Celebrating International Day of Education while our schools are closed seems like a contradiction. Education continues at home and on line. I wonder how lucky we are that it is assumed everybody in our Province has a computer and access to the Internet. What are the long term effects will be of sitting children down for an entire day of screen time with their faces on the shared screens. Technology moves so quickly and has removed the need in person learning. How many children will return to in person learning when this is over? Or will people choose to keep their children isolated and safe at home?
But at least National Peanut Butter Day can be celebrated by Peanut Butter lovers. Peanut butter, a wonderful inexpensive source of protein has been banned in all schools due to peanut butter allergies. The amazing thing is that research is showing that delaying the introduction of peanut butter is probably the largest cause of the allergy to develop. So peanut butter is being encouraged to be given to children before the age of 2. Parental fear may have been the largest cause of this deadly allergy.
National Compliment Day is something we should be practicing everyday. Kind words of encouragement should be spread generously everywhere. It seems we don’t give or receive compliments often enough. I read an article yesterday on how to respond to a compliment. Start by saying “Thank you” and don’t negate the compliment with negative phrases. Also don’t return the compliment immediately unless it is heartfelt. So continue practicing giving compliments until it becomes part of your nature.
Quit putting things off until later. Celebrate Just Do It Day by doing that thing you’ve been putting off. Quit over analyzing and over thinking. You’ll never know if you can to it or not until you just do it. As the commercial says change one day into day one. Put the music on, dance, sing and exercise. Get the brushes out and try painting. Or get out the colouring books and spend some useless time colouring, either inside or outside the lines. Whatever you’ve been putting off Just Do It today.
We are finally at the 12th day of Christmas and the end of the Christmas Season for 2020/21. This is the first time I’ve left my Christmas tree up until the end of Christmas and it will be coming down on the Epiphany (tomorrow). My Ukrainian friends and co-workers waited until January 6th to celebrate Christmas. One of my friends always said it was great because Christmas trees and presents were cheaper. One of the things I miss most about working was the multi-cultural and multi-ethnicity of my co-workers. All of the different ideas that I was exposed to by just going to work and being able to to put a face to the colours and cultures. Especially during lockdown we’re limited to our own little world and ideas.
Thank goodness for the internet and the way it has opened the doors to so many new things. Virtual tours of almost anyplace you would want to go and almost anything you want to learn. Allowing families to see each other and lessening their isolation. But a virtual tour doesn’t compare to the feeling of snow on your face as you toboggan down a hill or the sound of the wind in the Rio Valley tree tops.
The dwarf mallards in today’s picture are a variant that I’ve found only at my local conservation area pond. They are only about 2/3’s the size of the other mallards on the same pond. These females are also brighter and more caramel coloured that the other females. Their heads are also more rounded and compact. Apparently the small sized mallards are referred to as “Call Ducks” a domestic variety that was bred to lure other ducks by hunters.
*Happy Birthday to my youngest son. When he was in elementary school I always had a party for him. Because it was after Christmas during school break it was always well attended. (Except one friend who couldn’t be there due to hockey) and just after boxing day sales so he always got wonderful gifts. This year he is turning 35, celebrating with his new wife and sons.
And the countdown is on. Not just ’til Christmas but to total lockdown and isolation during the Holiday Season. I can always remember my father telling me this time of the year was the hardest for people who were alone and suicide rates were probably the highest at this time of year. SAD or Seasonal Affected Disorder is higher during the winter months, but apparently the myth of higher suicides during the holidays is not true*. Instead the rates in the are actually higher in the spring, when most people are feeling happier with the longer days and those who truly suffer from depression don’t feel any better or may actually feel worse. Still it is important to keep loved ones close and help those with significant loses to know they are loved, because they are people not statistics and even one suicide is one too many.
*Here today and gone tomorrow is the reason given usually for lavish spending, drinking or dancing. Perhaps instead it should be for just living and love. It is the small moments that add up to a lifetime of memories.
*Today is my daughter-in-law’s birthday. She has become an important part of the family as she drops in for lunch on Saturday mornings, for a walk to the market or just to visit us with her daughter Emily. She was kind enough when we got home from Texas in March to ensure that we had groceries and extras during our 2 week self-isolation. She was one of the first leaders to step-up and work on a strategy with volunteers for making masks. She is a smart, accomplished young woman that we love with all our hearts. Happy Birthday Katie, may the next year be filled with love.