Happy Friday everyone!
Wednesday’s Words of Wit & Wisdom February 27, 2014
When you respect others, others will respect you.
When you make time for others, others will make time for you.
When you neglect someone, you too will be neglected.
When you are rude to someone, they will probably be rude to you.
If you are kind to others, others will probably be kind to you.
When you try to understand others, they will try to understand you.
If you apologize earnestly, you will be forgiven.
If you listen, others will listen to you.
If you appreciate others, you will be appreciated.
Always remember you reap what you sow and you get what you give.
To be loved, be lovable.
One Smart Cookie February 25, 2014
Have you bought your Thin Mints yet? What about some Trefoils? You know what I’m talking about: Girl Scout Cookies!!!!
Every year from January through March you’ll run into Girl Scouts everywhere selling those boxes of delicious cookies. In fact, during those months, Girl Scout cookies are the number one brand of cookies in the U.S., beating out even Oreos, the most popular cookie the rest of the year. That’s a lot of Thin Mints!
The funniest story I’ve heard in a long time and a true stroke of genius is the one about some enterprising scouts in Colorado and California setting up shop outside marijuana dispensaries. Yep, it seems sales outside pot shops far out weight those outside grocery stores and restaurants. Hats off to the young ladies for capitalizing on some basic capitalism. Now that deserves a patch!
Okay…back to the actual cookies. Here then are some tips and tidbits on Girl Scout cookies for today’s Tuesday’s Tip blog:
- Most people agree that Girl Scout cookie sales began in 1917 in Muskogee, Oklahoma when a troop baked and sold cookies in its high school cafeteria as a service project.
- In 1942, Girl Scouts sold calendars instead of cookies due to sugar, flour, and butter shortages and rations during World War II.
- Nearly 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies are sold each year.
- Thin Mints are the biggest sellers, making up 25 percent of all sales, followed by Samoas/Caramel deLites at 19 percent.
- During peak bake times, Girl Scout cookie producers bake nearly 5 million Thin Mints per day.
- Shortbread cookies have been around the longest while Peanut Butter Patties have been sold for more than 30 years and are among the top 10 best-selling cookies in America.
- The same cookies may have different names (Samoas/Caramel deLites, Do-Si-Dos/Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Shortbread/Trefoils) because two licensed bakeries – ABC and Little Brownie- make the cookies and can choose the names.
- ABC is proud to report that all of it cookies are cholesterol free and have a trans-fat value of zero grams per serving; its Thin Mints, Thanks-A-Lot, Lemonades, and Peanut Butter Patties are vegan; and all of its cookies are certified kosher.
- Jennifer Sharpe of Dearborn, Michigan holds the record for the most cookies ever sold. The then 15-year-old sold 17,328 boxes in 2008 and of the $21,000 her troop raised for a 10-day tour of Europe, $14,000 was thanks to Sharpe.
- For every box of cookies purchased, more than two-thirds is used by local Girl Scout councils.
- As of 2005, 71 percent of women in the U.S. Senate and 67 percent of women in the House of Representatives are Girl Scout alums.
My daughter was a Girl Scout and I remember her selling cookies. I always made of point of making sure she was selling the cookies and we always liked going to places where twenty-somethings ate, as they might not have Girl Scouts in their apartment buildings or neighborhoods. They ate them up…literally! I still think a college dorm would be the perfect place to sell the cookies as college kids love them and the price of one box is right in their budgets!
Yes, you may be still working on dropping those extra pounds you gained over the holidays, but take a break and support your neighborhood scouts. Where else can you buy an incomparable and beloved Thin Mint and support an American tradition at the same time? Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?
Proud Moments February 24, 2014
“They pulled it off.”
Veteran sports anchor Al Michaels had that to say as the Sochi Olympic games came to glorious end last night. Yes, they did, despite so much skepticism. Not only did the Russians pull it off, they left the games with more medals than any other participating nation. The U.S. finished second and had a successful medal haul, despite disappointing games by the likes of Shaun White, men’s hockey, and women’s figure skaters.
The Closing Ceremonies also proved that Russia has a sense of humor, as it made fun of itself as shown in the above photo. As many of you recall, one of the rings did not open up during the games’ Opening Ceremonies, so in an effort to “make a funny,” dancers did the same thing during last night’s ceremonies. Loved it.
I love the Olympics. I love the competition, the history, the fashion, the stars in the making, and the pageantry. I watched almost every night of the Sochi games and will miss doing so now that they are over. What is it about the games that hooks me every four years? So many things.
There’s nothing like seeing an American awarded a gold medal, stand on the podium, and tear up as the national anthem is played. It never gets old. Then there’s the Olympic theme music. Who doesn’t twinge with excitement hearing the initial drum “dum, dum, dum dum dum” followed by those horns?
I’ve always loved the Olympics. I vividly remember Nadia Comaneci, Torville and Dean, Mary Decker Slaney, the Mahre brothers, Katarina Witt, Mary Lou and Kerry Strug, Dan Jansen, Mark Spitz, Tonya and Nancy, Florence Griffith Joyner, Greg Louganis, Mia Hamm, Olga Korbut, and Bruce Jenner long before he became a Kardashian. I’m a patriotic gal and the Olympics brings out the best in all things patriotic…and sometimes the worst.
Who remembers the old days of rooting hard against the East German swimmers and Soviet pairs skaters? It’s just not the same rooting against Australian swimmers and Canadian figure skaters. There’s a reason the “Miracle on Ice” is still, to this day, one of sport’s most beloved moments. Would it have been the same if we had beaten Norway? Probably not. Many even forget the game was not a medal game. It was merely and nearly more important than a medal.
I’ve always believed finishing fourth in the Olympics is the worst. I’d rather finish 12th than fourth. Just think, in fourth position you were maybe one-one-hundredths of a second away from winning an Olympic medal or maybe a clean landed triple axel. THAT much. Yep, I feel for Gracie Gold right now.
Something else that’s changed is the fact that Summer and Winter games are now held in different years, meaning one or the other is staged every other year. It used to be you had to wait four long years for both. I tend to like the winter Olympics more for some reason, although I do love gymnastics and swimming. I’m just not a big track and field fan so the second week of Summer games is never one I look forward to watching every night. Still, I tune in and I cheer.
The Sochi games were special to me for another reason: I have a longstanding fascination with Russia. As I’ve blogged before and as my friends and family are aware of, I studied Russia a bit in college, I often have Russian-themed dreams and coincidences, and visiting the country is near the top of my Bucket List. Someday I say. Someday.
I would also love to attend the Olympics themselves, although I think the odds of me going to Russia are higher than those of me witnessing the Olympics in person. I’d like to also add that I am thrilled the 2014 Olympic winter games went off without a hitch and free of any feared terrorism, gay rights demonstrations, or any other distractions. If for only a few days of sun and snow, the world seemed like a better, happier place. A place where politics slept and cultures mixed. As NBC’s Chris Collinsworth said as the Closing Ceremonies wrapped up, “The world has shrunk, just a little bit.”
Thank you Olympians. You made us proud. See you in two years.
An Overwhelming Blessing February 16, 2014
I have had an extremely busy last few weeks and today is the first day in many that I’ve actually been able to slow down and catch up. What a luxury!
I’m one of those people who doesn’t mind a little alone time and I love being in my house. I am never bored and I never run out of things to do. Still, I can tend to get a bit too “OCD” and rather than focus on the task at hand, I mentally worry about all the tasks yet to be done. I’m a big “cross it off your list” kind of gal but that list can tend to overwhelm me.
It all reminds me of a prayer I heard and that I need to remind myself of today and every day, and one I hope you enjoy:
“I Am Overwhelmed”
I woke up this morning with my list of things to do swirling in my head, but just when I felt the twinge of being overwhelmed, I reminded myself that all I’m doing is managing my blessings.
My cluttered kitchen table, the unmade beds, the mound of laundry…they are all just blessings requiring attention.
My stressed out child, my hard-working but short-tempered husband, even the dog that leaves tufts of hair and chewed up treats everywhere…they are all blessings.
It’s all how I choose to see my life and how I choose to feel about that list.
My life is not perfect but I l clearly have nothing to complain about.
I will not let my list wreck my life.
If I am overwhelmed, it is only by how much God has done for me.
Looking for Love? February 14, 2014
Are you looking for romance this Valentine’s Day? Then you may want to move to Spain. Research by author Chrisanna Northrup revealed that the land of flamenco and paella is the most romantic country in the world. Where does the USA stand in matters of all things romantic? Not so good.
Here’s a quick comparison:
- 77 percent of Spanish couples say the cuddle several times a week, while only 17 percent of American couples do so.
- 72 percent of couples in Spain kiss passionately several times per week while in America the same holds true for a mere 20 percent.
- In Spain, 62 percent of couples display PDA several times a week but only 18 percent of American couples enjoy sharing affection publicly as often.
So, what gives? Maybe it’s the Latin in all those Latin lovers. Maybe it’s the sherry. Maybe it’s the simple love of life and all things joyful. Maybe Americans are just too uptight and tightly wound.
Whatever the case, it seems that our ability to keep the spirit of Valentine’s Day going for the other 364 days in a year is weak. One surprising finding Northrup found while researching her book “The Normal Bar” is that by simply calling each other pet names goes a long way. In addition, character is more important the physical chemistry and those who feel they have a lot in common with their spouse or significant other are happier. So are those who give and receive back rubs. Yep, back rubs. A whopping 74 percent of the happiest couples surveyed regularly give or receive back rubs. I’m down for that!
Vacations and dates are also important but sadly only 44 percent of American couples hardly ever or even never go on a date and a miserable 75 percent of us never take a romantic vacation. Perhaps most alarming is the fact that the richest couples surveyed were less likely to be happy than those with less money. Couples earning $20,000 a year or less argue less frequently than those who earn between $250,000 to $500,000. I guess money really can’t buy happiness. But we already knew that, right?
So it’s wash board abs and Victoria Secret model bodies we all want in our partners, right? Wrong! Smart USA reports that seven of 10 Americans would actually prefer their spouse speak another language than look like a model and three in five would rather their partner gain 20 IQ points then lose 20 pounds.
Where are many of these couples meeting? On-line! In fact, the University of Chicago reports that 35 percent of couples who got married in the past seven years met online. Wow!
What would St. Valentine think? The third century Roman priest is the reason we celebrate the annual February day of love. After being thrown in jail by the Emperor who wanted all men to be in the army and not get married, which Valentine disagreed with, Valentine would send letters and sign them, Love Valentine. Valentine strongly believed people needed to get married and was eventually killed on February 14, 269.
So as you hug your valentine today, think of loving St. Valentine, all those romantic couples in Spain and dream away. I’ll be joining you.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!