Tag Archives: United States

Clara54 In Review (2011)

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Happy Monday! Christmas is Sunday!!!!!!! As a result of the Holidays, Clara54 is taking a sabbatical until after New Years, possibly will return 2nd week of January-another year, another birthday:)

I thought I’d look back at a few things accomplished in 2011 on the journey from nurse to freelance writer:

2011 a wonderful year in the life of Clara54 because I got to expand my horizons in writing, publishing & entrepreneurship:

1. Published my ebook- A Life Toward Authenticity; My Authentic Woman Story- one reader praised the journey of how I turned challenges into opportunities this way: “Clara Freeman Walks the Talk.”

2. Bought my self-hosted website at http://Authentic-Woman.Net where I share insights and offer affordable services that will help women turn their challenges into opportunities and live out their passion and purpose at any age. The move to hosting my own domain was one of the best decisions of 2011! 

3. Earned a certificate in Leadership & Coaching from Depaul University under their Hay Project

4. I’ve been retained by a London website as their American entertainment correspondent…the editor seems to like my work:) check out my latest post now; www.city-connect.org

5. Clara54 was recently placed on the Reflections from Women Book Tour  Blogroll as one of their favorite blogs to watch in Terri S. Nelson’s Reflections From Women Book Series…

6. Published in the November Issue of Costco Magazine’s Health Column.

I’m still waiting for Tyler Perry to answer my tweets in regards to that laptop request ( hey, Oprah and Gale got cars) and George Clooney haven’t taken me up on my invite to explore his Italy digs—nor has that limo driver, personal chef and country home somewhere in Georgia I’m pining for came to fruition, but, let’s not get it twisted people, there’s always 2012!

How was 2011 for y’all? I’m all ears!

P.S. Want a shot of Holiday motivation? Purchase a copy of My Authentic Woman Story for Xmas! Simply go to http://authentic-woman.net and stroll down the site to buy (cheaper than a glass of the finest wine… believe!)

Guest Post from Amy Shoemaker

Holyport Lodge. Now a BUPA nursing home
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What Is Being Done To End Nursing Home Abuse?

The Problem

Currently, about 1.5 million nursing home residents reside in the United States.  Nine-out-of-ten nursing homes are understaffed and the hours per day nursing home personnel are recommended to spend with residents by the government is not being met by many nursing homes.  Employees are underpaid, overworked, and, in many cases, undertrained; five percent have criminal records, and 25 percent of those prosecuted for nursing home related crimes already had a record.   Unfortunately, all of these factors and the fact that many elderly patients have psychological or physical incapacities lead to abuse in nursing homes; 33 percent of all nursing homes nationwide have been reported for some form of elder abuse.  The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision solely because it means that they will live away from family and friends.  With the added threat of abuse, and it is a real threat, the decision becomes almost a lose-lose situation.  Given some of the atrocities in nursing homes, what is being done to stop the abuse?

Unfortunately, federal officials have found that state inspection agencies are not fully fulfilling their objectives.  States are required by their contracts with The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to perform annual surveys at nursing homes.  However, mistakes are being made and inaccuracies recorded.  The General Accountability Office (GAO) is a federal agency whose mission is to guarantee that federal programs are meeting their constitutional responsibilities.  The agency has been investigating state agencies for a few decades after the high rate of abuses came to their attention.  They have found two main problems with state inspection officials.  The first problem is the state inspectors are passing dangerous homes.  The second problem is that when state inspectors determine that abuse or neglect are present, they are understating the degree of harm.  And, unfortunately, the GAO reported in 2008 that both of these mistakes have led to harm, injury, and death of nursing home residents.  According to a 2003 GAO report, 20 percent of nursing homes were state approved despite actually being dangerous.

A main reason for these mistakes are that nursing homes generally know the dates state officials will go to their facilities to complete inspections; this allows homes sufficient time to prepare, and hide their deficiencies.

What is being done?

Federal agencies, like AGO and The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services are working to rectify these mistakes.  Annually they complete investigations and release reports on nationwide nursing home abuse statistics and improvements.  Since AGO’s initial investigations, state inspection related mistakes and oversights have decreased.  However, since the nursing home population is growing annually due to the Baby Boomer generation’s accelerating age, nursing home abuse is not necessarily becoming less common.

Advocacy groups also work to end nursing home abuse.  They have risen in popularity in recent years, bringing to light the abuses taking place in nursing homes.  Groups educate the public on individuals’ experiences and attempt to prevent abuses by releasing relevant data and statistics.  They also provide resources and tools for victims and their families.

Amy Shoemaker is a guest post and article writer bringing to us her thoughts on nursing home abuse.

Additionally, Amy writes about this subject for http://www.nursinghomeabuse.net

Related articles

Book Review: Eat Local: Simple Steps to Enjoy Real; Healthy & Affordable Foods

For the sake of full disclosure, let me state for the record: I am not a foodie expert. I am, however, a farmers’ daughter who grew up eating fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden. For 2 consecutive years, Clara54 Weblog has been recognized as a Book Review Blogger site. So on that note, I agreed to review Eat Local: Simple Steps to Enjoy Real; Healthy & Affordable Foods.

The Author, Jasia Steinmetz, a Professor of food & nutrition and a Registered Dietitian has written 180 plus pages in PDF format of valuable information that serves as a resourceful guide to healthy eating by encouraging consumer participation via shopping locally, eating simple and delicious foods, while helping to maintain economic growth within the farming communities.

Some of Eat Local Simple Talking Points include:

Agriculturial and Organic Foods

Food Preservation- the how-tos of picking and preserving seasonal foods. Indepth look at nature’s way of introducing colorful and seasonal foods 

Growing & eating Organic foods

Children understanding the foods they eat

Cooking Tips and promoting healthy diets and sustainable, local food systems:

 Farmers’ Markets, Co-ops, Farm Stands.

Farmers and farm Associations that aids in funding local foods.

 The book is very detailed in the liguistics of its promoting of “voting with our forks” by examining the need for a biodiverse, sustainable, local food system.  

There’s so much to guide you on the road to healthy eating in this book. It concludes with a detailed glossery of farmer speak, agriculturial jargon that the City dweller might not know. The one drawback as a review would be the 180 plus page PDF format. Still, it doesn’t take away from the important message to healthy eating, Eat Local Simple delivers.

Visit www.Amazon.com  to purchase a copy of Eat Local Simple.

 Clara54 received no compensation for this review.

So how are you eating lately? Please share!

Pray, Replenish, Renew…

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I know that ALL AMERICA will be taking moments of silence as we pray for the victims of 9/11/2001 and their families….

Clara54 will be taking a week of respite as the month of August, although productive, was overwhelming! Clara54 needs a breather!!!

Will return with a new attitude & loads of stuff to share ( including my going back to school!) CLIFFHANGER

Peace and blessings…

Is Trending “OVERRATED?”

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Of course, I’m just one little minnow in a sea of gigantic fish in the world of freelance writing . But, having said that, I’m also a prudent observer of human nature and how we go about playing “follow the leader” in our attempts to jump on the bandwagon of a good thing. Not to say, that writers/journalists/bloggers shouldn’t look for that next big story. I’m just as much of a hound dog for getting the scoop. But, when the scoop becomes everyone else’s frigging ‘cats’s meow!”…I got a problem with that!

Case in point: The suicide of Russell Armstrong  (estranged husband of Taylor, one of the reality Housewives Of Beverly Hills) people talked about his alleged reasons for killing himself. His abusive nature, his financial problems, etc. As a celebrity gossip writer for my site, I avoided adding to the mix.

Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd‘s weddings and as of Saturday, Kim Kardashion’s lavish ceremony to Chris Jefferies; the cost, the gowns, the cake-YIKES! I’m preparing to contribute another (entertainment) guest post to City Connect, based in London– I’m not going to concentrate on the wedding. I’m more intuned to look for the underlying factors to the wedding!

Trends in celebrity, fashion, cars, and so forth hahave become so mind boggling that we who put fingers to keyboards often forget about the stuff people really want to hear and read about. Recently, the media focused so much on Obama’s vacation and so little upon why the rich wasn’t getting taxed, I began to wonder, “what’s really going on?”

Are trends the new “black” in America’s psyche, or do we really care about world issues any more? Hungar and famine . Senseless murders. Troops losing their lives protecting our country. Republicans making a mockery out of American Government????

Hmmm, I suppose this blog rant might better serve my column at blogher. com. Maybe, I’ll just repost it there. I’m not totally against trending, I’m just not so sure it hasn’t become a tad bit “Overrated.”

Any thoughts from creatives ?

P.S. I recently watched an Entertainment Tonight clip of a Youtube musical Military group called “SIDEWINDER”. The same day I blogged about these troops serving in the US Airforce, performing for their fellow troops on my entertainment news site, over 300 viewers sought out this story…those are the sort of trending stories America needs to hear!

A Novel Preview, Poetry Page, And Stuff on the Horizon

Morning All!  There’s a bit of a chill in the Illinois air this morning as I’m sitting in my computer room reading from my to- do list. First, I have to finish a geat novel for a clara54 review from Tayari Jones. In Silver Sparrow, we get to know about 2 sisters with different mothers, but, same father. Only one girl knows about the other.  At five, Dana Lynn is only too happy to draw a picture of herself & her mother, along with her father & his other family for her teacher…

Dana Lynn is happy that her teacher likes her drawing; so happy, that she takes it out to show her mother and father. At 5 years of age, Dana Lynn will learn from her father that she is” the secret.” Tayari Jones story is set in the 1980s Atlanta and centers around a middle class African American family. I’m loving the way the author weaves this web of fiction! I won’t give more away, but, the review of Silver Sparrow is on the horizon!

Recently found out that more of my poetry was  featured on their May/June Femme Vip website here: http://www.femmevip.com under Purple Lounge Section.

Taking an online writers’ Village “Master Class” for competition short story writing . There’s also a short story competition with a deadline of June 30th. Guidelines can be obtained by writing cwriting@btinternet.com  Good luck!

Okay, that’s a short recap of what’s to come & what’s happened since my last post. Today I’m literally winding down from a weekend of nurse duties and attempting to cross off a few more things on this Monday’s to-do list before I can curl up with a good book! 


On The Positive Side of Nurses Week..

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Just to be clear, I don’t usually write about my profession so much, simply because I feel the heat! The truth is, I don’t often come up with anything positive to say about my profession as a Professional Nurse! I know the wrath of the Gods will befall me, huh? Actually, my truth is, I’ve been around the ins and outs of Healthcare for well over 30 years and frankly my dear, I find that the world as a whole just don’t give a damn! Let me clarify. From my room with a view, oftentimes,patients are looked upon as consumers by those in the business of Healthcare. Nurses? Well, as a whole, we’re finding out that our voices are no longer considered the “voice” of reason when it comes to patient care and patient intervention. You might want to run your assessment by the Therapist, Dietitican , Activity Aide, and Social Services Dept first, before that decision-making  nursing skill of yours can be validated.

But, then, this is Nurses Week & I’m a nurse, so let me find “something ” to be positive about… hmmm…Let’s see:

Ms. “P” is a trooper & a cutup at the ripe old age of 102, YAY!

Mr. “D” finally figured out that his wheelchair was for sitting in and not falling out of 3-4 times a day, YAY! (No lap buddy for protection-as they’re considered a form of abuse) 

Ms. “M” meds finally kicked in and she can stop screaming at the top of her lungs and scaring other patients and having visitors think she’s being abused, YAY!

The CEO actually said “hello” as I got off the elevator, YAY!

For once, the Attending  Physician didn’t scream when nurses paged him countless times for routine /normal labs on the same patient,YAY!

I got to urinate earlier than 10am, YAY! YAY!  

I’m not writing this gripe on Facebook, YAY!

I “loved” my job, YAY!

I still know WHY I became a nurse, YAY!

The patients recognize caring nurses, YAY! 

I could be written up for this and lose my “Happy Nurses Week gift bag! YAY!?!

Happy Nurses Week Nightengales!

Are U a Nurse? Your response ? No profane speech people:)

Clara54 Takes A Sabbatical!

Have a good Sunday people!
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Good Sunday Morning! Clara54 is listening to her body & taking a much needed SABBATICAL for the week!  See you on Monday with much more insights on my transition from professional nurse to successful freelance writer …

Peace & Blessings,


Grateful Readers, Renowned Speech, And a Secret as Well? Do Tell!

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Good morning everyone. I know it must be quite chilly outside with the rains and winds kicking up a ruckus! But, I’m inside and I’m warm, pumped up and raring to go. So, I’m posting a bit of end of the month meanderings. Still newsworthy stuff this morning and I’ll share a secret idea that’s been brewing for the last month or so. You’ll just have to read the whole post for that teaser:)

The month of February has been very interesting, to say the least. First off, I ended a  twitter posting gig with a friendly Realtor. I’m in the process of setting up my Celebrity/ Entertainment/ Gossip Blog over at Wordpress.org . Made lucrative connections with several networking friends as far as Switzerland and landed my sites onto several well established blogrolls. I published at the women ezine ForHarriett.com and have become the blogger in waiting for membership amongst a group of savvy women entrepreneurs (it’s good to be nominated) 🙂 And assisted with a writing project @ request of a fellow writer.

Clara54 welcomed Sylvia Browder guest post which received nearly 100 reads so far and still counting. I was invited to guest post at her blog as well. A Screenwriter has committed to posting for your reading enjoyment soon and another post from Sylvia is on the ready. I made the homepage at BlogHer for the third time and recently did a virtual tour of their new site with one of their editors…those taking the tour were sworn to secrecy and asked not to show the new images so I won’t.

The Sojourner Truth Speech, “Ain’t I A Woman?” republished at my motivational blog for women was a winner for the month of February, pulling in over 200 readers! Among them a networking friend & Radio personality ,who offered gratitude for my posting the speech because she admitted to not having ever read this historical speech by the former slave and activist for women rights! visit http://wisewoman2.wordpress.com to read Ain’t I A Woman? It’s been an awesome month and I’m grateful to have reached a lot of readers & made many wonderful blogosphere connections!

Now the Secret: By no means am I a woman of adventure. I am, however,a lover of beauty, nature, serenity, tranquility and daring spirit, who is willing to try a thing once. I’m also a sentimental fool. Remember Geraldine Page in A Trip To Bountiful? Well, I’m headed in that direction, sorta. I’ve been back to my birth home many times. I haven’t been out of the country, once… I’m planning to embark upon a Blogging  journey to Tuscany, Italy by Summer’s end, or, early Autumn!  The research for affordable abodes have begun. My Switzerland friend have offered to give me traveling tips and I’ve put out the 411 in a search of Sponsors to help lighten the pricey load!

Any helpful suggestions/advice feel free to send my way? A Black woman, who doesn’t know the language. YIKES!!

Got a secret as well? Do tell…

Special Guest Post From Deborah Bailey

Embrace Life
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I’ve learned a lot from this wonderful author & professional coach in the last year from how to “Think like an entrepreneur” to just putting aside your fears…Whether it’s a fear of a business failure or, success, Deborah breaks it down for all creatives on how to get over yourself & get on with it!


How to Move Through Fear

by Deborah A Bailey

The other day I got an email from a gentleman named, Tim. He asked me for
advice about looking for a new job. He was unemployed and money was running
low, but he wanted to make a fresh start.

How much courage does it take to transform your life after it’s come undone?
Having been through this situation myself more than once, I’d say it takes
quite a lot. That’s the difference between those people who survive and
those who thrive. Survival is going from one crisis to the next, always
shocked and a little surprised that you made it. Thriving is a totally
different experience.

When you thrive you are not expecting doom at every turn. Your life isn’t
just an endless journey through anxiety and insecurity. Yes, things do
happen and life is not always a big bowl of cherries. I’m not saying you’ll
never be hurt or disappointed, but I am saying that how you react to those
things will determine your life experience. We can spend a lifetime blaming
this one or that one, being a victim of circumstances and believing that
someone else took our stuff. Lots of people do it everyday. If that appeals
to you, I certainly won’t discourage it. However, if you love your life no
matter what you are thriving. That’s something no one can ever take away
from you.

At the end of Tim’s email, he admitted to being uneasy about the changes he
was about to make. He acknowledged his fears, but then he said he wanted a
better life and was going to take the steps to get it. From the outside his
life may not look very attractive, but with that admission he’s already made
the move from surviving into thriving. I’m excited for him, and I’m looking
forward to hearing about his progress.

1. How about you? Are you ready to make the move? If so, here are some steps
you can take.

2. Get clear of negative people and negative influences. If someone is
always telling you what can’t be done or how awful everything is, you won’t
benefit from being in that energy.

3. Take some quiet time everyday. Whether you call it meditating or being
alone with your thoughts, take time for yourself.

4. Keep learning new things. Once you decide you know it all, you will never
grow beyond that point.

5. Write down your ideas and your goals. There’s something about writing
them down that makes them real.

6. Laugh. Not only is laughing healthy, but it’s much more attractive as
well. Who would you rather be with – someone who laughs or someone who’s
always grumpy?

7. Love yourself, a lot.

8. Embrace life. Don’t wait for some terrible event to occur before you
appreciate what you have.

I’ve been in survival mode and in thriving mode, and I can tell you that
thriving is much better. No, fear doesn’t completely go away, but it stops
being a way of life. We all have the power to go from surviving to thriving,
and in the end it’s up to us to make it happen.

Copyright © 2010 – 2011 Deborah A. Bailey
Excerpted from “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and
Taking Charge of Your Life” available on Amazon.com.