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March 4, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Paczki Day – This is a Polish dish that looks a lot like a doughnut without the hole in the middle. It is traditionally made on this day to use up ingredients that could not be eaten during Lent. You can find some delicious recipes here:

Mardi Gras – This is the last day of a celebration that seems to last for weeks. It is the last day because Lent starts tomorrow and I guess you can't have parties like this during Lent. The parades began on February 15, I believe, and as far as I know, New Orleans is the only place in the world where you can experience Mardi Gras the way it's supposed to be. I have never even heard of any other place celebrating it, but if you have, please let me know.

Courageous Follower Day – Most cultures are more likely to honor the leader than the follower, but there can't be a leader if there aren't any followers and sometimes it takes a great deal of courage to follow where someone else leads. Especially if you are following someone up the side of a rock wall and you are afraid of heights.

International Scrapbooking Industry Day – May I just say that scrapbookers tend to be just a little bit obsessed with their scrapbooking activities. I have a scrapbooker in the family so I know what I'm talking about. Well, today is a day for all of you scrapbookers to indulge in your favorite activity. Get a group together today and scrapbook to your hearts content. Not that you need my permission, you know you'll be doing it today anyway.

Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday or Fastnacht day – This is the day before Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent. This is a day to eat lots of food in preparation for the fasting of Lent. Hence the pancakes since they are rich in eggs, milk and sugar. The other purpose that I can think of is to use up ingredients that you won't be using during Lent which might go bad before Lent is over and they can be used again.

International Pancake Day – This day is tied into the Shrove Tuesday celebrations as I described above, but this day needs more explanation and a paragraph of its' own. Especially if you have never heard of or seen the pancake race. You can read about how the pancake race got started if you read the section entitled, “The Story,” at the website listed below. You will also see why there has been a competition between Olney, England and Liberal, Kansas for the last 60 years involving head scarfs, pancakes, aprons and skillets. It has apparently turned into an event lasting 4 days, of which this is the last so you better head over to Kansas now before it's over. You don't want to miss the pancakes, talent show, races, cooking contests and more. 

March Forth-Do Something Day – This is a perfect day to get out there are do.....something. It doesn't matter what that something is as long as it makes a difference. Volunteer to clean up something or help someone out. Some places have a run, walk or march today to raise money for something worthwhile so you can march forth and participate in that if you choose.

National Pound Cake Day – This dessert is called pound cake because the traditional recipe used 1 pound each of flour, sugar, eggs and butter. That makes a pretty big cake so you can adjust the measurements down for a smaller cake as long as you keep the 1:1:1:1 ratio. Although today's recipes have altered that ratio a bit for health reasons, the cakes that result are not really pound cakes. Recipes for this delicacy date back to the 1700's and call for beating the ingredients for an hour. And, I'm not sure if you know this but, they didn't have electric mixers back then. Those cooks must have had some muscles.

Holy Experiment Day – Today is a day to try something new with your religion and see what happens in your life. Whatever you do, make sure it is in keeping with your faith. For example, you could increase the amount you usually give to your church or temple for a period of time and see how your life changes. You could also try fasting if you've never done that before. If you need help figuring out something that you can change, feel free to talk to your religious leader. I am sure they will have lots of ideas for you.

Hug A GI Day – We need to show our appreciation for the GI's and all that they do to keep us safe. So find one to hug today as a way to thank them. Just make sure you don't try to surprise hug any of them. It's REALLY not a good idea to try to surprise a GI. You could get hurt.

Benjamin Harrison Day – Our 23rd President was sworn into office on this day in 1889. He was sworn into service as a Senator on this day in 1881 as well. Clearly this was an important day of the year for him. He is known for adding more states (6) to our union than any other President in one term.

National Grammar Day – Created in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, the founder of The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar. Make sure that today you are extra careful with your “its”, “it's” and “its'”, and of course, “their”, “there” and “they're”. If you need some help with this day, check with your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. We all know at least one. Am I right, Shannon?

Old Inauguration Day – This day was the original day to swear in a new President. It was chosen because it was the day in 1789 when the Constitution first took effect. It was changed to January 20th in the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, or the 21st if the 20th happens to fall on a Sunday. The last inauguration on this day took place in 1933 with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term. So he was the last President sworn in on the old date and the first President sworn in on the new date when he was re-elected.

Toy Soldier Day – Today is a day to have fun. Dress up as a toy soldier, arm yourself with your nerf guns and invade someplace. Be careful with your choice of location as some places, like banks, tend to not have a sense of humor about things like this. Many people like to invade a theme park as you will see on this link:

Unique Names Day – Today is a day to celebrate those of us who have unusual names. Do you have a name that no one has ever heard of or knows how to spell? Do you have a friend with a name like that? Do you wish you had a name like that? I don't. I get tired of correcting people who spell my name wrong as it is (so I don't usually bother) and it's not that uncommon.

To celebrate today, have some pancakes and paczki for breakfast before you march forth to follow someone to New Orleans for Mardi Gras in the morning and Liberal, Kansas for the pancake races in the afternoon. While traveling, ask people about their unusual names, at lunch time have some pound cake and stop at a religious institution along the way to donate a little more than you usually do. Keep your eyes open for a GI to hug and tell the leader you are following all about President Benjamin Harrison. Make sure you use proper grammar and take lots of pictures to scrapbook with when you get home tonight.

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