to appease the gods, held all through July, with the largest parade on July 17.)

Norway Independence Day

Peach Ice Cream Day

POW/MIA Recognition Day

Scillitan Martyrs' Day

St. Alexius Day

Wrong Way Corrigan Day

Yellow Pig Day

Birthdays Today:

Diahann Carrol, 1935
Donald Sutherland, 1934
Phyllis Diller, 1917
Art Linkletter, 1912
James Cagney, 1899
Erle Stanley Gardner, 1989

Special Anniversary Today:

Opening of Disneyland

Today in History:

Emperor Alexius III flees Constantinople as the Venentianen conquerors invade,1203
Catherine II crowned tsarina of Russia after the murder of Peter III, 1262
Spain cedes Florida to the US, 1821
First publication of the British humor magazine "Punch", 1841

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Momomomomomomomomom!" The stacatto call of a thirteen year boy who wants the attention of a parent, and wants it now.

"Yes, son?"

"Mom, look what I found that someone was throwing away!"

I looked up with a sinking feeling to see him sporting a golf bag with clubs.

Of all the sports in the world, why golf? I've never understood the fascination, but at least when he is over in the field hitting balls he is not in the house eating everything in sight, watching wrestling on UTube, or bugging his mother.

"And guess what?" he continued with his trademark grin. As I thought, oh, no, there's more? he said, "And they have a punching bag and we are going back for it!" We being his group of friends.

"Will you bring the van so we can put the bag in it and get it home?"

My Sweetie is an archaeologist by training. That means he digs in other people's garbage. He has brought home many "finds" over the years, and our 4 apples didn't fall far from that tree. They have all brought home "perfectly good" stuff, and it usually ends up being me that cleans it or trips over it.

Big sigh. "I'll get the keys."

We got there and were loading the bag when the lady of the house came out. "If you will wait a moment, we have the stand that holds it -- look, there they are now. But it won't fit in your van. Do you have a truck?"

The kids ended up carrying the huge metal stand back to the house, two at a time and trading off when one got tired. It is now housed under the overhang on the side of the house.

I'm not sure where the golf clubs ended up in all the confusion, but I'm sure I will see them soon, probably the next time he tries to climb on the roof to hit balls into the field.

At least he is nearby, doing what he loves.

Today is:

Atomic Bomb Day

Get to Know Your Customers Day (Here's a hint: do this every day! If you know your customers, their usual orders, their purchasing habits, at bit about their lives, they will be loyal to you.)

Hot Dog Night (Wish I could get away with cooking dogs for dinner.)

Festival of Convivial Tools

International Juggling Day (I would take up juggling, but I already have too many plates in the air...)

La Paz Day, Bolivia (La Paz was founded on this date in 1548)

National Blueberry Festival

National Corn Fritter Day (Hot dog dinner with corn fritters and blueberry pie for dessert -- I wish I could.)

Obon: Festival of Souls, Shinto

St. Eustathius' Day

Talk to a Telemarketer Day (Are they insane?)

World Snake Day (That reminds me, #2 Sons' snake needs more fish.)

Birthdays Today:

Ginger Rogers, 1911 (Fabulous woman -- danced every step Fred did, backward and in high heels.)
Barbara Stanwyck, 1907

Today in History:

Beginning of the Islamic Calendar, which coincides with the day Mohamed fled Mecca to go to Medina, 622
Joan of Arc leads the French army in the Battle of Orleans, 1429
Premier of Mozart's opera, "Das Entfuhrung aus dem Serail," in Vienna, 1782
The first major battle of the War Between the States, the Battle of Bull Run, is fought, 1861
Collision of comet Shoemaker-Levy with planet Jupiter, 1994

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I mailed a package out today, and it got me thinking (a very dangerous thing for the world's most boring blogger to do). Here I have sent a package to a person I have never seen, and only know through the cyber world. I have "spoken" to her extensively in a chat room, and read her responses on the boards, that is all.

From those things I have developed a strong enough connection to her that I have invested both time and money (mailing books) into helping her. It is amazing and in a way scary. Amazing that we can become friends across the miles and support one another in this way. Scary, because we just never know, until we meet in person, whether the person is who we think.

Still, all I am doing is sending her books. What trust it must take to try online dating.

Today is:

Baby Food Day

Black Ship Festival, Japan (Commemorating Admiral Perry's arrival in Japan)

Corfuflux (Discordian Calendar)

Cow Appreciation Day (Remember Bossie when drinking that milk in your coffee.)

Festival of Rowana (Tree Goddess)

Gummi Worm Day

No Hitter Day

National Ice Cream Day

National Tapioca Pudding Day

Respect Canada Day

St. Bonaventure's Day

St. Swithin's Day

St. Vladimir's Day

Birthdays Today:

Clement Clarke Moore, 1779
Rembrandt Van Rijn, 1606

Today in History:

The First Crusaders capture and plunder Jerusalem, 1099
Alexei Chirikov and his men become the first Europeans to visit Alaska, 1741
The first Buddhist Temple in the US is formed in Los Angeles, 1904
Jews take Jerusalem, 1995

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mom, have you seen my...

Honey, have you seen my...

Mom, where's the...

What do I look like, an information service? I guess I must, they expect me to know why the swim goggles aren't on the floor where they got dropped yesterday.

The good thing is, I lost my own marbles years ago and don't want to bother finding them. That way they can't make me any crazier than I already am.

Today is:

Bastille Day, France (I spent Bastille Day in Paris one year in high school. A good time was had by all. Because we were willing to enter into the spirit of the day and celebrate for and with them, a good many natives took us under their wings and showed us how to have fun safely.)

Emmeline Pankhurst Day (A crucial Suffragette from England.)

Feast of St. Ulric

International Town Crier Day (I like this. Today's "Town Criers" are news reporters, and they don't just give you the news, they give you the news they want you to hear, along with their opinions of it. I'd rather have a Town Crier.)

National Grand Mariner Day

National Nude Day (Unless you are talking Classic Great Art, I will pass, thank you.)

Pandemonium Day (What results from excess celebrations of Nude Day.)

Birthdays Today:

Roosevelt Grier, 1932
Ingmar Bergman, 1918
Gerald R. Ford, 1913
Woody Guthrie, 1912
William Hanna, 1910

Today in History:

Louis VIII becomes king of France, 1223
US Federal Government establishes its first direct tax on the states, taxing land, houses, and slaves, 1798
First demonstration in public of ice made by refrigeration, 1850
Dr. R. Goddard is issued the first ever patent on a liquid-fueled rocked design. 1914

Monday, July 13, 2009

I agree with Garfield. No one should get up on Monday the Thirteenth.

I mean, really. For this I went to college? To end up writing the world's most boring blog? To end up bottle feeding kittens? To end up wiping noses and slinging hash and being a janitor?

Well, at least the place getting dirty again all the time is job security. They can fire all the CEOs they like, the person who cleans the toilets and mops the floors will always have work.

Today is:

Barbershop Music Appreciation Day (Best barbershop quartet I ever heard was on Main Street at Disney World. They were wonderful.)

Embrace Your Geekness Day

Festival of the Lanterns, Japan

Festival of Our Lady of Fatima

Festival of the Three Cows, La Retraitre, France

Fool's Paradise Day

Go West Day

Gruntled Workers Day

National French Fry Day (Good thing I have some in the freezer.)

National Ice Cream Day

St Mildred's Day

Ulambana (Obon), Buddhist (Ancestor Day)

Birthdays Today:

Cheech Marin (1946)
Harrison Ford (1942)
Patrick Steward (1940)
Bob Crane (1928)
Nathan Bedford Forrest (1921)

Today in History

The US Patent Office, after issuing 9,957 unnumbered patents, issues Patent #1, for a type of locomotive wheel, 1836. (Wow, you can patent wheels!)
Queen Victoria becomes the first British monarch to take up residence in present day Buckingham Palace, 1837
Battle of Bayou LaFourche, La., 1863
The Nazis execute 5,000 Jews of Rovno Polish Ukraine, 1942

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cat Fish?

We made a trip to the emergency vet last night. Or should I say early this morning? Well, either way, I was awakened from a sound sleep with the words, "Mom, Jeffy the kitten got into my fishing tackle and has a hook caught in his mouth!"

After determining that there was no way for us to remove it, off the the emergency vet we went. It took them 45 minutes to sedate him and cost $274. He got home this morning and went right to the food bowl.

Oh, that we could all recover from it so fast.

Today is:

Different Colored Eyes Day

National Pecan Pie Day (I have one in the freezer, but will not use it tonight. #2 Son got a hold of the other a few days ago and ate all but one slice by himself. He has asked not to see another so soon.)

Orangemen's Day, Canada, Northern Ireland

Parent's Day (No one told the kids.)

Simplicity Day

Birthdays Today:

Bill Cosby (1937)
Milton Berle (1908)
Oscar Hammerstein II (1895)
George Washington Carver (1857)
Henry David Thoreau (1817)

Today in History:

Crusaders capture Syria's port city of Tripoli, 1109
Jews are expelled from England by order of King Edward I, 1290
King Henry VIII weds Catherine Parr, 1543 -- she was the lucky one who outlived him
Ostrog Bible published, 1580 -- first in a Slavic language
Cy Young wins his 300th game, 1901

Saturday, July 11, 2009

With all of the major problems in the world, why is it, when I sit down to write, I really can't think of much to say?

I guess that is why I resisted the idea of blogging to begin with. I know that these words will just take up (cyber)space, and be read by no one else. I am probably in the running for the most boring blog on the internet.

Knowing my luck, I'd lose that contest, too.

Today is:

Bawming the Thorn Day, UK (I'm not sure I want to know!)

Bodmin Riding, Wales (Any excuse will do to get on a horse -- riding is wonderful no matter what the occasion.)

Buffalo Bill Day (We honor a man who slaughtered animals so that the Government could more easily exterminate the Natives?)

Bowdler's Day (We honor a man who believed in censorship?)

Chesapeake Turtle Derby

Feast of Theano (Greek Philosopher and mathematician.)

National Blueberry Muffin Day

National Cheer Up the Lonely Day

Swimming Pool Day

World Population Day

Famous Birthdays Today:

Jeff Corwin (1967)
Yul Brynner (1920)
John Quincy Adams (1767)

Friday, July 10, 2009

I have decided what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be a philanthropist.

Giving pennies just doesn't feel like enough any more. I want to give more.

Meanwhile, I'll do what I can.

Today is:

Bahamas Independence Day

Clerihew Day (A light form of verse, named after Edmund Clerihew Bentley, whose birthday was today.)

Don't Step on a Bee Day (They are having enough trouble these days.)

Godiva Day (She made her famous ride today in 1040)

Knut the Reaper's Day, Scotland

National Pina Colada Day

Night of Sorrows

Seven Brothers Day

Teddy Bear Picnic Day (So don't worry if your bear goes missing, he'll be back tonight.)

Windjammer Days

Birthdays Today:

Arlo Guthrie
Fred Gwynn

Today in History:

Julius Caesar barely defeats Pompey in Macedonia (48 BC)
Founding of Dublin (988)
Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days Queen, takes the throne (1553)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

We've all had our "naked in public" dreams. It seems that some people want to live them out.

Keith Wright, who is 50 (old enough to know better), decided to disrobe on a plane from Charlotte to L.A. The passengers had to help hold him down and cuff him, and he was arrested when the plane landed in Albuquerque. As they took off again for L.A., the remaining passengers were reminded to keep their clothes on.

What I would like to know (then again, maybe I wouldn't like to know), is what he was thinking. Was he just trying to get comfortable? Did he think he would impress people? Or did he just snap from the pressures of life? Was he celebrating Nude Recreation Week? There is some speculation that he is bipolar and was off of his meds.

Still, who knows? One thing is for sure -- it's another reason I don't want to fly ever again. I not only have to worry about crashes, pilot heart attacks, rude passengers, surly service, and germs everywhere, I get to wonder what crazy might be sitting next to me.

Today is:

Fashion Day

Fast of Tamuz, Jewish

Flag Day, Alaska

Lobster Carnival, Nova Scotia, Canada

Martyrdom of the Bab, Baha'i

National POW/MIA Recognition Day (If you know someone who was a POW, go out of your way to do something nice for that person today.)

National Sugar Cookie Day

Rock 'n Roll Day

Famous Birthdays:

Tom Hanks
Nicola Tesla

Today in History:

Henry VIII's marriage to Anne of Cleves is annulled (1540)
Declaration of Independence is read to George Washington's troops (1776)
Irene Coit is the first woman admitted to Yale University (1891)
Anne Frank and family and friends go into hiding (1942)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Someone To Talk To

While I was at the produce market yesterday, a very nice Oriental lady, whose first language was not English, struck up a conversation with me. I understood about 90% of what she was saying. She began by asking me which package of mushrooms I thought weighed the most*, and told me how she cooked them with onions and garlic and peppers and salt and a bit of sugar. I listened, asked questions, and she seemed eager to tell me about it. I told her I had never thought of using sugar to bring out the flavor of veggies this way, and she seemed happy that she had taught me something new.

As I left, I noticed she was talking to another customer in the store. It left me wondering if she was just naturally gregarious, or if she just needed someone to practice her English conversation skills with, or if she just wanted someone to talk to. Maybe it was a bit of all of that.

So often we don't stop to talk with people when they try to strike up a conversation. Maybe we should try to give these people at least a minute or two, they might just need someone to talk to.

Today is:

Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Omelet Day

Feast of St. Sunniva, Norse
Festa dos Tabuleiros, Portugal (Festival of the Trays

Heritage Day

Lindenfest, Rhineland, Germany

National Cherry Festival

National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day (Why can't they have this one during the school year when all the kids are out selling those for school fundraisers? That way I wouldn't have to leave the house to go get some.)

Old Crafts Day (Old time crafts, or old crafts you've had sitting around the house and never gotten done? If you have the latter, do them or toss them!)

SCUD Day -- Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama (Somebody please tell this to the news media!)

St. Aquila and Prisca Day

Video Games Day (Another one you don't want the children to learn about, unless you want to have to take a trip to rent a new one.)

This Day in History:

Founding of Paris (951)
Jacob Barsimson departs for Manhattan/New Amsterdam, will become the first Jewish colonist to arrive in what would become the US (1654)
The US State Department issues it's first passport (1796 -- wonder if the guy is still waiting for it?)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Preparing for the Inevitable

No matter how much we want to ignore it, the statistics on death are clear: one out of one dies.

So, what happens to all the people online you have left behind? If you are like me, and guard your passwords with an iron grip, your family will not be able to let anyone know what has happened. Unless you leave all of your websites and passwords listed where the family can get them, your online friends may forever wonder what happened.

There is also the fact that it is very difficult for a grieving family to bring themselves to do one more thing, notifying an online community they have never met. It might take them weeks, or even months, to get to it, and meanwhile your online friends don't know if they have offended you, or you are mad at them, or ... the list goes on.

I know I have been part of a community that has lost members. In a couple of cases, family was able to let us know, sometimes right away, sometimes after months of us wondering. Others have disappeared without a trace, and we can only hope that they are doing well.

That is why I have a "deathswitch" set up. I am composing letters to be sent to online communities if anything happens. It will be done automatically, without my family ever having to deal with it. It makes me feel better that I can do this.

Today is:

Asalha Puja Day - Buddhist

Bonza Bottler Day ( for details)

Cherry Pit Spitting Day (Get out of the house with those things! LOL)

Chocolate Day (Enjoy without guilt at your BBD party -- even have chocolate covered cherries.)

Double 7 Day, China (See? Everyone needs a reason to party.)

Father/Daughter Take a Walk Together Day (But only if it stops raining.)

Great Gatsby Festival (Does this one bring back awful school memories to anyone else?)

Macaroni Day (Add a bit of Italian to your celebration.)

Running of the Bulls, Spain

Saba Saba Day, Tanzania (Peasant's Festival)

Solomon Islands Independence Day

Strawberry Sundae Day (Topped with chocolate covered cherries -- is it just me, or is the menu getting a bit crowded?)

Tanabata, Japan (Star Crossed Lovers Day)

Tell The Truth Day (Shouldn't this be everyday? Or am I just hopelessly old fashioned?)

Birthdays Today:

Comic Book Birthday (1802)
Ringo Starr
His Majesty the King of Nepal

Anniversaries Today:

Boulder Dam construction begins (1930)
Elvis Presley hits the airwaves (1954)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Where Did They Inherit That From?

Most things about what your kids inherit is rather obvious. They have grandpa's eyes, or Aunt Millie's smile, or some such. (Unless you are talking about my Little Girl, who doesn't look much like anyone in the family. Sweetie keeps saying she looks like the postman, but, while I like our postman, the child is obviously not biracial, so ....)

There are some cases where it is obvious the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Then there is the love of wrestling.

I have never liked professional wrestling. Yes, I knew who Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant were, but I had never watched the "sport" and considered it the purview of mostly those who grew up in the country. After all, no one I knew watched, except my farm cousins.

My #2 Son and Little Girl have developed an intense liking for this stuff. Summer Slam, Raw, Hell in a Cell -- they can't wait for the next weeks matches, or the next Pay-per-View they can save up for. They invite friends over to watch with them, all of whom think it is equally fascinating.

I have seen snippets, and heard the blow by blow accounts from my children, and I have decided what professional tv wrestling really is. It is violent soap opera.

This person is enemy to that, but next week he will team up with that to fight the other. The ongoing sagas of marriages, betrayals, divorces, etc., interspersed with beating each other up, is just one long, drawn out soap, with blood.

I have no idea where they inherited this love of watching people hurt each other. It amazes and appalls me. That their father has learned to tolerate it, occasionally even sitting with them and watching, is odd.

I guess it goes to show, if you watch something often enough, even something horrible, you become inured to it, it no longer affects you. That must be why some people can commit crimes, or torture, and it doesn't turn their stomachs to do it.

Heaven help us, as we become more tolerant to this stuff, we may get to where we don't care.

Today is:

Fried Chicken Day (Maybe I should have kept those Popeye's Fried Chicken coupons after all....)

Nothing Day (Clear your calendar, so you can say you did nothing. Don't even cook go out for fried chicken!)

Old Albums Are Frisbees Day (Get those old, worn out relics out and go have a ball!)

Peter Rabbit Day (Beatrix Potter's birthday -- a day to eat salad, but don't steal it ;) )

Take Your Webmaster To Lunch Day (Get him/her a salad and fried chicken.)

National Pickle Festival (Make sure the place also has fried pickles.)

Remembrance Day, Luxembourg

St. Maria Goretti's Day

National Air Traffic Control Day

Today is also the anniversary of the first professional All-Star Baseball game. It was played on July 6, 1933 in Comiskey Park in Chicago, and the AL won, 4 to 2.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ain't Kids Wunnerful?

This morning I woke up to find a note from my # 2 Son.

"Dear Mom,

I felt sick and had a headache but the headache went away after I blew chunks. I'm fine now. By the way, I did it in the pasta pot. Sorry."

Right now, I'm so happy to be a mom I could just barf. Oh, wait, never mind, one of them already did it for me.

Today is:

Compliment Your Mirror Day (Especially if you aren't wearing your glasses when you look!)

Disobedience Day (Don't tell the kids about this one.)

Stay Out of the Sun Day

Earth at Aphelion

Chocolate Wafer Day

Garibaldi Day

St. Anatolius Day

St. Ignatius of Loyola Day

St. Thomas the Apostle Day

Sun Dance, Assinibone Tribe, Montana

Thursday, July 2, 2009

National Anti-Boredom Month

It seems that July is National Anti-Boredom Month. I guess it's because after July 4, the summer does just seem to drag on. August doesn't drag as much as it used to because school starts so blastedly early, I guess to make up for the fact that it is the only month without an official holiday.

(Meanwhile, the cat is trying to eat the keyboard cord -- I'll have to do a post on cats sometime.)

Today is:

I Forgot Day (That should be every day for me -- my over 40 brain is fried.)

World UFO Day (Yes, there is alien life out there, and it is intelligent. It has proven its intelligence by never coming here.)

Half Way Point of 2009

Besse-en-Chandesse Day, France (Black Virgin Festival)

Corsa del Palio, Sienna, Italy (Course of the Banner, a horse race that dates back to 1232.)

Madonna di Provenzano, Italy

National Anisette Day

National Literacy Day

Salvation Army Founder's Day

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Why Not Today?

Blogging, I always thought. was not for me. After all, what does a dumpy, middle aged, not too bright wife and SAHM have to blog about?

Still, at least I can try to get a few of my ideas out of my head and written down.

It's July 1, the beginning of a new fiscal year. So, I will start something new. I'm not sure where it will lead, and that's okay.

Also, today is:

Canada Day (I wish many happy returns of the day to all Canadians!)

Second Half of the Year Day (Second half of the year resolutions, anyone?)

US Postage Stamp Day (Philatelists unite!)

Zip Code Day

Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day (The local dairy did this already, they came out with special flavors just for south Louisiana, including a sweet potato flavor!)

International Joke Day (Joke will follow the rest of the post.)

Build a Scarecrow Day (Why wait till October?)

La Fiesta De Burro (Don't underestimate the usefulness of pack animals.)

Mt Fuji Day, Japan

National Gingersnap Day

St. Cosmas and Damian's Day

Today's joke, for International Joke Day -- A cowboy walks into a bar in Wyoming and orders 3 beers. He takes them to a table and takes a sip from each one, over and over, until they are gone. Then he goes and orders 3 more.

The bartender says, "You know, the beers go flat once I draw them, so why don't you order one at a time? They will taste better."

The Cowboy answers, "Well, I have two brothers, one in Arizona and one in Colorado. When we all left Texas, we promised we would always drink like this, in memory of when we used to drink together."

The bartender thinks this is a nice tradition, so he says nothing further.

The Cowboy became a regular at the bar, always ordering 3 at a time, and drinking them the same way. Then one day he walks in and orders only 2 beers. All of the regulars fall silent.

When he comes back and orders 2 more, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I would like to offer you my condolences."

The Cowboy looks puzzled for a moment, then he breaks out in a laugh.

"No, we are all doing just fine," he says. "It's just that the wife and I joined the Baptist Church, so I had to give up drinking. Didn't affect my brothers, though."