Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 17 and 15. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

In the market for college text books? Or a new car?

Hey Snarklings! First of all, do you see that line of sharing icons that appears above this line of text and the title of this post? Yeah, you'll also see another line of sharing icons at the end of this post. Why? Because I'm a dipshit and can't figure out how to get rid of one without getting rid of both. It has to do with HTML code and whenever I look at code I fall asleep. Thank God I'm not a computer programmer because at the mere mention of HTML my eyes get heavy and I start to drool and snore.

I tried to add those share buttons to the bottom of my posts and instead they show up top and bottom. And I can't figure out how to get rid of one of them. If you really love me, you'll overlook the fact that I'm a code-spaz. If you REALLY REALLY love me, you'll share my crap regardless of whether the share buttons are on top or the bottom.

*EDITED: now the share buttons are NOT showing up on the bottom. Which is fine, as long as they show up SOMEWHERE. But I still feel like a dipshidiot for being clueless about code.

Use this link on my sidebar for all your shopping needs and I will buy you a puppy

The point of this post (and I DO have one) is that I'm trying to come up with creative ideas to pay for college and I need your help. If you are going to college, know someone going to college or have a child going to college, you'll know that text books are expensive, yo! Amiright? Last year my girlfriend Hopalong Lisa (an amazing college student, full time worker and mother of 6!) ordered all her college texts using my little Amazon link and in doing so, I received a percentage of that sale. Keep in mind, it wasn't enough to buy dinner for the family but it was enough to buy a Big Mac AND fries.

So if you are in the market for some college text books, a big screen TV or a Lamborghini, please consider using my Amazon.com link on the right side of this page to make your purchases. I would love you forever if you did.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Book signings, fires and donations, oh my!

What up, Snarklings? Very excited to be holding a book signing tonight (for Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee) in our little town of Shepherdstown at the lovely little Four Season Bookstore.  I can't begin to tell you how much I love living in this area of West Virginia. Yes, I mock sometimes but you'll never meet a more kind and generous group of folks.

You see, yesterday there was a devastating fire in Harpers Ferry, which is about a 15 minute drive from my front door. 8 businesses were declared a total loss. Facebook was lit up with stories and our community always comes together in the face of tragedy.

Photo courtesy of The Shepherdstown Chronicle

Businesses immediately put out word that they'd hire folks who may have lost their jobs in the fire, a 5K run has already been organized, and a go fund me campaign was started. That got me to thinking: how can I help? I've got a kid starting college in 2 weeks and I don't have that much extra cash to give. Then it hit me: I'm holding this book signing tonight, why not donate a portion of the proceeds to the relief effort? I contacted the lovely Kendra at Four Seasons and the book story will also donate $1 of the sales, so for each book sold tonight, $3 will be donated to Rebuild and Renew Harpers Ferry. 

If you will be in the Shepherdstown area tonight and would like to attend, I'll have wine and light refreshments and of course, my sparkling wit and charm. If you cannot make it but would like to purchase a book, please go to my FB page and send me a private message and I'll work out the details with you. All orders of physical copies made through this blog post will qualify for the  $2 donation per book sold. I cannot offer this for copies sold for e-readers. Thanks Snarklings!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I've got a great face for radio...

UPDATE!!! Here is the link to my segment of the radio show Take Two!!

Hey Snarklings! I'm going to be on the radio today! After I posted about being a part of The Sandwich Generation, the Huffington Post picked up my piece. Someone at the local NPR station, KPCC in Los Angeles saw the story and wanted to have a chat with me. Next thing you know, bada bing, bada boom I'm gonna be on the radio!

Click here to tune in to the show 'Take Two' and then click the "Listen Live" tab at the very top of the page. Do this around 12:30 p.m. EST (I should be on soon after that) and hear what I have to say about being a parent to your children as well as your parents! Tell me what you think once you've heard it. Am I too whiny? Too nasally? Rough? Smooth?

Do you have your own story about parenting your parents? Share it with me!

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Mike Rowe interview in its 7-part entirety...

What up, Snarklings? In honor of it being just over a  year since I put all of the pieces of my Mike Rowe interview together, and because there are MANY more of you now, I'm bringing back this post from last summer. I hope you enjoy watching this interview as much as I enjoyed doing it.


Happy weekend, Snarklings. Feeling lazy today, and although I've got a butt-load of stuff I need to get done, I'm sitting at my computer thinking of opening up The Netflix and catching up on the last few seasons of Bones. I said I was thinking about doing that. I'm not really going to. What I AM going to do is put all 7 parts of my interview with Mike Rowe up for your viewing pleasure, because if I'm feeling lazy and not very productive, I'm going to guess that I'm not the only one. I'm thinking that there might be 116 or so of you who may want to go back with me and re-watch the whole thing from start to finish. So without further ado, I present to you all 7 video clips of my unedited, uncut and totally fun interview with Mike Rowe. Enjoy.

Oh, and check out what Mike had to say about the interview!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Stuck At Prom contest...

Those of you who follow me on the Facebook know that I've been actively canvassing for votes for this Duck Tape "Stuck at Prom" scholarship contest. In case you live under a rock, here's what you've missed.

17's friend Bailey entered this contest sponsored by the Duck Tape brand and she actually made her prom gown, all accessories AND her date Tim's tux COMPLETELY out of Duck Tape. And trust me, I saw it up close and personal and it was EPIC. See for yourself:

Photo taken by the amazingly talented James Turner

Look at the dress detail!
So here's where I need your help, Snarklings. Bailey and Tim have made it to the final round of voting, which ends on July 8. They are in the top ten and need your votes!  The top prize for this contest is a $10,000 scholarship for each of them PLUS our high school will receive $5,000. How awesome is that? But as I said, THEY NEED VOTES!!

I'm doing one last push to help them reach number one in the voting! Please click this Duck Tape Stuck at Prom link and vote. Multiple email addresses are allowed, so what I do is vote with my main email address, then copy the link into an incognito window and vote using my other email addresses. Please help out our friends because who COULDN'T use a $10,000 college scholarship??

Bailey worked her butt off on this dress, Tim's tux and all the accessories, and we'd LOVE to see them take the top prize. So thank you in advance, Snarklings, for your votes. And PLEASE PLEASE share the link as well, the more votes the better their chances at the scholarships!

Vote for Bailey & Tim here

Just so you know, I was not compensated at all for this post by Bailey, Tim or the Duck Tape brand. I just really want to see our friends win this thing! If it sells more tape, good for them!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I Am the Sandwich Generation

One month ago, I had never even heard the term 'sandwich generation'. Now I'm living it. If you're unfamiliar with the term, you're not alone. But I'm a fast learner so now I'm hip to the term. Basically it means you have children you're caring for AND parents you're caring for.

I've talked before about my Mom's battle with COPD, a battle that she's slowly losing. But just over a month ago, she fell and broke her left humerus. Snapped it like a twig when she was walking into the bathroom in the lobby of her building. After a 4 day stay in the hospital, they moved her to a rehabilitation facility where she stayed for exactly 20 days (the maximum amount of time that Medicare would cover).

After 17's high school graduation we had a bit of a reprieve from schedules and running here and there. 17 is working now, mastering the art of the perfect DQ Blizzard and getting mentally prepared for life as a college student. 15 has been enjoying sleeping in and not being responsible for much other than her daily 'to-do' list. My focus hasn't been so much concentrated on parenting my teenagers as much as it's been caring for my own Mother. It's a scary proposition for me. I thank God daily that I've got good kids. They are responsible, well-mannered and usually trouble-free (unless you count the daily school bus drama but we're not talking about that right now). They are at a very self-sufficient age which has allowed me the freedom to concentrate on my Mother's healing.

I spent all last week with her, setting up appointments,  scheduling home healthcare workers, physical therapists, doctors and nurses, running errands, picking up prescriptions, doing her laundry and preparing her meals. I jumped into the sandwich generation with both feet. I am the meat in that sandwich. And it scares me to death. I ached to be away from my girls for so long but it was something I wanted and needed to do, to care for my Mother.

I cannot begin to imagine how this would all play out if my kids were delinquents. But I am blessed that they aren't. I learned parenting from a fantastic teacher, one who needs me now more than my own children need me. And now that I am home, 4 hours away from my Mother, I ache to be with her. My heart hurts to be so far away from her. Our twice-a-day calls will need to be enough for now. I constantly remind her to check the schedule we've written up so she knows which home healthcare worker will be coming in, or what time the physical therapist will come. I remind her to make sure she has her bag on the doorknob for Meals on Wheels delivery. And I worry.

I worry that she's alone in the apartment all weekend long. She is no longer capable of using her walker because of the broken arm. Once it's healed up, she will be able to walk down to the mailbox for her mail. But with a broken arm, she cannot push the walker, and the walker holds her oxygen tank, and without the oxygen there is no breathing for her. She uses a cane to get around her apartment.

I can't remember having so much fear. When I had my babies, I feared that I'd fail, but I didn't. I succeeded and still continue to succeed as a parent. I am blessed. But the paralyzing fear that my Mom isn't safe, it's something I never knew I'd have and it's an awful feeling. I pray that she'll eventually want to come to live either with us or closer to us. That door is always open to her, and I hope she changes her mind, and I hope it doesn't take something drastic like, God forbid, another fall to make her change her mind. 

Until then, the twice-a-day phone calls will have to suffice, and the prayers continue for her safety.

Friday, June 19, 2015

BlogU15, Gift Cards and Charity...

Happy Friday, Snarklings. I'm so excited to let you know that I survived BlogU15 and came home with a brainful of knowledge that I will probably sit on until I have some free time to put all that knowledge to use. For example, I took a class on SEO that sorta made sense to me and I will attempt to use what I learned. If I can remember. That was taught by the always hot and sexy Lynn Morrison of The Nomad Mom Diary.

I also took a Pinterest class taught by the amazing Anna Luther of My Life & Kids. I learned about Rich Pins and putting descriptions on all of your pins and using images instead of just text. And then my brain exploded.

Once I was able to pick up all the pieces, I partied like it was 1980 (my middle school years) at the NickMom MiddleSchoolAwkward Dance Party. TREMENDOUS fun was had by all and as much as I'd like to say that I danced my ass off, sadly, when I woke up Sunday morning, it was still there.

Slow dancing with Alyson of The Shitastrophy

I had the pleasure of recreating one of my very favorite photos from the previous year's blogging conference with my sexy girlfriend Kerry Rossow of House TalkN. 

It was an absolute blast to get to meet new friends and hang out with old friends. Plus the always amazing Joy from Evil Joy Speaks spent Sunday at my house! We went for a run together on Monday and had an obscene amount of fun as roomies.

You can read about last year's BlogU14 recap here!

One REALLY cool thing I'd like to mention is that Giant Foods generously donated a swag bag filled with all sorts of yummy foods to all the attendees who stayed in the dorms at the university. Also in those bags were $20 Gift Cards which could be used at any Giant, Martins, Pea Pod or Stop & Shop. Now, Giant is a regional supermarket in my corner of the states but it's not nationwide. The attendees of BlogU15 WERE from all parts of the country and even the world!

This means that some of those $20 Gift Cards would go to waste. And you know I'm not having any of that nonsense. So I contacted many of our BlogU15 attendees who do not have any of those grocery stores where they live and offered to collect them to donate to charity. I'm pleased to say that right now, at least a dozen of those awesome and generous bloggers have come through and are right now as we speak sending me their unused gift cards.

I'll be donating them to my friend Siobhan who works at the Catholic Charities in Martinsburg, WV. In her words this is Catholic Charities:

....a non profit social service organization. (No, one need not be Catholic - or any religion, for that matter, to receive services and there is no proselytizing either.) We provide emergency assistance for people who are about to lose electric, gas, housing, etc who are already living well below the federal poverty guidelines, which is about $24,300 for a family of 4 to give you an idea of how many are living. We also, as you know, have a personal care closet - again for those who can't afford the basics and are struggling. In conjunction, we offer case management and programs for those who come in need. Our goal is to provide the resources to help those in need work towards a better life, without having to rely so much on others. The gift cards would be wonderful because we are updating our personal care closet guidelines beginning July 1, we will begin to automatically distribute toothbrushes and toothpaste to clients who need to access the closet. There's a limit to how many items they can request and can access twice a year. But dental hygiene is so very important as a health issue, so being able to keep these items well stocked is imperative. The other thing they would be awesome for is this: as clients move through case management and learn how to better themselves. For example being able to provide a small gift card to a single parent, trying to raise children, work and make ends meet on minimum wage can make a tremendous difference!! 

 We are not a shelter, but we work closely with the existing ones. We provide a place for those in need to take a shower/do laundry. The cards could also help pay for prescriptions at Martin's, which is a challenge for some of our older clients. So many great things could be done.
Here's what I'm hoping may happen. The folks at Giant were kind enough to donate these gift cards, and for each gift card that is donated to Catholic Charities, I'd be THRILLED if Giant would match the donation. So right now I've got 12 gift cards coming my way to give to Catholic Charities. That's $240. How awesome would it be for Giant to match that $240 so that Catholic Charities could receive $480? No pressure, Giant folks, I know you were awesome enough to donate all those gift cards and all the yummy treats to the swag bags, but $480 would go a lot farther than $240. Just saying.

And just so you all know, I was not paid or compensated at all to write this post. I just want to say how awesome my fellow bloggers are for donating the cards they cannot use to this awesome organization, and how even more fantastic it would be to see Giant match these donations.

EDIT: Here's where I tell you that it PAYS TO ASK!!!! Giant has been in touch with me and they are offering $260 in additional gift cards to bring the total donated from the BlogU15 gift bags to $500!!!! THANK YOU GIANT for your generosity. The folks at Catholic Charities are very grateful to you and to the other bloggers who are donating their gift cards!