National Groundhog Job Shadow Day

Happy National Groundhog Job Shadow Day!

National Groundhog Job Shadow DayHello!

I’ve seen the movie Groundhog Day, made little groundhog cards and banners in elementary school, and cast my vote 22 years in a row for the early arrival of spring, but I still have absolutely no idea how Groundhog Day actually works. I totally understand the purpose and validity of National Margarita Day – yum – and International Pillow Fight Day is just pure fun! Why is a confused groundhog worth celebrating? I always assumed that the folklore or weather prediction had to do with the specific behavior of the groundhog, not the clouds overhead. Now that I have spent some time googling, I actually feel rather silly that it took me this long to figure out. I have never attended a Groundhog Day ceremony, so I always imagined that they take a grumpy, blindfolded little groundhog out of his winter den and spin him around in circles. Then they put him back in his little hole, take off the blindfold, and watch him come out. If he comes out facing the giant lightbulb to his right, then he would theoretically not see his shadow and predict spring, and if he comes out of the hole facing to the left, he would see his looming shadow and predict winter. Apparently it’s actually a question of cloudy or clear skies and there is no lightbulb involved. Well, geez – I definitely think I can do that! In honor of shadowing Phil the Groundhog in his moment of glory, I walked outside to discover a densely clouded sky. No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find a shadow, much less see my own! Does that mean that I predict an early spring? I can seriously get behind that. I guess it’s not too hard to do a groundhog’s job after all! Happy holidays.

Carrie

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National Stay Out of the Sun Day

Happy National Stay Out of the Sun Day!

National Stay Out of the Sun DayHello!

I really like my strawberry blonde hair color and my cheek and shoulder freckles, but they also mean that I have really pale skin that burns easily. I’m making body peace with my pasty white complexion and colorless limbs so petty comments about the blinding white of my legs in shorts doesn’t get to me as much as it used to. I take care of my skin and do my best to preserve the natural state of bleached paleness year round. It’s always my goal to make it through the summer without a sunburn, but I think that last year was the only time that I have every actually been able to do it. Of course, that’s mostly because I started my graduate teaching program right after spring graduation and didn’t get to do anything all summer! I’m not off to a good start this year and got my first sunburn last week when I was at the coast working a band camp. I had every intention of chilling in the shade during the outdoor picnic and I even put a sweater on to help cover my arms, but it was just a little too chilly under the trees so I was lured into the sunshine for warmth. At the end of the day neck was bright red and my forehead nearly peeled, but I kept things under control with aloe vera. As you can see, I don’t have the luxury of tanning skin after a sunburn so I’m back to my normal white complexion, with just a few more freckles on my forehead. On this lazy, comfortably warm Sunday, I’m chilling on the back deck in the shade and making sure to stay out of the sun for the holiday and my health. Be careful out there on this Fourth of July weekend and remember to pair your sunscreen application with some time in the shade. Happy holidays!

Carrie

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National Don't Fry Day

Happy National Don’t Fry Day!

National Don't Fry DayHello!

I am about to bust out in song and start cheering the Friday anthem because I am so ready for the weekend. This week has been absolute insanity and very disjointed, leading me to believe that every day this week was Friday. Yes, that includes Monday. My cooperating teacher took most of the lead on the first two days this week, which means that I don’t have to do as much teaching while she’s on the podium, but I also get incredibly exhausted just sitting around and listening, but also having to keep my mind in the game so that when we switch to my pieces my brain hasn’t totally left the building. Wednesday I was out for an interview and then rushed back for our marimba dress rehearsal and concert. Then the last two days my cooperating teacher has been in Colorado training for a triathlon so it has been fully on my shoulders to do final preparation for our concert next week The students were just as antsy to get out of school for the long weekend as I was! Now that I’m home, completely beat and starving, but I have to resist the urge to eat anything fried. Lucky for me, this campus food cart closes after lunch, so it’s not even an option by the time I roll back into town. I’ll save your delicious fish and chips for another day. Happy holidays!

Carrie

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National Red Nose Day

Happy National Red Nose Day!

National Red Nose DayHello!

The clouds continue to lay over the area like a depressing, smothering blanket. Yet, as I glance outside at the drizzle of rain and blindingly white wall of clouds above, it’s also a little comforting. Today’s holiday is all about the reminder to put on sunscreen and protect your skin against the elements as we launch into spring and summer weather. I don’t expect to break out the sunblock this morning. Wearing a warm raincoat and ball cap over my unshowered ponytail, we made a thrift store trip over to the east side of town this morning before the rain set in and I picked up a book for $1 that caught my eye. We were wandering through a thrift and refurbished tech shop when I saw an old book called Creating Adventure Games on Your Computer. The copyright is 1983 and the first page lists Apple II, Atari, Coleco ADAM, Commodore 64, IBM PC, Texas Instruments TI 99/4a, TRS-80, and VIC 20 as appropriate microcomputers that are up for the programming task! It also explains that I should check to be sure that I have at least 24K of RAM to work with. This is seriously old school. I’m 99% sure that I won’t be able to figure out how to program this, but I’m going to try! Not to mention, my heart sank a little when Eric pointed out the program probably won’t even have any graphics and will probably just pose questions and results. It reads like there is the potential that I might be a little plus sign in wandering around in a text-based map six dimensional map. After all, it is designed for a 40-character width screen. With this new fun project and a lot of ‘fun’ stuff stacked on my to-do list, I’m looking forward to my lazy Saturday on the couch! Happy holidays!

Carrie

national don't fry day

Happy National Don’t Fry Day!

national don't fry dayHello!

My strawberry blonde hair and subtly freckled complexion always gets me into trouble with the sun and I’m constantly dashing into the shade or checking my watch to keep track of sun exposure. Trust me, it’s a rough life. So isn’t it such a blessing that I live in Oregon where I’m far more likely to encounter clouds and rain than piercing sunshine? Today, the clouds are laying so low that the forested hills just out my window are covered in a kind of fuzzy fog that mixes right into the sky. It is still early in the day but the weather app only seems mildly optimistic that the sun will break through. From the suffocating humidity and spitting dots of rain on the sidewalk, I think it’s far more likely that I’ll be reaching for my umbrella before sunscreen. In any case, I’m stupidly prepared for sun protection because I’m pretty sure I own more sun screen than beauty products. I’ve heard plenty of arguments that try to tell me that SPF strengths actually even out after SPF30 but that’s definitely not stopping me from slathering on SPF150. I’m not taking any chances! Happy Friday and, like always, happy holidays!

Carrie

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National find a rainbow day

Happy National Find a Rainbow Day!

National find a rainbow dayHello!

I really was hoping for an authentic rainbow today but I have yet to find one. I’ve been scanning the skies with my eyes up to the clouds like a lunatic. If you see me stumbling around in the park blocks craning my neck to catch a glimpse of a hidden rainbow in the distance, just smack me and remind me to be normal. In the meantime, I’ve put together two mock displays of what a beautiful rainbow might look like from the balcony off of our apartment. Granted, this is just a little sticker in my editor app so the colors aren’t quite right, but you get the gist. We’ve all seen a rainbow before so I don’t need to get all fancy and specific! The weather has been quite fickle in the past two days with a little bit of rain from time to time but generally overcast. I’m not complaining too much because the umbrella has been tucked away in the closet for a while now, but it would be great to see a little bit of sun peek through the clouds for more than just a passing minute. For the sake of authentic holiday celebration, I’m now praying for a misty rain storm followed by glorious sunlight – prime rainbow making components! Can you find a rainbow today? Snap a photo and celebrate – happy holidays!

Carrie

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Happy National Stay Out of the Sun Day!

out of sun

Hello!

Although I’m not an obvious redhead and my freckles have faded over the years, my skin is fragile to the point of despair. Within moments of entering a sunbeam I have a mild panic attack, feeling my skin immediately soaking up every UV ray, and frantically search for the nearest sanctuary of shade. Over the years I’ve honed my sunburn-avoidance skills and it’s rare that I find myself slathering on aloe-vera anymore, simply because I’m sunscreen ready with a shade action plan at all times. Those dreadful times that I do fry like an egg on the sidewalk are usually because my pride got the best of me and I couldn’t break away from the crowd or burden my buddies to fight for a table with an umbrella… Oh the woes.

So today I happily followed the national day and didn’t go outside for more than a minute. Sleeping until 10:30 got me off to a good start, then I worked on emptying my DVR, crossed off an assignment for an online summer course, taught an oboe lesson, and went to the movies for Despicable Me 2 with my mumsy and Eric (soooo cute, soooo funny, soooo good).  Although I was pretty sure I would manage to stay out of harms way today I still put on my daily sunscreen lotion, just to be safe. SPF 75 is my go-to UV protection but my daily SPF 30 still gets the job done… for about 10 minutes.

Carrie