Author: Edgar Patterson

Books About the Roaring ‘20s

When the 1920s came into full swing, the American economy experienced a unique revival. After spending two full years in semi-permanent isolation because of the global influenza pandemic, people were ready to party, socialize, and enjoy some bootleg liquor.

It was a period in U.S. history where everything seemed to be going well. It would last for about a decade before the Great Depression reversed that trend.

Many people believe the world is set for another energetic explosion after the COVID-19 pandemic winds down. These books about the Roaring ‘20s give us insights into this era and how it might happen again in the 2020s.

1. Paris Without End

This book about the Roaring ‘20s talks about the true story of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. If you were an American with money during that decade, you made your way to Paris. You’ll learn more about Hadley Richardson, who was a 29-year-old Midwestern girl who would end up marrying one of the world’s best poets and authors of the era.

2. The Girls of Murder City

One of the unique aspects of the Roaring ‘20s was the dramatic rise of organized crime. Although the stories often center around Al Capone and Chicago, many U.S. cities experienced this issue. This book follows the story of Maurine Watkins, who interviewed two murderesses in Cook County to get the public intrigued by the sensationalism of the era.

3. Last Call

The Roaring ‘20s started with a prohibition on the manufacturing and sale of alcohol. It would last until 1933. The Constitutional amendment sent liquor underground, created criminal empires, and defined the decade. This book examines the forces that profited from the Volstead Act – and how it eventually ended.

4. Zelda

It’s been said that the author of The Great Gatsby stole his ideas from his wife. Then he committed her to an asylum after spending ten years of marriage together. This book tells the tragic story of this woman’s life.

What book do you think you’ll pick up first?

5 Best States to Watch the Leaves Turn in Fall

One of autumn’s best traditions is to watch the leaves turn colors in the fall. Although many people travel to New England annually for this experience, several states offer some incredible experiences. You just need to know where to look!

Are you planning a trip to watch the colors change? If so, here are some stops to consider adding to your itinerary.

Where Are the Best Places to Watch the Leaves Turn Colors?

1. Vermont

The many deciduous forests in Vermont make it the best destination for watching the colors turn each year. While you’re visiting the state, pop over to New Hampshire to tour the Kancamagus Highway for an adventurous weekend.

2. New York

When autumn arrives, the stunning colors on display at Thatcher State Park can take your breath away. With reds, oranges, yellows, and more, you’ll find this trip to Albany can be an incredible experience.

3. Tennessee

The Smoky Mountains in the fall turn into a cacophony of color that you’ll want to keep visiting each year! If you start your journey in Gatlinburg, you’ll get to take a tour of the entire region and its incredible beauty.

4. Ohio

Although this state doesn’t have the go-to spot like some others, you should visit Ashtabula County in the fall. When you combine the changing colors with the covered bridges, you’ll have a magical experience to enjoy.

5. Minnesota

When you visit the northern shores of Lake Superior in the fall, you might need to dodge a few snowflakes. You’ll also spot some lighthouses, stunning cliff faces, and tall trees that turn into glorious colors in this sometimes chilly environment.

When the weather starts to cool, the trees in these states put on a brilliant display. Where do you think you’ll travel this year?

These Are the Healthiest US States

When you need to work on your health, you try to eat right, get some exercise, and take your vitamins. That means you’ll want brands like Apricot Power and DesBio in your medicine cabinet!

It also helps to surround yourself with positive people who support your quest for better health. That’s why you’ll want to consider living in one of the following healthy states.

What Are the Healthiest States in the U.S.?

1. California

California has one of the best combinations of obesity, smoking, and suicide rates in the country. About 12% of adults in the state report having “poor” mental health from 2021 information.

2. New Jersey

Although more people smoke in New Jersey, there is a lower infant mortality rate in this state. The obesity rate is also slightly lower than California’s, coming in at 25.7%.

3. New York

With a suicide rate about 30% less than California’s and similar rankings in every other category, the only thing that prevents New York from being in the top spot is two extra percentage points on the obesity rate.

4. Colorado

This state has one of the lowest obesity rates in the country. It also has one of the highest suicide ratings, with more people than average reporting poor mental health. If you love being active and don’t mind higher altitudes, this place is for you.

5. Washington

Although the obesity rates and number of adults reporting poor mental health are slightly higher than other states, Washington still holds a top spot because of the population’s activity levels. You’ll also find one of the lower infant mortality rates in the country here.

When you live in one of the healthiest states, you may have to adjust to a change in cultural and political environments, but at least you’ll be surrounding yourself with more people who support your positive lifestyle choices. Don’t forget about taking your vitamins!

Famous Las Vegas Buffets

When you visit Las Vegas, the goal is to have some fun. You might spend some time in a casino, have fun with the rides at the Strip, or go shopping at one of the city’s fantastic malls.

If you’re ready to get something to eat, you could spend a fortune on fine-dining experiences with some of today’s biggest culinary names. You can find everyone from Wolfgang Puck to Gordon Ramsey with restaurants in the city.

You don’t need to spend all that cash to get something incredible to eat. When you visit these famous Las Vegas buffets, you’ll come home stuffed!

What Are the Most Famous Buffets in Las Vegas?

1. The Buffet at the Wynn

You’ll find extravagant plates awaiting your arrival. They’re mixed with towering flower displays, fruit choices, and almost every food style you can imagine. With 15 live cooking stations and over 120 items that you need to try, make plans for Saturday to enjoy the special seafood menu.

2. Bacchanal Buffet

This Las Vegas buffet is often rated as the best in the world. You can find everything from red velvet pancakes to King crab legs awaiting your arrival. Their carving station is heavenly, with smoked meat waiting for your sampling right before you reach the gelato at the dessert table. You’ll find it at Caesars Palace.

3. Herringbone Brunch

You’ll need to wait for the weekend to enjoy this Las Vegas buffet, but it is worth the wait! They have the best sliders in the city, and you can find everything from prepared poke to lamb chops there to cure your hunger.

4. Sterling Brunch

With over 30 years of service under its belt, this buffet is one of the city’s institutions. It begins with endless Champagne and ends with you filling up on everything from gruyere popovers and truffle mashed potatoes.

When you want to have some fun, Las Vegas is the place to be. If you’re feeling hungry, stop by one of these buffets to refuel.

Books for Understanding Politics

Global politics seems to have gone off the rails in recent years. We have more populists today than at any point since World War II, internal polarization, and conspiracy theories getting treated like facts.

Whether you believe the news is fake or not is a personal choice. When you’re ready to understand politics better, these books are the ones you’ll want to read.

1. What You Should Know About Politics But Don’t

This book reviews the most pressing issues you can find in modern American politics. It takes a nonpartisan view on climate change, energy use, and why both parties take a specific stance. You’ll discover whether you lean right, left, or toward the middle.

2. Fascism: A Warning

Madeleine Albright, who formerly served as one of America’s Secretary of States, released this title in 2018. It examines how fascist rule developed in the 20th century, including reviewing the warning signs of this problematic structure. You’ll also get to know the after-effects a little more.

3. Team of Rivals

This exciting book serves as the foundation for the 2012 movie Lincoln. It profiles America’s arguably most famous president, telling the story of how he went from a rural lawyer to one of the most influential people in the world. He worked to achieve victory in the Civil War even though his cabinet wasn’t always on his side.

4. The Populist Explosion

Although some readers might feel the author is a little biased in this work, it is a fact-based discussion about how populism becomes a political force. It’s written by a journalist who posits that this atmosphere will endure on both sides of American politics – and governments throughout the world.

5. Alexander Hamilton

Ron Chernow’s biography inspired the Broadway hit, painting a vivid picture of this early president. It’s a fantastic read for anyone who wants to get to know the founding fathers better.

When you tackle these titles along with current political blogs, you’ll have the chance to understand more about why decisions get made the way they do.

These States Are Known for Their Fruit Harvest

When you wake up in the morning, you probably take a multivitamin to help your body get ready for the day. If you live in some states, their fruit harvest can provide a similar outcome.

That’s not to say you don’t want brands like Nutridyn and Bluebonnet in your pantry or medicine cabinet. A well-rounded approach to your health ensures that nutritional deficiencies won’t occur.

The following states can give you the fruit you need for a boost of vitamins and minerals with some of your favorite options from the store.

1. Alabama

You’ll find blackberries coming ripe throughout the state when June comes along to visit. The vines offer sweet, semi-tart options that are perfect for pies, snacking, and more.

2. Connecticut

The unique climate you’ll find in this state is perfect for Asian pears. They grow crisp and sweet so that you have a September to remember. Several local orchards even let you go out there to pick your own.

3. Delaware

The strawberry is the state fruit because you can find dozens of farms out there growing this tasty offering. You’ll want to plan ahead during the summer months because places like Walnut Springs get packed quickly.

4. Maine

There aren’t many fruits that have a beautiful blue color. If you visit Maine during the summer, you can come home with baskets of blueberries that are perfect for shortcake.

5. Massachusetts

Although the cranberry isn’t the most popular fruit you’ll find because of its tartness, the bogs where it grows can help you get the antioxidants needed to cleanse free radicals from your body.

6. Washington

Although you can find numerous fruits growing in the coastal climate that this state offers, the apples that grow here get shipped around the world. They’re sweet, crunchy, and filled with lots of good stuff.

What are your favorite fruits to eat each day?

What Makes an Idaho® Potato Special?

Idaho® Potatoes are so special that the state is a trademarked part of the name. What makes this crop better in this state than anywhere else in the world?

Although the marketing efforts for Idaho Potatoes are excellent, people keep coming back because of the flavors and consistency that the state produces each year.

That outcome is possible because there are three traits that you’ll find in Idaho for potato-growing which isn’t available in other parts of the United States (or the rest of the world).

  1. Most of the potatoes grown in Idaho come from the eastern part of the state where elevations are around 5,000 feet above sea level. That means you get warm summer days and cool nights.
  2. The croplands sit at the base of the Teton Mountains. Those summits collect snow each year that serves as an aquafer that delivers nutrients and irrigation for the potatoes.
  3. The Snake River basin was given a massive coating of volcanic dust millennia ago. That event produced a light soil foundation that is perfect for potato growth.

How Are Idaho Potatoes Better Than the Rest?

Because the growing conditions are so favorable in Idaho for potatoes, you’ll find that they tend to have some unique traits that aren’t found in other locations.

For starters, the texture of an Idaho potato is often better. It tends to be fluffy instead of dense, allowing for a more enjoyable dining experience. This quality remains even when you do a long, slow bake on them.

If you fry the Idaho potatoes to create French fries or other items, they outer part cooks up crisply while the interior absorbs less oil.

Since a potato has more potassium and vitamin C than a banana, it’s a vegetable that deserves the attention it receives. If you’re looking for a tasty treat, grab a potato from Idaho today!

These 5 States Make the Best Grits

Grits is any coarsely-ground grain that gets turned into a porridge-like dish. It’s typically made from a starchy corn, with the product often soaked in lye to remove the hard hull.

If you’ve had hominy before, you got to try the root form of grits.

It’s different from polenta, although the latter option is essentially Italian grits. The primary difference is that it is made from cornmeal.

If you want to taste authentic Americana, you’ll want to book a flight through WestJet and visit these states where they make the best grits in the country.

List of the States Where You Must Try Their Grits

1. South Carolina

If you want some of the best grits in the United States, you’ll need to visit Poogan’s Porch in Charleston. It’s often named the best dish of its type in the state, and it has even received some national recognition. They use local shrimp and grains to create more freshness.

2. Mississippi

Head over to Big Bad Breakfast in Oxford if you want some incredible grits. The restaurant sources the ingredients from a small business that uses locally stone-ground corn to create the dish. They won’t disappoint!

3. Louisiana

When you head over to New Orleans, take some time to visit The Court of Two Sisters. It’s right in the French Quarter, and they use a traditional grits recipe that works well with their jazz buffet.

4. Georgia

When you visit The Flying Biscuit Café in Atlanta, the white cheddar infusion they use creates a dreamy experience. Pair them with their trademark biscuits to have a mouthwatering experience!

5. North Carolina

At the Mimosa Grill, Sunday mornings are meant for grits and brunch. You can select from several topping choices to have a customized flavor experience.

Do you have a favorite grits recipe at home when making this dish? What are your secrets for a successful outcome? Let us know!

Here’s Why We Celebrate the 4th With Fireworks

One of the iconic traditions for the 4th of July celebrations that happen each year in the United States is to light fireworks. Did you know that we all have President John Adams to thank for this tradition?

When Adams was getting ready to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he wrote a letter to his wife. In it, he said that the moment would be one of the most memorable occasions in America’s history. It should be solemnized with numerous activities, including bonfires and illuminations, from “one end of the continent to the other.”

Since Adams was a well-known figure in the colonies, it didn’t take long for his wishes to spread to each community. Only one year later, in 1777, the first party to celebrate the 4th of July was held in Philadelphia. They set off 13 firework rockets in the town square.

The U.S. Has Never Had a 4th of July Without Fireworks

Although most cities didn’t celebrate with fireworks on that first 4th of July remembrance, it has been a holiday when fireworks have always been present. Even if we’re not celebrating together in person because of the ongoing pandemic, the colorful displays in the sky are still viewable online or while following social distancing.

It’s a unique holiday tradition, especially since most historians think that fireworks were invented over 2,300 years ago in China.

Adams would be proud of what would become a holiday tradition if he could see it today. From hot dogs and apple pie to the pomp and circumstance of community parades, this day is one of the few times when people set their differences aside to celebrate their country.

Can you imagine what would be possible if we were to follow the same process each day that we do when celebrating the founding of the United States?

States with the Best Seafood

If you love having seafood, you’ll find that some states do a better job of delivering the ocean’s bounty than others.

You don’t need to live in a coastal state to enjoy fresh seafood. Many areas have inland waters, including rivers and lakes, that offer freshwater fish and other species to enjoy.

Here are the best states for seafood you’ll want to visit. If you already live in one of them, you should consider yourself lucky!

1. California

With almost 900 miles of coastline to manage, you’ll find a wide range of seafood to enjoy here. When you’re in SoCal, expect to find everything from rock crab to spot prawns. As you travel north, you can find Dungeness crab, abalone, and oysters.

2. Florida

The Intracoastal waters and access to deep-water fishing make this state a fantastic seafood destination. When you add the Gulf of Mexico into the mix, the bounty becomes phenomenal! You can get almost anything here, including snapper, grouper, spiny lobster, and several crab species.

3. Louisiana

About 40% of the country’s estuary marshes are found in this state. It’s the home to the largest commercial fishery as well, producing everything from oysters to catfish. If you stop for a visit, don’t forget about the crawfish that came from the local waters!

4. Alaska

With nearly 7,000 miles of coastline, some of the best seafood you’ll eat comes from this state. Many of the king crab, halibut, salmon, and shrimp supplies we enjoy come from these waters. You can even talk with the wholesalers about shipping items directly to your door.

5. Massachusetts

The fishing industry is what helped to build this state’s economy in its early days. That’s because over 80 different seafood species live off of the coast. You’ll love the bass, trout, and tuna that are plentiful, and you can even grab clams and oysters in season.

Where do you like to go for your seafood adventures?

On another note, does anyone know where to go for a good pepperoni roll?