At first glance, Good Friday seems like a strange name to refer to a day that designates pain and death. If Jesus suffered and died on this day, why is it called Good Friday?
The sins of the whole world were poured out on Christ when he hung on the cross. If you had spoken with his friends and family on the day he died, they would not have said it was a good day. All hope seemed lost, evil and death seemed to have triumphed. So, when only looking at a single day, it really was a horrible Friday.
However, on that Friday, Jesus willingly suffered and died as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Three days later, the forces of evil were defeated and death was destroyed. From that day, we all have a way to be free of sin and death. So, when viewed in the context of events that happen just three days later, the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, it was indeed a Good Friday!
Now that all of the Christmas gifts that I mailed have finally arrived and been opened, I though I would share some of the fun things I made this year. Wanting to put my 3D printer to use, I looked on-line for gift ideas I could print. I found several useful ideas. My go-to source for printing ideas is Thingiverse. They have an incredible number or free printing files.
Among Us Ornament. During our Thanksgiving family video conversation, my adult sons wanted the entire family to play an on-line game called Among Us. While I didn’t really understand the game (perhaps because I became a ghost about 15 seconds into the game), the boys seem to enjoy the game. For a creative gift, I found a pattern for making the characters from this game. Thinking that they would make nice tree ornaments, I created a remix of the pattern that had a ring on the helmet to attach some ribbon for hanging.
After printing these, I found out that there are several fun “hats” that the characters can wears. So, I decided to remix some more patterns to make some hats to fit over the ring for each. These were really fun to make.
Can Holders. I would have put individual names on each of these, but the customizer in Thingiverse was not functioning at the time that I made them. There was an existing customized file for the Green Bay Packers. So, I made several of these for family members who are Packer fans. The rest were printed without a label on the handles. These are useful for several reasons (1) keeps a cold can away from your hands, and (2) helps identify which can is yours. I made 18 of these in various colors.
Battery Boxes. In these boxes, the batteries load from the top and the ramps inside feed the batteries to the opening at the bottom of each box. I made 14 sets of these in various color combinations.
Christmas Tree. These trees store flat and add a nice decoration for a small space.
I read somewhere that hugs may be necessary for survival. While that may not be the case, hugs are definitely important for mental health. Unfortunately, in our social distanced pandemic lifestyles, we have become a fairly touch-deprived society. Hugs are avoided for everyone’s health and safety.
I have many young patients, who, when they arrive at my dental office, are eager to give me a hug. Unfortunately, their parents will now stop them and reprimand them for doing so. I miss that part of my job. It was always a lift to my day, especially when the patient was one who had previous difficulty with going to the dentist.
So, in this pandemic era, I need to look for other ways to “hug” through words of praise, words of thanks, and words of encouragement.
Tomorrow is National Hug Day. To celebrate the day, I decided to make some treats – Brownies filled with Hershey’s Hugs. To make these, I used my favorite brownie recipe, but any recipe or even a box mix would work. Before baking, place a hug into the batter, bake as normal. After they have cooled, you will have a hidden treat – a Hidden Hug.
So, even though real hugs may not be possible, look for the hidden hugs in your life.
Fifteen months ago, after attending a professional meeting in San Francisco, my eldest son (who lived in SF at the time) and I visited the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. One of the plants I saw there was a very unique and absolutely gorgeous orchid, Miltoniopsis Lennart Karl Gottling also called ‘Hula Skirt’ Orchid.
After seeing it, I search the internet for a source to purchase one, but was unsuccessful. This particular orchid was “out of stock” everywhere. One of the growers did have the ability to indicate if you would like to be notified when the orchid was in stock again. At the time, I filled out the request. But, since then, I had accepted the fact that I would be unable to obtain a plant for myself and thus totally forgot about my search.
Well, on Monday, I received an email from Orchid Web notifying me that the orchid was in stock. Needless to say, I was surprised by the notification and immediately went to their site to order one. When placing the order, I discovered that the store is located in Plymouth, Minnesota, just a few miles from a friend’s dental office. This was fortunate because I could pick the plant up in person, avoid paying shipping, and avoid potential damage to the plant during transit.
Since I would be driving to Plymouth, I sent my friend a message to see if she would like to get together and whether I could bring her lunch when I came. She responded with an even better offer. For a holiday celebration, she was treating her staff to a catered meal from “Gardens of Salonica”, a Greek restaurant and invited me to join them at her office. This was an offer I could not pass up.
I had a nice lunch comprised of good conversation with an amazing friend and some truly great Greek food!!
Being a member of my professional study club, I had also made her a table/wall quilt over the summer, which she received a few weeks ago.
While she is several years younger than me and will likely not retire for a while, she does have her “pre-retirement” quilt. This quilt was made utilizing the Greek Key quilt pattern. I picked this pattern for several reasons. The obvious one is that she is Greek. But, more importantly, the Greek Key is a symbol for infinity or eternity. This is very fitting because she is a constant friend who is always there for me.
My photo of the front of the quilt is a bit out of focus. But, the photo of the back does highlight the quilting that was done. In particular, quilting clearly shows the continuity of the Greek Keys in the piecing and in the quilting.
These eternal rings symbolic of the eternal love and support we have as friends. And, also a symbol of the love we celebrate this time of year at the birth of our Lord.
Recently, when looking for a recipe to use up an abundance of zucchini, I ran across a recipe for “Naked Greek Feta-Zucchini Turkey Burgers” on Skinny Taste. I’m not sure whether it is truly a greek recipe, but it did sound really tasty. To make it more “greek”, I made some homemade Tzatziki sauce and wanted to serve them on Pita Bread rather than hamburger buns.
Unfortunately, I did not have any pita bread and did not want to run to the store just to buy one thing. So, I went to my favorite baking site. King Arthur Baking to find a new recipe. “Quick and Easy Flatbreads” were just like the name says, quick and easy. And, they were really tasty as well. This recipe includes both yeast and baking powder and were ready to eat in less than an hour. The result was a successful dinner with left over pita/flatbreads for lunch sandwiches.
While making the flatbreads, I thought that they might taste good as a pizza crust. Unfortunately, the extras were eaten rather quickly and I was unable to try.
This morning, I saw an advertisement that said today is National Cheese Pizza Day. Okay, a good excuse to try out my idea for flatbread pizza. I used the KAF recipe (I doubled the recipe this time) and added a tablespoon of Pizza Dough Flavoring (also from KAF).
The dough was mixed in my bread machine.
Left to rise for 45 minutes,
Split into small balls of dough,
Rolled out to 1/4″ thick circles, 6 to 9″ in diameter,
Fried in a dry frying pan (no oil) over medium heat,
Flipped and fried on the other side.
After about 15 minutes, I had a nice stack of flatbread.
To make my homemade pizza, I spread some pizza sauce over the flatbread and topped it with several types of pizza, spices, thinly sliced scallions and chopped yellow pepper. The pizza was placed on a pizza stone and baked at 425 degrees. Because the flatbread was precooked, the pizza was ready to eat in just a few minutes. Watch carefully, because mine was done in about 5 minutes.
What I liked about using this recipe for the pizza crust:
quick and easy, once the crust is made, the pizza is ready to eat in less than ten minutes,
since the crust is precooked, there was no concern about being soggy near the center of the pizza, and
can be refrigerated or frozen for a quick pizza dinner on another day.
Today is Thursday, but not just any Thursday. It is the Thursday before Easter – Holy Thursday.
Why is Holy Thursday, Maundy Thursday important?
The word “Maundy” is derived from the Latin word “mandatum” which means commandment. It refers to the commandment that Christ gave to his disciples when he shared his last supper with them.
A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34)
As I start my day today, I am reflecting upon the significance of this day. Even with social distancing and stay home orders, we can still show love to the people in our lives. Simple gestures, like calling family members to see how they are doing, or, making masks for healthcare workers, family and friends, or a variety of other ways.
Today, while making more masks, I plan to listen to the sound track of The Passion, New Orleans. Originally broadcast four years ago, one of the songs that I really like is “Love Can Move Mountains”. Little acts of love in this world really could move mountains!
Normally on Thursdays, I would work late hours at my dental office. In past years, I would have gone directly from work to the Holy Thursday service at our church. With the many changes that have transpired, I am not working today, nor is our church building open.
Tonight, however, our church will be on-line with Dwell, a service of worship and prayer. I can tune into at 7pm CDT, and so can you!