Celebrate World Health Day!


Founding and 2013 Theme

When the United Nations was established in 1945, founders felt it necessary to create an internal organization that would continue the important health services offered during both World Wars. On April 7, 1948, the World Health Organization began that mission. During the First World Health Assembly that same year, many felt a day commemorating the founding of the organization and bringing greater awareness of health concerns to the world would be appropriate. On April 7, 1950, World Health Day was born. Known as a day of global observance rather than a public holiday, this year’s theme is hypertension.

Monitoring Your Blood Pressure

In keeping with 2013’s theme, here is some information about hypertension and ways you can control your blood pressure:


  • Nearly 1 billion people have hypertension worldwide; two-thirds of whom live in developing nations.
  • Men run a higher risk than women of developing hypertension; a family history of high blood pressure can further increase the likelihood.
  • Age plays a role, with those in their 50s having five times the risk compared to those in their 20s and 30s.
  • Known as the “silent killer” due to the lack of warning signs and symptoms, high blood pressure is the leading, but preventable, cause of cardiovascular disease worldwide.
  • Hypertension is known to complicate other types of diseases such as diabetes.
  • Other risk factors for hypertension include: obesity, kidney disease, and consuming large quantities of alcohol.

Ways to Control It:

  • Exercise, exercise, exercise!
  • Eat healthy and avoid sodium
  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Say “no” to tobacco products
  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Find ways to relax and avoid stress
  • Get regular blood pressure check-ups with your doctor

Here’s To Your Health—Activities You Can Enjoy!

Here is a list of activities to consider on World Health Day in helping to promote a healthy lifestyle:

  • Attend a local health conference or fair.
  • Start a health workshop in your area.
  • Set up a variety of contests surrounding health for kids with prizes for all participants.
  • Create healthy games and exercise activities
  • Make fliers and pamphlets with fun trivia and health information to hand out in your neighborhood.
  • Coordinate blood pressure screenings with health professionals in your area.
  • Help promote a healthy diet by organizing a buffet of fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious delicacies, and distribute easy and delicious recipes that reflect healthy eating habits.
  • If your city has a website, ask if you can advertise any local World Health Day events.

In keeping with the spirit of good health, remember to pass long these helpful tips and encourage others to do the same. Your heart will thank you, and so will others!







The Academy of American Poets created National Poetry Month in 1996 to build awareness of the rich heritage of classic and contemporary poets and poems and their impact on our culture. Celebrated by bookstores, libraries, schools, and bloggers, the hope is that more of us will become aware of the joys of poetry.  Celebrated Poet, Billy Collins, wrote this somewhat humorous piece about our desires to understand poetry.

“Introduction to Poetry”

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with a rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

~Billy Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States 2001-2003

Billy Collins writes, teaches, and inspires all of us with his gifts of poetry. From Shakespeare to Milton to Dr. Seuss, we have a long and diverse heritage in the art form
of poetry.

So, what can you do to honor and participate in National Poetry Month? How about carrying a poem in your pocket? You could either write a piece yourself and share it with others, or you can find a poem from one of your favorite classics and sit with it, enjoy its mood and intention, and write it in a card to give a friend.

Look for poems on themes that make you happy. Poems exist on every subject imaginable. Find a good poem on love, or marriage or raising children and then write it down in your journal or on a note card and post it on the refrigerator.

Look for poetry books at local bookstores or visit websites. Encourage people in your family to try their hand at writing a poem, perhaps about a favorite pet or cooking dinner together. Any topic that brings a new light on the everyday moments can be fun to share.

Be more intentional about reading poetry newsletters, writing reviews, or letting publishers know that you appreciate the genre of poetry and want to see more books on the subject. Let a poem walk through your mind, do a little dance, and give you some new insights today.





bluemountain, postcard, spring

Happy April Birthday—You Wonderfully Witty, Sensual Spirits!

Loyal, dedicated, and with a childlike sense of wonder, those born during the month of April possess a fiery energy eager to discover the world around them. With an ability to uncover all that the world has to offer, you waste no time in seeking out all of life’s treasures.


Always the trailblazer, Aries energy is marked by spontaneity, speed, and a satirical sense of humor that guarantees laughs from all within earshot. Those born under the sign of the ram jump headfirst into everything! You strike while the iron is hot, and we mean hot! Uniqueness is your mantra, and truth be told, there’s no one quite like you. You live for the moment, and when one doesn’t present itself, you’re able to create one in a heartbeat.


If born under the sign of Taurus, you find value in anything that brings sensual pleasure—large and small. In fact, when it comes to worth, you prize everything from outright luxury to the very precious resources of Mother Earth, not to mention your own personal values and beliefs. You’re not one to covet just anything, for everything you possess must either have meaning or be something you’re able to give meaning to. If by chance your search for significance doesn’t pan out right away, you persist until it does, for perseverance is your calling card.

April Birth Flower, sweet peaApril Flower

Although the origin of your birth flower, the Sweet Pea, is somewhat unclear, what’s indisputable is its association with blissful pleasure: Blossoming in many varieties and colors (sometimes two-tone), many of the richly fragrant flowers have an aroma reminiscent of orange blossoms and honey.
A centerpiece of corsages, boutonnières, and other types of bouquets and flower arrangements, this delicate bloom was first believed to be seen in Sicily by the monk, Francisco Cupani, a member of the Order of St. Francis, in 1695. Considered easy to grow and care for, they are consistently sought out by those with a green thumb.

April birthstone, diamondApril Birthstone

Your birth stone, the diamond, derives its name from the Greek word, adamas, meaning “unconquerable,” and has as much history and legend surrounding its origin as it has facets to shine. Born beneath the earth’s surface in volcanic heat and massive pressure, this jewel of kings is also associated with romance, as Cupid’s arrow was believed to be tipped by this precious gem. Often seen on engagement rings, ancient Egyptians believed that the vena amoris, or “vein of love,” ran straight from one’s heart to the top of the third finger on the left hand. When Archduke Maximilian of Austria bestowed a diamond engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy in 1477, a tradition was born. Nowadays, it is often extracted from the renowned Kimberley diamond mines near Kimberley, South Africa, among many other places around the world.

Famous People Born in April

Famous faces who share your birthday month: Marlon Brando, Carol Burnett, Charlie Chaplin, Beverly Cleary, Thomas Jefferson, Coretta Scott King, Anthony Quinn, Debbie Reynolds, Jerry Seinfeld, Barbra Streisand

Important April 2013 Dates

April Fool’s Day   4/1
World Health Day   4/7
National Siblings Day   4/10
Tax Day   4/15
Earth Day   4/22
Administrative Professionals Day   4/24
Arbor Day   4/26






Vaseline on the door knob. Mustard in the toothpaste tube. Tape over the light switch.
Let the April Fool’s Day pranks begin! Whether the joke is on you, or you’re planning
some pranks yourself, April Fool’s Day is all about having fun. And we’re here to help.

But first things first. How did April 1 become the biggest prank-pulling day of the year? Nobody knows for sure. But the most popular theory dates back to the 1500s when the adoption of the Gregorian calendar changed New Year from being observed on April 1
to January 1. It was a popular joke to trick people into thinking April 1 was still the New Year, and those who believed it were dubbed “April Fools.” Other theories range from Mother Nature “fooling” us with her fickle weather to Roman ruler Constantine letting
a court jester be king for a day because the “fool” thought he could do a better job.

Now April Fool’s Day is celebrated worldwide—with some of the most elaborate hoaxes pulled by the media. Taco Bell once took out a full page ad announcing their purchase of
the Liberty Bell. Expedia has touted flights to Mars. And Google plays a new prank every year. But one of the most popular hoaxes of all time was the 1957 BBC report of Switzerland’s “exceptionally heavy spaghetti crop” with video footage so convincing that callers jammed the switchboard seeking their own Spaghetti Tree.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go that far to get a laugh. In fact, you probably have plenty of joke supplies right in your own junk drawer!

Here are some quick and easy popular pranks:

  • Rubber band the kitchen sink sprayer to soak an innocent victim’s face.
  • Put food coloring in the toothbrush (the same color as the bristles).
  • Insert frozen coins inside your family’s shoes.
  • Ben Gay the toilet seat.
  • Block the remote signal with a piece of electrical tape.
  • Put hair gel in the liquid soap bottle.
  • Unplug your co-worker’s mouse.
  • Tell them they’re getting brownies for desert. Then give them “E”s cut out of brown paper.
  • And the lazy-fool’s approach: Say you’ve planned a prank just to watch people squirm.

For more joke ideas and hilarious media hoaxes, check out the following links:


And, of course, don’t forget for plenty of April Fool fun!