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Welcome to My Blog Sandy-Toe

Welcome to my blog Sandy-Toe. My name is Peter and today is your lucky day….because I have decided to join the blogosphere. My blog is going to be so upbeat and full of so much wonderful information that you will be visiting it every day just to see what new and wonder thing I have discovered for you.

Welcome, Let me start by telling you a …

Let me start by telling you a little about myself. I was born in Montreal Canada, I was a little French/Greek-Canadian. I was cute…or so my mother tells me. Growing up in Canada was wonderful, I learned to play hockey, was a goalie no less, and at the age of six I started school, I then learned to speak English, kind of. I continued to play hockey, I don’t think I was pro quality, but I loved it. I eventually went to work for the McDonalds Corp in Canada, I was so good at my job that I was transferred to Brussels. Not to mention that is where I was to open the first McDonalds in that part of Europe. You could say I was responsible for introducing American fast food to Europe. I have been hiding from the Europeans in Florida ever since.

Which brings me to the point of my blog, I am going to tell you how beautiful living in Florida is, I will show you white sand beaches, beautiful homes, stunning sunsets, and world class restaurants, and some just plain old Florida good old boy places.

So welcome along for the ride, I hope you enjoy it. And also, don’t forget to go to my sidebar and click on my Follow Me button. That way you can be kept up to date with all my blog posts.

Peter Theophilopoulos

 

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The Battle Of Dunkirk May 26-June 4, 1940

 

The Battle of Dunkirk lasting from May 26th to June 4th. It was almost a massive defeat of the allied forces against the superior forces of the Nazi War machine. As a matter of fact, The Battle of Dunkirk became the defense and evacuation of British and Allied forces in Europe. Keeping them from total annihilation.

Winston Churchill took control as Prime Minister of Great Britain on May 10, 1939. On the 26th of May 1940; two weeks later the BEF, who was in France to bolster support for the French force. They were in full retreat under the onslaught of the German Blitzkrieg.

Two massive German armies flanked them. General Fedor von Bock‘s Army Group B was to the east and General Gerd von Rundstedt‘s Army Group A to the west. They succeeded to push the BEF and the French army back towards the English Channel. Therefore, the Germans then formulated their next move to destroy or capture the allied forces.

In one of the most widely debated decisions of the war, the Germans halted their advance on Dunkirk. The “Halt Order” as it was called was not given by Adolf Hitler, but by Field Marshals Gerd von Rundstedt and Günther von Kluge. As a matter of fact, they suggested that the German forces around the Dunkirk pocket should stop their advance on the port. Then they could concentrate their forces. Then they could avoid an Allied breakout. Hitler sanctioned the order on 24 May with the support of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW).

The army was to halt for three days, which gave the Allies sufficient time to organize the Dunkirk evacuation and build a defensive line. Even though the Allies’ estimate of the situation was not very bright. The British had no choice but to start contemplating a possible conditional surrender with Germany.

But it was not to be. The British press later exploited the successful evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, and particularly the role of the “Dunkirk little ships”, very effectively. Many of these were private vessels such as fishing boats and pleasure cruisers. In addition, commercial vessels such as ferries also contributed to the force. To say nothing of some of these boats came as far away as the Isle of Man and Glasgow. The boats were guided by naval craft across the Channel from the Thames Estuary. In addition, the naval boats gave them protection from Dover to help assist in the official evacuation.

These smaller boats were able to move closer into the shallow waters near the beach much safer than the larger craft. These smaller ships were used as shuttles to and from the larger ships. There they lifted troops who were queuing in the water, many waiting shoulder-deep in water for hours. With the help and the resolve of the British people and the solidarity of the British people in times of adversity. They were able to rescue more than 330,000 Allied troops.

On June 4th the new Prime Minister of Britain Winston Churchill gave one of his Stoic speeches. Here is an insert of that speech in the House of Commons:

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

 

 

C N Trueman “Dunkirk.” 20 Apr 2015.- 25 Jul 2017 <http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/world-war-two/world-war-two-in-western-europe/the-attack-on-western-europe/dunkirk/>

 Kennedy Hickman “World War II: Battle and Evacuation of Dunkirk.” June 06, 2017 <https://www.thoughtco.com/battle-and-evacuation-of-dunkirk-2361491>

EyeWitness to History “The Evacuation at Dunkirk, 1940.”  <https://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2008)>

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica “Dunkirk evacuation WORLD WAR II.” <https://www.britannica.com/event/Dunkirk-evacuation>

The Churchill Society “We Shall Fight on the Beaches July 30, 2017
London”.<http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/Dunkirk.html>

 

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“It’s Cold As Ice” by Panayotis

Cold as Ice
Cold as Ice

It’s As Cold As Ice and I had just gotten home from work, after parking my car next to a snow pile, which seemed to be the size of the iceberg that sank the Titanic. I entered my house and called out “hello, anybody home?”
“I’m in the kitchen dear,” said my wife. I hung my overcoat on the hook in the vestibule and slipped my rubbers off. I grabbed the mail that was lying on the floor as I walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table.

“How was your day at the office dear?”
“Alright I guess, Tom asked me if I wanted to go to the hockey game tomorrow night and I told him that I might, but I wasn’t sure. By the way, where is Peter?”
“What a coincidence that you say that, it reminds me that I need to talk to you about hockey.”
“Really!” My wife continued speaking, but I heard nothing. Some women would say it’s a man thing, I don’t know. All I know is that I always seem to lack the ability to pay attention to my wife. It’s funny because I love my wife. She’s the love of my life, but when she starts talking about all that woman-stuff, I seem to tune her out.

As I went through all the mail, I could hear her still rattling on, it seemed like she was speaking a million words a minute. “I’m sorry dear, did you say something?”
“Were you not paying attention to what I was saying?”
“I was, honestly and I was just wondering where Peter was.”

I glanced at my wife’s face as she gave me that stare. You know the kind of stare that a woman gives a man, that rattles the spirit of all men – big or small. “What dear, is something wrong?” I desperately attempted to divert a catastrophe, as I quickly changed the subject, hoping that the fire
shooting out my wife’s eyes would slowly extinguish itself. , leaving me with a chance for survival.

“When is supper going to be ready, I’m famished?” My wife started to set the table when my son Peter came in the room. “How was school today son?”
“Just find dad, I got one hundred percent on my math test today.”
“Great, I am so proud of you.”
“Hey dad, tomorrow night I’m having a hockey game, you promised me that you would come to my next game.”
“Oh wow son, that’s too bad, I’m going to the hockey game with your uncle Tom tomorrow night, maybe the next one, okay?”
“Yeah, sure dad, maybe the next game.”

I purposely didn’t look at my son; I didn’t want to see the disappointment on his face. My eyes moved to my wife, that was a mistake. I could see fire shooting out of her eyes again and this time I saw no hope of surviving. “What, what’s wrong?”

‘You are going to Peter’s hockey game to see your son play like you promised, because if you don’t….” I’ve heard that tone of voice and the threats from my darling wife before. Without total obedience on my part, the good life as it now exists for me would dissipate into thin air. Not to mention, that it would get very cold in here. I could already feel the shivers racing up my spine. Therefore, I cowered, as I spoke to my wife
and I told her that I changed my mind, I would love to go to Peter’s game — lies, all lies.

The next night I was standing beside my son’s coach, it was cold as hell waiting for the game to start. Man, it was cold! Why couldn’t the teams play in an inside arena, where it is warmer and where they had seats to sit on. I can’t wait for this game to finish.
“Hey coach, I’m Peter’s father, nice to meet you?”
“Pleased to meet you.”
“So, my son’s a good goaltender?”
“No.”
“I’m sorry!”
“I said no he’s not.”
“Let me get this straight. My son is not a good goaltender.”
“Exactly.”
“Then why is he …?”
“Because no one else wanted to be the goaltender.”

I stood there confused, trying to figure out the of the coach’s logic. It was too cold for me to think.  The hockey game started. I turned and looked at Peter, as he stood steadfast in front of the goal, giving the impression of being as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. As I looked at him, I noticed that his goaltender equipment seemed a little large for him. His shin pads were so big that they covered half of his chest pad. I asked the coach about the pads seeming too big for Peter.

“They’re the only ones the park has; they have to fit all the teams. From the Mosquito league up to the Juniors. Listen can you help me?”
“Yeah, I guess. What do you want me to do?’
“Well when your son falls down, can you go and pick him up.”
“Huh! What do you mean?”

Turning suddenly towards the play as I heard the crowd standing on the other side of the rink yelling loudly as their team headed towards my our goal. I wasn’t sure if they were really supportive or trying to keep alive from the cold? Without thinking twice about it I also started to yell encouragement to my son as the other team’s player reached the front of our net and shot the puck. It hit Peter squarely on his chest as he fell on top of it.

A huge ovation and applause came from the crowd on this side of the rink. As I screamed and cheered at my son’s great job of stopping the opposite team from scoring.
The whistle blew and the game stopped.
“Okay dad, go pick up your son.”
“What, what do you mean?”
“You need to go pick up your son off the ice.”

I quickly looked at my son. He was still lying on his back on the ice. “His he hurt?”

“No, he’s alright. He just can’t get up. You need to go help him get up.”
I stared at the Coach with a look of confusion. I looked back at my son and saw him still lying on the ice on his back with his legs and arms moving from side to side as he desperately tried to get back on his feet. He looked like a turtle that had the misfortune to find itself on its back, unable to right itself with its short legs It was tragic, but I couldn‘t help but laugh. I quickly jumped onto the ice and tried to run to his side without
falling down and making a fool of myself.

“You okay son?” My son nodded yes, I was looking at him through the grill of his goaltenders’ mask which was really a baseball catcher’s mask. My son smiled at me as he struggled to straighten himself with my help. He was unsteady on his skates. The only way he could keep himself from falling was to lean against and hold on tightly to the goal post.

“You okay son?” He nodded yes, I was looking at him through the grill of his goaltenders’ mask which was really a baseball catcher’s mask. My son smiled at me as he struggled to straighten himself with my help. He was unsteady on his skates. The only way he could keep himself from falling was to lean against and hold on tightly to the goal post.
“Thanks, dad, I’m okay now.”

I stood there and smiled and asked if he would be alright, he nodded yes. Then the referee blew his whistle and signaled me to get off the ice. I told Peter that he made a great save and ran back to my position beside the rink.

It seemed that both goalies had the same problem. Once they made the initial save they were down for the count, and unable to move, laying on their backs resembling an armadillo when they’ve become road kill. So if they hadn’t the luck to fall onto the puck, they were unable to stop the next shot.

As Cold As Ice, But Home At Last

It was a great game, My son’s team won, 15 to 14. Looking at the score, you would think that this was a football game, not a hockey game.
It was late when we finally got home. My wife was in the living room waiting patiently for us to return. My son ran to her.
“Mom, Mom we won, we won.”
‘That’s great, I’m so proud of you. But it‘s late, you have school tomorrow. So you need to get ready for bed, okay.” My son said okay as he gave her a big hug.

“Thanks dad for coming to my game, it was great.”
“Yes, son it was great, I’m very proud of you.” He came over and gave me a big hug, tighter than I could ever remember. For a fleeting moment, I looked at my son as he walked away to his room and then my stare moved to my wife’s face. It was absolutely beautiful as always, and this time it had a large smile on it.
“What do you say we go to bed?”
I nodded yes, as I followed her into the bedroom with a smile on my face.

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Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

Acute Respiratory

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a lung problem. It happens when fluid builds up in the lungs. This causes a failure to breathe which creates low oxygen levels in the blood. ARDS is life-threatening.As a matter of fact, ARDS keeps your vital organs like the brain and your kidneys from getting the proper amount of oxygen that they need to work.

In addition, this respiratory disease is usually a side effect for people who are being treated for another serious illness or possible injury. By the same token,  most of the time, people who get ARDS are already in the hospital for another reason.

Not to mention that ARDS is a very serious condition that often causes death in many people. Survival numbers are one-third of people who develop ARDS die.

What causes ARDS?

There are many possible causes for ARDS. Some possibilities can be.

An infection in the blood better known as sepsis, this is the most common cause of ARDS. Also, other possible causes are

  • A serious injury to the head or chest, as well as a severe bleeding caused by an injury.
  • An infection in the lungs (pneumonia).
  • Having many blood transfusions.
  • Inhaling vomit.
  • Breathing toxic fumes or smoke.

What are the possible symptoms?

ARDS can develop quickly. The main symptoms of ARDS are severe shortness of breath and rapid breathing.

How can ARDS be diagnosed?

Your doctor will diagnose ARDS based on the medical exam.  The Dr. will make you go through numerous tests to determine without a doubt whether you have ARDS or not.

An arterial blood gas test may be done. This is when arterial blood is removed to check oxygen levels in the blood.

Some other tests are:

  • A chest X-ray, to look for fluid in the lungs.
  • A chest CT scan, which can show problems with the lungs, such as pneumonia or a lung tumor.
ACUTE RESPIRATORY DISEASE, How is treated?

A Patient that has attracted ARDS is normally transferred immediately and treated in the intensive care unit. The main purpose of treatment is focused on getting oxygen to the lungs and other organs, and then treating the cause of ARDS.

Oxygen therapy may be given through a mask that fits over the mouth to keep the patient’s oxygenation level up to a safe level. If the patient still has trouble breathing, your doctor may intubate the patient by inserting a breathing tube that is connected to a machine called a ventilator. The breathing tube will be able to help the patient breathe until they can breathe on your own.

The doctor may also give you antibiotics, to help treat the infection if it is causing ARDS. A patient may also be given fluids through an IV to help them recover.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)<http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and diseases/lung-disease-lookup/ards/>

Acute (or Adult)Respiratory distress syndrome <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acute_respiratory_distress_syndrome>

Lee W, Slutsky A (2010). Acute respiratory distress syndrome. In JF Murray, JA Nadel, eds., Textbook of Respiratory Medicine, 5th ed, vol. 2, pp. 2104-2129. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) – Topic Overview <http://www.webmd.com/lung/tc/acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome-ards-topic-overview#1>

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The Greatest Battles in History

Great Battles
Battle Of Ampheia, 738 BC

There have been some great battles throughout our history. These are the ones considered the great battles of all time.  If your thoughts are different than mine please let me know. We can have a friendly war over it.

Stalingrad (World War II, 1942-43)

During World War Two the Allies fought against the Axis. Originally, Russia had an uneasy alliance with Germany led by the Führer Adolf Hitler and Stalin the head of Russia. Hitler ended the risk of a war with Stalin by signing the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact in August 1939. The agreement secretly divided the independent nations of Eastern Europe between the two powers and assured adequate oil supplies for the German war machine.

Except, Stalin didn’t trust the little corporal from Germany, his senses were proven right. In June 1941, Hitler broke the non-aggression agreement with Stalin and Germany invaded the Soviet Union. This decision of Adolf Hitler was the beginning of the end for the Third Reich.

The Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943)

Stalingrad was number one in the great battles of history. It was the last great offensive by the German Nazis on the Eastern Front. The Battle of Stalingrad resulted in the death or capture of more than a quarter million German soldiers. It was an extremely costly defeat for German forces. Germany had to withdraw vast military forces from the West to replace their losses in Russia because of the Battle of Stalingrad.

 

Battle of Saragarhi (Tirah Campaign War, 1897)

Saragarhi was a small village in the border district of Kohat, situated on the Samana Range, in present-day Pakistan. The area was very volatile with tribal Pashtuns attacking British forts from time to time.

Uprising by the Afghans began there in 1897, and between 27 August – 11 September and they finally attacked. On 12 September 1897, 10,000 Pashtuns attacked the signaling post at Saragarhi which was manned by the 36th Sikh Regiment.

Around 9:00 am, around 10,000 Afghans reach the signaling post at Saragarhi. The forces protecting the fort sent out calls for getting reinforcement and that they were under attack.  Their heroism was shown by these gallant soldiers who died at their posts in the defense of the fort of these gallant soldiers who died at their posts in the defense of the fort of Saragarhi, on the 12 September 1897.

The Sikhs fought against overwhelming numbers, thus proving their loyalty and devotion to their sovereign The Queen Empress of India. They were honored for their gloriously fight maintaining the reputation of the Sikhs for unflinching courage on the field of battle.

 

Operation Overlord (Normandy, France 1944, WWII)

Operation Overlord has the place of being the second great battles of history. Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). The invasion included 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on the 6 of June, and there were estimated more than two million Allied troops in France by the end of August.

Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, and more than two million Allied troops were in France by the end of August.

Estimates of German losses for the Normandy campaign range from 400,000 (200,000 killed or wounded; 200,000 captured) to 500,000 (290,000 killed or wounded, 210,000 captured) to 530,000.

 

Yorktown (American Revolution, 1781)

The Siege of Yorktown, also known as the Battle of Yorktown, ending on October 19, 1781, at Yorktown, Virginia, The battle was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau. They jointly defeated the British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis. The capture of both General Charles Cornwallis and his army prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict.

 

Thermopylae (Persia / Greece War 480 BC)

The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states between Sparta and Athens led by King Leonidas of Sparta, against the Persian Empire of Xerxes I, the battle lasted only three days. This was Persia second invasion of Greece. It took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium where Xerxes I Navy fought the Athenian navy. The Spartan and their small force of allies fought their battle in August or September 480 BC, at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae. The Persian invasion was a response to their defeat by the Athenian during the first Persian invasion of Greece. This ended by an Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.

Xerxes had amassed a huge army and navy and set out to conquer all of Greece. The Athenian general Themistocles had proposed that the allied Greeks block the advance of the Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae, and simultaneously block the Persian navy at the Straits of Artemisium.

The 300 Spartans, King Leonidas of Sparta and his personal bodyguards fought to the death.

Xerxes, army, and navy were beaten badly as they retreated back to Persia.

The Greeks will have another meeting with Persia when they are defeated by Alexander The Great.

I have a point of consideration. Did Rome ever thank Persia? If there was no longer a Persia would Alexander the Great gone west instead of east and conquer the Great  Rome to be?

 

“The Battle of Stalingrad” 7/7/2017<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Stalingrad>.

“The Battle of Saragarhi” 7/7/2017< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Saragarhi>.

“Operation Overlord” 7/7/2017< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Overlord>.

“The Siege of Yorktown” 7/7/2017 < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Yorktown>.

“The Battle of Thermopylae” 7/7/2017<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae>.

Attila Duka  “Top Ten Greatest Battles in History” 7/7/2017 <https://www.thetoptens.com/top-ten-greatest-battles/>.

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Moussaka, A Delicious Greek Dish.

moussaka
moussaka

Moussaka is definitely my favorite Greek dish, a popular dish in all Greek homes throughout America, especially in Greece. This dish can be made with pasta or normally made with eggplants. o let’s go and make our first Moussaka.

3 eggplants

2 lbs. ground beef or ground lamb, lean

2 onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ t nutmeg

2 T parsley

1 8 0z. can tomato sauce

Salt and pepper

½ cup red wine

Olive oil

Butter

1 cup grated cheese

 

Peel eggplant. Cut lengthwise into ½ inch slices.

Moussaka Cooking

Sauté meat in butter, salt and pepper, onions, and garlic. When meat is browned add parsley, tomato sauce, and wine. Simmer 25 minutes.

In a greased baking pan (nine by thirteen by two inches) layer eggplant, then meat mixture, then sprinkle cheese. Repeat. Cover with cream Sauce. Sprinkle generously with additional cheese. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.

*For variety, cut down on the amount of eggplant and add zucchini and/ or sliced potatoes.

The meat may be omitted to create a vegetable dish.

Theoni Pappas, & Elvira MonroeGreek Cooking For Everyone. San Carlos:  Wide World

Publishing/Tetra, 1997

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