Long Island Past and Present

Old Grist Mill in Mill Neck

The name “Mill Neck” originated from the mill Henry Townsend built in 1661 with a grant from his fellow freeholders. The old saw mill at Mill Neck produced cut lumber in planks as well as turnings for balusters, columns and fence posts until few years before it was demolished in 1890.

The Village of Mill Neck, NY 11765 is located on the North Shore of Long Island in the Town of Oyster Bay. To live in Mill Neck, NY is to live in one of the most expensive addresses in the United States according to some exclusive magazine for the rich and the famous. Although I have my doubt to some extent. Forbes Magazine have listed Mill Neck as the third priciest address in the United States. Most likely because most of the wealthy homeowners are concentrated in that zip code.

I lived in Oyster Bay for 40 years and…

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The Philippines and its species-rich ecosystem – Part II



Philippine fauna forms a distinct subdivision within the Malayan region and provides evidence of the land bridges that once linked the archipelago with mainland Asia via Borneo. Palawan is especially rich in wildlife, which is closely related to Borneo’s. The wildlife of mainland Mindanao and Sulu also show affinity with Borneo, while northern Luzon has species in common with Taiwan and the Asian mainland.

Although the fossilized remains of elephants, have been found, the Philippines today has few large mammals. The absence of major predators means an abundance of small animals.

tarsiers Tarsier – Photo by Wikipedia

There is a variety of fauna. Each September, migratory birds stop over on their way south from a chilling China. The Philippines is home to several indigenous birds and animals: sea turtles, mouse deer, tarsiers, and the Philippine eagle to name a few.

Carabao wikipedia Carabao – Photo by Wikipedia

The strong domesticated carabao (water…

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The End of World War I

One hundred years ago this month, WWI ended with an armistice on November 11, 1918. The ‘war to end all wars’ was over. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, America swore “Never Again!”

Meuse Argonne by
Meuse Argonne by


WWI shattered empires, monarchies, kingdoms and, more importantly, countless innocent men, women and children. Its greatest legacy was creating fertile ground for the rise of two of the most evil men in the history of the world – The German and the Japanese.

I did not know much about WWI except the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary which started it. I always wanted to read about WWI since we have so many WWI books at home. I finally started “The Guns of August” by Barbara Tuckman. It’s a good start. But then again, I have other interesting subjects I want to read. It’s always the case of “too many books, too little time”.

When I asked my husband where his father, Lt. Robert Morgan, fought in WWI, he said Meuse Argonne. He was with the 77th Division, Machine Gun Unit. He survived the war.

Where is Meuse Argonne? I have never heard of the place. The only thing I heard often was the battle at the Somme. But then tonight, I just caught the end of the movie “Sgt York” on TCM and it mentioned Meuse Argonne.

Meuse Argonne Offensive – Photo Credit:


Well, here is what I found out about Meuse Argonne.

  • The Meuse Argonne region was located in a very hilly area in the Alsace-Lorraine region that was heavily fortified by the Germans. If the Germans broke through this area they could easily take Paris. Likewise, if the American and French forces could push the Germans out of this area they could deeply influence a surrender.
  • This battlefield was a very large, highly fortified area full of towns, hills, trenches, roads, and railroads. The only way to take it would be to get out of the trenches and go on the offensive. Hence the name, Meuse Argonne Offensive.
  • There were 5 important “heights” that needed to be taken in order to control this region. They were: Montfaucon, Romagne Heights, Heights of the Meuse, Argonne Forest, and Barricourt Heights.
  • General Pushing hoped to capture this area in about 6-7 days. It would really take 6 weeks!
  • Meuse Argonne Offensive also known as Battles of the Meuse Argonne was the deadliest battle in American history involving 1.2 million American soldiers. It was fought from September 26, 1918 until the Armistice of November 11, 1918, a total of 47 days. The battle cost 28,000 German lives, 26,277 American lives and an unknown number of French lives.


Here is the timeline of The Great War:

6-28-1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated.

8-01-1914 – Germany declares war on Russia.

4-06-1917 – The U.S. declares war on Germany after the sinking of three U.S. merchant ships by German U-boats.

6-26-1917 – American troops begin landing in France.

11-11-1918 – Germany accepts the armistice terms demanded by the Allies, ending the war.

6-28-1919 – The Treaty of Versailles is signed at the Palace of Versailles, France.


By the numbers:

70 million – the number of men mobilized by warring countries in WWI. Almost half were killed or injured during the four-year conflict.

France – 1.4 million dead, 4.2 million injured.

Germany – 1.8 million dead, 4.2 million injured.

Austria-Hungary – 1.4 million dead, 3.6 million injured.

Russia – 1.8 million dead, five million injured.

Britain and British Empire – 900,000 dead, two million injured.

Italy – 600,000 dead, one million injured.

United States – 116,500 dead, 204,000 injured.

Ottoman Empire – 800,000 dead.

10 million refugees

3 million war widows

6 million orphans

In addition, millions of civilians died in massacres and another 20-30 million perished in an influenza epidemic called “Spanish Flu” that broke out at the end of the war among populations weakened by years of deprivation.

Click the link below to see the end of the war or start from the beginning to see the whole battle experience of Meuse Argonne Offensive.


Remember those who fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy our freedom today.


Source: Newsmax, Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica

American Rose Society and San Diego Rose Society honor our veterans

What a great tribute to the Fallen Heroes!

Rose Gardening World

The American Rose Society just had their National Convention and Rose Show in San Diego and with plenty of roses after the convention, the San Diego Rose Society who was host to the convention did a wonderful job to pay tribute to our veterans by decorating their graves with roses, our national floral emblem. Thank you Mary Shanley and Christine Epstein for your splendid work. They are beautiful!

San Diego Convention 2018 3

I saw this on Facebook posted by the newly elected American Rose Society President, Robert Martin.

What happened to the leftover roses from our ARS convention? They became “Flowers for the Fallen at Ft Rosecrans National Cemetery. Committee Members Mary Shanley and Christine Epstein took the roses from the tear down and decorated over 150 gravesites with over 300 beautiful, homegrown roses. They also gave some roses to folks who were there that day burying their loved ones.

San Diego Convention 2018 2The area decorated was…

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Home Front recipes from WWII

Great simple recipes. Eat well and be healthy.

Pacific Paratrooper

As most of you know, America experienced rationing for the first time in World War II and with the holidays looming in the wings, food seemed to be a logical subject.

Some products  that were rationed during World War II were sugar, meat, coffee, typewriters, fuel oil, gasoline, rubber, and automobiles.  Each person was issued a book of ration coupons each month.  Rationed goods were assigned a price and point value.  Families were not restricted to certain quantities of rationed goods.  But once their coupons were used up, they could not buy rationed goods until the next month. Families were encouraged to plant victory gardens.  These gardens supplied a major part of the vegetable supply during the War.

But one thing most of us can admit, our parents and grandparents ate well.  They ate to live – not lived to eat!    Here are some of the recipes, given to us…

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The Philippines and its species-rich ecosystem – Part I




The Philippine offers nature lovers tremendous biodiversity. Its tropical rainforest is the most species-rich ecosystem on earth. Substantial parts of the archipelago remain unexplored, both on land and under water. The country is remarkable for its dwarf and pigmy species of many ecological families. Unfortunately, the natural environment is being destroyed at an alarming rate. Logging and mining, dynamiting of coral reefs, and enormous population pressures are having a devastating ecological effect. For the conservationist, a journey through the islands may be both exciting and depressing.

Fertile volcanic soil of the Philippines, abundant rain and sunshine, and the wide range of habitats and elevations give rise to an incredible variety of plant life in every category, from mosses and lichens (including 1,000 species of fern) to giant trees (about 3,000 species).

Plants are mainly of the type found in Indonesia and Malaysia, although Australian (e.g. eucalyptus) and Sino-Himalayan (e.g…

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Legaspi Built Intramuros, the Seat of Spanish Rule

Intramuros – A beautiful city within a city.


Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founded the city of Manila in 1571, 50 years after the Spanish discovery of the Philippines. Manila, being better positioned than Cebu for trade with China, was made the original capital of the Philippines.

Intramuros Wall by Wikipedia Intramuros – Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Here the colonizers built Intramuros, an impregnable European style thick stone-walled city which was the seat of Spanish rule located south of the Pasig River. Although Intramuros was laid out as a pentagon, its uneven sides more approximate a triangle. The twenty-foot-high walls stretched for nearly 4.5 km (3 miles). In some places, they reached twenty-five feet in height and had a thickness of up to forty feet at the bottom. Inside, following Legaspi’s blueprint for the capital, succeeding Spanish governors built churches, chapels, convents, palaces for the governor-general and the archbishop, schools, university (in as early as 1611), printing press, hospitals and soldiers’ barracks, and grand…

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