- Holidays and Celebrations
Christmas Comes Once A Year
I would like to come up with something very special to write about this Christmas so that you the reader will experience more joy and happiness at this time of year. Christmas as you know is a time of sharing. It is also a time of love. Ever since I was a child, Christmas Day was always filled with the brightness of an early morning. There was just something about the morning of Christmas. Although I didn't look forward to receiving a lot of presents on that day, it nevertheless didn't take away any of the joy that I felt on Christmas Day.
I did, however felt that I bore the sadness my parents felt for not giving me all that I would have wanted on Christmas day. I knew my parents loved me, they just felt that the money for buying toys had to be put to more practical things. Like they had to keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomach. Toys were last on their list.
But you know Santa wanted us kids to have all the toys we ever wanted. I never met Santa when I was growing up. I would have liked to. Santa might have given me the toys that were on my list. Gee. I wonder how that might have affected my outcome in life if I had sat on Santa's lap and told him all the toys I wanted and also received each and every one of them!
I wonder if that would have made me a better believer in the things I wish for in life. Would I have been better able to believe that I can have whatever I desire? I think it is feasible to say that I might have been far more successful than I am today. I don't know that for sure. After all it was something like nearly 365 days a year that My Mother reminded us that we can accomplish what ever we set our mind up to accomplish. "With your mind-set on it, you can accomplished anything."
For the most part I have to go along with that. I believe we can achieve whatever we put our minds to. The thing is that when we set our minds to accomplish the love in our life, the one person we want to care for, it works. Not only does it works, but we are indeed contented and happy with the accomplishment. But, if we are seeking material gain and do not know the essence of why we want a certain thing; it does not manifest. Chances are, that particular thing will not manifest in our life or it would not make us happy. Conversely it could potentially create in us feeling of sadness and hopelessness. We must know precisely what it is we want and the essence of what we want.
What Is Your Higher Order?
Your higher order. What is it? Is it to bring peace on earth and good will to mankind? That should be your higher order. The higher order by its very nature is that of what is best for all that is concerned. How does one know when he/she is calling on the 'higher order' to accomplish things in life? To help you determine if you are using your higher order, ask yourself a question. And you should be very honest with yourself. The work you do, your means by which you earn a living, in what ways is it benefiting someone else? The more people that it benefits, the higher the order is, and the more the outcome of you receiving that what you most desire out of life. Take for example, the work you do. In what way, manner, does it benefit another?
It all begins with you helping others. The more you help others the more you will be able to help others; the more enriching your own life will become. We are all people in need of the same things. The bottom line is that we all are vying for the center of attention, we all want to be sure that we get our share of food and shelter.
Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens
Give. And, you will receive in return. Hardly ever will you receive from the person whom you have given. That person may not have learned the lessons of giving and receiving, and has yet to learn how to give. In fact the more you give; the more you receive. The act of giving is an art. It builds upon itself. You start out with a simple act of kindness. Even less than that, a simple gesture of kindness. That gesture does not go unnoticed. A kind word spoken, a solemn gesture, like a coin thrown in a pond sends out ripples far beyond where it originated. Your kind word spoken or small deal done, even though no one stands by to witness it, extends throughout the universe and like a boomerang will return unto you.
Like children, we adults along our pilgrimage may not understand everything that comes our way. Even myself, I consider myself thankful that I have only recently come to understand what I am trying to relate to you. When you give, give your best.
What are some of the ways you can begin giving. Begin where you are. Start with whatever you are doing. At your job, for instant. When you do your job at work, give the best you can. Make your work as excellent as you possibly can. As you do your best, your best will become the greatest.
Things happen in the universe which we sometimes relate to as fate. People come into our lives, and then they leave. Some stay longer than others. People marry with every intentions of remaining in love and married to the one they married. We can sometimes lose that which we have so painstakingly received. We should always give thanks, always. I met someone that I thought I was going to get to know real well. Someone that I though I was going to share some of my experiences in life with. In fact there were two such people. It did not occur with either one. But through my pilgrimage, I know better. I know that change can take place. It always does.
I am all alone now. But to think that I will be alone for the rest of my life would be in error. That type of thinking would be in error. Why? Because things change. And the love we've come to know and since have lost has to do with the essence. The essence of love which we feel for one person; the same essence can be felt towards another person. That is one of the greatest lessons we all have to learn. I have not learned it so well as yet.
So how was Christmas made special to you on Christmas Day? For me, when I was growing up, I still can remember the big red apples that were arranged in a bowl and placed in the center of the dinning table. There were the oranges and pears also. My experience of that, as I look back upon it, is that it gives to me a pureness and goodness throughout the day. I don't know, but that fruit must have been blessed. My Mother must have prayed over that fruit. My thought is that it is one of the purest ways to start off Christmas Day; fresh red apples and oranges and pears, on a bright day. The day was bright whether there was rain, snow, or gray dismal skies. The light of the day was still so bright.
Often time we hear people ask the question: What does Christmas mean to you? Some reply by saying that Christmas is spending time with family and friends; it is a favorite time of year for many boys and girls, adolescents and adults alike. Some love the Holly and mistletoe during this time of year. During this most festive time of the year many people believe they should do a lot of shopping at the malls. Although it is beautiful and lively time spent just shopping. It can be contagious. What is most wonderful is that it raises the spirit of giving within us.
Christmas time can cause people to spend a lot of money. Sometimes more than they had planned on spending. That seems to always be the case with me. It is difficult for me to set a budget for Christmas shopping, because the list can keep on growing even at the very last minute, especially when I start looking for that one special gift. Therefore, Christmas time especially as December 25th is nigh, it can cause one to use up a lot of energy going here and there looking for gifts to buy. But it is a lot of fun too.
Bright Copper Kettles & Warm Woolen Mittens
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas. Everywhere you go; Take a look in the five and ten, glistening once again, with candy canes and silver lanes aglow. It's Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas toys in every store. But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be on your own front door.
Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew, cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two? The Candy Man. The Candy Man can. The Candy Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. Who can take a rainbow, wrap it in a sigh, soak it in the sun and make a strawberry lemon pie? The Candy Man, The Candy Man can. The Candy Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.
Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, Chim Chim Cheree! A sweep is as lucky as lucky can be. Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cheroo! Good luck will rub off when I shakes hands with you, or blow me a kiss and that's luckly, too.
Just hear those sleigh bells jingleing ringting tingleing too, Come on it's lovely weather for a Sleigh Ride together with you. Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling "Yoo hoo," Come on,it's lovely weather for a Sleigh Ride together with you.
Have a holly jolly Christmas, it's the best time of the year. I don't know if there'll be snow but have a cup of cheer. Have a holly jolly Christmas, and when you walk down the street Say hello to friends you know and every one you meet.
Hark! The herald angels sing, "Glory to the new born King! Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled. Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies with angelic host proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, let your heart be light; from now on our troubles will be out of sight. Through the years we all will be together, if the Fates allow; hang a shining star upon the highest bough and have yourself a merry, little Christmas now.
Silent night! Holly night! All is calm, all is bright. Round yon Virgin Mother and Child! Holly Infant so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace. sleep in heavenly peace.
Come they told me pa rum pum pum pum; our new born King to see pa rum pum pum pum, Our finest gifts we bring pa rum pum pum pum to lay before the king, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum, pum. So to honor Him pa rum pum pum pum, when we come. Baby Jesus, pa rum pum pum pum; I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum. I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum, that's fit to give a King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,, rum pum pum pum. Shall I play for you pa rum pum, pum pum, on my drum. Then He smiled at me pa rum pum pum, pum; me and my drum.
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
People buy presents for all sorts of reasons. Give from your heart merry gifts tied with ribbons of joy. When you give it comes back to you. It may not come back in the same manner in which you have given. It can come back to you in so many different ways. You may become a better person than you already are, just because you were kind enough to give. You will know when you have become a better person because you will feel it in your heart. You will say to yourself "I am a very good and wonderful person." When I go downstairs from where I live and I pass by the vendors standing at their kiosk, I sometimes nod and say a quiet "Hello." I might glance only at the precious items they are selling. But today, which happens to be Thanksgiving Day. I went out in the garden and looked down at the visitors and vendors. The little kids were going to Santa's House and the tall Christmas tree was simply awesome. I was in awe and feeling overly contented, to state it modestly, by all the beauty. I felt so good. The stores and restaurants were all closed, but there were people going to see a movie and of course visitors just love coming to see Santa, the tree and the beautiful fountain. I rushed down the stairs as if though there was someone waiting for me. I paused for a while and looked at the fashions in the shopping windows. I could see the reflection of the tall Christmas tree in the window. The Christmas music was just right for a Thanksgiving Day. And when the beat of the music increased the water in the fountain responded likewise. It increased my spirits. It filled me with joy. I stopped at the kiosk and bought a pair of sunglasses after trying on a couple. Then I continued on with my walk. The music gave to my soul joy and the fountain presented a beautiful scene for me to see. The Christmas decorations are done so very tastefully. I felt naturally good to purchase a pair of shaded eyeglasses that I like very much.
Reasons To Give
Sometimes we see people standing at the supermarkets or at the gas stations asking for money, "Can you help me please." Many people don't give, not because they don't have the money to. They just don't know that it is good to give. They don't know all that they can receive by giving. The more you give; the more you receive. Just think if you could give to a charity organization one million dollars every year. Do you think you would be needing much if you can give a million. No matter what the amount you give, it comes back to you 100 folds. It might be easy to think that it is selfish to 'give' just to 'receive'. But it's not really, it is just a token in return of your giving. It empowers you. You might also be saying to yourself that the individual should go out and get a job. Maybe so. But you are giving for the reasons to give. People do need help sometimes, along the way. But give. Just give anyway. Giving is a spiritual act. Consider the preparation of a meal, or even something as simple as a cup of tea. Just think, when you are invited to a friend's place or home for dinner or tea, the preparation that went into the making of a meal is spiritual. I made a pan of corn bread yesterday. Indeed I felt a sense of holiness. The mixing of the corn meal with the flour and baking powder made me feel creative. Therefore, it is an art.
The next time you see a person standing at the gas station asking for something you can spare. Give to them. No matter what they want to use it for; just give. It is noble to give a little to someone who has nothing. This Christmas give as if you were rich, knowing that money and wealth flows through you. Give what you could give. Think of the Little Drummer Boy. He had no gift to give that's fit to give a King. He gave what he could. He played for him on his drum.
Cream Colored Ponies & Crisp Apple Strudels
Recipe for Apple Strudel:
Golden rum, apples, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, orange rind, and flaky buttery crust ,,,delicious
2 tablespoons (30ml) golden rum; 3 tablespoons (45ml) raisins; 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80g) sugar; 1/2 cup(1 stick/ 115g) unsalted butter, melted, divided; 1 and 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs;
1/2 cup (120ml, about 60g) coarsely chopped walnuts; 2 pounds (900g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)
(1) Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.
(2) Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook while stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.
(3) Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400F (200 C) Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch (15 cm) wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at teh short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.
1 and 1/3 cups 200 g) unbleached flour 1/8 teaspoon salt; 7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed; 2 tablespoon (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough; 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar i a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary. Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.
Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally, Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with ;plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).
Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can/. Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.
The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it's about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wiener Schnitzel or alternatively, Vienna Schzitzel (Wiener SchnitzIn German)
Schnitzel means a cutlet without bones. It is a traditional Austrian dish and is a popular part of Viennese and Austrian cuisine, consisting of a thin slice of veal coated in breadcrumbs and fried. In Austria the dish is traditionally served with a lemon slice, lemonberry jam and either potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter. While the traditional Wiener Schnitzel is made of veal, it is now sometimes made of pork, though in that case it is often called Schnitzel Wiener Art (Germany) or Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein (Austria) to differentiate it from the original. In Austria, the term Wiener Schnitzel is protected by law, and any schnitzel called by that name have to be made from veal. The dish may have originated in Milan, northern Italy, as cotoletta alla milanese, and may have appeared in Vienna during the 15th or 16th century. According to another theory, it was introduced in 1857 by Field Marshal Radetzky, who spent much of his life in Milan. The term Wiener Schnitzl itself dates to at least 1862.
In Argentina, the schnitzel is one of the most popular meals, called milanesa. It is just one of the many influences of Italian immigration to the country since the end of the 19th century. The milanesa is made of beef, sometimes veal, but also chicken (called "cupra depol) It may be served both at expensive restaurants o cheaper cafes It is usually served with French fries or mashed potatoes, and/or salad. There another variants made with cheese, ham, tomato "milanesa a la napolitana"). There is also a popular sandwich, or "sandwich de milanesa", served on a French style baguette. Milanesas can be fried o oven baked.
Chicken schnitzel, and chicken parmigiana are very popular dishes in Australia, especially amongst those with German or Austrian heritage. As a home cooked meal, it is generally accompanied by French fries (chips) and/or salad.
In pub meals it is commonly known as Parmi" or Parma" Veal and chicken schzitzel are also commonly available in more expensive restaurants serving a European menu. Beef Schnitzel are also extremely popular pub meals, so much so that many pubs make a single schnitzel which is as large as the plate it is served on - in many cases, if the patron can finish the schnitzel and chips they are rewarded with a schooner of beer.
Due to the strong influence of Italian culture in Brazil, Wiener schnitzels are known as file a milanesa (Milanesa steak. It is found easily on street restaurants and often cooked at most homes. Servings often include white rice, salted brown beans, French fries or mashed potatoes, lettuce and tomato salad. Milanesa sandwich are also common, and so is the parmigiana version = file a milanesa with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese.
The dish is called Milanesa or Chuleta Valluna in Colombia. It is made with a thin cut pork, breaded and fried.
In Croatia, the dish is called Becki snicl (literally Wiener schnitzel in German resp. Viennese Schnitzel in English) and it is made of pork and served with French fries. Common garnishes include a slice of lemon or some lettuce.
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Have you ever looked at a snowflake and wondered how it formed or why it looks different from other snow you might have seen? According to an article written by Anne Helmenstine, Ph.D., Snowflakes are a particular form of water ice. Snowflakes form in clouds, which consist of water vapor. When the temperature is 32 degrees F (0 degree C) or colder, water changes from its liquid form into ice. Several factors affect snowflake formation. Temperature, air currents, and humidity all influence shape and size. Dirt and dust particles can get mixed up in the water and affect crystal weight and durability. The dirt particles make the snowflake heavier, and can cause cracks and breaks in the crystal and make it easier to melt. Snowflake formation is a dynamic process. A snowflake may encounter many different environmental conditions, sometimes melting it, sometimes causing growth, always changing its structure.
What are common snowflake shapes?
Generally, six-sided hexagonal crystals are shaped in high clouds ; needles or flat six-sided crystal are shaped in middle height clouds; and a wide variety of six-sided shapes are formed in low clouds. Colder temperatures produce snowflakes with sharper tips on the sides of the crystals and may lead to branching of the snowflake arms (dendrites). Snowflakes that grow under warmer conditions grow more slowly, resulting in smoother, less intricate shape.
Why are snowflakes symmetrical (same on all sides)?
First, not all snowflakes are the same on all sides. Uneven temperatures, presence of dirt, and other factors may cause a snowflake to be lop-sided. Yet it is true that many snowflakes are symmetrical and intricate. This is because a snowflake's shape reflects the internal order of the water molecules. Water molecules in the solid state, such as in ice and snow, form weak bonds (called hydrogen bonds) with one another. These Ordered arrangements result in the symmetrical, hexagonal shape of the snowflake. During crystallization, the water molecules align themselves to maximize attractive forces and minimize repulsive forces. Consequently, water molecules arrange themselves i predetermined spaces and in a specific arrangement. Water molecules simply arrange themselves to fit the spaces and maintain symmetry.
Is it true that no two snowflakes are identical?
Yes and no. No two snowflakes are exactly identical, down to the precise number of water molecules, spin of electrons, isotope abundance of hydrogen and oxygen, etc. On the other hand, it is possible for two snowflakes to look exactly alike and any given snowflake probably has had a good match at some point in history. Since so many factors affect the structure of a snowflake ad since a snowflake's structure is constantly changing in response to environmental conditions, it is improbable that anyone would see two identical snowflakes.
If water and ice are clear, then why does snow look white?
The short answer is that snowflakes have so many light-reflecting surfaces they scatter the light into all of t colors, so snow appears white. The longer answer has to do with the way the human eye perceives color. Even though the light source might not be truly 'white' light (e.g., sunlight, fluorescent, and incandescent all have a particular color), the human brain sees snow as white because the whole picture received by the brain has a yellow tint that is automatically subtracted.
Silver white winters that melt into springs. These are a few of my favorite things.
When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad.