This Tuesday is Independence Day! Fireworks Yay!

It must be July, here comes Independence Day!  Makes you think of burgers and hot dogs on the grill, soda and iced tea, fireworks, Summer!  Yay!

Here are a few facts we think you might not know about how fireworks got to symbolize the Fourth of July in America.

John Adams, the father of fireworks on the 4th?

That’s right!  John Adams, second president of the United States!  Adams wrote a letter to his wife, Abagail on July 3.    He said, “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival…  It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

But did you know that he thought the country was celebrating the wrong date?  Well, he did!   The continental congress approved a motion for the colonies to separate from England on July 2.  In Adams’s mind, that was the original Independence Day.  But, not until July 4 did delegates from the thirteen colonies vote to adopt the Declaration of Independence.

But what about the fireworks?

“One of the most elaborate celebrations in 1777 and the first organized celebration of its kind occurred in Philadelphia. This event had all of the elements of typical future celebrations–the discharge of cannon, one round for each state in the union, the ringing of bells, a dinner, the use of music, the drinking of toasts (it would subsequently be traditional to have one toast for each state in the union), “loud huzzas,” a parade, fireworks, and the use of the nation’s colors, in this case the dressing up of “armed ships and gallies” in the harbor.” Virginia Gazette.

America has been celebrating July 4 as our Independence Day since 1777, so go out and celebrate!

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Can I buy in a seller’s market?

What is a seller’s market, anyway?  A seller’s market means that the real estate market favors the home seller, not the home buyer.  If you have been waiting to sell your home, wait no longer.  Now is the time.  But, if you have been waiting to buy a home,the process may be a bit tricky.  Do not despair!  We can help!  Here are a few tips to help you buy your new home!

One, be ready to buy!

Make sure that you have your financial information ready and complete.  You will need to know how much you can spend.  In addition, how much you can borrow, and how much money you need to put down on a house.  Talk to your lender and have this information ready to give to your licensed real estate agent.  He or she will then be able to direct you to homes that you can afford.  Also, they will find you homes that fit your wish list.

Two, be prepared for a fight!

Since there aren’t enough homes to supply all of the potential buyers, you need to be ready to fend off all comers!  Once you find a home that you would like to offer on, you and your realtor need to agree on an offer.  When there are lots of buyers, your offer will need to be strong.  Remember, you aren’t the only one who wants this home, and if your offer is too low, it will be overlooked.  That means that you will have priced yourself out of a home that otherwise might have been just the one for you.  You want your offer to command the seller’s attention and not offend him or her.

Three, be ready to move!

If you follow our tips and shop for your new home only after you have prepared your financial information, hired a real estate person, looked at and chosen a home, and made a good strong offer, start packing your bags!

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This Sunday June 18th is Father’s Day!

This Sunday, June 18th is Father’s Day.  With good luck, the weather will be just right for a nice backyard barbecue or some time on the lake or maybe a round of golf with Dad.  These we are all familiar with.  However, in other places they have very different traditions for Father’s Day.  Let’s see what other people do for Dear Old Dad on his special day!

When did we start celebrating Father’s Day, anyway?

Opinions vary on this, but either in 1908 or 1910.  According to some, the practice began in 1908 in a coal mining town in West Virginia.  The day was set aside to remember 362 men who died in a mine disaster the previous December.  This was a one-time event.

According to others,  a Spokane Washington woman, Sonora Smart Dodd heard a very moving  sermon on Mother’s Day. That lead her to propose a special day to celebrate fathers.   There are also scholars who believe that the tradition may have started as early as 4000 years ago in Babylon.  A young boy inscribed a clay tablet with wishes to his father of good luck and long life.

Whichever origin appeals to you, Father’s Day became an official American holiday in 1972.

When in June do other countries celebrate?

Other countries celebrate Father’s Day on different dates. In Italy, Spain and Portugal, June 19th is always Father’s Day.  June 19 is St. Joseph’s Day, a catholic holiday.  St. Joseph, the father of Jesus Christ is the patron saint of the dying as well as of the universal church, according to catholic.org.

Then there is Russia, where, on February 23, they celebrate men in general.  The day is called Defender of the Fatherland Day.  The day is for honoring soldiers.   The women give their men gifts, whether or not the men are dads.  Nice work if you can get it.

Our conclusion, our Dads deserve a special day, so go out and enjoy your Dad!

 

 

 

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June 14, Flag Day and the Army’s birthday!

You probably know about Flag Day, the day set aside to honor the day in 1775 when the thirteen colonies produced and adopted their own flag.  But, did you know that it is also the day which commemorates the establishment of the first American Army?  It is the Army’s birthday too, and we will tell you all about it!

Flag Day

Flag Day was first proposed in 1885 by a school teacher.  It was established by proclamation in 1916.  And established as a national holiday by congress in 1949.  Oh, you knew that?  Well, good for you!  Also equally relevant, the Army’s birthday, and here’s the story about that.

Happy Birthday, Army!

The year was 1775.  The thirteen colonies were about to go to war with the mega-power, England.  The colonies had been using local militia for skirmishes around Boston. Authority over the small groups sent to fight from each colony was a big problem.

But, the fledgling country realized that it needed a better chain of command, as well as more centralized leadership.  The country needed an Army.  And on June 14, 1775, the congress resolved  to create rules and regulations for the army they needed to create.  Also, they passed measures to enlist ten companies of rifle sharpshooters, and they raised the money to pay their new army.

George Washington, first commander-in-chief

George Washington was commissioned the first commander-in-chief of the newly adopted army.  He officially took over command on July 3, 1775.

The  Navy, and the Marines began in 1775 also.  The Marines began on November 10, 1775.  Furthermore, the Navy began on October 13, 1775.  The coast guard began in 1777.  The Air Force began September 14, 1947.

Currently, over one million people serve in the Army with another 800,000 or so serving in the seven  reserve components which happen to be: Army reserve, Marine reserve, Air Force reserve,  and Navy reserve.  In addition, there are the Coast Guard reserve, the Air National Guard, and the Army National Guard.

So now, you too are an expert on the Army’s birthday!

 

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Still time to plant a garden!

According to  garden experts, it is way too late to plant seeds with the hope of a good crop. They are probably right, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t grow some vegetables.  If you do it right….

How do I start now?

In case you hadn’t noticed, almost everywhere you shop stores are offering plants.  Vegetables, flowers both annual and perennial, vines, shrubs, and trees.  The world is loaded with things you can grow!  If you wanted to harvest tomatoes but neglected to start seeds in your kitchen  in March, don’t worry!  There’s still time to get  plants and plant them.  With good weather, and good luck, you should get some wonderful home-grown tomatoes by Fall.

Vegetable plants, started and growing are available everywhere you look.  The trick at this point is to buy the biggest, hardiest shortest growing season plants you can get  your hands on.

For example, you can buy many different types of tomatoes, from Beefsteaks, which take longer to grow but produce much larger fruit,  to Early Girl, the type we usually grow here in North Central Idaho.  We have had good luck with the Early Girl, mostly because it has the shortest growing time.  We usually do start our plants inside, even though we buy them as plants.

Tomatoes don’t like it cold.  Spring around here is especially unpredictable,so  it is best to keep the plants indoors until you are sure that cold nights are past.  There are vegetables which like it cold, like lettuce, which will do fine outside right now, but tomatoes will not.

What else can I plant?

We hope that you don’t mind that vegetable seed planting time has passed you by.  You can  just buy your vegetables pre-grown from the grocery store, that’s good too.  There are TONS of other options, as we mentioned above.  Pick whatever you would like to grow, buy it, and get in the ground, and enjoy the nice weather and the fruits of your recent labors!

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