Topic Tuesday #175 2015/12/01 "Whoops, Missed one."

Topic Tuesday #175 2015/12/01 "Whoops, Missed one."

Hey readers! If you were paying attention, you did better than me, I missed posting on the 24th, for the first time since this little project began. Well, we are all human, even me. In my defense, I was just back from a vacation and had my hands full. It wasn't until Friday that I realized I forgot! Oh well! Nothing to do but keep rolling.

So what's up? Three big ones  that I can think of. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, 

I met new people, experienced new dishes and ate a lot. I avoided Black Friday in favor of Thanksgiving part 2 with family. I shop online all the time, but there was a good deal that I had to take advantage of on Walmart.com.  I am going to give my girls bunk beds, but not normal bunk beds, these have a futon bed/couch on the bottom. 

DHP Twin-Over-Futon Metal Bunk Bed

DHP Twin-Over-Futon Metal Bunk Bed

This will give them some flexibility. It may give me flexibility too, as who knows what tomorrow will bring. This will certainly enhance the guest space!  They will arrive on the 10th, so I will give a little review before Christmas. This isn't exactly a stocking stuffer, but they seem excited about it! It's not easy making everyone happy, but I'm willing to try.

So what have you been up to?

Topic Tuesday #146 2015/05/05 "Cinco de Mayo"

Topic Tuesday #146 2015/05/05 "Cinco de Mayo"

After "May the 4th be with you" is "Revenge of the 5th," more commonly known as Cinco de Mayo. As I like to do with Topic Tuesdays is to examine a holiday that falls on or near the Tuesday posting. So today being the auspicious day of the 5th of May, the When, What, Where, Why, and How - will be examined.

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When: Obviously the 5th of May, but it commemorates a battle fought in 1862.

Because American's don't know any better.

Because American's don't know any better.

What: It is the celebration of an unlikely victory over French forces by the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla the celebration is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: Battle of Puebla Day). IN the USA it is an immensely popular celebration of Mexican culture, and has little or nothing to do with the origin of the holiday.

Where: 19°02′N 98°11′W The battle occurred near enough to Puebla to garner its namesake. Puebla is located southeast of Mexico City and west of Mexico's main Atlantic port, Veracruz, on the main route between the two in Central Mexico.

Why: In short, a little thing called the French intervention in Mexico. After a new president was elected in 1861 after a civil war, which you can look up under the name The Reform War. The civil war had caused sever debt to the nation. The new president opted to suspend payment of the debt to Spain, France, and Britain. They were displeased and formed the Tripartite Alliance, with the main purpose of launching an allied invasion of Mexico, forcing the Mexican government to negotiate terms for repaying its debts and for reparations for alleged harm to foreign citizens in Mexico. The Tripartite Alliance fell apart by early April 1862, when it became clear the French had grander ambitions than simple debt repayment. The British and Spanish withdrew, leaving the French to march alone on Mexico City.

How: The Battle of Puebla delayed the French forces from making their way to Mexico City. The French expeditionary force was led by General Charles de Lorencez. Lorencez was led to believe that the people of Puebla were friendly to the French, and that the Mexican Republican garrison which kept the people in line would be overrun by the population once he made a show of force. This would prove to be a serious miscalculation on Lorencez's part.

Mexican Commander General, Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín, had earlier retreated to Puebla which was heavily fortified – it had been held by the Mexican government since the Reform War. To its north stood the forts Loreto and Guadalupe on opposite hilltops. Zaragoza had a trench dug to join the forts via the saddle.

Lorencez decided to attack Puebla from the north. However, he started his attack a little too late in the day, using his artillery just before noon and by noon advancing his infantry. By the third attack the French required the full engagement of all their reserves. The French artillery had run out of ammunition, so the third infantry attack went unsupported. The Mexican forces and the Republican garrison both put up a stout defense and even took to the field to defend the positions between the hilltop forts.

As the French retreated from their final assault, Zaragoza had his cavalry attack them from the right and left while troops concealed along the road pivoted out to flank them. By 3 p.m. the daily rains had started, making a slippery quagmire of the battlefield. Lorencez withdrew to distant positions, counting 462 of his men killed against only 83 of the Mexicans. He waited a couple of days for Zaragoza to attack again, but Zaragoza held his ground. Lorencez then completely withdrew to Orizaba.

Slowed by their loss at Puebla, the French forces retreated and regrouped, and the invasion continued after Napoleon III determinedly sent additional troops to Mexico. The French were eventually victorious, winning the Second Battle of Puebla on 17 May 1863 and pushing on to Mexico City. When the capital fell, Juárez's government was forced into exile in the remote north. With the backing of France, the Habsburg Archduke Maximilian became Emperor of Mexico in the short-lived Second Mexican Empire. - But that is a story for another day.

On 9 May 1862, President Juárez declared that the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla would be a national holiday, regarded as "Battle of Puebla Day" or "Battle of Cinco de Mayo". Although today it is recognized in some countries as a day of Mexican heritage celebration, it is not a federal holiday in Mexico.

Topic Tuesday #139 2015/03/17 "Being Orange on St. Patrick's Day"

Topic Tuesday #139 2015/03/17 "Being Orange on St. Patrick's Day"

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Unless you are from the area of Ireland commonly referred to as Belfast. 
Green is the color of being Irish, or so all the stores would have you believe with the shamrock shakes, shirts, hats, beer, shots, cups, hair, entire rivers and so on. Green is also the color of Catholic Ireland. 

Thanks to the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 the sovereign  Kingdom of Ireland was established with with Henry VIII as the King of Ireland. Henry had broken ties with the Holy Roman Catholic Church over a little dispute in doctrine to secure an annulment from his wife in the 1530s. So with a new sovereignty came the King's religion in a consolidated and rebranded Church of England. This did not go over very well with the Irish, however they were weary from war and had acquiesced for the time being. 

As time marched on, so the throne changed hands. July of 1553 saw the reign of Mary the First. You may know her by another moniker, that of Bloody Mary. The reason you know that name is because of what she was responsible for. She was a Catholic following after her mother Catherine whom Henry broke ties with the Catholic Church to divorce, as she didn't bear him a son. She eventually succeeded her half brother, Edward VI, when he died in 1553, there was a kerfuffle about succession as she was Catholic and that was bad for Church of England branding. As Royal disputes over lineage go, it was violent. Mary had her first cousin, Lady Jane Grey deposed and then beheaded for being made queen before her. This may have been the first blood on her hands, but far from the last. During her five year reign as the first queen regent of England and queen consort of Habsburg Spain, she had more that 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake. When Mary died in 1558 so did her resurrection of Roman Catholicism. Her younger half sister, Elizabeth I took the throne and returned Church of England and protestantism to the realm.  

Fast forward to the 1700's and we see more formalization of the unification of Great Britain with Scotland and England burying the kaber, becoming the United Kingdom of Great Britain; then in 1714 with the death of Queen Anne and the Act of Settlement they were joined further with Ireland but it wasn't until the Act of Union 1800, the Kingdom of Ireland merged with the Kingdom of Great Britain, creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Things go dicey in 1922 and continued to fall apart until the constituent parts were renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927, five years after the establishment of the Irish Free State. In 1953 the newly formed Republic of Ireland had formed and Ireland  had left the British Commonwealth.  There have been troubles in Northern Ireland ever since. 

Orange Order  Flag .

Where does the orange come in? you may be wondering. Actually, it already did. The Loyal Orange Institution, or Orange Order, was founded as a Protestant fraternal order in Northern Ireland in 1795 when there was significant conflict between the majority Roman Catholic population and the decidedly smaller, but sanctioned under the crown, Anglican Protestants. The order derived it's name from William of Orange, a Protestant king who defeated a Catholic army at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. They wore orange sashes and were called "Orangemen". The order has been a symbol of an ever present rift between Catholics and Protestants; the green and the orange.  "The Orange and the Green" or "The Biggest Mix-Up" is an Irish folk song about a man whose father was a Protestant (Orange) and whose mother was a Catholic (Green). These stories and the violence and animosity have permeated the area for centuries, and continue with the Order making marches and with interfaith marriages being shied away from if they can.

So, when you wear green on St. Patrick's Day, you might want to add a dash of orange, or avoid those wish sashes of orange and an angry look in their eye. Here in the states, you can pretty much count everyone as Irish today, so to your health! Have a green beer for me.

Topic Tuesday #118 2014/10/21 "Holidays"

Topic Tuesday #118 2014/10/21 "Holidays"

Holidays are most often marked by the passage of time and where they fall on a calendar. We have, through time, become less sensitive to the days they fall upon. Today it was brought to my attention that the Halloween supplies were already on clearance and going back in their shipping container homes. The holiday hasn't even passed and is more than a week away... Christmas decorations are now completely dominant in the big box retail emporiums of misery. Might I remind everyone out there that Thanksgiving is still on the horizon..? This is out of hand. Christmas decorations came out about the same time as the Halloween decorations this year, and the executives have decided that the spirit of holiday shopping needs to get going.

They are taking all the fun out of the holidays, and many of them have some serious issues too. 

At this point, I have decided to rename the holidays. I know it is a big step, but bear with me. 

  • New Years Day can stay because it makes perfect sense. 
  • Valentines Day is now Heart Day
  • Mardis Gras is Bead Day, Fat Tuesday is still acceptable. 
  • St. Patricks Day is now Green Day, no offense to the band, but I'm certainly trying to avoid becoming a basket case.
  • April Fools Day, Joke Day
  • Easter is Bunny and Egg Day.
  • Earth Day, Mothers Day, Flag Day, Fathers Day, are simple enough to remain unchanged.
  • Independence Day is Firework Day
  • Labor Day, Memorial Day, and Veteran's Day are very meaningful but are basically BBQ Day 1, 2, & 3 regardless of how many people try to remind everyone.. 
  • Columbus Day should be ignored.
  • Halloween is Costume Day
  • Thanksgiving is Turkey Day
  • Christmas is Tree Day.

There... Enjoy... Maybe someone will actually remember what the holidays are all about but for now get your Halloween... I mean Costume Day, shopping done soon before it's gone.