Saturday, May 30, 2009

Keep Going, Susan Boyle You Are Loved.

It is final.  Susan Boyle placed second in Britain's Got Talent.  No matter.  What she gave to the world in the past seven weeks is memorable.

Susan Boyle hit the web by storm when she sang "I Dream a Dream" in the TV show Britain's Got Talent.  A stocky unpretentious woman from Blackburn, Scotland, 47 year old Susan was looked upon with disdain when she first walked on stage.  Within seconds, judges and audience alike were in awe, cynic judge, Simon Cowell especially. She was a hit on You Tube and the world was instantly captivated.

Susan Boyle is the triumph of the underdog, the unlikely hero, the rebuttal of first impressions, the fulfillment of dreams.  She brought tears to our eyes because she is all of us, struggling one day at a time, doing our jobs, winning some, losing some.  We rooted for her because she proved that there is another kind of  beauty besides the Hollywood stereotype.  She sang straight to our hearts and proved that yes, we can.

The last few weeks have been difficult for Susan Boyle.  Sudenly in the limelight, there were reports that she was having a nervous break down and predictions that she will not appear for the finals.  She proved her critics wrong once again and gave a better performance than before.

Susan Boyle is not the best voice that graced talent shows but she is certainly the best person that did.  She deserves to be the hit on You Tube that she has been.  Keep going, Susan Boyle.  You are loved. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day: A Brief History

The second Sunday in May is the day when Mother's day is honored in the United States, Canada and many other countries. Different countries have different celebrations and dates for honoring mothers. In the UK and Ireland, the day is known as Mothering Sunday and is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of lent. In 1870, in the US, Julia Ward Howe published "Mother's Day Proclamation" encouraging the designation of a special day to honor mothers. It was not until 1907 when Anna Jarvis began her lobby for a special day to honor mothers and in 1914, she finally got Mother's Day its righteous time on the second Sunday of May. Anna Jarvis was passionate about the day being a day to honor each individual mother. She was picky about the designation and that the apostrophe had to be between the last two letters, "Mother's Day", not Mothers Day or Mothers' Day implying collective mothers. The day was to honor one's special mother. The observation became popular and is now celebrated with much commercialism, much to Anna Jarvis' dismay. What was to have been a very personal day became a marketing venue. Later in her life, Anna Jarvis, unsuccessfully tried to get the observation discontinued.

Mothers day flowers are the most popular gift. In China, where mother's day celebrations are catching on, carnations are the most popular and most sold flower for this celebration followed by lilies. Local florists and online florists like 1800flowers get a major portion of their annual orders on this day. Likewise, moms love receiving flowers. Business research firm, IBIS World estimates that 2.6 billion dollars will be spent in the US on flowers this mother's day, not including the money spent on jewelry, greeting cards and spa treatments.

Citation: Wikipedia

Monday, May 4, 2009

Manny Pacquiao: Best Known Filipino in the World

Like Filipinos worldwide, last night,  our extended family watched Manny Pacquiao knock out Ricky Hatton in the second round in a much publicized boxing match.  Filipinos were undaunted and cocky sure that their man would win and PacMan did not disappoint, proving the media description that  he is, pound for pound, the best boxer in the world today. A much anticipated fight, Filipinos everywhere watched the pre-game 24/7 series chronicling the boxers training and background.

Judging from ABS-CBN reports, Filipinos everywhere crowded in homes, public venues and outdoor TV projections as did our family who crowded in my brother-in-law's home theater. Sports fanatics and sports illiterates alike watched and cheered.  Filipino military and law enforcement agencies also took time off to watch the fight. Violence halted. Philippine news reports even point out that crime took a holiday.  There was no crime committed during that period as law breakers also took time to watch the fight.  

No other person in Philippine history has united the Filipino nation and Filipinos everywhere if only for too short a period of time.  Pacquiao continues to make his country proud. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Look to K-Designers for Energy Efficient Windows

Most senior citizens living on a fixed income and choose to remain in the home they bought will be faced with remodeling needs at some time or another. Moving to energy efficient windows is one of those remodeling activities that save money in the long run.  K-Designers may just have the answer for seniors who need to get the most for their money. 

K-Designers is a remodeling company with offices in the Midwest and Western part of the United States. Now may be an opportune time to replace those old windows and let Uncle Sam foot part of the bill.  As part of the stimulus package, the government is giving incentives for homeowners to change to energy efficient windows.  K-Designers offers windows made especially for the company and are not only energy efficient but are easy to clean,  fire retardant, do not rust and do not need painting.   Just as important, the windows come with a lifetime guarantee.

YMT Vacations: Planned Tours Can Be Fun for Seniors

Past their prime, senior citizens often have unique needs and considerations when planning vacations. While many seniors are healthier and more active now, many have unique needs they might not even realize. Using tour companies such as Your Man Tours can save you the headache of planning, and can provide solutions to unexpected occurrences. To make the best of your vacation, you, too, must have a sense of your special needs. Remember, your travel agent cannot read your mind.

Single seniors and couples as well, may feel more comfortable joining tours with vacationers of like minds. For instance, Your Man Tours offers guided European tours with emphasis on visits to the Vatican. You may be interested in the Mayan culture, taking a fall trip to New England, or being pampered in a cruise ship. Travel agencies like Your Man Tours which specialize in affordable vacations cater to different groups. They also package trips specifically for older adults.

Simple things to consider when planning a vacation:

  • Your health and health care needs. Be sure to check with your doctor about your travel restrictions, make sure you have your supply of medications and ask the travel company for a list of health care facilities in the vicinity of your trip. Be aware of your allergies and food restrictions so you can avoid a flare up.
  • Your mobility. Do you need wheelchair access? Do you get winded easily? This is an important consideration when choosing your land trips and side tours as many places require considerable walking. Your travel agent can arrange for mobility assistance in airports, during land transfers and in the hotel.
  • Travel and health care insurance. Remember, Medicare does not pay for health care outside the country. Inexpensive travel and health care insurance can pay for illness related trip cancellation, ambulance or even airlift.
  • Lastly, have fun. You deserve it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

United American Insurance Company; A Choice for Medicare Part D

With retirement investments half their worth, the economy still on a down swing, it is harder for senior citizens to meet their prescription co-pay especially for expensive third tier medications. This is where your choice of Medicare Part D carrier is important.  United American Insurance Company might just fit the bill

United American Insurance Company  is an approved Medicare Part D provider.  Medicare Part D is the Medicare prescription plan which pays for prescription medications.  All plans are required to pay for your first $2,700.00 of medication expenses after which you are responsible for 100 percent of your prescriptons until you and your plan have paid $4,350.00 for the year. This is also known as the donut hole. The catastrophic coverage then kicks in.  Although it varies from state to state, United American Insurance Company Medicare Part D coverage has no deductible and has low co-pay for generic drugs (starting at $5.00.) Catastrophic prescription coverage is quite liberal.  You pay 5% of the medication cost and UAIC pays 95 %.  If your income falls below certain income limits, you may be eligible for low income subsidy (LIS), where your monthly premium may be lowered by 25, 50, 75, or 100 percent.  

Important things to remember when considering a prescription plan:

  • Participation in Medicare part D is voluntary.  However, with the spiralling cost of medication, most seniors are better off participating.
  • Understand your plan's formulary:  Check your current medications against the plan's formulary to ensure that your medicines are covered adequately.
  • Understand formulary tiers: Tier 1- generic drugs, Tier 2- brand name drugs on formulary, Tier 3- more expensive brand name drugs and Specialty tier- very expensive medications such as cancer fighting drugs.  The higher the tier, the higher the copay.
  • Check to see if you qualify for low income subsidy.
  • Convenience: Does the plan have a mail in service for maintenance medications? his can save you from frequent trips to the drug store.

United American Insurance Company has been in business for over 60 years, operates in 49 states, D.C. and Canada and for 30 consecutive years has been rated strong and very strong by A.M. Best and Standard & Poor Company.  It has been a Medicare participant since 1966.  


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