WHAT YOU THINK UPON GROWS DAY

Thursday, May 31st: “As a man thinketh” … Today celebrates WHAT YOU THINK UPON GROWS DAY. Originally sponsored by Stephanie West Allen, 2002, this is “A day to remind people of the power of positive thinking.”

While certainly not a new concept, the power of positive thinking is a popular mantra for many.  Allen uses the acronym WYTUG for ‘What You Think Upon Grows’.

Allen states, “Our thoughts are very powerful; they are our mental magic wands. What we dwell upon becomes our reality. This simple fact is what makes our thoughts so powerful. If you cast your attention upon poverty, you will attract poverty into your life. If you think about illness, you will get sick. No matter what the situation — health, wealth, peace, happiness — thinking about the negative side will get you more of the negative; concentrating on the positive will get you more of the positive.”

Many writers over the years have written on this principle, including Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Louise Hays, and probably the most well known, Norman Vincent Peale. Peale’s popular book, The Power of Positive Thinking, was first published in 1952 and stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 186 consecutive weeks. It has since been translated into 15 languages and sold millions of copies.

For several good books about positive thinking, check out this list: http://affirmations.gems4friends.com/articles/7-positive-thinking-books.html

Prior to Peale’s bestseller, James Allen published a literary essay As a Man Thinketh in 1902. His title was influenced by a Bible verse, Proverbs 23:7. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

The full passage, taken from the King James Version, is as follows: “Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.”

As a Man Thinketh opens with the statement:

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: —
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.

Some quotes from As a Man Thinketh follow. Profound thoughts from 110 years ago, and they still ring true today.

  • Men do not attract what they want, but what they are.
  • A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
  • Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment, of these, if you but remain true to them your world will at last be built.
  • The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors, that which it loves, and also that which it fears. It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations. It falls to the level of its unchastened desires – and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.
  • Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves, they therefore remain bound.
  • Every action and feeling is preceded by a thought.
  • Right thinking begins with the words we say to ourselves.
  • Circumstance does not make the man, it reveals him to himself.
  • You cannot travel within and stand still without.
  • As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training, so the man of weak thoughts, can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking.
  • Every man is where he is by the law of his being; the thoughts which he has built into his character have brought him there, and in the arrangement of his life there is no element of chance, but all is the result of a law which cannot err

Allen writes, “Too simple, you say? It may be simple but it is not easy. Watch your thoughts for a half day. How often do you think of the good and the positive, and how often of that which you fear or do not want? Many of us think much more about the bad things in life and imagine these fears coming to pass. Not a good move! Fearing a thing invites it to become manifest in your life. Think miracles instead. Wonderful, enchanting, golden miracles.”

Here’s to miracles in your life!

LOOMIS DAY

Wednesday, May 30th: Loomis WASN’T a looney! Today is LOOMIS DAY, honoring Mahlon Loomis (1826-1886), aWashington,DC dentist. Loomis’ fame has nothing to do with his dental practice; it’s because of his controversial (for the times) beliefs.

Long before the days of cellular phones, wireless internet and wireless printers, Loomis believed that we could transfer telegraph messages wirelessly, by harnessing the upper atmosphere’s electrical currents. Loomis aimed to prove his theory. With the aid ofMassanuttenMountaininVirginia, he flew two kites at equal height 14 miles away from each other. The kites, tied with copper string were attached to galvanometers. (Echoes of Benjamin Franklin?) Loomis discovered that it was possible to use one kite to move the other’s meter. In 1872 he patented his idea for wireless communication titled “An Improvement in Telegraphing.” Looking to set up a network of wireless communication, he sought government funding, unsuccessfully. Loomis kept working on an idea he believed fervently in. Rumor has it that he was working on a wireless telephone by the late 1870’s. The people in Loomis’ world did not see the possibilities that Loomis saw. They dismissed him, believing he was a fraud … a Looney Loomis, if you will.

But look at us now! Our world now revolves around wireless technology. It’s amazing the things that Benjamin Franklin and Mahlon Looms ultimately proved with a kite! Celebrate life; appreciate your cell phone and wireless internet, thanks to the laughs that Mahlon Loomis endured. Happy Loomis Day!

LEARN ABOUT COMPOSTING DAY

Tuesday, May 29th: Following yesterday’s anniversary of the Sierra Club’s founding, today is another green day to celebrate. Today is LEARN ABOUT COMPOSTING DAY.

Composting is easy to do. Composting is beneficial for our gardens and our plants. Composting reduces waste going to landfills, making our planet happier also. We don’t need to wait for Earth Day (or Learn about Composting Day) to compost. We can celebrate with this sustainable practice 365 days a year.

Holiday Insights created this day in 2011. They “believe everyone can practice composting, to leave a better world for our children.” Their site (http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/May/compostingday.htm) has information about how to compost, with several informative links.

Here are two other sites that will get you headed out back with a bin of food scraps in a jiffy.

http://www.growingagreenerworld.com/composting-basics/

http://www.howtocompost.org/info/info_composting.asp

You can compost with worms too. Called vermiculture, you can have an outside bin or a small inside bin. I had a tub of worms under my kitchen sink for years. They ate newspapers, vegetable peelings, banana peels, coffee grounds, tea bags and more. Have questions about worm composting? Check out this site. Liz (in north Texas) is a great ‘go-to’ source. http://www.wormbincomposting.com/

SIERRA CLUB DAY

Monday, May 28th: Happy Birthday Sierra Club! Today is SIERRA CLUB DAY, the 120th anniversary of its founding. Sierra Club was founded May 28, 1892 with 182 charter members. John Muir was elected the first president and served as President until his death in 1914. As the first conservation effort, the Sierra Club campaigned to defeat a proposed reduction in the boundaries ofYosemiteNational Park. The ranks have swelled to 1.4 million members and they’ve tackled countless conservation efforts around the globe.

Visit the Sierra Club’s page and see how you can become a part of the collective group working to explore, enjoy, and protect the planet. http://www.sierraclub.org/history/timeline.aspx

Some words from John Muir

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.

All the wild world is beautiful, and it matters but little where we go, to highlands or lowlands, woods or plains, on the sea or land or down among the crystals of waves or high in a balloon in the sky; through all the climates, hot or cold, storms and calms, everywhere and always we are in God’s eternal beauty and love. So universally true is this, the spot where we chance to be always seems the best.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.
The Yosemite (1912), page 256.

Kreative Blogger Award

Thank you Holly Michael! I got an award and get to post the lovely Kreative Blogger Award on my blog! Thank you Holly Michael, from the Writing Straight blog! Here is that lovely award:

Now part of receiving this wonderful award is that I continue on with this kindness and nominate 7 other blogs that I feel are deserving of this award.  After that I get to answer 10 questions about myself and then 10 random facts about me that you did not know! So here goes!

Seven nominees? I only get to pick seven? But, I have more than seven favorites. Now the hard work begins. I have to whittle my favorites list down to seven. (Again, thank you Holly Michael!) For a variety of reasons, and also to spotlight a variety of blogs that echo different facets of my blog life, I’ve chosen the following as my seven nominees:

Shelly Tucker and This Eclectic Life (http://thiseclecticlife.com/) definitely gets a nomination. I discovered Shelly’s blog long before I was blogging myself. I’d been transplanted in north Texas and with Shelly’s help I was discovered the joys and jewels of the small Texas towns surrounding me. I’ve since participated (alas, only a very little bit) for two years with Shelly’s Share-a-Square project. Shelly has collected squares, crocheted squares, and crocheted thousands of squares together to create hundreds of afghans to donate to children battling cancer. A storyteller extraordinaire, Shelly will be leading the Denton Haunts Ghost Tour in Denton Texas this summer.

Louise, from Months of Edible Celebrations (http://monthsofediblecelebrations.blogspot.com/) was one of my first supporters in the blogging world. I’d tentatively posted a few early ‘A Reason to Celebrate’ blogs (some featuring a food celebration) and Louise made it a point to stop by, comment and encourage. We’ve discovered over the course of the months that we have more in common than blogging about food celebrations; grandchildren we love to pieces, cookbooks and a love of nature. I’m always impressed by the research that Louise does, the recipes and old cookbooks she includes on her pages, and of course, the yummy dishes she prepares and posts.

Looking for unusual ways to celebrate life, it’s only natural that I’d admire Pam and her ‘Live Every Day Like a Holiday’ blog. (http://gonetapott.blogspot.com/) Pam says we should “Live every day like a holiday.” Be it good or bad. Sometimes you just have to eat it with a big spoon.” There are lots of fun and quirky holidays here; it’s always a good read.

My writing journey led me to the ‘She Writes’ group. WOW! What a tremendous support group; She Writes and the Late Bloomers subgroup. I discovered so many talented writers here. One blogger, Julie Farrar, writes ‘Traveling Through’ … the world, the second half of my life, and my own mind (http://www.traveling-through.com/) from the Midwest. Her goal is to keep moving in as many ways as she can until her time is up. Why don’t you join her?

Another blogger, from the other side of the planet – Wales, is Juliet Greenwood (http://julietgreenwoodauthor.wordpress.com/) Juliet writes, helps aspiring writers towards being published, and is a reader for the RNA’s ‘New Writer’s Scheme’. In her ‘spare time’, she works on local oral history projects, helping older people tell their stories before they are lost forever.

In April, I participated in the A to Z blogging challenge for the first time. What an awesome experience it was. Every day we blogged, starting with another letter of the alphabet. I matched the letter of the day with one of the daily celebrations, to coordinate with my ‘A Reason to Celebrate’ blog theme. For ‘M’, Moment of Laughter Day, I searched for humorous blogs to include as links with my post that day. One I found was Cindy Brown’s ‘Everyday Underwear’. (http://www.everydayunderwear.com/) On her page Cindy promises that “You’ll laugh, giggle, chuckle, cry, think or spontaneously burst into flames while reading. If that last thing happens, I am not liable. It’s good, bad, and ordinary days. It’s comfortable and made of good material. It’s like your everyday underwear.” If you want a good laugh, check out Everyday Underwear. You won’t be disappointed; it’s hilarious!

During the A to Z Blog Challenge, I found so many worthy blogs. This also is a supportive, encouraging group. If you’re a blogger, I encourage you to put next April on your calendar and plan to participate. It’s definitely worth the time and effort. One of the blogs I’m grateful to find is Cheryl’s Random Thoughts (http://cherylsrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/). Inspirational and uplifting; here’s a short excerpt from the last day ‘Z’:

A to Z Challenge: Zest: Don’t lose your zest for life. Find your passion. Find that thing that will keep you up at night (in a good way). Don’t let it die. Help others. Make that a priority. Whether it’s being a better parent or volunteering for a cherished cause. Reach out to others. It will keep you feeling alive. You will have purpose.”

Now, how can you go wrong with an outlook like that?

Now to answer my 10 questions:

1. What is your favorite song? Favorite SONG? I can’t pick a favorite music, let alone a single song. (Hey, I had trouble whittling my favorite blogs down a list of seven!) Here’s my favorite music mix: Take a large dose of rock (preferably classic rock), toss in a serving each of R&B, blues, bluegrass and jazz, add a dollop each of rap, salsa, Arabic-style and country (country rock please, nothing twangy) and toss well.

2. What is your favorite dessert? A Magnum Double Caramel Bar. If not available, any ice cream, chocolate or cheesecake will do.

3. What ticks you off? Here’s an easy one! Rude cell phone talkers. I work retail and everyday we have shoppers talking about the most intimate subjects while walking around the department. I guess they think if they don’t know you, you can’t hear their conversations. Then, we have to try to wait on them and help them with their needs; while they don’t have the courtesy to hang up the phone and can’t ask for help without the phone glued to their ear. But then … on a daily basis I’m amazed at the number of people that walk into the restroom continuing their conversation while conducting what I thought was ‘private’ business.

4. What do you do when you’re upset? Usually mull it over for a bit. Then see if I can do something about it and try to release it. (some times easier than others)

5. Which is/was your favorite pet? I’ve had lots of pets, from turtles to llamas and turkeys.Coco, my little toy poodle, is the one that stole my heart.

6. Which do you prefer, black or white? White, if I have to pick from these two. Although myself, I prefer colors over neutrals.

7. What is your biggest fear? Hmmm… not a lot of fears. Worries, but not really what I’d call fears.

8. What is your attitude mostly? I try to be optimistic and appreciative. (Some days don’t work out too well though!)

9. What is perfection? Nothing, on this earthly side.

10. What is your guilty pleasure? It’s a toss up between the Magnum Double Caramel bars mentioned above and reading much later than I should at night.

Ten random facts about me:

1. I’m a Southern California born and raised gal, now transplanted and living in northTexas. I have the best marriage and love where I’m at in life right now.

2. I have two great sons, Chris and Justin, and three marvelous grandchildren, Morgan, Cameron and Mark. (All listed oldest to youngest)

3. I like asymmetrical, not symmetry; yet strive for balance in my life. Go figure.

4. I love to travel and see new places.

5. Our furry, four-legged numbers are down to four dogs and nine cats. And one box turtle, Tessie.

6. I have more hobbies than I have time for: glass fusing, mosaics, weaving, dyeing, papermaking, paper crafting with tiny bits of crocheting, knitting, spinning and felting added in. That doesn’t count the gardening, geocaching reading or writing.

7. I should not be trusted with a library card. The stack just keeps getting bigger and bigger. (You know, take two of your five books back, and come home with four more new ones …)

8. I love nature.

9. I love water, it provides solace and healing. I prefer thePacific Ocean, but lakes are great too. Running streams and rivers work in a pinch.

10. I love sleep! (I had to borrow this one from Holly. It was perfect and I had to use it too. On that note, I’m off for a short nap!)

CELLOPHANE TAPE DAY

Sunday, May 27th: Who knew? Who knew that today is CELLOPHANE TAPE DAY? There are more holidays out there to celebrate than I ever knew was possible. Think of all the ways we use a roll of tape around the house. We wrap presents (infinitely better than tying the packages with string, as they used to). We tape ripped pages in books. We tape notes on the door. We tape envelopes that lost their “sticky”. We tape up envelopes to re-use, in a frugal, green way. We tape things together. We repair, we mend. We remove lint, dirt and fibers. It’s even good for those immediate, temporary mending/patching jobs.

Tape has been an integral part of our lives for so long, that most of us don’t remember the days B.T. (before tape). We’ve grown up with it. It’s one of those items we don’t even think about. Until we need it and we’re out of it. Or, we can’t find the rolls we have.

Today is the anniversary date of the patent of Scotch Tape, May 27, 1930. Scotch tape is the patented creation of the 3M Company (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company).

Celebrate life, celebrate and appreciate the small things that make our lives easier. Happy birthday Scotch tape!

BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE DAY

Saturday, May 26th: Mmmmm … I’m ready for today. Today is BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE DAY. No, it’s not National Blueberry Pie Day; that is April 28th. No, it’s not National Blueberry Month; that is during July. Blueberry Cheesecake Day has its OWN special day. This turns out to be perfect for a Memorial weekend picnic. What can be better; the deliciousness of cheesecake, with the nutritional benefits (and great taste) of blueberries too. In fact, I think I’ll celebrate this day all weekend long!

Looking for a good blueberry cheesecake recipe? Try this one from Garden Country Cooking. Chef John Michael’s site tantalizes with many scrumptious recipes, besides the cheesecake. http://gardencountycooking.blogspot.com/2012/05/national-blueberry-cheesecake-day.html?spref=tw. (Hmmmm … there’s a chocolate cherry cheesecake recipe there that I’ll need to check out too. But, don’t tell the blueberries!)

I found Garden Country Cooking from one of my favorite food blogs. Louise, at Months of Edible Celebrations, posts well researched blogs on a variety of food celebrations. She also has an amazing network of foodie bloggers. http://monthsofediblecelebrations.blogspot.com/

TOWEL DAY

Friday, May 25th: Towel Day?? There’s a TOWEL DAY? Why certainly, my dear, yes there IS a towel day. Not only is there a Towel Day to celebrate, today is the 12th observance.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away … Oh wait! Wrong galaxy.

A long time ago, Douglas Adams wrote about a galaxy, in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He died of a heart attack at age 49 on May 11, 2001. He was cremated in Santa Barbara, Californiaand his ashes interred in London, where a Service of Celebration was held. Douglas’ fans wanted to organize a wake in his honor. Needing some time to pull the remembrance together, Towel Day was organized two weeks after his death, on May 25th. (This date also seems to have relevance to the book, but here I have to admit that somehow I’ve missed reading this one.) The first Towel Day was such a success that it became an annual event.

There aren’t any real “rules” to celebrate Towel Day with. It can be any towel, any color, or any size. The important part is to be conspicuous with it. Wear it around your neck, wrapped around your head, or swing it in the air over your head. I was amazed as I scanned through the website (http://www.towelday.org/) at the HUNDREDS of global celebrations held. Several of the events mentioned collecting towels and donating them to animal shelters in remembrance of Douglas Adams. If you wish to donate to a cause (NOT a requirement to celebrate the day), two suggestions were ‘Save the Rhino’ or ‘The Gorilla Organization’ (formerly the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund), which were two charities that Douglas Adams actively supported.

And where did the ‘towel’ part come in, you ask? From the book, of course. Here’s an excerpt of the book, explaining the importance of towels for a hitchhiker. I’m off; I have a towel to go get. And, I’ll be remedying my reading lack in the near future. Next towel day, I’ll be prepared to celebrate in style!

From the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value — you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-tohand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you — daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

INTERNATIONAL TIARA DAY

Thursday, May 24th: I feel like a princess today. It’s INTERNATIONAL TIARA DAY, a day when anyone can wear a tiara and feel like royalty. First celebrated in 2005 in conjunction with Barbara Bellissimo’s Seasons of Success, the reins have now passed to Lyanne White of American Rose Bridal. Lyanne and her employees believed that anyone should be able to wear a tiara, not just brides. Tiaras … royalty … kingdoms … they’re all so closely related that Queen Victoria’s May 24th birthday was an appropriate choice.

I worked with a young college girl a few years back. On her birthday (20th, 21st, 22nd??) she wore a tiara to work all day. We all laughed when we saw her in the break room, thinking it was worn just for the momentary effect. It wasn’t. She said it was her birthday and it was her special day and she wore the tiara on the sales floor …. ALL day! At first I was a little surprised. Truthfully it just didn’t seem appropriate’ the gesture didn’t have one iota of professionalism. But now, I think about it a little differently. How refreshing to have the courage and the confidence to proudly wear a tiara in an unexpected setting. I claim that I look for ways to celebrate life, yet here was this young girl celebrating life and proudly proclaiming that she was special.

Mary Kate, this day is for you … and for all those brave enough to wear a tiara today. Happy Tiara Day!

NATIONAL TAFFY DAY

Wednesday, May 23rd: Old time candy, current day pleasure. It’s NATIONAL TAFFY DAY. Taffy’s popularity goes back over 200 years. Although, taffy has changed a little over the years. Taffy was typically made with a molasses, and occasionally sorghum, base (cheaper and more abundant than either sugar or honey). And it was made by hand. Taffy pulls turned into a favorite winter-time social activity among young people. (You know, back in the “good-ole-days” before the movie theaters and malls. Back when everyone walked to school, six miles in snow, uphill both ways …)

Enter the late 1800’s, and anAtlantic Oceancandy store owner. The popular story has that his shop was flooded during a major storm in 1883 and his entire stock of taffy was spritzed with a salt water spray. It’s reported that a young girl came into his shop searching for some taffy. He offered her some “salt water taffy” … and the name stuck, over a hundred years later.

What? No salt water in ‘salt water taffy’? That’s okay; it’s still one of my favorites. And with over 70 flavors available I’m sure you can find at least one that you like.

Here are directions on how to make Banana Salt Water Taffy: http://www.ehow.com/how_4809962_banana-salt-water-taffy.html

Happy Taffy Day!

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