iPad

My senior moms plants are BLOOMING as these marigolds can attest to  FINALMy senior mom continues to enjoy her iPad. She's doing pretty well at looking at photos in the photo album and enjoying her books on tape. This past week, I really tried to encourage her to give her Kindle app a try but she was having a hard time with it and gave up fairly quickly. The siren call of her gardening activities was too strong to resist. 🙂

And since she is back to going great guns with her beloved plants, I went looking for some EASY garden blogs to read on the iPad. Ones that would show the whole article so I could just help her open it, click on the site, and voila! She could enjoy them. NOT SO EASY, I realized. I purposely keep my blog as simple as possible so hopefully it's easy for everyone to read. But so many blogs, nowadays, like the short synopsis style or the magazine style. They do look very nice. And for most of us, they are no problem to read. But for older seniors who are trying to learn new technology, they're not so great. (So if any of you have found any EASY garden blogs to read – do let us know in the comments.)

And this week, it wasn't just the Apple side of things I was working on. Another beloved senior bought an Android "Ice Cream Sandwich" cell phone and was struggling mightily to figure out how to use it. I suspect much of it is probably quite similar to the iPhone. But since she lives several hours away, I can't put that to the test right now. 

This stylus works great on my aging relatives LG cell phone with a capacitive screenAfter quite a bit of research though, we made a couple of great discoveries that have her smiling and learning away (and exercising her brain while she's at it 🙂 ). Her first frustration was the "virtual" keypad. She just didn't like it and asked, plaintively, "Why don't they have one of those fake pencils to use on it." Well, guess what! After a good-sized search, I discovered they DO have styluses (including cute pink ones) that work on her cell phone. (She uses an LG but these should apparently work on any cell phone or tablet that uses a capacitive touchscreen .) I ordered her a set, they arrived two days later, and she called me up with a HUGE smile in her voice to say they worked WONDERFULLY!

In the meantime, I had found two online magazine guides (including a handy handy "cheat sheet") to the Android as well as a great book with a TON of photos that should be a huge help to her.

With plenty of photos - this Android book should be a big help to any in our Sandwich Generation families using Androids - young or old - cell phone or tablets

She is very tech savvy for being in the mid-70s but this technology is definitely proving to be a steeper learning curve than in the past. I wish we lived closer so I could help her more. But I'm so glad she's excited about learning and having fun in the process. And that I could help her – and hopefully you as well – to learn it a bit easier. And YES – if you have any tips or suggestions for using the Android, we'd LOVE to hear those as well – just leave them in the comments too. 🙂 

 

Beverly's Got tons of cute pink things each Saturday to put a smile on the face of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren

Say it Saturday is a fun linkup for all of us boomers and seniors including grandparents writing about their grandkids

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social

 

My grandkids and I think Minecraft is definitely fun but some simple how to help is always greatFor many grandparents, nowadays, Minecraft is a common word – though it may not be totally understood. For those who are unsure what it is or have never heard of it, don't feel bad. I hadn't either up until about four months ago. Then my grandsons discovered it and it often seems as though that's all I've heard about lately. 

Basically, it's a ginormous world(s) that they can build OR destroy which looks pretty much like LEGOs. When they play alone, they usually build and really enjoy it, peacefully. Here's a TALLLLL tower my grandson showed me how to build:

The fun Minecraft tower my grandchild created for me

When they play together, they often destroy – each others, as well as their own – and then seem to play less peacefully.

And when they play on one of the zillions (or so it seems) of online versions, they can run into anything from a group of Christians with positive rules, to a group of Minecraft zealots – often with positive rules  as well – mostly, to a group of, shall we say, not-so-nice zealots who may use bad language, horrific terror scenes and possibly even R or X rated material. In other words, like anything else on the Internet, careful supervision of our kids and grandkids is absolutely necessary. And that includes the zillions of YouTube videos they've found to help them learn how to do various things on this intriguing "game." 

Overall, I think it's Minecraft is a fun activity which requires cautious supervision, time limits, and definite rules about what they can watch, how they can play, and what they are allowed to do – just like anything else in life. 🙂 It is NOT, however, the kind of activity we busy parents and grandparents would love – you know, one we can just turn them over to so they can enjoy it for hours on end alone AND we can get a ton of work done. Sigh….Is there ever, really anything like that? 🙂

Because they were dying to play with each other but the easiest option for that was to play on other people's sites which required too much supervision, I decided to…GASP….figure out how to make my own server (hosted at at company that specializes in Minecraft servers), with our own personal Minecraft worlds. These multiplayer Minecraft worlds are just for them to use. And eventually, once the bugs are all out, maybe we'll be also be able to invite a few friends to join in our MInecraft fun. 

I did a ton of research, found some helpful articles from fellow parents and grandparents, as well as grand educational resources and suggestions from teachers using this in the classroom, like the Minecraft teacher and MinecraftEdu.

Since building a server of your own is primarily  geared for fellow geek-lovers, I'm not going to go into details here, but I will share some, bit by bit, at my Squidoo site – here.  However, for all of us grandparents there are some fun and easy ways to share our grandchildren's love of Minecraft and I'll be sharing some of those soon and periodically as we discover more fun and educational things of interest.

In the meantime, I'm curious. How many of your grandkids play Minecraft? What do you think about it? What do you like? Dislike? Have you never heard about it? I'd love to know…

Such fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grandparents Say It Saturday Linky Party - Do Join in the fun

Hip Homeschool Hop has great resources for grandparents and grandchildren - especially if you help with their homeschooling

Autumn bliss! I have enjoyed this autumn so much! I think partly because, even though it has been one of my busiest years, this was the first time in over three years that someone dear to me was not dealing with surgery and recovery. That's definitely a strong win for any of us in the Sandwich Generation, isn't it?  I went for a lovely long walk yesterday to soak in the fall foliage and realized that, even though autumn is waning, there's still autumn bliss out there. Wonderfully colorful too – look at these gorgeous reds and golds.

Speaking of red - check out these lovely colors at the end of a delightful autumn and fall season for the Sandwich Generation granny nanny

I even found late red roses here and there!

The Sandwich Generation granny nanny even found late red roses here and there - perfect for Rednesday

And for that matter, even though it's probably tied with summer for my least favorite season (because both mean less outside playtime with grandkids – leading to way more wiggles), there is definitely beauty to be found in winter as well. Won't my senior mom love these photos on her iPad? 🙂 

The leaves may be gone but these lovely red cherries put sparkle in the Sandwich Generation granny nannys eyes

Even in the preparations for a safe winter, there's sweet beauty. And a lovely reminder to help us help our aging parents be prepared as well.

The Sandwich Generation needs to be prepared for all events including a power outage on a cold winter day

Have a lovely week! 

The Sandwich Generation granny nanny loves Rednesday

Beverlys Pink Saturday is full of fun pink things that can put a big smile on the face of the Sandwich Generation caring for elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren

 

One of the few trees with leaves on it to bless the heart of the Sandwich Generation granny nanny enjoying fall and autumn bliss

Fewer and fewer trees have all these lovely fall and autumn leaves – but I’m cherishing the moments of sweet autumn bliss til the very last leaf is down and raked away!

Smiles for the Sandwich Generation from a cute granddog

My granddogs love those warm moments when the grandkids and I enjoy them to run in the lawn, jump in the leaves and play one more game of ball tag before chilly rain and freezing snow finally keep us inside for the winter season! But til that happens, my grandkids and I are enjoying every last bit of sunshine for fun outside fall activities that we can.

And oh my, talk about fun fall activities – jumping in the leaves is definitely at the top of my grandkids list! How about yours? And won’t my senior mom love THESE cute photos in her iPad since the chillier weather of late autumn is keeping her inside and away from her gardening activities more and more. Then again, she is toying with winter herbs….Hmmm, I need to have her grow (or buy) red cayenne powder – it’s great with regular chili powder in homemade chicken soup when late fall and winter colds strike our Sandwich Generation family 🙂

Red Cayenne Powder - fun for Rednesday and excellent for colds and sinus infection

The Sandwich Generation granny nanny loves Rednesday