Bringing in 2014

According to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than on any other holiday throughout the year.
The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was started around 600 B.C by the ancient Greeks, who at the start of a year would carry a baby around in a basket. The purpose of it was to honor Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth.
In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year’s Day (also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece) with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.
In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of traveling in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight. Some even carry it around the block to ensure traveling at greater distances.  (Alrighty then – guess I better get my suitcase ready and head around the block)
In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year’s Eve. This peculiar ritual originated in the twentieth century when freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual.  (We could modify this tradition with wine…after all, it’s made from grapes)
The people in China believe that there are evil spirits that roam the earth. So on New Year they burn crackers to scare the evil spirits. The doors and windows of every home in china can be seen sealed with paper. This is to keep the evil demons out.

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2013 Books

Under the Table: Saucy Tales from Culinary School by Katherine Darling

A deliciously entertaining memoir about one woman’s adventures in the student kitchens of the legendary French Culinary Institute—flavored with celebrity chefs, eccentric characters, and mouthwatering recipes. To anyone who has ever dreamed of life in a French kitchen, Katherine Darling serves up a savory dose of reality in this funny, fascinating, and altogether delightful account of her time spent slaving over a hot stove, wrestling with veal calves, and cleaning fish heads at The French Culinary Institute. As she goes from clueless amateur to certified chef, Katherine and her quirky fellow students frequently find themselves the objects of scorn as their teachers wage psychological warfare over steaming pots of bisque. It’s a cutthroat world, and no one ever made a soufflé without breaking a few eggs—or cracking a few heads together. Filled with delicious food lore and trivia, and including dozens of classic and original French recipes, Under the Table takes readers deep into the trenches of one of the world’s most prestigious cooking schools—and shows what really goes on behind the doors of every great restaurant kitchen.

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Week 10

How far along? 10 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Still hanging in around +/-7lbs

How big is baby? The size of a Prune.  Now that you’ve reached 10 weeks, you can stop wondering when you’ll start to actually look pregnant.  It’s probably right around now, as your baby continues baby’s rapid growth and your tummy starts to develop some extra curve (of course, you still might be the only one who notices).  Now baby’s about 1.2 inches long and weighs about .14 ounces.  Baby’s body will almost double in the next three weeks.  

  • Baby has working arm joints. and cartilage and bones are forming.
  • Vital organs are fully developed and they’re starting to function
  • Fingernails and hair are starting to appear, too
  • Plus, baby’s swallowing and kicking in there.

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