men

Is your July 4th exploding with fun?

Every year in America on July 4th, we celebrate our freedoms. Most of are looking forward to great food friends and family, and a great show of fireworks to finish it off.

In cities and towns large and small people gather for bbqs, potato salad, swimming and maybe some yard games. Those more inclined to rest spend time in the shade, surrounded by good conversations and a chance to catch up. Sip refreshing libations for children and adults. Watch the children expend their energies. Or simply enjoy you peace and quiet in red, white, and blue. On this day Americans happily fly the flag of our nation with pride. You see, this flag represents the sacrifices that have been made both here at home and abroad to give us what we enjoy today. It is unique to this country even though lots of others have done the same. Each independent nation on this world we call earth has a symbol like this. Whether born here, or not we stay here for the unique chance to make our own American dream.

Our traditionally consists of grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, ribs, and or chicken. On occasion, we have even done t-bone steaks. Of course deviled eggs, potato salad, fresh veggie tray, baked beans, chips, flag cake, fruit salad, and watermelon, make for a filling meal.

Our family follows the tradition of fireworks, for the evenings entertainment. We leave it to the professionals to display an awe filled pyrotechnic show. Ours are usually choreographed to music played on a local station.

As I’ve grown older and faced health challenges, I’ve grown to appreciate my father’s stance of watching our local display on tv….in air conditioning, with volume control. My dad’s favorite movie the last 10 years he was with us was Independece Day. He would pull it out every July 4th to watch again. I wish he had been here to see the sequel he wanted.

Will Smith (Actor), & 2 more

As I look at the goings on in our world today, I’m reminded of the speech given in the movie. Is something like that going to be what it takes for humanity to put aside the characteristics I see dominating the news? I truly hope not.

As we prepare for our nation’s birthday this, July 4th, the love, patriotism, and family traditions continue to shape our future generations. From our family to your have a happy and safe 4th of July.

One of my favorite movies.

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Flag Day

In America we fly our stars and stripes with pride. Indeed over many years, and many styles have come to be the “Stars and Bars” we see today. This symbol of our country is a lot more than a mere piece of cloth. This flag has consistently stood for freedom both here at home and around the world.

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This flag has seen us from the times of the American Revelution, and Civil War, through the times of today in places like Syria, Libya, Afganastan, Iraq, Suadia Arabia, Korea, France, Germany, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, and many others. It has been welcomed around the globe by people liberated from oppression, persecution, tyranny and any other entity that holds peoples inaliable rights hostage. I am saddened by the events I see in the news today. As June 6th was the 75th Anniversary of D-Day its difficult to understand how we have come to this state of affairs. From D-Day our troops joined forces with many nations and were welcomed with great celebration in cities and villages across France, Poland, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Luxembourg and so many others. After liberating North Africa from the invasion force of the Axis powers.

Throughout our long history the men and women of our armed forces have sacrificed and died for the ideals in America and the freedoms we enjoy. Indeed those freedoms are so precious that we have people coming to our shores for the last 527 years. If you were lucky enough to be born here we should remember how hard won some of our freedoms are. Even in todays modern world people are still yearning for some of the basics we take for granted.

Since some of the etiquette has been forgotten over time here is the etiquette for the American Flag.

The standards below are from USflag.org I am simply publishing to my readership to remind them why our flag is both important and the proper way to care for and handle one. Anyone who has been given a folded flag fully understands the price of it and knows the value of which they hold.

Flag Etiquette

STANDARDS of RESPECTThe Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyardThe flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Many Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops retire flags regularly as well. Contact your local American Legion Hall or Scout Troop to inquire about the availability of this service.

Displaying the Flag OutdoorsWhen the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag – of a state, community, society or Scout unit – the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag’s union should be farthest from the building.When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

US Flag 5×8 ft: 100% Made in USA. Premium Large American Flag 5×8 ft. Embroidered Stars and Stitched Stripes US Banner – Display with Pride by Rushmore Rose USA

Raising and Lowering the FlagThe flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.

Displaying the Flag IndoorsWhen on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag’s union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag’s own right, and to the observer’s left.

Parading and Saluting the FlagWhen carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.

The SaluteTo salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National AnthemThe pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

Watch “Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance” on YouTube

The Flag in MourningTo place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave. 

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Don’t forget Father’s Day is this Sunday. Find great gifts here.

Outlander Update

I finally got the finale to load so I could see it. OMG!!! Like so many other accounts/reviews I’ve read I laughed, I cried, sitting on the edge of my seat for what would happen next the entire time.

Season 4 Finale

Bree’s (and Roger’s) baby is beautiful. I ken Roger does not yet know for sure if it’s his, but he loves Bree enough to raise the child as his own. Even knowing about Bonnet, Roger is the better man and will defiantly be the boys father. Bree, from her own experience be able to comfort him on that point. While I wish they had time to show the father, daughter reunion and forgiveness, with everything else going on in this episode I understand not everything could be shown. I think they have forgiven each other. Even with the scene and dialog not shown, I think they convey it when they look at each other. I also bet Jamie got some one on one private time with the baby just like he did with in season 2 with Jenny ‘ s.

Ian’s choice was not an easy one for anyone. I know Jamie and Claire are quite upset by it. Yet you can see both their reluctance and acceptance in thier expressions. This is some really fine acting. Truly you can practically read their thoughts. If anyone holds any doubt about Ian’s choice all one has to do is look back to his fascination with the Indians. It runs so deep he has learned thier language enough to not only understand it but to interpret it as well. If there is any doubt left just look at his face after the gauntlet. Though parting is hard he has become a real man and his worth like Jamie’s is evident in his ability to give his word and mean it.

Roger I’m glad to say by his reunion scene is no longer tetering on the edge of a breakdown. I’m so glad he and Jamie cleared the air. Roger needed to know the whole story, and even though they were trying to protect Bree, Jamie had it coming. He knew it. Men have thier own code and manner of dealing with such emotionally charged issues. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “It’s a guy thing.” Some are very critical of him not being there when the Fraser’s reunite, but honestly with everything that’s happened I truly can’t blame him for wanting a moment without basic survival hanging like a noose over his head to sort it out. Between his physical trama,and the emotional upheavals he’s had in the space of a few weeks and hours the guy needs to catch his breath so to speak. Can you imagine the self castigation, coupled with anger if you had a fight that ended in angry words, then learned after you both storm off in different directions that your partner was attacked, raped, and due to circumstance now blames themselves for the angry words you exchanged in the heat if an arguement? Protecting those we love is an ingrained human response. To learn what happened when they were left alone, for even a short period of time has to weigh heavily on them. Roger is no different than Jenny, Jamie, Claire, or a parent anywhere in the world.

The scenes in the future are both intriguing and satisfying. As I connected it later it bodes well for Ian’s future. Murtagh and Jocasta was also a pleasant suprise. The building tensions and banter between them has hinted that they both have enough fire and spirit see this next twist into the future. The letter will also provide a good dose of fancy footwork in the future. Season 5 cannot get here soon enough and from the questions left and the march of time it’s going to be a wild ride.

I wonder at what point Bree and Roger return to the future? How much more of Otter tooth will we see and learn? Ooh and is Otter tooth related to them? Maybe a decendent in Ians line? With Ian’s acceptance does that make Otter Tooth, part of the Fraser clan many decades later? Is this how he learns of the ability to time travel? It is hinted that the opal stone that causes such strife in the Indian village has some interesting powers.

I’m filling my Droughtlander time with the books and probably an entire re-watch of the show to make it through. Now I just have to convince myself to start at the beginning of the books instead of jumping straight into The Firey Cross. How will you spend yours? Leave a comment below if you are liking these posts and any suggestions or ideas on how to cope until season 5.

The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser’s wife tells him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy—a time-traveler’s certain knowledge. Born in the year of Our Lord 1918, Claire Randall served England as a nurse on the battlefields of World War II, and in the aftermath of peace found fresh conflicts when she walked through a cleftstone on the Scottish Highlands and found herself an outlander, an English lady in a place where no lady should be, in a time—1743—when the only English in Scotland were the officers and men of King George’s army. Now wife, mother, and surgeon, Claire is still an outlander, out of place, and out of time, but now, by choice, linked by love to her only anchor—Jamie Fraser. Her unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead—or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes….

I do not own any of the photos and no copyright infringement is intended.

Outlander Season 4

Season 4 on Blu-ray and DVD

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Don’t forget Diana ‘ s blog.Don’t forget Diana ‘ s blog.

I made it !!  I just had my 36th Birthday!   Anyone who is close to me knows that not too long ago the goal was to reach this age.   I’m not going to say its been easy…  I would like to think i’ve weathered the last few years withpoise and grace.   Overall I believe i’ve done rather well,  even when thoroughly aggravated or hit a low spot along the way .  What started as a stroke via a burst vessel in my brain,  is now a long recovery where we didn’t know how much damage there would be to regaining normal vision and balance.   I had to have specialized therapy to drink normal beverages and to walk again.   All the therapy and another brain surgery to remove some of the things that initially saved my life.  Turns out the tube had been giving me aweful dizziness and vertigo symptoms sometime just sitting up in bed.  That is how i spent my birthday one year later.  Last year my Christmas was spent clearing more complications this time in the form of a cyst from the original bleed that as it grew unoticed pressed on my spinal cord cutting off the messages my brain sent to my legs. I was so excited when post surgery and enough drugs to stand sitting up i could wiggle my toes.  I had read of people s o happy they cried but this was my first experience with that kind of joy.   Why am i telling you all this?   I implore people to stop living with regrets and procrastinación about your feelings.   Embrace how you feel and live the gift of life you’ve been given .  Smile,  laugh,  cry,  express your feelings , don’t wait to say i love you,  do not hesitate to clear the air with those closest to you.  Start with the general stuff as we focus on giving thanks,  endevore to make it a habit to look at all we have to be thankful for the whole year long.   Moms and dad’s,  granparents,  aunts and uncles,  friends and coworkers,  and most of all everyday you wake up to the prescious gift of children.  I have a new niece and nephew to spoil and my brothers oldest daughter who will start school soon.  I am so blessed that i get to meet them and watch them grow.   So as the hustle of the holidays begins,  remember to take time to appreciate all the blessings you already have .  Siblings,  parents, friends,  aunts,  and uncles,  never miss the chance to tell them how special they are to you. 

Chocolate !!

Chocolate

Smooth, creamy, sensuous 

Be it dark, milk, white, bittersweet, liquid or solid…Most everyone has their favorite – be it wrapped around a caramel, drizzled over a bowl of ice cream, or in a steamy cup of hot chocolate on a cold wintry night. 

Chocolate is a food that elicits an almost visceral response…and it brings back memories… of places and people we love. Brings thoughts of love and romance and desire.   

So what is it about chocolate that gives it such mysterious power.   

Chocolate contains around 300 chemical compounds that act as a mild stimulant, an anti-depressant, and even an aphrodisiac.  The emotional lift, the increase in sexual desire and responsiveness and general “feel good” feeling that eating chocolate causes is a result of the increase in the serotonin levels in the brain. 

Although it is not known for certain how long chocolate has been consumed by man, it dates at least as far back as the Mayas (circa 500 A.D) and perhaps back to the Olmec civilization, which preceded the Mayan.  Back then, chocolate was far different from what we commonly think of as chocolate… It was a bitter tasting drink made from the ground beans and often containing chili pepper.  It wasn’t until around the 17th century when the Spanish brought  cacao back to Europe and the chili was replaced by sugar, that chocolate evolved into something similar to what we know as chocolate. 

Chocolate comes from the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao)   … a strange looking tree with large football shaped pods growing perpendicular to the trunk and branches. 


These pods vary in color from green, to yellow, to red, depending on their maturity.  Once you strip off the rippled outer layer of the pod you discover inside there is a white fibrous pulp that has a mild bittersweet chocolate flavor and buried within this pulp are seeds that when processed become what most of us true chocolate addicts know as the “chocolate beans”.  Depending on which of the three varieties of cacao tree you are harvesting the pod from, the beans within the pods are purple or white. 

Without going too deeply into to the complex process and the many steps to produce what we know as chocolate, suffice it to say that the beans are roasted, the hard shells removed, then the remaining “nibs” are mashed.  At this point sugar and vanilla are added to the chocolate liquor. After this the liquor is heated to evenly blend the liquid – then it undergoes the tempering process, and finally the chocolate is molded, cooled and hardened. 

Most of us really don’t care about all the finer points of how chocolate is made. We care about TASTE.  While there are many fine chocolatiers throughout the world, the most famous for their chocolate are the Swiss.  In fact it was Swiss Chemist Henri Nestle,  who first mixed powdered milk into chocolate to invent milk chocolate.  So, depending on your personal preference be it for Hershey’s, Nestles, Ghiradelli, Godiva, Lindt/Lindor, Mars, Cadbury, etc…. Chocolate is a little bit of heaven.   

And with Valentines Day just around the corner,  jewelry, flowers, and chocolates are the items most often associated with this holiday that celebrates LOVE.  So, whether it is a heart shaped box of assorted chocolates, chocolate truffles, chocolate covered strawberries or plain – chocolate is almost a must for Valentines Day – for both the men and women.  Yes, for the men too. In case you missed it, they now make tool boxes, tools, footballs, etc in chocolate for the guys.   

I personally like most any kind of chocolate, but that said, I must admit to having a preference for dark chocolate and a special weakness for Frango mints.  They are made by a Chicago candy company by the name of Cupid Candies.  My sister, who lives in Wisconsin, sends me a box nearly every Christmas and I hoard and ration them to make my meager supply last as long as possible.  Originally, they were sold nearly exclusively by Marshall Field’s.  In 2005, Marshall Field’s was purchased by Macy’s,  and Frango mints may be purchased at Macy’s and they can also be found on Amazon.  Thank the Lord !!!   I don’t have a Macy’s locally,  but with the internet, Macy’s and Amazon are as near as my computer and I can get my fix of Frango mints when I inevitably run out.  

National Chocolate Day does in fact exist, while not the day after Valentine’s, Easter, or Holloween, please enjoy the great markdowns on chocolate.  The official Chocolate Day is October 27, 2017. I also heard a news story on a major network report that scientists have determine that women require chocolate in our diets to level our hormones.  If it fits in my calorie count, I refuse to feel guilty!  


Valentine’s Day 14 Days To Say I Love You

2017 is officially here, as is one of the biggest holidays we celebrate.  I know the stores started stocking everything Valentine’s two weeks ago!  I’m just getting over January and being sick for about 10 days with just getting it cleared.  I can go back to physical therapy now and breathe while doing so.  A Greeting Card company is not why we have a love fest in February, but there are a lot of ideas that swirl around this date.  

Who’s your Valentine?  I am happily married for over a decade, so I have 1 to start.  I also try to share the love on days like this.  So who are you going to show some love to this holiday?  Our children, spouse, good friends, that special someone in your life.  Mine includes family, friends, my hubby, and my dark lover, whom crawls in bed with me every chance he gets…Charlie.

. Shame on you if you thought of something else.  Co-workers and you child’s class mates. I always feel great when I give.  Now you can go crazy but my income is limited but, a little ingenuity easily solves that problem.  Catch some great ideas for all in the next post!

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