I needed a lite diary day, to balance all the heaviness in the world today.
Take a moment to breath, relax, and be kind.
St. Nicholas Day- Can’t wait for Christmas?
St. Nicholas was a bishop who was known for his good deeds, especially for the needy and children. He often gave generously and anonymously (without anyone knowing the gifts were from him). Nicholas was officially recognized as a saint in the 800s, and in the 1200s, Catholics in France began celebrating Bishop Nicholas Day on December 6.
Many European countries celebrate the Feast of Sinterklaas—also known as St. Nicholas—starting on the 5th of December, the eve of the day, by sharing candies, chocolate letters, small gifts, and riddles. Children put out their shoes with carrots and hay for the saint’s horse the evening prior, hoping St. Nicholas would exchange them for small gifts. (Sound familiar?)
In Belgium and the Netherlands, a fellow dressed as St. Nicholas would arrive (often by steamboat from Spain) in mid-November. He would then spend the next weeks checking if children had been good and done their best that year. On December 5 (Netherlands) or on December 6 (Belgium), he would then usually ride a white horse (or a donkey) through the towns, handing out gifts. It was the Dutch pronunciation of his name—Sinterklaas—as well as Dutch traditions that made their way to America. These led the way to the name Santa Claus and the gift-giving tradition. www.almanac.com/...
National Miners Day
One of my great-grandfathers was a coal miner. He sacrificed a lot for his family.
1) Learn about miners and what they do
The Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration develops videos and blog posts to shine light on this occupation. Discover all that miners accomplish.
2) Visit a local mine if you can
Whether it's quartz in Massachusetts or gold in California, find out what miners are working on in your state. You may be surprised!
3) Take a look around you
Think about all of the daily luxuries we have that depend on mining. From our cell phones, to the pots and pans we cook with, so much depends on America's miners.
Mitten Tree Day
There is a belief that school teachers formed [this holiday] during Christmas time. The idea of Mitten Tree Day is said to have emerged as a fun class activity, which they named after a book called “The Mitten Tree.” The book’s author, Candace Christiansen, focused the storyline on a woman who missed her grown-up children.
In the book, the lady walks through the cold winter weather and spots a few children waiting at the school bus stop. The lady notices that the children want to play in the snow but can’t because they don’t have any mittens to protect their hands. Feeling sorry for the kids, she knits a basket full of mittens and hangs them on a tree near the bus stop. The woman continues to knit mittens for the kids of her town and no longer drowns in the memories of her children.
According to sources, the name ‘mittens’ comes from the Old French word ‘mitaine.’ It was an old pet name for a cat, and at that time, mittens were made of animal fur. The earliest mittens found are said to date back to 1000 A.D. Mittens were also very common in medieval Europe. However, since they were hard to make, they were often worn as a fashion statement by the wealthy. Today, we make mittens from different materials like wool, leather, fur, or polyester. They also tend to be warmer than gloves because our fingers generate more heat when they are together. nationaltoday.com/…
Put on Your Own Shoes Day
I’m a big fan of the shoehorn. Bless the person who invented it.
Shoes have been a component of the human wardrobe since ancient times. In fact, the oldest preserved shoe in the world was discovered in Armenia and is estimated to be around 5000 years old. Historically, shoes were quite basic and were simply used for practical reasons such as to protect the feet from the elements, rather than for comfort and fashion. It was actually not until the 1800s that shoes began being made specifically for the left and right feet. Footwear has come a long way since then and has changed drastically over the centuries.
Made from palm leaves, papyrus fiber, and raw leather, the first sandals, which were stretched and tied at the end of the foot, appeared in ancient Egypt. Initially, only clerics and the pharaoh wore sandals but, later, all ancient Egyptians began wearing them and they came in various colors, which symbolized the different social classes.
During the Renaissance period, European royalty often wore shoes with high heels as high as 30 cm to show off their superiority. This also allowed them to casually walk through puddles. These were the first examples of modern platform shoes. King Louis XIV of France played a significant role in spreading the popularity of high heels. Even now, men’s high heels are referred to as French shoes by many fashion historians.
Microwave Oven Day
Microwave ovens are great for reheating leftovers, making popcorn, melting butter and chocolate, and heating water. These are just a few of the reasons why microwaves deserve their own day, and are celebrated today. The improvement of the cavity magnetron—which made the production of small wavelengths (microwaves) possible—allowed the magnetron to be used in World War II in radar technology. Following the war, Percy Spencer, an employee at Raytheon, was testing the new radar technology. He accidentally discovered the heating effect of the technology when a chocolate bar in his pocket melted. He then tried some popcorn and got it to pop, and followed this by trying to cook an egg, which exploded in the face of another experimenter. Spencer found out he could feed the power from the magnetron into a metal box where it couldn't escape, and observed that food placed in the box would rise in temperature quickly.
On October 8, 1945, Raytheon filed a patent for a microwave oven. In 1947, Raytheon produced the Radarange, a microwave which stood almost six feet tall, and cost $5,000—$54,000 in 2016 dollars. Raytheon licensed its patents to Tappan, which introduced a microwave in 1955, which was still too large and expensive for everyday home use. It cost $1,295, which is almost $12,000 in 2016 dollars. In 1965, Raytheon acquired Amana, and introduced a countertop microwave in 1967 for $495, which is still about $3,600 in 2016 dollars.
Soon afterwards, Litton developed a microwave oven that is similar in shape to the ones that are popular today, and it further helped popularize home microwaves. In 1971 there were about 40,000 microwaves in use in the United States, but my 1975 there were a million. Although some early models leaked, giving them a bad reputation, their popularity continued to grow. In the 1980's recipes abounded, as well as consumer goods such as microwave cupcake kits. Most of these things weren't very good. Still, by 1986 about 25% of households in the United States had a microwave, and by 1997 the number had risen to over 90%. www.checkiday.com/...
National Gazpacho Day
Gazpacho, also known as gaspacho or Andalusian gazpacho, is a cold vegetable soup that is celebrated today. The roots of the the soup go back to Greek and Roman times, but it came into its current form in Andalusia, the southern region of Spain. It is still widely eaten in Spain, as well as in neighboring Portugal, especially during the summer months. In the United States it is also popular during the summer; originally it was only prevalent in the South, but now it is... featured on menus in the West.
The ingredients, texture, and how thick the gazpacho is varies greatly depending on where you are. Each region of Andalusia has a distinct variety. Common ingredients included in Andalusian gazpachos are stale bread, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, onion, salt, water, vinegar, and olive oil. Cassell's Spanish Dictionary lists the original recipe as oil, vinegar, onions, garlic, and bread crumbs. There is a belief that tomatoes and peppers, which are popular in the dish in the United States, were added to the Spanish version after being brought to Spain from the Americas. Today many other varieties don't include tomatoes at all though, but include ingredients such as avocados, grapes, watermelon, cucumbers, parsley, and seafood instead. Gazpacho is often served with garnishes like chopped eggs, bread crumbs, onions, scallions, and peppers. www.checkiday.com/…
Hope you find a way to see a little joy and share it with others today.