Posts Tagged With: Hike Fun Forward

Hike Fun Forward – Special Days: September 12-18

September 12 – Day of Encouragement

Encouragement is invaluable and yet it can be very inexpensive and often free. Words and expressions of encouragement can literally turn someone’s life around and change a depressed attitude into the determination and perseverance. September 12th is encouragement day. This day is designed to uplift others and find ways to edify and positively build into the lives of others.

This is another one of those national days that should be a regular and normal flow in our daily experience. Notice and then let people know when you see a job well done or an act of kindness or an amazing talent. Celebrate accomplishments; call a friend just to say how much you appreciate your relationship; text a family member who maybe going through a rough patch; attend someone’s concert or play or game or recital or exhibit.

September 13 – Uncle Sam Day

This day commemorates Sam Wilson the man behind the iconic image. Sam was born on September 13, 1766. He was a meatpacker from Troy, New York who supplied barrels of meat to US soldiers during the War of 1812. The soldiers started to call the good food as a delivery from Uncle Sam.

The first illustration of Uncle Sam was published in 1861 by Harper’s Weekly and Sam wears a starred bandana and a striped vest. Over the decades, Uncle Sam has changed his fashion statement. Illustrator Thomas Nash developed a long-legged Sam with a starred top hat and striped pants. The US Army awarded Montgomery Flagg with the artistic task of providing an image of Sam for the “Uncle Sam Wants You!” campaign during World War 1.  

See how many images you can find of Sam as you celebrate our great country.

September 14- Live Creative Day

Be creative; allow others to see your creativity; expand and explore your imagination. Take some time today to invent something new, discover a hidden talent, try an out-of-the-box experience. Paint, sing, garden, write. Design a new board-game, create a PowerPoint presentation, or compose a song. Infuse creativity in your life through a variety of media. Renew a hobby that has hibernated. Take a class to learn a new one.

You get the idea – live out your God given creativity.

September 15 – Three Food Celebrations Today

Enjoy some good food today. It is Cheese Toast Day. It is Linguine Day. It is Double Cheeseburger Day. Pick any one of the these three delicious options on the menu, and you will spot on target for a September 15 celebration

September 16 – Mayflower Day

No, this has nothing to do with flowers like the May Apple or moving across the country with a popular moving company. This day of the year commemorate the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth, England in 1620.It left the harbor with 102 colonists on board, better known as the pilgrims.

Take more time today to explore their 66 days at sea, their adaptive destination from Virginia to Massachusetts, their eventual settlement, and the Mayflower Compact. Who many of the 102 colonists survived the journey of the Mayflower? Who was the captain of the Mayflower? There are many good sources to dig a little deeper into this major event that shaped our country but here are two:  11 Lesser-Known Facts about the Mayflower and Thanksgiving ( and At the helm of history: The story of the Mayflower’s master (

September 17 – Hug Your Boss Day

Okay, so hugging the boss might be rather inappropriate in some cases. It might be real awkward and even unprofessional, but encouraging your boss (see September 12) just might be priority in life. If not a hug, then a high-five or a thumbs up. If COVID makes personal appearances difficult, try a text, email, or a personal note. The warm fuzzy might be absent but the encouragement might be felt even through your half-face midden by your mask.

If you have a good boss, a supportive leader, a positive work environment, let your boss know with a grateful attitude, and thankful spirit, and words of appreciation.

September 18 – Clean Up Day

Can you even imagine what next week would look like if every person in our country picked up ten pieces of litter? From the east to the west, from the big cities to the small towns, the environment would begin to shine. Think of the trails, the mountains, the lakes, the parks – oh my how pristine they would look.

I love the hiking/camping concept of “Leave No Trace” and this Clean-up Day follows hand and glove. I am hoping to commence with a clean-up week. I hike almost every day and this week I plan to hike with a garbage bag and see how much clean-up I can do around my neighborhood and in the MetroParks. It should be loads of fun and productive as well.

Photo: Encouragement – PRIDE = Positive, Recognise, Involve, Develop, Evaluate – Key Steps Corporate Training; Uncle Sam –samuel-wilson-united-states-uncle-sam-i-want-you-pointing-finger.jpg (800×1076) (; Mayflower – The incredible story of the Mayflower: the ship that shaped America – Best Travel Tale; Creativity – How to Actually Finish the Creative Projects You Start – Business 2 Community; Cheeseburger – The Ultimate Cheeseburger – My Food and Family; Hug – Attention Brits – Tomorrow is National Hug Your Boss Day – The Daily Brit; Clean-up How to Host a Community Clean Up Day – Nutrien Health

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Hike Fun Forward – Special Days: August 22-28

August 22 – Be an Angel Day

Trail Angels on the AT

Be An Angel Day encourages good deeds and kindness to others. Supporting those in need, a kind word, a needed hug, comfort for the grieving and hurting, a light in the darkness around us – these are the actions and attitudes to be exercised on August 22 (and every day of the year). I am glad that there is a day like this that is highlighted on our yearly calendars, but this truly should be a world-view, a lifestyle commitment, and an all-encompassing mindset.  If we acted like angels (the word literally means, messengers from God) and brought the grace, forgiveness, and love of God to those around us, the devastating aspects of our society driven by greed, selfishness, and ambition would disappear.

The first thought that came to my mind as I saw this day, was the trail angels I met along the Appalachian Trail. Sometimes the angels would set up grills and tables along the trail and cook hamburgers/and hotdogs with all the sides for the thru-hikers coming by. Sometimes the angels would offer free rides into the nearby towns so the hikers could resupply and find a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, there was a cooler filled with Gatorades and power-bars sitting in the woods with no one around to thank. The focus was not on the angel but on the kindness. How thankful I was every time I encountered these random expressions of support and thoughtfulness.  I want to respond like an angel every day in August, September, October…. you get the idea.

August 23 – Cuban Sandwich Day

Celebrate today with a sandwich that was born in Cuba, but grew up in Florida. Traditionally this sandwich is made of ham, roast pork, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread (a light bread, usually made with all white flour with a very thin crispy crust and a soft interior). If you are interested in making your own instead of making a trip to Cuba, check out Chef John’s Cuban Bread | Allrecipes, for a good recipe.   

August 24 – Waffle Day

August 24th is the anniversary of the first waffle iron patent issued. Celebrate by savoring your favorite kind of waffle! On August 24, 1869, Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York, received his patent for the waffle iron. While waffles existed long before then, the invention of this special iron made waffles easier to make and a popular breakfast item.  Grab some batter, some soft butter, and some maple syrup, or strawberries and whipped cream, or peanut butter and jelly, or powdered sugar and cinnamon, and have a smorgasbord of waffle delights. 

Great Smoky Mountains

August 25 – National Park Service Founders Day

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed what is now called the Organic Act. It established the National Park Service. As part of the Department of Interior, the National Park Service protects 400 areas in each of the 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia totaling 84 million acres.

Take some time today (or sometime soon) and look at the National Parks. Look up some photographs of the different parks. Take a virtual tour of some of the incredible spots across our country. Take special note of some places you want to see up close and personal. While you’re online, discover some of the history of the US as you explore the context of these national parks.

During my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, I hiked through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Shenandoah National Park. Both parks were very different in terrain and yet both were spectacularly beautiful.   

August 26 – National Women’s Equality Day

The United States Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women full and equal voting rights on August 26, 1920. Think about that for a few minutes. The emancipation proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, ending slavery in America – it was 57 years later before women of any color got the right to vote in the United States. The women’s sufferance movement is a sad story of diligent women who would not give up. Many like Elizabeth Cady Staton (died 1902) and Susan B. Anthony (died 1906) labored for the vote but died before their dreams were realized.

Consider contacting the influential women in your life and let them know about their impact. Teachers, doctors, mothers, lawyers, scholars, scientists, astronauts, authors, musicians, illustrators, coaches, mentors, etc. In my personal life, women have played such an important role and have shaped me in my philosophy, ethic, career, lifestyle, and worldview. Make a quick top-12 list and send them a text/email to let them know of their impact and your appreciation.

August 27 – Just Because Day

Just Because Day offers up an opportunity to do stuff…just because. There is a danger in this day because it can lead us to selfishness and negative spontaneity. But it also has the potential to be creative and use our freedoms to express God’s love to other people. Think about ways you can serve others…..just because you can. Stop and take a look around you – see a need, meet a need, just because you can and just because you were created to love. I have thought of several ideas for myself, but I am not going to share them, but rather encourage you to develop a list for yourself. How can you serve others and touch the lives of those around you…just because you can.

August 28 – Thoughtful Day

I think August 27 and 28 should combine into a two-day celebration that really spills over into a daily routine and a constant way of looking a life. Being thoughtful in word and deed toward those around you will able you to meet needs and change the lives of others. Being thoughtful can manifest itself in simple ways: a quick word of encouragement, a short note of inspiration, a small token of appreciation. Being thoughtful usually involves our actions: buy some groceries, fix a meal, bake a pie, make a visit, take a kid/grandchild to the park, pick up your room.

May this Thoughtful Day be the beginning of many thoughtful days. Use today to make a list of thoughtful things you can do over the next several weeks/months. Just to prime the pump and get the creative juices flowing, here are a few ideas:

Mail a handwritten to friends you haven’t seen for a while.

Bake some cookies and deliver them to friends and family and neighbors. Look for an opportunity to sit and visit for a while.

Bring fresh flowers to someone who blesses you.

Invite someone over for tea.

Now it’s your turn to add to the list and make it your own.

Photos: Angel – Free Cartoon Angel Cliparts, Download Free Cartoon Angel Cliparts png images, Free ClipArts on Clipart Library (; Cuban Sandwich – Recipe: Cuban Sandwich | Kitchn ( Waffles – buttermilk waffles – price comparison –; Just Because – Stationery – Just Because… (; Thoughtful – 7 Habits Of Considerate People | HuffPost Life; All others from the Rough Collection

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Hike Fun Foward – Special Days August 15- 21

August 15 – Relaxation Day

Relaxation Day encourages us to slow down and unwind. The fast-paced and often hectic lifestyles in our American society can result in great amounts of stress. Too much work and pressure can cause physical, emotional, spiritual problems. Taking time to relax, reflect, and rejuvenate can prevent many health risks. I find it interesting that there is a national relaxation day when God commanded a day of rest each week. The Sabbath is a principle of rest. It is not just a time for prayer (which is a fantastic activity that should fill part of every day) and spiritual reflection; it is a day for physical rest and a change of pace. The work that demands our time, focus, and energy should be set aside and replaced with peaceful connections with God and others.  

Find a favorite way to relax and make some plans for relaxation:

Enter the adventure of a good book

Discover a quiet bench in the shade and listen to the birds sing

Go fishing with a friend

Enjoy a picnic in the park

Dreams some sweet dreams

Drive along the back roads in the country

Indulge in a visit to the Spa or slide into a bubble bath at home

Take a walk along the beach or in the woods.

Grab your camera or smartphone and snap some great photos

Cool down in a swimming pool – even a kiddy pool will do.

Watch a movie with some popcorn

Do a leisurely lunch with friends

Sip a soft drink and catch a sports event on TV

August 16 Tell a Joke Day

I recently had a teenager ask me to tell him a Bad Dad joke. I had to think for a while, but I finally came up with one. That started a series of funny jokes and stories that had me laughing out loud. What was my joke? It was bad – “Why do cows wear bells around their necks? Because their horns don’t work!”

If that causes a groan to form in your throat, try this one:

What did the grapes say to the apple when the apple criticized them for lazily sunbathing in the afternoon sun? “We are not being lazy – we are raisin awareness.”

If you are still shaking your head in disgust, this will put you over the edge,

“Knock, knock.

Who’s there?


Goliath who?

Goliath down your looketh sick.”

Okay, I will stop, but you need to begin. Today is tell a joke day. It doesn’t have to be a good joke. It doesn’t have to crack everyone up. But it should be clean, it should be appropriate, and it should not be offensive. Find some funny jokes and make some people smile. Laughter is great medicine.

August 17 – I Love My Feet Day

Being an avid hiker, I could not let this day go by unnoticed. My feet are getting old, but they are so faithful. My feet do things for me that my hands cannot accomplish. They help me stand, walk, jog, run, skip (which I don’t do very often), and even dance (which I only do when no one else is watching because I am a very bad dancer). My feet carried me 2,186 miles in 2014 from Georgia to Maine.

Celebrate your feet today. If you have healthy feet treat them to a warm bath, a gentle massage, and comfy socks. Keep those nails well-trimmed and be sure your shoes fit well. Elevate your feet when you can and take a load off your God-given mode of transportation when possible.

I remember many evenings in my tent after walking some tough miles, I gave my feet a quick rub-down with Aquaphor Ointment. It felt fantastic, it did wonders for cracked skin, and it just made my feet smile. I know feet can’t smile but if you mixed the letter up a bit, it spells “miles” – after a long day on the trail, my motto was “amazing feet accomplish amazing feats.” 

So, this Tuesday, August 17, and every day thereafter, pamper your feet.

August 18 – Take Your Pick

Today is Fajita Day, Mail Order Catalog Day (replaced today with Online Shopping), and Ice Cream Pie Day. As I reviewed the detail of these days, none of them jumped out at me as greatly significance. Take your pick to celebrate OR order a fajita meal online and enjoy a slice of ice cream pie for dessert.  Oh, the joys of a first-world nation.

August 19 – Bow Day

On the heels of the Olympics Games and the skill of the archers from Korea and Turkey, the bows of the sport of archery take center stage. What? It is not that can of bow? Oops. It is amazing to watch the precision of the violinists in the prestigious symphonic orchestras. Every stroke of the bows makes the entire string section appear as if it is one player. Pardon me? Wrong bows again? So sorry. 

This is a day that celebrates wearing bows as part of fashion. There is no end to the way to wears bows – on a dress, blouse, as a necktie, as a belt, as a bracelet, and in your hair. Bows seem to complement any outfit and this accessory is quite popular today.

Men can celebrate this day as well with the ever-appropriate bow tie. Bow ties with jeans, with a suit, with a tuxedo, with a sweater, even with a plaid shirt. As one of the Doctors (the 11th Doctor to be precise – Matt Smith) said, “Bow ties are cool!” What an unusual day. What an easy day to celebrate.

August 20 – Radio Day

Radio Day recognizes the great invention of the radio. Take some time today and tune in the news, listen to a talk show, and enjoy the music station or your choice. I have always stood amazed at how sound can carry across the airwaves and then can be broadcast in my home or in my car riding down the road. There is much debate as to the inventor of the radio, but certainly, several individuals have contributed to its early beginnings. Heinrich Hertz’s research proved electricity could be transmitted wirelessly. The prolific inventor Nicola Tesla patented multiple inventions involving alternating current and provided the radio with the Tesla coil, and the Italian, Guglielmo Marconi receives the crown when it comes to the first commercially available radio.

Catch these cool facts about the radio that I gleaned from Radio Fun Facts !! | The Radio Agency |; and How radio saved the Eiffel Tower from destruction – OFFICIAL website (

  • The 1920s brought the first broadcast stations to the forefront. In 1920, the world’s first commercial radio station, KDKA, went on the air in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. KDKA radio is still alive and doing well in Pittsburgh.
  • In 1931, two out of five homes owned a radio.
  • By 1938, four out of five owned a radio. 
  • FM Radio made its first appearance in 1939.
  • At the end of 2012, more than 15,000 licensed broadcast radio stations were operating in the U.S.
  • The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be scrapped after 20 years. It only survived because the military started using it as a radio tower, intercepting crucial military transmissions during WWI
  • One 30-second TV commercial in the 2015 Super Bowl cost $4.5 Million. In that same year, the same advertiser could have funded a full, 52-week, national campaign on radio for that price.

August 21 – Honeybee Day

I had a great friend who kept bees. He had the smoker and the beekeeper’s suit, and he especially enjoyed his sweet hobby at harvest time. August 21 celebrates the honeybee, the beekeepers who tend the hives, and the thick, sticky honey that tastes so good in our baking, stirred in our tea, and swirled on a peanut butter sandwich. The honeybee is also a contributor to our health as it pollinates many nutritious plants and keeps the flowers blooming.  

Honeybees do sting, but typically they do not bring out their swords unless threatened. If your come in close proximity with bees, stay calm, hold still, and move slowly. More than likely, you are just too sweet, but the bee will soon fly away to seek another source of sweetness.

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Hike Fun Forward – Special Days: August 8 – 14

August 8 – Dollar Day

August 8 commemorates the day Congress established the U.S. monetary system in 1786, but it was not until 1862 that the United States printed its first dollar bill.

Here are some interest facts about the dollar bill:

The first face on the dollar bill was not George Washington. It was Salmon P. Chase, President Lincoln’s Secretary of Treasury.

The dollar bill in your wallet hasn’t been changed for more than 50 years. While the $5, $10, $20, and $50 have all undergone redesigns in recent years, the single dollar remains unchanged.

The number 13 represents the original 13 colonies and is seen numerous places on the dollar bill. On the back of the bill there is a pyramid with 13 steps; the eagle opposite the pyramid holds 13 arrows in its left talon and a branch with 13 leaves in its right; above the eagle’s head is a cloud containing 13 stars.

Minimum wage in 1961 was raised to $1.00 per hour.

The dollar bill is not made of paper. We may call it “paper money,” but it is actually fabric – 75% cotton and 25% linen.

Check out 20 Facts About the Dollar Bill That Every American Should KnowBest Life ( for some more interesting facts about the one dollar bill.

August 9 – Book Lovers Day

This day is set aside for all who love to read. Find a quiet place, a favorite place, a good reading place. Get a good book, get comfortable and get lost in the story as the author takes you into their world of mystery, sports, adventure, romance, or sci-fi. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, narrative, memoir, fantasy, history, and humor can all be part of your day – it is all up to you and your preferences.

Enjoy a hard copy book where you turn pages and hold the story in your hands; Or grab your ipad/tablet and read an ebook on your digital screen; Or plug in you ear phones and listen to an audiobook.

Read quietly by yourself, or open a book with your children and share the adventure together. Allow them read to you and encourage their skills.  This is a great day to visit your public library and be inspired by the many books that want to be adopted. Books stores (new and used) are fabulous places to go if you want to own a book and add it to your collection. Check out Amazon, especially for self-publishers who have some great material for sale.

August 10 – S’mores Day

S’mores consists of a roasted marshmallow with a layer of chocolate bar sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker. On August 10th we can all celebrate the most popular of campfire treats.

The first recorded version of the recipe can be found in the 1927 publication of Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. Today, many variations on the original s’more find their way around a campfire.

Spread peanut butter on the graham crackers before adding the other ingredients.

Substitute peanut butter cups in place of the chocolate bar.

Replace the graham crackers with fudge-dipped cookies.

August 11 Son’s and Daughter’s Day

Hopefully August 11th will bring parents and their children together for quality time. On Wednesday of this week, let your children know that you are glad they are part of your life. If your children are still living at home, spend some time with them doing some of the following:

Go for a walk and listen to the events of their day; Find out about their hopes and dreams; Learn what inspires them; Teach them something new; Ask them to teach you something; Share some family stories; Do a puzzle; Read a book; Throw a ball; Play some music and dance with them; Laugh and tell jokes; Pray for them and with them; Play board games; stay up late and look at the stars.

If your children are grown and out of the home, mail a card, make a phone call, compose an email, or send them a text. Remind them how special they are to you.

August 12 – Julienne Fries Day

I have enjoyed this think crispy potato fry before, but I had no idea what they were called. If you are daring, try making some Julienne Fries – fry up skinny sliced potatoes for a delicious and crunchy treat. Cut into thin, uniform strips like matchsticks, then fry them up nice and crisp.  They are often called “shoestring fries.” Julienne Fries have been around for a while. The oldest known written reference goes back to a 1722 French cookbook.

If you have never attempted to make Julienne Fries before, join the club. Here are some helpful hints provided by  NATIONAL JULIENNE FRIES DAY – August 12 – National Day Calendar

“Once you’ve sliced your potatoes into matchsticks (which can be achieved with a tool with a julienne blade), let the potatoes rest in a bowl of ice water for about 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, pat the potatoes dry with paper towels. You want them dry before placing them in hot oil, or the grease will vigorously splatter.

When you add the potatoes to the hot grease, don’t add too many at a time. They need room to fry on all sides. This tip also prevents your oil from excess splatter and overflowing.

The ideal temperature for frying your potatoes is about 350°F.

Once the potatoes become golden brown, remove them from the oil to a clean paper towel to drain and season immediately.”

August 13 – Left Handers Day

Approximately 10% of the American population are left-handed. Scientists don’t know why a person develops left-handedness, but there may be a genetic factors.  

Out of the 47 Presidents of the United States, eight have been left-handed (17%). Two fairly famous artists, Michaelangelo and Leonardo de Vinci, were lefties. A few famous musicians were left handed including Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (50% of the Beatles).  

Here are a few other talented/famous left handers:  

Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, Lady Gaga, and Nicole Kidman.

Hugh Jackman, Robert Redford, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), and Jimi Hendrix.

Babe Ruth, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Mark Twain and Benjamin Rough.

Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and Nikola Tesla.

August 14 – Garage Sale Day

Have one or visit one. This is a good day to set up the tables and price your things – or – head out around the neighborhood and look for all the great deals.  Most Garage Sales in my area run Thursday, Friday, Saturday, but the day highlighted each year is always the second Saturday in August.  

“One person’s junk is another person’s treasure” is the philosophy that makes the garage sale work. The Garage Sale is such a first world phenomenon, but if you are savvy, diligent shopper, you can find some fantastic deals to update your décor, fill your closets, entertain your children, and add to your collections. Some entrepreneurs find good deals and then resell the items on eBay or a nice profit.

Photos: Chase Dollar Bill – U.S. Paper Money Trivia: Salmon P. Chase and the $1 bill | Coin Talk;  S’mores – S’mores, the classic marshmallow treat can be served many ways (; Books – The Rough Collection; Sons and Daughter – The Rough Collection; Julienne Fries – Lisa Kcraf Table; Left Handed – The Rough Collection; Garage Sale – (518) Pinterest.

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Hike Fun Foward: Special Days – August 1-7

August 1 – Friendship Day

Friendship Day encourages people across the country and around the world to connect with friends. Reconnect with an old one, celebrate a current friendship, or make a new friend or two.

How often we take our friends for granted and fail to share how significant they are in our lives. This is a great day to express your appreciation, gratitude, and admiration for those positive influences in your life.

August 2 – Coloring Book Day

Coloring Book Day celebrates the joy that both children and adults alike derive from coloring in pages of designs. Coloring and coloring books have been popular with children for decades, and in recent the years, adults have gotten more and more involved with coloring. Many people of all ages find that it is not only fun but also a great way to reduce stress.

This is one of the easiest days to celebrate – grab some crayons, buy a book reflecting your skill level and your budget, and carve out some time to be creative. Coloring is a great activity to do with your children. Their works of art are great refrigerator posts and scrapbook memories.  

August 3 – Watermelon Day

What a great day to celebrate in the heat of August. Watermelon is 92% water and is such a great treat during the high temperatures of summer. A watermelon party is a great way to meet the neighbors or to gather together with friends/family. A seed-spitting contest is great fun if your get a watermelon with seeds.

With proper growing conditions, watermelons grow to enormous sizes. Around the world, competitions award prizes each year for the largest one. The Guinness Book of World Records states that the heaviest watermelon weighed 262 pounds. According to 32 Fun Facts About Watermelon – What About Watermelon?, the heaviest watermelon recorded weighed 350.5 lbs and was grown in 2013.

August 4 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Ruth Wakefield

It seems like every dessert every made has a day of the year, but (in my opinion) the Chocolate Chip Cookie deserves the celebrity status and recognition of a special day. I know they have been around since 1950 and my mom made a powerfully good chocolate chip cookie since I was born, but how long have they been part of the fiber of our country (I am not sure if a chocolate chip cookie has any fiber, but you know what I mean)?  

The inventor of the chocolate chip cookie is Ruth Wakefield. She was born on June 17, 1903 in Massachusetts and died on January 10, 1977. She graduated from the Framingham State Normal School Department of Household Arts in 1924, and gave birth to the chocolate cookie around 1938. Ruth and her husband Kenneth bought a tourist lodge named the Toll House Inn, where she prepared the meals that were served to guests.

The legend often presented recounts a day in 1938 when Wakefield was mixing a batch of cookies only to discover that she was out of baker’s chocolate. She substituted broken pieces of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate, expecting it to melt and absorb into the dough to create chocolate cookies. That didn’t happen, but when she removed the pan from the oven, Ruth realized that she had accidentally invented “chocolate chip cookies.” Some cookie historians take issue with this fable but who cares – it makes a great story and adds to the mystic of American’s #1 favorite cookie.

August 5 – Water Balloon Day

Just in time for the hottest days of summer! It should be water balloon month, but even a day is so much fun. What kid or adult doesn’t enjoy a water balloon battle on a hot summer afternoon? There are games you can play (see blow for a few examples) but the most fun is just a snow-ball style fight where everyone enjoys getting wet and cooling down.

Try some of these ideas:

Water balloon toss  – This one is a classic. Everyone pairs up. Each team stands close together taking turns tossing their water balloon to each other. As soon as the water balloon breaks they’re eliminated. The team that gets the furthest apart wins!

Batting practice – combine water balloons and whiffle ball bats for a wet experience at home plate.

Target Practice – draw a chalk target on the side of shed or on the driveway. Decide on a throwing mark and see who can come closest to the bullseye.

Clean-up Challenge  – Set a timer to 5 minutes. Everyone races to collect as many broken balloon pieces as possible. Present prizes to gold, silver and bronze winners.

For more great ideas check out 10 Great Ideas for Water Balloons – Happy Home Fairy. This creative website has loads of great family fun ideas.

August 6 – Lucille Ball Day

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s one of my favorite comedians was Lucille Ball. She was the star and the producer of I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, and Here’s Lucy. I remember laughing until my side hurt at the chocolate candy conveyor belt episode, the grape stomping scene, and the mirror skit with Harpo Marx. Her comic timing and her facial expressions were truly amazing.   – born August 6, 1911 -110 years ago and yet her comedy still makes me laugh.

Check out some YouTube videos of Lucy or tune in some old episodes of her sitcoms. Reminisce or watch her for the first time, but celebrate this grand lady of fun and laughter.

August 7 – Lighthouse Day

Due to expensive lighthouse maintenance and great advancements in modern electronic navigational systems, the number of lighthouses are in great decline. Here are a few interesting lighthouse facts:

Lighthouse Day honors the beacon of light that for hundreds of years symbolized safety and security for ships and boats at sea. At one time, lighthouses could be found along almost all of America’s shorelines. These towers were designed to emit light using a system of lamps and lenses to aid ship captains with the safe navigation of their vessels.  

  • The first known lighthouse was the Pharos of Alexandria , Egypt Ptolemy I and his son Ptolemy II constructed it between 300 and 280 B.C. It stood about 450 feet high.
  • The oldest existing lighthouse in the United States is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey. Built in 1764, this lighthouse is still in operation.
  • At the end of the 19th century, the United States had the most lighthouses of any nation.
  • The Sullivan Island Lighthouse in Charleston, South Carolina owns two distinctions. First, it is the only triangular-shaped lighthouse and second, it is the only lighthouse equipped with an elevator.

Resources: Ruth Wakefield: Chocolate Chip Cookie Inventor (; Lighthouse Facts | US Lighthouse Society (; August National Days – National Day Calendar.

Photos: Friends – The Rough Collection; Coloring Book – Fancy Coloring Pages For Adults – Coloring Home; Watermelon – The Rough Collection; Ruth Wakefield – There’s a Dad in the Kitchen!: Award-Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies (; Water Balloons Target – (516) Pinterest; Lucille Ball – Why Lucille Ball Is One of My Most Important Mentors – Honey Good®; Lighthouse – Michigan Exposures: Marblehead Lighthouse – Ohio

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Hike Fun Days Forward – Special Days July 18 – 24

July 18 Ice Cream Day

Actually, July is Ice Cream Month, but the third Sunday of July has been designated as Ice Cream Day. My guess: the third Sunday stands for three scoops (the maximum number without running the risk of getting sick) and the Sunday stands for the popular Ice Cream Sundae. The real question of the day is dish or cone? That’s all you need to know to celebrate. Ice Cream Day honors every flavor on the menu, so be creative and enjoy the celebration.

July 19 Get Out of the Dog-house Day

This is a day for second chances. Being “in the doghouse,” means you have fallen out of favor with someone: your friend, your spouse or even your boss at work.

Getting out of the dog house involves reconciliation, seeking forgiveness, and making things right. Two tips for enjoying this day. One, if you find yourself in the dog house, take the initiative and reach out. Genuine humility and contrition are healing salves on relationship wounds. Two, if you have banned someone to the dog house, let them out and experience the blessings of pardon.

July 20 Moon Day

On July 20, 1969, I was 19 years old and I was sitting in front of our family TV set mesmerized by the first lunar landing. Fifty-two years later, this landing still stands as an epic event in modern history.  July National Days – National Day Calendar summaries the detals of his day quite well, “On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 carried the first humans to the moon. Six hours after landing on the moon, American Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface. He spent two and a half hours outside the spacecraft. Buzz Aldrin soon followed, stepping onto the lunar surface. After joining Armstrong, the two men collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material. Their specimens would make the journey back to Earth to be analyzed. 

In the command module, a third astronaut waited. Pilot, Michael Collins, remained alone in orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned.

Caught up in the thrill of the adventure, millions of Americans watched the mission from Earth. Televisions around the world tuned in to the live broadcasts. The astronauts had a worldwide audience. As a result, all witnessed as Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface and described the event as ‘one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind’.”

July 21 Hot Dog Day

Hot Dog Day in July celebrates a standard summertime grill offering on a bun. If you are not a vegetarian (although I think they make a vegetarian hot dog), consider paying your respects to the frankfurter, the footlong, the wienie, the wiener, or the wienerwurst. Twenty-five million hot dogs are sold at baseball stadiums each year (give or take a few hundred). We prepare them a variety of ways: grilled, toasted, boiled, pan-fried, and rotisserie-cooked. We decorate them in countless ways:  ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, mayonnaise, cheese, bacon, chili and some folks dare to add sauerkraut.

July 22 Rat Catcher’s Day

July 22nd commemorates the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. According to the folktale, residents of the German town of Hamelin hired a strangely dressed man to rid their village of rats. The Pied Piper of Hamelin did so by playing his flute. Upon finishing the task, the townsfolk refused to pay — so the Pied Piper returned. Once again, the Pied Piper played his flute while the children followed him. And with the Pied Piper, the children vanished, never to return. This is also a day to cherish your children – keep your them in sight and close at hand.  

Due to differing dates in stories and poems, Hamelin, Germany, celebrates the day on June 26th. The confusion stems from the Brothers Grimm as they cite June 26, 1284, as the date the Pied Piper led the children out of the town. At the same time, the poem by Robert Browning uses the date July 22, 1376. I can understand the mix up of the actual month and day, but missing the event by 92 years is a little much- it could even be consider literarily grim (Grimm).

July 23 Your Special Day

Enjoy making your own memories today. Start a family tradition. Do something special today for your own growth. Contact an old friend and reconnect. Make a new friend. Take a long enjoyable walk or stretch out in a hammock and read a good book.  

July 24 Amelia Earhart Day

Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24, 1897. She was an American pioneer in the field of aviation. Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She also several wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. 

Amelia was born in Atchison, Kansas and developed a passion for adventure at a young age. In 1928, she became the first female passenger to cross the Atlantic by airplane (accompanying pilot Wilmer Stultz), for which she achieved celebrity status. Four years later, in 1932, Amelia made her nonstop solo transatlantic flight. During an attempt at becoming the first female to complete a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on July 2nd.

Photos: Ice Cream – Rough Collection; Dog House – Get Out of the Doghouse Day (; Moon Day – July 20th is Moon Day – Info Cafe (; Hotdog – Download Hot Dog Transparent HQ PNG Image | FreePNGImg; Piped Piper – The Pied Piper is Changing His Tune! – Online Ministries (;  Amelia Earhart – Encyclopedia of Trivia: Amelia Earhart (

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Hike Fun Forward – Special Days July 11-17


People across the United States and around the world are lonely. Let’s use this day to motivate ourselves to make a special effort to uplift someone who finds themselves lonely and alone. If you know someone who is lonely or going through a difficult time, be a bright spot in their life with a little extra thoughtfulness today. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” One of the mottos in the life of my family is, “Go into the day and be the light – don’t forget to shine.”

Loneliness can be a result of many factors: illness, or grief, or immobility due to COVID just to mention a few. Isolation can be a matter of choice or circumstances or consequences. This would be a good day to communicate, visit, encourage, and connect with those who might be alone. Consider those people in your life who might need a little extra love and attention. Plan some small acts of kindness and discover what a big difference they might make. One short conversation, a hand-delivered card, a cuppa of tea, or a long-distance phone call may brighten the world of an individual who is longing for a personal connection with you. One act of kindness can turn a Lonely day into Lovely day.


Simplicity Day honors transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) who proposed a simple lifestyle. His book, Walden, is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. I do not agree with the total philosophy of Thoreau but here are seven interesting quotes from him that warrant some reflection. Henry David Thoreau Quotes – BrainyQuote

#1 It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

 #2 What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.

#3 I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

#4 An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

#5 I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.

#6 Goodness is the only investment that never fails.

#7 If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

As I began to think about Simplicity Day, I thought about removing myself from the man-made and focus on the gifts of God. I am going to try to stay away from technology and the need for screens. I am going to try to place a ban on video games, social media, TV, YouTube, smart phones, and tablets. Instead, I am hoping to read, study, pray, visit, verbally communicate. I also plan to stay away from driving my car (if possible) by walking and getting outside to enjoy the creation. His might not be possible for you, but consider ways that you might be able to simplify your day and enjoy a relaxing change of pace. You might enjoy it so much that you will desire a long-term change.  

July 13 Three special days combine for an interesting meal.

COW APPRECIATION DAY.  Visit Chick-fil-A today and get a free meal (chicken of course: eat more chicken!).

FRENCH FRY DAY. Today recognizes a staple food on menus across the country.

BEANS ‘N’ FRANKS DAY – This simple side would go well with your chicken sandwich and French fries. Just make sure the franks are made from pork or turkey – the cows would appreciate it.


On July 14, 1868, Alvin J. Fellows of New Haven, Connecticut was granted a patent for the retractable tape measure. This ingenious invention transformed the lives of carpenters, electricians, seamstresses, students, tradesmen and craftsmen. In today’s world, we have tape measures in our junk drawers, garages, tool kits, backpacks, purses, glove compartments, and pencil boxes. They’re undeniably useful.

Celebrate the day by going crazy and measure all kinds of stuff. Give a tape measure to every member of the family and send them on a “treasure hunt” to measure stuff around the house. Just to get you started: the height of the refrigerator, the diameter of a dinner plate, length of a table fork, the width of their bed, the height of the front door, the biggest book they can find, and the length of their shoe. Check for accuracy and give prizes for the winners (measure the prizes!)   


Most of us have the benefit of having more than we need to live. Give Something Away Day offers us an opportunity to share some of our bounty.  

Here are some ideas to consider:

Consider paying for the coffee of the person behind you in line (especially if you happen to be right in front of me).

Clean out your closet or your dresser or your garage or your attic and give some stuff away.

Go through your bookshelves and find some good reads to share with others.

Set up a free garage sale with a free lemon-aid stand.

Donate to the local food pantry.

Give your time away – Volunteer your time or skills – mow the grass of a neighbor that might need it.  

Create gift baskets for shelters or nursing homes, or shut-ins.

July 16 – Remembrance Day:

July 16 is Corn Fritters Day and Personal Chef’s Day. Neither of these caught my imagination so I took some time and reflected on fourteen major events that happened on July 16 in history:

July 16, 1439 – Kissing is banned in England (to stop the Black Death from spreading). I am not sure when the ban was lifted, but I am pretty sure they kiss in the UK today.


July 16, 1755 – John Adams (2nd President of the US) graduates from Harvard.

July 16, 1782 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” (The Abduction from the Seraglio) premieres in Vienna with Mozart conducting.

July 16, 1790 – Congress declares the city of Washington in the District of Columbia, the permanent capital of the United States.

July 16, 1867 – D.R. Averill of Newberg, Ohio, patents ready-mixed paint & Frenchman Joseph Monier patents reinforced concrete.

July 16, 1880 – Dr. Emily Stowe becomes the first woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada. (38 years before women were given the right to vote.)

July 16, 1926 – National Geographic takes 1st natural-color undersea photos.

July 16, 1935 – First automatic parking meter in the United States is installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

July 16, 1941 – Joe DiMaggio goes 3 for 4, hitting in his 56th straight game (a record that stands to this day).

July 16, 1951 – Novel “Catcher in Rye” by J. D. Salinger is published by Little Brown and Company.

July 16, 1969 – Apollo 11 is launched, carrying the 1st men to land on Moon.

July 16, 2005 – “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, the 6th book in the series by J.K. Rowling, is published worldwide. 9 million copies sell in 24 hrs.

July 16, 2018 – Twelve new moons are discovered orbiting Jupiter bringing planet’s moon total to 79. Twenty-six of those moons are still awaiting official names.

July 16, 2021 – What can you do today to make this a special day in your history?

More cool stuff can be found at Historical Events on July 16 – On This Day

July 17 – Yellow Pig Day

HISTORY OF YELLOW PIG DAY: In the 1960s, students Michael Spivak and David Kelly were studying math at Princeton. Together, they spent a lot of time considering the qualities of the number 17 and became obsessed with its incredible combination of simplicity and complexity. Their obsession grew into a desire to celebrate the number 17 with its own special day, and they created a mascot for their event in the form of a yellow pig. Their special yellow pig mascot has evolved into a creature with 17 teeth, 17 toes, 17 eyelashes. From its small beginnings, Yellow Pig Day has become a huge hit in the academic calendar, with students and teachers alike coming together to celebrate this special number, as well as math in general. Classes sing yellow pig songs, share yellow cake, and play games based around the number 17. Some people even create origami yellow pigs and yellow pig T-shirts which are worn with pride.

Truth be told the day really centers on the number 17, not the yellow pig. So what is so special about the number 17? Here are 17 reasons:

#1. The number 17 is a prime number that has significance in mathematics. It is the sum of the first four prime numbers – 2, 3, 5, and 7. A prime number is a number that can only be divided by 1 and by itself.

#2. The average school bus weighs 17 tons with passengers inside (this one is a little hard to verify but I love it).

#3. I know the meaning of each of the following 17 words that have 17 letters (altough I am not sure that I can spell them):

interdisciplinary                      adventuresomeness                 superconductivity

telecommunication                  particularization                      counterproductive

misinterpretation                     irreproachability                      nondenominational

commercialization                   comprehensiveness                  ultraconservatism                   

indestructibility                       electrocardiogram                   understandability

tenderheartedness                   interrelationship

#4. The atomic number of chlorine is 17, but 17% of people admit to having peed in a swimming pool! (the other 83% won’t admit it)

#5. There are 17 syllables in a traditional haiku, a Japanese three-line poem.

#6. Want to reach the police in France? Dial “17.”

#7. Some cicadas have a 17-year life cycle (and this was the year!).

#8. The number 17 is the smallest whole number whose reciprocal contains all ten digits 1/17 = 0.58823529117647.  

#9. Apollo 17 was the final mission of NASA’s Apollo program

#10. There are 17 steps leading up to Sherlock Holmes’ house at 221B Baker Street.

#11. A Sudoku needs at least 17 clues to have a unique solution.

#12. The Beatles hit song “I Saw Her Standing There” was originally going to be called “Seventeen”.

#13. The youngest person to have ever played in a Football (Soccer) World Cup final was the Brazilian superstar Edson Arantes do Nascimento, otherwise known as Pelé, who was 17 at the time.

#14. The youngest recipient of the Nobel prize was Malala Yousafzai, who was just 17 at the time. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her struggles in advocating the rights for young women and children to have fair access to education.

#15. The stegosaurus had 17 bony plates on its back.

#16. The middle verse in the New Testament is Acts 17:17. “So he (Paul) reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.

#17 Noah’s flood started on the 17th day of the second month; and the ark ended up resting on Mount Ararat on the 17th day of the seventh month. (Gen 7:11; Gen 8:4)

For more crazy facts check out – 17 Facts About the Number 17 | EverQuest; 17 Cool Facts About The Number 17 | The Fact Site; The Monstress: 17 facts about the number seventeen;

Photos: Alone – Sad lonely girl isolated stay at home in protective sterile medical mask on face looking at window | Martinez, Hart, Thompson & Sanchez ( ; Simplicity – 5 Ways to Unplug from Technology for a Healthier Lifestyle | GVEC Internet;  Cow Day – Happy Cow Appreciation Day 2014 HD Wallpapers, Images, Wishes For Pinterest, Instagram – BMS | Bachelor of Management Studies Unofficial Portal;  Measuring Tape – Buy Online from GZ Industrial Supplies 5M Stanley Measuring Tape- Stanley Powerlock (;  Closet – Closet Organization in 10 Steps – Sunset Magazine; Mozart – Mozart – Die Entführung aus dem Serail (; Yellow Pig Pin on Sunfrog T-Shirt (

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Hike Fun Forward: Special Days July 4 to July 10

July 4 – Independence Day

Happy 235th Birthday, America! May we all celebrate God’s blessings upon our country. Let our neighborhoods and parks be filled with picnics and barbecues, hot dogs and hamburgers and iced tea. May we lift our voices across all 50 states singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful,” “My Country, Tis of Thee,” “This Land Is Your Land,” and may we listen and march around to a powerful rendition of John Philip Susa, “Stars and Stripes Forever.” May we dress in red, white, and blue and enjoy fireworks as we rejoice in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

July 5 – Two Historical Events

On July 5, 1865, Methodist minister William Booth establishes a mission to help feed and clothe poverty-stricken inhabitants of London’s East End. He and his wife Catherine would rename the organization the Salvation Army. In the early 21st century the Salvation Army is at work in more than 130 countries where it preaches the Gospel of Jesus and operates thousands of evangelical centers, social welfare institutions, hospitals, schools, and other agencies.

Sylvester Graham was born on July 5, 1794. Sylvester was an American Presbyterian minister who had a strong conviction for a wholesome diet. This led him to the creation of the Graham Cracker. The first Graham Cracker was a slightly sweetened cracker made from whole wheat flour with added bran and wheat germs. Sylvester believed his snack would be healthy for the body and the soul. The Graham Cracker today are made from bleached white flour and blend a variety of flavors including honey, cinnamon, and chocolate; they also come in smaller bite-size snacks and fun shapes – a far cry from the original Presbyterian version. July 5 is National Graham Cracker Day

July 6 – Fried Chicken Day

Celebrate the day by feasting the delights of one of America’s favorite foods, Fried Chicken.  Enjoy some legs, breasts, or wings at a nearby restaurant, or at home, or at an outdoor picnic.

The origin of fried chicken is wonderfully confusing. Some believe that it was the Scottish immigrants to America who brought their culinary tradition of deep-frying chicken to the American South. Others contribute this delicious food preparation to West Africans who have a similar tradition of frying food in hot oil. So, African slaves began to produce meat familiar to the food of their homeland. I like this confusion because it can blend us all into what we are – Americans!

July 7 – Father Daughter Take A Walk Day

This self-explanatory day celebrates relationships, exercise, conversations, bonding, and time together. If you are close enough to your daughter, meet at a local park and enjoy a stroll in the woods. If you live too far apart to see each other face to face, go for a hike separately but connect on your cell phones. If your dad is not around or has passed away, consider arranging a walk with an older man who serves as an advisor or mentor, or take a solo walk in his memory reflecting on your dad’s life, or take a walk with mom and share memories of times growing up. With so many families broken in our society, this might be a day you choose to ignore. Know that you are not alone and remember there is a Heavenly Father that will never leave of forsake you. Maybe you could take a prayer walk and seek the comfort and encouragement that comes for walking with HIM.

July 8 –  Freezer Pop Day and Chocolate with Almonds Day

John D. and Nelson Rockefeller

Choose a treat and enjoy or combine both celebration into one day.

I found a couple of interesting birthdays to share with you while you cool down with a cherry freezer pop:

John Pemberton was born July 8, 1831, in Knoxville, Georgia. He was a pharmacist and Inventor. He served as a lieutenant colonel during the Civil War and almost died during the fighting. I am glad that he survived because he later became the inventor of Coca-Cola.

John D. Rockefeller and his grandson Nelson Rockefeller were both born on July 8. John D. in 1839 in Richford, NY and Nelson in 1908 on Bar Harbor, ME. John D. was the co-founder of the Standard Oil Company and the world’s first billionaire. Nelson served as Governor of New York between 1959 and 1973. After the Watergate scandal, President Gerald Ford selected Rockefeller as his Vice President. He retired from politics in 1977.

July 9 – Sugar Cookie Day

Making sugar cookies has been a popular activity with my wife and our kids and the my wife and the grandkids for decades. The special day for sugar cookies is July 9, but for my family it was always an event leading up to Christmas. Out would come the Christmas cookie cutters and bowls of colored icings. The dough was cut into angels, and trees, and stars, popped into the oven and when the timer went “ding,” the kiddos would go crazy painting the cookies with icing, adding sprinkles, m&m’s, and other candies to make each one special. After all the cookie cutters were adequately used, each kid made a blob of sugar cookie and decorated loke a blank canvas – some of the art pieces were almost too pretty to eat….almost!

Historical Fact: the sugar cookie is believed to have originated in the mid-1700s in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. German Protestant settlers created a round, crumbly and buttery cookie that came to be known as the Nazareth Cookie.

July 10 – Clerihew Day

Clerihew Day in the United States celebrates a poem style created by Edmund Clerihew Bentley who was born July 10, 1875. The Clerihew is a four-line biographical poem that offers a brief, though whimsical approach to poetry.

Edmund Clerihew Bently

As with most poetry, the Clerihew is defined by a set of rules. It must:

Include four lines; Contain rhyming couplets of AA/BB; Include a person’s name in the first line; Say something about that person; Be humorous. It is meant to be a funny poem, of course.

Here are couple of my favorite Clerihew examples (straight from my pen):

FRED: by Rowdy

There once was a principal named Fred.

He worked so hard and never went to bed.

The teachers thought he was sad and blue,

But the students knew what his paddle would do.

TOODLE: by Rowdy

We had a pet named Toodle

He was a cross between a toad and a poodle.

Toodle could not bark and that’s no lie,

But he ate flies and could jump real high.

Now it’s your turn…..

Photos: Flag – Rough Collection; William Booth –  Christians for Social Action; Sylvester Graham – Sylvester Graham Invented Graham Crackers to Curtail ‘Evil’ Urges | HowStuffWorks; John and Nelson – Biography: John D. Rockefeller, Junior | American Experience | Official Site | PBS; Fried Chicken – Best Deep South Southern Fried Chicken – Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen ( Father Daughter Walk – Daddy Daughter Walk Week (; Sugar Cookies- Rough Collection;  Edmund Clerihew Bentley Edmund Clerihew Bentley – Poems by the Famous Poet – All Poetry

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Hiking Fun Forward: Special Days – June 20 to June 26

Every day of the year lends itself to a hike. It might be a casual walk in the sunshine or a hike with a particular destination. It might be a short stroll or a long adventure, but a little time in the outdoors seems appropriate for times of celebration or reflection.   

June 20 Father’s Day

Take a hike with your Dad. I cannot let this day go by without honoring four special dads. The first is Robert Rough, my dad. He was a talented carpenter, musician, and engineer, but the thing I remember most about him was the way he loved my mom. He held her in the highest regard, he treated her with gentleness and respect, and he loved to make her happy. Special Dads #2, #3, and #4 are Ben, Matthew and Dan. They are my three sons (…My Three Sons sounds like a good name for a TV sit com), and they have grown into fantastic fathers. My eldest son is Ben, the dad of three amazing kids (two daughters and one son). He leads his home with fun, provides incredible experiences for his kids, and demonstrates his deep appreciation for his wife, Vanessa. Matthew is my second son. He became a father for the first time on April 28, 2021. As he celebrates his first Father’s Day, Matthew enters his new role with 16 years of experience as a fabulous uncle. He is and he is going to be a rock star as a dad. His face lights up when he holds his son and talks about the days ahead. He has expressed compassion and care for his wife, Jen, as they have experienced the sleepless nights and constant demands of a bouncy baby boy. My third son is the father of four: two sons and twin daughters. Dan loves his children, and you can almost see his heart swell with pride when he talks about the gifts, talents, and abilities of his little clan. Whether it is the marching band, or advanced placement in mathematics, or gymnastics, or student of the month, or other special award, Dan and his wife Sara are always excited about what thier kids are doing. Each of my sons is very different with remarkable and unique strengths. I love them all from the bottom of my heart and appreciate the dads they have become.

June 21 Daylight Appreciation Day

We sure don’t worship the sun like some cultures (although I do worship the SON of God), but there is nothing quite like spending some time outside on a beautiful sunny day. June 21, the first day of summer, marks a good day to celebrate the benefits of the sun.

Here are a few ideas: 1). take a hike in the woods and soak up as much sunshine and Vitamin D as possible; 2). if you are house bound, find a comfortable seat by a window and feel the warmth of the sun; 3). go for a ride if you have a sunroof, open that portal and bask in the sky filled with daylight – park your car at a quiet place, lean the seat back, and enjoy the sunlight on your face; 4). flood your house with daylight – open the curtains, open the windows, smell the fresh air; 5). plan a backyard Bar-B-Q and spend the evening hours of the longest day of the year enjoying the rays of sunshine – maybe stay and watch the sunset.  

June 22 Chocolate Éclair Day

Hike to the bakery, enjoy one of these wonderful pastries, and then hike back. It is a great reward (unless you just have to hike across the street) and you might burn off all the calories contained in delicious treat (380 calories for the eclair at Dunkin’Donuts). This special dessert is obviously French, but you do not have to know how to speak the language to enjoy the taste. You do not have to quote Victor Hugo’s, Les Misérables (1862), or know the difference between the art of Monet and that of Manet, or know what instrument Yo-Yo Ma plays (he was born in Paris), but if you do, it is a great time to show off.

June 23 Hydration Day

I was always worried about having enough water during my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I usually hiked with 64 oz just to be safe. Staying hydrated on a hike is imperative. Always pack plenty of water. The human body contains more than 60 percent water. Maintaining that balance while exercising or training can be a challenge, especially during the summer months.

Grab a good drink before your workout even begins. If you are under-hydrated before you start, it is hard to catch up once you start to sweat. Consider hydrating with sports drinks that contain electrolytes (Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, and Potassium).

June 24 Bomb Pop Day

Bomb Pops! -what a great way to cool down after a summer hike with the kids. These frozen popsicle treats remind me of fireworks. The red-white-and-blue color (cherry, lime and blue raspberry flavors) are great for a Patriotic celebration and getting your family ready for the 4th of July celebration (America will be 245 years old this year). The Bomb Pop was invented by James S. Merritt and D.S. Abernethy and introduced on July 30, 1955 in Kansas City, Missouri

The nutritional value of the Bomb Pop might surprise you – fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free. Only 40 calories. But it is also protein free and vitamin free – surprise!   

June 25 Leon Day

I had not heard of this day before, but once I discovered the secret of the code, it does make sense. Leon is Noel spelled backwards and June 25 is six months before Christmas day.

This is a day some crafters begin planning their homemade gifts and decorations for the Christmas season. The day may also serve as reminder to get one’s holiday shopping started. It can also be a day for those who miss the winter holidays to have a mini winter celebration in June. It can also be a great summer reminder of Immanuel, God “with” us. Jesus did not just come as a baby, he came as a Savior. Jesus was not just “with” the people of his day, but He is “with” us today. God “with” us is a reality that we need to celebrate in December but also in June, July, August, January, March, today, tomorrow, next week. A hike on Leon Day would be an excellent opportunity to reflect on God’s presence in your life.   

June 26 Summersgiving

It makes perfect sense to celebrate Thanksgiving after Christmas. Although this day was designed to combine all the fun of summer with America’s favorite Thanksgiving food, it does provide us with another day of focusing on the blessings in our lives. I love Thanksgiving because America has not found too many ways to commercialize the spirit of gratitude and sharing. Consider preparing a favorite Thanksgiving food or dessert. If you have a special Thanksgiving tradition, think about an instant replay for Summersgiving. Both of these days have “giving” in common, so maybe sharing your blessings with others could play a part in your plans. A hike today would provide great opportunity to count your blessings and reflect on the positives that fill your life. There is an old hymn that sings, “Count your blessings; Name them one by one; Count your many blessings; See what God hath done.”

Photos: Dad – Rough Photos; Sunroof – Page Not Found – CarSpiritPK; Eclair – Today Is National Chocolate Eclair Day! (; Hydration – Rough Photos; Bomb Pop – Ode to the Bomb Pop | News, Sports, Jobs – Lawrence Journal-World: news, information, headlines and events in Lawrence, Kansas (; Summersgiving –Free Icons Png – Summersgiving Day , Free Transparent Clipart – ClipartKey;

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Hike Fun Forward – Special Days: June 6 – June 12

June 6 – Yo-Yo Day

In case you are from another country or another planet or are under the age of ten and do not know what a yo-yo is, here is an excellent description from National Day Calendar: The yo-yo is an object consisting of an axle connected to two disks and a length of string looped around the axle. It is played by holding the free end of the string, allowing gravity or the force of a throw to spin the yo-yo and unwind the string, then allowing the yo-yo to wind itself back again. The activity is called “yo-yoing.”

I have found memories of practicing Walk the Dog and Around the World with my yellow butterfly Duncan yo-yo in the 1960s. The yo-yo goes back even before my time. Some think it originated 500 years for Jesus in Greece. A young boy from the Philippines, Pedro Flores brought the bandalore to the United States and created the smaller toy that he named the Flores Yo-yo. He made and sold his toy between 1928 and 1932 before selling the idea to Donald F. Duncan. Duncan first trademarked the name “yo-yo” in 1932 and made the toy popular in America.

Yo-yo day was established on June 6, 1990 by yo-yo professional, Daniel Volk. A one-time employee of the Duncan company, Daniel founded Yo-yo Day on what he thought was Duncan’s birthday: June 6 (his actual birthday is June 8 – but it is the thought that counts)

The yo-yo is part of the Appalachian Trail vocabulary. Although some hikers might bring the Duncan with them for relaxation, the term yo-yo refers to a thru-hiker who once completing the hike from Georgia to Maine, immediately turns around and begins a return trip back to Springer Mountain.

Consider getting a yo-yo and test your yo-yoing skills. With a little practice you can perfect Rock the Baby, the Pinwheel, and the Sleeper. Check out some yo-yo instructional videos and for a laugh pull up the old Smother’s Brother Yo-Yo Man skits. My favorite is Smothers Brothers – 03 – Yo-Yo Man – YouTube

Black and White Photo: Museum of Yo-Yo History (

Photo:Yellow Butterfly Yo-yo yoyo butterfly –

June 7 – Daniel Boone Day

Daniel Boone was a man. “Yes, a real man.” Davey Crocket was the “King of the wild frontier.” They both came into my living room as a boy in the form of Walt Disney’s Fess Parker. I love them both, but how much do you know about the real Daniel Boone?  Here are a few facts, via the history channel ( to help you celebrate this special day.

#1. A true frontiersman, Daniel Boone (November 2, 1734 – September 26, 1820) first began exploring the valleys and forests of the present-day Bluegrass State of Kentucky on June 7, 1769. Boone founded the village of Boonesborough, Kentucky, which is one of the first American settlements west of the Appalachians.

#2 His family came to America to escape religious persecution. In 1713, Daniel Boone’s father, a weaver and blacksmith, journeyed from his hometown of Bradninch, England, to the colony of Pennsylvania, established by William Penn as a haven for religious tolerance. Like Penn, Squire Boone belonged to the Society of Friends, or Quakers, a group whose members faced persecution in England for their beliefs. In 1720, Squire married Sarah Morgan and Daniel, the sixth of the couple’s 11 children was born in present-day Berks County, Pennsylvania.

#3 Daniel Boone married Rebecca Bryan on August 14, 1756. They lived in a cabin on his father’s farm where they had ten children. Boone was a hunter and fur trader.

#4 Boone blazed a trail to Transylvania. In 1775, Boone and a group of some 30 woodsmen left to complete a 200-mile trail through the wilderness to the Cumberland Gap—a natural break in the rugged Appalachian Mountains—and into Kentucky. The plan was to establish a colony called Transylvania.  After Boone blazed the trail, which became known as the Wilderness Road, he helped establish one of Kentucky’s earliest settlements, Boonesborough. The Wilderness Road became the gateway by which an estimated 200,000 settlers journeyed to the western frontier. One of those emigrants was Abraham Lincoln’s grandfather.

#5 Boone was held captive by Native Americans. In February 1778, Boone was captured by a group of Shawnees. The Indians took him to their village in Ohio, where he was adopted by Shawnee chief Blackfish to take the place of one of his sons who’d been killed. Boone, who was given the name Sheltowee, or Big Turtle. In June 1778 he managed to escape and make his way back to Boonesborough, where he warned residents that the natives, upset because settlers had moved onto their Kentucky hunting grounds, were planning to attack

#6 Daniel Boon didn’t wear coonskin caps. Boone has often been portrayed sporting a hat made from the skin and fur of a raccoon, but in fact the frontiersman thought this type of headgear was unstylish and instead donned hats made from beaver. (sorry Walt and Fess)

#7 Later Life: Daniel Boone spent most of the last two decades of his life in eastern Missouri. Boone died of natural causes on September 26, 1820, at the age of 85.

#8 The Kentucky Historical Society founded Boone Day over 140 years ago.

Picture of the real Daniel Boone 8 Things You Might Not Know About Daniel Boone – HISTORY

Fess Parker Daniel Boone fess parker as daniel boone – price comparison –

June 8 – Upsy Daisy Day

Upsy Daisy Day is set aside to encourage every person to face the day positively and to get up gloriously, gratefully and gleefully each morning.

This is not a Christian holiday, but it sure reflects biblical truth, Every day is a gift from God and we should rejoice in His grace and mercy each morning. Psalm 118:24. If we remember God’s love and the redemption He provides as we rise each morning, it will help us carry a good attitude throughout the day, whatever the day may bring us.

Life is full of challenges and bumps in the road, and it is our attitude that helps us over the hurdles and through the discouragements to move onward. I attribute much of my success during my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, to my positive outlook of the adventure that every day was going to offer. One of my constant reminders to myself was – No Adversity, No Adventure.

Let’s celebrate Upsy Daisy Day every day this year. Give it a try. Be grateful and thankful for what you do have – a bed to sleep in, food to eat, friends, and family, and a God that loves you more than you love yourself. Put on a smile today and see how it feels. Flash that smiles at others and see how many will smile back. You may just brighten up their day!  

Photo: This is the Day that the Lord Has Made Wall Decal • Vinyl Wall Expressions

June 9 – Donald Duck Day

Donald Duck was introduced to the world on June 9, 1934 (87 years ago) in his first screen debut, The Wise Little Hen. Day on June 9th each year commemorates the birthday of a funny animated cartoon character. Donald Duck made his first screen debut on June 9, 1934, in The Wise Little Hen.check it out on youtube ‘Donald Duck’_ EP-1: “The wise little hen”_ ‘Classic cartoon’ – YouTube.

Donald Duck is most famous for his semi-intelligible speech along with his mischievous personality. Donald has appeared in more films than any other Disney character and in 2002 he was included (by TV Guide) as one of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time. Donald Duck has a girlfriend, Daisy Duck (as opposed to yesterday’s Upsy Daisy) but she is not his first girlfriend. In 1937, he is dating Donna Duck but Daisy wins his heart in the 1940s.

Donald’s family tree is rather extensive. Donald’s father is Quackmore Duck who’s mother is Elvira “Grandma” Coot Duck. Donald’s mother is Hortense McDuck. Hortense is the sister to Scrooge McDuck who has three sons, Donald’s three nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie McDuck. Donald is not was not an only egg. He has a twin sister Dumbella Duck and another sister Della Duck (who married Scrooge McDuck).  You need a chart to keep them all straight.

If that’s not enough, here’s some more trivia:

Donald has a middle name – Fauntleroy.  

Donald is colorblind.

Donald was born on Friday March 13, 1914 – a Friday the 13th—which explains his bad luck and why he’s always so grumpy.

Seriously, in 1984, the U.S. government gave Donald Duck an (honorary) honorable discharge in honor of his service in World War II. Donald starred in a few anti-Nazi, pro-Allied Forces cartoons in the 1940s.

Donald was awarded his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 9, 2004. Other Disney characters who share this claim to fame are Mickey Mouse (he was actually the first animated character to receive a star), Snow White, Winnie the Pooh, Tinker Bell, and Minnie Mouse.

Resources: Donald Duck Trivia – Portable Press; Fun Facts About Donald Duck You Never Knew –

Photo: Fun Facts for Tuesday, June 9, 2015 | Wayne Geiger

June 10 – Iced Tea Day

Celebrate one of summer’s favorite drinks: sweetened or unsweetened; with or without lemon; pour a tall glass and relax.

Recipes for iced tea have been found dating back to the 1870s. In 1904, the beverage was introduced at the World’s Fair in St. Louis causing its popularity to explode. 

Not many facts, no history of tea production and cultivation, no tracking of teas from civilization to civilization over the centuries, no Bible study on the Old Testament dietary laws regarding green tea verses black tea, no details on the kind of tea found in the Boston harbor after the Boston Tea Party, and no literature review on the use of the tea party in English classic of Austen, Bronte, and Dickins. Just pour a glass, and find a quiet place to reflect.

Photo: Cathy’s Famous Iced Tea.


June 11 – Corn on the Cob Day

It is picnic season, and every picnic should have corn and the cob. With some melted butter and a light layer of salt, this summer treat is so delicious. There are lots of ways to prepare it (roasted, grilled, boiled or steamed), and several ways to attack it (from the organized one row at a time approach, to the circle approach one section at a time, to the random bites all over the cob), but regardless of the technique, some of the cornels always get stuck between the teeth. Toothpicks are a necessity.    

While eating corn on the cob stretches proper dinning etiquette, this delightful treat serves as a good excuse to have friends and family over the enjoy the harvest. Sitting in the back yard around the picnic table or enjoying the food inside to escape the rain, the setting of the cob can lead to great conversations as well as the sharing of corny jokes and laughter for all. Okay, one to prime the pump – Why did the boss fire the corn? He fell asleep on the cob!

Photo: How To Cook Corn on the Cob | Kitchn (

June 12 – Jerky Day

One more food day. Grab a glass of tea, microwave a leftover corn on the cob and open up some jerky.

This is not Jerk Day, so put that person out of your mind.

This is jerky day – the nutrient-dense dried meat. They estimate that a pound of meat will result in four ounces of jerky. Salt is added to the meat before the drying process begins and jerky can last for months without refrigeration. This makes it a good source of protein on the trail or during the camping trip. It is super easy to pack, it is lightweight and it adds a good touch to sauces, soups and stews.

Jerky has gone into space. Since 1996, astronauts have selected jerky as space food several times for space flights. 

Photo: Jerky : Beef, Turkey, Pork | Protein Snacks | Jack Link’s (

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