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February 1, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Decorating With Candy Day - Today you have permission to buy your favorite candy and use your creativity to decorate anything you want with it.  Whether it’s food in the form of cupcakes or cookies, or table settings, or glasses….whatever you come up with is ok and will be sure to be delicious.

Car Insurance Day – On this day in 1898, Traveler's Insurance Company issued the first car insurance policy. In 1927, not necessarily on this day, Massachusetts became the first state to make car insurance mandatory.

G.I. Joe Day – Launched by Hasbro in February 1964, G.I. Joe was the first doll that parents found acceptable for their sons to play with, mostly because it was called an “action figure” instead of a “doll”. Parents can be kind of funny about the suggestion that their sons should play with dolls so the creators decided that the term “action figure” would make this toy much more acceptable.

Hula In The Coola Day – On this day, usually more for those of us in the frozen north than for those basking in the warm southern sun (although this year even the southern states seem to be chillier than normal), we should forget about winter by getting rid of the winter coats, turning up the heat in the house, wearing shorts and throwing a luau.

National Freedom Day – On this day in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution outlawing slavery. Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a former slave, thought that there should be a day for everyone to celebrate the freedom of ALL Americans. He began the National Freedom Association which worked toward accomplishing that goal and highlighting the continuing struggles of the African-Americans fight for equality. The first National Freedom Day was celebrated on this day in 1942 and a wreath was laid at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

Spunky Old Broads Day – This day celebrates any woman over the age of 50 who refuses to let her age dictate how she acts and what she does. I am not fifty years old yet, but when I am, I plan to be very spunky. Do something new and exciting today. Here are a few suggestions.

National Serpent Day – Today is a day for all things snakey and slippery. I don't like snakes, but if you do, see if you can find one in your backyard and wish him (or her, I don't know how to tell the difference) a Happy National Serpent Day. You could also play snake related games with your children, I'm sure the internet is full of ideas for you.

National Baked Alaska Day – The original Baked Alaska was invented in 1876 by chef-de-cuisine Charles Ranhofer at Delmonico's Restaurant and consisted of ice cream over a sponge cake and topped with meringue, then baked long enough for the meringue to set. It was called Baked Alaska in honor of the recently acquired Alaskan territory. Since then, brave people sometimes add a rum topping and set the thing on fire.

Robinson Crusoe Day – This is a day to be adventurous and self-sufficient. On this day in 1709, the sailor, Alexander Selkirk, who was the inspiration for the book, Robinson Crusoe, was rescued from the island where he had lived on his own for five years. His captain abandoned him there at Alexander's request after they had an argument. It must have been one heck of an argument if he preferred to be abandoned on a deserted island.

National Change Your Password Day – This is a day to keep your computer's security in mind and change your password. It's a good idea to do that now and then, so take the time today to change all of your many passwords. You might want to think about keeping a list of them in a safe location because it will be difficult to remember so many new ones.

January 31, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Eat Brussel Sprouts Day - Brussel Sprouts are the bane of every child’s existence.  I have yet to meet one that enjoys eating these little tiny cabbages. I didn’t enjoy them myself until just a few years ago.  But they are very healthy, and if cooked properly, they are also very tasty.

Hell is Freezing Over Day - Not sure who created this day, but it seems to be a day to pull out the list that everyone keeps ( you do have yours, right?) of things that you plan to do when hell freezes over.  Since we will never know when that event actually occurs, don’t wait.  Work on accomplishing that list today.

National Hot Chocolate Day - While you can have hot chocolate any time of year, it is most delicious in the winter time because it warms your hands, mouth, lungs, stomach and heart.  Just the smell of it makes me feel so much better.

Scotch Tape Day - In 1925, Richard Gurley Drew invented the sticky, moisture proof, transparent rolls of tape called “Scotch Cellulose Tape”, that was mostly used by grocers, bakers and meat packers initially. He worked for the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M).  The story goes that the first masking tape that he invented in 1922 fell off the car that an auto painter was trying to paint and the guy angrily told Drew, “take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and tell them to put more adhesive on it!”  Apparently “scotch” was slang for “parsimonious”, another old word that means “stingy or frugal”.  Well he did, and they put adhesive on the whole surface and not just the edges and it worked like a charm and was the biggest reason why 3M survived the Great Depression.  People bought cheap Scotch tape to fix things when they didn’t have the money to buy new.

Street Children’s Day - Create by Jugend Eine Welt in 2009, this is a day to shine a light on the lives and dire circumstances of the street children of the world.  They make money any way they can selling flowers or anything that they can find.  Life is very difficult and dangerous for young people with no caring adults to help them make good decisions and no education to teach them how to do anything.  Drugs, and all manner of crimes are a serious problem with these children who are scorned and kicked aside by society.

World Leprosy Day – Celebrated on the last Sunday in January, this is a day to spread awareness of the fact that leprosy is still a serious disease in places like Vietnam, China and India among others (incidentally, it does not cause body parts to fall off although they do become diseased or numb). It is easily treatable and curable but the social stigma associated with the disease prevents many from reporting it and having the treatment.

Backwards Day – This is not the same as Opposite Day which we just celebrated a few days ago. This is a day to do everything backwards. Walk backwards, wear your clothes backwards and talk backwards if you can manage it. .sdrawkcab epyt nac I tuB  .taht od ot elba ton ma I

Inspire Your Heart With Art Day – This is a day to appreciate art and its' ability to inspire us. Today you need to find some art that inspires your heart to some romantic and loving feelings.  Maybe you have creative and artistic abilities yourself?  In that case, see if you can create something that will inspire others.

Brandy Alexander Day – Brandy Alexander is not a person, it's a beverage. More specifically, it's a cocktail made from cognac, cream and crème de cacao. I've never tried it but if I can find some cognac and crème de cacao, I'd be willing to give it a sip to see what it tastes like.

Appreciate Your Social Security Check Day – For those of you who receive Social Security checks, this is a day to appreciate them. I think it's odd that we have a day like this since I'm pretty sure that everyone who gets social security is pretty appreciative of it. Especially since you probably paid into it the system for years and years.

January 30, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Yodel for Your Neighbor Day - Yodeling is a form of singing that comes from the mountains of Switzerland. If you need an example to follow, I’m sure you can find one on Youtube. Or watch the puppet theatre scene in The Sound of Music. Practice a bit, then go out and serenade your sure-to-be-delighted neighbors.

National Croissant Day – Okay, now I'm drooling. I haven't even thought about croissants since the last Croissant Day a whole year ago and now I want one. Too bad I haven't found a gluten free version yet.

School Day of Non-Violence and Peace – This day was founded in 1964 and is celebrated on this, the anniversary of the death of Mahatma Gandhi. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is commonly celebrated on or around March 30th. The message of this day is, “Universal Love, Non-violence and Peace. Universal Love is better than egoism, Non-violence is better than violence, and Peace is better than war.” Celebrations are encouraged in schools, which are free to decide how they want to participate. Since schools are not in session today, this day can be celebrated on another day before or after this one.

National Inane Answering Message Day – I think this is a made up day as I couldn't find any source for it. What information I could find suggests that it is a day to get rid of the inane messages left on your answering machine, but I think it would be more fun to call all your friends and leave inane messages on their answering machines so they will be sure to have something to delete.

National Escape Day – This is a day to take a little, well-deserved mini vacation from the stress of your hectic life. It doesn't matter if you go far away or just lock yourself in your room for a little while. Find a way to pamper yourself and relax.

National Seed Swap Day – Celebrated on the last Saturday in January, this is a day to swap seeds with other seed swappers. There are seed swap meets where great numbers of people swap seeds in person but you could also swap your seeds online or by mail. It is a great way to spread and preserve heirloom plants or unusual varieties of plants. Plus it's just fun to say.

January 29, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Earned Income Tax Credit Day - On this day, or on days close to it, the IRS teams up with community organizations, state and local governments, schools, employers and anyone else who wants to join in, for the purpose of making sure that low to middle income people get all the tax credits they deserve.  This is the 10th anniversary of this day and along with providing information on the Earned Income Tax Credit, they will be happy to talk to you about the Premium Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and American Opportunity Tax Credit, among others.

Clash Day or Mismatch Day – My oldest daughter celebrates this every day but she's a bit of an over achiever. The rest of you might have some trouble with the concept of making sure your shirt doesn't match your pants which shouldn't match your shoes or your socks or anything else for that matter.

National Corn Chip Day – Well, I generally try to avoid these because I love them so much but they are so bad for my hips. But since this is a special day, I'll be forced to make an exception. Any resulting weight gain is not my fault.

National Puzzle Day – There are all kinds of different puzzles out there to enjoy; Jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, word search puzzles, number puzzles like Sudoku, word puzzles and more. I plan to enjoy as many of these today as I can.

Kansas Day – Kansas was the 34th state admitted into our United States of America. That happened on this day in 1861. Schools in Kansas have been celebrating this day since 1877.

National Carnation Day – This is a day to celebrate one of my favorite flowers. I had mini carnations as the main flower for my wedding. According to Christian legends, carnations first appeared as Jesus carried the Cross.  His mother, Mary, wept at the sight and her tears became the first carnations.  Others say that the flower has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years in Asia and Europe.  They come in many different colors and varieties.  The red ones have been the state flower of Ohio since 1904.

Curmudgeons Day – Celebrated on the birthday of W.C. Fields, our most famous and beloved curmudgeon, this is a day to behave like a curmudgeon by pointing out hypocrisy wherever you see it and ignoring social niceties.

Freethinkers Day or Thomas Paine Day – Born on this day in 1737, Thomas Paine came to America in 1774 and published a pamphlet called Common Sense. He served in the Revolutionary War and later held positions appointed by congress. His words inspired many and he was the first to publicly call for an end to slavery and the establishment of basic human rights. Freethinkers Day was created by the Truthseeker magazine in order to educate the public on Thomas Paine and his importance to our history of freedom. Thomas Paine Day was created by the Thomas Paine Foundation simply to celebrate everything to do with Thomas Paine.

Seeing Eye Guide Dog Day – On this day in 1929, Seeing Eye, Inc was founded by Morris Frank, a blind man who heard of a guide dog program in Europe. That program didn’t succeed but he was not deterred.  He convinced an American dog trainer living in Switzerland, who knew something about the guide dogs, to train him and provide him with a dog so that he could bring the program to America and train others. Seeing eye dogs are so important to helping the visually impaired maintain their independence. If you have a seeing eye dog, maybe you could give him/her an extra treat and belly rub today.

National Pre-school Fitness Day – Celebrated on the last Friday of January, this is a day to get those little people into the exercise habit. Get those little arms lifting those weights, take them jogging with you, train them to swim a couple of miles. They're little but strong, they can do it! Right after their afternoon snooze.

January 28, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Pop Art Day - Born on this day in 1912, Jackson Pollock was an artist who “successfully fused art and life”.  His work greatly influenced those who went on to create the Pop Art movement.  So this is a day to indulge in your own Pop Art creations and to honor the man who was a sort of a father for the style.

National Blueberry Pancake Day – One of my favorite breakfasts. Fluffy, soft pancakes filled with blueberries and soaked in maple syrup.

National Kazoo Day – Celebrating 165 years of kazooing. Kazooists are nothing if not flexible so they say you can celebrate today or on the fourth Thursday in January.

Data Privacy Day – This is an international holiday with the purpose of encouraging everyone to think about their data and how important it is to keep it safe and private. Check your privacy settings today.

Thank A Plugin Developer Day – This is a relatively new day declared by Matt Mullenweg when the WordPress repository passed its’ 4,000th plugin. It is now an official WordPress holiday because where would WordPress be without the hard work of its’ plugin developers. Celebrations should include looking at the plugins that you use, finding the author's website and contacting them with a message to say thanks for their hard work. You could also choose to donate some money to them to compensate them for their time.

Christa McAuliffe Day – On this fateful day in 1986, Christa McAuliffe and six other crew members of the Space Shuttle Challenger died in an explosion shortly after the shuttle launched. She was a teacher who was supposed to be the first teacher in space.  It was a tragedy for the whole country as most of us watched it happening on the television.

National Daisy Day – This is a day to celebrate the beauty and cheerfulness of the daisy. We don't have any daisies blooming here at my house in the frozen tundra of the northeastern United States, so I'll have to content myself by looking at pictures of beautiful daisies.

Fun At Work Day – This is a day to have fun at work. Work is not usually something you think of as fun but it is what you make of it. Find a way to incorporate some fun in your work day today with your co-workers, whether they like it or not, which is part of the fun!

Rattlesnake Roundup Day – Most places no longer round up wild rattlesnakes and this day has become more of a wildlife festival than an event to buy or sell rattlesnakes.  But back in the day, you would have found all sorts of interesting people doing all sorts of very weird things with rattlesnakes that were dead or alive.

January 27, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Punch The Clock Day – I don't know if anyone uses time cards inserted into a time clock at work anymore. I did when I was younger and I worked at Kmart. We had to punch a clock at the beginning and end of every shift as well as at the beginning and end of every break. This is a day to honor everyone who has to punch a clock at work.

National Chocolate Cake Day – I don't think this day needs any explanation. If you like chocolate cake, today is your day!

Thomas Crapper Day – On this day in 1910, Thomas Crapper died. While he did not invent the toilet, he did improve it by inventing various devices to make it work better like the ballcock (that floating device that stops the water flowing when the water gets to the right height in the tank).  Our toilets would not work nearly as well as they do without Mr. Crapper’s ingenuity.

Aushwitz Liberation Day – On this day in 1945, the Soviet Army liberated Aushwitz (a concentration, extermination and forced labor camp) and its' remaining 7,000 prisoners. Most of whom were very ill and dying which is why they were not included in the 60,000 prisoners who were forced to march to Wodzislaw ahead of the Soviet invasion.
Holocaust Memorial Day – Today is a day to remember the millions of people who were murdered in the Holocaust. It's hard to believe that anyone could be so evil that they wanted to exterminate that many people, but it happened and similar things still happen today in other countries against other people.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day – The United Nations General Assembly created this day and urge all of their member nations to develop educational programs for the purpose of spreading knowledge of the horror of the Holocaust and preventing genocides from happening in the future.

Vietnam Peace Day – On this day in 1973, the Vietnam Peace Agreement was signed ending the long Vietnam War that caused so much controversy in this country. The worst part was the sad treatment of our brave veterans who fought so hard but were ostracized by the public because it was such an unpopular war.

January 26, 2016

Today we celebrate:

International Customs Day - This is a day to recognize the efforts of Customs officials in every country to keep their borders safe. A lot of people don’t realize the dangers of bringing exotic plants and animals to different countries where they could wreck havoc on the ecosystem. Combine this with the ingenuity of smugglers and other criminals who try to get away with all manner of things when crossing borders and you have a very interesting work day.

Speak Up and Succeed Day - Celebrated on the 4th Tuesday in January, this is a day to do just what the name implies.  Public speaking is a skill that not everyone possesses...but it is one that everyone could possess if they practice it enough. I am one of those challenged in that area because I hate being the center of attention, fortunately I am married to someone who has no difficulty with it whatsoever, because he has had to speak in public many times over the years. I have been able to easily avoid it, probably to my detriment.

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.

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.

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.

January 25, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Community Manager Appreciation Day - Celebrated on the 4th Monday in January, this is a day to appreciate the hard work of community managers in their work of trying to improve customer experiences with social media like Twitter and Facebook.

Fluoride Day - On this day in 1945, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the first to add fluoride to their water supply. They did this to try to improve their citizen’s dental health and it has worked.  Each successive generation has enjoyed better dental hygiene than the one before. After years of study of Grand Rapids compared to other communities, the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council declared this method to be safe and beneficial in November 1951.

National Irish Coffee Day – Whiskey, coffee, sugar and cream are the necessities of life if you wish to make the perfect cup of Irish coffee.
Robert Burns Day – Born on this day in 1759, Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is well-known beyond Scotland's borders because he also wrote in English. His work has endured through the ages as he was voted the greatest Scot by the Scottish people in a television poll. While you might not recognize much of his work, unless you live in Scotland, you have surely heard of “Auld Lang Syne.”

Opposite Day – Here is yet another day that I can't seem to find agreement on. Some think it's celebrated on January 7th, others say it is on January 24th, and still others name today. I think they are just being contrary. But if you choose to celebrate it today, say exactly what you don't mean to say and do exactly what you don't mean to do.

Macintosh Computer Day – This is the 30th Anniversary of the launch of the Apple Macintosh computer. It had a tiny screen, a keyboard, a mouse and only 128 KB of memory, which at the time was a lot but today is less than you would need to store a single picture.  It was revolutionary at the time because it was so different than anything else on the market. Of course, most everything that was happening at that time was pretty revolutionary because technology was growing so fast.

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.

January 24, 2016

Today we celebrate:

National “Just Do It” Day - If there is something that you are thinking about doing, stop thinking and just do it. I’m not sure who created this day but it seems to be a day for action. Stop waffling about and make a decision and then….just do it.

National Lobster Thermidor Day - A complicated lobster dish that is apparently very tasty. It uses lobsters, grated cheese, eggs, cream, mushrooms, and sherry, among other things.

National Peanut Butter Day – This is a day to celebrate that which the Aztecs may have created several hundred years ago by crushing peanuts into a chunky, pasty substance. Peanut paste was then turned into more of a peanut buttery type substance similar to the peanut butter we know and love today in the 1890's with various patents by various enterprising people. One of which was Dr. John Harvey Kellogg who served it to his patients at his Battle Creek Sanitarium.

National Beer Can Appreciation Day – On this day in 1935, the first beers were served in cans and the rest is history. I wonder if this is the day when the first beer can was crushed as well.

National Compliment Day – This day is one of the easiest days you will ever celebrate. Simply compliment at least five people today. I don't know who created it but that is less important than the fact that if you celebrate today, you will lift the spirits of at least five people.

National Eskimo Pie Patent Day – Christian Kent Nelson invented the I-Scream-Bar somewhere around 1920. His inspiration was supposedly seeing a child trying to decide between buying ice cream or candy because he didn't have enough money for both. So he created a bar that combined ice cream and candy. It was renamed the Eskimo Pie shortly after he received his patent on this day in 1920 or 1921.

Change A Pet's Life Day – This is a day to change a pet's life. Go to your local animal shelter and find a pet that would be perfect for your family. Change his/her life by rescuing them from the loneliness of a cage and sharing with them the love of a family.

Global Belly Laugh Day - Small chuckles and little teehee's will not do today. Today is a day for big, from your stomach, belly laughs. Join the belly laugh bouncing around the world today at 1:24pm local time.

Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day – If you thought Talk Like A Pirate Day was fun, here's another one for you. First, ya gots ta figger out a name fer yersef. Sumthin grizzly like Cactus Pete. On this here day, back there in '48, James Marshall found himsef the first great big ol' nugget up there at Sutter's Mill. Ev'r'one went plumb crazy after that.