Ahhh, A Rainy Sunday Afternoon . . .

Mar 9th

Rain, rain, go away!  I am used to rain. . . I don’t even mind it most days . . . but even in Washington there comes a time that it gets tiresome and for anyone who does not live here, there is literally moss, algae and slippery goo all over everything from the constant wet.  It would be so nice to have a few dry days so we can go outside, clean up the debris from storms, and mow the sogginess that passes for the yard.   I love winter, I really do . . . when it acts like winter . . . but it seems the rest of the country has an over abundance of winter while we have been doomed to a soggy, spongy existence . . . for the first time in years I am dreaming of spring.  Yesterday my hubby and I went to REI . . . the hiking bug has bitten.  I am SO ready to get back on the treadmill (not that I should have ever stopped) to get myself ready to hit the trails.  Visions of homemade trail food are dancing in my head . . . It’s not quite time to pack up and go though, so celebrating spring will have to wait.  There are other things to celebrate though. . . let’s find out what those are for today . . .

Panic Day – AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!  OK, now that I have it out of my system – it is PANIC DAY!  Try to stay calm.  Breathe in . . . Breathe out . . . Whew – I’m fine now.  Are you?  Hopefully everything is going well in your life and you don’t have any reason to panic, but if troubles are looming on your horizon, try holding off on hitting the panic button. . . if you can’t though, well, today is as good a day as any to just let loose and PANIC!  

Barbie Day –  Happy Birthday Barbie!  On this day in 1959 the first Barbie Doll went on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City.  She was 11 inches tall, with long, flowing blond hair.  Being the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features, she created quite a sensation . . . which is obvious since she is still so popular today.  The woman who was behind this ageless toy was Ruth Handler, the co-founder of Mattel, Inc. with her husband.  She saw her young daughter ignore her baby dolls to play make-believe with paper dolls of adult women, and realized that there was an important place in the market that would allow for little girls to imagine the future.  Barbie’s appearance was originally modeled after a doll named Lilli, which was based on a German comic strip character.  Lilli was marketed as a racy gag gift to adult men in tobacco shops in Germany, but she later became very popular with children.  Mattel bought the rights to Lilli and made its own version, which Ruth named after her daughter, Barbara.  Mattel began sponsoring The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, and became the first toy company to broadcast commercials to children.  (Gee, now we know who to thank for all of those long Christmas lists from the kids!)  Mattel used TV to promote their new toy, and by 1961, the enormous consumer demand for the doll led Mattel to create and release a boyfriend for Barbie.  She named him Ken, after her son – which if you think about it is a little creepy – but so is the Ken doll.  Barbie’s best friend Midge hit the market in 1963, and her little sister Skipper debuted in 1964.  Over the years Barbie has generated huge sales, and quite a bit of controversy.  On the positive side, many women saw Barbie as giving an alternative to the traditional 1950s gender roles.  She had different careers, from flight attendant, to doctor, to pilot and even astronaut.  She was an Olympic athlete and at one point a U.S. Presidential candidate.  Other people thought that her never-ending supply of designer clothes, cars and Dream Houses taught kids to be materialistic.  What caused the most controversy though, was Barbie’s appearance.  Her tiny waist and large breasts (it’s been said that if she were real her measurements would be 36-18-38), were thought to give girls an unrealistic and harmful example, which in turn fostered negative body image.  Seriously? Get real people!  The negative body image more likely comes from magazines, airbrushed FAKE images, and Hollywood – with all of their stick figure actresses.  I can honestly say that my friends and I played with Barbie all of our lives and not one of us wished we looked like her.  Utterly ridiculous.  I’m happy to say that in spite of the criticism, sales of Barbie-related merchandise continued to rise, topping 1 billion dollars annually by 1993.  Since 1959 there have been more than 800 million dolls in the Barbie family sold around the world, and Barbie is now a global icon.  One article I found did have me giggling a little.  Apparently not ALL Barbie dolls were a raging success and had to be pulled from the market.  There was a time when they decided that it was time for Barbie to grow up and start having a family, so they came out with a pregnant Midge.  Midge had a magnetic belly that you could pull off and inside was the baby that the little girl could help “birth”.  That one didn’t stay on the market long.  Then there was the ill-planned and short termed “Oreo” Barbie.  There isn’t anything wrong with Mattel going into business with Oreo, but they sadly enough chose a dark skinned doll for the campaign . . . and apparently the outcry was deafening.  I can see why!  There were 12 ill fated Barbie’s, but the last one I’ll tell you about, and the one I think was really quite funny, was Skipper growing up.  They decided that Skipper needed to become a teenager, so if you twisted her arm she grew an inch taller and developed breasts!  Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard when I read that!  It wasn’t a popular choice with parents, as they felt it taught little girls to focus too much on growing up and not enough on just being a kid.  I’m betting that anyone with any of these three dolls in their collection has quite a valuable item on their hands.  I wish I still had all of mine, but unfortunately they were lost in a fire.  I had the Disco Barbie and the Disco Ken – they were hysterical.  You held them by their legs and wiggled them and their upper bodies wobbled back and forth.  They were funny!  I LOVED Barbie growing up, my daughter loved Barbie and I hope that many generations of children will continue to love Barbie in the decades to come.

Check Your Batteries Day – This celebration serves a practical purpose!  It is highly recommended to check the batteries on your smoke detectors on the days the clocks are changed.  Testing them and making sure the batteries work could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.  I don’t know that I need to go into more detail than that. . . this one speaks for itself.

Daylight Savings Time Begins –  Everyone already knows that we changed the clocks today and jumped an hour forward.  Though I admit that it’s nice having a little extra daylight at the end of the day, losing that hour of sleep hurts!  These days our phones and some of our clocks adjust their time automatically, but if your house is anything like ours, there are plenty of other clocks that need to be changed manually.  It gets confusing sometimes, the clocks are changed in one room, but not another, so mentally I’m having to figure out what time it is from room to room.    I wish we could be like most of Arizona and just do away with the time change.  It really doesn’t serve a practical purpose any more.

Get Over It Day – This is an interesting holiday and is just simply about “Getting Over It”.  Getting over what you ask?  Well, it was created by a man in 2005, who was having a difficult time getting over the loss of his girlfriend.  Essentially this day is meant to help people get past their troubles, but doing it in humorous way.  It is also meant to be a day to remember that others in the world certainly have it worse than we do, so we should feel a little humbled by that, and just “Get Over It”.

Food Celebration of the Day

National Crabmeat Day – Early crab recipes called for tiny amounts of the meat because crabs were so tough to harvest and shell. Nowadays, crabmeat comes fresh, frozen, canned or even imitation — no cracking required! All of these recipes from www.food.com look lovely!

Classic Crab Cakes
Creole Crab-Stuffed Avocados
Steamed Snow Crab Legs
Corn & Crab Fritters
Crab Dip
Crab & Artichoke Appetizer Pizza

Sorry this got out so late today.  We spent the morning scurrying around the house getting things set up for the cable guy to arrive sometime between noon and 4:00.  Now we wait.  At least the house is cleaned up though.  Hm. . . . I think I may have to bake some healthy oat cookies. Something filled with cinnamon sounds pretty good right now.  Have a wonderful Sunday!  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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