Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Birthday USA

This is the holiday that always sneaks up on me, and yes Ted Nugent must have posed for this origami instructional...he's a Patriot you know,

I used to dread this holiday when the kids were young, we tried to celebrate at the public displays and cram our huge Ford Van in with everybody else to get a good view of the fireworks show, but the noise and the smoke always put a damper on my fun.

hehe, no I don't live in Boston, but I love this image. Then for a few years we did the neighborhood block party thing and spent hundreds of bucks on fireworks for the kids that all just went up in smoke. Thankfully we never had an accident. And those squirmy charcoal worms are just a mess. 

And here's a fact, what I love about the "1812 Overture" is the Fourth of July. Every time I hear it it just takes me right to bursting stars of sulfurous trails.  Or, uh, maybe every time I hear it, I am viewing those bursting stars of sulfurous trails, I don't know, the devil is in the details.

Here is a wonderful article about the 1812 Overature, about Tchaikovsky here,
How a rousing Russian tune took over our July 4th...
"Tchaikovsky knew how to write a barn-burner, and they are really hard to write." lovely dry humor...;wap2

"With the exception of 'America the Beautiful,' the U.S. is short of patriotic hymns," says Botstein. "'The Star-Spangled Banner' is a tongue-twister; then you have 'America,' which is really the British national anthem."

 "Being an immigrant nation, we are not offended by using another country's national anthem."

The Declaration of Independence was really signed on the 2nd of July...
Who knew?
" One of the most enduring myths about Independence Day is that Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The myth had become so firmly established that, decades after the event and nearing the end of their lives, even the elderly Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had come to believe that they and the other delegates had signed the Declaration on the fourth. Most delegates actually signed the Declaration on August 2, 1776. In a remarkable series of coincidences, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two founding fathers of the United States and the only two men who signed the Declaration of Independence to become president, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the United States' 50th anniversary."

Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4.

I support Operation Write Home. They are having an impromptu blog hop this weekend and I will be sure to stop by and show my support to those who make handmade blank cards for the enlisted people to write a letter home on. So many kids in the military have NO ONE who writes to them.
 Operation Write Home has the "Any Hero Letters" idea. You can write to some anonymous soul that you don't know and try to provide a bit of encouragement. I don't get too sappy with the whole thing, but I do want a downhearted person to know they really make a difference in this whole big world.

I always try to include some jokes for them as well. go here to read about how easy is to get involved and take a minute to encourage somebody far away from home.

The dress of Colonial America is just fascinating, starting with the breeches and white hose that the men wore, and then check out the hair that the women were partial to. High maintenance.

"Fashionable" hairstyles for women began their vertical climb in the late 1760s, and with them rose the ire of social critics. Editorials appearing in London periodicals immediately decried the large headdresses that English ladies were all too eager to copy from their French counterparts."

Men’s clothing can be broken down to a few simple components. A suit consisted of a slim-cut, knee-length coat with narrow fitting shoulders and wrists. This was worn over a long, white linen shirt with a high collar and a hip-length waistcoat (called a vest in modern America).

On his lower portions, a man wore close fitting breeches that came to the knee, stockings and black shoes. Everyone wore a hat, the three-cornered, or tri-corner hat being the most fashionable.

Everyone also wore some sort of neck cloth at all times, usually a cravat, which was wrapped around the neck and tied in front. Styles varied from the plain cravat to those edged with lace or fringe.

The style of Women’s garments in the 18th Century reflect the improving status of women in society. While the mantua of the early 18th Century was a rather simple limp garment composed of two lengths of fabric pinch pleated at the waist with wide soft sleeves sewn in, the mantua was gradually stiffened, decorated and expanded with hoops called panniers until, by mid/century it had been stylized into the Robe de Francaise a doll-cake-like structure that insured that a woman took up three times as much space as a man and always presented an imposing and ultra feminine spectacle.

After 1760, women began to expand vertically as well, raising their hair with pads and pomade to a height that only a man on stilts could hope to emulate.

I don't think a blog post about the 4th of July would be complete with out some talk of food.

" A typical comfortably fixed family in the late 1700s probably served two courses for dinner. The first course included several meats plus meat puddings and/or deep meat pies containing fruits and spices, pancakes and fritters, and the ever-present side dishes of sauces, pickles and catsups...

Soups seem to have been served before of in conjunction with the first course.

Desserts appeared with the second course. An assortment of fresh, cooked, or dried fruits, custards, tarts and sweetmeats was usually available. "Sallats," (salads) though more popular at supper, sometimes were served at dinner and occasionally provided decoration in the center of the table...

Cakes were of many varieties: pound, gingerbread, spice and cheese."

I hope you have a grand and glorious 4th of July no matter what you are serving on the menu, or which pair of breeches you don. I will be in my customary natural white coif, duly flat and un powdered!


Blog Archive