Please Stand for the Pledge of Allegiance . . . Say It with Pride, With Conviction and With Your Whole Heart
Yesterday afternoon I ran into someone I used to work with when I was at the store. We shared some of our feelings about the company we used to work for, and the regime turnover, the bullying that is allowed to continue, and that has actually gotten worse since I left. Or maybe it’s not worse, but just more out in the open. I guess when a group of employees have a bully for an employer, the sycophants will fall neatly in line to do their bidding. After I headed home, I decided to call a dear friend who was step for step with me throughout many years and who is the only one who will truly understand that part of my life. We had a wonderful conversation, we laughed, we caught up more than what texts allow, and I was left with such a happy feeling inside, which is truly something to celebrate. Her life has moved on to a different place geographically, it’s moved on to a new place with her work, a place where she is truly appreciated, fresh experiences are a part of her life every day, and I am so excited for her! I will always be sad that she moved so far away, but I know that this was something she needed to do, and as a result, wonderful things are happening in her life. Celebrate someone else’s happiness and achievements today. It’s not always about us, and we need to remember that.
Verse of the Day
June 14, 2019
May the God of peace, …that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
A good shepherd equips his sheep to face the trials of life. But as Psalm 23 reminds us, no shepherd equips his sheep quite like the ultimate Shepherd. Let’s unleash his power in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ by specifically praying for God to equip them with everything they need to do his good work!
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!
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!
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.
National Flip Flop Day – Ah flip flops . . . is there anything that screams summer more than when people break out the flip flops and start exposing their toes to the sun? Flip flops aren’t anything new, though they may feel that way with all of the new styles we see every year. The truth is that people have been wearing flip-flops for thousands of years, with the earliest known wearers being the Ancient Egyptians in 4000 BC. Since that time people have worn them throughout the world, and they have become a favorite for people who are relaxing at the beach, or just walking around in the sunshine. They got their name from the slapping sound they make when you walk around in them. There is something to remember though – flip-flops can be wonderful to wear on a fun, casual day out, but don’t wear them for too long. The lack of support in flop-flops and the thin soles, can lead to sore or injured feet. Trust me, I dealt with plantar fasciitis for several year, and it was miserable!
Pause for the Pledge Day – The pledge of allegiance has been taken out of many schools and the wording has been changed in many places to remove God from our pledge. There are those, many in positions of political 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:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all!
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
My Friday has a full schedule of cleaning and organizing on it, and I need to get that started. The more I accomplish today, the more time I will have for other things for the rest of the weekend. Since we had fun last weekend, relaxing on our camping trip, this weekend needs to be filled with chores so we can have free time to enjoy our visit with Little Man R next weekend while his parents are on vacation. Busy, Busy, Busy! Have a wonderful Friday, and if I don’t make it back for the rest of the weekend, have a wonderful weekend too. God bless you and I’ll see you soon.
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Celebration list sources: