Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve



On the eve of the holiday of thanksgiving and gratitude I must share what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for all of you.  I'm thankful to those who email and share your stories.  I'm thankful for your comments, your concern, your love, your empathy.  I am thankful you feel brave.  I'm thankful you reach out.    I'm thankful that we are becoming whole.  I'm thankful for those who read silently and know that they are not alone.  I'm thankful for every word you express.

I'm thankful for the breath that, without thought, fills my lungs and allows me to live.

Just a few days ago, I saw and heard something that glued my broken heart.  A woman I know, who is turning 74 today, spread out this seasons harvest of her garden on the table.  There were bottles of canned apricots,  pickles and tomatoes.  There was fresh kale, garlic and radishes.

She held a bottle of her pickles close to her heart and shook as she shared her deepest thanks,

 "The Lord is so kind, but sometimes He expects a lot from us."

There is so much to be thankful for.  He is so kind and He does expect a lot from us.



{I want to share a Scab's family favorite Thanksgiving recipe}

Chunky Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Outrageous Deliciousness

3 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes
1 whole garlic bulb
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
2 Tbsp. horseradish
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp.pepper
Fresh thyme leaves

Chop up your potatoes.  Peal and separate your garlic then boil them in a large saucepan till the potatoes are tender.  About 15-20 minutes.

While your potatoes are boiling, heat up the butter and cream in a small sauce pan.  Be sure not to scald, just keep the mixture melty warm. Don't be afraid of the butter and cream---this is just once a year (or maybe twice).

Next, drain your potatoes and garlic. Add horseradish, salt, pepper and butter mixture; then mash it up!  Mash it till it's chunky or whip it till it's smooth and creamy, these are your potatoes!  Garnish with the fresh thyme, build a mash potato dam or volcano and fill it with your favorite Thanksgiving gravy.  

Enjoy responsibly.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

anniversary of what?

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November 18, 2012

I had all but forgotten about it.  Stricken from my calendar as a date never to remember.  To pass in time without even a nod to it's previous meaning.  Until I opened and read the handmade card wishing a Happy Anniversary.

With that simple phrase I am taken, whisked away like Scrooge on his midnight adventures with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.  Touching down, silent, throughout my life's story.  A mirror to the past. How has this one date come to be filled with so much?

The anniversary of what?

The day I was married, sealed to the man I loved.  Hopeful of the life ahead of us.
The day my husband gave himself to me.  Ironically, he had saved himself till marriage.
The day we discovered the child in my belly was a girl.  Promise of new life.
The day I looked into his hollow eyes and felt the empty coldness in his heart and in my bed.
The day I thought I'd never survive.

The day I had all but forgotten till I read the handmade card wishing a Happy Anniversary.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm inspired by this video to reach out, to lift up and to give.
I hope you are too.

Have a cheerful weekend.

p.s. i like this story about people who can't change their own lightbulbs.  can you relate?

"Guided by a Lightbulb"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

An Absurd Insanity Poem


This absurdly insane ditty was imagined by our anonymous friend, Erica.
Insanity seems to be the painfully warped cousin of Absurdity.  Insanity may mask herself as absurdity or something equally silly and harmless.

I know I've fallen into that trap.  Doubting the truth.  Doubting what my heart tells me.  Feeling like I must be over-dramatic, paranoid, absurd.  It's not that bad, right?

Have you fallen into the trap?
I think Erica's right.  "Insanity's confusing that way, isn't she?"



I think I confused Insanity with Absurdity. I'll admit I had some admiration. 

Mopeds in India piled high with families of 6, airplanes staying in the sky, the cow jumping over the moon. 


I see that I was confused because Insanity's a tricky bitch that way. 

Insanity is actually gentle Indian families with revving mopeds riding on their heads, even the babies' who have no hair yet. 

Insanity is horrific airplane crashes. 

Insanity is the moon jumping over a cow, crushing its moo. 

Insanity is my husband having an affair with an insane woman because he wanted to feel wanted.

Insanity's confusing that way, isn't she?
Absurdity and I are going run her over with some cows flying on mopeds.

- Erica

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More Insanity Challenge

Rope Acrobatics, 1956 [ Claire Levine ]   from Shorpy

There's been the most unexpected result from this Insanity Challenge.  

And, since most of you email instead of sharing via comments, I want to repeat what many of you have figured out.  This might be an Important Discovery, along side boundaries, detaching and limbo.

Giving a face to our Insanity has taken away her mystery, her power and control over you.  It's easier to recognize her grip and stop her before she gets started.  It's easier to derail Insanity and become better friends with Sanity.  We are more available to become our genuine, real selves.

This is what I love best about MM's Insanity.    
What has realizing your Insanity done for you?

She writes from His Problem Is Not The Same As My Problem = HPINTSAMP!!!  That acronym itself is insane but, I had to do it!  Her Insanity seems distinctly like a flipped out, freaked out, larger than life acrobat.  


My insanity strikes anywhere and always out of nowhere. All I have to do is turn my head and “bam!” there she is, with her body so close I can feel her breath send a shiver down my spine. Before I know it I find her fingers clutched tightly around my arm, pulling me along as she speeds this way and that. She is constantly on the go. Nonstop moving. Nonstop talking. Nonstop darting. Her arms flail about her as she talks and as I try to follow her movements, my head jerks this way and that way and up and down until I don’t know which way is which anymore. She wears dreads that bounce and flail as she moves. She wears bright, multi colors and her thick clothing is loose and long. When she spins, it spins. When she bounces, it bounces with a life of its own. Each movement is disorienting. She wears a long, thick, and colorful scarf that wraps around her face and flails along behind her, bouncing around like everything else. She is like a fluid – like a snake. Her words are venom. I never see her face.
I feel helpless when I am with her. She races. She moves. She darts. She jumps. And all the while, she is pulling and dragging, her grasp growing tighter and tighter. She won’t let go and her fingers dig into my arm. Her voice never stops and I strain to understand what she is saying. I only catch pieces of words, bits of phrases. She speaks in absolutes. Her favorite words are always and never. I can’t think straight when I am with her. Her tongue clicks incessantly. The intonation in her voice rises and falls. She hisses. She mumbles. She shouts. Hisses. Whispers. Mumbles. Shouts. She never stops.

She rushes me along. Pulling, pushing, dragging. Never stopping. Darting to and fro. My head hurts. My head spins. Everywhere I look, I see bright lights. Quickly flashing on and off again. Spinning, colored lights. I close my eyes and all I see are spots. The floor bounces. The walls move. The spinning, the swirling, the bouncing keep me disoriented. I am never on solid ground when I am with her. I am never still. She moves so quickly. She grasps so quickly. She talks so quickly. Before I know it, I’m on a wild ride, transported somewhere I didn't mean to be.

She is never, never still. She never stops talking. She never stops moving. She’s constantly running, dragging, pulling, talking, shouting! Her destination is everywhere and yet nowhere. I can’t think when I am with her. I can’t speak when I am with her. I can’t find solid ground. I can’t stand still. When I am with her, I feel it will never end. When I am with her, I feel that I will never be safe.

Sanity saves me. Sanity doesn't seek me out. She doesn't pull or push me along. I must seek her - within myself. Sanity is grounded. Sanity is peaceful. Sanity is calming. Sanity is still. When I am with her, I know I will be ok.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

more craziness...

insanity week

Hey, lets just make this Insanity Week.

Read Marlee's delicious conversations with Insanity on her blog, Walking Through Fire.  I love it!

Here's a great Insanity entry from my new anonymous friend Fugio.  Thanks for being so brave Fugio.  Simple but definitely deranged.  Wonderful!

My Insanity:

She has long, shiny,  stick-straight black hair, dark eyes, and a quiet voice that mesmerizes in its slow cadence.  She smells of cinnamon bark and musk.   Intensely watchful, her knowing eyes reveal she is both diabolically smart and world-worn.   She wears a wispy, floral, silk crepe dress and she’s barefooted.

She sings poetic songs of shame and long suffering.  She points out shimmering, irresistible triggers to me and then deeply inhales my toxic fear of them.  She offers me the comforts of Complacency and Powerlessness in return for my Denial.    And she fiercely guards herself against Truth, Honesty, and Reality as they are the protective sisters of My Sanity.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Insanity Reviewed

black bob
Hello and how was your weekend?  

I spent the weekend hiking with the cub scouts (yes, I'm a den mom!),
making chicken noodle soup,
caring for my kids who've had fevers and coughs,
and reading them The Magician's Elephant.

For your enjoyment and to coif the requests, here is an Insanity Challenge entry
 from my friend Xena.  
Her Insanity sounds fiendish and fantastically vile.

Get to know Xena, read her blog Killing Cupid here.

p.s. I am still in pursuit of our winner.  If you entered and haven't checked your email please do.  
I pray that you are well and that you are simply just too busy to check your email.

I hope to be posting some more Insanity Challenges along with 
Mr. Scabs rendition as well.
Can't wait!

"She wears killer stilettos  with red soles. Sexy, tight shirts with hair cut carefully into a sleek inky black bob. She winks her cole lined eyes at me, and tells me that if I stick with her she will look after me. She is smarter, wiser and more experienced than me...
Carefully groomed, her lips pull tight with derision when my husband tries to show me he cares...her eyes glitter with a predatory gleam while I listen to his tale of how his day went...she waits to pounce on anything, something to show me what a fool I am to still be here...
She smokes like a lady and drinks hard liquor and the words that drip from her blood red lips would put a sailor to shame...she is a bitch, who puts herself first and doesn't give a shit who knows it. 
She gives no second chances - ever-  
Her smirking laughter can be heard when he lets me down, once again... I am patient she says, I'll wait until you're ready and I'll whisk you away...
She is who I would have been - my other self. 
There will come a time, when I can let her go - but for now, she is my faithful companion - always there, always listening...ready to save me from me."


Friday, November 9, 2012

Hotel California

eat my scabs; how to change your life
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When I was 20 I lived in Hotel California.  It was a dingy apartment complex that felt like I could check out anytime I liked but I could never leave.

It was dim, as if the sun forgot to shine.  My life was being played out in this fuzzy, dusky Hotel and I felt like a stranger in my own skin.

"Was this my life?"

I'd left for a trip and when I came, my "friend" was camped out in my bedroom!  He'd moved in.  His clothes in my drawers, his incense burning on my bedside table and three full length mirrors attached to the ceiling above my bed.  Without a word,  I walked out leaving most things behind.

I walked out and into another dim apartment down the hall.  I could check out but I could never leave.

There were 2 roommates, 2 guy roommates.   The sink was piled with dishes, it smelled of dude, video games, bad t.v. and there was always a spare "roommate" greasing up the couch.

His name was Kevin.  He was a friend of a friend who didn't have a place to stay.  That couch became his permanent sleeping arrangement. His legs were short and his torso uncommonly long, which made him walk in a strange way-- Dick Van Dyke penguin legs.  I would watch him shuffle from the sofa to the sink full of smelling, rotting, half-eaten bowls of Marshmallow Mates then back to the sofa.  Kevin grew a pot garden in the coat closet and somehow managed to gain the affections of two beautiful girls.  Too many tears and fights broke out because of this guy with Dick Van Dyke penguin legs and a closet pot garden.

I rode a red scooter and worked at a gas station.  I ate gas station donuts, sold cigarettes and snickers bars.  I even witnessed a first time driver intend to gas up their car but instead pointed the pump into the air like a pistol and fired, spewing gasoline through the air spilling onto the cars and people around her.  It was a disaster.

Just like my life felt.
Just like my Hotel California.

Like I was dogie-paddling and soon to drown in an endless sinking, dark, bucket of poo.

My choices had taken me to a place where i lived with stinky roommates, flighty friends and gas station donuts for breakfast.  I felt stuck.  I felt alone.  I felt I was in the wrong place.

So, I made a plan.  I bought the biggest, heftiest black plastic garbage sack.  I sacked up all my belongings.  I purged.  CD's, clothes, furniture...I asked myself, "Do I need this?  Do I want it in my new life?"

Most things I didn't want.  

This was my right of passage, my acknowledgement that I could swim in that choppy sea beyond the Hotel California, the unknown.  I could trust myself.  I could change my life.

The next day, with a scooter, a backpack and a duffle bag, I left.

I reached out for a new kind of life.  I made new friends.  I made new choices.

I spent a year changing my course, navigating the choppy sea.  Leaving behind what I had known.   At the end of the that year I boarded a plane with my backpack and duffle bag.  I flew across the Pacific Ocean.  To a place where I was a stranger, where I ate fish for breakfast, washed my clothes by hand and showered out of a bucket.  I was scared to death but this was the fruit of my fuller, more honest, happier changed life.

The thing about change is that no one will do it for you.  You have to get your own black garbage sack and purge the things you don't want in your new life.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Your voice


Sometimes I think my voice doesn't matter.  That I am just one person.  With one small voice.  

At the risk of being identified, I want to share a piece of an email I received from an amazing lady.


One of my greatest treasures is a letter which was written by a many-great-grandfather, David Morgan, who fought in the American Revolutionary War. He was a Virginian, and surveyed with and was a friend of George Washington’s (he is mentioned in Washington’s diary). About ten years after the end of the war, he wrote this letter to his friend John Stafford, with whom he had fought side by side in the war, and he talked about what they experienced and why they did it. I would like to share a part of that letter with you:

“When we were harried in the hills of Cove and went wretched in the blow of winter winds, with no food for our bellies and no clothes for our backs, and the price of our disloyalty, if traitors we would be, was all that our miserable hearts could desire: food, clothing, beds, cash for our pokes, wine and the favors of fair women, and above all, the blessings of King George the Idiot. And what sustained us then?”. . .

“So what kept us nibbling at frozen roots and burrowing our beds into the Devil’s Guts briars; what kept our thoughts on our poor little withered hopes?

“Was it God? God was on our side, I can’t doubt it. But God’s favor is never easily won. God is always on the side where the last hard to find drops of courage lie. We thought of God constantly and we prayed when we could. But it was not God who kept us loyal.

“Nor more was it love of kith and kin, of sweethearts or friends, nor was it our love of country and flag. For we had none then. It was not our wishing to keep the things we had, for we had so little. But I need not tell you what it was. For the taste of Freedom was on the tongues of our souls, and it was a good and heady taste, wasn’t it, Stafford? And we loved the hope that it gave us more than we loved our lives. For not a one of us was there who did not say at one time or another in that cold and hungry time, that here, indeed, was something worth dying for.

“When we thought of Freedom, we walked up straight and tall in our bloody rags and sang Hallelujah!

“Freedom, Stafford! That was our witching word, our Holy Word; that was what made magic for us. Freedom! Freedom to worship as pleased us, to work as we saw fit, to learn as we thought proper, to own lands, to own ourselves, and know that no man must put himself or be put by others above the least of us.

“In those awful days when we ate from the same root pile, and wrapped our bloody, aching feet in the same icy rags and smeared our wounds with the same cold mud, and whispered together in the dark, deathly hours, our ideas locked hands in true agreement then. We saw eye to eye then, John.

“Have you changed? Have you found Freedom too heavy and too hard to bear? You knew as well as I did and the others, what a wearisome burden Freedom would be, and that it would not lighten with the years, but would wax heavier as our souls became lighter and our backs became stronger. Pray God you haven’t changed, dear old friend. . .”


And with the thoughts from this old letter,
from a brave moment in American history, from a man long since past,
let's go out and vote!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Anonymous Mr."


I am a "Mr." as well. I have thought a lot about this post (my wife shared it with me). I shared the "allegory" in a meeting, and when I was done sharing, I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something missing. Then it dawned on me, "I destroyed the wall, and that is why the wall needed to be rebuilt." All I have done, in the eyes of others, is put things back to how they were supposed to be in the first place (kind of). It is not like I made some grand improvement. There was supposed to be a wall there. A wall with no holes, with the right texture, with wall sockets that work, and with a beautiful coat of paint.

So, yes, I have put a lot of hard work into my building of the wall, and it is so difficult when others, specifically my wife, don't praise me for the work I have put in... but I am just making things the they way they always should have looked.

Wives, please don't use this to judge your husbands.

I had to share this comment because as I read it I wept.  I truly sat down and buried my face in my hands.  I wept for the terrible bitter pain of this one Anonymous "Mr." as he shared his clear  heart-felt vision.  I wept for happiness and hope and peace.    I wept because this Anonymous "Mr." is very literally building a bridge, a boat, a portal,  a way for his beloved wife to move from grief and pain to love and understanding.  This is recovery.  I am proud of him.

Friday, November 2, 2012

caramel pears w/ sea salt

Caramel Pears by freshnewengland #Pears #Caramel

Sometimes you have to let things go, 
simply because they are heavy.

Enjoy your weekend.


This weekend I'm going to make these:
Caramel Pears

8-10 ripe pears, washed, dried, chilled 
372 grams sugar (about 2 cups)
186 grams dark brown sugar (about 1 cup)
150 grams butter (about 2/3 cup)

2/3 cup corn syrup 
1 cup cream
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. real vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together (except the fruit) in a deep saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until the butter melts and temperature on a candy or laser thermometer reaches 246 degrees (119 celcius). Stir constantly toward the end of the cooking period to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Dip fruit into caramel mixture and twist until evenly covered. Roll in nuts, sugar or sea salt. Drain on waxed paper or a silicone baking sheet. Refrigerate. Consume pears within a few hours. Leftover caramel can be refrigerated

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Sending love and prayers to our friends out East who are in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Power outages, destroyed homes, cars washed away...praying you're safe.


Insanity Winner....where are you?


The day after Halloween always feels like a sugar hangover.
How do you deal with the loads of candy under your kids beds?


A name was picked out of a hat and the Insanity Challenge winner has been chosen and emailed.  
So, check your email if you entered the challenge cause I haven't heard back from you and as promised I'd like to get your permission to publish and send you your necklace.

Also, I'm working on getting permissions to see if I can share some of the Insanity Challenges just for fun.  So, if your ok with sharing here, on Eat My Scabs, send me a quick email.

My inbox received two more Insanity submissions yesterday, so if you still want to send one and join the discussion go ahead.  Let me know if it's ok to publish your Insanity anonymously, non-anonymously or if you prefer not to share.  That's ok too, no pressure.

We need two more submission to reach 25!

When I said, "You're gonna write your Insanity, right?"
Mr. Scabs just laughed and said, "How many did you get?"

Two more!  Please, cause I'm dying to hear his version of Insanity personified.

Jane and Sparrow both published theirs yesterday in lieu of Halloween.  
My Insanity *hearts* their Insanity.
Read them here and here.

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