Divorce Corp.: Documentary

A newly added documentary on Netflix is titled “Divorce Corp.” and it is fantastically made and drives home some pretty substantial points regarding family law and the overall process of getting divorced in America. I was in the mood yesterday to learn something new, and with watching this film, boy, did I ever. The documentary is narrated by Dr. Drew Pinsky (“Celebrity Rehab” and “Teen Mom Reunion” psychiatrist) and paints the picture of the overarching process from determining if a couple wants a divorce to all the scenarios that could go wrong. Note: there are many!

The documentary focuses on the California family law Courts, but includes other states and individuals who have suffered in other areas of the US. Beyond the area, the documentary also interviewed a plethora of family court lawyers, parents or spouses, judges, and this one great/hilarious private investigator who was one of the only truthful characters throughout the whole documentary. Interviewing real individuals who have been put through the hardships of years within the family court systems really gave a tangible aspect to the issues that families face.

While the documentary painted some crazy scenarios of what litigants have faced in the court systems, there were a few that really impacted me greatly. First off, Family Courts do not need a jury; thus, the only person who rules in one plaintiff over another’s favor is a judge. That judge, and the lack of oversight that a judge has, is impacted by monetary contributions received from various law firms who work directly with Family Courts. In turn, this means that a judge, just because a plaintiff hired a lawyer from a certain law firm will most likely rule in their favor, not because of the evidence in the case, but because of the money flow that needs to be continued. Moreover, as I touched on before, the Family Courts do not have any oversight. Some statistic that was cited in the documentary was there were 1000 complaints lodged against different judges in California, and no judge was punished, jailed, or removed from office. Judges are not going to punish other judges. So there is absolutely no oversight in their rulings, nor can you appeal, for one needs to cite that the process was not followed, so appellate court is out of the question.

The other fact that was an underlying theme of the film, were the lawyers. Most marriages can end amicably, in which one part takes $XX and the other leaves the marriage with $YY. Lawyers know exactly what to say to their clients to make them want more than $XX or $YY. This racks up more lawyer bills, more court fees, with the potential to increase what one leaves the marriage with. Moreover, there is very little oversight for lawyers for they can say pretty much anything slanderous in court regarding their client’s ex and it can never be proven false so there’s no repercussions. Nor are there any built-in laws that protect the plaintiffs from such talk within a court room.

Divorce clearly impacts the litigants who are getting divorce, but this documentary then went on to include children and what happens when there are children involved in a divorce. This was the most emotional and scariest part of the documentary for me. Courts, because of the cronyism, separate families needless and do not allow parents to see their children for months and/or years. During the proceedings, judges can require a child advocate to reach out to the divorced couple and request a meeting with the children. This child advocate is usually a medical doctor (psychiatrist) who works with the courts and the judge usually only chooses his/her own advocate to go. There have been instances when these advocates (support by the court, mind you) attempt to extort the families for thousands to write a report in their favor. Moreover, these same individuals have been found online to be morally corrupt and do and support despicable things in their free time. Why would these people make for good judges on the welfare of children? For me, what kind of system prays on the innocent, causing irreversible psychological damage by separating a child from their parent or making the child go repeatedly to court to watch their parents fight? It’s not healthy, and the courts are causing some major psychological issues in children from divorced families (and considering the recent 50% statistic, 50% of children then are likely to have some damage from divorce proceedings).

The whole things is pretty disgusting, in my mind. The amount of money, time, and emotional well-being of all the characters involved is sickening, quite frankly. Who wants to be a part of this system that will never be just? I did enjoy the Family Court reformers that are trying to reform the system and advocate on behalf of individuals who cannot advocate for themselves, or don’t have the available funds to. This was encouraging, but that’s all. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. The judicial system has ruined marriage is one of the major take-aways of this film. Why be married when you know that if it doesn’t work out you have a bottomless money-pit awaiting you? Moreover, the pain you will cause your children. So: don’t get married or stay in a miserable marriage. These are pretty grim options for Americans, and, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be any silver lining soon.

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Raspberry Bread

I love yummy baked goods. Especially ones that are filled with delicious fruit. This recipe is one of those, something new that I saw on the internet that I thought would be something nice to try. Instead of making a full loaf, I made six loaves of this recipe. While, it wasn’t as yummy as I was hoping, it still turned out decently. I froze 3 of the loaves, and ate the other 3 (not all at once).

Ingredients: white flour, egg, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, vanilla extract, frozen raspberries, buttermilk, butter, and salt.

Directions:

  1. Mix 2 cups of white flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, and 1 tsp baking soda. Combine well.
  2. In a separate bowl combine egg, 1/2 cup of buttermilk, 4 tbsps of butter, 1 tsp salt, and 2 tsps of vanilla extract.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add 2 cups of frozen raspberries. It was suggested fresh, but I couldn’t buy fresh at the time, so I just bought frozen.
  5. Place in baking pans and fill 1/2 way. Trust me, don’t fill it more than that, they spill over.
  6. Bake at 350 for an hour.
  7. Eat hot, room temp, or cold. I stored in the fridge for a few days while I ate them.
  8. Enjoy!!

A few things about this recipe: frozen berries make the bread a little soggy. I would suggest fresh. Also, this bread does not rise at all. So the little loaves that I made were like flat mini-loaves. It’s a bit deceiving. Just a heads up!!

Spinach and Egg Fritatta

The past few days have been a bit chilly, now that it’s fall. Autumn is upon us, and so is the warm and delicious cooking. One of the dishes that I love to cook the most is anything with eggs in it. I clarify this as being: anything with eggs in it that’s savory. Sweets, like baked ones, are always yummy, so there doesn’t need a season to cook those.

I googled some side dishes for Mexican cooking and stumbled across this one. It’s a sort of fritatta, with eggs and cheese and spinach. It looked super tasty so I thought: “I might as well try it.”

Ingredients: low fat ricotta cheese, 5 eggs, oil, frozen spinach pack, pack of mushrooms, low fat milk, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper, and olive oil

Directions.

  1. Defrost the spinach. Squeeze dry until it has little to no water.
  2. Slice all of the mushrooms.
  3. In a pan, ┬áplace a tbsp of olive oil and heat on medium. When hot, add the mushrooms and cook until browned. The original recipe included onions, and I didn’t have any so didn’t include them, but a few would be a nice addition.
  4. Once mushrooms cook, set aside and let cool. Once cool, add the spinach and mix thoroughly with 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.DSCN3024 DSCN3022
  5. In a separate bowl, mix 5 eggs, 1 cup of ricotta cheese, and 1/2 cup of low fat milk. Combine thoroughly.DSCN3023
  6. Place the spinach and mushrooms in a baking dish. Pour the egg mix over the spinach.DSCN3025
  7. Cook at 350F for 30-45 min until browned on top.DSCN3026
  8. Enjoy!!!!DSCN3027

Ariel’s Sisters Cross-Stitching

I did it again! I love me some cross-stitching. It’s such a nice activity to do while tanning outside and/or while listening to a podcast. I have learned so much while stitching cuz it’s a soothing exercise that you’re productive while learning.

Now, ever since I was a little girl I loved “the Little Mermaid”. I had the Barbie dolls, where the dolls had both fish tails and dresses. As I grew up, I acquired some more Little Mermaid paraphernalia in that I have plastic renditions of Ariel’s sisters and the dolly versions too. While the dolly versions are quite cute, they all have the same hair, which according to the Disney film, is not the case. All the girls had different hair. Anyway, so I love Ariel and her sisters.

There are seven total daughters that King Triton had: Attina, Andrina, Alana, Aquata, Arista, Adella, and Ariel. Ariel is the youngest, and all of the girls have different colored hair, eyes, and tails. So, I took the Disney version and expanded upon it for my cross-stitching endeavor.

I designed all of the characters and chose their color schemes based off of the Disney version. This took me about 2-3 hours each mermaid. And I designed each with graphing paper beforehand and used the same counting scheme for each mermaid so they matched exactly (except for their hair height, ponies to the sky!).

If you have any questions, let me know! Super simple, you just have to be mindful of the counting scheme, for messing up on these is NOT an option!

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Corn Basmati Rice

What pairs great with any meal that has a whole bunch of tomatoes in it? More tomatoes with RICE! I love rice, I love corn, and I love tomatoes. This was a simple, yet a real tasty recipe. I enjoy rice as a side dish and will eat it for lunch this week, for sure!

Ingredients: 1 cup basmati rice, grape tomatoes, 1 cup frozen corn, 1/2 onion, 1/2 green pepper, chicken stock.

Directions.

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add chicken base and return to boil.
  2. Add 1 cup of basmati rice into chicken stock.
  3. As rice cooks, defrost corn.
  4. Chop onions and bell pepper.
  5. Cook onions in a tbsp of olive oil until soft. Add bell peppers. Cook 5 min. Add corn. Cook 5 min. Add tomatoes and cover to steam.
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  7. When the rice is done cooking, the water will be all absorbed. Mix in the mix from above in with the rice. Flavor with Seasonings of your choice.
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Enjoy!

Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers

I cook red meat maybe once every other month. I found this magnificent recipe for beef stuff eggplant halves. So I decided to try this recipe, and low and behold I got all of the ingredients for what I needed until I went to the produce section and guess what shipment did not come in? EGGPLANTS! Quick: problemsolving! What else can I stuff?? Bell Peppers! This is a recipe that may be time intensive, but is worth the yumminess!

Ingredients: 1 lb 90+% lean ground beef, onion, 3 tomatoes, green bell pepper, three red bell peppers, cheddar mix cheese.

Directions:

  1. Chop an onion and 2.5 tomatoes. Slice the rest of the third tomato. Clean the bell peppers and chop the green bell pepper and cut in half the red bell peppers.
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  3. Start cooking the onions in a bit of olive oil until soft. Add the meat and cook until brown. Season with whatever seasoning you like. I added some basal, oregano, black pepper, and salt.
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  5. Add the green bell peppers. Cook until they are soft.
  6. Add the tomato chucks and cover to steam the mix.
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  8. Lay the red bell peppers out in a pyrex dish.
  9. Take meat mix off heat and let it cool a bit.
  10. Spoon the meat mix into the bell peppers.
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  12. Top with a tomato slice and cheese.
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  14. Cook at 350 for 30 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered so cheese browns.
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Hope you all enjoy!

Focaccia Bread

Carbs Carbs the wonderful carbs! Let me tell you a secret: I LOVE Carbs…especially when they are coated with marinated tomatoes and onions. Queue Homer Simpson drooling. ha!

This was such a simple recipe, I thought it was going to take forever and be a lot of work, but this was so simple. And best part: it turned out so fluffy and delicious.

Ingredients: grape tomatoes, onions, italian seasoning, olive oil, white flour, salt, 2 packs of dry yeast.

Directions:

  1. Dissolve both packs of yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Stir until it bubbles.
  2. In a large, greased bowl place five cups of white flour and 2 tsps of salt. Mix.
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  4. Add 2 cups of warm water to the yeast mix.
  5. Put a hole into the flour mix and put in the yeast water mix.
  6. Mix thoroughly. Add flour if the dough is too sticky.
  7. Put in a warm place to double in size.
  8. While rising, half the tomatoes and thinly slice the onions. Put tbsp of olive oil and some italian seasoning and salt and combine. Flavor as much as you like. Set in fridge until you are ready to use.
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  10. Place dough in a greased baking dish.
  11. Place the tomato and onion mix on top of the dough. Push those into the dough. Cover with some of the juice from that flavoring mix, but not to make the dough soggy.
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  13. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then turn around and bake an additional 15 min. If the top of the bread is not brown, keep cooking until its brown. But don’t burn it!
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Enjoy!!!