Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My no choice

There are times when we find ourselves in situations that we think "I have no choice."  When we think this we feel powerless, frustrated, angry, etc and we often take out our anger or frustration on the service person who may be sincerely trying to help.  This post is about a NO-CHOICE example I have in my life.  This post is the same if you replace car with computer or doctor's office or legal battles or any number of other types of frustrating expensive issues we face.

My no-choice moments come when I'm at the mechanic's garage.  He tells me there is something wrong and it's going to be $800.  I feel beaten, angry, bitter.  I have no choice but to pay this and get my car back.  I don't know enough about cars to have him show me.  So, I have to believe him and pay the amount he asks.  Let's stop and think about this.  When placed in a situation where you don't know enough about the subject matter to feel like you can know for sure if the diagnosis is correct, we feel like we have no choice.  But, again, we DO.  It's hard to see your options when you've just been blinded by an $800 bill, but they are still there.  Let's think.  Let's set aside the panic and anger and confusion.  Let's set aside past times when jerks have ripped us off.  Let's actually think.

Often this situation is two-fold.  First, I don't know if the car needs this repair.  Options for this part include:  1. Get a second opinion (even if it may need to be towed), 2. Wait on the repair.  Take it home and think about it,  3. Call someone, anyone, and explain what's going on and ask for their advice, 4. Call someone I know that does know even a little about cars, 5. Go back to school and learn more about cars, 6. Pay it and be grateful that someone is there to do the job, 7. Pay it and be a bitch about it.

Second, I don't know if the price is fair, and I don't have that kind of money.  Options for this financial bind include: 1. Sell something I own, 2. Mow 10 neighbors' yards, 3. Use credit and create a plan to pay it off soon, 4. Offer my skills to friends / advertise a skill on craigslist, 5. Rob a bank, 6. Use my child's college fund, 7. wreck the car and collect insurance instead, 8. Pay it and plan to eat out less for a few months.

Your options will vary, of course, but the point is, there are options.  The fact that you would automatically cross off the illegal and unethical options shows what a good person you are!  Some people resort to those....  do not forget, those are actually real options!

Ok, true, this situation still sucks.  But the truth of the matter is, we have choices.  Personally, when I am able to draw up this list and realize that I have the power to choose my path, I feel better.  This mechanic may be great, or he may be full of it, but it is still up to me to make a choice.  More than likely I will choose more than one of these options depending on the urgency and reliability of the person I'm dealing with.  I have power.  I have options.  I am choosing the best option for me at this time.  So, yes, this sucks, but it's not the mechanic's fault and I will own my choice and take action without bitterness.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Waffles of Love

I am a fan of the thinner waffle.  I like the texture and the bit of crunch.  Huge fat waffles are fun, but thin ones are my favorites.  I went in search for a waffle maker that would make thin style waffles and found one by Babycakes that makes 4 heart shaped waffles!

My friend Janell and I got together to prepare mixes for cooking and one of the mixes we put into jars was a waffle mix.  The instructions for the mix are:
Mix together:  4 cups whole wheat flour, 2 tbsp baking powder, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt.  When you're ready to make waffles, just combine equal parts mix and milk.  Pour onto the waffle maker and breakfast!
I made two dry batches of this and stored it in several quart jars.  The first time I made it, the batter would not cook.  It was gooey and a bit rubbery.  Also, the texture had no crisp at all even if I cooked it forever.

What gives baking a crisp texture?  Egg.  So, I decided to experiment.  I'll spare you the details, but in the end, here is what worked:
Mix together:
1/2 + 1/8 cup dry mix from above (I scooped two heaping 1/4 c scoops of mix)
1 egg white
enough milk to make the batter waffle consistency
blueberries (although they will probably make your waffles look messy, I like them cooked in the waffle)
This will give you one cup of batter.  My waffle maker needs 1/4 c of batter per waffle, so this is a perfect full iron batch.  Because egg and blueberries like to make the batter stick, be sure to give your waffle iron a spritz of oil.  I cooked mine for 10 whole minutes!  I hear most waffle makers are faster than that.  I didn't mind the wait because they were perfect this time!!!  :-)