Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thoughts on Freedom (another received e-mail)

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rain, rain go away

My girlfriend is showing her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at an outdoor all-breed this weekend. I helped her set up on Friday and planned to stop by the show today as its fairly close to where I'll have my 1:00 riding lesson. Wet dogs and wet horses. What a treat.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Progress report (for myself)

Two lessons a week. I'm trotting and not falling off. I'm even managing to stay centered on the horse's back. So far I've trotted both in Western and dressage saddles. I'm thinking I'm going to need to get some English riding boots because I feel pretty silly wearing my cowboy boots in English. I've asked for my own helmet for my birthday next month. Still working on using my legs and body instead of relying on reins for steerage. Also need to work on posture. Oh, the instructor had mentioned sitting on the bones of my bottom and I didn't think I'd ever be able to feel them considering the size of my butt. I was wrong. They're definitely there.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Frightening Article

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Staying Busy

I ordered these boots off of eBay and am so happy with them. Comfortable from the get go and since they're made from "destroyed" leather, I figure I can't hurt them.

Why should I need boots this time of year you may ask? I am finally following up on a lifelong dream and learning to ride a horse (see next picture if you're not familiar with equines)

I've gained a lot of weight over the past few years. I used to be a gym rat, working out five days a week and taking an aerobics class on Saturdays. Circumstances in my life made working out a chore instead of a pleasure and I gradually gave it up altogether. I have a gym membership but rarely visit.

Anyway, I knew I needed to do something and asked my husband what he thought about me taking horseback riding lessons (for the record, he laughed) Despite my misgivings due to aforementioned weight, age, and general infirmness, I set up a lesson with a local stable. Two lessons in, I absolutely, positively love it.
Just picking out the hooves is an aerobic activity for me. Then there's the currying, brushing, etc., before you even think about tacking up. I don't know what there is about horses but I enjoy being around them and am restraining myself from going there on a daily basis just to hang out. My birthday's next month and I'm going to ask for my very own helmet. If and when I think I know what I'm doing, I'm going to check into leasing a horse. I kind of doubt if I'll be ready for trail riding this year but hopefully next summer...

My garden is finally weeded out. I picked up a couple of bags of mulch that is supposed to cut down on weed growth so we'll see how it works. My husband thought two bags was plenty, but now agrees I could use four or five more. So that's on my list of things to pick up next time I'm near a gardening center.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

You could have heard a pin drop

This is another e-mail I've received. The author is credited at the end. I don't know if the information is true, if he really put this together or if the contact information is valid. Nevertheless, I felt these points should be shared.

At a time when our president and other politicians tend to apologize for our country's prior actions, here's a refresher on how some of our former patriots handled negative comments about our country.

These are good.

JFK'S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when de Gaulle decided to pull out of NATO. De Gaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible.

Rusk responded, "Does that include those who are buried here?"

De Gaulle did not respond.

You could have heard a pin drop.


When in England, at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of 'empire building' by George Bush.

He answered by saying, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."

You could have heard a pin drop.


There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?"

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?"

You could have heard a pin drop.


A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?"

Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the Brit's, Canadians, Aussie's and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."

You could have heard a pin drop.



Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

"You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."

The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

"Impossible.. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France!"

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, "Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to."

You could have heard a pin drop.


If you are proud to be an American, pass this on! If not, delete it.
I am proud to be of this land, AMERICA

Edward "Buzz" Fink
UAW Local 2413
937-316-3143 Office
937-316-3300 FAX
937-459-0112 Cell