Hogwash Volume 6

September 2012
Welcome to Hogwash!


Welcome to the latest issue of Hogwash!

If you have a minute to email us, we'd love to hear from you with your feedback on what you'd like to see in Hogwash.

Back to School
Where Do the Kids Go?

Ah, isn't it nice to have the kids back in school? The structure that school provides is viewed by most families quite fondly. But, for families that have been restructured by divorce, or in which the parents were never married, this school year or next may give rise to important, life-altering decisions. Which school should my child attend? Public or private? Religious school? If so, which one? What if I and my co-parent cannot agree?

In rare cases where one parent has sole legal custody, that parent can make such decisions by herself. But, in those cases in which the parents have joint legal custody (which is the right to be involved in all major decisions affecting the life of the child, including school placement, religious instruction, etc.), if the parents cannot agree, ultimately some third-party involvement may be necessary.

Ways to Resolve the Issue

One choice is mediation. In mediation, the parents meet with a neutral mediator, who would help the parents form and consider alternatives, and who fosters full and open communication between the parents, to help the parents reach their own resolution.

If that process is unsuccessful, turning to the court may be the only option. A court will decide which school is in the "best interests"of the child, in accordance with the factors listed in Michigan statute MCL 722.27. The courts are reluctant to make such a decision, and are not well-equipped to do so. The court is not the best place for reaching such a decision.

What The Court May Consider

In such cases, the court can receive evidence regarding the child's anticipated "fit" in the new proposed school(s), teacher-student ratio, test averages, etc., and ultimately issue a decision. Using the court process will not be quick, or easy. However, it may be necessary, and it can provide a resolution to what are often hotly contested questions.

The selection of a learning environment for a child is undeniably one of the most important decisions you will face. It is the parents' joint responsibility, but once it is resolved, the parents can then get to say: "Back to school!"

The Autumnal Equinox
It don't get NO RESPECT

Every year we get one, an Autumnal Equinox – this year occurring 10:49 A.M EDT on Saturday, September 22. The Equinox traditionally marks the beginning of autumn or "fall," if you must. Equinox, derived from the Latin means equal night – the nighttime hours are equal to the daytime hours.

The autumnal and vernal (spring) equinoxes are the only days of the year in which the sun crosses the celestial equator (an astronomical term, according to Wikipedia). The celestial equator is an imaginary great circle on the imaginary celestial sphere, in the same plane as Earth's equator. In other words, it is a projection of the terrestrial equator out into space. As a result of the Earth's axial tilt, the celestial equator is inclined by 23.4ø with respect to the ecliptic plane. (If you don't understand this, look it up, or ask a child to do so.)

From the Autumnal Equinox on, average temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights. Unlike its cousin the Vernal Equinox, which occurred on March 20, 2012 at 1:14 A.M. EDT and which marks the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, a celebration that lasts 13 days and is rooted in the 3,000 year old tradition of Zorastrianism, the Autumnal Equinox does not call for such celebrations. As a result, there are no May Pole dances, no celebrations at the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico, or at Stonehenge by Druid wanabees. But perhaps there should be!

Perhaps the enthusiasm surrounding the Vernal Equinox is an off shoot of the celebration of the death of Julius Caesar. You may recall that Shakespeare advised to "Beware the ides of March," (March 15), which was Caesar's death date. I suppose the death of a tyrant – if that is what he was – warrants a celebration.

But I think not. More likely, the Vernal Equinox, with its promise of spring and the time for planting, and yes, reproducing, was reason for jubilation. That feeling is not equaled this time of year, except, maybe, by the fact that the baseball season is in the homestretch and football season – with the accompanying tradition of tailgate parties – is just warming up. And who can ignore the joys of the remaining harvest. "Of autumn's wine, now drink your fill; the frost's on the pumpkin, and snow's on the hill." The Old Farmer's Almanac, 1993. "Autumn days come quickly, like the running of a hound on the moor." Irish proverb.

Locally, we can all experience the fleeting beauty of the changing leaves, the vibrant colors of red, yellow, and orange, and the realization that we are on the downward slide to the joys of winter and the anticipated departure of snow birds, increasing the potential of far shorter waits for a table at our favorite restaurants.

So, let us give some RESPECT to the Autumnal Equinox, and for you who do not plan to sleep in Saturday morning and have a window close at hand, join me at 10:49 A.M in welcoming the equinox in, for all that it will bring to us.

Here is to "looking out the window," — Philip R. Rosi

Million Minute Family Challenge

Looking for ways to get your family and friends interacting with each other instead of focusing on solitary pursuits like mobile phones, computers and TV screens?

You may want to join the Million Minute Family Challenge, which runs from September through the end of the year.

The Million Minute Family Challenge is sponsored by Patch Products, a game maker, but there is no cost to enter and no requirement to purchase Patch products to participate. It's a friendly, low-key challenge to families and other groups of game players throughout the United States and Canada to spend time during the fall and early winter months playing games and interacting with each other. Those who choose to compete are encouraged to log their minutes at the Million Minute Family Challenge website, millionminute.com.

According to the Million Minute website, this year over 300 Girl Scout troops have signed up. In 2011 the site had over 800 families, scout troops, church organizations and other groups of game lovers signed up to play.

Patch Products began the Million Minute Family Challenge 12 years ago to encourage more face-to-face interaction among families and friends through game time. Last year participants charted 1,232,187.

Thinking of joining? You may want to check out the Million Minute website for regular game suggestions, ideas on coordinating activities and even to find recipes to serve on game night.

We'd love to hear from any Rosi and Gardner Hogwash! readers who participate. If you decide to join the Million Minute Family Challenge send us an email and tell us about your experience and how many minutes you log.

Issue: 6
In This Issue
Back to School
The Autumnal Equinox
Million Minute Family Challenge
Just Joking? Not Really
Karen's At Home Cookin'

Just Joking?

Not Really

We've all heard the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction? Well in the judicial arena that's certainly true. What's also true is that sometimes what goes on in the court room is funnier than any lawyer joke we could think up.

Here's one from actual court records…

Lawyer: All right. What did the individual do as far as taking property from the store without permission at that time?

Witness: It was right after that time when he said, "Check this out", and he pulled out his gun.

Lawyer: And when he pulled out the gun, then what happened?

Witness: I turned to (the other clerk) Dave and I go, "Dave, he's not going to be paying for this stuff".

Obviously the gun was a clue.

Karen's At Home Cookin'
Chicken Chili

Going to a fall gathering? Tailgate? Try this. The best part is you can get so many of the ingredients from our local farmers:

Snow's Coming White Chili


16 oz. Organic Chicken Broth* (available at Oryana)

Red & green pepper, chopped

Large sweet onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic

2 carrots, sliced thin

1 big jar of white beans

1-2 cups leftover grilled chicken (I use breasts), chopped

½ cup pepperoni slices (Folgarelli's has the best)


Spices:chipotle powder, tarragon, black pepper and coriander* (1/2 tsp. or so of each. I use extra tarragon.)

1. Sauté sweet onion, garlic & peppers in olive oil. Add the chicken & pepperoni, liberally sprinkle w/the spices, turn the heat up, add a little more olive oil, sauté quickly 'til slightly blackened – get 'er smokin'!

2. Add chicken broth, shredded cooked chicken, some fresh squeezed lime juice, white beans to your pot (crock pot).

3. In the same pan used to sautéed vegetables (do not wipe), add 1 c. water & sliced carrots – if you like your chili hot, add sliced hot peppers at this step. Cook 'til carrots are slightly softened, add the liquid & carrots to the soup – this is what I call a "flavor step" that totally enriches the flavor of the chili.

Plating: Serve in big mugs w/a dollop of sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), fresh cilantro & lime for presentation!

*Using organic or homemade chicken broth and these particular spices are crucial for the flavor of this soup. But, as I always say, adjust any recipe to your own tastes, pocketbook, or what's available in your kitchen. If you want it spicier, add a jalapeno or two and some cayenne. If you want it sweeter, add a nice yellow pepper and less chipotle.

Side Dishes

I like chili with plain ol' cheese sandwiches. Slice a baguette or French loaf lengthwise, add your favorite cheeses, wrap in foil & grill (or bake in oven for 10 min. at 325°), then slice into individual pieces.

Add some tortilla chips & salsa, fresh veggie sticks, chunks of extra sharp cheese and apples. Baked squash is a fantastic addition to the meal. Zucchini bread w/orange marmalade, bread & butter pickles, corn bread w/fresh dill and honey . . . be creative and enjoy! Dessert? Apple pie & Moomer's ice cream of course!!

And of course for the Vegetarians – this is superb without the meat and chicken broth- Use a good organic vegetable broth and put in extra veggies and beans.

Good Customer Reward Program

To our faithful readers and friends;

We appreciate you and would like to reward you for your loyal readership and for choosing Rosi and Gardner to help with your legal needs.

When you call our office by October 15, 2012 to make an appointment just mention this special offer you saw in Hogwash! You'll receive a one half hour consultation on any legal matter for just $50. That's a 50 percent saving over the usual $100 value.

Be sure to mention this voucher when you make your appointment to be able to get the special rate.

Offer Expires: October 15th 2012
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Rosi & Gardner, P.C.
735 S. Garfield Avenue
Suite 202
Traverse City, Michigan 49686

Philip R. Rosi

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Gary Allen Gardner
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