Chinese New Year, Umbrella Day, Cream Cheese Brownie Day

~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
February 10,2013


★~ Today’s Quote:  “It doesn’t matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it…”  ― Solange nicole

★~ Chinese New Year: 

Google Chrome 3
Click on float ^ to play your card!

★~ Umbrella Day:

Umbrella Day

The um-ber-ella-ella-ella,  brolly, gamp, parasol, bumbershoot – whatever you call it, umbrellas are made for one thing – keeping you dry and saving your hair!  Now if only you could remember where you left yours…..which reminds me of a story about the man who left his brolly in the umbrella stand in a London pub with the following note: “This umbrella is owned by the champion boxer of England, and he’s coming back in two minutes.” The man then went to the bar for a drink. When he returned, the umbrella stand was empty, and in place of his brolly, he found a note that read: “This umbrella was taken by the champion runner of England. He’s never coming back.”

There’s the widespread superstition that opening a bumbershoot indoors brings bad luck. Then, of course, there’s the age-old belief that the easiest way to assure a rainy day is to leave your umbrella at home.  Robert Louis Stevenson seemed aware of this peculiar meteor-logical wisdom when he wrote: “There is no act in meteorology better established, than that the carriage of the umbrella produces desiccation of the air; while if it be left at home, aqueous vapor is largely produced, and is soon deposited in the form of rain.” Loosely put I think this means if you leave your um-ber-ella-ella-ella  at home, Sherlock, it’s gonna rain.

★~ Cream Cheese Brownie Day:

crème cheese brownie

The first known recipe for brownies appeared in the 1897 Sears Roebuck Catalogue. What everyone seemed to love about brownies, besides their delicious taste, was how quick and easy they were to make!  This is especially true today if you use Ghirardelli brownie mix and just fold in a little creme cheese!  Or if you want to drag out the mixer and crack open a few eggs  Betty Crocker® Cream Cheese Brownies  are very tasty.

★~ Today in History:


♥~ 1863 – History was made in New York City. Two of the world’s most famous midgets, General Tom Thumb, (three feet, four inches) and his lovely bride, Lavinia Warren, (two feet, eight inches), exchanged “I do’s” before a small gathering of 2,000 of their closest friends.

♥~ 1863 – The fire extinguisher was patented by Alanson Crane. It was a flaming success…

♥~ 1897 – All The News Is Fit To Print anniversary.  This slogan appeared on page one of the New York Times since Feb 10, 1897.

♥~ 1934 – The first  postage stamps were issued by the U.S. Postal Service in New York City. Talk about inconvenience!  The stamps had to be cut off the sheet and then glued onto the envelope.

♥~ 1949 – The play “Death of a Salesman” made its Broadway debut on, starring Lee J. Cobb as salesman Willy Loman.  It has been revived frequently in New York, with later productions starring George C. Scott, Dustin Hoffman, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.  “Salesman” won a Pulitzer prize for playwright Arthur Miller, who died on this date in 2005, on the 56th anniversary of the play’s premiere.

♥~ 1951 – John and Marsha, by Stan Freberg became a national catch phrase in the U.S. Do you remember, “John … Marsha … John … Marsha … John … Marsha?”  Ok.

♥~ 1964 – Bob Dylan’s album “The Times They Are A-Changin”‘ was released.

♥~ 1963 – A car crash in the desert sets off a wild chase in the 1963 comedy “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”  Jimmy Durante plays the dying driver who tells rescuers about a buried treasure in stolen money.  It was the last feature film appearance for Durante.  Durante is also known to modern audiences for singing during the opening credits of “Sleepless in Seattle” and as the narrator of the animated Christmas special “Frosty the Snowman.”  (Today is also Durante birthday see below)

♥~ 1966 –  Auto safety was the topic on this day  when attorney and consumer advocate Ralph Nader made his first appearance ever before a Congressional committee.  Nader had just published the book “Unsafe at Any Speed,” criticizing a lack of safety features in American-made cars.

♥~ 1996 – An IBM computer called Deep Blue made chess history by beating world champion Garry Kasparov (only 34 moves). It was the first win for a machine under classic tournament rules.

★~Born Today:

 Jimmy Durante

♥~ 1890 – Boris Pasternak poet, writer: Doctor Zhivago; died May 30, 1960

♥~ 1893 – Jimmy (James Francis) Durante actor, comedian: “Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”; Ziegfeld Follies, The Man Who Came to Dinner, It Happened in Brooklyn, The Jimmy Durante Show; died Jan 29, 1980

♥~ 1912 – Edith Houghton. Catcher, Philadelphia Bobbies, 1922-25 New York Bloomer Girls, 1925-31 Hollywood Girls, 1931 Philadelphia Phillies (scout), 1946-52.

♥~ 1930 – Robert Wagner actor: Hart to Hart, The Mountain, The Towering Inferno, Titanic, It Takes a Thief, Pink Panther, Midway

♥~ 1939 – Roberta Flack singer: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Feel Like Making Love, Killing Me Softly With His Song

♥~ 1967 – Laura Dern actress: Jurassic Park, Blue Velvet, Rambling Rose; daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd

♥~ 1950 – Mark Spitz swimmer: U.S. Olympic 9-time gold medal winner, the most gold medals won by an individual [seven in 1972 and 2 in 1968]

♥~ 1991 – Emma Roberts actress: Unfabulous, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Valentine’s Day, Hotel for Dogs, Nancy Drew, Spymate, BigLove, The Flight Before Christmas

★~ Did You Know: The Story of The Chinese Zodiac – 2013 is the year of the Snake.

Chinese Zodiac

♥~ The story

Once upon a time, the Jade Emperor announced to the entire animal kingdom that there would be an amazing race. The first twelve animals to cross the finish line would each be awarded one year in the lunar calendar. The news spread quickly and excitement grew everywhere. Now Cat and the Rat were the best of best friends. They did everything together: eat, play, sleep. When Cat heard about the great news, he immediately told Rat whom excitedly jumped to his feet and agreed they should both enter the race. After many restless nights, all Rat could think of was winning the competition. But he said nothing to Cat who was happily curled up in his sun spot. Finally, the day of the race arrived. All the animals gathered at the starting line and with a “BANG!” the race began.

With fantastic speed, Rat and Cat grabbed the lead, scurrying through prickly bushes running over grassy meadows until they came upon a vast river. The current was so strong that they could not swim across. Just as they were thinking of what to do, the sturdy Ox came upon them. Being full of ideas, Rat suggested, “Ox, since your eyesight is very poor, let’s help each other. Cat and I will get on your back and direct you across the river.” That sounded like a great plan to everyone. Ox was very strong and had no trouble swimming across the river.

As the party neared the other side, Rat let out an excited shriek. “Look, look! The Jade Emperor’s palace!” Sure enough, bright red festive lanterns were shining all around the magical kingdom. Now, even though Rat and Cat were the best friends, Rat wanted to be first more than ANYTHING in the whole world. So without even a whisper, Rat pushed Cat off Ox into the fast moving river. “Meowwwwww”, yelped Cat. “What was that?” Ox asked. “Oh…oh nothing…must have been the wind. Quick! Quick! We’re almost there!” shrieked Rat. As they reached the shore, Rat leapt off Ox’s back to the finish line, dancing and cheering.

The Jade Emperor rewarded Rat with the first spot followed by a very tired Ox. Shortly after, the strong and powerful Tiger roared to the finish with the lucky Rabbit hopping right behind. From the sky, the noble Dragon descended to the ground; through bushes the Snake slithered to take its place. Next came the Horse and Goat in a tight race. From the trees, Monkey swung in vine to vine. Rooster scrambled in with a few feathers ruffled, trailed by Dog who was in a very good mood. Finally, last but not least Pig trotted in wanting to know when dinner would be served. As Jade Emperor congratulated all 12 animals on winning the race, Cat, who was soaked head to paw, scampered in to the palace. Jade Emperor thanked Cat for joining the race but  he was just too late to be included on the calendar From this day onward, Cat swore he and Rat would be enemies forever. And that is the story of the Chinese horoscope and why Cats and Rats will never get along.

♥~ The signs: These dates seem to vary but I think my source is pretty reliable, a Chinese restaurant placemat.

RAT (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020) You are honest, funny, and talkative but you also tend to be greedy, petty, and selfish. You know how to take advantage of a situation. You are a collector by nature and probably the only ones awake when the rest of the world is asleep. While you are best matched with Dragons and Monkeys, Horses are your archenemies.

OX (1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021) You are usually patient, dependable, and hard working. Sometimes, you tend to be slow, stubborn and resistant to change. The Ox is most happy when left alone. You are great friends with Snakes and Roosters but don’t get along with Goats at all.

TIGER (1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022) You are known for your courage, generosity, and passion. Being authoritative and a risk-taker, you make a good leader. Think carefully before you act because your brash and stubborn character can offend others. Tigers’ good friends are Dogs and Horses. Monkeys are a no-no.

RABBIT (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023) Rabbits are the luckiest animals of all. You are gentle, talented, friendly and very popular. With your cautious nature, you can be successful in anything you do. But don’t let get head grow too big! Good friends are Goats and Pigs, but not Roosters.

DRAGON (1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024) Unique, energetic, and overly dramatic you are blessed with good health and luck. On the other hand, you tend to be unbearably moody and a perfectionist. Dragons should beware of Dogs but are friends with Rats and Monkeys.

SNAKE (1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013) You are blessed with both beauty and brains which makes you both talented and a wise decision-maker. But sometimes you care too much about your looks and can be selfish and lazy. The Snake gets along best with the Rooster and Ox but hates the Pig.

HORSE (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014) People like you for your cheerfulness, wisdom and sincerity. With your positive outlook on life, people like you. You like to be alone and tend to be impatient with others. Good mates for the Horse are Tigers or Dogs. Rats are a poor match.

GOAT (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015) Your peace-loving and well-mannered nature makes you close to others. You are also elegant and creative which makes you a good artist. Goats are very friendly towards the Ox but do get along with Pigs and Rabbits.

MONKEY (1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016) You’re funny, smart, and full of energy. Because you’re fun to be around, people give you lots of attention. You are also a natural leader but be careful because you can sometimes be tricky and unfaithful. Monkeys should stay away from hungry Tigers and stay in the company of Dragons or Rats.

ROOSTER (1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017) People tend to see you as funny, trustworthy, and always on time. Because you enjoy being the center of attention, you can be full of yourself. Sometimes, you can also be selfish and harsh. The dependable Ox and the shrewd Snake make good friends while the Rabbit is competition.

DOG (1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018) Dogs are, as you would imagine: loyal, honest, and devoted. You are extremely helpful and positive but can also worry too much and be critical. Dogs make good friends with Horses and Tigers but should be careful of fire-breathing Dragons.

PIG (1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019) Pigs are noble and strong and always think of others first, especially family. Your intelligence and quick decision-making help you reach your goals. But you also have the tendency to be insecure and tough to handle. Pigs are their own worst enemies and need to make friends with Rabbits or Goats.


If you plan to celebrate the Chinese New Year keep in mind that crying on New Year’s Day means you will cry for the rest of the year, and washing your hair signifies washing away good luck. Woe betide those who clean on New Year’s Day, for you will be sweeping away good fortune in the year ahead. Eating tangerines and oranges will bring you wealth. Wear red to show you are fully participating in the New Years celebration. Red is associated with joy, happiness, good luck, wealth and good fortune.

El Morno is jam packed today so I won’t add much more…I hope everyone has a sunny Sunday!

新年快樂 (Happy New Year!) 


12 thoughts on “Chinese New Year, Umbrella Day, Cream Cheese Brownie Day

  1. Morno,
    Happy Chinese New Year. I’m an Ox. Figures. Sister is out of town so no Sunday dinner but son is in town until tomorrow so it might be a good night to order Chinese in if they deliver on the New Year.
    I have a red flannel shirt, and no problem about sweeping–so I’m good.
    Enjoy your day.

    • An Ox! Is a fine animal! You should be proud to be an Ox! Hope you put on your red flannel shirt and enjoy your Chinese Dinner! Nice of you not to suggest your that your sister leave Sunday dinner in the freezer for you!

  2. Happy New Year!
    I guess the umbrella is celebrating itself because it is really coming down.
    Happy Chinese New Year. I’m a monkey.Sounds about right. I try hard to stay away from hungry tigers
    Just back from Church. I plan to stick close to home and read today, catch up on paperwork and maybe take a nice nap!
    Enjoy your day.

    • Wow…the rain seems to be falling everywhere! Hope you enjoyed a relaxing day. Sometimes a rainy day is worth it if you can stay home!

  3. happy new year! will be celebrating the chinese new year with the regulars at our favorite bbq restaurant. the owner & good friend is chinese & we are chipping in for chinese take out. i am proud to be born under the year of the dog! fits to a *t*.
    i still have the mark spitz poster of him displaying his seven gold medals. wearing his speedo.

  4. Wonderful night out. Good company and good food.
    Happy Chinese New Year. Loved the card. I’m a horse. Good to know my husband is a Tiger and we are well matched.
    Cream Cheese brownies sound good. Maybe I will make some this week.
    No sun, rainy and wet. So if I venture out it will be with my umbrella. But I hope to stick close to home. It’s a movie, reading, puzzle sort of day.

  5. I read that we should hang a “lucky monkey” around our necks this year to ward off the bad influences of Snake — not wanting to take any chances, I’ve got mine sitting on my desk right now!
    It’s been gray and rainy most of the day, so I guess Snake is already showing his true colors!
    Love the story about the Cat and Rat — sad for the cat, but he should’ve known better than to trust a rat!

    • Did not know that about Monkeys but I think we have a stuffed one somewhere and I will put one of my desk.
      Grey, rainy and awful here too. I hate this. I need sun. I don’t mind cold or snow if I can have sun. Slush, grey, and rain is the worse for my disposition.
      Your right the car should have been much smarter. Cole is a rat…which is kind of funny considering that I have an irrational fear of them due to unfortunate circumstances years ago…:-D

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