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March 1, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Pig Day – This day was begun in 1972 by sisters Ellen Stanley and Mary Lynne Rave. According to Rave, the purpose is to “accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man's most intellectual and domesticated animals.” I have heard that pigs make great pets and they are cute but I'm not sure I would be willing to have one in the house.

Self-injury Awareness Day – There are quite a lot of people out there who choose to harm themselves in a variety of ways. This is a day to spread awareness of this issue, talk about it openly, educate everyone about the signs and symptoms, and break down common stereotypes. To celebrate, some people will wear an orange ribbon, write “LOVE” on their arms or draw butterflies on their wrists.

National Peanut Butter Lover's Day – We all know about President Jimmy Carter, but did you know that President Thomas Jefferson was also a peanut farmer? Today you can be part of the 90 percent of households in the United States that eat peanut butter. For more fun facts about peanuts:

National Fruit Compote Day – I know you're thinking what I was thinking, “What is compote?” Well, I have the answer for you. Compote is the French word for “mixture”. So fruit compote is a mixture of fruit and syrup. Sounds good to me, I think this is going to be dessert tonight.

Asiatic Fleet Memorial Day – On this day in 1942, the American Cruiser Houston, the Australian Cruiser Perth and the British Cruiser Exeter were outnumbered and outgunned by the Japanese. But they fought bravely and went down with their guns blazing in the Sunda Strait. Memory of their courage and dedication encouraged the Navy to strive ever harder to win victory in WWII.

National Horse Protection Day – This majestic creature is my daughter's favorite animal. They are a faithful friend for many people. If you think about it, this country would not be where it is today without the hard work of horses before the invention of automobiles. They helped plow the fields that fed families, they carried people and supplies everywhere in this country and now, they even help children with a variety of disabilities. This day was created by Colleen Paige, a Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Behaviorist/Advocate. See more about this day and how to help thousands of mistreated and abused horses find help and loving homes here:

Peace Corps Day – On this day in 1961, President Kennedy established the Peace Corps. The purpose of which was to send trained American men and women into foreign nations to help develop them. President Kennedy wanted to get an American foothold into these developing countries in an effort to win over the hearts and minds of the people and keep them from becoming Cold War battlegrounds.

Plan A Solo Vacation Day – Why wait until your family has time to go somewhere together. Get away by yourself and recharge for a few days. Sometimes it is more relaxing to get away by yourself and do only what you want instead of trying to keep the kids under control and cater to your spouse/significant other's agenda as well as your own.

Refired, Not Retired Day – Retirement isn't the end of an era, it's the beginning of a new one! The retired people I know are even busier than they were when they were employed for a living. But now they are busy with things they WANT to do instead of things they HAVE to do. So fire up your enthusiasm for a new life.

World Compliment Day – Begun in the Netherlands as National Compliment Day and celebrated on this day every year, this is a day to find a way to compliment everyone you meet. I know you can find something nice to say about absolutely everyone...even people you don't really like too much. Let's spread the positive feelings around the world today.

To celebrate today, fire up your enthusiasm for retired life, or plan how you will spend your retirement when the time comes. Compliment your children on something they did this morning, then talk to them about the dangers of self-injury, the bravery of the Asiatic Fleet and the work of the Peace Corps while you share your fruit compote. Finally, head out for your solo vacation doing whatever you love to do to relax.

February 28, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Floral Design Day – This day was created by Governor Weld of Massachusetts as a way to celebrate Carl Rittner's birthday. Mr. Rittner founded The Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston and has spent years imparting his skills and knowledge of floral design to his students and fellow lovers of floral beauty. For thousands of years, people have used flowers to create beautiful works of art and to bring color and beauty to places where you don't usually find it naturally.

National Public Sleeping Day – The general public is desperately sleep deprived. I talk to some of my friends who routinely get only three or four hours of sleep every night and I am amazed that they are upright at all. But many of these sleep deprived individuals have learned to grab a few zzzz's wherever and whenever they can. Go into any train station or airport or bus depot and you are almost guaranteed to find someone sleeping. Park benches and public libraries are another good place to see some snoozers. This is a day to join the crowd, wherever you your desk, in a restaurant, in a parking lot (Please don't try to sleep while you're driving, but if you're parked, it's quite okay.), wherever you can find a place to rest your weary head, close your eyes and have a nap.

National Tooth Fairy Day – Once again we have a discrepancy here as some believe that the Tooth Fairy should be celebrated today and others believe that celebration should take place on August 22nd. Well, the Tooth Fairy works incredibly hard, if you think about it. Do you have any idea how many children lose teeth every day? Way too many for me to think about. So maybe she should have two days to celebrate. Let's all do her a favor today and not lose any teeth so maybe she can have a day of rest today.

Rare Disease Day – Celebration is probably not the best term for what people do on this day. It is really a day that is more about raising awareness of rare diseases and trying to raise money for research to find cures for them. Unfortunately, since rare diseases affect only a small percentage of the population, there isn't the same level of financial support for research that you find with the diseases that affect more people such as breast cancer. This means that progress on fighting these diseases is slow, which is heartbreaking for the families that are profoundly impacted.

National Chocolate Souffle Day – I have seen a reference to the possibility that the first souffle recipe appeared in 1742, in France. They were fairly common by the mid 1800's and could be found in most any cook book. They do indeed have a tendency to collapse when removed from the oven so you have to be really, really careful. You can make them without chocolate, but I don't personally recommend it.

To celebrate today, have a public nap wherever you find a place to sit or lean, make chocolate souffle for dinner, create a small floral art piece and leave it by your pillow for the tooth fairy tonight instead of a tooth and get online to find a way to support rare disease research.

February 27, 2014

Today we celebrate:

International Polar Bear Day – This is a day to celebrate the existence of this huge bear that can weigh up to 1400 pounds and be as tall as 9 feet. We should focus our attention on the dwindling habitat of the polar bears by doing what we can to conserve energy and reduce the emissions that cause global warming which is shrinking the ice shelf the bears live on more every year. I know what you're thinking....this has been a freezing cold winter, how can there be global warming?....well, tell that to the people who measure the ice shelf.

National Kahlua Day – If you're over 21, feel free to have a kahlua (that's coffee liqueur and rum if you're like me and didn't know.).

No Brainer Day – Don't work your brain too hard today. This is a day for doing things that don't require a lot of thought. Move on autopilot, do the little mindless things that we all have to do anyway and usually end up putting off. You know what I'm talking about, those things like folding laundry and or dusting. See if you can convince your boss that this is a holiday that the whole company should celebrate. Your co-workers will thank you.

National Strawberry Day – Seeds on the outside, sweet juiciness on the inside, it's just a little bit of heaven in a bite-sized morsel. It's even better if you pair it with something unhealthy like whipped cream or chocolate.

National Chili Day – Celebrated on the last Thursday in February, this is a day for chili. I don't think it matters if it's red chili or white chili. It's the perfect winter meal and can be made meatless, or beanless, spicy or not depending on your preferences.

Celebrations today are a no-brainer. Conserve energy by turning your heat down a couple of degrees and do not drive anywhere today. Then have some chili for dinner with strawberries and a lovely Kahlua for dessert.   

February 26, 2014

Today we celebrate:

For Pete's Sake Day – An old expression used as a mild oath, I'm often guilty of saying it myself in a fit of annoyance. There is a lot of disagreement, but it seems to date back to somewhere around 1900 and “Pete” may be a shortened reference to St. Peter as in “For St. Peter's Sake, turn down that phonograph before you go deaf!”.

Levi Strauss Day – Born on this day in 1829 in Bavaria, Levi Strauss was the father of the jeans we all wear today. He came to this country in 1847 to work for his brother, then he branched out for himself in 1853 when he went west and began his own dry goods and clothing store. In the 1870's he began making heavy duty work pants which we now call jeans and I believe his company is still in operation today. Jacob Davis was a tailor who had the idea of using copper rivets to reinforce the jeans in specific spots like pocket corners and at the top of the button fly. But he didn't have the money to patent his idea so he asked Levi to join with him on the idea. They received the patent in 1873. But it wasn't until 1955 that jeans really came into fashion which has lasted until the present time. That was when the movie Rebel Without A Cause was released with James Dean wearing jeans. After that, everyone wanted to wear them.

National Pistachio Day – We already celebrated this back on January 26th but there are those who insist that it should be celebrated today instead. Pistachios are so good that I think they should be celebrated every day so go ahead and get some more. Especially since they are good for you. They contain fiber, copper, manganese and Vitamin B6, all of which are healthy so have a handful right now.

Inconvenience Yourself Day – Celebrated on the fourth Wednesday in February, this is a day to go out of your way to do something for others. There are a million opportunities that come up in the course of a normal day that you can take advantage of in order to put yourself out and help someone. You just have to pay attention. Is there someone in one of those motorized shopping cart things at the grocery store who needs help reaching something high? Ask if you can get it for them. Let someone go ahead of you in line or while you're driving. I know if you're thinking about it, you'll find a way to help someone.

Tell A Fairy Tale Day – When my kids were little, I used to read them fairy tales all the time. Now that they are bigger, I expect they will protest a little bit and tell me that they are too old for that, but I'll read to them anyway even if I have to sit on them to get them to listen. If you don't want to go that far with your older kids, just read a few to yourself. Don't forget to do all the voices. Stories are always better if you do the voices right.

National Personal Chef's Day – According to the American Personal & Private Chef Association, this is a day to thank your personal chef, or find one if you don't have one already. However, the United States Personal Chef Association created this day on July 16th. So I guess you can celebrate either day. I think it would be absolutely heavenly to have someone come to my home and make dinner for me. Fortunately, whenever he can be home in time, my husband is my personal chef.

To celebrate today, start the day by making an appointment with the vet to get your pet spayed or neutered, then throw on your favorite comfy Levi's, open a bag of pistachio's and settle in to tell fairy tales to your kids, regardless of their ages. If you don't have any kids, you can always borrow mine. You can take your time since dinner will be prepared by your personal chef today. While your chef is cooking, put yourself out and help by washing dishes as they are dirtied and for Pete's sake, make sure you replace your usual swear words with Pete's for the day.

February 25, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Clam Chowder Day – We had National New England Clam Chowder Day back in January, but today it doesn't matter if you like your clam chowder white or red. You can even have one for lunch and the other for dinner if you like both.

National Pistol Patent Day – On this day in 1836, Samuel Colt (1814 – 1862) received his patent for a “revolving gun”. When he was a child, he would hear soldiers talking about their experiences with various firearms and how it was impossible for a gun to shoot five or six times without reloading. So at a young age he decided that he wanted to create the impossible gun. When he was 16, he got the idea for his revolver by watching a ship's wheel spinning.

National Chocolate Covered Nuts Day – Assuming you don't have allergies to nuts or chocolate, this is a heavenly day for you. Any kind of nuts and any kind of chocolate will do. You can make your own or buy your favorites. A lot of people like the M&M chocolate covered nuts but those are definitely not the only kind out there.

World Spay Day – Always celebrated on the last Tuesday in February, this is a day to get the word out that it is a very good idea to spay or neuter your pets. Spaying and neutering keeps the cat and dog population from getting out of control resulting in mega quantities of feral cats and stray dogs running around in groups terrorizing the street gangs that are trying so hard to take over the cities. Seriously, there are enough animals in need of loving homes out there, you don't need your own home overrun by puppies or kittens because you can't find enough people who want to adopt them.

To celebrate today, spay or neuter your dog or cat and go to a shooting range to practice firing modern revolvers at targets. For dinner you can have some clam chowder, and for dessert feel free to indulge in chocolate covered nuts.

February 24, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Cupcake Day – This is a Canadian holiday for the purpose of raising money for SPCAs and Humane Societies. Make some cupcakes and have a National Cupcake Day party where you can serve your cupcakes and collect donations that will then go to the Ottawa Humane Society.

National Tortilla Chip Day – A very yummy snack that goes really well with salsa and car races. And it's gluten free! So I can eat all I want.

To celebrate today, all you have to do is throw a cupcake party, serve cupcakes and tortilla chips, and collect donations to send to the Ottawa Humane Society.

February 23, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Curling Is Cool Day – Believed to be one of the world's oldest team games, it became part of the Olympic Games in 1924. And if you didn't know that it was a cool sport, now you do. It is clearly cool enough to have it's own day. And, really, those pants they wear are the best of any other sport.

Diesel Engine Day – On this day in 1892, Rudolph Diesel, a German born in Paris in 1858, received patents in Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and filed a patent in the United States, for a “Method of and Apparatus for Converting Heat into Work”. In other words, the first diesel engine.

National Banana Bread Day – This is a quick bread that doesn't use yeast so you don't have to wait for it to rise. Just mix it all together and bake for an hour and you have one of my kids' favorite treats. Some sort of banana breadish type food was made way back around 70 A.D., according to food historians. But the first recipe was published in 1933 by Pillsbury.

Daytona 500 – This is the biggest race of the year and has been since it's creation in 1959. It's a race that pretty much takes all day and I, personally, cannot stand to see cars drive in circles for that long, but there are plenty of others who are avid supporters and could watch it if it was twice as long.

Iwo Jima Day – I know, I know, we just had Iwo Jima Day back on February 19th. I'm not repeating, but apparently, this is also Iwo Jima Day because on this day in 1945, the photograph “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” was taken. This photo has become, what some consider to be, the most reproduced photograph of all time. So there is disagreement on which day should be considered Iwo Jima Day.

National Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day – I can't find out who created this or when or even why, but who cares. If you have a dog, or you know someone who has a dog, give the dog a biscuit. They will certainly appreciate it.

Play Tennis Day – I know, it's February, not exactly a great time for playing tennis, but if it's not actively snowing, clear off the court and get out your rackets for some great exercise. Once you get moving you won't be so cold.

To celebrate today, get your diesel engine revved up and head out to gather your neighbors and friends together for a rousing game of curling, then play some tennis before settling down to watch the Daytona 500 while you eat banana bread, feed your dog some dog biscuits, and read a book about Iwo Jima.

February 22, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Margarita Day – I'm not sure who invented these drinks or when, but I know they've been around for a while. Made from mixing tequilla, triple sec and lime, they are tasty, but dangerous so please don't have too many.

Woolworth's Day – On this day in 1878, Frank Winfield Woolworth opened the first Woolworth's store in Utica, NY, pledging to sell nothing that cost more than a nickel. That first store failed so he closed it and looked for another location. In July of 1879, they opened a store in Lancaster. That one took off and eventually they expanded to 1000 stores in their peak but, sadly, finally closed their doors for good in 1997. I'm also pretty sure they raised their prices at some point.

World Thinking Day – This is a Girl Scout celebration where girls all over the world honor their 'sisters' and strive to make life better for the poorest people in the world. Did you know that in some countries there are 90 students for every one teacher and globally, there are 33 million fewer girls in primary school than there are boys. The Girl Scouts are a global organization so this is a day for them to focus on their international counterparts.

George Washington's Birthday – This is the actual birthday of our first President of the United States. He was born in 1732 and died on December 14, 1799. Have a piece of cake for George today.

World Sword Swallowers Day – This day is the 7th annual World Sword Swallower's Day begun by the Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI) and co-sponsored by Ripley's Entertainment. Celebrations will take place at 2:22 this afternoon and will consist of sword swallowing as I'm sure you were able to guess. Last year they had 43 sword swallowers who swallowed 76 swords at 18 Ripley's Believe It or Not locations. Sword Swallowing has been practiced for more than 4,000 years, according to SSAI President Dan Meyer.

Walking The Dog Day – Well, if you own a dog, every day is walking the dog day, but make sure you give him an extra long one today. After all this winter weather, I'm sure he/she needs it. Just make sure that you cover any short haired dogs with a coat. And maybe some booties because those are really cute.

Open That Bottle Night – This day was created by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher in the year 2000. It acknowledges that all wine drinkers save a special, favorite or very expensive wine, for a very special occasion but few people ever find an occasion special enough to warrant opening that bottle. So give it up and open it today. Get some friends together to enjoy it or save it all for yourselves.

National Cook A Sweet Potato Day – Sweet potatoes are better than regular potatoes because they have so many more nutrients and vitamins than white potatoes. So cook a few of them with your dinner this evening and if you can't think of a recipe other than candied yams with marshmallows, try looking here for some delicious ideas:

Be Humble Day – There is some dispute over when this day should be celebrated so you may hear about it on another day. The idea today is to be humble about your accomplishments, do not brag, make sure credit is passed to other deserving people, if necessary.

To celebrate today, take your dog for a walk to the nearest Ripley's Believe it or Not museum and watch the sword swallowing festivities. Then, have a margarita and a sweet potato for dinner while you think about how you can humbly help the girls in far off countries improve their educational chances. After dinner, open that special bottle of wine and have a toast to George Washington. Finally, scour your memory for times you spent at Woolworth's and tell your kids/grandkids all about it.  

February 21, 2014

Today we celebrate:

International Mother Language Day – On this day in 1952, students demonstrating for recognition of their mother language, Bangla (one of two Pakistani languages) were shot and killed by police in Dhaka. So, nearly 50 years later, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization chose this day to promote the preservation of all languages used by people all over the world. So feel free to speak your mother language today. I am.

Card Reading Day – This is a day to dig out all those cards you kept for whatever reason and stuffed in a drawer or a box somewhere. Read them again today and reminisce over good times. I have all of the Mother's Day cards my children and my husband have given me so I'm going to be looking at those today.

National Sticky Bun Day – I haven't found a gluten free sticky bun yet that is as good as one made with regular flour, but I'm going to dedicate today to continuing my search. The rest of you, enjoy your sticky buns.

To celebrate today, speak in your mother language all day today while you eat sticky buns and read all of the cards you have kept over the years.

February 20, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Love Your Pet Day – Today is an easy day to celebrate. I think most of us already love our pets, but today give them a little extra. It doesn't matter if you have a dog or cat or fish or hermit crab or snake or elephant or even (shudder) a rat. Make sure they know how much you care about them today.

World Day For Social Justice – This is a new holiday established by the United Nations in 2007 and begun in 2009. Social justice is all about eliminating gender, age, culture, disability, race, religion and ethnic discrimination (along with any other kind of discrimination that I neglected to name). This is something that we can all work on in our own little worlds by teaching our children tolerance for others and then practicing ourselves what we just preached to our children.

National Handcuff Day – On this day in 1912, the a patent was issued to George A. Carney for a “swinging bow ratchet-type” adjustable handcuff. Before this invention, handcuffs were heavy and bulky and awkward to use. This new style was light and easy and always ready to be used in an instant. Handcuffs used today have had some minor modifications but they still use the same swing through design that Mr. Carney created.

Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day – This is a day to introduce the girls in your life to the field of Engineering. We need to teach our girls that men are not the only ones who can be engineers. Women can be just as successful and innovative. Here's some ideas on how to start.

National Cherry Pie Day – Grab a piece of cherry pie today and enjoy that sweet cherry filling surrounded by a flaky, tender, melt in your mouth crust.

The Great American Spit Out – This is a day to quit chewing tobacco. Some people think that as long as they don't smoke tobacco, they have less of a risk of cancer and emphysema. But the fact is that the risk of cancer is just as high with chewing tobacco and although you might not get emphysema, you are likely to get gum disease, cancer of the mouth or throat and heart disease among other things. Plus, it's just gross for those of us who happen to see you spit even if you try to do it discretely into a cup.

To celebrate today, stop spitting, handcuff your prejudices and practice tolerance today by taking your daughter(s) to an engineering event. When you get home, have some cherry pie with your pets to show them some extra love.

February 19, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Chocolate Mint Day – Chocolate and mint, my favorite combination of flavors. I'll have to find some Andes Candies or Peppermint Patties or Junior Mints to have today.

Iwo Jima Day – Begun on this day in 1945, the fighting at Iwo Jima lasted more than a month with very heavy casualties for the U.S. and for the Japanese because surrender for either side was not an option or even a vague possibility for consideration. Thousands of men died that day and in the month following. This invasion was the first time America attacked Japanese home territory and the Japanese really had no chance against the superior forces (in terms of numbers of soldiers, firepower, and air power) that the American's brought to the island. But despite that, the battle lasted for five weeks because the Japanese were well entrenched in caves and tunnels and chock full of pure stubbornness.

Single Tasking Day – This is a day to focus on one thing at a time. I have trouble with this, I find my brain going in all different directions jumping from task to task and my body follows. While I make progress on many different things, it is difficult to force myself to complete something. Which is why I only wash half the dishes, put the laundry in the washing machine but not the dryer, vacuum one room and not the others....etc. So, today, every time you find yourself drifting away from what you are trying to focus on, bring yourself back and finish it before you start something else. Speaking of laundry....

To celebrate today, focus on the task of getting a book about Iwo Jima and reading it to your kids before you focus on eating chocolate mints.

February 18, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Battery Day – Alessandro Volta was born on this day in 1745. He was a professor of physics and he created the first battery in the year 1800. He died in 1827 at the ripe old age of 82, which really doesn't seem so old now that I am about half way there...but that's another story. He studied the chemistry of physics in the late 1770s and discovered methane in Italy after reading a paper Benjamin Franklin wrote on “flammable air”. He used methane to create an electric spark in a closed vessel and after much experimentation and scientific jargon that I don't understand, he invented the battery, the power of which is measured in volts after Mr. Volta.

Cow Milked While Flying In An Airplane Day – On this day in 1930, Elm Farm Ollie, also known as “Nellie Jay” and later on “Sky Queen”, became the first cow to travel by airplane. In the midst of that flight, she was milked by Elsworth W. Bunce so that scientists could observe the effects of air travel on animals. And also so that they could say she was the first cow (and possibly the only cow) to be milked midair. Her milk was sealed in paper cartons and parachuted down to spectators.

National Drink Wine Day Today is a day to celebrate all kinds of wine. While I would not recommend celebrating all day long or attempting to drink every kind of wine there is, especially since tomorrow is a work day, you can certainly celebrate by trying a glass or two. Please be safe and do not drink and drive.

Pluto Day – Also on this day in 1930 (it was a busy day), the planet Pluto was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh. Of course, in 2006, it was downgraded to Dwarf Planet, but to most of us who were born before 2000, it will always be a planet. Pluto is very small but it doesn't rotate very fast. One Pluto day equals 6 days, 9 hours, 17 minutes and 36 seconds on Earth. And none of us would live long enough to see a full orbit of Pluto around the sun. One year on Pluto equals 248 years on Earth.

To celebrate today, have a glass of milk that you raise in a toast to Elm Farm Ollie, then change the batteries in anything that requires a battery. Tonight, see if you can find Pluto in the night sky while you drink a glass of wine. Have enough glasses of wine and I'd be willing to bet you will see quite a few Plutos.

February 17, 2014

Today we celebrate:

My Way Day – Do you have trouble with people trying to tell you what to do or trying to get you to change the way you do things? I certainly do. Well, today you can tell them to stuff it because you're doing things MY way. I mean, YOUR way. Oh, you know what I mean.

National PTA Founders Day – The PTA was founded on this day in 1897, although it was originally called the National Congress of Mothers. It was created by Alice Birney and Phoebe Hearst to support parent involvement in the education of children and has been going strong ever since.

World Human Spirit Day – We celebrate this day by silently meditating for 2 minutes at 3pm EST in order to come together with the rest of the world with our minds and spirits and celebrate our connection with the rest of the human race. Our goal is to request peace and harmony and healing in the world. The more people participate, the greater the connection will be. The people who created it in 2003 say that as you meditate together, there will hopefully be enough people doing it at the same time that you will be able to feel a connection to the rest of the world.

National Champion Crab Races Day – I was astounded to discover that there is a National Crab Racing Association. These are people who race hermit crabs professionally. I'm not sure whether the hermit crabs are also considered professionals. But if you and your friends have some hermit crabs, consider having a race today.

Random Acts Of Kindness Day – This is the wrap up to Random Acts Of Kindness Week. Find something nice to do for someone or maybe even multiple someones. Don't wait to be asked, and don't wait around for thanks. Strike fast, do good, and be gone. Hopefully it will be contagious. The creator of this day is Josh de Jong, a New Zealander, I think.

Washington's Birthday – A United States Federal holiday that is celebrated on the third Monday of February, this is a day to honor our first President, George Washington. Some states have combined this day with Abraham Lincoln's birthday to make.....

President's Day – A day to celebrate our past Presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington in a combined celebration. Not all states combine the days like this so if you live in a state that has individual Lincoln and Washington days, please feel free to ignore this one.

To celebrate today, join your local PTA and organize a crab race in all of the schools in your area. If someone else tries to take over and tell you to do it differently, tell them you're doing it your way. Meditate at 3pm EST for two minutes and head to the library to find books on Washington and Lincoln to read to your children. Perform a random act of kindness while you are there and hold doors open for people and pick up anything that anyone drops. Maybe you can even help someone find a book they are looking for.

February 16, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Innovation Day – Today is a day to think outside the box. Find a problem, brainstorm possible solutions, be creative, pick one and implement. This is innovation.

National Almond Day – Almonds are a powerful food. One serving gives you 35% of your Vitamin E for the day and will help to lower your cholesterol. They also contain good amounts of protein and other important nutrients and can even help you with asthma and other lung problems.

Kyoto Protocol Day – Countries that signed and ratified this protocol from the UN are required to limit or reduce their emissions of four greenhouse gases. It was adopted in 1997 and put into practice on this day in 2005. The US signed but did not ratify the protocol and Canada backed out in 2012. Many complain that the protocol doesn't go far enough and has no ability to make sure that member countries follow through with their promises to reduce their emissions.

Do A Grouch A Favor Day – It isn't usually too difficult to find a grouch around somewhere. Sometimes in your very own house. There might even be one hiding in your own shoes. But since all of my readers are generally very cheerful people, you might have to work to search one out. When you find one, do something nice for him/her and see if you can de-grouchify him/her and reduce the number of grouchy people out there by one...or two...or even more. Make it a mission today and we'll see how many times we can convert a frown to a smile.

To celebrate today, put your innovation skills to work on the problem of reducing emissions in this country. Then find a grouch and share your almonds with him/her.

February 15, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Lupercalia – An ancient Roman holiday (possibly even pre-Roman) related to Valentine's Day, that involved celebrating one of the gods they worshiped back then, although we don't know which one. We do know that it involved rituals intending to promote fertility.

National Hippo Day – It appears that this is a virtual holiday. Apparently there is a 3D virtual world called Second Life where online members can interact using voice and text chatting. Its' unofficial mascot is the Hippo. Don't ask me why, because I have no idea. Anyway, this is a day to celebrate this Hippo by logging on to Second Life and playing with the Hippo.

Remember The Maine Day – The USS Maine was a heavily armed U.S. Navy ship named after the state of Maine. On this day in 1898, she exploded in Havana Harbor and sank quickly killing three fourths of her crew. The reason for the explosion is unknown but popular opinion in the U.S. blamed Spain and the incident served as a catalyst, causing the inevitable war with Spain to come sooner rather than later. The phrase, “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!” became a rallying cry for the U.S.

Susan B. Anthony Day – Born on this day in 1820, Susan B. Anthony was an American civil rights leader and a feminist who was vitally important to the women's rights movement that eventually succeeded, one hundred years after her birth, in winning the right to vote for women. She fought her whole life for women to be granted the same rights as men by the government. She was part of a family that apparently had powerful opinions in the areas of civil rights for all. One of her brothers was active with the anti-slavery movement and one of her sisters was a women's rights activist herself. She was a formidable looking woman and sadly, she did not live long enough to see women get the right to vote so she was never able to do that which she fought so hard for. And today, women take the right to vote for granted. Some of us don't even bother to exercise that right.

National Gum Drop Day – Some are sweet, some are spicy, some are sour, but they are all chewy and tasty and sugary.

Angelman Syndrome Day - Angelman Syndrome is a genetic neurological disorder that shares symptoms with other disorders like autism, cerebral palsy and more. Some of the symptoms include developmental delays, seizures, lack of speech, delayed walking skills and many more. People with this disorder will require treatment and care for their entire lives.

World Whale Day – This is a day celebrated on Maui for the last 34 years to honor the humpback whales that winter in Maui every year. There will be music from Hawaii's top music stars, food, a carnival, an artisan fair and more. Better yet, it's free.

To celebrate today, find some people with Angelman Syndrome and share some gumdrops with them. Next, tell your daughters and any other woman you meet today that exercising your voting rights is very important since in the past people spent their entire lives fighting for us to have that right. Find a way to sneak, “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!” into your conversations when you go online to Second Life to chat with the Hippo. Finally, hop on a plane to Maui to attend the whale festival.   

February 14, 2014

I'm posting this one a little bit early, it's only Thursday afternoon, but with the nor'easter we are currently sitting out, I'm afraid the power will go out before this evening.  So page down a bit to find Thursday's celebrations.

Today we celebrate:

Valentines Day – I don't think this day needs any explanation. I hope all of you who have a significant other have not forgotten about it. Even doing this blog about all these days, this one still manages to sneak up on me because I always think I've got plenty of time and then, WHAM! What am I going to get him this year?

National Organ Donor Day – Save a life today and sign up to be an organ donor. Well, actually, I'm hoping you don't save a life TODAY. I guess I really meant to say, save a life SOMEDAY by signing up to be an organ donor. I didn't mean to imply that I wanted bad things to happen to YOU today, I just want good things to happen to others SOMEDAY. This is a conundrum that people who desperately need organs face every day. I sympathize with the situation but the sad fact is that we are all going to die someday and if our deaths can ultimately result in helping someone to be able to live their lives to the fullest, then I consider that to be a positive legacy worth leaving.

National Ferris Wheel Day – This ride was originally designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. He was born on this day in 1859 in Illinois. Interestingly enough, his parents were named George and Martha. You can find one of these at almost any carnival or fair anywhere in the country.

Frederick Douglass Day – The chosen birthday of Frederick Douglass. He was born a slave in Maryland around the year 1818 and never knew his exact birthday. He was taken from his mother at an early age and raised by his maternal grandmother until he was seven and was taken from her as well. He was an amazing man who taught himself how to read, finally succeeded in escaping slavery and became a gifted orator who inspired thousands of people.

Pet Theft Awareness Day – Pet theft is a bigger problem than I thought it was. Especially since most pet lovers don't steal other peoples pets so that they can have a pet of their own. The big problem is the despicable organizations that steal pets for medical research.

Library Lovers Day – This is a day to spend at your local Library! It doesn't even matter where you live because this day is celebrated all over the world, wherever there are libraries. Libraries are treasure troves of information. Librarians can help you find almost anything. Just don't ask them what your washing machines and dryers do with all the socks they eat. That's a question that has no answer.

National Have A Heart Day – This is a day to focus on keeping (or getting) our hearts healthy by being conscious of what we put in our mouths. I am not a vegetarian, but according to the information I found, I probably should be because apparently vegetarians live an average of 15 years longer than non-vegetarians and have a far smaller likelihood of having heart disease as well.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day – Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) is the most common birth defect which affects more than 1.8 million families. It is a defect in the structure of the heart and major blood vessels. Many children with CHD don't have any alarming symptoms so their condition may go unnoticed and untreated for years, sometimes even for their whole lives. Others have more complex issues with severe symptoms like under-developing arms, legs and muscles, poor growth, respiratory infections, shortness of breath, heart murmurs and more. These children have to take medication and undergo surgeries in order to survive. Make yourself aware of the symptoms so that if your children start to exhibit them, you can get them checked out quickly.

League Of Women Voters Day – Founded on this day in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt, this political organization is bipartisan that neither supports or opposes political candidates. Instead they focus on studying issues, reaching a consensus and taking a stand. Initially it was created to be a support system to help 20 million women use their new voting power to make a difference.

National Call In Single Day – Apparently whoever invented this day believes that being single is sufficient reason to call in sick to work on Valentine's Day. For those who are single and not happy about it, you are encouraged to take some time off of work and do something for yourself today. I will add that I hope that with the economy the way it is right now, please don't do anything that might get you fired.

International Quirkyalone Day – You don't need to have a significant other in order to feel like a worthwhile person. This day is all about celebrating independence. After all, if you can't be happy by yourself, you will never be happy with someone else either. But it isn't just for singles, sometimes couples don't like the consumerism of Valentine's Day so this is a day for all to create a plan for the day that fits your unique likes and dislikes (and those of your partner, if you have one). Do whatever you love to do and have fun doing it.

National Cream Filled Chocolates Day – It's not too surprising that this should fall on Valentine's Day. I love chocolate and if there's cream in it, all the better.

National Condom Day – This day is about making people aware of the importance of keeping ourselves safe from STD's (some of which are very serious and even life threatening) and unwanted increases in the population. Yes, this is a family blog so I am attempting to be ambiguous. Those of you who should be reading this will understand what I'm saying. Take some time to discuss the birds and the bees with your children today in an age appropriate way to make sure they grow up with the right information.

Race Relations Day – This is a day celebrated by some churches in order to impress upon us the importance of interracial relations. In the past, this was celebrated around Abraham Lincoln's birthday but was changed to today back in 1970.

Singles Awareness Day – This is a day for single people and single people only. Gather today with other single people to celebrate or bemoan your singleness. If you wish to celebrate this, you should wear green, because it is supposedly the opposite of red, or wear black because it is the absence of color and so if you wear it you are endorsing the absence of celebration. Some prefer to celebrate this day on the day before or the day after Valentine's Day.

To celebrate today, call in sick if you were scheduled to work today and take your loved one (which could very well be YOU if you are single) and find a Ferris Wheel to ride while you eat cream filled chocolates. Then head to the Library to find a book about Frederick Douglass to read to your children after you talk to them about the importance of voting. Make sure you keep your pets safe and eat healthy today to protect your heart and watch your children for symptoms of a Congenital Heart Defect. Finally, sign up to be an organ donor and make sure you have the appropriate items needed in order to avoid spreading STD's and increasing the population unnecessarily. Most important of happy today.

February 13, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Employee Legal Awareness Day – This is a day to arrange for one or more of your employees to get a legal education so that you can make sure your business avoids legal problems in the future. It's a very complicated subject, since new laws are created all the time and it's rare for old ones to go away. So make sure you pick an employee that can handle all that complexity.

World Radio Day – This is a day to celebrate radio all over the world. We are to encourage broadcasters to cooperate with each other internationally and to provide free access to information to listeners. We must also ask major networks and smaller community radio stations to support freedom of expression and gender equality in their broadcasts.

Madly In Love With Me Day or Self Love Day – Be confident of your own appeal to others. If you fall in love with yourself first, others will be drawn to your confidence and follow your example. And, if they don't, you will be self-confident enough to not care what they think and you'll be a whole lot happier anyway.

National Tortellini Day – Created in Bologna, Italy, this is a pasta that is stuffed with things like ham, or Parmesan cheese, among other things. The Learned Order of the Tortellini (you can't make this stuff up) is an organization that is dedicated to the preservation of the traditional tortellini. So if you are brave enough to make your own, don't mess it up or there will be trouble.

To celebrate today, listen to the radio while you decide which of your employees would be best suited for a legal education. Have some tortellini for lunch and spend the rest of the day falling in love with yourself by making a list of at least fifty great things about you.

February 12, 2014

Today we celebrate:

International Darwin Day – Born on this day in 1809, Charles Darwin was, and still is, famous for his theories of evolution through natural selection. Whether you subscribe to these theories or not, you can still explain them to your children and also explain why you do or do not believe them.

Lincoln's Birthday – President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President and one of the greatest, in my opinion, was born on this day in 1809. Interesting, I didn't know he shared a birthday with Charles Darwin. I like to learn something new every day, so mission accomplished for today. This is a legal holiday in many states but not all of them. Not too surprisingly, I don't see any of the southern states on the list of states that celebrate today.

NAACP Day – Founded on this day in 1909, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in America, has a mission “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.” While all all of those things have come one heck of a long way since 1909, I don't think anyone believes that its' mission is finished.

Oglethorpe Day – This day honors British General James Edward Oglethorpe (December 22, 1696 – June 30, 1785) who founded Georgia on this day in 1733(which he named after King George II). He was something of a social reformer and humanitarian who hoped that he could move Britain's poor people from debtor's prison to Georgia.

Paul Bunyan Day – This day is also celebrated in June, but I think different states celebrate on different days. According to people who live in Bangor, Maine, on this day in 1834, Paul Bunyan was born in their area. However, people in Minnesota are under the impression that he was born in Bemidji, Minnesota and died in Kelliher, Minnesota. Still others say Paul Bunyan was based on a real man, a French-Canadian named Fabian “Joe” Fournier (or Saginaw Joe) who was born in Quebec, Canada in 1845. I'm sure you can find other possibilities if you look hard enough.

Safety Pup Day – Developed in 1985 by the National Child Safety Council and designed to address different safety issues with children such as stranger safety, Halloween safety, internet safety, etc. This day is frequently promoted by local police departments.

National Lost Penny Day – Begun in 1995, this is a day to find all of the lost pennies you can and cash them in because combined, pennies are more useful than they are individually. The first penny was minted in 1787. It was designed by Benjamin Franklin and was made of copper. On this day in 1909, the first Lincoln penny was issued on the 100th birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

National Plum Pudding Day – This dish has a rich heritage. It came from England in the 1600's and actually doesn't have any plums in it because back then, most dried fruits, like raisins, were called plums. This dish has nutmeg, raisins, cinnamon, apples, and whatever else you might like to add.

To celebrate today, make some plum pudding and decorate it with a picture of Lincoln just like you find on a penny, and a picture of Darwin. Then gather the neighborhood kids, making sure you have a good amount of racial diversity represented and have a contest to see who is the biggest and strongest and would make a better Paul Bunyan. Then bring out Safety Pup to tell the kids how to keep themselves safe in all situations. Share the plum pudding with them while you tell them who James Oglethorpe was.

February 11, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Shut-In Visitation Day – It's important, especially in the wintertime, to remember to visit people who are, for a variety of reasons, unable to leave their homes. Make sure they are okay and just offer a little companionship. Many times shut-ins lead a very lonely existence and you have the power to make them a little less lonely.

White Shirt Day – This day honors the men and women who were the sit down strikers at General Motors in 1937. They helped the United Auto Workers union become strong enough to be in a position to negotiate for the auto workers. The strike ended on this day in that same year. These are the rules of White Shirt Day: You must wear a white shirt; You must not allow your shirt to get dirtier than your boss's shirt; You must follow all safety and work rules. Sounds like fun!

National Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day – This is a day to look on the bright side. There is always a bright side if you look hard enough. Don't make a big deal of small issues and remember that we all make mistakes.

National Make A Friend Day – You can never have too many friends. So make a new one today. Who knows, maybe it will be a friendship that will last your whole life. Some of my best friends are people I have only known for a few years so don't close yourself off to the possibility of making new friends everywhere you go.

National Peppermint Patty Day –Invented in 1940 by the York Cone Company, this was different from other chocolate covered peppermint candies because it was as firm and crisp as a cookie.

Get Out Your Guitar Day – This is a day for all the Jimi Hendrix wannabies to have a chance to shine. Get your guitar out of the closet, dust it off, tune it up and get out there and play.

World Day of the Sick – Begun by Pope John Paul II, this is a day to pray for those who are suffering from illnesses. There are a lot of sick people out there in the world and they could use all the prayers they can get.

Be Electrific Day – Thomas Alva Edison was born on this day in 1847. Without Mr. Edison, we would likely still be using candles, or celebrating the birthday of someone else who eventually would have invented something like light bulbs. After all, someone would had to have come up with a good way for people to stay up all night to read books and annoy their little sisters by keeping the light on like my sister did.

Pro Sports Wives Day – Everyone needs a good, strong support system and the wives of professional sportmen fill that role in both their personal and professional lives. I haven't seen a pro sports husbands day, however, and I think there should be one. After all, not all professional sportspeople are men.

Extraterrestrial Culture Day – Celebrated on the Second Tuesday in February, this is a big day in New Mexico. It is a day “to celebrate and honor all past, present and future extraterrestrial visitors in ways to enhance relationships among all citizens of the cosmos, known and unknown.” As far as I know, I am not personally acquainted with any extraterrestrials, although I suppose that is something that could be up for debate.

To celebrate today, wear a white shirt, grab your guitar, peppermint patties, and positive attitude and go visit a sick shut-in. Turn on the lights, play your guitar and watch some sports while you're there and pay special attention to the wives in the stands supporting their husbands. Then, make a trip to New Mexico where, if you're lucky, you will make a new friend in the form of an extraterrestrial.

February 10, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Clean Out Your Computer Day – This day is always celebrated on the second Monday in February for reasons that escape me. It was started in 2000 by the Institute for Business Technology. It's going to be a big job so you better get started. When you're done, you will probably notice that your computer works faster.

Plimsoll Day – Samuel Plimsoll was born on this day in 1824 in Bristol, England. He was a British politician, but is mostly known for devising the Plimsoll Line. It's a line drawn on a ship that indicates the maximum load a ship can bear. Once it's loaded so that the line is at the water's edge, the ship is full.

National Cream Cheese Brownie Day – Oh boy, who can resist rich, fudgey chocolate mixed with cream cheese.

Umbrella Day – Umbrellas (or parasols as they used to be called in upper class circles) can be used to shield you from rain or snow, or shade you from the heat of the sun and the dangers of UV rays. You can get them in just about any size from tiny ones that fit in your purse to humongous ones like beach or table umbrellas.

To celebrate today, clean out your computer of old files, then take your umbrella to the ocean to look for plimsoll lines on the ships that pass by while you eat your cream cheese brownies.

February 9, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Stop Bullying Day – This is a day to stop the bullying. I know that kids are throwing the “bullying” term around a lot. My own daughter has a very loose definition of what it means. She accuses people of bullying for the most ridiculous of offenses. So talk to your children, help them to understand how to recognize real bullying and how to stop it and who to talk to if they see it or experience it happening.

National Bagels & Lox Day – This is a typical Jewish-American dish. Bagels were first created in Poland way back in the 1600s and being a circle shape, they represent the circle of life. Lox, thinly sliced cured salmon, represents the saltiness of tears. Putting the two together became popular back in the 1800s in America. You can also add things such as cream cheese, onions and capers.

Read In The Bathtub Day – Relax in a quiet bathroom, in a warm tub full of water, with a good book and maybe even a glass of wine if you're old enough. Just be careful you don't fall asleep and get your book wet.

Autism Sunday – Celebrated on the second Sunday in February, this is a day that was begun in the United Kingdom in 2002 by Ivan and Charika Corea, founders of the Autism Awareness Campaign UK. They have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder and a communication disorder and they have urged people in leadership positions to speak up for people with Autism and Asperger syndrome. This day has grown in popularity and is now celebrated around the world in many different countries.

Man Day - Celebrated on the Sunday before Valentine's Day, this is a day that was created in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago. The purpose of the day is to focus on the health of males, improving gender relations, promoting positive male role models and gender equality. These all sound like good goals to me and if you look online, you will probably be able to find some groups that you could join that are holding events geared toward men today.

World Marriage Day – Also celebrated on the second Sunday in February, this is a day to focus on the sanctity of marriage. It is promoted by religious organizations that declare marriage to be between a man and a woman. If you feel the same, hold tight to your spouse because today is all about how important marriage is to the Church and to the world.

National Toothache Day – I cannot fathom why we would celebrate pain, but here it is. If you insist on celebrating this day, you may want to do it from a dentist's office where you can get some relief. Most toothaches are caused by problems with your teeth of some kind and a dentist is better qualified than anyone else to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it.

To celebrate today, go with your spouse to get your toothache fixed at the dentist's office, then encourage the males in your household to get their health checked. Teach your children how to recognize a bully and what to do about it while you have some bagels & lox. Then donate to an Autism organization and get your favorite book to read while you relax in the tub.

February 8, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Boy Scout Anniversary Day – Founded on this day in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States with several million members and volunteers. I know for sure that today would be a good day to be a Boy Scout because meetings all over the country will feature a big birthday cake.

Laugh And Get Rich Day – The laugh portion of this day needs no explanation. The get rich part does. Apparently, happy people who laugh a lot are more productive people at work and hence, make more money for the company (and for themselves if they work on commission) and if the company does well, the people who work for it do well. People who laugh are also more inclined to remember things and to switch jobs less often than people who do not laugh. So go to work and laugh it up! Did you know that some comedians work as humor consultants for large companies?

Opera Day – I couldn't find the origins of this day, but it doesn't matter. If you like opera, today would be a great day to go see one. If you don't like opera, nothing in the world would drag you to see one no matter what day it is.

National Kite Flying Day – Let's go fly a kite up to the highest height! I don't know about flying kites in February, but if it's windy enough, I guess it couldn't hurt to give it a try. Assuming you can find a place to run where the snow isn't too deep. Good luck with that one in my area. If you live in the south where it's might be easier. If not, just watch Mary Poppins and sing along with the “Let's Go Fly A Kite” song at the end.

National Molasses Bar Day – I use molasses in my baking fairly frequently. Molasses is a sticky syrup that is much like honey in consistency. It is made from sugarcane, carob, grapes, dates, pomegranates or mulberries. It is something that can be used to sweeten food like cookies, cakes, and now, molasses bars.

To celebrate today, fly a kite with the boy scouts while listening to opera music, eating molasses bars and laughing like a lunatic.

February 7, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Bubble Gum Day – As far as my children are concerned, every day should be bubble gum day. However, today is actually all about using bubble gum as a fun fundraiser. The basic idea is that children who pay 50 cents or more are allowed to chew gum at school or at a library or some other business. The money goes to whatever non-profit association the business/school/library has chosen to give it to.

Ballet Day – This is a day to celebrate ballet dancing. I know several girls who are beautiful ballet dancers but it is not just for girls. There have been some pretty famous male ballet dancers that you may have heard of. If you think about it, it is a very physically demanding activity. Definitely not for wimps or “sissies”. You have to be pretty flexible, and have very strong muscles in order to do it well.

e” Day – This is a math day. Basically, “e” is used to represent the number 2.7182818... which was discovered and named after Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler around 1727. It is an important mathematical constant that is the base of natural logarithms. If you are interested in learning more see:

Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – There are HIV/AIDS awareness days sprinkled around throughout the year. It's a devastating disease that affects the entire world. Make sure you know how to keep yourself safe. This day is a day to focus on making the Black community aware of the importance of HIV testing and treatments which have come along way in the last few years.

Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbor's Day – Put aside your differences with your neighbors today and instead of saluting them with one finger, be a little friendlier and use all of them. After all, a friendly relationship has to start somewhere. Let it start with you.

National Fettuccine Alfredo Day – A meal that my husband will enjoy even if my children turn their noses up at it. If you were wondering what to have for dinner, wonder no more.

Girl Scout Cookie Day – Created by the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., this is a day to support the Girl Scouts by buying their delicious cookies. They have a variety of cookies and I know you'll find at least one that you like. We each have our favorites in my household so we end up buying quite a few.

Give Kids A Smile Day – Dental organizations all over the country have designated this to be a day to focus on teeth. Many dentists will give free examinations to kids today so call up your dentist to see if he/she is participating.

Send A Card To A Friend Day – You don't need a special reason to let a friend know that you're thinking about them. Put a card in the mail today because your friends just might need a reminder that they are being thought of and there is no time like the present.

Wear Red Day – This is a day to raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women and many times can be prevented if you know the signs. But educate yourselves because the signs of heart disease in women and men are different.

To celebrate today, give your kids some money for bubble gum. Then, put on your tutu and ballet slippers, red ones, of course. After your workout, teach your children about Leonhard Euler and HIV/AIDS while you sit outside and wave all of your fingers at your neighbors as they go by. Next, you can take your kids to the dentist for a checkup. On your way home, keep your eyes open for some Girl Scouts so you can buy some cookies to have with your fettuccine alfredo at dinner which you can eat while you address cards to send to your friends.