Update on Stars and Stripes Theme

June 26th, 2022

. . . and Where We Go From Here.

After many attempts at picking through the old “Stars and Stripes” theme code to try and achieve compatibility with the newer versions of WordPress, I have concluded that I don’t think I can get there from here. Therefore, I am going to abandon further attempts at trying to make the old theme work. I am disappointed with this decision, but it is what it is.

Going forward, my plan is to continue using the bland, no frills default theme for the time being, while looking into some of the newer platform features to customize into a new S&S theme. I am not giving the effort much of a time budget in our busy schedule (wink) but it will give me something to look into when I get some spare time (wink again).

In the meantime, go look at a video I uploaded to U2B with Damsel and our new pup, Tucker . . .

2022 Cherry Red Cactus Flowers Now Opening

June 24th, 2022

There are several pots in our courtyard containing Trichocereus Grandiflorus cactus (a.k.a. Cherry Red or Torch Cactus). We have been watching a few of the flower buds getting ready to open and today the first ones were out.

We acquired the “parent” cactus several years ago and at one point separated the “mother” from several “pups” which are now planted in their own pots in the courtyard. The image above is of a flower open on a “grandpup,” or a second-generation from the mother cactus who is still getting ready to open her flowers.

Click on the image to enlarge. In addition to the one above, there were two more open on a first generation pup in another pot.

Army and Flag Day 2022

June 14th, 2022

From The Patriot Post:

June 14 is Army and Flag Day, celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the United States Army on June 14, 1775, and the adoption of our flag by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

Our flag is a beacon of Liberty, a symbol of hope for all people who “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed — that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”

We American Patriots honor the history of our national flag and display it with pride. We believe those who denigrate our flag — and by extension our nation — deeply offend the honorable service of all who have defended our nation under its banner, and their families.

The (clickable) image above is our flagpole flying Old Glory and the Arizona State Banner above our little home in the desert. We proudly fly the colors most of the time and especially on the patriotic days like today, Memorial Day, Independence Day and the like. Our American Flag is made in the U.S.A. by Grace Alley and our Arizona Banner is by Annin Flags, also made in America.

The American flag is manufactured with actual embroidered stars and the stripes are sewn together; the binding is double-thickness and has brass grommets. The Arizona flag is made according to the specifications set by the state. We always have spare flags on hand to replace the old tattered ones (the desert sun and winds take their toll). We recycle the US flags with the American Legion who ceremoniously will burn them.

Congratulations to the U.S. Army on their 247th anniversary. Happy Flag and Army Day!

D-Day – Remembering The Boys at Pointe du Hoc

June 6th, 2022

“Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”
– Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

From American Thinker

What moved the brave men who stormed the beaches of Normandy and scaled the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc was the firm resolve and spirit that liberty and virtue, freedom and duty, God and justice, were bound together and it is only in this unity that true freedom and progress be enjoyed. The relativism preached today is contrary to the American Founding and the American resolve and spirit that confronted the great darkness of Nazism and totalitarian ideologies in the twentieth century.

The article goes on to compare those brave young men of 1944 with some of the hoodlums today burning buildings and wreaking havoc. God save our country.

Image stolen from Ace‘s Art Thread. Click to enlarge.

Memorial Day 2022

May 30th, 2022

May their sacrifice be remembered on this day. God Bless our Military.

Image courtesy of The Patriot Post.

More Spring Cactus Flowers

May 16th, 2022

I took the dogs out this morning for their usual trip to the road outside and noticed that a lot of our May flowers were open on the various cacti around the house. I went back out armed with my Canon Rebel EOS SL1 to try and record some of what I saw when I was out before. I captured the shots as seen in the (clickable) montage above.

The most prevalent flowering cactus is our fourteen foot Saguaro out front of the house. There are buds, open flowers and some transforming into cactus fruit on the tops of the arms of the big guy.

Damsel has some small barrel cacti on the courtyard, a Bishop’s Cap cactus in a pot and a Star Cactus (Astrophytum) in the ground outside of the courtyard gate. Both are relatives of one another and produce flowers not only in May, but other times of the year as well. Both had open flowers today.

Individual photos in the montage above are (click to see each):

We will be seeing more cactus flowers during the summer since there are tell-tale buds on several of them that promise the opening of new flowers soon. Also, be on the lookout for some flowers on other shrubs and trees around the property this summer.

Mise Èireannach

May 5th, 2022

The title is Gaelic for “I Am Irish.” While that assertion is partially correct, both the wife and I are descendants of Scots, Irish, Welsh and English for the most part with traces of Native American and other (mostly) European ancestors. With all that disclosure out of the way, we will identify as Irish this week when we celebrate the cross-quarter feast of Beltane, about halfway between spring equinox and summer solstice.

Modern cultures that recognize Beltane typically celebrate on May Day (01 May), but the actual cross-quarter doesn’t occur until the fifth of May which is coincident with “Cinco de Mayo,” but since we have no Hispanic ancestry that we could find, we’re going with the Celtic celebration. However, due to our busy and crowded schedule as retirees, we have to postpone the festivities until the weekend (of May 07/08). Weekends are when we usually celebrate midweek holidays.

So, we will celebrate Beltane by having a traditional Irish dinner entrée of Shepherd’s Pie. Damsel found a simple recipe for “upside-down” shepherd’s pie, so we will be preparing it that way. We may also indulge in an Irish Cocktail at that time.

Sunday the 8th is, of course, Mother’s Day. Most of us retirees will wish our heavenly Mom’s a happy day in Heaven. Our Sunday meal will be Grilled Tri-Tip roast with braised cabbage and asparagus.

Cheers and Happy Cinco de Beltane to all the Mothers and Others out there.