Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving - the real story

On this day, I give thanks for family, friends & freedom to worship without reserve. I'm thankful for my little Grace who was insistant that we pray today, giving thanks to God. I'm thankful for the stores of love from those dear to me heart. I am deeply & fully thankful you are in my life. My life is better because of you. I'm thankful for a God who meets me where I am - when I'm am at the end - wherever that be, He finds me. His unending mercy & grace overwhelms overtakes me. There is no measuring His vast love. I am thankFULL today...everyday, but today I say it along with singing it. Happy Thanksgiving~

AND now for the real story of Thanksgiving...the 1st celebration of bounty & how we got here - why we celebrate.

"On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work."

Now, you know the usual story of Thanksgiving: They landed. They had no clue where they were, no idea how to feed themselves. The Indians came out, showed 'em how to pop popcorn, fed 'em turkey, saved 'em basically -- and then white European settlers after that basically wiped out the Indian population. It's a horrible example. Not only is that not true, here is the part that's been omitted from what is still today taught as the traditional Thanksgiving story in many schools.

"The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store,' when they got here, 'and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well. "
They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. ... [William] Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. ... Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism,' and it had failed" miserably because when every put things in the common store, some people didn't have to put things in for there to be, people that didn't produce anything were taking things out, and it caused resentment just as it does today. So Bradford had to change it.

"What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years – trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it – the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering," that happens today and will happen "in the future. 'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote.

"'For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without [being paid] that was thought injustice.' ... The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?"

Here's what Bradford wrote, the governor of the Massachusetts colony. "'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.' Bradford doesn't sound like much of a Clintonite, does he?" or an Obamaite, if I can update it. "Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? ... Anyway, the pilgrims found "In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. ... So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'"

Very few people have heard this story or have had it taught to them -- and the "thanks" was to God for showing them the way. In later parts of the chapter, I quote John Adams and George Washington on their reminisces and their thoughts on the first Thanksgiving and the notion it was thanks to God. It was an entirely different story than is being taught in the schools. It's been muddied down, watered down all these years -- and now it's been hijacked by the multicultural community -- to the point that the story of Thanksgiving is the Pilgrims were a bunch of incompetents and were saved only by the goodness of the Indians, who then were wiped out. And that's what kids are being taught today -- 'cause, of course, you can't mention the Bible in school, and that's fundamental to the real story of Thanksgiving.

As narrated by & quoted from See, I Told You So, page 70 - Rush Limbaugh

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good to Know

In these troubled economic times, we worry for ourselves and our family. Fact is, these days many of us also are concerned about the health & welfare of our aging parents or loved ones with disabilities. Many of us know how expensive prescriptions are, but the reality is that Seniors pay hundreds of dollars a month just for their prescription drugs. Navigating the ins & outs of Medicare is no less than challenging. Questions about eligibility, program options & services are available at or by dialing 1-800-medicare.

Interested given my work with folks with disabilities as well as aging parents of my own, I participated in a phone conference organized by Parent Bloggers Network. It was very informative, making me realize how much I don't know about services that could help my family or families with whom I work. Fielding our questions was Mike Freeman, respresentative of the Health Care Leadership Council & Medicare Today.

The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), a coalition of chief executives from all disciplines within the healthcare system, launched Medicare Today in November 2004 to reach out to Medicare beneficiaries who needed reliable information on how to get the greatest value from the new Medicare benefits. The Healthcare Leadership Council administers the partnership of over 400 national and local organization including AARP, National Association of Family Physicians, and National Alliance for Hispanic Health. Medicare Today develops innovative tools for use by all partners, commissions research studies, and undertakes earned media efforts and outreach to inform beneficiaries about the value of the new benefits under the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA). Medicare Today will continue beyond the initial enrollment period to provide continued assistance to beneficiaries and respond to media inquires and opportunities.

Medicare offers prescription drug coverage (Part D) for everyone with Medicare. This coverage may help you lower your prescription drug costs and help you protect against higher costs in the future. It can give you greater access to drugs that you can use to prevent complications of diseases and stay well. To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a plan run by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare.

From now until the end of the year, Dec 31, it is open season for enrollment in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program or to change their current program. For more information about extra help with prescription drug costs and how to apply, visit or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778. ★

One interesting fact Mike shared was the satisfaction rate of those utilizing the prescription drug program. 90% were satisfied! That says alot! Here's a quote from the Medicare Today website:

Three years after Medicare Part D was made available, seniors enrolled in the program continue to feel extremely positive about it. Ninety percent of seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D are satisfied overall with the program - an increase of 12 percent since the benefit began - according to a new survey commissioned by Medicare Today and conducted by KRC research in September 2008.

Most folks don't always enroll in the plans that they might need - like prescription drug coverage provided by Medicare Part D. The good news is there are affordable plans in all 50 states, designed to fit a wide range of needs.

So if you or someone you know might benefit from medicare services, including the prescription drug plan, please point them in to these resources:

Thanks to Parent Bloggers for organizing the tele-talk & giving us a platform to obtain & share valuable information about the Medicare prescription drug plan.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Barker Baby

Though I can't remember exactly when I fell in love, but I think my first crush ever was Bob Barker. As far back as I can remember, I watched the Price is Right with great delight! Loved the showcase showdown. I can hear that Johnny saying "Come on down!"
I liked pricing games like the Cliffhanger, Bulls Eye & the Clock game. I kid you not, sometimes I watched those showcases with a calculator in hand. Those were the days...when I had time to watch TV & nothing better to do.

Apparently, I'm not the only one loving on TPIR. Versions of the popular game show are shown shown round the world from here to there - Chile to Morocco to Thailand, Turkey & Pakistan plus dozens other places you might visit on a missions trip. Who knew?!
There were many game shows I enjoyed growing up, but none held my affinity like the Price is Right, nor my affection like Bob Barker. But let's talk about the others anyway....$100,000 Pyramid & what was that game show with all the squares?? I vuagely remember an episode of Pyramid with another crush, Donny Osmond. What else....does the Gong Show count as a game show? Probably not & I'm not really proud that I watched that silly show anyway, but I was a kid. OOOh, Let's Make a Deal & Name That Tune! Richard Dawson in the Family Fued. Now it's all coming back to me.
So, what games did you watch as a kid or watch these days? Do tell!

Speaking of gaming in the comfort of your own home...check out Oliebollen. Those fun folks are hosting an armchair Holiday Shopping Sweep!

This out of nowhere post was inspired by the folks at Parent Bloggers with fun at heart & teeny tiny wishes to maybe win something cool. Plus, I just can't sleep.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Traditions of JoyFULL Giving

A tradition I treasure from my childhood was mom's cookie & candy trays delivered to friends & neighbors for the holidays. Mom was known for sharing her tasty treats & yummy talents with others. Teachers & school administrators, pastors & sunday school teachers, folks at her favorite mom & pop store...they all got a tray overflowing with fudge, divinity, cookies & other scrumptious goodies. What a way to say a warm heartfelt thank you & Merry Christmas! Thus, I come honestly by this baking & taking-to-others joy.
The past couple of years, I've tried my hand at Christmas candies & cookies to share. Trying out mom's tried & true recipes while experimenting with new ones. My angel or sponge candy looked so yummy & tasted pretty good - after the 3rd batch, that is. Mom never would have made chocolate covered orange peelings, but something that tastes so good can't be THAT hard to make. Peanut brittle - what a treat & a science lesson to boot! When they say pour immediately into the pan - they mean IMMEDIATELY!
There is great delight in giving. What better gift than something heart & homemade with love.
I'm looking forward to this season of sharing again this year. Gracie is my kitchen cutie helper & is quite generous with the sprinkles, chips & whatever add-ins there may be. She's catching on to the joy in giving & that makes my heart smile really big.

If making gifts for others is right up your alley, check out the happenings over at Parent Bloggers & Klutz.
AND can I say at this point how stinkin excited I am about our upcoming cookie exchange with the roomies?? Whoo hooo! I might just make some dark chocolate covered sponge candy & peanut brittle for the grand event. YUM!