Monday, May 26, 2014

Foundings of Memorial Day

There is much speculation on who actually started Memorial day or Decoration Day. However, it officially started on May 5th, 1868 by General John Logan to honor the dead after the Civil War.
It is claimed that African Americans founded Decoration Day at the graveyard of 257 Union soldiers labeled "Martyrs of the Race Course," May 1, 1865, Charleston, South Carolina.

At nine o'clock in the morning on May 1, the procession to this special cemetery began as three thousand black schoolchildren (newly enrolled in freed men's schools) marched around the Race Course, each with an armload of roses and singing "John Brown's Body." The children were followed by three hundred black women representing the Patriotic Association, a group organized to distribute clothing and other goods among the freed people. The women carried baskets of flowers, wreaths, and crosses to the burial ground. 

 The Mutual Aid Society, a benevolent association of black men, next marched in cadence around the track and into the cemetery, followed by large crowds of white and black citizens.
The "First Decoration Day," as this event came to be recognized in some circles in the North, involved an estimated ten thousand people, most of them black former slaves. During April, twenty-eight black men from one of the local churches built a suitable enclosure for the burial ground at the Race Course. In some ten days, they constructed a fence ten feet high, enclosing the burial ground, and landscaped the graves into neat rows. The wooden fence was whitewashed and an archway was built over the gate to the enclosure. On the arch, painted in black letters, the workmen inscribed "Martyrs of the Race Course"

All dropped their spring blossoms on the graves in a scene recorded by a newspaper correspondent: "when all had left, the holy mounds — the tops, the sides, and the spaces between them — were one mass of flowers, not a speck of earth could be seen; and as the breeze wafted the sweet perfumes from them, outside and beyond ... there were few eyes among those who knew the meaning of the ceremony that were not dim with tears of joy." While the adults marched around the graves, the children were gathered in a nearby grove, where they sang "America," "We'll Rally Around the Flag," and "The Star-Spangled Banner."

The official dedication ceremony was conducted by the ministers of all the black churches in Charleston. With prayer, the reading of biblical passages, and the singing of spirituals, black Charlestonians gave birth to an American tradition. In so doing, they declared the meaning of the war in the most public way possible — by their labor, their words, their songs, and their solemn parade of roses, lilacs, and marching feet on the old planters' Race Course.

  After the dedication, the crowds gathered at the Race Course grandstand to hear some thirty speeches by Union officers, local black ministers, and abolitionist missionaries. Picnics ensued around the grounds, and in the afternoon, a full brigade of Union infantry, including African American Troops, marched in double column around the martyrs' graves and held a drill on the infield of the Race Course.

ace and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, Professor David W. Blight made the case for Charleston, South Carolina, as Memorial Day's birthplace,
ace and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, Professor David W. Blight made the case for Charleston, South Carolina, as Memorial Day's birthplace,
Other cities lay claim to the founding also and you can read more, if you're interested here
No one is sure if this ceremony influenced General Logan but only 3 years later, Memorial Day came into national attention.  


Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Swap

Nancy Huggins just sent me these nice place mats that she stitched. I'd been wanting to replace the ones I had before as they were getting shabby. I love country checks. I didn't bother to iron them to see how they looked on the table. I'm trading them for one of my stitcheries...

and some mice..

 The pattern is from Stag Lane primitives who you can find on Ebay and also Pattern Mart. I haven't made the mice in some time but they're really realistic. Fun to tuck into a bookshelf or use in unexpected ways.
I'm always open to swaps!

Our weather has cooled down and is very nice right now. We've been gardening and pulling alot of weeds. Weeding takes up much of the gardening work now. Alan pulled out all the onions and I've dried about two quarts so far. Nice to have to throw into soups and stews. I put the dehydrator outside as it stinks so bad with the onions and it worked out great.  We're going to put in more tomato plants where the onions were. I want enough to make more tomato soup later.
I'm thinking of closing down my other Home Sweet Stitchery blog as I just don't have time to devote any more for two blogs. If there is any links or anything on there you'd like to save, please do so. I'll keep it up until the end of the month.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

More Fire News and Pinterest

Yesterday afternoon the smoke from the fires really settled into our valley and the air was full of the acrid smell of fire. Rather awful really. It was so strong we went outside and looked around as it felt like our house was on fire. Thankfully that wasn't the case. Warnings were put out to stay inside and if you had asthma to have your inhaler close by.

As I type this, most of the fires are out now which we are all thankful for. The air is much cleaner now too with no smoke smell anymore. All of the fires were in San Diego county, none that I am aware of in Riverside county.  Most of the fire that effected us was from the Camp Pendleton fire. Fires are common on the base as they sometimes use live rounds which set off brush fires. They have their own fire department which is very good.

Its been very hot, summer temperatures! In the high 90s and low 100s. We've had to turn on our AC unit which we don't like to but its almost a necessity. None of our roses are blooming, they stop when it gets this hot. According to the weather report, our temps should get back to normal in a day or so. Usually this time of year, its still in spring temperatures of 70 or so.  We've been harvesting peas which are a delight and the tomato plants are blooming so it won't be too long for them. Alan planted green beans but they're not  up yet.

 I'm on Pinterest and thought I'd share a couple of neat things I've found.

                             I found this on Hometalk and thought it was a great idea.

Below is a tutorial for a Cathedral Window pincushion. I've made Cathedral window ornaments before so it is a fun project. 

and lastly..make a place for the birds to snack. I always put out water for them, especially in this hot weather. I've seen these vintage snack sets at the thrift shop for pennies and wondered what I'd do with a set. Now I know! I found this on Home Talk too.


                  Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, May 16, 2014


I haven't posted in some time. Alan's been rather ill and its been very hot here, in the 100s, with high winds.
He has a test done yesterday  and it turns out he has  diverticulitis. He has to go back in a couple of weeks for further tests. It was really rough getting ready for the test as he's a diabetic. No beef or pork for a week, then soft food, then only was tough. But it was a relief to find out what the problem was in any case! I asked for prayer and God answered.

As you've probably heard, there are 9 fires in Southern California. Most in San Diego County.  Carlsbad, where the worst fire is, is very familiar to both of us as we lived in North San Diego county for years and years. We have friends who live there and also some of our locksmith clients are there. The closest fire to us is in Camp Pendleton.
We've been staying inside most of the day as the air quality isn't good. Smoky skies plus its very hot and windy. Today seems to be better.

                                                These photos  are in Carlsbad. Scary!

                                                       Please pray for our fire fighters.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Organizing, Hot Days and Changes

I've been busy for the last two days organizing my craft supplies and going through things I've kept but will probably never do. I've got skeins of floss scattered throughout so am gathering it up. Organizing it isn't difficult but time consuming. I like to organize my floss in these little plastic boxes according to color.I can see what colors I need to get, right now I'm low in brown tones so today, I bought a brown lot of DMC floss on Ebay. I'm also getting more metallic thread which I'll organize separately. I'm only about 1/3 done as I still have to go through my crafting boxes, and a cabinet. Phew!
I've been experimenting framing one of the stitched cards so see how it looks.

I think it looks kinda cute. Going to put this in the main bathroom which has a black/ white green theme.

We've also started repairing the house. Mainly painting.After 8 years, the walls need to be painted. With the new washer/dryer, Alan painted the laundry area and it looks so nice. He's going to be painting the rest of the hallway, the woodwork and bedroom doors. Our boarder, Josh is moving out in the next day or so and our youngest son Matt is moving back home. That room will be painted next, hopefully in the next couple of days. Matt has been living on his own for well over a year but decided to move back to save money. We will miss Josh, he's been with us almost 3 years and has become like  a member of the family. Having a boarder can be a good experience if you find the right person.  Josh is moving in with family, his grandmother and uncle.
 The weather here has been hot and windy. The past two days have been really bad with smoke from the fires up north of us. The sky was brown with smoke and some ash. The wind was in the 40-60 range and we have much debris in the yards, both front and back. The wind blew all the dead branches out of the large trees in the front so it was littered with them plus lots of dead leaves from last year. Still having to clean up that mess too. The fires were well over 50 miles from us but the heavy winds drove the smoke our way.

That's about all the news in our neck of the woods!