Celebrating History, Families and Emergency Preparedness!

Sep 16th

I am happy to be able to tell you I survived the night.  A little dramatic? Well, yes . . . a little.  I admit it.  Right now I am sitting here, the achy muscles are still screaming, and my head is pounding.  It’s a toss up on whether the headache is from caffeine deprivation, or dehydration. I’m guessing it’s a combination of both, so I’m sipping a cup of tea (the tummy just rebels at the thought of coffee), munching on a few soda crackers, and I’m living on the wild side . . . I had some applesauce!  Crazy, right?  If things get REALLY nutso in awhile, I may even try a scrambled egg and a slice of dry toast.  I know, you’re jealous.  Just admit it.  Nothing sounds better to you than a bland egg and toast.  Since all of that excitement is going to be exhausting, I’m thinking an ice pack on my neck and a nap will be in order shortly.  There are some celebrations to tell you about first!

Before I start with the celebrations, I just heard an amazing 11.35 minute audio about the events that led up to the writing of our National Anthem.  I am asking, PLEASE, take the time and listen.  This is amazing, and something that we should ALL know, but I’m wondering how many of us do.  This is something that should make our American hearts swell with pride at the strength and determination of our forefathers, that should give us the equal strength and determination to stand up and protect our country from those who would change her for the worse, for those who would thrust us into subservience to the nanny state. PLEASE take 11 minutes and listen, feel the pride in our nation, appreciate the sacrifices made by those who went before us to make this country great.

American Legion Day –  The American Legion is an organization made up on veterans that was set up to support and assist veterans who returning from WWI.  Congress granted it a federal charter on this day in 1919.  Since that time the American Legion has grown and supported the veterans of all wars, and veterans of peacetime as well.  There are currently over 3 million member veterans, at more than 14,000 posts worldwide.   They give a social community and help to all members, which is always a valuable thing for our military members who have sacrificed so much.


Collecting Rocks Day – Ah, collecting rocks.  I think all kids at point or another collect rocks.  Sometimes it is because they are pretty, or a certain shape.  I remember when I was growing up my Grandma K LOVED sparkly rocks.  You know the ones I’m talking about probably – at first they look like an ordinary grey rock, but as you look closer, or the sun shines a certain way, they sparkle like there are flecks of gold or silver through them.  She put any and all sparkly rocks we brought to her in her garden along her paths.  She often even labeled the rocks so she knew who brought it and in which part of the country they picked it up.  I remember the times my family would go to the ocean – there was one stretch of coast line that had round, smooth rocks – some of them quite large.  We’d collect a few each time we went, and over the years, my Grandma lined her garden path with them, sort of like stepping stones.  These memories lead to another one of my daughter when she was about 5 years old.  My kids were raised that when we were at Grandma K’s there were certain things that we just DID NOT do, and one of those things was to mess up the rocks in Grandma’s garden, and the other was to throw berries on the path.  Grandma worked so hard and didn’t need berries to be tracked into the house on shoes.  A cousin was visiting at the same time we were, and her daughter was about the same age as mine.  Apparently my cousin hadn’t raised her kids with the same rules because we heard a melee going on in the yard and raced out to see my precious little girl, all filled with righteous indignation, straddling a struggling cousin, rocks around them all askew, berries smooshed everywhere, especially on the shoes of the trapped girl.  K was holding C down by the shoulders and screaming into her face, cheeks red, tears streaming from her blue eyes, “WE DON’T MESS UP MEMEMA’S GARDEN! WE DON’T SMOOSH BERRIES WITH OUR SHOES! I TOLD YOU TO STOP AND YOU WOULDN’T!” At that moment we stepped in, since I figured the next thing that would happen was that fists would start flying and to be honest, my money was on my own kid!  (hahahaha!)  Funny, we never saw that particular set of cousins again.  Ah memories.  Anyway,  I still find myself finding sparkly or flat stones and thinking of my Grandma.  If you find a rock that is special for whatever reason, go ahead and give in to the rock collecting moment.  A nice thing to do for kids is to get books on rock collecting that have pictures in them.  It can turn into quite a fun and educational hobby!

Step Family Day – Being a step parent is difficult.  For anyone marrying into a family where there children, it’s a challenge!  My hubby came into my life after my daughter was grown and on her own, and when my son was nearly 16 years old.  He was faced with attitudes, mistrust, acting out and a really difficult adapting period.  But adapt the kids did, and now they love him very much – and he them!  My son is finding out on his own now some of the challenges as he is married to a wonderful woman who has a 5 year old son.  We love him as if he were our own, but it is never easy to  blend the families, with the different parenting styles, and all the difficulties (and rewards) that come with it.   It is worth the effort for both sides to adapt.  I know for us it wasn’t a simple road, but it could have been far more difficult, and the rewards are endless.  Step-parents – today is for you.

Mayflower Day –  On September 16, 1620, 102 men, women and children set sail from Plymouth England.  Their destination was the New World, where they could have religious freedom and continue to use their native language, culture and customs.  These first immigrants paved the way for millions to follow, also in search of freedom and the dreams and promise of a New World.  The sacrifices those people made, and the dream they followed was what the basis of our country was founded on – our forefathers took those dreams and created our Constitution.  I realize that is a very simplistic way to look at it, and skips over a lot of important steps, but truth is, without one we wouldn’t have the other. Today it is being systematically dismantled by those who hate the very freedoms for the masses that we have learned to depend on and, sadly enough, take for granted.  Standing up for those freedoms and not letting the efforts of the pilgrims be wasted, should be one of our highest priorities.  Here are a few interesting key facts about the Mayflower:       * The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth England on September 16, 1620.  * The Pilgrims were headed to the settlement in Virginia. They had an agreement to settle there.  * The voyage took 66 days. They landed at Plymouth Rock on December 21, 1621.  * 102 passengers were on board. This included three pregnant women. One of these women gave birth just before landing.  * On November 21, 1620, the passengers signed the Mayflower Compact, which set forth the rules of governance of the fledgling colony.

National Play-Doh Day – Memories!  Oh my goodness, what memories.  Mainly, how HORRIBLE this stuff tastes.  For anyone who has ever played with play-doh, you know what I mean.  Kids tend to lick their fingers, so they play with the play-doh, then lick their fingers and there was always a distinctive flavor.  I didn’t like it, though I knew kids who actually ate the stuff with enthusiasm.  And don’t get it in your hair, or the carpet.  Other that that, what a wonderful childhood play toy.  Play-doh was invented in the mid 1950s, and has entertained millions of children and allowed them to express their creativity at home and in the classroom.  The invention was a simple one.  A school teacher wanted a safe modeling clay for her pre-school students.  She asked her brother-in-law – Joseph McVicker – who worked at a chemical company, to come up with something.  His results were so simple!  Flour, water and food coloring!  This is another easy one to celebrate – simply take out some play-doh and play!   There are other brands of play clay on the market but I haven’t used any that was better than Play-Doh brand.  Happy National Play-Doh Day!   

Working Parents Day – In this day and age, most parents work.  Today gives recognition to parents who work hard to provide for their families.  Every day dads and moms head off to earn a living so they can afford the extras that kids want and need.  And every year this just gets more and more expensive – every little thing the schools do costs extra, they need more and more school supplies, and there are always things like school trips, proms, sports, music, dance classes and much more.  Today is a great day for kids to show their parents a little appreciation.  Maybe they could do an extra chore around the house, offer to help make dinner, and if they are old enough, actually make the meal!  And for those stay at home moms or dads?  You may work harder than ANY of the other parents, so you deserve to get in on this celebration as well.


Anne Bradstreet Day – So many people have not heard of this woman who is one of the most important figures in the history of American literature.  She was born in 1612, and died on this day in 1672.  She is considered by many to be the first American poet, and her first collection of poems, “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in American, By a Gentlewoman of Those Parts” was the first book written by a woman to be published in the United States.  Her work also was a documentation of the struggles of a Puritan wife against the hardships of New England colonial life, and in some ways is a testament to the plight of the women of that age.  Her life was a constant struggle, from the difficulties adapting to a new land, and with a constant battle with illness.  It is clear to see through Anne’s writing that her faith was strong, as was her love for her children and her husband, Governor Simon Bradstreet.  She did most of her writing during the long, lonely times when her husband was away on political errands.  Anne, who was well educated, spent much time reading to her children, and teaching them as her father had taught her when she was young.  Many people view Puritan ideology in a bad light because of its attitude towards women, but its strict  moral code, indifference to material wealth, emphasis on humility and spirituality, made Anne Bradstreet a positive and inspiration role model for anyone.  Anne’s writing style is deceptively simple, yet speaks of a woman of high intelligence and ideals, who was very much in love, and had unconditional faith.  It was very difficult for women to air their views in the 17th century, but she did it with ease, her rich vocabulary and knowledge brought a lyrical, yet logical quality to her work, making it pleasant for anyone to read.  Here are a few of her famous quotes: 

“If we had no Winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;
If we did not sometimes taste the adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.”
“If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.”
“If what I do prove well, it won’t advance.
They’ll say it’s stolen, or else it was by chance. “
“Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are. “
“Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge,
fitter to bruise than polish.”


Get Ready Day – APHA’s (American Public Health Association) Get Ready campaign helps Americans prepare themselves, their families and their communities for all disasters and hazards, including pandemic flu, infectious disease, natural disasters and other emergencies.  So many people think that folks who prepare in advance of a disaster are kooks of some kind, but face it, the folks who prepare are the ones who make it through emergencies more or less just fine.  Look back at the disasters we have seen over the years . . . the hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, flooding, volcanoes – look at the position the people who went through them were in!  They were dependent on when help could arrive, if they didn’t help themselves ahead of time by being prepared. That means have multiple heat sources, non perishable food, enough water to get you through for what could be a long wait for rescue, medical supplies in case someone is hurt, pet food (can’t forget our furbabies!)  Don’t forget how important it is to be able to make a fire, have self-defense abilities, ways to keep clean, and even ways to entertain yourselves while you wait for help.  Games, puzzles, books, toys for the kids.  Remember, the lights are likely going to be out, so candles, lots of extra batteries, lantern oil . . . all of these things will keep the lights on in the dark, and raise morale in a big way. 

This Day In History

1620 – The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, England. It carried pilgrims headed to the New World, to escape religious persecution.

Food Celebration of the Day

National Guacamole Day – Traditional guacamole contains onion, chili peppers, cilantro, tomato and avocado, but why stop there? There are so many wonderful variations of this delicious condiment that you can go a little crazy and try it all sorts of ways.  Here are some ideas to get you started.


Well, it’s taken me awhile, but it’s finally ready for you!  Sorry -I kept getting distracted.  Time to take a nap on that ice pack.  God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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