Tuesday, June 28, 2016


The internet is awesome.. This is especially true for me.It allows me to stay connected to the world outside of this facility.

Cher has just returned from a vacation on the French and Italian Rivieras. There were many tweets from her.  There were so many photos, I felt as though I  was vacationing with her.  A virtual vacation is not the same  as actually being there, but it's better than nothing.

Cher tweeted about drinking Framboise. Whenever Cher mentions a food, drink or something else she likes, I google it. (I once ordered her favorite drink, frozen hot chocolate, from her Favorite New York restaraaunt, Serendipity 3. . Pacts of the hot chocolate mix were delivered to me. I am sure the restaurant's is much better than the mix, but at least I can say I tried it.)  I wanted to know what Framboise was. I googled. I saw links for it, but when I clicked on one of the links, Forbidden was the message I received again and again.

I am writer I was angry. It felt as though my internet searching was being censored. I was not googling pornography. .I was googling to learn. I was googling gain knowledge.  I didn't understand what the issue was. This facility is part of a public corporation. As such, it can do whatever it wants. I understood this in theory My issue was that if I am to regard this facility as my home, then allow me to search the internet freely without restrictions, the way I did when  I lived in my own home.

My Facebook friends came to my rescue. They googled Framboise for me. It is a French raspberry beer. I love anything French. I hope to try Framboise soon.

I wanted the filters on the Internet to be changed. I was determined to make that happen. I spoke to the administrator, explained  my issue and the filters were removed. it feels good to know that I helped make a positive change here.

Last week was a great week. I tried sushi for the first time. I was a columnist on M.A. Cassata's entertainment website The Mac Wire.  http://www.themacwire.com/chers-on-european-vacation-fans-are-delighted/ I helped make changes to Internet searching here. And, it all started with a Cher Tweet.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


My father wasn't home very much. It wasn't because he didn't love us. In fact, it was just the opposite. He wasn't home much because he was working. Our family had a grocery  store. Grana's IGA Market. My mother and brothers worked in the store too, They all worked hard, but my dad worked the hardest out of all. of them.

I  could call my dad and ask him to bring home  Tootsie Pops and Bazooka Bubble Gum whenever I wanted. When you're seven, that's pretty amazing. None of my friends fathers could do that.

On Sundays we'd go to church. My dad was so tired that he'd fall asleep during the service. I'd be embarrassed because  he snored. I was afraid others would hear him.  The minute I saw his eyes were closed, I'd begin gently poking him to make sure he stayed awake. I felt it was my job. Sunday was also the day he'd play his Herb Alpert albums. He loved them. He also played my Mary Poppins and Sound of Music albums because he knew I loved them. If I happen to hear any of this music now, I immediately smile remembering those Sundays. Before the day ended, he'd make a trip to the store too. He had to make sure things were in order for the coming week. Even Sunday wasn't a total day of rest for him.

My dad was the one I'd call to bring me a glass of water at night .He was the one who would pick me up from the floor after I'd fallen out of bed. He'd also stay with me, until I fell back to sleep, when I had a bad dream.

When I was eleven, and in Shriners Hospital, my dad got  the driver who delivered the Hostess Snack Cakes, to donate  treats for everyone in my ward. Because the hospital only allowed visitors for an hour  a day during the week and two and a half hours on Sunday, I only got to see my dad once a week. The hospital didn't allow phone calls in the evening, so he couldn't even call me. It was a long three months and ten days for both of us.

My favorite memory is watching a TV show called The Mothers-In-Law with my dad. The show starred Eve  Arden and Kaye Ballard. It was about two couples who lived next door to each other. The couples children marry. The marriage of their children forces them to become closer. The reason I enjoyed watching this show with my dad was because Kaye Ballard's character was .Italian  and my dad  was too. Every time Kaye Ballard's character  would get upset  on the show, she'd begin speaking in Italian. I would keep asking my dad to tell me what she said. I don't remember if he told me. I do remember we both laughed a lot.

My died died on January 18, 1970.  I was twelve years old.  He didn't get to see many of  my accomplishments. I hope he would be proud of me. .My did didn't say I love you a lot. He just worked hard. That's how I knew he loved us.


Saturday, June 18, 2016


Growing up, I wanted to be Rona Barrett. I thought she had the coolest job on the planet. She got to interview celebrities, attend A-list parties and she got to go to the homes of celebrities to interview them. Who wouldn't want a job like that?

I bought all of her magazines and watched her specials on television.I watched her on Good Morning America. I looked forward to her reports featured on our local newscasts.   I read her autobiography. Miss Rona.  If she had had a new publication our or special on, I couldn't wait to buy or watch it.. She was the queen of celebrity entertainment news in the seventies. If she reported it then, it must be true.


I emailed Rona Barrett several years ago. I asked her to tell me her favorite memory from a Cher interview. A response came via her assistant. Rona's favorite interview with Cher was done in Cher's bedroom. Cher sat on her bad and was relaxed  and happy. I was pleased to find this interview on Youtube

Today Rona's passion is helping seniors find housing they can afford with services that meet whatever needs they may have. The Rona Barrett Foundation  is developing The Golden Inn & Village in Santa Barbara County. It will be a place where the elderly will be able to "live with dignity."  http://ronabarrettfoundation.org/

Rona Barrett paved the way for people like M.A. Cassata. Ms. Cassata has always loved music and Pop Culture. She began writing for her school newspaper.After graduating a year and a half early, she got jobs writing the entertainment scoop for local publications.  .She also worked at a major record store chain. Working in the store gave her the opportunity to meet icons in the music industry. Anne and Nancy Wilson, of Heart, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Billy Joel and the  legendary Prince  are just some of the musicians she met while working there.

Her entertainment news has appeared in major publications like USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Daily News and Rolling Stone. At last count Ms. Cassata has authored twenty-one books. Her list of celebrity subjects include Cher, Elton John, Jim Carey, Britney Spears Michael J. Fox, The Monkees  and many more. She has entered the world of online publishing and authored several e-books too.

Her websites www.themacwire.com and http://ontheteenbeat.com/tag/m-a-cassata/ offer the latest in entertainment news. Her author website http://www.macassata.com/ has everything you need to know about Ms. Cassata and her works. Check them out.

It is difficult for Ms. Cassatta to pick a favorite interview. She contributed to  as many as twenty-five publications at one time. She was intent on getting interviews and meeting deadlines. Contributing to so many publications barely left her with time to breathe.

Some celebrities she would love sit down with for an interview are  Eminem, Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton, Howard Stern, Katey Perry and Neil Patrick Harris. 

When Ms. Cassata was just starting out she worked for the publishing company that  published Rona Barrett's Magazines. She got to read some of Rona's personal notes and files. She said it was inspiring. I can only imagine.

Ms. Cassata loves her work. She cares about the fans. I am sure Rona Barrett would be proud to know her legacy of entertainment reporting lives on in part due to Ms. Cassata.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016


The Resident's Council. That's a forum here that meets monthly. Its a safe place where residents are free to discuss any issues or concerns they have From the laundry, to the. nursing staff, residents are free to talk about anything. It is our meeting. No one is judged.

Each month, the head of a department is invited to participate in the meeting. to discuss specific problems or issues that need to be addressed within that department.The department head uses what they learn from residents in the meeting, to make positive changes in their department.

Suggestions for activities are discussed in the meeting. Suggestions for The Meal of the Month are given. This is a special meal voted on by residents. Also, suggestions for the Dine in Meal of the Month are given. Dine In means food is purchased from a restaurant, usually fast food. Residents place their order and pay for it through the Activities Department. Someone from Activities picks up the food. This month's Dine In will be from Applebee's/

All this week resident's may cast their ballot for a new Resident Council . I hear residents complain a lot about conditions here. Very few attend the meetings. I stopped going because I felt nothing ever changed.

We have a new administrator.  Soon we will have a new Resident Council President. I  hope this is a sign of the positive changes to come for this facility. I want to become more involved with the Resident Council . I want to help make this facility a better place.

I hope all residents will vote. I hope more residents will attend Resident Council. I hope for a bright future for this facility.


Friday, June 10, 2016


Logo Courtesy of the Voyce Facebook Page
I considered discontinuing this blog. I deleted my last post because I was told about rumors concerning aides not wanting to work with me because they were afraid of losing their license.  My feelings were hurt. I need aides to care for me. Writing this blog just didn't seem worth it.

Last Friday, I was invited to attend Voyce's Changing Landscape of Long Term Care Conference. All of the sessions and all of the speakers had the same message. They are striving to make long term care communities the best they can be.

I met some great people. One of the people I met was the president of Voyce. Last November, I made a video. . In the video, I talk about what it feels like to live here and how I think things could be improved. I am told Voyce uses that video a lot. The president shared with me how powerful my message was. He thanked me for making the video. I also spoke with the director of Voyce in St. Louis . I told her that I was thinking of discontinuing the blog due to the repercussions of my last post/ The director urged me to reconsider. She told me that anyone who speaks out can become a target. She said I am the voice of the residents. I knew then that making the video and writing this blog were positive things.

I have been told that being an aide is just a job to the CNA's who help us. I disagree. Being a CNA takes a special person. Someone who is kind, caring compassionate, takes their time and listens. A person should not be in the field just to collect a paycheck. or because the hours are flexible and fit their schedule. In my opinion, you are a CNA because you want to enhance someone's life.

People want me to write something positive. What they fail to understand is, even when my posts are negative, they're positive. I want my posts about facility life to facilitate change. I want to get people talking, thinking and taking action to improve conditions in long term care communities

I cannot get anyone fired. I am not the cause of them losing their license. Their actions cause these things to happen to them. Last Friday morning, my call light was on for an hour and ten minutes, before someone answered it. I was calling for help as well, but no one came.. I worry the same thing will happen tomorrow.

When I was young, I wondered why I was put on this Earth. What was my purpose in life? Thanks to Voyce I don't have to wonder anymore. My purpose is to speak out so that change can occur. My purpose is to be a voice for all of us living in long term care. My purpose is to be a voice for Voyce.