End MUD MONTH In Style

"Bubbles and Bella" ~ www.MyrtleBeachSafari.com

“Bubbles and Bella” ~ http://www.MyrtleBeachSafari.com

1978 ~ Mary Shepherd and her first 2 grandchildren getting ready for a nap; baby on left, Molly, will be the mother of Mary's two great-grandchildren (picture by Maryin Warner)

1978 ~ Mary Shepherd and her first 2 grandchildren getting ready for a nap; baby on left, Molly, will be the mother of Mary’s two great-grandchildren. See first two pictures of post “TEN WORDS” (pictures by Maryin Warner)

Ah, finally, the last week of February!  In Colorado and Kansas, 2014’s “Mud Month” (Old English Solmonath means Mud Month) has been one for the books.  But as my parents always said, “Don’t wish your life away…enjoy every day.”

In the spirit of that wise advice, here are four dates to celebrate the end of February in style!

Today, on February 22 (or any day before the end of the month) celebrate George Washington’s birthday with one or more of his favorite foods: Cream of Peanut Soup; Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut; String Beans w/ fresh Mushrooms.  Or, his favorite breakfast food was Hoe Cakes—basic pancakes made with cornmeal.   (See one public-posted soup recipe at end of post.)

Don’t feel like cooking?  February 27 is No Brainer Day.  This is the perfect day to enjoy tasks or activities that require little or no study, talent or work on your part.  Kick back and laugh, applaud, appreciate or grin at someone else’s efforts.  My favorite (with thanks to Nancy Gibbs)—and I promise you’ll love this—is Bubbles and Bella– http://www.youtube.com/embed/RR0BlQzbOUk?rel=0

End Mud Month with a double-wonderful last day:  February 28 is both Floral Design Day and Public Sleeping Day.  My favorite cheer-the-harshest-winter-day flowers are tulips and lilies.  Both brighten even the snowiest day and make me hopeful for spring.

And on the same day, what says “Good-bye Mud Day” better than Public Sleeping Day?  Conserve your energy (or make a public statement about working too hard); say no to demands and take a nice long nap, even in public if you want (but not while driving, operating machinery, holding a scalpel or a weapon, etc. You get the idea.)

March 1st is just around the corner. You want to be well fed on Washington’s favorite foods ~ happy and encouraged by the antics of Bubbles and Bella ~ inspired by fresh flowers ~ and refreshed by a long nap.  Like every month, March will have challenges of its own, and you’ll want to be prepared!

Red Stargazer Lilies arranged with greenery.

Red Stargazer Lilies arranged with greenery.

Pink tulips growing in glass container. (Flower pictures by Marylin Warner)

Pink tulips growing in glass container. (Flower pictures by Marylin Warner)

David Wallace, Colorado Springs, acting the role of George Washington (Picture by Jim Warner)

David Wallace, Colorado Springs, acting the role of George Washington (Picture by Jim Warner)

1 med. onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3-4 chopped fresh tomatoes and/or sweet red peppers
1/4 c. butter
3 tbsp. flour
2 qts. chicken stock or canned broth
2 c. chunky peanut butter
1 3/4 c. light cream
Saute onion and celery in butter until soft. Stir in flour until well blended. Add chick stock, stirring constantly, and bring to boil. Add peanut butter and cream, stirring to blend thoroughly. Heat, but do not boil. Serve garnished with peanuts if desired.  Serve with cayenne pepper for each person to use as desired.


Filed under birthday celebrations, Colorado Springs, Dementia/Alzheimer's, Fort Scott Kansas, special quotations

70 responses to “End MUD MONTH In Style

  1. Its good to put February to bed. Our Barn Swallows have returned. A sure sign of spring ahead. I like the idea of No Brainer Day!!

  2. Such a shame we don’t have No Brainer day over here though sometimes I wonder if we celebrate that the rest of the time.The flowers look fantastic Marylin, especially those fabulous lilies.Me, I’m just waiting to see if March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • I’m hoping March comes in AND goes out like Bubbles and Bella, happy and rich wih sun and fun…and gentle showers to keep us out of drought. But that’s a big order, David, at least here, and the UK has had its share of harsh weather, too. But the really nice thing about you having baby Reuben now is that inside it’s sunny no matter what. When is your book coming out? Huge Hugs back at’cha!!!

  3. Wonderful activities to consider for the end of this month to gear up for March. I am anxiously waiting for milder temperatures. Thanks for a wonderful post.

    • You’re very welcome. It seems like we can all use some different foods, a few fresh flowers…and a nap or two as needed. It won’t change the weather, but it might brighten our moods!!! 🙂

  4. Mud month – so appropriate! And most days are No Brainer days for me! I love your pics.

    • Old English got Solmonath right ~ Mud Month!
      The picture of my mom with Molly and Andrew (her grandson Nic wasn’t yet born) is one of my favorites. We can’t imagine that one baby picture will blossom into other baby pictures, and the generations continue.

  5. Bella and Bubbles were gorgeous. Loved them and such an important message too. And I had mushrooms and spinach today; that’s half a George Washington meal 🙂

  6. Don

    No Brainer day would do so well in our politics here in South Africa, Marylin. Loved the post.

  7. I’m sure many people here in the UK will be glad to see the back of this February. The rain and gales have been almost constant, broken only once or twice with a beautifully clear afternoon – which only emphasises what we are missing!! Many folk face weeks of clearing up after flooding – it really has been a horrible winter. I think we’d probably have preferred a sharp cold snap and a bit of snow inconvenience. Let’s hope March brings us some sunshine 🙂

    • I’m with you, Jenny. Sunshine, gentle showers…and hope for better days. I remember one year when our family room and computer room flooded…twice. Not deep water, but enough to ruin carpets and lower walls and set up mold no matter how thoroughly we cleaned up.
      Each time I read posts from the UK about the flooding I sympathize with you all. But then I think of the picture you posted of your feet in boots and you on a hike, slogging in the water. There’s something strong and fun and surviving about that, and I know this weather won’t get you down! Surely March will be better, Jenny…fingers crossed.

  8. Jim

    I have always wondered how someone gets a day designated this or that. Is there a Clearing House somewhere, or does Guinness offer a sign-up book? Or maybe these hi-tech days one just tweets a new idea for a designated day, and if it catches on, Hallmark gets to sell some more cards. Public Sleeping Day–are you kidding???

    I think someone ought to designate something for February 29. Any ideas out there in the blogosphere? I’ll offer “Reconnect Day” for Feb 29. This is the day we shall make an effort to contact a friend or family member whom we have not seen nor heard from in at least four years. Unfortunately, the next Feb 29 won’t come until 2016. Got anybody in mind already? Well, he or she can just wait for the designated day! 🙂

  9. There are numerous sites where people submit their proposals. I’m not sure of the selection process or who makes the final decisions, but “Reconnect Day” sounds like a good Special Day for Leap Year.

    Come on, honey; we were both high school teachers for three decades; we’ve seen “public sleeping” in the school cafeteria, the library, in the halls against the student lockers, and occasionally even in the class room. It went alone with No Brainer Day 😉

  10. I’m on for “No Brainer Day” – at last a holiday I can embrace enthusiastically. 😉 Marilyn, I do love the Bubbles and Bella video. It’s heartwarming to know that the orphaned elephant and the abandoned dog have formed such a warm, lasting friendship. Thanks for sharing.

    • Isn’t that the greatest video, Judy! When I watch it I laugh and have hope that if an abandoned dog and an orphaned elephant can form a friendship, it’s a testimony to survival–and joy–in spite of severe hardships .

  11. Karin Van den Bergh

    “No Brainer Day, Public Sleeping Day”.. haha I certainly never heard of that in Europe. But I love “Reconnect Day” for Feb 29!
    I love the video of Bubbles and Bella!! I shared it on fb a couple of days ago.

    • My husband Jim is smiling that you like his suggestion for “Reconnect Day” for the next Leap Year February 29th, Karin!
      I’m glad Bubbles and Bella are getting a lot of exposure. I love this video!

  12. juliabarrett

    Oh wow! I need a no brainer day, that’s for sure. Do you have a recipe for the peanut soup? Sounds terrific.
    I always love the photos of your mom with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

    • Thanks, Julia. This is one of my favorite pictures of Mom with her grandchildren–and, indirectly, the future grandchildren.

      You asked for a recipe, and I received several emails asking for one, too. There was only one public-post Peanut Soup that sounded good, so I posted it at the end of the blog. Let me know how you like it. I thought some Ginger liqueur stirred in at the end might be a nice touch.

  13. Perfect post: patriotic with posies and more. About Mud Day–In light of the recent blizzards in the US, I’m guess the mud may flow in March. My sister in Pennsylvania says another snowstorm is to come on Tuesday. Oh, vey.

    • Oh, I know, Marian. It’s been one of those strange winters. In Colorado we’ve had a series of snowstorms, one after another. But during the sunny late spring we’ll probably be wishing for rain or snow to prevent a drought. It’s one extreme or the other.

  14. I probably eat more like George Washington than like my contemporaries. His menu sounds delicious to me. I’ve had the vegetables and the hoe cakes, but never tried peanut soup. Thanks for posting the recipe. I’m going to give it a whirl. (Ha, ha, I’ll make it in a blender, get it? 😉

    • At first I would have replied that at least you don’t eat with wooden teeth like he did, Tracy. But recently I learned his dentures were made with ivory AND real teeth, and since Washington was a slave owner there’s an educated assumption of where some of those teeth came from. Kind of put a sour note on the whole story.
      Of course you’ll use a blender! 😉

  15. It certainly has been ‘mud month’ where I live Marylin – in fact both January and February have been mud months, but the ground is drying out now and the spring flowers are shooting up. My favourite of these days is public sleeping day! And I do like the sound of Washington’s menu…

    • In Colorado, even after heavy snows the ground will dry out quickly once the sun comes out. We’ll be watering all too soon, wishing we had snow or rain to help. But you’re right, Andrea; the spring flowers (especially crocuses and grape hyacinths) will be coming up soon. Aw, yes!
      You might like the peanut soup recipe, though Jim thinks I should make the beans and fresh mushrooms. If you get ambitious, make the full meal and let me know how it turns out!

  16. Such fun and fabulous facts Marylin! I am truly dreading all of the mud to come when our snow finally melts, but that won’t make me wish the days away…they are going way to fast as it is! Blessings, Robyn

  17. I’m so happy we’re in the final stretch of February, Marylin. Here in Charlotte, it’s been in the high 60’s and one day last week, we had a record breaking temperature of 76. I know it’s a tease and whether March rolls in like a lion or lamb, it will be away before I can break out my sandals.
    I read recently about public sleeping day…my imagination went wild with people sleeping in their offices, at the grocery store. It’s been years since I’ve taken a nap, I’m don’t know if I remember how. 🙂

    • Naps are easy, Jill. Stretch out, cover with a quilt or light blanket, close your eyes… I can almost fall asleep just talking about it. My dad took a 15min. power nap each day at noon long before they called it a power nap. He could fall asleep within 2-3 min., begin to snore lightly, and wake up refreshed right on schedule.

  18. I’m just glad February 28 isn’t a church day – offering Public Sleeping Day on a preaching day might be just too tempting 😀

    • That would make quite a show, Rod. Everyone nodding off in the pews…and then saying you gave them permission because it was Public Sleeping Day. And it would be unseemly to douse them with wake-up holy water, or throw hymnals at them.
      Be grateful Feb. 28 is on Friday this year!

  19. It has been a very, very hard February. We have done nothing but be on the road between storm for death and divorce among other things. Lawyers in Chanute, in Ft. Scott! Hosptials in Joplin. Although March often is bad S.A.D. for me, I am hoping March brings good things this year.
    Didn’t know you and your mother looked so much alike…loved her pictures with the grands!

    • Except that she, my dad and my brother had very dark hair–and along came this red-headed daughter!–people used to tell me that if you looked just at our faces, then yes, I looked like my mom!
      I’m sorry for your troubling travels in February, Claudia, and hope is a much better month for you. No more lawyers or hospitals, especially in dreary weary that makes it feel even worse.

  20. Marylin, what a perfect way to wrap up a dreary month. I’ll check out the link on Bubbles and Bella. The photo and title grabbed my attention. 🙂

    • Tracy, you’ll love Bubbles and Bella. With your wonderful ideas for creating whimsical cards and art, you’ll be amused and charmed by the touching antics of this orphaned elephant and the abandoned dog!

  21. Fun post Marylin! I’m with you on tulips. And I delight in seeing the first crocus pop up – sometime amidst snow.

  22. I agree, Shel. For me, it’s the first crocus and grape hyacinth pushing its way through the snow.
    Every season has some flowering blossom or burst of color to remind us to be happy and have hope in the process. As Emerson wrote: “The Earth Laughs in Flowers.”

  23. I support ‘No Brainer Day’! 🙂

  24. So do I, so it’s an easy choice to also choose Sleeping Day–public or private! 😉

  25. Hi Marylin..

    Do you have short stories written recently?


    • Yes Rohith, I had two published in the last few months. “There Are Rules” was published in ON THE PREMISES, and “The Truth About Camels And Ducks,” which was published in THE PROGENITOR, was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize, so that was very exciting.

  26. Molly

    I was the third cutest baby I have ever seen – of course Grace and Gannon are the the 1st and 2nd ( but I won’t say which one is first and which is second) ! 🙂 Wonderful post, as always, Mom!

    I am not sure how Kristy, Jim or anyone at work would feel about Public Sleeping day, or No Brainer day —- but perhaps it is worth a try!

    As EVERYONE knows with the start of March – it is the start of Molly’s BIRTHDAY MONTH! Not meaning that it is the month in which my birthday occurs, but meaning the WHOLE month is my birthday celebration….so BRING ON MARCH!!!


    • Frankly, Grace and Gannon are in a 3-way tie with you for cutest baby, but that’s just Mor-Mor’s opinion. 😉

      Believe me, I do KNOW that March–the entire month!–is your birthday month. It all started when you were supposed to be born in February, but the labor pains went on and on into March. So because labor lasted so long, you assumed your birthday celebrations needed to last and last, too.
      Hmmm…given the choice–long labor or long birthday celebrations–I think I’d choose celebrations, too.
      Love you lots and lots, Mookie! Mom

  27. Jane Thorne

    A no brainer day and sleeping day…love the idea of both those Marylin. xx

  28. Must have had me in mind with this one sweets as every day is a no brainier and most days one of my receptionists will say, “so and so popped in to see you but left saying you were having a nap and they didn’t want to disturb you!”

    Life is such a struggle in February 😉 xxxx

    • Oh, Tom, that’s the best of both worlds! People stopping by to see you…but you happily napping so they don’t bother you!
      For being such a short month, February is filled to the brim. Many hugs to you whether you’re napping or on the go!

  29. Well I just lost my comment…….grrrrrrrr….here goes again!
    Just to say that I remember George Washington’s birthday from my kids’ school days over there but I’ve never heard of the others I have to say! Although Public Sleeping Day sounds intriguing (although I thought at first it was Public Speaking Day lol 🙂 )
    We are still drying out here but who needs those March winds with the belly-full we’ve had here? Still, signs of spring are all around, my daffodils are coming into bloom and I’ve even seen my garden robin, so happy!
    You certainly know how to end February in style over there Marylin, and here’s to sharing the fast-approaching spring 🙂
    Oh, and I’m fascinated by the peanut soup recipe, never heard of it but I have to say it sounds wonderful…thanks for sharing it!

    • I know how you feel, Sherri about losing a comment – that’s happened to me so many times on different sites that if my comment is more than a line or two I copy it before hitting ‘submit.’ Way easier to hit ‘paste’ than recreate!

      • How interesting, thanks for letting me know Shel. I have started to do the same as you for all the same reasons but sometimes I forget, foolishly thinking that the problem has gone away. Right! I thought it was just me, but I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has this problem, although I’m sorry you have it too…yet another of those WP gremlins 😉

      • Oh, Shel, I’ve started doing the same thing! What’s happening that so many disappear off the screen? Just to be safe, like you I make a copy and then submit.

    • You had the rain, while I had the snow, Sherri. But speaking as one who had water damage in the basement many years ago, I’ll take a snowstorm over flooding any day. I’m glad you’re doing better and beginning to dry out. We’ll both cross our fingers and hope for signs of spring very soon!
      Let me know how you like the peanut soup. So many American school children have peanut allergies now that I’m sure Washington would be shocked. Luckily, no one in our family has a problem!

      • Yes, fingers crossed! I certainly will let you know, no nut allergies in this family either Marylin, thankfully! I do remember those days of school children’s endless allergies, or so it seemed (same here too) and yes, George Washington would no doubt be very bemused at such a thing 😉

    • I’m still laughing at confusing this with “Public Speaking” Day, Sherri. As a former speech teacher, I can attest to public speaking being at the bottom of the list of things people would choose to do!
      Nope, “Public Sleeping” Day is a much more popular option!

      • Ha Ha! That’s why I did a double-take to make sure I was reading that right as I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to participate in ‘Public Speaking Day’ 😉 What’s that saying, the two things people fear most are death and speaking in public? Yes, ‘Public Sleeping Day’ is much better 😉

      • I think they intentionally made that play on words, don’t you? Take the most dreaded–public speaking–and offer a day of public sleeping instead. Makes it all the more appealing! But the confusion still makes me laugh, Sherri.

      • Yes, definitely! Glad I made you laugh Marylin 🙂

  30. jakesprinter

    Wow I love your attachment Recipe Marylin , Thanks for sharing my friend 🙂

    • Let me know how you like it, Jake. I’m thinking about trying it with some ginger liquor to spice it up a bit. That would make it in “original,” right? 😉 I really liked your “original” pictures this week!

  31. Marylin, I’ve missed your blog. I’ve been challenged getting to the internet this past month. Just using it to try and keep up with family. Didn’t know about all these special days in February, and have never heard of peanut soup. That’s a first. It is a great month, isn’t it?

    • Glad you’re back, Diana!
      As my parents taught me, I try not to wish away any days, but just between us, February is a rough weather month I won’t be sorry to see end. That’s why I searched out special days that required little effort and could be enjoyed even if another icy snowstorm hit!

  32. Somewhere in your post I sense an exuberance and positivity. When I re-read the post, I am unable to make out from where it arises! Could it be the photos in the beginning or is it the pea-nut soup recipe in the end?

    Loved it!


  33. Wherever it is, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! The picture of my mother at the beginning, holding my baby daughter and my nephew, is one of my favorites, so maybe that’s where the good feelings come from!

  34. The photo of your mom holding Molly and your nephew is so tender and joyful… look at those smiles. And, the “Bubbles and Bella” video is heart-warming and hopeful. Thank you Marylin 🙂

    • You’re welcome! When I need a cheer-up video, “Bubbles and Bella” is my go-to smile producer.
      I was just with Mom, and even though her apartment was toasty warm, she stayed huddled under fleecy blankets covering her in her recliner. It was bitterly cold outside. Are you getting a break, or are you still hunkered down, too?

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