Human beings are incredible. But incredible in that way that the Chinese proverb “may you live in interesting times” is not necessarily a good thing. Humans can be amazing to one another, and they can be amazingly awful. I believe each and every one of us has experienced abuse of one form or another. While some pick themselves up and dust themselves off determined to not allow it to define them, others wrap their trauma around themselves and own it as an identity. Neither is necessarily correct, but one will certainly allow you to live a more fulfilled life that the other.
I don’t think I realized I was in an emotionally abusive relationship (because that shit only happens in the movies, right?) until I was so far down the well of degradation, I was looking out at the sun of the rest of the world from a very, very, deep hole. It’s hard to pull yourself out of that shit. Because you don’t know who you are anymore, and your abuser has done such a fantastic job of convincing you that you’re worthless, you feel you deserve the constant correction, taunting, public embarrassment and unwanted physical advances (“You should be happy somebody actually wants to sleep with you.”), as direct result of your terminal stupidity.
My friend Amanda did a thing a few days ago. A really fucking brave thing. She spoke about her experience with an abusive partner and laid herself bare for the world to see and hear. Patrisha McLean is an award-winning photojournalist and the founder/president of Finding Our Voices, the survivor-powered and grassroots nonprofit organization breaking the silence of domestic abuse and interviewed Amanda and another victim of the same abuser’s serial abuse. I am so fucking proud of Amanda for doing what she did, and am honored to call her a friend. I hope you give it a listen by clicking here and know that if you are in an abusive situation there is help out there for you. Know that you don’t deserve it. No one has the right to lay hands on you, or psychologically manipulate you. And just because you are in a relationship, the other person never has rights to your body.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233
This is a recipe for the worst zucchini relish ever. I entered it in the state fair last year, and of the 3 zucchini relish entries, I did not place. Not even 3rd. It was that bad. The only nice thing that could be said was “beautiful jar” – the thing I had no actual hand in making. I find this hilarious.
My husband on the other hand loves this stuff. He puts it on pizza, hot dogs, sandwiches, etc. We sent a jar to my father in law, and I believe it was gone within a week. So, who really cares what the fair folks say, eh? (Though I totally entered a jar this year…just to see.)
Grate 10 cups of zucchini into a bowl. Chop 3 -4 bell peppers (red makes for the nicest presentation later) finely, as well as 2 1/2 cups onion. Mix with 5 TB salt and allow to sit in the fridge overnight.
The next day, rinse and drain the goods that sat overnight. Add to a pot.
Add 3 cups sugar, 3 cups vinegar, 1 TB dried dill, 1 tsp coarse ground pepper, 1 tsp celery seed, and bring to a boil
Boil for 30 minutes – start the water in your canner.
Pack hot sterilized jars with relish, add sprigs of dill along the side to pretty it up.
Water bath for 10 minutes, and viola! The worst zucchini relish ever.
I don’t usually like relish myself (I’m a picky pickle or pickled eater) but think this is pretty good stuff. Give it a try. I bet you’ll agree. And if you want to come judge the category at the fair, let me know!
I wanted to make some pumpkin cupcakes for an event my little store had last weekend. But somehow I was out of pumpkin – the horror!! As I was totally fixated on the idea of these cupcakes, I decided to modify the recipe a bit and came up with applesauce cupcakes instead. And they were pretty mind blowing.
Cream 4 eggs and 1 & 2/3 cup sugar in a mixing bowl
Add 1 1/2 cups chunky applesauce (I used the stuff I canned from local apples last year – I know. I hate myself for being such a hipster too) and 1/2 cup oil and mix
Add 2 cups flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp baking soda and stir
Add to lined baking tin and bake for 12-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
Beat 3 ounces of cream cheese, 1/2 cup soft butter, 1 tsp vanilla and 2 cups confectioner’s sugar until smooth. I prefer to mix until whipped and fluffy
Add to ziplock bag, seal, clip corner and pipe like a professional
Eat remaining frosting directly from the piping bag
They turned out super moist and delicious. I almost like them better than the pumpkin muffins! Almost…
I played the stand up bass for many a year back in my school days. I’m sure I complained about it (I’m really good at complaining) and my mom says I wanted to quit the orchestra every year but she would make me wait until the end of the year. Well, the year ended, then another began, and eventually I was first chair in my section and it was pretty awesome. I didn’t practice a lot but somehow managed to make it into some pretty great orchestras and competitions (I’m also very modest). After school I left for college, then moved across the country, but had always been sort of looking for a bass to play again. Thanks to an awesome friend and neighbor who routinely scours Craigslist for instruments, I came across my new love: Ethel.
I bought her from a woman who plays the violin in a local amateur orchestra and she encouraged me to audition. A few weeks ago I finally sent the message inquiring about further info and got a call yesterday giving me all of perhaps 2 weeks to prepare. So instead of freaking out that I’m not ready (see the no practice thing above) I bought more music and took some fun pictures instead.
The piece the director alluded to wanting to hear is in the mail, and I have a feeling I played it once upon a time, many moons ago…so we’ll see if I’m brave enough to try the audition on a week’s worth of work. The funny thing about all of it is that bass lines in almost all orchestral selections are super duper easy and involve a steady beat and ability to count more than any sort of fancy finger work. Solo level to audition: 8; Level to play in a community orchestra: 4.
I hope I do well and don’t fart or swear or drop my music (all of which have happened in the past) and am actually looking forward to shopping for concert garb. But I’m definitely not putting the cart before the horse here as there’s a lot of work to do in a short period of time…Wish me luck!