May 31 – What You Think Upon Grows Day

Posted May 31, 2015

I read in several places that “What you think upon grows” is a bit of Eastern philosophy, and perhaps it is – although not necessarily in those exact words. I did some research and couldn't find anything quite like this in the sayings of Confucius or Buddha.

It's not the same as the Eastern belief in karma – a sort of “what goes around comes around” – the idea that the sum total of a person's actions in a previous life decided his or her fate in this life, and that the sum total of a person's actions in this life will decide his or her fate in the next life. Note: There is no evidence for karma, nor for any earlier or “next life.”

The closest I could come to “What you think upon grows” is the old Cherokee story:

The Cherokee nation is not what I think of when I hear “Eastern”I think of Chinese or at least Indian peoples and philosophies. Still, I live in California, and the Cherokee certainly did and do live east of me!

Another instance of the idea of thinking positive thoughts is from the Bible, apparently written by the apostle Paul: “...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”Philippians 4:8

The idea is, if you dwell on why you are angry at a person, how you can get revenge on someone who wronged you, how mean someone is, or how bitter you are that someone else got the position that you wanted...

Well, those negative thoughts can spiral you down more and more. You will get angrier and angrier, or more vengeful or bitter. Possibly your anger and envy will consume you!

Actually, when you smile, changes
happen in your brain, and you WILL
start to feel better!
Instead, you should try to climb on an upward spiral. Try to think the best of someone who hurt you – try to meet unkindness with kindness – try to find a silver lining to a bad situation. Sometimes, when you try to be more positive, you can get back a smile, a kind word, something that can make you feel more positive. And when you feel a bit better, you can act even more positive, and gain even nice, more positive responses from others...and on and on, in an upward spiral.

The date for “What You Think Upon Grows” Day is the birthday of minister and author Norman Vincent Peale, who was born on this date in 1898. He is famous for writing The Power of Positive Thinking.

Warning: The reality is that Peale's idea of the brain is overly simplistic, and some people may have been harmed by the advice in his book. Also, over-emphasis on positive thinking and optimism can be harmful to people who are feeling down, because they often feel guilty about feeling negative, which of course brings them down even further. People can't always just think their way into a more positive state of mind!

What do you think about the maxim “What you think upon grows”?

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest boards for:

May 30 – Water a Flower Day

Posted May 30, 2015

I live in Southern California, and we have been struggling with drought, so I probably won't be watering any flowers today. But hopefully wherever you live, you have plenty of water and can nurture some beautiful May flowers and go all the way into June with loads of blooms!

You probably already know that flowers are a plant's reproductive organs, right? The beautiful colors, showy petals, sweet scent, and delicious nectar are all there to lure creatures from flower to flower, pollinating Flower X with the pollen from Flowers Y and Z, so that the fertilized flowers can make seeds that will grow into new plants.

Most flowers, like this hibiscus flower, have “male” parts, like stamens that create pollen, AND female parts, like the pistil with ovaries and a stigma.

Some plants have separate flowers that have only male reproductive organs, and other flowers that have only female reproductive organs, all on the same tree or bush. An example is an alder tree.

Alder male flowers, above,
and fertilized female flowers, below.

Still other plants have male flowers only on one bush or tree and female flowers only on another bush or tree. That is the case with most holly plants.
Holly male flowers, above, and female
flowers, below, are found on different plants.

Do some flower activities:

  • Have fun with flower arranging. In this video, the man didn't water his flowers, he flowered his water! 

Here are some of my favorite flower books:

And here are a few of my favorite flowers:

Orchids, above, and
columbine, below

Iceland poppies, above, and
lupine, below

Pansies, above, and
California poppies, below


Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest boards for:
And here are my Pinterest boards for:

May 29 – Happy Birthday, Melissa Etheridge

Posted May 29, 2015

Today we celebrate a talented rock singer-songwriter, Melissa Etheridge. Born on this date in 1961, in Kansas, her first album was an underground hit but made it all the way to #22 on the Billboard 200. She earned her first Grammy Award nomination for the lead single of that album – but it took her another half decade before she won her first Grammy award and had a mainstream breakthrough hit.

She has now earned 2 Grammys and 15 nominations! She has also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Etheridge is famous for two other things, aside from her music: 

1. She is a breast cancer survivor, and she was brave enough to perform a tribute to Janis Joplin even though she was bald from chemotherapy! Another song writer praised her courage with a song called “I Am Not My Hair.” 

2. Also, Etheridge is also an activist for LGBT rights.

Today, check out Melissa Etheridge:

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest boards for:
And here are my Pinterest boards for:

May 28 – National Hamburger Day

Posted May 28, 2015

Today we celebrate a classic sandwich. Most commonly a ground beef patty on a bun, with varying condiments and trimmings, we recognize as hamburgers sandwiches that use a variety of other meat patties and veggie patties, as well.

The term hamburger comes from Germany's second largest city, Hamburg, just as frankfurter comes from the name Frankfurt, Germany, and wiener comes from Vienna (Wien), Austria.

We don't know exactly when and where the hamburger was invented. There have been many claims and not much written or printed evidence to back those claims. It is possible that more than one person came up with the idea of serving a patty made of ground beef between two slices of bread, independently.

This ridiculous large burger is a 4x4,
animal style, from In 'n' Out.
We do know that hamburgers gained national recognition in the United States at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. In 1921, White Castle sold a large number of hamburgers in Kansas; in 1923 Kewpee began selling them in Michigan; a few other restaurants began to sell hamburgers in the late 20s and early 30s, and in 1940, the first McDonald's opened in California.

And now hamburgers are seen as a quintessential American sandwich, despite their tie to Germany and their worldwide availability.

Here are some fun facts:

  • McDonald's restaurants are found in 118 countries and territories around the world, with more than 35 thousand restaurants and serving more than 68 million customers A DAY!
Apparently, McDonald's isn't a big presence in Africa...yet!

  • In 2001, burgers account for 40% of all sandwiches sold, and hamburgers and cheeseburgers make up 71% of all beef servings sold in commercial restaurants!
I don't have any idea of how many
"Cheeseburger Crust" pizzas Pizza Hut sold.
My guess: it didn't catch on!
  • The world's largest hamburger was prepared in Minnesota in 2012. It weighed 2,014 lb (913.54 kg) and was topped with more than 52 pounds of tomatoes, 50 pounds of lettuce, 60 pounds of onions, 19 pounds of pickles, 40 pounds of cheese, and even 16 pounds of bacon!
    (No word on how much mayo, catsup, and mustard went onto the giant burger.)
This burger is "only" a couple of hundred
pounds - nowhere near the largest in the
It's easy to celebrate National Hamburger Day! Eat some burgers!

My favorite hamburger is the Fig-Marmalade
burger at Eureka Burger... yummm!

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest boards for:
And here are my Pinterest boards for: