10 Fun Trivia Facts about Thanksgiving

Gratitude changes our attitudes and our actions. It changes how we live. This is the power of living a life of thanks; of gratitude for our blessings, whether those blessings are great or small. This is the power of Thanksgiving.

Photo by Kiy Turk on Unsplash

Here are some fun Thanksgiving trivia facts from the Good Housekeeping Magazine.

Question: What town canceled Thanksgiving because they couldn’t make pumpkin pies?

Answer: Colchester, Connecticut

A frigid bout of cold weather in the middle of October led to the Connecticut River freezing, so settlers couldn’t get their usual liquid sugar shipped on time from across the pond. Thus, the townspeople decided to postpone the holiday for a week in 1705. It was so legendary, Rose Mill Powers actually wrote a poem about it in a July 1908 issue of Good Housekeeping.

Question: What professional football team has played almost every Thanksgiving since 1934?

Answer: The Detroit Lions

George A. Richards, a former owner, purchased the Portsmouth Ohio Spartans in 1934 and moved them to Detroit. Rebranded as the Detroit Lions, George decided to host a Thanksgiving Day game against the world-champion Chicago Bears in hopes of attracting fans. The team has always played on Thanksgiving except between 1939-1944 due to World War II. The Dallas Cowboys also joined in on the Turkey Day tradition in 1966 and have played every Thanksgiving except in 1975 and 1977.

Question: What city is home to the oldest Thanksgiving parade?

Answer: Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Gimbel Brothers Department Store parade in 1920 had only 50 people, 15 cars and a fireman dressed as Santa Claus. The parade ended with Santa on his sleigh, signifying the arrival of the holiday season. Today, it’s much bigger and called the 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade instead. It was the inspiration behind the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade which started in 1924.

Question: What did President Calvin Coolidge famously receive as a Thanksgiving gift?

Answer: A live raccoon

In November 1926, Vinnie Joyce of Nitta Yuma, Mississippi, sent the 30th President of the United States a live raccoon to be served as Thanksgiving dinner. However, the President became so smitten with the furry animal that he pardoned it and adopted it as a pet. He named it Rebecca.

Question: What wasn’t part of the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Answer: Balloons

If you can’t imagine the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade without giant floats featuring your favorite characters, you’d barely recognize the first parade in the early 1920s. It did have puppets riding the iconic floats, as well as singers and celebrities and of course, Santa Claus. That said, when the Thanksgiving parade made its big debut in 1924, it did have something that might be even crazier than balloons: animals from the Central Park Zoo.

Question: What happens to the turkeys that are pardoned by the president each year?

Answer: The turkeys pardoned by the president go on to live fulfilled lives.

President George H.W. Bush pardoned the first turkey in 1989 after he noticed the 50-pound bird at his official Thanksgiving proclamation looked a little nervous. Every president has upheld the tradition, ever since. But what happens to that lucky bird that lives to squawk another day? In 2005 and 2009, the turkeys went to Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks to serve as grand marshals in their annual Thanksgiving parades.

Question: According to Americans, what’s the best part of Thanksgiving?

Answer: The leftovers

Fans of the beloved turkey, stuffing and mashed potato leftover sandwich: You’re in the majority. Most Americans prefer Thanksgiving leftovers to the actual meal. Almost eight in 10 Americans agree that the second helpings of stuffing, mashed potatoes and of course pie beat out the big dinner itself.

Question: Do other countries celebrate the holiday?

Answer: Yes! Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving — but on a different day.

Our neighbors to the north also celebrate Thanksgiving, but they do so on a different day and for an unrelated reason. While American Thanksgiving pays homage to a feast between the pilgrims and the Native Americans, the Canadian celebration commemorates a feast between English explorer Martin Frobisher and his crew after their successful sail from England to the Canadian territory in 1578. Canadian Thanksgiving takes place on the second Monday of October every year.

That doesn’t mean there are zero similarities between the two holidays. Both American and Canadian Thanksgiving menus often revolve around turkey, and revelers in both countries frequently spend the day watching football marathons and festive parades. In Canada, the biggest one is the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Question: How many people go shopping on Black Friday?

Answer: Over 32 million people

Even though many consumers think stores shouldn’t be open on Thanksgiving, a good chunk of us still shop on the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation. But not everyone heads to the mall before their meal settles. Black Friday still draws the biggest crowd of the entire holiday weekend, with 115 million people. A total of 69 percent of Americans chase those deals like a retail-driven Olympic sport.

Question: How much pumpkin pie do Americans eat every Thanksgiving?

Answer: An estimated 50 million pumpkin pies are devoured every November.

Some of us consider pumpkin pie a vehicle for whipped topping and could take it or leave it. If you’d also rather leave your pumpkins for Halloween and dig into another Thanksgiving dessert, you’re not alone. According to The American Pie Council, more Americans prefer apple pie overall – pumpkin pie only comes in second place.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Fall has Arrived!

        

We in Arizona have made it through another hot summer. We have had more rain this year though, which is a good thing when so many have endured drought. Now we can enjoy the cool Fall days and spend some quality time outdoors with friends and family.  Hike or take a bike ride on the trails and take in all the beauty in this great cool weather. There are numerous Fall Festivals that are held every year that can be found in almost every city or town.

Grab a good book and go sit out in the cool air and enjoy this time of year.  If you’re looking for something to read, check out my website. For something chilling try– Vengeance of the Wolf, for an adventure with dragons and time travel – The Dragomeir Series, or my new book The Atrium, which reveals the inner reflections of a man examining his life, not knowing if he will live or die. You’ll find other books and extras that might interest you as well.

Whatever you do to experience the Fall weather, fill up your days and weekends with the things that make you feel refreshed and balanced. It’s always a great time to count your blessings and be grateful for everything and everyone around you. 

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

Writing Tips from Well-known Authors

Writing success comes down to hard work, imagination, more hard work, passion – and then more hard work. Even if you are an absolutely fantastic writer who will be remembered for years to come, you will still most likely receive a good amount of criticism, rejection, and possibly ridicule before you get there.  It happens to everyone, no matter whom they are, and should come as no real surprise. These writers, having been through it all, offer us some writing tips without pulling punches.

  • I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee
  • A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?. George Orwell
  • Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. ― Kurt Vonnegut
  • In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it. — Rose Tremain
  • You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking its good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. — Octavia Butler
  • You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ― Jack London
  • Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel. If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries and so on in the final third, the resolution. — Michael Moorcock
  • Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one was not driven on by some demon that one can neither resist nor understand. — George Orwell
  • There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham
  • If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that. – Stephen King
  • The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying ‘Faire et se taire’ (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as ‘Shut up and get on with it.’— Helen Simpson
  • Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.– Anton Chekhov
  • Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
  • The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.— Neil Gaiman
  • If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do. – William Zinsser
  • Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. – Joshua Wolf Shenk
  • Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. – Mark Twain
  • The first draft of everything is shit. -Ernest Hemingway
  • Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there will always be better writers than you and there will always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you. ― Neil Gaiman
  • You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ― Ray Bradbury
  • Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously. – Lev Grossman

Even famous authors on occasion have a tough time, and often go through periods of self-doubt.  So take a lesson from them and never give up.  Don’t put off your writing plans.  There has never been a better time than now to realize your dream of becoming a published author.  Tell your story and let your voice be heard!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Shop the EMPOREUM – Great Gift Ideas

Shop the EMPOREUM for Unique Books,
T-Shirts, Gifts for Home & Office, & Digital Artwork!

 

If you love to shop, you will find an assortment of gifts for everyone  from home and office decor, clothing, drink-ware, digital artwork and Books –

There’s something for everyone. Come check us out!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL LEFT HANDER’S DAY

10% of the entire world population is left-handed.  That is 760 million people around the globe. You are much more likely to be a lefty if one of your parents is too. I am one of those left handed people. It was in August of 1976, on a Friday the 13th, that Left-Handers International first declared August 13 to be a day where left-handers were celebrated.

It is thought that left-handed people are more flexible and adaptable, as they are often challenged in a world that is made for right-handed people. The left hand is also controlled by the right side of the brain, which is associated with emotion and creative qualities such as music and art. I have always been a musician, playing guitar and writing music, poetry, and books, and have a passion for digital art, so I guess it holds true, at least for me.

American Presidents Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton are part of the left-hander’s club, along with such famous musicians as Céline Dion and Jimi Hendrix, who was one of the biggest rock stars in the world. He was renowned for playing a right-handed guitar with his left hand.

Here’s an idea – if you are left-handed, challenge your right-handed friends and family to use their left hands for the next day or so! You never know when using your left hand could be a real benefit!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

2022 Annual Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale!

2022 Annual Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale!

July 1, 2022 – July 31, 2022

Why is it called “Summer/Winter”?   Here in the Northern hemisphere, it’s mid-summer. Readers are loading their e-reading devices for summer beach reading and long-awaited vacations.   South of the equator they are now in the middle of winter. They’re ready to curl up in front of the fireplace and enjoy a great read too!

Hello to all the readers and authors out there!  All my eBooks will be on sale for 50% off, so take advantage and stock up on plenty of books to read over the summer/winter.  It’s an opportunity to find exclusive discounts from your favorite indie authors and discover new future favorites. You will find every type of genre with books from terrific authors all over the world. So, check it out at SMASHWORDS.COM.

My new book called The Atrium will be in the editing process soon.  You can read about it on my website.  In the meantime, I am continuing to do Spring Cleaning on my digital content to make improvements and move forward into 2022.  It’s difficult to believe that this year is half over already. Enjoy your Summer! See you soon!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

Outlines, Writing Goals and Cacophony

Authoring a book is not an easy endeavor.  Setting goals – daily, monthly, and yearly keeps you on track to a finished project and a successful career if that’s what you are after. If you are a short story writer, you might aim for one story per month. Writing a novel may be more difficult so finishing a certain number of pages a day or week could be your goal. Developing good habits, like writing at a certain time or number of hours per day, keeps you productive and gives you the right mind-set for finishing your project. Schedules always change and you need not feel guilty if something comes up and you have to adjust yours. It’s all part of a writer’s world.   

Do authors need a detailed outline before starting a novel? It really depends on the author.  Some authors may have an outline in their head and can just sit down and start writing or create as they go along, while others find it beneficial to create a story structure beforehand. It gives you the opportunity to break the story down into smaller parts, even chapters, helps to keep your timelines straight, and gives you a direction for your story line.  In the end, you might do a little of both since you can change anything necessary to flesh out your story.  However your creative process works will be the best roadmap for you. 

Life continues to go on around you, which also determines how much work can be done at any one time. For instance, right now we’re having our yard landscaped and the amount of noise can get crazy. Most of that cacophony is provided by two medium-sized dogs who seem to think that their territory is being invaded and that it is their sworn duty to protect us from said invaders. The fact that we invited the crew onto our property makes no sense or difference to our canine protectors, so they continue to do their jobs relentlessly and with a good deal of commotion. It is endearing, but at the same time hard to concentrate on writing. 

It’s always going to be something that infringes upon your work time.  You just learn to go with the flow and carry on, believing that your goals will be achieved. Aim to make your goals attainable, not so high that it sets you up for failure. Manage your time wisely. Rather than a rigid schedule, be devoted to your writing passion.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Five Equally Valuable and Enlightening Sites for the Week

Have a great week!

Solitaire

http://www.solitaireparke.com

 

We Celebrate the Brave Men & Women Who Fought to Keep Us Free!

As we celebrate Memorial Day Monday, May 30th, 2022 across the nation, let us remember to take a moment to honor those who have given their lives in service to our country. No matter what we do this Memorial Day weekend and on Memorial Day itself, the holiday offers a chance for the solemn remembrance of those who served our country and are no longer here with us, but who are in our hearts forever. To the brave men and women who have fought valiantly to keep our country free:

Thank you! May God Bless You!

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

– John F. Kennedy

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”

– Unknown

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

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Since 1949, the month of May has been designated throughout the nation as mental health month. Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health) joins the national movement to raise awareness. Their site provides support for those who deal with this everyday, along with their families.

I found a blog on LULU Books called Mental Health for Writers that applies not only to writers like myself, but has some great links for mental health in general.

After the last two years of pandemic living, many people are realizing that stress, isolation, job loss, and uncertainty have taken a toll on their well-being. To help slow the spread of coronavirus, many schools and childcare centers across the U.S. closed and transitioned to virtual instruction for at least some time. With these closures, children and their parents were experiencing ongoing disruption and changes to their daily routines. Throughout the pandemic, anxiety, depression, sleep disruptions, and thoughts of suicide have increased for many young adults. It has hit just about everyone in some form or fashion.

Personality may also influence how we manage in difficult times. How we endure uncertainty and our ability to tolerate distress are related behaviors that appear to make a difference. Some people are less comfortable with struggle or the unknown than others.  Feeling afraid, depressed, or anxiety ridden has seemed to hit an all time high in our world right now.

We can’t always self-improve our way out of pain and difficulty. Facing it is the only answer, and there are ways that we can get help and help ourselves. This is one of those times when life really is harder by a little bit or a lot, depending on your situation. We need to work to feel better, stay connected, and help others however we can.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

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