Celebrating All The Wonders Of February

Feb 1st

February brings us some fun monthly observances.  Sometimes, when a daily celebration just isn’t one that fuels my imagination, or perhaps is a food holiday that I can’t participate in, I’ll refer back to the monthly observances and choose one.  There are some good ones to do that with this month!

Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month – Aw bunnies – they are so cute and furry.  I did not know this until recently, but there are a lot of homeless bunnies at animal shelters who need loving homes.  Many people do the no-no of getting rabbits for their children for Easter, get tired of the responsibility and either begin to ignore them, give them to shelters, or horribly set them loose in the wild.  These poor little domesticated cuties aren’t equipped to take care of themselves in the wild and end up being some other creature’s dinner, or dying of starvation or cold.  If you have ever wanted to

American Heart Month – This month brings awareness to heart health, encourages everyone to focus on eating better, exercising and getting checked out to make sure your hearts are healthy.  Take some time to check out this site and learn the warning signs of a heart attack or a stroke.  I could fill pages and pages with information, but there isn’t the time or the room here and now.  Do check it out, take some time to read about some simple and healthful changes that you can make to reduce your chances

An Affair to Remember Month – This is a good one!  I’m sure most of us (at least the women) has seen this wonderful 1937 movie starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr – for the romantic in all of us, this is a good one to watch again. The did a remake that, in my opinion, was just as wonderful in 1994 starring Warren Beatty and Annette Benning. Good for popping a big bowl of popcorn and settling in for chick flick night.

Canned Food Month  How many of us take canned food for granted?  We go to our cupboards and open them up and there they are – rows of canned soups, vegetables of all kinds, evaporated or condensed sweetened milk, fruit, olives, you name it.  Besides all of the commercial canned food you have the wonderful flavors and creativity of any home canned goodness that we get from our own garden harvests.  But do any of us truly celebrate this?  We should and this month we will.  Many of us think of canned foods in terms of our grandmothers and great grandmothers and how they preserved what they grew in their gardens and orchards, but food canning really comes from before that.  Napoleon Bonaparte, in the Napoleonic Wars, put up a cash prize for anyone who could figure out a way to preserve food so that they could feed their troops. A man named Nicholas Appert came up with the idea of preserving food in bottles, sort of like wine is bottled.  After a lot of experimentation he figured out that if you heated the food to a certain temperature and sealed in airtight containers to prevent contamination.  This was wonderful and all, but unfortunately the glass containers didn’t travel well.  An Englishman by the name of Peter Durand developed a way to seal food in tin containers that were unbreakable, and two other Englishmen perfected this technique and established the first canning factory in England in 1813.  Cambell’s, one of the most recognized name in canning, was created in 1869.  John Dorrance developed a method of condensing soup by reducing the amount of water by half in 1896 and history was born . . . or in the can.

Creative Romance Month  – This sort of goes hand in hand with Valentine’s Day in many ways, but it goes way beyond that.  Many of us who are in relationships of long durations tend to get busy with the day to day routine, but in our bustle and activity we forget to throw the force of our imaginations into the romance in our lives!  This is so important, so get the wheels turning and come up with some creative ways to show that special someone how much they mean to you.  This goes beyond the Hallmark gift and card giving of the 14th – this is about what’s really in your heart.  For any guys reading, women really do love romance.  It goes beyond loving it, we actually NEED it.  Words are wonderful, being shown in practical ways that you love us, that’s wonderful too, but those little romantic gestures are always remembered . . . forever and ever.  And ladies – guys may deny it, but they appreciate those gestures too.  Take them coffee in bed at least once in awhile, rub their backs without being asked, make their favorite dessert when it’s not a special occasion.  They’ll appreciate it, and it will make you feel good at the same time.

Great American Pie Month  This month celebrates the amazing American pie.  I know that other months celebrate specific pie, but this month is just pie in general.  And when you think about it, its a great thing to celebrate!  Pie is wonderful in every way.  You can make the crusts out of different things from dough, to cookie crumbs, to nuts, and even a savory pie with mashed potatoes as a crust.  The pie possibilities are limited only by your imaginations.  One good thing to do would be to combine THIS celebration with the next one (National Cherry Month) and make a Cherry Pie! Now there is a DELICIOUS thought!

National Cherry Month  Did you know that it was the Greeks and the Romans who first cultivated cherries, spreading throughout Europe?  I didn’t!  The cultivated cherries come from wild varieties, which grow in Turkey, and have spread all over the world.  Washington State is widely known for its cherry crop, however Michigan has the largest cherry production in the United States.   Without going into a full history and usage of the different varieties of cherries, I will say that they are incredibly healthy to eat and have been linked to weight loss! Well, let’s see, they taste sweet and juicy, they go well in tarts, pies, sauces and candies AND they are healthy too? I say this is a great one to celebrate with enthusiasm.  I’m a bit sad that it is in February though, since cherries aren’t exactly in season and affordable right now.  I think I’ll preserve some (celebrating canned food in the process) and have a jar ready and waiting for NEXT February.

National Children’s Dental Health Month  Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) raises awareness about how important oral health is by sponsoring National Children’s Dental Health Month. The materials they hand out have reached millions of people in communities across the country. By developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits, children can get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

National Grapefruit Month  I love grapefruit! I know that most people either love it or hate it, there’s not a lot of room in between.  Grapefruit, also called Shaddock or the forbidden fruit is an acidic citrus fruit that grows in bunches like grapes on subtropical trees. The Grapefruit is actually a hybrid of the Jamaican sweet orange and an Indonesian pomelo. In the 17th century, English sea captain, Captain Samuel Shaddock, introduced the seed to the West Indies and is credited for introducing grapefruit to the Americas.  Historical documents say that in 1823 Count Odette Philippe brought grapefruit to Florida.   Grapefruit is grown in the United States in the warm states of Texas, Florida, California and Arizona, and is the largest producer of grapefruit in the world, followed by China, South Africa and Mexico.  Grapefruit grows in red, pink, yellow and white.  It can taste acidic and bitter, to tart, sour or sweet!  The most common grapefruit you’ll find in stores is called Ruby Red and is most commonly grown in Texas.  Why is February the month to celebrate Grapefruit?” I have no idea since it is in season starting in November through to March.  We’re in the end of the production season right no. Maybe that’s why? Because it won’t be as fresh and available in just a couple of short months!

National Weddings Month  February is the month that wedding planning for the rest of the year kicks into high gear.  There are more then 2.5 million weddings every year in the United States!  As a wedding officiant, I can honestly say that this is the time of year that I start getting emails to set up weddings for summer and fall, and that’s good! It is always a joy to be a part of someones special day.  This is big business though, turning something beautiful and special into a planning war zone for the bride and family members, which is why there is such a call for wedding planners!  It takes a lot of the stress off of the bride.  No matter who plans them though, weddings are special occasions, so kicking off National Weddings Month with a big congratulations to all the happy couples is in order!

There are so many wonderful things to be celebrating this month.  The world may be spinning out of control elsewhere, but in our hearts we can focus on the good and fun in life. We are blessed with delicious, healthy things to eat; the medical knowledge necessary to achieve healthy lives, and inspired by ways we can make friends and family happy.  Here’s to a wonderful February!  God Bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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