Wednesday, June 19, 2019

We the People, a little history and family

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Signed in convention September 17, 1787. Ratified June 21, 1788

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The above words are from the Preamble for the Constitution 


 None of these institutions of government, created or recognized by the Constitution, is superior to the Constitution itself. None is superior to the ultimate power of the people to adopt, amend, and interpret what is, after all, the Constitution ordained and established by “We the People of the United States.” 

from Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law. 

This is why three branches of government protect and defend the WE.


James Madison, one of the leading architects of the Constitution, put it best in The Federalist No. 49The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived . . . .  Constitution Center

 So who are WE THE PEOPLE?

In..."1492Christopher Columbus lands on a Caribbean Island after three months of traveling. Believing at first that he had reached the East Indies, he describes the natives he meets as “Indians.” On his first day, he orders six natives to be seized as servants." Native American History  

"There are three main sources of controversy involving Columbus’s interactions with the indigenous people he labeled “Indians”: the use of violence and slavery, the forced conversion of native peoples to Christianity and the introduction of a host of new diseases that would have dramatic long-term effects on native people in the Americas." Columbus Controversy

The above sites gives every American a condensed version with many links to our ancestors abominable treatment of the indigenous peoples inhabiting this FREE land. Today the 570 tribes still existing under our 'spacious skies' are truly members of WE THE PEOPLE.

"O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!...


America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!"

We the People... 

and more and more, We came....


From sea to shining sea.

 WE came on journeys long and hard.
America's first waves of immigration during the 16th to 18th centuries were from the British Isles. WE came for economic opportunities and religious freedom, most often as Protestants. WE were well-to-do with land grants, organized communities, and indentured servants. 

The Spanish settled Florida, what is now our Southern border, and the western coast, the French up the Mississippi Rivery and it's tributaries, and while trappers explored the 'purple mountain' majesties of the Rocky Mountains. 

 Later, during the 1840-50's huge European populations fled famine, religious persecution. and the ever changing map of political conflicts.

And still, WE came... the Irish, German, Scandinavians and more with many Catholics. So many were from poorer backgrounds and less skilled, WE arrived with the clothes on our backs, 
 calloused hands, with soul's full of dreams.

oldnewgreenredo 1870s

My husband's great-great-great grandparents arrived from Bohemia/Czechslovakia/today it's the Czech Republic in 1851. In the photo above are the sons and daughters of his family grown and their spouses.

oldnewgreenredo 1870's

Political turmoil in Czechoslovakia was most likely the reason for  leaving. Hubby's family (both sides) became farmers in Wisconsin. My husband's parents both descended from this Joseph's Father who appears in both family trees generations back.

Arable lands in Europe were worn out from centuries of cultivation. Inheritance laws left lands and property to the oldest male---leaving the rest to find other ways to feed their families. 
The opportunity to farm in the America was more than attractive.
Starting a new life was a necessity.

And, so WE came to a new country needing all sorts of laborers with skills and determination. 

But, WE were also SLAVE LABOR.

"Slavery in America started in 1619, when a Dutch ship brought 20 African slaves ashore in the British colony of JamestownVirginia.  See Black History and Slavery.

Slavery in Georgia.

Throughout the 17th century, European settlers in North America turned to African slaves as a cheaper, more plentiful labor source than indentured servants, who were mostly poor Europeans. Though it is impossible to give accurate figures, some historians have estimated that 6 to 7 million black slaves were imported to the New World during the 18th century alone,...." 
We fought a long and bloody Civil War
  to abolish this abomination.


from a 1911 print once in my position.

On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary emancipation proclamation, and on January 1, 1863, he made it official that “slaves within any State, or designated part of a State…in rebellion,…shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”


In the name of WE THE PEOPLE, Congress adopted the


...13th Amendment on December 18, 1865, and officially abolished slavery. But freed blacks’ status in the post-war South remained precarious, and significant challenges awaited during the Reconstruction period.


WE moved on,  
and a new Patchwork of our Nation sewed the 
colors from old homeland flags 
combined with the shades of OUR skins. 


Still, laborers were needed for our growing nation. 

Chinese came to work on the railroads, Hispanics from below our southern borders for farming and ranching, followed by more Western and Eastern Europeans from every corner of the continent to build our cities, roads, man our mills, and dig deep in our mines. 

Free source

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. 

"“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,...


...The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

How many of your ancestors passed through Ellis Island?

My parents' families came from Lithuania and Denmark, 

oldnewgreenredo 1890's

escaping failing fishing villages on the North Sea and the devastated farmlands of Lithuania. Constant wars continually changed the map of Europe causing upheaval and economic chaos. 


Half of all my great-grandparents' extended family left Denmark for the United States. The same for the Lithuanian side. Our last contact with my father's family was in 1953 when the
 Iron Curtain closed tightly on Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.


My Danish Great Grandfather on the right was torn and moved back and forth several times, finally settling in Wisconsin and fishing the Great Lakes. 
He and Grandfather (left) opened a Fishmarket in 1921.


My grandfather at age 14 had a photo taken to look older. He wore a larger suit with layers under it, and the cigar. A hat, and expression denied the fact he had just been confirmed, 
and then he joined the Merchant Marines. 
George was over six-foot and definitely a character.
WWI loomed and since not yet a citizen, he wanted to see the world and be a part of the conflict.

He became naturalized and 
in Portland Oregon in 1919 aged 21 between sailings.


My father enlisted in January 1940 at age 18. We were still in the Depression and despite a partial scholarship to a state college, he could not afford to go. Hubby's dad also served in the South Pacific and fought at Okinawa.


After almost six years in the Army stationed in the Philippines, New Guinea, Australia with a Medical Surgical Unit, Dad came home the first time, without a fanfare or welcome. 
He was proud to be an American and to serve and WE of him, and all the generations who served in our military to keep us free.


Honor Flight and Welcome HOME!
RIP Staff Sargent 




FLY the Flag!

Children of Immigrants


or immigrants ourselves. I have two foreign born daughter-in-laws, bless them. They are my loves and will be added to the WE 
of our United States. 

oldnewgreenredo 1890's.

WE come from every religious expression,

oldnewgreenredo 1950

and every corner of this earth..

 tightly stitched and woven into  this 



If you comment please list your ancestors' homelands 
and when they arrived on our shores if you can.
I think it would be interesting to see how diverse we are.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Midwest Gardening June 2019 Containers

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With all the horrid weather across the country, here in NW Chicagoland I'm only going to whine a little bit. Because of the late, wet, dreary, COLD Spring we have had--everything is behind.

May had all-time record-breaking rainfall--continous it seemed. So far June is more like normal, but lots of cold and cloudy days. We try to GREEN garden with minimum impact to the environment. 

Cilantro, parsley, basil, dill, rosemary and onions on the porch. (Hubby insisted on getting them up--I will be scrounging for brown shelving though in the garage attic when I'm able--I hate this white stuff.

Also, holding yard work up: I tore my MCL Medial Collateral Ligament in my knee---and literally was off my feet for 5 weeks. I've just now been able to help out with the yard the last two weeks for short periods of time on my wheeled walker or sitting.
 SO, propped up-I did lots of containers and transplanting this last week.

Hubby had to do the plant shopping--but, we had started lots of flowers from seeds in March and April. I plant lots of marigolds because they are drought resistant and the bees love them.
Cold temps and little sun last month really slowed down the temporary greenhouse's production. 
Basil was bought on the left--and by seeds on the right. Seeds were planted in early April...Yikes they take a long time.

Onions, I'll put a few more in here as I have been using them. 
We use a combination of compost dirt-old dirt from containers and Miracle grow potting soil in most of our pots.

These planters on the vegetable garden fence are destined for more onions, Swiss chard and bush beans. And, a few marigolds to keep the bees happy. We will use compost dirt/and Miracle grow potting soil. These will get watered regularly.

Hubby bought two hanging baskets---my usual coordinated colors are basically---anything goes this year--as he was so great to go get it all. I couldn't even get to the car to ride along. Bummer!

Sometimes I think this flower bed is my favorite part of our yard. This three-year old planted section gets lots of shade. I use creeping sedum to fill in around the edges, and I added the yellow pots this year. My my mini roses and mums didn't make it.
In the Urn, I try and use moisture control dirt and empty it out every year, because the dirt quantity is so small.

In front of the house we have some ornamental grass that has totally loved the cool and wet---and I have new varieties of perennial lilies in here, also. I put two large pots with semi-shade loving New Guinea impatiens, impatiens, coleus and some spikes.

I love using lots of green and textures in the beds
and keeping lots of color in my pots. These pots get the combo mixture of dirts.

My giant sedum I had split last fall, is going like crazy, I'm sure I'll be moving these pots when the sedum starts blooming in August.

The rain barrels are on the Redo scheduled to get
 painted dark green ---soon! They are handy to have and I use the water for spot watering when we hit our dry season.

The mail box planter--Honest, I'm not advertising the wave petunias...I was too busy trying to get this shot level--I didn't even see the label. Hubby picked out the petunias, marigolds, spikes and purple salvia. We use moisture control dirt here. I will mulch this to cut down on watering.

This is planter was planted two weeks ago--and hubby did this, cause I couldn't get out there with the walker.

Oh, dear---I didn't realize how bad my old chair is---this will have to get replaced with something--OLD or a REDO--I think it may be done though. I do love the old tin planter/pump which doesn't work anymore. Still need to clean up more yard waste from the wind---it was done once already in April.

The pond and this area hasn't been touched. The peonies were huge, but over quickly again this year with the beating down rains. I have three planters here with nothing spectacular in them. All the plants and bushes need to be trimmed back, it will have to wait until I'm more mobile-maybe by July 4th.

Hubby just shakes his head at the flower beds. He's the vegetable master---not a flower gardener. I do all the trimming of bushes trees, he does all the grass/veggies/and 'building-stuff'.

My yellow chair is getting sad, too.---I'm thinking maybe paint that bright purple, or a more golden yellow? I'll have to see what is in my paint stash.

This area is due for an over haul also. Bushes need to be trimmed. This is a shade area most of the day. So I've used coleus, impatiens and a few marigolds. 
I had to rearrange my fairy--because the bushes are getting too big. The fairy sat on a little deck board patio (next picture) but it got swallowed up by the bush. 

I've moved it here to hold plants above the gazillion hoses. I think I'll try a low dish of something interesting here. 
We have mold and or slippery moss on everything this year...even on the fences which normally are exposed to sun.

The watering cans, I have three planted are mixed dirts. I have drilled drainage holes in the bottom.

This area is a bit sad looking. Our greenhouse plants from starts or seed are here: sunflowers, holly hocks, coreopsis, and marigolds. I have a stump to put under the watering can, but the brick was just an arms reach away when I planted here. I did the front rows, my d-in-law did the hollyhocks and sunflowers. 

 Here my GIANT Hosta are as green as the fence. They have loved the rain and cold dreary days.

So--mold will also be the project for the next few weeks.

Hubby has worked so hard to get the greenhouse done and some other structural repairs, get the vegetables all planted, do all the house work---seriously he's been great---but that makes us both really far behind. I still don't know if I will be having knee surgery or not--waiting on test results.

Vegetable garden in the next post!
How's the weather affected 
your planting and outdoor projects this year?