Kids and Pets, Saving Horses, Birds and Soft Pretzels! Come Celebrate Saturday With Me!

Apr 26th

Good Morning (I hope it won’t be afternoon by the time I get this finished!) and what a wonderful Saturday it is.  The weather folks say that it is supposed to rain all day, but I’m seeing blue sky, sunshine and bright green leaves on the trees outside.  Here’s to hoping it stays nice!  There are some outdoor things that I’d love to do today, which I’ll talk about further down in the celebrations.  Today was a tough day to write about!  There were nearly 2 dozen different things that I had to pick and choose from to write about . . . there just isn’t time in the day to do them all!  First I took out the world celebrations,  focusing on the ones here in the USA.  Then I took out the ones that had conflicting dates, and these are what we are left with.  Some good ones to celebrate and have some fun sharing with family and/or friends!

Holy Humor Month – Joke of the Day

Day After Christmas – The pastor was looking over the crèche the day after Christmas when he noticed that the baby Jesus was missing. He went outside and saw a little boy pulling a new red wagon. In the wagon was Jesus.  We walked up to the boy and said, “Hi, there. Where did you get the baby Jesus?”   The boy answered honestly, “In the church.”   “Why did you take him?” the pastor asked.   “Well,” said the boy, “I prayed to the Lord Jesus and asked him for a wagon for Christmas. I told Him that if He gave me one, I’d take Him for a ride in it.”

Richter Scale Day – Today is the celebration of the birth of the inventor of the Richter Scale – a rather significant invention indeed!  Charles F. Richter was born this day in 1900 and lived until 1985.  He invented the Richter Scale in 1935.  Basically the Richter Scale measures the amount of energy released by an earthquake by measuring the magnitude of seismic waves that are produced.  It measures from 0 to 9 in strength.  On the scale, each increase in number represents an earthquake that is 10 times more powerful.  So at 4.5 an earthquake can damage buildings and structures, but at a 7, severe and catastrophic damage an happen.  Let’s look at a list of what different quakes and their strengths have done in the past:           

August 24, 70: Mount Vesuvius, Italy erupts, burying Pompeii and Herculaneum. Thousands killed. 
January 23, 1556: Shaanxi province, China. Deadliest earthquake in history kills 830,000 people. 
April 18, 1906: The famous San Francisco earthquake and fire. 7.8 on the Richter scale. December 16, 1920: Gansu province, 200,000 killed. 8.6 on the Richter scale. 
September 1, 1923: Tokyo and Yokahoma, Japan. 8.3 magnitude earthquake destroys 1/3 of Tokyo and most of Yokohama. Over 140,000 killed. 
May 22, 1927: Xining, China: 8.3 magnitude earthquake, approximately 200,000 killed. 
May 22, 1960: Strongest earthquake ever recorded, at 9.5 magnitude, occurs off the coast of Chile. 
In 1964, Alaskan earthquake measured 8.4. 
Feb. 9, 1971 – Sylmar Earthquake measured 6.6 on the Richter scale 
Jan 17, 1994 – Northridge Earthquake 6.7December 26, 2004: An earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia creates the deadliest Tsunami in history. The waves reach numerous Asian and African countries. More than 225,000 killed, millions homeless. 
October 2, 2005: Kashmir, Pakistan, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake kills more than 80,000 people.

Amazing and scary! 

Audubon Day – John James Audubon was America’s foremost ornithological (bird) illustrator.  He lived from 1785 – 1851, and spent time studying drawing in Paris, under the French painter Jacques Louis David.  Audubon struggled for many years, trying to make a living from his art, going back and forth between Europe and the United States, making a little extra money giving drawing lessons, painting portraits, playing the flute or violin at local dances and even running a general store at one time.  In 1820 he began a flatboat excursion down the Mississippi River, seeking out new varieties of birds to paint.  Over time he had enough bird portraits to publish them in book form.  “Birds of America”, which was produced with the help of engraver Robert Havell, Jr., has 435 hand colored plated and was published in “elephant folio” format to accommodate the life-sized drawings of birds, which was something on which Audubon insisted.  After Audubon died in 1851, his wife Lucy began to teach to support herself.  One of her students, George Bird Grinnell (I find it ironic that his name included the word bird – but that’s probably just me), became the editor of Forest and Stream magazine and in 1886 he organized the Audubon Society for the study and protection of birds.  Today there are many branches of it, and is known as the National Audubon Society, which is dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and natural resources.  Its members celebrate and honor Audubon on his birthday – which is today, planting trees in bird sanctuaries.


National Go Birding Day – It seems very appropriate to me today to have National Go Birding Day on John James Audubon’s birthday.  Though I can’t find any documented information directly connecting the two, it does seem to be a little bit of a coincidence, doesn’t it?  So, what IS birding?  Non-birders often ask that, and the simple answer is, watching birds!  Getting outside and enjoying nature and appreciating the lovely birds you see in the wild.  it’s almost like a treasure hunt.  Everywhere you look, keeping your eyes open and appreciating the beauty and delicate balance of nature.  As you get into the sport more you will likely find yourself getting accessories to go with you on your walks outside . . . binoculars, cameras, books on birds, plants and wildlife – anything to help you enjoy the great outdoors.  Birding is something that motivates people, once they get into it, into exploring the open spaces that people work very hard to preserve, but it also will open your eyes to all of the different birds that you have in your very own back yard.  I know I have mentioned this before, but we have identified nearly 30 different species of birds at our own feeders in the last couple of years, and my husband has taken many beautiful photos of them. This is a hobby that anyone, of any age, and any physical ability can enjoy, merely by looking out your window, or taking a walk down your street.  I think our plan, if the weather holds, is to explore a new trail we found – we hear it is called “Secret Beach” and that there are many lovely birds to see on the mile long trail.  How fun!

 

Bob Wills Day –  I admit I hadn’t heard of this guy before, but as I began reading, I was fascinated.  I love hearing about new people and places and in this case, I found a little town called Turkey, Texas that I think would be a lot of fun to visit!  Today they celebrate the 42nd annual Bob Wills Day – which I believe started either last night or Thursday through tomorrow, and will be enjoyed with music, food and dancing.  Can’t go wrong with that as a combination for fun, can you?  So who is this Bob Wills that they are celebrating with such enthusiasm?  He was an American western swing musician, songwriter and bandleader.  Born on March 6, 1905, in Texas, Bob Wills and the band he formed in 1934, the Texas Playboys, performed on the radio, which made them stars in the Southwest.  They were the pioneers of the  “western swing” genre of music, blending traditional hoedown fiddling with big-band swing and blues.  His best known songs include ‘San Antonio Rose’ and ‘Panhandle Rag’.  Sometime in the 1890’s, when the first settlers stepped onto the banks of Turkey Creek in the panhandle of Texas, they found flocks of Rio Grande turkeys roosting there, and the settlement of Turkey Roost was formed.   Life was good there – between farming the fertile soil and the abundant game.  The name was eventually shortened to Turkey Texas, when the post office was granted in 1893.  What the town is BEST known for is being the home of Bob Wills though, which is why they have this big celebration in his honor every year.  Wills was a barber in  Turkey in the 1920s.  Years later, after Wills became a big star, the Bob Wills Foundation purchased the former Turkey school buildings and in those buildings are now housed city offices, the library, a senior citizens room, and the Bob Wills Museum.  The Foundation built a Bob Wills monument and a Bob Wills Park.  This annual festival – Bob Wills Day Festival – brings in ten thousand people every year on the last Saturday in April.

National Help A Horse Day – Today is the first EVER National Help a Horse Day – and I hope that everyone will join in in some way.  The ASPCA wanted to take a day out of the year to bring special attention to the plight of horses in our country and today was chosen because in 1866 the founder of the ASPCA, Henry Bergh, stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, which resulted in the first successful arrest for the mistreatment of a horse on April 26th.  Horses were critical to the mission of founding the ASPCA and are just as important now.  If you click this link –  Top 10 Ways to Help Horses – you can see the ASPCA’s top ten ways to get into the spirit of the day to help horses.  Thousands of horses, donkeys, mules and other equines, find themselves homeless each year through not fault of their own.  Hundreds of rescues, many of them by all-volunteer groups, work long hours every day of the year to care for these at-risk animals. There are quite a few states that are hosting at least one National Help A Horse Day activity – and I am sad to say that my own state is NOT on that list.  Granted this is just the first year of this event, so I can hope that we’ll make that list next year.  Please, horses need us more than ever so whether you have horses of your own, or just love and admire these beautiful, majestic creatures, be sure to celebrate this day – not just today, but every day.

 

National Kids and Pets Day – Many of us have kids, and many of us have pets!  I know that it just wouldn’t have felt like I had a normal childhood if we hadn’t had pets in the house – so, thanks to my wonderful parents, we always had cats and dogs around.  As I got a little older they allowed me caged pets too, which at one point included more than 50 mice at one time (hey! They reproduce quickly!)  It was natural for me to let my kids have pets as they grew up too – so we had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, a chinchilla, rats, ponies (which were kept at the Grandparent’s house) and rats.  It was a natural part of teaching responsibility to the kids, and an extension of our family to have furbabies running around.  Well, THIS particular celebration is all about furthering the natural bond that is between kids and animals, and bring awareness to the plight of pets that are in shelters and rescue centers around the country.  It is about sharing our compassion for animals with our kids, and bringing them into our homes to love them and make our lives happier in the process.  One of the things that I find to be beautiful is that children with learning disabilities have greater academic success when they read to their pets.  Pets also help shy children open up and feel more confident.  The responsibility that a kid learns from caring for a pet is vital in their social development, and kids that grow up with pets tend to grow up being extremely nurturing and compassionate, making them move to dedicated and loving parent and pet owners themselves someday.  This all contributes to a happier world and who doesn’t want that?  There are millions of orphaned pets sitting in shelters waiting for their forever homes, so make sure your family is ready for a new pet, and if so, open your hearts and homes to one today. 

***I would like for you to take a look at this adorable picture – this is Benjamin and his new friend Teddy.  Teddy came home to his forever home with Benjamin just yesterday, and thanks to his mom’s permission I am able to share this joyful picture with you! How precious is this little duo?  I am so happy for them, and know that through Benjamin’s Mom’s Facebook posts, I’ll be able to share in the joy of watching these guys grow up together.  Thanks Melanie, not just for the picture, but for saving Teddy by giving him a new family and lots of love.



Save The Frogs Day – There has been a lot of focus on the disappearance of the bees from our environment, which puts the delicate balance at risk.  Frogs are struggling too, without as much focus – so this one is an effort to raise awareness to the plight of amphibians.  Today we celebrate the 6th Annual Save the Frogs Day, and encourage people from all walks of live to learn what they can about the disappearance of the frogs and make an effort to change the problems that are contributing to their disappearance.  I read through a lot of lists, and though I don’t understand what many of the things they are telling us we should do to save the frogs actually has to do with saving them . . . things like turning off the TV and radio when we aren’t in the room – though I suppose it is more to do with conserving energy than anything  – there are things that I feel directly connect and do need to stop.  The top big ones that leap (no pun intended) out at me are: STOP the pesticides! They are killing the bees AND the frogs and aren’t doing such amazing things for people while they are at it.  STOP littering!  This is a direct impact on our environment and all creatures in it.  And STOP GMO produce! It is shocking to me that so few people are showing concern about the damage being done by playing God with our food.  The demise of crucial creatures to our planet should have people screaming out against the very things that are killing them!  The bees and frogs today . . . us tomorrow?  Think about it!  Below is a list of frogs on the endangered list.  Staggering! Absolutely staggering!

Here is a list of over 109 species of endangered frogs in the world:

1.  Mississippi gopher frog
2.  Mountain yellow-legged frog
3.  Panamanian golden frog
4.  Lehmann’s poison frog
5.  Interior robber frog
6.  Mountain chicken frog
7.  Cowan’s Mantella frog also called the Harlequin Mantelle frog
8.  Corroboree frog
9.  Table mountain ghost frog also known as Rose’s ghost frog
10. Pines Barrens Tree Frog
11. Dusky Gopher Frog
12. Plains Leopard Frog
13. Chiricahau Leopard Frog
14. Relict Leopard Frog
15. Northern Leopard Frog
16. Ramsey Canyon Leopard Frog
17. Tarahumara Frog
18. Lowland Leopard Frog
19. Tailed Frog
20. Red-legged frog
21. Foothill yellow-legged frog
22. Cascade frog
23. Mountain yellow-legged frog
24. Spotted frog
25. Lowland Leopard frog
26 .Wood frog
27. Cope’s gray tree frog
28. Barking tree frog
29. Pines bareen tree frog
30. Florida gopher frog
31. Dusky gopher frog
32. Florida bog frog
33. Northern Leopard frog
34. Spotted frog
35. Illinois chorus frog
36. Crawfish frog
37. Strecher’s chorus frog
38. Northern crawfish frog
39. Green frog
40. Mountain chorus frog
41. Carpenter frog
42.Northern cricket frog
43. Pine barrens tree frog
44. Grey tree frog
45. Upland chorus frog
46. New Jersey chorus frog
47. Pickerel frog
48. Southern leopard frog
49. Lowland leopard frog
50. Carolina gopher frog
51. River frog
52. Sheep frog
53. White-lipped frog
54. Mexican burrowing frog
55. Mexican tree frog
56. Pacific tree frog
57. Relict leopard frog
58. Northern leopard frog
59. Western chorus frog
60. Israel painted frog
61. Panamanian golden frog
62. Tomato frog
63. Poison dart frogs
64. Poison arrow frogs
65. Asian bullfrogs
66. Indian bullfrogs
67. Platypus frogs
68. Hewitt’s ghost frog
69. Yellow spotted tree frog
70. Armored frog
71. Torrent tree frog
72. Pearson’s tree frog
73. Peppered tree frog
74. Southern bell frog
75. Common mist frog
76. Pickersgrill’s reed frog
77. Long-toed tree frog
78. Seychelle islands tree frog
79. Hamilton’s frog
80. Lake Junin frog
81. Somuncura frog
82. Cape rain frog
83. Desert rain frog
84. White-bellied frog
85. Yellow-bellied frog
86. Stuttering frog
87. Fleay’s frog
88. Southern barred frog
89. Baw-baw frog
90. Corroboree frog
91. Gastric brooding frog
92. Southern gastic brooding frog
93. Sharp-nosed torrent frog
94. Mt. Glorious torrent frog
95. Eungella torrent frog
96. Liem’s frog
97. Pleione’s torrent frog
98. Tinkling frog
99. Goliath frog
100.Micro frog
101.Fijian ground frog
102.Holst’s frog
103.Ishiikawa’s frog
104.Mountian yellow-legged frog
105.Namiye’s frog
106.Otton frog
107.Thomasset’s seychelles frog
108.Gardiner’s seychelles frog
109.Seychelles frogThis picture is of a little frog we saw on a day hike at Cape Disappointment, WA – I’d had to see him and his friends and family disappear from this earth.  Make a difference today – change some of the habits, guides others to change theirs, and each of us can work towards preserving nature in all its forms today.

 

Sense of Smell Day – How many of us actually take time to think about our sense of smell?  Well today is an annual event – National Sense of Smell Day – that is sponsored by the Sense of Smell Institute.  I didn’t know there was one of those, did you?  It happens every year on the last Saturday in April.  There are many different events organized at children’s museums and science centers all over the country with many activities for kids to do to help them learn about the sense of smell.  Some of these activities can include different smells from around the world, and remembering smells from your childhood.  The aim of the day is to raise awareness of how important this sense is, since we rarely think about how useful it is and how it can help us to survive.  Some people say that their sense of smell is the least important of the five senses, and since humans generally have a poor sense of smell when compared to other creatures, think about the different ways that smell is important – and I’m not just talking about how amazing it is to smell fresh bread baking, or the lovely aroma of fresh flowers or grass that is being rained on right after it has been mowed.  I’m talking about smells that could save us.  One day this last year I woke up to the unmistakable odor of gas in the house . . . we checked the propane fireplace, nothing.  I could smell it though and after hubby checked it out, it turned out that a rat had gotten in under the house and chewed a very small hole in the propane hose leading from the tank to the fireplace.  He turned it off at the tank, and made some changes so that it wouldn’t happen again . . . but fact is if I hadn’t been able to smell it, it could have been very bad for us.  The sense of smell is really quite important!  Did you know that dogs have noses that are up to one hundred million times more sensitive than ours?  No wonder they are always sniffing everything!  Most of us have a normal sense of smell, but some people have problems smelling.  There are people who suffer from anosmia, and cannot smell anything at all.  Other people have hyperosmia, making them very sensitive to smells.  An unusual and very disturbing disorder to have would be dysomia, which makes things smell differently than they really do – for example, maybe they’d smell chocolate as gasoline, roses as the sea.  How disturbing!  Here are some interesting facts I found out about our sense of smell:  It is developed fully right from our birth; female infants have a stronger sense of smell than males; we can recall an entire event or personal moment just by smelling a familiar smell – which is true! I can’t smell oatmeal raisin cookies from my Grandmother’s recipe without feeling special moments from my childhood well up in my mind; and every person has their own unique odor.
Food Celebration of the Day

National Soft Pretzel Day –  Yum! Pretzels!  I really love soft pretzels – doesn’t really matter if they are thick, thin, straight or twisted.  I prefer soft pretzels, hot out of the oven, dipped in mustard, but I’ll take the crunchy ones out of the bag too. Did you know that pretzels are believed to be the world’s oldest snack by some folks?  They date back to 610 AD, when the monks in Southern France would bake thin strips of dough into the shape of a child’s arms folded in prayer.  Add a bit of salt and they created pretzels!
Here are some delicious way to give them a try today:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Soft Pretzel 
Wow, that’s a LOT to celebrate today!  If you can, at least enjoy ONE of them, OK?  I think it’s time to get dressed and see if we can get outside to enjoy some of those birds before the sky opens up.  At this point I’m not sure we’re going to make it! God Bless You and I’ll see  you tomorrow!

 

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