4th of July

Posted on Jul 3, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Holidays and Celebrations, Patriotism

4th of July

“May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, But as the opportunity to do what is right.” Peter Marshall The Fourth of July commemorates the birth of the United States as a free and independent nation. I can’t imagine a more important right than freedom – whether for an individual, or a country. We’re not a perfect people, and we still struggle with issues of equal rights for all; but thankfully we live in a country where freedom of speech is protected by law, without fear of reprisal or oppression. History of Freedom Virginia was the first colony established in the new...

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Memorial Day WWI WWII

Posted on May 28, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Holidays and Celebrations, Patriotism

Memorial Day WWI WWII

“Where there is liberty, there is my country.” Benjamin Franklin Memorial Day provides a wonderful opportunity to honor those who have died in the service of our country.  Originating at the time of the American Civil War, Memorial Day has been extended to encompass all Americans from all battles who have perished while serving in the military.  There are so many attributions to the founding of this day, I’m not sure we’ll ever really know whom to thank.  From the women who decorated soldier’s graves in Savannah, GA in 1862 to the burial of the martyrs of the Race Course in Charleston, S.C.,...

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Mother’s Day

Posted on May 14, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Holidays and Celebrations

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day Two little words – Mother’s Day, evoke the deepest of emotions and strongest of memories in every child, of every age, in every part of the world.  Whether your mother is still with you or has passed, whether she abides close by or across the seas, your mother is the one and only relationship you’ve had since before you were born, that will remain with you until your final day. “Motherhood – all love begins and ends there.” Robert Browning So many books, poems, and tributes have been dedicated to Mothers, it would be impossible to capture the range, breadth and depth of our love...

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Easter Rabbits

Posted on Mar 26, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Children, Holidays and Celebrations

Easter Rabbits

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” William Shakespeare Much like the colorful eggs showcased in Easter Eggs, the rabbit too, symbolizes fertility and renewal.   Hares and rabbits were deemed prolific procreators, thus an apt representation of rebirth, spring and the Easter season.  Some believe the custom of the Easter Rabbit originated in Germany, where mention is found in literature as far back as the 1500s.  German settlers, arriving in Pennsylvania in the 1700’s, brought with them their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.”  Children would...

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Easter Eggs

Posted on Mar 19, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Holidays and Celebrations

Easter Eggs

Happy Easter As with many long standing traditions or holidays, many groups claim Easter for their own. Early beliefs espouse Easter to be derived from the word Eostre, the Greek goddess of Spring. Legend has it Eostre returned each year after the long cold winter to bring light and warmth to the earth. Grand festivals were held to herald her return. Frankly, since she always returned at the vernal Equinox (March 21st) it was a pretty safe bet winter was winding down. Still, any excuse to celebrate, I suppose, and revelers “partied hearty” in the name of rebirth, rejuvenation, and the onset...

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Nine Brave Men

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Holidays and Celebrations

Nine Brave Men

Waxing nostalgic for my Irish heritage, I decided to share a great story. This version is written by Roy H. Williams, and is excerpted from his book The Wizard of Ads “It’s 1848. Nine Irishmen have been captured, tried, and convicted of treason against Her Majesty, the Queen. They are sentenced to death.  The men are Charles Duffy, John Mitchell, Morris Lyene, Pat Donahue, Thomas McGee, Richard O’Gorman, Thomas Meagher, Michael Ireland and Terrence McManus.  As the judge is about to pronounce their sentence, he asks if there is anything they would like to say.  Meagher steps forward and...

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Limerick Lace

Posted on Mar 13, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Bridal, Holidays and Celebrations, Lace

Limerick Lace

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.  Gaelic blessing The following wedding handkerchiefs of Limerick lace are beautifully executed and contain symbols associated with Ireland, including the harp and the shamrock. For those wondering about the meaning of the symbols, the shamrock was discussed in the previous blog, but since Irishmen are known to repeat themselves, particularly if the yarn is a good one, here goes:...

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Shamrocks and St. Patrick’s Day

Posted on Mar 12, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Botanical, Holidays and Celebrations

Shamrocks and St. Patrick’s Day

    Luck o’ the Irish Faith and Begorrah, it seems anyone with a bit o’ blarney in him is eager to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – and doesn’t that include most of us?  It’s doubtful you’ll find an Irishman on March 17th who doesn’t have a lucky shamrock tucked in his lapel. Why all the fuss about the lowly shamrock?  This simple three-leafed clover is known as a symbol of Ireland. The name is derived from the Irish word seamróg, which means “little clover.”  Legend has it that St. Patrick used the clover to illustrate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy...

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Our Gang – Friends Forever

Posted on Feb 26, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Children, Holidays and Celebrations

Our Gang – Friends Forever

“Wherever you are, it’s your friends who make your world.” William James   I love this hankie featuring Farina, Mary, Joe and Mickey (Freckles), all characters from the original Our Gang Comedies. Perhaps it should have been included in the Hollywood blogs, as heaven knows, it’s a classic, dating all the way back to a time before movies were “talkies.” It seemed to me, however, to fit another category or two even better – Wabi Sabi and Friendship, so I’m giving it ‘face time’ separate and apart from the hoopla of Hollywood for you to savor and enjoy. It’s not what we...

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Valentine’s Day

Posted on Feb 14, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Holidays and Celebrations, Romance

Valentine’s Day

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life:  That word is love. Sophocles Searching for just the right Valentine can be like searching for the perfect white shirt, neighborhood that feels like home, or special pet to love.    Each offers something special and unique, but only one will speak to your heart.  Valentines come in every shape, size and color, with far too many styles to showcase in a single blog.  I’ve chosen a small sampling to illustrate the variety of ways hankies can convey “I love you.” Certainly there’s the ubiquitous Key to My Heart message.  Sometimes the message...

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Secret Love

Posted on Feb 6, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Holidays and Celebrations, Romance

Secret Love

. These “Secret Valentines” are not only great fun, they’re the perfect images to exemplify Valentine’s Day.  Why? Because St.Valentine represents forbidden love.   Stories about St. Valentine abound, but the one I favor is the legend about a priest name Valentinus or Valentine who lived during the third century in Rome. The reigning emperor at that time, Claudius II, decided that single men would make better soldiers than those who had wives, thus soldiers were forbidden to marry. The soldiers sought aid from Valentine, who married couples in secret, in violation of the law.  When his...

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Addendum to Roses and Romance

Posted on Jan 31, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Botanical, Floral, Holidays and Celebrations, Romance

Addendum to Roses and Romance

Although Valentine’s Day is still a few weeks away, I’m hopping on cupid’s bandwagon because in today’s culture of texting and tweeting, some guys apparently need a wake-up call when it comes to romance.   A recent lead story in the New York Times decried The End of Courtship, and the details were truly disheartening.  (We touched on this trend in Flirting.)  Apparently Millennial girls are drowning in a tsunami of boys with bad manners. The story opens with a social media manager in Philly, who thought she had a date for Friday night.  The guy finally texted her at 10:30 p.m., with this...

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Roses and Romance

Posted on Jan 29, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Botanical, Floral, Holidays and Celebrations, Romance

Roses and Romance

When I spied this luscious bouquet, it stopped me in my tracks.  I couldn’t help but wonder if the gentleman who bestowed this on his sweetheart longed to give her live roses, but this hankie was all he could afford.     That speculation immediately brought to mind the terrific anecdote about how actress Helen Hayes first met her husband.  (Hayes is one of the select few who have garnered a Tony, an Oscar, an Emmy and a Grammy.) Attending a swanky soiree one evening, bored to tears, Hayes was contemplating how to gracefully exit, when she was suddenly approached by the man who...

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Happy New Year

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Calendar, Entertainment, Food, Holidays and Celebrations

Happy New Year

Oh dear, looks like this hapless chap may require a bit of “hair of the dog” to restore him to his former glory, or at the very least to an ‘upright and locked’ position.  Note the wobbly-kneed stance so cleverly depicted by the four-footed stumble of our staggering celebrant. Or is it just our own double vision?  If you’ve ever attempted to “party hearty”  like this sad creature, your sympathies are with him, I’m sure. Aside: Hair of the Dog dates back to the time of Shakespeare, and is a term we use today to refer to treatment for a hangover.  Apparently the Scots believed that...

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Zip Zap Zing it’s Christmas

Posted on Dec 28, 2012 in All Blog Posts, Children, Holidays and Celebrations

Zip Zap Zing it’s Christmas

If you’ve read our Hip Holiday review, you know that the hip 50’s jive and swingin’ 60’s cool influenced clothing, furnishings, lifestyles, and even tweaked the traditions of Christmas. Artists adopted a brave and vibrant palette that included zaps of hot pink, zips of turquoise, zings of chartreuse, and a zesty squeeze of lime and orange, topped with a zealous oomph of aluminum. Stores like Neiman Marcus and Lord &Taylor, ever vigilant in the hunt for “new” and “fresh” embraced the hues with gusto. To accommodate a range of consumers, retailers offered the gamut from...

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