Friday, January 31, 2014

TO COMMEMORATE THE Day

February 1, 2013 ny brother Bill passed away. I have thought a lot about him throughout the year and especially this past week. I still can't believe he is gone. I  wrote the following post on the day of his memorial service last year. I am reposting it as it is the best way I can think of to honor him and mark the one year anniversary of his passing.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

MY JOURNEY

My degree is in Social Work. If anyone had told me, when I was in college, that I would end up being the author of a children's book, a blogger as well as a columnist for a local newspaper, I would not have believed them. 

I wanted to be a Medical Social Worker. In graduate school, I did an internship at a local children's hospital. The hospital was sharing a social worker with another children's hospital that served children with disabilities.  My supervisor hoped I would be offered the position after graduation. Sadly, I had no work experience and since the hospital wanted someone with two years work experience, I knew I wouldn't get the job.

When it became clear to me that a position in social work would not be in my future I began volunteering in the data processing lab at the community college I had attended. Volunteering in the lab led to my developing classes in Word and Windows that I taught, on an individualized basis (part time) through the Continuing Education Department. I retired in 2005.

While I was teaching I audited a class in creative writing. I enjoyed the class and decided I wanted to try to write a romance novel in which the heroine had a disability and used a power chair. I was having difficulty finishing the novel. It just wasn't coming together. A friend, who taught preschool, asked if I would write children's stories for her class.  I began writing my Bianca Bear stories and, in 2010, my book The Busy World of Bianca Bear was published.

I began blogging by writing a blog featuring more of my Bianca stories. A year and a half ago, I started a second blog called Confessions of a Disabled Diva which focuses on raising disability awareness.

 I have been a contributor to the West End Word online for a year now. I am very pleased that my columns will now run monthly in their print edition as well. I will continue to raise awareness regarding the issues people with disabilities face  I hope you'll want to continue on my journey with me.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

I WANNA WATCH TV

Several weeks ago, I received a recorded phone message alerting me that my cable company was going to all digital programming effective January 14th. This meant that I would need a second digital box for the small TV in my kitchen. The message went on to explain my options for getting additional boxes. They could either (a) mail the box and installation kit to me and I would be responsible for installing the box or (b) I could pick a box up from one of their offices. I knew neither option would work for me.

I called the next morning. After listening to the friendly automated voice for several minutes, and getting nowhere, I was finally connected to an agent. The agent went through the same options I had heard the night before. I explained that I was disabled and was unable to install the box myself I told the agent I thought the installation should be free since it was something the company was forcing me to do. After several minutes of discussion the agent said they would make a notation and I would receive a free box for one year, free installation by a technician and a replacement remote for my larger TV. I was told to call to schedule the installation appointment.

Last week, I called to schedule the appointment. I told the agent what I had been promised the previous week. The second agent informed me that installation was thirty dollars.  The only way to get free installation was to have six or more boxes installed and a replacement remote would cost eleven dollars . I was very angry. (Last fall the company tried to charge me forty-five dollars when a technician had to come out because the cable wire fell due to wind. I refused to pay and the charge was waived.) It was finally agreed upon that I'd pay the one time thirty dollar installation charge.  I would get two new boxes and remotes. One box free for a year. Getting two new boxes meant I didn't have to pay for a replacement remote.

The technician cane out this morning. The technician had a problem with the installation and had to call the office for assistance.  Everything's working now, but it took a while. 

Not everyone is capable of picking up a kit and doing an installation. Even technicians have difficulty.  When someone is disabled or elderly and on a fixed income, I think charges for a tech to come out should be waived. TV providers charge enough. Watching TV may be the only enjoyment some people have.  Don't make it harder for them to get it.



Sunday, January 5, 2014

MY EDITORIAL

You may remember, back in November, I submitted an op-ed piece to the St.  Louis Post Dispatch, on the Cost of Living Adjustment for 2014. Last week, it was published.  If you'd like to read it click on the link below.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/higher-increases-for-social-security-are-much-needed/article_36b81c48-c746-5ecb-8518-a3a68a8397cc.html

Many of my blog posts have the recurring theme of never giving of on your goals and dreams. The publication of my editorial signifies that I'm one step closer to achieving my goal of becoming a freelance writer. Never give up. You can achieve your goals.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HOPE

My wish for you in 2014 is that you have a year filled with hope and promise.  Hope that you will succeed in most, if not all, of your endeavors.and those that you don't, succeed at, you learn from. I hope the year is a year filled with more positives for you than negatives. Don't listen to people who focus on the things you can't do.  Focus on what you can do. Do your best, keep trying. Never give up hope that you will be successful in life.  You may not have a lot of money, but if you treat others with dignity, respect and are never judgmental, you will have achieved success more valuable than monetary wealth.

I hope the year holds the promise of good things for you. Never give up hope.  Never give up on your dreams. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!