From Bats (the Furry Flying Kind), to Cheeseballs . . . It’s a BIG DAY!

Apr 17th

Thank you to all of my readers for your patience yesterday.  I just didn’t have the heart to be jovial about silly things – even though we all need laughter and silly to get past the serious stuff of life.  It was just too much though for my mind to get past for one day.  The emotions just needed to adapt a little bit.  Today’s a big day since I’m covering 2 days worth, so buckle up and here we go!

Humor Month – Joke of the Day

Ironing:   A mother was ironing the clean laundry one day. Her son asked her, “Mother, why are you ironing those clothes?”  His mother said, “To make them nice and wrinkle free.”  Her son said, “Then, why don’t you iron Grandma’s face?    (Ooooooh, ouch!)

Children and Childbirth:  The baby was coming way too fast so the paramedics were called. To make it worse, when they arrived, there was a power outage. The paramedics asked the four year old sister to hold the flashlight for them.  Despite the difficulties, all went well and the mother delivered a baby boy. The paramedic smacked him on the behind and he began to cry.  Looking over at the wide eyed little girl, the paramedic asked her what she thought about what she had just witnessed. She said, “That naughty boy should have never crawled in there. Spank him again!”

I’d Like To See That:  “Oh, boy! I’m glad you’re here,” the little boy said to his grandmother on his mother’s side.  “Why?” she asked.  “Because now Daddy will do the trick he’s been promising us.”
“What trick?”  “Well, he told Mommy that if you came to visit, he would climb the walls.”

Child Psychology:  A new teacher thought she would use what she learned in her psychology courses. She said to her class, “Everyone who thinks they are stupid, please stand up.”  After a few seconds, one boy stood. “Do you think you’re stupid?” she asked.  “No, ma’am, but I just didn’t want you to have to stand there all by yourself.”  (Awwww a little gentleman!)

Beauty:  A little boy watched, fascinated, as his mother covered her face in cold cream. “Why do you do that?” he asked.  “To make myself beautiful.”  When she began to rub it off, the boy asked, “Why are you doing that? Did you give up?”

Grandma’s Age:  A little boy asked his grandmother how old she was.  “39 and holding,” she replied.  “Well, then, how old would you be if you let go?”

Bat Appreciation Day (4/17) – I remember when I was little, we lived on a lake.  About this time every year the night sky over the lake was filled with the shadows of 100s of bats swooping and diving for the bugs flying about – you know, those icky flying bugs that look like red ants with wings? Yuck!  The sound of the bats wings flapping would have been spooky if I’d been old enough to have seen movies about vampire bats, but at the ripe old age of 3, it was just pretty cool to see and hear.  My Aunt Sherri was over to visit, she was a teenager at the time, and she walked out onto the dock with me, with a big quilt covering both of us, and there, with her holding my hand to protect me from falling off the dock into the cold, black water, we stood and listened and watched.  I know a lot more about bats now, obviously, but the knowledge only makes that memory better.   Bats are the only mammals that are capable of true flight.  They have extremely elongated fingers and a wide membrane that stretches between them.  The bat’s wing resembles the human hand.  There are almost 1,000 bat species worldwide, and an interesting fact is that bats make up about a quarter of the mammal species on the earth.  That’s a lot of bats!   70% of bats eat insects, sort of their own natural pest control.  There are also fruit eating bats, nectar eating bats, carnivorous bats that eat small mammals like birds, lizards and frogs; fish eating bats and maybe the most famous of all, the blood-sucking vampire bats I mentioned earlier.  I wasn’t in danger of encountering one though – since I live in Washington and they live in South America.   Some bat species have populations in the millions, but sadly, others are dangerously low or in decline. 

Interestingly enough, a single small brown bat can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes in a single hour, and is one of the world’s longest living mammals for its size, having a life span of almost 40 years.  Well, heck, I’ve been going about this pet thing all wrong!  With all the lousy mosquitoes we have around here, maybe I should have looked into making a pet out of a brown bat.  (which leads me to wonder, can a bat be domesticated?)  Bats can be found pretty much anywhere in the world except the polar regions and extreme deserts. Another thing that I found interesting was bat babies!  They are called pups, and bats usually only have one pup at a time.  They are the slowest reproducing mammal on the earth, and at birth a pup weighs up to 25% of its mother’s body weight – and to put this into terms that every mother here can identify with – that’s about like an average human mother giving birth to a 31 lb baby.  OUCH!  Bats have maternity colonies where females gather together to bear and raise the young.  The males do not help in raising the pups.  Hmmmm.  There’s a lot more to say about bats, but I’ll leave that to you to research if you’re interested.  I’m still thinking about that whole bat/mosquito connection, and wondering if I should put in a bat habitat in the back hard to encourage the bug munching wonders to move in!

Blah, Blah, Blah Day (4/17) – I read this celebration and had to laugh.  You see, I tend to tune people out when I’m concentrating on something, so it is background sounds that sort of just sound like “blah blah blah” in my head, so when I saw this it just seemed appropriate somehow.  My boss and I sometimes are yammering on to each other about something, and we can always tell when the other is tuning out.  We either don’t answer each other or suddenly one of us will have to ask “what did you say? I wasn’t really listening.”  Neither of us takes offense.  It’s just as common for us to have been talking to ourselves as to each other.  I guess when you share an office space with someone for eight years you get used to the odd quirks and that’s one we have in common.  The intent to Blah, Blah Blah Day though was to do all of the projects and things that people have been nagging you to do, but you’ve been putting off – sort of a big Honey-Do day.  I have my list made up since today’s my day at home, and as usual the list is too long for the number of hours available – but I’m going to give it a good shot.


Ellis Island Family History Day  (4/17)   – On Thursday evening, December 31, 1891, the S.S. Nevada arrived in New York Harbor.  Among its passengers were 14 year old Annie Moore of Cork County, Ireland, and her two younger brothers.  They had sailed to America to join their parents in New York City’s Lower East Side.  On the morning of January 1, 1892, on Annie’s 15th birthday, a barge took the three of them and 145 other passengers from steerage to a brand new federal immigration center called Ellis Island.  There, young Annie became the first immigrant of the 12,000,000 who would enter the U.S. through its doors.  Over 100,000,000 Americans – about 1/3 of the U.S. population, can trace their roots back to the immigrants of Ellis Island.  April 17th is the anniversary of the date in 1907 when more immigrants passed through Ellis Island on one day than on any other day.  11,747, more than twice the usual number.  That year saw the arrival of more than 1,000,000 immigrants.  Famous immigrants who entered this country through Ellis Island were:  Comedian Bob Hope; Actor Cary Grant; Songwriter Irving Berlin; Author Isaac Asimov; Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter and Father Flanagan.  Wow! I had no idea!

Ford Mustang Day  (4/17) –  (This is the very first Ford Mustang prototype to the right)  This day in history in 1964 saw the unveiling of the Ford Mustang, a two-seat, mid-engine sports car, by Henry Ford II at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, NY.  On that same day, the new car also debuted in Ford showrooms across American and almost 22,000 Mustangs were immediately snapped up by buyers.  The Mustang was named for a World War II fighter plane, and was the first of a type of vehicle that came to be know as a “pony car”.  More than 400,000 Mustangs were sold by Ford in the first year of production – far exceeding any sales expectations.   Over all of these years, and through many evolutions, the final version of the Mustang
came off the production line in 2004.  Still in production, there have been over 9 million Mustangs have been sold since the 1st one rolled off the line.    Personally, I love the way Mustangs look – or I love the way the old ones look, but I will NEVER drive another one as long as I live.  I’m not a superstitious person, but seriously, why push it?  I was in two car accidents in my life, in two different Mustangs.  It’s like the moment I got into them to drive, giant magnets inserted themselves into the bumpers, attracting other vehicles to plow into me, causing injury, pain, and a LOT of treatment for a number of years.  I’ll admire them from afar, at car shows and in movies.  It’s enough for me.

National Bookmobile Day  (4/17) –  Did you ever have the Bookmobile visit your neighborhood?  Wow, does that bring back memories!  Ours came around in the summer time when kids didn’t have access to the school library.  I was in love with books even when I was quite young, voraciously reading anything I could get my hands on, so this was a treat.  Stepping into that van that carried the perfume of brittle pages of books that had been enjoyed by many, was like stepping into a world of endless possibilities for me.  Mom always tried to caution me to not get more than I could read in a week, but I don’t think I ever had trouble reading everything I took.  There wasn’t a limit, as long as they always came back undamaged the following week, and I took very good care of my books so I wouldn’t ever have the privilege revoked.   I miss those days.  The original Bookmobiles date back as early as the late 1850s.  Horse drawn carriages carrying collections of books to small communities, bringing the literary world to people who did not have easy access to books otherwise.  Bookmobiles haven’t been around for several decades, and truly, I feel that this generation of children has truly missed out on something wonderful.

National Haiku Poetry Day  (4/17) –  Haiku is an unrhymed, syllabic form of poetry adapted from the Japanese.  Each Haiku is three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables.  Since it is so brief, a haiku is imagistic, specific and what some would say is “pithy”, capturing a single moment in a very few words.  They are actually very easy to write.  Here’s one I just thought up and it took about 30 seconds:

             Time ticking towards night
             Eyelids closing on their own
             It is time for sleep.

I didn’t say it was GOOD, just simple, and besides, it’s true!

National Librarian Day (4/16) – Librarians are amazing people, and they definitely deserve a day in their honor.  Librarians are among the most knowledgeable people I know, always ready with an answer to a question, or able to find an answer if they don’t already know it.  They point you in the right direction, most often with a smile.  No matter the subject you are researching, your librarian will be able to help you locate what it is you are looking for, and do it in a hurry!

National Stress Awareness Day (4/16) –  If any day qualified as Stress Awareness Day, yesterday was definitely it!  Oh my gosh, yes!  Big stress like yesterday’s tragedy isn’t the only stress we are under though.  Work or school, kids, bills.  There are literally 1000s of reasons to get stressed out.  Today is the day to recognize that there is plenty of stress in your life – which of course you are aware of- but also to learn how to do something about the stress.  Now is a good time to do that before the stress starts to make you ill.  April 16th was set aside as Stress Awareness Day because it’s the day after tax day – and honestly is there anyone more stressed this time of year than a tax accountant?  Ask him or her! They’ll tell you! Some people can release the stress by going for a walk at the beach or in the woods, some go fishing, some curl up with a cup of tea and a good book.  I love getting a relaxing massage or acupuncture treatment, and there are nights that nothing will do better than a soak in the tub.  However you choose to de-stress, do it, and do it soon! Stress is bad for your health!

Food Celebration of the Day –  

National Eggs Benedict Day (4/16) – Mmmmm Eggs Benedict.  A nicely toasted English Muffin, with a layer of Canadian Bacon, an egg and delicious hollandaise sauce.  It’s rich, and its decadent, but sometimes it just sounds so good!  Most Eggs Benedict is made with soft poached eggs.  I’m not a fan of the ooey gooey yolk, so mine has to be hard cooked, but that’s ok.  I think it still tastes wonderful.  If you’ve never tried it, even if you’re on a diet, plan a day to try it at least once.  Your taste buds should be ready for a breakfast food party, because that’s exactly what having Eggs Benedict is all about!  At least in my opinion.  Early recipes for Eggs Benedict call for a truffle garnish — a custom that has sadly fallen out of style!






National Cheeseball Day (4/17) – There are Cheeseballs – the dairy product that is a soft ball of cheese covered with chopped nuts that you eat spread on crackers.  Then there are cheese balls that are actually cheese puffs, that crunchy, very salty and fattening treat that is actually quite delicious in limited quantity and only for a rare splurge.  Either one is a good way to celebration National Cheeseball day – so go for one or both to have fun with it. 

Cheeseballs the snack puffs used to be a big camping treat for the kids . . . until I saw one that they tossed into the bonfire.  It flared up, then began to drip fat to the bottom of the pit.  Um . . . gross.  Highly combustible, oil filled crunchy snack that doubles as a fire started just can’t be good for you!  The dairy version of the cheeseball, covered in chopped nuts is something we enjoy during the holidays every year, and is something we always have on the snack table every Thanksgiving.    Little bit of interesting trivia – in 1801, the town of Cheshire, Massachusetts, sent a 1,000-pound cheese ball to the White House as a gift for new President Thomas Jefferson.  That’s a LOT of cheese!

Well, we’re all caught up, so pick something and enjoy the day.  Grab a little bit of fun in the midst of the chaos.  God Bless You.  I’ll see you tomorrow.

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