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May 10, 2014

This is my favorite day in a long, long time.  Kids, I sure hope you're reading this today.  Not to worry though, I won't let you forget about cleaning your room today!

Clean Up Your Room Day – This just might be my favorite day so far. Kids! Where are you? Have I got a day for you! Get the winter doldrums out of your room and get it ready for summer!

Mayday for Mutts - Celebrated on a Saturday in May, this is a day for shelters to promote mutts to people who are looking for a wonderful pet to love.  Mutts can contain many different wonderful traits from the different breeds in its’ ancestry so if you can’t find the perfect dog in a single breed dog, you just might be able to find a mutt that combines several traits that you enjoy from several different breeds. Mutts also have a tendency to be healthier than single breed dogs because hereditary problems don’t usually appear as often.

National Train Day – On May 1st, 1971, Amtrak first went into service. They began this holiday in 2008 to promote the advantages of rail travel and the history of trains in this country.  This will be the 7th year of celebration for trains.  Apparently, Amtrak has a special-edition National Train Day Train which has been in Los Angeles since May 3rd for that station’s 75th anniversary. This day is celebrated on the Saturday closest to May 10th which is the anniversary of the day that the Golden Spike was pounded in Promontory, Utah signifying the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

World Lupus Day – Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect any organ in the body. It is a disease for which there is, so far, no cure. Today is about spreading awareness of the disease so people can be diagnosed earlier, and raising funds for research so better treatments can be developed. Learn more about it today.

National Windmill Day – In the very old days, before electricity, windmills were one of the few ways that energy could be gathered. With the invention of electricity, windmill power went by the wayside for a long time. But today, there is a movement afoot to get more windmills working in more areas as it is a pollution free, natural and renewable energy source.

National Mill Day - In Holland, the second weekend in May is a day to celebrate their windmills and watermills, of which they have quite a few.  In fact, 950 of them will be opening their doors to visitors this weekend so that people can see what they do.  Many of them will have planned activities for children and their families.

Mother Ocean Day – Celebrated every year on the day before Mother's Day, this is a day to celebrate the beauty and wonder of the ocean. A common way to celebrate is to cast rose petals into the ocean from the beach and watch them flow out.

National Babysitters Day – Also celebrated on the Saturday before Mother's Day, this is a day to appreciate the love and care the babysitters of the country give to our children. They free us up to get a break from child care and enjoy an adult activity and conversation that can be shared with other adults now and then.  Those of you who don’t have kids yet, may not understand just how important that is for a parent, but if you have kids someday, you will.

Stay Up All Night Night – Do you remember how exciting it was to stay up all night when you were a child? Well, today...or rather, get to relive that thrill. The second Saturday in May is a night to stay up all night doing things that you don't usually have time to do. What will you do with all this extra time? Chores, visiting with friends who are celebrating with you, and watching movies are all good ideas. Do you have others?  I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it.  I recall the last time I stayed up all night, over seventeen years ago when I was in labor.  The next day was a blur of continuously dozing off even through the parade of people coming to my room to see my daughter.  I do not do well without sleep.

Birth Mother's Day – The Saturday before Mother's Day is a day to recognize birth mothers, without whom, many of us wouldn't have children. It can be a very difficult decision to put your child up for adoption, but if that is the best thing for your child, it's an act of great love to recognize it and be willing to do it. This day was created by a group of birth mothers in Seattle in 1990.

International Migratory Bird Day – Created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and celebrated on the 2nd Saturday in May, this is a day to learn about the nearly 350 species of birds that migrate every year. They nest in North America, and fly south to warmer climates when their breeding grounds in the north get cold.  Different areas may celebrate at different times depending on when migratory birds are expected to pass through their area.

National Miniature Golf Day -  Celebrated on the second Saturday in May, this is a day to celebrate an enjoyable and entertaining game that has been around since somewhere in the 1800s.  I have seen a claim that it began in Scotland as a game for women since women were not allowed to play golf.  

Spring Astronomy Day – This day was begun in 1973 by Doug Berger, President of the Astronomical Association of Northern California. The original plan was to set up telescopes in urban locations so people who did not normally get to spend much time looking at the stars could do so on this special day. This day is now sponsored by a variety of astronomical groups and is a day for interaction between regular people and astronomy enthusiasts.

Letter Carrier's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day – Every year on the second Saturday in May, mail carriers collect non-perishable food items for local food pantries. So fill a bag and hang it on your mailbox because they will be there soon.

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Awareness Day – Celebrated is probably not the right word for this day so I’ll say that it is observed on the second Saturday in May.  This syndrome is a genetic disorder that is present at birth although it is not always diagnosed that early. There are physical characteristics associated with it like other syndromes and there are common medical issues that most people with the disorder suffer such as heart defects, seizures and vision problems among others. This is a day to spread awareness of the disease that 1 in 10,000 children are born with.

World Fair Trade Day – Celebrated on the second Saturday in May, this is a day to promote fair trade and work toward trade justice for everyone. This is actually a two week celebration with events beginning May 3rd and ending May 18th, but this day is THE day itself.

World Belly Dance Day – This is yet another second Saturday of May celebration. Boy there sure are a lot of things to celebrate today.  This day celebrates the art of belly dancing. It is an art form as well as an excellent exercise program, in my opinion. Frankly, I don't know how they move like that.  I have a friend who takes belly dancing lessons and loves it, so if you’re interested in learning how, this is a great day to find a class and give it a try.

To celebrate today, put some food out for the Letter Carrier to collect and leave your mutt and your kids to clean their rooms under the supervision of a babysitter while you go to get checked for Lupus and Cornelia de Lange Syndrome.  Then, take your kids to the ocean and look for good spots to put up windmills since it is always windy there.  Next you can make plans to trade belly dancing lessons for an evening of staying up all night explaining the constellations to your belly dance teacher.  Finally, take a train ride with your birth mother to a miniature golf course where you can keep an eye out for interesting migratory birds.

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