Cat Herders Day, Halcyon Days, Cupcake Day

~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
December 15, 2012


★~ Today’s Quote:  With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.~  Eleanor Roosevelt

★~ Cat Herders Day:


Taken from the idiom ‘like herding cats,’ which is used to describe doing something impossible A day for those of us who feel like we’re tasked with the impossible, Cat Herders Day recognizes the frustration of trying to manage the unmanageable. Whether it’s work, home, school or other areas of life, if it feels like herding cats, today’s your day.

★~ Halcyon Days ( 15-29):


In the midst of holiday hustle and bustle, there is a multi day observation that often falls through the cracks: Halcyon Days, which begins a week before the winter solstice and ends a week after the solstice.

Greek mythology recounts the story of the goddess Alcyone (or Halcyone), daughter of Aeolus, god of the winds. Alcyone married a mortal king named Ceyx, who drowned at sea in a storm. Such was Alcyone’s love for her husband that she threw herself into the ocean after him. Seeing this, the gods transformed Alcyone and Ceyx into birds. Thereafter, Aeolus kept the winds calm on the sea for a week before and a week after the solstice, enabling the birds to build nests on the water and lay their eggs there.

The Greek words from which the name Halcyon is apparently derived mean, roughly, ‘sea’ and ‘conceive.’ Over the centuries, the term came to refer both to the kingfisher (an actual bird) and to the mythical bird that nested on the sea and mysteriously calmed the winds around the time of the winter solstice.

Nowadays, when we use the expression ‘halcyon days,’ it’s almost always a way of saying ‘the good old days’ or ‘when life was easy.’ More often than not, the expression refers sentimentally to a bygone time that we remember as being much more tranquil and prosperous than it really was, so the mythological origin of the term is rather apt. I’ve never heard anyone speak of looking forward to halcyon days, nor have I ever received a ‘Happy Halcyon Days’ card on December 14. But a few weeks from now, when we are putting away decorations, repairing broken toys, and looking at unpleasant credit card bills, we can look back at these two frenzied weeks of late December and reminisce, ‘Those were the halcyon days.’

★~ Cupcake Day:


Fun fact: the world’s largest cupcake was on display in July 2009 at the Covent Garden Real Food Market in London. This cupcake was about 4 feet in diameter and weighed over 330 pounds! It also contained 200 eggs and took over 50 hours to make. Yikes!

Celebrate National Cupcake Day with your favorite cupcake recipe, head to a local cupcake shop, or gather your friends and go for a new cupcake record! Recipe for Christmas Tree Cupcake.

★~ Today in History:


♥~ 1939  – Gone With The WInd premiere: One of the 20th century’s biggest film blockbusters premiered on this date in Atlanta, GA. Based on Margaret Mitchell’s bestselling and Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, the film starred Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable and was produced by David O. Selznick. It won an unprecedented eight Academy Awards, including best picture. Hattie McDaniel won a best supporting actress Oscar—the first time an African-American actor had won or been nominated. No film would touch its Oscar achievement or monetary grosses for decades. At the chilly Atlanta premiere, more than 300,000 people lined the streets to catch sight of the film’s stars arriving at the Loew’s Grand Theater.

♥~ 1939 – Nylon yarn was sold to hosiery mills to make women’s stockings, marking the first use of commercial yarn for apparel. The DuPont product enabled a record number of ladies’ hose to go on sale for the first time in May 1940. And it all started in nylon’s hometown: Wilmington, Delaware.

♥~ 1973 – Sandy Hawley became the first jockey in history to win 500 races in a single year. With this victory in the third race at Laurel racetrack on Charlie Jr., he broke the legendary Bill Shoemaker’s 20-year-old record. Hawley recorded his 6,000th career victory in 1992 aboard Summer Commander at Greenwood racetrack.

♥~ 1973 – Charlie Rich’s hit, The Most Beautiful Girl, hit #1 (for two weeks) in the U.S. “Hey, if you happen to see the most beautiful girl that walked out on me … Tell her, “I’m sorry.” Tell her, “I need my baby.” Won’t you tell her that I love her.”

♥~ 1996 – Tyco Toys’ Tickle Me Elmo stuffed animal that giggled and said, “that tickles”, when squeezed, retailed for $30 was selling out across the U.S.

★~Born Today:

effile tower

♥~ 1832 – Gustave Alexandre Eiffel , born in Dijon, France (1832). He was an early pioneer in using metal to construct bridges, and he went on to build the Eiffel Tower for the World’s Fair in Paris in 1889. It was the tallest structure in the world at the time, at 1.000 feet, and Eiffel decided to leave the metal scaffolding exposed because he thought the tower would be more stable if the wind could blow through it. Many people at the time thought it was ugly, but it still holds up to the wind. In 1999, Paris was hit by a windstorm that knocked down more than 100,000 trees. The Eiffel Tower only swayed nine centimeters

♥~ 1928 – Jimmy Nelson ventriloquist: Danny O’Day, Farfel the Dog; LP: Jimmy Nelson’s Instant Ventriloquism

♥~ 1933 – Tim Conway actor, comedian: McHale’s Navy, The Tim Conway Show, The Carol Burnett Show, various Dorf videos

♥~ 1949 – Don Johnson (Donnie Wayne Johnson) actor: Nash Bridges, Miami Vice, Harrad Experiment, A Boy and His Dog, The Long, Hot Summer, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man,Revenge of the Stepford Wives

♥~ 1979 – Adam Brody actor: Missing Brendan, The Ring, American Pie 2, Growing Up Brady, Never Land, Judging Amy, Family Law, Smallville, The O.C.

★~ Did You Know: The Twelve Days Of Christmas.

♥~  The “12 days of Christmas” don’t begin on December 13 and end on Christmas Day; they begin on Christmas Day and end on January 5, marking the time of “merry-making” until the Epiphany.

♥~ It’s “four colly birds,” not “four calling birds.”  Colly is an obsolete synonym for “grimy or sooty, like a chimney sweep” — and the song’s “colly birds” are actually blackbirds. It remains unclear why anyone’s true love would actually give them four blackbirds, but the song’s idea of a charming gift does skew towards the ornithological (Swans, geese, hens).

♥~ Five golden rings” may actually refer to five pheasants. Mike Bergin of 10,000 Birds explains that the song’s seemingly bizarre switch from four birds, to five pieces of jewelry, and back to six birds actually makes perfect sense: The “five golden rings” are likely a reference to ring-necked pheasants.

♥~ The total number of gifts given in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is 364. Multiply each gift by the number of times it recurs in a full round of the song and you’ll see that the gifts’ recipient would have to rent a storage unit (and possibly a lake) to contain the bounty, including 42 swans a-swimming, 22 pipers piping, and 40 maids a-milking.

♥~ In 2012, your true love would have to spend $107,300 to buy all 364 presents.

♥~  In 1984, the same gift assortment would have cost $61,300.  Swans are the most expensive item, at $1,000 each.


I would like to pass this on to you…I hope you will find it helpful. I will post the first little bit and then offer the link for the rest…

Nothing can make this (Connecticut) okay. There is no explanation that helps. Blaming lack of gun control, insufficient guns, or inadequate mental health care may be entirely reasonable and valid, but it doesn’t matter. No matter how right you are (or aren’t), it doesn’t change the grief, rage, or numbness. Using ideas to treat or metabolize feelings is ineffective.

Then what? I’m afraid that there are only a very few things we can do other than to be absolutely, irredeemably heartbroken. Weep, sob, rage. Weep, sob, rage. Every time your mind tries to tell you, “this is because of poor gun control,” or “this world is rotten, terrible and I have to ignore it in order to survive,” and/or “if mental healthcare was better, we could help people before they explode into violence,” please ask it to wait. I’m not saying we shouldn’t act. WE SHOULD. But before we act, we should feel. Let your heart break. Let down your guard. There is a strange redemption in heartbreak.

In your own way, you could open your heart to the suffering of all who have been directly involved.

Relax your mind and then think:

For all of you children who lost your lives and may now be wandering bereft and confused, I share your suffering with you. In return I offer you my peace.

Continue…..Susan Piver: Open Heart Project. 


16 thoughts on “Cat Herders Day, Halcyon Days, Cupcake Day

  1. Morno,
    Sad Saturday. I need to herd some cats today but might just blow it all off and go to the Hobbit with my boy. Probably will. More of a cake kind of guy but I would eat a chocolate cupcake.
    Rainy here but not real cold.

  2. Good Morno,
    Hard to find much Christmas spirit today but we are going to try. It’s baking day at our house which is always fun and messy. The kids bake and decorate lots of sugar cookies and we box them up for friends.
    Really liked the piece at the end of El Morno.
    Have a nice day. It’s pretty dreary here too.

  3. Thanks for helping get the first responders idea out, I think it is starting to catch on!

    Never knew the background of halcyon days. I knew how we used it, but interesting to see the root of it. That is also the title of a really killer Bruce Hornsby song.

    • I will have to check the song out. It’s a natural response to want to do something. . your post offeres people that opportunity. Thanks for providing the idea and addresses. My facebook page is also buzzing with it. Susan’s post (at the bottom of mine) offeres the same opportunity in a different way.

  4. Such a sad time for so many. It’s unthinkable that this sort of madness keeps happening. When will we address the real root of the issue? I pray for the families and the helpers, that whole community really, and I pray for us as a nation.
    That said, I never knew it was “four colly birds” and five pheasants!

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