Category Archives: bakery

Unique December Facts

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“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

The good news is December has been declared Bingo Celebration

Month! I used to love it when my family would play this, with

guests. Sometimes my cousins, sometimes neighbors, we would

be out on the picnic table with our chips and our Dad would be

the one to spin the wire caged wheel and pull out the wooden

balls with the letters, “B,I,N,G” or “O.”

Did you know this is an ‘ancient’ game? It has been around since

the 1500’s.

I used to love being the “Caller” for Bingo at the Arbors Nursing Home,

while my residents were always happy to call out, “Bingo!” The young

volunteers would run over and give them their quarter. When the whole

card got filled, we would start all over again. The reward for a filled card

was one dollar bill. This was a big exciting reward to the folks who lived

there.

 

On a much more solemn note, December 16, 1944 was the day the big

“Battle of the Bulge” was carried out.

 

The Official End of WWII was on December 31, 1946.

Peace on Earth, Good will to Men.

 

Did you know every day of the month has a food item?

 

DECEMBER DAYS OF FOOD (Beverage or Other):

Dec. 1- National Pie Day.

Eat A Red Apple Day.

 

Dec. 2- National Apple Pie Day.

 

Dec. 4- National Cookie Day.

(Every day is this one for me! smiles)

 

Dec. 5- Repeal Day ~ Prohibition Day (U.S.).

National Sacher Torte Day.

(In Vienna, Austria a man named Franz Sacher created this

delicious chocolate, light cake or torte, in 1832.)

 

Dec. 6- National Gazpacho Day.

(Associated with Andalusia, part of Spain, but its roots go back

into Arab and other ancient times. Cold, savory soup, made of

raw vegetables.)

Also, National Microwave Oven Day.

(I do appreciate this electronic invention.)

 

Dec. 7- National Cotton Candy Day.

(Why is this in our winter? Is this for places who have fairs and

festivals in December?)

 

Dec. 8- National Chocolate Brownie Day.

Dec. 9- National Pastry Day.

Dec. 10- National Lager Day.

 

Dec. 11- National Noodle Ring Day.

(This is hard to find its roots, but mainly described as

a circle of noodles with a cheese incorporated into it,

attributed to Germany.)

 

Dec. 12- National Cocoa Day.

 

Dec. 13- National Ice Cream Day.

(Why, again, are we eating ice cream in the cold weather?

This must be made up by people in warmer climates.

Also, National Violins Day.

 

Dec. 14- National Bouillabaisse Day.

(I enjoy this savory, warm soup. It originated from fishing

villages in France. Marseilles may have been its first place

of origin, with three kinds of fish and Provencal seasonings.)

 

Dec. 15- National Cupcake Day.

 

**Dec. 16- National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day!!**

Woo hoo!

 

Dec. 17- National Maple Syrup Day.

(This would be the perfect day or excuse to make pancakes

or waffles!)

 

Dec. 18- National Suckling Pig Day.

(This comes from mainly Chinese cuisine, but there are some

references going back to Roman times. This is a very young

pig, which has a lot of collagen in its skin, hard to ‘crisp up,’

while it is considered a delicacy.)

 

Dec. 19- National Hard Candy.

(What is your favorite hard candy?

My Dad’s was either horehound or cinnamon drops.

Mom’s was butterscotch drops. My favorite flavor is found in

either the caramel flavored Nips or Werther’s candies.)

 

Dec. 20- National Fried Shrimp Day.

(This makes me think of Louisiana cooking with crawdads or

prawns. This would be prepared as Shrimp Creole. I enjoy

the butter sauce with garlic infusion:  Shrimp Scampi.)

 

Also on the 20th- National Sangria Day.

“Ole!”

(You probably already know this is my Mom’s favorite wine

to sip on at bedtime, using a small juice glass. I have a

Spanish toast on another post…)

 

Dec. 21- National Hamburger Day.

Going from the red meat to fruit…

National Kiwi Fruit Day.

 

Dec. 22- National Date Nut Bread.

 

Dec. 23- National Pfeffernuesse Day.

(This traditional German spice cookie covered with powdered

confectioner’s sugar is one that takes me back to my Grandma’s

kitchen. It reminds me of the flavors of gingerbread cookies.)

 

Dec. 24- National Feast of the Seven Fishes.

(This comes from Italy, which celebrates the Wait or Vigil for

the Baby Jesus, by serving fish from the Mediterranean Sea.)

 

Also, National Egg Nog Day.

(I like this use of nutmeg, heavy cream and Irish whiskey or

other alcohol. Mom likes the non-alcoholic milky drink from

United Dairy Farmers.)

 

Dec. 25- National Pumpkin Pie Day.

(Just in case you didn’t get enough of this holiday pie at

Thanksgiving.)

 

Dec. 26- National Candy Cane Day.

Dec. 27- National Fruit Cake Day.

 

Dec. 28- National Chocolate Candy Day.

(Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter also celebrate

this national holiday- just being ‘facetious.’)

 

Dec. 29- National Pepper Pot Soup Day.

(There are recipes for this Jamaican cuisine along

with one from Philadelphia.)

 

Dec. 30- National Bicarbonate of Soda Day,

(Thank you for this Baking Soda Day. I like to use this

special rising ingredient in many baked goods, but can

taste it the most in homemade biscuits.)

 

Dec. 31- National Champagne Day.

(Say a toast to “Auld Lang Syne”  and Happy New Year, 2015!)

 

The research on some of these food items is not complete, but I did

look up the ones I did not know where the foods originated in. If

you would like to share a favorite family traditional food item in the

comments section, we would enjoy hearing about them. Thank you!

 

 

 

September 17th is Doubly Worth Celebrating

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September 17th celebrates two special days for everyone, especially Americans.

Both of these events can be loosely based on the fruit of an apple. . .

First of all, on this historic day in 1787, our Constitution came into “fruition.”

Sometime much more recently, we have delegated a day that doctors ‘approve

of,’ while teachers are happy for their pay ‘bonus.’

I am stretching this ‘fruity’ tie a bit, aren’t I?

Today is known to as both, “Constitution Day” and “Eat An Apple Day!”

There have been some politicians from both parties making the rounds

in the news and in a wide variety of locations, celebrating the United States

Constitution.

Teachers may have planned to serve apple cider, discussing how apples are

pressed to make this delicious drink. Or maybe they had children or middle

school aged young people chopping up apples and serving them with some

caramel dip or sprinkling cinnamon on them. They may have ‘gone all out’

in their celebrations of the apple, by having some students learn how to

make pie crust. I remember as a preschool teacher, finding this to be as

good as making play dough.

Since many people get the Constitution confused with the Declaration of

Independence, I will give you a ‘third grade’ review of this fine document.

The Constitution of the United States is the ‘supreme law’ of the land in the

U. S. of A. It is a set of rules that are enforced by the three levels of the

government. We have the Branches of the Legislative, Executive and the

Judicial levels.

The Constitution was originally written and created in September, 1787 but

did not get accepted, approved or ‘ratified,’ until June 21, 1778. In 1789, what

is called the “Bill of Rights” was added.  There are 7 articles with the #s 4, 5,

and 6th ones discussing the relationship between the States and the Federal

Government. This includes the rights and responsibilities of the now fifty

States. It discusses or defines the concept of Federalism in the articles.

Unlike other countries’ forms of Constitution, our amendments are not

inserted into the original document but are added at the end.

Here are some fun books to look up and read to children from Grades

Fourth through Eighth Grade:

“Our Constitution Rocks,” by Juliette Turner.

“We the Kids:  The Preamble to the Constitution,” by David Catrow.

“Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution,” by Jean Fritz.

 

Here are some fun songs, starting with one that is a ‘chant,’ using

arms and hand motions:

1. “Apple Tree”

“Way up high in the apple tree (Raise your hands up in the air.)

Three little apples looked down at me. (Hold up three fingers and can be dramatic

using your eyes and eyebrows lifted.)

I shook the tree (Pretend to shake your trees!) as hard as I could

Down came the apple. . .

M-m-m

M-m-m

It was good!” (You may rub your tummy to demonstrate!)

(Anonymous)

 

2. “Apple Tree”

(You may listen to this on a 4 minute ‘track’)

“Swing with me,

Underneath the apple tree.

We will swing,

We will sing,

Till the dinner bell.”

(Doesn’t it seem to need ‘ring,’ here?)

To and fro we will go,

flying to the sky.

Happily, merrily,

Up we swing,

With the birds we fly.”

(Author Unknown)

 

Now for some adult versions of songs with the name of apple

in the group or song. You will recognize most of these, which

you may be excited to know there are plenty more in a list on

the internet!

3. Doris Day’s lovely song, begins with a stanza about her true

love, Johnny leaving her and she is sitting by her lonesome:

“The apple tree

The apple tree

The apple tree,

Still sitting under the apple tree

With nobody else but me.”

 

(Why do I remember this as, “Don’t go sitting with nobody else

but me;  under the apple tree?” Memories play ‘tricks’ on me!)

 

4.  Louis Armstrong’s song, “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree.”

 

5.  Dionne Warwick’s song, “As Long As There’s An Apple Tree.”

 

6.  The Ink Spots’ “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree.”

 

7.  Alice Cooper’s song, “Apple Bush.”

 

8.  An American Country Music Band in 2002 was called, “Hot Apple Pie.”

 

9.  Bob Applebaum’s song, “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree.”

(Isn’t this guy cool, has apple in his name, too!)

 

10. Jake Owens’ song, “Apple Pie Moonshine.”

 

Which is interesting, since this Friday, to ‘kick off’ our Fall weekend, I have written a post about

fermented apple cider. I really enjoy the flavor of “Angry Orchard,” hard apple cider made in

Cincinnati, Ohio. There is a new trend brewing apple cider, although the practice has been around

since the Mayflower ship brought the Pilgrims here, and even before then. . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raising the Bar

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Happy 40th Anniversary to you, Dear Bar Code! Can you believe there is even

a day of celebration for this invention? I am laughing at this!  I just saw this on

a poster at Advance Auto, where I was clocking out from work.

I used my picture badge, with my bar code, to ‘wave’ in front of the time clock.

I was trying to fathom how bar codes have made our everyday  lives ‘easier.’

I can think of how it has made my shopping experiences ‘easier.’

Besides, bar codes do help me at work, due to making accuracy much easier to

check.

Grocery bar codes, first known as GSI linear coding, were initiated in 1973

in Troy, Ohio. A year later, the UPC codes became literally a universal way

of coding products.

On June 26, 1974, the first bar codes were ‘stuck’ on Wrigley’s gum packages!

If you are the type who wishes to toast an anniversary, you may wish to try

something with Crème de menthe, since their first brand of gum was mint!

I am one who would rather have mint chocolate chip ice cream or if it were

available 12 months a year: Peppermint Stick ice cream! It has a creamy,

more vanilla-mint flavor than the strong peppermint flavor of those iconic

light green Wrigley’s packages of gum.

Or you may indulge in a cupcake with green food dye and mint flavored

frosting. A chocolate one would be my good friend, Jenny’s flavor to choose.

Mine would be to make a vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting with just a

smidge of peppermint flavoring added. Yummy!

Last, but not least, while in Cleveland this weekend, my grandchildren asked

to have McDonald’s milk shakes. Micah loves chocolate, my daughter got one

of those also. My oldest grandson, Skyler, asked for a strawberry one. While

we were ordering, we weren’t sure why they are again offering their green

minty “Shamrock” milkshakes?

We wondered what got this back on the menu, long past St. Patrick’s Day?

Do you know why McDonald’s around Cleveland, (I have not checked out

locally, so don’t want to generalize this phenomenon!) are offering these at

this time of year?

Are there some Irish festivals in the summertime inspiring the company?

Do people complain loudly, after St. Patrick’s Day, about their short term

offering of this delightful shake?

Have I gone far enough ‘left field’ that I may venture back on the path to

finding reasons to celebrate UPC bar codes?

I came up with a short list, no references need. No website that I went off

and looked this up on…

Robin’s Short List of “Why Bar Codes Have Improved Our Lives:”

1.  Self service lines in “box stores” and grocery markets alleviate long lines.

Thanks for those UPC bar code digits, we are able to scan our own products

and “go on our merry way!”

2.  Scanning codes sometimes may ‘catch’ sale items much better than using

‘human-applied sales labels.’ This is a pet peeve of mine, when I find something

that is ‘supposedly on sale’ and the clerk ringing it in, sometimes doesn’t seem

to catch the sale. But, with the ability of scanning bar codes, there have been

less ‘errors’ at some of the places that used to just stick a colored dot on products.

3. When products that are on sale ‘run out,’ I like to ask for “Rain Checks.” This

UPC bar code helps make the rain check ‘more valid’ and ‘usable’ due to its

accuracy. Also, handwritten out, most people can copy numbers from a label.

4.  A problem with our bar codes at work is, that sometimes we are needing to

check the last 2 digits and sometimes even the last 3 digits, since Receiving and

Away departments have ‘dyslexic’ workers, or so it seems to the Bin Order

Fillers who find lots of errors where we are supposed to have ‘Pick Ready’ bins.

5.  When I am up in the Mezzanine area, I am able to wear an armband held

small computer. It is called an “RF” which has a Blue Tooth scanner attached to

my pointer finger. I use my thumb to press the side button to shoot a laser at

the product’s bar code label. (Most people like it on their middle finger and

simply press their pointer finger on the scanner button.)

This is a much better device, than the one I used to have to use in Heavy Bulk.

That contraption involved listening to a operated ‘order’ where it would

give you a five numbered area to go to.

The five numbers were usually double digits, this took a lot of my brain power

Often, I had a headache at the end of the day! It did ‘like’ my voice, usually more

than my fellow coworkers who had made their template in an unnatural voice,

then using their ordinary, regular toned voice they would try to ‘confirm’ their

orders… The voice in their earpiece would say, “The number you are trying to

confirm doesn’t exist” or “Please say the number again.” I cannot even remember

the irritating repetitive words, sometimes my coworkers would give me their

headpiece, which definitely ‘would not recognize my voice commands.’

So bar codes were originally a ‘pain in the patooty’ at  my work! I did not like

the way they would tell me to go to “49-13-22-6-2” which meant row 49, look

on the 13th rack, go over 22 bins and go up to the top shelf (6th shelf) and

pick two products.

Now, when I use the Blue Tooth ‘finger scanner’ or the ‘gun scanner’ on the

tablet sized “RF” I can simply point, press and if the product is wrong, I

will ‘back order’ it. This is much to the chagrin of the Cycle Count people

who have to come and find out why someone stocked the wrong product

or put the right product in Timbuctoo! I checked the spelling on that one,

folks!

How does the bar code effect your area of work?

Do you feel it improves your shopping experience?

Is there some other area of your life this happens to help you out?

As I leave the library, I will be signing off my computer, taking my bar coded

library card to check out some movies for the week…

Happy Monday to you all!

P.S. The wedding event of my year was one of my top 3 favorite weddings I have

ever been to! I loved seeing all the grandchildren in their new and nicely colorful

‘dress up’ clothes.

I enjoyed how much fun my Mom had, with many special moments where little

ones gave her hugs, along with her being allowed to reminisce to her content.

The weather was absolutely lovely and there was a time, after bubbles were

blown, food and delicious cake from Fragapan Bakery, were eaten, faces painted

and the smallest ones allowed to dip in a baby pool, while the older ones were

escorted by my brother, designated “Life Guard” to Showse Park Beach, only

two houses down from the wedding.

Time spent with the lovely bride, my niece, and her sweet and terrific husband

was wonderful. So many memories of times where we were mentioning our

fireworks off the beach below my parents’ cottage, sparklers lit off the deck

and just so many more memories.

I am blessed that my youngest brother chose a woman with children with

ages close to those of my own. Holidays and gatherings, they could pair up

in play.

Innumerable activities since they became part of our family.

Thus, my niece was only 6 and my youngest only 4, when my little brother

married my only ‘sister’ in law.

Everyone reveled in the casual atmosphere, showing such playfulness at the

lake cottage. The ‘Tent wedding,’ otherwise labeled on our invitations as

“Come to a BBQ Wedding and Reception!”

 

 

Strawberry Full Moon

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In my monthly June post, I let you know that the name for the Full Moon

this week is called, Strawberry Full Moon. On Wednesday, as I walked

my youngest daughter out to her car, since we had spent awhile having

dinner, along with watching a movie it was getting late. It was dark, but

there was a brightness in the sky. I let out an excited, “Look at the moon!”

Together we gazed at it, she giving it more than a passing glance, knowing

that the sky holds a little extra meaning to our family.

We hugged each other tightly, arms wrapped around each other.

We noted it was looking bright and lovely in the cool night air. There has

been a neat way that the clouds seem to spread, dissipating into wisps,

around the moon.

The warm daytime temperatures and the cooler night air has created great

‘cloud cover.’ Last night, the moon was showing its shiny, gray-pocketed

face for all to see.

I found several strawberry messages to share with you. I do so love the

sweet and a little tart taste of strawberries! Do you love them, too?

In the following “Camp Song,” we used to sing at Girl Scout camp, there

is a reference repeated about strawberries. I remember this song, like

the ‘back of my hand.’ I have sung it to my own three children at their

bedtime, more recently to my grandchildren. This is one of a few that

have strawberries in their lyrics!

The New Christy Minstrels used to sing this and my parents had it on

one of their albums. I did not initiate singing this song while away at

camp. This song, “Today,” must have been popular enough for a camp

counselor to have memorized and shared with us. It is sweet with a

guitarist, sitting with it on his or her knees, strumming along to the

melody.

Sitting around a campfire, from ages 11 until age 18, I used to sing it.

I enjoyed ed’ camping trips with the local Bay Village Boy Scouts,

taking down the tents that were canvas off the platforms at Camp Hilaka.

This would be in the Fall, in Richfield, Ohio.

When you read the lyrics, you may not think that Juliette Gordon Low,

the founder of Girl Guides, later known as Girl Scouts, would have

approved! There is the repeated verse with ‘wine’ included!

” Today”

 

“Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,

I’ll taste your strawberries,

I’ll drink your sweet wine.

A million tomorrows shall all pass away,

‘Ere I forget all the joy that is mine. . .

Today.

Oh, I’ll be a dandy or I’ll be a rover,

You’ll know who I am, by the song that I sing.

I’ll feast at your table,

I’ll sleep in your clover.

Who cares what tomorrow may bring?

I can’t be contented with yesterday’s glory,

I can’t live on promises Winter to Spring.

Today is my moment and now is my story,

I’ll laugh and I’ll cry and I’ll sing.

(Repeating…)

Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,”

Of course, another very popular song that includes, the word,

“strawberry” in it is: “Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles.

Here is a fun list of different references to Strawberries:

1. Grandmother’s homemade strawberry jam

2. Aunt Amy’s freezer strawberry jam

3. McDonald’s strawberry and crème pies (2 for $1.59)

4. Strawberries and cream

5. Strawberry shortcake

6. Strawberry Shortcake and her Friends. (dolls)

7. Strawberry Cool Whip

8. Strawberry shakes

9. Strawberry malts

10. Neopolitan has chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream

also, what we call ice cream cookies.

11. Strawberry Skittles, the red ones are my favorites!

12. Strawberry Twizzlers

13. Strawberry pie, with fresh strawberries and a glaze over it.

(Served with big dollops of whipped cream!)

14. Boone’s Farm Strawberry Wine

(Don’t drink too much, sickeningly sweet, not fun coming up!)

15. Suave brand shampoo, Strawberry Shampoo and Conditioner

16. Strawberry lip gloss

(I used to put this on my lips, during high school. I got some

compliments for this habit. Also, used it to kiss the envelopes

to my college boyfriend, future first husband, signing off with

“Sealed with a Kiss.”)

Instead of focusing on the Friday the 13th, I hope you enjoyed this!

I am sure there are many more songs, memories and fun things

you may have thought of, hope if this triggered any interesting

stories, you will share them with us!

 

 

Healthy Breakfast

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My girlfriend likes to eat oatmeal and a cup of yogurt for her

breakfast. My youngest daughter enjoys an egg, from a farmer

who uses only natural farming, with no added fertilizer or

other unhealthy ways to produce the chicken that lays the egg.

So, every step of the egg’s progress from the chicken to the

buyer, is considered healthy. She adds some seasonal fruits and

has been adding no gluten in her ‘diet,’ trying this to see if

her arthritis will stop flaring up. So far, so good. My brother

who had quadruple by-pass surgery on his heart, makes omelets

with mushrooms, peppers, onions and tomatoes. He has been trying

less gluten on his ‘menus,’ too. Then, there is my oldest daughter

who thinks those caffeine shots that give you energy, a donut,

cookie or other sweet food item with a cup of flavored coffee is

an acceptable way to head off to her third shift job!

My good guy friend, Bill, will tell you he used to be a frequent

customer of Waffle House, Denny’s and Bob Evans. He used to say,

“I don’t feel ‘normal’ without tons of sugar and coffee!”

Granted, until my late forties, when I had my cholesterol ‘scare’

that headed me towards a better diet and weight range, I was one

of those caffeine and sugar (with no dietary nutrition whatsoever)

people, too.

I have discovered a great cereal brand and am hoping to be helpful,

healthy conscious and informative today!

I was wandering around our local grocery store but not the Delaware

Community Market. I came across the Healthy Foods aisle, with soy

and almond milks in sealed boxes, nuts that have not been introduced

to salt, unless it is ‘sea salt,’and in the cereal aisle, big boxes

of cereal that had such nice, simple artwork seemingly ‘silk-screened’

onto them. These outdoors scenes are very modern and pretty, I would

like them on a t-shirt. They may be ‘downloaded’ as a free screensaver

on your computer. (A fact listed on the cereal box.)

I am a big fan of “Frosted Mini Wheats” or “Shredded Wheat,” so I was

searching for a healthier choice for my Breakfast of Champion: Me!

I found decorated with green and brown mountains and a cool blue lake

on the box labeled: “Mom’s Best” Cereal brand.

This happened to be on sale for the low price of $1.99.

Mom’s Best catchy little logo says, “Simple Goodness.”

I will proceed to give you the list of the nutrients that

sounded quite healthy and in big letter and numbers in the

front corner of the box, “44 grams of whole grains.” Wow!

I had never seen quite as high # of grains in just one

cup of cereal!

Here are some more facts about the cereal of my choice,

“Sweetened Wheat-Fuls:”

Calories= 210 without milk.

Total Fat= 1 gram which is just 2% of daily recommended amount.

0% Saturated Fat, 0% Transfat, 0 % Monosaturated fat, 0.5 grams of

Poly-unsaturated fat.

Cholesterol= 0%

Sodium= 10 mg. which is considered 5% of daily allowance for salt.

Potassium= 180 mg. which is also 5% of the daily allowance.

Carbohydrates totaled 45 grams= 15% of daily recommended amount.

Dietary fiber= 6 grams. I consider whole wheat bread as my ‘standard’

and usually try to get 3-4 grams, so this isn’t too bad. Higher than

most other cereals.

There were only negligible amounts of other vitamins and minerals,

with the only high ones being Phosphorus (15%), Magnesium (10%),

Zinc (10%) and Copper being 10%. Thiamine was 8%, Iron was 10%,

Niacin was 15% and Vitamin B6 was 8%.

What I enjoyed finding out about the cereal was that it tasted good

and did not have too much Sugar! (11 grams).

Since 2006, Mom’s Best Cereals has purchased more than 14 million

kilowatts hours of renewable wind energy.

The company practices a huge amount of recycling, with the most

notable plant being in North Carolina. This amazing plant claims

to have recycled 99% of any refuse or extra bi-products in 2011.

Company-wide, the number is still high at 96% recycled.

Between 2006 and 2011, the Utah plant reduced their amount of

water usage, needed to produce each one pound of cereal by this

fantastic amount: 26 million gallons of water!

So, while interpreting this data, I found that it was over that

five year period, producing every box of one pound of cereal,

saved the total usage of that huge amount of water!

Interpreted this into a ‘picture of the amount of water saved’

is: Picture 62 football fields covered with one foot of water

on them all!

If you wish to explore this cereal more, look up Mom’s Best Cereals

and there is a great cereal that I introduced to my grandkids that

is very similar to Honey Flavored Cheerios. (No nuts, for those who

have children with nut allergies.)

I had fun in the past, looking up those old time cereals, which you

may like to be nostalgic and see my post on those.

Otherwise, some of my readers may have other natural breakfast choices

that will make us hungry and possibly make ‘breakfast for dinner!’

I like to make whole wheat pancakes and waffles, along with using my

whole wheat bread to make French Toast. I love real butter, honey or

maple syrup on these. My grandkids sometimes ‘opt’ for strawberry

or raspberry preserves, from the Delaware Community Marker or the

Farmer’s Market, which is on Wed. evenings and Sat. morns, coming

soon!

Hope you will share something you like to eat for breakfast…

I promise not to ‘judge’ you!

April’s Variables

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April is a month that is one that makes me smile. It

is associated, right from the beginning, with FUN!

I mean, don’t you remember all the silly pranks done

in the name of “April Fool!” Also, since this year,

Easter lands within April, we get the double extra-

cute items that make it an adorable month. Baby lambs,

chicks, ducks, baskets, colored eggs, chocolates and

other brightly colored images come to mind, when I

think of April!

Here is a cheerful quotation from Brazilian theologian,

philosopher and poet, Rubem A. Alves:

“Hope is hearing the melody of the Future.

Faith is to dance to it.”

Springtime melodies ring in renewal and hope.

APRIL CALENDAR

Birthstone: Diamond

Flower: Sweet Pea

1- April Fool’s Day

2- National Walking Day

Did you know that 3 walks weekly after 3 meals

are better than a once a week 45 minute walk?

A fifteen minute walk after dinner, can lower

blood sugar for hours. Along that same line of

thinking, it will significantly lower or reduce

the risk of diabetes.

April 6-13 National Volunteer Week

7- First Quarter Moon

On 4/13/64, Sidney Poitier won the Academy Award,

making this a historical event, as he was the first

African American male, to win. He won for his role

as “Homer Smith,” in “Lilies of the Field.”

April 13- Palm Sunday

I remember going to church and the wonderful song,

which includes the words, “Hosanna” in it. There

would be a parade of people, in one church the

children, in another the choir, all carrying big

palm leaves. In Sunday School, we learned how to

make them into crosses and also, to braid them.

If you wish to know more, you may look farther

into the subject online.

15- Don’t forget to file your Federal taxes,

if you live in the United States.

On this evening, look out to see the Full Pink Moon!

This also is the first day of Passover.

18- Good Friday

This is celebrated by many Christians, including Roman

Catholics and Orthodox Catholics. Some may commemorate

Jesus’ Last Supper, in some religions.

20- Easter

If you celebrate, enjoy the family, loved ones and

neighbors. Hope there is an Easter basket and egg

hunt, along with some fun activities. Do you color

eggs with vinegar and dyes? I like that acidic,

pungent scent. It leads me to memories and nostalgic

moments, along with present days with grandchildren

getting excited about these simple crafts and use

of crayons to make the dye show patterns.

My daughter in law makes the best deviled eggs

while my son makes the juiciest ham, with the

pineapple, brown sugar and clove combination recipe

that my Mom showed me how to make. My daughter bakes

a yellow cake with marshmallow crème frosting and

coconut sprinkles with jelly beans. I used to like

the lamb or bunny cakes my Mom brought home from

the bakery.

If you have a special tradition or recipe to share,

please feel free to place these in the comments’

section!

22- Earth Day

Anywhere you live, internationally we all celebrate

Earth Day. In the schools around here, they will

sometimes go out on hikes to look for nature. In

the parks, sometimes a mayor or official will dig

a hole to place a new tree to celebrate our love

for nature. Other placees, recycling projects may

ensue, cleaning up creeks and paths where paper gets

picked up, along with the mess from winter’s winds.

Also, on April 22, the last Quarter Moon will be out.

23- Administration or Professionals Day

I have an older calendar, where Secretaries’ Day is

mentioned. I used to give the women in our Principal’s

office, little pots of violets in appreciation for

all they put up with from the students and teachers.

25- Arbor Day

This may be an even better time to schedule digging

a hole to place a new tree! I like to have little

seedlings to give to homeowners. I, also, have had

someone buy miniature trees to give to friends.

29- New Moon, it will be dark tonight!

The Paralyzed Veterans of America consider the month

of April to be Veterans’ Awareness Month. Check out

your community and see if there are any ways that

are planned to help Paralyzed Vets or if there are

any ceremonies or projects. This month is to help

raise public awareness of the unique challenges

that paralyzed veterans face on a daily basis.

I like to end with a couple of positive quotes from

Thomas Kinkade:

“True simplicity begins when you learn to enjoy the

amazing abundance of what is already yours.”

“No one can decide how you spend your time, but you.”

Motivational and Elevating

Standard

The book, “Before I Die,” ( 2013, 304 pp.) is ‘chock full’

of ways that you can choose to savor your life and make

the journey more meaningful. Candy Chang painted black

a side of an old, abandoned house in her New Orleans

neighborhood and created a ‘ripple effect.’

She painted it to be a dynamic chalkboard and printed

out the words, “Before I Die I Want To…” These words

were meant to develop a dialogue and encourage some

interactions among her neighbors.

Ms. Chang’s efforts produced a safer neighborhood,

less police calls, brought people out to sit on their

porches, made people become motivated and it united

them. Incredible results are given in Ms. Chang’s book!

Also, due to the popularity of the book and bloggers

passing the word around, became an international art

movement.

I love it when some action creates the impetus for

uniting people, like the songs that groups of famous

singers have gathered, using their talent to break

or remove barriers. One example of this was, “We are

the world.”

The house, another positive side effect of Chang’s

ingenuity, was saved. It has become a home to a family.

Some of the global samples of how people completed

their own projects like Ms. Chang’s includes more

black painted ‘clean slate’ walls outside. Along with

blackboards in other places, businesses and malls.

Each setting has had profound results.

The reason Candy Chang was inspired to start the

project, then complete the book, was due to the

sudden loss of her loved one. This took her mind

and emotions away from dwelling on the negative.

Instead it became both motivational to people who

lived around her and the book became elevating to

distant areas where they were seeking more of a

purpose and answering needs for change.

Here are a few samples from the book,

“I will grow a garden.”

“I will help others.”

“I will spend more time with friends.”

and even fantasy thoughts such as,

“I will eat a salad with an alien.”

Hey, going into outer space or to a different

country are good dreams for the young to become

inspired. I hope that education will be more

available and likely in the future, to all.

By writing a ‘bucket list,’ you are putting those

ideas on paper or on the chalkboard for all to

see, whether it is family and friends (inside your

home) or neighbors and passers-by, (outside your

home, posted in your garden or on a gate…)

You are building connections by the written word,

communicating with those around you. Also, a person

is less likely to ‘turn back and give up’ on some of

those far-fetched dreams. Once it is in print, painted

on the wall, you will find yourself thinking of the

steps to reach your goals.

I imagine this being quite a creative springboard

for break rooms, coffee shops, or anywhere people

gather together. Oh, how about senior centers and

church social rooms?

Do you have a place, in mind, where this would

generate a new sense of community and creative

thoughts?