Monday, October 6, 2014

Morning Madness: Blogophilia 33.7

Don't want to get out of bed...
Don't want to go to work today...
Morning madness paints me blue...
And I'd rather sleep the day away!

(Hard, 2 points) Use a line from a Robert Frost poem
(Easy, 1 point) Include the name of three cities

Sometimes, I can fly out of bed, and other times, especially when there is that cold nip in the air, I sleep so good, I don't want to crawl out of the covers.  But of course, every day, is the rush of get up, slam the orange juice, drink the coffee, go to work, run an errand or two, eat lunch, go to another job, and there goes the day of a home care worker.  It's not easy on the schedule, because you don't go to a full shift, you go into people's homes for short periods of time...  and because of it, it's hard to get house work done, etc...  Then there is the job search...  That is also hectic, and is wearing.  It's good to know that the end of the road is near.

So, morning is the most hectic, with not much less during the day.  As much as I would like to sleep the day away, I can't, not even on a day off...  I am a go getter, and that always trumps my sensibilities to want to stay warm under the blankets...  but of course, morning madness has to carry over, even on days there is no rush, and to have to go here, there, everywhere, it's like rush hour, in three cities like Boston, Springfield, and Providence.  I'd love to visit them, because of the American history that has been built there....

In the rush, we often let time get away from us.  Sometimes, I think with more modern conveniences, that we get busier and busier, even though all of these different things that are supposed to make life easier.  I've always liked this poem by Robert Frost....

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963
Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. 
It's not that we don't celebrate life.  I like this poem, because it shows how we are all awed by newness, such as babies, kittens, puppies, lion cubs, etc.  Our children don't stay little very long.  And even if babyhood doesn't last long, it's fun to watch our babies turn into preschoolers, and their little personalities are so darn cute, too.  then, they become teenagers.  Life sometimes causes us to lose people and things that bring us grief.  We get older.  Youth escapes us, after wanting to grow up so fast...  Yet, with every generation, we repeat the newness, and with each baby born, human or otherwise, we get new 'gold', nature's way, and with hope, will be a better day with each day, year, and generation.  Carpe Diem!  Go capture the day!

Topic - Trevor
Bonus points - Christopher and Dave Nissemech
Picture - jay
Word/Phrase - 1) wash away time  2) time slips into the future  3) So much ocean, not enough time to swim  4) Drowning in time  5) time flies  6) bird flew over the cuckoo's nest

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Food Share & Job Training: An Economic Rant of an Advocate...

Some point in the last week or so, there was an article in my local news paper about the fact that a good solid economic location also has to have a solid manufacturing going on, and how the local manufacturing businesses are stating that there is a lag in skilled labor vs. the positions open, and how the local technical college is taking in those who qualify for these positions are able to get grants, and how they are starting to host an apprenticeship for young people to get hands on training for these manufacturing jobs.  Even if there is a lag, at least it is being addressed as we speak, which is good for the long term effects of meeting those requirements.

Even though through the Wisconsin Works (W2) has been in effect for several years now, it has gotten a little bit tighter since we've gotten a Republican Governor and a republican majority in the State Assembly.  The original W2 plan was to get people who are on assistance to either work (even if it is only part time) to earn their benefits such as child care, Medicaid, food stamps, etc, or, if not employed, to apply for positions that they are qualified for, to be able to receive their benefits.  This was to try to curb the fraud on who are applying for jobs, for example, a high school drop out who is unemployed and the only experience is working at a gas station would not be qualified to apply as a store manager at a department store.  This way, they are applying for positions they actually have a chance at getting hired for, rather than purposefully applying above their heads, just to not even land an interview.

Now, with the tighter rules, there are other rules in place, that, even if the only benefit you are getting is Food Share, and if you do not have any minor children, you must participate in this FSET program, which is Food Share Employment & Training program, sponsored by ResCare (respect and care) Workforce Services who are "assisting people to reach their highest level of independence.  Of course if you are a senior citizen 65 years of age or older, or officially disabled, you are exempt from going for the jobs.  This is something for the 18-64 year old able bodied adults.

This program is to provide food share participants the assistance and support they need to obtain competitive employment.  FSET is supposed to "draw on the strengths, needs, and preferences of the ob seeker to provide services that result in successful & competitive employment, while promoting economic self sufficiency".

What are the benefits of the program?
*  Employment:  FSET Case manager will help set goals, (short and long term) to help you gain full time employment.
*  Training:  online, in person, or at the worksite
     *  ResCare Academy has over 300 classes online.  Each person will receive a login and password.  Classes can be taken at any computer the participant has access to with internet.
*  Supportive Services:  overcome barriers such as child care needs and transportation
*  Education:  get your GED, Vocational Training, or earn certificates needed for job placement

FSET Enrollment
Enrollment in the Food Share Employment & Training  FORWARD Program is simple.  You must first be enrolled in the FoodShare program.

If you currently receive Food Share benefits, FSET enrollment is quick and easy.  Contact us and we will get you started!
As for a referral to the FSET program by calling:
     Racine & Kenosha Counties - 1-888-794-5820
     Walworth County - 1-888-446-1239

Foodshare Enrollment
If you are not receiving Food Share, but, think you might be eligible due to low income or unemployment, give us a call.

There are 4 ways to apply for Food Share in Wisconin.  Two of the easiest and quickest ways are:
     1)  You can find out if you are eligible by logging online at
     2)  You may talk to someone about eligibility and enrolling by calling:
          Racine & Kenosha Counties - 1-888-794-5820
          Walworth County - 1-888-446-1239

You can also apply in person or by mail.  The phone numbers listed above can be used to find out more information about these application options.

Okay, mind you, I get it.  Wisconsin's economy is still very shaky.  The S.E. Wisconsin area that includes Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Walworth are doing exceptionally poor in the jobs and economics department.  Many skilled jobs, such as machinists, welders, CNC operators, heavy equipment operators, etc are listed in the jobs section, and most of us are not qualified without the training which could be from school or by apprenticeships. 

There also many positions for CNA's in the jobs section, to do personal care work, both at nursing homes, group homes and home care agencies.  Some of these positions will hire personal care workers, who have experience but not the certification, and may help you get certified.  Here again, you need the certification or the experience.  In this case, there are programs available through your local Workforce Development Center to get into the health care field, whether it is as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Health Unit Coordinator (HUC), Surgical Technician, Medical Assistant (CMA), medical IT personnel, and a couple more.  Obviously, the IT people have the highest pay rate, and the rest have better earning potential than a CNA, even if it is just a little bit.

But, it seems as if this training that is offered in conjunction with the food stamp program has a wider option of help to propel people into the workforce aside from the two programs mentioned above.  This could be good news.  So, I called the number.  I am not required to participate in the program, even though yes, I do receive food stamps, probably because I do have a minor child who needs help with school issues.  Or, it could be because I went through the program in health care to get my health unit coordinator diploma, and subsequently got certified, yet it doesn't seem as if I am able to find a position, despite applying for about 175 positions as a CNA, HUC/CNA, and HUC positions in every facility in the Kenosha County, Racine County, and Milwaukee County areas.  Yes, the county areas, also.  Not just what is located in the city proper areas.  I've also probably put in an additional 50 or so resumes as a receptionist for doctor/clinic offices, optical offices, dental offices, medical supply places, as well as others, which have nothing to do with health care, but, I am not leaving anything remotely possible undone.

I actually agree with having people go through the program to try to find better job positions.  There are plenty of homeless people who would think it was super duper cool to have just a couple dollars to go buy themselves an ice cream.  Even in the case of a married couple, minor children or not, if both are physically and mentally able, one of them ought to be able to go for a job that is better than their current position.  Of course, it's different when the couple have children, and say, one of the adults/parents are disabled, so that leaves one parent to care for the children and their spouse, that it is better to allow for them to be home, or risk having to pay out more money for hired staff.  it's just economically more sound.

On the other hand, I have met plenty of people who try to use every excuse under the sun to not want to improve upon their situation.  They think because they are doing this or that, and because it's too hard to show up at certain times and places, or that they refuse to learn a different or new skill, or that they think they should be able to meander along and still get benefits.  What some people call trying, is only half ass, and here comes every excuse on the planet as to why they can't even try for any of these opportunities.  I say this, because I've had people ask me for job referrals or for what ever item or tidbit to make their lives easier or better, yet they find a way to waste it away by not applying, or bringing politics into their imploring letters for a job.  Some of these open positions require certain skills that are not physically demanding, but, requires other learning to be able to be qualified.  So.  Don't tell me you want an office job when you don't know how to use a computer well enough to use Microsoft office, or type relatively well.  The Workforce Development Center is available to help you learn these new skills.  They offer various classes throughout the month, every month, and if you're not an 8am person, go to the 1pm class.  Convenient?  Sometimes.  Not always.  But, do you want to live out your life, not knowing day to day if you're going to be able to make ends meet?  If you love yourself enough, respect yourself enough, know that you're deserving enough...  you will find a way to make it happen to get into these classes to update your resume, take what ever class it takes to learn or clean up your skills, and go for it.  That job isn't just going to fall in your lap by itself.  You have to go get it.  So when someone shows you a door to open, go knock on it.

Of course, there are times when some people like being in their situations...  Because they can come and go at will, and because they don't have family to have to worry for, they choose to be bachelors or homeless or what have you.  I don't get it, but, these people aren't complaining.  It is those who seem to do nothing but complain about their situations, when there are options to help them.  They are hard up, but, they don't do as much to get up on their own to get things done.  Yes, I realize that not everyone has the same level of gumption.  I discovered advocacy in college, and, I not only enjoyed it, but found I had a knack for it.  I also discovered that yes, I need to be my own advocate as well.  When I get into advocacy mode, there are many who wonder how I keep it up.  But, as I said, I have a knack...  It's like a musician who works hard busting their chops, and as thankless as it may be, when it's show time, they shine like the star they are...  Sometimes it would be nice to borrow some of that energy, but, hey, you gotta find your own energetic place, and use that as fuel to boost yourself.

Thing is, I totally understand that the situation is ridiculously difficult, because everything costs money.  But, this FSET program is willing to give you a bus pass or a gas card to go do what you need to do to get your job.  But, remember, you have to go get it.  It won't be easy, because it seems that those of us who are willing to bust a move get punished for our efforts.  In the month of July, I took extra hours, and some of them were on the 4th.  Based on that month only, they yanked $150 off of my food stamps, which hurt, because I never make that much, and that was just to try to get ahead...  When I reported my new income, rather than go by August, they averaged it, and only gave back $38 in the food stamps...  Now that I lost a client, my hours are almost nothing, even with reporting, the change won't come to help until November, though I'll be short of cash in October...  Mind you, after 11 years as a CNA, and being in my 40's and not getting any younger, it's not easy to keep up with doing aid work these days.  But, I have to remain determined and set a good example for my son, not to give up, even if the odds are stacked against me.

This is why I decided to volunteer to opt in on this education thing.  I'll go to the meeting, and find out what is in store, before I commit to the program and make it a requirement.  But, I'm holding out hope that something good will come out of this.  I worked through my education process when I went for my CNA course as well as my HUC training, all while I still advocated for our abused children every little chance I could...  AND managed to spend one on one time with my son, AND with my hubby, along with getting family time in there, also.  Budget your time, draw a line where you have to, and reach for your goals, because there is no fairy God mother to wave her wand to give it all to you.  Life isn't always fair, and getting welfare doesn't always give you the hand up that you need, because sometimes it seems as if you are punished for being a go getter, and that puts more hurdles for us to overcome.  Find a way to get over that hump, even if it means taking  detour to go around it, crawl under it, or tunnel through it, or what ever you have to do.  No one else is going to do it for you.  Push ahead, full speed.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Mist of time: Blogophilia 32.7

Open your eyes to the beauties of fall,
Jeweled colors sparkling and sublime.
Pen poised in hand, you heed the call
As your words unveil the mist of time.

WELCOME ONE AND ALL!!!! Autumn is officially here and it is your favorite time of the week -- time to share your thoughts, feelings, poems and stories with us! :)

(Hard, 2 points) Integrate a line from the poet Christina Rosetti
(Easy, 1 point) Incorporate a classical music composer

With fall here, and temps mild, we are grateful for sunny days, even with the days winding shorter... 
Dreary days remind us of the mist of time, where we know we do not always have tomorrow.

So much to do, and as busy as we are, there are those Mozarts out there yearning to break out of their shell with the great works that lies within them.
Yet with chores to be done, work to be paid, searching for better positions, children who need us...  Dreams are not for the struggling practical.

"Can anything be sadder than work unfinished?  Yes, work never begun."  Sad.  Yes, very sad.
Many of whom wish to improve upon themselves, who never get the chance, and like the mist that turns to frost, dreams die.

But, there is hope.  A splash of color in the dankness of the mist.  Not always easy to see, but, it's there, bright eyed with bells on the toes.

A heart of roses, swelling for you...A heart of roses, swelling for you...

Here we are, with a glowing heart, that tomorrow always brings a new chance, no matter how small...
That splash of red, when everything else is drab, don't forget, these flowers smell good, as well as that morning coffee, freshly brewed.

I enjoy sitting on my front porch, with my coffee, in just about any weather, because even if I'm not planning on going anywhere, fresh air is always good.

Topic:  Barbara K
Bonus points:  Doris and D Ana
Picture:  Jessica
Word/Phrase:  1) A heart of rose  2) My heart bleeds  3) Roses are Red  4) Red rose for love  5) Rose candle light  6) My heart is locked  7) I bleed for you  8) Raindrops on roses  9) Brand new lover  10) old flame  11) My heart goes bang  12) Heart murmur  13) Every rose has it's thorn

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lifted Up: Blogophilia 31.7

Summer wanes, autumn draws near 
Drown your sorrow, spread some cheer
Take the challenge, do not fear -
Read our topics; right now, right here!
(NOTE: If you are in the southern hemisphere of this big blue marble; please change the words 'summer and autumn' to 'winter and spring'!)

WELCOME ONE AND ALL!!!! Hope you are all enjoying the last few weeks of summer!  Now it's your favorite time of the week -- time to share your thoughts, feelings, poems and stories with us! :)

(Hard, 2 points) Include the title of a Benny Goodman song
(Easy, 1 point) Mention corn and apples in your blog

Usually, I am most lifted up as spring comes to a close, although my favorite smells are contained in spring.  But, my favorite activities are in summer, so, it's kind of a strange thing, because I love my fresh corn on the cob, which for us is August and into September...  Then again, with fall, the apples are in full swing, and who doesn't like apples?  They're great in a Waldorf salad, with leafy green lettuce - walnuts - apple chunks topped with a little salad dressing, though mayonnaise works well, too.  And of course, my very own apple pie, from my Grandma's recipe box.  It's awesome.

Speaking of awesome, an autumn walk in the ever changing colors of the trees, who wouldn't want to skip around and Sing Sing Sing With a Swing with Benny Goodman, toward such a great looking place like this?

So goes the seasons....  Another year passes, and soon, it will be spring, again...  It's too bad I'm no longer a spring chicken....

Topic:  Bettie
Bonus Points:  Doris & Trevor
Picture:  Nina
Word/Phrase:  1) Land of Oz  2) Yellow Brick Road  3) Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore....  4) If I only had a brain/heart/courage/home  5) Munchkins  6) Are you eating my apples?  7) Poppies...  8) Magical Kingdom  9) Ruby Slippers  10) Scare Crow  11) Tin Man  12) Cowardly Lion  13) Dorothy  14) Wicked Witch  15) Glenda  16) Tornado  17) Falling house  18) Life Journey  19) There's no place like home  20) The Wizard

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In My Wildest Dreams... A rand by a child advocate: Blogophilia 30.7

Time to wake up, it's a brand new day -
Time is flying away too fast, it seems!
Come share your thoughts and feelings -
You can even share your wildest dreams!

Good Sunday morning, Earthlings!  WELCOME ONE AND ALL!!!! Hope you are all enjoying the last few weeks of summer!  Now it's your favorite time of the week -- time to share your thoughts, feelings, poems and stories with us! :)

(Hard, 2 points) Incorporate a Black Crowes lyric
(Easy, 1 point) Include the word 'butterflies'

In a world full of violence, turmoil, political factions, religious wars, ethnic persecutions, and poverty isn't just for the 3rd world countries, it is plagued here, in the United States.  The violence isn't just in the mass shootings of recent years.  Domestic violence and child abuse are both running strong and rampant.  Never, in my wildest dreams would I have even thunk that I would be needed to help press our law makers to try to stiffen up on these issues, especially for child sex abuse.  We must remember, that in times of trial, such as job loss, holidays, etc...  The abuse usually escalates, even if it is supposed to bring families together.

In the Black Crowes song, Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution, they say, "Open your eyes and see your solution".  Well, sorry, with only ONE other 501c4, a nonprofit to make social change to protect abused children, which is PROTECT by Rep. Debra Wasserman-Schultz, this means that no.  I am not a daughter of the revolution, I AM the revolution, and yes, my eyes are open, and I AM part of that solution with my own cause...  Often, I stand alone, but, it's something that I find is worthy, and I am unafraid.

My hopes is that with curbing the violence toward children, that these precious youth will come out of their cocoons that the abuse put them behind, and become the butterflies they are meant to be.  They can't do this alone, they must have support, protection, and a safe environment.  This means, regardless of what is popular or not popular, we do NOT return these children right back to the dangerous situation they've come from.  I have another organization that had opposed the April's Law for Wisconsin legislation because of the facts such as having a sympathetic perpetrator.  Or a child that does 'not behave'.  Or a single mother who relies on her parents to babysit her 10 year old daughter, who, consequently is molested by her grandfather, so that the single mother should not have to choose between her daughter and father.  Or a blended family where the older step brother sexually abuses the younger step sister, that the parent of the victim should not have to choose between the daughter and the spouse (the parent of the older son).  I call this 'bull crap thinking'.
1)  Quit feeling sorry for the perpetrators. 
2)  Stop blaming the child victims because they are insolent.
3)  Familial abuse is the worst in damaging the victim in every way...  Those who are supposed to protect the child that ends up abusing the child causes the worst type of emotional, psychological, and spiritual damage to the said child.

I say that we need to start listening to constituents and organizations that are in your district, not those who do not sit in legislator districts.  We also need to make sure that we have our priorities set.  It is easy to pretend that there is no issue.  It takes courage and strength to push through to ensure that we are doing the right thing.  Right is right, even if we are the only person doing it.  Wrong is still wrong, even if everyone else is doing it.  We need to protect our children, even if it means that we break up the family member who is guilty.  If a father of 4 with a stay at home wife taking care of the children commits a felony act of armed robbery and bodily injury, should we go easy on him because he has a family?  If he is willing to do this to strangers, what is he willing to do to his family?  I can guaranty that the family is probably being abused in some way, too.  So, if a single mom, who immerses her children in freezing water to punish them, should we keep the children there?

We recently had an article come up on facebook about a mother who used her "toy", to sodomize her 2 year old, stating that she only wanted him to "feel good", because her toy made her feel so good...  And here is a list of articles that show what light sentencing people get, and this is just here in Racine, WI...  Just think about how it is statewide or nationally....

Why We Need Harsher Sentencing!

Why do we need stiffer punishments?  In too many instances, we consider children to be "property" of their parent or legal guardian.  So, in instances where it is a family member or other trusted relative, all too often, the child is either returned into the same situation where they were sexually abused in the first place, or the perpetrator is given a light sentence.
Please refer to these articles, just in Racine, WI that deals with these light sentencing:

Here is to all of our children who deserve to dance with the swans...

Swan RiverSwan River

Topic:  Irene
Bonus Points:  Deborah and Nissemech
Picture:  Kim
Word/Phrase:  1) Swan River  2) Trumpeter Swan  3) Swan ballet  4) Graceful  5) Swan River  6) Ballet  7) The Swan Princess  8) The dying swan  9) Mute Swans  10) Swan Song  11) Sweet Swan of Avon  12) Whooper Swan  13) morning mist

Thursday, September 11, 2014

When Cold Rain Falls: Blogophilia 29.7

You've been waiting with bated breath
For your favorite time of the week.
A new jacket holder, a new topic...
So come on over and take a peek!
Good Sunday morning, Earthlings!  We are now in the third week of the new season.  It's time to share your thoughts, poems and stories with us! :)

Bonus Points:
(Hard, 2 points) Incorporate a Khalil Gibran quote or line
(Easy, 1 point) Include the phrase "color blind"

Fall is in the air, and the weather is getting cooler, which means the rain is also colder.  When cold rain falls, it seems to wash the changing leaves off of the trees, reminding us that the sweet kiss of wintery death is looming around the corner.  Don't get me wrong.  Being in Wisconsin, we have 4 seasons, and the freshly fallen snow on the trees are kind of an amazing sight.  But, last winter was cold and treacherous.  Last summer was stolen, with only 2 weeks of real summer broken up in chunks...  This summer, too, is going too fast, with not many nice days. 

My son is 14.  He will be 15 in March, but, I seriously don't know where the time went.  Being a mom is the best job I've ever had, and the struggles are not so bad, since I am lucky to have a relatively good kid.  But, Sir Khalil wisely says, "Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you."  Of course...  He must grow up and live his own life.  I can only guide him on his way.

On the same token, because ALL children are the suns and daughters of life, I am an advocate for reducing the gross abused of our children.  Because ALL children are precious, I must be "color blind" to ensure ALL children are kept safe.  It irks me when a child shows signs of being abused, and because some act out, they are blamed for their victimization or deserves it for "being bad".  Or how 6 year old little girls were "dressed provocatively" so the pedophile couldn't help it...  What doesn't help, is when you get commercials like these:
1) Here is what, about a 6 or 7 year old girl, whose poses and the open mouthed wink is way beyond her maturity, and here is this little girl, flirting with this older woman, as if she is some Guido at a bar...  At least she is fully clothed, but, she is way over sexualized, and we don't even recognize it here in this country, and we wonder why little girls get preyed upon by sex offenders?  Disgusting!  To me, it's not about will power over the donuts, there are better ways to push the healthier choices in food.  The video:
2) Here is a fiat commercial that starts off innocent enough, where two nicely dressed young men beep for their dates to come out.  The ladies come out, and it's almost comical about how because it takes so long for us to change, especially when dressed as the wedding party, that the ladies had to change in the car...  How they did it w/o ruining their hair, I'll never know...  The grotesque part of it is, toward the end, when the 4 leave, there is a boy, about 10ish, maybe?  That gets this knowing grin, as if he just scored big time...  This is still the age where boys think that kissing girls is gross, yet he acts like he's ready for a cigarette...  Again, oversexualizing the tween boy, and we wonder why the sex abuse against our male children, and even adults are on the rise...  NOT COOL!  The video:

I've been accused of over reacting, and this is just the way these sex offenders want it...  I could go on, but, you get my point...

Waling the beatWaling the beat

Topic:  Irene
Bonus Points:  Trevor and Michael Todd
Picture:  Barbara
Word/Phrase:  1) Walking the beat  2) Girls' night out on the town  3) BFFs  4) Window Shopping  5) 5th Avenue  6) yellow brick road  7) Moving on  8) Moving out  9) Freedom!  10) Big dreams  11) Vacation girls  12) Maiden Voyage  13) Street Walkers  14) West side girls 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Job Seeker, Advocacy, and a sideways rant with more advocacy...

As many of you know, I am a home care CNA who recently got a diploma and a subsequent certification to be a health unit coordinator.  With approximately 150 or so applications since about April 20, I am no closer to doing the medical office work as I was a year ago.  Because one of the courses was to learn everything about Microsoft Office 2010, I am, actually just as qualified to be professional in any legal setting, including lawyer's offices, City/County offices, legislators' offices, and more.  You also know that I am a child advocate who is combating child abuse and even has my own cause to help boost the importance of this cause.

It dawned on me just a short time ago, that I'm actually better at advocating for underdogs than I am as a job applicant.  This doesn't mean that I am not a good job seeker.  I have been vigilant and considering multiple options, and not limiting myself to just a few places.  I've even been bold enough to apply for education positions with literacy programs, since some parts of my job includes patient education, and that is one of my more favorite parts of my current job.  I'm even having better interviews, with each one, even if they are few and far between...  It just seems as if once I've had the initial interview, I haven't been able to even go toward another position without having that generalized letter about going with other candidates who better fits their needs after considering my application.  I really don't get it.  On the other hand, when I step up and contact those in charge about advocating for the greater good, I always get a result...  Even if it's not what I intended, it is still, indeed a result, and it does make some ripples to affect others to act, and some good has come out of it, even if it is in small increments.

So, anyway, as a home care worker at a nonprofit company, the pay isn't the greatest, though it's better than some of these other home care agencies.  I haven't had a raise since 2006, yet there are other agencies that start their aides at lower starting pay, yet charge their clients higher.  Plus, the agency I work for provides for medicare patients as well as those who get the VA benefits.  It's a mission I believe in, to help those who need it most, and it started off as an agency run by disabled people for disabled people.  It's the belief that even those who are not able bodied are still able to provide a service or something to the community, thus being an asset to the society.  It's a good mission.  If it were just about pay, I'd be somewhere else.  But, because much of our pay is dependent on medicaid payouts, if they don't increase their rate, we don't get a raise.  It has nothing to do with the fact that some of us literally go above and beyond the call of duty.  Some of the tasks, sure, can be learned by just about anybody.  But, it takes some skill and finesse to be a quality care giver.  The bad part is, we don't really get paid much more than a fast food worker who knows exactly how to put the pickles on your sandwich.  Because this job is one of those that does take some skill, such as practicing proper body mechanics to transfer patients, and because you can't predict their movements, it has the highest risk of back and other bodily injury that his second to none, even railroad workers, construction, etc...  Mostly because you can pretty much predict how that bundle of roofing tiles is going to behave.  If it starts to slip, you can let go to save your self.  But you cannot do that with another person, unless you're willing to be sued up the wazoo.  Yet, miners and construction workers get paid enough to support a family, even if you have to live modestly.  But, a home care aide is still in poverty as a single person, and you need to go into a hospital or nursing home for better pay.  I can handle the hospital, because many who come in are for surgery and other stuff, where they are usually healthy enough for what ever procedure they are going to get.  It is the ER, ICU, and certain cardiopulmonary floors where you get the most frail (health wise) people.

Here is the kicker.  Certain nursing homes that also take the medicaid or VA benefit have enough to pay their CNA's better.  Most hospitals also take medicaid and can pay their CNA's better.  Granted, they are doing a lot of good, especially those whose health is declining, or in need of therapy, and the aides run around busy all day.  Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed, making it difficult for some of us to keep up with.  Thing is, when you figure that these facilities are staffing CNAs, CMAs, RNs, LPNs, doctors, receptionists, appointment setters, and many people behind the scenes to keep your medical information in order and confidential, etc...  plus the cost of the building, maintenance, electric bill, etc...  and these are paid 24/7 - that is a LOT of money that is being paid by various tax payer monies.  I'm not complaining, we NEED to take care of people, and all of us should be fortunate enough to be able to get quality care, because being poor or disabled shouldn't disqualify you to get the help you need.  But, here again, home care aides work one on one, and are slotted for a variety of increments of time, anywhere from a half hour to 24 hour standby care, if you need it.  But, since the patients pay their own rent/mortgage/taxes, utility bills, water bills, food, etc...  and only pay for the services they use, the cost upon medicaid is much lower, so that the overall cost is only a couple hundred dollars a month, as opposed to several thousands and more in a care facility.  So, the thanks we get, is lower pay, for saving everyone else money?  Thing is, depending on the situation, if we are at someone's home as an aide, and we get injured and can't help ourselves, if the patient we take care of is unable to use the phone, there is no one there to help us.

*sigh*  I understand that I am rambling, but, it's all for a point.  I have spoken to people, and went up the food chain, to speak to someone about the fact that we deserve more pay, and the best way to get that done is to contact our legislators.  So....  I guess it's a good thing that I have experience in this type of advocacy, because speaking to our legislators is what I do best, often with at least a little bit of light in the future, even if it's just a small, dim light.  More work for me, and hope that I can at least get a little pay dirt.

Another thing to kind of go with it...  Often, with child abuse, it escalates when there are life stresses like lack of money/jobs, which of course ripples onto the fact that without money, we can't pay our electric bills, buy enough nutritious foods, etc... or whether or not to fix the car, which may end up meaning an extra long day taking public transport (which around here, isn't that great of service), and the various stress gets taken out on spouses and children.  Many single mothers are also home care givers, so they can put their work schedules to accommodate their children's school hours, appointments, and more.

So...  Please.  For the love of thunderstorms.  Please contact your legislator today, to let them know that home care aides, especially those of us who work with the poor, are getting fair pay, that good care givers deserve it.  Some day we will all be old, and need someone to take care of us.  We all deserve quality care, and if you get what you pay for, wouldn't you want a care giver who is happy with their post?  Better paid servants also have lower risk to abuse their children and spouses.  Raise the medicaid reimbursements today!

Here is the contact info for some Wisconsin legislators.  Please click the link in the place where it has the legislature list, to find your federal people as well.  I think it's high time that we start appreciating our good people who risk our own bodies to injury to care for our frailest and meekest citizens, by giving us a better pay rate.  Your parents and grandparents will appreciate it, and we will, too, when we're at the age to need home helpers like me.

Governor Scott Walker                                      Lieutenant Governor RebeccaKleefish
Office of Governor Scott Walker                         19 East, State Capitol
115 East Capitol                                               P.O. Box 2043
Madison, WI 53702                                          Madison, WI 53702
(608) 266-1212                                               (608) 266-3516       

Representative Peter Barca (Kenosha)             RepresentativeCory Mason (Racine)
Room 201 West                                             Room6 North
State Capitol                                                 State Capitol
P.O. Box 8952                                               P.O.Box S8953
Madison, WI 53708                                       Madison,WI 53708
(608) 266-5504                                            (608)266-0634
(888) 534-0064                                            (888)534-0066

Representative Tod Ohnstad (Kenosha)               RepresentativeRobin Vos (Racine Cty)
Room 420 North                                                Room211 West
State Capitol                                                      StateCapitol
P.O. Box 8953                                                   P.O.Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708                                            Madison,WI 53708
(608) 266-0455                                                  (608)266-9171
(888) 534-0065                                                 (888)534-0063

Senator John Lehman (Racine)                               RepTom Weatherson (Racine)
Room 5 South                                                       Room109 West
State Capitol                                                         State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882                                                        POBox 8953
Madison, WI 53703-7882                                        Madison,WI 53708
(608) 266-1832                                                     (608)266-0731              (888)534-0062
Senator Bob Wirch                                         
Room 127 South                                         To find out whois your senator/representative to the state -
State Capitol                                
P.O. Box 7882                                          The Hotline can be reached at:
Madison, WI 53707-7882                         Local Madison Number: 608 266-9960
(608) 267-8979                                        StatewideToll-Free: 800-362-9472       HearingImpaired: 800-228-2115

US Senator Tammy Baldwin                                            US Senator Ron Johnson
717 Hart SenateOffice Building                                      328 Hart Senate OfficeBuilding
Washington, D.C. 20510                                                Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5653                                                          (202)224-5323

US Representative Paul Ryan
Washington, DC office
1233 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3031

Ask any person who utilizes a home care agency how they like their helpers...  ;)