Friday, July 27, 2007


For the next eight days, I will be joining Grampy Russ on his vacation.
I'll be returning on Monday, August 6th, with lots of pictures of Miss Maya's third birthday.
See you then!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lion Brand Yarn - By Kids For Kids Newsletter - July 2007

There's a great project in the Lion Brand Yarn's Kid's Newsletter this month -
Natural Dyes from Edible Items
I've used natural dyes for Easter eggs a few time, but never for yarn. (Guess what we'll be doing soon?)
Here's a portion of the newsletter, I know you're going to want to subscribe for yourself!

By Kids, For Kids: July, 2007
Natural Dyes from Edible Items
Creating your own dyes can be a fun and exciting way to personalize projects. This month, we show you how to make all-natural dyes and use them with different cotton and wool yarns.
We used only edible items purchased at our local market, boiling water and (in some cases) salt to make beautiful, all-natural dyes.

After trying our dyes, you will probably want to experiment with other natural food dyes of your own. Start by using fruits or vegetables that stain and experiment! You can mix dye baths to make different colors. You will probably find, as we did, that the colors are all -- surprise -- "earth" tones!

Because this project requires boiling water, adult supervision is required.

If you are not already a subscriber to BK4K, click here! It's free!

Selecting Your Yarn Different fibers absorb dye differently. We found that:
1.The all-wool yarns -- Lion Wool and Fisherman's Wool -- took color much more easily than the cotton yarns;
2.The soft pastel shades of the cotton were very pretty but very subtle -- much like the colors of home-made fresh fruit ice cream;
3.In some cases, the same dye produced one color in the wool yarn and a quite different color in the cotton yarn.
4.There was very little difference between the way the different wool yarns took color, but the Fisherman's wool fluffs up a bit more after handling;
5.There was very little difference between the way the different cotton yarns took color.

Your Equipment
1.Cutting board and knife;
2.Stainless steel or enamel cooking pots;
3.A stove;
4.If you are using beets, a grater;
5.A clock or 1-hour timer;
6.Tongs or spoons for handling yarn in the dye bath. If you plan to do several colors, make sure you have a different utensil for each so you don't accidentally contaminate your dyes;
7.Some place to hang the yarn to dry;
8.If you are making more than one color, index cards or labels to put with the yarn while it is drying so you can remember what is what.
9.Recommended, not required: a notebook to document your work. Use this to take notes about the materials, the process times and the results. Samples of the yarn are helpful, as are pictures. Having this information makes it easier to repeat a particular color.

The Dyes The colors in wool are different from those in cotton, but they are both pretty! (Wool is on the left, Cotton on the right)

Turmeric We found turmeric in the spice section of the market.
Click here for the recipe.

Skins of Yellow Onions We saved and used the skins of a dozen yellow onions to make this beautiful warm brown.
Click here for the recipe.

Grape Juice We used frozen juice and got this beautiful dusty-rose color on the wool and soft lavender on the cotton.
Click here for the recipe.

Beets The pink dye is not colorfast, but it is so pretty in the cotton that we can't resist telling you about it! If you make something out of it and wash the item, you will have to re-dye it after washing.
Click here for the recipe.

They've also included some patterns to use with your newly dyed yarn -

So now you've have some beautiful naturally-dyed yarn, what next? Using just one ball of the natural vanilla and one dyed a bright yellow with the turmeric recipe above, we made this fun retro purse set -- a VERY 60's holder for dark glasses, for a cell-phone and for small change or other little necessities.

Subscribe to the Newsletter Here!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More About Dulcimers

A History Of The Mountain Dulcimer

Gila Mountain Dulcimers
Comprehensive site includes care of the instrument, dulcimer playing lessons, links
The dulcimer designs on this site are works of art.

In Search Of The Wild Dulcimer –A great page of instructions along with music samples to listen to

From Everything Dulcimer
A page of articles about kids and dulcimers
a beginner’s page
even a dulcimer chat!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

New From Highlights For Children - 10 Fun Indoor Crafts To Beat The Heat

We're moving into those Dog Days of summer - too hot for the kids to be playing actively out of doors in the heat of the afternoon, but you don't want them sitting around in front of the television either!
Highlights For Children has come out with a great issue this month with ideas for crafts and activities to enjoy while staying cool.

These Magnetic Messages have a lot of creative possibilities.
They offer a fun way to enhance literacy skills along with the opportunity to encourage family communication.
You can't beat that!

I'm liking this Rocking Duck too!
An easy decoration made from paper plates and colored with markers (an older child might enjoy using paints ) a flock of ducks would be a great addition to anyone's summer decor!

But my favorite is the handmade dulcimer.

The Appalachian, or Mountain, dulcimer is a musical instrument
developed in the United States in the 1800s from dulcimers brought to America by European immigrants. Like a guitar, it is made of wood and has a
sound hole for the strings to pass over. The dulcimer can have three or four strings and is played by placing it on your lap and strumming the strings. This version, designed by Jessica Gates is made from a shoebox and rubber bands.
If your child finds that he really enjoys playing the dulcimer (like I do!), you can easily move up to a more advanced, but still inexpensive corrugated cardboard instrument from the company that I purchased my first dulcimer from more than 20 years ago.
Backyard has premade dulcimers and dulcimer kits and when you're ready you can upgrade once more to a beautiful wooden instrument like I have now!
This is a summer activity that can lead to a lifetime of beautiful musical expression.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pray For The People Of Iraq

There are ideas and topics that I have such deep feelings for that I have learned not to discuss them. Perhaps it is cowardly of me, but I have learned that my beliefs and feelings are not always the ones currently popular and because I feel what I feel and believe what I believe from the core of who I am, if I allow myself to be drawn into debate, my heart breaks. I almost passed by this note from Kitty of COPD Support for that reason. I thought it would be another reminder of despair.
This note from Kitty's son is something very different. And I believe that no matter what our political views are, we all stand strong in support of our young people drawn into military conflict. I will honor Christopher's request to pass his message along and I regard it an honor to do so.

Kitty wrote:
this was written by my son, Chris who is currently deployed with the US Army in Iraq and the first mail I saw the morning of July 19, 2007. he is 21 years old. what an honor and Blessing to be able to say I am his mom... please share as you wish...
hugs and prayers,

"Pray for the People of Iraq"

Here I sit in my room all alone wondering why we are here in Iraq,
there are so many bad people in this world and it just makes me feel like all we are here for is to try to make the bad people go away.
So much for your beliefs and being able to feel the way you want,
since I have been here I feel like I am in jail, not jail behind bars but jail like my life is on hold, and can't seem to figure out why.
If you ever have felt like you can't do anything about anything back in the states you should join the military and come to Iraq, you will feel like that but seventy times worse.
In ways yes we are making a huge difference and helping almost everyone over here but the thing that is so bad over here are some of the people from here just have their beliefs and as you know people don't just change cause someone tells them that they have to or need to.
People need a reason to change their beliefs and the way they think,
if someone could show a person it is wrong to kill because you are trying to help and build their country back up then it may change the way the people here think.

Now don't get me wrong I don't think that there are all that many bad people here I just think that there were one or two events that changed these people and now cannot trust anyone so it is easier to get rid of the people they don't trust then deal with them.

For many of the people here it probably started years and years ago, before this war and maybe before the last one. But for some of the younger people here I believe there is hope that they will not grow up to hate and there is some hope that they will forgive and reilize that we are not here to kill everyone but help for if we were here to kill everyone we would have done that years ago.

Now all I ask you to do is the next time you are sitting in church and get asked if there is anything you would like to pray for, before you ask to pray for the Service men and women please do me this and pray that there will be some light shown to these young Iraqis and that they will see that we want to help them,
I believe if the people of Iraq see that we are here to help then maybe someday this war will end.

So I ask anyone who reads this to pass it on and lable it pray for the Iraqis.
I believe that if we start trying to teach the younger people here that we are trying to help as well as the older people who will listen we can make a difference,

Yes there will always be killing as there is everywhere and that is another issue but for now lets take this one step at a time.

Thank you for reading this and I hope you repost it,

Christopher W.

"Handy" Back To School Item

in my email


I work for a public relations agency and represent a product called Germ-X( After reading your June 11 post about hand sanitizers, thought I might pass along some news from Germ-X.

As you reported on, hand sanitizers have been a hot topic this year among parents. Reports of children becoming ill from ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers emphasize the importance of parental supervision when it comes to children and common household products. When used as directed, hand sanitizers are safe and offer vital health benefits.

The germ-busting stuff really is top-of-mind right now …school supply lists from around the country are asking parents to send kids back to school this fall with a bottle of hand sanitizer. And there’s good reason: Studies have shown a decrease in the average sick time of students who use hand sanitizers as a part of their hand hygiene regimen (see: American Journal of Infection Control).

To effectively kill 99.99 percent of germs, hand sanitizers like Germ-X and Purell contain 62% ethyl alcohol. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control study shows that in lower percentages of alcohol, hand sanitizers are less effective. (

Next month, Germ-X is introducing an alternative to traditional alcohol-based products. Germ-X® Advanced Protection is a new formula that uses active ingredient benzalkonium chloride (the same stuff found in eyewashes and surface cleaners) to kill 99.99 percent of common germs.

Germ-X Advanced Protection may be of interest to those looking for a substitute to alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The foaming hand sanitizer has a light, clean feel and a fresh smell … and, with vitamin E and other moisturizers, it keeps hands soft.

Karen, I’d be happy to send you samples of this new product (it will hits shelves mid-August), and can send additional information. Would you please let me know if this might be of interest? Thanks for your time.

Lauren Brucker
Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. – for Germ-X

I'm very happy to get this news and I'm looking forward to trying this new product -
I'll post again when I've tried it and in the meanwhile, why not watch for it to show up in the store in August?
(If you see it before I do, let me know and I'll pass it along...)

Five For Friday - Great Old Summer Songs To Share With The Grandkids!

KIDiddles is a fun site with the lyrics to hundreds of kids songs, old and new. Quite a few songs also have midis to accompany them in case you've forgotten the tune.
Here are the links to five old songs that you're sure to remember and the grandkids would love to learn.

In the Good Old Summer TimeTraditional
Written By: Ren Shields
Music By: George Evans

In the good old summer time,
In the good old summer time,
Strolling thro' the shady lanes,
With your baby mine;
You hold her hand and she holds yours,
And that's a very good sign
That she's your tootsey wootsey
In the good old summer time.
read the complete lyrics and hear the midi...

Take Me Out to the BallgameWritten By: Jack Norworth & Albert Von Tilzer

Buy me some peanuts
And Crackerjack
I don't care if
I never never get back
read the complete lyrics...

Bicycle Built For Two
(Daisy Bell)
Written By: Harry Dacre

It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford a carriage
But you'll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle made for two.
read the complete lyrics

Rise and Shine(Children of the Lord)
(The Arky Arky Song)
I remember this one from summer camp!

Rise and shine
And give God the glory, glory
Children of the Lord
read the complete lyrics here...

Old Dan TuckerWritten By: Daniel Emmett

So, git out the way, Old Dan Tucker
Git out the way, Old Dan Tucker
Git out the way, Old Dan Tucker
You're too late to come to supper.
read the complete lyrics here...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm Still Your Dad

I stumbled across an article tonight that connected with thoughts I had while watching our little girl this morning.
The article is at "Where Real Fathers Write About Fatherhood". The topic is 5 Primary Goals For Divorced Fathers by Ken Canfield

I'm not going to try and write something all nice about how a parents' divorce can be a good thing for a child (it can't) or how it doesn't really affect the way that those parents parent their child (it does). But divorce happens - a great many less-than-perfect things happen in our lives - and it is our responsibility to live up to the challenge the best that we can.

I watched our Miss Maya this morning as I went about my work in the kitchen. She knew that her father was coming to visit today. Maya looks forward to every visit with her Dad.
At 10 AM, right after Dragon Tales, right on schedule, Maya went to sit at the arm of the sofa and watch out the door. It was time for Daddy to come.
I watched her and I was very, very grateful. Her life is less than perfect (everyone's is) but I knew she would not be disappointed in her waiting.
Maya's father does not ever disappoint her or let her down.
She waits for him and, without fail, he comes through the door with a gift or a treat and he begins a day with her that she calls "playing all day long." He provides structure and a familiar routine that comforts and reassures her - they always have pepperoni pizza for lunch, they always walk to the playground, he always goes with her to play in her room.

Maya has been blessed with a Dad who continues to support her emotionally, financially and with his guidance as a parent even though he is no longer married to my daughter, her Mom.
Many, many children of divorced parents do not have this sort of father in their lives.

Maya is fortunate and I am grateful.
Thank you, Ken Henry.
You have given the world a beautiful little girl and you are standing by your child.
You should be very proud.

Monday, July 16, 2007

About Angels...

I only know the names of two angels. Hark and Harold. Gregory, age 5

Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it. Olive, age 9

It's not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then, you go to heaven, and then there's still the flight training to go through. And then you've got to agree to wear those angel clothes. Matthew, age 9

Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else. Mitchell, age 7

My guardian angel helps me with math, but he's not much good for science. Henry, age 8

Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!!!Jack, age 6

Angels talk all the way, while they're flying you up to heaven. The main subject is where you went wrong, before you got dead. Daniel, age 9

When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there's a tornado. Reagan, age 10

Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then, when it gets cold, angels go north for the winter. Sara, age 6

Angels live in cloud houses made by God and His Son, Who's a very good carpenter. Jared, age 8

All angels must be girls, because they gotta wear dresses and boys wouldn't go for that. Antonio, age 9

My angel is my grandma, who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me, while she was still down here on earth. Katelynn, age 9

Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don't make the animals get better, they help the child get over it. Vicki, age 8

What I don't get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them. Sarah, age 7

Friday, July 13, 2007

Five For Friday - Five More Ideas To Start Your Child's Collection

Buttons- you can use buttons to make patterns and shapes the same way you can with caps and lids -
there are also lots of button crafts. A quick google search for button craft ideas will show you button picture frames, button mobiles, button ornaments and our favorite, tiny button dolls.
Bookmarks a little harder to find, these are a good challenge for an older child. The local library is likely to have an assortment as give-aways, bookstores have them as give-aways and for sale (they don't cost much). Making your own is a lot of fun. This collections is likely to accelerate an interest in books and reading and that is a Good Thing!
Menus take-out menus, advertising menus that come as inserts in the newspaper, many restaurants will let you have a menu for your collection if you ask them. Ask friends, grandparents and other relatives to pick up menus for you when they dine out.
Pennies finding pennies is a hobby in itself.
"Find a penny, pick it up;
All the day you'll have good luck.
Find a penny, leave it lay;
Bad luck will come to you that day."
"I found a penny here today,
just sitting on the ground.
They say that it's a sign that
my Guardian Angel is around.
They toss them down from Heaven
whenever we are down
just to make us smile
and wipe away our frown."
Greeting cards lots of creative possibilities here. Collect an assortment from every holiday. Cut images from the cards to make collages, dioramas, paper dolls or handmade greeting cards. Open them out flat, sew the folds together and make your own book...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Collection

The kids have been out of school - what? - two weeks? Have you heard it yet? Yup. That's it..."I'm bored!"
This might be a good time to start a collection. Your kids can learn a lot from making of collection (it doesn't really matter what they're collecting). An early enthusiasm for something now could lead to a lifelong hobby and deciding how to keep, arrange or display things is an artistic exercise in itself.
You may have to help your child to generate ideas about what he would like to collect by making suggestions (otherwise she could fall right into the commercial trap of collecting 'my little ponies').
Here are a few ideas to get you both started:
Candy wrappers, stamps or stickers use them in albums or make colorful posters for the wall
Bottle tops and jar lids collect the tops of all sorts of different kinds of screw-top bottles, jars and tubes. Arrange them in patterns or letter shapes.
Small rocks and pebbles collect pretty shapes or colors. Your child could also paint or use markers on smooth stones to make animals, insects or scenery.
Postcards collect these wherever you find them (you'd be surprised how many are available in your own home town - after all, someone is a tourist there...)Ask your friends and relatives to send them to you. Collect the stamps!
Refrigerator magnets almost everyone is giving these away as a promotion now and a refrigerator makes a very good size display board.
Leaves these are much easier for small children to collect and preserve than flowers. Show them how to press the leaves flat between pieces of paper towel under a pile of books.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Where Are The Germs Hiding At Your House? The Dirty Top Thirty...

The answers might surprise you. An article found at WebMD lists the
Top Spots for Bacteria at Home
More Bacteria in the Bathtub Than in the Garbage Bin, Study Shows

Researchers visited 35 U.S. homes, swabbing for bacteria in 32 locations in each home.
Here's how those spots ranked, in terms of the average number of bacteria per square inch. Spots with the same average number of bacteria have the same rank.

1. Toilet bowl: 3.2 million bacteria/square inch
2. Kitchen drain: 567,845 bacteria/square inch
3. Sponge or counter-wiping cloth: 134,630 bacteria/square inch
4. Bathtub, near drain: 119,468 bacteria/square inch
5. Kitchen sink, near drain: 17,964 bacteria/square inch
6. Kitchen faucet handle: 13,227 bacteria/square inch
7. Bathroom faucet handle: 6,267 bacteria/square inch
8. Bathroom sink, near drain: 2,733 bacteria/square inch
9. Pet food dish, inside rim: 2,110 bacteria/square inch
10.Kitchen floor, in front of sink: 830 bacteria/square inch
11.Toilet floor, in front of toilet: 764 bacteria/square inch
12.Kitchen countertop: 488 bacteria/square inch
13.Bathroom countertop: 452 bacteria/square inch
14.Garbage bin: 411 bacteria/square inch
15.Dish towel: 408 bacteria/square inch
16.Toy: 345 bacteria/square inch
17.Kitchen tabletop: 344 bacteria/square inch
18.Home office phone or refrigerator door: 319 bacteria/square inch
19.Toilet seat: 295 bacteria/square inch
20.Bathroom light switch: 217 bacteria/square inch
21.Microwave buttons: 214 bacteria/square inch
22.Kitchen chopping board: 194 bacteria/square inch
23.Child-training potty: 191 bacteria/square inch
24.Infant changing mat and infant high chair: 190 bacteria/square inch
25.Kitchen phone: 133 bacteria/square inch
26.Bathroom door's inside handle: 121 bacteria/square inch
27.Toilet's flush handle: 83 bacteria/square inch
28.TV remote control: 70 bacteria/square inch
29.Home office computer keyboard: 64 bacteria/square inch
30.Home office computer mouse: 50 bacteria/square inch

The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren't available.

The FDA recommends mixing 1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach into 1 quart of water for a homemade sanitizing solution -- or using a commercial sanitizer -- to help keep kitchen surfaces clean.

Visit WebMD to read the complete article

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

this morning's Gift

My blog entry for this morning was already written and waiting in the draft folder to be plugged into place - when this arrived in my email.
The first newsletter I've received from my (free) subscription to the Support4Change Newsletter.
A gift. And I'm paying it forward.
Please - be kind to yourself and subscribe !

To subscribers of the Support4Change Newsletter:

Here is the link to the latest newsletter finished on July 9, 2007

If you need to copy the URL and paste that into your browser, here it is:
This is what you’ll find inside the newsletter:

· Happy Summer to Paris Hilton—and Everyone Else

· Q-and-A Club Questions: Superlatives – Memorial Day – Fashion, Fame and Fortune – Being “American”

· Today's gratitude: Tree trimmers and power tools

· Ideas worth considering: Vacation take-a-breaks

· Books for children and grandchildren: Meet an enchanting team of author and illustrator

· Books for Adults: Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) and The Know-It-All

· Blog entries you may have missed: On “The Secret” and the use of humor

· Getting a different perspective: Solving problems next to a fishing hole

· Five Articles You May Have Missed: From a safe environment to healing families


If you have any questions or comments, use the Contact Us form on the website or send a note to the address below.



Arlene Harder, MFT, Founder and Editor
2522 Boulder Road
Altadena, CA 91001

Monday, July 9, 2007

50 Ideas For Filling Your Water Bin (51 if you count Water

Like much of the country, Connecticut is experiencing a heat wave. We've been playing with the water bin a lot - filling it with ice cubes or water and large blocks of ice "iceburgs". We've added jungle animals and dollhouse people, plastic fish or dinosaurs, small boats. We've given the dolls a bath and washed clothes and dishes.
Other than early morning, it's too hot to play outside. We get bored with water, so I've been pulling out all those old sensory bin ideas and putting them to good use.

The bin doesn't have to be anything fancy - it can range from a container as simple as a shallow dishpan all the way up to a pre-constructed sand and water table

I'm using a clear rubbermaid storage container – one of the shallow ones – about 18” wide, 36” long and 4” high – set on the floor with a plastic tablecloth underneath.
I do want to offer a caution before I get started with the list of fillers –
Young children must be closely supervised when playing in the bin.
The water should be shallow (even then, if the child is younger than three, you must sit beside him while he plays. A young child can fall face first into a very small amount of water and be unable to stand up )
Choose the fillers for the bin according to the age and ability of your child.
If there is any danger of the child putting small objects into her mouth and choking – avoid small objects.

With those less than cheerful images out of the way, Let’s get on with the fun!

50 Fun Fillers
1. Sand
2. Uncooked pasta shapes
3. Rice
4. Pine cones
5. Corn meal
6. Dry cereal
7. Oatmeal
8. Beads
9. Playdoh
10. Feathers
11. Goop
( a mixture of ½ cornstarch, ½ water)
12. Fresh clipped grass
13. Dried peas, beans, lentils
14. Different scraps of cloth
15. Cotton balls
16. Colorful yarn scraps
17. Birdseed
18. Coffee grounds
19. Hay
20. Colored aquarium rocks
21. Bubble wrap
22. Pine shavings
23. Shredded paper
24. Valentines or Christmas cards
25. Potting soil
26. Seashells
27. Instant mashed potato flakes
with or without water
28. Cooked spaghetti
29. Shaving cream
30. Plastic drinking straws
cut to different lengths
31. Knox gelatin
32. Aluminum foil
33. Ice cubes
34. Cornstarch packing peanuts
(not styrofoam)
35. Buttons
36. Magazine pages
37. Plastic Easter grass
38. Frozen peas and carrots
39. Snow
40. Dog biscuit bones
in different sizes and colors
41. Unpopped popcorn
42. Bubbles
43. Dried corn cobs and corn husks
44. Small lengths of curled curling ribbon
45. Dry autumn leaves
46. Sunflower seeds
47. Flower heads and petals
or old potpourri
48. 6” or less lengths of cut
Mardi Gras beads
49. Construction paper scraps
in lots of different colors
50. Clean Mud

Clean Mud Recipe
1 roll white toilet tissue
1 cup soap flakes
1 ½ cups water

Mix soap flakes and water in the bin
until soap is dissolved.
Help your child to tear the toilet tissue
into small pieces and toss them into the bin.
Mix with your hands to make mud –
the more you mix,
the softer and squishier
your mixture will be.

The mud can be stored
in a covered container
in the refrigerator
for reuse.

30 Tools and Toys to Use with Your Bin
1. Scoops
2. Tongs
3. Sieves
4. Pitchers
5. Spoons
6. Ladles
7. Small dinosaurs,
farm and jungle animals,
insects, etc.
8. Toy cars, trucks , tractors
9. Plastic flowers or aquarium plants
10. Squeeze bottles
11. Tub toys, ducks, fish
12. Watering cans
13. Whisks
14. Basters
15. Old fashioned egg beaters
16. Rocks
17. Eyedroppers
18. Children’s scissors
19. Plastic knives
20. Empty plastic jars and bottles with lids
21. Muffin tins
22. Egg cartons
23. Aquarium nets
24. Net sponges
25. Spray bottles
26. Plastic berry baskets
27. Shovels and pails
28. Small pots and pans
29. Foil candy cups
30. Sand molds

Friday, July 6, 2007

Five For Friday

A Great Deal for Summer Reading!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

At The Park

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Fireworks! 4th of July

Maybe you can't make it to the fireworks this year, or maybe you've already been and you want more?
Here's a list of virtual fireworks - some you have fun creating yourself, others put on the show for you and provide music too!

Phantom Fireworks
It's easy to create your very own Phantom virtual fireworks show!
Shoot fireworks over beautiful skylines including NYC, Miami, Louisville,
Denver, Cleveland, Paris, France and more.

At this site you can click your mouse repeatedly in random areas for an awesome display of fireworks

Virtual Fireworks on Nova OnlineWatch video clips of fireworks bursting in air

Click on the sky - The faster you click the better the fireworks!
Fireworks images and sounds-Create a fireworks display over Rochester Castle, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, more

Let them put on the show for you – just sit back and enjoy!

a video of the fireworks display in Osaka, Japan -
taken from the roof of a four floor building nearby

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Stars and Stripes and the 4th of July - a history of the American Flag in pictures

American ships in New England waters flew a "Liberty Tree" flag in 1775. It shows a green pine tree on a white background, with the words, "An Appeal to Heaven."

The Continental Navy used this flag, with the warning, "Don't Tread on Me," upon its inception.

The "Betsy Ross" flag. The Flag Resolution did not specify the arrangement of the stars nor the specific proportions of the flag. So many 13-star flags were used, as seen from the next several pictures.

The Guilford Flag.

The Serapis Flag.

At the Battle of Bennington in August 1777 were two famous flags. One, shown here, is called the Bennington Flag or the Fillmore Flag. Nathaniel Fillmore took this flag home from the battlefield. The flag was passed down through generations of Fillmores, including Millard, and today it can be seen at Vermont's Bennington Museum. The other (not pictured) has a green field and a blue canton with 13 gold-painted stars arranged in rows. General John Stark gave his New Hampshire troops a rallying speech that would be the envy of any football coach today. He said, "My men, yonder are the Hessians. They were brought for seven pounds and ten pence a man. Are you worth more? Prove it. Tonight, the American flag floats from yonder hill or Molly Stark sleeps a widow!"

Cowpens Flag. According to some sources, this flag was first used in 1777. It was used by the Third Maryland Regiment. There was no official pattern for how the stars were to be arranged. The flag was carried at the Battle of Cowpens, which took place on January 17, 1781, in South Carolina. The actual flag from that battle hangs in the Maryland State House.

Vermont and Kentucky joined the union in 1791 and 1792. This flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes, was adopted by a Congressional act of 1794. The flag became effective May 1, 1795.

By 1818, the union consisted of 20 states. A Congressional act mandated that the number of stripes be fixed at 13 and that one new star was to be added for each new state, the July 4 following its admission. However, nothing was written about what arrangement the stars should be in. This and the following two flags were all used simultaneously.

Another 1818 flag (see above).

And another 1818 flag (see above). This was called the "Grand Star" flag.

To see examples of later flags, see our Flag Timeline
Starting in 1819, the updated flag becomes legal on the Fourth of July following the date of admission

September 11, 2001 — The Flag from the World Trade towers survives and becomes a symbol of sacrifice in service, loss, and determination

The United States flag today. The 50th star was added on July 4, 1960 for Hawaii, which entered the Union on August 21, 1959

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