Sunday, March 31, 2013

April Fool’s Day

By Diane Forrest

Today is a friend of mine's favorite holiday...he love to play jokes and pranks. He spends weeks planning the perfect gag to play on friends and co-workers. Last year, I hadn't spoken to him for a while, and he called. I didn't notice the date, I was just happy to hear from him...then he told me he had gotten engaged, and was getting married. Well you could have knocked me over with a feather! This guy had gone through a rather bad divorce a few years ago, and swore off women entirely! I was shocked to say the least. Well he continued on for a few more minutes until he finally blurted out “April fools!!!" and I had to confess that I had been fooled. Growing up I couldn't get away with any practical jokes. The people around me were always on the look out for such things. I tried a few minor things, like loosening the cap on the saltshaker or covering the toilet lid with plastic wrap, or putting Vaseline on doorknobs. But was always found out before the trick played out.

The origins of April Fools' Day are obscure. The most commonly cited theory holds that it dates from 1582, the year France adopted the Gregorian Calendar, which shifted the observance of New Year's Day from the end of March (around the time of the vernal equinox) to the first of January.

According to popular lore some folks, out of ignorance, stubbornness, or both, continued to ring in the New Year on April 1 and were made the butt of jokes and pranks on account of their foolishness. This became an annual tradition, according to this version of events, which ultimately spread throughout Europe. Thus began the centuries old tradition of playing tricks on April 1st.

Some notable pranks in recent history include a spaghetti harvest in 1957, Taco Bell's purchases of the Liberty Bell and renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell in 1996, and in 1998 Burger King introduced the left handed whopper for just one day. had a list of some practical jokes that you could try at home with your own friends and families that were mostly harmless. They include:
·      Print out a fake parking ticket
·      print out an unsolvable word search game, you can print one from here:
·      Pour jello in a cup with a straw for an "undrinkable" drink.
·      Fill the shower with toast
·      Mix soy sauce with sprite and put in a coke bottle for a yucky drink
·      duct tape an air horn on the back of a door so when the door opens the horn blasts
·      Make caramel "apples" out of onions
·      Fill donuts with mayonaise
·      Paint clear nail polish on soap
·      Make a "milk spill" using dried elmer's glue
·      Make a fake spill with dried nail polish.

Use your imagination and creativity and come up with something wonderful! And have a great time but be safe!

Happy Easter

By Diane Forrest

Easter is one of those quiet holidays that kinda sneak in on you.  People normally don’t shop for Easter gifts or play Easter music for weeks on end. Not many Easter cards hit the post office, and since its not a Federal holiday, and it is always on Sunday, many people don't have the day off work either. 

Nonetheless, Easter is a very important time of remembrance and rejoicing.  While Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, Easter celebrates the resurrection.

Growing up, most of my thoughts were about getting a new dress, white shoes, and spending the night wearing these hard plastic rollers in my hair, and not being able to sleep a wink!  My brother and I would get up and search the den for eggs, he always found the most, and then we would go to church in our brand new clothes.  My Easter bunny didn’t bring toys, but he always came with socks and underwear and occasionally a cross necklace or earrings.

For many people the Easter season signifies the rebirth and renewal of springtime.  Plants and trees begin to bloom, animal babies are born, and time to plant tomatoes, and pollen is everywhere.  The cold winter months are over, and spring has sprung.  Even though the ground hog predicted an early spring this year, there is still snow on the ground everywhere.

This Sunday I will get up, put on my new Easter outfit, go to church, then to my parent's home to eat the traditional ham, potato salad, deviled egg dinner, then come home to take a nice Sunday nap.  But I will spend most of the day thinking about Jesus's resurrection and the fact that he lives, and he lives in me.

What are some of your family's Easter traditions?  Write them in the comment section below, we would love to know how you celebrate the holiday, all of us at KISBYTO wish you a very Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy National Pencil Day

By Terry Orr

  • More than 14 billion pencils are produced in the world every year  - enough to circle the globe 62 times.
  • Two billion pencils are made in the United States each year.
  • The pencil was invented more than 400 years ago, in 1565.
  • Famous novelists Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck used pencils to write their books.
  • Pencils didn't have erasers on them until 100 years ago because teachers felt they would encourage children to make mistakes.
  • It would cost $50 in labor and materials for a person to make a 10-cent pencil.
  • One million pencils are used annually on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
  • The average pencil can be sharpened 17 times, write 45,000 words or draw a line 35 miles long.
  • A good-size tree will make about 300,000 pencils.
  • Pencils don't really contain lead.  That gray matter is granite and clay.

March 30 is National Pencil Day! Several years ago, I finally transitioned from wooden to mechanical pencils for daily use – although, there are still some wooden ones scattered here and there.

For those looking for different uses of the pencil other than its intended purpose, ( offers 56 Uses for the Common Pencil.
There are many ways to sharpen your wooden pencils and here a few examples:

(All images from Google)

National Peanut Month

By Terry Orr 

My earliest memory of peanuts in the shell was at a Major League Baseball game in Kansas City oh so many years ago.  Sharing a bag with my Dad and brother along with a soda still puts a smile on my face.  All these years later, I still enjoy, cracking open the shell and eating fresh roasted peanuts.

Every three months or so, I order two 25 pound boxes of peanuts for our outdoor critters each morning. Putting a few on the deck railing - then the remainder tossed in our back yard.  From the kitchen, we (wife, cats and I) can watch the Blue Jays swoop down and pick up a peanut.  Those that spill onto the deck are fair game,  between the squirrels and chipmunks.  

Peanuts are also very good  health-wise as they are a good source of niacin, folate, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and phosphorus.  They also are naturally free of trans-fat and sodium and contain about 25% protein.

U.S. peanuts fall into four basic types: Runner, Virginia, Spanish and Valencia. Each of these peanuts is distinctive in size and flavor. 

Peanut are not a Nut? Are you kidding?  True...they are a Legumes/bean!  

Archeologists have dated the oldest specimens to about 7,600 years, found in Peru.

Now you know. 
(All images from Google) 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mom and Pop Owned Business

By Diane Forrest
My uncle loves history.  He used to teach history to the 7th and 8th graders at the junior high school in his town.  He has since retired, but still loves learning about history, and he is currently studying about the native americans in our area.  Im not much of a fan of history, well not that kind.  The history I like is history from the things I see around my town.  I live in Natchez, probably one of the most historic places in the country.  my town is full of antebellum (before the civil war) homes, antique store, and ghost stories.  I recently took some family members to one of the homes that is currently on tour, and we heard stories about the building of the home, and the people who lived. there.  As I stood in the rooms listening to the guide, and looking at the furniture and toys, I imagined what my life would be like had I lived during that time. 

That may have been one of the reasons I was sad to learn this summer that the country's oldest general store was closing its doors after being in business for 224 years.  Gray's General Store, located in Rhode Island had to close because business was not as good as it used to be, and customers were shopping at the big named places in town.  As I was watching the news report on the closing, the owner was talking about all the pieces of history he had found while cleaning out the property.  He was the 7th generation owner, and like him, all of the other family members before him were raised and worked in the store.  At one time it even held the local post office, and it was still in the store, intact.  Watching that story made me think back to the Mercantile on the show Little House on the Prairie, and Drucker's on the show Petticoat Junction.  We also had little family owned stores where we could walk in, get some ice cream, and just ask them to charge it to our account. 

My father worked at a family owned drug store when he was growing up.  He did everything from deliver drugs on his bike to running the soda fountain, to wrapping gifts at christmas and diapering the owner's babies.  The owner, who is still alive, still remembers with fondness all the work my father did for them, and loves to reminisce about the good ole days. 
The decline of family owned business is being seen more frequently with the opening of big chain stores, like Walmart, home depot and Walgreens. Family owned restaurants are going under for places like Olive Garden, Red Lobster and McDonalds. A really good friend of mine owns a family run business.  They just celebrated their 42nd year in business.  He has raised his children there, and now his grandchildren.  He works every day with his sons, and his daughters help out occasionally as well.  He does a lot to keep up with the times, by setting up wi-fi and other electronic gadgets, but he also works hard to keep things like the food and prices low to allow more people to enjoy family entertainment.  On Sunday mornings, he told me that he had considered stopping the breakfast he prepared weekly.  I reminded him of the family traditions that he would be ending, not only for his family, but for all the kids that came in on Sundays for a memorable breakfast with dad.  

That's the kind of  history I like, the kind where you make memories and share stories with future generations.  Keeping the Mom and Pop businesses open not only allow new memories for new generations, but also keeps the old memories alive in our minds and in our hearts.   Today is National Mom and Pop Business Owner's Day.  Why not visit some of your local family owned stores or restaurants, and show them your support today and keep the american dream alive and well.

(All images from Google) 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Caffeine Awareness

By Nurse Diane

On March 5th, Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela passed away from cancer.  Although they didn't specify what type of cancer he suffered from, there was mention that he drank 40 cups of coffee every day.  When I mentioned this tidbit to a friend of mine, he said he also drank that much a day, but now only drinks 2 or 3 cups.  While doing my clinical rotation through psychology nursing, I was required to attend an AA meeting.  One of the first things I noticed was the coffee. everyone was downing coffee like there was no tomorrow.  While doing my research on caffeine, I learned that the effects of caffeine on the body closely resemble the effects of cocaine.  Many people who are addicted to one substance will usually transfer that addiction to something else, whether it be drugs, alcohol, smoking or caffeine.

Some folks think that since there is no government regulation on caffeine, that any amount is safe for you.  Most people can drink about three 8 oz servings without any problems.  According to, ingesting more than 500 to 600 mg of caffeine per day is considered heavy use and may lead to physical side effects caused by both the addictive potential and stimulating effects of caffeine. Heavy use and abuse may result in restlessness, rapid heart rate, nausea, muscle tremors and insomnia. Lack of sleep from caffeine use can lead to ongoing sleep disturbances, fatigue, and a decline in physical performance and energy levels. Caffeine abuse can eventually lead to addiction, and you will need to ingest caffeine on a regular basis to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and mood changes. Caffeine abuse can lead to psychological symptoms such as anxiety and irritability, and withdrawal from caffeine causes marked nervousness and depression leading to reduced motivation and sleeplessness.
Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and chocolate. To calculate how much you drink, check out the chart here:

You can also test your caffeine knowledge here to see if you have a problem drinking too much:   I have never been a big coffee drinker, I may have 2 or 3 cups a week if its cold outside, I don't drink any soft drinks, and I just have a glass of tea for Sunday lunch.  I do like chocolate, but I also limit that to a small piece a day.  

March is National Caffeine Awareness Month and if you need help decreasing the amount of caffeine you have or would just like to talk to someone about it, click on this site for more information.
(All images from Google)

Quirky Country Music Titles

By Diane Forrest

Last year the winner of the country music video award went to Toby Keith.  The song was Red Solo Cup.  The entire video was devoted to singing the praises of a red plastic cup.  However, its a very catchy song, and I sing it in my head every time I see a red cup....Red Solo cup...I lift you up!  Lets have a Party!

I just can't seem to stop it.
Country music artists sing about everything, from giving beer to horses and since the phone still ain’t ringing, I guess its still not you.  According to, country music evolved from Appalachian folk music in the 1920s and became a nationwide sensation in the 1940s. The Grand Ole Opry radio station in Nashville, Tennessee began broadcasting weekly concerts that showcased all the different genres of country music—hillbilly, honky-tonk, bluegrass, western, rockabilly, gospel, and more.

There are so many fun songs to choose from for the title of Most Quirky, here are a few:
  • ‘Dixie Rose Deluxe’s Honky-Tonk, Feed Store, Gun Shop, Used Car, Beer, Bait, BBQ, Barber Shop, Laundromat’
  • ‘Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed’
  • ‘If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold it Against Me’
  • ‘Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off’
  • ‘Did I Shave My Legs for This?’

The following list was shared last year on the Andrew Carter Talk show on Cjad:
  • She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger
  • Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth ‘Cause I’m Kissing You Goodbye
  • If I Can’t Be Number One In Your Life,
  • Then Number Two On You
  • You’re the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly
  • Can’t Get Over You, So Why Don’t You Get Under Me?
  • All My Exes Live in Texas
  • If Love were Oil, I’d be a Quart Low
  • At the Gas Station of Love, I Got the Self-Service Pump
  • If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?
  • I Don’t Know Whether To Kill Myself Or Go Bowling
  • There Ain’t Enough Room in my Fruit of the Looms
  • to Hold All My Lovin’ for You
  • It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night
  • that Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long
  • I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim’s Gettin’ Better

Of course you could spend days looking at all the song titles and watching funny video's.  Alan Jackson wrote a song about still loving bologna sandwiches, and made a really cute video too.

Today is Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day.  If you don't see one of your favorites listed...leave it in the comment section below, and then spend the day listening to some of your favorite country songs.  Cowboy hats or boots not required, but recommended.

(All images from Google)