Ah. Saturday. I’m still in my robe and slippers, sipping my coffee, tummy warm and full with hot oatmeal. It’s so nice not having that ridiculous clock blaring in my ear at 5:00 a.m.! It’s just rude! Of course, since my body is used to getting up at o-dark thirty in the morning (well, it’s dark 1/2 the year, not so much right now), when I do sleep in, I feel aches and pains creeping in from the extra time laying down. It’s a trade off though, one I am willing to make.
I Pledge Allegiance To The Flag of the United States of America . . . Please Join Me in Honoring Our Country, Our Flag and the Army
Flag Day – Today is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag, its designers and makers. Our flag represents our independence and our unity as a nation…..one nation, under God, indivisible. Our flag has a proud and glorious history, for it has been at the lead of every battle fought by Americans. Many have died to protect it. As Americans we SHOULD be proud of our culture, our nation, and our flag. Please show your pride in our flag and display it in your homes, at your places of business and respect the way it is treated in your presence. There is a proper way to display the flag. The American flag should be always treated as something precious and treasured. Here are the details of how to properly display the flag:
- The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
- In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously.
- The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
- The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather.
- After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown at half staff for 30 days. It’s called “half staff” on land ,and “half mast” on a ship.
- When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field , or “union”, is at the top and at the end of the pole (away from your house).
- The American flag is always flown at the top of the pole. Your state flag and other flags fly below it.
- The union is always on top. When displayed in print, the stars and blue field are always on the left.
- Never let your flag touch the ground, never…period.
- Fold your flag when storing. Don’t just stuff it in a drawer or box.
- When your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried. Please do not throw it in the trash.
There is a very special ceremony for retiring the flag by burning it. It is a ceremony everyone should see. Your local Boy Scout group knows the proper ceremony and performs it on a regular basis. If you have an old flag, give it to them, and attend the ceremony.
Did you Know? If you like to study flags, then you are a Vexillologist!
U.S. Army’s Birthday – At the beginning of the American Revolution the rebellious colonies did not possess an army in the sense that we know it to be. The revolutionaries put together an amateur force of colonial troops, pulled together from various New England militia companies. They did not have a unified chain of command, and even though Artemas Ward of Massachusetts was informally in charge, officers from other colonies were not obligated to obey his orders. The American volunteers were led, equipped, armed, paid for and supported by the colonies from which they were raised. In the spring of 1775, this “army” was about to confront British troops near Boston, Massachusetts. The revolutionaries had to re-organize their forces quickly if they were to have a chance against Britain’s experienced professionals. They saw the need to enlist the support of all the American seaboard colonies, so the Massachusetts Provincial Congress appealed to the Second Continental Congress is Philadelphia to take authority for the New England army. According to historical reports John Adams requested Congress to vote to adopt the Boston troops on June 14th, but there isn’t a written record of this decision. Also on June 14th, Congress resolved to form a committee to “bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army” and voted $2,000,000 to support the forces around Boston and those at New York City. Congress also authorized the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, which were directed to march to Boston to support the New England militia. George Washington received his appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army the next day, and he formally took command at Boston on July 3, 1775.
From those beginnings to today – we are thankful for our Army, for all who serve and for all of their sacrifice. Happy Birthday United States Army!
Pause For The Pledge Day – The pledge of allegiance has been taken out of many schools, the wording has been changed in many places to remove God from our pledge. There are those in our leadership who refuse to recite our pledge or put their right hand over their heart when saying it as a sign of respect. Please join me, in a display of respect for our flag and for our nation, in a recitation of our Pledge of Allegiance. Stand and place your right hand over your heart, and if you have a flag within viewing distance, please face it while saying the pledge:
and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all!
Missing Mutts Awareness Day – This is sweet, and sad, all at the same time. This awareness day was set up by Dave and Carmel Baird of Edmonton, in honor of their lost pets Buddy and Maddy. The dogs went missing on December 29th, 2012, and in the desperate search to find their beloved pets, they realized that the public isn’t very aware of what to do when they see a stray or lost animal. They found that some are afraid that calling a rescue group will lead to the animal being put to sleep, some drive on by and don’t make a phone call – perhaps being unsure of who to call, and others just don’t want to get involved. This event has been set up with the goal to make a change, raise awareness and also funds that will help families to advertise and search for their pets, and bring them home. It takes money to launch a search for a lost pet, and sometimes it may be just too much for a pet owner to come up with on the spur of the moment. The Baird family has an event set up in their area today with all sorts of activities that will be fun, all while working towards a great cause. They are having an all breed dog show, clinics with dog trainers giving tips and advice, groomers, animal behaviorists to answer questions and help with problem dogs, rescue groups bringing dogs that are up for adoption, food, games and lots of other fun activities! Maybe this is something that needs to spread and be done all over the place – it sounds like fun and is definitely worthwhile.
National Bourbon Day
– Bourbon is considered to be native to the United States, since it was here that it was first made. That was a little intriguing to me, since so much of what we have and do started somewhere else. I must go on record here to say I don’t like whiskey – oh, I’ve tossed back a few shots in my life, but it was done in a hurry, with my breath held. To me, it isn’t worth sipping if it wasn’t a lovely blended concoction that was sweet, syrupy and pretty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so to some, a glass of bourbon is stunning. It is still fascinating to me to read about something that started out here. So let’s find out a little more about it. The birth of Bourbon does not seem to have happened at a single event, rather it seems to be a series of events, some verified, some not, that goes back to the late 1700’s when early Scottish and Irish immigrant settlers began distilling whiskey in western Pennsylvania. Whiskey was typically made with rye and other grains, but these immigrants started using corn to make their whisky, and THIS whisky came to be known as Bourbon. Present day Bourbon uses a sour mash, with the credit for its creation going to James C. Crowe – a Scottish chemist-physicist. The question then is how did it become common for bourbon to be mainly a corn product? Well, most stories say that early immigrant settlers used their skills to distill whiskey, but they weren’t able to find or grow enough grain, but they had plenty of corn, so that’s what they used. There is another, longer version of this story that starts with the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. Alexander Hamilton, who was then the treasurer of the United States, made the suggestion to start taxing whiskey to pay for the revolution. The western settlers weren’t able to pay a tax on whiskey, since they actually used whiskey to trade with, and this caused the rebellion. George Washington sent his army to stop the rebellion, and found out this wasn’t as easy as it sounded. To appease the settlers, Washington, along with Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson, offered them 60 acres of land to move to Virginia (which is now Kentucky), and grow corn. They agreed to this, but there was a problem. The amount of corn was more than any family could eat, and corn was too perishable to store. They decided to use the extra corn to distill whiskey, called corn-whiskey at the time. The bourbon name came later. Little side info I ran across – during the 1700’s, Kentucky was a county, and not a state. Kentucky county was subdivided two times in the 1780’s, with one county named after a French Royal House – Bourbon. Eventually, Kentucky became a state . . . with Bourbon as a county. I also found out how the distinct flavor of bourbon came about . . . check this out. Elijah Craig made whiskey, and at one point he had a fire that burned most of his barrels, leaving them charred on the inside. He was a frugal man and used the charred barrels anyway. During the many days it took to transport his whiskey, it ‘aged’, became mellow and took on a light caramel color. The barrels were marked with the words “Old Bourbon” to indicate its source, and people started asking for Old Bourbon . . . and this is thought to be how this corn-whiskey first came to be called bourbon. Even though the large majority of bourbon is made in Kentucky (80%-99%), bourbon can be made anywhere. Only Kentucky as the legal right to have its state name on bourbon products though. In 1964, Congress declared bourbon – “America’s Native Spirit” – to be the United States’ official distilled spirit. To separate bourbon from whiskey, Congress listed several key items, including how much corn had to be distilled (a minimum of 51%), how long it needed to be aged (minimum 2 years) and what kind of barrels (new and charred). I can’t help but think that of all the issues to deal with in running a government, that naming a national booze wouldn’t be high on the priority list – but what do I know? Small batch and single bourbon sales are up since the late 1990’s – don’t know why, but if you are a person who appreciates bourbon, lift your glass today in honor of “America’s Native Spirit”, and celebrate National Bourbon Day. I’ll celebrate in spirit, but will abstain from this one in reality.
World Juggler’s Day – Saturday Closest to June 17th – Great news for jugglers! You get TWO days a year! International Juggler’s Day is always on April 18th, but today you get World Juggler’s Day – the Saturday closest to June 17th . . . which is today! Today the skill of juggling, and the talented people who can juggle many objects at a time, are celebrated. Common objects to juggle include: balls, clubs, swords, plates, rings, and flaming sticks. The best jugglers can juggle up to ten balls at a time. Considering that I can’t do TWO at a time, that’s impressive! Juggling is a skill and form of entertainment that has been around for thousands of years. Some of the earliest recorded history shows that juggling was around during the early days of civilized man, and was used primarily for entertainment. It is well documented in Medieval times in Europe. Most often today we see jugglers when the circus comes to town. I have to submit, as someone who works in an office, that multi-tasking can also be described as juggling. Ok, maybe I’m stretching here since I can’t REALLY juggle, but hey! I celebrate them as I can! I found an incredible video from Cirque du Soleil. My jaw was hanging open the whole time. Enjoy!
Worldwide Knit (and crotchet) in Public Day – I admit it, I giggled at this one. I had this mental image of a bunch of people hiding indoors to avoid being seen knitting or crocheting, and suddenly coming out of the yarn closet and declaring the world – “I knit! I crochet! and I’m PROUD of it!” I assume that this is not what this is about at all. From what I have read, it’s all about getting together, out in the fresh air, sharing your work with each other, and meeting up with old friends, and making new ones. Ok – that makes a lot more sense! So grab your lawn chair, your yarn bag and pattern, and hit a local park with some like-minded folks and have a good time!
This Day In History –
1775 – The U. S. Army is formed.
1834 – Isaac Fischer Jr. patents sandpaper. 1938 – Benjamin Grushkin patents Chlorophyll. 1942 – Walt Disney’s Bambi is released.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Strawberry Shortcake Day – Traditionally, shortcakes are slightly sweet biscuits paired with fruit — often strawberries — and lots of whipped cream. But there’s no need to stop there.
- Strawberry Shortcakes With Balsamic Honey
- Chocolate Shortcakes With Mixed Berries
- Bananas Foster Shortcake
- Gingered Blueberry Shortcake
- Ginger Shortcakes With Cranberry Pear Compote
- Honey Shortcakes With Strawberries
Well, that’s a lot to celebrate – patriotic, civic minded, a bit of history, and delicious food! It’s a great day! And time is passing by when we could be enjoying it! God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!