It Is a Gorgeous Saturday and Full of Celebrations – Something For Everyone Today!

May 4th

This day could be the most perfect weather day we’ve had in the Pacific Northwest in quite some time.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue and there’s a lovely breeze blowing through the trees.  The vibrancy of the green of the leaves and grass are breathtaking.  This picture is of the Point No Point Lighthouse down the road from my house a few miles.  What a gorgeous day to be at the beach.  Also, this morning we’ve had two new species of birds appear in our yard!  It is amazing how many come out of the trees and to the house when there are feeders out.  I always knew there were a lot of different birds from the singing going on, but we’ve been logging which ones show up and there are a lot!  Which really falls nicely into our first celebration . . .

Bird Day is always May 4th.  Because birding is so popular, there are three different bird days each year, PLUS birdING days!  National Bird Day is January 5th, and International Migratory Bird Day is observed on the 2nd Saturday in May.  Why are there so many?  Well, because people love birds!  Bird watching is a favorite pastime of millions of people.  As a matter of fact, it is the most popular of hobbies.  I’m sure a big reason for this is that it can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter their age.  With the popularity of bird watching, it really isn’t surprising that there are this many days to celebrate it after all!  To take some of the confusion out of the number of different bird days, here’s a little explanation.  Bird Day is the oldest of the days set aside to recognize birds.  According to the U.S. Library of Congress, Bird Day was first observed on May 4th, 1894.  By 1910, Bird Day was widely celebrated, often in conjunction with Arbor Day.  Both events focus on conservation training and awareness.  National Bird Day was started by bird activists.  It asks people to recognize the plight of captive birds, and draws attention to exploitation of birds in the U.S. pet industry.    International Migratory Bird Day celebrates the amazing journey that migratory birds take each year.  They travel 1000’s of miles between breeding grounds in North American, and their winter homes in Central and South America.  Organizers say that this is a day to support and increase awareness of conservation efforts in support of migratory birds. No matter when, where, or how you decide to observe birds, please do so with respect for nature, respect for the birds natural habitat.  It’s a fascinating hobby, so enjoy!  *** This morning we had a Mourning Dove hanging out on the deck for the first time! This isn’t a picture hubby took, though he did get some awesome shots – but it takes so long to load up our pictures that I grabbed one from offline instead.  This is just what it looked like though! ***

National Candied Orange Peel Day is dedicated to…wait for it…. candied orange peels!  I know that as a chef or a baker candied orange peels may be very important to you, but for the rest of the population it may mean absolutely nothing.  So, how about a little info about what IS candied orange peel?  And is it edible?  Yes, it’s edible.  You have likely enjoyed candied orange peels in seasonal baked goods without even being aware of it all of your life.   Candied orange peels are a boiled, sliced, sugar added treat.  They can be eaten by themselves, but are most often used in holiday cookies, snacks and fruitcake.   I do a LOT of baking, but I can honestly say I’ve never had a reason to use these.  I am curious enough to find a recipe that requires them this upcoming Christmas season and give them a try!  My biggest curiosity is WHY someone loved them so much that they put a celebration dedicated to them in May, rather than closer to the time when they would most often be used.  Hmmmmmm. . . .

Renewal Day – This one is a wonderful one, and each and every one of us has a reason, no matter what that reason is, to celebrate it.  Whoever the person is who set this one up, they need a round of applause.  This is a day of new, and old, beginnings.  Things get old, they get out of sorts, and we lost touch.  Sometimes we lose touch with friends, loved ones, relationships, goals, enthusiasm, or whatever it is that we have just let go by the wayside.  For some reason there are just some things we let go, when we probably shouldn’t.  Renewal means different things to different people.  When a couple first gets married they are sure that the excitement and enthusiasm for the marriage will always be there, but as in everything in life, we settle into a routine, some of the sparkle begins to dim and responsibilities and habits settle in.  Today would be a good day to renew your marriage – even married people should take some time alone, so maybe going on a weekly date – something special and out of the ordinary – could add some sparkle and something to look forward to, start interjecting romantic little overtures for each other.  Something as small as a love note in the lunch box can let your spouse know that they are special to you and remind them as they go about their day.  What about friendships?  How many of us have said goodbye to a friend after graduation, when a move has happened, when we’ve left a job and hugged our friends goodbye and promised to keep in touch . . . and don’t?  I’m horrible about that.  Life gets in the way, and I’ve always had a bit of a seasonal feeling about most friendships – not all, but most.  This is always set in my mind as true when they don’t contact me either.  Everyone intends to keep in touch, but life, in all of its busy-ness, gets in the way, time goes by, and we just lose contact.  Thank goodness for Facebook, right?  How many of us have renewed friendships through social networking?  I know I have, so that at least is a good thing. Maybe one thing to do today would be to think of someone you miss from your past, and try to look them up.  Never know, they may have been looking for you too.    You don’t have to go to great lengths to celebrate renewal day though.  Your marriage or relationship could be truly exciting and new all of the time, you may be in contact with every friend you’ve ever had, so focus on something maybe not so big . . . renew your nail polish, your hair style, the arrangement of your furniture . . . there’s always something you can update in your life for this one.  So Happy Renewal Day! 

May the Fourth Be With You . . . Happy Star Wars Day!  – A play on words is how this celebration got its start, with the creation of it being a complete fluke.  In 2005 a German News TV channel N24 interview erroneously translated this famous Star Wars quote.  In German “May the force be with you” was incorrectly interpreted as “We are with you on May 4th”.  We do believe that if this error had not occurred, someone, somewhere would have created this day. 

  • Watch any of the great Star Wars movies
  • Better still, have a Star Wars marathon, and watch two or three (or 4) of them. (shoot me now – I don’t think I could deal with that many in a row)
  • Get out your laser sword and practice for the next invasion from the Evil Empire.
  • Send a Star Wars day Ecard- of course they have them!
  • Have a Star Wars costume party. (Um, no)
  • Learn some Star Wars Trivia, there’s no shortage.

This may not be popular with some folks – and that’s OK – we all have different taste in movies.  If I had to choose a space type series of movies, I’d pick Star Trek over Star Wars any day of the week.  Quote honestly the Star Wars movies bore me to tears, and some parts actually annoy me.  I know, probably an unpopular opinion.  I have always loved R2D2 and those fluffy little guys in the forest though.  You can find something good in anything!

 


Bladder Cancer Awareness Day – I find it very sad to have to say that until I met my next door neighbor, who suffers from bladder cancer, that I had never even heard of it.  It isn’t a cancer you hear about in the news, or one of the highly publicized forms of cancer that has a major walk set every year.  Yet each year it is estimated that more than 73,000 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed and nearly 15,000 people will die from the disease.  It is the 6th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States – 4th among men after prostate, lung and colon, and 11th among women.  There are over 520,000 bladder cancer survivors in the United States.  Today, all over the country, there are walks and events set up to bring attention and awareness to this horrible disease.  If you have some time to spare, and you see that there is a walk set up in your area today, perhaps you may want to wander on over to see if there’s anything you can do to participate. 

Free Comic Book Day – I have never heard of this, but how cool?  For comic book collectors everywhere I have to only assume that this day is like a holiday!  Today is an annual promotional effort by the North American comic book industry to bring new readers into independent comic book stores.  It began in August 2001 as an event brainstormed by the owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord, CA, and came to fruition in 2002.  It is coordinated by the industry’s largest distributor, Diamond Comic Distributors.  Free Comic Book Day is always scheduled on the 1st Saturday in May, and often is tied to the release of a major film release of superhero comic characters.  This lets them take advantage of the heavy promotion of the film, and related press about the comic book itself.  Today comic book stores that are participating give away specially printed copies of free comic books.  Some offer cheaper back issues, and other items to anyone who comes shopping in their store.  It is important to not that the stores do not get these comic books for free.  They pay 12-50 cents per copy for the comics they give away during the event.  Often they will also give away other promotional items, like min-posters for the superhero movies, key chains, Green Lantern promotional rings, etc.  So, while you are in these stores, be aware of this and maybe think about buying something that ISN’T a free promotion.  Promoting free enterprise is a support of the American way of life, and helping this store owner pay his bills, feed his family and make ends meet. ]

International Firefighters Day – Firefighters dedicate their lives to the protection of life and property.  Sometimes that dedication comes in the form of countless hours of volunteering – many small communities only have volunteer firefighters – and many selfless years working in the industry.  In ALL cases it risks the ultimate sacrifice of a firefighter’s life.  International Firefighters Day (IFFD) is a time where the world can recognise and honor the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible.  It is also a day to thank them for their contributions!  This is a day to remember the past firefighters who have died while serving our community or dedicated their lives to protecting the safety of us all. At the same time, we can show our support and appreciation to the firefighters world wide who continue to protect us so well throughout the year. By proudly wearing and displaying blue and red ribbons pinned together or by participating in a memorial or recognition event, we can show our gratitude to firefighters everywhere. The IFFD ribbons are linked to colours symbolic of the main elements firefighters work with – red for fire and blue for water. These colours also are internationally recognised as representing emergency service.  This day actually couldn’t be more timely, considering the horrible fires that are being fought by the brave men and women in the California fires right now.  Please keep them – and all emergency responders – in your prayers daily.

 


International Respect for Chickens Day – OK, this one is yet another bleeding heart, don’t eat meat, rage against eating chicken.  While I do believe that the chicken farms where the poor birds are stuffed into small cages, stacked on top of one another for their whole lives is cruel and horrible, I don’t believe that crying out against chicken as a food source is the answer either.  My personal feelings are, when possible for your budget and according to availability, buy free range organic chicken and cage free vegetarian, organic eggs.  I am very fortunate to live in a place where there is a wonderful market that often has awesome buy one/get one free sales on free range whole chickens, and sometimes just packages of chicken breasts.  It truly makes it more affordable, and is a great time to fill the freezer.  Costco now has 24 packs of cage free, organic brown eggs for not much also.  If you have the ability to have your own chickens for food or eggs, that’s great! Treat them with respect, and they will give your family the gift of wonderful, healthy food.  No animal should be treated badly, no matter what, and that includes chickens.  God gave us animals for food, not to abuse or exploit.  Healthy, happy, free range, organically fed animals will give you healthier food.  Though the intent of this day was for the anti-meat agenda to be pushed, the true meaning should be to respect and appreciate the resources God gave us, and treat them accordingly.
Join Hands Day – This is another one I’ve never heard of, but what a wonderful event!  All this week service organizations across the county will celebrate this event that brings people from all walks of life together to make a difference in their communities.  It is the brainchild of a group called the American Fraternal Alliance, which represents fraternal orders like the Modern Woodmen of America. In some communities free meals are organized for a local mission, where volunteers prepare and serve a meal.  In others, people get together and go help shut-ins with work in their yards, on their roofs, cleaning homes, etc.  This is a wonderful opportunity to bring people of different ages together, to work side-by-side, interact and learn from each other.  It leaves a lasting mark on all the participants. What a rewarding and wonderful day!
 

National Scrapbooking Day – I’m not an overly crafty person.  I am challenged in most things that are considered crafty, unless it has to do with baking.  Truly though, if I had the time to dedicate to it, I think that scrapbooking would be a fun thing to do.  My Mom has all of these wonderful papers, stickers, and other various scrapbooking items that just boggle my mind.  When did this day get its start?  In 1994 Creative Memories began National Scrapbooking day as away to promote this hobby in the United States.  Since that day scrapbookers around the country have been celebrating their hobby – sometimes their addiction – by attending events with other scrapbookers. 
 


World Naked Gardening Day –  hahahaha Yesterday I saw a friend’s post about Naked Gardening Day and thought it was a joke, but apparently not!  Today is the 10th annual World Naked Gardening Day!  All over the world, especially in Europe, advocates of the bare naked lifestyle will be stripping off their clothes and heading out into the garden to hoe the beds, plow the fields and trim the shrubs.  The organizers of this celebration are quote as saying “All that’s involved is getting naked and making the world’s gardens- whatever their size, public or private – healthier and more attractive.”  For all of our forward speaking, Americans have an international reputation for being prudes.  Are we too shy to try naked gardening?  Some places aren’t – there are cities around our country – I know for sure of Portland, OR and Seattle, WA who host naked bike rides (Ouch!), but most of us do have a bit of shyness in us, and don’t want to appear in public naked.  Another question would be, is it legal?  According to a police Sergent in Portland there is a city code about indecent exposure which states: 
 “It is unlawful for any person to expose his or her genitalia while in a public place or place visible from a public place, if the public place is open or available to persons of the opposite sex.”  He adds that if someone calls about a naked neighbor pulling weeds in their own yard, the police probably wouldn’t get too worked up about it. Not that you couldn’t get arrested under City code, he adds. But, he admits, “…we don’t deal with it very much. Most indecent exposure arrests happen when people are urinating in public.”  I personally don’t wish to see my neighbors – any of them – out working naked in their yards.  There’s just something disturbing about the thought of someone weeding in their nothings!  I’ll opt for regular gardening clothes, but for those of you with a HUGE sense of adventure and not a bit of shy in you – go for it.  Just don’t send pictures please.  I truly don’t wish to share in your celebration for this one.  ***There are just some images I can’t share . . . and the ones I found for this holiday were disturbing to say the least! ***



 

 

Food Celebration of the Day –

 

National Orange Juice Day – The idea of drinking OJ in the morning stems from the 1920s when California and Florida fruit growers started touting the health benefits of vitamin C, a newly discovered vitamin, in their promotional campaigns.  I admit I usually buy my orange juice in jugs from the refrigerator section at the store.  The brand Simply Orange is delicious and often on sale.  However, when we went on our Alaska cruise a few years ago I was absolutely LOVING the fresh squeezed orange juice every morning at breakfast.  Absolutely DELICIOUS!  Here are some recipes from www.food.com to help you enjoy the day.

Now that we have a breakdown of all of the fun, important, silly and somewhat obscure celebrations that happen on this day, it is time to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather. . . right after breakfast.  Wish I had some orange juice!  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!

 




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