Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Minute Ramblings

Just a couple of random thoughts from my abnormal brain.

When did we go from saying that a restaurants' food was just like home made to saying, about something we made at home, that it tastes as good as any we've had in a restaurant? Sweetie's best compliment about my turkey salad sandwiches was that they tasted as good as any he's ever had when he went out to eat.

I know that I am supposed to think that the years are going by too fast. That's what is supposed to happen as you get older. (After all, when you are 8 years old, a year is only 1/8th of your life span, and when you are 48 it is 1/48th, so of course it seems to have gone by more quickly.) But when did it start happening to kids that they feel the same way? My Little Girl, age 11, is already complaining about how fast time flies, and the other kids are agreeing with her.

Side note: Yes, time is going fast. She is my "baby", and we measured her on the door frame yesterday. She is now 1/16 of an inch taller than I am. I know, I'm only 5'0", so that is not a very great feat to outdo me, but it is official now. All of my children are taller than I am. Yippee!

A couple of health stories that did not get covered much last year:

The Harvard Medical School Nurses Health Study has determined that yo-yo dieting is not bad for your health -- you should go ahead and try to lose weight, if you want to, even if you have lost and regained before.

On the other hand, the
Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), Eating Disorder Coalition (EDC), International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals (IADEP), and National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) all feel that if you are eating healthy, exercising, feel good, and have general good health, you don't really need to worry about the number on the scale or the BMI.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York City study of 120,000 post-menopausal women, which followed their diets for over 8 years, has determined that eating red meat does not raise your chances of getting breast cancer. So go ahead and have some red meat now and then, as part of that overall healthy eating plan.

A quote for the day: Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it. ~Author Unknown

Enjoy the full moon tonight, and I pray for all a blessed New Year.

Today is:

Baal Fire Festival, Allendale, Northumberland

Check Your Smoke Alarms Day

Cowbellion de Rakin Revel, Mobile, Alabama (One of the first "Mystik Krewes" founded in 1830 to celebrate Mardi Gras.)

Fairy Eve's Year News -- Fairy Calendar

Festival Day, Montserrat

Full Long Night Moon (A "blue moon", one of the rare months that has two full moons in it!) -- Also, a partial lunar eclipse will be visible in Europe, Africa, and Asia with this full moon.

Harvest Day, Benin

Hogmanay Day, Scotland

Independence Day, Comoros

Kwanzaa, Day 6, Creativity

Make Up Your Mind Day

Namahge, Japan (devil appearing holiday)

National Champagne Day

New Year's Eve

No Interruptions Day

No Resolution Day

Noche de Pedimento (wishing night)

Omisoka Day, Japan

Procrastinator's Day -- you have to make up your mind

Republic Day, Congo

Revolution Day, Ghana

Saint Sylvester's Day - Belgium, Germany, France and Switzerland

Samoan Fire Dance, Samoa

Seventh Day of Christmas

Solidarity Day, Azerbaijan

Watch Night -- Christian

World Peace Meditation Day (International observance of one hour beginning 12:00 PM GMT, focusing thought and energy on peace.)

You're All Done Day (More like "all done in" if you are like me!)

Birthdays Today:

Joe McIntyre, 1972
Val Kilmer, 1959
Bebe Neuwirth, 1958
Donna Summer, 1948
Tim Matheson, 1947
Barbara Carrera, 1945
John Denver, 1943
Ben Kingsley, 1943
Andy Summers, 1942
Sarah Miles, 1941
Anthony Hopkins, 1937
Odetta, 1930
Simon Wiesenthal, 1908
George C. Marshall, 1880
Henri Matisse, 1869

Today in History:

80,000 Vandals, Alans and Suebians attack the Rhine at Mainz, crossing into and beginning the invation of Gallia, 406
Byzantine General Belisarius completes the conquest of Sicily, defeating the Ostrogothic garrison of Syracuse, and ending his consulship for the year, 535
Ch'an monk Ho-tse Shen-hui interred in a stupa built in China, 765
James I of Aragon the Conqueror enters Medina Mayurqa (now known as Palma, Spain) thus consummating the Christian conquest of the island of Majorca, 1229
100,000 Jews expelled from Sicily, 1492
The British East India Company chartered, 1600
The first Huguenots depart France to Cape of Good Hope, 1687
A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax, 1695
Rhode Island establishes wage & price controls to curb inflation: Limit is 70 cents a day for carpenters, 42 cents for tailors, 1776
Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa as new capital of Canada, 1857
The cornerstone is laid for Honolulu, Hawai'i's Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the US, 1879
Edison gives 1st public demonstration of his incandescent lamp, 1879
Ellis Island (NYC) opens as a US immigration depot, 1890
Brooklyn's last day as a city, it incorporates into NYC (1/1/1898), 1897
Boers & British army sign peace treaty, 1902
The first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square, then known as Longacre Square, in New York, New York, 1904
For the first time a ball drops at Times Square to signal the new year, 1907
The last San Francisco firehorses are retired, 1921
Dr R N Harger's "drunkometer," the first breath test, is introduced in Indiana, 1938

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Work went long today, lots to clean after the wedding this past weekend.

Today is:

Festival of Enormous Changes At the Last Minute

Independence Day, Madagascar

Kwanzaa, Day 5, Purpose

Miracle Day

National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

Republic Day, Romania

Rizal Day, Philippines

Sixth Day of Christmas

St. Sabinus' Day

Anniversary Today:

Rutherford B. Hayes (19th US President) marries Lucy Ware Webb, 1852

Birthdays Today:

LeBron James, 1984
Kristin Kreuk, 1982
Eliza Dushku, 1980
Laila Ali, 1977
Tiger Woods, 1975
Sean Hannity, 1961
Tracey Ullman, 1959
Matt Lauer, 1957
Meredith Vieira, 1953
Patti Smith, 1946
Davy Jones, 1945
Michael Nesmith, 1942
Del Shannon, 1939
Noel Paul Stookey, 1937
Sandy Koufax, 1935
Russ Tamblyn, 1934
Bo Diddley, 1928
Jack Lord, 1920
Bert Parks, 1914
Rudyard Kipling, 1865

Today in History:

Hugo Capet, King of the Franks, crowns his son Robert the Pious king and co-ruler, 987
Tokyo is hit by an earthquake, about 37,000 die, 1703
The first coffee is planted in Hawaii (Kona), 1817
Gyula, Count Andrássy, of Hungary, issues the Andrassy Note, calling for Christian-Muslim religious freedoms, 1875
Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance," premieres, 1879
The American Political Science Association founded at New Orleans, 1903
Iran becomes a constitutional monarchy, 1906
The All India Muslim League is founded in Dacca, East Bengal, British India Empire, which later laid down the foundations of Pakistan, 1906
Japan dedicates the first subway in the Orient (route under 2 miles long), 1927

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The internet connection here is running so slowly this morning that it took me over 10 minutes just to get to the page to write this post.

I'm not sure what is up with this, but I hope it is not a picture of how my day is going to run.

Since I have to wait for Sweetie to get up to run an errand with me today, and he has a tendency to sleep until the crack of noon any time he has a day off, it just may be one of those "slow as molasses in January" days.

Today is:

Birthday of Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (sun god)

Broadway Day

Festival of Autonomous Media

Fifth Day of Christmas

International Day for Biological Diversity

Kwanzaa, Day 4, Cooperative Economics

National Chocolate Again Day (Because someone, somewhere, believes it

can't be chocolate something-or-other day often enough.)

Paternoster Row Day

Pepper Pot Day

St. Gabriel - Ethiopia

St. Thomas of Canterbury's Day (patron of the blind)

St. Tropez's Day (patron of children; against gout)

St. Trophimus of Arles' Day

Tick Tock Day

Anniversaries Today:

Texas becomes the 28th US State, 1845

Birthdays Today:

Jude Law, 1972
Bryan "Dexter" Holland, 1966
Ed Autry, 1954
Ted Danson, 1947
Marianne Faithfull, 1946
Jon Voight, 1938
Mary Tyler Moore, 1936
Billy Mitchell, 1879
Andrew Johnson, 1808
Charles Goodyear, 1800

Today in History:

Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II; he subsequently becomes a saint and martyr in the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church, 1170
The first nautical almanac in US published by Samuel Stearns, Boston, 1782
Gas lights are installed at White House, during the Polk administration, 1848
The fir1st Young Men's Christian Association chapter in the US opens, in Boston, 1851
Emma Snodgrass is arrested in Boston for wearing pants, 1852
The first telegraph ticker used by a brokerage house, Groesbeck & Co, NY, 1867
Edison patents "transmission of signals electrically" (radio), 1891
Mongolia gains independence from the Qing dynasty, 1911
The first movie serial, "Adventures of Kathlyn," premieres in Chicago, 1913
Fred P Newton completes longest swim ever (1826 miles), when he swam in the Mississippi River from Ford Dam, Minn, to New Orleans, 1930

Monday, December 28, 2009

As Luck Would Have It

Some people consider today to be the unluckiest day of the year. I'm not sure why that is so, but there you have it, superstitions are not supposed to make sense. (Maybe it was made up by moms so tired from the obligatory work of Christmas/solstice/whatever celebrations that they started the superstition as a way to get a day off!)

According to many of these people, any work undertaken today will never be finished. Well, if that is so, then I will never finish the laundry, ever, or the cooking, dishwashing, sweeping, cat care, people care, shopping, or any of the other work I do around the house.

I don't know about the rest of you, but around here I'm not sure that this constitutes bad luck so much as job security.

Today is:

Bairns Day, Scotland (Begins the runic half-month of Eoh, the yew tree,

which signifies the dead, so today is considered by some the unluckiest

day of the year, and no work should be undertaken today.)

Card Playing Day

Childermas a/k/a Holy Innocents Day, various Christian traditions,

called Inocentes in Mexico, and sometimes celebrated as Mexican December

Fool's Day (Herod fooled himself into thinking he had gotten rid of his

rival king born in Bethlehem.)

Cross Day, Ireland

Dyzemas Day a/k/a Tithe Day

Eat Vegetarian Day

Fairy Academy of Window-Frosting Winter Exhibition -- Fairy Calendar

Fourth Day of Christmas

Independence Day, Indonesia

Kwanzaa, Day 3, Collective Work and Responsibility

National Chocolate Day

Proclamation Day, South Australia

Unluckiest Day of the Year, various traditions state no work should be

started today, for whatever is started today will never be finished!

Anniversaries Today:

Iowa becomes the 29th US State, 1846

Birthdays Today:

Denzel Washington, 1954
Edgar Winter, 1946
Don Francisco, 1940
Maggie Smith, 1934
Nichelle Nichols, 1933
Martin Milner, 1931
Johnny Otis, 1921
Sam Levenson, 1911
Lew Ayres, 1908
Cliff Arquette, 1905
Earl "Fatha" Hines, 1905
Hendrik Meijer, 1883
Woodrow Wilson, 1856

Today in History:

The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, a/k/a Westminster Abbey, is consecrated, 1065
The reign of Emperor Hanazono of Japan begins, 1308
King Taksin is crowned as king of Thailand and establishes Thonburi as a capital, 1768
A magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes Echigo, Japan, killing 30,000+, 1828
John Calhoun becomes the first US Vice President to resign (over differences with President Andrew Jackson), 1832
Spain recognizes independence of Mexico, 1836
Rangoon Burma, destroyed by fire, 1841
The United States claims Midway Island, the first territory annexed outside Continental limits, 1867
The world's first movie theater opens in Paris, 1895
The first daily wireless weather forecasts are published in London, 1904
An earthquake in Messina, Italy, results in nearly 80,000 deaths, 1908
The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom's first National Park, 1950

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Just Another Manic Sunday


We cleaned the church this week on Wednesday for the special Christmas Eve service Thursday.

They wanted us to come clean again this morning (just a quick vacuum of the sanctuary, and wipe up the little -- and big -- boy misses is the restrooms), because there is a wedding being held there this afternoon.

The youth pastor decided to have the youth serve muffins and coffee and donuts as part of the youth hosting the service today, doing songs, plays and skits.

So we had to clean up after the service again.

It was worth it to watch the youth ushers almost drop the collection basket and the children commit such bloopers as "Jesus was born in a bar." (No disrespect intended, the child was young and honestly, unconsciously, hilarious.)

Today is:

Asarah B'Tevet -- Judaism

Ashura -- Islam

Constitution Day, Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Feast of the Holy Family -- Roman Catholic

Feast of Marimba, South Africa (goddess of musical happiness)

Kwanzaa Day 2, Self-Determination

Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day

National Fruitcake Day (Unless, of course, you are like me and have spent your last several days with fruitcake relatives, at which point you get a day off from fruitcakes! ;D )

St. Fabiola's Day

St. John the Divine's Day (patron of Turkey, writers; against poison)

Third Day of Christmas

Visit the Zoo Day

Birthdays Today:

Heather O'Rourke, 1975
Bill Goldberg, 1966
Gerard Depardieu, 1948
Cokie Roberts, 1943
John Amos, 1939
Oscar Levant, 1906
Marlene Dietrich, 1901
Sydney Greenstreet, 1879
Louis Pasteur, 1822
Johannes Kepler, 1571

Today in History:

The Hagia Sofia of Constantinople is completed, 537
The Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regards to native Indians in the New World, 1512
The first public railroad using steam locomotive completed in England, 1825
Worst English avalanche kills 8 of 15 buried in Lewes Sussex, 1836
Ether is first used in childbirth in US, in Jefferson, Ga., 1845
The sorld's first cat show is held at the Crystal Palace, London, 1871
Carrie Nation's first public smashing of a bar, at the Carey Hotel, Wichita, Kansas, 1900
Unsuccessful attempt on prince-regent Hirohito of Japan, 1923
Stalin's faction wins All-Union Congress in USSR, Trotsky is expelled, 1927
The Shah of Persia declares Persia is now Iran, 1934

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thank You Day

In honor of National Thank You Note Day, I am thankful that:

We had a nice Christmas -- all 3 of us kids got to be there, with 5 of my parents' 6 grandchildren (my #1 Son was running a fever and stayed home);

We had a safe trip, very little traffic, and I even saw something I have never seen on this stretch of road before, a doe grazing on the side of the interstate!

And that #2 Son, the 13 year boy, only tried to gas us out of the car once (well, what do you expect, he's 13, he thinks he is being funny).

Today is:

Blessing of the Wine, Luxembourg

Boxing Day (Day on which boxes of goodies are given to the less fortunate, and sometimes servants and masters traded places for the day.) Celebrated on Dec. 28 in 2009 in those countries where it is a bank holiday.

Day of the Wren, Ireland

Day of Our Theotokos / Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God --

Byzantine/Eastern Orthodox Christian

Day of Goodwill, South Africa

Family Day, Vanuatu

Independence Day, Slovenia

Junkanoo, Bahamas (See Dec. 23 for explanation)

Kwanzaa, Day 1, Unity

National Candy Cane Day

National Thank-you Note Day

National Whiner's Day

Recyclable Packaging Day

Second Day of Christmas

St. Stephan's Day (patron of stonecutters, bricklayers, builders, horses); in Austria, Luxembourg

Tehuantepec Festivities, Mexico

Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra) - Zoroastrian

Birthdays Today:

Jared Leto, 1971
Lars Ulrich, 1963
David Sedaris, 1956
Ozzie Smith, 1954
Carlton Fisk, 1947
John Walsh, 1945
Phil Spector, 1940
Alan King, 1927
Steve Allen, 1921
Richard Widmark, 1914
Mao Tse-tung, 1893
Henry Miller, 1891
Charles Babbage, 1791

Today in History:

Colombus founds the first Spanish settlement in the New World by leaving behind 36 men in what is now Haiti, 1492
Pilgrims arrive at Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1620
The final trial of Louis XVI of France begins, 1792
A theater fire in Richmond, Virginia kills the Governor of Virginia George William Smith and the president of the First National Bank of Virginia Abraham B. Venable, 1811
The Erie Canal opens, 1825
Gilbert and Sullivan collaborate for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis. It does modestly well, but the two would not collaborate again for four years, 1871
King Mwanga of Uganda signs a contract with the East Africa Company, 1890
An earthquake kills 70,000 in Kansu, China, 1932

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Blessed Holiday

Since the word "holiday" is a corruption of "holy day", I have no trouble wishing people a Happy Holiday. To me, it means I hope for you that whatever day you consider holy, it will be happy and blessed for you.

So, Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, a blessed season, to all of you!

Today is:

A'phabet Day (a/k/a No "L" Day!)

Blessed are the Peacemaker's Day

Carol Day

Children's Day, Congo

Christmas Day

Family Day, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, and Sao Tome & Principe

National Pumpkin Pie Day

St. Eugenia's Day

Birthdays Today

Dido, 1971
Rickey Henderson, 1958
Shane MacGowan, 1957
Annie Lennox, 1954
Ron Foos, 1949
Sissy Spacek, 1949
Barbara Mandrell, 1948
Jimmy Buffett, 1946
Gary Sandy, 1945
Carlos Castaneda, 1925
Rod Serling, 1924
Anwar Sadat, 1918
Cab Calloway, 1907
Humphrey Bogart, 1899
Robert Ripley, 1893
Conrad Hilton, 1887
Clara Barton, 1821
Isaac Newton, 1642
Traditional Birthday of Jesus
Traditional Birthday of Mithras
Traditional Birthday of Sol

Today in History:

The first Christmas, according to calendar maker Dionysus Exiguus, 1
The earliest possible date that Christmas was celebrated on the 25th, 337
The first definite date that Christmas was celebrated on the 25th, 352
William I, Conqueror, crowned king of England, 1066
Boudouin I of Boulogne crowned king of Jerusalem, 1100
St Francis of Assisi assembles the first Nativity scene, in Greccio, Italy, 1223
The city of Natal, Brazil is founded., 1599
Gov William Bradford of Plymouth forbids game playing on Christmas, 1621
The Massachusetts General Court ordered a fine of five shillings for "observing any such day as Christmas", 1651
Handel's Messiah has its US premieres in Boston, 1818
Louisiana & Arkansas are the first US states to observe Christmas as holiday, 1831
Despite bitter opposition, Pres Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all persons involved in Southern rebellion (a/k/a the Civil War, or, tongue planted firmly in cheek, that recent unpleasantness between the States), 1868
The legendary/unofficial "Christmas Truce" takes place between the British & Germans, 1914
Montgomery Ward introduces Rudolph the 9th reindeer, 1939

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Christmas Eve Email

Today's email included the estimates for more repairs on the house.

How I hate the idea of sinking more money into this money pit.

I'm blessed that my parents will provide a gift for each child. By God's grace, I can give them dinner tonight. Tomorrow morning, I can give them a bit of something special for breakfast and a ride to their grandparent's house.

Meanwhile, I will cook my dad's gift, and #2 Son will indulge his culinary skills in making a pumpkin pie.

Today is:

Adam & Eve Day, Hungary

Calendas, Oaxaca, Mexico

Christmas Eve

Global Accountability Day

Independence Day, Libya

National Egg Nog Day

Utter Day -- Fairy Calendar (Every word uttered by the fairy folk becomes a physical object he/she must wear for the rest of the day.)

Zerowork Season begins

Birthdays Today:

Ryan Seacrest, 1974
Stephanie Meyer, 1973
Ricky Martin, 1971
Mary Higgins Clark, 1929
Ava Gardner, 1922
Howard Hughes, 1905
Johnny Gruelle, 1880
Kit Carson, 1809

Today in History:

The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes, 563
Thomas Wolsey is appointed English Lord Chancellor, 1515
Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, is "discovered" by James Cook, 1777
"Silent Night" is composed by Franz Joseph Gruber; it is first sung the next day, 1818
Fire devastates the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroys 35,000 volumes, 1851
Henry Ford completes his first useful gas motor, 1893
Irving Fisher patents an archiving system with index cards, 1912
The first radio transmission of NCRV in Netherlands, 1924
Shooting begins on "The Cage" the pilot for the Star Trek series, 1964

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Right now, I am enduring.

I wish for each of you a blessed day.

Today is:

Day of Acca Larentis -- Celtic Calendar (goddess who guards the dead)

Feast of the Radishes, Mexico

Festivus -- For the Rest of Us! (The holiday started by Kramer on the

episode of Seinfeld that aired 12/18/97, have some meatloaf, decorate

with an unadorned aluminum pole, have a "Feats of Strength" contest and

an "Airing of Grievances"!)

Fools Day

John Canoe (Jonkonnu) Day, Jamaica (A special music and dance, mime and

symbol that is an early traditional dance form of African descent.)

Mouse-Marketing Day -- Fairy Calendar

National Pfefferneusse Day

Roots Day

Secret of the Unhewn Stone -- Celtic Calendar

St. John of Kanti's Day (patron of Lithuania, Poland)

St. Servulus' Day (patron against paralysis)

St. Thorlac's Day (patron of Iceland)

Tenno Tanjobi, Japan (Birthday of Emperor Akihito, national holiday

observed as a day of rest.)

Victory Day, Egypt

Birthdays Today:

Corey Haim, 1971
Carla Bruni, 1967
Eddie Vedder, 1964
Susan Lucci, 1946
Harry Shearer, 1943
Jose Greco, 1918
Madame C.J. Walker, 1867
Connie Mack, 1862

Today in History:

Byzantine-Arab Wars: Under the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, Byzantine troops stormed the city of Aleppo, recovering the tattered tunic of John the Baptist, 962
St Philip of Moscow martyred by Ivan the Terrible, 1569
Giovanni Cassini discovers Rhea, a satellite of Saturn, 1672
John Flamsteed observes Uranus without realizing it's undiscovered, 1690
The Continental Congress negotiates a war loan of $181,500 from France, 1776
Benedict Arnold court-martialed for improper conduct, 1779
"A Visit from St Nicholas" by C. Clement Moore is published in the Troy (NY) Sentinel (Now usually titled " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas"), 1823
The first all-steel passenger railroad coach completed, in Altoona, Pa, 1907
The first hospital ship built to move wounded naval personnel is launched, 1919
Alice H Parker patents gas heating furnace, 1919
Discovery of the first modern coelacanth in South Africa, 1938

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Coffee and Beignets

It looks like tonight should end up being the night we go out to see Christmas lights in a couple of neighborhoods around here, and then go get coffee or hot chocolate and beignets (pronounced ben-yays). The children look forward to this every year.

Meanwhile, I've taken the kittens in to see the vet about their crusty eyes that weren't getting worse, but weren't getting better, either. They are on a different eye ointment, and Ozzie is dehydrated so he got fluids and will be on an antibiotic.

This is a good thing -- get them over being sick now, so in early January they can all be altered and put up for adoption while they are still small and cute.

Today is:

Beetle Banquet and Badger Ball -- Fairy Calendar

National Date Nut Bread Day

St. Chaeremon's Day

Birthdays Today:

Jordin Sparks, 1989
Maurice Gibb, 1949
Robin Gibb, 1949
Steve Garvey, 1948
Diane Sawyer, 1945
Joe Pyne, 1925
Barbara Billingsley, 1922
Gene Rayburn, 1917
Lady Bird Johnson, 1912

Today in History:

A serious earthquake strikes Innsbruck, 1689
The Turkish fortress of Izmail is stormed and captured by Suvorov and his Russian armies, 1790
Jules Janssen flies in a balloon in order to study a solar eclipse, 1870
The first string of Christmas tree lights is created by Thomas Edison, 1882
Ito Hirobumi, a samurai, becomes the first Prime Minister of Japan, 1885
French officer Alfred Dreyfus court-martialed for treason, triggers worldwide charges of anti-Semitism (Dreyfus later vindicated), 1894
Colo is born, the first gorilla to be bred in captivity, 1956

Monday, December 21, 2009


So, what do you do on the shortest day of the year?

In my case, I am held hostage today to the schedules of 3 other people, each of whom is waiting on someone else to do something or make a phone call, so they can call me to do something for each of them. Is that complicated enough for you?

Clear as mud to me. When #1 Son was very young, he got shortening, like vegetable shortening, mixed up with the idea of an electrical cord having a short in it, and he used to say, "I think the cord has a shortening in it." Well, I think all of this waiting on this person who is waiting on that person has caused a "shortening" in my brain.

Today is:

Alban Arthuan -- Druid Festival, 4th Station

First Day of Winter / Winter Solstice / Solar New Year (Shortest daylight hours of the year)

Forefather's Day, New England (Sometimes called Pilgrim's Day or Pilgrim Landing Anniversary)

Humbug Day

Look At the Bright Side Day (And why not? After all, each day after this will have more sun!)

Mumping Day a/k/a Gooding Day (Traditional day on which beggars beg for, or "mump", good things for Christmas, always on St. Thomas' Day)

National French Fried Shrimp Day

National Flashlight Day

National Haiku Poetry Day

National Tree Planting Day, Malawi

Phileas Fogg Wins A Wager Day

St. Peter Canisius' Day (patron of Germany)

St. Thomas' Day, the Doubting Thomas

Yalda, Iran (To celebrate the longest night of the year, many stay up for the fight against dark and evil.)

Yule Festivals begin -- various calendars, religions, countries and observances (If I tried to list them all here, I know my brain would explode!)

Birthdays Today:

Jack Noseworthy, 1969
Kiefer Sutherland, 1966
Andy Dick, 1965
Florence Griffith Joyner, 1959
Ray Romano, 1957
Jane Kaczmarek, 1955
Chris Evert, 1954
Samuel L. Jackson, 1948
Frank Zappa, 1940
Jane Fonda, 1937
Phil Donahue, 1935
Joe Paterno, 1926
Paul Winchell, 1922
Joseph Stalin, 1879

Today in History:

A hurricane hits Holland/Friesland, destroying villages with widespread flooding, 1163
The Battle of Curalaba: The revolting Mapuche Native Americans, led by cacique Pelentaru, inflict a major defeat on Spanish troops in southern Chile; all Spanish cities south of the Biobio river are eventually taken by the Mapuches, and all conquest of Mapuche territories by Europeans practically ceases, until the 1870s "Pacification of Araucania", 1598
Hue Tay Son becomes emperor Quang Trung of Vietnam, 1788
The Rochdale Pioneers commence business at their cooperative in Rochdale, England, starting the Cooperative movement, 1844
The first Word-Cross puzzle, which the printer mislabeled as a Cross-Word (the name that stuck), is published in the New York World, 1913
The first feature length color and sound cartoon, Disney's Snow White, premiers, 1937

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In 1803

The year is 1803. The rumors swirl, thick as Maw-Maw's gumbo, and some of them are just as dark as her roux. New Orleans is in a transition, and how it will end is anybody's guess.

In the midst of this, the Ursuline nuns are concerned. They go about their business each day, operating a girl's boarding school, an orphanage, a hospital, and working among the poor and needy of the city.

They have been through transitions before, as New Orleans and the Louisiana Territory have swung from French to Spanish ownership and dominance and back again, but this new idea, of the area becoming part of the United States, has them wondering. What will happen to them and their work? After all, both France and Spain are predominantly Roman Catholic countries, and they were protected and sheltered to do the work to which they were dedicated.

Would the US be so open to them? Would they survive if there was yet another change of ownership?

When it finally became clear that the US would indeed be buying the Louisiana Territory, and New Orleans along with it, the very concerned sisters wrote an honest and open letter to the US President, Thomas Jefferson. In it, they asked if their lands and buildings would, like Catholic lands were in many Protestant countries, be confiscated, their work halted, themselves and those in their care endangered and forced to seek a new home elsewhere. Or would the nuns have to simply abandon everything and go back to the original founding abbey in France?

The response, which came directly from Thomas Jefferson (not from a secretary, but in his own hand), was beautifully worded and reassuring. This new country they would be part of, he told them, would give them the freedom to keep their land, continue their charitable works, practice their religion as they saw fit. He praised them for all the good they did in the community, and asked them to continue. The letter is one of the centerpieces of the museum in the Ursuline school and convent in New Orleans to this day.

Today marks the date in 1803 when the Louisiana Territory officially changed hands. Let the freedoms Thomas Jefferson held so dear, freedom of thought, religion, speech, conscience, the press, and peaceful assembly, ring out, here and around the world.

Today is:

Feast of Winter Solstice, China

Go Caroling Day

Games Day

International Human Solidarity Day

Mudd Day

National Sangria Day

Snowflake-Riding Championships -- Fairy Calendar (no Goblins allowed!)

St. Ignatius of Antioch's Day

Birthdays Today:

David Cook, 1982
Billy Bragg, 1957
Uri Geller, 1946
Peter Criss, 1945
George Roy Hill, 1922
Irene Dunne, 1898
Harvey Firestone, 1868

Today in History:

Vespasian enters Rome to claim the title of Emperor, 69
Richard the Lionheart is captured in Vienna, 1192
Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually settle on Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta, 1522
Peter the Great orders the Russian New Year changed from Sept 1 to Jan 1, 1699
The Louisiana Purchase is formally transferred from France to US for $27M, 1803
The international cantilever railway bridge opens at Niagara Falls, 1883
North America's longest railway, at 50,000km, the Canadian National Railways, is established, 1919
The first international dogsled mail leaves Minot, Maine for Montreal, Quebec, 1928
Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom, 1955

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A quick update

A Christmas miracle (for us, anyway).

Every kitten that I have fostered here in the past months -- Ruffino, Phineas, Phileas (Chunker), Phillip (Loudmouth), Philemon (Smartypants), Hogan, Mickey James, BooBoo, and The Goose -- have all been adopted within the last two weeks before Christmas!

This leaves us with only Billie Jean, who has an eye infection and couldn't be taken to adoption day today, and Meggie, Moe, Ozzie, and Bug, who haven't been altered yet because they are still too young. They will all get spayed/neutered in early January, and will be the only small kittens available at adoption days, so they should get homes quickly.

Then we get to rest up for a month or so before kitten season starts again.

It will be my 27th kitten season next year. After a short rest, bring it on.


Today feels very random and miscellaneous for some reason.

It's close to Christmas, but the festivities are so far from my mind. The water continues to leak in through our faulty foundation, and we continue to vacuum it up to make sure our downstairs does not become soggy and uninhabitable.

Today is the last Pet Adoption Day before Christmas, and only 2 of the 3 kittens I had hoped to have there for it will be able to go. The third has conjunctivitis, so will have to wait to go up for adoption.

It is the day to pick up our Angel Food Boxes, so we can have dinners for the coming month.

The neighborhood civic association will be selling the luminaries again this morning, and once again this year my pantry runneth over with lots of plastic grocery bags for them to use for the sand they send home with you for the bottom of the bags. After today, I can quit collecting them and go back to my reusable grocery bags.

Somehow, I need to coordinate getting the Angel Food during the distribution time, and get the kittens to PAD (along with Bigger Girl, who is helping with adoptions today), and get the bags over to the club parking lot, all at the same time.

Meanwhile, I'm not sure there will be anyone here to cover keeping up with the water.

Like the waves of the ocean, there will be nothing going on, then wham! everything has to be done at the same time. Then, little or nothing again. Often I will have a couple of weekends in a row with nothing major scheduled, then the next I will be turning people down because everyone wants their event that weekend.

Today, it is picking up and dropping off people, pets, and other things all at the same time, in 3 different areas of town, as well as getting someone to cover water duty.

No wonder it feels so random, and not like a season of peace. There is just too much going on.

Today is:

Fiesta de Santo Tomas, Guatemala (festivities last through Dec. 25)

Look for an Evergreen Day

National Oatmeal Muffin Day

Riddle-Making Trials -- Fairy Calendar

St. William of Fenoli's Day

Birthdays Today:

Alyssa Milano, 1972
Tyson Beckford, 1971
Amy Locane, 1971
Criss Angel, 1967
Jessica Steen, 1965
Jennifer Beals, 1963
Robert Urich, 1946
Richard Leakey, 1944
Alvin Lee, 1944
Tim Reid, 1944
Al Kaline, 1934
Cicely Tyson, 1933
David Susskind, 1920
Ralph Richardson, 1902

Today in History:

Licinius abdicates his position as Roman Emperor, 324
The Seldjuken under Toghril Beg occupy Baghdad, 1055
Benjamin Franklin, under the name Richard Saunders begins publication of "Poor Richard's Almanack", 1732
Thomas Paine publishes his first "American Crisis" essay, in which he wrote that "These are the times that try men's souls," 1776
Chinese troops occupy the capital Thang Long Vietnam, 1788
The US state of Kentucky becomes the first to appropriate money for road building, 1795
The US state of Georgia becomes the first to pass a birth registration law, 1823
Allen Wilson of Connecticut patents a sewing machine that can sew a curved seam, 1854
Albert L. Jones patents corrugated cardboard, 1871
The first black US Catholic priest, Charles Uncles, is ordained in Baltimore, 1891
The first city ordinance requiring separate neighborhoods for blacks and whites is passed, in Baltimore, 1910
Robert Ripley begins his "Believe It Or Not" column in the NY Globe, 1918
The British Broadcasting Corp begins transmitting overseas, 1932

Friday, December 18, 2009

Strange Gifts, and More Water

I have been enjoying the holiday offerings at .

The items there, including remote controlled hopping yodelling lederhosen, bacon bath soap, and inflatable toast, are perfect for those of us with a warped sense of humor.

My sense of humor may be warped, but even I will not be wearing a plunger on my head. (Well, maybe a brand new one, if the "Aints" get to the Super Bowl! That would require doing something over the top.)

Meanwhile, we are still vacuuming up the water as it leaks in. This divides my time into exact 15 minute increments, as the timer turns on the wet vac every 15 minutes, and I jump to move the hose around to get as much water up as I can.

This morning, Bigger Girl will take a shift minding the vacuum and will hang the laundry between times. The rest of us will go to work, then come home to do our homeschool and continue with the water duty.

This evening, Sweetie is working late and we have our usual shift at the cat shelter. Just in time to get more kitten food for the fosters.

Also, #2 Son's room is now leaking again, from under the door or the wall, we are not sure which. Let the attempts to dry the carpet commence.

Today is:

Bake Cookies Day

Be a Friend Day

Hijra (New Year) -- Islam

International Migrants Day

Mother Goose Day

National Roast Suckling Pig Day

Republic Day, Niger

St. Flanan's Day

Wear a Plunger On Your Head Today Day (Observe at your own risk!)

Anniversaries Today:

New Jersey becomes the 3rd US State, 1787

Birthdays Today:

Christina Aguilera, 1980
Katie Holmes, 1978
Earl "DMX" Simmons, 1970
Rob Van Dam, 1970
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin, 1964
Brad Pitt, 1963
Leonard Maltin, 1950
Steven Spielberg, 1946
Keith Richards, 1943
Ossie Davis, 1917
Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, 1917
Douglas Fraser, 1916
Betty Grable, 1916
Ty Cobb, 1886

Today in History:

Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia - Hannibal's Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic, BC218
Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan", officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China, 1271
The English parliament unanimously accepts Protestation, 1621
Thomas Fleet publishes "Mother Goose's Melodies For Children", 1719
Empress Maria Theresa expels Jews from Prague, Bohemia & Moravia, 1774
The first celestial photograph (of the Moon) is made in US, by John Draper, NYC, 1839
William Bond obtains the first photograph of Moon through a telescope, 1849
Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Indian ruins of Mesa Verde, 1888
The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia is opened for traffic, 1900
The Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, is supposedly found in the Piltdown Gravel Pit, by Charles Dawson, 1912

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not that kind of Dummy

Today is the anniversary of the first appearance of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy on TV.

When I was young, my father had an LP with the best of the Chase and Sanborn radio show which I listened to until I almost wore it out. It had one segment with Charlie and young "Candy" Bergen reciting lines from "A Visit From St. Nicholas" that still makes me smile when I think about it.

Then there was the time Charley convinced Mortimer Snerd to allow himself to be shot out of a cannon. He ended up "flying with his flaps down" as I remember.

While Charley was allowed to get away with a bit more than TV and radio censors usually allowed back then, by today's standards it was all wholesome family fun.

Today is:

Day of Ancient Britain

Feast of the Fairy Godmother -- Fairy Calendar

Independence Day, Oman

National Maple Syrup Day

National Regifting Day

Saturnalia begins (through Dec. 23) -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival

for Saturn, the planter god)

St. Lazarus' Day

Underdog Day

Birthdays Today:

Milla Jovovich, 1975
Duff Goldman, 1974
Mike Mills, 1958
Bill Pullman, 1953
Wes Studi, 1947
Eugene Levy, 1946
Chris Matthews, 1945
Bob Guccione, 1930
William Safire, 1929
Arthur Fiedler, 1894

Today in History:

The Ostrogoths of King Totila conquer Rome by bribing the Byzantine garrison, 546
Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud's armies in Delhi are defeated by Timur, 1398
Pope Paul III excommunicates England's King Henry VIII, 1538
Go-Yozei becomes Emperor of Japan, 1586
Shimabara Rebellion: Japanese peasants led by Amakusa Shiro rise against daimyo Matsukura Shigeharu, 1637
Congregation Shearith Israel of NY purchases a lot on Mill Street in lower Manhattan, to build NY's first synagogue, 1728
France recognizes independence of English colonies in America, 1777
Aztec calendar stone discovered in Mexico City, 1790
NYC traffic regulation creates first 1-way street, 1791
Opening of the first legislative assembly of Lower Canada in Quebec city, 1792
The US state of Kentucky abolishes debtors prisons, 1821
Violent riots in Montreal, as workers demand work or bread,1875
France declares Madagascar a protectorate, 1885
George Brownell patents a machine to make paper twine, 1895
A first prize of 100,00 francs offered for communications with extraterrestrials. Martians are excluded-considered too easy, 1900
First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane, 1935
Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and dummy Charlie McCarthy first appear on TV, 1936

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Virtual Cookie Exchange and a Peanuts Memory

In the exhaustion of yesterday, as I spent half the night bailing water from my home, and the day doing the usual, including picking up another foster kitten as I dropped off 3 at the shelter to go up for adoption there, I forgot that it was the day for the Hillbilly Housewife's virtual cookie recipe exchange.

Lots of great cookie recipes there, so if you are looking for something different to add to your season, go look at them.

Yes, it rained off and on all day yesterday, the water is still coming in. We will continue to wet vac as the water comes in.

I have only today for hanging clothes on the line because there is more rain possible tomorrow.

Meanwhile, in happier news. today is the anniversary of Beethoven's birth. Remember all of those Peanuts comic strips where Schroeder celebrated Beethoven's birthday? Even better was the time or two that he forgot! Those were funny.

I will make it a point, between other things today, to get the kids to listen to my favorite Beethoven CD today, and maybe read the selection on him from the book Bach, Beethoven, and the Boys aloud to them. A bit of a break in the usual homeschool routine, in which we will take a look at a very famous tea party (Indians welcome).

Also please note that it is the day for the annual meeting of the Man Will Never Fly Memorial Society. Check them out if you need a reason to smile.

Today is:

Barbie and Barney Backlash Day

Beethoven Day

Canterbury Day, New Zealand

Day of the Republic, Kazakhstan

Dingaan's Day, later called Day of the Covenant, then Day of the Vow, now known as Day of Reconciliation, South Africa

Eat What You Want Day

Festival of Sophia / Sapinetia -- Celtic Calendar (goddess of wisdom)

Independence Day, Bahrain, Nepal

Man Will Never Fly Memorial Society Annual Meeting

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

National Day, Bhutan

Posadas Navidenas (Fiesta of the Virgin of the Lonely), Mexico -- celebrated through the 25th, "pilgrims" go house to house seeking shelter to commemorate the search of Mary and Joseph for shelter in Bethlehem

Simbang Gabi, Philippines (Christmas festivals that last until Three Kings Day.)

St. Adelaide's Day

Victory Day, Bangladesh

Birthdays Today:

Michael McCary, 1971
Benjamin Bratt, 1963
William "Refrigerator" Perry, 1962
Billy Gibbons, 1949
Benny Andersson, 1946
Steven Bochco, 1943
Lesley Stahl, 1941
Liv Ullmann, 1939
Arthur C. Clarke, 1917
Margaret Mead, 1901
Noel Coward, 1899
Wassily Kandinsky, 1866
Jane Austen, 1775
Ludwig von Beethoven, 1770

Today in History:

An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating the An Shi Rebellion during the Tang Dynasty of China, 755
Mount Vesuvious, Italy erupts, destroys 6 villages & kills 4,000, 1631
Oliver Cromwell sworn in as English Lord Protector, 1653
The last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan, 1707
A big tea party in Boston harbor -- Indians welcome -- is "celebrated" (Boston Tea Party), 1773
Fire burns over 600 buildings in NYC, 1835
In New Zealand, the Charlotte-Jane and the Randolph bring the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton, 1850
The Kingdom of Nepal accepts its constitution, 1862
The first submarine with an internal combustion engine is demonstrated, 1897
The "Great White Fleet" sails from Hampton Downs on its round the world tour, 1907
The first credit union in the US is formed, in Manchester, New Hampshire, 1908
The first US postage stamp picturing an airplane, a 20 cent parcel post, is issued, 1912
Albert Einstein publishes his "General Theory of Relativity", 1915
The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, rocks the Gansu province in China, killing an estimated 200,000, 1920

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Three AM

It is 3AM. The rain is steady now, and has been off and on for several days.

So, we shop vac the closet by the laundry room, my personal dungeon. 24/7, we have the timer going. We empty the shop vac regularly, and vacuum up water that seeps into the house between times as well.

This is what we have had to do after big rain storms for years now. No matter how we have tried to remediate the situation, it has come down to this. Vacuum out the water as it makes its way in.

Yet again the engineer and the landscaper have a plan. This time it involves busting up concrete slab in the house and using a sump pump, as well as changing the drainage outside again.

Meanwhile, we sleep in shifts, and vacuum water. Still the rains come.

The leaking will usually continue until 24 to 72 hours after the rain stops, depending on how much rain we get.

3AM, and living in the desert instead of a swamp is starting to look mighty good to me.

Today is:

Alcyone -- Ancient Greek Calendar (kingfisher goddess)

Bill of Rights Day

Cat Herders Day (Talk about a frustrating job! Almost as frustrating as vacuuming water, probably.)

Centipede Boot-Making and Shoe-Repair Season begins -- Fairy Calendar

Constitution Day, Nepal

Firefighter's Day

Kingdom Day, Netherlands, Netherland Antilles

National Lemon Cupcake Day

Navidades begin, Puerto Rico (traditional Christmas celebrations that

lasts through Three Kings Day)

St. Eusebius' Day

Birthdays Today:

Nick Beggs, 1961
Don Johnson, 1949
Dave Clark, 1942
Tim Conway, 1933
Friedensreich Hundertwasser, 1928
Jeff Chandler, 1918
Stan Kenton, 1911
J. Paul Getty, 1892

Today in History:

Byzantine general Belisarius defeats the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Ticameron, 533
Hulagu Khan captures and destroys the Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut in present-day Iran as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia, 1265
Bartholomeus Diaz returns to Portugal after sailing round Cape of Good Hope, 1488
The State of Holland grants patent on a windmill with crankshaft, 1593
The first US law school is established at University of Pennsylvania, 1791
The first Irish magazine in US, Shamrock, is published, 1810
The first street-cleaning machine in US is used in Philadelphia, 1854
The King of Hawaii becomes the first reigning king to visit the Us, and is received by President Grant, 1874
Bandleader, Major Glenn Miller, is lost over English Channel, 1944

Monday, December 14, 2009

Offbeat Christmas Songs

This year is the first in a long time with a break in full time Christmas music.

Most years, every station I listen to regularly goes all Christmas music 24/7 from Thanksgiving on. One year they started on Nov. 1, and went the (almost) full two months until Christmas Day.

Now, I'm not anti-Christmas music. Still, think of it. No music but the same few Christmas songs, because they don't want to offend anyone and play only variations on the same few classic songs. Over and over, the same few.

In fact, this year, only one station has done this, and their playlist is shorter than ever. Except for "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," they aren't playing any of the "fun" stuff.

Now, what do I mean by fun stuff?

The Christmas songs I tend to sing.

Today is the anniversary of Spike Jones birth. You remember him and his City Slickers, right? Originators of "All I Want For Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" and other great fun and funny songs? He and Weird Al are my kind of nuts.

To give you an idea of how much I love the fun and offbeat Christmas songs, I will let you in on a little story. When my #1 Son was 6, the rest of the congregation was singing "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem." The poor kid was singing along with "Oh Little Town of Destrehan" (an area right outside of New Orleans), thinking those were the right words! I am such a bad mommy. I had taught him that, and "Rusty Chevrolet" to the tune of "Jingle Bells," among others.

During this time of year, I am likely to be caught singing the crazy songs to myself. Weird Al's Christmas songs. Stuff by Benny Grunch and the Bunch. Singing about the 12 Yats of Christmas. Or the 12 Pains of Christmas. Or how "The Hat I Got For Christmas is Too Big."

I can recite whole lines from "Dragnet Christmas," or tell you about how when I caught mommy kissing Ole Te Clause next to the Frigidaire, I took pictures!

I guess I shouldn't be allowed loose around small, impressionable children this time of year. I still think "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" is a hoot, and love to do the Elf Rap.

So, in honor of the memory of Spike Jones, go find a crazy song to sing or play.

It will lift your mood, no matter what you think about the season.

Today is:

Halcyon Days begin (a time of calm and tranquility beginning seven days before the winter solstice, lasting until December 28, seven days after the solstice; named for an ancient fabled kingfisher bird -- or halcyon -- which hatches and raise her young during this time)

National Bouillabaisse Day

St. Spyridon's Day

Unreturned Library Book Sale, by the Imps -- Fairy Calendar

Anniversaries Today:

Alabama becomes the 22nd US State, 1819

Birthdays Today:

Paul "Beakman" Zaloom, 1951
Patty Duke, 1946
Lee Remick, 1935
Charlie Rich, 1932
Don Hewitt, 1922
Shirley Jackson, 1919
Morey Amsterdam, 1914
Spike Jones, 1911

Today in History:

Osman ibn Affan is appointed the third kalief of Islam, 644
The Zuider Zee seawall collapses, 50,000 lives are lost in the floods that follow, 1287
The first artificial pearls, made of gypsum pellets covered with fish scales, are manufactured by M Jacquin in Paris, 1656
David Wilkinson of Rhode Island patents a machine that cuts nuts and bolts, 1798
The American Academy of Political and Social Science is organized in Philadelphia, 1889
Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes the first to reach the South Pole, 1911

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Two of our kittens were adopted yesterday!

Hogan, who is white except for 3 small grayish/black smudges right on the top of his head, went to a very nice family that will relish his high energy.

The Goose, who is solid black except for the white spots on the very tips of 3 toes on one front foot and 2 on the other, went to a couple who will love that he is a snuggler.

This is why I foster.

Today is:

Ice Cream and Violins Day

Independence Day, Namibia

International Children's Day

International Shareware Day

Little Yule a/k/a Luciadagen (Festival of Lights in many parts of

Scandinavia, honoring St. Lucia.)

National Cocoa Day

Republic Day, Malta

St. Jose's Day (patron of harvests, ships; against fire, fever, storms)

Saint Lucy's Day (patron of writers, lights, people with eye trouble,

glass workers, lamplighters; against dysentary, throat disease,

blindness, hemorrhage)

Birthdays Today:

Taylor Swift, 1989
Amy Lee, 1981
Tom DeLonge, 1975
Christie Clark, 1973
Jamie Foxx, 1967
Ted Nugent, 1948
John Davidson, 1941
Aga Khan IV, 1936
Christopher Plummer, 1927
Dick Van Dyke, 1925
Archie Moore, 1913
Kenneth Patchen, 1911

Today in History:

The Council of Trent opens, 1545
Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England to circumnavigate the globe, 1577
Emperor Ferdinanad II delegates the first Anti-Reformation decree, 1621
The Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes 3 militias which are today seen as the founding of the United States National Guard, 1636
Dutch navigator Abel Tasman becomes the first European to land in New Zealand, 1642
Dartmouth College in New Hampshire is chartered, 1769
Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" is published, sells 6,000 copies, 1843
Italo Marcioni patents an ice cream cone, 1903
The Relay 1 communication satellite is launched, 1962

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Circular Reasoning

Am I the only victim of male circular reasoning? Probably not.

It is similar to the "Of course I didn't fix the hole in the roof yesterday, it wasn't raining then" logic.

I'm talking about the type that has husbands never asking for something you would have to pick up at the store for them until they are totally and completely out. Of course, they also have to ask the day after you went to the store.

They cannot let you know when they are close to being out because, "I wasn't out of it then."

They cannot let you know before you go to the store, even though you go on the same day, same time, each week, because, "I didn't know I would need more until just now, even though I knew I was out."

Let's all practice saying it together: Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

When you are 3/4 of the way finished with whatever it is, ask for more.

Oh, and "There's a hole in the bucket, dear Eliza..." (I promise not to actually sing it!).

Today is:

Advent Fast begins -- Orthodox Christian

Bonza Bottler Day

Constitution Day, Russia

Day of the Horse

Farewell to Autumn Festival -- Hopi

Feast of Rekareka, Polynesia (god of pleasure)

Fiesta del Virgin de Guadalupe, Mexico

Hanukkah, through the 19th -- Jewish

Independence Day, Kenya (Jamhuri), Switzerland

Miracle of the Roses

National Ambrosia Day

National Ding-A-Ling Day (A day on which to honor all the ding-a-lings

you know, and even act like one yourself.)

Poinsettia Day

St. Cury's Day (patron against blindness, deafness, demonic possession)

Anniversaries Today:

Pennsylvania becomes the 2nd US State, 1787

Birthdays Today:

Mayim Bialik, 1975
Rey Mysterio, Jr., 1974
Madchen Amick, 1970
Jennifer Connelly, 1970
Tracy Austin, 1962
Sheila E. 1957
Cathy Rigby, 1952
Emerson Fittipaldi, 1946
Dionne Warwick, 1941
Connie Francis, 1938
Bob Barker, 1923
Bob Dorough, 1923
Joe Williams, 1918
Frank Sinatra, 1915
Edward G. Robinson, 1893
Edvard Munch, 1863

Today in History:

The Battle at Ninevah: Byzantine emperor Heraclius defeats Perzen, 627
The Order of the Dragon is created by Sigismund, King of Hungary, and his wife Queen Barbara of Celje, following the battle for possession of Bosnia, 1408
Isabella crowns herself Queen of Castile and Aragon, 1474
Jews are expelled from Schlettstadt Alsace by Emperor Frederick III, 1479
In Vienna, Ludwig von Beethoven receives his first lesson in music composition from Franz Joseph Haydn, 1792
Mexico is officially recognized as an independent nation by the US, 1822
The first Canadian coins are circulated (1 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent and 20 cent), 1858
Rudolph Dirks' first Katzenjammer cartoon strip appears in the NY Journal, 1897
Belo Horizonte, the first planned city of Brazil, is founded, 1897
George F Bryant of Boston patents the wooden golf tee, 1899
Delhi replaces Calcutta as the capital of India, 1911
Oscar Straus becomes US Secretary of Commerce, the first Jew to be a US Cabinet member, 1906
The first all metal aircraft, the Junkers J-1, is test flown in Dessau, Germany, 1915
The first prototype of a hovercraft is patented by British engineer Christopher Cockerell, 1955

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tortured with good food

The cats have decided that the new feeding regime is torture.

I am now only putting the food down at certain times of day, and each cat/kitten is in the room that has only its own food available, no way to sneak around and snitch the food it is not supposed to have.

They are determined to torment me back, and have been especially destructive this week. They are even trying to tear up the computer cords, and are literally climbing the furniture, trying to balance on cabinets and get at each other's food. If they had thumbs, they would succeed.

I have found evidence of them attempting to pry closet and cabinet doors open by clawing the edges, had my desk cleared, and find them on the table in a vain search for leftover crumbs every time I turn around.

Poor depraved, uh, that is, deprived, animals. Mama is torturing them, making them eat what is good for them.

We will see who outlasts whom.

Wish me luck.

Today is:

Aurora Borealis Day

Day of Bruma -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Escalade, Switzerland (Scaling Day)

Independence Day, Burkina Faso

International Mountain Day

National Noodle Ring Day

Radio Day

St. Damasus' Day

St. Daniel's Day

St. Gentian's Day

Anniversaries Today:

Indiana becomes the 19th US State, 1816
King Edward VIII marries Mrs. Wallis Simpson, 1936
Jerry Lee Lewis marries Myra Gale Brown, 1957

Birthdays Today:

Rider Strong, 1979
Jermaine Jackson, 1954
Teri Garr, 1949
Brenda Lee, 1944
John Kerry, 1943
Donna Mills, 1942
Rita Moreno, 1931
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1918
Carlo Ponti, 1913
Fiorello LaGuardia, 1882

Today in History:

Honoratus, the first known Prefect of the City of Constantinople, takes office, 359
Llywelyn the Last (born c. 1228) the last native Prince of Wales, is killed at Cimeri, 1282
The Aurora Borealis is seen from New England by English settlers for the first time, 1719
The first newspaper on Curacao is published, the Curacao Gazette & Commercial Advertiser, 1812
Nitrous oxide is used in dental work for the first time in Hartford, Connecticut, 1844
Boston's Bijou Theatre becomes the first American theater lit exclusively by electricity, premeiring Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe" as its first performance, 1882
The New Zealand Parliament Buildings are almost completely destroyed by fire, 1907
Color moving pictures are demonstrated in Madison Square Garden, 1909
The Boll Weevil Monument is dedicated in Enterprise, Alabama, 1919

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Other Governments are Equally Efficient

It seems that other governments around the globe are just as efficient as ours.

Take, for instance, the sterling example of the German government.

The government of Germany taxes coffee. It is one of the few countries to have a special tax levy on coffee, and it seems they decided to crack down on German citizens who ordered coffee beans over the internet from other countries, but did not pay the tax.

There were 4,000 such law breakers, and the German government spent 800,000 Euros tracking them down, levying and then collecting fines and taxes.

In all, they collected back 25,000 Euros.

Who says going after law breakers doesn't work?

Today is:

Constitution Day, Thailand

Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales -- Inuit Eskimos

International Human Rights Day

Lux Mundi -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of liberty)

National Day, Burma

National Lager Day

St. Eulalia's Day (patron of Barcelona, childbirth, sailors, travelers, calm waters; against miscarriage)

Anniversaries Today:

Mississippi becomes the 20th US State, 1810

Birthdays Today:

Raven-Symone, 1985
Bobby Flay, 1964
Kenneth Branach, 1960
Susan Dey, 1952
Dan Blocker, 1928
Dorothy Lamour, 1914
Chet Huntley, 1911
Emily Dickinson, 1830

Today in History:

Martin Luther publicly burns the papal edict demaning that he recant, 1520
Isaac Newton's paper De Motu Corporum in Gyrum, containing the derivation of Kepler's laws from his theory of gravity, is read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley, 1684
The Massachusetts Bay Colony becomes the first American Colonial government to borrow money, 1690
The metric system is formally established in France, 1799
The first traffic lights are installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London, 1868
Women's suffrage is granted in Wyoming Territory, the first in the US, 1869
The 10,000,000th Model T Ford is assembled, 1915
The Grand Ole Opry makes its radio debut, in Nashville, Tn, 1927
UN General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948
Ralph J Bunche becomes the first black to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, 1950

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The dilemma.

How to balance. Specifically, how to balance the joy of the Lord we are supposed to feel, the gratitude, with the pain in life.

The house is leaking, the kittens sneezing, my internet access limited by tech problems, the children coughing with nasty colds, Sweetie's back is out again, I am starting to have unexplained muscle pain and weakness, a friend in need shows up on the doorstep when we have just barely been able to buy groceries each month for a while now, the tendency toward depression is sucking me down, tripping me like an ankle chain as I find myself losing weight again.

I know God is victorious. I know there is joy. I know there are so many people with much worse problems than any that I could even dream of right now.


Psalm 142, from King David:
Prayer for Help in Trouble.
Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.
1 I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD;
I make supplication with my voice to the LORD.
2 I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare my trouble before Him.
3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
You knew my path.
In the way where I walk
They have hidden a trap for me.
4 Look to the right and see;
For there is no one who regards me;
There is no escape for me;
No one cares for my soul.
5 I cried out to You, O LORD;
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
6 “Give heed to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are too strong for me.
7 “Bring my soul out of prison,
So that I may give thanks to Your name;
The righteous will surround me,
For You will deal bountifully with me.”

Today is:

Christmas Card Day (I wonder what industry came up with this one?)

Fiesta of the Mother of Health, Mexico

Independence Day, Tanzania

International Anti-Corruption Day

National Pastry Day

St. Leocadia's Day

Weary Willie Day

Birthdays Today:

David Kersh, 1970
Jakob Dylan, 1969
Kurt Angle, 1968
Felicity Huffman, 1962
Donny Osmond, 1957
John Malkovich, 1953
Dick Butkus, 1942
Beau Bridges, 1941
Judy Dench, 1934
Buck Henry, 1930
Dick Van Patten, 1928
Dina Merrill, 1925
Redd Foxx, 1922
Kirk Douglas, 1916
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., 1909
Margaret Hamilton, 1902
Emmet Kelley, Sr., 1898
John Milton, 1608

Today in History:

The Byzantine General Belisarius enters Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully leaves the city, returning the old capital to its empire, 536
The first Young Men's Christian Association in the Americas is founded, in Montreal, 1851
Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback becomes governor of Louisiana for 35 days, becoming the first black US governor, 1872
Levant Richardson patents the ball-bearing skate, 1884
The Norwegian parliament vote unanimiously for female suffrage, 1903
The first broadcast of "Coronation Street" on British ITV, 1960

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Again, the house is taking on water because of the rain. This time, the rain has not been all that heavy. Yet we find ourselves using the shop vac to suck up the water every 15 minutes or so.

We came home to find it this way, home from the last co-op for the semester.

We also got here to find a friend on our doorstep asking for help, he has been laid off, and doesn't have the rent. We live month by month ourselves, but I could not turn him away.

He will be okay for a few days, and if he is willing to give away the puppy he just adopted, we have found him a room mate where his rent will be much cheaper.

It never rains but it pours.

Today is:

Astraea's Day -- Ancient Greek Calendar (goddess of justice)

Beach Day and Blessing of the Waters, Uruguay

Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) -- Buddhism

Feast of the Immaculate Conception -- Roman Catholic Holy Day of


Israa W Miiraj (Night Journey)

National Brownie Day

Nightwatch Illumination Ceremony

Take It In the Ear Day

Winter Flowers Day

Birthdays Today:

Teri Hatcher, 1964
Kim Basinger, 1953
Sam Kinison, 1953
Gregg Allman, 1947
Jim Morrison, 1943
James Galway, 1939
David Carradine, 1936
Flip Wilson, 1933
Maximilian Schell, 1930
Sammy Davis, Jr. 1925
Richard Fleischer, 1916
Lee J. Cobb, 1911
James Thurber, 1894
Diego Rivera, 1886
Jean Sibelius, 1865
Mary, Queen of Scots, 1542

Today in History

Daitokuji temple, Rinzai line, established in Kyoto by Daito Kokushi, 1326
Biblioteca Ambrosiana opens its reading room, the second public library of Europe, 1609
The Mexican border town Ciudad Juárez is founded by Fray García de San Francisco, 1659
Vienna's Ring Theater is destroyed by fire, killing over 600, 1881
The American Federation of Labor is formed by 26 individual craft unions, and Samuel Gompers is elected its first president, 1886
The Japanese military police launch a violent suppression of the religious sect Oomoto, 1935
The Chinese Nationalist government moves from mainland China to Formosa, 1949

Monday, December 7, 2009


Today is one of those dull, drizzly, wet days that suck the joy out of life. Tomorrow's forecast is for more of the same.

Maybe Amos Bronson Alcott was right, "The less routine, the more life."

Not that all routine is bad. Some of it provides structure, so you can be sure your bases are covered (and your restrooms stay clean). Too much routine becomes a rut, and these gray winter days feel like very deep ruts.

This is the time of year that I want to move to Tahiti. A winter home in Tahiti, a summer home someplace where it doesn't get too hot, and spending the mildest times of the year in Cajun country -- well, who knows, even that might become a rut after a while. I would still love to be able to give it a try.

Today is:

Enlightenment Day

Independence Day, Ivory Coast, Lebanon

International Civil Aviation Day

Letter Writing Day

National Cotton Candy Day

National Day, Central African Republic

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Quema del Diablo, Guatemala (burning of the devil)

St. Ambrose's Day

Anniversaries Today:

Delaware becomes the first US State, 1787

Birthdays Today:

Aaron Carter, 1987
Tino Martinez, 1967
C. Thomas Howell, 1966
Edd Hall, 1958
Larry Bird, 1956
Tom Waits, 1949
Johnny Bench, 1947
Harry Chapin, 1942
Ellen Burstyn, 1932
Ted Knight, 1923
Eli Wallach, 1915
Louis Prima, 1910
Willa Cather, 1873

Today in History:

Marcus Tullius Cicero is assassinated, BC43
Chinese Emperor Lo-Yang makes notation of a supernova (MSH15-52), 185
Connecticut Route 108, one of the oldest highways in the US, is completed to Trumbull, 1696
The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London, 1732
The New York Philharmonic plays its first concert, 1842
Leo Baekeland of Yonkers patents the first thermosetting plastic, Bakelite, 1911
The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, 1941

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pet photos with Santa

In many parts of Europe, today is the big gift giving day of the year, St. Nicholas' Day. It was this saint and his pity on 3 sisters that was supposedly the start of the Santa Claus legend, and in Europe he still appears dressed as a bishop, a much more imposing figure than our "jolly old elf" who inspires laughter.

Speaking of Santa, Bigger Girl helped Santa yesterday with the pet photos that raise money for our cat rescue each year. The gentleman who played the part, a real bearded Santa whose girth was not padded, told her stories that did keep her laughing. He claims to be no particular religion, but tells those who come to his door to preach their religion that he is a Druid. He has a cat he has trained to open the kitchen door, and he makes a big show of inviting them in, putting the cat in the kitchen, and every time it opens the door he talks to it and puts it back. He then explains that the cat is his "familiar" and he is a practicing Druid and talks to the spirits through his cat. They generally leave quickly after that.

The best thing about pet photos this year, said Bigger Girl, is that none of the pets lifted their legs on the elf (her part) this year.

Today is:

Constitution Day, Ireland, Spain

Day of Quito, Ecuador (founding of the city in 1534)

Independence Day, Denmark, Finland

Farmer's Day, Ghana

Miner's Day

National Gazpacho Day

National Mitten Tree Day

National Pawn Broker's Day

St. Nicholas of Myra's Day (patron of bakers, barrel makers, bootblacks, brides, brewers, children, dockworkers, fishermen, Greece, pawnbrokers, perfumers, Russia, Sicily, spinsters, thieves, travelers)

Thor's Day

Birthdays Today:

Andrew J. Howard, 1969
Andrew Cuomo, 1957
Peter Buck, 1956
Randy Rhoads, 1956
Steven Wright, 1955
Tom Hulce, 1953
David Ossman, 1936
Wally Cox, 1924
Dave Brubeck, 1920
Agnes Moorehead, 1906
Ira Gershwin, 1896
Lynn Fontanne, 1887
Joyce Kilmer, 1886
William S. Hard, 1870
John Singleton Mosby, 1833

Today in History:

The Mongols under Batu Khan occupy and destroy Kiev, 1240
Don Alfonso V of Aragon grants Barcelona the right to exclude Jews, 1424
Kepler's first predicted transit of Venus is observed, 1631
The first edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica is published, in Scotland, 1768
Harriet Tubman escapes slavery, 1849
The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution is ratified, abolishing slavery, 1865
The first crematorium in the Us begins operation, in Washington, Pennsylvania, 1876
London becomes the first city to license taxicabs, 1897
The Vanguard rocket, the first US attempt to launch a satellite, fails, 1957

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cold Irony

It is cold in these here bayous, but not cold enough to sustain snow, as I predicted last night.

Oh, we got snow, during the night, but with temps just barely at freezing, it left nothing but a light dusting on sheltered rooftops. That did not stop the children from running around and catching it as it fell, making slushballs to throw at each other in the dark. They lasted about an hour before their lack of proper winter gear and inability to stand much cold caught up to them.

By this morning, it was gone except from a few roofs in the shade of trees, and that melted quickly.

The worst was that on Friday nights I go to the cat shelter to feed and clean up after the cats. Since the electricity went out at the shelter, I got called and told not to go up there. The volunteer coordinator was there, and she made sure every cat had food, that was all she could do in the dark while juggling a flashlight. This meant I didn't have to go out and drive in the wet, cold, and wind, but it also meant I ran out of kitten food! (Not kitten formula for the littlest babies, but chow for the bigger kittens.) I was going to pick up more while I was there. The kittens were in classic "I'm dying because no one ever feeds me" mode by this morning, the full blown act, complete with yowls and climbing my legs like I am a piece of playground equipment. They survived until I got up there and got food for them, but in their opinions, they have been sorely abused by having to wait.

I find it ironic that it is during this very cold time of year that the first US nudist society was founded (see Today in History). This is the time of year that I wish they had nice lingerie made of flannel, with feet! ;)

Today is:


Bathtub Party Day

Discovery Day, Haiti

Festival of Faunus -- Ancient Roman Calendar

International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development

King's Birthday, Thailand

National Sacher Torte Day

Repeal Day, celebrating the repeal of Prohibition

Skywarn Recognition Day

St. Clement of Alexandria's Day

St. Nicholas' Eve

St. Saba's Day

Birthdays Today:

Gary Allan, 1967
John Rzeznik, 1965
Morgan Brittany, 1951
Jim Messina, 1947
J.J. Cale, 1938
Little Richard, 1932
Otto Preminger, 1906
Strom Thurmond, 1902
Walt Disney, 1901
George Armstrong Custer, 1839
Martin Van Buren, 1782

Today in History:

Cicero reads the last of his Catiline Orations, BC63
The French franc is created, a gold coin to celebrate the release of King John II, whom the English had captured, 1360
An earthquake in Naples leave about 35,000 dead, 1465
All Jews are expelled from Portugal by order of King Manuel I, 1496
London auctioneers Christie's hold their first sale, 1766
Henry Knox begins the transport of Fort Ticonderoga artillery to Cambridge, Massachusetts, a key to later forcing the British Fleet out of Boston Harbor, 1775
C F Schoenbein obtains a patent for cellulose nitrate explosive, 1846
President Polk confirms that gold has been discovered in California, triggering the next year's "Gold Rush", 1848
Daniel Stillson of Massachusetts patents the first practical pipe wrench, 1876
The first automated telephone switching system is patented, 1879
The first electric car makes its debut; it could go 15 miles between charges, 1893
University of Pittsburg makes the first use of numbers on football jerseys, 1908
The American League for Physical Culture is founded in NYC, the first US nudist organization, 1929
The 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition, is ratified, 1933
Sister Elizabeth Kenny's new treatment for infantile paralysis receives approval, 1941

Friday, December 4, 2009


There are rumblings among the people that there will be snow tonight.

The children are ecstatic. The actual weather forecast is for snow flurries, and a temperature that will not sustain much sticking of the snow that might fall.

Temper your enthusiasm, kids, this is south Louisiana. We get flurries at least once almost every year. Actual snow to play in is a rare thing.

Still, they hold on to hope.

Ah, to be young and hopeful again.

Today is:

Comet Day

Day of the Artisans, Mexico

Kamolol, Marshall Islands (Thanksgiving Day)

Kris Kringle's Fair, Nuremburg, Germany

National Cookie Day

National Dice Day

Pallas Athena Celebration -- Ancient Greek Calendar (goddess of wisdom)

Presentation Day

Santa's List Day

St. Barbara's Day (patron of firemen, architects, mathematicians,

fireworks, miners, sailors; against lightning, fire, explosions, sudden

death) - A young woman may place the twig of a cherry tree in a glass of

water today. If it blooms by Christmas Eve, the girl is certain to marry

in the following year.

St. Maruthas' Day (patron of Iran)

Wear A Beard of Bees Today Day

Wear Brown Shoes Day

Wind Whirling Bacchanalia -- Fairy Calendar

Birthdays Today:

Tyra Banks, 1973
Marisa Tomei, 1964
Jozef Sabovcik, 1963
Jeff Bridges, 1949
Dennis Wilson, 1944
Max Baer, Jr., 1937
Wink Martindale, 1934
Victor French, 1934
Francisco Franco, 1892
Crazy Horse, 1840
Thomas Carlyle, 1795

Today in History:

Upon the death of Carloman, Karel the Great (Charlemagne), his brother, becomes king of all France, 771
The Syrian harbor city of Saida (Sidon) surrenders to the Crusaders, 1110
After 18 years, the Council of Trent holds its final session, 1563
Father Marquette begins to build the first dwelling in what is now Chicago, 1674
Britain's Observer, oldest Sunday newspaper in world, first published, 1791
Britain abolishes the practice of the "suttee" in India, 1829
The American Anti-Slavery Society is founded in Philadelphia by Arthur Tappen and William Lloyd Garrison, 1833
"Boss" Tweed escapes from jail, 1875
The first edition of the Los Angeles Times is published, 1881
Lucille Atcherson becomes the first woman legation secretary in the US Foreign sService, 1922
Cecil B. DeMille's first version of "The Ten Commandments" (the one in which he flooded Hollywood Blvd. without permit 3 times to get the Red Sea Scene right, and had to bail his crew out of jail 3 times, too!) premiers, 1923

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blessed with Bananas

I am more than blessed with bananas.

Banana bread will figure largely in the gifts I will be giving people this year, as I was able to get a good quantity of bananas. They are just at the slightly overripe stage where they are great for bread and smoothies, and therefore marked down for quick sale.

Now I just need to convince the kids to do the baking for me (won't take much convincing, actually, they do it all the time, and leave the evidence in the sink for me to find the next morning), with me supervising so #2 Son doesn't use too much nutmeg. In his opinion, there is no such thing as too much nutmeg, but trust me, there is.

Babies are fun, and little kids cute, but still home and old enough to cook or really help cook is a great age for children.

Today is:

Bona Dea Festival -- Ancient Roman Calendar (celebration of goodness)

Feast of Liu-Hsing, China (stellar god of happiness)

Grange Day

Independence Day, Singapore

International Day of Persons with Disabibilities

Jazz Day

Make a Gift Day

National Ice Cream Box Day

Reinvigorate Your Brain by Reading Something Day

St. Francis Xavier's Day (patron of Australia, Borneo, China, Goa,

India, missionaries, Outer Mongolia, tourism)

Telescope Day

Anniversaries Today:

Illinios becomes the 21st US State, 1818

Birthdays Today:

Brendan Fraser, 1968
Daryl Hannah, 1960
Julianne Moore, 1960
Ozzy Osbourne, 1948
Jean-Luc Godard, 1930
Andy Williams, 1927
John Backus, 1924
Joseph Conrad, 1857
Charles Alfred Pillsbury, 1842

Today in History:

Sir Thomas Herriot introduces potatoes to England, 1586
In an uprising over mining licenses, which came to be called the rebellion at the Eureka Stockade, more than 20 goldminers at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia are killed by state troopers in what many claim to be the birth of Australian democracy, 1854
The trial of Jefferson Davis starts with the first blacks on a US trial jury, 1868
Settlers arrive at Petach Tikvah, Israel, 1878
Neon lights make their public debut at the Paris Auto Show, 1910
The Quebec Bridge, after almost 20 years of planning and construction, opens, 1917
The first successful Technicolor movie, "Tall of the Sea," premiers in NYC, 1922
Chinese refugee ship "Kiangya" explodes in E China Sea, killing 1,100, 1948
Paul Harvey begins his national radio broadcast, 1950

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

And in Other News

A few tidbits for a weird Wednesday:

In Springfield, Massachusetts, yesterday, two cows escaped from the trailer in which they were being transported when the latch broke. Traffic was slow, and they, of course, slowed it to a standstill. Luckily for the cows, the police, and everyone else, a man in traditional cowboy garb got out of one of the cars caught in the debacle, pulled out his lasso, and expertly roped the critters, getting them back into the trailer. Talk about being in the right place at the right time...

A Panama City Beach, Florida, man was so scared to tell his wife that he had spent some money, that he instead lied and told her he had been robbed. She insisted he file a police report, which he did, but now that he has admitted he made it up, he is charged for making the false report. I wonder if he would rather face the judge than his wife...

A Clendenin, West Virginia hunter found a huge egg in the woods that had local wildlife experts rather flummoxed. Turns out it was planted there by another hunter, who had gotten the egg from a nearby ostrich farm and set it out as a practical joke on his brother. The hunter who found it has given it to his wife, who emptied it, bleached it, and has it on her counter. Talk about a hunting trophy...

Enjoy tonight's Full Cold Moon, everyone!

Today is:

Feast of Shiva -- Hindu

Full Cold Moon

Independence Day, United Arab Emirates

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

National Fritters Day

National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day

Pan American Health Day

Republic Day, Laos

Special Education Day

St. Bibiana's Day (patron against hangovers)

Sugarplum Festival

Walter Plinge Day, UK

Birthdays Today:

Monica Seles, 1973
Lucy Liu, 1968
Cathy Lee Crosby, 1948
Gianni Versace, 1946
Maria Callas, 1923
Randolph Hearst, 1915
Charles Ringling, 1863
Georges Seurat, 1859

Today in History:

The University of Leipzig opens, 1409
Napoleon defeats the Russians and Austrians at Austerlitz, 1805
The first Savings bank in the US opens, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, 1816
US President James Monroe declares his "Monroe Doctrine", 1823
US President James K. Polk declares it is the "Manifest Destiny" of the US to expand into the West, 1845
Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the US, in NYC, 1867
Pu Yi (Hsuan-T'ung) became China's Last Emperor at age 2, 1908