Category Archives: Heros

Memorial Day 2012

To Those who faithfully served or are now serving – Thank You.

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September 11, 2011

They were invited to Liberty Street & Church Street, New York City on September 11, 2001.

9-11-01

But they were not invited to Liberty Street & Church Street, New York City on September 11, 2011.

Photograph by Gillie Peres, in the book “World Trade Center”, by Peter Skinner (2002).

Related posts:

Never Forget

September 11, 2010

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Filed under America, Current Events, Heros, History, New York, September 11

Happy Birthday, America!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CILIBlQ2D0Q The Ray Charles version of “America”.


Nice trailer for 1942’s “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, which we’ll watch this afternoon as we usually do on the 4th of July. I tried to post just the Yankee Doodle Dandy scene but embedding was disabled.

So, here’s the next best thing … the dance down the White House staircase at the end –

Happy 4th!

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Filed under 4th of July, America, Heros, Military, YouTube

George Washington Silhouette



Here’s the George Washington silhouette that I promised last February. The above tracing is from the instruction page (last photo in this post) and enlarged to 200%. The nose is not quite right. If you prefer to trace your own, click on the instruction page to enlarge it, then click again on the magnifying glass.

It’s the closest I could find to the ones that we always cut out and used for crafts back in the early 60s when I was in elementary school at Mingo.

Go here for the Lincoln silhouette outline.

One additional note: an optional background is to print off the Declaration of Independence setting the darker/lighter button much lighter than normally for the font. For an antiqued look, use a tan piece of cardstock.

These pictures are all from Holiday Touches for the Country Home, Memories in the Making Series by Leisure Arts.

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Filed under Crafts, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Heros, Holidays, Using What You Have, Washington's Birthday

Cry Me a River

Monday has not been a great day.

Thomas Jefferson, on a rare snowy day in north Texas


Thomas Jefferson (our older son’s cat) is not doing well. He’s 14 years old, snuck outside about 3 weeks ago and got into a fight with something – we don’t know what. This I’m sure of, he didn’t start the fight. He’s a lover, not a fighter (by which I mean that he’s a very loving cat; he was neutered when he was young).

This morning we took him back to the vet for the third time. I don’t know if he’s going to make it and it’s breaking my heart. He has lived with Joe and me for a good part of his colorful life.

Packing up for Afghanistan deployment


When Judah was posted to Fort Drum, Joe and I took Thomas with us on the plane. Then when Judah was deployed, we went up and brought Thomas back home to Texas. He was very good on the plane; in fact, he only meowed a couple of times and I think hardly anyone even knew that we had a cat with us.

Joe and Thomas Jefferson


He was not only a very good traveler, he’s been a very good cat. We’ve had very little trouble out of him over the years. He didn’t engage in bad behavior, like some other cats I could name (LaFayette, are you listening??), and he always moved well. Most cats don’t like to move and will run off, but he has moved several times with Judah (and once with us) and he adjusted to his new home just fine, every time.

And now this. I know that pets don’t live forever but even when they live a long time, it doesn’t seem long enough. Their passing just breaks my heart. When I was in 4th grade our teacher read “Black Beauty” aloud to our class. The last chapters in the book where the horse was mistreated were devastating to me. I’ve never watched “Old Yeller”. I just can’t. (SPOILER) When I watch “My Dog Skip”, I ball like a baby; the last time I watched it (it’s a wonderful movie), I quit before the dog died.

A couple of weeks ago, Joe and I went to see “Ramona and Beezus” (which was also wonderful – and isn’t my husband a great guy to take me to a children’s movie, and not even complain? It makes that whole thing about going with him to “Lord of the Rings” not so bad). Anyway, the family in R & B has a cat, and … well, just take some kleenex in your purse.

This is just another one of those things in life that I’m not very good at … saying goodbye.

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Filed under Books, Cats, Children's, Family, Fiction, Heros, Military, Movies, New York, Vicissitudes of Life

It’s What You Do With What You’ve Got That Counts

Sometimes I get a little behind reading my favorite blogs. I was doing a little catch-up yesterday when I discovered this poem on Sandra’s “Add Humor to Faith…mix well”.

Sandra’s mother had written a book of her own memories and at the back of it had recorded songs and poems she’d learned as a girl. This one her father had taught her and it’s a very clever play on words.

One comment on the post mentioned that children don’t seem to commit things to memory as they did in past days. My own public schooling began in 1960 and we seemed to be at the tail-end of that method of learning. We were assigned to memorize the first bit of the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution and the Gettysburg address. To my discredit, I don’t think I ever completely memorized any of these except the Preamble.

In this science fiction age of instant internet information (not all of which is accurate), some think that memorization is passe. I disagree.

My mother has been a good example to me all my life,- in the importance of memorization, as well as many other things. Even at 95, legally blind and suffering from Alzheimer’s, she’s still a good example.

She was always a great reader and I treasure that legacy from her. Sadly, her ability to comprehend started failing about the same time as her eyesight. Her memory has a lot of holes in it, but she has retained the songs and poems she learned as a child. The thieving Alzheimer’s may cloud her recognition of me at times, but she can still recite “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” and praise God with hymns. It’s amazing and I rejoice at her memory which remains.

A pleasant childhood memory of mine, is hearing her singing hymns in her sweet soprano voice as she went about her housework. (She worked in a faded housedress and an apron because you took care of your better clothes and saved them for visiting or going to town. But the cotton work dresses and aprons were always clean and ironed.)

She was full of old sayings for every occasion. My sister recalls that they were sometimes contradictory. Mama would say “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” as well as “Out of sight, out of mind.”

The one that Mama always lived by was “It’s what you do with what you’ve got that counts.” Make the best of the situation. (I doubt she ever heard the phrase “if life gives you lemons – make lemonade” but it surely fit) Even if you don’t have what you need to do the optimum, do something; do what you can.

That attitude kept her going when her home in Kentucky was under water (up to the roof) for 2 weeks in 1937. She and her parents lost almost everything due to the severe flooding and they became homeless. She had recently married and her husband had gone to Indiana to find work. Shortly after the flood, he wrote her that he didn’t want to be married anymore. She brushed off the river mud and moved to Texas, which required a one year’s residency before filing for divorce.

She stayed with relatives until she found a job at a Mexican restaurant. A uniform was required, so she sewed her own and hand washed and ironed it every night in the room she rented. And even though the salary was only $1.00 a day + tips (and she always said that during the Depression you didn’t get many tips), her rent was $3.00 a week. After a year, she had bought new clothes, saved money and obtained her divorce and moved on to California. About 5 years later, she married my dad who had also been kicked around by life, but he had the same confidant, forward-looking attitude that she had.

So although Stella Sexton had lost all her worldly goods in the flood and was left homeless and rejected by her first husband, she didn’t spend any time feeling sorry for herself. She did what she could with what she had.

And that’s what my mother is still doing.

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Filed under 1930s, 1937, Aging, Alzheimer's, Faith, Family, Heros, Internet links, Kentucky, Making Do, Thrift, Using What You Have, Vicissitudes of Life

American Heros

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1407952648?bctid=1664436922

This is a short film about how our wounded are transported back to the United States.

Bagran Air Force Base in Afghanistan is where our son was posted 3 years ago.

I love the American military!

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Filed under America, Current Events, Family, Heros, Military

Lincoln Silhouette

Mingo School didn’t provide regular art class for grades Kindergarten – 4th grade. However we did lots of in-class art projects and one of my favorite things were the Lincoln and Washington silhouettes we made every February.

I’ve searched the internet and can’t find the old patterns, but there is one in a craft book that I have. Although it’s not exactly the same pattern, it’s close.

Abraham Lincoln


This one has been traced out of the book, then copied to 200%.

Here are some simple directions.

1. Click on image once to enlarge. Print.
2. Cut outside shape with scissors. Use an exacto knife to cut out inner collar shape.
3. Trace onto black construction paper (or black scrapbook paper if you want it to last ).
4. Using a glue stick or similar product, affix construction paper to thin card stock or the shiny side of a cereal or cracker box (this is free chipboard).
5. Cut out, remembering to use an exacto knife for the collar.
6. Use a black stamp pad, marker or crayon to color edges (so the chipboard doesn’t show).
4. If you want the Gettysburg address for a background, copy and paste it from the previous post, using a script font. Print. Or you can use plain white paper, an old book page or anything else you like for the background.
5. Using a glue stick, affix Gettysburg Address to the shiny side of a cereal box and cut into a 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ size (half of a regular sheet of typing paper).
6. Distress edges of script page with black or brown stamp pad.
7. Punch 2 holes at top of scripted shape. Run brown twine or black ribbon or any other type cording you prefer through holes and tie a knot on each side.
8. Glue black silhouette onto front.
9. If you like, you can stamp or print off:

Abraham Lincoln
1809-1865

10. Cut out, glue onto a small piece of black paper, and then glue under silhouette at bottom of page.

I’ll post George Washington’s silhouette on his birthday, February 22.

Sihouette was copied from Holiday Touches for the Country Home, 1990 Leisure Arts.

*Update: Go here for the George Washington silhouette.

This post is linked to Frugal Fridays @ Life as Mom.

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Filed under America, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Ephemera, Free, Heros, History, Lincoln's Birthday, Thrift

Pearl Harbor

These photographs were taken in peacetime:

U.S.S. Arizona

U.S.S. Arizona, Pearl Harbor



Naval History and Heritage Command
is an excellent source for historical information about the attack on Pearl Harbor and all of the above photographs come from their site.

National Archives page with radiogram and original documents.

U.S.S. West Virginia, Pearl Harbor

The United States and Japan were not at war with each other when Japan attacked our military installations on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941. Our country had failed to understand the evil and underestimated the threat.

May we learn from our mistakes.

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Filed under 1940s, America, Heros, History, Internet links, Military, World War II

Plymouth and Nearby Environs


When I was a girl, I always loved the stories about the Pilgrims and the early years of America. History was one of my favorite subjects, but there was something really special and American about the story of the people who left their home in search of religious freedom, came across the ocean in a crowded boat and made new lives for themselves and their families in a wilderness.

Three years ago, I accompanied Joe on a business trip to Massachusetts and was so excited to finally get to visit the place I had read about 40 years ago. And although I had plenty of time to explore the Plymouth area, unfortunately many of the sites are closed in December, but I visited what I could. One of my first stops was Pilgrim Hall, the museum established and built in 1824.

Pilgrim Hall - I call it the Politcally Correct Palace


After about 5 minutes I felt like I’d been slapped in the face and that the museum curators were trying to kick the wind out of me. There was no honor of the Pilgrims, no celebration of their experience. All of the plaques describing the paintings and artifacts sneeringly contradicted the traditional story. What was left was how awful all this intrusion was to the Indians and how noble they were.

It was politically correct to the Nth, nauseating degree. I couldn’t believe it. They kept emphasizing that all those stories we read before were false; of course that was before the enlightened ones starting writing the history books.

(A few years before that we’d been to the Smithsonian and I was absolutely shocked at how PC it was. The exhibit on World War II was overwhelmingly focused on the Japanese internment. What little space that was devoted to the American GI was negative. It described that everywhere our soldiers went, there was rape, venereal disease and unwanted, half-American children.)

(I had better cover myself here because I don’t have a lawyer on retainer – the following is my opinion. Liberals tend to be sensitive and lawsuit happy.)A rhetorical question:are the same jaded, hair-shirt-wearing, self-flagellating, over-educated nincompoops in charge of all the museums dedicated to the American experience?

Please, say it isn’t so.

View of the bay, Plymouth, Massachusetts


Plymouth, Massachusetts has an incredibly precious heritage. Is that what you’ll find on their webpage? No, you’ll find one of those boxes on the left that shouts: “No Place for Hate”. What does that mean? Do they actually believe that other American towns advocate the opposite? The only reference to their role in American history is the following from City of Plymouth official website which says: “Most Americans are familiar with the story of the pilgrims’ voyage across the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower, and their landing at Plymouth Rock. Today, Plymouth Rock is just one of the sites that tell the story of Plymouth. When you visit our Town, you will learn about more than the pilgrim voyage, you will learn about our diverse and unique community. ” (emphasis mine)

Even the unofficial town website doesn’t have any history, but they do have another one of those little boxes. They aren’t warning us about hate. It tells us about International Day of Climate Action! (exclamation mark theirs).

But there is hope! (exclamation mine) The following quotes are from an article from the Plymouth Guide titled Putting the Thanks back in Thanksgiving – New book embraces treasured Pilgrim saga.

Hooray for the Plymouth Guide.

A big double hooray for Jeremy Bangs.

Strangers and Pilgrims, the 928-page history of the Pilgrims by Jeremy Bangs, explores the religious and political foundations of the Pilgrims in England and Holland and finds historical basis for much of the treasured Pilgrim tradition.”

“Bangs, for instance, points to the false notion that the Pilgrims never referred to themselves as Pilgrims. While some have suggested the name was invented in the 19th century, Bangs said the title of his book, Strangers and Pilgrims, comes from a quotation published by Robert Cushman in 1622.”

“Bangs said he has no stake in how the story plays out, but admits he is amused to see so many of the original notions about the Pilgrims have proven to be more or less accurate.”

If I had it to do all over again, I’d still go through the exhibit, because it does contain the actual belongings of the Pilgrims which is incredible to me, but I’d ignore their little plaques signs and explanations.

Doll from Mayflower passage, 1620


The swords and furniture were interesting, but what I really was drawn to was a little doll, carried on the Mayflower by Mary Chilton. How in the world could something as fragile as that rag doll survive almost 400 years? I don’t know, but I’m so glad it did. I can’t find a photo of it, either on the Pilgrim Hall website or doing image searches. If anyone knows where there’s a picture of it, please let me know. I did a rough sketch and made a few notes, but it’s hard to tell anything about it. The description said it was made from wool, linen and cotton.

I wonder who made it. Mary? Her mother? In England or Holland? Maybe on the Mayflower itself.

As a lover of textiles, I consider it a real American treasure.

First Congregation Church - Middleboro, Massachusetts


In nearby Middleboro is the First Congregational Church

organized in 1694 by the children of the Mayflower Pilgrims.

Ceiling of First Congregation Church


The current structure was built in 1828.

Auditorium - First Congregational Church


Across the road is an old cemetery. Some thoughtful person had placed flags on the graves of U.S. military veterans.


This headstone marks the grave of a Revolutionary War soldier.

Cranberry bog - near Middlleboro Massachusetts,


This is what a cranberry bog looks like. I think they’re beautiful.

And incidentally, if it’s a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce that you open on Thanksgiving, you might be interested to know that O.S. is not a corporation – it’s an agricultural cooperative of the growers. If you ever find yourself in Middleboro or Lakeview, Massachusetts, give yourself a treat and go see the Ocean Spray headquarters. A winding drive, the little bridge over the stream with swans swimming on it and the white colonial style building, it is the nicest business office I’ve ever seen.

Here in our region we have Big Lot stores, and they’re pretty good, but I’ve never seen anything like Ocean State Job Lots. I could spend hours in that store. Just take an extra suitcase and a little extra cash is all I have to say. I bought everything from poppy seeds to gourmet snack items to dishes to stamp pads to tools and blenders in there – all at very good prices.

Going into Benny’s in Raynham, Massachusetts was like time travel for me. In 1950’s and 1960’s Tulsa, we had OTASCO stores (Oklahoma Tire and Suppy Company). Benny’s is so like them I could’ve believed I was a kid again. From the traditional looking shopping center and sign out front to the smell when I walked in the door, I felt like I was in a time warp and I enjoyed every minute of it. I actually did a lot of Christmas shopping there, too. If I lived in that area, Benny’s would be one of my regular stops.

Coming back around to the history of the region, the people of New England are so blessed to be surrounded by history everywhere;this region is absolutely rich with roots in our country’s founding and early days. I wish New Englanders viewed that as something to be treasured rather than something to be embarrassed about.

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Filed under 1950s, 1960's, America, Books, Childhood pastimes, Cooking, Current Events, Faith, Heros, History, Internet links, Local Shopping, Military, Shopping, Thanksgiving