Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Trouble with Penn Yan New York

Penn Yan schools are facing low enrollment lately.  Is it any wonder why?  Penn Yan has become an area where jobs have all but left yet rent and home prices continue to soar beyond the reach of the average family.

I moved to Penn Yan in 1970 when it was once a great place to live, work and raise a family.  Any towns not open to attracting families will, in my opinion, eventually become just a shell of it's former self.  Exactly what is happening to Penn Yan.  When rentals are $1,100 a month and yet the area offers no decent paying jobs, then families will not move here.  There is nothing but high prices and low paying jobs these days.

Where would a person work?  Some low paying service related hotel job?  A low paying waitress job?  A low paying nurse aide job?  None of these jobs pay nearly enough to support a family on.  Seriously, Penn Yan.

What used to be here?  MICHAELS-STERN & CO.: Was a clothing company, employing many people in Penn Yan.  They closed their doors in the late 1970's.


Penn Yan Express was once a thriving trucking business in Penn Yan, NY.  No more.  

Penn Yan Boats, no more.   Left, taking jobs from Penn Yan. 

We once had a nice Super Duper grocery store, now since its closing, we have nothing there but an abandoned building, hoping for a buyer.  Good luck there.

Lowns was once a very nice department store in Penn Yan, then it became a nice place of booths to buy charming items.  Wonderful place for tourists to shop too.  No more.

Since 1970 I've seen businesses dwindle in Penn Yan, housing prices reach sky high, and no more affordable places, especially houses to rent that might attract families wanting to raise kids here.  Sad, but true.  No wonder Penn Yan school enrollment is fading.  In 1970 there were so many families raising kids here the school district ended up building several elementary schools.  Now the Branchport one was sold to some business that simply neglects the grounds and cannot seem to mow their grass.  That business has ruined the once immaculate grounds.  Nothing but a weed patch lives there these days.  

In the 1990's you could, any given day in summer, go to Red Jacket Park and it would be teeming with multiple families. cooking out, swimming and people actually boating on Keuka Lake.  Now, any given day, anytime of year, and the parks are all but dead, devoid of families doing anything anymore.  So sad.  There is a new building that says: Penn Yan Tourism on it sitting next to a park that contains no tourists anymore.  

Penn Yan is a nice town, but the powers that be here have no clue how to attract families with kids anymore.  They do not even know how to attract jobs that pay enough to pay your rent or even buy food.  So sad.  What happened, Penn Yan?

If you think you will become Lake Placid, well, I sincerely doubt you will.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Say what? I wasn't listening




I love this Maya Angelou saying because it really does sum up every parent out there.  Kids never come with instructions so, each of us, as parents, struggle through life never knowing if we are doing the right thing or not.  Parenting can be overwhelming for all of us at times.  As parents, I think one of our biggest frustrations is trying to help our adult kids to keep from making the exact same mistakes we made.  Yes, yes, experience tells us it's a losing battle.



This feat is much, much easier said then done.  It also makes me laugh when my adult kids say to me: "But my kids just never listen to me."  My response is always: "Well you never listen to me, so why do you think your kids will be any different?"  Yet we somehow do think our next generation will be different, only to discover they are not.  



As adults we like to always think our parents didn't raise us right anyway.  We grow up and think we will raise our kids much, much better, then reality sets in once the kids come along.  You know reality?  It's that shit that gets in our way and kind of crushes our good intentions sometimes.  When we are teens we think: "I'll let my kid go to that all night party with people I don't know.  Geesh, parents are so not trusting of my judgement."   LOL  


We are survivors of the shit creek experiences we've lived through.  We probably didn't listen to our parents either.  Why?  Well we all think our parents grew up with dinosaurs.  So they are prudes, not with it, olden times junk, where they were prudes.  They never thought about sex, drugs or rock and roll.  They were born grownup and just are out of touch with what young people experience.

Some kids as adults, like to be martyrs.  For instance, if they go through a difficult divorce, they think they are the only ones who have ever experienced heartbreak.  The only ones who struggled as single parents.  After all, each generation thinks it invented sex and love.  What we, as parents, did in our spare time, I have no idea.  Like for example, me, myself. I never had a bad divorce.  I never had to leave my once home with only the things I could carry.  I never moved into my first apartment, with two little kids, having no furniture, not even one bed.  I guess if we parents were never in love, our kids must think we simply had some kind of bad business deal just to set up housekeeping until it failed.  

Somehow, adult kids have the notion that we, as parents, are bound to always try to ruin their lives, especially with advice.  They think we have anything but their best intentions at heart.  I guess we are cruel people, we just never knew it till the adult kids come along.  Yet, somehow, they do think a bad boyfriend, girlfriend, or bad spouse, always has their back and always have their best intentions at heart.  In high school they always think their peers, the ones no older than they are, with no more experience than they have,must have better information about life.  Information that usually turns out to be false, simply because friends have lived no longer. 

You know, we, as parents probably hate their choices for partners, just because they picked them.  LOL  Whenever we give advice, we just don't understand their situations, even though we have been in similar situations and know what the outcome will be.  I'm always shocked because do I have to step in front of a truck on the highway to know I can be hurt or killed?  I sincerely hope not, yet adult kids have to toss themselves under that bus in order to understand that fact.  Why do they do it?  Well, that is the age old question.  

Remember, as parents, you just didn't live.  You simply sat in a corner, you were model kids and never, never did anything wild in your lives.  Wow  I think our parents just might have a different opinion on how we acted as kids.  LOL

"AS kids we think our parents are always on our backs.  When, in fact, they were probably the only ones who ever truly had our backs."  Author Unknown


Thursday, February 2, 2017

I am old lady

                           Available on: Amazon, Kindle and 
                           Barnes&Noble.com

Yes, I will admit I'm not a spring chick anymore.  When I arose this morning, I was able to wander around my house at five in the morning.  I turned on my computer, made a pot of coffee and played with my cats.  I was able to look out my window to see what kind of a day it was going to be and I pretty much was able to 'do my own thing,' as they say.

It may not sound like such a big deal, but if you are living in a traditional nursing home, believe me, this kind of freedom is as 'big of a deal' as you're going to get.  I wasn't made to get out of bed at six in the morning, I chose to get up at five and if I didn't want to get up, I didn't have to.  In a nursing home you will be forced to get out of bed for breakfast at six in the morning. Why?  Well it's always, always for staff convenience.  

When I was a nurse aide, I was told:  'We have to get them up and ready because the day shift will get mad if we don't.'  So screw the day shift is my response.  The day shift has 'so much to do already.'  So?  They get paid for their efforts. (Even though I know nurse aids don't get paid near enough for all they do)  I have worked the day shift and yes, people have appointments, they need breakfast and it's pretty busy.  But that still doesn't warrant dragging my old ass out of bed at that god awful hour, especially since all night I've probably already been poked and prodded, so now I've had very little sleep.  No wonder I'd be groggy and upset at being drug from my warm bed. The night shift people would hurriedly dress those old people, all the while saying: "Come on, we have to be in the dining room shortly."  Many elderly balk at being hurried.  Hell, you'd think they had some damned job to get to, instead of paying big bucks to be hurried and shuffled to the dining room like so much cattle.  Traditional nursing homes are full of damned rules.  Rules that, for the most part, are quite meaningless in my book. 

Once they do get into the dining room, they are greeted by nurses with med carts.  Now nowhere on any prescription bottles I've ever gotten, does it say: 'To be takes in a large group at times convenient only to nursing staff.'  My bottles say: 'To be taken at XYZ time of day.'  That medication is supposed to be individualized, for that particular patient.  But, remember, all of this is for staff convenience only.  Which pretty much assures that I'm no longer an individual.  Just part of a herd of cattle.  Kind of like when a farmer milks cows the same time, all at once, in a big group, every day. 

When it's time to shower, also for staff convenience, you will be wheeled into a stall, and the experience?  Well more akin to a car wash than any showers I take in my home.  That Big shower wand, it gets lifted from its holder and a waterfall of water is washed over your head, your face,your eyes, your body.  I'm sure this might be how water boarding feels like.  Getting old and showering, equals torture.  Now imagine, if you will, you have dementia and have no idea what's going on.  I'm sure you would be combative too.

Today I'm going to the local store to pick up some things I need.  In a nursing home, especially the one I worked at as a Social Worker, a place that doesn't even own a van for such trips; that is also a big deal.  That nursing home feels it's too big of an expense to have a van to take people to the stores.  Too expensive to own, even though that facility, as all nursing homes, rake in billions of dollars.  But, gosh, don't spend any of those big bucks on people living there.  

So as you go about your day, just think of all the little freedoms you are enjoying.  Remember, those freedoms will evaporate if you have to ever live in a traditional nursing home. 


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mommy, I miss you

                                My Mom and Dad's fiftieth 


My parents picture on their fiftieth anniversary.  The title of this blog probably fits many children who no longer have their moms in their lives.  I loved my Dad very much, but, as a girl, I have to admit, I was much closer to my Mom than my Dad.  I was 'adopted' by my grandparents, but they ARE my Mom and Dad always because it takes More than giving birth to a child to be Mom.  Experts like to say: "psychological parent' and I, for one, know exactly what that means.  The Mom who held you, nursed you when you were sick and who hugged you and went to school functions, even when she knew it might be boring, but acted like you were a genius, is the Mom you have in your head and heart, forever.




I was just 31 years old when my Mom died.  I always thought I'd have her forever, or at least much longer, but didn't.  This picture of their anniversary is and always will be, special to me.  Not just because it was their anniversary, but also because This day started me on a personal journey.  A journey of finally growing into the woman I am today.  A strong, confident woman who finally likes who she has become. 






I didn't know this day was going to be the day I started to grow, personally, spiritually, and more maturely but it was.  How?  Well I had a horrible first marriage.  I was married to that creep when this picture was taken.  My ex, at the time, always tried to drive a wedge between me and my parents.  Little did I know, I wouldn't allow that from anyone. Frankly, anyone who tries to do that, is a shit of a human being, much less a shit of a spouse.  This day of celebration, my ex tried to tell me I could not go there.  He was, of course as always, too busy to ever attend anything with his family.  A family he never appreciated and he never deserved anyway.  My first three kids were little.  I dressed them got in my car and we went to this special day that I knew would never happen again and was determined my kids and I would attend.  I will forever cherish this picture of them till the day I die.  When the kids and I got home, the jerk ex was waiting to pick a fight over it.  This was probably the first time I decided to tell my ex to kiss my ass.  I was close to Mom and he, nor anyone else was going to keep me from her or from Dad.  By standing my ground, my ex (sociopath that he was), realized he wasn't going to control my every move anymore.  I slowly began to mature as a woman and was from then on, headed on a path of being myself.



My Mom's funeral was the second milestone to telling my ex to kiss my ass.  He was never there for me emotionally or otherwise as he was too busy being a big baby all his life.  When I saw, once again, what a worthless husband he was, I started to loathe him as a person.  More and more each day, until I finally got divorced.  BTW, my wedding was not the happiest day of my life, the day my divorce was final was. 



Most of us miss our moms, especially during trying times in life.  Another time was when my Dad died.  No one to comfort me over that, so I suffered alone pretty much.  When my Dad died, then a few short weeks later, I realized how half my brother's and sisters were shit human beings too.  Funny, you think family can be trusted, it can be true, until it's not.  There were three out of a slew of us kids, 8 to be exact, that I could trust.  The rest were greedy and I brushed off and over 40 years time I have cared not one iota what has happened to them and never will.  Sad, but a parent's death tends to bring out the worst in too many families.  Many people find this out the hard way.



Yet another time I missed my Mom was when I got divorced.  Yes it was the shittiest of marriages.  But divorce is hard, you grieve just like someone or something died.  It's because something has died.  Why I grieved is because I realized he was never then, nor ever going to be, a decent parent.  He never was a decent husband, so you grieve for the lost hopes you once had that he would become, at the very least, a decent human being.  That never happened either. I missed my Mom because I wanted, in the trying times, to hug her, to tell her I hurt, to talk to her and have the one person in my life, who, up to that point, would tell me how she loved me unconditionally, as her daughter, as her child.

I missed her when the two youngest kids and I moved into an apartment with no furniture.  I wanted her to assure me I'd be strong and would be alright. We were OK, but it was a hard, rough road, yet it made me a stronger person, a person who would show empathy forever for other humans who hurt.  



The next time I missed her terribly, was when my ex (shit person that he was) went to school and took my youngest son to his house, refusing to let me see him until we went to family court, which was more than three months later. Family court is a nightmare in itself.  Assholes like him Never deserve a decent wife nor kids anyway.  That abuser (what Kind of a decent father would use his kid to punish mom anyway?) decided to sue me for custody.  I fought him in court and won.  It's made me a stronger person in life.  Hatred of another person tends to do that for you.



Mommy, I went on to college to become a Social Worker.  I was determined to do that because I knew from the empathy you always taught me, I could be a good Social Worker and I was and am. Mommy I wished you could have been at my wedding to my present husband.  A husband you would be proud of for a son-in-law.  A man who loves me unconditionally, just as I am (something the first husband never did) a husband who treats me so special I'm happy every day of my life now for the past 19 years.  Mommy I miss you more than you'll ever know.




Mommy I never knew how hard it was to be a mom until I raised my own kids.  They don't come with instructions and we All have to learn it and wing it as best we can.  You weren't a perfect parent, Mom, but I now realize you had a tough job and did the best you could and you filled any voids I had as a kid, with much, much love.  Mommy, my own kids know I was never perfect.  But I hope they know I couldn't love them more.  They too, Mommy, don't listen to my advice, as I'm sure, I didn't listen to yours always either.  But now some of my kids have kids who don't listen to them either.  I guess we all have to learn the hard way, they might not ever know we, as Mom's, only want the best for them and we only give advice to save them from the heartaches we have been through.  I'm convinced saving them from heartaches as adults is next to impossible anyway.  But I love them unconditionally too, as you did me.  May my kids forgive me for once being young, scared, inexperienced at this Mom thing and one day understand I Never meant to hurt them, if I did.  






Thursday, January 5, 2017

Once she's 'married off'

The title of this blog was my parents' mantra.  In the late 60's it was just what society expected of young women.  Get them married off so they can raise a family and be 'taken care of.'  




I'm considering writing a book about my life with a true narcissist.  Why did I linger for 16 years?  Good question, I ask myself that all the time, even to this day.  I may write that book, but for now I am hoping this blog will help women (some at least) to leave the narcissist. Because I now know, you won't get any better from them today or tomorrow than you already have gotten.  Most of us humans live in denial, denial we will not grow old and die and the biggest denial is: I can rescue him from himself.  I'm a good person and so I will try to see good in him.  Forget it, get out, get out now, and if you are just dating, end it.  Nip it in the bud, they will not now, nor Ever change.  Not for you, not for anyone.  If you've already lingered too long, I do not judge you.  I understand, but I hope you will save yourself and leave or kick him to the curb.



My narcissist was so good at fooling Everyone, he pulled off convincing the VA he was damaged by the Vietnam War, and had PTSD, that it was service related.  Not so, not all of it anyway.  I think the Vietnam War made him worse, for sure, but he was a narcissist way before the War, I'm certain of it.  All I can say is: "Leave them, leave them now."



1) They will damage you in some way

2) If you have children, they will damage the kids.  No matter how you may try to buffer the damage, no matter how you try to insulate them, you cannot.

3) Many narcissists have at least one, or both, parents that are narcissistic too.  Probably brother and sisters who may or may not be.  Trust me on this one.

4) A lot of times you will hear from outsiders: "Gee he's sensitive, but doesn't seem mean."  Remember, those people do not live in your household.

5) If you are an empath, (narcissists love empaths to death, not really love them, but love to jerk them around, they will try to devour you.  Chew you up and spit you out.  Over and over.

6) You won't have much fun with a narcissist because they claim: "I just cannot handle crowds."  Meaning, it's extremely hard for them to fool large groups of people at once.  They prefer to stay home and not mingle with people.  Isolation of you and the kids is high on their priority list.  Divide and conquer is their motto.

7) Usually it's not about your family, specifically parents, because they don't recognize you have any friends or relatives anyway.  They will refuse to visit them and kick the shit out of you (verbally or physically) if you visit your parents without them.

8) They act like assholes and if you say one damned thing in protest, you become the reason they act like they do.  You bring out the worst in them.  If only you would change, they would be fine.  Bull shit! 

9) 'If only you did things right.'  Impossible because nothing you do will ever be 'right' to them.  Even if you have a semi-nice day, all you can do is wait for the other shoe to drop, and it will.

10) Forget most holidays with them.  They will find some way to ruin it for you. 

11) When dating anyone, observe how they act in ALL situations.  Usually they will bitch about their family of origin, narcissistic men will bitch about how awful their Mom is.  Funny thing about this one though, they hate Mom, but once married will spout off to you ALL the things their Mom hates about you.  That's a big part of gas lighting on their part too.  Making you question your sanity, when in fact, they are the insane one.

12) They hate their kids too.  They will tell Everyone how their kids 'abuse them' when in fact the kids don't care to walk into the jaws of a lion.  The kids steer clear of them as adults.  But to a narcissist, they are the ones at fault, since narcissists insist they have No faults. They treat the adult kids like shit and bitch the kids don't want to see them.  Gee, can't imagine why. 

13) Not nice to speak ill of the dead, but, my ex is dead now.  Suicide because to a narcissist, this is the ultimate revenge to their family.  My narcissist was an asshole in death as well in life.  He left his house and Everything to some fly by night care provider he'd known for less then two years.  Just to finish being the selfish asshole he WAS in LIFE as in DEATH.  I'm not going to speak well of him anymore in death as I did in life.  Why would I? He does Not deserve such courtesy.  I wanted to punch him in the throat in life and if I could when he died, I'd DO IT.  Judge me as you wish, YOU did not live with him.  Ever!




This is simply a partial list of the nightmare of living with a narcissist.  Yes, you are young (or maybe not so young) and you don't know much about this behavior when dating.  They will be oh so charming when dating, will shower you with gifts, profess undying love and devotion to you.  But, guess what, they have to because they are smart enough to know, No One will usually be sucked in by their normal meanness. So watch for that trait.  The next blog, I will explain how I finally was able to recognize these types when dating and simply dropped them like a hot potato.  I'm hoping this will help some of you ditch your narcissist because to save yourself, you Must do it. 






Sunday, January 1, 2017

So I'm a Veteran

Available on: Amazon, Kindle and Barnes&Noble.com


I still, no matter what, think being a Veteran is an accomplishment to be proud of, but.  I say 'but' for a reason. Sometimes, my once fellow brothers in arms, never cease to mystify me, especially in this new political arena.  Many, many of them once watched our backs in a war climate, yet here we are fifty years later and now many of them are supporting the backs of people who Still don't care about their well being.  THAT mystifies me to no end.

Since Vietnam, which next to the American Civil War, was and still is, the most unpopular War in this country's history.  Still unpopular with our American government, so much so, I do not see where America is really grateful for our service whatsoever.  Not even to this day.

I've lived to see things like: "We need to stop communism in Vietnam before it spreads."(1960's)  "Tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree" (1990's) And, most recently on Facebook: "Support Our Troops." (20016) I've learned that ALL are just slogan campaigns to encourage sending our young men to their deaths.  Gotta stir up patriotism Somehow, I suppose.

Since it's been said Russia meddled in America's voting process and since it has been said, our new head person has basically allowed Russia to 'walk right through America's front door' then I've been wondering 'why in Hell Did we go to Vietnam?'  No one really seems to touch that question, much less come up with a reasonable explanation.

So WHY did my 'used to be brothers in arms' vote for people who would just as soon forget them as to look at them?  Was there something I missed when I thought we were still loyal to those who were oh so hell bent on stopping communism from reaching America?  Were they really concerned about that or did they become so jaded along the way, I am now shaking my head in awe of their not even being loyal to their own well being, much less their fellow Veterans?  I'm not angry, simply mystified and deeply saddened when it comes to what appears to me, as a sudden turn of events about their thinking process. 

People, these days, come up to me on the streets, in restaurants and stores, saying: "Thank you for your service."  Well fifty years in coming still seems like a very long time to me.  What does one say when people's feelings appear to sway with the wind on a particular century or year?  Should I now be grateful for once being spat upon, the once 'we hate you' form of gratitude in 1970,  to now, 'thank you for your service?'  Especially when it looks like we did not keep communism out of American government?  (BTW I wear my 'Vietnam Vet' hat because I'm still proud to be a veteran. 

Sad to see: In 1960's the American military could not even buy the better made, Chinese rifles to save our lives in Vietnam.  To now if it isn't Chinese made, you cannot even purchase it in America.  Well, I for one, can see clearly that in ANY war, the American young person, always, always from poorer families, is and always will be, nothing more than cannon fodder to a government who cares so little for their own cause they make sure They nor their privileged children, will ever pick up a weapon.  They just keep sending poor kids, since I suppose we are expendable to them. Funny, our parents didn't and still don't, think we are expendable.  When I see 'All lives matter" I Still think: 'Who's lives we talkin?" 

So all in all, I loved my brothers in arms, but do not recognize any of them in the year 2016 nor will recognize them any better in 2017.  Just some food for thought. 



Saturday, December 31, 2016

Traditional nursing homes really DO suck





This has become my number one best seller, in my writing world anyway.  Maybe more people are waking up to the fact that at $1,500 a week for room and board, they are not getting what they pay for, at least their loved ones are not.

As long as the Medical Model is still practiced in traditional nursing homes, there is NO good quality of life for the people living there.  Living there is just another phrase for: being trapped there.  Yes, a traditional nursing home, touting the Medical Model will always, always, be run for the convenience of staff, and staff alone. 

 My son recently needed antibiotics, as I was reading the label, it started me thinking, again, about how staff dispense medicines in traditional nursing homes. Nowhere on my son's prescription did it state: Dispense however you please.  You can dispense in a group all at the same time, for staff convenience.  The label has specific instructions as to when and how the medicine should be taken.  The nursing home I once worked was willy-nilly about dispensing medicine at Every breakfast, to Every patient at the Same time daily.  This is not right, no matter how you slice it.  I once suggested maybe medicine cabinets in each room would be best.  I was told that anyone could then get the medicines.  Well there is a wonderful invention called a padlock to cure that.  Translation from nurses: "Well Then we'd actually Have to do our jobs properly and it might take time, effort and caring on our part."  You should not be surprised because given the human warehouses these places are, the let's herd old people like cattle, mentality of nursing homes, it makes sense.  To THEM anyway.

Another funny thing I noticed while working there, was the sole owner was older than dirt, himself.  For the most part he had Nothing nice to say about old people.  People who live in glass houses.  But since 'older than dirt owner' had money, HE didn't relate to those in his peer group.  Funny how that works.

This book Should be a good seller, especially to college Social Work classes because Social Work does not come from books.  Social Work comes from real life, real world experiences.  When I was about to graduate from college, many, many students said: "But college has Not taught me Everything I Need to know about this profession."  They were right, it cannot possibly teach you ALL you will need to know.  This book is a good teaching tool unless instructors are afraid the truths in this book will scare students.  It Should scare students because it should keep them on their toes.  It should teach them about human dignity.  It should teach them about old people being human too, not just cattle to herd and shuffle to activities, to showers resembling a car wash, to dispensing medicines all at once to everyone (contrary to label instructions), and to Stop bullshitting loved ones at care plan meetings.  Teach them that, while nurses Love to be head cheeses, they DO NOT know it all about your loved one.  YOU are That expert on that subject because you've known your loved one Longer than ANY staff.  Staff NEEDS to LEARN that nurse aids Should be invited to care plan meetings Because They Are the primary caregivers, NOT nurses who mostly push medications.  So I'm grateful this book has picked up with sales.  If Anyone Cares in our society, then the Truths in this book will be of concern to all. 

To those who have bought my book and read it, I thank you.  To those of you who have not, you Should as one day YOU Too will be old.