Sunday, July 26, 2015

$15 Walmart Card Giveaway Ends 8/9/2015

It's back to school time.  $15 won't get you everything you need for back to school, but it can buy some school supplies.

Giveaway is open to the USA, 18 and older.  Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be picked.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Radar's Roundup of Giveaways July 25, 2015

Feel free to link up blog giveaways here.  They must be open to the USA, hosted by a blog, and the link should go directly to the giveaway

It's only 5 months until Christmas!  Start entering blog giveaways now for stocking stuffers and gifts!  


    An InLinkz Link-up

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I love to travel #USCCBigCountry #Spon

FTC disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post from U.S. Cellular.  All opinions are my own.

I love to travel.  When I was growing up, my mother used to tell me my room had more maps hanging on the walls than the school did.  I'd sit and study maps for hours dreaming of places I'd never been, wondering what life would be like there, and eventually getting interested in penpals because I wanted to learn about other places.  I read every book about places our library had.

I barely traveled when I was growing up.  When I was six years old, I remember we had a huge yard sale to use the money towards a three day family vacation in the next state.  This was before my fascination with geography, and I remember asking my mother if they spoke English in Pennsylvania or how would we know where we were going.   It sounds cute now, but it was a serious question for me before I was able to read all the books about different states in our country.  But that's how millions of Americans are -- they have never left the state they have grown up in!  They would like to travel, but haven't had the time, money, or opportunity.*

So where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the USA? 
After one vacation, my dad decided it was fun and that started our annual yard sale to fund our vacation.  I never flew on an airplane until I was in college, though, so all our destinations were within driving distance.

It is on my bucket list to visit all 50 states.  So far I have been to 31.  One thing every state I've visited has in common?   I've been able to get service from my U.S. Cellular cell phone!  Because I love geocaching and quirky roadside attractions, my phone is quite useful in finding neat spots to visit when I am traveling.  Above is my husband on the steps to nowhere.

U.S. Cellular is promoting their nationwide coverage with a new web series called Big Country.  You can watch the episodes online and edited ones will appear on The Food Network and The Travel Channel.   There are four episodes already produced, but they are looking for more applicants.  If you are a U.S. Cellular customer and have never traveled, you could apply to be on this new show with Andrew Zimmern!  But what does this show entail?

U.S. Cellular developed this series with The Scrips Network Interactive and Andrew Zimmern.  The show features people who have never had the time or opportunity to travel getting to go to a place in the United States they have always dreamed of visiting -- and since they are U.S. Cellular customers, they are able to stay in touch with family and friends back home.  Be it Bend, Oregon, or Portland, Maine, U.S. Cellular makes it easy to call home, upload that selfie to social media, or Instagram that new food you discovered -- such as a West Virginia pepperoni roll which is one of my local favorites.  In my travels I've discovered such local favorites as boiled peanuts and poutine.

So what are you waiting for?  Go ahead and apply to be on the show.  You have until August 10 to do so, and you might be the lucky one who is chosen to travel somewhere unique in America.  If you don't know where to pick, come to West Virginia.  It's beautiful here!  Or maybe you want to call your friends from the desert of Arizona, or post a selfie of yourself at Niagara Falls.  Even if you decide not to apply to be on the show or are not selected you can enjoy the travel of others as this started airing on July 20.

Staying in touch is important when you travel.  Three quarters of Americans say this is true for them, and 74% say it's important for others to be able to reach them  as well. *
 I can remember calling my mother from Miami, a friend tucking in her daughter in bed over the phone from Los Angeles, and even the friend watching my guinea pig texting me when I was in Louisiana to see if he could eat a certain fruit.

Women and adults age 18-34 are the most concerned about being able to stay in touch while traveling, even though these groups don't travel as much as some demographics.  The favorite thing to do when traveling is seeing new places, and did you know that Facebook is the most popular online site to share photos of travel?  *  So, the good news is this:  wherever you travel in the United States, U.S. Cellular is there for you to be able to post a photo of your feet at the beach, your delicious Tex Mex food in the Southwest, or beside a larger than life fiberglass cow that talks to you!

* “Results are from an online survey of 3,562 nationally-representative smart phone owners conducted by Ipsos Marketing on behalf of U.S. Cellular. The survey was conducted from Jun 18-25, 2015.”

Friday, July 17, 2015

Radar's Roundup of Giveaways July 18, 2015

Feel free to link up blog giveaways here.  They must be open to the USA, hosted by a blog, and the link should go directly to the giveaway

Sexual Abuse, Victim Blaming, and Josh Duggar

When my husband showed me the news story about Josh Duggar, I was not surprised.   What I was surprised about is that the media finally picked up on it.  How I knew this years ago I'm not sure, but I did.  I remember references to Jim Bob talking about "sin in the camp".  Anyone who didn't see something like this coming had their head in the sand if for no other reason that one in four girls and one in six boys are abused sexually.  When you have nineteen children, statistics say there will be some in your family who will be sexually abused.

There are some things that are bothering me about this, and things I have heard very few people mention.   Where are the victims?

First off, let's ask who the victims are.  This is not normal behavior for a teenager.   I can't help but wonder if Josh learned this behavior from a predator himself.  If so, this is something that has not been mentioned.  Still, he is responsible for his behavior.

Where are Josh's victims?  I'll tell you where they are -- having one of the most painful things that has ever happened to them all over the place.  Can you imagine the looks his sisters are getting when they go to the grocery store?   When they go to church?  When they pick up diapers for their children?  No person of sexual abuse needs to have their story plastered all over the media.  It doesn't need to be covered up, but if everyone wouldn't have said 'sisters' their identity would have been protected and they could have processed their pain in private like most victims of sexual abuse.

Another concern I have is the purity culture in which the Duggars are in.  Sometimes this is victim blaming.  I was in college in the 1990s when the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye gained popularity.  This is when I saw the rise of purity culture among mainstream Christians, and learned about victim blaming.   There was a girl I was friends with who was sexually assaulted one night.  When she told a Christian worker about it, this girl was told that she needed to be held accountable with her actions around men.   I don't see that someone who is a victim of sexual abuse should be held accountable for what someone did to her.

I had another friend who was sexually abused before she was a teenager.  I remember her telling me that it was her fault and that no man would ever marry her because she was "used".

What is done to you is NOT your fault   If you are reading this, and this is the first time you have heard this, PLEASE believe me.  You may have physically enjoyed the way the abuse felt.  It is still not your fault.  It may have been the most heinous hour of your life.  It is still not your fault.  You may have been wearing a bikini or a burqua.  It is still not your fault. You may have been drunk.  I am not sure about other states, but if you are drunk in West Virginia, anything that is done to you is considered sexual abuse and it is not your fault.

Please know you are not used.   You are not damaged property, and there will be someone who loves you enough out there to understand what happened to you and will want to marry you.   Please know that forgiveness doesn't mean you have to put yourself in a situation to be hurt again.  There are people who have hurt me, but I don't dwell on it.   I may not speak to them, but that doesn't mean that I brood over the wrongs they did to me.  Forgiveness if for yourself only so you can move on, and if you can't forgive right away, it means you are processing your pain and that can also be a great thing.   Forgiveness is a process and happens as healing comes.  Don't let anyone push you, and don't let anyone define your journey for you.  Your experience is as unique as you are.

If you have never talked about your abuse, I encourage you to tell someone.  Here are some numbers that may be helpful:  Please be careful clicking links if you live with your abuser and your abuser might see your internet history.

RAINN (Rape and Incest National Network) 1-800-656-HOPE  (4673)

My local area:

Garrett County Maryland:
The Dove Center  301-334-9000

North Central West Virginia
Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center 304-292-5100