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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thankful for Civilization


While you are giving thanks this week, no doubt you will be the hit of the dinner party when you bring these topics to the table! 

The word "thank" is actually derived from the word "think".  Think. Thank. Thunk.  All of which have Germanic origin.  

Long ago, the word “thank”, devived from a form of the word “think”.  Consider someone long ago thinking that they were grateful for about what they were to receive, perhaps at meal time or for a successful bounty after hunting. 

Eventually, the word think evolved to refer to favorable thoughts and, eventually, gratitude. 

"So if you think the turkey was delicious, be sure to express your thanks—otherwise, your hostess may think her meal went thunk."  

The Turkey

The turkey is one of the most famous birds in North America.  In fact, Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the wild turkey, not the Bald Eagle, the national bird of the United States!

The turkey's popularity comes from the American people's love of eating the bird for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Domestic or tame turkeys weigh twice what a wild turkey does and are raised on farms for profit.

Most domestic turkeys are so heavy they are unable to fly.

Wild Turkeys:  Scientific name is Meleagris gallopavo.  They live in the woods in parts of North America and are the largest game birds found in this part of the world.  They spend their days foraging for food like acorns, seeds, small insects and wild berries.  They spend their nights in low branches of trees (yes, wild turkeys can fly!).

Peacocks aren't the only birds who use their fancy tails to attract a mate.  Each spring male turkeys try to befriend as many females as possible.  Male turkeys, also called "Tom Turkeys" or "Gobblers" puff up their bodies and spread their tail feathers (just like a peacock).

They grunt, make a "gobble gobble sound" and strut about shaking their feathers.  This fancy turkey trot helps the male attract females (also called "hens") for mating.

After the female turkey mates, she prepares a nest under a bush in the woods and lays her tan and speckled brown eggs.  She incubates as many as 18 eggs at a time.  It takes about a month for the chicks to hatch.

When the babies (known as poults) hatch they flock with their mother all year (even through the winter).  For the first two weeks the poults are unable to fly.  The mother roosts on the ground with them during this time.

Wild turkeys are covered with dark feathers that help them blend in with their woodland homes.  The bare skin on the throat and head of a turkey can change color from flat gray to striking shades of red, white, and blue when the bird becomes distressed or excited.

Where did the turkey get its name?

Have you ever wondered what Turkey (the country in the Middle East) and the American bird have in common?  A case of mistaken identity resulted in the American Turkey being named after the country.  When the Spanish first found the bird in the Americas more than 400 years ago they brought it back to Europe.  The English mistakenly thought it was a bird they called a "turkey" so they gave it the same name.  This other bird was actually from Africa, but came to England by way of the Turkey (lots of shipping went through Turkey at the time).  The name stuck even when they realized the birds weren't the same.

Turkey Terms

Caruncle - brightly colored growths on the throat region.  Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Gizzard - a part of a bird's stomach that contains tiny stones.  It helps them grind up food for digestion.

Hen - a female turkey.

Poult - a baby turkey.  A chick.

Snood - the flap of skin that hangs over the turkey's beak.  Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Tom - a male turkey.  Also known as a gobbler.

Wattle - the flap of skin under the turkey's chin.  Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Scientific genus and species:  Meleagris gallopavo

The Potato

In the Altiplano, potatoes provided the principal energy source for the Inca Empire, its predecessors, and its Spanish successor. In Bolivia and Peru above 10,000 feet altitude, tubers exposed to the cold night air turned into chuño; when kept in permanently frozen underground storehouses, chuño can be stored for years with no loss of nutritional value. The Spanish fed chuño to the silver miners who produced vast wealth in the 16th century for the Spanish government.

Potato was the staple food of most Pre–Columbian Mapuches, "specially in the southern and coastal [Mapuche] territories where maize did not reach maturity".

The potato was first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia between 8000 and 5000 BC.  It has since spread around the world and become a staple crop in many countries.

According to conservative estimates, the introduction of the potato was responsible for a quarter of the growth in Old World population and urbanization between 1700 and 1900.  Following the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, the Spanish introduced the potato to Europe in the second half of the 16th century. The staple was subsequently conveyed by European mariners to territories and ports throughout the world. The potato was slow to be adopted by distrustful European farmers, but soon enough it became an important food staple and field crop that played a major role in the European 19th century population boom.  However, lack of genetic diversity, due to the very limited number of varieties initially introduced, left the crop vulnerable to disease. 

In 1845, a plant disease known as late blight, caused by the fungus-like oomycete Phytophthora infestans, spread rapidly through the poorer communities of western Ireland, resulting in the crop failures that led to the Great Irish Famine. Thousands of varieties still persist in the Andes however, where over 100 cultivars might be found in a single valley, and a dozen or more might be maintained by a single agricultural household.

Fork It

The word fork comes from the Latin furca, meaning "pitchfork." Some of the earliest known uses of forks with food occurred in Ancient Egypt, where large forks were used as cooking utensils. Bone forks had been found in the burial site of the Bronze Age Qijia culture (2400–1900 BC) as well as later Chinese dynasties' tombs.The Ancient Greeks used the fork as a serving utensil, The Greek name for fork is still used in some European languages, for instance in the Venetian, Greek, and Albanian languages.

In the Roman Empire, bronze and silver forks were used, indeed many examples are displayed in museums around Europe. The use varied according to local customs, social class and the nature of food, but forks of the earlier periods were mostly used as cooking and serving utensils. The personal table fork was most likely invented in the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire where they were in common use by the 4th century (its origin may even go back to Ancient Greece, before the Roman period). Records show that by the 9th century a similar utensil known as a barjyn was in limited use in Persia within some elite circles. By the 10th century, the table fork was in common use throughout the Middle East.

Slice It

The knife plays a significant role in some cultures through ritual and superstition, as the knife was an essential tool for survival since early man. Knife symbols can be found in various cultures to symbolize all stages of life; for example, a knife placed under the bed while giving birth is said to ease the pain, or, stuck into the headboard of a cradle, to protect the baby; knives were included in some Anglo-Saxon burial rites, so the dead would not be defenseless in the next world. The knife plays an important role in some initiation rites, and many cultures perform rituals with a variety of knives, including the ceremonial sacrifices of animals. Samurai warriors, as part of bushido, could perform ritual suicide, or seppuku, with a tantō, a common Japanese knife. An athame, a ceremonial knife, is used in Wicca and derived forms of neopagan witchcraft.

In Greece, a black-handled knife placed under the pillow is used to keep away nightmares.  As early as 1646 reference is made to a superstition of laying a knife across another piece of cutlery being a sign of witchcraft. A common belief is that if a knife is given as a gift, the relationship of the giver and recipient will be severed. Something such as a small coin, dove or a valuable item is exchanged for the gift, rendering "payment."

Scoop It

During the Neolithic Ozieri civilization in Sardinia, ceramic ladles and spoons were already in use. In Shang Dynasty China, spoons were made of bone. Early bronze spoons in China were designed with a sharp point, and may have also been used as cutlery. Ancient 

Indian texts also refer to the use of spoons. For example, the Rigveda refers to spoons during a passage describing the reflection of light as it "touches the spoon's mouth" (RV 8.43.10).The spoons of the Greeks and Romans were chiefly made of bronze and silver and the handle usually takes the form of a spike or pointed stem. There are many examples in the British Museum from which the forms of the various types can be ascertained, the chief points of difference being found in the junction of the bowl with the handle.

In the early Muslim world, spoons were used for eating soup. Medieval spoons for domestic use were commonly made of cow horn or wood, but brass, pewter, and latten spoons appear to have been common in about the 15th century. The full descriptions and entries relating to silver spoons in the inventories of the royal and other households point to their special value and rarity. 

The earliest English reference appears to be in a will of 1259. In the wardrobe accounts of Edward I for the year 1300 some gold and silver spoons marked with the fleur-de-lis, the Paris mark, are mentioned. One of the most interesting medieval spoons is the coronation spoon used in the anointing of the English sovereign.


Monday, November 17, 2014

The Devil's Chair

What happens when you sit in a stone carved chair, intended for someone's final resting place?  Pull up a seat, and find out.

theunexplainable.net writes:

"When visiting older graveyards and other locations where the dead are buried, you may come across a mysterious stone chair or bench along the way in the midst of the ancient tombstones.  What are these chairs?  And is there a reason that so many communities throughout the world have dubbed them "Devil's Chairs?"

The chairs themselves are often ornate, carved from solid granite or other expensive stone and held in the ground affixed by either iron bolts or its sheer weight to a firm stone cube within the ground.  The monuments may themselves be confused with gravestones, though they are often simply unmarked monuments with a practical purpose - the comfort of 19th century visitors to the grave sites in times when the graves themselves were often remote and had to be traveled to on foot and to avoid visitors from disrespecting the graves of the interred by sitting on them.  Gravestones, which are surprisingly fragile over time, were instead left alone while the chairs were used.

Alternatively, as the chairs became more popular occasionally ornate ones were placed in the ground with the intention simply of being observed for their craftsmanship and beauty.  But as people began to forget the culture of these chairs, originally known as "mourning chairs," the legends began to fill the void.

The Devil's Chair has been spotted in several cemeteries throughout the eastern United States and the midwest.  The chairs are said to have been placed in a given location as a tempting offer to the visitors to sit in, and part of a ritual component designed to summon powerful demons or even in some cases the devil himself to the location.  Legends often follow a formula intended to frighten or dare visitors to sit in the chair if they are brave enough.

The chairs are said to be connected by unknown means to the world of the dead, often depicted as a version of Hell.  And on Halloween if you sit in one - generally described alone without mention of the others that have been built - you will be visited by a demon which will either claim your soul or give you a great fortune.  One of the chairs in Highland Park, Missouri (just west of the home home to the legendary Hell Gates) is said to have a phantom hand lurking beneath the chair which will drag the offending party beneath the Earth to another realm.

Visitors are often said to visit these locations with the intention of spotting the paranormal, and accounts from the visitors suggests that sometimes these visits don't go precisely as planned.  Is it possible the legend itself could have built up something in the minds of the visitors to bring them into existence?  Is it possible the mind itself, and the legends it comes to believe in could become the ultimate catalyst in bringing something from the realm of imagination not necessarily into the real world fully, but somewhere in between?  In this way, the legend of the Devil's Chair could have started as mere legend, but become something more in time."

The Devil's Chair

"The term devil’s chair (or "haunted chair") in folklore is frequently attached to a class of funerary or memorial sculpture common in the United States during the nineteenth century and often associated with legend tripping. Nineteenth century graveyards sometimes included carved chairs for the comfort of visitors.  In this function, the object was known as a "mourning chair," and cemeteries have since provided benches for similar purposes, most often movable units of the type used in parks, but also specimens in the tradition of the carved chairs.

Some carved chairs were probably not intended for use as anything but monuments, while the "monubench" is still commercially available.  Once the original purpose of these chairs fell out of fashion, superstitions developed in association with the act of sitting in them. In a typical example, local young people dare one another to visit the site, most often after dark, at midnight, or on some specified night such as Halloween or New Year’s Eve. Variously, the stories suggest the person brave enough to sit in the chair at such a time may be punished for impudence or rewarded for courage." -wiki

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Today, I clicked online to open my home page to Google, I clicked on the video to watch a memorial for the "Fall of the Berlin Wall". 

It choked me up...maybe because Tuesday is 
Veteran's Day.  The following are events and matters that I remember,  I'm sure some of you have other memories...and that is what defines YOU.... Remember:

Note: Personal events, personal comments, etc., are shown in LIME TEXT.

Issues of freedom always do this to me... to the extent where I cry (always have, always will) when I watch Veterans pass by in a parade, or to see an elderly Veteran saluting as the beloved flag passes by - so stoic, so proud.  I get this from my Dad, who, had a loud bark, but was a complete and utter marshmallow inside. It is always wonderful to hear someone say to me, or to someone else, "Thank you for your service'.

Today, I became reflective of the fact that I turned 50 in May and there were certain events that have occurred, and will never happen again. 

Within the historical events are the personal events such as births... deaths... and marriages...  Places I have lived...  Things that I have done...   As I contemplate these matters, I realize that collectively, these incidents have shaped and defined me. 

There are dozens of events hat occurred during the last 50 years, that I simply do not remember with the exception of hearing words on the CBS news, as a small child, through the famous deep voice of Walter Cronkite, or by my Dad speaking with my mother upon reading the newspaper.  

I was still in my mother's womb when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November of 1963, and within this viscera, is also where I remained while she suffered the loss of her own mother.  

I was born in 1964 into a household of Beatlemania, so I like to say that I was born in the year the Beatles first came to America (which also happened 3 months before I was born, in February of 1964).

FUN FACTS - 1960's 

If you have $100 Converted from 1960 to 2005 it would be equivalent to $679.09 today 

In 1960 a new house cost $12,700 and by 1969 was $15,500

In 1960 the average income per year was $5,315 and by 1969 was $8,540

In 1960 a gallon of gas was 25 cents and by 1969 was 35 cents 

In 1960 the average cost of new car was $2,600 and by 1969 was $3,270

1964 - Last towns in Vermont received electricity - Victory, Granby and Jamaica

April 15-18, 1969 -  500,000 music fans travel to Bethel, New York for Woodstock festival

July 21, 1969 - American astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon

I was brought up playing out doors, finding entertainment by making it up with my neighbor friends, often oblivious to serious matters that evolving around the world.  I do remember my father watching Walter Cronkite - every evening - and hearing the words "Vietnam"

It wasn't until I saw the LIFE magazine photos that I had any understanding of war.   I do remember specifically a photo of young boys running through a street looking terrified, one of which was naked.  There was another photo of (what I thought was a Chinese man - having no other reference) holding a pistol to another terrified young man's head.  I had  a morbid fascination with these photos, because I had to look at all of them, to understand it, but mostly it disturbed me. I did not understand. I knew that these individuals had been stripped of dignity, and to me that was horrible. 


To provide an estimate of inflation we have given a guide to the value of $100 US Dollars for the first year in the decade to the equivalent in today's money: 

If you have $100 Converted from 1970 to 2005 it would be equivalent to $517.65 today. 

In 1970 a new house cost $23,400 and by 1979 was $58,500

In 1970 the average income per year was $9,350 and by 1979 was $17,550

In 1970 a gallon of gas was 36 cents and by 1979 was 86 cents 

In 1970 the average cost of new car was $3,900 and by 1979 was $5,770

1970 - The Beatles disintegrated, ironically, their last concert was in America.  I simply cannot watch this - seriously - without watching Ringo's deep sadness, and choking up. Fuck.  There is no other word for what I feel when I watch this video.  Inevitably, I cry. What a bloody shame.  In my opinion, NO ONE has come close to the the magic of this foursome.

1971 - Charles Manson is convicted of various murders.  Around 1976, I remember reading the book HELTER SKELTER which detailed the horrific events of these crimes.

August 8, 1974 - U.S. President Richard Nixon delivers his resignation speech on national television following his involvement in covering up the Watergate scandal. Again, the voice of Walter Cronkite rings in my ears as I remember how many times I heard the word "Watergate", and not understanding what Watergate was...what did it mean?  Was it a place?  That's what it sounded like to me! 

1975, 30 April - The Vietnam war is ended as North Vietnamese troops take control of Saigon

May 25, 1977 -  The first Star Wars film is released

August 16, 1977 - Elvis Presley dies in his home in Graceland. Two days later, 75,000 fans line the streets of Memphis for his funeral.

Nov 29, 1978 -  918 members of American cult, the People’s Temple, are found dead from cyanide poisoning at the Jonestown commune in Guyana. A note left by cult leader Jim Jones explains the deaths as suicides but survivors claim that he forced the group to drink a soft drink laced with the poison


To provide an estimate of inflation we have given a guide to the value of $100 US Dollars for the first year in the decade to the equivalent in today's money:

If you have $100 Converted from 1980 to 2005 it would be equivalent to $243.45 today.

In 1980 a new house cost $68,714 and by 1989 was $120,00

In 1980 the average income per year was $19,170 and by 1989 was $27,210 

In 1980 a gallon of gas was $1.19 and by 1989 was 97 cents

In 1980 the average cost of new car was $7,210 and by 1989 was $15,400

December 8, 1980: John Lennon is shot dead outside his New York home by 25-year-old Mark Chapman, with Yoko Ono by his side.

May 13, 1981 - Pope John Paul II is nearly killed by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca

Already looking in opposite directions....
July 29, 1981 - 700 million TV viewers worldwide watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral

August 1, 1981 - MTV: Date founded

1985 - Madeleine M. Kunin became first woman Governor of Vermont

July 13, 1985 - Bob Geldof’s dual-venue Live Aid concert raises £30m for African famine victims

October 18, 1985 - The Nintendo Entertainment System - was first released in North America and featured 18 launch titles. The NES was succeeded by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, released in 1991.

January 28, 1986 - January 28 The American space shuttle Challenger explodes seconds after lift-off, killing its crew of seven

April 26, 1986 - One of four nuclear reactors at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explodes, sending a cloud of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere, which affects large areas of Europe

October 16, 1987 - Who couldn't forget the completely wonderful and emotional news of the rescue of little 18 month old Jessica McClure, in Midland, Texas?  

November 9, 1989: Borders between East and West Germany open - leading to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.


To provide an estimate of inflation we have given a guide to the value of $100 US Dollars for the first year in the decade to the equivalent in today's money:

If you have $100 Converted from 1990 to 2005 it would be equivalent to $153.76 today. 

In 1990 a new house cost $123,000 and by 1999 was $131,700

In 1990 the average income per year was $28,970 and by 1999 was $40,810

In 1990 a gallon of gas was $1.34 and by 1999 was $1.22 

In 1990 the average cost of new car was $16,000 and by 1999 was $21,100

August 2, 1990 - Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, marking the beginning of the Gulf War.

December 25, 1990 - British engineer and computer scientist, Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, perfects his invention; the World Wide Web.

WWWho would've thunk?  
October 3, 1995 - O.J. Simpson is found not guilty of the murder of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman. He later penned a book called If I Did It, in which he puts forth a hypothetical description of the murders.

1996 - WebTV was invented  by Diba Inc and Zenith Electronics, who produced and marketed the first WebTV sets. This was a fantastic alternative for those (me, at the time) who could not afford a computer....

May 5, 1996 - At age 32, I was sworn into the United States Army for the Vermont Army National Guard, at Camp Johnson, Vermont.  I went to Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, in September.  I was honored to be chosen to accept the graduation award representing our Battalion, for the End of Cycle Perfect Score; and, to have had both parents attend the graduation.  Later in November, I went to to Advanced Training at Fort Jackson,(Adjutant General School for Administrative Training) in Columbia South Carolina.

August 31, 1997: Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed are killed in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris.   

I remember that I was moving into an apartment in Montpelier on Barre Street, and was listening to NPR when I first heard the news.

September 5, 1997 - Mother Teresa dies

April 20, 1999: The Columbine High School massacre occurs in Littleton, Colorado.  I watched on CNN.

June 5, 1999 - I watched my niece Shyann Adrienne Rose Hinckley being born at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, Vermont.

2000, Vermont's assembly approved same-sex marriages

September 23, 2000 - I married Bill Bacon (discography link) in a very private Justice of the Peace service in Barre, VT.

October 26, 2000 - Sony’s PlayStation 2 debuts, selling over 139 million units to date. Welcome, new generation of 3-D gaming!

January 21, 2001 - I moved to Essex, Massachusetts, upon accepting employment in Gloucester, for The Open Door Cape Ann Food Pantry.  I was hired as Manager for it's resale store, Second Glance Resale Shop. All profit beyond operating costs supported hunger relief programs in Cape Ann.  I am not ashamed to say (and please forgive my language) I kicked ass.  I love Cape Ann and it lives forever in my heart.  Certainly the beauty of the region was a factor, but the people were SALT.

September 11, 2001 - Al-Qaeda terrorists hijack four commercial airliners en route to Los Angeles and San Francisco. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 are flown into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York, American Airlines Flight 77 is flown into the Pentagon in Washington, and United Airlines Flight 93 crashes into grassland in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to regain control from the hijackers. I was at work and did not see the news until the end of the day.  I remember literally crumbling to my knees and saying "...on American soil..." in disbelief.

Warning: content is graphic and disturbing.

October 7, 2001 -  The United States invades Afghanistan, with participation from the British Armed Forces, in response to the September 11 attacks. The invasion marks the beginning of the current, ongoing war in Afghanistan.

November 10, 2001 - The iPod is released, changing media consumption, Apple’s core business, and the music industry.

November 13, 2001 - U.S. President George W. Bush signs an order allowing military tribunals against any foreigners suspected of having connections to terrorist acts or planned acts against the United States. This is the first act of its kind since World War II.

April 9, 2002 - The funeral of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother takes place in Westminster Abbey.

June 3, 2002 - The Party in the Palace takes place at Buckingham Palace, London for Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

August, 2003 - MySpace prototype launches. Ultimately fails as social-networking site but forever alters how music is marketed: by bands themselves...and of course, Tom is in your extended network!

December 13, 2003 -  Saddam Hussein is captured by US forces at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr.

February 4, 2004 - Facebook is founded by Mark Zuckerberg

August 29, 2005 - Hurricane Katrina striking Louisiana, U.S., killing more than 1,400 people and devastating the city New Orleans and the Mississippi coast.

February, 2005 - YouTube founded. 

March 21, 2006 - Twitter Inc., Date founded. 

November 5, 2006 - Saddam Hussein is sentenced by the Iraqi Special Tribunal to death by hanging. His execution takes place on December 30 in Kadhimiya at Iraqi army base, Camp Justice

November 19, 2006 - Nintendo Wii’s radical, easy-to-use motion-sensitive controllers create whole new gaming demo: women.

May 3, 2007 - Madeleine Beth McCann (born 12 May 2003) disappeared on the evening of  from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal. The disappearance became what one newspaper called "the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history." Her whereabouts remain unknown.

Anna Nichole Smith dies due to "Accidental prescription drug overdose" (1967-2007) 

January 2, 2008 - The price of petroleum hits $100 per barrel for the first time in history

January 21, 2008 -  Stock markets around the world crash amid growing fears of a global recession

June, 2008 - Bill and I go our separate ways. I moved back to Vermont, and lived on Spring Street in Montpelier until October of that year, when my brother Donald became ill.

November, 2008 - I met my future husband, Old Rusty.

April, 2009 - Divorce is final.  I am happy to say that we still keep in touch and support one another, when ever possible.  He will always be very near and dear to me. 

October 31, 2009 - Something is horribly wrong with my brother, I drove him to Fletcher Allen Hospital for neurological testing.  

November 7, 2009 - My brother Donnie, died unexpectedly in our parents home.

January 20, 2009 - Senator Barack Obama is inaugurated as the United States of America’s first African American President

June 25, 2009 - Michael Jackson dies of a cardiac arrest, prompting worldwide mourning from fans.

August 19, 2009 - Obama announces the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, bringing the war to a close

Farrah Fawcett died from Anal cancer.(1947-2009) 

November 16, 2010 - It is announced that Prince William of Wales will marry long-term girlfriend, Kate Middleton

April 29, 2011 - The marriage of Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge took place at Westminster Abbey. Catherine and William chose to break with royal protocol and, like Diana, Princess of Wales, omit any vow by Catherine that she "obey" her husband. A few hours prior to the ceremony, William's new titles of Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus were announced, as is customary for princes on the occasion of their weddings.  

August 28-29, 2011 - Tropical Storm Irene pummeled the slopes and valleys of Vermont with heavy rain and wind.  Statistics regarding this storm can be found here: http://www.anr.state.vt.us/anr/climatechange/irenebythenumbers.html

Amy Winehouse was a five-time Grammy Award-winning English singer-songwriter

died due to alcohol intoxication. (1983-2011) 


February 11, 2012 - Whitney Houston dies. Houston’s official cause of death was accidental drowning due to the “effects” of heart disease combined with long term cocaine use. 

August 1, 2012 - Rover Curiosity successfully lands on the Planet Mars

November 2, 2012 - Obama elected for second term as U.S. President


Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church in March 2013, becoming Pope Francis. He is the first pope from the Americas.

Nelson Mandela Dies at 95. 12-04-2013

US government shutdown. 10-01-2013

Washington DC Navy Yard Shooting. 09-17-2013

Tokyo Japan wins to host 2020 Olympics. 09-07-2013

Detroit files for bankruptcy. 07-18-2013

Baltimore cruise ship fire in Caribbean. 05-27-2013

Scientists successfully cloned human stem cells. 05-17-2013

Boston Marathon Blasts. 04-16-2013 - Link:

Boston Bombing - Warning Content is graphic

Margaret Thatcher Dies at 87. 04-07-2013

July 22, 2013 - Prince William and Kate Middleton became parents with the birth of their first child, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born at 4.24pm weighing 8lbs 6oz.

Meteorites injured hundreds in Russia. 02-14-2013

Pope Benedict XVI resigned. 02-10-2013

About 230 Dead During Brazil Nightclub Fire. 01-27-2013


Engaged on Valentines Day complete with an on the knee proposal! "Will you marry me, Bub?"


Russ and I were married on May 31, 2014. He is the kindest, sweetest and dearest person I have ever met.  I still get butterflies when he calls me... 6 years and going strong! 

Back to Reality....

Ebola Virus Outbreak. 07-30-2014

Nigerian School Girls Abduction. On April 14 this year, dozens of heavily armed Boko Haram insurgents stormed a government-run boarding secondary school in the town of Chibok in Borno State, northeastern Nigeria, abducting scores of schoolgirls from their dormitories.
The following day, a spokesman for Borno state government – speaking on the basis of information passed to it by school principal Asabe Kwambura – declared that 129 girls had been staying at the school that night and abducted. Of these, 14 escaped as they were driven into the bush, leaving 115 still being held by their captors, the state government said.

Four days later, on April 19, Enoch Mark, a Christian priest whose daughter and two nieces were among the kidnapped schoolgirls, spoke to reporters insisting that over 300 girls had been abducted.  BRING BACK THE GIRLS!!!!

See more at: http://africacheck.org/factsheets/

Malaysia Air Plane Missing with Over 200 Passengers On-board. No crash site has been found, to date. 03-05-2014

Robin McLaurin Williams - died from apparent suicide. (1951-2014) 

Joan Rivers - died from anoxic encephalopathy.


Shirley Temple, American actress and diplomat, famous as a child star in the 1930's dies of natural causes at 85.  February 10, 2014

Lauren Bacall: Born: 1924-09-16 - Died: 2014-08-12 - She was an American film icon who graced many important movies in the “Golden Age” of American cinema. She was married to the love of her life, Humphrey Bogart on May 21, 1945. 

Inflation Facts Sources: thepeoplehistory.com/