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George Washington’s Teeth

Recently I found myself practicing breathing exercises while my dentist injected numbing medication into my gums. Somehow I had managed to acquire a cavity at the back edge of an existing crown. The crown had to be removed, the cavity treated, and a new crown acquired. And, of course, the afflicted tooth was a the

Puritans — More Romantic Than You Might Think

Valentine’s Day will soon be here, a day for romance & flowers; cupids & candy in heart-shaped boxes. Like many days our calendars commemorate, Valentine’s Day is largely an invention from the Victorian Age. Romantic love has a much longer history, but was not always the foundation of courtship and marriage. In doing research for

Year of the Wood Dragon

Year of the Wood Dragon begins in just over two weeks on February 10. Dragons are considered the luckiest sign in the Chinese zodiac, and people born in a dragon year are said to be charismatic, confident, and powerful. Dragons are also known to be stubborn and dogmatic. Those born in a wood dragon year

Successful Resolutions Require SMART Goals

It may seem a bit late to write about New Year Resolutions, unless I resolved to write about them last week, but failed to do so, so now I’m starting my resolution again. Or perhaps my resolution was not to start writing my blog again until the middle of January, in which case I’m right

December Sleigh Bells

Sleigh bells ring Are you listening? In the lane Snow is glistening A beautiful sight We’re happy tonight Walking in a Winter Wonderland Winter Wonderland is one of several songs featuring sleigh bells that has nothing to do with holiday celebrations. The focus is on winter chill and sleigh bells. The Sleigh Ride Song, another

Christmas Tree Trivia

The first holiday trees appear like Halloween ghosts foretelling Christmas Future. Then, during the first two weeks of November, decorated synthetic evergreen trees stand in shopping malls, grocery stores & check-out counters. Some are tall. Some are short. All seem to whisper, “Forget the turkey, it’s time to fill Santa’s sleigh.” As Thanksgiving draws near,

Thanksgivings Past

Thanksgiving, a national holiday embedded in American mythology, has changed over the years from an emblem of American history and unity to a day that includes eating, shopping, and watching televised football games and parades. Below are a few factoids of Thanksgivings past. When I was a child, billboards advertising a certain brand of turkey

HALLOWEEN TALES OF WITCHES & BROOMS

There was an old woman who rode on a broom,With a heigh, gee-ho, gee-humble;And she took her old cat behind for a groom,With a bumble, bumble, bumble. — From Gems from Mother Goose When Gems from Mother Goose came out in 1899, the standard witch description depicted an older woman (often with green tinted skin)

Sweetest Day — An Obscure October Holiday

Like every month, October has its share of serious and whimsical commemorations. The month that is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month is also National Pizza Month and National Popcorn Popping Month. Likewise, there is a week for getting organized and a week for fire prevention. Special events happen almost every day

Apples & Pumpkins: The Fruits of Fall

Every season has its own special foods, and two of the foods most associated with fall are apples and pumpkins. Both are harvested between late August and the end of October, and both have associations with fall in the northern hemisphere. As the nights become longer and the weather chillier, a mug of hot apple