I recently had the pleasure of sampling coconut patties from Anastasia Confections in Florida.  They’re chocolate covered on the bottom and sides and open coconut on top.  The coconut can be plain or flavored, such as pina colada or key lime.  I put out a box of these at my clinic and they were quickly scarfed up by the staff (including myself) and patients today!  They were quite good.

I really like that this company sought out this blog to promote the fact that they are made in USA.  It says so on their website too.  Way to go!  In these times of large food companies, such as Hershey, moving production out of the country, we should find alternative producers that make their foods domestically.  I personally no longer buy Hershey’s chocolates at all.  I prefer Girardelli or Trader Joe’s organic chocolates.


It’s getting close to that time of year again, when the fire works explode in the air and gatherings will be in someone’s backyard with ample Bar-B-Qued hamburgers and hot dogs.

I remember a long time ago there was one party that was the best.  We had our entire church group over to our house because it wasn’t illegal to shoot off the fire works and we had a big piece of land where we could have volley ball and games for the kids.  Of course the fun was to play volley ball with water balloons.  It was quite a tradition for a while.  We had people come from all around.  I had to just cross my fingers and toes while the guys managed the fireworks display.  I remember well my old boss, Jim, retired fire chief, shooting off something that goes straight up in the air.  Well, it went straight up alright, right up his front and skimming his nose as it went.  He looked a little awe struck and amazed.  I laughed until I almost fell on the ground.  I will never forget that one.  Many brought that desert that lit up our taste buds with “Ahs” and “M-m-m-m-m-ms”.  It was a party I will always remember and do every 4th.

At some hometown high there would be a fireworks display, put on by the fire department that astounded the imagination, but somehow, it wasn’t as much fun as we were having.  Someone would sing the Star-Spangled Banner at the beginning of the event or possibly the game that day and we would sing along and salute the flag.

My favorite thing to listen to this time of year is a recording of Red Skelton as he recited the Pledge of allegiance and then recounted his school teacher’s inspiring words, with bit of interpretation of its meaning for the kids.  It has almost become a tradition for us to listen to it every year.  Go here if you would like to listen to it, just copy and paste to the address:

See the following for my favorite Patriotic Hymn – America the Beautiful

I am just a plain ol’ American gal, but I can tell you that my hope for this great land is not plain, but higher than the highest mountain. I have my favorite politicians and speakers and great doers that leave great examples for us to follow but up ’til now I haven’t been out there much with my opinions.  You can take them or leave them but, at least for a while, I am going to try to show support to my fellow Americans who have been needing a hand to get back in the action of doing what they do best.

It has been a real education for me to go to various sites and see the successes that are happening with the Made In America spirit.  I’ve also seen a little  we-don’t-have-the-ability-to-produce-that-here attitude.  My history with this wonderful country tells me that I have seen and read about too many people who have said, “They told me I couldn’t do it, but I showed ’em I could.”  I’m looking for that kind of tenacity.  I know it’s there.  If we don’t have a plant or a factory that does what we need to do, than make the equipment that needs to be there.  There is nothing like when the underdog wins the game, or the unknown guy steps into the part and slays the audience.

I know with what ever knowledge is needed, it can be done.  For now I’ve started up a site that is all about Made in America clothing. It may be a small part but I know that if anyone makes American made apparel and hires out of work Americans for the shop or factory, they need for us to support them by shopping their sites and companies for our products.   If I can, I will have more sites that show everything made in America.  You can find me at heywhatsupamerica.com or e-mail me at sherry.heywhatsupamerica@gmail.com.

Established in 1883, Lucchese Boots is an American company dedicated to quality, fit, and style. Every single Lucchese Classics, Lucchese 2000, and Lucchese 1883 boots are made 100% in the USA, from start to finish. There are over 120 steps in the boot making process at Lucchese and over 120 sets of hands touch each boot before it leaves the factory, which is located in El Paso, Texas. The boots are made from the finest grade leathers and constructed by human hands at virtually every step of their construction. In using the highest quality materials to craft each boot, Lucchese offers a comfort that is unmatched by lesser quality boots made off shore by machine. The cording is done by hand in over two dozen designs and they offer more than 100 stitching designs, some that are over 75 years old. Lucchese is a company that has been dedicated to employing Americans on American soil, and has done so since its beginning. In the words of Sam Lucchese, Jr., “The final truth is that throughout the whole boot factory, the quality chain is no stronger than its weakest link.” There is nothing more American than a cowboy boot and it is this commitment to quality that has kept Lucchese’s manufacturing process domestic since their inception in 1883.

Lucchese is also a proud supporter of the Military Warriors Support Foundation. MWSF provides funds for homes, counseling, jobs, and education for wounded veterans.


I just bought a Systemax desktop PC, which is assembled in Ohio, USA.  I needed a new computer for the office and resolved not to buy another Chinese box, whether it be a Mac (see my other disparaging posts about Apple), an HP or a Dell. I understand that most of the components of pc’s these days are made in China and other parts of Asia.  However, assembly, sales and support are a significant part of the price tag of a pc.  Even if we can all increase the relative share of our consumer purchases that stay in the US by 25%, it would be a giant improvement. So I went on computersmadeinusa.com and found a listing for Systemax computers.  They are a small company out of Ohio and assemble all their products there.

The PC has a 1.2 terabyte drive, Core i5 Intel processor, and about 8 gigabytes of RAM.  It cost $550.  This is about the same price I would have paid for a Dell, which is made in China.  The support is 24/7 from the US also.  The PC itself looks nice, similar to an HP or Dell, and came in a box covered in stars and stripes.  They have all kinds of other models up and down the price ladder. Check out http://www.systemaxpc.com/  I will not buy another Chinese pc again!

I will update this post if I have any problems with the computer or any additional raves.

I recently reviewed a great new book that aligns well with the aims of this blog.  Buying America Back by Alan Luke is an easy-read paperback (printed in USA, of course) that echoes what I say here – that a healthy economy is based on a positive or at least neutral trade balance.  It quantifies the decline in our economy in parallel with the decline in our domestic manufacturing and the rise of imports.  Did you know that the value of our imports each year is greater than the entire production of our domestic manufacturing??  Crazy and unsustainable!  So if you want to back away from the precipice, buy this book, read my blog and start caring about buying American.  I also like the detailed country-specific trade balance figures in the second half of the book.  There were definitely some surprises, such as the fact that we have a 3:1 trade surplus with Egypt – who knew?  A small bright spot.

Also, check out www.BuyingAmericaBack.org for more info.

I am lucky enough to live a quarter mile away from Aqua-Flo.  They’re a Southern California seller of irrigation equipment, drainage pipes, pond equipment, outdoor lighting, tools, and other supplies for landscaping.  I had always bought outdoor goods from Home Depot and was frequently dissatisfied both with the quality and the dearth of made in USA products there.  I had bought a drip irrigation kit at Home Depot and ended up throwing most of it out.  It was also not made in USA.

So one day, I was driving by Aqua-Flo and decided to check it out.  I thought it was a hydroponics supplier for marijuana shops, but I was wrong. There were aisles and aisles of pipes, hoses, valves, and drip irrigation gadgets of all sorts.  There were all sorts of made in USA landscape lights that I drooled over.  I had been recently converting most of my yard to drip irrigation from sprinklers, which is quite easy.  All you have to do is unscrew the riser and add a new 1/2 inch pipe with an octopus-like top from which 6 nozzles exit.  Onto these, 1/4 inch drip irrigation lines can be connected which end in whatever nozzle you choose.  I’ve been doing this gradually and it’s been quite fun but it also lets me take better care of my fruit trees with less work in the long run.  Practically all the supplies I’ve bought for this at Aqua-Flo are made in USA (I think all) and I’ve saved money over what I would have spent at Home Depot, since I would have had far fewer choices. I also enjoy being recognized when I go there.  They always ask me if I have an “account” with them, which I don’t, but they say, not to worry, since they see me a lot and give me their contractor pricing anyway.

I don’t know if Aqua-Flo does online sales.  I don’t see an online store on their website.  However, they may be a good resource for finding made in USA landscaping supplies.  Most of the stuff I see online when I do google searches is imported and cheap quality.  This is the kind of store – geared to professionals but willing to sell to the public, putting quality ahead of price but ending up with prices comparable to Chinese-made Home Depot crap.  I’m sure there are stores like this in your neck of the woods.

Here is their link: http://www.aquaflo.com/

Dear Apple,

I’m disgusted by the fact that all your products are Chinese.  I used to love Apple, but I can’t stand your company now.  You are traitors to America and our economy.  You employ 1 million Chinese and 30,000 Americans and are held up as some kind of ideal company.  Well, you are not.  You are an example of what’s wrong in this country.  I regret that I own some of your products, but I do my best not to buy any more.  If you were American, I would be gifting Apple and touting them to everyone.  Instead, I tell everyone how much I despise Apple and how they should never gift Apple or other electronics that are made offshore.  Hope you change your ways or go bankrupt soon!

Please add your comments to give this open letter some punch!