Memorial Day

Memorial day……long weekend, day off work, barbeque, shopping, great sales, beach trips…….

Despite the fact that people tend to do all these things that is not what the day is for.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration day and was originally established to honor those who lost their lives in the civil war. It was later changed to include all who died in service and became a national holiday in 1971.

My family has military roots and a deep seeded respect for the country and the flag. You will not see us talking during the National Anthem or disrespecting the flag. It is built into our very souls to be respectful. Part of that comes from seeing what serving during war time can do to a parent.

When I think of memorial day this quote comes to mind. “Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” – Unknown

In the last few years I’ve noticed that there is a trend to include individuals from areas outside the military in Memorial day. Trust me….I think all people in our work force are very valuable. My daughter is a nurse. I am an educator. But Memorial day is not for police, firefighters, truck drivers. teachers, nurses, doctors or any other professions or trades. Memorial day is a day to honor our Military men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their life for this country. That is it’s sole purpose.

The words happy “happy memorial day” are spoken so much these days. Happy Memorial day pictures flood the internet. Memorial day is not happy. There is not a thing about it that’s happy. To wish someone a happy day is just not appropriate. Someone died…lots of someone’s died for us to have this long weekend. Our service men and women gave their all for our freedoms. While we may be flipping burgers and enjoying the beach someone’s heart is broken over the loss of their loved one. Memorial day is for honoring their loved ones sacrifice.

So what do we do on Memorial Day? Please honor and respect Memorial Day and those who gave all by reflecting on and remembering their sacrifice. Display your flag proudly. Be thankful for the freedoms we all enjoy. Be grateful that despite its current problems this is still the greatest country in the world. Although it is not correct to thank current military for their service on this day it is appropriate to thank the families of those whose loved ones died in service. Remember the holiday and why it exists. Gently correct and remind those who tell you to enjoy and have a “happy” one that the day was not founded for joy.

I leave you with these lyrics to one of my favorite songs. It is beautiful and says it all. Have a reflectful, respectful Memorial Day.

“He stood beside his daddy
And watched the solders marching by
It was Veteran’s Day and he wondered
Why there were tears in daddy’s eyes
Later they laid flowers
Beside a monument of stone
He said, My daddy went to fight
And didn’t make it home

Fallen, not forgotten
He was a hero
He stood so tall
And forever, we will remember
With honor and glory,
He gave his all

They left behind their families
And the towns where they were born
For the rice paddies of Vietnam
And the sands of Desert Storm
They were soldiers in Korea
And World War One
And World War Two
They paid the price
Some gave their lives
And they fought for me and you

Now freedom is a blessing
But freedom has a price
And we must remember those
Who paid it with their lives Remember the
Fallen, not forgotten
They were the heroes
Who stood so tall
And forever, we will remember
With honor and glory,
They gave their all.

Fallen, not forgotten
They were the heroes
Who stood so tall
And forever, we will remember
With honor and glory,
They gave their all”

Song by Ray Boltz.

Instant pot ground beef and vegetable soup

I was looking for a good soup recipe and wanted to use a lot of veggies, mostly non starchy ones. I wasn’t completely happy with anything I found so here is what I came up with. It reminded me of school soup which I absolutely love. Hope you all enjoy!

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef

Italian seasoning  (I don’t measure, I just pour in what looks like a good amount. Probably about 2 Tablespoons)

Salt and pepper to taste

Onion (I used about 3/4 of an onion. Hubby is not a big fan of them).

Worchestershire sauce (about a tablespoon)

One can cream of celery soup (mushroom would probably be good too)

4 cups beef broth

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 – 6 oz can tomato sauce (This was a complete accident. I thought I had tomato paste until I opened it. I was only going to add a tablespoon or so of paste. The sauce worked though. This could probably be left out.)

Large package of mixed frozen vegetables (I used the smaller diced pictsweet veggies and next time I will add 2 bags.)

Instructions

Saute the ground beef in the instant pot until mostly browned. Add chopped onion, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, worchestershire sauce, beef broth and cream of celery soup. Stir. 

Pour in the diced and crushed tomatoes and the tomato sauce and do not stir. (Instant pots work better when tomato products are on the top unstirred)

Pressure cook for 4 minutes. Allow Pressure to naturally release for 10-15 minutes. Open and stir in frozen vegetables. They will cook quickly in the hot soup.

If you would like to add potatoes add them with the beef and increase pressure cooking time by 3-4 minutes.

This makes a big batch of delicious soup. It definitely hits the spot on a cold night!

New Year’s Eve~Traditions to ring in the New year

image

So what are you doing New Year’s Eve? Going out to a party somewhere or staying home like us? We will most likely be spending our night tending to chickens, goats, ducks, dogs and cats as usual. We have 2 Nigerian Dwarf mamas with babies on the way!

I do love holidays and traditions though and New Years is full of fun activities and traditions.
Some of the traditions that we take for granted actually came from ancient times. So while you are celebrating this year you might want to take a look at where your traditions come from or add a new one or two. (Source: The Farmers Almanac)

Get loud and Noisy!
In ancient Thailand they fired guns to frighten off demons.
In China, people use firecrackers to ward off the forces of darkness.
In the American colonies gun shots were heard throughout the night.
Shooting shotguns is still done in many Southern rural areas today. We did this as kids at my Grandma’s. Please be mindful of your neighbors if you do this though.
In Italy church bells ring, people of Switzerland beat drums; sirens and party horns blast loudly to ring in the new year in North America.

Eat,and be merry!
In the United States, down South we eat black-eyed peas and pork for good luck.
Mustard, turnip or collard greens are also eaten for wealth, although it hasn’t helped me yet!
Another treat for good fortune is anything in the shape of a ring or circle, such as a doughnut. This symbolizes the year coming to coming full circle.
The Dutch serve fritters called olie bollen.
The Irish eat bannocks, or pastries.
In Spain 12 grapes are eaten at midnight.
In India and Pakistan eating rice is believed to bring a person prosperity.
Honey dipped apples are a Rosh Hashanah tradition among Jewish people.
In homes in Switzerland,spoonfuls of whipped cream are dropped on the floor and stay there symbolizing the richness of the coming year! This is not happening at my house, the dogs eat everything that hits the floor!

Pop the champagne cork!
A lot of countries celebrate midnight by popping the cork on the champagne, but a few do things just a little differently.
In England Wassail, which is Gaelic for “good health” is served.
The Scottish serve “hot pot” which is a spiced version of Wassail.
It’s the custom to drink a glass or two at home before you share with your neighbors!
I like that idea!
In Holland toasts are given with hot, spiced wine. Right now in South Georgia it’s hot again so maybe iced tea or cold wine… Hm, another idea is brewing!

Give Gifts.
More presents? I think I could live with that!
In Rome, it’s gifts of gilded nuts or coins.
The Persians exchanged eggs, the symbol of fertility. Hm, maybe those of us who still have hens laying in the cold weather can share farm fresh eggs!
In early Egypt flasks made of earthenware were exchanged.
In Scotland to bring a person good luck, coal, shortbread and silverware are given. Personally I think a gift of poultry, puppies or goats would be nice. We got our LGD’s for our Christmas presents in 2018. Last year we got our little Nigerian Dwarf buckling right after Christmas! Hm….wonder what’s in store for us this year?

Reflect on your life and the New year ahead.
A new year on the rise is a prime opportunity to take a look at life.
Making a New Year’s resolution is a way to reflect on the past year and plan on the future. This practice may have begun as early as 2600 B.C.
During the observance of Rosh Hashanah Jews have a time for personal introspection and prayer, as well as visiting graves of loved ones. This sounds like a good practice for us all.
Since 1770 Christian churches have held a Watch-night service a custom that began in Philadelphia at Old St. Georges Methodist Church.

Other beliefs and customs.

Some beliefs and customs are just sayings or proverbs passed down from family to family, region to region, country to country.
Here is a couple of my favorites!
~On New Year’s Eve, kiss the person you hope to keep kissing. – This one Farmer Cheese and I practice every year at midnight, if we can stay awake that long!
~If the old year goes out like a lion, the new year will come in like a lamb. Hm…If it goes out hot does it come in cold? 2021 has been crazy all year long and is going out just the same. Does this mean there is hope for 2022?
~Begin the new year square with every man. (i.e., pay your debts!)
~And finally my personal favorite: What ever you do New Year’s Day, you will be doing all year-long! With that said, you better make it a good day. No laundry or house cleaning. 😉 Doing laundry is said to wash a loved one away so definitely don’t do that!

Last year a lot of people started a new tradition of staying home in their jammies. This isn’t new to us, we stay home every year.

Whatever you do this New Year’s Eve we wish you a great and safe evening and a wonderful 2022!

image

Veteran’s Day- Just my opinion

image

Veterans Day. It’s a day to express gratitude and appreciation to all those men and women who served this great country. We are so divided politically these days with one side blaming the other for the country’s problems. Today is a day to lay all that aside and thank those who fought and gave their all for your right to express those feelings. Today is a day of thankfulness that you live in a country that despite its flaws, and yes I realize there are many, is the greatest country in the world. Why do so many flock here if that were not so? As you feel the urge to complain about something today, look around you and count your blessings and your many freedoms. When you need to take off your shoes so you can use your toes too, run find a veteran to hug and thank! God bless America!

image