Autumn Equinox . . . Already!

Sep 22nd

Yippee! My cupboards are FINALLY stained and will be ready to put the doors back on them, and start putting things away!  They look so nice!  It was the first time I’ve ever actually stained furniture, so I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself.  It wasn’t difficult, I was just afraid I’d do it wrong and having to sand it all off and start over.  This is step one to getting the kitchen, cookbook/appliance room organized which will lead to getting everything ready to get the process going to license my home kitchen as a Cottage Industry Home Business.  There’s so much to do and time is going by so fast!  I’ll only be able to bake a couple days a week, but I figure I love it so much that I may as well turn it into a part time business and see what comes of it!  Be prepared to see a bunch of food pictures in the near future – failures as well as successes.  With experimentation comes disaster . . . sadly enough.  It can also bring on brilliant flavors and a lot of happiness.

Let’s see what we are celebrating today . . . besides that it is Monday and time for a new week.

Autumn Equinox – Today is the 1st day of Autumn, and the time of year that makes me smile.  I LOVE all things fall – the change of the temperatures, the leaves turning brilliant shades of orange and red, the warm cozy sweaters, hot cocoa and snuggling up under a cozy blanket while watching a movie with hubby.  But does anyone ever wonder WHY a specific date?  What, in these warm days at the end of summer, suddenly dictates that this change be made?  Well, I’m going to try to make this short and simple, because the long version I read had my head spinning.  Today the celestial event that marks this changing of the seasons is called an “equinox”, and this happens twice every year.  Once around March 22 and around September 22.  So, what is an equinox and why do they happen?   The Earth moves in two different ways.  First, it spins on its polar axis – or a line through the north and south poles – once every 24 hours, which gives us the alternation of day and night.  Second, it moves in its orbit around the sun once every 365.25 days, which gives us the annual changes of the seasons.  The equinox happens when these two motions happen at the same time.  Because the Earth is so big, its mass has an enormously powerful gyroscopic effect.  For this reason, the poles always point in the same direction – though a major earthquake can cause little wobbles on this axis.  Most importantly though, the Earth’s motion around the sun has absolutely no effect on the direction the poles are pointing, which is very important for the seasons.  Astronomers mark the positions of objects in the sky as they relate to the Earth’s poles of rotation.  The most important line is the celestial equator, which divides the sky into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.  Twice a year the sun crosses the celestial equator, moving from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere – or vice versa.  These two crossings are very important to us because they mark the change in the direction the sun’s rays fall on the Earth. Specifically, today the sun will move from the northern to the southern hemisphere.  It will pass overhead everywhere along the Earth’s equator, and will rise exactly in the east, and set exactly in the west.  Day and night will also be roughly the same length.  The word Equinox, by the way, comes from the Latin for “equal night”.  After today, the sun will shine more on the southern half of our planet and less on the northern half.  Summer is now over for us, and winter is over for the south.  The sun will continue on its path south for the next three months, reaching its southernmost point on December 22, which is the day of the “solstice”.  In the  northern hemisphere, the days will become shorter, the nights longer and the temperatures colder during this three month period.  After solstice though, the sun will start coming north again, and spring will be on its way.  So there you have it – this is WHY today is the 1st day of autumn.  Know what sounds good?  A celebratory Pumpkin Spice Latte! Yum!

Business Women’s Day – Today the value and contribution of women in the business world is recognized.  This day goes all the way back to the late 1940s.  While men were off fighting WWII, women had to fill the void in the workforce.  When the soldiers returned they found that the women were eager to have them home again, but not so eager to go back to their traditional roles in the home.  In the years since then, the contribution of women in the work force has grown and evolved.  Ladies, whether you work outside the home, or have decided to be a stay at home mom, your efforts are appreciated, valuable and absolutely necessary.  Happy Business Women’s Day! 

 

Dear Diary Day – Journaling is very therapeutic.  Whether you are writing down your thoughts and feelings, listing your food for diet purposes, keeping track of events in your life, or blogging about vacations you’ve taken, it’s always good to put those memories somewhere so you don’t forget them.  You may THINK you’ll never forget, but over time some of the details get lost.  If you’ve never kept a diary, maybe today would be a good time to start!  Better late than never!

Elephant  Appreciation Day – Elephants are fascinating.  Whether they are in a zoo, the circus, a wildlife special on TV, or in the actual wild they captivate our attention.  Their sheer size, their intelligence and their lumbering beauty fills us with wonder as we watch them go about their business.  Today you can show your appreciation for elephants by visiting the local zoo, making a donation towards their support, or contributing to an elephant conservation effort.  They are still, sadly and horrifically enough, slaughtered for their ivory and this needs to stop!  Did you know that elephants LOVE pumpkin?  Of course, that makes sense, since pumpkins are delicious!  Here is a video I found at an elephant sanctuary that is pretty cute – a load of pumpkins is dropped off for the elephants. They sure do get a kick out of the special treat!


Ice Cream Cone Day – On September 22, 1903, 110 years ago today, Italo Marchiony of New York filed a patent application for what he called a “molding apparatus for forming ice cream cups”, which were the forerunners to the ice cream cone.  Some people credit an ice cream cone vendor at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair with inventing the cone, it was Marchiony who actually filed the first patent.   By 1924, Americans were eating 245 million ice cream cones per year, and now?  it’s well over a billion cones each year!  It’s not just people who love ice cream cones – cats, dogs and zoo animals do too!  Yum!     



National Centenarian’s Day –  Do you know anyone who has reached 100 years old?  Anyone getting close?  My Grandma is 93, and the stories she has to tell are pretty incredible, very entertaining, and full of information about how life was when she was growing up.  People who reach the century mark have seen remarkable achievements throughout their lives, and have seen such change! Some good, some not so good, but still major changes.  Though this holiday isn’t as well known as other holidays, it is becoming more recognized.  As our population has grown, so has the number of centenarians.  In June 2008 the US Census Bureau estimates that there are about 95,000 centenarians, with the number steadily increasing.  To put into perspective some of the changes they have seen . . . they were born when Teddy Roosevelt was president, a gallon of milk was 32 cents, bread was a nickel per loaf, and the cost of a postage stamp was 2 cents.  Wow


This Day In History

1999 – The record for drinking Ketchup belongs to Dustin Phillips (USA). On this day, he drank a 14 oz. bottle of Ketchup through a 1/4″ straw in 33 seconds.     (GROSS!)

Food Celebration of the Day

National White Chocolate Day – Some people think that white chocolate isn’t really chocolate, but it IS made from the cocoa plant.  it’s just processed differently than milk and dark chocolates.  A lot of people don’t really like white chocolate, but it could possibly be that they haven’t really had a GOOD piece of white chocolate from a top chocolatier.  Before 2002 the USDA’s standards of identity declared that white chocolate wasn’t even chocolate because it didn’t contain cocoa solids.  If it did, then it wouldn’t be white.  Well, today white chocolate that contains at least 20% cocoa butter can hold its head high – because it is officially chocolate.  It’s just a matter of picking a good one to get you started, and these recipes a great place to start!

 

 

 
You have a fantastic Monday, and I’ll do the same!  Enjoy every moment, have a celebration or two, and let me know how it went! I love it when you share your celebrations with me.  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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