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, 24 and 21. 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 30, 2015

Then this happened.

I really need to concentrate more when I dole out chores. Seriously.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Holiday Traditions

Bringing back a classic Snarkfest post for the holidays. Merry Christmas everyone!

Since it's September 25, exactly 3 months away from the Christmas Holidays, I thought I'd share with you one of the traditions we had in my family growing up, especially since it feels like fricking December outside right now. My family was pretty tiny. My parents divorced when I was 7, and when I was 12 my big brother left to go into the Marine Corps. Once he left home, it was just mom and me. Mom did her best to make every holiday special, and Christmas was almost always one of my favorites. But from the time I was 12, I almost always made things pretty easy on my mom. It sort of went like this:

Mom: Here's the Sears catalog, pick out a few things for yourself.
Me: Like, clothes?
Mom: Yes, maybe some outfits and if you see any toys you might want, circle them and we'll see what we can do.
Me: Bitchin!

Ok not really, but the reality of it was, she was a single, working mom, taking care of me, the house, the bills, the laundry, etc. so if Mom needed easy, easy she would get. So I'd follow the tradition of going through the Sears catalog (and on an aside here, does anyone REMEMBER how BIG the Sears catalog was back in the day??? Jesus, you could stand on the Sears catalog and reshingle your roof without the aid of an extension ladder, it was THAT BIG!) But I digress. I'd search the pages and find some pretty tops and some dorky pants (I didn't own my first pair of jeans until I was like, 15. Geek? Party of one? Your pants are ugly). And then I'd flip to the back of the book where the GOLD MINE awaited me. Snoopy snow cone makers!! How effing cool were they??? Barbie three story town house WITH THE WORKING ELEVATOR!?!?!?! Oh my God it was almost to much to take in!!

So getting back to the family tradition, I'd pick out some stuff, Mom would order it, pick it up, wrap it and on Christmas morning I'd open my presents and say "Wow, I love this top! How did you know???" or "Oh Mom I love these pants!! All the dorky 12 year olds will think I'm the shit!" Ok that wasn't actually the tradition. The tradition in my house was, you went to Midnight Mass (which was at 8:00, I think our Monsignor may have had plans at midnight so he always went a bit early) and then came home and you got to open one present. Now, remembering everything you've read up to this point, can anything ever really be a surprise here? Well guess what! You're right, nothing was ever a surprise. Until the one year I went a little nuts and circled a cork board in the Sears catalog. I wanted a Snoopy cork board for my room so I could hang up stuff. Like my posters of Scott Baio and John Stamos (don't judge, Chachi was my world before he was Charles in Charge. Blackie Parrish said goodnight to me every night from my walls and my cork board).  Now the year I picked out the cork board, everything went as planned. Mom and I went to Midnight (8:00) Mass, came home, lit the fire place and I got to go through my presents and pick one to open. Since I knew what almost everything was, it wasn't like I was going to open one and say "Oh my God!!! It's they keys to a DeLoreon!!! How did you know??!!?!?!" But there was this tiny little present on the floor behind all the boxes of tops and dork pants. And when I picked it up, it made a funny sound. "What's this??? I don't recall circling anything this small!" Could it be a surprise??? Could Mom have gone for the two point conversion??? How cool!! I would FINALLY be surprised on Christmas!! Life was going to rock. I was going to open this little noisy box and find a pretty necklace or earrings that I wasn't expecting!

I tore open the pretty wrapping to find...........push pins for my cork board.

Surprise!!!!! Do you LOVE IT?!?!?!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas! Did you eat yet??

Merry Christmas, Snarklings! If you're a regular visitor to the old SnarkfestBlog you'll know that I am NOT a food blogger. Do I love to eat? HELL YEAH! But I don't blog about food. Until right now. I'm going to share with you a recipe that I've made since 2000.  And everywhere I go with this recipe, people love it. LOVE. IT.

I found it in a magazine called Taste of Home back in 2000 when my mother in law gave me a subscription (remember magazines??)  The first time I made it, my husband and kids liked it. Then I brought it to a Christmas party and I was practically mauled for the recipe. I've since made this dessert every year and it continues to spread joy and expanded waistlines everywhere it goes. Trust me when I tell you, it's REALLY EASY. I don't do difficult recipes. I'm lazy like that.

So from my family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy this delicious treat. And if you like it, share it and come back and tell me if you liked it.

Photo courtesy of Taste of Home Magazine Online
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts (I buy the small bag and chop them in a chopper or food processor)

8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 can (15 oz.) pear halves, drained
cinnamon/sugar mix

 Making the good stuff: 
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour to the creamed mixture, then stir in the nuts.

2. Press into a greased 8" square pan. Bake at 350°  for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack about 20-30 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the sugar, egg and vanilla. Pour over crust.

4. Cut pears into thin slices (about 1/8" thin); arrange in a single layer over the filling. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mix generously over the pears.

5. Bake at 375° for 28-30 minutes (center will be soft-set and will become firmer upon cooling). Cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes. (Your house will smell AMAZING!!!!)

6. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting. Store uneaten (WHAT??) dessert in the fridge. Yields 16 bars.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Trump for President? NO THANK YOU!

Here's a warning before you read this. The opinions in this blog post are my own. I'm not getting into a debate about my opinions. I'm just sharing what my thoughts are, because it's my blog. If you disagree, don't start an argument with me, no name calling, and don't be rude. Rude, mean or hateful comments will be deleted. Because it's my blog.

I cannot begin to understand how in the world Donald Trump is ahead in the Republican polls. What is WRONG with people? I am the last person in the world who wants to get into a discussion regarding politics, but I can't keep my mouth shut anymore. And while I do understand that people are sick to death of politicians, electing THIS 'businessman' would be detrimental to our nation.

I worked for Donald Trump in Atlantic City back in the 90's. He filed for bankruptcy four times. FOUR. The man does not pay his bills! He wheels and deals and then leaves his contractors in the lurch. Those contractors are men and women with families to feed, and he never paid them what he owed to them. I say again: the man does not pay his bills. From the linked article:

Trump doesn’t deny that four of his businesses have filed for bankruptcy. He argues, however, that filing for bankruptcy is a common business decision, and he was smart to make the moves when he did.
"Hundreds of companies" have filed for bankruptcy, Trump said earlier in the debate. "I used the law four times and made a tremendous thing. I'm in business. I did a very good job."
How is he going to run the country if he cannot manage his own finances?  Our country is already in financial straits so how is electing a man who is totally out of control in his own business finances going to get us back on track? He may be a genius businessman but his personal skills, quite frankly, suck.

Mocking reporters with disabilities? That's goddamn disgusting. THIS is who people want representing our country to leaders of other nations? NO! I am utterly and thoroughly horrified that the possibility even exists that people are going to elect Donald Trump as President. He is unbelievably full of himself.  He is a blowhard, a bully, and now, IN MY OPINION, a dirty liar.

Now he is claiming that he watched Muslims celebrating in New Jersey the day the Towers fell in NYC.  Were there Muslims celebrating? Yes, but not here. Not in the US and not publicly in the streets, as Trump claims. I saw them on the television, but that was international news coverage and they were not in New Jersey. But this is what he believes. In his twisted, bloated, self-serving brain, he honestly believes the shit that comes out of his own mouth. And what scares me even more is that millions and millions of Republicans also believe what he's saying.

I was in New Jersey that day, standing side by side with Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Blacks, Whites, Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, Spanish and we cried. We all cried as we watched the coverage. In a casino chock full of people from all races, religions, all walks of life, we all stood together as one and we cried. There was no celebrating, as Trump claims.

I keep thinking that this nightmare will end, I'll wake up one morning and find that Trump really ISN'T running for President, that he really ISN'T in the lead in the Republican polls. But dammit, every morning I wake up and people are still believing the hateful shit that he's spewing.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fear the Man Bun!!

Once upon a time there was a young girl who met a boy with a man bun. He was charming and had a pretty smile and said all the right things. The young girl thought "wow, he's smart and funny and cute and I've never dated anyone with a man bun before." The girl and the boy began seeing one another but the boy was not ready to commit to the word "dating". Tragically, 4 years before, he had 'issues' with an ex-girlfriend and was ever-afraid to use that term again. So he never did. Ya know, because 'dating' is such a terrifying term.

They saw one another and enjoyed one another's company, but there was no real term for their situation. And one day, the boy with the bun decided 'it's not you, it's me.' And he dumped the girl. Really, it wasn't her, it was him. And his man bun. 

Lo and behold, not long after the dumping, there was another girl in the boy with the man bun's life. "Wow, that didn't take long" thought the original girl. She moved past the boy with the man bun but it still stung because she had no idea why she was dumped. Cold feet? Did she pressure him? Was his bun too tight? She'd never know.

One fine evening, both girls found themselves at the same place and in the same room. Never one to shy away from a good conversation, the original girl approached the new girl in the boy with the man bun's life and said "Hey are you dating 'man bun'?"

"Well, I WAS, but not anymore" she replied. Turns out she, too, had been jilted by the boy with the man bun. And she, too, was given no good reason. Here's the thing: they say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Well, what's more powerful than one woman scorned? How about two women scorned by the same boy with the same man bun?

The two jilted girls became fast friends.The shared stories and relished in their similarities. Sometimes good really can come from a bad situation, and the two girls formed an alliance. This alliance made the boy with the man bun very nervous. His friend (he who has no man bun) has approached the two girls numerous times, no doubt on an information gathering mission for the boy with the man bun. But the girls did their very best impression of the penguins of Madagascar. They 'just smiled and waved'.

They say that everything happens for a reason. It's possible that both of these beautiful young women were dumped by the boy with the man bun so that they would bond together and become life long friends. Stranger things have happened. But I believe the real lesson here is, if you are an impressionable young woman and are approached by a boy with a man bun, ask him how he feels about the word "dating". If he turns and runs away, and all you see is his man bun bouncing behind him, turn and run the other way. You're too good for him.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Partially Empty Nest......

I’ve got a secret to share with you. For a while, I thought I was a terrible mother.
It’s true. I want you to know that I was honest when I said I would miss my daughter when she went off to college. I truly do miss her. It was out-and-out heart-break when we dropped her off. That wasn’t a lie. Nor was it a lie when I said life would change dramatically when she was away and we were left behind. But that dramatic change? I’m not going to lie, a partially empty nest hasn’t been all that bad. You can read more about the adjustment over at Grown and Flown where I've got a guest post! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Very Cool Giveaway from Spin Master!

Have you ever heard of Spin Master? Do you like fun games you can play with your family? How about prizes, do you like those? How about giveaways? Well I've got one for you.

Check out this amazing new Quick Cups video from Spin Master and enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of three grand games packages including Fibber, Moustache Smash, Boom Boom Balloon, Shark Mania, Rapidoodle and Quick Cups! Check out the Spin Master YouTube channel.
Also available are 10 fantastic runner up prizes of the Quick Cups Board Game. Quick Cups is a great game where kids can out-perform their parents if they have a quicker eye and hands. It's a game for everyone to play and ANYONE can be the winner.
The three grand prizes are worth $125 each! Plus there will be 10 runner up prizes too. Check this video out and enter at the Rafflecopter below.

 This is a sponsored post, I was compensated but all opinions are my own. Enter here! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 22, 2015

OMG Bloodline!!

I want to start by telling you that a) I don't normally recap or promote shows on this blog and b) I was not compensated, or even asked by Netflix to discuss this show. I'm discussing this show because it kicks major ass. No one paid me, no one bought me dinner (although if Kyle Chandler or Bill Kelly want to do so, I'm not gonna argue). By the way, Bill and I have favorited each others Tweets on the Twitter, so we're totally besties now. Right Bill? Call me!

Anyway, this show is intense. SO intense. I've wanted to watch it since I first heard about it, but you may or may not be aware that life is busy. The show was released in its entirety on Netflix in April and at that time we were planning my Father In Law's funeral, my daughter's high school graduation and party, our band banquet (I'm the Chairperson) and about a million other things, so I didn't actually get around to watching. Over the summer I did finally catch up on all the episodes of Bones that I'd missed and when I finished the last episode of  Bones Season 10 I thought, "hmmm, what can I watch now?" Then it hit me! I'd been wanting to watch Bloodline and BOOM! NOW IS THE TIME!

Buckle up, Snarklings because this show is a roller coaster. It's extremely well-written, the acting is superb, the story is addictive and the secrets! SO MANY SECRETS! On the outside, the Rayburn family appears to be your upper-middle class tight-knit warm and fuzzy family. A large family gathering starts the show as friends and family gather at the family's Florida Keys Inn, aptly named the Rayburn House. Seriously, I want to vacation there.

The ne'er do well oldest brother Danny (played amazingly by Aussie actor Ben Mendelsohn) comes in on a bus from out of town and you immediately want to hate him because he appears to be a good for nothing failure. Every family has a Danny. He's your lowlife cousin, your slacker brother in law, the one who is always looking for a get rich quick scheme that involves the least amount of work. As the show goes on, we learn why Danny was on the outs with the whole family. And it's a doozy. Second oldest brother John, the detective, the keeper of the family, the one who holds it all together is played by one of my all-time favorite actors, Kyle Chandler and he is perfection in this role. He has officially left Coach Taylor behind and is dark, brooding and super sexy in this role. Linda Cardellini plays Meg, the Rayburn daughter who is engaged to John's detective partner Marco (Enrique Murciano) but is getting some booty on the side. And little brother Kevin is played exquisitely by Norbert Leo Butz. Seriously, every family also has a Kevin: a hot-headed immature guy who will fly off the handle with his short fuse, drink and get high but at the end of the day, he's committed to his family and will do anything for them. Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard round out the case as Ma and Pa Rayburn (actually as Sally and Robert Rayburn).

There are drugs, human trafficking, lots and lots of drinking and smoking and that's just the first 20 minutes of the first episode. The kingpin leading the bad guys is Wayne Lowry, who is played by a guy I'll ALWAYS love as Aaron from 24, Glen Morshower. No kidding, he could play Satan and I'd love him because Aaron was such a great character in 24. But I digress.

If you don't want to know anything more than I've already told you, stop reading and watch the damn show yourself. Because SPOILERS are coming. Go on, go. Go get on the Netflix and watch.

For those of you who stayed, HEY what's up?! So yeah, Bloodline! As the show opens, John is narrating and it sounds like he's giving a confession to the cops (and DEA Agent Clay Grunwald played by the uber-talented and really fine-looking Bill Kelly). As the episode comes to a close, we see a scene where John and Danny are dressed in seer-sucker suits (no lie) in a mangrove in a torrential thunderstorm. Danny's looking kinda dead. John puts him in a boat, gasses him up and lights him on fire. What?

Yeah, intense. "We're not bad people. We just did a bad thing" is what he says. And the whole time, you're thinking he's talking about killing Danny as the bad thing they did. Won't you be surprised to learn what he's talking about.

Second week in, Pa Rayburn suffers a stroke but you're led to believe that maybe Danny had something to do with it because he tells Pa that he has something he wants to tell him "Before you die."  Meg (who is the family lawyer) was supposed to change Pa's will to cut Danny out, but guess what! She never followed through with it. So now Pa's hanging on by a thread and she's torn. Does she go through with filing the paperwork? To do so she'll need Pa's signature, and we don't even know if he's in his right mind, because he wakes up from his coma and calls her Sarah. What??

As the days go by, we learn that Sarah was the OTHER Rayburn daughter. Pa's favorite, the golden child. Poor Sarah. Here's one of the major secrets revealed: Sarah overheard a big fight between Ma and Pa Rayburn, and Danny ran upstairs to get her away from the wickedness. He took her by the hand, led her out to the docks and took her out on the family's boat. He was 16 and very much NOT a legal, responsible adult. And while under Danny's watch, she died. When Pa Rayburn learns that Sarah, his favorite child, has died, he beats the ever-loving snot out of Danny. Ma Rayburn coaches the remaining Rayburn kids to lie to the cops when they ask what happened. And one by one, each child tells the same story: Danny was hit by a car while Dad was at the hospital with dead Sarah.

It makes you want to feel badly for Danny, it really does. He didn't do anything wrong except be 16 and try to help. I was so torn for those first few episodes wanting Danny to be accepted into the family again because really, he was 16, and it wasn't his fault. But as the episodes go by, Danny gets harder and harder to feel sorry for. He pulls some epic douche moves (like moving drugs using the family's boat and storing them on the expansive family property). That ensures that, if caught, Danny's not going down alone, he's taking all the Rayburns with him.

I finally stopped feeling sorry for Danny when he took John's daughter Jane out on the family boat without telling anyone in the family. John become frantic, searching all over the Keys for Jane. He finally speaks with a staff member at the Rayburn House who tells John that "Danny said to tell you it's okay, she's with a responsible adult." BOOM. I hated Danny from that point on.  I just really wanted him to leave, get on a bus and FINALLY leave town for good. But that doesn't really make for compelling TV so he stays and we get to watch the family fall apart.

I'm not going to give much more away because if you've stayed with me up to this point, I'm hoping you'll say to yourself: "Damn, Snarky, that sounds like a great show and I totally want to binge watch it right now!" I will tell you this: pace yourself. The show is so good but if you make a pig of yourself like I did, and watch it almost all at once, you'll be sorry. Because once you've finished your little binge, you'll have to wait until April 2016 for the next season. THAT'S the part that sucks. I want instant gratification. I want to know NOW what happens after the fallout.

I will also say this: I'm going to miss hating Danny, and I do hope they keep the actor in the show for flashbacks. And I hope you enjoy the show as much as I did and will be watching when it comes back on in April.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Go Amanda! It's Your Birthday!

I had to go in and edit that little bit of script at the top of this page today. You know, the description of what Snarkfest is all about. I had to change it from 18 & 15 to 18 & 16. Why? Because my baby girl, my youngest daughter turned Sweet Sixteen today. How is it even REMOTELY possible that I have a daughter in college AND a baby who is 16?

It was just last month that I was dropping her off at Pre-K and she held a death-grip on my leg.

It was just the other day that she walked onto the soccer field for the first time and just stood there.

It was later that same afternoon that she was in goal and LOVED it.

It was last weekend that she picked up a volleyball and realized that she is a pretty damned good volleyball player.

It was just yesterday that she learned to play the alto sax and kicked ass in the Marching Band, Symphonic Band and Jazz Band.

It was only this morning that she won the Knights of Columbus Foul Shooting competition for her age group. In the entire state of WV!

It seems like only a moment ago she was my little baby. And now, she's 16 years old. Driving. playing in the band, playing on the volleyball team, fitting 4H meetings into her already crazy busy schedule. And yet, she still holds my hand, still hugs and kisses me goodnight every night.

Happy Birthday, baby girl I love you to the moon and back.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ANOTHER Giveaway from DCKids and Warner Bros!

Hey Snarklings, got another giveaway for you from the folks at DC Kids! These folks are awesome and are always giving something away. This time around you could win 1 of 5 amazing gift sets from Warner Bros. including Teen Titans Go Action Figures & T-Tower Set, a Batman Unlimited Action Figure, DC Super Friends Gift Set and Batmobile! Sound good? YES!

Now you can create your own ultimate super hero with a fun name, look, powers and more! Also check out some amazing new videos from Warner Bros, including favorites like Scooby Doo and Batman Unlimited. 

There will be many more updates over the next year so be sure to subscribe to their channels here:

DCKids Channel

WBKids Channel

Now how about that giveaway??  It's a Rafflecopter giveaway so check out the requirements below and get to entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway And then check out these cool videos:

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

An open letter to football broadcasters...

Dear Sports Broadcasters at NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2, The Ocho, ETC.....

Why don't you show marching bands performing at halftime during your football broadcast?

Let me break it down for you: According to the NCAA Division 1 Wiki page, there are about 85 team members on an average college football team. In contrast, in some colleges and universities there are 4 times that many marching band members. I'm not good at math but that's a lot of potential eyes.

You folks show play after play when the ball is on the field. You show the play, you show the replay, you show the replay from the 35 different camera angles you have. But at halftime, you don't show the marching band. Why??

My girl. I bought the pic.

As a parent of a member of the Pride of West Virginia Mountaineer Marching Band I'm really quite annoyed at you. You see, last Sunday, my daughter along with the other 300+ members of the Pride traveled to Pittsburgh to perform their pregame and halftime show for the Steelers home opener against the San Francisco 49ers. The Steelers game was not televised in my area (only the Redskins game was televised, every other sports channel had water polo or some other 'sport'). I was struggling to find the Steelers game online and finally came across a shady and suspicious site that was live streaming the game, and I'm sure my computer is now infected with about 5 dozen viruses. And for what? You didn't even bother to MENTION that the band was performing. For those kids, it was the chance of a lifetime performing at Heinz Field. But for you, it meant nothing.

My daughter's old high school band director has some souped up Sunday NFL package where he gets to see every second of every Sunday football game and he, too, was watching the Steelers game, looking for the WVU band. But alas, they showed no band. Oh wait, I'm lying. He DID tell me that they showed the band for about 3 seconds but there was no sound. Only the endless droning of the football commentators rehashing what we may have missed in the first half.

Look, if I'm watching a football game, I'M WATCHING IT WITH MY EYES OPEN. You DO NOT have to tell me what happened in the first half. I was sitting right there watching it. I saw it, I'm not an idiot. Sometimes I'm even drinking and I STILL remember what I saw. It's crazy but I really don't want to watch highlights of plays I JUST SAW. I WANT TO SEE THE BAND.

Let me get back to those numbers I mentioned at the beginning of this rant letter. Imagine, for a moment, how high your ratings would be if you just showed the marching band's halftime performance! 300 band kids out there, with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, associates, band directors, and we ALL WANT TO SEE OUR KIDS ON THE FIELD. That's literally tens of thousands of eyes on your broadcast, waiting patiently to watch our kids.

I promise you, I am not taking anything away from the football players. I love football players, I wrote about one here. But the band members work their asses off every single day to perfect their music, their show, they bring so much joy and entertainment to so many people. It's just a shame that this entertainment isn't ever shown on your broadcast. I'm not just talking about pro football, I'm talking about ALL football broadcasts. Let's show some respect to the band programs out there and get some cameras on these young men and women!

Yours truly,

Friday, September 18, 2015

Real Heroes

UPDATING!!!! In honor of Sid preparing to run his 200th Full Marathon tomorrow, I'm reposting this because he's awesome....

Remember a few months back when I posted about how Hollywood is making stupid people famous for doing absolutely NOTHING? The post, Real Stars vs. Fake Stars was written about my friend Holly. Lots of you had lots of really nice things to say. I like writing posts like that, where attention is brought to someone who does good things for others, as opposed to doing nothing worthwhile for anyone but themselves.

Today I'm writing about a guy who is amazing, who does amazing things and seeks nothing in return. No glory, no press, no accolades. He does what he does simply because he wants to.

His name is Sid Busch. Sid is a runner, a marathoner, and to me, a hell of a guy. See, Sid doesn't just run half marathons and full marathons because he likes the bling. Now, I'll admit, the bling is cool. But Sid doesn't keep the bling for himself. Crazy, right? No, here's what Sid does. He runs in memory of a soldier or sailor who has been killed in action. He usually carries with him a picture of the person for whom he's running. And he carries an American flag for the entire race. When he crosses the finish line, he receives the medal for the race. But he doesn't keep the medal, instead he presents the medal to the fallen soldier or sailor's family. They sometimes travel to Arlington and place the medal on the soldier's headstone. This is one of the most selfless, compassionate things I've ever heard of.

Sid has run 199 FULL marathons. That's 5214 miles. Let that sit in your brain for a few minutes. That's the equivalent of running in a straight line from Atlantic City to San Francisco and back again. Mind = blown.

Photo courtesy: Robin Schmitt
I've run several half marathons with Sid, like the Marine Corps Historic Half and the Frederick Nut Job. And each time I run, I look forward to seeing Sid and giving him a high five or a fist bump. I've become Facebook friends with Sid and visit his Where's Sid? Facebook page each week to see what his next race will be. I sent him a message last week asking if he'd mind if I wrote about him on the old Snarkfest blog and he graciously agreed.

I asked. Sid answered.

Me: Where were you born?

Sid:  I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.

Me: You were in the Navy right?

Sid: I served in the Navy for 26 years. I was a Senior Chief Sonar Tech on subs.

Me: What kind of work do you do now? How do they feel about what you do? Are they flexible with your race schedule?

Sid: I work nights 4 days a week. I drive a truck for the Post and Courier and deliver the newspapers to the carriers so they can sort and deliver them. It's flexible so I can attend my races.

Me: Do you just run races in the eastern part of the country? How far have you traveled for races?

Sid: I drive now to races, saves money, and I can pack more than with flying. I have run all over the world. Furthest was ROTA RUA NEW ZEALAND

Photo courtesy: Keri Jacobs
Me: Do you have a favorite race to run?

Sid: I have a list of 5 favorites (including ties)

          Air Force and Marine Corps Marathons
          New York Marathon
          Baltimore Marathon
          Little Rock Marathon
          Disney World Marathon

Me: Do you remember your first marathon? Do you still have your first medal?

Sid: My first marathon was at the Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, GA. It was 2 loops of the base. The medal was lost when I transferred.

         (editors note: I would LOVE to find out if it's possible to find the medal for this race!!!)

Me:  What's the reason that you do what you do?

Sid: WOW, this is a hard question. I do what I do because I have to do something more than pay lip service to those young men who have given the ultimate sacrifice to let me live in a free country. I want their families to know that their loss has not gone unnoticed.  I also do this to ease my guilt that I got too old to serve.

Photo courtesy: Sid's Facebook page
Me: What are the reactions you get from the families of those for whom you run?

Sid: The response is amazing. I have been adopted by these families, and have been treated like a member of the family.

I want to say 'Thank you' to Sid for taking the time to answer my questions, for allowing me to introduce him to you all and for doing what he does for those who can no longer run. Sid's not looking for attention, or praise. He's just a good guy doing his thing his way. And I'm proud to know him.

Photo courtesy: Sid's Facebook page

Thanks Sid, and for crying out loud, stay hydrated!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Boxtops and Breakdowns...

This morning started off like every other morning does. I woke 15 up for school, I made coffee, I woke her up again, I drank the coffee, I woke her up again. Status quo. When I emptied the coffee grounds into the garbage, then took the garbage out to the garage, I found a Boxtop. For those of you who don't have kids in the school system, Boxtops are those little square things on cereal boxes, tissues and other packaging that are worth a dime to your school. I've been cutting them off of Cheerios since 18 was 5. It's almost like my brain is programmed to do so. I collect them and send them to school so that school can make money.

Let me be clear: only elementary and middle schools in our area participate in the Boxtops for Education program. My kids are in college and high school. Yet, still I cut them. Still I save them. I'd hate for a school to lose a dime. When I get enough of these Boxtops I give them to my neighbor who still has a child in middle school.

Let's get back to me in my garage. I saw a Boxtop on the floor. I bent over and picked it up. It was covered in garage goo, so I brought it into the kitchen and I RAN IT UNDER WATER TO RINSE IT OFF. I rinsed off a piece of cardboard so a school would not lose a dime. I have officially lost my mind.

In the past 2 weeks I have run the gamut of emotions. I saw 18 (yes, she's 18 now) for the first time in a month and I didn't think I'd ever stop crying. When I got to spend 4 minutes with her during her break from marching in the WVU football game with the Pride of West Virginia Marching Band, I could not stop touching her. I rubbed her back, I stroked her hair, I kept my arm around her. It was like, if I stopped touching her, it wouldn't be real, she wouldn't really be there. God I missed her.

If seeing her for the first time was the ultimate in joy, saying goodbye to her just a few short hours later was the ultimate sadness. And seeing her sister have to say goodbye to her all over again broke my heart into tiny little pieces.

I saw my mom recently and spent a weekend with her. She broke her arm at the beginning of the summer and I spent a week with her then. This time it was good to see her again under better circumstances. When I saw her this time, she and I discussed her living situation and how concerned my brother and I were that she is so vulnerable in her apartment. She's 77, living alone in a senior citizens high rise apartment building. Many of her friends are gone and we are concerned about her, God forbid, tripping in the apartment and no one knowing that she needs help. So we discussed the possibility of moving her to an assisted living facility. I explained to her that she would still have her freedom, but that there would be someone there to check in on her. It's one thing for me to call her everyday to say hi and chat, but I'm 4 hours away. I am of no help if, God forbid, she falls in the tub. She seemed receptive to the idea and agreed that when the time felt right to her, she would let us know.

Then I began the search for affordable assisted living facilities, and guess what! THEY DON'T EXIST. I'm looking at places in Philly because she wants to be closer to my brother and her own brother. $3500 for a studio apartment in an assisted living facility. $1800 if she wants to share a semi-private room

As I drove to 15's volleyball game last night with a car full of snacks for the team, I chatted with mom. We discussed the unbelievably ridiculous cost of taking care of a senior citizen who wants to remain independent. We discussed my commitment to my children and my family. She told me that I needed to slow down and stop trying to be all things to all people. And I cried. I cried because as much as I say I'm fine, I've got this, I can handle it, I'm lying. I really don't have this. I really can't handle it. I want my mom to be safe, I want the best for my kids, but I need to realize that I am NOT solely responsible for everything and everyone. I need to learn how to say the word "NO" and mean it.

I washed off a Boxtop this morning and realized that I've lost my sense of me. The Boxtop doesn't matter. I'm gone. Put my picture on a carton of milk, or better yet, on a wine bottle. I need to stop worrying about Boxtops. I need to stop worrying if I've got enough snacks for everyone on the volleyball team (including the managers!), I need to take a step back and remember that I'm a very important piece of this puzzle, and if I don't take care of myself, everything else falls apart. I'm going to take a step back and let someone else do the legwork. Let someone else do the worrying for a little while.

And I'm not going to feel guilty if a Boxtop goes un-redeemed. In the big scheme of things, there are so many other things that are much more important than a dirty Boxtop.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Another GIVEAWAY from Scooby-Doo and LEGO? No way!!

Good morning, Snarklings! Got a link to some cool videos and a GIVEAWAY for you guys today! How about that? What more could you ask for on this cool, crisp late summer Monday?

First, check out these amazing Scooby-Doo stop motion videos created using the brand new LEGO Scooby-Doo sets!  New videos will be uploaded weekly, so be sure to visit Scooby-Doo.com and subscribe to the WB Kids YouTube channel.

For the Giveaway, just enter to win using the rafflecopter widget below, it's THAT EASY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway *Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It's Really 10 Months: Special Delivery

Hey Snarklings, I'm in a new anthology that was released yesterday, and I could NOT be anymore excited about it, even if Mike Rowe showed up at my house wearing nothing but a smile. THAT'S how excited I am!

This book is available right now. You can download it or buy a hard copy but whatever you do, however you get it, you need to GET. IT. Seriously, I have literally been laughing out loud at the stores I've read. Here are a few excerpts from the book to give you a taste of what's to come.

And here's mine:

We are so proud of this book and I want to shout about it from the rooftops. However, my HOA has strict rules about that, so I'll just write  about it instead. Purchase your copy today! If you want a personalized copy, I've got 'em!! Just email me at terib19 @ gmail .com

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Why Ashley Madison customers deserve what's coming to them...

It's been all over the news about the hackers getting all the names, addresses, credit card numbers and other info from Ashley Madison. And to that I say GOOD! Those cheating bastards DESERVE to be outed. Why get married if you're not going to take your wedding vows seriously? Men who cheat on their wives are scum. I am not afraid to state my opinion on that. They are pigs. Why do I feel so strongly about this? Let me tell you a little story.

Once upon a time, I had a very dear friend who lived nearby. We spent tons of time together, she and I, watching our children play and drinking wine (us, not our children. What kind of parents do you think we are, anyway?).  Her husband traveled a lot for business and she and I got to be great friends.

One day I was driving home from work and happened to see something odd on her front lawn. It was the type of sign that a realtor puts in someone's yard when they are trying to sell their house. The sign wasn't there, but the sign holder was. So I went to my friend's house and asked 'what the fuck?' She wanted to tell me, but couldn't find the right words. It seems her husband was being transferred to another region, 6 hours away from where we lived, and she just didn't now how to tell me. We cried together, and drank more wine, because......wine. And when the day came for them to leave, we cried some more.

We've continued to keep in touch because we love each other, and not long after they moved, she called to tell me that she was expecting another baby. I was beyond thrilled for her. She called me not long after that to tell me that the baby she was carrying had Downs Syndrome. I was shocked and we talked at length. She said she and her husband had come to terms with it and that they would be fine.

Flash forward to just a few months after the baby was born. She discovered that her loving husband was actually a cheating bastard with an Ashley Madison account. And he had had that account for quite some time. He had set up dates all over the country, every time he would travel. He was getting busy all over the place and made full use of his Ashley Madison account. Needless to say she divorced his sorry ass and I can only hope he's nursing a scorching case of herpes. I also hope he's sweating his ass off over this scandal. He, and every man who cheats on his wife, deserves whatever shit that is about to hit his fan.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Roots and Wings.....

It’s been a really quick summer. Too quick, in fact. Just two short months ago, 17 graduated high school. And in just 18 short days, I’ll be dropping her off at college. What the hell, time? Why are you going by so fast? Remember when I was in labor with her and you moved so damn slowly? I remember that, and I remember thinking “Oh God this is taking forever!!” Well, if I could go back and change that, I would. If I could make the time stand still, I would. But I can’t, and in just 18 days, life as we know it will change forever....

Read the rest of this post at Mamalode, where I'm talking about dropping 17 off at college and trying to keep it together.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

10 Things Younger Than This Popcorn...

My husband was cleaning out the pantry at his parents house last weekend and he sent the girls home with a little care package. Among the various treats were several boxes of popcorn. One in particular caught my attention. Why? Because it's older than my marriage.  By a lot.

You see, we were married in May of 1995. As you can see from this picture, there was a contest on the popcorn box to win tickets to the Super Bowl in 1995, which means the popcorn was actually made sometime in 1994, at least.

Popcorn circa 1994, newspaper dated July 2015. My teeth hurt.
That got me to thinking about this box of popcorn and the many things that came after its creation. So here is a list of things younger than this box of popcorn.

1. My 17 year old daughter who is leaving for college this Sunday. She was born in 1997, at least 3 years after this box of popcorn was put on the shelf.

2. My marriage.

3. Justin Bieber. This box of popcorn is probably older than Justin Bieber, who was born in early 1994. **shudders

4. The Macarena was released the same year as this popcorn. I like the Macarena better than 21 year old popcorn. It's more relevant.

5. The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta occurred 2 years after this popcorn was put on a shelf.

6. The show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The popcorn was 5 years old when Regis Philbin asked "Is that your final answer?"

7. Haley Joel Osment saw dead people in The Sixth Sense in 1999, 5 years after Orville made this box of popcorn.

8. Monica Lewinsky had a messy dress thanks to Bill Clinton at least 4 years after this snack sat on a shelf in my in-laws house.

9. My Phillies won the World Series in 2008, quite possibly 14 years after my mother-in-law thought they'd enjoy this tasty, buttery snack.

10. This box of popcorn is older than Danny Bonaduce's short-lived tv talk show, Danny! as well as Michael Jackson's marriage to Lisa Marie Presley.

This is one old-ass box of popcorn. I wonder if it's worth anything? (besides big dental bills for all the broken teeth we'll suffer if we try to eat it)

Considering we just watched Super Bowl 50, Super Bowl 1995 will be in 1445 years. Wonder if this will still be good?

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.

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!