Saturday, March 1, 2014

Holidays and Observances for March 1 2014

National Fruit Compote Day

March First is National Fruit Compote Day. It seems a bit odd that a nation in the northern hemisphere has its fruit compote day in winter instead of summer, but be that as it may, we living here in California can usually find some sort of fresh fruit year round. Our huge, fat juicy and sweet Navel Oranges are at their peak of perfection this time of year, as are some varieties of pears. Of course winter also gives us Pomegranates, and do remember that the Avocado is a fruit and the Hass is excellent in winter. Sweet, wonderful varieties of Tangerines are also excellent in late winter.

Living in a true Mediterranean climate as we do, we have a larger selection of fresh local fruit year round than most. You can’t go wrong with a visit to your local farmers market to see what is fresh and local and of course, with modern refrigeration and transportation, we also reap the benefit of those south of the equator climates where it is now harvest time.

Fruit compote usually takes two forms, fresh fruit or reconstituted dried fruit. Both can be “No Brainers.” Be it made from fresh or dried fruit, a compote may be served as a salad side dish or as a dessert. For an excellent fresh fruit compote simply collect a goodly quantity of ripe fresh fruit, cut it into bite size pieces and dress it in some manner. Please, try to break away from the whipped cream, whipped topping or mayonnaise tradition. Think outside the box and experiment. Try simply pouring a bit of a fruity whine over it, or a bit of cream Sherry. A fruit compote is excellent when dressed with inexpensive Champagne. You don’t drink, use sparkling cider, or make a dressing of fruit juices; orange, pineapple and apple or a combination thereof are all excellent. Try adding a chiffonade of fresh mint to your fruit compote. Almost all fresh fruit is appropriate for a good fruit compote. Fruits I should avoid however are bananas, which will turn brown and get slimy if the compote sits for any length of time. Black berries are excellent, however they will turn the entire thing purple which for some people, be a bit off putting.

Now, if you wish to make a dried fruit compote, again, it isn’t rocket science. Gather together a selection of favorite dried fruits: apricots, peaches, pears, and figs. I would avoid dates. Although they are delicious, they add a disconcerting texture to your compote. Raising, again, are tasty but they sometimes achieve an unpleasant texture when they are marinated. Dried cherries and cranberries however work out very well. Again, wine makes an excellent marinade or dressing for a dried fruit compote, or a combination of wine and cream Sherry. Fruit juices also make good marinades for dried fruit compotes. Try simmering a stick of cinnamon and a slice of fresh ginger in a bit of fruit juice and adding that to whatever other liquid you use. It is best to let your dried fruit compote sit in its marinade for several hours or even over night.

If you are planning a fresh fruit compote you may want to check out your local farmers market to see what is local and in season

National Horse Protection Day

Horses are the icon of Freedom in America. Aside from the dog, horses have been man's best friend for centuries, carrying them cross-country, being their faithful comrades in battle, pulling the wagons that carried their families, their supplies and materials for their homesteads. Many families would not have had a home if it weren't for the tireless efforts of their true blue horse, hauling hundreds of pounds of supplies and water back and forth for miles and weeks at a time. Horses, with their gentle nature and deep emotional soul offer friendship and help to heal children with disabilities. 

When one thinks of the American Spirit, it includes the horse; visions of cowboys, farms, horse racing and ponies comes forefront to mind - not abuse, starvation, neglect and slaughter of these amazing and sensitive creatures. It's almost unfathomable that this proud and beautiful country could stand behind the cruelty and murder of such proud and beautiful animals for so long...our friends....the frequent guests of childhood lullaby's and dreams. 

But now, thankfully things are changing because of that great American Spirit and because of people like you who care - people who have been educated through public awareness causes such as National Horse Protection Day.

This holiday was founded in 2005 by Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Behaviorist/Advocate, Colleen Paige.Growing up, Colleen spent much of her summertime with horses, where she learned dressage, show jumping and horse husbandry, to trail riding in the desert and mountains and caring for foster horses, Chico and King.

The lessons Colleen learned from the horses in her life as a child, have made an impact on the woman she is today. Colleen created National Horse Protection Day for March 1st, to bring light to the plight of horses in America and beyond - and help the thousands of unwanted horses in this country to find forever homes.
Oh, a wonderful horse is the Fly-Away Horse -
Perhaps you have seen him before;
Perhaps, while you slept, his shadow has swept 
Through the moonlight that floats on the floor.
For it's only at night, when the stars twinkle bright,
That the Fly-Away Horse, with a neigh
And a pull at his rein and a toss of his mane,
Is up on his heels and away!
The Moon in the sky,
As he gallopeth by,
Cries: "Oh! what a marvelous sight!"
And the Stars in dismay
Hide their faces away
In the lap of old Grandmother Night. 
It is yonder, out yonder, the Fly-Away Horse
Speedeth ever and ever away -
Over meadows and lanes, over mountains and plains,
Over streamlets that sing at their play;
And over the sea like a ghost sweepeth he,
While the ships they go sailing below,
And he speedeth so fast that the men at the mast
Adjudge him some portent of woe.
"What ho there!" they cry,
As he flourishes by
With a whisk of his beautiful tail;
And the fish in the sea
Are as scared as can be,
From the nautilus up to the whale! 
And the Fly-Away Horse seeks those faraway lands
You little folk dream of at night -
Where candy-trees grow, and honey-brooks flow,
And corn-fields with popcorn are white;
And the beasts in the wood are ever so good
To children who visit them there -
What glory astride of a lion to ride,
Or to wrestle around with a bear!
The monkeys, they say:
"Come on, let us play,"
And they frisk in the cocoanut-trees:
While the parrots, that cling
To the peanut-vines, sing
Or converse with comparative ease! 
Off! scamper to bed - you shall ride him tonight!
For, as soon as you've fallen asleep,
With a jubilant neigh he shall bear you away
Over forest and hillside and deep!
But tell us, my dear, all you see and you hear
In those beautiful lands over there,
Where the Fly-Away Horse wings his faraway course
With the wee one consigned to his care.
Then grandma will cry
In amazement: "Oh, my!"
And she'll think it could never be so;
And only we two
Shall know it is true -
You and I, little precious! shall know! - Unknown
National Peanut Butter Lover's Day

It’s National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day! Whether you prefer it smooth, chunky, or natural, peanut butter is the perfect addition to any snack. It goes with practically everything: crackers, pretzels, celery, carrots, apples, bananas, chocolate, and much more.

Did you know that the average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he or she graduates high school? Peanut butter has been popular since the early 1900s, but no one knows who invented it. Today, it is an $800 million industry dominated by household names such as Jif, Skippy, and Peter Pan.

Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, and can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. For the healthiest choice, look for brands that have no oil or sugar added. Celebrate National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day with a delicious peanut butter snack in honor of the occasion!

Take a tour through our Peanut Butter timeline and discover the history of peanuts!
  • 1890: A St. Louis physician developed the idea of packaging peanut paste for people with bad teeth. Peanut paste was sold for six cents per pound.
  • 1895: The Kellogg brothers patented the process of preparing peanut butter with steamed nuts. Today the nuts are roasted, and the peanut butter is much tastier.
  • 1903: Dr. George Washington Carver developed more than 300 other uses for peanuts, and is considered by many to be the father of the peanut industry.
  • 1904: C.H. Sumner introduced peanut butter to the world at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis. He sold $705.11 of the treat at his concession stand!
  • 1908: Krema Products Company in Columbus, Ohio, began selling peanut butter and is the oldest peanut butter company still in operation today.
  • 1922: Joseph L. Rosefield sold peanut butter in California, churning it to make it smoother. He received the first patent for peanut butter that could stay fresh up to a year.
  • 1928: One of the first companies to adopt Rosefield’s process was Swift & Company, later renamed Peter Pan.
  • 1932: Rosefield began producing peanut butter under the Skippy label, and created the first crunchy-style peanut butter two years later.
  • 1955: Procter & Gamble entered the peanut butter business, introduced Jif in 1958. Now owned by the J.M. Smucker Company, Jif operates the world’s largest peanut butter plant, producing 250,000 jars every day!
National Pig Day

National Pig Day is observed on March 01, 2014. National Pig Day is an event held annually in the United States to celebrate the pig. The holiday celebration was started in 1972 by sisters Ellen Stanley, a teacher in Lubbock, Texas, and Mary Lynne Rave of Beaufort, North Carolina. According to Rave the purpose of National Pig Day is "to accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man's most intellectual and domesticated animals." The holiday is most often celebrated in the Midwest. 

National Pig Day includes events at zoos, schools, nursing homes, and sporting events around the United States. It is also recognized at "pig parties" where pink pig punch and pork delicacies are served, and pink ribbon pigtails are tied around trees in the pigs' honor. The question of whether the holiday is a time to honor pigs by "giving them a break" or to appreciate their offerings (spare ribs, bacon and ham) is an open question.

Plan a Solo Vacation Day

Plan a Solo Vacation Day is a celebration designed for those people who like to view the world alone. Rather than being constrained by the demands and foibles of friends and family, people like this prefer the intensity of an individual adventure.

The day itself varies in actual date, but there is no doubt about the seriousness of its purpose. Solo travellers are rarely highlighted by travel companies, who prefer to focus their marketing on families, couples and groups.

The solo traveller is a special breed, though. More spontaneous than many travellers, he or she does not like to have their travel agenda shaped by others.

While formally celebrating the day at a social occasion would defeat the object, the best way to mark Plan a Solo Vacation Day is to take a trip. Simply by planning to hit the road alone, anyone can become a part of this international celebration.

Asiatic Fleet Memorial Day

All of America's service personnel and veterans deserve our gratitude, and it is fitting to pay tribute to the United States Asiatic Fleet.

The United States Navy's presence in the Far East dates to 1822. The Asiatic Fleet was formed in 1902, reestablished in 1910, and continued to serve into 1942. Through years of unrest and disturbance, the Fleet protected American lives and interests along the China coast and the Yangtze River, bearing responsibilities that were as much diplomatic as Naval. The Fleet also assisted civilian areas devastated by the forces of nature and by internal warfare.

When the attack on Pearl Harbor thrust the United States into World War II, the Asiatic Fleet played a key role in the defense of the Philippines. Outnumbered and outgunned at sea and in the air, the Fleet was joined by ships of the British, Dutch, and Australian navies to oppose the Japanese advance through what is now Indonesia. The Fleet's destroyers hit the Japanese at Balikpapan and Badung Strait, and the cruiser Marblehead fought her way through massive air attacks off Bali while submarines, short of fuel and torpedoes, struck Japanese supply lines.

The battle for the "Malay Barrier" reached its climax in the Java Sea. In the opening hours of March 1, 1942, the American cruiser Houston and the Australian cruiser Perth, outnumbered and outgunned by the Japanese, fought to the last in the Sunda Strait. They went down with their guns still firing and were followed hours later by the British cruiser Exeter. The remaining Allied ships were then ordered to make their way to Australia.

The Asiatic Fleet was no more, but its heritage of courage and selfless dedication helped spur our Navy to victory in World War II. Since then, the Seventh Fleet has carried on the Asiatic Fleet's duties, earning honor in Korea and Vietnam and helping to preserve peace and stability in East Asia. The men and women of our Naval services who saw the Cold War to a peaceful conclusion and won victory in Operation Desert Storm are worthy descendants of the sailors and Marines who earned glory in the Java Sea. As we pay tribute to the memory of the Asiatic Fleet, I call on all Americans to join me in saluting its proud heritage of bravery and honor.

Endometriosis Day or Wear Yellow Day

Want to make a difference in the lives of more than 200 million women with endometriosis? Then please join us for the first ever Worldwide Endo March. This event will take place in more than 53 cities around the world, including Washington, D.C. on March 13, 2014.

Though you often don’t hear much about it in the news, endometriosis is common; an estimated 1 in 8 women and girls are affected and suffer from mild to severe pain as a result of the disease. Unfortunately, endometriosis often goes undiagnosed for 6-10 years from the initial symptoms because the pain may be mistaken for normal menstrual cramping, and it can mimic other diseases. As a result, preteens and teenagers have particularly high rates of misdiagnosis.

You may be aware that endometriosis can damage the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. But did you know the following about endometriosis?
- It is benign but has features similar to some cancers.
- It can spread, invade and cause damage to many organs beyond the reproductive system.

If not detected and treated properly, endometriosis can be a serious, painful, and debilitating disease with severe medical consequences. That’s why we are marching. Please help us end the silence about endometriosis, so millions of women and girls can receive the proper diagnosis, care, and hopefully a cure.

Peace Corps Day

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order #10924, establishing the Peace Corps as a new agency within the Department of State. The same day, he sent a message to Congress asking for permanent funding for the agency, which would send trained American men and women to foreign nations to assist in development efforts. The Peace Corps captured the imagination of the U.S. public, and during the week after its creation thousands of letters poured into Washington from young Americans hoping to volunteer.

The immediate precursor of the Peace Corps--the Point Four Youth Corps--was proposed by Representative Henry Reuss of Wisconsin in the late 1950s. Senator Kennedy learned of the Reuss proposal during his 1960 presidential campaign and, sensing growing public enthusiasm for the idea, decided to add it to his platform. In early October 1960, he sent a message to the Young Democrats that called for the establishment of a "Youth Peace Corps," and on October 14 he first publicly spoke of the Peace Corps idea at an early morning speech at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The night before, he had engaged Vice President Richard Nixon in the third presidential debate and was surprised to find an estimated 10,000 students waiting up to hear him speak when he arrived at the university at 2 a.m. The assembled students heard the future president issue a challenge: How many of them, he asked, would be willing to serve their country and the cause of freedom by living and working in the developing world for years at a time?

The Peace Corps proposal gained momentum in the final days of Kennedy's campaign, and on November 8 he was narrowly elected the 35th president of the United States. On January 20, 1961, in his famous inaugural address, he promised aid to the poor of the world. "To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery," he said, "we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required--not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right." He also appealed to Americans to "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

After March 1, thousands of young Americans answered this call to duty by volunteering for the Peace Corps. The agency, which was headed by Kennedy's brother-in-law, R. Sargent Shriver, eventually chose some 750 volunteers to serve in 13 nations in 1961. In August, Kennedy hosted a White House ceremony to honor the first Peace Corps volunteers. The 51 Americans who later landed in Accra, Ghana, for two years of service immediately made a favorable impression on their hosts when they gathered on the airport tarmac to sing the Ghanaian national anthem in Twi, the local language.

On September 22, 1961, Kennedy signed congressional legislation creating a permanent Peace Corps that would "promote world peace and friendship" through three goals: (1) to help the peoples of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women; (2) to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served; and (3) to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

By the end of 1963, 7,000 volunteers were in the field, serving in 44 Third World countries. In 1966, Peace Corps enrollment peaked, with more than 15,000 volunteers in 52 countries. Budget cuts later reduced the number of Peace Corps volunteers, but today more than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in over 70 countries. Since 1961, more than 180,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps, serving in 134 nations.

World Compliment Day

When was the last time you heard words like ‘Hey, you look great!’, ‘I like your presentation!’, ‘You did a great job!’ and similar praises? So, how did you feel about it? It feels good to hear thoughtful remarks, right? Sincerely-said compliments build our self-esteem and encourage us to keep up the good work. This National Compliment Day, it is a great chance to compliment others and contribute in making their day a nice one!

National Compliment Day was created in 1998 by Debby Hoffman and Kathy Chamberlin from Concord and Hopkinton, New Hampshire, respectively. These women want to remind people that through giving of compliments, a positive connection with anyone will be quickly and easily achieved.

Are those receiving compliments the only ones who benefit? Certainly not! Giving of compliments makes us feel good inside and throws away loneliness. It also forges positive bonds. But these should be given sincerely. It shows the truthfulness of the saying: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving”.
  • Compliment your family. Does the food prepared taste good? Then tell your wife (or mom) and make her happy! If you are a wife, why not let your husband know how good a provider he is? Take time to praise your children for their efforts at home and school.
  • Compliment your employer, employee or co-workers. It might be hard, especially if you have a demanding boss or a gossiping workmate. But who knows? You might ease the friction if you commend them for a job welldone.
  • Compliment your friends. Do you have a trusted, loyal or understanding friend? Let your buddy know how much you appreciate his/her good qualities.
  • Compliment your neighbor for a well-trimmed lawn or a beautiful garden, anything that is worth praising.
  • Compliment a teacher’s patience or a student’s academic efforts. Find something beautiful in others and give a good remark. Remember, every one of us has something good and deserves to be praised.
Zero Discrimination Day

Zero Discrimination Day is the opportunity to celebrate everyone’s right to live a full and productive life with dignity—no matter what they look like, where they come from or whom they love. By joining hearts and voices, individuals, communities and societies can transform the world every day and everywhere. Zero Discrimination Day is a moment to highlight how everyone can become informed and promote tolerance, compassion and peace.

Discrimination is a violation of human rights. It is illegal, immoral, hurtful and dehumanizing. Too many people around the world face unequal treatment because of their race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or identity, disability, gender or age.
Discrimination can happen anywhere: at work, at school, at home and in the community. Discrimination doesn't just hurt individuals or groups of people—it hurts everyone.
There are many things which can be done to counter discrimination and encourage acceptance; speaking up when something is wrong; raising awareness; supporting people who have been discriminated against; and promoting the benefits of diversity.