French Toast, The National Holiday

An entire day of French toast, why not?? That is correct, there is actually a National French Toast Day, I’ve heard some strange ones, but this one proves interesting. Here’s 31 Life-Changing Ways to Eat French Toast, really, 31. Who would have known. And then for flavors, how does Orange Creamsicle French toast sound, life changing?  There is also a Nutella & Bacon stuffed French toast, who doesn’t love bacon!!  I know I do, and I am excited to try out some of these recipe’s!!!

Small Business Saturday

This will be the last “shopping” post I’m going to make this year.  And the only reason to post this one is because of who sponsored this relatively new trend.

Small Business Saturday was first observed in Roslindale Village, Massachusetts on November 27, 2010 in response to the “big box” events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  The event encourages shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.  The first event was sponsored by American Express, in partnership with the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino , and, of course, Roslindale Village Main Street. Since the first one more than 95 million people are now coming out to shop, spending more than $14 billion, as noted on the American Express Small Business page.

According to Small Business Saturday on Wiki, the UK saw the success of Small Business Saturday and decided to pick it up and run with it. So great that small businesses all over the world are prospering because of this day. I will be out there supporting my local community, I hope you will consider doing the same.

Black Friday & It’s History

Black Friday is called that because it is the day retailers go “in the black” in the profit column, right?  Well, actually the first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was applied to a financial crisis on September 24, 1869.  The crash of the U.S. gold market caused by two notoriously ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, who worked together to buy up as much gold as they could hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits.  On that Friday, the conspiracy unraveled, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.

While there are many rumored stories of Black Friday, the one that took root in retail and evolved into a more positive event involves the city of Philadelphia and the big Army-Navy football game.  You can read all about this game, and how it came to be here.

Happy Thanksgiving

A day to gather, celebrate gratefulness, and maybe eat some good food.  I could regal you with the history, the Macy’s Day parade, the world record turkey (86 lbs), the fastest time carving a turkey (3 min 19 seconds) or the largest pumpkin pie (3,669 lbs).

Instead I’m thinking of the 10 Best Thanksgiving Movies –  Charlie Brown makes it to #1.  Can you guess the rest?

The Sunday Drive

Many of the cases I handle involve automobile accidents, both personal and commercial.  I started out researching the actual statistics of the number of auto accidents on weekends versus mid-week, but as so often happens, I was diverted on the Internet highway to the history of the “Sunday Drive”.

The Sunday drive tradition has it’s roots in the U.S. and New Zealand and actually began long before automobiles.  Back in the horse and buggy days when families took Sunday’s off to attend church and then took their time heading home or would take advantage of the light work day to “sight see”.  This tradition became even more entrenched during the beginning of the automobile era in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  The idea was that automobile’s were not used for commuting or errands, but for pleasure.  So much so that eventually “Parkways” were constructed for “recreational” driving and excluded trucks and other heavy vehicles, many were strictly roads that went through the scenic route to a destination.

How many movie plots in the past center around driving for pleasure, too many to count. The movies go back decades, and I found hundreds of sites on the web with the “Top Driving Movies”. I found this one to be pretty cool for its’ diversity, The 29 Greatest Car Movies Ever. At this time, the only thing that seems to have an effect on driving for pleasure is the price of gas. Gas rationing in the 70’s definitely had an effect as did the incredibly fast rising gas price of the mid 2000’s, when the average price rose as high as $4.85 a gallon. We tend to park our fun little gas guzzlers when the prices get so high.

On the eve of this “driving holiday” known as Thanksgiving, I pray you’ll be safe and have some fun with your family. I am really glad the cost of a gallon of gas is not $4.85 a gallon.  Maybe you can take advantage of gas prices and consider taking the “scenic route” home. Here is a list of America’s Most Scenic Roads.

National Adoption Day

Honorable, Sacrificial, Redeemable and EXPENSIVE.   While I don’t personally handle adoption cases, many of my peers do.  Let’s take a look at what it really takes to adopt, besides a very patient and giving nature:

  1. It takes on average, 3 years and $30,000 to adopt a child internationally.
  2. In domestic adoptions, you may pay less to adopt a black child than you would a white child.
  3. Gay couples can’t adopt in Utah and Mississippi
  4. Russia stopped adopting children to the U.S. two years ago.

You can read more interesting facts here.

Did you know Bethany in Modesto has been offering loving Christian care to children and families since 1944.  Considering adoption, do take a look at Bethany .  Their services include pregnancy support as well as  adoption. For more information on the services they offer please click here.

Time To Break Out The Apple Cider

What is the difference between apple cider and apple juice? The answer, apple cider is a raw, unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic drink, while apple juice is filtered, thus having a longer shelf life.  Because of the limited shelf-life, untreated cider has become a seasonal beverage produced mostly in the fall and winter months (when apple harvesting is at the peak).

Contrary to popular belief, apples are not native to North America.  That “Johnny Appleseed” story you learned in grade school is really true.

The first apple orchard in North America was planted in 1625 in Boston, MA.  John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman, traveled ahead of settlers crossing American and began planting small orchards.  Here is a short bio on him if you are interested in more information.

This post would not be complete without a little recipe so  you can make your own delicious cider.

For those of us a little older, we can make it an “adult beverage” by adding a shot of Tuaca to your mix.

tuaca

What You Should Avoid Giving Animals To Eat

Don’t Feed Ducks Bread, Dogs Garlic, Onions or Chocolate. It’s that time of year when the animals in our lives actually get more than normal as they benefit from our “too loving” way. But are they really benefiting?

Innocently enough, much out of habit, and emulating, we humans have been feeding ducks bread for decades. In England and Wales alone, they feed 6 million loaves of bread per year.  The reality is feeding ducks bread is like feeding them junk food. In fact, it causes a debilitating disease known as “angel wing” which doesn’t sound bad, does it?  It’s bad, really bad ,“Angel Wing” is when a ducks wings point out laterally, making them unable to fly. There is much more information on this that can be found here. What should you feed them, here is a short list of alternatives:

  • Can (canned, fresh or frozen)
  • Lettuce, or other greens torn into small pieces
  • Frozen Peas that have been defrosted
  • Oats, either rolled or instant
  • Seeds
  • Duck Pellets

While we’re on the subject of what not to feed animals, did you know dogs can’t digest garlic or onions?  Neither did I.  So I found this handy-dandy list of all the things you should not feed your dog (and most of the time cats too).  This list should be taken very serious. Are you curious what you should do if your dog accidentally eats something they shouldn’t, here’s a good article from a veterinarian that is helpful too!

Disc Golf With Melky The Squirrel Hunter

melky-disc-golf-hole

Melky knows Disc Golf!  Have you heard of it, seen it, or maybe you have played it?   Do you know what it means to “bring the chains”?

It all started with Ed Headrick (1924-2002), inventor of the modern Frisbee and founder of the Disc Golf Association (1976).  Disc golf is similar to regular golf; however, instead of using golf clubs and balls aiming for a hole, Disc Golf players used golf discs and aim for a Disc Pole Hole, a pole extending up from the ground with chains and a basket where the disc lands.  The object of the game is to complete 9 or 18 “holes” in the fewest number of throws.  The player with the lowest total cumulative score wins.

discgolfhole

Modesto is home to a 27-hole Disc Golf Course at East La Loma Park, with 2 entrances: Scenic Oaks off Scenic, La Loma Park off Edgebrook Drive.

disc-golf-course

Look for Melky!  Or shall we say look for the squirrels and you’ll find Melky?!

Waste, Recycling and San Francisco

America Recycles Day – So where does all that recycling go really?  If you want the really cool lowdown on recycling then you have got to see the movie, “Racing to Zero, In Pursuit of Zero Waste” sponsored by the City of Modesto Solid Waste Department, showing today at 11a and 6p at the State Theater.

Admission is FREE and the Director, Christopher Beaver, will be in attendance.  “Racing to Zero” is a quick-moving, upbeat documentary presenting new solutions to the global problem of waste.

Three years ago the mayor of San Francisco pledged to achieve zero waste by 2020.  “Racing to Zero” tracks San Francisco’s waste stream diversion tactics and presents innovative new solutions to waste.  Surprising and inspiring – COME OUT AND SEE THIS MOVIE !

Please click here if you would like to see the trailer.