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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All things New Year

Happy New Year everyone, may your days be brighter this year.

http://wilstar.com/holidays/newyear.htm

Auld Lang Syne is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700’s, it was first published in 1796 after Burns’ death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scottish tune, “Auld Lang Syne” literally means “old long ago,” or simply, “the good old days.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!
And there’s a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

“Happy New Year!” That greeting will be said and heard for at least the first couple of weeks as a new year gets under way. But the day celebrated as New Year’s Day in modern America was not always January 1.

The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible cresent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring).

The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year. After all, it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops, and of blossoming. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.

The Babylonian new year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that modern New Year’s Eve festivities pale in comparison. The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.

In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the new year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the new year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.

Although in the first centuries AD the Romans continued celebrating the new year, the early Catholic Church condemned the festivities as paganism. But as Christianity became more widespread, the early church began having its own religious observances concurrently with many of the pagan celebrations, and New Year’s Day was no different. New Years is still observed as the Feast of Christ’s Circumcision by some denominations.

During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Years. January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years.

Other traditions of the season include the making of New Year’s resolutions. That tradition also dates back to the early Babylonians. Popular modern resolutions might include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking. The early Babylonian’s most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.

The Tournament of Roses Parade dates back to 1886. In that year, members of the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers. It celebrated the ripening of the orange crop in California.

Although the Rose Bowl football game was first played as a part of the Tournament of Roses in 1902, it was replaced by Roman chariot races the following year. In 1916, the football game returned as the sports centerpiece of the festival. The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year was begun in Greece around 600 BC. It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.

Although the early Christians denounced the practice as pagan, the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the Church to reevaluate its position. The Church finally allowed its members to celebrate the new year with a baby, which was to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus.

The use of an image of a baby with a New Years banner as a symbolic representation of the new year was brought to early America by the Germans. They had used the effigy since the fourteenth century. Traditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common for folks to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man.

Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes “coming full circle,” completing a year’s cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year’s Day will bring good fortune.

Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another “good luck” vegetable that is consumed on New Year’s Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year’s Day.

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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Matthews: Chilean Miners would be dead if they followed Tea Party’s ‘every man for himself’ philosophy

Well, it did not take long after Chris Matthews had a rare moment of clarity, to go back to drinking the coolaide. He talked about the government taking our money away from us through taxes. I’m paraphrasing of course, he said that the money we get back from the IRS is “our money” to begin with! WOW, I almost fell over. But, of course that didn’t last, read on MacBeth:
From Newsbusters.org:

Leave it to Chris Matthews to shoe-horn in a crass political point against the Tea Party, even in the midst of a heartwarming story like the rescue of the Chilean miners. On Wednesday’s Hardball, the MSNBC host, along with his guest Richard Trumka, president of the AFL/CIO, claimed those miners would never have survived if they had followed the “every man for himself” philosophy of the Tea Party crowd.

After Trumka initially recounted his joy at watching the miners being rescued, he quickly veered into his standard rhetoric of the need for more regulation. Matthews then picked up on Trumka’s cue to launch into an attack on the Tea Party, as he distorted their limited government view as one of total anarchy that would mean “no more government, no more everything,” as seen in the following exchange:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay let’s talk about what the…message to a lot of the people was. The message coming out of the Tea Party people, and lot of them are good people, is every man for himself, basically. “No more taxes, no more government, no more everything. No more safety net. No more health care for everybody. Everybody just get out there, make your buck, save it, screw the government, move on.” Right?

RICHARD TRUMKA: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: You know these people, if they were every man for himself down in that mine they wouldn’t have gotten out.

Hey crazy lib one world commie dude, first, the Tea Party believes in smmmmall government, not nnnooooo government. They believe we should help eachother not the government, just as everyone involved in helping the miners did, Duh. Here’s your sign.
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Supermodel Gisele Bundchen Thinks Mothers Should Be Forced to Breastfeed

Sans my opinion that women should be the “gatekeepers” of birth and the “rock” of the family unit; I am so tired of the “elite” telling us what to do. Screw you Gisele, stop telling us “so called little people” how to live.
From Fox News:

Gisele Bundchen is famous for being the world’s highest paid supermodel, marrying NFL superstar Tom Brady, and now trying her hand at being an expert on breast-feeding.

The 5-foot-11 Brazilian model is causing quite a stir after an interview with Harper’s Bazaar where she told the British magazine that all women should be forced to breast-feed.

“I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breast-feed their babies for six months,” said Bundchen, 30.She went on to criticize American women who do not breast-feed their babies.

“Some people here [in the U.S.] think they don’t have to breast-feed, and I think ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?'” she said.

Bundchen may think since she is a United Nations earth mother, she has the authority of “motherly law,” even though she only breast-fed her son, Benjamin, for three weeks.She went on to criticize American women who do not breast-feed their babies.

“Some people here [in the U.S.] think they don’t have to breast-feed, and I think ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?'” she said.

Bundchen may think since she is a United Nations earth mother, she has the authority of “motherly law,” even though she only breast-fed her son, Benjamin, for three weeks.

You have got to be freaking KIDDING ME! What the hell is a United Nations earth mother and why does any organization need one? It is one thing to advocate for education of mothers and the benefits of breast feeding and quite another to advocate that if mothers around the world did not do this they could be thrown in jail and their children taken away from them Freaks.
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THE UNCOOPERATIVE RADIO SHOW The Finest Radio Show on the Internet

Brian Bonner is the Uncooperative radio show host. He along with his lovely wife and producer Susan will bring you independent and conservative views on politics and culture through opinion and Humor. Find out what it means to be an Uncooperative Citizen of these United States of America! Join us Thursday, 6/17/10, 7pmEST @ uncooperativeradio.com
Show Segments: Brian opines on the President’s speech from the Oval Office on Tuesday. It was Flag Day on Monday, what is that? Then, the Second Amendment Report. We will bring you the ultimate smack down: Islam vs Jesus. And we cont. with the Food Police and what they are up too, and in the end; Medical Madness.
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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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