“It’s a WONDERFUL LIFE… Count Your Blessings”

If you have watch this old movie a hundred times or more… did you  ever wonder about  the how… why and what for of different things in this movie?

Just took the time to watch this – and there is so much  good information here –  all the time and work to produce – no wonder…  to learn  all the wherefores and  whys that  this is truly a  super  movie…   it is a great FAMILY film to watch, at this time of the year!     D.V.

Posted in Today and tagged with no comments yet.


NEW YEAR’S EVE – December 31

 Every year on December 31st, people around the world celebrate New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year. It’s a day to say “goodbye” to the old and “hello” to the new.

Also known as Old Year’s Day or Saint Sylvester’s Day, New Year’s Eve is one of the most exciting holidays of the year. In some countries, such as the Philippines and Latvia, New Year’s Eve is a public holiday. In Japan, it’s a government holiday. In other countries, many businesses let their employees off of work early so that they can partake in the many festivities.

There are many reasons this day is one of the biggest nights of the year. Not just because it’s a time of big parties and celebrations all around the world. New Year’s Eve can be a significant turning point in your life. It’s a time to reflect on the past year and all of the lessons you have learned. It can be a time you decide to start making better choices. If you have had a rough year, New Year’s Eve offers a feeling of relief. You can be thankful that the year is finally over

New Year’s is also a time to forgive past mistakes and form new habits. Many people make New Year’s resolutions. Although, only 8% of people actually accomplish them. Instead of making resolutions that you’re not going to keep anyway, it’s better to set three or four goals. Breaking down goals into actionable steps, and reviewing your progress daily helps to keep them. It’s also a good idea to find a friend or mentor that can hold you accountable.


As we count down the last hours and seconds of the old year, it is an excellent time to look back at the year and reminisce with friends and family.   

Many cities throughout the world go all-out to celebrate this exciting night. Fireworks, concerts, countdowns, and ball drops are usually among the many festivities. Some of the best cities to celebrate include New York City, Sydney, Bangkok, Dubai, Cape Town, London, and Las Vegas.

In Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, it is a tradition to eat 12 grapes during the countdown to midnight, symbolizing hopes for the new year. Around the world, eating anything in the form of a circle or ring symbolizes coming full circle and is considered good luck.

As a Christian observance, it is traditional to hold an evening Mass the night before a Holy Day. New Year’s Day in the Roman Catholic Church honors the Virgin Mary. In some countries, St. Sylvester, Pope of the Catholic Church from 314 to 335, is celebrated on New Year’s Eve.

Other ways to participate:

  • Host a party to ring in the New Year
  • Set some achievable goals
  • If you can’t be at a celebration, watch one live on television
  • Have a game night with your family and see who lasts until midnight
  • Go for a midnight run
  • Attend a concert that goes past midnight
  • Go ice-skating at a nearby park or indoor rink
  • Kiss your spouse or significant other at midnight
  • Enjoy a quiet evening at home journaling
  • Think about what you can do to make next year the best one of your life

No matter what you decide to do to ring in the New Year, share it on social media with a picture and #NewYearsEve.


The first New Year’s celebrations were thought to be held in ancient Mesopotamia. Because of the calendar at the time, these celebrations took place in March. Ringing in the New Year consisted of an 11-day festival. When the calendar switched from the lunar year to the solar year, the New Year began in January. This occurred in 46. B.C., when an astronomer convinced Julius Caesar to follow the solar year. It seems that since way back then, the coming New Year has been cause for celebration. Through the years, many New Year’s traditions have formed. Some of which include fireworks, parties, and singing “Auld Lang Syne.”

“Happy New Year to One and to all”    D.V.

Posted in Today and tagged with no comments yet.



Each year, Make Up Your Mind Day on December 31st encourages us to quit wavering, to take a side, and follow through with a decision and stick to it.  

As New Year’s resolutions go, this may be the day to decide which ones to declare. The day may be used to determine other decisions as well. Career changes, family decisions, and large purchases often keep us from moving forward. We waver between multiple choices or sometimes a simple yes or no. While some life-altering decisions are made on a whim, most people deliberate and weigh the pros and cons before making these types of decisions. 


If a decision has you hesitating, make a decision. This day is the incentive to make a choice. Draw up a list of pros and cons to help you decide. Too many choices? Pare them down by ranking them. Use #MakeUpYourMindDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this day. As we do, we’re trying to make up our minds about whether to celebrate early in the day or wait. We’ll make our decision before midnight.

Posted in Today and tagged with no comments yet.


Digital clock with red numerals 23:59:60.

Image via NASA.

Why do we need a leap second?

Isn’t the length of our day set by the rotation of the Earth? Like the ancients who insisted that all motion in the heavens must be perfect, uniform and unvarying, many of us today assume that the Earth’s rotation – its spin on its axis – is perfectly steady. We learned, correctly, that the sun, moon, stars and planets parade across our sky because the Earth turns. So it is easy to understand why we assume that the Earth’s rotation is precise and unwavering. Yet Earth’s rotation does not stay perfectly steady.

Instead, compared to modern timekeeping methods such as atomic clocks, the Earth is a notoriously poor timepiece. Overall, as many know, Earth’s spin is slowing down. The length of our day is increasing. The Wikipedia entry on this subject explains it well:

Earth’s rotation is slowing slightly with time; thus, a day was shorter in the past. This is due to the tidal effects the moon has on Earth’s rotation. Atomic clocks show that a modern day is longer by about 1.7 milliseconds than a century ago, slowly increasing the rate at which UTC is adjusted by leap seconds. Analysis of historical astronomical records shows a slowing trend; the length of a day increased about 2.3 milliseconds per century since the 8th century BCE.

Earth’s rotation is slowing, but it can also speed up

The slowing is an overall trend. The speedup is more of a day-to-day phenomenon. The website timeanddate.com has a very interesting article on a slight speedup in Earth’s rotation in 2020.

The fact is Earth’s rotation is subject to effects that are hard to predict. Other short-term and unpredictable changes result from a variety of events. These range from slight changes in the distribution of mass in the Earth’s molten outer core, to movement of large masses of ice near the poles, to density and angular momentum variations in the Earth’s atmosphere.

For example, you might recall the devastating Fukushima earthquake that struck in northeastern Japan in 2011. The quake was magnitude 9.0, the largest ever recorded in Japan. It was the world’s fourth-biggest earthquake since 1900. It unleashed a powerful tsunami that caused the death of some 16,000 people and caused a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The quake also caused displacements of portions of the Earth’s crust that sped up Earth’s rotation, shortening the day by 1.6 millionth of a second.

A sawtooth line graph showing a slight speedup in Earth's rotation in 2020.
Variation of daylength throughout 2020. The length of day is the difference in milliseconds between the Earth’s rotation and 86,400 seconds. Image via the article Earth Is in a Hurry in 2020 at timeanddate.com.

The tides affect Earth’s rotation

If you have ever been to the beach, you will be familiar with the main reason our planet is slowing down. That reason is ocean tides. As our planet rotates, it plows past the great watery bulges (raised mostly by the gravitational interaction of the Earth and moon), which serves to slow it down much like a brake on a rotating wheel. This effect is small, actually very small. According to calculations based on the timing of ancient astronomical events (eclipses), the Earth’s rotation has slowed down by about 0.0015 to 0.002 seconds per day per century.

In other words, the days are becoming longer by about 0.002 seconds per day. But the rate at which this increase occurs also grows slowly over time. Currently that rate is also about 0.002 seconds, but per 100 years.

So the Earth is slowing down, very slowly. What happens, though, is that the daily 0.002-second difference between the original definition of a day (86,400 seconds) builds up.

After one day it is 0.002 seconds. After two days it is 0.004 seconds. By three days it is 0.006 seconds and so on. In about a year and a half, the difference mounts to about 1 second. It is this difference that has prompted the addition of a leap second.

Atomic clocks (which are accurate to about a billionth of a second per day) track all of this to an extremely high precision.

The inconstant Earth

Of course, the slowdown is not constant either. According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, from 1973 to 2008 the variation in Earth’s spin has ranged from plus 4 milliseconds to minus 1 millisecond. Over time, that could necessitate a negative leap second, signifying an increase in the Earth’s rotation speed.

But, since the concept of leap seconds began in 1973, this has never happened.

And, by the way, if this fine detail on timekeeping seems esoteric or unimportant to you, realize that it’s not to the telecommunications industry.

North and part of South America at night with glowing lines arcing between glittering cities.
Modern telecommunications relies on precise timing, and the addition of a leap second forces many systems to be turned off for a second every year or two. That’s why there’s sometimes discussions about abolishing leap seconds.

Not everyone thinks a leap second is a good idea

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a United Nations body that governs some global issues related to time, has been contemplating leap seconds for some time. They considered abolishing the practice, but in November 2015 – with delegates from more than 150 nations meeting in Geneva – the ITU announced it had decided not to dump the leap second, at least not right now. The ITU said:

Leap Second Time Adjustment Day is listed as an observance title only. Some years scientists do not make adjustments. But, if they do, then it’s done on either June 30 or December 31.

The majority of the world measures time solely based on a 24 hour day in which each hour contains 60 minutes, and each minute contains 60 seconds. That measurement is much too simple for accurate time measurement.

since about 140 AD, scientists have attempted to break down the hours in the day into a consistent and precise means of measure. Due to the variability of the Earth’s rotation, measurement of the 24 hour day is not an exact science. There is some dispute over the validity of leap second adjustments. Some years scientists do not make adjustments. But, if they do, then it’s done on either June 30 or December 31.

HOW TO OBSERVE #LeapSecondTimeAdjustmentDay

Whether an adjustment is made or not, here are ways to celebrate:

  • Watch an episode of Quantum Leap.
  • Play the game leapfrog.
  • Listen to “Leap of Faith” by Bruce Springsteen. 
  • Sneak up on someone and see if you can scare them into leaping into the air. 
  • Leap for joy.
  • Watch the moon landing and listen for Neil Armstrong’s famous quote.
  • Sing the 12 Days of Christmas and see if you remember which day leaps.
  • Take a leap of faith.

Use #LeapSecondTimeAdjustmentDay to post on social media.


Scientists first introduced the leap-second system in 1972.

Posted in Family, Grandma, Today and tagged with no comments yet.

“At the END of a YEAR- Remember the GOOD TIMES”

   “Time seems to FLY through the YEARS”

  “WOW”   “What a wonderful day it was … when our little baby, “Alan”  decided to come to EARTH  as in HEAVEN all of the “BABIES” that will become a part of a FAMILY …enjoy  being in a Heavenly realm… where there is an exciting choice given… is it this “FAMILY”  for me… to become a part of … or shall I wait… and see what other choices come along before all choices are taken… and I must leave… like it or not!”

July 1st… came up on the calendar on EARTH… and as looking over this one particular  “FAMILY ”   I could see a resemblance of  “Al and Mary”  and just thought that… this  is the  “FAMILY” … for me!

  “HOW do you like my choice?” “That’s my DAD… big “AL” and I am little “AL” and just maybe a week old… here on EARTH!”

On EARTH… there is this thing with “TIME” … at first when you arrive … “TIME” runs very slow. This PHOTO is of DADDY and me, just a few years older than the  previous PHOTO above… because when on EARTH… the people eat more than we did in HEAVEN… and as you eat,  you do get to be taller and grow more, and are always learning new things.

This “TIME” that  “DAD and SON” get to share alone in the first years here on EARTH is so very important, at least… I think so  and feel that everyone needs more “FAMILY  TIME”   together, as LIFE  will be so much more FUN  that way!   This PHOTO  has the ‘title’  that I will call… “Boys NIGHT OUT”   what do you think?

This is a favorite PHOTO,“DAD and SON”  this is the  best of  the SUMMER TIME, and it  is a special day for all of  our FAMILY . There is just something about the “SUMMER” and when the FAMILY can get together just for the sake of having FUN, well  then… those are the days that are  “for sure”  to be  put into the “MEMORY BOOK”… forever!

“It sure is getting close… so “HAPPY  NEW YEAR”s… ALAN” and many more wonderful  FUN FILLED  years… to follow!”

“May the Almighty Yahweh  richly bless you and all of the FAMILY!” …amd… Bless all in our FAMIY…  in all the new adventures that we will  be doing… for the  NEW Years that  we will  be Blessed with… forever!”     D.V.

Posted in Today and tagged with no comments yet.

“Each Day of the Year…Something Happening”

July 1
July is the month / Fireworks light the night sky / Like a christmas tree

August 1
August is so hot / Elves want air conditioners / And snowmen are scarce

September 4
A Christmas sunrise / makes a beautiful morning / for a boy’s delight

September 13
Silver and blue claus / loaded with toys and apples / for good boys and girls

September 25
Santa has red cheeks / a big thick mustache and beard / a very warm heart

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25
It’s one month away / a most special Christmas day / Ready for the cheer??

November 28
red and green berries / hung on the fireplace mantel / bring joy to the heart

December 5
Fifth Day of Christmas / Rings all over my tables. / No one used coasters!

December 13
Christmas can be fun. / For Santa, this can wreck it. / Reindeer with the runs!

December 25
A Merry Christmas / To all of you, From us at / Vaillancourt Folk Art

January 1
New Morning Has Come / Welcome to two-thousand-ten / A Year of great things!

January 5
My first Chalkware piece / Given with Love, Affection! / New tradition born.

January 9
Presents under tree / And Children are under foot! / Break out the egg nog!

January 24
Christmas Treasures Bright / To build a small child’s delight / On a Christmas night

February 2
Father Christmas says, / “You better behave,” / “for a few more months.”

February 13
Did you hear the one? / How the reindeer all have fun. / North Pole limbo, mon!

February 16
Heard scratching at night / opened the locker slowly / elf was locked inside

April 30
April brings showers / Mrs Clause plants flowers / Elves work long hours

May 18
Painting at Vaillancourts / Mine is a work in progress / Painting is close now

Everyday of the year…we are working hard… Christmas is sooner than you think!    D.V.


Posted in Grandma and tagged with no comments yet.