March 15th Ides of March

You would think that the first day of spring, according to the Roman calendar, would be all bright and sunny. After all, the sun is shining, the snow is gone and plants are in bloom everywhere. This is a good thing, unless you have allergies to those plants.

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So why do so many people fear the Ides of March? With spring brings new life, wonderful smells and everything should be good, unless your name happens to be Julius. Julius Caesar to be exact. That’s when his supposed friends and countrymen decided he was not getting the point they were trying to make so they helped him get it, literally.

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But that was back in 44 BC. Since then the typical terms remembered are “Beware of the Ides of March”. Well, just because it happened to Julius doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to you. Just don’t get around any crowds, particularly if they are your friends!

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Oh and, don’t hang out too much with your snowmen at this point because they are probably going to leave soon.  So if your name isn’t Julius you probably won’t have any issues. You could probably even Caesar the day! It is the first day of spring, according to the Roman’s!

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So Rome outside and enjoy your day. Watch where your walking so you don’t get stuck by anything and whatever you do… don;t talk politics!

How to celebrate – Wear toga today. Plant some flowers, Pansies might work. Don’t go Roman too far from home.

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November 14th National Pickle Day

Today is National Pickle Day, which comes from the Dutch word “pekel”, meaning brine. This low calorie, high in vitamin K, treat has been enjoyed across the world since at least 2030 B.C. Pickles, which are cucumbers soaked in a brine or vinegar, and fermented for various lengths of time with added flavoring to make the different types available on the market.

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Cleopatra claimed her great beauty came from her indulgence of the flavorful treat imported from India to the Tigris Valley. They are low in calories which might explain her shapely body and while she probably was a beauty I’ll bet her breath was at least a little suspect with all that vinegar.

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Interestingly, Julius Caesar also found the pickle to be of benefit to his troops. He believed the pickle made his troops stronger and gave them more energy. This may explain some of his success against Cleopatra and possibly some of the attraction!

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At any rate, over 5,200,000 pickles are consumed every year in America. Whether they are dill, gherkin, cornichon, brined, kosher dill, Polish, Hungarian, lime, bread, butter, Swedish, Danish, cinnamon, or kool-aide (whatever they are).

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And one of the newest flavors, and the favorite of many, is the deep-fried pickle. I believe this started as a southern treat but has spread across the rest of American and even into Europe.

How to celebrate – Pickles can be enjoyed many ways… in a sandwich, as relish, or just on their own. Have a pickle with lunch today! See how many new flavors of pickles you can try. You can try and pickle your own cucumbers if you like.