Focaccia con Cambozola (Flatbread With Cambozola Cheese and Roasted Garlic)

Slice of flatbread

Look!  I’m finally posting about food!  And it’s not controversial at all.  Well, unless you really hate garlic.  If so, I’m not sure we can be friends.  You won’t want to be around me.

Years ago in the Seattle area, there was an Italian restaurant chain called Cucina Cucina.  It was my absolute favorite and I was heartbroken when they closed down.  One last one remained in Issaquah for a while and it really went downhill.  How does one undercook tortellini?  They did.  And the first Crème Brule my husband made me was better than the one we ordered there.  They didn’t put sugar on top, so they blow torched the custard itself.  I should have sent it back, but I didn’t want to be one of those customers.

I managed to recreate my favorite recipes though with help!  My sister used Trade Joe’s pizza dough to make Focaccia con Cambozola and I gave it a try too.  So good!

WARNING!!!!  DO NOT EAT WITHIN THREE DAYS OF A FIRST DATE, SECOND DATE, PROBABLY THIRD DATE, OR A JOB INTERVIEW.

I Heart Garlic

A picture drawn in a game depicting my love of garlic and my husband’s suffering. I don’t actually have an “I heart garlic” nightgown.  Yet. Also, my husband is not bald.

 

 

I don’t know what all she put on it, but I roll it out, put it on a pizza pan that’s greased with some olive oil, brush the dough with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle on some parsley, rosemary, and basil, then some grated parmesan cheese (from a can), and a dash of salt.  Bake it in the oven at 450 (depending on your oven) for 7-9 minutes.  My oven overcooks everything, but you could probably set it higher.  Experiment!  You might want it more doughy or close to a cracker.  I like it softer.  If large bubbles form, just pop them with a knife. Trader Joe’s dough is $1.19 each.  You can give your kids one to play with if you want to make pizzas together too.

Flatbread

This was a bit on the lighter side, but one more minute would have been perfect, I think.

 

To Roast the Garlic

Roasted garlic

Oh, did I make too much?  Don’t look at my dirty oven!

 

Cut off the top, exposing the cloves.  Spread on a little butter, fresh ground pepper, a little salt, and drizzle with olive oil.

Put it in the oven (no, don’t preheat) and set it for 300 degrees.  Cover with foil in a dish (I use a bread pan or something else that’s pretty small) and bake for 45 minutes.

This is the part where you might ruin your garlic by overcooking it, so make sure you have a timer you can hear!  Baste it with olive oil and keep checking it every 8-10 minutes.  I do 8.  I repeat this (typically 3 times) until the cloves started to pop out on their own.  When it’s cool enough, squeeze the cloves out and mash them with a fork.  That makes it really easy to spread on the bread.

Cambozola

Cambozola cheese.  Don’t knock it until you’ve spread it on this bread with roasted garlic.

 

Cambozola cheese (a soft, spreadable cheese) can also be purchased at Trader Joe’s or any place with fine cheeses.  If you’re grossed out by the blue veins, just spread everything on the bread and take a bite.  When you discover how delicious it is, you’ll know longer care about its iffy appearance or maybe even the slight chance that it could kill you.

Slice the bread like pizza (No, it’s not a true focaccia bread, so all of you authentic Italian people, please don’t attack me) and spread on everything.  You might even want to dip the bread in some extra virgin olive oil.  I’ve seen variations at other restaurants and one uses a balsamic syrup.

Eat it.  Smell like garlic for days.  Don’t care.  Plan on eating it again and again “for your health”.  Tell yourself if everyone would just eat it, then you wouldn’t have to hide from society.  I just made some.  I’ll be nice and save some for my husband so he can slightly inoculate himself against me.

Any questions?  I’ll answer in the comments!  😀

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The Intimidating Experience of Buying a Home

My husband and I waited many years to buy our first home.  Shortly after we were married, he joined the Air Force and went to boot camp two months later.  We had no idea how much we were going to struggle financially and were shocked to learn that in Washington State, enlisted members are at poverty level.  That’s a whole other story, but that time really set us back financially and to add insult to injury, his position wasn’t very useful in the civilian world.

When he got out, we had to start over and with a 7-month-old baby.  He got into construction and it took a long time to work his way up. Home ownership always seemed to be just out of reach.  I think we both felt like we wouldn’t be successful until we owned a home.  We also got pressure from a lot of people to just “bite the bullet” and buy a home.  We had the children we longed to have, but in a small space.  Fertility is temporary, so we had four children in a two bedroom apartment.  It was hard, but we learned a lot from it.

I have a lot of advice when it comes to buying a home.

Know Your Finances and Get Educated

It’s your decision.  You know your finances and particular situation.  Others don’t.

Thinking we were always on the verge of buying a house, we went to three home buyer seminars and received certificates so we would be eligible for first time home buyer programs through our state (they were good for two years).  I expected a lot more from the instructors who were certified to teach the classes, but I heard the same old tired phrases and philosophies.  There were some valuable things we learned though about the paperwork, fees, etc..  Meanwhile, we stayed in the same apartment for 12 years (with some other rentals before that).

“Fire your landlord.”

“The only way to be financially successful is to own a home.”

“When you rent, your payment goes up.  With a fixed mortgage, your payment never goes up.”  I loved being the person who raised my hand and said, “What about property taxes?  They go up.”  The instructor would stammer, “Well, yeah.”  “And that makes your payment go up.”  I said.  It’s true.  We lived here for not even a year when we got a notice that our payment was going up $50.  This is one more reason to buy a house that’s less than what you’ve been approved for.

“Here is how renting compares with owning.”  Then they show you graphs and charts that shows how you’re literally throwing your money away by renting.

If you’re well off financially and plan on sticking around, then sure.  Buy a home.

If you don’t have savings and can’t afford to do repairs, DO NOT BUY A HOME.  Do you know how many bank owned homes there are that are in awful shape because the people who bought them didn’t have the money to do the maintenance?

I can’t stress this enough.  My husband is very handy, but materials cost money.  Despite having a home inspection, we have run into some very expensive issues in a short amount of time.

Get a Great Home Inspector

My first bit of advice if you’re going to buy:  Get the best home inspector.  You’ll be tempted to go with a cheaper one because you’re already cringing over the amount of money you’re going to spend, but especially if you’re buying an older home, get the best and get referrals instead of using your realtor’s favorite guy.  If we knew everything, we would have negotiated more after the inspection.  There were some things we didn’t mind fixing – small issues my husband could do, but these are just some of the things that happened within 6 months of moving in.  We had a pretty healthy savings account and if it weren’t for that, we would be in big trouble.

On moving day, our fence gate fell over.  Not a huge deal, but not something we could ignore for a long time.

Within a month, two toilets had to be replaced.  There was a crack in a bowl and another crack in a tank.  Those aren’t cheap.

The dishonest seller who included the appliances didn’t tell us about the washer having issues.  I found a bizarre work around, but then a couple months later, the dryer broke.  I think those were Frigidaires.  We now hate that brand.  We ended up buying a new set.

Our hardwood floors we thought maybe we could refinish?  Our neighbor let us know that he was there when they were installed.  We’re on a concrete slab and you’re supposed to use a vapor barrier for moisture, otherwise the wood warps.  He didn’t use one.  Sure enough, we had a leak from the dishwasher supply line, which ran under the hardwood, and we had to rip it up. No vapor barrier.  We’re not going to replace that section when it wasn’t laid down properly in the first place.  We’ll have to figure out how to replace all of the flooring downstairs. The stairs and upstairs wood are in great condition.

The previous owner added some beautiful molding.  But the bathroom drawer hits it and you can’t remove the drawer.  Whoops.  Let this be a lesson to test drive a house like you would a car.

Our kitchen layout is interesting.  The freezer door hit the wall and the only way to take the racks out to clean them was to pull the fridge out.  Then when Summer came, it started acting up because the compressor couldn’t keep up with the heat wave we were in.  We had to defrost the back repeatedly with a hair dryer and had to throw out food repeatedly because we would awake to find it hadn’t been cooling properly all night long.  It was a Frigidaire, by the way.

We couldn’t tell until it was too late that Mr. DIY who sucks at DIY had cut the counter space too large for the sink.  There was a gap that wasn’t very visible and the area started to swell when water splashed back there.

The bathroom fan had to be replaced, towel racks already fell in our kids’ bathroom along with their cupboard door, and their bathroom fan now needs to be fixed.

We replaced a ceiling fan because it had no blades.  We don’t remember this when looking at the place, but the previous owner claims it was already like that.  Hmm.  They also didn’t patch up the hole in the closet from where there was obviously a leak at some point.

Screws from the garage door started popping off.  Luckily we noticed soon enough and my husband fixed it.  He also had to add weather stripping to prevent rodents from coming in.

But the worst of all:  As soon as we had our first rain, there was a slow drip right above our doorway.  Thankfully it’s outside, but it’s an expensive issue that needs to be addressed.  So much for our inspector’s claim that the roof should be good for maybe 15 years.

Another neighbor told us the previous owner added the second layer of shingles himself.  If you knew a guy who duct taped a kitchen drawer was messing with your roof, wouldn’t you feel a little terrified?

Beyond the 6 month mark we had a leaky kitchen faucet, leaky bathroom faucet, and just this past weekend, the dishwasher ruining the hardwood floor fiasco.

Get the Best Realtor

When we took another stab at searching after years of trying off and on, we had a terrible realtor.  The one we ended up using wasn’t the greatest either (I think), but was way more patient about finding a place, especially in such a horrible market.  There was hardly anything for sale at the time, so even if we had known all of our house’s issues, we probably would have ended up with it anyway.  We absolutely had to move.

Don’t use someone who is a friend unless you absolutely know they are the greatest.  Otherwise it’s awkward and you find yourself adding their number to your list on your phone just so you know it’s them so you won’t have to have a conversation with them.  Not that I did that ……

It’s not your realtor’s job to tell you which house is the perfect one for you. That’s your job.  Let me tell you more about the experience we had.

We were already at the house and the kids were with my parents when we got a call from him.  “Hey, I had a really hectic day.  Is it OK if we do 8 instead of 7?”  It was 7!  We let him choose the time!  We waited the hour since we were already there.  So unprofessional.

When he finally arrived, he asked, “Have you guys prayed about this?”  Not professional and none of your business.  You’re not clergy.  You’re a realtor.

The house he showed us was at the top of our price limit, but we thought maybe we could talk it down.  There was condensation in the windows, old appliances, peeling paint by the skylights, no fence around the yard, and quite a few other issues that weren’t going to work for us.  We thought we were communicating that we needed to continue our search, but what he heard was, “We change our mind.  We don’t want to buy a house.”  He insisted, “Oh, you guys. This is the perfect place for you!”  No, it wasn’t.  At all.  The only way we would buy that place was for less money.  He got his phone out and said disappointedly, “Aw, you guys.  The price is firm.”  Really?  How do you know unless you make an offer?  Months later and I looked it up and the house sold for less!  Terrible, terrible realtor.

We asked to see another house and he said it was bank owned, so no point in seeing it.  Later that night, he put us on a three way call with the broker he likes to use and they both pressured us to buy the house for about the next hour.  The broker even sent us a video showing us the pros and cons of buying a house vs. not buying.  He also never told us what our interest rate was.  It was bizarre.  I was positively livid though when he brought up something in the video he made for us that I only told our realtor about.  “With your mom being sick, just think about how much you would spend in gas if you didn’t live by her and she had a health crisis.”  Their tag teaming was absolutely disgusting.

When I said I wasn’t going to buy that particular house, the realtor said, “But didn’t you say your son is embarrassed about living in an apartment?”  This guy wants to show one house and get lots of money quick.  Don’t hire anyone like this.  Do lots of research before you settle on a realtor.  And no, I didn’t say my son was “embarrassed”.  I said he wanted his own room.  We weren’t going to make a financial decision that would leave our family worse off.

Make Sure Everything is Handled Before Closing

This is where our realtor we did use failed.  We had a bunch of things that were supposed to be done and she should have taken a trip over to make sure it was.  There was some confusion over several things that were being handled and the sellers insisted the duct cleaning was the same thing as having the furnace serviced.  After the fact, we had to push the issue and our realtor made sure it was done after a lot of back and forth.  I finally showed the two contracts that said both were to be handled.  One was a condition of making the offer.  Another was a condition we requested after inspection.  I liked her for the most part though and I appreciated how she would point out flaws in the houses instead of trying to convince us to buy the place.

Where you live doesn’t define you. Make the best of where you live and make the decisions you can afford.  If you had told me all of the things that would go wrong with our house in one year, I would have laughed in disbelief.  But it’s definitely not funny and I’m glad we’ve had the ability to hang on so far.  Ignore the gimmicky messages about firing your landlord and other things.  Your landlord (if it’s a good one) can save you a lot of stress as you work your way towards home ownership.

Now I want to ask realtors and buyers:  What should you expect from a great realtor and what is asking too much?

St. Patrick’s Day, Raised Expectations, & Scarring My Kid For Life

When I was growing up, St. Patrick’s Day was one of those low pressure holidays.  In my family we would wear green, my mom would color the toilet water green, she sometimes made homemade green bread for our sandwiches, and that was about it.  We probably had green dinner too.

When my son was in Kindergarten, St. Patrick’s Day was on a Sunday.  We don’t shop on Sundays.  Suddenly he was asking me, “Where’s my treasure?”

Me:  Um, what?

Him:  My teacher says the leprechaun brings us a treasure.

Me:  (Ugh!!!  I have nothing!  NOTHING!!!!)  Uhhhhhhhhh …….

Him:  Yeah, he always brings a treasure.

I love her, but really?  Another holiday where we’re expected to give our kids candy?  I wasn’t going to go shopping for gold coins, but I also felt like I had to go along with the leprechauns are real thing.

I put green food coloring in the toilet.

“Oh, look!  We have one of those naughty leprechauns!  It peed in our toilet and didn’t leave us any treasure!” I lied.

Him:  :O

Later when he had to go to the bathroom, “I’m afraid the leprechaun will be in there!”  Maybe the leprechaun should have brought us vegetables instead?

Since then, all of our kids have asked about their treasure and sometimes I’ve been even too lazy to hunt for the green food coloring.  I think it was last year when my second oldest son said, “Pssssst!  Do you want me to color the toilet water green for you?”

I do make an effort in other ways.  Last year I worked my bum off making Shepherd’s Pie with lamb and everything.  It was a ton of work.  I’ve decorated the table in fun ways, made green Fettuccine Alfredo, green desserts, etc.  I just can’t handle another holiday where a pretend person stealthily brings presents or candy.  Our tooth fairy has been in an extended coma because either I don’t have a dollar on me or I can’t get it under my kids’ pillow without waking them up.  Another time I put in under their pillow and they didn’t find it!

My 13-year-old has continued to keep track of how much the tooth fairy owes him.  Maybe he should send her to collections?

Hope you have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I better restock my green food coloring.  We have three toilets now.

I’m A Weirdo Without A Cell Phone

“You don’t have a cell phone?”

“Why don’t you have a cell phone?”

“How do you survive without a cell phone?!”

“Why didn’t you get rid of your landline when you moved and just get a cell phone?”

“What would you do if your car broke down and you don’t have a cell phone?”

“I tried texting you, but turns out it’s a landline?”

I get these questions all the time along with shocked, confused looks.  They probably think I’m a hippie.  No, hippies also have cell phones.  I don’t know what I am.

I actually had a person text my landline.  I was terrified because it was 5am.  Sprint has a text to landline feature, which makes your phone ring and then a robot talks to you, only the messages were coming in reverse order.  She was texting to complain about a situation and the first thing I heard was the robot telling me, “They. Are. Horrible.”  What …… Who is this?!  Who’s horrible?  And why are you telling me this at 5am?

My questions are:

How can everyone afford a cell phone?

How can you afford a cell phone for all of your kids?

My adult friends have dropped their cell phones in toilets and other places.  How can kids be trusted with such expensive equipment?  Why are my kids literally the only children in their classes without cell phones?  This makes no sense to me.  Even the thought of any of my children having to get glasses sounds like an expensive nightmare.

How do you monitor your kids’ activities on their cell phones, especially when you have multiple children?  There’s no way I could keep up with that and if I just gave one to my oldest, I would never hear the end of it from my other kids.  If he needs something, he calls me from the school office.

People talk on their cell phones ON PUBLIC TOILETS.  Not just in the bathroom.  They’re literally doing their business when I hear them say, “Hi!”  The first time I witnessed this, I thought the person was talking to me.  I felt extremely awkward because that’s not the time I prefer to engage a stranger in conversation.  “Um, hi.” I stammered.  Then they continued talking and I realized they were on their phone.  I bet they still laugh about the time a complete stranger thought they were trying to talk to them on the toilet.  That’s when you flush and out them for the toilet talker that they are!

How can you stand people keeping tabs on you all the time?  Do you know how nice it is to go somewhere and not have anyone bother you?  Not that they would necessarily “bother” me, but whatever happened to solitude?  I see people on walks and they’re talking on their cell phones.  On dates and they’re on their cell phones.  When I go out on girls’ nights with friends, their kids are constantly calling because one of their siblings isn’t being fair, or they want to ask permission for something, or sometimes their husbands are even calling because they act like they’re incapable of taking care of things at home.  “When are you coming home?” they plead.  I remain in a relaxed “I don’t care what’s happening at home as long as no one’s dying” state, smiling about my sweet, but short-lived freedom.  They can annoy me when I’m home again.  Mothers used to be able to go shopping in peace and tell the family, “Don’t burn down the house while I’m gone!  Do you know the number to 911?”

Before cell phones, you could easily tell if someone was talking to themselves.  Now you have to ask, “Are they talking to themselves or do they have a blue tooth?”  Before cell phones, I was riding the bus one day when I responded to a lady’s question and she glared at me because I interrupted her conversation with herself.

How do you deal with the fact that whoever is calling believes you are ignoring them?  “You have your phone with you all the time, so what is it you’re doing that’s more important than me?” they wonder.  This is a whole other story, but years ago when I was the target of large amounts of unwanted attention, the person in question said, “You see THIS is why I need you to have a cell phone!”  I had gone to the store and she was mad that I didn’t call to ask if she needed anything.  “I always need something from there!” she snapped.  Or “I couldn’t get a hold of you!”  Yes, exactly how I preferred it with her.  She wanted to know what I was doing all the time.  If I didn’t want to talk to her, I could tell her I had been gone.  Of course, she might drive by my house though and see my van parked in front of our home.  I might never blog about this situation.  I haven’t decided.  If I do, it’s because it might help someone else.

Because literally almost everyone has a cell phone now, if my car were to break down, no one would help me because they would assume I’m calling for help on my cell phone.  If I were to be stranded, I would either wait for a police officer (probably for a long time) or if it were safe to do so, I would walk to the nearest vintage pay phone (yes, I see some of those around still) or beg someone to let me use their phone.

The bottom line is:  I can’t afford a cell phone.  I’m not saying I will never have one, but I haven’t been able to justify another expense.  If I were to switch from a landline to a cell phone, then what do my kids use if they need to call 911 while I’m gone?  So leave the phone at home with them?  Then what’s the point of having a mobile phone if I’m not going to be mobile with it?  I would then be on the slippery slope towards being a multiple phone family.  That’s multiple phones that could be dropped in the toilet!

I will probably have one someday, but I won’t be happy about it.  We survived just fine without cell phones for centuries, but now it’s becoming  a necessity because everyone has them.  Recently I couldn’t get on the urgent care waiting list because I didn’t have a cell phone.  Thank goodness I found a different one that had a five-minute wait instead of a two-hour wait!  I asked, “Can’t I just arrive within half an hour of the expected time?”  “No.  You will just have to come in and wait.”  Hanging out in their flu infested waiting room for two hours?

I had a cell phone briefly in the 90’s before there were smart phones because I thought it would help me budget better for my long distance calls.  That’s what I used it for.  But then it stopped working when we were living on base and when I called our provider to talk to them about it, the representative asked, “Ma’am?  Do you live by some train tracks or something?  I’m seeing a lot of red around you.”  “No…..”  He put me on hold and then he told me, “Um, ma’am?  The government just called and told me to stop looking at what they’re doing.”  There was some big training exercise going on.  Something about jammed frequencies.

How do you feel about cell phones?  Do you love it/hate it?  Are there any lone weirdos left out there who don’t have one either?  If you feel passionately in favor of cell phones, I can take it.  You may even tell me about affordable options if you want.  I will at least wait for them to go down in price like flat screen TV’s and other things.  Know any friends who paid $5,000 for a flat screen TV way back when?  I do.  We waited and spent $400 on ours.

I await your feedback.  😀  I’ll find something fun to do until then like snap some Polaroid pictures.  Or look through the phone book.  Or sort through my floppy disks.

 

 

My Dear Friend Yvonne

My friend Yvonne has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.  The hardest thing about this is that her cancer is not going to go into remission and she was already very sick before she started chemo.  She is going to be on chemo the rest of her life.  Her cancer affects her bones, blood, and kidneys.  When she first got sick, she thought it was because of the stress of her job search and the likelihood that she was going to lose her condo, but when her doctor noticed a dramatic drop in her weight, he was very concerned.  She had just been working at the post office for a few days when she got her diagnosis and she put off chemo for months as she tried to hold on to her job, which starts as a temporary position.  Even though she has cancer, asthma, and diabetes, she continued working, but she couldn’t keep up because she was so ill.

It was a major blow when she applied for disability and was denied.  People say everyone is rejected the first time practically, but it was angering to read the letter that said she could sit down and answer phones.  Even when sitting down, she has passed out for up to five minutes and vomited while she was under.

Our favorite thing to do together was to cook, but she hardly has an appetite anymore and if she does, she often throws up when she eats.  She’s malnourished.  There were so many things I was hoping to do with her or help her do, but how do you do those things when you feel so awful?

I was thinking about what her bucket list would be.  She might be around for a long time.  We don’t know.  But I’ve learned that you can’t just assume your loved ones are going to be around to do the things you’ve always wanted.  She jokes about going on a long, long cruise.

I love Yvonne’s stories.  She has so many great ones and I wish I had recorded her and transcribed them all.  She would love to go to Europe again, but I don’t know how she would handle that.  I was thinking it would be great to go somewhere local with a view – somewhere quiet (without my 5 children) where I could ask her to tell her stories again as she feels able.   It would be awesome to just have food delivered and housekeeping to deal with any messes so I could just focus on documenting her memories.  Many of them made me laugh hysterically.  Others amazed or inspired me.  You would not believe everything she’s gone through in her life!

I’m going to list some things I want to write about – things I want my kids to be able to read for the rest of their lives.  They love Yvonne so much and she is family to us.  Tell me which ones you would like to hear about the most!  😀

Putting on her mom’s vanishing cream with her sister and thinking it would make them invisible!  I think this is my personal favorite.

The blind date that never was.  The reason she was stood up is both sad and funny.  I laughed until I cried though.

Various stories of survival.

The accident that left her unable to walk for a year.

Her many, many siblings.

Her time as a midwife.

The time she met Matthew McConaughey!!!!  My sister made her call her and tell it again.

Her dog Scruffy!  This dog could have been in movies.  😀

Stories of growing up African American.  It still blows my mind that it wasn’t that long ago when people had to drink from separate drinking fountains, use separate bathrooms, etc..  She never learned to swim because she wasn’t allowed in the pool.  I can’t even comprehend being treated like this.

The contest she won at a bar with no plans to do so.  Oh man.  Another one where I cried tears of laughter!

My goal is to write her stories with her “voice”.  I never want to forget the way she tells them.

 

 

 

 

Oscillating Fan For Your Home: A Netflix Original

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Photo cred: Me

 

 

I was doing a search for I don’t remember what when this intriguing title popped up.  I’m happy to see that Netflix has tapped into the “Various Awesome Stuff For Your Home” genre.  Finally!  They have something for people who don’t own oscillating fans!

*WARNING:  SPOILER ALERT!!!  IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE FAN AND WHERE IT SITS BEFORE YOU SEE IT, DO NOT READ ON. *

This isn’t just some cheap old fan.  It has a very nice metallic, shiny base.  What I wasn’t expecting is that upon the same table there would sit a pair of red sunglasses, a stack of books that you probably won’t notice at first, and a glass of ice.  These objects allow your imagination to paint a story.  And here you thought it was just going to be a fan blowing and nothing more.

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Photo cred: Me

At the beginning of the show, the glass is filled to the rim with ice.

 

 

Are they children’s glasses?  Did the family run off to the beach and a child forgot them?  It could be they left the fan on because no one wants to come home to a stagnant house and maybe running the AC is just too expensive.  Or perhaps the owner of the glasses is taking a leisurely nap in that very room?  If so, they don’t snore at all and that impresses me.  I’m pretty sure that’s a night stand.

What had me in suspense was not knowing the temperature of the room.  With this riveting show being only 60 minutes long, would the ice melt completely?  Would it shift suddenly, making it even audibly noticeable with a slight clink?  And who is the antagonist who didn’t put it on a coaster?

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Photo cred: Me

I captured the fan from its good side.  This is towards the end of the show.  Notice how the water level has dropped dramatically in the glass. It happens before your very eyes, yet you don’t know how.  Kind of like Donald Trump becoming the front-runner for the GOP, only it doesn’t make you want to crawl into a hole and die of utter humiliation.

 

This is practically begging for a sequel.  I give it 4 stars.  While I appreciate fans for the white noise they provide, they annoy me when they oscillate and the noise doesn’t remain consistent.  I can’t sleep when a fan is blowing my hair, then not blowing my hair, then blowing my hair again.  It’s like being attacked by some sort of predictable insect repeatedly all night long.  I like the fan itself, the lovely wood blinds, and the lighting.

Bonus:  It is indeed family friendly and doesn’t include any unwanted cleavage like Fuller House.   I think they should make another one where the fan is stationary.  I think a good name would be “Stationary Fan For Your Home”.

You might not even be aware of all of the other titles that were created for families that don’t like to watch shows on their TV’s, but stuff.  Here you go.

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Photo cred: Me

Abuse and Divorce

I would much rather write something funny and lighthearted, but I have something serious that needs to be shared.  I have multiple friends who have gone through nightmarish divorces and they really got screwed in the process.  These women were married to abusive men and were too scared to put their butts in jail or waited too long to put their butts in jail.

As a side note, I do know that men are abused too, but I want to focus on women because they are most likely to give up their careers to be mothers and feel like they have no way to support themselves.

I have one thing I want to stress more than anything:  If you’re too scared to throw his butt in jail, just wait and see what this man will do to you in the court system. You think you’re being abused now?  You married him because he was charming and lots of abusive men will manage to charm even the parent evaluators.

Some women who are filing for divorce are still too scared to press charges because who will support them and the children?  Their husbands can’t work if they’re in jail.

Another thing I want to stress:  Document, document, document.  Pictures.  Videos.  Letters. Emails.  Whenever possible, do not take phone calls from your ex because you want everything in writing.

You’re understandably terrified.  I would be too.  I would have no idea how to support myself and my five kids if I were in an awful situation where I had to leave, but I know from friends’ experiences that if you let him get away with abuse for a long time, dealing with him in a legal battle will be ten times worse – way worse than you can even imagine.

A classic strategy is convincing others that you’re crazy.  And you’ve been dealing with the abuse for so long, you might just be halfway there.  People may have witnessed you acting “crazy” because you were reacting to being assaulted, but you were hiding that.  He’ll get those people to testify as to how crazy you are.  Even worse, you most likely isolated yourself as you tried to hide what’s going on, so you have almost no one to stand for you. He has people who witnessed you behaving hysterically for no apparent reason.

Because he has the job and you don’t, he has the money to fight with a lawyer for longer.  He has the ability to bankrupt you as you fight allegations against you.  Whatever you might have received in the divorce settlement – that will be gone in no time.  No, he doesn’t want what’s best for the children.  He wants whatever will punish you for as long as possible for leaving his awesome, important self.

If you are going to divorce an abusive man, first seek help from a support group.  Find out who the good lawyers are.  Find out who the awful lawyers are.  Learn from the experiences of the women who have suffered before you.  Who you choose as a lawyer is probably almost as important as who you marry!

To young women who are not yet married:  You might think you will just marry the perfect guy to avoid this kind of heartache.  That’s a great plan, but I think the majority of women thought they were marrying the perfect guy.  Addictions can also develop later and transform your husband into someone you no longer recognize.  I’ve seen that too and was completely horrified by it.

My daughters will be taught to have marketable skills and a way t0 get out if needed.  They will also know that they can always come to us for safety.  If we don’t have enough room for one of my daughters and their children, I will gladly sleep in the closet before I would let them feel trapped.  Not every woman has that kind of support.

Before I got married, my dad said, “If you ever marry a man who lays a hand on you, I will kill him.”  I don’t recommend this option, but I think he meant it.  My husband continues to live because he’s never laid a hand on me in anger.  And he knows if he did, I would come down on him like an anvil.  Like a ton of bricks.  Like Miss Piggy.

If you’re being abused, please get help.