My Perfect World

UTOPIA

I often imagine if things were different, (more how I’d like them to be) what changes would I make?

For starters, high school would begin at 9:45 and  end at 2.   Is the goal of our  school board planners’ to provide education or to make parents drag sleeping teens out of bed against a tidal wave of resistance day, after, day?   This is just mean.   I would also offer that school activities end by 5 so we don’t have to go out and fetch our kids when we’d rather be in a robe, holding wine.

And frankly,  I don’t know the last time (um… in 1979 maybe?) that I had to multiply two negative numbers or conjugate a word in French.  Four years of  high school french and all I remember is how to say “I don’t know” en francias.   So.. “je ne sais pas” why we  insist on this stuff.  Teach kids how to balance a bank account, make change, understand loan amortization, and know how many gallons of gas it would take to drive from here to say, Wyoming and back.  Want more?  Try making a budget that is livable, know how to file simple taxes and maybe throw in a lesson on investments and financial planning that doesn’t involve holding a palm out for dad to put money in.    I am also in favor of teaching them to cook in 7th grade so that by high school they can make dinner, because they of course will have plenty of time without the homework

And the words?   I have to side with my daughter on this.

Big, bigger, biggest

Good, gooder, goodest.

Really, don’t you get it?  No matter how you say it?

She and I?

I and she?

Me and them?

Me & her?

She and me?

Does it really matter?  All we need to know is that the two of you have something going on.

And my personal favorite pet peeve:

adverbs and adjectives — boo hiss!   Why can’t we just say adverbs and adnouns?  The other option would be to change the word ‘noun’ to ‘jective.’  But really, what is a jective anyway?

I have a ton more plans that would improve things but I’ll just hold onto those thoughts for now.

But one more thing I would like to mention in my societal planning for “helen’s better living.”    I would very much to live in a hip urban setting with my two next door neighbors  Mama June and Jimmy Fallon.  I imagine the three of us having the best of times when we run into each other at the supermarket on Saturday afternoons.  We’d talk about our kids, minivans, movies, and how to tweak recipes to create Red Neck Fusion Cuisine.   It would be glorious, simply glorious.  I just know it.

My Goal is to have an After Picture

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According to Weight Watchers, I am not a lifetime member. Even though I’ve lived through versions of the program when you had to eat an egg a day, liver once a week, and no watermelon whatsoever, I am not a lifer.  Decades ago I was a meager two pounds from goal weight, and now as far from goal as I have ever been, I continue to show up with my member ID card, but I’m not a lifer.

Weight watchers, I almost have to disagree.

After giving all of this a lot of thought, it occurs to me that according to Weight Watchers, “Lifetime” goes forward, from the day you prove that you can arrive at, and maintain your goal weight for six weeks. From that point for the rest of your life, regardless of what happens at the scale, you are a lifer. So what you need is an after picture.

It’s okay. I don’t mind.

Weight loss is so complicated for some of us and simple for others. My husband can buy a box of Mallomar cookies and three days later when he opens the cupboard, he shouts “cookies!” surprised they’re there! He didn’t remember! In the absence of early onset Alzheimer’s I would NEVER forget the cookies. In fact it’s almost a schizophrenic episode for me. I hear the cookie voices summoning me: “Open the box, Helen…open the box.”

But I digress.

I need a weight loss goal worth getting and I need an after picture. The best diet I’ve ever worked is one I call the ‘Wedding Day Diet’. It’s better than the ‘Improve my Health Diet,’ ‘Summer is Coming diet’, the ‘Broken Heart Diet’, it’s even better than the ‘Revenge Diet’. Never before and never since my wedding day, was I more aware of the food going into my mouth, because I really wanted to look good from every angle when there’s a photographer following me around – and not one I can really hide from either.

This leads me to my new weight loss goal.

I’ve seen myself in pictures over the last decade and I hate every single one. I often shrug it off, saying “Wow, that’s a good before picture!” I have more before pictures than I want, or need. I’d like an after picture please, and not one from 20 years ago.

I have to give credit now to those Weight Watchers members who have fought the battle and are winning.  There are many. There are people who do every single thing according to the guidelines, and who do it well. There are even lifetime members who only do most things right, most of the time. Sadly, I am not one of those people.

Weight watchers for adults with A.D.D. should be and add on feature of the program and I’m here to start the revolution.  I begin most days with a plan and the best intentions. Then the cookie voices distract me. The day could still be salvageable but in a perfect weight watchers world I blew it. And there’s dinner to make, tasting that needs to happen, and so on. So start fresh tomorrow? Okay. But, the reset button only works once or twice a week max. Ever had the morphine drip after surgery? It’s kinda like that.

Breaking down all of the possibilities of becoming a stellar Weight Watchers member I realize that I may just dream too big.   My daughter said that about herself once, I think she gets it from me.

When I leave each weekly meeting I’m all charged up and ready to go.  I plan the week like a superstar with food and exercise all planned out and scheduled in. I’m like the Roadrunner kicking up swirling balls of dust before take off.   Problem is that right after takeoff I smash into a tree.

So this week, I’m going to go public and say I’m adjusting my sights and lowering my expectations. I am going to dream a little smaller because I don’t really like smashing into trees. I want to navigate the forest and enjoy the walk around. I’m going to be better, not perfect, at managing my diet, and avoiding the trees.

After all, if you think about it, if I keep smashing into trees, my after picture, even a skinny one, would look kind of awful.

 

Cell Phone Graves

My daughter’s phone is “toast.” We remedy this by rummaging through our stash of old and broken phones, searching for one that works well enough to replace her’s which is currently inoperable, and this will have to do for now.

As I watched my husband bring  the motherlode of shattered phones to the kitchen to decide which one was most viable, I said to him, “I wonder. Will we have more broken hearts, or more broken cell phones when we die?”  I’m hoping it’s phones because there are already so many of them!

Years ago, with five people on smart phones, and three of them still fairly young, our foray into the care and maintenance of cell phones was rough.  Phones were dropped, stepped on, even lost in the woods where a good samaritan found it two weeks later, took it home, charged it up and called us.   I never thought I’d see that one again until – there it was, in my mail overnight with a note from the very nice little girl who found the shiny object on the dirt path, under the leaves.   I did have my daughter send her a thank you and a present in case you were wondering.

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Over the years we have amassed many phones with shattered screens, water damage, or sometimes both. One of the funniest incidents (in hindsight of course) happened the night my oldest daughter was bragging about being the only one who hadn’t broken a phone.   While she gestured her arms wide, and said “EVERYBODY,” the phone flew from her hand, hit the concrete next to the edge of an in-ground pool, and then bounced in and sunk to the bottom.   It happened in slow motion I swear it.  Even nature muted while we watched it fly from her hand, hit the concrete, and swish slowly back and forth until it rested on the very, very, bottom.

But, that was several years ago and since then everybody’s attention to phone maintenance has significantly improved. Lucky for us.  Currently, with the exception of that one sad back-up phone in place, we all  do pretty well keeping our phones up, running, charged, and in good repair.    But my poor husband,  who waited a long time to get a new phone because somebody else always seemed to need one before him, just got the Galaxy Note 7.  You know, the one that catches on fire?  We charge it overnight in a heavy dutch oven so if it explodes we will be safe.

red-dutch-ovenNow, the good news:  Today is the day when Samsung replacement phones are available so we can go back to a regular charging set up and put the red pot back on the stove where it can be used for other burned things  – like my pot roast.

I might make a tiny cell phoned shaped cake in honor of the occasion.  But I don’t want  jinx things.

 

Dance Mom ? or no.

This is a piece from Working Mother Magazine that I wrote recently. We just signed a contract to dance another year. I signed the check with a a sigh.

 

The Reluctant Dance Mom

She wanted to quit, and then quit some more, but her girls showed her the way to stay.

Mom and two dancing kids

Illustration: Marie-Eve Trembly/Colagne

What do you do when you hate being a “dance mom”?

It’s no coincidence that our dance studio is in the same shopping center as the supermarket. They know how much a working mom loves the chance to multitask! That’s what I was thinking a decade ago when my 4-year-old twins, Emily and Heather, first skipped off to the studio door, pink flouncy tutus bouncing behind them, leaving me one glorious hour to grab groceries and run errands. Little did I know my Saturday morning routine was the first step to becoming a dance mom, and not the kind who can rock a hair bun.

Five years later, the girls asked to try out for the competition team, which meant all-day Saturday rehearsals. My mind went straight to open afternoons, catching up at home and having quality time with my husband and their big sister, Melody. There would also be three weekend competitions away from home, every winter. OK, I thought, I can do that. I handled making lesson plans (I teach music) and grocery lists away from home well enough, but what I could not handle was being a dance mom—an animadversion of a NASCAR pit crew who has five minutes to fetch, fix and feed little girls between dances and not lose her cool over a hairdo change.

And yet, soon I had to contour makeup, track costume pieces and remember which jewelry went with which routine. My kids complained that it hurt when I combed out an up do, and screeched if I made ponytails too tight. I lost lipstick and earrings in a cavernous makeup case called a Caboodle, and suffered their bad attitudes and meltdowns—but that wasn’t the worst part.

After three years of trudging through dance competitions, a tidal wave of drama struck when their group of dancers hit the preteen years. Encouraging words between team members became gossipy whispers and blatant snubs. There were parties and sleepovers that didn’t include my kids, and the emotional work was exhausting. But when I got a text from Emily that said, “All the girls in my class planned a Secret Santa behind my back, and they just exchanged gifts right in front of me,” my heart broke, we’re done,” I said.

But they wanted to stay. And I had to support them. It was difficult encouraging them to remain on the team when I disliked it so much. And just when things seemed to hit bottom, some of my now-former mom buddies became cliquey and competitive too. When the whole group, minus me, showed up in a Facebook photo after a night out together, I felt left out and disheartened. But then, strangely, I became grateful. Because all of a sudden I knew exactly how my kids felt—unimportant and forgotten—and I realized how much they needed me. “There are other teams, other ways we could spend our weekends, “I told them. No, they said. They wouldn’t be pushed out.“OK, then I’m in too,” I replied.

I dreaded the next competition, and I thought about using the buried-in-work excuse to keep my face in my laptop. But my twins, now 12, continued to practice the choreography that put them next to the very girls who caused them pain. They were showing me something: Put your differences aside and get the job done. Do real teamwork. Show up.

And that’s what I did. I pretended to like it, hoping I would grow into the part. I found like-minded moms I now enjoy at dance competitions, and I pay less attention to the rest. I take my playlist and earbuds, and head out for a walk when I can. Six years into dance competition, I’m happy to say the girls and I rarely argue at events, probably because they now manage their own Caboodles. I still hate being a dance mom—but you’d never guess.

http://www.workingmother.com/reluctant-dance-mom

The Fancy Dress

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I wrote this piece several months ago, but it seemed timely now that prom season is in full swing.

I recently attended the NJ All Shore Chorus’ 53rd Annual Recital. My daughter was awarded a music scholarship from All Shore this year and when she texted me from the auditions to say she had the scholarship, the first thing I thought about (after yay!) was, what will she wear?  There really isn’t any pomp and circumstance to choir wardrobes. Although she’s needed clothes for every kind of choir you can imagine, from high school to a touring A Capella group, outfitting her has always been the same. “Mom, I need a black dress.”  (It’s amazing how many different kinds of black dresses one girl can own.)   But now were were shopping for a soloist gown that might be  red, or teal, or peach, with beads, or sequins!  I was giddy.

When I was in high school I had just one gown, when we, as seniors, we were encouraged to dress formally for our final spring music recital. I remember the day when my mother bought me a fancy dress for that occasion.” Don’t tell your father how much we spent,” she said. “Just hang it up in your room.  He probably won’t even notice.”  The dress she bought me was over budget, but “for some things we make exceptions,” she said. Now it felt like my time to pay it forward.

Busy schedules sent us shopping after 8pm on three separate occasions, until finally we found the perfect dress which unfortunately did not have the perfect price tag.   But how could I not buy this for her?   How many times will an event like this happen? I could hear mother’s voice in my mind,  “She looks so beautiful in that gown.  She feels beautiful. So, you’ll have to turn the thermostat down for a month and skip all the takeout until Spring. Do it. You will regret it if you don’t.”   And then a saleslady named Anu came into the fitting room and sighed with me. “You have to get this one,” she said in an Indian accent.

“It’s really more than I was planning on spending.” I said.

“Don’t worry about the price mommy.” she said, “I fix it for you.”

And she did. Bless that saleslady who with the swipe of two coupons knocked the price of that dress down by 40%. Anu has daughters too she told me, who are all grown now. “When they feel and look that beautiful?  There is not a price for that. You’re a good mom,” she said. “We moms have to stick together.”  She smiled and zipped up the garment bag.   “Now you carry it,” she said to my daughter.  “Mom did enough hard work today.”

When she stood on the stage that night and sang for us it was perfect. It was all worth it, every penny. And after the concert, and then our small after party,  I was thinking that I hope one day my own daughters will have the chance to buy their own girls a  dream dress. And if not that, then maybe like Anu did, they can help in some other way.

There are so many things our kids want to do that require money and time we’d rather spend elsewhere. But we spend it on them for whatever the important reasons are at the time. For me, this was one of those times.

It’s true, if it can make them look and feel like a million bucks, there really is no price for that. And to my own mom and to Anu I  am grateful to be reminded that you can’t buy happiness, but once in a while you can buy a really great dress.

Why Oh Why

I’ve been writing in my journal about the same damn things for the past 20 years.

Why can’t I lose weight?  Why is the house always a mess?  Why am I so stressed out all the time?   Why , oh why?  Every day  I get up, I do what needs to be done first,  followed by what should  be done (as energy permits), and lastly is the stuff I’d like to see done.   As one would imagine, the things I would like  to see done, are never, ever,  done.   Have you heard this one?   “Why is it every that every time I get to the bottom of my inbox, I always find the same damn thing?”

It’s time to start at the bottom of the to do list and work my way up to the top.  But the universe is working against me.

One of my favorite things to imagine is living in a house that I love.   I write about in my journal sometimes, how all the rooms are painted nice calm colors and the furniture doesn’t have to be camouflaged in a way that hides the coke stain or the sewn up tear from the day the dog attacked the cushion.

I also imagine about being a perfect size six.  I would  never eat standing up,  never overeat, and  never eat something just because it tastes good.  Only true hunger would drive  me to the kitchen.  In my perfect size six world I open my very clean  refrigerator  and see  Perrier and a  vegetable platter for a snacks, rather than moldy strawberries, flat soda and mystery meat.

Oh and  I would have no stress.   I imagine walking into the house to find a nice clean entry instead of skates, tutus, and computer parts.  Do they realize that they all have a room of their own to house this stuff?   They do realize it.  They choose to ignore it.    I live with a fish, a dog, two cats, a guinea pig, a husband and three teenage girls.  There are certainly enough humans to help out.   In my no stress land they help each other with small things like finding keys or checking the calendar before making plans.  In my world there are no cell phones that light up with  texts that end with “can I”, or “why not?”   At night, in pretend land,  I turn on the TV set and enjoy my favorite show at a normal sound level, instead of  bumping up the volume so I don’t have to listen to the sister warfare over the missing hair conditioner.

So why can’t I live that life I imagine in my wishes journal?   That’s like asking “why can’t I move that mountain?”  Because it’s too big and heavy and not what nature intended?   Gee Whiz.

This morning I was certain my daughter was going to be home for a while when I returned from the high school drop off.   I stopped and got her a Caramel Frappucino, something I never do.  I have  a firm belief that that unless I own shares of Starbucks, being a customer of their overpriced fancy coffee is just overrated.   But I got her one, imagining she took the later train to work and we’d have a little mom/daughter time.   But I got home and she was gone.   Then, while trying to get my key out for the front door I dropped the $4.75 coffee at my feet.   I sent he a picture of the Random Act of Kindness I was trying to complete and then nine texts later after she told me about how she missed the train, and about the injustices of the pay for parking lot and the woeful balance of her bank account, she finally got on the train and then I was off to clean up THIS:

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I will not stop fighting the universe to move the mountain.  I’m like the little engine that could.   Cleaning up the porch is nothing compared to the work ahead of this size six, zen wannabe.

I’ll keep you posted, you keep praying for me.

 

I Broke My Butt

Last Friday I slipped and fell and fractured my coccyx.  As I write this, I’m sitting on a donut pillow, something I thought was reserved for grandmothers and post-op hemorrhoid sufferers.

On that same day was my childhood friend Kathy’s memorial service, she passed away 4 days prior.   I had planned on being with Kathy and our mutual friend Donna on the very day Kathy passed away but I didn’t arrive in time.    Now  I wonder if Kathy was pissed off that I returned to NJ before her memorial, and so she flicked me using other worldly powers.   Knowing her, I’m sure she didn’t intend for me to land on a 4″X4″ and then  suffer for weeks after.  But in some twisted way I think she would find this whole situation humorous.   I have to admit, even I find it a little  funny.

It’s an injury that is just perfect for jokes and  I’ve gotten all kinds of well wishes like these…

“I had that, it’s a real pain in the ass.”

“You break your ass all day long, and for what?”

“Get your ass out of here!  Go lay down!”

“That’s a little extreme to get people to kiss your ass don’t you think?”

“Ain’t that a kick in the ass.”

And my favorite was sent in card that came with flowers from the school where I teach music.

It said.  “We miss you. Butt, we want to you get better.  take care, with Love from your New School Family.”

The puns just keep rolling in don’t they.   I thought that after having children all of my dignity was gone, but I was wrong.   Just when you think you’ve heard it all, somebody sends you a butt mug.

 

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It would be terribly cliche to say bottoms up at a time like this, or would it?

 

Can We Add A Couple Gigabytes?

 

 

I accept that I cannot remember some things.

 

Forgetfulness is part aging, part full brain, and part apathy. The first time I couldn’t recall a phone number I dialed almost daily I was more shocked then upset. Up until that time I was extremely proud of my total recall. I was around 35 years old so I took it as a rite of passage. It was a badge for adulthood.

 

As the years went by I had a few memory lapses here and there, and I regularly wracked my brain, staying in the moment until I remembered whatever it was I had forgotten, and it was my firm opinion that in order to file additional information, I had to delete facts from my brain space, just an accepted fact called full brain syndrome.

 

But then around 50, I realized that aging had set in and my once lively (and full) brain is now getting tired. The synapses are beginning to rust. The information is still there but I need to allow my brain more time to find it. I knew the missing information would surface eventually, so I just moved on and allowed the data to arrive in my frontal lobe at some point, after all, it couldn’t be THAT important if I just forgot it.

 

Now that I am north of 50, apathy has set in and I don’t care anymore about remembering. Ask my kids. “Write it down,” is my new mantra.

 

So that’s the problem. But what’s the solution?

 

I’ve been told there are many natural remedies for memory loss, from Gingko Biloba to Periwinkle.   It’s unclear if suggesting Periwinkle means to surround yourself with a certain shade of blue or to eat flowers, but I guess doing both won’t hurt.    I’ve read that exercise, green tree, memory games and crossword puzzles help too.   That’s all fine but let’s face it, not aging would be a slam-dunk.

 

But that’s still pretty much impossible.

 

Here’s an observation though from my perspective as a parent of teens. Forgetfulness is NOT restricted to aging adults or those with dementia.  Teenagers too have difficulty with remembering.  They don’t have full brains, aging, or apathy to blame. They have 100% selective hearing loss. Teens will remember that six months ago you promised to upgrade their cell phone if they didn’t loose, crack, or otherwise damage the one they had.   They remember you promised a hamster if they could keep their room clean for 60 straight days.  They know the exact date of movie releases that are planned two summers in advance.

 

All of these things take residence in their brains, in a beautifully comfortable wide-open place called the frontal cortex. I imagine bits of data occupying space on large comfy couches with soft fuzzy throw pillows – data just resting until the billowing fluid calendars indicate a due date worthy of posting.

 

But ask them to remember to turn off a light, or to put their sports gear inside the closet and not in front of it, or to be available on a particular weekend because relatives are in town, and these same teens have absolutely no recall. I know it’s not that they don’t remember because when questioned, they don’t say, “Sorry mom, I forgot.”  They say, “you never told me that.”

 

Our kids have texts, emails, tweets, instas, and clouds to store data in but it’s still lights on, clutter in the hallway, and scheduling conflicts despite repeated reminders.

 

Archaic as it sounds, I with they’d just try it trading in one gigabyte for a pencil and see what happens? And as for me, I wish I could add some memory. One day, humans will be able to transmit to and from a flash drive to remember things… I know it’s coming. But what will be better is that our kids will be looking at their kids, who will have all the technology that exists now plus that telepathic stuff. Our children will look at their own kids, or at their grandkids, and wonder how they can remember so much, but have no idea what they mean when asked for the fifteenth time to do the same darn thing. And our kids look at them and hold out a pencil and a tablet and beg them. “Won’t you please, just, write it down?”

 

For Howard 10/27/1965 to 02/29/2016

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I thought I’d do a little tribute to my brother in law Howard who passed away early this morning.   He was 50 years old.  Howard had a heart that didn’t work as well as it could have, maybe that was because it was doing other work –  holding so much love.

Howard was born with down’s syndrome, a genetic condition that causes individuals to have physical and intellectual challenges as they develop and mature. Most of us humans have  DNA that is made up of  23 pairs of chromosomes for a total of 46.   People with Down’s syndrome have 47 chromosomes because one of the pairs,(pair #21) is a trisomy, or a set of three instead of two. One extra. That extra genetic material is the reason Howard’s heart didn’t work so well at pumping blood, but it may also be the reason that it was extra good at loving.

For the past 15 years or so we would visit him in Long Island NY where he lived with “the guys,”  who were his housemates. Often we’d call him and he was headed off to the movies with “the guys”, or a play, or a dance, even a hockey game.    If you asked him how the game was, he’d say “Great! Very Exciting!” with as much enthusiasm as any sports fan of the winning team.   But if you asked him who won, he’d say “I don’t know,” which was the same answer he gave if you asked who was playing.  It didn’t matter who played or what the score was because Howard was there for the joy.

It was impossible to stay in a bad mood when he was around too. You know the family parties where aunts and cousins show up with their signature dishes, or flowers, or wine?  Uncle Howard had a signature dish too, he always brought a smile and hug and a warm fuzzy feeling.   He was reliably kind, and funny, and even liked being part of the clean up crew.

We were lucky enough to have him as a houseguest twice last year. and when he came to visit us he often would pick up my husband’s acoustic guitar even though he had no idea how to play it.  That didn’t stop him from strumming and singing a love song. I’m sure that Howard thought he sounded like Elvis singing a ballad and the truth is, he did not.   But none of us would tell him that because we enjoyed every heartfelt attempt he made. And if by chance somebody said “You sound awful,” I know Howard would have said “Oh, can you help me?  Can you help me sound good?”  I never knew another person who took every critique he was given as an opportunity for improvement like he did.   He just wanted to make people happy.

Desert was his favorite, or maybe desert was tied for first place with cheeseburgers.  He also liked puppies and notebooks and new pens. He loved his mother and his brother and wished hard for good things to happen in the world.  Optimistic?  Indeed.   If you asked him how he was, he always said the same thing.   “Doing good, doing great!”  It didn’t matter if he was home watching television or in the hospital with only a small chance of recovery.  Howard was always “Doing good, Doing great!”

Trisomy 21, or Down’s Syndrome comes with a host of things like delayed development, up slanted eyes,  low set ears, and speech impairment, but I think they should add extra loving to that list, at least as one possible thing you might expect from Trisomy 21.   So Howard, if you’ve left a lesson for the rest of us still walking around it should be this – life is short, look for the joy, and listen to love songs whenever you get the chance.

RIP Howard.  XOXO

29 days and a lot going on…

 

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This year February has 29 days so it’s called a leap year. I set out to understand leap year via this internet but for me leap years are like technology …  I don’t really need to know how it works, I’ll just work with it.  Of course like any good Googler, I learned an awful lot about February, and pretty much skipped over the leap year bits but I found these 10 facts about February you might like to know.  

  1. A lunar cycle is 29.5 days making February the only month in which it is possible to have no full moon.  Most years February will have a full moon but in 2018 there will be none. This doesn’t mean weird things won’t happen in February 2018, it only means that we can’t blame the full moon.
  2. February 2nd is Groundhog Day, when Punxsutawney Phil will tell us if spring is right around the corner, or not.  Statistically, flipping a coin will provide the same percentage of accuracy as Phil, but that’s not nearly as cool.
  3. February frequently occurs in lists of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language.  Last year a press release from the White House consistently spelled it as Feburary.
  4. Black History Month is always the month of February and there are some really terrific movies to help educate us on this topic.  My personal favorite is Glory.  I still can’t get over the real face to face combat.  See Glory it if you can.
  5. February is also: National Pet Dental Health Month; National Canned Food Month;  Hot Breakfast Month, Potato Lovers Month. You’ll have to choose which National Celebrations work best for you since there are no days off from work or school for these types of things.
  6. President’s Day is always the third Monday of the month.  It was changed from the actual birthday of President Washington as  the result of the Uniform Holiday Monday Act from the 1968. This was signed under President Nixon.   He intended for it to be Washington’s Birthday but now we lump in Lincoln’s birthday too, and of course retail sales.
  7. Valentines Day is February 14th. There are many stories of the history of Valentines Day.  Some theories include the poet Chaucer as the person who equated Valentines day with love, but the biography that I read makes no such association.
  8. Non leap years are called common years.
  9. If you were born on February 29th you were most likely conceived on June 8th or 9th. 
  10.  Leap year babies (Feb 29th) have a special name … leaplings.