Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! What Does Your Name Mean? Celebrate These and MORE!

Mar 2nd

Good Morning – Of course I’m late again.  We got home a little late from my daughter’s birthday dinner, followed by a stop at the store . . . so I slept in . . . until nearly 9:30! That really doesn’t happen often. I usually manage around 8:00, but 9:30? I usually get up and have a big latte that I sip while doing the blog on Saturday and Sunday, but it was so late I had to fix breakfast first since we both had our tummies growling pretty loudly.  So here I am . . . better late than never.  Sustenance in my stomach, a hot latte by my side, ready to see what we are celebrating today!

Old Stuff Day – How often do you ask someone “what’s new?”, or “what’s happening?”, and they give you the response, “Nothing, same old stuff”.  That’s what this celebration is all about, recognizing that this all too common response suggests a really boring time in someone’s life, or perhaps the life itself is boring, and that is sad!  This is not a day to do the same old stuff, but put something exciting and new into a boring daily routine, make some changes by finding new activities, projects or hobbies.  Maybe attend an event, or do SOMETHING, ANYTHING different!  You’ll be glad you did when you can answer the question “What’s new?” with a response that really tells something new!

Dr. Seuss Day – I’m sure most of us have read Dr. Seuss books growing up, or had them read to us by our parents.  Many of us have passed on that tradition by reading them to our own kids and grand kids.  Along with the ABCs and 123s, Theodor Seuss Geisel’s rhymes teach kids about everything from manners and gratitude, to the wonders of the world around us.  Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and while his birthday has been chosen as the annual date for National Read Across America Day (which I am combining with Dr. Seuss Day so I’m not duplicating), it is a good thing to honor his day with some life lessons that he taught to generations of children.  Let’s look at eight of the lessons he taught – which I found listed on another site.  Some of this content isn’t mine, but it was so well done I had to share it with you.  I regret that, though I have gone back to look for the source of the information, I can’t find it again!  If the original writer of these 8 lessons ever sees this – please know that I appreciate your research and thank you for the inspiration shared from Dr. Seuss:

 
1. Self-pity is an unnecessary indulgence

 

Be grateful you’re not in the forest in France.
Where the average young person just hasn’t a chance,
To escape from the perilous pants eating plants.
But your pants are safe, you’re a fortunate guy,
You ought to be shouting how lucky am I.
Some people are much more,
Oh, ever so much more,
Oh, muchly much-much more unlucky than you!
This is from “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?”  In this story we learned that there are people who are less fortunate than we are (or muchly much less fortunate), and that if we have food, water, clothing and shelter, then we are very lucky indeed.  The story taught that we should spend more time being grateful, and less time feeling sorry for ourselves. 
 
2. Be flexible … and appreciate the strange birds

 

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know,
You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step,
Step with care and great tact.
And remember that life’s a great balancing act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft,
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
This is from the last book that Dr. Seuss published, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”, and it may be the most famous for what has become a life lesson for graduates, the message being, Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!  There was that encouragement in the book, but it also taught that life can be messy, you’ll make mistakes.  Learn from them and how to navigate through it. 
 
3. Philosophy doesn’t have to be hard

 

Today you are you,
That is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is youer than you.
Philosophers can talk in confusing circles when discussing René Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am” assertion.  Sometimes they get so complicated with their discussions that you feel like your head is spinning!  Dr. Seuss took on this topic in “Happy Birthday to You”, and makes is so simple!  I exist, I am who I am! It really makes it so easy to get it!  It is also fun to note that Dr. Seuss, in throwing out the rules of proper spelling and grammar can result in new and wonderfully expressive language.
 
 
4. Reading has its rewards

 

The more that you read, the more things you will know,
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. 
In his book “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut”, Dr. Seuss taught the profound truth that reading expands our minds, and as a result, life!  We may know this as grown-ups, but for kids just starting on the amazing adventure that reading is, the confirmation validates this lesson.
 
5. It’s up to us to give a voice to the voiceless

 

I am the Lorax.
I speak for the trees,
I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.
Dr. Seuss takes on the importance of taking care of our world in “The Lorax”.  If a furry little creature-man with a giant golden mustache can go up against a greedy ornery Once-ler for the sake of the trees – as well as the Bar-ba-loots, Swomee-Swans and Humming-Fish who rely on them – so can we. Unless each of us “cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” 
 
6. Quirkiness is a great thing

 

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
So many of us grow up trying to get in with the popular crowd, trying to mold ourselves to someone else’s expectations and fit ourselves into what others think we should be, but if there was anyone who best-served as an example of the simple truth that it’s OK to be an individual, it is Dr. Seuss himself – and look where it got him: a remarkable legacy … and 16 books on “Publishers Weekly’s” list of “100 Top-Selling Hardcover Children’s Books of All-Time.”
 
7. The universe is profoundly mysterious
 
“You mean…” Horton gasped, “you have buildings there, too?”
“Oh, yes,” piped the voice. “We most certainly do.”
“I know,” called the voice, “I’m too small to be seen but I’m mayor of a town that is friendly and clean. Our buildings, to you, would seem terribly small but to us, who aren’t big, they are wonderfully tall.”
 
The story “Horton Hears A Who” can be nearly mind blowing with the thought processes that it creates.  Some people may take away from this story that we need to defend the little people, and listen to our hearts – and while that is true – this book had much deeper insights and imagination blowing insights.  This book teaches the infinite nature of the universe, where there could be a whole world in a speck of dust, and another in a speck of dust on that world, and so on, and so on, into infinity.  It could also blow our minds a little to think that perhaps, just perhaps, we are on one of those specks of dust ourselves.  You’re never too young, or too old, to be blown away by the utterly confounding thing that is the universe. 
 
8. Being open-minded can be surprisingly wonderful

 

Say! 
I like green eggs and ham! 
I do!! I like them, Sam-I-am! 
Let’s be honest, nothing in this world may sound more disgusting that a plate of green eggs and ham.  We know instinctively that those particular foods should NOT be green, and if they are, they likely will do some pretty profound damage to our health  What this book teaches though, is a lesson that we all need to learn, and that is not to decide we don’t like something until we have tried it.  How many of us growing up said we didn’t like something simply because it was different?  Or had our kids wail “ewwwww!!!” when we gave them a new food to try?  I know we all have, and hopefully most of us nip that in the bud and make our kids try new things so they aren’t picky eaters (though it’s true, we all know people who are far too picky)  The unnamed narrator of “Green Eggs and Ham” is really surprised by how much he liked them after he tried them, that it was an encouragement not to turn up our noses to something new and different.  I hope Dr. Seuss knows what a positive influence he was to so many generations, and will likely be for many more.

 

  


Iditarod Begins– This is actually MORE than a week.  The Iditarod goes from March 2 through March 18! So, what IS the Iditarod you ask?  Well, allow me to tell you!  It’s actually quite fascinating!

In 1925 the small city of Nome, Alaska and the surrounding communities was suffering a near epidemic of diphtheria.  A team of 20 mushers and about 150 sled dogs took diphtheria antitoxin the 674 miles by dog sled across the U.S. territory of Alaska in 5 and a half days, saving the city.  This became known as the 1925 Serum Run to Nome, or the Great Race of Mercy.  Both the mushers and their dogs were heroes and received headline coverage in newspapers across the country, and talked about on the newly popular medium of radio!  The lead sled dog, Balto, became the most famous canine celebrity of the era after Rin Tin Tin and his statue is a popular attraction in New York City’s Central Park.  The publicity also helped spur an inoculation campaign in the U.S. that dramatically reduced the thread of the disease.  The sled dog was the primary means of transportation and communication in subarctic communities around the world, and the race became the most famous event in the history of mushing.  The first aircraft in the 1930s, then the snowmobile in the 1960s nearly drove the dog sled into extinction, but the resurgence of recreational mushing in Alaska since the 1970s is a direct result of the tremendous popularity of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race, which honors the history of dog mushing with many traditions that commemorate the serum run.

Technically, the 2014 Iditarod got underway yesterday with the ceremonial start, but the race will begin officially on today with the restart. Mushers will begin the first leg of the 1,000-mile trek to Nome, traveling 42 miles from Willow to Yentna Station. It could be rough sledding … literally.  The weather has been a problem this year, with a lack of snow and icy conditions causing problems, especially with the opening part of the race.  The trail from Willow to Skwentna wasn’t in ideal condition, and the organizers thought about moving the start of the race to Fairbanks.  They did decide to keep the start of the race in Willow, with crews and volunteers working to improve the trail conditions.  It helped, but it still isn’t in prime condition.  The shallowness of the snow could make rocks, trees, roots and other things an issue for those in the race.  Even though this part of the route is only a tine part of the total race, this is an important stage.  The trail is expected to improve as they go along, but the racers have to get through the rough parts first, without injuries or setbacks.  Something as simple as a root in the trail could have a big impact on how things turn out at the end.  Good luck to all those who are racing.  May God protect them and their dogs along the way, and everyone reach the finish line safely and in good health.

Namesake Day –  Ah our names.  They are so important to us!  Today we are encouraged to explore the roots of our names, and find out of we are named after anyone in particular, maybe even research people who share the same name as us.  Our names are special because they are the unique word that identifies us as the person we are. Sometimes our names can inspire us to work harder and achieve the purpose behind the meaning of our name.  Every single name has meaning and significance, no matter how simple the name might be.  Historically people were named after their ancestors, so traditionally speaking that would mean grandmother, grandfather or other relatives.  Many people name their children from out of the Bible, and others just name their children certain names because they like them.   If you go to www.themeaningofnames.org you can put in your name and find out what it means and how many other people in the country have it.  My first name is Scandinavian for Pure, and my middle name is English for Sunrise. Nice!  I also found out that my daughter’s first name is NOWHERE else in the data base in the history of the Social Security Administrations lists, nor found anywhere in historical archives, which means that I happened to pick a name that was 100% unique to her and it really makes me happy that I did!




This Day In History

1836 – Texas declared its independence from Mexico       
1962 – Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scores 100 points in a basketball game

Food Celebration of the Day

National Banana Cream Pie Day – Custard pies date back to antiquity, but this version, with banana cream and a fluffy white topping, is a particular favorite in the American South.

Well, that’s some fun stuff, isn’t it?  There’s so much to celebrate that I need to get busy doing it! Have a wonderful, relaxing Sunday.  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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