John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, was born on September 26, 1774, in Leominster, Massachusetts. Beginning in 1802 he wandered through northern and Midwestern states planting apple nurseries. Many of his seeds were collected from cider presses in Pennsylvania. His trees fed many settlers and legend says he was loved wherever he went.
So enjoy a fresh apple in his honor, or perhaps some applesauce or a slice of apple pie.
I never was a Scrabble addict and I certainly was not a champion Scrabble player but since I got an iPhone back in March I have found myself playing Words with Friends almost daily. The beauty of Words with Friends over the traditional board game for me is that I can put a word out if even if I am not sure that it is spelled correctly and attempt to play it without showing my opponent. If it is correct it will go through and be scored, if it is incorrect I can simply try again or opt for another word. And I can take the time between turns that I might want to check a dictionary app regarding definitions of words I might not recognize that are played by others.
Are you a traditional Scrabble player? Have you delved into the Words with Friends world?
Audio Book Appreciation Month
If listening to audio books makes you an old lady then that confirms that I am indeed an old lady. In the fall of 2010 I signed up for a credit a month plan with Audible.com ( of the Amazon empire) and I have been pleased with it. When I began I listened to books through my iPod with ear-buds while riding in the car or on the tread mill at the gym. Once I purchased an iPhone I found that listening via the Audible app was even more convenient. Now I often have a book going while I cook, especially if my local NPR station does not have an appealing program airing.
I especially like listening to memoirs read by the author. I am currently in the midst of Diane Keaton’s Then Again. Other memoirs I have enjoyed from Audible include Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel, Ann Patchett’s This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, and Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle.
(Note — week #26, we are half way through 2012!)
Summer Solstice 2012
So today, June 20, 2012, is the longest day of the year and the North Pole is tipped toward the sun more than on any other day, while the South Pole is tipped away from the sun making it the shortest day of the year for the Southern Hemisphere. Now the longest day of the year is not expected to be the hottest day of summer but the temperature predicted for an afternoon high today is well above my comfort zone. It is going to be bad enough that I did make the effort of watering my poor little vegetable plants this morning. Time will tell whether the plants or I wilt the most. Actually I know the answer. I am not going to wilt too much because I am going to indulge in spending most of the day in air conditioning.
My cats, Thunder and Lightning are taking today easy too.
Thunder has her head buried so nothing will disrupt her rest.
Lightening is enjoying the corner office chair while ‘her dad’ is not occupying it.
Hooray for tailors who make off the rack clothes work for those of us without off the rack shapes. My complaint is that only good men’s stores seem to offer tailoring any more. In my youth I never was allowed to wear a dress or skirt until it had been to the seamstress and properly ‘hung’ and hemmed. I had the shoulders and sleeves of jackets altered too. The aunt who raised me had grown up with a maiden aunt who was a seamstress living on the farm as part of the family so even though there might have been a depression going on her clothes for school and going out were all properly fitted. Years ago I bought a nice Ralph Lauren suit at a Nordstrom store while on a trip largely because the clerk said they offered alterations and would ship it to me. I think that was the last time I found in store tailoring offered with women’s clothes.
I am of an age and from a rural area where during my childhood the only place to see movies was an a drive-in during the summer. There were no multiplex cinemas. I never when to many drive-in showings. I think Jungle Book during elementary school was my first. And I remember that I saw the first Star Wars film with my brother at a drive-in. That may have been the last film I saw at a drive-in. No, I can tell no tales of dates at the drive-in or of not seeing the film because of back seat activities but …. I am betting I just might have a blog follower or two who can not say the same. Not asking for any confessions here.
Those are the wacky holiday observances for June the 6th.
World Turtle Day is observed on May 23rd each year. It was started in 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue. American Tortoise Rescue has been designation the Groupon Grassroots Charity of the Week. If 45 People Donate $10, Then American Tortoise Rescue can build a raised vegetable garden to feed rescued turtles. When I checked there had been over 280 donations made so I’d say the garden will be build and even more will be done for the turtles.
My favorite turtles are the sea turtles in the giant ocean tank at the New England Aquarium in Boston. Here are some images from their website:I seem to have misplaced the photos I took during my October 2011 visit. Right now the Aquarium is raising funds for a new and improved ocean tank to be installed in 2013 where Myrtle the turtle will be the queen of the exhibit.
Not finding any links regarding Turn Beauty Inside Out Day for 2012, but I loved what Frances Childress wrote for Turn Beauty Inside Out Day 2011:
A woman can have the most perfect features in the world, but if she is not a nice person on the inside, people will view her as ugly. Beauty is as beauty does. No amount of cosmetic surgery and make-up can hide ‘ugly on the inside!’
Click on the link above to read Frances Childress’ complete article.
Physical attractiveness can grab you immediately where as inner beauty might not jump out from across a crowded room. But for any conversation, or relationship, that is going to last more than 5 minutes it is the inside that will count. And I certainly would not apply this principle only to women. A man’s packaging means nothing if there is not intelligence, integrity, empathy and kindness on the inside. So please give any one you meet more than a 5 – 10 second assessment before deciding whether or not they are truly beautiful, handsome, or attractive.
I happen to be rather fair-skinned. As a child my aunt had me wear some wacky hats (I can visualize a few of them, but no I do not have photos to share — thank goodness). During my tweens (which did not have a name back then) and my teens I dreamed of getting a tan. Dreaming was as far as that went. I did get a few burns. Once again I must credit my aunt for not allowing me to get more than I did — strong discipline in hindsight can be seen as a gift. The web page for National Skin Cancer Awareness Month reminders states that “Skin cancer is a lifestyle disease…” There is much we can do to lower our chances of developing skin cancer even though current stats say 1 in 5 Americans will experience some form of skin cancer during their lifetime. So be proactive and take a moment to click on the link above if you have any questions about the precautions you can take to avoid skin cancer.
Growing up on the eastern side of Vermont there was often a school field trip in the spring to the Fairbanks Museum. The natural history aspect of the museum did not inspire me much. In fact to this day my husband has a hard time getting me into natural history museums. What I did enjoy were the planetarium shows. The presentations were live and always reflected exactly what was happening in the sky at the time. I really did not understand how good the planetarium shows were until I went to a big city planetarium and found that the presentation was simply a generic prerecorded program.
Below is some info the Fairbanks Lyman Spitzer Jr, Planetarium from the website:
The Fairbanks Planetarium opened in 1961 to stimulate interest in astronomy. The pursuit of this mission continues today through the Museum’s ongoing astronomy programs, including Eye on the Night Sky radio broadcasts on Vermont Public Radio, Star Quest astronomy outreach programs, and our annual Perseid Star Party in August. The planetarium welcomes about 15,000 visitors annually through programs for schools and the public.
The projector is the original Spitz model A-2 installed in 1961, with bench seating for 45 people under a 24-foot domed ceiling enhanced by sound and image systems. Immediately adjacent to the Planetarium is the Exhibit Hall, featuring displays on many aspects of astronomy and space travel, including the exploration of the Solar System, and a diorama of the Moon’s surface and the Apollo Lunar Lander from 1969.
I have been to the planetarium presentation within the past three years and can report the quality continues. The presenters have a real knack for engaging both children and adults. So if you find yourself in St. Johnsbury, VT on a Saturday or Sunday at 1:30 pm I recommend you take in the show.
April is National Poetry Month and has been since 1996. You can find an incredible amount of information by clicking the link above. One of the things I found interesting was that there is a National Poetry Map that will lead you to a page for each state telling you about the poets of the state, poems about the state, and which poets are buried in the state. Robert Frost is buried in my home state of Vermont, in the Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington, VT. I am not sure if I have been there or not, although there are other sites related to Frost even closer to where I live that I have seen.
Last year I posted about my visit to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, MA where the poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau keep company with other famous literary residents along … So with 12 more days remaining in April you still have time to observe National Poetry Month. You can check any of the links above, pull a favorite volume off a shelf, or if you are so inclined put pen to paper (or given that it is the 21st century fingers to keyboard — although that doesn’t strike me as too poetic.)