Saturday, December 31, 2011

Just in the Nick of Time

All my Christmas decorations are down.  I finished just in the nick of time - last decoration packed away at 8:00 PM, so no bad luck for me.  And soon the east coast will be ringing in the new year.  So now I'll sit back and wait for 2012.

Happy New Years Eve

Enjoy the day and reflect back on this year and then look forward to the new one coming.

And if you're going out to party tonight, please be careful and watch out for the other drivers.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Falling Needles Family Fest Day

Today is a day to start thinking about getting rid of the Christmas tree if you had a "live" one.  And while you're at it, think about putting away all the other Christmas decorations as well.  If you're like some of us from the South, we believe it's bad luck to have any Christmas decorations up on New Year's Day.  So guess what I'll be doing today and tomorrow.  That's right - putting our decorations away and getting ready for a brand new year. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tick Tock Day


Today is tick tock day.  That means time is running out before the end of 2011.  Have you gotten everything accomplished that you had planned to get done before the end of the year?  Me neither.  But the good news is that a brand new year is almost here and we get a fresh start.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to you and yours

Merry Christmas to everyone!!!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from Nickers!!!

Nickers wants to wish you a Merry Christmas so please click on the video above.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice

The December solstice will occur at 05:30 (or 5:30am) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on December 22, 2011. It is also known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere due to the seasonal differences.  For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the December solstice marks the day of the year with the least hours of daylight.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Humbug Day

Jim Carrey as Scrooge
Holiday stress getting to you? Today’s the day to bring out your inner Ebenezer.

The craziness of the season is well known: planning, shopping, wrapping, and, inevitably, spending. Christmas comes but once a year, so we take the insanity in stride. But there comes a breaking point where we must air our grievances – and today, you’ll get a free pass. That’s right, it’s National Humbug Day, a day where it’s kosher to be crabby.

Humbug Day was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy to allow people let off some steam before Christmas kicks in. Their instructions say you’re allowed 12 free humbugs on December 21st. Today’s the day to curse all things Christmas – overpriced toys, endless lines at the post office, and, of course, the havoc-wreaking snow across much of the country. How else will you celebrate?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Hanukkah!!

To all my Jewish friends and family, Happy Hanukkah!!!



Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 20, 2011 (Wednesday). It ends at sundown on December 28, 2011 (Wednesday). 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Snow in Long Beach, CA???

Okay, so it wasn't snow, but it sure looked like it after all the hail fell.  Here's a photo standing on my front door step that I took on the 15th. 


The storm started out with some loud thunder and bright lightening which we don't get very often here.  It started raining just a bit and then before I knew it, it was hailing.  After it finished hailing, it started pouring and washed most of it all away.  But for about 15 minutes we had our own "white Christmas" here in sunny CA.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wright Brothers Day

Wright Brothers Day is celebrated in the United States on December 17 each year. The date commemorates the Wright brothers' first successful flight in heavier-than-air, mechanically propelled craft, accomplished on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  So for all of us that travel by air, we thank them.

Friday, December 16, 2011

National Chocolate-covered Anything Day

Being the chocoholic that I am, this is a holiday that I can totally enjoy!!!!  So go get yourself some chocolate, melt it in the microwave or on the stove top and start covering all those goodies.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bill of Rights Day

When : Always December 15
Today is Bill of Rights Day. To Americans, the Bill of Rights are key amendments to the U.S. Constitution, that protect our individual rights.
On March 4, 1789, the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified by the (former) 13 colonies, and went into effect. States and individuals were concerned that the Constitution did not properly cover and protect a number of rights of individuals. The Constitution was signed by the original 13 states with the requirement, or understanding, that a Bill of Rights would be created, amending the new U.S. Constitution.

On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution. 10 of these amendments were added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791.

The Bill of Rights includes these Amendments:
Amendment 1- Freedom of speech, press and religion
Amendment 2 - The right to bear arms
Amendment 3- Protection of homeowners from quartering troops, except during war.
Amendment 4 - Rights and protections against unreasonable search and seizure
Amendment 5 - Rights of due process of law, protection against double jeopardy, self incrimination
Amendment 6 - Rights of a speedy trial by jury of peers and rights of accused
Amendment 7 - Rights to trial by jury in civil cases
Amendment 8 - Protection from cruel and unusual punishment, excessive bail
Amendment 9 - Protection of rights not specified in the Bill of Rights
Amendment 10 - States rights, power of the states

Of the 12 original amendments, which ones were not approved? Amendments # 1 and 2. These dealt with the number of representative to congress, and compensation to representatives.

On Bill of Rights Day, we hope you celebrate you American Citizenship, and spend a few minutes reflecting upon the freedoms that you enjoy. These freedoms do not exist in many countries of the world.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Monkey Day

Monkey Day is a holiday celebrated internationally today.  Hallmark Cards describes it as the "one day when monkey business is actually encouraged.  The holiday was started in 2000 by Casey Sorrow and Eric Millikin.

The holiday is primarily celebrated with costume parties intended to help draw attention to issues related to simians, including medical research, animal rights, and evolution.  Often there are competitions to see who has the best costumes, who can act like a monkey the longest, or speed knitting of monkey dolls.  The holiday cuts across religious boundaries and provides opportunities to share monkey stories and contemplate our simian relatives.  Other Monkey Day activities include eating Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream, and spending the day at the zoo.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Poinsettia Day

Click to show "Poinsettias" result 5


The Aztecs considered poinsettias a symbol of purity because of their brilliant red color. They were also highly prized by Kings Nezahualcoyotl and Montezuma but because of the high altitude climate of their city, poinsettia plants could not be grown in their region of the Aztec Empire.

These flowers were first introduced in the United States in 1828 by the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett. While visiting Taxco, Poinsett found the flowers growing on the hillside and he sent some of them to his home in South Carolina. The flowers grew well in his greenhouse and so Poinsett began distributing them. The name poinsettia soon became the accepted name of the flower in English-speaking countries.

Poinsettias are well known for their association with Christmastime. They represent over 85 percent of the potted plant sales during the holiday season.  Another interesting fact: Over eighty percent of poinsettia purchases are made by women!

To celebrate National Poinsettia Day, purchase a beautiful poinsettia plant for a friend or for yourself!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Worldwide Candle Lighting Day

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, creating a virtual wave of light, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memory of children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries.

Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friends, creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.

The Worldwide Candle Lighting started in the United States in 1997 as a small Internet observance but has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of the remembrance.

So please light a candle tonight at 7:00 PM in your time zone in remembrance.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Human Rights Day

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted between January 1947 and December 1948. It aimed to form a basis for human rights all over the world and represented a significant change of direction from events during World War II and the continuing colonialism that was rife in the world at the time. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is considered as the most translated document in modern history. It is available in more than 360 languages and new translations are still being added.

The UN General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France, on the December 10, 1948. All states and interested organizations were invited to mark December 10 as Human Rights Day at a UN meeting on December 4, 1950. It was first observed on December 10 that year and has been observed each year on the same date. Each year Human Rights Day has a theme. Some of these themes have focused on people knowing their human rights or the importance of human rights education.

Friday, December 9, 2011

International Anti-Corruption Day

I think with the way politics is affecting us all, it is very important to support this holiday.  Here's the information on it:
 
The United Nations’ (UN) International Anti-Corruption Day aims to raise public awareness of corruption and what people can do to fight it. It is observed on December 9 each year.
 
International Anti-Corruption Day is a time for political leaders, governments, legal bodies and lobby groups to work together against corruption work by promoting the day and the issues that surround this event. On this day anti-corruption advocates organize events to engage the general public to effectively fight against corruption and fraud in communities. 

Corruption is an issue that affects all countries around the world. It can refer to the destruction of one’s honesty or loyalty through undermining moral integrity or acting in a way that shows a lack of integrity or honesty. It also refers to those who use a position of power or trust for dishonest gain. Corruption undermines democracy, creates unstable governments, and sets countries back economically. Corruption comes in various forms such as bribery, law-breaking without dealing with the consequences in a fair manner, unfairly amending election processes and results, and covering mistakes or silencing whistleblowers (those who expose corruption in hope that justice would be served).

By resolution 58/4 of October 31, 2003, the UN General Assembly designated December 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day. This decision aimed to raise people’s awareness of corruption and of the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in combating and preventing it. The assembly urged all states and competent regional economic integration organizations to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to ensure its rapid entry into force. UNCAC is the first legally binding, international anti-corruption instrument that provides a chance to mount a global response to corruption. 

Posters, slogans, and other promotional material on International Anti-Corruption Day have featured a slogan or logo that takes up two lines. The first line reads “CORRUPTION” in capitalized red words, and underneath are the words “Your NO counts”. Most of the second line is written in black text except for the word “NO” which is highlighted in red capital letters within a white speech bubble.
The UN logo is also associated with promotions for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map depicts the area of concern to the UN in achieving its main purpose, peace and security. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

National Cotton Candy Day

Between the sweet, sugary taste and the soft, fluffy texture that melts in your mouth, what's not to love about cotton candy? It was first invented in 1897 by William Morrison and John C. Warton, but was not introduced to a a wide audience until 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair. It was instantly a great success at the fair where it sold for 25 cents, half the cost of the admission to the event! 

Back then cotton candy was referred to as "fairy floss." Today in Greece, Israel, and India, it is often referred to as "old woman's hair." That doesn't sound very appetizing! Around 1920, the candy was renamed as cotton candy. 

Cotton candy is typically found in pink and blue colors but it can also be made into any color using food coloring. Though it is most commonly consumed during the summer months, you may be able to pick up some delicious cotton candy at your local grocery store to enjoy on National Cotton Candy Day!

 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Miners' Day

Mining is a hazardous, but incredibly important profession. Miners are responsible for providing us with many of the raw materials which we rely upon in modern manufacturing, but do so at great peril deep underground. Miners’ Day recognises the hard and dangerous work undertaken by miners, and rewards their dedication.  So take a moment to thank all the miners out there.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bathtub Party Day

There's nothing like a good bubble bath to relax you after a hard day.  So celebrate this holiday by taking a nice soak with some candles burning and a glass of wine (or whatever your preference).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

National Cookie Day

What a great holiday this is!!!!  I'd have to say that my favorite recipe for cookies lately is this one that I got from Suzy Plantamura years ago during one of her classes:

Holiday Gingersnap Cookies
1 cup packed brown sugar (I use dark brown sugar)
¾ cup shortening (I use the solid Crisco)
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
Granulated Sugar
White dipping chocolate (optional)

Mix brown sugar, shortening, molasses and egg in large bowl.  Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

Heat oven to 375.  Grease cookie sheet lightly (or use Silpat and don’t grease).  Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls (I use the cookie scoop thing-a-ma-gig – you know what I mean); dip tops into granulated sugar.  Place balls, sugared side up, about 3 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or just until set (cookies should be fairly light to assure they are chewy and not hard).  Remove from cookie sheets and let cool on wire rack.

Optional (for holidays):  Melt white chocolate in microwave (approximately 1 -2 minutes, stirring half way through).  Dip ½ of cooled cookies into white chocolate, let extra drip off.  Then place cookies on wax paper to cool for at least 1 hour. 

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.  They last well in the freezer.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Yum!!!

I saw Martha Stewart make one of these trees on her show one day and knew I had to make it as well.  Be sure to get extra candy because you'll have a hard time not sampling as you create.



All you need is a styrofoam cone, straight pins, some tinsel and about 4 - 6 bags (depending on the size of your cone and how much you are able to resist sampling while creating - LOL) of the Ghirardelli chocolate squares that are all decorated for Christmas.  Just hot glue the tinsel on and then use pins and pin the chocolate squares onto to the tree.

Enjoy!


Friday, December 2, 2011

National Mutt Day

Dec. 2 has been dubbed National Mutt Day, but whatever you call it, if you're ready to give an animal a lifetime of love, please adopt a true American original - a mixed-breed dog or cat - from your local animal shelter or rescue organization.  Dogs and cats of diverse heritage are every bit as loving and loyal as animals who have "papers," and usually more appreciative.  They seem to have a "sense" that you saved them.  Adopting a mutt from a shelter also saves a life and avoids supporting the "pet" farms industry, which churns out litter after litter of purebred puppies and kittens while millions of equally deserving animals must be euthanized in shelters for lack of good homes.

Nickers is our "rescue" pooch.  To know her is to love her.  And one has to wonder who saved who.  She had us from the moment we picked her up and held her.  She put a paw on each side of our face and gave us a kiss and she had us sold. 

Here's a photo of the day we found her:

And here she is now - 8+ years later:
 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December 1st

Wow!!!!  Where did the year go?  I can't believe it's the first of December already.  I've gotten some of my decorating done, but still have more to do. 

Here's a little peek at our staircase to get you in the spirit and started decorating.