Family Christmas Dinner

Well I was wrong. The theme turned out to be a “Coney Island Christmas”. Debi rented a hot dog warmer, borrowed a popcorn machine and we built our dogs and nachos. Debi did make mom’s famous potato salad.  She hung up photos she printed of amusement parks. But the best part was we had a good family get together.

I haven’t had much to write about lately. Or maybe it’s that what I do have to say I put on Facebook.

My sister Debi, who my mother lived with, is having her annual family Christmas dinner. Debi always has a theme dinner and keeps it a surprise from her guests. For example last year it was Mexican and the year before seafood. She sent us individual emails telling us what to bring so we couldn’t  “put 2 & 2 together”. My daughter is bringing my Mom’s chili and I was told to bring some type of green salad. She told us all that we needed to dress in ugly Christmas wear or beachwear.

I am guessing since my mom loved the beach and LOVED Christmas that the theme and the menu has something to do with her. This will be our first Christmas without her. It will tough but we will have our memories to share.

I will take my camera and Flip video to record our day.

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What does the Fourth of July mean to you?

As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country. But we need to remember the 4th of July, Independence Day means a lot more to our nation. Read below what it meant to the young American nation back in 1776.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

“For the Fallen”

They shall grow not old

As we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them

Nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun.

And in the morning

We shall remember them.

By: Laurence Binyon


Isla Mujeres holiday 12/29 – 1/15

This was a very different vacation for me. We took two trips to Cancun to get stuff for the apartment and the weather pretty much sucked most of the time. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to sit on the beach and soak up the sun. I can do that for 8 hours a day, day after day. Well not so this trip. I can count on one hand the number of really good beach days over the last  16 days that I spent on the island. Even some days when the sky was blue the wind was too fierce to go to the beach. 

For the Isleanos there was  hope that this holiday would be the high, high season to make up some for the previous really slow months. I have spent the holidays on Isla for the last six years and have never had this kind of cold weather long-term or seen it so quiet. 

There  have been very few daytrippers coming over from Cancun the last several days. Golf carts and motos are sitting unrented, restaurants and bars are suffering from lack of business, especially those along the waterfront on Medina. 
I leave tomorrow as the next cold front moves in. For a lot of visitors this is their once a year trip to Isla and they won’t be back until next year. Unfortunately some may write off Isla and not return at all after their experience. I will be back maybe as soon as March and then a couple more time this year. I am one of the lucky ones. 

Updated 1/15: 

True story… I shared a van to the airport with a couple who stayed at Privilege Aluxes. This was their first trip to Isla. They said they enjoyed themselves and did not have a bad meal or poor service anywhere. They asked me a lot of questions about Isla. When I asked them if they would return to Isla they said probably not since they didn’t feel the whole island vibe because the weather was so cold. They “didn’t get” the island so I didn’t try to persuade them otherwise to return.

Things I did that I don’t usually do: 

  • Wear long pants out to dinner
  • Wear a long sleeve sweatshirt out to dinner and during the day while driving around in the golf cart
  • Shop in Cancun and the hated Walmart twice, Telebodego and Chedarui
  • Eat breakfast in several mornings. I usually love to go eat breakfast out but I cooked eggs and bacon and had toast or bagels several mornings

Things I didn’t do that I usually do: 

  • Spend every day at the beach
  • Spend a day or two at Villa Vera enjoying the pool
  • Eat dinner out every night. We ate home cooked meals and leftovers several nights

This was sunset yesterday 1/13. It was gorgeous.

Merry Christmas 2009

Your’e never too old for Christmas, right?

My mother may be 80 but she loves stuffed animals especially those that make noise and move. She has most of her Christmas stuffed animals on display in her bedroom suite. These photos are of just some of the decorations and stuffed animals in her bedroom. She has more on display in the hallway outside her bedroom.

You are never too old for Christmas, right?

Clackamas Fire District #1 – Operation Santa Claus

I am heading out to shop for food and toys to donate when the Santa Parade comes by my house this evening. 

“The sleigh bells from Operation Santa Claus have been ringing for the citizens of Clackamas Fire District #1 since 1974.

Firefighters recognized the need to provide toys and food baskets to families and individuals that were less fortunate, and not likely to experience the joys of the holiday season. Hence, Operation Santa Claus was formed.

Operation Santa Claus Is 100% Funded By Donations From Members Of The Community

During this month-long holiday toy and food drive, fire district volunteers and employees lead Santa’s fire engine parade down neighborhood streets to collect toys and non-perishable food items, which are used to fill hundreds of food baskets for needy families. Donated new toys bring a little extra Christmas cheer to children. Donated funds are used to purchase perishable items for food baskets, and help to cover miscellaneous expenses.”