Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kabul suicide bomb kills 13 U.S. troops - Today

"Excluding aircraft crashes, it was the deadliest single incident for foreign troops since the war began in 2001."

Shalizi, Hamid. "Kabul suicide bomb kills 13 U.S. troops." Yahoo! News. 29 October 2011. Web. 29 October 2011.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anniversary #9

Tuesday was mine and my boyfriend Billy's 9th anniversary! We planned on going to dinner and a movie Friday night until the Rangers decided not to win Game 6. We decided to eat at Texas Roadhouse and then come home to watch Game 7 (Rangers vs. Cardinals). I really thought the Rangers could pull it out this year but I guess not. On a happy note, our meals at Texas Roadhouse were AMAZING! I ordered the salmon (and tartar sauce), seasoned rice, and garden salad and Billy ordered the 11 oz steak, loaded mashed potatoes, and garden salad! I also highly recommend the caramel marshmellow sweet potato! Roadhouse is my mother-in-law's favorite restaurant. Now I see why!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Sister & Her Boyfriend Are In Town From Chicago

My sister and her boyfriend came in town this week from Chicago! I haven't seen her since July and this was my first time meeting her boyfriend. I have been praying for a couple of years that she'd be blessed with "the one" so maybe he is an answered prayer!? I enjoyed spending time with them but hate to see them go. He is the lead singer for a band and came into town because his brother is headed overseas to fight in the war with Afghanistan and Joey was performing a "going away" gig at the Dirty Rooster (last night). It was fun. A bit smoky, but definitely fun. It was nice to see all of our family friends that came out.

Good luck to you Brian! You remain in my prayers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Social Security recipients to get 3.6 percent COLA

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some 55 million Social Security recipients will get a 3.6 percent increase in benefits next year, their first raise since 2009, the government announced Wednesday.

The increase, which starts in January, is tied to a measure of inflation released Wednesday morning.

About 8 million people who receive Supplemental Security Income will also receive the 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, meaning the announcement will affect about one in five U.S. residents.

There was no COLA in 2010 or 2011 because inflation was too low. Those were the first two years without a COLA since automatic increases were adopted in 1975.

Monthly Social Security payments average $1,082, or about $13,000 a year. A 3.6 percent increase will amount to about $39 a month, or just over $467 a year, on average.

Advocates for seniors said the raise will provide a much-needed boost to the millions of retirees and disabled people who have seen retirement accounts dwindle and home values drop during the economic downturn. Economists say the increase should provide a modest boost to consumer spending, which should help the economy.

Still, many seniors feel like they have been falling behind.

Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, said she is pleased Social Security recipients will get a raise next year. But, she added, "The COLA is still not enough to keep up with health care costs."

"Despite the absence of a Social Security COLA, over the last two years out-of-pocket health care costs rose 14.1 percent for seniors and people with disabilities, effectively reducing the value of Social Security benefits," Altman said.

Some of the increase in January will be lost to higher Medicare premiums, which are deducted from Social Security payments. Medicare Part B premiums for 2012 are expected to be announced next week, and the trustees who oversee the program are projecting an increase.

Most retirees rely on Social Security for a majority of their income, according to the Social Security Administration. Many rely on it for more than 90 percent of their income.

"For people at that income level every dollar makes a difference, particularly coming in this economic downtown," said David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP. "None of them feel as if their cost of living was not increasing in the last couple of years."

Federal law requires the program to base annual payment increases on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Officials compare inflation in the third quarter of each year — the months of July, August and September — with the same months in the previous year.

If consumer prices increase from year to year, Social Security recipients automatically get higher payments, starting the following January. If price changes are negative, the payments stay unchanged.

Social Security payments increased by 5.8 percent in 2009, the largest increase in 27 years, after energy prices spiked in 2008. But energy prices quickly dropped and home prices became soft in markets across the country, contributing to lower inflation in the past two years.

As a result, Social Security recipients got an increase that was far larger than actual overall inflation. However, they can't get another increase until consumer prices exceed the levels measured in 2008. Wednesday's announcement shows that prices have exceeded those measured in 2008, said Polina Vlasenko, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research, based in Great Barrington, Mass.

Associated Press reporter Chris Rugaber contributed to this report.
Social Security Administration's COLA site:

Ohlemacher, Stephen. "Social Security recipients to get 3.6 percent COLA." Yahoo! News. 19 October 2011. Associated Press. Web. 19 October 2011.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The 5 Most Important Supplements

1. A high-quality multi-vitamin

2. A quality omega-3 supplement

3. Co-enzyme Q-10

4. Magnesium citrate

5. Sunshine vitamin D

Healthy, Jim. "The 5 Most Important Supplements." Shine from Yahoo! 29 September 2011. Web. 2 October 2011.