National Flag Week

For as long as I can remember, I have been very patriotic. I always have an American flag waving from a post on my front porch. When it becomes worn and tattered by weather, I take it down but never throw it away. The correct process to discard a tattered flag is to burn it. So I fold it up and leave it in the garage until we have a pile of brush to burn. It then goes on top and is licked up by hot orange and blue flames. 

When you purchase a new flag, included in the packaging is a little pamphlet entitled “The Essential Guide for Proper Care and Treatment of the United States Flag”. On the front of the pamphlet is a carefully planned photo of elementary-aged children with their hands over their hearts, apparently reciting the  Pledge of Allegiance. The photo includes one African American boy, One African American girl, one Asian boy, and one blue-eyed blond girl. Perfect.

There is one guideline to which I do not adhere. According to flag code, when the flag is displayed twenty four hours a day, it must be properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. Mine flies twenty four hours a day, but I fail to illuminate in the dark. My bad. 

The pamphlet is clear in stating that the United States Flag Code, which was adopted in 1923, does not contain any penalties or enforcement provisions for noncompliance. “Quite simply, it is a guide for civilian and civilian groups who wish to properly honor the United States of America’s principal emblem.”

Whew! That’s a relief. I do love the flag and parades and hot dogs and apple pie, but a vexillologist I am not. 

National Donut Day

Donuts have become a problem. It used to be there were only a few varieties; glazed, cake, chocolate and maybe in specific seasons there would be a specialty one like pumpkin.

But wow, has the donut world changed. Now, donut shopping is a little like buying shampoo. There are so many choices! The colors and names pull you in…”buy me, buy me”, they beg.

This morning I hit Holtman’s Donuts, a true donut-lovers dream. A line of people led to the door from the parking lot. And they just kept coming. Holtman’s have the typical donuts but they also have chocolate bacon donuts and Crunch Berries topped donuts and Fruit Loops donuts and one of my personal favorites, red velvet donuts. I had one of those this morning. I could have eaten six more. 

National Donut Day started in 1938 as a fundraiser for Chicago’s The Salvation Army. Their goal was to help those in need during the Great Depression, and to honor The Salvation Army “Lassies” of World War I who served donuts to the soldiers. 

In Chicago and other cities, National Donut Day is still a fundraiser for The Salvation Army. In 2017, the organization joined with Russ’s Market, Super Saver, LaMar’s Donuts, Hurts Donuts and Krispy Kreme to raise funds. 

The bottom line is that buying, and most definitely, eating a donut today is your patriotic responsibility. It is the right thing to do.

National Donut Day. Finally a day I can really sink my teeth into.


This morning my husband and I attended the annual Memorial Day parade in our town. It is a nice little parade with the high school marching band, local fire trucks, members of city council riding in convertibles, tossing out candy to the kids, and marching men holding flags representative of their branch of the military. It is very home-town and sweet and I have gone for many years and waved my small American flag. It is the least I can do.

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day – Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died who serving, whereas Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. It is also not to be confused with Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance celebrated earlier in May, which specifically honors those currently serving in the U.S. military. 

Since it is a day of remembering, let’s remember some significant statistics. 

The number of Americans who died in WWI was 116,516

The number of Americans who died in WWII was 405,399

The number of Americans who died in the Vietnam War was 58,220

By far, the most costly war in terms of human life was World War II (1939-45), in which the total number of fatalities, including battle deaths and civilians of all countries, is estimated to have been 56.4 million, assuming 26.6 million Soviet fatalities and 7.8 million Chinese civilians were killed. Some project that the total number of lives lost was closer to 80 million. 

As we attend our parades and wave our American flags and eat our grilled burgers and potato salad, may we also remember. 

I sit on my lovely deck complete with pots of beautiful flowers and sip on sweet tea as the sun dips into the west. I am humbled and grateful. 

And I am free. May we always remember. 


Our First Lady certainly has style, that cannot be denied. All first ladies have style. If it is not inherit in them, they are taught. Being a first lady must be tough. She is constantly scrutinized for her appearance. Seems a bit harsh and unfair, but it goes with the position.

Of course, I love Melania’s Christian Louboutin heels. I love her belted suits and matching hats. Wait…why does everyone call her Melania? Yes, it is her name, but are we intimate friends with her? Of course not. She will, for the remainder of this post, be called Mrs. Trump. She deserves the respect.

But I have to say that the above photo is one of my favorite looks. She is casual, but far from sloppy. Fun and chic but not cheesy. Obviously, her outfit is not from TJ Maxx or Marshalls but that is exactly where the rest of us common folk could go to mimic the look. 

The keen eye is going to know whether or not your spiked pumps are Christian Louboutin, but a look like this one is absolutely copyable. 

In fact, if I didn’t know better, I would guess that Mrs. Trump copied ME on this look. Though, my sneakers are “Chucks”, my black skinny jeans and gingham shirt are from Gap, and my gray baseball cap is definitely labeled “Yale”. Plus, she is a statuesque, willow tree with endless  legs. I am 5’3″ (on tippy toes) and my black jeans were purchased in the petite section. The look is not quite the same. But still…

I did a little research about how Mrs. Trump goes about selecting her outfits. Apparently, this is done in conjunction with Hervé Pierre. He is a French designer who had previously worked at Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, two American labels run by Latin American immigrants with long histories of dressing Washington wives. 

Now a freelance designer and consultant, Pierre acts as the First Lady’s de facto stylist. 

As it turns out, Pierre shops for many of Mrs. Trump’s outfits anonymously in New York. “I go to Bergdorf, I to go to Saks, Michael Kors, Dior,” he told The Times. “What is challenging is when I cannot say what it is for.” What a great job this guy has. 

He also makes sure that Mrs. Trump doesn’t wear anything that other public figures have worn before. “I always ask: ‘Was it already on the red carpet? Did somebody already wear it?’ Because I don’t want her to be on the ‘Who Wore It Better’ list.”

The fact that the clothes are bought off the rack with neither the store nor the designer knowing who the purchaser is pretty much checks out with Mrs. Trump’s previous track record of buying and wearing designer clothes. 

Mrs. Trump is genetically gorgeous, she can’t help it. It was a DNA perfect storm. More importantly, she appears to have a kindness, a sweetness that is also traceable. 

That kind of beauty cannot be purchased in New York, no matter how rich and powerful you may be. 

Loving Lincoln

Yesterday was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. I have a soft spot in my heart for him. I think there are several reasons.

First, a bit of history. Lincoln was born in a one-room log cabin on the Sinking Spring Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky. His mother, Nancy Lincoln, died of milk sickness in 1818, leaving his sister, eleven-year-old Sarah, in charge of a household that included her father, nine-year-old Abraham and a nineteen-year-old orphaned second cousin.

About a year later, Abraham’s father married Sally Bush Johnston, a widow from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, with three children of her own. “Here’s the story of a lovely lady…”. I couldn’t help it. It is not noted in research, but I can well imagine the relief and help this was to poor sister Sarah. Abraham became very close to his stepmother, whom he referred to as “Mother”.

As a youth, Lincoln disliked the hard labor associated with the frontier life. Neighbors and family members often dubbed him ‘lazy’ for all his scribbling, writing, ciphering and poetry. He also loved to read.

Lincoln was largely self-taught. His formal schooling from itinerant teachers was intermittent, yet it gave him a lifelong interest in learning.

As he grew into his teens, Lincoln took responsibility for his chores and became adept at using an axe. He was tall and strong and athletic and participated in various wrestling and other competitive matches.

As years continued, Lincoln taught himself law, passing the bar exam in 1836. For the next few years he worked in the newly named capital of Springfield, Illinois, earning the reputation as “Honest Abe”.

He later met and married Mary Todd, the daughter of a wealthy slave-holding family in Lexington, Kentucky.

There is far too much to tell between this time and the date of his first inauguration as President of the United States. I encourage you to read his whole story.

On the personal side, Lincoln was an affectionate, though absent husband and father of four sons. Two of their sons died at young ages, probably of tuberculosis. Abraham and Mary were considered to be very lax in the disciplining of their children, though they loved them dearly.

Even prior to the deaths of his two sons, Lincoln suffered from “melancholy”, a condition which now is referred to as clinical depression.

Like his heroes, Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, Lincoln opposed the spread of slavery to the territories, and had a grand vision of expanding United States, with a focus on commerce and cities, rather than agriculture.

In his second inaugural address in 1865, Lincoln addressed the need to reconstruct the South and rebuild the Union: “With malice toward none; with charity for all.”

That is such a great line.

We all know how his story ends. On the night of April 14, 1865, the actor and Confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth, slipped into the president’s box at the Ford Theatre and shot him point-blank in the back of the head. Lincoln was carried to a boarding house across the street from the theater, but he never regained consciousness and died in the early morning hours of April 15.

I see Abraham Lincoln as extremely self-motivated, mentally focused in spite of his depression, kind and gentle, yet extremely bold and courageous. I think what I love most about Lincoln is his humanness. I love his pushing through all of his tough days to reach his goal. I like his writers heart and his love of poetry and even his blues.

My boys and I visited Washington D.C. two summers ago. It was my first time there. I loved that visit. We saw many things in a short amount of time. I had the opportunity to tour Ford’s Theatre, as well as the boarding house across the street, where Lincoln was laid across the bed. It was all very moving.

My very favorite place was the Lincoln Memorial. It is beautiful and massive. It deserves reverence. It feels like a holy place. I actually shed a few tears.

I’m not exactly sure how to wind up this blog. It is solely meant to make you think about Abraham Lincoln, The Great Emancipator. For me, that is probably one of my biggest admirations of him; he loved freedom. He wanted it for all and for all time.

Freedom is one of the sweetest words we know or speak. In Lincoln’s case, and for many others, it often comes at a great price. Let us not forget.

So Happy Belated Birthday to you, Mr. Lincoln. May you be experiencing the truly greatest freedom of all.