Category Archives: Drug Take Back Day

April. 29, 2017 – A to Z Challenge – Y

Today was a very long day.  The first event was the Drug Take Back Day at the Niskayuna Town Hall. Was there from 9:30 until 2 PM.  Then home and a nap then out to dinner at our friends. Home at 10:30 and had to watch the Samantha Bee alternative to the Correspondents Dinner.

Turns out this is the last night of the A to Z Challenge.  There are 5 sundays in April this year. So Y in the letter but I just might throw in a z for fun,  I am very tired so this is going to be short…

Short Story = The Bar Story

Jerry loved to go to the Turnkey Bar on Friday nights.  It was always filled with lots of women who worked in the fashion industry since the Turnkey was located in the middle of the part of Manhattan where all the designers offices are.

His favorite plan was to stand at the end of the bar with a beer in hand and wait to see if any of the lovelies were waiting for someone or appeared to be alone.  He never acted impulsively.   Then once he had made his decision he would walk over and offer to purchase a drink for her and chat her up about her work, where she came from etc.  He always agreed with anything she had to say.  After about 10 minutes he would make the decision in his mind whether to continue the chat or to move on but he never closed the door.

He would talk up at least four women every Friday night and then get himself another drink and make the decision as to who he wanted to end the evening with.  He was so agreeable in his discussions that many of these women totally fell for his lines. He was for sure a yetman who figured out which person would be the most advantageous to go back to.  Most of the time he actually did score and since he was only interested in one night stands I guess that worked for him. Made for a happy Friday night every week for him.




April 30, 2016 – A to Z Challenge – Z

Never thought I would get here.

Are we finally there? Yes it appears we are. Z at times is a hard letter to find a good word for but I had several choices and they all come together I believe. Z is for Zest for life. I have decided that for me that represents all the people I wrote about this month. These people have a gift they have role modeled for so many people. Many have experienced tragedies in their lives but they were able to rise above. Learning from their experience and helping others not to go down the same path was one way some of the folks live. Others have just lived their lives to the fullest giving to others, never complaining or playing the pity card.

All of these people have been special to me in my life and have taught me about living. They taught me the importance of being more independent, not focusing on my painful experiences but on the good in life. They encouraged me to get out and live life. I owe some of them my life. At times when I was down in the pits they were encouraging and helpful in giving me reasons to keep going and finding the good in life.

Today I spent 4 hours with a group of concerned citizens helping our town police department and the DEA collect unused, outdated prescription and over the counter medications. All those who volunteered to help with this effort were such good workers and so helpful. In four hours 220 cars came and we filled 24 large boxes with drugs. It was such a success. All those people have a commitment to make the world a better and safer place to live in for our children. Life is great.

Enough said. Next year I am going to do a humor month. Have already figured out how I am going to do it. Thanks to all the other wonderful bloggers who participated. You all inspire me.

March 14, 2016 – Rumination could kill you

Did not sleep well last night. I was ruminating for what seemed like hours. all of it is quite a mystery to me. Remembering is quite a chore. I almost got up and went to the computer to write it all down. Might have helped me to get some sleep. Do remember thinking about moving. What if we sold our house and Norah built on to her house so we could live there? We could watch the dogs when they go out of town and would only be there half the year and would have our own space. That would get me where I want to be and not have to worry about shutting this house down when we go north. It was a very nice in-law apt in my thoughts. Then there was something about hubby’s family that always comes into ruminating. I was thinking of visiting our niece to see if she could caste some light on this situation from her perspective. Now that would be interesting don’t you think.

Often in the night I think about what I want to write but today and yesterday a book that some one in my family has asked to came into my mind. I finally have an idea of how to do it. A family history with a chapter for each of our ancestral families. Where did we come from? The familial history of the Descendants of Daniel O’Connor and Bridget Trainor. That would come first. Then might do one for the Laughland side as well. Should not take long to do each one since most of the info I have in my head. Maybe that would inspire me into doing something more since I have been feeling so stagnant.

Tonight if I cannot sleep again I will get up and write it all out or write a page about one of the families. With the rain today hard to feel motivated to do anything. Although I did pickup the flyers for the Drug Take Back Day on April 30th. If you live in the US that day all over the country you can clean out your medicine cabinet and drop off unused or unwanted prescription drugs including over the counter ones at a drop offsite. You can look up on the US DEA for a site near your home. It is a great program. What I have learned from this program is that drugs are over prescribed in our country. And that there ought to be a way to return unused and unopened drugs if someone dies before they use them. So many people come to drop off big bags of cancer drugs that were never opened or used because the family member died.

Enough, I hope it is sunnier where you are.

Charles O’Connor’s Diary 1911

April 1911

April 1 – Phone good wishes to Fergus. (Grandfathers birthday}
April 2 – Fergus, Norah and Madeline arrive. Then Percy and Bridget. Willie sick today. Got cold out of bed/
April 3 – Fergus goes home. Leaves Norah. She and Willis have great time. Play at going to Homerite meeting. Cutter seat fun for them.
April 4 – Cheese factory opens. Willie sick.
April 6 – Darley Flood comes for visit.
April 7 – Madeline and Darley takes Willie to Gan.
April 8 – Boiled sap all day.
April 9 – Take Darley home to Delta. [Darley Flood was a cousin and a nurse – daughter of Charles sister Bridget]
April 10 – Sheep has lamb.
April 11 – 2 sheep 3 lambs. – Not has a cold today.
April 12 – Fine days. Good sap day.
April 13 – Fergus, Frank, Margaret and Maurice join Norah and us today. Cobey goes home for Easter holidays.. Fergus goes home alone. [this Frank is our Grandmother Frances Keating]
April 14 – Good Friday. Rainy growing day.
April 15 – Finished boiling sap. Windy.
April 16 – Easter Sunday. Frank and Maggie here all day.
April 17 – Frank and children at Ellens all day.
April 18 – Madeline and Frank go to Lyndhurst.
April 19 – Madeline and Frank spend day at Slacks.
April 20 – Gather buckets in bush. Fergus…..
April 21 – Fergus goes home. Margaret stays.
April 22 – gather everything from bush.
April 23 – Sunday – Go to see Joanna, Mike Slack and wife and Philip Yates here for eve. [Phillip Yates married to one of the Slack girls]
April 24 – Warmest day yet.
April 25 – sow wheat.
April 26 – Nell had colt. Maria here and goes to Gan with me. Take Margaret home.
April 28 – Friday – Gus Slack helps me with spring work. Madeline goes for Bessie. Drives Pansy.
April 29 – fine day.
April 30 – Cobey, Miss E and I to Mass. O’Grady of Toledo calls for Miss Egan and takes her back. Gus and Tom here. Last day of April. Rainy night.

February 8, 2016 -“The Happiest of Days”

Spending time with our little ones gives me such joy.  This was an interesting 10 days down in the Washington DC area.  Started off really well. Arrived on the Friday afternoon and Saturday we went to Silver Spring and the girls and I went and painted pottery and the parents went ice skating.  We went from there to have something to eat at an Irish Pub.  It was great fun.

Sunday Ian and I and the kids went to the Farmers Market while Mom went to her skating lesson.  I left in the afternoon by Metro to go to the conference at the Gaylord. Met some of my buds and we went to dinner out of the hotel.

Early day on Monday.  National Prevention Day where we heard from some of our national leaders from various agencies.  The day was so good. I went to several very good workshops, one about the latest substance use data especially with the states where they have legalized pot vs states where it is still illegal.  Then I went to one about building relationships with the faith community. It was more targeting members of the faith community who want to join with coalitions but still learned a lot.

Again that evening we went somewhere to have something to eat. After a good visit went to bed and got a good nights sleep.

Tuesday we heard from heads of National Agencies.  Michael Botticelli who is head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy talked about changing the vocabulary around addiction and finding more ways to divert people into treatment rather than incarceration.   He was followed by Chuck Rosenberg the new head of the DEA.  He was great. He has reinstated the National Drug Take Back Day.  He also announced a new program called 360 which will attempt to work with communities.  The goal will be to try and cut off the sources of drugs but then also find ways to divert youth away from drug related activities into healthy activties.

The last speaker that morning was amazing.  Dr. Bertha Madras from Harvard talked about brain science.  “Addiction is the only brain disease which is preventable” We all know this but then she went on to talk about what happened to the brain when young people smoke pot.  It was interesting to hear her say you can not predict who will become addicted to Pot but some do. After long term use nerve cells have fewer receptors  and that effects memory and learning. The earlier one uses the greater the damage.  Those who start before age 15 are more likely to suffer from psychosis or schizophrenia.  One of the most interesting things she said was that more Pot users end up in the ER than those using alcohol.  One really scary thing was that in a European long term study they have found out that the children of mothers who smoked pot while pregnant were more likely to be drawn to using opiates later on.  It is transferred through changes to the DNA. I find this kind of research so interesting where they follow thousands of individuals for 30 or 40 years and eventually can see the patterns that develop.

The good news for parents is that if they talk to their children about why they don’t want them drinking or using other drugs and make clear what the consequences will be… those young people will respond well to these conversations and they use at much lower rates than parents who don’t talk with their children.  The conversation needs to start early and not just be a one time thing.  Also role modeling that one can have a good social time without alcohol is a good thing.

Not to preach but you know back when I was working and we did surveys of youth one of the strongest pieces of data to show  parents of 6th and 8th grade students was the response to the question – Have you ever riden in a car with a driver who had been drinking?  Nothing about drunk in there.  The scores for the middle school age youth was always higher than for the high school students.  Parents would initially find this confusing until one parent would get it and say it.   The young kids when out with their parents see the parents drinking – maybe even just one drink but then driving home.  No one thinks about what the kids are observing and when they get older it breaks down their ability to say no to riding in a car with a friend who has been drinking.  Another time to have a conversation.

After that I attending a wonderful workshop on diversity.  It was so good.  A fun exercise he wanted us to do. We had to identify something about ourselves and then tell the folks what we thought they should know about it.  I picked outgoing or one of the words that means that……  what I wanted them to know that it is not an easy personality type because we cannot turn it off and sometimes we would just like to be quiet and withdrawn but it is impossible. And then I added and you don’t want to be around me when I have been drinking coffee.  It was interesting.

That evening we went to dinner with a whole group and really enjoyed it.  I was tired and and was in bed by 10.  Well, it would appear either I had food poisoning or a stomach bug – one in the same I think.  Starting at about 5 am I was upchucking over and over. Even when my stomach was empty I just gagged.  Then the other end started and went on until the next day.  It was a nightmare.  We were going to visit our congressman that afternoon and our senators.  No way was I going anywhere.  I have never called room service in my life but I had to get something to eat and they brought me saltines and ginger ale.  Thursday I had to get up and going at some point since I had to check out of the hotel so Weds evening when I figured I could run downstairs for no more than 15 minutes I went down and bought a little bottle of Pepto Bismal.  Yes, I started drinking that stuff like it was my best friend.  Thursday a nice woman gave me a late check out and I got back to Ian’s around 4ish.

So what was a great conference ended very early for me.  The rest of the weekend went well. Friday I was going to spend the day recouperating but the two little girls both decided they should be sick and stay home with grandma. We had a great time together. Saturday I did take the day off and they all went to the Smithsonian’s new Museum of Native American History?  It was a school event.  Then they all went skating up in Silver Springs.  Great time for them.  We went out to dinner when they got home at Poets and ? Sunday we went to the Farmers Market and then later to a school fund raiser at a book store and the kids got a whole bunch of new books.

Today I traveled home.  Am tired but happy to be here.  Came home to a great dinner made by my honey.  All things I like and could eat since my stomach still isn’t right. Tomorrow I am going to make sure I am back on all my meds.

So I had a great week for the most part and today am happy to be home. And I am already looking forward to spring break with my little girls.  Going to be a fun time.

Tomorrow we will see some of Charles Diary. I have to remember where we were.

Thanks for listening.  Glad to be back and just to let you know I got some good ideas of some things I want to write about. So hopefully it will all work out.


September 26, 2015 – Drug Take Back and sore feet

Today was all about Drug Take Back Day.   Got there before 10 and people had already been there dropping off drugs before the event started.  We had lots of volunteers helping between 10 and 1 which left me free to jut facilitate things.  Christina our DEA officer who has been with us since 2011 was there again and it was wonderful seeing her again.  She was prepared for a good turn out since we get a great number of folks coming every time we do the collection day.  We also had a Nisky PD officer with us and he was in charge of putting together boxes and chatting.

Once we were up and running the cars were non-stop from start until about one.  We thought maybe it would get really slow but actually it stayed pretty darn busy and in the end we counted about 235 cars had come through and at least 15 boxes filled. One fellow showed up with four large boxes of his own that were totally filled so I guess they count as well.  Very exciting for me since this is the one of the projects I really think effects the youth access to pain meds and other addictive medications as well as being great for the environment.  We also gave away Files of Life so people can put their personal info on their frig in case there is a medical emergency.  Those were well received.

At the end of the Drug Take Back I headed for the grocery store as we really needed some updating with food.  So at least we are good for a while. By the time I got home I was beat.  Good thing I had a pot of soup that I made yesterday. So we had a simple dinner while we were watching the Pope in Philly.  I ended up watching him all evening and it was inspiring.  The man is amazing and what he says hits right to home.  Loved it.

I am very tired so will post one of Sheila’s letters then hopefully the news will come on so I can see myself on TV then go to bed.  Yeah, Channel 13 interviewed me. Heard from one of my buds that it was okay.

No date but based on following letter this appears to be in sequence Also mentions her friend had to go to London on weds Nov 8 1944 and did so after that date

Dear All:

What a grand surprise I got to-day when I looked into my mail box and got 2 slips for parcels, I went over and there were Mom and Dad’s and Ferg and Connie’s. I opened them up and Doylie and Suddsie took them away from me, and stored them in my tin trunk. I was so thrilled and can’t think of waiting till Xmas to open them but know the kids will make me wait and it is best that way. I know so I shall have lots of open at Xmas.

They are starting plans for Xmas now and I guess it will be a lot of fun, first mainly because we really won’t be thinking of ourselves but of all the guys who will spend Xmas on the front or flat on their backs in all these wards.

The hospital is full again and we are very busy. I’m on Medicine which is made up of mostly chest conditions. Poor lads seemed to get shot there so often, skin cases, and a few nerve cases.

Suddsie, Doylie and Bluie and I all on nights and it is best that way, as Suddsie and I room together so we both sleep and don’t disturb one another.

We have been going out a lot with the pt. officers and Suddsie has been going with a Jack Mitchel from Winnipeg, back from France and he got the DMC medal and last week got a letter from the King. Such excitement it was it was so unreal to actually realize it was from the King, telling him to be present in Buckingham Palace, on Wed 8 Nov so Mitch was very excited and Wednesday morning off he went to see the King and it was so grand, we were all excited for him. He came back and they had a big party for him but I could not get off. Doylie and Suddsie were off and enjoyed themselves a lot.

I have Sunday night off and as yet don’t know just what to do but shall find something to do before then.

Well dears, this is all the news for now and must make rounds.

So Love to you all,

September 19, 2015 – Bringing back energy…. and the book

Well, what a lovely day here. I am sitting here in the house waiting for the Sears guy to come. That is truly frustrating wishing to be outside.  I hope they show up soon.  But in the mean time I spent time folding and stapling handouts for the Drug Take Back Day and am almost finished. I was going to have a collating party with some friends but with only two pieces of paper not much putting together to do. The big guy is down at the college bring trained to be on the judicial panel that hears cases when there are problems on campus.  Tonight we are heading for the theater to see a play.  Should be a nice time.

I am getting geared up to start clearing out more of our possessions. The bags of old clothes are piling up, old maps, things stuffed in shelves just to put them somewhere.  The time has come to clear out more of those things.  I figure one hour a day will help clean things out.  And the book…

I now know how i am going to put together Pat and Sheila’s letters and incorporate any letters I find that were written to them during those long months during WWII.  The research part will be finding out more about the battles and the people they talk about in their letters.  Some of that has been very frustrating. But the ones I have found have been kind of neat at times. One of Pats friends became a famous doctor who invented treatments that are used today. Another fellow became very important in the military over the years. I want to include that information as it will make it all more real and educational.  I also realized that if I finish this project and get it published and actually sold any that that could be a problem. So, I have come up with a solution – any profits if there were any – would go to the Bursary at Queen’s University in my Grandfathers name.  Both of these women loved their father very much and it would honor them and him to do that. So, that is not a worry, might not be anyway.

In this letter Sheila again talks about Eileen being sick. I found out a few years ago that that illness was Polio – according to one of her daughters.  No one else had the disease although my cousin thought our family had brought it over from Buffalo,, Not sure how that works if you don’t have the disease, if you can spread it without having it. But that is why Eileen was sick for so long. She was also pregnant.

Late October 1944

Dear All,

After my leave I came back and due to the dampness of weather etc I caught a beastly cold and got my old cough (from the shoes up) again and the Matron was horrified by the sound of it and thus I’m in the hospital.

I feel just fine though and did nothing but sleep for the 1st 2 days so now I’m enjoying the rest. I had on X-Ray of chest and sinuses – both neg. Complete blood count and wait till you hear this – this will floor you – my hemoglobin is 95% – RBC – 4,5000000, and WBC 9,000. So I am a very healthy specimen to be in the hospital, so not being sick I’m enjoying life.

Doylie and Suddsie are both back on nites and I shall follow suit as soon as I get out of here. Thought I’m enjoying this.
To-nite 2 of the officers from the other ward came over and Bluie and I and they played cribbage and had a really good game, even though I lost.

I have not had any mail for the last 2 days but expect soon tomorrow no doubt.

I am really enjoying the rest here, am in a separate ward, reserved for sick nurses but 2 of the rooms are filled with female .O. so you are not alone at night and it is a cute private room, with all the comforts.

Well dears, want to get this off so shall close for now, hope Eileen is well.

Love to you all,

September 15, 2015. – old friends, and WWII letter additions

Today was a busy day. Started with field of vision test at the eye doctors.  That was quick. Then the bank, alternative pharmacy and the Senior Center.  Good seeing my buddies down there who work there and then the folks who were there for the activities. I was there to give them flyers to encourage them to come to the National Drug Take Back Day on Sept 26th and drop off unused, out of date prescriptions as well as over the counter medications. They do a great job of coming down to town hall and following through and letting their friends know to come.  Next week I will join the chair Yoga class but today I had other things to do.

The lovely new used car had its first visit to the dealer for a check up. Of course it passed with flying colors. Good thing they found nothing the matter with it.  Did not take long and I was back home. Driving down the street I saw my little buddy Dottie walking back to her house from the fellow across the streets house.

I parked the car and got my water and thought I would take a walk.  She was still out when I got to her house so I wandered it to say hi since I have not seen her since the spring. Dottie agreed to come over and see my new front walk and then we went inside and I showed her pictures of the two little kids from this summer.  She was thrilled. She has a hard time with speech after having had several strokes but we giggle a lot over her not getting words out and my trying to guess what she really wants to say.  I just love her she is a pistol and has always loved my kids. She has two sons, no grandkids and one of her daughter in laws died last year from cancer after a very long battle. It was so nice having that little visit with Dottie and then Debbie across the street joined us.

Then I relaxed and ate and headed off to Tai Chi class.  What a fun time we had!  There are about 10 of us when we are all there but there were 7 this evening and we had a great time going through the 108 forms and really laughed and had fun. The others have started training using swords but I don’t have one yet. Got to get one sooner than later.

I started reading through the file with the letters from Pat and Sheila to my mom and dad during WWII. They will make a nice addition to the group of letters we already have.  My mom was a champion letter writer. from the time she left home in 1935 she wrote home at least once a week until there was no one left to write to and she wrote to her other siblings at least once a month as well.  She wrote long newsy letters and I think that is why the letters from Pat and Sheila are pretty complete with news and updates.

I will work on them and then include them in the letters soon.

Armed Forces Air Letter – air mail – hand written (22 oct `44)

Dr and Mrs Fergus O’Connor / 193 Earl St / Kingston On


Dear Mom + Dad + all:

What is this I have heard about Eileen. Had a letter from Carmel and have been wondering ever since how she is, so do write and tell me all about just what is wrong. Gee I hope she is feeling better now. Carmel said something about Eileen in the hospital and I have been wondering ever since just what is wrong or when she went in, the letter came this morning and then I reread Mary’s letter of yesterday which said very casually something about Eileen not getting downtown, but not explaining. Hope she is all better by the time this reaches you.

Had the funniest feeling yesterday when I was doing that parcel up for you, to think Happy will actually hand it to you or Dad, it is amazing isn’t it. He said he would look at Princess + Earl St. for me. It seems funny it think I haven’t seen it in 5 months, it certainly seems like 5 months. The parcel is from Patt + I.

Pattsy is certainly travelling and now is beyond Brussels, gee whiz that is something. I got Uncle Jim’s, Jack and Mary O’C cig this month and glad to get them. By the way do you think you could see me some Lux flakes + Lux soap as I’m getting down in my last box of flakes and have about 4 bars of Lux left. There is no hurry, but just sometime in the next months. Also if you could get me some nursing-sister stockings as they (the ones I have) are starting to wear, at least my mends are opening again + again.

I have been very busy lately as they are now flying  the convoys back and then sending them on to various hospital.

Good bye and Love to all