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Posts tagged ‘holidays’

Embrace Enthusiasm


Are you enthused about life?
Have you overcome great strife?
Are you ready to step out enthusiastically
To conquer your challenges gleefully?

I am enthused because I look forward to returning to my volunteering today at the Madison Valley Medical Center. Ever since this pandemic shutdown last March, all the volunteers were told to stay home, socially distance, be safe, and wait this thing out. So this wonderful group of ladies who have annually saved the hospital the salary and benefits of at least two full-time staff members (as well as raising thousands of dollars in fund-raisers to donate for medical center needs) have been shut out. Yes, it was for our own safety… as well as others … but TODAY I GET TO GO BACK!!

I’m 3rd from the left second row…
And yes, you read that correctly –
it’s 31 thousand seven hundred dollars!

I am also enthusiastic today because after a year of searching with the Pastor Nominating Committee for a new pastor to lead our congregation forward following this strange year, we can see a light at the end of the tunnel! Our pastor of 32 years died and we’ve had a wonderful interim pastor who went out of retirement to help us. He is enthusiastically looking forward to returning to the retired life. I am looking forward to taking the next steps with our committee and our #1 candidate – – – enthusiasm bubbles over in all involved! What a wonderful way to approach Easter Sunday!

Today is Maundy Thursday. It’s the day Jesus invited the disciples into the upper room, washed their feet, and served the Last Supper. It was not with enthusiasm that they heard Him say He would die, be buried, and rise again in three days. They didn’t understand. But, I understand – so I am enthused!

The Last Supper

I am enthusiastic about the coming of Easter. I know we must endure the pain of “Good Friday” – wondering what’s good about the day Jesus dies on the cross. But, we know the rest of the story, so we can live through the remembrance of Christ’s misery because we know the way the story ends.

As a child I remember being enthusiastic about the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts. I see no harm in that, but as an adult the focus on Easter eggs doesn’t enthuse me… not unless the story that accompanies them is the reminder of the empty tomb when the child finds the plastic egg with no candy in it… and that child is the one who wins the Golden Egg – and realizes the empty egg was the favored one!

I just returned from volunteering at the medical center as a “Purple Lady” … member of the Auxiliary. I am enthused telling you that the two nurses and a host of staff members made it possible for around 120 Madison County residents to receive their vaccines today. Many of those were receiving their second shot. I enthusiastically look forward to “herd immunity.”

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com
COVID-19 BE GONE!!

Here is my Haiku series celebrating enthusiasm:

Enthusiasm
It’s a feeling of great joy
Anticipation

It’s sweet engagement
In delightful chosen tasks
Active involvement

Looking bright ahead
Accomplishments come at last
Feeling in God’s Will

Seeing smiles around
Others feeling included
Successful efforts

Anticipating
Hearing “Congratulations!”
It’s a job well done

It’s shared excitement
Knowing we have done our best
Enthusiasm!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Embrace Enthusiasm

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today
Have a Blessed Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

What are you enthusiastic about today?

I’m enthused that you are here, my friend.
Bee well!!
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace Your Irishness


  1. On St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, everyone is a little bit Irish. Some more than others, of course. Embrace your Irishness!
  2. Check out the recipes below and go shopping for those ingredients today!
  3. Prepare a crockpot of corned beef and cabbage (you can do it today… it’ll taste better tomorrow after it sits in its flavorings overnight)
  4. Play a medley of Irish jigs and reels to keep you in the mood
  5. Bake some Irish cupcakes for dessert (see recipe from Better Homes & Gardens below)

Corned Beef and Cabbage

By Lena Abraham Mar 8, 2021 Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage Horizontal Ethan Calabrese

Synonymous with American St. Patrick’s day celebrations, corned beef and cabbage is the perfect hearty meal for a chilly mid-March night. Though this slow cooker version can be done in 4 to 4 1/2 hours on high, the brisket cooks best low and slow. If you’re looking to venture outside the spice packet, try out the homemade blend on this corned beef brisket.

Got leftovers? Check out our favorite corned beef leftover ideas

 
Yields: 6
Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 9 hours

INGREDIENTS:

2 or 3 medium yellow onion, cut into large wedges

2 or 3 large carrots, cut into thirds

1/2 lb. stalks celery, cut into thirds

8 to 12 baby potatoes, halved

2-3 lb corned beef brisket 

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 or 3 Tblsp. pickling spice

2 sprigs thyme

2 or 3 bay leaves

1 head of green cabbage, cut into large wedges

Directions

  1. Add onion, carrots, celery and potatoes to bowl of your crock pot. Place corned beef on top and season generously with salt, pepper, and pickling spices. Scatter thyme and bay leaves over meat and fill slow cooker bowl with water until it is almost completely covering the meat.
  2. Cook on low for 9 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 to 4 1/2 hours, until meat is tender. Add cabbage to crock pot and cook on high for 45 minutes to 1 hour more until cabbage is tender and cooked through. Remove meat and vegetables from slow cooker, slice and serve.
Hide a few 4 leaf clovers under the dinner plates…
Good luck finding them!!

Pot o’ Gold Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes I instantly think of Guinness cupcakes. This cupcake idea comes with a festive surprise inside to wow anyone who takes a bite.

By Alissa and Elise McGeehan
Source: Better Homes and Gardens


Share: Pot o’ Gold Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Recipe Summary

hands-on: 1 hr
total: 1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 24
Nutrition Info

Pot O' Gold Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • ¾ cup special dark cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s)
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur or caramel-flavor coffee creamer
  • ⅓ cup butterscotch-caramel sauce (such as Mrs. Richardson’s)
  • ½ cup assorted green and/or gold sprinkles

Directions

  • Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350°F. Line twenty-four 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with cupcake liners. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Step 2 – Melt the 1 cup butter in a saucepan over medium-low. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in Guinness, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and granulated sugar. Continue stirring until smooth.
  • Step 3 – In the bowl of an electric mixer combine brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Add melted butter mixture and beat on medium-low until cooled. Reduce to low. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until eggs are incorporated.
  • Step 4 – With mixer on medium, add flour mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. (They will be nearly full.)
  • Step 5 – Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Let cool in pans 5 minutes; remove to wire rack. Let cool.
  • Step 6 – For frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the softened butter on medium-high until creamy. Reduce speed; add powdered sugar, liqueur, caramel sauce, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  • Step 7 – Push the large end of a large pastry tip into center of each cupcake, twist to remove a plug of cupcake; set plugs aside. Fill each cupcake with approximately 1 teaspoon of the sprinkles. Trim off half the cupcake plugs and place in holes to seal in sprinkles. Pipe or frost cupcakes. Makes 24 cupcakes.
A refreshing drink to go with your dessert!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow!
See ya then…
Tell me how your day goes!

Don’t forget to look for that pot o’ gold under the rainbow!

Photo by Paweu0142 Fijau0142kowski on Pexels.com

My Sis, Sally, Died Today


Me with Mom and Sally

Today my sis, Sally, died.
She was only a year and a half older than I.
As children, Mom often dressed us alike.
People thought we were twins.

As adults we looked so much alike, too, that our long-time friends sometimes called me Sally.

When you lose your only sibling,
A part of you dies with her.
Sally came every Thanksgiving from CA
To spend the holiday with us in Montana.

Sally with oregano

Sally always came with an extra suitcase.
She filled it with oregano that grew in her back yard.
She spent most of the week here at the kitchen table or counter
Picking the leaves off the oregano stems.

I have a couple of quart jars left of her herbs.
When they are gone, another part of her
Will disappear – You can’t find oregano that fresh –
Not in a store, that’s for sure! Can you smell it?

Sally with our son, Ty’s kids

Sally was a nut about holidays!
She had a closet full of clothes
Sorted by the holiday they represented
And she loved every one of them.

She joined her nieces and nephews
For Halloween and Christmas,
For Easter and birthdays, and
For special lunches and dinners.

Sam, Faith, Hope and Jordan with Aunt Sally at Burger King
Sally loved giving gifts and playing games
Sally & Jordan shared a Dec. 20th birthday
They continued to share even as Jordan entered his teens and young adult years.
Bonnie was Sally’s best friend. They enjoyed many River Cats games together.
Sally & Ty

Naturally Sally was there to celebrate her daughter, Jodie’s wedding.
Here she is at the wedding reception, dancing with her nephew,
our son, Ty, the daddy of those nieces and nephews.
And she was there of course, for her grandson, Liam’s baptism.

Bill & Jodie Welge (Sally’s dughter) and their infant son, Liam

Sally loved spending time with her grandson, Liam.
During the last few years of her life, she moved
from California to PA to be near her daughter, son-in-law,
and her dear grandson, Liam.

Besides her family and holidays, Sally had a love of dogs.
She inherited her poodle, Gigi, from our mom after Mom died.
Gigi was stolen from Sally when Gigi was about 4 years old.
Gigi was gone nine years, but Sally never gave up the idea of
finding her!

Sally & Gigi

Sure enough, nine years after the theft, Sally received a call from a veterinarian.
Gigi had a chip, and when she was found wandering, dirty, toothless, and infected,
the person who found her brought her to a vet. The chip had Sally’s number.
Can you imagine her joy at that reunion after nine long years? Gigi lived to be 15.
Dear friends of ours here adopted her and gave her a loving last 9 months of life
when Sally moved to PA and could not take Gigi with her to the Masonic Home.

Sally & Jodie at Christmas in Pennsylvania
Sally with me at Christmas in California
Can’t deny we’re sisters, can we?
Last Thanksgiving in Sewickley, PA

Although Alzheimer’s robbed my sis of her memory and ultimately of her ability to converse, she was tuned in and enjoyed the concert Liam and I presented in her nursing home last Thanksgiving. I am so glad Bob & I were able to go – and we had that time with her. My life is filled with wonderful memories of times we shared together.

I’m pregnant with Ty – Bob’s next to Sally & Dave with Denise
and that’s our Mom & Dad in front
Bob & me with Sally & Dave – one Easter waaaay back when!

Sally had a life filled with service to others through her church, the Hospital Auxiliary, the Girl Scouts (she led a troop for at least 50 years) and her favorite organizations, Rebekahs and Eastern Star.

Her life also was one of tragedy (her oldest daughter died at age 19 and her husband, Dave, was only 60 when he died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack). But Sally was a trooper. She continued to volunteer and give of her time and talents to others.

I was blessed to grow up with a sister who had such a big, giving heart,
She will be missed by all of us who loved her. But her spirit will live on.

Sally and Jan
at my daughter, DeAna’s wedding in 1987

I know her spirit will recognize mine when I join her in Heaven someday.
Meantime, rest in peace, dear Sis. I will carry your love with me always.

Thanks for visiting today my friends.
Treasure every sunrise.
Enjoy every sunset.
Tell your siblings how much you love them.

See ya tomorrow, God willing!
JanBeek

Welcome October!


Welcome October!

T’is a month of pumpkins and spice
A month for Halloween candy
A month to plan your costume
When sheets are mighty handy

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

T’is a month when ghosts and goblins
And weird imaginations
Concoct front porch scenes
With spiders and smoky stations

Photo by Heorhii Heorhiichuk on Pexels.com

Just as people try to create
Wonders strange and unique ,
Look at what our Creator did –
Come and take a peak!

No one should begin to suggest
These were formed accidentally.
No, it took a God with humor –
To do this so creatively!

What do you think this is?
Look at its funny beard:
Weird, huh? It’s an ant’s face magnified at least 500 times!
And while we are admiring our Creator’s sense of humor,
take a look at this split-colored lobster!!

Our Creator’s imagination is beyond imagination!
Have you ever seen a curly-haired horse?

Well, now you have!
The coat on a poodle is a lot like this, don’t you think?

When I was a kid, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. We planned for months what our costumes would be. One year I was two things… from the front I was a princess and when I turned around, I was a cave man. How my mom created that, I have no idea. Halloween used to be safe and fun and creative. People made popcorn/caramel balls and cupcakes and candied apples – and no one was afraid to eat what you received. No one was afraid to go alone as a bunch of kids after dark!

Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com
Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

Connection and Wholeness

Yes, we are necessary to one another! If we are going to return to the safety of connection and wholeness, we need to seek to return to the people God made us to be.

We are more unique than an ant, a lobster, or a transparent fish! We are more intelligent and exceptional than a curly-haired horse. Our memories are better than theirs, too.

We need to remember what it felt like before COVID-19. Remember our connectivity. Remember when the world was a safe place for kids to Trick-or-Treat alone after dark. Remember when people knew all their neighbors by name – and people relied on one another.

Remember how creative our Creator is. If He can make an ant with that kind of face, a lobster with those characteristics, and a fish that’s transparent and that exists as an individual and as part of a larger organism, He can help us to emerge a better people when this pandemic passes. Pray for that! Trust in His creative powers.

I need you!
We need one another!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
Have a safe and creative October.


See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

A Different Colored July 4th


July 4th on Color Wheel

This is a purple and yellow July 4th! Purple for all those people who are hurting on this day. Yellow for all the varied colors that make up our rich racial cultures (Asian, Native American, Black, Hispanic, etc.). Yes, Black Lives Matter. Yes, they endure untold prejudicial treatment… and so do toooo many in our world.

Do you know why purple and yellow look so nice together? Turns out they are what’s called complementary colors. They appear opposite each other on the color wheel. Other complementary colors are red and green, and blue and orange.

Interestingly, complementary colors are one primary color, and the color formed by a combination of the remaining two primary colors. Maybe you don’t find this as nifty as I do , but perhaps it explains why I like the images from “July 4th Morning in Glacier National Park” so much!

Not just red, white, and blue, but purple and brown and yellow … all the colors of the rainbow make up who we are.

Singing Sky Photography

Check out the gorgeous
photography by Paul Holdorf
by clicking on his name here.

As you know, July 4th is a national holiday in the USA.
This year it takes on a different kind of meaning for us.

“Uncle Sam” gives us the “OK” sign… but everything is NOT OK. Too many people are dying of COVID-19 and too many people are suffering the injustices of prejudice. Too many people are not feeling “Free to Bee” (as I posted on my blog yesterday).

We’d bee “OKer”
if we just “Love One Another”
and respect one another
and practiced the “All are Created Equal”
beliefs that are part of our constitution.

My friend, Lynn Foreman, last year on this day.

A Haiku to Remember

Last year on this day
Seniors served the parade crowd
No parade this year

Last year on this day
More than four thousand came here
This year we are still

Stillness gives think time
Time to ponder our blessings
Figure how to share

Share the grace of God
As He’s blessed you, bless others
Love One Another

In this photo from last year, I can see
I needed a haircut!
This year I’m feeling perkier by the minute.
Life is improving.
Hallelujah!!

Thanks for your prayers!
What are your plans for today?
Let’s sing in unison
and think UNITY!!

See ya tomorrow!
Love from JanBeek

Must We Die for Freedom?


History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is an American holiday. This Memorial Day weekend feels very different from years past. Even though we are not having lock-down, stay-at-home orders in Montana, still most of us don’t feel free to have a large gathering with a picnic potluck as we usually do. We need to find new ways of honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

Memorial Day is this Monday, May 25th, a day for us in the USA to honor the men and women who died while serving in the United States Military. It was originally known as Decoration Day after the tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers. Women in Pennsylvania began this practice as early as 1864 following the end of the Civil War. Soon other states and cities did the same.

Waterloo, New York, held an annual community-wide event beginning in 1866. This led the town to be recognized as the birthplace of Memorial Day by the federal government in 1966. Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971. In 2000, Congress passed a resolution, urging Americans to set aside 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day “to observe a national moment of remembrance to honor the men and women of the United States military who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.” 

Thank you, Shutterstock, for this image.

Do You?

Do you celebrate Memorial Day? If so, how are my fellow Americans planning on celebrating Memorial Day this year?

I’m curious: How do those of you in other countries remember the people in your nation who have served in your military (or do you)?

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

Wonderful Dream

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful dream-come-true to have us all just love one another? No fences, no walls, no borders, no nation against nation… just one world, unified, working in tandem for a better life for everyone?

Wouldn’t it be a dream-come-true if we all felt a sense of freedom without anyone having to die to maintain it?

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful dream if everyone stopped hoarding and just shared generously? Share toilet paper! Share the Good News! Share LOVE!

… a pet, and toilet paper
and a lotta LOVE!

Our military generously give their ALL.
The least we can do is give them a day of Gratitude for their service…
and a dream that one day we will all live as ONE,
end all wars, and live in PEACE!

God bless you, my dear Blogging family.
I pray that you have a peace-filled weekend.
I’ll see you tomorrow.

Hugs, JanBeek

Wait, don’t leave until you comment!!
Tell me about how you honor your military
or tell me about your dreams for ONE WORLD of LOVE!

Marvelous Moms


Our marvelous moms

Their unconditional love

Speaks eternally

My mom & dad
Our DeDe and her Mother-in-Love
One of my favorite “Other Moms”
Mom to thousands of adoring students
Love to moms whose children are distanced by this pandemic
Love to our adopted moms/ AFS moms/ chosen children
God bless our children on this day!
Our son, Ty, and his beautiful spouse, Monika, mother of 4 of our grandkids
Special love this day to wanna-be moms who would’ve if they could’ve
And extra love ❤️ this day to all the guys who made us moms… and grammies…
… and great-Grammies!
Love to all future moms on this day, too. I pray they marry first!!
God bless you all!

Happy Mum’s Day!

Remembering May Poles


The Way it Was

When I was a child at Bonita Elementary School in Crows Landing, California, May Day was a very special occasion. We always created a May Pole around the flag pole at the front of the beautiful, two-story brick building. We dressed in colorful clothes and practiced days in advance to be sure we knew how to weave the ribbons properly. Parents came to watch as students assembled in the front of the school. The band played. The principal spoke, and teachers did special art projects in the classrooms.

I especially remember Mrs. Horwedel, my 4th grade teacher, who had us go out into the fields near the school and pick wild flowers. Then we made paper baskets, filled them with the flowers, and created unique cards.

They weren’t as pretty as the one pictured here, of course, but we thought they were! Some of us took them home to give to our mom. Others hung them on a doorknob of a friend’s house as they walked toward home. (You hang it, ring the doorbell, and run to hide). It’s a surprise! A few decided to hang them on the door of a favorite teacher’s classroom.

Today’s World

In today’s world, there are few schools surrounded by fields with wildflowers, and buying flowers is too expensive. So, the tradition of the May Day baskets has pretty much gone by the wayside, right?

But May Poles didn’t cost much. Just a few bucks for some crepe paper or ribbon strips, and time to practice. I think it’s a shame that in most places we seem to have forgotten this day’s history and we have failed to preserve it.

History of May Day Celebrations

According to Wikipedia, “May Day is a public holiday usually celebrated on 1 May or the first Monday of May. It is an ancient festival of Spring[1] and a current traditional spring holiday in many European cultures. Dances, singing, and cake are usually part of the festivities.”

Moving Forward

Let’s get back to dances, singing, and cake! Let’s reinstate the celebration of spring. Let’s recreate the May Pole. Let’s make it a part of our “new normal” once this VOVID-19 pandemic allows us to go back to our schools and hug our neighbors. What do you think?

I hope your day was a happy, memorable one.

What are your favorite May Day memories?

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Where’s Your Heart?


Some of us wear hearts
On our sleeves or a necklace
Not on our forehead

But this little calf
Has her heart right out in front
Happy Valentine!

Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush on Pexels.com

Happy Day of Love
What are you planning today?
Treat someone special!

We have a date night.
Pray the snow stays at bay,
the wind calms down,
and we can get out of our driveway!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thanks for checking in on JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow

Holidays Are Family Time


Family @ Bob's 80th

22 at Bob’s 80th

Holidays are family time.
We enjoy them through and through.
We gathered here to laugh and celebrate.
We hope your family blesses you, too.

From nearly two to eighty years,
We spanned the decades here,
And each of us added a spark
To greet this coming year.

A brother from central California,
A sister and her husband from Oregon came –
Friends from north and two daughters from east
All traveled with their purpose the same:

Happy Birthday, Dad, Brother, Grampy & Friend!
Thank you for enriching our days.
May the year ahead bring you health and cheer,
And the Good Lord bless you in countless ways!

As we move into the new and remember the past,
May old friends remain near in our souls.
May our love of Life and the Lord permeate our acts
And reflect in our daily walk and our goals.

Happy New Year!
Happy Birthday!
and
God Bless You!

What did you do to ring in the new year??

fireworks display

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