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May 16, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Love A Tree Day – Trees are vital for our lives. They provide a tremendous service to us and we take them for granted in a big way. Where would our oxygen come from without them? What about our shade, homes for animals, food for insects, food for us?   I could go on and on.  I certainly love my trees.  They keep my kids from getting sunburned in the back yard.  My husband finally convinced me to let him cut a few down but only because they were diseased and in danger of falling on our house and our neighbor’s house.  It hurt my heart to see them go.

National Sea Monkey Day – Sea monkeys were created by marketing genius, Harold von Braunhut, in 1960. They are really just brine shrimp in fancy packaging and Mr. von Braunhut made a fortune. You can still buy them today.

Wear Purple For Peace Day – Ok, I have researched a lot of days now but I think this is one of the oddest. This is a day to wear purple to promote peace. That's not so odd, you might be thinking. At least until I tell you that the peace in question is not between different countries or people, but between people and aliens. That's right. We are supposed to wear purple today so that if any aliens happen to swing by, they will know that we have nothing but peaceful intentions. I am unsure how these aliens are supposed to know that purple means peace. I could not find an explanation for that.

International Virtual Assistants Day - Today we acknowledge the increasing prevalence of virtual assistants and the invaluable services they provide.  They are mostly freelance workers who take phone calls, do research, make appointments and a whole host of other activities.

Armed Forces Day – Celebrated on the third Saturday in May, this is a day to honor the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces. There will be a wide variety of activities going on all day all over the country from parades to motorcycle rides to educational activities. In the past there were celebration days for each of the branches of the armed forces, but in 1949, Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson, announced that they would all be consolidated under one day because all of the armed forces had united under Department of Defense. The only branch that has chosen to still have it's own day is the Marines although they support this day as well.

National Learn To Swim Day – Celebrated for the third year, this day is always and forevermore celebrated on the Saturday of the weekend before Memorial Day weekend. This is a day to become aware of the importance of teaching your children how to swim. Children who cannot swim are far more likely to drown if they accidentally end up in a pool or pond or lake or river. Make sure your child learns this important lifesaving skill and if your child is afraid of the water, as my youngest was when she started learning, don't cave in to their fear and give up on making them go to lessons. After a scare in a pool when she was three, my daughter cried through nearly 6 months of swimming lessons before she finally started enjoying the water and now she swims like a fish. It’s hard, but it's worth it.

Do Dah Day - Celebrated on the third Saturday in May, on this day in 1979 in Birmingham, or so I am led to believe, a bunch of friends decided to have a party and over the years turned it into a fund raising event for local charities involving animals. More and more Do Dah volunteers joined the effort and it has become a festival with a parade.

Mike, The Headless Chicken Day – Celebrated on the third weekend in May, this is a day to learn the story of Mike. Mike was a chicken who was supposed to be dinner back in 1945, but when his owner, Lloyd Olson, chopped off his head (Mike's head, not Lloyd's), Mike just refused to die and carried on his chickenly duties such as attempting to peck for food and preen his feathers. He lived without his head for another 18 months because Lloyd was so amazed, he worked to keep the bird alive by feeding it with an eye dropper. Impossible, you say? Well, apparently Lloyd botched the chop job and left behind the lower portion of his brain that was attached to his spinal column. This is apparently a true story that was documented by scientists and you can read all about it and see pictures here:

Biographer's Day – On this day in 1763, in London, England, a biographer, James Boswell, met with his biographee, Samuel Johnson. Mr. Boswell later wrote two books about Mr. Johnson and this whole relationship is apparently quite well known among the writing community.

To celebrate today, wear purple and purchase some sea monkey's for your virtual assistant. Then, go find a Do Dah parade to join.  Tell your fellow paraders all about Mike, the Headless Chicken.  Next, go out and give a tree a good hug before you make yourself comfortable in its’ shade while you start writing a biography about someone you have met being sure to include their work on behalf of the Armed Forces.

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