Happy Mother’s Day … With Humour!

Today is Mother’s Day in the U.S.  I bet you can’t tell me the name of the person who is credited with the idea for a national holiday recognizing mothers?  Well, although Julia Ward Howe inspired the first movement toward a national observance during the Civil War, her idea didn’t quite catch on – perhaps the nation was still reeling from the divisive war, casualties, deprivations and didn’t feel like celebrating anything, even their mothers!  But a half-century later, in 1905, Anna Jarvis successfully introduced the idea for a national holiday recognizing mothers.  The first observance of Mother’s Day came on May 10th, 1908, at Jarvis’ church in Grafton, West Virginia.  By 1911, the celebration was observed in most states until on May 9th, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday to be held on the second Sunday of May.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2020 there were some 85 million mothers in the U.S., and in 2022 it is estimated that $31.7 billion were spent on gifts, flowers, and cards to celebrate mothers.  🙄 Leave it to the marketing industry to convince people they must spend, spend, spend, when a simple hug and an “I love you, Mom” would have sufficed.

But wait … there’s more to the story!  Jarvis’ idea was for a small, intimate occasion—a son or daughter honoring the mother they knew and loved—and not a celebration of all mothers.  But, as people are wont to do, they grabbed the proverbial ball and ran with it, turning it into a multi-billion dollar commercialized fiasco each year.  Anna Jarvis soon became disgusted as Mother’s Day almost immediately became centered on the buying and giving of printed cards, flowers, candies and other gifts.

Seeking to regain control of the holiday she founded, Jarvis began openly campaigning against those who profited from Mother’s Day, including confectioners, florists and other retailers. She launched numerous lawsuits against groups using the name Mother’s Day, and eventually spent much of her sizable inheritance on legal fees.

In 1925, when an organization called the American War Mothers used Mother’s Day as an occasion for fundraising and selling carnations, Jarvis crashed their convention in Philadelphia and was arrested for disturbing the peace. Later, she even attacked First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using Mother’s Day as an occasion to raise money for charity. By the 1940s, Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the calendar.

Her efforts were to no avail, however, as Mother’s Day had taken on a life of its own as a commercial goldmine. Largely destitute, and unable to profit from the massively successful holiday she founded, Jarvis died in 1948 in Philadelphia’s Marshall Square Sanitarium.

In total, Mother’s Day spending exceeds $20 billion each year, according to the National Retail Foundation. In addition to the more traditional gifts (ranging from cards, flowers and candy to clothing and jewelry), one survey showed that an unprecedented 14.1 percent of gift-givers plan to buy their moms high-tech gadgets like smartphones and tablets. (Some people have more money than they have good sense, eh?)

On a personal note, I made a huge screw-up this year 😖, but I cannot tell you about it just yet, for it involves my gift to my daughter (because she is the mum now, and the best one I know!) and she sometimes reads my blog posts, but I’ll tell you later. 🙄

At any rate, to all the mothers reading this post, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!  And now … the ‘toonists get to have their say about the day …

El Cinco de Mayo

I was working on a ‘snarky snippets’ post for this morning when a glance at the calendar told me that it’s el Cinco de Mayo!!!  That’s the fifth of May, but most of you probably already know that.  Miss Goose used to call it the ‘sinking of the mayonaisse’!  Anyway, I thought that before I plunge back into the darker fare, perhaps you would enjoy a bit of informational fun!  I first published this post back in 2018, so a few of my comments may be dated, but the post itself is still relevant and still fun … I hope you will enjoy it!

¡Hola Amigos!  Hoy es Sábado, el Cinco de Mayo, y … what?  You didn’t understand … oh … okay … back to Inglés then.  Today, for those who haven’t yet looked at the calendar, is May 5th, or Cinco de Mayo.  Though Cinco de Mayo is a commemoration of the Battle of Puebla in 1862, it is more widely and vigorously celebrated in the U.S. than in Mexico!

The History

Battle of Puebla reenactmentIn 1861, Benito Juárez—a lawyer and member of the indigenous Zapotec tribe—was elected president of Mexico. At the time, the country was in financial ruin after years of internal strife, and the new president was forced to default on debt payments to European governments.

In response, France, Britain and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz, Mexico, demanding repayment. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew their forces.

France, however, ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to carve an empire out of Mexican territory. Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large force of troops and driving President Juárez and his government into retreat.

Certain that success would come swiftly, 6,000 French troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his new headquarters in the north, Juárez rounded up a ragtag force of 2,000 loyal men—many of them either indigenous Mexicans or of mixed ancestry—and sent them to Puebla.

The vastly outnumbered and poorly supplied Mexicans, led by Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza, fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On May 5, 1862, Lorencez gathered his army—supported by heavy artillery—before the city of Puebla and led an assault.

The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash.

Although not a major strategic win in the overall war against the French, Zaragoza’s success at the Battle of Puebla on May 5 represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement. In 1867—thanks in part to military support and political pressure from the United States, which was finally in a position to aid its besieged neighbor after the end of the Civil War—France finally withdrew.

Sadly, General Zaragoza died of typhoid four months after the Battle of Puebla.

The Celebration:

cinco de mayo-3cinco de mayo-2cinco de mayo-1In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, where Zaragoza’s unlikely victory occurred, although other parts of the country also take part in the celebration. Traditions include military parades, reenactments of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events. For many Mexicans, however, May 5 is a day like any other: It is not a federal holiday, so offices, banks and stores remain open.

pinataIn the United States, however, Cinco de Mayo has increasingly become a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage.  Many confuse it with Mexican Independence Day, which is actually on September 16th. Cinco de Mayo in the states is often celebrated with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods.  The largest celebrations are in Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.Mariachi.jpgFor the past 16 years, until last year, the White House sponsored festivities and used Cinco de Mayo to connect with the Hispanic community, inviting Cabinet members, Latino celebrities and Mexican Embassy officials to the White House.  That ended last year under … well, you-know-who.

So, if you like Mexican food (and seriously, who doesn’t???) then why not pay a visit to your favourite Mexican restaurant as a part of your weekend festivities today!  Have a fun and happy weekend whatever you do, dear friends.tequila-cat.jpg

Jolly ‘n Joyful Return For Jolly Monday!

Good Monday morning, friends!  You’ll be happy to know that Jolly and Joyful have returned, safe and sound.  Turns out they went out driving, got lost, so decided to rent a motel room until daylight.  I was so happy to see them back home that I didn’t even yell at them!  Next Sunday is Easter … not a holiday I particularly enjoy, for it’s more work than pleasure, but I’ll dye the eggs (with the girls’ help) and maybe even manage to roast a chicken or something a bit more special than my usual fare for supper that night, then breathe a sigh of relief when it’s over, for I’m just not feeling up to all the work this year.  Anyway, let’s go see what delicacies Joyful has for our snacks this morning, then on to some fun stuff to start the week out on the right foot!

We found a few funny signs we thought might tickle your funny bone …

And now on to some ‘toons!

I always remember how our friend Hugh Curtler loved Maxine comics and I always tried to include one for him … This one’s for you, Hugh.

This next one … well, THIS IS ME!!! 

And last, but never least, is a cute/funny animal video to wrap things up …

We hope you have a wonderful week ahead, my friends, and that you remember to share those gorgeous smiles with others who might need them!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly ‘n Joyful!

A-A-April F-F-Fool!!!

Sometimes one can find humour in the headlines, such as in this one from The Guardian

Swedish court dishes out justice after judge steals meatballs

Turns out, the judge had been on the bench for more than two decades, but last Christmas she was caught re-handed stealing ham and meatballs, sausages and cheese.  She resigned in February when word of the police investigation got out.  She was fined 50,000 Swedish kronor or about $5,354.

No real point here, I just found the headline humorous and thought I’d share a chuckle before moving on to the more serious stuff …

And now on to the serious stuff …

Give yourselves a break … I know I need one!  More serious stuff later today, but for now, enjoy the holiday, ‘k?  Think of some fun, harmless mischievous prank to play on friends ‘n family.  Or just go have a nice lunch somewhere!

☘️ Jolly Green Monday! ☘️

Good {yawn} Monday morning, friends!  I hope {yawn} that you all had a good weekend.  Have you ever noticed how weekends seem to go faster than weekdays?  Of course, this weekend here in the U.S. we lost a full hour … 60 minutes … 3,600 seconds of time just gone … POOF … into thin air!  There’s talk of making daylight savings time permanent, but I object!  That would mean that hour is gone forever … no chance of getting it back in late October or early November!  An hour of our lives just … GONE!  But then, they talk of it every year and it hasn’t happened yet, and anyway … time is simply a man-made contrivance so that people can attempt to control certain aspects of their lives, so what difference does it really make?  Anyway … St. Patrick’s Day is on Thursday of this week.  Daughter Chris had to march and play her drum in the parade downtown on Saturday with snow on the ground and the temperature at 22° (-6° C) and she’s still hobbling around grumbling about being a ‘human popsicle’!

You can see Chris’ feet behind the big drum!

Let’s go see what Joyful has cooked up for us and then we’ll find something to bring a smile on this c-c-cold Monday morn!

WHOA!!!  Looks like a lot of green stuff on the table!  Joyful, you’ve outdone yourself today!

Phil over at Phil’s Phun where we get a lot of our cartoons has started a new feature:  toilet humour.  Here are a few of his best ones …

And here come da ‘toons, here come da ‘toons …

A few funny memes …

And if this cute critter video doesn’t bring a smile to your face, then your smile is broken and will need to be surgically repaired!

I hope we’ve given you something to start your week out with a bit of humour and some nice green food!  Have a safe and happy week, my friends, and please share those lovely smiles … they’ll warm the hearts of others, but only if you share them!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!!!

Jolly Monday On … Er … What’s That Day???

Today is February 14th which means it is Valentine’s Day … whoopee.  I guess I’m not a very romantic person, for I’ve always found Valentine’s Day to be rather silly, but … this year, we need all the love, joy, and humour we can get in our lives, so for what I believe is the first time in my blogging career, I am doing a Valentine’s Day post.  But before we get started, I believe that Joyful has whipped us up some Valentine’s treats, so grab a snack from the table …

And for our favourite bacon-lovers …

I considered starting this post with a brief history of this day, but it turns out the history of Valentine’s Day is anything but brief!  Suffice it to say that way back in the days of Ancient Rome, it was a tradition for men to beat women with animal hides on this day!  Yep, according to an article I found in NPR

“The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. The Roman romantics “were drunk. They were naked,” says Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They believed this would make them fertile.”

So, on that note, let’s take a look at some of the ‘toons that Jolly found for us about Valentine’s Day …

And we conclude this Valentine’s Day celebration with some cute critters wishing each other a Happy Valentine’s Day …

Jolly, Joyful and I all wish you the Happiest Valentine’s Day and we hope your week ahead is a good one.  If you found a reason to start the week with a smile here, we ask only that you share that smile and spread the joy!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly ‘n Joyful!

Honouring Dr. Martin Luther King …

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday in the United States to honour one of the greatest men who ever lived in this country.  I first wrote this tribute to Dr. King in 2017, and each year I reprise it, with slight changes or minor additions, for I find that it still says exactly what I wish to say.  Given the increase in racism in the United States in recent years, I think the above quote seems more apt today than ever before.  So please, take just a minute to, if nothing else, listen once again to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  In these troubled times, it is good to be reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream.  More than ever, I wish we had a few Dr. Martin Luther Kings fighting for equality and justice for all today.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” 

“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”

mlk-3Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on 15 January 1929.  He would have been 93 years old last Wednesday, had he lived. On this day, we celebrate not only his life, but also his legacy. Martin Luther King Day celebrates not only Dr. King, but the movement he inspired and all those who helped move forward the notion of equal rights for ALL people, all those who worked tirelessly during the civil rights era of the 1960s, as well as those who are continuing the good fight even in this, the year 2022.  Dr. King’s fight lives on, for we have moved further away than before from his dream.

Dr. King, along with President John F. Kennedy, was the most moving speaker I have ever heard.  To this day, I cannot listen to his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech without tears filling my eyes.  If you haven’t heard it for a while, take a few minutes to watch/listen … I promise it will be worth your time.

This post is both a commemoration and a plea for us to carry on the work that was only begun, not yet finished, more than five decades ago.  Today we should remember some of the great heroes of the civil rights movement, those who worked tirelessly, some who gave their lives, that we could all live in peace and harmony someday: Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Nelson Mandela, Nina Simone, Mary McLeod Bethune, Lena Horne, Marva Collins, Rosa Parks, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Roy Innes, Medgar Evers, Stepen Bantu Biko, Booker T. Washington, John Lewis, Percy Julian, Marcus Garvey, Desmond Tutu, E.D. Nixon, James Meredith, and so many more.  I am willing to bet there are some on this list of whom you’ve never heard, or perhaps recognize the name but not the accomplishments. If you’re interested, you can find brief biographies of each of these and more at Biography.com .

Yet, while we celebrate the achievements of Dr. King and the others, there is still much to be done. Just look around you, read the news each day. Think about these statistics:

  • More than one in five black families live in households that are food insecure, compared to one in ten white families
  • Almost four in ten black children live in a household in poverty, nearly twice the rate of other racial groups
  • Among prime-age adults (ages 25 to 54), about one in five black men are not in the labor force, nearly twice the rate of other racial groups
  • Although blacks and whites use marijuana at approximately the same rate, blacks are over 3 and a half times more likely to get arrested for marijuana possession
  • For every dollar earned by a white worker, a black worker only makes 74 cents
  • Black families are twice as likely as whites to live in substandard housing conditions
  • Black college graduates now have twice the amount of debt as white college graduates
  • The likelihood of a black woman born in 2001 being imprisoned over the course of her lifetime is one in 18, compared to 1 in 111 for a white woman
  • Similarly, the likelihood of a black man being imprisoned is 1 in 3, compared to 1 in 17 for a white man
  • Of black children born into the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution, about half of them will still be there as adults, compared to less than one-quarter of white children

Data courtesy of the Brookings Institute – for charts and supporting details of above date, please click on link. 

And of course the above data does not even touch upon the recent spate of hate crimes, racial profiling, and police shootings against African-Americans.  There is still much of Dr. King’s work to be accomplished. But who is left to do this work?  Most of the leaders of yore are long since gone. There are still noble and courageous people out there carrying on the programs and works of Dr. King and the others, but their voices are perhaps not as loud, and there are none so charismatic as the late Dr. King.

In the current environment of racial divisiveness, we need more than ever to carry on what Dr. King only started. Instead, the past several years have found our nation backtracking on civil and human rights in a number of areas, ranging from discriminatory travel bans against Muslims to turning a federal blind eye to intentionally racially discriminatory state voter-suppression schemes, to opposing protections for transgender people, to parents demanding a re-write of our history to salve their own consciences.  I think Dr. King would be appalled if he returned to visit today.

In a speech on April 12th, 1850, then-Senator and future President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis said:

“This Government was not founded by negroes nor for negroes, but by white men for white men.” [1]

That was wrong then, it is wrong today, and it will always be wrong.  That is what Dr. Martin Luther King fought against, that is what I rail and sometimes rant against, that is why we need activists and groups dedicated to fighting for equality for all people … today, tomorrow, and forever.

Here is a bit of trivia you may not know about Dr. King …

  • King’s birth name was Michael, not Martin.
    The civil rights leader was born Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929. In 1934, however, his father, a pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. As a result, King Sr. changed his own name as well as that of his 5-year-old son.

  • King entered college at the age of 15.
    King was such a gifted student that he skipped grades nine and 12 before enrolling in 1944 at Morehouse College, the alma mater of his father and maternal grandfather. Although he was the son, grandson and great-grandson of Baptist ministers, King did not intend to follow the family vocation until Morehouse president Benjamin E. Mays, a noted theologian, convinced him otherwise. King was ordained before graduating college with a degree in sociology.

  • King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial.
    Six years before his iconic oration at the March on Washington, King was among the civil rights leaders who spoke in the shadow of the Great Emancipator during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, 1957. Before a crowd estimated at between 15,000 and 30,000, King delivered his first national address on the topic of voting rights. His speech, in which he urged America to “give us the ballot,” drew strong reviews and positioned him at the forefront of the civil rights leadership.

  • King was imprisoned nearly 30 times.
    According to the King Center, the civil rights leader went to jail 29 times. He was arrested for acts of civil disobedience and on trumped-up charges, such as when he was jailed in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 for driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone.

  • King narrowly escaped an assassination attempt a decade before his death.
    On September 20, 1958, King was in Harlem signing copies of his new book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” in Blumstein’s department store when he was approached by Izola Ware Curry. The woman asked if he was Martin Luther King Jr. After he said yes, Curry said, “I’ve been looking for you for five years,” and she plunged a seven-inch letter opener into his chest. The tip of the blade came to rest alongside his aorta, and King underwent hours of delicate emergency surgery. Surgeons later told King that just one sneeze could have punctured the aorta and killed him. From his hospital bed where he convalesced for weeks, King issued a statement affirming his nonviolent principles and saying he felt no ill will toward his mentally ill attacker.

  • King’s mother was also slain by a bullet.
    On June 30, 1974, as 69-year-old Alberta Williams King played the organ at a Sunday service inside Ebenezer Baptist Church, Marcus Wayne Chenault Jr. rose from the front pew, drew two pistols and began to fire shots. One of the bullets struck and killed King, who died steps from where her son had preached nonviolence. The deranged gunman said that Christians were his enemy and that although he had received divine instructions to kill King’s father, who was in the congregation, he killed King’s mother instead because she was closer. The shooting also left a church deacon dead. Chenault received a death penalty sentence that was later changed to life imprisonment, in part due to the King family’s opposition to capital punishment.

Dr. King fought and ultimately gave his life for the values I believe in, the values that should define this nation, though they often do not.  Dr. Martin Luther King was a hero of his time … thank you, Dr. King, for all you did, for the values you gave this nation, and for the hope you instilled in us all that your dream will someday come true.

[1] (Kendi, 2016)   stamped

Note:  Our friend TokyoSand has written a post with ideas for how each of us can help carry on Dr. King’s legacy … I hope you’ll pay her a visit!

♫ Auld Lang Syne ♫

This song is a classic New Year’s Eve tune, but I was curious how it became so.  From the American Songwriter website, I found my answer …

So far as folk standards go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a song with the same stature and staying power as the Scottish traditional, “Auld Lang Syne.”

Known in America as the definitive song for New Year’s Eve, it’s actually popular all around the world in a variety of contexts—from Dutch soccer songs to Japanese graduation songs to an older version of the Korean national anthem. Yet, most folks—even in the English-speaking world—probably feel pretty similar to Billy Crystal’s character in When Harry Met Sally, who said: “What does this song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means.”

To find the answer to that question, we’ll go back to the first major documentation of the song: Robert Burns’ 1793 letter to his friend George Thomson. Seeking to document this slice of Scottish culture, he wrote down the lyrics of the tune and described it as an “old song of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript, until I took it down from an old man’s singing.”

Combining English words with words from the Scots language—something Burns was particularly fond of—the tune served as a personification of Scottish heritage in an era marked by the encroachment of English culture. Thus, we sing the words “auld lang syne” in place of their literal English translation, “old long since,” which would more accurately translate to “for the sake of old times.”

To that end, the song is, in short, an ode to the old times and a hopeful look to more good times ahead. Whether sung to mark the end of an era or merely sung at the end of a good night of drinking, its message is as simple as it is powerful: remember the good times, and here’s hoping for more.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

So, that essentially answers Billy Crystal’s question… but how did it become known as the New Year’s Eve song? To answer that, we’ll take a little trip to 1929 to listen to Guy Lombardo’s New Year’s Eve broadcast, in which he and his band, the Royal Canadians, performed a rendition of the tune as the clock struck midnight. Liking the sentiment, Lombardo decided to make it a tradition—so, countless households, year after year, listened to “Auld Lang Syne” as they said goodbye to the past year and hello to the new one. Lombardo continued the tradition until he died in 1977.

And picking up the mantle, Dick Clark opted to use it as his midnight song when he started broadcasting his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in the early ’70s—when Ryan Seacrest took over that broadcast in the early 2000s, he, of course, continued the tradition.

So, to this day, thanks to the efforts of Robert Burns, Guy Lombardo, Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest, and countless generations of Scots, music lovers, and party-goers, the song remains a treasured tradition for millions around the world. And when you raise your glass this year to the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, now you can know just how many folks through the annals of history stand with you—for auld lang syne!

And now, from Filosofa, Jolly, and Joyful … Happy New Year!

Auld Lang Syne

Guy Lombardo

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pou’d the gowans fine
We’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Sin’ auld lang syne

We two hae paidled i’ the burn
Frae mornin’ sun till dine
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne

And here’s a hand, my trusty friend
And gie’s a hand o’ thine
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

¡Adios 2021, Bienvenida 2022!

With less than 24 hours left in 2021, perhaps it’s time for a few personal reflections.  I’ve had more than plenty of time to just sit and think during the past four months, and often my thoughts have revealed more about my own inner workings than anything. One thing I learned about myself is that I’m really good at ‘talking the talk’, but when it comes to ‘walking the walk’, I fail miserably.  I consoled myself with … “not everyone is able to attend protest marches or donate large sums of money … we all give according to our abilities.”  All of which sounds very nice, but … with a bit more effort, might I have been able to attend a BlackLivesMatter protest near my home?  Probably.  Might I have donated money to the cause?  Absolutely.  Instead, I used my voice to write blog posts criticizing racism, racists, misogynists and other forms of bigotry, as well as the corrupt and evil politicians, but what did that really accomplish?

Lest you think I’m beating up on myself for my shortcomings, I’m not.  I’m simply trying to learn enough from them so that I can do better at some point in the future.  Given my current health issues, my abilities are still very limited, but I can focus on what I need to do differently when I am able to.

As I’ve mentioned in previous ‘New Year’ posts, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, for it is only setting oneself up for failure.  I always, though, have hopes for the upcoming year, and this year is no different.  Here are a few of my hopes for 2022.

On a personal note, I hope to regain my health, or at least most of it, and be able to return to a fairly active life.  I hope my family and friends remain safe, healthy, and financially secure throughout the year.

On a more political note, I have many hopes for the country and the world …

  • I would like to see the January 6th committee submit to the Department of Justice recommendations for criminal prosecutions for the former guy, as well as Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, and all other politicians who played a role in the coup attempt. Then I would like to see Attorney General Garland follow through and prosecute those people to the fullest extent of the law.  They should all be in prison by this time next year.
  • I would like to see the end of Covid, meaning that vaccine mandates will need to be enforced relentlessly and at least 95% of the people in this country fully vaccinated. The naysayers are more than welcome, in my book, to leave the country … perhaps they would enjoy living in Brazil … or Siberia.
  • I hope that in the coming year, leaders and policy-makers in every nation on earth start listening to the scientists and taking climate change more seriously. The Paris Accords are a starting point only, but I think we can realistically say that it’s too little, and possibly even too late.  The climate deniers can join the vaccine deniers in Brazil!
  • I hope, though I’m fairly certain it is a futile hope, that the Republicans and Democrats can learn to live together in peace. In other words, that members of Congress can set aside their party affiliations and actually work to legislate policies that are in the best interests of the people of this nation.  Compromise is possible, but it cannot only benefit the wealthiest, most powerful individuals.
  • I hope that reasonable gun laws will be legislated in the coming year, for the gun culture in the U.S. has gone well past lunacy! No ordinary person needs to own a gun … it is an ego trip for power-hungry, arrogant people.
  • I hope that both President Biden and Vice President Harris remain safe and well throughout the year.
  • I hope that S. 4: John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 and S. 2747: Freedom to Vote Act and S. 2093: For the People Act of 2021 pass in the Senate long before the November elections in order to ensure that every eligible voter is able to vote without undue hardship.  These three bills may well be the most important ones this year, for without them, our democracy will crumble.
  • I wish for, but know we are a long ways from, an end to bigotry in all its many forms.  Racism, religious bigotry, white supremacy, misogyny and other forms of bigotry have no place in today’s world … they should have ended long ago, but greed and arrogance seem built into the human mindset and far too much harm has been done in the name of “supremacy”.

And last, but not least, I wish all of you, my blogging family, a safe, peaceful and joyous 2022.  Cheers, love ‘n hugs to you all!

National Bacon Day … Who Knew?

I was working on a more serious post this evening, but by the end of ‘family time’, I was feeling tired and out of sorts, so I was fairly certain there would be no a.m. post today.  But then, my daily digest from the National Day Calendar people hit my inbox and when I saw that today is National Bacon Day and thinking about some of my readers — Larry, David, the other Larry, and Emily — who are serious bacon lovers, I decided to have a bit of fun with it!

According to the National Day Calendar website

On December 30th each year, bacon lovers celebrate one of nature’s favored gifts on Bacon Day! The day reminds us that bacon is not just for breakfast and encourages us to test out various ways to enjoy this culinary marvel. 

Everything is better with bacon, so someone said once. And our research shows very little to dispute this assertion.

The United States and Canada make bacon from the pork belly. Other countries around the world use the side and back cuts of pork. The meat is cured in either a salt brine or a salt pack. It is then either dried, boiled, or smoked.

Bacon is a very popular food in the USA. In 2020, over half of the U.S. population said they used a pound or more bacon that year. You can also find many items flavored or scented with bacon, including popcorn, soap, candles, air fresheners, and much more. While these uses fit right into the day, we suggest cooking with bacon.

It’s not just for breakfast anymore, either. Bacon improves everything from beverages to dessert. Some cocktails such as the Bloody Mary and Caesar add bacon to the olives, pickles, and other assorted ingredients. Bacon improves the flavor of many appetizers, sandwiches, and soups. Incorporate bacon into salads as a topping or mix it into the dressing. For dessert, bacon pairs well with maple frosting or maple ice cream. Thanks to bacon’s salty, smoky flavor, it compliments sweet quite well. The possibilities are endless. 


The founders of Bacon Day encourage us to eat a variety of bacon while watching Kevin Bacon movies or movies with bacon in the title. Other suggested traditions such as bacon toasts and kissing under pork fat mistletoe are mentioned as well. We make these recommendations for celebrating the day:

    • Try a new recipe.
    • Test the best way to cook bacon.
    • Top your salad, soup, or eggs with this delicious ingredient.
    • Give the gift of bacon.
    • Sample different varieties and determine your favorite.
    • Host of cookoff and post your favorite recipes.
    • Write a song about bacon.
    • Make a smiley face using bacon.
    • Visit your favorite butcher and give them a shout-out!


Danya “D” Goodman and Meff “Human Cannonball” Leonard founded Bacon Day in 1997 as the one great day to bond everyone together.   

Bacon FAQ

Q. Is bacon a dessert?
A. Bacon can be eaten at every meal of the day. For dessert, try Bacon Apple Pie or Bacon Maple Ice Cream.

Q. Can I cook bacon in the microwave?
A. Yes. Bacon can be cooked in the microwave, a conventional oven, on the stove or griddle, or in a convection oven.

Q. How many calories are in one slice of bacon?
A. One slice of bacon contains approximately 43 calories. It also has 9 mg of cholesterol and 1.1 gram of saturated fat (that’s the not-so-good fat). If you’re trying to watch what you eat, limit your portion size or substitute pork bacon for turkey or chicken bacon.

Now, as far as the best way to cook bacon, you place the slices in a single layer on a wire rack on a baking sheet with edges, sprinkle liberally with ground pepper, then bake at about 425° until it reaches the desired level of crispness.  Personally, I like mine ultra-crispy, nearly blackened!

Now go forth and try some new bacon recipes!  Be sure to let me know how they turn out.  Here’s one I use sometimes for Candied Bacon … it’s really simple, just three ingredients!  Happy Bacon Day!!!