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August 1, 2017

Today we celebrate:

Every Horses’ Birthday - Happy Birthday to every thoroughbred horse in the Southern Hemisphere. Northern Hemisphere horses celebrate their birthday on January 1st. Having a standardized birthday like this makes it easier for them to label horses as a one year old or two year old, etc. for the races.

Woman Astronomers Day - Maria Mitchell was born on this day in 1818. At a time when women were not exactly encouraged to be professional at anything except maybe teaching, she became the first female astronomer, among other things, and was also the first woman to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Lammas - This day is celebrated by England and Scotland. It is the festival of the wheat harvest, which is the first harvest festival of the year. I’m sort of surprised there is more than one because I figured everyone would be too busy harvesting to have multiple festivals. In any case, for this one it was the traditional practice to bake a loaf of bread with the first harvest and bring it to church. The loaf would be blessed, broken into four pieces and a piece put in each of the four corners of the farmer’s barn in order to protect that grain and all the rest that would be harvested. There were other traditions as well that I don’t have time to describe here.

National Raspberry Cream Pie Day – Yesterday's raspberry theme continues with this cool and refreshing dessert pie.

Girlfriend's Day – Today is a day to celebrate girlfriends. It doesn't matter if you're talking about a special female love interest or a bunch of gal pals. Show them today how much you care about them.

Play Ball Day - This is a day to celebrate all the sports games that utilize a ball of some kind. There are quite a lot of them that I can name right off the top of my head like: baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, football, racquetball, tennis, golf, polo, volleyball, bowling, and probably dozens of others. Celebrate today by playing a ball game of some kind.

Lughnasa - Celebrated by the Irish and Scottish, this is a day that began as a harvest festival and continues today with festivals, bonfires and dancing. It is also a popular day to begin handfastings which are trial marriages. After a year and a day the couple has the option of ending the relationship or formalizing it into a lasting marriage. Festivities began last night and last until this evening at sunset.

National Minority Donor Awareness Day – Begun in 1996 by Clive O. Callender, MD, with the goal of raising awareness among ethnic groups on all the issues related to organ, tissue and blood donations among minorities. The hope was to promote healthy living among minorities and to ultimately increase the number of minority donors. More than half of the people on the transplantation waiting list are minorities so it is very important for minorities to be involved in donations because they have a much better chance of being a good match for another member of their minority.

Respect For Parents Day – This is a day to be aware of how respectful you are to your parents. Sometimes when we get aggravated at people we need a little reminder about how important it is to be kind, respectful and most important of all, patient with all of our elders but particularly with our parents.  It is all too easy to hurt the people we love. Way easier than it is to hurt people we barely know. So we need to remember that these are the people who brought us into the world and raised us as best they could. As a parent, I know I love my children more than anyone else ever will. So knowing that my parents feel that way for me makes it a little easier to remember to be respectful and kind and loving toward them.

Rounds Resounding Day – Do you remember singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat in a round when you were younger? I think most of us did that at some point with that song or with some other one. For the non-musically inclined among us, a round is when a group of people sing a song together but each person starts the song at a different time (or if you have a large group, divide into small groups and each group would start at a different time). So the first person would sing “Row, row, row your boat” and as that person starts the next line with “gently”, the second person would start singing “Row, row, row your boat” and the rest would follow in that staggered pattern. If done well, it sounds good, so practice with your family today.

Homemade Pie Day - Homemade pies are so much better than the ones you buy in a store, unless you get one from a bakery, those are really good. But I still think that homemade is better. Especially homemade lemon meringue pie made by my mother-in-law. I can’t eat eggs or wheat, but I’ll happily suffer the consequences later if I can eat my mother-in-law’s homemade lemon meringue pie now.

Yorkshire Day – This is a day to celebrate the English county of Yorkshire. On this day in 1834, slaves in the British Empire were freed and also on this day in 1759 the Battle of Minden was fought and won by the British during the Seven Years' War.  

Spider-Man Day – Spider-Man, created by Stan Lee, first appeared in comics sometime around August 1962 and has continued with varying degrees of popularity until this year. So this would be a good day to dig out some old comics or buy some new ones and read all about his adventures.

World Wide Web Day – I'm not sure why today was chosen to celebrate the World Wide Web. As far as I can tell, it should be on August 6th since that is the day in 1991 that the WWW was open to the public. But in any case, get on the web today and look to see how far we have come in just 24 years. Interesting factoid….WWW is actually one of the very few (perhaps even the only although I can’t prove that) acronyms that uses more syllables than the words that it is trying to shorten.

World Scout Scarf Day – This is a Boy Scout celebration day. Today all scouts, whether they are active or former, are called upon to wear their scout scarves in public today. The scarf is a symbol of the scout promise and for the scout mission to leave the world a little bit better than they found it. Sounds like a great mission to me.

U.S. Air Force Day - The Air Force was established on this day in 1907, although it was called the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army. I’m glad they shortened that. This particular celebration day was established on this day in 1947 by President Truman “in recognition of the personnel of the victorious Army Air Forces and all those who have developed and maintained our nation’s air strength.”

National Night Out - Celebrated on the first Tuesday in August, this is a day to keep the crime out of your neighborhood. It was begun in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), a non-profit that supports several different crime prevention programs, as an effort to promote citizen involvement in keeping the criminals out of our neighborhoods.

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