Posted in Blogging, Humor, nonfiction, postaday, strange holidays, writing

Have a Wonderful St. Nicholas Day! ~~ December 6

Hello people! Hope you are having a wonderful day or night. It’s been a cold day today -28c (-18f) but the sun has been shining and snow is glistening and all is beautiful. As long as I’m in the warm house that is.

So our first week of December is winding to a close. Christmas is ever closer and the year it is getting older by the minute.

 

Wakpaper.com
Wakpaper.com

Winter by Robert Southey

A wrinkled crabbed man they picture thee,

Old Winter, with a rugged beard as grey

As the long moss upon the apple-tree;

Blue-lipt, an icedrop at thy sharp blue nose,

Close muffled up, and on thy dreary way

Plodding alone through sleet and drifting snows.

They should have drawn thee by the high-heapt hearth,

Old Winter! seated in thy great armed chair,

Watching the children at their Christmas mirth;

Or circled by them as thy lips declare

Some merry jest, or tale of murder dire,

Or troubled spirit that disturbs the night,

Pausing at times to rouse the mouldering fire,

Or taste the old October brown and bright.

Let’s see what kind of celebrations are slated for today:

St. Nicolas Day ~~ St. Nickolas Day celebration originated in Europe. (via Wikipedia) The tradition of Saint Nicholas Day, on 6 December (19 December in most Orthodox countries), is a festival for children in many countries in Europe related to surviving legends of Saint Nicholas, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts. The American Santa Claus, as well as the British Father Christmas, derives from these legends. “Santa Claus” is itself derived in part from the Dutch Sinterklaas.

Mitten Tree Day ~~ There seems to be a bit of controversy of where this came from, but the most popular (and most reasonable) answer is it came from a book.  The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen. In the book, a lady knits mittens for children who have none. She hangs the mittens on an evergreen tree for any child who needs them. Unfortunately she runs out of yarn. But one morning a basket full of yarn appears on her doorstep. So she happily continues to knit mittens for all the children. Seems like a really nice holiday to celebrate. Go give some mittens to needy children!

Microwave Oven Day ~~ Well by now you know I have to add-on the strange ones. So here you go! I’m not sure where the beginnings of this holiday started, but since about 90% of households have one, might as well add it in. Microwave Oven Day’s history is vague. However, the history of what lead to the invention of the microwave, is more straightforward. In 1945, Percy Spencer passed by a microwave tube. The candy bar he had in his pocket melted from the heat. Spencer, a Raytheon engineer, then decided to research the ability of microwaves to cook food faster than conventional methods. The first microwave, named Radarange was huge, weighing in at 670 lbs. Due to its large size, it was not practical for household use. The first household sized microwave was not available until 1955, and it didn’t become mainstream until the 1970s. So go ahead and hug your microwave today. hehehe

National Gazpacho Day ~~ Now why a cold soup is celebrated in December is any one’s guess. But hey, I just write them as I find them.  Gazpacho is a tomato-based soup that is made from raw vegetables and served cold. It is said to have been a favorite lunch of field hands throughout Europe after they had worked all morning in the hot sun. The main ingredients of gazpacho are tomatoes, green peppers, onions, cucumbers, garlic and olive oil. So if you love Gazpacho and only thought it was for summer, go make some, go eat some and enjoy!

National Minors Day ~~ Today is the day we honor each minor, past, present and future.  Today is the day to recognize “the materials procured with the sweat and blood of miners.” To honor the hundreds of miners killed in the Dec. 6, 1907, mining tragedy at Monongah, W.Va. Also to recognize miners’ contributions to make the U.S., economy.

National Pawnbrokers Day ~~ This day coincides with St. Nicholas Day as he is the saint for pawnbrokers.  This holiday pays tribute to the profession that provides a valuable service to both for those in need of cash as well as those looking for a reasonable deal. It is believed that the practice of pawnbroking existed some 3,000 years ago in ancient China. I’ve used pawnbrokers when I was young and broke and needed gas money. I’ve also shopped in them as they are great places to get things cheap. Just make sure they are a reputable shop. 

Put on Your Own Shoes Day ~~ Yes, it’s really a holiday out there. I couldn’t find where it originated. It also could mean two things. Either it’s a day for kids to learn to put on their own shoes, or for people to be reminded to walk their own path in life.

International Sweater Vestival ~~ Yes you read it right, I wasn’t making a spelling error. The second Friday after Thanksgiving every year is the International Sweater Vestival, they even have their own website (just click on the name and it will take you there). As it explains on the website and I’m quoting here “The sweater vestival is a day of sweater vests. We accept wool, mohair, cashmere, acrylic, rayon, Orlon, cotton, and  other sweater-like materials.” It seems to be a serious yet jokingly real holiday.  A much-needed opportunity to inject some levity into our workplaces/schools/world. So go ahead and dig out that old Christmas sweater vest old Aunt Ethel sent you five years ago and put it on with pride!

That’s it for today folks, so glad you joined me once more. I’ll be back tomorrow with more!

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Fiction, Friday Fictioneers, Photo Challenges, postaday, stories, writing

Friday Fictioneers ~~ December 6, 2013

Ah Friday once more. You all know the drill by now, but I’ll refresh your memory just in case. Friday Fictioneer’s is hosted by our own gracious and pixie like Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, close to 100 writers from all genres write a flash fiction piece based from the same photograph. You’ll find anything and everything under the sun and moon story wise. It makes for fascinating reading. Just click on Rochelle’s name and be whisked off for a magic carpet ride. Scroll down her page and click on the little blue guy to find  all those other great stories. Don’t forget to read Rochelle’s great little ET’ish story too! Thanks all!

 

THE CHALLENGE:

Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and an end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)

THE KEY:

Make every word count.

 

 

Copyright -Randy Mazie
Copyright -Randy Mazie

 

Genre: Literary Fiction (100 words)

He jumped down from the half boarded window.  Dust swirled upward, tickling his nose. As he held back a sneeze his eyes adjusted to the shadows.

Listening, he glanced upward, the silence was broken by a soft coo from the nesting pigeons in the rafters.  Dinner tonight, he knew.

He walked over to a darker corner where a pallet of blankets lay on the floor. Crouching beside it he turned over the woman lying there.

Slowly her eyes opened, “Did you find her?”

“She’ll be here shortly.”

Nodding the woman put her hands on her swollen stomach, “Just in time I think.”