As of Wednesday, June 30, 2021, this year is officially one-half over. It has been a little different than last year, in that we have been able to go places and do things at least a little more than we did in 2020. Some places still request that we wear a mask to enter and other places do not, leaving the choice up to us. I still wear one to the grocery store if it’s crowded, otherwise not so much. This past Sunday at church, I noticed that even the usual two or three that had been wearing a mask to church were no longer wearing them, and, while mine was in my purse, I didn’t put it on.
This past week, we didn’t have much rain after a couple of weeks with showers every day, but on the way to church it rained most of the way, and my sister told me there were a couple more small showers during the day.
The walls and woodwork in my kitchen are now painted, just leaving the counter top and the floor to be finished. This week, I’ll be in Devine part of the time, and it seems that I picked a good time to be gone as they’re not ready to do that work just yet. Monday and Tuesday the painter will be finishing the wall in my sewing room. We removed the paneling from that wall and it will be painted a light solid color, hopefully it will look good, I’m not as good at colors as my daughters are! As one of them put it, with a double dresser sitting against that wall, all that shows are about 18-inches on each side and across the top, from the ceiling to the top of the dresser. The room has two sets of double windows, an outside door, a closet door and an inside door, so there is not very much actual wall space.
Independence Day, or July 4th, as we most usually call it, is one of the few holidays that is actually celebrated on the day upon which it falls. It is not celebrated on the nearest Monday to make for a long weekend. This year it is on Sunday so that means the people will have a long weekend.
Independence Day is probably the most important secular holiday celebrated here in the United States, commemorating, as it does, the adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence, which announced the breaking of ties between the 13 American Colonies and England.
America celebrates July 4 as Independence Day, because it was on July 4, 1776, that members of the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence in two and one half weeks. The Declaration begins with one of the most famous sentences in the entire world.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, which among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
The original signers of the Declaration of Independence held various occupations. Twenty-four were lawyers, fourteen were farmers, nine were merchants, four were physicians, one was a gospel minister and last but not least, one was a manufacturer, (of what I do not know). John Hancock, who was the president of the Second continental congress, signed his name the biggest and boldest of all the signers. In fact, the term “John Hancock” has become synonymous with “signature”. How many times have you heard the term, “Just put your John Hancock, right on this line”? It is a very old term, and isn’t used as much as it was in earlier times. Congress in 1941 declared July 4th a federal legal holiday.
If you are planning a trip over the holiday, always remember to be careful of “the driver of the car, in the car behind the car in front of you!” In other words, pay attention to what you are doing at all times. Keep your mind on your driving, keep your hands on the wheel, and keep your eyes watching your surroundings. Be aware of what is going on in front of you, behind you (that’s what rear-view and side mirrors are for), and beside you on each side. Stay off the phone. If you have a call, pull over and park before talking or texting. It is difficult to talk and drive at the same time.
Wherever you celebrate this holiday, keep as cool as possible, drink plenty of liquids (other than alcoholic), to replace body fluids lost through perspiration, and take care not to get overheated. Do not forget to protect yourself with sunscreen. Bad sunburn is one of the most miserable and uncomfortable things there is. The best cure, of course is prevention, but if you do happen to get sunburned, milk of magnesia, kept in the fridge and gently patted on, is a great antidote. Also, cooled, brewed tea patted on, or even just cloths repeatedly wrung out in cold water will help ease the burning. There are many excellent commercial products on the market, but these are all old timers, that work.
Always remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold if you go on a picnic or just have a picnic in your back yard. Keep food and drinks in separate coolers, as a cooler with drinks will be opened more frequently than the one you have salads in.
The following chicken salad is simple to make and very tasty. If you want it spicy, use a spicier picante sauce. There is no mayonnaise involved, so this keeps well.
Cinco de Mayo Chicken Salad
1/2 cup bottled chili sauce (Heinz, Del Monte)
4 tablespoons picante sauce (mild, medium or hot)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
Mix above ingredients together and set aside.
2½ to 3 cups cooked, diced chicken
4 sliced green onions (tops too)
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 avocado, peeled and diced*
Mix these ingredients together, add dressing and mix lightly until all ingredients are coated. Garnish with additional avocado, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips. *If you dice the avocado into a small bowl of 7-up, it will not darken!
Layered Spinach Salad
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup salad dressing
1 cup sour cream
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
Stir together and place in fridge until ready to use.
8 slices bacon
1 package fresh spinach
1 medium head lettuce, shredded
8 green onions
1 box (10-oz) frozen peas
1 can sliced water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Slice bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces; fry until crisp, set aside to drain well. Wash spinach and lettuce; let drain. While it is draining green slice onions and set aside. Shred lettuce and set aside. Tear spinach into bite size pieces and place in salad bowl. Place shredded lettuce on top of spinach. Put the water chestnuts and peas on top of the lettuce. The peas do not need to be thawed nor cooked. Top with dressing, covering everything to the edges of the bowl, sealing the salad in. When ready to serve, garnish with the bacon and shredded Parmesan cheese.