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ORIGIN OF PRESIDENTS’ DAY

Origin of Presidents Day

This year, Presidents’ Day is Monday, February 21!

Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington. It is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the Federal government.

Customarily celebrated on February 22 – Washington’s actual day of birth – the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s “Uniform Monday Holiday Act”, an effort to generate more three-day weekends for the nation’s workforce. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other personalities, Presidents’ Day is now commonly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.

Holiday or observance in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, honoring the memory of the late civil rights leader who would have turned 93 this past Friday

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.

King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (the Albany Movement), and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include poverty and speak against the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”.

In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities.

King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011.

Federal Holidays Calendar​

An easy reference calendar of all U.S. Federal Holidays.

New Year’s Day December 31* Friday
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 17 Monday
George Washington’s Birthday** February 21 Monday
Memorial Day May 30 Monday
Juneteenth June 20* Monday
Independence Day July 4 Monday
Labor Day September 5 Monday
Columbus Day October 10 Monday
Veterans Day November 11 Friday
Thanksgiving Day November 24 Thursday
Christmas Day December 26* Monday

Official Dates

Some Federal Holidays repeatedly fall on the same date every year, while others fall on the same day of the week every year.

New Year’s Day January 1
Inauguration Day January 20*
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Third Monday in January
George Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Juneteenth June 19
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Veterans Day November 11
Thanksgiving Day 4th Thursday in November
Christmas Day December 25

Lessen the Effects of Thanksgiving Dinner!

While I would never suggest that you skip your favorite  Thanksgiving goodies, this article shares some sensible tips to make the festivities a happy memory rather than a regret! 
 
We’re not suggesting you roll up on your sofa, here are a few suggestions.
 
Prevent the desire to lie down:
 
We all know after an over-stuffed dinner is to lie down and rest. Instead take a short walk after your meal helps your digestion over drinking coffee.
 
Digestif Bitter:
 
Drink some digestif bitter which is produced in Rheinberg in Germany by Underberg AG, made from aromatic herbs from 43 countries.
 
Most European counties create a bitter herbal digestive liqueur that’s sipped after meals. (Italy produces hundreds of different types of Amari.
 
Try Digestive Enzymes:
 
Keep on hand a natural digestive enzyme for after the feast. 
 
Aloe Vera Juice:
 
We suggest drinking 2-3 ounces of certified pure aloe juice immediately after your Thanksgiving feast. Aloe juice is found at natural foods stores
 
Chew Some Ginger:
 
There are reasons ginger is often used to for stomach upset: It works! 
 
Thanksgiving is a holiday of gratitude and family, indulgence and indigestion. Embrace the former while ditching the latter with these actionable ways to limit your belly-bulging binge at this month’s high-calorie celebration of appreciation and appetite.

Thanksgiving Salad Recipe

I mean, wow! Already? Tis the season!

When it comes to Thanksgiving, there are two types: the type who makes a turkey, and the type who brings a salad. I have a feeling that so many of us are twinning on this issue.

TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes   YIELD: 6 as a side 1x

Easy Thanksgiving Salad – arugula, wild rice, cashews, dried cranberries, red onions, and a lemon dressing that shakes up easily in a jar.

INGREDIENTS
For the Lemon Dressing
juice of one orange
juice of one lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
agave or honey to taste (optional)

For the Salad
about 4–5 cups arugula, spinach, or a greens blend
about 2 cups cooked wild rice
about 2 cups chopped mangos
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced red onions
minced fresh parsley (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
Shake all dressing ingredients together in a jar with a tight lid until smooth. Taste it and add more salt and pepper as needed (without enough salt and pepper, it will be bland, so s&p generously).

Arrange or toss the salad ingredients together in a bowl, reserving a few slices of red onion to arrange over the top for looks. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately after putting the dressing on the salad (or save everything separately and assemble just before serving).

NOTES
If going sugar free is important to you, make sure to omit the dried cranberries or sub in a sugar-free dried fruit.

Also good on this salad: apples, grapes, pecans, walnuts, feta cheese, goat cheese, white cheddar cheese (especially with apples), quinoa, farro, etc.

The wild rice tastes best in this salad when you cook it in something other than just water. I like to cook mine in part water, part vegetable or chicken stock. Also – I recommend making the wild rice the day before and refrigerating it overnight so you’re not dealing with hot wild rice wilting your greens as you toss it together in the salad bowl.

veterans day

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is an official United States holiday

Veterans Day is an official United States holiday that honors people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, also known as veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect). 

The United States also originally observed Armistice Day; it then evolved into the current Veterans Day holiday in 1954.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving.

Most sources spell Veterans as a simple plural without a possessive apostrophe (Veteran’s or Veterans’).

Here’s a list of what will be open and closed for Veterans Day on Wednesday.

•    Banks: Closed.
•    Financial markets: Closed.
•    Government offices: City, county, state and federal offices are closed.
•    Libraries: The County’s central library and all city branches are closed. Suburban branches vary. 
•    Mail: No mail. Post offices are closed.
•    Parking: Parking at city meters is free.
•    Trash collection: City trash pickup will be on schedule. Other municipal and private haulers may work on a different schedule.

 

labor day for Craftswomen

Labor Day for Craftswomen

What is Labor Day for Craftswomen?

For much of the United States, Labor day is a time to relax, bar-b-que and have a beer or two. Officially, Labor Day is held the first Monday in September and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

As a Craftswoman, you know that this is the time of year to make and sell! Summer shows are nearing an end and Holiday sales are about to start.

This Labor Day, if you haven’t already, take the time to complete this short checklist to make sure you’re ready for the season ahead!

Holiday Readiness Checklist

  • Do you have plenty of supplies for your business? Not just creative supplies, think cleaning, packing and shipping. 
  • Are you offering gift wrapping? This is a great way to add value to your product. 
  • Have you replenished from your summer sales?
  • If you are doing shows, are all of your show supplies (tent, brochures, business cards) in good supply and repair?
  • Depending on your show schedule, you may need additional help. During the holidays, it might not be easy to find someone to “cover” your breaks. Start looking for “seasonal help” now!
  • On a personal note, make sure you’ve got all your laundry done! I don’t know about you but this is the time of year that it just piles up for me! 

I hope you’ve found this article useful and encouraging. Don’t forget to take time for yourself and you family this holiday season. Remember to share your “outtakes” with us in the Showcase! We love to see your pictures!

Also, check out this helpful article on Clearing The Clutter before the holiday season hits. 

 

How To Take Great Product Pictures

How To Take Great Product Pictures

Want to know how to take great product pictures?

In order to convey the awesomeness of your creations, you need great pictures. This peost will share tips on how to take great product pictures.

1. Be sure to set aside enough time to get the job done.

Any job that is rushed is probably not going to be your best work. It makes sense that if you want to get great results, you have to put some time into it.  Try to make this time uninterrupted. Pets and children should be otherwise occupied!

2. Gather all your products to be photographed well in advance.

You’ve worked so hard to set this time apart, make the most of it! Gather all products, cameras and props well in advance of your start time. This will ensure you don’t have to waste precious time.

3. Take multiple pictures of each item.

You may think you are getting great pictures. The truth is that you won’t really know until you sit down to edit them. Take multiple pictures and from different angles. This way, when you finally get ready to edit you won’t have to settle for “good enough” because you’ve already put all your materials away.  Make sure to get a really good close up!

4. Edit your pictures!

Even basic editing, such as cropping, can make a huge difference. If you’re taking pictures with your smartphone, it probably comes with built in editing. If not, consider downloading an app such as Instagram. It’s free and you will not be disappointed!

5. Use natural light.

Take your pictures near a window if possible. Avoid using artificial light and never use the flash on your camera as it will not convey the true colors of your item.  If your schedule precludes taking pictures during the day consider buying or making a light box. Check our “Sellers Tutorial” page for how to make a light box of your own!

From: thepreparedmother.wordpress.com

A Hard Day’s Night (57 years ago)

A Hard Day's Night is the third studio album by the Beatles, released on 10 July 1964 by Parlophone, with side one containing songs from the soundtrack to their film of the same name. The American version of the album was released two weeks earlier, on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records, with a different track listing. In contrast to the Beatles' first two albums, all 13 tracks on A Hard Day's Night were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, showcasing the development of their songwriting partnership.
A Hard Day's Night: Studio album by the Beatle
Released: 10 July 1964
Recorded: 29 January – 2 June 1964
Label: Parlophone
Studio: EMI, London
        Pathé Marconi, Paris
Length: 30:10
Producer: George Martin

The Beatles chronology:

With the Beatles - (1963)
A Hard Day's Night - (1964)
Beatles for Sale - (1964)

Singles from A Hard Day's Night

 1 "Can't Buy Me Love"
   Released: 20 March 1964

 2 "A Hard Day's Night"
   Released: 10 July 1964

The album includes the song "A Hard Day's Night", with its distinctive opening chord, and "Can't Buy Me Love", both transatlantic number-one singles for the band. Several of the songs feature George Harrison playing a Rickenbacker 12-string electric guitar, a sound that was influential on the Byrds and other groups in the folk rock movement
Bike ready for summer

Get Your Bike Ready For Summer!

Is your bike ready of summer? If you’re not sure, this article from ExpertEnough.com will get you started on your way to a road ready bike!

We all know that it’s important to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. That doesn’t have to mean a costly gym membership or grueling episodes on the elliptical in your basement! Why not haul the bike out of the garage and get the family out of the house for a ride!

Have you ever thought about doing your own bicycle maintenance, but were not sure where to start? Or maybe you felt that you were not really the bike mechanic type.
If you love cycling, learning to do your own bike maintenance and repairs is worth the effort. It allows you to get to know the workings of your bike better, and you will have a better understanding on how to keep it running at tip top shape. You do not need to know how to take apart your whole bicycle and reassemble it.
Becoming an expert at home bike mechanic is like anything else, you take one small step at a time. Here are simple steps to get you started.

Keep Your Bicycle Clean:
Sounds simple, but it is half the battle. A regularly cleaned bicycle will last longer and ride better.
Some people simply use a hose as well as an old toothbrush to get at the hard to reach places. There are a few tools that I would recommend to do the job even better though:

Bike cleaning brush
Chain scrubber
Degreasing Solvent
Chain lubricant
Rags and Sponges

Use all of the above with some soap and a water hose. My Dad used to always say that his car ran better when it was clean. So does our bike. Everything in our life needs a little regular love and attention to keep it working properly.

From: expertenough.com

habits of fit women

Habits Of Fit Women

What are the habits of fit women? 

The efforts we make to achieve our wellness goals can be hampered by the subconscious choices we make every day. Even minor bad habits and negative thoughts can unintentionally prepare us for failure, even when we are working hard to succeed.

As a lifelong athlete, I’ve spent a lot of time with other healthy, fit women. Below is a list of habits and attitudes that I’ve observed elite female athletes and healthy women possess:

via 12 Habits Of Fit & Healthy Women – mindbodygreen.com.

the year for women in business

2021 Will Be The Year For Women in Business

With Coronavirus vaccines shipping, some States dropping restriction and businesses reopening 2021 Will Be The Year For Women in Business

Women’s empowerment will be front and center in 2021 as more companies and communities invest in women’s entrepreneurship — and as women continue to invest in themselves.

Facing a continuing tendency to be locked out of traditional leadership positions, and continuing to earn an average of three-quarters less than men even with the same education in the same occupation, women have begun to carve a different path creating a shift in the economic landscape. While many women have been spurred by Sheryl Sandberg’s call to lean in and take a “seat at the table,” many others have decided to build their own.

For the last 20 years, women have consistently been starting businesses at a higher rate than men. Eschewing corporate politics, disinterested in climbing and clawing their way up the corporate ladder, or working long days without feeling the fulfillment they crave, women have been starting businesses aligned with personal values seeking freedom, flexibility, and independence.

~~From: www.huffingtonpost.com

foods to avoid for hormone help

Foods To Avoid For Hormone Help

Foods to avoid for hormone help

Did you know there are otherwise healthy foods to avoid for hormone help? Foods such as raw kale, cucumbers and soy can hinder your thyroid and other hormone producing glands. It can be surprising, but as author Alison Vitti explains, these otherwise healthy foods can actually be a setback to your efforts to heal your body naturally. 

Before I made it my mission to fix my hormones and help other women get back on track, I had no idea that some of the “healthy” foods I was consuming were actually making my problems worse. And I see the disbelief on my clients’ faces every day when I break the news that some of the hyped-up health foods they’ve been dutifully consuming are actually sabotaging their best efforts to overcome PCOS symptoms.

So is kale good or bad?

In short, kale is a “good guy”! To elaborate, kale is a cruciferous vegetable, sharing the same family with favorites like cauliflower and broccoli. These vegetables contain goitrogens which can interfere with your thyroid.The good news is that proper preparation of these vegetables breaks down the goitrogenic compounds. So steam, saute or otherwise cook your cruciferous vegetables before enjoying them and  while others are chowing down on chopped raw kale you can opt for the wilted kale salad! 

I’m juicing so need lots of raw greens. What raw greens can I substitute for kale?

Just because you are avoiding raw cruciferous doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of raw juice. There are a few great alternatives to kale that you can use in your juice recipes. Leafy greens such as Swiss Chard and Beet Tops (don’t throw them away, they’re edible!) make a great substitute in most recipes that call for Kale. If you like to forage, dandelion greens hold a wealth of nutrients and have not been linked to suppression of thyroid or hormone function. 

Story by Alisa Vitti on mindbodygreen.com; curated by Joleen Bennett

Source: 5 Foods To Avoid If You Have PCOS: Alisa Vitti Explains – mindbodygreen.com

ASH WEDNESDAY

ASH WEDNESDAY

ASH WEDNESDAY

Each year, Ash Wednesday (February 17th) marks the beginning of Lent and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.

Who Celebrates Ash Wednesday?

Have you ever noticed how once a year, usually in February or March, there are a lot of people walking around with an ash cross on their foreheads? You probably knew it had something to do with Lent, but you weren’t sure why the ash cross was significant.

Or maybe, you grew up in a Catholic or Protestant church that held Ash Wednesday services each year, and so you’re already familiar with the service, but aren’t too sure about the history of Ash Wednesday and Lent, and what they have to do with the Christian faith. If you want to learn more about this important day in the liturgical calendar and why so many celebrate Ash Wednesday and Lent, read on!

Often called the Day of Ashes, Ash Wednesday starts Lent by focusing the Christian’s heart on repentance and prayer, usually through personal and communal confession. This happens during a special Ash Wednesday service.

What is the Meaning of Ash Wednesday and What Happens?

In many congregations, the ashes are prepared by burning palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday, churches bless and hand out palm branches to attendees, a reference to the Gospels’ account of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when onlookers lay palm branches on his path.

The ashes of this holiday symbolize two main things: death and repentance. “Ashes are equivalent to dust, and human flesh is composed of dust or clay (Genesis 2:7), and when a human corpse decomposes, it returns to dust or ash.”

“When we come forward to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, we are saying that we are sorry for our sins, and that we want to use the season of Lent to correct our faults, purify our hearts, control our desires and grow in holiness so we will be prepared to celebrate Easter with great joy” (The CatholicSpirit.com).

With this focus on our own mortality and sinfulness, Christians can enter into the Lent season solemnly, while also looking forward in greater anticipation and joy of the message of Easter and Christ’s ultimate victory over sin and death.

Valentine’s Day Origins

St. Valentine’s Day Origins

Saint Valentine’s Day, also known as Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a holiday observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it is not a holiday in most of them.

Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.

Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. The relics of Saint Valentine were kept in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino in Rome, which “remained an important pilgrim site throughout the Middle Ages until the relics of St. Valentine were transferred to the church of Santa Prassede during the pontificate of Nicholas IV”

February 14 is celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day in various Christian denominations; it has, for example, the rank of ‘commemoration’ in the calendar of saints in the Anglican Communion. In addition, the feast day of Saint Valentine is also given in the calendar of saints of the Lutheran Church. However, in the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feast day of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed from the General Roman Calendar and relegated to particular (local or even national) calendars for the following reason: “Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.”

On this special day share unique, romantic gifts and cards with loved ones and try to make Valentine’s Day memorable & romantic.

Origins of Valentine’s Day: A Pagan Festival in February

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial—which probably occurred around A.D. 270—others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

DIY Valentine Chocolate

Guess what? Chocolate really CAN be good for you!

Most of us have heard that before, it ranks right up there with the amazing news that the antioxidants in red wine contributes to heart health. Is it true, or just another bunch of hype to get us all hopped up on Valentine’s Day Chocolate?

As it turns out, there is some truth to the hype and red wine and chocolate can be good for you. As with everything, the balance between quality and quantity is key. Sadly, there is no way to justify downing a box of chocolates and a bottle of two buck chuck every night. However, sipping a glass of nice red wine and enjoying a quality piece of chocolate could be just what you need.

You can also boost the benefits of your chocolate indulgence by making the chocolate yourself. Try this recipe and let us know what you think! You can make your own simple syrup quick and easy

Ingredients:

Boiling Water
4 Tablespoons cacao
1-2 Tablespoon Simple Syrup
4 ounces cacao butter

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the simple syrup and cacao powder. Mix well.

In a double broiler, melt the cacao butter. Once the butter is completely melted, whisk in the syrup/powder mixture. Stir until completely combined and smooth.

Cool slightly and pour into molds. Refrigerate for about 2 hours. Enjoy!

The True Lesson of Hanukkah

The greatest miracle in the story of Hanukkah, which begins tonight, Thursday night, is that more than 2,000 years after the initial event, Jews are still celebrating. That continuity is a sign that the holiday offers a deep lesson that touches all of our lives.

Hanukkah commemorates a battle won, despite astonishing odds, by the Maccabees against the Seleucid monarch Antiochus and those Jews allied with him, who appeared ready to abandon their tradition. But later rabbis, uncomfortable with military-themed celebrations, focused the holiday on the miracle unmentioned in the book of Maccabees—that in the Temple, after it was cleaned out, a cruz of oil that should have lasted one day lasted eight.

via This Is the True Lesson of Hanukkah | TIME.

Homemade Instant Hot Chocolate

Homemade Instant Hot Chocolate

Didn’t know instant hot chocolate contained hydrogenated oils?  Let’s take a peek at the labels of the two leading instant hot chocolates manufacturers.

Corn syrup, sugar, cocoa (processed with alkali), hydrogenated coconut oil, nonfat milk, salt, less than 2% of: dipotassium phosphate, dextrose, mono- and diglycerides, acesulfame potassium, carrageenan, natural and artifical flavor, sucralose.

Those are the ingredients straight from a box of Swiss Miss Original Hot Cocoa. MANY ingredients are raising red flags here… obviously the hydrogenated oil but there’s also carrageenan and FIVE types of sweetener?!  Can’t we have hot chocolate without all the processed junk?!

Yes we can!  Making our own instant hot chocolate is SO easy to do, and it’s so good!  I made an entire jar of this in just a few minutes, and now it’s handy anytime we want a warming cup of deliciousness.

  • 3 cups dry nonfat or whole milk powder (see note)
  •  2 cups powdered sugar
  •  1 1/2 cups cocoa powder, dutch-process or natural unsweetened (see note)
  •  1 1/2 cups finely chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips (see note)
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt

From: dontwastethecrumbs.com

Fall Recipe, Butternut Squash in Green Curry

This simple fresh curry paste takes only minutes to prepare. It envelops sweet, golden chunks of butternut squash with a beautiful and savory green sauce in the time it takes the accompanying rice to cook. Try making it with any prepared curry paste for an even simpler dish.

Blending shallots, garlic, ginger, green chiles, and cilantro together produces a wonderfully fresh and vibrant curry. Make extra of this paste and stash in the freezer to pave the way for future easy weeknight meals.

via Recipe: Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry — 5 Fall Soups and Stews from Nancie McDermott | The Kitchn.

Has New Year’s Day Always Been January 1?

The story of the calendar used in the U.S. and across the Western world begins in 45 B.C.E., when Caesar ordered up a 12-month calendar starting on January 1 based on one complete rotation around the sun, with three cycles of 365 days followed by one leap year of 366 days to compensate for small discrepancies in the man-made calendar and the way the earth actually moves around the sun.

The Julian Calendar was in wide use until the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century C.E., after which the European calendar fell into a bit of disarray. Dates were shifted to coincide with Christian holidays. In some places the year was moved back to start at Christmas, in others moved up to start in March to coincide with the Incarnation of Jesus.

(We still have a vestige of the old March-start calendars hidden with us in plain sight: September, the ninth month of our year, is Latin for seventh month; October for eight month; November for ninth, December for tenth.)

via Why We Celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1 | TIME.