Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day began right after the Civil War in 1865 as families went out to decorate the graves of those lost during the tragic war. In 1882 Decoration Day turned into Memorial Day celebrated on May 30th and then changed again in 1971 to the last Monday in May to give federal employees a three day weekend. That seems a little insensitive to me but I guess holidays like this one are meant for the living to remember the dead by having that extra day off. And, of course, we are trying desperately to forget there is any history to America, except for that we choose to invent now… so sad, guess we are doomed to repeat it.
How to celebrate – If you choose, remember the fallen that gave their lives for you. (Or forget them, your choice) Live with the good traditions and learn from the bad ones. Make up your own history that suites you since the real stuff doesn’t seem to matter anymore. (Hey, did you know I was once a King!)
Hopefully April brought you those showers that brought your May flowers but now it’s up to you to make sure your flowers get watered! Everything in nature requires water to live, your flowers are no exception. (Even a cactus needs some water) You can set up a sprinkler to come on every day by timer or you can go out with a watering can and water them yourself, which may be good for you and better for your flowers! Watering your plants actually allows you time to spend with them and, at least in some cases, your flowers to spend time with you. It’s a good mix.
How to celebrate – Water your plants. If you don’t have any flowers, water your neighbors plants. Talk to your flowers as you water them, for some unknown reason it seems to help them.
Jazz is another truly American product coming out sometime during in the 1800’s in New Orleans. Jazz is truly the musicians music as it often gets above the average persons head in complexity. There are also numerous styles of jazz, New Orleans jazz, light jazz, easy listening jazz, heavy jazz… something for everybody! Today was created by D. Michael Denny in 1991 while on the board of directors of the New Jersey Jazz Society. It always falls on the Saturday following Memorial Day. One of my best friends is a jazz artist maybe better known for his R&B, Mickey Carroll. Give a listen to some of his easy listening jazz by clicking here.
The hamburger is an American invention, born sometime during the 19th or 20th century… no one knows for sure. Since whenever it was born it has been a favorite of American’s and one of the first things Europeans want to try when visiting America. May is also National Hamburger Month. Wimpy, from “Popeye” was always asking for a hamburger with his famous quote, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today.”. The character of Wimpy was based off a relative of mine who apparently knew E.C. Segar (The creator of Popeye) and was always after a hamburger. I’m not sure if I should claim this relative or not!?!
How to celebrate – Have a hamburger! Watch “Popeye”. Have a cook out featuring hamburgers and hot dogs.
Do you use sun screen? You should, your chances of getting skin cancer are tremendously higher if you don’t use sun screen and if you stay out too long in the sun and burn, you’re gonna lose that tan anyway! The recommendation says to use a 15 SPF (Skin Protection Factor) or better. Remember if you get in the water sun screen can wash off as well and just because it may be cold outside does not protect you from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. The worst sunburn I ever had in my life came after climbing a mountain (More walking up it) and the snow reflecting the sun back at me.
How to celebrate – Take the skin warnings properly, abuse them and you may have to cover up the rest of your life! Find out which level sunscreen is the best for you (It’s different for all of us). Watch your children for sun burns, they aren’t going to notice themself if they are burning or not until it’s too late.
Always the last Wednesday in May, World Otter Day has been around since 2014 when the International Otter Survival Fund founded the day to try and make the plight of all 13 species of otters known to man, the main enemy of the otter. Otters, in the wild, live up to 16 years and are one of few animals that actually use “tools” to get their food sources. Otters are not found on the Antarctic or Australia but they do exist everywhere else, but all 13 species are on the Red List of endangered animals. If you live, or build, near water please make sure you are not destroying an otter’s home.
How to celebrate – Read about otters, they do not make good pets so don’t try and capture one. Make sure otters are clear of where you are building. Enjoy otters at your local zoo, they are very active creatures.
So you are going to need lunch today, you can buy one somewhere, how someone fixes you lunch (Which they probably won’t) or you could fix your own lunch and take it into work in a brown paper bag. (I guess it could actually be any color paper bag on any other day) I remember going to school with a brown paper bag lunch. Of course that was way back whenever and I didn’t take it all the time. See back then we were actually served food made by a cook that new how to cook! That doesn’t happen very much anymore and having worked for the public school system for a number of years, I am not even sure what they serve can be called lunch, or even food! The day was apparently created in 2013, after most lunches became cardboard cut-outs of the originals.
How to celebrate – Take your lunch to work today. Make a picnic out of it by taking your bag outside to eat. Make an extra brown paper bag lunch for a friend!
Well if you like wearing a crown, today is right up your alley! The 24th of May was selected since it is Queen Victoria’s birthday and she wore a Tiara from 1837-1901. Barbara Bellisimo created this holiday in 2005 in order to promote “Seasons of Success”, a book designed to help young women. I am not sure how this applies or if they have to wear a Tiara or not, probably not. If you want to wear a Tiara that’s fine, just remember that because you do wear one doesn’t actually make you a queen.
How to celebrate – Proudly wear your Tiara today! See if you can find old “Queen For A Day” reruns. Read about Queen Victoria.
May 23rd World Turtle Day
Today was created by Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson to make people aware of the plight of the turtles and tortoises in our world. They formed the American Tortoise Rescue in 1990 to save these creatures from their worst enemies, man. We destroy their environment, disturb their nesting and confuse their young with lights and distractions. These gentle creatures help preserve our world and cause very little harm to anyone. It is normally our ignorance that causes harm.
How to celebrate – Learn what you can do to help turtles and tortoises thrive. Learn the different types of turtles and tortoises. Watch for turtle nesting areas.
Some people say finding any money on the ground is lucky. Well it may be but to find a penny, on heads, traditionally means you’ll have good luck for the rest of the day. Of course, you need to make sure you don’t spend it for it turns out to be the same as finding a penny on tails, which, of course, is bad luck. Now it does give pause to wonder if you find a 1942 copper penny on either heads or tails would that not be considered good luck? Since pennies during World War 2 were made of steel since they needed the copper to make bullets, a copper penny during the war years is worth a considerable chunk of change!
How to celebrate – Keep your head down and look for coins on the ground. Start a coin collection. Become a Penny Pincher.