Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My latest interest has been rare breed poultry. I have finally, after a lot of deliberation, narrowed myself down to 5 breeds of chickens, and if pressed, I could narrow that down further to just 2-3: Dorking, Chantecler and Sumatra. All three of these are breeds which are in danger of going extinct.

I also want Nene geese....but have no idea where to find them or if they are even available. They are so diminutive and perky looking!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Something lighter:

This guy cracks me up...and he's a Quaker besides! lmao....
I love use of the umbrellas in this video. They express it so well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I get to spend tomorrow morning (probably most of it) showing dairy goats! They aren't my goats (although one of the Saanens is for sale, hmmmmm) but it will be so nice to get back into a showring. In fact, not having to stress out so much over the goats will make it a lot more relaxing than it would usually be.

I am tired and feel lousy......but spending an hour or two around caprine friends tonight and getting to work with them tomorrow makes me happy in every sense of the word. :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I spend too much time whining and thinking about why I'm unhappy.

Good/interesting/random non-negative things from today:

  • I've been spending a lot of time at the fair. It feels so much like home, which isn't as odd as it might sound given that I used to spend all week long there every year, camped out in a tent with my kids, with the goats, all trimmed up for the show. I used to clean up the showring with my herd....and then it wasn't a challenge anymore and it wasn't an official show, so I moved on to the Spokane Interstate fair. I have to say though, that the Interstate fair never felt homey the way this small one did, despite the MUCH better prize money. No non-goat showing friends were there to see me win, so the victories were hollow, meaningless. It's odd how something like that puts priorities into perspective.
  • I got to check out all the poultry, which was really an eye opener. Things look and feel so much different in real life than they do in a catalog or a picture! What I really liked: the African geese, Aracauna chickens, Wyandotte chickens (all color patterns). The Silkies were cute, and the Cochins were OK....there was another breed, but I am not remembering it right now. I was surprised at how much expression the African geese had in their eyes, especially the gander. The Embdens, which I was very inclined to when reading the catalogs (possibly because of their blue eyes), didn't grab at my (hmmm...soul? heart? mind?) the way that the African geese did. That gander looked so intelligent and sensitive and observant!
  • Rabbits: the rabbits are charming. I really wish that I weren't allergic to them! I can't even look at them for very long, let alone raise them.
  • Sheep: All but two of the sheep are of the Suffolk breed. The other two are Katahdins. The owner of those two did not dock the tails. It made my heart smile to see sheep with the tails as they were born with. Some of the Suffolk's tails were docked SO close to the anal sphincter that prolapse seems a distinct concern. I wish the owners would learn to cope with natural tails.
  • And of course, the goats! There are some pretty Saanens there, a really nice La Mancha doe that I've become fond of. She is large, solid black, and surveys the chaos around her with the calm that is characteristic of her breed. Someone muttered something about the owners clipping the ears off and I quickly righted that misconception (they are born with really small ears, just like people). They were surprised but relieved. ;-) I spent hours petting oats and talking to them. Goats make me feel sane again, calm, as though life is something I can deal with. I am still allergic to them, too....but cannot seem to stay away from them.
  • Cattle: I don't relate to them very well. They look soft and velvety, but those wet, sloppy muzzles..... (shudder) Why can't they have lips like goats and sheep? I don't know why, but cattle just don't click with me. I tried anyhow, lol.
  • The exhibits in the main exhibit building: I have got to enter stuff in the fair next year! Where has all the competition gone? Are they disgusted by the prize money, which is the same as it was over 15 years ago? At any rate, someone needs to raise the bar a used to be competitive. Well, except for the goats, lol. Except for Shannon Lloyd and her huge, lovely Saanens, there wasn't much to compete against. She bred/breeds such beautiful goats.....
  • There is no forestry/natural resources contest this year! Dang!
  • Checked on my most recent fish sculpture at the Arts Alliance. It has just been bisque fired, and now I have to decide how to glaze it....using cone 6 glazes which are totally unfamiliar to me. Scary, but exciting, too.
  • Neck was in serious discomfort, to the point where driving was becoming hazardous....i finally went to get help for it, got an anti-inflammatory shot.
  • And, I picked up an interesting book arguing against the "blank slate" theory in the nature vs nurture debate.
  • Am now headed off to the warm, relaxing shower and then to retire with the poultry catalog.....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hiked 7 miles today in 2 hours (I'm not counting the 20 minute rest at the top of the hill/mountain) without stopping on the way up.

And I'm trying to come up with a business plan for my orchard/farm idea with my oldest present son, who is really enthused in the idea. We have to figure out how many acres we need to make a decent living, how to deal with the delayed production of standard apple trees, what it is going to cost to get started, etc... Ironically enough, my farming game addiction is paying off here, because the layering techniques that worked so well there can actually be applied to even better effect in real life. What I should do is to clear off one of the "farms" and grid out this plan.

So far I have (listed in order of permanency):
  • Standard apple trees planted 30' apart
  • Hazelnuts, also on a 30' grid staggered between the standard apples.
  • Dwarf apple trees (M9???) planted on a 6' grid which overlays the previous two.
The dwarf apple trees come into production very early and are short lived. They would be treated as disposable apple trees....much as I hate the idea...and would be removed as the standard apples and hazelnuts grow and need more room. Around every standard apple tree: daffodil and narcissus bulbs in a ring just inside the drip line. Their roots are toxic to voles and pocket gophers and provide some protection for the apple trees. I am wondering if along with providing nectar for pollinators, these could be sold as cutflowers....because the roots and leaves would continue to grow and would actually multiply better without the burden of making seed from the spent flowers. Permaculture methods usually specify a ring of comfrey by the dripline. I have no problem with this. Comfrey is good mulch, a good soil conditioner plant, good pasture for almost any animal and a definite obstacle to quackgrass encroaching on the apple tree's roots. Outside of this double protective ring....some kind of legume (alfalfa? clover? bird's foot trefoil?) and various herbs for pollinators, general orchard health, and possible sales. Possibilities include sweetgrass, thyme, lavender, sweet woodruff, bee balm, chamomile and various mints. These plants tend to encourage the beneficial insect life. Maybe small mounds with single strawberry plants could make a grid which intersects between the dwarf apple trees. Hmmmm. And on this orchard floor, chickens and or geese. I'm a little afraid of geese, having encountered some confrontational types, so I was thinking maybe the smallish, known-for-being-gentle Roman Tufted goose, which is also a rare breed in need of preservation. They're supposed to be good foragers.

(edited out because I wanted to retain the post but not the rest of the crap)
Depressed. I don't even want to talk about it.
Dreamed that I was in a happy relationship with a woman. And then, she wanted to dump me and I was begging her to stay and try to work things out. Ugh!!!

And---> I regularly have dreams about being pregnant or having a baby. I don't know if it's that being a mother has become so much a part of my identity that I can't give up the whole pregnancy thing or if it has to do with trying to process and grieve over not being able to bear children anymore. For all the complaining that I've heard from a lot of women, I loved being pregnant. I loved it...all of it...except maybe for the fatigue. Sometimes I think that it was the coziness of having a little being enclosed within my own body...always with me, experiencing most of the same things, sharing everything from my food to the adrenaline and cortisol coursing through my system when I almost stepped on a snake. There was always someone to talk to. It was maybe the only time in my life when I didn't feel alone for extended periods of time.

And when I read that, it seems so codependent, so pathological. :-( All I can say is that there was something about the experience that nurtured me just as I nurtured those children.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'm so stupid over you. I don't blame you for being disgusted with me....I am disgusted with myself. :-/

I have no idea how or why this happened, but man, I've got it bad.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Random stuff:
  • I don't think there's any hope for me. Not saying this because I'm sad....but because it's true.
  • And I don't know what to do anymore. You told me to take care of myself and I've been trying as hard as I can to do that....although the dark side of me says that you didn't even mean it, it was just a polite, cliche thing to say. And I'll keep trying, but in all honesty, it seems pretty pointless sometimes...a lot of times.
  • Mickinnick sucks during the summer. I would not have guessed that a trail that is so interesting in the middle of winter could be so terribly dull in the summer, but I hate it. It's hot and sunny and dry with very little variety in plant life. Sooo.....
  • Gold Hill--->It doesn't take much imagination to see that it'd *suck* during the winter, but right now....the only way it could be better is if it were situated on the Pacific coast with mists, fogs, mushrooms, epiphytic ferns and so on...oh, and the sound of the ocean in the far background. I found saprophytic orchids...some other saprophyte....a lot of lichens to draw....and when I got to the top at last, I found what it felt like to really smile again. :-)
  • There have got to be other trails right under my nose as an area like this, there must be others that don't entail driving for an hour. Monday, get maps from Forest Service.
  • And then there's my canoe. It's about time for me to learn the fine art of repairing fiberglass.....
And another thing: Monarch Mtn is LOUD on Saturday mornings. If I was looking for a place to wind down, this is not it. Unfortunately, my favored hide out, Common Knowledge, is closed on weekends. Ugh!
Not only am I all broken up over a man who doesn't like me as a person or want to associate with me in any way at all, the situation has degenerated to the point where I am afraid to look at him for fear of seeing....disgust? disdain? etc in his eyes. It is idiotic for me to get an anxiety attack from being in the same (LARGE) room he is in.

This is so fucked up it's surreal, and I hate it. I hate it. I never wanted things to be this way. This is the sort of bizarre stuff that does not happen to normal people. And I'm sorry to say it, but I hate the way my life is. Not just now, but as a whole, I hate it.
I do like fishing, as long as there's someone to take the hook out for me. It isn't that I'm unwilling, but that I'm afraid of hurting the fish. I remember my oldest son used to say that fish don't feel pain.....I don't believe that. Of course they feel pain, and I don't want my fumbling attempts at hook removal to rip something open.

They have such appealing faces.... I can never get their faces quite right.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I love this song.

I was ready to go to sleep, and then I watched an episode of House in which the 5 stages of grieving were mentioned repeatedly. Crap. Now my mind's awake and brooding again....ugh! I read about these stages in Mother Earth News when I was a teen....because Elizabeth Kubler Ross looked old to me then, I didn't pay a lot of attention to her article. I thought it was something old people had to deal with. I didn't know that life was about to smack me down hard within the next year or two, that I'd never be that innocent, happy and optimistic again or that grief may or may not involve people kicking the bucket. I never thought I'd become a cynic.

For reference, proper notation, avoidance of plagiarism, and general usefulness: Kubler Ross and the five stages of grief. I particularly like this quote:

"People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as wening flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one."

And that makes me feel better.....

I don't want to be a bitter, cynical thing...I want to be the happy, free bird that I used to be. I wish I knew how to get back to being that person again. But it was...what....almost 22 years ago? We grow, we change. Life changes us.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I sent the appeal letter in, feeling the need to at least try, and now await the verdict with a swimmy stomach and trembling nerves.....

Monday, August 15, 2011

I still don't know what to do. It's tempting to send in the petition and hope it goes through, take it philosophically if it doesn't. But:

If it doesn't go through, it's going to feel like another rejection. And that's going to crush me (more). I'll feel like a failure (more than I already do, I mean). I don't know if I can afford to risk being rejected as a student.

God, what a whiny ass I am. Ugh!!!!

On the other hand, if it does get accepted....I'll be scared to death all semester that I might fall apart and fail (again). Sometimes anxiety is a good thing. And jesus christ, how can I fail two classes that I already took 75% of (how did I manage to fail them in the first place?)? No way can I fail Abnormal Psych and Western Art History I again. God, the other students didn't even think about the course material! I didn't fail because I was grades were fine until....until crap happened. I ran out of gas, and money. I ran out of the will to live. Crap could happen again.

Crap can always happen again. How do I find the courage to takes risks again, to plan ahead for more than a couple of days in advance? How do I learn to trust myself again, after failing so spectacularly?

And can I ever trust myself to be vulnerable, to take that chance, ever again? Is anyone, and I mean anyone, ever going to get closer to me than arm's length? I can't......even......imagine. No....I don't think so. No, it hurts too fucking much and I'm so tired of always being the fool.


I'm not saying this to try to make you feel bad....I was messed up before and I'm still messed up now. It's just, I don't see any point in trying any longer. I used to believe, I used to hope. Those things are dead in me now. You did what you had to do and I'm sure you had your reasons. I knew the risks as soon as I fell for's why I was such a terrified bundle of nerves...because I knew exactly what was coming down the pike. But....i love you. So I chose it anyway.
Now this is fascinating: Why the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome will disappear. This is as it should be and more accurately represents Asperger's as part of a continuum rather than a pigeonhole. I suspect that some aspies are going to be disenchanted with being in the same broad category as LFA and HFA people. To those people, I say get over yourself and do some serious introspection on self loathing of autistic traits and such. Hating on other auties isn't OK. What, are you going to divorce yourself from the entire human race while you're at it??

While I have and value a relatively high IQ, I don't for a minute think that I am a better person than the so called LFA who sits and rocks in the corner. How can we say that a person who is non verbal is retarded simply because they don't speak? That's a stupid assumption. How can we assume that someone who is preoccupied with coping with sensory overload and god only knows what sort of anxiety is retarded? People like this may be disinterested, unable to get past the panic/overload, thinking about much more interesting to them stuff, etc. I honestly believe that many autistics are inaccurately labeled as being of low intelligence simply because it is difficult to test them accurately. However....I also think that there is more, so much more, to life and personhood than raw intelligence, and that we do ourselves and all of life a disservice when we value people based on IQ.

Back to the subject at hand, I am especially intrigued by and interested in the new "Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive-Related, and Trauma-Related Disorders." See this link for more. I will be very relieved if they can somehow manage to partition war induced PTSD from other trauma types. There is a difference between the two and at present, finding books or info that will be helpful for me is difficult, because all the PTSD books I've found so far have been geared towards war veterans and their wives...which is worthy, but un-useful for me. I will be following these changes with interest...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I have to decide whether or not to go back into college this fall. I need to make the credits up and there are a ton of other very, very pressing reasons why I have to go back to school. Also, there are things such as self respect, dignity and well as having something to keep my mind off stuff. I should re-enroll, even if it's only for a couple of classes.

And then I think about today. I spent more than half nearly all of the day (I don't even want to talk about the night) trying to exist for another hour or two. And that scares me.... I cannot afford to fail a third semester. In so many ways, I cannot afford that.

I have less than a day to decide.
--> Link is fixed...sorry about that.

This is a useful, informative and very interesting site about rare breeds of livestock and poultry.

Fighting off the blues, I am trying to redirect my thoughts towards what kinds of poultry would be well suited to foraging under the apple orchard I would like to have someday. The breed(s) should be good foragers, hardy, calm/gentle/or at least not aggressive, dual purpose (produce both eggs and meat in meaningful quantities), and ideally, rare, endangered, or not very common. This last is because I intend to raise the chickens for more than one year and to hatch out chicks. I am concerned about breeds of animals going extinct...the Dorking chicken, for example, has been around since Roman times, and it is now listed as "threatened". The breed is noted for being calm, gentle, with delicious meat and laying eggs even in the winter. For those who haven't raised chickens before, eggs are a seasonal product unless you want to use light and timers and burn your chickens out at an early age. Winter farm eggs are a very worthwhile commodity, as is winter milk.

Or how about the Chantecler, a breed bred in Quebec to withstand extreme cold and to produce eggs in winter as well as meat? They have a "massive structure" as well as being "calm, gentle and personable". Preserving a rare genepool was never so practical! Eggs in winter from a pleasant bird that doesn't need extra care to survive in the cold, with nice, meaty roosters: what more could someone in my climate want from a chicken?

Also--->if the hens go broody, I might end up with more chicks than I can use. Having uncommon-rare breeds would make my chicks more salable. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know....counting my eggs before they hatch and all that jazz......

Saturday, August 13, 2011

There is no consolation. Life hurts. I hurt, and it keeps on hurting.

The memory of how you used to light up when you saw me passes unbidden through my mind and I ache...I try not to think of how it is now, not to compare, to push the why why whys into the background and stay busy, to run away from the pain.

I think of how gentle you were, even though I never see you anymore, you are still alive somewhere, alive, not like him. And a part of me wonders for a moment if you are real, or if this is something I imagined, like a dream that only seems real but isn't. Maybe I am crazy. I think of the cell phone. If the number is Don't call. I am not crazy, not crazy, not crazynotcrazy. I did not make this shit up. The fish...the fish is there, above my heart.'re not crazy, it's real.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm too intense and it scares people. Probably moreso because of that expressionless aspie veneer, so seemingly dispassionate. To find such a boiling, writhing, often contradictory and explosive stew of emotion on what had seemed such a calm, safe place, is enough to cause people to flee screaming into the distance. It's too unexpected, too much to deal with.

I saw it today, in the eyes of a woman I've admired for some time...that look. Like yours. That quick flash of panic light in the eyes. I hadn't said anything to her today, but women are savvier than men, and she knows, has known, that I like her. She has a partner and I am content to let her alone, having wounds that still bleed me dry (though never dry enough, it seems).

I scare people and that hurts. I scare people despite having no ill will at all towards them. I look backwards in time and see...that it's always been this way, since I can remember anyhow...and years of subsequent pain have only deepened and expanded my intensity, so as to make human relations ever more hopeless.

What I have to accept is that I'm not going to able to express myself with people. Not in speech, not in touch, nor in love or in bed. I have to find other outlets: art...writing. Not in the context of a relationship with a person, because I either scare them away, or I find myself aching for the same kind of intensity.

Pain, trauma, does things to the human psyche. It's as though every wound, every gash, opens up more surface area to ache, to feel, to appreciate, to savor. And in this way, it can be a tremendous gift. How could I experience the kind of ecstasy I do at the simplest things, if I were able to take them for granted, if I had never been deprived of them? Surely the sky is bluer and the grass greener for a prisoner in solitary confinement than it's ever been for you and I, who see it every day.

You see, you are still my muse even though we haven't spoken for months.....I cannot think without speaking to you in my mind....could I breathe if my every breath didn't sigh or whisper your name? I don't know. I don't know.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This is a reminder to myself, because I want to discuss the overpopulation minute which was presented at the Annual Session of PNYM. More later.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Need to start revising and filling in details on the other blog now, a little bit at a time.

Wow. I'm getting rusty on my HTML coding. That's so sad. :-/
This song speaks for me so well.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Sorry folks. I cannot bear to hear or even think about that song today.....
Early morning realization: I need a routine.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Why do I always pick shy, timid, half wild things that other people would rather not put the time and effort into?

Seriously: whether it's goats or dogs or cats or humans, I don't have a lot of use for something that loves and befriends everyone indiscriminately. Extreme friendliness and extroversion is a trait prized by a lot of people, but for some reason, it turns me off.

Sprite: one of my favorite does, she'd been abused, starved, and bred so young that it stunted her growth. She had a ugly face and the whites of her eyes showed and she was all but impossible to handle when I bought her. She also had a perfect udder and a stunning pedigree....but in all honesty, there were others who were similarly priced who might have been a better value with less hassle. Sprite was a problem child in spades. The seller was amazed that I was able to walk her to my vehicle without some kind of disastrous escapade- she was that wild and fearful. She couldn't be handled, milking was a complete nightmare and it was clear that something really bad had messed her up. She was probably predisposed to being nervous anyway, but....Sprite was very, very intelligent. Most goats don't ever forget abuse or aversive experiences and the smarter they are, the harder it is for them. Dumb animals just forget. Seriously, they do.

I had to invest a lot of time just to get her to come into the milking parlor, and she always, until the day she died, kicked like a bitch from hell when she was on the milking stand. I don't know what happened to her, but it must have happened on a milking stand. :-( Once she was finally tamed (to me anyway), she became my favorite doe. When I was blue or sad, she knew. She'd crook her head over my shoulder and give me a goat hug, or just lean into me as I cried on her furry neck. I was devoted to her...somehow her trust meant so much more to me than that of the does who'd been hand fed from birth. She was five times more trouble than any of the others and a lot less pretty but....I don't know. Nobody else could take her place.

I put so much time and effort into taming wild eyed goats....and in all honesty, I never felt that a second of that time was wasted. It always makes me sad to hear that someone has put an animal down because it had issues that they didn't want to work with, that they didn't even try to work with.
Wow. I think my devotion to k.d. has just been usurped.

Brandi Carlile is phenomenal. WOW.

Monday, August 01, 2011

A relatively productive day so far....


Did laundry (more to do) but didn't fold it yet...

Met with service coordinator.

Got the phone working again and gave the approval stamp to White's boots to rebuild my ladies smokejumpers...

Shopped for dinner (didn't make it yet).

And----> Got my art desk cleaned off and supplies organized and all put in one place so that I can actually make stuff and find what I need. Hopefully my 5 yo goes to sleep at a reasonable hour so I can work, having made a tidy and pleasant workspace.

I have way, way too much extraneous stuff that I don't use. Sometime this week, would like to get rid of a LOT of it, not just a token amount.

And it looks like I don't need to stress or worry, so....
Am now a little freaked and anxious.....breathe...calm...calm......