15 November 2018

Rowena Reviews: Citrus Pear

Tonight I tried Citrus Pear with a friend, and I enjoyed  it so much that I thought I had better review it.



Citrus Pear is basically a gathering of people who put together a bunch of freezer meals all at once. The one I attended was all ladies, but I see no reason why men would not likewise enjoy the experience.

I paid around $189 to get 10 meals, which feed 6 to 8 adults each. They also have an option for 20 meals that feed a smaller group than that.

Tonight's class was a "public class" which means anyone who wants to can sign up, and the class is held in the food court of a local grocery store.  The class seated 14 people, and we all stood at tables in a semi-circle. Each work station had some tools we would need for the class.

The meat was all prepared and in the bags we would use for the meals, which meant that I made a total of ten dinners without having to touch any raw meat. (Bonus)

They tell you to bring a rolling cooler, and extra gallon zip loc bags if you want to double bag any of the larger meals. I don't have a cooler with wheels, so I just brought a zip up cooler, and lifted it into a cart to get it to the car. It was so heavy I would not have wanted to carry it by any means.

The menus were things like parmesan chicken, beef stroganoff, orange ginger pork loin, pork carnitas, and many more that I am really excited to try.

I always have to analyze the cost of things, so here is how I have broken it down for my hyper-analytical mind:

The bagged dinner is about $18.90 for each dinner, coming in at around $3.15 per serving if my family of six people eats the whole meal. Based on what I saw, some of the meals will leave leftovers, others may not. A lot of the preps also include things added later, which will raise the serving price a little.

So, was it worth it? I would say definitely for the following reasons:

1. It was also a girls night out because I went with a favorite friend, and felt like I made new acquaintance-friends. If I budgeted $20 for a movie (more if it were a manicure or dinner, too) that could be deducted from the price as an opportunity gain.

2. Even at $3.50 a serving, that is competing with happy meals for the kids, and saving money for the adults if we were to eat out (convenience meal for convenience meal comparison) There are many more vegetables and vastly less deep frying than eating out by far.

3.  I did not have to clean up all of the prep stuff. It was wonderful, and all of the trash was taken out as we worked. There is major psychological value when you are a primary trash taker outer at home in having some nice person come take the trash out for you before you have even had to mash it down several times.

4. I did it in November, and with the holiday season coming up it is such a relief to know that I have a great variety of meals ready to take my pick on busy days.

5. I just liked it. They change the meal plans every month, and I guess if you host a private party you can choose the meals you want. I might be able to cook meals for my family for a little less than that, but it was fun to get out of the rut that is so easy to fall into when you cook every night.

I will definitely do that again. Look at this cooler full of nutritious deliciousness!


I will add that I am not being paid or rewarded in any way to review . I just enjoyed it that much. A friend tried it and liked it, and I have wanted to try it for awhile.

11 July 2018

Ant Man and the Wasp

I just wanted to make a little list of reasons I approve of the Ant Man and the Wasp movie. I'm turning the text below white so as not to spoil things, so highlight it with your mouse to read.

Before the list, I will say that I watch a lot of superhero movies because I am married to Alex, not because I love to watch people fight in spandex for hours at a time. I don't watch them because I think it is awesome to act like death doesn't matter and people are disposable. My reactions to these movies are mixed, and often include pain, disapproval and frustration because I don't like the gender culture and the violence culture our blockbusters can perpetuate. That said, I really enjoyed the Ant Man and the Wasp for these reasons:

1. Paul Rudd and his great relationships with the following people:

a. his ex and her partner - the group hugs were awesome. I understand that not all broken families can attain that high standard of patience for one another when things didn't work out. But it was fun to see one that was making it work now, even though the first relationship didn't.

b. his sweet, sweet daughter. Interrupting an important conversation to take a call from your child matters. Talking to children about big issues matters. I loved that multiple conversations happened with his daughter in the movie about big and small things.

c. his co-worker. I love that when they give him truth serum and ask where the ant man is, the co-worker goes on and on about where he is at emotionally. I ate that up.

d. his girlfriend/ potential partner. I enjoyed seeing a male lead perceive where he went wrong in the relationship before, and try to remedy the situation. I think awesome real guys do this all the time, but it is rare to see that story told in mainstream popular culture film. Thank you, people!

2. Michelle Pfeiffer (who can spell her name, really? Good for her being famous with a last name like that). I love that not only is she a successful lady scientist, but that when she comes back, she is out to heal! It is so rare to find a great strong female role model in movies. The scientists are often men. That certainly has reflected reality for a long time, but we won't get more and more female scientists until the few are held up as examples.

3. This is also a Michelle Pfeiffer one. Her hair is gray when she comes back. It looks perfectly styled, yes, but for a woman to be the same age as her husband in a movie is just refreshing.

4. A conflicted female villain. Often females are angels or demons in movies. Ghost was certainly frightening, but I loved that the movie recognized that her bad qualities came from pain. I loved how at the end she seemed conflicted about the bad things she had done, once her pain was not so terrible. I love any conflicted villain, it's just rare to see a female with qualities on both the good and evil side, so I liked that.

If I watched it again, I might be able to come up with more, but for now that is all.

17 June 2018

Lift Your Lamp!

Here is a letter I am sending through a friend to Washington DC regarding the family separations going on at the border right now. If you are upset about this issue, send a letter to your representative, too.

June 17, 2018

Dear Representantive,

I write this letter to express my concern over the recent family separations at the border. While I understand the need for security in our borders because of terrorism, I believe the pendulum has swung much too far toward security and away from liberty since September 11, 2001. I support DACA, and I am dismayed to hear of the harsh anti-immigrant measures taken by the current administration in this and other immigration matters.

I have taught boys in a residential treatment center. I can unequivocally say that breaking families apart who want to stay together is bad policy. I cannot tell you how many times I heard the boys at the youth home tell their story. It went like this: “My parents got divorced. I began my negative behaviors.”

My parents also divorced when I was nine. I was fortunate to have an excellent stepmom who influenced me greatly and picked up a lot of broken pieces when my family fell apart. However, the separation of my family has had the most profound negative influence of any single event in my life.

Families are the foundation of communities and society. People are formed by the families they grow up in, and it is my strong belief that it behooves the government to support families in any way. Preventative policy saves money down the road by preventing crime and the need for prisons / residential treatment.

I am from Utah, and I love the Utah Compact. I feel like the compact is smart policy--not only for families but for business and the economy. I would love to see that theory and practice echoed in federal policy and enforcement.

For the record, I disagree with a zero tolerance policy. Zero tolerance has no eyes. It has no heart. It has no place in the country where we say:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Thank you, and I hope your voice will be that of sense and compassion. Lift your lamp!

20 January 2018

Questions My Sons Asked our Google Home Mini Today

H: Hey Google, How many pounds of dynamite explode every day?
GHM: I'm sorry. I can't help you with that.

H: Hey Google, One in how many people survive an atom bomb explosion?
GHM: I'm sorry. I don't understand, but I'm learning all the time.

H: Hey Google, Set a timer for two thousand years.
GHM: Okay. Two thousand years and counting. 

H: Hey Google, how much time remaining? 

GHM: 104,285 weeks 4 days, 23 hours, 58 minutes and 38 seconds remaining.  

S: Hey Google, Fa la la.
GHM: Sorry, I looked for La La Land, but it isn't available.

08 January 2018

Christmas Letter, 2017


Next year I will have to let Alex have his way more, so you can all enjoy the quirk. Haha.

08 May 2017

On the Occasion of Buying a New(er) Vehicle

Dear Big Blue,


I know it always irked you that I named you Big Blue when you were a big red Chevy suburban. Maybe it was my love for you that made me have to tease you. Three of my four babies took their first car rides inside of you. You made space for us when our family was expanding.

We have been through a lot of tough times together. Remember when we got stuck with the children at dinner time while we were trying to see Natural Bridges? My blood sugar was so low that I didn't laugh or take pictures. Remember the nice man with the broken arm and his sweet wife who pulled us out of the ditch with their Capable Truck? That two wheel drive was a bit of a problem for our relationship at times.


I feel like I should apologize for all of the stinky things I let my children do to you, when you have been such a mostly reliable vehicle. For all of the apple cores and crackers and smashed fruit snacks - I'm sorry. You deserved better. You gave us the best you had.

I am also sorry for the day I was so tired and so upset and tried to back out of the garage with the rear passenger door open. I'm sure that hurt.

Yes, you had your shortcomings. But the pauses you gave us had silver linings. Remember how another time when we were stuck, Alex and I shot a time lapse of the clouds rolling by? If you'd had four wheel drive, that moment of sweet serenity would never have happened.

Now it's time for us to part ways. I have loved you, Big Blue. I hope you find a good new home. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for taking us where we needed to go. Thank you for being my big red wagon full of happiness.

-Jen

21 January 2017

Independent

Or Why I attended the Women's March

First let me list two reasons which, though they brought other women, did not bring me:

1. I did not go to protest President Donald Trump. I am not thrilled that he won, but I support him as my president, and I feel glad that I live in a country where we can mostly agree to disagree. I was disappointed in the window breaking people.

2. I did not go to support the pro-choice movement. I take a nuanced pro-life view, in that I think women who are victims of rape, incest, or other crimes, or whose lives are endangered by their pregnancies should have access to abortions, and make those decisions with care providers. I call my view pro-adoption, because I don't consider this as black and white of an issue as many people do.


Last night, as I contemplated going, I had to decide why I was going if not in protest of the president. So here are my reasons:

1. Feminism is not an F word to me. While I have in the past identified as feminist, I now consider myself a Soft Feminist, because I value and honor the unpaid work women do as much as the paid work they do. I accept that their self-sacrifice and unpaid contributions to society cause them to be paid less over their life-time, and that many of them are willing to make that gift to society.

I also feel like Serious or Hard Feminists sometimes reject pro-lifers out of hand, and that is not for me. But I support women of all ambitions, whether their ambition is to raise and rear children, or to conquer the business world, or be the best second grade teacher in the county. I support them. And this march was (for me) about supporting women.

2. I am disillusioned by the fact that anti-immigration sentiment has taken such strong hold of the Republican party. I support immigration. I think our immigration court system is struggling, and needs fixing. Many people who come here legally lose their legal status not because they are bad people trying to evade the law, but because our system is underfunded and failing to serve them.

I feel like locking people out because they look different from us (ie building a wall between us and Mexico, but not us and Canada) is wrong. I prefer to tear down walls and build bridges instead. I also feel like many policy makers and their constituents are making decisions about these issues based on fear. If we are making decisions based out of fear, doesn't that mean that the terrorists are winning?

3. I have never been to a march before. Sometimes I get bored, and a March? Hey. Novelty! My friends were going. It was fun. A guy with an exciting nose piercing behind me said, "This is the first time I have ever looked around me in this town and not thought, 'I hate everyone here.'" How often do I get to hear someone say something like that? I'll tell you. Not often. Today was my first time going to a march. I didn't break any windows. I did not behave like a three-year-old throwing a tantrum. I walked about a mile, smiled, and waved. Some people flipped me off from their cars. Others waved and honked. The sun shined. I liked it.

God Bless America.