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April 6, 2015

Today we celebrate:

National Caramel Popcorn Day –  You know those enormous tins of popcorn that everyone gets as a Christmas gift?  The ones with three kinds of popcorn separated by dividers?  Yeah, that’s the one.  Break it open (you know you have it tucked away somewhere) because they always have caramel popcorn in them and that is pretty much the only place you can find it unless you make your own.

Plan Your Epitaph Day – Well, you don't want to leave this important task to someone who might not do it the way you would want, do you?  Go ahead and write it all down for your loved ones.  And allow me to give you a piece of advice.  The next time your spouse gets the flu, has a fever or just thinks he/she is going to die at any moment, and dictates to you what they want on their tombstone (or pyramid, whichever the case may be) write it down.  Just trust me on this, my husband is still complaining twenty years later because I didn’t write all his fever induced brainstorms down.

Army Day – Begun in 1942 by proclamation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to honor the Army that works so hard to keep us safe during wartime and peacetime.

New Beer's Eve – This was the night before prohibition was to end in 1933. There were huge lines of people waiting for that midnight moment when beer was legally allowed to be sold once again.  I wonder if the police arrested anyone who tried to sell alcoholic beverages at 11:59pm.

Drowsy Driver Awareness Day – Drunk driving is not the only driving hazard out there. Anyone can become drowsy while driving and cause serious harm to themselves and others. This day was started by a California Highway Patrol Officer whose wife died because she fell asleep behind the wheel. I've fought drowsiness while driving myself. Fortunately I've never actually fallen asleep and no harm has been done, but it's a danger that is always present. If you find yourself feeling drowsy while you are driving, please pull over to a safe area, take a nap if you can or get out and walk around, get some coffee or caffeinated soda, anything to help you stay awake.  It’s worth being late if it keeps you and the people around you alive.

Sorry Charlie Day – Charlie the Tuna, from the Star Kist commercials begun back in the 1960’s, keeps getting rejected no matter what he does. But he survives and rebounds and comes back and tries again. Take that message and use it in your life.

National Student-Athlete Day – This is the 27th anniversary of this day of saluting the student athletes around the country. With two team sport playing children, I know that it's not easy combining sports and keeping up schoolwork, to say nothing for all the driving that parents end up doing, but exercise and playing with a team is great for kids in many ways, so it's worth the balancing act.

National Tartan Day – This is a holiday for all Scottish-Americans. On this day in 1320, the Declaration of Arbroath was signed.   I’m sure you will recall that this was a declaration of Scottish independence which generally stated that they didn’t have to do what England told them to do and would fight back if attacked by anyone.

The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Day – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was officially created by Joseph Smith on this day in 1830 with a membership of 6 elders and about 70 members. They have grown to a membership today of more than 14 million.

Teflon Day – On this day in 1938, Roy Plunkett accidentally discovered polytetrafluoroethylene (don't ask me to say that out loud) when a gas he was testing failed to emerge from its’ container. Risking an explosion and sure death, he cut open the container to find that the gas had solidified into a smooth, slippery powder. He tested it and figured out how to reproduce it and just like that we have non-stick pans. OK, it might have been a little more complicated than that.  I skipped ahead a few years and probably a few thousand scientific experiments.

White House Easter Egg Roll – This has been going on for more than 130 years and this year is no exception. But don't plan on dropping by to participate, they have a lottery system in place to pick the people who will get to go.

Dyngus Day – This is the Polish term for Easter Monday. Each country has a different way of celebrating. I was surprised to read that traditionally boys wake girls up by pouring water on their heads and hitting them on the legs with long, thin twigs or switches made from willow or birch tree branches. The website I reference here says the water is “sprinkled” and the legs are “tapped” but I think we all know what would really happen if you're talking about brothers and sisters. It says at the website below that ladies would retaliate by throwing dishes and crockery.  That seems like a rather violent custom to me but I don’t judge.  It also said that traditionally girls would then return the favor on Tuesday.  I don’t think I would bother to wait that long.

To celebrate today, have the boys in your household wake the girls by pouring water on their heads and tapping their legs with twigs, then boil some eggs and have an egg roll game for your neighborhood. Then make some scrambled eggs in a teflon coated pan for breakfast before you go watch a high school lacrosse game with some Mormon friends.  Then do whatever you need to do to get over the rejection you are sure to face when you ask the lacrosse people if you can join in the game...just keep trying until it’s time to go eat caramel popcorn and drink beer with some tartan wearing Army veterans who could help you plan your epitaph.  Make sure you are awake enough to drive home.

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