Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day: a time to remember and honor

Today, in the United States of America, Memorial Day is observed. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Last week, while I was in my hometown of Michigan City, Indiana, I visited my father's grave. My father served during WWII and continued serving in the Army Reserves until he retired in the 1960's attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While my sisters and I were at the cemetary the grounds keepers were already preparing for today's memorial services by marking all military personel's graves with flags.In addition to the stone marker, there is a marker set in the ground documenting the service member's military service.
Today services will be held all over the United States remembering and honoring fallen soldiers. A very moving and poignant part of services held at Arlington National cemetary, not just today but throughout the year, is that of the Caisson Platoon.

The following videos are of the Caisson Platoon and their service to honor the fallen soldiers as well as the history of the playing of Taps.

Caisson Platoon:

Final Honors - Caparisoned Horse:


Until next time,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Canadian Geese on the Rooftop

I live in Canada so seeing Canada geese in abundant masses is not an unusual sight to see at all. However, last weekend when we were in Indiana I saw a sight I have NEVER seen in Canada. The geese were lighting and walking on top of people's houses. Can you imagine what that must sound like to the people living in these homes? These geese are not little! Woooo weeee baby! They are HUGE and I couldn't even let my great big Newfoundland dogs near these monster birds. Anyway, thought it would be fun to post a photo(s) of the day to share with you, Canadian Geese on the Rooftops in Indiana.

Until next time,


Friday, May 27, 2011

A new book for your summer reading pleasure

It has been a while since posting about books I've been reading. I have a lot of books to recommend but I especially want to share with you today a new book that I feel confident you'll want to add to your reading list. The Midwife's Confession, by Diane Chamberlain, is a page turner that will grab you on page 1 and you will not be able to put it down until you turn the final page. I read The Midwife's Confession in the car last weekend on our 13 hour drive to Indiana. The car ride flew by and I was completely captivated by this story, only pausing from my reading to talk the Mister's ear off about what was happening next in the story.

GOODREADS REVIEW: 'I don't know how to tell you what I did.' The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle - her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her family - described a woman who embraced life. But they didn't know everything. Because the unaddressed letter reveals a terrible secret...and a legacy of guilt that changes everything they thought they knew about the woman who delivered their children. A legacy that will irrevocably change their own lives - and the life of a desperate stranger - forever. Diane Chamberlain gets to the heart of the story.

MY THOUGHTS: Diane Chamberlain captures her readers' attention on the very first page and through a series of twists and turns reveals the secrets that Midwife Noelle Downie harbored that affected the lives of many. The reader will think they've figured out some of the plot twists but I highly doubt that you will know the true answers until you've turned the final page.

I was completely captivated by this story. The character development of each one of the many people involved in each of Noelle's secrets was well established. The story is told chapter by chapter through the viewpoint of the various characters. The story is fast paced and truly a page turner.

If my enthusiastic description is not quite enough to pique your interest in The Midwife's Confession, then perhaps this video book trailer that might also pique your interest:

Until next time,


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back home again in Indiana

May has been a very busy month and lest you think I've been idle, that most certainly has not been the case. I've done a lot of much so that my 30 year old Viking sewing machine broke down and I had to quickly purchase a Singer backup machine until the Viking is repaired.

In addition to sewing I've made all of the wedding invitations, reply cards, thank you notes, napkins, bubble wand tags, placecards and table numbers for my brother and new sister-in-law's wedding. Fun times and really busy.

The wedding took place last weekend in the town I grew up in: Michigan City, Indiana. Oh how WONDERFUL it was to be back home again in Indiana. My hubster and I plan to retire in Indiana in just three more years and I cannot wait until that day arrives. In fact, we did look at a couple of "hobby farm" properties for sale while we were there. Just looking and getting an idea for what is available.

Looking at Indiana's countryside and farm houses and barns has a special place in my heart. Indiana has a very large number of round barns that was a popular style of barn architecture around the turn of the century and beyond. There are still many round barns standing and this round barn is just outside of my hometown. Of course it has had some loving help to preserve it and is not in use as a barn anymore, but I just love to drive past it and the memories of seeing it as a child flood my mind and heart.

Isn't it gorgeous? Indiana isn't the only state where round barns were built and used, but it still has a lot still standing. Sadly, though, far too many of the original round barns have been destroyed or not maintained. They really were fabulous barns and an interesting piece of architectural history.

On my next trip to go back home again in Indiana I want to drive around to more of the round barns and photograph them. Due to the commitments and time restraints we had this past weekend, it wasn't condusive to a lot of "barn shoots" but there are so many round barns and each one is unique.

If you are interested in seeing more photos of some of the round barns of Indiana check out this link of the book The Quiet Path: Round Barns of Indiana . The link should allow you to turn pages through the book to view the photos.

My garden is growing nicely, but now that I'm home I'm spending the rest of the week weeding and putting up pea netting for the peas to climb on. It is also finally warm enough that I can work on the front flower beds. And the dogs are in desparate need of grooming. They had a blast at the kennel last weekend and came home muddy and matted to prove that how much fun they had on their farm stay. It's all good! :)

So posts of cardmaking and sewing and gardening to come. Oh, and some book reviews too. I had 13 hour car drive to get to Indiana so I had plenty of time to read.

Until later!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Three Gardeners Extraordinaire!

My first daffodils opened this week and it won't be long before the tulips bloom (I hope.) I decided it was safe to begin preparing the vegetable gardens (there are four) but I needed to get truck load of garden soil to till in along with some manure before I can begin planting. It took a lot of work hauling the soil from the truck in a wheel barrel to the back yard, but as you can see, my "helpers" made sure that with each dump of the wheel barrel, no one stole the fresh soil. These photos are from first getting started on my task and only one of the smaller veggie areas. Nevertheless, my three goofy Newfies, Noah, Gabe and Paige, love 'helping'!

Left to right: Gabe (4 years old), Noah (my wee pup who is now 1 year old) and on the right, Paige (2 1/2 years old)

Noah and Paige keep a vigilant watch for dirt thieves. The only time they moved was when I brought a new wheel barrel full of soil so they could lay on it!

Gabriel is a self proclaimed foreman of any work operation. He loves to survey his staff!

All three were exhausted by the end of the day. It is very hard work to protect new soil in the garden, doncha know?