Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
- What in the world did I do in 1997 that accounted for $12 in social security earnings? Why did I report that?!
- If I become disabled right now, I could get $1217 a month.
- If I die this year, certain members of your family MAY qualify for the following benefits: your child $1087 a month (well, that's out of the equation).... your spouse who reaches full retirement age: $1449 a month (rats, nonexistent child has no retirement-reached dad); total family benefits cannot be more than $2692 a month (what's the point of having more than one kid?? Oh yeah - the ability to choose which one gets the SS benefits!)
- Survivors: When you die, certain members of your family may be eligible for benefits:
- 1. Your spouse age 60 or older (50 or older if disabled, or any age if caring for your children younger than age 16); and
- 2. Your children if unmarried and younger than age 18, still in school and younger than 19 years old, or adult children disabled before age 22.
- If you are divorced, your ex-spouse could be eligible for a widow's or widower's benefit on your record when you die.
- Studies show that a 20 year old worker has a 3 in 10 chance of qualifying for disability benefits before reaching retirement age.
And lastly, a bit of good news from the "What young workers should know about Social Security and saving:"
Will Social Security be around when I retire?
Yes. The Social Security taxes you now pay go into the Social Security Trust Funds* and are used to pay benefits to current beneficiaries.** The Social Security Board of Trustees*** now estimates that based on current law, in 2037, the Trust Funds will be depleted. Because people are living longer and the birth rate is low, the ratio of workers to beneficiaries is falling.**** Therefore, taxes that are paid by workers will not be enough to pay the full benefit amounts scheduled.
However, this does not mean that Social Security benefit payments would disappear. Even if modifications to the program are not made, there would still be enough funds in 2037 from taxes paid by workers to pay for about $760 for every $1000 in benefits scheduled.*****
* Gee, I'm a trust fund baby after all!
**It's good when benefits are given to beneficiaries. This is how things are supposed to be.
***How does one become a SS Trustee, pray tell?
****At last: a way to selfishly appeal to all the people getting abortions and thus lowering our birth rate: Let the kid live!! He/She will foot the bill for your SS!! (sorry, probably cross the line on this one).
*****So quitcherbellyachin' about things running out. Depletion it is not. 76% of what you should get it is.
So the moral of the story is summed up quite nicely on the back of the newsletter:
"Social Security is a financial foundation.....But you should also save and invest....So start saving today."
Thanks, dude. I'll do that.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Really, lady? Your goal is to become the world's fattest woman? One thousand pounds? Will you then let the millions in the world who are starving to death feast on your gluttonous derriere? Really - you should consider it. At least make the calories count for something. And chasing your daughter really burns enough calories for you to be worried about losing weight? Your hubbie supports you because he's a "belly man?" REALLY??
"Drizzle for Shizzle." Really, Washington Post? Can you be so unashamedly unprofessional in your article headings? Is this what you call journalism? Is this why you're going bankrupt? Really?
Really, Kate Gosselin? I quit watching your show because a) I was disgusted with your metamorphosis into a TV drama queen and b) I hoped that I could singlehandedly lower your ratings so you'd get off the air and raise your children out of the spotlight and BE NICE TO YOUR HUSBAND FOR ONCE. Alas, it was too late. And now you've gone and joined Dancing with the Stars. Yes, I saw you on the cover of some magazine while I was in line at the grocery store. I saw your Winnie the Pooh tattoo complete with a pot of honey. REALLY?!? Who gets a Winnie the Pooh tattoo on one's ankle and FLAUNTS IT?!? Who are you?! Really!
Uh oh. I dared to go to the Fox News website and now I'm riled up. I'd better stop while I'm ahead/civil. Really.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The random framed photo of people I don't know... the guy is taking an oath and behind him there's a huge glob that just says "Soviet Bloc"...
Compared to this portion of the massive map in my room....
I'm really excited about decorating eggs. I need to have a party.
I caved last time I was at Target. What's Easter without Dubble Bubble Eggs?!?!*
*I realize there is FAR more to Easter than dyeing eggs and chewing bubble gum, and I'll address this is later posts, but for now, this is what's making me smile.
Gorgeous orchid plant New York bought.... displayed in the living room... (I give it 2 weeks)
And lastly...what's this?!?! It's 6:30pm and it's still light outside!! I'm going out for a walk!! Drizzle Smizzle. This puny weather won't keep me cooped up any longer.... (although the house has benefited from my presence this weekend.... except for Texas and New York's Curtain Rod Dilemma That Will No Longer Be Mentioned (it involves high blood pressure, tacky curtain rods, frayed drill bits, and metal/cement/the devil inside the wall, thus preventing the hanging of semi-classy curtain rods to aid in the Ongoing Beautification of the Formal Living Room).
Friday, March 12, 2010
Silence is praise to you, Zion-dwelling God,
And also obedience.
You hear the prayer in it all.
We all arrive at your doorstep sooner
or later, loaded with guilt,
Our sins too much for us—
but you get rid of them once and for all.
Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest
at home in your place!
We expect our fill of good things
in your house, your heavenly manse.
All your salvation wonders
are on display in your trophy room.
Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash,
of mobs in noisy riot—
Far and wide they'll come to a stop,
they'll stare in awe, in wonder.
Dawn and dusk take turns
calling, "Come and worship."
Oh, visit the earth,
ask her to join the dance!
Deck her out in spring showers,
fill the God-River with living water.
Paint the wheat fields golden.
Creation was made for this!
Drench the plowed fields,
soak the dirt clods
With rainfall as harrow and rake
bring her to blossom and fruit.
Snow-crown the peaks with splendor,
scatter rose petals down your paths,
All through the wild meadows, rose petals.
Set the hills to dancing,
Dress the canyon walls with live sheep,
a drape of flax across the valleys.
Let them shout, and shout, and shout!
Oh, oh, let them sing!
Thanks for the reminder. I am going to spend as much of the weekend as possible OUTSIDE.
Happy Friday, ladies and gents!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Instead of having an awesome speaker for our morning instructional time as we usually do, we instead spent 2.5 hours in solitude and reflection. It was AWESOME. they say the Pope spends 4 hours a day in prayer. After 2.5 hours of prayer and reading the Scriptures and serious meditation on the provision of God, I was feeling pretty special, too. We got a really quick tour of the grounds, so these photos are a motley crew of walking shots.
I spy a disco ball.... this was in St. Francis Hall (very similar to St. Joseph's Halle of FBG) where we were headquartered for the day.
I'm a big fan of their symbol: the big square cross with the 4 little crosses surrounding it
This monastery has a big theme of pilgrimages, specifically pilgrimages to the Holy Land... I think that's where the statues are going.
GORGEOUS interior of the church. This is where I spent my 2.5 hours.
One of many altars set up on the perimeter of the church.
Isn't this fantastic? Dome of the center of the church.
Candles near an altar...
My Christmas card for this year (so hard to find cards that don't have Santa Claus or snowmen! Separate rant for another day)...
Walkway on the edge of the monastery
I'm not quite sure what this represents....
Did you know St. Francis received the stigmata in 1224 and died 2 years later? He did.
St. Francis and baby Jesus. Don't worry about the math.
I spy... a cross atop every flagpole!
Someone carrying baby Jesus.... not sure who.
Absolutely beautiful. I want to attend a Mass in Spanish - anyone in?? Also, I'm going to start listening to Gregorian chants. Epitome of awesome.
This salmon was excellent if I do say so myself... and much butter (and Tony's and capers and artichoke hearts) contributed to its success. Sometimes it's really fun to be a grown up.
Also, I love wasabi.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
What a sweet, sweet time father and son were able to share together. My heart breaks for how confused his father could be - his worried scribbles, his glances in the mirror at a man he didn't recognize. Toledano is a fantastic photographer and chronicles a smidgen of the last 3 years they spent together, capturing the bleariness, dreariness, confusion, connection, and glimmers of hope so beautifully.
My grandmother will turn 85 next week, and she's afraid to die. She believes in God and knows she's going to heaven, but it helps when she's reminded that it will be alright. It helps when someone can be there to calm her spirit. She told my Mom this weekend (in her thick Georgia drawl), "I sure-ah hope my dahlins Charles and Weldon will be they-ah in Heaven..." (Charles was her first husband, my grandfather who died of cancer before I was born; Weldon was her second husband, the grandfather I knew, who died of cancer 5 years ago). What a consolation to know that they are they-ah, waitin' for their Mary Alice. How comforting to know that they ah they-ah. There is strength in being able to stand on this truth.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, 'Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.'
And the one sitting on the throne said, 'Look, I am making everything new!' And then he said to me, 'Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.' And he also said, 'It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.