Monday, June 27, 2016

Independence Day

I picked these because they speak of what we, as a country, have forgotten.  We have forgotten that we have rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution.  We have forgotten that we are not the savior of the world, and that we are all responsible to keep up this great experiment called America.  We have forgotten that we can destroy ourselves because we gave up our freedoms to be who we were made to be, yet not allowing others to be who they were made to be.  Finally, we have forgotten that someone paid the ultimate price for our freedoms as Americans.

We are a unique nation  for a reason.  We came here to escape tyranny.  Yet now we experience tyranny here from within.  When are we going to stop?  When will we let people be and stop trying to govern every aspect of their lives?  When are we going to be honest and work together instead of bullying and lying?  When are we going to say, "enough is enough."  We have forgotten the sacrifices that too many have made so we could be free.  We are spitting on their graves.

Let us remember that we live in the greatest nation on God's green earth.  It's not perfect, no nation is. But we are unique.  We have freedoms that no other nation has.  We love our country.  We love our military.  We love our flag.  And we love our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.  No other nation with such freedoms are as patriotic as ours.  We are Americans, home of the free, because of the brave!

God bless America!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day

I find this amusing as I like to think of myself as independent, but I really wouldn't be without my parent's money!  But really, I am eternally thankful to have a dad who was committed to providing for his family, from beginning to end.  I am thankful that he is wise with money, and wise in business.  I respect his opinions and seek them out when it comes to money and politics.

There doesn't seem to be many men like my dad out there these days.  Men who are honest, who don't abuse, who don't cheat, and who aren't an addict.  I don't know why, but it seems that there are a lack of decent men who love their families enough to sacrifice for them.  

I know my dad isn't perfect, but no one is.  But he has the qualities that I look for in a man, an honest man that I know I can count on and trust.   Apparently, that is a rarity these days.  

He may not have much of an education, not throw parties, or dress fancy.  But none of that matters.  At the end of the day, appearance and pedigrees don't matter.

It's honestly. integrity, and commitment that matters.  It is these things that count in the end.  All those other things fade away, but these things last throughout a lifetime.  

I love you dad!  Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 13, 2016


Roman arena

steps into arena

Roman theater

Roman theater

Constantine baths

Constantine baths
I didn't know that Arles was a Roman city, but I guess that would make sense as the Roman Empire had surrounded most if not all of the Mediterranean sea.  They still have events in the arena such as bullfights and a Spanish festival, which I also didn't know they had in France.  Therefore, Arles seems to have some Andalusian influence as well.  The theater is hard to make sense of, they have a fence around it so we couldn't go in.  I guess they are still excavating it.  They even had Roman baths, as this was a favorite city of Constantine and his successors.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

Van Gogh in Arles

Roman amphitheater

painting of amphitheater



Vincent van Gogh spent about a year in Arles, approximately a year before his death in another Provencal town.  There are Roman ruins throughout Arles, which van Gogh painted.  He spent some time in the hospital due to the ear incident, and his failing health due to smoking and alcohol.  He liked to frequent the cafe in the bottom picture, which is still there today and profiting from van Gogh's fame.  

I enjoyed seeing the real places of these paintings.  Arles is a quaint little town that I was surprised that it had been around at least 2,000 years, and that some of the Roman ruins were still visible.  I didn't know the Romans had colonized France at all, besides Paris.  I knew so little of these towns of southern France.  I feel like I still know so little.  But at least I got a taste of it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Memorial Day

Two weeks ago I was in Europe.  Now that I am home, I reflect on my own country of America.  Here are a few things I am thankful for:

air conditioning
stores being open
food everywhere
helpful service

Why did I think this?  In Europe I was reminded of stores shutting their doors in the middle of the day, and bars only serving booze and not willing to serve.  A few times I was hot with no escape from the heat.  Maybe I am spoiled, I know I am.  But I am thankful for these simple things.  That I can go anywhere and find food and a/c.

But the greatest thing I am thankful for as I reflect on my travels in Europe is freedom.  Freedom is not free.  Too many men and woman paid the ultimate price for my freedom.  And their loved ones continue to grieve their sacrifice.  

So I am glad to be back on my native soil.  I am thankful to be born in this great nation.  America is unique, we are not like any other nation in the world.  We are freedom-loving rebels.  I hope we never take for granted what we have.  I hope we never give away what so many died for.  What others around the world are dying for everyday.  

God bless America!