Posts Tagged ‘History’

Over the years, our country has had its share of great orators; Men who could inspire us with encouraging words, enlighten us with words of wisdom, inform us with clarity, share their vision of a future or soothe a troubled nation with intelligent reason.

The history books, (or at least when I was growing up we had History books in school Geography too) and we learned about Lincoln’s great Gettysburg Address, Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, and FDR’s first Fireside address.  Greatness continued though the decades with Ronald Reagan’s Brandenburg Gate speech, in  Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “The only thing we have to fear…” inaugural address, John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do…” speech, Lyndon B. Johnson’s Voting Rights speech in 1965, Dwight Eisenhower’s  Military Industrial Complex speech in 1961 and Obama’s Race speech, “A more perfect union”.

Trump smile

That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It

“…I went to an Ivy League school. I’m highly educated. I know words. I have the best words, I have the best, but there is no better word than stupid. Right?”

But now we find ourselves led by a man of few words  or How To Speak Solely In Superlatives.  Although brevity is often hailed and long-winded monologues not widely appreciated, consider the current state of presidential pronouncements.  Pronouncements may too generous a description for the 140 characters tweeted on an irregular basis by POTUS.  The following list features words MOST USED by Donald Trump.


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The frost we had earlier this week pretty much killed off most of what was left of summer’s glory.  The pink begonias were black and the remaining basil turned brown.  I had already cut back the peonies and the day lilies and today I cut back the peppermint and we put covers on the patio furniture and the grill.  With Thanksgiving around the corner it’s a little strange to see the last few geraniums blooming by the back door and have a gourd and maize arrangement in the living room.  The seasons may be merging, global warming notwithstanding.  I can remember Thanksgivings that were bitter cold and some years we had snow.  Not sure what’s in store for us this year weather-wise and wonder if there will still be some “color” left in the yard besides the leaves from our neighbor’s tree.  FLASHBACK TO FORWARD.


Shades of September

Shades of September


Ghoulish October

Ghoulish October


YES Geraniums in November

YES Geraniums in November


Gourdish November

Gourdish November

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Gemini (Photo credit: Justinsanity)

HELLO to all my followers and sometime readers. I am about to hit a real benchmark and I can hardly believe it myself!  Wordpress keeps you informed on myriad details about your blog and your posts.  Everyday I see how many visitors come to the blog and what the average number of views per person is as well as from what countries the hits are coming.  I see which blog posts are the most popular, the number of views per month, and the search engine terms that people type in and end up on my blog.

All this information is useful and to some niche bloggers, it would be essential.  Unfortunately for me I never found my niche.  I write about my life, my travels, the foods I cook, the movies I see and often post information and research on dozens of totally unrelated things. I post photos of my grandchildren and the moon. I was fortunate enough to have my good friend, Murray Head send me hundreds of photos that I posted on Fab Foto Friday.  Sounds  a little scattered doesn’t it.  I think that describes the mind of a person born on the cusp of Gemini and Taurus.  At any given time, there are 3 minds at work with or against one another! 

Well here’s where I’m at;  I love writing my blog even though my husband and daughter wonder why.  I freely admit that my blog like 99% of all blogs is more or less  an egocentric stream of consciousness.  Over the short life of this blog, I’ve tried various ideas to entice a following because even though I am (supposedly) writing this for myself, don’t think for a minute that I don’t relish seeing the number of hits the blog has each day.  I loved Six Word Memoir Monday and may try to reinstate it but I need your input!  Conspiracy Theory Wednesday was a fantastic exposeé on the Kennedy Assassination, Top Ten Thursday allows for a wide range of subject matter and Tasty Tidbits Tuesday and Every Day Food are one of my joys.

BUT now I WANT YOU! I am 7 posts short of ONE THOUSAND! WOWIE ZOWIE!   I only have to write 7 more posts and I will have reached a real benchmark for myself.  I would love it if you would comment and give me some ideas as to what these next 7 posts should be about;  Do you want a repeat of one of your favs or do you have a scathingly (or not so scathingly) brilliant idea I can incorporate into a post?  

Pretty Please?!

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Some people refer to the hot humid days of July and  August as dog daysDid you ever wonder why?  The phrase has a celestial origin;  In the days of ancient Rome, the brightest star, Sirius often rose in the sky either slightly before or at the same time as sunsrise.  This is no longer true, due to the precession of equinoxes.  Since the star was so close to the sun, it was thought that this star, Sirius, was responsible for the sultry days.

Finley and Francesca, smart as they are, have no concept of Roman history or for that matter, astronomy or astrology.  So for them, these hot days of summer can eeasily be summed up as Popsicle Days.  And why not?  What better way is there to wile away an afternoon after a couple of hours in the pool, than to just suck down a fruit-flavored ice pop.  And sharing it with your sister – PRICELESS!!!!

West Hampton LI. Finley Ray and Francesca Clark.

Not now, I’m licking my popsicle


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"Declaration of Independence" - This...

The Declaration of Independence

Did you enjoy the parade?  Did you go to the beach, have a cook-out? Watch the fireworks?  But have you taken a moment to really consider what we were celebrating this weekend? 

We’re celebrating the start of something very special and unique;  the birth of a country based on the idea of liberty.

New york city,
Lady Liberty is 125 Years Old

Photo by Matt (or maybe Stacey) Weinstein

While watching the Fourth of July parade this past Saturday, a young woman came through the crowd of onlookers and asked if we would like a copy of the Constitution of the United States.  Yes we said and she handed us a small pamphlet and a piece of paper.  It was my intention to copy the statements on the piece of paper as a segué to some excerpts from our Constitution.  As I started to write it out, I sensed a certain political slant to the wording.  It was subtle,but not so subtle that I missed just where the philosophy was heading.  Right down the road of state’s rights and opposed to a centralized government.

It’s my blog and I can espouse any political position I wish;  however, this weekend, this day, I choose not to promote my political beliefs as the best for the country or use my blog as a platform to proselytize my point of view and therefore I’m not going to copy those statements into this post because they’re the beliefs of another person.  I just want you to think about what we were celebrating and to perhaps familiarize yourself with the very documents upon which this country was founded.

Selected Quotations

“(The adoption of the Constitution) will demonstrate as visibly the finger of Providence as any possible event in the course of human affairs can ever designate it”. —-George Washington

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.  As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters”.—-Benjamin Franklin

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” —-Thomas Jefferson

“A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.” —James Madison

Preamble to The Constitution


“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  And that’s just the beginning of this remarkable document.  Look it up online and educate yourself.

And then there’s the Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to  dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the theem to opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation”.

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Traffic sign alerting drivers for Amish Buggie...

AMISH Crossing

I‘ve noticed  a lot of traffic comes to my blog directed to a post I did quite a while ago about bundling;see  https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/bringing-back-the-bundling-board/ so I thought I should do some research and look deeper into this ancient tradition.

Worldwide Bundling: One of the most fascinating aspects of this subject is that the practice of bundling was not limited to the United States.  I had always associated the term with the Amish and Colonial America.  However, in the book, The Art of Bundling, by Dana Doten, (The  Countryman Press and Farrar & Rinehart, 1938)  there is a paragraph inferring bundling was an early practice in the British Isles and Wales;

“If you are eligible for the Sons or Daughters of the American Revolution you have bundling blood in you. More especially is this true if your forbears (sic) lived north of the Mason -Dixon line, a circumstance which should recompense you for those same ancestors’ failure to provide your line with colored slaves and a “big house before the war.” Because bundling is a proud heritage”.

In another authoritative book on bundling, the:  History of Bundling: Its Origin, Progress and Decline in America, by Henry Reed Stiles, there is a traveler’s account describing the practice of bundling in Wales in 1797.  Stiles comments that this practice was probably limited to the lower class of Welsh society.

In northern Europe, specifically Norway and Sweden, bundling was practiced as a form of courtship and as in Colonial America, long distances led to the practicality of a suitor spending the night before his long journey home.  Swedes referred to the practice of young couples sleeping together before marriage as frieri. In Norway, “night running” was defined as young suitors having to travel quite far to court.  And it wasn’t just Europe;  there is evidence that this practice was part of the cultures in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

Colonial America: In my previous blog, I wrote about the practice of bundling in America;  bundling was both a form of courtship as well as a practical solution to long distance relationships.  It was also a means to earn a bit of money if you rented half a bed. Hotels and Inns were few and far between, so many a household offered to rent half a bed to a traveler for the night.  A traveler might find himself sharing the bed with a young maiden but more likely it would be the head of the household AND there would be a bundling board between them.

Religion to the Rescue: New England and New Amsterdam seemed to be hot beds of bundling, especially Connecticut.  Puritans saw this method of courtship as both convenient and practical.  Bundling fell out of favor in the late 1700’s due primarily to a crusade against the practice led by the evangelical Congregationalist, Jonathan Edwards (1703-1793).  From his pulpit in Northhampton, Massachusetts, Edwards delivered many hell fire and brimstone sermons.  Eventually other preachers joined the crusade and by 1800, bundling had disappeared, at least publicly.

The Amish and Mennonites:  Bed Courtship These two religious sects have their own set of beliefs and practices and what went on in New England had no effect on them.  They continued to bundle through the 19th Century and well into the 20th Century.  Actually, there is evidence that bundling is still used as a form of courtship.  Thaddeus Stevens, a powerful Republican from Pennsylvania once stated that for every case of “bundling” in Lancaster County, there were twenty cases in Vermont. I read an excerpt from a letter written by a Beachy Amish Mennonite woman living in Ohio and she said that bundling was still a practiced form of courtship in her small community.

Bundling was condoned in the Old Testament, if one takes the time to look up the Book of Ruth to prove it; and if it was the custom then among the Jews for “men and women to lie on the same bed, as lovers, without undressing,” then we have little doubt but that our plain friends used the same methods for getting couples into a convivial mood and a convenient embrace.

Harrison Ford bears “Witness”: In the movie, Witness, Harrison Ford spends the night sharing a bed with a beautiful woman. And there it was for all to see – the bundling board!

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