New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 4th A Day to Reflect

Most of us tend to think that we celebrate the Fourth of July because that is the day we received our Independence from England. We are the right track, yet not entirely correct. What happened to those men who signed our Declaration of Independence? When did we start using fireworks to celebrate?

A 4th of July Quiz

1. When did the Continental Congress actually pass a resolution of Independence?

a) July 1
b) July 2
c) July 3

2. Who was on the committee assembled to draft the declaration?

a) Richard Henry Lee, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and George Washington.
b) Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and John Hancock.
c) John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.

3. What was one of the reasons that Adams told Jefferson, the youngest man on the committee, to draft a declaration?

a) Jefferson was from Massachusetts, a politically powerful state.
b) Adams knew that he was unpopular and considered obnoxious by many delegates. In order for the declaration to be accepted, he had to keep a low profile.
c) Adams wanted to challenge Jefferson to improve his writing skills by drafting an important document.

4. Which of the following was something Congress cut out of Jefferson's draft of the declaration?

a) They removed all references to slavery.
b) They removed all references to women.
c) They removed a paragraph written in Latin.

5. Which two key players in the history of Independence died on the fiftieth anniversary of the declaration?

a) Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock
b) Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
c) Benjamin Franklin and John Adams

Take the quiz, scan the trivia, say a prayer of thanks and reflect.

To find out the history behind this day of Independence and the answers to the quiz see: July 4th a Day to Reflect

For a Safer Fireworks

Try to attend public fireworks displays. The shows are safer and are meant for better displays than what might be achieved at your home.

For a list of Albuquerque public displays see:

However, if you must use fireworks, be sure to follow certain safety rules.


New Mexico is under a fireworks ban due to a severe drought and existing wildfires. So, the first thing you should do is to check out with the fire department if the fireworks are legal in your community.

Each year people suffer burns, loss of eyesight, burst eardrums and other injuries, and property is damaged because of fireworks.

Words of caution:

Common fireworks are explosives and must be handled with care and respect to prevent injury and property damage.

If fireworks are allowed in your community, know the rules to be followed (no bottle rockets, etc) and some common sense do's and don'ts:

The Do's

  • Obey your city or town ordinance on the use of fireworks.
  • Always purchase high quality fireworks from reliable sources.
  • Follow the printed instructions carefully, and use common sense.
  • Never use fireworks in glass or metal containers.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only in a clear area away from houses and buildings.
  • Light only one item at a time, then move back quickly once the fuse is ignited.
  • Keep all other fireworks at a safe distance from where they are being discharged.
  • Never experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Make sure adults supervise the firing of all fireworks.
  • Always wear safety goggles when using fireworks.
  • Have an adult supervise the use of all fireworks.
  • Always read and follow label directions.
  • Have an adult present.
  • Buy from reliable sellers.
  • Use outdoors only.
  • Make sure to have all flammable and combustible materials removed from the area of shooting and landing.
  • Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Use a "punk", instead of the lighters and matches, for a safer ignition.
  • If necessary, store fireworks in a cool, dry place. And, away from any source of fire.
  • Soak the burnt out fireworks in water and dispose of them in a trashcan.
  • Make sure to wear eye protection while shooting.
  • Stay away from illegal explosives.

The Don'ts:

  • Never try illegal explosives.
  • Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
  • Never give fireworks to small children (below 12).
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never re-light a "dud" firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in water).
  • Never have any part of the body over the firework.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Never ignite aerial fireworks near, or, below a tree, overhead wires, or anything that may obstruct the flight.
  • Never ignite aerial fireworks near an opening, e.g. a door, a window. ENJOY !
“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency;but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Benjamin Franklin


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