Independence Day ~

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“Those who won our independence… valued liberty as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”

~ Louis D. Brandeis

I took the liberty to play in Photoshop this morning and create a unique, vintage American Flag to post for Independence Day.  I cropped and rotated the flag and added a layer of texture using Adobe Paper Texture Pro.  Opacity was adjusted on the layer level.

For comparison, I included the original below.

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Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

In Honor…


“137 years later, Memorial Day remains one of America’s most cherished patriotic observances. The spirit of this day has not changed – it remains a day to honor those who died defending our freedom and democracy. ” ~ Doc Hastings




“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” – Sandy Dahl, wife of pilot of Flight 93 Jason Dahl

The Geranium, in the Language of Flowers, means – consolation.  The definition of consolation is:

comfort received by a person after a loss or disappointment.
synonyms: comfort, solace, sympathy, compassion, pity, commiseration, empathy

I hope that all who survived, those who lost loved ones, and those who served 14 years ago today and during the months following have a sense of consolation in the love from those of us whose hearts are still full of grief, love, gratitude, and inspiration.

A Day of Remembrance and Gratitude

World Trade Center Memorial

World Trade Center Memorial

Freedom Waves Freedom Waves



Happy 4th of July

“Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”

– Albert Camus


Stars, Stripes and Lights of Freedom


“Stars, Stripes, and Lights of Freedom”

“This, then, is the state of the Union: Free and restless, growing and full of hope. So it was in the beginning. So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith.”

– Malcolm X

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”

– Harry S. Truman


A special thank you to all men and women who have served this great country so that we may live lives of freedom.  

May it always be so. 

Veteran’s Day

Today’s post is in honor of all of those men and women who have graciously fought for our freedoms, freedoms we take for granted every day.  Freedoms, we don’t often respect, or sometimes forget. Thank you to all of the heros and to the families that have sacrificed loved ones in the name of freedom and liberty.


Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines,

Are there others, yes,

But these are the ones

We think of before the rest.

Men and women who

Serve our country

And fight to ensure

Our Freedoms are in bounty.

May we never forget their sacrifice

Amidst the chaos of our daily lives.

Honor them,

Thank them,

By being honorable citizens in our own right,

Lest what they lost, be not worth the fight.

Did they die in vain?

For what were they slain?

For love of country and rights they fight,

For the Flag and

Never to lag,

For where freedom is concerned,

There is always a lesson learned.

Citizens wake up,

And care to discern.

Nothing was free,

This land was not purchased on a buying spree.

Behold what is ours,

Respect what took hours of strife,

To give us the life,

We call the American dream,

Lest it be taken away,

By those who stray,

From the founding principles

That made our country what it was before today.

copyright Robyn Graham

Do not neglect the responsibilities of citizenship or THEY will have died in vain.


In light of the impending election, I thought it appropriate to do a patriotic post.  I love my country and the freedoms it offers and sincerely hope that my fellow countrymen will honor our right, privilege, and obligation to vote, and get to the polls tomorrow.


Freedom is not Free.

Love of country and sacrifice are what it takes to

Achieve the

Golden dream we hope never disappears.

copyright Robyn Graham

The Flag Waving in the Breeze at the Romney Rally Sunday Evening in Yardley, PA

Honored to Have Met Him

Today, on the 12th anniversary of 9/11 I’d like to share a link with you:

The link is to the Travis Manion Foundation.  This organization is dedicated to supporting our U.S. Troops and their families.  Please visit the link to learn more, and if so inclined, offer support of this organization that, out of love and honor, goes above and beyond the call of duty to support those who serve our country.

The foundation began the 9/11 Heroes Run several years ago.  The event has now spread across the U.S. with thousands of runners/walkers participating.  I was blessed to be asked to photograph the local Heroes Run Sunday, September 9th.  The event was a huge success and the community support was overwhelming.  So many wonderful people, so many incredible veterans.  During the event I had the humbling opportunity to meet a local hero who spoke to the crowd, thanking them for their support.  Adam, is nothing but a hero.  During a tour of duty in Afghanistan he lost his best friend, three other brothers-in-arms who were in the vehicle with him when the vehicle was hit by a road-side bomb, and three of his limbs.  I am honored to have been able to meet Adam, and thank him for his service and sacrifice.  So, on this day filled with so many emotions, I ask that you please remember all of those who have served our country, those who have been in harms way to defend our freedoms, and all first responders who so generously give of their time and risk their lives for us.

A heart-felt thank you to Adam and all those who risk their lives and make significant sacrifices for our communities and country.


Vanilla Cream Fruit Tart

Another delightful summer treat. My sister sent this recipe to me years ago.  It has been a tried and true favorite for summer holidays and events with relatively large groups of people.  This dessert is a crowd pleaser.  It is not only pretty to look at, but delicious too.  I do not know where my sister found this recipe, but the quote and name below were just under the recipe name on the paper she faxed to me.

“It’s well worth the effort to prepare this spectacular tart, which is best made and served the same day.” – Susan Terzakis

Vanilla Cream Fruit Tart


1 1/2 cups butter softened

1 cup powdered sugar

3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

20 ounces of vanilla baking chips, melted and cooled

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 8 oz package of light cream cheese, softened

2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and sliced

1.5 cup fresh blueberries, washed

1.5 cup fresh raspberries, washed

1 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2  tablespoon corn starch

1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice


In a mixing bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar.  Beat in flour until mixture is crumbly.  Pat the mixture into the bottom of a greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 300 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.  Place on a cooling rack and let cool for 30 minutes.  While cooling, in another mixing bowl, beat melted vanilla chips and heavy cream.  Add cream cheese and beat until the mixture is smooth.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust.  Arrange berries over filling (be creative).  In a saucepan, combine pineapple juice, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Once cool, gently, but generously, brush over fruit.  Chill for at least 60 minutes before serving.  Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and eat a slice or two for breakfast the next morning.

Servings: 2 to 3 dozen slices

Vanilla Cream Fruit Tart -for summer holidays I arrange the berries to look like an American Flag.

Another view – I’m not very neat about the pineapple sauce. When I said generously spread, I meant generously spread.