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February 14, 2017

Today we celebrate:

International Book Giving Day - Instead of giving flowers and chocolate on this day, how about giving books instead. And not just to your beloved, but to people who really need books. Homeless children all over the world would welcome the opportunity to learn to read. Refugees from the dangerous countries on our planet, had to leave their books behind when they fled their homes and would treasure your kindness and would love to have books they could use to educate their children.

Read To Your Child Day - One of the best things you can do for your children, is to read to them. It will help them grow their language skills, help them learn to read, and it’s just a really great way of spending some quiet, bonding time with them. Step away from the Valentine’s hype today, grab a good book, find a comfy place to snuggle with your child and read together.

National Ferris Wheel Day – This ride was originally designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. He was born on this day in 1859 in Illinois. Interestingly enough, his parents were named George and Martha. You can find one of these at almost any carnival, fair or amusement park anywhere in the country.

Valentine’s Day – I don't think this day needs any explanation. I hope all of you who have a significant other have not forgotten about it. Even doing this blog about all these days, this one still manages to sneak up on me because I always think I've got plenty of time and then, WHAM! What am I going to get him this year?

Frederick Douglass Day – The chosen birthday of Frederick Douglass. He was born a slave in Maryland around the year 1818 and never knew his exact birthday. He was taken from his mother at an early age and raised by his maternal grandmother until he was seven and was taken from her as well. He was an amazing man who taught himself how to read, finally succeeded in escaping slavery and became a gifted orator who inspired thousands of people.

Pet Theft Awareness Day – Pet theft is a bigger problem than I thought it was. Especially since most pet lovers don't steal other people’s pets so that they can have a pet of their own. The big problem is the despicable organizations that steal pets for medical research.

Library Lovers Day – This is a day to spend at your local Library! It doesn't even matter where you live because this day is celebrated all over the world, wherever there are libraries. Libraries are treasure troves of information. Librarians can help you find almost anything. Just don't ask them what your washing machines and dryers do with all the socks they eat. That's a question that simply has no answer.

National Have A Heart Day – This is a day to focus on keeping (or getting) our hearts healthy by being conscious of what we put in our mouths. I am not a vegetarian, but according to the information I found, I probably should be because apparently vegetarians live an average of 15 years longer than non-vegetarians and have a far smaller likelihood of having heart disease as well.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day – Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) is the most common birth defect which affects more than 1.8 million families. It is a defect in the structure of the heart and major blood vessels. Many children with CHD don't have any alarming symptoms so their condition may go unnoticed and untreated for years, sometimes even for their whole lives. Others have more complex issues with severe symptoms like under-developing arms, legs and muscles, poor growth, respiratory infections, shortness of breath, heart murmurs and more. These children have to take medication and undergo surgeries in order to survive. Make yourself aware of the symptoms so that if your children start to exhibit them, you can get them checked out quickly.

National Call In Single Day – Apparently whoever invented this day believes that being single is sufficient reason to call in sick to work on Valentine's Day. For those who are single and not happy about it, you are encouraged to take some time off of work and do something for yourself today. I will add that I hope that with the economy the way it is right now, please don't do anything that might get you fired.

National Organ Donor Day – Save a life today and sign up to be an organ donor. Well, actually, I'm hoping you don't save a life TODAY. I guess I really meant to say, save a life SOMEDAY by signing up to be an organ donor. I didn't mean to imply that I wanted bad things to happen to YOU today, I just want good things to happen to others SOMEDAY. This is a conundrum that people who desperately need organs face every day. I sympathize with the situation but the sad fact is that we are all going to die someday and if, in death, we can help someone else to be able to live their lives to the fullest, then I consider that to be a positive legacy worth leaving.

International Quirkyalone Day – You don't need to have a significant other in order to feel like a worthwhile person. This day is all about celebrating independence. After all, if you can't be happy by yourself, you will never be happy with someone else either. But it isn't just for singles, sometimes couples don't like the consumerism of Valentine's Day so this is a day for all of us to create a plan for the day that fits your unique likes and dislikes (and those of your partner, if you have one). Do whatever you love to do and have fun doing it.

Extraterrestrial Culture Day – Celebrated on the Second Tuesday in February, this is a big day in New Mexico. It is a day “to celebrate and honor all past, present and future extraterrestrial visitors in ways to enhance relationships among all citizens of the cosmos, known and unknown.” As far as I know, I am not personally acquainted with any extraterrestrials, although I suppose that is something that could be up for debate.

National Cream Filled Chocolates Day – It's not too surprising that this should fall on Valentine's Day. I love chocolate and if there's cream in it, all the better.

National Condom Day – This day is about making people aware of the importance of keeping ourselves safe from STD's (some of which are very serious and even life threatening) and unwanted increases in the population. Yes, this is a family blog so I am attempting to be ambiguous. Those of you who are old enough to celebrate this day will understand what I'm saying. Take some time to discuss the birds and the bees with your children today in an age appropriate way to make sure they grow up with the right information.

Race Relations Day – This is a day celebrated by some churches in order to impress upon us the importance of interracial relations. In the past, this was celebrated around Abraham Lincoln's birthday but was changed to today back in 1970.

Singles Awareness Day – This is a day for single people and single people only. Gather today with other single people to celebrate or bemoan your singleness. If you wish to celebrate this, you should wear green, because it is supposedly the opposite of red, or wear black because it is the absence of color and so if you wear it you are endorsing the absence of celebration. Some prefer to celebrate this day on the day before or the day after Valentine's Day.

League Of Women Voters Day – Founded on this day in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt, this political organization is bipartisan that neither supports nor opposes political candidates. Instead they focus on studying issues, reaching a consensus and taking a stand on the issues that are important to them. Initially it was created to be a support system to help 20 million women use their new voting power to make a difference.

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