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, 19 and 17. 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!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

If I wrote cards for Hallmark...

We all know the feelings behind a Hallmark card. Some make you laugh til you pee, some make you cry. Hell sometimes I'll stand in a card store for hours just laughing at the crazy funny cards they have.

I get coupons from Hallmark but lately I can't find any stores in which to use them. The closest card store to me is 30 mins away. So in the absence of real card stores, I decided to see what it would be like if I started writing free-lance for Hallmark. Think they'd be knocking down my door to hire me?

Appropriate for the holidays,  no?



Perfect 'Thank You' card for those holiday pot luck gatherings

Come on, admit it. We ALL know someone who could use this bit of truth in a card.
Again, painful truth that no one else will tell you.
What the hell, one more tequila!
I think this one speaks for itself.
So how about it, Hallmark? I've got a ton of great ideas floating around in my sick, twisted brain! Call me!

Friday, December 16, 2016

How Ted Danson figures into my Mom's story......

Welcome back, Snarklings. If you're behind on the events of the past few weeks, you can catch up here. I'll wait.

Now that we're all caught up and pleased as punch that my Brother did NOT, in fact, end up in jail for throwing someone through a plate glass window, let's continue, shall we?

By Thursday of that first week of October, we had gotten my Mom settled into the nursing care facility, run around Southern New Jersey like chickens without heads gathering paperwork and trying somewhat successfully NOT to kill public servants. Thursday morning I sat with the nicest, sweetest lady at the Cape May County Medicaid office who took my hand and walked me through the application process and not once did I want to punch her in the junk. She was awesome and kind and everything that the Atlantic County office had not been. Application submitted October 6.

I had been living at the home of one of my life-long friends for the week and by Friday, I needed to get back to my family, yet was heartbroken at the idea of leaving my Mom. I cried when I left her but knew that I'd be back within a few days.

I was back that Sunday and stayed through Columbus Day before heading back the 4 hours to my home in West Virginia. I went back and forth several more times, each time so happy to see her sitting up in bed, walking around (albeit getting out of breath each time. COPD steals your lungs little by little).

The last time I saw my Mother alive was Sunday, October 30th. She had developed an upper respiratory infection that they were trying to treat and her breathing sounded really labored. But she smiled through the visit. 17 had her Homecoming dance the night before and Mom loved seeing the pics of 17 and her boyfriend, all dressed up. We laughed all day and again, I cried before I left because I would miss her until the next time I saw her. I cried every time I left my Mom because you just never know when the last time is that you'll see someone.

I got a call the next day from my Brother that Mom was confused and not doing well at all. The infection was getting worse. She thought it was still Sunday and thought I was still there with her. He said that they were going to increase her morphine to relax her breathing. I spoke with her briefly, told her I loved her and hung up.

I knew that with the morphine increase, she may have been sleeping more or a little out of it so when I called each day, I'd call the nurses station to check on her condition and always passed along my "please tell her I love her" message.

Wednesday November 2, they called me to tell me that her condition had deteriorated and that the family should plan on coming to see her. That's never a good thing.

I went to the school and picked up 17, packed a bag, made arrangements for the dogs to be cared for and off to New Jersey we went. I contacted 19 to let her know and she planned to drive from Morgantown, WV to Cape May County, New Jersey as soon as her last class was over.

The morphine was strong but my mother's lungs were weak. So weak. She was drowsy and not at all coherent when we arrived but I rubbed her back, held her hand and told her how much we loved her. 19 arrived in time to say her 'goodbye' and 'I love you' as well.

As I lay on the couch in the common room that night, the girls slept together in my Mother's room. The Cubs had won the World Series that night and it was one hell of a baseball game. My Mom, had she been coherent, would have loved it. At 3:10, the nurse came in and told me it would only be a matter of time.

I sat there a little while longer, and in my head I said this to my mother:

"You know that we love you, and that we don't want you to suffer anymore. You need to go. You need to be free of this pain, you need to breathe free. It's time. Time to be with your Mom and Dad, and with my Dad. Give them all my love, but most of all, go with our love and be free from this pain."

Minutes later the nurse came back. Mom was gone. She was finally at peace. No more oxygen tubes, no more morphine. No more struggling to take each breath. She was free.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A few weeks later, we had a luncheon for my Mom's friends and neighbors in Atlantic City. At that time I read a brief eulogy and part of it said this:

"My Mother always hated the actor, Ted Danson. He was in a movie in 1984 called "Something About Amelia" about a father who molests his teenage daughter. After seeing that movie, poor Ted was always referred to as "that child molesting bastard" by Mom. She totally knew it was a movie and he was an actor playing a role, but she said he really was a good actor because she believed he was a child molesting bastard.

Recently my company partnered with Oceana, and Ted Danson is a Board Member there. I couldn't tell my Mom that my bosses had met Ted Danson though. I can hear her now saying: "Why are you guys working with that child molesting bastard?"

As if on cue, Ted Danson appeared on the television in the room in which we were having our lunch. It was a commercial for shopping small businesses on Saturday, but I'm telling you, that was my Mother telling us she was in the room with us. There is no doubt in my mind that my Mom was there with us. We all had a really good laugh, and that's how my Mother would've wanted it.




Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mothers, Medicaid Mishaps and More...

Well hello there. It's been awhile since I've posted here, so excuse the dust and the cobwebs.  A lot has happened over the past 2 months. When we last met, I had stolen found a dog, remember? Yeah, the crazy is still around our hood.

But I digress. Let's go back to the beginning of October. I ran a marathon. It was glorious when I was able to stop running. And then all hell broke loose.



I got a call the following day, Sunday Oct. 2 telling me that my Mother had been found in her apartment on the floor, unresponsive and purple. Those of you who are regular readers know that my Mom suffered from COPD and was on hospice care. It was in-home hospice as she wasn't quite to the point where she needed round-the-clock care, but she did have an aide come in every day to check on her, bathe her, help her with laundry and her every day needs. It was that aide who found her. I credit her aide for saving her life and giving us some extra time with my Mom, because technically she wasn't even supposed to be there to check on Mom until the next morning.

They moved my Mom to a nursing care facility that day and I immediately drove to New Jersey to be with her. When I saw her, she did not remember anything that had happened. She had no idea how she ended up on the floor with her oxygen cannula across the room. Maybe that was for the best.

What followed that week was the stuff that nightmares are made of. Mom was receiving the best care possible, but we knew she could no longer live alone in her apartment. We knew, too, that on her fixed income, she couldn't afford to stay at the facility without applying for Medicaid. That's where the fun really began. They told us it would cost $11,000 a month for her to stay. The hospice told us that they would cover the first 5 days of my Mom's stay at the nursing care facility, and the facility told us that if we started the Medicaid application process, she could stay there while the application process was being, well, processed. Our fears that she would be kicked out on the street were unfounded. But we had to act fast, because we had to get the application process started before the 5 days of hospice-paid care were up.

The office staff in the facility gave us the 20 page Medicaid application and some information to get us started. The social coordinator in my Mom's apartment building had a lot of copies of paperwork that we needed but my Brother and I still had a shit ton of legwork to do and not a lot of time in which to do it. We got bank statements, divorce decrees, birth and marriage certificates, bills, and a partridge in a pear tree. You name it, we got it.

Since my Mom lived in Atlantic County, we were informed that THAT was where we had to turn in the application. But when we arrived at the County office building after running around for 2 days like crazy people trying to acquire as much paperwork as possible, we had a door slammed in our faces.

I had checked the County's website and found that the Medicaid Application office was open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  LIES!

Security told us to go in the first door on the right, go to the end of the counter, sign the clipboard and someone would be right with us. LIES! I did as I was told and when I went to reach for the clipboard, this women stopped me and said "Whatta you doing?"

Me: "I'm signing the clipboard. I have a Medicaid application that I need to submit"

Her:  "OH WE CLOSED."

Me: blink......blink......"What?"

Her: "I said we closed. We done at 3:00"

Me:  eyes filling with tears.........."Your website says you're open until 4:30"

Her: "Oh yeah, well that ain't right. I'm just finishing up some stuff, but we closed"

My Brother: .....ready to throw this bitch through a plate glass window

Me: "But I have a Medicaid application that needs to be submitted and we are under time constraints because my Mother is about to be thrown out of her nursing home if I don't get this application submitted" (always with a flair for the dramatic if I do say so myself) LITERALLY crying now

Her: "Lemme see dat"

She takes the application, looks over the first few pages and says: "This ain't even the right form! Where you get this from"

Me: Full on crying......."They gave it to us at the nursing home in Cape May County"

Her: "Then you got to take it to the Medicaid office down there, not here. We can't do nothing with this"

My Brother:.......one plate glass window away from a homicide charge

She WAS kind enough to give me a piece of paper with some phone numbers for Cape May County's social services department and after a few phone calls, I found out where I was SUPPOSED to take the application (which actually WAS the right form, just the wrong county).

Stay tuned, I'm going to finish this saga tomorrow on the blog....


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I found a dog....

The following events actually happened. Nothing has been embellished. I swear, every single word is true. Honestly, file this under "you can't make this shit up".

Last Saturday I got into my car to run an errand and saw a small dog walking up my street. I live on a relatively busy street that leads to an even busier county road, read: lots of fast moving cars and idiot drivers. Not the safest place for a dog.

This is a dog. It's not the actual dog I found. I just needed a cute dog picture for the post. So sue me.
I sat in my car toying with the idea of getting out to see what the dog's deal was, or just going about my business and running my errand. Then I thought of my two dogs, Henry and Cosmo. If one of my dogs got out, I would hope that someone would take the time to make sure he didn't run into traffic, to make sure he was kept safe. So I got involved.

That was my first mistake.

I checked the dog for signs of ownership. No collar, no tags, no leash, no identifying marks. I brought the dog into my house and put it in my dog crate (I had my husband put our two boys outside so they didn't think I had brought them a chew toy). I posted the dog's picture on our HOA Facebook page alerting anyone who may be missing a dog to the fact that I had found one. Then I ran my errand.

When I got back, I checked the HOA Facebook page and saw no results, so I decided to check the dog to see if I could provide more details (male or female, coloring, age, etc). That's when I saw that this poor dog was infested with fleas and flea eggs. And it was sitting in my dog crate, with our blankets and our dog towels. Oh hell no. I treat my dogs for fleas with Frontline every month and I can't have an untreated dog infested with fleas in my house. No flipping way. So I called the local animal control office to make sure they were there on the weekend, and I got dressed, put the dog in a carrier and brought it to their office.

Let me make this perfectly clear: had this dog been flea-free, and not shown signs of infestation, I would have kept the dog all day, hoping that the owner could be located. However, that is not the case. This dog, this sweet innocent animal was crawling with fleas, and keeping it around my dogs was not an option.

Upon returning from the animal control office, someone messaged me that they knew who the owner was.

Then the owner saw my FB post on our HOA page and, I shit you not, accused me of stealing her dog.

You read that right. She said I stole her dog. But wait it gets better. These are literally, word for word, the posts she made on my Facebook post. Keep in mind, I found her dog. I made sure it did not get hit by a car. I could've just looked the other way and let someone else deal with it. But I didn't. This was the owner's response to my post. Each sentence was posted in a separate comment.

You can pay the $50 to pick her up

And I will file charges against you for stealing her I saw you drive off

They will not release her and I am coming to your house

!!!!!!!!!   (I'm not lying, that was an actual individual comment right there)

I just called 911

And I am waiting for the officer to call me

That's wrong what you did

And I don't have time for this (apparently she had time to post on FB over and over)

 I am filing a civil case.

You do not steal any pet !! And it's reported

I would shut your mouth !!

(someone posted here that I had done the right thing, the owner responded below)

No let someone steal your dog

See how you react

These people have nothing better to do pretty sad

It was wrong and it's been reported I wont drop it I will do what I have to  !!

Ok so here's the deal. Had the owner spent money on proper care of the dog (ie flea meds), she wouldn't have had to bail her dog out of doggie lockup.

I always try to teach my children to do the right thing. To make good choices and to help others if you are able. And yet, I thought I was doing the right thing, and it came back to bite me in the ass.

Did I do the wrong thing by taking the dog to animal control? Would you have kept a flea-infested animal around your animals? In your flea-free house? Or am I the bad guy here. I'd love to know what you think.

If you liked this post, perhaps you'll enjoy reading about the time I found something on Henry that no dog should have.






Friday, October 28, 2016

Running and math don't mix.


I completed the Freedoms Run Marathon in record time!!! (for me)



My first marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon which I ran in 5:42:34. My average pace for that race was 13:03/mile. Pretty respectable for my first ever marathon.

My second marathon was the Disney Marathon and those of you who have been around awhile know that I ran the Goofy Challenge that year (Half Marathon Saturday, Full Marathon Sunday, lots of pain and suffering Monday) My time for that full marathon was something like 6:40 so that doesn't really count towards being a lickety split runner.  But I did kick ass during the half marathon with a time of 2:39:25 so I wasn't at all disappointed.

My finish time for the Freedoms Run was 5:40:22, a full 2 minutes and 12 seconds faster than my first full marathon. My average pace was 12:59/mile. I couldn't be happier about that than if Mike Rowe himself was waiting for me at the finish line to present me with my finisher's medal and a big wet sloppy kiss.

I had so much love and support that weekend, it was ridiculous. The morning started at 5:00 when I got up and dressed. My friend Susan was going to drive me to the shuttle bus to get to the starting line, but she feigned car trouble and instead told me she brought me another driver. Who should pop out from behind the car but my dear friend Jazzy Jen Powers, who came up from North Carolina just to cheer me on for my marathon. I cried when I finally realized who she was (in my defense, it was 5:30 a.m., pitch black outside and I was wearing sunglasses). She dropped me off at the shuttles with the promise of Pad Thai and wine that night, post-race. I can think of nothing better than good food and good friends to celebrate my victory.

The race started off with a little drizzle and about a mile in, it was a full on down-pour. It was during the second mile that I realized something. My washing machine is apparently not doing its job. The rinse cycle on my washer isn't getting all the detergent out of my clothes. How do I know this? Because I had, literally, a cuff of soap bubbles around each leg of my running capris from the downpour. I'm not kidding. I literally was leaving a trail of bubbles all over mile 2.

Luckily the rain eased up by mile 5, however, that's when I crossed the Potomac River and started running on the C&O Canal Towpath. The C&O that day resembled both Tough Mudder courses that I've run in the past. No lying, the towpath was nothing but 4" deep mud puddles as far as the eye can see. Normally, the towpath is one of my favorite places to run. Now, I don't care if I ever see it again. It was a muddy, slippery and dangerous mess.

At mile 15 I was able to get off the towpath and onto solid ground. That was the good news. The bad news is that at mile 15, the serious hills start, and they don't stop for another 6 miles. But more good news, my fake husband Joseph and one of my running sisters, Paula, met me at mile 15 and ran those hills with me. What a sweet blessed relief to be running with people I know and love, who were there to get me through the roughest part of the race!

My fake husband Joseph and I in the hills of Antietam Battlefield
We killed the hills of Antietam Battlefield and I was on track to PR this race after trying to do math in my head. Running and math don't mix. Just saying. Joseph left just before we left the Battlefield en route to Nutters for some ice cream while Paula and I trudged on. About 2 miles later, Paula had gotten her planned 8 miles in and she took her leave just as Joseph decided to join me again. Apparently, Nutters was closed, no ice cream for him, so what else could he do? He wanted me to PR and wanted to help make that happen.

It totally worked. I ran across that finish 2 minutes and 12 seconds faster than I did for my first full marathon. This time I was about 25 pounds heavier and 6 years older. And my family and friends were all waiting for me at that finish line. I cried as they ran the home stretch with me. PSA: running and crying are not possible at the same time, I ended up hyperventilating and nearly died.

Dear sweet baby Jesus can I stop running now??

My baby girl at the finish line, presenting me with a hug and my finishers medal

Me and the beautiful Jazzy Jen Powers who was with me at the start and the finish of my marathon

I could not have done this race without the love and support of my family, who I abandoned every Sunday from July through October for my long runs. Or Susan Reichel who biked alongside me through hill and dale, singing to me, threatening to hit me with her bike, making me coconut water concoctions that helped me survive the hot, treacherous hills of Maryland and West Virginia. Or Joseph Bertone and Paula Masters who got me through Antietam on a wet, cold October day. Or my running sister Lisa Kingsbury who is one of my biggest champions. If you sent a text, a call, a FB note, please know that your love and support meant the world to me.

The night I finished running, we did go for Pad Thai and wine, then spent the evening pretending to play cards but really gorged ourselves on more wine and chocolate (because my husband is amazing, he went to the store and bought all the chocolate he could find for us). And we laughed and talked well into the evening. It was an amazing weekend with wonderful friends and lots of pain. But all well worth it.

You can read about the events leading up to my full marathon here.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Snarkfest Runs a Marathon....

This Saturday morning I'll be up before the birds getting ready to run a marathon. This will be my 3rd marathon ever and I'm really excited about it. My first was the Marine Corps Marathon, and my second was part of the Goofy Challenge. For that, I ran a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. Yeah, that was a little nuts. Or Goofy, as it were.

Goofy Challenge Bling
My bib and bling from the Goofy Challenge in 2012

But this weekend I'm running the Freedoms Run Full Marathon right here in my little town. The course runs through all sorts of historic places like the town of Harpers Ferry, the C&O Canal and the Antietam National Battlefield. These are all places I run almost daily, so it's literally like I'm running in my backyard. But for 26.2 miles. Hey it's a big backyard.

I'm totally ready. Hell, I'm almost looking forward to it. Almost.

I began training for this marathon in earnest back in mid-May. I've spent my mornings doing quick jaunts around my neighborhood and every Sunday has been consumed by double digit runs all through the summer. Most Sunday's I've been accompanied by one of my best friends (and the MOST excellent Sherpa) Susan. She has been riding her bike and carrying a backpack with a camel back, snacks and Ibuprofen to help me get through the long and mind-numbing miles. She has pushed me, mocked me, threatened me, sang to me and made me go farther and faster than I want to go. She assures me that I will thank her on race day. I'm sure after my suffering is over, I will do that.

My neighbor, the Nazi Crack Ho will be running the Half Marathon this year. I look forward to seeing her and her hubby, Sherpa Susan, my husband and favorite 16 year old daughter and many of my friends cheering me on at the finish line.

My goal is to finish in under 6 hours. The first 15 miles, from what I understand, is relatively flat so I should be able to average between 12-12:30/min mile. Once I hit those hills, I'll definitely be slowing down.

Wish me luck, Snarklings!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Long Live the Schlepprocks!

In my hood, we have a wide variety of personalities. Some nice, some warm and fuzzy, some prickly, some tangy, just like a big grocery store full of dispositions. We've got plenty of fruits and nuts, some twigs and berries, we've got it all. And it's a pretty decent mix, except for the rotten bananas. You know the ones I'm talking about, the kind who travel around with a black cloud of doom hanging over their head, much like Schlepprock from the old Flintstones cartoons. Wherever Schlepprock goes, he brings a gloomy darkness and bad things happen. Yeah, we've got one of those as well.

This is the type of person who frequently pees in your cornflakes in the morning. For the sake of anonymity and originality, we'll call our Schlepprock 'Schlepprock'. Our neighborhood Schlepprock takes pride and pleasure in the misery of others. If you're having a sunny day, fear not, old Schlepprock will come to your house and rain on your sunny day. Or try to if you allow it. But the key is NOT to allow it. You see, our Schlepprock is a lone wolf in a pack of happy puppies. And we happy puppies need not let our Schlepprock bring us down.




Let's take a look at some examples of our Schlepprock in action. Our Schlepprock enjoys making the ideas of others seem somehow wrong. Several of our neighbors toyed with the idea of sharing resources to save money in these difficult times and brought up the idea of possibly pitching in to share in garbage collection. Several other like-minded opinions were shared, yet Schlepprock poo-poo'ed these ideas, suggesting instead that we all just buy one big house and live together. When another sweet neighbor suggested that with the high cost of oh, I don't know, EVERYTHING these days, it sounds like we could ALL benefit from pitching in and that even dual-income households are scrambling to make ends meet. Well, apparently this is not the case at Casa Schlepprock. Schlepprock's spouse apparently makes plenty o'bucks so that Schlepprock can stay home and take care of the little Schlepprocks. I applaud Schlepprock's spouse and their ability to manage on one income but the idea of a two-income household is a ridiculous theory to Schlepprock. No, Schlepprock looks down from their high horse upon those of us who all have to go out and do all that nasty stuff called work. Ew. Schlepprock replied to this sweet neighbor by suggesting that said sweet neighbor wasn't home often enough to be a good mother to her own children. Yes, THAT little nugget pissed more than a few neighbors off.

More recently, we had another little conversation going about the positives and negatives of HOA's. This is a hot button topic among all neighbors, and all involved have valid points of view. Even Schlepprock. However, as someone famous once said (and no, don't ask me who, because I don't know. It could've been someone who works for UPS or FedEx, but don't quote me. Maybe it was Mr. McFeely from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, he was the postman, wasn't he? Anyway, I digress) it's all in the delivery. Delivery is key. It's all about delivery. You deliver your point of view in a grown up, respectful manner and your opinion is treated with the respect it deserves. You deliver your opinion like an ass, and that's the way you'll be treated. Watch your words. If you tell someone that you like the HOA because you don't want to live with a dirt ball mentality, and if you want to live with a dirt ball mentality, go move to a trailer park, then you are going to be challenged. And if you backpedal and say there was no name calling, then you're obviously suffering from short term memory loss and you should immediately change your name to Dorrie and go find a whale to have a chat with in your quest to find Nemo. And if you FURTHERMORE refer to someone as a bitch because they ask you to tone down the name calling, you deserve any ass-whooping that comes your way.

We all know people like this. They are everywhere in every community, hiding in the woodwork like cockroaches. They piss us off and then act innocent. Their opinion is much greater and much more important than yours. Their spouse is better than yours, their milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard. I say good for them. Long live the Schlepprocks, for if they disappear, it'll make it harder for me to unleash my snark. And it's not good for the snark to be locked up for too long. One must not bottle up the snark. So thank you, Schlepprocks of the world! Because of you, I'm never at a loss for a good topic for a blog post.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Better Things on FX AND a GIVEAWAY!!




UPDATE: 

ANNOUNCING THE WINNER OF THE BETTER THINGS SWAG GIVEAWAY:

KATHERINE COBB!!

CONGRATULATIONS KATHERINE!!



Hey Snarklings, have you heard of the new show on FX called Better Things?  I watched the pilot episode last Thursday and aside from the fact that the main character Sam (played to perfection by Pamela Adlon) is a part-time porn star, I can totally relate to almost everything else that she deals with. While she has 3 daughters and I have 2, what she deals with is so relatable. That's probably the best word to describe the show: relatable.

Better Things on FX


As the pilot opens, her youngest is throwing a fake tantrum because she isn't getting her way. Been there, dealt with that. Then she deals with her teenager and the full-on attitude that comes with the teen years. Um, hello? Is there a TV camera hidden in my car?? Her middle child is a bit of an enigma. I haven't figured her out yet except for the fact the she barges into her mom's room despite Sam's repeated warnings to NOT come into her room. Who among us with kids EVER HAS PRIVACY? Again: relatable.

Better Things on FX

So far, after watching the pilot episode, I feel for Sam as a single mom. She wants the best for her daughters but while our children ARE our world, there has to be more, right? Is it wrong of us to want some alone time? Is it wrong to want a connection to more than just what our kids need? No, it's not. We love our kids but we deserve adult interaction, we NEED it. And so far, Sam needs it and I can totally relate to her. I'm looking forward to this week's episode to see what happens next. You can watch Better Things on FX on Thursday nights at 10:00 pm EST. But be warned, Better Things is for mature audiences only. Did I mention the main character is a part-time porn star? Yeah, no kids watching, please.

But wait, there's more!  FX has also given me a great box of swag to give to one of you lucky Snarklings! Check out the goods in this box:

Cool swag box


Ray-Ban Sunglasses
Chipolo Bluetooth Key Ring
Leather clutch
Travel pillow
Emergency beauty kit
Lip moisturizer
Mini Mints
Essential Oil blends

To enter to win this awesome swag bag, you need to do 2 things. Just comment below and tell me what overwhelms YOU! Laundry? Parenting? Work? What overwhelms you? Then, once you've commented, please complete THIS GOOGLE FORM so you may be entered to win! I will pick the winner from the Google Form, so make sure you've commented here AND completed the form!

Check back because I'll be drawing a winner on Thursday September 22 at noon! And make sure you tune in on Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. EST to watch Better Things on FX.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Drivin' Miss 16...

16 will be 17 soon, and a few weeks ago she got her drivers license. She aced the parallel parking part of the test early on and the lady who administered her test told me that 16 was the most confident and capable person she'd had all week taking the road test. SCORE!! And now she's Drivin' Miss 16!

I allow my child to drive my car to school. Does that make me a bad parent?


She got her license on a Wednesday and school started the next day. I opted to allow her to drive my car to school. And I've allowed her to drive to school almost every day since she got her license. Some people may think I'm crazy. I'm not.

A friend of mine posted on the Facebooks that she, too, had allowed her newly-licensed driver to take her car and OH THE HUMANITY!!!!! "Why would you let your kid take your car???" "Why do YOU have to walk to the store when you have a perfectly good car???" "That's not fair to you!!!!"

People were literally freaking out on her post, criticizing her for walking to the store and letting her kid take her car to school.

First of all, it's not really anyone's call but the owner of the car. Period. If you have an opinion, that's awesome. Good on you. But what you think doesn't really make much of a difference in anyone's life but your own, or in anyone's decisions but your own.

Here's my story: I work just under a mile from my office. I am a healthy 49-year old woman with fully functioning lungs and legs. I am fully capable of walking to my job. In fact, I actually ENJOY walking to my job. It gets me out in the sunshine, gets me fresh air, vitamin D and some much needed exercise. It's helping with weight-loss and it really doesn't suck as much as some nay-sayers would like you to think.

I also believe it's building my daughter's confidence. I have faith in her ability, I know she is careful, I know that she's capable and I know that it makes her feel good that I trust her enough to take my car to school. It also saves ME the trouble of having to go pick her up after sports or band practice every afternoon. If I continue driving her everywhere, she will not get the experience OR THE CONFIDENCE to do it for herself.

If it's raining, girlfriend gets to ride the bus and then I will go and pick her up from practice when I get out of work. But if it's a beautiful day outside, and I could use the exercise, and she could use the confidence building, why not let her drive? If she has her license but I drive her everywhere, what purpose does that serve? What experience is she getting?

So to all of the nay-sayers, I say this: it's none of your business if someone allows their kid to drive their car. If you have a child, parent that child. But don't judge another parent for their parenting decisions.



If you enjoyed this post, you may also find some humor in the story of my dueling GPSs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mean Girls Suck...

If you know me, you know that I've struggled with my weight since forever.  I began putting on weight in the 4th grade. I was heavier than most of the girls in my class, and since I was short, I carried all my weight from my hips down. Fat ass. Barrel ass. Thunder thighs. You name it, I heard it.

Funny thing, I heard it from the girls in my class. My peers. The boys? They never bothered me. They were my friends. They weren't the bullies. It was the mean girls with the big mouths and the bigger attitudes.

Bullies have been around since Jesus was a baby. Why are mean girls so...mean?

Starting in 6th grade, we had dances for grades 6-8 in my school. And I loved to dance, so when I went to dances, I danced my fat ass off.  I danced with my girlfriends and I danced with the boys in my class. I was mocked by the other girls in my class, the mean girls. But I never had a problem with the boys. They wanted to dance, and so did I. It was fun.

Maybe the mean girls didn't like that I was getting attention from the boys at the dance (trust me, it was all in friendship, I never dated any of the boys in my school, they just wanted to dance, nothing more). Who knows?  But because I was a fat girl, I was an easy target for them.

It hurt at first, not gonna lie. But eventually I stopped caring what they thought. In the years since I stopped giving a shit what other people think, I've run more than 20 half marathons. I've run 2 full marathons and am training for my third in October. I've become a published author and I am officially a New York Times Bestselling Author. My ass is still big but my confidence is bigger.

Both of my daughters have dealt with mean girls. Mean girls never go away, they will always be there and they will always suck. But both of my girls have the courage of their convictions and have found things at which they both truly excel, and they've learned (or are still learning) not to sweat the small stuff.  Both my girls kick ass at music and sports. They know they are good. They're not cocky or arrogant, but they are confident. Naturally, the mean girls hate that confidence and continue to be petty and small.  But my girls know the deal. They work hard, they practice, they do well and they get past the small people with their small minds and their petty bullshit. The means girls don't realize it but they are actually teaching my girls a good lesson.

In life, there will always be assholes. In every job, in every club, in every organization, in every facet of life, there will always been jackasses. Learning this early on, and learning how to deal with those jackasses from the start is helpful for the future. So if you are bullied, I realize it's easy for me to tell you to let it go and not let it bother you. But find what you are good at and work at it. Practice it, master it, and show the assholes that you're better than they are.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Purina Pro Plan Cat Food: A Cat's Tail



So I've got this cat, you see.  You know her, you love her. I love her. She's my Cinnamon and holy cheese she'll be 15 this year! She was born on Sept 11, 2001. She's my 9/11 baby and she's as dumb as a box of rocks but as sweet as sugar.

When we got her, she was just a little baby and was a TERROR to our other cat, Pinhead. Pin was a cranky old lady and Cinnamon was this young pain in the butt whippersnapper that lived for annoying the old girl. When Pin finally passed a few years back, we adopted two dogs, Henry and Cosmo, and Pin had her revenge from the grave. The dogs finally realized that they were bigger than the cat and once they did, all bets were off. They chased and played with Cinnamon just as she had done to Pinhead. I wonder now if she regrets being such a pain to Pinhead.


A word about my cat's taste in cat food
I just KNOW the Purina Pro Plan Cat Food is in this drawer!
Now that she is slowing down a bit, she's getting much more picky about eating. I don't give her dry food because she has issues with her urinary tract when I do, so she's been eating canned food and being really persnickety about it. Recently I was contacted by the folks at Purina Pro Plan Cat  and offered  the opportunity to feed their Purina Pro Plan Cat Food to our Cinnamon. They're gonna need to send a bigger case. This cat can't get enough of it. While this IS a sponsored post, I'm not exaggerating when I say that she absolutely LOVES this food. It's like I've created a monster. She's seriously wishing she had opposable thumbs so she could open the cans and feed herself.

A word about my cat's taste in cat food
Is this where you're hiding the Purina Pro Plan Cat Food??  #MyGreatCat

All of the formulas are high in protein, featuring real meat, poultry or Cinnamon's favorite, fish. I mentioned that dry food caused her urinary tract issues and Purina Pro Plan Cat Food is great for maintaining hydration and has all of the nutritional value my old girl needs. It is proudly manufactured at Purina-owned US facilities. And now your cat can try it too, just click to get your coupon for a free can of Purina Pro Plan when you buy 5.

A word about my cat's taste in cat food
Where the heck do you keep the forks, human? #MyGreatCat
You guys know me, I don't  normally write full posts about products unless I truly believe in them. And I believe that Purina Pro Plan Wet Cat Food is a great choice for my Cinnamon, or your Tabby or Fluffy or George. Whoever your favorite cat is, why not click for the buy 5 get 1 can free coupon and treat them to Purina Pro Plan Cat Food?

A word about my cat's taste in cat food
FINALLY cat food I won't turn down #MyGreatCat


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Egg Nazi...

Hey Snarklings. Most of you know that I've got two teens in High School this year, a Senior and a Freshman. Both my girls are band geeks and I couldn't be happier. Band kids are awesome. They are pretty well-behaved (most anyway) and I know and love most of their friends in band. Anywho, every year the whole band packs up and heads to the 4H camp for band camp (NO AMERICAN PIE JOKES NEEDED, TYVM) and we band parents all pitch in to assist. We provide produce, we show up at the school to help load up all the luggage, fans, equipment and instruments. Some parents drive the trucks up, others drive up in their own vehicles to help unload, and during the week, parents sign up to chaperone in the bunks or to help serve meals.



That's where I come in. Every year since 16 was a wide-eyed Freshman, I've gone up to band camp one evening to chaperone in the bunks and then to help with breakfast the following morning. I feel like every parent who has a kid in band should help out in some way, whether it's sleeping over at band camp, serving meals, chaperoning band trips, or one of my favorite things to do, working in the concession stand during Friday night football games. But I digress. Let's get back to breakfast, shall we?

My partners-in-crime and fellow band parents Suzie, Lucy and I woke up at the asscrack of dawn and schlepped over to the building where meals are served. There, we were instructed by the crack staff that is there every year. These awesome ladies, I believe, are on staff at the public schools in the area as cafeteria workers (don't quote me as I'm not 100% sure on this, because they could also be prison guards, could go either way). They quickly put us to work cooking eggs, buttering toast and cutting fruit. Breakfast on that particular morning was eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits, toast, cereal and an enormous selection of fresh fruit (trust me when I tell you, the kids at band camp almost NEVER go hungry). 

My job was serving freshly made scrambled eggs to these bright-eyed, bushy-tailed band kids. All 180 of them. Plus instructors. So there are 200 egg-eating folks all lined up and ready for me to dish them out some steaming scrambled goodness. I started with a big ice cream scooper and those first few kids were giddy with excitement at the serving of delicious eggy delight that appeared on their plates. And that's when it happened. The Egg Nazi appeared. She is the keeper of the kitchen. The master of the meals. I heard her say "THAT'S IT!!! NO MORE!!!" And then she traded my big scrambled egg scoop for a small scrambled egg scoop. She instructed me NOT TO GIVE OUT TOO MUCH to each person because we have to make these eggs last for everyone. "If there are any eggs left" she said, "they can go back for seconds. But I doubt there'll be any left. So you have to just give out a small portion to make them stretch for everyone."

The look on these kids' faces broke my heart as I laid out a smattering of eggs, like, a tablespoon on each plate. Their eyes, nearly filled with tears, looking up at me as if to say "Please, ma'am, may I have some.....more??" Overwhelmed with guilt, I apologized to each child as they looked down at the baby-sized portion of eggs on their plate. "I tried, I swear, but if she catches me giving you more.....she'll kill me"  I whispered through my own guilt-laden tears.

With 1/4 pan of eggs left and less than half the band left to serve I heard the Egg Nazi shout from the kitchen, "Put this fresh pan of eggs out, those eggs out there are getting cold!!" So I traded the old pan for a fresh new pan, but still, I was being watched like a hawk. If I gave even a smidgen more than that baby scoop, I could feel her eyes burning a hole in my skull. I could almost hear her thoughts: "NOT SO MUCH!!!!! ARE YOU CRAZY??? WE'LL RUN OUT!!!" Never have I felt so much guilt, I felt like I was starving these kids. I feared that they wouldn't make it to lunch before passing out on the field because they didn't get enough to eat for breakfast.

When I saw the end of the line, I looked at my pan of eggs. Almost still full, because of the miniscule amount of eggs I was instructed to distribute. Slow, smouldering rage began to burn in my heart, because I realized at that point that WE WERE GOING TO HAVE SO MANY GODDAMN EGGS LEFT OVER WE COULD FEED A SMALL AFRICAN VILLAGE. I seethed. I bit through my bottom lip. I burned with the fire of a thousand suns at the Egg Nazi, for making me starve those poor band kids.

As the last person in line walked away with their portion, the Egg Nazi came out from the kitchen, and looked at the mountain of scrambled eggs still left in my pan. She could probably feel the heat from my anger radiating through my skin. "I'm real sorry," she said, "I really thought you were giving out way too much in the beginning but looks like we had plenty."

Since dumping a pan of hot scrambled eggs on the Egg Nazi would probably have gotten me kicked out of band camp, I decided to keep my big mouth shut and carry my giant pan of eggs over to the table so that the children could help themselves to seconds. In the end, few did. It was almost time for them to head out and start practicing their music and their movements, so there was no time to eat the eggs. I'm not sure what the Egg Nazi did with the remainder of those eggs but I can only hope an orphanage in Haiti was well-fed that afternoon.

Next year I'm handing out toast.



Friday, July 22, 2016

Inspirational People

I was asked to write a post about someone who I believe is an inspiration. I've written before about Real Heroes here and here. Today's post is about two things inspirational. One person, another real hero is my friend Susan.

Yeah, she's gorgeous
I met Susan when we first moved here to Mayberry 10 years ago. She was the coach of 16's soccer team (at the time, 16 was 6!). In addition to her mad soccer coaching skillz, she was also a mentor at the elementary school and responsible for helping to create several programs for the kids there including an afternoon runners club to keep kids active and a club for the kids to have fun on Friday nights.

Always thinking of others before herself, Susan is one of the most generous people you will ever meet. She is Mom to two amazing and beautiful young women who are following in their mother's footsteps with their kindness and generosity.

Susan and I during a Tough Mudder race in 2014
Susan is the co-chair of a 5K which raises money for athletic programs in our area, and she recently participated in a 100 mile race to raise money to help the folks in Flint, MI dealing with the water crisis. Last week, however, Susan went above and beyond when she loaded up a truck full of cleaning supplies, water, food and clothing and took it, along with her daughters and my daughter to the southern part of West Virginia, which was devastated by floods the week before.

They brought dehumidifiers to those who desperately needed them, and they put in long hours of labor at a hardware store that had lost almost everything. My daughter and hers were able to appreciate all that they have and to see the loss and devastation suffered at the hands of Mother Nature was most definitely eye-opening for them.

Susan plans on making another trip down to assist with rebuilding the flood-damaged areas, and my daughter was so moved by the first experience that she's definitely signed on for a second trip. Susan just radiates the things I want my daughters to be: kind, generous, compassionate, loving and above all, selfless.

The other inspirational thing I'm writing about today is the premiere of the show Born This Way. The second season of Born This Way premieres on Tuesday, July 26 on A&E. The show features some amazing young adults born with Downs Syndrome and facing life's challenges with grace, courage, determination and love.

You can watch a clip of the season premiere here:

Tell me about someone who inspires you!

**I was compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Listen To Your Mother videos are up!!

Back in April I had the privilege of being onstage with some of the most talented and beautiful women I've had the pleasure and fortune to meet. We bonded over Mexican lunches, we laughed and cried and prayed with one another and became sisters.  Their strength and resiliency inspires me to be a better writer, a better wife and mother and a better human being.

Some of my sisters are bloggers, some writers, some vloggers but all are amazing and speak from the heart. So here is my video of  my piece called "Roots and Wings."  I hope you enjoy it. I actually cried the first time I watched it, and I've read the damned thing about 9000 times, but seeing myself read it kind of blew me away.

When you finish mine video, stick around and watch the others. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. You will laugh with Sara Farrell Baker and Vera Ezimora, you'll cry with Shamel Riley Gravely, Lisa Martin, Jamice Holley and Terri Jackson, and you will be moved to action by Aliya, Andria Nacina Cole, Michelle Bond and Samantha Payne, and I hope you will be as proud as I am of Michelle A. Dowell-Vest, whose piece "Mitochondrial Semantics" has been named as one of BlogHer's Voices of the Year.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Sometimes a Kiss is Just a Kiss...

Watching the Today Show this morning, I saw that this picture of Bill Belichick is causing quite a controversy. Why? Because the camera person snapped a picture of his daughter giving him a celebratory kiss just moments after his New England Patriots had won the Super Bowl.  Why is this controversial? Because their eyes are closed? Because they are kissing on the lips? According to the article, an 'etiquette expert' says it's wrong. Well who died and made her boss?

Source
Maybe lip kissing among parents and children is not something that is widely accepted, but maybe it is. Am I a pervert for kissing my 76-year old mother on the lips when I visit her 3 or 4 times a year? Does that make it something more sinister than an innocent kiss? When my dad was still alive and I'd see him several times a year, I always kissed him on the lips. Does that make it incest? Perverse? My daughters kiss me on the lips. Oh the horror! Who cares? It's our choice and it doesn't make us the creepy people!

If you are a cheek kisser, more power to you. That's awesome. Some families show no affection towards one another. So cheek kissing is fantastic. Some families fight, and that's sad. Other families, like mine, are lip kissers. To us lip kissers, there's nothing wrong, sinister, perverted or incestuous about it. Mouths are closed and it's quick. I can tell right away if someone prefers not to be a lip kisser as I'm going in for the quick peck, so I'll hit the cheek instead. No problem. No harm. No foul.

This picture was snapped in a split second. Eyes are closed because.....PEOPLE BLINK! SHOCKER!! To me, there's nothing wrong at all with this image. It shows a happy father kissing a happy daughter in celebration of a Super Bowl win. Nothing more, nothing less. It should not be compared to Woody Allen's relationship with his step-daughter because the two are nothing alike.

It's just a kiss, folks. Lighten up.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Almost heaven....






Those words really didn't mean much to me before my oldest daughter went to college last August at West Virginia University. They sing that song after every home football game and it brings chills. Now those words touch my heart in ways I never knew they would. This week I cry whenever I hear that song. I cry for my state because of the recent flooding. I cry because as of this morning, 23 people have died in my state.

West Virginia has become my state. I was born in Philly, raised in Jersey but now I live in West Virginia. It's my state, and the people of my state are hurting. I feel helpless to do anything to help them.

My oldest and I were in the store the other day shopping for some things for her new apartment up at WVU and the fire department was set up outside the store to collect donations that were earmarked for those affected by this horrible tragedy. In addition to her apartment needs, we bought some bleach, some scrub brushes, rubber gloves and a case of drinking water.  We dropped our donations off on our way out and tearfully thanked the fire fighters for their efforts to help the flood victims.

I don't feel like I'm doing enough.

This morning, I had to do some research on where exactly those 23 people lost their lives. I searched news stories all morning to determine that 15 people lost their lives in Greenbrier County, 6 died in Kanawha County, in Ohio County a 4 year old boy died,  and Jackson County an 8 year old boy died. And I cried. I cried while doing my job this morning, and that's never happened to me before. Usually I'm looking at disasters or environmental issues in other parts of the world. Places that don't affect me. Places where I don't live.

On social media, I'm sharing the hell out of supply donation drop off centers, disaster relief websites and places where one can donate money to aid in the relief efforts.

I still don't feel like I'm doing enough.

I've seen the hashtag #PrayForWV and it's a lovely idea. If you don't have the funds available to buy and donate supplies, if you don't have the extra money to donate to the Red Cross or any other relief agencies, please DO send prayers. Those people need our prayers.

But if you can skip that Venti half caff with an double shot of whatever from Starbucks, please consider skipping it today. Donate that $5 for this disaster.  Send your prayers, but if you can, please send donations.

WV VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster)
The Red Cross Disaster Relief 
1-800-RED-CROSS
If you text REDCROSS to 90999 you can donate $10

Anything at this point will help. And if you can't donate, send prayers. And then share all of this information with someone who maybe CAN donate a little money.  All of your efforts are appreciated.




Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I used to know where my stuff was....

I went looking for my makeup removing towelettes this morning. Couldn't find them. Why? Because I have teenagers. This got me thinking about how things have definitely changed since my babies turned into teens. For instance, I remember when I used to be able to go into my makeup bag, locate my eyeliner, put on that eyeliner and then put it back in my makeup bag. Now I can't find my makeup bag. Because, teens.



And when I look in that 10x magnifying mirror at all the dark hair crawling around over my eyes like a caterpillar moving across my forehead, I mourn the loss of my tweezers, which have disappeared into the abyss that is the girls bathroom in my house. Those girls, however, have PERFECTLY coiffed eyebrows. Thanks to my tweezers. Wherever they are.

Their nails are perfectly clipped, thanks to my nail clippers. Which I haven't seen in weeks. MY toenails are practically clawing at the ground when I walk because they've gotten so long. But in order to clip them, someone would have to locate my nail clippers. Naturally, NO ONE knows where they are because apparently I'M the only one in the house that uses them. Their nails are perfectly clipped, but I'M the only one who uses the nail clippers. Whatever.

Scissors? Tape? I buy them new every Christmas. Why? Teens.

I don't bother painting my nails anymore, because why bother? My nail polish remover and cotton balls have mysteriously vanished into thin air. Naturally, no one has seen them. My husband takes pleasure in helping me out by telling me that he never uses the stuff. Thanks honey, you're a huge help.

Stuff my husband doesn't use. Just so you know.
I've taken to hiding things that I just refuse to have stolen part with. My deodorant is now in my sock drawer. Shampoo and conditioner? I hide those in my closet under my shoe rack and take them in when I shower each day. Razor? Underwear drawer. Shaving cream? The garage, where else??

One good thing about being shorter and heavier than my girls: they don't steal my pants. Oh sure, back a few years ago when 17 was a freshman and I was 30 lbs lighter, I attended her band concert and asked my husband what pants she had on (I could see her white socks like she was Michael Jackson without the glove) and he told me they were mine. She was wearing my size 6 pants. Sure she was too tall for them (hence the white socks showing) but they fit her. See? Maybe there IS an upside to being short and heavy. That's my new story and I'm sticking with it. So pass me another donut.

Yep, I remember back when I could find things, like money in my wallet, food in my pantry, quiet in my house and the ever-important thing to find: my sanity. But alas, those days are gone. They've been replaced by teenagers.
----------------------------------------------------------
EDIT: Hey folks if you're reading this on a mobile device and wish to share it, the link to share it to Twitter isn't working right now (all other links DO work from mobile devices). If you wish to share it to Twitter, please tap on "View web version" and use the Twitter share button. Thanks!


Monday, June 13, 2016

Mommie Dearest...



Image courtesy of: http://www.monologuedb.com/film/mommie-dearest-joan-crawford/

I’m not exactly sure why I don’t like white wine. I just don’t. I like white grapes. I like white bread. I like white cats. It’s just the white wine that I don’t like. I also wonder what the deal is with lima beans. I don’t like ‘em. I like baked beans, I like beans in the bean soup my mother would always make after Easter, I like black beans and kidney beans, but lima beans rank right up there with liver and brussel sprouts on my list of non-faves. Beets, now there’s another thing that I could never sink my teeth into. So to speak. I don’t know if it’s the texture, or their striking resemblance to cranberry sauce from a can, but I just hate the taste of beets. I love cranberry sauce from a can, so maybe it’s just a deep seeded sense of resentment that the beet doesn’t taste as wonderful as canned cranberry. Who knows?


Anyway, my topic today is children and their eating habits. 14 and 12 could NOT be any more opposite in their food tastes and sometimes it makes me meshuggeneh. (it’s a word). For instance, 12 will eat almost anything that I make. Does it hurt that 12 is a tremendous suck up? No, not at all. She is my pleaser. She is my Bill Clinton. She feels my pain. She’d eat a fried tennis ball if I told her it would make me so happy. She eats almost anything that she is fed.  12’s favorite food is broccoli. Now I don’t for a minute actually BELIEVE that, but it’s what she WANTS grown-ups to believe, so who am I to say otherwise? However, 14 is a totally different story. Let’s start with rice. Ew. Rice. Hates the consistency. It’s awful. It’s so, small and…..ricey. 14 wouldn’t be caught dead gagging down even a grain of rice. Why, then, can I not keep a box of Rice Krispies in the house?? Same thing!! Rice Chex? GONE faster than you can say Chex Mix Rocks. But when I make a dish that has rice, she’s always looking for an alternative. “Mom can you make mashed potatoes instead?” No. “Can you make mashed potatoes AND rice?” No. Can you get over your hatred of rice? “No”. Then it seems we are at an impasse.


Let’s move on to anything that grows out of the ground and starts with the letter V and ends in table. If it’s not corn, 14 won’t touch it. I can make a can of peas (Peas!! Who doesn’t love peas?? They’re adorable and cute and taste so sweet!!) and I’ll put 6 peas on 14’s plate. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should be alerted the next time 14 has 6 peas on her plate, because Meryl Streep has NOTHING on 14 when it comes to best dramatic performance. She chokes, she gags, she spits. You’d think I actually fried up something that came out of our dog Cosmo’s butt and made her eat it. (To be honest, he used to eat his own poo, so if it’s good enough for Cosmo, I don’t know why it’s not good enough for 14 but that’s a blog for another day). 


How about tomatoes? They’re not really a vegetable, right? They’ve got seeds. They’re fruit. Now while I will admit that I don’t personally enjoy the tomato, I will eat it in a dish where the tomato is a key ingredient. I make a delicious Pampered Chef recipe that my friend Jen gave to me called Zesty Ravioli. The recipe calls for diced tomatoes but when I make this recipe, 14 always ends up with a pile of little diced tomatoes that she picks out. When I make this recipe and serve it with a bagged salad, she ends up with a plate of diced tomatoes and a salad bowl with all the little teeny shredded carrots she’s picked out and put to the side. I could probably feed a small African village with all the colorful, healthy veggies 14 piles to the side. Call Bob Geldolf, we can do Live Aid 3 and send tons of veggies to those less fortunate. It doesn’t bother 14 that there are starving children in Africa, she won’t eat a pea.


I’ve learned to just roll my eyes and accept it. But let’s make one thing perfectly clear. I am NOT one of those GOOD moms. You know the type. The moms who want to make sure that their children are well taken care of and will make something different for their picky child if said picky child won’t eat what they’ve made. No, quite the contrary, I keep wire hangers in my closets, and I don’t make additional meals if I don’t have to. My kids are lucky I have the time to make what I do make for them. With the sports schedules, band, scouts, extra-curricular activities, they’re lucky they eat anything at all! Now don’t go getting all defensive and calling the mom police on me. My kids don’t starve. If one of my children (14) doesn’t enjoy the delicious delicacies which I have prepared, they are free to open a can of soup, or make some scrambled eggs or eat a hot dog. I’m okay with that. I’m keeping it real. I’m like Jenny from the blog.

Ok, maybe that’s going a bit too far.