Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sept 30 – Mud Pack Day

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed this day! I celebrated tonight by putting on a mud mask and relaxing beneath my giant pink blanket. It was amazing. I was covered in blue “mud” a cool tingling sensation was running all over my face while my body was snuggly warm beneath Pinky. (I name everything… that is the name of my pink blanket. THANKS AGAIN ERIN!)

Jared actually joined in the day he enjoyed a face peel – the one where you put it on and it looks clear, then when it dries you peel it off and it looks like you are peeling off your face...looks really cool and feels great too!

I was trying to think of something to put over my eyes, but seeing as we didn’t have cucumbers the only things we could think of were the M&M cookies I made yesterday. We decided that we were not willing to sacrifice cookies to be used as eye covers, so I did without.

Interesting Fact: A mud pack is a quick treatment for bee stings. Use it, if needed, when you are out on a hike, or until you can get to a place to be treated for bee and wasp stings.
  - Now this doesn’t mean you need to be hiking around in the woods with a mud pack from the store…if you are in nature you could use actual mud. For you city folks - Just take some water and mix it with the dirt and you get...MUD!

I have fond memories of playing in all sorts of mud growing up; there was the thick kind, the really soft and gushy kind, the kind that stole your boots as you walked through it, and the really good kind to throw at other people!

If you ever want to get some face masks you can get nice cheap ones at Wal-Mart for like $.48. There are all different kinds and colors and things so go wild, try them all! Oh, and they also have ones for your feet!

Enjoy Mud Pack Day!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sept 29 – Confucius Day

"I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being." – Confucius

That is my favorite Confucius quote, well it is one that I like anyway. I have not read all 499 of them.

Born in China on October 18, 551 B.C., Confucius is one of the earliest, and perhaps the first great philosopher. He was also a teacher, a scholar, and a politician. He gave the world many teachings, and gave the world 499 famous sayings. Although Confucianism is often followed in a religious manner by the Chinese, arguments continue over whether it is a religion.

Now some Confucius sayings are insightful and inspirational others, I am convinced, only made the list because they are sayings by Confucius. For example: “And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” I mean really…in that case I would like to make my own quote and it should become popular and insightful for centuries to come…

“If you paint white paper blue, the paper will be blue”

You heard it here first! Anyways, today I tried to find philosophical meaning in things, and read into things more then I generally would; then I realized I am glad there are people who like that thing…like Confucius…so that I don’t have to do it.

Thank you Confucius…for the 499 sayings and your contributions to society!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sept 28 – National Ask a Dumb Question Day

What makes a question dumb? I was always told there is no dumb question, which would make this day dumb in itself…I guess inviting the question why is there a day to ask dumb questions when there are no dumb questions?

I decided that for me a dumb question is one where the answer is so obvious you are just dumb if you don’t know the answer, and also a dumb question would be one where no one really cares about the answer. That is my definition you may have another way to distinguish a dumb question from a good one.

For example I heard a few dumb questions today:
1. Me asking Jared: Would you like me to make you M&M cookies today?
2. Jared asking Duke: Do you want to play?
3. People asking me: Oh, are you back from your trip? I understand sometimes you just say things like this, but really…that is a dumb question.

I searched for “dumb questions” on the internet, there are lists and lists that come up for you to spend hours starring at. Below are some of my favorites. I actually think some are quite brilliant and therefore not dumb questions – the answer is not obvious and I would like to know the answer- however, some are just dumb. Judge for yourself:

* How can there be self-help “groups?
* How did the man who invented cottage cheese know he was done?
* If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a picture of a thousand words worth?
* If a turtle doesn’t have a shell is he homeless or naked?
* If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?
* If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?
* Since there is a speed of light and a speed of sound, is there a speed of smell?
* What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about?
* What is a “free gift”? Aren’t all gifts free?
* Where does your lap go when you stand up?
* Where in the nursery rhyme does is say that Humpty Dumpty was an egg?
* In court, why do they ask if you swear to tell the truth? If you’re planning on lying, do they really think you’ll tell them so?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sept 27 – World Tourism Day

Odd how this comes the first day I am done being a tourist.  World Tourism Day is a day to note the importance of tourism. This year’s theme is “Tourism – Celebrating Diversity”.  There is an official website for this day it is:

Today I decided to be a tourist in my own city of Seattle.  So I got Jared & Duke to join me and we headed out to enjoy our city.  We went first to the outdoor sculpture park downtown - we weren't that impressed.  Next, we headed to Pike Place Market, a Seattle favorite.  On the walk there Duke stopped at his favorite bakery and got a treat, once at the market we bought some gorgeous flowers for only $5, enjoyed some street musicians, and then headed back to the car stopping to get a Cow Chip on the way (Cow Chips for those of you who don’t know are cookies and they are delicious!) You also can pick up a big yellow sticker (which we did) and wear it proudly on yourself declaring to the world that you ate a Cow Chip.  We then headed to another part of downtown and ate lunch at Dick’s Drive-In - another great Seattle thing to do.  After our adventures downtown we headed back to our actual town of Redmond and went to Marymoor Park.  This is our favorite place to go and is home to the Marymoor Dog Park (40 acres for dogs to run freely); needless to say Duke had a great time.  Finally, we ended at home on the couch watching the Seahawks lose to the Chicago Bears.

Here is a list of some of my recommendations if you are ever in the Seattle area:
1. Pike Place Market
2. Sisters Sandwich - great place to eat by Pike Place Market
3. Take a seaplane ride from Union Lake around Seattle
4. Marymoor Dog Park
5. Dick’s Drive-In
6. Catch a Seahawks Game
7. Hurricane Ridge on the Olympic Peninsula
8. Take a ferry somewhere
9. Mallard’s Ice Cream in Bellingham
10. Tulip Time in Mt. Vernon
11. Lake Crescent on Olympic Peninsula
12. Mt. St. Helen’s
13. Mt. Rainer
14. Downtown Kirkland or Edmonds (fun little towns to walk around and Edmonds is the home to travel writer Rick Steves)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sept 26 – Johnny Appleseed Day

Today was an eye-opener for me. I honestly didn’t know who Johnny Appleseed was. I had heard the name, thought he was some fictional character that always had apple seeds with him and maybe through them out of his hat as he walked or something. Turns out he was a real person!

His real name was John Chapman he was born on this day in 1774 or 1775 there are conflicting reports. He was a settler and was very much excited by the movement west across America. He himself headed west and along the way he planted apple trees and would sell them to other settlers. He worked mostly in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana and is said to have worked on the orchards for over 40 years. He also made jelly and cider with the apples.

I too was headed west today from Rotterdam back home to Seattle, WA. I was trying to find an apple to spread its seeds along my way home to honor Johnny, but that didn’t work out. Then I decided I would plant imaginary apple trees along my way. Johnny had 40 years to work on his orchards, and I had about 40 seconds. Jared and I had to run to catch the metro, then run to the tram, then run to the train, and then…you guess it…run to the plane – I am not joking when I say we had to run. We made it to everything thankfully…however, this allowed little time for the “planting” of my seeds. (This is also why I didn’t have time to get a real apple).

The pictures are of me planting one this morning in Rotterdam, and one on the tram. Kind of pathetic, I know, but use your imagination.

Eat up the apples today and think of Johnny…he may have started the orchard where your apple came from!

Sept 25 – National Comic Book Day

I have never been a comic book person. Sure, I read my favorites in the Sunday paper – the classics mostly like Peanuts, Garfield, and lately I enjoy Get Fuzzy. I never have been into the true comics though like Wolverine, Wonder Woman, Superman, Spiderman, etc.

Jared and I rode bikes today across the dikes through the beautiful fields of the Netherlands. I asked Jared what his comic book would be if he had one and almost immediately he said “Captain Danger and The Mischievous Men”, when asked what Captain Danger would do he had no idea. I was having the opposite problem, I could think of all sorts of things that my comic personality could do: save all the animals, poach the poachers, make people instantly stop sweating the small stuff on command, and more important things like make sure everyone always had a Pepsi and a cupcake when they needed one…the possibilities are endless really. All of the names we came up with were so limiting, I could not think of a name for my comic to save my lift, we both thought about it all day and came up with nothing.  Disappointing, I know.  I did, however, come up with a great comic superhero pose if I do say so myself.

I wanted to read some comics today so we stopped by the mall in Rotterdam to look at some in the book store. Seeing that I had no idea what they were saying because they were written in Dutch, I had to rely solely on the pictures where I realized Garfield is not a nice guy, in fact he is brutal. I saw him kill a spider, steal Odie’s food, destroy Odie’s toy, and make Jon’s hair fall out. It actually ended up being quite disturbing and making me question why I had posters of him up in my room when I was little.

So, today try to think up a comic book name for yourself and what you would do…and if you can’t think of that just strike a pose!

Sept 24 – National Punctuation Day

Most common punctuation mistakes:
1. Apostrophe for plurals
2. The Comma Splice
3. Quotation marks for emphasis
4. Multiple punctuation marks
5. Punctuation outside the quotation
6. The missing comma after introductory elements

An English teacher’s dream I am sure. I have heard it said that absence makes the heart grow fonder so here it goes:

I began the day walking on the streets of Paris with Jared croissant in hand debating which was the colon and which the semi colon it proved to be an interesting conversation oddly enough we then discussed out favorite member of the punctuation family and we both came up with the same one the exclamation point I love it and I love writing two or three in a row for extra emphasis I once had an English teacher who believed that you should only be able to use three exclamation points in your life she must have been a dull person im thinking never having anything to exclaim no angry shouts no hoorays or yippees my three exclamations would be used up in the first line of an email to one of my sisters I feel the need to exclaim things several times a day at the least

In my research I found an awful little punctuation song you can listen to it in two different versions rap or blues Ill warn you though it is very catchy Jared and I may have permanently tattooed the chorus on our brains with that warning here is the link to the song


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sept 23 - Checkers Day & Dogs in Politics Day

At first I was completely perplexed by how these two things went together and I was just going to celebrate one of them. However through my research I learned that Checkers was Richard Nixon’s dogs name...

Here is a little history on the day:
Origin of Checkers Day: In 1952, Richard M. Nixon was a candidate for Vice-President of the United States, running with Dwight D. Eisenhower. Media speculation centered around an $18,000 campaign contribution and speculation that Nixon may have used some for his personal use. In a brilliant political maneuver, Nixon took his case to the American people. On September 23, 1952, Richard Nixon gave a speech that directly addressed and explained the issue. He assured the public that he did not use any of the funds for personal use. Towards the end of the speech, he stated that his daughters had received a dog, which they named "Checkers", as a gift. He said they would keep the dog. This speech quickly became known as the "Checkers" speech, and went on to be one of the better speeches in American political history. With "Checkers" the dog included in the speech, this day was sometimes referred to as Dogs in Politics Day

 had envisioned finding two little old men playing checkers in front of the Eiffel Tower today, joining them in a game or at least getting them to pose with me, but the little old men I had envisioned were not there. I did see some people playing chess, but no checkers. So I decided to think of all the presidents’ dogs that I could…not a lot, if you know of more please add them!

Richard Nixon = Checkers
George Bush = Millie
Bill Clinton = Buddy
Barack Obama = Bo

If you get the Animal Planet channel there is a show called Dogs 101 and they run an episode every once in a while about all the dogs that have lived in the White House, it is pretty interesting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sept 22 - Elephant Appreciation Day

Here is a little history on how Elephant Appreciation Day came to be: The founder, Wayne Hepburn, received a paperweight of elephants on parade from his daughter as a gift. He became fascinated by them. He started a huge collection of elephant books and paraphernalia. His obsession and love of elephants, led to the creation of this day so we can take some time to enjoy this huge amazing creature.

Elephants...I love how big they are.  Big ears, huge feet, and best of all big round bellies.  I woke up this morning and told Jared that it was Elephant appreciation Day and he immediately put his arm up by his nose (like a trunk) and made a huge elephant sound.  I was excited about his enthusiasm for the day, but not about being hit by his "trunk" that early in the morning.

Surprisingly there are not a lot of elephants wandering around Rome.  I was able to find these two small guys in a little store in the train station.  We talked about elephants in movies that we liked and I reminisced about seeing all the elephants walking in a long line when I was able to go on a safari in Tanzania...AMAZING! 

There is an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee that takes care of endangered African and Asian Elephants.  It is a really great organization and if you are interested you can sponsor an elephant! Follow this link:

 One of the elephants best friend is a dog...enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sept 21 - International Day of Peace

Today I celebrated Peace. It is amazing to me what happens when you are aware. In my case celebrating something everyday, even for just these few days, has made me so much more aware of things happening around me.

Today the flags were at half mast in Italy to remember the lives of six Italian soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan.

We were waiting for a bus for over an hour outside on the street and getting slightly restless, however, if we wouldn’t have waited we would have missed it:

As we waited there at the bus stop, slowly nuns, police, and civilians started gathering along the road with Italian flags. We knew something was going to happen but weren’t sure what. Slowly down the road came a military procession with the bodies of those six brave soldiers on the back of military trucks. People prayed and waved the Italian flag as they went by with police escort through Rome.

It was a very unique experience, but not one I would have wanted to plan for the day.

Next, it was on to the catacombs where persecuted Christians were buried after they were killed for their faith – it made me extremely glad I live in a place where I am free to love and serve God openly.

Tonight we all got rocks and wrote a message of peace on them. Jared and I took them and planted them outside of the “Roma Termini” (the main train station in Rome) to spread the message of peace.

Check out the webpage for the International Day of Peace for ways you can celebrate and spread the message of Peace.

Sept 20 - National Punch Day

From the research I did on this day, no one was quite sure what type of punch one was supposed to celebrate…so I decided to cover as many as I could.

• I physically punched my mom, Herm, Jared, a few statues, and my bed…and I was also punched in return.
• I punched my train ticket from Florence to Rome to validate it
• My ticket was punched with a hole punch on the train by the train attendant
• My luggage decided it wanted to join in and punched me in the chin as I was lifting it into the overhead storage area on the train.
• At dinner we told some jokes with punch lines (note to self…none of us are good at telling jokes)
• I couldn’t find any punch to drink, or to make
• I spent some time reflecting on Hawaiian Punch and the big Kool-Aid Man

A thought occurred to me… Maybe today is punch day because tomorrow is the International Day of Peace. It allows you to get all of your anger and frustration out one last time in preparation. Just a thought


Sept 19 - Talk Like A Pirate Day

* Talk Like A Pirate Day is an original concept created in a moment of temporary insanity by John Baur and Mark Summers.

Ahoy Mates!

Today I discovered two things:
1. I don’t know that much about Pirates
2. When I try to talk like a Pirate it ends up sounding like I have some strange Irish Accent

I am still with my family so we decided to give ourselves pirate names to help us feel more “pirate-y” I became the Black Toe Bandit (thanks to my nail polish), mom became Scully, and Herm was Black Beard.

Scully and I tried acting out a few pirate scenes in Siena…we also tried to use a pigeon as our parrot but had a little trouble capturing one.

For this next part it helps if you can read it with a Pirate Accent:

Later on tonight I was on my ship and received a distressed call from Scully and Black Beard… Scully’s treasure (her wedding ring) had gone missing perhaps stolen by enemy pirates!

ARRGH we were upset!

Scully and Black Beard had already tossed the place and threatened some civilians with walking the plank!

I sailed over just as quickly as the high tides would take me and searched high and low, this was a real treasure hunt and there was no “X marks the spot”. I lifted one of the barrels on the deck and AHOY! The treasure flew out into the open and came to a stop directly at Scully’s feet!

There was great celebration throughout the land, and a free meal!
**A few civilians were actually threatened although no one was injured**

A real treasure hunt on Talk Like A Pirate Day! A Coincidence…I think not. I have proven myself a real pirate after all!

Believe it or not there is an official website for this day!:


Pirates still exist today the most dangerous waters are those in the Indian Ocean and between Indonesia and Malaysia after you round Singapore heading East to West.

Sept 18 - National Play-Doh Day

Today was the first of 365 days of celebration!

Play-doh has been around for over 50 years and there at least 50 colors.

Play-Doh® Brand Modeling Compound developed by Noah W. McVicker and Joseph S. McVicker and introduced by Rainbow Crafts of Cincinnati in 1956. Play-Doh , a non-toxic reusable modeling compound, was available only in one color and size, an off-white, 1 ½ pound can. It was test marketed one year earlier at schools, kindergartens and nursery schools.

My mom, step-dad, and I celebrated Play-Doh Day in Florence, Italy. We took some time to play with play-doh by the Ponte Vicchio and made our own sculptures which rivaled the artistic brilliance of those we were seeing in Florence (such as Michaelangelo’s David).

My mom decided to reflect back on our time in Venice sculpting a gondola complete with gondolier. Herm went with a more modern contemporary style. And, if you know me at all you can guess my sculpture…a hippo!

If you would like to make your own play-doh here is a recipe…

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup oil

Step 1: Mix flour and salt, slowly add water and oil.
Step 2: If the dough is too wet, add flour, too dry, add water.

This dough can be easily colored and scented. Adding food coloring to the water will prevent stained hands, and I've found that peppermint extract (or vanilla, or lemon, or just about any other cooking extract) makes it smell great.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Beginning...

Seeing that I am going to be in Italy when my 26th year begins I will not be able to post everyday.  I am not sure about internet access, but I will be writing something and celebrating everyday so I will post as soon as I can.  BOO, that this is happening right when I am kicking off my Year Of Holidays.  I can't complain too much seeing that I will be doing what I love...travelling...with people I love.  However, just not the greatest start for my blog.  If you want to celebrate with me here are the days I will be celebrating...feel free to join in!

18 = National Play-Doh Day (Also...MY BIRTHDAY!)
19 = International Talk Like A Pirate Day
20 = National Punch Day
21 = International Day of Peace
22 = Elephant Appreciation Day
23 = Checkers Day
24 = Punctuation Day (there is a really cool rap you can learn!)
25 = National Comic Book Day
26 = Johnny Appleseed Day

I will be back in the US after that!

Friday, September 4, 2009

It All Begins September 18th, 2009!

Hey Everyone - Follow me as I celebrate a different holiday everyday for the next year.  I may not be able to post everyday, but I will be celebrating everyday!  Some of the days I am looking forward to so far are: October 31st - Increase Your Psychic Powers Day, February 20th - Hoodie Hoo Day (not quite sure what this is about yet, but it sounds fun), April 26 - Hug An Australian Day, July 1st - Build A Scarecrow Day, and August 10 - National Lazy Day!

It's gonna be a great 26th year of my life I can tell already!