Nana and the Techno-Challenge…Man I Got an Awakening!

I love the fact that there is always new technology out there to make our lives easier but this post is directed at those on a budget.  I raised 3 sons and believe me, we did NOT keep up with the Jones‘s. I don’t believe in it. That being said, I decided to make a trip to Best Buy and check out some I Phones…I quickly figured out why some I Phone 3’s and 4’s are being resold too…The plans are not worth it.  There is no reason why a  family on a tight budget should be buying these things for a teenager.  Thank God, my boys are 30, 27 and 24.  Now I am going to go into one very good reason why parents should hold off on this.  The plans available (at least in TX) are NOT unlimited plans.  They use the same towers and such, but yet no plans are unlimited. Why is that? I can tell you…Pure greed.

If my boys were teens, I’d be telling them they’d have to have part-time jobs to pay their phone bills…IF a company does not offer unlimited talk, text and web–I would NEVER use them.  Teenagers do not need these things and I know that some parents are made to feel bad about hesitating to get these things.  This time of year it is the time when parents have the urge to want the best of everything for the kids, but here is my suggestion and I hope it helps. If you REALLY cannot afford the things, get the android ones.  Many companies offer unlimited plans and since there are no overage charges, you will sleep a lot easier.  If older teens persist in trying to get you to spend money on these expensive toys, then it’s perfectly fine to let them work a 20 hour a week job and make it clear that they MUST PAY THEIR OWN PHONE bill to keep the phone on.

A lot of the android phones will save you an average of $35 a month or more depending on the plan you do get and if it is a prepaid android phone, and these are good for first time users because it simply cuts off when the plan is expired or until it is renewed.  For what most teens use it for, these android phones are good enough because the cost of apps and games for the I Phones also run into money.

Personally, IF I were making plenty of money I wouldn’t mind having one but since I’m not running a business and such, I don’t see a need for most of the I Phone applications and since most teens watch videos, play on Facebook or use the game apps, I would suggest waiting on getting an I Phone and get them an android.  Teens tend to break a lot of stuff too, so get the extended warranties, insurance, etc…  Now if they come out with an unlimited plan, then I will consider it.  Even for Skype, I would rather use my laptop when I get it to where I can download on it. I just had a new hard drive installed and I’m being very particular on this issue.

I am sure the I Phone is a great one, but do I want to spend a fortune on one right now? No. I have bills that come first and if people out there are having a hard time at this time of year, the last thing anyone would need is another bill to look forward to that might not stay the same each month.

 

Nana says this country is wound up WAY TOO TIGHT!

The best thing parents can do right now is reassure their children rather than let this crap going on instill fear into us as a nation. Between school threats and the Mayan Calendar (which I will joke about because this goes on EVERY single year) the people of this nation should not be allowing the media reports of stuff to instill a panic in their hearts–especially THIS time of year. Turn off the TV if you’ve got to and don’t leave newspapers lying about–take your kids out somewhere and spend time with them. Read to them. Tell them you love them. Decorate a tree if you take part in that, or go somewhere and celebrate that you can be together. Above all, don’t leave for work without telling your family you love them.

Have a great week!

Had to crack up a little! LOL!

Had to crack up a little! LOL!

 

Where is the Justice for the Homeless Around Here? Part II

In the first part of this entry, I talked about how the oil boom and the economic upswing in the area has affected those on low and/or fixed incomes. I am now going to add two links that will put a human face on this problem for you.  One family lives in a storage room and an elderly mother and daughter live in their van.

http://www.kwes.com/story/19579272/extreme-measure-mother-and-daughter-have-taken-to-have-a-roof-over-their-heads

http://www.newswest9.com/story/18850195/drastic-measures-o?hpt=us_bn8

There are many, many more out there who are affected by this price-gouging.  That is exactly what this has come to.   Even hotels/motels are over-priced in this area and if  you don’t believe me, check out the rates for them–and if you’re planning to travel to the East via I-20, go to places like Big Spring, Colorado City, Sweetwater and Abilene to spend the night. It will blow your mind how much cheaper the fees run in those towns for the same chains, that’s for sure.

It is bad enough that FEMA is bringing trailers in.  Seriously people, how much worse does it need to get before this nation enacts laws that prevent this type of behavior? I’m sure if the books were audited, they’d find that many aren’t even reporting the actual earnings from this price gouging as well.  I think a special investigator needs to be brought in on this with regard to the rental management practices of the two companies that own all the apartments in the area.

This problem has affected single parent families, minorities, women and the elderly and if that is not reason enough for the federal government to step in and stop this form of housing discrimination in its tracks, I do not know what is.  Most people affected by this make $35K (working families with children)  or are on a fixed income. They should be able to afford the rent, but cannot.

An actor pointed out to me  that most countries in the civilized world have enacted laws to prevent this type of behavior. Well why haven’t we?  This is not an issue for politicians to come here to make empty promises to people who are in desperate need either. We don’t need more of that.  We need leaders who will take up the mantle and force those who are doing this to these people to do the right thing.  Winter is coming and I can assure you that the emergency rooms will  be full of patients with all kinds of illnesses thanks to these profiteers.

To the ACLU:  Where are you?  To the U.S. Attorney General’s Office:  Where are you?  To those who should be leaders heralding the march to do the right thing: WHERE ARE YOU?  To the International Media: WHERE ARE YOU?

Just a Few Thoughts from the Nanahood…RE: The Service Industry

As a mother and a grandmother, the future of this country and the people in it are of concern to me.  Is  this going to be about the upcoming election? NO.  I’m tired of hearing about that myself. I just have a question someone proposed to me that caused me to do some really deep thinking.

We saw all the “Occupy” stuff going on.  We saw all the frustration coming from all walks of life with regard to economics around here. I have to know one thing…HOW is it that in this country called America are there still waitresses only getting paid $2-2.25 an hour in some states and maids in hotels only getting $2.00-2.50 per room they clean?  That is serfdom people.  This is the same pay they got in the ’70’s.  It’s ridiculous  AND their tips are taxed.  Why are tips taxed? What is the point?  They were TAXED before they were given in the first place.  To me the government is double-dipping and it is holding people back from earning a decent living. THANK you Billy Reyna for pointing this out.

These pay levels are NOT a living wage. Why are multimillion dollar corporations like IHOP and Motel 6 getting away with paying like this?  Do you realize what this means?  Many families living on these wages are also getting state aid in the form of food stamps and such because NOBODY can live on it.  ON a good night in this town, a waitress is lucky to bring home $15 a night in tips.  For 8 hours of work, that is scandalous–even if you figure in the $2 + change pay scale.  This actually means that by paying a tip, you’re subsidizing the wages they SHOULD be getting.  A vast number of people  in the service industry certainly don’t all work in high-end establishments.

Can anyone on here live on the federal minimum wage alone? Hell no!  What makes these corporations think these people can live on $2 + tips only to have what little they make taxed all over again?   I think legislation should be passed so that these people do NOT have to share their tips with each other either, and they should at LEAST be paid minimum wage.  There were many times I had to wait on 2-3 stations where the person training me sat on their fanny and watched–yet I had to split the money I EARNED with them.  That’s not right. In fact, it should be illegal. YOU DO NOT see this happening ANYWHERE but in the service industry.

This country also needs to quit giving large tax breaks for moving the jobs overseas.  This country definitely needs to start taking care of its own given what I’ve seen lately. In fact a good incentive for them to keep jobs here would be to require them all to pay the workers OVERSEAS the same wages, give the same benefits and paid training they’d have to give to workers in the United States. That would stop a lot of this mess.

Americans deserve a higher standard of living–and the government has failed to protect the taxpayers by NOT addressing the pay issues within the service industry.  It is time to fix this mess and do the right thing. Well, I’m through with my venting for the evening. Gonna get some zzz’s now.  Have a great night!

Nana Had A Somewhat Inspirational Thought…

 

If I had a knack for beading or making jewelry, this little creature is a wonderful inspiration for a necklace! I just had to share this! This is a rainbow seahorse and it is endangered. I never saw one before either! He’s a beauty isn’t he? Enjoy!

 

I am not particularly talented when it comes to making things. I don’t cook well. I can draw a little and I write.  I am good with ideas though.  I am hoping some enterprising jewelry maker/crafting addict will make a necklace inspired by this little guy!  He could be silver with cz or aurora borealis and rainbow stones in it or something.  As stated in the caption, this rainbow seahorse is an endangered species. What do you all think?  I hope you all have a beautiful day! I enjoyed time with my grandson!

My son made a wonderful dinner for us all and I noticed that my grandson, although he’s only 2 months old has a GREAT right hook!  He takes that fist and bats at those toys on his busy gym like they are nothing! LOL!

All in all I realized how truly blessed I am today. I’d rather be right here right now than EVER be 21 again–guaranteed!  I feel more alive right now than I’ve felt in 5 years!  I also have a better outlook on life in general and on the future.  If you are down today, I hope you find some inspiration also! Maybe this post will help someone else find a ray of light!  Have a great one!

 

 

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A Day in the Hood–the Nanahood…And Some Deep Thinking…

As a grandparent I get a huge kick out of my grandson, Little Kevin…Here’s a new pic:

Is the guy rockin’ or what?!

That being said something crossed my mind the other day…Aging…That’s right…Aging…NO I’m not depressed about turning 50 later this year or anything, but I am concerned as to what would become of me should Alzheimer’s ever touch my life directly.  I had an aunt that suffered from it and it was horrible.

Aside from that, I am an avid movie lover and music lover and I truly hope to instill that in this little man! After all, children are the future are they not?

That being said there is a movie coming out that is on my mind heavily…It is going to be a wonderful film called “Posey”.

Here is the link to the FB page for this movie and please go click “like” and share it…I feel this will be an important picture this year: https://www.facebook.com/Poseythemovie While there, check out those pics! They are outstanding!

This movie stars Sally Kirkland and Christopher Pennock, who is another cool actor that some of you may know from the original Dark Shadows series, where he played Jeb Hawkes! He is  currently working on “The Dresser” at the Actor’s Studio, which will open in LA in early October.   Also, “The Four Horsemen” will start shooting again too! He also says that he’s recording the new Dark Shadows Audiodrama with Kathryn Leigh Scott…”Sebastian Shaw re-emerges in the Funny Farm!” is how he describes this.

However, this movie is probably going to be an important stepping stone in the careers of both Ms. Kirkland and Mr. Pennock.  Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease.  It literally robs us of our loved ones while living–bit by bit.  My grandson’s paternal great-grandmother has a brain disorder that affects her much the same way, and it is truly  a shame. One day she may know my ex-husband  and the next day she may not.  Sometimes she remembers my sons. As to whether or not she will comprehend being a great-grandmother remains to be seen.

I also had an aunt who suffered from Alzheimer’s that didn’t even recognize her husband who could be standing less than 4 feet away from her…I’ll never forget that either. She would put on lipstick, and then 5 minutes later put on more thinking she hadn’t done it yet…She also cursed like a sailor at times, which was sad because she never cursed prior to the onset of the disease.  Slowly it took her from us all.  And then one day I got word that her husband had passed away. She never realized it. Then one day, she was also gone.  Sad…People who have this, die alone even when loved ones are there and they are aware of someone’s presence. They seem to be trapped in their own world, in their own mind.

That is why this movie is important…It is important because one day my family may be faced with putting me into an assisted living facility or a nursing home.  This is the issue faced in the film…The disease is frightening enough for the family members faced with having to care for the victim of this disease, but for the family member who suffers from it–it can be twice as devastating…Here is why the film is important–straight from the Facebook page:

“…The film seeks to examine the seeming hopelessness of the disease and the fear from both the victim and their families, while at the same time finding hope and humor. The film is supported by the Alzheimer’s Association http://www.alz.org/  and a portion of the profits from the film will be donated to help fund research for this devastating illness…”

The film is not yet listed on IMDB but it should be…This could be one of the most important films to début this year.  I also feel that this role could get Ms. Kirkland a much deserved statue for a job well done without even seeing a trailer yet.  Seeing Christopher Pennock play opposite her is going to be a treat for this viewer as well. Now here is the synopsis–again from the Facebook page:

“…POSEY is the story of Linda Flemming, played by Erica Rhodes (A Prairie Home Companion, Killer Eye, Plague Town) who must make the heartbreaking decision to take her grandmother, Posey (Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Winner Sally Kirkland), to a retirement home. Posey suffers from the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, and in a desperate move to avoid the inevitable, she escapes. While her loved ones desperately search for her, Posey finds herself in the middle of a unique situation…one that will change her outlook on her future profoundly…”

I know that the very fact that someone cares enough to make the movie has changed mine.  I will support this film with all I’ve got and I hope that others will follow suit. Thank you so much for your time.  As I said, this could be one of the most important films to come out this year.

Nanahood Philosophy…

I have reached the conclusion that the best legacy I can leave to my grandchildren is to do what you love, let the world know you love it, and never be afraid of what others think of it as long as you are satisfied with what you have chosen to do to leave your mark on the world. IN doing so, never look back with regrets because that is the one thing that can slow your progress. Move forward. Strive for excellence and never let others define your self-worth or decide your path for you. It is your life to live, not theirs. You have to own your mistakes as well as your achievements–and when you can do that and not blame others, it is easier to be at peace with yourself and the decisions you make.

I spent much of my life trying to make others happy, often at my own sacrifice. Those days have ended.  I walk my own path rather than that which was set for me.  It is my hope that my grandchildren will also do this.

That being said, I am considering a 6-12  month teaching assignment in China.  Whether or not I do this depends upon what happens at my job in the next few weeks.  I want to see the world. I want to share this with my grandchildren.  Nothing is impossible when you put your mind to it, right?  I fully intend to write about my experiences wherever I go, just as I used to do on this blog. I am going to return to the mountain in the morning to ponder this as well.

I have to do what I have to do. Hopefully things will work out here, but if they do not, I have other doors through which I can readily pass.  Nothing is impossible.  Have a  great weekend everyone!

 

There are more pics to come, but this little guy has really brought some light into my life!

A Big Day in the Nanahood!

 

Meet my grandson, Kevin D. Thomas! He finally decided to make his début onto the world stage at 1:20 p.m. on 7/18/2012! He weighed 7 lb. 14 oz and is 20″ long. Believe me when I say this kid has a set of lungs on him too!

Well everyone, without further adieu,  Nana is getting some sleep! I had a big day and came home to a ton of laundry to do! LOL!  I got it finished-finally!  I got called at 1:20 yesterday morning and 12 hours later, the little guy arrived!

 

Meanwhile Back in the Nanahood….

It has dawned on me that I actually will have had FIVE grandchildren by the time the babies arrive. Daphne already has 3 kids.  Two daughters and a son.  I enjoy being around them and I never spoke of them before but they are really good kids! In fact, when I get paid again, I plan on spending a little time with them on my days off.  Maybe we’ll actually get to go someplace!  Who knows?

This is going to be one of the shortest posts I ever made but here’s a pic:

L to R: Jabez, Elizabeth and Dorcas on the mountain with us last summer…And they are good kids! I love having them in the family!

My impression is this: Jabez is the game whiz/bookworm even though my son tries to get him into football…Elizabeth is the athletic one and Dorcas is our girly-girl…I’ll have to introduce her to www.flaurena.com when she’s older!

Nana Gets the Double Whammy!

I am not expecting a grandchild…I’m expecting TWO!  I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I feel kind of torn.  All I can say is, the 2nd one will probably be here two to three weeks after the first one and I have massive planning to do…I was almost to a point where I could plan around one–but two that close together? Oh boy…I always said if it’s weird or unusual it will happen around here when I’m around…

I can get to the front of the checkout line at Wal~Mart and the power will go dead–among other things.  Can someone send me a bottle of  Hendrick’s Gin? I could really use a few mixed drinks about now…I know this much–better those girls than moi! Now I’ve got to figure out the Holidays every year all over again–and it’s going to be weird…

Then I hear the youngest really leaning toward naming his son AFTER another family member. To me this is a big no-no. I don’t go for that.  It’s just a thing with me that it seems rather silly to give a child a name they’d have to live up to–or one he or she would end up changing as an adult because he/she hates how it sounds–or he/she simply didn’t like the story behind it…  A child’s name is to be something taken very seriously. It is something they will own, and the responsibility should not be taken lightly.

I held my babies for a bit before I could even begin to come up with a name.  Then when I did, it just felt right. Sure I pondered several but the names REALLY came to me when I held them…It was the most awesome feeling to look into the child’s eyes and know I picked the right name, even though my middle son doesn’t like the meaning of his.  Oh well…Such is life. He can get over it.

Picking names for a baby is not that hard, but some people make it a chore.  I think my way is the better one.  I never needed a baby name book either….