N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Foods

WORK FORCE

This morning I ate my breakfast. As usual, I poured my non-fat milk over the beautiful, round blueberries that floated atop my cereal. This has been a habit for some time since I’m told that blueberries are really good for us.

Why talk about breakfast and blueberries? The reason is that we give little thought about these great fruits that are readily available to us in the grocery stores or the people who picked them. Aside from the hefty price on some of these “little darlings,” they are usually readily available most of the year. This may not be so true in the future…as some vegetables and fruits have been rotting in the fields. Why? The workforce is declining…as with other things in industry. (My doctor told me the other day that he is having a hard time getting inserts for his foot patients. No, shoe inserts have nothing to do with blueberries…but the labor force does.)

After I listened to an aspiring medical student, Gianna Ninno, who has picked blueberries since she was a young child with her family, I thought it was time to write something about these “heroes” of the marketplace. They are usually minority…both American and from other places.

Her statement, “The people who pick the berries can’t actually afford to buy them in the stores.” This puts a new slant on the farm workers that make it possible for me to enjoy my blueberries each morning. All I can say is “THANK YOU!”

I thank them for their labor, but also the fact that they are willing to put their lives on the line to do the job. During the virus epidemic, it was revealed that many of the farm and factory workers were showing growing numbers of contacting the COVID-19. This was especially true in the meat packing houses.

When we lived part of the year in Virginia, USA, I noticed that most of the workers there were not Americans, but immigrants that get short term visas to be part of our labor force. They lived in the small accommodations provided by the farm owner and rode to work in crowded vans. This, of course, was an invitation for sickness. Now, that travel bans have occurred, it is questionable if they will be able to help Americans with their harvest. We worried about paper goods during the first days of the Pandemic, but the foods we eat may be the next shortage. It might be wise to start a garden in your backyard, if you have the room.

Whatever money the farm workers make usually is wired home to their families in various countries. When the picking season is over, the farm owners fly them back home until the next season. It was explained to us that all of the paperwork was done correctly with the government. They are issued short-term work visas. These workers are appreciated because they are very hard workers.

The immigrants don’t receive welfare benefits from our government. Some of our own citizens are obviously unwilling to do the back-breaking work that these people are eager to do in order to take care of themselves and their families. Unfortunately, to their health and welfare, there has been a cost. We hope that they will be able to return as long as they are here legally and the farmers can afford them.

Photo/Megan Farmer

The laborers of the fields need the honor and wages due them. What does the Holy Scripture tells us about this?

“You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the Lord, and you be guilty of sin. Deuteronomy 24:14-15

The video that you are about to see was made by a young woman who wanted everyone to know that many of our American, minority farm workers have a similar plight to those who come from out of the country. She is trying hard to earn extra money in order to finish her medical school education by doing the work that many others avoid. I will let her give you her story in this short video.

As for me, I will continue to enjoy my blueberries each morning as long as they are available. I now appreciate even more their beautiful, round, blue shape and their wonderful taste because I understand better that there are special human beings willing to work extremely hard to get them to me.

I bet you won’t think of a blueberry the same.

Click the link. (from ABC News If you are trying to watch on a phone, unfortunately, her video may not come up after the ad…which by the way, I’m not endorsing. Sorry if this happens…watch on your computer if possible.)

https://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=72363462


Are you missing Life?

My last blog was in honor of a dear friend who passed away five years after brain surgery.  It led me to think about those who were more fortunate to live a very long, productive life…even to 100 years or more.

One of those centenarians was 107 years old Raffaella Monne from a village in Sardinia.  She had a great statement, which is part of a very interesting book called The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner.  This is what she said that she would like to tell people today:

“Life is short. Don’t run so fast you miss it!”

National Geographic was part of the research on why some people live longer in different parts of the world.  All these so-called “Blue Zones” had several things that were important to them:

  • Diet:  Mainly of home-grown vegetables, nuts, fish and sometimes meat.  They were not strict vegetarians.
  • Strong family and friend support system…taking time to chat and relax.
  • Worked hard and walked a great deal, but slowed down to take a daily nap…less stress was important
  • Strong faith in God and belief system
  • Let the past be the past and live happily…with something interesting to wake up to each day.

Throughout the book, the American or Western lifestyle is challenged because of not only our unhealthy lifestyle, but the stress that brings on pre-mature disease and death. It is not hard to look around us at even the young who are carrying loads of fat on their bodies.

In the parts of the world that had a history of longevity, as soon as the Western-style businesses with fast foods became part of their lives, the death rate began to go up.  I highly recommend that for a more thorough understanding of the things listed above, that you give this book a read. I am grateful that a friend recommended it to me.          The Blue Zones

Dr. Amit Sood, MD of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. had this to say about missing life.  “A Mind in Hurry hurries past the presentI am in a hurry when I am getting late. I am in a hurry when I am on time. I find myself hurrying even when I am before time. Hurry for me has become a habit.” 

 

Determine to slow down…for it could be the best thing you ever did.  Take a moment to look at the beautiful clouds, a rainbow, a bird on a branch, a small colored leaf or a child’s sweet smile.  Say a prayer to God and thank Him for all these things. Breathe a fresh breath of life.

Raffaella, of Sardinia, had wisdom beyond her 107 years…for not missing life.  We could call her short statement a God-sent, for we all would like not to miss the good things that life has to offer… simply by rushing around too fast to even notice.

“Life is short. Don’t run so fast you miss it!”

107-year-old-raffaella-monne of Sardinia

Raffaella Monne at 107

 

Music for a stress-free living from Boyer Writes

 


For the Soul and the Body

honey-honeycomb

There is probably nothing sweeter than honey. One may find it interesting that honey is compared to sweet or pleasant words.  The benefits are extraordinary for the soul and for the healing of the body, according to Proverbs 16:24.

Pleasant words are like a honey comb…sweetness to the soul and healing to the body.”

What we say and how we say it may actually effect our health.  We know that angry words fill the body with stress.  Resentments, even if not verbalized, can do the same.  When you feel like striking out or blistering someone with your words, try saying something totally different…a complement or something caring.  See if your whole body seems to relax.

The purest honey is from the honeycomb. Its ingredients include water, pollen, fructose, glucose, organic acids, proteins and enzymes.  As to the benefits of honey or the honey comb on the body, I found this interesting:

“Called the “nectar of the gods” by the ancient Greeks, honey is enjoyed by many today, not only for its health claims, but also for its sweet taste. The healthiest honey is honey straight from the honeycomb, and it is harvested for many uses.   

  • Chewing Honeycomb helps allergy symptoms.
  • Raw honey straight from the comb can help with scarring of the skin, skin infections and as a moisturizer. 
  • Honey is filled with the main amino acids , B,C,D, and E vitamins as well as essential enzymes. 
  • It is a fat fighter because it boosts metabolism and is an instant energy boost.
  • Honey cleans the blood vessels and aids digestion.
  • As a home remedy, it has been used for years for athlete’s foot, arthritis pain, yeast infections, hangovers, sore throats, insomnia, and cuts and burns. “

bees-on-a-honey-comb

 As we look around our world, it is astonishing how our Creator made everything so perfectly.  The tiny bee knows instinctively how to find the flowers where they sip the nectar.  They know how to build the comb where they will make the honey. God’s little creatures know math, science, and much more to do what they do.
 Now let us consider the bee and the amazing hexagons that form the comb.  One may ask, “How do the bees know which dimensions are needed to make this structure?  The hexagon absolutely  perfectly fits in economizing the labor of the bees and the wax needed to construct the comb?”  We know that it is a mathematical truth that there are only three geometrical figures with equal sides that can fit together on a flat surface without leaving gaps: equilateral triangles, squares and hexagons.
 “More than 2,000 years ago, in 36 B.C., a Roman soldier/scholar/writer, Marcus Terentius Varro, proposed an answer, which ever since has been called “The Honeybee Conjecture.” Varro thought there might be a deep reason for this bee behavior. Maybe a honeycomb built of hexagons can hold more honey. Maybe hexagons require less building wax. Maybe there’s a hidden logic here…Two thousand thirty-five years after Marcus Terentius Varro proposed his conjecture, a mathematician at the University of Michigan, Thomas Hales, solved the riddle. It turns out, Varro was right. A hexagonal structure is indeed more compact.”  (Robert Krulwich)

 
In recent years, the honey bees have been dying.  It is absolutely important to protect these little creatures.  The honey bee is a major pollinator of many of our food crops, almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, cranberries, cucumbers, sunflowers, watermelon and many other crops all rely on honey bees for pollination.

 

The importance of the bee is in our sayings: “Busy as a bee”  To get from the flower to the hive that they have made with such care…produce the honey and give mankind and animals a wonderful, sweet food is remarkable in deed.  See the video below on our honey industry…and remember to keep your words pleasant and sweet …for your health’s sake and those around you.    

 

 


TRUST…What is it really?

  • If one looks up the word, TRUST, used as a noun, it has to do with confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence, or reliance.  I’d like to start with the word, “assurance”.   Can we really be assured that we can trust someone or something to be all those words?    Confidence is a very strong word.  It gives the feeling that we do not need to doubt because there is total confidence. 
    If the truth be known, there is probably a little doubt in any of these  words that we equate with trust.
  • Think about this for a moment.  We get in our car and drive somewhere in the world. Here, in front of us in a bridge…perhaps like this one below if we happen to be driving in China, which is not recommended. sidu-river-bridge in China  Hubei ProvinceWhile we are on the subject of bridges…made by human beings; constructed by human beings; maintained by human beings…we might also be driving across the Millau-Viaduct Bridge in France.  This is not for the faint of heart or those who have a fear of heights, because this is considered the world’s highest bridge. millau-viaduct-bridge Tallest in world in France in Massif Central Mts

We get to the airport and once again we are asked to trust:   Trust that the security has been checked correctly and thoroughly; trust the pilot has not had a rough night;  trust that the mechanics have  performed their duties for our safe flight.

I remember getting on a Russian airlines, flying out of Ukraine at a small airport.  The attendant at the gate checked my ticket and passport and we boarded.  The flight crew decided that the runway would be safe enough to take off with holes in the runway and weeds growing out of big ruts.  Having a second thought, he moved the plane over on the grassy area, gunned it and took off… while from inside I watched a very large screw dangle over my head. Immediately I wondered who serviced this plane?   Looking at the man next to me, from Amsterdam, I asked, “Do you think we’ll make it?”   He answered, “I trust we will.”    Oh my, his trust was better than mine. This is only an example of how trusting we are with our lives.  If we were not, we would surely miss the adventure that goes with seeing the world and exploring new places.  Even staying at home in our bed has its risks.  A man in Florida went to bed; a sink hole opened up and swallowed the whole house. (This is true.)   As far as I know they never found him because the sink hole was so deep and this is his grave to this day.

Another one of the words about trust, is “reliance”.  Almost everything in our lives has a reliance on others to do the right thing.  We eat at a restaurant and we rely on the fact that the kitchen is clean and not filled with cockroaches or that the food has been properly refrigerated so that we don’t have an evening of agony from food poisoning.  I usually check out a new restaurant’s bathroom…for a dirty bathroom usually means a dirty kitchen.  This is not for certain, but possible a good connection. It has not worked a few times and tainted food does mean “I think I’m going to die!”  We also rely on those who grow our food to not have a sewer ditch right next to where our vegetables are growing soaking up the water nearest them.   Hopefully as you read this, you are not going soon to your next meal. Trust me…wait a while.

Saying the words, “Trust me” is something we often hear someone say.  I think they mean that we can have confidence in what they are saying or doing.  It is a glib statement that carries little weight…yet we do often “trust”…regardless.

All in all, to trust is a very scary thing.  Even in relationships, we marry the person who promises to love us always.  Many know that those trusts can be broken.  For those who have found the person who also makes their way of life a trust-worthy one, we are most fortunate indeed.

Some of the people we trust the most are those in the medical field.  We want to be certain that the nurse or the lab technician is careful to give the exact test asked for by the doctor as well as the correct results.  When it comes to diagnosis, this is critical.  Our physicians must have up-to-date training and knowledge as  the average person must trust their opinions and proper treatment.

The family of the elderly must be certain that their loved ones are going to be cared for properly when they can not care for themselves. More than once I observed, when my Mother was in an assisted living facility, that she had to trust herself to be given the proper medicines. I had to step in, as her advocate, to assure that mistakes were not being made with her.  Either the nursing attendants were overwhelmed with work or were simply careless when passing out the little cup with several medications.  Once my Mother said, “No, no I don’t get that one.”   It is sad to think of those who are in wheelchairs and mentally unable to challenge those whom they should be able to trust.

Even in faith, we are asked to trust.  One of my favorite verses from the Holy Scriptures is Proverbs 3:5, 6.  “TRUST in the Lord with all your heart.  Lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”

Back to the people we trust everyday: the restaurant owner, the engineer, the pilot, those responsible for our safety around the world and in our homes…those who care about us enough to protect us, I have one thing to say.  Do your jobs diligently and even in the smallest details!    Your job may not be important in your own eyes, but you may be a life saver to others.  There are people out there trusting you.  Never forget it.

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” —Albert Einstein

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There is no hiding the facts…so get real in 2015!

Well, it’s that time again.  People begin to make New Year’s resolutions and the “lose weight” companies come out in droves!   Maybe it is also a time to get real.  Exactly how do I look to others?   What am I doing to myself if:

  • I’m a little overweight…progressively overweight…or very overweight?
  • My blood pressure is on the border line…medium high…very high?
  • My legs feel like they have too much to carry…my feet hurt…my hips and back hurt?

We won’t go on…but you get the picture!     Oh, speaking of pictures.  The internet is full of them that may tell the story better than I can.   Of course, one knows that if you put it out there to be photographed, in today’s media age…there is no hiding!

Here are a few to give us a good start.

men playing chess fat person fat people2

Men, Women, Children…and don’t forget the animals. We thought we would not show any children because they are not all together responsible for their overweight.  It is the parents, of course, who give the food, sets the boundaries, and set the examples.

fat dogThis poor little dog was probably fed from the table or begged for food constantly. His face shows his misery.  Have we had enough?

I can hear the reader saying now, “But…I don’t look like that!”   Neither did these people at one point in their lives.

We often hear of how things “creep” up on us.  Nothing can be truer than the condition that many Americans find themselves these days.

woman with weightsAs for me, I won’t ever look like this woman nor do I want to…but looks aren’t everything.   Health is!   So get out the tape and decide what you need to do to make 2015 a Happy and Healthy New Year.  fat man with tape

 

AFTER POST FOOTNOTE: Upon posting this blog, Stephen Liddell, one of my readers, wrote me a comment which I would like to share. It may be helpful to those wanting a change.  I  am posting my reply to him that may be of some interest to you about losing 25 lbs while in Mongolia.

Comment from Stepehen:
With all respects to those in the photos, I would be ashamed to go out looking like that. For the last 3 Christmas periods I have started by New Year diet 2 weeks early, in mid-late December.

It might sound like a crazy idea especially in the UK where Christmas and New Year is a week long event and myself with a birthday in the middle but really it is the perfect time. Nowhere does the message of Christmas encourage over indulgence. This time of year is already a blessing for its religious message, cultural and childhood traditions… time off work, good shows on the TV etc.

I don’t need the extra happiness of too much good food. Maybe in February when it is still dark and snowy that is the time for chocolate. Perhaps in July when the weather is hot and it seems a good idea to have some ice-creams. Not Christmas though.

Starting an eating plan in December is easier too, it means you’re already in the groove for new year resolutions and you’ve missed out on one of the heavier eating periods of the year. A double bonus!

Last January I started a ‘no sugar diet’ http://stephenliddell.co.uk/2014/01/25/sugar-is-the-new-tobacco-why-are-all-my-healthy-foods-so-full-of-sugar/

which i have stuck to do this day. http://stephenliddell.co.uk/2014/06/17/the-no-sugar-diet-5-months-on/

I did not do much else. As much as I don’t like pigging out, I am definitely not one for the gym or having muscles but rather the old fashion ideas of heating home-cooked wholesome food and doing lots of walking. I was happily surprised that I had lost one or two sizes more by November.

It’s never too late to start and during my 30’s probably lost around 3-4 stone and that has stayed off or reduced further in the last year or two and I haven’t spent a penny on fancy foods or sports equipment and clothing. My 40-42 inch clothes are long since replaced by the 32 or even 30 inch waist on a good day.

I hope someone will write back in 2016 to tell of their good news too!”

My reply to Stephen:

Thanks, Stephen    I’d like to share one of my experiences (and I need to lose about 30 lbs to be at my best).  When I was in Mongolia teaching English, I lost 25 lbs because the food was unfamiliar and while there I did not have any sweets (for 2 months)…as you mentioned about sugar.   When I returned to the States, my first bite of chocolate was like I had eaten  the  entire contents of a  sugar bowl.  It was awful, but of course, I readjusted myself to the love of chocolate….but this definitely tells one something about certain foods.”    Nancy at Boyer Writes


Thanksgiving and the lowly sweet potato

sweet-potatos-in-gardenIt’s orange…and odd shaped. Not the world’s most beautiful vegetable, but one may be surprised at the good it does in this world of violence and discontent.   One report spoke of a third world country where children were going blind.  After the families switched from growing white potatoes to the sweet potatoes, the children’s eyes greatly improved. World Vision shows sweet potato story

 

 

 

 

 

World Vision is a Christian organization that has helped people find hope, health, and a lively hood.   Click here to read the inspirational stories of World Vision

sweet-potatoes2Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A, B6,  vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, Iron, magnesium potassium, natural sugar.   If you know what all these vitamins help in a healthy you…then you are probably thinking about the heart, skin, immune system, and much more.

In our previous blog, we talked about relaxation and it is our wish at Boyer Writes that you are feeling rested and “full-filled” as you enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with friends or family.  As you gather around the table, take a moment to give each person there a chance to say the things of which they are most thankful.  Even if a person is not considered religious, they usually have something to share because everyone knows at least one thing that is a blessing in life.

Just in case you want to add sweet potatoes to your meal, here is a special recipe for you and exactly how to make it.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Click to see video….Ahhhhh the gourmet classic sweet potato


What’s in your food…and where did it come from? READ THE LABELS

super market

Thanksgiving is almost upon us.   The kitchen workers will be busy making our favorite meals for friends and  a family gathering.  Before any of this can happen, we have a trip to the grocery store to make.  Some of the facts on this blog may make one decide to grow a garden really quick….but it is too late. If we plan to eat out at a restaurant…then we have even less control.   Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping.    READ THE LABELS.  

Yes, it takes time to read labels, but you may be surprised at how much of your food is not really produced in the U.S.A or if it is how much of it has made a trip to China and back again.

This is not a pretty or sanitary blog.  It is one of warning.  It is the reality of the deception that is often brought upon the unknowing public.

Where is your food coming from and how safe is it?

Sanitary conditions are totally out of the picture and rarely checked in much of China. What comes to us here in the U.S.A from the slaughter houses or processing plants in other countries, is often a mystery.   (Just a side note: Probably the sickest I have ever been was when I ate in a hotel restaurant in Beijing. Now, I have an idea why.)

Here is an article sent to me that I think is worth reading for it may be very important to your health.

Chinese slaughter house

Chinese slaughter house

Check your food labels and consider these facts:

  • Smithfield Farms, the largest pork
    producing farm in the USA was sold in September to China with the
    unanimous support of its stockholders!! This is the process:
  • The hogs will still be raised in the U.S.A
  • Slaughtered and packaged in China and sent back.
    This includes labels: of Morrell, Eckrich, Krakus, Cudahy,
    Premium Hams, Cook’s, Gwaltney.
  • The same with many chickens. They are shipped to China for processing.
    When they come back all that needs to be labeled is that they WERE RAISED IN THE USA.
  •  The chickens will be all processed and most sold to fast food restaurants for sandwiches,
    along with schools and supermarkets.
  • The China slaughter and processing standards are no where equal to the U.S.A
    What to do:  buy only U.S.A and Canadian clearly labeled.Starkist Tuna…now owned by Korea…in conflict with U.S.A for not producing records on quality.What to do:   Avoid fish that comes from China.
  • Albertson’s  had a 4 day special of 4 bags of frozen tilapia for price of one.  Label read “farm raised”…on back in small print “China”Fish farms in China often are fed raw sewage according to Food Inspectors.  Food color is added and flavorings before shipping to the U.S.A and Canada.Green Giant frozen vegetables are from China.
  • What to do?   Buy Arctic Gardens or Birdseye Garlic:   buy only garlic clearly marked from U.S.A or Canada. China is the largest producer of garlic in the world next to the U.S.    Their garlic is grown in people or chicken poop.
  • Honey     Buy only local honey which is also good for allergies.    Honey is shipped in huge containers from China and repacked in the U.S.A
  • “Our Family”  brand of Mandarin Oranges …from China     Buy Liberty brand.Go to the local farmers’ markets in season and keep a wary eye open the rest of the year.Cosco  sells canned peaches and pears in plastic jar from China.What to do?      Buy GOLD BRAND OR THE DOLE IS FROM CALIFORNIA.“Pacific Salmon” from High Liner and other frozen fish products….from China and Indonesia  with no real regulations on what is fed to fish.    Many Chinese feed fish contain growth hormones and expired antibiotics from humans.    Besides China, beware of products from Vietnam and Philippines.  Steinfeld’s Pickles ….from India
  • No-Name brand canned mushrooms …from Indonesia
  • PRC  also includes Hong Kong
  • Buy American..or Canadian when possible…It’s your health.
  • If the above was not enough….this will break your heart….dogs in China rescued from the slaughter-house. (See article..DOGS RESCUED.)

SAVING the National Holiday of THANKSGIVING from “Grey Thursday”

Shopping on Thanksgiving

The one National Holiday in the U.S.A that transcends all religious faiths…and simply says “Give Thanks” is being pulled away by the greed of America. That holiday is Thanksgiving.  Blame it on the economy if one wants to…getting good buys etc…but there probably is no excuse.  Those who work for the stores that open on Thanksgiving Day can hardly say that they  won’t show up for work because they  value family and tradition over their  needed paycheck.  Some have tried and have been fired. (as in the Pizza Hut manager)

Is Black Friday shopping not enough that a new word is being introduced for shopping on Thanksgiving as “Grey Thursday”?  ( It even has a sad and dismal sound to the name.)   Just how sad may be told by the story below multiplied by thousands.

The national news carried a story of a woman who had taken  her daughter on Thanksgiving Day to a store….waited for hours to be one of the first in line…and finally fed a “Thanksgiving?” lunch to her little girl in the car. Her comment to the reporter was “I am doing it for her.”   Doing what?   At her young age, she is learning that shopping is more important than anything on our special day of Thanks here in America.   Sad, abusive, crazy, ridiculous, unthinking….could be a few words to describe this form of parenting.

I can remember years when I was a single parent, with little income as a teacher, going to garage sales, starting back around Halloween,  and finding the best Christmas gifts to wrap and put under the tree for my three children to have on Christmas morning.( Of course, Grandparents made up for some nice things as well.)  The children always seemed happy and appreciative with their gifts.    We know that the Holy Scriptures tell us  in Proverbs 22:6  ” Direct your children onto the right path,and when they are older, they will not leave it.”   This is true for our 2013 Thanksgiving when  10 happy people held hands , giving a word of thankfulness, and eating together around a table, that I can now afford, and sharing this time together with family and friends.  Handing down tradition takes time and years that are not to be wasted fighting crowds and materialism  with children…or for them.

A young boy waits in the shoe section as a customer tries on a pair of boots at the Macy's Herald Square flagship store, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers are opening on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A young boy waits in the shoe section as a customer tries on a pair of boots at the Macy’s Herald Square flagship store, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year’s biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers are opening on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Taryn Luna, of the Boston Globe,  wrote “More frequently, anti-Thanksgiving-shopping advocates are making their views known through social media networks. Jordana Bishop of Raynham started a Facebook group called “Boycott Shopping on Thanksgiving Day.” The group’s page plays off Santa’s “naughty or nice” list by assigning retailers to one of the two categories based on whether they plan to be open or shut. Bishop said people should realize that when they patronize stores early, it means workers stocking shelves and manning registers are losing out….”

What is all this doing to employees?   Ellen Galinsky also writes, “As a society, we’ve agreed that most of America’s workforce should have key holidays — in this case just one day — to be with family and friends, or just to take a breather from work. Holidays are also up there with vacation days as critical to keeping employees healthy and productive, more so than ever. Our research at the Families and Work Institute shows that the nation’s workforce is more stressed than ever, increasing significantly in recent years. Nearly one-third (32%) of employees report that their work has a primarily negative impact on their lives off the job by draining energy, so they don’t have enough left over for their personal and family life. Our research also shows that those who take vacations and holidays return to work more energized and productive…”

We ask the question…What decision will Americans make to save Thanksgiving now and for future generations?  It is a decision…and a big one. Our culture and our society hangs on the decision each family member makes.  We are a nation worried about violence, mental illness, terrorism…and how we react to these things may be as simple as our thankfulness, values and instead of greed….appreciation for all the things we are blessed with in this country.

Again, we decide.    Should we make a  list of places to avoid and  “shop elsewhere”?   Call it a boycott, if one wants to do so.   It is up to us…the people…

Here is a helpful list of stores to consider when shopping for your holiday gifts:

Major retailers that did not open on this Thanksgiving 2013, but encouraged employees to be with family, include:

  • Apple
  • Burlington Coat Factory
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Cabela’s
  • Costco
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • Marshalls
  • Nordstrom
  • Radio Shack
  • Sam’s Club
  • TJ Maxx
  • Verizon

Stores that DID stay open on Thanksgiving…in case you want to “boycott”.  

  (compiled by Hayley Peterson | Business Insider )    Kmart, Big Lots, Ace Hardware, Family Dollar, Old Navy, Michaels, Toys R Us,  Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s Kohl’s, JC Penny, Sears, Belks, Office Max, Staples, Target, Dick’s sporting Goods.

(Some even stayed open 40+ hours starting on Thanksgiving)    Overnight Scheduled  stores:  Belk, Best Buy, Costco, Dick’s Sporting Goods, GameStop, JC Penny, Kmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Old Navy, Office Max, Sears, Target, Toys Are Us,  Walmart

There were some people who would have loved to be at a family dinner table on Thanksgiving.  They would also be thankful just to be alive….our men and women in Afghanistan and around the world.  A special meal is traditionally made for them where they are…and in some cases the officers serve the enlisted.   Nothing…nothing would take the place of being with family…not even a mall.

Our military at a Thanksgiving table in Afghanistan

Our military at a Thanksgiving table in Afghanistan

 

VIDEO ON STORES REFUSING TO OPEN ON THANKSGIVING


York: The Shambles and International Market

IMG_0403The aromas are almost magical…spices simmering in large pots of onions, mushrooms, and sausages.  Today we visit the International Food Market in York, England.   Located close to the famous Shambles District of the city, people mill around with their families deciding which delicacy should be theirs….breads, chocolate-covered donuts, olives  and much more from every ethnic part of the world.

The Shambles, for hundreds of years, had been the place of meat butchers.  Even then, people would have come to this area to find their fresh meat.  The narrow, cobble-stone streets are now shops with a historic sign or place of some main event that had happened here….such as the martyred young wife and mother, Margaret Clitherow (shown below), who refused to give up her faith that was not sanctioned at the time.

IMG_0420
160px-Margaret_Clitherow In 1586, she was arrested and called before the York assizes for the crime of harboring  Roman Catholic priests. She refused to plead to the case to prevent a trial that would entail her children being made to testify, and therefore being subjected to torture. As a result she was executed by being crushed to death,  being the standard punishment for refusal to plead, on Good Friday 1586. ( I will write more about her another time.)

Now, enjoy the special International Market of York, England.


Florida Orange Juice Industry

Ahh…the beautiful orange!    I can walk outside my door here in Florida and there they are…first a small white blossom that smells so heavenly.  The bees buzz everywhere.   The lovely white blossom turns to a small orange that continues to grow slowly…oh so slowly until they are ready to be picked and juiced.   I have to admit that my husband is better at juicing than I am.  We both love our orange juice for breakfast…or any time.

Not only is orange juice healthy and a great source of vitamin C, but so great in Florida’s warm weather.  While I am taking a look at our Florida history, let’s look at the orange juice industry and find out what it takes to get that orange juice to your table.   Have a glass of golden, delicious….oh so refreshing orange juice!

Click on video below:


A Land of Plenty

We are a land of PLENTY.  Even when buying food for the table is difficult for some, there are  others who  reach into the pantry…taking  donations to the food banks and to the churches who give enough food for many to enjoy this American Holiday of  THANKSGIVING.  Many homeless and out of work people will be fed this holiday.  They will not be forgotten.

As we sit down to a lovely spread…before the football…and the friendly conversation of family members and friends, let us give real, heart-felt thanks for the traditions of this country; freedom of religion and of prayer…and a great, beautiful world, set in our solar system. We must not forget the big picture of who we are and how fragile our existence may be…giving thanks for each day. 

  We thank our God, who has given a fertile land to grow food and hard-working people to produce it.  We give thanks for those who bring it to our grocery stores, clean and neatly presented.  We thank the cooks who work for days to bring to the table a special meal. 

Yes, in ALL THINGS, GIVE THANKS.     HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Key Lime Pie for Summer!

Key Lime Pie

Perhaps the best pie for summer is the Key Lime Pie.  Here is a recipe for you to try.  Remember, true key lime pie is either white or pale yellow, not green.  You can either make the meringue  for the top or not….suit yourself and ENJOY! 

Graham-Cracker Crust for KEY LIME PIE 

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) (12 crackers) graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) canola oil

Filling 

  • 1 can(s) (14-ounce) nonfat sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup(s) low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoon(s) freshly grated lime zest, preferably Key lime
  • 1/2 cup(s) (4-5 limes) fresh lime juice, preferably Key lime
  • 2 tablespoon(s) water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) unflavored gelatin

Meringue 

  • 2 tablespoon(s) dried egg whites (see Tips & Techniques), reconstituted according to package directions
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • Lime slices for garnish

Directions    KEY LIME PIE 

  1. To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place graham cracker crumbs, butter, egg white and oil in a medium bowl. Blend with your fingertips until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture in an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  3. To prepare filling: Whisk condensed milk, yogurt, lime zest, and juice in a medium bowl. Stir water and gelatin in a small heatproof cup or bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high until the gelatin has completely dissolved but the liquid is not boiling, 20 to 30 seconds. (Alternatively, bring 1/2 inch water to a gentle simmer in a small skillet. Set the bowl with the gelatin mixture in the simmering water until the gelatin has dissolved completely.) Stir the gelatin mixture, then whisk into the lime mixture. Set that bowl over a larger bowl of ice water, stirring occasionally, until it begins to thicken, 15 to 20 minutes. Scrape the filling into the pie shell and refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
  4. To prepare meringue and finish pie: Position oven rack about 6 inches below the broiler; preheat broiler.
  5. Beat reconstituted egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue mixing until the egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks. Blend in vanilla.
  6. Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, sealing to the edge of the crust and decoratively swirling on top. Broil (leaving the oven door ajar and watching very carefully to prevent burning) until the meringue is lightly browned on top, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve garnished with lime slices.