Happy Leap Day

Happy Leap Day

Happy Leap Day
Happy Leap Day

When : February 29, 2016 ; February 29, 2020

Leap Day is every fours years….almost. It’s every four years except years ending with “00” that are not divisible by 400. The year in which Leap Day occurs, is called a Leap Year.

Why the fancy calculation? The earth rotates around the sun once every 365 and about 1/4 days. So, by adding an extra day every four years, we get mighty close to keeping the calendar consistent with the earth’s annual trip around the sun. And to be very precise, the earth orbits the sun every 365.242190 days. So, on years ending in “00”, (except those not divisible by 400) we skip Leap Year and Leap Day. With all that fancy calculating out of the way, let’s just celebrate the day.

Did you know? There are occasional “Leap Seconds”. We will spare you the detail on those, except to say it helps to correct minor variations. On December 31, 2015, the folks who maintain the official time for the planet, will add an extra second to the day!

If your birthday is on Leap Day, congratulations, you finally get to celebrate your birthday on your birth date. Just how many of us are celebrating our Birthday on Leap Day? Only about one in 1461 people. If you were born on this day, consider yourself very, very special.

 

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Taking The Leap
by Soni Pitts

Every four years, February gives us a whole 24 hours of bonus footage to add to our year. Many people take this opportunity to “do something special” with their extra day. But why wait for Leap Day? Why not celebrate the “leaps” and risks we take every day when we venture outside of our comfort zone or work to improve our lives?
Of course change, especially life-altering change, is bone-shakingly frightening sometimes. The whole concept is fraught with a veritable minefield of “what ifs” that can be hard for us to see and get past in order to reach the destination point where our dreams lie. So I offer you the following “what ifs” along with some answers to help you take that leap, whatever it may be, and land safely on the other side!
1) What if I suck?
So suck. I’m a big fan of sucking. Being awful at the outset (often referred to in Eastern cultures as the possessing a beginner’s mind) keeps you from getting cocky and is the ideal state from which to achieve perfection; those who think they don’t suck often believe, incorrectly, that they have no more to learn. One of the things that I learned a long time ago is that it is often better to be a blank slate upon which those who are there to teach you can write than to come equipped with prejudices, techniques and ways of doing things that are inappropriate or even destructive to the new situation and that have to be unlearned before any real progress can be made. Learn to love your inner doofus. It’s one of the things that keep you from stagnating at your current level of achievement.
2) What if get there and I hate it?
So hate it. It’s hardly the end of the world. In fact, many cultures and religions believe that we’re put here in this life to experience and enjoy all of the vast range of human experience, including being miserable and other negative emotions. And some people, such as writers, artists, musicians and the like, actually look forward to such times as a way to accumulate top-shelf material for their next project. So feel free to feel bad – revel in it, if you will – and then when you get bored, move on to the next amusement ride of life and give someone else a turn at whatever you were doing.
3) What if I love it so much that I’m torn about stopping to have a family, going to school, running off to join the circus (or whatever your previous long-term plans were)?
As the saying goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans for tomorrow”. Plans have a way of becoming either “traps or scraps” as life has its own way with you. They can be traps by virtue of making you feel obligated to follow them, especially if you have “sunk costs” like a degree, family expectations or a long career invested in them, even when you no longer get any enjoyment out of that way of life. And they often end up scrapped when unforeseen circumstances blow us so far out to sea, as it were, that we no longer have any hope of paddling back to that particular shore in our lifetime. When that sort of event occurs in the absence of any real alternatives, the loss can be as devastating as a death. Learn to arrange your life so that you will enjoy it even if your long-range plans never come true. Then, when and if it’s the right time to head out after your original goals, you’ll have a great foundation to build on.
You should also learn to distinguish between “planning for” and “planning to do”. If you have a goal you’d like to accomplish or reach one day, plan for it (stay healthy and take your vitamins if you want a family, save for tuition if you’d like to go to school, sharpen your tumbling skills if the circus is your raison d’etre, etc.), but don’t worry so much about planning to do it, such as engaging in the process of creating a step-by-step 5-year plan – and then dealing with the attendant stress of not meeting your arbitrarily established milestones should life intervene, as it is wont to do. You’ll know when you get there that it’s time to start actively working toward your goal, assuming life doesn’t take you in an entirely new direction before then, and by that time your life will may changed so much that quite probably none of your previously generated plans will be relevant anyway. Trying to fit your life into an established plan despite its protests to the contrary causes untold sorrow and pain. Live the life that makes you happy today, tomorrow and everyday, and let your long-term plans stretch and bend to accommodate your life rather than the other way around.
4) What if I get depressed, sick, lost, confused, etc. and can’t keep up with the requirements of this new venture?
So don’t keep up – fly, fall, wallow, soar, bounce, flop. It’s just more material and more experience! Again – when you get bored, move on, move up, get medical or other help if necessary, and let someone else get on the ride.
5) What if I’m too lazy, too set in my ways, too undisciplined, eccentric, etc., to be a “player”?
Work with yourself, not against yourself. It’s called working smarter, not harder. They make big ol’ honking posters about it and stick them up on in break rooms everywhere. Learn to work with your strengths and around your weaknesses to get the most done with the least amount of effort and you’ll be a step ahead of the rest of the floundering, struggling, gasping pack expending all their generative energy swimming upstream trying to do it the “right” way!
6) What I decide I want to do this, and then can’t get a high-enough salary, make money at it, get famous, make it a success (or whatever your preferred form of compensation may be)?
Well, you could kick the guys in accounting in the shins and swipe their wallets while they’re down, but that’s really a short-term solution.
Remember, money doesn’t always come in the form of money. Company cars, laptops, benefits, etc., can all be part of a corporate package and they don’t hurt the guys in accounting as bad as being forced to add zeros to a check (or as bad as being kicked in the shins, for that matter). As for non-work-related changes, remember that living a happy life that you control can net you big-time compensation in the form of better health (and we all know how medical bills can add up), less stress, an effervescent sense of freedom that is hard to replicate without illegal drugs and other intangible benefits. It usually “pays” more to live a great life with less money than to live a miserable one with a better paycheck.
7) But really, what if there’s a real cash-flow problem?
Pretend to be a religious holy person on a ‘real world’ sabbatical. Scale back your life, use the money you do make for the bare essentials and spend your free time doing good works. Stuff will come your way through networking, contacts, your good reputation, etc. Opening the doors of your life to other people allows for two-way travel, you know.
8) What if there’s not enough money, freedom, compensation, etc., to accommodate plans I’ve already made?
You remember what I said about plans, right? Sometimes, you’ll just have to choose between plans made then and dreams sought now. Another saying that speaks to this issue is as follows: “You can have anything you want in this life. You just can’t have everything.” Go over both your plans and your dreams. Which one gives you the greater feeling of joy? Which one, when you think about abandoning it, gives you the greater feeling of loss? It’s occasionally a close call, but usually a simple process of prioritization and revisiting old, and sometime changed, values and needs shows a clear winner.
9) What if I buckle under the pressure?
Take some yoga classes – it makes buckling easier and more graceful, and you don’t make those embarrassing popping noises in your knees. Plus, the meditation and stretching/breathing will make you less likely to buckle, as well. And learn to take wisdom from those grade-school fire-safety posters – sometimes you have to get really low in order to escape the heat and save yourself. Don’t assume that a lowered posture is a sign of a lowered stature. Sometimes it can serve to take the heat off your back until the fire calms down.
10) What if I FAIL (gasp!) and have to return to (whatever life you left), and everyone will know and it will suck?
And so, we have come full circle – back to sucking. Suck, baby, suck! It’s when life sucks that it quits being boring. And if you do have to go back, don’t go back with your tail between your legs (get that thing removed, will you? It’s disturbing when you wag it). Go back with an enhanced resume/life experience including all the new and nifty stuff you’ve learned. Present yourself as returned from a cross-training internship working along side the big guys, and now ready to take on greater (and greater recompensed) challenges! The “real” players do it all the time – why not you?
I have created a free month-long e-course developed from this article, available on my website, including all of the material above, expanded and partnered with action steps that you can take to ensure that you stick the landing of your leap with a 10.0 score for finesse, style and energy! I am also working on an even larger and more in-depth coaching program building up from this e-course – look for it to be available sometime later this year!

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Happy Floral Design Day

Happy Floral Design Day

Happy Floral Design Day
Happy Floral Design Day

Date When Celebrated : Always February 28

Floral Design Day is the perfect day to appreciate and create floral arrangements. Flowers are loved by all, especially the ladies. It seems only fitting that we have a day set aside to appreciate the creativity and artistic quality of flower arrangements.

The perfect activities for today include:

Create a floral design with real, live, or dried flowers
Take pictures of floral designs.
View floral designs.
Draw pictures of floral designs.
Have the kids get in on the fun. Get out the crayons and let them draw floral designs for an aunt or a grandmother.
Guys: Get in touch with your feminine side and make some floral designs today. If you just can’t bring yourself to do this, you will be happy to know that today is also Public Sleeping Day.

Origin of Floral Design Day:
Massachusetts Governonr William F. Weld proclaimed this day in 1995. See the Floral Design Day Proclamation.

Floral Design Day was created to honor Carl Rittner the founder of our floral design school, a pioneer in floral art education. Rittner founded the Rittener School of Floral Design

Flower of the Day: Hollyhock
Recipe of the Day: French Salad Dressing

 

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Organising your Wedding Stationery
by Claire Bowes

Of all the things you need to do, buy and organize in preparation for your wedding, wedding stationery is something that must be planned ahead. After all, you need to let your guests know well in advance of your forthcoming big day. Your wedding invitation and accessories set the tone for your special day firmly establishing your style and taste. It is the first official message about your wedding that a guest will receive from you, so make it special. If wedding etiquette is important to you, then make a start with your wedding stationery.
The Use of the Internet
The Internet has opened up new avenues for anyone planning a wedding. All your research can literally be done online and this also applies to finding your stationery items. There are hundreds of online stationery and wedding related websites that display all types of wedding invitations and accessories for you to choose from. Today many brides do their wedding research online as you can become quickly informed of the latest trends and new products available. You can either buy your wedding stationery directly over the Internet, or collect ideas and samples and take these to your local stationery store to implement. Most online stores actually send you a sample in the post to let you look and feel the stationery items before you purchase them.
Custom Stationery
Every bride wants her wedding to be as unique as can be. A good place to start is with custom wedding stationery. The great advantage with custom stationery is that you can enter your own wording, select the typeface, text size and color. No matter what theme you have set for your wedding, you will surely be able to customize your stationery to compliment the tone. Wedding invitations and accessories can be bought in various styles such as classic, contemporary, floral, embossed, layered and religious.
On a Budget?
If you’re on a budget and looking for cheaper wedding stationery items, then you might like to consider print-at-home wedding invitations. Save money and impress your guests when you personalize and print your wedding invitations at home using free online services that are available from some major online stationery stores. You pay for the paper and envelopes and then use their software to print directly from your own PC. With sophisticated customization tools, you’ll be able to enter your text, tweak it, preview it, and print it. No mistakes, no hassles, no wasted cards – and its cheap!
Choose a Theme
The theme of your stationery should coincide with the overall theme of your wedding. For example, if you are having a garden wedding then you may choose to have a floral print on your stationery items. There are many accessory items available to help you tie your stationery in with the theme of your wedding. For example, ribbons, hearts, rings, white doves etc.. The same applies to the color of your invitations. This is normally decided upon by the color of your bridesmaids dresses.
Stationery Items
You would be surprised at how many wedding stationery items there are. While your wedding invitation is the most prominent item of stationery, you can find complimentary stationery accessories to match your wedding invitations:-

Wedding Invitations
Wedding Programs
Announcements
Engagement Announcements & Invitations
Save-the-Date Cards
Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
Bridal Shower Invitations
Wedding Accessories (menu cards, thank you notes etc..)

Plan Head
Your wedding invitation is the first official message about your wedding and your guests need to know about their invite in plenty of time. Here is a checklist to help you plan ahead and be organised:-

Double-check that the wording in your invitation is correct. Ask a friend or family member to also look through the invitation for you;
Order your invitations as soon as your date, time and place have been confirmed. Three to six months before the ceremony is what most expert planners suggest;
To calculate the number of invitations to order remember to count one invitation per single guest, couple and family;
After calculating the number of invitations add approximately 25 invitations to your order: 10-12 more for keepsakes, plus extras for the last-minute guests. Also, depending on how large your order is, add 25 to 50 additional envelopes in case of mistakes in addressing;
Most established wedding planners agree that you should plan to mail your invitations six weeks before the wedding. This gives the quest plenty of time to respond;
Make sure you have one completely assembled invitation weighed at the post office to determine the correct postage.

Wedding invitations set the tone for your wedding and tell your guests what type of style and theme you have chosen for your wedding.
Summary
Don’t underestimate the important of your wedding stationery. It sets the tone and style of your wedding and portrays the image you want to set. Wedding stationery should tie in with the overall theme of your wedding. Invitations and announcements can be bought on a budget by using specialty software to print from your PC.

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Ice Hockey Coach Survival Kit Idea

Ice Hockey Coach Survival Kit Idea

Ice Hockey Coach Survival Kit Idea
Ice Hockey Coach Survival Kit Idea

Eraser – to remind you that even coaches make mistakes
Cotton Ball – to cushion all the falls
Throat Lozenges – for when you loose your voice
Fireball – to warm you up on the ice
Marbles – to replace the ones you loose
Teeth -(those false play ones) to replace the ones you could loose
Gum – to help your team stick together
Star – to help you make every child shine
Snickers Bar – to remind you that laughter can overcome all
Puzzle Piece – to remind you that every child is an important part of the puzzle
Balloon – to remind you to teach the children to reach for the sky
Tums – for all the upset stomachs
Hugs & Kisses – to remind you that you are appreciated
Bubble Gum – to remind you not to burst any child’s bubble

 

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New York Sports

 

New York City is most definitely a city that loves its sports and cheers for the home team. New York is probably the best represented city and state in this country when it comes to major league teams. I’ve never quite seen anything like it but I honestly can’t imagine a night when there isn’t some sort of major sporting event taking place somewhere in this great city.

 

The National Hockey League that almost wasn’t is back and going strong. New York is represented well by the Ranger’s who have made a wonderful deal this year to woo Shanahan away from the Red Wings. They play their home games at Madison Square Garden and have some of the most loyal fans. Even if you’re say from Detroit and visiting, and if the Rangers are playing at home then it’s the perfect opportunity (assuming you can get a ticket) to drop in and see how Shanahan is adjusting to life in the Big Apple and if he misses life back at the Joe.

 

Putting hockey aside for now, there are many other professional sports you can enjoy watching while you’re visiting New York City. I think there are a few baseball fans in this city somewhere. I say a few because it seems that they had to create two baseball teams in order to contain all the fans. I will say though that these fans are loyal to a fault to the teams they support. The New York Mets and the New York Yankees represent this great city in Major League Baseball and both teams draw loyal support from all their fans.

 

The amazing thing to me is that the double-teaming didn’t end with baseball. It seems that New York City also has two National Football League teams as well. The New York Giants and the New York Jets both represent this fair city to football fans across the country. While I have no favorite or even preference for all these teams and really have no idea how a city can survive with this sort of heated division. Obviously they aren’t as rabid as some hockey fans can tend to be or there would be civil war within the streets.

 

All joking aside, it seems that so far there is only one NBA team and they are the New York Knicks. I won’t go into how unfair it is to so improperly represent hockey and basketball because these guys might actually be getting the better end of the bargain-the entire city roots for them, not just half. With so many major sporting opportunities it’s amazing that men in this city get anything at all accomplished without carrying a portable pocket television with them at all times.

 

I don’t know about your house, but in my house it’s difficult enough to schedule important events in our family lives around one local team for each sport (and we don’t even have a baseball team). I can’t imagine how women in New York do it. But to all of you women and the men you love, I have to say kudos for supporting your great teams and giving your many visitors such wonderful opportunities to watch our sports when we’re away from home too. It’s hard to identify one thing about this city that is the greatest but that just may be it.

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Happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day
Happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Date When Celebrated : Always February 26

This is a day that Fairy Tales are made of (and for). It’s Tell a Fairy Tale Day . Today is a great opportunity to read your kids. If the kids aren’t around, its certainly okay to read them alone. We all know that everybody loves a good fairy tale.

To qualify as a fairy tale, a story does not have to begin with “Once upon a time…..”. But, they usually do. It is a requirement that the story has a happy ending. There’s nothing better than a good story that ends with “and they all lived happily ever after”.

On Fairy Tale Day, cozy up under a blanket with the kids and read “the good book”….a fairy tale book. Libraries and schools will often mark this day with special fairy tale readings and story hours.

Origin of Tell a Fairy Tale Day:
Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day. Even though we can not trace the origins of this day, this special day is not a fable.

If you have any information about this holiday, please email us.

Flower of the Day: Periwinkle
Recipe of the Day: Hot Cross Buns

 

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Relaxation Techniques for Toddler’s Bedtime

Though it may seem like your toddler does nothing but play all day, he’s working very hard and by no means is his life stress-free. As he’s learning to walk, talk, and climb, he’s pushing himself to the limits of his physical strength and mental learning. He’s also falling down, bumping, surprising, and hurting himself over and over again each day. And since your toddler doesn’t yet know how to roll with the punches or ease up on himself, he’s constantly frustrated and angered by failure. All this activity is bound to make for an exhausted toddler.

If you find his favorite activities or routine tasks are frustrating him, he’s most likely overtired and in need of restorative and restful sleep. Physical exhaustion, excitement, and tension build up until he no longer knows he’s tired. Then it is up to you as a parent to help him figure out how to stop and rest. You can help make the transition from busy, active, energetic day to tranquil, quiet and peaceful night by easing him into sleep with quiet activities in the evening after dinner. Coloring a picture, sitting down and watching a favorite, but quiet, video, reading books, singing, quiet play at bath time, or singing lullabies together helps your toddler disconnect and start winding down. If this is done within the framework of a consistent bedtime routine, your toddler will come to associate these activities with bedtime and find them comforting and he’ll be able to easily recognize when bedtime occurs.

It’s also important to relax with your toddler. If he sees you busy in the kitchen cleaning, outside gardening, or doing other busy activities in the evenings, he’ll be likely to want to do the same, making the bedtime routine frustrating for everyone involved.

 

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Hurricane Survival Kit

Hurricane Survival Kit

Hurricane Survival Kit
Hurricane Survival Kit

Radio Batteries – to keep up-to-date on the world around you
Pencil & Paper – to make up for not being able to use the puter
Band-aids – for the boo-boos you’ll get when cleaning all that debris
Lifesaver – because you are one to the cat that’s stuck in the tree
Marble – to replace the MANY that you’ll lose in the wind
Glitter – to remind you to look on the bright side
A Match – to light a fire when you’re cold
A String – to tie things together when everything falls apart, literally!
Tylenol – for the headache you’ll have when you see the mess you’ll have to clean up!
Candle – to light your way in the dark night

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Life Lessons From Hurricane Katrina
by Royane Real

During the past couple of weeks, like many millions of other people around the world I spent a lot of time watching the horrific events taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana, unable and unwilling to believe that what I was seeing was actually taking place in the United States of America.
And though we often forget most big disasters after just a few weeks, I think that people will be talking about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for a long time to come.
Like many other people, as the disaster unfolded, I assumed that because this was happening in the United States, the rescuing response would be very swift and very well organized. And it wasn’t.
Whenever a big tragedy of this magnitude occurs, whether in the United States or elsewhere in the world, many people will find themselves re-examining how they live, and perhaps examining some of their most basic beliefs about what is truly important
During the week that stranded evacuees waited in heat and filth, desperate for water and food, while others drowned in their own homes as the water levels rose, it really hit me as I thought to myself, Tonight I am in my own home in a safe city. No one I care about is missing. Anytime today that I wanted a drink of water, it was there. The air smelled good. I wan’t afraid. I had food to eat.
This tragedy reminds us: our real needs as human beings are so simple. And when our basic needs are met, our minds get restless and our minds start inventing other needs for us. A new car. More money. A bigger house. A different couch. We forget the difference between our needs and our desires.
On television I saw one family who had nothing left to call home but a mattress on the floor in the basement of a church, but they were some of the happiest people I had ever seen. Happy because they were alive, and they were together and they had hope.
The crisis in New Orleans reminded us again, of what our basic needs are. Food to eat when we are hungry and water to drink when we are thirsty. Being able to live down at night in a safe place. A sweet breath of fresh air.
Being with the people we care about, and people who care about us. Being part of a community where we have value and dignity. Having someone to look after us when we are sick, and someone to comfort us when we are dying.
As the aftermath of the hurricane in New Orleans shows us, even our most basic needs are not guaranteed to always be there. If you have food to eat today, and clean water, and a safe place to live with your loved ones, you’re lucky, and not just lucky in a superficial way. Every day that you get up and your basic needs are met, it is a gift to you, a miracle. mattress on the floor in the basement of a church, but they were some of the happiest people I had ever seen. Happy because they were alive, and they were together and they had hope.
The crisis in New Orleans reminded us again, of what our basic needs are. Food to eat when we are hungry and water to drink when we are thirsty. Being able to live down at night in a safe place. A sweet breath of fresh air.
Being with the people we care about, and people who care about us. Being part of a community where we have value and dignity. Having someone to look after us when we are sick, and someone to comfort us when we are dying.
As the aftermath of the hurricane in New Orleans shows us, even our most basic needs are not guaranteed to always be there. If you have food to eat today, and clean water, and a safe place to live with your loved ones, you’re lucky, and not just lucky in a superficial way. Every day that you get up and your basic needs are met, it is a gift to you, a miracle.

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St Patrick s Day Traditions

St Patrick s Day Traditions

St Patrick s Day Traditions
St Patrick s Day Traditions

On March 17, 431AD, when Patrick of Ireland died, a new holiday was born. Though the celebrations began in the 700’s as a traditional Catholic Holy Day, over the years St. Patrick’s Day has become more a secular holiday which marks the beginning for spring. The official date for the beginning of spring is March 21, and this also supports the tradition of wearing green. Green is the color for life and growth and if you desire good luck and on this day, you should “be wearin’ a touch o’ the green!
The spreading of Christianity and Catholicism to the Irish of the 4th and 5th century is mainly attributed to St. Patrick, who received the name of Patrick while in seminary after his captivity in Ireland. Traditions that originated back in the 7th century have changed from being strictly religious to a St. Patrick’s Day where “everybody is Irish for the day”. Catholics will start the day off at early mass which signifies the beginning of the holiday. Tradition has it that St. Patrick often used a Shamrock to explain to pagans the concept of the Trinity. The trinity is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost which Christians know all stem from the same God – three in one like the Shamrock plant – three leaves from one stem. If you are wearing a shamrock you can claim Good Luck or Blessings! The tradition of the Shamrock still remains though most don’t know the reason behind it; but it still means Good Luck! to whoever wears it or receives it.
St. Patrick’s Day was first observed as a holiday in the United States in 1737. The US was still under the authority of the British because the Revolutionary War that gave freedom didn’t even start until 1776. So even though many of the Irish had not yet arrived to our shores yet, St. Patrick’s Day was still considered a very important holiday. Queen’s NY started the first parade in honor of St. Patrick and as a result, St. Patrick’s Day parades are popular all across the country. Parades are a great way to celebrate this day!
If you need a tad bit more good luck to start your season off, invite a Leprechaun to accompany you throughout the day. They are packed with good luck – and are kind of cute, to boot!
Of course, one of the most popular traditions that goes only with St. Patrick’s Day is the drinking of particularly green ale. Green is the color of the day! For this holiday, there should be no bar or tavern which does not add some green food coloring to a keg of draft beer to serve mugs of tinted beer to its customers. And of course Irish cream and Irish Whiskey ought to be available too, but make sure the kids get green lemonade or 7UP!
St. Patrick’s Day is a day of fun for all ages.

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Holidays Survival Kit

Holidays Survival Kit

Holidays Survival Kit
Holidays Survival Kit

1. A stick of gum to remind you to stick to it.
2. A candle to remind you to shine brightly.
3. A chocolate kiss to remind you that you are loved.
4. A match to light your fire when you feel burned out.
5. A Tootsie Roll to remind you not to bite off more than you can chew.
6. A pin to remind you to stay sharp.
7. A Smartie to help you on those days you don’t feel so smart.
8. A Starburst to give you a burst of energy on days you don’t have any.
9. A Snickers to remind you to take time to laugh.
10. Confetti to remind you to have fun.
11. A bandage to fix things that just will not work.
12. A bag to help you keep it all together and give you food for thought.

 

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Dealing with Post-Holiday Blues
by Mary Desaulniers

After the usual pre-Christmas and post holiday celebrations, I found myself feeling a bit depressed and lethargic. The house has become too quiet; friends and family have returned home.
It is not uncommon that we end the holiday season with a sense of letdown. This is probably due to our unrealistic expectation that holiday events can provide us with lasting happiness despite the fact that we know deep down it is impossible for us to be happy all the time.
Even the happiest of people feel blue at times. What is more, feeling blue can actually be good for you. Research shows that mild to moderate doses of negative experience are beneficial to growth and development. Studies have shown that animals that were moderately stressed when young fared better as adults in recovering from stress. Difficult situations have made them more resilient by giving them opportunities to practice bouncing back from traumatic events. Studies of people who have undergone life-altering trauma reveal a similar resiliency. Those who lose their limbs to devastating accidents tend to bounce back in due time. One study found that those who were injured in accidents felt severely angry and victimized after the first week. However, after 8 weeks, most revealed that happiness was their strongest emotion—a situation that demonstrates how adaptable the human mind can be. It also suggests that happiness is not necessarily tied to circumstance, but to the “interpretation” we give to that circumstance.
By the same token, fortunate events can trigger intense happiness, but this state of intense happiness is never lasting. A study of lottery winners done in 1978 found that while the winners experienced a brief period of intense happiness, they returned to their pre-lottery state in due time and did not wind up significantly happier than a control group of subjects who won nothing.
Study after study shows that happiness is not founded on what is normally considered marks of prestige or pleasure. Money (and all that money can buy) does not contribute to lasting happiness. Neither does a good education or youth. In fact, older people (who have probably developed more resilience) seem on the whole to be more satisfied with life than young people are.
However, what does create lasting happiness has a lot to do with a sense of purpose and meaning in life. In his book, ”Authentic Happiness,” psychologist Martin Seligman claims that engagement ( involvement with family, work, hobbies) and meaning ( using personal strength to serve some larger end) are more significant factors to happiness than the pursuit of pleasure. Studies also show that those who are spiritually and communally involved tend to experience more frequently positive emotions and an overall sense of satisfaction with life. What accentuates this satisfaction is the sense of purpose and larger context that religious beliefs provide.
So what can you do to improve your happiness quotient, especially after the holidays?
1. Eliminate the either/or mentality that insists you are either happy or sad. This rigid either /or perception does not make room for the flexibility required to see joy in unhappy events. Even the most tragic of events can be a source of good and it is this insistence that you see good in all situations, even the most disastrous ones, that will predispose you to experience joy. In the aftermath of September 11, victims who survive can remember the horror of the destruction, but also the courage and inspiration of heroes whose heroism remains indestructible. In my case, I began to see the empty house as an opportunity for new growth through meditation and writing.
2. Move away from the victim mentality. You tend to grieve more intensely when you are unwilling to let go of yourself as victim. If you can shift away from being victimized, you can be in a much better position to see how the situation can also be a source of good. Remaining flexible in your perception is the key to resilience.
3. Cultivate an awareness of the silent witness—that is, taking a third party view of yourself. Imagine you as someone watching your “self” from a third party perspective. Detaching yourself from your ego can give you a totally different view of your situation.
4. Nurture a sense of history and time in the way you look at yourself—that is, identify a purpose in your life and develop strategies to achieve it. This purpose will make you more proactive in the way you view your situation. It will also allow you to engage in long-term vision and goals. Oprah Winfrey once said that it was her extreme devastation at age 16(the victim of family abuse) that made her vow she would never be victim again. And she was never victim again; in fact, what is remarkable about Oprah is that she has not stopped re-inventing herself and the contexts of her purpose in life.
Ultimately, our happiness quotient is dependent not on how much we get, but how much we give. The way we see the context of our lives as a whole is often a good place to examine how and what we can give back to our community and the universe that nurtured us.

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Psalm 16 Keep me safe, my God

Psalm 16

Psalm 16 Keep me safe, my God
Psalm 16 Keep me safe, my God

A miktam[a] of David.

1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Footnotes:

Psalm 16:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
Psalm 16:10 Or holy
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Happy Pistol Patent Day

Happy Pistol Patent Day

Happy Pistol Patent Day
Happy Pistol Patent Day

Date When Celebrated : Always February 25

“Shoot! I don’t have a Pistol Patent.” If this thought is going through your mind right now, then this day is for you. You should aim to get a patent today. Why, today is Pistol Patent Day.

In order to get a pistol patent, you must have a new design for a pistol. I’m sure you can whip one up in short order and lay down the permit application fees and such, right? If not, how can you participate in this day? …. we offer no answer to this question.

Did you Know? Samuel Colt invented the revolver, a pistol with multiple chambers for bullets. He patented it in Europe in 1835, and in the United States in 1836.

Origin of Pistol Patent Day:
Samuel Colt invented the pistol. He received Patent # 138 for it on this day in 1836. The patent was for the Colt Revolver with a rotating chamber containing six bullets.

We thought perhaps this day was to honor Samuel Colt. But, his birthday is in July.

If you have any information about this holiday, please email us.

Flower of the Day: Bearded Iris
Recipe of the Day: Marshmallow Applesauce Cake

source

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Push The Right Button
by Hifzur Rehman

You can live a much more successful life than you think! Just push the right button and see how it opens the doors of success for you. Yes, its so simple and easy. Yet the great majority of people fail to achieve success. Why? Because they push the wrong buttons.
The switch board of life has both right and wrong buttons; the right buttons of success and the wrong buttons of failure. You need to differentiate between the two if you want to succeed in life. You should not blindly push any button. Be selective! Life is not a gamble!
Any creative activity is a right button and any time wasting activity is a wrong button. Develop the habit of indulging yourself in creative activities and avoid time wasting activities. A successful person keeps on pushing the right buttons all the time and thus keeps on flying high on the aeroplane of success.
In a free society, we are all at liberty to live our lives at our own will. Its just like a loaded pistol in our hands. We can either kill our enemies with it or ourselves. Most people kill themselves even without realizing it. They only realize their mistake when they are faced with multiple failures and end up in poverty, misery and bankruptcy. Before its too late, one must stop pushing the wrong buttons.
Draw a switch board of your life. Indicate all your right and wrong buttons; your positive and negative habits; your creative as well as time wasting activities, etc. Make a firm commitment to yourself that you will never again push the wrong buttons. Cross out all the wrong buttons from the switch board of your life. Concentrate on the right buttons and let the doors of success open for you. If you have a reliable friend who is also interested in self-improvement then you can share your views with him/her. You can both encourage and motivate each other to work on the success plan of your lives.
Good luck!

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Very Happy National Tortilla Chip Day

Very Happy National Tortilla Chip Day

Very Happy National Tortilla Chip Day
Very Happy National Tortilla Chip Day

Date When Celebrated : Always February 24

Today is a holiday with a crunch. One might even suggest that it is a corny holiday. Well, that’s okay because today is National Tortilla Chip Day. Just a few decades ago, Americans seldom ate Corn Chips and Salsa. It’s popularity has grown immensely. Today is a tribute to that rising popularity of one of America’s favorite munchies.

Did you know? The corn chip recipe was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by texas businessman Elmer Doolin.

Celebrate National Tortilla Chip Day with a handful of crunchy, tasty corn chips and your favorite salsa or dip.

Origin of National Tortilla Chip Day:
Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day. It was very likely created by a food manufacturer looking to promote Tortilla Chips.

This is referred to as a “National” day. However, we did not find any congressional records or presidential proclamations for this day.

Flower of the Day: Larkspur
Recipe of the Day: Taco Dip

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EATING LIKE THE SPANISH
Bored of cooking every day the same meals, the same recipes, and want to try something different and exotic?

You can choose any culture, any country you want and you will find specific traditional food for each and every one of them. But there is something different about the way the Spanish cook, they just make food enjoying it and this is what matters and offers such tasty results.

First of all you have to know Spanish people like to eat a lot of eggs. But they never, or almost never, eat boiled eggs like we do. The traditional egg preparation method is to scramble them and fry them, obtaining a delicious omlette with potatoes and lots of onions added in the frying pan. The Spanish tortilla, as it is called is an exceptional and nutritional way to feed your family for lunch.

Another wonderful dish is the paella. The paella means that you will pretty much throw in the frying pan everything you have in your fridge. Everything that goes with each other, of course. The base for the paella is usually obtained out of boiled chicken wings of legs and to it we will add vegetables assorted to our taste. It is important that we fry everything together in olive oil for a better taste. We can even add fruits in the pan and after everything is done, just a minute before turning off the fire, we pour in the pan an assorted natural juice or liqueur or wine, whatever we want as long as we think we will like it. And the result will be an absolutely extraordinary dish made to fit our every taste and desire.

Spanish deserts are often a dream, but they can be rather difficult to prepare and they usually contain lots of calories. Spanish cooking in generally is for people that really have time to spend in the kitchen and enjoy doing it. Most Spanish dishes take a log time to complete and a regular Spanish meal can require up to 3 or even 4 dishes to serve.

If you are willing to try but don’t really have that much time on your hand them you can just go to a Spanish restaurant near you an d see for a change how Spanish people eat. But if you experience weight problems you must be careful on how much you eat, Spanish food can be addictive and it contains many calories to give you lots of benefic energy.

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