Archive for the ‘birthdays’ Category

Happy birthday, Lincoln

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.


Read Full Post »


See this?  My most sensitive area is my ankles!  I just like to read these for fun sometimes.  Who comes up with these things?  Are there really no Aquarians who are “thick build”?

Daly & Newton/Getty Images 

Aquarians present themselves in one of two ways. One on hand, you’ll see someone who is shy and quiet. On the other, an Aquarius can be boisterous, eccentric, and energetic. Both are deep thinkers with a love of helping others. Highly intellectual, this is a fiercely independent sign that prizes intuition tempered with logic. Both personality types have an uncanny ability to see both sides of an argument without prejudice, making them excellent problem solvers. While very much attuned to the energies around them, Aquarians have a deep need to take time out alone and away to rejuvenate themselves. The keyword for this sign is imagination. The Aquarian can see a world of possibilities even when there appears to be none.

Friends and Family

Even though Aquarians are great with groups of people, it takes a bit when it comes to making close friends. Deeply sensitive and cautious, closeness means vulnerability to an Aquarius, and this is not something to be taken lightly. Aquarians’ direct, no-nonsense approach in combination with their strong values can make it challenging to get to know the inner person. Yet those who are able to do so will discover a friendship that lasts through the years. An Aquarius will go the distance for a loved one to the point of self-sacrifice if necessary. They look for creativity, intellect, and honesty in their friends. When it comes to family, the expectations are no less. Although dedicated to a sense of duty to relatives, the Aquarius isn’t one for developing close bonds unless the same qualities they expect in their friendships are there.

Career and Money

Aquarians bring enthusiasm to the work they do, especially when it involves expression. They have an exceptionally high ability to put their imaginative qualities to the task and to think outside the box. Careers that allow for concept development or demonstration can suit this sign well. I know is the key phrase for the Aquarius. High intellect combined with an Aquarius’ willingness to share their talents inspires many who work in the same environment. Being visionary types, Aquarians love to engage in careers that aim to benefit humankind in the long-run.

When it comes to money, this sign really has a knack for keeping a healthy balance between having the things that they need and putting money away. When they are out shopping, the shiny, glittery, and extravagant will catch their attention even though their homes are generally decorated with great taste. It’s not uncommon to find the Aquarius turning heads dressed in daring, brightly colored outfits. Most are well-attuned to their individual sense of style and aren’t afraid to show it.

Careers that suit the Aquarius are acting, writing, teaching, photography, or piloting. The best environment is one that gives the freedom to tackle the task without a lot of strict guidelines. The Aquarius is unconventional, and given the opportunity to show their true talents, they can perform amazing feats.

Love and Sex

Intellectual stimulation is by far the greatest aphrodisiac for the Aquarian. There’s nothing like a lively chat rich in culture and future possibilities to get this sign going. When it comes to love, people best suited are those that are not thrown off by Aquarian frankness. Open, communicative, imaginative, and willing to risk are all qualities that blend well with this sign’s perspective on life. Honesty and sincerity are essential for anyone seeking a long-term connection to this dynamic personality.


Each sign has a part of the anatomy attached to it, making this the area of the body that is most sensitive to stimulation. The anatomical areas for Aquarius are the ankles.

Ruling Planet
The ruling planet for Aquarius is Uranus. This planet is considered the breaker of rules and tradition. Uranus rules psychology, inventions, originality, creative will, rebellion, and autonomy. This planet is futuristic, intellectual, and even eccentric.

Best Color
The color of choice for Aquarius is turquoise.

Aquarius’ star stone is the Turquoise.

Lucky Numbers
Aquarius’ lucky numbers are 2, 3, and 7.

Compatible Signs
Aquarians are most compatible with Gemini, Libra, and other Aquarians.

Opposite Sign
The opposite sign for Aquarius is Leo.

Perfect Gift
Unusual machines, music, books on favorite subjects, a gift to their favorite cause

A good cause, being part of a club, scientific ideas, fun with friends, a good listener

Dull or boring situations, people who disagree with them

Natural sign of the Eleventh House. This house focuses on friends, goals, hopes, wishes, circumstances beyond control, and love received.

Famous Aquarians
John Travolta, Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Timberlake, Shakira, Jennifer Aniston, Michael C. Hall

Best Travel Destinations
Sweden, Israel, Moscow, Salzburg

Progressive, original, humanitarian, independent

Runs from emotional expression, uncompromising, temperamental, aloof

Charismatic Marks
Good looks, beautiful eyes, angular faces, thin build

Best Environment
Any gathering of people to exchange ideas

Read Full Post »

I just came back from a birthday brunch.  It was delicious: salt/pepper/rosemary potatoes, scrambled eggs with onion and mushrooms, cranberry orange zest French toast, and fruit (blackberries, cantaloupe, and grapes).  The birthday girl was asked about her reflections of last year and how she feels about her new year.  One girl asked about resolutions, and then we ended up taking turns around the table.  Most of them were common ones such as exercising, eating right, time management, having a regular sleep schedule, etc.  The cook mentioned reading the Bible through in one year with a plan to alternate days of reading the Old and New Testaments.  I guess it’s time to post mine.  I may add more goals (e.g. staying in touch with friends, taking over chores at home and cooking) if I’m being pretty faithful with the below.  I haven’t yet figured out the sabbath and tithing specifics.

  • Keep the sabbath (my main focus).
  • Go to the Dulles track after work for at least half an hour to walk/jog/run (just being realistic here).
  • Go to bed around 10 p.m. (one of my greatest weaknesses).
  • Read through the Bible reading plans (it will total 8 months so if I slack I have room to pick up where I left off).
  • When people share problems, be more intentional to pray with them on the spot (because the likelihood of me praying later is close to nil).
  • Keep up with memorizing verses (wow, completely forgot about this).
  • Tithing (since I’m getting a regular income now).

I knew I posted a hymn in a past year and found also my first resolutions.  Haha, wow, talk about deja vu.  Five years, same goals, never met.  I think people get discouraged from failing each year, but I get excited that this year may be the year.  Also probably because I really don’t keep up with them at all lol, but “another year is dawning“:

Hymn for a New Year
lyrics by Philip Doddridge, 1755
music by William Gardniner of Sacred Melodies in Germany, 1815

Great God, we sing Your mighty hand
By which supported still we stand;
The opening year Your mercy shows,
That mercy crowns it ’til its close.

By day, by night, at home, abroad,
Still are we guarded by our God,
By His incessant bounty fed,
By His unerring counsel led.

With grateful hearts the past we own;
The future, all to us unknown,
We to Thy guardian care commit,
And peaceful leave before Thy feet.

In scenes exalted or depressed,
You are our joy, and You our rest;
Your goodness all our hopes shall raise,
Adored through all our changing days.

When death shall interrupt these songs,
And seal in silence mortal tongues,
Our Helper God, in whom we trust,
Shall keep our souls and guard our dust.

When death shall interrupt our songs
And seal in silence mortal tongues,
In fairer realms, O God, shall we
Your praises sing eternally.

Read Full Post »

Year of Paradoxes

It’s 11:40 and I receive a call from Henry:  “Count to 20 then walk outside.”  Curious, I obey and find Henry, Charles, and Elliot tumbling out his well-worn red jeep Lola.  They each hand me a large origami animal made from neon posterboard.  Charles gave me a green pig, Henry gave me an orange butterfly (“Happy B-Day From ~Z~”), and Elliot gave me “Punchy the pink penguin.  I dare you to go the next 5 minutes without thinking of a pink penguin.”  Apparently Henry drove down from the medical center, woke Charles up (“He almost broke my ribs”), and helped Elliot in order to celebrate my birthday as close to midnight as possible.  I was beaming and gave each of them a hug.

My thoughts during all this:  “Wow, this is going to be a good year.”

Read Full Post »