Flag Day is celebrated on June 14., and Philadelphia’s Constitution Center

Today is Flag Day. What does that mean? To me, as an American, everyday is the day to celebrate and display our American flag.

And I do. In my own way. My garden has American flags waving proudly among my summer flowers. When I plant my flower garden, The colors I choose are red, white and blue. Red geraniums, white , and blue ageratums.

My front door welcomes you with a homemade hanging sign in the shape of an American flag; it is old, In fact my family made it at a craft project at my hometown library several years ago, and I still display it. It has ribbons, and during the year I drape it on the edge of my plant stand in the kitchen. Whenever I’m cooking, reading one of my cookbook collection or gazing out the sliding door’s window, I am reminded of our Freedom, I jotted notes about it a couple of weeks ago while at the Princeton Public Library.

Freedom to read almost anything out there that is published.  It was a real eye-opening moment when I came across a book last month,

Flag Day at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA

Flag Day at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA

that a writer attempt to describe what it is like in out her countries.  Found the book in the Princeton Public library, was so interesting, that I jotted down.

History of Flag Day:

A celebration of the adoption of the Continental Congress to adopt the flag June 14, 1777.

Resolved that the flag be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, thirteen stars.

Although for 200 years, the American flag was flown on public buildings, and in several small cities, Flag day wasn’t  officially recognized until President Harry Truman signed it into law in 1949.

Nearby Philadelphia’s Constitution center is having Flag Day celebration, opening early at 0930 am with reduced admission price of $5.00 sponsored by Macy’s ( Department store. )  At 10:30 am on the front lawn is a 50 star grand flag raising and a parade to Independence Mall.

Betsy Ross, the birthplace of the American Flag is open today, the 13 star flag raising.

There is a ” Stars and Stripes” Community fair 09:00 to 3:00 pm at a Independence Mall.

Celebrate Flag Day!!

Chinese New Year on January 31st.

Chinese New Year is celebrated locally in one of the libraries each year. This year it was at Plainsboro Library.

There are Craft tables set up with volunteers displaying traditional Chinese craft. This year I learned how to do the Chinese knotting technique. The one I made is “Dragonfly “knot in the color purple. It is a tiny keychain holder.

At another table, was Chinese clay design in animal shapes, the animals’s clay was multiple colors in stripe design.

Next, was a table to color Chinese felted bookmarks, with both Chinese characters( letters) and English, for example Happiness, Peace , Love.

There was a Chinese cooking station with samples of Dumplings.

Musical entertainment with children performing on the violins, and the Dragon Line dance demonstration.

THe last was  the Lantern riddles, there were many papers posted on a board with a riddle on each. You have to guess the riddle, if correct, win a child”s prize.  We tried it, being child at heart and answered both correctly. Won a clear blue rock with the word “hope”,and a jade colored keychain.

The photos:  Chinese Dragon fly KnotImage

Image

  Preparing for Thanksgiving, choosing recipes

My sister’s favorite appetizer is stuffed mushrooms.

Here’s are the names of recipes that  I posted at  an earlier date, that I might use for Thanksgiving.  This morning, I was unsuccessful in copy and pasting using my I-pad.

Enjoyed my day off after a long weekend working, we went to lunch , Election day Chili at a local church fund raiser, they had little tables set up with red and blue tableclothes, baskets with cornbread , and butter and Tortilla chips. The chili was very good. Dessert was m & m cookies or macadamia nut cookies.

Corn casserole, posted on March 12, 2013.

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

Sweet Potato pie

Holy Saturday- Easter Basket Blessing, a church tradition

The Holy Saturday Easter Basket Blessing is a traditionally Polish occurrence,and our Roman Catholic church is performing this at 12:oo Noon today at mass. 

The alter of St. Augustine of Canterbury church with the Easter "food " baskets ready for the blessing.

The alter of St. Augustine of Canterbury church with the Easter “food ” baskets ready for the blessing.

I’ve checked to see what is included in a traditional basket for blessing.  We will be driving to Mendoker’s bakery in Jamestown this morning, for small Easter cakes to put in the basket. We have everything else. 

Slice of ham, ( symbolizes the Resurrection, Christ’s victory over death), Bread loaf or Rye bread slices,  ( symbolizes the Bread of Life) salt, ( Prosperity & Justice)  pepper, (bitter herb of Passover), horseradish , (The Passion of Christ) cheese , candle, basket ribbons, and a linen cover. ( My linen closet has a pretty selection of Easter theme colors. ) 

I’l take a picture of our basket that we’re making up and post at a later date!!

Here are some of the Easter baskets.  Ours is the white basket with the pink and white plaid linen.

Holy Saturday Easter "Food" baskets to be Blessed by our priest.

Holy Saturday
Easter “Food” baskets to be Blessed by our priest.

The alter of St. Augustine of Canterbury church with the Easter "food " baskets ready for the blessing.

The alter of St. Augustine of Canterbury church with the Easter “food ” baskets ready for the blessing.

Here is information from another website called Polish Easter customs and Polish music, religious: 

traditional Polish Easter basket for the 
Easter Blessing (Święcenie pokarmów)
  The tradition of preparing a special Easter basket to be blessed by a local priest has been practiced by Poles throughout the ages. It is reported that as many as 95% of all Polish families continue the custom today. The custom is also maintained throughout Polonia and has even been embraced by those not of Polish descent.
 
  It should be noted that the Easter basket is first lined with a linen or a lace napkin which extends beyond the ‘basket’s rim and covers the food placed inside as the basket is carried to and from church. The food is later uncovered for the blessing. Here is a list of items that are traditionally included in the Polish Easter basket and are an integral part of the Polish Easter blessing:
 
  • Eggs, colored or plain (jaja, pisanki): Hard-boiled eggs symbolize new life, a basic theme of the Easter celebration.
  • Bread (chleb): The “staff of life”. In some cases, special loaves marked on top with a cross are baked for the occasion. The importance of bread as a symbol of life cannot be stressed enough.
  • Meat and sausage (mięso, wędliny): kielbasa, a slice of ham or roast meat are usually included. Meat symbolizes the resurrection, Christ’s victory over death.
  • Horseradish (chrzan): Horseradish represents one of the bitter herbs which foretold the Crucifixion. It is also an acknowledgement that in life one must accept the bitter with the sweet.
  • Vinegar (ocet): A small container of vinegar stands for the bitter wine that Jesus was given while hanging on the cross.
  • Salt (sól): Salt is an important food preservative that has always been essential for survival through Poland’s long winters. Like bread, its importance cannot be overstated.
  • Pepper (pieprz): Like horseradish, it is one of the bitter herbs of Passover.
  • Easter cakes (babka, mazurek, placek, chalka, sernic): The forty-day period of self-denial is over, and it is once again time to enjoy life’s sweetness!
  • Wine (wino): A small quantity of wine is sometimes included. Wine represents Christ’s blood shed on the cross.
  • Easter Lamb (baranek wielkanocny): Usually made of butter (but is can be made of almost anything) is added last where it prominently guards over the other precious items in the basket. The lamb, representing the sacrificial Pascal lamb, usually wields a red banner with a gold cross proclaiming victory of life over death.
  • Box twigs (bukszpan): This is an evergreens shrub with tiny green leaves used for decorative purposes. Sprigs of pussy willows are also very popular.

Well, I can cross this off of “my bucket list”.  Next year , if I have the day off, I’d like to do this again.  Growing up, My mother would speak about it, saying, she did not have time to cook a whole meal and bring it down to the church.  She had a misconception of what the basket consisted of.  Thanks to the world wide web, and  a conversation with a staff member, I learned this year that it was not a entire meal, but a sampling of foods each representing something about Jesus Christ’ Passion.  She said that the food that they bring are the Kielbasa, loaf of bread, the horseradish, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, butter, and these things they eat for lunch that same afternoon.

I shared with my mother that Pat rick and I made up a basket for the blessing, and she seemed not interested.  She said the Polish church did that.  That’s what makes this world go round.   We are all individuals  that can make up their own mind what new experiences to try.

Here's our Easter "Food" basket that was blessed.

Here’s our Easter “Food” basket that was blessed.

Observe Lincoln’s birthday, the sixteenth president

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, the official day. 

As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.

Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg: “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The spirit that guided him was clearly that of his Second Inaugural Address, now inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C.: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…. “

” Famous quote:

With malice toward none, with charity for all”

As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.

Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg: “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The spirit that guided him was clearly that of his Second Inaugural Address, now inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C.: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…. “

” Famous quote:

With malice toward none, with charity for all”

 

As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.

Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg: “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The Luck of the Irish to You!

Wishing You  ………

Angels to protect you,

Good Luck to light your Way,

And Blessings to surround you

Forever and a day!

Happy St Patrick’s Day!~~~~Somewhere over the rainbow: This picture was taken in northern Finland, where the summer sun never sets and the light is still strong enough to form a rainbow in the middle of the night

The face on the Penny!

There are about 150 billion US pennies in circulation today.

A  penny was a  specific part or a fraction of (  1 / 1000) of a pound.   It is also 1/100th of a dollar in the countries of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States.

The US penny

In 1793, the United States of America was trying to establish itself among the nations of the world. President Washington was made aware what an urgent matter it was for the US to have a stable system of coinage. A case can be made that the 1792 half dimes resulting from this need were the very first coins pressed by the United States Government. However the chain cents of 1793 were probably the first. The US penny, named after the British penny or pence was first minted as the US penny around 1787. Pennies in the US were first pressed in copper. The first design was by the famous Benjamin Franklin.

The first lincoln cent like what we have today appeared in 1909, on  the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.   If you have a 1909 penny hold on to it! More pennies have been pressed than any other coin in the US.

Throughout WW2 pennies were steel covered in zinc to allow the use of copper in wartime for military purposes.

There have been adoptions of a new penny at the 100th and 150th birthday’s of Abraham Lincoln in honor of him. In 1959 this produced the penny with the Lincoln memorial on the back. Of course if the indian cent and first Lincoln penny of 1909 could be had these would be a prize.  There are about 150 billion US pennies in circulation today

Presidents day is always celebrated on the third Monday of February in the United States.

Yes we can… change the world, find cures for diseases, or feed the hungry. This craft is inspired by Barack Obama’s famous 2008 presidential campaign phrase, “Yes we can.” Kids can add coins to this can to save money for their favorite cause or charity to make Earth a better place.

yes_we_can_01_rdax_65.jpg (350×255)

What you’ll need:

  • Empty vegetable can
  • 1 sheet of white construction paper
  • ½ sheet of felt (we used red)
  • 1 chenille stem (we used white)
  • Red and blue paint, markers, or crayons
  • Assortment of colored glitter pens
  • White craft glue
  • Scissors
  • 2” wide strip of yellow or gold felt, enough to go around your can (optional)
  • White acrylic paint (optional)
  • Red glitter glue (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Measure the width of the can and cut out a strip of construction paper that will cover the entire width of the can.
  2. Write the phrase “Yes We Can” across the  piece of construction paper. Decorate the rest of the paper using paint, markers, and glitter.
  3. Trace round bottom of can on to a piece of scrap paper.
  4. Cut out the circle you just traced on the scrap paper. Place it on to the felt. Either hold it in place with your fingers or use a safety pin to attach it. Use scissors to cut around the circle, leaving a 1” border. You should now have a large felt circle.
  5. Fold the felt circle in half. Using the scissors, cut a slit in the middle. Open up the half circle.
  6. Place the felt circle on top of the can and secure with the chenille stem, wrapping a couple of times to tighten. Do not glue!
  7. When glitter glue on the paper is dry, glue the “Yes We Can” band around the can. (See image.)

Tips:

  • You can create this craft a little differently using white paint and a piece of felt. First paint the outside of the can with the white paint. Let dry. Then take the optional piece of felt and decorate it with the phrase “Yes We Can” using the optional red glitter glue. When glitter is completely dry, attach the felt to the can using glue. (See image.)
  • Discuss with kids what “Yes We Can” means to them and to you.
  • Change out the colors if you don’t have the ones that we suggest. We chose a patriotic theme but you can pick whatever colors you like. If you are saving for breast cancer research, use a pink theme, and so on.
  • Keep this can in a heavily trafficked area of your house to remind everyone in the family of the cause you are supporting.
  • http://crafts.kaboose.com/yes-we-can-can.html

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