Ask Amy 2-28

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Feb 28, 2014
DEAR AMY: I have a dear friend who announced she was going to start her own catering business. She is a very talented cook and enlisted my help. I had not been to her home prior to this, and when I got there I could not believe my eyes.

There was mud tracked all over the floor; the stove and counters were encrusted with various types of spills; the cabinets and walls had drips and smears all over them. She has cats, and I even saw one trying to eat out of a pot on the stove! But by far the most horrific thing I witnessed was this ratty sponge she had. Not only did she wash dishes with it, but she would halfheartedly clean the counters with it, and once she wiped up a spill off the floor with it. Then back in the sink it went.

Whenever I gingerly addressed the cleanliness issue, I was met with a shrug.

Don't get me wrong, I am not antibacterial-crazed, but this experience crossed the line. As she is doing this out of her house and not fully established yet, calling the health inspector is not possible.-- So Incredibly Grossed Out (2004)

DEAR GROSSED: Pets probably aren't even the primary problem here. As you note, the sponge your friend uses is its own weapon of mass destruction.

I found a very helpful website sponsored by the Partnership for Food Safety Education (fightbacdotorg). You can download fact sheets about safe food handling in the home to share with her. Perusing the site, I learned, for instance, that we should be washing our hands with soap for a full 20 seconds before and after handling food. Twenty seconds is a long time. The site also has tips on safe food handling techniques and recommendations for how to clean, cook and store food.

Obviously, if she produces food for the public out of this unsafe environment, that is an extremely serious issue. Food-borne illnesses sicken thousands of people a year and can lead to other chronic illnesses. You don't make it clear whether your friend has actually started her catering business, but if she has -- even informally -- I think you should contact the health department to see what they recommend.

DEAR AMY: I am 23 and living with my dad in my grandmother's house.

My father treats me with respect and like the adult I am. Most of all, he respects my privacy.

Grandma is another story. I pay my rent on time, plus whatever else I may owe, but she gives me grief about my finances -- and lots of other things.

Mainly, she seems to hate the fact that I have pen pals. I enjoy writing letters, and I have pen pals scattered across the U.S. and Canada. I've been writing to most of them for more than five years.

My grandma thinks this is the stupidest thing she has ever heard of.

Four years ago I got a P.O. box because she was complaining about how much mail was coming into the house. Yesterday I came home, and she was reading one of my letters, retrieved from my bedroom. How can I deal with this? I'm unemployed at the moment and living off savings, but I am looking for a job to try and move out.-- Kylie (2005)

DEAR KYLIE: I priced some security options for you and your mail. One product I saw is a small safe that has a locking mechanism that even a determined grandmother might find impossible to crack. It is made by a well-known manufacturer and costs less than $30.

After you tell your grandmother that you don't appreciate her ongoing invasion of your privacy, you should get yourself a reasonably priced safe to store your documents. Let this episode be another very good reason for you to get a job and move out.

Oh, and tell your grandmother she can come in and read my mail, any day. I've got plenty to go around.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Feb 28, 2014
1 As long as the sponge is soapy, this is fine, but the cat thing is bad.

2 As I see it, you dont live with your dad in your grandmothers house, you rent a room from your grandmother, which makes you a tenant. But yeah, move out, and why is your dad still there?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 Feb 28, 2014
1. Once you start cooking for the public , In Illinois you must use a kitchen which is inspected by the Health Department. They can shut you down.

2. Why are you still there?
pellen

Deerfield, IL

#4 Feb 28, 2014
1. Once you start cooking for the public , In Illinois you must use a kitchen which is inspected by the Health Department. They can shut you down.

2. Why are you still there?
Cass

Claremont, CA

#5 Feb 28, 2014
PEllen wrote:
1. Once you start cooking for the public , In Illinois you must use a kitchen which is inspected by the Health Department. They can shut you down.
2. Why are you still there?
You took the words out of my mouth...uh.. fingers.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#6 Feb 28, 2014
PEllen wrote:
2. Why are you still there?
Because she has no job maybe? Good luck getting a landlord to rent you a place when you tell him you're not working and have no source of income

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#7 Feb 28, 2014
LW1: I would advise her of the legal consequences and costs associated with getting a bunch of folks sick. Especially if she running her business as a sole-proprietor, she could be on the hook personally for any damages.

LW2: Instead of writing letters to pen pals, work on getting employed and move out.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#8 Feb 28, 2014
LW1: What Sub said. That non chalant attitude is going to end with her in a heap of trouble.

LW2: I would try and lock the whole room (which I could see grandma objecting to since it's her house) and failing that, I'd put a lock on the closet. Maybe buy a new doorknow with a keyed lock.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#9 Feb 28, 2014
The letter was written in 2005. We had email in those olden days, even for servicemen except for prisoners. Good that she may be corresponding with prisoners but if she is getting a lot of letters with return addresses from penitentiaries maybe Grandma is/was right to be worried..

OTOH maybe those are her father's old buddies

Dog- she is paying her Grandmother rent so she has some income

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#10 Feb 28, 2014
PEllen wrote:
The letter was written in 2005. We had email in those olden days, even for servicemen except for prisoners. Good that she may be corresponding with prisoners but if she is getting a lot of letters with return addresses from penitentiaries maybe Grandma is/was right to be worried..
OTOH maybe those are her father's old buddies
Dog- she is paying her Grandmother rent so she has some income
There is NOTHING in the letter about her correspondence being with prisoners. Just that she has pen pals.
(I don't know what they're like in your state, but in OR prisoners do NOT have any sort of internet access, only mail, and it's all read by guards/staff before being given to prisoners.)
She says she's unemployed, but living off savings. She's not likely to find a rental without employment unless those savings are substantial.
She needs a good locking box or one on her room or closet.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#11 Feb 28, 2014
PEllen wrote:
Dog- she is paying her Grandmother rent so she has some income
She's paying her grandmother with her "savings," not income.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#12 Feb 28, 2014
NWmoon wrote:
She says she's unemployed, but living off savings. She's not likely to find a rental without employment unless those savings are substantial.
She needs a good locking box or one on her room or closet.
Fancy that, Moon and I agree on something
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#13 Feb 28, 2014
1: Augh! I hate disgusting beasts. Be a nasty person but not if you want to cook for others. Her shrugging it off is obnoxiously disrespectful.

2: Granny is rude, but get a job. How long have you been unemployed? Shift letter-writing focus to job-hunting.
Where is mom?
Why is dad living with mom?
I want more on family dynamics to see a pattern to better give advice.

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