Friday, December 31, 2010

Hope Lutheran Christmas Concert 2010 Part One

My Dad is the music director at this church. He is the thin man in black who is conducting.
Ugh. I am working through a sweet, happy time in the storyline of the other blog, and it sucks, because I just don't have the heart for it right now. I know what's going to happen to that innocent seventeen year old girl and all her silly dreams. She's going to hit the pavement hard like roadkill, like Humpty Dumpty, and isn't ever going to be the same again. Those few happy weeks will haunt her for years like a mirage, driving her almost out of her mind, taunting her, making her cynical, except for those rare times...She will pay for that in spades, even though she did nothing at all wrong.

And yet, I can't say that I'd go back and skip out on those weeks to avoid the two decades of subsequent pain. What spot of sunshine would have kept me alive through the darkness otherwise, until I came to a brighter place?

But still, it sucks. It hurts. And it's a little too close to home for comfort.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Things are better now. Well, at least I hope so.

My friend (I guess she is my friend??) tells me that I need to get over my thing of thinking that feelings are icky and embarrassing. Suppose they seem that way to me because they aren't entirely rational, predictable, and often scare the hell out of me. Also, I don't like to be or feel weak, and nothing makes me feel weaker than (ugh, I can hardly stand to write it!) stuff like crying.

I've always felt that crying is for girls, and everyone knows that girls are weak, frail things who wear impractical shoes and clothes you can't climb trees in and who can turn on the tears like a faucet. Girls are prey. Girls can be hurt. They can be hit...and intimidated...and forced to do things they don't want to do...and raped...and treated like property. So naturally, I've spent most of my life trying not to be a girl, not in the sense of wanting a sex change, but more along the lines of being in denial.

It hasn't worked so well. Because I'm naturally sort of obsessive and anxious, things bother me a lot more than they should. If I were the faucet type, I'd be crying a lot. I'm like this machine where you put just one small input into it, and it generates a whole lot of output, except most of that output just stays in the machine churning around until a gear of something breaks. When other women talk about "having a good cry", I don't know what the fuck they're talking about. As far as I'm concerned, crying is a truly gut wrenching experience, occasionally accompanied by lovely stuff like migraines, chest pain, stomach cramps, and vomiting. Oh, and it's, like, the most embarrassing thing on earth short of being publicly incontinent.

So (trying really hard to make this coherent) naturally anything that has the potential to lead to that kind of pain becomes sort of frightening. You know what, I totally lost where I was trying to go with this. I am so sorry. I guess that to resolve this kind of stuff better, I am going to have to keep writing on the other blog, because what happens before too long there is the shittiest thing that ever happened to me, and honestly, it still reverberates through my life today.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jen's X-rated thought of the day...

Just so you all know, this blog is not child safe.

Now having said that, I want to know: Whose brilliant fucking idea was it to decide that having buzzing, vibrating things anywhere near one's delicate genitals was a good idea?

Let's see here, things that buzz and vibrate in nature:
  • Bumblebees
  • Rattlesnakes
  • Wasps and hornets
  • Horseflies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Various other insects
Now maybe it's just me, but if I'm out walking around and feel something buzzing and vibrating in my pants, those pants are coming off in a hurry, and not because I want to ease right into that bee, wasp, whatever! Or, I'll find that area of clothing and carefully pinch the hell out of it before it gets me first. It most definitely is not a turn on. And to be honest, if I ever found myself with a man who possessed a buzzing, vibrating penis, I think I'd have to love him a lot to uh...well, you know. So I'm not really getting why adult stores are making so much money off this type of product. I don't even like for my cell phone to vibrate, because my very first thought is, what the hell is crawling around in my pocket?!

So back to my original question, what weirdo looked at a bumblebee and thought, "Hey, that makes me feel horny, I think I'll go replicate that concept for my bedroom"?

Monday, December 27, 2010

I have officially been corrupted: am not only eating meat now, but looking forward to steak eagerly....and gravitate towards the petite sirloin every time I pass the meat section. Of course my kids are happy about this.

If we ever live in the country again and have animals, I want to have a beef calf, raise it on goat's milk. Or hey, we could just buy a side of beef from a friend who has those Scottish Highlander cattle. Or talk to Fish and Game about snagging the next moose that has (fatefully) charged a train. I need to get a crew together for that last thing though, and frankly, a fourth of a moose is enough to last a very long time. Moooose...MMMMMMmmmmmm....

See what I mean? lol.....

As long as I don't start drooling over the fresh cuts of pork.....
I made the coolest sea bass last night! In clay of course....and a little tiny minnow type fish with a rather dismayed expression on its is so cute!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Twas a good day. I am eating too much though, don't want to gain weight back right after I fit into my favorite (size 3!) jeans. Anyway, on to other topics:

I get a lot of guff from people who want me to shut up. I used to be really good at shutting up and keeping secrets. Over time, I have come to realize that as a general rule, when people want you to shut up, it is often for their own benefit and to your own detriment to do so. Which is why they threaten. People threaten when they're afraid. So here's my take on what people take me to task for, namely, talking openly about abuse and general bad treatment. And just so we're clear here, I blab just as openly if I see other people being hurt.

Surviving abuse doesn't make you a victim. Having PTSD, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, etc as a result of abuse doesn't make you a victim. What makes a person a victim is continuing to cover for the abuser. Keeping quiet about things a person has done to hurt you is cooperating with their abuse and playing into their little game, and dammit, I won't do it anymore. When people who have been abused don't talk about it, it disenfranchises others who are in the same boat. A person who is being maltreated might think that they're all alone, because they have never heard of anyone else going through this sort of stuff, and that's a very lonely feeling, and so, so untrue. Also, wounds that aren't dressed fester and hurt, sometimes to a disproportionate degree. I refuse to continue to experience any kind of pain simply because someone else will feel "uncomfortable" if I acknowledge that yes, shitty things have in fact been done to me. Their discomfort is their problem, not mine. Any shame associated with such events belong entirely to the perpetrator, not the subject of the abuse. It is not weak to admit that bad things have happened, it is strong, because inherent in this admission is the knowledge that this turn of events was unacceptable and has to change. It is the first step to growing out of a toxic, self destructive position into one that is empowered.

Whenever I hear people say that they don't want to hear about (insert child abuse, rape, sexual harassment on the job, discrimination, whatever), my first instinct is to suspect that the person condones that act and has quite possibly perpetrated it themselves. They are too gutless to say that they approve of, say, burning disobedient kids with cigarette butts, so they just target whoever wants to talk about it and say crap like, "Well, I think that's really the parent's business and should be handled in the home, don't you? Before government got involved in the family life nobody thought anything about parents spanking (severe beatings actually) their kids". Which is to say, they beat their own kids and resent that anyone has the balls to criticize that.

I'm not saying that people who are private and have gone through this stuff can't be healthy....but I do question in some cases, whether they have internalized the stuff that happened to them. What I can say is that this is what works for me, and why.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

These little animals are really underappreciated. I have never seen anything that kills mice as effectively as a good weasel. We were once lucky enough to have one that moved into the house for a while, wiped out the rodent infestation, and promptly left once the problem was handled. It was so alert and intelligent!
I'm looking out the window; the snow covered mountain behind us is ringed with fog/cloud and the sunlight is hitting the mist. And the sky is blue behind it. So beautiful. It's a good day.

And I sitting here wondering what I'll do for the winter holiday when my kids are all grown. Suppose that at some point I'll have grandchildren (that seems like a long way away...I hope). My youngest is 5, so by the time he's grown in 13 years...yeah, I should have grandchildren by then. Sometimes I think about the possibility of adopting once Charlie's older....especially if the child in question was not an infant. People always look at me like I'm crazy when I say that, and I suppose that they have a point....

And speaking of household responsibilities, I am never having another indoor cat after Uno dies (this is the ancient, blind, corona virus infected cat we adopted). I love her and everything, but cat box in the house.....blech! I don't really care to have an outdoor cat either, because they kill weasels and birds and I love weasels. Oh, and bats! Bats are cool, too. Besides, with a Rat Terrier around, I don't need a cat. And cats have a nasty way of leaving disgusting surprises in the garden. It isn't that I don't like cats- I do- but I can love them just as well when they belong to someone else!
The kids are having a great X-mas and I am happy. :-)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Have to get myself through the next part on my other blog. I've never been able to write that part down before; I always get right to the point where I am now and then stop. I guess sometimes you have to break a bone in order to set it correctly though.

I am not a big fan of holidays. This year is turning out better than most, but still....I always feel terribly alone during these things, and I hate having to pretend to be in some kind of festive mood (grump grump). Alright alright....I'll try......

I need to get out of the house though. Thinking.....Hike? (where, in this weather????) Ski? (no more skis).....Drive? (Where?)....Finch Arboretum? Hmmmmm........have never seen it in the winter. Meh. Maybe after the first of the year. Then I can hit the Oriental food stores and buy weird produce and other stuff. Maybe get some summer roll wrappers that are reliable. What else could I do......Firewood? (Yes!!! Feeling suddenly cheerful at the thought! Yeah, I know, I am so weird, lol). Help fix goat fence? Yeah, I could go for that too. Haul a truckload of manure? (Ya know, I am not *that* bored....splitting and stacking, OK....shoveling shit, not quite desperate enough yet....). Hmmmm. I need to find some places where I can walk around here in the winter....yeah. In the meantime, I can clean the house
Thinking about pottery again, although I haven't made any new stuff since the fall semester ended. I did drop off everything I'm going to sell at Monarch Mountain. None of it is as good as it could be if I were more experienced, so I tried to price it accordingly. Anyway, now that the old stuff is out of my hair and sight, I can start thinking about making more.
  • Making a school of little fish. These could be small enough that they wouldn't have to be hollow, and they could even be bisque fired individually or in smaller groups. When I glaze them, I can lay them adjacent to one another or overlapping. When the glazed piece gets fired, the clay and glaze vitrify, and so they will wind up joined by the glaze. Loading such a piece in the kiln would be a pain. I would have to do it myself probably. The beauty of this is that the entire piece would not be at risk during the greenware or bisqueware stages. I've had several pieces broken already, and it pisses me off. With smaller groups of fish or individual fish that are assembled at the last possible minute, if one fish or one small group gets broken, it isn't such a devastating loss, and I can still readjust pretty easily to compensate, or make extras with the expectation that not all of them will come out intact.

  • I also want to make fish that can be positioned away from a wall, swimming in midair above a base. (No, not mobiles, although that would be interesting too). I could make stones by throwing bowls, deforming them into stone-like shapes, texturing them to obliterate the throwing lines, and notching them to accept the fish.

  • Also, I want to start making small groups of fish , like 2-4 small trout sized fish.

And I had other ideas, but now my older kids are being a pain, so I have to go and bring the household into order.....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

By the way, the tapioca stll hasn't turned out right. The scones, however, are unerringly good.

Gluten- Free scones
2 cups of gluten free flour (I use half cocnut and half quinoa or teff with some tapioca starch)
1/3 cup sucanat or dark brown sugar or whatever
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (this is *not* optional)

stir all that together in a mixing bowl.

Then--> use a cheese grater to grate 6 Tablespoons of butter (most of a stick) into the flour mixture, and stir that up and try to break the butter up more if you can. The butter needs to be cold in order to grate well.

Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips or currants or nuts or berries or whatever if you feel like it.

Whisk together in another bowl:

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut cream/coconut milk
1 egg

and add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir them until it clumps together. Then make a cohesive mass of it using your hands, sort of like kneading. If you need to, add more coconut milk to get it to stick together. It's okay if the dough is kind of sticky.

The oven should be preheated to 425 degrees F

Now pat the dough out on a clean surface, into a disk about an inch high and cut it into pie shaped wedges. Arrange these on a cookie sheet or baking sheet (doesn't need to be greased) with an inch of space between them, more space if you like them crunchier. Bake them for 10-12 minutes.

I like to use the coconut flour, chocolate chips, and the coconut cream (you can use dairy cream if you want to, but I always have coconut milk and never have cream, sooo). I keep meaning to try the almond flour but the coconut flour tastes so right that I just haven't tried any other yet!
Replay of yesterday, except that I spent more time cleaning and the hosue isn't totally trashed (yet). The kitchen area actually looks OK. to say it......sometimes I feel like such a fool. I hate being vulnerable, but am realizing that you can't open yourself up to happiness if you aren't willing to take the risk of the pain. And do I want to feel numb and cold and robotic again? No, I do not. Instead I feel as tender as a newly opened blossom in the face of an impending hail storm, hoping to goodness that that hail is going to fall somewhere else. And I've got this bitchy little know it all weatherman who keeps blathering on about the fucking hailstorm headed my way, and I just want him to shut UP already!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spent half the day cleaning, the house looked nice for an hour or two, and now the kids have messed it up again. I suppose that is it hadn't been cleaned this morning, it'd be an absolute pit by now. Besides, the tree is up and decorated, and we made a bucnh of refrigerator magnets. I need to find a good source of bottlecaps to make more magnets with. Usually this would be a good excuse to go and buy some nice hard cider or oatmeal stout....but cannot in the here and now, alas.

Thinking: is it possible that a person could be so messed up and overcome with guilt over an event that their subconscious would cause anything else to get messed up and sabotaged? I am thinking it is possible.

I don't know, I just read back through the part in my other blog where my stepdad killed our cat and how guilty I felt over it, even though there was nothing I did to cause its death and virtually nothing I could have done to avert it.....and realized that it has been pretty much the same thing with Daniel Haugen's death. I didn't make him die, and doctors who know about melanoma have already told me he was probably past saving when I met him, so there wasn't anything I could have done to keep it from happening, either.

Now, aside from the fact that he was a 35 year old man and I was a horrifically innocent 17 year old girl that he more or less jilted without even giving a good reason, and aside from the fact that he'd gone to jail for beating his first wife, let's say that it would have been ideal anyway, if things had been different. Still, it isn't my fault he died, and punishing myself for that for the rest of my life is plain silliness.
I think this is the most beautiful song in the world. My dad plays it too, but of the versions online, this is the best in my opinion. If I were forced to narrow my music down to only one song, it would be this.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Been writing a lot on my other blog. It is my way of working through my past and resolving the issues which stem from all that crap. Since....let's see, when was it...I suppose when I switched counselors...I realized that counselors are only there to *help*. They cannot do the actual work of therapy for me. Unfortunately, that is for me to do. They're there for moral support, perspective, and to help keep me from losing my mind. And then, in the past several months, I realized that unless I work on the issues that haunt me, not only am I going to eventually lose it altogether, nothing nice is going to happen, because I'll be so afraid and paranoid and whatnot that even if it did, I would somehow manage to lose it.

Which doesn't make it any easier....but there it is. So with that in mind, I've been devoting a lot more time to the other blog (and in between posts, here, to take a break now and then). And while there is still a lot of work yet to do, I can honestly say that the nightmares have stopped.

And---(related somehow, don't ask me how, but it is), this verse from a Melissa Etheridge song, the full lyrics of which can be found here:
"And when you make the choice to believe in your existence"...

And see, that has been my biggest issue. I don't know how many times I've wanted to kill myself, thinking that because I was an accidental pregnancy, an almost abortion, that I was less of a person, had less of a place in this world, was an imposition upon it. And the awful thing of it is that when you act that way, people begin to treat you that way, too, which reinforces that belief. But now, I am thinking that a: I don't believe in predestination any more and haven't for a very long time and b: Even when a child is planned, nobody knows exactlt which sperm is going to get which egg, so in a sense, it's always sort of haphazard and accidental anyway and c: This is shit! People are people, and I'm not any less of a person and besides which, d: This is a ploy by certain parent/authority figures to transfer the consequences of their mistakes on to me. Do I treat any of my kids that way? No! Therefore, they should not do so either. Good parents don't make kids feel guilty for being born, for crying out loud.....

Anyway, back to the other blog....trying out the tapioca experiment again, by the way....hoping not to get glue this time.

Actually, forget it. I am going to bed. I just logged my 100th post there and I need a little time to think (sleep) before I write more, because things are about to get interesting and messy in that tale.
Ha!!!!! My oldest son decided to sample my prized tin of King Oscar's kippered herring and ate the whole thing! Seems he hadn't tried it before....

Just like I haven't tried seafood or several other things on my dislike list.....hmmm. But, sorry, no way, no how am I going to try the goat testicles!
Strangeness: I am absolutely phobic of snakes. Spiders, bugs, anything else...blood, etc, is fine, but no snakes. I have been known to jump and scream over garden hoses and sticks, to have a panic attack from inadvertently seeing a picture of a snake in a book, and to be rendered absolutely non-functional over seeing a snake, especially if it was unexpected.

And Charlie just brought a book to me, open to a page with about ten pictures and photographs of snakes, and it didn't scare me at all! I found the shapes slightly interesting, but I was not afraid. Not even a little bit. I haven't done any 'work' on this issue lately at all, had given up trying to change it. I am really hoping that this is going to be a permanent thing. I have honestly never seen a picture of a snake without freaking out before.

LOL, so I am a dork.... :-P
Today's bright idea: Combining a cemetery and an arboretum as a green alternative to conventional burial grounds and practices.
Supporting reasons:
  • Ecologically, conventional cemeteries are a nightmare because they require lawn to be fertilized, trimmed and watered and provide almost no wildlife habitat at all.
  • Also, they aren't very pleasant places
  • Conventional caskets are a wasteful and silly expenditure.
  • Planting a tree over a dead body is greener.
  • The idea of one's body being converted into a towering, beautiful tree that people will walk under is a lot more appealing than being a rotting corpse encased in metal or concrete under a skin of lawn.
  • Such a cemetery would give a more positive spin to the life--->death-->life cycle
  • The trees would provide wildlife habitat and could be longer lived than gravestones.
  • They're also more interesting than a gravestone.
  • The cemetery would have more than one function since it would also be a place where people would stroll, kiss, relax, read, meditate, etc.
  • For couples or families, the idea of having two trees planted nearby, knowing that their roots and branches will intertwine is a lot more romantic and less depressing than having two corpses rotting together side by side.
  • People could select particular trees (within reason for the climate/region) that would reflect their personality or identity.
  • There could be memorial plaques on the trees instead of gravestones. Or, there could be very small stones at the base of the tree. The grave markers would therefore never be lost, because it's pretty damned hard to lose a big tree.

I think this is what I want to happen to my shell when I die. Plant an apple tree over me.

Chnaged my mind. I want a Stewartia pseudocamelia instead... or possibly a hazelnut...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Found the phone. Just in time, too....
Great. I left my cellphone somewhere, probably at the library. It wasn't good for much anyway, but I could still text on it....and listen to people, lol......I guess they were usually frustrated people since they couldn't hear me, but still, it was some sort of a phone....sigh...

Kleber: Mom, can I buy this? So and so drinks it and says it is good.

Now, he happens to get away with this shit because he knows I have a high opinion of so and so. I do not, however, have a high opinion of being manipulated and so I call him on it and tell him he is full of shit. He tries, unsuccessfully, to text so and so, and I giggle at his frustration at being unable to attain his hoped-for endorsement of the product. Meanwhile, he has put two different such products into the cart. I mean, I already got duped into buying bacon yesterday. Bacon!!! And today I bought petite sirloin steak (I guess I cannot fairly call myself a vegetarian anymore). So.....

Mom: Look, I'm feeling manipulated here. I bought bacon yesterday and steak today. What is happening to me??? You say that so and so likes everything you want to buy.

Kleber: So and so is an expert on nutrition, Mom. (still checking I pod for a response to his text!)

Mom: (Rolls eyes at this blatant attempt, walks off laughing.)

Long story short, he gets one of the energy drinks. It is supposedly better for being sugarfree, however, I have my doubts about artificial sweeteners. At any rate, making me laugh is definitely a good way to soften me up, and he did that. So, we're in the truck now.

Kleber: Thank you for buying that, Mom

Mom: (rolls eyes and starts truck.)

Kleber: No, so and so really did say that this is the kind they buy, that it's good. (opens can, takes a sip) OH MY GOD!!!! THIS STUFF IS VILE! How can they drink this?!!

Mom: is still giggling........

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Case of You - k.d. lang - Hymms of the 49th Parallel

More about food, inspired by the shocking fact that neither of my sons will eat kippered herring, not even the King Oscar's brand!

Things I won't eat at all, ever:
  • Liver
  • Goat testicles (haven't tried, won't try)
  • caviar
  • Intestines
  • Gjetost cheese
  • Pork rinds
Things I don't eat, or don't eat much of:
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Pork
  • Oily, fishy tasting fish
  • seafood (haven't tried most of it actually)
  • Cucumbers
  • White bread
  • Iceberg lettuce (would rather have spinach or leaf lettuce)
  • Ice Cream (sorbet instead- no milk)
  • High fructose Corn Syrup
  • White sugar
  • Cake, cookies, things with frosting...
  • Fried foods...except for fried okra!
  • Potatoes (occasionally eat new potatoes)
Foods that are (almost!) as good as sex:
  • Ciao Bella's Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet
  • Certain brands of hard cider
  • a freshly picked, fully ripe peach
  • My Grandma Amy's sticky rice cake dessert
  • Certain artisanal cheeses which I cannot find here anymore...
  • Concord grapes
  • Prime rib or Scottish Highlander beef....if I am in the right mood for it...or moose meat..(yes, the veggie treehugger really said that!!)
Feeling better....I think I am going to have to continue exorcising the "demons" of my youth though....

And, am listening to a k.d.lang CD I haven't heard before: Live by Request. I love just about anything by her, but my favorite has got to be "Case of You", which, unfortunately, is not on any of the CDs that I own or borrow. "Barefoot" is a close second.

Still trying to replicate the tapioca pudding recipe. Asked the ladies at the health food store if they'd give me a hint on how to make it and they just laughed at me! They did tell me to search online and I found enough to try again. It seems that tapioca has to be soaked overnight, a crucial step that was neglected on my first attempt. That stuff was so disgusting that I threw it away! It was like glue!!
(Food Inventory resumed)

Flours, meals and flour-like substances
  • Buckwheat (which is from polygonaceae and is not a grain at all)
  • Blue cornmeal
  • Masa Harina
  • All-purpose white flour
  • Sorghum flour
  • Milled flax seed
  • coconut flour
  • Teff flour
  • Xanthan gum (not flour at all but necessary if you use non-wheat flours)
  • Almond Meal
  • Amaranth flour
  • Quinoa flour
  • Tapioca starch
  • Hemp seed protein powder
  • Potato flour
  • Chickpea flour (somewhere I have a recipe that requires this

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Beginning to notice a pattern: I get depressed after being with or near my son. After I have been away from him for a while, I begin to feel better. Not blaming him for my feelings, but I do think he has figured out exactly how to hurt me and is now flipping switches and pushing buttons and enjoying the show. And he's so good at it. I feel like shit, like curling up in a ball and crying all day long. Bleh.

Probably should work with the clay; that always seems to help. And right about then, he'll come home with some new remark to stab me with. I would really rather be slapped around.

Anyway, the pottery is *still* pinging!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Heh. I'm sitting here in the kitchen listening to the sound of my freshly fired pottery pinging on the counter behind me. It's still cooling, even though it came out of the kiln at 8 AM. Overall, I am not as happy with the work as I could be, but it is first semester work, and it's good motivation to keep striving for improvement. Where am I going to put all this stuff???

And, have been blogging on the other blog, and realized, life is really not bad at all compared to what it used to be, lol. Actually, things are pretty darned nice. My orchid just started blooming, some of the pottery is satisfying, I got at least 100 lbs of clay for free, and gas in my gas tank, food in the cupboards, and hot running water. And yeah, just got out of a HOT full, tub of water washing that smelly stuff off (bleah!), as opposed to a sponge bath in a frozen bathtub with a couple of gallons of water in a room with a smelly bucket of sewage. So life is actually good.

It's just that I get scared sometimes.
But I am still sort of depressed in spite of myself. I did make some more things today and brought home a lot more clay that other students were throwing away. One of the things was supposed to be sort of squash-like, but wound up as a head of garlic. I meant for it to be a lid+ body piece but I am not going to be back when it is leather hard in order to cut the top off. Mostly I just got my hands into the clay.

And they were offering free chair massages (which sounds kind of funny now that I am writing it, a chair getting a massage, hahahaha...) and my shoulders, neck, etc have been sort of sore so I thought, what the heck, having never gotten a professional massage before. She did a good job, but she used some kind of oil that reeks like AXE and I hate it! I hate smelling this way! She said it was tea tree oil, but I know tea tree oil when I smell it, and if it's on me, there isn't much of it. Yuck. Will have to take a bath when I get home. I have no idea what I usually smell like, but the idea of running around smelling unlike myself bothers me.

Anyway, now I have several school-free weeks with with to clean house, cook from scratch (which I already did, but not intensively) and make pottery stuff....probably more fish and botanical/sea life inspired forms.
The fish came out really nicely, except for some glaze dripping on the back side of it, which is a fairly minor issue. It is RED!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bleh. Depressed again. Listening to this.

I know that I am a worthy person with a lot of nice qualities. But damn, sometimes I feel like such a discard when I look back upon the history of life and feel like any more of that sort of thing will be one time too many. Ugh..... :-(

Monday, December 13, 2010

OK, that is a lot more than 50 lbs!! I know because I had to carry it, and I left about half of it at the studio to get next time, too! :smile: It will give me something to keep busy with.

And I didn't make a lot of money at the pottery sale, only $24, but it was enough to help.
Happy and having a good day, despite the curve balls life throws at us. I just finished my final evaluation for the ceramics class, and most of my remaining work will be out of the glaze firing by Wednesday. The teacher asked if I had prior experience with sculpture, based on my work. At first I said not really....then remembered that I've been sewing and working with fabric, including three dimensional fabric forms, for most of my life. So see, all those years of sewing weren't wasted! He said I have a knack for clay and a willingness to allow the clay to express itself. :-)

And, I have about 50-60 lbs of clay to bring home to play with over the winter break. I want to make more fish, like maybe some of the weird ones that live in the deepest parts of the ocean, but am leery of transporting them because of breakage. Hmmmm. If I can drive them in, they'd get here in one piece.

And, I have a lot of pottery that I don't need. I am wondering if I can give it away.....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sigh..There is a movie where a guy is trying to kill the baby and the baby's crying, except the baby is made of a tree stump. And the woman is trying to defend the baby.

And, believe it or not, I got freaked out over this scene. I mean, first of all, it's a frigging movie. Secondly, it isn't a baby. Who else freaks out over crap like this??!
So I have been doing an inventory of my cupboards to ascertain what I have enough of and what isn't there or is there in insufficient quantities, because I keep finding that I thought I had things, starting a recipe, and then find that some key item is missing. For entertainment's sake, I'll post the lists here. :-P Ummm....keep in mind that I have this fear of running out of food, ok?

Grains and Cereals
  • White cornmeal grits
  • Yellow corn polenta
  • Red quinoa
  • White quinoa
  • Oatmeal, rolled (a lot!)
  • Oatmeal, scotch steel cut
  • popcorn, multicolored
  • Amaranth
  • Wheat, whole berries
  • bulgur wheat
  • Kasha (buckwheat groats)
  • Rice, jasmine white (a LOT, because this is my favorite!)
  • Rice, sweet white
  • Rice, brown basmati
  • Rice, wild (which is not real rice at all, but whatever...)
  • Rice, Lundberg's wild blend
  • Rice, arborio, white
  • Rice, Calrose brown
  • Oh! almost forgot the purple barley, but that's for planting
Beans and Legumes
  • Lentils, red (a lot)
  • Lentils, french green
  • Lentils, plain old brown
  • Green Split peas
  • Peanuts, wild jungle
  • Chickpeas
  • Beans, aduki
  • Beans, black turtle
  • Beans, lima
  • Dried refried beans
  • Beans, kidney

And while writing this list, I realized that I have no yellow split peas at all, with which to make dahl. This list is not including the canned beans, by the way, only dried beans. Most of the canned beans are white cannelini. Hey, I don't have any plain barley, either, with which to make mushroom barley soup! I wonder if I can use quinoa instead.....I mean, it isn't like barley has much of a flavor.
At Safeway accessing wifi again, and this time, the eating area is free of racists and bigots. Tell me please: why do so many men walk around looking threatening? I can't imagine that women find that attractive, but on the other hand, my taste usually isn't the same as the average woman, and vice versa. I see these scowling men everywhere, and it just makes me feel nervous. Really overweight men, though, tend not to scowl, but to be friendly. I am shallow enough to find this almost as threatening as the scowly guys, lmao.....

And see, there I am, doing it again, going through life feeling like some kind of a prey animal alert and watchful for predators. I got picked up by one of those the last time I went hitchhiking. Don't ask me how, but I just knew that guy was not quite safe. He was acting weird. So I remembered that a good strategy is to remind such men that you are a fellow human instead of a sex object, and I starting asking him about his family and telling him that I had kids, etc. That seemed to work for the very short distance he drove me. I was really, really glad he didn't take me to Coeur d'Alene. I haven't gone hitchhiking since that day.

And...I'm tired of Safeway, so that's all I have to say for now.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Spazzing out. Not doing very well.
The health food store has some fantastic tapioca pudding that they make there, and it has neither eggs nor milk. I buy way too much of it, but the last few times, they didn't have any. It only has four ingredients, so it can't be too terribly hard to make. I am going to give it a try, and if it turns out well, will post the recipe for my imitation of their product (lol). I love tapioca...especially the large pearl kind that looks like fish eyes....could only find the small pearl at a reasonable price though...

I was looking for a picture of Shahena'ko S Kamikaze, one of the two Alpine does that inspired me to work the Alpine breed of dairy goats, rather than Saanens, which were definitely my first love in goats. I didn't find Kamikaze, but I did find an old, old image of Sodium Oaks Kiwi Mallow, who was the other inspiring doe (edited to add- Mallow was also Kamikaze's grandmother). More than twenty years of breeding and advancements later, Kiwi Mallow is still a striking testament to her breed:

The image is from The Buck Bank semen website, a good place to buy dairy goat semen from. The Sodium Oaks and Shahena'ko lines were the ones I used almost exclsuively in my own herd, because Kiwi Mallow and Kamikaze were what I wanted to see walking aorund in my pasture (and through the show ring)!

Footnote: I forgot how to write html to post images and had to look it up!!!! I feel so stupid! Need to start writing a new website, lol....
Still trying to figure out what to do in terms of a major and long term education plan. Things that interest me enough to consider working in them and associated factors, pros and cons:
  • Permaculture, sustainable agriculture: I could farm or develop plant or livestock varieities or strains or progressive agricultural systems or techniques for the rest of my life and feel thoroughly happy and fulfilled. Problems: Chemistry and advanced math required (wtf, I don't want to formulate new pesticides!!!), and my hips don't allow for the heavy manual labor I used to enjoy so well. Could work in the dairy goat industry, but there just is not enough of a demand. If it weren't for the Chem, I would find a way to do this, but having failed the last chem class in spite of extreme effort and memorization.....will have to find something else and possibly raise stuff as a hobby or independently.
  • Fine Art: It is definitely within my ability to do this, and I would be happy working in this field. Problems: getting a 4 year degree without abandoning children, and finding a job in this field in our challenging local job market.
  • Psych: I've wanted to work this area for years, particularly if it has anything to do with autism or exploring differences in thought, i.e. neurodiversity. Temple Grandin is one of my heroes! Problems: Statistics, worries that they might not want me in the field to begin with because I'm sort of atypical, frustration with what I perceive as subjectivity and biased viewpoint in the field, compared to some of the other sciences. Still, I would totally do this if I could get through the Stats class.
  • Somehow combining art and psych: Ah...this seems like a nice combination. Something like art therapy or OT. Having experienced first hand the difference that immersing oneself in oneself in clay can have on my psyche, I know that art is therapeutic and calming and cathartic, just as getting my hands into a garden or spending time with animals is therapeutic. (animal therapy?). Problem: research is needed to determine what kind of a degree I need. Can I actually find work in this field? I know for a fact that there have been times when art has literally saved my life, and it isn't even so much about the results. It's the creative process and the sensory experience of the stuff.
  • Physical anthropology: very, very interesting stuff, and forensic anthropology is not too far removed from pathology. Cons: I already tend towards depression. Combing over the bones of dead children or infants might be a bit much for me. Also, having smelled decomp a number of times.....I could do it, but......still, a possibility to keep on the list
  • Art education: That isn't the right word for it. Main drawback here is that I really do not like working with large groups of kids. One on one is soooo much better.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Other than being cold (blogging outside, brrrr!) and having issues with my eldest son, life is good. I don't even mind the cold, because (sacrilege!!) I actually prefer winter to the bright sun and smothery heat of summer. Especially when big snowflakes are falling in slo-mo like flower petals, or when it's really cold and you shine a flashlight on the snow and it sparkles like diamonds, and the flakes skitter with a crystalline sound as you walk. It's slushy and drippy right now, but it'll be nice again before long.

I know this is so wrong, but I honestly think I could spend most of the summer in some pleasantly overcast and foggy coastal area and be very happy about that. lmao....
Some horrible woman with small (less than 2 years old) twin boys just walked her kids into the bathroom and started smacking one of them. I could actually hear her hitting him. Of course he was crying and wailing pitifully while she bitched him out. I went and told one of the librarians, but by the time she came out, the woman was leaving. The whole scene just sort of freaked me out. It should not be legal for people to do that to their kids, especially really small ones. And now I feel sort of ashamed because I didn't have the balls to go and confront her about it. Those poor kids. It's been years and years since I was hit like that, and I still feel all unsettled and upset seeing it happen to someone else.

You know what though, I think it is normal to be upset by this sort of thing. It should never, ever be acceptable in any society to treat a child that way. :-(

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Got some reference books for doing pottery over the winter break. Well, sort of. They aren't pottery books, they're books about turtles, whales, and coelocanths, all things I wnt to depict in clay.

And for some reason, I've been really food oriented even though I am not really eating any more than usual. Oh! I found teff flour! They don't have whole grain teff (snarl) but I am happy to be able to get this. Also found amaranth flour, another hard to find item. :happy dance:

And I tried to make summer rolls tonight, but the stupid spring roll wrappers aren't working right. Will but a new batch of them tomorrow and use the filling with those. :-)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Three pieces had sold by the time I left. I got one of the raku pieces and brought it home; the other weren't done yet. The raku firing was cool and invigorating, even though there was a lot of smoke. So, here's how the raku process and firing works (I don't know enough yet to be highly technical or accurate but will do my best!):

The raku pieces need be be sturdy, with simple shapes and preferably no projecting parts, because they're going to have to undergo very stressful and sudden temperature changes. So we made plates, tea bowls, vases, tumblers. These were bisqued (think of it as a pre-firing with no glaze), and then we had to use special raku glazes. There's a white, and a copper glaze that turns shiny green and metallic, and others...I didn't know about the others so didn't use those. These were then put back into the electric kiln to force any remaining moisture out of them, because otherwise, they might explode and ruin other pieces when they go through the firing. Meanwhile, our teacher fired up the top hat kiln outside. This is a kiln such that the top lifts off the base via use of counterweights. It is propane fueled. The pre-warmed and dried pieces are then loaded into the top hat kiln, which looks like a flat base with a cup turned upside down over the base. Flames and heat sometimes come out of the top of the kiln. The temperature in this kiln has to go up to 1900 degrees Fahrenheit, after which helpers stand by with gloves and tongs and others (like me) stand next to metal trashcans holding armfuls of straw. The red hot pieces are carefully dropped into the trashcans onto a bed of straw, and then more straw is thrown onto them (which promptly ignites) and the lids are put on quickly. Meanwhile, the top hat kiln is filled again with more pieces. After a while (like 20 minutes) the pots in the trashcans are pulled out and laid onto pieces of kiln shelving. They're all covered in blackened straw, but when you brush the straw off, the colors are intense and stunning, even gaudy if you use only the copper green. As they cool, they make small pinging sounds and the glaze cracks, because the temperature changes have been extreme. So if you use white, which I used a lot of, you get this network of fine cracks, and the smoke and soot from the straw turns the clay body black between the cracks.

The neat thing about all this is that it's very fast, you're directly involved and you watch all these cool things happen right in front of you, not behind the solid door of a kiln. It's almost magical. Also there's this element of instant gratification; compared to waiting a couple of days for a glaze firing from a regular kiln, the raku glaze firing gives you a finished piece in your hands within an hour. I think it would be too stressful to go through every day, but it is a refreshing change from the routine of the usual way.
At the pottery sale (finally) and none of my stuff has sold yet (uh-oh, gotta buy gas next week...) but who knows, it still might. People keep wanting to buy the stuff I'm keeping!

I got a lot of newly glaze fired stuff:
  • the colander's glaze is all washed out and flat; going to try to reglaze and refire it.
  • The baking dish is sort of underwhelming. I mean, it's good enough to use, but it isn't special. I might sell it.
  • The paddled lidded box was glazed in shino and it looks great! So do several other shino glazed items.
  • One of these is a coffee cup which was paddled from a slab cylinder (see note below) and glazed in shino, finger wiped down to the body, and the interior was glazed in iron red, which dribbled in s few streaks on the exterior as well. My mentality is to let accidents happen in pottery, because they're often fortuitous.
  • The goat teapot is bisqued, but every time I look at it, I feel sad about the horns it used to have. :-( I need to get over that, lol....
  • Made an elephant for Charlie, and it's also bisqued.
  • Bisqued and glazed my second fish, a kokanee salmon, with Rose's Red. This is risky because Rose's Red isn't terribly predictable. I asked the lab assistant to do everything possible to put it in a place where it'll get reduced so it'll be red, not off white or gray or light green.
  • Also, we are doing the raku firing today! I am so psyched for that!
  • Paddled- you take a form or a piece of clay and use an object to pat it into shape. Such pieces are stronger because the particles of clay are compressed more tightly, and the piece has a different character than one which has been thrown or handbuilt.
  • Slab cylinder (or whatever)- The clay is rolled out into a thin sheet and then shaped. Slab cylinders usually have a seam unless you're good at hiding it. Paddling hides the seam and makes it more personable instead of looking banal...and makes it stronger, too.
  • Finger wiping- pretty much what it sounds like. You dip the piece in glaze, and then quickly make marks through the glaze as if you were finger painting. These areas look different. In shino, they're darker, like a dark apricot color, whic contrasts very nicely with the rest of the piece.

OK, I'm gonna run back to the ceramics studio....the raku firing will be beginning soon. :-)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hmmmm. I am in that "tired but alert" state of mind. I should be in bed so that I can sell my work in at least one day of the pottery sale. But, I'm not tired yet (yawn). And my body is hungry even though the rest of me is not.

Made some gluten free scones today, chocolate chip flavored. This was fun because: it was a challenge. Making stuff with other-than-standard flour is always challenging. Also, I found some of the coolest flours to use: quinoa, coconut (who knew you could buy coconut flour??), almond, tapioca and....hmmm. Seems like there was another. I only used the coconut, quinoa, and tapioca flour for these scones, with the addition of xanthan gum (because non-gluten flours tend to crumble a lot and the xanthan gum helps with that). And, although there was an egg, and butter, I was also able to make it with coconut milk instead of cream, which I never buy, whereas coconut milk is pretty much a staple item in our cupboard (it's good for curries and Filipino desserts). I had to use sugar and didn't want to use honey or agave syrup, etc because they are liquid and I was messing with things enough as it was. So, I settled for dark brown organic sugar. There wasn't a lot of it, only a third of a cup for the entire batch. The verdict? They're pretty good! I can taste the quinoa and a hint of coconut (goes well with the chocolate chips) but these actually make the finished product mroe interesting. The standards are pretty bland and uninspiring by comparison. Next time I want to try it with the almond flour! :-) If you folks want a recipe, I can post it.

Oh! Forgot! Why would I want to make this weird recipe to begin with? Well, because. Quinoa is cool: see? It has a protein level of 12-18% and the protein has all 8 amino acids, which is uncommom in the plant kingdom. Since I don't often eat meat, this is really good to know. Also, I like weird foods and uncommon agricultural crops that we hardly ever hear about. It annoys me that most of our food comes from just 5 or 6 crops. It seems to me that relying very heavily on such a narrow array of food is:
  • boring
  • not smart from a crop failure scenario viewpoint
  • not smart from a biodiversity angle
  • predisposes people to allergies and makes them a lot more vulnerable in the event of contamination of the food supply
  • Probably doesn't supply a balanced array of nutrient or minerals.
  • and besides, why is it that we can make thousands and thousands of dishes from meat, and yet we don't even try to do that with plant foods? With a few exceptions, such as soybeans, corn, potatoes, wheat, rice and peanuts, we eat most of our plant foods in just a few forms, often cooked just as they are. Only freaky people like me carry it to the next level.
What I really want to get my hands on: some teff. This is such a cool crop! You can plant an entire field from a single handful of the stuff! I found teff wraps today, but some seed or flour would be nice. And when spring comes, I would like to grow some quinoa and amaranth.
I feel so fragile sometimes, like my soul is naked and vulnerable to the world around me. People sometimes say stuff like: "You hold your cards very close to your chest", or "I can't tell what you're feeling or thinking" or "You don't have feelings (or empathy)".

This always surprises me, because from my point of view, I am utterly at their mercy.

Monday, December 06, 2010

By the way: for the celebratory goblet assignment, I finally found something worth celebrating- getting into the advanced ceramics class! Yes! I just used a lot of various techniques that we have learned or might learn in class, such as trimming, paddling, modeling, texture, etc. When it comes to the glazes, I will use more techniques there too.

The goat teapot: I started making another horn, and while putting it on, managed to break off the other one. Arrrgh! So instead, whittled the remaining stubs of horns into short spike type horns, which are more typical for a female goat anyway. It looks acceptable now. Not fabulous, like it used to, but still good. The only thing is, it now has no handle, because the long, curling horns were the handle. Grrrr.... I guess I could drill holes into the sides near the central opening and insert a wire bail?

And the sgraffito casserole with a goat handle perched atop the lid is sort of questionable. Specifically, the handle and lid are very nice. They are also very poorly matched to the casserole. They don't fit at all.

From such frustrations come experience.......
My son says that I am a horrible mother. I don't think he has any idea how horrible a parent can be. He says that I'm manipulative; I think I'm not good enough at predicting human reactions to be manipulative. Besides, I tend to just spill whatever's on my mind, whether that's a good idea or not. How can a person with such a loose mouth be sneaky and close lipped enough to be manipulative???

Guess I'm feeling defensive. Or maybe my own childhood was so incredibly messed up that I actually am a bad mom and don't even realize it, because his life seems like utter paradise compared to what my siblings and I went through. If you are curious about that, you can go to my other blog.

You know, I am going to start writing down what he says to me. Things look different on paper than they do floating around in my ears and head...which, by the way, is why I blog so much.... :-P
OK, now I'm just crabby. Every clock in our house, including the one in my truck, has a slightly different time, and I missed the goddamn bus by 30 seconds!!!! It is the day to set up for the pottery sale. I'm pissed!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

It's no good. I can't focus. It's cold here and there are so many people and soooo much noise.
So, I am at Safeway taking advantage of the free wireless to work on my math homework. My phone apparently doesn't work well anymore; I can hear people, but they can't hear me. I suppose I should be upset by this, but given that I am hating the thing right now, I don't really care.

Oh. Well, the server for the math website is not working. Oh well. Suppose it can't hurt to sit around and see if it works in an hour or two.

Sigh....what to do about that stupid phone???
OMFG, what a crazy, messed up weekend....

I mean, sometimes you just cannot win no matter what you do. :-(

Please, please tell me that the rest of my kids are not going to be this difficult to get through their teens.

And I am going to leave that stupid phone alone. I hate phones. I to put it....well, I don't have a good way to put it except that I have a hard time dealing with conflict over the phone. I mean, first of all, if you call someone, you never know if it's a good time to call them or not. They could be in the middle of something and highly upset to be interrupted, and most of them will not say so. Was it a good time to call? You don't know whether they'll be annoyed or not...until you get them on the phone, and probably not even then. Ugh! And then, there's the (wholly verbal) conversation, with no visual cues at all. And the potentialty for a barrage of words faster than I can take them in or sort them out, and the threat of being hung up on, or worse, for the other person politely continuing but wishing I would hang the F up. And then, when you get off the phone, there's the relentless replay of any unpleasant feeling parts of the conversation, over and over and over again. Arghhhh!!!!!!!

LOL...I guess I feel a little better for having vented.........

Friday, December 03, 2010

I don't have any words, only analogies.

My empty womb sliced up in a jar, awaiting further dissection and scrutiny, being searched for signs of cancer......This loss of which organ makes me even less desirable than I had been before, although less mercurial and far safer.

The huge standing, hollow cedar trunks, some of which had a few living, struggling branches, over in Hannah Flats. Their emptiness was big enough for me to stand in, their living flesh stretched to hold the decay and void within.

The blue gleam of a robin's egg shell among the grasses, smeared and fouled on the white side of the shell.

Your eyes, so honest looking, so unreadable, haunting me, haunting me, in my mind. I can't escape and the axe is poised and I am frozen with fear. I would prefer almost any other wound; but he knows my weaknesses too well for that and I am, quite simply, screwed.
What do you do when the horizon is gone and your compass is broken and you're tired of limping along?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ya know, being alone isn't all that bad. It's kind of nice! I can cook or not cook as I like, go to bed late, read at bedtime, make messes and clean them up when I want to, and eat pretty much whatever I want to (like cereal and milk for dinner, or a grapefruit for lunch) and not feel guilty for any of this. Whether or not I should have had to feel guilty for any of those things in the first place is another story for another time. There's a lot of freedom and lack of conflict when you live alone (or in my case, alone with kids).

And then I balance this against the sheer coziness and warmth of waking up next to someone you want to wake up next to, or coming home and seeing a welcoming face and arms to fall into. To me, that's priceless. The question is, how likely is it that I will get someone that I really and truly want to wake up to or come home to for an extended period of time? Hmmmm. I'm thinking that unless I can hook up with someone that I really adore, it just isn't worth the time and pain.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I finally got in to school and got a good look at my glazed (finished) pieces, the bisqued (half finished) and some of the greenware (not even bisqued yet) pottery. My work sucks. It's not good. I hate most of it.

And the one piece I was excited about, my goat teapot, someone broke one of the horns (which functioned as the handle) off! It is bone dry and I cannot attach a new one. Color me sad. :-(

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Can it be? Internet at home? It's the equivalent of a water dropper compared to a garden hose anywhere else, but still, it's internet. Don't count on it lasting or being a reliable thing though.

Snowed in here. Have no idea whether there will be school for any of us on Monday or not. Unfortunately, by the time I can call, the bus will have left already! Can't they give people some kind of an idea regarding school closures the night before school rather than the morning of? How are folks supposed to plan??? Other than school, I have no good reason for wanting to go in to town (it was email but now I have checked that and found the usual array of things not worth having looked forward to).

And, despite the hassles and closures and rescheduling and whatnot, it is *beautiful* outside! The trees are just dripping with snow and everything looks so pristine out there. The nice thing is, it isn't even that cold.

My sister and her family came up for Thanksgiving, which was a nice surprise. At one point, my brother in law asked me why I think about the past so much. I've been thinking about that ever since. The thing is, she was able to leave here and go to college right away and get on with building a new life. I still live here. I still know the same people my parents knew, even if I hardly see them, I do hear about them. The roads I drive are pretty much the same. The businesses we delivered newspapers to are the same ones I drive right by. And the fathers of my children were inextricably tied to my past in various ways, so it's inevitable that looking at them will occasionally lead my mind along a thread to the past.

On the other hand, I work out the problems in today by working through my past. I know that it isn't possible to escape this stuff, however nice that would be. It follows you- in dreams, in flinching when someone moves to quickly, in small ways that scream loudly to your psyche. Some people can get up and walk away from an accident scene and cry a time or two and not think about it again. I'm not like that. Things affect me deeply, and ruminating on them is what I do to try to make sense of it all.

I still don't know how to respond to that comment, but I guess it wasn't really a question. I think it was more of a shut-up-and get-over-it-and-move-on sort of thing. And don't-talk-about-it-anymore-because-we-don't, too. And I will get over it, but I'm also not the sort to walk off from a half wounded monster. If I'm going to kill something (speaking figuratively) it's going to be dead, period, because I don't want to wake up some night and find myself confronted with it right when I thought I was happy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I think that I have become obsessed with pottery. It's such a good feeling.

Sometimes I feel as though I'll wither up and die if I can't at least get a hug once in a while; but then I think back and reflect on how bad a bad love life can be, how stressful, how degrading it can all get. And then I actually feel relieved, and remind myself that I am never, ever, going through the stress of having a man again unless it's someone who will treat me well, someone I can love from the very marrow of my bones. I am never going to settle for someone that I don't really want again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Man, I am so tired of trying to survive from one day to the next......

The good news is that I have located a retail outlet for my ceramics. Now I just have to start producing more of them, which frankly is going to be a challenge unless I can get to school reliably.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I am absolutely exhausted. Too tired to go into the details, but let's just say that getting minutes on my cell phone has become a priority.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What would it look like if the wire did melt on the piece? Would the wire melt after or before the clay and glaze set up? (probably depends on what kind of wire). Can I stabilize it with soft clay, or would that adhere to the piece? Maybe if I make fewer sections, it wouldn't be such a pain to deal with. Or --> I can make them interlock and fit together like puzzle pieces.

My truck tires are more bald and unprepared for winter than I ever would have guessed. I thought that the truck was weaving all over the road this morning because of the snow...but no, it appears that the alignment is off and the front tire on my side is so bald that there is a strip where it it down to the metal threads! Eeeek! So I am going to get right down to work on resolving that ASAP. Gosh, if it isn't one thing with that truck, it's another.....

I'm not going to worry anymore about hope and whether it's there for me. Hope isn't something that is elusive and lands on you; it's like everything else, you have to make it or bring it into being through what you do, think, etc. At least, that's what I think today..... Not going to sit around waiting for it, either. I'm just going to go live my life and do the things I need to do, because if I sit around longing for life to work out the way I'd like it to, the only thing that could possibly occur is that I'll sit around waiting and occasionally random lucky things will happen, along with plenty of less random, less happy things.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Ceramics teacher gave me my last display piece back and took three more for the display case. One of them is kind of crummy in my opinion, but he said it was nice....

Maybe I already mentioned this, but I made a goat shaped teapot last week; she's coming along nicely and is all cleaned up and ready to bisque fire. Made several other pieces today, including another fish (this one is anatomically correct this time) and....hmmm, I don't know what else. I just didn't really have the touch today, felt enthusiastic but not creative enough, and I could hardly throw a good pot to save my life. Oh yeah, I made a small colander, because I don't always need the great big ones.

Our next assignment is to make a sculptural, non-representational piece that incorporates another material after it is fired. I had this idea to make a nice vase type thing and then break it or slice it up while it was in the leather hard stage, and make holes in each piece, and wire it back together, and glaze it, and then......and here is the problem. Then what? Because see, any glaze will make a piece stick to the bottom of the kiln in the glaze touches the kiln floor. Wire will melt, so it would have to be taken apart again before it could be fired, but then the glaze is an issue because of the glaze melting the pieces to one another and to.......oh......wait...... They could melt back together? hmmmm.

I have been working through a lot of the trauma, abuse, etc issues and wanted to make pots that expressed that kind of thing, that's why I was going to break it. If it would melt back together enough to stay in one piece, even barely......oh my, that sounds risky. Thinking......

And I was going to make a lot of small, cute, defenseless looking little round extruded pots and violate and ruin and distort them in various ways, but the extruder and I didn't get along today.

And.....maybe I just wasn't mentally gathered enough to do a good job today. Who knows.

I read Innocence Destroyed a study of childhood sexual abuse, as well as The Unsayable, The Hidden Language of Trauma, which apparently is about Lacanian psychotherapy, and then I looked at The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook and honestly, aside from making me aware of how much worse it could have been, these things didn't help much. The Last book does have an interesting section on nutrition and how the foods we eat can affect anxiety, and that actually was worthwhile. Sigh......I need to give up the coffee..... :-( and eat more B vitamins.

I guess that the reason these books are unsatisfying is that they are not giving me the answers to the questions I have, which is primarily whether or not there is any hope for me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No phone. No internet at home. And now, because I was able to sell my old snow tires, i am at least able to drive (but limited still). Hmmm. I can't even blog.

But, I can blog on my computer and then publish it when I get home. And I can journal the stuff I really shouldn't publish anyway. And I can clean the house so that at least *something* feels like it is under control.

I still don't know what to do about the stuff I mentioned in the last post though.

Friday, November 12, 2010

An aside: every time I start researching issues like PTSD of anxiety or Asperger's or abuse survivors, I start to feel polite way to put it: all fucked up and beyond fixing. Like damaged goods. And then I feel sad. Like, who would want to deal with all this shit? sigh......

And this is why I push it away and don't deal with it, and then things don't get better. And I have had a lot of counselors and counseling and stuff, but they tend to say crap like:

"Look into the mirror and say 'I'm good enough!' 'I am special and lovable!'"
(well, this just doesn't cut it for me)

"So, what are you going to do with that?"
(WTF???? This does NOT help me! If I knew, why would i have come to you for advice in the first place?)

"Why do you want to feel as if something's wrong with you?"
(Um, because I don't think denial is a good thing?????)

"I'm sorry those things happened to you."
(Well, gee, so am I. We both are. Now what?)

These things aren't helpful. They just leave me feeling like a fool for opening up enough to talk to someone about it, incredibly self concious, like I wish I could just rewind the tape and start over. Oh, and angry...if you couldn't tell that already.

It isn't that I don't want to do the work it takes to heal, it's that A: I have to live and function in the meantime and B: still not sure what that work is and C: people get sick of hearing this shit, especially since others have apparently had it worse and are purportedly healthy and functioning people (????), and D: Geez, where to find the time??

And now I am in the library feeling unproductively shitty and wanting to not cry in public because that is weak and lame and wishing that I could believe that there is hope, that there's a path out need to go think of something else now........
Pottery: the Mamo glaze has actually been turning out more oatmealy transparent than opaque with brown spots, so I might try glazing with it for a change, particularly combined with other glazes.

Going to make more fish and animals. Also, slip sgraffito. More ash glazing too, need a good source of ashes. I need to find a way to elevate the fish above the floor of the kiln so as to be able to glaze both sides of them. I have no idea how ashes will interact with the glazes I've used, or with combinations of those glazes, so that will be an entirely new direction I can go with.

More than anything though, I need to work on the *quality* and finish of the pieces: making better feet on thrown pots, a smoother, cleaner junction of base and sides on slab built things, smoother seams, etc. Part of the problem is that the pots dry to leather hard while I am gone over the weekend. For example, I should have gone in today even though I had no class, just to trim and finish my leather hard pots before they cannot be worked on. I have a bad feeling that by Monday they will be too hard to trim well. :-( Mostly though, I just need to throw, throw, throw, until I can reliably get what I want from the wheel. I've been circumventing and avoiding this by focusing on hand-building, and turning out some pretty nice hand built things, too, but...... need to focus on throwing skills, too. Guess that I have such a loathing of failure that I simply don't try as much as I should, not only there but in a lot of areas of life. You can't fail if you don't take the risk to begin with. I am waiting around for the managers of the coffee shop I frequent to show up so I can ask them about possibly exhibiting some stuff there. It is not up to the standard that I want, but that will be all the more incentive to produce better things.
Feeling terribly creative and upbeat. :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy. Made a lot of cool stuff in the pottery studio: a goat shaped teapot, a small paddled lidded box with feet, three bowls (one of which will be a small colander), a small pitcher sort of thing, a UFO it a vase or???? heck, I don't know. It just is... The teapot took the most time, about two hours, and that is only for the plastic stage; all of these pieces will need cleaning up as they harden into the leather-hard stage.

I made a big, freaky, morel mushroom shaped piece that is supposed to be a lamp or candle holder. The netted cap is cut through with the same diamond shaped netted pattern as on the real thing (well, sort of...) so that a source of light can shine out of it, and it just went into the bisque firing, along with my first two wood ash glaze experiments. :-)

I am ashamed to say that I am getting bored with the current range of available glazes....ashamed because really, it is such a wide array of choices compared to those available to most of humanity's potters over the centuries. The Greeks did most of their work in red, black, and white, and it was slip, not even real glaze!

We have:
  • Emerald Green: fairly reliable, transparent green, like a clear forest green color, which crackles under the right conditions. Nice.
  • Celadon: which is a baby-diarrhea yellow green with brownish black spots- yuck! But when over glazed with Seacrest Purple, it turns to a deep clear coffee brown.
  • Seacrest Purple: Really more of a brown which can go to a deep denim blue-purple when reduced, and various shades of attractive browns. If you use this one glaze, the piece can look as if you applied several colors. This is a good default because it hardly ever looks bad, and it is always a surprise!
  • Rose's Red: Has a split personality. It can be a pale, delicate celadon type green, or when reduced, a vibrant, streaking red, sometimes with hints of pink. The last batch hardly reduced at all, so a lot of piece which were supposed to be voluptuously red turned out pale green.
  • Iron Red: more reliable than Rose's Red if you want Red, but also a lot more opaque, and can run the risk of looking dead. When it looks good, which is often enough, it is great, and frequently has exciting metallic effects.
  • Kansas Black: doesn't always turn black. Sometimes it is red, or a brownish red. It also has the capability for metallic effects, and I haven't had an ugly piece with this color yet that I can think of.
  • Lapis Blue: Ranges from a pale, washed out matte opaque blue to a beautiful but thin transparent blue that approaches cobalt in color. The thing is, you can't be certain which you will get, and I am a sucker for true blue.
  • Mamo White: A milky opaque white with big brown dots and brown speckling. In my opinion, sort of ugly, but very nice when combined with certain other colors.
  • White Night- very white, no brown dots; I haven't tried it.
  • Shino: From oatmealy textured off whites to pleasant apricot, occasionally a little darker. Another fairly reliable glaze that usually turns out nicely.
  • Transparent: what it sounds like, a clear transparent glaze which can be used over slips and uderglazes.
  • Green with Envy: I haven't tried this one either, because it is this very intense, very opaque, flat turquoise-teal green color that I am not too fond of. However, after seeing how well it went under Mamo, I might give it a try. The white toned it down quite a bit.

And I think that's all of I really shouldn't complain. It is just that I really want the deep cobalt blue that comes from cobalt carbonate....

Also am trying to remember if I have done any test glazes combining Shino and black, or Shino and red.....hmmmm.

But yeah, now that I'm over the stomach flu, it's been a great week. :-)
A low mood appears to be the first sign of an oncoming cold....bleah!

Anyway, I thought of something good for the goblets last night, and now I have forgotten it already.....:-P

Monday, November 08, 2010

Really depressed. Don't have a good reason, just am. Even the clay isn't helping, because the studio is full of people.

We are supposed to make two goblets to celebrate some event that is coming up. This in itself depresses me all by itself, but also, we have to choose a particular event to celebrate, and be able to tell the teacher what it is, and the design of the cup has to be about that event. I cannot think of one single upcoming event to celebrate. I'm sorry, I know I am an ingrate and should be able to think of *something*......but frankly, just attempting to come up with an event to celebrate makes me feel all grey and black...... Bleah.......

No wonder my sister is prettier and wildly popular while I languish in the shadows: she is all sunshine and flowers while I'm like some place that rains all the time.......

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Thought carefully about it and realized that there is not one single positive thing that could come out of my smacking the snotty teen. Any immediate release of frustration would be offset by the ensuing fight, both of us would get more upset, and communication would go farther down the tubes, and eventually I would feel terribly, horribly guilty. Also he would get more snotty and difficult rather than less so.

He is inconsiderate, rude, uncouth, disrespectful and worst of all, has an uncanny talent for finding the sorest spot in your psyche and rubbing a lot of salt into it. Even more infuriating: he sometimes laughs in my face while he does it.....snarl.....

And another startling realization: I am not able to admit it when a person is scaring and intimidating me...well, not to them anyway. One would think that since I am classed as a "victim of domestic violence" and have a long and traumatic history in this area, I would be a cowering, groveling thing at the first threat. I do have a heightened flinch and startle response, and if there is a safe male (or a strong, dominant female) nearby when a threat presents itself, my first inclination will be to rely on that person for a sense of safety.

But....if my back is against the wall and the male is in my face, I do not stand down, even though this would seem to be the appropriate response. Strangely enough, I am afraid to admit to that person that they are frightening me. Maybe it is because people like this are on a power trip and get off on scaring people, feed on fear, and the last thing I want in a scenario like that is to be obviously vulnerable..... It's weird, and given my size (not very big), it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. In fact, truth be told, it sort of reminds me of my very small dog who chases moose and bears.

And then, after it's all over, I fall apart. That is the sucky part. Give me a crisis, and I will handle it: blood, guts, burns, seizing child, etc.....but after everything is ok.......I will be an absolute mess. Delayed response.

Yeah I don't know. I'm just sort of thinking out loud here......
Realizing that I should be more careful what I write on my blog!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Please, pleeeeease, can I smack my snotty teenager? Please?????? Just once?

Or, how about this: I will not talk to him at all until he moves out.

Sigh. Does anyone have a mother in law they need to piss off and annoy? I can lend you some house help for a day or two....

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Wow, that was some batch of coffee! Note to self: gradually discontinue caffeine consumption.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Finally got some sleep for my poor, tired brain...and I am still sleepy......

Decided that it wasn't smart to hitchhike in the morning, in the dark. I'll find some other way to get to class. If I have to hitchhike, it makes more sense to do so in the daytime, in a fairly public place, not out in the middle of nowhere in the dark....

And, am thinking about pottery. Maybe instead of focusing so hard on my fine arts degree, I should take classes that will fulfill the general degree requirements and will be useful to me. Like, marketing for example. Sculpture. Things I can use if I want to go into business as a studio potter, because I can no longer move to Moscow and get a BFA without abandoning 4 of my kids....and after being abandoned by my own mother, I am not going to do that to my own. At some point, the BFA will be available in CDA, but between now and then, I should take classes that will A: fuflfill general requirements for the A.S. degree and hopefully go towards the BFA and B: help me to learn the skills I need to make a living somehow in the meantime. One thing I realized very quickly when I was in the dairy goat business (and landscaping, and selling my art, and selling vegetables) is that I am not savvy when it comes to doing business without getting ripped off. A business class might be a really, really good idea.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I am so frustrated...with my truck, with college, with life, with the way things go, and most especially with myself.

I finally got my truck (which broke down again) off of the highway just in time to get it towed. Two really cute, helpful, *nice* guys (brothers) helped me. I should be happy. I should be thinking about baking them a nice batch of homemade cookies to thank them, because one of them also helped me get home last night. I should be thankful I didn't lose my truck to the police towing it. And mentally, I am thankful, but emotionally, I am not. I am just frustrated by the continual obstacles and hassles of daily living. Why, WHY, WHY can't life be a little more routine and predictable? You know, so I could make it to class or to be where I planned to be *when* I planned to be there.

And, I am irritated with my son, who is a mess after breaking up with his girlfriend. I liked the girl, but I think he will be better off without her. But it isn't that, it's that the several days long process of breaking up with her entailed him filching my cell phone and texting her all night long for several nights and using up almost all of my cell phone minutes.So now, I have no running vehicle and no cell phone, and many of the numbers I call are not local. I am trying to remind myself that I need to think about his well being, not the huge added layer of complication that being phoneless is causing me.

I stayed up all night long doing my homework, and of the 2 (of 4 that were due) paintings, I hate the first one (it's overworked) and like the second, but apparently nobody else in class does. And it looks like I will be missing class on Thursday, or at least curtailing it and missing the drawing class, because otherwise I'd be stranded in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday night.

Did I mention that I also have no way to get to the bus in the morning, and it's about 20 minutes from where I lives, and leaves really early in the morning????? I do not want to hitchhike in the early morning dark. But, I will have to. This scares me, and I always swallow down the fear and force my hand to stick that thumb out, and I act like it isn't a big deal.....but truthfully, it scares the living crap out of me.....and that much more in the dark. I can't skip class. I will be kicked out of the Ceramics class if I miss another day.

And it irritates the hell out of me that I have to make the choice between failing a class and paying back buku student loan money right away and staying safe, because I am too proud to ask everyone I know if they will take me, and the person whose job it is doesn't care to get up early enough to take me. Let's see here, inconvenience vs the danger of being raped.....hmmm......

Aw, maybe that isn't fair of me. Maybe I'm just feeling bitchy. Goddammit, I need *something* in my life to look forward to once in a while, something to make the struggle fade into the background. Sigh.....I could argue back and forth all night about this......and I need to do the other two paintings so I can get some sleep tonight, because they are due on Thursday, but there is a high likelihood that I will not be there on Thrusday due to transportation issues.

A bright spot: I have lost a lot of weight in the past month due to a combination of stress ( I don't eat much when stressed) and cutting out the few junk foods I still ate, and the last time I was weighed, I was down to the 117 range. Have no idea what I weigh now, but there was a stack of jeans that I loved and couldn't fit into, in my closet. I decided to see if any of them will fit me now, and each and every pair fits me!!!! Even the size 3 Calvin Kleins! Yeah!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Made summer rolls for the first time. They were surprisingly easy to make, very filling, and are at least 80% fresh vegetables, and probably fat free. I am converted!

And, the anxiety is still trying to grab me by the neck. I feel so......friendless sometimes.

I think the deal is that I don't know how to measure myself out like other people seem to. I either trust people or I don't. Or, OK, maybe there is some intermediate position, but still. It leaves me feeling either far more vulnerable than I would like to be, or totally estranged from humanity and longing to be able to be vulnerable. Arrgh........

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Truck is running again! Yeah! And I didn't have to hitchhike this time!

OK, back to your regularly scheduled program of weird thoughts, overprocessed introspection, and pottery

Friday, October 29, 2010

Truck broke down and I haven't been able to fix it. Exhausted and burned out. :-/

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sex, Trauma, and Violence
Why is there such an obvious parallel between the vagina and a wound both in terms of shape and in the fact that they both bleed and both can be associated with pain? Why is there also an association between the penis and objects of violence such as knives, spears, etc? There are certain artists who have recognized and exploited the disturbing aspects of these associations.....but what I want to know is why these parallels exist in the first place.

Love and other Gooey, Icky Things
It's like trying to fly. And even birds with broken, poorly healed wings still try to fly, because that's what birds do and that's what wings are for. I get really tired of crash landing and ending up as a mangled mess on the pavement though......

Answers to Questions Not Asked

  • Why I was willing to marry Tim even though I clearly wasn't passionately in love with him: Aside from the obvious (we were good friends, did everything together anyway, and had a child to consider), he was safe. I didn't have to worry about getting all broken up and hurt. At least, that's what I thought, which is also why I was so thoroughly pissed off when he dumped me for another woman. I was tired of loving people who couldn't love me back, tired of looking, tired of hoping and being disillusioned, tired of thinking I could meet a magical someone, tired of the risks. Tim was an easy out of the emotional challenges of life, an easy way to settle down and opt out of the risks and the unlikely rewards.
  • Why I like you: Because there's no veneer. Most people have a veneer, and a lot of men have full blown iron walls of machismo. It's off putting and down right scary to me, because first of all, it's false, and secondly, who knows what sort of person is hiding behind all that armor? When I look at you, there's no wall, just you, and there is something extremely endearing and irresistible about that.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Drove all the way to Coeur d'Alene this morning, in such a hurry that I did not even get my coffee......only to discover that it was Advising Day. In other words, no class at all! :-P See what happens when I don't drink my coffee?! Lol

Actually, my instructor would have reminded me if I had been there on Thursday, but I was home at the mercy of my stomach, which was tying and untying itself. I couldn't even think to the end of the day, so next week just did not occur to me.

So since I was there anyway, I spent more lovely therapeutic time in the pottery studio. :-) I made several weird looking things, and only one or two "normal" looking things. I guess I just don't have a lot of use for "normal". I can almost feel myself healing when I am with the clay. Mental hot tub....lmao.....

Monday, October 25, 2010

My ceramics class just got our second glaze firing out of the kiln. The last time, my favorite piece went into the college display case. This time, I got it back again, and two new pieces were ensconced in the case in its place. :-)

Now, here is what's funny about this. These two pieces (deformed bowls???) were mistakes. They were miserable failures at throwing bowls on a wheel. The clay was soft, I was inept, and the rims collapsed and deformed. Usually I squash them and use the clay for scrap, but I got disgusted at having nothing to show for several hours of attempting to throw a single bowl on the wheel. So for these two bowls (and one other), I just let the rims sag and flop. I bent and curled and twisted the rest of the rim as well, to make them look, uh, interesting (lol). When these things came out of the bisque firing (no glaze, think of it as a pre-bake), I was tempted once more to toss them into the trash. But, it is free to glaze and fire them, and testing new glaze combinations is fun, and I already had them bisqued, so why the hell not? So I slapped some glaze onto them and put them on the glazed wares shelf and promptly forgot they even existed, until today.

They aren't fantastic. I haven't held them yet to see if I even like them. But they do look a lot better than I ever thought they would. Good enough that if a pot deforms on me again, I might let it live through the bisque stage at least.

The ceramics class is extremely fulfilling and satisfying. Besides, where else do your worst mistakes end up on display?? (Will have to post pictures)....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Huh. Went back several years and reread some of my blog. It's pretty embarrassing. I spent a lot of time bitching about "normal" people and categorizing all of humanity into "normal" and "spectrum". Also, had a lot more coping difficulties back then. The degree to which I idealized spectrumites is....uh....well.....unreal. I guess we all change with time.

Now I spend a lot of time wondering and rethinking the whole diagnostic process. One of the things that really turned me off about psychology as a major was how subjective it can be, in relation to hard sciences. Who gets to say what is normal and what isn't? If 95% of the people engage in a particular behavior, is it normal? If the species has been altered, either naturally or not, so that a behavior becomes very common, does that behavior then become normal?

For another example, one psychologist says that I have PTSD, anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Now, tell me please: is it not possible that I have just one of these? How on earth do they determine whether a person has all three of these things? How far do these three overlap, in terms of symptoms? I mean, I certainly have anxiety issues, but it does seem that if I had all three, I'd be kind of a mess. Uh....well, ok. So maybe I am a mess??

Well, I think the deal is that anxiety, panic, trauma issues, can't be neatly categorized like that. And that people who are already prediposed towards being anxious are probably a lot more likely to experience problems in the aftermath of traumatic events than a person who is not anxiety prone. And try as I might, I still have never figured out the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack. As far as I'm concerned, they're pretty much the same thing, and whatever it's called sucks!

And frankly, I am beginning to feel the same way about the autism spectrum stuff. The thing is, you cannot get help for people unless they have a label. Labels are useful in that way....even if they are limiting and unrealistically neat and tidy.
Nothing deep or angst ridden to say (yet), about some lists....because lists are mentally organizing and all that.

Things I'd like to do
  • Get that free mountain bike my firends are offering me and find local bike paths or trails, etc to ride it on. I don't particularly want to ride it along the highway. There appears to be a neat trail that parallels HWY 95. OK, so it is all groomed and well trodden and all that.....but it couldn't hurt to ride it once or twice anyway.

  • Hit the Finch arboretum before winter and collect leaves, samaras, seeds, and overall good vibes from the trees there. :)

  • While in Spokane, go to the Oriental food stores and get weird produce and soem umeboshi plums. None of the health food stores here have them, only the vinegar.

  • Go to that Sandpoint Alliance for the Arts place. Yeah, even though everyone else's art is probably a whole lot better than mine.

  • Hike. At this point, I am honestly not even caring where anymore, although large boulders to scamper about on are always a nice touch. Hmmmm....take dogs or not? Maybe...not.

  • Go somewhere wild with a sketchbook and just sketch stuff. Sketches that are free, like they'll never be looked at by anyone, so they don't have to be perfect.

  • Pick wild strawberry leaves for winter tea, and possibly rose hips. These have more vitamin C than oranges or other various well publicized Vitamin C sources. Also need mullein.

  • Find a hot tub. Ok, that is so shallow and silly!! :-P

  • Get a truckload of manure for the garden. Oh, and plant the garlic.

  • How about something outlandish and unlikely, since this list is just for fun anyway.....go to the coast and play in the fog and beachcomb and look for whales and sketch and then go to a nice warm room (as opposed to a damp, clammy tent) and sink into a hot tub. lmao.......I just had to stick another hot tub in there somewhere.

Those were totally selfish things to want to do, because I did not include my kids in any of those fantasies...sooooo......

Things I'd like to do with my kids,
  • Make hand felted wool balls.
  • Take them to a zoo. They have never been to a zoo. Ever. Unless you count the Cat Tales place on the way to Spokane, and frankly, having seen real zoos, I don't count that as one.
  • Take the whole lot of them camping. Well, maybe not all at the same time.....
  • Have each kid who is old enough come up with a dinner plan that is healthy, make a shopping list, shop for the stuff and make it. Sounds boring maybe.....believe it or not, my kids like that kind of thing.
  • Go tubing or canoeing or something when the weather is nice again.
  • See if they'd like to have pen pals. Do people still do the pen pal thing, or is snail mail completely outdated now?
  • Take them back east to meet their family. Unfortunately, I'm not sure this would mean much to my family, since it is such a large clan.
  • Celebrate Thanksgiving or some other holiday with my sister and her family (Moscow, ID).
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Maybe for Thanksgiving? My kids think we are poor. I don't think they realize how much worse it could really be. Besides, the idea of stuffing oneself on Turkey Day is kind of disgusting.
  • Organize the several boxes of loose photos into a single album.
  • Play more board games, do more puzzles, read more books together, watch a few more movies and discuss them.....just family stuff.

The lives of my kids are so different from what I had that it's hard to wrap my head around the realization that most of them don't know their grandparents or cousins, haven't been to a good museum, haven't sampled numerous cuisines at nice restaurants, haven't heard my dad play the piano or pipe organ, let alone gone to a concert. On the other hand, there are a lot of crappy experiences they've skipped, too, and they've gotten to experience things that would have meant the world to me. I guess the reality is that you simply cannot give your kids everything. Life doesn't allow enough time for that.

The other thing is that I have erred on the side of caution in certain areas. I haven't forced my kids to take up musical instruments. Somehow they've all wound up tone deaf, because I didn't teach them to sing, either. I'm not strict enough in some areas, because....well, because. I have this idea that kids are *people*, not talking objects that I own. I remember being a kid, and I try to keep that in mind when I relate to them. Maybe too much.

Bleah.......babbling on (embarrassed).......

Friday, October 22, 2010

Am feeling better now. Fragile, but better.

And I am thoroughly enjoying the ceramics class. By ceramics, I mean pottery, not those tacky slip cast things that get painted in gaudy colors and fired. I've been making a lot of neat things, getting spattered with clay and slip and never having enough time to implemment all the ideas I want to try. Creative happiness. :) I am loving it so well that I think I could spend every day of my life with my hands in clay and not get tired of it. The question is whether one could actually make a living that way? When I am with the clay I feel deeply content, calm, and mentally engaged. It is so right.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I am beginning to realize that I would much rather be alone than to go through more pain....

And yet....should the fear of failure rule my life?

What do I do with that crippling feeling, the one that makes me freeze up with terror the instant feelings start stirring around in me?

Why do I tell myself that it's OK for other people to be expressive, to cry, to laugh, but I have to be stone-faced? When did I start believing this? That if I didn't cry I wouldn't hurt as much, that I'd be stronger than other women?

I'm so scared sometimes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sometimes it seems that life is nothing but one continuous saga of humiliation. And really, what can one do but to hold your head up high, act like you don't notice that everyone is laughing at you inside themselves, act like you don't know and don't care, and keep a stiff upper lip?

We adopted a cat from the animal shelter a month or so ago. She is eleven years ago and has the dry form of the corona virus, which has caused her to go blind. Uno is the sweetest, most unobnoxious cat you could ever want. She spent at least half of her life at the shelter, being passed by while hundred and hundreds of others were chosen. Her mother died there.

I tell myself that we adopted Uno because I fell in love with her and couldn't forget her or get her out of my mind, but occasionally I realize that maybe it was because I know what she felt like. She must have become resigned to dying at that place before we found her. I don't want to reach that point....