Saturday, December 22, 2012

Been snowed in for several days. Shoveled my way out....van was out of gas! Such is life. :-) In the time I've been snowed in, have finished up all sorts of fiber arts projects, including a second silk/wool scarf just like the first one, started on a present for my daughter (almost done) and spun and then plied two bobbins of yarn, both laceweight. One is merino wool, cranberry/magenta colored + white suri alpaca. The suri looks like lustrous silk noil against the matte wool...or possibly angora rabbit, nice. The other bobbin was a commercial merino/silk blend, 80% merino to 20% bombyx silk. I'd like to get away from using commercial roving and wasn't very happy to be paying for such a low percentage of silk, but the roving is well made and looks like it has more silk than it does.

Anyway, because of the way the weather's messed up the schedule, it's looking like I'll be seeing my kids the week after Xmas. This is OK; it's just another day to me. Also, I'll have a little more time to make/get presents for them.

And...I was receive an email that one of our Friends has passed away. :-( She is (still trying to wrap my head around the reality of her being gone) older, but still very vibrant, lively, full of love and warmth...a wonderful person. I didn't go to see her at the hospital....mostly because life has been so hectic whenever I manage to get into town. I didn't know her as well as I'd have liked to, but still. :-( Cherish and hold the people you love. Let them know what they mean to you and love them as if it's your last day...because life is unpredictable that way. Sigh. :-( I'm no good at this sort of thing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Violence and mental illness: the facts, folks.

Here is a well documented source.

As opposed to the mainstream media.....

The truth is that people with developmental disabilities are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.

Yes, it is a tragedy. It's awful. I haven't looked at any media footage regarding it at all, because it will haunt me for a very long time. I am not in any way downplaying what happened; it's clear that there are simply no words for the horror. But that horror and future events like it are not going to be alleviated by painting an entire segment of society with a broad brush in a color they/we don't deserve. We don't lack empathy and feeling. We do often have a hard time expressing our feelings with our face and body language.

I don't know what was wrong with this guy, but if I had to guess, my guesses would include:

  • An undiagnosed personality disorder or other co-morbid disorder. Co-mormids are very common with autism spectrum disorders. And if, for example, that disorder was anti-social personality disorder, well, that would certainly explain a lot.
  • Medication side effects. I don't think the negative effects of certain meds have received enough attention. Big Pharma will probably see to it that this continues to be the case. Meds can be life-saving, but they need to be monitored and they need to be the right meds for the person and the problem.
  • Misdiagnosis. There's more to being aspie than being a highly intelligent social outcast. He may, for example, have been schizoid. Believe it or not, there are people who are really smart and really fucked up who don't have Asperger's.
  • Other contributing factors. So, let's say he was an aspie, not on any meds at all even though it sounds like he should have been, without anything else wrong with him (highly unlikely). When a dog snaps and starts biting and ravaging everything in sight, people start squealing, "blame the owner, not the breed!". I don't necessarily agree with this, because disposition is in fact hereditary to some extent, as most livestock breeders will tell you. However.....are we seriously giving dogs more credit than people here?? Some dogs and some people can tolerate being abused and mistreated without getting mean. Most will, in fact, even at their own expense, rather than going nuts. Sometimes though, they don't. That doesn't justify it in any way, shape or form, but this should not be discounted as a possibility.
  • The guns. I think it was wildly irresponsible for mom to allow this kid to have access to firearms. It doesn't sound as though he had good coping skills. Guns are a tool and they should be used only as a tool by people who are in a position to use tools responsibly.

Anyway. Not really in a frame of mind to wrap this up concisely. Horrible. :-(

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A brief sensory snapshot of an aspie day....

(Yesterday) Have to go to the doctor's office to reschedule my daughter's appt. My path of travel involves a yield sign even though I can only turn right; it isn't actually an intersection: confusing. Whatever. I pause and check for opposing traffic anyway. The first parking spot I see is on the end. This is great! I won't be hemmed in on both sides by other vehicles, will be able to get out of the parking lot with minimal trouble and vehicular claustrophobia. Oh, and I've been singing rather loudly the entire time (Brandi Carlile). It is annoying to turn the car off before the song's done, but I do it anyway and squelch the impulse to continue singing the song as I exit the car.

The plants that flank the entry to the building are in a state of hibernation, so I don't stop to pet or observe them (lavender is among them) but go right through the three doors. I then find myself in front of the receptionist's window, staring at a clipboard with blacked out names and signatures, remind myself that I don't need to write anything on the clipboard this time.... The receptionist looks expectantly at me with a sort of half smile as I attempt to put into words the two reasons I'm there. It looks like she's making fun of me in her head but I can't tell for certain. The taste of coffee is still lingering around in my mouth and I check to see if maybe some of it is on my face and she's smirking at that, but my outer mouth area is dry, so no. She's still smirking. Why? What? I try to convince myself that she's not smirking at me, and look instead at the carpet beyond her while she's going to check on one of the questions I had. The carpet looks like water with tropical fish swimming through seaweed. It's nice. A nurse's feet and legs move into view, standing on the water. Hmmm. A bit disconcerting. Who decided that standing on water with fish in it would be a good idea for carpet? I don't dislike it, but still, a bit odd. I play with the carpet/water visually for a few seconds. She should sink into it! No wait, it's carpet! OK Jen, you're being weird, stop. An appointment card for my daughter is given to me and the receptionist has to go ask someone something if I'll wait. I realize that I shouldn't continue standing in front of the window, and go sit down, card in hand.

The magazines are horrifically boring. Women's stuff: make the most of your shape! And so on, so I sit down. Absent-mindedly, flick the end of the card against the fingernails of the opposing hand. Down, back. Fffllllllt! Flltttttt. Fffllllllt! Flltttttt. Different sounds for each direction. Varying the speed makes a different sound, as does altering the angle of my fingertips. Oh, that's very nice, very soothing. The room more or less fades away and there's just the wonderful sound of this card. Nice...nice... Jen, you're stimming. I don't care. What if the sound bothers them? It's so nice, how could it? Maybe they like it. Probably they don't hear the change in pitch at all. This is wonderful. Why have I not tried this before in this office? Maybe I didn't have a card. Glance at window: nope, no cards on display. The only way to get one is to have an appointment scheduled before you sit down to wait, that's why. The sound and sensation of the card is so incredibly pleasing that it's a bit of a let down when I'm summoned back to the window to be handed a piece of paper and it's then time to go. She's still smirking. Huh...time to go be responsible and carry out remaining errands....

Friday, December 14, 2012

Feeling better. Sold the scarf...the lady who bought it was so happy! :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

So...maybe I didn't mention that I've somehow managed to end up running the local chess club. I haven't had any regular chess competition since the chess club at college, so am woefully, embarrassingly out of practice. The only opening I remember without having to look it up is the Guico Piano. A seven year old beat me. That's sad. However, I'm having a lot of fun just having fun playing chess instead of being so invested in winning. This isn't to say that no energy's being invested in regaining some proficiency....

And-->I've found an income source involving handwork. I don't like the finished product- would never have one in my house, in fact, but income is income and this time I don't have to look for buyers, just crank the damned things out whether they're aesthetically pleasing or not.

The crochet spiderlace scarf I've been making out of the pink-brown wool silk blend that I'd talked about spinning some time ago is almost done and the color isn't to my liking at all. Considered dying it to a more reddish brown, which would get rid of all that pink! But then a lady asked to see what I was working on and when I mentioned considering selling it because I just don't like the colors, she said it's beautiful and she'll buy it as soon as I'm done! This is a relief. It will sell for more than the wool/silk roving cost and there will be enough yarn left to make another one as well. Is $45 profit on this a good return? Hmm. I'd like to try another wool/silk blend, the one I should have gotten...blues and purples in BFL wool and Tussah silk. It wasn't as lustrous, but then again, the caterpillars for Tussah silk don't get boiled alive, either. Who cares? I do...moths are really sexy, beautiful, gentle creatures, especially the big, velvety ones...

I had to move the alpacas to a better shelter today. Brought halters, ropes, etc, dressed for a wrestling match in slush...and was dreading the trauma and hassle of catching each one of them and haltering them...alpacas really hate to be touched! They were eying me with suspicion, distrust and fear. So I thought, why not give them a chance to do it another way? I picked up the pan of grain, opened the gate, and the lead 'paca munched on the grain as I moved slowly to the barn and new area, with the other three tagging along behind him! They went right in to the new area, I shut the gate behind them, rewarded them all with a little more grain, and that was that! People have told me that alpacas are stupid and cannot be worked with like goats, that they won't follow me like goats would a person with a can of grain. Alpacas don't mob me for the grain and are more cautious, but I really think people aren't giving them enough credit. If they don't like to be touched, why impose it on them unnecessarily?

Monday, December 10, 2012

The van is doing better without snow tires than I thought it would.

For the rest of know, I am not even sure where to start. :-/

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Reading: Aspergirls by Rudy Simone. This is a fantastic book. I wish that my family and the people I've loved had read it. There are so many "experts" on autism, but the reality is that Asperger's/autism is not something which can be truly understood from the outside looking in. We can be observed like lab rats, our behavior and quirks can be cataloged and analyzed and measured, but the inner process, the way it feels, the way we think, the paths our trains of thought take, the pain, the struggles, the heady pleasure of simple things that others don't appreciate or even notice.....only another spectrumite can really know, describe and understand it. Or to put it another way, so called experts who are not on the spectrum are Emperors wearing their new clothes. Luckily for them, neurotypicals can't see their nakedness and for the most part, the opinion of people on the spectrum seems irrelevant.

Getting back to the topic at hand, this is an informative, problem solving (as opposed to problem labeling and problem pathologizing) book by a woman on the spectrum.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Last night I got stuck in what has become a nearly impassable driveway thanks to someone else driving over it repeatedly until it all turned into soft, slimy mud (the rain didn't help, either...but at least it wasn't snow). Surprisingly, my son and I managed to get it out. Unsurprisingly, I discovered half a mile after leaving the driveway that the muffler had been ripped off in the process of getting stuck/unstuck. By this time, my son was no longer with me and I struggled for some time to tie it back up...unsuccessfully since I couldn't feel anything to tie it to. Besides, it was disconnected on both ends. I was nearly in tears when my friend showed up and helped me with it. Today my son informed me that a tree about a foot in diameter has fallen across the driveway. :-/ Ugh, ugh, ugh....and it isn't snowing yet.....

ETA: Forgot the part about falling waist deep into an abruptly discovered sinkhole of cold water at the edge of the driveway whilst trying to get the vehicle unstuck....

Feeling fairly stimmy today, and actually, for the past couple days. I think the primary difference is that today it's more of the anxious/stressed stimming as opposed to happy/energetic stimming.

Times passes
like wind through the trees
but the substance, the essence, like those trees
That shape, that angle of still bright in my mind
such a sharp, cold and beautiful blue...
like the sky is today.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Books about modern Quakers, Friends who are not necessarily Christians, now appear to be gone from the library. I should have checked them out while they were here. Shrug. It is disheartening, but the Friend's meeting house has a well stocked library on the subject. Meanwhile, the general public will have no books which will inform them that Quakers are nothing like the Amish, nor are we extinct like the Shakers or a brand of Christianity. Probably the person who weeded the books was unaware of these things himself....(griping and grumbling).....
Feeling burned out already. Ugh! I was happy and full of all kinds of creative ideas and I just want to go find some quiet place to be alone and the creative stuff sounds like work. :-(

Saturday, December 01, 2012

These people have Icelandic Leadersheep as well and Leicester Longwools...another breed I had seriously considered. I am still ambivalent about the practice of tail docking; Scandinavian short-tailed breeds don't need to be docked, so this is a non-issue with them. Icelandics are one of the short tailed breeds whereas the Leicesters have to be docked or you have to deal somehow with the dilemma of a long tail and the additional problems caused by that. Also, I love that Icelandics are bred for intelligence, have a fleece that's great for felting as well as many other applications, are hardy, parasite resistant, and can be milked with some success. As well, the lambs have a very mild flavored meat and can be grown out of pasture alone. That's the kind of animal I want. :-)

At any rate, pretty sure I'll be buying from that herd if when I get sheep. They're clearly dedicated to the quality of their lines, use A.I. and have brought imported blood from Iceland. Wait.....I didn't do my scrapie/OPP research....but assuming that panned out well, yeah, that's who I'd like to buy from!

Friday, November 30, 2012

They are ordering a new DSM IV. The disturbing question that remains though, is what else has been summarily disposed of? A library is supposed to contain a wealth of information, not to be pruned and restricted to the bare minimum of what it can get by on (or not). Our tax dollars pay for these books and unless there's a damned good reason for them to go, we should retain access to them.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The guy in charge of the library's collection of books weeded out the DSM IV from the reference library. Yes, you read that right. He did. The lady at the info desk has been trying to get another library to loan us luck yet. I can't fucking believe it. He kept a bunch of Chilton manuals in the reference library, but the DSM? Who needs that? WTF?? If he doesn't know what he's doing he should do something else. Ugh.

And the art books....I want to cry. Please folks. Complain. Please. This is just wrong. Every library needs to have a copy of the DSM in their reference library.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I have decided that when I get sheep, they will be Icelandics. Why? Here's why! They are such practical, multi-purpose, hardy animals and so interesting! Also--> those Leadersheep? I really, really want to have some of those.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I sincerely hope that at some point, there will be more clarity in my life. Right now it feels as if there are countless loose ends, false starts, problems that can't be solved, uncertainties, etc.

I am haunted. I'd do anything to make things right, but it seems to be one of those things where messing with it only makes matters worse and prolongs the agony.

In the sleepless darkness this morning, the words of a song kept playing through my mind. I'll try to post it in a little bit. Edited to add: never mind. The lyrics weren't exactly as I'd heard them. Now I don't like the song as well. :-P

No sleep. OK, that's not quite true. Somewhere between midnight and 1:30 am I seem to have dozed off, thanks largely to Hunter (the biggest cat), who has a habit of either curling up next to me or on my chest and purring contentedly. Slash (smallest, most affectionate kitten-also the most playful and athletic!) joined the (feline!) love fest after I awoke. I said at one time that when I moved into my own place in the country, I was going to have outdoor animals only- no animals in the house! That truly was my intention. The dogs only come in to visit or when injured, etc. The cats were supposed to be strictly outdoor cats for mousing.....because here's the deal about animals: if you let them in part of the time during the winter, they don't grow a thick, warm coat. If you bring an outdoor animal indoors, it will start to lose it's thick winter coat. It has to be one or the other in winter at least...and it's getting cold so I need to make up my mind! Slash will probably be an indoor cat for this winter at least; Hamilton has been "playing" with him and slobbering all over him, which could be hazardous in really cold weather. Until he gets bigger, he'll be safer inside.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I hate being unsure of what to do.:-/ Particularly since it's so awkward and kind of hurts if I do/say the wrong thing. At any rate, I got called in on short notice to model tonight, so hooray for work, but I've got another 3 hours to figure out what's going on.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Still exhausted and fighting off the cold...but at least I don't feel queasy.

Skipped out on Thanksgiving; planted garlic (Killarney Red) instead. Fiber (fibrous?) activities: spun up all the wool/silk blend roving. It's pink, brown and white blended together. If that sounds yucky, it's approximately the same color as a chocolate with strawberry creme filling. I spun it fine, slightly thicker than laceweight, 2 ply for strength. Then I took out a 4 oz braid of Merino roving that I bought some time ago. It is a blend of purple-blue-teal-brown-algae green. I could have spun it up as it was, but not being one to let thing alone, I broke it up and sorted it by color, and then sequenced the spinning so that instead of being all those colors mixed up, it starts out teal, goes to brown, then to algae green, to blue and finally purple. That was the idea anyway. Merino is very fine and very soft...but I don't recommend spinning it right after working with silk or any silk blend. Silk is fine but strong. You can spin it quite fine and it will still be a good yarn. Merino also is very fine...but it snaps and breaks so easily that I could scream. After spinning it all up, I somehow managed to lose an end of the yarn while unwinding it from the bobbin last night at dusk, when the light was beginning to dim. Gave up in disgust, tried again this morning. It's a tangly mess and has numerous knots, where I had to break it in order to get it out of a tangle and off the bobbin...or where it simply snapped while being handled. Ugh! The plan was to full this yarn (fulling is a process similar to felting- you shrink and tighten the wool garment, yarn, etc, making it less likely to shrink in the future and adding strength. Fulling it might help to conceal some of those knots.... But it's equally tempting to ply it with a bobbin of very finely spun but much stronger sky blue yarn, from a roving that appears to have some luster longwool, that I dyed using black beans. I don't have anymore of this exact color blue, but the other batch of black-bean dyed wool, using the same roving, is a slightly different shade of light purple. It is surprising how two different brands or sources of black beans can result in different colors. If I wait until the purple sequence...wait: no. To do this, I'd have to wind the wretched stuff back onto a bobbin. No fucking way. It's getting fulled.

And after that? Light brown Romney? Suri Alpaca? Ooh yeah...the Suri alpaca is probably going to win out here!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Having Asperger's is kind of like playing musical chairs, except that you're always the one who misses the chair, you have to keep playing nevertheless, and everyone acts as though you're not there and this game isn't happening.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I hate holidays. All they do is make me feel lonely.
Slowly getting over the cold...but exhausted for right now. Maybe it would have been better to take an extra day sitting at the library with a pile of really interesting books and no energy to read them...want to go to bed again, but will have to do some shopping so as to have enough food while the stores are closed for Turkey Day.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Think I am getting yet another cold. Yuck. My head hurts, I feel all woozy, can't focus to speak of (right before chess club, yay!), have hardly eaten.... All I want right now it to go have some valerian tea and hit the sack. Alas, obligations prevent that for another 3 hours at least...and tomorrow will be a definite problem if it isn't over by then.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Exhausted...sick. Ugh.

Nevertheless: as part of my permaculture/forest garden/conservation farming pipe dream, I was curious about the feasibility of an oil press for home use, and found this.

Why an oil press? Because: short of butter or lard, which both require livestock which in turn require intensive grain input and significant amounts of daily care, coming up with a source or oil/fat is challenging for the homesteader/small farmer. People talk about SHTF (shit hitting the fan) and TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) and Peak Oil. I'm not an alarmist, but the fact remains that things could happen. If they did happen, oil/fat would quickly become a major issue. People routinely grow all sorts of oil producing plants, such as pumpkins, nut trees, sunflowers, etc. Some of the people use the primary products produced by those plants...or not. More often the fallen nuts are a nuisance, the sunflowers are for a bouquet and the pumpkins get smashed on a sidewalk rather than being used to feed people or livestock. My point though, is that these things are all easy enough to grow and are already being grown and not used.

Hazelnuts play a major role in my pipe dreams for a number of reasons:

  • They are perennial shrubs/trees and do not need to be planted every year.
  • Hazelnuts are easy to shell and they taste great!
  • Hazelnuts/filberts will coppice. This means that you can have a sustainable source of firewood without killing off the tree. It also means that if deer or goats chew it down to the ground, it will grow back again.
  • They're very good wildlife shelter, as well as providing forage for small animals.
  • Hazels are hardy, easy to grow, low maintenance.
  • They produce both protein and oil. Also, the shells of the nuts burn very well, showing excellent potential as biofuel.
  • They're a nice intermediate size, smaller than apple trees, bigger than blueberries, so they fit nicely into forest gardening and permaculture.
  • The nuts store well.
  • And--->they don't look like food. If people are hungry and they see an apple tree, they'll help themselves and break the tree in the process. Tomatoes, cabbages and other veggies are easily recognizable even to folks who've never grown food before, as are most grain crops. If things get so bad that your place gets raided of all visible food, it would be great to have less obvious food available, such as hazelnuts, daylilies, stinging nettles, lamb's quarters, obscure grain crops like amaranth and quinoa, etc. All the prepping and food storage in the world isn't going to help you if people steal it all!

So theoretically, hazelnuts/filberts/cob nuts/trazels are an easily produced source of oil and protein. The problem is how to get at the oil, and this hand cranked (no electricity required!) oil press seems like a possible solution. It only produces a liter and a half of hazelnut oil per hour of cranking the thing by hand (ack!), but on the other hand, a liter and a half of oil is enough to last me quite a while and the value of the oil is high enough to justify the time and work. Other seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, walnuts, etc) can also be used with this press. Flaxseed is more difficult, but in terms of oil output, I don't want to grow flax anyway. For linen, possibly...but not for seed. Lastly, the price ($150) doesn't seem all that high to me. Clearly this is not a good option if one has wheelbarrows full of seeds/nuts to press; for that one would need and industrial type press. Also of interest--> the oil cake, which is what's left of the nuts/seeds after the oil's been extracted, is protein rich and good for livestock feed or, if people weren't too picky, as human feed as well. One could probably use it to make energy bars, in recipes, etc.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Very productive morning, got all kinds of things done at the homestead that should have been done months ago. Better late than never! Mostly it was reorganizing, consolidating, packing things safely away out of the weather and hopefully away from mice. Anyway, so yeah- I worked from daylight to about 9:30, found wool and roving (and suri alpaca fiber!) while going through stuff, and am going to spin wool until it's time to get firewood and water.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One of those days in which I don't seem to be able to say/do anything right. It occurs to me that the best course of action during such times would be to simply keep my mouth shut; unfortunately the discomfort of being socially inept has a way of causing me to babble in an effort to ease the tension.

Anyway. Yeah, not the best night. Nightmares, dreams with interconnecting rooms, with children, people loved, injured, but not being able to ask if they were going to be OK. Drifting on the outskirts like a wraith...observing, watching, seeing, but insubstantial, without effect or being much noticed.

There was a misunderstanding/missed phone call/misalignment of events involving my son that left me unable to deliver him home due to the weather. A solution was quickly found and then he found another option, but the whole thing left me unsettled and worried. I am very concerned about him. Everything worked out OK, but it could have been a real mess.

Friday, November 09, 2012

I just got into a spirited (but not unpleasant) disagreement with my friend about "person first language" in the context of autism spectrum disorders. She can't understand why I found it offensive to be corrected by a stranger when mentioning that I had an autistic child- "Oh, you mean your child is a person with autism". WTF? I wanted to bitch slap her! First of all, he's my kid. Secondly, I also am on the spectrum, and I get to express my disability/difference/label in whatever terms I want to- no neurotypical person has the right to do that for me. And then, the self-righteous overtones! Ugh! Nevertheless, my friend, who is a social worker who spends a great deal of her time with disabled and neurodiverse people, insists that this is the correct way to refer to me.

I'm not the only person who feels this way. C. Edwin Vaughn, longtime activist for the blind, also finds people first language offensive, for some of the same reasons I do: People-First Language: An Unholy Crusade.

The biggest problem I have with person first language is that it implies that autism (or whatever) is something shameful, awful or pitiable to be distanced from the person. The very act of separating the difference from the person only serves to highlight it and to say "hey, this person has this condition, but they're still a great person, it's just something they "have". Kind of like having a disease. Um, no thanks, that's not the way I want to be seen! Asperger's/autism is not something I "have". It didn't fall on my head from a tree one day and permanently stick to me. It is an integral part of me, of my being, thought and way of relating to the world around me. I am not ashamed of relating to the world differently, nor do I feel the need to distance myself from Asperger's.

Moreover, approaching Asperger's or autism in this way completely overlooks the positive aspects of being on the spectrum and that many of us on the spectrum would not choose to be "cured" even if that were possible. Yes, there are definite disadvantages to being on the spectrum, but it isn't all bad and there are advantages/bright spots that we enjoy which others do not. True disability advocacy does not pile shame on the disability.

Lastly, where does it end? Who gets to define what is a disability or a disadvantage and what is not? The suicide rate for LGBT teens is astronomical, as is violence perpetrated against LGBT people, particularly transgender folk....but we don't refer to anyone as "a person with gayness", or "a person with same sex attraction". We don't refer to non whites as "people of African (or whatever) heritage" or "persons with a higher rate of melanin". Being short is a definite disadvantage, yet I am not referred to as "a person with shortness" and little people are not referred to as "persons with dwarfism", at least they don't seem to refer to themselves that way. Why? Because to say those things implies that there is something so wrong about being gay, black, short, etc that it has to be verbally and mentally excised from the person, which, of course, also underscores the horror of the difference or disability. That isn't kind, thoughtful or helpful and I cannot endorse it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I somehow forgot to mention that we've acquired three cats...not all at once, either!

First of all, why: because I am terribly allergic to mice, to the point of having serious difficulty cleaning up their droppings. Rodent feces= skin and underlying tissue itching (intense and prolonged!), difficulty breathing, fatigue, itchy eyes, etc. Also, I don't want to share my food with mice or to have to throw out food because they shit in it. Yech.

The cats:

Carhartt, yellow/orange tabby kitten, so named because his color matches the classic color of the work pants. He's friendly, playful and robust, but definitely an outdoors kind of cat even though he comes inside on occasion. I got him from my friend, who's a phenomenal gardener/farmer/Renaissance woman. I am continually in awe of the stuff she accomplishes! She has high standards for her animals and suffers no nonsense, so Carhartt is fairly certain to be a good mouser as his mother was.

Slash: named more in hopes of his hunting prowess and predation than his temperament, a little gray tabby kitten with symmetrical white facial markings and mittens. Slash is incredibly playful, athletic, acrobatic and lovable. He dances and pounces circles around Carharrt- we got the two of them at roughly the same time. He's one of the sweetest cats I've ever had, which is likely due to having gotten him from my daughter, who works with her kittens from before their eyes even open. She is an absolute wonder when it comes to animals and felines are her favorite. Slash's mother hunts pocket gophers, which are not only big (almost guinea pig size) but fast, as well as living underground. The pocket gophers can wipe out most of a potato crop- when I gardened in a major way I pretty much gave up on root crops because of the gophers. That's how bad they were. I will be thrilled if Slash shares his mother's appetite for pocket gophers.

And last night, we got another one...

Hunter: what I call a teenaged cat, a 9 month old what I call a cinnamon tabby because the brown is rich and cinnamony warm, not a grayed brown. He's already as large as many full grown cats and is an accomplished hunter (the name he came with fits). He was sort of freaked at being given away (Freecycle) but the former owners say that he's extremely lovable, mellow and gentle. Also he disappeared for quite a while (3 months I think?) and showed up again in fine form, so is obviously a survivor. I think he'll be a very good fit once he settles down.

I am so relieved. Was seriously considering moving to Canada if the election went the other way. It isn't that Obama represents everything I would like to see in leadership; I am more inclined towards the Green Party, however I think he is as good as we are going to get at this time.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

My whacked sense of humor: instead of a baby doll, a stuffed toy such as an alligator wrapped up and held just as if it were a baby...or, a zombie baby doll...something un-sweet, un-pretty, unexpected! lol.... No, I won't really do it- damn!
Feeling happy and like myself again. :-) Modeled last body is still complaining. The next modeling job wants me to bring props like scarves, hats, etc. Uh...I don't want to look like some hooker posing with a feather boa! There is a purity and innocence to the human body when it is nude that simply is not there when it's "almost nude". So I was thinking...maybe a very realistic baby doll wrapped in a receiving blanket? This would allow the artists to transfer over their drawings into the (still very popular) mother + child theme.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Oh! I forgot! The guy who used to live at my place came by today. My tools weren't taken intentionally and he's going to bring them back. He actually is a very, very nice guy. Again, all that freaking out....over.....nothing. :-P
Ugh! I hate feeling that way....I want it to go away and never, ever come back to haunt me.

Why is it so hard to believe that someone could actually love me, yes- me, and want to keep me around?

I can only hope that as time goes on, my anxiety level regarding this stuff will decrease. How much of this is due to the declining daylight? How much of it is due to impending January/February? Can someone please just knock me out completely for the entire frigging month of February? Please? Or take me somewhere far, far away for a month? Something?

Action plan:

  • More physical activity. Hike that trail daily if necessary. If it worked 18 months ago it is pretty much guaranteed to do the trick now.......
  • Change of locations/activity. Was reaching crisis level today....left the house and went to split and haul a load of wood, visited alpacas....that alone helped significantly.
  • Biofeedback/meditation, per Dr's advice.
  • I need to make a list of people to call who can chatter to me about stuff that is interesting enough to keep my mind off whatever horror it's just invented to torment me with.
  • Diet--> lay off the wheat! Eat regularly.
  • Play Farmville? Seriously- it helped me somewhat last time. Doesn't have to be Farmville, but some kind of soothing, interesting but not mentally challenging activity. Sudoku? Make word puzzles? Look up 5 new words and write them and their definitions down?

I don't want to act this way. I don't want to be like isn't even his fault in any remote fashion but he's the one who's stuck dealing with it. :-(

Friday, November 02, 2012

PMS really sucks. What I need to do is to keep track of it and take preemptive measures against it, which would be much easier if I had physical proof of it being PMS...ugh! However, knowing that the problem is hormonal in nature, helps snap out of the darkness, to some degree.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Color me triggered.

Pain steals my words away, leaves me mute. I feel so small, so inadequate. I will be silent, slight, barely visible...because it's the closest I can come to saying that I'm sorry I'm here, sorry I'm taking up space, using up time, needing things. I'm sorry. I'll be not here as much as I can. The implosion within, erasing all the good things, leaving only the hurt. There are no easy explanations, even if I had the words. There is only the pain.

As if it matters? It doesn't matter. :-(

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I got a call to come and model yesterday! Short notice (about an hour and a half!), but one of my selling points is that I'm always willing to fill in on a last minute basis if another model cannot or does not make it. Apparently there is an issue with art models being unreliable and not showing up, so I have made a point of always being there early when I'm scheduled and being a dependable substitute as well. :-) I didn't realize it, (miscommunication!!!) but the drawing classes did not even start until last night, so for the past several weeks I'd been expecting to be called to model and then felt let down when the calls didn't come through....from now on I will be keeping in contact with the guy who runs the classes rather than the administrator, because he's the one who has a better handle on what's going on. And the really great news is that he wants me to come back next week! Yes!

Of interest: I haven't noticed as much of a difference in terms of not feeling dissociated after modeling. My partner (can I call him that? Not sure....) and I have been working on the dissociation issues together and while there have been flashes of intense in-my-body sensations, I would have to say that the progress has been gradual. I don't find myself feeling completely dissociated at all anymore. The last time was during a PTSD moment. I used to be dissociated most of the time, which is sort of hard to imagine now.... So, this is very good. It takes a bit of the zing out of modeling,but there is still the general satisfaction related to the job and art...and of course the pay is always quite good and very welcome.

And--->have decided to quit mourning the wool/silk crochet lace scarf that got stolen from my house. Going to spin some more silk-wool blend and make a new one. At some point, will do the same with the Prismacolor pencils...and the Turkish drop spindle.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Feeling happier...and more creative. I have more or less given up on all of the modeling jobs though...if I want income, clearly I am going to have to make more hats or other things, or possibly work for my friend on her farm. If one of the modeling jobs comes through, great, if not...... part of that...I need to find an old fashioned iron, the kind that you put on a wood stove to heat up.

I looked at one of my old sketchbooks today, from 2009/early 2010. It went from really cool ideas to pain, to scattered nothing. It just dropped off to nothing. Well. I'm back now. Time to get back to doing the things that made me myself. I need to get strong enough inside to be able to bear up better under stress.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

And...once again, I am unable to attend the FLGBTQC gathering. :-( If I couldn't manage to get to Quarterly, I sure as heck can't get to Philadelphia.
Someone tell me why I cannot find the simplest weedy plants, merely because I want specific plants?

The day before yesterday, I needed yarrow, a very ubiquitous plant...and I could not find it anywhere. Well, actually, half of the problem was that I couldn't find any with seed heads, and the leaves are difficult to distinguish from other apiaceae plants such as Queen Anne's lace and various lomatium species. Some of it may have been yarrow, but all of the seed heads were something else and none of the leaves were unequivocally yarrow so I played it safe, because it was going to be used as an herb. And arnica- forget it! I didn't expect to find arnica that day anyway, it's not as easy to find as yarrow. Yesterday I needed mullein. Mullein can be seen by roadsides, in fields, everywhere. It's that plant with the very soft, pale gray green leaves arranged in a ground hugging rosette, which sends up a tall flower spike in its second year, sort of phallic looking with little yellow flowers. I couldn't find that either. Maybe this is because it's getting late in the fall....I need to pick a bunch of it when I find some, it's good used as a tea to relieve sinus congestion from colds.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I love this song...even though it always makes me feel like crying.

I am so cold.

I have lost so much weight (no longer sure how much, can't afford the health club any longer) and with so little fat on my bones, am cold nearly all the time. I have been trying to eat all sorts of things to put a little bit of weight back on (not a lot, just enough so that the jeans I have will continue to fit, and those range in size from 1-3...): a pint of ice cream, serious ice cream, every other day, fatty cheeses, meat, sausage....I haven't resorted to bacon yet, but perhaps that would be a good idea. How to put on weight without cholesterol?

I need to learn how to knit socks with my handspun wool yarn. And sweaters. Nice, thick socks....mmmmmmm......

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Playing in my head: Again Today, by Brandi Carlile. My headphones are broken, so cannot listen to it in real time.

My not-friend has a doppel-ganger running (bicycling, actually) around town. Disconcerting! heart is jumping, making me cough. :-P

Monday, October 22, 2012

Understand: I am very pro-neurodiversity and I oppose the idea of an autism "cure" 100%. On that note....

It drives me a little nuts to see children and teens who are clearly on the spectrum who are not receiving services, learning the tools they will need in order to get by in a world which is still dominated by people who are either normal or claim to be. These kids are frequently home schooled and while I don't oppose home schooling, for a kid on the spectrum, it's often another strike against them, another barrier to their long term success, unless the parents are taking pains to expose them to opportunities in which they will learn how to mix with other people and yes, to be able to cope with the nastiness that their peers will dish out. It isn't as though people suddenly quit playing head games once they turn eighteen.... Finally, these homeschooled kids who aren't getting any kind of help to learn how to interact with mainstream society, who are being sheltered both for better and for worse, from that society, are usually undiagnosed.

There was one....I don't remember how old she was but it was frighteningly close to eighteen...brilliant girl. She'd memorized all of Shakespeare....I'm not kidding. She was a sweet, intelligent, multi-talented girl with incredible potential. She has very limited social skills. Conversing with her (and keep in mind that this is coming from a fellow aspie) was fairly problematic, because there wasn't a lot of give and take in the conversations. She was interesting. I like her. Her social skills are very, very rudimentary and do not allow the rest of her abilities to shine. It's like being confronted with myself at her age....painful.

Unless her parents are wealthy and leave her with a trust fund or something, she's screwed for adulthood as things stand now. Her mother did not want to have her evaluated for an autism spectrum disorder, because of labels, etc, not understanding what positive effect it would have, and so on. I was finally able to convince her that her daughter is going to need that label, and last I heard, she was being evaluated, yay! Without that label, people can legally discriminate against her. It isn't as though not having the label is going to protect her from being obviously different.

And today, I met another one. She's in her mid teens, obviously on the spectrum, obviously not getting any help. People who do not know any better are going to assume she's of low intelligence...due to the inaction of a well meaning parent somewhere. That's beyond sad. It pisses me off.

I need work. plant my garlic. I am thoroughly pissed off about the loss of my garden tools. The guy who took them returned and took a bunch of other stuff, mostly not mine but probably not his either....and it looked like he was planning on taking the propane tanks! They are empty, but....dream on, man. No fucking way. I need to catch this guy, sick of this.

And--> he said he knew my ex, says that my ex "seems a little retarded". WTF?! He might be my ex, but that's not OK, and it isn't true. Ex or not, the guy is fairly brilliant, particularly in comparison to this loser. There is enough vestigial loyalty left for me to bristle at this... I did not spend 8 years and bear 3 children with a guy who was a "little bit retarded". Grrrr. Not having sense enough to stop there, the next time he saw me, with the guy I'm seeing, he started in on him. Anyone with sense would see that if it's not OK to insult my ex, it sure as hell isn't going to be OK to insult someone I'm with and obviously enjoying being with. What. a. dolt.

I would loooooove to catch this jerk on camera, sneaking around and thieving from me.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bored and angsty. I am having a terrible time distinguishing between "introverted man who likes quiet and space", "avoidant man" and "Busy/stressed/tired/preoccupied man" behavior. At any town burning time while my oldest at-home son works. Youngest son, who is with me today, is usually awfully hyperactive and talkative, but today he's a little more subdued, in the wake of an allergic reaction to cats. The laundry is tumbling wastefully in a current of hot air..wastefully because I should line dry it, but it got kind of mildewy outside, so I want to be sure that it dries really well, to kill any mildew spores. Also the weather has been a bit damp for successful large scale line drying.

So....I had to take it out somewhere....yes. Not being in a mood for good behavior , I went and jumped headfirst into a debate on gay marriage...on the ultra conservative Homesteading Today forum. Oh, the joy of having someone to take it all out on! It gets tiring to make the same arguments every time, so my approach today is, fine: you want to deny marriage to gay people based on your religious beliefs, A-OK, really. Make it equitable, though. Make "marriage" a strictly religious institution, devoid of all governmental regulation, protection, sanction, etc. Everyone who wants civil rights attached to the relationship status can get a civil union. If you want both, then get both....but legal protection needs to be available to everyone regardless of orientation.

Friday, October 19, 2012

All three modeling jobs have flaked out on me so far. One of these still has hope though, so I won't start whining about it yet. I was inquiring about it when the woman in charge of the place and I launched into a discussion of pottery/ceramics. I lamented the lack of a kiln and she mentioned pit firing. I have everything I need to make pit fired ceramics: earth, a shovel, fuel, clay....sawdust would make it even easier but sawdust can't be hard to find. Moreover, because hardly anyone pit fires ceramics anymore, it's a niche in what can be a very competitive market. There are a lot of potters around here...I haven't seen any pit fired pottery though. There's some wood fired pottery (using a wood fired kiln), which would be the next step up from pit fired in terms of away from nature/basic/primitive techniques and towards industrialization. The only hitch I can detect so far is that pit firing pottery is much more successful if you bisque fire the pieces first, and I have no affordable way to do that. So now...I am wondering if it's possible to do the bisque firing in the pit as well.

Monday, October 15, 2012

An interesting paper about anthocyanins in cereals.

The specific cereal I'm looking at here is purple corn. That link goes to one variety, probably there are several very old, native varieties of purple corn from South America. It is used, among other things, for a purple corn drink.

What I haven't found out yet is whether it will grow reliably up here.

What an ethereally beautiful song... I have a train of thought circulating in my head about this but am not sufficiently awake yet to articulate it competently.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Had a great weekend. I've been trying to clean our place up, both the stuff and trash left behind by former renters and the usual housecleaning inside...but for the amount of time that I spend cleaning and throwing stuff away, it doesn't seem to show a whole lot of improvement. I have this theory though, that the level of cleaning has to reach a certain point before it starts to look considerably better, i.e. when an area is 50% cleaned up it still looks awful even though you are half way through. Inside, I would like not only for the place to look cleaner, but also to have things organized such that like items are all together and an item can be easily located. Anyway....

Went to...I guess it would be called an antique store even though not everything is vintage? A majority of the merchandise was antique and the items had been carefully selected so it wasn't a high end thrift store, therefore it must be an antique store. An awful lot of the stuff was very kitschy, just knickknacks and cutesy stuff. I was about halfway through the place before I found anything that was really appealing, and just as I remembered that this would be a great place to look for wool combs (not cards, combs!), they wanted to close up shop. They had an old, presumably still functional corn sheller, labeled as a corn husker. How on earth they thought that thing would remove husks is beyond me, but at any rate, I want it! It would be really useful for quickly removing the corn kernels from the cobs. If peak oil occurs, corn will not be cheap and readily available and neither will other grains. I don't know what organic corn for livestock costs, but it's easy enough to grow and our climate is such that pasturing poultry or livestock year round isn't possible. There was a lot of very useful stuff there for living off grid or farming. I've also been wondering what people used to make soap, since you must use a non-reactive container which can be heated. They didn't have pyrex or stainless steel, couldn't use iron or plain steel, wood and ceramic vessels aren't feasible for heating the fat/lye I'm guessing that they used enamelware. What did people use before enamelware was manufactured?

Random tidbits from the day:

  • Munched on some cereal with wheat in it this morning, got the itchy ear/throat reaction and then I crashed and actually slept for 2 hours in broad daylight. I am usually unable to sleep with lights on unless sick, very exhausted (the kind of exhausted where even thinking about anything at all is next to impossible) or just coming down from a major panic/meltdown. Every time I eat wheat, it's the same: tired, groggy, fatigued for no good reason. People used to call me lazy....maybe it was the wheat.
  • Feeling all creative again and generating pottery ideas. I need to find a kiln, either my own or one which can be used. Also, I should start saving money for the spring ceramics class at college.
  • I listed my truck for sale, but am now reconsidering. If I want to do any farming, a 4WD truck would be very useful to have. Discovering that Gertrude's inability to start is likely due to a very, very corroded battery cable also puts a different spin on things. She needs new battery cables, to have the gas hose leak fixed, her brakes bled...and then would be drivable again.
  • Hmmmm. I'm at the laundromat and the worker here seems displeased that I'm online rather than folding the now dry laundry...ha.

Friday, October 12, 2012

ASMR Aha. Is this why I can get almost high off of sensory stimuli that seem to do almost nothing for other people? I wouldn't describe it as brain tingles though, more like bliss, deep satisfaction, like sex almost, except...without the sex, lol!

The video? I found it deeply relaxing, calming...(remind me to watch it the next time I can't sleep!)...but it can't hold a candle to the ecstasy of bathing my senses in the warmth of my lover's scent. You know that warm, happy afterglow that people get after they make love? That's the closest thing I can compare it to....sort of like being in a hot tub, only a mental + inner warmth sensation. Heaven. :-)

Colors, textures....some sounds....tastes...mmmmmmmmmm! :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Existential anxiety is a major theme with many aspies. I don't know if there's ever been a day when I didn't question my place in the world, or what it is I'm supposed to be doing, or what the point of this life was to begin with? It is constant.

And I am beginning to see that part of the difficulty I have with relationships is that I carry these questions right over into the relationship as well. "What is my place in this world?" goes to "What is my place with you?". "Does my life have inherent meaning and worth?" goes to "Do I have inherent meaning and worth to you?".

I don't have any conclusions or solutions about this topic at this is only an observation.

Got several fairly important things done...and crashing. Caffeine? Anxiety? I don't know, but half the point of getting things done early in the day is to be able to enjoy the rest of the day, so this kind of sucks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The neuropsych eval is finally least, that's what he claimed, "he" being the colleague of my psychologist who passed away last winter. Between the two of them this has taken about a year. As far as I can tell, the only new thing which has come out of this evaluation has been the ADD dx, but being able to get on top of that for once has made a substantial difference.

Getting ready to take charge of another chess club...felt intimidated about it because I haven't really played for a couple of I've been going through chess books once again, trying to remember my favorite openings. It helps that of the tattered, falling apart books by Fred Reinfeld, Complete Book of Chess Openings is still intact..well, more or less intact. I remembered my favorite opening as black (Gruenfeld) but not the others...but- aha! in this book is a scrap of paper with my favorite openings listed! Yes! If only I could remember exactly why they were my favorites, i.e. what plan of attack usually followed each opening, all would be well.

Monday, October 08, 2012

I was raised to believe the fairy tale, the idea that a girl grows up, falls in love with a nice guy who loves her, gets married, has kids and lives happily ever after. This was a major component of the blueprint of success for a woman's life in my mind. Any aberration from this was a failure. Except, the fairy tale never happened for me. And for years, I've felt like a failure because of this. I've spent most of my adult life trying to pick up the pieces of this broken fairy tale and patch them together...not very successfully, I might add.

It never occurred to me to ask whether this was something I would have wanted if it hadn't been forcefully imprinted on my young mind. I never asked whether this was a life I could actually enjoy and be happy with. I have frequently questioned whether it's a realistic goal for anyone, having concluded some time ago that it isn't going to work out for me. All the same, I felt worthless because unlike all the barbie dolls with their vacuous wasn't happening for me. It wasn't the fairy tale that was a crock of, it was me...I was the crock of shit.

And consequently, along the way, I've dismissed and bypassed opportunities that might have been fulfilling, that I could have found happiness in....because they weren't part of that magical blueprint. Now I find myself re-assessing all this:

  • Do I want to "grow up" into a housewife? No, I do not. That is not a role that works for me.
  • "Falling in love"? I have to honestly say that for me there appear to be two paths to love. There is the usually disastrous phenomenon of having love fall on my head, unexpected and uninvited, and then taking over my sanity for a rather expensive length of time. Oh, it's not all bad....the intensity is pretty intoxicating....but I generally end up putting all of myself on the line and then picking up the bloody pieces of the train wreck and feeling stupid. The other path would be growing into love, which isn't always exclusive, i.e. the falling in love sort of thing can turn into growing into love. At any rate, the growing into love seems to be much stabler, less fickle and certainly less stressful and more likely to result in a solid friendship if the romance end of things doesn't work out. Asking what is meant by that four letter word is another topic for another day.....and further highlights the difficulty with this aspect of the ideal.
  • The nice guy....who falls in love with me. Um. See above. People have very different ideas of love and it doesn't work as well as advertised for two people to assume that they're talking about the same thing!!
  • Marriage: Ah. This was a particularly troublesome aspect of that plan. I don't like to be owned. I like to think my own thoughts, to be my own person, to have my own ideas and preferences.....being subsumed by a man just doesn't work for me. Sadly, this wasn't always obvious at the outset, because men frequently assume that if I'm wild about them, then of course I don't need a life and identity of my own. Moreover, I am not an easy person to live with. I like my space. I like for things to be where I put be able to read while eating or to have solitude...and at times the need for solitude can be excessive. What I do like is to spend an awful lot of time with the person I'm bonded with....but on my terms, meaning, I want to be able to get away now and then without feeling guilty, so that I can be happy to come back! If I were to live with someone, I would need to work and for my partner to work, to have separate areas of life...and possibly separate spaces as well, even if were something like a studio or different building...without being made to feel guilty about it. There are people who have a business together and are together all day long running that business and then go home, only to get up the next day and spend yet another day together. I couldn't do that...would start to feel suffocated....would begin to lose appreciation for my partner.
  • Having kids....Oh lord. I love my kids...
  • Living happily ever after: why did I buy into the line that all those things had to happen first, exactly in that order, to be happy? Why do we buy into the line that happiness can be attained by achievement, or that someone can give it to you like a present? We have to make and find our own happiness.
Weekend at home. I don't know if I've ever spent an entire weekend at home since moving to this place! Progress in cleaning it up is much slower than I'd like for it to be, but it's amazing how much work can get done if one doesn't spend half or more of the day in town.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Oktoberfest! I somehow managed to land three, yes three, modeling jobs in the space of 15 minutes of talking to the right people last night. I'm very glad....need to get my feet under me financially. Once you start really falling behind, it's very hard to catch up again.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

This is the most useful information I have ever seen about PTSD and emotional trauma.

Monday, October 01, 2012

It is really hard to make a frog/toad hat that doesn't look like that sea monster..frogman? Something like that... :-/

Sunday, September 30, 2012

These baby and children's hats need to be made with organic cotton. How in good conscience can I make them from commercial cotton, when I know that cotton is one of the worst offenders when it comes to pesticides and other chemicals? I don't believe for a moment that the processing cleans those chemicals from the cotton fiber; if anything, more are probably added in the form of dyes and other processes. That cannot possibly be good for the infants; our skin absorbs all sorts of stuff. I will use up the yarn I have; after that, switching to organic cotton only...and my own handspun. There will be a price jump. I will have to order this yarn online, which will be inconvenient. is what has to be done.
I just realized that I feel real again! I look at my hands and move them and they don't feel foreign and distant, like objects attached to me....I am in them, I feel whole! This is wonderful. It feels so good, I could almost cry.

I don't think it's possible to really explain how nice it is to people who haven't had dissociative issues before. My body feels. It's so nice. I have struggled with dissociation for most of my adult life, particularly in relation to sex. There were complaints that I was remote and cold...but honestly, when sex is something that is being done to your body while your mind flies away to somewhere could it possibly be otherwise? This has not been an issue in my current relationship, which must be credited to an exceptionally gentle, sensitive, conscious, accepting and understanding partner...and that has been an awakening. I have been less and less dissociative more of the time which was already major progress...but this... this is wonderful. I feel alive for a change. Intensely alive. :-)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

So, I have been crocheting children's hats. Several people really liked them and my goooooood friend put me in touch with a lady who owns a shop that sells that sort of thing. She wanted me to bring in 7-8 of them, but I am on #5 now and running out of yarn, so I just brought her the four that were finished, because I needed to sell some in order to make money to buy more yarn.... I took them in on Thursday morning and already two of them have sold! They're selling for $20, made of cotton yarn, the Sugar and Cream brand if I recall correctly.

The obvious solution to the yarn shortage problem is to use my own handspun yarn. I will have to price that accordingly....but if I include a little card explaining the source of the wool, process to make it (lots of TLC and personal touch, yada yada), etc, then I might be able to command a higher price for them. I will continue making the cotton hats as well and charging only $20 for those.

The beauty of it is that I can carry the yarn and crochet hooks along with me and work on it whenever, as opposed to some of the other things I've tried to make and sell. Success!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Unlike Farmville, there is no easily accessible information which tells you how much a given crop will produce per foot/yard etc, how much it will sell for and how much it will cost to plant it and keep it up. Even more problematic are factors such as first year production on unimproved soil or with new plants (when perennials, berries and trees are being considered), how much those perennial crops might or might not produce the first year or two per plant and the difference in production between commercially grown veggies vs organically grown crops grown on nice soil with lots of TLC. I guess that I am going to have to slowly compile my own data, and of course am regretting not having done so before when I was growing a LOT of stuff.

For example, I know that my winter squash was extremely productive, particularly in relation to the amount of weeding and care it needed (almost none) and also considering that it could be grown directly over sod, giving me a very nice garden bed of improved soil in which to plant other crops the next year. It hogged a lot of space, but was worth it to me for those reasons. But how much space per plant? How much (in pounds) marketable winter squash did it produce in relation to the space it used? I really have no idea, I can only say that I was quite happy with it and had more squash than I could use and found lots of happy customers who were very pleased with its quality.

Felt unreasonably emotional and weepy for the past several days and now for whatever reason, feel rational and calm again...but sort of tired and sleepy. Am embarrassed by the mood swings but, powerless to go back and reverse them, what can be done about that?

I don't miss the cyclical bleeding thing, but I have to say that keeping the ovaries without the alert system to be able to make sense of what was going on hormonally has its confusing moments. :-P

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Still working on farm business plan. If only I could find someone to plunk down 150 K, I think it is highly plausible that the rest of life would begin to work better than it has been. The location is perfect. I don't care if it is in my name, or I am willing for it to be in someone else's name until I have paid them off, plus interest.

Let's say that this happens. Then I would need to come up with the capital to buy and plant the apple trees, etc. Even if I start slowly, half an acre or an acre of trees per year....the initial investment would need to be figured in. And, although I don't want this to be a monoculture anyway, it would be critical to have crops that would produce a marketable crop the very first year, ASAP. Some of those crops would continue to be grown over the long term, while others would be phased out as the apples came into strong production.

I ran into a friend the other day, one whom I hadn't seen in some time, and we chatted happily for about half an hour. Wonderful! We discussed work, money, how one balances all that sort of thing. And then she said something that wasn't new to me, something that had always been my ideal anyway, and I might not be able to state it as meaningfully as she did. She said that one must never do something just for money. Money can never be the first motivation. If you don't love doing what you do, if you are doing it only to make a buck, things will not go well, you won't be happy. And she's right. The times when I've been the happiest were when I was doing what I loved and the pay just sort of came along with it. That job working on a sheep ranch in Wyoming? Loved. It. I would have done it for free, I had so much fun. They were so happy with my enthusiasm for the work that they paid me extra and paid for a free tank of gas for our truck. The initial rate of pay in the job description wouldn't have been that good, maybe $25 a day for 2 days? Something close to that...I ended up getting paid a lot more. Modeling, same thing. The blueberry farm, the elephant garlic ranch....same stuff...although I did get tired of sitting and peeling elephant garlic for 8 hours a day towards the end of that job!

Working with the earth is something I love, so how does this relate to the farming business plan? Simple: I must not raise an animal, crop or breed of animal with money as the first consideration. I did that this year with garlic. I hate softneck white garlic, but it braids well and people buy braids long before they'll buy loose garlic, and softneck is easier to braid so that's what I grew. I grew Killarney Red, a hardneck garlic with more flavor, for myself. Well, I hated peeling the softneck, although braiding it was okay, but hadn't pulled it soon enough to braid well because it matured earlier than the hardneck garlic. And I can't sell it very easily because the truth is that I don't like it nearly as much as the hardneck. Oh, it's good, better than standard commercially grown garlic of course...but I don't love it the way I love the Killarney Red. There's no conviction or enthusiasm in me for the product I am trying to sell. It is only a product, not a labor of love. I still have a couple of pounds of the damned stuff, which I am struggling to unload. And guess who eats it and uses it if it never sells? Me. I am stuck looking at and eating something I didn't like very much to begin with. Well. That was dumb and misguided and I won't do it again. My friend has a different, much nicer sounding softneck garlic that she's offering me seed from and I might try that one. But generic production softneck white garlic? Never again.

It gets worse with animals because if you don't love and care about your animals, it's next to impossible to do a good job of raising them. The little touches, the little things that matter, fall by the wayside. I have raised animals I didn't love and it was just as disastrous as trying desperately to be a good wife to my husband when I was married to him. I am trying to think if I have ever had good sex, soul satisfying sex, with someone I didn't feel close to....and am coming up empty. When the love goes, so does the passion and all the little things that matter, the joy, the fun, the merging of souls, and it's just a dead act with no meaning...well, no good meaning anyway.

So anyway. I am going back through my business plan now and ensuring that there is nothing on there that I don't love so well that I would grow it for it's own sake, that I get excited about eating or using myself, etc. No iceberg lettuce or florist's roses or pigs or rabbits or Cornish Rock chickens!

Well, the house is cleaner at least.....

Woke up to a flat tire. Started to change it, couldn't get the last nut off (note: remove top nuts first, not last!) despite trying with all of my (limited!) strength. I had collapsed into tears and cleaning frenzies alternately a few times when my friend showed up to help. :-)

And then......

And then he used an air gauge to check the tire pressure while we were fully inflating the spare tire. An air gauge! Imagine that! I never use one of those since I lost my blue one a few years ago. I just listen for that tight sound and eyeball the tires. Who needs an air gauge? Well....turns out I have been over-inflating them. That's why I'm so hard on tires. That's why they keep developing uneven wear and bubbles in the metal belt. They were over inflated by 10-15 lbs...and I hadn't aired them up in months. I had no idea that over-inflating tires was a bad thing.....

But I have managed to knock a few of the major tasks off of the to-do list since finally getting to town.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

There are all sorts of things I'm supposed to be doing today. I have a to-do list that extends the full length of the page of my sketchbook/journal.

But today...I feel

as delicate as a robin's egg

as fragile as a dragonfly's wing

like the incomparably blue petals of the chicory flowers that I picked, not knowing that they'd shrivel into barely visible nothings before he could see them. Who would think that a weed would do that?


And what I should do, because I feel this way, is to throw myself into the risk of that list, to accomplish something, to confront life head on. Should. Do.

Random neurodiversity stuff:

  • I once had a T shirt made that said " Autism: it's not like you think". Nobody seemed to get it. of course, I didn't wear it very much, because even though the color (oatmealy natural) and size (small) were right, the neckline was so high and small that I felt a bit claustrophobic, like I was on the verge of being strangled. Kind of ironic that I did not attend to my own sensory issues while ordering a neurodiversity T shirt.
  • The autism end of the neurodiversity movement has been hijacked by "autism awareness" groups, most of which seek to "cure" or eliminate us or to force us into conformity at any cost to our own identity and personal well being. For example, Autism Speaks does not allow anyone with autism on it's board, nor in any position in its organization. This may have changed...I will look into it. How the fuck can they call themselves "Autism Speaks" when their very agenda is to silence us? They don't allow/listen to any criticism/feedback/input from people on the autism spectrum. They are in fact the very antithesis of their (poorly chosen!) name. And, also last I heard, they are in support of a prenatal test for autism spectrum disorders.
  • I have mixed feelings about the prenatal test (which is not a reality, but a goal in the minds of some groups). There is something very close to eugenics about it, particularly since it probably would not filter out mildly, barely there autism spectrum from solidly in the thick of it auties. I don't think any of us should be eliminated, nor do I adhere to the notion that people such as myself, who can pass for normal most of the time, are superior to so called "low functioning" autistics.
  • "Low functioning". What a slap in the face. Who is to say that these people are low functioning? Functioning poorly at what? At what the neurotypical experts think they should be functioning at? I am pretty sure that these people are functioning far more highly at things which the experts are either unaware of or completely insensate to.
  • Moreover, how much of it is the environment that the autistic people are in? Fluorescent lights, for example, drove me nuts in school. Between the humming and the constant flickering, I could hardly focus on my schoolwork. Describing how these lights make me feel is difficult, but aside from the noise and visual effects, there is something else...something toxic about them. They make me feel less together, less mentally organized, less able to think and cope well. And don't even get me started on Walmart....half an hour in that place renders me numb, overwhelmed and dazy. But my point is....if these people who are accused of not functioning well were in a place without artificial light, without constant noise (as opposed to sound) and generally toxic surroundings....they would "function" better, cope better, than they do when assaulted in almost every sensory way imaginable. This is not their/our fault. It is the time and society we are living in. It's toxic to us all, but some of us are more sensitive to it than others.
  • There is a fellow spectrumite, young, who comes to the library. He regularly has meltdowns and flips out. I have seen him in places that are not inundated with fluorescent lights and his behavior is so different there that at first I was shocked that it was the same child. It might not be the lights...but it could be.
  • I have been talking about this with my (ostensibly normal) friend/lover, who detailed a number of highly irritating sensory items. There are a lot of people who have issues with the overly aggressive, intrusive sensory assaults in our world. Now imagine being much, much more sensitive to strobe lights, very high pitched sounds, obnoxious perfumes (Axe! yuck!), etc, and being told that it is your fault and that you have to learn to deal with it because the world isn't going to change to suit you. Is it our fault that as people become increasingly insensitive and benumbed by their surroundings, the advertisers, etc ramp it up to still get a response, at the expense of those who are not dead to the world?
  • I hate hate hate those autism puzzle ribbons. I hate the idea that we cannot be understood, that we don't have a voice to explain our ways of being if only people would listen...which we do, that we are so poorly put together that our pieces don't fit or make a real picture. I hate even more that very well meaning, kind and autism advocacy minded people put these ribbons on their cars thinking that this is some kind of a positive gesture towards people on the autism spectrum, an emblem of support. The infinity ribbon, is what is generally used by people who are actually on the spectrum. Can you imagine what an uproar would ensue if a group of people whose goal was to test for -with the goal of aborting- anyone prone to developing breast cancer, were the ones who were designing and displaying the breast cancer ribbons, while the people who actually had breast cancer used an entirely different symbol??? That would not fly. The infinity ribbon has no puzzle pieces (unless normal people hijack it). It clearly shows us as we see ourselves, a color on the spectrum of humanity, not a piece out of place, a continuous spectrum wherein no color or section is inherently "better" than another one. This symbol is positive and empowering....and hardly ever seen. Here, by the way, is the website on which I found the image I linked to. "Unpuzzled" it. :-)We are not puzzles. We are people, like anyone else.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The advantage of having a dark background for one's website is that you can then use the computer screen as a mirror to see what is going on behind you. Ha.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I am beginning to think/feel/perceive that I have found true compatibility. I don't have to try to be good enough. I don't have to wear myself out with anxiety (although this is proving to be a difficult habit to break). I don't have to earn/deserve his affection. There's no struggle to try to contort myself into some pretzel of what I'm "supposed to be", "like other women". I just have to be myself and try to relax for a change. It's such a relief. It's hard to believe.

I would never expect him to try to earn/deserve me; after all, if the person you are seeing isn't to your liking, there isn't any point in trying to make them pretend to be what they aren't. I am not the sort of woman who believes in "fixing", "changing" or "training" a man. If I don't like the way someone is, if the essence of who they are isn't conducive to happiness with my true self, then really, what is the point? Why torment someone that way? Let them go to find someone who's a better fit. Yet, it is still very surprising that for once, I really do seem to be good enough. He asks that I be real, genuine. Ah: this is not difficult for an aspie girl to do!

The cynic in me is cautiously optimistic, lol.

Kicking myself because I forgot to take a shower and forgot that the health club closes at 8pm on weekends. Ugh! Otherwise...feeling sort of unsettled inside and not 100% sure why. I have got to find a way to become financially self-sustaining.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Something I was thinking about last night:

Because I am afraid of rejection/abandonment to the point of beign phobic about it, I often come across as clingy and dependent. This is off putting to the kind of guy that I like (introvert who likes his own solitude now and then and is fine with my behaving as if I were a cat rather than a Labrador). The level of fear and frequent need for reassurance probably reads as "weak, needy female who is all clingy and shit". If I had been able to articulate it, I would have told them that this phase is temporary. It is akin to tiptoeing very carefully and gingerly across an otherwise beautiful and inviting piece of land that has been sown with landmines. Until you know where each and every one of those landmines are, you are likely to be afraid. Once they have been found and marked and you have some assurance that things are safe now, the timidity takes a back seat and you can frolic happily, avoiding the mines, of course. But if someone saw you at first and didn't realize that you were afraid of the mines, they might think you were a wimp who was too hesitant to do much of anything or to have fun. Boundaries are critically important for me, as is knowing exactly what will or will not result in being discarded.

Once I feel secure, I pretty much live my own life, am happy to see my partner, enjoy their company, play when we both want to play, spoil them here and there, and read my books or work on whatever interest has consumed me at that time.

The problem: as I said, the sorts of guys who'd be OK with this get scared off by my initial insecurity. Meanwhile, other men do want me. What kind are these? the kind who want a groveling, oh-please-give-me-your-approval-every-second-of-the-day-until-I-die sort of woman. The kind who asks her husband's opinion/permission about the most trivial things and who meekly obeys whatever demands he might make. I am not that sort of woman. But, I have been mistaken for her and the men tend to be fairly dismayed when they discover their error.

The other type of man is less likely to be controlling. He just wants companionship all the fucking time and feels rejected if, God forbid, I want to do something alone or with a friend. Need,need,need,need,need.....and this sends me running away as irrevocably as anything could.

No wonder I have had such bad luck with relationships. :-/

So. Instead of looking for my lover/partner/whatever (not sure if I have attained girlfriend status yet) to reassure me every time I have an anxiety attack because I'm afraid I might get dumped.....I am going to have to learn how to manage the anxiety myself. Because really, that's sort of my responsibility, not his. He is doing his utmost to make me feel safe, but ultimately, that's not really his job, is it? My feelings, my responsibility. So this time, when the anxiety attack sucked my breath away and left me feeling all dazy and panicky...I thought...wait a minute. I am a Quaker. Quakers reach for the light, the peace in the silence. Quakers meditate. I know how to do this. I may not have been able to go to meeting, but I can still find that silence and peace. I can put myself back into my body until it's all there, until I feel real. And it took a long time...but I did it. :-)

I don't know if it will be possible to access this link, but it is so cool that I'll post it in the hope that it will work.... Llama shelter made from stock panels!

In case the link does not work, it is a llama (alpaca!) shelter made by arching cattle panels, stabilizing them in that position with T posts, and using zip ties to secure a tarp to the exterior. The arch/tunnel is open on both ends for ventilation, which is critically important. You do not want a barn to be all sealed up tightly.

I don't want to use a tarp. Thinking...what else would work for a roof? Join and arch metal roofing over the stock panel?

That guy did not show up (whew). Question: How can someone think that they're Jesus and yet reconcile themselves to the impossibility of being unable to work some kind of a miracle to get all their stuff to wherever they want it to be, or for that matter, to just get whatever they want, (i.e. new, better stuff) whenever, the same way?

He probably is not a bad person. Probably I don't need to be petrified of encountering him. However, the sketchbooks and art he left behind aren't helpful in terms of imagining him as a nice, harmless person. :-/

Thursday, September 20, 2012

And now...I'm scared again. Ugh. :-/


Thanks to the schizophrenic guy, afraid to go home, but have to, because the dogs are there.


If offered a choice, I'd rather face that guy than to feel that tightly curling, afraid feeling...that fogging away, losing myself in the dissociation. It is so hard not to be afraid.

It feels like a spring, winding up tighter and tighter in my chest and belly. The sensation of pressure, of imploding, of the spring about to snap and cut me up inside. It hurts, and I wish...I wish that I could make it stop, that I could be as brave within as I pretend to be on the outside.

All I for be good enough for someone that I can truly love. To feel safe and secure. I don't care about money or pretty things or anything like that....just.... Ugh. This is not such a good day.

Does time heal all wounds or only create new ones? I'm not sure. :-/
Why does life have to be so fucking difficult? But, at least I am not profoundly sad anymore. It could always be worse.

As for you, my not-friend....I hope you are doing well. I really, truly do.

Former renter, schizophrenic, came by sometime in the past few days while I was gone and took most of his stuff....and my gardening/farming tools. Well. I have tried to be nice. Time for hardball.

And----> I am so glad I wasn't there when he was. Things have a funny way of working out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sold more garlic. Have unloaded about two thirds of it. :-)
Huh. I have a relatively new blog and to my surprise, it is getting some interest even though I don't write on it for days at a time. It's subject matter is frugality/bare bones living. I gave it a stupid sounding name....but I don't think it is possible to rename it and can't think of anything better so...oh well.

It is here

Finally sold some garlic this morning. Things were getting down to the wire...our vehicle was nearly out of gas. I need to sell the rest of it...well, only the softneck white, which is the majority of it anyway. Found a place that loves the hats I've been making! She wants me to make a bunch of them and set up a display in her store. :-)

Work...have to find work.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It has got to get tiring to have to constantly reassure me that I am not about to get dumped. To deal with all my old baggage and trauma stuff, etc. I mean, I am working on it, have been working on it, will continue to do so....because I refuse to be a lifelong victim of the people who hurt me. My goal in this area of life is to live well in spite of them, to live fully and happily, to heal.

And...I am thankful that I discovered and developed my sexuality before they got to me, before that part of me could be warped and ruined. I'm not saying there aren't issues...but what I am saying is that when you've owned and defined your sexuality independently, before that kind of trauma, less damage is done because you know that your body belongs to you. Three cheers for masturbation!

As for the nightmarish past 18 months....and yes, that is what it feels like, a nightmare that I've finally awakened from.......I am at a loss as to how and why that hurt so fucking much. Nothing else that has ever happened to me has hurt more. I am done asking "why" it happened to begin with. Life isn't always rational. Strange things happen and sometimes without a good reason. I am not getting how I could have been so emotionally invested in that.....but...whatever. Not going to go picking at the scab.

Because now, things are better. Now, I am discovering what it feels like to be appreciated, to be listened to....really listened to, not that pretend sort of listening...but the sort where you are heard, where your voice matters. I am finding out what it's like to feel like an equal, to be treated with respect. To be 100% there, not dissociating at all. It's wonderful. It's intoxicating. It's very hard to let go of for very long because I'm afraid it will go away and things will return to being sucky again. I think...that I am having a hard time believing that something this nice could happen to me, that there could be a partner who is a partner in every sense of the word, that his eyes could be shining like that at me and will still be that warm tomorrow, too. I wonder if this is what a shelter dog feels like when it leaves the tiny, stinking kennels with the endless barking and fear/aggression smells...and goes to a good home where it's really loved.

I hope this works out..and I will do everything I can to contribute towards that goal....but whether it does or not, one thing is clear: I am never, ever settling for being treated like shit again.

Not scared anymore. :-)
I'm scared. No matter what I do, I'm always scared. Sometimes it's small enough, distant enough, to be almost is still there, still waiting, ready to fuck up whatever pleasant thing might be going on, to frighten me into acting cold and aloof, to being bitchy...ready at the slightest notice of rejection, real or imagined. I hate being this way.

Monday, September 17, 2012

"You are Normal"

What is the appropriate response to the above statement? Or to the similar "There's nothing wrong with you"? This, in context of a disability, whether visible/obvious or hidden/not so obvious (but just as debilitating).

It isn't that I don't appreciate the sentiment; I do. But fast on the heels of that affirmation are the misgivings: does this person really know me? Do they not see what it's really like, who I really am? And yes, having Asperger's or any other autism spectrum disorder is not, contrary to what PC people say (persons with autism, blech) separable from the rest of the person...sort of like your gender and race. Nobody refers to a man as a "person with maleness", to a gay person as "a person with homosexual attraction" or to my grandmother as "a person with Filipino genetic material". There is a reason that ASDs are called "pervasive" (although that doesn't sound like the kindest descriptor to me). When you are on the autism spectrum, it is not something you "have", it is an integral part of you that permeates every aspect of your identity. This isn't to say that the other extreme, autism as who you are, as the sole characteristic, is correct either. Of course any person on the spectrum has many, many other attributes, defining characteristics, and elements to their identity.

Another facet of this "you are normal, there is nothing wrong with you, society is what's wrong" (I agree with the latter statement by the way) point of view is that it seems to imply that if one cannot cope/perform/work/interact as competently as other people, it is due to a lack of trying hard enough...and I emphatically reject that idea. I've never met anyone on the spectrum who wasn't doing their damnedest to cope, who wasn't put under extra stress due to the strain and effort of trying to keep up. Nobody would say that an amputee was just as normal as a group of biped hikers and that if he/she couldn't keep up, it was due to not trying hard enough...but when you are on the spectrum this happens almost every day.

And that's just the ASD stuff. Most of us have at least one "comorbid" (what an ugly sounding word!) condition, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, Tourettes, etc. Having an anxiety attack is not normal. Having anxiety attacks regularly, when you are trying to get other stuff done, at work or elsewhere, is not normal...and being told that there's nothing wrong with this leaves one feeling somewhat lonely and if they don't know who are are not because you haven't told them, but because they refuse to acknowledge that this is something you have to deal with, that it's something that can be a problem.

The sucky thing is, I really think that people mean well when they say this stuff. It doesn't seem to be said out of malice or insensitivity.

Full of random thoughts today....If I had to choose between being raped every day and having my heart broken again, I think I honestly might choose the rape.

And that's very sad....but...I mean, you can dissociate from your body and after all, it's only a body and it only hurts for a little while even if you do feel it, but if you hurt inside, you hurt nearly all the time, sleeping, awake, whatever you do, you hurt. And then there's the whole feeling worthless/unlovable element besides. Yeah, I would definitely choose the ten minutes of rape every day if I could go home to the arms of someone who cared about me.

Uh, wait. What did I just do? Allowed an application to invite...all my contacts from my yahoo account? Oh dear. That was unintentional but, just like everything in the virtual world, it's instant and irreversible. Sigh.... OK well, I think it's about time to edit my contacts.
I must be one of the world's most impossible women. I don't want to be owned or clung to and demanded of, and if I can't give something voluntarily then I don't want to give it at all, ever...but on the other hand am insecure to an almost (almost?!) neurotic degree and inordinately preoccupied with the fear of being dumped and or abandoned.

How is one to integrate/resolve all this in any sort of a workable fashion?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Every day is better. :-) I am happy, not just happy but deeply contented. I was so uneasy about turning 40...but instead, that was the first step in a different direction, and it's only getting better. I don't expect that life will instantly grow easy, or that I won't continue to struggle with the issues that sometimes haunt me. But....there's hope, there's the promise of happier times. There's....well, life is good. Finally, life is good.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Comparative Psychology. I knew there had to be an official sounding term for what I was trying to describe! :-)
Anxiety, you steal my sleep, make me feel queasy, knot my stomach. You rob me of the joy of what is, now, by preoccupying me with the pain and horror that tomorrow may or may not bring. You tighten my muscles and make me feel sick, you make my smiles feel false. And you try as hard as you can to make me see my beloved with different eyes.

But I will fight you, I hate you. I hate how you bully me, heart and soul, night and day. Be gone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hmm. Here is something I wrote a long time ago (well, it seems like a long time to me!) and just stumbled across again:

"People cannot be possessed. Perhaps they think so, but I is not so and that love which is about possession, not appreciation for the qualities of what is loved....isn't love at all. It's just greed. If something has to be owned to be loved, then it isn't loved whether it's owned or not."

You know what, I love modeling, I mean really love it, because for whatever reason, the dissociative stuff goes away for a few days and I feel deeply, intensely alive and in my body...but I cannot make a living from it. I cannot even barely squeak by on it unless I get a LOT of jobs together. It would take at least 4, 2 hour jobs per month. You wouldn't think it would be hard to scare up 8 hours of modeling work per month, but it really and truly is.

The blueberry farm is done until spring.

I need to find a different job, part time. And so, I find myself reapplying to a former employer. I was pretty unhappy with them the last time, but I've heard that they have improved. We'll see. It cannot hurt to try.

And....I found more work. Just need to set it up, set prices, etc. :-)
Two more alpacas. These are not as soft as the first two. I have decided to board them all at a friend's house, where there is a lot of securely fenced pasture and they can run around.

One of the mothers from the autism parenting group has alpacas and she once told us that "alpacas are autistic, they really are!", laughing. I am beginning to see what she means. They hate eye contact. They are not crazy about being touched, although if you are slow and gradual, touching can be tolerated. They have a very low panic threshold. And....they hate having their pen moved every day so as to rotate pasture! They want everything to remain the same. If I had goats in the same pen (3-4 stock panels bent into a circle with a gate) that got moved every day, the goats would be excited at the new pasture. They'd be sticking their heads out of the fence eating what could be reached and begging for new browse until the fence was moved. Alpacas on the other hand, hate for their fence to be moved. They resent the change and it really seems to upset them. I had not anticipated this and my entire set up was for what would have made goats happy. So...while they are at my friends pasture (which also has a barn!), I will put up permanent fencing. I tried, but was not able to find, information on the psychological needs and preferences of alpacas...thinking of them as taller, woolier goats was obviously a fail!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sometimes I wonder if it shows in my eyes....because I feel like I'm waving a great big flag that says, "I'm scared, please reassure me!", despite all my best efforts to pretend that all is calm within.

Breathe...try...try to remember that it isn't inevitable, it isn't set in stone that that's the way it always has to go.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Beginning to realize the true extent of my abandonment issues. This issue is huge with me, and I hate it. I hate the gnawing fear, the anxiety, the waiting for it to happen. I hate not being able to enjoy what is today because of what I'm afraid might happen tomorrow. I hate the panic that sets in, the hypervigilance to any sign at all that things aren't going well, that someone might be even slightly inclined to go away. I hate the clinginess that wells up inside of me, that I try so hard to hide. I especially hate the constant need for reassurance because really, who's capable of giving that 24/7 regardless of their mood? And it's so hard for me not to withdraw, not to freak, not to curse myself for ever allowing anyone close to me to begin with, not to play out the chess game 20 moves ahead, in which that last move will be me standing all alone, trying to figure it out....again. I hate feeling as though I have two choices: to be alone and heartbroken, or to be tenuously with someone and very, very afraid.

Visualize the thing that you're most afraid of....snakes, spiders, heights, whatever. Now imagine yourself in a situation with that, the worst small space or big crowd or tall building swaying in the breeze, the nastiest spider, etc....and the happier you are, the worse the thing you're afraid of gets. long as you don't let on that you're afraid of whatever it is, it won't bite you (or whatever). You have to try to hide your fear, not to let any sign out of how terrified you are, because then it will in fact happen. Maybe you could do this for 5, 10, 15 minutes, right? But no. You have to maintain it indefinitely, for as long as you want to be happy, and you have to take care not to let any cracks appear through which your fear will seep out. There are fleeting moments when it relents, when it goes away, but generally, it's there all the time. Generally, as long as you're around someone you love, it's there, and the more they mean to you, the worse it'll be. That's what it's like. It is exhausting. It sucks up all your energy. It depletes one's life of joy. It hurts.

So I went looking online for advice, and the first page I visited said:

"This presentation is NOT about blaming our parents - it's about the acknowledgment of what happened so we can heal the original pain, stop the cycle, and live a happier life. Parents do the best they can - In fact, they are usually on a crusade to make sure their kids "have it better than I did!" Your parents were raised by their parents...who were raised by their parents...and so on. Parents can't give much more than they have been given themselves - its just not in their neural networks."

Well, that pisses me off. I don't care how my mom feels about this. She fucked up and she didn't try her best or she wouldn't have done that. She was selfish and immature. She did it at least three times! Making excuses for the parent who does such a thing is irresponsible in my opinion. Asking a child who has been through that to do those things is like telling a rape victim not to blame her rapist...after all, he was messed up for his own reasons and that was the best behavior he could manage! B.S.

This page was better even though it was less professional. A segment:

"You are a perfectionist. If only you get it right, you won’t be rejected. Whether “it” is a work project, the way your home looks, how you dress, or what your body looks like, perfectionism is a thief. It steals your happiness under the guise of preventing rejection."

Oh yes. The endless trying to find exactly the right combination of things to do, ways to look, talk, etc.....there's got to be some magical sequence, like dance moves, that everyone else knows and I don't....ugh!

Anyway. I am trying to work on this. I really, really, am. It's hard.