Friday, November 30, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
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
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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
Monday, November 26, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
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
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
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
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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'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
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.
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 kitten...in 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.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Saturday, November 03, 2012
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?
- 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 this...it isn't even his fault in any remote fashion but he's the one who's stuck dealing with it. :-(
Friday, November 02, 2012
Thursday, November 01, 2012
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. :-(