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June 1, 2013

Today we celebrate:

World Milk Day – First celebrated in 2001, this is a day to focus attention on milk and the benefits the world receives from milk. It is an important source of calcium which is good for maintaining strong bones. Dairy farmers look after their cows every day. Cows have to eat, and be cared for, every day so that they are healthy and give good quality milk and so farmers don't get any days off.

Say Something Nice Day – Three years ago, Mayor Keith Summey of North Charleston declared this day for the purpose of spreading healthy and positive communication. The plan is to start with saying positive things to yourself, then move on to smiling at everyone you see, graduating to contacting a friend you haven't talked to in a while and finally, writing a love letter to someone you love.
National Hazelnut Cake Day – Hazelnut adds a nutty flavor to any already delicious cake and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Stand for Children Day – Founded by Jonah Edelman in 1996, this is a day full of rallies organized by Stand For Children (an American education advocacy group) for the purpose of supporting our nation's children.
Flip a Coin Day – Some of the most important decisions in our lives are decided by a flip of the coin. I wouldn't pick a spouse that way, but picking a vacation spot or deciding who washes the bet!

Drawing Day or Pencil Day – This is a day to drop everything, except babies, and pick up a pencil and draw a picture. That's the easy part. The hard part, for some, is that when you are finished with your picture, you need to share your art with others. This is a day to encourage the love of art and drawing and to share art amongst ourselves.

National Trails Day – On the first Saturday in June, the American Hiking Society organizes the countries largest celebration of trails. There are thousands of events celebrating this day occurring all over the country. See this web site for information on how to find an event in your local area.

To celebrate today, have a glass of milk with your breakfast of hazelnut cake and an uplifting pep talk for yourself. Then flip a coin to decide which trail you are going to hike on today. Once you have decided that, gather a group of children, dispense paper, pencils and clipboards and have them draw the things they see on the hike. Make sure you smile at all the children and say something nice about each and every picture. When you get home, call up an old friend and see how he/she is doing and finish up the day by writing a love letter to someone you love.

May 31, 2013

Today we celebrate:

Save Your Hearing Day – This is a day to focus on a very important sense, our ability to hear. For as long as I can remember, young people have been determined to destroy this sense as quickly as possible. Probably something to do with knowing that they will one day have very loud children and so they know already that there will come a day when they will be glad that the noise is somewhat muffled. Or, maybe it is simply because they like loud music. Who doesn't? I like to crank up my radio when I'm alone in the house too, but I also have to endure the many complaints of my family members that I should get my ears checked because I can't hear diddlysquat. Which is nonsense. Who wants to hear diddlysquat anyway?

World No Tobacco Day – This is a day for absolutely everyone to spread the word any way they can that tobacco can cause many health problems. Some ideas include: working on banning tobacco advertising, holding anti-smoking meetings, going into schools and telling kids how bad tobacco is, stopping people in public places and encouraging them to stop smoking, holding public marches and demonstrations. Because you never know, some people who have lived under a rock for the last twenty or so years, just might emerge today and be receptive to your information. You could save a life today.

National Macaroon Day – Macaroons are cookies made with egg whites, sugar, ground almonds, coconut and maybe some chocolate. They do not use flour. They are also not to be confused with macarons which are sandwich like treats filled with butter or jam. Have some macaroons today. These won't even mess up your gluten-free diet if you are on one.

Heat Awareness Safety Day – We had Heat Awareness Day last week, this week we need to be aware of how we can be safe in the heat. Most of it is commonsense such as making sure you drink enough water, stay out of the direct sun as much as possible, try to complete outside labors in the morning or evening when it's a little cooler, wear sunscreen, wear a hat, etc. The hard part is putting that knowledge into action. You know, this is a great opportunity to go have a glass of water. Yes, I'm talking to you.

What You Think Upon Grows Day – This is a day that is all about the power of positive thinking. Whatever you allow your mind to dwell on will come to pass. If you persist in thinking about negative things, negative things will happen in your life. So anytime you start thinking negatively, push those thoughts right out of your head and replace them with positive thoughts. The more positive thoughts you have, the more positive things will happen in your life.

To celebrate today, turn down the radio and save your ears, then grab some macaroons and some positive vibes and go out into the world to make a difference. Talk to everyone you meet about the health problems associated with tobacco and the best ways to stay safe in the heat. If you have positive thoughts in your head about how these subjects will be received by your victims...ahem...pardon me, I meant to say...audience...then they will be received in a positive manner.

May 30, 2013

Today we celebrate:

Water A Flower Day – Wow, I'm getting it from all sides today. My husband is always on my case because I remember to water my vegetable garden but I never think about the poor flowers. Usually because I'm in a hurry to get to work or get away from the mosquitos so I only water the “important” things. I know, I know, flowers are important too. Sheesh, I'll water them already.

Loomis Day – This is a day dedicated to people who think outside the box like Mahlon Loomis, a dentist and the inventor of artificial teeth in 1854, was also the earliest inventor of a wireless telegraph in 1872. His idea worked, but not for the reasons he thought. He was using kites with metal wires instead of string as antennas and thought that if the kites were flown at the same level in the atmosphere, the messages could be transmitted between them. It worked, but it worked because of the length of the wire, not the height of the kite. I don't understand it all, but I do know that Congress wasn't buying the whole concept so even though he got a patent for his idea, it didn't end up going anywhere. He may not have been totally successful, but his ideas sparked a trend that led to the technology we have today.

To celebrate today, water some flowers and then spend the rest of the day coming up with a crazy idea that just might work. See what you can do to make it happen.

May 29, 2013

Today we celebrate:
World MS Day– Multiple Sclerosis is a neurological disorder that affects approximately 2 million people worldwide. It usually shows up in young adults and most people are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 31. More women than men are affected. There is no cure and no one knows what causes it. The type and severity of symptoms vary widely from person to person but can include weakness of limbs, dizziness, fatigue, tingling sensations, and vision disruptions. Sometimes patients can be in remission and be symptom free for days to even years and then it will relapse. Others never get a period of remission. Some can live a reasonably healthy life for many years and others become severely debilitated very quickly and do not live long at all. There is no predicting the course of the disease in anyone. Find out more here:

Put A Pillow On Your Fridge Day – Back in the day before there were refrigerators, it was fairly common practice, or so I understand not being old enough to have experienced it, to put cloth in your larder as it was believed to bring good luck and prosperity to the family. Well, no one has a larder any more and not too many of us have piles of cloth lying around so we are encouraged to put a pillow on or in (if you have room) your refrigerator. If you do this, let me know if it works and you end up having good luck and great wealth.

Ascension Of Baha'u'Llah – On this day in 1892, Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i faith, died and ascended into Heaven. He left his followers teachings which he believed would lead all of humanity to a “true and abiding peace.”

National Senior Health & Fitness Day – This year is the twentieth anniversary of the first celebration of this day. The goal is to keep older Americans healthy and fit. It is always celebrated on the last Wednesday in May and you will find events happening all over the world. The theme for this year is: “Get Moving....Start Improving!”

Learn About Composting Day– This is a day to learn about composting. The basic idea is to reuse our food scraps by collecting them in a compost bin and over time, turning them into compost which would make good, natural, fertilizer.

International Day Of United Nations Peacekeepers - This is a day to remember all those who have worked in UN peacekeeping operations as well as to honor the memories of all those who have died in the name of peace.

End of Middle Ages Day – According to historians, this day in 1453 was the last day of the Middle Ages. I don't know about you but my first question was: How do they know that? Well, I'll tell you. May 29th, 1453 was the day that Constantinople fell, marking the end of the Byzantine Empire. Goodbye, Middle Ages: Hello, Renaissance.

National Coq Au Vin Day – Chicken and wine. Really, that is all this is. Have some chicken and wine for dinner tonight. Oh, you can follow a traditional recipe and make it all fancy if you want or have time. If not, any old chicken and wine will do.

To celebrate today, put a pillow on your fridge, (if it's like mine, there is no room inside and who wants to do that anyway...although it might be amusing when the kids go in there to get a snack.) Next, find a middle ages costume to wear (maybe you can be a knight in shining armor) and head to the nearest senior center to cheer on the seniors who are exercising. When you get home tonight, take some time to research the right way to compost and learn some more about MS and if you are so moved, donate to the research being done to find out what causes it and what can be done to cure it. Have some chicken and wine for dinner while you explain about Baha'u'Llah to your family. Then when your kids are fighting over who gets to use the bathroom first tonight (or if your house is like mine the kids fight over who gets to use the bathroom last since no one wants to go to bed), you can practice your peacekeeping skills.

May 28, 2013

Today we celebrate:

Amnesty International Day – Amnesty International was founded in 1961 after an article was published on this day in 1961 by the The Observer entitled “The Forgotten Prisoners” by Peter Benenson. Amnesty's goal is to bring attention to the many cases of human rights abuse in the world and to bring pressure to governments whenever and wherever they can to try to get those abuses to end. The organization was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for its “campaign against torture,” as well as the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978.

Sierra Club Day – Founded on this day in 1892, with John Muir as its' first President and a membership of 182 charter members, this club has worked tirelessly to, as John Muir said, “do something for wildness and make the mountains glad.” This club now has more than a million members and is the oldest environmental organization in the U.S.

Slugs Return From Capistrano Day – This is a day that was created by the very inventive people. The premise of the day is that Capistrano is a lovely place to spend the winter if you're a slug but now it's getting too hot so they are returning to patios and gardens near you. Of course, slugs don't move very fast so I'm not sure of the mode of transportation they will choose. Maybe they hitch a ride on cars, buses, trains, etc.

To celebrate today, examine your garden or backyard for evidence of slugs, maybe they have left a slimy trail behind that you can follow, and then go out and find the wilderness so you can bask in its' glory. Next, get online and join the Sierra Club and Amnesty International and find out what you can do to support their missions. You might have to promise to never torture anyone, so if you have siblings, think hard about whether or not you will be able to keep your promise before you make it.

May 27, 2013

Today we celebrate:

Sun Screen Day – This is a day to raise awareness of the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect your skin. It's also important to remember that you don't have to see the sun in order to be burned by the sun. I've gotten my worse sunburns on cloudy days because those are the days you don't even think about needing sunscreen. Protect your skin and you will be less likely to get a melanoma.

Memorial Day – Celebrated on the last Monday in May, this is a United States Federal Holiday and is a day for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It was originally known as Decoration Day, as I mentioned two days ago, and celebrations began shortly after the Civil War to commemorate both Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that war. It has since been extended to honor all Americans who died in all of the wars we have been involved in. Veteran's grave stones or crosses are typically decorated for this day with an American flag and sometimes with wreaths and flowers as well.

Cellophane Tape Day – On this day in 1930, Richard Drew of the 3M company, received a patent for his invention of cellophane tape, also known as Scotch Tape or Invisible Tape or just Tape. I have a whole lot of this stuff in my house because I went a little crazy one day at BJ's and I will probably never have to buy it again. See if you can find a new way of using it today besides the tried and true old present wrapping standby. Just the other day I amazed my teenager by using cellophane tape to remove lint from her black shirt. I don't know what shocked her more; that it worked, or that I knew something she didn't know.

To celebrate today, put on some sunscreen and go watch a Memorial Day Parade that is undoubtedly happening in your area. When you get home, get out the tape and challenge the kids to figure out 10 new things they can do with it. Just don't get mad at them later if they tape something you didn't want taped.

May 26, 2013

Today we celebrate:

Sally Ride Day – On this day in 1951, Sally Ride was born. Sally, of course, became an astronaut when women just didn't do that, and in 1983, at 32 years old, became the first American woman to enter space and orbit the earth. She had another space flight in 1984 and between the two flights, spent more than 343 hours in space. She was the only person to serve on the investigation board for both the Challenger and the Columbia disasters and she formed her own company, Sally Ride Science that creates entertaining science programs for students, with an emphasis on girls. She died of pancreatic cancer in 2012

National Blueberry Cheesecake Day – Any kind of cheesecake is delicious but if you're a fan of blueberries, which I am, then delicious becomes heavenly.

Trinity Sunday – This day is celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost for Christians and is about celebrating the Holy Trinity, which is the belief, that I confess I don't completely understand even though I am Christian, that God and his son Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all God and therefore all equal and cannot be divided.

To celebrate today, head to your church for Trinity Sunday services, then stop at the library on the way home to pick up a book for your kids that is all about Sally Ride which they can read while they are eating a delicious dessert of blueberry cheesecake.

May 25, 2013

Today we celebrate:

National Missing Children's Day – On this day, any law enforcement officers who have performed above and beyond their call of duty in order to safely recover a missing child, or have helped a child who has been sexually exploited over the course of the year, are honored during a ceremony today. This year law enforcement officers from 5 states, Washington, D.C. And Mexico City will receive recognition today.

National Tap Dance Day – This is a day to celebrate tap dancing. It was created by Carol Vaughn, Nicola Daval and Linda Christensen, and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1989. It is also celebrated in a few other countries like Japan, Australia, India & Iceland. This day was chosen for celebrating tap dancing because it is the birthday of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

Towel Day – This day is a tribute to late author Douglas Adams. We are to celebrate by carrying a towel everywhere we go today. Fans of Adams' book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, need no further explanation. For the rest of you, I will explain only that if you are an interstellar hitchhiker, or you want to be prepared in case you unexpectedly become one, you absolutely MUST have a towel with you. If you want to know more, read this marvelous book.

National Brown-Bag-It Day – This is a day to celebrate the simple brown bag that we all used to use to carry our lunches to school. These days we have fancier bags that keep things cold or warm but bringing your lunch to school or work is still called brown-bagging-it. I bring my lunch every day and if you don't you might want to consider doing so at least now and then. It's healthier, depending on what you pack, and it's definitely cheaper.

Cookie Monster's Birthday – A little confusion here with this day. Cookie Monster's birthday is really November 2nd, but the voice of Cookie Monster, Frank Oz, celebrates his birthday today. So have a cookie today in honor of the Cookie Monster's voice.

Nerd Pride Day or Geek Pride Day – This day was chosen for this particular celebration because on this day in 1977, the first Star Wars film, A New Hope, was released. The idea for today is to play up your unique geekness or nerdiness.

Julia Pierpont Day – Julia Pierpont is known for having the original idea for Memorial Day, which was first called Decoration Day, back in May of 1866. You can pay tribute today to Julia as well as our veterans by decorating veterans graves in order to prepare them for Memorial Day coming up in just two days.

Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day – On this day Amateur Radio Operators from around the world are asked to team up to allow people from their local communities to gather in public areas and use the two way radio to verbally express their support and appreciation for members of the all branches of the military, and First Responders.

To celebrate today, put on your geeky clothes, grab your towel and tap dance your way to the Missing Children's ceremony. Make sure you bring your brown bag lunch, including a cookie for dessert, because you know how people love to make long speeches. On the way home, stop at your local veteran's cemetery and decorate the graves. Lastly, stop at the local shopping center or wherever the radio people are gathering and wait your turn to tell the troops how much you care about them and appreciate what they are doing.

May 24, 2013

Today we celebrate:

National Escargot Day – This dish is a French delicacy that I have never been tempted to try since I know that the English translation is snails. Now these are not just any old snails that you might find in your garden because not all snails are edible. In my opinion, no snails are edible but the French did not ask my opinion.

Brother's Day – Celebrated every year on this day, this is a celebration for brothers of all kinds. Biological or educational or union or just emotional, brothers get together and reminisce about your shared past today.

Don't Fry Day – Celebrated on the Friday before Memorial Day, this is a day to think about saving your skin from the sun. Having fair skin, I have to be extra cautious about this and have turned into a sunscreen nazi, I have to admit. I time how long the kids have been in the pool and pull them out to dry off and reapply the sunscreen far more often than they like. But there are other things you should do besides applying sunscreen. See this website for more skin saving tips.

International Tiara Day – The first time this was celebrated was on this day in 2005. The day was created by Barbara Bellissimo and seems to be related to bridal attire. Lynanne White received permission from Barbara to take over the day with the idea of making every woman feel like a princess. This day was chose because it is Queen Victoria's birthday.

Heat Awareness Day – While we all have at least a few days in the summer when we find the heat unbearable, sometimes we forget that heat kills hundreds of people every year. It's hard to believe it, but heat kills more people than tornadoes, floods, lightning, and hurricanes combined. There are things you can do to keep yourself safe when the temperature runs too high, make sure you know what those things are and do them. Also try to keep an eye on your elderly relatives or neighbors this summer.

National Wig Out Day – Celebrated on the Friday before Memorial Day, this is a day to have fun. Put on a wig and try out a new hairstyle without risking your actual hair, or put on a wig and an alter ego and pretend to be someone else today.

To celebrate today, put on a wig and a tiara along with some sunscreen. Then go out but stay in the shade because it's cooler there. Call up your brothers, biological or otherwise and invite them over for some escargot dinner, which you have my permission to skip yourself if you can't stomach the thought of eating snails. I'm sure your brothers will be happy to eat your share.

May 23, 2013

Today we celebrate:

Lucky Penny Day – Pennies are made from copper, or at least they used to be, I don't know if they still are. Anyway, copper represented the Greek God Venus and the Greeks believed it could protect against evil and attract love. Therefore, finding a penny meant you were protected from evil and might find love soon. That is what makes them lucky. Keep your eyes peeled for pennies today, maybe they still have enough copper in them so that their power still works.

National Taffy Day – Taffy is soft, and chewy and can be many different flavors. See if you can find some today, it would make a great dessert.

Declaration Of The Bab Day – On this day the Baha'is celebrate from sunset last night to sunset tonight. They are celebrating the origins of their faith which began in 1844 when Siyyid Ali-Muhammad announced that he was the bearer of a Divine Revelation, which would prepare humanity for the arrival of the Promised One which has been foretold by all the world's religion.

World Crohn's and Colitis Day - This day was created by Josh Golder in 2007 and is recognized by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Josh has Crohn's disease and is a prominent figure in the Crohn's community. This day is about bringing together people who have been affected by either disease as well as their friends and family to spread awareness of these diseases.

World Turtle Day – This day is sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue and has been around since 2000. The idea for today is to encourage people to take action to help turtles and tortoises survive.

To celebrate today, read about the Baha religion and find out if the Promised One is going to come anytime soon. Then find out where you can go to help turtles and tortoises and then go there and help the turtles and tortoises. While you are out and about doing all that turtle helping, watch out for pennies. If you find any give them to the turtles because they apparently need the good luck more than you do. When you get home, tell someone you know about Crohn's disease and Colitis so you can spread awareness and then share some taffy with your family.

May 22, 2013

Today we celebrate:

Canadian Immigrants Day – This is a day to celebrate Canadian immigrants and recognize the contributions they have made to our country. Celebrate by participating in a lively discussion about the Canadian immigration policy and your experiences with Canadian immigrants.

National Maritime Day – On this day in 1819, the SS Savannah, an American sailing ship/sidewheel steamer, set sail and became the first steamship in the world to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Although most of the distance was not covered using steam power, it was still a historic event.

International Day For Biological Diversity – Created by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 to increase awareness and understanding of biodiversity issues. December 29th was the date originally chosen for celebration because that was the date of the beginning of the Convention of Biological Diversity. However, in 2000, the date was changed to today partly because many countries have a large number of celebrations already around that time of year and it was difficult to plan and carry out appropriate celebrations for this day.

Buy A Musical Instrument Day – Have you always wanted to learn a musical instrument and never got around to it? Well this is the day to get an instrument and get started. If you don't want to spend the money to buy a new one, you can always get a used instrument that is just as good as a new one, or you can rent one for a while to see if you like it.

National Vanilla Pudding Day – A simple, but delicious dessert. I tend to prefer vanilla over chocolate and you can mix other things in to get other flavors like strawberries or ice cream or bananas. Yum, I'm making myself hungry.

To celebrate today, take a walk around your backyard and look at the biodiversity you have even in that small space. Then head to the music store to buy an instrument of your choosing which you can take with you to the water to play while you're on a lovely boat ride. Just don't drop it into the water. When your fellow passengers complain about your music (because you are just beginning, after all), distract them with a conversation about how they feel about the Canadian immigration policy, then top it all off by sharing some vanilla pudding with everyone.

May 21, 2013

Today we celebrate:

National Memo Day – While the memo is occasionally a useful method of conveying information sometimes it is overused. Other times it seems that important information still doesn't get to the people it needs to get to. But I don't think it's the memo's fault. I think that most likely it is the fault of whoever is sending the memo. So we should still celebrate the memo today.

National Waiters And Waitresses Day – Waiters and Waitresses put up with a lot of grief from their customers. Not you, of course, I'm talking about other customers with unruly children, obnoxious manners, poor tippers and humungous mess makers. But in spite of all that, most of them are able to keep their friendly attitudes and do a great job providing excellent service. So lets give them a hand today, and maybe an extra big tip.

American Red Cross Founder's Day – Clarissa Harlowe Barton founded the Red Cross in 1881 at the age of 60. The age when most people are thinking about retirement and golfing 24/7. Then, she ran the organization for 23 years. Prior to that she provided assistance to Union troops during the Civil War. She led an amazing and inspiring life, you can read about it here:

I Need A Patch For That Day – Created by the people, Thomas & Ruth Roy, this is a day for patches. You can find a patch somewhere for just about everything, just ask the Girl Scouts. Today I need a patch for carpool driving.

World Day For Cultural Diversity For Dialogue & Development – This is a day proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in November 2001 for the purpose of promoting diversity around the world. The UN would like communities to understand the value of cultural diversity, realize that we can all learn from each other, and live together in harmony.

Sister Maria Hummel Day – Born on this day in 1909, Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, O.S.F., was an artist and a German Franciscan Sister. She created the artwork for the Hummel figurines which are very famous in the art world. It should be noted that Adolf Hitler hated her art and although the Nazi's allowed her to work, they banned distribution of her work in Germany. In 1940, the Nazi's seized the convent that she lived in and forced many of the 250 Sisters to leave. The 40 who remained lived without heat or a means of support. Hummel continued to work, sometimes even drawing pictures with a Jewish theme which was very dangerous, but the Nazi's took half of the money she made and the rest went to buy food for the Sisters. Sister Hummel became ill during this time and never recovered. She died in 1946.

To celebrate today, write a memo to remind yourself to be more understanding of cultural differences among the people in the world. Then tell your children about Sister Hummel and how brave she was to defy evil in her own unique way. Next, go out for lunch and give your waiter or waitress a big tip. Finally, find a Red Cross in your area and volunteer there for a few hours. Remember to ask them for a volunteering patch before you leave.

May 20, 2013

Today we celebrate:

Be A Millionaire Day – I could not determine the origins of this day but it seems to be about most everyone's desire to be a millionaire. I could not find any good advice on how to make it happen so maybe you should play the lottery today. That seems to be the quickest way.

Pick Strawberries Day – 'Tis normally the season for picking strawberries. They are best when you pick them yourself and eat them while they are still warm from the sunshine. Call the place you usually go to pick them first, however. The cool weather in the North has delayed a lot of their growth this year.

National Quiche Lorraine Day – This dish was apparently named after the Lorraine region of France and dates back to the 6th century. It is the original quiche recipe, all others are mere adaptations.

Eliza Doolittle Day – Eliza Doolittle is a fictional character from the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw in 1912. You may know it better by the musical version called My Fair Lady. I was not able to figure out why she rates her own day or why it needed to be this day.

Weights & Measures Day – On this day in 1875, an international treaty was signed establishing an International Bureau of Weights and Measures. Clearly an important organization, but I can't help but think that if it were not created, would we all be as concerned about measuring how much we weigh?

Victoria Day – The last Monday before May 25th is a federal Canadian Public Holiday in honor of Queen Victoria's birthday. This has been a holiday for Canada on different days around the 24th of May, (the Queen's actual birthday) since 1845 but was finally put on this Monday format in 1953.

To celebrate today, go out and buy a lottery ticket on your way to the farm to pick strawberries. When you get home, weigh your strawberries while watching My Fair Lady. Make sure you raise your beverage glass in a toast to Queen Victoria before you enjoy your Quiche Lorraine for dinner.

May 19, 2013

Today we celebrate:

Boy's Club and Girl's Club Day – This day celebrates the Boy's Clubs and Girl's Clubs that provide safe activities for our children all over the country. Parents need a safe place for their children to go when they have to work and these clubs fill that need. The first Boy's Club was begun in 1860 and in 1906 the Boys and Girls Clubs of America began operations and they have expanded to more than 4,300 locations.

National Devil's Food Cake Day – Rich and moist and delicious, this is one of my favorite cakes.

May Ray Day – This is a day with two purposes. The first is to celebrate the warmth the sun provides for our enjoyment and the second is to celebrate everyone named Ray. I suspect you may think I am kidding about this, but I assure you that this is a real day.

Mike, The Headless Chicken Day – Celebrated on the third weekend in May, this is a day to learn the story of Mike. Mike was a chicken who was supposed to be dinner back in 1945, but when his owner, Lloyd Olson, chopped off his head (Mike's head, not Lloyd's), Mike just refused to die and carried on his chickenly duties such as attempting to peck for food and preen his feathers. He lived without his head for another 18 months. Impossible you say? Well, apparently Lloyd botched the chop job and left behind the lower portion of his brain that was attached to his spinal column. This is apparently a true story that was documented by scientists and you can read all about it here:  Pictures are somewhat gross so I'm not going to post one here, you can click on the link or google search it if you want to see it.

National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – This is a day to spread awareness of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among Asians and Pacific Islanders. This is a disease that does not care where its victims are from. Find out how to protect yourselves.

Neighbor Day – This day was begun in 1993 in Rhode Island because of a tragedy resulting in the loss of a life and the incarceration of another. The hope of this day is to get to know your neighbors, be concerned for them and be willing to help them when they need it and hopefully they will do the same for you.

Pentecost – Greek for Feast of Weeks, for Christians, this is a feast celebrating the time that the Holy Spirit descended upon the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. This day is sometimes knows as Whitsunday because of the white clothing that was worn on this day by those who were baptized during the period of time between Easter and Pentecost.

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day – Last year, this was the first global, online awareness celebration. It is hosted by many groups and organizations in the Autoimmune Arthritis community. It is going to be online again this year. It is an interactive, live, virtual convention that lasts for 47 hours and is free.

To celebrate today, sign up your kids for some fun with your local boys or girls club. Then head outside to enjoy the sun's warmth and to meet your neighbors. You can break the ice by telling them about the headless chicken. Then head to Church to celebrate the Holy Spirit. While you are there, offer a prayer for the Asians and Pacific Islanders who are suffering with HIV/AIDS. For dessert tonight, have some Devil's Food Cake. Finally, after dinner, get online and join the Autoimmune Arthritis convention.

May 18, 2013

Today we celebrate:

International Museum Day – This day was created in 1977 by the International Council of Museums for the purpose of increasing awareness of the importance of museums in society. They were probably also hoping to increase the number of people visiting the thousands of museums sprinkled around the country. Well, it worked, attendance has been increasing steadily ever since. Last year, nearly 32,000 museums participated in this day by hosting special events in 129 countries.

No Dirty Dishes Day – I am not sure how this day is supposed to work unless you eat out for all of your meals today. The goal is to have no dirty dishes to wash today. Which I approve of wholeheartedly. I don't know of anyone who likes washing dishes but I can't really condone the idea of using paper plates all day because if everyone does this, the landfills will be overflowing. I just got a great idea! Have the kids wash the dishes today!

Visit Your Relatives Day – This is a day for family. Reconnect with family members you haven't seen in a while and spend some time with older members of your family. You never know how long you will have left with them.

Armed Forces Day – Celebrated on the third Saturday in May, this is a day to honor the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces. There will be a wide variety of activities going on all day all over the country from parades to motorcycle rides to educational activities. In the past there were celebration days for each of the branches of the armed forces, but in 1949, Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson, announced that they would all be consolidated under one day because all of the armed forces had united under Department of Defense. The only branch that has chosen to still have it's own day is the Marines although they support this day as well.

Military-Amateur Crossband Communications Day – On this day, the same day as Armed Forces Day, the Military Auxiliary Radio System conducts a traditional military to amateur crossband communications test and a message-receiving test. This gives amateur radio operators an opportunity to display their skills and receive recognition from the Secretary of Defense. This radio system is in place so that the military, as well as state and local emergency response organizations have access to communications in the event of an emergency

National Cheese Souffle Day – I have made a lot of things, but I have never made a souffle. Maybe I'll try this recipe tonight:

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day – Sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this is a day to learn about the work that is being done by thousands of scientists, health professionals, and volunteers with the goal of creating an HIV vaccine.

I Love Reese's Day – This day was created by popular demand. I found a rumor that said “nearly 40,000 fans” joined a campaign on Facebook and said they wanted this delectable treat to have its own day. I can see that happening and if it's true, I'm a little surprised it was only 40,000. Clearly, their efforts were successful.

National Learn To Swim Day – Celebrated for the second year, this day is always and forevermore celebrated on the Saturday of the weekend before Memorial Day weekend. This is a day to become aware of the importance of teaching your children how to swim. Children who cannot swim are far more likely to drown if they accidentally end up in a pool or pond or lake or river. Make sure your child learns this important lifesaving skill and if your child is afraid of the water, as my youngest was when she started learning, don't cave in to their fear and give up making them go to lessons. My daughter cried through nearly 6 months of lessons before she finally started enjoying the water and now she swims like a fish. It's worth it.

O. Henry Pun-Off Day – This is a yearly competition inspired by the writings of William Sydney Porter who lived in Austin, TX in the late 1800s and used the pen name O. Henry. He had a gift for wordplay that is loved to this day so in 1978, pun-offs began to be celebrated. In 1990, Gary Hallock, began organizing and running the competition which takes place at the O. Henry Museum in Austin, TX.

Do Dah Day - Begun in 1979 in Birmingham, or so I am led to believe, this is a day a bunch of friends decided to have a party and over the years turned it into a fund raising event for local charities involving animals. More and more Do Dah volunteers joined the effort and it has become a festival with a parade.

To celebrate today, grab some of your relatives that you haven't seen in a while, make sure they are not so old they can't keep up with you today, and go to the O. Henry Museum in Austin for the pun-off. Grab some Reese's to take with you for a snack. When you finish here, swing by Birmingham to catch the Do Dah Day Parade, On the way home, stop in at a military base and see if they are going to have a parade there too, because you can never have too many parades. When you get back, sign up the kids, or yourself, for some swimming lessons and then find a friend who is an amateur radio operator so you can take part in the test. Later, do some research and find out what you can do to help the scientists develop an AIDS vaccine. Then, go out for dinner so you don't have to wash dishes and make sure you order a lovely souffle.

May 17, 2013

Today we celebrate a whole lot of days so I hope you're not too busy:

Pack Rat Day – This is a day to 'fess up. Who, among us, is a pack rat? I admit that I fight the urge to hoard certain things. Every now and then I have to force myself to clean out a closet or a room just so it doesn't get out of hand.

National Cherry Cobbler Day – Cobblers have been around since Colonial days. They are made with a little more sophistication now, of course, but they are still just as popular.

Endangered Species Day – Celebrated on the third Friday in May, this is a day to learn about the endangered species in your state. Find out about their habitats and food sources and see if you can discover why they are endangered.

International Virtual Assistants Day -This day is also one that is celebrated on the third Friday in May. Today we acknowledge the increasing prevalence of virtual assistance and the invaluable services they provide.

World Neurofibromatosis Day (NF Day) – This is a genetic condition that causes a wide variety of symptoms including learning disabilities, ADHD, headaches, scoliosis, bowed legs, thickening of the optic nerve, tumors, and more. Researchers are working to invent treatments and hopefully, a cure.

World Telecommunications Day – Celebrated every year since 1969, this is a day to mark the founding of the International Telecommunication Union on this day in 1865. Yes, believe it or not, people did communicate back then. I'm not sure how they got a string long enough to connect the soup cans in other countries, but somehow they managed to communicate.

NASCAR Day – This year marks the tenth year of celebrating this day. I'm not a big NASCAR fan, but my grandmother was, to my everlasting amazement. Just when you think you know someone, something like this comes out. Today drivers, millions of fans, media, businesses and more will work together to raise money for a variety of charities that NASCAR endorses.

World Information Society Day – The United Nations declared this day in 2006 for the purpose of focusing our attention on the importance of information and the many issues related to our information rich society.

World Hypertension Day – This day was created by the World Hypertension League which is affiliated with the International Society of Hypertension. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of hypertension, the symptoms and available treatments. People all over the world need to learn how to prevent the onset of this disease or if it's too late to prevent, they need to learn how to control it before it kills them.

National Bike To Work Day – Celebrated on the third Friday in May, this is a day to leave the car home and bike to work, although if your job is just too far away, in some areas you can take buses for part of the distance. Good luck finding one that will be able to carry your bike. Riding your bike to work provides many benefits such as being great for the environment, providing exercise and saving money. Win, win, win!

National Defense Transportation Day – The third Friday in May is obviously a very busy day every year because we are also celebrating this United States Federal Observance Day. On this day, we are urged by our President to celebrate with “appropriate ceremonies that will give complete recognition to the importance to each community and its people of the transportation system of the United States and the maintenance of the facilities of the system in the most modern state of adequacy to serve the needs of the United States in times of peace and in national defense.” He's pretty wordy. I would have just told everyone to have a party for the people who work to move us from one place to another.

National Pizza Party Day – Yet another day to celebrate on the third Friday, my kids are happy, although they think that every Friday should be Pizza Party Day.

Syttende Mai – If you do not speak (or read) Norwegian, allow me to inform you that this is Norwegian Constitution Day. The Constitution of Norway was signed on this day in 1814 at Eidsvoll, declaring Norway to be an independent nation. Interestingly, Norway was under Swedish rule at the time and the King of Sweden didn't allow this day to be celebrated until 1829.

To celebrate today, evaluate your status as a pack rat. If you don't have enough stuff cluttering up your house to qualify as one, call up and communicate with your virtual assistant and after you thank them for their help, ask them to get you more stuff. Then it's time to go to work so hop on your bike and hit the road, preferably not with your body (and don't forget your helmet. Yes I know, but I'm a mom, what do you expect!). During your lunch break at work, dig up some information on the symptoms of hypertension so you can be sure you don't have it, and find a site that will allow you to donate to NF research. On your way home, stop every bus you see and invite the drivers to your house for a party to celebrate Norway Constitution Day with pizza and cherry cobbler and a NASCAR race playing in the background.

May 16, 2013

Today we celebrate:

Love A Tree Day – Trees are vital for our lives. They provide such a service to us and we take them for granted in a big way. Where would our oxygen come from, our shade, homes for animals, food for insects, food for us, I could go on and on.

National Sea Monkey Day – Sea monkeys were created by marketing genius, Harold von Braunhut, in 1960. They are really just brine shrimp in fancy packaging and Mr. von Braunhut made a fortune. You can still buy them today.

Wear Purple For Peace Day – Ok, I have researched a lot of days now but I think this is one of the oddest. This is a day to wear purple to promote peace. That's not so odd, you might be thinking. At least until I tell you that the peace in question is not between different countries or people, but between people and aliens. That's right. We are supposed to wear purple today so that if any aliens happen to swing by, they will know that we have nothing but peaceful intentions. I am unsure how these aliens are supposed to know that purple means peace. I could not find an explanation for that.

Biographer's Day – On this day in 1763, in London, England, a biographer, James Boswell, met with his biographee, Samuel Johnson. Mr. Boswell later wrote two books about Mr. Johnson and this whole relationship is apparently quite well known among the writing community.

To celebrate today, wear purple and purchase some sea monkeys for your kids. Then go out, give a tree a good hug and make yourself comfortable in it's shade while you start writing a biography about someone you have met.