Thursday, May 31, 2012

Maybe I could take 12 credits in a semester, if I were able to focus. Unfortunately, my neuropsych eval has to be completed before I can get on any kind of a medication that would do that, because otherwise, the attention/focusing part of the test will not be accurate. That is 2.5 weeks away, if I am lucky, if the other paperwork and testing results from my psychologist (may she rest in peace) are found.

I wish that I were more functional. I wish that I were whatever it is I'd have to be.... I need to work and make more money than I am making right now, but these little 4 hours shifts are still involving enough anxiety that I hole up in the bathroom (or want to, really badly) and turn the lights off, try to press myself into a corner until I feel calm again. It doesn't work very well. If the library will hire me, I could work full time without freaking, and there are no sharp bladed items here (current site of internet). I have to ask them how that volunteer app is going.....

If I take 9 credits per fall and spring semester, and 6 per summer semester (easy classes for summer since those tend to be condensed), I could possibly finish a four year degree (counting the credits I have now) in slightly over 2 years. It seems like the 2 year degree is taking forever to finish, but considering the lack of any high school at all and the resultant make-up work and pre-reqs this entailed, etc.....maybe it's not so bad? Except, I had to pay for that and drive to it, unlike high school.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's always been there, this pane of glass between other people and I. I say "people" rather than "world", because as long as I was with nature, with animals, plants, my imagination, I wasn't truly alone. Animals especially, small children sometimes, there's no barrier. Early on, I realized it was there, and I tried to coax people over, past the glass, to see the things I saw, tried to explain. They wouldn't listen. I grew tired of pounding on the glass, of watching them have fun without me. Animals were better, more trustworthy; plants were more predictable. Sometimes I could get people to come to the other side of the glass and if we tried really hard, some of what I was saying would get through, and vice versa. But as they were surrounded by people who were easier to hear and I was a bit odd, they tended not to stay for long. There were times when a particularly special person managed to find a phone or a little window. I cherished those people. But sooner or later, they tended to tell me that the glass wasn't really there. Sometimes they got mad at me because it was there. It might have felt like a prison if it weren't so pretty and quiet on this side. The other side of the glass looks wildly chaotic and out of control and the priorities appear to be entirely different. Still, it gets lonely.

Then there were lovers. Sometimes there was a little window, sometimes the glass was thicker than ever. It isn't much fun to try to make love to someone through a pane of glass, even with a window. And they said the glass wasn't there first. Later on, they would see it was there and then they'd be angry with me, as if it were my doing. I was used to feeling isolated. I spent a lot of time thinking about the man who had found the largest window before my parents slammed it shut. I always wondered if that window would have been large enough for one of us to climb through.

One day I turned to talk to you, and the glass looked very thin. I was surprised; I could hear you easily and everything you said made perfect sense instead of sounding all mumbly. I had already come up with a different theory, with an idea for heading off in the direction opposite the glass, but this was too arresting to walk away from. I didn't have to shout. I didn't have to strain to hear. You were interesting and funny. And...the glass wasn't there. It was just gone. It was like you were right on this side of the world. Maybe I imagined it wasn't there. Maybe it was too thin to see. Who knows? They said I wasn't safe and they put up a big wall of concrete there, said you wanted it. I caught a glimpse of you behind a section of thick, cloudy glass and you said yes, concrete, please quit trying to break the concrete wall down... I miss you so much. I hate the concrete.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why? I know why. It is because you felt right, right in a way that nobody else ever has. It isn't the kind of right that means perfection or flawlessness, or the kind that means everything is easy or convenient. But what it is, is the kind of right that is as inescapable, as definite and concrete and undeniable, as anything could be. I can't run from it. I can't lie and say it isn't there. I can't cover it up with someone else. And I cannot stop my heart from crying over you.
Sometimes when I see you, I wonder why I have gotten so upset about this, how on earth this thing got blown so far into crazyland, beyond the realm of being able to handle things calmly and rationally. Sometimes I look at you and I ask myself, This one? Why this one? What on earth is so remarkable about this one that I can't at least try to find a different one, one that will talk to me or at least look at me and acknowledge my existence? But that isn't fair. Certainly part of this dysfunction has to be due to my own flaws and insecurities. It isn't your fault that I was a veritable minefield of pain and trauma.

Still: why you? I backtrack through my mind, through the path of time. I was always mentally aware that you were attractive to me, but I had put up a barrier, a wall of defense, right away. Occasionally, very occasionally, I watched you, covertly, only for a second or two, and pretended to myself that I hadn't. It was like watching a butterfly flit through one's field of vision, ever so briefly and then forgotten. Then one day, you called and I talked to you. I hate phone calls. I had hardly spoken to you before. I was surprised to find that I had enjoyed talking to you, that there had been some sort of a connection, of finding oneself on the same page, that I'd ended up talking much longer than I would have expected to. Something flickered briefly on the horizon of my mind. I brushed it away. My partner was jealous I'd talked to you for half an hour. I said he was being silly....and I believed that.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Last life drawing class until fall or winter was tonight. The drawings I made tonight were considerably better than the ones I made a month ago. I am ashamed to admit that these classes are the only time I've been drawing at all: 2.5 hours a week. If I were to schedule time and subject matter to draw, no excuses, no having someone else schedule it out of existence, imagine the kind of improvement that could be made. Clearly this needs to be a priority, even if only in a small way. It is unlikely that I will be able to draw people in the nude between now and the next classes, however there is ample opportunity to draw hands and feet, which are surprisingly difficult to do justice to. I can draw my own extremities. Actually...I could draw the rest of myself too....nah. I know it is standard fare for artists to do nude self portraits but I am just not comfortable with that idea!

Went partway up the hiking trail today; had children along so kept it easy and truncated. We saw the Lomatium dissectums again, now mostly in seed, penstemons, larkspurs, the small yellow lomatiums, and a lot of ferns that appear to either be in a state of flowering or to have the haploid and diploid generations both present simultaneously. Ferns are sort of confusing that way. There were a lot of others...oh yeah- there was a plant I haven't seen before. If I make it up that far tomorrow, I'll key it out.

And...I found out that I was unexpectedly scheduled to work today, after I was late to the work I didn't know I had. I just had a talk with her a week and a half ago about not being able to work on Mondays because of trauma therapy, and she said OK, and that this would result in my working fewer days and hours. Perhaps I am a wuss, but I do not want to come directly to work right after going over that kind of stuff. For one thing, I need time to process and integrate what we went over in therapy in order to make the most of that time and really benefit from it. If I wait until later, I will have forgotten a lot of it by then. Secondly and more importantly, I don't want to rush to work without a minute to spare, still feeling vulnerable, freshly reminded of painful things, with my soul feeling raw, tender and sometimes aching. I've already been having anxiety at work, having days when it is all I can do to fight the tears back and to get through the day...but I haven't left early because of it. Coming to work right after therapy is where I draw the line. Were it a few hours afterwards, I would be OK with it, but that is not the case. Frankly, this job is beginning to cost more in gas and stress than it is worth to me, particularly at 8 hours per week. It is a dishwashing job and I cannot cope. What does that say about me? What can I do instead that would be more compatible with my schedule, abilities, children, etc?

I am beginning to feel that some of the problems I am having raising my children are due to not having any family close by. There is nothing to be done for this...but I try to visualize what my childhood with my dad would have been like without the huge extended family we had, which included my mother's family, who stepped in to help when she took off. I don't know if he could have done it. I don't know how we would have fared. No grandparents, no aunts and uncles? No great grandparents or cousins or family friends? Incomprehensible. I cannot imagine that...but aside from my sister and brother in law, and family who comes to visit from back east, that is the reality for my kids.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My sister and her family are visiting. It is great to see them all...and man, have we been doing a lot of cooking! I've been eating almost as much per meal as I would usually eat in an entire day (if you don't count the chocolate). It's so nice to have and to be around family, although perhaps one appreciates family more when interaction is a choice. And it was also good motivation for cleaning the kitchen and living room area really well; it looks very nice. Also, my brother got married recently, and apparently his wife, (I believe she is a forester?) asked for art relating to trees... I am in luck here! Was feeling fairly sheepish about not being able to afford to buy her anything, so this is a relief. I will give her my best effort. Because they live on the other side of the country, I don't see my family very often (except for my full sister, who lives in Moscow). I haven't seen my brother in years, since he was in his early teens and haven't met his new bride. She looks like she has a kind heart, like she adores him, and seems very much down to earth.

Anyway, nothing deep to write about tonight...need to hit the sack.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I feel sad tonight. However there is no point in worrying because when I think about it, how on earth could this situation get much worse? I suppose it could...but really, there is nothing I can do about it. And that's what is so frustrating. Unlike many women, I am not content to simply gripe and bitch, I want to fix the problem. Griping and bitching is for when I can't fix it or am trying to find out how to fix it. Ha.

Anyway...I have to move in a month, so have been trying to pare down stuff to what we truly enjoy. It is so hard to shake off the subsistence "this is still usable!" mentality. If I am not using it, it is not usable to me, so it is only taking up space. I should reduce the number of books we have....alas, this is painful despite the sheer mass and weight they comprise. It is much easier to eliminate excess clothing since I only wear a few favorite items repeatedly anyway! If it is not something that I am happy to see in the drawer, something that gets reached for regularly, it goes. The children's books are one category that should be gone through though, with the children. Also there is a lot of sci-fi that is not going to get read... All the extra stuff just makes more cleaning and detracts from stuff that I would like to see and time with which to do more enjoyable things (like bitching and griping online, lol).

What else...oh yes: I get to go to the Pacific Northwest Quaker Women's Theology Conference. There are a few details (what to do with my son, dogs, and goldfish while I am gone) to wrap up, otherwise it looks like a go.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I need to try to quit writing depressing stuff. This bible verse has been rolling around in my mind for the past day or two...I think it might be from the book of Job: "That which I feared has come upon me". I don't think one needs to believe in a literal interpretation of the bible or to think it is divinely inspired in order to find value in it here and there. As ancient literature, some of what is in there is timeless and relates to all people regardless of faith. Let's see....I'll find it..

"For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me, and that which I was afraid of has come unto me" (Job 3:25)

Honestly, that seems to be the story of my life. I think then of the philosophy espoused by some of my friends who are into New Age stuff, about how you visualize the stuff you want, believe in it, act as if it's going to happen, and it comes true. Sounded as if it were spoken by a scam artist ready to deliver a pitch to buy his book or attend his educational seminar to change! your! life!, so I pretty much discounted it. I've always thought that to get what you want, you have to visualize it, map out your goals into a step by step format, and then start working on it, trying not to get discouraged by setbacks. Notice how the people who say this sort of thing are always wanting to sell you on the things most desired and most difficult to get. The perfect (fill in the blank multiple times). Televangelists are another place where you see those wild promises without a guarantee.

However...I think that in this case, there made be some validity to this idea. Maybe when we get all wrapped up in and paranoid over what we're afraid of, it comes upon us not because of some sort of inscrutable unseen mystical law, but because we are unwittingly doing things to cause it to happen. Why would we do that? Why? Maybe because by focusing on what we are afraid of rather than what we would like to happen instead, our behavior is such that we act as if it is about to happen or already has. does. When small tremors of the dreaded thing or event start up, we hone right in on those. It gets worse. Then it happens and we're horrified and we say to ourselves, "I knew it! I knew this would happen! This is just what I was afraid of!" (At least, that's what I say to myself, while beating myself over the head for my stupidity in letting whatever it was happen to me).

Another example: I am phobic of snakes. I don't hate them, but they frighten me badly. I will freak over a dirty rope in the grass, or a black hose, or a curvy stick on a hiking trail. It is embarrassing. A rustle in the grass? Snake! So when we go hiking, or if I'm in a garden or anywhere where there is any chance of seeing a snake and I am accompanied by several boys who would love to play with a snake or at least see one, who do you think sees the most snakes, and sees them first? Yeah, me. I see more snakes than any person I know. This is because unlike the others, I am hyper-vigilant about snakes and they are never far from my mind. Rocks and boulders on a sunny day when the ground is still warm? Might be snakes out sunning themselves. My eyes and senses are highly attuned to exactly the sorts of places that a snake might be at any given time. Meanwhile, I don't get to see nearly as many spiders or bees or wasps as folks who are afraid of them, and that makes me kind of sad.

So my job is to quit hyper-focusing on stuff I am afraid of, on things that hurt, on looking for tiny, miniscule signs of impending pain, rejection, etc. I need to stop thinking that way.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nothing eventful. Busy day, too much drama, didn't feel like much of a day off. I am doing better in the life drawing class; used the MP3 player and let my mind fly with the music while I drew. This had much better, less uptight results than usual. There is about one minute of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" that is just superb; when it plays in my head via memory it just repeats that minute or two...screaming, wailing guitars....Being a perseverating sort of person, I don't really get tired of it, particularly since one has to listen to at least 14 minutes of the song before that part. Anyway. The model we had this time (and last week as well) has such graceful hands and a very interesting but somewhat difficult to draw face. She always holds her hands very gracefully, too. Too bad I'm no good at drawing hands yet! Since almost anyone is willing to let you draw their hands or feet without awkwardness, this isn't much of an issue. No idea who we get to draw next week.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Having a very hard time coming up with any variety in terms of decent things to eat when not at home. Mostly have been eating nuts (primarily hazelnuts and almonds- sometimes toast the hazelnuts- no salt added), kale chips (a bit spendy), chocolate, dried fruit (sparingly and it has to be unsweetened which is often not easy to find), occasionally a little cheese or fresh fruit.


  • Trail mix with beef or buffalo jerky, nuts, maybe sunflower or pumpkin seeds and small amounts of dried fruit or berries. NO peanuts or raisins!!
  • Kale chips, made at home.
  • Vegetable chips or chunks, dried. For example, slices of seasoned and cooked, then dried winter squash or sweet potato. There are veggie chips available commercially but usually they are deep fried like potato chips.
  • Dried smoked salmon
  • A mix of toasted and seasoned (with nutritional yeast?) nuts and seeds. Again, no peanuts!
Son and his dog at the top of Mickinnick. He took pictures of me as well, but some people are just not photogenic. At least, I hope that's the case and that I don't always look so dorky!
This is a Lomatium dissectum. For the sake of context, I've been looking for a "chocolate lomatium" (common name) for years, unsuccessfully. I have seen them in leaf and in seed, but never in bloom, so this was very exciting. I might go back to get a few seeds (just a few) later on. When I was a botany major, Lomatiums were of special interest. There is still a lot to be learned about them, especially in terms of classification.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mickinnick trail is totally different in the summer compared to winter, particularly at the top. The last time I saw the last half mile, it looked as if it were just an undulating expanse of snow punctuated by occasional trees and rocks. Apparently I was walking on top of all sorts of fairly large shrubs and lightweight trees (alders) without even realizing it. We (son + dogs) had a good long hike. Once we can do this with a minimum of fatigue or soreness (easily in other words), the plan is to switch to more challenging hikes such as Scotchman's Peak, Beehive Lakes, etc. Went to Lost Lake last Sunday. Man, what a letdown that was (picture a giant mud puddle, a couple of feet deep, tan, muddy color). Next time we go somewhere new, I will google for it first to get a general idea of the desirability of said hike. There was an affordable and highly interesting place for rent at the Eureka Center, and the Eureka Center also has potential work, so looking for Eureka Rd was part of Sunday's mission, but we never did find it. After looking it up and seeing just how much farther than Lost Lake it freaking way! Not sure if it's still for rent anyway, but living in a yurt sounded fun (until winter maybe?). We found some really cool plants on Mickinnick, will post pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tried a small amount of wheatgrass juice while being trained how to make it. It tasted more or less like what I would expect if I squeezed out a bunch of fresh grass clippings. I eat spinach, kale, and other broad leaved plants. If I were meant to consume grass, I'd have four stomachs and a tail! :-/
Should hike before blogging, not after. Fresh air and exercise always helps. :-)
This is really difficult. I know the things that need to be done, that I need to apply my energies toward, but find myself so debilitated sometimes, then feel like a failure, which isn't exactly conducive towards progress. But...I passed the class with an A, and now will attempt the math class again...maybe. Small goals. I know- I will write a to-do list/goal list. This has worked really well in the past when I felt overwhelmed. You write down goals and then break them down into manageable steps, and if necessary, those into smaller, daily steps.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My manager's been changing my hours around like crazy, and in my typical aspiness, this drove me nuts, mostly because it was change. I have been bitching and griping about it for the past week and a half. However...I realized tonight that I much prefer the shift she has switched me to. It is calmer, quieter, has much less exposure to the guy who is triggering rage, and there are very few co-workers around on this shift. I know about closing already from my prior job; it's essentially the same thing with different details. I think that if only I could get her to reduce the days per week that I'd be working, so as to have one day per week free for appts, etc, I will actually prefer this shift greatly to the one that I had.

Also it would allow me time in the day to go hiking with the dogs before I did today. I saw three garter snakes on the trail in the space of an hour! I don't wish them any harm but seeing them always scares me. Maybe I'm afraid of inadvertently stepping on one and having it try to bite me. :-/ If I get an earlier start, before the rocks are warm, there won't be so many of them sunning themselves.

Sad. I will keep swimming, swimming, struggling...upstream. But what assurance do I have that when the end of this time has elapsed, I will not find myself confronted with the cold, unbreachable wall of a dam? I don't. There's not really any hope and I am exhausted already....but still, I must swim on, because what else is there to do?

But even when things are very dark, when I feel broken, I think of some of the funny things you've said and can't help laughing or at least smiling.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I got an A in my Abnormal Psych class!! Yay! :-) This has brought my GPA up to a 2.97... I think it needs to be 3.0 to get off of academic probation, but I'm not sure. 3 hundredths away, really? Still, I'm very happy to have gotten an A rather than a B!
I just bought more tomato, kale and lettuce plants than I have containers to plant them in...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Terribly grateful to the librarian who tipped me off as to how to get in there, employment wise: you work as a volunteer first. I spend sizable amounts of time there anyway.

Have been thinking....perhaps the reason that guy doesn't like me is that for all practical purposes, I am not interested in men. You are the exception; I have no idea whether I would find them attractive if I didn't feel the way I do. In any case the end result is the same- I am a single woman who doesn't treat men with deference and as potential mates. If I find them decent and worthy of respect, then I treat them with respect and am friendly. I do occasionally check out women...fleetingly. Maybe these things show and he dislikes me for them.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The simple truth is that I'm a bad employee. I don't handle interpersonal conflict well, particularly when it doesn't get handled and I am expected to just deal with it.

I don't know...I did well enough when I worked at the library at the college. I was fast, loved my work, was meticulous about it, and being perfectionist about it was normal among my co-workers. In fact, several of them were worse than I was about that. And I loved the categorizing aspect of it.

I guess that right now I feel that I am not good for anything or anyone and that really hurts.

Blue, but I somehow got through another day of work without getting fired. I need to find another job, stat.

Found the paleo blog I had mentioned previously: here

No legumes. Huh. That, I did not know. And I should probably eat more meat. Thinking...what did I eat yesterday? A handful of toasted hazelnuts, a latte, a roasted eggplant, half a dark chocolate bar, an orange, 2 slices of munster cheese, a ginger ale (bad girl! But I was stressed/upset and felt a bit queasy, so it was sort of a pre-emptive ginger ale), guacamole with blue corn chips. I roasted some yams and sweet potatoes but then was too full to eat them after the eggplant...meant to have one for breakfast today but forgot, alas. Yes, that is right- I will eat cold roasted sweet potatoes for breakfast. In fact, truth be told I will eat them in hand right from the skin, sort of like a banana...not when people might be looking though!! If only rutabagas were tasty cold and could be eaten from the skin like that.... green veggies yesterday? Need to find a way to take green veggies with me to town; maybe some salad in a container. The thing is that I don't like lettuce much, so it would have to be spinach, kale and other things...

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

It is becoming harder and harder to keep my job. My hours have been switched from 5 hours, 3 days a week to 4 hours, 3 days a week and now is changing to 3 hours, 4 days a week. The cost of gas to travel to and from work will eat up at least half of paycheck- that is only to and from work, not driving anywhere else. Worse, working 4 days a week will mean that I have to come to work immediately after my therapy, trauma therapy. I could try to reschedule the therapy, but there is the added problem of losing on of the two vital days on which I attend to various medical, therapy and other appointments for the children and myself. Frankly, those two days aren't quite enough but I attempt to confine appointments to them. Yes, there are a lot of appointments. Welcome to the world of early intervention, getting your kids the services they need, and basic parenting.

More than that, there is a male co-worker who seems to be of the women-are-chattel mentality. He treats me as if I'm his own personal bitch, to order around, criticize, and demean. I haven't survived a lifetime of that sort of thing to put with it from him and I'm not taking it. He walks around like a Neanderthal, hulking and glowering at me. He never asks anything nicely, doesn't say thank you, he's just so rude! If it weren't for that single patch of blue, in a sky full of dark clouds, shimmering in my mind like a mirage...he is so awful that he triggers all the old stuff and almost makes me forget that not all men are knuckle dragging bullies.

I don't think he realizes, don't know if anyone there sees, that I'm like a stick of dynamite, pent up with pain, outrage, hurt and anger...and this guy is flinging matches at me constantly. It takes all the self control I have and the MP3 player, not to blow up on him. It is so hard to remember that he didn't inflict all that stuff on me, because he feels like exactly the sort of man who would. I wish he would leave me alone and just attempt to be civil. Oh, wait: they don't teach men that in northern Idaho. Ugh!

I feel like such a poor representative of what a Quaker is supposed to be, non-Theist or not.

How, how am I supposed to live without the thought of you in my mind?

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

My new doctor is into the Paleo diet thing. He has a website about this...haven't looked it up quite yet. This is the general direction my eating habits have been heading anyway, although I still have issues with some of the premises behind the idea while agreeing with many of the conclusions (yes, backwards, I know).

I don't profess to be a botany expert. I know a fair amount about edible plants, plants I have grown and would like to grow and some about the native plants here...not nearly enough about any of these. So without meaning to sound like a snob...several people I have met who are either into this sort of thing or are uber-health foody (which is to say, even more extreme than I am, which is saying something), don't seem to know beans about botany and basic plant family trees. This would be OK if they weren't striking a lot of foods off their lists of acceptable items based on mistaken relation status. For example, despite the names, coffee beans and cocoa beans are in no way legumes, despite being called beans. Buckwheat is a dicot, while wheat and all true grains are monocots. So yes, buckwheat is gluten free and not a grain, neither are amaranth or quinoa. Not sure about teff- I'll have to find out. These are all seeds which are used as grains. To explain further, all plants which grow from seeds (i.e. not ferns, mosses, liverworts, etc) can be classified as either monocot or dicot. Monocots have one seed leaf, dicots have two. This is the most basic differentiation before you proceed any farther on keying a plant out. Monocots and dicots have a lot of differences, but basically, all grains are monocots, as are all plants of the lily family, Liliaceae, including for example onions and garlic and daffodils. Pine trees are monocots as well. When in doubt, look at the leaves: monocots always have parallel leaf veins (example, tulips) whereas dicots have more of a webbed or branching pattern on the leaves, (maple leaves). Buckwheat is from the family Polygonaceae and is closely related to sorrel and rhubarb- all dicots. So when people say that buckwheat has gluten because it's related to wheat....well, it just makes my brain want to cry.

That rant aside (sorry!)....not very long ago, many of the same plants we eat hadn't been bred for the kind of size that we are accustomed to today. Fruits in particular were smaller, probably many of the root crops were as well. What this means is that if one were to eat a pound of apple today and a pound of apple 400 years ago, the pound of apple in the past would have quite a lot more skin and fiber in proportion to pulp. The same is likely true of anything else we would eat the peels or fiber of. When you must eat 5 apples to equal one the size found in stores today, there is going to be a lot more peel but also far more of whatever nutrients are in or just under the peel. By breeding for maximum size in vegetables, we've been depriving ourselves of both fiber and vitamins and god only knows what else. We could eat exactly the same amounts of roughly the same food as someone ate a thousand years ago and we are not going to be getting the same things from it, even if it's been grown very conscientiously. Our plant foods have changed dramatically in the last 200 years alone. I don't know that it's possible to replicate what was eaten a very, very long time ago. The plants are simply not the same unless we go back to the ancient, primitive forms. This concerns me. By overbreeding our food so that it can be high graded, are we making colon cancer (and god knows what else) more likely? Is there any practical way to determine what was actually eaten in ancient times and whether our modern equivalent is at all comparable to it?

Long day. Stress. Going to start applying at other places, places more conducive to a calm and unworried state of mind.


Edited to change "clam" to "calm". A clam state of mind, eh? Haha, I suppose that'd be relatively calm..

My turn to draw tonight instead of being drawn. I am so out of practice, it's embarrassing. Still, I ended up with one drawing that was reasonably decent. Nothing worthy of being hung, by any means, but considering an almost total lack of experience figure drawing....


  • I was surprised at how shy/embarrassed I felt about drawing the model. When I was modeling, I felt so exposed at first, so was really a struggle...but I reminded myself that this was art, that many artists had modeled in their student years. I thought of Georgia O'Keeffe. It didn't really occur to me that it might be almost as awkward for the artists who were drawing me!
  • The person I was drawing wasn't someone I would ever consider attractive. I love the form of the male body and actually find it most interesting than the female form, but for whatever reason, looking at and drawing some random guy would not have been my choice of subject matter. Maybe it's that I have a generalized rejection/stay away/and don't even think about sex! thing going for nearly all men right now. In any case, I confess that I did not at first respect and appreciate our model.
  • However, as I worked that began to change. I know that it's hard to be there under the spotlight with all your flaws exposed. Also, I began to notice that feet and hands really are attractive body parts, but very difficult to do justice to. I can't seem to keep fingers from looking like shapeless sausages. :-/Luckily I can draw my own feet, or my children's feet or hands for practice.
  • And...the human body is so vulnerable looking! Even on a man, the angles and muscles are offset by the softness of the's like this amazing juxtaposition of strength and vulnerability blending into one another seamlessly. I have come to the conclusion that the human body, any human body, is beautiful, sacred and to be honored and respected. Prior to tonight I would probably have said that everyone has beautiful bones, that our organs and physiology and cells and inner workings are beautiful, but the outer form, not so much for the majority of us. Certainly some forms are probably more appealing than others...but there is something precious about the human body that is common to us all.
  • ...including mine. I should take better care of it. More to the point though, all too often it hasn't been treated with the sort of respect and kindness it deserved by people who claimed to love me. I don't know if I'll have a partner at some future point in time but if I do, that person will have to honor and respect me, not treat me like a living object. I am not ever tolerating that again. Because what I saw today is that we don't have to be drop dead gorgeous to possess a beauty in our own right, to have worth. One doesn't have to have that elusive perfection in order to be worthy of appreciation, to be lovable.
  • After all, haven't I said before, so many times already, that what makes us unique and irreplaceable are our weaknesses, our little flaws, quirks and variances? Otherwise everyone would have to be generic in order to have value and that's just silly (and so boring).

Sunday, May 06, 2012

It occurs to me that I might be idealizing my new dog a little bit. That I tend to idealize anything or anyone new which looks like something or someone which seems to hold promise for positive future interactions, hopes, etc. That sometimes, I idealize a lot.

Also it occurs to me that this might be a natural and healthy part of bonding or hmmm...what would be the word to use here when this phenomenon is applied to non-living things such as an activity which has just been started in. I think that this period of what I would call intense interest is necessary in order to overcome setbacks, particularly early on when they would be the most discouraging and likely to result in a cessation of the activity or association with the person, animal or plant etc.

What brings this to mind is a documentary I watched today on mammals and mothering. A variety of animals and various mothering strategies and styles were shown. Some animals involve only mother-offspring bonding, others have mother-father-offspring bonding, while others have various forms of community bonding which may or may not include close (first degree) relatives of the offspring. The commonality for all these is that whoever bonds with that offspring, whether we are looking at a group of elephant matriarchs, a species of mice in which the father mothers the offspring in almost every way he can short of nursing them, a group of vicunas, or various simple mother-child pairs, the ones who bond undergo this period of enthrallment. They are fascinated by the newborn. They caress, stare, smell, lick, reach out to it. Almost all of their attention is devoted to this new arrival and in animal societies with group bonding, the group clusters around the new mother and her baby.

This is as it must be. Think of what a pain a newborn is, what a toll it exacts and for animals, how much of their own safety the mother and caregivers is endangered by having something so small and defenseless and not nearly fast enough to keep up. Human parents undergo serious sleep deprivation for the first year or two and then have to invest at least a decade and a half of their life until that child is anywhere close to being able to support itself even partway. Would they do that if they hadn't looked at that red, crying, squirming, helpless creature and decided it was the most perfect thing they'd ever laid eyes on? Probably not.

Done with the FAFSA. Although my GPA will have come up by taking this class (failed it last spring), I don't know that it will be improved enough to get financial aid again, but it's worth a try. What I should do is to take summer classes. They are cheaper. It is highly tempting to sign up for the same old math class that I can't seem to pass...but without knowing what out situation will be like over the summer, why risk wasting the money? That class requires extensive computer time, which is why I failed it in the fall of 2010...and spring 2011...well, if I didn't pass the Abnormal Psych class, I sure as hell couldn't pass the math class.....

So for the summer, Western Art History...failed that one in 2010 when I couldn't get to college anymore. God, this is depressing to think about...but replacing the F's with A's and B's should not only remedy the situation, albeit gradually, but then I won't have those failing grades haunting me, mocking me, anymore. Depending on what classes I'd need for the 4 year degree, I could Developmental Psychology this summer. That wouldn't replace any bad grades (have never taken it before) but except for Western Art and the math class, there aren't any classes I can take over the summer that would.

I think about my son, some of the accusations he made. I can see now clearly that he was just manipulating, making drama, making stuff up with no thought to what the costs to innocent parties might be. At the time I simply didn't care what he said, it didn't alter my opinion of you. But looking at it from other angles...had his claims been taken seriously, the consequences could have been bad. And then I wonder what on earth he said or will say about me, what he might try next, how he might try to exploit a situation that's already unpleasant enough.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Done (I think) with the abnormal psych class. I should get at least a B out of it. Trying to decide what to do for the Fall semester. If I'm going to go for a 4 year psych degree and learn how to do PLAY therapy for example...I need to first do some research, possible job shadowing, and figure out what is required academically and how to transfer to the other college.

Realistically I don't think I can make a living doing art, at least not right away, definitely cannot support myself with my current job, can't farm without at least being able to lease land and significant input before a profit would be realized. I loved this kind of work before and was pretty upset when it didn't work out due to scheduling conflicts and other issues....and not liking the way the agency I worked for was treating the clients...or me. I don't typically have a lot of problems with one on one social interactions, particularly with people I can relate to in some way. So it bears at least some looking into, because medical stuff typically requires chemistry and advanced math. I still miss some of the people I used to work with...other than farm work, it was the most personally satisfying job I've had. On the other hand, I cannot afford to invest two more years of school into this and have it not pan out...I need to be really sure about this before jumping into it.

Friday, May 04, 2012

A picture of Hamilton and I...we're both blurry and it doesn't show his true appeal, but still, that's him.
I am beginning to worry though, about his hips. 25% of Newfoundlands and 19% of German Shepherds have hip dysplasia; those aren't very good odds for him. He is young and there are things that can be done to reduce the severity and delay the onset, if his hips are of this type. He would have to get an X ray to know for sure. Either way, I am committed to him...knowing that his hips are going to crap out on him wouldn't change much except for preventative measures, which I'll do just in case. Low protein diet, keeping him lean, not over exercising him, not neutering (mostly because neutered dogs gain weight), no high impact activity such as jumping out of a truck bed, sleeping in a warm place with plenty of soft cushioning under him...all these are fairly easy things to do. There is something about the set of his hips, the low musculature of his hind legs, that worries me, reminds me of old Saint Bernard, who had to be put down for severe hip dysplasia. But he's young, strong and even if this is the case, there is a lot that can be done to give him the maximum time he can get and to love him while he's here.
Am plagued by insecurity, feeling dorky. But really, does it matter, as long as I'm happy and not hurting anyone? Maybe. Happened upon a friend in the coffee shop and made a new acquaintance, another gardening fanatic. The three of us chatted at high speed about species, cultivars, seed saving, intensely and not nearly long enough. And...I found my mouth not cooperating with my brain, not speaking coherently, not transmitting what I wanted it to say. I felt stupid, impaired, even though both ladies knew that I am not unintelligent. This happens to me far more often than I care to admit.

Have just started reading this book. It is fascinating stuff so far, exploring the drive for immortality, Neo-Darwinism and other neat stuff. There's a scientist...oh, her name eludes me now...OK, found her: Lynn Margulis. Oh man, she's dead! Reading this sort of stuff always makes me wish I was still a science major. :-/

Anyway, one of the thought brought up in the book is that the reason humanity is so fucked up is that unlike other species, we're aware that death is inevitable, and this creates all sorts of conflict within us as we try to escape this fact, to deny it, to achieve immortality in some way. Childbearing, art, accruing wealth, "making a mark" on the world, the idea of cloning, building structures that last, monuments, it's all about trying to elude death in some fashion. Most of what humans do is about denial.

And....I am missing modeling, not because of the money (it paid well) or for exhibitionist reasons (people have told me that blogging is a form of exhibitionism- does that make my readers voyeurs?) or even because I got my feet wet in art again (although that meant a lot to me, too), but because there was something about it that made me feel very aware of and in my body. I began to feel integrated, mind and body together, rather than the usual disconnect, to feel truly comfortable in the form that encloses me. It was well worth any embarrassment or sense of vulnerability. There must be some other way to continue fusing, tying together, mind and body until I'm that way all the time.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Yay, 90% on the test I just took, 88% on the test before that, and 100% on my final paper! Looks like I might get a decent grade in this class. :-)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I don't know why and probably it will not last once the newness has worn off (but maybe not, the goats never lost their healing power) but this dog has made such a difference for me. Just having to walk him...having his happy face urge me to get out of bed and hit the trail or pavement with him...I feel so much better.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Erythronium, Lomatium and Dodecatheon blooming on Mickinnick. Thought I saw calypso orchids on Sunday but was busy trying to catch up to the dog and catch him so it could have been a Dodecatheon, they are about the same color. Anyway...I can see that this hound is going to turn me into a morning person along with helping me get back into shape. He was so happy when I got up this morning. How can I not look forward to that? :-)