Tag Archives: Independence Day

Happy 4th of July! (Or, if you’re not American, happy Wednesday!)

4th July 2012

It’s Independence Day! I love this holiday so much, and last year I talked about why. I also love it because my family has done the same thing for the 4th every year since I was small: We go to my “aunt” and “uncle’s” house. I use quotes here because they’re really family friends, but I count them as family. We make a great spread, eat, and then lay in the pool and visit and listen to 70s music. It’s great fun, and my sis and two “cousins” and I don’t have kids, so for the day, we get to be the kids, and it’s awesome. I’m particularly excited about what I’m bringing food-wise this year.

My dad is diabetic, as is my aunt, and I recently asked my dad what his favorite dessert is, and he told me coconut cream pie. I’ve been trying to find a good recipe and think I found one from The Food Network. But I substituted coconut milk for half and half, used a sugar-free crust, and used a small amount of agave instead of sugar. I tasted the filling, and oh my, it’s tasty. I topped it with sugar-free whipped cream and toasted coconut.


I also found this alcoholic drink recipe and decided to try it. It’s an alcoholic lemonade with frozen lemonade concentrate, lime juice, coconut rum, and ice. I’ll be adding some ginger ale once I’ve blended the mix. I’ll get back to you on how it is. I found this recipe on Pinterest via Myrecipes.com.

Looks like summer.

Whatever you’re doing today, have a great time! Be safe and enjoy.

We hold these truths to be self-evident…

4th July 2011

Found via New England Fine Living

Every year when I teach American Literature, the segment where we discuss revolutionary literature is one of my favorites. Students are always so skeptical, but the Declaration of Independence (or parts of it) makes me, honestly, so proud to be an American. We may falter; we certainly make plenty of mistakes, but what I love are the ideals to which we strive:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Read it aloud. Isn’t it incredibly beautiful? It is a sentence that, though it didn’t and still doesn’t include “all men” in this equality, makes me intensely proud. The pursuit of happiness. The more common phrase was “life, liberty, and property,” coined by John Locke. It’s an odd phrase to toss in there, and there is speculation as to what, specifically, Jefferson meant by this.  But note – nowhere in this sentence does it say these unalienable rights are ordained by the government. No, instead, they are something with which we as humans are endowed. This was and is an incredible notion, though very likely, not incredibly original as discussed in this article “The Surprising Origins and Meaning of ‘The Pursuit of Happiness'” by Carol V. Hamilton. Still, the inclusion, as opposed to what it could have been, is interesting.

Honestly, this document, in my opinion, is what has given us so much strife over the years. We set such ideals for ourselves, “that all men are created equal,”  yet we must consistently revise ourselves as a governing body – as a people – to ensure we are adhering to and upholding them when we so often do not. I am not often outwardly patriotic, but I cannot read this document without pride for those principles to which we endeavor and without hoping someday soon, we will fulfill them.

Happy 4th of July to my fellow American friends. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – hoping you intimately know all three. How are you celebrating today?

Read the entire document here.

Read another July 4th document, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” a moving speech by Frederick Douglass.