Happy Sunday! How did everyone sleep? I’ll admit mine was fitful. I had the weirdest dream that I kept hopping back into! I’d wake up and puzzle over it, then fall right back into it . . . and it didn’t make a bit of sense. All night I dreamed that I found the cell phone of a gal I went to high school with – someone who wasn’t particularly nice to me and quite honestly we just didn’t know each other. I knew her name, I suppose she might have known mine – we ran in different circles, had different values and priorities. Throughout this entire dream everyone I knew kept telling me that it was MY responsibility to track her down and give her back her phone. Considering that I have no idea where she lives or what her married name is, not sure how I’d go about THAT, but dreams aren’t logical in that way. I just thought it was funny, after all of these years, and all of the people I went to school with, that HER name would pop into my head and not someone I actually knew. Oh well. It was nice to fall asleep last night to the lullaby of the rain coming down. As nice as it would have been to have a sunny day, or at least a dry one, to go out and do something fun with hubby, the rain hitting the different things outside, creating different tones and rhythms, was soothing. It is still a bit cloudy right now, but it’s a bright cloudy, like the sun is just waiting to come out any time. We can always hope, right?
Bird Day – Not to be confused with National Bird Day, which is celebrated on January 5th or International Migratory Bird Day, which is observed on the second Saturday in May. (so that means we get ANOTHER day to celebrate our feathered friends NEXT week!) The truth is that people love birds. Bird watching has become a favorite hobby for millions of people, as a matter of fact some folks say that it is the MOST popular of hobbies. I’m guessing that part of this is because it can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter their age or physical abilities. Since it IS so popular, it makes sense that there would be multiple days to celebrate, but what is the difference between the three days? Bird Day- which is today- is the oldest of the days for celebrating birds. According to the U.S. Library of Congress, Bird Day was observed for the first time on May 4, 1894. It was started by Charles Almanzo Babcock, who was the superintendent of schools in Oil City, PA. By 1910, Bird Day was widely celebrated, often at the same time as Arbor Day. These two celebrations – Bird Day and Arbor Day – focused on conservation and awareness. Then we have National Bird Day, which was set up by bird activists. Their intention was for people to recognize the plight of captive birds, and to draw attention to birds being exploited by the U.S. pet industry. Organizers of this day want people to think about the conditions of birds that are held in captivity – but I must note a couple of things here: 1) to use the word “National” accurately, a holiday must be approved by an act of Congress – which this one was not and 2) though I disagree with capturing birds from the wild and stuffing them into cages, I don’t think that having birds as pets is a bad thing if the birds were born in captivity and don’t know any better – they wouldn’t survive in the wild and for anyone to say otherwise is delusional. And finally there is International Migratory Bird Day which celebrates the amazing journey that migratory birds take each year – twice a year. They travel thousands of miles between breeding grounds in North America and their winter homes in Central and South America. The organizers of this one say that this is a day to both support, and increase awareness of conservation efforts that support migratory birds. They also say that taking a field trip to the woods to look for and watch migrating birds would be a fun idea – and it would be! On each of these days, take some time to look for and watch birds. They are beautiful and quite honestly, it’s a very peaceful thing to do!
International Baby Lost Mother’s Day – This day was created to remind people about the true meaning of Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis officially founded the traditional Mother’s Day to honor her mother Ann, who had experienced the death of 7 of her children. Somehow through the years Mother’s Day has turned into a commercialized mess that card companies make millions of dollars from, but the worst thing is that bereaved mothers are completely forgotten. The day that was created to honor a bereaved mother completely lost its meaning and focus. It’s time to take the day back to its roots. On this day many women come together to celebrate their connection, their babies and children, and their hope for the future. They look at ultrasound photos, polish their urns, lay flowers at graves, visit special places and light candles in memory of the children they have lost. This is the true meaning of Mother’s Day – the meaning that has been lost. When a woman becomes a mother, she is a mother forever, even if her child moves on before she does.
International Firefighters Day – Firefighters dedicate their lives to the protection of life and property. Sometimes that dedication comes in the form of countless hours of volunteering – many small communities only have volunteer firefighters – and many selfless years working in the industry. In ALL cases it risks the ultimate sacrifice of a fire fighter’s life. International Firefighters Day (IFFD) is a time where the world can recognise and honor the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible. It is also a day to thank them for their contributions! This is a day to remember the past firefighters who have died while serving our community or dedicated their lives to protecting the safety of us all. At the same time, we can show our support and appreciation to the firefighters world wide who continue to protect us so well throughout the year. By proudly wearing and displaying blue and red ribbons pinned together or by participating in a memorial or recognition event, we can show our gratitude to firefighters everywhere. The IFFD ribbons are linked to colours symbolic of the main elements firefighters work with – red for fire and blue for water. These colours also are internationally recognised as representing emergency service. This day actually couldn’t be more timely, considering the horrible fires that are being fought by the brave men and women in the California fires right now. Please keep them – and all emergency responders – in your prayers daily.
International Respect for Chickens Day – OK, this one is yet another bleeding heart, don’t eat meat, rage against eating chicken. While I do believe that the chicken farms where the poor birds are stuffed into small cages, stacked on top of one another for their whole lives is cruel and horrible, I don’t believe that crying out against chicken as a food source is the answer either. My personal feelings are, when possible for your budget and according to availability, buy free range organic chicken and cage free vegetarian, organic eggs. I am very fortunate to live in a place where there is a wonderful market that often has awesome buy one/get one free sales on free range whole chickens, and sometimes just packages of chicken breasts. It truly makes it more affordable, and is a great time to fill the freezer. Costco now has 24 packs of cage free, organic brown eggs for not much also. If you have the ability to have your own chickens for food or eggs, that’s great! Treat them with respect, and they will give your family the gift of wonderful, healthy food. No animal should be treated badly, no matter what, and that includes chickens. God gave us animals for food, not to abuse or exploit. Healthy, happy, free range, organically fed animals will give you healthier food. Though the intent of this day was for the anti-meat agenda to be pushed, the true meaning should be to respect and appreciate the resources God gave us, and treat them accordingly.
Lemonade Day – This is awesome! This day was created by Prepared 4 Life, a Texas 501C3 organization, as fun way to teach kids how to start, own and operate their own business through starting a lemonade stand. There are two separate components of Lemonade Day. There is a month-long learning experience through which a child/youth and a caring adult do a step-by-step process of how to start a business. This process has been proven to have a profound impact on a child’s understanding of how to be an entrepreneur in any industry. The second part is the actual starting up of the business, which happens on Lemonade Day, held each year on the first Sunday in May. Thousands of children open their lemonade stands for business with support from their communities. In the years since this the start of Lemonade Day, the program has grown from 2,700 kids participating, to 54,000 participating in Houston alone. In 2011, over 65,000 kids in 30 other U.S. cities took part in the Lemonade Day experience. The main objective of Lemonade Day is to teach youth to take ownership of their lives and become productive members of society – the people who will be the business leaders, social advocates, volunteers and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow – and God knows we NEED those in this “Give Me Something Free” mentality of today! Each child that registers for Lemonade Day gets a backpack with an Entrepreneur Workbook and Caring Adult Guide that teaches the 14 lessons of Lemonade Day, which includes how to set goals, develop a business plan, secure an investor, create a product, make a profit and give back to the community. These aspiring business owners and their mentor are guided step by step with the keys for success. They learn that if you set a goal, make a plan and work that plan, that you CAN achieve your dreams! These lessons bear fruit on the day that all the youth across the country open for business, with the best part being that after they cover their expenses and pay back their investor, they are encouraged to open a savings account and “spend a little, save a little and share a little” by donating a portion of their profits to the local charity of their choice. “It is important that we teach future generations the importance of responsible business practices and instill the entrepreneurial spirit at a young age – an age that allows them to have hope and vision to excel in the future,” says founder, Michael Holthouse, “Our goal is to reach kids as a critical stage in their lives – that time when they are at a crossroads between a very good or bad path.” This is a FANTASTIC program and quite honestly, I think I will be encouraging my Grandchildren to be participating when they get old enough to understand what it all means!
Motorcycle Mass & Blessing of The Bikes Day – When I saw this one for the first time last year, I did chuckle. Seriously, Motorcycle Mass and Blessing of the Bikes? It struck me as funny! However, my husband has a motorcycle, and my son has a couple, and they do ride them back and forth to work when the weather is decent. Knowing how people just do NOT pay attention to motorcyclists, I am changing my giggle to thinking that this isn’t a bad idea at all! I am not Catholic, and don’t have the first clue about patron saints and all of that, but I do think the blessing is an awesome idea. So, here’s what the deal is with this celebration . . . for some, getting out on the open road equates to something like a spiritual experience. The connection becomes deeper as the bikers gather for a special Mass to have their bikes blessed. Apparently motorcycle riders even have their own patron saint! S. Columbanus of Bobbio lived from 540 – 650 AD and was known for being rugged, handsome and irresistible to women. He even had quite an appreciation for beer. It is said that one of his miracles involved creating more bread and beer for a gathering. Put it all together and it makes it sound like he’s a good choice for Patron Saint for motorcycle riders. I found two great bike blessing prayers so even if you aren’t near an actual gathering for the blessing, maybe you and a couple of friends can do the blessing on your own. Enjoy – and be safe out there!
- “May God in Heaven fulfill abundantly the prayers which are pronounced over you and your bikes on this occasion of the Blessing of the Bikes. May God bless your going out and coming in; May the Lord be with you at home and on the road. May He accompany you when you start on your many journeys: May He fill your lives abundantly with many blessings; May He keep all your rides safe. May His mercy, grace and love shine upon your every path. In Christ Name, Amen”
- “May God bless you and keep you safe on this machine. May you meet and encounter the risen Lord in your travels, in the freedom of the open road, the fellowship of other bikers and in each person you meet. May the Lord be with you at home and on the road. May he accompany you when you start on your many journeys; May he fill your life abundantly with his many blessings; May he keep all your riding safe. May his mercy, grace and love shine upon your every road. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
Go with God and may your journeys be blessed.
National Candied Orange Peel Day – this one is dedicated to . . . wait for it . . . candied orange peels! hahahaha sorry – I had to laugh at this just a little. So, really, when we eat oranges we throw usually throw away the peel, right? Oh sure, sometimes we may use the zest in a recipe, but for the most part they are tossed out into the compost or the garbage. So, why would we candy it? We know it is edible, but does it taste good? Well, if you are a chef or a baker, then you know just how to use it and what sorts of foods it would be delicious in, but for the rest of us we have very likely eaten it in seasonal baked goods without even knowing it. Candied orange peels are a boiled, sliced, sugar added treat. You CAN eat them by themselves, but most often they are used in holiday cookies, snacks and fruitcake. I have done a lot of baking, but I can honestly say I have never actually used them, but I am curious as to how they would taste in something, so maybe this upcoming Christmas season I’ll find a reason to give them a try. I do have to wonder though, why would someone choose to celebrate them in May, which is NOT a prime baking time of the year? They must have loved them an awful lot to set it up at all, much less in the spring when the focus is on fresh veges and fruits, and not turning on the hot oven to bake.
National Infertility Survival Day – Ask a woman who is affected by infertility what the hardest holiday of the year is for her, and chances are she’ll tell you Mother’s Day. It’s not that infertile women hate mothers, or hate honoring them, but it is a very painful reminder that they may never be able to celebrate it herself. Everywhere you look on or around Mother’s Day are the reminders – the loving tribute cards, the beautiful spring bouquets, the Facebook tributes about how mothers are the most amazing people in the world. So where does that leave infertile women? Which is where this celebration comes in. National Infertility Survival Day is celebrated the Sunday before Mother’s Day and is a chance for women affected by infertility to be remembered and paid tribute to as well. It is a chance for personal reflection, pampering, relaxation and for raising awareness. It’s a chance for friends, family and partners of women “surviving” infertility to show how much they are loved and appreciated for who they are – mothers or not.
Petite and Proud Day – One thing I can honestly say I am NOT, is petite. I do have friends who are though, so to all of my friends who are smaller than 5’4″ tall, this day is for you to be petite and proud of it! Are you tired of people making comments about your small size and calling you half pint, vertically challenged or just plain SHORT? Today is about celebrating your lack of height and all of the advantages it brings. You can squeeze into small spaces, you don’t bang your heads on low ceilings and you can fit into children’s clothing, which could actually save you money! Statistics show that short people live longer than their tall friends, and that’s worth celebrating, right? You may be surprised by how many famous petite people there are . . . these folks are all under 5’4″ tall . . . Nathalie Portman, Kylie Minogue, Michael J. Fox, Seth Green, Amy Poehler, Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria. I didn’t know that about some of these folks! Today celebrate being petite in any way you can.
Renewal Day – This one is a wonderful one, and each and every one of us has a reason, no matter what that reason is, to celebrate it. Whoever the person is who set this one up, they need a round of applause. This is a day of new, and old, beginnings. Things get old, they get out of sorts, and we lose touch. Sometimes we lose touch with friends, loved ones, relationships, goals, enthusiasm, or whatever it is that we have just let go by the wayside. For some reason there are just some things we let go, when we probably shouldn’t. Renewal means different things to different people. When a couple first gets married they are sure that the excitement and enthusiasm for the marriage will always be there, but as in everything in life, we settle into a routine, some of the sparkle begins to dim and responsibilities and habits settle in. Today would be a good day to renew your marriage – even married people should take some time alone, so maybe going on a weekly date – something special and out of the ordinary – could add some sparkle and something to look forward to, start interjecting romantic little overtures for each other. Something as small as a love note in the lunch box can let your spouse know that they are special to you and remind them as they go about their day. What about friendships? How many of us have said goodbye to a friend after graduation, when a move has happened, when we’ve left a job and hugged our friends goodbye and promised to keep in touch . . . and don’t? I’m horrible about that. Life gets in the way, and I’ve always had a bit of a seasonal feeling about most friendships – not all, but most. This is always set in my mind as true when they don’t contact me either. Everyone intends to keep in touch, but life, in all of its busy-ness, gets in the way, time goes by, and we just lose contact. Thank goodness for Facebook, right? How many of us have renewed friendships through social networking? I know I have, so that at least is a good thing. Maybe one thing to do today would be to think of someone you miss from your past, and try to look them up. Never know, they may have been looking for you too. You don’t have to go to great lengths to celebrate renewal day though. Your marriage or relationship could be truly exciting and new all of the time, you may be in contact with every friend you’ve ever had, so focus on something maybe not so big . . . renew your nail polish, your hair style, the arrangement of your furniture . . . there’s always something you can update in your life for this one. So Happy Renewal Day!
Star Wars Day – A play on words is how this celebration got its start, with the creation of it being a complete fluke. In 2005 a German News TV channel N24 interview erroneously translated this famous Star Wars quote. In German “May the force be with you” was incorrectly interpreted as “We are with you on May 4th”. We do believe that if this error had not occurred, someone, somewhere would have created this day.
- Watch any of the great Star Wars movies
- Better still, have a Star Wars marathon, and watch two or three (or 4) of them. (shoot me now – I don’t think I could deal with that many in a row)
- Get out your laser sword and practice for the next invasion from the Evil Empire.
- Send a Star Wars day Ecard- of course they have them!
- Have a Star Wars costume party. (Um, no)
- Learn some Star Wars Trivia, there’s no shortage.
This may not be popular with some folks – and that’s OK – we all have different taste in movies. If I had to choose a space type series of movies, I’d pick Star Trek over Star Wars any day of the week. Quote honestly the Star Wars movies bore me to tears, and some parts actually annoy me. I know, probably an unpopular opinion. I have always loved R2D2 and those fluffy little guys in the forest though. You can find something good in anything!
This Day In History –
1626 – Manhattan Island is sold! Indians agree to the deal in exchange for $24 in cloth & buttons
1878 – Phonograph is played for the first time at the Grand Opera House.
1932 – Atlanta Penitentiary has a new resident after Al Capone is convict of income tax evasion.
1934 – Academy of Motion Pictures is founded.
1964 – Soap operas “Another World” and “As the World Turns” premiere.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Orange Juice Day – The idea of drinking OJ in the morning stems from the 1920s when California and Florida fruit growers started touting the health benefits of vitamin C, a newly discovered vitamin, in their promotional campaigns. I admit I usually buy my orange juice in jugs from the refrigerator section at the store. The brand Simply Orange is delicious and often on sale. However, when we went on our Alaska cruise a few years ago I was absolutely LOVING the fresh squeezed orange juice every morning at breakfast. Absolutely DELICIOUS! Here are some recipes from www.food.com to help you enjoy the day.
Well there you go! The celebrations to enjoy on this rainy day! Well, rainy here anyway. I hope wherever you are you have some sunshine in your life. God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!