Baking Dog Biscuits, Opening That Special Bottle and Sports We May or May Not Like!

Feb 23rd

International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day – I have a feeling this is going to be a favorite celebration for Tibbi!  She’s due for me to make her some more cookies anyway, so today is as good a day as any!  This is a day especially for our dogs – and though I know there are a lot of pet related holidays, well, they are our babies, so they are worth all the fuss.  The saying “Every dog has his (or her) day” really fits today, especially if they are treated to their favorite tasty treat.  I made Tibbi some peanut butter treats a couple weeks ago, tomorrow’s treat will be chicken I think.  If you don’t want to make your own nummies for your furbaby, the upscale pet stores these days have some fantastic treats – some look like people cookies and cakes, complete with all of the beautiful decorations.  There used to be a store in Seattle where I got special goodies for Tibbi all the time – Three Dog Bakery.  They’ve moved now, and I think I can still get their products on line, but it’s not the same as being there in person, sniffing all the fresh baked goodness and coming home with some that are fresh out of the oven.  I even ordered her a complete Thanksgiving feast from them once, and it was delivered by Fed Ex the day before Thanksgiving.  She devoured it – we had to actually give it to her in small doses or she would have made herself as stuffed as the people were.   She deserved it and she deserves fresh cookies today.

Play Tennis Day – I will leave this celebration to the rest of you.  I personally detest playing tennis only slightly more than I detest watching it.  For any of you who DO like tennis, today would be a great day for it .  . . though in February it may be best to find an indoor court.  Millions of Americans – who are NOT me – enjoy playing tennis.  It’s good exercise though, and typically players get to wear cute outfits – I’m sure that counts for something, doesn’t it?  What I DO like though – is table tennis.  I grew up calling it Ping Pong, but the game is the same.  Now that is fun.  And I really enjoy playing it on our Wii.  Heck, I’d even try tennis on the Wii.  You see, on the Wii there aren’t any small round projectiles being slammed at my head and face.  I’m not having to actually make contact with that projectile with a swinging round circle on a stick, displaying my complete lack in the hand/eye coordination.  So play on my friends, and enjoy it far more than I ever would. You’d only have to enjoy it slightly to have me beaten on the enthusiasm scale . . . just sayin.

Curling is Cool Day –So apparently this sport is something that is considered to be cool.  As I type this I can honestly say that I know absolutely nothing about this sport, so as I type I will be learning about it for the first time.  I do a lot of that lately.   Curling is a sport that began in Scotland centuries ago, and is played during the Winter Olympic Games.  It’s even said that it is considered to be one of the fastest growing sports in America.  I never heard of a game that is considered to be one of the fastest growing?  I realize I don’t read the sports page, but I’m not sure how I missed that!  Basically the game is 4 players on 2 teams who are sliding 8 heavy polished stones across ice towards a target at the other end of the ice.  A broom is used to sweep in front of the rock, making it travel further and curl less.  The goal is to get your stone closer to the center of the target and the team with the highest score wins.  And that explains why I haven’t heard of it.  I’m guessing that the most popular locations to play this game would be colder environments than the one I live in.

International Sword Swallower’s Day   – Apparently a sword swallower by the name of Dan Meyers thinks that sword swallowers should be honored once a year just like mothers, fathers and administrative assistants, so for the last seven years, Meyer, who is the president of the Sword Swallowers Association International, has declared the last Saturday of February to be “World Sword Swallowers Day” – a 24 hour period when the world’s 200 or so sword swallowers “sharpen” their skills at the same time. (there are 200 or so sword swallowers? Really?)  This year the blade gobblers will gather at different places around the world, including 18 of the 32 Ripley Odditoriums, to perform solo swallowing and a simultaneous swallow at 2:23 pm local time.

Sword swallowing dates back to around 4000 BC.  People who practiced this ancient sideshow are face death each time they attempt it, and not just because the blade usually comes within 1/8th of an inch of the heart.  Meyers is quoted as saying, “You have to reprogram natural reflexes and retrain your conscious brain to take over”.  It is meant to be entertainment, but he points out that sword swallowers have made many important contributions that benefit humanity.  For instance, in 1868, a sword swallower assisted Dr. Adolf Kussmaul in Freiburg, Germany, in developing the first rigid endoscopy, and a sword swallower underwent the first esophageal electrocardiogram in Wales in 1906.  In both cases, the researchers got the credit, but the sword swallowers’ names disappeared down the esophagus of time, and Meyer just doesn’t think that’s right. “Sword swallowers go unrecognized, but their physical and mental abilities to shut off bodily reflexes is very helpful to scientists studying the inner workings of the body,” he told Huffington Post  in an interview last year.
To emphasize that point, Meyer scheduled World Sword Swallowers Day in February, which is also National Swallowing Disorders Month.   This is an “art” that takes from 2 to 10 years to master, so it’s not for the faint of heart, or actually something I personally would recommend anyone do.  Seriously, what makes someone wake up one morning, drink their morning coffee and decide, “hey, I think I’ll stick a large, sharp sword down my throat today!” No. I’ll stick with mundane hobbies and leave this sort of thing to those who want to be represented by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

Open That Bottle Night  – This is not an official holiday . . . at least it’s not YET.  For wine lovers though it is a reason to open that special bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion.  We all own that one bottle, waiting for a day that never seems to come.  In February of 2000 Dororthy Gaiter and John Brecher started “Open That Bottle Night” so they would have a night for people to have a real reason to open that special bottle and wait not a moment longer.    And here’s where I tell about what I think was a bad joke – but it really happened.  My ex-in-laws were saving a special bottle of champagne for when they won the lottery.  Truth be told it was a very cheap bottle of sparkling wine that likely didn’t cost them more than $5.00, but their whole thought process was that they’d stay positive, play the same numbers week after week, and eventually they’d win and open that bottle.  One day my ex-father-in-law came bursting in the door, shouting and laughing, grabbed that bottle and some glasses, popped the cork, poured a glass and handed it to my ex-mother-in-law.  She jumped to the same conclusion the rest of us did – they’d WON, they’d WON!  Yeah, they won alright.  They won $100 in a scratch off.  He’d gotten tired of waiting and just wanted to open that bottle.  Too bad this wasn’t a holiday back then! May have saved him the fight of his adult life.  Anyway, I need to look in our wine cabinet to see what’s there. I know there’s at least one I’ve been wanting to enjoy with my hubby.  Maybe there’s one in yours too?

With all of these things to celebrate, there’s one more that we get to celebrate every single week – SATURDAY! WOOHOO for that, right?  So as you head out on whatever you’re spending your Saturday doing, please have fun, make the most of it, and may God bless whatever it is you decide to do!  I’ll see you tomorrow – which has extra special meaning for me – but you’ll have to wait til tomorrow to find out why.  Bye for now!

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