After a whirlwind day off yesterday, I am ready to go back to work! My house is straightened up, the laundry caught up and put away, the lawn is mowed, the garden spot nearly ready for lettuce, peas, green beans and tomatoes . . . it was productive to say the least! It is already Thursday and we are on the edge of kissing Friday hello. Can’t beat that, can we? Many of the celebrations today are very serious ones, but I will smile at the thought of gorgeous purple stems of Iris, wiggling my toes without socks and contemplating the thought of a sweet, creamy slice of coconut cream pie. Read on and find out the details on these and more!
Iris Day – I love flowers . . .I can’t grow them, but I love them. Whenever I see a garden full of beautiful purple Iris (isn’t this one of those words that the plural is the same as the singular? I keep writing it both ways and it doesn’t look right) I feel happy. My mother-in-law is an amazing artist and I feel blessed to have a few of her paintings throughout the house, and of those a couple have are of Iris! I feel good every time I look at them. “They” – (the notorious they) say that is easy to grow these . . . I’ll have to trust “their” judgment since quite honestly the only thing I grow with any degree of success is a yard full of dandelions. Anyway, for a many people, these are apparently easy to grow. It might also be of interest to know that the Iris has spiritual importance in Japan. They believe it wards off evil spirits. When I was looking up information on this day I read that on Iris Day in Japan, people put Iris leaves in their baths because they believe that it prevents illness. They also drink juice from the plant in their sake to ensure longevity. Does it work? Well, I don’t know but I suppose you could try it and let us all know.
National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day – Every time we turn on the news these days we see some sort of horrible disaster or another hitting people around the world. They seem to be increasing in frequency and severity everywhere. The obvious thing to do would be getting prepared with a disaster preparedness plan – you know the sort of things I’m talking about. Making sure there is plenty of food, water, first aid supplies and other items we will need if something happens and we are unable to get to the store. While you’re gathering your survival items, did you stop to think about your pets? Today is meant to raise awareness about how important it is to plan for your pets’ safety before disaster strikes. Have an emergency and evacuation plan set up for the pet members of your family as well as the people members. It is also important to have a few things gathered for emergencies too. Here are a few ideas:
1. dry pet food, greenies for clean teeth and treats
2. first aid items such as wound spray, healing salve, blood stop and pain relieving lotion
3. spray bandage, vet bond, betadine, medical tape
4. stretchy flexible bandages in various sizes, elastic adhesive bandage,
And finally – find a pet first aid class to attend. We had one in one of the pet stores here and it was quite wonderful! I learned a lot and came home with a pretty thick first aid book for when emergencies came up.
No Socks Day – Today is a day to take off your socks and let your toes breathe! We stuff them into warm socks each day, then into hot shoes. They get all stuffy and sweaty and I’m sure if toes could talk they’d tell you they just wish for a little fresh air! If you decide to participate in this one by wearing open toe shoes too work, you may want to take a few minutes and paint your nails. Pretty toes are happy toes, and trust me, nobody wants to see gnarly old feet.
Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) – What a wonderful day! Today we commemorate the end of fighting in Europe during World War II. After years of war, the Third Reich of Nazi Germany was defeated, millions of people were horrifically murdered during its rule. Adolf Hitler, Germany’s Dictator, had committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin, after which the German Army ceased fighting on May 2nd. They formally surrendered unconditionally on May 7th. The surrender of all German forces was arranged for May 8 at 11:01. The Allied countries planned to celebrate victory, and the cessation of hostilities. Can you imagine the joy of that moment, knowing that the horror was finally over? Interesting fact: The original planned date for the celebration of V-E Day was May 9th, 1945. However journalists caught wind of the plans, so the U.S. and Britain moved the date up by a day to May 8th. Russia kept to the original planned date for May 9th so they still celebrate V-E Day on May 9th. Just like the journalists to jump in too soon.
World Ovarian Cancer Day – The numbers I’m about to quote are staggering. Each year nearly a quarter of a million women are diagnosed with Ovarian cancer, and it is responsible for 140,000 deaths each year. The current statistics show that just 45% of women with ovarian cancer are likely to survive for five years, compared to up to 89% of women with breast cancer. Of all the cancers that afflict women, ovarian has the lowest survival rate. Why is this? The symptoms are often misdiagnosed because they are confused with symptoms of other less severe illnesses, gastrointestinal complaints in particular. Most patients are only identified as having this form of cancer when it’s has reached the advanced stages, but by that point the disease is difficult to treat. There isn’t a routine, simple test to accurately detect ovarian cancer. Most cases of ovarian cancer occur in women over 55, once women have gone through menopause, though it can appear in younger women. There is a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer if a woman has two or more relatives who have had ovarian, breast, colon or uterine cancer. Women who have never had children, have never taken birth control pills, who started their periods at an early age, or who started menopause later than average, have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Also, women who have had endometriosis may be more likely to develop it. The following symptoms shouldn’t be ignored. They don’t necessarily mean you have it, but it would be wise not to ignore them. These include: increased abdominal size/persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes), difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, abdominal or pelvic pain, and needing to pass urine more urgently or more frequently.
World Red Cross Day – The Red Cross was begun with the intention of helping people by providing assistance and relief in times of disease, famine, disaster or war. I struggle with this one, since it has come down to a money raising endeavor with very little to show for their efforts. Case in point is Hurricane Sandy. I know people who live in that area who desperately needed help, but were given nothing substantial for all the efforts and publicity. The Red Cross was there, but necessary help wasn’t. I’m not saying that it’s a bad organization, I know they were always present locally when my son was on Search and Rescue missions, to provide coffee, hot soup, water and other necessary items – especially when the search was getting long and the weather was harsh. But on a national level I struggle with their ability to help on a large scale, by comparison with how much much money they bring in. I am truly sorry if this offends anyone, it’s just my view from my personal observation. I will refrain from donating to this organization, choosing instead to give at the local level to rescue and assistance organizations. In the interest of fairness, the Red Cross is putting its focus on their celebration today on programs that keep kids healthy and safe around the globe. The people who volunteer for the Red Cross do so with open hearts, giving of their time and efforts as they are needed. I can’t fault them for that. Any time someone volunteers their time for a good cause it is a reason to celebrate.
This Day In History –
1794 – The U.S. Post Office is established.
1945 – V-E Day, Germany signs unconditional surrender. 1952 – Mad Magazine hits the newsstands.1980 – The World Health Organization announces that Smallpox has been eradicated worldwide.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Coconut Cream Pie Day – They may have resembled coconut cream, but the in-your-face pies in comedies were typically shaving cream. No one who made a pie this delicious would throw it!
Bakery-Style Coconut Cream Pie
Banana Coconut Cream Pie
Pineapple Coconut Cream Pie With Coconut Cookie Crust
Coconut Cream Pie With Chocolate Coconut Crust
Double-Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Angel Pie
Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie
I know I won’t have time to make a pie for tonight’s dessert, but doesn’t a coconut cream pie sound lovely? I may have to stop by the store and pick one up on the way home. Sounds delicious and a wonderful way to end a good day. God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!