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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I am trying to end my 49th year in good spirits

But it is a struggle.

The new house is not completely pulled together.

I am struggling a little businesswise.

My volunteer life seems to be overwhelming other things.

And the news just has me in a really bad mood.

Just had to say that out loud.

Friday, May 11, 2018

I ordered those meal plan boxes. Here is how it went.

Last week I subscribed to two meal delivery, make the food yourself, including chop up a lot of veggies meal plans. One was Hello Fresh, the other is Home Chef.

Imma start by saying that 4 out of 5 meals are delicious! What I didn't like is the Asian fusion type of meals.  I am very picky about ethnic foods.  I don't want American Fusion versions, I want the real thing, but anyway.  I ordered 2 meals from Hello Fresh, and four Meals from Home Chef. 

Hello Fresh was set to arrive Monday, and Home Chef Tuesday.  I was really perturbed to know that my meals from Hello Fresh went on the truck at 4am and at 7pm had not arrived yet.  I was concerned about spoilage, and the fact that my dinner that night was pretty much cheese...  But it finally came at 7:45 and I cooked the Asian fusion dish, (Pineapple pork rice bowls) and it was OK.  Just OK.   The next day, the Home Chef box showed up super early but I went ahead and cooked the final Hello Fresh meal (Little Ears Pasta)... it was soooo good, and generous servings.  My family of big eaters ate this for two days. (we had a 4 meal plan and hubby was out of town, but we basically got 5 decent servings out of it. 


I have made two threeHome Chef meals so far.  Pork Tenderloin was very basic and a few more steps than I like to take.  The Asain meatballs once again missed the true Asian mark, but they were still surprisingly good. Stuffed poblano peppers (stuffed with jerk chicken thigh) was one of the best things I had ever tasted, but the 90 minutes I stood standing between the island, stove, and oven, on a Friday night, made me question my sanity. 

I didn't cancel fast enough to not get Home Chef meals next week and it is costing about $150 to get 16 servings... 4 meals for 4 people for next week.

I put Hello Fresh on hold to think about it for a minute.. It is $69 for two meals for 4 people so that is a little bit less.... by about a dollar a serving. 

Want to try it yourself?  Here are coupons:

Notes from the peanut gallery:

Hubby on everything he has been home to eat or taste: This is delicious, thank you. 

21 year old daughter: Not bad... I can say it is a much more diverse menu than I would eat on my own. 

23 year old son; nom nom nom (seconds) nom nom nom (finished the dishes for lunch the next day) nom nom nom. 

Me.  I hate chopping vegies.  I hate browning meat. I hate cooking.  Hey this is good.  Can I do this cheaper?  Maybe, maybe not. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Notes from Puerto Rico

Hubby and I just spent a desperately needed week on vacation in Puerto Rico. The resort we went to last time, The Ritz Carlton was still under construction post-storm. We stayed at the next door resort, at the Marriot instead.  What can I say?  The room was good. The view was magnificent, the bed was hard, and the food was not the best. at all.

Of course, all that was to be expected. We chose to stay in Puerto Rico because we knew that our vacation money was best spent in the land our administration has forgotten... and so we did. That was our decision.  And so, we grinned, bared through any discomforts, spent a ton on meals left unfinished, enjoyed the beach and each other.

As is customary, we did venture off the resorts. We spent a day in Old San Juan, which while interesting, was difficult. The plan was to get a taxi to the old fort and tour that and the museum. The traffic there was bad, and the driver insisted he would drop us off close enough. Put us where we could get the bus there, that never came.  We ended up on a bus that got us a few blocks closer and a few hills closer, but we ended up walking a couple miles and by the time we got to the fort, I knew I was too tired to make it through the tour and so just walked the grounds and enjoyed the view.

Afterwards, we walked through a pretty creepy neighborhood to find a local restaurant.  The food was OK, but our stomachs were a little off for the rest of the week.

Another night, the night before the tour, we took a cab to an Italian Restaurant.  The food was not bad, and the conversation was ... tense.  Let's just say hubby is a very curious and asked the waiter questions that weren't exactly welcomed. This waiter in particular, had very strong opinions about the government, and about the US and they were all hostile.  I asked about education on the island, which everyone knows is a disaster, and his opinion was "what about it- once" kids can read, who cares"

Now as a former homeschooling parent, I kinda feel the same way, but how many parents are going to take that child's ability to read and run with it? How many are going to back off the struggle to just survive to ensure their child experiences a higher level of education? How many who don't just flee the island are going to be left vulnerable to those coming onto the island to take advantage of the "poor natives" because they are uneducated.  How long before Puerto Rico is no longer a residential island, but a giant gentrified resort? That is where it seems things are going, you know. As a US territory, the residents are free to move to the US and large corporations and buying up the land to make dollars off of it. It is quite disheartening.

I would love to find a way to get more people on the island to accept the job of educating their own children, and even providing private scholarshipped higher education.  I don't know.  But something has to be done.

Other interesting things I learned while in Puerto Rico:

Puerto Ricans have been used as lab rats:

Puerto Rican women were the first to be tested with birth control pills:

Nerve gas tested on blacks and Puerto Ricans

American laws hurt Puerto Rico

So as I sit in my comfy home after dumping a ton of money in Puerto Rico in exchange for a week of rest and a sobering education, my question is, is there anything else I can do that doesn't reek of gentrification or a stuck-up American thinking they know better?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Public school costumes and homeschool chatter

As I worked this past weekend finishing up my costume project for a local middles school, I spent some time with some very dedicated public school parents.  The kind of parents who not only show up to see the show but who build the sets, purchase meals for the whole class, patrols the backstage area keeping kids out of trouble, and hugs any child who is clearly about to have a meltdown. 

As parents do, they chatter. They wanted to know more about me, how I came to costuming a public school show and then asked about my own kids... and then... dun dun dun.... homeschooling.

It's hard to talk about my kids without mentioning homeschooling, it is a large part of who they are.  It explains why my daughter is my business partner at 21 and not in college because she is done.

I will tell you this though, the further homeschooling is in the past the easier it is to talk about.  Also, it seems that people are much, much more open to it. Even public school parents.  It is, however, a fine line to walk because it is human nature to feel judgment about your decisions when you are faced with someone who rejects it. It is always the hardest part of being the lone homeschooler in the room with public school parents, someone often feels judged, just because you didn't do the thing that they are doing.  Maybe they wish they did do it?  Who knows?  I just know that emotion exists, I can't quite figure out where it comes from.

All in all, the questions still are:

Why did you homeschool?

I could never homeschool. (I realize this isn't a question, but it kinda is.)

Do you really think that everyone can homeschool?

I guess I am a pro at this conversation. 

I homeschooled because my kids were in bad shape emotionally and needed to be pulled out of school.

I didn't think I could either, but when necessity hit, I figured it out.

NO... not everyone can homeschool, but everyone should approach their kids education as if they are homeschooling because at the end of the day, it is the parent's job to make sure the kid is educated.  With this group, that last statement is a no-brainer.  They really are ON IT!! They are IN IT! They are involved and taking ownership.  Can't ask for anything more.

And with that, here are some more distanced grainy photos of our costume job (not my children).