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January 26, 2015

Today we celebrate:

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

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

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

National Pistachio Day – Pistachios don't last long in this house, almost all of us love them and they disappear almost before I can even get the groceries put away. Make sure you stock up if you have a similar situation.

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

Australia Day – This is the National Day of Australia. It celebrates this day in 1788 which was when the first fleet of British ships arrived at Sydney Cove, New South Wales and the Flag of Great Britain was raised by Governor Arthur Phillip.  Of course, I am publishing this the evening before in the United States on Eastern Standard Time, which means that it has been January 26th for quite a few hours in Australia.

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day – This day is always on the last Monday in January. If you are a bubble wrap aficionado, you already knew this was coming and you stocked up. I wonder if you are aware that there is now a Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day Hall of Fame. Thousands (yes, I said 'thousands') of people have created videos of their favorite inventive ways to use Bubble Wrap. The videos will be judged and the winner will be announced and will be inducted into the Hall of Fame today. You can see some of the videos here:

Better Business Communication Day – Celebrated on the 4th Monday in January, this is a day to work on improving your business communication skills. Communication is vital to businesses so good decisions can be made and I bet all of us could use some work on improving our communication skills.

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

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