National Pink Day

PToday is the day we celebrate pink in all its various hues and shades. I have an ambivalent relationship with pink. I love pink flowers, especially roses, but am not particularly fond of pink in clothing or decorations, for instance. But this day is about more than simply featuring a color.

According to Days of the Year, “Pink Day was established in 2007 after a pair of students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, saw one of their fellow students at Central Kings Rural High School being bullied for no other reason than that they were wearing a pink shirt. In a stroke of brilliance, these two got together and decided to show support for the student and take a stand against bullying by getting everyone at their school to wear a pink shirt the next day. Pink Day was created to stomp out all bullying and spread understanding, and it’s a concept spreading throughout the world.” So one way to celebrate today is by wearing pink, particularly if you are a male.

Pink is also the color that reminds us to remember those with breast cancer. The pink ribbon is a reminder to us to donate to helping stamp out cancer of any kind. You can find information about the Breast Cancer Charities and how they are celebrating this holiday here.

Pink is also the color associated with the LGBTQIA community as PinkNews, a site for news that affects gays.

Some pink phrases from National Day Calendar:

  • In the pink –To be in top form, in good health, in good condition.
  • To see pink elephants – To hallucinate from alcoholism.
  • Pink slip – To be given a pink slip means to be fired or dismissed from a job. First recorded in 1915 in the United States.
  • Pink-collar worker – Persons working in jobs conventionally regarded as “women’s work.”
  • Tickled pink – means extremely pleased.

This is also Pink Flamingo Day, so there’s another reason to celebrate!

Quotes about the color pink

Pink isn’t just a color, it’s an attitude!–Miley Cyrus

People are people. Black, blue, pink, green – God make no rules about color; only society make rules…–Bob Marley

I don’t think I will ever get tired of wearing pink.–Emma Bunton

I love pink, it’s so girly!–Ashley Tisdale

Parenting girls makes you quite gender-conscious – it’s almost impossible to fight the power of pink. It’s not such a terrible thing to want to be a princess when you’re five, but it would be nice if there were some other options.–Robert Webb

I fell off my pink cloud with a thud.–Elizabeth Taylor

I’ve constantly tried new things, even as a child, and have always been obsessed with pink. Now I’m just a little more ladylike and fearless. You should never feel afraid to become a piece of art. It’s exhilarating.–Nicki Minaj

My parents told me I’d point to a bed of flowers and say ‘Pink. Pretty,’ before I knew any other words.–Joni Mitchell

My favorite jellybean is the pink one with the flavor inside.–Chester Bennington

I have as much pink as you can have. I love to see other women in pink. It’s good for every shade of skin and hair.–Evelyn Lauder

I can go without make-up and go fishing with my dad; other times, I buy pink shoes and shop for dresses.–Jordan Pruitt

I love pink – pink’s my favourite. I hardly ever – weirdly – wear it, but I love the colour pink.–Ellie Goulding

Pink is not a color – it’s a culture to me.–DeAngelo Williams

Pink is my favourite colour. I used to say my favourite colour was black to be cool, but it is pink – all shades of pink.–Roxane Gay

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World Giraffe Day

June 21 each year is World Giraffe Day. Initiated by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, it is observed annually on the solstice, so it is either the longest day for the tallest animal, or the longest night for the tallest animal.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed giraffes as Vulnerable to Extinction. Their numbers in the wild have plummeted in the last few years – some say by 40% in the last thirty years. There may be as few as 80,000 left. The main threat against giraffe (either giraffe or giraffes is an acceptable plural) is the expansion of human settlements. There is simply not as much room for them to live. Conservation efforts are underway all over their African habitats, but it’s a race against time.

Below are a few interesting facts about giraffe from the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. We call a group of giraffe a tower. A giraffe’s heart has to generate almost double the normal blood pressure of other animals to maintain blood flow to the brain against gravity. Giraffe have a complex pressure-regulation system called the rate miracle that prevents excessive blood flow to the brain when lowering its head to drink. And finally, giraffe have air conditioner skin to deal with the heat. I know more than one person who would like to have that in the summer!

Zoos and others all over the world are involved in celebrating giraffe this day. From the Aukland Zoo to Zoo Berlin to the Kenya Wildlife Project to Zoo Lyon to the Odense Zoo (Denmark) to the Prague Zoo to the Toronto Zoo to the Whipsnade Zoo in England, and any number of others in the United States, along with Disney’s Animal Kingdom. So check around. Your local zoo could very well be doing something special this day.

But whatever you do today, give a thought to these gentle giants who are now under threat.

Quotes about giraffes

Consider the biggest animals on the planet: elephants, and buffaloes, and giraffes. These are vegetarian animals. They grow to thousands of pounds of muscle and bone without ever eating cheeseburgers and pepperoni pizzas.–Michael Klaper

Wildlife is something which man cannot construct. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. Man can rebuild a pyramid, but he can’t rebuild ecology, or a giraffe.–Joy Adamson

Evolution is so creative. That’s how we got giraffes.–Kurt Vonnegut

I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe, and someone said I was a snake, I’d think, no, actually I’m a giraffe.–Richard Gere

However much you know giraffes, to see one in the wild for the first time feels prehistoric.–Jane Goodall

I’d hate to be a giraffe with a sore throat.–Mitch Hedberg

Did you ever see a giraffe? It is like something from between the regions of truth and fiction.–Geraldine Jewsbury

G. K.Chesterton once said that it is one thing to be amazed at gorgon or a griffin, creatures which do not exist; but it is quite another and much higher thing to be amazed at a rhinoceros or a giraffe, creatures which do exist and look as if they don’t.–Alan Watts

Giraffes stare over treetops, their huge brown eyes blinking, then lope away in seeming slow motion.–Thomas French

A giraffe has a black tongue twenty-seven inches long and no vocal cords. A giraffe has nothing to say. He just goes on giraffing.–Robert Fulghum

I can’t even explain the joy of riding through the Tanzania national park and seeing giraffes run across the road and elephants over in a pond and baboons running.–Emanuel Cleaver

The man who believes in giraffes would swallow anything.–Adrian Mitchell

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World Sauntering Day

Saunter might be one of those words you have heard, but don’t really know the exact meaning. If we are to do World (or International) Sauntering Day correctly, we need to know how to do that. So to start with Merriam Webster, saunter means “to walk about in an idle or leisurely manner, stroll.” Basically, it means to wander, enjoying the scenery. W. T. Rabe created this holiday in 1979 in response to what was a growing fad back then, jogging. He believed that jogging took all the joy out of what should be a relaxing mode of transportation, taking time to see the world on foot. Proper sauntering means observing the world around you, but not worrying about time, or having anything particular on your mind – even a pet. It means letting go of stress, and just enjoy the walk.

It’s ironic for me that this holiday falls when it does. I am getting ready to move, and my life at the moment is about as far as you can get from relaxed and joyful. Yes, I’m looking forward to my new destination, but there is so much to do to get there, that my life is full of worry and mild panic.

Sauntering can be done anywhere. It’s perhaps easier in the country or a forest, but you can also saunter in a town, just enjoying watching your fellow pedestrians. The important thing is to do it in a relaxed and joyful manner, which means it would be much harder is a big, bustling city where you are likely to be knocked to the ground if you dawdle. Still, you can always find a park and stroll around watching the pigeons.

So wherever you live today, I invite you to find a little time to stroll and smell the roses. It’s relaxing and good for you.

Quotes about walking

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.–Henry David Thoreau

The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.–Jacqueline Schiff

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.–Ellen DeGeneres

There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is likea piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast.–Paul Scott Mowrer

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.–Steven Wright

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.–Friedrich Nietzsche

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.–John Muir

Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind. Walking is the exact balance between spirit and humility.–Gary Snyder

But the beauty is in the walking – we are betrayed by destinations.–Gwyn Thomas

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness.–Soren Kierkegaard

Meandering leads to perfection.–Lao Tzu

A little fresh air would be good for you just now. The weather is lovely; and a little stroll in the park will bring the colour back to your cheeks.–J. Palgrave Simpson

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.–Wallace Stevens

After a day’s walk everything has twice its usual value.–George Macauley Trevelyan

Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas.–J. K. Rowling

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Eat Your Vegetables Day

June is National Fruit and Vegetables Month, which makes it appropriate that June 17 should be Eat Your Vegetables Day. I admit this is not one of my favorite days. I love fruit and eat plenty of it, but veggies are another matter. When I make soup, I load it up with vegetables so that I at least get them that way. I also like salads, but just a bowl of carrots or green beans or peas – forget it. Besides lettuce, the only vegetables that I really like aren’t even really vegetables. Tomatoes are technically a fruit, and corn is technically a grain. Come to think of it, though, the last broccoli soup I made turned out pretty good. 🙂

Anyway, I love what Days of the Year,  says about this holiday. “They come in every color of the rainbow, almost every believable shape and size, and the flavors they bring to the table are absolutely astounding. Whether you’re just talking about the staple vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions that we all get from the store, or the diverse range of vegetables that come from around the world like Bok Choy and watercress, we’ve all been eating them our whole lives.”

So we all know vegetables are good for us, and a plant-based diet is healthier than too much meat. Dave Larson sums up part of the problem actually doing this when he writes, “Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.” I expect too many of us look back to our childhoods when we were forced to eat our vegetables to get to the good stuff like dessert, plus, at least in American culture, vegetables are too often seen as something women eat, and not as manly as meat.

But however you feel towards veggies, do try to eat some today.

Quotes about vegetables

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.–Jim Davis

A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.–Gertrude Stein

An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.–Will Rogers

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.–Mark Twain

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes? Only two things that money can’t buy. That’s true love and home grown tomatoes.–John Denver

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

I don’t want any vegetables, thank you. I paid for the cow to eat them for me.-—Douglas Coupland

Out of the thirty thousand types of edible plants thought to exist on Earth, just eleven – corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, cassava, sorghum, millet, beans, barley, rye, and oats – account for 93 percent of all that humans eat, and every one of them was first cultivated by our Neolithic ancestors.–Bill Bryson

And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.–Jonathan Swift

Vegetable gardening might be considered one of the great conservative rituals.–David M. Tucker

As for vegetables, I do not consider a plot of ground devoted to them worthy of the honorable name of garden.  Vegetables are, of course, a part of gardening, but the least, the last, –for those who do not have to raise them, the most dishonorable part.–H. G. Dwight

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Nature Photography Day

June 15 is Nature Photography Day. NANPA, or North American Nature Photography Association, began this holiday in 2006, “to promote the enjoyment of nature photography, and to explain how images have been used to advance the cause of conservation and protect plants, wildlife, and landscapes locally and worldwide.” There are two main ways to celebrate this day – to go out into nature and take pictures of your own or to look up pictures of nature by other photographers. I was tempted to simply fill this blog with beautiful pictures, because there are so many on the Web, but decided that wouldn’t work very well. I do encourage you, however, to check out NANPA’s Website, which has some lovely pictures as well as information about who they are, and how to get involved.

A friend of mine, Bill Burke, posts pictures of Ireland in his blog.  Do check it out; his photography is both beautiful and interesting. They aren’t all nature pictures, but Ireland is so stunning, that even town photos are wonderful. He has a real knack for catching the heart of his subject.

An amazing Pacific Northwest photographer is Larry Turner. See his breathtaking nature photography in his gallery online here.

The National Wildlife Fund Page, has more beautiful nature pictures for your delight.

Of course, the National Geographic site  is THE place for nature photography. They are currently featuring photos of our national parks. If you would rather see the ocean and sea creatures instead of trees and mountains, they have pictures of those too. Find their Ocean Photo Galleries here.

So look at some photos, or grab your camera or phone and go out and make memories of your own. This is the day to appreciate nature, whether you are seeing mountains, the ocean, or a flower growing in a city sidewalk. They are all beautiful in their own ways.

Crater Lake taken by me.

Quotes about nature

All the works of Nature are Miracles, and nothing makes them appear otherwise but our familiarity with them.–Samuel Butler

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.–John Muir

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;
Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.–J. R. R. Tolkien

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, Rejoice, for your soul is alive.–Eleanora Duse

It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature’s gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever.–Jimmy Carter

Let us leave a splendid legacy for our children…let us turn to them and say, this you inherit: guard it well, for it is far more precious than money…and once destroyed, nature’s beauty cannot be repurchased at any price.–Ansel Adams

Look on this beautiful world, and read the truth in her fair page.–William Cullen Bryant

The miracles of nature do not seem miracles because they are so common. If no one had ever seen a flower, even a dandelion would be the most startling event in the world.–Author unknown

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.–John Ruskin

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Weed Your Garden Day

This year, the area where I live had a cold, wet spring. For someone who hates being cold as much as I do, that meant I didn’t get outside to work in the yard, but the weeds had themselves a field day. The result is that now that the late spring flowers are blooming, I still have a lot of weeds vying for attention in the yard. I have actually been doing a weed your garden day every day for the last few weeks, but today, June 13 is the official day to get out in that yard and pull those pesky, unwanted plants.

There is a lot of debate about what is and isn’t a weed. One person’s weed is another person’s wildflower. In fact, there is much to admire about weeds. They grow under conditions that plants that are more delicate will not. They are hardy and resist being eradicated. And often they have lovely flowers.

There is a children’s book written and illustrated by Aliki about the life of George Washington Carver called A Weed Is a Flower. You can hear this read on YouTube. Very interesting story about a man who loved all plants, even weeds, which he said were simply flowers planted in the wrong place.

Of course, if you are not one who loves weeds, here are some suggestions to keep them from taking over. They are from the National Day Calendar

  • Cover the soil along rows and between plants with mulch.
  • Make sure to keep all weeds away from young plants.
  • It is okay to plant your plants closely together to leave less room for weed growth.
  • Have soil weed-free before planting.
  • Make sure you do not let any of the weeds go to seed.
  • Keep the edges of your yard mowed low to lessen the invasion of weeds onto your property and into your garden.

Quotes about weeds – the first is my favorite.

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.–Doug Larson

But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people’s idea, not nature’s.–Author Unknown

What is a weed? I have heard it said that there are sixty definitions. For me, a weed is a plant out of place.–Donald Culross Peattie

But make no mistake: the weeds will win; nature bats last.–Robert M. Pyle

They know, they just know where to grow, how to dupe you, and how to camouflage themselves among the perfectly respectable plants, they just know, and therefore, I’ve concluded weeds must have brains.–Dianne Benson

What we call a weed is in fact merely a plant growing where we do not want it.–E. J. Salisbury

Criticizing another’s garden doesn’t keep the weeds out of your own.–Author Unknown

Roses are red,
Violets are blue;
But they don’t get around
Like the dandelions do.
~Slim Acres

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.–A. A. Milne

Many gardeners will agree that hand-weeding is not the terrible drudgery that it is often made out to be. Some people find in it a kind of soothing monotony. It leaves their minds free to develop the plot for their next novel or to perfect the brilliant repartee with which they should have encountered a relative’s latest example of unreasonableness.–Christopher Lloyd

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.–Author unknown

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Kamehameha Day

Though this is a holiday only celebrated in Hawaii, it is of great significance there. Technically always celebrated on June 11, because that date falls on a Sunday this year, the parade is on Saturday, and the official holiday is June 12. There will be a big floral parade with floats and riders and bands – it looks like a really huge event.

According to the parade page, after the parade is Ho‘olaule‘a which basically means block party. “The Hawaiian music and art festival will feature plenty of ono grindz (delicious food) plus dozens of vendors selling their crafts, apparel, and wares. Traditional-practitioner demonstrations will also be featured.” Also, they provide authentic Hawaiian music.

One of the beautiful ceremonies of this day is the draping of the Kamehameha statue. People bring flowers, which are turned into twenty-five foot leis and draped over the statue on King Street in Honolulu. This ceremony has been going on for more than a hundred years.

Born in May of 1736 (or thereabouts) Kamehameha I, also known as Kamehameha the Great, was the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii. By force of arms, he took all the islands that now make up Hawaii and united them. He also passed good laws and used taxes wisely. One of the humanitarian laws he passed said, “Let every elderly person, woman and child lie by the roadside in safety.” When he died in 1819, his body was hidden by his friends, as was the custom with powerful people. A statue of him now resides in the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, DC.

Kamehameha’s statue draped in leis.

Quotes about Hawaii

Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace.–Paul Theroux

O Hawaii no ka aina maikai. (After all, Hawaii is the best land.)–Hawaiian Proverb

Hawaii is paradise born of fire.–Rand McNally

Aloha is the unconditional desire to promote the true good of other people in a friendly spirit out of a sense of kinship.–Abraham Akaka

I believe Hawaii is the most precious jewel in the world.–Don Ho

Come with me while the moon is on the sea
The night is young and so are we
Dreams come true in Blue Hawaii
And mine could all come true
This magic night of nights with you.–Leo Robin

For me the magic of Hawaii comes from the stillness, the sea, the stars.–Joanne Harris

I can’t even speak Hawaiian, but if you go there and listen to a Hawaiian song, you get captured because it’s so beautiful, like the melody is just gorgeous…–Bruno Mars

Hawaii is absolutely beautiful.–Rachelle Lefevre

In Hawaii, we have something called Ho’oponopono, where people come together to resolve crises and restore peace and balance.–Duane Chapman

Beating the drums for Hawaii is not hard to do… the place just grows on you. –James MacArthur

I represented the people of Hawaii and this nation honestly and to the best of my ability. I think I did okay.–Daniel Inouye

In Hawaii they have such a different mentality and different priorities.–Nikki Reed

The beauty of Hawaii probably surpasses other places. I like the Big Island and the two mountains, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, where you can look out at the stars.–Buzz Aldrin

Hawaii is so complex; there are so many points of view, and there are so many experiences to see and to find.–Kaui Hart Hemmings

I had a very spoilt childhood. Not that my family were incredibly wealthy, but we lived on the beautiful island of Hawaii where everything was lush and in abundance.–Marie Helvin

Eventually, I want to move to Hawaii and chill forever.–Riley Keough

I still consider myself a little, fat kid from Hawaii.–Robert Kiyosaki

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