I like the freedom of art!

image by Dan Phillips Photography - Cedar Falls, Iowa

image by Dan Phillips Photography – Cedar Falls, Iowa

My name is Rosa and my name means pink in Spanish.  I like it when people spell my name with a Z (Roza).  My birthday is in March and I am from Olean, New York and I grew up in Pennsylvania.  For a while I lived with my grandma in Florida – I loved the beach, but I didn’t like many of the people there.  So far Waterloo is my favorite place to live and I plan to retire here when I am older.

I live in an apartment in Waterloo with my three roommates – I am pretty good friends with two of them.  We cook supper together and sometimes we cook-out for special occasions.  I am the only roommate that gets to come to wonderful North Star.

I like to watch T.V. – I like “Two Broke Girls” and “The Andy Griffith Show.”  We play a lot of cards and we play games like UNO, Skip-Bo and Phase 10.   My favorite color is magenta.  I like dogs and horses and I liked the movie, “Secret Life of Pets.”

I really like art!  I like to make word collages.  I like the freedom of art and I can let my mind explode on paper.  Whatever I am thinking or feeling can go on paper. I got to be in North Star’s art show and this is what I made for it.

Rosa's Word Cloud

Rosa’s Word Cloud

I like to bike ride.

I am Tina.  I am from Waterloo and I live with Mom and Dad.  There were four of us, but my sister Cindy is up in heaven now.  One of my brothers is married, so I have one sister-in-law.  I have a nephew and a great-nephew.  I went to East High School, we all did.  When I went there I had class in the regular classes and also a classroom with the other people.  I liked school but didn’t have a favorite class or anything.tina cropped

My birthday is in the spring.  I don’t really want to be 44.  Me and my friend James’ birthdays are both in the spring.  My friend James is in heaven now too.  James always tried to get me to get my own place like he did.  Well, I will never live alone and I will never stay alone overnight – I just won’t do it, I don’t think I will like it.  Sometimes I stay by myself if mom and dad have a meeting – the dogs helped.  I used to have “Springer’s.”  Someday when my mom and dad are gone I might live with my sister.  Jenny (North Star staff) took me to visit James a while back.  He is in the same cemetery as my sister Cindy, except James is over by the shed.

I like to do crafts – any kind that there is around.  Some days I like word books.  I do like to ride bikes.  I use a three-wheeler.  The two-wheeler just didn’t work out.  I took out three mailboxes.  Once when I was riding out at George Wyth I almost hit the big rock, but I missed it.  I fell and had to push the bike off of me.

I go to the hockey games with my family.  I don’t go to games with my staff because I don’t think Ann (North Star staff) is big enough to handle me on the stairs.  We also like to go camping at Elkader.  That’s where Ann’s sister lives.

I like to go out to eat.  I am not picky, I like to go everywhere.  But, I do like to go out to eat pizza with my friend, Sandra.  I can’t cook.  But I can cook stuff in the microwave, which is what they want me to do.  I just think my mom worries that I might get burned because I had a friend who got burned pretty bad.

When I go to the eye doctor’s I might have to get glasses again.  I have a weak eye and I used to wear glasses.  I don’t mind wearing them and it helps my other eye that is doing more of the work.

Taco pizza is my favorite!

wendyI am Wendy.  I was born in Waterloo and I went to River Hills School.  I live in Waterloo and my roommates are Tammy, Kim and Barb.  At home my job is to clean the bathroom.  I help the staff cook, my favorite food is pizza.  We don’t make homemade, we make frozen.  But taco pizza is my favorite!

I have three brothers and three step-brothers and eight nieces and nephews.  My brother Troy is very, very tall.  One of my brother’s lives here and one lives in Ohio and one lives in Rochester, Minnesota.

Sometimes I get emotional.  When my brother calls me, it makes me happy.  It also makes me happy when I get to do what I want!

I like to wear dresses and I like to go to Wal-Mart and stuff.  I like cats and dogs – especially cats.  I like pugs – my brother has three pugs.

I like to go on picnics.  I read magazines and I really like to watch Teen Mom 2.

Now that I have diabetes I can’t eat a lot of chocolate and now I have to drink diet Mt. Dew.  I have diet Mt. Dew in the morning – that’s my coffee!

My name is Bill.

Bill KurtnebachMy name is Bill K.  I am 58.  I have been coming to North Star a long time – I like North Star and I like Kayla (staff member).  I am from Waterloo and I went to East High School.  I live with my roommates, Gary and Bernie.  I like them.

I have six brothers and three sisters.  My sisters are Mary, Marti, and Kay.  I see my brother, Jim, on weekends sometimes and we go out and eat.  Maybe about every three months I go to church with my brother and sister.  I think that it is in Reinbeck.

I go with my brother Mike to Kansas City and my brother Steve meets us there.  Steve works for the Kansas City Royals baseball team and we go to the game – my brother pays!

I like to read my papers and listen to the radio.  I like all music, like rock-and-roll.  I usually listen to 1250 radio.  On Friday I watch Wizard of Oz on DVD.  I like to watch Walker Texas Ranger, Andy Griffith, and Gilligan’s Island on T.V.  The other day the Twins and Royals were on, and I watched that.

Lately it has been noisy in the multi-purpose room, so I have been going outside to eat my lunch. I like that, it’s quieter.

My name is Doug and “Go Wahawks!”

dougMy name is Doug, I am 51 years old.  I live in Waterloo with my roommates, Tony and David.  One of the things I like to do is make pictures with yarn and plastic canvas – Kate helps me.  I am working on a surprise for my parent’s anniversary. (In the picture I am holding a plastic canvas heart I made for North Star’s art show.)  

I like to hang out with mom and dad.  We watch t.v. and I get my mom flowers for Christmas.  I like it when I get to go fishing – I try to catch Northern Pike!

I really like sports.  I like the Waterloo Wahawks and I like UNI, the Cyclones, and Hawkeye football.  I also like the Waterloo Bucks – they lost 8-13 on Sunday (July 20).  I like the Minnesota Vikings and the Cowboys and the Bears.  I watch Chicago Cubs on t.v. and they lost the other day, 3-8.  “Hey, hey what do ‘ya say?  Go, Cubs, Go!”

I like wrestling – like Wrestlemania 30!  And Friday Night Smack Down on t.v., Friday’s at 7:00 and WWE Raw is on Monday.  Some movies I like to watch are Jaws 1 & 2.  Sharks eat bad people and they bite people’s arms, like “chomp, chomp!”  I like dolphins and whales better.  I also watched Godzilla and King Kong on DVD – they aren’t real, they’re robots. And King Kong blew on that girl in the movie.

At Universal they have the King Kong roller coaster and I rode it 18 times, it went up and down and up and down and up and down…  There is a Batman roller coaster and when you ride it you get sick and then almost, “blaaahhhh!”

If I didn’t have a disability things would be different.

Brittany K.

My name is Brittany K.  I graduated from high school from Grundy Center in 2004, 10 years ago now.  But I went to a lot of different schools.  I went to school in Colorado until I was eight, then I went to Dike and Aplington and Parkersburg, too.  I am smart.  But I can be stubborn.  School was hard sometimes because people and even some teachers called me names and made fun of me.

I moved from Colorado when I was 8 because my grandparents are from here.  My parents live in Reinbeck and my mom manages the steakhouse there.  I worked there sometimes.  Right now I live in Cedar Falls and my roommate is Jessica.

I have two brothers and one sister and lots of nieces and nephews.  I was born early and I was Mom’s “miracle baby,” because I died like seven times and wasn’t supposed to live.  I weighed about five pounds and had a hole in my heart and I have had a lot of different surgeries.

I like to listen to music.  All kinds of music – I grew up on rock and roll especially Bob Seeger and Bob Dillon.  I like to sing and people tell me I have a beautiful voice.  I was in choir and didn’t stop from like kindergarten to 12th grade.  I would really like to make a CD and I want to go on the road and meet some country singers.  I went to the Luke Bryan concert with my friend Tammy.  I am wearing the pink bracelet I got there and am not going to take it off!

I am artistically talented.  I like to work with plastic canvas and am very fast at it.  Right now I am making some presents for my family with the canvas.  I also like to color.  I like scrapbooking and have tons of pictures!

I also like the Wii and I am good at swimming and I like to exercise. For relaxation, I like to work on jigsaw puzzles or talk to my boyfriend.  I like to watch TV and my favorites are “Family Matters,” “Family Ties,” and “Who’s the Boss.”  My favorite movies are “The Body Guard” and “Waiting to Exhale” – I love Whitney Houston.

I am very good remembering details like people’s birthday’s and birth weights.

My dream (besides making a CD) is to be able to drive so I can go anywhere I want.  I would also like to get married and be a mom someday.

Some days I just can’t win.  Sometimes there is just too much drama around here.  I wish I could make more friends of my own because some of my friends are my mom’s friends.  I really hate it when people make fun of me and call me names and tell me I’m dumb because I am not.  I also really hate when people use the “R – word!!”  If I didn’t have a disability things would be different.


Buddy’s service is tonight

Hey everyone-

I (Jordan N.) was super excited to see the article that Holly Hudson had wrote about our blog entries, and it was really cool to see that she put part of my blog in the article. If you didn’t see it, here’s the link:

Click here to read Holly Hudson’s article from the Waterloo Courier

‘Due to bad weather last Thursday I couldn’t have the service for my dog Buddy, so it is rescheduled TODAY, from 4:30-5:30PM at Cedar Valley Community Church in Waterloo!! The memorial service for Buddy will include music, praying, snacks, sharing your favorite memories, and much more. Anyone who knew Buddy from Northstar or anyone who just feels like stopping by is invited. I hope you can make it to my special event!

BY:  Jordan N.

I got a second chance

My name is Steve (I attend North Star’s Head Injury Program). I have struggled with depression for over 20 years. I am a perfectionist and owned a successful lawn care business with 500 customers. I was unable to find workers such as myself that could do their job as well as I could. I was under so much pressure that I attempted suicide. I regret it because I put my family through Hell. I have vision problems now and problems with my tongue that I didn’t have before my suicide attempt.  God gave me a second chance…

North Star’s Head Injury Program is a big help!

My name is Jeffrey. I have a brain injury. I am an alcoholic. I fell off a boat. I don’t remember anything of it other than I woke up bald in a hospital. I was in a coma for a couple of weeks. When I first got up from my coma, I fell flat on my face. A couple of days after that I started walking. 2 weeks after I woke from my coma, I left the hospital. I lived on the streets for 3-4 years after that. It was in Iowa City that I was stabbed and someone found me and I went back to the hospital. It was there where social workers hooked me up with EPI and Northstar, here in Waterloo to get me into these programs so I’d be safe. I struggle with depression. If It weren’t for being here in these programs, I’d still be on the streets and this is better than being on the streets.

Hi! My name is Kellie.

I was diagnosed with schizo/effective disorder w/ borderline personality. I got it when I was 15. I was in and out of hospitals for along time. This was hard on me. Finally I got stable enough to get a dog. I named him Snickers. Snickers was with me for 14 years and stayed with my mom for 1 year. I did some volunteer work with different agencies. That’s how I got in touch with Adults Inc, now it’s North Star. My boss Colette, called me into the office and offered me a job. Of course I said yes. I stayed in that job for a couple of years, before I had another breakdown. I was in the hospital again and I had to resign my position at work because it was too stressful. I became a consumer, and my dog went to my mom.  (Kellie attends programming at North Star).