Military Widows

Tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery, July 2006Memorial Day weekend has become a time for the first barbeques, outdoor pool celebrations, and huge sales at nearly every department store. For those who have lost a loved one in the armed forces, however, Memorial Day can be a difficult time.  And with thousands of young men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are, in turn, thousands of young widows and widowers looking for support and resources.

Losing a loved one in combat is probably the most difficult and painful time in your life. When facing this crisis, it’s important to remember to give yourself time to grieve your loss and accept any feelings that may arise, including sadness, guilt, anger, isolation, loneliness, or depression.  All these feelings, and any others, are OK: you’ll have good days and bad days, days when your grief is more triggered than others, days when you laugh, and days when you cry.  But if you give yourself time to grieve, life will eventually stabilize.

If you have children, it’s important to be honest with them about your spouse’s death.  Children know when adults are skewing the truth, so explain to them what it means for someone to be physically dead; don’t use euphemisms such as “lost,” “gone away,” or “sleeping.”  Give your children permission—just like you gave yourself—to feel grief or any other feelings, and don’t hide your own feelings from them.  Explain your family’s and the army’s death rituals to your children, and prepare them for all activities including the funeral itself, any viewings, the burial, and any post-funeral gatherings.  If the children are willing, let them be active participants in the funeral and surrounding activities, such as picking out the casket, writing a note to your spouse, selecting what clothes they will wear.

When you are ready, it’s extremely important to evaluate your finances after the death of a spouse.  As a military widow, you will receive a $100,000 death benefit from the government and professional financial advice to help you manage this money and your other funds.  You’ll need to use your death benefit and your other money wisely, to be sure you can pay your mortgage or rent, have health and life insurance as well as any other insurance, and provide for your children.  Be organized about your finances, know where everything is, and have a plan for surviving the worst possible financial situations.

Finally, many of your family and friends may encourage you to start dating.  Don’t let anyone push you into a relationship or dating; only do so when you are ready and feel confident about yourself.  If you feel ready to date, many military widows have a hard time dating because they feel that men are trying to take advantage of them or compare themselves to your late husband.  So when you’re ready to get back into the dating scene, don’t go searching immediately for your life partner (after all, were you searching for your husband before you were married?), have fun, and be confident about your self worth.

There is a great resource for military widows, The American Widow Project, with links to blogs, books, and podcasts.  Be sure to take a look at this website for fantastic online support!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Barry's TeaEveryone associates St. Patrick’s Day with wearing green but it’s much more than that. Over the years, I have learned there are more ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s. Being an American, I have only seen people wear green, go to parties, and hold parades in the news. It wasn’t until recent years I found out that people made a tasty dish called Corned Beef and Cabbage (even if it’s just in the States). While I spent my St. Patrick’s Days at school growing up, it was still more fun to wear green and watch everyone else doll themselves up in wacky getups, wigs, jewelry, etc (plus all the kids got a green shamrock cookie at lunch)! We would read stories about Ireland and learn more about their culture. When I learned St. Patrick’s Day was also about feasting, I was very excited since my interest in UK and Irish culture has increased over the years and I love food. I have tried soda bread which is delicious but I have yet to try boxty (Irish potato pancake).

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland who was known for bringing Christianity to Ireland. He was originally from Britain but later came to Ireland to live. It is said March 17th is the day Saint Patrick died. St. Patrick’s Day was created as a religious holiday meant to celebrate his life and work but has become a public holiday in Ireland since 1903.

St. Patrick’s Day is more important on the other side of the pond. While March 17th is a normal day for people in the United States with the addition of green to our wardrobes, it is actually considered a public holiday in Ireland, so places like banks, government offices, and even schools are closed. Since it is Ireland’s national holiday, it is a day for families to observe. Families will attend mass while wearing their best clothes to honor Saint Patrick while parades are held celebrating Irish culture. Once mass is complete, they usually join together for a feast though not with corned beef and cabbage, but rather bacon and cabbage. This dish is enjoyed with some parsley sauce, maybe with a bit of mustard and some potatoes.

While people are drowning shamrocks and toasting a certain beverage that is sometimes dyed green for the occasion, I will be St. Patrick’s Day with some Barry’s Tea imported from Ireland. Pairs up very well with a nice soda bread (especially a freshly baked one that’s buttered up while it’s nice and hot. You can also celebrate with Bewley’s, Twinings, or even our very own blend.

And so I raise my teacup in honor of Saint Patrick saying this old saying, “May your blessings outnumber, the shamrocks that grow, And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.” Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A few random St. Paddy’s facts:IMG_20150310_141024_498

  • Pubs weren’t actually allowed to open on St. Patrick’s Day until the 1970s!
  • The color of St. Patrick was not originally green but instead was blue! That changed in the 19th century when green became a more official color for Ireland.
  • Saint Patrick’s given name was Maewyn Succat. He adopted the name Patrick once he became a priest.
  • The first American St. Patrick’s Day celebration took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737

~ CD

Editor’s Note: Green is typically for the Catholics on St. Patrick’s Day. As a Protestant, it is appropriate for me to wear orange. But since that is not commonly known, I typically don’t. 🙂

Hanukkah

HannukaHistorically, the story of Hanukkah begins around 165 B.C. After three years of struggle, the Jews in Judea defeated the Syrian tyrant Antiochus. The Jewish people held festivities in the Temple of Jerusalem, and rededicated the Temple. After removing all Syrian idols from the Temple, the Jews found only one small cruse of oil with which to light their holy lamps. Miraculously, the cruse provided oil for eight days. Judas Maccabaeus, the Jewish leader, thus proclaimed a festival in celebration, to be observed by Jews.

Hanukkah is the Jewish Feast of Lights or Feast of Dedication.The Hebrew word Hanukkah means dedication. Hanukkah is also written Hannuka or Chanukah. The holiday begins on the eve of the 25th day of the Hebrew Month of Kislev and lasts eight days. Hanukkah usually falls in the month of December, but occasionally can start in November.

During Hanukkah, gifts are exchanged and contributions are made to the poor. Each evening, one additional candle is lit on the Hanukkah menorah (candelabra). By the last evening, eight lighted candles stand together.

I am not Jewish, but I have many Jewish friends. I always enjoy the diversity that is our country. Tonight starts Hanukkah for the season at sundown.

Happy Hanukkah!

**Jacquie

Priceless!

Clever picnic invites: $10
Bug spray: $5
3×5 Made-in-the-USA Flag from the United States Flag Store: $25.70Koralex II
Having your photo on United States Flag Store’s website: Priceless!

Send us your photos of our products in use or on display. If we use your picture, we will send you a $25 thank-you gift to be used on any of our merchandise! email photos to elizabeth.stubna@onlinestores.com with the product’s website item number or SKU, and the name and address on your registered account, so we can be sure to get your prize to you!

Please note the following: you must be a registered user of united-states-flag.com to receive your non-transferrable credit code. (you can register here: https://www.united-states-flag.com/customer/account/create/) Limit one credit code per registered user of united-states-flag.com. Submitting photos indicates your agreement that the photos are your own, and everyone identifiable in them has given consent to have their likeness used by us for any purpose on any onlinestores.com website. Photos must be accompanied by the SKU or item number from united-states-flag.com.

St. Patrick’s Day Banner Flags

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on March 17, and you still have time to order one of the great banner flags available at unbeatable prices at the United States Flag Store’s online store. If you’ve purchased a flag from us before, you know that they’re made in the United States from the highest quality materials and feature vibrant colors and beautiful designs. Check out a few of the great flags we have available for St. Patrick’s Day.

The St. Patrick’s Day Decorative Banner Flag is a great way to decorate your home for the holiday. The flag features a rainbow background with a large clover front and center. Inside the clover, there is a large pot of gold with coins flying out of it. The pot of gold is also wearing a green leprechaun hat and green high-heeled shoes. This flag is made from 100% nylon, measures 28 inches by 40 inches, is designed for vertical display, and is truly a unique design. Order one today for only $7.50!

Show off your Irish enthusiasm with the Happy St. Patrick’s Day Applique Banner Flag! This beautiful green flag is scattered with shamrocks, some even hanging off the flag, along with a Happy St. Patric’ks Day message in the middle. It is readable from both sides and measures 28″ x 40″

Valentine’s Day Banner Flags

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away! Get into the sweetheart spirit with a beautiful banner flag from the United States Flag Store. All banner flags from the United States Flag Store are printed on durable polyester so they’re suitable for indoor or outdoor use. They’re printed, appliqued and embroidered with vibrant colors and are available at absolutely unbeatable prices. Check out a few of the great designs.

The Cupid and Heart Banner Flag is a great way to decorate your home for Valentine’s Day. The flag features a white silhouette of Cupid with his bow and arrow in the center of the flag. Behind cupid is a large pink heart on a red background with several white hearts around it. This flag measures 28 inches by 44 inches, includes a pole hem with attachment tabs, and is available from the United States Flag Store’s website for just $16.49.

The Valentine Blossom Banner Flag is the perfect way to decorate for Valentine’s Day and bring a little spring feeling to your home, as well. The flag features a pink heart-shaped flower complete with pedals, a pink stem and pink leaves in front of a white background. Order this beautifully festive flag today for just $19.95.

The Love Hearts Banner Flag is a beautiful flag for Valentine’s Day. The flag features a large red heart with the word “LOVE” printed across it in the center. Other pink, white and blue hearts surround it in front of a red and white background to make for a perfectly festive banner flag. This flag is appliqued and embroidered for added texture and quality. The flag measures 28 inches by 44 inches, includes a pole hem and attachment tabs, and is available on the United States Flag Store’s website for just $18.95.

Love Hearts Banner

Whimsical Valentine’s Day Banner Flags

Happy Valentine’s Day Banner

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and there’s no better way to get your house in the spirit for the holiday than with a banner flag from the United States Flag Store. All banner flags from the United States Flag Store are made from high-quality polyester and printed, appliqued, and embroidered with bright, vibrant colors. They’re suitable for indoor or outdoor display and are available at the best prices on the Internet. Check out a few of the whimsical designs.

The Happy Valentine’s Day Banner Flag is the perfect way to decorate your home for Valentine’s Day. This flag features two whimsical hearts with smiling faces and white mitten hands. A Valentine’s envelope, rose and the text “Happy Valentine’s Day” also appear on the flag. This beautiful banner measures 28 inches by 44 inches, includes a pole hem and attachment tabs, and is available at the United States Flag Store for just $18.95.

The Love Valentine’s Banner Flag is another great flag for Valentine’s Day. This flag is full of red, pink, hearts and love. The flag features a red heart in the center with the word “Love” printed below it. Pink and red hearts and flowers appear in background. This flag measures 28 inches by 40 inches, includes a pole hem and attachment tabs, and is available at the United States Flag Store for just $19.99.

The Valentine’s Day L-O-V-E Banner Flag is simply an adorable way to bring festivity to Valentine’s Day. This flag features the word “LOVE” in big block letters adorned with X’s and O’s, hearts, and flowers. Butterflies and  flowers appear in front of the light pink background. This flag is perfect for your home and is available from the United States Flag Store for just $19.99.

New Year’s Eve Champagne Garden and Banner Flags

Happy New Year with Glasses Banner Flag

New Year’s Eve is coming and there’s no better way to decorate your house for the holiday–or for your New Year’s Eve party–than with a New Year’s Eve garden or banner flag from the United States Flag Store. All garden and banner flags from the United States Flag Store are made from the highest quality nylon and polyester and printed in vivid colors for long lasting display outdoors. These flags are available at the best possible prices on the Internet or in stores. Check out a few of the beautiful New Year’s Eve flags available from the United States Flag Store’s website.

The Happy New Year Glasses Garden Flag is a great way to decorate your lawn or garden for New Year’s Eve. This garden flag is 13.5 inches by 18 inches, has an appliquéd design, and is readable on both sides. This flag is truly unique, featuring sun catching reflective designs that make it sparkle in the sunlight, as well as beads and buttons for added texture. A perfect New Year’s Eve decoration, this flag is available at the United States Flag Store’s website for just $9.99, a savings of $6 off the list price.

The Happy New Year Glasses Garden Flag also comes in banner size, the Happy New Year with Glasses Banner Flag. This flag features the same appliquéd design that is readable on both sides, reflective material that makes it sparkle, and beads and buttons for texture. The banner-sized version of this flag is 28 inches by 44 inches and is available at the United States Flag Store’s website for just $25.49.

The New Year Banner Flag is another great way to decorate your house for New Year’s Eve. This beautiful flag is 28 inches by 44 inches, appliquéd and is readable on both sides and includes Pro-Guard Sublimation to withstand any temperature or weather without damage. Order one of these great flags today for just $21.79.

New Year’s Eve Midnight Garden and Banner Flags

New Year’s Eve is coming, and if you love flags and love New Year’s Eve, there’s no better way to decorate your house than with a New Year’s Decorative Garden or Banner Flag from the United States Flag Store. These banner flags are made from the highest quality polyester and are printed with vivid colors. Plus, when you order from the United States Flag Store, you know that you’re purchasing your flag at the lowest possible price on the Internet and in stores. Check out a few of the great New Year’s Eve flag designs available at the United States Flag Store’s website.

New Year’s Mid-Night Garden Flag

The New Year’s Mid-Night Garden Flag is perfect for any New Year’s Eve celebration or decoration. The flag is designed to be hung vertically from a garden flag pole (not included) and is 13.5 inches by 18 inches. The flag has a black background and features a clock with Roman Numerals striking midnight in the foreground. A New Year’s Eve party mask and top hat with confetti are pictured above the clock. This flag is printed double-sided on high quality polyester material. For display in a garden or on a lawn, the flag has a pole hem on the top side, but window hangers are also included free for indoor display. Order this beautiful flag today for your New Year’s Eve decorations for just $10.79, a savings of over $2 off the list price.

The New Year’s Mid-Night Garden Flag also comes in a New Year’s Mid-Night Decorative Banner. With the same design, the decorative banner version of the flag is larger, 28 inches by 40 inches, and is designed to be hung on a banner flag pole. The flag is made of 100% nylon material for durability and includes a pole hem and attachment tabs.

These are just a few of the great New Year’s decorative flags available at the United States Flag Store’s website. Visit the online store for the complete selection!

Whimsical Christmas Garden Flags

Decorating your home for the holidays is one of the most exciting times of the year. Although you may be thinking about lights, don’t forget to make your home look festive during the day, too. The perfect and easy way to do this is with a whimsical Christmas Garden Flag from the United States Flag Store. These flags are printed beautifully with vibrant colors and are available at unbeatable prices. Here are just a few of the great flags available online.

The Santa Christmas Garden Flag features Santa saying “ho, ho, ho!” in front of a snowy background. The text, “ho, ho, ho!” is written in candy-cane stripped font and one of the “o’s” is actually Santa’s round bearded face! This flag is designed for vertical display and measures 12.5 inches by 18 inches. Order one of these great fags today for just $10.50.

The Penguin Christmas Garden Flag is another great whimsical Christmas flag for this holiday season. This cute flag features a cute pudgy penguin adorned with a red scarf and green Santa cap. The penguin is holding a potted Christmas tree with a star on top and red bird sit on top of his hat. This adorable flag is designed for vertical display, measures 12.5 inches by 18 inches, and is available at the United States Flag Store for just $10.99.

The Silly Santa Flag is yet another fun way to decorate your home for the holidays. This flag features Santa himself, front and center,with a huge white beard, red cap, and rosy cheeks. The flag features the text, “ho, ho, ho!” and a blue snowy background. This great flag is designed for vertical display and measures 12.5 inches by 18 inches. Order one of these great flags today for just  $10.50.

Looking for more Christmas flags? Visit the United States Flag Store website for the complete selection!