Thursday, October 11, 2018

WHAT EVER HAPPENED...? Helpful Businesses

          Some of the businesses and names I've listed below, I've already mentioned in this book. Others are listed here for the first time. All of them have helped me in one way or another, and they deserve to be recognized for just that.
I deliberately listed them in random order (vs. my usual everything-has-to-be-alphabetical order) just to “mix it up” a bit. All of them are explained as to how they've helped me along the way, and I encourage you to patronize their business if possible; they deserve your support because they take care of others, besides selling their goods.
Rite-Aid Pharmacy's (on Flatbush Avenue in Kingston, NY) pharmacist Bob. He is incredibly gentle and listens very well. He's an excellent medical resource.
Adams Fairacre Farms' (in Kingston, NY) employees Rebecca, Amanda, and Paul. Rebecca helped me try to stay in touch with my family – by ordering flowers each year when hardly anyone kept in touch with me. She helped me write warm notes to them. Amanda is a very patient cashier with me (and others) when I'm very slow counting out my owed money. [And Paul is written about elsewhere here.]
Enzo's Ristorante and Pizza, in Kingston, NY. It not only has delicious food, but its restrooms are fabulously clean, and I could actually eat at this location when I was afraid of germs, because I saw how well they did with cleanliness. Taso and Lora Giannoulis’s ristorante is fabulous, and I highly encourage you to try out their excellent cuisine.
Another place that I was also able to eat at, because it is clean and serves yummy food is the Broadway Lights Diner, also in Kingston.  Litsa Chasin's diner is well worth a visit!
Stop & Shop [now TOPS] in Rhinebeck, NY. Several employees there helped me when I was at my absolute darkest time with the mysophobia. They witnessed the tons of items I purchased to “stay clean” with. Their eyes showed sympathy for a woman who arrived at their store week after week and spent thousands of dollars on the same items. One name that I remember is Tammy. Thanks to her, and all the others, for showing love and concern.
Ice Cream Castle in Kingston, NY. The owners, Sandy and Jay Juliano, took such good care of me when I would go through their drive-thru for chocolate milkshakes. They learned, when they first opened, that my shakes had to be thin or I couldn't suck them through a straw (part of the left side of my face is partially paralyzed). Every time I was there with Aiden and Happy, all of the coworkers knew how to take care of me. Sweetness there wasn't just in their ice cream! [Sadly, this business is for sale. So, I found another place that does the same for me. It’s called Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn in LaGrangeville, NY. Its food and ice cream are delicious, and this distant restaurant takes care of this customer’s thin-milkshake request each time.]
Red Hook, NY's “Historic” Village Diner has wait staff that took such good care of me when I was sick, told me they prayed for me, and after my surgery, they were all thrilled to see me come back. My first meal with my parents after they traveled from Florida by train to help care for me after my brain surgery was at this diner with friends. P. S. Their daily specials are delicious.      [Some of the magnets attached above the window where the waitresses order our food to the cooks in the kitchen were donated by me from my classrooms.]
Lisa Smith – haircutter extraordinaire. When I first met her, she worked at JC Penney's in Kingston, NY. She styled my hair nicely after some of it was shaved off for the surgery. Since that store has closed, I now go to see her at C & C's Hair Salon in the Hudson Valley Mall. She's a sweetheart, and I love my appointments with her.
Waitress Susi Santa Anna who helped me in different diners (and at my church's women's Bible studies) – just by her kindness and thoughtfulness.
Lotus – a wonderful store in Woodstock, NY. The owner that I met (Jamie) is so gentle and helpful. I would like her “style” even if I didn't adore her mother (my friend Suzi). Jamie's shop sells signs, jewelry, chandeliers, pottery, cards, spa items, candles, and many other home accessories. Some of those signs are part of my collection. I have gone there when I get some time to “breathe.” [And a specific story about Jamie is elsewhere here.]
The Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union's Irma L. She was so kind and patient with me when I would become completely overwhelmed at the bank counter when I couldn't handle money very well at all. She took it nice and slow with me so I could leave with my transactions completed correctly. As many people became (and still become) impatient with me because I forget to do something necessary, Irma always just smiled and helped me get it done.
Pillow Talk owner Aleda Stamboulian of Saugerties, NY. She creates unique pillowcases. Of course, I've purchased her Mickey Mouse ones, but she has quite the variety! She sells at various craft fairs and probably at other places too. I used her pillowcases a lot when I was going for neurofeedback and QEEGs because of the sloppy stuff put in my hair to watch my brain waves. I'd come home exhausted and would plop down on my pillow with yucky hair. When I woke up, I'd take off the pillowcase that specifically matched the sheets and put on one of Aleda's, so when I went to bed later on after I washed my hair, I'd have a fun, clean pillowcase to sleep on.
Krause's Chocolates in Saugerties and/or Rhinebeck, NY. Chocolate is so comforting, and theirs is the best!
Bear Cave Gifts [Great signs!]
Duck Tape Jax [A young girl, Jaxon-Lily, “duck-tape artist,” made me a beautiful Mickey-Mouse-themed duck tape wallet that I decided to use for my business cards.]
Two other young girls (who are friends) have businesses also. Hannah makes dog and cat treats (and my dog, Happy, loves her peanut butter and bacon pig-shaped treats) and Hannah’s friend Ashley makes homemade soaps (my favorite is her Hollyberry).
Way to go, all three of you young ladies!

Art in Heaven (Ruth and Joe Breitenbach): this husband and wife team creates the coolest jewelry – earrings, pins, and more. I used to buy from them at craft fairs I attended long ago when I still taught, to wear to school. Nowadays, I still buy adorable earrings just for fun. Here are some of my favorite earrings: fortune cookies, hamburger with fries, sandwiches, doggie paw prints, popcorn, donuts, pizza, hot dogs, pencil with eraser, bacon strips, monkeys, bubbles, ducks, lighthouses, cameras, garlic cloves, lollipops, and so much more. Wearing them reminds me of teaching days gone by.
Some may think it's silly that a grown woman wears these fun earrings outside of a classroom setting, but I don't care. And once, when I was at the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck, NY, a former, retired kindergarten teacher was doing the same thing – purchasing earrings from Ruth and Joe that she will no longer wear to school, but will enjoy wearing out and about like me. She and I smiled and chatted about missing teaching so much. Those of you still in the classroom – remember, someday it will be all over for you too. Get through the stress of it to have fun helping your kiddies enjoy learning.
Panera Bread in Kingston, NY, was so very helpful with me when it first opened, and I was at the worst time of my life with the mysophobia. I'm not good with names from back then, but I do remember a female manager and another employee (Pam?), who helped me touch money and keep me calm when I ordered and then ate my food. Helping a customer's fear of germs was probably not in their job descriptions, but they did it very well. For that, I'm truly grateful.
I used to go to the Village Apothecary in Woodstock, NY, to purchase lots of items to help me remain as calm as possible after my brain was injured. An employee, Josh, couldn't have been more helpful. I explained to him what was going on with me, and he'd direct me to try this or that. Everything he recommended helped in the ways I needed it to. He was an absolutely excellent employee, and I wish him well wherever he works nowadays.
Go to the local soup sales near you. Their homemade, delicious soups (and desserts sometimes, too) are so enjoyable. Church meals, too, are often yummy!
Computer Gear & More: Fun Stuff for Your Tech Buff  [This is a catalog I order some of my best, most-talked-about T-shirts that I wear often. Though I stink at computers, I love the catalog's selection of grammatical sayings. They're funny, yet get their point across.]
Hallmark [The stores, TV programs, and movies are excellent! I love attending the early morning shopping sprees when it's time to buy their Keepsake ornaments. It disappoints me when people trash that wonderful company.]
This example is not a business per se but it's about an employee at the doctor's office, and she is worth a mention here: Her name is Haley Andrews, and I met her at my gynecologist's office. These appointments are never enjoyable, but for me they are very upsetting, as I sit in a waiting room with happy pregnant women, and little ones running around with their parents supervising, and me, not a mommy or a grandma-to-be ever. I pretty much feel sorry for myself that my life turned out different than for the majority of women.

And that's where Haley comes in. Instead of coldness, she exudes warmth. Instead of treating me like just another patient, she makes me feel welcome. Too many receptionists forget how to be nice to the person waiting to see the doctor. They could learn a thing or two from Haley. [I was sad to learn she has changed jobs. Whatever business she has joined, they are lucky to have her.]
Back when I was so sick with the tumor, there were many times I could not fill out forms correctly. Something as simple as an envelope at Target to mail away my film to be developed (remember when we did that?), I couldn’t even remember my own last name or phone number.
          There was this sweet, young girl who worked there, named Kristel, who helped me each and every time I went in. It must have been strange that someone as young as I was (mid-40s) could not state such simple information about herself. But, she helped me gently each time.
          Fast-forward to late fall, 2016. I saw Kristel’s picture in the local paper with her husband, Craig, and their baby daughter, Leah.
          Leah was born with multiple health issues. The expenses for all of her medical help were astronomical. So, a hair salon was holding a fundraiser to help with their mounting medical bills.
          As soon as I read this touching story in the early morning the day it was in the paper, I remembered how sweet this young woman was to me years ago, though she was just doing her job at that store. She did it with such kindness!
          I decided to pray all day about it. After praying, I decided: If my book does well, I’m going to donate a large portion of the profits to this family.
          This is a way to repay this one young woman’s kindness towards a store customer.
Her kindness to me created a ripple effect. Can you help someone who has helped you, even if it was long ago? Food for thought….

So, I’m quite sure that there were many other businesses that have helped me, some I probably even told that I’d write about them someday. Here are the ones I remembered, or scribbled down before I forgot their help. Thank you, all, for making my “now life” a bit cheerier.

For the coming year, I (Douglas Winslow Cooper) will be 
excerpting, weekly, material from this almost-final version of the fine book by Janet Johnson Schliff, M.S. Ed., which she wrote over a three-year period with some coaching and editing help from me, through my business, Write Your Book with Me.

Her memoir is now available in paperback and ebook formats from Outskirts Press  and

What Ever Happened to My White Picket Fence? My Brain Injury from My Massive Brain Tumor



Janet Johnson Schliff spoke at the Oblong Books Bookstore in Rhinebeck, NY, on Tuesday, February 6 at 6 p.m.

Janet was on WKNY Radio 1490 in Kingston, NY, on Thursday, March 1 at 9:10 a.m. 

Janet spoke at Barnes & Noble in Kingston, NY, on Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m. 

Janet spoke at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, NY, on March 6 
at 7 p.m. 

Janet spoke at the Golden Notebook Bookstore in Woodstock, NY, on March 17 at 2 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Morton Library in Rhinecliff, NY, on March 28 at 6:30 p.m. 

Janet spoke at RCAL in Kingston, NY, on April 3 at 4 p.m. [They gave her an impromptu book-launch party.]

Janet spoke at the Parkinson's Support Group at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, NY, on April 4 at 2:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Stone Ridge Library in Stone Ridge, NY, on April 27 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Hurley Library in Hurley, NY, on May 4 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Kingston Library in Kingston, NY, on May 9 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Staatsburg Library in Staatsburg, NY, on May 14 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Clinton Community Library in Rhinebeck, NY, on May 31 at 6:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville, NY, on June 9 at noon.

Janet spoke at the Gardiner Library in Gardiner, NY, on June 11 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Marbletown Community Center in Stone Ridge, NY, on June 20 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Esopus Library in Port Ewen, NY, on July 13 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Pine Plains Library in Pine Plains, NY, on July 20 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Ulster Library in Kingston, NY, on July 23 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Northern Dutchess Bible Church in Red Hook, NY, on August 11 at 1 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Inquiring Minds Bookstore in New Paltz, NY, on September 6 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie, NY, on September 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Janet was interviewed on radio station WRIP-FM (97.9) on September 21 at 8 a.m.

Janet again spoke at the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville, NY, on September 22 at noon.

Janet spoke at the Enchanted Cafe in Red Hook, NY, on September 28 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Hyde Park Library in Hyde Park, NY, on October 4 at 7 p.m.

Janet participated in an Author Weekend at the Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie, NY, on October 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Janet will be speaking at the Tivoli Library in Tivoli, NY, on October 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet will be speaking at the Westchester Medical Center for a "Lunch and Learn" on November 2.

Janet will be speaking at the Germantown Library in Germantown, NY, on November 7 at 6:00 p.m.

More signings will be coming up. A fine feature about Janet by John DeSantos [845 LIFE] appeared in the Middletown Times Herald-Record on Monday, March 12, as part of Brain Injury Awareness Month. An article about her book was just published in the May 2018 Living Rhinebeck Magazine. An article about her book appeared in the May 14 Daily Freeman of Kingston, NY. and another in the Family Life section of the Poughkeepsie Journal on June 8th. The Millerton News published an article on Thursday, August 2, about her talk at the Pine Plains Library. Also, a national TV interview is being planned.

No comments:

Post a Comment