Cesar Chavez Day

Who was Cesar Chavez? We spend a day honoring him, here in California as it is a state holiday, but not federal, perhaps it should be though. Cesar Chavez, according to History.com, “was a prominent union leader and labor organizer. Hardened by his early experience as a migrant worker, Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962”. He wanted to make farm work better for all of the farm workers out there. He knew the poor were treated terribly, being in that situation himself, he wanted things to be better. He is known for his grape strike, joining a group of Filipino farm workers in Delano’s grape fields. He was a part of the Farm Workers Association at that point, using that to take the grape strike to the steps of Sacramento during the famous march of 1966, bringing both the grape strike and consumer boycott into the national consciousness. Click here for more information on the march specifically. 

 

Chavez devoted his life to improving working conditions for farmers, specifically the migrant workers. The History.com article states that, ‘for thirty years Chavez tenaciously devoted himself to the problems of some of the poorest workers in America”. Through his efforts, he succeed in raising the salaries and improving working conditions for the farm workers in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas. What an inspirational man.

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Take Time to Take a Walk Today

Today is a take a walk in the park day, and while the weather here in the valley is warm, that wind is wicked. So, you might want to do something about those allergies before heading out, and take a Kleenex or two with you. Here is a link to a few different home remedies to help alleviate some of that sneezing, they include saline spray, a Neti Pot and local honey. Here is a link to find local honey in case you are interested. Since we are dealing with wind, you might want to take a kite out with you, it is the perfect day for that. Another option is of course taking the pooch out on your walk with you, which is what I plan to do. As you can see from the image, Melky and I enjoy our walks together! Whatever you decide, I hope it is a great day for you!

When Was The Last Time You Visited A Mom & Pop Business?

Today we honor the little guy, the mom & pop business owners out there! I would like to encourage those reading this article to consider buying local for job growth, economy stimulation, and reducing environmental impacts to name a few reasons. I found this amazing scholarly article written by Nandi Robinson, from the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development. I would encourage you to read the whole thing, as I only plan to focus on a few points, but it is well worth the read, and will probably make you think twice about that Amazon or Wal-Mart purchase.

The article states that, “small local businesses are the largest employers nationally and create two out of every three new jobs”.  That number is staggering if you really stop and consider it. It goes on stating that, “small business employ more than 52 % of the nation’s employees”. What does that mean, it means your local mom and pop places of business are in part, responsible for more jobs than the bigger box stores. And what’s more, the money you spend there is more likely to stay in the community. “When dollars are spent locally, they can be re-spent locally, raising the level of economic activity, paying more salaries, and building the local tax base.” And of course, by spending locally you are reducing environmental impacts. The last point from the article that I will quote states, “reducing how much is bought from national retail chains reduces your ecological footprint because of less materials”. I mean think about what it takes to get that item you bought from Amazon, how often it changed hands before coming to you. And have you ever gotten one of those boxes that are huge, with a little item in it?

Now a mom and pop location is not necessarily the same thing as a small business, which is why I made the statement in the previous paragraph the way I did. Don’t get me wrong, they are small business, just with a twist.  According to the Investopedia website, “mom and pop is the term used for businesses and companies that are independently owned and run”.  A small business on the other hand, according to an article I found in Forbes magazine states, “depending on the industry, you could have 500, 1,000 or even 1,500 employees and still be considered a ‘small business’”. While a mom and pop is a small business, it is still in a category of its own, as it is generally a family owned and operated business. I think of my dentist, a family run spot, when I started going there the father had the business, he retired, and his son took over. It was great, as he was always around, so it stayed feeling familiar. And that is what you get when you go to these places, they typically remember you, your family, and they usually treat you like their family! Don’t wait, check one out today!!

A Dandelion Diet, Literally

It is today that we appreciate those things on our lawns that drive us crazy, weeds. Yes, there are actual beneficial properties to weeds, which is probably surprising to most since we just see them as things that kill our lawns. While there are many different types of weeds that are beneficial, I am going to focus on those little yellow flowers, dandelions, which are packed with nutrients. To be more specific, according to Natural News Blogs, “dandelions are packed with micro-nutrients, including copper, cobalt, zinc, boron, molybdenum and Vitamin D”. It goes on to explain that, “they detoxify the liver by flushing out toxins, help normalize blood sugar levels, improve cholesterol and reduce clumping of platelets in blood vessels”. Wow, that is simply amazing. While I would not run out and eat one off of my lawn, here is an article on how to buy them if you are interested in picking them up and incorporating into your diet. I thought a recipe or two was also in order, so here is a link to learn how best to cook with them. Bon Appètit!

Paradise Awaits…Island Gully Falls

A friend of mine frequents Jamaica, and always makes a trip to one specific location, Island Gully Falls while she is there. After checking it out, I have decided that I understand why, and to add it to my bucket list. Being surrounded by nature with cascading waterfalls, and lush greenery, who wouldn’t love it! It looks like a tropical rain forest, and the way she describes it, I would say that is not far off. The tour guides who take you around this family run business are supposed to be the best. Here is their website: www.islandgullyfallsjamaica.com in case you are looking for your next tropical location destination. While you can get bitten by mosquitoes, and stung by bees, there are no poisonous creatures in this jungle! And obviously if you are swimming around in the fresh river water then the chances are not as great that you will have an issue with mosquitoes or bees.

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When you are visiting you can work on conquering some of your fears! You have the opportunity to climb around rocks, and jump from high places, or lower ones if the others make you too nervous. You can swing from a rope and act like Tarzan, or just walk around the property and enjoy the general splendor of the place. 

My pictures were taken by my friend while there, she gave me permission to use them, simply amazing. 

 

Have you been here? What is your favorite destination to travel to?

Spinach, Not Just Good For Popeye

You know, Popeye was on to something, spinach really is a super food. I don’t know about you, but I do prefer mine uncooked, in a nice salad, or on a sandwich, it is simply delicious! Interestingly enough, today is Spinach day, and it was on this day, in 1937 that a statue of Popeye was erected. Here is a link to that statue in Crystal City, Texas.

 

As for spinach itself, we wanted to make sure you were up on all of those benefits, so here is a link to all of those amazing health benefits. If you are not adding it into your diet, find a way. Throw it in some eggs, or in a smoothie, and get that extra burst of strength and energy!!

Waffle’s Galore Yum

Waffle Day, what, what. Are you a fan? Is there a specific type of waffle you tend to lean toward? Now-a-days there are so many different types, and you can get fruit or cinnamon in them, or even on them. So, I do what I always do, and did a little research on the waffle. It might surprise you to know that it dates back to the Neolithic Age, according to the website thenibble.com. The site states that, “as a rustic hotcake made of cereal pulps, cooked on heated stones, it was flipped so that both sides might be cooked by the heat”. Of course, one does wonder what they put on it, or if it was just eaten plain. It continued to be eaten through the ages, and in the 13th Century, “a craftsman had the idea of forging cooking plates that reproduced the characteristic of honeycombs”, making what would be the first waffle iron.

 

The site continues describing the evolution of the waffle through the times. Here are some fun facts:

 

1930’s- Waffle irons become standard kitchen appliances

 

1953- Brought us “Froffles” what came to be known as Eggos in 1955, those fun frozen waffles that you throw in your toaster.

 

1964- This is when “Belgian waffles” made their debut at the New York World’s Fair in Queens.

 

And into the 21st Century where the waffle has taken on a life of its own with different flavors, toppings, and even its own day of celebration.

 

Here is a link to the many different types of waffles out there today. 

 

Whether you are a more traditional eater with just butter and syrup, or if you like to go crazy with your toppings, you should definitely go out and grab a waffle today!!

Understanding Your Dog’s Bark

Dogs have been best friends to humans for many years, and when I say many I mean thousands. In 2015 Smithsonianmag.com posted an article which stated that, “instead of pinning domestication at about 11,000 to 16,000 years, new genetic evidence suggestions they may have split from wolves 27,000 to 40,000 years ago”. Even though they have been domesticated for so long, there are still things that dogs will do, because they are animals. Barking is an example of one of those things. Some dogs bark incessantly, and well, it can be annoying. There is the possibility that those dogs are not trained well, but in some cases, it is just the breed of dog. I found this article from Reader’s Digest on breeds that bark the most. There are other reason for barking too, fear, anxiety, loneliness, attention seeking, and protection to name a few.

 

We can’t and should not just punish a dog for barking. There are several things you can do to help prevent the problem, provided you know the issue is occurring, before your neighbors complain. I found the following helpful tips on the Stanislaus County Animal Services website:

 

-Increase your dog’s aerobic activity, such as walking and playing fetch.

-Providing your do with toys while alone to keep them occupied.

 

-Leaving a radio or TV on.

 

-Keeping your dog away from traffic and other distractions.

 

-Install a doggie door so it can go in and out.

 

-And if your dog is a night barker, give them a late-night meal, to help make it drowsy, allowing it to sleep more during the night.

 

While we don’t want our dogs to stop barking all together, we do want them barking for the right reasons. Here is an article on the one and only Ceasar Millan, The Dog Whisperer’s, website to help train your dog on barking for the right reasons. Bottom line, you need to make sure you are the leader of the pack with your dog. That has been the common thread with everything I have read. Speak to your dog calmly, and appreciate the protection your dog is providing for you.

Take That Chip and Dip It

It’s National Chip & Dip Day!!! Yes!!! So, of course, just the facts, first, as brought to us by Foodimentary.com:

The potato chip has been around since 1853.

 

It takes 10,000 pounds of potatoes to make 3,500 pounds of potato chips.

 

The chips we use for dipping first became popular in the 50’s.

 

Really anything can be made into a dip: salsa, guacamole, cheese, hummus, even squash

 

Chips and salsa are probably the most well-known chip & dip, and the go-to for many of us. Have you ever made our own salsa? I have, and it can be a lot of work when done traditionally, here is a recipe if you are wanting to give it a go. If you are wanting quick and good, here is a different recipe. And for all of you you Pico de Gallo fans, I have one for your too, click here

 

I wanted to make sure everyone is covered for today, so I have also found a recipe for guacamole,  bean dip, and, last but not least, one for all of the Hummus lovers out there.

 

Whatever your preference, today is the day to indulge a little, and enjoy!

Give Yourself A Moment to Goof Off

Yes, it is National Goof Off Day!!! And don’t we all need a little more of that in our lives!! In a time where we spend more time looking down, then actually enjoying the world around us, we should stop and enjoy. Maybe goofing off can just mean being a little lighter, laughing a little more. Whatever it means to you, just give yourself that opportunity today. Have a little fun, smile a little more, do something for you!!! I’m headed that way now….