Honoring our K-9 Soldiers and Officers . . . They Serve With All They Have To Give . . .

Mar 13th

Tada! It’s THURSDAY!  Like magic the week is disappearing and the weekend is close enough to see! Pretty awesome, right? I thought so!  Unfortunately I hear that we are in for more rain, so it’s probably a good thing I got outside and mowed the lawn yesterday.  I admit it, as much as I hate yard work, it was nice being out in the sun and the fresh air.  Hubby was able to ride his motorcycle to work yesterday, which put a big smile on his face.  Hopefully the rain won’t stay for too long so he can do it again soon.  It makes him so happy!  Know what else makes us happy?  Celebrating the little things . . .

Ear Muff Day –  Today we celebrate something wonderfully warm, and something I’m sure that most of the girls have had, and perhaps some of the boys. Ear Muffs!  This invention is something that people in cold climates can really appreciate, but I’m wondering if there are people who live year around in very warm environments who have never heard of an ear muff!  I’m sure there are some out there!  Wearing ear muffs in the cold weather not only keeps our ears warm, but they can help protect against ear infections and earaches that are the result of ice cold wind and weather.  They have been so popular over the years that manufacturers have responded by creating a variety of designs and colors.   Of course, the question did cross my mind about why this is celebrated today instead of last month or the month before when it was colder.  Well the answer is that “Big-eared” Chester Greenwood is the father of the Ear Muff.  He patented the “Champion Ear Protector” on march 13, 1877.  They later came to be known as ear mufflers, which was shortened to Ear Muffs!    It’s so easy to celebrate this one . . . just wear your ear muffs! It is technically still winter, so you can easily get away with it.

Jewel Day – Jewel Day is bound to get some people pretty excited, since on this day you have the chance to give or receive jewelry.  I’m sure the jewelry stores who know about this holiday just love it, along with people who think receiving jewelry is really important.  Honestly, except for my wedding rings and my cross necklaces and my very basic pair of ear rings, I can live without it.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a few things I really like, but I get more excited about a kitchen appliance than I do jewelry – something I hope my hubby appreciates (I know he does actually).  However, if you are someone who just loves getting a pretty bauble, if you don’t have anyone who will go get it for you, perhaps it is time to go shopping for yourself!  It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate.  A simple, inexpensive piece of jewelry will be the perfect celebration for this day. 

Popcorn Day – Mmmmm. . . many of us love popcorn.  Doesn’t it just make sense that there would be a special day for everyone who does?  Popcorn is good for you . . . when you eat it plain.  It isn’t as healthy when we drown it in butter and salt, but it sure does taste good that way!  Today is intended to enjoy popcorn, share it with others and enjoy the tasty treat.  You can bring it to work, you can eat it at home, you can have it the traditional way with salt and butter, or you can add other flavors to it.  Some people like cheddar cheese powder sprinkled over it, or Parmesan garlic sprinkles.  I have even heard of people using hot pepper!  Any way you like it is the right way.       

Good Samaritan Involvement Day – How many news stories have we heard about where people stood by and did absolutely nothing while someone was attacked and killed?  Too many to count and it’s disgusting.  We should all be able to count on human compassion and a natural instinct to help one another, but apparently the human instinct to run and hide is, in many cases, stronger than the instinct to protect.  Today is a day to emphasize how important it is to be unselfish and give help to those who need it.  This date was chosen to recognize the anniversary of the killing of Catherine (Kitty) Genovese on march 13, 1964, in the Kew Gardens community in Queens, NY.  Reports say that 38 of her neighbors witnessed and watched for nearly 30 minutes while Kitty was chased, stabbed and raped by her 29-year-old attacker.  Not one person lifted a finger to help.  Only one individual spoke up, but not enough apparently to stop the killing.  Armed with only a knife, Winston Moseley, admitted that he killed her simply because he wanted to kill a woman.  This is horrifying and I’d like to say that people have become more compassionate and caring since 1964, but I can’t say that with any degree of faith in it being true.  If anything we, as a society, are even more removed from caring than we were back then. 

K-9 Veterans Day – Throughout the long history of warfare, dogs have fought and died in the service of man.  These brave dogs have been thought of as instruments of war for a long time, but K-9 Veterans Day recognizes them as partners and veterans.  “My dog was as important to me as any human being was,” said Thomas DeHoog, a Vietnam veteran who handled German Shepherds. “He was my partner. Often times I could depend upon my dog more than I could depend upon a human being.”  “They are kind of like America’s forgotten heroes,” said John Hama, member of the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association. “They did the same jobs that other soldiers performed like guarding the perimeter of a base, scouting for enemy troops, and searching for mines. When some of my buddies and I visit the Vietnam Memorial, we look at the names on the wall and can’t help but think our dogs names should be there, too.”  In the interview Hama gave he said that around 4,000 dogs were sent to Vietnam, while only about 200 of them returned.  Many of the dogs died while performing their duty.  Some of the dogs were treated pretty much like they were supplies, and considered to be “surplus” and euthanized rather than bring them back to the United States.  These dogs served our country, they are true veterans.  As such they deserve to be recognized for all that they contributed.  They fought to save people, rather than fighting to kill them.  They can smell things people can’t, they can sense things we can’t.  They are a partner to their handler, just like a person would be.  Whether they are serving in the military or as police officers, these amazing dogs go to work and do their duty every single day.  Even after our soldiers come home, dogs continued to serve.  Many soldiers have PTSD dogs that help them deal with the psychological issues that these brave men and women deal with every day, proving once again that dogs are hard workers, smart and empathetic.  Dogs love unconditionally, which is a beautiful thing.  Today was chosen as K-9 Veterans Day because the U.S. Army launched its first official K-9 Corps on March 13, 1942.

National Open An Umbrella Indoors Day –  This one makes me laugh.  The driving force for superstitions is luck – whether good or bad.  Opening an umbrella indoors is merely one example of a superstitious belief that doing so will cause bad luck.  The reason this makes me laugh is because my ex-father-in-law was incredibly superstitious – he believed in these things with all of his heart.  Every time we were around him we were told we couldn’t do this, or shouldn’t do that . . . and there was always a superstitious reason tied to it.  He did it so often that the children, even when they were quite young, would start deliberately doing things that would make him twitch . . . just because.  I know, it’s not nice, but it really was funny.  Things like setting a rocking chair to rocking without anyone in it.  Deliberately walking under a ladder.  Of course the one I remember most is the day I walked around the corner in time to see the kids hiding behind the counter, each with an umbrella in their hands, giggling while they waited for Grandpa to come in the back door.  The moment they heard him open the door they leaped out from behind the counter, opening their umbrellas and twirling them over their heads.  I’m just glad it didn’t cause a heart attack . . . it did cause some yelling though, and he had to do some sort of a weird ritual to counter the bad luck.  I’m telling you, if being raised in the south causes this, I’m glad I was not raised in the south (and yes, that’s where he learned these things, at his Mama’s knee in southern Alabama).

This Day In History

1868 – Senate begins impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.     
1877 – Greenwood patented earmuffs, originally called the “Champion Ear Protector”.       1639 – Harvard University is named after clergyman John Harvard.

Food Celebration of the Day

National Coconut Torte Day – Tropical coconuts meet Euro-style sweets for a taste of something truly transporting. Here is a collection of coconut treats that will take you far, far away.
Coconut Tart
Chocolate Coconut Tarts
Cranberry Coconut Tarts
Portuguese Coconut-Custard Tarts
Lemon Coconut Tartlets
Chocolate-Caramel-Coconut Tarts
Definitely a day that has a broad range of celebrations, remembrances and interesting bits of history.  I hope you learned something today, and found something fun to do for your celebration.  We could all take the easy route and just wear ear muffs, or we could make something that is a coconut treat.  No matter what you choose, enjoy it.  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!


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