January 31 - National Pre-School Fitness Day

(Last Friday of January)

Posted on January 31, 2020

The thing is, we don't want little kids, including kids who attend day care / nursery school / pre-school, to worry about their bodies being attractive or unattractive, chubby or skinny, too this or too that. That's definitely not what this holiday is all about.

But we DO want to start kids off on the right foot as far as nutrition, exercise, hygiene, and other physical-body-related habits and attitudes go! 

The last Friday of January has been set aside to focus on the fitness "fitness" of day cares and pre-schools, nursery schools and play schools and pre-K classes. Are the snacks being served are nutritious? 

Does each day include a lot of active play? Can kids use the bathroom facilities whenever they need to? Are the outdoor as well as indoor areas safe and fun? 

The BEST thing for little kids is lots of supervised free time, but of course there are going to be some adult-led activities. Hopefully some of these are active as well - hoop play, parachute play, scarf play, ball play! How fun!

January 30 – National Inane Answering Message Day

Posted on January 30, 2020

I thought I was soooooo against this "holiday." For the simple reason that I hate confusing and/or looooonnnnnng answering messages when people are trying to be funny. 

Like, "I have nothing to say to you. So leave a message." 
[I'm all, "Wait! Did I reach the right person? Should I leave a message? Yikes!]

Or, "Hi, this is Debra. Leave a message and I'll try to get back to you after my kid - Ouch! - stops - Ouch! - hitting me with his - OMG, I'm going to have to kill him! - hockey stick! - Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow!!!!" 

[I don't find this sort of thing funny, but also, I really, really, really don't want to have to listen to such a long speech to get to the Beep and leave my message, especially not the second or third time I get this message!]

If you're going to be funny, also be short.
And don't forget to state your name!!!

I'm also not all the fond of fumbled answering messages that give you zero information.

"Hi, um, this, oh - wait - never mind, leave a message."

[You guessed it, I'm back to the "Is this Tom's phone? I wish he'd said his name! Oh dear!"]

So I am way not into celebrating inane answering messages today!

But - as it turns out - the holiday was especially created to call attention to the terribleness of such messages and is designed to stomp out such trends. And I have to admit, most answering messages are short and to the point: "Hi, you've reached Maria Rodriguez; please leave me a message."

Obviously, this odd holiday, which was created back in 2001, is working. 


Actually, very few of us have landlines and answering machines, anymore, and voice mail messages are generally set; plus most of us use text messages even more often than calling!

January 29 - Happy Birthday, Oprah Winfrey

Posted on January 29, 2020

Born on this date in 1954...
Born into poverty in rural Mississippi...
Born to a teenage single mother...
Raised in inner-city Milwaukee...

She didn't have a chance for success, did she?

Yet Oprah Winfrey was smart enough, talented enough, ambitious enough, and persistent enough to become one of the richest, most famous, and most respected African American people ever!

She's even one of the few people recognized by just her first name: Oprah! (Cher and Madonna and Beyoncé are in the same situation.)

Check out her job titles:

Oprah started out in radio while she was in high school, and she was co-anchor for local evening news at just 19 years old! Since then she has been a talk show host, actor, television producer, and media executive - as well as a philanthropist and activist! She has co-authored five books, and she publishes her own magazine (O, The Oprah Magazine). AND she has even started her own network (OWN - the Oprah Winfrey Network).

Oprah's show was the highest-rated TV program of its kind in history and ran for 25 years! Here are a few of the honors she has received:
  • Inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame
  • Honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard 
  • Appearing on lists, sometimes as #1, such as "Most influential woman" / "Most influential people" / "Most powerful celebrity" / "Greatest Americans" / etc. - TIME, Life, Forbes, and more!