Taking a Break for the Holidays

Time to relaxHello,

Depositphotos_58219563_s-2015I just wanted to stop by to wish everyone a wonderful holiday. I’m doing something unusual this year. My new company that I’m working with this year shuts down from 12/24 to 1/1. I am hoping to shut down a bit too.

This year has been a wild adventure of transitioning jobs, balancing work with writing and blogging and spending time with family. During the holiday, I’m going to be traveling with my family and will not likely post anything. I may stop in and read posts on some of my favorite blogs and maybe even chime int.

Happy New Year backgroundI’ve got some exciting things coming in 2019 on the writing front and I’m going to rest up so I can hit the ground running in the new year.

I hope that you and your families have a wonderful holiday and I wish you much luck and happiness in the new year!

I’m So Thankful

give thanks - Thanksgiving conceptAlmost five years ago, I launched my site on WordPress as a way to market my first book. I had no idea at the time that I was joining a wonderful community of like-minded authors and bloggers. Over the years, my blog following has grown. What has also unexpectedly grown is the fellowship and support that is shared within this community.

My writing ‘career’ has had its ups and downs over the years, but the support and encouragement I receive from my fellow bloggers has continued to grow.

As I look over the past five years and approach nearly 200,000 views and 60,000 visitors on my humble blog, I’ve stopped looking at the stats and have shifted to looking forward to what each of you have to say each day.

I follow an eclectic group of bloggers with varying views and messages to convey. I’m thankful for all of you.

Whether you live in the U.S. and officially celebrate Thanksgiving, or live in another country where it is not an official holiday, this is a great time to look back on the past year and identify things for which to be thankful. It’s been a roller coaster of a year for me with a job loss, a new job and health issues that I’ve nearly overcome. Through it all, I’m thankful for family, friends and the wonderful people in this blogging community.



It’s Thanksgiving in the United States today. As we reflect on what we’re thankful for and spend time with our families, I wanted to wish the blogging community a great day which, in the U.S., kicks off the holiday season.

I’m thankful for all of you and for how you’ve helped me grow as an author and blogger this year.

Here is some Holiday humor for your enjoyment:

Thanksgiving FunnyJosh: Why did the farmer run a steamroller over his potato field on Thanksgiving Day?
Phil: Why?
Josh: He wanted to raise mashed potatoes.

Biff: Why did the turkey cross the road?
Bob: I don’t know.
Biff: It was Thanksgiving Day, and he wanted people to think he was a chicken!

Charles: What is a turkey’s favorite dessert?
Mary: I haven’t a clue.
Charles: Peach gobbler!

A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store for Thanksgiving Day, but couldn’t find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, “Do these turkeys get any bigger?”

“No, ma’am. They’re dead.”

Danny: Why did the cranberries turn red?
Jake: Beats me.
Danny: Because they saw the turkey dressing!

Cinco de Mayo Jokes and Trivia


Most people don’t know that back in 1912, Hellmann’s mayonnaise was manufactured in England.  In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico…. But as we know….the great ship did not make it to New York….The ship hit an iceberg and sank …. and the cargo was forever lost….

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery …. were disconsolate at the loss….

Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning which they still observe to this day…. The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th…. and is known….of course….as Sinko de Mayo….


  • The Mexican community celebrates more than 365 festivals each year.  Cinco de Mayo is just one of them.
  • Although Cinco de Mayo is a big celebration in Puebla, where the battle was fought, Cinco de Mayo is much more popular in America.
  • The festival was ‘invented’ in America by a group of students back in 1967.  Each year since then Cinco de Mayo gets bigger thanks to people of Mexican descent – and those who just like a good margarita!
  • Did you know Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.
  • Around 28.3 million of USA residents were of Mexican origin in 2006. These residents constituted 9% of the nation’s total population, and 64% of the Hispanic population.
  • Approximately 630,000 of Mexican-Americans are USA military veterans.
  • The Maya in Central Mexico were the first people known to harvest and use the peanut.
  • Pineapple and papayas grew wild in Mexico, and were introduced to the rest of the world by Spanish explorers.
  • Around the 1860s, three American travellers began exporting resin from the Zapote Blanco tree in Mexico after they noticed that it hardened when exposed to air. The men found a way to turn it into a waxy substance, added flavours and sweeteners, and sold it in small balls for a penny apiece, calling it Adam’s Chewing Gum from New York. Today, Americans chew seven times more gum than the rest of the world.
  • Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, is where the Mexican Hat Dance, sombreros and mariachi music are believed to have originated.
  • The vanilla bean comes from an orchid plant discovered by Mexican Indians who used it to add flavor to their cocoa and corn drinks. The world’s largest crop of vanilla beans still comes from Mexico.


St. Patrick – The Man Behind the Holiday

Saint Patrick was a fifth-century Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, he is the primary patron saint of the country.

The dates of Patrick’s life cannot be determined, but it appears he was active in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. He is traditionally credited with being the first bishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland.

When he was about 16, Patrick was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Great Britain, and taken as a slave to Ireland. He lived there for six years and was responsible for looking after animals. He then escaped and returned to his family.

After entering religious life, he returned to northern and western Ireland. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.


St. Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17th, which is said to be the date of his death. It is celebrated inside and outside Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, it is both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation as well as a celebration of Ireland itself.



Patrick uses shamrock in an illustrative parable

Legend credits St. Patrick with teaching the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a three-leafed plant, using it to illustrate the Christian teaching of three persons in one God. This story first appears in writing in 1726, though it may be older. The shamrock has since become a central symbol for St Patrick’s Day.

Patrick banishes all snakes from Ireland

The absence of snakes in Ireland gave rise to the legend that they had all been banished by St. Patrick who reputedly chased them into the sea after they attacked him during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill. In reality, evidence suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes.

Patrick’s walking stick grows into a living tree

Some Irish legends state that, during his evangelizing journey back to Ireland from his parent’s home, he is understood to have carried with him an ash wood walking stick or staff. He thrust this stick into the ground wherever he was evangelizing and the message took so long to get through to the people that the stick had taken root by the time he was done.

Patrick speaks with ancient Irish ancestors

The twelfth-century work Acallam na Senórach tells of Patrick being met by two ancient warriors, Caílte mac Rónáin and Oisín, during his evangelical travels. St. Patrick seeks to convert the warriors to Christianity, while they defend their pagan past. The heroic pagan lifestyle of the warriors, of fighting and feasting and living close to nature, is contrasted with the more peaceful, but unheroic and non-sensual life offered by Christianity.


At any rate, enjoy your St. Patrick day celebration. I recently met a man from Dublin and I asked him if they celebrate as vigorously in Ireland as we do in the U.S. He rolled his eyes and told me that Americans are amateurs when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day. He told me that in Dublin, if you don’t wake up horribly hungover in a strange place with at least one black eye or a missing tooth, you didn’t celebrate properly. His response did not help to counter stereotypes, but he may have been giving me a bit o’ the Blarney.