Steve Zach's blog

Your questions about Social Security answered, so you can plan ahead of time

Planning for retirement? Social Security and Medicare are important components. Learn how to maximize your benefits from someone who knows about the Social Security program in and out. Join Andrew Hardwick, public affairs specialist for the Social Security Administration, Monday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. Learn about age of eligibility to receive retirement benefits; how early retirement affects benefits; qualifications for disability, survivor, and spouse benefits; the future of Social Security, when to file for Medicare, and how to use your Social Security online account. If possible, please go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and create a my Social Security account and print out your Social Security Statement before attending the workshop.

Master Gardeners present: How to grow orchids

Orchids are beautiful, fragrant, have long-lasting blooms, and make excellent indoor plants. They are also easy to grow. Learn what to do and also how to avoid some common gardening mistakes. This event, presented by Harris County Master Gardener Elizabeth Fisher, takes place on Saturday, March 3 at 10:30 a.m.

How to do family history on African American ancestors after the Civil War

Are you interested in learning more about your family’s history? Franklin Carter Smith of the Clayton Center for Genealogical Research in Houston will provide helpful strategies and resources for African Americans who are researching post civil war ancestors. Learn more about the Clayton Center as well as some tips for researching your family history that only an expert can provide. Join us Tuesday, February 20, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Estate planning with William Archer

Join attorney William D. Archer on Tuesday, February 13 at 3 p.m. here at the library to learn about estate planning, requirements to probate a will and how to avoid probate, what to do when a loved one passes, utilizing trusts, and using Transfer on Death Deeds. This program is free, but please register by signing up on our events calendar or calling the library at 281-484-2036.

Find plants that are Texas Superstars

Learn about Texas A&M AgriLife’s Texas Superstar Plants program, which provides information about a variety of plants you can grow in Texas, from annuals and perennials to vegetables and fruit trees. Paul Winski, County Extension Agent in the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension program, will help you learn more about this resource and answer other questions about gardening in our area on Saturday, February 10 at 10:30 a.m. The Texas Superstar Plants program selects plants that have been proven to grow well here and are considered attractive for various reasons (such as ornamental value or providing fruit) by horticulturists and consumers.

Learn about a new Great Decisions discussion group

Learn about a new Great Decisions discussions series here at the Parker Williams branch. We will meet eight times this year (once per month with a few breaks) to discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. Visit for an overview of how discussions work and pick up a briefing book developed by the Foreign Policy Association on Wednesday, January 31, at 6:30 p.m. The first discussion will be in February. For more information, call us at 281-484-2036 or click on our events calendar.

Coffee and Quilting Group Starts Next Week

Join us for coffee and to make your own handmade quilt just like the one Lucy, the group leader, made here. We meet next Tuesday, January 30, at 10:15 a.m. and then the last Tuesday of every month following. The library (thanks to our Friends) provides all materials.

Trek the galaxy with the UH Astronomy Club

NASA is building a vehicle that one day will take humans to Mars and beyond. Better learn more about the solar system to keep up with the news when they do -- and who knows, maybe you or a family member can be on one of those flights!

In the meantime, enjoy a presentation, engage in some fun activities, and see the moon through club members' telescopes when the Astronomy Society at the University of Houston visits the Parker Williams Branch on Monday, Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Adults, teens and kids of all ages are welcome. Please RSVP by calling (281-484-2036) or by clicking on the event on our calendar.

Quickbooks for Beginners

Are you a small business owner who is wondering how to keep track of the following?

  • Your sales, inventory and assets
  • Accounts receivable/payable and payroll
  • Sales and payroll taxes
  • Cash in and out
  • Profit or loss
  • Getting ready to file tax returns

This Saturday's workshop (10:30 a.m.) here at the Parker Williams Branch Library, sponsored by SCORE Houston, will provide you an overview of QuickBooks that will help you decide:

Photo Organizing: From Chaos and Clutter to Organized and Accessible

Are your photos trapped in your devices, scattered in shoeboxes, or bound in sticky albums?  Do you have family vacations, special moments, and treasured recollections captured on slides?  Are your digital directories messy, cluttered and difficult to navigate?  Do you want to protect your photos from equipment malfunction or natural disasters? Join us on Saturday, December 9 at 10:30 a.m. to discuss solutions for photo sorting and organizing problems. Presented by Amire Hemme, a retired project manager, certified photo organizer and owner of PreciousMemories.

To register or for more information, phone the library at 281-484-2036 or click on our events calendar.

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