Commentary #90: “9-year-old boy raises nearly $80K to give bulletproof vests to police K-9s”

I stumbled upon this story on Facebook recently. Way to go, Brady!

Here’s the link to the post from my local news station:


In Ohio, the local news has been following Brady Snakovsky for nearly a year now. At that point, in November 2018, Brady had raised enough money to donate more than 50 vests to K-9s in nine states. That’s incredible!

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Image Credit: Brady’s K-9 Fund

Bulletproof vests for police K-9s can cost more than $1,000. Brady got the idea when he and his mom were watching an episode of “Live PD,” where a K-9 did not have a bulletproof vest. With his mom’s help, Brady started a GoFundMe.

As of June 2, 2019, Brady has raised enough money to donate 85 vests. Currently, there’s a waiting list of 57 officers whose K-9s need the vests.

Now, Brady’s K-9 Fund is officially a non-profit organization.


The most recent dogs to be vested are K9 Mike, K9 Lemm, and K9 Hoss. They all serve with the MTA Police in New York City.

Other dogs have been vested in Ohio, Connecticut, California, and South Carolina.

I think Brady is an awesome kid! I’m so happy he was inspired to help these amazing dogs, his mom was willing to help him get started, and how his message has spread. Way to go, Brady!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #73: “Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone” *Re-Read*

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone

Image Credit: Amazon

Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for pulling me out of what looked like a long reading slump.

I finished the series for the first time roughly a decade or so ago, after waiting what felt like FOREVER for Deathly Hallows to be available at the library.

Late last year, I decided I wanted to re-read it all. And it did not disappoint!

I was surprisingly nervous when I started reading the first few lines. Having read all the books, and seen every movie adaptation multiple times, I wasn’t sure how this re-read would go. Thankfully, I was worried for nothing.

I was instantly transported to Rowling’s London. I fell in love all over again. Her writing is truly spellbinding. I couldn’t put it down, promising myself one more chapter.

I felt almost the same way as I did when I was first taken by these books. I was a “late bloomer” with the books. While my friends had read and re-read the books years before I started, I was a bit of a fantasy snob. I declared I wasn’t interested in a book about wizards and witches. J.K. Rowling, darling, you proved me wrong.

Nearly 20 years after first falling in love and wanting more of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Professor McGonagall, and Dumbledore (and having to actually wait for the next book to be released!), I’m so happy I decided to re-read this book. The minute I closed the book, I wanted to go downstairs and crack open The Chamber of Secrets.

5 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #170: June Goals

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Photo from Coral Gables, Florida. Found on Facebook.

I’ve been doing a double-take when I look at a calendar. It’s June. We’re basically halfway through 2019 now. It feels crazy!

Here are my goals for the month of June:

  1. See Dark Phoenix.
  2. Test out the “natural” weed killer recipe.
  3. Plant mosquito-repelling plants in our front flower beds.
  4. Work on tidying up both garages with Al.
  5. Catch up on maintenance / gas logs for both cars.
  6. Do another round of closet clean-out.
  7. Decide what to work on for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2019.
  8. Catch up on tags and participation blog posts.
  9. Spend more time reading.
  10. Spend more time with my journal.
  11. Find at least one new recipe to make.

Do you have any goals for the month of June? Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #169: May Goals Recap

Welcome back! I don’t know about you, but May seemed like a really long month! It’s been a mix of heat waves and cooler weather here, so we’re in for a long, hot summer.

Here’s the link to my May Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Continue work on the garage. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Make at least two thrift store donation runs. — Accomplished!
  3. Meal-prep for the entire month. — Accomplished!
  4. Participate in Didi’s WIP Writing Challenge for May. — Did not accomplish.
  5. Attend P.E.O. Virginia State Convention! — Accomplished!
  6. Celebrate May The Fourth Be With You. — Accomplished!
  7. Create two planters for our front stoop with mosquito-repellent plants. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Continue work on my 2014 WIP. — Did not accomplish.
  9. See Long Shot. — Did not accomplish.
  10. See Pokemon Detective Pikachu. — Did not accomplish.
  11. See The Hustle. — Did not accomplish.
  12. Spend time with good friends. — Did not accomplish.
  13. See Avengers: Endgame again. — Did not accomplish.
  14. Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend with family. — Accomplished!

I didn’t work on the garage, but I made a lot of progress with my office. I organized all of my doll things, and got a lot of trash and recycling out. I made two runs to Goodwill, and have plans for at least one more.

We watched Solo: A Star Wars Story with Nick, Savy, and Mia at their place on May 4th. So much fun!

We had a good trip to the farm to see Al’s parents. Nick, Savy, and Xeno joined us on Saturday night. We watched The Majestic and North By Northwest. So much food! When we got home Monday night, my parents invited us over for skeen burgers and fun with Debbie D.

Look for more book reviews in June!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #72: “Columbine” *Re-Read*

I try my hardest to post Book Reviews within 24-48 hours after finishing the book. However, life has been pretty hectic recently. I finished Columbine in mid-April, just after the acknowledgment of it being 20 years since the tragedy. I’m just now posting my review.

I have a special connection with this book. The author, Dave Cullen, came to Longwood in the spring of 2010 as a guest lecturer. I was able to interview him for an article I wrote for the student newspaper, The Rotunda. He graciously signed my copy when I bought it at his lecture. It was strange, reading his message from March 17, 2010. That feels like a lifetime ago!

I’m glad I re-read this book. I remember how I felt after I read it the first time. Part of me wishes I’d re-read it before now, before nine years had passed. However, I still felt similar emotions as I did the first time.

I have to give major props to Cullen on his research and dedication to this book. This is one of the best accounts I’ve read of the events that occurred on April 20, 1999. And Cullen goes deeper than that. He covers the massacre, but also delves into the lives of the shooters, their families, and survivors.

It’s not perfect, but as someone who originally read memoir-style books such as The Journals of Rachel Scott: A Journey of Faith at Columbine High and She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall years ago, when the tragedy was still relatively fresh (I was almost 10 when it occurred), I appreciate the time and effort Cullen devoted to this book.

If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. Cullen makes it clear that he is a journalist first, and it’s evident throughout. His amount of sources is simply incredible. It’s very dense, and tough to read, but it’s an important work. I’m glad Cullen devoted many years to writing this book.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #167: May Goals

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Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Here are my goals for the month of May:

  1. Continue work on the garage.
  2. Make at least two thrift store donation runs.
  3. Meal-prep for the entire month.
  4. Participate in Didi’s WIP Writing Challenge for May.
  5. Attend P.E.O. Virginia State Convention!
  6. Celebrate May The Fourth Be With You.
  7. Create two planters for our front stoop with mosquito-repellent plants.
  8. Continue work on my 2014 WIP.
  9. See Long Shot.
  10. See Pokemon Detective Pikachu.
  11. See The Hustle.
  12. Spend time with good friends.
  13. See Avengers: Endgame again.
  14. Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend with family.

Do you have any goals for the month of May? Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #166: April Goals Recap

BeautyBeyondBones 2

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Here’s the link to my April Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Donate blood. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Celebrate Dad’s birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. See Shazam! — Accomplished!
  4. See Avengers: Endgame— Accomplished!
  5. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019. — Accomplished!
  6. Enjoy time with Emily and Matt. — Accomplished!
  7. Continue work on the attached garage. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Participate in Didi’s WIP Challenge for April. — Accomplished!
  9. Take multiple boxes of books and DVDs to 2nd and Charles for consignment. — Accomplished!
  10. Continue work on my office. — Semi-Achieved.
  11. Create two planters for our front stoop with mosquito-repellent plants. — Did not accomplish.

I got so close to donating blood this time. For women, you have to have a hemoglobin “score” of 12.5 to be eligible. My highest score was 12.4 – I hate it when that happens!

We celebrated my Dad’s birthday in early April. Yay!

We loved both Shazam! and Avengers: Endgame. We went to see Shazam! with our friends Mike and Shana after a lovely dinner at Chili’s. Al and I just saw Endgame on Saturday afternoon, and we’re still recovering from it emotionally. Such a good movie, though. It’s like the final satisfying chapter of a really good book. Look for a huge recap here on the blog in about a week!

As of this writing, I’ve added more than 9,000 new words to my 2013 WIP for Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019. I’m very pleased. And, I still have tonight to add some more!

We got to see Emily and Matt twice last weekend! My parents hosted a wonderful dinner at their house for us and several family friends on Thursday night, a wonderful reprieve from the absolute nut house that was my work last week! And, they came over for a couple of hours on Saturday morning, with my dad, to meet our dogs. We got to talk to Matt a bit more and learn about his life in England. I didn’t want them to leave!

Al helped me schlep more than six boxes of books and DVDs to 2nd and Charles on a rainy Sunday afternoon. They don’t take a lot of bestsellers or well-known authors / series, but they did buy $34 worth of items from me. They also offer store credit as an option. The stuff they didn’t take, we dropped in their “Free” bin on the way out. It felt so good!

I was able to go through quite a bit of paper for shredding in my office, and filed several things away. Bit by bit, it’s coming together. I’m hoping to buy my stand-up desk by the summertime.

I didn’t have the money on hand to justify the planters this month, but hopefully it will happen in May. The mosquitoes are already emerging!


Did you have any goals for the month of April?

Come back tomorrow to see my May Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂