Thursday, November 24, 2011

When did Thanksgiving become a National Holiday?

The first Thanksgiving occurred in 1621 when the Pilgrims and Indians broke bread together to give thanks to the creator for a successful harvest. Most Americans are taught that this incident was the first Thanksgiving celebration. In reality, that one meal didn’t lead to a traditional holiday. It wasn’t a national celebration either because the colonies were still part of England at the time. No offense to our English ancestors, but most Brits didn’t much care what happened in the colonies.

As the years passed, however, more people celebrated Thanksgiving and remembered that first meal of Thanks between the Pilgrims and Indians. Still, no one celebrated an official Thanksgiving until America won its independence from England. In 1789, George Washington recommended and assigned Thursday, November 26th as a day to be devoted by the People “to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be…”

Despite the proclamation, Thanksgiving wasn’t a national holiday.

Thanksgiving didn’t become a national holiday until Abraham Lincoln took office prior to the Civil War. In an effort to pull the country together, in 1863, he declared the last Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day. The country gave thanks to those who gave their lives in the Noble cause. And it gave thanks to those who yet survived the war that threatened to divide America.

Since that day in 1863, every president since Lincoln recognized Thanksgiving. But recognizing a holiday doesn’t make it a national holiday.

In 1939, in an effort to extend the Christmas shopping season, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the third Thursday in November as a day to  give thanks.  His declaration was met with controversy. Then in 1941 Congress set the national holiday of Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of every November.  And it has been a holiday ever since.

It is a day celebrated as the kick off to the Christmas season. A day spent in celebration with friends and family. A day to give thanks to God for his many blessings. And a day to thank the men and women serving in our armed forces for their tireless dedication and sacrifice to this great nation.


Thank you God for all the good in my life. Thank you for my family, my life, my health, and my home. Keep my family safe and healthy. And please watch over the men and women of our military. Hold them in your loving arms. Protect them. And keep them safe until they can return to their families.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Real Life Heroes Fart

Heroes are basically the same, especially romantic heroes. They may vary in size, coloring and ethnicity, but they are nearly always physically fit and nicely toned. Every woman wants him and every man wants to be him. It’s not just the romance hero either. Action heroes exhibit these same characteristics—and more often than not, action and suspense books/movies have a hint of romance. 

In the Bourne Identify, Jason Bourne has Marie St. Jacques. Jack Ryan "Clear and Present Danger" and "Patriot Games" has his wife.
In the Indiana Jones films, “Indie” successfully pursues an artifact and a woman. There’s even a romantic subplot in the Terminator movies.

And while James Bond isn’t monogamous, he always gets the girl. Or girls. He even gets married in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service.” He falls so madly in love with his wife, Tracy, he’s willing to give up his career and his free-loving bachelor ways.

Whether our hero is from a romance novel or an action movie, he’s going to come out on top no matter what the villain or life throws at him. Oh, they may lose a skirmish, but our hero is always the victor.

Heroes are never lazy, and they’re never slobs. They may get dirty in the jungle or after a brawl, but they clean up nicely afterwards and they never have morning breath. They don’t procrastinate or whine and although they may have an odd quirk, a hero has good manners and is never rude. 

In real life, heroes fart. And morning sex usually requires turned heads or a quick dash to the bathroom for a rinse or a brush—especially if your real life hero ate oysters and drank beer the night before. Otherwise, that sour smell coming from both your mouths could ruin the moment.

Trust me, there’s nothing romantic about morning breath. Or farting. I know. Woman pass gas too. But it’s not usually a source of amusement for them. Fictional heroes would never fart in the bed just before his lover joins him.

My real life hero not only passes gas in bed, he once had the bright idea to fart beneath the covers and then pull them over my head. OMG! I thought I was going to die. He laughed uncontrollably. I threatened to vomit on his crotch. 

It wasn’t his finest moment. But he’s still my hero, even after thirty-one years of marriage.
My husband with our youngest when she was7
He’s not rich, powerful, or titled. He doesn’t own his own business and he’s not a CEO. But he’s a dedicated, hardworking, responsible man who puts his family first.

Hubby with oldest when she
was 3

He’s a wonderful father and supportive husband.   

He stood by me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. He never hesitated to lift my handicapped sister from her wheelchair and carry her to the car or the sofa when she still had the muscle control to sit alone. 

He didn’t complain when I wanted to take her on a family beach trip either. He even pushed her chair through the sand so she could sit on the beach.

And since I became a published author, he does the laundry more often than I do. He’s not the role model for any of my romance heroes, but Devin Flannery from Wholesale Husband reminds me of him.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today is 11-11-11. Veterans Day--a day to commemorate those who fought with honor and heroism in the service of their country.

On June 28, 1919 World War I – known at the time as “The Great War”- officially ended and the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting had ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

Today, we Americans still celebrate Armistice Day, better known as Veterans Day. It is a day to give thanks to those who are serving or have served in our Nation’s military. It is a day to thank them for their sacrifice. A day to remember the fallen.

Although the French and Indian War was fought between the British and the Native Americans and French, it took place on what is now American soil. The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763. Less than ten years later, the colonist revolted and the American Revolution began.

The American Revolution was the war for America’s independence from England, fought between 1775-1783. Colonist fought and died to make America and country, and their sacrifice can never be forgotten. But winning the war didn’t mean the end of war. America became a new nation fighting for its own ideals and freedoms.

After the revolution, there were The Indian Wars, fought between 1775-1890. Then there was The War of 1812, fought until 1815 against the British. The Mexican-American War followed, lasting from 1846 to 1848.

Preceding the Civil War, there were many battles fought over the issue of slavery and states’ rights.  Border states like Kansas began fighting six years prior to the start of the Civil War, which began in 1861 and lasted until 1865.

In 1893, American military intervened in the Hawaiian Revolution, and our soldiers fought in The Spanish-American War of 1898. We also sent troops to the Samoan Civil War between
1898-1899 and the U.S.-Philippine War between 1899-1902.

In 1914, the world went to war after a long and difficult series of diplomatic clashes between Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, Austria-Hungarian Empire and Russia over European and colonial issues in the decade before 1914. The catalyst for the war occurred on June 28, 1914 with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg. America joined the Allies in 1917, believing the Great War to be the war to end all wars, but the world wasn’t at peace.

Unresolved issues from WWI lead to greater conflict. War officially began on September 1, 1939, when Germany attacked Poland. Germany then crushed six countries in three months — Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and France — and proceeded to conquer Yugoslavia and Greece.

Japan's plans for expansion in the Far East led it to attack Pearl Harbor in December 1941, bringing the United States into the war. By early 1942, all major countries of the world were involved in the most destructive war in history. More than 50 countries took part in the war, and The number of people killed, wounded, or missing between September 1939 and September 1945 can never be calculated, but it is estimated that more than 55 million people perished.

America fought in The Korean War from1950-1953 and the Vietnam War lasted from 1956-1975. The brutality and lack of national support during the Vietnam War led to a disheartening lack of support for the military and an appalling lack of appreciation for those who served in that conflict.

American conflicts in the middle east began in 1980 during the Iranian Hostage situation. "Desert One" or "Operation Eagle Claw" rescued the hostages but the conflicts were not resolved.

Between 1981 and 1986, the US was involved in the Libyan Conflict, although Gaddafi remained in power until his death at the hand of his own people in October of this year.

U.S. Intervention in Lebanon employed US troops between 1982-1984. And in 1983, the US invaded Grenada to rescue US citizens trapped in that country.

In 19819, the US invaded Panama, Then in 1991, Operation Desert Storm began. The war was short but the hostilities were never resolved.

U.S. intervention in Somalia lasted from 1992-1994 and the NATO Intervention in Bosnia (Operation Deliberate Force) utilized US troops from 1994-1995.

In 1994, the US occupied Haiti, protecting that country’s citizens from rebels. After the U.S. Embassy bombings and strikes on Afghanistan and Sudan (The bin Laden War) began in August, 1998 and continued until his capture and death on May 1, 2011.

"Desert Fox" Campaign (part of U.S./Iraq Conflict) occurred in December, 1998 and the war in
Kosovo involved the US in 1999.

After the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the war on terror began.

In Afghanistan, there was Operation Enduring Freedom, which began on October 7, 2001and continues today. Operation Iraqi Freedom, began March 19, 2003 and is still part of America’s war against terror.

Wars come and go, but the sacrifice of those who serve should never be forgotten.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Importance of Cancer Support Groups

Please welcome today's guest blogger, David Haas. 

The Importance of Cancer Support Groups

Cancer is one of the scariest words in any language. Even with a support network of friends and family, fighting cancer can feel like one of the loneliest battles a person can undertake. This is in part because only someone who has had cancer can truly relate. Cancer survivor networks allow the person with cancer to talk to someone who understands what they are going through.
Although friends and family mean well, people with cancer often feel a need to discuss what they are going through and what they will be going through with someone who knows. Cancer survivor networks offer that information from people who have been there. There are many ways for people with cancer to find a support group. For those who feel like getting out and meeting people face to face, many cities and towns have groups not only for people with cancer, but for their families too. Doctors often know of support groups and can recommend a group.

For those who either cannot or choose to not get out and meet people, there are many discussion boards and websites that offer support. These websites usually have a place for family members so that they can get support for the fears and feelings they have, as well as learning what they can do to support the patient. The American Cancer Society hosts a website that has discussion boards for nearly every kind of cancer. If a patient is suffering from breast cancer, there are many different links that offer guidance and support for patients going through treatment. The American Cancer Society website lists support groups for cancers whether it is a common cancer like breast cancer or a rare disease like mesothelioma.

Support groups can be an important part of fighting cancer. Support groups can help patients make it through the physical trials, such as pain and fatigue. Support groups can also help deal with the psychological aspects of dealing with cancer by offering emotional and stress support. Studies have found the belonging to a support group can reduce anxiety and depression. These groups can also help the patient while undergoing treatment, and patients tend to cope better with all of the issues of treatment by understanding they are not the only ones to go through those issues.

Belonging to a cancer support group can be instrumental in fighting cancer. These support groups give the patient a sense that they are not alone in their battle, and it gives them a belief that the battle can be won.

Thanks so much for sharing this valuable information. As a breast cancer survivor, I know the importance of not just family support, but support from other survivors. After I was diagnosed, the mother of one of my daughter's friends volunteered to go with me for my first chemo treatment. Before that day, we were merely acquaintances. But we shared a common bond. Cancer. She'd come through the other side of the same dark tunnel I was about to enter. And she knew what I was feeling while my family knew only what I was willing to share.
If you're fighting cancer, remember you don't have to fight alone. There are support groups out there.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Romance Reviews Year End Party

The Romance Reviews is celebrating with games and prizes and I'm part of the fun. Check out their awesome site and play to win! It's going to be fun!