Archive for Holidays

Labor Day 2021

Cardinal in Mesquite Tree

While the image above has nothing to do with it being a holiday, it reminds us of the constant array of natural wildlife that we observe here in our little corner of the Sonoran Desert. This is a male of the species Cardinalis Cardinalis or Northern Cardinal perched in our mesquite tree on the little hill behind our RV Drive. Click on the image to enlarge.

Back to the Labor Day topic - The holiday supposedly honors the work done by labor unions to improve life in America. Personally, I believe Americans in the workplace determined to do a good job, regardless of their affiliation with a union, are responsible for the success of our nation. During my careers in Aerospace, Electronics, Aviation and the Navy, we have observed good productivity regardless of the presence of a union in the workplace. Actually, my experience with unions has shown that productivity is decreased by some of their rigid rules in the workplace. YMMV.

goa-brace-feedback.jpgChanging the subject, have you made your comments in opposition to the ATF’s unconstitutional proposed rules for Pistol Stabilizing Braces? The Puppet in Chief’s flunkies have proposed to change the definition of sporting pistols with braces to “Short Barreled Rifles.” The rule, if adopted, would make up to 40,000,000 owners of Pistols to register them and pay the $200 NFA tax. Please go to this GOA website and make your comment in opposition to the rule. Note that while many are not affected by this rule change, that the ATF will likely continue down the path of making legal rifles and pistols similarly NFA items. This and the previously issued NPRM about homebuilt firearms cannot become enforceable. Just do it. The GOA site makes it a simple two minute job to oppose this unconstitutional rule. The QR Code at the right takes you to the GOA link.

In other news, I have been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. I will be having that surgically repaired in a few days, so your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Meanwhile, the Labor Day festivities here will be including Grilled Tri-Tip Steaks while Damsel is providing the Baked Beans and ‘Tater Salad on the side. We hope you enjoy your holiday as much as we will enjoy ours.

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Independence Day - July 4, 2021

This is an awesome video on the origin of our National Anthem . . .

The video tells the story of Francis Scott Key as he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry from British ships in the Chesapeake. I have to tell you I got a lump in my throat a couple of times while watching this one. Key, of course wrote the words to the Anthem. The tune was taken from an old English-originated folk march.

Happy Independence Day - we’re celebrating at home with some simple grilled tenderloin (Filet Mignon) steaks and a nice salad. No fireworks because dogs. We hope everyone enjoys the celebration on this extended weekend.

Hat tip to Braden at Langley Outdoors Academy for showing this video to us a few weeks ago.

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Summer Solstice And Fathers’ Day June 20, 2021

Father’s Day GrillingIn 2021, Father’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday, June 20. This happens to be the same day as the summer solstice (June 20 at 11:32 P.M. Eastern Time), which makes it the perfect time to kick-off the summer season with grilling a couple of steaks. We’re in the middle of a heat-wave but we’re prepared to go outdoors and cook over the grill by virtue of having plenty of water and perhaps an adult beverage or two.

Image: Ready at the Outdoor Grill - Click on the image to enlarge.

The local sunrise for today is at 5:20 AM and the sunset will take place at 7:45 PM. The longest day at our latitude is 14 Hours and 25 Minutes. The forecast temperature at grilling time is 112° F. As I said before, we’re prepared - the summer heat is one of the reasons we moved here.

The menu today is for Beef; tenderloin steaks for today and a tri-tip roast for later in the week. The side dishes are baked beans and potato salad, both of the KETO variety, i.e. low-carb soy beans and cauliflower instead of potatoes in the salad - both taste the same as the high carb dishes they replace.

Finally, today we salute all the Dads out there and wish them a good day. We also salute our Dads again as we did last year.

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Memorial Day 2021

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Damsel and I took a spring vacation, probably back in 1986 or so, to the Washington D.C. area to see the sights in the area. A visit to Arlington National Cemetery was one of the major items on our list of things to do. We saw the Iwo Jima Memorial, JFK’s Eternal Flame, scores of important historical items and also a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We were at the Tomb when the ceremony for changing the guard took place. It was one of those things that sent chills through your body what with the precision movements made by the Army Soldiers as they relieved the current guard with his replacement.

As for the contents of the Tomb, there are the remains of three unknowns; one from WW1, another from WW2 and a third from the Korean Conflict. These days, with DNA testing, there are almost no “unknown” personnel, so no more are expected to be interred at the Tomb.

On this Memorial Day, we remember all of those who never came home from the conflicts in our history. May GOD rest their souls and may they not have died in vain for the liberty and freedom we cherish. Amen.

Enjoy the holiday, but remember them.

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Beltane - A Celtic Cross Quarter

beltane3.jpgThis 5th of May, 2021, Damsel and I have decided to skip the traditional “Cinco de Mayo” and celebrate “Beltane” instead. The Cross-Quarter day (midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice) of Beltane, an ancient Celtic day of importance, occurs on May 5th this year according to the “Grand Octal Clock” which can be seen at the Archaeoastronomy.com website.

So, to celebrate the Celtic First Day of the Summer Season, we will be preparing a traditional Irish dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage along with some boiled vegetables. I know, we just had that on March 17th for St. Patrick’s Day, but we like to have this meal more than once a year.

I discussed our Irish Ancestry in a post on St. Patrick’s Day last year. I also have English, Welsh, Scottish and some other mixed Northern European heritage along with a couple of Italians and one Choctaw great6th grandmother. Doing the math, that Indian ancestor qualifies me for Native American heritage benefits four times greater than Senator Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren. Of course, I wouldn’t do that - I’m not a Democrat.

So, since neither Damsel nor I have any Hispanic Genealogy, we will probably be more inclined to celebrate Beltane than Cinco de Mayo in the future on May the 5th. That being said, we will still, of course, indulge in Tex/Mex Cuisine from time to time.

Happy (Insert Your Preferred 3/5 Celebration Here) to you!

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Emmanuel - God Is With Us

nativity.jpg

The first chapter of Matthew, in the New Testament, describes the lineage from Abraham, down through King David and eventually through forty-two generations in all from Abraham to Joseph, the Husband of Mary, Mother of Jesus. Thus, because of a decree from the Roman Emperor to the citizens of Judea, Mary and Joseph were destined to go to the City of David, in Bethlehem, where the Christ Child was born.

Later, also in the first chapter of Matthew, comes the annunciation of the Angel of the Lord as delivered to Joseph in a Dream:

. . . behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

The prophetic scripture referred to in the last sentences is from Isiah 7:14 in the Old Testament.

In these days of muted activity during these unusual times and circumstances, we remind you that the Spirit of God is still as strong as ever and through that Spirit, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope for joy in the new year of 2021. We pray for you to stay well, to be strong and to be prepared for whatever eventualities that may be in store for us in these bizarre and interesting times to come. May God Bless Us All.

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Thanksgiving Day 2020

Smoked Turkey BreastDamsel and I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. We plan to celebrate with a feast consisting of Smoked Turkey Breast with Gravy, Cornbread Dressing, Cranberry Sauce, Brussels Sprouts, Green Bean Casserole and Pumpkin Parfait Dessert. A feast indeed.

Image: Smoked and Sliced Turkey Breast. Click on the image to enlarge.

The image is from our 2018 Thanksgiving Dinner. We expect the same results today.

Since we are both on low carbohydrate and low-sodium diets, the dishes mentioned above are prepared using reduced salt and Keto® friendly ingredients. The turkey breasts are commercially-available such as Jennie-O™ or Butterball™ brands. They come frozen in a pop-in-the-oven plastic bag. We open the bag and discard the accompanying gravy packet. We rinse off all the coatings on the breast and soak in clear water to remove the brine. After applying our own poultry seasonings, we pop it into the smoker and set it to cook slowly over the next few hours.

As I write this, I can smell the smoker doing its thing out on the patio just behind the office where I sit. We are looking forward to today’s feasting. We will be thanking the Lord and asking Him to bless the feast, our country and all those celebrating this day of thanks. We wish all of you a festive and Happy Thanksgiving Day!

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