Archive for June, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Worn

June 21, 2011 3 comments

Categories: Post A Week 2011 Tags: ,

How Much Ado About Nothing

I haven’t run out of ideas; it’s just that I was unprepared for Sunday, the day that I’m supposed to post to my blog, despite the fact Sunday comes every week at this very time. Do you remember “Seinfeld”? Hubby liked it (a lot), but I never did. It was supposed to be a show about nothing, but I always found each episode was actually about something, so I never actually got the concept.

Everything to me is about something. So just as “Seinfeld” was a show about nothing, so has been the course of my day. There was an opening scene. Characters passed through the doors; there was some conversation. But by the closing credits, what really had happened? A lot of things were started but nothing finished:

• Did some of the laundry, but didn’t finish. I guess that last load will go back into the hamper.

• Started a sewing project, but cutting out patterns bores me. By the time I finished the “prep” (cutting out the pieces, basting, putting in darts, etc.), I was hungry. By the time I finished chowing down, it was time to get ready to go out. By the time I returned home, it was too late for unfinished housework (yeah, for me it was).

• Vacuumed a portion of the downstairs floor but, well, let’s face it. Who wants to spend all Sunday afternoon sucking up dead ants with a noisy vacuum cleaner?

Now that Sunday is officially over and I’ve officially missed my deadline, I’m a little annoyed about not finishing a task. I did manage to complete three happy errands though—wishing a great day to Hubby, my father and brother-in-law for Father’s Day. The day wasn’t a complete waste, and it wasn’t about “nothing”. Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there.

5 Reasons to Raise the Flag

National Flag Day - June 14




Actual fascination began with “Black Hawk Down” (, a film I stumbled upon by accident and didn’t stop watching until the final credits.

Then I saw it. I thought someone had made a terrible mistake. A patch of the US flag was sewn onto a military officer’s uniform backwards. Backwards. Didn’t Hollywood have technical consultants to catch those kinds of things? I quickly contacted my sister to enquire about the “mistake”. Although she admitted she didn’t know the reason for the US flag to be displayed backwards, she was intrigued enough to do a bit of research. Her findings settled the issue for me; the flag had been correctly displayed under the circumstances. As the only American in our family, my sister learned facts about the flag, including the “coolest thing ever”—that the flag of the United States of America is always displayed advancing, never retreating, thus the use of the reversed field flag on the uniform.

Who hasn’t felt pride well up in his breast while watching his flag waving majestically in the breeze or being briskly hoisted into the air or as uniformed personnel stand at rigid attention and citizens salute with their hands over their hearts? I still feel deep respect when I see the flag displayed in a parade or handed to a widow after being folded with precision and care. As a child growing up in Massachusetts, I stood erect, right hand over my heart, with my classmates five days a week, next to my square, wooden desk with metal legs, to pledge my allegiance to the flag of the country in which I lived. I was earnest in my pledge although it was not until many decades later, when my sister and I talked about her flag findings did I begin to understand the depth of flag code.

As the symbol of the United States of America, The Stars and Stripes is almost personified through the treatment it receives throughout its “life”.

1. The flag means business. It’s not a decoration. As the symbol of a living nation, the flag should not be used for trivial uses. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

2. Handle with care. The flag should never touch the ground. If it gets dirty, there is a proper way to clean it. By hand with a mild soap solution, not dumped into a washing machine. Dry the flag thoroughly before returning it to use.

3. Keep the flag close to your heart. When wearing a lapel pin, as a replica of the true flag, which is considered a living thing, wear it on the left lapel near the heart.

4. The flag is specific about music. “Reveille” is the traditional bugle call for the raising of the flag. Starting from the first note, briskly raise the flag, taking about 20 seconds. US

civilians lower the flag to the bugle call, “Taps”. In the military, however, “Retreat” is played, followed by a gun salute and the national anthem or “To the Color”.

5. The flag doesn’t wear tattoos. The flag must not be marked in any way by insignias, letters, words, figures, designs, pictures, drawings or autographs.

If I were to add just one additional reason to wave the flag it would be this: the flag bows to no one. It is prohibited to dip the flag to any person or thing.

The flag flies 24 hours a day at the South Pole and on the moon, two destinations that I’m not likely to visit so I’ll take their word for it. There are thousands of other places where the flag is flown 24 hours a day (and there’s etiquette for that, too) but there’s a special group—designated by law or executive order—that flies 24 hours a day. How many can you name? Check your knowledge of flag facts at

On Flag Day, raise your flag with pride as the symbol of freedom declares in “I am the Flag” by Ruth Apperson Rous:

Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I stand: “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” (


I Miss You, Man

Hooray for Hubby. He rises early and walks for exercise six days a week. His morning walking ritual, however, is causing our pet friend considerable consternation. After walking The Dog (a blond dog with a happy face), who smells every bush, rock, dog butt and poop pile that he passes, Hubby returns home to secure The Dog safely in the house before heading out on a real walk, a power walk (minus the rapid arm movement).

Unable to understand or accept being dumped at home, The Dog rebels. He has two particular ways of rebelling. The first involves the canine version of dumpster diving. With a determined “I’ll show him” (in canine language, of course), my normally mild-mannered companion aggressively takes out his aggravation on the trash, littering the floor with decomposing watermelon rinds, used foil with tidbits of baked-on food, shredded paper towel pieces, crumbs and other unsavory items that we never wanted to see again–much less touch.

Then he paces. He checks one door: Is he back yet? He hurries to another door: Is he back yet? Frustrated he settles into one of his favorite spots–and howls, the second, almost sympathy-inducing rebellion. The first time I heard the mournful song of a pet left behind, I didn’t know what it was. It’s eerie, yet melodious. From the shower that morning I caught snippets at a time. A high-pitched yip-yip here and a low groan there. What in the world . . . ? Sopping wet and hastily wrapped in a towel, I followed the sound to the top of the stairs where The Dog was singing his sad song.

My Master’s gone an’ left me.
Who’s gonna feed me now?

Despite his sincere mutt version of Achy, Breaky Heart, when I saw him with his nose pointed toward the ceiling and his doggie lips puckered, I laughed. Insensitive, I know. Embarrassed, he turned sharply, saw me and walked right past me without so much as a “G’morning” and disappeared into one of his other favorite places.

Of course, when Hubby came home The Dog had to answer to the trash mess he left behind in the kitchen, but he was so happy to have Hubby back, he didn’t mind a little scolding.

But tomorrow’s coming.

The Weatherman Tried to Warn You, But You Didn’t Read the Forecast

June 5, 2011 1 comment

Today is World Environment Day. Of course, I’m interested in doing my part to make my corner of the world cleaner. Reduce my carbon footprint and all that. What can the average person do to join the fight for the Earth’s health? At least I could start with the laundry. Wash in cold water, use the clothes line instead of the energy-draining dryer. Just one potential obstacle—the ominous cloud cover that threatened to shed laundry-drenching rain at any minute. With hope, I wait. It’s not too late for the day to make an about face, clear up and help me save the planet. Wouldn’t want to let Don Cheadle down, would I (

Two chores later the sky had brightened, and fluffy, white clouds floated by, pushed by the kind of breeze made for laundry. When a Hollywood director wants to cast a breeze that will allow Tide’s bright, white tee shirts and sheets to billow on a clothesline stretched between two trees, someone calls for the breeze I was feeling. Encouraged by this turn of events, I loaded up my green laundry basket with fresh, wet sheets and towels—the kind of pieces made to be dried outside—and almost cheerfully carried out the chore of the hour. In a couple of hours, I would have fresh, dry sheets and towels. Watch out for my cape, everyone, I’m saving the planet.

I should have recognized the sign when my dog abruptly came into the house from the porch, his favorite sunning spot. I should have noticed the familiar smell of falling rain or the sound of drops hitting the railing. Nope, didn’t notice until it far too late to rescue the laundry from the clothes line. I just watched helplessly as the day grew increasingly more overcast, almost angrily black. I should be the one who’s angry. The weather just wiped out a whole day of planet saving. Did Lex Luthor ever steal Superman’s thunder like this?

Let this be a lesson: next time plant a tree and check the forecast.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Water

Categories: Post A Week 2011 Tags: ,

I’m Posting Every Week in 2011

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now. I will post on this blog once a week for 2011.

It should be inspiring and . . . a bit challenging. If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and goodwill along the way.


Face in a Crowd

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