Bastille Day

Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny’s
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts

To arms citizens Form your battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows

What do they want this horde of slaves
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
For whom these vile chains
These long-prepared irons?
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What methods must be taken?
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!

What! These foreign cohorts!
They would make laws in our courts!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our warrior sons
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brow would yield under the yoke
The vile despots would have themselves be
The masters of destiny

Tremble, tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will receive their just reward
Against you we are all soldiers
If they fall, our young heros
France will bear new ones
Ready to join the fight against you

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors
Bear or hold back your blows
Spare these sad victims
That they regret taking up arms against us
But not these bloody despots
These accomplices of Bouillé
All these tigers who pitilessly
Ripped out their mothers’ wombs

We too shall enlist
When our elders’ time has come
To add to the list of deeds
Inscribed upon their tombs
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them

Drive on sacred patriotism
Support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty
Join the struggle with your defenders
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your manly tone
So that in death your enemies
See your triumph and our glory!

Ellespeth    ♥

When We Were Romantic

Time again for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.    Thanks to PJ for hosting our gathering and to Yinglan  for our photo prompt.  Please click lil froggy for other stories.

Here is the photo and my entry for this week:

The Declaration of Independence – Always Worth Another Read

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

John Hancock, et al.


Daddy’s Soup – On Father’s Day

Sometimes, when I think about my father, I think about parachutes and wars and all sorts of global and personal battles.

Sometimes, though, I think of his cooking and his phone calls:

Daddy: I’m making meatballs and sketties this Sunday.

Me: We’ll be there.

His meatballs were really mini Italian meat loaves, so who could ever miss such an opportunity?


Daddy: I’m making beef barley soup this week-end.

Me: We’ll be there.

The soup was always winter. Nobody simmers a beef barley soup for hours, in New Orleans, during summer. His soup was always so rich and filling. French bread on the side. A salad.  All that pyramid stuff.

I never asked my dad for his soup recipe. So, over the years, I’ve developed my own. Only thing I added was mushrooms – cuz I like them and they are cheaper now than when he was making this soup.

Today,  in honor of my dad,  we made beef/barley/mushroom soup. We listened to Janis Joplin and I smiled at Bobby McGee. My dad loved that song. His nickname – until he died at 80 – was Bobby.

Beef Mushroom Barley Soup

Homemade Veggie Broth

Save all your veggie scraps. Put them in baggies or other freezer containers.
We even freeze unused lettuces. Put them all in your freezer. When you have time, simmer them for a couple hours with seasonings you like. No salt. Sometimes I add a bag of frozen veggies. I over cover all the veggies with water – in a deep stock pot. I mean really over cover the veggies with water.   Many inches above the veggies. (Hint: if you keep the skins on the onions you freeze for broth, it gives a wonderful color to the broth)

Then just simmer away one day. Drain off the veggies and discard them. Let the broth cool on counter. Freeze half and put half in fridge for the soup. It would be about 10 cups that you’d save for the soup. Other broth, freeze in containers for rice pilaf or other cooking liquid.

The Soup

1.5 pounds  stew meat – take as much fat off as possible and cut the beef pieces to about an inch each

2 small onions – chopped

5 carrots – chopped rough

Some chopped garlic

1 lb sliced/chopped mushrooms or more (for this particular recipe I use 2 10oz bags of frozen mixed mushrooms)

Rosemary, cayenne pepper, sage to taste.

8 oz barley

quarter cup wild rice or brown rice

10 cups or so of veggie broth  (homemade or from the store – low sodium)


take as much fat off the meat as you can and cut into inch/half inch or so pieces. put that aside.

chop up your onions and carrots.

put some olive oil or whatever oil in a large pot. heat it up.

add your chopped onions and carrots. cook that down a few minutes – until soft and the onions are sorta clear.

add your meat and seasonings and cook that down until still red but sorta brown on the outside.

then add your broth – about 10 cups – and the mushrooms. Lots of mushrooms. Bring to a boil for 2 mins or so. Bring it way down to a slow simmer for 2 hours or longer if you can.  Stir now and then.  Taste for your preferred seasonings.  Not much salt yet.

Add your barley and rice. Cook 45 mins or so.  Stir often.  It may need more salt at this point but not much.  Add more broth if necessary.

Serve with a little bit of parm cheese sprinkled atop it.

Yum-yum Daddy-o 🙂  We made it tonite in your honor