Ice Cream for Breakfast

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown.

A friend has forwarded to me the information that (get ready) February 18 is “Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast” day. According to one story,  E.I.C.F.B. originated to increase awareness about childhood cancer, and to commemorate the short life of a little girl named Malia Grace, who lived from February 18, 2001 to Dec 7, 2010.  “First celebrated by a group of close friends to commemorate her life and creativity, Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day went on to become a day to honor all the children who have or are battling childhood cancer.  It exploded onto the scene, with thousands of people from all over the world taking part and spreading the message to thousands more.”

Happily, this year February 18 falls on a Sunday, when many of us have more time to hang out with our family, our pets, etc., and indulge.

I also came upon a different site:    This article relates that a mother named Florence started the trend to cope with the boredom experienced by her six children. The next year her kids remembered, and it got to be a tradition. And “thanks to Florence’s grandchildren, who have traveled extensively — Ice Cream for Breakfast Day has been celebrated in countries all over the world, from Germany, to Nepal, to as far as Namibia.”

Whichever story you relate to, enjoy! As the t-shirt says, “Life is short. Eat dessert first.”

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

What else should we have for breakfast that doesn’t usually come to mind?

Turn of Phrase

On this date in the year 600, Pope Gregory the Great decreed that the proper thing to say when someone sneezed was “God bless you”. I told this to a friend, a practicing  Catholic, who said ” Who died and put him in charge!? Why are we still listening to him? We should find something new to say!” I was at a loss for her being somewhat offended by Pope Gregory, but I found her response delightful.

What are some of your favorite (or not so favorite turns of phrase)?  Make up a new one if you can.

 

Everything Old is New Again

Husband read this to me the other night. It is from Ron Chernow’s biography of Ulysses S. Grant. He is describing a 19th century railroad baron. Remind you of anyone we know?

With his handsome blond mustache, bloated frame, and  diamond rings, the flashy Jim Fisk was the antithesis of the saturnine Gould. The son of a Vermont peddler, he collected prostitutes and chorus girls no less promiscuously than he bought railroads and steamships and exulted in the attention his flamboyance aroused. Such was his roguish charm that people were captivated even as they were horrified by his total lack of scruples. As George Templeton Strong sketched him: ‘Illiterate, vulgar, unprincipled, profligate, always making himself conspicuously ridiculous by some piece of flagrant ostentation, he was, nevertheless, freehanded with his stolen money, and possessed, moreover, a certain magnetism of geniality that attracted to him people who were not particular about the decency of their associates ‘.   Chernow, R. (2017),  p 673.  Grant. Penguin Press: New York.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  What trends from the past would you like to see again?

Faulty Sidewalks

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown.

A couple of weeks ago our neighbor, while out walking her dog, went down on glare ice – that sort of fall where you are suddenly flat on your back staring at the sky, and don’t know how the he** you got there. This was worse than usual though, as she cracked her skull on the ice. Pamela actually passed out for a bit; there was a lot of bleeding, a trip to the ER, and a concussion. She’s almost back to normal now, but is taking an afternoon nap (which is tricky at work), and was told she must not hit her head again. Just saw her (carefully) walking the dog for the first time today.

Traveling on foot is particularly treacherous in this season, due to a lot of melting and freezing. And here in Winona, we keep getting a new dusting of snow, which is fine in some places but hides the ice in others. I fell last week after a concert, because of an uneven sidewalk that wasn’t really visible – “just” went down on my knees, but was OK mostly.

Have you had any really bad falls, either out- or indoors?

Got any tips for prevention?

Carnival

Today is Shrove Tuesday, when all our sins are forgiven, and when we need to eat pancakes and all the cream  before Lent. Husband and I celebrated early and had Norwegian waffles on Saturday.  Shrove  is the past tense of shrive, which means to confess one’s sins, repent, and be forgiven and absolved. Pancakes are powerful. Germans eat pastries called Fastnachts for the same effect.

We visited Montreal several summers and stayed in the Old Port. There we purchased carnival masks made in Venice in a lovely book store near the Notre Dame  cathedral.  We tried to find Renaissance Commedia dell’arte masks instead of the  fantastical masks you can find in more commercial venues.  We managed to get a zanni mask. A zanni is a servant who sometimes has a long  nose. The longer his nose, the more ignorant he is. The mask reminds me of a plague mask. His name is the derivation of our English word “zany”.

A couple of Harlequin (Arlechinno) masks. He is another zanni, but with a shorter nose. He is a somewhat clever servant character:

 

And two Columbine (Columbina) masks.  She is Harlequin’s love interest and a very perky, very clever servant.

 

Our local Catholic School district has  a major fund raiser they call Mardi Gras every year in February. It involves games, entertainment, and lots of good food. It is open to the community and region.  People are most unhappy since the new bishop in Bismarck decided a couple of years ago that all the money raised had to be sent to the diocese, and he would decide how much of the money should get sent back to the local Catholic schools and how much would be used for diocesan expenses.  Sounds like a perfect Commedia plot.  I am sure the clever servants would get all the money back, further any thwarted love interests, and show the bishop to be a fool.

What does the word carnival mean to you?  What is the appeal wearing a mask? What kind of mask would you like to wear?

On Being Funny in Unfunny Places

I will retire in 2021. I set as my goal for the next three years to be as appropriately funny at work as I can.  I love my agency.  We have had a rather rough time over the past couple of years. We are understaffed and stretched to provide mental health and addiction services to an increasing number of people. There are new service initiatives and an  electronic health care  record system that will  start soon. Change is always difficult in government, even when it is positive change.  To complicate matters, in the past two years, five employees have been summarily  escorted off the premises and ordered to not return. This included our top administrator, two senior supervisors, someone from my department, and an administrative assistant.  It has been a little grim. We need cheering up.

I find that pointing out the absurd,  the silly, and the comically sweet  goes  over quite well.  I never tease or get personal. I  find that humor seems to liberate people and makes them bolder.  We need our staff to not be afraid of being leaders in their daily work.  No one seems to be annoyed with me yet. I alternate humor with serious discussion and sound advice.

How do use humor in your daily life? When does humor work the best? When doesn’t it work?

Gold, Silver, Bronze

I didn’t grow up watching sports. We didn’t follow any teams and even though my parents were avid tennis players, we never watched tennis either. None of my sisters nor I did any sports except what little we were required to do in phy ed.

So it was a surprise to me when I first watched some Olympic coverage in college that I enjoyed it. Not enough to follow sports throughout the years, but more than enough to spend the two weeks of the Olympics in front of the television.  Sports that I would NEVER watch any other time seem interesting during the Olympics (think bob sled, pole vaulting, skiing, swimming).

As a young married in Milwaukee, in a teeny apartment, wasband and I were excited to watch the 1980 Winter Olympics but we had a teen little black & white television. To celebrate the Olympics we splurged with a Rent-a-Center color console for two weeks.  It took up most of the living room, but we really enjoyed it and watched the Olympic coverage constantly.  After the Olympics, back the tv went.

These days I actually watch a couple of channels at a time. Men’s team ice skating on one channel and downhill skiing and luge on another; I switch back and forth at the commercials or whenever the commentators get verbose. I don’t really have a big preference for either summer or winter Olympics.  I have favorite sports in each, but nothing that tips the balance for me one way or the other.

What gets a gold medal in your world this week?

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