Monday, May 31, 2021

Hello Summer!

Memorial Day weekend always feels like the beginning of summer to me, despite the fact that it officially begins on June 20, so I'll be taking a break here for a bit as I get out and enjoy the longer days and beautiful sunshine (in between all the rains and storms we're having)!

Happy Summertime Y'all!

May Every Day | Remembrance Sunday (UK) ~Guest Post by Ruth

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

As we celebrate Memorial Day and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country here in the United States today, please join me in welcoming my friend & today's guest blogger Ruth from London, England, as she shares about a similar day celebrated in the United Kingdom.

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In the UK, Remembrance Sunday is commemorated on the nearest Sunday to the 11th November (that date being the day the Armistice was signed in 1918 signalling the end of the Great War). It’s an important date in our nation’s calendar.

The country’s main focus for commemoration is at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. Her Majesty the Queen is present (although she no longer physically lays a wreath) and is joined by senior members of the royal family, all ranks of the military and politicians.

At the same time, across the country in cities, towns and villages, communities come together at their own war memorial. When the clock strikes 11am, there is a two-minute silence followed by the sounding of the Last Post.


We attend our local war memorial in West London and The Boy usually wears my old RAF beret. I place a memorial cross in remembrance of Flying Officer Roy Stewart Wilson – you can read why here.


Remembrance Sunday is how we unite across faiths, cultures and backgrounds to remember the service and sacrifice of the Armed Forces community from Britain and the Commonwealth.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

Thanks to Melissa for inviting me to write a guest post; I hope you enjoyed it. You can find me blogging at: thiswestlondonlife.com and on Instagram as: @thiswestlondonlife.

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Thanks for this wonderfully informative post Ruth! I hope we'll be able to meet up in person again one day - in your country or mine.

And thanks to each of you who have popped in and left comments as we've celebrated and observed a variety of days & weeks throughout this month!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

May Every Day | National Photography Month

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

What better time to focus on your picture taking skills than National Photography Month? This celebration of all things photography was first organized in 1987 by the American Photographers Association. Photography plays a huge role in modern society and it has become easier for everyone to enjoy this hobby with the advent of digital images and smart phone cameras.

Photography allows us to preserve memories, capture the beauty around us, tell stories, share things with others, see changes over time, etc.



With our cameras or smartphones, we can capture the big picture or focus on the details.


We can snap photos quickly to capture a moment or activity, while other times we can carefully compose a shot (and take numerous snaps to get just the right one). If you haven't already done so, be sure to slow down and capture, enjoy and share some photos this month!

Monday, May 24, 2021

May Every Day | Victoria Day (Canada) ~Guest Post by Mary-Lou

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Please join me in welcoming my friend
& today's guest blogger
Mary-Lou from Ontario, Canada.

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Wikipedia says this about May 24th – Victoria Day:

Victoria Day Victoria Day is a federal statutory holiday, as well as a holiday in six of Canada's ten provinces and all three of its territories. Initially set to honour Queen Victoria's birthday. It is informally considered to be the beginning of the summer season in Canada.

The holiday has been observed in Canada since at least 1845, originally falling on Victoria's actual birthday (May 24). The holiday has always been a distinctly Canadian observance and continues to be celebrated across the country. It falls on the Monday between the 18th and the 24th and so is always the penultimate Monday of May (May 24 in 2021 and May 23 in 2022).


As time changes connections, Canada is no longer an annex of the British Empire, but a willing member of the Commonwealth, the Victoria Day weekend informally took on other names. It’s now either the May Long Weekend or fondly referred to as the May Two Four weekend. Two Four, 2 4 refers to the size of beer container many/most people purchase at the start of the weekend, a case of 24 beer bottles or cans.

In Ontario, May long weekend is also the date we use as calendar marks for things like when to plant our tender annual plants and vegetables, as it is unlikely that after this date, we will get snow and/or heavy killing frost.


It is also the weekend that for many signals the wearing of white shoes, you stop after Labour Day in September by the way. There are lots that don’t follow this “rule” & wear white shoes any time they feel like.

For many, May 2 4 weekend signals the time to open the cottage after a long winter season, hence the need for beer substance. It is also the weekend that begins the camping season, which is also when the black flies appear on mass and torment all. These tiny little flies have a big bite, which can cause great swelling and pain at the bite site. If you have never been tormented by these little nasties, consider yourself truly fortunate.

Fireworks, for the May weekend is a hotly debated/argued pro/con issue. It is the first of the three big holiday weekends that fireworks could be called for. The other two long weekends would be for Canada Day in July and Labour Day in September. It is written, in most community by-laws, that Monday is technically the only day of these holiday weekends you can use fireworks, but it seems that many ignore that … I’ll say no more.

Besides the fireworks debate over the weekend, the other hotly contended debate, even within civilized families, is who makes the best potato salad. If you Google potato salad you get back hundreds of recipes, all with little subtle differences. I can settle this argument right now, my Mother’s recipe makes the best, ever!

Now you’ll have to excuse me, I have a pair of white sandals to find and a potato salad to make.
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Thank you for this delightful and informative read Mary-Lou! I hope you are having a wonderful Victoria Day/May 2 4 Long Weekend!

Did you know today is also National Scavenger Hunt Day? Each summer, Mary-Lou hosts a Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt on her blog. It's always FUN, so be sure to pop over and check out this year's list - the hunt begins June 1.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

May Every Day | National Taffy Day

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Today is the day to celebrate taffy, that sticky sweet chewy candy that comes in many colors and flavors. It is made by boiling sugar, molasses or corn syrup with butter (and other ingredients), which is then pulled until it's porous and glossy.

My favorite place to get taffy is at La King's Confectionary on the Strand in Galveston, Texas. This wonderful candy store and ice cream parlor is always on my list of places to visit when I make it to Galveston Island. Along one side of this deep store is a soda fountain with a wide variety of ice cream flavors to choose from. The other side houses long cases of chocolates and candies of all colors and varieties. A taffy-pulling machine is set up near the back of the store. If you're lucky when you arrive, there's might be a taffy pulling demonstration going on - stand back and watch for a bit and the candy maker just might toss you a taffy!


Then it's time to browse all the baskets of taffy and choose which flavors to take home. A few of my favorites are vanilla, cotton candy, and watermelon.

Do you like taffy? What's your favorite flavor?

Friday, May 21, 2021

May Every Day | National Strawberries and Cream Day

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Today we celebrate another delicious snack - it's National Strawberries and Cream Day! Typically this means fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream; however, my favorite "recipe" for strawberries is what I affectionately call "Central Park Strawberries."


I first had this delicious dessert when my friend Elinor and I traveled to New York in May of 2001. A friend met us late one evening in Central Park with a bag of strawberries, a container of sour cream, and a sack of brown sugar. I was terribly disappointed because I don’t didn’t like sour cream and I thought we were going to visit one of the numerous dessert spots in New York.

However, when I grabbed a fresh strawberry, dipped it in the container of sour cream then into the sack of brown sugar, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was absolutely wonderful! As we strolled through around the park and through Columbus Square enjoying the beautiful evening and watching the general hubbub that is New York, we dipped and ate and dipped and ate until the entire bag of strawberries were gone and we were well satisfied!

Of course, anytime I've visited New York since then, I run into one of the grocery markets around Central Park and grab some strawberries, sour cream and brown sugar. Then I/we wander around and enjoy this tasty treat!


What's your favorite way to eat strawberries?

BTW - It's also Strawberry Month, so if you weren't able to enjoy some today, you still have time to celebrate this yummy fruit.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

May Every Day | National Be A Millionaire Day

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines millionaire as "a person whose wealth is estimated at a million or more (as of dollars or pounds)." Collins Dictionary says, "A millionaire is a very rich person who has money or property worth at least a million dollars." The term millionaire was first coined in the 17th century when there were only a few individuals who had amassed a net worth of a million dollars. Today there are millions of millionaires around the globe.  I remember reading something a few years ago about millionaires here in American - the majority of them have a net worth of between one and ten million dollars and are your typical next-door neighbors.

Be a Millionaire Day is celebrated on May 20 each year and honors the desire to be financially secure. There are many ways to celebrate today - take time to review your financial situation and future goals, open a savings account, set up regular contributions to a retirement plan, create a budget, etc.

Over the years, I've read numerous books on personal finance and Robbie and I use a budget and financial planner to help us progress toward our goals. I've even taught Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course to adults at church and teenagers at a private school. However, the first and best piece of advice that I give anyone who asks me about finances is found in the following scriptures:

"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it."
~Malachi 3:10~

"Give, and it will be given to you:
good measure, pressed down, shaken together,
and running over will be put into your bosom.
For with the same measure that you use,
it will be measured back to you.”
~Luke 6:38~

I believe wholeheartedly that we can never out give the Lord and following His command to tithe is the best thing anyone can do to increase their financial security! Many financial planners will recommend paying yourself first, but the Bible says, "Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine." Tithe first, pay yourself second, then watch the Lord provide all you need with what's leftover!

How about you? What's your best financial advice for those seeking financial freedom?

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Upcoming Class | Esther's Time Virtual Bible Journaling Class

I'm excited to announce my next VIRTUAL Bible Journaling Class! This class will be presented via Zoom, so you can join in from anywhere as we dive into the Word and use our creativity to draw closer to the Lord.

Did you know that the book of Esther in the Old Testament is the only book in the Bible that does not mention God? However, He is ever present in this story that can rival any fiction thriller on the market – it has a hero, a heroine, a villain, a plot to overthrow the government, women's lib controversy, a nationwide beauty pageant, lots of eating, drinking & celebrating, a beautiful palace setting, irony, humor, intrigue, revenge, and suspense.

Join me for a virtual Bible journaling class in June as we take a look at how Esther captured the hearts of all who knew her and how she prepared for the most dangerous step of her life.


Your class fee includes Biblical teaching, illustrated Bible journaling technique demonstrations and ideas, a printable notes handout and a traceable image.

Please note:

* This class will be presented live via Zoom. Due to the interactive nature of these classes, replays are not available.

* Your spot is reserved once payment is received. The link to the Zoom classroom and the notes handout will be sent separately as we get closer to the class date.

* There is not a supply kit for this event. However, I will be sending a list of items you may want to have on hand during the class. You’ll definitely want to have your Bible and a pen on hand. Otherwise, I encourage you to use what you have available as you illustrate what the Lord is showing you through His Word.

* I have previously taught classes on Esther – if you attended one of these classes, some of the devotional materials will be the same. However, I will be doing a fresh study of the book of Esther in preparation for the class and will have new Bible journaling pages and ideas to share.



Please let me know if you have any questions. I hope to see you in class!

BTW - If you or someone you know could benefit from attending a class but the cost would be a hardship at this time, please contact me!!

May Every Day | National Devil's Food Cake Day

May Every Day is a series of (almost) daily blog posts for May 2021 sharing days and weeks that we celebrate or observe. Some of these days are well-known holidays while others are more obscure observances, some are celebrated internationally while others are more nationally focused, some are significant while others are just plain FUN!

Devil's food cake is a moist rich chocolate layer cake. It tends to have a darker color than a regular chocolate cake and is topped with chocolate icing. There are many recipes for this delectable dessert, some dating to the early 1900s, so the "devil's food cake" is often used to describe any super chocolatey cake.

Since today is National Devil's Food Cake Day, it's the perfect excuse to do a little baking and enjoy some chocolate cake!

Any day that involves chocolate cake is a good day in my book! How about you?