Tired of Winter Weather…

I don’t know about you, but I’m REALLY tired of the wintery weather – come on, it’s April 10th!  Yesterday’s Chicago Cubs home opener was cancelled because of snow.  It’s not right.

I would like to be out working in my yard.  Specifically, I’d like to be planting flowers.  I have a flower bed in my back yard and flower pots all over my deck.  And given we’re 1/3 of the way through April, is it too much to want some flowers?

So my to-do for you all today is to learn to make paper flowers.  If it’s too cold for flowers outside, let’s make our own!  This video will get you started – I’m off to get a glue stick and make some too!

Cell Phones

Remember your first cell phone?  I think I got my first one in 1996 but I know it was one of those deals that looked like a walkie-talkie AND you could “personalize” it with a colored face plate.  Mine was red.  You couldn’t text with it – it didn’t do anything but let you send and receive calls.  But I loved it.

The cell phone world has changed a LOT since then.  I found this infographic about the relationship women have with their cell phone/tablets this morning and I thought I would share it.

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I’m certainly guilty of an ongoing love affair with my phone and iPad but I don’t check my phone right away or within the first 5 minutes I’m awake in the morning.  And I’m definitely not in the 16% of women who say the phone is never off limits to them.  I do however, use my mobile devices as my cameras,  my navigator, my calendar, my cookbook and a whole lot more.

What is your favorite use for your phone – and do you really check it within 5 minutes of waking up?

Puzzles

It’s Throwback Thursday and I thought this might be a good day to talk about my latest reawakened obsession – jigsaw puzzles.

As a kid, my Mom and I did jigsaw puzzles on a card table in a corner of the living room all winter long.  I loved putting the puzzles together – the more pieces, the better.  We had a whole shelf in our toy closet that was nothing but jigsaw puzzles because we loved doing them so much!  But there were drawbacks – the card table that got in everyone’s way and lost pieces to name the worst things.  And the obsession passed after Mom passed away and I got older.

But recently I discovered a website called Jigsaw Planet – and I’m crazy about it!  It’s all the fun of solving the puzzles I remember – but no lost pieces and no need to store all those puzzle boxes either!   You can even create your own using photos on your computer or tablet.

Give it a try!  Here’s the link to the site:  www.jigsawplanet.com

puzzle

Headaches

headachepromomainnewbg-w500Headaches are probably the most common ailment there is.  We’ve all had them – stress, poor eating habits, poor lighting/glare and allergies are just a few of the triggers.

According to an article I found, there are 17 types of headaches (relax – I’m not going to list them all!) with the most common type being a tension headache.  But as common as tension or stress headaches are, there is little known about what physically causes them.

Doctors and researchers agree the likely cause of tension headaches is probably related to the contraction and inflammation of muscles surrounding the skull.  The contractions and inflammation lead to spasms which translate into pain like a band around your head, a sore neck or pounding in your temples.

Your first reaction to a tension headache may be to reach for an aspirin or other over the counter pain reliever but there are other effective methods to quiet that pain.  Have you tried massage? A hot shower?  A cold pack?  Some people swear by essential oils for relief.  What works for you?  Let me know in the comments!

Tax Time

income-tax.jpgThe biggest To-Do on my list right now?  My taxes.  I can’t believe I’ve procrastinated again!  I have all the paperwork together so it’s just a matter of sitting down and entering it all into my tax software.

The first income taxes in the U.S were imposed with the Revenue Act of 1861 to help pay for the Civil War.  That was a flat 3% tax on all incomes over $800 and was rescinded in 1872.

The 16th Amendment to the U.S Constitution was ratified in 1913 cleared the way to the federal tax system we know today.  The 16th Amendment states:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

You can read a full history of taxation in the U.S. on Wikipedia – and now that we know the history of our income taxes, I better get to work!

Do you have your taxes filed or are you a procrastinator too?  Let me know in the comments!

April Fools!

april1Yesterday was April Fools Day, a date that is a famous first!  Mother Nature sure pulled a good prank yesterday with cold and snow across a large portion of the U.S. but do you know how the tradition of pranks of April 1st got started?

If your answer is no, you’re in good company – nobody really knows where the tradition came from.  Here are a few of the theories:

  • A switch from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar in the 16th century changed the first day of the year from April 1 to January 1.  So people that missed the change were “fooled” and the pranks grew out of that.
  • Another possibility is that it grew out of the Greco-Roman festival of Hilaria which was celebrated following the spring equinox and featured masquerades and pranks.
  • Some even say April Fools has a Biblical origin – in a 1769 edition of The London Public Advertiser, the following explanation for April Fools was printed:
    • The mistake of Noah sending the dove out of the ark before the water had abated, on the first day of April, and to perpetuate the memory of this deliverance it was thought proper, whoever forgot so remarkable a circumstance, to punish them by sending them upon some sleeveless errand similar to that ineffectual message upon which the bird was sent by the patriarch.

No matter how it started, there have been some epic pranks pulled in the name of April Fools Day – click here to see a list of some of the most famous.  What is the best prank you’ve ever pulled or had had pulled on you?  Let me know in the comments!