Friday, November 18, 2016

Veteran Resources

If you're here from my Facebook post, I'm glad you clicked over. For the rest of you, there was a period of time where people were posting videos of themselves doing 22 push-ups on Facebook to raise awareness of the fact that every day 22 veterans commit suicide. Since I would probably need medical intervention after 10 push ups, and some people I tag to do push-ups might never speak to me again, I've decided to do something different. Every day, I posted one thing people could do to help veterans or veteran organizations either through volunteer efforts and/or financial donations. I decided to post the full list here.

(disclaimer: I have tried to find organizations that do honest and honorable work but investigate for yourself! Before you give, you can check the charities out here: OR OR

Day 1: Understand the problem of veteran suicide. Read more about it here:…/the-missing-context-behin…/
and here:
Know the signs and know what to do: this site can help you discern what is a signal and what isn't.…/warning-signs-risk-factors-protectiv…/

If you see something, act!
To contact the VA’s Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 and push “1” for Veteran services. Veterans Chat can be accessed at Veterans Text is available at 838255.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Day 2: Homelessness.
Nationally, you can click here:
Or here:
In Lil' Rhody, you can volunteer or donate here:
Or here:

Day 3: Addiction.
Read about it here:…/dru…/substance-abuse-in-military
Get help here:
US Dept. of Veteran Affairs Substance Abuse Program Locator (
Alcoholics Anonymous (
Narcotics Anonymous (
Gamblers Anonymous (
pornography (
Celebrate Recovery (

Day 4: Visit a retirement home. Call your local nursing home and find out. Sometimes there are Scout troops or homeschooling groups that already make regular visits. Maybe you could tag along with them and brighten someone's day

Day 5: Everyone has a story.
Do you have a veteran in your family? Get their story. You can even record it for the generations to come via OR
You can find photos of services records on

Day 6: Housing. Click here to learn more: about OR (this one was started close to home in Taunton, MA)
Also - some vets might not qualify for the above programs or maybe just need some help with a project on their house. Lend a hand!

Day 7: Transportation. Volunteer to drive here:

Day 8: Service Animals. Find out more here:

Day 10: Education/GI Bill. Read about it here:
And help out here:

Day 11: Advocate! Find out who your congressmen and senators are here:

Day 12: Female Veterans.

Day 14: Teach your children.
Suggest this program to their school:…/…/articles/take-a-veteran-to-school
Here are the activities happening in our area:…/2016-ri-veterans-day-eve…

Day 15: Happy Veterans Day! First of all, let's make sure make sure we're honoring the right people here. Memorial Day is for those who have died in service of this country. Veterans Day is for honoring those who have served and are still serving. Picky detail you say? Ask a veteran, I say. Veterans Day was originally celebrated as Armistice Day, the day World War I 'officially' ended in 1918. The treaty was signed at 5:00 AM and a cease-fire was to take place at 11:00AM on November 11th. Tragically, knowing that they had until 11:00 AM to continue hostilities, "Eleven thousand casualties suffered–more than during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Why? Allied commanders wanted to punish the enemy to the very last moment and career officers saw a fast-fading chance for glory and promotion."
~ "Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918, World War I and Its Violent Climax." by Joseph Persico.

Day 16: Support the caregivers of our wounded warriors.

Day 17: Home away from home. Fisher House ( or here:

Day 18: Prosthetics. This foundation helps out in all those areas:

Day 21: VA Hospital Volunteer. You can call your local VA hospital or go here:

Day 22: Wrap Up. I strongly recommend this book as a starting point: "Tribe" by Sebastian Junger.
Still can't decide what to do? Just donate here: or here: or here:

Friday, August 19, 2016

Facebook Spouse Thing

I've already been tagged twice in this Facebook challenge of posting pictures of me and the Bo Hunkmeister so I guess that must be a sign to go gather up some pictures. But I'm way too lazy/forgetful to post one a day for seven days in a row so I'm putting them all here.

I've already written about how we met here, but no photo collection of us as a couple would be complete without the original Spaghetti Dinner invitation where we met.

This is our wedding photo. I think the frame was a wedding gift from my brother's friend, Steve Schwartz. The guy behind me is my man of honor, Matt Bender. If anyone knows where he is, tell him I said hey. Bo's best man was his college room mate, Lewis Roane, the very first one to break Bo of some of his only child habits. You're a good man Lewis.

I like this photo of the wedding. It was a casual affair at a restaurant. 

I think this was taken on a trip to Vermont. We were trying to take a selfie in the early 90's without a smart phone. The struggle was real, people.

We asked a photographer friend to take some photos for us before we had the kids.  This photo now hangs upstairs in our house. The kids look at it and say, "Who's that guy you're with, Mom?!?" 

Fast forward many years and many children...We went to see comedian Tim Hawkins and were not satisfied to take the usual meet and greet pictures. Tim doesn't seem to mind, though.

This was taken last year at Mystic Seaport. We've taken up pirate re-enactment for the purpose of education, dramatic displays, parades and general purpose fun. A couple that pillages together, stays together, right?

So what's the next Facebook Challenge?

Friday, May 06, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Happy Mother's Day Ladies! To all you moms, moms-to-be, newly minted moms (I'm lookin' at you Kerri & Chris!) and even those who 'mother' the nieces/nephews/friend's kids/wandering children you come across, I salute you!! In an effort to help those who love you celebrate the awesomeness that is you, I have compiled a few gift suggestions. Shall we review?

1. Yarn and a place to store it in.
I love knitting and crocheting and you should too. If you don't, you should learn. Just think of all the fun things you could make:

You could take revenge on a person, they wouldn't know it and it would be totally legal.

Anyway, I love to knit and I want more yarn for all the projects I have lined up. But Bo is fussing at me about sharing the bed with hanks of yarn so I need more storage space. These simple sheds should do the trick:

3. Recipe Sorter
I have recipe issues. I have collected thousands over the years (thanks a lot internet!) and now I need someone to sort them into the following categories:

a.) The Faithful: the ones I use on a regular basis, but always forget to put back in the right place so, even though I use it once a month, I can never find it.

b.) The Dream: the ones that I will use one day when my house is filled with people who have adult palates, and not people who think peanut butter and Fluff is a viable dinner choice.

c.) The Delusional: the ones I collected on a whim but really, when am I ever going to use sumac or cook sous-vide?

Sure! Just put that dainty little thing on the counter next to my fry-o-lator.

4. Condiment Cleaner
This will probably be along the lines of the pantry diver that I wanted last year. I need someone to clean the schmeers of Nutella out of the peanut butter jars, the butter out of the jelly jars and the I-don't-know-what out of the butter tub. Don't judge.

This was invented by a Mom who got tired of picking bits of peanut butter out of the jelly jar

5. Style Force Field
This is like that StarTrek cloaking devise only far more useful. On those days when I'm dressing for comfort (which is pretty much every day since my wedding) I still want to look like I have my act together and I haven't completely given up on any attempt to look presentable. The Style Cloak will make this look

Look like this to all see me

Not too hard to do, right?

Well, that's it for me. What's on your gift list?