2024 Independence Day

In a typical traditional 4th of July or Independence Day with the family, we had a burger and sausages barbecue with side dishes. Later on this evening we lit up the sparklers and fireworks. Some of the bigger fireworks were a surprise in size and intensity even if not long. Hope the neighbors were OK. We are careful to have water hoses and plan to light them well away from flammable areas.
Here are Vada and Victoria doing their sparkler "light 'er ups"

2024 Vada fireworks small

2024 Victoria fireworks small

Memorial Day 2024

This Memorial Day was a warm, sunny day. After getting some necessary tasks in the garden done, we went to participate in the block potluck party on Robbins Way with Scott, Olisha, and the girls. Memorial Day should be spent with family or another wonderful way to pay respect is in Washington DC, especially at Arlington Cemetery.

The history of early Memorial Day or Decoration Day in that time follows:

As the American Civil War came to an end in 1865, communities across the U.S. honored fallen soldiers through local ceremonies at burial sites. On May 30, 1868, the first national ceremony of this kind took place on a day that would come to be known as Memorial Day — though at the time, it was called “Decoration Day.”

A few weeks before the ceremony, John Logan, head of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veterans organization, issued a
proclamation urging Americans to decorate Civil War soldiers’ graves with springtime’s “choicest” blooms. Logan stated that the May 30 commemoration would be “designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country.” About 5,000 people gathered at Arlington National Cemetery for the first official Decoration Day observance. Along with flowers, each grave was adorned with a small American flag.

By the end of the 19th century,
Decoration Day ceremonies were taking place on May 30 throughout the country. The name had started to evolve by this time, too; people began using the term “Memorial Day” instead. That moniker, however, didn’t become common until after World War II, and Congress didn’t make the name change official until 1967. A year later, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, declaring that certain federal holidays would be observed on Mondays, including Memorial Day, which was to be commemorated annually on the last Monday in May. Today, the holiday honors all Americans who have died in military service."


Gingerbread Houses

Olisha and the girls (plus Olisha's sisters) invited their former neighbors to the house to decorate gingerbread houses. The children seemed to enjoy and get into the spirit of Christmas. This is the third year for gingerbread houses. They all seem to be colorful, different and fun. See for yourself.

Cheers to Thanksgiving

We went out to 1847 Bar and Grill for our Thanksgiving dinner again this year. They didn't offer prime rib as they have in the past so we had a nice ham dinner with the trimmings.
It was very good topped off with pumpkin pie.I had an Espresso Martini and Bob had a Prosecco drink before dinner. Cheers to our 2023 Thanksgiving since there is a lot with family to be thankful for at this time.

Memorial Day 2023

Memorial Day is almost over. The sun is setting on a warm, dry sunny day. Often Memorial Day is windy and rainy, usually cool. This year is different. Due to a longer dry spell and the hay has been ready to cut. Tomorrow it will be baled. This is the earliest we have seen the haying season start. Usually it is after the 4th of July or if earlier, mid-June and still likely to get wet from rain.

The lawn furniture is out and comfortable. We placed the flower arrangements on the graves and will need to pick them up this week. Summer so far is starting early since we have a batch of strawberries that have been canned already though these are from California. I need to get some local Oregon berries. Yum!

Hay 2023

Easter and The Bunny

Today is one of our religious holidays, Easter. Jesus rose from the dead after his crucifixion on this day about 2000 years ago. May all see peace and have a blessed Easter.
Along with Jesus has risen, we also look for the Easter Bunny to shed some cheer to the children. Vada and Victoria found their hidden Easter baskets fairly quickly. Along with chocolate bunnies they had a small stuffed cat and a stuffed unicorn to enjoy. More family relations will come shortly this afternoon.

Easter Bunny

Happy 2023 Year

The start of a new year, 2023. We are home and staying quiet as we often times do.

Here is a wish for the new year - it will be happier and better than the last three years.

Christmas Songs

I have to agree with this blogger in this post that when it comes to Christmas songs, there is only one iconic singer and version of that song. These resonate through the decades.
Have you had this experience and feeling? "
Because it’s December, the background music at Cracker Barrel was a series of Christmas songs and among them was a version of “Holly Jolly Christmas” by some singer who was not Burl Ives, which triggered me to go off on a rant."
Also, "Let us stipulate that many other artists have recorded versions of “The Christmas Song” that have some musical merit. But while I have no personal beef against, e.g., Michael Bublé, when it’s chestnut-roasting time, only Nat King Cole can get the job done right. Having a hit Christmas song guarantees a performer a sort of musical immortality. A singer’s entire catalog of recordings may be forgotten, but if he had a big Christmas song, kids will still be listening to it long after he’s dead. Like, Nat King Cole was one of the most successful singers of his time, with a long string of hit records, but does any kid ever listen to “Mona Lisa” anymore? No, but every Christmas, those chestnuts are still roasting, baby, and it’s the same with Bing Crosby's "White Christmas"."
Let the traditions continue!!

The Week Before Christmas

I have neglected adding to this blog. I missed sharing during the trip to South Dakota in mid-October and later to a meeting in Pittsburgh. Here I am a week before Christmas and I have not kept up to date with comments and photos.

I thought I would add some thoughts on a TV show I have enjoyed for the past 4 seasons, now on season 5. The show is Yellowstone where it is set in the Bitterroot Valley of SW Montana. The scenery is spectacular. The acting and actors draw you in. The writing is by Taylor Sheridan who is a former rodeo participant and a lover of the Old West, horses and the cowboy way of life. This has become a TV phenomenon. This series is being spun off into other series, one show is 1883/season 1, which shows how the Dutton family came to locate in Montana. At the end of this series, the location is picked by the 18 year old daughter, Elsa, who picks where she will die and be buried following being shot by an arrow that creates sepsis. The next spin-off is set at 1923 and we shall see how the family handles adversity in that day and age.

We drove on the way to South Dakota along I-90 which follows much of the Yellowstone River. We saw the beauty of some of the Yellowstone Country. I am adding here a photo of the Little Bighorn River near the Crow Agency and GaryOwen, MT where Custer's last stand and battle occurred for the 7th Cavalry - a story in itself.

Little Bighorn River sm

Independence Day 2020

Another 4th of July is here. I wish I could say it is a carefree and happy 4th with no worries. This is 2020 with the Coronavirus19 pandemic has its chill on how and where we can celebrate the holiday. No fireworks unless at home or on television. Now there are elements in the country who want to eliminate, I'd say even destroy, the holiday. There is little joy in viewing this and more a bit of despair and anger to see this. I don't know where our country goes with this but this concept will not be part of our family. We do love our country in spite of its faults.
I am glad we had Founders who did have the foresight to create this marvelous example of a republic for as long as it lasts which I hope is so much longer.

There are posts online that each year point out the meaning the our Independence Day holiday. They usually are on the Powerline Blog and this year is no different, found here and here.


The flag at Ft. McHenry near Baltimore.

Memorial Day 2020

Memorial Day has opened this morning before 6 a.m. with a beautiful sunrise that has a bit of color to it.

While it is always great to be at home and share Memorial Day with family and the local community, I have always said that the best Memorial Days spent are in Washington D.C. In spite of all the ugly politics, to visit the Memorials honoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice is beyond special. Time at Arlington Cemetery with the changing of the Old Guard to reading the special tributes written by family members to their lost loved ones at the World War II Memorial is a memory that will always linger.

Here is an article describing some of the tributes to Medal of Honor recipients found in Powerline. Just one version of how this special holiday can be viewed. Below is a picture from a trip to Arlington Cemetery to watch the changing of the Old Guard.


July 4th

We had a quiet July 4th and it was a beautiful day. We saw a little bit of everyone today and BBQed but Renee had to work so there was not much time to enjoy grandkids and party with family. It can be good to have a quiet day out of all of this.
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