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May 15, 2016

Today we celebrate:

International Conscientious Objector Day - A Conscientious Objector is one who refuses to join the armed forces in their country because they claim that they have a right to refuse to kill another person. I don’t know if during a draft at war time a person actually has a right to do that. I do feel fairly confident that any military person, male or female, would rather not fight alongside someone who would refuse to kill another person, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing that these people avoid being put in that position. I do feel strongly that no one should be forced to join the military unless circumstances are dire beyond description, but once you are in the military, you need to do whatever your commanders demand of you with very rare exceptions. (There are always exception in the event that you have a sadist for a commander.)

National Safety Dose Day - This is a day that is about making sure you don’t take too much medicine, which can be harmful to you. Check the dosage on the directions or listen to your doctor’s directions and take only as much medicine as directed. Taking more can have disastrous consequences, taking less is not helpful and can also have disastrous consequences.

Stepmother’s Day - Celebrated on the Sunday after Mother’s Day, this is a day to appreciate your stepmother. It is not easy to blend families, sometimes tensions run high and children may resent it when a new woman comes in to take the mother roll, even if it’s only part time because the children divide their time between their divorced parents. It isn’t easy for the stepmother either, and today we acknowledge that reality and appreciate the efforts that she makes to be the best mother she can be.

Dinosaur Day - Museums may celebrate on different days depending on what their calendars are filled with. But in general it is a day to be thankful that dinosaurs are no longer among us for the most part. I know...crocodiles, birds, turtles, etc….but these are the smallest and most mild of dinosaur descendents. It is also a day to find out more about the dinosaurs that came before us. They were fascinating creatures and although many people turn this kind of subject into a creation vs. evolution argument, I don’t see it that way. I believe dinosaurs existed but I also believe that we would not exist without a higher power to guide our evolution.

Relive Your Past By Listening To The First Music You Ever Bought No Matter What It Was No Excuses Day - I would gladly do this. I certainly still have the first music I ever bought. The problem is that my record player is broken and I can’t find anyone who knows how to fix it. No one knows anything about record players any more.I am actually old enough to remember 8 track tapes as well, but not old enough to have bought one for myself.

International Kangaroo Awareness Day - You would be forgiven for thinking that this day had something to do with kangaroos.  I did too, until I did some research and found out that it has to do with babies of the human variety.  This is a day to become aware of the benefits of skin-to-skin contact with your newborn babies.  This day has been celebrated since 2012 and is really popular in hospitals where you can find a lot of newborn babies.  The idea is to cuddle with your baby with his/her skin against your skin.  This is apparently how kangaroos do it, of course they have a convenient pouch to put the little one in.  We don’t have that, but if we lay them on our bare chests, it helps us bond with them and helps them prosper as they should.

Pentecost – This is Greek for Feast of Weeks.  For Christians, this is a feast celebrating the time that the Holy Spirit descended upon the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. This day is sometimes known as Whitsunday because of the white clothing that was worn on this day by those who were baptized during the period of time between Easter and Pentecost.

Peace Officers Memorial Day – This is a day to pay tribute to the peace officers who have died in the line of duty. Peace officers work very hard to keep our country, states, counties and cities safe. It is a dangerous and demanding job and they catch a lot of flack for the work that they do. But regardless, they are always there when we need them, they frequently put themselves in jeopardy in order to protect us, and sometimes they even sacrifice their lives to save ours. We owe them our gratitude and respect.

International Hyperemesis Gravidarum Awareness Day – This is the fourth annual celebration of this day created by the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation (HER). This is a disease that affects thousands of pregnant women. Symptoms associated with it include unrelenting nausea, weight loss, vomiting, malnutrition and dehydration. It usually lasts longer than the first trimester and for some it can last for the entire pregnancy.

International Day Of Families – This day is endorsed by the United Nations to celebrate family in all of its many forms.  Families are the basis of our civilization, and it is important to our physical and mental health to have healthy and happy relationships with our families. The theme for this year is “Men in charge?  Gender equality and children’s rights in contemporary families.”

National Chocolate Chip Day – Chocolate chips are a treat all by themselves but they are even better when baked in other things like cookies and brownies and cakes. I'm making myself hungry.

International MPS Awareness Day – This is a day to honor everyone who has suffered from this disease as well as everyone who works to find a cure. MPS is an acronym for Mucopolysaccharidos disease. Don’t ask me to say that out loud.  This is a genetic lysosomal disease (LD) that causes a body to be unable to produce enzymes which help cells to perform their duties properly. A person with this disease suffers with progressively more severe organ damage the longer they live.

Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Global Awareness Day – This is a genetic disorder that causes non-malignant tumors to form in the brain, eyes, heart, lungs, kidney and skin. These tumors can cause many, many challenging health issues for the people with this disorder such as autism, seizures, intellectual disabilities and developmental delays. The severity of these issues varies widely and many people with this disorder are able to lead independent lifestyles and accomplish great things in challenging jobs like scientists, doctors and lawyers.

Nylon Stockings Day – On this day in 1940, Julian Hill's invention appeared in stores for the first time and women were liberated from having to wear cotton, wool or silk stockings. They liked them so much that they bought 780,000 on that very first day. These were what we now consider to be the old fashioned kind that you had to hold up with garters. But you had to do that with the wool, silk or cotton ones as well.

Straw Hat Day – Today is the day for men to put away their felt hats and take out their straw hats for the summer. Summer is here (ok, not officially, but in some places it's hot enough to be summer anyway) and felt hats don't come back until some time in September. That is, if men still wear these types of hats. As you can probably tell, this day has been around for a while. You may also see it celebrated on different days in different parts of the country.

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