I Want You To Be Happy . . . and Very Grateful My Pets Do Not Have Opposable Thumbs!

Mar 3rd

Holy Humor Joke of the Day – Today, a cartoon.

Hahaha – this one made me giggle.

I Want You to be Happy Day – What an unselfish thought to start out this beautiful Sunday morning.  This is something we wish upon the people we care about and love.  To celebrate today, do something to make someone happy, something that will put a smile on someones face.  There are endless ways to do this.  Sending someone an E-Card that can make a loved one smile, a phone call to a relative or friend you haven’t talked to in a long time, making positive comments or compliments to bolster someone up, or making a special meal.  Be creative, but keep focus on the the thought that you want to make that person happy today!

If Pets Had Thumbs Day  – what would happen if . . .One thing that sets humans apart from other species on the planet is that we have opposable thumbs. Our thumbs allows us to do many things other creatures can’t do, so imagine what it would be like if your dog or cat had thumbs!  Can you get a clear picture in your head of your pet with thumbs? Can you see your pet doing things with their new thumbs?  If so, then you are one with the spirit of the celebration!  Now, if you happen to have a pet monkey, you already know what it would be like, but I’m running through my mind what it would be like if my dog Tibbi could do whatever she wanted because she had thumbs.  The food in the refrigerator wouldn’t be safe!  If my cat Itty Bitty had thumbs I’m fairly certain my house would look like a herd of raccoons had run through it every single day! Oh my, the mayhem.  As nice as it would be if Tibbi could open the back door and let herself out (no, we don’t have a dog door because the cats aren’t allowed outside and we truly DON’T want the local raccoons to come in), it would be a much bigger problem in the long run, so I’ll just keep dragging myself out of bed to let her out in the night if she needs to go.  It sort of gives us a moment to appreciate the furbabies being dependent on us though and a relief from the chaos that would ensue if they did indeed have thumbs.   Now, as to the REASON someone felt it was a good idea to celebrate this flight of fanciful imaginings? I have absolutely NO idea.

National Anthem Day – The Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States of America. It was written by Francis Scott Key.  Today we celebrate this song, and the rich history behind its creation.  The song became our National Anthem on March 3, 1931.

Many people think that The Star-Spangled Banner was written during the Revolutionary War. It was actually written during the war of 1812 (1812-1814).  In August of 1814, the British army detained Dr. William Beanes as a prisoner of war.  He was a friend of Francis Scott Key.  On September 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key and a U.S. negotiator boarded a British vessel where Beanes was being held.  He negotiated his friends release.  At that point Francis Scott Key was detained, along with the negotiator.  They were held until after the attack on Fort McHenry, which guarded the harbor and the city of Baltimore.  He watched the bombardment of the fort from the ship.  This historic event inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner the following day (September 14, 1814).

There has been some confusion throughout the years, as some people incorrectly assume that National Anthem Day is September 14, the day the song was written. National Anthem Day is every March 3rd, in celebration of the day that congress made The Star-Spangled Banner our national anthem.

Today fly your flag proudly, and perhaps listen to – and even sing – The Star-Spangled Banner.

Namesake Day – This day encourages us to explore the roots our our names, to find out if we were named after someone or something in particular, and to research and connect with people who share the same name.  I can tell you who I was named for – my name is a combination of my parents names.  My mother’s name is Karen – they changed the “e” to “i” and added an “a” to come up with Karina and my middle name is Dawn.  Since my father’s name is Don . . . well that connection is pretty obvious.  Once in awhile I run into someone with a similar name – often a different spelling though.  A quick Bing search found that my first name, Karina,  in Greek means “Pure”, In Swedish means “Dear Beloved One”  and my middle name Dawn means exactly what we’d think it would “sunrise or daybreak”.  Perhaps do a search for your name today – it’s pretty interesting finding out what your name means!

Music in Our Schools Month – This is a month long event intended to draw attention to how important musical education is in our schools and our communities.  Every year there is a different theme, and in 2013 the theme is “Music Lasts a Lifetime”.   With schools getting cuts left and right, one of the first programs to go is the Music program.  This is true locally and I’m sure it is on the national level as well.  I know in our Jr. High, my boss’s daughter was in the choir program for the first semester of the year, and the Music Booster group is constantly raising funds so these kids can continue to learn about music at this level in the schools. As a matter of fact, I’m going to plug the fund raiser going on right now by giving you a really cool website for a company that sells bags made from recycled bottles.  Every sale made, 50% goes to the music boosters at my boss’s daughter’s school.  My boss has a couple of these bags, and they are REALLY neat.  I’m ordering some myself, just haven’t decided which ones to order yet.    I don’t have the fundraiser ID, but I’ll comment tomorrow from work to let you know what that is, if you decide to order.  All orders need to be in by March 11th.  FYI, the foodies (online they are on sale for $1.00) are really cool!  They are reusable baggies for lunch foods and can be washed in the dishwasher.  I’m ordering some for myself – the ones on clearance are pretty girly so I can’t see hubby using them, but I know I certainly will!

The whole point is that music is so important to all of us, whether we play an instrument, sing, or just appreciate listening to the intricacies of a lovely concerto.  Teaching our children, having them learn the discipline required when playing or singing, is incredibly important on so many levels.  I can honestly say that starting piano lessons when I was 9 years old and playing through high school taught me many invaluable skills, even above and beyond reading music or playing what is on the page.  The spirit of determination, competitiveness in the positive environment at the district and regional levels, dexterity of the fingers, and definitely an appreciation for the talent of musical artists.  This is something all children need a taste of, even if they don’t go beyond the classroom to the competitive or public arena.

National Frozen Food Month – How many of us have a freezer stocked with frozen goodies?  From veggies and fruit, meat and sweet treats, everything we eat can be purchased frozen so we have it at our fingertips when we want it, without the worry of it going bad if its not used immediately after we buy it – of course that is provided there isn’t an extended power outage – but that’s another blog.
You may not know this but frozen food has a history dating back as far 1000 BC, when the Chinese used ice cellars to freeze foods for the winter months.  In more recent times, the line of frozen foods was introduced in the United States in 1930 by Clarence Birdseye.  Today, as more people use microwaves, frozen foods are relied on heavily for many meals.  Frozen foods allow us to take advantage of foods that are packed at the peak of seasonal  perfection because of several processes used in the processing plants.  We can also do that at home – we can stock up on fresh seasonal foods while they are on sale, or harvest them from our own gardens, cook meals in bulk, then using a vacuum sealer, we can remove air and moisture that will spoil our foods with freezer burn, and keep them in our freezers 5 times longer than we wold otherwise.  What a wonderful thing frozen food is! Saves us time and money, and gives us peace of mind that we always have something delicious to eat at our fingertips.   Definitely something to celebrate!

Iditarod Week – This is actually MORE than a week.  The Iditarod goes from March 3 through March 19! 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.

One of the excursions available to us when we went on our Alaska cruise was to be taken by helicopter to a snowy area and taken on a dog sled ride.  We didn’t go on it, but it was an intriguing thought.  There are also dog sled rides available in the winter time in Leavenworth, WA for those who don’t wish to go all the way to Alaska to experience one.  I know that perhaps this winter I’d like to do that.  We went to Leavenworth a couple winters ago, but there wasn’t much snow that year and didn’t seem fair to the dogs to try to make them drag us over rocks and gravel.

Well, this is a beautiful pre-spring Sunday and where I’m sitting the sun is shining, the sky is blue and my goodness the yard needs to be worked on in a big way.  Looks like I know what I’m doing with MY day, but I want you all to know that I WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY!  Be grateful our pets don’t have opposable thumbs, take a listen to our National Anthem and have some appreciation for music and frozen food!  That’s a lot to take in for one day!  God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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