"...The top 10 percent of earners pay nearly 70 percent of all income taxes, according to the I.R.S. People in the richest 1 percent pay 31 percent of their income to the federal government while the average worker pays less than 14 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office." - from "The New York Times"
Results tagged “History” from Mrs. Happy Housewife
Today is Flag Day, the date which honors the adoption of the "Stars and Stripes" as our nation's flag.
"Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."
- Continental Congress
June 14, 1777
You might also enjoy some Flag Day crafts and activities.
Don't forget to read this article about President Obama's Flag Day proclamation. As has been customary through the years, this entire week has been declared National Flag Week. In his proclamation, Obama urges Americans to fly Old Glory and publicly pledge allegiance to the flag, from today until Independence Day, as a celebration of our national heritage. A very good idea and one that was put forth by another recent President.
The Triumphal Entry1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them."
4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
5 " Tell the daughter of Zion,
' Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.'"
6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. 8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
" Hosanna to the Son of David!
' Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!'
Hosanna in the highest!"
10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, "Who is this?"
11 So the multitudes said, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee."
My recent entryway project inspired a 5-minute makeover over on my desktop, which faces the Jane Austen mirror.
I moved things around.
I also changed the cardstock behind my token collection from white to light blue.
This is one of my favorite collections around the house. Each transit token and the Hobo nickel were purchased about 15 years ago at a flea market. The Ts are for Tampa, Florida. The R and S are for Rochester, New York.
Transit tokens and Hobo nickels, categorized as Exonumia, are an interesting and unique art form. I wonder why more people are not collecting them. I've always collected coins, mostly foreign, and my little collection seen here is just another facet of my interest in the beauty of circular bits of metal.
I think my bluebird looks quite fetching next to the token collection.
Prior to the unfortunate theft and vandalization of our property, I decided to give the entryway mirror a little makeover.
This mirror was gained at a yard sale - way back in 2006. Can you believe it was free? The seller had broken one of the side mirrors. Each side panel is about 8 1/2 x 11, so the whole thing is rather large. It hung in my son's room for a long time, but he never really used it. Turns out boys aren't as into mirrors as girls are. Go figure.
So, I kind of stole it from him.
But, look, the size and shape is perfect for that entryway wall.
Convinced? Okay, back to the mirror makeover.
I decided to print out a picture of Jane Austen for the left panel. My shamelessly purloined version of Dear Jane is, I believe, the 1879 engraving which was based on Cassandra's drawing.
For the right panel, I chose one of Miss Austen's witty quotations, printing it out with a downloaded Jane Austen font.
"Pictures of Perfection make me Sick and Wicked."
When we return to our normal balmy weather, I think I might use this instead:
"What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance."
The portrait and quotation are printed on turquoise paper and I have placed three turquoise glass votives from Big Lots betwixt the two panels.
So, what do you think? Would Dear Jane approve?
Fess Parker, who played Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, and the father in "Old Yeller" has passed away. We knew him best as Davy Crockett in the vintage Disney series, which is reputed to be the first miniseries in the history of television.
In honor of Mr. Parker, here's "The Ballad of Davy Crockett"
Greenest state in the Land of the Free
Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree
Kilt him a b'ar when he was only three.
Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier!
In eighteen thirteen the Creeks uprose
Addin' redskin arrows to the country's woes
Now, Injun fightin' is somethin' he knows
So he shoulders his rifle an' off he goes.
Davy, Davy Crockett, The man who don't know fear!
Off through the woods he's a marchin' along
Makin' up yarns an' a singin' a song
Itchin' for fightin' and rightin' a wrong
He's ringy as a b'ar and twice as strong.
Davy, Davy Crockett, The buckskin buccaneer!
Andy Jackson is our general's name
His reg'lar soldiers we'll put to shame
Them redskin varmints us volunteers'll tame
'Cause we got the guns with the sure-fire aim.
Davy, Davy Crockett, The champion of us all!
Headed back to war from the ol' home place
But Red Stick was leadin' a merry chase
Fightin' and burnin' at a devil's pace
South to the swamps on the Florida Trace.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Trackin' the redskins down!
Fought single-handed through the Injun War
Till the Creeks was whipped an' peace was in store
And while he was handlin' this risky chore
Made hisself a legend for evermore.
Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier!
He give his word and he give his hand
That his Injun friends could keep their land
And the rest of his life he took the stand
That justice was due every redskin band.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Holdin' his promise dear!
Home fer the winter with his family,
Happy as squirrels in the ol' gum tree,
Bein' the father he wanted to be,
Close to his boys as the pod and the pea.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Holdin' his young 'uns dear!
But the ice went out and the warm winds came
And the meltin' snow showed tracks of game
And the flowers of Spring filled the woods with flame
And all of a sudden life got too tame.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Headin' on West again!
Off through the woods we're ridin' along
Makin' up yarns and singin' a song
He's ringy as a b'ar and twice as strong
And knows he's right 'cause he ain't often wrong.
Davy, Davy Crockett, The man who don't know fear!
Lookin' fer a place where the air smells clean
Where the trees is tall and the grass is green
Where the fish is fat in an untouched stream
And the teamin' woods is a hunter's dream.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Lookin' fer Paradise!
Now he'd lost his love an his grief was gall
In his heart he wanted to leave it all
And lose himself in the forests tall
But he answered instead his country's call.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Beginnin' his campaign!
Needin' his help they didn't vote blind
They put in Davy 'cause he was their kind
Sent up to Nashville the best they could find
A fightin' Spirit and a thinkin' mind.
Davy, Davy Crockett, The man who don't know fear!
The votes were counted and he won hands down
So they sent him off to Washin'ton town
With his best dress suit still his buckskins brown
A livin' legend of growin' reknown.
Davy, Davy Crockett, The Canebrake Congressman!
He went off to Congress and served a spell
Fixin' up the Gover'ment and laws as well
Took over Washin'ton so we heared tell
And patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Seein' his duty clear!
Him and his jokes travelled all through the land
And his speeches made him friends to beat the band
His politickin' was their favorite brand
And everyone wanted to shake his hand.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Helpin' his legend grow!
He knew when he spoke he sounded the knell
Of his hopes for White House and fame as well
But he spoke out strong so hist'ry books tell
And patched up the crack In the liberty Bell.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Seein' his duty clear!
When he come home his politickin' done
The western march had just begun
So he packed his gear and his trusty gun
And lit out grinnin' to follow the sun.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Leadin' the pioneer!
He heard of Houston and Austin and so
To the Texas plains he jest had to go
Where freedom was fightin' another foe
And they needed him at the Alamo.
Davy, Davy Crockett, The man who don't know fear!
His land is biggest and his land is best
From grassy plains to the mountain crest
He's ahead of us all meetin' the test
Followin' his legend into the West.
Davy Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier!
Have you received your 2010 Census Form? Be sure to fill it out and send it back. Census records have always been an important part of genealogy and I want my descendents to be able to look me up in 72 years.
At my house, we have 2 White Puerto Rican guys, 1 White Puerto Rican girl, and 1 plain ol' White girl. In truth, we're a bunch of ethnic mutts here at my house - something we're proud of but something the census, unfortunately, does not capture.
So, here's my Census 2010 addendum:
1 male Spanish/French/Basque/African or Puerto Rican Indian
1 female Irish/Scottish/English/German?/American Indian
married with a boy and a girl
The census asks what color our skin is but I think the bigger question is whether America is a melting pot or salad bowl. I was taught by a teacher in high school that we are a salad bowl, but I am sure now that America is a melting pot. Why else would my little Puerto Ricans eat Colcannon on St. Patrick's Day?
Because it is the 200th birthday of Frederic Chopin, a free album of his music is available for download from Amazon.
Free - I like the sound of that. And isn't that cast of Chopin's hand really creepy? But not near as creepy as what happened to Chopin's heart. Click on his name to find out what it was.
Don't forget that today begins Extreme Shakespeare.
I also wanted to mention this post regarding Vincent van Gogh and his love of the Bard. Thanks to the internet we can read Van Gogh's letters and we find that he was very pleased to own his own book of Shakespeare and reread it often.
Not too long before his death, Van Gogh writes that he read this passage from Henry VIII (Act III, scene ii):
'And when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of, say I taught thee;
Appropriate for Shakespeare...and Van Gogh, don't you think?
But Washington's Birthday isn't celebrated on George Washington's actual birthday. We celebrate it every third Monday in February to give many Americans a three-day weekend. Washington was really born on February 22, 1732 - according to the Gregorian calendar. We use the Gregorian calendar now, but when the stork brought baby George to Augustine and Mary Washington the world was using the Julian calendar. Thus, George was really, truly born on February 11, 1731. Confused? I think I am. This Slate article attempts to clear up things.
Poor George! His birthday keeps moving around the calendar and he has to share his special day with a gaggle of other guys - most of whom he never knew and probably wouldn't like.
Speaking of George Washington, we had so much fun visiting his house, Mount Vernon, during our DC vacation last spring. I think it is one of the best homeschool field trips we've taken. Few things compare to touching a tree planted by George Washington.
Since today is the 170th anniversary of Queen Victoria's marriage to Prince Albert, I thought I would mention that The Young Victoria is a great movie and up for three Oscars this year. Although not completely accurate, the movie does show the turmoil Victoria lived under right before and right after becoming queen. It also shows how much Victoria and Albert loved each other, despite their's really being a political match. Last Sunday, my local PBS aired a one-hour documentary on Queen Victoria's early life. I wish I could link to it; it was very helpful in understanding the movie. If you can't view the documentary, then I recommend you read up on Victoria's childhood and early marriage. Knowing some background information will make watching The Young Victoria even more enjoyable.
For a well-done review of the movie, check out Laura's Miscellaneous Musings.
By the way, you can currently view an exhibition at Buckingham Palace related to Victoria and Albert's love of art. Some of the items are shown online, including Victoria's wedding brooch and the portrait she gave her new groom.
As we study the Medieval Age this term, D is reading and discussing with me Thomas Cahill's "How the Irish Saved Civilization". Yesterday, she came upon a very interesting quotation from mystery and fantasy author and Christian apologist G. K. Chesterton:
For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.
Isn't that so accurate? I have yet to meet an Irishman who didn't love a good fight, a melancholy song,..and a strong drink. I think many would agree with Chesterton.
Chesterton explains the ballad in his Prefatory Note:
This ballad needs no historical notes, for the simple reason that it does not profess to be historical. All of it that is not frankly fictitious, as in any prose romance about the past, is meant to emphasize tradition rather than history. King Alfred is not a legend in the sense that King Arthur may be a legend; that is, in the sense that he may possibly be a lie. But King Alfred is a legend in this broader and more human sense, that the legends are the most important things about him.
The cult of Alfred was a popular cult, from the darkness of the ninth century to the deepening twilight of the twentieth. It is wholly as a popular legend that I deal with him here. I write as one ignorant of everything, except that I have found the legend of a King of Wessex still alive in the land. I will give three curt cases of what I mean. A tradition connects the ultimate victory of Alfred with the valley in Berkshire called the Vale of the White Horse. I have seen doubts of the tradition, which may be valid doubts. I do not know when or where the story started; it is enough that it started somewhere and ended with me; for I only seek to write upon a hearsay, as the old balladists did. For the second case, there is a popular tale that Alfred played the harp and sang in the Danish camp; I select it because it is a popular tale, at whatever time it arose. For the third case, there is a popular tale that Alfred came in contact with a woman and cakes; I select it because it is a popular tale, because it is a vulgar one. It has been disputed by grave historians, who were, I think, a little too grave to be good judges of it. The two chief charges against the story are that it was first recorded long after Alfred¹s death, and that (as Mr. Oman urges) Alfred never really wandered all alone without any thanes or soldiers. Both these objections might possibly be met. It has taken us nearly as long to learn the whole truth about Byron, and perhaps longer to learn the whole truth about Pepys, than elapsed between Alfred and the first writing of such tales. And as for the other objection, do the historians really think that Alfred after Wilton, or Napoleon after Leipsic, never walked about in a wood by himself for the matter of an hour or two? Ten minutes might be made sufficient for the essence of the story. But I am not concerned to prove the truth of these popular traditions. It is enough for me to maintain two things: that they are popular traditions; and that without these popular traditions we should have bothered about Alfred about as much as we bother about Eadwig.
One other consideration needs a note. Alfred has come down to us in the best way (that is, by national legends) solely for the same reason as Arthur and Roland and the other giants of that darkness, because he fought for the Christian civilization against the heathen nihilism. But since this work was really done by generation after generation, by the Romans before they withdrew, and by the Britons while they remained, I have summarised this first crusade in a triple symbol, and given to a fictitious Roman, Celt, and Saxon, a part in the glory of Ethandune. I fancy that in fact Alfred¹s Wessex was of very mixed bloods; but in any case, it is the chief value of legend to mix up the centuries while preserving the sentiment; to see all ages in a sort of splendid foreshortening. That is the use of tradition: it telescopes history.
An aerial view of the 374 foot White Horse.
It is an amazing Bronze Age landmark that was, sadly, unbeknownst to me.
Just another discovery made on a homeschooling rabbit trail.
I only started learning about the lives of the Saints a few years ago. Many Protestants (and Christians, in general) know too little of the history of our faith and reading about the Saints has taught me a lot. I have many favorites, but here are a few I've learned from:
Patrick - Kidnapped and sold as a slave, this Romano-Britain escaped to freedom and became a priest. Returning to the land of his enslavement, he faced danger at every turn in his quest to bring Christianity to Ireland - and act which would later allow for the preservation of learning in the Irish monasteries during the destructive Dark Ages.
Returning evil with good and suffering with mercy is never easy but can lead to amazing events we can never anticipate or imagine.
Columba - This hot-tempered prince and priest of Ireland started a dispute over possession of a book and caused the deaths of many men. His punishment was exile and Columba chose to go to Scotland. There he brought Christianity to the Picts and transformed pagan Scotland forever.
Our darkest transgressions sometimes lead to our greatest works and even an angry sinner can become the "Dove of Christ".
Margaret of Scotland - This Anglo-Saxon princess loved and married the king of Scotland and devotedly raised eight children. She trained her children to follow Christ and encouraged learning and Christanity in Scotland. Her dedication to the poor made her beloved by the Scots. Many of her children and descendents were also Saints.
A caring, teaching mother is a missionary whose dedication is rewarded, generation upon generation.
In our desire to serve God, I think we all can learn much from those who have gone before us.
Tuesday, November 3 - Martin de Porres (first black saint of the Americas)
Thursday, November 5 - Saint Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist) & Guy Fawkes Night
Monday, November 9 - World Freedom Day (fall of Communism and the Berlin Wall)
Tuesday, November 10 - Pope Leo the Great (met with Attila the Hun to prevent the invasion of Italy) & Birthday of the USMC
Wednesday, November 11 - Veterans Day & Martin of Tours (4th Century Roman soldier)
Friday, November 13 - Frances Xavier Cabrini (missionary & 1st American canonized)
Sunday, November 15 - Albertus Magnus (14th century bishop and scientist)
Monday, November 16 - Margaret of Scotland (Anglo-Saxon wife of Malcolm III of "Macbeth" fame)
Tuesday, November 17 - Elizabeth of Hungary (princess) & the Leonids
Thursday, November 19 - Discovery of Puerto Rico (the second voyage of Columbus in 1493)
Sunday, November 22 - Saint Cecilia (martyr in 2nd Century Rome)
Monday, November 23 - Saint Columban (Irish abbot & missionary to Italy; remembered in Ireland on November 24)
Tuesday, November 24 - The Vietnamese Martyrs
Wednesday, November 25 - Catherine of Alexandria (3rd Century martyr)
Thursday, November 26 - Thanksgiving
Sunday, November 29 - First Sunday of Advent (beginning of liturgical year)
Monday, November 30 - Saint Andrew (apostle; national holiday of Scotland) & end of the hurricane season
Friday, October 2 - Sukkot (beginning at sunset & lasting 'til October 9 nightfall)
Sunday, October 4 - St. Francis of Assisi (founder of the Franciscans)
Friday, October 9 - Leif Erikson Day (Norse discoverer of North America)
Sunday, October 11 - General Pulaski Memorial Day (hero of the American Revolution)
Monday, October 12 - Columbus Day (observed)
Saturday, October 17 - Ignatius of Antioch (disciple of the Apostle John)
Sunday, October 18 - St. Luke the Evangelist (wrote The Gospel of Luke & Acts of the Apostles)
Monday, October 19 - Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brebeuf, & the North American Martyrs
Wednesday, October 21 - Trafalgar Day (Admiral Nelson defeated the French & Spanish fleets)
Friday, October 23 - John of Capistrano (namesake of a California mission; fought in the Crusades)
Sunday, October 25 - Crispin & Crispian ( Also, Battle of Agincourt & the Charge of the Light Brigade)
Monday, October 26 - Alfred the Great (the only English king called "great")
Wednesday, October 28 - Sts. Simon & Jude (apostles)
Saturday, October 31 - Reformation Day (Martin Luther started the Reformation)
I love toy soldiers and I suspect she only made these for me. They hang out with me in the kitchen - along with our other clothespin dolls: St. Patrick, Margaret of Scotland, and Martin of Tours.
Monica had a hard lot. Her pagan husband was a cheating, abusive drunk; her son, Augustine, was a heretic and had a mistress and an out-of-wedlock child. Monica kept praying, though. Her husband eventually repented and became a Christian, but still she was greatly troubled by Augustine's sinful behavior. She tried to tag along with her son on a long trip; he made sure to leave early and avoid her. Out of desperation, Monica tried banning Augustine from her house - then relented. Despite everything, a bishop told her not to worry: "It is impossible that a son of so many tears should be lost." The bishop was correct and that wayward rogue of a son became a bishop and one of the four Doctors of the Western Church, famous for his writings, including Confessions and City of God. Augustine is also considered one of the forefathers of the Reformation.
"The day on which she was to die came closer and closer. It was a day unknown to us, but You were fully aware of it. I firmly believe that in Your inscrutable ways You had arranged that she and I were alone at the window and looking out into the inner garden of that house on the Tiber at Ostia. Away from the crowds, we had retired there after a long and tiresome journey to renew our strength for the ocean voyage.
"It was a sweet and pleasant talk we had together in the peaceful and quiet retreat, our thoughts straining forward to what is before, forgetting what is behind (Phil. 3:13). In Your presence, You who are Truth Itself, we would ask each other how wonderful the heavenly life of Your saints must be, a life that no earthly eye has as yet seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man (1 Cor. 2:9). We noted that the fleshly pleasures of sense, even when most intense or presented in the most alluring light, cannot be compared to the joys of eternal life, in fact, should not even be mentioned in the same breath."
Oil on canvas, 1855
57 x 43 1/4 inches (145 x 110 cm)
Musée du Louvre, Paris
The death of St. Monica from St. Augustine's Confessions
The Death of Saint Monica
Saint Monica from Lives of Saints
Saint Monica coloring sheet
Lest you think we're all costumes all the time, here is D in her new olive green sundress:
First of all, Niall lived in the fourth century - quite a while ago. Second, as many as a tenth of all Irish are believed to be descended from Niall. For all I know, I could be related to Gates and Crowley.
Do journalists have nothing better to do than consult lineages and remark upon ancient ancestors which have no bearing whatsoever on the case at hand? Good grief, ya'll. Get out there and write some real news.
Meanwhile, I'll not be spending any family reunion time with Gates. He gets a fail just for this:
Almost two decades back, the literary scholar compared the lyrics of the rap group 2 Live Crew to those of the Bard of Avon. "It's like Shakespeare's 'My love is like a red, red rose,' " he declared authoritatively to a court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.I think Robert Burns and William Shakespeare are both rolling in their graves.