Saturday, April 27, 2019


Shattered Dreams at Rainbow's End: A Novel About Inheritance and Infidelity

This novel is based upon the true story of Charles and his actions after infidelity. There is a tremendous back story that is told of Charles life and the circumstances leading him to a bad decision. Like anyone’s life, there are so many defining moments that shape him. His father’s early death, sibling rivalry, raising a family are just some of the elements that shape him and his maturity.

It is an ambitious undertaking to provide a reader with enough information to follow someone’s life decisions. Many times the novel feels more like a case study and less like a novel. Emotion is discussed but not felt. With good effect we see the main character as objectively flawed.

Christopher Horne clearly conveys the myriad of elements that become part of our makeup. We understand why Charles is who he is. As the novel draws to a close we are provided an update on how Charles works on himself and his marriage. The epilogue contains a great guide on how to improve marriage in a Christian life.

We all err in our lives. Christopher Horne shows us that we can rise after falling and be better.


First review (and not by DWC) of this real-life novel published with help from my Write Your Book with Me endeavor.

Book is published by Outskirts Press, available from them or
from or



     A good fraction of the work that needs to be done in caring for a patient in the home is “custodial,” the kind of care that might be needed for a healthy baby, rather than “nursing,” the kind of care that requires the training that nurses undergo that makes them medical professionals. This appendix is based on a summary of a book that provides excellent instruction in the elements of custodial home care. We strongly advise caregivers to obtain it.

In 2015, Tena L Scallan published her excellent The Ultimate Compassionate Guide to Caregiving: A Simple Blueprint for Dealing with Today’s Healthcare Crisis Combined with Years of Wisdom and Sound Advice, filled with valuable advice, based on her decades of experience running an agency providing care at home. It has been available as a Kindle ebook for $2.99 and as a 407-page paperback for $14.30. She notes that 1 in 8 Americans are 65 or older, and often children end up taking care of their parents and even their grandparents at a time when both husband and wife may well have jobs outside the home.

Scallan sees the need for practical advice for caregivers, and her book provides it, centering on what needs to be done and how to do it, rather than on how to manage it. It makes an excellent companion to our own book.

Scallan starts her book with a set of “absolutes for giving patient care”–never argue, instead agree; don’t try to reason, instead divert; don’t shame them, instead distract; don’t lecture, instead reassure; don’t say “remember,” instead reminisce; don’t say “I told you,” instead repeat it; don’t say “you can’t,” instead do what you can; don’t command/demand, instead ask/model; don’t condescend, instead encourage/praise; don’t force, instead reinforce.

Scallan lists these principles of care: safety for yourself and your patient; privacy; dignity; communication, explaining everything as you go along; independence; infection control; being a good listener; being trustworthy; dependability; anger management; managing your own emotions.

Scallan’s fine book has the following chapters:
§  Communication
§  Hygiene and Personal Care
§  Medication
§  Patient Care Records
§  Vital Signs
§  Caring and Maintaining a Healthy Environment
§  Nutrition
§  Body Mechanics and Transferring
§  Infection Control
§  Safety
§  Medical Emergencies
§  Emotions
§  Legalities
§  Insurance
§  Expenses
§  Informational Documentation Planner
§  Resource Guide
§  Glossary

We will summarize Scallan’s advice, chapter by chapter. When our patient was paraplegic, needing the care provided by a home health aide rather than by a nursing staff, this book would have been exactly what was needed. In several cases, we employed aides who were experienced but lacked formal training, and the insurance company required that we have a nurse certify that they were able to perform the necessary care-giving activities. Having this book available for their instruction would have been a blessing. Much of the care Scallan describes is needed by patients who are receiving skilled nursing care as well.

Communication is more than speaking and listening, Scallan notes. Caregivers must give considerable thought to how they are going to present their message to their patients. Getting to know your patient helps. Speaking loudly and slowly and face-to-face is also advisable. Maintain eye contact; ask questions to be sure that the messages are being understood.
Although the patients are often as dependent as children, usually their mental abilities are much greater, so it’s important not to be patronizing, not to talk down to them. Empathize with their loss of control over familiar aspects of their lives. Keep it as simple as practical, changing the subject if you note frustration. Realize memory may not be as good as at once was.

Hygiene and Personal Care
There can be a variety of reasons why the patient may be unable to perform many of the usual tasks for personal hygiene. The caregiver has got to supply these, with patience and consideration, maintaining the dignity of the patient. Scallan gives detailed instructions here for mouth care, bathing, back rubs, manicures and pedicures, hair care, shaving, glasses and contact lenses, hearing aids, dressing and undressing, and adult diapers and associated skin care.

Medications include chemicals that require a doctor’s prescription and others that are available without one, “over-the-counter (OTC)” medications. Scallan emphasizes the need to follow the medical instructions scrupulously, including the amounts, the timing, the routes of supplying, careful medical record keeping, expiration dates, warnings, patient reactions to the meds.

     In boldface capital letters Scallan issues the following alert however:

This warning is for practical and legal reasons, and it is one of the ways in which custodial care is distinguished from skilled nursing care. Tips are provided for the healthcare workers for the administration of the medications already prescribed and prepared. Eye, ear, and nose drops need careful techniques, too, given by Scallan. All medications should be recorded: time, date, medication, dose, how given, and the caregiver initials.

Patient Care Records
As Scallan notes, “every patient has a care record. This is a permanent written record containing confidential information that serves many purposes:” documentation of the work done, progress, communication among caregivers, basis for evaluating success of the plan, making available information as history for later examination, providing a basis for examining billing.
Detailed guidelines for head-to-toe examination are given. These include observation of appearances and of performance. The ability to perform the routine Activities of Daily Living is noted, as well as the need for assistive equipment.

Vital Signs
The following are defined in Scallan’s section on vital signs: temperature, fever, thermometer, pulse, respiration, blood pressure; the normal ranges for many of these are given, along with the materials and methods used in measurement. Helpfully, the values of some of these measurements that would necessitate contacting the doctor’s office are listed. These include temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate. Scallan emphasizes the necessity of care and cleanliness in taking the patient’s vital signs.

Caring and Maintaining a Healthy Environment
To prevent chemical contamination and to help reduce the risk of infection, the home itself must be kept clean. A wide variety of cleaning supplies will be required. Both disinfecting and cleaning solutions must be employed. The kitchen and dishes and silverware must be kept scrupulously clean. Changing the bed linens while the bed is occupied requires special technique. Laundry can present a challenge. Advice is presented for cleaning urine and fecal stains.

For home care given by family and home care aides, nutrition will be much the same as done for the family routinely, unless special circumstances apply.  Scallan provides valuable information, summarizing much dietary/nutritional material.
Certain handicaps, such as blindness or difficulty with using the hands or arms, will require special feeding approaches.

During periods of skilled nursing care, everything that is ingested will be determined in conjunction with the medical team.

Body Mechanics and Transferring
Moving the patient, even moving the equipment associated with patient care, is done more safely if attention is given to technique. Scallan gives tips for exercises by the patient as well as step-by-step instructions for proper handling of the patient during movement from one area to another, such as from bed to floor or from chair to standing up. Back injuries are endemic in the caregiving professions, so proper technique, good body mechanics, is essential.
Bedridden patients require frequent movement to prevent bedsores and promote independence.
A wide variety of assistive devices is available, and their use is well described here.

Infection Control

     Germs are everywhere, including your body, your clothes, your home, household surfaces, etc. Cleanliness is the first-line of defense, especially hand washing. In some cases, gloves and face masks may be required.

Scallan focuses on “how to reduce your chances of becoming a crime victim.” She includes various forms of physical attack and scams.

Medical Emergencies
Scallan provides a strong disclaimer at the beginning of this section, as dealing with medical emergencies presents risk to the caregiver as well as to the patient. No attempt will be made here to summarize her information, for the same reasons.

Emotions have developed partly to enhance our survival chances: fear, need, loneliness, even love play roles. Decision making is aided and harmed by emotions; you must care, but not be paralyzed with fear. Emotions help us set boundaries between ourselves and others, with both positive and negative impacts. Emotions assist our communications. We need both happiness and occasional sadness to feel alive. They help us bond with others.

Managing negative emotions can be aided by identifying them clearly and then determining whether the feeling is healthful. If not, ask what would help. In communicating them: don’t be dramatic, nor let them build up, present them succinctly, avoiding placing blame, and if possible try to diffuse confrontation by offering the other person the opportunity to “safe face,” to back down gracefully. Disappointment arises when reality confronts illusions. Bitterness is extreme disappointment. The patient’s expectations may have been quite unrealistic, however, as may have been the caregiver’s. Discouragement is self-defeating, though understandable.

     Positive emotions include hope, love, affection, friendliness, resiliency, forgiveness, and understanding. Help the patient to focus on these, if possible.
Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine.

Useful legal documents include: letter of instruction, living will, power of attorney, reverse mortgage, long-term care insurance policy, do not resuscitate (DNR) order…and we end this list to quote Scallan, as we agree with her concern, “Inconsistent application of DNR orders means some patients get less-than-optimal care once providers are aware of the presence of a DNR order. There still needs to be more study on this issue, but some health-care providers will even disregard basic care to patients with DNR orders. Because of these issues, for anything other than a terminal diagnosis – like cancer or some end-stage chronic conditions – getting a DNR order may not be the right decision.” Neither of our two home-bound patients had a DNR order.

Common options for medical insurance include Medicare Part A, which is hospital insurance; Medicare Part B, which is insurance for most other medical services, Medicare Part C, sometimes called Medicare Advantage, which allows you to receive your care through a provider organization; and Medicare Part D, prescription drug coverage. We discuss these elsewhere in our book. Besides these options there are various private insurance plans, including those provided by businesses and other organizations. Disability insurance can be viewed as a form of medical insurance. Related forms of compensation include Veterans’ benefits and Workman’s Compensation. Scallan helpfully provides much detail on all of these.

Scallan gives extended advice on managing money during retirement.

Informational Documentation Planner
Scallan presents a detailed form that goes into specifics on recording essentials related to: emergency information, important contact numbers, healthcare contacts, family and friends, services, and numbers and access codes, medical history, family genealogy, bank accounts, foreign bank accounts, automatic bill paying, personal loans, savings certificates, savings bonds, stock certificates, safe-deposit boxes, cash on hand, home safe, credit union, pension, retirement account, and duties, will, trust, living will, durable power of attorney, durable power of attorney for medical care, letter of instruction, religious affiliation, funeral instructions, donor arrangements, autopsy arrangements, cemetery plot, Social Security information, military discharge papers, income tax filings, passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, adoption papers, naturalization papers, marriage license, divorce decree, credit cards, Medicare/Medicaid, health insurance policies, long-term care insurance policy, life insurance policy, disability insurance policy, homeowners insurance policy, auto/vehicle insurance policies, vehicle ownership, real estate ownership, school records, employment history, pet history, with some detailed sub entries for all of these.

Resource Guide

Scallan gives the address and phone numbers and a brief description for each of the following:

§  Administration on Aging
§  Aging Network Services
§  American Association of Homes for the Aging
§  American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
§  American Geriatrics Society
§  American Health Care Association
§  American Society on Aging
§  B’nai B’rith International
§  Catholic Charities
§  Catholic Golden Age
§  Children of Aging Parents
§  Disabled American Veterans
§  Episcopal Society for Ministry to the Aging
§  Foundation for Hospice and Home Care
§  Gray Panthers
§  National Association for Home Care
§  National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
§  National Association of State Units on Aging
§  National Council on the Aging
§  National Hispanic Council on Aging
§  National Hospice Association
§  National Institute on Aging
§  National Shut-in Society
§  Older Women’s League
§  U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
§  United Way of America
§  Veterans Administration
§  Volunteers of America

Scallan follows this with similar information on more organizations, categorized by their specific areas of concern: Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cancer, caregiving, dental health, diabetes, foot care, health, hearing impairment, high blood pressure, housing/long-term care, incontinence, legal issues, medications, nutrition, osteoporosis, safety, stress, stroke, vision. Next, she gives addresses and telephone numbers for the state offices of aging, from Alabama to Wyoming.

The last third of Scallan’s The Ultimate Compassionate Guide to Caregiving is over one-hundred pages of Glossary, giving in-depth definitions of relevant terms.

To repeat, this is an extraordinarily fine book, which makes a fine companion to ours. Scallan’s is directed primarily toward how to provide custodial care, generally given by those who are not nurses, and ours deals primarily with managing nursing care. In the home situation, custodial care may be being supplied by the family even as nursing care is being supplied by nurses, so that both books may be of use.

GOOD GRIEF, "My Story"

On September 1, 2014, at 12: 25 a.m., I lost my husband, friend, and partner of 46 years. He was also a great dad to our daughter for 45 of those years. He was 69 years old and had enjoyed many years of retirement while I continued working. During this time, our roles shifted, and he took over the household tasks: doing the dishes, clothes washing, bed making, banking, and was the financial manager and cheerleader for me and my daughter.

My husband passed away in bed as he slept right next to me. The only thing that woke me was the snoring for which I turned and shoved at his shoulder — annoyed that I was losing sleep. I got no response and immediately became alarmed. I leapt from my side of the bed to run to the other side, to shake him and try to rouse him…with no success.

My daughter ran from her bedroom and started CPR while I called 911.

We are both nurses, so we did our routine CPR activity (pushing on his chest to help his heart beat and breathing into his mouth to bring air to his lungs), but this time with a more personal impact.

The emergency medical team (EMTs) arrived quickly, but it seemed to take forever. Time goes slowly during critical events such as this. I remember running down the stairs and out the door to flag down the team; the numbering of our town homes does not follow a logical order to enable it to be easily found. They took over the job of trying to save Fred’s life, but he did not respond to their efforts.

They could not get air into Fred’s lungs nor a breathing tube inserted to use as an airway, all bad signs. I requested a pause in CPR at one point to check his heart monitor (for heart rhythm) and breathing — there was no response. No heartbeat, no breathing — my husband was gone.

My daughter and I looked deep into each other’s eyes and nodded in agreement, deciding to honor my husband’s wishes of no heroic treatment in cases like this, as he had stated many times in the past. A hard decision to make when we could see him lying there.

We knew he was already gone, but we still wanted him back with every part of our being. When we shared our decision to stop CPR with the EMT leader, she contacted the hospital MD, and the lifesaving efforts ceased.

The coroner was also contacted, routine for deaths at home. We were lucky we did not have an obstacle with the coroner to deal with… my husband was under the care of a physician, and his medical history was evident.

When I was asked about which funeral home I would be using, I could not think of an answer. I criticized myself for not knowing the name of the funeral home our family used. I should know this, I told myself.

Then I remembered its location. The EMT leader knew the name and the phone number. She contacted the funeral home for us and gave us the time they would arrive to pick up the body. We said our goodbyes and thanked them for all their care.

The hardest part of this was to wait in the stillness after they all left — just the three of us: wife, daughter and the body of our loved one lying in the bed upstairs.

We went upstairs to talk to him and say our last goodbyes, to touch, to grieve together and to cry. I kissed his forehead and stroked his face, knowing that this would be the last kiss and last touch.

I was crushed. This event was unexpected — a total shock. We had survived past stressful events with him, when he had strokes and seizures, but he always recovered. This time was different, he was gone from us forever. We were in shock and felt numb. The loss of Fred’s body, spirit, and energetic presence was so profound.

As I’ve mentioned, I am a nurse and worked in critical care at one time in my career for 12 1/2 years; I have been at the bedside when death came quietly, sometimes not so quietly, to claim a patient — another person’s loved one. I have assisted family members doing postmortem care at the bedside after a death.

I have cared for critically ill adults and even “predicted” that they would die on my shift. Although I kept this to myself, it enabled me to suggest that the family member should stay a while longer. I have allowed the family to be present during the “code” of their family member, but only if this was their wish. I have supported nursing students through the patient’s dying experience, including postmortem care.

Even after all this, I was not prepared when death took my husband. I was still faced with the same questions that I helped so many others to find answers to when they faced the loss of their loved one: What to do first? Whom to contact? What about work? How is Bonnie, my daughter, taking this?

So many decisions to make…it was overwhelming. The only thing I could do was one thing at a time: one breath, one step — and then another.

The first week, we did all the things that needed to be done immediately: contact family and close friends, sharing the loss as well as the plan to honor his wishes.

First and foremost, we wanted to honor his wishes to be cremated and have his ashes distributed at Daytona Beach, Florida. So, we made the arrangements with the funeral home for cremation, death certificates, payment, etc. Fred also wanted no viewing or memorial.

After this, we packed up and drove from Pennsylvania to Florida. My daughter drove the whole way down and back. We spent some time in silence. We also rehashed the details of his death, trying to understand what happened, whether we missed something, or if we could have done something more.

We reminisced about the good times and the memories. We cried sometimes and used up many tissues. Other times, we shared smiles and laughter.

It took two days to arrive in Florida. When we rode into Daytona Beach, the first sight we saw was a rainbow over the ocean. We spotted this as it was developing, and we pulled the car into a parking lot to take a few photos. It seemed a sign of hope and confirmation that we were doing what we were supposed to do, bringing him to the place he loved.

We’ve been to Daytona on vacation for many years, and it felt like coming home. This time we stayed in a motel we had never stayed in before. We weren’t ready to revisit our usual accommodations.

We spent two days thinking about what to do next and visited some of the favorite eating/drinking places he loved. When we shared our loss with one of the waitresses at a place we frequented, she hugged us both, with tears in her eyes. We felt comforted. She shared the impending loss of her grandmother; she was glad to talk to someone who knew about loss…a shared experience.

Finally, we decided to have our ritual ceremony at the beach near the lighthouse he loved to climb. He could no longer make the climb the last couple of years due to his health. We did this last act of love for him with a celebration on the beach — just the two of us. My daughter created a sand angel next to the heart we traced in the sand with his name, the dates of birth and death, flowers from his mother and sister, and his favorite sandals. A cloud in the distance out in the ocean had visible rain pouring down — as though the universe cried with us, sharing our pain. We have a photo of this, including the sand display; we felt Fred’s spirit come to rest in the place he loved so much.

As we stood side-by-side, knee-deep in water, we spilled his ashes into the Atlantic Ocean, surprised at what happened.

“They are sinking,” I said. “I thought they were supposed to float.”

No one tells you that these ashes are different than the typical ashes from a fireplace. These ashes were the bone fragments of what remained of Fred — a weight of over 9 pounds.

Another way we paid tribute to my husband was to visit his favorite place in Daytona Beach — the Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse. We arranged for a memorial brick to be placed on this historic site’s walkway in his memory. (Weeks later, we received a small remembrance brick to keep with us.)

As we did this, we remembered our last trip to Daytona as a threesome, just a little over three months before his death. The first week he spent with Bonnie and her friend, who left at the end of the week.

I followed, a week later, to join Bonnie and Fred. We had a great time as usual. Bonnie and I didn’t think we’d return so soon and under such sad circumstances. After a week away from home, taking care of this sad business, we returned to our new reality: two, rather than three of us. The next week we spent comforting each other, doing routine chores and lots of paperwork resulting from the loss of a spouse.

Looking back, I remember well our last day as husband and wife. We spent the day together doing errands, then visited the reservoir near us to check the water level. We have water stock, and this was something he kept track of, as well as the share price. I wasn’t feeling very well and did not go out to dinner when he asked me to, so he visited his favorite off-track betting site, watched a few horse races, and had a bite to eat. Things progressed as usual at home. We never thought these would be our last moments together.

I was glad that our whole last week together was filled with wonderful memories like this. He ate all the special foods he liked (courtesy of his daughter), and he went to the places he loved to go. Still, we wish we could have had more time, did things differently, said things more lovingly, been better, etc.….

The door closed on this chapter of my life, joined together with my husband. Another door opened, forcing me to step through alone, cautiously and reluctantly into the unknown, not knowing what to expect, nor how to survive.

So, I tried to re-establish a life of normalcy in a life suddenly, drastically changed through the loss of a life force that had accompanied me throughout most of my life. I felt this loss of Fred keenly at first, but I tried hard to “put on a good front,” “to fake it till I made it.” Fortunately, I was supported by friends, colleagues, and even strangers I met who somehow had heard the news of the loss. They sent cards, called by phone, made personal visits. These were frequent at first, but soon tapered off. I did not live alone nor need to pick up the pieces of a broken life by myself. I was lucky that my daughter lived with me, and we had a shared experience to bind us as we moved forward.

I was also fortunate that I had a deeper strength that I could draw from — my faith. Some call this a belief in God, while others may call this source of strength by another name.

To sustain this normalcy, I continued working from September, when Fred died, until I retired in January. This time was fraught with anxiety, fear, conflict, love, comfort and caring — to name only a few emotions. As time went by, I was progressively left to my own devices, often adrift, wondering what to do.

My daughter had planned a vacation to Hawaii in January with a friend and decided for me to come along, so I would not be left alone at home. I struggled on this vacation, feeling guilty about going, yet happy for the opportunity. I kept wondering how my husband would have enjoyed this or that. Guilt followed me everywhere, as the learning and growing process continued.

My daughter and I have gone on many learning trips in the past and are already nurse coaches. I love learning. My daughter and I signed up for a course on Transpersonal Coaching in New York for April — only seven months after our loss.

While there, we practiced awareness exercises, just as we had in other courses, but this time it was different. One exercise we did was to be guided to seek our wisdom figure to answer a question we had. I had trouble deciding on my question, so I started the experience with just an open mind and heart.

As I got to the part of the experience where I was to meet my wisdom figure, I saw a blurred figure moving toward me, with no specific shape at first. I saw the form changing, becoming white and slender. I kept watching. More details evolved, yet not so many that a face was recognizable.

When the figure was close enough to touch, I felt extreme longing. I reached out with both arms and turned my head to the left to lay it on the chest of the figure — an action I’ve done frequently in the past when hugging my husband. My hands seemed to bump into white, wing-like structures that enfolded me. As I embraced the figure, he embraced me.

The figure spoke to me, “It’s going to be OK.”

I had been wanting a hug from my husband, and I had gotten it. I fought accepting this at first, then let go of my unworthiness and was grateful it had happened.

The healing continues but is not over.

It’s been over three years since the loss of my husband — but it feels like only yesterday at times. In one sense, time froze that fateful day; and yet, time still passed, 24 hours in each day ticking away as usual. Days moved into weeks, then into months, and now years.

I had no control over time. Neither will you — even if you try. I continue to take a few steps forward and then slip a few steps backward in my healing journey. Sometimes, I get stuck for a while. Other times, I make much progress and growth. The growth phase has been scary. I often wanted to stay in the past, more comfortable, and less daunting than moving forward. But, forward I moved each minute, each hour, each day, continually.

I asked, “Why?”

I wanted one more day. I was angry, sad, confused, lost and lonely. As time passed, the sorrow eased. Then came the holidays, special events, and other things that exposed my feelings of grief and loss again. I keenly felt the heartache and relived the pain, only to work through the healing…yet again and again.

You see, I went through the grieving process in my own unique way, as you will, too. Guess what? I learned a lot. I am grateful for my daughter’s invaluable love and caring. Bonnie is a beautiful, empathetic young woman who is also going through this journey of grief and loss in her own special way.

You and I, we are not alone. I am not different from anyone else in having to experience sorrow. I have a story of loss. Everyone eventually does.

In this book, I have shared some of the experiences that helped me heal on my journey through grief and loss. I hope you find comfort in the stories and use some of tips I discovered to help you when you are stuck on your healing journey and find it hard to move forward.


With her permission, I will be serializing here nurse Cheryl Barrett's valuable book on transcending grief. I had the pleasure of being her coach and editor through my Write Your Book with Me enterprise. 

Douglas Winslow Cooper, PhD

Perhaps the easiest way to obtain a copy of her book, published by Outskirts Press, is through this Amazon link: 

WHAT EVER HAPPENED...? "Appendix 13. Resume"

Janet A. Schliff
68 Penstock Lane
Lake Katrine, NY 12449


Versatile and passionate professional with significant “hands-on” experience in the Life Skills Special Education field. Particular expertise in implementing techniques targeting individuals’ different strengths and learning styles. Positions held have required the ability to create a truly unique learning experience for all my students with a strong emphasis on practical, daily life skills. Highly effective and direct communicator, able to develop trust and build solid relationships with students of varying ages, abilities, and diagnosis’. Proven ability to coordinate and link individuals with a variety of community services as a part of a cohesive team.

Professional Experience

Life Skills Special Education Teacher (1:12:1)

Rondout Valley Central School District (2003-2007)
Worked directly with mentally challenged adolescents ages 12-15 in a full range of practical, Life Skills areas… Developed and lead sessions in food preparation, budgeting, housekeeping, and personal hygiene… Incorporated field trips to local stores and restaurants to reinforce learned skills… Emphasized proper manners, proper ordering, shopping fundamentals, and cash flow management with teens… Assisted students with a variety of behavioral and social skills… Trained and supervised teaching assistants and teacher aides.
·        Maintained a weekly laundry schedule with class
·        Facilitated recipes on food preparation and party hosting
·        Organized Christmas caroling trips to a local nursing home

Life Skills Development Program Special Education Teacher (1:12:1; 1:8:1)

Management Needs Special Education Teacher (1:6:1)

Ulster BOCES (1989-2003)
Taught children labeled mentally handicapped and emotionally disturbed ages 6-15 in all Life Skills and curriculum areas… Supervised teacher assistants and aides… Implemented various behavior management plans… Organized field trips throughout Ulster County… Trained in TRIBES (behavioral cooperative learning program)… Conducted several songs sung at concerts and moving up ceremonies… Directed various play productions.
·        Coordinated Ulster BOCES Special Olympics Track and Field
·        Implemented the BOOK IT Reading Incentive Program for the district
·        Instituted the Sparkly Crest Dental Health Program for the district
·        Initiated the Ulster BOCES Running Club (Sophie Finn Extension)

Self-Contained Special Education Teacher / Resource Room Teacher

Pine Plains Central School District (1982-1989)
Taught children labeled mentally handicapped, emotionally disturbed, and/or learning disabled, ages 6-14 in curriculum and Life Skills areas… Supervised teacher aides… Planned numerous field trips throughout the Hudson Valley… Organized and chaperoned overnight camping/educational trips… Directed various play productions… Conducted several songs sung at winter/spring concerts.
·        Coordinated a school-wide fundraiser for the Gannett House of Poughkeepsie, an emergency housing shelter for homeless families
·        Initiated the Pine Plains Special Olympics Track Team and acted as Training Club leader for 3 Special Education classes
·        Developed a swimming program and conducted lessons for 2 Special Education classes
·        Implemented a breakfast and dental program for students
·        Coordinated a community spaghetti supper as a classroom fundraiser


State University of New York at New Paltz

Master of Science Degree in Education: Special Education (1985)
·        Grade Point Average: 3.97

State University of New York at Plattsburgh

Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education, K-12 (1982)
·        Grade Point Average: 3.67


New York State Permanent Certification, Special Education (K-12)


The 1992 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching: Ulster County

State University of New York at New Paltz and Mid-Hudson School Study Council (1992)

Who’s Who in American Education

The National Reference Institute (1992-1993 Third Edition)


Co-authored with Dr. Spencer Salend of the State University of New York at New Paltz an article entitled, “An Examination of the Homework Practices of Teachers of Students with Learning Disabilities,” Journal of Learning Disabilities, December 1989: Volume 22, Number 10, pp. 621-623.
Co-authored with Dr. Spencer Salend of the State University of New York at New Paltz an article entitled, “The Many Dimensions of Homework,” Academic Therapy, March 1988: Volume 23, Number 4, pp. 397-403.
·        Both articles were presented at the National CEC Conference, San Antonio, Texas, (4/93)


Training Club Coordinator/Advisor (1992-2005)

Ulster County Special Olympics; Ulster BOCES Special Olympics—Track and Field, New Paltz, NY

Fundraising Chairperson (1997-1999)

Ulster County Special Olympics, Kingston, NY

Training Club Coordinator (1983-1990)

Dutchess County Special Olympics; Pine Plains Special Olympics—Track and Field, Pine Plains, NY

Superintendent of Sunday School

Third Lutheran Church, Rhinebeck, NY

Whole Language Presentations and Courses Taught

Whole Language for the K-3 Special Education and Regular Education Class

30-hour/15-hour In-service Courses
Fall 1990 to Fall 1997
Ulster and Dutchess BOCES-SETRC Office
Mid-Hudson Teachers Center
New Paltz and Poughkeepsie, NY

An Introduction to Whole Language and the Special Education Classroom

Undergraduate Course Workshop
April 1999
Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Classroom Celebrations

Mid-Hudson Reading Council
Thirteenth Annual Fall Conference
October 1996
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Classroom Celebrations

Staff Development Workshop- Brinkerhoff Elementary School
December 1995
Wappingers Falls Central School District
Wappingers Falls, NY

Classroom Celebrations

Staff Development Workshop – Gayhead Elementary School
March 1995
Wappingers Falls Central School District
Wappingers Falls, NY

Evaluation and Assessment in the Whole Language Classroom

Staff Development Meeting
February 1995
Pawling Central School District
Pawling, NY

Implementing Whole Language

TAWL Conference
September 1992
SUNY New Paltz
New Paltz, NY

Implementing Whole Language

Staff Development Meeting
March 1992
Kingston City School District
Kingston, NY

An Introduction to Whole Language

Staff Meeting- Sophie Finn Elementary School
June 1991
Ulster County BOCES
Kingston, NY

Basics of Whole Language- Make and Take- Primary

Ulster County Staff Enrichment and Educational Development Conference
April 1991
Rondout Valley Middle School/High School
Accord, NY

Reading – An Invitation to Many Worlds

Mid-Hudson Reading Council
Seventh Annual Fall Conference
October 1990
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Implementing Whole Language

Superintendent’s Conference Day
March 1990
Ulster BOCES
New Paltz, NY

A Look at Whole Language

Superintendent’s Conference Day
January 1990
East Ramapo Central School District
Spring Valley, NY

Implementing Whole Language

NYS Second Annual Whole Language Conference
October 1989
Rochester Convention Center
Rochester, NY

[Thanks to Mikaela O’Brien for helping Dr. Cooper and me by typing up this document when he couldn’t, because he was caring for his ill wife.]

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

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



More talks are being planned for 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 a writers' group in Rosendale, NY, on August 30 at 2 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.

Janet spoke at the Poughkeepsie Brain Injury Support Group at the Poughkeepsie Galleria Mall in Poughkeepsie, NY, on Saturday, February 23 at noon. 

Janet spoke at the Stanford Free Library in Stanfordville, NY, on Saturday, March 9 at 10:00 a.m.

Janet spoke at the Howland Library in Beacon, NY, on Wednesday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m.

Janet spoke at the West Hurley Library in West Hurley, NY, on Saturday, March 23 at 1:00 p.m.

Janet spoke at the East Fishkill Library in Hopewell Junction, NY, on Monday, March 25 at 6:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Grinnell Library in Wappingers Falls, NY, on Saturday, March 30 at 10:30 a.m.

Janet spoke at the Dover Plains Library in Wingdale, NY, on Friday, April 5 at 6:00 p.m.

Janet participated in an Author Talk at the Saugerties Library in Saugerties, NY, on Saturday, April 13 at 1:00 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Red Hook Community Center in Red Hook, NY, on Wednesday, April 24 at 5:00 p.m.

Janet will participate at the New Creations Gift Shop Author Event in Fishkill, NY, on Saturday, May 4 at 12:00 p.m.

Janet will speak at St. Timothy's Church in Hyde Park, NY, on Sunday, May 5 at 11:00 a.m.

Janet will speak at the Moffat Library in Washingtonville, NY, on Saturday, May 11 at 1:00 p.m.

Janet will speak at the Beekman Library in Hopewell Junction, NY, on Saturday, May 18 at 10:30 a.m.

Janet will speak at the Pleasant Valley Library in Pleasant Valley, NY, Tuesday, May 28 at 6 p.m.

Janet will speak at the Blodgett Memorial Library in Fishkill, NY, on Saturday, June 8 at 1:00 p.m.

Janet will speak at the Plattekill Public Library in Modena, NY, on Saturday, June 20 at 1:00 p.m.

More talks are being planned for 2019… contact her at 845.336.7506 (h) or 845.399.1500 (c).

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.