May 26, 2011

Poppies and Memorial Day

                                             Mothers Day Pop-Up Card - Pink Poppies

When I was a kid, we lived on a farm.  There was a huge patch of poppies that grew and bloomed directly across the road from our house.  Any time we sat on the porch, we could easily enjoy the poppy view.  People driving by would slow down to get a good look at the poppies.  Some would stop their cars and get out to take photos.

One of my favorite childhood photos is a picture of  my sister Ruthie and myself standing in front of the poppy patch. We are wearing matching brown and white plaid dresses (made by our mother) and we are both holding--that's right,  poppies!

Later, in 7th grade English class, a teacher named Mrs. Kauffman required that we memorize the poem,  In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Unfortunately, I did not appreciate the meaning of this poem as a seventh grader. But Mrs. Kauffman would be gratified if she could know--so many years later--I can still recite some of it!

I did some research on how poppies came to be associated with Memorial Day and wrote an article on what I found:

If you are looking for an easy, quick, and inexpensive poppy craft for Memorial Day, you will find it here:

May 19, 2011

The Truth About Colds and Allergies

Everyone gets an occasional cold and some people suffer predictably from allergies.  Before you give or receive advice, check out whether or not the information is true.

If someone in my family gets sick, everyone else soon will be sick.

This could be true but doesn't have to be.  Take precautions such as washing your hands frequently and covering your mouth when coughing to minimize the possibility of spreading germs. And make sure the people around you do the same!

Anytime you catch a cold, call your doctor.

Colds take their course.  Call the doctor only if symptoms continue beyond a week or if you experience severe hoarseness, sore throat, greenish or dark-yellow discharge from the nose, or intense ear pain.

New prescription drugs released on the market for flu will knock out colds as well.

New drugs developed to help fight flu don't treat colds. Even if you take a flu drug, you still may get symptoms of colds.

Moving to a dryer climate will solve allergy problems

Some allergies may be relieved by moving, but there is always the possibility that you may experience new allergies to your new environment.

You won't develop allergies as an adult.

Allergies often start in childhood, but adults can become allergic to things they weren't previously allergic to.

You can outgrow seasonal allergies.

The DNA for the allergy does not change so you don't lose the allergy.  However, the sensitivity can lessen throughout the years, but the allergy is not completely gone.

From Associated Content:
Are you congested, coughing and have a runny nose? Find out how you can determine whether you have an allergy or a cold so you can treat your symptoms and find relief.  Do You Have an Allergy or a Cold?

May 13, 2011

Billy Graham's Health

A Billy Graham Music Homecoming, Vol. 1

Billy Graham, age 92,was admitted to a hospital Wednesday, May 11, 2011.  He was diagnosed with pneumonia. He is improving, although he remains in the hospital as of today, May 13.

All of us know who Billy Graham is, and memories come to our mind when we hear his name.  My memories include going on a bus trip many years ago to New York City to attend one of his evangelistic crusades   I remember watching some of his televised crusades in later years. 

To me, George Beverly Shea pops up in my mind right along side of  Mr. Graham.  He often sang at the Billy Graham Crusades.  I can, in my memories, hear his deep, powerful singing voice proclaiming "How Great Thou Art", "The Wonder of It All", and "Then Jesus Came."

Few of us know that much about Billy Graham's  preaching in his early years.  He wasn't always the respected, polished preacher that we are familiar with.  Read my article,  Billy Graham, the Awkward Young Preacher  to learn how his early ministry was difficult and sometimes even disappointing. offers a variety of  Billy Graham products.