Saturday, January 5, 2019


I dubbed myself this title because I carry bags to every place I go (including movies, doctor appointments, church functions, various organizations and support groups I attend, and on and on and on….). The bags contain things I need for each place. This is the way I remember things. Way too many people have either rudely commented and/or questioned me about my bags. They are not purses, but bags of all shapes, sizes, and many with great sayings on them. They now replace the huge L.L. Bean teacher bag I once had when I taught school.

What always cracks me up is when someone who’s been rude to me about my habit of lugging stuff forgets or loses something of their own. I want to say, “Well – if you had all your needed items in a bag like mine, you would have what you now have to do without.”

But – I just smile and bite my tongue. I’ve had to bite my tongue so many times. I truly don’t comprehend why my bags puzzle others to the point of rudeness.

At one of the many stores I buy decorated bags at (Cracker Barrel), I told the register lady how I have a bag for each doctor I see. That way, when it’s time for another appointment, I don’t have to look for what I need to share with that doctor. It’s all organized right there in that bag. Register Lady told me that was a great idea, and she was going to do it from now on.

Once, when I went to a jewelry party, and we played one of those silly games before looking through the catalog to purchase jewelry, we had to find certain weird things in our purses or bags. I had every single, strange item on the list, so I won lots of prizes!

I have to be careful, though. A few times, my bag has been in the way and someone else, or even myself, has tripped over it. That’s not too helpful, so I try to squish the bags out of the way, when I can.

Many bags I own have Mickey Mouse on them, but I also have tons without. Because these other bags are too good to gloss over here, I’ve included what many of them say. Enjoy! [My own comments are added for some.]

·       Teachers have homework too!! [The bag I used each Friday for three years when I went to meet with my editor.]
·       Book Nerd [Just like my T-shirt.]
·       Don’t pretend to understand my problems
·       Do more of what makes you happy
·       Funny – I don’t recall asking for your opinion
·       Take delight in the Lord
·       A good book has no ending
·       Live happy
·       Scotland! [I bring this one to my Dutchess County, NY, Scottish Society meetings.]
·       Bloom where you are planted
·       Where’s the beach?
·       Once upon a summertime
·       Give me some sugar
·       Little bag of awesome!
·       Every tree has character
·       Life is all about how you handle Plan B
·       Live. Love. Bark.
·       Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good
·       My best friend is my dog
·       This is the day that the Lord has made
·       Mahalo [Which I think means “thanks.” A great gift store in Catskill, NY, has this title, and I’ve bought great bags there. While writing this chapter, I even received a gift bag from them.]
·       There’s no place like the bookstore.
·       Practice Gratitude…. Give More…. Sparkle More…. It’s the Little Things…. More Road Trips…. Live Happy [All on one bag!]
·       Happy camper
·       Random Crap [On each of two bags, one large and one larger, from Stickle’s, my mother’s favorite store in Rhinebeck, NY.]
·       Great Big Bag of Stuff [Another bag, the largest, from Stickle’s.]
·       Live in the moment
·       Positive Mind. Positive Soul. Positive Life.

So, now you know why I love my bags, and I’m proud to be “The Bag Lady.” Sometimes what’s important is not so much what’s IN the bag, it’s what’s ON the bag….


I (Douglas Winslow Cooper) have been 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



Janet is taking a much-needed respite from her book tour. More talks will be planned in the spring of 2019… she can be contacted at 845.336.7506 (home) or 845.399.1500 (cell).

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 was interviewed on radio station WTBQ-FM (93.5) on June 29 at 12 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 spoke at the Tivoli Library in Tivoli, NY, on October 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet’s interview for the TV program Wake Up with Marci on the You Too America Channel aired on Monday, November 5, and Friday, November 9. It can now be found on the Internet.

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

Janet participated in the Red Hook Middle School's College and Career Cafe in Red Hook, NY,  on December 19 at 10:30 a.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. 

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