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Sorsha the Dog

“Sorsha the dog”, our dog, passed away on Saturday July 2nd 2011, the day that the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776. She went to sleep peacefully in the grass looking out over the mountains of our remote property and was buried in a shady spot underneath a mighty Fir tree surrounded by many Aspens. She was fourteen years old and a beautiful fluffy Golden Retriever-Chow mix. She traveled the entire North American continent with us, when I was a Travel Nurse.

Our furry child led an incredible life. She has ridden in elevators in five star hotels, she swam on the shores of the Great Lakes; she has slept in a tent with on every mountain in the United States. Sorsha was very protective and loyal. She was gentle but quick to leap into action to protect her home and her family. She was known by many names; My personal favorite, “Misses Sorsha Fluffy Butt”, her Native American name “always in the way dog”, and her four wheeling companion name, “Sorsha the four paw drive doggie.” We loved her dearly and she is much missed. Thank you, God, for her presence in our life. May God grant everyone as special a pet that we were blessed with for fourteen wonderful years.  And always remember, God spelled backwards is: DOG.

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President’s Day

From Wikipedia

Titled Washington’s Birthday, a federal holiday honoring George Washington was originally implemented by an Act of Congress in 1880 for government offices in the District of Columbia (20 Stat. 277) and expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices (23 Stat. 516). As the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen, the holiday was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday, February 22.[1] On January 1, 1971, the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.[2] This date places it between February 15 and 21, which makes the name “Washington’s Birthday” in some sense a misnomer, since it never lands on Washington’s actual birthday, February 22.

The first attempt to create a Presidents Day occurred in 1951 when the “President’s Day National Committee” was formed by Harold Stonebridge Fischer of Compton, California, who became its National Executive Director for the next two decades. The purpose was not to honor any particular President, but to honor the office of the Presidency. It was first thought that March 4, the original inauguration day, should be deemed Presidents Day. However, the bill recognizing the March 4th date was stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee (which had authority over national holidays). That committee felt that, because of its proximity to Lincoln’s and Washington Birthdays, three holidays so close together would be unduly burdensome. During this time, however, the Governors of a majority of the individual states issued proclamations declaring March 4 to be Presidents’ Day in their respective jurisdictions.

An early draft of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act would have renamed the holiday to “Presidents’ Day” to honor the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln, which would explain why the chosen date falls between the two, but this proposal failed in committee and the bill as voted on and signed into law on 28 June 1968, kept the name Washington’s Birthday.

By the mid-1980s, with a push from advertisers, the term “Presidents’ Day” began its public appearance.[3] Although Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, was never a federal holiday, approximately a dozen state governments have officially renamed their Washington’s Birthday observances as “Presidents’ Day”, “Washington and Lincoln Day”, or other such designations. However, “Presidents’ Day” is not always an all-inclusive term.

The story of the Birth of George Washington; from nps.gov

In 1657, an English merchant ship sailed up the Potomac River, anchored in Mattox Creek, and took on a cargo of tobacco. With her new load, the ship ran aground on a shoal and sank. During the delay, a young officer, John Washington, great-grandfather of the future president, befriended the family of Colonel Nathaniel Pope, especially his daughter Anne. When the ship was ready to set sail John stayed behind to marry Anne, thus beginning the Washington family legacy in the New World. The bride’s father gave the newlyweds a wedding gift of 700 acres of land on Mattox Creek four miles to the east. John Washington eventually expanded his land holdings to 10,000 acres. In 1664, he moved his family to a property on Bridges Creek, within the boundaries of today’s George Washington Birthplace National Monument. His son Lawrence, born in 1659, inherited the bulk of his father’s estate. His son Augustine, born in 1694, inherited some property from his father and acquired more, including an iron furnace near Fredericksburg and a substantial plantation on Pope’s Creek. Augustine found a small house on the Popes Creek property and began expanding it into a middle-sized plantation manor house. It was here that George Washington, the first son of his second marriage, was born on February 22, 1732. This is where young George lived until 1735, when his father moved the family to his Little Hunting Creek Plantation, the land that would eventually be renamed Mount Vernon. In 1738, the family moved again, to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg.

And now the story of Abraham Lincolns birth; from suite 101.com

Samuel Lincoln came to Hingham Massachusetts from England in 1637. The Lincoln descendants moved to New Jersey, then Pennsylvania, and finally in 1768 John Lincoln (Abraham’s great grandfather) and his family of ten settled in Virginia. In 1782 John’s son Abraham, his wife Bersheba, and their five children headed for Kentucky. It is believed that their family friend, Daniel Boone, who had pioneered the first trail into this region only seven years earlier, encouraged the Lincolns to settle the area. In 1786, as Abraham and his boys were planting the fields, Indians attacked and Abraham was killed. [Abraham’s grave bears the name “Abraham Linkhorn”; there is debate over whether the spelling is a mistake, or if the Lincolns did indeed begin as Linkhorns, changing their name along the way.] The Lincolns then moved to present day Washington County and then Hardin County in 1803, where son Thomas (our future president’s father) married Nancy Hanks in 1806, and in 1807 they had their first child, Sarah. Nancy Hanks was born in Virginia; after her father James’ death, Nancy’s mother, Lucy Shipley Hanks, moved them to Kentucky to live with her sister and brother-in-law Rachel and Richard Berry. Lucy later remarried, leaving Nancy with the Berrys until her wedding with Thomas.
In 1808, Thomas, Nancy and Sarah Lincoln moved to 348 acre Sinking Springs Farm on Nolin Creek near Hodgenville, Kentucky, for which they paid $200. It was here on February 12, 1809 that Abraham Lincoln, the seventh generation of his family in America, was born, making him the first president born outside the thirteen original colonies in America. The Lincolns were forced off the farm in 1811 due to a property ownership dispute, when they moved ten miles northeast to Knob Creek Kentucky. Today a memorial stands at Lincoln’s birthplace. President Theodore Roosevelt layed the cornerstone in 1909, and President Taft dedicated it in 1911. Its 56 granite steps represent the 56 years of Abraham Lincoln’s life, and inside is a cabin representative of Lincoln’s (although not his, it was built locally in the 1840s, then disassembled and moved inside the memorial building). The memorial receives about 200,000 visitors a year.

I feel sorry for the United States; By Susan Frances Bonner

I feel sorry that as a nation of such diverse and hardy people we only have two political parties to represent us. It proves we are not strong enough to stand up to what we believe in. That was the first step towards relinquishing our freedom.

I feel sorry that our leaders are dividing us by lines of race, religion, and income. We’re all in this together.

I feel sorry that after the attack on NY, the pentagon, and the bravery of the United States citizens in Pennsylvania; nationalism, sovereign citizen, patriotism, and God are dirty words.

I feel sorry that in a land so rich with resources, we cannot rely on each other, or ourselves to live day to day.

I feel sorry that we must be blamed for every nation’s mistakes and problems; the price of bringing freedom to the world is indeed high.

I feel sorry that we can’t come to terms, that no matter how much we talk, tolerate and help another nation, they still hate and want to destroy every person in our country.

I feel sorry that the concept of national and personal defense; which was the basis for our constitution and bill of rights, has become the most controversial and questioned issue of these times.

I feel sorry that the liberals of our country cannot tell every one of their real agenda; to merge us into a one world order. I hate to break it to them, but the Vulcans are not going to rescue us.

I feel sorry that our children are being brought up by either the government, TV, or the local drug dealer. And parents are too busy to care.

I feel sorry that the break down of our families is the fault of our women, who never realized how important they were, behind it all, keeping us all together.

And I truly feel sorry that those fateful words of Benjamin Franklin now sound so ominous… “We’ve given you a Republic; let’s see if you can keep it.”

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The origins of some of our Christmas traditions

Usually I provide direct links to all of the stories on the blog, but today, because it’s the magical time of Christmas and I am starting up the blog again; you can find the links. Merry Christ-mas!!!!

a) The Christmas Tree; from Wikipedia

In Britain, the Christmas tree was introduced in the time of the personal union with Hanover, by George III’s Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in early 19th century, but the custom hadn’t yet spread much beyond the royal family. Queen Victoria as a child was familiar with the custom. In her journal for Christmas Eve 1832, the delighted 13-year-old princess wrote, “After dinner…we then went into the drawing-room near the dining-room…There were two large round tables on which were placed two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments. All the presents being placed round the trees..”. After her marriage to her German cousin Prince Albert, by 1841 the custom became even more widespread throughout Britain. In 1847, Prince Albert wrote: “I must now seek in the children an echo of what Ernest [his brother] and I were in the old time, of what we felt and thought; and their delight in the Christmas-trees is not less than ours used to be”.

A woodcut of the British Royal family with their Christmas tree at Windsor Castle, initially published in the Illustrated London News December 1848, was copied in the United States at Christmas 1850, in Godey’s Lady’s Book (illustration, left). Godey’s copied it exactly, except for the removal of the Queen’s tiara and Prince Albert’s mustache, to remake the engraving into an American scene. The republished Godey’s image became the first widely circulated picture of a decorated evergreen Christmas tree in America. Art historian Karal Ann Marling called Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, shorn of their royal trappings, “the first influential American Christmas tree”. Folk-culture historian Alfred Lewis Shoemaker states, “In all of America there was no more important medium in spreading the Christmas tree in the decade 1850-60 than Godey’s Lady’s Book”. The image was reprinted in 1860, and by the 1870s, putting up a Christmas tree had become common in America.

Several cities in the United States with German connections lay claim to that country’s first Christmas tree: Windsor Locks, Connecticut, claims that a Hessian soldier put up a Christmas tree in 1777 while imprisoned at the Noden-Reed House, while the “First Christmas Tree in America” is also claimed by Easton, Pennsylvania, where German settlers purportedly erected a Christmas tree in 1816 and In his diary, Matthew Zahm of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, recorded the use of a Christmas tree in 1821, leading Lancaster to also lay claim to the first Christmas tree in America. Other accounts credit Charles Follen, a German immigrant to Boston, for being the first to introduce to America the custom of decorating a Christmas tree. August Imgard, a German immigrant living in Wooster, Ohio, is the first to popularise the practice of decorating a tree with candy canes. In 1847, Imgard cut a blue spruce tree from a woods outside town, had the Wooster village tinsmith construct a star, and placed the tree in his house, decorating it with paper ornaments and candy canes. The National Confectioners’ Association officially recognises Imgard as the first ever to put candy canes on a Christmas tree; the canes were all-white, with no red stripes. Imgard is buried in the Wooster Cemetery, and every year, a large pine tree above his grave is lit with Christmas lights. German immigrant Charles Minnegerode accepted a position as a professor of humanities at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg in 1842, where he taught Latin and Greek. Entering into the social life of the Virginia Tidewater, Minnigerode introduced the German custom of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas at the home of law professor St. George Tucker, thereby becoming another of many influences that prompted Americans to adopt the practice at about that time

b) The Yule log

From Jamestown.com

The yule log happens to be one of the oldest Christmas traditions. In fact, it was created long before the act of Christmas came into existence. It originated in Scandinavia to celebrate the winter solstice and the beginning of longer days. This celebration meant that the darkest days were over and the rebirth of the sun has begun.

The burning of the yule log not only took place in the Scandinavian countries but also as far west as Ireland to the south in Greece to as far north as Siberia. The flames represented the light of the sun, but in later years, when it was incorporated into the Christmas holiday it represented the light of the Savior.

Many of us have heard about the burning of the yule log during Christmas, but few of us are aware of the reason for this ritual. Originally the burning of the yule log began during the winter solstice and lasted for a period of three days. As long as the log burned, people did not have to work. If that were the case today, I would be burning one continuously and long after the winter solstice ended. But today it is more symbolic than it is an actual ritual.

People chose their yule log based on many ideas and beliefs. Different types of tree wood represented different things to the people that burned them. Some chose the wood of the aspen for spiritual understanding. Others chose the wood of the mighty oak as it represented strength, wisdom and healing. The wood of the pine urged a coming year of prosperity and growth. And for those wishing for a family, opted for the wood of the birch representing fertility along with new beginnings. The ash, the most common, invoked protection.

Each year a new log is brought into the home and lit for the yule festival. It is a time of celebration, feast and family. In those days, fireplaces were quite large and could host the trunk that was brought in for burning. Usually they would soak this log in water for days or choose a very green log to ensure a long and consistent burn. The yule log is never allowed to completely burn as a piece is saved to start the new one the following year. Not only did this bring good luck, is also represented continuity and the eternal light of heaven.

The remaining piece of unburnt yule log was left in the house through the year to protect it from fire, lightning or hail. The ashes were sprinkled in wells to keep the water safe. Some ashes were also placed at the roots of fruit trees and vines to help them bear a good harvest the following year.

In some cultures, these logs were also used to predict bad luck. If the fire was ever allowed to go out before the night was over, it meant tragedy would strike the home in the coming year. If the flames cast someone’s shadow without a head, it supposedly meant that person would die within a year.

It was a ritual of the past that many held true to tradition and belief. In today’s world, fireplaces are no longer large enough to host a tree trunk to be used during the festival period. Many places do not even have a fireplace anymore, thus comes the creation of the symbolic yule log many of us have today.

c) Egg Nog

From cocktails.about.com

The word itself does not have much appeal, the guttural sound and the thought of drinking egg doesn’t sound very appetizing to most. There are differing opinions as to the origin of the name for this famous drink. One version says that nog derives from an Old English word for strong beer, hence “noggin”. Another version attributes the name to Colonial America where colonists referred to thick drinks as “grog” and eggnog as “egg-and-grog”. Either way, we know it today as Eggnog.
Europe:
It is believed that the eggnog tradition began in Europe as an adaptation of the various milk and wine punches often served at social gatherings. In the 17th century, eggnog was used as a toast to one’s health and was consumed by the well-to-do of society as milk and eggs were scarce commodities in Europe.

When the brew was brought to the “New World,” colonists added a new twist, rum. The rum Americans could get from the Caribbean was considerably less expensive than the other liquors shipped from England. And so, along with the readily available supply of milk and eggs in the colonies, the rum version quickly became a popular drink for people of all classes. As a rich, spicy and (oh yes) alcoholic drink, eggnog soon became a familiar item during the holiday season across the growing nation. Each region would adapt the drink to their personal tastes. Even George Washington devised his own version of the brew which only the most courageous would partake using rye whiskey, rum and sherry.
In the south, Southern taste replaced rum with bourbon. And when the brew reached Latin America even more adaptations were made; in Puerto Rico coconut juice or milk was added, in Mexico eggnog became a harder liqueur to be sipped with the addition of Mexican cinnamon and rum or grain alcohol, and in Peru it was made with the Peruvian pomace brandy called pisco.

d) Christmas Lights

From inventors.about.com

The tradition of using small candles to light up the Christmas tree dates back to at least the middle of the XVIIth century. However, it took two centuries for the tradition to become widely established first in Germany and soon spreading to Eastern Europe.

Candles for the tree were glued with melted wax to a tree branch or attached by pins. Around 1890, candleholders were first used for Christmas candles. Between 1902 and 1914, small lanterns and glass balls to hold the candles started to be used.Albert Sadacca was fifteen in 1917, when he first got the idea to make safety Christmas lights for Christmas trees. A tragic fire in New York City involving Christmas tree candles inspired Albert to invent electric Christmas lights. The Sadacca family sold ornamental novelty items including novelty lights. Albert adapted some of the products into safe electric lights for Christmas trees. The first year only one hundred strings of white lights sold. The second year Sadacca used brightly colored bulbs and a multi-million dollar business took-off. Later, a company started by Albert Sadacca (and his two brothers Henri and Leon) called NOMA Electric Company became the largest Christmas lighting company in the world.

e) Apple Cider

From drinkfocus.com

Historians largely agree that apple trees existed along the Nile River Delta as early as 1300 BC, but it is unclear whether cider was ever produced from the fruit.

When the Romans arrived in England in 55 BC, they were reported to have found the local Kentish villagers drinking a delicious cider-like beverage made from apples. According to ancient records, the Romans and their leader, Julius Caesar, embraced the pleasant pursuit with enthusiasm. How long the locals had been making this apple drink prior to the arrival of the Romans is anybody’s guess.

By the beginning of the ninth century, cider drinking was well established in Europe and a reference made by Charlemagne clearly confirms its popularity.

After the Norman Conquest of 1066, cider consumption became widespread in England and orchards were established specifically to produce cider apples. During medieval times, cider making was an important industry. Monasteries sold vast quantities of their strong, spiced cider to the public. Farm laborers received a cider allowance as part of their wages, and the quantity increased during haymaking. English cider making probably peaked around the mid seventeenth century, when almost every farm had its own cider orchard and press. The industry later went into decline, due to major agricultural changes. Cider regained its popularity during the twentieth century, but demand was largely for the mass-produced variety. Only in recent years has traditional cider making finally triumphed.

American history tells a different tale. Early English settlers introduced cider to America by bringing with them seeds for cultivating cider apples. During the colonial period, grains did not thrive well and were costly to import. On the other hand, apple orchards were plentiful, making apples cheap and easily obtainable. As a result, hard cider quickly became one of America’s most popular beverages. Consumption of cider increased steadily during the eighteenth century, due in part to the efforts of the legendary Johnny Appleseed, who planted many apple trees in the Midwest.

However, a series of events led to cider’s fall in popularity. The introduction of German beer with its faster fermentation process quickly made beer popular because German immigrants were able to set up large breweries for producing great quantities of beer. The production of apple cider was still limited to small farms. The religiously based Temperance movement then caused many church-going farmers to give up cider. Some even went as far as to chop down their apple trees. Then Prohibition became the law and pretty much destroyed the market for apple cider.

Today, with the growing popularity of microbreweries, the tide has turned. Traditional cider making is experiencing a major resurgence in both America and Europe

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For Father’s Day

Sent to us by our daughter Michelle

Daddy’s Poem

Her hair was up in a pony tail, her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy’s Day at school, and she couldn’t wait to go.
But her mommy tried to tell her, that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand, if she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid; she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates of why he wasn’t there today.

But still her mother worried, for her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again, she tried to keep her daughter home.
But the little girl went to school eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees, a dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back, for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently, anxious in their seatsOne by one the teacher called a student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,as seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name, every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching, a man who wasn’t there.
Where’s her daddy at?’ She heard a boy call out.
‘She probably doesn’t have one,’ another student dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back, she heard a daddy say,
‘Looks like another deadbeat dad, too busy to waste his day.’
The words did not offend her, as she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher, who told her to go on.
And with hands behind her back, slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child, came words incredibly unique.

‘My Daddy couldn’t be here, because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be, since this is such a special day.
And though you cannot meet him, I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy, and how much he loves me so.
He loved to tell me stories, he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses and taught me to fly a kite.
We used to share fudge sundaes and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him, I’m not standing here alone.

‘Cause my daddy’s always with me, even though we are apart
I know because he told me, he’ll forever be in my heart’.
And with that, her little hand reached up, and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat, beneath her favorite dress.

And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads, her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter, who was wise beyond her years.
For she stood up for the love of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her, doing what was right.
And when she dropped her hand back down, staring straight into the crowd, she finished with a voice so soft, but its message was clear and loud.

‘I love my daddy very much, he’s my shining star.
And if he could, he’d be here, but heaven’s just too far.
You see he is a Marine and died just this past year, when a roadside bomb hit his convoy and taught Americans to fear.
But sometimes when I close my eyes, it’s like he never went away.’
And then she closed her eyes and saw him there that day.

And to her mothers amazement, she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children, all starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they saw before them, who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second, they saw him at her side.

‘I know you’re with me Daddy, ‘to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers, of those once filled with doubt.
Not one in that room could explain it, for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her, was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment, by the love of her shining star. And given the gift of believing, that heaven is never too far.
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10,000′ throng to stop Ground Zero mosque

This is a really indepth article and one that no one, and I mean no one, reported. Not even Fox News. That is scary folks. Please read the entire article and pass it on.
From World Net Daily:

As many as 10,000 protesters from across the country – including family members who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001 – took to the streets in New York City Sunday to fight construction of a 13-story Islamic mosque to be built just steps from Ground Zero where Muslim terrorists murdered 2,751 people in the name of Allah.

Robert Spencer who helped set this up had this to say:

Spencer said despite the crowd’s size and the presence of media outlets from around the world, the U.S. mainstream media failed to show.”ABC? NBC? CBS? CNN? Even FOX?” he wrote. “AWOL.”

And where did they get the money to buy this plot of land that used to be a Burlington Coat Factory?

The building was purchased last July by real-estate company Soho Properties, a business run by Muslims. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Kuwait-born founder of ASMA, was an investor in that transaction. Pajamas Media reporter Alyssa Lappen noted that Rauf’s father was Mohammed Abdul Rauf (1917-2004), an Egyptian contemporary of Hassan al-Banna, founder of Muslim Brotherhood – parent organization of al-Qaida, Hamas and other front-line terror groups.

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My Interview on Patriots Chronicle TV

On Thursday May 26th 2010 I was interviewed by Eric Olsen, founder of Montana Shrugged on his TV show Patriots Chronicle. It was a wonderful experience and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share my novel; Opening a Registered Nurse’s Eyes, with his audience. His daughter put the interview up on U-tube and here are the links.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HZpD0qTAYg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRHmzMaZQkw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5JnPyjQnXY
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