A few decades ago I had never heard of gluten, but now it is mentioned everywhere. When I tell people I have food allergies they assume I can’t have gluten. (I can.)Actually, people who react to it have a sensitivity, not a true allergy. But gluten is mentioned often, and some of the labels saying products are “gluten free” are just, plain silly. I’ve even seen “Gluten Free” labels on things nobody would ever eat, such as soaps, cleaning products, and cosmetics. If only everyone would be as careful about things lots of people truly are allergic to, like fragrances.
Do you know why February is the shortest month of the year? The Roman calendar started the year in March because that was the beginning of Spring. All the months alternated between 30 and 31 days. Some of our months are still named after Roman gods and goddesses and from September to December the names are all variations of Roman numbers. September was from the word for 7, October was from 8, etc. When Cesar Augustus became the emperor of Rome he didn’t want his month to have fewer days than the month named for Julius Cesar (July) so he took one day from the last month of the year and added it to his month, August. That meant the last month, February, had only 29 days. It still has 29 days in leap years.
In June, 1954 I was sent to the Stanford Convalescent Home on the campus of Stanford University in California because of my severe, chronic asthma. All new patients spent the first week in the unit with babies and little kids. While in that unit I met a three year old girl named Gladys and my entire life has been different because of her. She was deaf and had no fingers on one hand. Her parents had brought her there when she was six months old and were never heard from again. Gladys was cute, smart, and full of mischief. Back then deaf children were forbidden to use any kind of sign language because people thought that would motivate them to learn to speak and read lips, but Gladys and I communicated with gestures when the nurses weren’t looking. After that week I never saw Gladys again, but because of her I learned American Sign Language, worked at California School for the Deaf in Berkeley, married a Sign Language interpreter and raised three Deaf foster kids, among many other things. I would LOVE to find Gladys and get in touch with her again. If anyone reading this knows anyone who is Deaf or who knows Deaf people, PLEASE share this message with them and ask them to help me find Gladys. Thank you.
I’ve probably shared this in the past, but it seems relevant for Valentine’s Day.My college Psychology professor taught us this definition of love:“When the happiness and well-being of another is essential to one’s own happiness and well-being, a state of love exists.”In spite of all the terrible things happening in the world, I hope we can do as Jesus said and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
When I was a kid my bedtime was 8:00 p.m. and for about ten years as an adult I had a job with rotating shifts so I didn’t have a regular sleep schedule. But for most of my life I went to bed at about 10:00 p.m. and got up at about 6:00 in the morning. Of course sometimes I’d be out late for social events and sleep in on weekends, but those were exceptions, not the norm.Even since retiring I’ve usually kept to that schedule because of meetings, etc. However, since Covid has limited gatherings my sleep schedule has changed dramatically.My alarm clock is still set to go off at 6:00 in the morning, but I just keep hitting the snooze button and often don’t get up until 8:00. And I do almost always go to bed at 10:00 p.m. like a good girl, but I don’t fall asleep until midnight. There’s not much motivation to get up when I can’t go anywhere but a store or rare medical appointment. Of course I attend some zoom meetings, and my church has services on Zoom, but none of those things happen before 10:00 A.M. and the travel time to my laptop is a matter of seconds. I wonder how many other people have changed their sleep habits because of Covid.
2020 was the longest year in history. But January 2021 went by surprisingly quickly. Hopefully, the worst of the nasty politics is over (though I still see a lot on places like Facebook) and we won’t have more riots, hurricanes, fires, etc. With vaccines becoming available the Covid epidemic may be over soon and the economy will recover as things get back to normal. In February we’re supposed to focus on love, and I hope we really can do that.One of my college professors taught us this definition: When the happiness and well-being of another is essential to one’s own well-being, a state of love exists. To quote an old song: What the world needs now is love, sweet love. That’s the only thing there isn’t plenty of.”