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May 1, 2014

Today we celebrate:

Law Day - The theme for this year’s celebration is “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.”  Every vote really does matter although I can certainly see why many people feel that their vote just doesn’t do anything.  The problem is that there are a lot of people who feel that way so they don’t bother to even try to make a difference.  I wonder what would happen if all those people got out there to express their wishes with their votes.  It might be something pretty amazing.  See this website of the American Bar Association for more information:

May Day – An ancient spring festival celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere. It originated in pre-Christian times as the festival of the Roman goddess of flowers, Flora.  An old tradition, that is mostly ignored now, is leaving baskets of candy or flowers by your neighbor’s front door.

Beltane Day – The Celtic name for May Day.

Silver Star Service Banner Day – Created by the Silver Star Families Of America, this day was first accepted by all 50 states and then by the U.S. Congress. President Obama signed the resolution on April 29, 2011. The Silver Star Service Banner is a symbol that reminds Americans of those who have sacrificed for us. It is reserved for our brave men and women who have been wounded or contracted a sickness or a serious injury while in a war zone. It may be flown by anyone as a symbol of remembrance and honor.

Loyalty Day – Begun in 1921, this is a day to reaffirm our loyalty to the United States of America and to recognize our heritage of freedom.  Many places in the country have parades to celebrate this day.

Mother Goose Day – Founded in 1987 by Gloria T. Delamar when her book about Mother Goose was published. I was raised on Mother Goose rhymes and I read them to my children as well, but there are many young children now who have never heard of Mother Goose so I’m guessing that she is fading away into obscurity.

Save the Rhino Day – This is a day for us to be aware of the danger Rhinoceros's face. Their numbers are dwindling and we need to support those who are fighting for the survival of the species. There is an event in London called the Rhino Mayday that celebrates the Rhino by talking with interested students about all kinds of Rhino related issues.  There will be several speakers with a wide variety of topics.

Lei Day – Hawaii is known for their tradition of lei making.  If you’ve been to Hawaii, you have experienced their generosity in handing these beautiful flower necklaces to guests of their fair island.  But you don’t have to go to Hawaii to celebrate this day, you can have your own celebration right in the comfort of your own living room.  Many Hawaiian inspired activities are planned for today such as, brace for the shock.....the making of leis.

Keep Kids Alive! Drive 25 Day – This is a day to pay attention to how you drive on neighborhood streets where kids are likely to be playing. I know in my neighborhood it is very common to see people speeding off to work or back home again and I have witnessed a couple of near misses with cars and people. Please be careful everyone and drive slowly in neighborhoods.

National Chocolate Parfait Day – Parfait means different things in different countries. In France, a parfait is frozen custard mixed with whipped cream.  Here in America, it is layers of pudding alternated with whipped cream and/or anything else that you think would taste delicious and sweet.

Batman Day – On this day in 1939, Batman first appeared in comic books. Specifically, he appeared in Detective Comics #27 where he was referred to as the “Bat-Man”. He was so popular at that time that the next year he got to star in a comic book named after him.

Executive Coaching Day – This is a day to applaud the executives that don't have a job, they have a profession. And they take it seriously enough that they are willing to go the extra mile and help others in their profession by coaching them. Everyone benefits when this happen; the organization, the coaches and the workers being coached.

New Homeowner's Day – On this day we celebrate everyone who has bought a new home in the last year. If you know a new homeowner personally, today is a good day to drop in and get a tour of their new place.  If they are a new neighbor, take the time to stop in and introduce yourself and welcome them to the neighborhood.

National Day Of Prayer – Always the first Thursday in May, this day was designated by the U.S. Congress in 1952 and the proclamation signed by the President every year since then asking Americans to “turn to God today in prayer and meditation.” There is apparently some historical evidence that says it was really begun by President George Washington, but I haven’t seen it. It should be noted that the Freedom From Religion Foundation has been trying to get this day to be declared unconstitutional but so far they have been unsuccessful. There will be an Observance of this day that will be broadcast from Washington D.C. which you can access from this website:

National Day Of Reason – The direct opposite of National Day Of Prayer, this day was begun by atheists and secular groups who are opposed to prayer and do not believe it should be an official day.  They oppose what they call “the intrusion of religious ideology into all spheres of our government.”

School Principals’ Day - This is a day to honor principals of schools all over the country.  They have a very difficult job ensuring the safety of the students and staff and making sure the students are educated and have all of the services that they require in order to get that education.

Martin Z. Mollusk Day – Martin Z. Mollusk is a hermit crab who lives on Moorlyn Terrace Beach in Ocean City, NJ. Martin must be distantly related to Punxsutawney Phil because he can also predict the arrival of a new season.  If he sees his shadow today, summer is going to come a week early in Ocean City. No shadow? Summer will begin on time.  Be at 9th Street Beach at 11am to catch the festivities.

To celebrate today, make some leis with your children and give them to everyone you see who is flying a silver banner. Then head to the nearest school and give one to the Principal along with a discussion about reason vs. religion. Then head to Ocean City, NJ to see Martin Z. Mollusk and find out when it will be summer. On the way home, be careful to go 25 miles per hour in neighborhoods and make sure you stop in to visit with anyone who has bought a new home this year. Take a Batman comic book to everyone you coach at work and wish them a happy May Day or Beltane Day, whichever you prefer and make sure you tell them to make sure they exercise their right to vote. Finally, have some chocolate parfait while you reaffirm your loyalty to your country by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before you read Mother Goose rhymes to your kids and tell them all about the rhinoceroses who still roam the earth.

April 30, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Oatmeal Cookie Day – Oatmeal is healthy, or so I’ve heard, so that means that these cookies must also be healthy, right?

Hairstyle Appreciation Day – Celebrated on the last day of April, this is a day to appreciate your hair style and the Hairstylist who created it for you.  When you look great, you feel great, a fabulous hairstyle goes a long way to making you look great.  Have some mirrors around so you can appreciate how wonderful you look today.

National Honesty Day – This day was created by M. Hirsh Goldberg in the early 1990's to celebrate honesty. He chose the last day in April for this day because the first day in April celebrates falsehoods. The idea is that if anyone asks you a question today, you must answer it truthfully. And if YOU ask someone a question today, they must answer it truthfully (as long as you make sure they know what day it is today.)

Bugs Bunny Day – On this day in 1938, Bugs Bunny debuted in the cartoon short Porky's Hare Hunt. Bugs looked and sounded very different then but that was definitely him.

International Jazz Day – Created by the United Nations, this is a day to celebrate Jazz all day long, all over the world.  There is even going to be a global webcast this time.  Look for special events in your area. This year the host city is Osaka, Japan.

Dia De Los Ninos/ Dia De Los Libros Day – Begun in 1997, this is a literary day that is all about connecting children (ninos) with books (libros).  Check with your local library because many of them will have special events today.

Spank Out Day – This is a day for spreading the word that spanking is not the best disciplinary option. A fact for some, an opinion for others, I see some of their points, but I'm not completely sold on it as I've seen lots of people who I feel really could benefit from a good whack on the rump.

Walpurgis Night – A traditional spring festival celebrated on this day or May 1st in large parts of Central and Northern Europe. It is celebrated with bonfires and dancing in honor of Saint Walpurga, an English missionary who lived in Germany in the 700's. She was canonized as a saint on May 1st a hundred years after her death so this day celebrates the eve of that event.  For reasons I do not know, she is the patron saint of those suffering from rabies.

International Guide Dogs Day – There is some discrepancy on when this day is to be celebrated, so I could be mistaken but I believe it is on the last Wednesday of April.  This is a day to celebrate the important role that guide dogs play in maintaining the independence and mobility of people with a wide range of disabilities. It started out in the late 1920's with Dorothy Eustis, who had heard about the possibility of training dogs for this purpose from a school in Pottsdam, Germany, that went out of business after World War I. She wrote an article about it which Morris Frank, a blind man from Nashville, heard about and it went from there. Mr. Frank was the first blind man to have a seeing eye dog and he went on to create a training program here in the states that is still going today.

National Walk @ Lunch Day - This is a day to encourage fitness for all people.  Schools are encouraged to have their students participate, and businesses of all kinds are to encourage their employees to make the choice to get out there and walk as well.  Hopefully it’s not raining in your area like it is in mine.

National Raisin Day - Also known as dehydrated grapes, these make a great snack especially when they are mixed with other things like nuts and chocolate.

National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day - This is a day to save an animal by adopting it from a shelter today.  

To celebrate today, refrain from spanking your kids and have your guide dog walk you to your hairstylist at lunch time so that you can show him/her some honest appreciation in the form of oatmeal raisin cookies.  Then, go to the local animal shelter and adopt a bunny for a pet so you can call him Bugs.  Tonight, throw a Walpurgis Night party with Jazz music and books for the kids to share.

April 29, 2014

Today we celebrate:

One Day Without Shoes Day – This is a day to raise awareness of children's health and education issues by going barefoot. Children in the world with poor health and an inadequate or non-existent education are generally located in areas with great poverty so they won’t have access to shoes either.  Shoes are only one way to help these children but they are a start.  At least shoes can help them with foot hygiene issues which is a step in the right direction.

International Dance Day – Begun in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the International Theater Institute, the purpose is to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre. Mr. Noverre is the father of modern ballet and was born in 1727.  But we don’t just celebrate ballet, we celebrate every form of dance there is, cross all barriers and come together with a language everyone understands.

National Shrimp Scampi Day – If you like shrimp, butter, garlic and parsley, this is the meal for you.  Try this recipe if you don’t already have one you like.

Greenery Day – This is a national holiday in Japan. It originally celebrated Emperor Showa's (who ruled for an incredible 88 years) birthday during the Showa era. In 1989 with a new Emperor, the name was changed from “Birthday of the Emperor” to “Greenery Day”. Now it's a day to commune with nature and be grateful for nature's blessings.

Peace” Rose Day – The Peace Rose was developed by French horticulturist, Francis Meiland. He wanted to save the rose during World War II when it seemed inevitable that France would fall to Germany so he sent cuttings of his rose to friends in Italy, Germany, Turkey and the U.S. It made it onto the last plane to the U.S. before the German invasion. During the war it was cultivated in the U.S. by the Conrad Pyle Co. In 1945, Monsieur Meiland contacted Field Marshall Alan Brooke, one of the master strategists of the U.S. whose strategies helped win the war, and offered to name the rose after him. But Brooke suggested that he name it “peace” instead. It's name was announced on this day in 1945. The day that Berlin fell to Allied forces and the war was officially over.

Zipper Day – On this day in 1913, the zipper was patented by Gideon Sundback. Where would we be without it? Would we still have to button our flies?  Others before him attempted to develop different kinds of fasteners but their attempts didn’t achieve the success of Sundback.

To celebrate this day, zip up your jacket and commune with nature by dancing around your yard without shoes on and planting roses.  Then have some shrimp scampi for dinner.

April 28, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Blueberry Pie Day – I love blueberries almost as much as my brother-in-law who asks for blueberry baked goods every time I see him.  He’ll be a happy camper today.

Great Poetry Reading Day – This is a day to read great poetry and I have just the website for you. There are lots of poems that I enjoy, many of them were written for kids by Shel Silverstein. I'm not sure what that says about me, but there you go. On this website you can find many poets and apparently you can publish your own as well. This link takes you to one of my favorites.  If you go to you can find almost any poem you want.       

Kiss Your Mate Day – Today is the day to kiss your spouse (boyfriend or girlfriend) if you have one.  If you don't, next choice is your kids. If you don't have any of them, find a willing stranger. Unless you live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where kissing a stranger is illegal. And if this day falls on a Sunday, if you live in Hartford, CT, you'll have to skip this day if you're married as it's illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sundays and I don't promote illegal activities on this blog (But since it’s Monday this year, you’re in the clear.). More fun kissing information can be found at this site (It's three years old but still relevant):

Biological Clock Day – Our biological clocks do more than nag us about running out of time to have babies. Our clocks tell us when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up which is what gets messed up when we travel to different time zones and don’t take steps to reset our clocks. Amazingly enough, they also control our metabolism, and even our temperature and blood pressure among other things.

Workers Memorial Day – Each day worldwide, a worker dies, is disabled, or is made sick by a preventable workplace incident every 15 seconds. This is a day to honor those people who didn't get up to go to work expecting to never come home or to come home permanently changed. All they were trying to do is take care of their families. Our companies need to take better care of their most valuable resource; their people.

To celebrate today, wake up when your biological clock tells you to, then kiss your mate and say a prayer for the workers who will be injured today in preventable workplace accidents.  Then spend the day reading poetry and eating blueberry pie.

April 27, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Drive It Day – Always on a Sunday close to April 23rd, this day celebrates April 23, 1900 and the 64 cars that left London and embarked upon the Thousand Mile Trial. Forty-six of the cars finally returned to London on May 12th. Don't forget that back then cars were very new and not accustomed to traveling very far or very fast for that matter because today it would only take about 10 hours give or take a little to travel that distance. Plus they had the added handicap of not having paved roads because there were no such thing back then.

National Prime Rib Day – Are you a beef lover? Well, then, today is your day. Have some prime rib for dinner tonight.

Babe Ruth Day – Proclaimed by Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler, this was a day to support Babe Ruth during his fight against cancer and it has endured, particularly with the Yankees, ever since.

Tell A Story Day – Today is a day for stories. Tell your kids a story today. You don't need to read it out of a book, try making one up. Maybe a story about when you were a kid or some other kind of completely made up story. You could even write it down for them so they can read it again and again.  You  may find events celebrating this day at your local Library.

Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day – This day is not only about appreciating bulldogs, who are beautiful in their own way. It is also about celebrating the beautiful differences between people of all sizes, shapes, colors and coordination.

Mantanzas Mule Day – On this day in 1898, during the Spanish-American War, the U.S. Navy bombarded a village in Cuba named Mantanzas. They hit it with everything they had. I'm sure it was impressive for its' time considering how long ago it was. When it was over and the villagers looked for dead bodies, they discovered that the entire village suffered a casualty count of: 1 mule.

Morse Code Day – On this day in 1791, Samuel Morse was born. He, of course, created the Morse code which was used regularly to pass telegraph messages for many years and is probably still used today in certain circumstances.  Most everyone knows at least some Morse code, even it it’s just the code for SOS( . . . _ _ _ . . .).

Eeyore's Birthday Day – Always celebrated on the last Saturday in April, this is Eeyore's birthday! The idea came from one of A.A. Milne's stories where Eeyore thinks everyone forgot his birthday only to find out that they had been planning a party all along. Ever since 1963, Austin, TX has had a huge all day festival to celebrate this day with live bands, food, drinks, family oriented games and arts and crafts.

Sense Of Smell Day – Today is a day to celebrate your sense of smell. The world would be a pretty bland place without the ability to smell. Granted, when we smell stinky things, we're not so pleased about it, but the good generally outweighs the bad. In fact, I think that a smelling app has even been invented for one of the latest idevices.

National Pet Parent's Day – Celebrated on the last Sunday in April, this is a day to give appreciation to the special people who open their hearts and their homes to pets of all kinds. Pets are not easy to take care of, even fish need to have their tanks cleaned and sometimes need special water and temperatures.  Bigger pets make bigger messes, need to be walked, fed, cleaned up after, and let us not even talk about those vet bills.  Kudos to all those pet parents who take these tasks on so willingly.

Mother, Father Deaf Day – Also on the last Sunday of April, this is a day to honor the deaf parents of hearing children. Raising children is difficult under the best of circumstances.  If you can’t hear them when they cry or you can’t hear them when they get quiet because they’re up to no good, it gets a hundred times harder.

Pinhole Photography Day – This day encourages you to make your own camera, take a picture and share it with the world in the hopes of encouraging creativity. All you need is a “light-tight” container, a pinhole in the side of it and a photo sensitive surface inside it.

Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) – This day begins at sundown today and ends at sundown tomorrow. It is a day to remember the 11 million people (6 million of whom were Jewish) who died in the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis while Hitler was in power.  This day is celebrated in either April or May depending on when the 27th of Nisan ( a Hebrew calendar reference) occurs.

To celebrate today, tell your kids a story about bulldogs and mules with Eeyore as the main character.  Then get in your vehicle and drive them to Yankee Stadium where they can learn about Babe Ruth and smell the popcorn and hot dogs.  Stop for a prime rib lunch on the way home.  Then, since you got them a bird for a pet yesterday, you qualify as a pet parent so teach your children how to do those pet care chores you don’t like to do.  Next, plug up your ears so that you can see what it would be like to be a deaf parent while you attempt to work with your children on making a pinhole camera and take some great pictures.  This evening, teach your children Morse code so you can use it to tell them about the Holocaust in an age appropriate way.

April 26, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National Pretzel Day – Pretzels have been around for a long time.  There’s a story that they were invented by either German or Italian monks back around 600 A.D., but I couldn’t find any documentation about that so I don’t know if it’s true.  However, there is documentation in the form of illustrations dating back to the 12th century that proves that they are at least that old.

Richter Scale Day – The Richter Scale was created by Charles Richter in 1935 and, as everyone in California knows, it measures the size of earthquakes. The largest one measured so far since it's creation was the Great Chilean Earthquake which registered a 9.5 on May 22, 1960.  Between the earthquake and the resulting tsunami, more than 6,000 people died.  The only reason that number isn’t higher is because of the relative low population density in the area at the time.  Mr. Richter was born on this day in 1900.  

Audubon Day – John James Audubon was born on this day in 1785. He was an artist who dedicated more than 30 years of his life to drawing as many different kinds of birds as he could find. The Audubon Society was created after his death by one of his wife's students, George Bird Grinnell, for the purpose of studying and protecting birds everywhere. And yes, as far as I can find out, that was Mr. Grinnell's real name.  Many Audubon societies will have special events or opportunities for volunteering today.

World Veterinary Day - There is some dispute on the internet about what day this holiday should fall on.  The International Veterinary Students Association says it is today. The World Veterinary Association says it is on April 29th.  I guess that once the students graduate and become professional Veterinarians, they have to switch to a different day for celebration.  Maybe it’s a graduation ritual like the moving of the tassel on the graduation cap.  The theme for this year’s celebration is “Animal Welfare.”

National Kids And Pets Day – Created by Colleen Paige, who has created a lot of different pet related holidays, this is a day to foster the belief that every child should have a pet to care for.  I had pets for most of my childhood and I can tell you that caring for them taught me a lot.  I loved them more than I can even begin to tell you.

National Rebuilding Day – The non-profit organization, Rebuilding Together, works hard to rebuild and repair homes and community centers for low-income families. This day is always celebrated on the last Saturday in April and the goal is to bring attention to the organization's mission and the sad plight of the low-income population of this country.  They have been working at this for 25 years and have rebuilt 150,000 homes so far.

Save The Frogs Day – The frog population is dwindling.  You wouldn’t know it necessarily if you aren’t in the amphibian conservation business because who else goes around counting frogs?  But, for the last six years, Save the Frogs has been working to fix that problem.

International Marconi Day – At first glance, I thought this was Macaroni Day too, but it most definitely is not. Born on April 25, 1874, Guglielmo Marconi played an enormous role in the invention of wireless telegraphy. In other words, we have radio capability because of him. We celebrate his birthday on a Saturday close to his birthday with amateur radio events going on all over the world.

World Healing Day – Always on the last Saturday in April, this day is focused on healing in all forms. There are many different kinds of health oriented celebration days associated with this day.  Some of which I have listed below but I have no doubt that there are many more.

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day – Celebrated in 60 countries around the world since 1999, this is a day to spread awareness of the two related disciplines. The goals of today are to educate the world about the health benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong and to encourage people to embrace wisdom from all countries and cultures of the world.

World Native Aboriginal Sacred Ceremony & Dance Day – This is a day to embrace the ceremonies and special dances of the natives and aboriginals in the world.

World Yoga Day – Their focus this year is to support Amnesty International’s mission to protect human rights in the world.

World Reiki Day – On this day, Reiki groups around the world will be teaching Reiki meditations and holding participatory exhibitions.

World Prayer Day – This is a day to pray for healing for yourself, your neighbors, your city, your state, your country and your world.  If you participate at 10am, you can be part of a global wave of prayer.

To celebrate today, pick out a pet bird for your kids and take it to the vet for a checkup, making sure you listen to the radio while you’re in the car.  Next, have some pretzels before you heal your body and soul by spending some time doing Tai Chi and Yoga.  Then, you can find a Reiki specialist to give you an examination while you pray for healing for everyone you know at 10am.  This afternoon, find some Natives or Aboriginals so you can share in their ceremonies and dances before you go home to find out where the last California quake fell on the Richter scale.  Tonight, go online to donate to the Rebuilding Together effort and to the effort to Save the Frogs before they disappear.