Why I ended My Child Support Order

It was April of 2018 when I made the call to the Child Support Office. I spoke with a case worker and I asked how to close an open case. She then asked me to verify all of my information and to confirm that I was indeed the custodial parent. After reviewing my case she said to me, “you want to close your case? You do know that there’s still a large balance?” I told her yes and reassured her that I was aware of the balance and that I still wanted it closed. She then told me that she never had anyone call in to cancel a case with a balance like mine. She again reiterated how shocked she was. I completed what I needed to, but it would be several months before it was finalized.

Child support, such a touchy topic. I’ve seen people file for child support as a way to “get back” at the other parent. I’ve seen individuals use it for everything other than the child. It actually took years to file. There were a couple of reasons why. When I got pregnant with my daughter, I knew her father wasn’t ready for a baby but I wanted her. So the guilty piece of me felt like I shouldn’t ask, like I didn’t deserve it because of my selfishness.

After divorcing my then husband and becoming a single parent, I decided to file. It took years before I started receiving consistent payments. I didn’t question it because quite honestly, I was grateful for anything. Those payments took care of school clothes, basketball and her sneaker fetish. It also bought her first car at 16. It paid for braces. I used it for what it was intended for.

My daughter turned 18 in October of 2017 but the payments continued because of back pay. I in no felt like I was owed anything. I was still giving my daughter money. Paying for gas, outings with friends, whatever she needed.

There comes a point in your life when you just feel things in your gut. I knew it was time to end my order. The back payments on my current order were preventing my daughter’s father from things he needed and wanted to do. There was also no longer a need. A healthy relationship with his daughter was and will always more valuable than a monthly payment. That, can’t be bought.

I ended my child support order because I wanted to.

Until next time…💛

Advertisements

Tasty Thursday #11

Some people dream about new cars or winning the lottery, and some of us dream about food. Saturday night/morning about 3 AM I woke up from a dream, and in that dream I made a breakfast casserole aka frittata.

In my dream I was making breakfast for my family, which I usually do on the weekends. I’m not a huge fan of breakfast food though, I’d much rather have leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes. If I’m eating breakfast, I’m definitely eating savory.

I have a very particular household. Sunday morning everyone woke up wanting something different, and lucky for them, the cooking spirit was upon me. I made 4 different meals.

My girlfriend fried up some bacon and sausage and I made everything else.

Breakfast 1: Papa’s toast which I made in a previous Tasty Thursday. Here’s the link https://talkingallthatjaz.net/2018/08/30/tasty-thursday-6/ It’s a weird, yet delicious combination of american cheese toast, topped with boil egg, crumbled bacon, and sweet pickles. Yeah yeah yeah I know how it sounds, just try it.

Breakfast 2: Grilled cheese with french bread and Swiss cheese with boiled eggs on the side.

Breakfast 3: Nutella stuffed pancakes with strawberries and scrambled eggs.

Breakfast 4: The pièce de résistance, the breakfast casserole or frittata that came to me in my dream. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

6 large cage free eggs

1/4 cup of half and half

1 cup of shredded cheddar and Colby blend cheese

1 tsp of dry minced onion

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

4 frozen hash brown squares

Directions

• Preheat oven to required cooking directions for frozen hash brown squares. Mine was 425 degrees. I cooked the hash browns for 10 minutes, half the suggested time which was 20 minutes since they’d cook further during the baking process. Once done, turn oven temp to 350 degrees, then break hash browns up into pieces and place in the bottom of a 9 inch glass dish (which is what I used) or a cast iron skillet. I sprayed my glass dish with Pam cooking spray.

• While the temperature of the oven is going down, crack 6 large eggs into a bowl, add half in half and whisk until blended

• Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir

• Pour into prepared pan with hash browns and bake in the stove uncovered at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour. I baked until a knife inserted came out clean and it was firm.

Remove from stove, let cool slightly, cut and enjoy! I topped mine with delicious sirracha! Simple, affordable, and delicious! Makes a great brunch dish.

Until next time…💛

Can I vent?

Can I vent? As a mother of 4 black teenagers, 3 boys and 1 girl, I’m afraid. I’m afraid that when they walk out the door, they may not return! I pray for them every night and every morning before they go to school because they aren’t safe there either! I make sure to have “the talk” before they leave with friends. What talk you ask? The talk about what to do and not do if approached by a police officer because whether they comply or not, they could be killed. I’m sick and tired of having to have that talk! Our children are being hunted and slaughtered like animals by those who were sworn to protect them! Stay vigilant folks!

Signed,

A Scared Black Mama

Health is Wealth

I think everyone has heard the term Health is Wealth. Have you thought about what that actually means? Or maybe I should ask, what does it mean to you. To me it means that being healthy is priceless.

As one ages, the issues of health and healthy habits become more of a priority. The things that you used to do in your 20’s differ in your 30’s, and the things you used to do in your 30’s change in your 40’s. I can remember in my 20’s being able to eat whatever I wanted without thinking twice. Now, I have to think long and hard before a spicy meal because…acid reflux.

Growing up, sickness and disease is something you associated with old folk. Diabetes or “dia-beat-us” as my granny used to call it was not something I thought about until my diagnosis in 2012. That was the year my view of health began to change.

Then there’s the issue of things that impact our health. Things we can control, and things we can’t. Environment, medications, food, stress, and genetics. Let’s Talk about meditation for a moment…whew. If you watch television then you know the number of commercials advertising “new” medications to manage “this problem” and “that problem “. When considering medications do you research? How many of you read the leaflets that come with medication? Or do you just throw them away? Or are you more of a take the holistic approach? Some of these medications today are like poison!

Commercials today sound something like this…

“Are you having a hard time managing your blood sugars with just ______? Now you can take _____ just once a week to get your A1C under 7.” Warning: this medication may cause heart failure, liver damage, kidney failure, night sweats, suicidal thoughts, uncontrollable flatulence, and chronic diarrhea. Ummm no thanks!

Food and diet. The saying is definitely true, you are what you eat. There is so much garbage put into the things we eat that nothing is safe! Hell, you can’t even eat lettuce these days without the possibility of dying or becoming violently ill. Lettuce and spinach out here killing folks like the plague! Vegetables and fruits sprayed with pesticides that kill bugs, yet humans consume them…apples so shiny they look like they’ve been rubbed with Vaseline. Then there’s organic, which I try to buy whenever I shop, but hell how do we even know it’s really organic? Bottom line, everything in moderation. Reduce salt and omit unnecessary sugar when possible. Fact is, we need to eat to survive. Learn how to read labels. Understand the different fats. Sugars, sugar substitutes. When I was diagnosed as Type 2 in 2012, I immediately became a label whore 🤷🏽‍♀️.

Genetics also play a huge role in our health. The more you know, the better chance you have at being proactive instead of reactive. I know and knew that predisposed to diabetes, but it got it me! Fact is, I could have done a better job at prevention, but I didn’t. Now I’m in the managing stage. I also know that there is a risk for high blood pressure and Alzheimers. With theses things I can do my part, which will aid in prevention. Always remember, proactive is better than reactive.

As a black woman, I know that we as black people have a tendency to avoid the doctor, especially black men! Reoccurring heartburn doesn’t always mean taking “soda” aka baking soda. Sometimes it’s a warning of something more serious, like heart issues. BC powder is not a cure all, and neither is castor oil. As times change, so must we.

The more you know. A few helpful tips.

• It is recommended that women start getting Pap Smears at the age of 21 every 2-3 years until the age of 65. This is standard practice unless there are health issues or concerns. They may be recommended at an earlier age and more frequently for women who are sexually active.

• A healthy individual should see the dentist every 6 months. Oral health is super important!

• Men: Prostate exams should begin at age 50 unless there is a risk factor involved. I read that age 40 is recommended for African American men, who have a higher risk factor of prostate cancer.

• First mammogram for women should happen around age 40 if there are no risk factors including a first-degree relative meaning mom, dad sister etc…They should be done annually. Early detection is key in diagnosis!

• It is recommended that individuals get their first colonoscopy at age 50 or sooner if there is a first-degree relative meaning mom, sister etc…who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer before age 60.

These are just a few facts gathered from the internet and personal experience. Pay attention to your body. If it doesn’t feel right, look right, or smell right, get it checked out. Ask questions! Don’t go into the doctors office afraid to speak up! Yes, it can be embarrassing, but remember, the doctor can’t treat what you don’t tell them about. And be persistent if they don’t do what you ask. In that moment, they work for you. If you aren’t satisfied, request a new doctor or a second opinion. If you can’t afford health insurance, check out state offered assistance where you live. You only get one body. Take care of it, and it will take care of you.

Until next time…💛

Top 5 Fall Favorites of 2018

1. Ginger loaf from Starbucks. This is one of their seasonal offerings every Fall and holiday season! It’s moist, delicious, and taste just like grandma made it!

2. Cozy Sweaters & Boots. I am obsessed with cute cozy sweaters and who can resist a comfortable pair of boots or booties? I know I can’t! Although the current 80 plus degree weather here in the Bay Area won’t allow me to be great! So they will have to wait. Recent purchases below. Ginger loaf from Starbucks.

(Forever 21)

(H&M)

3. My Dutch Oven! Soups & Stews scream fall to me! I love all kinds of soup but my favorite is loaded potato soup. Creamy potato soup topped with cheese, bacon, sour cream, and chives 😋. Below you’ll find the link to my favorite recipe and a pic of the Dutch oven I use.

https://lifemadesimplebakes.com/2017/10/loaded-potato-soup/

4. Fireplace my favorite place to be on a cold night. Cuddled up in front the fireplace, fire burning, playing trouble with the kids…but again, I’m still waiting on Fall because Mother Nature didn’t get the memo.

5. Warm Soft Pajamas. My current obsession, Walmart gowns. Yes y’all, Walmart, and they come with matching socks. They have a new line of sleepwear that is soft, warm, and economical. Disclaimer: if you experience night sweats, this isn’t the gown for you. Picture below.

What are some of your Fall Favorites? Share them in the comments.

Until next time…💛

Forgiveness

How could I possibly forgive if I’m still angry?

I was mad at my ex husband. Mad at my daughter’s father. Most important, I was mad at myself! I was mad at what I allowed. I was mad about the things I didn’t say. About the things I didn’t do. I wasn’t in the space to forgive. Holding on to anger and not forgiving in my mind kept me in control (such an illusion).

I used to say, “I don’t have to forgive, I ain’t Jesus”. How silly. Holding onto resentment festers in your spiritual and physical body like a disease. When we don’t forgive the person that has wronged us, our actions are fueled by hurt which prevents us from healing. In order to forgive and heal we have to release the hurt.

And newsflash, you may have to forgive without the apology you thought you deserved.

My most powerful act of forgiveness was forgiving myself. So often when we think forgiveness, we think external. We don’t think about all of the things we hold ourselves hostage to. I had come to terms with several things.

Making my children victims of divorce

Not completing college

Not returning to church

And that was my short list.

Forgiving doesn’t mean you’re weak.

I used to hear people say that forgiveness isn’t for the other person, it’s for you. Truth be told, I didn’t understand what that meant until I realized that it frees YOU!

Yesterday I had a very “interesting” encounter with my daughter’s father. The pre-forgiveness Jazmine would have responded with a much harsher tongue. My response would have been laced with anger. Forgiveness allowed me to respond from a place of peace and contentment and see things from a different perspective.

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive peace untold peace and happiness. “ ~ Robert Muller

Until next time…💛

Tasty Thursday #10

On the menu tonight….shredded teriyaki chicken over jasmine rice. Tonight’s recipe is simple, easy, and delicious.

Weapon of choice…

If I had to rate this device on a scale of 1 to 10, slow cooker feature only, I’d give it a 3 and that’s being generous. I have my old tried and true that slow cooks everything to tender perfection, but this thing, save your coin and but the $19.99 special during the holidays.

Slow cooker tip: soups and stews in the slow cooker is a great way to incorporate vegetables that your kids will eat! Or you can just lie and tell them that if they eat them they’ll gain super powers 🤷🏽‍♀️

What you’ll need for this recipe…

Ingredients

6 large boneless skinless chicken breast

1 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2-3 cloves of fresh garlic (minced)

1/2 tsp of fresh grated ginger

2 bell peppers (I used one red and 1 yellow)

1 tbs sriracha

Minute brand Jasmine Rice (Microwave friendly)

Directions

• Place raw chicken breast in slow cooker

• Combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, bell pepper, and sriracha

• Whisk until combined then pour over chicken

• Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 4 hours

• Once done, shred with 2 forks or tongs and serve over a bed of rice

My only gripe with this device, the chicken wasn’t as tender as I wanted it to be. With my dented tried and true, it would have been perfect, but I know for next time. I’m calling this a semi victory 😆.

Bon appetit 😋

Beating Procrastination

Procrastination – “the action of delaying or postponing something” Also known as a form of avoidance.

At one point in time, my name should have been Jazmine “Procrastination” Williams. I was the queen of procrastination. Test on Tuesday, cram on Monday. 10 page paper due on Friday, stay up until 1AM on Thursday. Project due on 11/2, start on 11/1. You see where I’m going with this.

Procrastination is how I dealt with things I didn’t want to confront. Things like…

👉🏾 Debt

👉🏾 Toxic relationships

👉🏾 Showing up on time

👉🏾 Saying no

👉🏾 Bad Credit

Procrastination makes a small problem a big problem.

Beating procrastination takes self discipline and commitment. It also takes focus.

Things I did/do to beat it:

✔️ Checklist

✔️ Calendar reminders

✔️ Changing my thoughts (mind over matter. The mind is a powerful tool that controls your level of procrastination)

✔️ Confronting problems (Huge for me) Ignoring them won’t make them go away

✔️ Accountability partners (sometimes you need help, and that’s okay)

I still deal with procrastination and I believe everyone does on some level, but using the tips I provided will help to change the behavior.

How do you beat procrastination? Share some tips in the comments. Let’s beat it together!

“The best way to get something done is to begin.” ~ Unknown

Until next time…💛