International Homeless Animal Day . . . And What IS The Meaning of “Is”?

Aug 17th

Good Morning and Happy Saturday.  Looks like we are going to have a very pleasant warm, but not hot, summer day here.  Very nice.  I hope all of you are having just as nice a day as we are here.  As usual on Saturday’s, I’m running behind.  I like to just slow down the pace and relax a bit on Saturday mornings.  No alarm clocks to jar me awake, no rush or bustle to be anywhere by any specific time.  Nice! Very nice!

National Thrift Shop Day – “Thrift Shops” is a old term used for stores that sell deeply discounted merchandise.  It isn’t always the highest quality, but the price is always right.  Today they are usually called Dollar Stores.  That’s the definition I found today for this term, but honestly that’s not what I think of when I think of a Thrift Store.  I think of a 2nd hand store, either an independent or stores like Good Will, Value Village, St. Vincent de Paul, etc.  I’d never spent much time in such stores – unless we were looking for a cheap Halloween costume – as a child, but my ex-mother-in-law was the “junk store” queen.  She decorated in all things junk, purchased gifts for birthdays and Christmas from these places, and after we’d suffered the loss of everything we owned in a fire, she put her energies to replacing it all with . . . you guessed it . . . junk from these stores.  It took YEARS to purge myself of a nasty, baby poo green chair that she found for a couple of bucks.  Hideous, hideous, hideous.  Sadly enough though it was comfortable, and rather than just cover it with something, it sat in all of its ugliness in our living room for many years.  She’d go from store to store bringing home a variety of stuff that most people would just toss out in the garbage, and of course she was ALWAYS trying to unload a lot of it on me.  Seriously, I didn’t need a hand mixer without beaters.  WHY? WHY would you buy a hand mixer without beaters, and that was so old you couldn’t find beaters for it anywhere?  Made no sense.  When she passed away there were more than 20 different old coffee makers in her basement.  JUST IN CASE someone needed one.  If you love a good bargain, you can find real treasure in these sorts of shops, both the modern version and the junk version, but pick wisely and don’t just gather stuff for the sake of gathering it.  Someone, someday is going to have to clean out your house after you’ve moved on from this life, and to be honest, they don’t want to have to dispose of a bunch of stuff that is better suited to the dump. 

International Geocaching Day – OK, now this one sounds like fun.  If you’re like me, you may have had to ask “What IS Geocaching?” when you read this title.  Well, let me tell you . . . The GPS (global positioning system) has not only dumbed down an entire world to the intricacies of reading maps (I love maps, so I’ll never completely let them go), it has created new opportunities for outdoor entertainment!  One such activity is geocaching, and it’s popular worldwide.  But that doesn’t answer the question of what it is.  It’s rather like a scavenger or treasure hunt, using GPS systems.  People who participate are actually playing an enhanced version of “hide and seek”, where some people hide “caches” or hidden containers with something inside, and others try to find them.  The caches are sturdy containers that usually contain a small logbook, along with the date and time that they were placed there, and for the finder to leave their name to say when they found it.  The cache is then returned to its hiding spot.  Some are small and hard to find – like maybe a 35 mm film canister, while others are quite large.  The larger ones often have toys or trinkets inside, traded out for new ones for the next person to find.  The caches are usually logged on a variety of websites where geocachers can post the approximate GPS coordinates for the caches they leave, or find coordinates of other people’s caches.  Though the GPS coordinates are enough to get close to the location of a cache, they don’t show the exact location, and that’s where the seeking comes in.  Exposing the hidden location of a cache is considered to be quite rude, because it ruins the fun of other seekers.  The sport is so popular because of the challenge, so taking that away just messes it up.  Caches can be located in any part of the world, but places like parks are very popular.  If something is going to be hidden in a high traffic area, then extra evasive hiding tactics must be used.  Some popular locations for high traffic areas would be theme parks, stores or shopping malls, colleges , etc.  And though the contents of a cache are generally cheap little trinkets, it’s the finding of the treasure, not the treasure itself, that is the goal. 

International Homeless Animals Day –  I love my pets.  I take my responsibilities as a pet owner very seriously, for these furry little critters are part of our family.  I make sure they get regular vet care, I cuddle and love them, take care of their needs and they repay me with unwavering love, devotion, loyalty and sweetness.  So days like this really bum me out – that they are even necessary at all.  You see, every single day animals are abandoned or placed into kennels, dependent on charities and the goodwill of other people for their very lives.  These organizations are strained beyond their ability to cope, and they are desperate to raise awareness to the plight of homeless and abandoned animals.  Homeless Animals Day aims to educate people about pet abandonment, feral animals and the benefits of spaying and neutering your pets.  Many people think that it would be fun to have a dog, cat, bunny, etc. but when the reality of it hits – the daily feeding, cleaning up, vet care, needing a babysitter when they need to leave town, etc.  – they decide it is too much trouble and just drop it off at a shelter.  Or they decide to move for whatever reason, the pet is no longer convenient, and they just get rid of it.  This animal is NOT garbage.  It has feelings, emotions, fears, sadness, etc.  When it comes to depend on, and love, its human, then is suddenly just dropped off in a scary place, or worse left to die on its own, it is so confused and scared!  This pet will watch for its human for a very long time and it will always be sad. Dogs especially show these emotions – cats may feel them but they hide it better.  Don’t do it.  If you get a pet, make sure its part of your family.  You wouldn’t just take your child to a shelter because moving into a smaller house would just make things too crowded.  If you need to move, make arrangements to take your pet with you!  If you can’t promise to love and nurture this loving creature for the duration of its lifetime, just don’t do it in the first place.  Obviously emergencies happen.  People get sick, they die, etc.  Make arrangements for such an occurrence, just like you would for a child.  And for goodness sake – GET THEM FIXED!  Stupid, irresponsible people are the reason there are so many homeless animals today.

Meaning of “Is” Day – Have you ever given any thought to what the meaning of the word “is” is?  I know I hadn’t.  So, what is the meaning?  See, the question cannot even be asked without using it!.  It’s a difficult word to define, even for a word that is so small  Basically it is the third person singular form of the word “be”, which is ALSO difficult to define without going into a bunch of mumbo jumbo.  Perhaps spend today trying to define the usage of IS in our words, without using the word be.  It’s actually quite a challenge. 


This Day In History

1961 – Construction is started on the Berlin Wall.

Food Celebration of the Day

National Vanilla Custard Day – If you’ve caught notes of vanilla coming from the hearth, you’re not imagining things! Vanillin, the chemical that contributes to the flavor of vanilla, forms when wood burns.  I did not know that!

Well there you have it!  It’s a broad variety of celebrations, each very unique.  How fun!  However you spend your day, celebrate something fun and maybe even a little silly.  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!


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