Saturday, November 1, 2008

UPDATE: La Jolla Daycation!

This post marks (excuse the pun, fellow employees) the launching of the new SHILOH RANCH RATING SYSTEM ... and quite possibly the pre-inauguration (is there such a thing? There is now!) of a unique sort of "Travel Blog." OK, here goes the "trial edition!"

We invite and welcome YOUR comments and would especially relish hearing how YOU rate these places!

The Shiloh Ranch Rating System is comparable to "thumbs up/thumbs-down." In keeping with our site's Ranch theme, thumbs have been replaced with "bullets" (for now, horseshoes later.) Ratings scale: 1-5 bullets.

Peradventure (is that not a great O.T. word?) Ahem, as I was saying: Peradventure any of you Ranch Readers contemplate visiting one of the spots where we have day- or vay-cationed; you can now do a quick search by location or subject.

On to the post:
Last July (2008), I was blessed with a whole day off to spend with one of my 13-year-old grandsons. SP and I ventured over the hills and through the woods to the COOL SoCal coast. A nice respite from the scorching heat of our desert!

Our first stop
UPDATE! California Surf Museum/Oceanside - Rating withheld until moved to new Location
Since our visit, CSM has updated their website. Their is much more good information. Well worth checking it out for anyone into Surf History! The museum has been very busy and evidently the place we saw was just a temporary location. It was indeed a worthy work in progress, thank goodness! After the move to their new quarters, we will re-visit and report.
Worth a look-see, if in the area - disappointing as a destination. This tiny museum houses some very cool vintage plank boards and a few vintage long boards.Regrettably, it has a fair way to go with design, display and memorabilia. Too much expensive/generic surf-themed/tourist-junk made in China; not enough locally handcrafted surf goodies. Would like to see a more traditional representation of the SoCal surf culture. Hopefully, it is a work in progress. Easy access, educational, free!

Across the street
Longboarder Cafe/Oceanside - 4 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤•

Highly recommended, GOOD food, BIG portions reasonable prices, easy access and kid-friendly. Service, mmm... "relaxed. "Gargantuan breakfast! YUM!!! Interesting/fun sayings painted on walls, GREAT surf decor!

Unexpected Treasure
The Vintage Sanctuary/Oceanside 5 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤¤

A must-visit when in the area (unless you have serious claustrophobia)! Cozy, friendly atmosphere, CRAMMED with vintage goodies!! It's ALL there and at reasonable prices! This TINY little store has a HUGE inventory of vintage everything! LOTS of ultra-cool clothing, accessories and fun stuff from the 40s to the 80s! The owner obviously loves the Beatles and proudly still flies hippie banners and buttons! Peace, Love, No War! It is indeed a sanctuary in time!

SP and I arrived in La Jolla too late for kayaking the caves along the coast, as was our plan (Plan A.) NOTE: Reserve that adventure for a next summer!

Plan B:
Casa/Children's Pool Beach/La Jolla - 4 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤•
This location is a 5 bullet adventure, WHEN the seals are allowed their natural space!!!!

Kid-friendly, only access to beach is by stairs, easy access to benches above for observing the seals, educational, free!
The tide was low enough to explore one of the sea-caves by foot. VERY cool, neat acoustics, old inscriptions, hot pink and lime green colored moss, waves lapping at both entrances. Tunnels carved further back into the rock by the tides. Seaweed and sand covers the cave floor. Good-sized creepy crawly crabs live in the many holes in the rocks.

Local pigeons were curious about us; a few even flew into the cave to get a closer look. There was also an abundance of brown pelicans, gulls and other sea birds.

Harbor seals offshore kept bobbing up and down waiting, and waiting, for the noisy/pestering tourists to leave or step aside so they could come ashore and bask in the warm sun. They need to re-energize and balance out their body temperatures periodically. But alas, that did NOT happen until almost dark! Poor things were exhausted! Man can be so self-centered and inhumane!

In the evening local seal protection groups showed up to "police" the area and remind visitors that it is a violation of Federal Law to harass the seals. A watchdog group stays the night in shifts to watch over them - the Sea Shepherds. What a blessing that God has put it on the hearts of these people to be diligent in "standing in the gap" for these creatures of His.

For years the seals have had, at the least, a third of the beach roped off for them. Casa Beach is designated an official breeding site (rookery). One of only two along our Pacific coastline! People come to La Jolla, from all over the world, to watch and study these seals in their natural habitat.
La Jolla rookery during pupping season.

The Grandson and I were shocked how totally thoughtless some people were. Some would actually run at the seals and scare them back into the cold night water. Some were vehemently nasty and agressive about their anti-seal opinions. Scary, seals are SO beautiful, gentle and harmless; but many of their enemies are NOT!
Recently some "genius" has filed a lawsuit and succeeded in getting the rope taken down and plans set to dredge the beach to rid it of the seals!

PLEASE LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD, concerning this beach and perhaps a safe-haven in YOUR part of the world! YOUR LETTERS AND E-MAILS REALLY DO COUNT!

The sun set and we drove up into town (a nice walk also.) La Jolla is a beautiful town to walk around, day or evening!

: Hard Rock Cafe La Jolla - HRC Locator
No rating - Now Permanently Closed

The swan-song supper: Once a dazzling seaside HRC, it was disappointingly quiet and sparse of memorabilia on this day. The grandson even dubbed it the "SOFT Rock Cafe!" Much of their inventory had been moved after recent storm damage ... little did we know that the HRCLJ doors would be shut PERMANENTLY within two months! Bummer! We shared a slab of yummy baby-back ribs, good conversation and camaraderie! Looking back, we were incredibly blessed to eat there one last time! We are also glad to have taken some farewell pictures.
Shown above and below: before :) and after :(

Directly upstairs for dessert:
Cold Stone Creamery/La Jolla 3 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤••
Ever been? A very unique ice cream experience. And very good ice cream! Yu-ummm! You choose your own mix of ice cream flavors and toppings. Their freshly-made ice cream is "mixed" on chilled slabs of marble. Oh yeah! Kids of all ages LOVE it! I found this particular location to be very small and rather impersonal. Try one in YOUR area! Definitely kid-friendly, fast service, moderately priced.

A short walk up the block (north): we spotted an inviting art gallery that drew us right in to look around: Thomas D. Mangelsen's IMAGES OF NATURE Gallery/LaJolla 5 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤¤

A most WONDERFUL experience! This nationally acclaimed photographer has 15 galleries across the country! The bright, airy, friendly atmosphere beckons you to come back again and again. 'Images of Nature' showcases the largest display of beautiful, clear, sharp, colorful photographs of wildlife in their natural habitats that I have ever seen! This very gifted photographer captures God's creatures in the most beautiful, unlikely, lovely, humorous, and touching poses! If you don't have a gallery near you, check out his website and order a catalog. Mannered children-friendly, educational, easy access, low to moderate and up prices (something for everyone!)

Then back over the hills we went. Some construction on the Ortega Highway, but a beautiful drive, as usual
Our final stop-over: DeJong's Cash and Carry Dairy/Wildomar - 4 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤•
Located just south of Lake Elsinore,. This is the last family-dairy in the area. The milk is FRESH and delicious; PLUS there is a little petting zoo of farm animals! What a delight! A wonderful glimpse into the Valley's rich rural heritage. A GREAT place to take visitors from out of town. The dairy produces milk without growth hormones and the herd is reportedly 100% from their own breeding stock. Their chocolate milk is particularly yummy!. They also sell fresh eggs, hay, feed and grain. Definitely kid-friendly and educational, easy access, prices low to moderate.

WHEW! As I read over this blog, I realize just what a HUGE blessing God gave us to spend quality time in this many special places in just ONE day!!!

I hope you enjoyed coming along on and sharing the sights. Getting away from our routine lives, even for ONE day, is fun and so refreshing! Sharing that special time with your loved ones is absolutely priceless!

....... Happy Trails .......

Thursday, October 16, 2008

UPDATE: Human Slavery-Children for Sale

When my eyes were first opened to the current conditions of Human Slavery, I posted about it here. Then, just last night, I watched another horrifying report on the child sex trade in Cambodia, on Dateline NBC. It was, at once, tragic and sickening, yet in the end hopeful!

Girls as young as 8 years old, perhaps younger, are being sold into brothels all over the world, en masse, often times by their own parents! Some are orphans, and some are kidnapped to be sold. These babies so matter-off-factly take care of business, that it is chilling. In fact, they were terrified to leave, once rescued! The despicable pimps, madams, and customers are now finally being jailed long term!!! As they should be here, as well!!! WOE be to them!

One wonders ... how many millstones will the LORD need for these subhuman cold-hearted greed-beasts??!! If you have the gumption ... brave up to check out Dateline NBC's report and video.

A couple of Americans had
filmed the raids on these brothels which they instigated and insisted on, until the police finally listened. The original reporter, Chris Hansen, revisited 4 of the girls who are now in their early-mid teens. They have had intensive care, education and counseling. What an awesome blessing! One wants to be a doctor, another a dance teacher, and one a CEO of a corporation!

Here is a the site for the center that helps to rehabilitate these kids. Please check it out, also the 'Who We Are' icon.** This is an example of what the "power of one (family)" can do, with the Power of One directing them.

Nothing will change until, one-at-a-time, we do!

Sorry, for the soapbox again so soon. You see, this is why I don't dare to read the paper! There is SO much injustice in the world. Our Nation conveniently (and shamefully) looks away from these human rights violations and continues to trade with these countries and give them money.

We consumers, citizens, voters, and Christians just let them! To top that, we buy clothes and goods from those countries, without even blinking! It gets me all riled up - however, I think that it is time that we do get riled up, enough to DO something! We MUST pray fervently ... EVERY day, morning, evening and in-between for the LORD to complete His work and to have free course in this Nation and all over the world.

Thanks to God's Word, we KNOW that one day soon Jesus WILL come back and set everything right!! If Obama gets voted in, I believe we will be on the "fast-track" to our heavenly homes. Buckle up Christians! Listen for that heavenly 'shofar!'

God created us to stand; to stand up and out, boldly, firmly, confidently and tenaciously. Even if we are alone: if we are RIGHT, according to God - we MUST stand and let our voice be heard! We have heard that the ground at the foot of the cross is even; our sin of complacency makes us, surely, as guilty as these slavers and partakers of evil.

Forgive me, dear readers. The inhumanity of man toward man is just blowing me away again. Not that this is new; I should surely realize that, since I a just studied Exodus and am now in Genesis, but it is still not any more acceptable!

Surely the "shaking" IS going on again NOW, however, as my dear bloggy friend Gateway pointed out. Stand fast, my friends!

"It is not about what we have, but what we do with what we have."
~unknown to me, Kathy Duplantis, perhaps?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Vaya Con Dios Chevelle!

First Day on the Ranch

For Chevelle's (the boxer) touching story come on over to our newest site:

Cayuses, Coyotes and Critters

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dawning of My New Blog

I just launched a new blog today, please come over and visit:

PS: The Exodus 17 post, on this blog, was not-quite-ready-for-prime-time! I accidentally hit an unknown button that published the beginning of my draft!

Loved your response S4J, thank you!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Human Slavery TODAY!

The faces of our shame-
trafficking in persons!

I wrote this about 2 weeks ago and can't get it out of my head:

I just watched a very disturbing report on network TV. There are more slaves now on the face of the earth than ever before in human history!!! Horrendous! Outrageous!!!

27 million of them!!!!!

Haiti is one of the worst!!!! An ABC reporter made a deal to buy a 10 or 11 year old girl for just $150.00! It took him less than 10 hours after leaving L.A. to make this "deal!" Haiti is so poor a country that parents often give their kids away to be slaves!!!!

WHY is this world allowing this travesty to continue and proliferate right under our noses??!! Do we just shove it aside, like other unpleasantries that offend our sensibilities???!!! After all, most ARE women and children!

WHY are so many people still focusing on the slaveries of past generations when right now, TODAY, it is happening to others???!!!

AND it is happening right in our own backyards, cities and communities, as well as other countries!!! We see a story every once-in-awhile on the news and think, 'How terrible, to think that could happen here!' Well it does happen here and we need to be aware! It is so easy to shut our eyes and ears and "mind our own business." We must hear the cries of the captives!

Until our LORD intervenes, we MUST intercede for these poor victims, who have NO voice! In prayer to God and also with calls, letters, e-mails, contributions ... and/or WHATever way we can help!

My heart cries out!!!!

I keep "hearing" the LORD demanding of Pharaoh, through Moses, "Let My people GO ... !" He demanded 7 times!!! Exodus 5:1, 7:16, 8:1, 8:20, 9:1, 9:13, 10:3

WHAT will it take for us??? The Egyptians never spoke up and Pharaoh's servants did not until just before the last plague! It was too late then to stop the suffering.

I am feeling a great urgency that we MUST, as Christians, STAND and stretch out our hands toward heaven!

I challenge every person who reads Shiloh Ranch Ramblings to:
  1. Pray: Intreat our LORD faithfully for the freedom of His people who are forced into bondage.
  3. Act: Pick one group in to support in some way. Whether it be your local area, your country, or a particular place or group that the Lord has laid heavily on your heart!
I have just begun to research this issue and I am already overwhelmed at the amount of information out there and the number of groups that are working to help stop the trafficking of human beings!

Here are a few places to get you started:
"Trafficking of humans is estimated to be the second-largest criminal industry in the world after drug dealing, and is the fastest growing." Arizona Republic Editorial - April 21, 2004

Won't you join me in making others aware of the scope of modern-day slavery atrocities in our "civilized" world?

If you are already ahead of me on this, I way covet your input! Especially the most effective ways to impact this problem.
OK, off the soapbox now :) I feel better ... HAD to write this!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Kickin' It at the Museum

My 13 year old grandson, SP, and I shared a rare day together recently.

No, this NOT my grandson with a new "punk" haircut!
This kicked-back guy is a fairly good-sized Iguana from the live animal exhibit at the Riverside Museum. He is a VERY cool and laid-back creature, actually not unlike SP!
Which reminds me: what an HONOR the first Adam had, to name ALL the animals of the earth!! Don't you think it must have been SO fun??? A huge task at any rate!

My barely-teen grandson is almost as tall as me already! It was SO much fun to pal around with him! We are really blessed to have this time now; in a few more years, he may have other things to do, or will have to bring a girl with him or something! YIKES! He really is handsome and brilliant (not just bragging), he has a great sense of humor, I love the way his mind works, and most importantly he loves GOD! He and I made several cool discoveries this day:

1. Dubliner Cheese - Glory be! (as my grandmother used to say). What a taste delight!!!! It is an aged Irish cheese - sort of a cheddar-like texture, with a nutty flavor similar to Swiss and the tang of fresh Parmesan! YUMMMMY is our description!!! We were on a hunt for summer/beach wear at Costco, when a kind lady offered us a sample of this most awesome cheese! We immediately bought a 2 pound brick and headed for the bakery department, which led to our 2nd discovery:

2. Olive-oil and rosemary French bread - A match made in heaven, this AND the Dubliner! Oh my goodness! PLUS we had some big juicy green table grapes to go with! SP carved the cheese, we tore off the fresh bread in hunks and enjoyed our somewhat Medieval feast all the way to our 2nd destination - an appointment with my surgeon. (YUCK)

Good news! My elbow is healing nicely and my range of motion has improved significantly. Thank You, LORD!!! And thanks everyone, for all of YOUR prayers!

Whew, a LONG road, this one! Somewhere down this "merry path," the doc will take the pins, screws and wires out. He has promised to stitch me up as nice as he can, as the staples left a nasty scar (don't look, if you have a weak stomach). Can't wait - actually, yes, I can!!

SP got to see the x-rays of all the cool hardware in my "bionic" arm. I suggested to him that he might like to do what my surgeon does, as "there are lots of power tools involved." *shudder* ... plus he makes about a bazillion dollars a year! The Dr's eyes LIT up and he asked SP if he liked tools. Hesitantly SP answered, "yeah." Doc replied with a smile, "This is easy! You like tools? Really, it's easy!! " YU-UCKK, yeah ... if you don't mind carving on PEOPLE!! LOL

Anyway, SP and I adventured to the historic section of downtown Riverside and our 3rd discovery:

3. Riverside Metropolitan Museum: There were two featured exhibits. The American Grizzly and Quilt Stories - both very interesting! Well, actually the Griz exhibit was a "little" sparse, but there were also lots of interesting historical items and memorabilia from the local area.

OK, this IS my grandson apparently in the grip of a griz cub. Just happened to get a reflection of the California flag in the shot!

There were many examples of how the grizzly has been used in advertisng as a symbol of strength and power! Showcased were some nice griz art, a few books, a bear rug, pictures of bears as circus attractions, and Theodore Roosevelt's first naming of the "Teddy Bear." Teddy Roosevelt actually lodged at the Mission Inn back in "the day."

The intricate indigenous Native American baskets of the Chumash and the Luiseno were a striking contrast to the brightly colored modern Native American quilts: both told stories of their everyday lives!
Luiseno basket-1890s
Collage of Quilts
We saw Community Quilts, that record the stories of entire communities. Among them were quilts from Gee's Bend, Alabama and a film interviewing the elder lady quiltmakers. The U.S.Postal Service commemorated these quilts on stamps in 2007! Most awesome to see them in person! These traditional quilting skills have been handed down from mother to daughter continuously since before the Civil War!

Also on display were Riverside Citrus Heritage Quilts, which depicted stories of the Washington Navel Seedless Orange that was developed in Riverside! The matriarch of that citrus empire had the SAME last name as the maiden-name of my SP's other Grandma! Hmm...will have to research that! I heard that the fam was not related, but SP and I think it could be...worth a little digging.

The Cultural Heritage Quilts were my personal favorites! There were exquisite depictions of the life and traditions of the Navajo and Hopi people. There were also Family Quilts, which were passed down through generations of families.

NOTE: My maternal grandmother was a master-quilter and hand-sewed all three types of quilts beautifully. Unfortunately, her skill was NOT passed down in our family, but her quilts certainly will be. I will put OUR stories on my "blogs to-do" list! :)
Cougars used to roam local hills.
(This poor guy reminded me of your displaced panther, Gateway!)
Being a Natural History-type musuem, there were lots of specimens, animals, insects, birds and really icky stuff in jars...curiosities they call them. These of course, were some of SP's favorites!
Better yet was the live animal exhibit, the Nature Lab! Besides the iguana, there were tarantulas, black widows (like I don't have enough at home!), all sorts of local snakes (minus a rosy boa), lizards, millipedes and other lovely creepy-crawly and flying what-not that are best enjoyed by men and boys!

What stood out the most to me was the immeasurable variety within each and every species that the Lord creates! The beauty, colors, patterns and the delicate/perfect balance that HE created and provided for all His creations to exist, thrive and multiply just blows me away! Each is unique to its own environment, yet all are in perfect balance on this one earth!! Unfathomable to my finite mind! He is SO the God of marvelous detail!

How could anyone see all of this and not believe in GOD ... in a CREATOR??!!! Can anyone really believe that all of this just "happened"???!!! Only those who, like Pharaoh, REFUSE to see, and CHOOSE to harden their hearts! That is SO sad!!! We MUST pray for these lost souls and especially for their families!!!

SP and I had a great time together! We topped the day off with a personal tour of a new state-of-the-art Athletic Club in our neighborhood. Seems the LORD blesses US with favor when we go anywhere too, we got celebrity treatment! Of course, we are children of THE KING! Bless His name!

We ate as much Dubliner, bread and grapes that we could on the way home! Ahhhh yesss... !!!

THANK You Lord, for turning my long drive to the doctor into a fabulous adventure with SP and for the very special memories You gave us!
"O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth,
who have set Your glory above the heavens ...
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
the moon and stars, which you have ordained,
What is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
and You have crowned him with glory and honor ...
Psalm 8:1, 3-5

Friday, June 6, 2008

Awesome Wonderful Special Very Good Day

Elephant Seal Pups
Our Awesome God just NEVER ceases to amaze me! It is oh-so-precious when He just POURS out His grace and His favor on us, for no "apparent" reason, isn't it??!!! Sometimes He makes us SO aware of His Presence that we can almost "taste" His SWEET love for us!! As the song goes, "... when Your eyes are on this child, Your Grace abounds to me ..."

THIS day was one of those VERY special times for my g'daughters & I. Actually, the Lord seems to give the 3 of us EXTRAORDINARY favor almost always, when we adventure out together! Bless His heart. :) My theory is that people see Jesus in us and, even if they're not conscious of it, they are drawn to Him & want to bless Him. It doesn't take even a snippet away from HIS Amazing Grace, that my 8 year old g'daughters are irresistably cute and incredibly intelligent! Braggy but true! :)

Anyway, I had seen a children's show on TV that visited a Seal Rescue Center located within day-trip distance. SO ... we got an early start & took a leisurely drive over the mountains to the ocean. We drove through the Cleveland National Forest, throughout which God blessed us with spectacular views and an amazing array of wild flowers, plants and trees! There were huge succulent flowers growing right out of bare rock walls of the canyon! We passed through very inviting campgrounds and hiking trails and drove right by the Mission of San Juan Capistrano in full Spring bloom! NOTE: we resisted the temptation to stop and reserved those adventures for another time!

We finally found our way to our destination: the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Wow! They had 17 in-house patients that day - all animals that were injured or sick and/or stranded on one of our West Coastline beaches. Some had cuts from fishing nets, many had wounds from BIG fishhooks stuck in their mouth or cheek, most were underweight and there were lots of malnourished pups. Come to find out: this year there are LOTS of 2 year old harbor seal mommies (equivilent to "teen-moms") that are not very good mothers and don't have enough milk. So, unfortunately, a LOT of their little babies are showing up ONshore! It is an expected cyclic occurance, we were told. These pups are BEYOND cute!!!

This incredible group (mostly volunteers) sends Rescue Teams out to pick up these poor guys as soon as they are reported. They doctor, feed and rehabilitate their patients until they are strong enough to release them back into the ocean!

People come from around the globe to study/visit this little haven that is tucked away in the coastal hills of SoCal. However, THIS day we had the place completely to ourselves for several hours!! We were blessed to meet the onsite Veterinarian, who is one of only 22 in the entire nation! He invited us for a personal behind-the-scenes tour with him, which is generally reserved for VIPs! A very unexpected privilege and honor ... I call that FAVOR!!! Bless the Lord!

Then, to top off this incredible visit: as we were about to pull out of the parking lot, a Rescue Team truck came rushing through the gate with a JUST rescued yearling sea lion! We jumped out of our car and hurried over, just in time to watch them pull the big plastic dog kennel off the truck, then weigh and check her in ... it was SO exciting! Heroes-in-action, that you don't ordinarily HEAR of, much less SEE!!! What a major BLESSING! The Rescue Team named this little one Betsy. We are hoping to attend her release in about 3 months! THAT is what it is all about! They say to bring tissues ... that's probably a very good idea!

I could go on all day (or have I already?). You can visit their website and learn a WHOLE lot more about this amazing place and the amazing work they are doing! Check it out:

The weather was absolutely PERFECT for us too! So, we drove down to the shore, stopped at a See's Candy store for a couple of treats (mm mmm MMM!!!), got some lunch, then decided to stop at the beach before we went home. Just look where we "happened" to stop!

A breathtakingly beautiful little cove where you could see right through the incredible blue and jade green water! It is actually a Marine Tidepool Reserve - no wonder it was so pristine! A very welcome change from the average SoCal overcrowded beaches!

What a jewel that we "stumbled" upon! So peaceful, so relaxing, WOW! Our Father gave us such a FULL experience! E-Triple-A indeed!!!

I find that these times of refreshing USUALLY precede an upcoming trial or time of service. All through the Bible the Lord refreshed, strengthened & prepared His people before sending them into battle or into other service. As you may have also noticed in your lives, He clearly STILL does!

The girls returned to school the next day and I unexpectedly got a call to return to work that next day too! Coincidence? I think NOT!!!!

Check back, I tried to upload a video of the ocean, but it wouldn't work tonight. I will keep trying!

What unusual and interesting *day-cation* spots do you have near your home?

*Term borrowed from Becky...thanks!

Friday, May 23, 2008

American Flag - Rich in Meaning

"Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted." ... Jesus Matthew 5:4

May 30 was set aside, before the end of the Civil War, as a day of remembrance for those who have died in our Nation's service; that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We so have made it into a convenient holiday off work to bbq, picnic, play & relax.

A conversation with my Physical Therapist (for my healing broken elbow), who is a Veteran of our Armed Forces, actually inspired this post. As we spoke about the precious meaning of our Nation's flag, I was thinking: "I should blog about that!" (Does this mean I HAVE entered the blogosphere??)

Not meant to be a downer by any means; I am passionately patriotic and I think this is a fitting post in honor of Memorial Day. I pray this information will be a blessing to you, as it was to me!

As a military custom, the flag is lowered daily at the last note of retreat. In the folding, the red and white stripes are finally wrapped into the blue, as the light of day vanishes into the darkness of night. This custom is reserved for the United States Flag alone.

The flag folding ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our country was originally founded. The portion of the flag denoting HONOR is the canton of blue, containing the stars representing the states our Veterans served in uniform.

At the ceremony of retreat the flag is lowered, folded in a triangle fold & kept under watch throughout the night as tribute to our Nation's honored dead.

The next morning it is brought out and, at the ceremony of reveille, run aloft as a symbol of our belief in the RESURRECTION of the body.


You may have noticed that the flag is folded 13 times when it is lowered and when it is handed to the widow at the burial of a Veteran. If you haven't, you will from now on!

HERE is the traditional meaning:

1st fold - a symbol of life.

2nd fold - a symbol of our belief in ETERNAL life.

3rd fold - made in honor & remembrance of the Veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

4th fold - represents our weaker nature. As American citizens trusting in GOD, it is to HIM we turn in times of peace, as well as in time of war, for HIS Divine guidance.

5th fold - a tribute to our country. In the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but she is still our country, right or wrong."

6th fold - for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, UNDER GOD, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

7th fold - a tribute to our Armed Forces. It is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our Republic.

8th fold - a tribute to the ONE Who entered into the "valley of the shadow of death," that we might see the Light of Day!

9th fold - a tribute to womanhood and our mothers. It has been through their faith, love, loyalty & devotion that the character of the men & women who have made this country great has been molded.

10th fold - a tribute to the father. He, too, has GIVEN his sons and daughters FOR the defense of our country since they were first born.

11th fold - represents the lower portion of the seal of King David & King Solomon and glorifies the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen.

12th fold - represents an emblem of eternity & glorifies GOD the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, in the eyes of a Christian citizen.

13th & final fold - When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our Nation's motto, "IN GOD WE TRUST".

After the flag is completely folded & tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat. Which reminds us of the Soldiers who served under General George Washington and the Sailors & Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, followed by their comrades & shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, who are preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms that we enjoy TODAY!

There are some traditions and ways of doing things which have DEEP meaning. Now you know why our flag is folded so precisely.
Share this with the children you love ... and with others who love the symbol of "LIBERTY and FREEDOM."

This Memorial Day weekend, and always, when you see our flag displayed or folded, think about what it represents ... and what it costs!

*** To ALL of our Veterans and their families: a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU for your service to our country and for your sacrifices!!!!