Saturday, June 30, 2012

The son of a good friend is a mobile mechanic. He came to haul my truck away to work on it, because it is not starting so I cannot drive it away from here. He was a mile or less down the road when his trailer started fishtailing really badly, turned both truck and trailer around 180 degrees and flipped the truck upside down, breaking the truck's frame. He is OK except for a few bruises and a totaled truck. He and his father say that it is not my fault, but I feel terrible. It would not have happened if he hadn't been going out of his way to try to help me. Am beginning to feel that bad luck is spreading from me to those around me. This is irrational.

It makes me glad that you are having nothing at all to do with me.

Never mind food, clothing and shelter. Love, caffeine, internet. Those are essential things. Books, art, plants, animals.

Friday, June 29, 2012

My son's dog is recovering and doing much better. She is on antibiotics; surprisingly they did not put her on any after the spay procedure! Meanwhile, I am nearly done moving everything out and now have a weekend of cleaning of cleaning the old place and settling into the new one. And....a lot more minimizing is necessary. I got rid of so much stuff and there is still way too much.

The owner of the store where I used to work looked surprised and slightly sad when he found out I'd been fired. The owners of the place are really nice people. They just happen to have hired someone as a manager who really is not qualified to manage anything, let alone a deli. She's not a bad person. Not my kind of person (she is passive aggressive and I can't deal with that) but she's not evil or anything....she simply does not have what it takes to manage the deli. No brains, no real knowledge of natural foods and no business sense (such as planning the weekly menus to use produce that is going to be cheap that week, since organic produce is very expensive) and also, no math skills. She said that I am good at math.....that really frightened me. Knowing how to calculate a simple 33% markup using a calculator is not "good at math". It is fundamental math that any deli worker, even a dishwasher, should know.

At any rate...I will never again have to curl up in the corner of that bathroom, trying to feel calm again, trying to feel ok. I will never have to walk on eggshells and wonder when the axe is going to drop. Instead, am going to see if the library ever looked at my application. The one sure thing about working at the library (volunteer or otherwise) is that I will never see the deli manager there. Yeah, that's snide. It's also 100% true.

Sorry for the pity party. Along with everything else, my son's dog got spayed Monday as she was just coming into heat, still had hormones going and mated with my dog and might have peritonitis as a result. The vet is talking about possibly euthanizing her. My son did not want her to get spayed. I talked him into it, and now she is at death's door because my dog screwed her right after she got spayed. She is wonderful, empathetic, loving. She's everything a good dog should be. The thought of having her die, right after her daughter got hit by a car, is just heartbreaking. It has not been a happy week for our family.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I just got fired. The reason they gave: "not a good fit".

I am fighting with all my might, the yawning void of not fitting anywhere, of not being good enough, of being the cast off. I want to belong somewhere, to belong to someone, to really belong, not just be a tolerated presence. I am so tired of being the thing that isn't wanted.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Someone was speeding down the county road my kids live near while they were checking the mail with their puppy. The kids got out of the road in time, the puppy was on the shoulder and got hit. My daughter called me up sobbing and I went over there as fast as I could, hoping that maybe it was only injured. She was gone...the truck hit her in the head. They did not even slow down or stop, despite there being three children on the scene. I am so glad the children are OK, but I really wish there was some way I could undo this for them, that she could be alive again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Things that are both sad and wonderful about being in love with plants:
  • One cannot really have any assurance that they will still be there later on unless you own or have some sort of long term claim to, the soil in which they are planted.
  • On the other hand, one is not limited to plants which one can own since they are all over the place and can be appreciated without actually claiming them.
  • They change all the time. I was drawing the blooms of my cyclamens once and by the end of the drawing, the petals had twisted and changed very noticeably from their position when I first started drawing them. This seemed to be in response to the change in the position of the sun. I then drew them at night with a lamp as a constant light source... People think that plants are static, unmoving things, but this really is not the case at all. They are very dynamic. Very often, the plant that you see today is not the same plant you will see tomorrow.
  • They're so vulnerable but in many cases, so resilient. People think of orchids as frail...but orchids frequently live on tree branches without soil. I have seen very badly neglected orchids that looked mostly dead, revive. If you forget to water a cyclamen and come by and see its blossoms drooping onto the table or countertop, and then water it (from the bottom, always, so as not to rot the corm), you can sit and watch its flowers slowly rise back to their usual position as the plant takes the water in.
  • They don't complain, ever. Goats and children will holler and remind you if you forget to do something for them. Plants don't. They just suffer. There is something heartbreaking and reproachful about finding a plant of the verge of death (or past it) simply because I didn't take the time to check on it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

All is well. I will be out by the end of this week and then can start planting my herb garden, etc. Also there is the possibility of staying in this place on a long term basis.
Good lord. The people sitting near me at the library are making me wonder if I'm in a Mr. Bean movie and didn't know it. One is an lady singing out of tune quite audibly and another is a youngish guy guffawing at his computer screen. At least neither of them are the guy who was trying to hit on me and then mentioned that he enjoys sticking bottle rockets in frogs and lighting them off. I'm sorry, was that supposed to be attractive?! Who in their right mind boasts about doing something so heartless and disgusting and expects that to be a turn on?

Edited to add: the trying to sing lady just started snorting and snuffling snot. That is too much.....(fleeing the scene)!

I never did find my Gray's Anatomy book and it's too hefty a tome to be hiding anywhere. Wonder if it's a casualty of the same woman who uprooted my herb and vegetable seedlings. :-(

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dear Friends...and friends who are not Friends but are so inclined...please hold me in the light for the next day or so. I don't even want to talk about it just now because I am not sure what to say.
Wiped out and the day hasn't even really begun yet...but we got so much done yesterday. I have too much stuff.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lots of work to do, even after I'm all done moving. There is no way that everything we have will fit in this place. I either have to store some of it, get rid of some of it, or build a little shed or lean to to store it in...or more probably some combination of these. Moved most of the creepy stuff out of the house...and the smelly stuff. What kind of smelly stuff? Well, a bucket of filthy, smelly water and a package of what I think may have been rotten meat. A bum had taken up residence there last winter. He apparently was an alcoholic who chewed tobacco and didn't bother to throw out the remains of his habits. A neighbor ran him off, and I guess he didn't stop to take the meat or food with him so it just rotted there. Yuck. Mostly though the place smelled like strange men who didn't bathe often enough. Removed most of the textiles and a mattress, and that really helped. Did some preliminary surface cleaning but not nearly enough yet. These people seem never to have heard of garbage cans or dumps. Luckily most of the garbage was outside.

I have to hurry and plant the herbs since they were dug up rather precipitously thanks to losing my temper....Best solution I can think of is to move a pile of logs, revealing a patch of soil without grass or other vegetation, so it would be easy to plant. I would have to carry water farther to them....but this will be OK. Then there will be the vegetable plants I have...some are in buckets so location is not critical for those. It is still early enough to plant greens, peas and root vegetables for a late summer early fall harvest, if I plant them within the next month or so.

Then there's the Yearly Quaker meeting, which I am already looking forward to. Friends will be there who were not present at the Women's Conference and I'll be taking two of the children for this. employer is treating each employee to tickets for the Festival at Sandpoint. We each had to pick one concert (of a week, different group or artist each week). Allison Krauss has a lovely voice, but she's country and her songs are sad....Counting Crows is OK but that's a dance concert and the thought of being alone in the midst of a large crowd of people in random motion is daunting, so I picked the Spokane Symphony. This will probably be more sedate and I haven't been to a classical concert since I lived in Chicago. Nobody else at work had picked this one when I wrote the selection down on the list. At any rate, it is very generous of our bosses to do this for us. It's too bad Allison Krauss isn't bringing Robert Plant with her- that I would love to go to.

My littlest son is talking to his dad on the phone about fishing and hearing his side of the conversation is a hoot.

"Do you have fake swimming worms to trick the fish?"

Heh. I never thought of fishing lures that way...

Also: was able to get 2 of the pottery fish into the Artwalk exhibit! And...there is a painting of me also (different artist, obviously). That was a bit awkward, but it isn't that recognizable as me. The only way I knew for sure was that I remembered that pose and what I was thinking about at the time.
Am reading this book, Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms. I cannot read it quickly enough to do it justice and return it to the library on time. If it can be had used, I might buy it, because it's very interesting stuff. There is more about plasmids, and endosymbiotic theory and lateral evolution. It makes me want to take the microbiology class......although some of this was covered in Zoology, Bio 115 and General Botany. Having seen chloroplasts bustling around actively inside plant cells, it is easy to believe that they were once their own organisms before pairing up with others, to make plants. I'll never forget the sense of wonder upon seeing them move, circulating around the cell. That was awesome. :-)

Moved stuff to the new place today, packed the creepy stuff that was in the house, away. There was, for example, most of a dead bird, dried, hanging from a wire affixed to the wall. That's just morbid...and honestly, had it been a mounted skeleton, or an animal skull, I could have found that interesting. But a dried head+wings+tail (feet? not sure), all feathered, bound together and dangling from the wall was too much even for me.

And...I lost my temper in a major way this evening. My son grew a pansy from seed, grew it to the blooming stage to give me a Mother's Day present. My neighbor came over and dumped that pansy out onto the compost pile, leaving it to wilt, so that she could use the nice clay pot for the lavender plant she was stealing from my herd garden! Then she uprooted a lot of other herbs...some were just stems with no roots even...just wanton destruction and plant cruelty....and took those as well, just laid them on her picnic table, roots in the air, drying out, wilting. I am not usually brave about confrontations. But if someone hurts a person or life form that I love, get out of my way. I was just furious, not because she stole from me, but because she hurt those plants and for no other reason than greed and selfishness. They weren't even planted...just getting ready to die. The thyme and pansy might not make it. I wanted to leave that herb garden for other people to enjoy...but clearly that isn't an option. She would just strip it bare anyway. So I dug up every single plant I cared about and moved them all. I don't care that they're "only plants", that people say plants can't perceive pain or damage, etc. They're alive, they suffer, they die, I love them. Hurting them is not acceptable!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm so tired. Need coffee before starting in on the packing marathon this morning.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This new place is going to work out better than I had thought. I am allowed to build things such as chicken coops, sheds, pole fence... I have also been granted an extra week of time in which to move.

Here is a cool link about some green building techniques: Artesano

Your quiet ways. You speak quietly, walk quietly, move with quiet motions. You move like someone who is used to working with nervous, flighty animals that are easily frightened. You have a calming presence.

I know about these things, because I've worked with animals for a good part of my life. There are people who spend years with flighty animals who never do learn to behave in a a totally non-threatening, non-alarming manner around their goats, horses, etc. I've tried to explain how to act in order to win the trust of a goat who hasn't been tamed, have spent hours trying to explain it. A lot of them claim it can't be done. They end up selling the animal, maybe for meat...others take the heavy handed route, deciding that they can simply impose their will by force.

What they miss is that the goat doesn't want to be afraid. It doesn't try to be anxious and reactive. All one really has to do is to make it easy and comfortable for the animal to come closer, to see if it's safe, to show it that things really aren't so bad. But this requires patience, restraint, a willingness to make the taming process a joint venture of cooperation, the ability not to rush the animal past its threshold of tolerance, to build trust slowly.

But I digress. Another thing is that your words tended not to be extraneous. I liked that. And, it was clear that you thought about things before distilling them into a few sentences. That's so rare in this shallow, babbling world.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

When you manage to screw up your blog on Blogger, it's pretty sad. This place is close to foolproof. Except for having to make paragraph spaces using HTML, I have no complaints. Also, it is considerably better than it was when I started this. Anyway, now I know: you can switch from post to draft, but switching back from draft to post screws up the dates so it loses the original post date. This can be fixed manually if one remembers to type in the date where it is supposed to be....

Anyway, I am exhausted. Been packing, stressing, working, chasing children, throwing stuff out, telling them what goes where and to prioritize in case there is not room for it all....I have too much stuff, but about half of my own things are books, and over a fourth of it is wool, fabric, art supplies, etc. Luckily, wool is lightweight even though voluminous. The remaining fourth would be seashells, clothing, pottery, etc. Books, being both very heavy and bulky (somehow I managed to get them in here and seem to have lost muscle since then) are a sensible place to cut back, and I've really tried...but...books... I don't wear all those clothes, or need all of that fabric, either. Can't bear to dispose of many more books.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Well, I have mixed feelings about this new place. It is free in exchange for work (and boy is there a lot of work to be done)...and it seems to have the basic amenities..and I could grow a garden...could even have a goat or chickens (probably won't, since I have no idea how long we'll be there before more permanent housing opens up)...but it is just kind of creepy. Nevertheless, I can envision myself there, so...suppose I will give it a try.
Back...still tired...need coffee badly.

This is going to be a very busy day. The good news is that a place to live has come through and I go to look at it tonight. It sounds a bit rustic but is extremely affordable.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

One of the Quaker matriarchs, who seems to have made a quilt for nearly every longtime Friend who attends this meeting, gave me a quilt this evening! I am so honored. :-)

Several of the women here are scientists; I talked to one of them this evening. She thinks I should give chemistry another try...her husband is a psychologist and she says that the two of them debate the subjectivity of the psych field (my main gripe with it) quite a lot. The thing is, I don't know what on earth I could do with a 4 year degree in botany or even biology. I love science almost as much as I love art....but as far as jobs? Nevertheless, it does bear some thought.


One of the things I really like in botany (and elsewhere)...taxonomy. It's sort of like sorting a shelving library books, only with organisms and plants. :-) one of the other scientists here pointed out...botany is an area where you can work on your own and develop a good reputation even without a botany degree, especially if we're talking field botany. She told me about a guy who's been doing a lot of successful work in ethnobotany and as far as she knows, he doesn't have a botany or biology degree.

Nope, there is even more diversity than mentioned below, in the Northwest Friends. Some of the more liberal NW Friends are hardly distinguishable from North Pacific Friends. Does it really matter? I am visiting with members of both groups and having a wonderful time. I have to constantly ask whether they are programmed or unprogrammed...that should be an indicator that our differences are not so stark.

I am filled with a deep sense of peace, contentment, purpose. Not sure if this is due to having a break from the stresses of everyday life, to the many caring Friends who are holding me in the light, or both. This is our last full day and I will miss them... but will see at least some of them again at Yearly Meeting, and keep in touch with the rest via the internet.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I knew that there was going to be a lot of diversity here. See, at the Women's Conference, we have North Pacific Friends (what I belong to) and Northwest Friends (I think the church in Hayden Lake might be Northwest). Part of the purpose of this Conference is to bring together women from different types of Quaker meetings and churches for dialogue, friendship, perspective, etc. Northwest Friends have churches, pastors, are Christians, sometimes are evangelical, and have programmed worship, with sermons, songs, etc. Northwest Friends are more conservative and tend to be bible and Christ oriented. North Pacific Friends have meetings (as opposed to churches), no pastors, there appears to be a LOT more variability in terms of their views on God and the bible, are not necessarily Christians, do not talk about saving souls, etc, and have unprogrammed worship (silent worship- for an hour. No sermons, no singing, etc). North Pacific Friends seem to be more liberal and in our meeting at least, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs about God, Christ, etc. In a single meeting house, you could find Quakers who are atheist, agnostic, Christian, non-theist, and even Buddhist, Wiccan, or Jewish. If there is any evangelizing going on, I have never heard of or seen it.

So I knew that we were diverse, but what I am finding is that we're even more so than I had thought. And yet, we can all get along, discuss our differences, explore the richness of viewpoints and experiences, agree to disagree, and get along.

Because your eyes never hurt me, never made me cringe. I could fall into your eyes, like jumping into a pool of water...could forget the world around me and see You with your beautiful, honest eyes that never cause me pain.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Having a good time; the awkwardness is beginning to wear off. The theme for this conference was grace, a concept that I had trouble with because the word is so steeped in the Christian theology I was raised in. As it turns out, the theme is also relating to vulnerability, listening deeply and truly to others, and how the shame and pain that each of us as individuals, feel is unique to us is actually experienced by everyone. Our reluctance to share our struggles is what leaves us feeling isolated, continuing to feel shame, still feeling as though our pain sets us apart. How odd that a theme which I thought might be a bit boring strikes so close to home. They are saying that being vulnerable is good, that we need to be vulnerable.

So, we've been spending time talking about how to allow other people the space to be vulnerable, how to make the space safe, comfortable and welcoming enough for that to happen.

OK, wait....I say that I've never felt truly safe before...that isn't entirely true, is it? After all, there's that guy that I call when I'm at the end of the rope, the one who always manages to talk me back from the edge, or rather, to listen me back from the edge. I haven't fallen in love with him, nor with any of the many very kind, very safe and thoughtful Quakers, of either gender. Clearly there is more to this than having felt safe, although I'll concede that this was definitely a prerequisite.

Does it really matter why? Unless I'm trying to defend the way I feel, which I'm tired of, why is kind of irrelevant.

Maybe it's just that you're inherently lovable, that your blend of characteristics combined with having earned my trust and respect, with feeling understood, was the mix that was is just right.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What else...I got tired of my Cubs hooded sweatshirt not fitting over my head without feeling like I was being born all over again, so cut a notch in the neckline. Hated to do it, but what good is it if the thing strangles me every time I try to wear it? Will get matching thread and make it look neat and unnoticeable.

And....I am feeling awkward about my gender presentation, etc. The way I dressed last time I was here was authentic to the way I felt then. The way I'm dressed today is close to authentic to the way I feel now. But those two pictures are different. Not different to the point of being unrecognizable maybe but.... And I can't help it. The way I feel about you calls out the feminine parts of me, makes them feel natural.

I've thought about this for a long time. I've always been an outdoorsy tomboy. Dresses and gobs of makeup and such weren't in my interest range. But I wasn't afraid to be female when I was a kid. I resented it sometimes because it meant I couldn't romp and climb and get dirty, the boys often wouldn't play with me because I was a girl, and the girls were insufferably boring (who wants to play house when there are insects to find?)...but it wasn't until puberty bloomed under the eyes of my leering stepfather that my body and I really began to conflict. It wasn't safe to be a girl. Those big grapefruit sized things on my chest just got in the way when I was working in the woods with the men, and made my stepdad grab at me. I had a very nice figure (except for being quite strong and muscular), and it was nothing but a liability and a danger. Even under layers of flannel work shirts and dirty old jeans, it was a problem.

In the years ahead, I would learn that being female meant being weak, being subjected to things I don't want to talk about. Being female meant being less...and not being safe, always feeling like prey, like chattel. Overcoming the homophobia I'd been raised with, coming to terms with being attracted to women instead of living in denial, realizing that I didn't have to try to fit into a cramped little mold just because of the parts I was born with, was incredibly freeing. It was such a relief.

Then there was you. If I have ever felt so safe before, I don't remember it. I can't say why or how you made me feel safe, but you did. For the first time I can remember, it was safe to be a woman. For the first time, I could be female without having it mean that I was going to be patronized, brushed aside, or hurt. It was like pouring water on a seed that had been waiting to grow. But seedlings are fragile...and so am I.

At the Women's Conference in Portland. The plants here are so cool! They can grow all sorts of stuff that won't make it in northern Idaho. And others, like the Hydrangea paniculata, can and do grow in Idaho but never look as good there as they do closer to the coast. All the vegetative growth is lush, growing with abandon.

On the way here, we stopped at a place called Maryville; apparently this place was built by a very rich Quaker. He used to live in this huge house, and now it has art, including a collection of chess sets (fascinating!) and the best: sculptures by Rodin. Yes, Rodin. I couldn't believe it! I never thought I'd see his art in person, or possibly one work in Chicago perhaps...if I were to make it back to the Art Institute there. Seeing the work in person....I just can't was awesome.

And....this is a challenge. I really struggled to make going to this conference work. I was committed to being here. I'm so happy to see all the Friends, many of whom are not seen anywhere else, so I won't see them for two more years. But there are still a lot of folks I don't know and...I feel out of place at times. For example: I am not sure what the tactful course of action is when you are talking with someone and another person walks up and the person you were talking to turns to talk to them. Do you leave? Just walk away? Insert yourself into their conversation to say goodbye and then go? Stand by and try to figure out what to do? I've done all of these things and they all feel awkward. Usually I just sort of fade away quietly. There are a lot of people here....they are all women, whose social skills are generally more advanced, and my social cluelessness is staring me in the face at every turn.

Sooooo tired. Work turned out ok though.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Overwhelmed...scared. I have almost everything taken care of to prepare for the Women's Conference tomorrow, but when I come back, then what?

But even more than that...ashamed to say it...I am dreading work today. I forgot the MP3 player at home and was barely getting through my shifts with that. I feel like a baby for not being able to cope with this stupid simple job....but it's not the work itself, it's the atmosphere and the person I have to work with. I have to find something else to do...have an application and need to get right on that...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Much of what I feel or perceive or think of is expressed visually in my mind. I see clearly, in my mind, things that do not actually have a physically visual form. It can be difficult to express these things verbally. Not being able to communicate in a way such that other people will really grasp it, seeing them pretend to understand, or feeling mute and voiceless, makes me feel unspeakably lonely. I feel lonelier in this sort of situation than if I were away from people entirely, alone in the woods or on a trail.

I didn't feel lonely around you. Even when nothing was being said, I felt understood and the silence was not empty, to the, the silence was full and beautiful, like a ripe moon.

For a day off, there hasn't been much spare time today! Now there's a bit of breathing room...I don't dare checkout any more library books though. Well, maybe- there's the Women's Conference, after all....
Went through about 10 boxes of fabric and craft supplies, getting rid of at least half of it or more. be fair, some of the boxes weren't crammed very full and I have rectified that situation... Still- quite a bit of it is going! Um.....there is more fabric in the bottom portion of the closet. These are just what was on the top shelf (blush)! Need to eat and go to bed now, but it feels so good to get rid of this stuff, especially to people who will actually do something with it, when I haven't.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Good grief, I have a lot of stuff. Got rid of at least half the contents of the games and puzzle cupboard. I love jigsaw puzzles, but realistically, when and where am I going to work on so many? Someone else might as well enjoy them. Packed most of the kids stuff and most of the bathroom stuff. Bones hurt from moving around banana boxes full of books. I guess the fabric will be next....

The abortion debate is making me realize how profoundly the topic has affected my childhood and the way I relate to people. A child should not grow up being told that they were an accident, that they were almost aborted, that they should be grateful.... The message I got was that they were ambivalent about having me in their life and weren't sure I'd been worth the trouble, that I wasn't really wanted, that I was disposable. And wouldn't you know it, these are the exact same feelings I struggle with today. Why would someone tell a little kid that? Why? I mean, with graphic pictures and descriptions of what would have happened and everything?

I can see clearly where this stuff came from. I can see clearly that no child, including myself, should be subjected to that. What I cannot seem to do is to stop it from hurting, to stop it from repeating itself over and over and over again until every single human interaction I have is fraught with the anxiety of being rejected. It's turned into a never ending nightmare, and I don't know what to do to make it stop.

Went to meeting. Should go home, purge (belongings, not stomach contents) and pack now.

Thinking...a few people have used the word "understated" to describe me. Understatement is something I am fond of, so it felt almost like a compliment. that just a kind way of seeing that people perceive me as being less than I am? Worse, am I less than I think myself to be? Maybe the people who perceive me as trashy are right? Maybe the reason things don't work out for me is that I am not worth it. I don't want to think that's true.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Packed: all of my books that can be packed away over the summer. There are about 12 banana boxes full, not counting the ones in the closet....and about 2 boxes that I will retain use of. Also about another box of books to be given away. All I did was pack books, make dinner and am now doing laundry, but am tired and out of boxes. Panicking because I can't find my Gray's Anatomy book. It is the cheap paperback version, but I've had it for years and it is a staple. Where is it? What else is missing? I can replace it, but the specter of other books being gone is alarming. Other women collect jewelry and useless kitschy stuff, for me it's books and seashells. If I lost all my jewelry (what there is of it), I wouldn't be much affected. Books, on the other hand....there would be a meltdown.

Going to purge some of the quilting fabric. It's hard to feel excited about quilting when three of the most beautiful, completely hand pieced quilts I ever made have just vanished unaccountably. Will keep favorite fabrics and donate the rest to a worthy Quaker cause (stem cell patients) when I go to the Women's Conference. Tomorrow, I have to pack pottery and other breakables, get rid of any I don't want, clean out the closets in the kid's rooms (dreading that already).

Finishing up a debate on gender selection in abortion, at Homesteading Today and just as that started winding down, a new thread about circumcision started up. Neither one of these will be available for viewing by the general public, because after joining, one has to post on the forums that are visible before the livelier forums become accessible. It annoys me that the opposing sides on these debates are unable to back up their position without resorting to religion, i.e. "God said so!". Invoking divine assistance is not fair play, particularly when the topic is not directly related to religion. It seems that God has an opinion on everything though, and who would have guessed- He always agrees with them! (yawn)

Friday, June 08, 2012

That awkward moment...when you realize that you forgot to save or move a blog post to drafts instead of having it visible....
I still am not sure where we are going to move to. Nevertheless, getting rid of stuff we don't use or need and packing up the rest is going to be this week's agenda. There are a couple of options remaining; I am hoping that at least one of these will pan out.

And...have been thinking of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and how I routinely, habitually violate it. People are often on my case about this, saying that my priorities are not in order. I suppose that they're correct, but on the other hand, it is soul-crushingly difficult to slog through life without something higher or more inspiring to think of. There has to be a reason to keep battling my way upstream or otherwise the whole thing is just sort of pointless.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Something funny: New co-worker, one of the young kids, was somehow conned into trying a shot of wheatgrass juice yesterday. His reaction was much like mine. He was still sort of gagging and making faces when I thought about my stepfather feeding us roadkill venison with green mold on it. I said "Well, it could be worse..", to which he replied, "yeah, it could have dog poop on it. It is grass, ya never know!"

lol.... That is sick but it cracked me up!

This was an emotionally grueling day. I am so glad to be home. I got through it without screaming at the top of my lungs, making any phone calls to people for help, inflicting any sort of harm or crying in front of people. Also, minimal stimming, no tics, and no nausea.

Why? I am not really sure. It just sort of came up and hit me. Nothing happened to precipitate it. It was like my mind went to the most depressing, unpleasant memory banks, dragged painful stuff out, and then spent an hour building off of that and making it even worse. And then I went to work and was reasonably functional as long as the music was going, but things just got progressively more frustrating and difficult. It is my Friday. I don't have to work tomorrow. That is such a relief.

Part of the problem might be that I need to take a break from Brandi Carlile. Yes, it is cathartic. Yes, her voice is lovely. Yes, it's even better when played loud. And yes, these songs are almost as sad as I am and do nothing at all towards redirecting depressing thoughts. Yo-Yo Ma? Peter Paul and Mary? I have to find something else to listen to for a while.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Everyone seemed like they were going out of their way to greet me and be nice to me at work today! It's not that they're usually mean, was different. The closing shift is working out really well for me; the only thing is that I am not sure how to integrate working until 7 pm with my children, particularly the youngest two. Other than that, there's very little micro-managing on this shift, because everyone else wants to go home and is glad I'm staying, and while I like them, the place is nicer as it quiets down, much less stressful.

No summer school. State tax refund arrival did not coincide with tuition deadline. I've decided to study the college algebra book on my own time over the summer, memorize the point/slope formulas, that sort of thing. If the book doesn't make sense, maybe the library has other books that will explain it more visually. When fall comes, I'll take the two classes I need in order to boost my GPA, and the ceramics class, if I can afford them. If things are going well in the spring and I have my head together, I could possibly try Statistics and the Psych Research class, and that would fulfill pretty much everything I can take at NIC that would transfer usefully to the University of Idaho. Or, I can just take the fall classes, get my AS degree and then decide what to do from there, but an Associates degree means very little.

Haven't been doing much work with, getting rid of stuff, washing laundry, wasting time being sad, hiking, working, paperwork ad nauseum. I go to the Women's Conference next week though and want to bring handwork. In order to do that, I need to have sufficient yarn. So....towards that end, if there is time, I'll try to spin up the remaining Shetland wool into laceweight yarn.

More rain?? Tired of rain. I do not want to hike in the rain.

And...I have to find a way to be happy and contented despite whatever is going on with this situation. I have concluded that a change in the situation, which is what I have screaming for over the past year and a half, might not necessarily console me. I am not certain that there's anything that any person can do to make me feel better. Whatever it is that has to be done, is probably intrinsic and I will have to battle it alone. What a daunting, isolating thought.... In the end, we're all alone, aren't we?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

I'm depressed. I hurt. And I'm not even at work yet.

Everyone says that I have value, that I am a good mom, that my kids need me....but I am beginning to think that they say these things because they are nice rather than because they are true.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Tire blew on the way home, and oh my, how it blew! It ripped open in at least five or six different places. We were very lucky, because this happened only half a mile uphill from where we live, so all I had to do was hobble-coast slowly down the hill. It would have been a fairly unpleasant situation had we been further away. Changed the tire in the rain (which was a little uncomfortable but I like rain and now my hair will be soft!) and now it is good to go. If the tire were going to blow, this was probably one of the most fortuitous ways it could have done so.

And I'm really glad for that, because I was up until 2 AM (at least) last night cleaning the house, up at the normal time for more cleaning and getting my sons ready to go and am now doing laundry before turning in to try to recover some of yesterday's lost sleep. But- the house looks pretty nice! Now I have to go through half a closet full of boxes of books (not tonight!). If they've sat in a closet for two years without being very missed and if when I open the boxes, it isn't like opening a care package from Grandma, then they will be subject to serious consideration for exiting the household. Also, a lot of craft supplies for crafts that I do not do anymore or particularly even enjoy the thought of doing anymore. It's one thing to find something and say, "Oh! I used to do that! I miss doing that!" and another to feel somewhat chagrined by not having any interest at all in finishing whatever project the stuff was bought for. Let someone else enjoy it the way I used to. The more stuff I get rid of, the easier it will be to move....and the more space we'll have to enjoy the stuff we really like and use.

And....sketched on Mickinnick today. Those bloody mosquitoes! (literally) I don't know that the drawing I made is at all worthwhile but it was fun, the process was much more engaging and conducive to creativity and frankly, my work isn't selling well anyway so I had might as well enjoy making it! All in all, not a bad day.

No luck on finding out about plasmids in relation to potatoes, because I was deluged in google results about genetic engineering in potatoes via plasmids. The Bt gene was mentioned, but since I have no interest in GMO crops, I didn't look into it. However, it brought up a different train of thought, and probably I am showing my ignorance here: if plasmids are what are transmitting the genes in GMO crops....then pollen from the GMO crops should not be able to successfully transmit those traits when cross-pollinating non-GMO crops, because plasmids are passed down in the mitochondrial DNA, via the female parent. Yet there's an awful lot of talk about GMO contamination of OP crops. I am so confused!
Why do I act aloof when I'm scared? Why do I act a lot of ways that don't match the way I feel? I'm so much like my father in that way, the same facade, the same preoccupation with trying to retain dignity (sort of a lost cause at this point, I think?), saving face, etc. :-/ could be worse. I could be more like my mother. Between the two of them, I suppose Dad is the better role model.


So, how do I want to act? Authentically? Haven't I been told I can't do that? Besides, showing that one is still quite vulnerable is scary. I don't know for sure how I want to present myself, not only in one area or situation, but in general, that would be both authentic and enable me to feel secure. Don't all people put on an act? Observe, please, how differently the same person can act in different situations. Most people do this and I find it confusing.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

I was reading something about plasmids and their role in evolution...and now it is bothering me because I hope I checked that book out! If I didn't, I have no idea which one it was. :-/

I still find myself wishing that I were able to major in the hard sciences...although Dr. Barney says that botany is a "soft science" which sort of hurt my feelings, lol...particularly since it is still too hard, apparently, for my soft brain. I was reading this book: Writer, M.D.. There is a chapter by Atul Gawande about tenacity and about how skill in surgery is achieved by dogged persistence rather than supreme innate talent. Tenacity and dogged persistence are, obviously, things that I do well. Why have I been so ready to give up on chemistry? On the other hand, I've taken the college algebra class 6 times. Also, even if I pass all the necessary classes to get my Associate's degree in biology, I would still need to move to Moscow or commute to Spokane in order to get the Bachelor's, and an Associate's in biology is more or less worthless. Frankly, a Bachelor's in biology isn't all that useful by itself either.

But that isn't any reason I can't learn in my spare time and experiment, etc. My distant relatives, John and William Bartram, both naturalists and botanists, received no formal schooling in botany. John never even went past 8th grade, and he was the royal botanist to the king of England! That kind of stuff never happens now, but still...I can still work with plants without having a very expensive degree which, let it be noted, would not guarantee a job. There are hardly any openings in this field even if I had a Master's.


For some perverse reason, I am very interested in the idea of growing out potato seed. Not seed potatoes, potato seed, produced in small potato fruits that look like hard, unappealing little green tomatoes. Also, cross pollinating potato flowers and then growing out the seed. Some varieties no longer produce fruit, but they could still be pollen parents. Blue potatoes tend to produce fruit, probably because they are closer to their origin, less bred. That could be the seed parent. This is where plasmids come in- I don't know a whole lot about them yet, but plasmids are transmitted only by the female parent and contribute certain traits. For example, in hosta lilies, variegated foliage comes from the plasmids (which have their own genetic material aside from the plants regular DNA, as I understand it) of the female parent. It is nearly impossible to get a variegated offspring from a plain leaved seed parent crossed with a variegated pollen parent. I need to find out about the role of plasmids in potato traits...and other plants.

Friday, June 01, 2012

I just hope that someday, I'll be able to make sense of this. I know, I should forget about it and not think about it, not think about you, anymore...that's what people say. I am not capable of that and can't quite comprehend how they are.

There is something...I don't even know how to put it and am not sure it would make sense if I did because in my mind, it is mostly in visual form, but I will try. Yes, I hurt, but I hurt because I am vulnerable, and I am vulnerable because I felt close to you..and in some irrational way, I'm not sure I'd trade the pain away if the cost was to forget about you, to have my heart turn cold and remote and untouchable.