Wednesday, January 1, 2014


   On December 31, 2014, people all over the world will welcome in the New Year watching the 2014 Time Ball drop in Times Square in New York City or by dropping objects like pickles and acorns to pursue prosperity in 2014. Many celebrations focus on time balls to calculate and welcome the New Year. Other towns and cities across the country drop a variety of items, according to local tradition or just plain tradition. Talbot, Maryland will feature a Crab Drop at its first night celebration, Mobile, Alabama will drop a twelve foot moon pie at its New Year's Eve celebration, and Atlanta, Georgia, will drop an 800 pound peach at its celebration to ring in 2014.

The 2011 Times Square Time Ball

The Times Square ball that will drop on December 31, 2014, measures 12 feet in diameter, weighs 11, 875 pounds and is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles of varied sizes. The crystals produce millions of vibrant colors and countless patterns, and the New Years Eve celebration at Times Square produces millions of excited spectators to count down and welcome the New Year.

New Years Eve Celebrated in Times Square is a Century Old Tradition

   People celebrated New Year's Eve in Times Square as early as 1904, but it took until 1907 for the tradition of the New Year's Eve Ball to begin. In 1907, the first New Year's Eve Ball which measured five feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds descended from the flagpole on top of One Times Square. Jacob Starr, a young immigrant metalworker, built the ball from iron and wood and lit it with one hundred 25 -watt bulbs. For most of the Twentieth Century, the company that Jacob founded, Artkraft Strauss, lowered the ball every year.
   The New Year's Ball has descended every year since 1907 except for 1942 and 1943, when officials cancelled the ceremony because of the wartime dimming of New York City lights. Despite the absence of a ball, crowds still congregated in Times Square and welcomed the New Year with a minute of silence. After that chimes rang from sound trucks parked at the base of the tower, a continuation of earlier Trinity Church celebrations where crowds gathered to "ring out the old, ring in the new."

Ball Dropping Symbolizes Time Passing

   The idea of a ball "dropping" to symbolize time passing goes back into the mists of time far distant from Times Square to Greenwich, England. The English installed the first time ball on top of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1833. The time ball would drop every afternoon at one o'clock so that the captains of nearby ships could accurately set their chronometers which were essential to navigation.
   After the time balls had proven themselves at Greenwich, about 150 of them were installed around the world. The United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. carries on the tradition. Every day at noon a time ball descends from the flagpole. In Times Square every year a time ball descends on the stroke for midnight to symbolize the coming of the New Year for over one billion excited people around the world.

People Drop Everything from Pickles to Acorns to Welcome the New Year

   Millions of people watch the time ball drop in New York's Time Square and millions more watch more unusual items drop to welcome in the New Year before their eyelids close over the New Year.
   Mount Olive, North Carolina, is celebrating its thirteenth annual New Year's Eve Pickle Drop on December 31, 2014, at the corner of Cucumber and Vine Streets. The New Year's Eve pickle descends the Mount Olive Pickle Company flagpole at 7 p.m. midnight - that's 7 o'clock EST-which also happens to be midnight Greenwich Mean Time. Festival organizers say "that way we are official, we shout Happy New Year! and we don't have to stay up until midnight!"
   Since 1992, Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina, has earned its title, "The City of Oaks," by literally dropping an acorn as a symbol of new beginnings every New Year's Eve. The 2014 Acorn Drop marks the 23rd  Anniversary of Raleigh's First Night New Year's Eve Celebrations and the Acorn Drop. The acorn weighs approximately 1,250 pounds and measures about ten feet, and instead of investing in a gigantic acorn storage unit 364 days of the year, the town of Raleigh proudly displays the acorn in Moore Square. Then on New Year's Eve, technicians transport the acorn by crane to participate in the midnight count down.

   Eastport, Maine, is ringing in the New Year with its seventh consecutive year of New Year's Eve festivities with the Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop. To honor both the United States and Canada, the first drop will be a Canadian maple leaf to honor Eastport's Canadian neighbors and then a giant sardine will be dropped at midnight to commemorate the regions historic sardine fishing and canning past.

Crowd waiting for ball to drop

Pittsburgh Raises the Ball

   Pennsylvania has numerous towns and cities that drop a variety of objects to welcome in the New Year. Hummelstown drops a lollipop. Duncannon drops a sled, Richland drops a cigar, Steelton drops an entire steamroller and Frogtown, a frog.
   In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a 1,000 pound ball titled "The Future of Pittsburgh," will ascend 74 feet at midnight on December 31, 2014, to the top of Penn Avenue Place as people count down the passing of the old year and the beginning of the New Year. Organizers of Pittsburgh's First Night. Family celebration decided to raise the ball instead of dropping it as a symbol of Pittsburgh's revitalization and the hope of a Happy New Year and prosperous future.
   But no matter where a town drops an item or if it is a peach or a pickle, the sentiment is the same, "Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!"


  • January 1st-New Year's Day- You already knew this one. Celebrate by getting ahead start on breaking your New Year's resolutions.

  • January 2nd-55MPH Speed Limit Day-Observe the 55 MPH holiday by driving the speed limit in your state or country. Or if you don't like it just say "I can't drive 55"!

  • January 3rd-J.R.R. Tolkien Day-Invite a Hobbit over for dinner! YAAAA!

  • January 4th-World Hypnotism Day- Try to hypnotise your children into doing what you want them to do. (like that's going to happen).

  • January 5th-Bird Day- Go out and pet a parrot and keep your fingers away from the beak.

  • January 6th-Epiphany-Go to church and ring some bells.

  • January 7th-I'm Not Going To Take It Anymore Day- Got a beef with someone, go up to them and yell this catchy little phrase to them.

  • January 8th-Bubble Bath Day- When's the last time you've seen any man take a bubble bath. Women, go ahead and have a "calgon take me away night".

  • January 9th-Balloon Ascension Day-This is the day you get to blow up a balloon with some helium, stick a note in it and let it fly!

  • January 10th-National Cut Your Energy Cost Day-Go green! Turn the lights off and live by candlelight for the day.

  • January 11th-National Clean Off your Desk Day-Admit, it, your desk could use a good cleaning.

  • January 13th-Rubber Duckie Day-It's your lucky day. You get to take another bath this month, even if it's not time yet.

  • January 14th-Dress Up Your Pet Day- Do we really think the dog or cat really likes to be dressed up!!

  • January 15th-Humanitarian Day- Try doing a good deed for someone today.

  • January 16th-Appreciate A Dragon Day-Dragons need to be appreciated, too....YES they're real!!

  • January 17th-Customer Service Day-No matter how tempting it may be, do not allow yourself to do something weird to that persons food.

  • January 18th-Thesaurus Day-Write a story, poem or a short note today. Use your computer's thesaurus to change all the adjectives to a synonym of that word.

  • January 19th-Rid The World Of Fad Diets And Gimmicks Day- DVR a bunch of shows and then when you get home fast forward through the infomercials.

  • January 20th-Camcorder Day- Today is the day to make a home video and submit it to America's Funniest Home Videos. Make sure you take your camcorder where ever you and your family go.

  • January 21st-National Hugging Day-"Keep on Huggin".

  • January 2nd-Answer Your Cat's Questions Day- This is for the people that can see dead people and skip where ever they go.

  • January 23rd-National Handwriting Day-Write yourself a letter then learn how to analyze your handwriting. You might learn a little about yourself (Psycho!!).

  • January 24th-Belly Laugh Day-Tell one of your good jokes to someone, just make sure it clean.

  • January 25th-A Room Of One's Own Day- As a parent I wish I had one of these. (looking for plans to make a man cave!)

  • January 26th-National Peanut Brittle Day-Try not to let it get stuck in your teeth.

  • January 27th-Thomas Crapper Day- He was the inventor of the toilet. Try to use it at least a couple extra times on this day to salute Mr. Crapper.

  • January 29th-Fun At Work Day- How many of us think a job is fun ? ......... Anyone?..... Anyone?

  • January 30th-Inane Answering Message Day- I'll let you decide how to celebrate this one.

  • January 31st-Inspire Your Heart With Art Day-Go to an art gallery and gaze at the paintings and sculptures.


  When January comes along, you may think that the food holidays have come to an end, but you'd be wrong. January is filled with many food holidays. Here is a list of the food holidays you can look forward to in January.

  • January 1st-Apple Gifting Day- This is such a fun day to celebrate. A fun way to enjoy this national food holiday is to bake an apple pie or some other favorite apple dessert that you may like. Christmas may be over, but it's never a bad time to bake a gift for someone.

  • January 2nd-National Cream Puff Day- If you're tired of baking, never fret. You can always head to your local bakery and pick up some delicious cream puffs.

  • January 3rd-Chocolate-Filled Cherry Day- Go out and enjoy a handful of some chocolate covered cherries. I can't seem to find any that are filled with chocolate.

  • January 4th-National Spaghetti Day- Who doesn't love spaghetti (besides me)? On this food holiday, shake things up by making something different. Or at least make a homemade sauce or pasta!

  • January 5th-National Whipped Cream Day- Whipped cream can be enjoyed in all kinds of ways.  On this food holiday, why not have some strawberry short cake with lots and lots of whipped cream.

  • January 6th-National Shortbread Day-On this food holiday, do something fun. Make a batch of shortbread cookies and take them to some of your co-workers.

  • January 7th-National Tempura Day- Tempura is a batter that is usually found on Asian foods, such as sweet and sour pork. To enjoy this day, head out and pick up some Chinese food for dinner.

  • January 8th-English Toffee Day- You can always make your own English toffee. But, if you want to celebrate this day, there is an easier way, just buy a Heath candy bar.

  • January 9th-National Apricot Day- Apricots are tasty and healthy. On this food holiday, grab some dried apricots and mix them with some nuts and other dried fruit to create a trail mix.

  • January 10th-Bittersweet Chocolate Day- Bittersweet chocolate makes some very good brownies. Do I need to say anything else?

  • January 11th-Milk Day- I love milk, especially over ice! Have a glass with the leftover brownies you made a couple days ago.

  • January 12th-Curried Chicken Day- Are you tired of the same old dinners every night? Then why not celebrate this food holiday and make something different!

  • January 13th-National Peach Melba Day- Peaches, raspberries, and ice cream, does it get any better than that!!

  • January 14th-National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day- On a cold day with a bowl of soup, nothing is better than soup and a hot pastrami sandwich, this is a food holiday that'll warm your insides.

  • January 15th-Strawberry Ice Cream Day- January is the perfect time to enjoy a food holiday that brings out the summer when it's cold outside. How about a creamy, thick strawberry shake!

  • January 16th-International Hot and Spicy Food Day- If you love spicy food, you'll love this food day. Prepare all your favorite appetizers, buffalo wings, jalapeno poppers and some spicy dipping sauce.

  • January 17th-Hot-Buttered Rum Day- If you drink alcohol, this is a great way to warm up on a cold January evening. If you don't, just buy some buttered Rum Lifesavers.

  • January 18th-Peking Duck Day- If you love Asian dishes, this is the food holiday for you. Take your sweetheart out for a nice Chinese dinner for two.

  • January 19th-National Popcorn Day- Do you really need a reason to have some popcorn!

  • January 20th-National Cheese Lover's Day- There are so many different ways to enjoy this holiday. You could serve nachos, cheeseburgers, or just go out an get a cheese pizza.

  • January 21st-New England Clam Chowder Day- This is another great food holiday to celebrate on a cold January evening.

  • January 22nd-National Blonde Brownie Day- Sure chocolate brownies are delicious, but blondies are also quite tasty as well.

  • January 23rd- National Rhubarb Pie Day- I just want to know one thing...who's the one who ever thought of this kind of pie, especially one with strawberries in it....what a waste of some perfectly edible strawberries.

  • January 24th-National Peanut Butter Day- This has to be one of the best food holidays. Enjoy some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Maybe take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.

  • January 25th-National Irish Coffee Day- If you don't drink alcohol, you can find Irish cream coffee creamer to enjoy instead.

  • January 26th-National Pistachio Day- What better way to enjoy this food holiday than to sit back with a bowl of pistachios while watching some T.V.!

  • January 27th-Chocolate Cake Day- Obviously, no one will have to be forced to partake in this food holiday!

  • January 28th-National Blueberry Pancake Day- If you're looking for a healthy food holiday, make some whole wheat pancakes and sprinkle on your blueberries right before flipping it.

  • January29th-National Corn Chip Day- Buy a bag of Frito's, some chili, add a little cheddar cheese and enjoy.

  • January 30th-National Croissant Day- Enjoy this food holiday with some scrambled eggs and bacon.

  • January 31st-Brandy Alexander Day- If you like to drink, you'll love this food holiday! Cheers!


    In RussiaChristmas is annually celebrated on January 7th, thanks to the Russian Orthodox Church that has made it an official holiday in the country. Previously the occassion was observed on December 25th in much the same way as it was in the rest of the world, complete with Christmas trees and Christmas gifts, Saint Nicholas and the like. But after the 1917 Revolution, Christmas was banned throughout Russia, along with other religious celebrations. It was much much later, in 1992, that the holiday began to be openly observed again. However, the church in Russia still uses the old Julian calendar which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar used in the Western nations. This is why, Christmas is celebrated in Russia on January 7th. But these days, a few Russians have begun to celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December.

A Christmas tree in Red Square

    Today, Christmas is celebrated in the country in a grand fashion, with the faithful participating in an all-night Mass in Cathedrals. The main religion in Russia is called Russian Orthodox. The Russian Orthodox Church is more than one thousand years old and most of the Christian population in the country belong to it. In Russia, many people don’t eat meat, eggs or milk from a few weeks before Christmas and it is customary to fast until after the first church service on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve dinner is meatless but festive. The menu usually depends on the wealth of the families. A typical Christmas dinner however, includes delicacies such as hot roast Pirog (Russian pies made out of meat or cabbage), and Pelmeni (meat dumplings). The most important ingredient is a special porridge called kutya. The traditional ingredients that go in its preparation are wheatberries (or other grains which symbolize hope and immortality), and honey and poppy seeds which ensure happiness, success and peace. The kutya is eaten from a common dish to symbolize unity.

    A Christmas ceremony of great significance here is the blessing of individual homes. During Christmastime, a priest visits every home accompanied by boys carrying vessels of holy water. A little water is sprinkled in each room, which is believed to usher in happiness and fortune to them. Another popular custom here is that of young children going from house to house on the first day of Christmas carrying a star and singing carols and getting sweets from adults.
    Russia celebrates a white Christmas what with the weather being very cold and snowy during this time and the temperature always dropping to minus degrees. .


This diy comes form www.centsationalgirl.com. Very good gift idea for the coming New Year. Enjoy!

DIY: Colored Chalkboard Vases

Greetings, I hope you had a lovely weekend! I spent mine mostly indoors with big rainstorms hitting our area, so I had a little fun inside doing some crafting.
I had two quarts of tinted chalkboard paint sitting in my garage, waiting for some projects I plan to get to in the near future. I couldn’t resist the idea of ‘sampling’ the colors this past weekend making some colored chalkboard vases. Fun fun fun! Something about the notion of leaving sentimental or seasonal notes on glass appealed to me, so I tinkered around creating a few versions around the house.
Every time I bring home fresh flowers, whether from the grocery store or farmer’s market, my 7 year old asks me for a single stem for her room. Love that! I thought it would be sweet to make a little chalkboard vase for her in a bright colored paint , one where I could write little encouraging notes or endearing sentiments.
This bud vase was created with Rust-Oleum’s ‘Raspberry’ shade.

cg pink chalkboard final

And this gray label with Hudson Paint’s ‘So Stone’ tint:

cg spring gray chalkboard vase

This is such a fun way to personalize vases, whether for you, or for a housewarming gift, or perhaps someone recovering from illness. These make a great gift for friends too!

How to Make Colored Chalkboard Vases, Supplies You’ll Need:
Clear glass vase of choice
Tinted chalkboard paint (both Rust-Oleum and Hudson have great colors)
Frosted glass spray paint
Packaging tape
X-Acto knife or box cutter
Chalk or chalk ink markers (found at craft stores)


Begin by taping off any sections of your glass vase you do not wish to coat with tinted chalkboard paint. Both of these tinted chalkboard paints are water based, so to give them the very best adhesion to glass, I used a frosted glass spray paint to act as a primer. Frosted glass spray paint is designed to adhere to glass, and it dries quickly (in less than 10 minutes!) so it makes the perfect ‘primer’ for giving your tinted chalkboard paint staying power. Give your vase two good coats.
Next, apply two to three layers of the colored chalkboard paint to the vase, directly on top of the frosted glass spray paint. Allow it to dry between coats.

tape and paint

If you wish to carve out any pattern on the glass, like with the gray label version seen above, use the X-acto knife or box cutter to do so. A Silhouette craft cutter would also do the job just as nicely.

xacto knife

After your paint layers are dry, carefully peel off your packaging tape. Any rough edges can be carefully corrected with a small flat head screwdriver.

smooth edges

After a few coats of paint, you have a perfectly fantastic surface for writing notes with chalk.

cg i love you pink chalkboard vase

Or if you’ve discovered the wonder of chalk ink pens, you can leave your sentiments in different colors. Whoever invented chalk ink pens is a complete genius !!

cg sweet dreams pink chalkboard vase

I created this second version for me, for welcoming in the seasons.
I just love it!

cg spring gray chalkboard vase 2

cg pink tulips chalkboard vase

And another fun use of that chalk ink . . . I’m completely addicted.
Please send help right away.