Weird Search Terms #4

When you are over fifty, health issues are a leetle higher up in your conscious level than they were when you were twenty. Apparently, a lot of people are looking for info on how to fix this or that body part as painlessly as possible, and they frequently end up at this blog. I can definitely help you forget your owies temporarily by providing a good laugh, but if you REALLY want to know what to do about your clogged arteries or your gall bladder full of rocks, please see your doctor or at least visit I only practice medicine on my husband and kids, since the highest diploma I own only comes from a two-year technical college.

A lot of people are extremely concerned about bumps growing on their noses or feet. But how about this one? “Pretty people with bumps on their nose.” — Most people with bumps on their noses are realists. They understand only too well that there is nothing pretty about their growths. They either

a.) choose to find their self-esteem in something other than their appearance, or

b.) run to the nearest dermatologist to rectify the unsightly flaw.

But here we have a person who wants to completely lose touch with reality by convincing him- or herself that nose bumps are distinguishing beauty marks. I suspect the searcher got to my blog post because it was the only suggestion Google could come up with for such a bizarre search. All semi-normal people understand that pretty people are pretty because they do NOT have nose bumps. The celebs who develop nose bumps do not sport them for People or Vogue magazines; they have them taken care of by the same plastic surgeon who does their face lifts, liposuctions, and rib removals.

No, there is no way to convince yourself, try as you might, that a brussel sprout-size growth on the end of your nose makes you more attractive — unless, of course, you are Michael Jackson. Michael can convince himself of all sorts of bizarre notions about the end of his nose.

“Milwaukee Mafia families” — What? I write one little blog post about a quirky funeral director, and they think I’m an expert on the Mafia? I was just glad said Mafia didn’t come looking for me after I wrote that one! This search term raised a couple of questions in my mind:

1.) Why does someone want to go searching for the Mafia? Is he looking for employment? I know times are tough, but still ….

2.) Is he looking for his long-lost Aunt Ticily from Sicily? Sometimes people carry this genealogy hobby a tad too far! It’s nice to know whether your relatives were feudal barons or the serfs that tilled the soil, but delving too deeply into The Family sometimes nets more than one bargained for.

“Can you eat toster studal on the Daniel Fast?” — I believe the searcher wants to eat toaster strudel. For the uninitiated, the Old Testament prophet Daniel ate “no pleasant bread” for three weeks while seeking the Lord in prayer, and now 1,289 web sites and twenty-four best-selling Christian authors are trying to make a mint by turning Daniel’s fast into the latest diet fad. Such is life with the Internet these days.

For the “toster studal” inquirer, here’s the answer: It says “no pleasant bread.” If you find toaster strudel pleasant, don’t eat it. If you absolutely loathe toaster strudel, eat a ton of the things.

My most popular blog post ever, by the way, was on the Daniel Fast. Read the original here.

Weird Search Terms

I’m intrigued by the search terms that people use to get to my blogs.  A lot of people don’t just type in search words; they enter whole questions.  Here is a sampling for your entertainment, along with my reactions:

1.)  “Where in the Bible did Daniel fast?”  — He probably did it in the kitchen, in the living room, at the annual convention of the Chaldean Wise Men for Better Working Conditions, and in the bathtub.  Oh.  It says, “in the Bible.”  I think it was in Genesis 1, because they weren’t allowed to eat meat at that point in the Bible yet.  So Daniel ate veggies.  Eat your veggies.  They are good for you.

2.)  “Talking like a Yooper”  — (For those of you who are uninformed, a Yooper is someone from the U.P. — Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It is a territory of Wisconsin.)  The question raised in my mind was, “Why would anyone want to?”

3.)  “Did Tommy Thompson ever eat Fruit Loops?” — Only when Lee Dreyfuss did not send him any “bee poop” for Christmas.  What kind of a fruit loop asks these things? (This is strictly a  Wisconsin joke, based on our history.  If you’ve lived in Wisconsin thirty years or so, you understand.)

4.)  “Did the Pope visit Door County?” — Of course he did.  Everybody visits Door County, even Santa Claus.  The Pope ate at Al Johnson’s — had the Swedish pancakes with lingonberries (because it was Friday, so the meatballs were off-limits).

5.)  “Undertaker grants a wish” — I’m sorry, but this one really brought a question to my mind: who is “Undertaker”?  For some reason I kept thinking of a pro wrestler, or maybe a champion killer bronc on the rodeo circuit.  But on second thought, it sounds a little like a title of a children’s picture book. 

6.)  “Free socking music” — Do people need background music for fistfights?  Does it enhance the experience?  Come to think of it, there was music in the background on those old Roy Rogers movies while he was duking it out with the bad guys!  Or maybe someone needs soothing music while he folds his laundry and matches his socks.

Daniel Fast Revisited

The most popular blog entry ever at Over 50, Still Kickin’ has been the one on the Daniel Fast.  In it, I joshed about my daughter thinking a potato chip counted as a veggie and our insane indulgence the day after the fast was finished.  It was meant to be fun, although I guess it was informative, too.

I am amazed at the number of people who are still reading that post, and I am really amused at the search engine terms they use to find it:  “Can I eat potato chips on a Daniel Fast?”  “Is cheese pizza acceptable on the Daniel Fast?”  “How much weight can I lose on the Daniel Fast?”  (I also think it’s pretty funny that people type whole questions into the search terms box, rather than just key words, but hey, I guess it works!)

It didn’t take me too long to figure out that all the people fixated on Daniel’s fast were not intensely spiritually-minded types.  I predicted to my family, right around Christmas time, “Watch.  As soon as Christmas is over, people will be swarming to this blog, looking for another diet to overcome the extra Christmas poundage.”  And sure enough, that’s the way it was.  New Year’s, with all its resolutions to reshape the bod into movie star likeness, brought in another wave of seekers.

So, I thought it might be a good time to poke a little fun at everybody, and also do a little educating about the Daniel Fast.  It is a biblical fast, and it had nothing to do with Daniel feeling he needed to lose some excess baggage around the middle.  Let’s look again at what it says in the Bible:

In those days, I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.  I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine into my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all [the equivalent of modern-day hygiene tasks], until three whole weeks were fulfilled.  — Daniel 10:2, 3

At the end of twenty-one days of fasting as mentioned above, an angel came to Daniel, and said this:

… Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to chasten yourself [afflict yourself by fasting and skipping the hygiene tasks] before your God, your words were heard, and I have come because of your words [prayers].  — Daniel 10:12

So there you have it.  Daniel was praying, seeking the face of the Lord, not trying to lose weight.  He was not concerned about what he could get away with eating and still make the fast “count.”  He was going after God with all his heart, praying for his beloved nation of Israel.  And God answered by sending an angel, which Daniel saw with his physical eyes.  The angel went on to tell Daniel a whole lot about future events, some of which are still to transpire.

I don’t think any of us probably want to quit taking care of our personal appearance and cleanliness for twenty-one days.  I haven’t heard that even one Daniel Fast expert is suggesting such a thing, but it was a common component of fasting in Old Testament times.  King David did it, too.  People meant business with God back then, when they fasted.  I wonder how popular the Daniel Fast would be, if not “anointing oneself” were a requirement?  Maybe everyone would just do the South Beach Diet instead, and call it a fast!

So there you have it — my little attempt to put the whole Daniel Fast fad in perspective.  Happy cheese pizzas and potato chips to you!

For just a little bit more on the Daniel Fast, see my post, Weird Search Terms #4. (Scroll to the bottom of the post.)

Daniel Fast

Our church family just finished a 21-day Daniel fast and time of prayer.  For those of you who may not know, a Daniel fast is patterned after how Daniel in the Bible fasted and prayed:

Daniel 10:2, 3In those days, I Daniel was mourning [probably repentance prayer for his nation] three full weeks.  I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

At the end of the 21 days that Daniel fasted, an angel came with revelation from heaven for Daniel.  His prayers were answered.

It’s amazing what people do with a small passage in the Bible like that.  There are umpteen web sites that will tell you exactly how to do a Daniel fast.  Supposedly, the web site authors have done research, and have discovered exactly what Daniel ate and what he didn’t eat during that time.  But the web sites do not agree with each other, so either several somebodies’ research is faulty, or else they are making it up as they go along.  (Can I say this, and get away with it?)

One web site declares that on a Daniel fast, we must eat all whole-grain bread, fruits and veggies galore, no preservatives, no sugar, no meat, no dairy, no oil of any kind.  Another site allows dairy, including butter (but not margarine).  Another says sugar is bad, but honey is acceptable.  Still another says we cannot eat any bread.

I did not think the verses in the Bible were as hard as all that to understand — No wine and no flesh is pretty straightforward: we weren’t going to be eating meat, and we don’t drink wine anyway.  No pleasant bread tells me just that — the cookies, sweet breads, and goodies of that ilk gotta go.  Some translations say “no pleasant food.”  OK, so fruit is a pleasant food in my book, so shouldn’t that go, too?  (But we ate fruit.  We had to eat something.)

My family obsessed over food for two weeks leading up to the fast.  I never saw my husband and child so preoccupied with their stomachs before!  They were wringing their hands about what in the world they were going to eat.  Now, you have to understand how serious this was to them.  My daughter is a growing teenager, and teenagers need a lot of fuel.  My husband is six feet tall and weighs about 150 pounds on a good day.  He has a high metabolism and a high-energy job.  He eats constantly, just to keep going and maintain weight in the process.  We call him The Hummingbird.  I, on the other hand, do not need more fuel.  Maintaining weight, for me, means not blimping out and breaking the scale.  I saw this fast as a marvelous opportunity to lose a few pounds and not have to cook!

It was very interesting hearing from our church friends how they were doing the fast.  They ran the gamut from hard core fruit-and-veggies-only people to letter-of-the-law types who tried to get as close to the line without stepping over it as possible.  One family in our acquaintance finally decided that cheese pizza would fit the fast criteria, since there wasn’t any meat on it.   They managed to find one with a whole wheat crust.  Hmmm.  Some spent many hours in the kitchen, coming up with gourmet bean delights that were as tasty as any meat dish ever thought of.  I rather thought this might be defeating the purpose.  I thought we were supposed to suffer a little, and use the time we would normally spend preoccupied with eating on prayer.  Well, what do I know?

Several of our people suffered horribly without their Starbucks or Mountain Dew fix.  The caffeine withdrawal was enormous.  My sympathies to them.

My daughter decided she was going to fit into the get-as-close-to-the-line group.  She read all those web sites, and picked the most appealing “acceptable” foods from each.  On the first day of the fast, I caught her eating white bread with honey on it.  I think potato chips (a veggie) would have been next on her agenda, if I hadn’t put my two cents’ worth in.

“This is a fast, after all, Beebee!  It’s supposed to be a little hard for you.  Somehow I don’t think honey bread is fast material.”  I noticed that the next day she was dutifully gagging down the whole grain bread with no sweeties on top.

It was a challenging three weeks.  We were not hardcore.  I would describe our eating patterns as moderate.  We drank milk and ate some butter on our bread.  We popped pounds of popcorn in olive oil.  We ate a few baked potatoes.  We will be paying off the credit card debt for the fruit and veggie grocery bill for the next year!  (Daniel fasts are an expensive way to eat.)  My child refused to eat beans under any circumstances.  We were hungry a lot; the food was just too boring to care about eating it, starved or not.

I reminded my family that things could be much worse.  What if the angel hadn’t come to Daniel at the end of 21 days?  We could have been on this fast for three months, or a year, if the angel had taken that long to get to Daniel!  So, I heard a few thanksgiving prayers from our teenager, “Thank You, Jesus, for not waiting 52 days to send the angel to Daniel!”  It’s amazing the things you can find to be thankful for.

Yesterday was the first day off the fast.  You want to know what we ate, don’t you?  We had been carefully planning the menu for a week, and it was outrageous.  I had a Toaster Strudel for breakfast and potato chips for midmorning snack.  Also part of a chocolate candy bar.  Beebee ate a fat-laden store-bought muffin as big as a softball.  We had milk and an apple, to assuage our consciences. We had Dairy Queen ice cream cake for lunch.  I did not feel well all afternoon.  I prayed my gall bladder would hold up!  This did not stop the excess at suppertime, however.  We indulged in a Little Caesar’s pizza.  We controlled ourselves a teeny bit and did not eat quite the whole thing.

Today, we will climb back out of the abyss of indulgence and eat with more sanity.  The junk we ate yesterday is not typical for us.  I think I’ve bought Toaster Strudels only once before in my whole life, and if the potato chip companies had to depend on people like us, they’d all be bankrupt.  Ditto for Dairy Queen and Little Caesar’s.  It was fun for a day, but will not be a trend.  (And my gall bladder prayers were answered, by the way.)

So yes, thank You Lord, for coming to Daniel after 21 days instead of 60, thank You for the answers to prayer You are sending our way — and thank You for potato chips!

Sequel: Daniel Fast Revisited  
Additional Sequel: Weird Search Terms #4  
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