Time for the “Red, White and Blue”

As I typed in the date of this article, I realized that the year 2019 is already nearly half over. It has gone by really quickly, or at least it seems so to me. This past week was quiet for me until the middle of the week when it was time for shopping for company coming in for part of the weekend. My daughter, her husband, their oldest son and his family came to visit. Their son and his family now live in Pennsylvania, and are the couple that spent five or so years in New Zealand. A year ago, I got to spend time with the children and the little ones have grown so very much. They are now 2½ and 4, and we had a marvelous time outdoors with our bubble wands and lots of bubble mixture, reading books and playing with trucks, cars and building blocks. They are totally precious.
My grandson and his wife got here before the rest of the family, so we had a little quiet time for visiting and catching up on our lives.
My son-in-law came in with a large ice chest that had some special goodies inside. They had stopped in Bay City and picked up fresh shrimp, so that evening, we cleaned the shrimp, and he lit the pit and we had really delicious barbecued shrimp. He marinated them in Italian dressing and basted about half of them with that and the other half with his wonderful barbecue sauce. This was such a special treat and we all enjoyed it immensely.
It was one of those days that we seemed to have an over abundance of flies coming through the house and my prediction on that was a change in the weather, and sure enough, while he was still cooking outside, the rain came pouring down and before it was over, I had over two inches! This was so great, as we hadn’t had a measurable rain fall in several weeks and everything was really dry.
Friday, of course, it was pretty wet outside, but we went for a walk, and the boys picked up pretty rocks, admired the wild flowers that are still blooming, learned what moss in the trees is and by then, it was time for lunch and time for them to head out to Austin to spend time with family there.
A little later, my daughter and I went out for some fun time together, and headed to Cuero to check out boutiques and antique stores. We finished our time out at the grocery store getting the ingredients to make nachos for our supper, as that was what she was hungry for. They turned out great, and she and her husband left just before dark to go back home. It was such a wonderful time with family for me.
On Saturday, I went into town for the Tom-Tom parade, and the parade was great. There were lots of floats, cars, trucks, horses, etc. etc.! Since I have friends who live on the main street the parade goes down, I always have a ringside seat along with lots of other friends and acquaintances. After the parade, there is always a wonderful picnic style lunch served with chili dogs and all the trimmings, and lots of other delicious dishes that different folks brought to share. By 12:30 I was back home and it was time to settle down for reading the paper and a little nap, so that’s just what I did.
Our first holiday for June if Flag Day and here is a little information about it that you may not be familiar with.
Have you ever wondered in what order the states came into the Union? Who actually designed the first flag? Why does it have 13 stripes? How many stars were on the first flag? Which were the original 13 states? When was Texas admitted as a state?
Legend has it that Betsy Ross, a widowed seamstress was the one who made the first flag from a sketch given her by George Washington. She is said to have changed the number of points on the stars from six to five and then made the first flag in 1776. However, history has proven that it is just that, a legend.
A second legend claims that John Hulbert designed it a full year before Betsy Ross is supposedly did. This flag had 13 stripes and 13 stars in honor of the 13 original colonies.
These colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island. They all became states between December 7, 1787 and May 29, 1790.
The First Flag Law was passed by congress on June 14, 1777, giving this country an official national flag, consisting of 13 stripes alternating red and white, and a union of 13 white stars on a blue field.
Congress on May 1, 1795, adding two stripes and two stars in recognition of Virginia and Kentucky, passed the Second Flag Law. This 15-striped, 15-star flag is the second version of the national flag.
The Star Spangled Banner was written as a poem in the Baltimore Patriot newspaper. Frances Scot Key composed the verses while viewing the battle of Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. It became our national anthem on March 3, 1931. (This flag is in the Smithsonian Museum. It is not being restored it is being preserved. The size of this flag, 30 X 42 ft, is astounding, considering the time and place that it flew.)
The Third Flag Act was passed on April 4, 1818 and created the third official version of the flag. Navy Captain Samuel Reid proposed that the flag contain 13 stripes to represent the 13 original colonies. At that time it was decided that a star, represent ting a state, would automatically be added to the flag on the Fourth of July after ea territory was admitted. The flag in 1818 consisted of 13 stripes and 20 stars.
On July 4, 1846, the 10th official design of the Stars and Stripes was created with the addition of Texas into the United States.
June 14, 1861 was the first recorded observance of Flag Day, which was the anniversary of the First Flag Law and took place in Hartford. Connecticut. Bernard Cigrand is generally given the credit for helping to promote Flag Day.
On July 4, 1877, the centennial of the First Flag Act, the 38th star was added honoring the admission of Colorado into the Union. This created the 20th official design of the Stars and Stripes.
The entry of New Mexico and Arizona into the Union on July 4, 1912 created the 25th official design of the flag with the addition of it’s 47th and 48th stars honoring these two states.
From 1912 until 1959, the flag had 48 stars and 13 stripes. In that year, Alaska became the 49th state and the 16th official design of the flag was created. The following year, on July 4, 1960, Hawaii was admitted to the Union and a 50-star flag became the 27th official design. At 12:01 a.m., a 50-star flag was raised over Ft. McHenry by presidential order in honor of the victory described in the national anthem.
My contribution to the above-mentioned meal was a “Layered Spinach Salad”, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Some of it came back home with me, so with some leftovers from the meals that were served here at my house, I have won’t have to cook until at least Wednesday!
Layered Spinach Salad
1 package fresh spinach
1 small head lettuce
8 green onions
1 box (10-oz) frozen peas
8 slices, cooked, crumbled bacon
8 hard cooked eggs, sliced (optional)
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise (do not substitute)
1 cup sour cream
2 tbs. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
Wash spinach and lettuce; drain well, tear into bite sized pieces. Place spinach into large bowl; top with lettuce, then with sliced green onions, then peas.
Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream and dressing mix and spread over top of salad all the way to the edges of the bowl. Just before serving, top with crumbled bacon and shredded Parmesan cheese.
Original recipe called for 1 cup mayo, 1 cup salad dressing and 1 cup sour cream with the ½ package ranch dressing mix. (Since my guests left a 16-oz. package of spinach in my fridge, I used that, a medium-size head of lettuce and about 2 cups of peas out of a package and about 10 or 12 green onions. Also, I used 1½ cups each of mayo and sour cream, with 3 Tbs. of Ranch Dressing mix for the dressing).