Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Finished plying the Shetland and now the wheel is empty. I started some of the merino silk blend, lovely violet color...but it breaks repeatedly. Even after adjusting the tension on the wheel multiple times, it is still breaking. I spun this blend on the drop spindle before....and I think I am going to go back to that. Handspinning should not be an exercise in frustration.

Thinking some more about the sheep shearing idea. How many years of really hard physical labor does my body have left in it? Twenty at best? After that I'll be wanting to slow down at least. Then what?

I'm scared....I've been working on my Associate's degree for about 4 years now. That's pathetic. If it weren't for the math class (that I've taken 6 times now), I'd be done and working on something else, but apparently knowing how to work with exponential and logarithmic functions is just essential in order to get a degree in just about any field. (sarcasm)

Speaking of such things....I went to the last segment of my neuro-psych eval yesterday, during which I was tested for learning disabilities. One of the questions: "How many different ways can you arrange four books on a shelf?" What kind of question is that????? Aside from the obvious (changing the sequence of books as they stand upright, side by side, on the shelf until you've exhausted unique options there) and the next most obvious (doing the same thing only now stacking them flat on the shelf and rearranging the sequence), you can then start separating them- two books on one side of the shelf, two on the other. Two vertical, two stacked. Three stacked, on vertical. All four vertical, not touching. etc, ad nauseum. I have no idea what the answer was, but obviously, I got it wrong. How could anyone know such a thing without trying it out for a few hours and keeping track of the results?

Then there was a section where I was given a story or picture and asked to deduce something that was not referred to directly, for example, what will Harry do next in a given scenario. I was completely lost on this. How am I supposed to know what Harry will do next? The answers were not obvious, either, as far as I could tell. Terrible.

The consolation is that I probably did well on things relating to vocabulary, etc.

I am still thinking about the headaches that no longer plague me. They were so bad. I used to always carry some analgesic along just in case I got a headache...and even then, timing was everything. Catch it too late and forget it...all the Tylenol in the world wouldn't help. Even hydrocodone wouldn't help at that point. Nothing would. My childhood memories of family outings include a migraine at virtually every get together...during many headahces. An entire pregnancy of headaches.

And now they're just gone. Correlation doesn't equal causation, but it is still tempting to wonder whether going gluten free had anything to do with this. I've never been so headache-free in my life.

Then I think about how scientists think that autism has something to do with brain inflammation or vice versa. I don't know. It could be. Migraines are not said to be due to brain inflammation as far as I know. Tyramine is known to be a trigger for migraines, but wheat doesn't have high levels of tyramine and I am still eating lots of other foods that do. Odd.
Seriously considering taking the sheep shearing class and spending part of the summer shearing as many sheep as I can find.
  • I've always wanted to do this kind of work, since the summer I helped out with lamb docking on a large sheep ranch in Wyoming (the lambs from 2,000 ewes- no idea how many lambs there were). It was very hard work...and I felt so fulfilled doing it.
  • If and when I get fiber animals of my own, I will want/need to shear them.
  • I need to be around animals and cannot have my own. Shearing sheep that belong to others will still give me that animal fix and it will pay, bringing me closer to the goal of having a place where animals would be a possibility.
  • There would be constant access to all kinds of fiber, from all kinds of sheep. This beats having to pay for it outright or worse, having to feed and house all sorts of different sheep.
  • It will keep me busy and my mind occupied, as opposed to dishwashing, which keeps me busy but still leaves my mind free to fret and stress. I do not think I am going to be able to handle another year of stressing and worrying and feeling worthless. The best antidote to feeling worthless is to go out and do something worthwhile and succeed at it.
  • Opportunity to get a lot of exposure and experience with many breeds of sheep.
  • This line of work would align nicely with some of my long term goals.
  • If I'm going to be alone, this is what I'd like to do with my life. If not...guess I'll cross that unlikely bridge when it comes up.
  • Also, my body is so out of shape and weak that it's embarrassing. I'm turning into a weakling. Being physically fit is important to me...and work is a good, profitable way to get there.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm sitting in the kitchen, plying the last of the Shetland, watching the singles twist into 2-ply so quickly that the yarn is a blur unless I stop the wheel....when I smell you. I stop. The scent is unmistakeably you: clean, refined, velvety, masculine in a restrained way. And I miss you so's so strange that my mind could conjure up such a vivid scent memory out of the blue like that. It's as though you're walking through the room again, or as though you were just here minutes ago. It's like a few seconds of heaven, of the crazymaking stopping for a this nightmare is over. I don't know if it ever will be. I can only hope that eventually, things will be at least a little more sane....and to hold the thought of you in the light.

I guess that in the end, I don't care what sort of head trips they play with me. All I really care about is that you're OK.
A blog post by John Shore that brings me uncomfortably close to tears in a public place: The Child We Left Behind. Very worthwhile reading, not something I can really cope with in the library. :-/
Both bobbins of Shetland singles are done and I started on plying them...but then the laptop called me over to the laundry any rate, it should be done tomorrow and then I can start on something else. Well...I should get to bed if I intend to make scones tomorrow morning. :-P
Man, I love that song. How can a song with such sad words make me so happy?? Really- if I were to buy songs to put on an MP3 player, that'd be the first song I'd get. I like it so well that I took out a CD from the library that supposedly is by Blue...but there must be some mistake. I do not think it is the same group, totally different sound. The youtube comments called this song a hip hop version...I hadn't thought of that. Guess there's a little of the city left in me after all. ;-) It is just about impossible to sit still while listening to it!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

I finally found (again) the version of this song that I like best. :-) Love it!

Because of you I will never again settle for less than something I can throw my whole heart into.
The shearing class is affordable! Yay! Except for the cost of lodging...I could conceivably sleep in a vehicle while there (brrr). And who would watch my son? Maybe it coincides with spring break....yes! It does!!! make it happen. hmmm.

I was laying awake last night, feeling gratitude for the simplicity and freedom of being single. I don't deny that there are times when I feel as if I might die or implode into an empty, aching husk of a person if I don't get a hug....but so many other aspects of life are so much simpler and less complicated this way. The trade off just isn't worth it except under the most unlikely circumstances.

So...I need to find a way to make animals a part of my life again.

Another thing I realized while laying awake: I want and need a mom. Not my birth mother, a mom. :-/

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Got my animal fix. :-) The alpacas are becoming more appealing to me all the time....I love the hummy/whiny sounds they make and the expressiveness of their faces. And sheep....are still fairly interesting. Maybe not as much as the angora goats and alpacas, but not as complicated, either.

Almost done filling the second bobbin of Shetland laceweight singles. Then I can ply the two bobbins and hopefully still have a reasonably thin yarn. After that....goodness, how on earth will I decide what to spin next? I got about half of a fleece from a dark CVM/Romney cross lamb today and a some lovely long lustrous white longwool (a crossbred mix of three different longwool breeds) and a little bit of some beautifully colored and shaded Wensleydale.

Am thinking about doing some more dyeing...I have onion skins (the store would not let me buy these and had to call a manager to find out what to do!!! They finally decided that it was ok to just give them to me). This would make a golden yellow color. Yellow is not one of my favorite colors...except when it's paired with blue or violet. This blog has a showing of the array of colors which can be obtained from onion skins. The quiet green color (from red onion skins on alum mordanted wool) has some appeal, too.

I like bright colors...particularly in the blue/violet/magenta range...and for painting I can't imagine using only quiet colors. For wool though...the natural vegetable dyes seem to harmonize with the softness and texture of the wool better than the more exuberant hues. Mohair is an entirely different story. Shiny, lustrous mohair looks great when it's been dyed in intense colors. I don't know about alpaca yet.

If I want to learn how to shear, the class I would need to take lasts for a week, not terribly far from here...and the only way to get truly proficient at it is to practice by shearing a LOT of sheep.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tomorrow: I get to help shear sheep and angora goats!
As if anyone cares. As if you care.

How can people have any faith in feelings if their feelings are so changeable and temporary, so easily switched off? How on earth can their state of mind or heart matter at all under those conditions?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The other thing anyone who knows me knows: that I am fragile. That I've been really upset over this mess for the past year. That if there is one weapon which can reliably be used to devastate me with very little effort, it's him.

So not only was it dishonest and unethical, it was fucking dangerous and cruel.
I am a bit embarrassed that it took me a week to figure this out: of course I am not dangerous or any kind of a threat to his safety. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am harmless. I can honestly say that the thought of doing anything to hurt him has never entered my mind even for a second.

And she knows this, of course.

But: the only legal loophole for breaking confidentiality is if a person is a danger to themselves or others. I was not suicidal, so it couldn't be me. Therefore, she manufactured a specious threat to him. Talk about unethical.

I have been all broken up for the past week because she concocted a ridiculous, slanderous "danger" in a sorry attempt to excuse and cover up her own misdeeds. Wow. I am speechless. And insulted: did she really think I was so incredibly stupid that I wouldn't figure this out? It's a bit humiliating that it took me a week, but when one is distraught and broken hearted, one's mind has a way of going sort of numb and inactive.

I want the lies to stop.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just noticed: I haven't had any typical headaches since going gluten free. By typical, I mean those that are not induced by being so stressed that the muscles in my neck and at the base of my skull cramp up and those which are not caused by sinus congestion via crying. In other words, by "typical headache", I am talking about the garden variety headache, the kind I used to have all the time, the kind I used to hoard any leftover hydrocodone pills for, because tylenol usually does nothing.

I've had these headaches all my life. They have tormented me for years. They were severe enough and frequent enough that they occupy a prominent place in my memories of childhood. I've always disliked the color orange because that's the color the pain was- an orange that just would not go away for hours on end. And now they're gone.

This is such a relief; it's well worth never eating bread again.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A realization: if I make art baskets, I can integrate nearly all of the various components of my varied interests: fiber, plants, nature, fabric, bones, shells, pottery, recycled material, animals (their fiber, bones, horns, etc)...I could incorporate texture, color, scent...the list probably goes on. I could probably even use seaweed and or kelp. :-)

Which isn't to say that I intend to quit making fish!

Because I am aspie, one might expect that I would hyper focus in my work and narrow it down to one subject, done one way, in one medium, etc. I have done this at times. However, this sort of specializing is generally countered by a drive to explore and diversify. My appetite for the sensory pleasures around me can be somewhat voracious. Not as in food or drugs or's more like...huh. Maybe it's some kind of a compensation or reaction from living in my head and thinking so much. The other side of that coin seems to be this sort of wild hunger for earthy things, for intensity of color or different color combinations, for things that smell good or interesting, for sensual textures and for the solidity and energy of the earth. It seems to sort of scare people a little bit to see a grown woman so intensely into things. I don't know. It's like getting high on the ordinary things all around me. It's not obsession, because once I've finally run myself down, I can let it fade gently away and just sort of bask in the afterglow.

Um. That sort of sounds like I was talking about sex. It isn't a bad analogy because actually, that's sort of what it's like. It's as if my brain has this wild orgy on all the sensory things in the woods or arboretum or wherever and then when I've finally had enough, I just feel so calm and relaxed and happy.

Hey, I never claimed to be normal. :-P
My son signed up for hunters ed (I'm not exactly thrilled about this) and I didn't realize this until after I had taken off to town without putting any kind of handwork or project in the vehicle. He is going to be in that class until 9 PM and I have nothing! I don't think there is even a sketchbook, although the smallest one may be there. This is terrible. I can't tell you how tempting it is to run over to Ben Franklin's or worse, one of the shop that carry wool and drop spindles, and buy something to do with my hands. But, I can tell you assuredly that it will not happen again. My friend loaned me two pscyh type books; otherwise I wouldn't have had anything to read, either. Wait, no: in the laptop case there is this bio of a nurse who goes into helping terminal patients after losing her brother in childhood...but frankly that seemed kind of depressing.

Thank goodness for the gym.
Hey, I survived last week and the weekend! February is almost done. :-)

I've found someone who may be willing to rent kiln space to me at a more reasonable rate than the Arts Alliance. The next problem, should I do this, becomes one of glazes- specifically, either buying some or getting the chemicals to make them. It will behoove me to use glazes that are both dependable and interesting enough/variable enough that I can use the limited array without being boring.

Iron red and iron oxide are cheap...because iron oxide is just rust so I can get a lot of it for very little. Iron red is also dependable.

I'll need a white.

There should be a cobalt derived blue. Cobalt carbonate is expensive.

A shino glaze is another standard that I should have. No idea what is in these.

It would be good to have a fairly transparent, glassy green similar to the one I used as a student at the college.

Maybe a brown, or a glaze like the seacrest purple we used at college that was so dependably good and interesting.

And then....I can make more fish. I found a gallery that is looking for another potter. If I can start turning out the work and afford the monthly fee (it is a co-op so they take no commission)...I could have work in a gallery in time for the tourist market.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Random stuff:

  • I am currently watching a documentary (Rivers and Tides) about Andy Goldsworthy. I love the purity of his art, both the medium and that he does his art not for a gallery or to sell, but because he needs to. That his work is free of commercial concerns makes it purer to me. Maybe this isn't accurate...maybe he does get paid somehow, I don't know.

  • I did something terribly sinful and foolish today and bought a few ounces of a 50/50 silk merino blend roving....and some wool mohair blend as well, which was much cheaper than the silk blend. I should not have bought the silk...but I wanted it with a sort of intensity that was almost....(shiver)

  • The colors used in the silk/merino blend are inspiring to me though...and I can achieve them with the stuff I have at home. It's a warm russety brown, the color my hair used to be in the sun when it was long, or when I was a child, blending into a rich charcoal, shimmering throughout with strands of silk. It is beautiful, beautiful. The mohair/wool (mohair comes from angora goats by the way) roving is a lighter shade of the reddish brown, the color of cinnamon sugared toast when it's just right.

  • I want to hike up to Beehive Lakes this summer (the stone cairns Andy Goldsworthy is building on the movie are reminding me of this) and camp overnight there this time. Last time I just went up, saw, and came back time to even enjoy it really.

  • People are giving alpacas and angora goats away...and I can't have any because I have no place to keep them. I know that I am a selfish thing to think of acquiring animals when I have children to think of and need to find a place to live yet. Sigh...I need animals though....dogs are alright, but they don't have the same calming energy that larger, ruminating animals do.

  • But at least I live in a beautiful place, with forests and trees and streams, mosses and lichens and woodland plants and moist rich smelling soil in some places and aromatic woody pine needle carpets in the higher, dry areas. I don't think I could feel sane at all, like myself at all, without the outdoors and without animals.

  • I wish that I could have the sea as well...(another selfish thing)...perhaps someday, but not soon, I don't think. I love the way the moist sea air smells, the mist and the is even better than rain.

  • And...I am thinking about the work I'm doing with my therapist. I don't know what the future holds for me. Sometimes I feel a glimpse of it, but really, there is no way to know. I can only hope that it will be better than the past has been and strive towards that goal. But I don't know. I hope that someday I will be partnered....but if it isn't someone that I can love from the depths of my soul, then I would rather be alone. It is much, much better to be alone than to be in a relationship which lacks sincerity.

  • I do know that if I should ever find myself in someone's arms again, I want to be there, to really be there, in the moment, not floating away, not disappearing with my mind to another place. I've spent all my life locked away, protected within myself...imprisoned. I want to be free. Whether or not it's fair is inconsequential, but in order to be present, to stay present, I will need to do the necessary work.

  • When I spend so much time living inside my head, a head full of years of negative programming and trauma and pain, is it any wonder if I'm depressed? Maybe when I get free of that I'll feel better in a more general sense as well.

Friday, February 17, 2012

This...(laughing) the funniest thing I've encountered in weeks! lmao.... I especially love the ending!

I don't want to do anything that hurts or negatively affects you. :-( I have to figure out what exactly I am doing and then do everything in my power to change that.

I don't know if you read this, but what if you did? I write really awful, depressing shit here, and while it's cathartic in a someone else's shoes, reading it? Oh god. I can write that sort of stuff in my sketchbooks. And the thing is that I am not actually this blue 24/7, it's just sort of turned into my venting place. :-/

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I feel like someone has torn a big gaping hole in my soul. It's the ache that never goes away.

I don't know how to tell her that ten years from now, I will still love you. Oh, I know how, but first of all it would be an incredibly bad idea and secondly she doesn't believe that what I feel is real. Still, this is true. And it will not be an obsession, because I am not obsessed. The thought of you is like the string that holds the beads of my thoughts, of my life, together. Like the beacon of a lighthouse when I am tossed mercilessly on an endlessly storming sea. You may be my favorite color, a color I cannot imagine a world without, but you are not the only color, the only light, or the only thing my necklace is made of.

I would never, never hurt you, never. How can she think that I would ever present a danger to you? That cuts me to the bone.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Have you ever seen one of those movies where there's a kid, usually a boy, with some animal that he's befriended? Sometimes it's a wild animal, other times it's a stray dog...usually he either doesn't have his parents permission or the animal turns out to be more trouble than the parents expected it to be. Either way, they tell him that the animal has got to go. But...the animal doesn't want to go, because it's bonded to the boy. Finally the kid has to pretend that he's really mad at the animal- he might chase it, yell, throw rocks. Sometimes the boy cries while he's screaming at the dog to get lost, that he hates it, that he never wants to see it again. The animal goes off reluctantly, usually not all at once. Or maybe it hangs back, hiding in the brush, far enough away but...not too far. It depends on the movie.

Sometimes I feel like that animal.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This was an unbelievably stressful day and I am so glad it's over. I don't even want to talk about it.

But the sky was so was just exactly the right color.

Tell me why, please...why do I have to feel so ashamed about this? Perhaps I am simple minded, but I cannot understand why everyone doesn't love you to pieces. It just seems obvious to me that you're an inherently lovable person, so of course I like you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Spinning wool on a wheel is very relaxing and centering...makes the worries just fly away. :-)

I've started spinning some of the Shetland fleece that I washed. I am spinning it quite fine, but not laceweight fine, I don't think. The mohair has spoiled me and I have now decided that if I make some sort of masterpiece, the kid mohair is going to be in it!

Meanwhile, the Shetland fleece is turning out a pleasant white/gray. Not sure if this yarn will be dyed or not later on.
Sigh. I have to try to be nice to myself this week, because there really isn't anyone else who can do that for me. Partly this is because I won't let anyone near, not really, so while I complain so bitterly of feeling so alone, isn't it a condition of my own making? I continue to choose it, though....because I know: when you let people in close enough, when you let them become irreplaceable, they're also close enough to really hurt you, and when you lose them, the loss is bottomless.

It's not the answer anyone wants to hear, but I don't know that I'll ever stop missing you. Because despite all the armor, all the defenses, somehow I am terribly, frighteningly vulnerable to you, to an unprecedented degree. And I don't really have the words for what that's meant.
I won't lie. I'm dreading this week. I'm afraid of it. So please, folks, be nice to me or just leave me alone. Save the little talks, the little condescensions, the kindly insults, the control trips, for next week. This week teems with ghosts and flashbacks of times so bad and so good that they seem more like hallucinations than memories.

There is nothing so urgent that it cannot wait until next Monday.

And....I was taking the first test for my class last night, was almost finished with it, when the internet connection went down. I tried and tried and tried to reconnect, to resend, to no avail. There are no retakes. I am just sick over this. I should never have enrolled in college while living where I do as it has been nearly impossible to pass a class due to transportation and internet difficulties. It is not free to live here; it is really fucking expensive when you fail one class after another for very petty reasons and when the alternative is to get internet in town at coffee shops (or the library when it's open).

Edited to add: apparently it saved some of the answers, not all of them, and submitted them. I got a D. I feel like crying. :-( To make matters worse, the "correct" answers to some of the questions are not, in fact, correct. For example, the ancient Greeks may have prescribed marriage as a cure for hysteria, but this was because pregnancy was supposed to lubricate and calm the uterus; therefore the Greek cure for hysteria was pregnancy, not marriage. :-/

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Found a nice old livestock/animal husbandry textbook at the thrift store today. 80% of it is about cattle and swine, almost none of it is about goats. It does have a lot of useful information though. I want to know why so many animal diseases are caused and solved through feed and simple management and often the very same disease in humans often does not seem to share the same cause and solution.

For example, in dairy goats, urinary calculi are caused by too much calcium in the feed of a male animal. You generally do not feed a buck or wether goat alfalfa, or if you do, only in small quantities, because they will very likely get urinary calculi and that is more or less a death sentence. To reduce the risk of UC, goat owners feed their male animals ammonium chloride in their feed. Sometimes you can save an animal with ammonium chloride if you catch it quickly enough and are lucky. All of this is standard, common knowledge among goat breeders. Yet men are not warned against excessive calcium intake as adults and as far as I can tell, (too lazy to google for it, but I have done so before) there has not been much interest in feeding ammonium chloride to men who are at risk of getting UC, despite the level of pain and trauma involved. :-/

Yeah, yeah...I know. Medicine does not always translate across species (which is why we test stuff on rodents, and abnormal, albino rodents at that?!). It's just that at least 75% of what afflicts the health of livestock is related to their diet or management and the rest is genetics, trauma, freak occurrences, etc. I also recognize that livestock breeders practice selective breeding and culling, etc, and that humans do not, because that would be morally wrong. We practice these voluntarily on a different, much milder level, but still, the differences cannot be wholly due to genetics.

I have all the respect in the world for modern medicine...after all, this is the girl who wanted to be a doctor sooooo badly for so many years. I guess what I am saying is that I wonder sometimes whether a similar proportion of human illness is due to diet and poor management (lifestyle, upbringing, living conditions, in other words, environmental factors that could be changed). How strange that we know how to optimize the health of the animals we raise for our own food but that we do not manage our own health with the very same principles!

Friday, February 10, 2012

I am beginning to have my doubts about Wendell Berry. I still admire him, but he and I have some definite differences. :-/ A wife as a substitute for a computer?? Seriously?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The only viable way out of the position I am currently in, is to make the jump to a job with benefits. Oh, I suppose there are other ways; but this is the most obvious. Now the question becomes one of how on earth to get such a job? It has also got to be something that I can learn or be trained for and something which will not stress me out beyond the range of my coping skills.

Um. Hmmmmm.
I need to get some goats. I am not kidding (haha).

Every time I've been broken before, I had the goats to lean on (literally), their animal warmth to snuggle up to, their patient ears to talk to...and goats don't tell secrets or lies and they don't judge, either. They just listen and look at you wisely or as if waiting to hear more. It is pathetic to admit, but I do not know if I can get through this without them.

What does one call it, heart, soul, mind, psyche? Whatever it is, that thing inside that hurts and feels and holds everything feels like it has osteoporosis, like the interstices are growing ever thinner, ever more likely to crumble. I don't have anything to feed it, to build it back up again, to reinforce the weak spots.

There are only these judgmental people telling me how pathetic I am and that it's wrong for me to feel the way I do and god, I hate their trying to impose their narrow minded morality on my feelings. Not all of them...there are a couple of exceptions....but mostly. It's not their place to tell me how to feel, particularly when I never asked them. I hate to say this, but why can't people be a little more like animals sometimes??

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

When I met the lady who I am buying the spinning wheel from, she gave me a shopping bag full of fiber, too. She appeared to just grab a couple of fistfuls from a nearby sack, at random, as we walked by, which sort of wowed me in itself. About half of it is some longwool with very crimped wool. I'm not sure that this is a specific breed- it could be a mix of longwool types. If I had to guess on the breed I would guess some kind of Leicester crossed with Romney, but I really have no idea and since she is a sheep shearer, it may not even be from her sheep. It's nice, interesting wool of a type I haven't worked with yet.

But the mohair.....words fail me. It is sort of a strawberry blonde color or maybe rosy beige and it's finer than a baby's hair. It is fine to the point of being ethereal. It must be kid mohair?? I have never in my life encountered mohair of this airy, lustrous delicacy. It is so incredibly fine. I am longing to spin it, but since it is the highest quality stuff I've ever seen, I want to be able to do the fiber justice when I spin it. It seems to be finer and lighter than silk. It's like that shiny, lightweight, airborne fluff that floats away from say, milkweed or thistles..hmmm....there are other plants like that...only this is much thinner and lighter, longer and curly. It is simply wonderful.

Anyway...having experienced mohair again, I am trying to figure out why on earth I wanted sheep. I could just buy a fleece if I want the wool. Mohair is worth more, the mohair subsidy is higher than that for wool and goats are just so much more interesting and fun to have around than sheep. Sheep just sort of stand there, eat, run away if you try to pet them, etc. But goats....goats never outgrow their childhood. They're always frolicking around, climbing whatever they have to climb on, leaping off whatever they climbed and causing various sorts of mischief. Angora goats are less naughty than dairy goats and the bucks don't seem to smell as dairy bucks do (dairy bucks reek); they're a bit more laid back, but they are still intelligent, mischievous, playful animals.

It's all just a pipe dream anyway...but yeah...goats, not sheep.
The long term effects of spanking children.

I remember the day I realized that spanking was not ordained by god (I still believed in him then). I had just spanked one of my kids, and my hand hurt, apparently more than the kid's bottom. I stopped and looked at my hand, really looked at it. Thought about the delicacy and intricacy of the engineering marvel that a hand is. About the fine and detailed work that hands are capable of. And I realized that hands were not designed (by god or evolution) to be used as instruments of blunt force or to hit things with. As obvious as this may sound now, it was a breakthrough moment for me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Repetition compulsion.

Another way of saying that my psyche is going to find ways to sabotage me and cause pain despite all my best efforts to avoid it and that every time is going to be like reliving all of it, a lifetime of it, all at once. This means that the pain will not stay the same. Every time this happens to me, it is going to be worse. And not good.

It's like having to live through variations of the same nightmare over and over again, except that you don't get to wake up. There are no comforting arms to melt into, no familiar heartbeat. No.

Like love, these are things reserved for other people. I don't know why, and I am tired to death of asking why, am not going to ask why anymore because it doesn't matter if it isn't going to ever be different. Some things just are. I can resent it, I can blame, can despair, can wish that I were able to be a plain vanilla girl despite the inherent horror of that. But that doesn't change anything. Some things simply cannot be changed and fighting it is useless.

Monday, February 06, 2012

I try so hard. Maybe people don't see it, but I'm constantly working on myself, trying to fix the things that are wrong inside of me, trying to get past the things that torment me from years ago. I'm always thinking, always trying: why did I say this? Am I relating to her for who she is, or as an echo of my sister or mother, etc? I don't want to spend my life caught and entangled in a net of pain, so I'm always sorting things through mentally, consciously trying to unravel those knots. If I didn't, I think I would go crazy, surrounded by so much stuff in my mind that, contrary to what other people say, I cannot simply cram away and not think about again. It's always there, so I have to deal with it.

But I don't think it's going to be good enough. Which is just as well, because I don't do it with a goal in mind other than being a healthy and reasonably sane person, but I do hope that someday, I will know what it's like to feel truly loved, truly safe, for more than a few seconds or minutes. I can't remember being held as a kid, except on my uncle's lap, the one who was like an older brother. I learned not to expect to be loved and to be suspicious when it was offered, to test the people to see if they really meant it. I grew a shell and it kept me safe, but also it kept me apart. I learned that it was only safe to love from a distance.

So many people have worn themselves out beating on that shell, begging, pleading, everything, to try to get me to come all the way out. But I could not. And every time, when they walked away and I pulled myself back into the dark safety, I cried, but I was so glad that I had kept the safety of that shell. Otherwise, it might have been worse. Every time someone I cared for, a lover or friend or mentor, walked away, it only confirmed that the shell was definitely the place to reside in.

And now (I still have no idea how this happened) I am naked and raw and bleeding, and when you look at me, all you see is pain. But if you look again, you will see those raw and bleeding places are where the shell used to be. For the first time in my adult life, I have no shell and this is terrifying and it hurts and I feel so vulnerable, but also it is new and I am learning.

Even if I scream and cry to have my old, safe shell back, I think that probably it was time to learn how to live without it.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

You know, I just read back over the past week or two. I'm kind of a strange little chick. And although I tend to seek out and prefer quirky people (usually they have to be funny and intelligent as well), I can see where people might prefer not to have to deal with me, why a very simple, basic and attractive female would be easier in terms of predictability at least.

Of course...that sort of leaves out all the good stuff about me that they might not have...but I truly can see it. I am definitely not the sort of person who would be anyone's generic cup of tea.
Cleaning is a good way to work off frustration, irritation, etc and unlike drinking, screaming, or blogging nastiness, it has a predictably positive outcome. Not that I am going to let the confidentiality breach slide, but acting in anger isn't wise. Nobody is dying or bleeding here, so there's time to think about it.

I now have a spinning wheel to use. It has been graciously lent to me to try out for a while, to make sure that this is the right wheel for me. It's a Louet Victoria. A louet is what I wanted, but I never dreamed I'd find one of these. I thought I might get an S15 or if I were very lucky, an S10. This model is very, very nice. It weighs only 8 lbs and folds up for easy portability, and the carrying bag even has backpack straps! Yes: I could conceivably pack a snack and some water, put this baby on my back and go for a hike, and then sit and spin wool in complete solitude, surrounded by nature and the views. :-) (Hopefully it wouldn't rain!)

But the real treat was meeting the lady who buys and sells these wheels. She is so interesting, intelligent and talented!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

A problem with my abnormal psychology class: am beginning to think that I have the wrong book. I am disinclined to purchase a new book even if this is the case as I bought this one brand new just last year. The class is not at all difficult. I will be OK. It does make things slightly interesting though.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Today was better. My house still has too much stuff in it.....hey: is it possible for a house to be bulimic? Clearly more purging is in order.

I will confess to having a very strange sense of humor. :-P

Anyway, I can't say why, but singing makes me feel 100% better, even if it is the same CD or two over and over again. Never mind showers, nobody can hear you if you sing while driving.

The other loom set-up I made didn't work and I had to take the thing apart. I just made a slightly nicer version of one I used as a teen, an inkle loom. Usually these are used to make narrow bands, such as belts, bookmarks and similar items. I want a scarf, which is quite a bit wider but is still essentially a band of fabric. I haven't attempted using this technique with anything this wide, with wool yarn or with handspun yarn. This should be interesting. Sorry to say, I just made the loom and then came here to do laundry rather than warping the loom (the least fun part of weaving).

Spun a small amount of the Shetland wool I'd washed to see if the Irish ring shawl idea is even a possibility. Some wools can be spun very thin, others cannot. I was able to spin this finer than anything else I've tried so far. I don't know whether the fineness I came up with is sufficiently fine to be classified as laceweight yarn. Um, a problem: my knitting skills are only rudimentary, as far as I can tell ring shawls are always knitted and not crocheted and these shawls are not exactly a beginner's project! Oh well. It will take me a long time to spin the yarn anyway. Perhaps by then I'll have more knitting experience. I could make one for my daughter to start out with before moving on to a larger version.

Also duplicated the bird pattern and cut out the templates for it (this is a quilt pattern).

Am reading Life is a Miracle By Wendell Berry. I've only just begun the book, so have no feedback to offer on it as yet. Once I have read more of it (and possibly E.O. Wilson's Cosilience as well, for the sake of perspective and competing viewpoints), I'll be able to render a more articulate opinion.

An idea: if I retake Chem 101 (I got either a B- or a C in it), get an A or at least a B+ and really understand it, then maybe I could take Chem 111 (and no other science or math classes during that semester- 5 credits of chem is enough) and actually pass it. To what end other than proving that I am able, that is the question.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

I can feel it coming, like the sense of foreboding that I used to get before those panic attacks (?) that only happen at night, when I'm asleep. I can feel things start to get loose and wobbly at the joints, at the places where it all comes together to make a cohesive, workable life. I am afraid.

I tell myself that I'm stronger now, that I've survived for a year like this, that things are better than they were before. I'm lying to myself. The truth is that I'm tired, so tired. This year has worn me down, left me depleted and disheartened. It's an entire year of seeing that things are not ever going to really get better. Last year, I didn't know that. Last year, the pain was brighter but I was still strong within, fired by the memories of your kindness and of the light in your eyes, of your warm voice holding the sound of my name so gently in the air. Now there's only desolation, exhaustion, no hope. Last year, there were people who could help me. This year, my resources for help are not at all the same...they're tired of me, frustrated that I still hurt.

A week and a half ago, I would have said that whether or not the person you love feels the same way, still there is purpose and meaning and fulfillment in that love, that it can still give life meaning, that one can still draw strength from it.

Now I am reeling, tottering off kilter. They say it's wrong for me to feel this way. It makes them uncomfortable, makes you uncomfortable, it's shameful and old and I should throw the thought of you away as though you were rubbish in my mind....but you never will be and I cannot help this.

They are not artists and they do not, cannot understand that the beautiful color of you infuses and breathes life into everything I think, see, do or create. They don't understand that you are my muse and would surely be horrified if they did. All they can see is the concept of possession. I cannot understand this anymore than I can understand wanting to live in a dark basement because one cannot possess the sunshine. Would anyone scold such a prisoner for missing the daylight or for wanting to paint a sun drenched landscape?

People cannot be possessed. Perhaps they think so, but I is not so and that love which is about possession, not appreciation for the qualities of what is loved....isn't love at all. It's just greed. If something has to be owned to be loved, then it isn't loved whether it's owned or not.

Never mind. They're wrong. Why should I implode because someone else is small minded and criticizes what they don't understand? Forget it. I will survive in spite of them.