Monthly Archives: October 2011

has it really been 3 weeks?

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so many things have happened over the last month…

Bill and I adopted a baby girl from the Morning Meadow Animal Rescue. Katana Ana was rescued when her former owner turned her and 2 others into the street as he ran from the police. We were able to pick her up 2 days after she had been spayed and sadly 1 day after her new pen mate gave her fleas and ticks. Needless to say Daddy gave her a good bath immediately upon entering the house.

We call her Tana…and she has added a whole new dimension to our lives. She is a Chihuahua mix that makes her think she owns the place. She has made the boys move out of her way and made them play when they really didn’t want to.

We also bought a new faucet for our Master bathroom. Bill assured me that he could change it out…I was not so sure. The faucet is more than what I thought when we bought it….it looks fantastic! And it swivels (who woulda thunk that!) Bill did break the trap pipe, and of course the hardware store was closed. But he was not to be daunted in his task and found some JB Weld to fix the break until it could be replaced. It worked great and he did an excellent job!

Now he is going to replace the kitchen faucet and the disposer. The disposer broke down a few weeks ago and I miss it. So we bought a new one. The plumber had suggested that we not replace it, but I know that that was one of the first questions I had when I bought this house. Bill is installing the In-sink-erator now. He’s a good man.

We also bought each of the boys a Dogloo….think igloo for dogs. I figured plastic would be better than wood, since Dieter thinks all wood should be toothpicks. They are very spacious…and we put rugs and blankets in both of them to keep them warm and comfy.

One of the reasons we went ahead and spent money we didn’t really have on the Dogloos was because of Tana and her accident. We have a dog run and we were keeping her outside, but in the dog run to keep her from the boys who weren’t quite ready for her. Well on the 4th day of the pen, it was 70 degrees and the rain of earlier had stopped. About 2 hours later, I got a call at work from Paula of the Animal Rescue stating that she was at my house.

Apparently, my neighbor had called the police who called MMAR stating that 3 dogs were in distress. She told me that when she got here, Tana had gotten her head stuck in the fence and was strangling herself. She went on to lecture me on the conditions of the dog pen. It had started raining again and the the temperature had dropped, and that there was no where for little Miss Tana to go. I’m sorry, she’s a dog with fur and the boys never seemed to mind. My problem was in that I forgot she was a small dog and it probably was a bit too cold for her.

What made me mad was that technically, my name is not on any ownership papers for Tana…Bill’s is. And yet it was me that they called and lectured. I put her in the house and she has become our little house dog. She is closed out of the carpeted areas when we are gone and she seems to be the Queen of her Castle.

Bill, the new Daddy, got worried about his little girl being inside at 3 and came home to check on her at 3:30pm. All was fine, and he let her out and checked on the boys. All was good.

When I arrived home at 4:30pm, imagine my surprise when Dieter came to meet me at the car. Confused at how he got out, I went straight to the backyard to check on his tie out. It was laying there as if someone had unhooked him and let him run. This is not making me happy after the call earlier in the day.

And so the next day, Mandy of the rescue pulled up just as I walked into the house and let Tana out. I was checking on the boys and Tana as they played and realized that my back gate was open a little. Mandy saw the same thing. So I went to close the gate and receive my 2nd lecture on the events of the day before. It amazed me how she knew what a sweetheart Dieter was. And didn’t seem surprised that Dieter had been let loose. She questioned and prodded and made me feel like an idiot for putting Tana in the dog pen. Ironically the picture of Tana that stole Bill’s heart, was of Tana in a similar pen with identical cyclone fencing.

She also thought I was mean I guess that my boys did not have doghouses. And so now they do. They have yet to use them. Dieter only got into one of them once because Bill went in and coaxed him in with treats.

In any case, I am tired of being watched by people. I am tired of having my dogs messed with. I am tired of wondering who is getting into my storage shed in the back yard. Now there is a bright shiny new lock on the back gate. There is now barbed wire at the boys’ escape hole. And soon, SMILE because you will be on candid camera.

I also was able to get my eyes checked…my first diabetic eye exam. New glasses with larger lenses and more variations in magnification. I can see again! And the doctor’s office was kind enough to mail them to me since his office is an hour away.

But I digress. We have had a great month. New pillows. New shower curtain. New sheets. New comforter. And through it all, Bill and I have just grown closer.

And with the adoption of our new little girl, it is like our family is complete. And with each new thing, the house is becoming more and more ours…not just mine. And that’s a good thing.

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it’s MY money and I want it when I turn 67!!

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old Social Security Card

 

This was an email I received…and thought it very poignant to what I keep hearing in the news…..

This is very appropriate in light of what is going on!!! Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only 30K over your 49 year working life, that’s close to $220,500. If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working (me) you’d have $892,919.98. If you took out only 3% per year, you would receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years, and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month. The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madhoff ever had. Entitlement, my foot, I paid cash for my social security insurance!!!! Just because they borrowed the money, doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or handout !! Congressional benefits, aka free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that’s welfare, and they have the nerve to call my retirement entitlements !!!!!! They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives and now when it’s time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place?

 

The government makes us contribute to Social Security…something that Franklin Delano Roosevelt dreamed up in 1935 to help seniors when then retire.  It sounds great, but let’s face it, it is essentially a forced savings plan that the government has turned into an issue to debate and argue.

 

And from http://www.futureyears.com/social-security/origin.html

Why was the Social Security program started?

The Social Security Act was signed into law in 1935 as a result of massive unemployment during the Great Depression–especially among older workers–combined with the fact that the life span of the average was increasing.
On August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act was enacted … “To provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of federal old-age benefits…”

The Social Security Act was the United States’ first major federal government program to deal directly with the economic security of its older citizens. Previously, the states and private resources were responsible for economic security of older workers.

However, the Great Depression created such a large financial displacement that federal action became necessary to supply the required financial resources to cope with the growing need among the people.

The Social Security Act was an attempt by the U.S. government to meet some of the serious problems of economic insecurity arising from the Great Depression.

According to Government Resources:
On June 8, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a message to the Congress, announced his intention to provide a program for Social Security. Subsequently, the President created by Executive Order the Committee on Economic Security, which was composed of five top cabinet-level officials. The committee was instructed to study the entire problem of economic insecurity and to make recommendations that would serve as the basis for legislative consideration by the Congress.

The CES assembled a small staff of experts borrowed from other federal agencies and immediately set to work. In November 1934 the CES sponsored the first-ever national town-hall forum on Social Security

As Social Security program has a long history attached to it, people look upon it as a promise that the US government has made to nation’s workers, their families, and retirees. While Social Security is often considered simply a retirement program, about one-third of its beneficiaries are not retirees. The Social Security contribution gives four kinds of protection: (1) retirement benefits, (2) survivors’ benefits, (3) disability benefits, and (4) Medicare hospital insurance benefits.

Presently, however, Social Security reform has been a major part of the US government’s agenda. According to some observations, Social Security is sound for today’s seniors and for those nearing retirement, but it needs to be fixed for younger workers.

So it seems to me that the Great Depression of 1929 brought about this idea, plan, then law and now we are in another long Depression/Recession.  (OK, the Recession is making many people Depressed….so it’s a nation of Depression.)

We see the success and failure of Social Security, which was set up and then became a political football for years.  Each political party seems to think it can be manipulated and thought of as an entitlement people must qualify for by going through government red tape and hoops of fire like a circus act.  The fact is: we, the workers of America, have paid into the fund, our employers have paid into the fund, and when we reach retirement, we expect, demand, deserve all of OUR money back.

As the quote above states “Social Security is sound for today’s seniors and for those nearing retirement, but it needs to be fixed for younger workers”.

But why does it need to be fixed?  Because politicians have decided they can determine to borrow the money for other projects and not pay it back.  The politicians have decided that they can decide when we can retire and get our benefits.  The politicians are profiting off of our retirement—by increasing their own salaries and health and pension benefits.  They need to leave our benefits alone and give up a few of their own.

Instead, they pushed through yet another Health Care Act.  Universal healthcare.  They can’t even seem to run Medicare efficiently and productively, now they think they can create another health care system that will run better and cover more people.  We can’t fund Medicare, but we have to fund PPACA aka Obamacare?  WITH WHAT??

Maybe the politicians should give up their ‘cadillac’ healthcare they want everyone else to give up.  Maybe the politicians should pay into the system like everyone else that works does.  Maybe the politicians should go home and learn what their constituents really want….not just give head nod service and pretentions.  Maybe politicians should have a 6 year limit in the National Arena of Politics.  Then let them go home and be a worker without pensions that must wait until they are 65, 67 or whatever limit they put on the American worker.  But most of all, make the politicians have the same Healthcare Benefits that Joe Average American has.  Let them have to fight for an MRI when they can’t walk and let them fight to have a medicine that will improve their life and let them work a little bit longer.  Let them have to face hungry kids because the money had to go to yet another doomed Federal program.

 

Looking at the picture above reminded me of an argument my father and I got into many years ago.  If you notice on the card it says: NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION.  He was arguing that very point, mentioning that it was for protection of your benefits.  And of course, I argued that everyone used the Social Security Number as a means of identification.  I then produced my student ID card, my health insurance card, my employee badge, and even my pay stubs all showing my identification number was my Social Security Number.

He was speechless.  He was upset because though we worked at the same place, his identification numbers for work and health were all different.

I thought it was interesting that it was probably not more than 6 months later that I heard the phrase “identity theft” for the first time.  And I saw the wisdom of not using SSN’s for identification purposes.   Today identity theft is so common that it makes me wonder what were we thinking back in the 1980’s when we put our info like that on checks and other papers without even thinking about it??  We were naive.  And we were preyed upon.

And now the politicians are preying on the monies that were to be set aside and left alone for our retirement.  They are preying on our survival and our children’s survival.

It’s MY money and I want it there for when I decide to retire!!