HAPPY 4th of JULY and little trivia to celebrate it

Independence Day or the 4th of July as we call it has only been a federal holiday since 1941, but of course the tradition dates back to 1776 when the Continental Congress voted on July 2nd in favor of Independence. Two days later delegates from all thirteen colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and celebrated their independence and the birth of a nation on July 4th.

The celebrations major focus is traditionally on  leisure activities, parades, concerts, backyard barbecues, games, bonfires and family gatherings culminating in fireworks later at night.

When the Revolutionary War broke out back in 1775, a few colonists wanted complete independence from Great Britain. These colonists were considered to be the radicals of their time.  However, more and more colonists came to believe in favor of independence. Many because of Thomas Paine’s famous writing “Common Sense” which he published in early 1776.

In June 1776, Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion that called for the colonies’ independence. A heated debate followed and Congress postponed the vote to his resolution. At that time they appointed a committee of five men, Thomas Jefferson from Virginia, John Adams from Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin from Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman from Connecticut and Robert R. Livingston from New York to draft a formal statement justifying the break from Great Britain.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Independence in a nearly unanimous vote. New York abstained, but later voted yes.

John Adams wrote to his wife that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” He believed that the American Independence celebration should occur on July 2nd since that was the day of the vote to secure it and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest.

Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the 4th of July, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Before the Revolutionary war, colonists would hold celebrations in honor of the king’s birthday. These celebrations included the ringing of bells, bonfires, parades and speeches. After the adoption of the Declaration of Independence these same colonists celebrated the birth of their independence by holding mock funerals for King George III as a symbol of the end of the British hold on America and a triumph to their new found liberty.

Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777. Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence.  The war was still going on and George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

After the Revolutionary War and to this day, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day each and every year, in celebrations that allow the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812.

In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday. Over the years, the political importance of the holiday has declined somewhat, but Independence Day remains an important national holiday and a symbol of our patriotism.

By the late 1700’s, the two major political parties—Federalists and Democratic-Republicans—that had arisen began holding separate Fourth of July celebrations in many large cities.

The most common symbol of the holiday is still the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.

And did you know New York City has the biggest fireworks display in the United States and that three U.S. presidents died on July 4? John Adams, Thomas Jefferson in 1826 and James Monroe 5 years later in 1831.


Be sure to join us and link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

GOOD MORNING sweet friends.  We’re back from our family reunion trip and had a GREAT time.  I hope to get a post with pictures up later this week after I edit out all the stray arms and feet from the pictures. 😀 I have had a productive weekend getting caught up on the laundry and getting organized to settle back into a more normal routine.  I spent most of yesterday watching the INDY 500 and then The Monster Energy Race, but it was not wasted time as I went through recipes and picked out and organized enough of my scraps of paper to have an Experimental Recipe Summer 😀

I hope you are having a safe and wonderful holiday weekend with family and friends.  Being a military family though, this is a very solemn holiday for us. 

Memorial Day is an American holiday formerly known as Decoration Day is observed on the last Monday of May, (May 30th is the OFFICIAL Memorial day) and honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Decoration Day originated in the years following the Civil War.  It became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING Looks like it’s going to be a gorgeous week in the neighborhood!  Levis and a favorite red, white and blue t-shirt for Memorial Day.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Weak coffee and black cherry yogurt


  • LAUNDRY… ALL caught up finally!  Coming home after 16 days on the road with events from dressy to camping, beach ware and snow ware as well as bedding for the rental was a daunting task, but it’s ALL caught up.
  • LIVING AREAS… pretty clean
  • KITCHEN… pretty clean
  • YARD… flower box project
  • BLOG… I have several recipes to input and have ready to post once I get pictures
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… probably not this week
  • APPOINTMENTS… dentist, doctor
  • TO DO… groceries, errands, nails

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY We had a wonderful family reunion despite the damper of my SIL passing away.  We also had a SUPER visit with my recently widowed SIL that I had been missing like crazy when we were in Texas.  It was wonderful to spend so much time with her! We also spent a couple days visiting with my FIL who is now on hospice (technically, but only because he’s so old – we should all be so lucky to live to 98), but is in GREAT spirits and sharp as a tack.  I also got to meet my newest nephew and while I’m quite biased, he’s just the cutest little thing ever!  He’ll be 6 months old next week.

SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED LOL I am trying desperately to get caught up on ALL the season finales we missed while away as well as the pilots for the new shows that interested me.

I’M READING Seaside Dreams – Love in Bloom #1 by Melissa Foster

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH Blood & Treasure started last week and I think that’s going to be a fun watch.  We also watched Black Swan with Natalie Portman while at SIL #2’s house.  She did an excellent job at such a diverse character. The MASTERCHEF and GREAT AMERICAN FOOD TRUCK starts soon and will be all about beach towns.  The FINAL season of Elementary is also starting.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA There are WAY TOO MANY to edit this week, but I ran across this one of my nephew staring in the window and the pool lights behind me reflected perfectly in his eyes – too funny and eerie at the same time!









Easter is going to be late this year! Do you ever wonder how the date is decided? Well, let me tell you what I found with a little research.

Unlike Christmas, the date of Easter Sunday changes every year and can fall anytime between March 22nd and April 25th.  Why is this you ask?

Because Easter Sunday is decided by complex calculations based on the moon.  Early on in Christianity different churches used different methods.  This led to disagreements that still exist today in some cultures.

Easter celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus which according to the Bible happened around the same time as Jewish Passover.  Passover typically begins the night of the first FULL moon AFTER the spring equinox (usually March 20th or 21st) EXCEPT in months when it is the SECOND full moon.  This most recently occurred in 2016.  The FULL moon can vary in each time zone so the Church calculates Easter from the 14th day of the ecclesiastic lunar month which is known as the paschal full moon.  Easter is the Sunday that follows the paschal full moon that falls on or after the equinox so can be from 1-7 days later.

In 1818 the full moon fell on the equinox, Saturday March 21, so Easter was the next day, March 22. Easter will not be this early again until the year 2285.  The earliest recent Easter was March 23 in 2008.  In 1943 a full moon fell on March 20, just before the equinox, so the paschal full moon was the next one on April 18 which was a Sunday so Easter was seven days later on April 25. It will not be this late again until 2038. The latest recent Easter was April 23 in the year 2000.

This year Good Friday will be April 19th and Easter Sunday will be April 21st.   You can find a table for upcoming Easter Sundays here.


It’s the last day of 2018. Can you believe we made it?  Sometimes I really wonder how we made it through the last several years with all the ups, downs and challenges thrown our way.  Many times it actually felt as if actual gauntlets were thrown down in BOLD FACE challenges.

There were heartbreaking losses of loved ones and fur children, major surgery and life adjustments, a MAJOR move brought on by family betrayal as well as many other happenings that have taught me just how strong I really am.  ALL and ALL I am grateful to be alive and here to learn from those lessons.  I am declaring 2019 the year of POSITIVITY and am going to embrace it with an open heart AND an open mind to learn from the lessons of the past.  That said, I obviously don’t know what is in store for me this next year, but I’m praying for a much easier and productive 2019. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and I pray your year is also filled




Just a little trivia: From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote the 12 days of Christmas carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.

It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.  Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

  • The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
  • Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
  • Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
  • The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
  • The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
  • The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
  • Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven fold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
  • The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
  • Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
  • The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
  • The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
  • The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone – and, remember, the Twelve Days of Christmas are the 12 days following December 25th. The Christmas Season runs until Epiphany, January 6.


Usually the holiday season is an endless list of tasks and errands. Christmas Eve was usually at our house and then Christmas Day many times too. The last several years though the holiday season has been quiet, many times too quiet.

Personally, I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I’m a list writer and as a Virgo usually have my presents bought early and the Christmas cards ready to mail by Thanksgiving, many times they are even hand made. Having all this done and ready usually made it possible for me to go to the malls, get a nice cup of coffee and just watch other people hustle and bustle. Then I would go home and cook and bake and then bake some more!

I learned much of this from my folks. My folks would have the majority of their shopping done before Thanksgiving and then because of their hectic schedules dad would sit me down with all the gifts, a card table, wrapping paper, tape, bows and tags on the day after Thanksgiving and that was where I would spend the Thanksgiving weekend watching football and Christmas movies, eating leftover turkey sandwiches and wrapping gifts. When the gifts were done, I would start on the Christmas cards. Now this wasn’t an abuse of any child labor laws, it was how I earned a chunk of money for my own Christmas shopping. And dad was a generous employer.

Christmas Eve was spent at our house with the immediate extended family – grams and gramps, aunts, uncles and cousins and many times neighbors too. We would do a big buffet and then open all our gifts to each other and have a party.

We’d go to sleep happy and sated while waiting for Santa and then start Christmas day with stockings and brunch. By afternoon the turkey and ham were smelling great and we were ready to start all over. Oh it was the same bunch of people, but we would add a great aunt and uncle. Remember me telling you about Looney Louise?  😀 LOL we didn’t call her looney to her face, but it is what made her such fun mainly because she made us her cornflake wreaths with red hots and fudge! All of us cousins would sit on the front porch waiting for her and Uncle Herb to arrive and for our wreaths of course!   It wouldn’t have been Christmas without them!

Looney Louise MANY MANY years before she made us our wreaths!

As always I’m looking forward to the next holiday season just after this one ends, but knowing that the next one will be spent around family makes it already more special.

It’s Christmas Eve and Santa Claus is coming to town tonight. If you have kids, or are just a big kid at heart, you can track Santa’s progress as he travels around the world on NORAD.

Merry Christmas everyone!

May Christmas bring you joy, happiness and everything else you deserve!


Before I start this post, let me just say THESE TREES ARE JUST WRONG!!

And I love how a neighboring town always does their tree right in the middle of main street. Carlie and Cady thought it was pretty neat.

Now on to our trees and decorations.  How I decorate each year changes based on my mood, weather, where we are living, etc… so it will never be the same twice!

We PREFER real trees, but last year we decided with the remodel and my surgery that we would break down and buy an artificial tree.  SHHH don’t tell hubby, but I really love this tree.

This year we have a real tree again and while it smells real I’m missing the artificial tree.   We’ve reached a compromise for next year – artificial tree with real wreaths and garlands. 😀

This is my Snowman Family arranged from 2 different years.
We made candle yule logs for Advent craft night at church one year and they were a HUGE success and soooooooo easy to do.  The decorations below are a few of my newer favorites.
My cousin that passed away in 2014 made this ornament for me.  From now it will always be hung by my shooting stars in her honor even though I’m still  mad at her for leaving the mess called A HOUSE FROM HELL for me to deal with.
And our handmade ornament by Design Chick Creations.


When does your family open their presents?

This category has changed a lot over the years for me as I got older. 

My family traditions as a kid were of a BIG Christmas eve open and that carried on through college, but as we (cousins) all got older and began getting married with families of our own, our grandparents passed on, blended families (with their own traditions) were formed, etc… getting together for both Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day became harder and harder to do. 

Eventually Christmas eve became a much smaller event for immediate family for a small dinner and to open our gifts to each other.  Christmas morning was for being at our respective home with kids opening presents and then the larger family get together much later on Christmas day for dinner at just one place, usually my mom and dad’s house which became our house after my dad passed away.