National Cocktail Day

Sooo many cocktail possibilities exist. Plus, you can create your own. Not being a current fan of hard liquor, I do recall some truly fun cocktails. A piña colada on a hot summer day or a frozen strawberry daiquiri or a perfect, icy margarita still come to mind as favorites.


Personally, I opt for the original Harry’s Bar Bellini. In Venice, Italy, they serve it up in what we might think of as a juice glass. But you can serve it up in stemware and garnish as desired.



Simple and basic, the Bellini starts with white peach puree and a cold, bubbly prosecco wine. (Okay, some places take a Super Shortcut “clear” approach and simply pour champagne into a glass with some peach liquor.) What many folks do not realize is that it also includes a touch of raspberry puree, which balances out the potential uneven sweetness of various peaches, while adding a slightly rosy glow to the beverage. While the main two ingredients are easy to find, the same cannot be said for raspberry puree. So, you can push your ripe berries through a fine sieve orrrrr try my Super Simple fix. All I ever do now is stir a little raspberry sorbet into the peach puree. Make a family friendly Bellini by replacing prosecco with ginger ale. Seriously Super Simple and delightfully delish!

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This is National Chips and Dip Day!

Sorry, but I did not realize this was not celebrated every day. Chips and Dips anchor nearly every Happy Hour we serve. Some are fancy. Some are sassy. Some are colorful. Some are hot. Some are cold. Some are cheesy. Etc., etc., etc.


The all-time champion is the old-fashioned California Dip. Yup… 1 container of sour cream and 1 envelope of dry onion soup mix.  Serve it up with homemade chips, salty Ruffles, or a kettle-fried varietal. Many have munched on my onion dip, insisting that I must add some secret ingredients, as it tastes so different from when they’ve made it at home.


No secret ingredient, but I always share a not-so-secret technique. Stir your soup mix into the sour cream and scoop it all back into the sour cream container, but do this 24 hours ahead of serving time. This allows the moisture in the sour cream to fully rehydrate the dried onions, while also letting the flavors marry beautifully. Expect no leftovers. Yummy!

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Let Love Live Large!



“It didn’t matter how big our house was; it mattered that there was love in it.”

— Peter Buffett (1958 –  )
American musician



Sir Ronald and I feel mightily blessed. We have loving family and friends. Our home is often… okay, usually… overflowing with our tribe… our ohana… our dearest friends and family. Sometimes we can go spend time with them, and sometimes they come spend time with us.



This winter, during a time when we were not traveling, we have enjoyed an especially love-filled home. From both near and far, loved ones have filled our home.


We just enjoyed an especially fulfilling span of days. Family, including the grandchildren, kept us flying!!! Adam and Caiti also introduced us to our newest granddaughter.





Love and laughter reign supreme! May your days feel equally blessed!

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Take a Bite Out of National Crunchy Taco Day

Soft tacos are fine, but today we celebrate the satisfying crunchy texture and fun of crispy tacos. Choose your fillings to suit your happy little taste buds! Go for traditional beef with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, diced avocados, sour cream, taco sauce, and jalapeños, if you so choose. Or switch out the beef for chicken or shredded pork. I also love crunchy fish or shrimp tacos, especially when jazzed up with a fresh mango or peach salsa and a nice slaw. Pile on whatever veggies, fruits, or legumes you love, too. Try roasted corn, black beans, grilled sweet pepper slices, sweet onions, refried beans, diced fresh pineapple (or other fruit), sliced radishes, grilled portobello mushroom slices, chopped fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Anything goes! Use your imagination.

One must for me is plenty of melty, but mild cheese (to avoid overpowering the other filling flavors.)  I start by sprinkling shredded Monterey Jack cheese in the bottom of my crispy, hot taco shell. Then I add the hot protein, followed by various toppings, a favorite sauce, and more cheese! Some rice and refried beans on the side never hurt either. And some fresh tortilla chips and a fresh salsa make a great starter.

I need a taco now! And I just happen to have a couple avocados ready to slice. Enjoy this Taco Tuesday along with Crunchy Taco Day!

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International Day of Happiness

This is not just one of the thousands of silly holidays on the calendar. On July 12, 2012, a United Nations resolution officially proclaimed March 20th as the International Day of Happiness. The intent was “recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.”

More than 20 years later, we can all agree that we very much need a far kinder, more respectful, and happier world. Kindness takes no money… and just the tiniest touch of effort. While many are struggling through a plethora of problems in life, we can and should still remind ourselves not to take it out on others, especially those closest to us. It can become so easy to take our loved ones and besties for granted.

To anyone I may have insulted in a moment of crass self-centered insanity, I sincerely apologize. To anyone for whom I may have overlooked an opportunity to remind you of your worth and precious value, please know I am singing that fact loudly!

I am mindful of my foibles and faux pas. I will continue to work harder to be kinder and more tolerant. I regularly strive to remind myself of everything for which I give thanks and everyone for whom I am grateful.

I find that simple acts and words of kindness return their value tenfold. Being nice to other people cannot help but bring happiness to them and ourselves.

On this day and every day, may you always give and find happiness.

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Sometimes You’ve Just Got to Laugh!


This is one of those days… National Let’s Laugh Day. I like it. Laughter is infectious… in all the right ways! Everyone needs a mood uplift now and then. So, go ahead and share a giggle or a guffaw. Here are a few silly ones to get you started.





What do you call a lazy kangaroo?




            A pouch potato


I used to run a dating service for chickens, but I was struggling to make hens meet.



What do you call it when a snowman throws a tantrum?





A meltdown


What do you call a fake noodle?

An impasta


A termite walks into the neighborhood bar and says, “So, is the bar tender here?”


And now some delightful Points to Ponder.

(I wonder who has time to sit around and think of these things.)

The ability to speak several languages is an asset, but the ability to keep your mouth shut in any language is priceless.


Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.

Happiness is not having to set the alarm clock.


When I get a headache I take two aspirin and keep away from children just like the bottle says.


Just once, I want the prompt for username and password to say, “Close enough.”


Becoming an adult is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.


If you see me talking to myself, just move along. I’m self-employed. We’re having a meeting.


“Your call is very important to us. Please enjoy this 40-minute flute solo”.


Does anyone else have a plastic bag full of plastic bags, or is it just me?


I hate it when I can’t figure out how to operate the iPad and my tech support guy is asleep. Okay… Okay… He’s 5 and it’s past his bedtime.


Today’s 3-year-olds can switch on laptops and open their favorite apps. When I was 3, I ate mud.


Tip for a successful marriage: Don’t ask your wife when dinner will be ready while she’s mowing the lawn.


So, you drive across town to a gym to walk on a treadmill?


I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes five years in a row.


I decided to stop calling the bathroom “John” and renamed it “the Jim.” I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


Old age is coming at a really bad time.


If God wanted me to touch my toes, He would’ve put them on my knees.


Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven’t met yet.


Why do I have to press one for English when you’re just going to transfer me to someone I can’t understand anyway?


You don’t need anger management. You need people to stop pissing you off.


Your people skills are just fine. It’s your tolerance for idiots that needs work.


“On time” is, when you get there.


Even duct tape can’t fix stupid – but it sure does muffle the sound.


It would be wonderful if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes, then come out wrinkle-free…and three sizes smaller.


Lately, you’ve noticed people your age are so much older than you.


Yes, indeed. Several had me laughing so hard, tears came to my eyes. Have a laughter-filled day!

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Character Building

Image by Jiao Tang

“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.”

— James A. Froude (1818 – 1894)
English historian and editor

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Irish Fun Facts

Today is a great day to celebrate Irish fun facts. Ireland is more than whisky, beer, rain, and green hillsides. But, speaking of beer, in 1759 Arthur Guinness signed a lease for the land on which the Guinness Brewery stands. That lease is still in effect, as its term was 9,000 years.

More tidbits… You can see the Northern Lights in Ireland.

Halloween was invented in Ireland.

Ireland is home to more red-haired people than any other country.

Irish rugby teams regularly rank among the best in the world.

The place with the longest name in Ireland is Muckanaghededauhaulia. (Go ahead, say that three times… fast.)

Ireland is the only nation with a musical instrument as its national symbol. It’s the Gaelic harp.

There are some 30,000 standing castles or castle ruins in Ireland. (And, yes, I have kissed the Blarney Stone at the famed Blarney Castle.)

Ireland is named after a goddess. In Old Irish, she was known as Eriu… Eire in modern Gaelic. She and her two goddess sisters looked out for Ireland’s general well-being.

The O’ in Irish names means “descendant of.”

The shamrock is not a symbol of Ireland. The Anglicised form of “seamróg” (young clover) is, however, linked to St. Patrick, who is often depicted preaching while holding a shamrock.

Last, but not least, St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. Born in Roman-Britain, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and sold into slavery to tend sheep at age 16. He later returned as a missionary and is credited with the Christianization of Ireland in the 5th Century. His name was Maewyn Succat, but Patrick became his name when he was ordained as a priest. St. Patrick’s color was blue, not green. The transition to green is thought to have been the result of connecting symbolically with clover. March 17th is the date on which it is believed that St. Patrick died in 460 AD.

I have a little Irish blood from both my parents, but on this day of days, we are all a bit of Irish. We are also entitled to dish out a bunch of blarney. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Freedom of Information Day


“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”

— James Madison (1751-1836)
4th U.S. President

Per the American Library Association, March 16th, the birthday of the 4th President of the United States, is celebrated as National Freedom of Information Day. President James Madison is widely regarded as the Father of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He was also the foremost advocate of openness in government. This day serves as a reminder of the importance of the idea of every citizen’s right to know the facts related to the government. Madison was one of the people who dedicated his life to giving power to the people and making democracy stronger for it.

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National World Speech Day

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”

— Plato (428-348 BC)
Ancient Greek philosopher

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Commonwealth Day in Canada

Annually, the 2nd of March commemorates the Commonwealth of Nations as a show of solidarity and a time to renew vows of international cooperation. Originally called Empire Day, as a nod to the British Empire, this is noted as a time to address global issues of the 2 billion-plus people who constitute the nations of former British colonies.


Though Canada celebrates this day, and the U.S. does not, I will take this day to celebrate all my Canadian friends.  En route to their winter escape in Florida, Beverly and Jeremy Moody, a couple of our dearest friends from the Toronto area joined us for a brief visit.



One highlight was touring the famed Biltmore in Asheville, NC. Such fun we had in our time together, sharing memories, catching up on family happenings, bemoaning our nations’ political meanderings, and celebrating being alive.

Enjoy Commonwealth Day!

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Recognize National Good Samaritan Day

Image by John Hain


The term “Good Samaritan” is derived from the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 of the Bible. Regardless of our circumstances, we all have the ability to choose to fill or not fill this day and all of our days with acts and words of kindness.



“How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”

– Morgan Freeman (1937 –  )
American actor

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It Takes All Kinds

“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane, and the pessimist the parachute.”

— Gil Stein (1928 – 2022)
American lawyer, law instructor, and 1st NHL president

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Recognize Your Middle Name

Photo by Artem Sapegin

We celebrate Middle Name Pride Day on the first Friday of the first full week in March. In 2023 it takes place on March 10.

Great care is taken when parents and grandparents name a child. Sometimes a first and middle name have meanings both on their own and together. A middle name often commemorates a current or past relative or godparent. And, as with first names, middle names have meanings.

My middle name is Ann, which is a shortened version of the name Hannah. The meaning is “grace” and “favored by God.” (I must note that “grace” in my case does not reflect any tendency toward being graceful.) As with many original names, the meanings are derived from the Bible. So, take a moment to find the meaning of your middle name, if you have one… or the reason it was chosen for you.

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Popcorn Is for Popcorn Lovers

While we salute National Popcorn Day on January 19th, March 10th is Popcorn Lovers Day. And I love popcorn, so count me in… whether it be buttered, caramelized, cheesy, kettle corn, or chocolate drizzled. Popcorn, a GMO and gluten-free treat, is also a high-fiber and antioxidant whole grain, which can reduce our risk of diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. (Okay, for the best health benefits, we must forgo all the yummy toppings.)

Popcorn has been a staple food for over 5,000 years. In the 1800s popcorn was eaten as cereal, served with milk and sugar. Charles Cretors invented the first commercial popcorn machine in 1885. Pillsbury invented microwaveable popcorn in 1982.

Here are a couple of interesting popcorn tidbits: Popcorn’s 4% water content is what causes it to pop when heated. Nebraska grows the most popcorn in America… 250 million pounds per year! And the Cancel Culture was alive in 1949 when popcorn was banned (temporarily) from movie theatres, because the snack was too loud.

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This is National Crab Day (orrrrr National Crabmeat Day)

Cathy’s Crabcakes with Horseradish Drizzle

I love crabmeat… in the shells or out! Serve it up, and I’ll chomp it down!

A long-time favorite of mine is the Crab Cake. However, I prefer to make them without tons of breading or other fillers. Crab and veggies, please. Give it a go!

Cathy’s Crab Cakes
Enjoy these gems between favorite sandwich buns, on roasted corn, or atop a salad. This recipe will make 6-8 large cakes or many mini, tapas-sized portions. They are great on their own, as a brunch Benedict, an appetizer, or entrée item.

3 T butter
1 c finely chopped sweet onion
1/3 c finely chopped celery
¼ c each: chopped sweet red pepper & minced fresh parsley
1/3 – ½ c mayonnaise
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 T Dijon mustard
1 tsp each: Worcestershire sauce & lemon juice
1-2 T Old Bay seasoning
1-2 dashes Mike’s Red Hot or tabasco (or cayenne pepper), optional
6-8 Ritz crackers, crumbled (or ½ c panko)
1 lb lump crab meat, picked clean of shells
1 lb claw crab meat, picked clean of shells
Sauté onion and celery in butter over med heat for 2 min; cool. Stir in remaining ingredients, except for crab. Then gently fold in crabmeat to keep the chunks. Form into patties, 2/3” thick. Place in single layer on platter, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving time, brown in butter 3-5 min per side over medium heat. Serve warm.

Cathy’s Crab Cake Drizzle
In 2002, I started making this sauce to top the crab cakes or serve on the side with appetizer-sized cakes.
2 heaping T each: Dijon mustard & prepared horseradish
1 heaping T each: mayonnaise & minced ginger
2 T white wine
3 T lemon juice
Mix together in small bowl. Drizzle generously in a crisscross pattern over hot grilled, baked, sauteed, or broiled crab cakes. Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper.

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Celebrate National Fresh Celery Month!

First discovered in Europe’s Mediterranean region, celery has plenty of health and healing benefits. High in fiber, vitamin K, folate, and potassium, celery is good for digestion and lowers blood pressure. It’s a dieter’s delight with a mere 14 calories per cup.


Celery is delicious both cooked or raw, and we can eat it all, from the roots to the leaves. It’s used in salads, casseroles, and soups.  In fact, along with onions and carrots, celery forms the famed Mirepoix, the French base that flavors soups and stews. Another favorite is celery stalks (& either ranch or bleu cheese dressing) alongside Buffalo-style chicken or cauliflower. And stuffing for a duck, chicken, or turkey would be foul without celery in the dressing mix. (Yes, pun intended.) Further, what’s a Bloody Mary cocktail without its celery stalk stir stick? Nada, Baby!


So, let’s get cooking!

Stuffed Celery
Try celery filled with peanut (or other nut) butter; as a dipper in place of (or in addition to) chips and crackers. Or stuff some celery sticks with a favorite hummus or softened cream cheese to which you’ve stirred your favorite herbs or some dry ranch dressing mix. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, if you like. Or add a slice of turkey or ham to each stick.


Chicken Salad
Add finely diced celery and sweet onion to your diced cooked chicken, and mayonnaise to make chicken salad. You can also add favorite herbs, dried cranberries, halved seedless grapes, diced apples, pears, or peaches, various nuts, and sesame and poppy seeds to the mix. Let it all chill for at least one hour (& preferably overnight) before serving. Use in sandwiches or mounded atop a frilly lettuce leaf.

Creamy Celery Soup
2 T butter
12-16 large celery stalks, sliced crosswise in ½“ pieces (keep some leaves for garnish)
7-8 trimmed broccoli florets
1 lg sweet onion, chopped
1 medium baking potato, peeled and diced small
Kosher salt & ground white pepper
6 cups water
2 T fresh lemon or lime juice
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over med heat. Add sliced celery, broccoli, onion, and potato; season with salt & pepper. Let cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring a few times. Add the water; bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium. Let cook 15-20 more minutes. Process with an immersion blender till smooth, stir in citrus juice & season with additional salt to suit your taste. Serve, garnishing each bowl with celery or other leaves or a cooked broccoli floret with a dab of sour cream and a crispy bread stick.

Seafood Salad
To add a lovely crunchy texture, stir some finely diced celery into a favorite shrimp or lump crabmeat salad. And for color, try adding some finely diced or chopped sweet red or orange bell pepper, too. For seasonings, keep it simple. For example, a little lemon or lime juice and ground pepper work perfectly. For some extra zest, add some Old Bay seafood seasoning.

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Flipping for National Flapjack Day!

You say pancake. I say flapjack! They’re both the same. This is also true for hotcakes and griddlecakes, which are types of pancakes.

Call it whatever you like. On this day we celebrate the mahhhvelous breakfast treat.

Of course, if we are in the United Kingdom, a flapjack is not a pancake at all. It’s an oat-based baked item, somewhat like a granola bar. And if we’re French, our pancakes will be more apt to be exceptionally thin and delicate. They are called crepes.  (Yummy!)


Because I am in the U.S., I’ll stick with pancakes on this day. Go for a traditional presentation with a pat of butter and some warmed, 100% pure maple syrup on top. Or try a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar, a variety of fruits or berries, and whipped cream.  A favorite of mine is adding blueberries and/or freshly diced peaches in the batter. Oh, yeah! Chocolate chips are pretty remarkable, too… with or without sliced bananas and bacon bits. Various nuts and praline bits also blend beautifully.

Yummmmm…. I think my griddle is ready to cook some flapjacks. Bye for now!

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Attitude Counts!

Mom always exudes a positive attitude. When, as a child, I was the most exasperating and driving her crazy, she could always manage to answer the ringing telephone with a distinct smile in her voice. When I questioned how she did that, she would remind me that the person calling was not the one misbehaving. Good point. Though I admit that I do not always succeed, she taught me well to claim the positive and put my best foot forward. Thanks, Mom!

 “You can make your bed with a smile, or you can make your bed with a frown, but you’re going to make your bed.”

— Glenna Burnham  (1930 –  )
My All-time Great American Mother
As quoted in 2005’s “A Healthier You!” and “Healthy Thinking Habits” in 2015

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Reconnect and Celebrate!

Al, Bill, and Ron



“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

— Walter Winchell (1887 – 1972)
American columnist




We have digressed into a very disturbing and dangerous “cancel culture” in America. I get it. It is difficult to NOT cancel some folks who seem screamingly “off base”… aka not parallel with our beliefs of what is right and logical. We are all mere humans. Give yourself a break.

Jim Lurvey



Challenge: If you’ve ever hit the “Cancel” button on someone because they think differently than you do, let today be the day to become a real friend and reconnect.

If you have not canceled someone… or even if you have… celebrate a real friend today.



Jim & Janice



I celebrate James Lurvey on this day. He has been a real friend for many years, along with his beloved Janice for the past 11 years. AND today is his birthday! Happy Birthday, Jim!

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Ignorance or Knowledge?

Photo by Christine Sponchia

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge; it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

— Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
English naturalist, proposed the theory of natural evolution

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National If Pets Had Thumbs Day!

If our furry, 4-legged friends had thumbs, I think they could paws-itively give us a run for our money when it comes to many skills we may presume are out of their range. They would change the TV channel to “Animal Planet” or “Woof World.” They could hold their water dish or reach for a goblet instead. They might choose to play the piano or the guitar. They could snap a selfie, send you a text message (with a few typos, of course), or speed dial the ASPCA if we held out on treats. I’m barking to the choir here… they’d simply open the box and take out their own treats.

Just imagine the purrrrfectly amazing new tricks they could do. They could hitch a ride, play poker, and thumb wrestle to see whose turn it was to walk the human.

Our Newfie (Miles) tried to write letters to his human while she was away at school. That lack of thumbs thing was troublesome, until he convinced me to hold the pencil for him. Then, of course, he could simply dictate.  He did this so often that his letters evolved into chapters, and he published his first book. This is true.  “Dog Days in the Life of the “Miles-Mannered Man” by Miles Martin is a collection of tall tales, wagging tales, and tantalizing treats.


A must-read for all dog fans, the “Miles-Mannered Man” dishes up “bone-i-fied” servings of poignant, relatable observations, hysterical antics, and purely canine philosophies we all can follow. Miles captures hearts with his first-paw accounts of Life as it is and always should be.

In digital and paperback formats, his book digs up 40 chapters of warm, furry fun. Plus, Miles insisted on including 4 free bonuses in every book. (He says that you deserve these treats because you’ve been good.)

For the month of March, the paperback (ISBN 978-0977071135) is marked down by $7 to $12.99. The $5.99 ebook on Amazon (ASIN B00MR3I4NI) is just $2.99 all of March.  So, fetch a copy for the pet fan you love in celebration of National If Pets Had Thumb Day… and just think of the paws-sibilities. (More book titles and audiobooks can be found on my website

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American Citizenship Day

Image by John Hain


“Remember, remember always, that all of us, you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”

—  Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945)
American politician & lawyer
32nd president of the United States

“Nearly all Americans have ancestors who braved the oceans – liberty-loving risk takers in search of an ideal – the largest voluntary migrations in recorded history… Immigration is not just a link to America’s past; it’s also a bridge to America’s future.”

—  George H.W. Bush (1924 – 2018)
American politician, diplomat, & businessman
41st president of the United States

Photo by Ana Toledo

March 2nd is the day each year on which we commemorate the day that Puerto Ricans born after April 25, 1898, were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917. President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act on March 2nd.

Puerto Ricans had been Spanish nationals until the Spanish-American War in 1898. Spain ceded the island to the U.S. under the Treaty of Paris.

Photo by Fabian Fauth

This day also serves as a reminder to all of us to appreciate the value of our citizenship. Among other rights, citizenship entitles people to vote in Federal elections. It generally provides priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this country.

Most of us live so readily with freedom, that we may give it little thought. Those working hard to come to this country know we would be foolish to take our freedom for granted.

“You who have been born in America, I wish I could make you understand what it is like [to] not be an American – [to] not have been an American all your life — and then, suddenly, with the words of a man in flowing robes to be one, for that moment and forever after. One moment you belong with your fathers to a million dead yesterdays — the next you belong with America to a million unborn tomorrows.”

— George Magar Mardikian (1903 – 1977)
Armenian-born American restauranteur, chef, author, and philanthropist

“I received a letter just before I left office from a man. I don’t know why he chose to write it, but I’m glad he did. He wrote that you can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German, an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan and other countries. But he said anyone, from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.”

— Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)
American politician & actor
40th president of the United States

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National Peanut Butter Lovers Day!

If you love peanut butter, it can become its own food group! Enjoy it creamy or chunky straight out of its jar. Or add it to smoothies, snacks, sandwiches, or Asian stir-fries.

One of the first recipes I recall Mom teaching my sister and me to make was peanut butter cookies. She was teaching us basic techniques of measuring ingredients and, in particular, how to cream ingredients together. For our little arms, I remember thinking we would never get the butter and sugars smooth. Of course, in our rush, we had forgotten to bring the butter to room temperature. Yup, she taught us a good lesson in planning and preparation.

Back in college, I then worked up a Super Simple shortcut. It’s still great today for folks who don’t bake enough to keep the standard ingredients around their kitchens or have tiny kitchens, as in college apartments.

Do remember to bring your butter to room temperature first! And if peanut butter is not your “thing,” you can also do this with almond butter or any other… but this is Peanut Butter Lovers Day.

Super Simple Peanut Butter Cookies
¼ c butter, softened to room temp
½ c packed brown sugar
1 large or ex-lg egg
12‑oz jar peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
1 vanilla or yellow cake mix

Combine ingredients in order given, blending completely after each addition.  Shape into 1″ balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten with a fork in a crisscross pattern.  Bake 8‑10 min at 350°F.  Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

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Happy 80th Birthday David Zamichow!

Anyone in New Hampshire in the mid-1980s may well remember local television exploding into a new era. New York television advertising executive, David Zamichow arrived as WMUR-TV’s new general manager in 1983. Smart, determined, and as visionary as they come, he then began orchestrating Channel 9’s transformation as skillfully as the finest symphony’s conductor. WMUR grew from a station that often had ABC wishing the network could disassociate completely into a station they touted as an example for all affiliates to follow.

David Zamichow launched many young careers into journalism and beyond, encouraged staff to be their best, and involved the station in many charitable and cultural endeavors. He sent teams to cover major events from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, CA, covering Presidents and Popes… and internationally, from the Panama Canal to the opening of the Berlin Wall and the Superpower Summit in Moscow. His tenacity and team leadership developed programming that lifted WMUR from 4th to 1st place in New Hampshire over the bigger Boston market stations.

Named 1988’s Broadcaster of the Year, David Zamichow led Channel 9 into a solid first-place NH viewership that soon topped all Boston stations’ combined viewership in the Granite State, and ultimately into 3rd place in Boston itself, previously unheard of from an “out-of-town” station. After a decade in New Hampshire, he then charged full steam ahead for the next 2 decades transforming Toledo, Ohio’s WTVG to similar success.

David Zamichow was both the toughest and finest boss I ever had. He made miracles out of a minuscule budget. He knew management, sales, production, engineering, and news. He could challenge us to the point of great exasperation, although I am certain that we caused him far more fathoms of infuriating frustration than we can imagine. But he believed in us, our team, and our potential. Unlike most managers, he could also lift us to be the very best we could be. Sure, he made us work CRAZY hard, but he also helped us sparkle and shine. He often shouldered the blame for big messes and gave us all the credit for super successes. David Zamichow has a heart of gold.

Few people positively touch so many lives so profoundly. We will never forget. Thank you. Bless you.


Happiest 80th Birthday wishes from us all to you, David Zamichow!


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Love, Strength, and Courage

“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.”

— Lao-Tzu (571 BC – trad. 5th century BC)
Chinese philosopher

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Photo by Jon Tyson


“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

— Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Founding Father of the United States; inventor, publisher, political philosopher
written in Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

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Belief & Hope

“Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So, believe the answer will come. It will.”

— Norman Vincent Peale 1898 – 1993
American Protestant clergyman and author
quote from “Positive Thinking Every Day”

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This is National Tortilla Chip Day!

For National Tortilla Chip Day, I decided to share my Super Simple way to make nachos. I love them to be extra cheesy, and I will gleefully eat them at any hour of the day or night. Yes, nachos for breakfast are superb!

My favorite “go-to” style is a single layer of tortilla chips on a foil-covered pan. (Never do I mound layers of chips on a platter.) Sprinkle shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or a blend) over each chip. Then drizzle medium-hot taco sauce or picante sauce over the top. Bake for 5 minutes at 375 – 400°F just till the cheese is melted. Consume!

I also do this on a regular plate for 1 minute in the microwave. Or on foil in a hot BBQ grill.

Making cheese the bottom layer prevents the chips from getting soggy. Adding other toppings is optional, but desirable. Choose items that suit your taste buds and add interesting textures. Chopped avocado, finely diced bell peppers, mango salsa, fresh pineapple bits, pulled pork, sliced fresh or jarred jalapeños, pulled pork, bits of chorizo sausage, sliced olives, green onions, ground beef, roasted peppers & onions, chili, grilled corn, black beans, or shrimp. After they’re cooked, some great add-ons for nachos can include shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Or put all your “goodies” on a platter or in bowls. Simply dip your tortilla chips to your heart’s content!

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Celebrate National Banana Bread Day!

Hubby is a huge fan of bananas. When he has a few bananas that did not get eaten before turning too soft, I turn them into banana bread for him. On this occasion, I made him 2 loaves… one plain and one with blueberries, which go very well with bananas.

Super Simple Banana Bread
½ c butter, softened to room temperature
1 c sugar (half brown; half white)(see Tips)
1½ c mashed bananas (3) (see Tips)
2 lg or x-lg eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c chopped pecans
2 c flour
1 tsp each: salt & baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c optional add-ins, such as mini chocolate chips, raisins, blueberries, or toffee bits
Use the back of a large spoon to cream the butter in a large bowl; then cream in the sugar, followed by the bananas, eggs, & vanilla. Then stir in the pecans and set aside. Sift dry ingredients together into a small bowl. Gently stir flour mixture into banana batter in two batches. Spoon into two greased & floured 5×7” loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 45 -50 minutes. A loaf is done when a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the pans rest for 10 minutes before turning the loaves out onto wire racks to cool completely.
 KISS Tips: I always replace sugar now with granulated monkfruit or coconut sugar, which work beautifully in breads. For a yummy topping, crush a favorite streusel square or nut cluster, such as those with pecans, mangos, coconut, etc. Also, if you need more bananas, you can substitute applesauce, sour cream, or even yogurt for the moisture. Try spooning half the batter into one loaf pan and adding ½ c add-ins to the other half of the batter before spooning into a 2nd pan. If using blueberries, frozen ones work beautifully. Simply keep them in the freezer until you a ready to use them to prevent your batter from turning blue.

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Celebrate National Margarita Day!

Photo by Jill Fulton


The classic margarita is shaken with ice and then served either on those “rocks” or straight up. Or it’s served “frozen” by blending it with the ice. The traditional glass is rimmed in salt and garnished with a lime slice.


There are countless variations, but here’s how to make the Classic Margarita.
2 oz tequila
1 oz orange liquor (triple sec or curacao)
1 oz lime juice
(Some recipes also call for a bit of sweetness from simple syrup.)

That’s it! Enjoy one today… with a side of cheesy nachos, please, for me.

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Catch Only Happiness


“A sad soul can be just as lethal as a germ.” 

– John Steinbeck (1902 – 1968)
American writer

Never let anyone else crush your spirit. Their attempts are mere reflections of their own sadness and lack of control.

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Let no one dash your dreams or belittle your beliefs.

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Happy Birthday!

On this day in 1950, a remarkable man was born. He grew up as an only child, but never lost his childlike love of life. He loved sports, from tennis, golf, and baseball to hockey and football. Boats, particularly sailing, became a passion that lasted into his adulthood. Music became a powerful theme in his life, and he played in bands when he went to college. Then he settled down… as much as a man who lives in the moment possibly can. Sometimes deep and brooding, often crass and over-reactionary, this emotional soul has a heart of gold. The father of 4, I met him later in life. We were engaged to be married 5 months later. Being a step-Mom for his children became an immediate learning experience… and an utterly fulfilling portion of my life.

I ended up doing marketing at the company he founded and ran seamlessly for so many years. While this remarkable man had always struck people as successful and utterly independent, I discovered a highly vulnerable person inside. His easy wit and raucous, rippling laughter readily disguised the sensitive and compassionate man within. I learned that he truly needed my love. He needed me.

He works hard. He plays hard. He makes me laugh. He makes me cry. He makes me proud. He frustrates the daylights out of me. But when the chips are down, he stands up. He comes through.

Yes, he is incorrigible. And I laughingly remind friends not to “incorrige” him. But I love him with all my heart. No one is perfect, although he often quips that he is the exception to that rule, but we have been a perfectly splendid duo for 23 years and counting.

Through ups and downs, thick and thin, celebrations and sorrows, I love him. He is mine, and I am his. Please join me in wishing a very Happy Birthday to the man I call my Hubby, Dahlingest, and often Sir Ronald. Happiest Birthday wishes to Ron Martin.

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National Drink Wine Day

Unwind today, National Drink Wine Day, with a glass of your favorite vino… with or without alcohol… with or without bubbles.

My favorite is pinot grigio. Yup, the white one. And I only like the dry varietals, rather than fruity sweet wines. Happily, my favorites are also the least expensive ones. I admit I do not have one of those cultivated palettes when it comes to wine. So be it. To each his or her own.

In ancient times, many cultures worshipped their wine… or their wine gods. When water was not clean to drink, wine was the safest beverage. History shows records of wine production as early as 7,000 BC. So, enjoy a perfect glass today in celebration of National Drink Wine Day.

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So Says Daniel Boone

Photo by Terri Sharp



“All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife.”

— Daniel Boone (1734 – 1820)
American pioneer & frontiersman

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National Almond Day

Celebrate National Almond Day with the timeless Almond Joy candy bar. Or a snifter with some Amaretto. (Or perhaps both.)

Today I will share my recipe for Everything Bagel-Seasoned Almonds. This delicious snack delight is Super Simple to make and irresistibly impossible to stop eating (sorry). If making Everything Bagel Seasoning, feel free to adjust the portions to suit your personal tastes! Oh, yes… this works with other sweet or savory seasoning combos, too!

4 c whole almonds
1 lg or x-lg egg white, beaten well till very frothy
Super Simple Everything Bagel Seasoning (recipe follows)

In a bowl, toss almonds with the egg whites. Sprinkle with seasoning and stir; repeat. Spread in single layer on olive oil sprayed, foil-lined 10×15: sided baking pan. Roast 45 min at 250°F, stirring every 15 min. Let cool in the pan. (Any “connected” Nuts will break apart easily then.) Store airtight at room temperature.  Makes 4 cups.

Super Simple Everything Bagel Seasoning  

3 T each: white & black sesame seeds
2 T each: dried minced onion & sea salt flakes
1½ T poppy seeds
½ T dried minced garlic

Combine & store airtight at room temperature. Makes ¾ cup. Serve sprinkled on cream cheese on any bagel, on hard-boiled eggs or sliced avocado, atop salads, soups, or a buttery, toasted English muffin, or sprinkled inside a grilled cheese sandwich.

KISS Tips: I prefer the minced onion toasted, which happens during the roasting. If you won’t be “baking” the item on which you use the seasoning, try substituting HALF the onion amount with dried onion soup mix… which is what I use in making onion bagels, anyway. For a yummy, flaked sea salt, try any of the gourmet varieties available today from pepper berry to smoked. I have a personal fondness for the naturally pink Murray River salt flakes from Australia.

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Lantern Festival Day

On the 15th day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese calendar, Lantern Festival is celebrated. Usually falling in February, it signifies the last day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations. Lanterns can be very simple or elegantly complex.  But this would be a lovely day to light a lantern, even if we cannot see hundreds of them flying into the night sky together.

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There’s more than enough hatred in the world. Let’s choose love, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day.


Or as the great Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

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Attitude Speaks

Image by Ahmed Zayen


“When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day.”

— Marty Bucella
American cartoonist & illustrator

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