Halloween, Doorbells, Pumpkin Carving, Magic, Psychic Powers, Knock-Knock Jokes, and Caramel Apples

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

Good morning my spooky fiends. Today is Sunday, October 31, 2021. October 31st is the 304th day of the year, and 61 days remain.

Halloween

Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of “All Hallows’ Evening”), also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31 – the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It initiates the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers. According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain Festival. Other academics maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.
The word Halloween or Hallowe’en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. The word “Halloween” means “hallowed evening” or “holy evening”. It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows’ Eve (the evening before All Hallows’ Day). In Scottish, the word “eve” is even, and this is contracted to e’en or een. Over time, the word evolved into Halloween. Although the phrase “All Hallows’” is found in the Old English mass-day of all saints, “All Hallows’ Eve” is itself was not seen until around 1556.
North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was celebrated there. The Puritans of New England, for example, maintained strong opposition to Halloween, and it was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that it was brought to North America in earnest. Confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-19th century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the 20th century, it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.
Although there are still plenty of ghosts and ghouls, Halloween has evolved into a secular, family-friendly event, and over 40 million children trick-or-treat in their neighborhood each year. Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related “trunk-or-treating”), attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.
Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, “Trick or treat?” The word “trick” refers to “threat” to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as vampires, monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, in the United States, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.
To celebrate Halloween, I hope that you have lots of “treats” on hand for all of the spooks, goblins, superheroes, and princesses who come knocking on your door this evening – you don’t want to get “tricked”. As much as you may want to go to the extra effort to reward the little imps, refrain from giving out homemade treats unless you know the children and their parents well. In today’s sick and twisted (and litigious) society, most responsible parents throw away home-made treats anyway.
Factoid: 
One-quarter of all the candy sold in the United States is purchased for Halloween.

National Doorbell Day

National Doorbell Day is celebrated each year on October 31st. Even if you’re a total “ding-dong” you should be able to ascertain that this holiday celebrates the, unique tones, buzzes, and/or rings that alert us to visitors at our doors every day of the year. This holiday was created by NuTone™ to celebrate the innovative development of the first melodious door chime invented by J. Ralph Corbett during the Great Depression and to honor the door chime you will receive tonight as the “Trick or Treaters” come to your door. The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed National Doorbell Day to be observed annually beginning in 2017.  Mr. Corbett’s invention replaced the knockers that often alerted residents to visitors in the past.
On Halloween, doorbells will ring more than any other day of the year. Nearly 50-million American children dress up and trick-or-treat every year and the doorbell is the primary way they announce their arrival at your house.
Celebrate National Doorbell Day by making sure that your doorbell is in proper working order so you can greet your costumed visitors promptly this evening.

Carve A Pumpkin Day

Carve A Pumpkin Day is celebrated annually on October 31st. You needn’t be an agronomist, or an artist, to deduce that this holiday urges us to channel our “inner artist” today and carve a pumpkin. This is a holiday for all of you procrastinators out there who have not yet taken the time to carve your jack-o-lantern. It is your last chance to carve your pumpkin before the “trick or treaters” arrive.
If you don’t have, or can’t find your patterns from last year, don’t bother rushing to the store to buy some new ones, they’re probably already sold out anyway. You’ll have to carve your pumpkins free-form. As you celebrate Carve A Pumpkin Day today, be imaginative. Carve something out of the ordinary. On the bright side, you won’t be limited by the “cookie-cutter” patterns that your more-prepared neighbors used to carve their boring jack-o-lanterns. Yours will be unique.
Author’s Note:
Don’t forget to save the seeds for roasting later.

National Magic Day

National Magic Day is celebrated yearly October 31. Contrary to what you might think, this holiday does not celebrate legerdemain, or the mystic arts. Rather, this holiday was created in honor of Harry Houdini, the world famous magician and illusionist who died on this date in 1926. The Society of American Magicians, known for its professional and charitable works, promotes public events and exhibits for the week leading up to this day.
To celebrate National Magic Day, read about magicians and illusionists, or learn a magic trick to surprise the “trick or treaters” who visit you tonight.

Increase Your Psychic Powers Day 

Increase Your Psychic Powers Day is celebrated each year on October 31st. You don’t need to be psychic to conclude that this holiday urges you to strive to increase your psychic powers – but if you’re already psychic, you already knew that. This holiday appears to have roots in England back to the nineteenth century, but there is no written documentation to verify this fact.
Many people claim to have psychic powers, but I have one question. Why is it that the first thing a ‘psychic’ asks you is, “How can I help you?” Shouldn’t they already know? They’re psychic! I mean, really!
If you believe that you may have psychic abilities, Increase Your Psychic Powers Day was created just for you. And, what better time to improve your psychic abilities than on Halloween, the one day a year believed to have the highest concentration of supernatural activity? This website will help you get started.

National Knock-Knock Jokes Day 

National Knock-Knock Jokes Day is celebrated annually on October 31st. You don’t need to be a comedian to figure out that this holiday celebrates those sappy, corny bits of humor – knock-knock jokes.
If you’re looking for the answer to the perennial question, “Who’s there?”, this is the holiday for you. It’s a day to tell knock-knock jokes to your family and friends. Celebrated on the same day as Halloween, it gives another reason for kids to knock on their neighbors’ doors. Knock-knock jokes don’t have to be funny. In fact, sometimes the louder the groan, the more satisfying the joke.
To celebrate National Knock-Knock Jokes Day, simply tell as many knock-knock jokes as you can.
Let me get you started.

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad I covered this holiday? 

National Caramel Apple Day 

National Caramel Apple Day is celebrated annually on October 31st. As you might suspect, this holiday celebrates one of the world’s favorite candied fruits – caramel apples. My research did not find any information regarding who created this holiday or why October 31 was chosen to celebrate it. However, I did discover that caramel apples were invented by Dan Walker, a sales representative for Kraft Foods, in the 1950s – and that red candy apples were created long before caramel apples.
Caramel apples are created by dipping or rolling apples-on-a-stick in hot caramel, and sometimes then rolling them in nuts or other small savories or confections, and allowing them to cool. More elaborate apples use white chocolate over the caramel to hold a variety of candies, nuts or cookies. Tart, crisp apples such as Granny Smith or Fiji apples are preferred to contrast with the soft, sweet caramel.
To celebrate National Caramel Apple Day, simply enjoy a caramel apple today. If you don’t want to bother making some at home, caramel apples are often available in most supermarkets this time of year, so you can easily just buy one.

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

 

Checklists, Sheep, Funerals, Mischief, Haunted Refrigerators, Candy Corn, and Doughnuts

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

Good morning my organized friends. Today is Saturday, October 30, 2021. October 30th is the 303rd day of the year, and 62 days remain.

Checklist Day 

Checklist Day is celebrated each year on October 30th. As you might infer, this holiday extolls the virtues of using checklists to better organize your daily life.
Checklists are a great way to remind you to pack what you need for a trip or as a reminder of the sequence of steps you need for a highly detailed activity. But, just how important are they?  Well, variations of the familiar checklist have probably been used for centuries, but the first recorded widespread use of a checklist came about due to a tragic aviation mishap.
On October 30, 1935, a prototype for the familiar Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber crashed during takeoff. The crew had forgotten to disengage a gust lock. As a result of this tragedy, a group of pilots instituted a series of checklists to be performed before takeoff, flight, and landing. These checklists helped to prevent future accidents and they were able to deliver their next batch of twelve B-17 aircraft without a mishap. In commemoration of the accident that led to a more widespread use of checklists, Checklist Day is now celebrated annually on the anniversary of the incident.
If you spent any time in the military, you know that the military is notorious for using checklists. They have checklists for everything from maintaining and operating the most sophisticated military hardware and equipment to making their beds in the morning. Other notable users of checklists are law enforcement, fire departments, medical facilities, and manufacturing facilities. Even auto mechanics use some kind of a checklist when they change the oil in your car.
But, are checklists important to me? I don’t have a critical job. Or, I’m retired, why do I need a checklist? Well, the answers to those questions are that we all use forms of checklists every day without even thinking about it. If you use a recipe to cook a new dish for dinner, you used a form of a checklist. If you made a shopping list to make sure you had all of the ingredients on hand to make that new dish, you used a form of a checklist. If you are one of those people who use a “day planner” you are making and using a form of a checklist. If you travel, chances are you use a checklist, either mental or written, to make sure that you pack everything you need for your trip – stop the newspaper and mail delivery, and make sure that all electric and gas appliances are turned off, etc.
So, as you can see, checklists are important and play a part in everyone’s daily lives, whether or not we are aware of it. So, to celebrate Checklist Day, begin today, and every other day hence, by making a checklist of the tasks you want to accomplish each day. And, in my humble opinion, somewhere near the top of your daily checklist should be “read Ernie’s Blog”.

Hug A Sheep Day 

Hug A Sheep Day is celebrated annually on the last Saturday in October. You needn’t be an ovine aficionado to deduce that this holiday urges us to hug a sheep today. This holiday was created by the “Crazy Sheep Lady” of Equinox Farms to celebrate the birthday of the first sheep she ever owned, Punkin. Punkin was rescued from the Bluegrass Stockyards in 1992 to prevent him from being slaughtered. When Punkin died in 2004, the Crazy Sheep Lady decided to create Hug A Sheep day to commemorate him and celebrate sheep in general, both wild and domesticated, and all ways they benefit mankind. From there it slowly grew to be an international affair with farms holding open farm days and other related events to help people show up and hug a sheep.
Sheep are a primary source of food in many cultures. Sheep’s milk gives us some of the best cheese available anywhere, and their meat is succulent and delicious. And, we all know that sheep provide us with wool for our warm winter socks and sweaters and a variety of other products, such as carpet. But did you know that they also give us lanolin to protect our skin as well? Lanolin is a natural water repellant and, in fact, in some places in the world, it is called wool grease or wool wax. It is secreted naturally by wool-bearing mammals to protect their wool and skin from the environment. We (humans) use lanolin in a variety of ways – from lubricants to cosmetics. Baseball players often use it to soften and break in their baseball gloves.
The best way to celebrate Hug A Sheep Day is to literally hug a sheep. I speak from personal experience when I say that hugging a sheep is one of the most satisfying sensations you’ll ever experience. If, by some odd chance, you don’t have a sheep to hug or know someone who does have a sheep that you can hug, then celebrate this holiday by donning your favorite wool sweater and researching all the ways sheep benefit mankind.

Create a Great Funeral Day 

Create a Great Funeral Day is celebrated every year on October 30th. Even if you aren’t a licensed mortician, you should be able to discern that this holiday urges us to create a great funeral – for ourselves, that is. This holiday was created in 1999 by Stephanie West Allen, who wrote the book “Creating Your Own Funeral or Memorial Service: A Workbook” after watching her husband struggle to pull together a meaningful funeral for his mother, who had left no directions for her funeral. Observing his grief, Allen felt that knowing what her mother-in-law might have wanted would have made organizing and holding a funeral so much easier. It is unclear why she chose October 30th as the date for this holiday.
Planning ahead is always a good thing. Even something as morbid and distasteful as a funeral should be thought out in advance. I don’t mean to disparage an entire profession, but most funeral homes make their living by preying on families who are grieving over the loss of a loved one and didn’t have a plan for a funeral in advance. You should discuss with your loved ones what their wishes are when they are gone. Do they want a big elaborate funeral, a small quiet ceremony with just family and a few close friends? (Do you have the money to comply with their wishes)?  Or perhaps, like me, they don’t want a funeral at all and want to be cremated – and have a “toast me and toss me” ceremony among family and friends where they toss their ashes somewhere of meaning to them, plant a tree in their honor, and then drink a toast to celebrate their life, not mourn their passing.
There’s still a lot of resistance by most families to the whole notion of planning funeral ahead of time. Funeral homes look upon it as a form of competition. If you are prepared, the “guilt trips” and other despicable means they use to profit from your grief probably won’t work. Plus, no one really wants to accept their own mortality so it is difficult to get them to discuss such matters.
But, fate is a fickle mistress. Anyone can go at any time, so having a plan only makes sense – if for no other reason than to alleviate the stress on the loved ones you leave behind. Create a Great Funeral Day urges us to be mindful and self-aware, to plan reflectively in advance, rather than reacting after losing someone dear.
You don’t need to be a genius to figure out ho to celebrate Create a Great Funeral Day.

Mischief Night 

Mischief Night, (aka Devil’s Night, Gate Night) is celebrated annually on October 30th. While most documentation and interpretations this holiday say that it is celebrated on the night before Halloween, some do say that it is celebrated on Halloween night. Mischief Night, or whatever else you want to call it, appears to have roots in England back to the nineteenth century.
In the 1950s when I was misspending my youth we called it “Gate Night”, but whether you call it Devil’s Night, Mischief Night, Gate Night, or something else entirely different, this holiday is an evening when young people traditionally participate in harmless mischief. Keep it harmless, please. To celebrate Mischief Night, go out and create a little mischief. Just bear in mind that there is a thin line between harmless mischief and vandalism, so don’t get too carried away with you mischievous pranks. You should also be aware that law enforcement takes a dim view of this holiday, and will be out in force.

Haunted Refrigerator Night 

Haunted Refrigerator Night is celebrated each year on October 30th. This obscure holiday urges us to exorcise any bits of decaying animal flesh, rotting vegetable matter, or curdling dairy products you find hiding in the bowels of your refrigerator – before they take on a life of their own.
“Who knows what evil lurketh in the nether regions of your refrigerator.” If you dare, celebrate Haunted Refrigerator Night by venturing into the depths of your refrigerator and finding those containers of leftovers that have been long forgotten. Although you probably won’t require the services of a priest for this exorcism, it is probably a good idea to have a stalwart friend or family member on hand to assist you in the undertaking of this endeavor – just in case. Slowly, slowly open these containers and prepare yourself for a sight more frightening and ghastly than any “haunted house” and beware, the toxic aroma trapped inside some of those containers may well render you unconscious.

National Candy Corn Day 

National Candy Corn Day is celebrated annually on October 30th. You don’t need to be a master confectioner to conclude that this holiday celebrated one of the world’s most popular candies this time of year – candy corn.
Candy corn is a confection long enjoyed in North America that is enjoyed any time of year, but especially around Halloween. This famous candy is said to have been invented in the United States by George Renninger in the 1880s, and it was originally made by hand.  It was made to mimic a kernel of corn and became instantly popular because of its innovative design. It was one of the first candies to feature three different colors.
Nowadays, candy corn is mass produced by Jelly Belly® using a recipe unchanged since about 1900. The National Confectioners Association estimates that 20 million pounds of candy corn are sold annually. Candy corn consists primarily of corn syrup, honey, and sugar, so it’s loaded with carbs, but on the plus side, there is little fat.
So, to celebrate National Candy Corn Day, enjoy a handful of this sweet treat today.

Buy a Doughnut Day 

Buy a Doughnut Day is celebrated each year on October 30th. As you might suspect, this holiday urges us to purchase a doughnut today. As you probably already know, I have already covered a number of different doughnut-related holidays so far this year, but to my knowledge, none that specifically request that you purchase a doughnut. This holiday doesn’t specify any particular type, style, or flavor of doughnut, just as long as you purchase one.
To review, a doughnut is a small, fried ring of sweet, leavened dough. Doughnuts leavened with baking powder are denser than the fluffier, yeast-leavened doughnuts. Originally a Dutch recipe without a hole, the dough is dropped into hot oil and, in fact, was originally called an olykoek, or ‘oily cake’.
The first written reference to “doughnut” is in Washington Irving’s 1809 in History of New York, where he writes of “balls of sweetened dough were fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks.” It is said that in 1847, 16-year-old Hanson Gregory created the hole in the center of the doughnut by using the top of a round tin pepper container to punch the holes so the dough would cook quicker and more evenly.
There are many types of doughnuts. Just a few include Bismarck or jelly doughnuts, raised doughnuts leavened with yeast, squares, and twists, crullers made from twisted cake-doughnut dough and French doughnuts made with cream-puff pastry dough. They can be filled or unfilled, plain, glazed or iced.
So, to celebrate Buy a Doughnut Day, simply buy a doughnut today. Although not the healthiest snack choice, one doughnut, occasionally, won’t kill you too much. Besides, this holiday specifies only that you buy a doughnut, not that you eat it. If you are really concerned that eating a doughnut will adversely affect your health, you can buy a doughnut and give it to someone.  Additionally, when purchasing your doughnut you can also take comfort in knowing that, should the need arise, there is a strong possibility that there will be a policeman nearby.

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

The Internet, Cats, Bandannas, Hermits, Frankenstein, and Oatmeal

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

Good morning intrepid, insatiable, internet users. Today is Friday, October 29, 2021. October 29th is the 302nd day of the year, and 63 days remain.

International Internet Day

International Internet Day is celebrated each year on this date October 29th. You don’t need to be a total nerd or geek to compute that this holiday celebrates the internet. More specifically, this holiday celebrates the anniversary of the date on which first electronic message sent from one computer to another, which occurred on this date in 1969 (just a few months after Neil Armstrong took the historic first steps on the moon). It was Charley Kline, Bill Duvall, and UCLA computer science professor Leonard Kleinrock who were the key players in making this first Internet connection.
While working on the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), (a network funded by the Defense Department that connected four independent  terminals installed at UCLA, Stanford, the University of California-Santa Barbara and the University of Utah), Charley Kline attempted to send “login” information from UCLA to Bill Duvall at Stanford. It almost worked, too. Initially, Professor Kleinrock attempted to send the word “login”, and he managed to send ”L” and “O” before the connection between the terminals crashed. Still, the characters “L” and “O” were the first bits of data ever sent over the first long-distance computer network. Under the supervision of professor Kleinrock, Kline was able to send the complete “Login” message about an hour later — And, for better or worse, the Internet was born.
The internet is defined as a remote connection between computers. While the internet may not have been possible without a multitude of other monumental inventions that came before it, it’s hard to find any other invention that has had such a monumental impact on mankind. Although not nearly as famous as Neil Armstrong, these pioneers paved the way for the existence of the internet as we know it today, as well as any other future advances in internet technology.
So, as you are “surfing the web” today, celebrate International Internet Day by raising your Starbucks mug in a salute to good ole Charley, Bill, and professor Lenny too — For, without them, you might not be able to read this Blog, post pictures of your lunch, or watch all of those “cute kitty” videos on YouTube.

National Cat Day

And speaking of cute kitties, today is also National Cat Day. National Cat Day is celebrated annually on October 29th. You don’t need to be an ailurophile to deduce that this is, yet another, holiday that celebrates our feline friends. This is an official holiday adopted by the Animal Miracle Foundation and the A.S.P.C.A. and was created by pet lifestyle expert and animal advocate Colleen Paige. Since its creation in 2005, it has helped save the lives of more than one million cats.
The mission of this holiday is to encourage people to adopt cats from shelters rather than buy them from pet stores supplied by kitten mills. Estimates reveal that there are approximately 4 million cats entering shelters every year with 1-2 million being euthanized. Often cats are overlooked and under-appreciated, but they offer unconditional love and companionship. Studies have shown that owning a cat can lower blood pressure and they have also been known to alert their owner of danger.
Cats are one of the most beloved human companions of all time. They were first domesticated in the Middle East’s Fertile Crescent as early as 12,000 years ago. When humans relied on hunting as their main source of food, dogs were most useful, but when the first agricultural societies emerged, cats became invaluable. Domesticated cats became responsible for keeping grain stores free of mice and other rodents. Today, cats can be found in 34% of American households, making them the most popular house pet in the United States.
To celebrate National Cat Day, Beelzebub, Demon, Fluffy, or whatever other name you gave your cat, some extra treats and lovin’ today. If you don’t own a cat, consider adopting one from your local animal shelter – NOT THE PET STORE OR A BREEDER!

International Bandanna Day

International Bandanna Day is celebrated annually on the last Friday in October. As you might suspect, this holiday celebrates bandanas – but more precisely, it urges you to proudly wear a bandanna today in support of cancer patients – who have to wear them every day to hide their hair loss from chemotherapy. As most people already know, one of the side effects of cancer treatment is often hair loss. This can be traumatic, especially to young children afflicted with the disease.
To celebrate International Bandanna Day, by simply wearing a bandanna today – and, perhaps, by making a small donation to the American Cancer Society or another group that helps cancer patients.

National Hermit Day  

National Hermit Day is celebrated each year on October 29th. You should easily be able to infer from its name that this holiday celebrates those of us who believe that socialization is vastly overrated. Some experts believe that this holiday honors the date of the death of St. Colman who died in Ireland on this date in 632 A.D. He had a seven-year hermitage in the Burren Forest in a cave before his death.
The word ‘hermit’ comes from the Latin ĕrēmīta, meaning “of the desert.” Therefore, a hermit is a person who chooses to live, to some degree, in seclusion from society.
Admit it, no matter how extroverted you are, there are times when all you want to do is climb into bed with a good book and shut out the rest of the world. National Hermit Day celebrates those who take this feeling to the extreme and strive to totally separate themselves from society altogether.
To celebrate National Hermit Day, turn off your TV and your computer, turn off your smartphone, call for pizza or Chinese food delivery, take the night off and enjoy your own company – without any interruptions from the outside world.

Frankenstein Friday

Frankenstein Friday is observed each year on the last Friday of October. You don’t need to be a master of the macabre to conclude that this holiday pays homage to one of the greatest gothic stories of all time – Frankenstein. This holiday was created in 1997 by Ron MacCloskey of Westfield, New Jersey. Ron has said that he chose Friday as the date of celebration because of the “FR” connection in FRiday and FRankenstein.
In 1818, Mary Shelley, at the age of 21, wrote a novel about a young scientist named Victor Frankenstein who discovers how to give life to inanimate bodies. He creates a monster that pursues him to the ends of the earth and eventually destroys everything he holds dear. People often mistakenly use the name “Frankenstein” to refer to the monster that Dr. Frankenstein created, but in Ms. Shelley’s  novel, Victor Frankenstein never gives his creation a name. The monster is only referred to as Frankenstein’s monster.
To celebrate Frankenstein Friday, watch one of the numerous of movies based on Ms. Shelley’s book – especially the 1931 classic starring Boris Karloff if you can find it, or read a few chapters of Mary Shelley’s literary classic.

National Oatmeal Day  

National Oatmeal Day is celebrated annually on October 29th. Obviously, this holiday celebrates oatmeal – one of the world’s most nutritious and popular breakfast cereals.
Good news. Oatmeal is an extremely healthy, versatile food that can be eaten any time of day. It is both filling and low in calories, which makes it the perfect breakfast or anytime snack.
Bad news. If you are eating those Instant oatmeal packets that come in different flavors you are not eating as healthy as you may think. They’re full of sugar, and many of the nutrients have been stripped in the processing.
Plain rolled oat flakes should be your oatmeal of choice. Oats are a whole grain; a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Oats are a good source of many nutrients, including copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, vitamin E and zinc, and are a good source of protein. Oatmeal can lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the risk for cancer, and is low in fat.
Oatmeal is a versatile food. Aside from a hot breakfast cereal, oatmeal has many other uses. It can be used in savory as well as sweet recipes – oatmeal cookies immediately come to mind. Have you tried using oatmeal as a filler in your meatloaf instead of bread or cracker crumbs? Do a little research online and you will find myriad other uses for oatmeal.
You don’t need a doctorate in nutrition to celebrate National Oatmeal Day. You simply need to enjoy some oatmeal today – either as a breakfast cereal or in another form.
Below are a few oatmeal factoids:

  • The Quaker Oats “Quaker Man” is one of the oldest advertising mascots in America. The Quaker Oats company registered him as the first trademark for a breakfast cereal in 1877. The character purposely embodies the values of the Quaker faith—honesty, integrity, and purity.
  • Vermont leads the United States in per capita consumption of cooked oatmeal cereal.
  • Some favorite oatmeal toppings include brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, nuts, and granola.

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

Statue of Liberty, Separation of Church and State, Wild Foods, and Chocolate

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

Good morning fans of gigantic copper patriotic landmarks. Today is Thursday, October 28, 2021. October 28th is the 301st day of the year, and 64 days remain.

Statue of Liberty Dedication Day

Statue of Liberty Dedication Day ( aka: National Immigrant’s Day) is celebrated each year on October 28th.You needn’t be a historian to ascertain that this holiday celebrates the date upon which “Lady Liberty” was dedicated. The Statue of Liberty, was dedicated in New York Harbor on this date in 1886 by President Grover Cleveland. She was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States.
Originally known as “Liberty Enlightening the World,” the statue was proposed by the French historian Edouard de Laboulaye to commemorate the Franco-American alliance during the American Revolution. Designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the 151-foot statue was the form of a woman with an uplifted arm holding a torch. Its framework of gigantic steel supports was designed by Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the latter famous for his design of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In February 1877, Congress approved the use of a site on New York Bedloe’s Island, which was suggested by Bartholdi, the designer of the statue as its permanent home.
In May 1884, the statue was completed in France, and three months later the Americans laid the cornerstone for its pedestal in New York Harbor. In June 1885, the dismantled Statue of Liberty arrived in the New World, enclosed in more than 200 packing cases. Its copper sheets were reassembled, and the last rivet of the monument was fitted on October 28, 1886, during a dedication presided over by President Cleveland and attended by numerous French and American dignitaries.
On the pedestal was inscribed “The New Colossus,” a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus that welcomed immigrants to the United States with the declaration,

“Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. / I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

In 1892, Ellis Island, adjacent to Bedloe’s Island, opened as the chief entry station for immigrants to the United States, and for the next 32 years more than 12 million immigrants were welcomed into New York harbor by the sight of “Lady Liberty.” In 1924, the Statue of Liberty was made a national monument, and in 1956 Bedloe’s Island was renamed Liberty Island. The statue underwent a major restoration in the 1980’s.
To celebrate Statue of Liberty Dedication Day, be glad that you have the liberty that she represents.

Separation of Church and State Day

Separation of Church and State Day is celebrated annually on October 28th. As you might suspect, this holiday celebrates the separation of church and state. Although it is not part of the Constitution, the separation of church and state is still one of the guiding principles in the foundation of America. This holiday marks the date in 1963 when the Supreme Court ruled that Bible reading in public schools is unconstitutional.
Ruling on two cases simultaneously, the court found in Abington School District v. Schempp, that Bible reading over school intercom was unconstitutional – and in Murray v. Curlett, the court found that forcing a child to participate in Bible reading and prayer in class was unconstitutional. Whether you agree or disagree with the court’s decisions, you have to acknowledge that they changed the landscape of education in this country.
To celebrate Separation of Church and State Day, learn more about these two Supreme Court decisions and the reasoning behind them.

Wild Foods Day

Wild Foods Day is celebrated annually on October 28th. You don’t need to be a historian or a gourmet chef, or a vegetarian to conclude that this holiday is a celebration of wild plants, fruits, and vegetables.
Humans have been eating plants and harvesting food from the wild for millennia. Due to the healthy food craze that has become so trendy of late, wild plants now often appear on menus in gourmet restaurants and raw food restaurants. Wild foods are free of preservatives and pesticides, and eating them is part of a healthy and eco-friendly lifestyle.
To celebrate Wild Foods Day, channel your inner hunter/gatherer and participate in the age-old tradition of gathering your own foods – and that doesn’t mean hunting through the produce aisles of your local supermarket and gathering what you want to eat today. Learn about edible indigenous wild plants in your area, then venture forth into the wild to find some edible wild plants to eat. Make sure you learn how to properly identify and prepare the wild plants before you consume them. You should also learn where to find them and if they have any nutritional value.

National Chocolate Day

National Chocolate Day is celebrated annually on October 28th. You don’t need to be a master chocolatier to deduce that this holiday celebrates chocolate. If it seems like we celebrate a chocolate-related holiday every month, it’s because we do. Farmflavor.com has compiled a list of all of the chocolate-related holidays celebrated each year – by month.
Chocolate comes from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao, which has been cultivated for at least three millennia, is grown in Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America. The earliest known documentation of using cacao seeds is from around 1100 BC.
While I always enjoy the way chocolate tastes, I have never really thought about how it’s made. Here are a few insights into how your chocolate bar makes it into your grocery store.

Cacao trees grow around the world in tropical areas. They grow pods, which contain about 20 to 40 cacao beans. Cacao tree seeds have a very intense, bitter taste that must be fermented, usually for a week, to develop the flavor.
Once the seeds have been fermented, the beans are dried, cleaned and roasted. After roasting, the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs.
These cacao nibs are then ground into cocoa mass, which is pure chocolate in rough form. At this point in the process, it is called chocolate liquor – and no, it’s not alcoholic.
The chocolate liquor is then usually liquefied then molded, pressed, and processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Depending on the kind of chocolate (milk, bittersweet, semisweet, etc.) cocoa butter, milk and sugar are added to the chocolate powder.
It is then shipped to candy manufacturers who make it into the candy bars we know and love.
 

There are four major types of chocolate.

  • Unsweetened baking chocolate –  cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.
  • Sweet chocolate –  cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat and sugar.
  • Milk chocolate – sweet chocolate with milk powder or condensed milk.
  • White chocolate – cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.

There is no better way to celebrate the approach of Halloween than with a piece of chocolate – and no better day than National Chocolate Day to enjoy it. So, enjoy some chocolate today. Just be sure to save some for the Trick or Treaters Saturday night – if any show up.
Chocolate Factoids:

  1. Americans consume an average of 12 pounds per person per year.
  2. Valentine’s Day and Easter are two of the top holidays for buying chocolate, followed closely by Halloween and Christmas.
  3. Chocolate, when eaten in moderation, has been shown to lower blood pressure.

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

Black Cats, Potatoes, and American Beer

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

Good morning ebony feline aficionados. Today is Wednesday, October 27, 2021. October 27th is the 300th day of the year, and 65 days remain.

Black Cat Day

Black Cat Day is celebrated each year on October 27th. You don’t need to be an ailurophile to deduce that, for better or worse, this holiday celebrates the oft-maligned black cat.
If you are a regular reader of my posts, you already know that there are a number of feline-related holidays each year – including at least one more holiday related specifically to black cats. Halloween is nigh upon us, and black cats are still considered by some to be harbingers of bad luck or misfortune. In religion-centric cultures, people often fear anything remotely related to the pagan beliefs of their ancestors, and, along with many other superstitions, black cats somehow became associated witches and demons, and were thought to be the vessels they used to do their evil. Often, it was common practice to severely punish those who kept black cats as pets and even kill the animals themselves. Although these days nobody really believes black cats are witches or demons in disguise anymore, black cats are still often seen as mischievous or unlucky.
Despite the information in the paragraph above, there are some cultures that actually revered black cats. In Celtic mythology, it was believed that fairies could take the form of black cats, and therefore their arrival to a home or village was seen an omen of good luck. Cats in ancient Egypt, regardless of color, were highly regarded, partly due to their ability to combat vermin such as mice, rats. Cats of royalty were known to be dressed in gold jewelry and were allowed to eat right off their owners’ plates. The goddess of warfare was a woman with the head of a cat named Bastet.
With all of that said, black cats still seem to be the last ones chosen for adoption in animal shelters and far too many are euthanized. That’s a shame, because speaking from personal experience, black cats make wonderful pets.
If you don’t want to celebrate Black Cat Day by adopting a black cat today, at least consider making a small donation to your local no-kill animal shelter. It can help countless felines, and put you in good graces with the cats of this world — You know, just in case they really are the spawn of Satan.

National Potato Day

National Potato Day is celebrated annually on October 27th. As you can easily infer from its name, this holiday celebrates potatoes. While there are a number of other potato-related holidays throughout the year, no matter, I like “spuds” of all types, prepared in a variety of ways, so I’m always up for one more “potato” holiday.
There are more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes worldwide. They can be classified into three main groups: waxy, floury, and all-purpose.
Waxy varieties include fingerlings, red jacket, new and white round potatoes. They have more moisture and less starch. The lower starch level enables them to hold their shape well during cooking.  When boiled, steamed or roasted, waxy potatoes come out firm and moist—the ideal consistency for potato salad.
Floury varieties include the iconic Idaho, russet, and russet Burbank (there are many varieties of russet potato)—russets are a variation bred to be harvested in the warmer months; Idaho potatoes are harvested in the cooler months. They are lower in moisture (drier) and high in starch. Due to their low sugar content, they tend to fall apart when boiled. Floury potatoes do not hold their shape well after cooking—think of the crumbly texture of a baked potato. That’s why floury/starchy potatoes are easier to mash. Also use them for deep-frying  (French fries, potato pancakes).
All-purpose varieties include Katahdin (named after the highest mountain in Maine), Kennebec (a leading chipping potato), purple Peruvian, yellow Finn and Yukon gold. They combine the characteristics of both waxy and floury potatoes, so can be used for any purpose.
To celebrate National Potato Day, simply enjoy some potatoes today. Hash Browns for breakfast? French Fries for Lunch? Baked, mashed, or au gratin potatoes for dinner? Potato chips for a snack? The variety of potato and the style of cooking are your choice.

American Beer Day

American Beer Day is observed annually on October 27th. You don’t need to be a master brewer to ascertain this holiday celebrates American beer – the most popular alcoholic drink in the United States.
Over 2,500 breweries produce more than 6.5 billion gallons annually. American breweries range in size from large, well-known national brands, to regional beers, brewpubs, microbreweries, and increasingly popular craft breweries.
American beer is produced in a variety of styles, including pale lager, brown ale, IPA, porter, and stout.
There is but one way to celebrate American Beer Day. Simply enjoy one (or more)* of your preferred brand of domestic beer.
*Always drink responsibly.
Listed below are some other “American beer” factoids:

  • Americans drink more than 50 billion pints of beer each year — that’s 156 pints for every person (man, woman, and child) in America – enough to fill 1 out of every 25 residential in-ground pools in the United States.
  • Prohibition in the early twentieth century caused nearly all American breweries to close.
  • After prohibition was repealed the industry had consolidated into a small number of large-scale breweries.
  • In 2008, the United States was ranked sixteenth in the world in per capita consumption, while total consumption was second only to China.
  • The majority of the new breweries in the United States are small breweries and brewpubs, who, as members of the Brewers Association, are termed “craft breweries” to differentiate them from the larger and older breweries.
  • The most common style of beer produced by the big breweries is American lager.
  • Most of the smaller breweries, which were founded in the 1980’s, produce a range of styles.
  • Beer styles originating in the United States include American pale ale, Pennsylvania porter, American IPA, steam beer, amber ale, cream ale and Cascadian dark ale.

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

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