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January 26, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Peanut Brittle Day – This is a day to celebrate one of the first kinds of candy ever created. It's tricky to make these days since most recipes say you need a candy thermometer in order to regulate the exact temperature. It makes you wonder how they made it in ancient times, but somehow they managed because most cultures that had molasses, sugar or honey made some kind of brittle type candy.

Spouse's Day – If you have a spouse, this is a great day for you. This is better than Valentine's Day or your Anniversary because you don't have to think about what to get your spouse for a gift. Today is all about spending time with your spouse, not spending money. Do something together that you enjoy. If you live in a warm area, go on a picnic. If it's cold where you are, snuggle up under a blanket and watch a movie together. Or just sit in the living room with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and talk like you never usually have time to do anymore.

Australia Day – This is the national day of Australia. It celebrates this day in 1788 which was when the first fleet of British ships arrived at Sydney Cove, New South Wales and the Flag of Great Britain was raised by Governor Arthur Phillip.

National Pistachio Day – Pistachio's don't last long in this house, almost all of us love them. Make sure you stock up if you have a similar situation.

Lotus 1-2-3 Day – On this day in 1983, Lotus 1-2-3 was launched by the Lotus Development Corporation. I'm going to date myself and tell you I have fond memories of using 1-2-3. I am not old enough to have used the original version, but that's only because my parents didn't own a computer at that time. It was used on IBM PC's and required two disk drives and at least 192K of memory.

Toad Hollow Day Of Encouragement – There is an 1800's era school house located in Kalamazoo, Michigan and that is where this day comes from. Ralph Morrison organized a nonprofit group to create an 1800's style park for storytelling, Civil War reenactments and classes on candle making, blacksmithing, etc. They called it Toad Hollow and it was staffed with volunteers who called themselves “Voluntoads.” They had a passion for helping others and this day grew out of that passion. Today is all about encouraging others with kind words and supportive actions.

World Leprosy Day – Celebrated on the last Sunday in January, this is a day to spread awareness of the fact that leprosy is still a serious disease in places like Vietnam, China and India among others (incidentally, it does not cause body parts to fall off although they do become diseased or numb). It is easily treatable and curable but the social stigma associated with the disease prevents many from reporting it and having the treatment.

To celebrate today, start up a spreadsheet program, (I'll give you a pass on using Lotus 1-2-3, since I think there's very little chance that you could find it, let alone get it to work on your computer.) and use it to map out your special day with your spouse down to the minute. Nothing too expensive is required, it just has to be meaningful. Make sure you get some pistachio's and peanut brittle to share and give each other plenty of encouragement. Then call someone you know in Australia and wish them a wonderful day. Watch those time zones, you don't want to call too early and wake them up. Finally, contact a leprosy organization and see what you can do to help.  

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