Friday, December 30, 2005

Now that I'm not working.....I feel more reclusive than ever. It is getting to the point where even the thought of going to the grocery store is...not fear imspiring, but...unattractive. I don't feel like seeing other people, and it isn't because I'm depressed, either. It just isn't appealing.

Also, without the constant social drain on my energies and coping mechanisms, I feel more creative and alive (internally), less like a robotic drone. :nods: It's nice.

Alas, I can't keep doing this unless I find a way to make it pay....

So I need to find some sort of employment either in tandem with my usual workplace or instead of it. I'd like something less social, more physical/utiltarian/results oriented. My current thought of the day is to work just one or two days a week at my old workplace and apprentice as a finish carpenter or drywall finisher. In fact, I wouldn't mind regular construction/framing, but I'm not sure I could find anyone willing to hire a 5' 2" tall woman who usually weighs 120# at the most.....maybe it's possible...I definitely don't mind working.

Except, what I really wanted to do with my life was *ART*. I don't want to wait until I'm old, and even then, I won't be able to do anything but just tread water unless I find something better paying to do....

Thursday, December 29, 2005

My baby is now externalized! (is that a word?) Charles, 7#, 7oz, born 12-20. He is nice, sleeps for several hours at a time, but seems alarmingly small/frail.

The C-section went well, and overall I feel 200% better than I would have after a regular birth...but getting tubes tied was unexpectedly more painful (recovery-wise) than I thought it'd be.

Meanwhile, the bitchiness that was a constant tone of my pregnancy has evaporated, and in its place, I just feel....vulnerable...and creative. It's very hard for me to sit still and rest like I'm supposed to, and I keep overdoing it and hurting myself. Life seems too full and open with things to do....

Friday, December 09, 2005

Something else:

*Just got an ultrasound today. The baby is most definitely male. :-)

*My doctor thinks that the reason for my slow postpartum recovery is probably that I bled a lot. She said that when you lose that much blood, it takes the body a loooong time to build it back up again. When you consider that a new mother is also undergoing the physiological strain of beginning lactation (with it's dramatic surge of excess milk production), I can see how it would set a person back. Healing, lactating, anemic/making more blood, plus inadequate rest? Yeah, it makes sense.

*So she's going to try to make sure that I don't bleed too much this time, if possible. Nice!

*A whole month after getting an echocardiogram, they still haven't given me a verdict on what exactly was wrong with my heart last time and if it will recur! I do like to imagine that if it were life threatening, they'd have told me by now.....

*Also- this baby is on the small side: only about 7.5 lbs. I am currently feeling horribly guilty about not ingesting more meat/protein....the fact is that I have little to no appetite for meat since I got pregnant, especially store meat. I have to force myself to eat red meat..... More eggs, cheese, and soy milk, I guess...
Realization of the day:

Spanking (and I could include corporal punishment and child abuse of various forms) isn't really about causing the child pain at all. The primary goal is not to hurt the child, it's to humiliate them. That's why it's so painful and leaves such a lasting mark that still smarts years later.....

Think about it......

Friday, December 02, 2005

I am really, really scared. Eighteen days (or less) from now, I'll be holding a new baby in my arms. It isn't so much the prospect of the actual birth that frightens me, it's the afterwards....

This place doesn't feel like home to me, not really. The last three births may have been in more difficult/primitive conditions, but I felt comfortable and grounded. With this place, if we miss a month's rent, we'll have to more, and to where? There's no privacy, no place to hide, no sanctuary, goats to seek solace with if I need them. No silence, no solitude, and it's killing me. I can't insist on these things without infringing on everyone else's rights or pissing people off.

And I *know* I'm a troll and I'm trying really hard to be reasonable and not to complain, but I just can't relax. I'm either on edge from constant noise or recovering from some kind of stress or afraid that I've irritated someone or yelling for the boys to shut up, or pleading with people to please, please, PLEASE try to get along and stop fighting!

How is this baby going to sleep? Nobody cares about noise or being quiet...I can't sleep until everyone else is sleeping first, and even small noises wake me up in the morning, after which I can't go back to sleep again. How am I going to rest and recover? How am I ever going to relax enough to be able to nurse this poor kid and let my milk down? Nobody listens to me unless I yell and bitch at them...and I don't want to yell around a little baby....

I guess it wouldn't be as big an issue if I recovered the way other women seem to. I didn't realize, until recently, that I was different that way. I thought all women got knocked out of commission for weeks on end. They don't. My coworkers waltz right into the store with the less-than-a-week-old babies, and the look fine! They don't stagger and fight for the energy to stay standing. They don't have to sit down every 15-20 feet. Heck, then even carry not only the baby, but also a large, bulky car seat/baby carrier thing (which seems like an awful lot of trouble and inconvenience and weight compared to a nice snuggly baby against your shoulder). I can't believe this, but it's true- I've seen it. My manager even returned to work just a week after her first child!!!

I don't know if I hemorrhage when I give birth or what, but it's all I can do to remain standing for a few minutes for the first 2-3 days. After that, I can walk around a little- but not much, and not for very long. I might muster up the strength to appear at the breakfast table. I'm certainly not going to be the one cooking the breakfast....not for quite a while.

And the idea of being that weak/helpless/pathetic, in this situation, just scares the living bejeezuz out of me......

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Latest reading material:

Animals in Translation by temple Grandin

This book is fascinating. I'm not done with it yet, but I haven't found a single paragraph yet that bored me. I recommend it to every intelligent, thinking person interested in either animals or autism. My only disappointment is that she hardly mentions goats at all, but goats are not a standard livestock that goes through feedlots and meat processing plants, so this isn't actually too surprising. I think that it may be she doesn't work very much or at all with goats, because if she had, she would likely have lots of interesting anecdotes about them! Anyway, this is a good book. I think you should read it.

And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts

This book is depressing. While I don't approve of the behavior that led to the amazingly rapid spread of AIDS, I find it profoundly disturbing that our government took such an incredibly long time to come up with anything remotely resembling a legitimate concern or response to the epidemic. It is all too obvious that they didn't care....after all, AIDS was a "gay" disease. How could they be so complacent? I don't know, the whole thing seems like some sort of a holocaust to me. When people with that attitude (i.e. "let the fags die") look at a gay person, do they see soemone who is a person who happens to be attracted to the same sex, or do they see some sort of, I don't know...a monster? Do they just assume that...oh I don't know, never mind...trying to wrap my brain around the sort of mindset that flat out couldn't care less about hundreds of gay men dying is just beyond me....

----and this is all I am currently reading, because otherwise I wind up starting several books and finishing none of them. -----

Thoughts on:

Uncle Tom's Cabin

I think that this book was far more effective for its time than it would be in this day and age. It relies very heavily on a sense of moral obligation, religion, and sentiment/feeling. It was written in an age when people still felt soem sort of duty to God and to obey what the Bible said. Now, a slaveowner reading it would simply shrug it off and say, "Oh well, that's the way things are! Capitalism is the name of the game!" I did find the notes of satire scattered through out the book very refreshing. I suppose that in some ways, I am an innocent, because like And the Band Played On, I was frequently appalled and had a hard time comprehending how people could act that way and be so unthinkingly cruel. It seems surreal to me. This is odd, because I am not a sentimental or gooey-emotional person. Maybe a better way to phrase it is this: I am not emotionally "warm", and I don't think that I'm all that "good" either, but this kind of behavior is incomprehensible to me. I don't understand it.

The Wisdom of the Body

This book was interesting, yet I haven't finished it. I wonder why? I think what happened was that there was a chapter I didn't understand or couldn't picture. I suppose I should skip that section. I think I got bogged down tryign to reread paragraphs that were not computing...again and again and again...sort of like trying to learn algebra (I have been trying to learn basic algebra for ummm...17 years now).

The Natural House

I will paraphrase something from this book that vastly amused me: "If you want to build a house of cordwood, you should be aware that it is very labor intensive. Cutting, splitting, and debarking the wood is an incredible amount of work. Even a small cabin can use as much as 5 cords of wood!" (At this point, chamoisee just about falls off of her chair laughing hysterically!!!) Five cords of wood is a lot of work?! Did they expect the house to build itself? Any building method requires a lot of work! Work is good for you, people! It's a fact of life. Get over it! And no, five cords of wood doesn't seem like a whole lot of work to me at all. Now, 20-30 cords would....but 5 cords is about what anyoen livign up here would need to go through the winter. It's just a pretty standard amount of work, and it could easily be doen within a week, assuming that you did mostly firewood during the day for that week (not working a regular job besides). It isn't drudgery, and it isn't bad work, either. Poeple who are wimpy enough to whine about 5 cords of wood should wear a nice suit and work in an office and pay contractors buku bucks to build the house for them. (rolls eyes)

The Straw Bale House

Straw bales as a structural load bearing component of a house? Supporting a roof? Chamoisee is both leery and skeptical....I'm not saying that it can't be done...just that...well, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it. I would want some post and beam construction in there. Heck, I wouldn't feel that good about using alfalfa bales in that way, and they're a heck of a lot stouter than straw bales are. A stack of straw bales has a tendecy to sag and fall over and compress badly...not my idea of a secure, load bearing wall.

And in case you are wondering, I haven't had any more meltdowns at work lately. After tomorrow, I will be working just one day a week. The thoguht throws me into a mild panic...because in a way, my work = my self esteem. I sort of *need* to work to feel legitimate and worthwhile. Housework isn't the same. It doesn't make money, it isn't valued,'s not the same. Fact of the matter is, though, I went home early 2-3 times last week because I was in pain. I need to cut back and take a rest for a few weeks before the baby gets here. I guess I can obsess with makign sure that the house runs smoothly...or start 10 different new projects and finish 2 or 3 of them...something...

Hey- maybe I will have time to paint? (wistful)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Current mood: whiny. My pelvic bones and musculature are aching and hurting more or less regularly, and not only it is not going to get better anytime soon, but over the coming month, it will get worse!. I only have about a month to go before the birth of what will be my last child... His father says that he would gladly endure the pain for me if he could...but I think if he had it for a few hours, he would be happy for a reprieve!! :-P

Ah well. Only a month to get ready for another baby...lots of stuff to do! The time will fly...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

An excerpt from a day in life as me....(11-11-05)

  • From the moment I wake up, my entire day is focused on th efact that this is an altenate Friday, in other words, *Payday*.
  • We are so strapped that I was grateful almost to tears when my partner shelled out the very last of his change for me to put into the gas tank. Yes, change. I actually had to count out coins in order to keep my car on the road and get to work.
  • My remaining total cash was probably about a dollar in small change, barely enough to get a snack, let alone pay for 2-3 meals at work, and no espresso, either! Eeeek! (yes, I am spoiled in this regard, and no, even when it's a single shot with calcium-rich milk, I probably should not be drinking even one espresso a day while pregnant)
  • Therefore, I got up with plenty of time to spare in order to get the check from the store, cash it at the bank, and return to the store in time to get that espresso and breakfast before clocking in for work.
  • The drive through window is closed! There is a sign about the bank being closed for Veteran's Day! It is not yet 9:00. Is it Veteran's Day today? Perhaps the bank hasn't opened yet. I will wait until 9:00 and see. In the meantime, why not check the mail? The post office is right next door to the bank.
  • The post office's office is also closed (although they have still filled our boxes and I hear the quiet soudn of soemone working in the space beyond the boxes, the discreet shuffling of letters and papers), and there is another sign about Veteran's Day, Friday, the 11th of November. Today is Friday, and I think it is the 11th, therefore it is Veteran's Day. It has to be. The bank will not be opening today.
  • I drive back to work and walk back towards the store, investigating the bank near the store first (which is also closed). I have to cash my check!! How? The day is pleasant and sunny and breezy and feels/smells like spring. On the way out to the car and towards the bank, it was so pleasant that I had wanted to spin as I walked towards the car, with the warm fresh air caressing my face and hair. I don't feel that way anymore, and the day seems like a contrast.
  • As I near the store, a coworker merges with me and I tell her that the banks are closed! We wonder if the store (which has a check cashing service) will cash my paycheck. I ask her how much they charge, and she gives me a look that I cannot interpret and says "They shouldn't charge anything!" as we walk through the doors. I am not sure what this means. Will they charge me, but she thinks they shouldn't? How much will it be? Will they not charge? I am confused and beginning to feel uneasy.
  • I stand in line at the express aisle. The checker, Christy, is the same one who gave me my paycheck a few minutes before. She is my friend, I think, at least, we are always very friendly and she is always nice to me and we enjoy talking during our breaks. Once I get to her, I ask her if I can cash my paycheck here and how much it will cost. She says that it shouldn't cost anything, if Steve (the boss) will let me do it. I wil have to ask Steve.
  • I exit her line and stand in Steve's line and wait to ask him. I am beginning to feel like a hungry goat running through the milking parlor when the grain has run out, hopping onto the milking stands expectantly hoping for the grain that is not there... Maybe if it is a different milking stand, or a different person, the grain will magically appear.
  • I ask Steve. It is hard for me to make eye contact with him. I like Steve, but he is my boss and I find him intimidating, too. I feel small and vulnerable. He says something to the effect of the negative and something else that conjures up an image of ALL the store's employees trying to cash their checks here and the store running out of money. The words are getting lost because my mind is starting to flood and I am scared and overwhelmed. I see his face and he is trying to be nice but his words are not registering very much...
  • And then he asks me if I need any money orders, which seems like a bizarre question. Why would I need a money order? (visual image of another piece of paper similar to the check). No, I do not need a money order.
  • I need to eat, I am afraid that I will not get anything to eat and my baby will be hungry and I hear the meager inadequate coins sloshing around faintly in my pocket, advertising their smallness. I hardly see anything and I walk as though in a dream. Also dreamlike, I hear Christy calling me back over to her line so I wait in her line again and I am now feeling ridiculous because I know that going through the motions of standing in these lines is not going to make a difference.
  • I see Christy now and she is being very nice and asking me what I need. Do I need something to eat? I feel overwhelmed with hunger and desperation and fear and my mind is hardly functioning anymore. I just feel like crying, and she is so nice and that makes it very hard not to. I cannot speak. There are no words. I am only trying very hard not to cry in front of these people.
  • I see my checkbook. I can write a check? Yes. This is what I can do, write a check for more than what I need and then I'll have enough gas to get back to work, too. But I can't talk to ask her if this is okay, the words are lost. She says that she can loan me money over the weekend if I need to. Steve is there and he is asking if I am OK. I am not OK, I am hungry and scared and the world is swirling around me in a whirlpool of raw emotion and it is very hard not to cry and get lost and swept away into it.
  • He asks again about a money order, but this time the word seems foreign and completely devoid of meaning, just sounds. Mon-ey Or-der... No meaning. It does not satisfy or cancel out the picture of the breakfast and espresso or the gas for the car. It is just an irritating puzzle piece that does not fit, why does he keep saying it? I hear myself saying, almost in irritation, "What is a money order?" I am confused by hearing this nonsensical word that does not fit or apply.....
  • "You're kidding, right?" "You don't know what a money order is? You're not serious."
  • Of course I know what a money order is. I shake my head impatiently and my hands are up by my ears fanning them, trying to filter out all the confusion. If I could explain it, I would tell him that I am having a lot of trouble processing right now. I hear Christy saying something to him to that effect, how does she know? Her husband had a stroke, does this happen to him, too? Maybe...
  • I try to shake the confusion off. I will write a check. I finally manage to ask her if I can do that, because I do have enough money in the bank to write a check. She is still offering to loan me money, but it will be Ok if I can write the check. Yes. Then I can buy food. I am forcing myself to not cry and to try to stay in control. As she cashes it for me, she explains: if I had any bills that needed to be paid, I could get a money order in exchange for part of the check. I see a visual of the dollar amount of my check and the amount of rent that we pay. They do not match. No, that wouldn't work. The way I am doing it will be better.
  • I am finally able to get something to eat for breakfast and to make the espresso, and so I come through the line one more time, this time to pay for the long desired food. I am embarrassed though....

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Books currently being read:

Uncle Tom's Cabin -Harriet Beecher Stowe, of course.

I've been wanting to read this classic since I was a teen. It's a good read, even if it is strongly Christian and moralizing. I suppose that, given the era and the author's intent, the latter was fairly necessary. It's sort of hard for me to believe that A. Such a time really existed, and not that long ago, in our country and B. That anyone could actually believe that such treatment of other humans was moral or humane, and that they could have classed people as livestock based on nothing more than the color of their skin of the percentage of their blood. How could a man sell off his own children unfeelingly, without even blinking, simply because their mother was black or partly black? (Does not compute with Chamoisee's logic)

The Wisdom of the Body Sherwin Nuland

I loved this guy's other book, How We Die, so I was delighted when I found this one. To be honest though, I'm not sure I like it better. There was something awfully fascinating about the process of death (yeah, i am weird and probably morbid, too). Which isn't to say I don't enjoy this book- I do. It's just that there was something riveting about reading through the various descriptions of death, knowing that inevitably, one of them will also befall me. (I ultimately concluded that bleeding to death is the best way to go).

The Desert Southwest Burba, Paniche, Moore

A treasured recent Library Book Sale find. It is a coffe table type book with lots of pictures (and text) of primarily adobe houses. The motive here was to glean ideas for an (adobe style) paper bale or straw bale home.

The Natural House Daniel D. Chiras

A nice variety of alternative building methods.

The Straw Bale House Steen, Steen, and Bainbridge

I am surprised to learn that, contrary to what I had thought, there acually are people who use the straw bales as load bearing walls. This seems foolhardy to me- like asking for trouble. I have dealt with enough straw to know that it's far less dense than say, alfalfa hay, and I sure as hell wouldn't want to use alfalfa hay for loadbearing walls, either- it'd settle too much. I don't think I would feel truly secure using this method without a post and beam framework as the supporting structure.

The Hive Camilo Jose Cela

So far, mildly interesting....but not interesting enoug to hold my attention as yet. It's sort of like War and Peace (which I wasn't able to bring myself to finish even after renewing it umpteen times from the library): there are too damned many people to keep track of! Not only are there a lot of people, but the story (both books) seems to be mostly about the people and their feelings: boring... With War and Peace, there were only two characters that I could even faintly relate to- Prince Andre and...the other guy, the dorky loser who was duped into marrying a girl not really suited to him. I don't remember his name now. I was very hard to maintain concentration long enough to get to where I could read about one of the interesting characters eventually I quit trying.


And what else.....

I've come to the conclusion that what I need is this: a job that is more mentally challenging. If I did that, I could more or less make my job my life, do well at it, and then relax when I got home. As it is, I feel intellectually starved and almost desperate for some sort of mental stimulation: a bad thing because, not only do I get discontented and bitchy/weepy/frustrated/despairing, but at some point I also reach a state where I get my mental jollies out of making sarcastic remarks and exercising a very strange sort of humor and offending/irritating/befuddling the people around me. Or I get to where I make snide comments about stupid rednecks with low I.Q.s and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (which really, if I think about it, isn't funny or nice- FAS babies didn't ask to be born that way) at every turn. Worse yet, I spend hours at the computer constructign topics specifically to get a rise out of people and get them all incensed so I will have someone to deabte with (except, most of them don't give me a lucid debate, just lots of emotion and dreck, which is dissapointing).

God, how I wish I had someone to play Boggle with.... :-/

I've even beat Dave at chess the last 5 times we played.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

One of those "Oh, yeah, right....." moments

I've been canning food for the past few days. Yesterday it was plum jam which unfortunately scorched at the last minute (this annoys me to no end- cheap, crappy, thin enamelware pot!!!). Today it was orange marmalade; I've just removed the jars from the boiling water and set them to cool. It looks nice, except that the orange peel won't stay in suspension but wants to settle towards the bottom half of the jar. I suppose this is due to using a pectin that doesn't set up until after teh product cools. It bugs me, though. I'll have to eat half the jar before I get to the part I like, or stir it upon opening. Neither choice makes me happy. (Yeah, I am crabby today).

Canning is a multi-tasking nightmare for me. I know for a fact that I don't ever want to do anything that requires a pressure cooker! Jams, jellies, pickles, and fruits are stresful enough, thanks. The first time I canned something, I was in mortal fear of poisoning our whole family if everything in sight wasn't sterile every step of the way. My god, I was afraid to breathe on the food... I tend to think that havign the right tools, set-up, and a well designed kitchen probably helps quite a bit. There's almost no counter space or available work surface in the kitchen I have right now. I do, however, have a decent water bath canner, jar lifter, a good assortment of lids, jars, rings, etc, and that helps. It's still stressful though, especially with lot of little kids underfoot.

Anyway, I got everything set up, prepared, the jars filled with orange marmalade, water bath canner steaming away with hot water, and commenced putting the jars in the canner. This is when the aforesaid moment occurred: I had enough water in there for 7 quart jars, so it should be more than enough for 7 pint jars, right? Well, as it turns out, no. Quart jars are taller and bigger around, but they also displace twice the amount of water....I had to add more, all for seven little pint jars. :Chamoisee feels stupid and begins to see the point in the short, very squat little jars that are only about 4" high.....:

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I've had this book for some time without ever reading it. It's one of these that has an entry for each day of the year, and you read it and it's supposed to give you cause to think, or something productive to do or mull over. A modern day devotional, if you will. So I picked it up and flipped through it somewhat aimlessly...

April 27

Tell someone you love him or her.

It could be someone who obviously knows you love her, or someone who doesn't, or even someone who isn't quite sure. The point is, to speak, to say the words. (a few extraneous sentences) Don't worry about the other person's reaction. Some people will tell you right back that they love you, some people will be ambarrassed by your outward show of affection, and others will pretend that they didn't hear you.

(from How to be Happier Day by Day by Alan Epstein, Phd. This is copyrighted material and all that jazz.....)

My soul is full of irony.
Yesterday: I had three doctor or midwife appointments, all before noon. One of them got cancelled due to time crunch. Then I had to rush back here (Priest River, about 45 minutes away)to meet my friend, who was picking up some goats to take to the sale in Lewiston. She and I and another gal all pooled a handful of goats each to make the trip worthwhile, with each of us also pitching in for the gas. I was apprehensive, because I could only think of one or two does that I wanted to get rid of...and she needed to take more than that (and of course, I needed to sell more than that). Well, unbeknownst to me, one of the does I had in mind had expired a month before. She simply wasn't there. Nevertheless, we located a number of candidates in pretty short time, and I ended up sending seven off. There are still three buck kids (two for meat and one for potential breeding stock sale) and my oldest queen doe(to be sent away to retire at a nice place). After that I will have about only twenty left, which is quite a bit more managable. Best of all, I didn't cry or feel bad or guilty this time. The ones I sent weren't special and I won't miss them...some of them had bad attitudes and were troublemakers. One had hooked another doe's collar with her horns and was proceeding to drag her captive around the pen choking!! She went....and good riddance, too!

After that we had to run and pick up my daughter from her school, and then hurry back in time for me to go to work until 8 at night. It was a hectic day...but I'm glad that the excess goat problem was resolved a bit.

Also--> is this retarded or what?! Apparently Bonner General hospital will not allow a VBAC (vaginal birth after Ceasarian) for any reason, unless you are actually crowning (i.e, the baby is coming out) when you step into the door of the hospital. They say the liability for a VBAC is too high. This iritates me to no end. My first birth was a C-section, for reasons totally unlikely to recur. I have since had four normal vaginal births, three of which were at home. Yet, if I go to the hospital, I am too high risk to have a vaginal birth and they will force me to have another C-section!!! ::IRK::

The whole reason I was considering even the remote possibility of a hospital birth is that I had some serious cardiac arrhythmia during my last labor and birth. I was too close to having the baby to be moved to a hospital by then..moving me would have been riskier then just following through at that point, and we both came through it OK. If I start to have the arrhythmia again during this pregnancy (as I did last time) I would just as soon take the hospital route just in case....because I don't want to die just yet, thanks...and my net research indicates that this problem tends to get worse with each successive pregnancy. However, the thought of going under anesthesia and getting a C-section with a severely irregular heartbeat scares the living crap out of me!!! The whole idea was to have less risk, not more....

Groan...Newport hospital (Washington, just over the border) is apparently the only alternative nearby. Newport has such an abyssmal reputation that people go 30 miles further to Sandpoint because we are, almost across the board, from what I can tell, scared silly of going to Newport unless it is an absolute last resort. I can't think of anyone who voluntarily chooses to go there except under duress or for an emergency. It's actually kind of amazing that they're still in business.

I have no idea what I am going to do, other than another home birth and accepting the attendant risk involved.
An observation of artistic depictions of fairies and other winged humanoid-type fantasy creatures: Have you ever noticed that the wings are usually entirely too small and inadequate to actually support the weight of the fairy (or whatever)?Most insects, especially those who fly for extended distances or on a regular basis (as opposed to those who fly very briefly and occasionally, i.e. some beetles), have wings that are at least the size of their own body. What I mean is, each wing is about the size of the body or larger. In some cases, such as butterflies, moth, and dragonflies, the wings pretty much dwarf the rest of the insect.

Most or many representations of fairies have wings that are just large enough to be decorative but not useful. Often the wings are shown supporting the creature in a position that would not actually be seen in nature, and fairies who've landed still have their wings (decoratively) unfolded and displayed, not tucked away neatly and insects and birds do.

:Chamoisee ponders execution of a more realistic but still attractive depiction of fairies: If I do it, I'll try to post a picture of the results here.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I don't feel like myself without the goats. They have become as integral to my identity as my children.

Today a co-worker asked, "Well, how many goats do you have?"

"Forty or fifty."

Her jaw dropped open....There might be only 30-40, but I think it's probably above forty.

At least she didn't ask me why I have the goats...because that'd be a harder question for me to answer.

How can I explain how stressful it is for me to be surrounded by people, even perfectly nice people, all day long? To constantly have to stretch and strain my mind and conciousness to accomodate their patterns of thought, their ways of doing things? To hear them, smell them, see them, be seen by them, try not to bump into them or be inadvertently touched by them, and the list goes on.... If I'm already stressed or in pain then it takes even more effort to cope. I must be doing OK, because I haven't had any panic/anxiety attacks for a long time. Mostly I just feel very, very tired of people and exhausted.

The goats are the antidote, the counterbalance to all this. They don't care if I flap or talk to myself or hold entire conversations with them about my fantasies and daydreams and ideas. They don't care much what I look like, and they prefer my ordered routine for feeding and milking them. Not only do they not care that I'm different, but they seem more bonded with me and less flighty than around other people. We have a connection, we understand one another. I can go to them all stressed out, in tears, I can be at the point of breaking down entirely....and they pull me through, they calm me and the rest of the world fades away amid the calm cud chewing, amber eyed, familiar goaty faces. :-)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I am completely confused and befuddled by the mysteries of the male penis and sex drive, and not sure I'll ever really figure it out:

  • A guy can get an erection for a girl he wants to be with.
  • A guy can be attracted to a girl and want to sleep with her but be unable to have the erection.
  • A guy can have an erection, even to the extent of being triggered by the presence of the girl, and yet have no desire to sleep with her?
  • A guy can have an erection for and want to screw a girl that he feels nothing for. He might even dislike or hate her.

It all seems hopelessly disconnected and nonsensical to me....

As a female, it seems pretty cut and dried. If I want to be with someone, I tend to feel aroused. I don't think I've ever felt turned on by someone I didn't want. Sometimes I love a person and feel affection for them, but am not in the mood; however, I don't feel desire at that time. It's sort of either there or it isn't. How in the heck men can claim that women and women's desire is complicated is beyond me...

Friday, August 26, 2005

I am feeling disheartened. We've been rentign the place I'm in for a year and a half now, and having 5 kids in a 1 bedroom house has been pretty stressful. I don't really care to attempt it with the addition of a newborn baby. Previously, I didn't make enough to be able to put even a tiny down payment down on a place of our own, or to qualify for much of anything at all. Now, with slightly higher wages, I do...and I don't scrape bottom every month like I used to when I was working seven days a week and hardly getting by (now I work only 4 days a week). Unfortunately, land prices have since skyrocketed at what can only be termed as an insane rate. The people here do not make enough to afford the prices that the real estate is selling at. Newcomers moving in had better have a damned secure retirement fund or something...because they are extremely unlikely to be able to sustain themselves otherwise. Personally, I harbor the malignant thought that we haven't had a truly nasty, i.e. normal north Idaho winter for a very long time, almost a decade. It just doesn't routinely hit -35 anymore, let alone stay that way for several weeks. People gripe if it delves to the comparatively mild -15.... See, that's what we need, a true blue Idaho winter to drive back some of the new growth so that the ones who really love the area with all its vagaries can afford to stay here.


I know exactly what I want: acreage and a house.

The acreage: preferably at least 5 acres, though I'd settle for 3-4 happily enough under the right conditions. Water, in the form of a well in existence or a price low enough that I could afford to have one drilled. Power and phone and access (why would anyone buy land that they cannot legally get to??!!) It needs to be in an area that doesn't restrict me from having the goats...otherwise I had might as well get some dismal place in town. In all honesty, I'd prefer something that hasn't been raped to death (in other words, clear cut), but I would buy clear cut land if the price were low enough...regrettably...and then replant portions of it. Better than getting bought by someone else, paved over and planted in lawn or worse, allowed to rejuvenate and then clear cut once again!!!! Also, after seeing what happens with goats in a very damp, low lying place, I'd sort of like to get something a bit dryer overall, or for it least to have a dry area on it somewhere for the goats. Ideally, said area would have rocks for my girl to practice their caprioles on ;-) but again, I don't mind hauling boulders in for them.

The house: actually, I don't want a perfect dream house ready to move into. A run down fixer-upper or a mobile home (we could move one onto the acreage if the prices of both allowed for that) would be just fine for now. What I really want is to build my own place, myself. I want to sink my soul deep into the house and the land, to plan it all out and live in the work of my own hands.

So, the house: Paper bale construction, made of recycled paper that'd otherwise wind up in a landfill somewhere. The foundation could be either of recycled tire bales or plastic bales (for example, baled up plastic laundry bottles- yes, there is such a thing). By necessity and design, such a house has to be one story and of either a very basic square or rectangular design. I like simple rooflines anyway. Exterior finish, concrete stucco, a soft sienna color, with light french blue trim. Interior, some heavy duty plaster that'll stand up to scrubbing, with whitewash finish or paint in cool whites, paler versions of the french blue, and perhaps soft buttery yellows. Floors- either soil cement in sienna or ultramarine tones, wood (plywood would be fine) or possibly clay/terra cotta tile or natural stone in some areas, *sealed* against dirt buildup and cushioned with woven cloth rugs. In the bathroom area, a floor drain. Kitchen- a large stainless steel sink, the sort you find in a diary or restaurant. You know, the kind we have in the deli where I work!! It drains by turning a handle from the outside- I love that feature. Mostly I want the kitchen to be bright and sunny, not dark, dismal, or depressing. In fact, I want the entire house to be fairly bright and natural. No drywall anywhere....I have come to loathe drywall...and I would like to incorporate large built in planters (of soil cement) throughout the house: in the kitchen for a small herb garden garden (possibly under an overhead drain rack or near the sink for easy watering), the living room, and the bathroom. Well.....bark plaques of orchids might be OK for the bathroom....:-) Anyway, lots of windows, lots of light. I need to find an energy efficient way to use a lot of windows..because one of the huge benefits of paper bales is their very high R value.

More on this pipe dream (sans pipe) later.....

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Incident at work today:

A couple waits at the coffee counter impatiently for someone to make epressos for them. Two 20 oz mochas with chocolate milk (this seems like sacrilege to me...but I comply without comment) and a flavor...I think it was English Toffee. I search for the flavor, it isn't there, one of the bottles totters and crashes to the floor, splattering sticky syrup and broken slivers of glass....oh lovely.... They are silent to this is just another obstacle to their lattes being made quickly. They decide that they'll settle for vanilla instead.

Being aspie (Asperger's syndrome) which is just a fancy term for very high functioning and verbal austitic, I don't often make direct eye contact with people, especially people I don't know or trust (i.e. almost everyone). But I do look at people indirectly, not at their eyes, or glance at them while they aren't looking right at me. I sneak a look at these two while I'm preparing the awful chocolate milk. The woman had contempt in her voice, and she's about what I'd expect. Low class white trash with an "I'm better" attitude, streaked dyed blond hair. Smoker, makeup, not pretty, acts like she's worth a million or some damned thing. The guy's a regular, and I'm a little surprised to see him with this fairly cheap looking gal, because he looks like a decent sort. I am making the shots of coffee.

Just then, I hear him say these words, and my opinion of him plummets lower than the woman: "I see a FAG." His voice is full of hatred, imagined, fantasized acts of violence, and above all, loathing. I feel my left eyebrow arch critically with contempt, attitude, and smart assed remarks that I will not say. Who does he think he is, to go around picking people out at random, hating them because he imagines that they aren't attracted to women, like the slouchy piece of goods he has? What business of his could it possibly be? Why in the hell should he care?! They have seen the mounting coldness and precision and extreme politeness in I silently vow that if possible, I will never wait on these two again.

Still fuming after they walk off, I think to myself that I should have told them: "Better than the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Rednecks around here!!!"

Honestly, why in the world did he feel the need to broadcast and announce his antipathy and prejudice to the world at large? Couldn't he contain his own hatred like poison in a bottle instead of spewing it around? Why did he think we all needed to hear it and agree with him? How can he be so sure that A: I'm not gay, or B: that the man he spoke of, is? Asshole....

Yeah, I have prejudices too....for people like him (and her).

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I stumbled across a page of demographics for Priest River, Idaho, and now I'm depressed. Consider the following:

Median household income: Local $26,765 (National $41,994)

Education: of 1271 people in the 1999 census, 338 of us haven't graduated from high school or completed a high school equivalency. That's over 20% of our adult population!

Employment: out of a population of 1,327 people aged 16 and older, 724 of us were not employed(!)

Sex and income: In 1999, out of 478 men, only 42 of them made 50K a year or more. For women, the stats are worse: of 378 women, only 2 women made over 50K, and these made less than 54,999. Most of us make less than 20K. Remember, these stats are for the people who were able to find work.

Our area voted for George W in 2004. Now, that's depressing!

To be fair, a LOT of people did not participate in the 199 census, and I was one of them. *But* I have a nasty feeling that this wouldn't alter the results much, and it might even make them worse.

It's almost enough to make me want to move. So, why do I live here? There are practical, rational, logical reasons: for example, my ex lives here, and we have shared custody of our three small children together. Moving would necessitate stressful commuting or long periods of time away from the children for one or both of us. My mate and I both have jobs in this area, and frankly, getting a steady job that we're happy about isn't easy for this makes us leery of relocating. The cost of living here is lower than someplace like, say, Sandpoint, Idaho...a place where I could find more likeminded souls of a more intellectual bent (considering that Sandpoint is only 25 miles away, I can easily drive there when I want to).

In truth, my real reasons for staying where I am are wholly emotional and subjective: I am attached to the place, damn it! I know the nooks and crannies of the forests, the store where I work is the same one that I used to dart in and out of furtively as a socially phobic teen, the faces I see include some that I've known for close to two decades. I may have undergone a transformation from a bible thumping conservative who fervently believed that all of creation was put there by God for the use of mankind into a liberal agnostic leaning towards a gentler, more ecologically sound approach....but I still swoon with delight when some logger walks by the deli with the scent of fresh trees and pine sap wafting about him (I try to ignore the fact that yes, I also like the aroma of chainsaw intermingled with it, and that somewhere, there are a lot of stumps where a forest used to be). This is my home, and I am as deeply rooted in this place as the flora around me.

I'll try to overlook that my coworkers (avid readers of tabloids and romance novels- when they read at all) are shocked that I actually read non-fiction and listen to classical music (country-western is the standard fare here). Or that the school age girls my kids play with have only been to the library once. Try as I might, I can't quite reconcile myself to the fact that my son's school mates tease him relentlessly for being brainy and the best reader in his class (and possibly in the school). He's actually told me that he's going to give up reading -his passion- because it doesn't do him any good and the other kids hate him for it. But this is where change comes in; someone has to care enough to want it to be different, and I like to believe that even a few voices can make a difference.

Maybe someday we can have the best of both worlds?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

What is going on here:

Elton John's "If there's a God in Heaven" seems very appropriate to me today. Some of the verses:

If there's a God in heaven
What's he waiting for
If He can't hear the children
Then he must see the war
But it seems to me
That he leads his lambs
To the slaughter house
And not the promised land

I'm making lunch right now: onions, eggplant, mushrooms and zucchini sauteed in olive oil. This will go with steamed rice. It's pretty much the sort of thing I've been eating for the past ten years, but I didn't realize just how expensive it was: onions, .79 #, and the one I used was close to a pound, eggplant, $1.50 (I got it on sale, lucky me), the zucchini was free at the thrift store, otherwise...I don't know, ay least .69 a # and probably more...mushrooms, I got on sale also, a dollars worth. The olive oil is about $24 for close to a gallon, and it lasts a long time. I don't know about the rice, I buy it in bulk.

Three years ago, I would have skipped the eggplant and mushrooms and added some cheddar cheese on the top. Here's what it would have cost:

Onions- I grew all the onions
Zucchini and other summer squash- I grew these as well
garlic- I could be liberal with it because we grew that, too.
rice or pasta, bought in bulk, a dollar a pound or less
olive oil- roughly the same
cheese- for this dish (enough to feed the whole family) I would probably have used .25# of cheese at $2 or $3 #.

Of course, I left out the eggplant and mushrooms, but these items were hard to get. My partner disliked buying them excpet for special meals, and after all, we had more than enough summer squash, so much that it was being fed to the goats. Right now, it wouldn't save me any money to use more squash unless I could get more of it for free from the thrift store.

Other meals commonly eaten then:

Cream of spinach soup: with homegrown onions, garlic, milk, and spinach. Only the flour and butter for the white sauce base had to be purchased. Sometimes we used stinging nettles instead and that was even better. I believe I also used lamb's quarter's (a wild green) on at least one occasion.

Stir fried vegetables over rice (most of the veggies homegrown, the rice boughten).

Vegetable soup: same thing, except that there were usually dried beans and a can of tomato paste.

Pesto sauce with pasta- homegrown basil and parsley, boughten olive oil and parmesan cheese and pasta (oh well, one has to splurge soemeimes!!!)

Borscht: homegrown beets, onions, garlic, potatoes, and dill. Bought the sour cream and minimal amounts of cider vinegar and honey used.

There were bizarre dishes for breakfast that are hard for me to describe...soemtimes they were also lunch or dinner. Basically, you fry up an onion, add some leftover pasta or rice, summer squash if you have it, and the stir in some scrambled eggs and let those cook, and top it off with cheese. A little chopped up kielbasa can be added. It was good as long as the eggs were fully cooked (we grew the eggs too, or bought farm eggs). After I gave birth to my fourth son, I wanted eggs nearly all the time, and so I wanted this particular dish almost 3x a day!!! I must have been anemic from the blood loss....

Popeye pancakes: like a cross between a pancake and an omelet baked in the oven- homegrown fruit (raspberries or apples), milk, and eggs. The butter and flour were purchased.

Now, making most of this stuff wouldn't save me a lot of money. I'd have to buy the eggs, milk, veggies, and fruit. I've started buying my food in bulk again, and that does save money.
I guess what I'm thinking is, I didn't value my work there very much. Even though I grew most of those veggies as well as the milk, and was a prominent figure in picking the fruit or finding free fruit elsewhere to pick, AND I did a lot of the cooking (which was sometimes time/labor intensive), along with birthing, nursing (which saved on formula and medical bills) and caring for five children (no daycare), I still felt like a lazy slouch.

Again, I could blame this on him, but one has to be responsible for one's own state of worth, happiness, and well being. And frankly, I didn't relaize how much all that was worth, how much money I was saving, until I actually had to go out and buy it all- *ouch*!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I've been reading a book about financial repsonsibility. Most of it, so far, seems like common sense to me...but it is full of all manner of horror stories, of looming debts and credit card accounts run amok, bouncing checks galore, bankruptcy, etc etc. I am havign a hard time conceiving of making the sorts of choices made by soem of the unfortunate (but true) examples detailed.

And it's odd....because I was a flagrant spendthrift in my youth, the sort of kid who had her allowance spent the very moment it landed in her hand. After I hit my teens, I had almost no money at all to spend, and certaily not enough to get experience with handling it responsibly. I could either credit or blame it on my ex, but that's hardly fair...and his first wife was reportedly less responsible than I am (though my information on this subject is limited and secondhand).

Ya know, I think what it is, is that I was bascially tossed out on my ear, homeless, as soon as I left home, and I've had to fight/work my way up from there. All the while, the threat of the streets gnaws at me soemwhere, in the back of my mind. It scares me...and I don't like that...but it's also what keeps me in line and motivates me to squirrel money away and be frugal and careful. Also...I developed survival just can't be homeless or desperately poor without either resorting to handouts/panhandling/other forms of prostitution or, alternately, becoming very skilled at making the utmost of every available resource that comes your way.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I didn't give my boss enough credit. After bringing up the subject with him, my mind is at rest. He doesn't want anyone to suffer, and I think that if he had been aware of the situation, it would have been resolved much more quickly and decisively than it was. Perhaps it isn't so much a matter of distrust or lack of credit as it is fear/expectation of mob or group mentality. I was afraid he would agree with what the other managers had said and done...because that is what people tend to do. A lot of people simply don't bother to make up their minds or consider facts- it's easier to go with the flow.

I also realized part of why I was so upset by the incident: I love my job. I like working at the store, it feels like a second home to me. I am *attached* to the place. The assitant manager told me I was "sick" when I told her that...she was sort of joking....I didn't want to have to leave it or quit.

The newest twist now is that the people who opposed the girl leaving work early are saying that if she didn't have so much sex with her boyfriend, every night, they say, she wouldn't have so many backaches or cramps!!! Excuse me??!! Since when is my co-worker's sex life my business? It's not. It is not anyone's place to dictate whether she should have sex or not or how often.... :rolls eyes:....How do they know the details? Perhpas she just snuglles with her boyfriend half the time, or maybe she gets laid 3x a night. Either way, I don't care to know or think about it.

Now, I ask you: would they make such a rude, uncalled for judgment if she were married to the guy? "She and her husband have too much sex, she needs to settle down and grow up!" Seriously, who would have the balls to say that? Why does it suddenly become grounds for debate simply because she isn't married to or even living with him? Rude!!!! Rude, rude, rude.......

(And I'm not saying that I agree with casual sex or not, that isn't the issue here). It's only that even mentioning such a thing is grossly, glaringly unprofessional and should have no bearing on whether or not her state of health allows her to work on a given day.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

I got mad today

Here's why:

I showed up at work in a happy, upbeat mood, ready to charge right into doing the dishes and to bread lots of chicken, as usual. But then...

My coworker comes into the back room (where the sinks are and I was). She has tears running down her cheeks and is sobbing. I haven't seen her this way before. Upset, yes. Emotional, almost always. Crying like her heart is broken, no.

OK folks, I'm an aspie. Things like this aren't supposed to bother me. After all, "autistics lack empathy". (Bullshit!! we just feel and show it differently!)

But it did. I'm not even close to her. She's a co-worker. That's all.

Now----> She was crying because: She is at least 8 months pregnant, and she was having very painful cramps in her lower pelvic area, causing shooting pain to go down her legs. I have felt this. I know what that feels like; it hurts like bloody hell. It happens during labor. The fact that she was cramping concerned me...she shouldn't be cramping up at all until closer to her due September..not early August...

The manager wouldn't let her go home, despite the fact that she was visibly in tears and too much in pain to be productive or good for anything at all in the deli. The girl sat down for a blessed moment on the cans of dry goods in the back room and stole some measure of relief...even if only for a moment or two..

I was incensed!!!!! Yes, we usually have a third person there so she can cover for us while we take our lunches. Screw the lunches! Send her home and let her rest before she suffers a minute longer or worse yet, goes into full fledged labor! I wondered whether the store would be at all liable if overworking her and refusing to allow her to go home sick had such an effect....I suspect not. I wondered whether anyone would get in trouble if the baby wound up premature in an incubator...or would it just get shrugged off as 'one of those things'.

The biggest manager in the store happened to come by, and I immediately informed her that my co-worker was in serious pain and needed to go home...she abdicated the authority to the deli night manager and basically washed her hands of it. I was seriously tempted to talk to the boss, who was also in the store....but to be honest, I like the boss. I don't want to be confronted with the harsh reality that perhaps he wouldn't care. Maybe we aren't people with feelings and needs and aches and pains, to him. Maybe we're just worker drones. I don't want to know, I don't want to find out. So I didn't.....

Part of my fury was self-centered; I see this girl work, and I'm impressed. She is doing a hell of a lot better than I will be at her gestation. I know that, I've already had five of them. I'm five months along now. My last prgenancy was, in a word, hell. I was in a lot of pain in the third trimester. My hips got bad enough that at times, every step felt like liquid fire. I was out of breath, my heart hurt a lot and was irregular and I had lightheaded spells, because my heart was also giving me trouble. All this was in addition to the pelvis soreness and achiness that, frankly, gets worse with every prgenancy. I spent an awful lot of time in bed simply because standing up and doing things was agony and too strenuous. I was picturing myself in the shoes of this girl: in serious pain and unable to leave and go home without getting fired. They've already done that to me before, when my hips were giving me hell.

In short, I pitched a fit and let it be known that I was considering a different job if this is the way pregnant women can expect to be treated. I don't ask for kid-glove treatment...just humane other people get. Like the girl who used to whine about menstrual cramps and headaches used to get. Like the night manager gives herself- one day she went home early simply because she didn't feel like being there that day.

In the end, we found someone to substitute for her, and she did get to go home early. Her tears dried, and she was happier simply knowing that she'd get to go as soon as her replacement arrived. Hope is like that....

But the incident has sown a lot of doubts in my mind about the job......

Friday, July 29, 2005

LOL, LOL.......

I just realized why a lot of those does at the Nationals didn't look so hot, for a change. See, I've seen maybe half of them (or their herds, at least) before, and shown against them. I didn't do well, and I couldn't understand why my does were so lean in comparison to theirs, how they could keep flesh on their does if they were milking like mine do (which is well- I cull does who don't produce according to my standards, perfect udder or no).

I would go to a show, and they'd commnce milking their does some 14-16 hours before the show. (Normally, a dairy animal gets milked twice a day, 12 hours between milkings). Well, I'd milk the very stressed does or those who had gone off their feed (due to the stress of the show and new surroundings) 14 hours beforehand, but most of them got milked about 12 hours before. Its hard, because you don't know how long the judge will take in judging the animals. Some are pretty danged fast and others take a very long time and the show stretches into the night. I don't want to risk my animals being in pain or serious 12 hours is usually enough, by the scheduled time, because it's generally longer than that before they go into the showring.

Anyway, other exhibitors don't usually do that. I was told flatly that I would lose if I didn't have 15+ hours of milk in my doe's udders. I didn't lose, they placed about where they should have.... Sometimes the other does are leaking a lot of milk or standing hunched up and in pain. Most of them don't leak. Their teats have had a special "stop-leak" glue applied to the orifices. Sometimes my does leak, too. They're used to dam raising their kids (others generally bottle feed) and they aren't really used to having even 12 hours of milk at one time, it's sometimes too much for what they're producing. I have been known to milk them out a little before the show because they are TOO FULL...and I don't want my does to be in pain.

Anyway...I couldn't figure out why these other does, who I've stood behind in the local shows before, looked the biggest show they could go to!

I woke up laughing.....because I suddenly realized why.

The National Show requires what is known as a milk out. Everyone has to milk out their does at the same time before the show. It's either 12 or 14 hours beforehand...and there are people who come along and check that every doe has been thoroughly milked out....completely. There was VERY little over-uddering at the National, a whole lot less than I've seen locally. Most of the does who were overfull were very young, their udders weren't used to holding a lot of milk yet.

All this time, I've been unfairly comparing my productive dairy goats to these overfed show animals who don't even begin to produce what mine do...and it never hit home until now....LOL.....I have spent I don't know how much money buying expensive, registered stock at high prices from these people....(and then been dismayed when many of the does didn't produce a whoel lot)...all the while bemoaning what I had...LOL, LOL. Oh, the irony....

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I just got back from the National ADGA Dairy Goat Show. I am thinking (without any sound evidence to the fact except for high probability) that it is the biggest, most complete (inasmuch as the best specimens are represented) goat show in the world. And this year, it was only an hour away!! What an opportunity! My only regret at this point is that I didn't have my act together enough to have attended as an exhibitor, rather than as a spectator.

By pure coincidence, the only day when I could conveniently attend without it being a pain in the a$$ also happened to be the day of the Alpine show (the breed I raise)! Sweet. This is the first time I've been to a National; I've dreamed about it for years...(yes, even as a spectator).

So- my persective on the long awaited event:
  • The event was not as intimidating as I had thought it would be
  • Some of the people I'd wanted to meet were...less nice than I had imagined.
  • Others- total strangers I'd never heard of, were extremely nice and friendly
  • There were herds that I'd had a LOT of respect (even awe) for, and after seeing the animals in the flesh, and in comparison with other some cases I flat out lost the most cases the awe simmered down to interest or a footnote. In retrospect, a lot of the awe was due to hype or publicity or a huge, overinflated ego on the part of the breeder.
  • There were herds that I hadn't paid much attention to...and wrongly so. I'll be keeping a closer eye on them in the future.
  • And then there were the classics: herds that I knew I respected, and that I retained respect for.
  • One thing that also struck me: many of the does were beautifully bodied but didn't seem too productive!! A National Show Animal ought to have more than 2-3 quarts in her udder...epsecially a mature doe.... In a lot of the cases, I can honestly say that my does produce better.
  • The foreudders were not of the caliber of excellence that I had been (unrealistically) holding my does to.
  • Feet!!!! Breed for better feet, people! And for better legs, too.
  • Some of the does, including mature does, were small! I mean, really small. I won't be as obsessive about this (though it's still important to me not to own runts!)
  • And...I hate to say this...but I retain my loathing for the falsehood of posing and concealing faults. One doe placed high in her class for a nice topline, when in fact, she has a roached loin. Her handler had posed her well enough to straighten her back out when she was standing. As a handler, this is our make our animals look good...but the judge should look out for this when the doe is walking. But with some 40-50 does in a class, something is bound to get overlooked...
  • Last but not least, I came away from the event with a much greater respect and appreciation for my own does. I saw only one doe that I coveted. There were does who were nicer than mine, but I didn't see anything that made me want to throw mine away and buy all new stock. In fact, I felt a little bit...smug. My does are good. They wouldn't have placed at the top of the line...but neither would they be at the end. My breeding program is headed in more or less the right direction and I'm extremely happy with what I have. :-)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Reading: A Species for Eternity

This is a neat book. Of course, I'm biased...because this tome about American maturalists and botanists features my ancestor, John Bartram, prominently. This guy was just flat out cool. He was a Quaker, but eventually managed to get himself kicked out of the meetinghouse (or whatever they call it) since he couldn't believe that Jesus was divine, and espoused the (then) modern theories of Newton. He found at least as much joy and fascination in plants as I do, and shipped 150+ new species to England, to be classified (classfication has just been introduced by Linnaeus...the two were contemporaries and correspondants). He became a very competent botanist despite that fact that he had a very limited formal education and didn't know Latin (a disadvantage in the circles he moved in). He opposed slavery and set a slave free who had been born into the family. On top of all this, the man was a pretty accomplished self taught artist. IIRC, so was his son, William. I haven't gotten to that part yet.

The book is interesting in its own right, though. I never really realized how much trading of plant material took place between America and England, France, etc, especially at that time. It kind of makes me sad though...becuase these men, from all different backgrounds, countries, religious persuasions, were drawn together in the pursuit of science and were very generous with one another towards that end both in terms of time, expense, and trouble (John Batram went out for weeks or months at a time on plant collecting expeditions, braving wild animals, hostile Indians, and risking his own poor health). He did all that while raising a family with 7 kids and managing his own farm!

And now....if a layman wanted to do something like this, it'd be so hard. Just consider the regulations and restrictions on plant material and seeds! I understand that there are reasons for that....but what resources and potential are we sacrificing by doing this? Would we see such brotherly cooperation between countries, across political lines, regarding plants never before identified or seen by a white man's eye? I can't help feeling disappointed by the way things are today.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Aspie relationships revisited

I'm still of the opinion that an AS + NT relationship is likely to be fraught with difficulty without extensive, ongoing work and acceptance by both parties involved. It could be (fairly) said that this will be true of any relationship, and I will grant that. However, I think that this sort of mating has even more hardship than the usual and both parties are less equipped to adequately understand their mate than would usually be the case.

************moving along then****************

An AS + AS relationship:

Communication and understanding are less of a problem.
Trying to survive and hold down jobs can add stress.
If sensory issues conflict, it can cause trouble. For example, one party craves scents while the other is absolutely repulsed by them.
There is a tendency to assume that the other party knows what you are thinking...Oops!
More tolerance of touch aversions, tactile sensitivies, and overload.
Emotions can spike easily on both sides.
Arguments can result in cold silent wars until one or both parties relent.
Natural solitude can easily be mistaken for sulking.
If special interests conflict or compete.....uh.....hmmm.
Overall though, I have found that there is a lot of mutual joy and happiness and security in knowing that there is someone else like you who understands and accepts you because they are that way too.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Rodeo Days, Woo-Hoo...
Ok, as promised, I review the Rodeo Days Weekend (last weekend, I am still reeling from the 7-4 madness this week).

First of all, I didn't go to the Rodeo. I stayed at the store and dutifully cooked more deli food and fried chicken than I care to think about. My customers were many, hurried (they had to get to the rodeo) and ate lots of deep fried food. Nearly all of them were very excited and hyped up about the rodeo. The girls who had to stay at work were bummed...they wanted to go. One was able to leave early so she got to go after all. Secondly, I could care less about the rodeo. I had absolutely NO interest in going.

It just isn't my thing, and I had a hard time explaining why. Seeing grown men hop off horses and wrestle a small calf to the ground 10-15 times in a row is, well, boring (along with being a pathetically misguided show of machoismo). I can see no sex appeal there. I can admire barrel racing- it involves skill and quite a bit of work, and it doesn't hurt, scare, or traumatize any animals. let's not even get into what a low opinion I have on goat roping.... As for bareback riding and bull riding: in all honesty, why would a girl find this sexy? The poor guys look like limp rag dolls tied to the comparatively gracefully twisting and struggling chunk of muscle beneath them. Every time they land hard, I picture what it must feel like for their balls to get smashed like that, and I wince. I can't help wondering if it affects their performance.....and I'm sure that it must cause damage... Why would any sane girl *want* a guy who does that habitually and publicly?

So when they asked me why I didn't want to go and had no enthusiasm, my response was that, IMHO, the rodeo is nothing more than a (tamed down) modern day version of the Roman colosseum. (The same would go for wrestling, boxing, football, and other contact sports).

So....Starurday night, the second to last bullrider was a 17 year old kid. His bull hadn't been ridden much before, and it was mean. To make a long story short, the kid lost his balance, and his head went forward while the bull's head went back. Someone said that the bull's horn gored his skull, the paper merely stated that the bull's head hit his head and gave him a concussion. At any rate, he fell off, and then the bull stomped on/kicked his head and chest. He had protective chest gear on but no helmet (got to leave room for that fancy hat). He died in the helicopter en route to the hospital. This is our entertainment. People paid to see this.

I rest my case.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Aspie Relationships (maybe autistic relationships in general)
Anyone who is autistic or has ever been in a relationship with an aspie knows how challenging (understatement!!) such things can be for us. I think there are several areas of difficulty...

Most of us wind up in an NT+AS match at least once. I tend to think that while not impossible, these matings are inclined to be extremely hard to establish and maintain with both parties happy. When I say happy, I don't mean euphoric-forever-madly-in-love. Just, happy-I'm-glad-we-did-this-and-we-like-each-other-still.


Partly because the NT has to adjust to us, and they're disused to doing so. Aspies are well aquainted with having to adjust to NT's and accede to them at times. It's the story of our life, after all... Herein lies another area of conflict and unhappiness: the aspie is *sick* of having to play head games and make concessions all day long, their entire life long. We want to be able to relax and let our hair down for a change, to be liked for who we really are. If the NT only likes us as long as we can maintain the "NT masquerade", it's not really us that they love; it's the NT mask that we're wearing (at an enormous personal price). It can't be maintained 24/7 for months at a time. The real person will show through when the effort of keeping up the facade proves too stressful or when the NT earns our trust enough that we start to let them see a little of our real selves.

A number of NT's that I've talked with online mention feeling dismayed and somewhat betrayed, or duped, when they find out that their aspie lover is more than just a little eccentric. No folks, we are very eccentric, and we do have areas of hardship in dealing with the world at large, just as you have faults of your own. Asking us to retain the mask ALL the time is....not love. Sorry. :-/

We're not perfect...not by a long shot. Speaking for myself mostly, I've felt isolated from the world for most of my life (uh, maybe all of it). It's like an invisible wall seperating me from other people. I can observe them, but I'm a foreigner. Not theirs. I routinely feel lonely...lonely in a way that I suspect normal people rarely the deepest ocean, almost bottomless and with no islands in sight anywhere, not even a bird. This has been more or less the norm for me, and there are very, very few people who have been able to pierce that loneliness or to walk through my wall more than momentarily (at least I have plenty of tiem to think and mull things over). Can you imagine feeling deeply, desperately lonely, like a black void crying out in agony, while you are in the midst of lovemaking and your mate is having a great old time? I can hardly think of anything worse...but I've experienced that more times than I care to count, and far more often than it's been otherwise, unfortunately. It isn't about physical satisfaction, it's about feeling that someone knows the real you.

Library is shutting down so I'll resume this at home!!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sensory Preception and Autism

I found a site which actually contains some very accurate,hit-the-nail-on-the-head information about autism. Scroll down and take a look at the spider-type diagrams, especially the second one. I have experienced most of those things. This is a fascinating article...

Sensory Overload at the Workplace....

The last three days have been just *insane* at my job. It's rodeo weekend, with a large rodeo and carnival just 5-6 miles away in our neigboring town. If you haven't encountered my blog before, I work in the deli/bakery of a gorcery store. At first, I ran from the customers and could hardly function, but I adjusted. Now I'm a very competent worker. Anyway, I've had to work all three days!! We have been deluged with insistent people (many from out of town, therefore they have no reason to be especially nice to us)for hours at a time. We've also been shorthanded with our workers. This is a bad, bad combination for me....

I've been rushing around trying to help all the customers (frequently there is a crowd of them), trying to cook or prepare enough food for them (but they buy it just as fast as we make it!!) and it is a multi-tasking nightmare.

The effect has been:

-->Sometimes I can't seem to hear them. There is so much noise overall, I can't sort their voices out.
-->When they smell bad (perfumy, usually) it is affecting me worse and I am more likely to say something out loud to my coworkers. Today, I waited on a woman, and as she left, I turned to my manager and said: "sugary flowers!" and made a face. It was what the lady smelled (stunk!) like. Smells really, really bug me.
-->People say things to me and I hear words, but they don't translate into meaning. I hear only the words, and I know the person is trying to communicate with me, so I look at them expectantly, but probably quizzically. Sometimes I have to ask another time or two or say the words back before it decodes into something useful to act on.
-->Anxiety attacks, oh lovely.....
-->and my co-worker (one in particular) gets very, very impatient and somewhat bitchy with me, espcially if I give her the blank lok because I didn't understand. I am working just as hard, at least as hard, as she is, and I invariably end up stuck with most of the customers as well, so I don't understand the bad attitude.
-->It can be hard for me to prioritize what needs to be done first when there are a lot of things that all seem to need immediate attention. Three customers, the phone is ringing, the intercom is calling us, the buzzers and timers are going off, there is a chicken order to fill, the hot case is empty and needs food in it.... Usually I wait on the customers so they'll go away. Sometimes (groan) they keep coming! After that, the most annying stimulus gets attended to first (timer shrieking insistently).
-->Oh, yeah. Concentration. It becomes very hard for me to focus when there is so much going on. I begin to feel like I'm drowning in noise and demands and can't cope. I feel all scattered inside....
I'm really glad this was the last day of rodeo weekend (more on this morbid subject tommorow).

Thursday, June 23, 2005

OK, I am getting sick and tired of hearing this statement:

"Most autistics also have mental retardation."

Supposedly, 75% of us are retarded! Most of my personal aquaintances who are autistic haven't struck me as retarded at all. Some of them have been non-verbal. Others stimmed a lot or were otherwise very obviously autistic. Many of them were aspie (Asperger's), like me, but not always. At least three of them were not aspie. I have only met one individual who did seem a bit slow, and he was A: drugged up with all sorts of meds and B: had a primary dx of Tourettes, with a secondary of PDD. The majority of those that I meet are not retarded.

Of course, several of the peopel I've met also haven't been formally diagnosed. We made it all the way into adulthood before we found out, and suddenly the struggles and questions we'd had made sense and the pieces fell into place. Who exactly are they counting when they come up with these staistics, because I haven't been counted? Perhaps they only count those of us who are on SSI or SSDI; that's not fair.....

Additionally: if most of us are retarded, then explain this one to me: I applied for an autism research study. However, the study had a window of I.Q. range, anywhere between 80-120. In other words, if you are autistic and have an I.Q. of over 120, you cannot apply, too smart. Their study automatically sieves out the higher end of autism that *should* be studied and given more credit and recognition. I can see that they might consider 150 a bit high...but 120? I mean, 120 just does not seem that phenomenal to me. In fact, it seems a bit average.

Is there an agenda to discredit the fact that many of us are quite bright and have managed to cope reasonably well in the world?

Monday, June 20, 2005

These lyrics from 'Losing My Religion' ( yeah, that too), (by R.E.M.) very aptly describe what it's been like for me, as an autistic playing the field, searching with all my heart for a soulmate.

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough
I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try........

Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool, fool
Oh no, I’ve said too much

I've been the jester, giving everyone else their jollies and giggles...
Taking the brunt of their ridicule and their burning scorn...
Swallowing the bitterness time and again...
Falling down over and over, trying to stand, getting knocked back down...
Fumbling, saying all the wrong things
and not the words that crowded and choked my heart

Mistaking their amusement and pity and politeness for love
or even for friendship
when I meant nothing at all....
just a pawn to eventually dispose of...... :-(

What is it with people,
that when they see something with a pure and innocent heart
or something weaker or more vulnerable than themselves,
they automatically despise it?

Mean boys never really progress past pulling wings and legs off of insects;
they only change their focus to other poeple,
and learn how to make themselves seem oh-so-holy and blameless.....

I despise them!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Here is a really wonderful excerpt from Temple Grandin's new book, _Animals_in_Translation_. Read it here!!

I agree with her.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

An Afterthought on Non-Existent Amish Auties and Vaccination
If a clear link between vaccines and autism is suspected, the way to go about it is to investigate ALL autistics who were not vaccinated, and to compare the autism rate among non-vaccinating parents to that of the general population. There are MANY parents who do not vaccinate their children. To draw such conclusions requires a wider genetic base with fewer interfering factors (such as culture, religious objection to medical advice, general ignorance of autism, and isolationism, as well as the narrow gene pool).

Not all of my children are vaccinated. One of the ones who isn't seems very aspie to me. My dad seems aspie. It's commonly accepted in my family that eccentricity is common among us. I am convinced taht it is genetic and vaccinesmay or may not excaberate the situation. I do know that the aspie physiology (based on hearsay and compaisons with other aspies) seems to be very sensitive to some substances and stimuli and hardly affected by others. It does make sense that vaccines might make it worse than it would otherwise have been.

Friday, June 03, 2005

No Amish Autistics!!!! It's a Conspiracy!!!

At this point, I suppose I should link to the relevant articles:
here's one and another.

Ok, here's my spiel on the matter: Dan Olmstead desperately needs to research animal breeding (heck, plant breeding would work too) before he starts jumping to conclusions. It is true that the Amish live a relatively simple and less industrialized lifestyle than most of us (although we tend to romanticize and exaggerate this fact: the Amish actually do have washing machines in many cases....just not your standard on the grid machine). I'm sure that quite a few of them also don't go to doctors unless absolutely necessary. Their life is far less inundated with the sort of noise and chaos that drives an aspie to their wit's end. The schools are smaller and less overwhelming. Among these facts: The Amish generally don't vaccinate their children. This is one of many aspects of the Amish culture.

Apparently there are far less reported cases of autism in the Amish community. I suspect that the aspies function better there than they do in our modern day life and probably go undetected....if they are there. Possibly a person would have to be pretty undeniably and noticeably autistic in order to be labeled among the Amish. At any rate, Mr Olmstead appears to suspect that there are fewer Amish auties because they don't vaccinate.

This is where a distinct knowledge of practical genetics would come in handy.

See, the Amish are very genetically limited. In a word: inbred. This isn't an insult; it's a simple fact. The Amish gene pool is very small with very little new incoming blood, and families often stay rooted in one area for long periods of time. They can't outcross with the "English", or non-Amish. Most people who do not breed livestock don't realize that inbreeding isn't necessarily a negative thing. It all hinges on *what* genes you are concentrating. Basically, you just get more of what's already there in the genes. It doesn't magically make horrid deformities or mutations unless those genes were there to begin with. It DOES increase the odds that you will see more of what's really there(genotype), genetically (as opposed to phenotype, i.e., what you SEE). If you have a wonderful animal with a solid background, the easiest way to fix the genes and get consistent offspring is to linebreed or inbreed with a relative (of varying degrees).

When you inbreed------>> You will see some traits, even if they're not that common in the general population, at a higher concentration. With continued inbreeding/linebreeding, the population becomes more and more consistent with less genetic variation. Some traits which may be common in the general populace may not show up at all in the inbred population: if the genes weren't there to begin with, or were not there in sufficient numbers, they didn't get concentrated.

And that's what I think happened with the Amish. They have an excessively high rate of some birth defects and genetic diseases (one of the dangers of inbreeding, and you can't ethically "cull" humans the way you do with livestock). But it stands to reason that other traits (possibly including autism) simply wouldn't be there at all. This is what anyone would expect to see....not a big surprise. No conspiracy there!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Victimhood: all too easy to fall into. You can spot a vicitm a mile away many times, because they tend to whine or moan a lot about their fate but frequently take very little action to change it.

Then there's martyrdom: martyrs expect you to see their suffering and to think highly of them for it. Suggesting that they should take steps to remedy their situation will be taken badly: who are you to rob them of their honor?!! Martyrs suffer in silence or stoicism, often when they don't really need to suffer at all.

Either way----> the problems don't get better, or if they do, the person finds something new to whine about and the success isn't mentioned. Solutions are not sought out, they are discounted.

I should know: I've definitely been a victim, especially in my younger years, when I felt powerless and that God would be displeased if I stood up for myself, that to do so would be selfish.

I think I'm pretty much over that, though: when I started work I realized, after several months, that if I didn't stand up for myself noone else would care, or listen. The work environment was just totally different...and while I'm not above whining occasionally, I'm more likely now to defend myself, to set things straight, to go to a boss if I need to, or to simply tell someone off if they need it.

I am tired of being a vicitm. I'm gonna pitch a fit and scream my bloody lungs off if anyone even attempts a tenth of what's already been doen to me, ever again.

Anyway, the question is this: does accepting and facing the challenges and joys of being autistic make me a victim? I don't think so. I am looking for solutions to life's adversities, for a niche in life, for ways in which I can succeed and fulfill at least some of my potential. That's not a victim.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

More than simple envy......

Why, when males are endowed with something as nice as a penis, don't they put it to better use than they do?

Violence: a penis is like, the world's best sex toy, and almost every guy has one. Why would they want to use it as a weapon?

Foreplay: Men have a distinct advantage here in that their very sexy male organ is on external display. It can bounce! It can wiggle! It gets hard! It does all kind of entertaining things. Do they take advantage of this fact by taunting us into a frenzy until we practically beg for them?? Not often. But they could. I mean, they could tease us all day long, off and on, until the girl feels like dragging him into the bedroom. But most don't. Instead, they're like, "Time for bed!" (meaningful look or gesture), it gets hard, and then they're like, "Wow, it's hard! I could stick this somewhere!" and that's about it. :-/ I'm not complaining TOO much, but guys, are you seriously that lacking in creativity?? Or in patience?

In the Bathroom: Frankly, if I had such a handy urethra that could aim as well as theirs does, that's what I'd do with it: aim. My anatomy precludes this, unless I want to start the arduous task of learning how to pee standing for females. Still, I manage not to get it all over the seat, floor and walls. I have told my sons, time and again, that if they cannot aim and lifting the seat is just too strenuous for them, they should sit. They do not. I'm just about to the pont of removing the seat entirely...except that I would rather sit on it than squat above the bowl! I hate having to wash it off before using each and every time.

Friday, May 20, 2005

I still believe that love, whether or not it is returned or rejected, is never wasted.

So, for all the lonely souls in the world, who have loved in vain without return, let me say it again: love is its own reward. It doesn't have to be reciprocal to be genuine or worthwhile. Don't ever be ashamed of loving someone, whoever they are.

Love enriches the world, it opens our hearts, it causes us to see the good in life and to be the best people that we can be. It gives life strength and meaning and passion and drives us to acheive goals and surmount problems that would otherwise seem insurpassable.

The pain doesn't come from love. The pain comes from rejection and from the death of hope and yes, expectations. Don't ever be afraid to love or stingy about it.....just watch out for those expectations....the biggest reward has already been had.

Monday, May 16, 2005

I just got my second raise in about a month!!! I couldn't believe it! Wooohoo! The boss said, when I asked him why he did that, that he felt that people who work harder should get paid more even if they don't have as much seniority. I told him that I would work hard to deserve the raise (after thanking him profusely). I think I embarrassed him. :-P

I found something that helps my hips a little: to wear an insole in the leg that is shorter. When I wore insoles for both, they hurt like hell. Took the left one out, relief. I have not had SERIOUS pain since doing this.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Okay. I boiled water for chocolate malt-o-meal at least three times and had it all evaporate before I could add the cereal! Finally I used about half a pan's worth of water, let it boil, measured the boiling water, threw out the excess, and made the cereal. It is very hard to boil just a cup or two of water and have any of it left!

One of our nice neighbors gave us a whole bunch of oriental poppies that she was digging up, along with other plants. She did this on MOther's Day. And Tim had also bought me some stock starts and a strawberry plant (complete with green berries already fruiting), these, I am happy to say, were in pots. The poppies were more or less bareroot and not very happy about that. I planted them all ASAP and we watered the heck out of them. They recovered.

The medication, which cost $25, does not work! Lovely. I still alternate between that familiar burning sensation, times where they're only very faintly sore, and where the area feels numbed and I feel queasy and lightheaded and exhausted. It is, more or less, one of these three modes, almost all the time.

One of my legs is about 1/4" longer than the other, and this, incidentally, is also the leg with the foot that was turned inwards when I was a baby, the one I wore orthopedic shoes for. The left one. The same hip that hurts me. Hmmmm...... I forgot to mention to the doctor that my hips also dislocate during some activities...they haven't done so in a long time, but it hurts like hell when it occurs. The thing is, I wasn't in a LOT of pain when I went to see him. I'd had two days off work. And even with the hike, I was only mildly sore. So he'd ask, "does this hurt?" and I'd say..."Uhhh...yeah. I think so. Maybe." I have a high pain tolerance. I would have to be in agony in order to be able to tell him really well exactly what hurts and where, precisely. I would have to come in after working all day long.


We're considerign buyign the house of the assistant manager that I wouldn't speak to for a while. I'm still not sure how well I like her. OK as a person, maybe. I still don't want her to be my boss. It's a really neat home, an underground one. It's like a little hobbit house! Very unique! YOu would expect it to be dark, right? It is not. It has a big skylight. What it IS: very well insulated by all that earth, and it feels very holistic and nourishing. It has 5 acres and is all set up for g oats already!! It has woods! It has water, power, phone, internet, AND a generator setup for power outages. It needs more gardens, they haven't been kept up. Also, it has a lot of outbuildings, storage sheds, barns, woodsheds, etc etc. I want to get this place, but I can only get $50 K financed. The house needs some significant work done on it (which I can do) and no bank will loan on it, because it's an earth home. They won't take payments in any form, they have to be bought out. Today they're getting it appraised....and I'm betting that it will be in the 75-100K range. I wonder who they will sell it to? Soemone who will build another house and demolish that one? :-( I really want this place. It feels right.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I want to cry. I woke up feeling this way and it just hasn't gotten any better. But I won't/can't, anymore than a desert can flood on command. I just feel desolate and barren. We went for a walk though, and saw a lot of pretty plants and great rocks and boulders. Boulders with moss, shooting stars...hmm...I can'y decide which I like better.

Anyway, I took some St John's wort and should be feeling better sometime today. Hopefully before I go to work. He's been so nice to me, it isn't his fault. I just get into a bad mood now and then.

So I went to the doctor about my hips. He asked me where and how they hurt, but they didn't hurt enough to be able to tell him as well as I'd have liked to, as well as I could have had I worked all day before going there. Unfortunately my work hours don't really allow for that, nor do his. He took X rays. Bones are so beautiful, so graceful. The bony pelvis reminds me of a butterfly. The xrays show that the bones are fine, just fine!!! I don't know how they can hurt this! It is so frustrating.... He syas that it's probably soft tissue; ligaments, tendons, and so forth, that have gotten strained. Try not to lift heavy things (yeah, right). And he gave me a prescription for an anti-imflammatory, but that's not good since the insurance company won't acknowledge that I've been paying them a sizable chunk out of my check every two weeks. They haven't sent me the card yet, and they deny that I'm on it.

The pharmacy says that it's "only" $25.00. Over the counter anti-imflammatories don't even touch this pain, I seriously cannot even tell that I took them! OTOH, do I want to work in pain and be this crabby and irritable because of it? Maybe I'm just a hypochondriac, as a number of people seem to imply. All I know is that there are times when this hurts so freaking much that I feel nauseous.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

When the goal is to turn an autistic person into a pale imitation of a neurotypical and to deny them any expression or manifestation or justification or legimacy of/for their autistic selves, isn't the true goal to squelch and suppress their self identity? This "therapy" leaves the autistic no place to turn inwards, where they can say, "this is me, this is good, I *like* me, this is who I am. Instead, it's all pretense and facade, something we're not all that good at, I think. One is left in unhappy introspection: is this me? Or it it what they wanted? I'm not happy with it. They liked it. I don't like this...they pick on me for's bad because they don't like it...they say it's weird...Why do I have to pretend so hard...and who do I pretend to be?..." (I used to choose one model at a time, usually someone I admired and was fond of. If and when they rejected me, I then had to discard that persona and try to model after someone else.) I always had a slight nagging feeling about this...and what hurt the most was when the person encouraged me, actively assuming the role of role-model, and then abruptly abandoned or spurned me. I was unable to choose a generalized 'normal' mode, or to identify one. I *had* to imitate other people in order to act any semblance of normal.

Is this what you people want, to deny us our autistic self identity? To say that who we really and truly are deep inside, is wholly inadequate? We are supposed to live out an entire life this way?! And to be happier for it!!! My god, what have you been smoking? How could you even imagine that this would be successful or productive? (We won't even go into humane, auties apparently are too far gone to deserve humane treatment!)

A person's self-identity is the very germ and seed of their personality. To rob a person of this, and intentionally, yet, is a crime worse than rape. A body is only a shell, but without our real self, we would just as well be walking zombies acting to please the general populace. A person's selfhood is sacred, and noone: no parent, no teacher, no therapist, no expert, has the right to deprive anyone of that.

What better form of expressing one's inner self can there be but the arts?

You can ban me from your forums, you can shut me up, you can shout me down. You can fire me, threaten me, hurt me, and pretend I don't exist. You can tell me that since I'm autistic, my opinion doesn't count. You can claim that I'm not really autistic, the pschologist was dumb and I'm pretending and therefore I'm invalid. You can make up elaborate and bizarre theories to explain things away about me and why I'm so, in your opinion, fucked up. You can pray for me, plead with me, sigh over me, wring your hands, ply me with guilt trips, laugh at me, or swear at me. It doesn't matter.

I am tired of trying to be what I am not and I refuse to do it anymore. It's hard work to be what I am, but at least I know who I am. I am just as legitimate, being autistic, as you are, being neurotypical, and you aren't one iota better than me for it. You can't shut me up. I will paint, and even though I can't communicate well, my pictures will say it for me: this is me, this is who I am, this is the beauty that I see in the world around me, through my eyes!