Where are the Indians this Thanksgiving?

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I have been out and about looking at Thanksgiving decorations and home décor recently and I am completely lost.  Where are the Indians this Thanksgiving?    They are no where to be seen.  The Pilgrims are all ready to celebrate the holiday.  They are everywhere setting up their feast.  And I have found turkeys galore.  Lots of cornacopieas as well.  I even found pheasants ready to join the party.  But did history rewrite itself when I wasn’t looking?

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This is how I remember the story.  Haven’t we always been told that the Indians were there to teach the Pilgrims how to hunt and fish and farm?  Weren’t they there for the first Thanksgiving?  Why are we forgetting them now?  Is this world gotten so politically correct that we can’t have them as part of the celebration this year.  That is just silly.  They will be part of my decorations and Thanksgiving this year and every year after this.  I have a very tasteful set of Pilgrims and Indians that depict the Thanksgiving story nicely and will be proudly displayed on my mantle.

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Disclaimer:  I know that they are Native Americans but ever since I was little the Indians and Pilgrims were part of Thanksgiving.  I’m using them for the sake of the story and mean no disrespect to anyone reading this.


It’s Finally Here…

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It’s finally here… SUMMER!!!!

It’s the time of year we all wait for.  School’s is finally out and the sun is shining.  The days are longer and we are all busy.   It’s my favorite time of the year.

Summertime is when our love for water seems to come out.  Kids love to play in the sprinklers or have water fights with buckets and balloons.  They don’t care if they have on a swim suit.  Let’s just get wet.  They pull out their paddle pools and get wet.  “Big Kids” (or what we know as teenagers) like to go to the pool to hang out.  They go and hang with their friends and like to lay out and get tan.  It’s a time to be with their friends.  And of course there is the lake where the boating happens.  Here in Utah, we have all sorts of fun water spots to choose from.  Whether it is house boating at Lake Powell, waterskiing at one of several great locations, or sailing at The Great Salt Lake, there is a place to boat for everyone.

Summer is the time for Drive-In movies.  The Drive-In Movie is depicted in many “old” movies.  My favorite is Grease.  My parents went on dates to the drive-in.  It was the place to hang.   If your town is lucky enough to still have a drive-in, then you must take advantage of it just once.  When I was a kid, my parents would put us in our pj’s and we would get in the car and go to the drive-in.  We would park in a spot and put the speaker on the window.  We would get our blankets and pillow ready in our spot.  Then we would walk over with my dad and get popcorn and drinks at the snack bar.  We always stopped on the way at the candy store for candy too!  I always had Dots!!!  Still do and still love the black ones!!!  Then we would play on the playground until the movie started.  A lot has changed since then but there is still a few things that are the same.  You still have to park and get your spot ready.  And there is still a snack bar.  We still stop to get Dots at the store but now it is Dollar Tree.  There are no longer speakers on the window.  We use our radios now.  We still get our spot ready but now everyone also brings chairs and loungers and sit outside their cars and watch the movie in groups.  But the actual experience of watching the movie is still the same.  The screen is still a giant screen outside and you still have to drive in to see it.  If you have not taken your kids to the drive-in, do it at least once before you don’t have the chance to do this retro summer activity.

Summer is also the time for Barbeques and picnics.  Getting the grill out and getting together with friends and family to grill hot dogs and hamburgers is a must!  We have BBQ grilling cook offs with our friends.  We each take a turn to have it at our house and we pick a theme.  We have had cook offs with chicken, ribs, steak and burgers.  The men really get into developing their “secret” stuff whether it be a spice or a sauce or a whole recipe.  They take it serious.  We have special judges to decide which is the best.  It is quite an contest and always fun!

And we can’s forget the Boys of Summer!  That’s right, America’s favorite pastime!!!  BASEBALL!!!  Going to games is a must if you have a team in your city.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a MLB team or a minor league team or even if its Little League.  Just go!  Baseball is exciting to watch and fun to follow all summer.  Just pick a team and get involved.  I am a Los Angeles Angels fan.  I am watching as my team plays.  Whether it is Trumbo, Trout, Weaver or whoever is hitting it out of the park or pitching a great game, I am following.  It is also fun to have a little rivalry going if you have someone else who follows another team.  My daughter is a New York Yankees fan and her boyfriend is a Boston Red Sox fan.  They like to tell each other who’s team is better.  So far they are still together.  It is fun to watch on television but if you have a ball park near you, go see a game.  Put it on your list for summer.

And summer wouldn’t be the same with out Fireworks!!!  They seem to be at all the celebrations all summer long.  Of course the biggie is The 4th of July celebrations around the country but that is not all.  All the local cities and towns have their own celebrations during the summer! We attend Draper Days, Taylorsville Days and other city events every summer and they all end the last night with fireworks.  Utah’s state holiday “Pioneer Day” in in the summer on July 24th.  There is always events and fireworks to go with it.  And they go along with other events like summer sporting events like baseball games and soccer games to name a few.

I know there are other things about summer I may have not mentioned like sleeping out in the backyard or sleeping in late.  I could go on forever about all the fun things you can do.  But just do it and take lots of pictures of the events.  Make it a habit to try new thing every summer or make a list to do all your favorites at least once.  Wear your Red, White and Blue!!! And have FUN!!!  That is the most important part of summer!!!


Easter Baskets and Chocolate Bunnies

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It’s that time again! The time when we start seeing Easter everywhere. The time when we start thinking about the Easter Bunny coming to fill up those baskets. We still have a visit from that bunny every year.

When they were little, filling the basket was easy. They liked candy and lots of it. I would find a chocolate bunny that fit the age they were. I could put in cute toys, coloring books, crayons of course a stuffed bunny. That is how both my kids got their favorite stuffed animals that became their bedtime buddies. And we did an egg hunt with eggs filled candy and stickers and little toys.

When they got a little older, it became a little harder to fill those baskets. Their tastes got more specific. They started to like certain kinds of candy. Filling their baskets consisted of stuff like pens, colored markers and pencils, drawing pads, card games and of course the chocolate bunny! The eggs they hunted were filled with M & M’s and loose change.

Then they became teenagers. Now they have very specific tastes. They were barely looking at most of the stuff in the baskets. They ate the candy which is carefully chosen just for them. They would watch the DVD that was in their basket. But most of the stuff I painstakingly picked out just for them sat in the basket until I put it away or got rid of it. The egg hunt, which was mostly because I wasn’t ready to give it up, was filled with a few M & M’s, loose change and paper money. The chocolate bunny didn’t get looked at. Last year we ended the egg hunt all together and I put cash in eggs in their baskets.

This year, I decided I not complete ready to give up the Bunny’s visit all together. I am not going to worry about filling the baskets with stuff just to fill the baskets. But what do I get my teenagers? I went and bought them stuff that I knew they wanted or needed (ok they picked out the stuff) so I know it’s exactly what they wanted. No more chocolate bunnies or egg hunts! It’s gift cards, makeup and video game chargers and of course an egg with cash! I still had to continue at least one tradition! Oh and M & M’s so I guess that’s two traditions!

And maybe a chocolate bunny just for me!


Saint Patrick’s Day

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

The day for the lucky! The day of leprechauns and pots of gold. The day of corned beef and cabbage and let’s not forget green beer!

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This day is celebrated for the Catholic Saint Patrick – the patron saint of Ireland and on of the world’s most popular saints. He was born in the year 387 and died on March 17, 461. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.

Saint Patrick’s day is a day for traditions and fun! People do many different things to make this holiday one of the funnest days of the year.

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Every year, the city of Chicago turns its river green as part of their festivities to celebrate. This year was the 51st year of doing this tradition and the recipe for the dye is a big secret!

Wearing green is a big tradition! It is a must if you don’t want to get pinched.

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All over there are parades and parties. Salt Lake City held their parade yesterday and it has lots of families, schools and businesses participate every year. And we can’t forget food traditions! Green beer is a big tradition around the world. There are people who brew a special green beer just for the day. Corned beef and cabbage is one of the biggest traditional foods that is made. And people turn their food green. Green milk, eggs, pancakes, etc. could been seen all over Facebook this morning. Even I made green chocolate chip waffles!

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And what about those pesky leprechauns? They show up making a mess of things all over. They have been know turn over furniture, leave green foot prints all around, green glitter can be found in the wake, among other things. But if your lucky enough to catch one, you will be lead to the end of the rainbow and to a pot of gold.

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So enjoy your Saint Patrick’s Day and be safe no matter how you celebrate. We are going to have homemade Pizza ~ that’s how Italian’s celebrate Saint Patty’s Day