On February 26, have a happily ever after kind of day. It’s National Tell A Fairy Tale Day!
What were once oral histories, myths, and legends retold around the fire or by traveling storytellers, have been written down and become known the world over as fairy tales.
The origins of most fairy tales were unseemly and would not be approved or rated as appropriate for children by the Association of Fairy Tales by today’s standards. Most were told as a way to make children behave, teach a lesson or to pass the time much like ghost stories around a campfire today.
Many of the stories have some basis in truth. For example, some believe the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is inspired by the real life of Margarete von Waldeck, the daughter of the 16th century Count of Waldeck. The area of Germany where the family lived was known for mining. Some of the tunnels were so tight they had to use children – or small people such as dwarfs – to work the mines.
Margarete’s beauty is well documented, and she had a stepmother who sent her away. She fell in love with a prince but mysteriously died before she could have her happily ever after.
As the stories evolved, they took on a more magical quality with fictional characters such as fairies, giants, mermaids and gnomes, and sometimes gruesome story plots.
Toes cut off to fit into a slipper, a wooden boy killing his cricket or instead of kissing that frog prince his head must be cut off, but those are the unrated versions.
The brothers Grimm collected and published some of the more well-known tales we are familiar with today. Jakob and his brother Wilhelm together set out on a quest to preserve these tales at a time in history when a tradition of oral storytelling was fading.
In 1812, they published their first volume of stories titled Household Tales. Their stories had a darker quality and were clearly meant for an adult audience.
Rumpelstiltskin is one of the tales they collected. There were several versions, and the little man went by many names in different parts of Europe. From Trit-a-trot in Ireland to Whuppity Stoorie in Scotland, Rumplestiltskin was one difficult man to identify.
While some storytellers have a long and sometimes ancient history such as Aesop (The Fox and the Goose, The Ant and the Grasshopper), others are more recent like the Grimm brothers.
Hans Christian Andersen, first published in 1829, brought to us written versions of the Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid and many more. Where Grimm’s tales could take on a darker cast and unmistakably written with adults in mind, Andersen’s stories are sweet and warm.
HOW TO OBSERVE
How to Tell a Great Story:
Engage your audience. Children like to participate. Have them quack every time the Ugly Duckling is mentioned, or make the motions of climbing Jack’s beanstalk.
Use repetition. Repeated stanzas, syllables or movements will keep the kids engaged. It not only helps them to remember the story but sets them up for the next round of the repeated phrase or stanza.
Give your characters a voice. Nobody likes a monotone storyteller. Buehler, Buehler, Buehler. No, not even children like the monotone. Varying your voice for each character and inflecting excitement, sadness and disappointment will create drama and stimulate the imaginations of the little minds listening to you.
Ask questions as you go. It’s an excellent way to keep your story flowing and to gauge the children’s listening skills.
Find out if someone has a story of their own. You might be in the presence of a great storyteller!
Share your favorite fairy tale with friends and family. Try relating them from memory as this has long been a tradition. Visit a library or local bookstore for story time.
Use #TellAFairyTaleDay to post on social media.
The last day of Carnival and the day before for Ash Wednesday, Fat Tuesday is the intertwining of a period festivals and feasts that lead to a time of fasting and reflection. Also known as Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras, this enduring celebration has many traditions and deep roots around the world.
Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) dates back to an ancient Roman festival honoring the deities Lupercalia and Saturnalia which took place in mid-February. When Christians arrived in Rome, they incorporated the festival into Lenten preparations.
For centuries, this solemn feast prepared Christians for the season of Lent and used up valuable meat and supplies they would be abstaining from in the days to come. Traditions surrounding the day have changed through the ages. Through time and culture, the practices of Lent and Carnival, Mardi Gras, and Shrove Tuesday have varied and become incorporated into regional customs.
In the United Kingdom, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day. Pancakes are the perfect menu item when the future includes abstaining from fats, eggs, and sweets! In Russia, they celebrate the entire week during Shrovetide as Pancake Week.
Carnival & Mardi Gras
While the French didn’t originate the medieval feast, they did put their stamp on it. From parades to beignets and colorful masks, the last day of Carnival is full of elaborate costumes and lavish food sure to hold the revelers over through a long fast. During the 16th century, their ancestors celebrated Boeuf Gras (fatted calf) which included a tradition of parading a bull decorated with flowers through the city. The decorated animal is followed through the streets by a retinue of colorfully dressed attendants and bands playing unusual instruments. There was even a Boeuf Gras Society in Mobile, Alabama at one time. (See history below for more information.)
New Orleans holds the crown for Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. While the city is filled with French flavor and style, its culture is an eclectic infusion of many cultures. Colorful King Cake and thick, savory muffuletta sandwiches only suggest the indulgence possible on Fat Tuesday. Regional specialties like Etouffee, Po’boys, and jambalaya all add to the atmosphere of the day.
And while we satisfy our cravings, let’s not forget our beverages. Signature creations from New Orleans hit the spot. Be sure to try the Sazerac made with absinthe or the citrus cocktail Arnaud’s Special. For a smooth drink with some punch mix up a Vieux Carré made with whiskey, cognac, and sweet vermouth. But you don’t have to have a cocktail to enjoy the feast! Fat Tuesday has plenty of beverages full of refreshing flavor. Coffees, sodas, and shakes of every flavor can be found.
HOW TO OBSERVE #FatTuesday
Join in festivals around the country or have your own Fat Tuesday feast! Share your favorite traditions by using #FatTuesday, #MardiGras, #ShroveTuesday
In Pensacola as we are so close to both Mobile, AL and New Orleans, there are lots of pardades, parties, balls, and more. Get ready for beads, dancing, and King Cake.
At the end of the fun try coming home to my Crockpot New England Calm Chowder. As today this dish is celebrated nationwide today too.
FAT TUESDAY HISTORY
The roots of the celebration have been woven together for centuries from medieval spring festivals and feasts that were based on the Christian calendar. Fat Tuesday is celebrated around the world in its various forms all of which harken back to these roots of spring festivals and religious fasting in preparation for the Holy day of Easter.
Credit for bringing Mardi Gras to America goes to French explorers Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d’Iberville and Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville. In 1699, d’Iberville reached the mouth of the river on Shrove Tuesday near what is now Louisiana and named it Pointe du Mardi Gras.
Thanks to their establishment of Fort Louis de la Mobile, modern-day Mobile, Alabama lays claim to the first Mardi Gras celebration on American soil in 1703.
When de Bienville established Nouvelle Orleans in 1788, Mardi Gras celebrations reportedly began immediately. In 1875, Louisiana declared Fat Tuesday an official holiday
Valentine’s Day began as St. Valentine’s Day, a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. February 14th first became associated with romantic love during the High Middle Ages as the tradition of courtly love was then flourishing. During 18th century England, this day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending Valentine cards.
Mixed opinions prevail regarding who or what was celebrated in mid-February. Some point to martyred saints by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. The most popular story tells of the saint who defied a decree by Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young men because he believed single men made better soldiers. St. Valentine, preferring young lovers to be wed than have them sneaking around (or believing in the power of love), would marry them in secret. However, it may have been another Valentine who performed the marriages. Either way, at least two of them were beheaded for their actions.
Another possible origin for Valentine’s Day takes us back to a pagan festival called Lupercalia. As a way to discourage participation in the fertility festival, the Christian church placed St. Valentine’s Day in the middle of February.
Since the Renaissance, we’ve been exchanging Valentine’s cards. These handmade missives of romance grew into a more commercial venture by the Victorian era. Today, school children exchange Valentine greetings, too. They prepare for the day by making unique boxes to receive their many hearts, cupids, and pun-filled rhymes.
Chocolates and candy have also become a part of the celebration. While couples tend to be the focus of the day, singles celebrate being single, too. Friends take each other out or reject the overall notion of Valentine’s Day. Dinner and a movie, candlelight, and flowers also fit the bill for couples. It’s one of the busiest days of the year for florists.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ValentinesDay
You can surprise your special someone with flowers, chocolate or a card. Bring a smile to their face with an original poem or homemade meal.
Get Recipes that will impress without spending days in the kitchen. Many can be done at the last minute if needed.
Get something special for your Valentine and use #ValentinesDay to post on social media.International Book Giving Day
VALENTINE’S DAY HISTORY
Credit is traditionally given to Pope Gelasius for declaring February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day around the year 496 to separate the church from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival which occurred on February 15th.
National Florida Day on January 25 recognizes the 27th state to join the United States.
The Sunshine State is home to the oldest established city in the country. With over 400 years of history, St. Augustine’s streets and colonial architecture have stories to tell. Founded by Spanish explorers in 1565, visit the city and walk in the same footsteps as 16th-century bishops, ponder the escapades of pirates and the whereabouts of lost gold and learn about the lives of European settlers.
East and West Florida became the 14th and 15th British Colonies after the end of the French and Indian War in 1763. However, in 1783, after the end of the American Revolutionary War, The Treaty of Paris returned Florida to Spain.
The present-day borders of Florida were absorbed through two transactions: The Louisianna Purchase in 1803 brought East Florida with it (but not without dispute from the French) and through a U.S. intervention in an uprising in West Florida in 1812 causing West Florida to join the Mississippi Territory.
With an average high temperature of 79.5°F, it should be no surprise that Floridian John Gorrie brought refrigeration and air conditioning to the world in 1851.
Add to that, more than half the year with partly cloudy to sunny days, the invention of sunblock would be a necessity, too. Hungary born pharmacist, Benjamin Green, invented a sunscreen in 1944 which later became a tanning lotion known as Coppertone.
Launching astronauts into space, Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard Country, is a fun and unique visit. While Disney, Universal, and others have rides, themes, and shows. This place makes both history and the future a tangible experience. We just happened to be there on a day they launched a new satellite!
Cape Canaveral and the home of the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County has come a long way from its first launch in 1950. From Appollo missions to Hubble Telescopes and Mars Rovers, Cape Canaveral continues missions well into the future. Missions include commercial ventures including SpaceX launches.
Florida offers more than enough to do and see. From man-made worlds and relaxing beaches to long, colorful and intricate history, the Sunshine State’s open spaces and sunny faces require more than one visit.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Join National Day Calendar as we dig into Florida’s sunny beaches and rich history. Seek buried treasures and explore all Florida’s fascinating culture! Look to the past or look to the future and use #NationalFloridaDay to share on social media.
In 2017, National Day Calendar began celebrating each state in the order they entered the union starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. We highlight a small part of each states’ history, foods and the people who make up the state. There’s so much more to explore!
Florida is also home of the oldest noncontinuous settlement in America. The City of five flags know as Pensacola is actually older than St Augustine. The original settlement was wiped out by a hurricane. So St Augustine claims the oldest continuous city.
Pensacola has a long Naval Tradition and is The Cradle of Naval Aviation. Every year both resident and visiting pilots, take training at one of our local bases. While NAS Pensacola is home to The Famous Blue Angels Squadron that Flew over The White House recently, we made national news for a tragic event just a short time ago.
We had an active shooter who infiltrated and murdered students at the flight school here. While we deeply morn those lost in this tragedy, we are grateful to the brave who helped our sheriff’s officers put an early end to this shooter. Before more could be harmed these warriors risked life and injury to subdue the shooter. Since this event the bases have gone to restricted access to keep others and the community safe.
For more information about us ask a local. Here are some of my picks, and I haven’t even come close to listing them all.
T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park – St. Joseph Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center – Mayo Manatee Springs State Park – Chiefland Colt Creek State Park – Lakeland Highlands Hammock State Park – Sebring Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park – Okeechobee Don Pedro Island State Park – Cape Haze Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park – Naples Hugh Taylor Birch State Park – Ft. Lauderdale Big Cypress National Preserve – Ochopee Canaveral National Seashore – Titusville & New Smyrna Beach Everglades National Park – Miami, Naples & Homestead MUSEUMS Salvador Dali Museum – St. Petersburg Museum of Florida History – Tallahassee John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art – Sarasota Castillo de San Marcos – St. Augustine Bok Tower Gardens – Lake Wales Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse – Ponce Inlet Villa Vizcaya – Miami
A civil rights activist and composer, James Weldon Johnson became United States consul to Puerto Cabello in Venezuela under President Theodore Roosevelt. He is also noted for composing the song Lift Every Voice and Sing.
Happy New Year! If your bleary eyed and looking for Asprin, that was an energetic whisper instead of a yell…
Well 2020 is officially here. Now if I can just train myself to write that year, on important things like billing, receipts and checks. If you haven’t adjusted your organizer, calendars, and yearly to-do lists, it’s a good day to spend quietly preparing to rejoin the world. (If you’re lucky enough to have time off to do so.)
First make it a point if you’re not totally digital to transfer any dates, notes, or important information to this tears planner. Sync the digital, worlds of desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile so you have your information handy. You should do a complete backup of your contacts, calendars, and any other vital information.
For digital media burn real back up disks. I know, it sounds old fashioned today, but that thumb drive, external hard drive, micro sd card can all be wiped out. The wrong delete command can undo all your hard work. What would you do if you lost all those irreplacable photos?
Ok, like most of us I have cloud storage. So why do I need to do anything physical like a real disk? Cloud storage has gotten better but, experts still agree if you go with this method, you need more than one. A physical disk also lets me keep my private files…Private!
Data breaches happen all the time. Google, Banks, Stores where we shop, they appear in the news all the time. Sensitive information like credit cards, financial records, taxes, contacts, and any photos, you don’t want out there don’t store it anywhere that has network access. Yes, it makes it easier for you to get to your files but internet security is really only good until the next hacker breaks it. Do you really want to learn through social media that “That” photo is out there. With identity theft rates going higher, do not want to take chances with your sensitive information?
Staying on Track
As a blogger, and in charge of the family finances, I safeguard this information. I use a variety of both physical and virtual tools to make my life easier. To keep my days on track and remember appointments I still use a paper planner. Everything from holidays, birthdays, and planning for both my family and my blog go here. I find it easier to stay focused, complete tasks in a timely manner and use things like alarms on my phone for special reminders.
Outside of that and a secret stash of sensitive login information I’m fully digital. We use app named Prism to keep track of paydays, bills, credit cards and so on. It let’s me track and make payments easily with an easy to understand interface that covers everything. It reminds me when the water payment is due. Keeps my bank balance, tells me the car insurance is next week and keeps up with my automatic payments. With bank-level security and automatic locking features even if I lose my phone no one else can get in.
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
WikipediaDate: Wednesday, December 25, 2019
TrendingCelebrations: Gift-giving, family and other social gatherings, symbolic decoration, feasting etc Significance: Commemoration of the Nativity of Jesus Observances: Church servicesAlso called: Noël, Nativity, XmasObserved by: Christians, many non-Christians
As we celebrate this Festive holiday(s), we remember that not everyone can be home. A special seasons greetings to our Deployed military and families, first responders and those whose job keeps them away from their family. We are truly thankful for the job you do. So to our first responders let’s hope it’s a Silent Night. For our troops, no creature us storing not even a mouse. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
The Christmas holidays offer an enormous variety of situations to your sense. One of the biggest is Christmas music. If you go near a Mall, grocery store, department store or just about anywhere, you’ve no doubt heard it. From secular and religious, to funny and popular covers.
Studies have proven that decorations and indeed music can lift your mood and enhance your memories, both past and present. Growing up I can still remember my dad teaching me how to play a vinyl Christmas album. You could only do so once you had the proper instruction so you didn’t scratch them. Some of those favorites not only encourage me to sing along, but instantly transport me to those warm memories.
Time spent with my dad, mom, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and the alternative words we, our cousins and friends traded. As time has gone by those memories are more precious than ever. So que up you favorites new and old this holiday season. Music is the second strongest sense tired to memory. This is why patients who cannot remember yesterday or recognize friends or family can sing and dance to the songs they grew up with.
Here are a few of my favorite artists and songs…