Saturday, October 6, 2007

Recent Adventures and New Events!

This past week found me experiencing homecoming from the parade view point. Kind of weird being a 39 year old queen in the homecoming parade...Funny, and I could expound on the irony of the situation of whence I came in my own youth...But we will not go there...Simply stated, yours truly was never on a float or wore a crown in any homecoming parade during her youth... Finding the situation humorous, I sent a few of you a text/picture attesting to the fact that yes indeed, I was the "homecoming bologna queen" last night...funny stuff really...

On to more serious purposes. My team, has discussed and decided that we are going to assist our local youth earn/raise money for a skateboard park that the township has agreed to build if the group/youth can raise the money. We feel it is a great opportunity to team up generations for a great cause and to help the community. So, watch for events in our building, and future postings of events that we will be holding to help with this great effort.

First up, our annual bazaar where we will be selling create a bear/outfits with all proceeds to be donated to the youth group. In December at the annual lighted Christmas parade we will continue our fundraising by selling glow items or other items to the crowd. We would like to donate a minimum of 1,000 dollars by next May. We will also have our elders helping with this cause and you will probably find us selling cookies and other items in the lobby during the next few months..

Thanks for your continued support, and what a great way to keep the spirit of giving alive in our community!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Raising money for good causes..

Today we raised 160.00 dollars for the juvenile diabetes foundation/Mona's Angels. Simply by serving lunch to my staff for 5.00. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed their lunch. We will be serving lunch again in two weeks, this time it is homemade beef stew and biscuits, with apple cobbler. 5.00 for the meal, and the money we raise will be given to the Memphis High School Senior All Night Party Fund. Have a charity event in need? Give us a call, we will be happy to work with you as part of our campaign/support to the world's biggest blog party. ( The queen is taking a break for a few weeks, as the next semester of school starts with classes two days a week and many work related tasks that need to be completed. Thank you for your support and maybe we will see you at the diabetes walk this weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Taking the crown on the road for great causes...

OK, so the elders found my pictures from convention funny...Just so you all know that your picture with crown and sash has been viewed by my queen mum's and knights. Yours truly also has a horrific picture out there with real "bologna" on her head. The moral of this story is never enter into a verbal contract with an attorney for a donation. They will hold you/hound you until you fulfill your commitment. Needless to say, I have learned my lesson.

Irregardless, the crown and sash were great talking points regarding our small town, the festival and getting the message about the "good" that came of our fund raising out there.

In fact, one of our keynote speakers shared his website with me and I am going to be linking to this site. It is being touted as the "world's largest blog party" and the purpose is to get 1,000 bloggers to work for a period of time to raise money for a charity and then blog about what they are doing. The premise is that if 1,000 people raise 1,000 dollars that is 1 million dollars being raised to enrich the lives of others. Pretty nifty concept, and one that we (the queens, knights and I) can embrace. Our first fund raiser is tomorrow for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

I am a registered walker for Sunday's Michigan event. We will be hosting a small staff lunch tomorrow with the intent of raising 100 dollars in matching money to my 100 dollar donation.

I am walking as part of Mona's Angels. Mona is a little girl who is full of spunk and energy. She is a beautiful energetic child who happens to have diabetes. Her illness does not slow her down. She is a great little dancer, (her dance troupe has won many awards) and she lights up the room when you meet her. Truly a special little girl that would inspire anyone to raise money for a cause that will benefit countless children like herself.

During the next 6-8 weeks we will be hosting a few small fund raising events to create some philanthropic thoughts for my staff, my queens and to continue our quest to make this a better world for you and I to live in; one dollar, one word, one event at a time.. If you have a cause or worthwhile event that you would like us to help with; let us know, we may just be able to assist!

Having personal fun is great; but when we can have fun and create a little enjoyment for someone else; that is priceless and what matters most...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Motherly Advice and Observations...

I love the advice from my elders. Today was no exception. Several of the queen mums knew I was off on a short adventure to New Orleans; and today I was cornered by two with a multitude of questions regarding what I did while there...

Word to the wise, when walking thru our building; you will never know what you will be asked, what comments you will get; or what unrequited advice you will receive.

I am sure anyone walking by, would have been shocked by the bawdy content of the this conversation. (funny how women when in gaggles always end up talking about men...) Yes, for the male reader it is true; that when you get two or more women together over coffee; the conversation will turn to the behavior and observations of your gender.

As we talked about my trip, they shared that they were envious that they were never allowed to go on trips without their spouses...This turned to a conversation about marriage; and what they enjoyed and didn't enjoy about being married;(giving up control of their money and allowing their spouses to determine all decisions in the marriage..) their regrets and secrets; it occurred to me that this "real" conversation and advice giving from them to me was empowering and rewarding for them.

While we joked about my need to confess for sins of over indulgence; they shared their own experiences of the same. I shared with them stories about great wine, incredible restaurants, and the opportunity to converse with complete strangers about being the "queen". (they asked if I flirted, I refused to answer, the one mum, smiled and said "I can tell by your blushing that you had too much fun!")

At the end of the coffee; one queen mum told me "honey, enjoy this time in your life, live it up, life only goes forward, and someday you are going to wake up and be 87 like me and wonder why I behaved and followed the made my life boring...there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about the opportunities I missed. The other mum chimed in, with her secret; "I love life, if you love it, you will live it well honey, live it well and savor it".."I did, and I don't regret a single moment". As we finished our coffee and I told them both thank you for their great advice and support and gave a promise to cook with the mum's next week when I am back from our convention...Their request? anything with alcohol in it that is spicy and not good for them...I am thinking banana's foster, and a good gumbo, followed with more girl talk and gossip...It sounds like a great afternoon stress reliever to look forward too!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Big Easy...

Welcome to our new found friends in New Orleans! I am back, and exhausted, but what a great four days. The "queen" enjoyed herself immensely, made several new friends enjoyed the sights, sounds and people of the area. The welcome we received, (not to mention the frequent comments, smiles and what in the world questions); was fairly overwhelming. Yet, the message of "bologna" was spread as we toured some of the highlights that can be found only in the big easy.

Here are a few of the things I learned:

1. a few new sayings ie; in parts of Louisiana you "make groceries" and "save the
2. that I have an accent and sound like a "cheese head"
3. that having a man say "hey baby" to you means hello how are you and not an
inappropriate welcome
4. that the locals have better music, food and a culture that is unlike anything
I have ever experienced in any other U.S. city
5. that New Orleans is recovering well and you should all visit
6. that bananas foster is a great "morning headache" remedy
7. the definition of creole, Cajun and zydeco
8. that I like Cajun food and zydeco music
9. that wearing my crown and sash on bourbon st. didn't get us many looks in
comparison to other things observed on bourbon st.
10. that football is serious business in Louisiana; and being an Alma mater of
Michigan was a funny joke to most of the football fans watching games this
11. that you can buy beads anywhere in New Orleans and make up stories as to how
you actually got them. (the queen did receive one strand of beads for allowing
a group of young men to wear her crown for a picture)....good story.
12. I learned how to make pralines, jambalaya, gumbo and "real" grits
13. that the small towns of Louisiana are not any different from the small towns
where the bologna queen comes from..

Thank you to one and all for making my trip a remarkable and memorable event not to be forgotten for some time!

The "bologna queen"

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Adventures of the Bologna Queen...

So, a new idea was given to me this week. People who know me; should be running for the hills; Jana with an idea - scary...

Anyway; the idea was from our lovely bologna festival chairwoman who suggested that as I travel for business or pleasure; that I take the crown and sash, and a t-shirt or two and get pictures for the Yale website; with this blog as the on going saga of the bologna queen. Sounds like a great idea to me on a couple levels; 1. I love to travel 2. I am not shy 3. It will be a great way to promote the bologna festival!

So the first adventure is set for the weekend of Sept. 6th-10th. Yours truly will be taking a short vacation with her best friend Sandi. (these should be great pictures)! We are going to the city of New Orleans for a reprieve from our daily grinds. I can only begin to imagine the fun the "bologna queen" will have in the big easy....

With that said we are going for "cooking classes" one of the four days we are there, we have a top hotel, (can you say pampering?) and we are only moments from bourbon st. This little travel adventure came to us on the same day in the form of an email from starwood. I called, turned in points and the rest is going to be a great memory!

The fun fact about this trip that we just discovered last week? The original hotel we wanted to stay at is booked solid for a cardiovascular conference. (Hotel filled with heart surgeons..I feel chest pains already...) So..what's a queen to do? Get a better hotel, and then perhaps indulge in a few libations at the hotel bar with the Dr.'s... With the goal of having a little harmless fun and to get as many business cards/emails as possible to send the next "wave" of bologna seeking funds for next year.

See how my mind works?


Mug Shot Updates;

Watch for updates as we travel... Oh and one more item; the web service I have at home is giving me complete fits about down loading pictures. By the end of September we will have a new service that will allow me to put up a link to the bologna queen photo albums...Watch for it to be posted shortly...

If you see an unlikely queen walking thru the crowds on bourbon st. beware; your picture and business card are being sought!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A World of Thanks and Now What?

I have a list of thank yous that will fill the entire page: But, first and foremost I need to thank my staff(friends) who worked harder then anyone should to get this crown...Really, truly they are some of the best people on earth; and I would be lost without their support. I owe the office staff a HUGE thanks for putting up with my anxiety; neurosis and my ADD for the past 7 weeks; and to think they are still working for us! Also to the dietary department, I promise we will not do this type of thing again, (or at least until we get more storage space!). The entire staff of MediLodge worked tremendously hard for this and deserve a huge round of applause for their outstanding customer service, and support. Thank you one and all!

To the residents and my elders; thank you. Your support, smiles, hugs and words mean the world to me. Your wisdom and encouragement gets me thru many a day; and gives me the focus to keep up the struggle for culture change.

To my boss, for her support, laughter and understanding with the "focus". It is incredible to work for a company that gives autonomy to go after ideas and supports us in what we do for our communities and elders. It is her direction and open mind that inspires and motivates me; thank you!

To my family, thank you for understanding and supporting me. I appreciate your time and dedication; even if it left you a little perplexed, you were there supporting the effort, thank you! A special thank you to my grandpa Pete for his generous donation, love and support!

To my dear friend Sandi; thank you for your effort, time and support; despite her own busy schedule this summer, she found time to help with every function and provide me with support and encouragement; best friends are rare; and I truly appreciate your support!

Now onto the vendors and supporters who donated so generously; following is a list of the vendors, businesses and individuals who sent us checks, donated to our fund raisers and sent well wishes!

All Star Vending, Pt. Huron, MI
Ace Hardware, Yale, MI
Mid West Juice, Grand Rapids, MI
Leonard Gerlach Builder; Capac, MI
Medical Advantage LLC Jackson, MI
Interstate Security,Inc. Shelby Township, MI
Mary Vinckier, DDS; Yale, MI
Detroit Chemical and Paper Supply; Warren, MI
Daniel King/Breeze Medical, Bloomingdale, MI
Trudy Myers, Yale, MI
Nemeth and Burwell, P.C. Detroit, MI
Sangster and Associates, Rochester, MI
Sheldon Medical Supply, Sandusky MI
Nancy Ozturk, Istanbul Turkey
Rhonda Jones, Detroit Chemical
Kerr Albert Office Supply, Port Huron, MI
Earl Smith Distributing, Pt. Huron, MI
Vinckier Foods, Yale, MI
C.Roy and Sons, Yale, MI
Yale Flower Shop, Yale, MI
The Kalina Family, Oakland County, MI
The Foerster Family, Marshall, MI
David and Carol Shroeder, Midland, MI
Kim and Chuck Rummler, Shelby, MI
Sue and Matt Bollaert, Capac, MI
Gene and Janice Rinke, Avoca, MI
Al and Doris Stuever, Lynn, MI
Nestle Food and Nutritional Supplements, Texas
St. John's Lutheran Church, Capac, MI
Karen and The Yale Manor Senior Apartment Residents, Yale, MI
Deborah Culp
Donna Kolhorst
MediLodge of Taylor Residents/Barney Foland
MediLodge of Sterling/Dean Rumsey (thanks for the golf ball auction!)
Stitch by Stitch, Yale, MI
Serious Graphics and Signs, Yale MI
Yale VFW
Dr. Grewal
Encore Rehabilitation, Southfield, MI
Frank Wronski, Washington, MI
MediLodge Group, Inc. Washington, MI
Port Huron Electric Motor, Pt. Huron, MI
Robert Goolsby, Avoca, MI
Kathy and Mike Lentz, Lynn, MI
John and Ann Tomlinson and Family, Pt. Huron, MI
Janet Finley, Algonac, Mi
Scrubs on Wheels, Indiana
All Med Medical Supply, Southfield, MI
Lebenbom and Rothman, P.C.
Leaders in Training, Walsh College, Troy, MI
LRI/Phil Wilson, Broken Arrow, OK
Holly Meadows Golf Course, Capac, MI
Allenton Collision, Capac, MI
Family First Health Care, Yale/Capac, MI
Tri-County Bank staff
Capac Bank staff
Metro Advertising, Mt. Clemens, MI
Sandusky Tribune, Sandusky, MI
Tri-City Times, Imlay City, MI
96.9, Radio First, Pt. Huron, MI
92.5 Sanilac Broadcasting, Sandusky, MI
Emmett Village News, Emmett, MI
Ray and Shannon Cournya, Peck, MI
In addition, I would like to thank the 400 plus individuals who sent in 1.00 dollar donations via pay pal. Thank you so much!

Now What?

Well, I think I need a little vacation! I am going to take a few R/R days this week and then in early September, I will be in New Orleans enjoying a lovely vacation taking cooking classes, shopping and enjoying the life on Bourbon St. I cannot wait to spend four days taking in the sights and sounds of the south, and practicing my cajun cooking!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bologna Queen!

We did it~ I am the "official" bologna queen! Thank you again, our grand total for money raised is 19,550 dollars! This total, is 6,000 more than any other candidate has raised as an individual. We are all very excited. Last night, after the crowning, I immediately went to my "mums" and we have some great pictures, and I have some great memories of their comments and hugs. The "chamber" officials are ecstatic over our success. I use the terms we, because this entire process was successful due to the team work and dedication of everyone involved.

So what next? I owe my queen mums/knights a prime rib dinner with shrimp, (the staff are included in this event, and I have had "several" volunteers from the community offer to help us). Also, starting next week, we will be honoring a queen mum, or knight with a weekly royal subject recognition, and special day for someone we draw randomly to be the new royal subject. They will get a crown to wear, a sash, and a special meal with a staff member of their choice.

Today, it is back to work; we are to be in the bologna tent by 9, to set up for today's cooking, and selling. This is the busiest day of the festival, and by noon we will probably have sold over 1,000 bologna sandwiches...We have the pet parade, a 5K run, and then the big parade tonight at 6:30. I think tomorrow sleeping to at least 8 will be a good thing!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thank You and Tonight We Find Out!

OK, so it is now 4 p.m. I am sitting here dressed in my "formal" bologna attire, (I still have not figured out why we dress formal/serious for this quirky event, but maybe someone will enlightenment me tonight); and I am nervous like a kid before their "big game play".
Pardon the analogy from sports, this comes courtesy of watching my son's nerves before big games in high school days. Perhaps it is really related to the lack of sleep for the past 6 weeks. Whatever it is, I have huge thank yous to give to my co-workers/friends and family. I don't like to ask for help; I don't like to "owe" people. I think of myself as a giver, and for the first time in my life I have "taken" from several individuals; and taken is a small word to use to describe their extreme generosity of time, talent and money.

We met/exceeded our original goal to raise more money then anyone has ever raised before. Like a kid, i cannot keep it a secret and we have shared with a few "key" people from Yale about our tremendous success. I hope that they realize that our zealousness is really just extreme satisfaction with an accomplishment that we ourselves questioned at the onset.

Irregardless; win or lose the crown; I have gained something very special in this experience. I have for the first time in my life allowed others to HELP me, and I have learned to accept their giving and generosity. This gift in itself, is better then any crown, award, recognition, that one could get in life. Learning to receive and be grateful for the gift God has given me in my friends, co-workers(some of the greatest people you could ever work with) and my family. Sitting back and accepting their support has taught me to be grateful for what is good in my life and to be thankful for the blessings that have been bestowed upon me.

May God Bless everyone who helped, donated, and sent well wishes. Thank you and I will update you tonight on the outcome!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Final Countdown....

Wednesday July 25, 2007....

Again, I am amazed! We are in our final 48 hours of fund raising and the end is in sight! Tomorrow we have our final lunch; and then the last chance auction event at the Yale Tavern at 8 p.m. Then it is time to work at the bologna festival tent Friday afternoon, (the Medilodge staff usually does two to three shifts of volunteer work during the festival). I will update the website Friday night to announce who becomes King and Queen; we are all anxiously awaiting the announcements! Irregardless of what happens; the money we have raised will be going to a great purpose and we are proud to be responsible for raising and supporting the community causes.

Friday night should be a fun filled evening, (I am looking forward to relaxing and watching the fireworks with my family!) For those of you planning on attending the events this weekend, I hope you find them as much fun as I; and that you take the time to really enjoy the setting; small town; great community spirit and the "tastes" of the festival. Bring some cash, (ATM's are limited in town!) and don't leave town without trying something bologna, fried; or sweet...(Referring to the bologna tent; the Lion's fries, and the ice cream cones at Katy's, or the Methodist church pie/ice cream social). For an updated list of events, please check out for all details of the festival! Hope to see you all here this weekend!


Friday, July 20, 2007

ladies night...Success!

Wow! At last count we were up to 350 women at our ladies night out! Thanks to one and all for supporting this fun event. A huge thanks to the dietary staff for their incredible work effort to get the food prepared, temped and served! We met our "license" requirement with great success and I owe it all to their teamwork and effort. I think the vendors all enjoyed a successful night; and we kept the psychic busy for 6 hours! Today the buzz was how much money we raised; the psychic reading results, and the great success of the event overall.

We are now in the home stretch, and while we are tired, the enthusiasm is still persistent. I liken it to the end of summer at a resort, still happy, but ready for the end to be near! We have two more events and then the big festival next weekend. This week we recv'd emails from Michigan, China and another from my friends in the BVI..Thanks to one and all! Also, thank you to the vendors for their continued support and sending us donations for our community festival.

It is 6:30 on Friday night, and yours truly is considering "sleep" as the next thing on my to do list.

Update after the bbq!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mmm...Pie! Reflections On A Sense of Community!

Another great success! We had a great turn out to buy homemade pie on Saturday. Despite the rain; we sold out by noon! As I sit here typing, I am enjoying a small piece of homemade raspberry pie with my coffee. A great breakfast for sure! A huge thanks to Cindy S. and Betty F. for taking their idea and setting up this fund raiser. Also thanks to my pie ladies, my church ladies from St. John's; MaryAnn; Linda A.; Pat; Jo K. and the ladies from the manor for contributing. Also a very big thanks to Matt and Lindsey for allowing us to set up outside of their store, serious signs and graphics. Lindsey and family also made a donation of baked goods and they were a big hit as well!

If you have never experienced a bake sale; you do not know what you are missing! This is a small town tradition that brings back memories of my childhood. I can recall going to the bank with my mom to take baked goods in for the monthly Catholic ladies bake sale. The rule was that if we were "good" we were able to take a cookie from the table. I remember that bribe working well for my sisters and I; because we knew that mom would take home a dozen of the "church lady cookies" and we would have a great snack that night. I think the other memory of this event is the sense of community it brought to me as a child, that has stuck with me as an adult.

When growing up in a small town; you think everyone is a friend, and you know pretty much everyone, or they know you and your parents. This still holds true. Now that I am an adult; I find myself having conversations about people/places using descriptions with old family names as reference points. Funny stuff for someone who has never lived in a small community; but the norm for those of us who live here.

It is funny to me that as subdivision and urban living has evolved they are now being designed to give a sense of "community". For those of us who live in a true "community" we perhaps take for granted the atmosphere which we are accustomed too.

Either way; this entire "project" I have undertaken, has really brought to me a renewed sense of community and the importance of maintaining this lifestyle for then next generation!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Kids Night!

WOW! Thanks to everyone who attended, volunteered or worked at our first ever kids night. This event was an incredible success. We had over 165 children, and at least 100 adults in attendance. The question I have heard already, "are we doing it again next year"? The answer is that we will consider it! I think the best part of the night for me was watching our elders take part and help with the event. We had several helpers either with the games, or building bears or greeting people who came in.
One of my queen mum's instructed me to go get her antique teddy bear from her bed to share with the kids she was talking too. Great stuff all the way around.

This type of event reminds us of what is right about what we are doing. It was 100% community and person centered focused. Despite the exhaustion, (I think my dietary staff who volunteered had the biggest work out!); we all felt a sense of accomplishment and success at the end of the night as we accepted our thank you's and congratulations on a great event. Thanks Again!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Busy Factor!

The next two weeks....Wow! If we thought we were busy for the last two weeks, check out our calendar of events for the next two weeks...I think it is going to require large doses of very strong coffee, and a little ibuprofen to get thru! It is all for a great cause, and we are still having fun; which in itself is amazing. This past week was a "slow" week of activity, it was a "catch your breath" break for everyone who is helping with the events and our cause.

A few updates, the "bus tour" was incredibly fun for everyone who attended. I have been told by all women who were on the bus that it was one of the "best" times they have ever had. I think it is female bonding, a group of people with diverse backgrounds and ideas with a little alcohol that made it the best time for everyone. The women who were on the bus did an amazing job of "making money" from the patrons of the local pubs. A big thank you to the pub owners, and patrons for supporting our cause! There has been talk about repeating this trip in the early spring for another charity cause...Hmmm, maybe I will be ready to tackle a new project for fund raising by then. Actually, I think it would be a great fund raiser for our local domestic violence/women's shelter. I will definetly keep this project alive for a later date!

The other fund raising event that was this past week was my annual garage sale. It never ceases to amaze me at how much stuff I accumulate yearly. I think my ability to accumulate is equal to my need for creativity....I need to dwell on this. Anyway, my "stuff" became others "stuff" and I made some money for the cause! The irony is that my house does not look any emptier...

This week....starts today! Tomorrow, we have a burrito lunch at the facility, dine in/carry out/delivery available. Then on Wednesday, lunch in Capac, (my hometown) at my church for the local businesses and my church friends. On Thursday it is kid's night at MediLodge and we are anticipating 200 children/with parents in attendance. This will be an outside event if the weather cooperates. On Saturday we have the country music/line dancing event in Yale with dinner and adult beverages for 40.00 per couple.

Our focus has been on keeping the events affordable, centered on all age groups, and really they are about involving the elders as much as possible. We have three main events scheduled at our home, the kids night, ladies night and our community bbq. I know that the elders are excited about "people" coming in to them. This is a huge thing for us. We are welcoming you into our home where we live. They have been busy getting their "guest services" together. I hope that everyone who has never experienced an elder care community will come away with a new understanding, and a change in their thinking about what we are all about.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Few New Fund Raisers...

By popular demand; we are going to be serving lunch again! This time, we are going to be serving from my hometown; (Capac) we will be serving a hot lunch to go, or dine in; on July 11th from St. John's Lutheran Church in Capac. The menu will be homemade traditional lasagna; or a modern recipe vegetable lasagna; garlic toast, salad and dessert. All this for 5.00. Anyone dining in will also enjoy traditional Lutheran coffee....Please join us on this day! 10% of all profits from this event will be tithed back to the church. We will be faxing/mailing order forms to all of my Capac friends shortly, so watch for postings!

A pie sale: Two of my staff members,(you do realize what great people work at MediLodge by now)!...came up with a fund raising idea...We are going to be selling real homemade pies. Yes you read that correctly, real, homemade pies. This will happen on July 14th in downtown Yale in front of a brand new sign/print company that is opening on the south west side of Main St; in the grey sheldon's building. (small town landmark directions)! We will be set up in the morning and open until all of the pies are gone.
I am asking my mom, mother in law, a few select other really good "pie makers" and "church lady friends" to help us make some great fruit pies to sell. We hope to have at least 100 pies for sale on this day.. If you enjoy homemade raspberry pie, you will want to be in downtown Yale early on this day! We plan on having: Raspberry, Cherry, Blueberry, Peach and Mixed berry pies for sale. I will also try and get some old fashioned rhubarb pies as well..Have a request? Let us know, I am sure we can get it made for you!

Kudos to Cindy and Betty for taking this project on and having a great idea! we have not determined a price yet, but it will be very reasonable, and if you are like me; nothing beats a piece of homemade pie warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream; and then taking it outside on your porch on a hot summer night...A true rural American tradition that still exists!

One more update....We have full sized create a bears for sale. These are unstuffed plush animal toys, that come with your choice of outfit and a bag of fluff that your child/grandchild can take home and "make". The total cost is 20.00 dollars. This includes the animal, fluff and outfit. Call us for information. Having a birthday party? We will sell you 10 sets for 180.00 dollars. (this is one free). As a mom, I think this is a pretty affordable birthday party idea.

Finally...Garage Sale next week the 6th and 7th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 15105 Turner Rd. Lynn, MI.. We have a TON of top quality clothing, books, womens shoes, purses, jewelry, and I am getting rid of my scrap book and stamping supplies. I also have cleaned out my cook book collection, and am getting rid of over 100 cook books. Anyone that knows me, knows that this garage sale is a huge event and worth the drive if you like high quality clothing and "stuff". All of my proceeds are going to the "queen" cause.

Have a great weekend; we are busily getting ready for the "bus trip" I am sure there will be great stories on Monday, but none that can be shared here!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thanks for Lunch!

We had a great event today and here is very big thank you to everyone who assisted to make this fund raising effort successful. We served over 181 dinners! WOW! Thanks to all of the staff of medilodge of yale for their dedication to this crazy day...Believe me it was a tad crazy! We have a week off and then we are going to be back with a large community event here at the facility. The residents love the extra people coming in, visiting, and sharing in our efforts. One of my queen mums suggested today that we get bologna crowns for them to wear as greeters...I told her perhaps we could make some tomorrow as an activity..We both had a good laugh over the looks they would gander as the door greeters, sitting in their Sunday best, with a "pretend" ring of bologna on their head. She thought it would be a good conversation starter..I think I would have to agree with her.

On another positive note, we are getting tremendous feedback about how we have involved the elders in this process. So much so, that yours truly has been asked to speak at a best practices event to be held the week before bologna festival. I will be speaking to my peers about the importance of community involvement and what we are/have done to change the community culture of long term care...I am going to take our where in the world board, and pictures of the events that the elders have participated in during these 6 weeks. Again, I will reiterate the experience for all of us is worth more then the outcome...We are having a thrilling adventure this summer!

Monday, June 25, 2007

EBAY Auction Item to benefit Bologna Festival

Here is a huge shout out of thanks to Dean Rumsey, a fellow administrator at MediLodge of Sterling. He has placed his entire logo-golf ball collection up for auction on ebay. It is over 500 logo balls from around the country with several one of a kind event tournament balls. Check it out it is auction item number 330139368129. We can get them delivered to pretty much any where in Michigan or northern Ohio if you are interested in them. All proceeds go to the bologna festival/yale chamber of commerce. Thank you to Dean for donating and supporting our cause!

Week One On the Road to the Crown!

Who in the world sent our email to the Pentagon? That was the comment from the residents this week, as we recieved over 25 different emails from around the globe. Thank you to everyone! We have the world map up, and emails from places like England, Alaska, Alabama, and the U.S. Virgin Islands represented. Please keep the emails to the queen mums coming in; this has been a great discussion topic, and the excitement is building!

A huge thank you to a few people who really went out of their way this past week; To the Yale Manor Senior Apartments, for having a sloppy joe lunch for us and for their great support! (These are our prom party buddies)! Also to everyone who has sent in donations; we also had several vendors/business associates send in donations, and we thank you for your support. We will be posting a complete list of vendors who support the yale chamber/bologna queen toward the end of the fund raising events in July.

This week found MediLodge very busy, the staff and my department heads all pitched in and gave above and beyond. Again, their dedication is why MediLodge is such a remarkable place. I think the best part for us who volunteered this weekend, was hearing the feedback from people who have never been in our building, but have "heard" about us in a positive light. To someone who understands the difficulty of marketing a nursing home; having people talk about you in a positive light without first hand experience, is like winning the battle of battles. It is a great affirmation of why we do what we do!

This week's activities include; steak and chicken barbeque delivered, eat in or pick up at MediLodge; our girls bus trip and then getting ready for garage sale. We have our "facility" salesman already to start selling bears in the front lobby today, along with t-shirts and cookies.

We hope to hear from you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thank You!

Good Morning! It is early Tuesday a.m. on a steamy summer day in Michigan. A short note to say THANK YOU! this is for everyone who has sent us an email already, the "map" of where you are all sending a hello from is going up tonight, and I can't wait until Thursday for my activity with our elders to share your emails, and to talk about where you are responding from. If you are reading this blog for the first time; or if you have received a forwarded email from someone; please drop us an email, and if you would like we are still seeking donations to our pay pal account.
By the way did we mention we are only seeking one dollar per person who visits us? This amount was set by my queen/kings as something they felt was an affordable amount to donate. When we talked about seeking money, I shared with them how much I hated to ask people for donations; especially in Michigan, where we are in a fairly severe one state economic depression.
When we talked about tithing, and giving back, my resident/elders told stories about how during the depression, their parents still found a way to give to the church, and to get things like a small toy or a piece of candy for each child at Christmas. I find it amazing what adversity the generation we are currently caring for has faced in their lifetime. We talked about wearing shoes with cardboard for soles; how many of their mothers could make a loaf of bread last three days for a family of six.
Is it any wonder why this generation takes issue with our frivolous spending ways? They are amazed at things people will spend money on, and when they are given the opportunity to go shopping, they prefer the dollar store, (you can get great things for a buck - per one elder!) and places like WalMart. This is a generation that still maintains one good dress or suit, (used for weddings, church and funerals); and for ladies one good purse should last at least two years - per one of my queen mums. For those of you who don't know me; I love shoes; and my elders have taken notice. I had one comment, I think you have more shoes than I had in a lifetime!

This comment made me think about our way of life vs. the way of life 50 years ago. My generation, and the generation previous, (generation x and all of you baby boomers!) have taken for granted our life style and ability to purchase goods/services easily. Which brings me back to the one dollar donation amount. We set this amount as a hey, "here's the equivalent of my afternoon soda, use it for something fun in Yale; and let me know what happens". We are not seeking large donations, (unless you are incredibly wealthy and find the bologna festival a worthy/unusual cause to send money too!)

When I shared with some of my peers, they were either positive or very negative as to whether this type of advertising/marketing would work for a charity cause. My husband (who has never been on line/used a computer in his life); is one of the doubting, who feels that people will not respond in the numbers I would like. (I would LOVE to have over 2,000 emails from around the world with an equal amount of 1.00 dollar donations, simply to prove him WRONG!). My positive peers are people like me who think of the net as our main communication source. Some of my peers were concerned with possible negative exposure for my professional life. (OK, so maybe I have eliminated myself from any political arena by running for Bologna Queen).
But on the up side, it is a great medium to share our story about elder care, and what it is to be a nursing home administrator, and most importantly what living in a "care facility" is all about.

So on that note, I encourage you to check out my professional blog; which is linked by my profile, If you click on my profile, at the bottom it will list my two blog sites; feel free to check out my professional agenda as to "what" I envision elder care to be about; my frustration with social and government views; and what we as the next generation of health care leaders; are going to be faced with in less then 20 years.

Thanks again for the emails; please forward this to others; and if you are so inclined send us a dollar!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Kicked Off!

We are 24 hours from the official kick off! I am already exhausted! That is a rare thing for me. Those who know me; know that I am usually full of energy. I think maybe the school/and bologna committment coming to a peak at the same time is a bit much. But; I will survive and be stronger; at least isn't that what the saying means; that which does not kill you makes you stronger?

Anyway; the t-shirts are in; they are adorable! The mugs, glass, hats and stuff will be sorted and sold tomorrow night. I hope we get a great turn out and the queen mums are anxious to start writing thank yous! Today saw us stuffing, and sending letters; last night one of the queen mums helped us stuff and sort over 200 envelopes, and she was a great help. The resident salesman is anxious to get his hands on our shirts for selling; he was inspecting the wares today as we sorted, and getting his price list ready.

I will have pictures of the kick off event on the my space by Sunday night. Watch for them!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Next 6 Weeks of Fun!

Well, the week of bologna kick off has finally arrived! I am busy setting up a paypal account; sending out letter's for donations, and getting the blog ready to go. The myspace is all set up; and we are going to be uploading pictures/merchandise items to this site and the myspace shortly. The queen mums are excited and anxious to see who/where we get email and well wishes from. The events calendar will be posted shortly. Dates to remember: July 27, 2007 is the date of the crowning, and where it is determined who raised the most money for this great cause.! Hope to see your donations soon!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

What in the World is Bologna Queen?

What in the world is the bologna queen? and why would any self respecting, educated female desire to gain this label? These are just a few of the questions I hope to answer, and to share my progress toward the prestigious crown, a ring of Yale Bologna.

First a little about me; I am a 39 year old, married mother of one; who has made it her life profession to run an elder care rehab facility in our small burb, known as Yale, Michigan. If you have read my profile, you know that I am all about creating new cultures for elders, and that I live for new ideas and watching those ideas become a reality. So, in light of my "queen" seeking; I am embarking on a new frontier to celebrate, and draw attention to our little town's special event. I hope that this blog, my "my space" and emails are read around the world with curiosity, joy, some puzzlement and most of all that everyone sends in some "$" to help me and my queen mothers gain the much coveted crown!

Like all small rural towns in America, Yale wanted to create a festival that would put it on the "map" and create a tourism boom for the downtown merchants. This festival has been a part of the Yale culture since 1989. This festival, celebrates the rich history of bologna making that Yale is famous for; and the bologna is still made in Yale at CRoy Meats, Inc.

The founders of this festival really had their creative hats on; and that creativity has lead to our festival being one of the most talked about and celebrated events in our region of Michigan. The bologna festival is always held at the end of July, and this year it will be held on July 27, 28, and 29th. The events include everything from outhouse races; a "bologna idol" contest, fireworks, ice cream socials, side walk sales, a huge parade, and community church service. The real highlight of the festival though; is the bologna tent. Patrons can purchase fried Yale bologna sandwiches, Yale bologna hot dogs, or Fried ring bologna on a stick. All of this comes with optional sauerkraut, onions and relish. Most of the bologna tent customers top this meal off with a package of homemade french fries from the Yale Lion's who set up shop across from the bologna tent.

So what about this bologna queen thing? Every year since it's inception, the chamber has challenged community members to run for "king or queen". To run, you simply must declare a desire to make your life crazy for 6 weeks as you raise money to wear the coveted crown, a ring of bologna, and to carry the title bologna queen, or king. If you are not the big money raiser, you earn the distinction of hot dog prince, or princess. How much money are we talking about? My goal is to raise more then 15,000 dollars in six weeks, the six week fund raising starts with the bologna kick of dance in mid June.

So how do you raise the money and what is it used for? The raising of money is designed to start interest in the bologna festival, and to aid in community awareness, celebration and fun for everyone who lives/works in the community. For example I am planning on having "meals" , a dance, auction items donated and by sending this blog/email to everyone who I have in my professional and family network on line. Along with this link, I will be sending up a "pay pal" link asking for anyone who would like to be part of a small town festival, to donate a dollar or two; to the Yale area chamber of commerce in my name for queen.

The money we raise is used for community well being events such as high school scholarships; a lighted Christmas parade, to pay for several really good parade entries; maintaining the welcome to Yale signs, and any other purpose that the Yale Area Chamber of Commerce can come up with.

Watch this site for updates, fun stuff to purchase, and links to the festival activities. I also am going to be using this as part of my master's research on the next generation of communication and marketing.

There also will be pictures shortly, and some bios of the queen mothers. The "queen mothers" are elders who are very excited about being involved in the Bologna Festival, and becoming "queen mums" if I get to wear the crown! We will be looking at the e mails, and maps of where everyone who looks at our blog lives. I have plans to share the updates with my elder friends every week during a "where in the world" activity program.

They still have difficulty imagining that at the push of a button, we can communicate around the world with complete strangers. They are most excited about seeing themselves on line, and sharing the web site with their families who are scattered about the U.S. and overseas.

So, share this site if you have just stumbled upon it; and keep checking in as I progressively get items linked to it, I think it will be a very interesting story when all is said and done~!