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Fathers Who Harm

Father's Day has become a more highlighted day of celebration than when I was a child. My father was born in 1927 and lived a pretty long life: he died in 2013, a few months into his 86th year. He was not a bad father. He did struggle with alcohol addiction and was imperfect in other ways, but he was basically loving and kind. He was a workaholic, so we did not have access to him for emotional affirmation, but he told me in his old age that he always loved everything about us kids and felt sad that he had not been a better parent, and he was sorry he was most of all that he had not spent more time with us.  Other men in my family– my grandfathers, my husband, son, uncles, brother– have all shown themselves to be good guys and have adult children whom they love(d) and who love them back.  But I think to myself, having been a social worker to women and children who fled lives with men who put them and their children through Hell, that there are probably a fair number of children, te

Summer Cooking: The New Solar Oven

Here is my latest "cooking gadget"-- An American Sun Oven -- solar oven.  It is some swanky item and it has been on my mind for a long time. So I ordered it. And then my husband and I were ill with a virus for about a month during which there were many beautiful sunny days, but we didn't have the energy. Hahah... energy.  The one thing that the solar oven brings to mind is energy-- from the sun!  Solar energy. Yesterday I opened the box and took it and all its accouterments out and laid them on the kitchen table.  I re-read the manual and watched the video online. We took it into the backyard and learned how to adjust the leg so that I could follow the sun at the right angle.  I learned how to "focus" the incoming sun as well as position the oven properly.  I learned how to shut the various 'clasps' so that the heat would not further escape. I made up a delicious baked bean dish so we could use the beans this weekend for burritos or perhaps