June 15th National Nature Photography Day

Nature provides us with more beautiful scenes than we could ever create on our own.  It also provides humor and awe and in an attempt to capture some of that we take pictures so that we can remember.

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Nature photographers don’t often get the glory that other photographers get. After all, they are just capturing something that is already there… but there is an art to it, just like any other kind of photography. Actually, there may even be more of an art to capture Mother Nature than in any other form of photography.  While nature provides the subject, it often requires a lot of effort to get the shot.

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It can  require traveling and planning, having to be at the right spot at just the right time with the right equipment exactly when nature provides the opportunity. It also takes more observation, the photographer seeing things most of us just take for granted.

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Anybody can create a shot in a studio. It’s a totally controlled environment using material set up by set decorators and lighting that can be adjusted to make the shot look, natural. Nature does not offer those same opportunities.

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And occasionally, even the nature photographer is surprised by the results. The day was created by the North American Nature Photography Association in 2006. (NANPA was created 1994.)

How to celebrate – Grab you camera and become a nature photographer yourself. Go to an art exhibition featuring photography taken in nature. Make a picture say a thousand words.

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June 18th National Splurge Day

You owe it to yourself to splurge every once in a while, and since you need to, today is the day. You don’t have to go hog wild (Whatever that means) just do something, eat something or try something you normally would pass on.

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Yes, it will probably cost you something but sometimes it’s healthy to spend on yourself the same way you would to others. Buy yourself that gift that no one else has picked up your hints on or treat yourself to something you really want but have been denying yourself.

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Okay, you may not want to do it all the time. That could get costly. But one day is okay, unless you are thinking of buying a yacht you can’t afford or eat more than what your stomach will hold. You may not want to over do it, if you’ll still be paying for it by the time Splurge Day comes around again next year.

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But it is healthy to fulfill some of your dreams occasionally. It allows you to know things are always within reach, even if you have to save for them or struggle to achieve them. And it will always benefit others as well! It benefits the salesperson, the store, your family and those around you!

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No, money can’t buy happiness… but it can get you close! Buy, do or say something you normally wouldn’t today… you’ll feel better for it. Today was created by Eventologist Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith.

How to celebrate – Do something you normally wouldn’t do. Buy something you normally wouldn’t buy. Eat something you normally wouldn’t eat.

June 17th Father’s Day

Well, we’ve already had Mother’s Day so we might as well move on to Father’s Day. It seems like a lot of us celebrate the day because we are expected to. We give Dad a tie or a golf club, fix his favorite meal or let him sleep in but that means we are missing the point. Dad’s, however, are people too.

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We may not show it as much, we may not fix all the boo-boos and prepare the every night meals but it does not mean we love our kids any less, it’s just in a different way. Dad’s are supposed to show strength, temperance and logic, even if they are none of those things themselves.

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Dad’s are often quiet when it comes to raise children. It’s not because they don’t care, it’s because they seem to think others know better. But they are there, supportive and doing the best they know how to do. (Of course there are exceptions) The day was created in Spokane, Washington on May 18th, 1910. Somehow it got moved to June (And Dad was okay with that) and became the third Sunday in June.

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I know in my case, my Dad tried to teach things he thought were important, things that interested him and things he knew I would benefit from. Some took, other things didn’t but I do remember the Christmas that he first gave me a gift from him. I think I was thirty or so and the gift was a hammer. It meant more to me than any other gift I had gotten to that point and I still have it today.

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No, Dad’s aren’t perfect. They make a lot of mistakes and sometime even say, or do, the wrong things. But you know what, it doesn’t matter. They are your father and all they want is your love.

How to celebrate – Just tell your dad you love them… no ties, no golf club… give them your own hammer.

June 16th National Hollerin’ Contest Day

So you think your kids can be loud? Well spend a day in Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina today and you’re gonna hear some real hollerin’! The contest was started in 1969 and takes Spivey’s Corner from a town of 50 people up to 5,000 to 10,000 people for the day.

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Hollerin’ probably started with Cave Man when he was trying to communicate that a dinosaur was about to eat his/her mate. It probably spread to battles during the Middle Ages when no radios or cell phones were available to reach the troops.

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And during the turn of the century many women use to holler to call in their families when supper was ready. It it’s own right, it is an art. Maybe not a great art, but still an art. Deep breathing exercises help develop the lungs to gain the ability to be heard for a long distance away! Recent contests involve a microphone which seems like cheating to me. Maybe it is just used to measure the decibel the caller is creating.

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But should you not mind the noise, or being yelled at, today you need to visit Spivey’s Corner so you can hear, or participate in the festivities. Though I have never been there I am told it gets pretty darn loud. Even worse than a playground at recess.

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Oh, and take your pet along with you. They will either love you for it, or hate you. Just remember it is always better to be the holler, than the hollie.

How to celebrate – Visit Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina today. See how loud you can holler. (I suggest warning the neighbors first.) Never yell when you can holler.

June 14th Flag Day

It has become popular not to honor the American Flag anymore. I don’t know when that started and I have no idea when it will end but I know it’s wrong.  The flag represents everything good about America, not the bad, but I guess it’s all about how you look at life. If you can’t be proud of yourself, you can’t be proud of a flag.

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Yet, it seems to be okay for other countries to honor their flags. Just not us. Maybe if one saw it tattered and filled with bullet holes they might consider it a little more. It represents a people, a nation and all the ideals ever created for it and those that live under it.

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There are certain rules for handling the flag. It is to be flown from sunrise to sunset, never at night without a light on it. You raise it quickly in the morning and lower it slowly at dusk. You do not let it fly in rain or any bad weather and should be flown at half-staff when you, or the country, are in mourning. Half-staff remains for 30 days, no more, no less. The flag should never touch the ground and you fly no flag over your countries flag. And when it gets too tattered and worn to fly anymore it should be buried or burned, don’t just wad it up and throw it away.

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It’s not the cloth itself, nor the pretty colors, it is the symbol of what it stands for. Of course, there are those who stand for nothing and believe in nothing. Those millionaires who kneel when all those who ensure their expense accounts are met are standing. And when they say it’s not the flag they are against, it’s the government or elected officials, the past and their own personal observations, they are just telling you about themselves. That they are more important than anyone, or anything around them.

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So I say, grow up… the reason no one cares about your woes is because you don’t really care about theirs. A flag represents a nation. Can that nation be better? Yes! But nothing ever gets better by tearing it down first.

How to celebrate- Learn what a flag is all about. Fly a flag today. (An American flag, not a Disney World flag, not  rainbow flag, not a football flag.) If you want your views to be  taken seriously, take the views of others in to consideration as well.

June 13th National Weed Your Garden Day

Okay, so you planted you garden… flowers or veggies, whatever it doesn’t matter. The thing you will find grow fastest are the weeds. (No not that kind of weed) So, unless you want a garden of weeds you will need to weed it!

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I guess there are some pretty weeds. Maybe there are even a few that have uses (Though I doubt it) but they definitely will destroy whatever else you have planted. Isn’t it interesting that we call our new found friend “weed” and nickname it for something absolutely useless! Oh well.

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Weeding your garden does have benifits. It is calming and relaxing if done right. That means don’t start weeding 2 months after you’ve planted your garden because you will lose that calming effect. You may be litterally lost in the weeds.

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It is also a great way to teach children about gardening and get them interested in planting their own sometime in the future. There is nothing that compares to watching a plant grow, something that you planted and cared for. It is somewhat like watching a child grow itself.

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So if you are responsible enough to plant a garden be repsonsible enough to weed it! You will also need to water it and keep animals out of it that might cause damage or even eat your newest friends.

How to celebrate – First, start by planting a garden! Next weed your garden. Make sure you know the difference between your plant and a weed.

June 12th Red Rose Day

It is only appropriate that Red Rose Day should come when it’s the season for roses to grow. I doubt it would have the same affect if done in the middle of the winter. The day probably comes to us from Australia where the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation uses the day as a fund raising and awareness.

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As we have begun to become constantly politically correct, we have allowed the color of roses to stand for something as well. To give a friend a red rose can give them the wrong impression. While original roses, I think, were all red… that made them special… personal observation… I don’t think with all these color changes they mean as much anymore.

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Of course, I don’t know if we are actually allowed to give flowers to anyone anymore since we might offend them. Maybe we should learn how to create clear roses so they don’t mean anything at all. A rose, is a rose, no matter what you call it.

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And I don’t think that the more roses you give indicates the more you love someone. it just means you are richer! When you cut them, you are killing them. Let’s hope your love lasts longer than the rose will. Maybe giving a red rose plant is better than giving plants that are not going to last very long.

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A single rose is just as beautiful, means just as much and indicates the same thing.

How to celebrate – Give a red rose to someone you love. Plant a red rose plant in your yard today. Develop a clear rose that’s says and means nothing at all.