It is Wednesday, and we all know how much I LOVE Wednesdays, but I love THIS Wednesday more than others because I’m on the last of the countdown to Friday. Yes, I always love Fridays too . . .but THIS Friday is special. As many of you know my son married a lovely young lady last November, and with the addition of my new daughter to the family, she brought with her the blessing of a little boy . . . and we welcomed the joy of a new grandson into our lives. Ethan turned 5 earlier in the month and because of other commitments we were unable to make the trip down to celebrate his birthday, so we are celebrating it late with him this weekend! I get to leave work early on Friday and make the drive down to where they live to have dinner with my daughter-in-law (my son will be working Friday night) and grandson, then loading up the car with Ethan and his things and heading home for a weekend of fun. Our first ever GRANDKID weekend! Awesome, right? We have dry weather plans, and we have wet weather plans . . . and knowing how this state has been lately, we’ll probably be doing the wet weather plans. Either way it will be fun to have this time with a little guy again . . . it’s been too many years since my son was this age. I’ll document our adventures and share them with you next week! In the meantime, I don’t yet have the guest room Grandson ready, so that is one of the things on my extensive “to-do” list today. It will be a labor of love . . .
Make Your Own Holiday Day – Have you ever thought that if you could create your own holiday it would be . . . fill in the blank here? I honestly have been sitting here wondering what I would want for a special day that was unique to something I really enjoy . . . and I can’t think of one right now! If you’ve ever had that thought then today is for you . . . it’s the day that allows you to make it special for whatever reason you want. The objective is simply to allow one day for any topic or event that has otherwise escaped attention and recognition until now. It may not go on the books as official for the world – since that’s a bit of a complicated process – but for this day you can celebrate anything, in any way, that you want!
Legal Assistants Day – For anyone who has ever needed the services of an attorney, you probably know that there is an incredible amount of paperwork, research and behind the scenes work that needs to be done for him or her to do their work. Today we honor the person who actually DOES most of that work . . . the legal assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, legal assistants help lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, and researching legal precedent. They also do the research that supports a legal proceeding to form a defense or to initiate legal action. So to the people who do the work without the recognition or the pay . . . Happy Legal Assistant’s Day!
Manatee Appreciation Day – I’ve never seen a manatee . . . well, except in pictures. I didn’t even really know what one was until not all that many years ago. Manatees are water mammals known best for their immense size and their jowls. They certainly wouldn’t make a list of cutest animals, but there are apparently enough manatee appreciators to have created a Manatee Appreciation Day! Raising awareness about these quirky critters is the intention, since it is an unfortunate fact that manatees are endangered. Hunting them is usually illegal, but they continue to be poached for their meat and their hide. Also, they are often fatally injured in accidents with boats. The extinction of any animal is a horrible thing, and honestly it tips the scale against the human race and the balance of the all living creatures when one type of animal or another ceases to exist. Events to celebrate the manatee usually take place in places where there is a larger manatee population, like Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean. Zoos and marine biology centers may offer a special manatee-related program today as well. You don’t have to go anywhere specific to celebrate this one – all you really have to do is research manatees and donate to a conservation program.
Purple Day – Not only is purple one of my very favorite colors, it is the color representing a celebration aimed at raising worldwide awareness of epilepsy. Epilepsy is a condition that affects over 65 million people around the world. Cassidy Megan, a nine-year-old girl from Canada founded Purple Day in 2008. She was supported in her efforts by the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia. Quite a feat for a child, though I tend not to underestimate the determination of a child on a mission and it looks like this young lady definitely achieved her goal! Good for her! Lavender is the international color for epilepsy, and is also the color that symbolizes solitude. This led to purple being the color of choice for this worth celebration. Anyone can become an “Ambassador of Purple” if they are interested in supporting Purple Day. The role involves simply wearing purple and spreading awareness of epilepsy in your community and to family and friends. If you wish to take it further you can hold a purple-themed fund raising event and donate it to a charity that supports epilepsy research. If nothing else, please take the time to increase your awareness about the effect that epilepsy has on the lives of its victims and the victim’s families. The worry never stops, the watchfulness never ends, and the fear is always present. My son-in-law suffers from seizures that are similar to those of an epileptic, though his are caused by traumatic brain injury. The fear is always there that he will have a seizure at any time, in spite of the medication that he takes every day.
Spinach Day – Feeling a little like Popeye today? Why not? It’s National Spinach Day, which is fine by me! There are so many delicious ways that spinach can be enjoyed, and since it is so good for us, it is no hardship to try them all. Spinach is an annual plant that is native to central and southwestern Asia. It is thought to have originated in ancient Persia, and Arab traders carried it into India, from which it traveled into ancient China where it was known as “Persian Vegetable”. The earliest record of the spinach plant was recorded in Chinese, saying that the spinach plant came into China through Nepal. It was said in 1533 that Queen Catherine de Medici of France liked spinach so much that she insisted that it be served at every meal. To this day there are dishes made with spinach that are known as “Florentine” which reflects Catherine’s birth in Florence. I bet THAT was a detail you didn’t know! I know I didn’t! Spinach can be eaten raw or cooked, and you can find it fresh, frozen or canned (I’m not fond of canned). It is one of the best sources of iron, a great source of calcium, folic acid, fiber, protein, calcium and vitamins A, C and K. It is loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants and believed to help improve cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health. The United States is the world’s 2nd largest producer of spinach, right after China, with California, Arizonaand New Jerseybeing the top spinach producing states. I admit, the New Jersey part of that really surprised me. When I think of agriculture states New Jersey doesn’t really pop into my mind first. A wonderful way to enjoy this celebration would be with a lovely fresh spinach salad, or a spinach pizza. Mmmmm, how about a spinach dip! There are so many ways to include this delicious, healthy vegetable into your daily diet, start experimenting and enjoy it today and every day.
This Day In History –
1827 – Ludwig von Beethoven dies in Vienna, Austria.
1885 – The Eastman Dry Plate and Chemical Company manufactures the first motion picture film.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Nougat Day – You could hardly get more American than a Snickers bar, but the candy bar’s nougat center actually comes from Europe. There are some really interesting recipes on www.food.com to celebrate this one. I wouldn’t have thought of any of them! Nice!