November 5, 2013

Free Lung Cancer Screening for Veterans.

November 1- 11, 2013 Veterans are encouraged to get a lung cancer screening free of charge.

August 6, 2013

My favorite actress Lucille Ball!

Lucille Ball, who starred in “I Love Lucy,” was born on August 6, 1911 and died on August 26, 1989 at the age of 77. Her career peaked in the 1950s with the success of “I Love Lucy” and other sitcoms including “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,” “The Lucy Show,” “Here’s Lucy” and “Life With Lucy,” and she continued making films through the 1960s and 1970s.

Lucille Ball was also the first woman to run a major television studio with Desilu, which she owned with then-husband Desi Arnaz. Ball took over as sole owner in 1962 when she bought out Arnaz’s share of the studio after their 1960 divorce. She married her second husband, standup comedia Gary Morton, in 1961.

She began her film career in the 1930s and became known as “Queen of the B’s” for starring in a number of B-movies. She also began working in radio.

In 1940, Ball met her future husband, bandleader Desi Arnaz while filming the stage hit “Too Many Girls.” The couple eloped in the same year.

In 1948, Ball was cast as a wacky wife in a radio program called “My Favorite Husband” and was asked to develop it for television. Ball agreed but insisted on working with Arnaz. CBS executives were reluctant to hire Arnaz because he was Cuban, so the couple began touring as a vaudeville act to great success. CBS then put “I Love Lucy” on their lineup and the rest was history.

After ending her career in sitcoms, Ball continued to work in film, including starring in the 1968 film “Yours, Mine and Ours” and the 1974 musical film “Mame.” Ball died on April 26, 1989 of an aortic rupture.

June 11, 2013

Vertical Gardening...

Squeeze more vegetables into small spaces with trellises.

When you grow your vining vegetables upward, you use less ground space. This increases your yield per square foot because you can fit more plants into the garden. But saving space is just one reason to grow your plants on trellises. Here are some other advantages to growing up:
  • Monitoring and controlling pests is easier because they're right in front of your face.
  • Harvesting is also easier, as there's no stooping or hunching over.
  • No more waste due to overripe fruits that are hidden under lush growth.
  • Vertical gardens increase accessibility for gardeners with disabilities because they can tend and pick from a chair or garden seat.
So the benefits of trellising are clear. Before you set up a trellis, though, keep in mind these two important points:
  • Situate trellises along the north side of your garden to prevent shading other plants.
  • Anchor your trellises to protect them from the wind and to handle the weight of the plants by sinking trellis posts 24 inches deep.

What can you grow vertically?
Trellis nonbush or indeterminate types, which keep growing and producing fruits until frost. (Determinate varieties are often bushy.) Check out this plan for a sturdy tomato tower.
Grow nonbush varieties on trellises. Bush types don't need trellising; their vines reach only 4 to 6 feet long.
Pole beans, Gourds, Melons.
As a general rule, any variety with fruits smaller than a volleyball can be trellised. Vines will grow strong enough to hold the weight of the fruit, so there's no need to support fruits with individual hammocks.
Squash and pumpkins.
Small-fruited and nonbush types, such as miniature pumpkins, and acorn and buttercup squash, are suitable for trellising. Here are plans for a simple squash trellis.
For more vertical gardening ideas, check out Derek Fell's book, Vertical Gardening.

May 25, 2013

The history of Memorial Day!

On May 5, 1868, began what we now know as Memorial Day observed on the 4th Sunday of May.

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

Local Observances Claim To Be First Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well.

Today, cities in the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. Both Macon and Columbus, Ga., claim the title, as well as Richmond, Va. The village of Boalsburg, Pa., claims it began there two years earlier. A stone in a Carbondale, Ill., cemetery carries the statement that the first Decoration Day ceremony took place there on April 29, 1866. Carbondale was the wartime home of Gen. Logan. Approximately 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, many of them in the South where most of the war dead were buried.

Official Birthplace Declared In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Some States Have Confederate Observances Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April, and Georgia on April 26. North and South Carolina observe it on May 10, Louisiana on June 3 and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day January 19 and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day.

Gen. Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. ... Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.

The origins of special services to honor those who die in war can be found in antiquity. The Athenian leader Pericles offered a tribute to the fallen heroes of the Peloponnesian War over 24 centuries ago that could be applied today to the 1.1 million Americans who have died in the nation’s wars: “Not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men.”

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

May 17, 2013

Month of May Dedicated to Appreciating Servicemembers

On May 1, 2007, Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month.

“Our military has played a major role in the development of our country chronicled through their unbending honor, their dedication to duty and their love of country,” the National Military Appreciation Month Web site states. “Federal, state and local governments and private sector entities are invited to participate in this special month and to encourage everyone to sponsor and participate in programs.” 

The Web site,, encourages citizens to draw attention and express appreciation to military families across the nation by engaging schools, civic organizations and businesses to organize events like visiting veterans hospitals, making trips to military memorials and museums, and decorating with patriotic themes.

The site also features a map of the United States which lists local Military Appreciation Month events in each state. 

The Defense Department is taking part in the month-long celebration with America Supports You, a DoD program highlighting the support of grassroots groups and corporate partners to the armed forces, co-hosting events throughout the nation. 

The program will take part in events like the McDonald’s Air & Sea Show in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; the Joint Services Open House at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.; and Professional Golfers’ Association events across the nation. An America Supports You concert featuring singer Jenny Boyle is slated for May 4 at the Pentagon. NASCAR will unveil an ASY car at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., on May 8. 

The Washington Capitals hockey team have scheduled a Military Appreciation Day at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., for May 11. 

ASY team member Shauna Fleming, founder of A Million Thanks has teamed up with Buick, Pontiac and GMC divisions of General Motors to collect thank you letters from the public for the troops. People can drop off their letters in Shauna’s red, white and blue boxes at GM car dealers across the nation. For more information and to see Shauna’s videos go to

Discovery is producing a series of "Thank You's" for The Military Channel where citizens from all over the country will be "thanking the troops" for all their service to our country. 

The months of May and June host a number of other patriotic commemorations, including Victory in Europe Day, Military Spouse Day, Loyalty Day, Armed Forces Week, Memorial Day, Flag Day and the observance of the Navy and Army birthdays. 

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