Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Good Book - Jane Heller's "Some Nerve"

On a whim I picked up a book at the library yesterday.

Tonight the 328 page piece of fiction has been thoroughly devoured. I enjoyed it! I'm quite pleased to discover that Jane Heller has written at least twelve other books besides "Some Nerve". Here's the an Editorial Review compliments of Amazon:
From Publishers Weekly
Ann Roth, 30, is living it up as an entertainment reporter for an L.A. celeb-gossip rag, hobnobbing with stars as she chases down the latest "big get" in Heller's latest entertaining romp (after An Ex to Grind). But trouble looms when the next big get turns out to be the famously grouchy, media-hating actor Malcolm Goddard, whose unwillingness to talk costs Ann her job. She moves back to her small Missouri hometown and gets a surprise second shot at her career when a (perhaps too) incredible coincidence sees Malcolm delivered incognito to the local hospital. A former classmate of Ann's who is now a hospital bigwig (and who has the hots for Ann) tries to impress her by sharing the secret of Goddard's presence. She scores face time with the actor by signing up for the hospital's volunteer program, which leads to unforeseen complications of the heart. Though Heller has a tendency to sum up the morals of her story in pat sentences ("The patients at Heartland General were beginning to teach me just how lucky I was"), she makes up for it with quirky, hooks-in-you prose. The ending is an inevitably happy one, but the road to it is full of twists and turns.

Musings about Blogging

I just made a very LONG winded comment to a post by Melissa at Sweet Seredipity and thought I'd share it with you...
Woah! Put the brakes on kid!

Between being a wife, mother, and home-educator, you've already got A LOT going on! So, I'd figure out what it is about the blogging that you get the most out of, and try to make room for *just* that.

Me? I like writing. I kept a pen-and-paper journal for over ten years (starting at age 15). It helped me TREMENDOUSLY, both emotionally and as "a writer"... I'm not published or anything, I mean just being able to communicate effectively with the written word.

I started my blog because my friend had one and kept raving about it. Then, I moved away from that friend and started writing weekly to keep in touch with family and friends. Then, because I enjoyed writing, I started doing it more. For me, a daily habit (in the evening, as my means of unwinding) is generally the easiest to keep up with.

Through out the day, I'll "write" my post. Sometimes I go on a writing spree, and I'll "schedule" the posts to go out on different days to spread it out. Other times, I blog only when I feel like it.

Personally, I like to know other people read what I write and I appreciate their feedback (ie: comments and phone calls), but I've come to realize that even when I don't get it, I still benefit from and enjoy the actual writing.

Lately though, I've been reading and commenting more than writing on my own blog. I've been nursing an injury and just don't feel like much is "going on". Also, I recently made a post that generated a lot of political debate in my comments... actually more comments than any other post, and yet it wasn't exactly "happy", so, I've noticed I've backed off a bit.

Basically, I don't beat myself up over keeping or maintaining my blog, I just post when I feel like it, and I enjoy the act of writing (can you tell by this MAJOR run-on thought stream?)

So. You have to ask yourself, what is it that you enjoy about your blog, and how can you do more of that?

Hope this helps! :D

Post Script: Keep your eyes open THIS SATURDAY for a very special and exciting post from your's truly! ;D

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quilt in the Works - Happy Hour Update & Football Splash

Two days ago, I finished the last 14 blocks and did the layout of the quilt. Today, I got the columns sewn together.

The columns are all chain pieced. Next up: Pressing all of the new seams, then sewing the rows together. The blocks are 9" finished with eight across and ten down. So, at 72" x 90", I think it will make a nice "lap size" or small twin just as it is. I'm not planning on any borders.

I've been having so much trouble with my back, now I'm trying to decide between quilting it on the long arm or at home. At home I can do it in little bits at a time. The long arm would require less total time spent, but would be bigger time increments. Still trying to decide...


This evening the boys were both sitting on the sidewalk across the street. They were playing with a neighbor-boy, in the water collected during watering the lawn. Pretty soon, they discovered how to splash a football in the water.

When the older boys saw me coming, they ran for it. But not Jack, he just kept on going...

You can see the question in his eyes as he's about to throw the ball.

He had the most amazingly satisfied smile after each splash, which I was unable to capture fully.

And the finish...

Here's a little bit of that smile I was talking about...

One great splash calls for another...

Now, it's Frank's turn. He's always got to get in on the photography action...

Look how casually the neighbor-boy is watching Frank. Now, he's got to show off his stuff...

"Wait!" He says. "I can do better!"

Not to be outdone by his younger brother, the other boy joins in with the biggest Whopper of them all...

Taking pictures of and encouraging the boys to make a mess was a great way to end a day that I found myself stressing over and yelling at the boys too much in. They just wouldn't clean their room up and we're implementing the Accountable Kids program, and my back hurts and it's slow-going and I just get frustrated. So, taking and playing with these water splash pictures was a good thing.


I tried to take pictures of my fresh haircut (from today).

Same style as last month, I enjoyed watching they layers fall around my face differently.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quilt Update - Happy Hour AND What I do with my hands.

27 more Happy Hour blocks finished, 14 to go.

My back is feeling OH-so-much-Better! Today was my first day without extreme pain and or medicine to assist me. I wore "regular" clothes (as opposed to "sick" clothes), but I also kept myself in check. I didn't go any further from my home than six doors down the street, and I didn't do any chores beyond sorting one VERY small box of stuff (like 4" x 12" x 10" little box) and simple meal time preps. On Sunday, Tom made something like eight meals and froze or refrigerated them so I could just warm things up and let my back rest. My boys did the daytime dishes, and Tom washed this evening. One of my friends heard about this and said "Good for you!" That made me feel better about not "doing" things all day.

Actually, I did do some things. I posted 22 auctions to ebay. We could REALLY use some extra cash right now because we've depleted our reserves with the move and my recent back care, so we listed like 50+ WWII 1/72nd scale models that Tom's been meaning to sell off (he also has a pile of 1/35th scale, which have more detail, that he's keeping). I too have things to sell on ebay, but this was a good start today. If your interested, my ebay name is "SiouxzQzz".

Today I also helped my new neighbor. I met her in May and showed her the neighborhood we were about to move into. Well, today their family moved in six-doors-down. So, at 9:00 I walked (the boys ran) down and invited her to send her kiddos (DD7, DS5, DD4) down. They were here off and on from 9 to 4. I also visited with her a few times when she'd come down for a break.

This is where the "what I do with my hands comes in." I'm just SO used to doing
something that I found it very odd to just sit and visit... without being in the kitchen cooking, or teaching a sewing / quilting craft, or doing some sort of handiwork (ie: crocheting or knitting). I tried to crochet the other day and the muscle relaxer just made my head spin to follow the hook and yarn visually. So, I just wanted to say that today, I sat. I visited. And it was really weird not having my hands busy. I grew up with my Mom telling me two things that I still think about weekly, if not daily:

Busy Hands are Happy Hands

Idle Hands are the Devil's Workshop

Are there any phrases you grew up with that you often think of or repeat? What little pearls of wisdom has your family passed down?

Quick! POP QUIZ! Stand up. Walk away from your computer. Grab a piece of paper and a crayola (pen, pencil, whatever). Write out your computer keyboard's main numbers and letters. Then, come back and check your work.

My son's have been making "computers" out of folded pieces of paper. Frank usually draws keys, but today Jack gave me one and I was suppose to put my own keys on it.

So. I gave myself the test I just gave you. I wrote the numbers and "Esc" across the top, then I proceeded to try to fill in the alphabet and : ; , . symbols... without pretend "typing". Just from memory, I forgot the Caps Lock (I included Tab and Shift), and I had the B and U in the wrong spot (which I knew something was "wrong" with both of the areas I'd stuck the B and U.)

What about you? Did you walk away from your PC write out the keyboard correctly?

I want to think this is some sort of Mensa test or something, but also, I just want to know if you can do it, or if you'll miss something like I did.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Quilt in the Works - Happy Hour Update

So. Here's what's been happening with the quilt I recently started:

Monday 7th - Made two test blocks. Calculated cutting dimensions. Cut Pieces from WOF strips.

Tuesday 8th - Cut more pieces from WOF strips that were directional.

Friday 11th - Cut pieces from FQ and whole squares (VERY directional fabrics).

Monday 14th - Finished cutting last few blocks.

Resulting in this pile of pieces:

I know it would be "easier" to just have one set of cutting dimensions, but I prefer to get the most use out of my yardage, that and I just plain like doing the math! Doing several different cutting scenarios also wound up breaking the cutting into more manageable bites... I cut 81 blocks (80 for the quilt and 1 for me).

Tuesday 15th - Next up, matching the fabrics into their blocks:

Just about every fabric will have two blocks backgrounds in the quilt. There are three "windows" of one fabric, and a few fabrics will have one window.

There were just a few fabrics that didn't want to "work" with this quilt, they were almost all batiks. It would have been a little easier if I'd had a few more lights in the quilt. I prefer to have good contrast in my blocks, but I had enough medium and darks that not all of the blocks have the best contrast.

Wednesday 16th - Starting to sew some of the blocks. 26 done, 55 to go.

Monday 21st - Finished 14 more blocks and started another pile.

Already I can see some of my "favorite blocks" coming together. Isn't it true that every project has some units you just love more than others!

The project is moving MUCH slower than I'd hoped due to the fact that I hurt my back and after four weeks of trying to "ignore it", I've realized I need to rest and ice and drug it. As a result, I'm pretty loopy much of the time. When I'm honest about my pain level, sitting at the sewing machine isn't easy. It actually makes me cry (literally) though, because I want to be sewing and "doing things" instead of sitting, A LOT. Anyway, that's why I've not been bloging... not much is going on, and I'm loopy from the medication, and typing on the PC winds up hurting my back too.

Okay. Enough whining! Here's a picture of one of my "helpers" to lay out the blocks... Zagawuki.

Jack also was helping to pick fabrics to go together. At first, he kept putting the same fabrics together, then I got him mixing them up a bit.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Quilting - A Blog that Inspires Me

This week I discovered a quilter, Lynne of The Patchery Menagerie, who absolutely inspires me! I ADORE so many of her projects and am quite grateful for her many tutorials!

I just wanted to share Lynne and her work with you. Here are a few of her pieces that I especially like:

You can click on any of the above pictures to go to the blog post about them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Censorship in America

So. You need to read this post by my friend, Celise. Then, check out the article she's talking about.

Go read. Now.

Did you read it?


I just.can’t.believe that this stuff is still going on in our Country!

I mean, it was on the list of the twenty approved books. They were told, in writing, of her intent, their were permission slips signed by parents and still she gets fired over it! Wow! Sad.

Where Are You Now?

I was reading Pioneer Woman's Introspective Post about where she is in life and where she thought she'd be. Here's the response I posted to her board:
14 - Go to school. Be an Elementary School Teacher until getting married. Stay home with kids, lots of kids! I wanted pairs of them, two or three pairs, spaced every couple of years. I wanted 2, 4, or 6 children, the house, dogs, cats, gardens, white picket fence. Back in Arizona (my home).

24 - I've been married five years. Made it back to Arizona; LOVE my time out in the desert! Still trying to go back to college and get my degree, but instead working full time to support my husband's "hobbies". Waiting ANXIOUSLY to have children. My sister (17) is pregnant. I spend several weeks with her as she has a child, trying to support her through adopting her infant out, while wondering how life can "play" such tricks on us!

34 - Now. Happily married (third time); FINALLY! Two sons. Dog. Two cats. Rural Wyoming town. Quilter. "Stay at home" but often out and about with the boys. Preparing for first year of homeschooling.

Biggest regret is that I still haven't got that college degree!

I NEVER thought I'd be divorced once, let alone twice!

I miss my step-daughter from my second marriage! I think of her often and wish I could interact with her. I find it very ironic that I have a former step-daughter and four nieces, but I don't get to spend time with any of them. Meanwhile, I have two happy, healthy boys. I enjoy them and also wonder what it would be like for me to have daughters.

Long ago, I expected more children in my home and thought they'd be nearly grown by now, instead, they are just beginning their lives (3 & 5 yos).
Where are you in your life? Where did you think you would be?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Playing Around with School

Back in November I started a "Mom's Time Playgroup." The idea was for Mom's to get together and do "their crafty thing" while the kids played. During the Winter we met at my apartment's clubhouse. The group solidified with me and two other Mom's, each with two kids. A total of 4 boys and 2 girls. Slowly, we started meeting at each other's places and ditched the clubhouse. When we ditched the clubhouse, we also seemed to have ditched the crafting thing. I'd like to get back to crafting, but for now, the playgroup is an important thing too.

Since the weather's warmed up, we've been meeting at different parks and playgrounds. Today, we went to the elementary school by our house. I think I've written about Wyoming playground equipment before... Tom and I thought they'd outlawed this type of stuff! We just NEVER saw it around Arizona... metal toys... merry-go-rounds... sand pits and asphalt under the equipment...


Look at Frank (at the top) and Jack (at the bottom)! They are just tiny!

We've recently added another lady to our group, so we now have six boys (2, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 5) and two girls (2 & 4) that are playing together. Here are the two we've known for several months:

George and Frank were in the Sports Camp together. I can never get over how serious George tends to be. Andrew is a lot like Jack. They are determined and a bit mischievous! It's so interesting to make friends with other ladies with two sons, about the same ages as ours. I've got two friends like this now, and it's a lot of fun to compare notes on how the two boys interact with each other and others.

So, Frank has made two friends, both two months younger than him. All three of them will be starting Kindergarten this fall. George here is going to the Elementary School where they were playing today. Jeremiah will be homeschooled, along with his sister who's been homeschooled the past two years (she'll be in second grade). I just realized that either way, public school or homeschool, Frank will have a friend in his grade... someone to do "school stuff" with and someone to "compare" against the "other" method of learning. As we get closer to the beginning of the school year, Tom and I are more and more excited about the opportunity to continue schooling the boys at home!

Whenever you talk or think about your reasons for doing things with your kids, be it school or otherwise, you usually have a whole myriad of reasons, not just one or two. In the end though, I think it boils down to "it's the right thing to do for our family / child". Right now, homeschooling Frank (and Jack) feels like the right thing for us to do, and we are excited to do it. So. Yes, we are still planning to homeschool the boys.

This question of homeschooling came up in a comment to yesterday's HUGE post. I wanted to especially thank you for your feedback about that post; especially Cricket's unique Insurance Inside Insight. It helped me truly "understand" what was going on.

Thanks, as ever, for your feedback, input, and comments. They help this blogging thing feel more "alive"! :D

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I'll apologize now, because I think this post is going to be disjointed and "all over the place!"

Repercussions, as defined in Merriam Webster Online:
Main Entry:
re·per·cus·sion Listen to the pronunciation of repercussion
\ˌrē-pər-ˈkə-shən, ˌre-\
Latin repercussion-, repercussio, from repercutere to drive back, from re- + percutere to beat — more at percussion
1: reflection, reverberation2 a: an action or effect given or exerted in return : a reciprocal action or effect b: a widespread, indirect, or unforeseen effect of an act, action, or event —usually used in plural
re·per·cus·sive Listen to the pronunciation of repercussive \-ˈkə-siv\ adjective
Tom had a headache. A very bad headache. It lasted for MANY hours and was so intense! Noise and light became unbearable. He thought he was experiencing his first migraine. Upon further inquisitions, I discovered that all the pain and trouble were on the right side of his head. I said "it doesn't sound like a migraine, it sounds like a tumor" ... because it sounded like pressure on his brain causing the trouble. Then. I thought about an injury from last Monday.

While in Riverton, he walked into an open door (one on his truck that lifts up, but couldn't go all the way up because of an awning or something). When he hit the door, he knocked himself to the ground... not an easy thing for someone who's 251 pounds (he's lost 25 pounds recently! YEAH TOM!!!) Afterwards, he reached for things that weren't there and stumbled about until he found the cab of his truck. He laid his torso down on his seat and left his feet outside. He says it was "ten minutes" before he could see again. Of course, since he couldn't see, who knows how long it really was. He'd cut himself right at the hairline on his right temple. The next morning, he said it felt like someone'd been kicking him in the head... since I'm sure he's had this happen in Bar Fights, I believe he wasn't exaggerating.

So. I thought back to this walking into something (again... he'd hit the same part of his head about a week earlier, though not quite as hard) and all the pain he was having and decided he must have a concussion. He was in A LOT of pain. I'd called around and got him an appointment
the first thing the next morning with a Chiropractor.

That night the pain in my hip / thigh / sciatica / lower back returned with a vengence (thanks to my FINALLY starting a garden with the boys...

ALL I did was dig and rake a SMALL bed for the corn. REALLY! It was just 4' x 6'. That's seriously a small amount of gardening!!! Of course, I've been having trouble for the past three weeks since grading the front yard for sod... so, my body still wasn't healed. But REALLY we have a VERY short growing season here, and I wonder if these will even beat the frost... the corn should be productive by the 12th of September. We still "need" to get the carrots in the ground. All they have are corn, and marigold seeds mixed in with the strawberry plants (which I don't expect any production from until next year).

Anyway, my left hip/back was hurting, BAD! So bad that when I tried to lay down and go to sleep, I **literally** jumped out of bed to "get away" from the pain. I wound up on the couch. Standing doesn't hurt it. Sitting doesn't hurt. Just laying down. I've been completely deprived of sleep the past three weeks and Tuesday night was THE WORST!!!

Tom fetched me from the couch around 2:30 am. His head felt better and he wanted me to go to his appointment in the morning. I poo-pahed him. At 7:55, when he got up, he came downstairs and told me to get myself ready, because I'd be going to the Chrioprator.

I did. I've been going to Chriopractors since I was eight. Every one has their own unique approach and touch. Usually, I feel a little "tightness" or a "pull" in the area(s) worked as I'm walking out. This doctor did a different approach AND I felt better when I left. Relaxed. No pain. The true test came at bedtime though, when I was able to sleep without pain in my left hip!

This turn of events was good for me, but, the doctor whom I'd spoken with the day before, wanted to know where my husband was. I described things and he too thought a concussion might me the culprit. The doctor STRONGLY urged me to get Tom to a doctor. In fact, I was on the phone making the appointment when the doctor came in to see me. He realized whom I'd hung up with, handed me my phone, told me to call back and make the appointment before he'd treat me, then left the room! That's pretty amazing (to me). That a doctor would thank you for hanging up, but ask you to call back.

So. Yesterday afternoon, 10 days after the injury. Tom went to a doctor where a concussion was confirmed. His right eye-lid (unnoticed by us) is still droopy. His right eye is having trouble tracking. And of course, all the pain he's still having, all on the right side of his head. The doctor wanted to order a CT Scan as a CYA procedure. Since it's been so long, he's not too worried about more complications... just need to let things heal up. Rest and Time.

I'm still concerned though. And, quite honestly, tired of listening to all the "my head hurts" every afternoon and evening. So, today Tom had to drive back to Evanston, about 1 1/2 hours. I told him I'd take him. So he could rest and his head wouldn't hurt so bad. I thought it would be a good test to see if it would help, him being able to relax and sleep while riding instead of having to focus while driving. It also would be safer than him continuing to drive with this obvious pressure in his head.

Well. His lead found out that we were with him and why. Then, not an hour later, his boss called. We were headed to another call at the time, but, we got sent home. Apparently, my driving him is a liability for the company... because if we got in an accident, la-la-la... So. Even though Tom can do his job and I can drive him to-and-from his job. We're not allowed to because of the risks to the companies legal department. I understand. I get it. But really, I think of Tom and I as a team. He's hurt (a little) and I can help. Why shouldn't I be able to? If your spouse / friend drops their vehicle off at the shop for the day, you can drive them to work, right? Their boss usually appreciates them getting to work. Especially when there have been LOTS of personnel conflicts about coverage in the past few weeks. It should be okay that a wife A) wants her husband to be seen and treated when he's hurt himself, and B) wants to help him continue to do his job.

I feel sad that our society has disjointed it's members to the point where all the parties of a family are suppose to report separately to work / school all day, every day, and aren't "allowed" to help each other out.

[Okay. End of RANT. It's safe to come out now!]

So. About thirty minutes from Evanston, I discovered that the "fix" was likely to take ALL day... like five or six hours! In the past, I've always gone along for the drive, been there 20-30 minutes, then headed back. So, the break and stretch would be nice, but I hadn't "planned" to be gone ALL DAY.

After dropping Tom off, we headed out to find the Chamber of Commerce. On our way to it, we found several photography worthy old buildings, but this really caught the eye of our camera...

I tried to explain that phones use to be fixed objects, not mobile devices. I'm not sure if the message got through. I'm also not sure the boys saw the humor of my wanting to pose with my cell phone against a phone booth...

EVENTUALLY (EIGHT) photos later (many of them more of the sidewalk than *ME*) Frank took the one you see above (well, I did tweak it with Pioneer Woman Adobe Photoshop Actions).

Back to playing in the booth...

I did warn you that this post was bound to jump around a lot, didn't I? I don't think I mentioned that it would probably turn into a book though!

One more shot to show you near the phone booth. Not because it's such a great / clear shot, but because it'll show you my haircut. I had my hair cut last month. First "new" style for me in... EIGHT YEARS!!! I *always* get an undercut, all-one-length cut. The length fluctuates slightly between my chin and my shoulders. It gets cut every six weeks - religiously. So. My first NEW STYLE in eight years and NOT ONE PERSON notices or pays enough attention to comment. Here. you can see the layers falling around my face...

It's a slight layer / stack at the back, but still pretty much all the same total length. I'm enjoying it, although my round brush broke and so when I do blow it dry, it's just been with a flat brush. Anyway, I know My Mom wanted to see it, and I thought I'd share with you. I had my hair cut differently and *no one* cares! Boo-hoo! :*(

[And now for something different...]

Frank and I trotted on over to the first Farmer's Market of the season. It looked promising to start...

Turns out. This was one of TWO produce vendors. There were also TWO bread makers and ONE Salami. The rest of the TWENTY or so vendors were all arts and crafts and wares. This is okay and everything, but shouldn't it be called a "Craft Show" instead of a "Farmer's Market"? I'm just sayin'!

We came home with this patehtic lot.

I mean, I'm sure they'll TASTE good, but the price? They lot of it was $21. The cantaloupe fits in the palm of my hand. The asparagus is pencil thin. The beans and potatoes are nice, but they were $5 each.

I guess we're just spoiled by Lander's Farmer's Market at Sprouts in Lander last year. They had eight to ten produce vendors each week, just one jewelry vendor and the price was 1/4 to 1/3.

Anyway, we enjoyed going, but we'll probably go to our Sister City's Farmer's Market next week, but I doubt we'll go back to this one. Maybe in a few weeks, to see if some other vendors come.

So. There you go. No posts and then THIS! The Mega-Post from hell! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fun for Nothing Challenge

I was just reading a post on Waldeck Dry Goods about a new flickr group challenge created by Sew Liberated to encourage and share ideas on providing good "clean", cheap, free fun for our kids.

Since this is all about my line of thought these days, I thought I'd share with you...


Monday, July 07, 2008

Quilt in the Works - Happy Hour

Amanda Jean, of Crazy Mom Quilts, recently made this quilt for herself...

The pattern is Happy Hour from Atkinson Designs.

I'm planning to make my own version from these fabrics:

Which I picked out yesterday.

Since I don't have the Atkinson Designs book, but the design is
so simple I just calculated yardage yesterday on my own. I can get two 9" blocks out of each 5 1/4" WOF strip I cut. So, with this assortment of 42 fabrics, I'll have 84 blocks. Enough for a twin size quilt.

Now. I'm on the hunt (in my sewing room, the local clearance racks, and online at Marshall Dry Goods and eQuilter for some backing.) I'd like to use my own fabrics to do Bonnie Hunter's (of Quiltville Fame) method of 10 1/2" blocks for the back, BUT since many of my fabrics are still packed (I actually had to open my purple and green boxes to find the fabrics for this inspired piece), I think finding some fabric cheap will be my better (quicker) option.

I'd like to have this quilt top done by Wednesday and quilted Thursday or Friday... will have to see when I can get an appointment on the local long-arm machine.

Can I do it?

Make a quilt (and paint a bathroom (also on my list for this week)) by the end of this week?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Our United States Flag

I just saw a bit of advertising where a US Flag was draped on the swimsuit-clad models as if it were a common beach towel. I didn't like it. I know that The Flag is being misused (both as wearing apparel and in advertising). I promptly sent an email to the company that included excerpts from the United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 - The Flag.

Here, I thought I would include the complete code on Our Flag.

Flag Code

The laws relating to the flag of the United States of America are found in detail in the United States Code. Title 4, Chapter 1 pertains to the flag; Title 18, Chapter 33, Section 700 regards criminal penalties for flag desecration; Title 36, Chapter 3 pertains to patriotic customs and observances. These laws were supplemented by Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations.

United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag

§1. Flag; stripes and stars on

The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be forty-eight stars [Note that sec. 2 which follows provides for additional stars. Today the flag has fifty stars representing the fifty states — Webmaster], white in a blue field

§2. Same; additional stars

On the admission of a new State into the Union one star shall be added to the union of the flag; and such addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission

§3. Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag

Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America; or shall expose or cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign upon which shall have been printed, painted, or otherwise placed, or to which shall be attached, appended, affixed, or annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, or drawing, or any advertisement of any nature; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell, expose for sale, or to public view, or give away or have in possession for sale, or to be given away or for use for any purpose, any article or substance being an article of merchandise, or a receptacle for merchandise or article or thing for carrying or transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign, to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court. The words "flag, standard, colors, or ensign", as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.

§4. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.", should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute. [See Congressional Notes re use of "under God."]

§5. Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs; definition

The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America be, and it is hereby, established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more executive departments of the Government of the United States. The flag of the United States for the purpose of this chapter shall be defined according to title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1, Section 1 and Section 2 and Executive Order 10834 issued pursuant thereto.

§6. Time and occasions for display

  1. It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
  2. The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
  3. The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
  4. The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on
    • New Year's Day, January 1

    • Inauguration Day, January 20

    • Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, third Monday in January

    • Lincoln's Birthday, February 12

    • Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February

    • Easter Sunday (variable)

    • Mother's Day, second Sunday in May

    • Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May

    • Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May

    • Flag Day, June 14

    • Independence Day, July 4

    • Labor Day, first Monday in September

    • Constitution Day, September 17

    • Columbus Day, second Monday in October

    • Navy Day, October 27

    • Veterans Day, November 11

    • Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November

    • Christmas Day, December 25

    • and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States

    • the birthdays of States (date of admission)

    • and on State holidays.

  5. The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.
  6. The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.
  7. The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.

§7. Position and manner of display

The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

  1. The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in subsection (i) of this section.
  2. The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
  3. No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof: Provided, That nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.
  4. The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.
  5. The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.
  6. When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag's right.
  7. When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.
  8. When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
  9. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.
  10. When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.
  11. When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience.
  12. The flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but it should never be used as the covering for the statue or monument.
  13. The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff, and the same authority is provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia with respect to present or former officials of the District of Columbia and members of the Armed Forces from the District of Columbia. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection —
    1. the term "half-staff" means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;
    2. the term "executive or military department" means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and
    3. the term "Member of Congress" means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.

  14. When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.
  15. When the flag is suspended across a corridor or lobby in a building with only one main entrance, it should be suspended vertically with the union of the flag to the observer's left upon entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north, when entrances are to the east and west or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions, the union should be to the east.

§8. Respect for flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

  1. The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
  2. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
  3. The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
  4. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
  5. The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
  6. The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
  7. The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
  8. The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
  9. The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
  10. No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
  11. The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning

§9. Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute. When not in uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention. The salute to the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes

§10. Modification of rules and customs by President

Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of America, set forth herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or additional rules with respect thereto may be prescribed, by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, whenever he deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such alteration or additional rule shall be set forth in a proclamation

United States Code Title 36

§301. National anthem; Star-Spangled Banner

  1. The composition consisting of the words and music known as The Star-Spangled Banner is designated the national anthem of the United States of America.

  2. Conduct during playing — During rendition of the national anthem—

    1. when the flag is displayed —

      1. all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart;

      2. men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and

      3. individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and

    2. when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

§302. National motto

"In God we trust" is the national motto.

§303. National floral emblem

The flower commonly known as the rose is the national floral emblem.

§304. National march

The composition by John Philip Sousa entitled "The Stars and Stripes Forever" is the national march.

§901. Service flag and service lapel button

  1. Individuals Entitled To Display Service Flag.— A service flag approved by the Secretary of Defense may be displayed in a window of the place of residence of individuals who are members of the immediate family of an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.

  2. Individuals Entitled To Display Service Lapel Button.— A service lapel button approved by the Secretary may be worn by members of the immediate family of an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.

  3. License To Manufacture and Sell Service Flags and Service Lapel Buttons.— Any person may apply to the Secretary for a license to manufacture and sell the approved service flag, or the approved service lapel button, or both. Any person that manufactures a service flag or service lapel button without having first obtained a license, or otherwise violates this section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.

  4. Regulations.— The Secretary may prescribe regulations necessary to carry out this section.

I would encourage you to contact people and companies when they do something that moves you. Be it criticism or complements, corporations and individuals need to hear from you!