Darlene Franklin is both a resident of a nursing home in Moore, and a full-time writer.

Hatred stirs up conflict,
but love covers over all wrongs.
Proverbs 10:12, NIV

By Darlene Franklin

Life inside the nursing home gives me multiple opportunities for conflict. It often leaves me spouting like someone arrested by the cops, babbling incoherently, feeling anxious, afraid, and helpless.
There are biblical principles I can apply, but they require practice in real time. I struggle to find the “correct” response when my inner child screams for fairness and justice. The needs are real, but ranting and pouting only push any possible resolution further away. I suspect many church conflicts stir up similar unreasoned responses. And a four-day Christmas holiday weekend with short-handed, inexperienced staff provided a perfect storm. And praise God, I had a victory.
I’ve been working with a therapist, learning kills on how to redirect my thoughts, out of a genuine desire to please God, to be people-oriented and not a shrew. I am making progress.
Also, instead of expecting the world to change for me, I’ve applied the serenity prayer. God gives me wisdom to accept what I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Here are examples of those principles at work:
* Empathizing with the staff instead of attacking them. One day my med aide brought my 8 o’clock medicines at 11 a.m. I started to complain. She told me a family member had gone to jail, and she hadn’t slept for twenty-four hours. I let go of my criticism and instead offered my support and prayed for her.
* Thanking instead of criticizing. One evening my aide promised to put me to bed after supper. I meant when I finished supper. She meant when she finished supper for everyone on the hall, which is an hour later. Instead of complaining, I thanked her for putting me to bed before anyone else. As a result, we have a better relationship. She listens to my concerns and address them when she can.
* Looking for the good. As I go about my day, I look for things that each aide does well, such as fixing my bed or finding my clothes in the closet. It opens my mind to what’s right instead of the things I wish they would do better. I also thank them when they do as I ask without frowning or complaining.
* Accepting what I can’t change Over Christmas, I was only given half the continence supplies (kept under lock and key) I needed for the four-day weekend. I asked for more on Friday and again on Saturday (Christmas Eve). When that didn’t happen, I accepted it in peace. I had done what I could. If the aides’ lack of proactive problem solving created issues later, they would be the ones dealing with the consequences.
I also can’t change the schedules here, which at times create problems for my unique needs. I look for ways to work around their schedules, instead of expecting them to change.
* Doing what I can. Most of the conflicts over that weekends were relatively unimportant, nothing to complain to management about. One was a major issue: my call light went unanswered for six hours When I couldn’t get the shift nurse to listen, I followed through with the Director of Nursing the following week. Because I was able to say, the rest of weekend went reasonably well, she was open to my complaint.
* Wisdom to know the difference. Where is the line between my needing help now and aid coming an hour later? How can I schedule phone calls with people outside when I have no control over the timing inside the nursing home? How do I decide when to fight for something, and when to let it go? It’s not always easy, but with God’s help, I’m learning how. I had ordered glasses in November. In December, the social worker told me I couldn’t get glasses because I had received a new pair back in July. I told I hadn’t. After the new year I was going to ask for the prescription to get a pair on my own. I’m glad I waited-she brought me the new lenses a few days before Christmas.
With practice, and by God’s grace, we can learn how to avoid conflict before it escalates.

Molly Cason Johnson stars as Florence Foster Jenkins in Painted Sky Opera’s production of “Souvenir” at the Civic Center at 8 pm Feb 23-24 and Mar 2-3 and 2pm Feb 25 and Mar 4.

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn

While enjoying travel destinations and entertainments, I find there are three levels of enjoyment. The first is the anticipation and planning. The second is the actual experience and the third is the reflection on the experience and many times enjoying it again in memory. In addition to travel this can apply to entertainment as well.
With entertainment, whether it’s movies, or sports or live theater, anticipation is a factor of enjoyment. This is also a most variable factor as with live theater, the ultimate presentation depends on many variables not evaluate until the live performance is underway or completed.
Reputation for quality is an important factor when choosing to put down your money for a ticket. One such reputation for high standards are the productions of the Painted Sky Opera company. ( Following their artistic success of last years grand opera “Tosca,” the next promise of impeccable talent is with their upcoming production of “Souvenir.”
In place of a traditional musical presentation or opera, “Souvenir” is a two-person play written by Stephen Temperley in 2004 and focuses on the relationship between Jenkins and her long-suffering pianist, Cosme McMoon, who played for her from 1929 until her death in 1944. Like the 2016 biographical film “Florence Foster Jenkins” starring Meryl Streep as Jenkins, “Souvenir” details many important events for the unlikely singer-pianist duo, including their first meeting, their recordings, and their concert at Carnegie Hall.
“I love this show partly because it presents both sides of Florence, who was a truly unique figure in musical history. ‘Souvenir’ shows how ridiculously awful her singing was, but it never mocks her or becomes mean-spirited,” said stage director Rob Glaubitz. “Florence was a good person who genuinely thought that her singing was bringing joy to people. Of course, her singing was indeed bringing people joy, but not in the way she thought.”
Painted Sky Opera features OKC native Molly Cason Johnson as the comically terrible singer Florence Foster Jenkins in “Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins” at 8pm Feb 23-24 and Mar 2-3 and 2pm Feb 25 and Mar 4 at intimate CitySpace Theatre in Civic Center Music Hall. Based on real-life events, “Souvenir” depicts the unique story of Jenkins, who achieved fame in the 1940s for her tone-deaf recordings of operatic favorites as well as her sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall.
Johnson graduated from Oklahoma City University and performed and taught in Texas for many years before returning to Oklahoma City in 2013. She has performed locally with CityRep and Lyric Theatre among other companies.
“As a classically-trained singer, the chance to sing badly on purpose is a delicious and rare treat for me,” said Johnson. “I have loved the vocal prep. Our cats, however, are not so amused.”
“Souvenir” also features live performances of many of the songs that made Florence Foster Jenkins famous. Jenkins was regarded as the worst singer ever to perform at Carnegie Hall. She was infamously unaware that her concerts were popular only because her audiences loved to laugh at her inept and out-of-tune singing. Despite her lack of vocal ability, Florence was also a major supporter of the arts and a talented pianist who was passionate about the importance of music to all parts of society.
The part of Cosme McMoon is played by recent University of Central Oklahoma graduate Joey Harbert who also shows off his pianistic and vocal skills in this production. Both Johnson and Harbert are natives of Oklahoma City.
It will be as entertaining to take in the Oklahoma audience’s reaction to the play, whether to laugh at the off key singing or have empathy for Jenkins. It may be both, which is the excitement of seeing live theater and experiencing an unknown work.
“Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins” is the second show in Painted Sky Opera’s 2017-18 season. Tickets are $30 for adults, with discounts for students, military, and seniors available in-person at the box office. Purchase advance tickets online at the Civic Center website at or by visiting or calling their box office at 405.297.2264.
Painted Sky Opera’s 2017-18 season concludes in May with Jake Heggie’s “Three Decembers”. For more information, go to

Mr. Terry Zinn – Travel Editor
Past President: International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Grand Tapestry at Quail Springs

Well, I think dad said do what you want to do but do it to the best you possibly can.

Albert Woods

Do your best and try your hardest.

Nancy Woods

To live your life for the Lord and I try daily. There’s a heaven and hell and I sure don’t want to go to hell.

Bonnie Graves

Be an example to other people because you never know who’s watching.

Loretta Hecker

Retired Major Traceee Rose, APRN, spent 27 years in the Army before coming to Valir.

by Bobby Anderson, staff writer

Valir Hospice has been honoring America’s veterans for more than a decade now.
But Vice President of Hospice Care Laura Trammell, M.Ed, LPC wanted to make sure Valir’s Veteran’s program was the best it could possibly be so she sought out retired Major Traceee Rose, APRN, to make it happen.
Valir Hospice Care is a family of dedicated professionals who care for terminally ill patients, providing them and their families with physical, psychological, social and spiritual support. Using individualized pain – and symptom-management plans, Valir works to enhance the patient’s quality of life.
With a significantly large veteran population, Valir Hospice serves scores of military families each year.
“One of my goals is for her to continue to educate our team that works day-to-day with our veterans and share her knowledge and speak that speak that she knows how to do and educate our team,” Trammell said of Rose. “I think she’s going to be the bridge that we’ve definitely needed in order to have the best program out there.”
The critical care nurse brings her 27 years of Army experience with her to her new role as director of clinical operations.
“I hope to bring enthusiasm. I love veterans because I am a veteran and my dad is a veteran,” Rose said. “I love hearing the stories, being able to talk with them and share their commonalities and being able to speak their language.”
That language is one of shared strife and successes, of losses and victories and of bonds forged.
For many veterans, that language is often lost forever.
But both Trammell and Rose have seen first-hand rekindling that fire at the right moment can bring peace to not only patients but their families.
“A lot of people say they have veteran’s programs but what does that really mean,” Trammell said. “We’re extremely dedicated and we’re extremely proud of it. My father served in Korea and he never spoke about what happened to him.”
“Like Traceee says there are stories out there all the time. I knew we had to do something. I would want my dad honored like this. It’s amazing what our military has done for us.”
Rose retired from the Army in September 2017. The Nurse Corps officer spent nearly three decades serving her country and finished her career in Hawaii.
She wanted to continue to make a difference.
“I had been in large medical facilities my entire nursing career,” Rose said, noting her last hospital had 425 beds with 5,000 employees. “I wanted to find something, somewhere smaller – not necessarily hospital-based where I could feel my ripple effect. Sometimes we get lost in a big pond and you’re just a cog in a wheel.”
Trammell interviewed Rose and quickly realized she needed to put her behind the wheel of Valir’s veterans services.
Even though the armed forces provides palliative care in a different setting, the trauma and intensive care nurse quickly fell in love with the new position.
“All veterans have a story. Every veteran has a story and sometimes they’re just not ready to talk about it or they don’t think it’s relevant right now,” Rose said. “They feel they just did their job and then got out.” In the future Rose would like to partner with more veteran’s organizations to work with in outreach projects.
“The closeness and camaraderie, it just felt comfortable. I knew I wanted to work there,” Rose said. “Just being able to hold a hand and reassure a family, that’s the rewarding piece of all of it.”
It’s no coincidence that Rose felt a pull that Valir was investing in veterans.
CEO Tom Tucker is a West Point graduate and owned a company that forged the Purple Hearts bestowed to those wounded or killed in service.
“It is a gift to the family and a lot of times it’s the part they need in the grief cycle to help them adjust to what’s going on,” Trammell said of honoring veterans before they pass.
“It can bring a lot of understanding,” Rose added. “A lot of it is understanding who your parent was because your parent lived a whole life before you came along.”
Those special ceremonies where families get to see their loved ones honored often provide a glimpse into a world they never experienced.
“We’ve been able to see – even patients with significant dementia – they recognize when they’re being honored,” Trammell said. “It’s been very special for the families to see a little bit of their loved one come back toward the end of life.”
And to honor them as the hero they are.

Cupid agrees these gift ideas from the Oklahoma City Zoo will keep you and your valentine wild at heart!
ZOOfriends members enjoy free admission all year-long to the OKC Zoo, plus additional perks and discounts. Membership levels start at $35 and ZOOfriends has packages to fit every budget. Committed to giving 100 percent of your membership dollars back to the Zoo, these memberships support the care of the Zoo’s animals, fund education programming and conservation initiatives and supports the overall expansion and growth of the Zoo. Purchase online at or contact the ZOOfriends office at (405) 425-0618 for information.
This is the perfect gift option for the animal lover in your life! Contributions from these symbolic adoptions support the health, enrichment and nutritional needs of all animals at the OKC Zoo. With each $45 donation, recipients receive their choice of a plush rhino, tiger or gorilla, adoption certificate, a fact sheet about their adopted animal and name recognition on the ZOOfriends’ website for one year. Adoptions can be purchased in the ZOOfriends’ membership office, by calling (405) 425-0618 or online at
Make an imprint on your love with an original OKC Zoo animal painting. As part of the Zoo’s enrichment program, many animals paint during enrichment sessions with assistance from their caregivers. Be in awe of unique pieces created by elephants, sea lions, gorillas, snakes and more! Find the masterpiece that’s right for your valentine by visiting the Zoo’s Guest Services Office open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Proceeds from all paintings support the Zoo’s conservation projects. For more information, call (405) 425-0262.
The OKC Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop offers a wide array of items including children’s books and toys, green or recycled gifts and home décor. Many items available for purchase support local and global conservation, so you can feel good about the gifts your giving. Shop until your heart’s content 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
We love our animal family and take pride in enriching their lives each and every day. Join us on Friday, February 9 for a special Valentine’s Day enrichment event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Select Zoo animals receive special enrichment treats and eats made with love by their caretakers. Watch your favorite animals’ curiosity take over as they discover and interact with their unique valentines. Free with Zoo admission. Look for the day’s enrichment schedule on your zoo map. For more information, call Guest Services at (405) 425-0262.
All Oklahoma’s talented students in K-12 are eligible to win wild prizes and the chance to have their original art designed on a Dr Pepper vending machine at the Zoo. Come on, get creative! Additional information about this year’s contest theme, 2018 is the Year of the Bird: Celebrate our World’s Winged Wonders, guidelines and entry forms will be available at All submissions must be postmarked by March 31, 2018. Participation if free. For more information, contact Candice Rennels at (405) 425-0298 or
Flock to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden to help wild birds. The OKC Zoo is proud to host its first Great Backyard Bird Count, a global citizen science project that invites people to count native birds and help create a real-time look at wild populations. Participation is easy to do, fun for families and individuals–all ages welcome. Join us on Saturday, February 17 and Monday, February 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., both days, to assist with counting, identifying the native birds that make their home around the Zoo. Kids will enjoy an on-grounds bird scavenger safari. Visit our information tent in the Global Plaza to learn more about each day’s activities including bird watching tours. All activities are free with Zoo admission. For more information, visit or call (405) 425-0262.

Date/ Day/ Location/ Time/ Registration #/ Instructor

Feb 1/ Thursday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Varacchi
Integris 3rd Age Life Center – 5100 N. Brookline, Suite 100
Feb 6/ Tuesday/ Norman/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 307-3177/ Palinsky
Norman Regional Hospital – 901 N. Porter Ave.
Feb 9/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 8:30 am – 3 pm/ 470-8963/ Kruck
Baptist Village – 9700 Mashburn Blvd.
Feb 9/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Edwards
S.W. Medical Center – 4200 S. Douglas, Suite B-10
Feb 21/ Wednesday/ Warr Acres/ 8:30 am – 3 pm/ 789-9892/ Kruck
Warr Acres Community Center – 4301 N. Ann Arbor Ave. Shawnee Senior Center – 401 S. Bell St.
Mar 1/ Thursday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Varacchi
Integris 3rd Age Life Center – 5100 N. Brookline, Suite 100
Mar 2/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 681-3266/ Hughey
Woodson Park Senior Center – 3401 S. May Ave.
Mar 6/ Tuesday/ Moore/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 307- 3177/ Palinsky
Norman Reg. Hosp Moore (Conference Cntr) – 700 S. Telephone Rd
Mar 9/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Edwards
S.W. Medical Center – 4200 S. Douglas, Suite B-10

The prices for the classes are: $15 for AARP members and $20 for Non-AARP. Call John Palinsky, zone coordinator for the Oklahoma City area at 405-691-4091 or send mail to:

Oklahoma Gardeners Association presents Felder Rushing, a 10th generation Southern gardener, author, and speaker known the world over for his quirky and laid-back style of gardening. The public is welcome to join us for this fun and free event at 9:30 am on Wednesday, March 7, at Will Rogers Gardens Exhibition Center, 3400 NW 36th Street, OKC.

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. (PRNewsFoto/Oklahoma Insurance Department)

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak has been named Chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Antifraud (D) Task Force. Doak was also named to the International Insurance Relations (G) Committee, Executive (EX) Committee and Property and Casualty Insurance (C) Committee.
“These appointments allow me to tackle critical issues affecting the insurance industry and consumers,” said Doak. “Keeping consumers safe from insurance fraud has been a top priority of mine from day one, so I appreciate the opportunity to find innovative ways to accomplish that goal. Collaboration is the key to success, and I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners across the country over the next year.”
The NAIC is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by insurance regulators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review and coordinate regulatory oversight.
Doak will serve as Chair of the NAIC Midwest Zone in 2018. The zone groups are part of the NAIC Executive Committee. They help carry out the authority and responsibilities of the NAIC’s goals. The Midwest Zone represents 13 states.
Doak has also been named the NAIC’s representative to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As part of duties, Doak will attend meetings with international insurance regulators to discuss emerging insurance issues around the world.

By Ron Hendricks

$1,000 will be available for two students attending higher education this fall. Application for the scholarships are available thru the Central Oklahoma Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America (COCHLAA). Visit the website at or pick up your application at the Hearing Helpers Room, 5100 N Brookline, Suite 100, Oklahoma City. This is the third year COCHLAA has offered scholarships to Oklahoma students. The applicant must have a hearing loss; however, there is no age requirement for application and the institution of higher education is the choice of the applicant — 4 year college, Community college, career tech, or any of the other varied higher education opportunities offered here in Oklahoma.
The mission of COCHLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss. by providing information, education, support, and advocacy. We offer two meetings monthly, held at the Lakeside Methodist Church, 2925 NW 66th, OKC. Evening meetings are held on the second Monday at 6:30 PM and the day meetings are on the third Thursdays at 1:30PM. Speaker’s subjects range from highly technical, such as the latest developments in hearing technology, to every day subjects like gardening, or computer safety. There is no charge to attend meetings or to be a member of COCHLAA. All meetings are open to the public . The Hearing Helpers Room (HHR) is open weekdays 10-3. You can’t buy anything at the HHR but you can see many different hearing assistive devices, and some can even be taken out for a trial in your own home. You will find COCHLAA members attending various meetings, health fairs,, and community events all around the Oklahoma City metro area and you can always get your questions answered. Have a Hearing New Year!

As part of Oklahoma’s Healthy Aging: Living Longer Better collaborative, a falls prevention work group was established to develop a state strategic plan to prevent falls among Oklahomans 65 years and older. The state plan, Preventing Falls Among Older Adults in Oklahoma, has now been finalized. Participants worked extensively to develop state and community action steps that achieve the goal of reducing the number of nursing home residents falling with major injury and reducing intentional fall-related deaths among persons 65 years and older in Oklahoma.
Commitments to action in the state plan are organized by four focus areas, which include:
Tracking and Monitoring
Policies and Procedures
Public Education
Provider/Prescriber Education
As a result of these commitments to action by partners of the Healthy Aging Collaborative, a fall prevention web portal has been created to centralize available resources. New and existing resources are available for both the community and providers to prevent falls, what to do after a fall, and how to talk about it. Many private partners and state agency representatives continue to work together to help Oklahomans live and age well. State Ombudsman William “Bill” Whited led the small task force responsible for the web portal.
“Collaborators from across practice settings met four times in 19 months,” said Whited. “In that short time they created a strategy with actionable items to help our older adult population in Oklahoma prevent falls. Together, we have been able to do more than draft a report that sits up on a shelf.”
The Healthy Aging Collaborative recognizes that the consequences of a fall can be devastating, resulting in serious injury or death, in addition to high medical costs. Successful implementation of the state plan will have a positive impact on the health and safety of older adults, and give them the ability to age in the community environment of their choice.
“The fall prevention work group of the Healthy Aging Collaborative continues to work hard to complete the action items presented in the state plan to prevent falls among older adults in Oklahoma,” said Whited.
To receive more information on the state plan, Preventing Falls Among Older Adults in Oklahoma, and the Healthy Aging: Living Longer Better initiative, visit or call (405) 271-5288.
To learn more about how to prevent falls, contact the Injury Prevention Service at (405) 271-3430 or visit