No Cost of Living Increase?

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It would seem that our government officials have no idea what goes on in our country when it comes to cost of living. They say there is no increase in our cost of living; therefore, there is no need for our Social Security benefits to increase. Then they decide to give us a measly 0.3 percent increase, but at the same time, they increase our payments to Medicare and therefore steal it back from us. A measly 0.3 percent.

Am I not a citizen of the greatest country on earth? Did I not work and earn my Social Security benefits? Did I not pay into the system every year of my working career? And now I’m rewarded by not so much as a dollar increase in order to keep up with the rising costs of food, clothing, housing, medicine, medical treatment, transportation.

They say there’s no increase in the cost of living. Do not those in government shop at the same stores where we citizens shop? No, I bet they do not. If they did, they would see the increase in our cost of living expenses.

President-elect Donald Trump, if you really want to make this country great again, start here.

I suggest that you put all government employees, everyone in any office of the government in charge of our country, on the same Social Security and Medicare that the citizens are “enjoying.” No more voting themselves raises that our country, nor its citizens, can afford. Take a hard look at the salaries the government officials are earning—did I say earning? I’ll bet we can cut the deficit by reducing those salaries to a reasonable level. No more government paid vacations, under the guise of working. There are so many ways money can be saved, waste can be cut. You know it, and every citizen in this country knows it. Tradition in our government is fine if the government can afford it. We can’t. Not any more. Not with the deficit staring us in the face. President Trump, please change this. Make our country great again. Help us.

Back to Social Security. I have observed the cost of living steadily rising for more than a year. Food, housing, gas (although that is down at the moment), medical care. If your eyes are truly closed, or perhaps blind, hear this. THERE HAS BEEN A DISTINCT RISE IN THE COST OF LIVING FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS. Whatever system is being used to determine the rise, or in this case the lack thereof, is broken. Go back to the old one. My old pastor used to always say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Good and sensible advice.

Something needs to be done. Picture this. What if everyone on Social Security stopped using credit cards, debit card, checks, and larger bills to pay for everything? What if we all decided to turn our money in for coins: quarters, half dollars, silver dollars (if you can even get the last two anymore). What if we started to pay for everything in quarters? I mean everything. We get to the cash register to pay for our groceries, which that day comes to $65.00. We take out a box from a tote bag and start counting out 260 quarters. We go to the gas station and buy $25.00 in gas, walk into the little attached store to pay for the gas and count out 100 quarters. Then we go to the electric company to pay our electric bill of $150.00 for the month and count out 600 quarters. Do you think we would get someone’s attention to the fact that we retired folk are contributors to the economy? Do you think that maybe some of these businesses might get a little perturbed with our government if they hear why we are paying our bills with quarters instead of business as usual? To get your attention.

The government tells the young people that the system is broken. Who broke it? It’s not broken. It has been robbed! Money was siphoned out for other purposes, continually. I for one demand my money back. It has been used where it should not have been used, and someone needs to give it back.

How about if we make complaints to every government official via their email once every morning, noon and night? How many constituents does the average official have receiving Social Security benefits (without an increase for the cost of living, I will remind you)? That would be a lot of emails to wade through every day.

Yes, this is a bit farfetched, but something has to be done to get the attention of those in charge of our government. Those who can and should make changes so that the people on Social Security, who have worked all their lives and paid into the system, those who should be getting increases just as much, if not more, than those working in the government are getting. They should at least be able to pay for their expenses monthly without trying to decide if they will go without food or medicine, without a new jacket or give up the car and walk everywhere with their old, possibly arthritic legs and feet.

No increase in the cost of living. Whom do you think you are kidding?

And one last question. If there’s no increase in the cost of living, why did our payment to Medicare increase?

 

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The Meaning of Christmas

I thought I’d share my favorite Christmas Carol with you today. Some may argue about the meaning of Christmas, calling it a pagan holiday, and one cannot dispute the fact that it is where this celebration of Christmas came. Regardless, the tradition of Christmas was born and has been celebrated ever since. Many Christians use the opportunity to teach others about God sending His Son, Jesus Christ, for the sake of redemption. That’s why I celebrate this time of year, even if it wasn’t really the Lord’s birthday. But then…can we be absolutely sure when Jesus Christ was born? I choose to use Christmas for God’s honor and glory. You choose what you want.Anyway, this is my all time favorite Christmas Carol. I wish I could sing it for you, but then my voice isn’t what it used to be either at my age. Just enjoy the words, and think about what Christmas really means to you. And if you don’t know the tune, check it out on YouTube: https://youtu.be/yxDZjg_IgocMegan Romer, a World Music Expert, says this about the carol. The Wexford Carol is a beloved traditional Irish Christmas carol. It is also known as “The Enniscorthy Carol”, as it was originally collected by a folklorist named Grattan Flood in Enniscorthy, a town in Ireland’s County Wexford, as well as “Carul Loch Garman” (the Irish translation of “Wexford Carol”). The lyrics, which are in English, date back to the 12th century. As is the case with all very old songs, the history is a bit hard to track, but it appears that the lyrics were added to the tune much later, and it is not believed that the lyrics were originally in the Irish language. Some reverse translations have been made by contemporary Irish trad musicians, but the English lyrics are actually the most traditional ones.The Wexford CarolGood people all, this Christmas time,Consider well and bear in mindWhat our good God for us has doneIn sending his beloved sonWith Mary holy we should pray,To God with love this Christmas DayIn Bethlehem upon that morn,There was a blessed Messiah bornThe night before that happy tideThe noble Virgin and her guideWere long time seeking up and downTo find a lodging in the townBut mark right well what came to passFrom every door repelled, alasAs was foretold, their refuge allWas but a humble ox’s stallNear Bethlehem did shepherds keepTheir flocks of lambs and feeding sheepTo whom God’s angel did appearWhich put the shepherds in great fearArise and go, the angels saidTo Bethlehem, be not afraidFor there you’ll find, this happy mornA princely babe, sweet Jesus, bornWith thankful heart and joyful mindThe shepherds went the babe to findAnd as God’s angel had foretoldThey did our Saviour Christ beholdWithin a manger he was laidAnd by his side a virgin maidAttending on the Lord of LifeWho came on earth to end all strifeThere were three wise men from afarDirected by a glorious starAnd on they wandered night and dayUntil they came where Jesus layAnd when they came unto that placeWhere our beloved Messiah layThey humbly cast them at his feetWith gifts of gold and incense sweet.This last verse is a bit out of place, as we learn from the Bible that the wise men came long after the Child was born and found Him in a house. We further learn from Herod’s actions that Jesus could have been around two years old by this time, but they did come…and they did find the Child…and they did present kingly gifts to Him.Merry Christ to all of you, and God bless you in the New Year.

Source: The Meaning of Christmas

May Your Christmas Be Filled With Blessings

This picture isn’t exactly the normal type of photography we see here in the Art Sphere, but I loved the way my photograph of the front of our house came out. You see, I’m originally from the north. Born in Wisconsin and lived a great part of my life in Illinois. I was used to snow at this time of year, every year. Blizzards, slush, shoveling sidewalks was all a big part of my life for many years. Now, having lived in the south for more than twenty years, I miss that snow. Oh, not everyday, and not the slush and freezing part of it, but you know…the beauty of the falling flakes, the way it lays on the bows of trees, rosy cheeks. Yes, the whole bit.Several years ago, I decided to make my Christmas decorating theme “Let It Snow.” I’ve stuck with that every year. This year, I think I’ve managed to really capture it. There’s a blizzard out there! LOL

Source: May Your Christmas Be Filled With Blessings

A Great Day in the Life of an Author

Yesterday was so exciting, I finished my outside Christmas decorating and received a box full of my new novel, His Perfect Love. The virtual book launch party on Facebook went off beautifully. And now it’s time to send off gifts to those who had their name pulled out of the hat just for attending and having some conversation. I’d be very pleased if you would take a minute or two and check out my new novel available on Amazon and Kindle.  https://www.amazon.com/His-Perfect-Love-Sharon-Connell/dp/1505782139/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480876539&sr=1-1

Source: A Great Day in the Life of an Author

Facebook Virtual Book Launch Party

There are only 2 more days to the Facebook Virtual Book Launch for “His Perfect Love.” Don’t miss it! It will be a lot of fun. Here’s the link to the page: https://www.facebook.com/events/246213555797836/At the party you can meet other guest authors, read a little about the beginning of my new novel, try out a writing prompt, and have a lot of fun. I’ll have giveaways too.Hope you can make it.

Source: Facebook Virtual Book Launch Party

His Perfect Love Facebook Virtual Book Launch Party

The His Perfect Love virtual book launch party on Facebook will be soon. Don’t miss it!Thursday, December 8, 2016, 6:00 p.m. through 10:00 p.m. Central Time.This will be a costume party. Dress up as your favorite character from your favorite book, sign in, and be read to post a picture of yourself in costume so we can guess which character you’re dressed as. (Don’t worry if you can’t get a costume…come as you are…even in your PJs) Bring lots of virtual food and drink, and be ready to post a picture of what you’ve brought too, with recipe, if you have one. During the party, there will be giveaways chosen at random. I’ll be giving away an autographed copy of my book during the first hour and autographed copies of books from other authors, and gift cards throughout the evening. We’ll also have author guest spots where you can interact with some very good writers, a writing prompt at which you can try your own hand and skill, recipes, and fun, fun, fun. Amongst all the other activities, I’ll be posting some segments to the first chapter of His Perfect Love. So, keep your eyes peeled.

Source: His Perfect Love Facebook Virtual Book Launch Party