On US Independence Day, praise Mr. Smith who didn’t go to Washington

July 4 is a big day in our family because it’s a holiday bringing us together to enjoy the outdoors, grill some great food, and pop off fireworks. We do all this, and we say a blessing of thanks for the country we live in. When I think of gratitude, I’m not thinking of gratitude to the government. I think of gratitude to everyday Americans who make this country what it is. On this July 4, I’m thinking of a non-celebrity hero who took it upon himself to help others, and it had nothing to do with a government mandate or lobbying some politician in Washington for federal dollars. Continue reading “On US Independence Day, praise Mr. Smith who didn’t go to Washington”

Travel set for record highs ahead of Christmas; Florida wins top destinations

Atlantic Beach Christmas
Christmas at Atlantic Beach (FL), just down from Ragtime Tavern and Grille. (Photo: IAS)

If you’re traveling this Christmas, you’re not alone. You’ll be one of an expected 112.5 million travelers hitting the roads. The good news is that not everyone is heading in the same direction.

For Floridians, the news is a mix. My home state will benefit from all those travelers’ dollars, but three Florida cities are in the top ten destinations, and that means serious traffic on I-95 and other major highways.  Continue reading “Travel set for record highs ahead of Christmas; Florida wins top destinations”

Gunboat Diplomats recording group serves up Christmas cheer with new song

Ok. I’m a sucker for a Christmas song. My daughters know this too well. I’m always bugging them to learn more Christmas songs. Sometimes they accommodate me, sometimes they don’t. So it made my day this morning to get an upbeat, kicking Christmas tune in my email from Gunboat Diplomats.  Continue reading “Gunboat Diplomats recording group serves up Christmas cheer with new song”

Clown bans, cultural appropriation, and imagination mark Halloween

Pumpkins at Kelp’s Pumpkin Patch near Nashville in Brown County, Indiana. Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. US Library of Congress.
Pumpkins at Kelp’s Pumpkin Patch near Nashville in Brown County, Indiana. Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. US Library of Congress.

Halloween is approaching, and the natter class is having the customary argument about which costumes are offensive because the wearer might be culturally ‘appropriating’ someone else’s heritage. Yet millions of US children and adults of all cultural persuasion will dress up on October 31 and hit the streets or parties to celebrate. Halloween is traditionally silly. Taking the award for silly is a city whose officials have banned clown costumes.  Continue reading “Clown bans, cultural appropriation, and imagination mark Halloween”

After the Fourth, pup has a fireworks ‘hangover’

Bear on July 5
The day after the Fourth, when Bear heard thunder, he appeared to think it was more fireworks. (Photo: Indie Art South)

This Fourth of July, for unknown reasons, the fireworks in our area were louder, went longer, and flashed brighter than usual. Our Yorkie mix normally isn’t bothered by loud sounds unless they are unusually loud. So when Bear started pacing around last night, I didn’t think too much of it. By bedtime, though, I’d changed my mind. By the next day, because of Mother Nature, I realized Bear had what might be called a fireworks hangover.  Continue reading “After the Fourth, pup has a fireworks ‘hangover’”

Did fathers get short shrift on designation of their special day?

Father’s Day is Sunday, and many of us will celebrate husbands, fathers, grandfathers, and uncles for the role they’ve played in our lives. In our house, it will be a pretty simple get-together with snacks, coffee, and gifts for our special man. When it comes to celebrating fathers, tho, their day got a bit of a short shrift on becoming official.   Continue reading “Did fathers get short shrift on designation of their special day?”

Angela G deserves gold for Valentine’s Meme

Valentine setup shotCheck out your nearest social media and you’ll see lots of messages and posts about Valentine’s Day. Some posts praise a lover. Other posts offer support to those who are single.

Still other posts show how some countries want to ban the day when we in the US celebrate love. And, if we purchase something for a loved one, capitalism.

I found a lot of pretty bad poetry. I also found some posts that made me laugh.  Continue reading “Angela G deserves gold for Valentine’s Meme”

First Swamp Haven fundraiser brings beds, food, and funds for pups

Crazy Daysies fundraiser Swamp Haven
The Crazy Daysies and their fellow ‘swampytonkers’ collected needed items for Swamp Haven, a rescue organization focusing on hard-to-place dogs. (Photo: IAS)

The Crazy Daysies did the first fundraiser for their 2018 charity of choice Swamp Haven on Thursday. Supporters, otherwise known as ‘swampytonkers’,  love animals, and that was evident in the generous donations.  Continue reading “First Swamp Haven fundraiser brings beds, food, and funds for pups”

For indie musicians, Christmas songs have long shelf life

Angel ornament by SC artist Valerie G. Lumpkin
Angel ornament by SC artist Valerie G. Lumpkin. (Photo Indie Art South)

Have you written a Christmas song? Maybe you should.  Continue reading “For indie musicians, Christmas songs have long shelf life”

Turn to indie artists for unique gifts

Valerie Geiger Lumpkin angel ornament
South Carolina artist Valerie Geiger Lumpkin makes these angels with natural materials like seashells and moss. Each angel is unique.

With the Christmas season approaching, we’ll all probably buy more gifts than we anticipated. This year, instead of hitting the ‘click’ button for a mass-produced item, consider doing something different. At the very least, you likely won’t have to worry about your recipient already having one of what you’re giving.  Continue reading “Turn to indie artists for unique gifts”