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Why I Love Franklin County: Tanya Capalla

Tanya Capalla moved to Franklin County four years ago from New Jersey to start a farm. The licensed practical nurse grew up in Sparta, N.J., and earned her LPN degree from the Morris County School of Technology. She has two adult children, Blake Mason, 29, and Erica Mason-Capalla, 25.

1. What is your job title, and what does your work entail?
I work for Genesis Healthcare at Keller Landing Nursing Home in Tuscumbia. I’m the charge nurse for the long-term care facility caring for the elderly. I work 12-hour shifts at night, doing medications and making sure they are comfortable. We take care of people with Alzheimer’s and younger people in their 40s and 50s with disabilities.

2. What do you enjoy about your job, or what makes it meaningful?
I love caring for the elderly and making them as comfortable as I can in what is probably the last place they will ever live. I want to make it feel like home as much as possible. Basically, that’s my calling. I’ve always cared for people my whole life. I get attached to them. They’re like my family – like grandparents or the younger ones like cousins. I like to make them laugh if I can, even if they are hurting inside or outside.

3. What is your favorite place to visit in Franklin County?
The Dismals. I love the Dismals. I love the outdoors. I love the Dismalities. I love nature and being outside.

4. What is your favorite Franklin County restaurant, and what do you like about it?
Frosty Inn. The owner Pam is a very nice person. We became friends, and she knows my whole family basically from New Jersey. I like her ice cream, and I also love the house sauce. Pam is a great person.

5. Why do you love Franklin County?
Most of the people are friendly. It’s peaceful where I live. I like it when we have the Hoedown and Watermelon Festival and events like that. I like the community atmosphere of it.

Fast Five
1. Favorite hobby: Cooking, crafts, and growing things. Building things, like diaper cakes. Christmas decorations.
2. Favorite food: Pork and sauerkraut. I make my own sauerkraut.
3. Goal or ambition: I want to make my farm self-sufficient so you can eat anywhere on my farm wherever you walk. I want to be able to feed the people. I want to be a local farmer. Relax and pick a grape here and blueberry there.
4. Church: Franklin County Cowboy Church.
5. Something people might not know about me is: I always wanted to be a vet. That’s why I have so many animals. I do plumbing and electric and build things. I can do tiles and floor; I’m kind of a handywoman.

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