July Calendar Blog Celebrate

Saturday, July 3rd, 2021     Marie Sontag     Start the Conversation

Last month’s challenge was learning to dance in the rain. This month’s challenge is to find something to celebrate. This month, I’m celebrating family – my nuclear family, family circle of friends, church family, and a special 4th of July celebration day with all other Americans.

However, I’m kicking off the 4th of July weekend in the hospital to await a definitive result on my breathing and coughing problems that were found to not be COVID, while Mark is home alone recovering from the open-heart surgery he had two weeks ago. Yes, we learned how to Dance in the Rain in June!

To help celebrate this month, I had the joy of my son Daniel and his six-year-old son Noah stopping by the hospital this afternoon to laugh and entertain me with their drawings. Here are two short video clips –  #1 link  #2 link – of their creations in the making. Noah said the face above all the others was his drawing of me with a mustache. He loves to yank my chain! Below that, Noah drew Anna from Frozen, and to the left of Anna, he drew Olaf. On the far ends of the hospital’s white-board faces, Noah had his dad draw Ninja Turtles, while Noah made the finishing touches on his dinosaur on the far right as it ate another dinosaur. Their visit and drawings made my day – my month!

To also help me celebrate the month of July, I am taking a closer look at the music, lyrics, and historical meanings found in John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. I’ve uploaded my notes about it as a pdf file. If you’d like to discover some of the gems I learned about the Stars and Stripes Forever, including a rousing rendition of the song, click on the links. You could even use this pdf file as a way to share with your kids and/or grandkids some of the reasons this piece has so much patriotic meaning.

Did you know, for example, that the last chorus of the song was Sousa’s way of celebrating the common American goals our flag represents, by weaving three musical themes into this section? He said the piccolo obbligato represented the South, the trombone countermelody represented the West, and the main chorus theme represented the North, all playing together harmoniously, in spite of the ills that still plagued our nation at the time. Fast forward to 2:54 on the song’s clip to hear this section.

Drop me a line and let me know what you’re celebrating this month! I continue to celebrate staying on a healthy “Lean and Green” diet with Mark. I’m so glad we started this back in January. It was a huge asset in Mark’s heart surgery recovery, having lost about 50 pounds before the operation. I too am almost to my 50-pound loss goal. Yahoo! Below is a healthy Un-Potato Salad recipe card to help you celebrate the 4th and still enjoy great healthy food!

You can download and print July’s calendar, including its hotlinks, from here.

Other links:
Stars and Stripes Forever performed by the United States Navy Band, 2017
pdf info sheet on Stars and Stripes Forever, lyrics, music notes, and images of historical flags
– Lean and Green Un-Potato Salad recipe card, courtesy of my Optavia coach, Karey Spidell
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