Archive for November 26, 2016

A Personal “Sensible Saturday”

I call these days “Sensible Saturdays” and normally offer you an idea about how to do things in your everyday life to help our planet.  Obviously, I ‘m concerned about our earthly home.  But I also draw a lot of pleasure and strength from Nature.

I’ve recently suffered a great loss in my life–that’s why the tone in my blogs have been more serious of late, and why I’ve skipped some days from my normal Mon. through Sat. posting.  After the initial grieving, though, I went back to the place from which I draw comfort, Nature, to feel the sun and beating rain, admire my trees and flowers, and even forgive the critters digging up my lawn looking for grubs to eat.

Today, then, I offer you a reminder of the power of nature and something to remember when disruption hits your life.


Post-Thanksgiving Silliness

I’m still full and lazy from yesterday.  Maybe you are, too.  Sit back and enjoy the feeling.  But so you don’t feel you’re wasting time, pretend you’re learning something worthwhile as you read through this thanksgiving trivia quiz (shortened from

According to popular legend, where did the male “tom” turkey get its name?

Benjamin Franklin named it after Thomas Jefferson rejected the turkey as the national bird.

At the first thanksgiving, were there more Pilgrims or Indians enjoying the meal?

Indians. Over 50% of the Pilgrims had died.

By the 19th century, celebrating Thanksgiving is said to have been the origin of what table tradition?

The kiddie table.

Captain John Smith founded what colony in Virginia?


Did the Mayflower dock at Plymouth Rock?

No, the water was too shallow. But, Plymouth Rock was the first place the Pilgrims set foot onto the New World.

Did the Pilgrims take beer with them on their crossing?

Yes, John Alden was a cooper who made barrels.

Did the Pilgrims actually wear those funny buckles and hats?

No, however, no one knows how this look originated.

Do turkeys have heart attacks?

Yes. (The US Air force found that out the hard way when they were trying to break the sound barrier. Whole fields of turkeys fell down dead from heart attacks.)

Every year, the President pardons a turkey and it goes to a public farm called Frying Pan Park, Herndon. Virginia. Who the the first President to pardon a turkey?

Harry Truman in 1947.

How can a turkey drown when it’s raining?

By looking up.

How fast can a spooked turkey run?

20 miles per hour.

How high must a cranberry bounce before it is harvested?

4 inches.

How many degrees can a turkey see with its eyes?

270 degrees. So they can see behind them.

How many Pilgrim women are believed to have survived to celebrate the first Thanksgiving?

Only 5 survived and they all cooked the meat.

How many turkeys are cooked each Thanksgiving in America?

45 million.

In what year did the Macy’s Parade first occur?


Is Thanksgiving only celebrated in the United States?

No, Canada observes the holiday as well.

Not everyone sailing on the Mayflower was coming to the New World to settle. What was the purpose of the others?

To bring back furs, lumber and other things. They were sponsored by English businessmen.

Of the 102 Pilgrims who set out on the journey to the New World, how many survived to celebrate the first Thanksgiving?

Around 50.

Plymouth Rock is how big today?

The size of a car engine. (It has cracked 3 times over the years, each time getting smaller and smaller.)

Thanksgiving became a national holiday thanks to this woman who was an editor of a woman’s magazine called “The Godey’s Ladies Book.” What was her name?

Sarah Hale. ( 1788-1879) She wrote letters to Congress for years to establish the holiday.

The Mayflower was not built as a passenger ship. What was it’s original purpose?

As a merchant ship to carry wine.

The original thanksgiving lasted how long?

3 days.

The word Turkey is said to have come from the Hebrew word “Tukki” which meant:

Big Bird.

There were only 2 ways to cook a turkey in 1627. One was to roast it using strings and skewers and spinning it vertically. The other was done by using a “tin kitchen” which was set inside the hearth and allowed the turkey to be cooked on a spit and turned. But, the “tin kitchen” was only for the wealthy. It cost $3 back then. What would that be equal to in today’s economy?

A week’s pay.

What food do we never eat at Thanksgiving that the Pilgrims enjoyed on the first celebration?


What foods were served at the first thanksgiving?

Deer, codfish and boiled pumpkin. They had no ovens for baking bread and had no sugar or milk.

What Indian tribe was invited to spend thanksgiving with the pilgrims?


What is a baby turkey called?

A poult.

What percentage of pilgrims who sailed on the mayflower survived to celebrate thanksgiving?


What utensils did the pilgrims eat with at the first thanksgiving?

Their hands, spoons and a knife. No forks present.

What vegetable did the pilgrims have available for thanksgiving but did not use because they thought it was poisonous?


What was considered perfect table manners at the first Thanksgiving?

Eating with your hands, spitting on the floor and throwing bones into the hearth when done.

What was the first department store to hold a Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Gimbel’s Department Store in Philadelphia, 1920.

What was the name of the Indian chief that helped the pilgrims survive the winter?


What year did the first Thanksgiving take place?


Who was the Captain of the Mayflower?

Christopher Jones.

Which balloon was the first to fly in the 1927 Macy’s Parade?

Felix the Cat.

Which gender of turkey says “gobble, gobble”?

The male, but only seasonally and when going to sleep.

Which President moved the holiday up one week to help stimulate the Christmas shopping economy?

Franklin Roosevelt. But, it did not go over well and Congress in 1941 established the Federal Holiday always on the 4th Thursday in November.

Who was the first astronaut to eat a turkey dinner on the moon?

Neil Armstrong.

Who was the first president to make thanksgiving a national holiday?


Who was the first president to pardon a turkey from Thanksgiving dinner?


Why is the male turkey referred to as “Tom Turkey”?

Rumor has it that Benjamin Franklin was mad that Thomas Jefferson opposed his idea to naming the turkey as the National Bird. So, Franklin mockingly called the turkey “Tom Turkey” after Thomas Jefferson.



Update on Yesterday’s Dementia Study

Not everyone reads comments I receive.  I think this one from Theresa Rieve is important, so I’m passing it on here as an addition to yesterday’s blog.  She says, 

The study confirms something that was known at least 20 years ago. A prior study was done with the Sisters of Notre Dame in the Motherhouse at Mankato, MN. (My Aunt, Sister Rosalyn, lived there and I have a book describing the study). The population is perfect for a study, because the subjects have 60 to 80 years of detailed medical records readily available and their lives are very similar in many ways. One of the things they found is that a particular woman could have massive plaques and tangles in her brain, but if she had lived a healthy life with proper diet and exercise, so that there was also no blockages that might cause strokes or heart attacks, there would be no symptoms of dementia. The theory was that your body will do workarounds to keep you symptom-free if you give it the chance.

[Interesting and even more hopeful.]



Good News for Senior Citizens

Sometime studies have happy results.  The New England Journal of Medicine reports results from a Framingham Heart Study that spans 40+ years with 5200 people over age 60.  Dementia, which was expected to rise, is actually declining in the U.S.–a 24% decrease over the past ten years in 64 or older people. They note that heart-disease related dementia has shown the largest decline.  That is leading them to the hypothesis that maybe better diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and stroke may be the reason for these promising results.  They aren’t sure.

Anyway, it’s excellent news for our older citizens–and for us who love them.

Read more HERE.

A Child’s Lesson for Adults

We tell our kids that, because boo-ing is hurtful and unsportsmanlike, they shouldn’t do it.  So why do we adults do it–at sports events (even kids’ games!), political speeches, city council meetings, etc.?

A recent incident on an American Airlines flight was particularly unconscionable.  When the captain realized that his 45-minute-late flight endangered a family’s ability to make their connecting flight, he asked passengers to stay seated while “a special military family” could deplane.  First-class passengers who felt they weren’t getting what they paid for loudly complained and booed the family as they got off the plane.

The family was rushing to catch the connecting flight to meet the remains of their son and sister, whose service caused his death in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber.  The passengers didn’t have all the facts but booed anyway, causing even more grief to this Gold Star family.

Rest in peace, Army Sgt. John Perry.

Be at peace, Perry family.

Boo-ers of the world, remember what you’ve told your children, learn from this experience, and be kind to your fellow human beings.

Surrounded by Beautiful People

Recently, because of a death in the family, I’ve discovered how many beautiful people I’m surrounded by.  That’s why today’s Thursday Thought is so meaningful to me.



Follow-Up on Yesterday

It’s worse than I thought.  In yesterday’s blog, I expressed my concern for the increase in hate crimes against a particular group, Muslims. Now I’ve learned that acts of hatred and bigotry are increasing toward many groups, and increasing very quickly.  You can Google it for yourself, but here’s a summary.

Since the election there have been 437 cases of racist vandalism, harassment, and intimidation.  Just since last Friday–less than a week ago–the number of such incidents nationwide has doubled, bringing it to four times more than any average week.  They are anti-Jewish, anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant, and others.  They contain swastikas and tweets about “Mud Men” and signs like “Trump Nation Whites Only.”

Trump has told his supporters to stop it.  But, in post-election furor, after 1+ years of having their prejudices and fears played upon during the campaigns, they aren’t listening to him.

I encourage Trump to try harder to quell this disgraceful, demeaning, dehumanizing, nation-damaging tumult.  More than that, I urge all of us to regain our senses and realize that this is a momentum that WE have to stop!




Muslims, 9/11, and 2015

I thought maybe we were learning to respect each other more and starting to replace fear of the unfamiliar with understanding.  Then I saw that, according to the FBI, last year the number of hate crimes against Muslims was the highest it’s been since 9/11.

And that was pretty much BEFORE the negativity of the recent campaigns and the unrest that is following,  I dread the 2016 statistics, almost as much as I’m heartsick about all the innocent lives touched by unjust anti-Muslim sentiment.


Remembering Our Veterans

This says it all:



These 30 Seconds Will Help You Chill

Still have a little tension from yesterday’s elections?  Chill out with this 30-second video.  Even if you don’t need to chill, I’m sure a laugh would do you some good.