Saturday, September 3, 2011

Life According to Ruth 101 --- Display Your Flag

I received an email encouraging Americans to fly the American flag on Sept 11 2011 -- the tenth anniversary of the attack on the towers.

Each year, I would go downtown San Jose on the sidewalk outside St Joseph's Church and watch the firemen ceremonies. The San Jose Firemen would make an arch with their extended ladders across Market Street. Then firemen from all over Northern California would come in full formal dress to pray for all firemen. What a spectacular scene!!!

This year I am in Chula Vista and wanted to fly an American flag. There is proper etiquette in the care, flying and storing of an American flag. This was common knowledge of most grade level children when I was growing up. I am amazed at how many young adults did not realize that there is such a thing as an US Flag Code.

The US Flag Code has changed over the years and when researching the subject today I found not all resources were in agreement as to the proper protocol. Such as the Veteran's code has not been updated to include Sept 11. Some codes have included Sept 11 as Patriot Day but do not mention to fly at half-staff.

So I investigated.

Patriot Day

Patriot Day has been added. to the Flag Holidays listed in section 174 of the US Flag Code. On December 18, 2001, President Bush signed Public Law No: 107-89, designating September 11th as Patriot Day. State and local governments and the people of the United States are asked to observe Patriot Day with appropriate programs and activities to honor the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks on that date in 2001.

The day has also been designated as a day that the US flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sundown, not just until noon as is done on Memorial Day. In addition the people of the United States are asked to observe a moment of silence on Patriot Day in remembrance of the victims.

Many people have asked if Government offices, schools, banks, etc. will be closed on that day. This seems to be a local individual decision and not mandated by federal or state law at this time.

Patriot Day should not be confused with Patriot’s Day, a regional holiday celebrated in New England on the third Monday in April which commemorates Paul Revere’s ride and the battle of Lexington & Concord during the Revolutionary War. The Boston Marathon is run on Patriot’s Day every year.

For a copy of the Public Law, visit the National Flag Foundation at

Flag Holidays

It is recommended to display your American Flag every day of the year. Be sure to consult the following tables to make sure that you are flying your flag properly.

Days to fly the American Flag at Half Staff:

By order of the President of The United States
By order of the Governor of your state

May 15th Peace Officers Memorial Day (half staff all day)

Last Monday in May Memorial Day (half-staff until noon)

September 11th
Patriot Day (half staff all day)

December 7th
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (half staff all day)

Special Occasions for Flag Display

January 1 New Year's Day
January 20 Inauguration Day
February 12 Lincoln's Birthday
Third Monday In February Washington's Birthday
Varies Easter Sunday
Second Sunday in May Mother's Day
Third Saturday in May Armed Forces Day
Last Monday in May Memorial Day (half-staff until noon)
June 14 Flag Day
July 4 Independence Day
First Monday in September Labor Day
September 17 Constitution Day
Second Monday in October Columbus Day
October 27 Navy Day
November 11 Veteran's Day
Fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving
December 25 Christmas Day

Friday, September 2, 2011

Special Spinach Salad

I have a real passion for great Spinach Salads. A great Spinach salad is hard to beat and even harder to keep low calorie. I do not like most bottled dressings but I have found some great spinach salad dressings.

Cold Spinach Salad:

Recipe for dressing:
1/3 cup of olive oil
3 Tbs of sugar -- I use a substitute
2 Tbs White Wine Vinegar -- I use Rice Vinegar
2 Tbs Sour Cream-- I use Greek Yogurt
1/2 tsp ground mustard
Blend all ingredients on a covered jar and place in refrigerator

Add dressing when ready to serve over
1 pkg (6 oz) of Fresh Baby Spinach
1/2 cup of walnuts (toasted optional)
1/2 cup of dried cranberries or craisins

I do not have walnuts or cranberries tonight so I will probably use blueberries, fresh pear pieces and chopped fried chicken pieces.

Hot Spinach Salad

Recipe for dressing:
1/3 cup of olive oil
3 Tbs of sugar -- I use a substitute
2 Tbs White Wine Vinegar -- I use Rice Vinegar
2 Tbs Worcheshire Sauce
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp of grated garlic
1/4 corn starch to thicken if desired (corn starch will need to come to a boil if added at the end. Increase heat long enough to mildly boil for three minutes and then return heat to low)
Blend all ingredients over low heat and set aside dressing until ready to serve over
1 pkg (6 oz) of Fresh Baby Spinach
2 hard boiled eggs chopped --- egg whites only if needed
1/2 cup sliced white mushrooms
1/2 cup of thinly sliced red onion

Now for a Ruth Pet Peeve:

I love reading the menus in fancy restaurants explain wonderful spinach salads. Many restaurants will offer great sounding spinach salads with strawberries, orange vinaigrette's, all kinds of great ingredients along with wonderfully described dressings. If the salad is priced over 7 dollars --- my biggest pet peeve is spinach leaves with 2-3 inch stems on the spinach leaves, One strawberry sliced into 3 parts and a bottled or very old tasting dressing.
Of course I would not do it but the inner Ruth wants to send the spinach salad back and ask that the chef trim the spinach.

Now for the Irony of this blog: A true Ruthism (You can never win!)

In an effort to provide a healthy diet --- Spinach Salads seemed like a sure thing. Iron, green, low carbs,........ but I have developed a sensitivity to oxalate. This sensitivity led to kidney stones (Ouch! Ouch!)
So I was given a CAN NOT EAT list by my doctor.

High-oxalate foods-higher to lower

spinach --- what??? my health food?
swiss chard
wheat germ
soybean crackers
chocolate ---- HUH?
black Indian tea --- I love my stress reducing black tea
sweet potatoes --- my go-to food thickener ; and I love a great sweet potato pie.

Foods that have medium amounts of oxalate may be eaten in limited amounts.

Medium-oxalate foods-higher to lower
grapes -- a favorite
green pepper --- love it in my food
red raspberries
fruit cake
strawberries --- a favorite
marmalade - love it

So if I am to have a low glutton, sugar-free, low oxalate diet the list of okay foods is shrinking.

So we need to eat to live and not live to eat.