Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss . . . and LOTS of Other Things to Celebrate!

Mar 2nd

Today is a busy day in the world of celebrating.  Buckle Up! We have a lot of ground to cover  . . .

Holy Humor Month – God has a sense of humor . . . He has to! He created us in His image and WE have senses of humor.  Granted we don’t all share the same enjoyment of all the same jokes, but our species does love to laugh.  I thank God every day for giving us that tendency – for how dull would life be without being able to laugh til we cry sometimes!  So, in honor of this celebration I will attempt to find a funny, clean, Holy joke every day.

Joke of the day:

A woman invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”“I wouldn’t know what to say,” the little girl replied.  “Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the mother said.  The little girl bowed her head and said: “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

( hahahaha – I’m betting there’s not one of us who hasn’t done that!)

Irish American Month – March has been designated as Irish American Heritage Month since 1991.  During this time we recognize the contribution that Irish immigrants and their descendants have played in the formation of our nation.   Among those contributions are nine signers of the Declaration of Independence, over twenty of Washington’s generals, the first man to hold a commission in the United States Navy, over 190,000 Irish born Americans who fought in the Civil War, pioneering women such as Nellie Bly and Christa McAuliffe, the inventor of the modern submarine and 253 Medal of Honor recipients who list the place of their birth as Ireland.

There is a great deal resentment from some quarters that Irish Americans are not recognized with the same publicity or fanfare as other ethnic heritage groups are, including taxpayer supported institutions such as the Smithsonian.  So this month take a little time to learn about the Irish and what they contributed to our nation . . . I think you  may be surprised and impressed!

National Craft Month  – There’s a little bit of the crafter in all of us, right?  Most people at some point have drawn a picture, made a potholder out of little pieces of stretchy fabric, threaded string or twine through macaroni to make a necklace for our mothers, or go so far as to create elaborate and amazing things that cause awe and wonder from everyone who sees them.  I’m not particularly crafty with things like scrap booking (though I wish I were) because my imagination doesn’t go that direction.  I do truly love decorating cupcakes and cakes though, and have learned that absolutely lovely flowers can be created using thin slivers of sugar and fondant that will thrill both the eye and the taste buds.  The same basic ingredients of flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, milk, etc. can be put together in different ways with different additions and incredible edible cookies can be created to tickle the taste buds and give great satisfaction to the baker.  Jewelry is something that can be made at home at penny’s on the dollar, to give that added oompf to an outfit without breaking the bank.  I do enjoy browsing the bead store after taking a picture of a necklace I’ve seen in a store, then going to create one for myself for less.  I even took a class for making rosaries once so I could make one for my son-in-law.  It was interesting to me, not being a Catholic myself, to learn about the numbers of the beads, and why. I couldn’t answer question one about it right now, but at the time it was great and I was able to make something meaningful for him that he’ll keep forever.  So this month, find the crafter in you – whether it is spinning a picture with words to share on the page, baking and decorating lovely cookies and cakes, scrap booking your precious memories, building birdhouses, crocheting or knitting . . . the list goes on and on . . . this is the month to find that artist inside of you and run with it!

Festival of Owls Week – On a beautiful spring day in 1997, a three-week old owlet fell out of her nest high in a mature pine tree in the city of Antigo, Wisconsin. That day forever changed the way the world looks at owls. She was cared for at the Raptor Education Group, Inc. in Antigo, but she had injured her left elbow so severely when she fell, that she would never be able to fly or live in the wild. She got a job as an education bird working at the Houston Nature Center through a series of very fortunate events.

The owl was named Alice, and as her popularity grew, her trainer/caregiver Karla, thought it might be fun to throw a “hatch day” party to celebrate the day she hatched in early March. With live owl programs with the Raptor Education Group and a few kids activities, the International Festival of Owls got its start. Alice – the Great Horned Owl – is the only live animal at the small city-run Houston Nature Center in Houston, Minnesota (population 979). As the only live animal at the facility with a staff of one person, Alice lives in the home of her handler and commutes to work each day. Alice has made her mark on the world in many ways. She has touched the lives of tens of thousands of people in educational programs. She has provided the impetus for removing Great Horned Howls from Minnesota’s “unprotected birds” list. She has also prompted her handler to begin a vocal stuffy on Great Horned Owls, which has never been done before. And of course, without Alice there would be no International Festival of Owls and no World Owl Hall of Fame

To celebrate Alice and other owls, perhaps do a quick search on how many different species of owls there are, and look at some beautiful pictures of them – you may be surprised by how many there are and how different they look.

 

National Cheerleading Week – Cheerleading Week was founded in 2005 by Linda Lundy who lives in Plum Grove, Texas.  Lundy has been involved in cheer, dance, gymnastics and other group sporting activities for most of her life.  She is 63, but likes to say that she is “18 with 45 years of cheerleading and coaching experience”.   Many people scoff at cheerleading as a sport, but it has gained popularity and recognition in recent years for being a very strenuous sport that requires strength, coordination, team work, enthusiasm and dedication.  I wasn’t one of the girls in school who would have ever gone out for cheerleading, nor was I coordinated or athletic enough to try, so I was one of the people who didn’t appreciate everything that goes into the sport.  Now as an adult, watching some of the competitions that are on TV, I realize that not only is it something that requires strength, it can be quite dangerous!  Watching those “kids” being tossed into the air and landing perfectly every time has had me pausing to both admire and fear for their safety.

 

National Ghostwriters Week – A ghost writer is someone who takes the experiences and thoughts of someone – usually someone famous – and puts them into written word in a way that is intriguing and enticing to the reader.  They don’t get recognition for what they do, as the subject of the book is always listed as the author.  This week honors those people who do the work but don’t get the credit. One way to celebrate is to do something nice for someone and don’t let them know you did it.

National Write a Letter of Appreciation Week –  The art of the handwritten letter has been largely lost over the years, but this week is dedicated to the delicate art form of writing a letter of appreciation.  A handwritten note on a  piece of stationery lets someone know how much you appreciate their gift, their advice, or their friendship.

 

 

Old Stuff Day  – When asking someone “What’s new?” or “What’s happening?”, how often do you hear “Nothing really, same old stuff”. Well, today, is Old Stuff Day, in recognition of this all too common response. It is suggestive of a boring time period, or a boring life style. ….how sad. Old Stuff Day is not a day to do the same old stuff. Rather, it’s a time to recognize the boring nature of your daily routine, and make some exciting changes. Find new and different activities, projects, and hobbies. Attend an event. Do something, anything, different. You will be glad that you did!

 

Dr. Seuss Day – Dr. Seuss is considered one of the greatest children’s book writers and illustrators of all time. Having published 46 picture books, The National Educational Association adopted his birthday, March 2, as National Read Across America Day.  To celebrate Seuss’s birthday and to help support the Read Across America effort, here is a list of the top 5 Dr. Seuss books. I have copied and pasted the book list for you – one for simplicity and two, I couldn’t have written it better myself.

The Cat in the Hat

The story of two children who are left at home all alone on a rainy day when they receive a visit from a cat wearing a top hat. The cat’s wacky tricks and efforts to entertain the bored children wind up wrecking the house. The children have to capture the cat’s raucous playmates, and herd the cat out of the house. Luckily, he cleans it up as he leaves. It ends with children who are relieved to have nothing to do when their mother returns home. This is the book that introduced us to Thing One and Thing Two and spawned, not only a sequel, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, but an animated series and a major motion picture starring Mike Myers.

The Lorax

The Lorax is a wizened character who “speaks for the trees.” Published in 1971, this was one of the first lessons in the harm of deforestation and the importance to care for nature that many children for decades received. The story follows the fate of a forest that is cut down when industry moves in to create thneeds to meet the high demand, because “everyone needs a thneed.” But the drive to produce more and more leads to the last tree being cut down and the world becoming filled with bottled air, fake trees and a completely manufactured life. In the end, one young boy plants the last seed which recalls the spirit of the Lorax and the forest.  The books popularity led to an animated movie in 1972, and a computer animated film in 2012.

 

Green Eggs and Ham
 The classic story of a boy who is offered a new food insists, as many a child does, that he does not like it and will not eat it whatever the circumstance is a popular favorite. After repeating over and over, “I do not like green eggs and ham. I will not eat them, Sam I Am,” winds up giving in to Sam. The boy tries the green eggs and ham, and does in fact like them. Aside from the fact that it rings true to parents with picky eaters for children, the words are so skillfully crafted that the catchy rhyming couplets stick in your head for years after you have read the book. Perhaps the message of the book may just pay off for parents hoping to get kids to clean their plate.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

This is a lesson in counting and colors, opposites and fun. The story is loosely assembled around a pair of siblings and their weird pet fish. While the story starts with fish, it moves into the wacky world of Seuss quickly and passes from fish to body parts, and then straight into tongue twisting hilarity.

 

Horton Hears a Who

Horton, an elephant, is the only creature in the jungle who can hear the Whos who live on what looks like a speck of dust. When all the rest of the jungle inhabitants do not believe him, Whoville is in danger unless the Whos can make their presence known to the other animals. The Whos try with all their might to make as much noise as possible, but it is not until the smallest Who of all adds her own sound to the clamor that the animals realize Whoville, even though only the size of a speck of dust, does exist.   Like The Lorax, this is another one of Dr. Seuss’s parable stories. The message that “a person’s a person, no matter how small,” resonates especially with children because they relate to the concept of being small, and just like the people living on the tiny speck of dust that is Whoville, they sometimes can feel like they are not heard.

So grab your favorite Dr. Seuss book and celebrate, even if you are not a kid anymore.

Well, looking at all those Seuss pictures really brought back some great memories of my Mom reading them to me, and later in life, reading them to my own children.  Good times!

I’ve given us a lot to think about today, between the owls, crafting, laughter, and the contributions of the Irish Americans . . . it’s been a big day!  Have a wonderful Saturday and I’ll see you tomorrow.  God bless you!

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