Friday, August 26, 2011


Hi, I’m Elizabeth Parker and I’m a guest blogger this week.  My friends at Grandmother, Incorporated have asked me to write this blog about how to effectively handle money.  You see, I’ve always been a financially responsible person who could think of ways to stretch my money, and that has led me to three careers dealing in finances over a 30 year span.
The first career was as a teller at a Savings & Loan.  That is when I decided that I loved dealing with other peoples’ finances, so I earned a Bachelors' degree in Business Administration with a minor in Finances and Economics.
The second career was as a Manager/Loan Office/Discount Broker at several commercial banks.  My third career has been that of an author.  I wrote a book titled Financial Health in the SpiritMy book is designed for the average, everyday person with no formal financial training, to learn how to manage their finances and I would like to offer a few suggestions on you can start saving. 

1. Start Small

You can begin by saving as little as $5.00 a pay period.  That’s the equivalent of saving for the price of a six-pack or the price of a pack of cigarettes.  Saving $5.00 every week is only $20.00 a month.  If you save that amount for 12 months that means that you have saved $240.00 a year.  Starting small is better than not doing anything except wringing your hands

2. Give up something to reach a financial goal

If you think tht saving $5.00 a week is too small of an amount, then up the ante by saving the price of eating out, or the price of a pair of shoes or the price of a movie ticket.  Based on your life style, determine what you are willing to delay having for another time and put that amount aside to save. 

3.  Put the funds in a lock box or an envelope until you save enough to open an account
Most banks or credit unions will open an account with a $100.00.  Do a little research and find out which financial institution has the best deal concerning a savings account.  Opening a savings account is best because there are withdrawal restrictions on savings accounts.  These restrictions can help keep you on track.    

 4.  After you put the money in the bank forget what you have in your savings account, but don’t forget about adding money to it regularly           

To avoid running to the bank every week continue your savings at home until you have $50 and then make a deposit at the bank.  The fewer times  that you go to the bank the less you will think about that money and want to spend it. 

 5.  Keep a log/record of your money

The bank gives you a monthly statement but an additional record helps you see how often you are setting aside funds and how much.  You will not need to count the money every time you put money in you envelope. Also, maintaining the date and amounts in your record gives you a check and balance when your statement comes.  Save your deposit receipts.  They should become a part of your personal records.  Remember that banks can make mistakes too.  

6.  Set a goal as to how you plan to use the money

Example:  In 3 months I need $100.00 to pay my car insurance.

If you have been putting aside $20.00 a month for 3 months, you will have saved $60.00 toward that bill.  Then you will only need to use $40.00 from you current paycheck to pay that car insurance.  Short term savings is another way of preparing for future events.   

7.  Write your goal down, so if you are tempted to dip into it you will remember the purpose of the savings.  Start today.  You won't be sorry.

These are just a few of the suggestions that I would like to make to those of you who haven’t been in the habit of saving.  You’re well worth paying yourself something after all your hard work.  Visit my website www.fhinthespirit to learn a bit more about how you can effectively handle your finances. 

Friday, August 19, 2011


Hi, this is Connie writing on the blog this week, and I’m here to tell you that I don’t suffer fools lightly and I’m just about fed up messing with them.  I know that I’m not perfect, but my goodness, there are some things that people do that are just plain stupid.  If I was to come up with a list of them it would be much too long, so I’ll name a few of my pet peeves to save time and space.  Mind you they’re not in any special order; I hate all of the stupidity equally.
 First on the list are the people who did not vote in the November 2010 election, and who are now complaining about the situation in the United States Congress and the Tea Party insanity.  When one of these fools steps to me to discuss either of these issues, I ask one question.  Did you vote in the mid-term election?  If the answer is no, the conversation is over. I walk away.  If they don’t like it, I really don’t care. As far as I’m concerned if you don’t vote you don’t have a voice, so don’t complain to me. I figure that when the mess hits the fan the nonvoters get what they deserve.  Is that taking a hard line?  Yes, it is.  Next!
 People who talk down to their elders need to be put in their place. When my mother was alive I can’t tell you how many times people talked around her.  They would be referring to her, but talking to me as if she wasn’t right in front of them. This was especially pervasive among medical personnel.  I could understand if she had been senile or suffered from Alzheimer disease, but although she was older, she was as sharp as a tack. Yet the expectation seemed to be that because of her age she was some sort of dimwit who couldn’t take care of her own business.   When you live in a country that has a population that is as frightened of aging as the people in these United States, you get that kind of thinking.  Respecting each person as being unique is not in the picture, and sometimes that lesson has to be taught the hard way.
When my mother was in her eighties, I drove her to the doctor for her appointment.  He was a man in his late thirties or early forties who she had been going to for about two years.  I had never gone into his office with her because she usually drove herself there, but this time I accompanied her and she asked me to go into his office with her. I guess that was his cue that Momma’s mind had deteriorated, so he asked me: “How is she today?  What can I do for her?” 
 I was so taken aback by his asking me that I was rendered speechless, but my mother knew exactly what to say.  She took that man’s chin between her fingers, just like you do with a child, so that she had his full attention.  She looked him straight in the eyes and told him calmly,   “Doctor, I don’t know what your problem is, but you have been talking down to me since I started coming to you.  I brought my daughter in here so that she could witness how you treat me, but I want you to know that until you correct your attitude, you can kiss my ass!”  With that we left his office never to return again.  Folks need to understand that every person who has aged does not have diminished capacity, and believe me the spirit can be fully intact.    
 The third fools that I can’t tolerate are those who text while driving. What in the hell?  Has all sanity left the planet?  Why would anybody write a note while they are driving two to three tons of steel?  Half of the people on the street can’t drive anyway, and now the rest of the bad drivers are texting and talking on their cell phones!  Will the insanity never stop?  When I see these idiots it makes me want to attach one of those scoops that they have on the front of bulldozers onto my car and start cleaning house. Every time I spot a texting while driving violation I’d scoop the car up, driver and passengers and toss them in the nearest ditch.  Good riddance.
 Oh, and there are some other fools who I need to address.   Those are the ones who call women who date younger men cougars.  As if we’re some animals.  Yes, I date a younger man and I don’t appreciate the depiction.  It sounds as though we’re going to spring on some unsuspecting younger man and gobble him up.  Give me a break!  It’s time to take into account the unlimited number of men who date and marry girls young enough to be their daughters.  As a matter of fact I’ve read that actor, Michael Douglas, is older than his wife, Catherine Zeta Jones’ parents. I’m sure that can be said for a whole lot of men in that situation.  So since I’m classified as a cougar, I’ll take it upon myself to classify the men who are with younger women.  I think that I’ll call them old dogs.
Anyway, the list of fools that I can’t tolerate is so long I guess I’d better stop here.  I’ve probably offended a lot of people by speaking my mind, but that’s life.  Just place me in the category of fools who don’t know when to shut up.
Until next time, muse on that.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Hello people, this is Hattie Collier here, and as I have said before I’m a religious woman who gets kind of bent out of shape with all of these changes going on in the world.  I’m trying my best to adjust, but it’s not always easy.  Just the other day I read something that just about threw me for a loop.
First of all, I've been hearing and saying the words "God works in mysterious ways" since I was a little girl, and believe me that's been a while ago.  Everybody I know told me that quote came straight from the bible.  Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when this article said that the quote comes from some poet from the 19th Century named William Cowper.  As a matter of fact his exact words were:  "God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform."  Say what?

Oh, I was too through—I thought—but there was more.  You know the saying “spare the rod, spoil the child?”  That one was in there too, described as what they called one of the pseudo-verses, which in regular English means phony.  Supposedly that one comes from twisting Proverbs 13:24 which actually says: “The one who withholds the rod is one who hates his son.”  Can you believe that?  Let me tell you, if its not in there, it ought to be. I flipped through the bible for about two hours on that one looking for the book and the verse to prove the quote was in the bible.  Unfortunately,   I haven’t found it yet.  I plan on continuing my search.
Now there was one passage that Benjamin Franklin, one of the country’s founding fathers, gets credit for instead of the bible and that’s okay with me.  That saying is “God helps those that help themselves.”  I wasn’t too choked up in tossing that one aside.  I always thought of that saying as being kind of selfish and that it gives people justification to do whatever it is that they want to do, and use God and the bible in the process.
It seems that the bible and religion have been used for enough evil in the world and I found it worrisome that some of the things that I grew up believing came from the bible either didn’t or had been distorted.  With all of the mess out here in the world we need something to guide us and keep us on the straight and narrow--not that it seems to be doing any good in some cases.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Reading about some quotes not really being in the bible is not going to stop me from reading or believing in the Word, but it makes me wonder how mistakes like these happened.
The religious scholars that were interviewed for this article gave a few reasons for all of this confusion.  Ignorance about the Word was one of them.  That came as no great surprise.  I know that I read my bible faithfully, but there are others who shall remain nameless who would turn to stone if they picked one up. You know that they say the Bible is the one best seller that’s never read.  So it would be easy to tell some folks anything when it came to what’s inside of one.  Of course, if a good Christian like me could be fooled then nobody else stands much of a chance.   Another reason given for believing these mistakes was the number of different translations of the bible.  Where the King James Version used to be the most popular, you’ve got bibles springing up all over the place nowadays.  I know I’ve lost count and every time there’s a new one released something is lost in the translation. It’s no wonder the non bible readers don’t know what’s in it or what’s not.
Another reason given was that since the monk, Martin Luther, started the Protestant revolt against the Catholic Church, phony bible verses started sprouting up like weeds.  Last, but not least one biblical expert named Craig Hazen, the director of the Christian Apologetics Program at Biola University in Southern California said that when people gather for bible studies without the guidance of an expert that “Not only do they get the interpretation wrong, but very often end up quoting verses that really aren’t there.” 
Hold it right there!  I don’t appreciate that comment one bit.  I might invite this expert to our bible study meeting.  We've got members with good reading glasses and about 100 years of testimony between us.  Now that’s expertise.   Also I’d like to know where Biola University is because I’ve never heard of it, and what in the world is an Apologetics Program?  I’d also like to suggest that he look up the word jackass. It’s in the bible, or maybe the word is jackal.  Oh well, until next week—
Muse on that.

Friday, August 5, 2011


I’m Bea Bell and just because I used to work in local and state government I’m considered the political one among my friends.   So, I want to tell you what happened to me last Saturday, two days before the country were set to default for the first time in its history.
I was shopping in the grocery store, mumbling to myself about the increase in food prices, when I looked up to see Bernice, a former co-worker and loud mouth.  She was coming my way.  I didn’t believe she had seen me so I tried to duck behind a display, but I was too late.  She saw me.  There I was trying to hide at the meat counter but feeling as exposed as the naked chickens covered in cellophane.
She immediately starts jabbering about what an exciting time this was.  I racked my brain trying to think of what she could mean. 
“The showdown in Washington,” she informed me.
My face was still blank.  She went on to explain how “we” were finally going to force a balanced budget in Congress and how “we” had the President over a barrel.
Now my friends know I don’t curse—much—but I had to ask her what in the hell was she talking about—and who exactly was ‘we’?    It turns out that the “we” that she was referring to was the Tea Party supported Republicans in Congress. I looked at her as if she had gone crazy. Did she say the Tea Party?
I had to ask.  “Bernice, please tell me you don’t support the Tea Party, the party that wants its members to swear allegiance to a no tax hikes agenda?”
She told me of course she did.  She explained that the country needed leadership that was willing to make the hard choices. 
 “You mean like the hard choice to shut the government down, and ruin the country’s credit and its credibility? Are those the hard choices that you’re referring to? Or do you mean the hard choice to bring down the President by any means necessary, even if it means taking everyone with him?”
She looked at me real innocent like and had the nerve to say, “You sound like those are bad things!”
I was stunned. I was actually looking into the face of the rarest of breed in this country, a Black Tea Partier.  I was beginning to hyperventilate so I stopped for a breath, but I wasn’t done.
“So you want additional tax breaks for the people who hold most of the money in this country?”
She nodded.  “Uh huh.”
It was on then. “But these are the people who deride the President on the lack of jobs when they are the ones who sent many of the jobs overseas in the first place.”
“That’s necessary for higher profits,” she defended, “so that these companies can help the American economy grow by creating new jobs.”
Say what?  She was beginning to sound like one of those Washington politicians with her double speak.  I pushed on.
“Bernice, if the Republican politicians are so concerned about the debt ceiling why did they raise it seven times during the Bush administration? Don’t you understand that if it’s not raised by the deadline that soldiers who are dying for this country won’t get paid? Senior citizens and the disabled won’t get paid?  As a matter of fact, if Congress—Republicans and Democrats alike—are that concerned about spending, maybe they should vote to take pay cuts and place a moratorium on their pay raises for the next several years.”
Bernice was obviously frustrated.  “I’m against Obama’s failed policies and bailouts and you should be too. You just voted for him because he’s Black.”
Oh, I forgot that we were in a public place.  People were starting to gather around us.   I wanted to beat the woman to death with one of those frozen hams in the meat case!  Yet, I tried to maintain what was left of my dignity, although I have to admit that my voice was somewhat loud.
“It can’t be taken for granted that I will vote Democratic from year to year,” I told her in no uncertain terms. “So don’t insult me by thinking that I’ll automatically vote for someone because they are Black or female.  I will vote for the candidate I believe is determined to unite the country no matter how impossible a tasks that seems. I will vote for a candidate that does not view compromise as a dirty word, but embraces the best of a compromise for the good of all.
More importantly, I will be considering very carefully my vote for the representatives I send to Congress next year.  I know that no matter what any president promises, he can’t deliver it if he faces a Congress that is more concerned with getting him than fixing the country. So put that in your Tea Party cup, stir it up and strangle on it, Bernice.”
With that I turned my back on her and steered my cart away.  My message to everybody who gathered in that grocery store aisle to hear a verbal cat fight between the two of us, and my message to everyone who is reading this is plain.  If we don’t turn our backs on hatred, stupidity and pettiness in the next election, we should all be very afraid in 2012.
Muse on this—seriously.