Saturday, December 31, 2011

Not going to stay up until midnight...but let me say now that I am ever so relieved that this year is over with and that I hope 2012 is less traumatic, more productive it OK for me to say that I hope it passes more quickly than this one did?

Oh, wait. People are supposed to make New Years resolutions. How about: I resolve to try as hard as I can to get through this year in one piece and on a better standing than I am currently in....and to pass that horrible math class so I can finish my Associates degree!
The other one was a little depressing...and since this one was running through my mind last week while I worked.....oh.....this is such a beautiful song.

I don't usually listen to country music...but there was a time when I did. I've always loved this song (even though it sounds a little outdated now). It still makes my eyes leak.... :-/

I'm sick and I feel depressed. And whiny. Therefore, my dear reader, I am going to resist the urge to write anything else at all at this time. :-P

Friday, December 30, 2011

I picked up some dye today and some very cheap white wool roving to try my hand at dyeing it. I am trying to decide whether I should buy more roving to justify mixing up 2-3 colors of dye or buy one of those big bags of T shirts that they sell as rags at the thrift stores. I don't know why they don't sell them, but often the T shirts are perfectly good and usable as shirts. There are generally a lot of basic white T shirts, so I go through the bag, pull out the white shirts and the ones we can wear and use the remaining shirts as rags. Then we can tie dye the white T shirts.

I have connected with a couple of other ladies who like handspinning and fiber arts. There are several groups for spinning/fiber arts in this area! I am looking forward to going to the next meeting. :-)

And....I've been neglecting the clay, which is about as far away from wool as you can get. I do have a couple of ideas I'd like to try out, and should check on my angler should be fired by now.

And I haven't painted for weeks. I don't know why. I have not painted anything since starting work. I hate to sound this way, but it's true: working surrounded by people sucks the creativity and energy right out of me. I love having a job but I hate feeling dulled. So...maybe I should be moving in a different direction than I was planning on. Sigh. I know what I want to do. I want to farm, not in the sense people think of, not raising corn or wheat or dairy products.... But having an organic apple orchard and raising sheep under the trees and angora goats somewhere FAR away from the trees and maybe a few select annual crops is still farming. I don't know how much it costs to feed a sheep over the winter or for a year compared to a dairy goat, but dairy goats eat a lot of grain. Fiber animals do not need much grain and they can graze from spring through fall, unlike dairy goats who ideally should have alfalfa hay available to eat year round in addition to pasture and grain. I need to get a realistic idea of how much it will cost to keep a sheep for a year, how much the meat, pelt and wool from her lamb would bring in, and how much from her own wool. Free range lamb is even more expensive than the conventionally grown type.

But....I get no health insurance working for myself, farming, even if I could find land to lease. And health insurance is pretty important. :-/
I'm a little freaked out because my 16 yo son just tried to cut a large mole off of his forehead. I can understand not liking large, 3-D moles. I had one on the back of my neck that was always getting irritated by necklaces and the necklines of my clothing...finally had a doctor remove it. But DIY surgery at home, by a kid, on himself??? NOT OK by me.

I am not entirely unsympathetic to him. I used to really hate my numerous moles. My sister teased me about them and Dad would always say that they weren't ugly, that they were beauty marks. And then she would laugh harder than ever. I've never thought they were beautiful but have come to accept them as part of the package that's me. But then I was thinking about moles tonight and your face flashed through my mind ever so briefly. And I saw...a mole. And realized: that it's as much a part of your face to me as anything else, that I like it because it's part of you, part of what sets your face apart from others. That I especially like and miss the various idiosyncrasies about you.

How could anyone love an absolutely perfect face? Or a perfect person? That would be so dull.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Speaking of Quaker practice....part of it is simplicity, not owning things that you don't need or use, not having things just for show, etc. And...I have way too much stuff. I found a book at the library....Here is a review of it. If I used to enjoy some item and no longer do, it's time to send it off to someone else who'll appreciate it.

I found a handspinner's group that meets weekly, as opposed to the fiber arts guild, which meets only monthly. Maybe I'll be able to make a few friends there. It was cancelled this week, but should be meeting next week, I hope. Also they have some kind of a big get together near here in February (nice to have something to look forward to in that month!) where people sometimes have used spinning wheels for sale.

And....there is a Quaker silent retreat next month, which pretty much entails silence for a few days. Somehow this sounds very appealing and calming to me. I am seriously considering going but would need to work out transportation.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I haven't written much about my Quaker faith lately. To be perfectly frank, perhaps this is because I haven't been practicing it as much as I'd like to. I think that I have gone to my meeting a couple of times since the last Quarterly meeting and this grieves me. It is particularly difficult because if there was ever a time when I truly needed the companionship and comforting presence of other friends, if ever I needed to be held in the light, the past year has been that time. I am sad about this. But I love my Friends and our meeting and things are such that if I push the issue, I am afraid that the meeting would become polarized. I gave it my best shot at the Quarterly and I simply don't know what else to do. I am weak and vulnerable right now and I cannot put myself in a position that holds potential for compromising myself further. Going to meeting is not supposed to be a traumatic, nerve wracking, stressful experience.

I do not know what to do about this.

I still consider myself a Friend, because being a Quaker is about more than simply going to meeting. Since we're on this subject and people frequently confuse Quakers with Amish or Mennonites, it may be useful to see the Wikipedia entry (the group, Liberal/"Hicksite" is the group I fall into- if I remembered how to write html to take you directly to that part of the page, I would....but I don't and am too lazy to look it up) as well as the Faith and Practice for the North Pacific Yearly Meeting Quakers.

Ugh, what an awkward way to phrase that! The thing of it is that even within our yearly meeting (all the Quakers of this persuasion in this part of the U.S.) there is a lot of diversity in almost every possible direction one could go while still being a Quaker. Some of us believe in Christ, some believe in God in the usual sense, and some of us are agnostic, atheist, or non-theist. I consider myself a non-theist. An awful lot of people don't comprehend how I could be a Quaker even before they find out that I don't believe in god in any kind of a sense that would involve a being with a personality. I just figure that we're all entitled to our own interpretations of things and mine is that the god of the bible is the ultimate prototype of a violent, abusive, controlling male. We talk about the Light a lot. For some people, this light is Christ or God. All of us seem to acknowledge that the Light is divine and spiritual. I suppose that for me, the Light is that current of harmony and synchronicity that runs through science and nature, the unseen element that binds them all together, that which brings order to the universe. I find it very mysterious and difficult to describe. It is not a person nor in my mind, any kind of consciousness in a singular sense, although I suppose it could have something to do with consciousness in a much broader sense, spanning all life and things which are not alive.

I don't know how to describe what it means to "Hold someone in the Light". It's sort of like prayer but not exactly since there are no words and you aren't really addressing or entreating a higher power. It's what you do when you are worried about someone, when you care about them, when they seem to be going through a rough time or when they are struggling with something, or just because.

So maybe now it will make more sense when I say: I will be holding you in the Light.
Friday!!! Well, not really, but it's my Friday and I'm so happy to have it.

And it's about time for me to start reading the abnormal psych book and start making outlines and diagrams.

And to catch up on stuff I should have done already, clean, and find the two remaining items that I lost somehow.

I like scones but am trying to think of something different to make. It should not be sticky sweet and it should be something which is possible to make gluten free and ideally it should be something that will keep without refrigeration and which I can use high protein flours (quinoa, amaranth, teff) in. The scones have all that plus coconut flour, flaxseed meal and hemp seed protein powder. It sort of amazes that they taste reasonably good, considering those ingredients.

I wonder if it is possible to make halvah at home.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm reading this book: Aspergirls right now. Well, only a few pages at a time actually, because it hurts to read it. The book is very supportive and as the subtitle says, intended to be empowering. But reading that other women with AS struggle with the same issues I do (and worse in some areas) kind of makes me feel that suckiness in life is inevitable for us. If we're very lucky, we will have a job that suits our intelligence. If we're extraordinarily lucky and manage to cram ourselves into the gender roles that society oppresses us with, then we may have a mate that we're happy with.

Most of us are not lucky at all. I've been able to keep a job for up to three years. Some have only been able to manage four months. And while I realize that this should give me cause to hope, what I see is that I am quite possibly on the outer margin of what I am going to be able to do....and I wanted more. I still want more. I am grateful for the job that I have, but do not want to spend my life in this position. The three days that I work leave me depleted, not very promising since we are talking about 5 hour shifts. :-/

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't take the cure even if one existed. I love who I am inside and normal people continue to seem quite bland and uninteresting, like unquestioning automatons for the most part. But when it comes to relating to the outside world, I feel defective. Perhaps there is some kind of depth to being normal that I cannot perceive; it doesn't look like much fun from the outside.

And so when I hear people tell me that their child, grandchild, etc has been diagnosed with AS, I always tell them it isn't the end of the world, that there are many very valuable things about being aspie, a lot of strengths, that their child should be loved and accepted for who they are. And I believe this.

But I'm so full of shit. Being aspie hurts. It hurts a lot. It means a lifetime of rejection, of social clumsiness, of offending people you never liked to begin with and hurting those that you love without ever meaning to and not knowing how to fix any of this. It means that people find you creepy and off-putting when the truth is that you're not only harmless but terribly vulnerable. If you're quiet they think you're stupid; if you open your mouth and talk a little bit, you come across as a show off without meaning to and additionally, they say that since you're so smart, you aren't doing enough whatever it is they think you should be doing, as if raw intelligence is all it takes to succeed in life. The sense of being alienated haunts us throughout life. It hurts. It really, really hurts.

Sigh....I think that maybe I am not ready to read this book right now and should return it to the library.
I guess I can't say it was a bad day at work, because it wasn't. It was a fairly good day at work that got crapped on by one person. I cannot stand dealing with passive aggressive people. It is hard enough for me to read social cues as it is. Trying to sort out why that person is acting unrealistically happy/cheerful/nice and then says or does nasty things in very subtle ways is really frustrating. Also I hate getting angry, the rattled nerves, shaking, etc that comes along with getting as angry as she made me. Luckily, it wasn't as angry as it's possible for me to get, because then things would have gotten ugly and I'd be out of a job. But it takes stuff like....well, injustice for one, or seeing someone treat other people badly, etc. A person pretty much has to try to make me really lose it.

But. I told myself that this is the sort of stuff I've encountered before, I can deal with it, do not let her make me lose my job, it isn't worth it, I have to have this job in order to get back on my feet, etc. All those things were true.

And then, I wondered: do I really want to work in a field that is going to have a lot of women? A people centered profession where people have to pretend to be nice all the time? Um. Hmmmm. I am able to work well with other women, but they have to be the down to earth, forthright sorts who are willing to say whatever needs to be said. And certainly there are passive aggressive men too, but it seems that most people like this are women who have squelched their aggression so that this is how they express it.

I know what I want: I want to do things with my hands, to work with earth and animals and colors and plants and quite possibly children. I don't know how to make that happen, realistically. If we had a Camphill Village here, it would be different. But then I'd have to listen to endless drivel about anthroposophy.

I am so glad that my coworkers know so little about me.
Decided that I am not delusional. Because when people are delusional they aren't delusional about just one thing. No. My mom imagined she saw and heard a LOT of different things, not just in one area. So....not delusional. (yay!)

And, I have been around enough piggy men to know what they're like, and you aren't. So that also is out.

So that leaves what...changes in the landscape and inaccurate or faulty information. Either one seems fairly plausible. But, it doesn't really matter. In any case I still feel the same.

The weekend started out really poorly, but I'm better now...I shouldn't have taken anything Charlie said seriously to begin with. I mean the kid is six, for crying out loud. Just a month or two ago he was telling people that his dad and I were a couple but it was a secret. (raised eyebrow) I guess it was a secret from me as well!!! Kids just come up with stuff. :-/

Things will better in time. I'm not sure what kind of better, but I know in my bones that this is true: things will get better.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I miss the sound of your voice.

It's such a calming sound. When I hear you, things go quiet in me. The pain, the stress, the worrying, all of it. It's like a spot of calm appearing in choppy water and rippling out from the center until it's all peaceful.
About wool: went through my closet briefly last night and realized that I have a lot of well as three fleeces. I really don't need to be buying any more roving unless it is to sample breeds or to play around with dying it. What I do need to start thinking about is the possibility of buying a spinning wheel so as to be able to spin faster and more efficiently. Also, I should start knitting again. I have most of the colors that I bought for the knitted hat in the Nordic pattern last winter/spring, already made into yarn. I think I am lacking the dark yarn and I have that as well, possibly even enough to make that hat. There's not a lot of point in churning out yarn unless I am going to use it. :-P

Bad dreams last night. There was a late to work dream....I was HOURS late... and then another one...oh yeah. I had gotten a speeding ticket for going almost 35 mph in the 25 mile zone of town near Safeway because I hadn't been paying attention to the speedometer when the speed limit dropped from 35 to 25. I was all freaked out about my car insurance going up for two years, about getting the ticket, etc. Both dreams had to do with the consequences of being inattentive. :-/

That may not be surprising since I lost my dog last night because I simply did not notice she was with me when I drove off. Hopefully she will turn up. There was just so much chaos and noise with all the kids.....also I have lost several other things, totaling about $95 in value. Sigh.....I have got to get more organized. Being a space cadet is very expensive in a lot of ways.

Anyway, off to work.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The kids had a great Xmas, but I am so glad it's over. I've been dreading Christmas for months. Now I have to try to get past February. Yes, the whole stinking month. The reason I renewed the gym membership was to get through the winter and Feb will be the worst.

I haven't talked much about the neuro-psych eval stuff that's been going on and I'm not going to here. That just seems unwise. However in relation to that, the person who is conducting this evaluation gave me a copy of this article to read. I found it interesting, of course...but more than that, frankly it hurts sometimes to read about how fucked up I am. And I know that's the wrong way to be looking at it, but realistically, is there any way, particularly at this point in my life, that I can not look at it that way?

And, the article says that aspies have "fascinating but unfunny humor". Ouch!!! I thought that I had a dry sense of humor, or maybe a warped or weird sense of humor, but unfunny and fascinating in the same way that a defective lab rat is fascinating? I'm standing here wincing. Humor is such an important characteristic to me in other people. I don't think it's possible for me to be really attracted to a guy without finding him funny....or a girl either. Not only funny, but it has to be the right sort of humor, the kind that makes me laugh every time I think of it again. :-) Like you. I can't follow through on whatever it was that had me depressed about that. Heh.
OK, I am not buying any more merino wool roving unless I know that it is not from Australia, because of:

A terribly inhumane practice called "mulesing"
Do not look at that picture if bloody gory animal cruelty makes you feel physically ill. I have butchered, etc, thought I could handle it, so uncovered the pic....OMG. That is just wrong in every sense of the word.

Confinement farming of sheep

more on confinement wool farming

I think that if more handspinners knew about this, they wouldn't be buying Australian wool. I have no idea how wool is being grown in New Zealand, but you can bet I'm going to be looking into it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The undyed wool roving sells for the same price as the beautifully dyed roving. This is nonsensical to me at first, but when you consider the degree of cleanliness and lack of staining that is necessary to offer naturally white wool (people do not typically think about this unless they have had experience with raw wool straight from the sheep) then it makes a bit more sense. There has got to be a wholesaler of off white or even stained white roving.

Another very strange thing is that I can get alpaca fiber, either the standard or the Suri alpaca, for $2 an ounce, whereas nearly any wool is $3 an ounce and up. Alpacas are far less common than sheep and more of a specialty item, so this is odd. And the thing is, it's wonderfully silky and soft! It is very nice, much silkier than any wool I have ever worked with. I might be better off buying alpaca roving and dying that, oddly enough.

And---> I got the Icelandic wool that I ordered from a seller on Etsy. It is soft and interesting and I simply cannot wait to spin it! This made my day. I nearly got into a wreck at least twice today and the day just generally sucked....and then I got this wool and the stress sort of fell away....partially at least. I must have opened up the box to look at and feel the soft ball of roving and then closed it up again at least five times and every time is just as satisfying, lol. At $12, it was a very affordable thrill. :-P

You know what.....I have friends who raise sheep, interesting sheep. One has several rare breeds and another has Icelandics. What am I doing ordering wool online? I need to contact these people about procuring wool and make it clear that I am willing to pay for it, not asking for a free fleece. I would have to wash it and it would not be roving, but I have the hand cards. It does not have to be in the roving form for me to use it.
No, that doesn't make all given information true. What was I thinking??

The only solution that really does is that I am delusional and crazy like my mom. The things she thinks happen are real enough that she absolutely cannot tell them from reality, even if it's an alien looking at her from a window and making her physically ill or Jesus telling her that she's his bride and they're going to have great sex when she gets to heaven. I guess that if I'm delusional, I at least have the consolation of having fallen for someone who actually exists. This possibility scares the hell out of me. Um...not the best choice of words having just mentioned Jesus.....OK, how about, this option frightens me to the point of having to work at breathing. She doesn't know she is delusional and out of her flipping mind. I have to conclude that if I'm delusional, I wouldn't be able to sort out truth from fiction either. There have always been people who've suggested that I was a bit unbalanced (they always say it so nicely) to think that you ever had even the slightest interest in me. That hurts and it's somewhat insulting....but on the other hand, it could still be entirely true. This idea really scares me. Maybe everyone else is right and I am fucking crazy.

Or: the given information was contradictory, leading me to two three more options--->

>Not all of the given information was true. Some of it did not sound true. However, since there is no guarantee that my perceptions accurately reflect reality (see above).... Still. If a few chunks of the information were false, that would screw everything up. And make me think I'm crazy.

>You're a pig like other men. But this falls apart right away, because piggy men don't have that look in their eyes. Piggy men don't have any pain about acting piggy.

>The information given contradicts due to changes. i.e., if you see someone jumping up and down and you take pictures of them, the photographs will show the person on the ground, in mid air and barely touching the ground. The photographs would look contradictory if you did not know that the person was jumping when they were taken.

What can I do for 15 months to stay sane, alive and preoccupied enough not to let this drive me batty? I have to find something to do that is going to fill my time and mind up without exacting excessive stress or risking more pain.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I think instead of buying dyed roving like I have been, I am going to see if I can get undyed wool roving and dye it myself. I cannot seem to find the color combinations that I like best. If I cannot find undyed roving, then certainly I can find plain white wool and dye it in the fleece.

I have a whole CD of this guy. It's funny that he and Paul Simon sound so very different when they record on their own, and yet sounded so natural together.
I found it. The solution which makes all (I think??) given information true. Whether or not this is correct is something I guess I'll just have to wait to find out. And since I am no longer in torment (mostly self inflicted to be sure)....I guess I will be OK until I start rethinking this. :-P

---> College classes. I need to find out if an interdisciplinary degree of psych/art would make it at all possible to work doing art therapy. And more immediately, how much competition there is for the para-pro jobs that occasionally come up. I would have to get CPR and first aid training, but I had to do that when I worked at SL Start and it was pretty straightforward. Not sure about cost... The upside of this is that unlike SL Start, I would be able to work with very limited numbers of kids, as opposed to a circus of surprises and people I hadn't even met before and knew absolutely nothing about. It is impossible to build any kind of rapport that way. I do best in one on one interactions, and my impression is that this kind of work would allow for that.

I still want to have animals, an orchard, etc.....but realistically that is not going to happen unless i have a paying outside job with health insurance.

I am trying hard to muster up some enthusiasm for the holiday season, and folks, it just isn't there. If it weren't for the kids I guess I'd probably zone out or go do something totally unrelated and try to pretend it was just another ordinary day. But. It is a lot of fun to make the kids happy. They even get euphoric about brand- new underwear and socks! Heh, I love my kids.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Anyway......Happy Solstice to all and goodnight. ;-)
Also (a total tangent) I want Swedish Finewool sheep, however they are not found in the US and are rare even in Sweden. I wonder if I can somehow procure a sample of the wool at least. Most of those Scandinavian short-tailed breeds have a double coated fleece (long, coarse out layer of wook (tog) and a very fine, soft, shorter undercoat (thel)) or they have a fleece that is altogether coarse and hairy. The Swedish Finewool has a short tail and presumably all the hardiness and intelligence found in the other members of its family group, but it also possesses a very fine, very soft, tightly crimped fleece. See more about this breed here.

Purebred Gotlands don't exist here either, but there are percentage Gotlands, which is to say that they are nearly all (but not quite all) Gotland. Gotland lamb is very soft...soft enough to wear next to the skin as an undergarment, but the adult fleece is not.

Hmmmm. I want sheep that are hardy, reasonably intelligent, and which have a short tail because I do NOT want to cut tails off of lambs. I don't care what the rationale for it is, I don't want to do it, period.
OK well, that was grueling. I haven't had a panic/anxiety/whatever attack like that in months. It was almost physically painful. Ugh. And see, this is where I'm my own worst enemy, because if I'd had any common sense I would have seen what was pointed out to me so concisely by one very level headed and forthright person.

I have to try to stop thinking with my fears/anxieties/negative opinions about myself/etc....feeling that stuff is one thing, but using it to think with...not so effective.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I have to stop letting this stuff get me down. I love you and there's no point in feeling guilty or ashamed or humiliated about that..... If I were able to feel differently I probably would have by now. Goodness knows this is the worst case I have ever had. :-/

It just hurts so much sometimes. I thought that I'd never be able to feel anything remotely like this for anyone again, thought it had died with him. But you....I don't even have words to express it. Being away from you is like trying to live without breathing. But as long as I can see that you're alive, that you're OK....then I don't panic and I know I'm not crazy and somehow it doesn't hurt half as much.

So...I don't know. For me to find what I thought would never be, and to find it brighter and deeper....and for things to be like this...It's is so cruel. It isn't really anyone's fault, but life is cruel.

I miss you so much and more than the pain, the shame and disgrace of this situation cripples at me, eats away at my self respect...but I have kids. And because I have kids, because I know exactly what it's like not to have a mom.....I have to try to find a way to live and function.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Whatever....I don't know if it's true or not and right now it's not possible for me to know. What I do know is that my feelings for you have only deepened and aren't going away anytime soon, if ever, so either way nothing is changing on this side.

And in any case I still have to try to get back on my feet and get my act together here, have to come up with some sort of a plan for my life. There isn't really any point in agonizing over the veracity of what a child says if it was something that would have been better. :-/ I guess I wouldn't be beating myself up half as much if it were true, but....I'm so tired of hurting and yet I've grown used to it. It's just the way things are.

I talked to my manager at work and in all honesty, am not sure that was an intelligent thing to do. Will see i guess.
The potholders I was talking about.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Feeling so much better today. :-) Made some wet-felted potholders by weaving wool roving into a square and then felting it down to size. They are not perfectly square, but given the nature of wet felting, that'd be pretty hard to do anyway.

And...grass fed bottom round was on sale, so I got some....going to cube it up, marinate it, roast it with stuff like rutabagas, parsnips, maybe a few yukon gold potatoes, and whatever else is in there. I guess I could make a stew...but marinating with balsamic vinegar and rosemary, garlic, etc just sounds so much better to me right now. There are some brussels sprouts that would also be good roasted.

And then tomorrow I can bake. I have this idea....sometimes the stuff I think about making doesn't come out the way I'd planned, but it seems like this should work.

I may be crazy, but I don't ever want to forget you. Regardless of outcome, the people we love shape us, help us to discover aspects of ourselves that we hadn't noticed before. And I cannot find it in me to regret the way that I feel about you.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I had this dream a few mornings ago that I forgot all about you. Completely. I was with some faceless guy and he was nice, but I didn't love him. I liked him and he was good to me, but I could feel that something was missing, that there was this huge hole. I had everything I needed, but I knew that someone used to be in this big empty spot and that that someone had been very important to me. And I couldn't let it rest. So I looked around at my life and managed to deduce a few hints but still, the essence of you had completely evaporated and it felt so hollow. I knew that I had to figure out who you were....but there was nothing. Only a space, a deep gap in my life where you'd been.

It was horrible......shudder. I would take any amount of pain rather than that.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Exhausted. Not physically....I didn't do much today other than clean and drive children around and try to find a new used pair of jeans that will fit (more on that later)... But while I am happy, very happy, to have my new job, and I honestly give it everything I have, there is something about spending 6 hours confined with other people in a small space that wears me out. The work itself is not that tiring. Dealing with the people and trying to appear normal under stress is. I am still fragile and they don't know it and I am afraid for them to see it. People are no better, nay worse, than animals.....and so I mimic my goats and conceal my injuries, knowing that weakness will only encourage aggression.

But two of's like they sense it despite all my best efforts. One is about as passive aggressive as a person could be and the other is less so but seems to think it is her position to treat me like a (well, I'm not going to say that word) and I don't like that any more than black people do. She enjoys telling me to do dirty, degrading sorts of jobs and then watching me do them while she stands and chats with her coworkers. I don't mind dirty work- I happily shovel manure, after all. But the ordering and standing watching me with satisfaction pisses me off, possibly because it is so much like my stepdad and especially because she is not a manager and has no real authority over me.

It makes me want to cry with loneliness (although I should have known that coworkers are not friends and cannot be treated as friends) and I feel so weak inside. But....damned if I'll let them see it, and I have years of experience in dealing with passive aggressive people. Oh yes. So I said to myself: Jen, you have to grow your balls back. Even if you don't feel butch anymore because your love for him has brought out the girl in know how to put that on like a garment, how to step into it like driving a car. So I did. And it worked. But when I was away from them, when I went out to empty the garbage, I let the feminine sway move back into my hips. :-) And....I took time to clean something for the people who are nice to me. They weren't there, maybe they won't see it....but it made me feel better somehow.

And....after months of trying, I have finally come down to my target weight of 120. I am so happy and pleased with myself over this. My ideal is 115....but for now my emphasis is going to be on getting back into shape. I have toe clips for the bike and need to put them on....have skis but locating boots is beginning to seem impossible...however there are still a lot of things I can do to start building muscle instead of flab. And that's why I was buying a new pair of pants....because the old ones are getting a little baggy and saggy!

There's something else I was going to write about but I am exhausted and it can be ruminated on for another day or two.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why letting babies "cry it out" isn't such a hot idea
I hate it when people are mean and forceful towards really little kids (like less than 2 years old). Where do people get these expectations for kids of this age? I mean, they are just past being babies. A man who yells at a child that age should not have children. Ever. Again. And any woman who allows her man to bully an 18 month old child is a poor excuse of a mammal. Ugh, I hate people sometimes!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sheep, Jen. Think about sheep. Teeswater sheep for example. Lincolns. Gotlands. I did find a place that will send me a sample of EACH fleece they have (!!!) for $10, delivered. Nope. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Bait and switch, and those people are never going to get my business.

Art. That's another good thing to think about.

Or hey, cleaning the house. There we go, something useful!

An interesting blog: the swedish knot
Ok so....apparently I got worked over again. You'd think I would learn by now......sigh...freak-out mode happens a little too easily these days. My friend says we go to different gyms, and that makes me feel better. :-/

As for the rest of it....I wish there were something I could do to make myself invisible. Since that is impossible, I am forced to concede that there are some things that are beyond the scope of my responsibility or control.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I got a lot done today....(used a list!)...except for the phone calls. Oh, how I dread making phone calls. And there are at least four of them. So, I guess that's my task for tomorrow before I go to work.

The Blue-Faced Leicester wool is spinning up really nicely. It's soft with a very long staple. I found some Icelandic wool so that'll be next.

And I need to make another hat because my hair looks all puffy and inelegant. Why was I growing it out again??? I'll give it a chance through the winter at least, I guess.....

I don't know what to think about anything anymore. I'm so scared. I wish that some incredibly wise person could come and help me make sense of things, to find peace and insight, to be able to forgive myself. I'm so tired of being afraid, of feeling like I have a million hypersensitive hairs or antennae probing the air for any faint hint of a new onslaught of pain.

I never wanted to cause so much trouble. I'm so sorry. And if I knew the right thing to do right now, I'd do it....but...I don't is so confusing and last week hurt too much to endure more of that. I guess I'll just keep trying to get back on track and to be as unobtrusive as I can be.
All pawns aspire to be queens.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Charlie had been bugging me pretty relentlessly to teach him how to spin wool using a drop spindle, so once I finished the batch of wool I was working on, I humored him. I think he was a little distracted by the spinning motion of the spindle (that is the Turkish spindle I was talking about before by the way) but overall he did far better than I had thought he would.

More Cotswold links....after reading these I am pretty well set on preferring the Cotswold over the Leicesters...although I would still like to have Faeroes, Gotlands, or another short tailed type breed.

Cotswold compared to Leicester

Cotswold vs other longwool breeds

I love that Cotswold sheep are bred for hardiness and easy birthing. I am experienced in assisting with birthing difficulties, but it's always preferable to have an uncomplicated birth to begin with.
Still thinking about sheep. Faroes sheep aren't available in the U.S.. If I could learn how to do A.I. with sheep (reportedly it's harder to artificially inseminate sheep than goats, and goats are already fairly challenging) then I could possibly import Faroe semen and use it on Gotland or Icelandic ewes and breed up until I had high percentage Faroes. See Faroes sheep here.

However, I've also been interested in Cotswolds for years. They have long, lustrous, crimpy wool and their meat is very mild flavored. The wool looks something like this and it sells for $15 per lb with weights or 7-9 lbs per $120 in fleece per year, assuming they're sheared only once a year. Apparently fleece weights can be up to 15 lbs. Cotswolds are a rare breed and they're rumored to be gentle and friendly....qualities which are paramount for me in any animal (or person).

The Leicesters are another very interesting breed. There are three breeds of Leicesters, the Blue Faced Leicester, the Border Leicester and the Leicester Longwool. I have no real experience with the wool of these breeds, let alone the finer distinctions between them, so when I found a braid of Blue Faced Leicester (BFL for short) at a local weaving shop, I bought it up in order to experience the qualities of the wool first hand.

All of the longwool sheep (including Cotswolds, Lincolns, etc) tend to have very mild flavored meat on very large carcasses. If I can get a wool that has luster, good crimp and a good micron count on a sheep with a pleasant personality and with good meat qualities, the only remaining issue is that I don't want to have to dock tails, and longwools tend to have normal (i.e. long) tails, unlike Finnish Landrace and the other short tailed Scandinavian breeds.

The one thing I do know is that I don't want to crossbreed whatever sheep I get. I'd be willing to have more than one breed, but I want to preserve the breeds that I get, not crossbreed them into oblivion. task now is to try to secure samples of wool from these breeds and spin them up and compare them.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I have such a hard time not doing that self-loathing thing. :-/ I try to tell myself that we all do stupid things now and then, we all make little mistakes. Those people don't replay their mistakes and idiotic deeds over and over and over again in detail, tormenting themselves with it. But I do, and why? What good does it do me? It only causes me pain and humiliation and low(er) self esteem. It causes me to get nervous and make more stupid mistakes and social gaffes, not fewer.

Arghhh.....This is so hard for me. I need to know that someday, this will make sense, that I'll be able to understand it even if I'm not entirely happy with whatever that understanding is.

And I feel terrible for the amount of stress and everything that I've caused....and I can't undo that.


I am so happy that you're in this world, however things are and wherever you are. :-)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I'm so tired of thinking about this stuff. No matter how many ways I look at it, it doesn't add up to make all given information true.

The only answer I can ever come up with that's consistent is that this fucking hurts and is going to keep hurting.

I never stop missing you.

I'm such a fool.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I don't know what to say. I'm trying as hard as I can not to whine here anymore. There's no dignity in being publicly pathetic.

The job is good. I like it. I don't tell them about any of this.

And I really hope to get some sleep tonight.

And.....I guess that's all.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

An interesting page about grazing animals under apple orchards: Grazing Livestock in the Orchard.

Another one, this from the university of Idaho, which is helpful, being in the same geographical area: Targeted Grazing of sheep and goats under orchards
It wasn't the medication. Maybe it was PMS. :-P Or maybe I need to be taking better care of myself.

And...about that change. I still haven't settled on that yet. Trying an intermediate strategy to see if staying away from that site helps.

I think I'll always miss you...or for a long time anyway....but that isn't any reason to break myself in half beating my head against a wall. No. That's just stupid and self destructive.

Monday, December 05, 2011

The fish is mostly done....only some small detail work to finish up, take the resist off and see how it looks.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Have the foundation work done for another fish....hopefully a more successful one. I really need to buy a salmon with the head on (or preferably, just the head!) and do sketches of the head from different angles. I don't think it needs to be a kokanee...any salmon will do. I just need to get the basic head shape and perspective down.

After a short break here I'll probably go back and paint it. I usually wait until the next day, but I need more continuity between the pairs of fish, in feeling, form and the colors used. If I mix up two batches of color it's hard to get them to match.
Also, my kids and I planted a lot of seeds, many of which were from the apples I got at Green Bluff. The ones I can remember:

Forelle pear
Comice pear
Rosalynn apple
winter Banana apple
Winesap apple
Unknown peppers, probably of medium heat
small green striped eggplant from an Oriental food store in Spokane
Paperbark Maple (from the John A Finch arboretum)
Criterion apple
Cortland apple

It seems like there were more apples.....I cannot remember them all.

So I explain to my daughter that the exciting thing about planting apples seeds is that they don't come true to seed- you never know what you're going to get. You may get apples that are only good for animal feed, or you may get something edible or truly good. The one sure thing is that each apple seedling will be unique. She couldn't understand why this was, why it would be different. She thought that new varieties came from two plants being planted close together. Now, my daughter is 13, very intelligent, has talked about wanting to be some kind of scientist or possibly a lab tech when she grows up, gets an A in science on her report card, and lives on a farm where animal reproduction happens all the time. So I was shocked. I tried to explain it for a minute, got flustered, and then I asked, "don't they teach you about plant reproduction in school?" And she says that they don't teach about any kind of reproduction, including that of plants. So I said, well, didn't they teach you about mitosis and meiosis? And she claims they have not. She says that the teachers at her school do not have to go to college, they just need to be able to read out of the book!!!!!

What. The. Fuck.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to explain meiosis in 5 minutes or less with 4 other kids swarming about making noise? I did not succeed. I hope that she has just forgotten that she was taught this stuff, but in case she hasn't, I guess I need to go through my various science books and find a simple description of how genes combine. Right now I'm just sort of blown away by this......and hoping it's some sort of misunderstanding or mistake. :-/
Watercolor paint, one of the better brands- is 40% off at Ben Franklin's, so I was able to buy two tubes (Burnt Sienna and Sap Green) that I normally would not be able to afford. The cobalt blue, for example, is over $20! The paints I am currently using belonged to the late great grandmother of my oldest children, Virginia Leaf. She was an artist working under Walt Disney and apparently she worked on three of the Seven Dwarves in Snow White. When she passed away, a set of her watercolors somehow made its way to me. They were ancient when I got them, half dried up with most of the caps fused on, but I was still enthralled with the difference between tube watercolors and the cheap dry cakes in a plastic case that were all I've ever used prior to that.

I'm still using her watercolors eighteen years later, and while I am still honored to have them....they're even drier and in worse shape than they were 2 decades ago. The quinacridone colors weren't available back then, so I did buy 3 tubes of fuchsia/purple colors because I just was not able to get that color with what I had no matter how hard I tried. Other than that....they're all still the old set. There was only one green: Pthalo Green, which has an obnoxiously bluish note if you are looking for a quieter green....and while you can mix up your own greens from blue + yellow, it's hard to make them consistent that way from one painting to another. Yellow Ochre was the only thing close to brown, and again, I could have mixed my own....but Burnt Sienna is a standard, necessary color.

So what I am going to do is this: for every sale of work that I make, I'll buy a tube or two of watercolor paints until I have the necessary colors, starting with the ones I'm short on. I can't wait to try these two out! :-)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Started painting the one I did the resist on yesterday. There are some problems with it....not sure if this is going to be another tosser or not. The rocks and water are lovely. The fish is missing has no soul.
It was actually a really productive day. Nothing bad happened and a number of good things did happen.

I need to start exercising regularly. The bicycle need toe clips...I bought some but either the pedals or the clips need to have holes drilled into them in order to install them.

I could hike.

Once I find boots that will fit both me and the bindings on the skis, I can ski, probably right near here, too.

I could go split and stack wood.

The trails are going to be snowed over soon though, so if I want a non-icy time of it, this would be a good time to hike. The kids and dogs would like that....hmmm.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Random stuff (like usual I guess):

Have the foundation (resist) laid down for another kokanee painting, ready to paint as soon as that dries (probably dry already but I'll paint it tomorrow anyway). It turns out that I'd been leaving a small pair of fins off my very embarrassing....just looked it up...pelvic fins....sigh. And they are on my tattoo, as they should be, so I have no idea how I could have been doing this.

Things that keep me alive:

>My children.

>The echo of my telling you that you didn't have to worry about that, I'd be OK. I had no fucking idea exactly how bad things were about to get...but I gave you my word whether it matters now or not.

>The echo of you telling me to take care of myself, although the cynical pessimist in me says that this was simply a polite thing to say at the time, not anything really meant.

>The earth, because I love it so much.

>Certain people, without whom I would have been utterly lost countless times.

>The dread of screwing up and landing back in that horrible place again with the godawful food that they serve!!!

>Art, not because I think what I make is so fantastic that it's a reason to keep making it....but because making it is therapeutic.


Speaking of which......once I am finally over this mess, I probably won't be making half as much stuff as I do now. All the pain, all of the feeling ugly, all the intensity, all fuels the work. And while I love working with clay, drawing, painting, making stuff, during ordinary times, it isn't something that I typically find the time or energy to do. Right now I do it because I have to in order to stay sane. I don't have a choice about waiting until there's time- if I don't do it, I live in torment until I do.
Glazed the angler fish.
The kokanee salmon pair of watercolors are now matted, framed, and handed over to be hung at Kokanee Coffee. They just opened and so business is still pretty slow, but it should pick up. So that's good.

And I finally managed to find 2 pairs of cross country skis so that Nate and I can go skiing. Now I have to find boots to match, poles and get a map of public lands where it's ok to ski. Not sure if there are public trails here like there were in Newport. So that's also good.

And as for the rest of it.....I don't know. Maybe the medication intensifies the pain or something. It sure as hell isn't helping, so fuck it. I read this article and while I am skeptical, I wonder how many people would still feel the need for meds if they followed the advice given first? I'm going to be totally honest here and admit that if I did all those things I would probably feel a lot better.

Also, why, when I ask these doctors for help with paying attention, do they always give me an antidepressant that "may help" with my attention span? Has it ever occurred to them that maybe if I wasn't so freaking disorganized, maybe if I could remember stuff and get my act together and start making some real progress, I might not be so depressed?! Because while there are things depressing me, the deal is that I don't really have any part of my life that is working well enough for me to be able to turn to it as affirmation that I am not a total failure as a human being. There hasn't been anything that I could turn to and work on and experience success as some kind of consolation. I guess there is the art, but it isn't really selling that well. I think that if I could get the rest of my act together, get back on my feet, get a place of my own, etc....then this wound would heal faster and hurt less. :-/

Thursday, December 01, 2011

There aren't words for how I feel right now. I guess if I painted a picture of it, there would be an awful lot of black. It's bottomless and the sides are so slippery that I can't get out. There are nameless horrors in the darkness.

And the worst thing is, other people don't see the blackness and they don't want to hear about it either, except for the helpful few who tell me that I have got to keep trying to climb out. It's all around me, they don't see it, and I have got to pretend that all is well with green pastures and sunshine, which is the reality they talk about. And I'm so scared and I feel so dirty with all this slimy black stuff on me....they don't see it, but you do and it's nasty horrible disgusting awful untouchable unlookable so you turn away.
OK, I don't even know what to think about that...... :-/

Yeah, never mind........
Kokanee coffee finally opened and I managed to work up the nerve to mention art...and they love my fish paintings! They want me to mat/frame it and bring it in right away. Also they want to see the pottery fish...

So it was a long day and I felt broken, but sometimes good things happen anyway. :-)

Edited to add: and of course since I was here I had to have a coffee and go online....this place is so much quieter than the others.