Saturday, November 24, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 'Thanksgiving Proclamation'
A beautiful reminder of what our holiday represents. Our family will be reading this tomorrow before our meal...
Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation
Washington, DC—October 3, 1863
The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Monday, November 19, 2007
As the 2007 Thanksgiving holiday in America approaches, I am reminded of social eating once again. I think if anything, this holiday is the most focused on food as that’s what it seems to be all about – The Food.
I have found with my own history and background, that I myself have been pushy and judgmental plenty of times before embarking on my own journey to health. I have thought that people eating and doing different and healthier things than I was strange and I never understood it. I can chalk a lot of that up to immaturity and ignorance, and an unwillingness to learn and explore anything outside of my own box.
Not to ruffle any feathers, but it seems to me that a lot of folks, who tend to allow themselves to be bothered by others around them, may have themselves been over-critical and not understanding of others at one time in their lives. Now that the tables are turned on them being the different ones, they have a hard time dealing with people.
One of the things that cause a lot of stress, in myself, is my mind constantly setting up a situation before it happens. Some people may call it a “monkey mind" or "monkey chatter" but I just think of it as brain thought overload!
I may start thinking of a particular event that I am going to experience, and with that event all the things that could go wrong. I could be thinking about a certain friend or relative who will probably be saying this and that to me, and all the things I should say and do in response.
Even 10 times worse, I would tend to think about something after the fact:
“Why did s/he say that to me?”
“Gosh they were so pushy with me, they made me eat something because I was so annoyed at their behavior!”
“He really embarrassed me by what he said – he didn’t have to broadcast my diet to the whole table!”
“Why did I give in to her constant prodding? I should have just told her ‘no thank you’ for the 5th time and she would have finally gotten the picture! Now I am going to wake up with a cooked hangover, and probably have to deal with really bad cooked food cravings for a whole week!”
“I should have told him that I just feel great eating this way and leave it at that. Why did I have to get in a big debate over the evils of dairy?”
The kicker is that all of these people I was thinking about, probably weren’t even thinking about me. They were likely happily home and in bed, or wrapping up their evenings in their own way, not worrying or going on and on about what happened between me and them.
You see how the stress of the holidays, are more of an inner stress that can fester inside of us! It's a "welcomed" stress that we create all by ourselves.
As a child, were you ever stressed out about such things? I wasn’t! I can remember my mother getting very, very stressed, getting ready for Holiday Company. I could never guess why she would yell at me.
As I became a mother, I found myself yelling at my own, and getting *myself* stressed out when we were expecting company, and the time was getting closer to their arrival. I'd be scrambling around, trying to get everything "done" before it was time. Over the years, I did get a handle on it, but when I’m not organized, I tend to get stressed again.
Well, we cannot go back in time and become children again, now can we, and why would we, because with age comes experience and you wouldn’t want to undo all the experience you’ve accrued over the years.
As we become older, we become better equipped with wisdom in how to deal with certain situations. And it is inevitable that something will bother us and fester from time to time. But knowing how to deal with things does help:
- Be happy and not defensive. A smile or a laugh always helps when answering a question. As hard as it may be when the time comes, smile and find amusement in the situation you are in!
- You don’t have to succumb to anything you don’t want to. Especially if you know eating something could make things unpleasant and uncomfortable to your body. Just like an allergy or other health condition, you shouldn’t eat something that disagrees with you or causes a severe reaction in you. Your eating lifestyle should be no different than someone who can't tolerate certain foods from an allergy or a diabetic steering clear of cake.
- If there is an exchange or words that make you uncomfortable, try to be in control of the situation. Try not to let it fester and bother you later on. Make a quick turn-around by thinking of something funny that will erase that bad memory. Or pray for the person who made you uncomfortable. Or even give that person a hug. Turn around the situation quickly so you aren’t left to mull it over in your head the rest of the evening.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Okay all you Michael Jackson fans, have we got a face cream for you.
Once in a while (I admit) do use Clorox bleach but all my other cleaning products are either natural or homemade.
So I didn't know what to make of things when I discovered that Burt's Bees sold out to Clorox for a cool $925 million.
Should I be looking forward to a day when cleaning product companies are going to be putting the public's health and well-being at interest?
Should I be put off that a natural product that I've trusted over the years might change their formula?
Should I be happy that I soon might find the line of products at my local Wal-Mart?
If they come out with a new age spot hand cream or highlighting shampoo with a lemony fresh scent, should I be concerned?
I wish I was a fly on the wall at that meeting in the Burt's Bees headquarters.