We Have a Winner – Lego Kid’s Fest

legokidsfestlogoRemember a few weeks ago I had a giveaway on my blog for two local people to go to Lego Kid’s Fest? I received the winner in my email today. She has been notified and sent her tickets. I was asked to let everyone know who the winner way. Here’s the email I received. For the protection of the winner I have blocked out her contact information in the email, but other than that the email was not altered and this is exactly what I received.

Everyone please take some time to congratulate Nickie though. Check back after December 2nd. I will have a review about how the Lego Kid’s Fest was here on my blog.

lego-kids-fest-winnerI’m getting excited about this.  Can’t wait to share it with you all.

A Letter to the DUI Driver Who Injured Us

Note: Sorry my blog has been overly consumed with the low life who decided to get behind the wheel while under the influence. I think this will be the last post (at least this week). I just need to say something to the punk who did this to us.

15000216_10153866602657653_3337676468621461077_oDear Michael,

That’s right, I’m using your name. It’s public record anyways what you did to us. And quite frankly you deserve to be called out for your actions.

You seem to have a long history of drinking and drugging. Maybe no one cared enough to tell you this needs to stop. Maybe they didn’t know what to do. But you’re 21 years old, plenty old enough to know better than to get in a car in all honesty. I imagine your parents have coddled you all your life and let you do what you want which is probably why you have zero regard for other people’s property. Here’s a little in your face truth about what you have done to us.

On November 12, 2016 when you and your buddy got in your car and barreled down our street exceeding the speed limit for sure and smashed into our legally parked car pushing it up on the curb and then proceeded to flee the scene you left us with over $7000 in damages. That doesn’t even include the untold amount of lost wages we have now lost.

My husband and I haven’t slept since this happened, or at least not slept well. Waking up in the middle of the night wondering how we’re going to afford this massive loss and be able to provide our children with a nice Christmas. Or imagining what would have happened if it was a few hours earlier when our kids and the neighbor kids were outside playing and you had hit them instead.

Our 17 year old daughter, who I can assure you does not have a history of drinking and drugging like you do and who will be going off to college next year, was supposed to get the car that you have now totaled once she saved up enough money to pay off half of that loan. Yes, we make our children work for things so they value their possessions and those of others. Clearly something you never learned.

Because my husband drives for Uber he can no longer do that because you have taken his car out because of your own disregard for the safety of yourself or others. I know you learned about drunk driving when you took driver’s education and I know this isn’t your first run in with the law on this. And this is exactly why you should have known better.

In dealing with insurance and figuring out what our rights are I have logged a good 32 hours in the four days since you came crashing quite literally into our lives. Time I could have spent working of course, but also reading to my children, playing with them, and tickling them. You have taken that time away from me because of your irresponsible selfishness. I can never get that time back and it’s absolutely priceless time you, Michael, have taken from me.

In the over 18 years my husband and I have been together, the fact that we were able to purchase this vehicle for him that my husband truly loved made me so proud. You see Michael, we are far from rich. Up until recently my husband was the sole bread winner of our family and we both have often had to go without so we could give to our children, because that’s what responsible adults do. Well, we were finally in a better financial position because I got some work from home work. It was nice to see my husband proud to drive around in a vehicle. After all these years he finally had something that was his. And now, because of your actions, you have completely destroyed that and it breaks my heart that I cannot fix this for my husband. And all for what? So you could get high, you Michael, are selfish and I absolutely hate what you have done to my husband. I HATE you, Michael! I’m sure that means nothing to you, but this is probably the thing that angers me the most, you took something good and something that was done out of love and appreciation for years of sacrifices and you destroyed it. I HATE you for that, Michael, absolutely HATE YOU! 

And you walk free, for now. But you hear this young man, we will be at every one of your court hearings. We will make sure that everyone is aware of exactly what you are. You are nothing but a low life selfish punk who values getting high and drunk over anything else, who doesn’t deserve to have a license. You are damn lucky that you did not hit those two good Samaritans who were on the street that night trying to help an injured animal. You are lucky that it wasn’t a few hours earlier and it was one of my kids who was outside playing that you mowed over because I assure you if that had happened you would have ended up with a lot more than a scratch on your cheek from the police bringing you to the ground when you tried to shirk responsibility yet again and resist arrest. This is how I know that I’ve got you pretty well pegged. Even in your inebriated state you were aware enough to realize you had done something wrong and to try to flee and to resist arrest. Because you’re selfish and only think about yourself.

I will do everything in my power to make sure you don’t do this, or worse to anyone again. You are a piece of trash and as far as I’m concerned you deserve to rot in hell!

Sincerely,

Monica

(victim of a DUI driver)

At Least Nobody Was Hurt

If I hear, “Well at least nobody was hurt.” One more time this week I’m going to scream. It was all well and good the first 24 hours or so post DUI incident (no, I will not call it an accident because there was a level of intent there when this kid got behind the wheel that night). Maybe he didn’t mean to hurt anyone else, but he made very poor choices and his decisions have now caused us harm. I imagine that from the looks of his history and his Facebook page he’s not suffering.  He was released from jail with a promise to appear. He even got his license back. He lives at home with mommy and daddy so he’s all good. No bills to pay or kids to feed.

And from where I sit right now, “At least nobody was hurt” means well there’s no victim here. The DA hasn’t called us up to inform us of what’s happening or to get any sort of statement from us about how we’re doing. Nobody seems to care that my husband and I haven’t slept for days. Nobody was hurt. Well, I guess that depends on your standards of hurt. Did we suffer any physical injury in this? No, probably not really. I mean I’m sure my blood pressure is through the roof so if you want to count that as a physical injury I guess there’s that. I also wanted to vomit when the insurance adjuster was out today to appraise our car and look at the damages. That’s pretty physical. But I get the impression that that doesn’t count. That doesn’t matter.

After the punk’s insurance company left and claimed that they would consider it totaled because despite a value of nearly $7000 and the inability to tell me what it would cost to fix it or what the value of the car had to be for them to not consider it not totaled they are refusing to repair the car. I lost it. I have been crying off and on all day now. Over a car mind you, yes. It’s not so much that I’m this distraught over the loss of a possession, I am grateful it wasn’t my children or my husband who was lost, but my mind can’t help but wander to the what ifs. I couldn’t imagine having to fight with insurance while grieving for someone I loved. And what all this means is we go back to being a one car family through no fault of our own. At a time mind you when we are on the verge of having a 3rd driver in the house. My oldest is moments away from getting her license. We lose income. We’ve already lost income. We are absolutely on the losing end of the stick here because we parked our car legally, in front of our home, just like we’ve done everyday for the last year and a half. We did everything right, but we have had nothing but stress and aggravation for the last several days.

I had no choice, but to involve our insurance company in this matter. I was getting no where with the punk’s. So this really drags it all out longer, but I feel like I have no choice. We cannot afford to have no car. We cannot afford for them to not pay for this to be repaired. I figured I had to try. I had to try to see if my insurance would view this situation differently than the punk’s insurance company does.

There are victims in this situation even if people did not get killed or injured, physically. His actions have done a great deal of arm to not only us financially, but emotionally as well. Just to have a consultation with an attorney we have to pay at least $300 an hour because they don’t consider this personal injury. If we want to file against him in small claims that’s $95 right there. I personally think we have a pretty good case for punitive damages, but we’d probably never see the money and we’d be out of pocket so much it’s not something we financially are capable of doing.

When I was probably in middle school I remember writing a paper about drunk driving and MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving). We’re talking over 20 years ago. From what I remember back then the laws were improving slightly, but here we are more than 20 years later and this kid who now has committed his 2nd offense that we know of is out of jail just a day later. How is this possible in 2016 in a DUI case? Simply because “nobody was hurt”? I’m just sick to my stomach about all of this. To add insult to injury I think I saw the kid at the grocery store tonight. I wasn’t sure that it was him, but it sure looked like him. If I could have positively known it was him I probably would have screamed at him. I want this over. I want to get back to life. My home and my work is suffering while I deal with this because apparently dealing with insurance claims is a full time job.

Coobie Seamless Bras Get 25% Off

coobie_logo_usfgBoy have I got a deal for all the moms. Coobie bras wants to give my readers a special deal. And keep coming back because I will also be giving away a couple of bras in a few weeks to two lucky readers. Be on the lookout for a review of Coobie bras to come along with the giveaway.

In the meantime go check out Coobie bras and take advantage of the 25% off offer I have been told I could give to my readers. You don’t want to miss this one.

You need this amazing bra in your life! Coobie Seamless Bras are ultra comfortable and supportive. Perfect for everyday wear our versatile one-size fits 32A – 36D, available in 7+ styles and 70+ colors/patterns, with adjustable straps and removable pads! Try one, you’ll love it!
PROMOTION: Save 25% on any order of Coobie Seamless Bras at www.shopcoobie.com Use code: USFG

Here are some images of some of the bras:

Classic Lace Bralette (S: 28A-32D) (M: 32A-34D) (L: 36A-38D)

bralette

Comfort Bra (S: 30-34) (M: 34-36) (L: 38-42) (XL: 42-48

comfort

Nursing Bra (One size: 32A-36D) or (Full size: 38A-42DD)

nursing

Scoopneck (One size: 32A-36D) or (Full size: 38A-42DD)

scoopneck

V-Neck with Lace (One size: 32A-36D) or (Full size: 38A-42DD)

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So cute and they sure to look comfortable.  So go check them out and don’t forget to watch out for the giveaway.

Stop Pointing Fingers

The presidential election is over and about half of the country I would say (maybe more) is disappointed with the outcome. The truth of the matter is November 9, 2016 was going to be a divisive day in America no matter what the outcome was of the presidential election. The thing is I don’t know what good finger pointing does. Calling out people who voted 3rd party or even those who didn’t vote at all. All of those celebrity pleas demanding that people just get out and vote, this is what happens. You ask people to vote and they do, then you really can’t get mad if the results didn’t go the way you wanted them to. And for those who didn’t vote, you can’t say for sure that if they had it would have swayed anything in another direction.

It is what it is, the beauty of it is there’s only 4 years until the next presidential election. If it turns out that Trump was not the right guy, then we don’t reelect him, it’s as simple as that. I get that people are scared, but there’s a lot of fear to go around on both sides. We don’t know what other people’s story is or what they have been through and it’s not fair to judge based on how they voted. I strongly believe a clear message was being sent here. People want something different. They think that’s Trump. It’s not for us to say that they’re wrong. It doesn’t matter if you think America has always been great with the exception of the need to make people be kind and accepting for once. Aside from the fact that you can’t make people do anything, you can’t ignore the fact that many people in this country do not feel that things have been great.

Everyone’s entitled to their feelings, but I think right now is the time to come together and try to understand where everyone’s coming from on every side of the fence. Now we need to be kind and pay it forward. This is not the time for finger pointing though. This is a time to come together. If we can do that, then maybe just maybe things can be great. Have a little faith and a little trust that it will all work out the way it’s supposed to.

In all of the years that I have been legally allowed to vote, not once has there been a president in office that I wanted to see there. It hasn’t caused me any major issues in my life. It hasn’t affected my children negatively in any way. What the president does and the actions he takes does not affect how I raise my children and how I will teach them to be good, caring, giving, productive members of society. The president doesn’t have that power over me and my family. The president still has to work the system just like every other president has. So continue doing what you were doing. If someone is being hateful, well that person was probably hateful before Trump was president and there’s a good chance they’ll still be hateful after Trump is president. A different president just is not going to change that about a person. If you think the president wields that much power, control, and influence over a person’s free will, then I don’t know where you’ve been living, but it’s not America. There have always been hateful people in this world and there’s probably always going to be hateful people in this world. If you know in your heart of hearts that what you’re doing is right and good, then don’t let anybody take that away from you. You’re giving one person too much power over how you live and none of us should be living like that.

We have to give the president a chance. We can’t hope for failure on his part and we can’t walk through life thinking that every single asshole we run into is simply a byproduct of the president. That’s simply not the case and it’s just not going to improve our situation. So take it from someone who has never been pleased with the president in office in her entire adult life. It’s four years, we’ll get through it if we take a step back and realize that we still live in the greatest country in the world with the greatest freedoms in the world. That my friends is good enough to me regardless of who is running the country.

#LEGOKidsFest Might Be Coming to a City Near You

legokidsfestlogoDo you love LEGOS? Do you know someone who loves LEGOS? It’s that time of year. #LEGOKidsFest could be coming to a city near you. If you are in or around the New England or Connecticut area the weekend of December 2-4, 2016, then you can get a chance to check out the LEGO Kids Fest in Hartford, CT.

Want a chance to win tickets to the Hartford, CT LEGO Kids Fest show? You can enter to win 2 tickets to the opening event on December 2 in Hartford. Here’s the information: One of MY followers will win (2) tickets for the opening night session on Friday, Dec 2 2016 (4-8:30pm). I encourage you to LIKE and Follow LEGOKidsFest on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram for all the latest ticketing updates as this event has been selling out in prior cities. Must be 18 to enter, 1 entry per day allowed, random drawing by USFG! Winner will be chosen on Friday November 18, 2016 and will be emailed by USFG. You can enter here.

Winner will be randomly chosen by USFG on and announced on my Blog and notified via email. Winner will be emailed approximately five days before the event.

If you want to purchase tickets it’s recommended that you do it early. Tickets sell out quickly. You can purchase them online. Get more details here!

Check out what’s in store for the Hartford, CT LEGO KidsFest.

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New activities, popular favorites featured in interactive event running Dec 2-4, 2016
The award-winning LEGO KidsFest New England comes to the Hartford CT Convention Center from Dec. 2-4, 2016.

Those who attend can expect hands-on building, creative experiences and one-of-a-kind activities. Children of all ages and builders of all skills and levels are welcome.

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LEGO KidsFest features dozens of new activities and popular favorites on the three-acre show floor.
New activities for this year’s visit include LEGO Mindstorms, LEGO Movie, LEGO Disney Princess, the Mixels, a LEGO Superheroes area and more.

Once again, show-goers can enjoy the LEGO Model Museum, Race Ramps, Creation Nation, Construction Zone, LEGO DUPLO, LEGO Retail store and LEGO KidsFest Marketplace, the Big Brick Pile, LEGO Ninjago and more.

“We’re thrilled to be returning to the New England area,” said Vince Rubino, Events Manager for LEGO Systems, Inc. “We’ve got a host of new activities as well as some areas we know are very popular with our fans. Not only will families create some new memories at the show, they’ll get another chance to flex and showcase their building skills. This event is a must for the true LEGO fan.”

spidermaninthesuperheroesactivityarea
Five sessions – all identical and 4 1/2 half hours in length – are held at each tour stop. LEGO KidsFest tickets can be purchased at www.LEGOkidsfest.com. Tickets are $19 for the Friday and Sunday afternoon sessions, and $22 for both sessions on Saturday and the Sunday morning session.

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On tour since 2009, previous LEGO KidsFest tour stops have included major cities such as Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Atlanta, San Jose, Cleveland, Richmond, Phoenix, Portland and more.

Thirty Eight Ain’t So Bad

14918835_10153839105577653_7556389055941164810_oYou know when you’re a kid every birthday is an exciting one. Then when you get to a certain age there almost seems to be nothing to look forward to. Another year older, another year wiser as they say, but the reality of it all is that birthdays never seem as exciting as they were when you were a kid. I don’t think you’ll ever get that back. I’m way more excited for my kids birthdays than I am for my own. For me to see the look of joy on my kids face when they get just what they were hoping for or when they have a great birthday, that’s what it’s all about. So for the most part birthdays do eventually end up becoming another day, but is it really just another day?

No, not really. I mean with Facebook you now have hundreds of friends and family wishing you happy birthday. Most places I do business in some way email you for the month before your birthday to offer birthday treats and well wishes. In my house my middle daughter posts Happy Birthday signs all over the house that greet you. And you still get presents.

So today I turned 38. Yes, the day after my son. We almost shared a birthday. Instead, nine years ago he became the best early birthday present I ever did get. Nothing probably could top that birthday, but ever since it has been with great joy that I get to shower him with so much love and excitement and then the next day it all gets turned around on me.

As I had approached my 30th birthday I dreaded the thought, but now here I am closer to 40 and so far that doesn’t seem too bad. And so far thirty eight ain’t so bad either. My family spoiled me. My husband brought me out for breakfast, my middle daughter had an orthodontist appointment and she allowed me to pick out her colors for the elastics on her braces today. I know, a silly thing to get excited about, but she wouldn’t ever pick two colors for herself so I got her to do that today. She’ll probably never do it again and never allow me to pick out her color(s) again, but oh well. My husband made my favorite dinner (chicken parmigiana) and my oldest daughter baked me a cake, the two little ones made pictures for me, and I also got a pair of pig slippers, the new Simon game (you remember that memory game with the colors you had to press in the right order, yeah I got that and I love it), I got a New York Mets charm necklace, and a new tea kettle that’s a beautiful shade of blue (my favorite color).

It’s nice to be known and loved so well. And that right there makes growing older and each birthday so worth it. It took me a while to come to this realization that birthdays can still be something to look forward to. I’m just glad that I have so many wonderful people who I love so much that love me back. I couldn’t have asked for anything more on this my 38th birthday.

Getting Lost in the Lyman Corn Maze

4 kids lost in the corn maze

4 kids lost in the corn maze

One of our favorite New England Fall activities is apple picking. There’s no better place to go to get apples in Connecticut than Lyman Orchard’s in Middlefield. We go every year sometimes multiple times a year. We actually had gone back before most of the kids went back to school and got some apples. It was super early in the apple picking season though and our middle daughter had already started school so she wasn’t with us. We promised her we’d do it again though.

When I had an opportunity to not only go apple picking, but also let the kids go through the corn maze at Lyman Orchard I was excited to give it a go. We hadn’t done the corn maze before. I was excited to surprise the kids with this treat.

I however was not prepared for the crowd when we went. We went back on October 15 when my husband had a Saturday off and I was able to get my work done early in the day. We decided to pick apples first. There were plenty of apples to choose from on that day and they were all delicious. My husband had been asking for an apple pie so I was excited to get our half a peck of apples to be able to make a fresh apple pie for him. Once we finished picking our apples we went back to the car and drove down to the Apple Barrel to go to get our tickets for the corn maze. We had enough for the four kids to go through the maze. They were very excited to head on into the maze. My husband and I waited at the end for them to get their way through. When they finally reached the end with looks of relief on their faces that they find their way out and tales of not having eaten since the 1700′s it was great to know that they made some pretty great memories together.

Corn Maze

Corn Maze

It was a beautiful day to go apple picking. It was much more packed however than we have ever seen it before. It was a bit of a traffic nightmare to get to the apples and to park for the corn maze and even to leave. We didn’t even really get to do any shopping in the Apple Barrel because it was too busy for our liking. There seemed to be some other events happening there that day though making it much busier than usual. We did what we set out to do. We got plenty of delicious apples and the kids had a blast in the corn maze. There’s a good possibility that this will be our last year doing the apple picking as a family of six. It’s a bit sad to think of how many lasts we are going through this year with my oldest going off to college next year. It’s all that much more important that we make all of these lasts that much more memorable and I think we accomplished that with this trip to the apple farm this year.

Oh yeah, and the pie that I made for my husband was delicious, if I do say so myself.

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Happy International Lefty Day

photo credit: josephbergen via photopin cc

photo credit: josephbergen via photopin cc

I woke up this morning thinking it’s just another day, but I was quickly reminded thanks to Facebook that it’s International Left Handed day.  A whole day devoted to about 10% of the population.  A population which I am a part of.

I grew up as the only lefty in the house.  Neither of my parents are left handed and neither is my brother.  And it came with its challenges growing up.  And now that I’m out on my own and with 4 kids I am still the only lefty in my house.  That has brought upon some new challenges in my life.  You wouldn’t think one’s dominant hand would cause trouble, but it does, and lefties are keenly aware of this issue.  And any righty who lives with a lefty quickly learns some of these things too.  So let me share with my righty counterparts some of the struggles I have experienced as a lefty.  They’re just ways in my life I have had to work a little differently and sometimes a little longer to get something done for one reason or another.

How Being A Lefty Has Effected Me

  1. Learning to write was a struggle. Everyone who was teaching me was right handed and it took me longer to pick up on writing my letters.
  2. All you righties, do you remember those one or two pairs of green handled scissors in the scissor box at school?  Those were intended for lefties, not for you to brag that you got the different pair of scissors.  I cannot use scissors that are not meant for both hands.  I can’t switch them and use my right hand either, it still doesn’t work for me.  So while everyone else got their hand turkey cut out, I was left with nothing and many times a teacher who didn’t understand that with the right tools I could do it, but because someone else took the green handled scissors I couldn’t complete the task.
  3. Manual can openers are a puzzle.  It takes me 5 minutes to open one can with a traditional manual can opener because I have to talk my brain into how it’s done.
  4. When we write we are left with a permanent mark on the side of our hand from going over the paper.  It’s kind of our mark of solidarity.  Some lefties you might see contort themselves in such a way to try to avoid dragging their hand over the paper.  I tried that, it’s exhausting so I take the pen marks.  It’s also a constant battle of finding just the right pen which will leave the least amount of pen on the side of you hand.
  5. Teaching right handed children to write is even more frustrating than learning how.  I can’t tell you how many times I sat at the table with my right handed children showing them a letter, having them not do anything like I showed them, only to have my husband come along and show them exactly the same thing in the same way and have them do it without problem.
  6. I still have people stealing my scissors.  I have a specific pair of my favorite scissors for in the kitchen and for all other cutting things.  Someone is forever taking and using these scissors and not putting them back.  They are getting better about it because I have made it very clear that if my scissors are not where I can find them when I need them, heads will roll.  You can bring me any other pair of scissors in the house, if it’s not my scissors it does me no good because I still can’t use those other scissors.

I love being a lefty though and I love finding other people who share in this unique advantage.  I am always noticing other lefties and reminding them, that only lefties are in their right mind.  When I was bringing my oldest daughter on some college tours this summer another parent I realized was a lefty because he was pointing out to his daughter the lefty desks.  There were actually about five of those desks in that classroom, 5 desks which I guarantee you a righty would walk into the room and sit at just because it was different, not because he needed it to make his life easier.

I have adapted to this predominately right handed world the best way I can.  When learning computer the mouse was always on the right.  While I know I could move the mouse to the left now, I still use my right hand to operate the mouse.  I actually prefer the right handed desks in classrooms because most didn’t have a lefty desk anyway and I just got used to using the righty desk.

So happy international left handed day to my fellow lefties.  Do you know anyone who is a lefty?

Happy Independence Day

Image courtesy of Free Digital photos and nixxphotography

Image courtesy of Free Digital photos and nixxphotography

Yes, it has been months since I’ve blogged.  And I will tell you, I’m not sure that I’m back just yet.  I’m in a blogging funk these days, but am also really swamped with work and the kids.  I hate that my blog is taking a back seat because it is very important to me, but every time I sit down to write out what I’m thinking I just can’t get it out the way I want.  Perhaps it’s too much writing for others.

But anyways, I do want to wish everyone of my fellow Americans a very happy Independence Day.  And I don’t care if you don’t want me to wish you a happy Independence Day or not because it’s not the anniversary of YOUR independence or even mine for that matter.  Quite frankly I am getting so sick and tired of all of this political correctness.  I miss the days of not being afraid of offending someone if I say Happy Independence Day, or Merry Christmas.

We’re so concerned with who we’re going to offend and pointing out our checkered history that now we seem to have so many people forgetting what being American is all about.  I have never set foot outside of America, but you know what, in spite of all of its flaws (past and current) I still wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.  We still have a certain amount of opportunity and respect as part of a democratic society that other people just don’t have.  Despite any feelings for or against our president that I might have I take pride in being an American.  And all of you who are so busy denouncing holidays like today better be proud you’re an American too because your lack of patriotism for your country would not be accepted in many other countries.

So Happy Independence Day one and all!  Whether you’re woman, whether you’re black, white, Native American, Mexican-American, or even Irish-American this day is for all of you, all of us.  Because we celebrate our independence which was afforded to us by first creating the declaration of independence which set forth the ideas and principles behind a fair and just government.  Isn’t it great that our founding fathers had the foresight to create a constitution that could grow and change with us?  That is brilliance right there!  And I for one am so grateful that they created the constitution in such a way that could be changed.  As imperfect as the system may currently be and perhaps was when it was started this is still a day we should all celebrate, even if in 1776 your ancestors didn’t get to partake in the same independence as our founding fathers did.  The signing of the Declaration of Independence was what our constitution was based off of which did afford every American citizen the independence they do enjoy today even if at times it might seem like we don’t.

So think about that while you’re busy taking offense to me saying Happy Independence Day to you!