Manatees, Crayons, Little Red Wagons, Bunsen Burners, Funny Women, the Eiffel Tower, Backing Up, and Taters

March 31, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin. 

Good morning fans of gigantic, fresh-water, herbivorous mammals. Today is Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Today is the 90th day of the year, and 275 days remain.

Manatee Appreciation Day

Manatee Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on the last Wednesday in March. You needn’t be a zoologist to deduce that this holiday is devoted to raising awareness about manatees.
Manatees are calm herbivores that spend most of their time eating, sleeping, and traveling. Manatees are mostly herbivorous, however, small fish and invertebrates can sometimes be ingested along with a manatee’s normal diet of vegetation. They eat a large variety of submerged, emergent, and floating plants and can consume 10-15% of their body weight in vegetation daily. They are a migratory species, inhabiting the Florida waters during the winter and moving as far north as Virginia and as far west as Texas in the warmer summer months. They are also found in parts of Mexico and the Caribbean.
These gentle giants have a lifespan of about 60 years, and the average adult manatee is about 10 feet long and weighs between 800 and 1,200 pounds. Their closest zoological relatives are the elephant and the hyrax (a small, gopher-sized mammal). They have no known natural predators…except for humans.
Because they are mammals, manatees must surface to breathe air. They may rest submerged at the bottom or just below the surface of the water, coming up to breathe on an average of every three to five minutes. When manatees are using a great deal of energy, they may surface to breathe as often as every 30 seconds. When resting, manatees have been known to stay submerged for up to 20 minutes. Manatees can swim up to 20 miles per hour in short bursts, but they usually cruise along at a more leisurely pace of about three to five miles per hour.
In the past, manatees were exploited for their meat, fat, and hides. Although some poaching of manatees still exists, they are most often fatally injured these days in collisions with boats and becoming entangled in commercial fishing nets. Add to the mix the fact that their habitat is constantly being encroached upon by development, especially in Florida, and you can see why they are on the Endangered Species list.
As far back as the early 18th century, when America was still part of the British Empire, the English declared Florida a manatee sanctuary and made manatee hunting illegal and in 1893, manatees first received protection under Florida law. In 1907, this law was revised to impose a fine of $500 and/or six months of jail time for molesting or killing a manatee. People have worked to protect this species ever since. And, their efforts have paid off. Through legislation, awareness programs, and other means, as of  January 7, 2016, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the West Indian manatee is proposed to be down-listed from ‘endangered‘ to ‘threatened‘ status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposal to downlist the manatee to threatened will not affect federal protections currently afforded by the ESA, and the Service remains committed to conservation actions to fully recover manatee populations.
Through conservation efforts, the minimum known population of manatees is estimated to be at least 13,000, with more than 6,300 in Florida. When aerial surveys began in 1991, there were only an estimated 1,267 manatees in Florida, meaning that over the last 25 years there’s been a significant increase in the species population in that state.
Authors Note:
I have a soft spot in my heart for these lovable creatures. Manatees might not make the list of cutest or cuddliest of mammals, but their immense size, jowly appearance, and gentle nature make them endearing. I lived in Florida from 1976 to 1979 and had the pleasure of actually interacting with a manatee in a water park…I actually got to pet one. Bucket list item gleefully checked off.

National Crayola Crayon Day

National Crayola Crayon Day is celebrated annually on March 31st. Even someone in Elementary School could infer that this holiday celebrates the date Crayola Crayons were first released to the public, on this date, in 1903.
A crayon is a stick of colored wax, made mostly of paraffin wax. The wax is heated and cooled to achieve the correct temperature in which a usable wax substance can be dyed. The word Crayola was derived from the French word “craie”, meaning “chalk,” and “ola” meaning “oleaginous”, or “oily”, so in essence, Crayola means waxy chalk. Crayola claims 99% name recognition and crayons are sold in over 80 countries worldwide.
The idea to combine a form of wax with pigment actually dates back thousands of years; Egyptians, Romans, Greeks all had methods of using colored wax for creating art. Contemporary crayons originated in Europe where the first cylinder-shaped crayons were made with charcoal and oil mixed with wax.
But I digress, Crayola Crayon Day refers to Crayola, a specific brand of crayon. Crayola is a brand of artists’ supplies manufactured by Crayola, LLC (formerly Binney & Smith Company) and best known for its crayons. The company is based in Forks Township Pennsylvania. Since 1984, Crayola has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. Originally an industrial pigment supply company, Crayola soon shifted its focus to art products for home and school use, beginning with chalk, then crayons followed later by colored pencils, markers, paints, modeling clay, and other related goods including Silly Putty. All Crayola-branded products are non-toxic and safe for use by children, and most Crayola crayons are manufactured in the United States.
Since their introduction in 1903, Crayolas have been manufactured in over 400 different shades of colors, but as new colors were added, others were discontinued. There are currently 170 different colors being manufactured. According to a study conducted by Crayola Crayons in 2000, “blue” was the most popular color, followed, oddly enough,  by “Cerulean” second and “Purple Heart” third.
Crayons come in a wide variety of multi-packs; from the 4-crayon packs targeted at establishments such as hotels and restaurants, to hand out to their young guests, to the 832-crayon “Classpack” bulk boxes marketed to schools.
Author’s note:
Remember how awesome it was to get a full box of 64 crayons…the one with the built-in sharpener? I was never artistic, by any sense of the imagination (It takes me three tries to draw a “happy face”). Nonetheless, I still enjoyed coloring in books…sometimes even in coloring books. Over the years, my skills have improved, somewhat. I hope soon to be able to stay within the lines of the picture and make appropriate color choices for what the picture in the coloring book depicts. 

National Little Red Wagon Day

National Little Red Wagon Day is celebrated annually on the last Wednesday in March. It was founded by Radio Flyer in honor of their 100th anniversary. To celebrate their 100th anniversary, Radio Flyer wanted to establish a holiday that not only celebrates kids’ imaginations but the vehicles that help them explore it – their little red wagons. The Registrar of the National Day Calendar declared National Little Red Wagon Day in 2016.
For over 100 years now, Radio Flyer has brought smiles to kids of all ages and creating warm memories that last a lifetime. As a brand, Radio Flyer has always supported unstructured outdoor play and its positive impact on children. This iconic toy is one of the most enduring toys of all time. As the weather gets warmer and spring officially begins, National Little Red Wagon Day to encourages kids to get outside, get active and go wherever their imaginations take them. For generations, children have led little red wagons down Independence Day parade routes, carried out infinite imaginary missions and voyages of childhood fantasy. It is not unusual for a little red wagon to be handed down from one generation to the next, treasured like a family heirloom.

Bunsen Burner Day 

Bunsen Burner Day is celebrated annually on March 31st. You don’t need to be a scientist to ascertain that this holiday celebrates the Bunsen burner – or more accurately, the date on which the inventor of the Bunsen burner, German chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunsen, was born in 1811.
For all of you non-chemists, a Bunsen Burner is a device used to create flame using gas and air used in Laboratories everywhere to conduct experiments requiring a controlled heat source. Bunsen burners (along with Teclu burners and Meker burners) produce a smokeless blue flame at very high temperatures. Scientists use these types of burners for heating, combustion, and sterilization.
In 1852, Robert Bunsen began working at the University of Heidelberg. He was trying to isolate chemical substances and soon became frustrated with the inefficient and smoky heat sources that were available in the laboratory. To solve the problem, he drew up plans for a burner that would mix gas and air prior to ignition. The result was the Bunsen burner, which is now used in laboratories all over the world.
If it has been a while since your high school chemistry class, spend a few minutes today to reflect on the value of this important scientific tool.

National “She’s Funny That Way” Day  

National “She’s Funny That Way” Day is celebrated annually on March 31st. You needn’t be a comedienne to glean that this holiday celebrates all of the women in our lives that add a little humor.
Some women, just like men, are born with an innate sense of humor. They are just naturally funny. Lucille Ball, Carol Burnette, and Betty White immediately come to mind. But not all funny women are famous. We all know a woman who makes us smile as soon as she enters the room…because we know that soon we’ll be laughing hysterically at something that she says and/or does.
National “She’s Funny That Way” Day pays tribute to all of the women we know that make us laugh, be it mother, sister, niece, cousin, wife, or friend. Show appreciation today for the humorous women in your life. What quirky, eccentric things do the women in your life do to make you laugh?

Eiffel Tower Day  

Eiffel Tower Day is celebrated annually on March 31st. You don’t need to be a famous engineer to draw the conclusion that this is a holiday that celebrates the spectacular monument that stands proudly in the city of Paris. Today marks the 128th anniversary of the date that the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889.
The Eiffel Tower took 2 years, 2 months, and 5 days in total to build. It was constructed for the International Exhibition of Paris, during the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, and was named after the principal engineer, Gustave Eiffel.
Besides being a national landmark in France, today the Eiffel Tower is home to numerous shops, restaurants, and bars. The apartment that Gustave Eiffel kept near the top of the tower is now a museum of sorts. It is furnished with replicas of the furniture that Mr. Eiffel had in the apartment, and there is a wax figure of Gustave seated in one of the chairs. If you can’t jet off to Paris today, or if you can’t visit the scaled-down version of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas, celebrate Eiffel Tower Day by learning about the history of the Eiffel Tower.

World Backup Day

World Backup Day is celebrated annually on March 31st. You needn’t be a geek or a nerd to conclude that this holiday serves as a reminder to back up all of the important documents, pictures, and music files on your computer to a secondary hard-drive, and store them in a location other than your home.
If you are like most computer users today, you pay little attention to backing up your files. A backup is a second copy of all your important files — for example, your family photos, home videos, documents, and emails. But, why should you bother to back up your files? Losing your files is way more common than you’d think. Have you ever lost your phone, your camera,  your laptop, or your tablet? Your valuable data could have been saved if you had a backup. One small accident or failure could destroy all the important stuff you care about. Here are a few more reasons to back up your data:

  • 30% of people have never backed up their computers.
  • 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute.
  • 29% of data-related disasters are caused by accidents such as dropping or spilling something on your device.
  • 1 in 10 computers are infected with a virus each month, and, without a backup, all of your precious data can be lost when the virus is removed.

I speak from personal experience when I recommend that you back up your data. I lost all of my pictures and music files about 10 years ago because of a hard-drive crash on my computer. So, ‘celebrate’ World Backup Day by backing up all of the important stuff on your computer today.

Tater Day 

Tater Day is celebrated annually on March 31st. You don’t need to be a farmer to figure out that this holiday celebrates potatoes – all 4,000+ varieties of them.
Potatoes, also known as taters, tubers, spuds, are an essential part of many cuisines around the world providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are relatively inexpensive, versatile, and are comforting, filling, and tasty. Potatoes were domesticated in the Andes Mountains in South America thousands of years ago. They made their way to Europe by way of Spanish explorers in the sixteenth century.
Potatoes contain many nutrients that make them a healthy food to eat, as long as they are prepared in a nutritious manner and not paired with unhealthy foods. Because of their nutritional content, potatoes provide numerous health benefits. They support bone health, healthy blood pressure, and heart health; they have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties; they promote digestive health, skin health, and weight management; they regulate the metabolism and strengthen the immune system. The skin is the most nutrient-dense part of the potato. Potatoes contain antioxidants, phytochemicals, and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, choline, zinc, and potassium. They are high in fiber and low in sodium. However, they are high in carbohydrates, so eat them in moderation.
Man, I love me some taters. Hash browns, fried, boiled, baked, scalloped, au gratin, french fries, potato salad, home-made potato chips, potato pancakes, ad infinitum. So, join me in celebrating Tater Day, by enjoying some taters yourself today. You choose how healthy, or unhealthy, to make them.
Although Idaho is the largest producer of potatoes in the United States, growing about a third of them, what we know today as Idaho Potatoes weren’t created in Idaho. They are, in fact, the Burbank Potato which was created in Sonoma County California by the renowned botanist Luther Burbank. Idaho just happens to have the climate in which they best thrive.

Listed below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

Pencils, Virtual Vacations, Doctors, Being in Control, Brown Grass, Walking, and Turkey Neck Soup

March 30, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin. 

Good morning fans of graphite-based writing implements. Today is Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Today is the 89th day of the year, and 276 days remain.

Pencil Day

Pencil day is celebrated annually on March 30th. As you can easily infer, this holiday celebrates the lowly pencil – the next leap forward in written communication since the first fowl sacrificed a feather to be dipped in ink. On this date in 1858, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the first-ever patent for a modern pencil with an eraser attached to it. Hymen Lipman created the wooden pencil and received high praise for how easy it was to use for writing and drawing.
Manufacturers painted the first pencils yellow because the color was associated with royalty and honor. People quickly began assuming that yellow pencils were the best type, and a majority of pencils produced to this day are still yellow.
To celebrate Pencil Day, simply use a pencil today [if you can still find one in your house, that is].
Author’s Note:
With all of the technological advances in ink, the ready availability of cheap ink pens, and the onset of the computer age, I am sad to report that I would be hard-pressed to find one of these remarkable devices in my humble abode. Perhaps I will rectify this oversight today, if only for the sake of nostalgia.
Factoid: A single wooden pencil can write 45,000 words or draw a line that is 35 miles long. Additionally, a pencil can also write upside down, or in zero gravity, making it the ideal writing implement for recording your thoughts and observations during your next trip to the International Space Station.
Addendum: I did manage to find a couple of pencils after all…relegated over time to the deepest, darkest nether regions of my desk drawer. Alas, they are green, and not the preferred yellow color…but they are unused with their erasers still intact. Now, where did I put that pencil sharpener? Oh Well!

National Virtual Vacation Day

National Virtual Vacation Day is celebrated annually on March 30th. It is a relatively new holiday, first being celebrated in 2018. This holiday urges us not to wait to take our “dream vacations” until we are better able to afford them, or when we retire – but to take them now, via the internet.
Vacations restore our minds, bodies, and souls. Studies show that taking a vacation lowers the risk of heart disease. They also help hone our problem-solving skills and promote overall brain health. Furthermore, we’re more satisfied with the money spent on vacations than on material goods.
Unlike vacations in real life, virtual vacations do not require money, packing, or the hassle of domestic or transcontinental flights. All you need to achieve a virtual vacation is your imagination and a computer. You can enjoy an exciting African safari or hike an exotic Amazon rainforest, then hit the beach in Bali, or join in the festivities at Mardi Gras. Heck, you can even explore outer space or the bottom of the Pacific Ocean if you want. With these virtual “armchair adventures” the possibilities are endless.
On the internet, you can find virtual tours of almost any famous/historic country, province, city, museum, or other popular vacation destination. So, why wait? Take advantage of modern technology and “visit” them now. So, to celebrate National Virtual Vacation Day, “let your fingers do the walking” as you take your dream vacation, to your dream destination, with the people you most want to be there with you.

National Doctor’s Day

National Doctor’s Day is celebrated annually on March 30th. You needn’t have a doctorate degree to ascertain that this holiday was created to show appreciation to doctors everywhere. Doctors’ Day observances date back to March 30, 1933. It was started by Eudora Brown Almond of Winder, Ga. This holiday marks the anniversary of the first use of general anesthesia (ether) in surgery by Dr. Crawford W. Long on this date in 1842. On March 30, 1958, the United States House of Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating Doctors’ Day. In 1990, congress and the senate approved legislation establishing National Doctors Day. The resolution designating March 30 as National Doctors’ Day was signed by President George H. W. Bush.
Doctors perform a vital service to all of us – albeit with a notable lack of the altruism exhibited by the doctors of yore. Still, take time out today, or on your next scheduled appointment, to celebrate National Doctor’s Day by thanking your physician for what he/she does for you and your family.

I am in Control Day 

I am in Control Day is celebrated annually on March 30th. You might surmise from this holiday’s name that it refers to some new-age mantra, but that is not the case. Instead, it refers to the date, March 30, 1981, when President Ronald Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt. Quite naturally, lots of confusion prevailed. In the White House, then-Secretary of State Alexander Haig said, “I am in control here at the White House.” The events of that day are explained in great detail in this article.
Today, with the events of that day little more than a footnote in history, I am in Control Day has evolved into something more introspective. It urges us to take control of our lives. Take a break for a minute and evaluate your situation. What can you do to get your life under control?
Listed below are a few things that may help:

  • Start using a daily planner
  • De-clutter your environment
  • Make lists
  • Tackle one project at a time
  • Learn organizational skills
  • Ask for help
  • Talk with someone
  • Feel confident with your decisions

To celebrate I am in Control Day, begin to take the steps that you feel are needed to assume control of your life – at least those parts of your life that can be controlled.

The Grass Is Always Browner On the Other Side of the Fence Day 

The Grass Is Always Browner On the Other Side of the Fence Day is celebrated annually on March 30th. Hopefully, this holiday does not refer to the abundance of dog excrement in your neighbor’s backyard. Rather, this holiday celebrates those of us who are satisfied with our lives and not fooled by those, so-called, “greener pastures” that lie on the ‘other side of the fence’.
The Grass Is Always Browner On the Other Side of the Fence Day is a holiday to celebrate the fact that you are satisfied with what you have – and not to dwell on what you don’t have.

Take A Walk In the Park Day 

Take A Walk In the Park Day is celebrated annually on March 30th. You don’t need to be “outdoorsy” to conclude that this holiday urges us to leave the confines of our humble abodes and take a stroll through a park.
Walking is one of the healthiest and most enjoyable forms of exercise. Take a Walk in the Park Day is an opportunity to get some low-impact exercise and relax for a little while.
Are you stressed out from work, school, or things at home? A walk in the park might be just what the doctor ordered. Walking is calming and therapeutic. It helps to clear your mind and re-energize you at the same time. A walk in the park could very well be the most enjoyable part of your day.
Be sure to keep your eyes open and pay attention to your surroundings. In addition to preventing a fall, open eyes will allow you to take in the beauty of nature’s flora and fauna. So, to celebrate Take A Walk In the Park Day, take time today to stroll through your favorite park and commune with nature, breathe in the fresh spring air, and clear your head. The exercise probably won’t kill you either.

Turkey Neck Soup Day 

Turkey Neck Soup Day is celebrated annually on March 30th. As the name implies, this holiday celebrates turkey neck soup – a flavorful soup prepared with the least-favorite part of a turkey.
The thought of Turkey Neck Soup might cause a few people to raise their eyebrows. Although it is considered by some to be the most flavorful part of a turkey, the neck is normally not regarded as palatable by most people. However, a stock made by slow simmering the tough, yet flavorful meat of actual turkey necks, once it is strained of bones and cooked with vegetables and rice or noodles, yields a hearty and flavorful soup that your family will enjoy.
To celebrate Turkey Neck Soup Day, make a batch of this delicious soup today. Finding turkey necks this time of year can be challenging, but you should be able to find them at your local butcher shop.
Author’s Note: 
If you still have a turkey neck leftover from your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner in your refrigerator,

  1. What the Heck is wrong with you?
  2. You should discard it immediately, it’s probably long past rotten.

Listed below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

Viet Nam Vets, Mom and Pop Businesses, Smoke and Mirrors, Niagara Falls, and Lemon Chiffon Cake

March 29, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin. 

Good morning vaunted Viet Nam veterans. Today is Monday, March 29, 2021. Today is the 88th day of the year, and 277 days remain.

Viet Nam Veteran’s Day  

Viet Nam Veteran’s Day, also known as National Vietnam War Veterans Day, is celebrated annually on March 29th. You needn’t be a veteran to deduce that this holiday celebrates the servicemen and servicewomen who served in Viet Nam.
On this date 48 years ago, in 1973, the last 2,500 troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam, thus ending military involvement in Viet Nam. At the time, it was the longest war in America’s history (since replaced by the second war in Iraq). Viet Nam Veterans Day honors all of those who served in Vietnam and those who didn’t return.
Those of my generation remember how unpopular the Viet Nam war was here in America and the despicable way that the returning Vietnam veterans were treated, but I won’t dwell any further on that subject.
Most of us have family members who served during the Vietnam era…father, grandfather, brother, uncle, or cousin. Regardless of your feelings about the war, celebrate Viet Nam Veteran’s Day by giving thanks to anyone you encounter today who served in Viet Nam and take a moment to honor those who didn’t return. This link offers statistics and clears up many of the misconceptions you might have, about the war.
Author’s Note:
I have also seen Viet Nam spelled as one word, Vietnam. The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam prefers the two-word spelling and claims that the one-word “westernization” of the name of their country is insulting and incorrect. According to them, Viet and Nam are separate words, each with their own meaning, and all Vietnamese words are comprised of one syllable. 

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day is celebrated annually on March 29th. You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to conclude that this holiday celebrates mom-and-pop businesses. They are the backbone of this country and today we celebrate that entrepreneurial spirit that built this great nation.
However, these days, the deck seems to be stacked against them. “Big-box retailers have huge corporate conglomerates to support them, as do chain restaurants and other service-oriented businesses that fall under a corporate umbrella. Yet each day thousands of stalwart individuals take the plunge and start a new business, even though the failure rate of a “mom and pop type of business is somewhere around 70% to 80%. If you own a small business or have ever owned one, give yourself a pat on the back.
To celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, patronize the Mom & Pop store in your neighborhood rather than that National Chain or “Box Store”, even if you have to pay a little more.

Smoke and Mirrors Day  

Smoke and Mirrors Day is celebrated annually on March 29th. You don’t need to be a professional prestidigitator to determine that this holiday is about illusions. The term “smoke and mirrors” is a euphemism used to describe the fact that things are not always as they seem. For example, magicians use smoke and mirrors to perform most of their “magic tricks”.
You see examples of smoke and mirrors every day in one form or another. The most obvious example of smoke and mirrors is ‘legalese’ – that incredibly convoluted language deliberately used by lawyers in contracts and other legal documents. They are designed to make sure that no “average Joe” can understand them – therefore needing a lawyer to interpret them. Advertisers are adept at using “smoke and mirrors” to sell their products – and politicians are experts at using smoke and mirrors to disguise their true beliefs. The so-called mainstream media also use smoke and mirrors-type tactics in selecting which stories they cover, and/or to what extent they cover them.
To celebrate Smoke and Mirrors Day, just be aware the everything that you see and hear is first run through a “filter”. A person’s beliefs, upbringing, and environment determine how they interpret information, and you should always take that into consideration before you accept what they say as fact. One man’s Fascist is another man’s patriot.

Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day

Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day is celebrated annually on March 29th. This holiday is celebrated by locals in and around Niagara Falls to commemorate the day, in 1848, that ice blockages caused rivers to run dry. This, in turn, reduced the flow of water to such an extent that Niagara Falls’ usual rate of flow (3,160 tons of water per second) came to a complete halt [actually, the water was still flowing underneath the ice, but the surface of the ice was frozen solid]. The flow over the falls was stopped for about 40 hours. It has never happened again – although it still occasionally slows to a trickle during especially harsh winters.

National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day 

National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day is celebrated annually on March 29th. You don’t need to be a pastry chef to infer that this holiday celebrates lemon chiffon cake – a light, airy type of cake loved the world over.
An insurance salesman, aptly named Harry Baker, invented chiffon cake in the 1920s. He sold his cakes to the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles and all of the Hollywood elites fell in love with the dessert’s lighter-than-air texture. Baker carefully guarded the recipe for over twenty years before selling it to General Mills (home of the Betty Crocker brand) for an undisclosed amount.
The recipe for chiffon cake debuted in a 1948 edition of Better Homes and Gardens. General Mills marketed it as “the first new cake in 100 years” and it quickly became a nationwide sensation. The secret recipe called for vegetable oil instead of butter or shortening and instructed the baker to beat the egg whites and egg yolks separately.
So, to celebrate National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day, enjoy a slice of lemon chiffon cake today. Sorry, but, you’ll have to bake it yourself. Here is a link to Mr. Baker’s/Betty Crocker’s original recipe. Although there are many flavors of chiffon cake, today’s reason to celebrate is – lemon. However, should you choose to celebrate this holiday with one of the other flavors; including chocolate, orange, walnut, and/or spice, no one will be the wiser.

Listed below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention. 

Weeds, Cats, Hot Tubs, Eggsibits, Picture Books, Food-On-A-Stick, Edy’s Pies, and Black Forest Cake

March 28, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin. 

Good morning my gardeners. Today is Sunday, March 28, 2021. Today is the 87th day of the year, and 278 days remain.

Weed Appreciation Day

Weed Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on March 28th. Before you aging hippies start salivating in anticipation, I should warn you that this holiday does not refer to that kind of ‘weed’ (that holiday comes next month). Weed Appreciation Day refers to your common, run-of-the-mill, everyday garden variety of weed.
Weeds are an important part of the ecosystem. Many birds and insects rely on weeds as their primary source of food. Many varieties of weeds, such as Dandelion, are edible and rich in vitamins and minerals.
I suggest, however, that before you go willy-nilly through your yard picking weeds at random for your dinner salad tonight in celebration of Weed Appreciation Day, that you do some research first. Some weeds are poisonous. This link includes a list of edible weeds that may be growing in your yard.
Author’s Note:
Someone once told me that there are no such thing as weeds – merely plants which you deem unworthy of being in your yard. In the interest of inclusion, my entire lawn is composed mostly of weeds. After all, who am I to judge which plant is worthy of a place in my yard.

Respect Your Cat Day  

Respect Your Cat Day is celebrated annually on March 28th. You don’t need to be a zoologist to ascertain that this holiday urges you to respect your favored feline furball(s) today.
Anyone who is owned by a cat, or who has ever been owned by a cat, knows that every day is Respect Your Cat Day. Cats deserve, demand, and expect respect at all times.
In my humble opinion, this holiday was obviously an idea conceived by a cabal of felines who cast an evil spell on their owners and made them create Respect Your Cat Day to pay homage to them – and as just another step in their quest for world dominance.
To be safe, celebrate Respect Your Cat Day by showing your feline furbaby a little extra love, give them a few treats, and a little extra kibble today.

National Hot Tub Day 

National Hot Tub Day is celebrated annually on March 28th. You don’t need to be the owner of a Jacuzzi to conclude that this holiday celebrated hot tubs.
Although hot tubs are a relatively recent fad here in America (having reached the pinnacle of their popularity in the late 20th century), the therapeutic and rejuvenating effects of soaking in warm water have been known for millennia. The earliest hot tubs were calderas in which hot stones were placed to heat the water. Therma in Ikaria has been a very popular place, particularly for hydrotherapy since the 4th century BC. The remains of wrecked marble bathtubs along with a pre-historic aqueduct that has been unearthed from this area bear ample testimony of the place’s popularity in ancient times. In 737 A.D., Japan’s first onsen opened near Izumo, Shimane, and centuries later the first ryokan (inns) were built, offering food, accommodations, and soaking tubs called ofuro. In ancient Rome, there were three types of baths: baths at home (balnea), private baths (balnea privata), and public baths (balnea publica). The practice of bathing was so engrained that the Roman legions, during their long occupations in foreign lands, built their own baths at mineral and thermal springs in the newly conquered lands. Examples are found all over Europe.
After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 and the rise of Christianity, cleanliness was abandoned since the Church considered that the practice of bathing a prelude to forbidden behavior. At Cluny, custom required monks to take a full bath at Christmas and Easter. Private bathrooms in castles, such as the one at Leeds, could often accommodate multiple bathers. From the 13th century onwards, baths gradually came into re-use, particularly in southern Europe under the influence of the Moors.
In the 1940s hot tubs began to appear in the US, inspired by the Japanese ofuro. Hydrotherapy pumps were introduced by Jacuzzi. Fiberglass shell hot tubs appeared around 1970 and were soon superseded by cast acrylic shells.
Spring has sprung, the weather is getting warmer, but it still may be a bit nippy in the evening. Everything is showing new signs of life and rejuvenation. Why should you be any different? What better time to enjoy a relaxing soak in your hot tub in celebration of National Hot Tub Day? Turn on some calming music and set the ambiance with some mood lighting, and you have the right ingredients to finally escape from the doldrums of winter. Sit back, chill and feel all the tensions of the world melt away in the warm embrace of the bubbles and steam. Sip one of your favorite beverages, (adult or otherwise), and relax until you become a “happy prune”.

Eggsibit Day 

Eggsibit Day is celebrated annually on March 28th. With Easter fast approaching, it is time to think about festively decorated ovum once again and perhaps honing your ovum decorating skills with a practice session before the “big day”.
Eggsibit Day is an eggstraordinary holiday that eggsibits beautifully decorated eggs, with events that take place each spring worldwide. At these annual Eggsibit Day events, judges from the National Egg Art Guild award prizes for the most original, the most beautiful, and the most humorous egg designs.
People have been decorating eggs for centuries. One of the most traditional forms of this ancient art is the wax-resist method, which is popular in eastern Europe. Artists use a stylus to create a design on the egg with melted beeswax before dipping it in the dye. The wax seals that section of the design so it doesn’t absorb the color. They adjust the wax and repeat the process with different colored dyes to create intricate patterns.
To celebrate Eggsibit Day, host your own eggsibit event. Invite some friends over for an eggstraordinarily eggciting evening of egg decorating and fun.

Children’s Picture Book Day

Children’s Picture Book Day is celebrated annually on March 28th. Many of our fondest childhood memories lie in images of our favorite picture books we had as kids or the picture books we read to our own children. From Dr. Seuss and classic fairy tales to books about curious monkeys, engines that could, magic dragons, and even a big red dog, picture books captured and catapulted our imaginations and those of our children to a world beyond.
Picture books are usually the first books children “read”. Picture books show creativity and humor in pictures and often include a valuable life lesson for young readers. These beautifully illustrated books help children begin their life-long love of reading.
In honor of Children’s Picture Book Day, why not revisit one or two of your favorite picture books for old-times’-sake? Picture books prove the old adage, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.”

Something On A Stick Day

Something On A Stick Day is celebrated annually on March 28th. You needn’t be a kabab chef to deduce that this holiday celebrates food-on-a-stick.
Americans love food on a stick. From lollipops, popsicles, candy apples, and corn dogs, to gourmet shrimp skewers, fondue, and Shish-Kabobs, almost any meat or vegetable can be eaten on a stick. You even eat those little cocktail wieners and cheese cubes from the appetizer tray with toothpicks…a form of a stick Heck, you can even eat cake on a stick. The “trendy” thing these days is cake-pops (crumbled cake mixed with frosting, formed into a ball, and put on a stick). JEEZ.
To celebrate Something On A Stick Day, plan your own “food-on-a-stick” menu. From appetizers to main courses to desserts, everything you eat today should be served on a stick. Be creative, and enjoy.

Eat an Edy’s Pie Day

Eat an Edy’s Pie Day is celebrated annually on March 28th. You don’t need to be an ice cream aficionado to figure out that this holiday celebrates Edy’s Pie – a popular brand of Eskimo Pie. In fact, until last year (2020) this holiday was known as Eat an Eskimo Pie Day. My source gave no information regarding the reason for the change in name.
Eat an Edy’s Pie Day celebrates one of America’s favorite frozen treats – the Eskimo Pie. Eskimo Pie is an ice cream confection, the brand name for a chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar wrapped in foil.  The Eskimo Pie was invented by a high school teacher named Christian Kent Nelson. It is skewered onto a thin wooden stick, which is used as a handle to make it easier to eat. It was the first such dessert sold in the United States.
Although Eat an Edy’s Pie Day is not celebrated on the date that Mr. Nelson was granted his patent as one might logically infer, it is celebrated on the date that he was born (in 1893). According to legend, Mr. Nelson pursued the idea of a chocolate-coated ice cream bar in Onawa, Iowa in 1920. After experimenting with different ways to adhere melted chocolate to blocks of ice cream, Nelson began selling his invention under the name “I-Scream Bars”. In 1921, he filed for a patent which was issued on January 24, 1922. The I-Scream-Bar was an immediate success. Somewhere along the way, Mr. Nelson partnered with chocolate manufacturer Russell Stover to mass-produce the “I-Scream-Bar” under the new trademarked name “Eskimo Pie” (suggested by Clara Stover, Russell Stover’s wife). No one knows the reason for the name change.
You don’t need to be a member of the “intellectual elite” to know how to celebrate Eat an Edy’s Pie Day. All you need to do is eat an Eskimo Pie (Edy’s if you can find it).

National Black Forest Cake Day 

National Black Forest Cake Day is celebrated annually on March 28th. Oddly enough, it celebrates Black Forest Cake – a rich dessert loved worldwide.
Black Forest cake is the English name for the German dessert Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte, meaning “Black Forest cherry torte.” The name is derived not from the ingredients of the cake, but rather, is named after the specialty liquor (Schwarzwalder Kirschwasser) of the region of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) mountain range in southwestern Germany.
Black Forest cake is most commonly made of several layers of chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. The cake is then decorated with whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In some traditional recipes, sour cherries are used between the layers, and a Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is added to the cake. In the United States, alcohol is usually not used, but sometimes in America, it is made by substituting a fruit syrup for the spirits. In Germany, liqueur is a mandatory ingredient. Otherwise, the cake can not legally be sold under the Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte name.
To celebrate National Black Forest Cake Day, simply enjoy a slice of Black Forest Cake. If you don’t want to make one, you can usually find them sold in bakeries and larger supermarkets.

Listed below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

Quirky Country Songs, Exchange, Joe, Whisk(e)y, and Spanish Paella

March 27, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin. 

Good morning Country Music fans. Today is Saturday, March 27, 2021. Today is the 86th day of the year, and 279 days remain.

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day is celebrated annually on March 27th. You don’t need to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry to infer that this holiday pays tribute to those unique country songs with titles that always put a smile on your face…no matter how much you are cringing on the inside.
Country music evolved from Appalachian folk music in the 1920s and became a nationwide sensation in the 1940s, when The Grand Ole Opry radio station in Nashville, Tennessee began broadcasting weekly concerts which showcased all the different genres of country music; hillbilly, honky-tonk, bluegrass, western, rockabilly, and gospel.
If you’re from my generation, you probably remember the song, “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose” – by Little Jimmy Dickens…truly a timeless classic. But that song is by no means singular in the class of Country Music songs with “quirky” titles.
Below are a ‘baker’s dozen’ more quirky country music song titles that you may or may not, remember:

  1. “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly” – by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty.
  2. “Thank God And Greyhound You’re Gone” – by Roy Clark.
  3. “You Can’t Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd” – by Roger Miller.
  4. “I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim Is Gettin’ Better.” – by Billy Boil.
  5. “If I Had A Nose Full of Nickels, I’d Sneeze Them Atchoo” – by Lou Carter.
  6. “Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart” – by Johnny Cash.
  7. “How Come Every Time I Itch I Wind Up Scratching You” – by Glen Campbell.
  8. “Too Much Month Left (At the End of the Money)” – by Marty Stuart.
  9. “Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed” – by Kinky Friedman.
  10. “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” – by Joe Nichols.
  11. “How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away” – by Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks.
  12. “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” – by Kenny Chesney.
  13. “She Made Toothpicks Out Of The Timber Of My Heart” – by Homer and Jethro.

To celebrate Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day, go through your music library and see if any of the aforementioned songs are there. Be honest! I’m sure that many of you true Country Music fans can add even more ‘quirky country music song titles’ to this list.

Celebrate Exchange Day

Celebrate Exchange Day is celebrated annually on March 27th. It celebrates the National Exchange Club. The National Exchange Club is a service organization with 700 clubs and more than 20,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Founded in 1911 in Detroit by business leaders who wanted to “exchange” ideas on making their community better, the Exchange Club moved its headquarters to Toledo in 1917. Its core values –  Family, Community, and Country are held by each Exchange member with pride and commitment. The members advised each other,  shared information, and arranged activities to benefit their communities such as supporting youth programs, preventing crime, helping senior citizens, members of the military, and more. For over a hundred years, Exchange Club’s volunteer efforts have supported the needs of the country and of local communities, making it one of America’s oldest service organizations.

National Joe Day  

National Joe Day is celebrated annually on March 27th. When I first read the name of this holiday, I thought that the term “Joe” referred to the slang word for coffee, but that is not the case. It instead honors people named “Joe”. It also encourages everyone else to change their name to “Joe” today (Women can use Josie or Josephine). But, why Joe? Why not Bob, or Jim, or Heathcliffe? Well, apparently, Joe seems to be a name that most everyone likes and trusts for some reason.
So, if you dislike your name, or if you simply want to amuse yourself, celebrate National Joe Day by insisting that everyone you encounter today call you “Joe”.

International Whisk(e)y Day 

International Whisk(e)y Day is celebrated annually on March 27th. The first thing you probably noticed is the way the word whisk(e)y in International Whisk(e)y Day is spelled. Both variations of the spelling of the word are derived from the Classical Gaelic word uisce, meaning “water”. The difference in the spelling of the words comes from different translations of the word from the Scottish and Irish Gaelic forms. In Scotland and Canada, whisky is spelled without the “e”; whereas, in Ireland and America, whiskey is spelled with the “e”. For purposes of continuity, henceforth, I will use the [more familiar] Irish form, whiskey.
Whiskey is the result of a distillation process, a chemical/alchemical process dating back as far as Ancient Babylon. While the beverage they created was much cruder than modern-day whiskeys, it was known that the process was available to them.
All whiskey starts with a ‘mash’, a mixture of grain and water that is slowly heated to break down the starch in it into sugars. The result of this process is then known as wort. The kind of grain you use determines what kind of whiskey you end up with. Bourbon starts from a mash that is 51% or more corn base, though it becomes a Corn Whiskey once it reaches 81%. Malt whiskey is made from 51% malted barley, while Rye is 51% plain Rye. Malted Rye is a specialized version made from a base of Malted Rye, and Wheat Whiskey, as you might suspect, is made from Wheat. No matter what grain is used, all of these are considered kinds of whiskey.
To celebrate International Whisk(e)y Day, simply enjoy an ounce (or two) of your favorite whiskey. Even better, invite a few (legal aged) friends to join you.
Author’s Note:
Always drink responsibly!

National Spanish Paella Day  

National Spanish Paella Day is celebrated annually on March 27th. You needn’t be a 5-Star chef to conclude that this holiday celebrates Spanish paella – a world-renowned peasant dish that features meat, seafood, and rice.
Basically, paella is a meal that makes use of what is at hand; local, fresh, and available. Every cuisine has one – a one-pot meal, a peasant dish that is the quintessential definition of that place and people. Louisiana has jambalaya. Chile has the cazuela. There’s Irish Stew and Pad Thai. And the Spanish? Well, they have paella.
Paella, in its modern form, originated in the mid-19th century in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. The original Valencian dish was a mixture of meat, snails, beans, and green vegetables. There two basic variations on the original recipe. Seafood paella, as the name suggests, eliminates the meat in favor of all seafood, a popular meal for Friday observances. Mixed paellas are more akin to the original but usually include chicken instead of the traditional rabbit, and shellfish instead of snails. Perhaps, the most distinctive characteristic of any paella is the bright yellow rice, all thanks to a generous dose of saffron.
To celebrate National Spanish Paella Day, make your favorite version of paella for dinner tonight. Here is a link to one of the many recipes for Traditional Spanish Paella available online. However, you can substitute some of the ingredients for whatever you have handy in your refrigerator. The key to making a good paella is the layering flavors. You should be able to taste each individual ingredient…no one ingredient should be overpowering. What’s in your fridge?

Listed below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

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