Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Remembering Those Who Served For Freedom

On this Memorial Day offer prayer of gratitude for those who have sacrificed their lives for freedom in the United States.

 Freedom has been bought with a price.

 Our government was established with a balance of powers; the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary branch.  Under the separation of powers each branch is independent and cannot control another branch.  The 27 Amendments to our constitution is a living history of the struggle for freedom so all can have an equal voice.
Bill of Rights
Amendment 1 Freedoms, Petitions, Assembly
Amendment 2 Right to bear arms
Amendment 3 Quartering of soldiers
Amendment 4 Search and Arrest
Amendment 5 Rights in criminal cases
Amendment 6 Right to a fair trial
Amendment 7 Rights in civil cases
Amendment 8 Bail, finds, punishment
Amendment 9 Rights retained by the People
Amendment 10 States rights
Amendment 11 Lawsuits against states
Amendment 12 Presidential elections
Amendment 13 Abolition of slavery
Amendment 14 Civil Rights
Amendment 15 Black Suffrage
Amendment 16 income taxes
Amendment 17 Senatorial elections
Amendment 18 Prohibition of liquor
Amendment 19 Women's suffrage
Amendment 20 Terms of office
Amendment 21 Repeal of Prohibition
Amendment 22 Term Limits for the Presidency
Amendment 23 Washington D. C. suffrage
Amendment 24 Abolition of poll taxes
Amendment 25 Presidential succession
Amendment 26 18 year old suffrage
Amendment 27 Congressional pay raises

Let us remember our National Symbol
The Bald Eagle was adopted as the national bird to symbolize; majestic beauty, great strength, and long life.  The wingspan of a Bald Eagle is six to eight feet. It is the only eagle that is found exclusively on the North American continent.

  John F. Kennedy said,
"The Founding Fathers made an appropriate choice when they selected the Bald Eagle as the emblem of the nation.  The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolized the strength and freedom of America"

 Our nation endures because of the sacrifice of so many. At least 1.2 million people have died fighting for America during its wars dating back 241 years.  It started with the American Revolution from 1775 to 1783.

  Men and women decided it was worth giving their lives so the birth of our nation could represent equality.

Each one serving wanted future generations to have freedom.  The First Amendment says;

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,

 and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 Let us not take our freedoms for granted.  Many have sacrificed so our country can be free.  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Blessings

Mother's Day Blessings come in many packages.  Not every Mother's Day is perfect, but it is a day to show love.  My mom is suffering with back pain and unable to get around like she did.  Her days in the home with nursing care come with little joys like eating in the dining area.

I surprised her this Mother's Day with pink roses, chocolates and a card that says how much she is appreciated.  She can still read every word, repeating the phrases over and over.  She put up the card with the  heart opening and said I can see through it.

My mom loves boxes so I found this special one that she can keep cards or chocolates inside.

She opened  the box to see words of encouragement.   Faith heals.  During difficult times God is near, holding your hand.
As she went back to her room she kept asking her roommate over and over, "Are you okay?  How are you feeling? " 
I thought that is my sweet mom who thought about others even though her back hurts and she is in pain.  She rolled her wheelchair close to her bed and repeated gently are you going to be alright?  Her roommate had been in the hospital and had just come back to the room.  Her eyes were closed as she was getting treatments.  

Sometimes her eyes would reveal the pain she was feeling but there is also a peace.  
Mother's Day Blessings come is small packages.  My sons gave me pink tulips.  The same color my mother loves.  I thought of her as I poured water in the vase.  She always mentions my two wonderful sons with love and adoration.  Mother's Day is a time to show love.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Fort Worth Zoo Lions, Tigers, Antelope, Exotic Birds

The Fort Worth Zoo was voted best zoo by Family Life Magazine, LA Times, and USA Today.   It is home to 5,000 exotic and native animals.   When the zoo opened in 1909 the animals to see were one lion,
two bear cubs, an alligator
a coyote,

a peacock and a few rabbits.

The Herpetarium was completed in the summer of 1960 with one of the largest exhibits of reptiles and amphibians in the world.  The original Herpetarium closed in 2009 to be replaced by the Museum of Living Art in 2010.

Zookeepers are available to let you touch a snake.  The scales are scratchy to the touch.

World of Primates opened in 1992 with an indoor and outdoor exhibit of gorilla groups.

Watch the apes eat lettuce and other treats for primates.
Asian Falls opened in 1992 with an exotic exhibit of White Tigers.

White and Malayan tigers share a habitat of majestic waterfalls flowing.
White Tigers enjoy the sound of water splashing on rocks.
Raptor Canyon is an aviary that opened in 1993.  It is home to crowned eagles,
An Andean condor,

a milky eagle owl, harpy eagles, and bateleur eagles.

The cheetah exhibit opened in 1994 with exotic black spotted wild cats.
Flamingo Bay is home to the 70 peach colored birds who love to flock together.

Parrot Paradise was opened in 2004 to a free flight aviary.  Children have fun feeding the parakeets and cockatoos.  .
The rain forest habitat is home to bright colorful red, white and blue Macaws.  They have large beaks to crack open shells.

Animals from Australia hop with their friends.  Kangaroos carry their babies in their pouch.
 Kangaroos have large ears to help them listen for predators who might want to harm them.  My what large tails they have.

Black and white penguins have a thick fur to keep them warm.

Wild Pheasants roam the Texas Hill Country to  make the hillside colorful.  Their eyes can spot food to eat.

Angel Fish love to play chase in  aquariums for fish who love to swim in coral reefs all over the world.

Antelope love to play in the open grassy fields of green.

It takes alot of workers to help maintain a safe place for animals to be healthy.  Thank you zookeepers for providing such a wonderful zoo for all to enjoy.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic


Cesky Krumlov is an enchanted town located in the Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.  The old Cesky Krumlov Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

  It's an amazing example of a quaint European medieval town whose architecture has remained safe for five centuries.  The castle is set high on the hill with a wall of protection.  Below is the town of winding cobblestone streets filled with shops selling Czech Crystal, jewelry, and pottery.

Vitkovci began building the castle in 1240 by the Vltava River because it was an important trade route in Bohemia.

  Most of the architecture dates from the 14th to 17th centuries.  There is a combination of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.

The House of Rosenberg acquired the castle in 1302.  Gold was found in the 15th century so miners came to explore for their own treasures.  Emeror Rudolf II bought Krumlov in 1602 and passed it down to his son Julius dAustria.

 Power kept passing hands and Emperor Ferdinand II gave Krumlov to the House of Eggenberg which made the town the seat of Ducy of Krumlov.

The House of Schwarzenberg had a long relationship with the castle because it took control from 1719 to 1945.

  The core of the town is next to a curve in the river with the castle on the other side.  Germans and Czechs both lived in Cesky Krumlov in 1910.  But by the end of 1918 the Czechoslovak army gained power of the area.

Visit the museum to see jewelry worn by royalty.
The table setting is all set for a regal dinner engagement. All of the silverware must be in the right place with a white crisp napkin in the center of priceless china.
Leave the castle with a bear in the moat for protection.
After a historic tour of the castle have fun shopping in quaint shops full of old Bohemian gingerbread at Cesky Pernik.
Stroll the streets of Cesky Krumlov to find the town center.  

As the sun sets on the quaint town people visiting feel blessed to see such a glorious place.  Sign up for a day tour from Prague.  Our guide Sarah was amazing.  

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Berlin Travel Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall

A wall divided Berlin into two very different parts, east and west.  As tourists visit Berlin there is a memory of the separation throughout the city in the trail of a brick wall.  The construction began in 1961 to stop Eastern Bloc emigration because twenty percent of the East Berlin population fled to the west from 1949 to 1961.  Many were engineers, teachers, lawyers, and skilled workers.
Checkpoint Charlie was the name given by the west as the best known crossing point during the cold war.  
Photographs are displayed to show the timeline,

The name Charlie came from the letter C in the Nato phonetic alphabet.  There was also a Checkpoint Alpha and Bravo.  The border crossing has been featured in films, and books for its location on Friedrichsstrasse, a historic street in the American occupied city center.  It was the only gateway for allied diplomats, military personnel and foreign tourists to pass in to the Berlin's Soviet sector.  

The United States, France and Britain stationed military police at Checkpoint Charlie to make sure their officials had easy access to the border.  The Allied guards spent most of their time monitoring diplomatic and military traffic.  A tiny shack and a few sandbags kept the operation simple on the western side to symbolize the wall was not permanent.  The East German side has cement barriers and guard towers to prevent people from illegally crossing.  
On October 22, 1961,Allan Lightner, a diplomat from the United States tried to cross to attend the opera in East Berlin.  The East Berlin Guards demanded to see his passport, but he refused on the grounds that only Soviet officials had the authoritiy to inspect his papers.  He finally got through with the help of U.S. soldiers and military jeeps.  This started a 16 hour stand off with M-48 tanks facing each other on both sides.  President John F. Kennedy contacted Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and convinced him to withdraw his tanks.
Occasionally Checkpoint Charlie was used for prisoner swaps.  A captured American U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was traded for Rudolf Abel, a convicted spy for espionage.  
East Germany finally eased travel restrictions on November 9,1989.  The new policy was leaked out by a government official at a press conference.  That night street parties broke out around Berlin to celebrate freedom.  
Graffiting on the wall became popular for artists from all over the world.