Lifestyle

By the Digital Diva

One of the biggest moments of our kid’s lives is that moment they say “mama” or “dada”. Every parent’s dream is for your kid to grow up happy and live their life like other children their age. But what happens when that day doesn’t seem to come?
One of 68 kids has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) which is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. Rob Laffan, CEO of TippyTalk, is a loving father of a nonverbal child, and just like all parents, he wants to give his child a better quality of life. It was this love for his daughter that inspired the creation of TippyTalk, and now it’s his passion to share it with other families throughout the world.
The TippyTalk app is the first of it’s kind; it’s the first communication tool that removes the person living with the verbal disability from the limitations of same room communication and opens the door to the world all around them.
How it works:
The App allows a person living with a verbal disability to communicate by translating pictures into text messages which are sent to a family member or care givers phone or tablet. The app allows you the parent or caregiver to capture images that are uniquely identifiable and familiar to the person living with the verbal disability. You simply take a picture of an object, place, or person and apply the appropriate text. You can also reinforce language development by recording your voice over each picture insuring the person living with the disability will recognize and understand the message.
This communication is not restricted by distance the person living with the verbal disability can communicate with whomever they chose no matter where they may be in the world. TippyTalk is unique in that it removes the person with the verbal disability from the limitations of same room communication and by doing so increases and promotes Communication, Independent choice, and Social inclusion, while also reducing the frustration for the person and the family living with the verbal disability.
It is available on the Amazon Kindle Fire, Apple App Store and for Android on Google Play. A Subscription is required to use TippyTalk. A one month trial is available. Then after that it’s $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year.
There are so many apps out there that we never hear of and can be life changing to us or our families. If you hear about any please let us know. We would love to hear about any apps that you think are life changing but just don’t get the recognition that they need. You can email them to Jamie@thepostnewspaper.net. We look forward to your feedback.

By Trishna Buch

Although there are still a few weeks to go, it is never too early to start your July 4th preparations. Kemah Boardwalk knows this, which is why they have decided to host “Star Spangled Kemah”, a five day event that features food, games and live entertainment.
According to a press release, Top Star Events & Entertainment will be presenting country music artists as part of Kemah’s celebration. The artists who will be gracing the stage at Kemah Boardwalk are Bri Bagwell, Jack Ingram and Abbi Walker.

4th of July Fireworks

Bagwell started releasing music in 2011, with her first album “Banned From Santa Fe”. She is best known for her song ‘Whiskey’, which—according to a press release—“became her first top 15 hit on the Texas Music Chart.” Her E.P. was released in 2013, which was the same year that she was named Texas Female Vocalist Of The Year; a title she received again in 2014. To keep up to date with Bagwell, go online to bribagwell.com
Ingram—who has a career spanning 20 years—earned the title of Best New Male Vocalist in 2008; an award bestowed upon him by the Academy Of Country Music. He is currently in the midst of promoting his album “Midnight Motel”. To keep up to date with Ingram, go online to jackingram.net.
Walker is the daughter of a preacher who, according to a press release, has “a big voice and plenty to say.” Her country music journey began in 2012, with the release of her first album “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” and she has continued to conquer the music world since then. She was once nominated to be the Texas Regional Radio Music Awards’ New Female Artist Of The Year and had two of her radio singles hit the Top 20 on Texas Radio, said a press release. To keep up to date on Walker, go online to abbiwalkermusic.com.
“We are thrilled to be producing these concerts with Jack Ingram, Bri Bagwell and Abbi Walker as the community gathers to celebrate the July 4th holiday,” Pier Castillo, CEO of Top Star Group—of which Top Star Events & Entertainment is a division—said in a press release.
“The City of Kemah and Kemah Boardwalk have put together a fantastic family friendly event filled with live music, art, food and more in this first ‘Star Spangled Kemah’ festival. As a proud member of the local Clear Lake area community, we are looking forward to a successful and fun event.”
Based on the event’s activities it has all the makings of being fun and successful, just as Castillo hopes. The events start on Friday June 30, at 6:00pm, with a Toucan Alley Art Walk. Guests are invited back on Saturday July 1, starting at 10:00am, to enjoy Keith’s Kemah Day; of which benefits will go towards Texas Equusearch. Then, on Sunday July 2, enjoy a Bayside Bash at Kemah’s 6th Street along with music and activities for the children. And guests will be able to enjoy live music from the band Rapture starting at 3:00pm, who will be followed by Walker at 7:00pm. On Monday July 3, the music and activities for children will return and this will be complemented by the Lone Star Block Party, which will be presented by Lone Star Beer. Enjoy music from Bagwell starting at 5:00pm and stick around for Ingram at 7:30pm. Finally, on July 4 starting at 9:30am, enjoy the Star Spangled Kemah parade and be sure to stick around for a social!
I urge everyone to mark the dates in their calendar and make their way to Kemah Boardwalk on one, if not all, of the days that Star Spangled Kemah is in full swing. I took the liberty of listening to a song from each artist and I will personally say that the trip out will be worth it.

By William Johnson

People commonly take their longest vacations in summer and they generally remember to make arrangements to have someone take care of everything from their pets to the newspaper.
But many people may neglect to have someone look after their plants and home grounds during their absence. And if you go away from home for more than a week, you may return to find substantial damage has occurred to plants left unattended.
This is especially true for plants growing in containers – both indoors and outside.
The ideal solution is to ask a friend who is knowledgeable about plants to check on your plants regularly and water them when necessary. Be sure to give written instructions on the needs of each plant or group of plants, since your friend is not as familiar with them as you are. But try not to make the instructions too complicated.
If the plants are going to be on their own, move those growing indoors away from sunny, bright windows, so they use water less rapidly. This doesn’t mean putting them in a dark room since they still need bright, indirect light to stay healthy while you’re gone.
Then right before leaving on your trip, thoroughly water all of your indoor plants. Even allow some water to stand in the saucers beneath the plants’ containers – something we normally would not do.
Plants in small pots will tend to dry out the fastest. If you will be gone for more than a week, enclose these plants (pot and all) in clear plastic bags to retain moisture and reduce soil moisture loss. Plants in plastic bags should receive bright light but no direct sun, which could cause excessive heat buildup inside the plastic.
Plants outside often need to be watered almost every day during the intense heat of summer especially when accompanied with windy conditions. Place all of your outdoor container plants, including any hanging baskets, in a shady location near the northern side of a building or under the protective cover of a large shade tree or covered patio.
Group plants fairly close together because this, along with the shady location, will help slow water loss. And, of course, water thoroughly just before you leave on vacation.
If you’ll be gone for more than a few days and you can’t find someone to water for you, inexpensive water timers – available at local nurseries and hardware stores – can work very well when hooked up to an irrigation system. A battery-operated or electrical unit attaches to an outside faucet. All you do is set the timer for when you want the water to come on (based on how often you generally have to water the plants) and for how long, and it will water your plants automatically.
It’s probably easiest to use an oscillating sprinkler to water a grouping of your container plants. But if you wanted to be more sophisticated, drip systems also are available. With such a system, an emitter head, which is attached to thin, plastic tubing, is placed into each container. When the water timer comes on, the tubing carries water from a main line to each container, where the emitter allows the water to drip into the soil. Very little water is wasted, but it takes more time and money to set up this type of system.
In addition to caring for plants, you need to water your home grounds very well prior to leaving, especially if there has been little rainfall before your vacation time starts. A thorough, slow soaking will provide a lasting supply of moisture.
Make sure you mulch all flower beds, vegetable gardens, shrub plantings and newly planted trees, too. Use a 3-inch to 4-inch layer of shredded leaves, cypress mulch, pine bark mulch or other available mulch to conserve moisture and reduce germination of weed seeds.
Also water newly planted trees thoroughly by laying a hose with trickling water a few inches from the trunk and leaving it there for about 30 minutes per tree.
Flower beds and vegetable gardens are particularly vulnerable to drought while you are away. To water automatically, place either soaker hoses or sprinklers to cover various beds and areas of your landscape. Connect them to hoses attached to a timer at each faucet you use for irrigation. Set the timers to come on twice a week and stay on long enough to soak an area thoroughly. Also, set the timers so that each water timer comes on at a different hour; that way you won’t lose water pressure while irrigating. And keep in mind that morning irrigation is preferred.
Be sure to water and cut the lawn before leaving, and plan to have it mowed during your absence, if necessary. Most lawns require mowing at least every seven to 10 days. Besides becoming a telltale sign that you are away, overgrowth is unhealthy for your lawn, and the grass will be unattractive and stressed when it finally is mowed.
Finally, any sign of active insect or disease problems should be dealt with before you leave, or you may return to widespread damage and expensive replacement costs.

When you have lived in your home for years you grow accustomed to things that you might notice when you are looking for a home yourself. Her are a few hints to make your home more appealing without spending tons of money.

1. Dirty doors and light switches – From the front door and throughout the house you will rarely notice that doors are just a shade darker around the edges and especially at the knobs. Light switches get grubby in the crevices and rarely does that ever get noticed.
2. Rusty tubs and dirty or missing grout, old mirrors with missing silver, not to mention ancient shower heads and stained faucets can make even an updated bathroom look tired.
3. Overstuffed closets are a big no-no Pack that stuff up and put it in the attic. Closet/storage space is important to a buyer and empty looks bigger than full when it comes to storage!
4. Lighting is critical and something so many home sellers miss! Buy bright, white bulbs to get rid of that “yellow” tinge older bulbs cast on rooms If you have dark areas, there are lots of inexpensive lamps one can set on a table or counter top.
5. What is on your walls? Less is always more and wall space is a valuable commodity. What you put on your walls will leave an impression either positively or negatively on potential buyers so the less that is there the less an impression is made.
6. Buyers shop with all their senses so an over perfumed house can be as unappealing as a smelly house. Aromas that appeal to buyers tend to hover around food and laundry. Peaches, apples, fresh sheets, mint. Just think clean, clean, clean!
7. Yes, buyers will open your dishwasher, your oven and your fridge.  And putting the over ripe garbage in the garage is not a good solution. Just know that a lemon in your disposal kills the odors and runs off gnats.
There are people who will love your home and people that will hate it. It isn’t anything personal, it’s just a part of selling your home. Try to take a walk through your own home as if you were considering buying it and try to be objective. Don’t look for the big things, look for the little stuff. When it comes to selling your home the Devil is definitely in the Details!

We talk a lot about Community at The Post and how important our role is in bringing each Community we serve into a place of communication and shared experiences. We all see the news from around the world – Sudan, Germany, Seattle, – so much so that we lose sight of what is happening right her in our own front yards.
As we work to develop different ways of sharing our message in the most positive and comprehensive way we can, we look for information from many different sources in the hope that we can encourage you, our readers, to look at some of the nuggets of wisdom we find and that they will generate conversations and bring about new ways of looking at who we are, how we think and what we can do to approach the challenges of building and maintaining a Healthy Community in new and more effective way…positive ways.
In that spirit, I stumbled across a TED talk which you can find and listen to on our Facebook page as well as on our YouTube Channel. Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari is the name of the talk and again we see the value of belonging to a Community of neighbors who know one another, people who feel the importance of giving back, organizations committed to providing the Safety Net many of us will need at some point in our lives so that we can get back on our feet and Pay Forward the many kindnesses we have received from being a part of a Community.
What really causes addiction — to everything from cocaine to smart-phones? And how can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail firsthand… worth a listen! It makes sense that when we feel undervalued; like we don’t really belong, the urge to “look away”, to escape the pain that comes with facing the mistakes we have made in our lives, that we find that escape in a bottle, a computer game, food or anger. How much better to turn to a friend; to be so busy, so needed, that we do not take the time to acknowledge the pain?
Take a listen to this Ted Talk and if you find something as you go through your day that you would like to share with Your Community, give us a call, shoot us a text, a tweet, an email; or just drop by. We love to visit with Our Community.
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