Monday, April 30, 2012

Hamilton (the dog) is all settled in now and adjusting much better than I thought he would given his shy temperament. Considered changing his name, but he pricks his ears up when he hears us say it, so might as well keep it. It could be worse, like "Blackie" or "Midnight" or "Sambo". "Hamilton" at least has some dignity and is unlikely to be guessed at by some random stranger trying to call my dog. He is tall, dark and handsome and the name does not feel discordant...although if I had named him from a puppy, it would have been something like "Jack". I can't wait to go hiking with him!

Was thinking last night after he got lost and before I knew he was going to be OK. Why, how could I get so attached to a dog in such a short time? I'd only had him for a few hours and I was crying my eyes out. We must have looked at countless dogs in animal shelters; none of them felt right. As soon as I saw this one, I knew he was right. Right personality, right look, right softness, right size....just right. What on earth is it that trips my "just right" button and causes me to not only be satisfied and content with a choice, but also to commit and get attached right away like that? It doesn't really make a lot of sense. Is there a predetermined set of characteristics associated with positive memories and experiences, and when enough of these are fulfilled, the "just right" feeling goes into effect?

I know that there are people who would say that some things are meant to be, destined, fated. I'm not really happy with that reasoning because then it also means that all the crappy stuff that happened to me must have been similarly destined. Which is not to say that it couldn't still be true, but that's all a little too "wooo" for me. Also it implies that if negative things are just as fated as positive or neutral things, then they are fairly inescapable despite our best efforts and I really dislike that idea.

Dog ran off last night, presumably in search of his old home. I was absolutely heartbroken. The good news is that he's been found! I just have to go pick him up. I am so relieved and happy. I must have cried for several hours over him...I was so worried his leash would get caught in the brush or that he'd get shot while wandering through the woods.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Found my dog. Half Newfoundland, plus Australian and German Shepherd. He is big, black, very soft, very gentle and shy and quiet, with soft, sensitive eyes. He is just right. :-)
Rachel Maddow: funny, intelligent, articulate, somehow makes politics highly interesting and oh yes, she's funny. Never underestimate the value of a great sense of humor. :-)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Got an 88% on the abnormal psych test...not bad considering this is the wrong book! :-)
Son 2 and I have been having a disagreement about plants and trees. He says that they are essentially living objects that cannot feel, perceive, make any kind of choices, move, etc. I say that they can do some of these things and that it could be that we lack the perception or the means to perceive or measure some of this; i.e. that they could have some kind of consciousness but for whatever reason we haven't been aware of it yet. He says, no brain, no consciousness. I countered that with examples of something called a neural net (encountered on zoology class, but I don't remember which animal has this). 30 years ago science was so certain that newborn babies couldn't really feel pain that open heart surgery was being done on them without anesthesia. There are still many people who say that fish and earthworms can't feel pain. Obviously these people haven't tried to impale an earthworm on a fish hook before. :-( I'm not saying that trees are sentient beings who think as we do...but what I do assert is that there's an awful lot we don't know and that when we don't know, we have to take care to treat life respectfully.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I need to buck up, pull myself together. You are alive, you don't hate me and it doesn't look like you're angry at me, either...although I don't know that I could blame you if you were. Things suck right now, yes...but really it is not all that bad when I look at it this way.

The therapist who passed away, the aspie psychologist that I really, really liked.....she was almost done with my psych eval when it happened. I go to see her colleague and get the eval finished up next week. She had recommended a therapy dog for me (I guess the correct term now is emotional support animal) and when I mentioned Newfoundlands as a preferred breed, she said that would be an excellent choice; apparently she had experience with related breeds and rubbed shoulders with Newfie breeders. It wouldn't have to be purebred, as long as the other breed was suitably gentle, quiet, intelligent, etc. At any rate....where was I going with this....oh yes: once the eval is done and I see the doctor I am switching to, maybe things will start to get back on track. I think it was last year that I went to my doctor and told him that I needed help, that the medication I was on was not helping, and he said that he didn't know what else he could do to help me. When one thinks about it, this is not a good thing to tell a patient who has been hovering on the edge of despair. :-/ Since then I've minimized appointments with him. I don't expect a doctor to be a saint (although my ob/gyn comes pretty damned close!) but for god's sake, telling a patient that you don't know what else to do is completely unhelpful. He could at least have given a referral if he was truly that stumped.

I know I talked about wanting to draw shells, but that was before I modeled for the figure drawing class. I still like shells, pods, enclosure type forms in nature that are evocative of maternal protection, but they will have to retreat to the back burner for a while because i have some different ideas now which are much more engaging. Hoping that between cleaning, taking abnormal psych tests and picking up children, I'll be able to explore some of this, possibly post it.

Blue. It's my Friday, so I don't have to work tomorrow. Work is so hard for me not because of the work itself, but the co-worker interactions. Don't know how to describe it right now....I just feel so isolated, so alone and apart sometimes. It makes me feel like I am back in second grade. More on that later.....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

If I don't write anymore about what you mean to me, how I feel about you, it is only because words are such flimsy, inadequate things. They leave so much out, and trying to trace the outline of something like that with words cheapens it, renders it colorless and bland seeming.

I can see colors, pictures, of what I feel. There is raw sienna, a brilliant blue somewhere between phthalo and cobalt. A fish on a dry, wooden dock, gasping, longing for the water. Size, shape, weight, sensation. But Words seem so small. You know that I love you, i am not able to conceal it. Beyond that there isn't much more I can say.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Trying as hard as I can at work, but don't feel like it's going very well. The dishwasher machine arrived today. The girl who said derogatory things about people with mental health issues on my first day of work there is all pissed off at me. This is because they were talking about how great the Waldorf school was and were saying that it should be publicly funded like public schools are. I said that this would be problematic because then the Waldorf school would have to accommodate children with disabilities, such as my son who has Asperger's, also that one of the children from our Quaker meeting was just moved from this school to the charter school due to bullying. She got histrionic about it, I tried to tell her I hadn't meant to hurt her feelings, that perhaps we should agree to disagree, and she is still mad several days later. Whatever. She's always going on about how sensitive her feelings are and being almost on the verge of tears about fairly minor things. Meanwhile, I try to hold it together and keep a stiff upper lip day after day. It is a four hour struggle not to stim, to work past and through the anxiety. I am so tired of the drama over petty things, of the passive aggressive stuff that is inseparable from deli work. I have got to remember to bring the MP3 player tomorrow....that thing is a lifesaver.

It was such a nice day today outside. Right after work there was the wind blowing in my face, pregnant with the scent of impending rain. I took my son's dog down to the boat launch and let her run was so nice. Then it rained...and it smelled fresh and moist and earthy. I wish that I could find a place to garden.

And...I'm sorry that I do such a poor job of holding myself together. :-(

Monday, April 23, 2012

They are getting a mechanical dishwasher at work. I am apprehensive as to my long term job security; they already gave some of my hours to two high school kids...who are being trained to do stuff I have not been trained to do, in addition to the dishwashing....and the end of the school year is looming.

But probably, it will be the old game of, cut your hours down to one or two per day until it costs more to come to work than you make, so that you will quit. I guess that I am a bad employee despite all efforts to the contrary.

How can it be that I am not good for anything?

Sigh....Blogger did the New! Look! thing and apparently we will now have to use html code in order to begin a new paragraph. I may have forgotten how to write webpages but luckily I remember all the basic, ordinary stuff. Still, it's irritating, the new look feel unfamiliar and I hate it. Oh well.

Little odds and ends:

It's my eldest son's birthday- he was born on Earth Day. I tried so, so hard to raise him well, particularly when he was young....bought educational toys for him, kept him away from television, read countless books to him, talked to him as if he were an actual person as opposed to a cute blob of flesh. Even when he was an infant, I talked to him instead of doing the stupid goo-goo sounds some women make to babies. Read all sorts of books about how to raise an intelligent, well adjusted baby, fed him organic food, took him on bicycle rides and walks, talking to him as we walked about what we saw...explained that even though dogs varied in size, color and shape, they were all still dogs... I raised him around gardens and animals, tried to instill in him a wonder and respect for life and nature. Taught him how to read, gave him art lessons that were supposed to also develop his brain, homeschooled him; when he was put into public school in fourth grade, he had already read the Tolkein books and so many others. Maybe I tried too hard. He was so smart, learned so quickly. Meanwhile, I was unnecessarily hard on his younger brother, not knowing the poor kid had ADD. I can only say that although I made a lot of mistakes, particularly with men, I really tried as hard as I could to do everything right.

Men- Why did I do that? Why? Partly, because I had been taught that women could not say no, that saying no would wound a man's ego beyond repair and also, it was dangerous to defy or refuse a man. I had been trained to be nice and submissive at all costs. What a crock. A very, very expensive crock at that.

But also, Daniel Haugen's death left such a hole in me. I had never been treated so kindly, so gently, by anyone, had never felt so cherished. The thought of spending an entire life marking off time until I finally died myself was awful beyond words. Anything, anything to make that ache, that hole, go away for a little while, to find some spot of hope. It wasn't until I was about the age he'd been when I met him that I realized there was something very wrong about a 35 year old getting engaged to a 17 year old...that for a man that age to drop an innocent, vulnerable girl without any kind of decent explanation was really irresponsible and flaky at best. I guess I clung to the memory of him for so long because I had to believe that someone, at sometime, had really cared for me, treated me well....even if maybe that was a lie.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Had a nice walk; lots of Trilliums and Erythronium grandiflorum. My youngest son was so enthusiastic about everything he encountered, the mosses especially.

I need to stop complaining and pining for what isn't, to enjoy what is (and honestly, there's plenty of good stuff if I can quit kvetching or crying long enough to see it), to live in the present....because this is a waste. Also, even the things that get me down have their bright side.

Just being able to miss someone, to wish things were different, to long for their perspective and conversation....At least there is someone to miss, at least I have had the opportunity of having known someone who was so unique that their place cannot be filled or forgotten.

If my bed is empty, there's also a freedom in being able to stretch out without hogging space or disturbing someone else. And very few things are worse than having to sleep every night in a bed with a hostile person that you're afraid of, a person who might elbow or kick you while you sleep, snap at you if you touch them, or suddenly begin yelling at you, or try to force themselves on you. I remember well how I longed to have a restful, unworried, uninterrupted sleep, a sleep where I would not have to be tense with fear. How good it felt when finally, I was able to sleep alone without being harassed or intimidated. There are much, much worse things in life than sleeping alone and I must take care not to ever have those things happen to me again.

Also, I need to start eating. By eating, I mean something other than a 20 oz mocha, a ginger ale, maybe a smoothie, and a KIND bar...possibly something small for dinner. Losing fat and getting muscle is one thing; losing weight due to neglect is another. So, I have resumed eating meat in a serious way (as opposed to the occasional german sausage), fruit...need to start eating veggies again too and lay off the sugar.

Such a nice sunny day...way too nice to waste inside! Going to see if there are any native orchids or other wildflowers blooming yet. :-)

Friday, April 20, 2012

And...oh god...please tell me I am not overhearing a conversation where people are talking about a virus, supposedly incurable according to "conventional doctors" that can "go away" via special diets, naturopathic cures, etc.....which causes people to lose a lot of weight and develop large spots on their face....and who don't want to get tested. Jesus Christ. I am so, so glad to not have to worry about this sort of thing. If I ever get together with anyone, there are going to be shared test results!!! ugh! What is wrong with people!!
Sigh. Some "expert" gardener from Wisconsin is insisting that earthworms in Idaho will eat onion sets and vegetable starts and pull them down into stockpiles of such things. He is advocating annihilation of said earthworms. Never mind that he doesn't live here, that I do, and that I have seen the critters that do uproot or carry away seedlings and yes, entire plants (birds, voles, pocket gophers). Nooooo, it is earthworms. He is the expert. Killlll the earthworms! Whatfuckingever. It pisses me off, but I am not going to continue arguing with an armchair expert on gardening in an area he probably has never even been to. (throwing hands up in exasperation and disgust)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Depressed. I don't even know how to put it into words.

The shawl I was working on is finished now and blocked into shape. The texture of the yarn was mentioned before as being scratchy and unpleasant; this must have been due to something applied to the wool, because after being washed and soaked prior to blocking and then dried, it feels much softer, totally different. Am now starting on another crochet lace scarf, this time in a light brown wool/mohair blend which already feels soft now and will probably only improve.

Still...the new job has set up a nagging within me, not to quit drawing, painting, working with clay. That's my intention anyway...but then I look at my work and the recent stuff is so crappy. It's so self-conscious, feels so contrived. Still, the only way to improve is to practice.

I could not find a good version that didn't have an overenthusiastic audience....sorry.
The new job went surprisingly well. One thing that I realized from it is that I need to be involved in art. The primary job that I have was never intended to be a long term thing. When the cancer scare occurred, there was this clarity of purpose...somehow it faded into the background as the little crises of life took over and began to assume the disguise of being what life was all about.

Until you.

And I have to pick up the threads of life and make them into something worthwhile, something with more purpose than the next paycheck or surviving past this month's bills and responsibilities.

Monday, April 16, 2012

If only I could split a beer right now...can't drink a whole one and drive...and I only want a few sips. The new temp job starts in a little bit..nervous.

Why do I think of you and grow calm, see you and grow nervous?!
That ache....that never really goes away.

But: there are all kinds of things that I need to do and work on. It's so easy to think that finding the right person would be some kind of magical solution, make all the rest of life fall into place. The truth is that sooner or later, the shit we don't work on, all the same fears, issues, problems come right back to haunt us....except that then there's a second person who has to deal with it too and possibly get blamed for stuff that was there long before they were. It doesn't magically go away. It has to be hashed out and worked through and resolved.

I wouldn't wish the stuff I've been dealing with lately on anyone. Well, maybe some of the people who caused some of it....but those people are far away and I hope never to see them again.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Haircut (trim, more accurately- tired of looking like a bushwoman), taxes done (late!), almost done crocheting the blue shawl and took my daughter out for an hour two of girl time (as close as girl time is going to be with me, anyway!). While at a coffee shop, we looked through a picture book there about tattoo art. We giggled for a while over the sort of things people tattoo on their bodies...but some of the black/white art was pretty cool and made me think about doing more single color ink work (on paper).

Now that taxes are crossed off my mental to-do list, I have some schoolwork and the financial aid application (yes, that is late too)...and need to find a place to garden in town, since the community garden beds have all been spoken for already.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Changes...are so hard to make. But the way things have been is just not sustainable. I really, really hope that this helps.

At the very least, I won't have to worry about any more "little talks" that leave me broken for months....or about being scrutinized, monitored, etc.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I like the lyrics of this one better though....not so sad, despite the title!

I couldn't find a lyrics version that would load faster...sorry.
If I can't sleep, I might as well try to offer my thoughts on the subject of empathy. I am going to cop out and use the bulleted list format, however.

  • I feel that it is offensive in the extreme, to say that autistic people do not feel empathy. Because empathy is one of those attributes that is supposed to define humans as being different from animals (I might argue this, but not now), to say that people with autism do not possess a fundamentally human perception and experience sort of implies that we are a little less human than other people.
  • Who is to say what we do or don't feel? Does Baron-Cohen ask us if we feel empathy? It appears that he simply concludes that we don't based on observation and symptomology and our way of relating to the world. If he were instead to simply ask people on the spectrum something like, "Have you ever found yourself experiencing an emotion based on what was happening to or going on with another person or animal?", I am pretty sure he would get very different results. But no. As far as I can tell, this sort of thing happens a lot. People assume things about autistic people based on observation and a lack of empathy on their part.
  • Because, the truth of it is, people tend to have more empathy for other people who are like them. This is exactly why we demonize people we are at war with; by distancing ourselves from them, it is much easier to convince a nation that it's ok to kill those other people- they are not like us, they don't feel, dream, hope, grieve, think like we do. It's just the way things are. I have no idea what it's like to be male. I can try to imagine, but really, it's all speculative and based on asking questions of actual men (please note, this is more than some researchers seem to do!!) and the most compassionate, empathetic man in the world is not going to really be able to understand what it's like to be a woman, however hard he tries, either.
  • I will freely admit that autistic people often have trouble relating to the neurotypical mindset. Less acknowledged is the other side of the equation, which is that neurotypical people have at least as much difficulty, probably more, relating to the thought processes and emotional states of autistic people. We are surrounded and inundated with neurotypical media, role models, etc. We have it pounded into us from an early age, whether we understand it or not. In terms of exposure to the other side, autistic people definitely have the advantage here!
  • In other words, yes: neurotypical people will tend to have more empathy for their own type, and autistic people will have more empathy and understanding for other people on the spectrum, especially since there are fewer of us and there is often the perception on our part of being persecuted or unaccepted by the rest of the world. That people have more empathy for that which they can relate to is inevitable.
  • That doesn't mean we don't try, or that we don't feel empathy, although it may be clumsy, misdirected, very poorly expressed, etc. And be fair- it does in fact work the other way round as well! How many normal people demand eye contact from people who are made very uncomfortable by it? That's not empathy.
  • What people express isn't always what they feel, and or, it isn't always foolproof. For example, let's say that a woman is crying. She could be any of the following: sad, happy, angry, relieved, tired, in pain, afraid, frustrated..... I sometimes think women are more challenging than men to read because women have been taught to squash some of their emotions into more socially acceptable expressions. You hardly ever see a man crying because he's angry, but women do this regularly.
  • In truth, nobody really knows what someone else is thinking, feeling, or experiencing unless they ask or are told. If we did, people wouldn't go to marriage counselors or read books about how to better understand others, or have long, in depth conversations sharing their feelings and thoughts. I think it would be a pretty boring world if other people weren't something of a mystery, if everyone was an open book with absolutely no surprises!
I wrote something about empathy and my continuing disagreement with Simon Baron-Cohen on this issue...but it was poorly written and I found that some other aspies have already delved into the subject and articulated their views on it far more eloquently than I am able to at this time. I reread some of what I wrote about 18 months ago (the other blog, for example) as well as some of my old essays and final papers from college...and it's very evident that my writing skills have deteriorated since then. It could be that, away from college, there's less intellectual stimulation. I try to read interesting, challenging books but there really is no good substitute for discourse with other people, particularly people with rich vocabularies and different perspectives. Or maybe it's other stuff, who knows, probably a combination of things. My mind just feels numb sometimes.....

At any rate, since the recent IQ test, there is solid evidence that I'm not dim witted, but there's nothing as humbling in quite the same way as reading things written by other aspies/autistics. I do not feel qualified or prepared to outdo them on this topic so here are links:

Empathy, mindblindness and theory of mind

What is empathy

On attributing consciousness

Empathy- 5 scenarios

The empathy conundrum


And despite having topped the magic number (why was that so important to me?), I do feel dim by comparison. It's not nice to compare ourselves to others...nor healthy. I grew up in a family where it was all about being superior, about holding one's place, about achieving, about excellence being a foregone conclusion and an expectation, rather than a hope. And I don't feel like I'm good for anything.....I know that it isn't about finding one's place in society, it's about making that place, taking one's rightful position. But I'm lost and I don't have the strength to fight to make that place or to step up to wherever the hell it is I should be.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This was a shitty day. I managed not to get fired (yet). And I did find a temporary job that will pay really well, and possibly another similar temp job. And the crocheted shawl is almost finished.

But I hate the apprehension of possibly being fired hanging over my head. Having to fear being fired is so bad that I have to fight the urge not to precipitate it, just to get it over with so I don't have to be apprehensive anymore! (No, I won't really do that)

And I still am not convinced that you don't hate me. As soon as I write that down, it looks ridiculous. I need to really try not to think about this, not to let it bother me, to just redirect my attention to something else. How out of shape I am, for example. I need to get more exercise...put toe clips on the bicycle or go to the forest service and get some maps of hiking trails and stuff. Exercise does wonders for the mind. Hmmm. Well, I can't do it tomorrow. But soon, anyway. :-P

Monday, April 09, 2012

Sleep would be nice.

Almost done reading The Sociopath Next Door. I concluded right away that my stepfather was/is a sociopath; the book explains him perfectly. Somehow it makes his treatment of me/us more bearable, because now I can see that it wasn't actually personal. The monster (this is not too strong a word) simply enjoyed tormenting other people, animals, whatever he could cause pain to....even flowers. I didn't deserve it any more than any other random person; it was just that- random, and we were a bunch of unlucky kids.
There must be some sort of purpose to my life, some sort of answer to this pain, but I cannot find it tonight, nor do I believe that their is some divine being who can show it to me. I think the more succinct way to phrase it would be that I have been having an existential crisis for the past 15 months and am still coming up dry. I don't believe that the answer it "out there" anyway. Meaning is something that we have to make for ourselves....but i just do not have the strength to do that right now.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Gotta love baby lambs and newborn angora goat kids. They're cute beyond description. Much as I like the alpacas and sheep, there's something about frolicking goat kids that other species can't quite replace. :-) I feel so much calmer and centered after being with animals....even just for a short time.

My friend says that alpacas are stupid. I don't get that impression. She could be right, but I'd rather start from a neutral position, observe intensely, and then come to a conclusion...being ready to rethink that conclusion in the face of new information. My initial impression is that they have a very strong herd instinct, but group think doesn't always equal a lack of intelligence. They appear to be very alert and curious, traits not usually associated with stupidity. They aren't very human oriented and prefer not to be touched, unlike dogs, horses, or other more popular species.

And then, I think of non-verbal autistics who have been assumed to be mentally retarded simply because they didn't communicate or exhibit signs of intelligence that neurotypical people might relate to and identify. Only when they learn to type or communicate somehow is it discovered that they are, in fact, intelligent and much more aware than previously assumed. Carly Fleischmann, Amanda Baggs...and others....they're very lucky to have had the opportunity to communicate their intelligence. How many more have been shunted away into institutions and allowed to languish there?

So even if we can't see intelligence in an obvious way, even if we can't perceive it at first glance, we cannot assume that a person or animal is slow or unintelligent. There has got to be a way to determine intelligence when a person or animal isn't human oriented, cooperative or communicative.
Was tentatively scheduled to help shear alpacas; as it turns out, no alpaca shearing this weekend, but we (daughter and I) will still get to visit my shearer friend and play with fiber, etc. :-)

Friday, April 06, 2012

Things I have not eaten: crabs, lobsters, scallops, any sort of seafood other than shrimp. Shrimp is not my favorite, so I haven't tried the others. Maybe someday...when I'm feeling brave!

Speaking of fish, that fish head that I drew later got cooked up for the dogs. We came home yesterday and the head was no longer in the dog dish. I was a little surprised that they'd apparently devoured the entire thing, bones and all. Later, I heard my son yelp from upstairs. My little dog had hidden the partly eaten fish head in his bed!! That is so gross, but undeniably funny at the same time. lol No more fish heads for the dogs!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

I just thought of something, of work I can do to make up the hours I lost at my job. However, I have some misgivings about this idea. Hmm. Will call tomorrow and look into it a little more.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

This is a picture of the same scarf, blocked into shape. It is shown still pinned to the cardboard I blocked it on. The wooden thing to the right of it is the spinning wheel! Not all spinning wheels look traditional anymore. Anyway, in order to block a newly made crocheted or knitted item, you soak it in hot sudsy water for about 20 minutes, lift it up gently, cradling its weight (wool is fragile when wet) and then you place it on a piece of cardboard or whatever and you straighten it out, stretching it to the correct shape and proportion, pin it in that position and let it dry that way. When it has dried, it will stay that shape.

They cut my hours at work. Not a lot. Only a little. But I was just barely making ends meet anyway and they aren't going to meet at all, not even close.

And my hair is out of control. I am so tempted to cut it all off. There's no reason to try to look pretty. But...I don't feel like having short hair, for whatever reason, nor can I afford a haircut, so for now, it stays.

I'm so scared. The amount of hours I am going to be working won't cover much more than the gas. Maybe they're trying to induce me to quit. I haven't done anything wrong. I not a shiny star sort of person. Not everyone needs to be a shiny star. The world needs all kinds of people, not only the shiny, sparkly ones. But as with you, it's so hard not to take this as a reflection of my worth or lack of it.

Monday, April 02, 2012

I'm feeling OK, carrying laundry back to the house in the dark, when your words come to me again, echoing through my mind...."still would not be...." and I spiral down into the same old pain, all over again. And I am left raw and hollow and aching.

All I know, as I trudge back for another load to carry home, is that I don't ever want to let anyone near me again. How could I have been so foolish? No, I don't ever want to love again. Just no.
The scarf has been blocked and is drying overnight. The difference in appearance is amazing! Will try to remember to post a picture tomorrow.

Been washing some black CVM fleece. CVM stands for California Variegated Mutant, a really odd name for a breed of sheep if you ask me! The wool is fairly long stapled and fine and quite dark. I really, really like it, my sheep shearer friend hates it, which was why I didn't feel bad about choosing a good portion of that when she told me to select some wool to take home. I love this stuff....but then, I haven't spun it yet either. I was washing some of this wool, in net bags on the soak/spin cycle in the community washing machine. We have scheduled times, and it was my turn. The wool doesn't felt if you wash it this way, because it doesn't get agitated in that cycle. Agitation will cause it to felt into dreadlocks or doughnut shaped disks at the bottom of the washing machine! I typically have to run each batch of fiber through the soak/spin cycle three times in order to get it fairly clean, sometimes guilty of erring on the side of caution and running it through again if there's any doubt as to whether it's clean enough... So I put the fleece in to soak, ran back to the house to get laundry for the other, fully functional machine and do a couple of things...and came back to find someone else's stuff in the washer and my wool was gone!! The dryer was running. Oh my god NO....yes. She did. One of the other residents put my beautiful fleece in the dryer, where it had flown out of the mesh bag and was flying all around in there. Egad. I got pretty upset with her...I hope it did not felt (put it back into the washer again after removing her stuff rather emphatically with much ranting). She is a single woman, I have 5 kids with me at least some of the time. We have the same number of laundry slots and yet she is constantly pulling my stuff out of the wash and using my time. Ugh! Not OK! I don't think she'll do it again...this week anyway.

If all the CVM fleece comes out OK, I should have enough of it to make a sweater. Meanwhile, am working on a large and complicated shawl using the blue wool yarn that I won as part of the door prize at the Post Falls Spin-In (fiber festival for handspinners). I love the color of this yarn, it is so pretty...and I really hate how it feels and handles. It's scratchy and unpleasant. Hopefully this is due to residual dye or whatever and will be resolved once the finished item is washed.

And...I'm currently reading this book. Ahem. Some of this is altogether too familiar.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

I don't have a lot to say tonight. I am alive. This situation hurts me, but I am determined to survive it. Toradol hurts, too. stress-->muscle tension-->pain and more stress-->more muscle tightness-->too much pain-->nausea and vomiting-->Toradol-->no more pain except at the injection site and no more nausea

Because....pain and nausea together are just too much. Yes i am a wuss, oh well!

I need to figure out what to do with my life, if I should continue on in college and if so, what sort of a degree is the goal, so as to avoid taking unnecessary classes. I am still really into art, but haven't been putting any time into it. I had this idea that maybe I should work solely in monotones until I get tones, shading, etc down satisfactorily....and then start working in color again.

I did however purchase three salmon heads yesterday (that was after the Toradol) two Atlantic salmon and one Steelhead. Their faces are so expressive and appealing to me. I like to play with the heads and pretend they're talking, etc...oh my god, did I just admit that in public?? :-)

Edited to add: Forgot- the purpose of buying the heads was to draw them. Amusing as they are, I didn't intend only to use them as puppets. :-P