Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day

By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
This poem was written in 1915 by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae while he was on the battlefront. You can read the full story.
This poem meant so much to me when I was growing up. Does anyone else remember drawing the Flanders Fields with poppies and rows upon rows of grave markers? It was significant in my small world and I've never forgotten those poppies. Even today, I love getting the poppies from the veterans!
I don't know if there are such significant poems or songs in todays world. I don't know if the kids in school really understand what Memorial Day is all about . . . . so . . . . . for those that don't know, Memorial Day was originally called Declaration Day and it was intended to be a day of remembrance for those that died in the service of their country, the United States of America.
On May 5, 1868 General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, proclaimed “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” May 30th was designated because it was not the day of any battle.
Today, it is celebrated in every state, most on the last Monday in the month of May according to the passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971.
Traditionally the flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff then lowered slowly to half-staff where it remains until noon. The flag is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.
The traditions of Memorial Day have been forgotten over the years, and our children and their children think that this is just another holiday. Let's keep reminding them of what Memorial Day really stands for . . . . . it is not in honor for the living; it is in honor of more than a million men and women who gave their all for their country.
May we always remember.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Paul Smith - Typewriter Artist

This is such a wonderful story, I had to share. I had never heard of Paul Smith. A friend shared this information with me in an email.
Just a Typewriter

He lived at Rose Haven Nursing
Home ( Roseburg , OR ) for years.

Paul Smith, the man with extraordinary talent, was born
on September 21, 1921, with severe cerebral palsy.

Not only had Paul beaten the odds of a life with spastic
cerebral palsy, a disability that impeded his speech and
mobility but also taught himself to become a master artist
as well as a terrific chess player even after being devoid
of a formal education as a child.

"When typing, Paul used his left hand to steady his right one.
Since he couldn't press two keys at the same time,
he almost always locked the shift key down and
made his pictures using the symbols at the top
of the number keys.

In other words, his pictures were based on these
characters ..... @ # $ % ^ & * ( )_ .
Across seven decades,
Paul created hundreds of pictures.

He often gave the originals away.
Sometimes, but not always, he kept
or received a copy for his own records.

As his mastery of the typewriter grew,
he developed techniques to create
shadings, colors, and textures that made his
work resemble pencil or charcoal drawings."

This great man passed away on June 25, 2007,
but left behind a collection of his amazing
artwork that will be an inspiration for many.

For more on Paul Smith, check out the Paul Smith Foundation website. This man did not know the meaning of "I can't". What an inspiration!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Come see what ChateyCathey has!!

I'm always on the lookout for spectacular deals and ran across these in ChateyCathey's store on! My dad was a woodworker and I appreciate the time and effort it takes in creating something out of wood. Take a look at what Al, her hubby, has been creating!! Gotta warn you, one already has a bid! Each is a one of a kind box, ready to hold those special treasures! (just click on the picture of the one you want to look at closer)
And if you are in need of getting something to put IN those special boxes, there is jewelry galore in her store! Just take a peek! VERY reasonable prices and she always combines shipping!
So, stop in and take a peek!! These would make exceptional gifts!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

S & M Sweets - A great place to shop!

Okay, who is up to a little homemade rub, great dips and WONDERFUL sweets!!
Here at, we have a perfectly SWEET and delicious store! Now known as S & M Sweets, this was formerly Raggy-Lady here on OLA with over 1000 positive feedback.  But due to a new partnership, the store is now S & M Sweets  (Smith & Montgomery) These great goodies are made in a licensed kitchen.

I can personally attest to the fresh, wonderful flavor you get in these little gems!! I LOVE spice gumdrops and these are the BEST I've ever had!

One of the favorites, according to people I've heard from!
I know there have been lots of calls for this, too!!
These are just positively yummy!!
And who doesn't LOVE FUDGE??
So, if you have something special coming up or just a sweet tooth, stop in at S & M Sweets to see what great goodies you can get to satisfy that hankering! You won't be sorry!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Gardening at the Love Your Pet Expo Sanctuary for Special Needs Animals

Here's what we start with:
Rocks, gravel, clay -- everything but actual soil. 

Thank goodness for:

Their contributions, plus lots of leaves and hay, produce great organic material to break up up our otherwise cement-like ground.

We start with seeds in peat pellets to grow catnip for the felines,

milkweed for the monarchs, (I'll be ordering larvae, tonight)

pipevine for the swallowtails, (the caterpillars are too small to see yet, but they've definitely started eating already)

UPDATE: When I checked this morning, I found 2 caterpillars, about an inch long. Here is one of them:

(Here is a pipevine swallowtail from our previous property.)

fruits and veggies for the body,

And flowers for the soul.

Love Your Pet Expo Sanctuary now has its own blog. Please stop by and see what else is going on. Hint: we have kittens and a new, blind puppy.

It's also time for gardening at

This butterfly garden bench would look great in our back yard. Do you have the perfect place for it, too?