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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.

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