Well, I’ll be off to work today. I am feeling much better, though I have that aching feeling in my scalp that I always get after a bad headache – sort of like I’ve been pulling my hair while it was sunburned. That will go away in a couple of days, it’s just annoying until it does. I have some muscle aches too, but that sort of goes along with a bad headache as well. I’m actually quite glad it’s a bit overcast this morning because driving to work is nerve wracking in the bright sun since parts of it in the morning have me driving directly into the sun. I am sipping my first cup of strong tea and will transition to coffee after awhile – I’ve been starting my day a bit more gently with some tea lately. It’s sort of nice to start out the new month without the headache, even if I had to end the previous month with one. New beginnings are always a good thing.
Verse of the Day
Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
I believe! I believe that God not only knows me, but cares about me. I believe that God not only created the universe, but he knows the number of hairs on my head. I believe that God not only sent his Son to save the world, but that he’s sending him back to bring me home. What’s more, I believe that God is pleased by my belief.
Food for Thought
Today is May 1st. In most people’s lives this isn’t a big deal, but in this area it, at least for people who live and work in downtown Seattle (like I used to) it can be an awful day. On this day a group of people get together annually to protest – I’m not even sure they know what it is they are protesting any longer – but the “peaceful” protesters are always joined by trouble making anarchists from another area, who are always intent on destruction of businesses, destruction of property and causing as much mayhem as they can. The first ever May Day Riot happened when I was working in Seattle and it was quite scary! My boss sent me home early and told me to stay home the next day, just in case things weren’t under control. Buildings were damaged, stores were looted and there was a horrible mess in the streets. I don’t understand this behavior. It isn’t going to bring anyone to your side of the table in a debate, or to your way of thinking because there isn’t logical thought and communication going on at that point – it’s all destruction and chaos. If you live or work in Seattle, be careful today. You never know what you are going to have to deal with and it’s better to be safe than trapped in the middle of the craziness.
Amtrak Day – When trains first were invented and put into service they opened up an entirely new and efficient way for people to move from one place to another. For many years it was the primary method of moving products and people, but over the years, through wars, government regulations, taxes, etc, the use of train service declined to nearly a standstill as far as passenger use. On May 1st, 1971 Amtrak began operations, rejuvenating passenger train travel again. There were pages of detail, but I figured the basics would do for now. I’ve never been on a train, but I really want to someday. I hope that train service is still going for a very long time so that I can try it for myself! As for my own family history, my Great-Grandfather worked the railroad, helping to put down the railroad ties and rails that the trains would travel on. He met my Great-Grandmother because of his job actually. You see Great Grandma’s parents operated a traveling tent saloon that followed the progress of the rail system. My Great Grandma would serve the tables, and even perform table dances (nothing more – after all she did have morals and was only 13). Great Grandpa saw her and fell instantly in love. Her parents gave permission for them to marry, and she left a life she hated to become wife and mother to 17 children. She also became INCREDIBLY strict and very religious to make up for what she considered to be a shameful history. As a side note, my Great Grandfather suffered a work-related injury during his time with the rail system. He was helping to hammer in the big spikes to the ties, and one flew up and embedded itself in his head, leaving a deep hole/indentation. I don’t know the long-term effects he may have suffered, as I never knew him. He passed away not long after I was born, though I am blessed to have had at least one picture taken of us together when I was very tiny.
Batman Day – I admit I have not been an avid Batman fan my whole life, as I’m sure some people are, but he is still pretty big news since he has lasted so long in media and movies. The character of Batman first appeared in Detectives Comics #27 in May of 1939. May 1st was designated as a day to celebrate this timeless character. I did enjoy the movies but thought the TV series was silly. I was more of a princess and fairy tales girl, rather than a super hero girl. But there’s something for everyone!
Executive Coaching Day – Coaches are pretty important in life – whether they are sports coaches, life coaches, or Executive Coaches. Most people don’t even know they exist but apparently, they do. This is an “unofficial” holiday that was created to recognize the talent of the people who were behind the scenes coaches that have helped so many executives and employees rise to the top of their industries. The idea was that the coaches of professional athletes and professional motivators had their own days, but that the people who give the boost to executives were under appreciated. Well, for those of you – I don’t know any personally – who coach the “big guys” – this day is for you.
Hug Your Cat Day – For those of us who love our cats, this is a good day. Our kitties are cozy, huggy, snuggle babies who just want to be loved. Some cats allow you a little bit of petting time, then nonchalantly wander off – as if they are doing us a favor. Other cats are true huggers and just want to settle into a lap for a long nap. Go ahead and give your cat a big, furry hug. For the dog lovers – hugging our dogs is good too, they deserve it, but today it is all about the cats!
Keep Kids Alive! Drive 25 Day – This organization is set up to bring awareness to people across the country to watch their speeds while driving in residential neighborhoods. So many children are riding their bikes, walking or playing in yards near streets, and speeding cars through these areas cause many unnecessary accidents and deaths of kids who dart out to catch a ball, fall off of their bikes, etc. The difference between 25 mph and even 30 mph often means the difference between life and death. Watch your speed in those areas – saving the life of a child, and not suffering the mental and emotional anguish of being the person to end that life – is more than worth the few extra seconds you might make speeding. Slow down. It’s important!
Law Day – On May 1st, 1957, Charles Rhyne, President of the American Bar Association, thought that a special day for celebrating the US legal system was a good idea. It became his vision. On February 3, 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower established Law Day by issuing a proclamation. Since then every President has issued an annual Law Day proclamation. On May 1, 1961 it was designated by joint resolution of Congress to be the official date for the celebration Law Day.
Lei Day – There was a writer and poet, Don Blanding, who in 1928 wrote an article for a newspaper suggesting that it would be a good idea to have a holiday that was centered around the Hawaiian custom of making and wearing leis. It was another writer, Grace Tower Warren, who came up with the idea that it should be held on May 1 to go along with May Day. She also came up with the phrase, “May Day is Lei Day”. The very first Lei Day was held on May 1st, 1928 – so it looks like the time from the original newspaper article to the actual holiday wasn’t that far apart! Everyone was encouraged to wear a lei, and there were festivities held in Honolulu that included hula, music, lei making demonstrations, exhibits and even lei making contests! The holiday, with leis everywhere, recaptured some of the old spirit of the islands. In 1928 it was made an official holiday in Hawaii, and since that 1st year was only interrupted during the years of World War II. Apparently if you are ever in Oahu on May 1st, you’ll get to enjoy this holiday for yourself!
Lemonade Day – This is awesome! This day was created by Prepared 4 Life, a Texas 501C3 organization, as fun way to teach kids how to start, own and operate their own business through starting a lemonade stand. There are two separate components of Lemonade Day. There is a month-long learning experience through which a child/youth and a caring adult do a step-by-step process of how to start a business. This process has been proven to have a profound impact on a child’s understanding of how to be an entrepreneur in any industry. The second part is the actual starting up of the business, which happens on Lemonade Day, held each year on the first Sunday in May. Thousands of children open their lemonade stands for business with support from their communities. In the years since this the start of Lemonade Day, the program has grown from 2,700 kids participating, to 54,000 participating in Houston alone. In 2011, over 65,000 kids in 30 other U.S. cities took part in the Lemonade Day experience. The main objective of Lemonade Day is to teach youth to take ownership of their lives and become productive members of society – the people who will be the business leaders, social advocates, volunteers and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow – and God knows we NEED those in this “Give Me Something Free” mentality of today! Each child that registers for Lemonade Day gets a backpack with an Entrepreneur Workbook and Caring Adult Guide that teaches the 14 lessons of Lemonade Day, which includes how to set goals, develop a business plan, secure an investor, create a product, make a profit and give back to the community. These aspiring business owners and their mentor are guided step by step with the keys for success. They learn that if you set a goal, make a plan and work that plan, that you CAN achieve your dreams! These lessons bear fruit on the day that all the youth across the country open for business, with the best part being that after they cover their expenses and pay back their investor, they are encouraged to open a savings account and “spend a little, save a little and share a little” by donating a portion of their profits to the local charity of their choice. “It is important that we teach future generations the importance of responsible business practices and instill the entrepreneurial spirit at a young age – an age that allows them to have hope and vision to excel in the future,” says founder, Michael Holthouse, “Our goal is to reach kids as a critical stage in their lives – that time when they are at a crossroads between a very good or bad path.” This is a FANTASTIC program and quite honestly, I think I will be encouraging my Grandchildren to be participating when they get old enough to understand what it all means!
Loyalty Day – this is the day to express and reaffirm our loyalty to our country. In proclaiming this day, President George W. Bush (I MISS GEORGE!), wrote, “We express allegiance to our Nation and its founding ideals, we resolve to ensure that the blessings of liberty endure and extend for generations to come.” This day did not start with George Bush’ proclamation though. It actually dates back to the 1920’s. We should take a moment also to appreciate the members of our armed forces, past and present, who are displaying, or have displayed, the ultimate in loyalty and service to protect our freedoms, and liberty and our way of life.
May Day – I remember as a child making paper baskets, filling them with wild flowers, dandelions mostly, hanging them from the doorknobs of the neighbors’ houses, ringing the bell and running away giggling. It was fun, and the neighbors seemed to enjoy it. One thing I never stopped to do though, was find out the origins of this day, just took for granted that it was celebrated because spring was in the air and everyone was happy about it. Turns out that this day has a rich history, with roots deep in pagan ritual, which is probably why we never celebrated it in church growing up. It is interesting though, so I figured I would bring it to you. The first of May is celebrated around the world. It has many meanings – in many countries it is a celebration of spring, and the coming of summer (which is where I have always been with it), and the focus is on spring flowers. To communist and socialist countries, it is a celebration for the workers. In many countries it is celebrated as part one of a three day holiday. It is not a national holiday in the United States, except in Hawaii, where it is known as “Lei Day”. The origins of May Day date back to the days before the birth of Christ, and like I said before, as in many ancient festivals, it has a Pagan connection. For the Druids of the British Isles, May 1st was the 2nd most important holiday of the year, because it was when the festival of Beltane was held. It was thought that the day divides the year in half. The other half was to be ended with the Samhain on November 1st. In those days the May Day custom was the setting of new fire. It was one of those ancient New Year rites performed throughout the world. The fire itself was thought to lend life to the springtime sun. Cattle were driven through it to purify them (must have been some very tolerant cows!), and men and their sweethearts passed through the smoke for good luck. Then the Romans came to occupy the British Isles. The beginning of May was a very popular feast time for the Romans, and devoted primarily to the worship of Flora, the goddess of flowers. It was in her honor that a five day celebration, called the Floralia, was held. The festival would start on April 28th and end on May 2nd. The rituals of this festival were brought to the British Isles and gradually they were added to those of the Beltane. Many of today’s customs on the May Day have a similarity to those combined traditions. The observance of May Day was discouraged during the time of the Puritans, though it was revived when the Puritans lost power in England, it didn’t have the same force as it did before. Over time it began to be thought of as more a day of joy and fun for the kids, instead of a day of observing the ancient fertility rites.
So, what about the tradition of the Maypole and the greenery? Well, by the Middle Ages every English village had a Maypole. The bringing in of the Maypole from the woods was a great occasion and was done with a lot of rejoicing and a big party. The Maypoles were of all sizes. One village with compete with another to show who could produce the tallest Maypole. Maypoles were usually set up for the day in small towns, but in London and the larger towns they were set up permanently. The tradition was stopped by the Puritan Long Parliament in 1644, but with the return of the Stuarts, the Maypole reappeared, and the festivities of May Day were again enjoyed. The Reformation attempted to do away with practices that were obviously of pagan nature, but the Maypole was one that survived by changing its name. Instead of the Maypole, it came to be known as the Tree of Liberty and was the symbol of the French Revolution. In spite of the new name, the peasants treated the tree in the traditional spirit and would dance around it as their forefathers had always done. Why the tree though? Well, trees have always been linked to the days of ancient New Year rites. They have always been the symbol of vitality and fertility of nature and were often used in the spring festivals. The tree, or Maypole, would be cut down, and all of the branches taken off, except the top few. Then it was wrapped with violets like the figure of Attis, the ancient Roman god. At sunrise, they used to take it back to their villages by blowing horns and flutes. In America, since the Puritans frowned on May Day, it has never been celebrated with the enthusiasm as it was in Great Britain. In spite of the scorn of the Puritans, the tradition of celebrating May Day by dancing and singing around a maypole, tied with colorful streamers or ribbons, survived as part of the English tradition. Kids celebrate the day by moving back and forth around the pole with the streamers, choosing the May queen and hanging May baskets onto the doorknobs of neighbors. And now we know! Though I would never celebrate a pagan holiday for the reasons celebrated by people of those beliefs, I do think that celebrating spring is a wonderful thing and that the elderly and the shut-ins do enjoy baskets of flowers left on their doorsteps, appreciating being remembered.
Mother Goose Day – This is a fairly recent celebration created in 1987 by Gloria T. Delamar at the time she published her book, Mother Goose, From Nursery to Literature. She started it as a day to appreciate nursery rhymes and stories. They are a favorite of children and their parents because so many are easy to remember. The term “Mother Goose” dates back to the 1650s. It referred to stories like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty. It never meant a specific person, since these stories and rhymes were written both long before and after the name came into being. Enjoy remembering a few of your favorites today – it’s always nice to take a walk down memory lane.
Save the Rhino Day – The rhinoceros has roamed the earth for over a million years and has been hunted to near extinction. Save the Rhino Day encourages us to be aware of, and support efforts to save this wonderful animal from that fate. The Rhinoceros is a fascinating creature. It is native to Africa and considered to be a leftover from the age of dinosaurs. Hunters on safaris killed the Rhino just for sport, and poachers hunted them for their horn. The horn has been used as medicine, and for making knife handles, carved statues, and other objects. Awareness of this issue has resulted in the numbers of Rhinos to rebound somewhat though, which is a great thing! Did you know that the horn of the Rhino is composed of the same material as your fingernail? Visit the Rhinos at a zoo. Watch a show about them. You can donate to groups working towards preserving the Rhino, or if you can afford it, go on a picture taking safari. It would be fun!
School Principal’s Day – Today is the day to honor all school principals at elementary, middle and high school levels. This is a tough job – dealing with all of the kids, the teachers, the parents, the administrators, the board, the public . . . the list goes on. I honestly wouldn’t envy their jobs, very stressful! However, they are people and as such there are good ones, there are bad ones, and when I was in school I had both kinds, and when my kids were in school, THEY had both kinds. Either way, it is a big job and deserves to be acknowledged. If you see your kids’ principal today, say hi and thank you. Maybe it’ll give them the boost they need to keep on going for another day.
Silver Star Day – This is such a well-deserved and wonderful celebration! Thanks to the efforts of the Silver Star Families of America, Indiana and New Mexico have proclaimed this day to honor the nation’s wounded service members. It is their dream to have this celebration be a nationwide event.” The American Legion is assisting in finding a representative in each state to support the observance of this day. The day of recognition is open to participation by other groups wishing to honor America’s wounded troops, as well. The Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcycle group that attends military funerals to shield families from protesters, has indicated it would like to hold a rally to commemorate the day. Today celebrate and honor the sacrifice of those who were wounded, struck ill, or died in the Armed Forces.
Stepmother’s Day – We have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day . . . it is time to have Stepmother’s Day. I hope there is also a Stepfather’s Day and if there isn’t, there needs to be. Stepmothers fill a difficult role. They come into a child’s life not to replace their mother, but to be an additional support system and source of love for that child, and let’s face it. Stories, movies and fairy tales have given step-moms a really bad rap! They are always shown as evil, mean and manipulative! I’m sure there are a fair share of those in the world, but every role has its share of bad guys. For the most part though, step-moms need to be appreciated and given the acknowledgement that they are trying hard to be a positive influence in a child’s life, not to do anything against the biological mother in any way. To all stepmothers, we appreciate you.
This Day in History
1840 – England releases the first 1st adhesive postage stamp.
1841 – The first wagon train leaves Independence, MO for California.
1883 – “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s first Wild West Show.
1931 – The Empire State Building was dedicated.
1941 – Cereal food “Cheerios” hits store shelves.
1951 – Slugger Mickey Mantle hits his first home run
1952 – Mr. Potato Head is introduced.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Chocolate Parfait Day – Order a parfait in France and you’ll get frozen custard, lightened with whipped cream. In Britain and the U.S., a parfait is the layered treat made up of either pudding and whipped cream, yogurt with fruit and granola, or (yum!) ice cream and hot fudge. I’ll take any with a big smile and a lot of happiness. Create your happy treat today, just the way you want it.
I need to run – but I’m going with visions of a hot fudge parfait in my head! Oh my! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow!