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. :-(