State Post: Vermont

The first thirteen colonies were cosvt35n-indoor_-00_front_vermont-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringe_1mplete after the admission of Rhode Island into the union. It had been less than one year when the next state, Vermont, became the first state after the formation of the thirteen colonies, also known as state number fourteen.

Vermont’s state flag was not adopted until 1923 although there was a previous state flag. This flag is a dark blue with the state’s coat of arms on it. In the coat of arms is a pine tree, a cow, some bales of hay, and sheaths of wheat. There are purple mountains in the background against a blue sk. On top of the coat of arms is a stag’s head, and on the bottom boughs of pine needles envelope the coat of arms. There is also a red ribbon which reads Vermont and the state’s motto Freedom and Unity.

Vermont’s name is French for “green mountain”, or mont vert due to the state being surrounded by green mountains. Vermont is also the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States, producing over 500,000 gallons per year. While the state’s capitol is Montpelier, the population in the city is less than 10,000 people.

Cool Trivia: Vermont is the state where Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream was founded! The company also gives their ice cream waste to local farmers who then feed it to their hogs(unfortunately, mint Oreo is not their favorite flavor).

Presidential Birthdays:

  • Chester A. Arthur (serving 1881-1885) was also born in Fairfield, VT in 1830.
  • Calvin Coolidge (serving 1923-1929) is the ONLY US president to have been born on the 4th of July in Plymouth, VT.

Rhode Island

The final colony to enter the union is Rhode Island on May 29, 1790. It is the smallest state in the United States at Rhode Island is so small that they’re composed of only five counties! Despite being a small state, Rhode Island is well known for it’s large shoreline. Set on Narragansett Bay (Atlantic Ocean), the shoreline runs for nearly 400 miles, earning the nickname “The Ocean State”.

sri35n-indoor_-00_front_rhode-island-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringe_1The Rhode Island state flag was adopted in 1879. The flag is white with a yellow anchor in the center. The anchor is encircled by thirteen yellow stars to represent the thirteen colonies. Underneath the anchor is a light blue ribbon which reads the state motto “Hope”. The colors on this state flag date all the way back to colonial times, the original establishment of Rhode Island, and the Providence Plantations ruled under King Charles II of England.

Rhode Island is home to two war memorials. The first memorial is The Korean War Memorial of Rhode Island in Providence, RI. The memorial was erected to honor Rhode Island citizens who served and died in the Korean War (1950-1953). The names of those Killed in Action (KIA) or Missing in Action (MIA) are engraved in white bricks while the red bricks bear the names of the men and women who served during the war. The second war memorial is The World War I Memorial in Miantonomi Park, RI where it was established in 1921 to memorialize those who had been lost in WWI (1914-1918). The memorial is 100 foot tower of stone along with a 30 foot flagpole at the top. It became listed as a National Historic Park in 1969.

The Ocean: Nearly all residents of Rhode Island live about 30 miles from the ocean!

Early Days: Rhode Island was originally known as “The Colony of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations”, an early settlement. After the American Revolution, the land became known as the State of Rhode Island.

State Flags – South Carolina

southcarolina-nylonWhile South Carolina became the 8th state on May 23, 1788, a flag was not chosen until January 28, 1861. The flag is entirely blue with a white palmetto tree in the center while a white crescent is placed to the upper left hand corner. According to the official South Carolina website, the original version of the flag was designed by Colonel William Moultrie which consisted of only a white crescent on a blue field. Moultrie picked blue because it matched the uniforms his troops wore during the Revolutionary War while the crescent which resembled the silver emblem worn on their caps. Once the palmetto tree was added later on, it is explained that the tree represented Colonel Moultrie’s heroic defense of the palmetto log fort on Sullivan’s Island against the attack of the British fleet on June 28, 1776.

This flag also has a state pledge which was adopted by Act Number 910 of 1966 (approved April 22, 1966). Mrs. John Raymond Carson from Chester, SC, wrote the pledge for all South Carolinians: “I salute the flag of South Carolina and pledge to the Palmetto State love, loyalty, and faith.

In South Carolina, tea is the official hospitality beverage of the state. This was designated to the state in 1995 after a bill was passed. South Carolina is the first state in the United States to grow tea. One of the most popular beverageMyrtle_Beach,_SC,_photographed_from_9th_floor_of_hotel_IMG_4501s is the sweet tea, which is made by adding sugar to black tea while it is still hot, and is usually served iced.

How it got its name: South Carolina was named after King Charles I of England, the Latin version of his name being Carolus. He was the one who granted the land to Sir Robert Heath in 1629 in which to start his colony.

Popular places to go: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In the center of the Grand Strand, this coastal city gets over 14 million visitors every year. Beachgoers go swimming, walking on the boardwalk, and attend events.

~CD

Christmas Around the World – Part 1 of 3

mexicoOver the recent years, I have been learning new Christmas traditions and rituals in other parts of the world, particularly the UK. In one of my recent posts, I talked about Christmas crackers which was something new to me. Growing up in California, Christmas was a totally different thing. For one, we didn’t have snow unless we went up to the mountains and the ski resorts, so our holidays were usually perfectly sunny and clear or gray and rainy. With my dad being from Mexico and having spent a Christmas one year with his relatives, we celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve with tamales until midnight on Christmas day when we got to open our presents. Then after the births of my nieces and nephews, we started doing Christmas presents late in the day instead of the morning because we waited for my oldest sister to arrive from her husband’s family’s traditions. We switched up the days we did Christmas. Some years it was Christmas Eve, other years it was Christmas Day. Usually it depended on the circumstances of my oldest sister.

In today’s post as a part of my holiday series, I’m going to talk about traditions. My family doesn’t have an entirely regular tradition but at least we all try to get together for the holidays. I’m trying to incorporate more tradition into my life, like eat tamales, try to watch A Christmas Story and Elf at least once a year, and to try something new, like the Christmas Crackers which the nieces and nephews really enjoyed.

MinceWhile people in the US have their own traditions and customs, the British have something a little more different. The British call Santa Claus “Father Christmas” who will leave presents in stockings or pillow cases at the ends of the beds, by the beds of the children, or by the fireplace in homes. Instead of the standard milk and cookies left out for Father Christmas, he gets a nice brandy and mince pie. Letters are written to Father Christmas but instead of being put to the post, they are tossed into the fireplace where the smoke is drifted to Father Christmas so he can read them. The people of Britain also send Christmas cards, buy gifts, sing carols. The Queen delivers a Christmas Day message to the Commonwealth broadcast from her home reflecting on the year gone by.

cakeAnother thing the British and Americans have in common is that nearly everyone bakes and eat goodies for the holidays. While the Americans make Christmas cookies, fudge, and peppermint bark, the British celebrate the holidays with mince pies, Christmas puddings, and the Christmas cake. Today I will talk about the mince pie.  In the US, these are relatively unknown but huge in Britain. A mince pie nowadays consists of candied peels, vine fruits like currant and sultanas, which is a type of raisin in Britain, and apples inside a pastry crust. These are the most common ingredients inside the mincemeat. You can enjoy them hot or cold and you can either make them yourself (a lovely recipe here on our very own blog and get the mincemeat here or even try these.

Mince pies originally had various chopped meats in them, hence the name mincemeat pie. It is believed mince pies were made to use to use up leftovers in the 16th century in order to keep the meat supply going but over the years, the recipes have been adjusted to what people know today. The pies were originally oblong in shape to represent the cradle of the Christ but they are round today and the meat has been omitted.

Next time I will discuss Christmas cake and Christmas pudding.

~CD

Polish Heritage Month

I am 1/2 Polish, on my Mother’s side. My Grandparents were both from Poland. My Grandparents had accents, spoke in polandnational-printed-polyPolish among themselves, but us Grandkids did not speak, nor were not taught the language. I remember when our family would get together for the holidays and the great food that was prepared.

We would have Borscht Soup (beet soup), always Chicken Noodle, Golobki (stuffed cabbage), Kielbasa (sausage both smoked and fresh), sauerkraut and rye bread, fresh from the bakery. Our holidays evolved around cooking. My Grandma and Aunty Gene were the best of cooks! I LOVE to cook myself so I make all of these dishes.

When my daughters were growing up we incorporated customs from Poland into the Holidays so they would know their heritage. Easter time was the basket that they would fill, with bread, decorated Easter Eggs and of course the butter shaped like a lamb. This we would take to Church for Father to Bless on Saturday before Easter Sunday. Christmas, we would have a special meal on Christmas Eve then attend Midnight Mass. On birthdays we would always sing Sto Lat! Which this song goes on to wish you to live to be a hundred! The girls went to Catholic school and was predominantly Polish. So we did celebrate the customs in school also.

polandstate-printed-polyIn 1984, President Ronald Reagan passed that August would be Polish American heritage Month. But this was changed in 1986 to October so schools could participate.

The Polish Flag is Red and White, either the standard plain or with the Polish Eagle. If you are of Polish Heritage, fly your Flag!

Dobry (hello), Kocham cie (I love you), na zdrowie (cheers). So hail a Pole this month, maybe even have a Polish meal.

Sto Lat!

**Jacquie