Category Archives: Fun Facts

July 4th – Independence Day – Fun Facts

Summer is here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and our storage space customers are preparing for the Independence Day Holiday, shuttling in and out past the rental office, retrieving barbecue grills, lawn furniture, and even the occasional kayak. I’m certain our staff, and storage space tenants could tell you that July 4th commemorates our nation’s freedom and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but they may not know these facts about the 4th of July.

Here are a few July 4th fun facts for you courtesy of The Storage Inn…

Only John Hancock actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. All the others signed sometime in August..

The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45. The youngest was Thomas Lynch, Jr (27) of South Carolina.  The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin (70) of Pennsylvania. The lead author of The Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was 33.

The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men from 13 colonies.One out of every eight signers of the Declaration of Independence were educated at Harvard (7 total).

The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the Colonies would appear equal.

The first Independence Day celebration took place in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. This was also the day that the Declaration of Independence was first read in public after people were summoned by the ringing of the Liberty Bell.

The White House held its first 4th July party in 1801.

President John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe all died on the Fourth. Adams and Jefferson (both signed the Declaration) died on the same day within hours of each other in 1826.

Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who recommended the bald eagle.

In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. Today the population of the U.S.A. is over 300 million.

Congress made Independence Day an official unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870. In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.

Over 200 million dollars are spent on fireworks annually in the United States with most being imported from China.

Approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed  on the fourth of July

Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not actually rung) thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.

The song “Yankee Doodle” was originally sung by British military officers to mock the disheveled, disorganized colonial “Yankees” with whom they served in the French and Indian War.

The tune of The Star Spangled Banner was originally that of an English drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heaven.”

So there you have it – some fun facts to entertain friends and family as you hang out at the beach or barbecue. Have a great 4th and remember to toast the Chinese for inventing fireworks!

Summertime Storage and Fun Summer Facts!

Hello Summer Storage

Summertime Storage and Fun Summer Facts!

Summer is officially here in Egg Harbor Township, NJ and The Storage Inn is bustling with warm weather activity. Landscaping storage customers are shooting in and out, retrieving items from their storage spaces. Families are grabbing barbecue grills, surfboards, and bicycles from their summer storage rentals, and I even saw one of our younger self storage tenants on roller blades!

Everybody loves to be busy in summer! To celebrate, I’d like to share a few interesting facts about summer with our readers.

  1. In the United States, the top 5 most popular summer vacations are
    – Beach/ocean (45%)
    – A famous city (42%)
    – National parks (21%)
    – A lake (17%)
    – A resort (14%) 

2. The “dog days of summer” refer to the weeks between July 3 and August 11 and are named after the Dog Star (Sirius) in the Canis Major constellation. The ancient Greeks blamed Sirius for the hot temperatures, drought, discomfort, and sickness that occurred during the summer. 

3. In the summer heat, the iron in France’s Eiffel Tower expands, making the tower grow more than 6 inches. 

4. The month of June was named after Juno, the wife of Jupiter. July is named after Julius Caesar, and August after Caesar Augustus. 

5. The first Olympic Games in the modern era were the 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the Olympiad in Athens, Greece. The Games featured the Panathinaiko Stadium, the first giant stadium of the modern world that housed the largest crowd to ever watch a sporting event. 

6. Watermelon, a summer time favorite, is part of the cucumber, pumpkin, and squash family and consists of 92% water. On average, Americans consume 15 pounds of watermelon annually. 

7. The popsicle, another summer time treat, was accidentally invented by an 11-year-old boy in San Francisco in 1905 during the cooler part of the year. He left a glass of soda sitting outside and by the next morning it had frozen solid. A little time later in life he began selling them at an amusement park in New Jersey. Cherry is the number 1 popsicle flavor in the United States.

8. Before the Civil War, schools did not have summer vacation. In rural communities, kids had school off during the spring planting and fall harvest while urban schools were essentially year-round. The long summer holiday didn’t come about until the early 20th century. 

9. The record for the most people applying sunscreen was on January 8, 2012, in Australia with 1,006 participants applying sunscreen for 2 minutes. 

There you have it – A few things that you may not have known about Summer! Happy Summer everyone from all of us here at The Storage Inn!

 

Look Twice – Save a Life!

It’s mid-May here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and we are starting to get some warm, almost summer-like days. This time of year the air is filled with the sounds of nature… and motorcycles!

Yes, our tenants are retrieving their two-wheeled toys from their storage units and getting out there to enjoy the open road. I was reminded by one of our self storage customers that May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

Motorcycle Awareness Month is aimed at increasing awareness among drivers of all types of vehicles to drive responsibly and take heed of motorcycles sharing the roadway. Warmer weather brings out motorcycle lovers in droves! City streets, back roads, and highways are buzzing with motorcycling enthusiasts. This time of year demands more attention from motorcyclists and car drivers alike.

All Drivers Have Responsibility to Keep Motorcyclists Safe

Although motorcycles account for only 3% of all vehicles in the USA, they hold the same rights on the road as any other motorist. In many states, there are strong initiatives to educate motorcycle drivers and riders to take safety measures to avoid dangerous traffic situations and accidents.

Unfortunately, the same amount of emphasis regarding motorcycle safety is not taken with drivers of other vehicle types. It may seem unnecessary to do, but with motorcyclists being at a higher risk of injury and fatality in the event of a crash, it is an important matter to bring to the forefront.

A common prejudice among American drivers is the idea that motorcyclists ride at their own risk.  The risks associated with motorcycling, while true, do not remove the responsibility of passenger car drivers to practice safe driving habits like using turn signals and avoiding distracted driving.

Here are some great driving  awareness reminders:

  • Listen! Those loud pipes on motorcycles are not there just to be cool – they are also to alert other drivers that there is a motorcycle nearby.
  • Give full lane space to motorcycles, same as a full size car.
  • Check blind spots, look twice and signal when making turns, merging with traffic, and changing lanes.
  • When behind a motorcycle, leave extra space to allow for sudden breaking.
  • For the safety of everyone on the road, avoid distracted, drunk, and drowsy driving.

Motorcyclist – Take Charge of Your Safety on the Road

While most states require a test to receive a motorcycle license, a motorcycle safety course is also highly recommended. These courses can be taken through the state and are available at most motorcycle dealerships.

Are some tips for motorcyclists to help enjoy a safe ride:

  • Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet and use bright color and fluorescent gear to make yourself more visible – white helmets can lower risk by 24%.
  • Drive with your headlights turned on even during the day. Visibility to other drivers is key
  • Drive in the middle of the lane to become more visible to the traffic as opposed to straddling the lane divider lines.
  • Use caution while approaching an intersection, over-taking, or changing lanes.
  • Avoid lane splitting or driving aggressively, especially in heavier traffic.
  • Take a motorcycle safety and driving course to improve your riding skills
  • Use your hand and turn signal to inform others that you are taking a turn or changing lane.
  • For the safety of everyone on the road, avoid distracted, drunk, and drowsy driving.

Safety gear is an important part of rider’s safety.The leather worn by motorcyclist, while it may look cool, is really a second skin to protect the driver. Motorcyclists should enjoy the ride, but be prepared for the worst

 

  • Always wear a helmet – the leading cause death in motorcycle fatalities is head trauma 
  • Wear leather gloves – hands can sustain a lot of trauma during a motorcycle crash
  • Wear boots – Protect your feet and ankles from the road as well as hot engine parts
  • Leather jackets not only look cool, but are a rider’s “Second Skin” and can prevent a lot of damage in the case of an accident.
  • The type of pants worn are just as important as the jacket. Wear something that will protect your legs against “Road Rash “.

Motorcycle safety is the responsibility of everyone on the road; car and truck drivers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Awareness  from both the drivers and riders is required to make our roads safe for motorcycles, not only during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, but all year round. The most common reason given by automobile drivers who are involved in an accident with the motorcycle is “ I didn’t see him”. Listen, and look twice – it could save someone’s life!

Whether you are on two wheels, or four, the staff here at The Storage Inn wishes you a great warm-weather season, and Happy Motoring!

April Showers and Other Weather Sayings

Storage Inn Blog post about Weather Sayings

April Showers and other Weather Sayings

Things are fairly quiet here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey. For the most part, our storage rental customers are observing the stay-at-home guidelines, however, we are happy to allow them access to retrieve essential items from their storage rental units.

As I sit here in the rental office watching the weather outside and wondering if it’s gonna rain, I hear the voice on the radio say “ Well you know – April showers bring May flowers!”.

While this seemed to make sense to me, it also made me wonder about some other weather-related sayings that might need a little explanation.

Long before meteorologists reported the weather, people made forecasts based on their observations of the sky, animals, and nature.

Many of the traditional sayings they used, called proverbs, are surprisingly accurate. Try out some old-fashioned forecasting—that still works today!  Here are some weather sayings and meanings courtesy of the Farmers Almanac.

“RED SKY AT NIGHT, SAILORS DELIGHT. RED SKY IN MORNING, SAILORS TAKE WARNING.”

A reddish sunset means that the air is dusty and dry. Since weather in North American latitudes usually moves from west to east, a red sky at sunset means dry weather is moving east and that’s good for sailing. Conversely, a reddish sunrise means that dry air from the west has already passed over us moving east and clearing the way for a storm to move in.

“THE HIGHER THE CLOUDS, THE FINER THE WEATHER.”

If you spot wispy, thin clouds way up high where the jet airplanes fly, expect a spell of pleasant weather. Keep an eye, however, on the smaller puff clouds (cumulus), especially if it’s in the morning or early afternoon. If the rounded tops of these clouds, which have flat bases, grow higher than the one cloud’s width, then there’s a chance of a thunderstorm forming.

“CLEAR MOON, FROST SOON.”

When the night sky is clear, Earth’s surface cools rapidly—there is no cloud cover to keep the heat in. If the night is clear enough to see the Moon and the temperature drops enough, frost will form. Expect a chilly morning!

“CLOUDS LIKE TOWERS MEAN FREQUENT SHOWERS.”

When you spy large, white clouds that look like cauliflower or castles in the sky, there is probably lots of dynamic weather going on inside. Innocent clouds look like billowy cotton, not towers. If the clouds start to swell and take on a gray tint, they’re probably turning into thunderstorms. Watch out!

“RAINBOW IN THE MORNING GIVES YOU FAIR WARNING.”

A rainbow in the morning indicates that a shower is in your near future.

“WHEN DEW IS ON THE GRASS, NO RAIN SHALL COME TO PASS.”

Morning dew is a sign that the previous night’s skies were clear, with no wind and decreasing temperatures. Clear, dry, windless conditions usually continue through the daytime.

“RING AROUND THE MOON? RAIN (OR SNOW) REAL SOON.”

A ring around the moon usually indicates an advancing warm front, which means precipitation. Under those conditions, high, thin clouds get lower and thicker as they pass over the moon. Ice crystals are reflected by the moon’s light, causing a halo to appear.

“RAIN FORETOLD, LONG LAST – SHORT NOTICE, SOON WILL PASS.”

If you find yourself toting an umbrella around for days “just in case,” rain will stick around for several hours when it finally comes. The gray overcast dominating the horizon means a large area is affected. Conversely, if you get caught in a surprise shower, it’s likely to be short-lived.

“A YEAR OF SNOW – CROPS WILL GROW.” 

A several-inch layer of snow contains more air than ice. Trapped between the interlocking snowflakes, the air serves to insulate the plants beneath it. When the snow melts, the water helps to keep the ground moist.

Observe the sky and see if these weather proverbs work for you. That’s it from the crew here at The Storage Inn – wishing you only the best weather and the best of times ahead!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

A Short History of St. Patrick – The Storage Inn Blog

The Short History of Saint Patrick

It’s St. Patrick’s Day here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and the employees, and storage space renters alike are in a ”Luck o’ the Irish” mood! I’ve even had one couple stop into the front office dressed from head to toe in green. ”Happy St. Patty’s Day” they exclaimed – “Erin go bragh!”  I replied! That got me wondering about the origins of St. Patrick’s Day, so I decided to ask my “most Irish-looking” customers what they knew about Saint Patrick. It turns out that Sean, the husband, is not only Irish, but a history teacher too. “Well” he said, “for starters St. Patrick was neither Irish, nor a Saint. What???? – Did he at least invent green beer?!? No – he did not, but here is what he did do…

Patrick, whom almost everyone calls “Saint Patrick,” was never canonized by the Catholic Church, and was born to a wealthy family in 387 AD in Kilpatrick, Scotland. His real name was Maewyn Succat. It was his extensive missionary work in Ireland for which Patrick is famous. Patrick, at age sixteen, was captured by Irish raiders and spent several years as a slave in Ireland. It was during this time that he learned the various rituals, customs, and language of Druids, and it was these people that he eventually converted to Christianity. Patrick supposedly had a dream in which God spoke to him, saying, “Your ship is ready.” Patrick was then able to escape Ireland by ship. Shortly thereafter, he experienced another dream in which he received a letter that was labeled the “Voice of the Irish.” When he opened it, he heard the voices of all those whom he had met in Ireland begging him to return.

Patrick returned to Ireland to tell people about Christianity. Though the task was difficult and dangerous, he persisted and was able to build a strong foundation for conversion. The Irish people were receptive to his teachings, especially in light of the fact that he was able to take several of their Celtic symbols and “Christianize” them. The most well-known of Patrick’s illustrations is the shamrock, a certain type of clover sacred to the Druids, which he used as a symbol of the Trinity. During his thirty years of work there, he supposedly converted over 135,000 people, established 300 churches, and consecrated 350 bishops. Patrick died on March 17, 461. For over a millennium, the Irish have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on March 17..

Each year millions of people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a national holiday in Ireland where people do not work, but worship and gather with family. In the United States, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York on March 17, 1762. It consisted largely of Irish soldiers. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by wearing green, which symbolizes spring as well as Irish culture.

I thanked Sean and Erin for their brief, but insightful history lesson, and watched as they made their way back to their storage unit, presumably to retrieve some supplies for tonight’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities or maybe they were getting a jump on spring by pulling out St. Patrick’s favorite item to put into a storage unit… Paddy O’Furniture!! Is it time for that green beer yet? – Cheers!

A Trip to Beat the Winter Blues!

It’s February here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and despite the colder weather, the place is buzzing! Many of our storage rental customers are coming in to rearrange their storage space in anticipation of Spring’s arrival – others, I believe, just have cabin fever. Whatever the reason, they are here, and like most businesses, our customers come in all shapes and sizes. We have senior citizens, young couples just starting out, students, people moving, and families downsizing, just to name a few. Our customers also run the full spectrum of personality types, from shy and retiring, to bold and boisterous! One of our more flamboyant and energetic couples, Marc and Tanya, popped into the rental office today to let me know that they were paying their rent, and that I would not see them for a while because they were going to Mardi Gras! They explained that they had been invited, spur of the moment, by some friends of theirs, and while they were very excited, they knew very little about Mardi Gras. I suggested that we do the red blooded American thing, and Google Mardi Gras. So we did – here is a condensed list of what we learned…

MARDI GRAS IS ALWAYS THE TUESDAY BEFORE ASH WEDNESDAY
Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French. With Ash Wednesday marking the beginning of Lent, a 40 day period of fasting before Easter, Mardi Gras is the “last hurrah” of sorts, with participants indulging in their favorite fatty foods and drinks before giving them up.

MARDI GRAS MARKS THE END OF CARNIVAL SEASON
Countries around the world celebrate Mardi Gras as the last day of Carnival season, which starts after Christmas, on January 6th, (known as ‘Twelfth Night’).

MARDI GRAS IS ALSO KNOWN AS “PANCAKE DAY”
In Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, people celebrate Mardi Gras by eating pancakes and participating in pancake themed activities.

THE OFFICIAL COLORS OF MARDI GRAS ARE PURPLE, GOLD, AND GREEN
Purple signifies justice, gold means power, and green stands for faith.

KING’S CAKE IS EATEN ALL THROUGHOUT CARNIVAL SEASON
King’s cake (or three kings cake), is eaten throughout the world during carnival season. In the US, it is traditionally purple, green, and gold, with a trinket baby Jesus inside. Whoever gets the baby Jesus is said to have good luck all year!

THE FIRST NEW ORLEANS MARDI GRAS PARADE WAS 177 YEARS AGO
New Orleans has been celebrating Fat Tuesday with parades since 1837. The first floats appeared in the parade in 1857.

PARADES ARE PLANNED BY ‘KREWES’
Krewes are the organizations that put on a parade and/or a ball for Mardi Gras/Carnival. They are clubs of a sort, with dues ranging from $20 to thousands of dollars annually. Krewes are also responsible for selecting carnival royalty in New Orleans, such as ‘Rex’, the king of Mardi Gras.

MASKS ARE REQUIRED BY LAW FOR FLOAT RIDERS
Yep, it’s illegal to ride on a float without a mask! The original purpose of the mask was to get rid of social constraints for the day, allowing people to mingle with whomever they chose.

BEADS HAVE BEEN A TRADITION SINCE THE EARLY 1900’s
Beads were first thrown by Santa during a parade in the early 1900’s. People also throw stuffed animals, toys and more.

MARDI GRAS IS A STATE HOLIDAY IN SOME PLACES
Fat Tuesday is an official state holiday in Alabama, (the home of the first Mardi Gras parade and 2nd biggest current celebration), Florida, and parts of Louisiana. Although it’s not a state holiday in Texas, Galveston is home to one of the biggest celebrations in the country!

After completing our research, we all agreed that this sounded like a good time! “See you when you get back” I shouted as Marc and Tanya ran out the door, and across the parking lot to their car. I have to admit, I’m a little bit jealous. I also have a sudden urge to decorate our golf cart and ride around the property wearing a mask and beads while eating pancakes! Happy Mardi Gras everyone!

Jumping Into Leap Year

Storage Inn Leap Year Blog Post

February 2020 is rolling along here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, but the cold weather does not seem to have slowed down our self-storage customers at all! Our storage rental facility is bustling with self-storage customers!

Yesterday, a nice young man was renting one of our storage units, he commented on how busy we are.

“ It’s like this 365 days a year” I replied.

“366 days this year” replied Jake, our new tenant. 

“Ahhhh – right. It’s a leap year” I mused, as Jake and I finished his paperwork for our Free Moving Truck Rental program. This made me wonder… what is Leap Year, and why do we do it?

Why do we have one extra day at the end of February every four years?

Here are some fun facts about a leap year and leap days….

Why add a leap day?

Feb. 29 is leap day; the day inserted into the calendar every four years to keep our calendar operating smoothly. This extra day makes the year 366 days long, instead of 365 days like regular years. Leap days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun. We use “leap year” because each date on the calendar jumps ahead two days of the week instead of one.

It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun. This is called a tropical year. Without an extra day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.

All Hail Caesar

Julius Caesar introduced the first leap year around 46 B.C., but his Julian calendar had only one rule: Any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year. That created too many leap years. (Pope Gregory XIII introduced his Gregorian calendar more than 1,500 years later which helped to fix this issue.)

Leap Year Calculations

There’s a leap year every year that is divisible by the number 4, except for years that are both divisible by 100 and not divisible by 400. The year 2000 was a leap year, but the years 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not. The added rule about centuries (versus just every four years) was an additional fix to make up for the fact that an extra day every 4 years is too much of a correction.

Leap Months in other countries

A whole leap month is added to the Chinese calendar every three years. The leap month’s place in the Chinese calendar varies from year to year, and 2015 was a leap year in the Chinese calendar.

A leap year in the Ethiopian calendar occurs when an extra day is added to the last month of the year every four years.

Leap Year Traditions

It’s acceptable for a woman to propose to a man on Feb. 29. The custom has been attributed to St. Bridget, who is said to have complained to St.
Patrick about women having to wait for men to propose marriage. Patrick supposedly gave women one day to propose.

Leap Year Babies

People born on leap day are often called “leaplings” or “leapers.” Most of them celebrate their birthday on Feb. 28 or March 1 on non-leap years.

Leap Year Capital

The twin cities of Anthony, Texas, and Anthony, New Mexico, are the self-proclaimed Leap Year Capital of the World. They hold a four-day leap year festival each leap year that includes a huge birthday party for all leap year babies.

Famous Leapers

If you were born on leap day, you share a birthday with composer Gioacchino Rossini, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, jazz musician Jimmy Dorsey, actors Dennis Farina and Antonio Sabato Jr., and rapper/actor Ja Rule.

There’s a Leap year club

The Honor Society of Leap Year Babies is a club for people born on Feb. 29. More than 10,000 people worldwide are members.

Leap Year The Movie

Amy Adams and Matthew Goode starred in the 2010 romcom “Leap Year.”
It’s about a woman who travels to Ireland to ask her boyfriend to accept her wedding proposal on leap day, when tradition says that men cannot refuse a woman’s marriage proposal.

Leap Years in History

During leap years, George Armstrong Custer fought the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), the Titanic sank (1912), Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752) and gold was discovered in California (1848).

Well, now we know a little bit about leap year, why we have it, and where it came from. So, if you’re turning 40 this year the staff here at The Storage Inn would like to wish you a Happy 10th Birthday!

Yummy Winter Comfort Foods

Favorite Winter Foods - The Storage Inn Blog

It’s late January here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and there have been some very cold days lately, but that doesn’t stop our storage rental customers from shuttling in and out of their storage spaces.

Lately I’ve noticed people storing holiday decorations, as well as removing exercise equipment, presumably in an effort to renew their commitment to better health in the new year.

Earlier this week, on a particularly cold day, one of our customers, Jodi, stopped into the storage rental office to purchase  moving boxes for the items that she was putting into her storage unit.

“Cold enough for you?” I asked.

“I’m freezing” she answered  “I can’t wait to get home and have a nice bowl of hot soup!” she said as she took her boxes and headed to her car.

Her soup sounded really good to me, so I decided to do a thoroughly unscientific polling of our customers as to their favorite winter comfort foods.

Here some of our Storage Inn customer favorites!

Soup – Of course! Who doesn’t love a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day?  The two favorites seem to be chicken noodle, and tomato.

Chicken Soup

Favorite Winter Comfort Foods

Hot Chocolate – Mmmmmm. The real chocolaty kind with the tiny little marshmallows floating on top!  Not surprisingly, this one was offered up by one of our customer’s children.

Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes – Yes, please! – Make my chicken extra crispy!

Grilled Cheese – Cooked just right, so that the gooey cheese stretches  between the two halves when you pull the sandwich apart!  These people should get together with the soup people.

Sloppy Joes – Well, a burger is just a burger, but a sloppy joe, with a slice of American cheese – Now that’s comfort food!

Macaroni and Cheese – The cheesier the better – BTW goes well with sloppy joes!

Chicken Pot Pie – One of my favorites! I like mine with salt and pepper and a little bit of butter melted on the crust. Mmmmmm!

Spaghetti and Meatballs – A good choice any time of year, but really goes well at the end of a cold day spent outside.

Chili – There’s nothing like a simmering pot of chili. Whether you like it hot or mild, with meat or without, the combination of beans, onions, peppers, mushrooms and spices are impossible to resist when you’re cozy at home and it’s chilly outside.

Homemade Beef Stew  – You know the type that simmers in the giant stew pot all day long, until the flavors of the beef, vegetables, and spices are mixed just right. Don’t forget the buttered rolls!

Well, there you have it – The official Storage Inn customer list of their favorite Winter Comfort Foods.

Well, my shift is almost over, and I can’t wait to head home, but first I’ll be stopping off at the grocery store for Sloppy Joe mix, rolls, and hot chocolate – so much for my New Year’s diet!

 

The “Fa La La La La” on Christmas Songs

The holiday season is in full swing here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey! Our storage rental customers are busy buying packing and shipping supplies, and retrieving the gifts they stowed away in their storage units.

Like many retail locations at this time of year, our storage rental office is filled with holiday songs wafting through the air. Hearing non-stop Christmas music on the radio made me wonder, where did these songs come from, who wrote them, and how long have they been around?

Here are a few fun facts about some of our holiday favorites… 

While we associate “Jingle Bells” with Christmas, the song was originally written to celebrate Thanksgiving.

The first Christmas song to mention Santa Claus was Benjamin Hanby’s “Up On The Housetop.” Written in 1864, Hanby was inspired by Clement Moore’s 1823 poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.” (The night before Christmas)

Thurl Ravenscroft, the singer responsible for classic song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, also voiced Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.

“White Christmas” was written by Jewish songwriter Irving Berlin.

Irving Berlin hated Elvis Presley’s version of “White Christmas” so much that he tried to prevent radio stations from playing Presley’s cover.

The American military played “White Christmas” over Armed Forces Radio as a covert signal instructing soldiers in Vietnam to evacuate Saigon.

Bing Crosby’s version of “White Christmas” is the highest-selling single of all time.

In 1906, a violin solo of “O Holy Night” was the second piece of music to be broadcast on radio.

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World” are two of the oldest English language Christmas hymns, originating in the 1700s.

 “Let It Snow” is considered a Christmas song despite the fact that it never once mentions the holiday and was written by Jewish songwriters Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn.

 “Jingle Bells” was the first song performed in space.

Songwriter Gloria Shayne Baker wrote “Do You Hear What I Hear?” as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Jay Livingston and Ray Evans’ holiday classic “Silver Bells” was originally titled “Tinkle Bells.” They changed it when Livingston’s wife explained that “tinkle” was often a synonym for urination.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created by Robert L. May, a staff copywriter for the Montgomery Ward department store as part of a series of holiday-themed coloring books sold by the retail giant.

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” is one of the oldest secular Christmas songs, originating in 16th century England.

Mel Tormé’s “The Christmas Song” (more commonly known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”) was written during a summer heatwave in 1944.

Darlene Love sang her holiday hit “Christmas Baby Please Come Home” on David Letterman’s late-night show every year for 28 years.

Singer Brenda Lee recorded the original version of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” when she was only 13 years old.

These are just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of holiday tunes that we hear each and every year. It would be impossible to chronicle each and every one here, but I will give you a clue as to my favorite – it involves barking dogs. Merry Christmas everyone!

Cool Facts about Thanksgiving

It’s a beautiful fall day here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and Thanksgiving is this week! Ahhh, Thanksgiving – a day for family visits, football, and overeating! I conducted a random poll of our self storage customers regarding Thanksgiving and found that while everyone seems to like the food, mostly the men like football, and everyone seems to have mixed emotions about the family visits. As one of our long time storage unit renters, Jim put it, “I love to see my relatives for Thanksgiving, then I love to see them leave!” 

As a service to our readers, the staff here at The Storage Inn has rounded up a few very cool facts about Thanksgiving, some of which might come in handy during those awkward silences at the family dinner table. 

Thomas Jefferson Nixes Thanksgiving!

George Washington was the first to declare Thanksgiving a holiday, but it was on a year-to-year basis, so presidents had to re-declare it every year. Jefferson refused to declare it a holiday during his presidency because he fervently believed in the separation of church and state and thought that the day of “prayer” violated the First Amendment. 

It wasn’t until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a federal holiday, that it was officially scheduled to fall on the fourth Thursday of every November. 

It’s a zoo out there!

The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York took place in 1914, when Macy’s employees dressed in vibrant costumes and marched to the flagship store on 34th Street. The parade used floats instead of balloons, and it featured monkeys, bears, camels, and elephants, all borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.

The parade was also originally called the Macy’s Christmas Parade but was renamed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927. Macy’s originally hoped their “Christmas parade” would get their shoppers ready for big holiday shopping sprees. 

Turkeytown U.S.A.

Three small towns in America are named after the nation’s favorite bird. The towns are Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Louisiana. There are also two townships in Pennsylvania called Upper Turkeyfoot and Lower Turkeyfoot.

“Jingle Bells” was originally a Thanksgiving song

James Pierpoint composed the song in 1857 for children celebrating Thanksgiving. The title was “One Horse Open Sleigh,” and it was such a hit that it was sung again at Christmas.

The song quickly became associated with the Christmas holiday season, and the title was officially changed in 1859, two years later.

Ben Franklin – Turkey Lover

Benjamin Franklin thought Eagles were “a bird of bad moral character.”
Franklin thought the Turkey was a “much more respectable bird.”

The Detroit Lions always play on Thanksgiving

The first NFL football game that took place on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934, when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears. The Lions have played on Thanksgiving ever since, except when the team was called away to serve during World War II. The Dallas Cowboys also always play on Thanksgiving. Their first Thanksgiving Day game was held in 1966, and the Cowboys have only missed two games since then. 

The night before Thanksgiving is Party Time!

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the best day for bar sales in America. It makes sense, since nearly all Americans have Thanksgiving off, and dealing with family members can be very stressful. (But at least stuffing your face with fatty Thanksgiving foods is a perfect hangover cure.)

Thanksgiving by “Hungry Man”

In 1953 Swanson Foods overestimated the demand for turkey by over 260 tons. The owners of the company had no idea what to do with all the leftovers, so they ordered 5,000 aluminum trays and loaded them with the turkey leftovers to create the first TV dinner. 

“Franksgiving” Flops

In 1939, Franklin Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the second-to-last in an attempt to lift the economy during the Great Depression, by giving people more time to shop for Christmas. It caused such a public outcry that people began referring to it as “Franksgiving.” After two years, Congress ditched the new policy and set the fourth Thursday of November as the legal holiday. 

Minnesota – The Turkey State!

Minnesota produces more turkeys than any other state in America. The state produced about 44.5 million birds last year, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, and Missouri are also top producers.

A Turkey Saved….

The White House has a tradition of pardoning one lucky turkey each year. The annual tradition began in 1947 with President Harry Truman although some think that it actually started in the 1860’s with Abraham Lincoln, after his son Tad begged him to spare his pet turkey’s life.

Despite these two theories of the origins of the pardon, George H. W. Bush was the first president to officially grant a turkey a presidential pardon, according to The New York Times. 

Okay – now that you have some cool Thanksgiving facts, courtesy of The Storage Inn, you are ready to face your relatives on Thanksgiving! Feel free to pepper these unique facts throughout the dinner conversation, and give yourself a presidential pardon allowing you to have a second slice of pumpkin pie – Happy Thanksgiving everyone!