February 22, 2015

February 21

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Good Morning Semmes

February 21
National Sticky Bun Day

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.

Erma Bombeck, born Feb. 21, 1927

Today is the 52th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.
There are 313 days remaining until the end of the year (314 in leap years).

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Useless Facts Of The Day

  • There are 556 officially recognized native American tribes.
  • The last time American Green cards were actually green was 1964.
  • The pelican was adopted as a Christian symbol early on because mother pelicans would pierce their own breasts to feed their brood with blood — seen as a sacrifice not dissimilar to that of Jesus’ by the Church leaders.

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Today In History

  • 1958 The peace symbol, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom.
  • 1952 The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolishes identity cards in the UK to “set the people free”.
  • 1948 NASCAR is incorporated.
  • 1945 Japanese kamikaze planes sink the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea and damage the USS Saratoga.
  • 1925 The New Yorker publishes its first issue.
  • 1885 The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.
  • 1878 The first telephone directory is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • 1862 Civil War Battle of Valverde is fought near Fort Craig in New Mexico Territory.

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If spring came but once a century instead of once a year, or
burst forth with the sound of an earthquake and not in
silence, what wonder and expectation there would be
in all the hearts to behold the miraculous change.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Famous Sticky Buns

1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (12 ounce) package frozen dinner roll dough
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine, melted

Directions

Sprinkle nuts in the bottom of a greased Bundt pan. Lay frozen roll dough on top of the nuts. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over the dough, then the brown sugar, then the cinnamon. Pour the melted margarine over all. Lay a damp paper towel over the pan and place it in a cold oven over night.
In the morning, remove paper towel and place pan in cold oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then flip out onto plate.

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Poor Richard’s Almanack (sometimes Almanac) was a yearly almanac published by Benjamin Franklin, who adopted the pseudonym of “Poor Richard” or “Richard Saunders” for this purpose. The publication appeared continually from 1732 to 1758. It was a best seller for a pamphlet published in the American colonies; print runs reached 10,000 per year.

“Speak little do much” 
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1755

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Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;  31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:30-31

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The Pelican in Christian Lore

 

Title_PageIn medieval Europe, the pelican was thought to be particularly attentive to her young, to the point of providing her own blood by wounding her own breast when no other food was available. As a result, the pelican came to symbolise the Passion of Jesus and the Eucharist, and usurped the image of the lamb and the flag. A reference to this mythical characteristic is contained for example in the hymn by Saint Thomas Aquinas, “Adoro te devote” or “Humbly We Adore Thee”, where in the penultimate verse he describes Christ as the “loving divine pelican, able to provide nourishment from his breast”. Elizabeth I of England adopted the symbol, portraying herself as the “mother of the Church of England”. Nicholas Hilliard painted the Pelican Portrait in around 1573, now owned by the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. A pelican feeding her young is depicted in an oval panel at the bottom of the title page of the first (1611) edition of the King James Bible. Such “a pelican in her piety” appears in the 1686 reredos by Grinling Gibbons in the church of St Mary Abchurch in the City of London. Earlier medieval examples of the motif appear in painted murals, for example that of c. 1350 in the parish church of Belchamp Walter, Essex.

Queen Elizabeth I: the Pelican Portrait, by Nicholas Hilliard (c. 1573), in which Elizabeth I wears the medieval symbol of the pelican on her chest
The self-sacrificial aspect of the pelican was reinforced by the widely read medieval bestiaries. The device of “a pelican in her piety” or “a pelican vulning (from Latin vulno, “to wound”) herself” was used in heraldry. An older version of the myth is that the pelican used to kill its young then resurrect them with its blood, again analogous to the sacrifice of Jesus. Likewise, a folktale from India says that a pelican killed her young by rough treatment but was then so contrite that she resurrected them with her own blood.

The legends of self-wounding and the provision of blood may have arisen because of the impression a pelican sometimes gives that it is stabbing itself with its bill. In reality, it often presses this onto its chest in order to fully empty the pouch. Another possible derivation is the tendency of the bird to rest with its bill on its breast; the Dalmatian pelican has a blood-red pouch in the early breeding season and this may have contributed to the myth.


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