National Chili and Chocolate Covered Nuts Day


chiliToday is National Chili Day. Chili is believed to come from Mexico, but it wasn’t. It was, however, influenced by Mexican culture. It is also influenced by Native American and Spanish traditions. Chili originated in Texas, where all three cultures came together. Celebrate National Chili Day by having a delicious bowl chili tonight. How do you like your chili? Chili is protein-packed any way you like it. With beef, chicken or vegetarian, chili can be served with a side of cornbread. Chili is a fabulous comfort food for the winter season.

 chocolate covered nutsTo finish off your day, while you’re watching TV,  have chocolate cover nuts for dessert because this is also National Chocolate Covered Nuts Day.  Buy your almonds, filberts, or cashews covered with chocolate. Make them your dessert of choice for today.

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National Polar Bear Day


polar bearThis post will be a little different today. While I was looking up Polar Bear Day I found these facts about Polar Bears at the page below. If you want to get the full description of the thirteen facts go to the National Wildlife Federation page. It’s an amazing read.

http://blog.nwf.org/2011/02/national-polar-bear-day-13-things-you-may-not-know-about-polar-bears/

13 Things You May Not Know about Polar Bears

  1. The polar bear rivals the Alaska brown bear as the world’s largest land predator.
  2. Polar bears are closely related to brown bears.
  3. Brown and polar bears can interbreed and produce fertile young
  4. You can sometimes tell male polar bears from female by the hair on the males’ front legs.
  5. Polar bear hair is transparent
  6. Polar bears are so adapted to cold that they can’t take temperatures above 50 degrees.
  7. Wild polar bears probably live more than 25 years only rarely, but in captivity they have lasted up to 43 years.
  8. Despite the harsh winter conditions that batter the polar bear’s Arctic home, only females about to give birth hibernate.
  9. Most land animals are too fast for the bear to catch.
  10. Although polar bears eat everything from crabs to kelp to muskoxen, they are adapted to feeding on calorie-rich blubber.
  11. Found in Arctic reaches in both hemispheres, the polar bear maintains a foothold on more of its native range than any other large meat-eating animal
  12. The polar bear has been protected for many years.
  13. About 25,000 polar bears survive worldwide. 

Comment: Polar Bears are amazing animals who are in danger of becoming extinct due to global warming. Do  you love visiting the zoos and seeing the animals? We must, or we wouldn’t go. Are you sad knowing an animal is held in  captivity? They never get to live out their lives, as they would in the wild. They’re usually well taken care of, but if the zoo could get  injured animals from rescue farms or sanctuaries around the world, it would be better.

Exchanging giving a home to these animals in captivity would  help the world learn about them and save the  lives of the animals. They would live a better life. I’ll have to check, maybe the zoos already do this. If animals in zoos will live for many years, this gives zoos plenty of time to find a different solution to supplying animals to the zoos around the world. They could already be doing this. Maybe you’re the one, who will come up with a better  solution, when you’re older. It isn’t too early to start  searching for a solution.

I know I’m not knowledgeable enough or know if my idea is usable. I realized I don’ t know if they are already using a form of my suggestion,  but if they are not we need to find  a way. I’m just a grandmother, who loves animals and hates to see them behind bars. I’m just giving my feelings, which means I’m neither right or wrong. I will still go to the zoo and enjoy the monkeys and meerkats antics and all the other wonderful things they have to offer. I hope you will, too. I would never have gotten to see these creatures up close and I  appreciate what the zoo has to offer.  

Discuss this with your parents or teachers. See if you can find another solution. My idea may be  a silly or impossible solution,  but I was looking for a solution. How about you?

See more at: http://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Library/Mammals/Polar-Bear.aspx#sthash.LQjHci7C.dpuf  and

http://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Library/Mammals/Polar-Bear.aspx#sthash.LQjHci7C.dpuf 

Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862 )


St Gabriel of the lady of sorrowsFrancis was born in Italy into a large family. His mother died, when he was only four years old. Early in life, he received an education from the Jesuits. During this time Gabriel developed two  serious illnesses and recovered. He came to believe that God was calling him to the religious life because of his healing. Francis developed a desire to join the Jesuits. The order turned  down  Francis because he was  not yet 17. Following the death of a sister to cholera, his need to enter Jesuits grew stronger. The Passionists accepted Francis and he was given the name Gabriel  of Our Lady of Sorrows. Gabriel’s personal  qualities included a spiritual prayer life, a deep love of the poor,and  consideration of the feelings of others. Francis’ popularity and success was  because of his faithfulness to the little things of life.

His superiors expected great things from Gabriel. However, after four years of religious life he developed tuberculosis. He patiently bore the painful effects of the disease and its restrictions. He  looked for no special attention and died peacefully on February 27, 1862. He was only 24, but had been an example to both young and old.

Comment: We all should remember to take care of the little details of our lives and the larger details will take care of themselves. Francis lived his life in a prayerful and loving way. His prayer life, caring for the poor, and consideraton of the feelings of others was  his way of life. It should be the way we live ours, too.  Canonized in 1920, Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows became the Patron Saint of Clergy.

Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio (1502-1600)


blessed-sebastian-of-aparicio-01Sebastian’s parents were Spanish peasants. At the age of 31 he sailed to Mexico and worked in the fields. He eventually turned to building roads to help farm trading and other businesses. He built a 466-mile road from Mexico City to Zacatecas. It took 10 years to build and required careful dealings with the local people along the way.

In time Sebastian became a wealthy farmer and rancher. At the age of 60 decided to marry and provide a respectable life for a girl without a dowry (a payment made to the future husband). After his first wife died, he married again for the same reason. She also died young.

At 72, after his second wife’s death, Sebastian distributed his belongings among the poor. He entered the Franciscan Order, as a brother. Sebastian was assigned to a community at Puebla de los Angeles south of Mexico City. He spent the next 25 years collecting alms (donations) for the friars. His kindness and charity earned him the nickname “Angel of Mexico.”

Sebastian continued to bridge-build throughout his life by helping men and women find their God-given worth and purpose in life. Sebastian is known as a patron of travelers.

Blessed John of Fiesole


Fra_AngelicoBlessed John of Fiesole was born around 1400 in a village overlooking Florence. He started painting as a boy and studied under a local painting master. At 20, he joined the Dominican Order. He took the name Fra Angelico, perhaps a tribute to the devotional tone of his works. He continued to study painting He perfected his own techniques, which included broad-brush strokes, vivid colors and generous, lifelike figures. Fra Angelico sought to generate a feeling of religious devotion in response to his paintings. Among his most famous works are the Annunciation and Descent from the Cross. He is known as the patron of Christian artists.

Michelangelo once said of Fra Angelico: “One has to believe that this good monk has visited paradise and been allowed to choose his models there.”

He performed in leadership positions within the Dominican Order. Pope Eugenius once asked John to serve as archbishop of Florence. He declined, preferring a simpler life. Blessed John of Fiesole died in 1455.

The Annunciation
The Annunciation

                                                   

Decent from the Cross

                                                                                                                    Decent from the Cross

From Nobleman to Noble Man


 saint-luke-resizedLuke Belludi was born a nobleman. In 1220 he met St. Anthony, while the Franciscan was preaching the people of Padua. Luke Belludi, humbly asked to join the followers of St. Francis. Anthony personally recommended him to the friars, who then received him into the Franciscan Order.

Luke was only 20, when he became Anthony’s companion. In their travels and preaching, Luke took care of Anthony and continued to do so until his last days. Luke took Anthony’s place as head guardian after Anthony’s death.

In 1239 enemies overtook the town and put to death the mayor and council. They closed down university of Padua  and Luke was cast from the city. Under cover of night, Luke returned. He and the new guardian visited the tomb of  St. Anthony in the unfinished shrine to pray for his help. One night, Luke heard a voice from the tomb telling  them that the city would be delivered from their enemies.

After  Luke’s message from the tomb came true, he was elected provincial minister. He completed the great basilica in honor of Anthony, his teacher and friend. He founded many Franciscan convents. Luke  also had the gift of miracles, like his friend Anthony.  He truly became a noble man. Upon his death he was laid to rest in the basilica that he had helped finish. People continue to visit and pray up to the present time.

Like Anthony, we need someone to offer support and help through our life and spiritual journeys. Luke did this by a life of serving others. We can carry on Luke’s mission and help others through their journeys.

Reach out to Others


During Lent, I’m going to put meditations up for you to think about. A meditation is quieting your mind and focusing on a topic, phrase or word in order to think about its meaning to you.

I’ll Try to put them up after midnight, so they are there at the beginning of your day.Think about the meditation during the day and see where you can use it in your daily life.

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What you do for Lent is far less important than why you do it. During Lent, we pray, fast, and give to  the needy to draw closer to God.  Find a small way today that you can reach out to others to strengthen your spiritual life.