Friday the 13th | Scary Is Not Necessary

Dear Kid,

Friday the 13th Explained. DearKidLoveMom.comIt’s Friday the 13th!!

If you need me, my black cat and I will be under a ladder checking our makeup in a broken mirror, after which we’ll go inside and open an umbrella. Or two. Or three.

I will not, however, be watching scary movies. Not now, not ever.

I think there should be rules about what movies can be advertised when I’m watching TV. There are zillions of channels I don’t watch and hundreds of hours each month when I’m nowhere near television—they can advertise all the scary movies they want when I’m not around. When they show clips, I have stop watching and cover my eyes.

October brings out pink ribbons (good), pumpkin-spice (good in moderation), and a zillion and three scary movies (which as far as I’m concerned is a zillion and three too many).

The Puppy doesn’t like scary movies either.

He’s too busy trying to convince the black cat to be friends.

Love, Mom

P. S. For the record, the only black cat we have lives in my imagination.

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World Smile Day! Make It a Great Day

World Smile Day! Make It a Great Day

Dear Kid,

It’s World Smile Day!

Happy World Smile Day! from DearKidLoveMom.comWorld Smile Day is about the yellow smiley face (which has spawned a thousand emojis). But I think it should be about…wait for it…smiling.

There is a lot of bad in the world right now. Some of it caused by Mother Nature, some of it cause by human inhabitants.

Meanwhile, the Happiness Fairy has taken to bed with a massive migraine and an Attitude that should really cause her Happy Certification to be revoked.

Since we don’t have a fairy raining down sparkles and glitter, we have to find our own. For some of us, that’s easy. Others of us struggle to find the tiniest thing to grin about.

One option is to imitate the Happiness Fairy and dive under the covers until she decides to return to work. Perhaps a better option is to pick up the wand she threw on the floor of the closet and spread a little happy around our own corner of the planet.

Smile at someone today. Smile at several someones! Grab some dragon sparkles and unicorn shine and …oh, just smile. Share your happy with someone who may be running short.

Celebrate the day with the traditional baring of the teeth. Grin. Smile. Smirk. Bring the LOL to life.

Have a great day.

Love, Mom

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It’s October! And It’s Time to Celebrate!

It’s October! And It’s Time to Celebrate!

Dear Kid,

Happy October! And what a wonderful month October is.

October Holidays. Who thinks of these things? DearKidLoveMom.comOctober is (often) a month of perfect weather. Not too hot, not too cold. Chilly without being frozen—just right to warm up with a cup of coffee.

October is the month of little ghosties, and pink ribbons.

It’s Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and National Diabetes Month (perfect for the month with Halloween).

It’s Cookie Month (sugar free for the diabetics?), National Pizza Month, American Cheese Month (but not necessarily on the pizza), and National Vegetarian Month (skip the pepperoni).

It’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, American Pharmacist Month, and Clergy Appreciation Month (thank you, clergy people).

It’s Sarcastic Month (but please don’t be sarcastic about domestic violence, pharmacists, or clergy).

It’s Bat Appreciation Month, and Caffeine Addiction Recovery (HA!) Month.

October is Spinach Lovers Month, Squirrel Awareness Month (we need a month to be aware of squirrels? What?), Raptor Month (can we combine them to be aware of Raptors eating squirrels? Because for sure the raptors aren’t eating spinach or vegetarian pizza).

It’s Toilet Tank Repair Month (I wish I were joking) and National Liver Awareness Month (are you ever really aware of your internal organs?), and National Dental Hygiene Month.

Whichever holidays you choose to celebrate (or be sarcastic about), have a wonderful October.

Love, Mom

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National Coffee Day | 9 Facts You Don’t Know (This Is Awesome)

National Coffee Day | 9 Facts You Don’t Know (This Is Awesome)

Dear Kid,

It’s National Coffee Day.

By all rights, the banks should be closed, all offices and schools should be off, and tickertape parades should be held in celebration.

Wait. Cancel the tickertape and confetti. That might get in the coffee. Eww.

Birds are singing. Lattes are being poured. And all over the world, people are gradually becoming sufficiently caffeinated.

Happy sigh.

You already know my most important thoughts about coffee: Make good coffee. Drink it. Be human.

National Coffee Day DearKidLoveMom.comAnd you know that the Cincinnati Coffee Festival is coming to Cincinnati November 11 and 12, 2017 (shameless plug).

But did you know:

Coffee was the first food to be freeze dried. And yes, it’s a food.

The largest “cup” of coffee ever brewed was 3,700 gallons. That’s a lot of coffee.

You know the wonderful scent of a freshly opened bag of coffee? It might be fake scent. Some companies (include Dunkin and Stbx) use faux coffee smells to convince you to come in, stay longer, spend more. And that same technology is often injected into bags of coffee to, um, “enhance” your bag opening experience. (And I don’t care. I love the smell of a freshly opened bag of coffee.)

In England in the 17th century, women were forbidden to drink coffee in public. Who’s sipping now, huh?

A tall Starbucks coffee has about 7.6 times the caffeine of a can of Coke and more caffeine than a 12-ounce can of Red Bull. Go easy, young grasshopper.

Coffee grounds are environmentally friendly slug repellant.

A third of the tap water Americans drink is consumed after it makes a trip through the coffee pot and becomes liquid gold (by which I mean coffee). But the liquid gold euphemism works, because coffee is second only to oil in being the top traded commodity.

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a cantata inspired by coffee addiction. Ahhh, Bach. (Serious extra points if you get that one.)

The oldest cat ever was Creme Puff, who lived to be 38 years old and died in 2005. The owner fed her coffee, bacon, eggs, and broccoli every morning. This is not a recommended diet for cats. Or people. Or turtles. (Have you ever seen a turtle drink coffee?)

Happy National Coffee Day.

Love, Mom

For those extra-devout among us, Radar O’Reilly said, “Ahhh, Bach” on M*A*S*H. Great episode (weren’t they all).

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We Have Officially Lost Our Pumpkin Spiced Minds

We Have Officially Lost Our Pumpkin Spiced Minds

Dear Kid,

It’s official. We the People have lost our collective minds. We have crossed the line. Stepped over the invisible barrier. Gone a bridge too far.

We have pumpkin-spiced everything that should be and a great many things that shouldn’t.

Perhaps there should be limits on pumpkin spice....

I love fall. I love the cooler temperatures. I love the changing colors of the leaves. I love pumpkin-spice flavor.

But perhaps there should be limits.

A friend of mine recently asked (on Facebook where people answered) for fall recipes that weren’t pumpkin spice. I thought she was over reacting to the season.

No, no, my friend. If anything, she understated the obvious. I just somehow missed the memo.

Until I went to the grocery store last night. And almost passed out from pumpkin-spice variety overload.

What’s next? Pumpkin toothpaste?

I thought I was joking. Buzzfeed thought I was joking (great little blog on things that should never be pumpkin-spiced here).

But Amazon took me seriously.

What’s next? Pumpkin toothpaste?

I need to go lie down for a while.

Love, Mom

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Book Lover’s Day and the Library of Congress

Book Lover’s Day and the Library of Congress

Dear Kid,

It’s Book Lover’s Day again!

Once upon a time, members of congress pretended to read (these days, they don’t bother reading anything with more than 140 characters). And since their assistants needed somewhere to hide while pretending to research problems, they built a library. (Some experts argue that the real reason for the Library of Congress is that it was the one place in the capital where Congressional members couldn’t talk loudly.)

Founded in 1800, the library behaved itself nicely for 14 years or so until the British torched the Capitol building (which was where the Library was at the time). You already know about the Capitol being burned down because you’ve seen the movie Olympus Has Fallen. The fire destroyed over 3,000 books and caused the Librarian to revoke all British library cards.

Thomas Jefferson offered (and by “offered” I mean “sold”) his personal collection of 6,487 books as the foundation for the new library. This gave congress the opportunity to fuss about what kind of books should be in the national library and where said books should be housed. It was a lovely fight at the time, but compared to today’s squabbles was really only a blip of a disagreement. (“Blip of a disagreement” is the technical term for a squabble that happened in the past and resulted in something actually being accomplished.)

Some of my favorite books.

Some of my favorite books.

Blah, blah, architects, blah, blah, funding, blah, blah, construction, and on November 1, 1897, the Library of Congress opened its new doors to the public and was called “the largest, the costliest, and the safest” library building in the world. Because what public project doesn’t want to be called that?

The LoC currently has more than 164 million items on more than 838 miles of bookshelves. This means you are unlikely to be able to read all the books there. That’s probably ok, because you are unlikely to want to read all of them—especially the ones that have “extra boring” stickers on their spines.

The Library also has other collections including maps, recording, photographs, sheet music, manuscripts, books in braille, comic books (seriously), and telephone messages (not seriously).

FACT: The smallest book in the Library of Congress is “Old King Cole.” It is 1/25” x 1/25”, which (in case you weren’t sure) is crazy small.

The Gutenberg Bible, one of the treasures of the Library of Congress, was purchased in 1930. The 15th-century work is one of three perfect copies on vellum in the world. It will not surprise you to learn that you are not allowed to check it out.

Happy Book Lover’s Day. Go read something.

Love, Mom

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