Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Feb 27 weird n wacky celebrations

Inconvenience Yourself Day doesn't mean celebrate something that is an inconvenience to you. Instead, you should inconvenience yourself instead of others by showing good manners or random acts of kindness. So go ahead, inconvenience yourself and make someone smile.

Feb 26 wacky n weird holidays

I've always wondered where the phrase - For the Love of Pete - comes from. Today is Pete's day. Who is he? And why should we do something simply for his sake?

Spay Day might not be so much a holiday as a day of awareness promoted by The Humane Society. Thousands of kittens and puppies are born each year and many don't have loving homes. Instead of letting the animal population boom, why not spay your pet. I like the Humane Society's motto for the day: It's not just rabbits who multiply like rabbits.

Feb 23 weird n wacky celebrations

If you're into sports, here's an Olympic event that is gaining in popularity. Celebrate Curling is Cool day, brought to you by the fun lovers over at The game originated in Scotland and Holland during the 1500s. In the 1830s, the first U.S. curling event was documented at Orchard Lake, near Detroit. By the end of the decade, curling was popular in the Great Lakes states, including Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Curled debuted in the 1924 Olympic games and was considered a medal sport. This is one Olympic sport I enjoy watching. It's like shuffleboard on ice. For more information, check out the U.S. Curling Association.

Iwo Jima Day honors the fourth day of the 35-day battle that was immortalized forever. On this day, U.S. soldiers reached the summit of Mt. Suribachi and raised the American flag. The next day, five Marines and one Navy corpsman raised the American flag for the second time, and photographer Joe Rosenthal captured what is now the most reproduced image of all time.

If you enjoy a glass of wine, then tonight would be the perfect to to Open That Bottle. This wine-lovers celebration serves as a means of celebrating that special bottle of wine. You know, the one that is tucked into the back of the china cabinet or the one on display on your kitchen counter. You plan to open it at some point and so it sits, patiently, while the bouquet builds inside the bottle, and you wait for a special occasion.

My grandpa made homemade wine. A LOT of homemade wine. And he won many local and state awards. Some of it was flavorful; others should never have been shared with friends, let alone with family members who served as guinea pigs. My favorite was the Anniversary wine. The summer my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Together, we held a huge open house/reception/dance for them. This family loves fruit salad, so we all brought fruit and contributed to the salad, which we made in a large cooler. Instead of eating what was left, grandpa took the fruit and turned it into wine. It was a delicate (ok, so not much of this wine was delicate) blend of strawberry, grape, kiwi, peach, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Not bad.

He also experimented with onion/garlic wine. Not so good to drink, but what a delicious marinade it made!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Feb 21 wacky celebrations

International Mother Language Day was established in 1999 by the U.N. to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multiculturalism.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day promotes the engineering field as a viable career choice for females. It developed from National Engineer's Week activities.

Tired of thousands of thoughts descending on your brain at one time? Tired of having to complete multiple tasks at once? Today, you can allow yourself the chance to focus on one single, solitary task. Celebrate Single Tasking day.

Feb 20 wacky celebrations

Today's lone reason to celebrate is really for a good reason, although the shouting out in the street sounds a But since I live in the country, it probably wouldn't matter. Those fun-loving holiday creators at established today's holiday: Northern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day. They even have a Top 20 list of how to deal with cabin fever.

What is a hoodie hoo? Well, I'm not sure, but at noon, local time, citizens are asked to go outside and shout hoodie hoo. Now by doing this, you'll supposedly chase away winter, and spring will blossom in one month.

Yeah, I'd probably run too if someone shouted Hoodie Hoo at me. But I will definitely welcome spring in a month, if not earlier!

Feb 18 wacky celebrations

President's Day. That's it. The only supposed reason to celebrate today. It's the conglomeration of Abraham Lincoln's and George Washington's birthdays. It's a federal holiday; most banks close; some schools have a day off; state employees (yup, that's you Cassie) get a reprieve from the office doldrums.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Feb 17 weird 'n wacky holidays

For all you race nuts out there, today is the granddaddy of 'em all: the Daytona 500. I admit that I never watch an entire race. I like the pre-race broadcast, and I usually watch the first 20 or 30 laps and then tune back in for the last 20 or 30. It would be different if I were actually at the race track, but there are too many other distractions at home.

I will never forget when we returned home from a trip to Omaha, walked into the house, and Cassie told us that Dale Earnhardt had been killed in an accident on the track. At first I thought she was joking (primarily because she is a Jeff Gordon-lover), but I could sense by the look on her face that she was not joking around.

My favorite driver is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. And it's not just because he's carrying on his father's legacy. He is interesting to listen to, and he just has the "woo factor." I will also admit that it is difficult this year since he supposedly joined the "enemy" - Hendricks Motorsports - but a true fan respects a driver no matter what team he races for. I respect his decision to move away from DEI. And I am very happy with Jr's 9th place finish on Sunday. What a good start to a hopefully stellar season!

Here's an interesting top 10 list about Daytona.

Today is also My Way Day. Now I'm not sure if that's a nod to Frank Sinatra and his famous song or if it is a recognition of "it's my way or the highway."

If you have children, you no doubt are or were active in their educational endeavors. Celebrate National PTA Founders Day. The organization's roots are firmly planted in Georgia.

Today is also World Human Spirit Day and stands as a celebration of the human spirit and what we each have to say regarding healing and world peace.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Feb 15 weird holidays

If you still want to celebrate the month devoted to love, you might enjoy the ancient Roman festival Lupercalia. The celebration was to ward off evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. The celebration began February 13 and concluded on the 15th. The Romans celebrated the festival in honor of the She-Wolf and kicked off with a sacrifice of two goats and a dog. Next, a feast followed. The Luperci (priests) donned the skins of the goats and ran around the city, whipping women with thongs from the goatskin. These whippings ensured fertility, prevented sterility, and eased the pain of childbirth.

The pagan celebration was outlawed in the 5th century.

Kinda makes you appreciate the flowers and chocolate, huh? :)

Susan B. Anthony struggled to secure women's rights, especially voting and equal rights. Her life is honored today.

Feb 14 weird 'n wacky holidays

What's your favorite carnival ride? Mine is actually the Tilt-A-Whirl, but I also like the ferris wheel. Ferris Wheel Day whirls into fashion in honor of George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., a civil engineer who designed the ferris wheel. Some interesting history of the Ferris wheel mentions that the ride first circled high above the Chicago World Fair in 1893.

The League of Women Voters was founded on this day in 1920. I always vote when there is an election. It is a civic duty that unfortunately, not many people take the time to do. I'm still uncertain about the Nebraska Democratic Caucus this year. I've read many positive comments; however, I've also heard several horror stories about long lines to register and people actually getting upset with the process and leaving before the caucus began.

Unmarried and not dating? Single and proud? Good for you. Take the day off and focus on you and your personal life in honor of National Call in Single Day.

Some sources say today is Race Relations Day, but a Google search shows that it should be celebrated in March. Isn't it sad that a special day needs to be decreed so people learn to get along? Like my mom always says: People need to play nice in the sandbox!

Still single and alone on Valentine's Day? Have no fear. Perhaps you are a quirkyalone. A quirkyalone is a person who enjoys being single but doesn't rule out the possibility of a relationship and usually prefers being alone rather than dating for the sake of being a "couple." I understand completely. I didn't mind being single after Patrick passed away, but I wasn't ruling out the possibility of a relationship. I really figured I would never find anyone who made a significant impact on my life. Well, what's the saying, when you least expect it, someone comes along, or something to that effect. And I'm certainly glad he showed up. :) But honestly, the quirkyalone bunch looks like they have a great time!

And if you are in love, today is Valentine's Day. It's the biggest day for flower sales and chocolate eating. The History Channel sums up everything about love, including a history of the holiday, a survival guide, and history's romantics.

To coincide with the day of love, the American Social Health Association recognizes National Condom (Awareness) Day. Practicing safe sex has never been more important. According to the association's website, despite hundreds of millions of tax dollars being spent on abstinence-only sex education, approximately 19 million new cases of STDs are reported each year, with many new cases reported in the 15 - 24 age group. How many go unreported?

And to celebrate the month of love's symbolic color - red - join forces with the National Institute of Health and learn how heart disease affects women. National Women's Heart Day offers awareness and education concerning women and heart disease, the number one killer of women. One in four women will die from heart disease.

Feb 13 weird holidays

Black Love Day started after holiday founder Ayo Handy-Kendi watched the movie Malcolm X. The day isn't all about love and kisses; its purpose is to promote peace. An interesting interview with Handy-Kendi explains how she started the event in 1993.

Employee Legal Awareness Day deserves just a bit more awareness. I searched the web to determine the origin, but I couldn't find out how the day came about. But I'm all for employees realizing the legal rights that they have.

If you despise your name, today is indeed your lucky day. Celebrate Get a Different Name Day by changing your name to whatever your you desire. Now, I always did this when I was little. I didn't like my name, so I just shortened it to Ann. And my youngest did it too: she didn't like how I spelled her name Courtney, so she started spelling it Kourtney. She got over it, and so did I.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Finally! I DID IT!

I sent a pitch to a national magazine that I thought I could break into. She liked the first idea but said it wasn't quite a right fit and told me to submit more ideas. So I brainstormed a list of five ideas and sent the first idea that Scott and I agreed on.

That was in August.

I sent an email back in November, and she said she didn't have the query but would check into it.

Last Friday, I received an email that she liked the idea, but instead of a feature, it would be a FOB (front of book) piece. I'm so happy! It's a good break and I'm glad that I have the opportunity to write for this magazine!

Plotting Our Fields

Right now on the farm, we're beginning to formulate what to plant in the field. Scott's dad wrote up his plan; Scott responded with changes he'd like to make, and now, it will be time to order seed.

To me, some of this planning seems obvious. Soybean prices are high right now, and hopefully, they will maintain that level or even go higher. Corn is high, too, but the differential between the two crops amounts to nearly $7 per bushel. To me, it's a no-brainer. But then again, I'm not the farmer in the family.

I know that there will be a good mix of corn and soybeans, silage for the dairy cattle, and a new crop: popcorn.

One pasture will be leveled so popcorn can be planted there. I think it's a smart investment, but there is a wonderful windmill in the middle of that pasture that will probably have to be removed. It's not that the windmill is different from any of the others that dot the horizon of the Sandhills; instead, it's just the beauty of this one: a vine grows up the legs. Very impressive sight in the middle of a hot August afternoon. It is also a very impressive sight in the midst of winter when icicles dangle from the iron. I hate to see it go.

Feb 12 weird holidays

In honor of his birth, today is Darwin Day, bringing about international recognition of science and humanity.

Today is also the birthday of one of the most beloved presidents this country has known. Abraham Lincoln's birthday is no longer celebrated as a holiday by itself; instead, his birthday, along with George Washington's, became known as President's Day and is celebrated later this month. I can remember visiting the Lincoln museum and memorabilia in Springfield, Illinois, when I was growing up. I wonder if all the presidents' home towns pay homage to their native sons. Since I enjoy history, I really enjoy learning about and visiting these sites.

Safety Pup Day showcases Safety Pup, the dog who promotes Halloween safety, bicycle safety, and ID-a-Kid, among other programs. Safety Pup is the brainchild of the National Child Safety Council.

Feb 11 weird holidays

Now in its third year, Pro Sports Wives Day pays tribute to the women who sit in the stands and support their men out on the field. The group honors these sports widows/wives who endure hardships, volunteer relentlessly, and succeed in their own right. Check out the 2007 award winners.

National Shut-In Visitation Day gives you a chance to get off the couch and visit someone who deserves and would most definitely enjoy a visit. When one of my grandmas lived in a nursing center, we would visit whenever possible. And even when I moved five miles from that town, it still was difficult to always find the time to stop by. But I know she always appreciated it, and since I taught at the local high school, I always tried to make sure that I had students perform there during coffee time so I could also visit her. Everyone appreciated seeing the kids.

Some people don't mind being single. There were definite perks: you could clean whenever you felt like it. If you didn't want to wash dishes after dinner, they could wait until the next day. And if you didn't want to put on any makeup and stay in your PJs all day, you could. So if you fit this category, then Satisfied Staying Single Day is your day. So go ahead. Splurge. Buy yourself chocolates and flowers. It's your day!

A classic "sport" kicks off today. The Westminster Dog Show begins and showcases the best of the best canines. Now, I've never been to a dog show before, but it seems fun. Kind of reminds me of the episode of Sex and the City when Charlotte showed her purebred.

One small step for solidarity. One giant step for womankind. In 1937, sit-down strikers and the Women's Auxiliary Brigade won recognition from the United Auto Workers. White Shirt Day remembers the day the event occurred in Flint, Michigan.

Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day reminds me of my friend Courtney. One night when she was bartending at Michael's Cantina, some milk spilled on the lid of the cooler. She looked up at me, pointed to the puddle, and pretended to cry. It was hilarious! OK, maybe you needed to be there, but she is pretty witty!

At ancient universities in Scotland, the second Monday of February was known as Meal or Oatmeal Monday. Students lived in barren quarters and most meals consisted of oatmeal, which students would make into porridge. Since students' families lived a far distance from these universities, a three-day weekend was permitted so students could return home and restock their supplies. The tradition disappeared at the beginning of the 21st century; although a few universities still let staff have the day off.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Feb 10 weird holidays

Grammy Awards Day - honors the best of the best in the music world. Growing up, our family would watch the award show. The best part: the performances. An interesting history of the award, along with music info, is available at Another musical holiday today is Gold Record Day, commemorating the first gold record ever awarded. The recipient: Glenn Miller in 1942 for the song Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Man Day. Did it start in honor of Adam? Or is it about work and time?

Plimsoll Day honors the man who made a difference in the shipping world: Samuel Plimsoll. Because of his concern for the safety of the crews on ships, he took his cause to the House of Commons and now all ships must bear the load line freeboard marking.

World Marriage Day celebrates man and woman as the head of the family unit. The holiday originated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and has spread its theme - Love One Antoher - around the globe.

Today's final reason to celebrate is Umbrella Day, an invention that has never dampened our spirits.

Feb 9 wacky holidays

One of my sources tells me today is Corvette Day; however, after a little research (read that as Google doing the work), it appears that the push for National Corvette Day will make June 30 the actual holiday. So what to do? I imagine if you own a Vette you celebrate every day.

Today celebrates a phenomenon that changes frequently yet you can not control it. Weather Day celebrates the weather. I couldn't find any history or reason for this date to honor such a time-worn occurence. I thought perhaps the Weather Channel began operations on this date. But not so. A pretty interesting history of TWC is available. Here are some interesting weather tidbits throughout history for February 9.

How should one go about celebrating Toothache Day? Not sure I want to celebrate that one. But in a month that celebrates the biggest candy-selling blitz because of Valentine's Day, I imagine anyone who overindulges might experience a toothache.

Feb 8 weird 'n wacky holidays

Ever worked somewhere that just had an unpleasant tone? At some point, I think most of us experience this dilemma: we like our position, but the workplace just is not fun. Laugh and Get Rich Day offers the chance to enjoy humor in the workplace in addition to the enjoyment of the job. Spread the laughter; keep the moola!

Rebel Day isn't a reason to rebel against anything. The celebration is in honor of the 'legendary rebel' James Dean. It's his birthday.

Kite Flying Day, although set in the midst of winter (at least here in Nebraska), is a time to get outside and fly a kite. In South America on this date, multiple kite flying events are held. It's possible the celebration originated there. I own several stunt kites (wish I could sell them), and we used to go to several kite events each year.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Feb 7 weird 'n wacky celebrations

First, today is my mom's birthday, and I certainly believe she deserves a shout out! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! And, because she is a twin, my uncle probably should get a happy birthday greeting, too, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNCLE CEC.

Today also kicks off the Chinese New Year. 2008 is the Year of the Rat. I can remember visiting a Chinese restaurant in Culbertson, Nebraska, when I lived in the southwest part of the state, and they always had cool placemats that explained the Chinese New Year. And yes, they also had delicious food. Sweet and sour chicken was delicious! There are some pretty interesting facts about the Chinese New Year that I was unaware of, so if you want to learn more - and I suggest you do - check out this site.

Ever live next to people you don't care for? People who interfere with your daily routine? Neighbors who infringe on your property or peace and quiet? That's why I enjoy the country. Well, today you should try being friendly and see if they change their attitudes! Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor's Day offers a chance to make nice in the neighborhood and wave all four fingers, plus the thumb, at those who live closest to you. You might want to try it instead of just waving one certain finger. :)

Now, our closest neighbors are the people who milk for us. They are very nice and never bother anyone. Scott's parents live about 3/4 mile south. And a mile east is his bro and sis-in-law. I like to call it the "family compound." And please, family members, do not take offense to that name. It's not like we're out here plotting anything. We just all live in such close proximity that the name is kind of funny. Of course, I could be comparing us to the Kennedy clan. The dairy farm is the new Camelot? I think not!

Feeling like you could use some help with housework? Wish someone would take care of those monotonous chores you dread and put off until the piles of clean clothes blend in with the dirty ones? Maybe you need a robot. Then you could participate in Love Your Robot Day and give the bot the love it so obviously deserves. Right now, in the midst of juggling a speech season, writng for several publications, and dealing with every day life on the farm as well as my own life, I could definitely use a little extra help from Mr. Roboto.

Run For Your Life Day carries several connotations. Is it a silly holiday that promotes heading for the hills? Or is there a deeper meaning to his cause celebre? The answer is 'I'm not sure.' I couldn't find any rhyme or reason for this holiday.

Feb 6 weird 'n wacky holidays

African American Coaches Day honors African American coaches across the world. I was certain I would be able to find out the history of this cause to celebrate; however, most mentions I found were just a simple listing. I must admit, I have never considered a coach's race a factor. I've always considered the job they do to be the important point. I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that one of my favorite coaches is Turner Gill, former Nebraska QB, former Nebraska assistant coach, current University of Buffalo head coach. It's part of the whole Nebraska love affair: he played here; he is 'one of us' in the nostalgic sense; he is a good coach who took a suffering program and is building it into something worth talkin' about.

Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season that includes 40 days of fasting and repentance. Ashes are smeared on a person's forehead upon entering the church. Some religions wash off the ashes prior to leaving, symbolizing forgiveness of sins.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day started in 1987 as a day to honor the memory of Flo Hyman, an Olympic volleyball player. Despite Title 9, female athletes still face discrimination. Even though we think we've come a long way, baby, we still have a long road ahead before female athletes receive equal treatment and equal pay.

Lame Duck Day offers respect to those individuals who are close to runnning out of tenure - you know - like those politicians who can't run again for office because of term limits.

Monopoly Day is a favorite of mine! Grab the fam and the board game and sit down for a marathon game.

Pay A Compliment Day remains a good way to bolster a relationship. A simple compliment can improve and enhance any relationship. My mom always used to say "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Constructive criticism is a welcome necessity, but if someone does something to the best of his or her ability, offer a compliment.

Feb 5 weird 'n wacky holidays

Alot of talk about pancakes today. Why? It's Shrove Tuesday, and depending on where you live, several different rituals are celebrated today. In Pennsylvania Dutch country, the German tradition of Fastnachts Day, or Fast Nights, is celebrated with - you guessed it - Fastnachts. What is a fastnacht? It's a yeast raised potato doughnut that does not have a hole in the center. A Pennsylvania Dutch favorite, the doughnut is sliced like a bagel, butter is spread inside, and it is topped with syrup. The celebration originated as a means of ridding the pantry of sugar and fat prior to the Lenten fasting period.

The tradition of pancake day began in England. People used up all the extra fat, sugar, and dairy products before the 40-day self-denial period began. After stuffing themselves with pancakes, the residents would participate in fun and games. A pancake day race at Buckinghamshire, England, has been held since 1445! An interesting legend is associated with the race.

Mardi Gras began in New Orleans as early as 1699, with the traditions associated with the holiday coming from the French. Mardi Gras translates to Fat Tuesday and can fall anywhere from February 3 to March 9. How is the date of the observance determined? The Lunar calendar used by the Catholic Church to determine the date of Easter. Mardi Gras is always 47 days prior to Easter.

Paczki Day is a Polish celebration similar to Fat Tuesday; however, this celebration occurs on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday and is called - you guessed it again - Fat Thursday. What is paczki? A Polish doughnut of sorts. Dough is flattened into a sphere and deep fried. Plums or marmalade are fill the pastry. In Poland, a marmalade made of rose buds is a traditional favorite. Polish-American celebrants choose fresh paczki topped with a powdered sugar or icing.

Those fun folks over at Wellcat have an interesting idea for today: Move Hollywood and Broadway to Lebanon, Pennsylvania Day. Lebanon is the former home office for the David Letterman Show. Personally, I'd like to see it moved to Ewing, Nebraska, the closest town to where I live, so I can catch some of my favorite Broadway shows!

And finally, Weather Person's Day pays tribute to those atmospheric prognosticators who occasionally predict the weather correctly. Actually, my oldest daughter started out as a meteorology major in college, so after seeing some of her coursework, I understand just how difficult it can be to predict accurately. And yes, on the farm, weather plays an important role. I didn't really realize just how much farmers depend on the weather forecast. Our TV is turned in to The Weather Channel for a large portion of the day.

If you're wondering about food holidays, head over to my new blog Food, Me, and History: A Love Affair and find out food histories and recipes!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Feb 4 Weird n Wacky Holidays

I was going to guess that the folks from devised Dump Your Significant Jerk Day, but I would be incorrect. By the way, today also kicks off Dump Your Significant Jerk Week. Perhaps the greeting card industry created this holiday as a means of breaking up with someone during the month of hearts. That way, all bases are covered: those who are in love and those are are falling out of adoration. Sounds logical!

I also guessed that the folks from created Spoiled Cats Day. But once again, I was incorrect. I couldn't find any factual information about the basis of this reason for the season, but I'm sure cats remember that they were the favorite companions of the Egyptian Pharoahs. That has to be what kicked off a long line of spoiled felines.

One such cat resides with my parents. His name is Nash, and he is extremely spoiled. In fact, I often joke that he gets more stuff than my sister and I ever got. OK, that's probably an extreme, but Nash definitely rules the roost. On the other hand, he has a hard life - my parents rescued him from a shelter after someone placed him in a garbage bag and dumped him off in a ditch. And he is a very pretty Snowshoe Siamese.

Liberace Day celebrates the classic piano tinklings of the overly-dressed piano player, Liberace.

The USO gets their own day, and today's the day. Why? Because the organization was formed in 1941 on this date. What does USO stand for? United Serviceman's Organization.

Feb 3 Wacky n Weird Holidays

Four Chaplains Memorial Day honors the memorial and contributions of the four chaplains who were aboard the S.S. Dorchester. A wonderful tribute site tells the story of Alexander Goode, George Fox, Clark Poling, and John Washington.

Feb 2 weird celebrations

Candlemas is a religious celebration marking the end of the Epiphany season.

Groundhog Day determines if we will suffer through six additional weeks of winter. Phil says six more weeks in 2008. Check out the Pennsylvania wonder. The holiday that started prior to the American celebration was Germany's Hedgehog Day. And the Roman Hedgehog Day took place first, so the premise of this celebration has a long history.

Imbolic celebrates the early signs of spring. Goddess Brigid (Brigit, Bride), who later became a Christian saint, is honored. Celtic background about this celebration is available.

Teach Your Daughter to Volunteer Day sounds like a wonderful idea. Sponsored by We-Win, this is a day to get out into the community and volunteer. By sharing your ideas and willingness to complete a task, the world will become more tolerable and human.

Sneeze Day isn't about something tickling your nose. It isn't about allergies. And it's definitely not about Kleenex. It is about the first image caputred on film by Alexander Graham Bell. Guess what he filmed. Go on, guess. You know you want to. That's right. A sneeze.

Feb 1 weird celebrations

Bubble Gum Day was created by a children's author, Ruth Spiro, as an alternative to fundraising in schools. Want to know how bubble gum is created? Watch this video.

Hula in the Coola Day. Spring those winter doldrums right out of your life and add a little excitement by grabbing a hula hoop. Oh come on, we know you own one, so get out on your deck or porch and give it a whirl. In this nice crisp weather, wiggling and jiggling in the cold should be a blast!

Robinson Crusoe Day commemorates the anniversary of the rescue of Alexander Selkirk in 1709. His story prompted DaFoe to write Robinson Crusoe. Read more about it and practice a bit of self-reliance today.

Spunky Old Broads Day. I couldn't find any factual information, but I'm sure it's a day to honor hip grandmas. That's got to be it.

Wear Red Day and Women's Heart Health Day go hand in hand. Heart attack symptoms differ in men and women. First Lady Laura Bush is promoting healthy hearts and wearing red so all women realize the devastation that heart disease can bring. Want to know the symptoms women typically experience? Find out at sister to sister.

National Freedom Day celebrates the date Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Harry Truman signed the bill noting today's celebration in 1948. Find out more at America's Story.

Give Kids a Smile Day is worth grinning about. Members of the American Dental Association offer free dental care to children who need dental work.

Jan 31 weird celebrations

Twist Off Day pays tribute to the invention in 1956 of the twist off cork. I know I'm certainly jazzed that this was invented.

Inspire Your Heart With Art is a sensory holiday. Visit an art museum or gallery and partake of all the splendid pieces. What emotions are evoked? Art is a visual picture; writing is art with words as the canvas.

Scotch Tape Day honors Richard Drew, an engineer with Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M). In 1925, he invented scotch tape, and just five short years later, he invented cellophane tape. Imagine how we would have to wrap packages and gifts if we did not have this invention. That's right. We'd use duct tape. :)

Brandy Alexander Day. Brandy. Cream de cacao. Cream. Who could ask for more? See how good of a mixologist you are at yumsugar.

Jan 30 weird celebrations

Hate listening to your voice mail because you're never sure what kind of senseless information a person will leave? National Inane Answering Message Day pays tribute to all those stupid messages people leave. And in some cases, I think you could also celebrate the funny messages you have to endure when you call someone.

National Write to Congress Day encourages U.S. citizens to write those individuals who represent the masses. This is a good way to teach children - and even some adults - the importance of government and representation of the people, by the people, for the people.

Croissant Day celebrates the fluffy, flaky deliciousness of the French roll also known as a crescent. I'll have mine with scrambled eggs and bacon, please.

Thermos Bottle Day. I'm assuming this date coincides with the invention of the Thermos. I couldn't verify that, but it's a good guess.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Jan 29 weird holidays and celebrations

Freethinkers Day celebrates the birth of Thomas Paine, a leader of the American Revolution and writer of Common Sense. Paine clearly stated his beliefs, and late in life, was imprisoned. Only six people attended his funeral in New York City. Sad, considering that he proposed the name The United States of America.

World Leprosy Day is a way to let the world know that leprosy, known as Hansen's disease, still affects millions of people today, especially those living in third-world countries. For more information, take a look at

The next celebration honors a flower that has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. Carnation Day serves as a tribute to the beautiful flower that symbolizes luck and love. Want to know what the different types signify? Check here.

Recent studies have shown that working on a puzzle a day reduces the chance of memory loss. Celebrate National Puzzle Day by working on a crossword or putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Corn Chip Day celebrates the crunchy taste of those addicting chips! Whether served plain or with salsa or nacho cheese, corn chips seem to have become a staple in most American pantries.
Baked Tostitos are always a good choice. But when I was pregnant the first time, I craved Fritos and salsa. It was my daily fix. That could explain a lot about that child!! :)

And my personal favorite holiday for today is Bubble Gum Sculpture Day. Personally, I've seen many attempted sculptures on the bottom of school desks, but the sculptures I'm talking about are made out of unchewed gum. I'm not sure how this celebration started, but the thought of creating sculpture out of bubble gum is funny. You can check out some interesting pics here.

Jan 28 weird celebrations

Better Business Communication Day encourages professionals to improve their non-verbal skills in the workplace. Since almost half of a verbal message is interpreted by the body language accompanying the message, it's important that people key in on what a person is saying physically as well as verbally. This event is sponsored by the Corporate Speech Pathology Network.

I think I'm usually pretty good at this. It's possible that I developed this skill when I had to take an entire semester-long class in college about body language, non-verbal communication, and proxemics. You can easily tune in to what someone is saying by watching their actions.

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day focuses on one of the most underrated packing materials ever created. The inventors of Bubble Wrap sponsor an inventors contest for young people. Need a creative way to use the packaged air or just need to entertain the kids? Check out the winners.

When I was in elementary school, our music teacher required us to have a kazoo. Today is National Kazoo Day. Now, sometimes it was fun to play the humming instrument, but other times, it became downright annoying. I think she was trying to teach us a bigger lesson - about sound and music - but like most fourth graders, we just didn't get it yet. Actually, the kazoo has an interesting history.

Hungry for something delicious and nutritious at breakfast? How about Blueberry pancakes? After all, it is National Blueberry Pancake Day. They make a great hot breakfast, plus the berries are antioxidant, so they are fairly healthy!

Not sure if the next celebration originated in Georgia, but a yearly Rattlesnake Round Up Day is held in Whigham, Georgia. Prior to the event, hunters venture out and find these deathly snakes. Then, by the time of the display, hundreds of rattlers are displayed. Informational shows about the rattlesnake are also given, and if you're lucky, you can pet one. Don't worry! The snakes are held by professional snake hunters.

The final celebration for this day is Clash Day. Sounds like a typical day held during Homecoming Week festivities. I could not find the origin of this holiday, so clash away in your own way!

Jan 27 wacky holidays

Holocaust Memorial Day was established by the UN General Assembly as a day of commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust. The date is significant; Auschwitz was liberted on this day. I think this is one time period that should definitely be studied in school. I had students read Night by Elie Wiesel. First, it is only 95 pages, so that appealed to the students right away, but once they started reading, they would have it finished within two class periods, if not the day I assigned it. They simply would not put it down. Very good discussions based on the book!! It is a period we shall never forget, and it is still relevant today.

Thomas Crapper Day honors the man who supposedly invented the toilet. Separate the myth from reality here.

National Activity Professional's Day is set aside to honor activity professionals - those individuals who set up activities for nursing home and/or assisted living facility residents. When one of my grandmothers was in the nursing home, an outstanding activity director worked at the center. She always had interesting events. One of grandma's favorites was the musical entertainment. She also enjoyed Happy Hour and an occasional glass of wine. :)

Vietnam Day I'm not sure how this day came about. Research showed that a Vietnam Day committee met in May 1965 and a bomb blast occurred. Not sure if it is related to this or not.

National Chocolate Cake Day. Yum! German Chocolate cake is my favorite. Grandma L used to have one made for my birthday every year. It's definitely a comfort food!

Punch the Clock Day. Couldn't find any factual information about it, so I'll agree with the folks from over at Holiday Insights that it's all about the punch clock used in the workplace. Or maybe it's a play on words and really a day to literally punch the alarm clock.

Adoption Day really doesn't qualify as a weird or wacky celebration. Its intent is an honest one. The goal is to make the public aware of the number of kids in foster care who are waiting to be adopted. There are also sources that show this day is celebrated in November.

Friday, February 1, 2008

January 26 weird and wacky celebrations

National Peanut Brittle Day. Wonder who thought up this food holiday? Probably the peanut or the sugar industry. But does it really matter? Peanut brittle is delicious. I believe it was our great aunt Louise who made wonderful peanut brittle. Never too hard, just perfectly crisp. And very tasty!

National Seed Swap Day. The name implies the intent. Honestly, I have a whole bunch of seeds I would've been willing to swap. I'm not sure but I do believe I have 1o packages of spearmint seeds and about 25 catnip packets. I planted spinach and kale last year, but neither one survived the dreaded weed 'n sandbur patch. This year I want to try a few new things, but I'm not sure what. When I Googled this celebration, it seems like several large cities hosted events. Maybe I'll organize one for next year.

Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement. Not sure what this means. Toad Hollow is a winery, a software company, and a dog park. Maybe we need a software program to encourage wine drinking while at the dog park. Hell, who knows!!

Backwards Day would have been fun to celebrate in school. You could call people by their last name first. You could lie underneath your desk instead of sit at it. The possibilities are endless. I'm sure for some, every day might be a backward day. Things might not always work out the way a person has planned, but that's just the nature of life.

Spouse's Day is a time to honor your spouse. Since it's close to Valentine's Day, maybe today is the perfect time just to show them how much you care about them. After all, it's the little things that count. Sure, the big presents or even the unexpected gifts are nice, but most of the time, it's just the little gestures of love that are shown on a daily basis that really make a difference.